Thursday, April 17, 2014

Now in the Shoppe | BUNNY TRAIL

Yep! It's that time of the year the lovable Peter Cottontail comes hopping down the bunny trail with trinkets, chocolates, sweet marshmallow Peeps and the promise of warm sunshine and renewed spirit!  I wanted to design a kit that would compliment the Beautiful colors and heritage spirit of the Easter season- something timeless and fun at the same time... and when I sat at my drawing board I was drawn to a soft pallet of the forsythias and pussy willows blooming in my yard and vintage motifs I adore- bunnies and chicks, Easter grass and daffodils!  The result brings to mind golden memories of  Easters past and the promise of a joyous one this Sunday!

I wish you and your family wonderful and blessed Holiday!

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Thursday, April 03, 2014

Now in the Shoppe | Little Days

This week, I have a sweet little design for you filled with delicate florals- papers that I just adore and a few little hedgehogs because, well, they are just so darn cute!  And- since this kit is hitting the shoppe during the Scrap Orchard Birthday bash- not only will you enjoy the coordinating journal cards FREE- but the kit- and everything else in the shoppe is 35% off!   BIG SALE+ little days= wooHOO!

I wanted to share with you some of the layouts created by the Creative team because they all captured the feeling I was trying to celebrate with this kit- little moments that we capture- and that can mean so much! Little times that somehow create BIG smiles! 

by iowan

by jacqueline
by sunflowersbaby

by enjoyyourpix

by jetje

by icajovita

by jillw

by carolina scrapper

by mullemaus

by cvetana

by motherbear

by kalamae

by melissa

by foreverjoy

by laluna

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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Butterfly Backstory

Around here, the weather is still a bit manic- we had sleet followed by a sunny 60 degree afternoon-but the fact that spring is slowly making its way is unmistakable. There's a happy feeling of anticipation... and I like it. It echos what buzzing inside my home as well.  

Liam's communion is early May- and I have been happily pinning and prepping and enjoying preparing for the big day. It was different with Ryan. When Ryan made his communion 8 years ago, I had just lost my dad about 2 months earlier.
Ryan on his special day- I'm about 4 months expecting!
Needless to say- the thought of doing anything celebratory was heart breaking. The empty chair was too much to bear- but I listened to family and made sure that the day didn't pass without making it (or at last trying to make it) special for Ryan- so we had a little party at home and I did my best to bring the joy it deserved. Usually, my home seems uncomfortably small when we have the whole family of 30 over- but that day, having the family and their love all around seemed very comforting. Ryan remembers the day as being a great one- and that's really all that matters.

When I started out planing Liam's party, I thought the missing might hurt less- but it doesn't.  I guess the milestones really cant be marked without feeling the loss of those not with us. But at least now, things are not as raw.  Still though, my thoughts keep returning to Dad and wishing her could see the terrific boys he would have enjoyed as his grandsons.

I need to stop for a moment and give  you a little back-story.  About a year after Dad passed, I was with my mom at a "psychic dinner". I guess I was looking for any way I could to connect with him- and it was a casual event at a favorite restaurant.  When I met with this lady, she took my hand and after a long moment she told me things that really, only someone with a gift could know. Details beyond the fact that I had lost my dad- (and she had yet to meet with my mom.) She told me my dad loved the pennies. My heart stopped. 

At his service, Ryan, who was just 7 read this poem: 

"Pennies from Heaven"

I found a penny today
Just laying on the ground.
But it's not just a penny
This little coin I've found.

Found pennies come from heaven
that's what my Grandpa told me.
He said Angels tossed them down
Oh, how I loved that story!

He said when an Angel misses you
They toss a penny down,
sometimes just to cheer you up
To make a smile out of your frown.

So don't pass by that penny
When you're feeling blue.
It may be a penny from heaven
That an Angel's tossed to you.
 Author: Copyright © 1998 C Mashburn

Needless to say, there wasn't a dry eye in the church.  And the night before the service, without telling them why, I had asked several friends to bring pennies to the service and drop them outside the front doors of church. Imagine Ryan walking out of the service that day, the bag pipes breaking our hearts with the sounds of Amazing Grace and seeing thousands of pennies on the ground. We all shared tears at the sight, a bit sweeter now, of the look of joy on Ryan's face in thinking these were gifts from his Poppy!

The reader followed her message about he pennies with this: "The butterflies matter- that is how your dad will show you he is near." Now, in NYC, butterflies are not an everyday sight- but I can tell you with full faith in my heart- they always seem to fly into my life when I really need them most.

Here's Liam crying on his way to school -
He brought his teddy to wipe his tears :( 
The day Liam started Nursery school, tears soaked his tiny face and my heart was breaking to leave him in the classroom as he cried behind me asking why was I leaving him.  I stood outside the classroom door, crying myself, wondering if I was doing the right thing. Would they ignore him? would they comfort him? ... and then the teacher came out into the hall and brought a chair and told me to stay there so I could hear how soon he would calm down. She gave me a big hug-  a real one- one that lets you feel the caring in another persons heart and she said it would work out. As I hugged her back, I saw a beautiful butterfly necklace around her neck. And I knew it really would be OK. 

Then there was the September that my sisters little girl was born.  On my way to the hospital, I broke down a little wishing dad was there. I thought to him in my mind- "Dad, I need you to show me you are with us."  I was almost afraid to ask to see a butterfly because it was September, too cold for such a sight.  Imagine how I felt when we walked into the hospital and saw these posters, on the front door, leading all the way up to the third floor where my sister's room was: 

There have been countless other times that this has happened- and while some may discount it as a heart seeing what it needs to see, I believe with my whole heart that there is a life beyond this one- and that our loved ones are never really gone from us. It's my faith- on so many levels- it's a faith I have.

Fast forward to last week.  I ordered Liam's invites from Tiny Prints. When the first batch arrived, the font on the addresses was a bit too small. I called customer service and they were awesome- they fixed the problem and sent off a new batch with the corrected size and, to my surprise, even stamped them for me as a way of making things right.  Imagine how I felt when I opened the box- and saw this:

Butterfly stamps.  I know it's not just chance- I didn't even order stamps. I had actually thought hard about the name to put on the invites- and decided to use Liam's middle name as well, because that was my Dad's. I guess Dad liked that. 

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Now in the Shoppe | SAKURA

Hello and Happy First days of Spring! 
There is a Spring day that will always have a special place in my memory- I was 20 something and traveling by myself to visit a good friend in Washington DC. The cherry trees were in bloom, and the air was wonderfully laced with their sweet perfume. Everywhere you looked, it seemed as if these delicate pink petals were snowing down, softly covering the city in a riot of color. It was pure joy!  And for that one moment, the crowds of people on the street paused, took notice and all smiled a collective smile.     

When I set out to create a design to celebrate this season, my thoughts returned to that day- I wanted to create something that would fill your layouts with color and joy. A design that had a delicate feel but was also  full of the vibrant colors of Spring- and the SAKURA just came into full bloom!   It is packed with 40 papers, whimsical elements, and vellum and water color styled word art that you are sure to love. This week, you can enjoy the Journal Cards as a gift with your purchase!

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tuesday Tutorial | Double Page Spread

One of the terrific things about working with the talented artists in my Creative Team is that they are always teaching me something new- whether ts a technique, a perspective or approach- it's always wonderful to be able to share ideas and tips with one another.  Tanya (aka sunflowersbaby)  recently did a double page spread with my Sweet Home design about her little one's homecoming- I immediately fell in love- and asked her to share how she created such a seamless spread.  She wrote up the tutorial below- I hope it gives you the inspiration to try "seeing double" as well! (Want to see more of Tanya's work?  You can check out her awesome gallery here

Hello! Tanya here.  I hope you are all doing well, and staying warm. Today I am going to share with you how I make my double page spreads. 

When you are scrapbooking do you only make single pages or do you you like to make matching layouts sometimes?  I do a bit of both.  When I was a paper scrapper  I rarely made single pages... I liked for my pages to match.  I did not like the way it looked when you would have a page with soft colors on one side and bright colors on the other.  I have relaxed on that some now that I do digi pages, but sometimes I want them to match and I have enough pictures to make a two page spread. 

When I first started doing digi pages.  I would make a split screen and have two pages visible, but when I would zoom on one page I could never get them back to the same exact size and lined up right.  Then I saw someone use a 12x24 canvas.  It was awesome and made things so much easier to be able to work on both pages at the same time. 

But then, the question that needed answering was: now that you have your two pages together how do separate them so you can get them printed? 
One thing you might want to do when you are working on a 24 inch canvas is add a guide in the middle of the page so you do not put anything important where the two pages journaling or a picture.  If it is going to be in a photobook you might want to add another set of them about a half inch out on either side of the middle guide because you will not see much on that part of the page.

(I am currently using Adobe Creative Cloud. I talked with Cheryl of Fiddle-Dee-Dee to see if it if the crop tool worked the same.  It sounds like you cannot pick the aspect ratio, but all you have to do is put your curser in one of the corners and hold down the shift key and drag it until you have a 12x12 square.

Here is a tutorial in the Scrap Orchard Forums you might enjoy- it  that shows you what I am talking about on the guides. And- here are some screen shots of my process:

I hope that you will try making some double page spreads they are so much fun.  
If you are not sure where to start all of the Scrap Orchard Template designers have double page templates that can help get you started. 
Have a great day!!!

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Friday, March 07, 2014


This week, I teamed up with Rubia of Studio Basic Designs  to work on a design that has been on my drawing board for awhile now.  Maybe it was the dreariness of the past few weeks, but I just couldn't get the sparkle in it that I saw in my mind-  I wanted to get the feeling of joy you feel when you spot that first star as a little kid- the feeling that when you close your eyes and make a wish, it can really come true... Rubia is so full of energy and joy, that it gave me the jump-start I needed, and we had a blast working on this together!  

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