Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cosmo Cricket Love...

As many of you scrapbookers out there know, Cosmo Cricket is holding a design team call right now. I've been waiting for this call for a long time because Cosmo Cricket is one of my absolute favorite scrapbooking manufacturers of all time. I chickened out and didn't enter last year, but I have regretted it ever since and I promised myself I wouldn't miss it again. The requirements they posted on the blog are:
Requirement 1. People who love Cosmo Cricket products and feel inspired by them.
Oh yeah this is me--as my stash of Cosmo Cricket papers will attest, I love Cosmo Cricket papers and have since the very beginning! I have bought just about every line they have ever put out and used a good portion of what I bought. These are all older layouts of mine, so don't look too close. My style has developed a lot since I did many of these, yet I love them all still and think they are a good testament to my long love of Cosmo Cricket!
This one is an older one too, but it is one of my all time favorites from one of my favorite lines--Halfway Cafe. This one appeared in a Scrapbook Trends Fast and Fabulous Idea Book awhile back. Maybe I love it so much because it is a favorite photo of my 3 crazy boys. Or maybe because the title is also the title of one of my favorite shows. :) Either way, the Halfway Cafe line was perfect for this photo.
This one is a little newer, even though the photo is a couple of years old. The Hello Sunshine line was perfect for this layout because that is what I always said to Spencer when he was in his swing at that age. He was always smiling!

And of course a Halloween layout! Halloween is by far my favorite holiday to scrapbook. I used the Get Happy line on this one about Blake and his love of Spider Man. I tell you that boy was crazy about Spiderman for the longest time! About a year ago he was constantly jumping off furniture and flinging his pretend "webs" at me--complete with sound effects. It was so cute! Not sure why the scan washed the photo out so much, but it is another of my favorite photos!

This one is newer too, and it uses Jack's World--which is another favorite line of mine. The monkeys in particular did me in--as it probably would for any mother who has 3 little monkeys of her own. This line reminded me so much of my boys play room--it was super fun to use on this layout about playing "This Little Piggy" with Spencer.

Requirement 2. People who have a great sense of design.

That one is a little bit harder to qualify as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I am lucky enough to have a very talented mother who has taught me so much. If I have any skills in this area at all I know they came from her. She was even the one who got me interested in floral design which I studied in college as a sort of minor. I certainly was drilled in the principals of design during those classes! Hopefully some of that rubbed off somewhere. I'd like to think I still remember something I learned in college! Haha! :)

Requirement 3. People who are creative.
Wow another hard one to talk about as this too is in the eye of the beholder. I have to admit a lot of my favorite ideas come from wandering around my mom's house. She decorates with the cutest stuff--it is inspiration heaven--and she rotates it all about once a month. Now I just have to make sure she never moves :)
This card for example, was inspired by a piece of quilt fabric she happened to show me recently. It uses 3 lines: Girl Friday, Jack's World, and Early Bird.
Don't you just love the vintage and nostalgic feeling to all of the Cosmo Cricket papers?! It takes me back to all my favorite TV shows like I Love Lucy, Leave it to Beaver, Hogan's Heros, Bewitched, My 3 Sons, The Andy Griffith Show, and all the other oldies but goodies! I can almost hear Patti Page or Teresa Brewer on the radio at my grandma's house when I look at all their awesome patterns. (and yes I know I'm far too young to know and love stuff from the 50's and 60's but I do!)
You probably can't read the sentiment in that photo but it says "Grandmas Are Moms with Extra Frosting." And that sentiment is also inspired by my Mother. She is one super fun grandma. Before my parents moved here I used to be my boys favorite person. Now, I could fall off the face of the earth and they wouldn't even notice as long as grandma is around. Hopefully, I can get that favorite person status back when I'm a grandma some day--it sure does look like a lot of fun!
Requirement 4. People who maintain an active blog and are connected to online communities.
Well, I know some people bug me to post to my blog more often, but for the most part I blog about once a week. Sometimes it's scrapbook related, sometimes it's about photography, sometimes it's sketches or tips, sometimes it's about the family happenings--but most of the time it is all of the above. As for online communities you can check out my profiles at twopeasinabucket.com, scrapbook.com, and scrapbooks.com to chat with me or see my current work.
5. People who are not afraid to submit for publication.
Not afraid one bit--in fact I love it. I even have several Cosmo Cricket projects out for publication at the moment. I can't show them on the blog because of this but here is a little peek of an extreme close up of 2 of my favorites:
This one is in the June '09 issue of Scrapbook Trends. It uses the Jack's World line and is about how much my middle son loves his daddy.
And this one will be in the ST Holiday Idea book. I used the Mr. Campy line to make this Thanksgiving card. Be sure and check out the issue once it is out to see the whole card.
You can go here to check out my resume and see a complete list of my publications if you want to see where else my work has appeared and my other design team experience.
Requirement 6. People who are low maintenance, dedicated, easy to get along with, generally happy and fun to be around. (It's going to be hard to beat last year's team on this one!)
I can't really prove this one, or even talk about it without sounding kind of corny, but as far as personality goes, I'm the laid back and easy going type who enjoys having fun and even being silly, but I certainly don't do drama. I do get frustrated at people who are always full of excuses and don't complete assignments, I also think commitments are really important--not made to be broken. I have fun both with assignments and having free reign to create; and short deadlines don't bother me, in fact, I think I often design best when up against a deadline.
And lastly, here are some very recent layouts and projects using Cosmo Cricket. Since some of my more recent Cosmo Cricket projects were out for publication I thought I'd better challenge myself to get a bunch of new projects done for this call. The cupcake card above was one of them as well as these 2 layouts, the ice cream card, and the flower wall hanging.
The wall hanging features the Early Bird, Girl Friday and Snorkel lines all mixed together. One of the things I love about Cosmo Cricket papers is how well the lines mix.
I got the idea to do this wall hanging by looking at my Mom's front flowerbed of Zinnia's. She always has the most beautiful flowers growing outside!
The letters here are made by Chatterbox and I had to hot glue them down to get them to stick to the beveled edge of the frame. I love hot glue--it makes things stick that even glue dots can't handle. In fact it is holding down the many layers of the large flowers too. Glue dots just couldn't handle the weight.
Everyone has been asking how to do those layered petal flowers. I'll see if I can get a little tutorial up soon. The leaves are just eyeballed and hand cut. Nothing too hard or fancy.
And these 2 layouts feature the Snorkel line exclusively. This line is great for beach/swimming photos like the layout of Ty boogie boarding as well as the everyday moments that are my favorite things to scrapbook; as in the layout below about some of Blake's quirky sayings.
I love that photo too--certainly shows the way he is always scheming up something new to say that cracks me up. Like when I told him the other day that he couldn't have a cookie until after dinner and he snuck one anyway. I took it away and he looked up at me with the hugest super sad eyes and said "That breaks my heart Mom!" I wanted to crack up laughing but I was too mad at him for going behind my back to sneak the cookie. He certainly knows how to try and work the guilt trips.
Not long ago I was showing this paper line (Snorkel) to my Mom. She loved it, and was very excited when I told her it was coming out in fabric. My mom is an amazing quilter and I would love to see what she can do with these great patterns in a quilt! I'm so happy to see the trend of scrapbook papers being put out as fabric, that gives me even more options for the lines I just can't get enough of as well as the girly lines that I love but don't get to use on my scrapbook pages as often as I'd like.
When I do get to play with the more girly lines I have a lot of fun! This card was inspired by the same quilt fabric as the cupcake card above and uses 3 lines: Girl Friday, Jack's World, and The cone is a piece from Mr. Campy. Actually it might be 4 lines--I think the sentiment is printed on a piece from Snorkel.

I saw the sentiment on a T-shirt and I knew I had to make a card with it!

Anyhow, if you actually read my entire Cosmo Cricket novel, thanks for sticking with me! And to the good people over at Cosmo Cricket--please consider adding me to your team. I'd love it, and I promise I'd work very hard for you!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Free Scrapbook Stuff....

Anyone interested? Scrapbooks.com is hosting a sketch challenge using 3 of my sketches. All you have to do is complete a layout (or layouts) using one or more of the sketches. Then add it to the gallery and link it in the forums to the sketch challenges by the end of the month and you have a chance to win a gift certificate to scrapbooks.com :)
These are the sketches:
I know we would love to see more people participate! Come on over and join in on the fun. You can also take a look at what the design team did with the sketches if you are curious for ideas. And just for fun here are a few more sketches from me. These are not eligible for the contest, but still fun!
Everyone have fun with them! And thanks for stopping by! :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hopefully the craziness is over...

June has been a lot of fun so far --insert heavy sarcasm here--
Bronchitis, maybe pneumonia, Dr.'s visits, an emergency room visit, summer school for Ty and summer school teaching for Marc, nasty tasting antibiotics, a kidney stone, major pain killers, scout camp near Dallas, car repairs, a teacher's conference in San Antonio...etc. etc. Yes, yes, fun, fun, fun...
I think our family is quite ready for summer to really begin and be the fun relaxing time we were expecting. I'm ready for Marc to be home for awhile too. I really miss him when he is away, and all the fun we have had while he has been gone on these two trips has only made me miss him more. Of course he has had his share of fun over the past 2 weeks too--the emergency room visit was his--so I'm sure he is ready to do some relaxing when he gets home today. Hopefully all of that craziness is over now and we can get on with the fun plans we have made. Big thanks to my parents who were a huge help during the past few weeks and have put up with us delaying a birthday celebration trip to the Houston Space Center for my Dad 3 times in a row now. 4th times the charm right? Hopefully that will make it back on the calender soon too!
I should add that not all of June was bad. The end of the school year was fun as always. Blake graduated from his first year of Joy school, and we had a little party to celebrate. He really loved Joy school this year, it is such a great program--so well thought out and so much fun to do with him. I've really enjoyed having this special time that belongs just to Blake and me! I love the special bond we have created through doing Joy school together and wish we had done it with Ty too. It is a really fabulous program. The other Moms and kids we did it with were great too and I know Blake is missing it this summer. Thankfully we have another great group ready to go again in the fall and we are both excited to see what year 2 will bring!
The happy graduate:

This is Ty on his last day of first grade. A little bit of a bittersweet day I think. Ty was very excited for summer, however, he had a wonderful, amazing, phenomenal, first grade teacher that we both will be missing. I can only hope his second grade teacher is half as good! He is holding my customary end of the school year gift for his teacher. The flowers are pens topped with foam flowers. I saw this similar idea for a mother's day gift on the Queen and Company blog last year, and I knew I'd be doing my own adaptation of it as a teacher gift from then on. I usually tuck a gift card into the card which I tie on the handle. The foam flowers are from Hobby Lobby, and the pot is from the Target Dollar spot.

This is last year's version for Ty's kindergarten teacher. These flowers were from the Target dollar spot as well and the pot.

Fun and easy to do. I just layer the foam flowers, then hot glue the flowers to the ends of the pens. Then stick them all in a little metal bucket with a few beans at the bottom. Add my card and gift card and then beg Ty not to spill them everywhere as he takes them into the school :) I usually make a few other pens to tie to thank you notes for the other teachers who help Ty at school. He has some wonderful special education teachers who have been great at giving him the little bit of extra help he needs. Hopefully everyone likes them. If my boys ever get male teachers I guess I'll have to think up something new--but for now this is the plan.

Lastly for today here is a layout and card I did manage to get done during the crazy start of June. First is a brief tutorial someone asked me to post on how I made my own journaling card for the layout.

First I took some lined paper--this happens to be made by Scenic Route Paper Company, but any kind of paper would work--and punched a circle.

Then I cut a slightly smaller circle with my circle cutter and added temporary adhesive to the back.
I stuck the smaller circle on the larger one to mask off the area I didn't want black.
Then I took a black felt tipped marker and went around the exposed edge a few times. After removing the mask you have a perfect journaling tag.
If you like your handwriting more than I do you can write directly on the tag.
I prefer the easy way out :) I run mine through my printer and then add it to my layout.
Unfortunately for me I didn't notice the typo until after I took these photos. On the flip side all I had to do was punch and edge a new tag, so it was easy to fix the layout. You will have to take my word for it that I fixed the typo. I'm feeling to lazy just now to take a new photo :)
But you get the idea--really easy and fast!

A few close ups of other stuff.

The little Monsters/Aliens were originally refrigerator magnets I picked up from the Target dollar spot--gotta love Target! They are stapled to the layout as I have never found a good adhesive for these types of softies. They melt glue dots after a few months so I figured staples would be best--and fast. And I'm all about trying to speed up my scrapbooking.

And here is the card I managed to finish. It was inspired by this layout in a lift the pea above you challenge on Twopeasinabucket.com

Anyhow, thanks for stopping by. And thanks to everyone who is being so patient about the photos and emails I owe everyone. I am catching up quickly and hope to be back on track with my normal 2-3 week turn around on photo shoots next week.

Monday, June 1, 2009

I can't believe it is June first!

How did that happen? It seems like 2009 just got started, and now it is June? Wow! June is an interesting month for us. Ty will have his last day of first grade on Thursday, Blake's last day of Joy school is also Thursday, and Marc will wrap up his 6th year teaching high school on Friday. That will make for a fun but busy week as we go through all the activities and festivities associated with the end of another school year. Ty seems to have mixed feelings about it all. He has had the most wonderful 1st grade teacher--seriously awesome--and he is sad to be leaving her. At the same time he is excited to have some time off and play more with Blake. Marc however, does not have mixed feelings. His feelings run somewhere along the lines of "Hallelujah!" :) The rest of June will contain both of our father's birthdays, scout camp, summer school for Ty (and maybe Marc too if he is called in to teach), Father's day, swim lessons, and hopefully lots of fun spent together as a family. It should be good--even if it is hot as all get up already! Anyway, just a little share of some cards I've been making. I know it's no where near Christmas, but there are lots of Christmas card/tag magazine calls out there right now, so I'll cross my fingers that some of these get picked up.
Thanks everyone for stopping by! I hope your first week of June is great!