Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry post-Christmas!

Hey everyone! How was your Christmas? Mine was wonderful!!!

This year, it was so great to see my 3 1/2 year old son, Benjamin, getting excited for Christmas. He was blown away on Christmas morning that Santa had ACTUALLY come to our house, ate the cookies & milk, fed rudolph the carrot, and left him presents. Presents he had asked him for! Amazing! :) By the way, this year I decided that Santa should only bring one or two gifts per kid (the rest of the gifts I get to take credit for... is that selfish?), and that the gifts he brings them should be un-wrapped (and out of the package) beneath the tree. After all, he carries them in his sack and brings them straight from the North Pole where the elves make them, right? :) It's also nice to have a few toys already out for them to play with immediately. It gave Aaron and I a little time to wake up and brew a BIG pot of coffee.

Actually, I was very awake by the time we started unwrapping gifts. I was the first one out of bed on Christmas morning... about quarter to 6 or so I woke up and couldn't fall back to sleep. I sat down here on the couch in the dark with the Christmas tree as my only source of light. It was very peaceful for me to think about the meaning of the holiday in the glow of the multicolored lights. It's easy to get caught up in the presents and pretend characters and forget about the birth of a Savior. The BIG reason for why we even celebrate to begin with. :) That's why I love the Christmas Eve service at my church. Every year the service ends with us all singing "Silent Night" in the dim light while holding flickering candles. The last verse we lift up our candles and our voices fill the church in praise. Mmm. It's heart warming. It's beautiful. And it's the exact reminder I need that Christmas is a simple holiday with a HUGE meaning. Not the opposite.

I realize I haven't yet shared the pages I made with the December kit from Mosh Posh! Here they are:

My mom and I are busy working on our Etsy shop. It's been in the works for a looong time. We hit a few road bumps along the way, my house flooded, the holidays approaching, busy stuff, etc. But now I have a renewed energy and I'm very excited about it. Here is a taste of the awesomeness to come: Stuffed ROBOT toys, dollies, babies, lovey blankies, bags for mommy, scrapbook albums, completed scrapbook pages (ready for your photos), cards, art, paintings, etc. A complete creative boutique for baby and mom. :) I'm psyched!!! Stay tuned for more about that!

Anyways, better go. The in-laws are in town and I have to take a trip to the grocery store to make one of my favorite meals, chicken white bean chili with corn bread and salad. Yum. :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

All about cards...

The challenge at Mosh Posh this month is a card making one. I am not highly fond of making cards... mostly because I hardly ever send them to anyone. Gosh, that makes me sound SO cold and unfriendly!!! LOL. But, seriously, whenever I think of making a card I stop myself because I always feel like it's a waste of my cardstock and embellishments. And I never have envelopes to send them in, either! I hate taking so much time and putting in so much effort on a silly little card. Especially when I can buy a beautiful one from Hallmark for a couple dollars.


I'm chuckling to myself over here because I am making a case for NOT making cards! Aren't I encouraging? Isn't this a great scrapbooking blog!?! Hahahahaha...

So, it get's better, I promise. :) I sort of had a change of heart about making cards. I went out and bought a pack of plain white envelopes from Target (or was it Michaels?) and I kept my card designs simple. Actually, making cards is a GREAT way to use up odd embellishments and scraps of paper you have left over after making layouts. See? I'm OK with making cards now. Especially after this batch of 3 holiday cards was completed and I felt so proud! Proud of a card! Who knew?

This month, the Mosh Posh December kit is bursting with fun goodies to play with. Especially if you grab the add-on, too. I just grabbed some ribbon and buttons from my own stash... oh yeah, glitter stickles too.

Here are the cards:

Now, if you're anything like me and you have NO idea how to go about making a card start by cutting a sheet of cardstock to 12x9 inches. Then cut it into two 9x6 sheets. Fold those in half with the non-textured surface on the inside (to write on). This size card is easy to find envelopes for. OR if you're super ambitious, make your own envelope from lightweight patterned paper, too: MAKE AN ENVELOPE.

Do you make cards? Have any to share??? Post a link in the comments. I'd love to see your work and get more ideas now that I'm an official "card maker".


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Better Late than Never...


I'm late for the second week of the Mosh Posh blog hop. Sorry to confuse all of you visitors! My life has been CRAZY lately. We just moved back into our house after being away for 3 months due to flood damage. We are all (not) adjusting to being in our old routine, and our formerly familiar beds. My kids are (not) doing well sleeping in their room together after being in separate rooms for 3 months. And once again they are sick... or should I say they are STILL sick? Their ear infections weren't wiped our by the first antibiotic, so we're trying another one. I am tired-er than I've ever been but at the same time I'm thrilled at the improvements to our house. Once we are healthy and rested I think I will enjoy it even more.

Anyways, enough about my personal life! LOL!

About scrapbooking... do you love taking pictures, but when it comes time to edit them you are completely clueless about how to make them look professional? My all-time favorite quick tool is Photoshop Actions. Here is a link to the actions I use the most by Pioneer Woman: HERE and HERE. They are FREE and easy to use. My favorites are PW's B&W, BW beauty, and Fresh & Colorful. Such a quick and easy way to make your photos look like a million bucks. I use them on almost all of the photos I take when I don't have time to tweak them myself.

And just to quickly share a few ideas from my November layouts:

Cardstock is your friend!!! If you have some blank, un-used space that's screaming for some attention, grab some scraps of cardstock. A simple band of coordinating solid color can nicely fill an empty space without drawing attention away from the part of the layout you want to enjoy. Easy backstitching along the seam gives it polish without too much fuss. This vertical strip of brown cardstock completes the layout better than patterned paper, more photos, or embellishments would have and it took very little effort.

Use lists to tell the story! Not feeling like writing a paragraph of journaling every time you make a page? Try using lists to communicate your message when you don't have loads of space on your layout. Or use a list of key memories about the person, place, or thing you're scrapping about when it's becoming a challenge to write about them in a few sentences.

Can't choose one photo? Use them all!!! I had so many CUTE photos of my son during this single photo shoot that I had such a hard time choosing one or two of them for a page. I decided to use them all. To give multiple photo layouts the strength and impact of a single photo layout, try cropping them into a uniform shape and grouping them together in an organized way. Making them all black and white also helps give the group of them additional uniformity. Try using one of those B&W photo actions to make them even more stunning.

Well, thanks for dropping by! Sorry I am so discombobulated today! :)

Anyone who leaves a comment before 12 noon EST tomorrow will be entered into a drawing to get a goody from me. Hmmm... I'm thinking a package of chipboard Thickers sounds nice. :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Congrats, Abbie!

abbie said...

So stinkin' cute Brook! You have such great ideas :)

November 12, 2009 7:11 PM

Abbie was chosen by as the winner of my pumpkin RAK. Abbie, please email me at magee3 (at) gmail (dot) com with your address. Congrats!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Peter Piper Practices Paper Pumpkin Painting...

Hey! Happy Thursday!!! Welcome to all of my guests from the Mosh Posh blog! Thanks for hopping over! :)

The November kit came with a fun little pumpkin shaped chipboard album by Maya Road. As soon as I saw it my mind started churning up ideas for how to use it. Make an album? Nah. Make a banner? Not this time. Attach dowels and make pumpkin decorations? Nope. Dip them in glitter and Hang them from my ears? Great idea, but nope. Smear them with icing and try to eat them? Definitely not.

What did I decide to do with them? (I know what you're probably saying: Get To The Point Already, Woman) :) Ok... I will!!! :)

Well, as a mommy who doesn't embrace dressing up in a halloween costume, I thought it would be fun to make pumpkin necklaces for the grown-ups (and kids) to wear. Something to add the festivity without the polyester witch hat or cakey face paint. Perfect!

Because painting is a hobby of mine, I pulled out my stash of paints and got to work creating folk-art style faces on each one. If painting is not your hobby, it would also work to paint the pumpkin a solid shade of orange (or use any solid or semi-solid patterned paper) and then just draw a simple jack-o-lantern face with a black felt-tip pen. If drawing is not your hobby, you can use punches to make your face. A circle cut in half for the mouth (you can even cut out notches for his teeth) and triangles for the nose and eyes.

Once I finished painting the faces on my pumpkins I traced the shape onto my Cosmo Cricket Nutmeg papers and cut them out. I covered the back of each pumpkin with a different patterned paper and cut out a stem from the brown wood-grain paper. To finish it off simply, I added a name on the back with my Basic Grey sticker alphas. Each necklace has the wearers name on the back. Then I cut some sheer ribbon and looped it through the hole in the top of the stem to make a necklace.

For children venturing out into trick-or-treating without parents or a large group, it might even be helpful to include their phone number or address just in case of an emergency. Just an idea. ;) FYI: Because the info is on the back side, it's not displayed for everyone to see.

So, now my family has matching pumpkin necklaces to wear every year!

Leave me a comment by 12 pm EST tomorrow and I'll enter you into a drawing to win one of my painted pumpkins (seen below in the nest). The back is still blank for you to decorate however you wish. :)

Thanks for visiting my blog today!!!

Now, don't forget to hop on to my fellow Design Team members blogs:


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Scrappy Happy

Despite my heactic and busy life lately, I've squeezed in just enough time to get some scrapbooking done. I'm extremely grateful for my Mosh Posh kits because they make it so much easier to scrapbook... none of the searching for coordinated supplies and cardstock. I love it that I can just grab my kit and just start scrapping. Anyways, here are some of my recent pages for the Mosh Posh Design Team:

I just love this picture of Gracie! That little blue dress was one of my favorite things to put on her. The adorable flower buttons went perfectly with the Sassafras embellishments.

This is my husband Aaron when he was a baby. I had him help me do the journaling. His mom called him "Boo" and that's where the title of the page came from. The yellow/green color combo ended up looking very 70's, so it worked with the vintage baby photo.

This page is about how my mom and Gracie look very much alike. And how I look a lot like my mom as well. I didn't have any real journaling to go with these photos, but I wanted to scrap them so I just thought of something to say about the connection between Grace and her grandma.

I hand cut and layered these white flowers using the patterned papers in the kit. The yellow trim was something I purchased a yard of at Jo-Ann Fabrics months ago.

This is a panoramic photo of the backside of the beach house where we stayed for a week in August. I took 7 or 8 photos of the house and then I digitally stitched them together in photoshop to create this large image. Photoshop is amazing!!! Don't you just love the looming thunderstorm in the sky? Every afternoon at about 4 pm it rained like crazy. That's August in Florida for you.

Grace is a huge fan of baths. They make her intensely happy like nothing else! She especially loved taking her bath in the deep sink at the beach house. Her expression in this photo makes me smile every time I see it.

The skies at Fort Myers beach were so beautiful... especially at the end of the day. I was pleased with how this photo turned out. My favorite thing about it is the little silhouettes of Aaron and Ben at the water's edge.

This was one of those random photos I took back when Ben was a baby. It's been just sitting in my box of photos waiting for the perfect papers to match it. The primary colors in this kit were just right. I used up some of the black chipboard numbers as a border on the top of the page. There's always numbers on every sheet of Thickers and I rarely use them... this is a great way to put them to use.

I took soooo many photos of the kids with their Great-Grandma Helen! None of them turned out "perfect" so I chose the best 3 for this page. These flowers were circle-shaped and I cut notches into them to make them look more interesting.

The green glittered chipboard draws attention to the green beer bottle in the photo. :) My brother is the star of this page, though. It's funny for me to do a page about him drinking beer, but hey! That's life.

Aaron is almost worse than Ben when it comes to making goofy faces for the camera. Ben is learning from him... it's too cute to see that he's looking over at his dad to see his face. I enlisted Ben's help with the journaling which explains how random it is! LOL.

Sometimes I get the itch to do paper piecing! Crazy me! I just draw (in pencil) the shape of character on the back side of the paper and cut it out. For this page I created a blocked layout and did a different design in each block.

This is a rare two-pager from me. Click it to see it larger. I was feeling the urge to do a super clean layout. Two-page layouts are great if you have a long title or lots of journaling. This month I printed my journaling with my photos at Costco. Once again, the magic of photoshop. :)

Aw! She is growing up way too fast! She can already wear a hair clip!!! Journaling in list form like this is a great way to say a lot in a little space. Also, inking the edges of the papers with Cats Eye chalk inks gives the page a more polished feel.

I sort of embraced cardstock this month. I like the way it gives the eye somewhere to rest and I think it draws attention back to the wonderful photos.

Well, that's all for now. I am working on more pages with the November kit. I didn't get as much accomplished this month because of the kids getting so sick. Stay tuned... I will update again with more layouts. :) Happy Wednesday!

There's a kit giveaway on the Mosh Posh Blog. Just comment and be entered for a chance to win the beautiful November kit, Caramel Apple. The winner will be selected on Nov. 20th, so you have a few weeks. :)

Also, how cool is this: my scrapbook pages are on the Cosmo Cricket Blog!!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Where have I been?

The answer to that is...

whew. It's kind of a loooong answer. :) Last time I posted I was telling the sad tale of a flooding at my house. Well, two weeks later I got in a car accident in my *new* car. The car had extensive damage (I was broadsided) and I was given a rental. It was all very very complicated by the fact that the guy who hit me avoided contact by the insurance companies for close to 3 weeks. When he finally gave his statement I was deemed "claimant" and they could begin the work on my car. That was in September and I still haven't gotten my car back.

We have been living at my parents house. They have been so generous to let us stay in their spare room and my brother's bedroom. My brother has been sleeping on the pull out couch this whole time. He is not so thrilled that we are still here. I can't blame him! My kids have been sick at least half of the time we've been here! The worst was on Friday. They both came down with flu-like symptoms which I discovered yesterday (in a visit to the Ped) are probably caused by their double ear infections and throat infections. Poor babies!!!

So, my life is turned upside down right now. You know, being away from home with sick kids and two insurance (home & car) situations. Our house is nearly ready for us to move back in. The kitchen is installed, the baseboards are in, and we removed the popcorn ceiling and painted. The carpeting was replaced with tile laid on the diagonal. It looks incredible! We're just waiting on our counter top installation so we can have a plumber come by and hook up the sink and dishwasher.

Here's a few pictures of our life these past few months:
Gracie loves the swings... especially when Ben is the one pushing her!

This is the newly painted & tiled livingroom looking into the dining area. The paint in the living room is Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray and the paint in the dining room is Benjamin Moore Silver Fox.

Dining Room/Kitchen. I am in love with the new cabinets!!! I wanted white cabinets at first and was a little nervous about the cognac cherry color, but I'm glad I listened to Aaron. They are so warm and beautiful.

Benjamin is really into basketball lately! I think we will enroll him in B-ball for ages 3 and up at the local YMCA.

Grace has grown soooo big. She crawls like crazy, eats finger foods, and even can say "duck".

At the pumpkin patch. Good thing we went and Ben got to dress up in his tiger costume because he was so sick on Halloween and didn't get to Trick or Treat.

He was the cutest tiger! He was in character the entire time the costume was on.

Here's Jack! Aaron and I designed a few options for his face on a sheet of paper and let Ben pick. He picked this face. It's the first time we carved a pumpkin with Ben... he hated the pumkin "guts" removal. LOL. I think it disturbed him! :)

In other news, I've still been scrapbooking for Mosh Posh. I am really loving the kits Kristen has been putting together the past few months! It's been tough to find the time, but it's always a great mental break to just sit in front of all the supplies and get crafty. It takes my mind off of all the stress going on in my life.

Here is the Mosh Posh November kit & add-on:

Oh man, this kit is delish! I love love love the colors. Those Cosmo Cricket papers are so fun and playful. I actually love the back side of them more than the patterned side, though. Each paper has a different faux wood grain in a different color. We posted our layouts to the gallery last night. Here's a link: Design Team Gallery, take a look. :) More stuff will be posted by Frances and Estee... and our Guest Designer Linda Albrecht. :)

Anyways, gotta feed the kids some lunch. I'll post some of my recent scrapbook pages in a day or two. :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


My house is flooded! Yes. It's true. :(

We stepped into a puddle when we arrived home from our one week vacation to a wonderful beach house. Our NEW hot water heater, which is located under our stairs inside the house, malfunctioned and started leaking... probably the moment we locked the door and left! The carpet in the living room was slick with bacteria, the house was as humid as a bog, and the tile was a giant puddle. To say the least, there was a lot of damage. We are living with my parents right now until the house is fixed... which (shhh, don't tell them) could be more than a month.

I am so out of whack right now it's not even funny. I was looking forward to getting home from vacation and falling into our old comfortable routine again. Getting the kids to sleep in their room (all thru the night) and snuggling into my very own bed again. I was planning on getting lots of work done with scrapbooking projects for my upcoming etsy store, and cleaning up the mess I left when we were desperately trying to pack for vacation. Well, none of that is happening.

My friend had something similar just happen to her and I love how she described it. She said she felt frozen. That's exactly how I feel! There's just SO much to be done that I don't even know where or how to start. I am still in shock that my whole house smells like a sewer and that we have to go through the process of hauling everything out, ripping everything up, and starting all over again. It's exhausting just thinking about it.

I am sooo thankful that I have my parents living 15 minutes from my house. The kids just love them, and mom is more than happy to help me with them so I can go get paint chips, search for tile, and schedule repairs. My brother is not so psyched that we've taken over his bedroom, though. And I get cranky at night when I can't just sit in a comfortable spot and watch what I want to on the TV.

I used to live here, this used to be my home. It's so crazy to me how it doesn't feel like home anymore. I really can't wait to have my home back. Hopefully it will all go smoothly and within budget!

Anyways, on a more exciting note (hey, that shouldn't be hard)... Mosh Posh just gave their website a brand new look and the September kit was just posted yesterday:

Nice, isn't it???? I am a huge fan of Sassafras Lass and it seems like Kristen is too because she keeps giving it to us! The Sweet Marmalade papers are so cheerful. Also some YUMMMY Lily Bee Designs paper & tulle flowers from the new Vintage Poppy collection. I'm super happy about the new Jenni Bowlin sticker alphas & borders, too. This kit is going to be a blast to play with. Maybe it will get me out of my funk?? I hope so!

So, stay tuned. I'll post some pics from the magical vacation... and the not-so-magical flooding. :) Later!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Change is good. So is chocolate...

A change is coming in our house. Something that I love (probably a little too much) is leaving. It's a good thing for many reasons. So, what am I losing? Cable TV. :( Bye-bye cable! Adios DVR! Good-bye. I will miss you. Kiss kiss.

Let me tell you, it IS a good thing. Don't cry for me. It's OK! We're going to be saving a good wad of cash. And I will finally have more free time to do other, better, things. Things like crafting, reading, scrapbooking, journaling, and... well, sleeping. My TV habits are certainly not the worst I've heard of. I don't watch hours and hours of it a day, but at night it is my go-to activity. I stay up too late watching Forensic Files. Haha. :) I DVR my favorite shows and sometimes I watch 2 hours at night after the kids are in bed. In the fall I watch a lot of TV, more than I'm proud to admit. I get sucked in to shows I would honestly NEVER miss if I didn't watch a single episode. So, it will be a healthy change to not have so much TV watching going on. Anything I absolutely MUST see (like LOST) can be seen online the day after it is shown on air. Or, I can always pick up live shows on the major networks with a fancy schmansy antennae.

I know, I know. A lot of babble about TV. But it is soooo connected to my creativity. You might be seeing changes around here after Sept. 1st. I could very possibly be bored out of my mind and driven to blog like a mad woman. Wouldn't that be nice?

I have been thinking about this blog. I want to make it even better... focus it into something I intended it to be. I want to share my creative endeavors, all of them, not just my scrapbooking stuff. Ben and I do fun crafts all the time that I would love to share with you! Also, I love to bake and cook. It's a huge creative outlet for me! And I like do a special creative project around the house here or there. That's part of who I am as an artist and I want this blog to represent that, too.

My former blogs have always been about my day-to-day life, and just talking about the everyday mundane stuff like a conversation with a friend. I've been slowly archiving those old blog posts into a new one (The Dilly Diaries: Revisited) because I realized that I didn't want to let it go. I stopped that blog right after my son was born in 2006. And now that he's 3 and my baby is 6 months I'm feeling the itch to start my personal blog again. Forget "revisited"! I think I will start up with it again. Especially in the light of my TV free life starting in September. :)

We are heading out for our very first official family vacation to the beach. I am sooo excited. I'm going to take gobs of pics and probably be so overwhelmed by them that I never scrap them (kind of like Christmas photos, they are the hardest to get scrapped). Anyways, I won't be around for a week or so... but you are used to me being sporadic. LOL. :) Until then!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bathing Suit Shopping and other horrors...

Well, today is Tuesday and here I am sitting at the computer with my pathetic cup of coffee. I am drinking it without any enjoyment because we are completely out of cream or milk. I don't like black coffee. Gag. But I need the caffiene so I am sipping it anyways.

Also, today I am going bathing suit shopping. Gag. Thankfully, my mom is coming with me so I don't have to drag the kids into the fitting room 18 times. Gotta love mom! She's also GREAT at picking out clothes. I love having her opinion. It's just such a downer to shop for a bathing suit. I hate trying them on because it's so awkward to look at yourself in the mirror with the blaring lights, your underpants peeking out from the edges. LOL.

And is it just me or has the selection of decent bathing suits declined? Or is it just that I'm getting older and more modest?

Well, it's August! Can you believe it? I'd love to share my Mosh Posh scrapbook pages with you. I really really loved playing with these June Bug papers by Basic Grey. The colors are so saturated and they scream summer! It made me so happy to find photos that paired well with the colors because, to me, these papers even make my photos look more wonderful. In fact, I loved them so much that I hopped over to Two Peas In A Bucket and bought the whole June Bug collection. :)

So, here they are:

This one is about Grace at two months old. She was a difficult baby, but it was encouraging to see her personality and sweet smile. I Loved this patterned paper, but to make it shine even more I added stitching, Stickles glitter, and cut & folded it. Here's a close-up:

It was a little time-consuming, but well worth it. This page is even better in person. It sparkles just like my little Gracie.

It's too funny... when Ben was 18 months or so (I still have to look up the date of these photos) I taught him how to put his orange peels in his mouth and smile. From then on, everytime I gave the kid an orange he would do it and demand that his picture be taken. I have dozens of "orange smile" photos because they are soooo cute. I haven't scrapped it until now because I was looking for the right papers. Bright, cheery, with an orange to match. These were perfect. So were the ribbons I added from my own collection.

I'm not a card maker, but the August Inspiration Sketch by Jenny had a great scalloped rectangle with 6 squares in it and I immediately thought: card. What really makes this card work is the navy inking on the edges of the squares. I think it unifies them and gives it polish.

I love old photos! Especially when I can scan them and give them new life by correcting the damage and age. This photo is of my mom and her brother Eddie. They have the same birth date, so all of my moms old childhood photos of her birthday are always with Ed. I just LOVE it how my grandma made such frilly cakes and cupcakes. The colors in these photos are just yummy.

Ben loves his Comfortable Pants. He has 4 pairs of these plaid flannel pants, handed down from my Aunt and her 8 year old son Brandyn. Ben can't nap with out "comfortables" on. I thought it deserved a page of it's own! I will be sad when he grows out of them.

And lastly, this page about summer memories at my childhood home. The house number was 9871, so I used that as the title. The subtitle is smaller and up at the top, it says "summer memories". I am really into using BIG photos on my scrapbook pages lately. I printed this one out at 8x10 because there were so many details I wanted to see more clearly. When I scanned the original, I scanned it at 800 dpi so that I would be able to enlarge it without losing resolution. The result is a picture that brings me back to those times... my dad's Mazda GLC, the trees in my yard... that house is where I spent the majority of my childhood. Good times!

Anyways, I'd better get off the computer and get dressed! Wish me luck bathing suit shopping. I'm not having much luck with this black coffee, though, it's cold now. Better hit Starbucks!

Have a great Tuesday!