Ramblings and, oh yah....Hello everyone!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Truth be told I truly haven't looked at a picture, picked up a pair of scissors, or given very much thought to my hobby in the last 3 months...I know, I know. I have officially lost my privilege as a self-proclaimed obsessive scrapbooker. Trust me, it's not out of want. I really just haven't had the time to focus on my hobby. So what have I been doing then you ask?

Well...first there's my family. As in, remember my last few posts? Well, it's been an ongoing "issue" for us..as in, my sisters and I. We've all been dealing with what can only be described as the wake of dysfunctional- family-hell. And challenging as it has been, there's definitely been some much needed purging as a result of recent months events. I'm relieved to be rid of the noxiousness - whether in the form of trials, issues, and people; including those who are critical, disparaging and just flat out unconstructive. There's absolutely no love loss when there was never any added value to my life.

I can count, however, the many blessings that are in the form of my husband and daughter - my sisters, brother, friends, great health (not only mine but that of my family & friends), and more recently - landing an AMAZING position with one of the most prestigious companies in Orange County. And yes, the latter is what's actually been monopolizing the majority of my time; leaving very little of it, if any at all, for my hobby. When I'm not busy working, I am making up for lost time with my daughter and husband.

I must admit, it was a bit of an adjustment for Ali when she realized that mommy wasn't going to be home all day with her anymore but she's adapted well to the new schedule. We're fortunate that daddy works from home and she still goes to pre-school on a part time basis so all in all, the transition in schedules has been *almost* seemless. It makes the time we do get to spend together that much sweeter :) She's becoming more and more independent and I don't have a lot of time to dwell (translation: sulk) over her not needing me as much anymore so the opportunity to go back to work on a full time basis came at just the right time.

Did I also mention that going back to work has given me the excuse to shop for new wardrobe pieces?! I love any excuse to go shopping :) Nordstrom really loves me right now....and besides scrapbooking, I'm also a self-proclaimed shoe addict. I absolutely adore shoes. If I could get away with it, I'd buy 5 pairs a week. But sensibility kicks in and I concede by limiting myself to 1 every week or two. Which completely allays my husband.... :) (see love? I can be reigned in!)

Well now. This isn't just a rambling...it's a rambling and a half! Oh well, let's just chalk it up to me making up for lost time ;-) Hopefully it won't be another 4 months before I post again. But in case it is, till next time my friends -- take care of yourselves!


Good friends, good times...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Where do I start?!

I've been MIA for quite some time now, unable to focus on much outside of my family....the great news is, we're all healthy. Thank God for even this blessing. However as a result of my inability to "focus", my hobby has fallen to the wayside...not very encouraging for me considering we just finished celebrating my daughter's 4th birthday party (and her actual birthday on 4/13, spent at Disneyland with my sisters and brother-in-law), which roughly translated means a whole lotta pictures to put down into albums! Not only my own pictures that I was able to take but also those that were taken by various friends and family....like these for example:

Our dear friends Cris and Mabel were one of the first guests to arrive at Ali's party (funny note: they're always one of the first ones to arrive at any party that we've thrown in the past!) Cris took these pictures of our girls and I just love how they turned out - his camera is just fabulous and I'm just so jealous! LOL - one of these days SOON, I'll finally have my very own DSLR ;-) Like I've said in the past, I'm probably one of the very last scrapbookers who owns a point and shoot! Here's another one he took of us mothers and our daughters:

Mabel and I have been friends for about 15 yrs now...she's one of my oldest and dearest friends...and I'm still pretty shocked to realize that we are now mothers. We were partners in crime (not in the literal sense, mind you) but we had our share of crazy and wild times and it's just so funny to me now that the parties we attend these days involve children's birthday parties. LOL! (Mae if you're reading this, laugh along w/ me!) What's encouraging to me is that Madi (Mabel's oldest daughter) and Ali play so well together. This thought makes me so happy because our friendship can carry on through our children. Its the small blessings like these that make me grateful in the midst of crisis (and sadly, my family is going through one - but one I'm confident we'll all pull through together)

Speaking of small blessings...(and small things that make me happy!) I'm expecting a few packages due to arrive this week...one from Stampin' Up! (Did I mention I was a demonstrator? Very recent, mind you :)) and also from an online SB store with not one but TWO of the full collections from Bella Blvd - All Inclusive and Estate Sale....I'm so excited! Since I'm inspired by beautiful papers/collections, I'm truly hoping this will get my creative gears turning and I will finally be able to share some projects with you all :)

Till next time, my friends...


Checking in

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hello everyone -- I've been MIA for a bit I know, and quite frankly, I haven't been able to work on very many (if any at all!) projects that I can share.

Things are a wee bet topsy turvy for my family right now but the good news is, Alison's b-day party is this weekend and I'm excited to pick up her cake....we ordered it from Cinderella Cakes, winners of TLC's Ultimate Cake Off. They make some of the most beautiful cakes, cookies and cupcakes I've ever seen! I'm so excited to see how it turned out. I'm guaranteed to take lots of pictures of this thing so I will definitely be sharing it w/ you. Pictures of the cake that is, not the cake itself ;-)~

I really hope you're all doing well. Make sure to tell your family how much you love them today :)


A tribute to my best friend...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hello everyone,

Today's post is more than just about sharing a recent layout I completed. Perhaps the fact that my daughter's  upcoming 4th birthday has triggered some nostalgia and has prompted me to take stock of my life and those around me. At any rate, I began thinking about people I value and cherish outside of my family members. The person who immediately came to mind is my best friend Josephine (or affectionately known to me as Jo), to whom this particular blog post is dedicated.

Jo and I have been best friends for 18 yrs. I miss her terribly. She moved to upstate New York late 2001 with her then boyfriend (and now husband) who got out of the service. She has been my rock for as long as I can remember; being there during life's triumphs as well as personal catastrophes and of course, everything else in between. A true best friend, she knows me better than I know myself at times! Our friendship transcends distance and time - no matter how long we go w/out talking we ALWAYS pick up where we left off. And when we have our little tiffs (let's face it, 18 yrs of friendship we will get under each other's skin from time to time!), we are able to work through it and come out strong - solidifying our connection more than ever. She has been the one friend in my lifetime who has managed to never judge me-even if she knew I was making tremendous mistakes. She allowed me to make those mistakes (which ultimately have had a role in shaping me and allowing me to be where I am now), and picked up the pieces along the way when needed - forever encouraging, always loving, and most of all enduring support. I love her with all my heart and cherish her beyond measure!

I recently created this layout of a picture of us taken in Lake George, NY in June 2009 when we got our families together for a family vacation getaway. We were able to get some beautiful shots of Lake George and the surrounding area, which I will share in later posts.

(I apologize for how dark the photo is showing up!)

Here's a close up of the two little birdies sitting on the branch:

I used the KI Memories Friendship line for this layout. The birds are just so dang cute!!! I love it! Its a little difficult to tell but some of the embellishments are popped up with dimensional adhesive, including these beloved little birdies! When I saw this line at my local Joann's I immediately thought of this picture. The colors tie in to the beautiful background of our location. (We were fortunate to be able to have neighboring cabins for both our families not a 100 yards away from the lake and our own private beach on the lake!) To further tie in the matching papers, I outlined them using my Signo Uniball Roller pen in white - an absolute STAPLE in my arsenal of scrapping supplies. I also added some bling to the title b/c the letters looked too washed out.

Who are some of the people outside of your family that you appreciate? What about them makes them so special? How do they enrich your life and do they know how special they are to you? I challenge you to examine these very important people in your life and tell them just how much they mean to you. They may already know it, but it never hurts to remind them and I assure you they are just as grateful for you too!

Thank you so much for for visiting today :) I hope you have a wonderful week!


"Simply Adore You"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

This year Pink Paislee came out with the most gorgeous line called Cupid Collection for their Valentine's release -- it's no surpise that it flew off the shelves and I must admit that I definitely contributed to that! When my daughter was 5 months old we took her to get her first professional photos taken at the studio and while at the time, I scrapbooked those pictures pretty quickly, I wasn't entirely happy w/ how those layouts turned out. I have since been re-doing them which is why a lot of my layouts lately of her include those very pictures. At any rate, I immediately thought of that photo shoot when I laid eyes on this collection from Pink Paislee. Here is one of the projects that I used the line on:

 Journaling reads: "I am blessed beyond measure that God gave you to me, Alison. You have enriched my life and loving you has been the best gift of my life!"

(The Adore Bingo Card, Vintage button at the top, and mini sticker letters are from Jenni Bowlin)
 Detail of the cluster of embellishments:

Since I have been scrapbooking these photo shoot pictures lately I've been feeling very nostalgic...You see, my daughter will be turning 4 in a matter of a few more weeks and while I feel extremely blessed that she's growing up to be healthy, strong, and EXTREMELY bright, I must admit that I do get a bit sad to know how fast time just seems to slip away from me...Looking at these pictures makes me miss the days of her "chubby baby-ness"!! I think the best parenting advice I'd ever been given and actually regarded is to enjoy every minute b/c they grow up so very fast! 

I also completed a "Best Friends" page layout of me and my BFF Jo (Josephine) which I will be sharing later this week. I've actually been on a roll lately and am proud that I've been able to scrapbook with some regularity...I'm feeling quite accomplished! If I can keep this up, maybe I'll only be behind 5 yrs :) 

As you can tell, I'm slowly (but surely!) working on making my blog a little more aesthetically pleasing to the eye...it's a lot more work than I thought it would be but so far I am enjoying the learning experience.   
Thank you for stopping by today everyone -- I hope you're all having a lovely week so far!

It's Friday and the weekend is officially upon us! It's a perfect 71 degrees here in sunny southern California (no kidding :) I just checked the weather on my iPhone) and it's a crime that I should be indoors at the moment. I have a perfectly good excuse though - my daughter is getting ready for her nap. Which means its a perfect time for me to work on some projects!

And speaking of projects, I'm posting pictures up of the layout I worked on several days ago. One of my favorite manufactures, October Afternoon, makes some of the most gorgeous papers (and since we all know how addicted I am to paper!)  it's no surprise that I reached for their Christmas line when I decided on a line for our 2008 Christmas photos. This particular layout is one of my daughter receving/opening her gifts that year.

We always take a ton of pics during Christmas and this particular year was no exception...Bazzill creates a scrapboooking method called "Lickety Slip" Albums, designed to cut back scrapbooking time by using a pocket system (term I completely coined myself, so don't quote me on this one! LOL) to slip your pictures into 12x12 sleeves -- but what I love about it is that you can still mix and match your 12x12 standard scrapbook pages with the sleeve pages. I think I'm going to incorporate this particular system to document my Christmas photos. Other companies have systems similar to this. I think the first manufacturer to come out with this system is Creative Memories (again, don't quote me on this) a long, long time ago. If anyone knows for a fact otherwise, please correct me! Other companies have since jumped on the wagon including American Crafts and Pebbles, Inc...however, I do prefer Bazzill because their sleeves can accomodate both vertical and horizontal 4x6 photos....I never understood how other companies manufactured horizontal only sleeves; not everyone takes only "horizontal" photos?! At any rate, adopting this system into your existing photo documentation process really helps w/ all those thousands of pictures you just can't seem to leave out of your memory albums. And while my favorite system will always be the standard 12x12 page layout, I too find myself having a hard time weeding down my photos and this is the perfect solution to the problem (because I CAN'T possibly scrapbook every photo I have into a 12x12 layout, single or 2 page regardless!)

Scrappers -- what's your personal solution to all those endless photos you can't possibly leave out of your albums? Do you force yourselves into actually weeding it down? Do you just go ahead and scrapbook it all anyway? I bought this book from Stacy Julian called Photo Freedom several years ago and she has a lot of wise tips on organizing your photos so that they actually make it into your albums. Its a really inspiring book and serves a great purpose for every scrapbooker (begginer or otherwise) out there :) I suggest picking it up if you can. It's especially helpful for those individuals interested in picking up the scrapbooking hobby.

One of my favorite online retailers called Scrapgal was having a 25% off sale on all their Bella Blvd & Fancy Pants products (sale thru 3/21) so I immediately jumped on and participated in some online retail therapy! And here's what some of the mailman brought me yesterday :)

I just can't get enough Bella Blvd! They are in my top 3 most favorite lines. I especially love their Bits a' Bella papers! I can't wait to start playing with all this stuff -- I also ordered a few pieces from Jenni Bowlin, Little Yellow Bicycle, and My Little Shoebox...just some odds and ends for existing projects I'm working on.

Thank you for allowing me to share and for visiting today :) I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


Dress form, dress form, how I love thee....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Pats day everyone! I hope you're all having a great week so far and you remembered to wear green today (unlike me...but thankfully nobody noticed & I didn't get pinched!) I spent the better part of my day today preparing for the Timeless Treasures Anniversary crop happening this weekend (Friday-Saturday, 3/19-3/20))...if you're in Orange County, come join us for 24 hours of croppin' fun!! There's still some room left and you won't be dissapointed. We have lots of prizes, drawings, contests, food, and sales specials throughout the event. For more information and to sign up, call the store at 949-888-7151. I'm so greatful to be part of such a wonderful family at Timeless Treasures. Today is the store's 13th anniversary! It's such a wonderful testament that Nancy (store owner) has been able to keep her doors open for the last 13 yrs, even in the current economy and I'm just humbled by all the wonderful customers and employees I get to work with!

Because it's our anniversary month at the store, I have been spending a lot more time in there lately. Last week, I worked on this project which is currently displayed in the front of the store:

We found an amazing deal on this dress form at Pier 1 Imports. I got the inspiration from CHA this year. Dress forms seem to be in vogue at the moment and I just adore them. I tried to convince my hubby that we needed {a full-sized} one on display in our bedroom. He didn't agree. *darn*  I settled for a table top one on my dresser in the master bathroom instead (take that, hubby!) Anyhooo - I made the skirt and flowers using paper from Webster's Pages. Yellow is such a happy color and I love how this turned out. I think the paper flowers are my favorite part of the whole thing.

I also managed to do a 2 page layout last night, which I will share sometime in the next couple of days or so. I think I may have broken a personal record in creating it! It was completed in less than 2 hours which for me, is completely unheard of! Typical of my {personal} creative process, I usually need a day or so away from anything that I am working on. Sometimes when I stare at something for awhile, I become unhappy with it. For the most part, all I need is a "fresh eye" which is only accomplished by putting the project aside and coming back to it later. But for some reason, this particular layout came together easily. 

As always, thank you for visiting today! Big, big, hugs and smooches to all!


Oh the things that come out of the mouths of babes!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hello everyone....post #2 and I'm on my way! :-) I must report it's been a bit of a hectic week in the Wood household but happily, everyone is healthy and well. I have a few projects going on at once and even after I've written down everything that needs to be taken care of, I'm still feeling a wee bit overwhelmed...perhaps it may have something to do with the fact that for every 1 thing I cross off the list, I add another 2!! But I am not complaining...certainly not that...I'm blessed beyond belief! Thank you Jesus!

Inspiration has been a little hard to come by this week when it comes to the projects I've been working on. Seems as though when I try to sit down and create, I come up against a wall. I may have to do a little project purging. For all you creative folks out there -- what's your tip on overcoming those creative blocks that periodically come up? How do you see a project through that you may be feeling indifferent or ambiguous over? 

Luckily, this recent project I worked on came together pretty easily for me - once I had the sketch down anyway. Once again it's of my daughter at a young age (4 months old to be exact). One of these days I'll eventually put something up of her that is more recent! Using an older Valentine's line from We R Memory Keepers, this is what I came up with:

(She went through a phase where she kept sticking her little tongue out and I'm so glad we got these pictures of her demonstrating this little quirk of hers. She's never ceased to make her daddy and I laugh!)

Pleating the ribbon is something of a common trend right now (along with making your own paper flowers) and I saw a lot of this happening in the manufacturer sample layouts during the CHA (Craft & Hobby Association) tradeshow this year. While it does take some time (actually, a lot of time!) to do this, I just love the dimension it adds to the page, as well as the little "umph" it gives to the traditional use of ribbon in layouts.

Okay, now on to explaing the title of this blog....So my daughter and I were at the bank earlier this afternoon and she was getting hungry. I asked her what she felt like having for lunch since we were out running errands and wouldn't be planning our way home for quite a few more hours. She responds, "I don't know" so I say, "Okay, well let's you and I think about what we should eat"...in the meantime, my phone is alerting me to a text message and I'm now focused on my phone and responding to the text...she then responds, "Mommy, you're not thinking. You're just pushing buttons on your phone."  Way to put me in my place, honey.

Parents - what have your children done lately to put you in yours?

Thanks for visiting today everyone :) Hugs to all,

My FIRST official Blog!! Whoo hooo!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Well...here it is! After years of  refusal and (quite frankly) resistance, I have surrendered over to the world of blogging :) But I figured if I wanted to continue sharing my love of scrapbooking and all things paper related, I would have to one day concede with grace and just give in. That day has arrived! Not to mention, this truly is the easiest platform for me to share my creations with friends and family outside of the Orange County, CA area (where pretty much 98% of my friends and famly aren't!)

Since this blog is truly dedicated to my personal hobby of scrapbooking and cardmaking, I wanted to be able to include photos on my first post. The next several posts will include layouts that I've completed all within the last month or so. As previously stated, I'm quite behind on scrappin' my photos (imagine that? A scrapbooker who's behind?!) At any rate, the subject of my creations are almost often of my soon to be 4 yr old daughter, Alison. And the photos in the layouts...well....let's just say she was a lot younger!

I apologize for how dark the photo came out. I took it with my iPhone camera as I continue to have a love/hate relationship with my point and shoot...One of these days, I hope sometime soon, I will be rid of that thing altogether in hopes to replace it with one of those fabulous Digital SLRs...I swear I must be the only scrapbooker left in this world who still takes pictures with a point and shoot. *sigh*

I just adore the latest release from My Mind's Eye - Quite Contrary (Jack & Jill line). They are without a doubt, one of my favorite manufacturers. Never am I dissapointed with any of their releases! The photo is of my daughter taken at a shoot when she was 5 months old. I originally scrapbooked these pictures using an older My Mind's Eye collection but I was truly unhappy with the layouts and decided to re-do all the pictures from this photo shoot...I very rarely ever re-do my layouts but it really was begging to be redone! To my fellow scrapbookers out there, isn't it funny how our styles evolve over time?! Sometimes I just cringe at my past creations and think, "what on earth was I EVER thinking?" LOL! Anyhow....here's a close up of the cluster of title and embellishments I used on the layout:

I added the bird's wings on these layouts and attached them with buttons (using pop dot adhesives) cause they looked a little "naked" to me...I thought it added a nice little touch and they seem much happier on the page as a result :)

I have quite a few layouts to share with you over the next week or so, so stay posted as there are more to come....Thanks for visiting today! If any of you have suggestions on how to take better pictures with my point and shoot, please -- I'm ALL EARS! I need all the help I can get :)

Hugs to all,

Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs