Top Ten of 2011

Back in January, I posted my top ten favorite layouts using Imaginisce. But that was a long time ago, and I do actually create things with other manufacturers' products. (Yeah, I know...shocking!)

So I thought, seeing as the year is coming to an end, I should post my ten favorite projects of the year. If nothing else, it's a fun trip down memory lane. So here goes...

(in no particular order because I really can't pick a favorite)

One of my favorite photos became one of my favorite layouts:

Proud that I figured out how to make my own envelope/tag album:

So bright and happy (and full of Epiphany Crafts epoxies, flowers and vintage settings):

Favorite mini I've ever made:

Loved this paper line from Pink Paislee...

Perfect papers (Imaginisce Happy Harvest collection) for this photo:

A rare two-pager using the Animal Crackers collection from Imaginisce:

Published in Cricut Magazine's August issue:

Lots of color and Pretty Little Studio goodies:

Now displayed on my grandmother's mantle:

Thanks for taking the trip down memory lane with me. Hope you have a very happy new year!

See ya in 2012...

One little word

It's about that time. Time to say goodbye to 2011 and make a bunch of resolutions for 2012 that I probably won't keep. My resolutions are usually the same every year:

Lose weight. Exercise. Spend less money.

I usually fail on every single one of them.
This year, I'm going for something simpler: One Little Word.

It's a popular trend for scrapbookers these days to come up with One Little Word that will be their goal or an area of focus or a guide for their actions in the new year. You can read Ali Edwards' take on it here.

One word sounds a whole lot easier and less threatening than my usual resolutions, so I'm jumping on the  bandwagon.

Here's my word:

That means getting rid of negative energy and replacing it with thoughts of all the good and wonderful things in my life. Not dwelling on what I didn't get or do or say. Letting go of disappointments and mistakes and what could've or should've been. Choosing laughter over worry and stress. Looking at the beauty in things rather than analyzing the flaws.

That is my goal for 2012.

And if I lose weight or start exercising, that'll be a bonus.

What's your one little word?

Wrapping It Up

Just a few more days until the presents under the tree transform into a mound of shredded wrapping paper, busy kiddos and happy faces. It's always right about this time each year when I'm feeling pretty confident about having all the gifts bought and wrapped, that I realize: the stockings are completely empty. Oops.

I whipped up this stocking stuffer idea for the Epiphany Crafts blog. It's quick. It's easy. And hopefully, it will bring a smile to my mom's face when she finds it in her stocking.

You can use them as paperclips or bookmarks. Coupons, stacks of bills, homework assignments...wherever you need a clip or placeholder. 

Full instructions and supply lists are on the Epiphany Crafts blog, but if you don't have the Epiphany tools and charms, feel free to be creative with bottlecaps, scrabble tiles or whatever else you might have on hand to top your clips.

I also made a simple foldover card with a wrap to package the clips (for easy stocking-stuffing). 

One last bit of holiday cheer...a card I made for the Pretty Little Studio blog's Outside the Box challenge this week. I used papers from the Scaredy Cat collection. (Who says you can't use Halloween papers for Christmas cards? Certainly not me!)

I hope you have a very merry Christmas, happy Hannukah and joyous holiday with your loved ones!


Over Thanksgiving, my mom presented me with a battered folder stuffed full of my old artwork, report cards, writings, etc. from childhood. It was an interesting trip down memory lane, piecing together all the different things I wanted to be and do and see in my life...and realizing that I've experienced many of them. I guess you could say that those dreams came true. Of course, there are others that I still need to work on. But it was a nice reminder that, when you're a kid, no dream is too big.

Now that Avery is just a few weeks away from her 8th birthday -- and brimming with dreams and ideas of what she wants to do in her life -- I decided to create a repository to capture all those thoughts in her own words.

The book was a bit of an experiment. I created it by making a chipboard backing that I folded twice to make a spine. I punched holes in the top and bottom and bound with twine.

The inside pages/pockets are made from glassine bags that I folded at different increments to create a tabbed effect. The pockets are labeled: i want to be, i want to see, i want to live, i want to go.

The embellishment is pretty simple on each pocket. Just a strip of patterned paper, a strip of trim and a couple of pieces of ephemera with the label.

For each pocket, I created a small card for Avery to write on. I love that the cards show through the glassine for a hint of what's inside.

I can't wait to see what she writes on each card. And hopefully someday, many years from now, she'll thumb through it and see some dreams -- big dreams -- that came true.

Where's the fun?

The girls are away for a few days hanging out with my mom and aunt while school's out. And I miss them. A lot.

As much as I love having the house quiet and more time and space to get things done, the house really isn't the same. No one is laughing. There's no tears to comfort or fights to break up. And no one is repeatedly popping into whichever room I'm in to say "whatcha doin?"

Yeah, I miss 'em. Their energy, silliness and laughter are what make our house fun.

A little diversion

We interrupt this onslaught of holiday-themed red-and-greenery to bring you...


Yes, I know I'm getting WAY ahead of myself by posting spring-themed projects. But Imaginisce just released a brand-new collection: Hippity Hop. After four weeks of December Dailies, cards, tags, ornaments and holiday-themed layouts, it was a welcome change to play with something pink and blue and springy.

The idea for this layout came from a sketch I saw on the October Afternoon blog. When I saw the birdcage die-cuts, I thought they'd look cute hanging along some twine. Then I added some patterned paper flags, a canvas Maya Road banner and an Epiphany Crafts heart. The twine is hanging from two iTop medium brads.

I've had the mini clothespins for a while, but kept forgetting to use them. They were the perfect size to clip on the photos.

One of my favorite things about this collection is the kites. I hand-cut some clouds to play into the kite scene on this layout.

Be sure to "hop" over to the Imaginisce blog each day this week to check out more projects with this fun, new collection -- and a chance to win it all!


Peppermint is my favorite flavor of the holiday season. Especially when you mix it with chocolate. And if you throw some espresso in there? Well, that's just a little shot of heaven in a cup!

Yes, Starbucks discovered this several years ago -- the Peppermint Mocha -- and I love them for it. I truly do. But this year they got smart and made a "skinny" version. Even better. I can drink this heavenly concoction and not feel an ounce of guilt.

So thank you, Starbucks. You've found yet another way to suck money out of my wallet and put a smile on my face while doing so.

Now, about the layout: The paper, stickers and trims on this layout are from Crate Paper. Ironically, the line is called Peppermint. I couldn't resist.

I added some Epiphany Crafts Round 14s, Vintage Settings (Clubhouse and Cabana) and a Heart 25 shape (in place of the letter "o"). Letter stickers are from October Afternoon and American Crafts.

I also tried out a new tape runner from Scrapbook Adhesives, called MyStik. Not only can you customize it with a photo (so no getting it mixed up with someone else's at your next crop); it also has three different positions that click into place, so you can choose the one that feels best in your hand. Very cool!

Finally, if you haven't already, be sure to check out the new Epiphany Crafts blog (and change your bookmark):

Lots of inspiration and, best of all, GIVEAWAYS!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

On my blog and in my craft room. The crafty projects are piling up...and I haven't even started the cards yet. (Uh oh)

Before the month flies by and everyone has O.D.'d on red and green, I figured I'd share a few of the projects I've been working on for the past few weeks.

This is a gift tag that I'm planning to attach to a wine bottle for a hostess gift. I used a Pretty Little Studio shipping tag and added some of the vintage embellishments, like a bingo card, train calendar tag, ornament journaling tag and small vintage tag. I finished it with a sentiment stamp from PaperTrey Ink.

A new ornament for my tree, using a Maya Road mega bottlecap and pleated ribbon, paired with paper, vintage tag and bingo card from Pretty Little Studio

And finally, a layout. (Yes, I still do layouts.) This one features the Imaginisce Santa's Little Helper line, with some iRock details on the ornaments and package.

The photos are from last Christmas -- by the time I got them uploaded, I was out of the Christmas mood and wanted to scrap other stuff. Now I'm happy I waited. It reminded me of how much fun Christmas morning is and I'm really looking forward to experiencing it again in a few more weeks. (Wow...really? A few more weeks?) 

I really need to get going on those cards.

Brrrr! (and Giveaway Winner)

We're experiencing our first true "cold snap" of the winter season -- 20's and 30's -- probably doesn't even sound cold to most of you who live north of here. sure feels cold to me!

Ironically, the weather change coincided with our holiday party at work, and our department's theme is "Frosty the Snowman." The girls helped me with my part of the decorations (Cecily is amazing at paper snowflakes)...

And the food...

Those are marshmallows on skewers, dipped in white chocolate and embellished with holiday M&Ms, candy corn noses, licorice scarves and pretzel stick arms. Inspired by ideas I found on Pinterest. How did I ever do anything before Pinterest?

Now onto the real business of the day...
Thanks so much for all the comments on my December Daily. So far, I'm 5 for 5 on taking photos, but I really need to start writing journaling DAILY -- 'cause that's kinda the point, right? (Bad Robyn!)

The winner of the Pretty Little Studio $10 gift certificate is:

Congratulations, agravette! Please email me at robmab @ and I will send you the coupon code for the PLS store!

A Holiday Blog Hop (Giveaway Closed)

Jingle bells...jingle's offically December and what better time for a holiday blog hop! The Pretty Little Studio team has been busy creating some beautiful projects to ring in the season, and I'm excited to share in the fun!

So onto my project...a December (gulp!) Daily.

I said I would never do it. You see, I'm a realist. I know myself. A few years ago, there is not even a tiny smidge of a chance that I'd take at least one photo a day in December. But things happen.

Like the invention of the iPhone, which means I have a camera with me at all times. And then there are apps like Instagram, which makes my photos a nice square size and adds all kinds of cool actions right on my phone, and PostalPix, which delivers reasonably-priced 4x4 prints from my phone straight to my mailbox.

But the thing that really convinced me? These awesome pre-made December Daily journaling cards from Pretty Little Studio.

This year, a December Daily seemed -- dare I say it? Do-able.

I spent most of my free time over Thanksgiving putting together the pages, and I learned two things:
(1) It's hard to scrap without photos. (Ok, I already knew that one.)
(2) When you're doing 25 pages, you really need to KEEP IT SIMPLE.

Unfortunately, I didn't learn #2 until somewhere around page 10.

But I still finished it!

I'm not going to bore you with every page, but I'll share a few of my favorites...

All the papers, tags, flashcards, journaling spots, garland flags, etc. are from Pretty Little Studio -- mostly from the Jingle Bells collection.

I adhered pattern papers back to back and mixed them with Kraft and red cardstock pages. Because there are so many pages, I didn't want to add thickness with chipboard.

Here's where I figured out the "keep it simple" mindset...

Oh yes, it's going much faster now...

I adhered the December Daily journaling pages back to back and bound them into the book with my Bind-It-All. You could also use binder rings if you don't have a binding machine.

I tried to lay out each page to accommodate a 4x4 photo, so (hopefully!) I can just paste in the prints from PostalPix when they arrive.

To mix it up a little, I threw in some half-pages and a transparency page. I'm kind of loving the trend of different-sized pages lately.

Here's where I decided to get a little tricky. I knew there would be a lot happening on Dec. 24 -- like baking cookies for Santa, wearing Christmas jammies, etc. So I gave myself a little extra room on this day by adding an envelope.

I figure I can tuck a photo or some extra journaling inside.

And that's it. My very first December Daily. Now I have to remember to take the photos!

Ready for some more Christmas inspiration from the Pretty Little Studio girls?

Visit each of these blogs for additional holiday projects, and be sure to leave a comment at each stop. Each of us will be giving away a $10 gift certificate to the PLS store, and there will be a grand prize $25 gift certificate awarded to one lucky person who comments on the PLS blog!

Happy hopping, and happy holidays!