March 27, 2012

a {Simple} giveaway - updated with winner!!

Today is my turn to be introduced on the Simple Stories blog as part of the 2012 design team.  Welcome! to any readers visiting me via the Simple Stories blog.  It's been a while since I've done a giveaway here, and I thought today would be a good opportunity to do a very simple one featuring one of my favorite Simple Stories stamps along with a stamp pad from Jenni Bowlin

Here is a closer look at the stamp image
If you'd like the chance to win, leave a comment naming your favorite Simple Stories collection (past or present).  Also, you must include your email address in the comments so that I can contact you if you win.  Comments will remain open until Wednesday, March 28th, 11:59 pm PST.  International readers are welcome to enter.  The winner will be announced on Thursday in an update to this post and will be contacted shortly thereafter.

Thanks for stopping by, and good luck! 

*** Thank you to everyone who entered and commented - the winner of the giveaway is Soesty.  Congratulations!! ***

March 24, 2012

remember this

I'm operating a bit on the better-late-than-never principle these days.  It's been a week, actually more, since my blogging day at and I'm just getting around to sharing this here.  If you haven't been by this month there is still one more week of mini madness for you to enjoy.  I have loved seeing all the minis this month, from differing styles to topics.  Lots of great ideas to keep in mind for later projects.

I was lucky enough to get the chance to work with a kit from Jenni Bowlin for this month.  Even before my kit arrived in the mail I had already decided what my album topic would be.  I had a feeling that the vintage feel of Jenni Bowlin's products would be the perfect fit for an album about our new little guy.  Once I opened the box, my intuition was confirmed.  I received the March papercrafting kit, along with an Open Hodge Podge mini book, and together they formed the perfect foundation for creating a picture album of Samuel's first month.

The kit had everything I needed to make this simple mini album and I didn't need to add very much from my own stash in order to complete it.  I did rearrange a few of the pages from the Hodge Podge book and replaced the Open bingo card with one from my stash that reads, Adore.

As for the design, I followed a concept very similar to the one I used for my gallery contribution this month.  I went with a more free-form style and cut papers at various sizes and tried to mix and match the patterns without thinking about the structure too much (because I am guilty of thinking about these thing too much).  Sometimes the key to getting things done quickly is to come up with a structured design, and then sometimes you need to just let go and let the products and photos stand on their own.  With a predesigned kit this is easy to do.

As for the details, you might notice that my pages so far don't have any journaling.  That's because I don't plan on including any journaling.  At least, I don't plan on including it on every page - tucked into the envelope on the left-hand side of the image below is a letter I've written to Sam, and it will be the only journaling for this little album.

Basically this mini is more like a decorative photo album - somewhere to keep these first photos of Samuel so that they are all in one place.


As we fall into a routine, and I find time to scrapbook more (I'm hoping to fit some into my schedule today!), I will very likely make full-size layouts with these photos to put in Samuel's baby book.

Here is a simple page that divides the photos from the hospital from the photos at home:

You might also notice that all of these pages are single-sided; another thing I've done to keep this mini super-simple.  This way I don't have to over think my designs, and I can add pages or move them around within the album easily too.

I loved the mix of masculine prints and colors, like in the patterned papers shown above and below,

combined with softer colors and elements, like the polka dotted vellum paper, and the label stickers which came in a more pastel color palette.

I don't use very much pink in my scrapbooking, but this kit worked so well for documenting our sweet little boy.  Obviously, this kit would work equally well for documenting little girls too. 

Or any topic for that matter.

This was a truly versatile kit, and I want to thank JBS Mercantile for sending me one to work with for our month of mini-album madness.

Even though I kept everything pretty linear in this mini, to me it is more eclectic than my usual style.  My layouts are definitely more structured, and I usually plan them out beforehand.  I find this format lends itself to playing a bit more.  It's not so much the finished product that is different as it is the mindset.  When I'm working on a mini I just don't worry about matching patterns or where to put embellishments;  I try to let go a bit more when making mini-albums vs. layouts.  Hope that makes sense. =)

How about you, do you like to make more structured mini-albums, or do you aim for an eclectic look?  Do you approach both layouts and mini-albums with the same mindset?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Have a great weekend!

March 20, 2012

mini madness at

So, obviously I haven't been too great at keeping up with blogging this month.  I think you understand though.  We've been spending a lot time getting to know this little one

Oh, he is so cute!

But before this month gets away from me, I wanted to pass this along...  In case you didn't know, this month at is all about the mini.  We kicked off the month as we always do, with a new gallery; nineteen mini albums for your inspiration.  Whether you love mini albums, or find them a challenge, I know you'll find something there to spark your creativity.

For my gallery, I shared this mini album about my favorite season, I've mentioned it before:

Confession:  I always have a heck of a time photographing my minis.  I've yet to find the perfect spot in my house with the just-right lighting.  So, these photos all look just  a tiny bit more yellow than they should be.  Something to work on.

I started working on this album last fall.  I had wanted to make a very simple mini to collect my favorite photos and memorabilia from the season.  I also wanted to step a little outside of my comfort zone and make something that was more free-form in style, and to make an effort to use some of my older supplies. My plan was to pull out all of my fall papers and embellishments and pick items at random from there.  Here are a few of my favorite pages:

The opening pages with one of my favorite photos from last fall.

Daddy and the boys eating wild blackberries at the apple farm.

Obviously, Nathan's third birthday.  Once a year I make these chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes.  They are so yummy, and so dangerous - which is why I only make them, once a year.  I'll have to remember to share the recipe with you next time I make them.

Gabe working on his list to Santa, and a label from our favorite fall beer.  We can only get it for one month of the year, and it is only sold at one store in town.

The boys at the pumpkin patch.  The die-cut and the sticker on this page are from Daisy D's.  I've been holding onto them for ages.  Glad I finally put them to use!

Finally, our jack-o-lantern, and the boys in their Halloween costumes.

There are more pages, and a few still to be done.  There are certainly a lot of newer papers in this mini, but there are also a lot of older items too.  In the process of making this mini I tried to let go of my usual tendency to want everything perfectly lined up and in the end, it was a lot of fun putting this mini together.  I’m really happy with the way it turned out.

I'll be back in a couple of days to share the mini I made for my day of blogging this month.  I hope you are having a lovely week!

March 12, 2012

Take Twelve Today!!

Just a friendly reminder that today is March 12th.  It's time to take twelve!!  Elizabeth posted a review of the basics about the challenge on the Daily Trumpet today, the most important one being to have fun!  She also posted some example photos and layouts from last month.

If you haven't already you can sign up for the reminder emails, here (make sure you select the box for take twelve).  Each month the Take Twelve team will be sharing their ideas, layouts, and photos both on the Ella blog, and on their own personal blogs.  Also each month there is an opportunity to win great prizes.  This month's Take Twelve sponsor is Persnickety Prints, and they are offering a $50 gift certificate to one lucky winner!  Please visit today's post at the Daily Trumpet for all the details as to how to enter to for the chance to win.

Hoping you have a happy Monday!

March 5, 2012

happy news

On Friday, I received some very happy news, I am one of the newest members of the Simple Stories Design Team!!

Over the past year, Simple Stories has definitely become my favorite scrapbooking manufacturer.  I love all of their collections, but as I mentioned a few weeks back, I cannot wait to get my hands on the new Awesome Collection.  I know it will be perfect for scrapbooking life with my boys. =)

Here is one of my favorite layouts from last year, using 100 Days of Summer:

{supply list}
And here is a list of the rest of the team:

{2012 Simple Stories Design Team}


{Altered Art/Mixed Media}


{Special Projects}

You can head to the Simple Stories blog to see the full announcement.  I think this is going to be an amazing year for Simple Stories, and I am honored to get the chance to be a part of it, and to work with all these amazing scrapbookers.  Wishing you a happy Monday. =)

March 2, 2012

one week ago...

It's been a while since I last blogged... you might know where I've been.  One week ago today we welcomed this little guy to the world

He weighed 7lbs 14oz and is just perfect in every way.  I had quite a lot of anxiety in the weeks before his birth.  He was in the transverse position at 38+ weeks and I had a version one week before he was born to turn him to the vertex position.  We were so worried he would turn again, but he didn't, and I was able to have a completely natural birth (not an easy one, but I won't go into all the details there!)  I am so very thankful for that gift.  Humbled by it actually.

Finally, our beautiful boy is at home,

and we are trying to adjust to life as a family of five.

Hanging out with daddy.

And oh boy, I didn't think this was possible, but Samuel's got two cowlicks too.

Really, how is that possible?!  I don't know.  But if he turns out to be anything like his older brother, then I am going to have my work cut out for me!

As I mentioned several weeks ago, blogging will be a bit sporadic for the next few weeks as we get settled and adjusted to life around here.

Until next time, God bless. =)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...