Wednesday, May 30, 2012

free is good.

one of the many reasons for which I love jessica sprague is that she gives free classes.

they aren’t dinky, little information free classes, the things I get/learn from these classes are some of the things that I use all. the. time.

these free classes are also a great way for you “newbies to all things digital” to start out in this most awesome digital world.

(and you know who you are!!!)

so go.  sign up now.

(I already have!!)


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

another challenge: the scary thrift store.

so, for ffa, we have another challenge.

FFA Button

we actually got it a couple of weeks ago, but now I am finally getting around to it.

the challenge:

(quoted from the fingertips of miss mandi herself.)

“buy a piece of furniture for your house that freaks you out just a little.  Not like “This is the ugliest thing I have ever seen but Mandi says I should push myself.” kind of freaky, more like “This is cool…but I will put it back because I don’t know if I could pull it off…but it might look really cool painted _________…no its freakin me out a little…..ok ok I will do it.”  kind of freaky.”

now, lemme tell you, I didn’t really do this challenge the way it was supposed to be done, but I guess that would just be the rebel in me and so forth.

so, I bought something I loved, something that I have been looking for for about..  hmmm..  5ish years?  so I really wasn’t freaked-out about it, persay.  I was freaking excited about it.

(and the story of how we met is pretty awesome.)

I was freaked-out about where I bought it.  the store where this miracle item was finally found is a spot that I stop at, maybe once a month, whenever I find myself in the immediate area.  it scares me, and it always has.  thus, it is appropriately called (named by myself):

“the scary thrift store”

I brought my youngest, risked her life and my own going to “the scary thrift store”, to find something “freaktastic”.  as we walked around, her always (very obediently) staying right by my side, I found a pretty freaktastic chair that was olive green and yellow striped.  it was in pretty great condition, and it thought for a sec, “this could be re-upholstered and it would be pretty freaking awesome for my most ugly master bedroom re-do.”

then I was afraid of re-upholstering it.

like, maybe I would make it uglier than it already was?  and it was pretty ugly, but not the kind that induces vomiting, but the kind of ugly, that makes it pretty cute, you know?

so at 34 bucks and change, I was seriously considering it.

and then we walked around, with little one staying right with me, because the place is pretty freaky, yo.

so as I was looking at an old sewing table, starting to consider that as a re-doable piece, but telling myself it wasn’t freaktastic enough, I looked up, and locked eyes on the beauty I have been hunting for for so long…

thrift store 003

wouldn’t you know, I walked right past it when I entered the area where furniture is kept in that scary thrift store?  right there, against the wall, right inside the doorway it was.  I didn’t care how much it was, it was going to be mine.

I checked it out, and it was perfect in all of it’s scary thrift store glory.

the price tag read $49.

not bad.

I have been dreaming of this for 5ish years!!

I went to the cashier, immediately, and did not hide my happiness or my excitement, and she saw.

she wasn’t so scary in that moment.

we walked to it together to check it out, and I still didn’t hide my excitement as we walked back to the register.  and wouldn’t you know it, she knocked off $15!!

it still smells scary.

it is in the process of being made semi-amazing.

it will be black.

and I say that with less excitement than the rest of this story is told with.  I wanted something fun, like turquoise, or mossy green, or bright yellow…  the dude I cohabitate with, is not so much about these fun colors.  he is all about “blaaaack”.  (and to say that the way it is meant to be said, one needs to say it in their best drawn-out monotone.)

credit goes to my mother-in-law (the mom to the dude I cohabitate with) who seconds me strongly on the turquoise.

we shall see my friends.  we shall see.

and the sad part of this whole story, if I had had room, I might just have bought that scary chair, that really met the requirements of this here challenge.  I would have bought it thinking that I could do anything exciting and perfect with it, you know, being high and all with the find of my dreamy buffet.

sadly, they couldn’t both fit in my suv, so one had to stay behind. 

maybe I will return one day…

so I totally think that this qualifies for our challenge, not so scary piece of freaktastic furniture purchased at a pretty freaky store?

(afters laters?)

Monday, May 28, 2012

mommy memory.

I am having some issues.  not huge issues, but things that make me feel kind of silly.
example 1:
it’s saturday night, I am putting the finishing touches on a project, and I am thinking about how I NEED to get to bed because if I get to bed too late, I will want a nap on sunday, and if I take a nap on sunday, then my body delays bedtime (or the time I actually fall asleep, rather) naptime x 3.  and if I don’t sleep good that night, then monday is going to be a pain!  you know, what with getting kiddos up for school and all..
there is no school monday!!
it’s summer!!!!!
example 2:
after I realize that it is now summer, I start to make plans in my head for monday.  there were a few errands thrown in there, and then I realized, monday is memorial day.
that would be today.  but with kids barfing, and a husband working (because he kinda sorta forgot that it is memorial day too, and didn’t plan to take the day off), it doesn’t feel very holiday-ey.  but believe you me, when I remember that today is memorial day, at different intervals throughout the day, I will honor it.
along with that, it is more in store monday.  and with that, there are a few projects to post, and more of the hybrid type to come. 
I am also in the midst of cleaning out my room..  kinda fun.
(click on the page for full list of crap used.)
some elle’s studio:
a new kit from pink paislee:
and here’s some goodies from nancie rowe janitz:
I am hoping to complete the art journaling class that I started in the spring..
I suck at finishing classes!

Thursday, May 24, 2012


this kid was far more mellow about the whole “take my picture so I can get some pop rocks” bit.

I had to remind her that I wanted to take her pictures…

the mellowness ended as soon as she was in front of the camera, and I was behind it.  it took a good ten minutes to get the sillies out.

(those might have to come out in a blooper reel one day..)

her “big person” teeth are making their first appearance, I am relishing the few days we have left to enjoy her darling gummy-ness.

ash_03_edit_boldash_05_edit_b&w burnash_13_edit_vintage burnash_04_edit_bold

and I just love this one a bit much. I feel kinda guilty because of how much I love it.

ash_08_edit_b&w burnash_11_edit_boldash_15_edit_vintage burnash_16_edit_b&w burn

and this little pose, was totally her idea.  I think she’s been peeking at my bride+groom wedding board on pinterest…


so as her first grade year ends, I am so happy for how happy she was throughout the year.  I am thankful for the friends she has made, and for how far she has come in so many areas!

I am looking forward to a fun and very silly summer with her around.

not looking so much to all that second grade entails, you know, the goofy “big people” teeth, the homework (ugh!!), and the growing up even more without my consent.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

this would be lynnie-lou.

I have re-filled my “bribe bin” yo.

what’s that?  you have not heard of the “bribe bin”?

a couple of years ago, my friend told me about one other mom’s idea to take the money (cha-ching) that she WOULD HAVE spent going somewhere to have pictures professionally done, and spent it on crap.  dollar store, target dollar isle, crap.  she filled a bin with it, and when her children happily acquiesced to her request to take a picture, they got to reward themselves with a treat from the “bribe bin”.

dude, I hopped on that like that one suess character hopped on pop.

it is a marvelous thing. 

my trip to the dollar store produced pop rocks, ring pops, sour patch kids, swedish fish, and a plethora of princess stickers.  all of these things exist in my little girls’ idea of heaven.

but, I have added a couple of little details to this.

a) I get to pick out their outfit.  but sometimes their little outfits, chosen so creatively, are my muse.

2) I get to style their hair.  this comes in most importantly for peyton.

III) I pick the time and location.  I need good light.

four) I even invented another requirement, that nails need to be painted.  I don’t care how long it stays on, they must be manicured!!

so needless to say, peyton was the first, obviously,  and the other two have been waiting, and asking, and begging, pleading even, tears have been involved…  to have their turn.  pop rocks are more popular than I had anticipated.

lynn was the most dramatic about it, so she was next:

(and I had a really hard time picking my favorites, don’t judge me.)

lynn_08_edit_b&w burnlynn_07_edit_boldlynn_05_edit_b&w burnlynn_01_edit_bold burn

but this laughing sequence is the best ever….

lynn_12_edit_b&w burnlynn_11_edit_b&w burnlynn_10_edit_b&w burnlynn_13_edit_boldlynn_20_edit_b&w burnlynn_23_edit_vintagelynn_29_edit_b&w burnlynn_30_edit_vintage

Monday, May 21, 2012

little soccer player.

and please, when you read “soccer”, don’t read “sock-her”.  read it like adam sandler would say it: “sock-a playa”.  that’s just how we say it around here.

we (totally meaning “I”) also yell (but not in anger), to pump her crazy legs, and when she starts to get to polite on the field, I yell her name (but again, not in anger, it has been 7 months, almost 8 now!!) and make a fist and growl at her.  I want her to play for heaven’s sake!!  not apologize for stealing the ball and then practically giving it back!

she has had a love/hate relationship with soccer (again, please watch your pronunciation!).  any given day she would be in love, absolute love I tell you, with soccer.  the next, she would hate it.

today, and she has been holding steady for a week now (amazing!!), that she loves it.

I signed her up for another year, and in all the excitement/convincing peyton became sold on the idea as well.  come fall, we will have two little “socca-playas”.

this weekend, ash had her last game.  the kid was responsible for shooting a few goals, and making one.  she had a few awesome blocks, but none as awesome as the header she took a few weeks ago.  that was fun!

I didn’t get pictures of her last game, and with her wearing her most awesome participation medal (that I have been commissioned to make a shelf for, as well as all soon to follow medals and trophies…), but looking through last week’s pictures, I found some evidence that she is mine..  you know, despite that fact that she pretty much looks just like her dad and all.


my dad used to tease me when I would play basketball.  I mean, he teased me a lot, not just when I played basketball, but when I would play basketball, and maybe miss a shot, he would tell me that I wasn’t “holding my tongue right”.

apparently ash has inherited this from me.

isn’t she cute?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

annular eclipse.

we don’t get too terribly geeked-out about many things here, but when it is something that hasn’t happened for 20 or so years, we get into it as much as we can.

merrill got out his welding helmet, and we dragged the kiddos outside to see the eclipse.

it was pretty cool.

first up is ash (cause you totally know that is her, right?) and lynn, with her poor bear, lancelot (you know, from “labyrinth”?)  his retinas are burned severely now.

eclipse 004  eclipse 015

and peyton’s turn!!

eclipse 010

darn clouds…

this was more towards the beginning of the eclipse.  we didn’t get to see the “ring”.  we are too far north or some junk like that.

eclipse 024

we called our friends over so they could see it too, and while waiting for turns with the welding helmet, they played “sun, moon, sun, moon, eclipse!!!”.  pretty cute and awfully creative.

I feel like I should have made cupcakes or something…

eclipse 030

this was the best it got for us, just a crescent of the sun.

and darn those clouds again.

eclipse 064

so until 2023….  this is the best we’ll get!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

more of peyton.

documenting the life of a 4 year old is rather interesting, and humorous.

I get to hear some pretty interesting knock-knock jokes, and various versions of “why did the chicken cross the road” riddles.  my days with her are never dull.

I have noticed, that whenever I tickle her in her neck, she has to concentrate, like put all of her thoughts and energy into getting my finger out of her neck.  she gets a really serious look on her face, she opens her mouth wide, and slowly lifts her little face off of her neck, freeing my finger.  it is quite the feat.  it is also so funny!!

what is not so funny, her second horrible, but this time, self-inflicted hair cut.

night before last, the kid got me up at 12:24 am, 1:26ish, a couple of times in the 2 am hour, two more times in the 3 am block, and the last time at 4:54 am.  I was a little tired once my friday REALLY started.

the last time she got me up, she told me that it was raining in her room.

she led my sleepy self there, and then stood in her bedroom doorway, looking up at the ceiling.

“don’t you see it??…”

no, I didn’t. 

the solution to this up and down kind of night, and the “rain falling from the ceiling”, was to snuggle with big sis in her bed. 

sometimes that is all you need I guess.

a big sister to snuggle with, and sleep, solid sleep, that is.

despite her odd nocturnal activities, she is pretty darn cute.

may 113_edit_vintagemay 131_edit_b&wmay 157_edit_vintagemay 165_edit_vintagemay 179_edit_b&w

these are going up, into her darling pink-striped room.  I am finishing a couple of projects and then I can show you something in my house that is really cute, not beige, and has some personality!

Friday, May 18, 2012

I like to call myself a pro at the “after-thought”.

so I posted a pic a week ago.  I love it.  I love it so much, I had it printed.

an 11x14 to be exact.

may 081_edit_b&w

but I had to have it, like the same day, so I sent it to costco to have it printed.

I would have loved to have it printed by my newest, most favorite printer, but let’s face it, I have no patience.

but the costco route ended-up being a good thing.  I mean, besides the point that it was super fast (and that is good for the no-patience area..), it didn’t cost me that much.  (we’re talking like 2 bucks + change.)

so, when I looked at this little pic again, I loved it, but realized that there was a tree, a freaking tree, coming out of sweet peyton’s head.

(okay, so it wasn’t literally coming out of her head, but it was behind her and looked like it was coming out of her little noggin’.)

so I kicked myself in the butt for a while.  I called myself a few choice names (said to myself, of course..) and regretted sending it off to have it printed so stinking fast.

you’d think I would have learned this lesson already.  but no.

let us re-wind to last fall…

I took some pretty darn cute pictures of my three girls, the one when lynnie-lou gave sweet peyton a stick of YELLOW juicy fruit gum, made her very happy, but when she smiled, really big, because ashley let one totally rip, I ended-up with a darling picture of my three gorgeous girls, all smiling, laughing really, and one of those cute girls, with YELLOW GUM AND NO TEETH on one side of her mouth.  I photo-shopped out the gum, in some teeth, had it all ready and perfect (or so I thought) to print. 

girls fall pix 134

I went ahead, all excited, as per usual, printed it, a 16x20 no less.  once I had it framed, I realized, there is a piece of that super-long grass, going right across lynn’s face.

girls fall pix 134edit


should have photo-shopped the crap out of that grass!!

(insert more choice words here.)

so there.  I should have learned my lesson, right?


enter the tree.

(if you feel the need for a re-cap, you can re-read the top portion of your screen.  insert choice words at your own discretion, and let us remember, we should be compassionate with one another, it’s kind of a commandment, a “nice” thing to do, so if you are feeling all compassionate, insert some fun words when you feel my frustration.)

I should have photo-shopped the crap out of that tree.

but dudes, it’s only 2 bucks + pocket change, so, I photo-shopped the crap out of that tree, and sent it off to be printed.  again.

may 081_edit_b&w burn_notree

I have to say, I love it now.

(freakin vegetation.)

Monday, May 14, 2012

feeling scrappy.

I love pinterest for some good old inspiration, love blog hopping for the same reason.  there have been many things that have caught my eye, I have pinned them, totally planning on doing something with them sometime…

I finally crossed off a couple of those ideas last week.

#1 – wood grain.

now I have used it here and there, but I wanted to use it in a funkier way.  not in your traditional woodsy tones.

splendid fiins came out with another “knock-out” misting mask, and well, the rest is history:

(click on layouts for full cred.)


I have admired the look of title work cut from the main background paper, with a fun patterned paper placed behind, peeking through.

here’s me favorite example from elizabeth kartchner.

I mean, sure, you could get stickers, or cut the letters out of the patterned paper, but there is something about the look of it…


I can admit, that it took me awhile to get the drop shadows on this kraft background just right, and still, I look at it and wonder if it should be tweaked more…

I adjusted those darn drop shadows, merging layers, duplicating them, tweaking the shadows, multiplying and tweaking so many times, I lost track of how many times I did it!

my eyes, seriously, were on the verge of bleeding.

but that is what happens when you get passionate about an idea!

Friday, May 11, 2012

hey girl…

I recently took pictures of peyton.  she was looking super cute with her hot pink nails!

we went to the dollar store for a prize after.  now I have two other little girls who want their pictures taken now, for some reason…

I am having a hard time deciding which is my favorite.  so I guess I will have to post the rest later, but for now:

may 081_edit_b&w

I am so very thankful to be a mother to this sweet girl.  so thankful that my days are spent with her.

I am thankful  for all my girls, even with the crazy, emotional week that was this week.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

designer spotlight: samantha walker

this week’s spotlight falls on our darling samantha.

this lady and I have a few things in common, well, a couple need to not be a fantasy of mine..

- she loves her family.  (me too!!)

- loves to hike.  (yes.)

- loves her country (uh-huh..  go on…)

- loves to create.  (seriously..)

- designs fabric.  (here’s where the fantasy kicks in.)

she has such a fun style!  I have really loved using her goodies.

right now, her store, like the whole thing, is on sale at 40% off.  go ahead, go shop!

(click on the layout for full credits!)

PrintPrintmy turn copy