Monday, December 29, 2008

A few layouts

Over at the Apronstrings' Yahoo Group, there is a Chillin' Winter Challenge going on. During each of the 12 days after Christmas, a new challenge will be posted. Each challenge is for a new layout. So far, I've completed three challenges, and we are on day 4. I'll catch up when I'm off of work starting on Wednesday for a nice looooong weekend.

Here are two of my challenge layouts.

Keep an eye out of the January Apron Strings Kits, they go live in early January! Sneak peeks are available on the Apron Strings website, under resources. Look at the December 2008 Newsletter to see what's coming in January! (two of my favorite companies - Basic Grey and Pink Paislee!)

Happy Birthday Alexa!

My baby girl, is FIVE! I'm still in denial. She seems so grown up and in September, off to Kindergarten. (EEK, definitely not ready for that!)
With my mom (nana), the night she was born:

Christmas eve:

Happy Birthday to my beautiful girl!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Finally, I've reached 2001.

Because, I now own an Ipod. A shiny new Silver 8 gb Nano. Welcome to the 21st century Maria. (In my defense, I do have a generic MP3 player...) Now I just have to figure out how to use it. And sync it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Joy banner. (if it took me any longer, Christmas would be over)

Finally finished this! Hand cut the banner from chipboard, covered it with Basic Grey Mistletoe and Pear paper, die cut the scalloped frames (Martha Stewart glitter), some old K&Co chipboard letter I painted and glittered (MS), pearl strands from Michaels, die cut and glittered chipboard stars.

Every piece slides along the ribbon, so it can be taken apart for storage.

What do you think? I've got to find a place to hang this above our fireplace.

Well, I'm no Tim Holtz.

But I did have fun trying out some of his techniques from the "12 Tags of Christmas." I turned some tags in to Christmas cards for coworkers.

I made the tag "envelope" from Basic Grey Mistletoe and Pear paper. Lots of distress inks on the tags. The back of the tag has the card sentiment.

2008 Memories mini-album

Just wanted to post my latest mini-album. I made this for my IL's as a little Christmas gift.

You can see the rest of the pages here:

There are too many images to post in this thread. I used mainly October Afternoon, Cosmo Cricket and We R Memory Keepers paper, Elles' studio calendar tags, Pink Paislee stamps, Stickles, Prima flowers and gems. I kept with a very simple layout on each page.

ok, really, back to cards and cookies...

Who doesn't love a giveaway?

And seriously, if you like to scrapbook, this is a fabulous giveaway opportunity:

Not to mention the mini-album she is creating is stunning! Great inspriation. :)

Just a quick post for now, back to card creating. And cookie creating. And I need both by tomorrow morning and I haven't started either. EEK.

Hopefully I can get back on later and post my Christmas Joy banner.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

6-10 inches of snow predicted.

I hope they are wrong. Because, if we are still at the TB screening tomorrow and there is a snow day, it would not be good. At. All.

And, seriously. I'm soooo not a morning person. These 5:15am wakeups are not for me. No way. No how. I can't wait until this week is over.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Woweeeee! I've been asked to join the Apron Strings Design Team!

I still can't believe it! I submitted 3 layouts and one altered item (a card and a matching gift card holder) earlier this month for the 2009 call and heard back yesterday! My term as a "Sous Chef" for their monthly kits starts in 2009 and I am scheduled to design in March, June, September and December. I. Am. So. Excited! The alternating months and kit sizes (there are two per month) will work out perfectly.

This is my first time ever submitting for a team, let alone even a layout.

You can see the items I submitted here:

Thanks again Lori and Kathy!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I could be creating...

but, I'm typing instead. (and my husband is snoring) I'm blaming my lull in work on "glue that needs to dry." But, I think I've bit off more than I can chew. I'm finishing a mini-album for my IL's, I have one to do (from start) for John's Aunt and Uncle, plugging along (slowly) on my December Daily, Christmas cards to mail out, a "JOY" banner and "NOEL" hanging partially finished. And, I haven't wrapped a thing. Oh boy.

I did however, hook my dad into taking the girls next Saturday for a sleepover. John and I need to do some serious wrapping that night.

And, to top it off, all next week I'm on Tuberculosis duty at work. No lunch hours. Which is when I was planning on doing some of my projects. We do get to start early and leave early, but it's going to be a long week helping screen almost 900 students and staff. Fun, fun, fun.

Off to see if my glue dried...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Cookie Sheet Advent Calendar

It's taken me way too long to finish this,but for my first attempt, I'm pleasantly surprised.

I picked up the cookie sheet (non-stick) at Target, paper is Making Memories, various chipboard letters and die cuts, inks, number stickers and rub-ons, stickles, chipboard letters and glimmer mist. I laid out the 5x5 grid with scallop squares alternating red and blue paper. This cookie sheet advent calendar was inspired by the ones Katie Watson posted at Two Peas. I'll probably make another one (I have another cookie sheet) sooner or later.

Genetics or the high chair?

What do you think?

Ava, taken yesterday:
Alexa, at 2 years old:

Guess that chair is more comfortable than it looks!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

December daily - 12/2

Slowly...but surely....

I chose a cherished picture from 2003. The last Christmas picture as a family, that my mom was in. It's a "film" picture, so I scanned it in and cropped it down a bit. It really is a blurry, tilted picture. But, it is irreplaceable.

Looking at that picture makes me happy and sad at the same time.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

December Daily - cover and 12/1.

Here are my first two pages. 30 more to go! ;)

This is my basic format. Some will have typed journaling, others handwritten.

Monday, December 1, 2008

December Daily Album

This year, I've decided to keep a journal/scrapbook of our December 2008. Several ladies at A Million Memories are doing this as well, so I hope to have lots of inspiration. For my first picture in December I took one of the snow we had last night. Our first "real" snow that stuck around. (It's kind of dark here in the morning!)
I'm keeping with a very simple scheme, one I found in the "Mini Albums in an Evening" issue from Simple Scrapbooks. I'm using an 8x8 album and KI Memories papers I've had forever sitting in my scrap area. Each page will have one or two pictures, some journalling and some quick, easy embellisments. Once I get my first page done, I will load it up along with my cover page. I'm hoping the simpler I keep this, the easier for me it will be to catch up each week.

Monday, November 24, 2008

My first attempt at a digital Christmas card.

Normally, I bribe the girls, take some pics, find the best one and get a card printed up. Pink Paislee had a free card template on their website. So, I gave it a shot (with a picture of Alexa from her first Christmas!)

What do you think?

I'm no expert in Photoshop (I used PSE 4), but it was easy enough for me. I think I'm going to print up a test copy.

Had to do one with Ava...

Friday, November 21, 2008

New pictures. Love. 'Em.

Did I get lucky or what?
Just love these girls to pieces!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


It's been too long. Bad, bad blogger.

We went to Frankenmuth for a night, last weekend. The weather was terrible. We still had fun, but cold, rainy, windy, is NOT my cup of tea. I'll have to post some pics. Alexa was amazed at Bronners.

John is aceing his second class so far. He's even "teaching" other students. Yay! He just signed up for the next two classes to finish the certification.

Ava's hair is getting darker. It makes me a little sad. I love her blond hair. So striking.

Alexa has finally said the "B" word about day care. Bored. She knows the curriculum inside and out. I was hoping Wendy would make it a little different, but we'll see.

John's job is on the line. Again. I'm actually tired of writing that. Basically, his boss has him safe until 12/19 - last day of work for the year. We'll see if they lay him off after that. She doesn't want to lose him, but, it won't be her decision. Good times.

My job is in jeopardy. I can't believe I'm saying that. The unions aren't budging on negotiations and neither is the county. I saw the concessions they wanted. I don't know what's worse, worrying about losing my job or trying to figure out a way to make up over a 10% pay cut. Even better times.

I think we are going to decorate for Christmas this weekend. Alexa will probably be too excited to speak in clear sentences. My girl loves Christmas.

Santa needs to do some shopping this weekend. I'm undecided if I will brave the other crazies on Black Friday. I go almost yearly. We'll see what's in the papers.

I need to do some scrapbooking. Way behind and way too many projects for Christmas gifts.

Off. To. Bed. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Seven Year Itch?

Does it start or end at your seventh wedding anniversary? Today is our seventh wedding anniversary. :) John gets to celebrate by working 8 hours and then heading to class for another 4 hours.

When I start to think about it, the last seven years have been incredibly busy. Lots of ups and downs. From our wedding, pregnant with Alexa, my mom diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, Paul's wedding, having Alexa, my mom passing away, both my in-laws diagnosed with cancer, my dad's heart surgery, Lisa's heart surgery, having Ava, Lisa passing away, John's job ups and downs... its just been busy. I can't believe this much time has passed and so many of life's "moments" have wizzed by. Will the next seven years go by as quickly? I hope they go by slowly. I want to cherish each year!

Some pictures from the last 7 years...

Here's to many more years, and thousands more photos! You can never have too many pictures. ;)

Monday, November 3, 2008


Could the weather get any better for Trick or Treating? It was 67 degrees when took the girls out! According to Alexa, this was the "best trick or treating ever." We spent about an hour running around my dad's neighborhood. Dorothy and Tinkerbell loved every minute of it.

I had been itching to finish a mini-album of our Halloween fun from this year. I pretty much printed up my pictures on Saturday morning. I love how this turned out!

You can see the rest of the album here. I took a bunch of pictures!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I am a bad blogger. I need to update more.

We had pumpkin carving at our house on Sunday (and John's b-day with the family). Pumpkin carving is a yearly tradition with his family and this year the pumpkins didn't disappoint! John's family is very creative.

After some relative indicision (Jasmine, Sleeping Beauty, a "flower pot", Cinderella), Alexa has decided on a costume for Halloween. Dorothy from Wizard of Oz. Tomorrow is the party at day care. She can. not. wait. Ava is going to be Tinkerbell. We'll see if her highness will actually wear her costume.

Alexa has an amazing memory. As soon as she opened her eyes this morning she rattled off what half of the kids at day care are bringing for a treat. She was dead on for each of them.

The proposed GM-Chrysler merger scares the crap out of me. I don't know how many job consolidations John can skirt through. That one might be way to big. And how is this going to help Michigan? They are talking over 30,000 jobs being cut. At minimum. Almost makes me a little sick to my stomach.

I finished a few scrapbooking projects: some layouts and a mini-album.

You can see the rest of the mini-album here. (I'm too lazy to upload all the pics)

And one of my layouts:

It. is. cold. Really cold for October. Like 28 degrees tonight type cold. I'm not ready for this weather!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy Birthday John!

42 today! And his big present? 8 hours of work and 4 hours of class! boooo! We'll celebrate with the girls (Alexa is all about birthdays and parties) tomorrow.

And because my husband is a goof...


Monday, October 13, 2008

Doesn't she just have some amazing eyes?

I cropped out alot of the background on this picture.

I just love her eyes!

Fun at the Cider Mill!

This past Sunday we took the girls to Blakes Cider Mill. The weather was summer-like (Sunny and 78!) but the girls had a blast. The donuts were freshly made and the cider was delicious (if not a little over-priced). Blake's has a "farmyard fun" area. We spent the bulk of our time there. We went early in the morning, by noon, it was absolutely packed and we headed home. We are thinking of going back to do some apple picking one day. If we ever eat all the apples we have at home already.

I can't wait to go pumpkin picking with the girls in a few weeks. We are celebrating John's birthday (42!) and carving pumpkins too. (Speaking of which, I need to buy him something!)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom

Today would have been her 61st birthday. She's been gone a little over 4 years. It still feels like she was taken from us yesterday. I miss her every day. The pain isn't any better. I hate the fact that my girls will never know her.
The world, and my life, lost a little sparkle on June 3, 2004.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Busy Weekend!

After taking Friday off and hanging out with my girls, Saturday, Alexa went to Disney on Ice with my dad and his girlfriend. To say she loved it, would be a slight understatment. Mesmerized would be a good word. I hope my dad took pictures, but I'm not sure he did! Ava and I did some running around while John was at lab time. This was one of the first times Ava has ever been separated from her big sister. She must have asked me 20 times "where 'Ah-lah' go?" It was good to have a little Ava-Mommy time alone.

Sunday, I took the girls to a baby shower. They did amazingly well. Alexa sat at the "girls" table and Ava was with me. I was so proud of my girls! I think they probably ate more candy, cookies and junk food than the last 3 months combined, but it was a great day (and weekend) for girl time.

I've been crafty.

Trying, in vain, to catch up on all these photos for scrapbooking.

This is a 2 page layout, but I forgot to take a picture of the pages together! D'oh.

Yes, John really did feed Alexa in the Jumperoo. Oy.

Ava in the wave pool

Ava in the wave pool

A perfect landing!

A perfect landing!