For the Love of Books

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hey, y'all!  It's Wednesday!  Woohoo!  Oh, no, it's Wednesday.  Aaaah!  I'm super excited to be halfway to the weekend, as it's always so much easier to set school aside for a bit and bring back the calm spirit my big kiddo so infrequently wears these days.  But I'm so not prepared for all the busyness, from basketball games and a birthday party to church activities and the like, this particular weekend will bring.  It'll be here soon enough, whether I'm prepared for it or not, so I'd better take a deep breath and just dive in.  I've got another fabulous book pick, for you all, this month.  It is illustrated by Julie Vivas and written, for children ages four to eight, by Mem Fox.  Surprise!  Surprise!  You really can't go wrong when it comes to this gal, folks.
Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge lived by a retirement home, and from "Mrs. Jordan who played the organ" to "Mr. Drysdale who had a voice like a giant," he knew everyone that lived there.  But his favorite friend was Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper, because she had four names just like him.  When he overhears his parents discussing how she lost her memory, he wants to know more.  He calls on his special friends from next door to answer the question, "What's a memory?"; creates a box filled with a personal collection of items that address every one of their answers; and inadvertently, helps Miss Nancy remember.

This precious story is a bit of a tear-jerker, especially for those of us who know, or have known, someone who has lost their memory, but it is a winner in my book.  And its stunning, watercolor illustrations have a way of making one linger just a little while longer.  Thanks so much for reading!  Enjoy the rest of your week, friends!

Weekend Snapshots

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Well, hello there.  I'm playing catch up again over here.  My family and I came down with some kind of a stomach bug all at the same time last week.  The only benefit in that was that it was quiet enough for everyone to get the rest they needed.  Fortunately, it didn't put us out more than a few days from beginning to end.  Then, I spent a portion of the weekend washing and disinfecting everything.  Since our illness occurred over my birthday, we postponed the celebrations until then as well.  My hubby made me my favorite Apple Crumb Cake.  I only get it once a year, so I'm always ready for it come my birthday.  I'm not sure why somebody's plate made it into the shot, and my poor baby wasn't very happy.  He's getting another tooth, but if I don't take the bad photos with the good, I wouldn't have any with me in them to remember I was even there.
This one isn't any better, but we continued the celebrations, with a little lunch out, after my big kiddos' basketball games on Saturday morning.
Speaking of, basketball is going well.  There has been a lot of differences to get used to in this particular league, but Ezekiel and Adina are both learning a lot and enjoying the game.
Poor Adina is in a kindergarten to 2nd grade bracket, so the goal is too high for her to actually reach, unless she's shooting backward over her head.  She's really great at making her opponents chase her around the court, though.  Tee hee!  Plus, she really loves having her Daddy for a coach.
I have a lot more decent shots of Adina playing than Ezekiel, simply because this little guy, although he is super happy in the photos below, is grumpy and ready for his morning nap by the time Ezekiel's game rolls around.  He just loves to play with the kids' basketballs.  Really, he'll take any ball.  He'll even toss one back and forth with a partner for what seems like hours at a time.  My other two didn't have the catch and release down for at least another year or two.  Anyway, I promise to continue to try to get a few good shots for the scrapbooks; and if I do, I'll definitely share them here.
The weather has been beautiful!  I'm talking upper forties and fifties.  That's so out of character for January in Kansas, but if there isn't going to be snow on the ground, I'd much rather it be warmer.  So, my big kiddos have had lots of time to shoot hoops with their Christmas basketball goal.  We, also, worked hard to finish up our studies a couple of Fridays ago and took the afternoon off for a trip to visit our furry friends at the KC Zoo.
Once again, the shots are few and far between.  My arms are always full, but I'm not complaining.  I'll just get what I can during the bits my little bear tolerates his stroller and save the rest for my memory, but what a great afternoon!
I got another PINCHme box.  It contained a Mr. Sketch holiday scented marker, Expo Ultra Fine dry erase marker, and Olay Fresh Outlast body wash.  If I'd gotten literally any other holiday scent from candy cane to gingerbread, with the exception of maybe chimney, I think I would've been a bigger fan of the first.  But I got Christmas tree.  Ugh!  That scent is really only good in its natural form, not to mention, that while the color is bold and the tip long-lasting, they aren't washable.  That's a HUGE deal breaker for this mommy of three.  I was super excited to try out the dry erase marker.  I've looked for years for a marker with that fine of a tip, and it worked awesome on our calendar.  The only complaint I have is that it smashes down pretty quick.  It's still thinner than any other dry erase marker I've been able to find on the market, but I can't see it holding up for the long haul.  And finally, I cannot tell you how much I loved the body wash.  It smelled good, lathered well, and left my skin feeling super soft.  Plus, my hubby noticed I'd used it.  He's pretty unobservant, folks, so that's got to say something.  LOL!
Just because they're too cute not to share, I had to throw in a few bath pics.  Sunday nights belong to me and this kiddo, as the rest of my family is away attending Awana Club.  I treasure the peace these nights bring.  This guy is my saving grace.  It's so easy to make him smile.  He's pleased as punch most of the time, loves to listen to me read or just sit and play quietly while I work, and is the best cuddle bug.  All that is such a welcome relief from the struggles and sass of the preteen years.
And Adina just couldn't let me close without my sharing a pic of our sunbeam...
or little angels.  I just happened to say that they looked like such, when they were playing around and being silly in the bathtub one night.  But it must've stuck with her, because she reminds me of it every time she swaps her shower for a bath and has time to play with the toys.  Gotta love her!
I have a few of my regular monthly posts to share this week, but it'll be pretty quiet design-wise, as I'm preparing for one particular little person's first birthday.  However, I'll have a healthy round-up to start the month of February off right.  And, of course, I'll be back on Thursday to announce a winner for my Birthday Giveaway, so be sure to get in on that.  Thanks so much for checking in on us!  Have a great week!

Paper Sweeties Featured Designer

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Evening, y'all!  I was over-the-moon thrilled to get an email from Debbie asking me to be this month's Featured Designer at Paper Sweeties and didn't hesitate for a single second to accept or start planning what I would create to share with you all.  Debbie makes it so easy with a plethora of darling images, coordinating dies, sequins, ribbons, and Baker's Twine.  The hardest part is just picking, but today just so happens to be my birthday.  So, I set off with Party Time and its coordinating die to dress up a few photos of my birthday celebration from a couple of years back.
I started this page by stamping a few confetti spots and stars, in Jet Black ink, strategically, throughout the aqua/pink, diamond, base page.  Don't you think that happy background is perfect for a birthday celebration?  I then used my photos, which were matted with Whisper White cardstock, to create a cake, stacked on an aqua, gradient, paper plate and topped with a trio of die-cut, from Strawberry Slush cardstock, candles.  In turn, those candles were lit with die-cut, from White cardstock, flames, which were stamped in Jet Black ink and colored in with pencils.
I then separated each cake layer with strings of stamped, in Jet Black ink, on White, cardstock die cuts, flowers, which were colored in with pencils and glittered.  A trio of stamped, in Strawberry Slush ink, on White, cardstock die cuts, blooms dress up the cake itself and were flanked with stamped, in Jet Black ink, on White, cardstock die cuts and pencil-colored leaves.  Lots of interlocking circles were Cameo-cut from vellum and tucked, along with bits of silver thread, under all the layers; and a trio of Cameo-cut, from Whisper White cardstock, snowflakes add punches of solid color amidst all that pattern.  The "Party Time" banner was stamped, in Jet Black ink, on an aqua, snowflake, patterned paper; hand-cut out; and adhered, with foam tape, to ground a couple of stamped, in the same way as everything else described above, balloons, which also were colored in with pencils and dressed up with little, Peppermint Baker's Twine bows.
A third balloon balances the whole look...
and rounds out a visual triangle with the "celebrate" title, which was Cameo-cut from Whisper White cardstock.  Finally, a bunch of sweet, little, Green Apple sequins, as well as a bursting handful from the limited edition Valentine's Day Sweet{heart} Mix, completes the look.
I had a little journaling that I wanted to add to my page, but at the risk of making it look too busy, I decided to create a pocket, to house my homemade, cardstock tag, which, too, was laced with more of that yummy, Peppermint Baker's Twine, on the backside of it all.
It reads, Flowers, Olive Garden for dinner, apple crumb cake at home, and family... What better way to celebrate my birthday?!  "FUN DAY JAN 22 2012"
I had a few goodies leftover from my page and couldn't let them go to waste.  So, I have a card, to share with you all, today, too.
I started this card by creating a watercolor background, on a piece of White cardstock, with both Spun Sugar and Broken China Distress Inks.  I then trimmed that bit, down its right edge, with a strip of a pink, number, patterned paper and anchored everything, to the White, cardstock, card face, with silver-threaded, straight and zig-zag, machine stitches.
I then stamped some confetti bits, in Jet Black ink, throughout the watercolor piece.  Both those Cameo-cut, vellum circles and White, cardstock snowflakes from above, along with a little more silver thread, were tucked behind the cake, which was stamped, in Jet Black ink, on White cardstock and colored with pencils.  A few Green Apple sequins embellish the cake's flowers.
The balloon was stamped, in Jet Black ink, on White cardstock; colored with pencils; adhered with foam tape; and embellished with a bit of Peppermint Baker's Twine, tied in a bow.  A small handful of sequins, from that same limited edition mix above, were scattered about to complete the look.
That does it, from me, for today.  I've added links for all the Paper Sweeties products I used above in my {Supplies & Tools} sections below.  Debbie's prices are super reasonable; checkout is really simple; and shipping is always fast!  So, run on over and treat yourselves to some happy, new goodies today!  And while you're at it, leave a comment on my Featured Designer post, on the Paper Sweeties Blog, to enter to win yourself a $20 gift certificate to the Paper Sweeties Shoppe.  You have until the close of the day EST on Sunday, January 25, 2015, to comment to win.  Thanks, to you all, for peeking in; and a HUGE thanks to Debbie for having me this month!  It's been a hard week around my house, so I'm going to sign off for the weekend a little early, but please don't forget to leave a comment over on my Birthday Giveaway post for your chance to win a loot of fabulous goodies, too.  Have a good one, friends!
{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Party Time, Make Today Beautiful, You're Invited, & Banner Wishes (Paper Sweeties) Paper: Strawberry Slush & Whisper White (SU!); White (Wplus9); vellum (Paper Studio); aqua gradient & snowflake (MME); aqua/pink diamond (Shimelle); aqua chevron (October Afternoon) Ink: Strawberry Slush (SU!); Jet Black (Ranger); Black PITT artist pen (Faber Castell) Other: silver thread (Coats & Clark); Party Time & Homemade With Love dies, Peppermint Baker's Twine, & {Sweet}heart Mix & Green Apple sequins (Paper Sweeties); Big Shot (Sizzix); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); colored pencils (Prismacolor); mineral spirits (Inky Antics); Dazzling Diamonds (SU!); Unending Circles cut file (17 Turtles); Snowflakes 4 cut file (Laura Whitaker); Celebrate America cut file (Ali Edwards); Cameo (Silhouette)
{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: Party Time & You're Invited (Paper Sweeties) Paper: White (Wplus9); pink number (Elle's Studio); vellum (Paper Studio) Ink: Jet Black, Spun Sugar, & Broken China (Ranger); Barely Banana (SU!) Other: silver thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); Snowflakes 4 cut file (Laura Whitaker); Unending Circles cut file (17 Turtles); Cameo (Silhouette); Party Time die, Peppermint Baker's Twine, & Sweet{heart} Mix & Green Apple sequins (Paper Sweeties); Big Shot (Sizzix); colored pencils (Prismacolor); mineral spirits (Inky Antics); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives)

Birthday Giveaway

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Good afternoon, friends!  I trust you all are having a wonderful week!  It has been unseasonably warm in our neck of the woods, so we've been taking advantage of such with lots of extra outdoor play.  Although, all that came to a screeching halt for our little bear yesterday, as some kind of icky bug caught up with him.

He went to Sunday school for the first time this weekend.  I almost didn't leave him, especially when I saw the ratio of adults to little bodies, but he looked like he was having so much fun with those new toys.  He also has had lots of anxiety over being held by or even being in the vicinity of non-immediate-family members.  So, I kind of thought of it as a little breaking in towards the conquering of such, as it was only an hour, and his teachers were on board.  But it didn't go so well, and now, he seems to have picked up something.  We're talking "five complete outfit changes during 12 waking hours" something, and I'm afraid it's going to be lots more difficult to get him back into that Sunday school room again.  Poor thing!  Neither of my other children had this kind of anxiety, so I'm a little at a loss of how to handle it.  I keep thinking he'll outgrow it.  So, I've just been taking it one day at a time and catering a bit.  It's not like I'm bending over backwards to appease him or anything, but there haven't been a lot of opportunities for him to spend time with other caretakers, and those who have tried to hold him hand him right back to me just as soon as the first tear rolls down his chubby, little cheek.  So, now, I'm worried we're creating a monster.  Sigh.  He's such a cute, little monster, though.

Anyway, you didn't come here to read of my woes.  Tomorrow is my birthday, and to celebrate, I've packaged up a box full of fabulous goodies for one of my faithful followers just for being such.  Check it out!
Let's get a little up close and personal.  Shall we?  That's (1) 18 sheets of a rainbow of colors of textured Bazzill Basics or Core'dinations cardstocks; (2) one Hambly screeprint; (3) ten sheets of one-sided cardstock, in soft blue, bright blue, and yellow, from We R Memory Keepers...
(4) February 2013 and March 2012 issues of CARDS Magazine...
(5) two Teresa Collins Fabrications stamp sets; (6) six stamp sets from JBS Mercantile; (7) one Imaginisce Polaroid stamp...
(8) two ScrapMatts ornate frames; (9) wood frame and phrase bit from We R Memory Keepers; (10) Maya Road transparencies; (11) Maya Road chipboard boot and acrylic albums; (12) Maya Road cube album...
(13) Forest Thickers; (14) printed kraft Thickers; (15) Fancy Pants large orange alphabet stickers; (16) one package It Takes Two full-color rubon words and images; (17) sei Silver Valley dimensional stickers; (18) Jillibean Soup printed cork bits; (19) dimensional, "Princess of everything" banner from Making Memories; (20) two packages Shaker Stickers; (21) Market Street Stamps Jubilee enamel shapes and decorative brads; (22) Market Street Stamps Ashbury Heights decorative brads; (23) round clips from Heidi Grace; (24) Queen & Co. Jellies...
(25) two American Crafts DIY Shop security envelopes; (26) three each of kraft and white envelopes from Paper Studio; (27) K&Company rainbow brads; (28) assortment of brads from Doodlebug Design and BoBunny; (29) mini beach Bingo cards from JBS Mercantile; (30) file tabs from Chic Tags; (31) Little B decorative tape; (32) Starry Night Stickles; (33) white ZAZZ! glitter glue from American Crafts; (34) Pure Black FolkArt acrylic paint...
(35) assortment of single yard ribbons and trims from Papertrey Ink, Stampin' Up, Hobby Lobby, Dear Lizzy, May Arts, and Making Memories...
(36) three May Arts fabric and paper flowers; (37) Freckled Fawn paperclip arrows, felt flower, and mini keys; (38) wood veneer assortment from Freckled Fawn; (39) heart buttons from JoAnn Fabrics; (40) JBS Mercantile chipboard shape assortment; (41) Prima felt bloom and bows; and (42) The Ribbon Reel resin flowers.
For your chance to win, simply leave me a comment below.  I'll leave the giveaway open, to U.S. residents only (So sorry, guys!  Shipping is a booger!), until next Wednesday, January 28, 2015, and announce a winner here the following Thursday.  Thanks so much for stopping by, and good luck!

The Studio Cleaning Up Challenge

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Hey, y'all!  I hope the weekend is treating you well.  My big kiddos had more basketball games yesterday morning, and we had a neighborhood celebration to send off our next-door neighbors last night.  Today will be slightly less eventful, but while I'm snoozing, I've got another challenge from The Studio for you all.  This one is all about cleaning up and clearing out.  What's on your desk?  Are there photos, papers, or bits and pieces that have sat there for ages just waiting to be scrapped, but you never seem to get around to using them?  Now is the time to use them up and clear your desk!

This challenge was a bit of a toughie for me, because I'm always clearing my desk.  I have had my final December Jenni Bowlin Papercrafting Kit, which was filled with lots of pretty papers from Elle's Studio, sitting on my desk for a few weeks, though.  So, that is where I found inspiration for today's page.  I also used up a few seasonal goodies that have been lingering around my workspace since last Christmas in combination with some things that just arrived.
I started this page by stamping that fabulous, woodgrain, patterned paper (I knew, just as soon as I saw it, that it had to be the backdrop for tree picking pics.  Love it!), in Old Olive ink, with evergreen branches and anchoring some of those yummy papers, which include a bit of torn filter paper and gold, polka dot vellum, with red-threaded, straight, machine stitches.  I then matted my photos with Whisper White cardstock, folded a chevron envelope over the top right edge of the far right one, and secured it with staples.  A stamped, in Jet Black ink, "I'm dreaming of a bright Christmas" helps frame that same photo.
I then stitched a festive transparency to the front of a library pocket and turned the card, stuffed in it, into a tag by using Wplus9's Lacey Layers die to die cut a little, kraft sticker, applying it in its respective location, punching it through with a simple hole punch, and lacing it with a bit of Baker's Twine.
It was stamped, in Jet Black ink, with the "celebrating NOV 28 2014" date and used to journal,  We just love to kick-start the Christmas season with a trip to pick out our tree.  This year's tree came from Home Depot & stayed fresh & beautiful all Dec. long.  Ezekiel was visiting G-pa & ma, so we strung it with lights & waited until he got home to add our ornaments.
The whole look was then grounded with a "BE JOYFUL," dimensional, sticker banner; "happy merry everything," transparency die cut; and a bit of festive flair, embellished with a stamped, in Jet Black ink, on White cardstock, colored with pencils, hand-cut, and glittered holly branch.
A little more stamping...
foam, heart sticker; and trio of Cameo-cut, Whisper White, cardstock snowflakes, which I also covered with a healthy dose of glitter, complete the look.  Laura Whitaker designed and is offering up that Snowflakes 4 cut file for free.  Just click on the link and download.  Yay!
Further inspiration for this page came from Sassy Scrapper's January Mood Board.  I was inspired by the word "SHINE" itself, as well as the woodgrain and floral letters.
Be sure to stop by the challenge link above to see what the rest of the team has whipped up, as well as to get all of your challenge details.  You have until February 1, 2015, to link up your pages in the right-hand column of The Studio Blog.  Thanks for visiting, and have a fantastic week, folks!

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: "LOVE you MORE", "LET your LIGHT SHINE", & "LOVE IT" ( Heidi Swapp); Ornaments, Country Christmas, & Shine On (Market Street Stamps); date (Dear Lizzy) Paper: Whisper White, filter paper, & gold polka dot vellum (SU!); White (Wplus9); gold polka dot & red floral (MME); candy cane stripe, red Christmas phrases, woodgrain, & green trees (Elle's Studio) Ink: Old Olive (SU!); Jet Black (Ranger); Jet Black (StazOn) Other: red thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); Snowflakes 4 cut file (Laura Whitaker); Cameo (Silhouette); Dazzling Diamonds (SU!); foam heart (unknown); library pocket (American Crafts); tree transparency (Simple Stories); Baker's Twine (Clean Country Paper Supplies); dimensional banner & vellum die cut (Studio Calico); flair button (A Flair for Buttons); colored pencils (Prismacolor); mineral spirits (Inky Antics); foam tape (Scrapbook Adhesives); stapes & stapler (office supply store); chevron envelope (Whisker Graphics); Lacey Layers die (Wplus9); Big Shot (Sizzix)