Wanna Play Cards?

I got on a card kick last night. Well, that's not exactly true. I had a need for cards. Sadly, a need for support/sympathy cards. Several I know have suffered loss lately. Yet another reminder to hold those we love close and truly live and value our time.

Shaker Cards

supplies: PAPER: Echo Park Paper; VELLUM: Stampin' Up!; "Thinking of You" STRIP, VELLUM ACCENTS: Maggie Holmes for Crate Paper; WOOD HEARTS: ummmm... I think they're Freckled Fawn.

Throw kindness around like confetti.

This quote holds extra meaning for our family and reminds us of someone special we lost, so I put confetti pockets on several of my cards.

supplies: Exact same as previous card :) Except the pre-made heart in the circle, which is part of the confetti mix. It's from Simple Stories.

The confetti is a mixture of crepe paper scraps, foil bits, wood veneer pieces, and pre-made paper bits. 

supplies: Same as first card. Additions are: SEQUINS: Doodlebug; ROSE: Pink Paislee (I think); "I'll be there" STICKER: Simple Stories

I stitched vellum to my card fronts to hold the confetti bundles in place. This is a fairly quick way to create a card. And I love that stitching adds such reinforcement to my cards. I don't' feel like there's room for concern about the cards coming apart in the mail or anything. Phew!


supplies: PAPER: My Mind's Eye; VELLUM: Stampin' Up!; RUB-ONS: BoBunny; CORK HEART: Pink Paislee; ENAMEL HEART: My Mind's Eye

For my second set of cards, I used the foil rub-ons from BoBunny. I adore these, because the finish is such that it looks like the cards have been heat embossed, even though they have not. Hooray for shortcuts.

supplies: PAPER: Crate Paper; VELLUM: Stampin' Up!; RUB-ONS: BoBunny; HEART: Simple Stories

These particular rub-ons apply with little effort, too, which is so nice. You simply trim around the letter, peel away its backing, position it on the card, and rub. The letter then transfers to the paper. I wish rub-ons were more of a "thing" again. I always enjoy using them. Especially when they're as easy to use as these are.

A Few Extras

I need to mail nine cards today or tomorrow, so this isn't even all that I need, but sleep started to get the best of me around 3:00 AM, so I made a few more quickies and hit the hay.

supplies: PAPER: Crate Paper (black/white), Fancy Pants Designs (gold stripe); BUTTERFLY AND ROSE: Simple Stories; VELLUM SHAPES: Maggie Holmes for Crate Paper

supplies: PAPER: Fancy Pants Designs; ALPHA STICKERS: Elle's Studio (small gray), Fancy Pants Designs (floral); CORK HEART: Pink Paislee; VELLUM FLOWER: Maggie Holmes for Crate Paper; ENAMEL DOT: My Mind's Eye; ADHESIVE: Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L (red permanent runner)

A common theme throughout is that these designs are fairly simplistic. No fancy techniques or tools needed. They also require minimal products. A few sheets of paper and a few extra bits was all it took.

Life is short. Take time to hug those babies, hold someone special's hand, and eat that sweet treat you've had your eye on. (Orange rolls, here I come!) Call a friend. You know, actually dial a number and speak into a phone. (Say whaaaat!?) Tell your parents thank you. And, for pete's sake, exhale. I tell you this as a way of also reminding myself. It's too easy to get caught up in the crazy. Breathe. It will be okay. The crazy can wait. How about I leave you with a sweet pic of Lulu I just snapped? Because babies sure are a wonderful piece of it all, and I kind of adore this one. ;)

Thanks for your visit!

"Uh uh uh ohhhh!" Even though her throwing everything out of her crib and onto the floor was in no way an accident. But I sure do love the way she almost grunts uh-oh at such times. And the more recent development of throwing her hands over her mouth as she says it only adds to the cute. ----> Lulu, 11 months

Make it Monochrome (and my Mixbook winner!)

Ever since I first learned I was pregnant with Lulu back in Jan. 2015, I started dreaming up nursery ideas. I just LOVE children's room decor and making rooms for my own babes is extra special! Part of making Lulu's room meant upgrading Maggie from a nursery to a big-girl space. *sob Not one room to design, but two?!! What a dream!

Today on Studio 5, a local lifestyle program here in Utah, I shared the outcome of Maggie's new space. In researching ideas, I fell head over heels for the monochrome look--a Scandinavian trend that is all about embracing the black and white.

There is also strong Australian influence. What can I say? Those across the pond from us in the states sure are a stylish and inspiring bunch.

So, for nearly two years now, I've been working and planning and dreaming and designing. Little by little, Maggie's room is coming together.

Some of the common elements you'll find in #monochromekids rooms include:

1. Teepees

You know I love my We R Memory Keepers teepee kit. Click here to learn more about how my teepee came together and learn about this fab kit.

2. Lighting

This room foundation warms up the stark white/black combo. Everything from string lights and lamps to marquees and nightlights are making these spaces cozy and cute!


* lamp: Layers: Beautiful Bedding @ Gardner Village

* cloud marque light: Fromage La Rue (awesome Australian company!)

* star marquee: Heidi Swapp (battery operated--yay!)

* kitty nightlight: Target (sadly, kitty appears to be sold out, but they have a cute bear and bunny)

***Sad Kitty Update: We were getting kitty out of my car last night after the segment and she sadly fell to the ground and broke. :*( If you happen to come across this cutie in the stores, please let me know. XO

***Happy Bunny Nightlight Update: The bunny! If you've watched my TV segment, you know I had a serious DUH moment, forgetting this cute bunny's name. Well, I'm happy to report, his name is Miffy. And I have a serious crush on him. Hope you do now, too. It gets even better. You can buy the Miffy nightlight on Amazon. Here's a link. You're welcome! ;)

3. Wall Art

I made this dream catcher by inserting a doily into an embroider hoop. I then stitched the wood veneer heart to the center and strung the feathers. All supplies from Michaels (except the beads, which I had on hand).

I made this shield using stiff felt sheets and felt letter stickers, all purchased at Michaels. The "Dream" is a wood piece that I spray painted black. It, too, is from Michaels.

Wall art collages are a big deal in the monochrome rooms. The variety of wall hangings are interesting and exciting. You'll find framed pieces, as well as out-of-the-frame ideas, such as shields (the shape of my "dream big" hanging), dream catchers, and even eyelashes (to name a few--there are SO MANY awesome ideas!).

4. Shelving

Not just any shelving, shaped shelving! House shelves, hexagons, teepees, and more are bringing the walls to life. They act as shadow boxes and hold delightful monochrome knickknacks. *swoon


* house shelf: Target

* bunny shelf: Michaels--a wood box that I painted

5. Banners and "Drippings"

I love that Brooke Walker, the host of Studio 5, referred to these as "drippings." That's so accurate and happy. The garlands, banners, and buntings delightful drips in monochrome rooms. The pre-made options I shared on the show are from My Mind's Eye.

6. Decorative Extras

* So much more goes into monochrome room design. Cool seating, stunning bedding, darling critters, eye-catching rugs, and awesome toys are just a few of the decorative extras that make these spaces special.


* toy bags: Tellkiddo

* alphabet pillow: purchased at Craft Lake City last year

* blanket: Target

* black & white floor cushion: Land of Nod

* chair: Amazon




Here are just a few of the MANY ideas on Pinterest that have inspired me. A special thanks to these talented Instagrammers for allowing me to share their work on TV (and here on my blog). These are definitely accounts worth following!






You can watch my segment here and see more of Maggie's room transformation on my Instagram account, where I frequently post pics of my projects. Thanks so much for your interest and support!

Mixbook Winner

I was so thrilled to read your many emails and see the blog comments in response to the Mixbook giveaway I hosted as part of my last Studio 5 TV segment. I'm thrilled to be here now, announcing my winner. Congratulations to Brenda Quam. You're my winner! Woot! Keep your eye on your email for more info from me on claiming your $50 Mixbook credit. Happy mixing! <3


Simple Summer Scrapping 2016 (and a $50 Mixbook Photo Book Giveaway!)

Hello and happy summer! We're almost through June *sob, which means you already have summer memories made. But the summer holiday season is also in full swing, which usually = busy. What have you got cookin' for the 4th?

So, we appear to have a challenge on our hands--more memories being made but less time to document them. No problemo! Today on Studio 5, a local TV program, I'm sharing five simple memory-keeping ideas to try. Any one of them will get those beautiful memories captured in record time.

Simple Scrapbooking Tip #1: Group Effort

Hosting a summer party? Take some of the work off your plate by creating a group book that all can add to. Like a guest book, this is a simple way to capture your story and also brings in many viewpoints, which is extra special. After all, there's no reason you should do all the work, even if that work is fun work.

I create a birthday book for Maggie each year. We love having them to flip through. It's fun watching Maggie's friends growing up with her through the photos we include from year to year.

Basic Supplies

1. An Album
You don't need much to make a guest book for an upcoming event. Any basic album or notebook will do. For this project, I've used the Spiral Bound Mixed Media Journal by Prima Marketing, which has a mix of white pages, kraft pages (think brown paper sack), and photo sleeves. It also has pockets on the inside front and back covers, which I love.

2. Pictures
If you know anything about me, you know my Fuji Instax Share Printer is a MUST for just about any scrapbooked project, whether I'm scrapping in my album, my planner, or in a book like this one. Sometimes I reach for my Instax Mini camera. Other times, I go for the Instax Share Printer.

Maggie's friends party had a rainbow theme, so I ordered this awesome rainbow film for the occasion. With this fab portable printer, I was able to print photos for our guests to take home before the party was even over. Nice! And the duplicates went into Maggie's book.

3. Something to Write With
I like to have a fun assortment of pens on hand so guests can have fun coloring and putting their unique stamps on their notes.

4. Washi Tape
Both decorative and functional, this pretty tape is perfect for adhering the photos to the pages. Note: I also keep an adhesive runner on hand for this purpose, just as a little reinforcement.

5. Stickers and/or Accents
As an optional extra, have a few fun doodads on hand. I loved adding the newest goodies from Fancy Pants Designs to my book.

Simple Scrapbooking Tip #2: Minimalism

Embrace the trend! Right now, many scrapbookers are going for minimal designs. Rather than a bunch of layers, pages are flatter and dressed up with pre-made accents. This makes scrapbooking quick. Yay for efficient trends!

I created this layout for the summer 2016 issue of Scrapbook & Cards Today magazine. (Download a free copy or order your issue here.) With only two sheets of paper and a few pre-made embellishments from Pink Paislee, I was able to easily dress up my photos.

Simple Scrapbooking Tip #3: Put it in a Pocket

This drop-and-go approach can't be beat. Simply use page protectors with designated pockets. fill those pockets photos, memorabilia, notes--anything that floats your creative boat.

Simple Scrapbooking Tip #4: Phone Booking (the layout edition)

Creating layouts right on your phone is easier than ever to do, and you don't even have to have a wifi connection to do it. With apps like Project Life, Rhonna Collage, and Pic Stitch, it's easy to make grid-style pages to then print (Persnickety Prints is a great option) and add to your album.

Sometimes I'll dress my printed pages up some post-print. I trimmed this example down and matted it on this cute paper from Fancy Pants Designs. I also added a bit of machine stitching to bring in more texture. The entire project probably took no more than 30 min. to complete. That has to be some kind of record for me. :) Here's the progression:

Simple Scrapbooking Tip #5: Phone Booking (the album edition)

Just as you can create single scrapbook pages on your phone, you can also create full (and gorgeous!) photo books. *Note: Wifi may be required.


For an effortless mini book option, consider Chatbooks, which create books directly from your Instagram account. I signed up once about a year ago (thanks for the lead, Nicole Larkin!) and have had books making my mailbox a little brighter ever since.


Mixbook = stylish! Their books are so well made and completely customizable. This means you aren't locked into specific page design or photo placement. You have the freedom to make the book all your own. Or not. It's all about doing what is more comfortable to you. And they're called MIXbook because you can create a book as a group, with contributors in unique locations each adding to the memories. Isn't that cool?

The new lay-flat design option is stunning! With it, you can seamlessly stretch a photo across two pages for real impact.


My friends at Mixbook want you to give it a try, so they've generously offered a coupon code, good for up to 50% off a book from now through July 7. Simply put in STUDIO50 at checkout to receive this screamin' deal. Thanks, Mixbook!


Now's your chance to order anything you want from Mixbook (up to $50) on the house! Simply leave me a comment here or email an entry to meghoeppner@gmail.com between now and July 7. From entires received, I'll randomly select a winner to try Mixbook for free! Sweet!

As Seen on TV

You can see all of my projects on Studio 5 today at 11:00 am (channel 5 in Utah), or you can watch the streaming version from anywhere in the world by clicking here. Once the segment is online, I'll be sure to include it here as well.

Enjoy making (and scrapping!) those wonderful summer memories!

Teepee Time with We R Memory Keepers (bonus project!)

One of the first things I did when I found out I was pregnant with both of my girls was start dreaming up ideas for their rooms. I LOVE decorating kid spaces (wouldn't that be a dream job?!) and couldn't wait to start personalizing special areas just for them. Of course, when I found out I was pregnant with Lulu, it meant twice the fun, as I was going to design her nursery AND update Maggie's nursery to a big girl room. So I set to pinning.

If you check my Pinterest Board - Maggie's Room Makeover ...

...you'll see much of two things monochrome (black and white) and teepees. For two years now, I've known I've wanted these two things to be focal points in her space. And I am thrilled that the addition of her new teepee makes the dream feel so complete. Isn't it an awesome feeling to finish a project?

Sources: Teepee, We R Memory Keepers; Large Frames and Rug, IKEA; Ceiling light, PB Teen; Star Marquee Light, Heidi Swapp; Cloud Marquee Light, Fromage la Rue; Quilt, Layers Beautiful Bedding; Blanket, Target; Floor Puff and Throw Pillow, Land of Nod; Chair, Amazon; Window Treatment, Z Gallary; Clock, Holly Brooke Jones.

Photos in Frames by (from left to right) Elisha Snow Photography and Maggie Holmes Design

I spent hours. And hours. AND hours on this teepee. But that's only because I couldn't stop myself. I would likely still be working on it if I didn't have a deadline to meet. But you certainly wouldn't HAVE to spend hours. The DIY Teepee Kit from We R Memory Keepers makes this project so easy, creative and fun!

The kit comes with foam stamps, decorative embellishments (banners, garlands, flags, beads, and more!), so you can simply add a few awesome handmade details and set it up, or you can completely customize. It's totally your call. I share 10 tips for customizing on We R's blog. Hop on over there for a look at how my teepee came together.

The look on Maggie's face when I called her up to see her birthday surprise! *love

But, before you go, here's a bonus project. It's a matching mini teepee for Maggie's little toys. She just LOVES to play with little characters and such, and she's always putting them under "tents" (tissues), so I knew I couldn't stop at a big tent for her when I could make a matching one for her friends.

To create this, I simply cut a triangle from a paper mache cone to make a door.

I then ironed on leftover fabric from her teepee project. But you could also decoupage paper or even just color the teepee with a marker.

Mags has already played and played with both teepees. Nice to know they pass the Kid Approval Test. ;)

This earned a high-five from MIss Mags. Excellent!

Oh, and Micks and Lulu approved, of course!

Thanks to We R for making me Super Mom today! This was a birthday surprise Maggie will remember forever.

And thank YOU for your interest. You'll find full details on my teepee here. If you end up posting one you've made, you'll have to let me know. I'd love to see how you make this cute kit your own!


Breast Cancer Campaign (Blogs for Boobies Auction)

"Breast cancer"--Two words that hit far too close to home for far too many. My mom is a breast cancer survivor, and witnessing her go through more than a year of care and treatments was one of the most difficult things I've experienced. I feel very blessed to be able to say "survivor" when telling her story. What I'd give to be able to say the same for a friend of mine. She lost her life to breast cancer earlier this year.

...She was a special person and is missed by many!

So when I was asked to participate in the Blogs 4 Boobies event with Skipping Stone Design again this year, I was happy to join in. I decided to make a card set that includes two cards, two envelopes, and a gift bag and tag.

I'm auctioning my cards off, which is kind of scary, but the goal is to bring in some money for the Susan G. Koman Foundation. 100% of the proceeds I raise will be donated! More on how to bid below.

How My Cards Came Together

To create the cards, I first painted the background using watercolor paint. I then added foil using the DecoFoil pen by Therm O web, which allowed me to hand-write "love" and the butterfly trail. Photographing foil is the pits. This is a shiny, pretty silver in real life. Wish it showed better. Sorry!

I used the Heartsong stamp set from Skipping Stones Design to stamp several butterflies.

I then cut out the butterflies and painted them a bit to better match my painted background.

I layered several butterflies together and sewed to create a popped up look. I purposefully left some of the thread to work as the antenna.

With a little wing fluffing, my cards were complete.

To top it all off, I made a little gift bag and thank-you tag to go with the set.

Free Stamps Included!

Here's a fun bonus! I'm going to include my stamp set with my cards. Yes, it was gently used to create these cards, but that's it. Otherwise, it's brand new (and so cute!). I thought it would be fun to give it to the winning bid so you can make more of this card style (if that's your kind of thang). But whether you win or not, you're going to want to do some shopping at Skipping Stones Designs. For every stamp set purchased between now and June 14, they're donating $2 to the Koman Foundation! Isn't that wonderful? You'll definitely want to check out their newest stamps, released today in honor of the celebration. They're amazing!

You'll definitely want to check out their newest stamps, released today in honor of the celebration. They're amazing! Here's a peek at one of the sets. So cute!

How to Bid on My Card Set (and stamp set)

I'd LOVE to send this set your way. If you feel so inclined to bid, this is a card auction (more on that below). I'll collect bids here. Skipping Stones Design is donating all money raised to the Susan G. Koman Foundation.

Hop On!

Here are the rest of the blogs participating in Part 1 of this fun hop today:

Connie Mercer

Ilina Crouse

Kelly Gettelfinger

Amy Sheffer

Deana Benson

Megan Hoeppner (so nice to have you here!)

Giovana Smith

Stephen Kropf

Jacquie Marie

Thanks, from my heart, for your support. Breast cancer, be gone!


TV Time: Paper Piecing

Here's a little behind-the-scenes look at how a Studio 5 TV segment comes together. I work primarily with Stephanie, who is one of the awesome producers over at the show. Sometimes segments come about my by pitching an idea. Other times, she sends suggestions my way. I like both approaches, but there's something extra fun about going with her ideas. Maybe it's the challenge of catching the vision of another. Maybe it's just that she has a cool eye for good ideas. Maybe I simply miss working in an office where I collaborate with others daily and love any chance I get to join forces. Whatever it may be, it's fun. And today's segment was one of those producer-provided times.

The idea: Paper Piecing

Yes, this look is back in the spotlight. It's certainly not a new concept, but there are ways to make it fresh and fun, which I talk about in detail on the show. Here are three of those approaches:

Piecing Play 1: Punched Shapes

Punching shapes and putting them together is a staple in the world of paper crafting. Here are a few ways you can breathe new life into this form of piecing.

1. Modern Motifs: Look for the icons and imagery that are currently on trend. I often look to children's clothing and decor for this task. That market is surprisingly trendy, and the motifs typically translate well to crafting. Especially piecing. And I'm often scrapbooking and crafting about children anyway, so it's an easy fit.

Some popular children's motifs at the moment: woodland creatures (bunnies, deer, foxes, owls, squirrels, and bears--oh my!), weather (clouds, lightening bolts, suns, rainbows, etc.), cats (YAY!), botanicals (flowers, cacti, succulents, palms, etc.), and superheros. Any of these would easily translate to pieced motifs.

2. Modern Patterns: To update your favorite piecing, look to modern prints and fresh paper patterns (foiled, geometrics, etc.)

3. Tone on Tone: Layer prints on themselves to give an unexpected look. The key is dimensional adhesive (foam squares, etc.), which offer some lift and make it easier to see the definition between the two items.


Piecing Play 2: Die Cut Shapes

Pre-made die cut shapes come in SO many shapes and sizes. They're awesome when it comes to piecing either or single motif or an entire scene.

I pieced a little scene at the bottom of this photo display. This entire look could easily translate to a scrapbook page, too. This is another reason piecing is a loved look in scrapbooking. It's relatively flat and will easily fit behind a page protector in an album. Nice!

I used the DIY Home set of die cut shapes from Pebbles to create this scene.

Piecing Play 3: Stamping

With the HUGE popularity of stamp/die combos, this look is all the rage. Stamp cute shapes and either hand cut or use a coordinating die to make the cutting quicker (depending on intricacy).

I used the Cupcake Collection stamp set from PaperTrey Ink to create this card.

Here are a couple more of my personal fav stamp/die combos.

* Bitty Butterflies from Papertrey Ink

* Happy Trails stamps and matching Lawn Cuts (dies)

Piecing Pieces

When it comes to piecing, you really only need three things: 1. paper (obviously), mirco-tipped scissors (great for bitty cuts), and dimensional adhesive (to offer some lift and depth).

What About You?

Have fun playing with your paper. If you share any combos online, I'd love it if you let me know (tag or leave a note here). I always enjoy seeing how ideas take new form. Which of these approaches is your favorite? Or maybe you have another much-loved piecing look? I'd love to learn about it!


DIY Paper Bunny Tutorial and Pocket Page Scrapbooking Fun (happy iNSD!)

I said a hip hop, the hippie, the hippie, to the hip, hip hop, you don't stop!

Happy (inter)National Scrapbook Day 2016!

If you've hopped on over here from the Scrapbook & Cards Today blog, odds are, it's a bunny tutorial you seek Today, I'm one of many hosting hourly posts there to celebrate our readers and the inspiring contributions they make to the pages of our magazine.

As part of my post, I said I'd share a quick tutorial for piecing together a paper bunny. Here's how you do it to it:

1. Punch two circles and a slightly larger scalloped oval.

2. Fold the edges of the scallops up.

3. Trim the circle down a bit if the scale feels off to you. (This is your bunny's head.)

4. Using the same circle punch you punched the circles from, punch one of the circles again to create an ear. Repeat to create a second ear.

5. Put the pieces together and add a tail. I used a rolled rosette I made from fabric, but an enamel dot or a pom pom would also work well.

6. Add Mr. Cottontail to a 2x3 paper (or whatever size works with your punch sizes). I wanted a pattern-on-pattern looks, so I used foam adhesive, which offers a little space between the patterns and helps define the rabbit.

7. For the whiskers, I took a 4" string and folded it in half. I then tied a knot at the folded end, trimmed the whiskers down, and tucked them beneath the bunny using the tip of my scissors.

I didn't add whiskers to Mrs. Cottontail. And her tail is a shiny pink enamel dot.

I'm finally getting some of our Easter memories scrapped (the ones I haven't already done on my phone), so these sweet buns are for an Easter scrapbook page, but you could just as easily put them on tags for baby gifts or in a frame for some cute (and simple!) nursery art!

For the rest of our Easter celebrating (we had much fun this year!), I did a little pocket scrapbooking to coordinate with my lead layout. I do this often when i have more photos that I don't want to exclude from our family albums but don't have the time to make layouts for all of them.

Mr. C hopped onto this page as well. I turned the tag into a flap for some hidden journaling. We lost our doggie shortly after this, so I wanted to touch on the significance of this being his last Easter with us and also Lulu's first. Hidden journaling was just the ticket.

I scored the tag across the top so it would easily flip up. I then added some Easter sequins (LOVE!) by Little Things from Lucy's Cards to the pocket and sewed the whole business shut using my sewing machine.

I love adding pocket companion pages to traditional layouts because I'm a story teller and often want more room for journaled details than my 12x12 pages allow. Pockets make it easy to drop a note in next to a photo for added info.

Here's the pair together, with the lead page being traditional and the following page (soon to be pageS) in pocket form.

And I made this one on my phone using the Project Life App. It's about our egg-dying adventures!

What is your favorite way to scrapbook? Maybe you don't scrapbook. That's okay. There's no time like iNSD to get started. ;) Happy day of celebrating and making, friends!


More About Sparkle Watercolor Gel Crayons (and card opinions needed)

I had a very last-minute surprise this weekend. Sadly, it wasn't without its disappointment. My childhood friend was supposed to be in town for the SNAP Conference. Unfortunately, she couldn't make it at the last minute. On a bright side, she gifted me her ticket. Wasn't that the nicest?!

With only a day's notice, I didn't have much time to prepare, so I printed the made the finest business cards (ghe-he-ta-o!) the morning of and brushed a stroke of watercolor paint across my name using my yummy watercolor gel crayons from Lulu's Boutique in Gardner Village.

Where to Buy

There was such interest in these at the show. At least half of those who saw my card asked about the paint because it has such a pretty shimmer. With that in mind, I thought I'd offer a link to where they can be purchased online if you aren't a Utah resident and able to shop at the adorable Lulu's Boutique (LOVE that store!). Using my new marketing skillz, I'm listing an affiliate link in case you want to make a purchase and support my small business as well. If not, no worries. <3

Watercolor Card Thoughts Needed

In similar news, I created a few cards over the weekend and would love your thoughts. They're encouragement cards for a few friends who could use a little love and light right now. Trying to decide which design I like the best. Do you have a favorite? I'd love your input and help!

Option 1: Sun with sky

Option 2: Sun without sky

Option 3: Sun with bitty hearts

Option 4: Heart and sun

Option 5: Sun with rainbow

Is there one style that stands out to you?

Speaking of help, thanks SO much for all of your kind words in response to my last post. I was absolutely overwhelmed by your comments, FB note and messages, emails, phone calls, and texts. I feel beyond loved and know that will make the blue rhythms easier. Thank you from my heart.

I painted bitty hearts on the inside.


rhythm & blues

I have Part 3 of my Trend series ready to rock (look at me all bloggy and business—what’s gotten into me?), but I couldn’t resist the urge to pause the regularly scheduled programming to get your thoughts on something. Or at least to voice mine. Sometimes talking it out, even when “talking” is typing in an empty house to a lifeless screen, can work wonders.

I’ve been blue. This past weekend, I was feeling quite low and quite unsupported in certain areas of my life. I told my sweet (and always supportive!) husband—or at least I tried to—and I got all teary. Certain things had lead up to these feelings, but they’re things I’ve encountered before, so I don’t know why they hit extra hard this particular weekend. Brings me to the title of the post.

Rhythm & Blues

Do you suppose it’s all just part of life’s rhythm? That these ups and downs, highs and lows, ebbs and flows, are simply cyclical? Natural? I ask, because I feel good today. Great, actually! In a 24-hour period, I was presented with three unique and very cool opportunities. Can’t argue with that kind of day.

But, digging down to a deeper level of self exploration (a sometimes spooky place to go, even with my flashlight), I wonder if I am always sad (chemically or something) and simply mask that by keeping myself busy and enjoying opportunities (jobs, social engagements, Dean Cain [more on that in a future post ;)], etc.). You know, riding those waves until they run out and the sad creeps back in. I hope not. I’ve never thought of myself as a particularly sad person, but things have been off, which leads me to think about patterns and wonder.

Am I only happy when I feel I’m succeeding and accepted outside of the family unit? And, if so, how ridiculously SAD and selfish is that? Life is about SO much more than the external. It’s about the internal first and foremost. I know I’m accepted and adored here. Even at my worst—and here is where I am my worst—I’m surrounded by the sweetest bunch of cheerleaders possible. THAT should be enough. That IS enough. But, somehow it also isn’t… sometimes.

In my Pity Party on Saturday, I asked Cor if he ever thought of me as being bipolar or something along those clinical lines. He said no but asked if I could be pregnant. He wasn't trying to dismiss my feelings or be a smartA (as my mom says). This is how I was during early pregnancy. Sad and weepy and emotional. So I guess it was a fair question. However, not entirely reassuring that he saw that in me now.

I’ve discussed this in a similar fashion on Facebook before (the responses always so nice), which leaves me wondering about the rhythm theory. If I’ve been in a similar situation before and now find myself here again, is it situational or behavioral? Or both?

Writing sometimes provides clarity. If I can get the thoughts out—clear some of the path—I can better differentiate and understand where the root of a problem is so I can make corrections. But I’m an extrovert. The dialogue helps. So I risk coming across as ungrateful/whiny/[insert other undesirable adjectives here] and make my writing public in the hopes of receiving such dialogue. The PR professional in me knows this probably isn’t my brightest move. But the need to feed the extrovert often wins out in that argument. (Anybody else now thinking about the episode of Seinfeld where different parts of Jerry’s anatomy are in a chess match against each other? It’s something like that, but it’s sound reasoning vs. emotion in my match. And my heart-on-my-sleeve mentality means reason often loses.)

Could my extroverted personality trait be part of the problem? I no longer get to “extrovert” nearly as much as I did for most of my life. I spend 90% of my time with a lovely couple of kids whom I love dearly. I choose to be home with them. I want to be home with them. But the daily conversations had using my best Goofy voice don’t really cut it when it comes to processing this kind of thing and clearing those tricky paths.

So, here I am. Worrying the bottom is about to fall out again. And wondering why it does. Is it simply cyclical (part of my unique rhythm) or do I need to do some serious soul searching and work to change my own path in areas where I continue to feel hurt? It seems ridiculous to stay in places or patterns that cause hurt (even when they also bring joy) and expect things to not hurt. It's the definition of insanity, right? Einstein or some fart smeller (as Cor would say) said that.

Life. It certainly has its rhythm. And I’ve certainly felt my blues. I don’t love that. I have too much to be thankful for and too much that genuinely makes my heart happy to have any reason to feel so unsupported and intentionally excluded. Especially since the areas where these feelings are triggered aren’t even that prominent, which leaves me all the more confused. I guess it’s a matter of the sad and the heavy being just that—HEAVY! They weigh more, so even when experienced in MUCH smaller doses by comparison, they still tip the scales from time to time. Does that make sense? And as selfish as this will likely sound, I try too hard and do too much to continue taking the tips. Nobody should knowingly keep themselves in positions of tip. Life is too short and we’re all too valuable for that.

Yeah… so… no natural or easy end here. But I will say that I also adore the rhythm for the highs itbrings. That’s one wonderful wave to ride and I think it all comes down to finding ways to shift my current so the undercurrent reaches me less often. Even if that means giving up things or people I value… But if you know me at all, you know I dislike change. It can be hard and uncomfortable. I need much strength to walk into those feelings knowingly. Sigh...

Thanks for reading. If you’ve made it this far, know that I sure appreciate it. And you. I’m not sure what this extreme extrovert would do without my screen friends. BTW, absolutely no need to actually answer my many questions. I’m asking myself more than anything. But if this happens to trigger something that you’ve experienced and you have some input, you bet I’d love to read it.

Love & Light!

Three Trends in Paper Crafting, Part 2 (Watercolor)

In my last post, I shared three trends that I discussed on the TV show Studio 5 this month (watch segment here). Those trends: watercolor, foil, and plaid. Such a fun bunch of looks on the scene right now!

On the set of Studio 5, just after sharing this bunch of trendy fun on TV. Why I decided to hunch over in this odd fashion, I do not know. ;)

Well, I'm back to share a couple of projects I created from the watercolor trend. I used the Just Add Watercolor line from Julie Comstock of Cosmo Cricket to create a home decor item.

Like the name of this product line suggests, all i had to do was add watercolor to get this cool effect. The sheet was already die cut in this pretty way, with the resist areas (embossed areas that won't take color) and foil already added. I used a combination of watercolor crayons from Lulu's Boutique in Gardner Village and the awesome Swatch Sticks, also from Cosmo Cricket, to color my piece. (More on both products below.)

I love quick gift ideas, and this Just Add Watercolor Paper Cuts Deck is just the ticket! Buy a few inexpensive frames (thanks, IKEA), and you've got gifts for friends, Mom, coworkers, and more ready to rock! Here are the cuts that come in the set. You also get gold foil sheets and white cardstock sheets included, so you can take your pick on how you want to back your colored piece.

Image Credit: Cosmo Cricket

I also had fun playing with the Resist Pen from the Just Add Watercolor Cosmo Cricket line. It's a clear ink that, when dry, resists the watercolor, making it an excellent masking/resist option when you want a DIY look.

Image Credit: Cosmo Cricket

Here are a couple of tags I designed with this pen.

Watercolor Tools

I am slightly obsessed with watercolor mediums. I have several different paint options, including a traditional set of paints, watercolor pencils from Stampin' Up!, watercolor crayons from various companies, and now, Swatch Sticks from Cosmo Cricket. Here's a little about what I like about each of my options:

Traditional Watercolor Paint

* Easy to blend colors
* Light weight and thin case
* Many color options

* A bit fragile--you wouldn't want to drop them or you risk cracking the paint
* Bigger (not as travel friendly, but the case is thin [as mentioned above], which helps


Watercolor Crayons

* Easy to lift color directly from crayon using water brush (I like the Aqua Painters from Stampin' Up!)
* Can also color directly on paper and then blend
* Pretty portable

* Can also be fragile, but the ones shown here are pretty durable with their hard plastic case
* Not as easy to blend
* Can create harsh lines when used directly on paper (vs. pulling color from crayon using brush)

These particular crayons create a glittered finish, which is so pretty. I wish my camera would have picked it up better. I purchased these at Lulu's Boutique in Gardner Village.

These crayons were a gift from the Easter Bunny, so I tried them out in my sketch book. I wish the shimmer showed up here. It's so sparkly and pretty IRL.

Watercolor Pencils

* Can draw defined, fine lines and then blend
* Great for detail work
* Nice when practicing lettering or when you want smaller letters

* Fragile (but you can always sharpen the tips if they break)
* Not as easy to blend

Swatch Sticks

* Small and very travel friendly (can you tell I like to craft on the go?)
* Dual tips, so each stick has two colors in one
* Easy to store
* Saturated color
* Easy to pull color directly from tip using water brush
* Can be applied directly to project for coloring
* Blend beautifully

* Lids sometimes come off (store them in a sandwich bag when traveling)
* Some of the darker colors didn't blend as well when applied directly to paper, but lifting the color from the stick worked like a charm

These are just a few of my go-tos. I also love the various pigment powders, like the Pixie Paints from Cosmo Cricket (bottle shown above) and the Color Bursts from Ken Oliver. (You can watch my Studio 5 segment showing the Color Bursts here.) And Gelatos pigment sticks by Faber Castell are always a fun choice.

What is your favorite way to watercolor? I always love hearing of new ideas or approaches. The ones I've listed here are my current faves, but there are so many fantastic options available. I'm all for hearing how you create this soft look.