Wednesday, March 31, 2010

MCS April Sneak Peeks

It's almost time again for My Creative Scrapbook's Reveal. Here are just a few sneak peeks to show you how much fun we had playing with Webster's Pages and Prima Marketing in the April main kit. As always, this kit is loaded with lots of fun goodies. Please check back on April 5th for the full reveal to see what we have been up to.

Thank you for stopping by -

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tuesday Mornings

Someone asked me the other day what are two things you can't live without and my answer was, "Fleece and Keens." As many of you know I live in the Rocky Mountains, so my clothing is pretty practical. It's cold here and fleece is warm and comfortable. It snows here a lot, so warm, practical and somewhat stylish shoes are essential. My favorites are always red. For more information about Keens click here, or search for some really good deals.

What are your favorites?

Thank you for stopping by -

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Sketch & Guest Designers

Let's start off with the Monthly Challenge. If you have used any of the sketches from this month, you can link them at the bottom of this post with Mr. Linky to be entered into a drawing for a RAK. You can enter multiple times if you used more than one sketch to up your chances of winning. Only sketches from March are eligible and guest designers are welcome to play along. We'd love to see what you have been up to, so please link your layout by April 3rd for the drawing on the next Sunday Sketch.

Pat Bishop lives in Vermont with her husband Dale. She has two adult sons and two lovely granddaughters. She also lives with two Shih-tzu fur babies, a cat and a guinea pig. Pat started to scrapbook eight years ago when her first grandchild was born. The first time she cut into that beautiful paper, Pat felt she had found a niche. Her mom and sister think she loves scrapbooking so much, because she spent so much time playing with paper dolls as a child. But, then as Pat really got into this craft, she found it is more than saving photos and making pretty pages. She feels that this hobby is our lives, our history and our moments - the good and the bad. And, it is documented for future generations to see and feel what our lives were like.

Pat has been working with my sketches for a while and I am always impressed with how she interprets them. Here's what she had to say about working with the sketch this week, "For this page I used the KaiserKraft Devonshire collection, Prima flowers and butterflies, an SVG file from SVGCUTS for the circle and the rectangles is a SVG file from Aimitup. I also used a digital frame for my photo from HO3. I kept Liz's sketch pretty much as she created it, instead of stitching a decorative circle, I cut a decorative circle with my Cricut to frame my photo."

Look at some of Pat's close ups of her amazing details. Love that butterfly.

Please visit Pat's blog A Scrappin Nana for more information about her and details about her work.

Beatriz Guzman is one of the most prolific scrappers I know. There is always something new on her blog to check out. Here is what Beatriz had to say about working with the sketch, "Liz's sketches are always very inspiring to me and they seem to challenge me to use different products and techniques. I used Jenni Bowlin, Cosmo Cricket and Bazzill papers to make my base resembling a quilt. I made the paper flowers using scraps from my quilt and crocheted the red one, I also used a vintage Bingo token for the center of the chipboard one. I wanted to keep the circle but did not want to cover my quilt so I sewed it in green thread using zigzag stitch. The Bingo card on the upper right corner was the inspiration for my picture and title. My son loves to play games and this picture was taken when he and his bride went to Italy on their honeymoon this past Christmas. The sketch was perfect to capture it all."

Please visit Beatriz's blog Amazing Grace for more information about her and details about her work.

Carly Blaiss has such a fun style and I am so glad that she is joining us as a guest designer this year. Here is what Carly had to say about working with the sketch, "When I saw this sketch, I was excited for the circular element. I don't use stitching on my pages, so I look for creative ways to have the same effect. For this circle I cut out the ring using Creative Memories circle cutters. Then I added Stickles dashes. This sketch has a really fun "bow-tie" icon in the upper right hand corner. When I first saw it I didn't know how I would use it. Once I'd constructed the main section of the layout, I saw how much embellishments I'd used and decided to keep that part simple. I free-hand cut the bow-tie shape from patterned paper and added a color-coordinating brad. The other half of the journaling sticker is behind the button on the leftside of the picture."

Please visit Carly's blog Blaiss of Glory for more information about her and details about her work.

Thank you so much for stopping by and please link your projects below -

Friday, March 26, 2010

Live Healthy Fridays

One of the goals I have set this year is to get my health in order. Long story short, two pregnancies, two c-sections and two ACL knee surgeries have put a pretty big damper on my previously active lifestyle. So, I thought I might share some of my discoveries each Friday in my blog posts about my quest to manage weight and increase my general well being. Last week I blogged about organic food, which is a good start. This week I am going to talk about reducing sugar...

Can you believe the name of this book??? I'm not sure that I am aspiring to be a skinny bitch, but I know I don't want to be a fat one. I think I am going to set my sights on skinny sainthood - LOL.

Despite the shock value of the title and the boot camp approach to the way the author's have written the book, it does have some merit for your health. However, you may not be surprised by what the two authors share about food, they just have a unique way of telling you what you can no longer ignore.

One of the chapters that is particularly good is the one on Sugar. I think the chapter is called Sugar is the Devil. And - when you are trying to trim belly fat, it most certainly is..

Let's start with a no-brainer and one that I personally struggle with. I love a tall, bubbling glass of ice-cold Coca Cola, but it is doing me no favors. Just look at the chart to see how much sugar is in each drink. Then when you take into account that the "sugar" in Coke is from high fructose corn syrup, it is like a second whammy, since engineered food products are nothing but bad news. There is a reason that corn products are used to fatten livestock if you KWIM...

Here is something that may be a surprise. Did you know that most brands of spaghetti sauces are full of sugar? Some brands can contain up to 13 g of sugar per serving and if the recommended daily allowance for sugar is around 35 g per day, that means one pasta meal is more than a third of the daily allowance. Check labels in the supermarket to find a sauce with less sugar. I like to buy the Muir Glen brand because it only has about 4 g of sugar per serving. Or, if you like to cook, make your own sauce, then you can control the ingredients.

So this week the task is to monitor how much sugar I am consuming by not drinking Coke (this will be rough) and reading food labels for sugar content and choosing healthier options (definitely easier). Anyone with me???

Thank you so much for stopping by -

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pebbles Product Parade

This week Pebbles Inc. is showcasing the awesome Pebbles Chips. They are so much fun to design with and now with the latest release at CHA, Pebbles is packaging them in smaller portions. I was thinking I needed to go on a diet, but now maybe I don't have to. LOL!

I had the pleasure of chaperoning my daughter's kindergarten trip to the zoo last Spring and this is a photo I snapped of her checking out the flamingos. The colors in the Lil' Miss collection were a perfect match for the bird's feathers, so voila' - match made in heaven. Even though the Pebbles Chips come in colors or are super easy to chalk or paint, I chose to leave most of mine white for a striking contrast against the peach paper. I believe the chipboard at Pebbles is one of their most versatile products. Can't wait to see the new releases...

Please stop by the Pebbles Blog to see what the other designers created and to check out our latest challenge.

Thank you so much for stopping by -

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Imaginisce Meets Tombow USA

Our design team at Imaginisce had the wonderful opportunity to test drive some amazing Tombow USA adhesive products this month. Who knew that there were some Cadillac glues driving around out there??? Oh...but there are and Tombow USA has some really creative and practical ideas for putting all of your crafting projects together. I have to admit that I am a glue stick girl - shhhhh - don't tell anyone. But the fact is, I really have patience issues, so things taking a long time to dry are tough on my creativity.

I cannot tell you how excited I was to discover the Tombow USA Mono Glue Pen. If you don't have one of these - run to the computer and order one now! Do you know how many times I have had glue crusties stuck all over my alphabets and my fingers trying to glue some of those suckers down. It's almost embarrassing to take close ups :) Well this little gem of a pen is so easy to apply glue in those hard to reach places without getting excess all over the place. It is my favorite of the products we were sent, but they are all so wonderful.

The Mono Aqua Liquid Glue was perfect for gluing down the ribbon on my layout and when it dried had a permanent hold. The dual applicator really makes it easy to apply the glue in just the right places on paper and fibers, and I was really happy with how clear this particular product dried.

Here are some close ups of my layout with the Imaginisce Live Loud collection. At first appearance it seems like it is really a boy line, but the Lucy Bird flowers coordinate with the colors and as you can see, I think my little girl looks great in blue, green and orange. I also used one of the puffy record stickers as my flower brad and I kinda like it.

Thank you so much for stopping by -

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday Mornings

I was at the mall the other day... Sounds pretty mundane except that for me to get to a mall I have to drive at least 2 hours, so I only get to a mall about twice a year. While I was walking around, I noticed a music store loaded with CDs and EVERYTHING was on SALE. I had to chuckle, because I now buy all of my music online (the legal way) and it seemed really strange to see a music store still in business - barely. It took me back to vinyl and tapes for a few minutes and the time I bought my first Duran Duran album. Those were the days...

However, despite my nostalgia for days gone by, I'm a big fan of product on demand, so I like to download my music instantly from sources like iTunes. It is easy to search for songs and I love the feature that allows you to listen to a few seconds of the music so you can make sure it is the right song. I also like the a'la'cart feature for buying a single song instead of the whole album. Saves me money and relieves me of songs I don't really care for. Music has never been more accessible and I find myself listening to more and more variety.

How do you get your music?

Thanks for stopping by -

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday Sketch & Guest Designers

I am so excited to reveal this week's sketch and guest designers. This is our third week of working on this project and I have to say that I am just tickled with how amazing all of the work is and so pleased to be able to share the work with you. The designers did such a fantastic job on the sketch this week that I have to say is a little out there for me... Hope you all enjoy their work and find some inspiration in your own.

Michelle Unruh lives in the pretty dreary, rainy (right now) State of Wisconsin. She's married to a great guy who supports her scrapbooking hobby (or addiction) for 15 years come May. She has three great kids, one of whom has already moved out on her own, which made it possible for Michelle to have my own scrap space! :) Michelle's been scrapbooking for about 10 years and has been a CM consultant for 8 of those years. But, it wasn't until this last year that she rally started playing with all the other stuff the market has to offer. She feels she is learning all over again. Michelle has also dabbled in other crafts over the years... stamping and cross-stitching being a few and LOVES photography. Scrapbooking has really changed how she takes photos; and she knows her photography has greatly improved because of it.

Here's what Michelle said about working with my sketch along with some closeups, "I am a little OCD when it comes to matching my paper with my photographs. I love the cohesive feel it gives when everything matches and coordinates well. While I appreciate all different styles of scrapbooking, I find I do cleaner, simpler pages best. I feel having a sketch makes my time scrapbooking go a little easier if I have a plan or design to go off of. But, I also love the freedom a sketch can give. You can copy it verbatim or take just an element from it. Most cases, I follow the sketches pretty closely, as I did with this page. The focus of my pages are the photographs and the story behind them. For this sketch, I used a picture of my great aunt. I just love this photo I took of her a couple of summer's ago when she was here visiting. She is such a spunky, fun lady. She really brightens my day. I think this sketch was perfect for having the emphasis on this photo."

Please visit Michelle's blog Happenings on this side of the river for more information about her and details about her work.

Teresa Fenstermacher is one of the busiest scrappers out there. You may know her as Teresa Jaye. I see her avatar popping up everywhere and I am so excited that she is a guest designer this year. Here is what Teresa had to say about working with my sketch, "As soon as I saw Liz's awesome sketch I knew that I wanted to scrap this picture of my beautiful daughter from her wedding. I have had the picture and the paper since 2007 and have gotten it out and put it back over and over. This sketch said "pretty" to me, and the vertical area with the bracket edges shown on the sketch gave me an "aha" moment about the patterned paper I had picked to go with my picture. I am so happy with how the border punch I used makes the paper mimic the posts in the picture. After that, it was just a matter of playing and playing some more with lace, flowers, bling, and pearls (which is my favorite part) until I liked the look. Thanks, Liz for helping me to finally get this picture scrapped! What does this sketch say to you?"

Please visit Teresa's blog Teresa Jaye is Here to Play for more information about her and details about her work.

Angela Lenssen is a fresh face to me, but I am so impressed by her work. She did such a fabulous job of really making this sketch her own. Her details are wonderful and she actually added a second photo to her layout which is always a bonus when trying to get those memories preserved. Here is what Angela had to say about using the sketch this week, "This sketch was so great! It was detailed, yet versatile. I chose to add another challenge to the sketch-- using photos and products that I have on hand. This was a bit scary, because when I pull out all my supplies and try to make them work together, sometimes it just looks like a garage sale. But if you're careful to match colors, it can work. All sorts of snowflakes (rub on, acrylic, iron on, chipboard) came together to make this layout "snow" much fun!"

Please visit Angela's blog Mom-e Memoirs for information about her and details about her work.

Thank you for stopping by and if you have a moment, leave a little love for the artists this week -

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Waiting for Spring

Today is the first day of Spring and we just got 4 inches of snow and it's very cold. Spring in the Rocky Mountains is highly anticipated, but sometimes slow to bloom. The creation of this layout was to squelch my winter blues and get ready for the change of seasons. Bo Bunny is running a color challenge on their blog in which you need to use Green, Cream or White and Aqua. Click here for more details. I used the Alissa collection from last Spring that came in my previous April Main Kit from My Creative Scrapbook. I also used my Cricut Expressions and the Home Accent cartridge to make the green die cut paper. I incorporated the negative part of what I cut out instead of the primary shape to give my layout a lot of texture and dimension. I'm having so much fun with the cutter. So many possibilities...

The photo is of my sister and brother in law and was taken to celebrate their engagement by their friend Jensen. They found those amazing trees in Austin, Texas and I just love this photo. For the record, I did slightly alter the color of my SIL's dress to match the papers...I know... it is part of my OCD tendency for matching. LOL!

Thank you so much for stopping by -

Friday, March 19, 2010

Live Healthy Fridays

Many of you know that I am an Educator living in Colorado, so it probably won't surprise you that I feel very passionate about feeding my family food that isn't going to harm them in the long run. For us, that means making sacrifices in some places to pay for better food. Please watch the documentary Food Inc. in your Netlfix watch instantly queue and it will literally scare the pants off you. It is simply criminal what goes on to produce mass quantities of food in this country.

Now we are by no means "food saints" and though I hate to admit it, I have definitely made a drive through run here in there if you KWIM. But there are some items in our refrigerator that must be organic, because I know that it is good for my kids and our environment.

All of the dairy items in our fridge are organic, which includes: milk, butter, sour cream, and yogurt. This is so my children are not ingesting hormones and antibiotics that could ultimately cause my 6 year old daughter to enter puberty in the 4th grade - no thank you. Please see this article for more info about hormones in food. As for cheese, I called the Tillamook company a few years ago and asked if they used milk with hormones and antibiotics to make their cheese and they said, "Absoulutely NOT." I have also noticed that they now publish that info on the packaging of their products. You can find Tillamook and many organic products in your local Walmart Grocery, so it is readily available if you have no other options.

Here are just a few articles to help you make decisions about what kind of food you want to consume. Educating yourself is the first step to making some changes in the way our country feeds us. The only way to create change in the industry is to start demanding healthier products.

Dirty Dozen explains which foods to stay away from to avoid harmful pesticides that can cause cancer, Parkinson's and infertiltiy to name a few.

Produce that does NOT need to be organic.

Thank you for stopping by and have a great weekend -

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Live Loud with Imaginsce

Lookie, lookie - the Imaginisce Design Team just got a box full of goodies which included the Live Loud collection. I am so used to scrapping my daughter, that I really needed to spend some time on my little guy and these new papers from Imaginisce are perfect for the men in your life. The colors are bold, but grounded in some really cool shades of blue and gray. I could not believe how funny the puffy microphone sticker looks with Henry's photo, and I added a bit of black embroidery thread for the cord. I also got to test drive some of the Tombow adhesive products and I have to say that the glue pen is a god send on letters that are not already sticky. It was so easy to glue down the letters I cut with my Cricut and I am particularly happy with my title.

Please stop by the Imaginisce site and blog for more product info and ideas.

Thank you so much for stopping by -