Monochromatic Madness with Whisker Graphics: A layout & a card

I've gone mad, I tell ya! [said in my best mad-scientist voice] Okay, perhaps I haven't completely lost it, but I am pretty coo-coo for color. Especially the various trends on the crafting scene that incorporate painting. So when the awesome loves at Whisker Graphics asked me to select a few products to work with here on the ole blog, I was instantly drawn to these gorgeous tags!

They were just the right size for putting my new Instax Share Printer to work on a layout. Here's how my page began:

Do It To It: The Photos
Knowing I wanted to document a few photos I snapped of Mags in front of a cool rainbow wall downtown, I added those pics to my photo's camera roll and printed them to my Instax Share Printer using the free Instax app. I'll have to go into this in more detail in another post. But I can tell you this printer rocks my socks!

The Polaroid-style film fits perfectly on the large tags, and my prints were ready in minutes!

Do It To It: The Background
For the background, I grabbed my Watercolor Wonder Crayons from Stampin' Up! and set to work on creating my own colorful cardstock, using the colors of the tags as my inspiration.

First, I colored four columns—no fancy business here, just some shloppy scribbles will do.

Then I took my brush, some water, and set to blending the crayons, creating a soft, watercolored backdrop for my tags.

Once things were dry, I trimmed the 12x12 down to 11x11 (approximately) and matted it to heavy-weight gold cardstock, using my sewing machine. The reason being, the paper curls a bit when you watercolor, and anchoring it to heavy-weight cardstock keeps it flat and secure.

Next, I applied a bit of spray ink to the page for a splattered effect. I did my best to stick with the monochromatic-ness of it all, but the ink tends to wander. I'll be honest, I'm not in love with this detail and would probably change it if it were a simple fix, but I'm not about to start the page over now when I only sort of dislike. KWIM?

Do It To It: The Title
Inspired by the first line in John Mayer's song, "Daughters," I reached for my spray ink again to write "I know a girl." Like this idea, but the yellow tone-on-tone proves a bit tricky to read. Especially in the photo. It's not so bad here at home.

For "She puts the color," I used a large white shipping tag from Whisker Graphics.

I actually wrote "color" with my Watercolor Wonder Crayons and used a water brush to blend the letters—a very cool way to create a watercolored brush script. You should try. Just go easy on the water and don't be afraid to apply more crayon color as needed.

I completed the line—"inside of my world"—by adding Studio Calico stickers to the tags holding my stickers.

Is the song stuck in your head now? It's been in mine for days. If not, let's see if I can help you out. ;)

Do It To It: The Journaling
Wanting to tell the full story of my lovely rainbow-wall I find in downtown Salt Lake City, I knew I'd need ample page space, but I didn't want to disrupt the simplicity of the design, so I incorporated hidden journaling beneath the tags.

It's an easy approach. Simply score the tops of the tags and stitch above the score line using a sewing machine to adhere them to your background.

Now the tags work as flaps!

And I selected pens that matched the colors of my columns to keep the monochromatic feel going. (Except for the yellow. Learned from my title that yellow-on-yellow isn't ideal, so I went with a tan Sharpie.)

There you have it. This page was a fun afternoon art project, and I love the way the Whisker Graphic Tags work to both mat my photos and house my journaling. Thanks for that, WG!

Whew! That looks like more work than it is. Promise. I just like to really break things down for sake of explanation. I actually completed this page in under an hour, which is a massive record for me. I hope you'll give it a try. Or at least aspects of it. Especially those pretty Whisker Graphics tags. Thanks for sending them.

Birthday Card Quickie
I could seriously play with Whisker Graphics goodies all day. (If only time were more accommodating), so I put together one more little project. This time, using these amazing bitty treat bags.

Image credit: Whisker Graphics

It's a little flip, interactive birthday card. It's for a sweet two-year-old, so I wanted to make it colorful and fun. Enter: doodling!

For her name on the front, I simply used the brush-script approach I've so enjoyed these days. For the inside pages, I turned to my awesome Sharpie assortment. Gotta love da Sharpies!

Creating the pages is as easy as stacking the bitty bags evenly on top of one another and sewing along the left (closed) edge. I used a zigzag stitch for extra reinforcement.

I had the idea of tucking a Whisker Graphics tag (large) into each pocket but found I didn't need to after doodling on each bag front, so I saved that surprise for the last pocket, where I placed a little love note.

I'm definitely going to take this card approach again soon, as I can see it being an awesome gift-card holder, money holder, etc. And it was so super easy and fun to make. What a treat!

Thank YOU for stopping in today! And thanks to Whisker Graphics for inviting me to be part of their May fun. Between my Mother's Day card and these projects, I've thoroughly enjoyed myself. Your goodies rule!


Quick Follow-up Question: I'm currently preparing an interactive card class (so fun!). Tell me, would you make a card out of treat bags like this (and this)? Your feedback on my last post was SO helpful (thank you!) that I thought I'd seek it here as well. Many thanks!

Onesie... twosie... threesie...

Monthly onsies... a project I've had in mind since before my dear Mags arrived. I thought they'd be a cute way to track her growth during her first year. Alas, I didn't complete them until month two of her sweet life, which means onesie one is out of the picture. But, better late than never, I suppose.

Here's the plan: I'll sit her in her cute rocker wearing the onesie that coincides with her current month of age and snap a picture. Lambie will join her to help illustrate her growth. 

How the onesies came together:

Step 1: Purchase onesies for months 1 (or two, in my case) through 12, wash them, and iron them.

Step 2: Select fabric for your numbers and iron fusible webbing (stiffener) to the back of each piece. This is a two-sided iron-on material that will allow you to die-cut your numbers and iron them to the onesies. I used Ultrahold Heat-n-Bond by Therm O Web.  

Step 3: Use a die-cutting machine to cut your numbers. I used the Fabrique by Making Memories. Note: If you don't have a die-cutting machine, you can use stencils to trace numbers and cut them out, or you can simply freehand cut them out. It's up to you!

I cut four of each number so I can make extra sets to give as gifts. 

Step 4: Iron the numbers on the onesies. 

Step 5: Take your photos onesie... errr, once a month. ;) 

Since I was a slacker and missed month one, I'm starting with month 2. (How can my baby girl be two months old already?)

You'd think the photo taking would be the easy part. Yeah, not so much. Here are just a few of the MANY outtakes. 
When ever there's a camera out, Jack has to make an appearance.

Reese (dog speak for "cheese")



Whew! This picture-taking business is hard work.


BTW, I'm thinking about selling these onesie sets. If you're interested in purchasing a set, please e-mail me at M2E2G at I'm happy to use colors that work for your needs, and I can do sets for boys, girls, or I can keep 'em gender neutral. Just let me know. :)

The Name Game: Nursery Decor

Foolish me. I thought maternity would leave me with all this free time to create. Umm... not so much. I've pretty much spent every free minute of this happy time holding my sweet girl. BUT, I have managed to squeeze in a few crafts, including decor for Miss Maggie's room.

As soon as I saw these frames and letters from BasicGrey, I knew I had to have them for Mag's nursery. I filled them with fabric—the same fabric I used on the banners I made for her special space.

If you like this look, you can create it in a few simple steps:

1. Select your frames, letters and fabric. Iron the fabric.
2. I used spray adhesive to attach the letter negatives to the fabric.
3. Smooth out any air bubbles. (BTW, is it me or does my hand look VERY freaky in this photo? It bugs. Like Penguin's flipper or something. Yuck!)
4. I backed my fabric with white cardstock to make the fabric pop more than it would if I had just framed it without a backing.
5. Frame the fabric-backed letter.

You'll have to excuse the reflection. Shooting glass with a cell phone doesn't make for the best shot. 
These letters are actually two projects in one, as you can use the negative shape (above), as well as the positive shape (the letter you punch out), which is what I did for the M.

Here's a closer look at each letter. I adore the splash of color this adds to Maggie's room. And she seems to dig it... well, as much as a two-month-old can dig wall art. :)

More baby crafts to come soon. Until then, I hope this one brings a smile to your face. Thanks for stopping by.


Eight Things at 38 Weeks

From the looks of my ever growing belly, my baby girl’s arrival is just around the corner. The end of this miraculous stage is fast approaching. Of course, the thing I look forward to the most is meeting this little person who has been keeping me company for the better part of the year. What a moment that will be!
There are a few other things that I’m looking forward to. Nothing that compares to meeting my babe, but things. In honor of the 38 week milestone, here are just eight of those things:
1. Wearing shoes other than flip flops. Right now, my swollen feet won’t fit into anything else. Good thing warm weather is here.

2. Drinking a Red Bull. Oh, how I miss my wings. 

3. Bending over to pick things up without moaning and groaning. 

4. Walking without a waddle. 

5. Sleeping through the night without having my bladder wake me several times. Of course, that will likely be replaced with a babe waking me, but that’s A-okay with me. 

6. Drinking the occasional cocktail with dinner. Mmmm...

7. Wearing something other than the six-ish outfits I currently have available to me. 

8. Fully embracing Cory again. Bring on the bear hugs! 


Plus Size Model (and her cute hubby)

A few weeks ago, the talented Elisha Snow posted on Facebook about a beautiful, blossom-filled cherry orchard by her house, saying she would do photo shoots there if anyone was interested. I had been thinking a bit about a maternity shoot and I love Elisha's work, so I jumped at the chance. I'm happy to say that my sweet husband played along without the slightest grumble. How'd I ever get so lucky?

Here are just a few of the lovely shots Elisha took, both in her studio and out with the blooming cherry trees. For more on her work, be sure to check out her website.

Thanks so much, Elisha! You do beautiful work and these are photos we'll treasure forever! 


Respect for Regret?

Regret. It should be a four-letter word. Here it is, the wee hours of the morning, and my mind has wandered to regrets. 
I would love to say I’ve lived a regret-free life, but this just isn’t the case. Like so many, I have things I’d change if I could do them over again. Those things include:
I regret...
...working too much. I've allowed my life to be out of balance for years--this is time I won’t get back.
...going years without cleaning/organizing my house on a regular basis. (Weekly? Daily?) No wonder I’m currently in the cluttered state I’m in.
...spending the majority of my life thinking I was F-A-T when I actually had a cute little figure for many years that went unappreciated. 
...not smooching Brent Lingwall that night in the hammock. We were in jr high. I was young and shy, but I still should have planted one on him and let him know how I felt about him at that age. Did he ever know?
...not blogging more. I have so many projects and ideas to share, but I never find the time/energy to share them. Goes back to that work/life balance thing, I suppose. 

...losing track of Brandi Skinner. She was one of my dearest friends growing up. We ended up on different paths in life and I don’t know what happened to her after high school. I miss her and hope she’s well. 
...following all of the rules. Yes, I was and still am an avid rule follower. There are times when this is good, but there are also times when it’s nice to let lose a little. 
...the years I spent allowing doctors to tell me I was fine when I knew I wasn’t. Oh, how the quality of my life could have improved if I had only demanded more answers. 
...checking out for much of my twenties. The later half of this decade proved extra difficult, and I checked out a bit in order to cope. What did I miss out on in that time?
...not sending out birthday cards. So many special days come and go and I don’t get cards made and sent. A text message is NOT equivalent to a card. the same boy for almost my entire high school life. Don’t get me wrong; he was a wonderful boy and I’m glad we dated, but no high schooler should limit their full three-year experience in this way. It wasn’t the best thing for either one of us. 
...not spending enough time with my family. Sure, I see them on special occasions, but I want to see them on the not-so-special ones as well. More game nights. More trips for ice cream. That sort of thing. 
...thinking I could tan as a kid. I spent far too many hours laying out, only to burn my whiter-than-white skin to a crisp. Sun spots and wrinkles are starting to appear now. I hope they’re the worst of the damage that will come from this stupidity.

...worrying too much. I spend a great deal of time worrying about things beyond my control. I can't help it and I know it does me no good, but I don't know how to turn it off.  
...being awake and writing this post at 4:00 AM when I should be keeping an appointment with the sandman. I KNOW I’ll regret this in a few hours when I’m struggling to keep my eyes open at work. 
I could go on, but you get the idea. I have regrets. 
What’s my point? Well, I wonder if we shouldn’t learn to respect our regrets. Appreciate what they have to offer us by way of living a better life going forward. I’m 31. If I learn from this list, perhaps my list at 61 will only grow by half. I’m realistic enough to know I’ll never live an entirely regret-free life, but I can minimize the list by paying attention to what’s already on it and working to avoid the same pitfalls in the future.
I’ll conclude this odd rambling session with what led me to this thought process to begin with. I was lying in the dark, a bit uncomfortable and unable to sleep, with one hand wrapped around Cory’s and the other wrapped around my protruding belly. In that quiet moment, I was blissfully happy. The two loves of my life in my hands. That got me to thinking about the things that got me to this point. Naturally, the regrets and poor decisions, both big and small, were part of that journey to this moment. 
I suppose this only further supports my thinking that regrets aren’t all bad. If they helped get me to this quiet, peaceful point of existence, then I’ll take every last one of them. 

The Homestretch, AKA the Third Trimester

Cory and I went to the doc early this AM for an ultrasound. Being high risk, we were there to check on the babe's growth. Great news! She's right on track at a whoppin' 2 lbs. 12 oz.

I know these pics will mean next to nothing to you--sonograms aren't much to look at--but we LOVE them, so I just had to share.

Look at this adorable little foot. Actually, this is a shot of both of her feet. They're crossed and looking cute!

Here's a shot of her pretty face. Sure, it looks a little Skeletor-ish with her bones showing, but it's perfection to me. :)

And, while this shot isn't much to see, it's absolutely my favorite. You see, it's her healthy heartbeat. That's what those lines are across the bottom. 145 beats per minute, which is just where she should be. There's nothing more calming in the world than hearing that sound. In fact, I always catch myself holding my breath at these appointments until that music fills my ears.

This is week 28, which means I'm officially in the third trimester. I can't believe we've come this far. I still have SO much to do. Here's just a glimpse at what's left on our to-do list:

* Sign up for birthing classes--still deciding between the hypnobirthing and traditional classes
* Everything for the nursery--well, we have a crib, but that's it. I don't even know what colors I'm doing. Yipe!
* Register
* Wash and hang all of the sweet little outfits I have.
* Replace all of our puppy-stained carpet with a more sanitary option.

Yowza! I hope our little squirt stays put for the full three months remaining. There's much to do before she gets here. In the meantime, I sure enjoy seeing her on the ultrasound screen. What a wild and wonderful experience that is!


Baby Fashion Show

Why wait for Fashion Week or the next season of Project Runway for your fashion-show fix? I’ve got your front-row seat to the cutest show in town. Well, I’m admittedly a bit bias, but I think you’ll enjoy these little numbers. They're a few of the baby things I’ve purchased since finding out I’m having a girl.  
Now, I know it may seem odd to photograph clothes, but I’m a scrapbooker, and that’s what we do. We photograph life’s details so that we can transform them into documented memories. Or at least into happy blog posts. 
With that, dim the lights. This cat walk is about to get ultra cute! 
Outfit #1: The Bear Hat
Well, this isn't exactly an "outfit," but it is one of my favorites. You see, I call Cory "Bear," and this little girl is our baby bear, so a baby bear hat is perfection. What is it about ears on hats that makes 'em so cute? Plus, the fuzz around the mouth is so soft. 

Outfit Info
Size: 18-36 mo.
Purchased at: Naartjie

Outfit #2: Corduroy Overalls 
This outfit is tied for "favorite." I wish the photo did it justice. That you could reach out and touch it. It's so soft. And it reminds me of an outfit my mom bought for me when I was young, so there's that sentimental attachment that means so much. 

Outfit Info
Size: 6-12 mo.
Purchased at: Janie and Jack

Outfit #3: Tiny Summer Suit
This sweet summer ensemble is extra special because it came from a friend. She went out and purchased it (and several other darling things) for me the day she heard I was having a girl. Isn't that nice? It's going to be just right come fireworks time!

Outfit Info
Size: 0-3 Months
Purchased at: Gymboree

Outfit #4: Birdie Jumper
I love a good bargain, and this was part of a fun Tuesday's Treasure promotion that the store has, where a couple of surprise full-price items get marked down 40% every Tuesday, for that day only. Yeah, I pretty much have a standing appointment with that shop every Tues. for the next few years. :)

Outfit Info
Size: 3-6 mo.
Purchased at: Naartjie

Outfit #5: Patchwork Pink Ensemble
This was the second Tuesday's Treasure purchase I made. I adore how the shirt is made up of a patchwork of different prints. And the ruffles on the pants are so sweet!

Outfit Info
Size: 3-6 mo.
Purchased at: Naartjie

Outfit #6: Tea Time Onesie
I found this on my first trip to Baby Gap, and what a find! The little tea cup is appliquéd fabric, and the design has a soft watercolor look to it. 

Outfit Info
Size: 12-18 mo.
Purchased at: Baby Gap

Outfit #7: Bunny Bidnaz
This one had me at the striped pants and tulle trim. Then I saw the matching shoes with the button eyes and it was all over. 

Outfit Info
Size: 3-6 mo.
Purchased at: Naartjie

Outfit #8: Sweater Suit
You may recognize this darling ensemble from an earlier post. As that post describes, it holds a very special place in my heart, and I can't wait to take a picture of my babe in it someday so that I can scrapbook that story. 

Outfit Info
Size: 3-6 mo.

If you think these are cute now, just wait until you see how they look with a baby in them. I can’t wait. When those days finally come, I’ll be sure to take some photographic evidence to share. ;) In the meantime, thanks for humoring me with this post. I know it’s a bit silly to post about baby clothes, but these sweet ensemebles make me smile, and I hope at least one of them managed to do the same for you. 

Bitty Outfit, Big Step

After losing our first baby at 10 weeks, I entered into this pregnancy leery, to say the least. In an effort to protect my heart from experiencing the unimaginable pain that comes from such a loss again, I didn’t allow myself to get caught up in the baby excitement. I told the friends and family who knew I was expecting that I didn’t want to discuss being pregnant, and I basically went about my business as if I weren’t... mentally, that is. 
This was an easy approach, as Cory felt the exact same way. We didn’t decide on this “plan” together. It was just how we both reacted, in an effort to protect our hearts from the possible ache that we didn’t know if we could face again.
I know it sounds... well, harsh, I guess, but we felt a second pregnancy was a great gamble that would either pay off or break us. 
Things started to change around week 16. We were still scared and worried that things weren’t going to work out, but a small glimmer of hope that they would work out started to grow. We heard a healthy heartbeat and had seen our sweet babe on an ultrasound several times. Plus, we had the confidence of our doctor, who felt things were proceeding as they should. 
Could this pregnancy really turn into a child? Our child? 
Then I saw this outfit -- a sweet sweater suit -- and I was in love. I didn’t know if I was having a boy or a girl at the time, but I thought this little number would work for either. And it was on sale! 

So I... 


...made the purchase.
This may sound silly, but this was a HUGE step for me. It meant acknowledging the fact that I was expecting a baby. A little person who would actually wear this adorable attire someday. It made everything feel... real. 
This was a turning point. 
The act of buying this one little outfit changed everything. It took me from just experience sickness and a changing body to being an expectant mother. It made things feel real. And wonderful!
Today, at 22 weeks, I’m still terrified everyday. Terrified something will go wrong. Terrified I’ll make a mistake. Eat the wrong food. Lift the wrong box. Take the wrong trip. Stress too much. Do something to jeopardize our child. But I’m also exhilarated. We’re going to be parents, which brings a feeling of excitement I can’t begin to explain or replace with anything I've experienced before. The hope I feel doesn’t eliminate the fear, but it certainly counters it and has me in a place where I feel I can actually enjoy this time in my life instead of fear it. Finally. 
And it all started with this one little outfit. An outfit I just happened upon in a local gift shop. It just goes to show ya that small blessings really can be found around any corner.  And I’m so thankful I happened around the right corner at the right time.