Saturday, November 30, 2013

My Cute Cowgirl

 The girls and I had so much fun exploring the fairgrounds this year at the Western Washington State Fair.
 Formerly known as the Puyallup Fair, there seemed to be a childhood memory waiting to be re-lived for me around every corner! I was ecstatic sharing all the goodness with Rainier and Sunday. After all, they don't know what corn dogs and BBQ corn on the cob, and earthquake burgers, elephant ears, curly fries, and caramel apples and SCONES taste like, so they weren't disappointed not to be offered any. And there was no way I could share or withhold such goodness, so I was able to resist somehow as well :-) It's a good thing I never saw a pickle barrel, though, that might have snagged me.
We got to see a lot of our favorite animals, including, a Camel! By the time I was ready to leave, we were all pretty pooped (how could we have only been there for three hours?!), but I managed to get one more photo shoot in, and my cute little cowgirl hopped up on the hay bale before she realized what the reason was for. She never has been into smiling on command! Or photographic eye contact either. Hence, I got none of her looking adorable-y at me, but did get an adorable shot nonetheless :-)
The map print background is by Studio Calico, and I got it in a kit from a Creating Keepsakes class about Mixed Media. The kit included a piece of dressmakers pattern paper, which could have been adhered with decoupage techniques. I chose to just use my regular favorite Red Duck adhesive down the sides and then grabbed a couple border strips for the top and bottom.
Once I had figured out how I wanted all my layers to go, I got stuck. This layout sat for about a month on my desk, I couldn't figure out just what it needed. With the additions of the border strips and my journaling last night, I finally feel like it can be put in the album.
Whew! I don't like it when an unfinished something keeps getting in my way of creating something new, but it's almost a feeling of relief once I have it completed! And who would have guessed that pattern paper can work with our beloved patterned papers! Not me...
now where are all those old patterns I'm not using... 
Here's another shot with the flash on, so you can see a little bit different view.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Aren't some of the digital photo-editing apps amazing?! I haven't got a chance to lay down my own letter stickers for this page yet, but a couple finger pushes and slides, and what do ya know, my Fancy Nancy titles looks great! Hardly digital looking at all :-) Scroll down to see the accompanying page.

Sorry for the blurriness. That's kind of a theme for this time of year, right? Wow, Halloween and the beginning of fall have come and gone, and I suddenly realize I haven't really started preparing for Christmas (or Thanksgiving) in the way of cards or thought-of-you gifts for my friends and family. So this week Rainier and I made two presents for persons not decided yet. I love Lisa E's simple but oh so cute ideas (look under the I'm inspired By tab above) and her YouTube movie voice is so friendly! She made a tutorial showing a grocery list holder that I thought would not only be super easy to make but easily duplicated too. We took a piece of chipboard, or heavyweight cardstock or kraft paper. 8 1/2x11" worked great. Using paper scraps, washi tape, and stickers we created a notepad holder with photo of the girls, and another home decor piece with a set of three cards attached. Sometimes you find out a card is needed at the last minute, or intuition tells you to bring along a "nice to see you card " when you go to the post this would be a handy holder for grabbing a card on your way out the door.
what? You don't get those need to bring a card with me twinges?
Anyway, after getting two done in three days, I'm feeling better about getting into the making for others spirit. There will be a special Holiday edition plus the December copy of DieCutCrazy coming in the next week or so to look forward to. It's funny that as disappointed as I am that Creating Keepsakes and Papercrafting are no longer coming via mail delivery, I'm so excited for a digital magazine to come out.  I have to admit it is thrilling to be published amongst the other talented contributors! Each month it is only a dollar, for tons of inspiration including tutorials and tips and just all around great designs to scraplift, er interpret.  Plus, I make a lot of stuff, and I forget what I share with whom and what I send to the magazine too, so by the time they are published I cannot honestly remember what I will be seeing lol . I have never limited my projects to the season. Writing and making seasonal cards and tutorials for DCC has got me more aware and excited of the way all of that influences trends and motifs and Im thinking, Pretty soon New Years and snow scenes and then spring scrapbook pages will be rolling through my creative space too!
But first, I delved into my massive ck haul of fall STUFF. Die cuts, 12x12" richly toned, heavy-weighted card stocks by Echo Park & Basic Grey, amongst other brands offerings. Glittery, leaf motifed everything and everything pretty much :-) Thank you for SEIs last hour sale heehee! $27of Awesome. I have filmed that second page above (sorry the photo is so blurry) coming together. You can find it below, as well as with the other process videos of mine under the tab above. I'm always surprised and delighted to hear of a dash of inspiration a viewer received!! So please, feel free to comment appropriately :-)

Well these two pages came together in about half an hour each. Uninterrupted, non child carrying craft time for me is so rare, and my fingers (both hands!) flew about my desk gluing down this and that. Because I had been gathering like -items prior to creating the pages, I could just reach in my bag of tricks and literally put it on my base and build up with confident decisions. Speed scrapping at its finest! I'm really lucky to have both the girls napping for an hour or two Almost everyday, at the same time, together, without me! right now. Like, three out of five days. Thanksgiving indeed!
Blessings to you and your family, or if you are my family, this week and alldays :-D ~Anna

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I am the Cruise&Crop Blinkie Contest Winner!

Have you noticed my Cruise blinkie to the right ? I'm so grateful to my loving honey for fulfilling my tropical island dreams: he's sending me on a cruise with my Dear Friend! Wow, right? What could be cooler than seen days at sea, visiting Mexico, Belize, and Honduras... oh, well it happens to be a scrapbooking cruise! With classes taught by one of my favorite teachers, Shelby Dredge of Embellish It! (
Well Gail and Cheri at Cruise & Crop have been nothing but nice to work with, and they recently posted on their blog a contest for putting their new blinking badges on trip taker's blogs. Of course, I immediately put one up here. even if it wasn't for a contest I was so excited to share that my reservation has been made. It makes more real somehow! (After all, isn't everything you read online True!) You can click directly on the blinking green cruise button and it should take you directly to their site. Pretty cool!
Then .... Surprise surprise, I won! And the package came today! and it was filled with wonderful scrapbooking at sea paraphernalia! Yippeee!
It was such a beautiful morning that I had to take my girls for a walk. The sun was shining and we didn't get too cool in the shady spots. Sunday fell asleep on Rainier's shoulder, isn't that about the cutest thing you can hope to have happen at nap time? I was also able to submit the last of my creations and articles for next month's DieCutCrazy magazine. Both girls took their afternoon nap at the same time. Survivor is on tonight, too, so I think this is a day that I should celebrate as going MY WAY.
The cutest thing in the box was a page kit all about towel animals :-) If you've ever gone cruising, you may remember these adorable gifts from the stewards as being one of the trips highlights. There were also a lot of Glitz designs items, a cute stamp set with the word Friend included, and I'm just so excited to start packing now.
Oh Yeah,
Did I mention the cruise isn't until 2015...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

CK Short Circuit!

Oh wow, it seems like its already been a year since last weekend's Creating Keepsakes Convention in Bellevue, but I guess time flies when you're not creating?!

So where to start, the amazingly great time I had catching and creating up with my Dear Friend, the wealth of knowledge I absorbed volunteering in classes taught by craft industry faves, or the inhibiting factors which didn't allow me to make another thing until yesterday afternoon?

I guess the first stop ought to be announcing the winner from my November 1-10th Blog-Hopping 10-Subbie Celebration Comment Challenge:

That sure was a fun way to say goodbye to CK for another year! I managed to make enough acquaintances in two days to hand out the 20+ Artist Trading Cards I made in preparation. So many talented and extremely nice people that I shared supplies, ideas, and most important, laughs alongside.
Megan You Are Ah-may-zing!
 Special thanks go out to my Director of Photography/Grip hahaha. And to Mike at Queen & Co for another year of allowing me to Vanna new products for him, as well as Megan Hoeppner and Shelby Bywater, two of CK's superstars! Also thank you to Melissa Frances, whose PSA and open conversation about her personal breast cancer discovery and recovery changed my view on monthly self-breast exams (DO THEM! MEN TOO!)
Well, usually I'm pretty reluctant to let anything get in the way of my usual chores-childcare-craft routine I've got established, but I really did miss my girls while I was away this weekend. As loud as the siren call of all my new kits, pretty papers, stickers, and unfinished layouts was, I ignored it in favor of trying to focus my attentions on my babes. Instead of crafting next to Rainier and offering half-hearted assistance, I stayed on her side of the art den and kept my hands off my stuff. Yuck and Yea at the same time! (Anyone else noticing the same craft hysteria face that Rainier and I are sharing in these photos?)

the lovely Ship Harbor Inn view
My go-to-guy also had oral surgery up in Anacortes on Thursday and he took the kids and I up early Wednesday night, so I had that to pack and plan for. We had a lovely time and his surgery went well, and before we took him to the dentist I even squeezed in a half page layout from a kit DF got me at the last minute. Was able to finish that and another layout with two more in the works while the house was napping yesterday afternoon...
MerryGoRound Love
I promise I will be sharing what I can remember learning over the next couple of weeks and months. Had a lot of brainstorming going on in our hotel room and it will be exciting putting some of those ideas into world-wide viewing portals :-)

Congratulations to my Big Comment Winner, who should be receiving a package in today's post, and for all who followed the contest and participated. You comments all made me feel like a true winner in the craft community!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Prepping for CK: Artist Trading Cards

One of my favorite memories from the first year I went to CK, is that of an elderly artist handing out Artist Trading Cards to the vendors at the Make and Take tables. The fact that it was a MAN and that he was there for himself, not his wife or other female companion just made it stick in mind that much more! Every year at the Creating Keepsakes Convention since has found me wishing I had some of those cards to pass out to the wonderfully creative people I encounter.
Well this year, I will!

It was so much fun making this batch of cards, Rainier and I are going to whip up another group some time today. First, we dripped watercolor on shiny paper. Its got an interesting effect with paint, if I knew what type of paper it is I'd tell! But alas I do not. The cool thing is that it lets the paint dry without it soaking in, so the paint remains really vivid. On some parts of the papers we did some ombre style painting, other areas we just went hog wild with drips and splatters. We recently watched a video by Wilma F. at Two Peas and could see that influence lol. After the paint dried, I got out my special Artist Trading Card Stamp and used that on some cards for my information. Other cards just got the same details freehanded in. Then we dripped on more color in the form of spray ink. Stamps by Ali Edwards that read Live In the Moment, Life, and Love were dispersed.

I wish I'd had these cards with me yesterday at the Library to share with all the storytime moms!

One of these days I'll have to do a tutorial about how to make this teabag gift holder. Turns out, it works great for holding this set of cards. Even if it is Halloween themed!

On a side note- did you happen to see how messy my desk is in the background shot from above?! I usually try to get it cleaned off in between projects, but I feel like I'm in creative limbo this week, storing up my mojo for this weekends outpouring :-)

Making some updated versions of this nifty holder might be a good side project for this afternoon... People often ask me, how do I find time to do all the art projects my heart desires? well, I'm pretty sure exposure to papercrafting from birth for both my girls is the key to my success, as well as the support and, time, and space to craft I get from their dad. Having the girls near me can be frustrating at times, like when they grab papers or fingerprint on stuff or peel off all the stickers from a brand new sheet to decorate the floor... but it's all worth it when I think about the fact that while sometimes a project doesn't turn out "perfect" it is perfectly full of the love of art we all share :-)

 I love the way my ATCs turned out,  and it will be so much fun making new friends and passing these little labors of love out. Maybe some will even end up in someones's Project Life or SmashBook Albums!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


At the Library today we really hit the jackpot!
First we were gifted these beautiful -handmade- headbands from our friend Christina. I've always wanted to adorn my girls with larger than life headwear, and she saw my envious glances at other children's hair-dos and even made them neutral colored to go with every outfit we own. They are so cute and also actually worked to keep Rainier's growing out bangs out of her eyes.

The next surprise came from Andrea, whose daughter Penelope is just about the happiest baby on the block. She looks around at us all with joyous wonder in her eyes and a big toothy grin on her face. I love all her very girly outfits and joked that I called dibs on her hand me downs... well I should joke like that with more cute kids' parents, because she brought us a big bag of beautiful, cotton clothes today! At first I thought that since they are like, 12-18 months clothes that Sunday would need to wait  a bit to fit, but apparently she wears a 12 months jeans now. And then I realized, well, this dress really is a shirt now... lol don't know why it's so hard to cycle through the outgrown clothes but I think it's because they have the associated memories of our growing kids within their fibers.

Came home to find a huge garbage sack full of 3T clothes for Rainie! Apparently her dad found them "out back" somewhere. So overhaul of kids drawers will be my project tomorrow. Not very crafty, but certainly delightful!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Die Cut Crazy Magazine Holiday Blog Hop!

Welcome to the Die Cut Crazy Magazine Holiday Blog Hop. The designers have made some wonderful holiday projects to inspire your own holiday crafting with your die cuts. If you just joined our hop, be sure and go back to the Die Cut Crazy Magazine Blog to learn how you can enter to win a prize from Die Cut Crazy Magazine when following the hop from designer to designer.  
The holiday project I am sharing today will inspire you to create a multitude of "say goodbye to fall" projects within a small budget. Can you say $10 or less!?

Often times craft stores will offer huge discounts on the previous season's supplies. I shopped my local Michael's with a 40% off coupon and was able to pick up 48 coordinating fall die-cuts in a large bracket shape, conveniently  bound up in a book that I can thumb through, looking for just the right pattern. As soon as I saw this leaf printed page, I tore it out and threw it onto a large card base. The die cut happened to land half off the page and I thought, hmmm... I like that! A few splashes of Mr. Huey's ink in Gold added interest to the otherwise plain background. Then I stamped the acorn onto a sticker which I fussy-cut, added a couple bling brads, and voila!

I'm not into waste, so I had to find  home for the strip of leaves I had cut off. I wanted another die cut that was more neutral toned, and found it in this barely brown, burgundy rimmed piece. Too lazy to cut the end off my card, my eyes searched my cluttered desk, looking for a way to fill in that gap. Ribbon? no. More ink? no.
Cute little doggy die cut that reminds me of the one my best friend's son once owned? Yes! A scene quickly built itself on the card with the addition of a die cut felt border, some whimsical flower and animal stickers,  and the finishing touch of a water colored background.

My little doggy looks as if he's speaking! Roughly translated, "Bone, fire hydrant, bow," means, "Let's Play!" 
If you've watched my latest videos, you'll understand, I've got CK on the brain! Every year my bestie and I attend a scrapbooking convention in Bellevue, WA, and as of today it is officially only ONE WEEK AWAY! This card will be a perfect lead-in to our weekend of creativity together. I love knowing that thinking of how much her son loved that dog will bring a smile to her face; a boy and his dog can be the best of friends, and she is certainly mine!

 Well when I was looking around at my cluttered desk, I noticed these coasters collected from restaurant on a recent road trip. Remember these coasters from when you were little? My grandmother was a waitress for over 20 years, and growing up, nearly every Saturday morning my grandfather would take me to breakfast where she worked. I always thought it was so neat to be able to color and personalize my own coaster while he told me tales of his youth. The gold spray was still out, so I experimented with a little of that while I reminisced.
Once I realized the gold border matched my die cuts, another card was quickly crafted! And yes, I did continue to shop from my scrap laying about  :-)  My young male co-worker was recently promoted and will be leaving our office. Despite the explosion of multi-colored blings and enamel dots, this card is still masculine enough to bid him good luck in his new position.

For these cards, I used the book of die-cuts pictured above and an acorn block stamp which I purchased at Michael's, Mr. Huey's Spray Ink in Gold, My Mind's Eye Enamel Dots, my Red Duck transparent adhesive roller, my daughter's Crayola watercolor set, bling and pearls by Queen and Co., as well as some very old stickers, die cuts, and cardstock from my stash. On this last card, the This Happened banner, corrugated arrow, and Congratulations stamp are all from Close To My Heart.

With my coupon, all of my supplies actually came to a whopping 5.49 at checkout, and I still have about 45 more die cuts to go towards my "say goodbye to fall" projects. You may even see a few of them in this month's edition of Die Cut Crazy Magazine!
Thanks for stopping by my post in the Die Cut Crazy Magazine Holiday Blog Hop! I hope my projects inspire you to create your own inexpensive holiday projects, and maybe even clean a little creative clutter off your desk.
In conjunction with this Hop, I am also celebrating the awesomeness of having TEN+ subscribers to my YouTube Channel! So, if you comment on any of my videos or blog posts from within the month of October 2013, including todays video and post as well,  I will put your name in a drawing for the first card I featured here today :-) You can enter by commenting as many times as you wish, and I'll draw the winning commenter at the conclusion of the Creating Keepsakes Convention, Saturday, November 9th at 6:00 Pacific Standard Time. Good Luck!
Next up in the hop is  Allie .  Go see the amazing project she has prepared for you to enjoy!
If you just joined the hop, here is a list of designers so you don't miss any


You Are Here --->Anna



You can find all sorts of incredible inspiration at the Die Cut Crazy Magazine  site!