Saturday, August 23, 2014


Loving this quote and illustrations from Modcloth and trying to figure out how to incorporate it into my Project Life album.

Listening to the new album from Shovels and Rope on NPR's First Listen (only available for a couple more days before the album releases on the 26th).

Reading #GIRLBOSS and thinking it might be the best book I've read all year. It's brutally honest and inspiring in a very realistic way (as opposed to the books that just spout inspiring phrases and leave you without any way of using that inspiration to promote action). 

Missing this blog and wishing I could find the room in my schedule to spend more time here...(sad face).

Running...yeah, that's right.! I started interval training two weeks ago. Believe me, I needed to do something, and at the time this seemed like the best option. Here's hoping I actually keep it up.

Wanting to spend more time crafting and seriously needing a trip to Ikea for organizational supplies. I moved my craft room a couple months back and everything is chaos. Must purchase Kallax soon!

Looking forward to this weekend's festivities, which include a house concert with our good friends and favorite local band Brandon Whyde and The Devil's Keep, a stop at the Gluten Free Allergy Fest, and a trip to the outlet mall for some retail therapy. 

And finally...

...hoping you have a fun and inspiring weekend as well!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Project Life 2014 Week 4

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that I recently purchased yet another Project Life core kit. Honestly, I needed it like I need a hole in the head, but I just couldn't resist. I had a coupon.

And in my defense, I did put it to use pretty much immediately...

I'm oh-so-slowly working my way through January of 2014. Most of the photos I had for week 4 were taken and night, and were therefore, very dark. The pastels in the Dear Lizzy kit did a great job of keeping the spread from looking too heavy and dark.

Overall, the week was pretty uneventful. I didn't have many photos, and somehow didn't manage to save a single piece of ephemera from our week. Very strange for me. All of this adds up to lots of journaling and filler cards. Lucky for me, the kit has plenty of both.

I found that the kit paired really nicely with the Hey Girl! line from BasicGrey, so I used a few bits and pieces from that collection. I also included some of the Dear Lizzy embellishments from 5th & Frolic and Lucky Charm. You can find a detailed list of all the products I used below.

By the way, I didn't even make a dent in the core kit. You get so many cards in these kits! I'm seriously thinking about divvying up some of the cards and sharing or maybe swapping. Anyone interested?

Products Used:

Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic Project Life Core Kit (available exclusively at Michael's stores)

Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic Accent and Phrase Stickers (no longer available - see similar)

Dear Lizzy Polka Dot Party RSVP Thickers

Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm Multi Trinket Thicker Phrases (no longer available - see similar)

Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm Roller Date Stamp

BasicGrey Hey Girl! Die Cuts and Transparencies

BasicGrey Hello Label Stickers

BasicGrey Basics Candy Buttons in Red & Pink

Studio Calico Sundrifter Goodness Aqua Ombre Thickers

Pebbles Basics Washi Tape in Begonia (no longer available - see similar)

Teresa Collins She Said Enamel Dots (no longer available - see similar)

Prima Marketing Delight Sugardots

Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher

Becky Higgins Design A Photo Pocket Pages

Monday, March 10, 2014

Big News!

I've got big news! You may have noticed a small "congratulations" note on Wednesday's post, which was the tiniest of tiny sneak peeks. Well, it's official now, so I can finally share with all of you - I got a full-time job!!

I know that this may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but for me it's been a loooong time coming. I haven't been officially employed since December of 2008 ...yeah, that's over 5 years! Don't get me wrong; I haven't been sitting at home trolling job sites that entire time. Part of it was spent in grad school. And part of it was spent developing and starting my own business, Kinship Genealogy. But at no time during the last five years have I had a steady paycheck or benefits.

Needless to say, I am very excited. I'm also more than a little bit scared. Like I said, it's been a long time, and it's going to be a huge adjustment. But it's a change that I need so very badly.

And while this position isn't exactly my dream job, it is a step in the right direction, a step that will hopefully put me on the path to that dream job.

So please forgive me if things are a little chaotic around here while I adjust to my new life. I'm going to do my very best to stick with my blogging schedule, but I'm sure there will be times that it just doesn't happen. I apologize in advance.

And if you have any advice for someone getting back into the workforce after a long hiatus, I'm all ears!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Five on Friday

I'm switching it up a bit for this week's Five on Friday. Today I'm sharing my top 5 of my favorite blogs to turn to for paper-crafting inspiration. It was actually really hard for me to narrow this list down to just 5. I literally have hundreds of blogs in my RSS reader (I use Feedly). But these are the 5 I visit most often. These are the 5 from whom I anxiously await new posts. Maybe you already know them; maybe they're entirely new to you. Either way I hope you glean some bit of inspiration from them today.

In no particular order:

1. The Scrappy Jedi - Melissa Stinson

Melissa consistently provides her readers with ample inspiration for Project Life spreads, traditional layouts, and craft room organization. I love watching her process videos and am a little sad that she has stopped making them. She's also self-proclaimed geek girl, so she automatically get my approval. :)

2. Enjoy It - Elise Blaha Cripe

I've been reading Elise's blog for longer than any other on this list, about 7 years. In that time, I have never been disappointed when I click on a new post. She is one of the most innovative and inspiring bloggers out there in my opinion. I love her amateur photography, her ever-changing shop, her mini-books, and her home decor sense. Her blog continues to be a constant source of inspiration for me, and I can't wait to see what she does next!

3. Amy Tangerine - Amy Tan

If you know me at all, then you know that Amy Tan had to make this list. Who doesn't love Amy?! Each time she creates a new collection for American Crafts, it's immediately my new favorite. (I may or may not being hoarding several of them.) I love seeing her Project Life spreads; she definitely has a very unique style and always inspires me to include more ephemera from our lives. I love that I can look at a layout or spread and know immediately that it was created by her. She has a very clear sense of style, and she's pretty much a fountain of creativity - it just spews out of her! So yeah, I kinda love her blog.
(Print by Lisa Congdon, source)

4. Hello Forever - Marcy Penner

Marcy's projects always feel like a breath of fresh air to me. I admire how light and sparse her style can be, while at the same time incorporating lots of photos and embellishments. Even after watching every video she's made, I'm not sure how she does it. She is the originator of the "Workspace Wednesday" posts, which I enjoy immensely and hope to participate in once I have an actual workspace. Her Project Life spreads have inspired me to add white borders to my photos...well, at least I'm attempting to.

5. Dear Lizzy - Elizabeth Kartchner

I started reading Dear Lizzy after falling in love with the Dear Lizzy collections from American Crafts. Then I somehow forgot about it, and only recently added it to my RSS reader. All I can say is there is so much beauty on this blog! It's definitely more than a paper crafting blog, though there is plenty of crafty inspiration. I find myself turning to Dear Lizzy for the artful way she presents her creations.

What are your favorite blogs for all things paper-related? I'd love to hear where you go for inspiration!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Project Life 2013 Week 8

In order to keep myself motivated to both catch up with this year's Project Life album and finish (and post) last year's album, I've decided to post two spreads per week. I've kind of been doing this already, sporadically, but now I'm giving it some structure. Tuesdays will be the day I post my most recent 2014 spread, and Thursdays (hereafter known as Throwback Thursdays) will be the day I post a spread from my 2013 album...or possibly even an earlier album. So, without further ado...

This week's Throwback Thursday Project Life spread is from just over one year ago: Week 8 of 2013. And it's a big one.

The first part of the week, was fairly normal. Monday was my first rehearsal for Little Shop of Horrors (I played Audrey in our local community theater's production). Wednesday we finalized the refinance of our house (making our monthly payment significantly lower - woohoo!). 

Then, Wednesday afternoon we flew to Florida for our annual trip to visit J's grandparents. They are snowbirds who winter in a little town just southeast of Orlando. It's always a great time, and it's a pretty inexpensive vacation for us, since we stay with them for most of the trip.

I actually didn't have a single picture from the part of the week we spent at home, so I used several filler cards and plenty of journaling to fill up the first page of the spread. The lack of pictures on this side was balanced by using a single, 12x12 picture for the other side of the spread. This picture also serves as a sort of introduction to the Florida portion of the week.

Between the two, I added a basic 8.5x11 insert with the Little Shop rehearsal schedule. I wanted to save this bit of ephemera to remind myself how time-consuming the production was, and how it basically dominated my life for the next two months...but it was totally worth it!

The color schemes for the two portions of the week are strikingly different, which seemed fitting for the strikingly different climates. For this first part, I used a lot of pastel and neutral colors.

But for the time spent in Florida I used more vibrant and bright colors. For some reason, Florida just screams neon to me. :)

Our first day there was fairly short, after the flight, getting our rental car, and driving to his grandparents' neighborhood. But we did get to go to Sonny's for supper, which is always a highlight for me! They have amazing BBQ and an impressive gluten-free menu. And I was absolutely starving after finding a serious lack of gluten-free options for our airport lunch.

Day two started with a trip to the local barber shop. J was desperate to shed his beard in the warm weather! Then we hit up a few favorite local markets (of course our favorites are the ones with free beer) and stocked up on food for the week. We also stopped at a few shops and picked up a few fun bits, including J's hat (I'm not sure he took it off the rest of the trip) and a Starbucks cold mug for me. :)

For lunch we stopped at a local authentic Mexican restaurant (almost always an easy gluten-free option), where I proceeded to drink a margarita as big as my head...which led to me hula-hooping in the middle of Walmart - where we went to buy J's grandparents their (belated) Christmas gift: a Weber portable propane grill.

Then it was back to their place to grill up some seriously awesome steaks (and pork chops for me). Oh, and just ignore the "cooked to perfection" caption on the meat picture...clearly it's not & I'm not entirely sure what I was thinking when I wrote it. But I'm leaving it, since it's now a kind of joke in our house. :)

One of my favorite moments captured on this spread was the quote I wrote down from Thursday night, and added to the bottom right pocket above. One of J's favorite parts of our Florida trips is trying out all of the beers we can't get here, and on our second night there he may have been a bit overly exuberant with his sampling. ;)

On day 3 we finally made it to the beach! J's grandpa went with us for a morning walk, and I snapped plenty of pics. Gotta love beach photos!

After our walk we stopped at a bikini bar for a drink. The boys were a little disappointed not to see a single bikini. Then we headed to a local brewery for a tasting. We also bought some beers for what we call "the treasure chest." Since J's grandparents drive their camper down to Florida every fall, they kindly offer to bring back anything we buy down there with them when they return to Indiana in the spring. So we fill a box with beers, ciders, and wines we can't get locally...our treasure chest. It's a fun little present to ourselves come April.

After having lunch back at the camper, we headed north to Cocoa Beach. The brewery there is a favorite of J's. Then we decided it was time for us to do the touristy thing and got to Ron Jon and the Cocoa Beach pier.  Unfortunately, both were a pretty big let-down, but we had a couple drinks and walked the beach a bit and managed to have plenty of fun, despite our surroundings.

On day 4 we went on a new adventure and took A1A south to Vero Beach. 

This day was definitely the highlight of our trip. We started at BrewGrrs after Googling bars with a large selection of beers on tap. Then we headed to Mulligan's, which we found Googling for a place where we could eat on the beach.

It was an awesome experience! I had one of the best bloody marys of my life and an amazing shrimp cocktail, all while listening to some great live music. See that tiny little drummer? He was adorable, and also incredibly talented!

After spending some time on the beach, we headed back north to have dinner at The Mansion, which was delicious and may have involved some wine (do you see a trend here?)

Day 5 meant leaving Florida and heading back to freezing Indiana. We said goodbye to the freaking awesome rental car (a Volvo convertible that looked like a transformer when you opened the roof), and boarded our flight home. Sadly, when we got back to our car in the frigid airport garage, the battery was dead. We spent forever trying to get it fixed but ended up just calling a friend to pick us up and take us home, then went back the next day to take care of it. It was a really bad ending to a really great trip.

Most of the products I used are from older collections and are no longer available, but I want to point out a few that you can still get.

For the first page:

For the remainder of the spread:

If you have any questions about the rest of the products use here, feel free to ask in the comments, and I'll do my best to provide sources for them.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Project Life 2014 Week 3

**Please excuse the poor quality pictures. I think I waited until too late in the day to take them, and I didn't notice the terrible glare until I edited them. But in the interest of getting this post up today, I'm using them as is. Consider it a lesson learned. :(

Today I'm sharing week 3 of this year. Like week 2, I didn't have many photos to work with, so there are quite a few filler pockets. Last year I did all I could to avoid using filler cards, but this year I seem to have embraced them wholeheartedly! 

Week 3 was the week I published a post here on this blog for the first time. It was also a week of more snow and frigid temperatures. J was home a lot due to the weather, and we all got a bit stir crazy being stuck in the house together...which led to some hilarious antics. We also did a mini photo shoot with J in his new suit to get a good professional profile pic for him. The outtakes from that shoot are some of my favorite photos ever of him (though he'll probably kill me for posting them here)!  

When putting together the color scheme/paper choices for this week, I got the idea to continue using the same "kit" of papers I'd been using for the last two weeks for the entire month of January, then switching to a new "kit" in February. So essentially each month would have its own theme. I'm honestly not sure if I'll stick with it, but since I'm still loving the papers I've been working with, I decided just to go with it for now.

I did change the color focus a bit, using more pinks and reds than the first two weeks, but still using the same paper collections. The only new addition is the "Currents" card, which is a free download created by Deena Rutter.

Products Used:

Dear Lizzy 5th and Frolic Accent and Phrase Stickers (no longer available - see similar)

Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm Multi Trinket Thicker Phrases (no longer available)

Dear Lizzy Neapolitan Remarks Tile Letter Stickers in Parakeet (no longer available - see similar)

American Crafts Delight Thickers in Robin's Egg (no longer available - see similar)

Teresa Collins She Said Enamel Dots (no longer available - see similar)

BasicGrey Basics Candy Buttons in Blue/Seafoam (no longer available - see similar)

Cosmo Cricket S'more Love Stamp Set (no longer available)

Studio G "Dang It's Been A While" Clear Stamp (not available online)

Alphabet Stamp Set from the See Spot Save section at Target (not available online - see similar)

Date Stamp Set from the See Spot Save section at Target (not available online - see similar)

Friday, February 28, 2014

What I'm Drinking

Lately, I've been craving a good Moscow Mule. It's not a drink I regularly make at home, though I'm not really sure why. It's incredibly easy, and it only takes a few ingredients.

Moscow Mules are deliciously refreshing. If you've never tried one, then I highly recommend you do in the very near future.

Here's what you'll need:

Ginger Beer

To make your drink, simply fill a glass with ice (any glass will do, though they are traditionally served in copper mugs like this one). Add 2 ounces of vodka, the juice from half the lime, and top it off with ginger beer. Add a slice of lime to garnish, and you're done!

Some people add mint as well; do so if you wish. Just be sure that you use a good quality ginger beer (not to be confused with the ginger ale I talked about in my last post - they are very different).

Couldn't be easier, right?

Hope you all enjoy your weekend! See you next week!

Five on Friday

1. I could really use some more of this type of therapy in my life!

2. I've been keeping a steady supply of Reed's Ginger Ale on hand. I tend to get nauseated fairly often, and this stuff is a lifesaver! They apparently also have a drink specifically for treating nausea, but I've yet to find it anywhere locally. Has anyone tried it?

3. This shop makes some of the cutest handmade mini wreath ornaments I have ever seen.

4. I am in love with this beautiful mug!

5. Do you decant your wine? Here's why you really should.

Have a lovely weekend, all! Don't forget to check back later for my weekly What I'm Drinking post!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Project Life: My Process, Part 2

In yesterday's Part 1 post, I discussed how I journal about my week, as well as how I take, edit, store, and print photos. Today I'm getting to the fun parts of putting together a Project Life spread. I'll be covering how I go from a folder of random bits to a polished & complete week in my album.

**Be warned! This post is going to be long and picture heavy! But I wanted to be thorough and to give you all the information, details, and tips I could squeeze in. I hope you don't mind! :)

So when we left off yesterday, I had my OhLife printout, my ephemera, and my photos all tucked away in a folder labeled with the week's number and dates. To start putting together my layout, I grab that folder and head to my workspace.

The first thing I do is choose the papers I plan to use and the color scheme for the week. I like to work with kits or single collections as my starting point. I find that if I'm left to choose papers from my entire stash, I quickly become overwhelmed, and I end up spending all of my time sorting through papers instead getting my layout finished. For this week, I chose the Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm mini kit from the Kinship Genealogy Etsy shop that, for some reason, I hadn't used in my Project Life yet - major oversight, since it's one of my absolute favorites!

Gorgeous, right? I love this collection! So like I said before, I use the kits as my starting point, then add in a few extras that I think go well with the color scheme or theme. For this kit, I began by adding a few other bits from the Lucky Charm collection that I had in my obvious choice.

From there I grabbed the Albums Made Easy, Simply Happy 4x6 and 3x4 journal card sets from We R Memory Keepers. I had already used these in my spread for week 1, but there were plenty sheets left in each pad, and the colors coordinate beautifully with the Lucky Charm collection.

See how well they go together?! So perfect. Next I grabbed a couple (partial) sheets of the Love You More collection from Elle's Studio. I knew the colors would work well, and I was inspired by this spread by Adrienne Alvis to use the Doily Love sheet for my title card.

Finally I grabbed a few more pieces from previous Dear Lizzy collections that I though might work well. The colors from all of her collections are fairly similar, and while they may not all work together, there are bits from each that certainly do.

With my papers (and a few embellishments) chosen, it was time to start working with my layout. I grabbed two page protectors from my binder and laid them out on my workspace.

For this week, I chose two Becky Higgins Design A page protectors. These are my go-to choice, though I do have several others in my binder that I sometimes play around with. Usually I just look at the orientation of the photos I have for the week and only deviate from the Design A pages if my photos require it.

With my pages laid out, the first thing I do is start placing my photos where I think I might want them. I pay attention to size and color to try to create balance on my page. I also try to keep things somewhat chronological, but I'm totally okay with mixing up the order if it makes for a more aesthetically pleasing layout.

With my photos in place, I add in my ephemera. This week there were just two little bits to add. Some weeks I have to do some serious editing due to lack of space. I'm kind of a hoarder when it come to this stuff, so I often have more than I can deal with. Then I have to remind myself that it's not necessary to capture absolutely every detail of our week and that an overview will suffice (#thecrazyinmyhead).

With everything laid out roughly where I think it will go, I start adding paper and filler cards. Back at the beginning of this process when I'm picking out papers, there are usually several that I know I'll want to use in certain spots (like the Doily Love paper as my title card). I start with those.

Then I gradually add other papers that will work with the journaling I have planned and the color balance of the page. I try to make sure that the colors I use appear on both sides of my spread. For example, the yellow ombre paper I chose to use in the top right pocket, meant I needed some yellow on the left side. To make that work, I moved the iPhone screenshot of the weather to the left and added the yellow filler card in its place. This also worked to balance out the chalkboard background I used between the two ephemera pockets. The teal card on the bottom right balances the title card, the kraft card on the bottom right balances the Starbucks sleeves, so on and so forth.

Once I have background papers and filler cards for all of the pockets, I start adding some of the embellishments I think I might want to use. This is the point where I sometimes have to go back to my stash to find the perfect piece for a particular spot. I lay everything loosely where I think it might work before I adhere anything.

Once I'm satisfied with most of the pockets, I slide the whole thing off to the side and begin pulling individual cards in front of me to glue everything down and add the embellishments. There's usually a lot of fussing and fidgeting with each card as I attempt to get it just the way I want it.

For this spread, I planned to do quite a bit of journaling, and since I had a lot of information that I wanted to include, I knew my best option was to type it rather than hand-write everything. This would have been the perfect time to use that typewriter I've been searching for...but alas, I have not yet found my my printer had to do.

With the typing and most of the embellishing done, I had an almost-completed layout. All that was left was to stitch things down using my sewing machine and to add some hand-written bits and stamps. And here's the finished spread!

I added a few stamped arrows and chevrons to fill in some blank spaces, and made liberal use of my date stamps. I also added my handwriting on the "breakfast of champions" card and some doodling on the "his & hers" card (I was going for a chalkboard effect).

I hope you enjoyed learning more about my process, and I hope it inspired you in some small way. Please let me know if you have any questions about any part of what I've written, and I'll do my best to provide answers here on the blog.

I'd also love to hear about your process, so please post links in the comments if you've written about how you complete a Project Life spread. There is always more to learn, & I find everyone's processes fascinating!

Thanks for stopping by!

Products Used:

Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm Document Life Mini Kit from Kinship Genealogy

Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm Lucky Coin 12x12 Paper

Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm This & That 12x12 Paper

Albums Made Easy Simply Happy 4x6 and 3x4 journal card sets from We R Memory Keepers

Elle's Studio Love you More Doily Love 12x12 Paper

Becky Higgins Project Life Design A Page Protectors

Glitz Design Color Me Happy 8x8 Paper Pad (no longer available)

Studio Calico Sundrifter Goodness Aqua Ombre Thickers 

Amy Tangerine Goodness White Thickers (no longer available)

Amy Tangerine Yes, Please White Wish Foam Thickers

Hero Arts/Studio Calico Sundrifter Frame & Feathers Stamp Set (no longer available)

Project Life Date Stamp

Studio Calico Classic Calico 3 Roller Date Stamp

Uni Ball Signo White Gel Pen

Black Journaling Pen