Sunday, May 29, 2011

Magic Memories

Okay so we are still working on the bedroom. We are at the stage of filling in nail holes and wiping down the walls and figuring out how much paint we will need. Hopefully we'll be getting paint tonight and then maybe start painting tomorrow, but we'll see how it goes.

In between making sure all the wallpaper sticky gunk was off the walls this morning, I did some scrapbooking. I'm still working on our vacation pictures from April. I decided to do a full album for the vacation, so it's taking me longer to finish, but that's okay.

Here's a layout of us at Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM Studios). I based this layout off of "It's the Little Moments That Make Life Big" by Belinda8 on Her layout was done, like, three years ago, but I randomly flipped through my old sketchbook and decided that it was the layout I was going to scraplift. So if possible, you can find Belinda8's layout on, although the search function isn't very helpful when you are looking for a particular person or layout.

What have you guys been up to this weekend? We've still got today and Monday off. And then I have a 3 and a half day week. Woo hoo for half-day summer Fridays. We get out at 1:30, but, of course, that means that I get home at 5:00. Gotta love crappy commutes. It's better than getting home at 7:00, though.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Stage 1

 I did take a 30-minute break today to scrapbook, but you won't see a picture of that just yet. Instead, this is what our bedroom looks like as we attempt to paint it. But before we can paint it, we have to get rid of a wallpaper border. And then we have to wipe down the walls and fill in old nail holes. But first.... the wallpaper border.

I had the day off today, so I spent the majority of my day off peeling off paper and sticky gunk. And it's still. not. done. I stopped at 5:00 p.m. My neck hurts from looking up for so long. My hands were hurting from holding the stupid plastic scraper. My feet were hurting from standing on them all day. Mike is going to try tomorrow and/or we are going to Home Depot to buy some special wallpaper removal stuff.

Here's some advice: when you move into a house, don't move into one with wallpaper. I can't even imagine what it will be like when we decide to redo the office, which is ALL wallpaper and not just a border. Hopefully we win the lottery by then and we can hire people to do it for us.

Three more days to work on this. Will we get to the painting part?

p.s. You can see the paint sample colors on the wall in the second picture. Which one do you think we picked?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Unleashed - Book Review

I wanted to like this book more than I did. There are a couple reasons why this book just didn't resonate with me the way I wanted it to:

a) This book is a reprint of McManus' formerly titled The Barbarian Way. I did not know this going into the book, so when McManus kept referring to "the barbarian way" and being barbarians, it confused me. I thought he was talking about a previous book he had written, but then I went back to the front of the book and saw this book had been published in 2005 as The Barbarian Way. Why the book was reprinted with a new title is beyond me. McManus doesn't seem to have any updated introduction to the book to explain the title change.

b) It took me until about page 129 (the book is only 141 pages) to begin to grasp what McManus was saying in regards to "the barbarian way." The anecdotes he gave throughout the book just weren't clicking with me, nor were the pages and pages of explanation. I feel like McManus could have more easily communicated the idea without the need for so many words. But then the book would have only been about 10 pages long.

What did click with me was when McManus says we need to be free to be ourselves. "We need to let ourselves become the unique individuals that God created us to be. We need to stop trying to be what everyone else wants us to be and stop worrying about what everyone else thinks. Civilized people measure one another by their robes and signet rings. The barbarians measure only heart and actions." (page 133)

Another thing I liked was when McManus compares "barbarian" Christians as a crash of rhinos. (Did you know that a group of rhinos was called a "crash"? Neither did I.) Rhinos can only see 30 feet in front of them, yet the whole group of them goes full speed ahead at 26 miles per hour without apprehension. Barbarian Christians should band together like rhinos. Even though we can't see the future, we just have to move forward with confidence. Stop wasting time and just go.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, May 23, 2011

Giveaway at Once Upon a Sketch

Hello there!

How would you like to win one of these? 

The absolutely gorgeous May kit from My Scrapbook Nook??

Once Upon A ..Sketch is giving one, right now!!

All you need to do is this..

1. Follow the Once Upon A ...Sketch Blog
2. Copy this exact information and post about this on your blog, together with the May kit picture and a link back to Once Upon A Sketch
3. Make sure you also post the information about the current offer at the Nook listed below. 
3. Link your post using the Link Tool at the bottom of this post!

That is it! You have until the end of the current challenge, which is midnight May 31st, Australian Eastern Standard Time. A random winner will be drawn soon after.

My Scrapbook Nook is offering a wonderful offer for a limited time only! Sign up for 6 months and receive the May kit for free......great deal! 

Or Sign up for 12 months and get the 13th kit free!!!!!!!!!

  Kits value between $31- $34 – Yours for only $29.50. This way we ensure that you receive a fully loaded kit each month. We will also offer combined shipping with any add-ons or goodies from the store you need.

Tell a friend and if they sign up email us at and give us your friends name and we will give you a $5.00 store credit. Good only while supplies last.

Go for it!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Inspiration from Jana

As promised, and out of order, here is this week's Inspiration from Jana! I went back through my scrapbook sketch books, where I sketch layouts based on my own ideas and what I see other people doing. Some of Jana's work can be found in my sketch book, including a sketch of her layout Sweet Treats. 

click here to see this in Jana's gallery

I liked all the layering on this one and wanted to try my hand at some paper and embellishment layering. While I didn't do as much layering on mine as Jana did on hers, I am pleased with how this one turned out.

I turned Jana's layout on its side and did the journaling and title a little differently. Like I said, not as much layering as what Jana had, but this layout did get me to use some fun K & Co. embellishments. And I grouped them together. Yay for grouping embellishments! Yay for inspiration!

How will you let this layout inspire you? Don't forget to visit Jana's gallery and her website for lots more inspiration. And share with us in the comments your work! We'd love to see it! And thanks again to Jana for being part of Cook Scrap Craft this week!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Breakfast Casserole

(I know this is out of order, but my week is kind of crazy, so you're getting this first. Friday will be the Inspiration from Jana day.)

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals when it's done right: bacon, eggs, sausage, toast, home fries. I'm all about the big breakfast spread, morning or night. Thank goodness that Jana shared with us a recipe for a breakfast casserole and that the recipe can easily be converted to gluten-free with little hassle. The combination of melty cheese and eggs with a crust made of hash browns has my mouth watering. "We always double this because it's just so delicious," Jana says. "Everyone comes back for more!"
I made this for Mother's Day brunch (I told you I'd share the recipe with you!) and everyone liked it. I made one with breakfast sausage (Jimmy Dean's) and one with ham. The ham was more popular than the sausage, but I prefer the sausage. I also left out the peppers because I don't like them, but feel free to keep them in and/or add something else to this like tomatoes. This seems like the type of thing that can easily be changed up to suit your tastes. So enjoy!
Breakfast Casserole
3 c. frozen hash browns, thawed
½ c. butter, melted
1 c. cooked ham or sausage
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
¼ c. diced green peppers
2 eggs
1.2 c. milk
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper

1. Press hash browns into bottom and sides of greased pie pan. Drizzle with butter. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes. 

2. Combine meat, cheese, and peppers. When pie crust is done, spoon the meat, cheese, and peppers over crust. 

3. Beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper and pour over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until knife in center comes clean. Cool 10 minutes. Cut and serve.


And while you're enjoying this meal, don't forget to visit and Jana's gallery for more inspiration!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Getting Scrappy With...

Welcome to another installment of Getting Scrappy With! This month we are getting scrappy with another very talented scrapbooker, Jana Eubank. As with most of these featured scrappers, I discovered Jana's work through You should totally check out her gallery to see her wonderful scrappy creations. She also has a fun blog, aptly titled, where she showcases her work and occasionally hosts giveaways. Jana has been on several design teams, including Pink Paislee, My Mind’s Eye, Zva Creative, and Cricut Circle. She was also the design team coordinator for Noel (where you can find super awesome scrapbook kits). Once you check out Jana's work, you'll see why she's so in demand with these design teams. Her work is awesome! I need to learn how to layer like she does. So let's get to know Jana a little bit better, shall we?
click here to view this in Jana's gallery
Through all your design team work, you've gotten to work with product from some great manufacturers. What are some of your favorites?
I love them all, but my most favorite ones are My Mind’s Eye, Pink Paislee, Crate Paper, Sassafras Lass, October Afternoon, Cosmo Cricket, and Collage Press.
Where do you get your creative inspiration?
My main inspiration comes with the products I am working with, but I also adore looking at color combinations found in interior design, children’s clothing and wedding blogs.
Do you have a favorite technique that you use on layouts or something that you think of as your signature?
I don’t know about having a signature technique. But there are a few things I really love to do on most of my pages. I love to sand the edges of my photos, ink my paper edges with dark brown ink, add a horizontal grounding line of some sort in my design, and have a dimensional title. I also LOVE using dark brown cardstock as my “neutral” and when I’m feeling like a page needs “something” I’ll usually add buttons, a pop of random color, or a circle element.

When did you first get into scrapping?
My “first” scrapbook was back in junior high where I kept special pictures and notes from my friends and family. I continued to maintain a book of some sort all the way through college. As I got married and began my family, I continued to scrapbook and record our memories. I am so grateful that I did that because now we have a complete “history” of our lives together. I became more serious about scrapbooking as an art form about four years ago. As a mother of young children, I discovered the enjoyment and fulfillment it gave me as an individual. It was my creative outlet . . . it was something that I could do for ME. Yet at the same time I was proud that the end result was something my family cherished as well.
Is that the main reason why you scrap?
I scrapbook because I love everything about it! It satisfies my need to create and to do something of importance for my family.
You scrap your family a lot but does that include scrapping about yourself? 
I am terrible about getting out from behind the camera. I need to be better about that. Really. It’s definitely my weakest scrapbook topic. I think I scrapbook about myself only 4 or 5 times a year. 

Well we certainly see you through the creative aspect of your layouts. How has your style evolved over the years?
In the beginning I was very much a cutesy scrapper. I loved all the seasonal die-cuts and building my own paper-piecings. After that I fell in love with Becky Higgins and her classic, cardstock-only style. I took a break from scrapping during the nature-inspired, collage-y trend, but came back full-force after that and discovered the joy of layering and playing with patterned papers.
Where is your favorite place to scrap? 
My favorite place to be is in my scrap room. You can find me there all hours of the day, but my favorite time to work is first thing in the morning or late at night when the house is quiet.
click here to view this in Jana's gallery
What does your scrap room look like?
We built our own home two years ago and I was able to design my own space from scratch. I love it! I have cream, distressed cabinetry and a light, muted teal on the walls.
That sounds wonderful! Any tips on keeping all those scrap supplies organized?
My favorite scrapbooking organization tool is the 12 x 12 Iris Snap Close cases. I use them for everything! I store my alphabet stickers in them by color, store my scrapbook kits in them, and sort my supplies by manufacturer in them. I love that I can put paper and embellishments in them and store them vertically on a shelf. I use them to store all the supplies I am using for specific projects, as well as finished layouts that haven’t been put into scrapbooks yet. I use them to sort types of supplies, like scrappy tools and their supplies, flowers, felt, chipboard . . . you name it, I use them for it! They also come in handy for storing mini albums alongside my other 12 x 12 albums.
Those sound great. I should look into getting some! Thanks so much for sharing that tip and for being a part of Cook Scrap Craft this week!
Don't forget to check out Jana's gallery, as well as her website/blog for more inspiration and insight. And come back later in the week for more from Jana right here on Cook Scrap Craft!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sketchy Thursdays Guest Design Team Challenge

I recently made this layout for the Sketchy Thursdays June Guest Design Team challenge. The challenge was to use the provided sketch and get inspiration from a picture. The picture was of a stack of teacups, and I really liked the haphazard way the teacups were stacked. So I decided to use that aspect of the picture in my layout. As you can see, I haphazardly "stacked" the three pictures on the top.

The deadline for the June Guest Design Team challenge is May 21 at midnight. The winner gets a kit from Scrappy Chics and a spot on the Sketchy Thursdays design team for the month of June. Pretty cool, huh? You can't win if you don't play, so what are you waiting for?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


For Mother's Day Mike and I had a brunch for his mom and grandma. Here is a list of what I served:

Lemon Berry Punch - This is really good for a brunch beverage and/or summer BBQ beverage.

Gluten-free Shortcut Cinnamon Biscuits - The measurements for the icing are a little off, though. (1 lb of margarine?? Did she mean tbsp?) So here is the icing recipe I used:
2 tbsp butter
3 ounces of softened cream cheese
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
Cream together in a bowl. When biscuits are ready, put icing on top. DELICIOUS when served warm.

If you're serving fruit, like we did, might I suggest this yummy fruit dip that you'll be eating by itself for the rest of the week:
2 eight-ounce packages of cream cheese
1 13-ounce jar of marshmallow fluff
Mix together. YUM.

We also served two breakfast casseroles (that I'll be sharing with you next week) and bagels.

Blueberry-Ricotta Pancakes - If I had had more time and/or knew how to make these gluten-free, I totally would have made them. Do they not look delicious? Next time.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Royal Wedding

image from the Daily Mail
The recent wedding of Prince William and Kate got me thinking back to my own royal wedding on this day two years ago.

We also got a carriage ride, just like the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. :) Happy Anniversary!

Friday, May 6, 2011

GlueArts Ribbon Adhesive

Is anyone else familiar with the company GlueArts? I had never heard of them before, but several months ago I won a giveaway for a $50 gift card to the GlueArts online store. Woo hoo! I got a lot of stuff, such as regular adhesive, vellum adhesive, and 3D foam adhesive. But what I like the most is the ribbon adhesive.

Here is the description from the website:

Adhesive Squares™ Brand Adhesives-Ribbon Adhesive - comes spooled on a clear liner with 40 feet of continuous adhesive!
A very thin extrusion of adhesive means your ribbon will lay perfectly flat, permanently. The clear liner allows precise placement every time. Just roll out the desired amount of adhesive, cut, position and burnish the adhesive into the ribbon, peel away the liner and press the ribbon into place!

Yep it really is that easy. Prior to using this stuff I had been applying tiny glue dots to each end of the ribbon and adhering the ribbon like that. It worked, but the ribbon didn't always lie flat and sometimes the places where the ribbon wasn't adhered with glue dots would move. But that doesn't happen with the GlueArts ribbon adhesive. 

The only drawback is that once the ribbon is down on the page, that's it. You can't move it. But a lot of people work with permanent adhesive (I always go for the removable acid-free photo squares) so this might not be a problem for some of you. 

Has anyone else worked with GlueArts products? What is your favorite item from GlueArts?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Using Photo Sleeves as Layouts

Awhile back, I can't remember where or when, I saw a tutorial for using photo sleeve pages as a base for scrapbook layouts. Normally with these pages you just put in your 4x6 photos, kind of like a regular photo album. But you don't have to use them like regular photo album pages. All you need is some patterned paper, embellishments, and letters for your title and you can make a scrapbook layout! This is a great idea for those who don't have a lot of time to figure out how to lay everything out on a page or for those who have a lot of vacation pictures and just want an easy way to get them all scrapped.

In the first photo, I used four photos. Three I kept as 4x6 and the fourth photo I cut and matted onto blue cardstock. In the two other 4x6 spaces, I cut patterned paper to fit inside, adding a journaling tag to one and a title to the other, slapped on some stickers, and voila! Done.

Now, if you do one side of the photo sleeve page, then you have to do the other. I sort of did the same thing with the back side, only I switched up the placement of every thing. It was super easy to do and allowed me to use a lot of pictures on one page.

Something to keep in mind: if you are using a digital camera and printing your pictures out with a photo processing company such as Walgreens, don't get the 4.5 x whatever true digital prints. They will not fit in these photo sleeves. You must get the 4x6 prints, even if that means a little cropping must be done on your picture. Trust me, the cropping issue really isn't that bad. And I like the glossy look of the 4x6 pictures instead of the matte look that I always get from the true digital prints. 

Has anyone else ever worked with these types of pages before? Did you like them?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Make Your Own Patterned Paper

Last month's Counterfeit Kit Challenge inspired me to create my own patterned paper using stamps. I had a whole bunch of travel-themed stamps that were perfect for this. But first I needed stamp pads because all I had was black and maroon. So I went to Michael's and found stamp pads in the $1 bins. I got light blue, yellow, and green. Score! Then I just randomly stamped all over the paper. I started with the black stamp pad and used that as my base. Then I used the other stamps and stamp pads to fill in the blanks. And now I have my own piece of patterned paper! I'm excited to do more stamping with my other stamps to create different patterned paper. Have you guys ever stamped your own patterned paper? In what other ways do you use your stamps? Do you use clear stamps? (I love those.)