15 years...

*ALERT...I try to keep my blog posts light and about my crafts, rather than my life. Today's post is a bit different. I do have a life and today I am talking about. Feel free to skip over my words if you'd like to just see what I've made. I won't be offended, I promise!!!!

Scrapbooking is a life journey. It's a way to tell your story, document your life, your children's lives. It's a process of looking into your family heritage and writing it all down, so that future generations know about their past. At least, this is why I scrapbook. I want my future grandchildren to know what their father's were like as children, what we did as a family and how much we love them.

Today, September 30, 2011 marks 15 years since my father passed away unexpectedly at 49 years of age. It was 4 days after my 22nd birthday, which also happens to be the last time I talked to him. I think about the things he missed. My Dad never got to see my sister & I as adults. He didn't see me find a career that I loved or become the teacher he always urged me to be. He didn't get to met my husband or walk me down the aisle at my wedding. He never met my children. There have been so many times in the past 15 years that I have wondered what my Dad would have thought about how I turned out. I think he'd be proud of me, of us.

Over the past month, knowing this date was upon me, I started thinking about my Dad's story. I thought, "If I don't write his story, who will?" I want my children and future generations to know my father. I decided, it's time to write his story! Up to this point, I haven't scrapped a single layout about my father. It seemed too painful. It's easier to keep all of those feelings shoved down real deep where they don't hurt so bad. Hopefully the journey will be therapeutic. Maybe I'll even come to terms with my unresolved feelings about his passing.

I started this layout about a month ago. It lay unfinished in my closet for about 3 weeks. I honestly didn't know if I would be able to finish it. Until I thought "I HAVE to do this!" This IS important!! My children and my husband deserve this, my Dad deserves this!! And out it came...

I chose a photo of my father from when he was a little boy. I figured it would be easier to scrap & tell these stories first, before I can delve into him as my father and the person I knew.

This is not going to be an easy journey, but I'm ready.

Thank you for sharing in my first step!

xo! Maureen

Day of Gratitude

Happy hump day :)

Today I have a card that was based off of our first StampNation challenge back in January. An awesome sketch I fall back on time and time again! I used strips of Spice Cake dsp and adhered them to a piece of Very Vanilla cardstock. Then I die cut the with the Top Note die. Because the paper is so beautiful, I added just an image from Day of Gratitude, sentiment and button. I didn't feel like there was much more that was needed!

I hope you like it! Join StampNation for more fun challenges & inspiration!

All supplies SU!
Stamp: Day of Gratitude
Ink: Early Espresso
Paper: Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla, Spice Cake dsp
Accessories: Pool Party Ruffled Ribbon, Linen Thread, Neutrals button

Black & White

Hello! Today I have for you this weeks CAS Challenge at The Outlawz...Black & White only!!
I embellished my card with just a few pearls to add to the elegance.
Come join us!

Don't forget that we are having a HUGE party to celebrate 1000 members!!!

Stamps: Friends Never Fade, Perfectly Penned
Ink: Basic Black
Paper: Whisper White, Basic Black
Accessories: Basic Pearls, Basic Black Taffeta Ribbon

Frosted Masculine Birthday

**This is my second post today. Scroll down for my StampNation challenge card.

I was so inspired by the Make-it-Monday video this week on Frosted Images. I don't know that mine worked exactly the way it was supposed too, but I love the outcome! I think my ink dried too fast, so I wound up with more of a overall cloudy look. But it almost reminds me of looking out a window on a foggy morning.

To do this technique, simply stamp your image, then quickly stamp over it with white craft ink (I used Fresh Snow) and rub with your finger to smear the white ink. That is it. I also sponged the edges with the same ink!

Thanks for coming by today. I hope you are having a great weekend!

Nature, torn edges OR both!?

Happy weekend stamping friends!!! Every other Tuesday we post a new challenge at StampNation. I know, it is Saturday, but I've been a creating fool lately and I have SO much I want to share with you :)

Back to the challenge...this week the challenge is a bit different, it's your choice. What does that mean? Well, you pick a theme of nature, a technique of torn edges OR challenge yourself by using both, which is exactly what I did!! I started my card by stamping some of the images from Nature Walk and embellishing the one image with some flowers and pearls. I had been seeing a lot of folded dsp like I used on the top portion of my card around the blog world, so I gave it a try. To do that, I simply ran a bit of adhesive along the Vanilla cardstock and then scrunched my dsp as I went along. Next, I tore the edge and added a little bit of Daffodil Delight dsp to the back and tore that as well! At that point I was ready to start putting it all together and thought that it was a bit blah. So, I stamped 2 frames on either side of the card using the Four Frames stamp set and added a sentiment from Ting Tags. Now, it was ready to be assembled. I added a few more layers than normal, but was able to maintain an overall CAS look!

If you have checked out StampNation yet, what are you waiting for? I'd love to see you there!

Stamps: Nature Walk, Four Frames, Tiny Tags
Ink: Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, Old Olive Daffodil Delight
Paper: Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, First Edition dsp
Accessories: Itty Bitty Punch Pack, Jewelry Tag Punch, Basic Pearls, Linen Thread, Old Olive Button

Thankful Paisley

It's almost Friday, phew! This has been a long week! Here's another card I made for the Ippity "Fall" Challenge. Paisleys always remind me of fall!

To make this OLC, I masked the top and bottom of the card so that I could stamp only a small strip. Next, I stamped my sentiment and then tied up two pieces of Linen Thread. Easy Peasy!!!

Sponged Leaf

Can you tell I'm switching seasons here? Moving toward more autumnal & winter themes?

This weeks SCS CAS challenge (CAS136) is Ways to Use It: Leaves. I went with a very CAS design, making my leaf the focal point. I started by stamping this leaf image from "Autumn Splendor" in Early Espresso ink on Very Vanilla cardstock. Then I sponged the center of the leaf in Pumpkin Pie ink & the edges with Cherry Cobbler. I love how life-like it turned out. Instead of simply adhering the leaf to my card base, I curled up some of the edges to give this card a bit more dimension. I also sponged the edges of my card with white craft ink for even more added interest!

Thanks for visiting :)

All supplies SU!
Stamps: Autumn Splendor, Thank You Kindly
Ink: Early Espresso, Pumpkin Pie, Cherry Cobbler, White Craft Ink
Paper: Very Vanilla, Crumb Cake
Accessories: Sponges, Linen Thread

Rustic Christmas

'Tis the season to start making Christmas cards!! The holiday's will be here before you know it. Wouldn't it be nice to get your holiday cards finished before Thanksgiving, giving you more time to make cookies, gift wrap and decorate. Sounds wonderful to me, however, for me it's definitely wishful thinking :)

Using this weeks Clean & Simple Stamping Sketch (FTL158) and A Wreath for all Seasons, I made this rustic Christmas card. I love that I made my Christmas cards using this set last year and here I have a totally different look! This is the perfect card for mass producing and I think that is exactly what I am going to do with this one! I'm making some for a local party shop & I'm thinking about making some for you too!!! See a holiday card here that you like and I'll make you a few OR a lot!! Email me for more info.

Well, I hope your week is off to a great start!!! Thanks for stopping in :)

Ethan's 7th Birthday

Today my baby Ethan turns 7. I can't believe it! Above is his birthday card. A different color combo for me: Real Red, Daffodil Delight and Basic Black...these happen to be Ethan's favorite colors and I was determined to make them work together on his bday card! He loved it, so I think it was a success :)

Here are some pictures of our birthday celebration:

Ethan, 7 years old

Me & E

Blowing out the candle!
My kids never ask for a regular cake, we've had blueberry muffins, brownies and this year was crumb cake, whatever makes them happy :)

No stamping!

How pretty is this?! If I had a girl, she would need to have this dress!!! I love pink & brown together :)

I made this card for The Outlawz CAS challenge this week - No stamping except your sentiment!!! I started with a template from Paper Crafts and embellished it using the Beau Chateau dsp, Basic Pearls & a ribbon sash! I also used theTiny Tags stamp set and Jewelry Tag Punch to make my "price" tag.

This card is SO different for me. It was so much fun to make.

Head over to The Outlawz and play along. I'd love to see what you create!

Also, we are just about to hit 1000 members at The Outlawz! There is going to be a HUGE party, BIG prizes, so save the date!

All supplies Stampin' Up!
Stamp: Tiny Tags
Ink: Soft Suede
Paper: Very Vanilla, Beau Chateau dsp
Accessories: Basic Pearls, Sponges, Jewelry Tag Punch, Linen Thread, Soft Suede Taffeta Ribbon, Circle Punch

Template from Paper Crafts!

Lunchbox Notes

I saw this cute little stamp set & coordinating dies by Lil' Inker and I knew I had to have them. They make fabulous little lunchbox notes for the kids, perfect when they have a test or just need a little pick me up! Seeing all of those rainbows make be smile :)

I hope you are having a sunshine-y day!

CASE Study #56

This is a little card for you, my fellow cardmakers & bloggers. Today I want to take a minute to thank each and every one of you that stop by my blog to visit and to those that leave me sweet comments, thank you!!!! Your kindness and encouragement are appreciated more than you know! You always bring a smile to my face!!! I hope that I bright a little light to your day too :)

*This card is for the CSC56, what a fun card to CASE. The split dsp is something I never would have done on my own and I love the finished product!!!

**StampNation Update: Today is the last day to receive a package of handmade cards & to be entered to win the Because I Care stamp set for signing up for Catherine’s newsletter AND StampNation through this link .

You MUST email me with your username when you sign up for StampNation to be entered to win the Because I Care Stamp Set!!!
If you have signed up in the past through my links, please email me so you can be entered!!!!

Stamps: Creative Elements, Perfectly Penned
Ink: Crumb Cake, Soft Suede, Pink Pirouette
Paper: Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla, Beau Chateau dsp
Accessories: Top Note Die, Sponges, Basic Pearls

Fall Thanks

For me, Fall and thank you's go together like bread a butter!!! Ippity's challenge is to make a Fall card and I knew exactly what I wanted to do. CAS thank you's that could easily be reproduced. This design may also wind up on my Thanksgiving place cards, replacing the "thanks" with a name, hmm... I love the Pool Party paired with the traditional brown & orange!

I have another idea brewing for this challenge. I'll be back soon to share it!

Have a great week :)


Hello! I hope you are enjoying your weekend! I am happy to report that I do NOT have a headache today :) What I do have for YOU is the newest CAS Challenge at The Outlawz. It's a fun one! Whatever you use you must use two...on my card I used 2 designs of patterned paper, 2 embellishments & 2 pearls. If your hubby is watching football today, why don't you head over and join us. We have fabulous prizes too!!!

All supplies Stampin' Up!
Stamps: Teeny Tiny Wishes
Ink: Basic Black
Paper: Very Vanilla, Beau Chateau dsp, First Edition dsp
Accessories: Modern Label Punch, Basic Pearls, Elegant Lines Embossing Folder

Clean & Simple Saturday

Well, I guess every day is CAS here on my blog :) I'm quickly stopping in to share a card I made for the CAS-ual Friday (paper pieced acorns) & Clean & Simple Sketch Challenges yesterday. I'll be back later to add the particulars, my head is pounding right now :(

Thanks for stopping by! More on StampNation to come later too...

All supplies Stampin' Up!
Stamps: Autumn Splendor, Word Play
Ink: Early Espresso
Paper: Very Vanilla, Early Espresso, Pool Party, Spice Cake dsp
Accessories: Decorative Label Punch, Perfect Pennants Die, Linen Thread, Stripes Embossing Folder

Celebrating StampNation Day 3 - Burnishing

Welcome :)

If you haven't visited this week, I'm celebrating StampNation, a premier online community for passionate papercrafters where we share knowledge & gain inspiration through videos (over 80!) and written tutorials. I've been with Catherine at StampNation since the beginning and have loved watching the community grow and evolve!!! So, this week I'm taking a look back at what I've learned and I'm putting it to work!

My above card uses the Burnishing technique. Basically, you stamp your image and then fill it in with color using your sponge dauber, moving in a circular motion. I love the beautiful outcome and how quickly you can make your own background! I stamped the focal flower twice, trimmed each one and layered them with dimensionals. I also added a bit of Dazzling Diamonds to make it pop a bit more! This layout was inspired by the SCS sketch challenge this week!

Don't forget to head on over and check out StampNation! We hope you will join us!

This week only, anyone who signs up for Catherine’s newsletter AND StampNation through this link will receive a package of handmade cards.
You will also be entered to win the Because I Care stamp set by Stampin' Up!

***You MUST email me with your username when you sign up for StampNation to be entered to win the Because I Care Stamp Set!!!
If you have signed up in the past through my links, please email me so you can be entered!!!!

All supplies Stampin' Up!
Stamps: Growing Green, Just Believe
Ink: Pool Party, Island Indigo
Paper: Whisper White, Pool Party, Island Indigo
Accessories: Sponge Daubers, 2 way glue pen, dazzling diamonds, basic pearls

Celebrating StampNation Day 2 - Rosettes

I'm back today with another StampNation (SN) inspiration! While we were without power last week, I had too little light to put complete cards together, but I was able to make a lot of embellishments and try some of the techniques I learned at SN! This is one of them...Rosettes! I have to admit...I was pretty upset that Stampin' Up! didn't bring back the Rosettes that were in the Spring Occasions Catalog when they released the new IB&C in July. But now, I see why! You can quickly and easily make your own rosettes, better yet... in any color and with any ribbon you like!!!

Gorgeous, right?! Want to learn how? Join StampNation!

This week only, anyone who sign's up for Catherine's newsletter AND StampNation through this link will receive a package of handmade cards. You will also be entered to win the Because I Care stamp set by Stampin' Up!

Catherine did a sneak peek of her next newsletter. Look at this fabulous project, don't you want to see more? Her newsletter will contain a video tutorial on how to make this, wow!!!

*** You MUST email me with your username when you sign up for StampNation to be entered to win the Because I Care Stamp Set.

If you have signed up in the past, through my links, please email me so that you can be entered too!!! (And, so I can say hi!!)

All supplies Stampin' Up!
Stamp: Perfectly Penned
Ink: Whisper White Craft
Paper: Crumb Cake, Pear Pizazz, Pocket Full of Posies dsp
Accessories: Whisper White Satin Ribbon, Old Olive Taffeta Ribbon, Sponges, Basic Pearls & Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border

Celebrating StampNation-Collage Stamping

I find Collage Stamping one of the more difficult techniques to master. My cards are either too overdone or just plain blah! I needed some guidelines to help me build a more balanced card. So, I challenged myself to learn more. I started by watching a fabulous video on StampNation.
I highly recommend it!! These are some of the things I learned:

1. Start with your background and use your lightest ink.
I used the egg image and stamped it repeatedly with Crumb Cake Ink.

2. Emboss the focal image and highlight by sponging around the image.
Embossing the focal image helps ground the design and gives your eye a place to focus. I brought in some color by sponging around my focal image.

3. Use a darker color for your border (distressing) and smaller images.
With Soft Suede ink I distressed the edges of my collaged panel and used to to stamp the smaller bee images.

I hope these guidelines help you the next time you set out to create a Collaged card.

Also, don't forget to head on over and check out StampNation! We hope you will join us!

This week only, anyone who signs up for Catherine’s newsletter AND StampNation through this link will receive a package of handmade cards.
You will also be entered to win the Because I Care stamp set by Stampin' Up!

***You MUST email me with your username when you sign up for StampNation to be entered to win the Because I Care Stamp Set!!!
If you have signed up in the past through my links, please email me so you can be entered!!!!

Thanks for stopping by!

All supplies Stampin' Up!
Stamps: Nature Walk
Ink: Crumb Cake, Soft Suede, Pool Party, Versamark
Paper: Very Vanilla, Crumb Cake, Pool Party, Early Espresso
Accessories: Square Lattice Embossing Folder, Sponges, Black Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, Linen Thread, Antique Brads

Back to School Challenge

As we celebrate Labor Day, we come to the close of Summer here :( The days are getting shorter and the nights a bit brisker. Although I love the beautiful colors the Autumn brings, I'll miss the summer sun and outdoor activities we enjoy so much. Here in the USA, it is also time to go back to school for our children. In the spirit of back to school, 0ur weekly CAS challenge at The Outlawz is to pick a favorite subject in school and use it to inspire our project. I chose math. It wasn't always my favorite, but once it clicked I did quite well in it :)

Once again, I've used products from the Beau Chateau Product Suite: Beau Chateau Side Notes & dsp. I paired them with a Top Note Die and a sentiment from Tiny Tags. I love how quickly cards come together when you use a line of coordinating products. It is definitely one of my favorite things about Stampin' Up!

I hope you've enjoyed the holiday weekend, or have had a happy Monday if you don't celebrate Labor Day!

All supplies Stampin' Up!
Stamps: Tiny Tags
Ink: Soft Suede
Paper: Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla, Beau Chateau dsp
Accessories: Beau Chateau Side Notes, Top Note Die, Linen Thread, Jewelry Tag Punch

StampNation Virtual Open House!

At StampNation we are celebrating the release of Stampin' Up!'s Holiday Mini! I think this mini is my favorite, ever! Catherine has posted a bunch of AMAZING videos using some of the new products. I feel SO inspired!!!! You don't want to miss this! It's a great time to join... with the holiday's right around the corner, there is inspiration galore in the community with videos, tutorials and over 4000 samples in the gallery with more added daily!!!

I added this project using the new Spice Cake Designer Series Paper! Pool Party is such a beautiful addition to the traditional fall colors.

Want to know how to make this simple border that shows off BOTH sides of your dsp? It's simple, so go grab your circle punch and your favorite dsp and I'll show you how!

First, you'll need to punch out some circles.
With the 1 1/4 circle punch I used 7 circles, and overlapped a tad to fit them. You can play with other sizes.

Click image for larger version  Name:	Tut1.jpg Views:	2 Size:	44.7 KB ID:	1013

Next, fold one side of your circle to the center.

Click image for larger version  Name:	Tut2.jpg Views:	2 Size:	47.0 KB ID:	1014

Then, fold in the other side.

Click image for larger version  Name:	Tut3.jpg Views:	2 Size:	303.8 KB ID:	1015

Line up the folded circles and build your border.

Click image for larger version  Name:	tut4.jpg Views:	2 Size:	54.5 KB ID:	1016

It's as easy as that!!! I hope you'll try this fun & easy technique and don't forget to check out StampNation for more inspiration using new SU! products!

All supplies Stampin' Up!
Stamps: Autumn Splendor & Perfectly Penned
Ink: Early Espresso
Paper: Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, Pool Party, Spice Cake dsp
Accessories: Decorative Label Punch, 1 1/4 Circle Punch, Houndstooth Embossing Folder, Neutrals Buttons, Linen Thread

Oh, Irene!

Hurricane Irene came and went leaving beautiful weather behind her! However, she also left a big mess. We were not expecting to be hit by Irene, I thought some high winds, maybe a fallen tree...never did I imagine we would lose power & water for four days, the first days of school cancelled, etc. Every major road (around here "major" isn't so major:) was blocked by downed trees and wires!

Wondering what you do without power or water for four days? I'm a scrapbooker, of course I had to document it! Hopefully this is a once in a lifetime!

Day 1 (Sunday) was easy. It was raining and windy, we played games and just "chilled"

Day 2 (Monday) we were getting concerned. Sure, we lose power, however, it usually returns sometime in the middle of the night.

Yard Clean up

The boys use the Jeep to pull down a huge fallen limb.

More Clean up!

We also head out in the car to access the damage. This is what we found at the bottom of our road. This tree supposedly caught fire and fell a bit more before it was cleaned up.

We continued toward the grocery store and the road was closed, then turned in the other direction and quickly found that our entire area was without power. There were downed trees and rushing water everywhere. The only store that was open was the beer store where we picked up some ice (and some Corona). We made it to town, after some detours and stocked up on water...

It was becoming evident that we should start putting our food on ice. (Besides what we put in here, on Day 3 we lost ALL of our food from the fridge, freezer and our outside freezer-Yuck)

Time to get out the camping gear. PB & J for every meal just wasn't cutting it!!

Day 3 (Tuesday)-ok, time to shower!!! We left for my Mom's first thing in the morning, it seemed like all of our neighbors were heading out of the area. I needed coffee, a hot meal and a long, hot shower! We ate lunch and dinner out that day. We also charged the computer battery (used for watching movies-see Izzy), the kids ds's and used my Mom's computer!

Day 4 - Our power was restored around 5:00 in the evening. We screamed & yelled and held our breath, hoping it was on for good!!! It came back just in time for the first day of school, thank goodness...

Was it terrible? No. Awful? No. Just exhausting, stressful and a pain in the neck. It could have been worse and I am grateful that it wasn't!

One last thought on this subject...

What does an obsessed papercrafter do in a blackout?

Scrapbook in the dark, of course :)