Back to School!

The past few days have been a whirlwind of shopping, laundry and labeling. But this morning, all the effort paid off when I went in the girls' bedroom to wake them up and they hopped right out of their beds, excited to get dressed and go to school. I wonder how long this will last.

Coincidentally, today is the first day of the release party for Imaginisce's new "Geek is Chic" school-themed line. If you haven't been over to the blog today, be sure to check out the projects and the giveaway.

This line was perfect for my back-to-school mindset, and I created this mini book to show off all the photos I took this morning (which I'll be adding in soon):

I cut the double-sided papers to 6" x 6" and glued two of them together to create thicker pages. Then I stitched around the edge with my sewing machine, switching to a zig-zag stitch in some places.

I made the little paper clip by adding a canvas sticker to the top of a store-bought paper clip, then gluing some patterned paper to the back and trimming around the shape.

I kept the inside pages fairly simple because I figured some of the at-school photos would have a lot going on in the background.

To create the glasses, I used the die-cut and trimmed out the centers. Then I added patterned paper to show through the lenses.

Next up is a layout I created about Avery's obsession with reading. It makes me so happy to see her curled up reading a book, especially when it's a Beverly Cleary book that I read when I was in school.

I cut the heart on my Cricut, then used my sewing machine to stitch around the edge.

The patterned papers in this line are so much fun to use as backgrounds, especially the lined paper. Here's a non-school layout I created using some of the papers, along with the i-rock tool and Fabric Roly Rosies.

I misted one of the Neutral Fabric Roly Rosies to make it match the other colors in the layout. Then I hand-cut two leaves from the green paper to accent it. And there's another one of those red paper clips. They work so perfectly with this line!

Don't forget to check out the rest of the projects on the Imaginisce blog over the next few days for more back-to-school inspiration.

Two is better than one

Among the many things I've learned about myself this summer is this little conundrum:

Even though my girls constantly get on each other's nerves when they're together -- including relentless taunting, the occasional fight and eardrum-piercing scream -- I like it better when they're together.

I'm not sure I can really explain it, but it seems that their personalities are almost dependent on each other to be complete. It's like one is part of the other.

Over the summer, they've visited relatives one at a time, so we've had the luxury (?) of spending time with each of them on their own. It's nice to have that time with them, but there's definitely something missing.

Yes, they're each unique and their personalities are completely different. But it's when they're together that you see those differences most clearly. They complement each other. They "complete" each other.

Tonight, Avery comes home from her week with YingYang (that's one of the grandmothers), and we'll be a complete "family of four" again. I'm sure there will be squabbles, screams and a few tears once she and Ceci are in the same room again, but it's worth it to have them back where they belong...together.

Have a great weekend!

Jumping for Joy

Another weekend just bit the dust. Four loads of laundry. Post office. Grocery store. Craft projects. Meals. It's all kind of a blur. What stands out are the silly things we laughed about -- and I even caught some of them on film.

For some reason, we're all about the poses right now. Each pose has a name. Some of our favorites are "Oopsie" and "Squirrel" (it's complicated), but the best one (on film anyway) is "Jumping for Joy."

One more time...

I especially love the "take-off position" they get into each time and the fact that Avery always opens her mouth when she's in the air. Yep, these will be going on a page sometime soon.

Speaking of pages...

If you're a fan of sketches, be sure to check out the August PageMaps from Becky Fleck. I was lucky enough to be able to create one of the examples for Becky this month. It's the first time I've ever done an 8 1/2 x 11 double layout. Actually, it might also be the first time I've done *any* 8 1/2 x 11 layout.

The patterned papers and embellishments are from Imaginisce's Animal Crackers line, and I added some My Little Shoebox alphabet stickers on a Spellbinders die-cut.

Hope you're week is off to a great start!

Addicted to doilies

I know. They're everywhere right now. But I can't help but love doilies. They're girly and sweet and a quick way to add curved lines and a vintage feel to a project.

This week, Pretty Little Studio kicked off a new weekly Inspiration Challenge on their blog, and as my first design team assignment, I had to create a project based on this photo:


Isn't it lovely? Ironically, I already had this one "pinned" on my Pinterest board for gift wrapping inspiration. But it didn't occur to me to turn it into a layout...until now.

I used patterned papers from the Apple Cider collection, and I mixed in some embellishments, including a flashcard, a train ticket calendar, number tag and notebook circle.

The different shapes and sizes reminded me of the different packages in the photo.

You can play along with the challenge this week for a chance to win a $5 coupon for the Pretty Little Studio store.

While we're on the topic of doilies, I realized I never posted this photo of a door hanger I created for the Epiphany Crafts booth at CHA:

Yep, you guessed it. Doily! Along with papers from Lily Bee and letter stickers from Echo Park. I'm also pretty addicted to the Epiphany Round 14s with the Charm Settings. Here's a closer look:

It's safe to say you'll be seeing more doilies from me in the near future. I think I'm going to need a 12-step program.

The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?