Friday, December 20, 2013

Paxton's 5th Birthday

Hello, hello, and ho ho ho!  We're getting close to the holidays, and I am very happy about that!  I'll be posting some Christmas items soon, but before I do, I wanted to share my layout highlighting Paxton's 5th birthday.  Not sure when he grew up so much!!

Tradition in our family dictates the person with the birthday chooses the birthday restaurant.  In Paxton's case, he saw a coupon come in from Rainforest Cafe, and from that day on, he KNEW that's where we were going.

We enjoyed lunch, and we had the big volcano dessert!  I don't think we finished was HUGE.  We took some photos with the animals and of Paxton wearing his froggy eye hat.  To bring out the green in the photos, I decided to use Basic Grey's Bow Ties paper collection.  The Freeze Tag plaid pattern and Four Square black banner papers worked well.  I started with two sheets of CTMH Colonial White cardstock and after deciding where my photos were going to go, I used the Hazel & Ruby stencil-mask Broadside alpha to spell out "Happy" and the "TH" by the 5 (I cut my 5 with the CTMH Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge) in the top left and bottom right of my layout, respectively.

After the black Glimmer Mist was dry, I cut black cardstock and the Freeze Tag patter at an angle for the top of the left page.  

I layed out the patterned paper strips to see were I wanted them to cross the paper, trimmed them, and adhered them, adding little bits and strips to various places.

Next I used the gold side of the Four Square paper to mat two photos.  I adhered everything down and started to embellish - the fun part, don't you agree?!  I used:

- Heidi Swapp clear-pop tags
- Freckled Fawn Black Arrow paper clips
- CTMH Black buttons, Twilight ribbon, gems, brads, and Color-ready canvas alphas
- Studio Calico Classic Calico 3 Kraft Die-cut Frames
- Miscellaneous stamps
- Maya Road chipboard banners (covered with Basic Grey paper)

After everything was complete, I looked at the layout and decided that the "5" should be added back popped up, so I spritzed it with additional contrasting Juniper reinker mixed with water and used pop dots to adhere it. It's hard to see the green mist in the photo, but it looks really cool popped up!

I hope you enjoyed my layout, and I'd love for you to share it!  Have a wonderful, chocolate-filled holiday!!


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Flag Football Star

Happy fall everyone!  Today I wanted to share a layout of my son.  He just started his first team sport with i9 sports.  We gave him a choice of soccer or baseball, and he said emphatically "football!".  So, football it was.  His team ended up winning the championship.  The boys were so cute doing their runs...from trying to remember which direction to run in to remembering to try and pull the flags when the other team had the ball.  :)

I started the layout before his team won the championship, but i9 is all about participation and team, so the boys were all stars in my eyes...Paxton especially.  So I knew stars would be the main part of my theme.  Enter CTMH's Fanfare collection (now retired -- I have *got* to use up my older paper, y'all!).  I liked the striped paper for my background, but to soften it, I cut two squares of white cardstock to about 10x10 and used my Cameo to cut a few stars out from the right edge of one of the pieces (this machine is so versatile, and I love to make these negative masks!).  I then put the two white pieces to the seam in the middle.  I spread a not-quite 10x12 piece of the light blue patterned paper with the stars and then sewed twice around the rectangle using red thread.  I then sprinkled a few drops of Cranberry and Pacifica reinker to further soften the white and light blue background.

Using my Cricut Imagine and the CTMH Art Philosophy cartridge, I cut out one large and one smaller star from the red paper.  I faux stitched the two red stars with my white pen to bring them out from the background more.  After positioning the main photos, I also stamped the Dr. Seuss phrase from a CTMH set that was part of a special campaign.

I had a few photos that were smaller in size and I couldn't figure out where to place them, so I created a little banner with some smaller red stars.  I loved the effect!

After adding additional stars in various sizes across the pages, some gems, and the title, the layout was complete. 

I hope you enjoyed the layout with these effects, and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with yummy food, and of course, chocolate.

Chocolate hugs,

Saturday, October 12, 2013

B-day Date Night

Hello everyone!  Hope you are enjoying your weekend.

Today I'm excited to share with you a single-page layout, and there are two reasons I'm excited.  1) I'm primarily a 2-page scrapbooker and 2) the layout came together so quickly because the collection is so versatile!

Isn't this Bo Bunny Zip-A-Dee-Doodle collection super fun?  Let me share with you how quickly it came together, too. 

I started with a base of CTMH Black Cardstock, and I trimmed the Zip-A-Dee-Doodle Crackle page about a quarter inch of each side.  The Crackle base already had misting and doodles on it, so I trimmed the backside of the Zig Zag pattern to get the square with the circle in it.  I trimmed the circle out and set it aside.  The other 6x6 piece of Zig Zag became another layer, and I edged it with CTMH Black ink.  The next layer was another piece from the back side of Zig Zag, and I turned it sideways and covered part of the banner with my photo.

Once I layered it how I wanted it, I noted where I wanted to sew black zig zag with my sewing machine.  After sewing it, I put my layered pieces on and adhered them.

The finishing touches were adding a few of the dimensional stickers from the Zip-A-Dee-Doodle collection, some stamps (CTMH black and retired Moonstruck ink), a title using stickers from the Zip-A-Dee-Doodle Combo Sticker page, and some journaling.

I plan on creating a journaling page to go opposite this photo page.  It won't be a 2-page layout, but I'll coordinate the journaling page with the Zip-A-Dee-Doodle collection as well.

I hope you enjoyed this layout.  I'd love to see your creations with this collection as well, so feel free to share in the comments.

Happy, chocolaty scrapping,


Zip-A-Dee-Doodle Collection:

Zig Zag
Dimensional stickers
Combo sticker page

Various stamps from:

"Today Was" - Mama Elephant
"Oh Snap" - Hero Arts/Studio Calico
"Beautiful" - Hero Arts/Studio Calico Project Life

Other materials:

CTMH Black Cardstock
CTMH Black ink
CTMH Moonstruck ink (retired)
CTMH Black epoxy stickers (retired)

Saturday, September 21, 2013


If you are like me, you love My Mind's Eye!  I've been a fan for years, and their new lines are so fun!  I decided to create a layout of my daughter's first day of Jr. High (insert Momma-gasp here!) using their Presh Cut & Paste line.

I decided to first use the triangles patterned side of the "Noted" Record paper.  I fussy-cut some triangle borders.  Next, I combined white paint with some CTMH Key Lime re-inker (color discontinued) and spread some on both pages.  I also dropped some Indian Corn Blue re-inker mixed with water randomly on the pages. I sewed the triangle borders on the pages as well as put a sewn border across the top of the pages.  I used my Cricut and CTMH's Artbooking cartridge to cut  two large triangles using "Beautiful" Presh C&P paper, and sewed them on as backgrounds.  I cut five other smaller triangles in several of the pieces of patterned paper, and sewed a line through them.

The rest came together quickly with a title, some brads, and journaling. I popped up the hash tag in the title, the journaling, and the square photo with the stamped border to give the layout some more texture.

I hope you enjoy the layout!  See you soon.

Chocolate dreams,

Monday, August 5, 2013

Heart = Melted

Happy Monday everyone!  Well, as happy as it can be for a Monday.  :)

So, I mostly create double-page layouts, and the one I wanted to share today is no exception.  My son said the most wonderful thing to me not too long ago, so I wanted to document it - it totally melted my heart.  I didn't have specific photos for that moment, so I printed a couple of recent ones with him that I really liked.

I took two pieces of CTMH Whisper cardstock to use as my base, and I used a dotted foam stamp with Slate ink randomly across both pages in first and second generation to create a darker and lighter pattern.  Next, I decided to give the pages some texture using Tsukineko's Goosebumps Clear Texture Spray, and then let it dry.

After I laid out my photos, other pieces of cardstock, and Studio Calico's Darling Dear chevron vellum, I adhered the heart to the cardstock leaving a few gaps.  To cover the center of the spiral, I used a scallop circle, a star flower, and a brad.  I cut out an arrow from the heart to the word "Melted", spelled out using Heidi Swapp's awesome clear mint alpha letters (not for the first time!).

Isn't the heart cool?  I was inspired by Melinda Spinks' layout she did for Little Yellow Bicycle.  Her rendition had more pieces, more patterns, and was feminine, so I just adapted it for my boyish purposes.  I first sketched out the heart on the back of the patterned paper that I chose.  In this case, I used My Mind's Eye Collectable - Notable collection, which I fell in love with when I first saw it.

I then cut out my heart, used a pencil to lightly sketch the swirls from the upper left side of the heart, and then cut on the swirls, careful to keep each piece in order.

I absolutely had to journal our conversation that made my heart melt.  He certainly can be a handful sometimes, but my son can definitely be a sweetheart.  

I hope you are inspired by my layout.  Happy scrapping!


Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Howdy y'all!  (See, I can say that because I'm Texan).  :)  Today I wanted to share a layout I did with my kids and their cousins.  I wish we lived closer to them, but I do cherish the time when we do see them.

Isn't this Pebbles collection fun?!  I love the hexagons that make up the flowers in the main pattern of Family Ties.

Some layouts really benefit from a spritz of ink, and this layout is one of them.  I liked the white background, but after laying everything out, I felt that the white was a bit stark.  I used Pacifica re-inker from CTMH to spritz, and the Honeycomb stamp set for my big hexagons (lifted with 3D dots).    My small title was made using Lily Bee Design white letters from Autumn Spice and Echo Park's Alpha Stickers from Photo Freedom Vol. 1.

To balance the patterned paper, I used CTMH Pacifica and Outdoor Denim cardstock.  I finished the layout off with a banner spanning both pages with some letters from the CTMH Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge, some buttons and dots, and finally some machine stitching  with green thread just to tie it all together.

Thanks for dropping by today.  I hope your week is filled with cousins, love,  and chocolate.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pretty, new bangs

Hello everyone-

Today I'm posting a two-page layout showcasing my daughter, who just recently got bangs for the first time.  She is so proud of them!  Scrapbook Circle's "My Favorite" kit was the basis for this layout, but I used a lot pieces from my stashes (yes, plural).  I really like Fancy Pants Design's Trendsetter collection in the kit and had some of my own pieces of that collection including the Patterned Photo Frames.  I started with some CTMH Champagne cardstock, and I spritzed CTMH Sorbet reinker and black Glimmer Mist in a diagonal and let it dry.

Next, I layered various patterned paper until I felt it looked right.  I balanced the layout by using the same paper on each page in different ratios.  I admit I used some elements from the previous Scrapbook Circle kit, "Happy Place" including AC's Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm paper and the Heidi Swapp mint alpha.

I covered chipboard stars with black cardstock and distressed the edges.  I ink-distressed the edges of some of the paper pieces.

I used some old CTMH black epoxy hearts, some gems from my stash, and the Maya Road Star Pins (love them!).

To tie the two pages together, I chose CTMH's wide Black Striped Grograin ribbon.  This was a very fun layout to make.

Thanks for visiting today!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Using some of my stash

Hello everyone-

Are you one of those crafters who can't pass up pretty paper?  I certainly am.  I have stacks and stacks of it...and I can't stop buying more (it's sooo PRETTY!).  I've run out of space - my paper area definitely is in need of some reorganization.  Until then, I've decided I need to start using some of my hoarded paper in projects.  Yes, actually USE it.  So, I glanced at my stash, and my eye went to some Basic Grey Sugar Rush collection that I believe came out in 2011. 

I decided to make some cards, and here is what I created.

The one on the left was created using the Clean & Simple stamping card sketch #137.  The card on the right was created using Pattern 24 from Close To My Heart's "Make It From Your Heart Volume 1".  I love the orange patterned paper with the kite bows, but I toned it down by using the polka dot pattern as my main background.  I also used ink to distress all my edges except for the tulip red cardstock. 

See below for a list of products used, and thanks for stopping by today!

Chocolate scrappy wishes,

Products used:
Basic Grey Sugar Rush paper
CTMH Colonial White Cards
CTMH Tulip Ink (retired)
CTMH Grey Wool Ink (retired)
CTMH D1300 Circle Around stamp set (retired)
CTMH D1475 Card Chatter - Birthday stamp set
CTMH B1362 Tag the Occasion stamp set (retired)
CTMH B1339 Topstitch Love is in the Air stamp set (retired)
CTMH D1514 Just a Number stamp set
CTMH Z1686 Cricut Art Philosophy collection (scallop and heart)
Fiskars medium circle punch

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Why blog?

So, here it is.  Ta-da!  My new blog.  It's not really brand new...I started a post right after my son was born in 2008 to document our family and his (thankfully, now-gone) health issues, but I never published it or created new posts.  Anyway, *this* blog is my crafty blog.  My scrappy blog.  My creative blog.  Perhaps it has chocolate smears on it (Who, me?  Eating chocolate?)  Yes, probably.  My love affair with chocolate is not a secret.  Those who know me will know my favorites: Peanut Butter M&Ms, Reese's Peanut Butter cups (refrigerated, preferably), Snickers, and pretty much anything Ghirardelli or Godiva (the two rich, chocolaty Gs).

See the proof from way back in high school?  Yup, that's a Twix that showed up in the yearbook, along with my permed hair and faded denim jacket.  The 80s were great!

So why blog?  I have learned an awful lot in my years papercrafting and scrapbooking, and I love the artistic process of creating a new layout, designing a new card, or planning a new paper creation.  And this is my way of sharing.  I hope that by sharing I will also learn.

Well, I hope you will come along and learn with me as I document my creative journey.  But grab some chocolate first, and make it the *good* stuff.  See you soon!