Our Epic Christmas

And we are back! The cruise was fantastic, and we really enjoyed the time with our family. There were some rough seas on a few of the nights, but overall, we had great weather -- much better than what we returned home to.

But I know what you're really interested in are the photos. So without further ado...

Gigi and Avery waiting to board at the Port of Miami

Trying out the cool light-up dance floor in the Kids Club

First peek at our cabin, complete with decorations...

...cake and a bottle of wine!! Thanks Dad and Jan!!

The cabin was a bit small, but thank goodness for the EXTRA large balcony!! I spent a lot of time out here.

The ship was beautiful...very glitzy! The first day when we were getting into the elevator, Avery asked "Why is everything so fancy?" and I replied "'cause that's how we roll, babe!"

First stop: St. Maarten. Check out the size of our ship (on the right) compared to the one next to it. It was kind of embarrassing.

Oh how I love this photo. My beach babes!

A view from the water taxi dock in Phillipsburg

Meeting "Prince Charming" from the Cirque Dreams dinner show

Next stop: St. Thomas, where we took the ferry over to St. John. We planned to go to Trunk Bay, but the surf was too rough that day, so we had to settle for Caneel Bay...not such a bad trade-off, I guess.

Cecily didn't mind a bit because there was plenty of sand at Caneel

Closest we got to a snowman this year...but he turned out looking more like a snowbird -- oops

Family Karaoke in the Bliss Lounge. And oh yes, we sang!

Avery's favorite part of the ship? The pool. Of course.

She's Dora, Dora, Dora the Explorer! (sing it with me, moms!)

One step closer to my Professional Segway Rider certification (Nassau, Bahamas in background)


In the Ice Bar -- this photo really says it all. BRRRR! Everything in there is actually made of ice, including the chairs and the bar itself. Unfortunately, they don't serve coffee or hot chocolate, so we didn't stay long.

And then it was back to the real world. But it was fun while it lasted, and I can't wait to do it again. Hope you enjoyed the recap!

We have a winner!!

Greetings from sunny Miami! We are preparing to set sail on our first-ever family holiday cruise, but I wanted to make sure to post the winner for my little giveaway before we go.

Thanks to everyone who entered! I always love reading all your comments. I had my daughter choose a number between 1 and 43 (she's my own version of a random number generator) and she chose 13. So the winner is...


Congratulations! Please email your address to me at robmab at yahoo dot com and I will get your prize shipped out to you the week of Dec. 27. (don't worry if I don't respond to your email immediately...my Internet access will be spotty starting tomorrow evening.)

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah and many blessings to all of you!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

A few projects and, oh, how about a GIVEAWAY?!

Time to share a few projects I did with the Frosty Porch kit from Coordinates Collections. First up is a rare two-pager:

I love that little "woolie" snowman. He was perfect for these photos of the record-breaking snow in Dallas. For years, I've been jealous of everyone else's snow pictures and last year, I actually got some of my own! Be careful what you wish for, huh?

The photo in this layout was one of those rare, unplanned moments. My girls came into my scrapbook room during August, playing dress-up with all their winter gear. I snapped a photo and it turned out so much better than anything I could ever stage. I'm actually using this as our Christmas card photo this year...who'd have thunk it?!

And a few cards...

Loved all these buttons so much that I had to find a way to use them!

This card is significant not because of the layered tree (which everyone seems to be doing this year), but because it's the one where I learned how to tie a good bow! Rabbit ears...that's the secret. Shhhh!

And I'm overwhelmed with all the amazing comments and responses to the wine charms! Thank you!! I'm so glad you enjoyed them, and for those who asked about the shrink plastic, I got mine at Michael's (it was near the stamp inks at my store), but it's widely available at craft stores and you can even buy it online at the Shrinky Dinks website.

I'm up over 200 followers now, so I think that calls for a celebration! How about a GIVEAWAY?!

Imaginisce has been so generous to me this year, and I think it's time to spread the love around a bit. Here's your chance to win goodies from two of my favorite collections from the past year: Christmas Cottage AND Birthday Bash. This giveaway includes a card pad from each collection, plus a few embellishments for each one and a snag 'em stamp.

Here's a bad photo (sorry, no daylight left...had to resort to using the flash):

Leave a comment below and I will randomly draw a winner on Friday for the prize!

Quick caveat: I won't be able to ship this to you until after December 25th, but I promise to get it out before New Year's!

Thanks for stopping by! And good luck!

'Tis the Season!

Holiday parties, Christmas shopping, gift giving...is there any question why this is the MOST wonderful time of the year?! Yes, I know the true meaning of Christmas is much more than parties and gifts, but I can't help but look forward to the fun of this season. I love the holidays!

If you haven't been to the Imaginisce blog over the past 11 days, you've missed some fabulous ideas by our design team. But it's not too late to go check out all the inspiration and fun. Today is my day to share and I posted a tutorial for a fun and festive gift: wine charms!

Here's a little peek:

Paired with a bottle of wine, they make a great gift!

Here's a close-up of the little storage tin I made with the Cottage Christmas papers and some Mod-Podge.

If you've come over from the Imaginisce blog, leave a comment here to be entered in today's giveaway for the entire Cottage Christmas collection, plus the Roly Rosies and Petal Roller tool!

And if you haven't been to the blog yet, head over there for a full tutorial on this project, plus all the other great inspiration from the design team during the 12 days of Christmas!

Thanks for stopping by!

December Sketch Challenge...it's ON!

December is here...which means lots of holiday fun, celebrations and treats. But it also means it's time for another Imaginisce sketch challenge, and this one's a dandy! It was created by Liz Qualman, my old pal from the CHA make-n-take table.

So it seems Liz has a thing for mittens these days, and she's been spreading her mitten-fever throughout the Imaginisce Design Team. But I resisted! After all, there are so many possibilities for that banner, and I just received these gorgeous products from the new Garden Party collection. They were calling me!

I cut the scalloped circles with my Cricut, but if you have a 1" scalloped circle punch, that would work just as well. Then I folded them in half and lined them up to create the banners.

Of course, I couldn't resist adding a little blingy bling with the i-rock.

As always, there's a great giveaway being offered for today's sketch hop. Visit the Imaginisce Blog to see a list of all the participating design team members and leave a comment on each of their blogs for another chance to win!

And check out the details for the December sketch challenge on the Imaginisce Blog and start working on your entry. It's always so much fun to see all the unique takes on these sketches, and I'm sure this month will be no different. Who knows...we might even see some more mittens!!

(Just kidding, Liz. You know I love ya, girl!)

It's that time of year...

I know I'm busy year-round, but at this time of year, I get to the point of busy-ness that it starts to freak me out a little. Can anyone relate? Holidays, work, projects, family...while it's all wonderful and I know I'm incredibly blessed to have all these things in my life, I have to admit that my heartrate goes up every time I allow myself to think about all the things I need to get done in the next month. Deep breaths. Deep breaths.

My crafty projects are piling up, but in a twisted sort of way, they're actually keeping me sane. Because they are the one thing in my life that seems within my control. I can do them my way on my time, and when I finish them, they are REALLY finished. No lingering on for days while someone else ponders if they are good enough. If I say they're good, they're good.

And I've gotten a LOT done in the past month. I finished my first round of projects for Coordinates Collections with the Just Desserts kit (still a few left in the store...grab one while you can). It's full of the Pink Paislee Parisian Anthology papers, which are so fun to play with. The resist patterns work beautifully with mists and inks, and I went a little "mist-crazy."

Three shades of Glimmer Mist (Tattered Leather, Pink Bubblegum and Caribbean Blue) that I sprayed in different areas of the page, then blended together with paper towels. I also misted the Prima Craftable Flowers with Pink Bubblebum and then a spritz of Tattered Leather to give them a weathered feel.

I took the "cotton candy" theme of this one and ran with it, misting the "doilies" to get a reddish pink color and using Distress Ink in Spun Sugar on the border strip. The polka dot paper from My Mind's Eye was perfect because it has a slight blue undertone and it really worked with these photos.

The glitter-bordered paper was cut out of a die-cut page that had this beautiful scalloped bookprint border. I loved the border so much, I wanted to use it on other things (actually, you can spot some of it in this layout and in the first one above), and I thought the glittery border would pop off this olive cardstock. Love the crepe paper border from My Mind's Eye...it was begging me to be a ruffle.

There are so many possibilities with these papers -- I'm tempted to get another kit because I know I could make them look totally different on the next go-round! Check out the kit ideas from the other design team members -- some really inspiring stuff!

Fun in the Sun with Echo Park

Lots of exciting stuff going on this week, including an awesome giveaway of Echo Park goodies on the Imaginisce blog.

Our Design Team coordinator, Lori, challenged us to create a project using Echo Park products along with the Imaginisce i-Top and/or i-Rock tools. Well, I love Echo Park and I had some of the Sweet Summertime collection on my shelf, so I was up for the challenge! Here's what I came up with:

I used the i-Rock to bling out the sun with some metallic glam rocks.

And I used the i-Top to make some ripe red apples for this cute little tree.

And did you see this?

Last year, when this call went out, I immediately wanted to try out. I knew I loved the products, but the little voice in my head said "you'll never make a team like that." Still, I went ahead and sent in my projects because I figured I'd never know unless I tried. I still remember how hard my heart was beating when I saw the email from Imaginisce sitting in my inbox a few weeks later. A year later, it's still hard for me to believe I got the chance to do work with these amazing people and a company that, well, is just completely awesome!

If you're thinking about trying out, by all means GO FOR IT!! As I told myself a year ago, you'll never know unless you try. And sometimes, you surprise yourself!
Head over to the Imaginisce blog for all the details and be sure to enter the Echo Park/Imaginisce giveaway while you're there!

Ready for another great sketch?

It's time for another Imaginisce sketch challenge, and this month's sketch is by the fabulously talented Melinda Spinks!

Here's my take on the sketch using the brand-new Enchanted collection -- a must-have for anyone with princesses and girly girls:

I used the die-cut words in the collection to create the title, along with the i-rock to add some magical bling to the wand...in pink, of course.

Leave a comment here, then hop on over to the Imaginisce blog for links to the other design team members' blogs and leave a comment at each stop. You'll be entered to win a great prize package.

And don't forget to enter this month's sketch challenge and you could win a $75 prize package (details are on the Imaginisce blog)!!


Another weekend is drawing to a close and, once again, it's gone way too fast. Laundry isn't quite finished. The house isn't quite clean. Grocery shopping is not even close to being done. But I did accomplish something. I finished the project that's been laying on my scrap table all week. It's all about priorities, isn't it?

This project started out as a layout, inspired by the amazing new products Imaginisce sent me: Roly Rosies, Pop-Up Posies and Cupcake Flowers. I loved the variety of colors and knew they'd look great with the black and white papers from the To Love and Cherish collection. But when I started actually making the flowers (which is really pretty addictive) and placing them onto the page, I realized this project was going to be way too 3-D to ever fit into a page protector.

So I remembered I had a cardboard tray that I'd never figured out what to do with. And with a little black paint, my layout evolved into a piece of home decor!

The big pink flower is made with the Pop-Up Posies. I used this Roller Tool to curl back the petals of the middle and to give the outer petals the realistic texture.

This orange flower is one of the Roly Rosies, backed with a netting flower from the Cupcake Flowers. That sequined flower is also from the Cupcake Flowers...so many cute ways to mix and match these!

And of course, the bling is done with the i-Rock and this stencil set. It went so much faster this time (and I've figured out how to use it without burning myself!).

Have you seen the Imaginisce Challenge at Two Peas? They are giving away FIVE prize packs, so get those projects done and uploaded for your chance to win!

And now, I'm off to try to squeeze as much into the remainder of this weekend as possible. Wish me luck!

Upsy Daisy!

I consider myself to be pretty good with words. After all, I get paid to write. But I can't really describe the feeling I got when I checked the Upsy Daisy blog (for oh, I don't know.. maybe the 100th time?) and saw this:

I think I had to read it about 50 times before I believed that was my name (and not some other Robyn Schaub from Dallas, Texas) on the list. But I'm pretty sure it's me. At least, I hope so!

I fell in love with Upsy Daisy Designs on my first visit to their website, and the love continued when I started working with some of their products. Here are a few projects I created for the design team call:

Upsy Daisy Blossom line, with Cosmo Cricket chipboard, Imaginisce flower and Martha Stewart butterfly punch.

7 Gypsies printers tray with Upsy Daisy Vogue papers, Jenni Bowlin ticket, Making Memories ribbon, American Crafts Thickers and Stampin' Up stamp.

Added some i-Rock bling to finish off this card with the Upsy Daisy Vogue papers.

I can't wait to work with more of their products over the next year. I feel so blessed to get to work with manufacturers and products I love as part of my hobby. It's an honor and a privilege, and I enjoy every second of it.

A little bit of this and a little bit of that...

Ready for another Imaginisce sketch challenge? This month's sketch is by design team member Cindy Stevens, and it's a great one:

I loved the strips of paper behind the photo. So, I dug through all my scraps of "collections past" and realized that a lot of the papers coordinate really well. I ended up using paper from three different collections: Sweet Cheri, Birthday Bash and Cottage Christmas.

Instead of embellishments, I kept it simple and punched different sized circles out of the coordinating papers and hand-drew a few with pencil on the background to create the "bubbles."

Again this month, there's a great Imaginisce prize package for checking out all the design team members' sketch layouts, so leave a comment here, then leave one on the Imaginisce blog and then hop on over to the other design team members' blogs to leave a comment on each one. Every comment you leave is another entry into the drawing.

And if you'd like to play along with this month's sketch challenge (and why WOULDN'T you???), complete your layout and link it to the post on the Imaginisce blog by October 25th.