Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Am I a Design Star?

I've gone ahead and entered myself in this challenge. It's going to be tough trying to keep up with all the talent over there at Urban Anthology, but I'll put my best foot forward.

Challenge #1: Sketch-and-Style Showcase
Use the sketch as inspiration to create a layout showcasing signature aspects of your unique style.

Here is my entry for the first challenge... "SURPRISE" I played it safe and kept the sketch as is. I would usually turn it or find some other way to make it my own. Maybe that's what I should have done??? Anyway, it's done - there's no going back. They always say that hindsight is 20/20.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Kolby-Pie

A layout I did of my nephew at soccer camp last summer. I've called him Kolby-Pie since he was a baby because he was always (and still is) cute enough to eat - like pie. Kolby is a unique little boy, so much so that you can't help but love him for the way he does things. At soccer camp, he didn't really like the drills the coaches made them do, so he came up with his own. That's my Kolby-Pie: his game...his way.

Layout Challenges

A couple of layouts I've managed to finish this weekend. I'm working on getting my "mojo" back, and I think it's coming along nicely. Although, it takes me a lot longer than normal to finish a project nowadays.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Out of the mouths of babes

I couldn't resist sharing this cute joke my daughter told me the other day. I have to admit that it was a great "belly" laugh because of the look on her face when she recited the last few sentences...it was priceless! Of course, I've taken some literary license with the wording and such because she stopped and started a few times and then forgot where she was at one point...she's only 9!

"One day a first grade teacher was reading the story of the Three Little Pigs to her class. She came to the part of the story where the first pig was trying to accumulate the building materials for his home. She read. ..."And so the pig went up to the man with the wheelbarrow full of straw and said, Pardon me sir, but may I have some of that straw to build my house?" The teacher paused, then asked the class, and what do you think the man said? One little boy raised his hand and said excitedly, I know! I know! He said, Holy Shit! A talking pig! "
Out of the mouths of babes.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I'm on a roll....I love plums

It seems that my new view is working. I've entered myself in a couple of challenges with a few layouts and a card recently. See what a little change of scenery will do!!!

Over at Vintage Plum (a GREAT monthly kit site...check them out) they have weekly challenges. This week's challenge was to scrap your favorite quote from a book, movie or song. I chose to use the song "You Are My Sunshine" because I'm always singing it to my girls (as they plug their ears). I used a picture of my middle daughter, Madison, with her hair all wrapped up in a towel after her bath. She looks so adorable.

My fingers are crossed...wish me luck, and stop by Vintage Plum to view the other gorgeous entries!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sketch #51 Challenge

Creatively Yours is hosting a challenge for interpretations of their sketch #51:

This is my interpretation:

I haven't done a layout in such a long time. I've been wrapped up in cards and albums. It was nice to actually create something using pictures of my beautiful girls again. I've got tons of photos from my youngest daughter's third birthday that I have yet to get started on. This has given me some momentum.

You should stop by Creatively Yours and check out their other entries...gorgeous layouts!

Motivation: NOT Spring Cleaning

I cleaned and changed my office around yesterday. I use the term "my office" selfishly because I actually share it with my youngest daughter and all her toys. My motivation had absolutely nothing to do with spring. I'm actually proud to say that I'm not domestically anal about welcoming spring in with a back-breaking, finger-bleeding scrub of each and every room of my home. I was looking for some inspiration.

Who doesn't need a change of scenery now and then? If I moved my desk, then I'd be staring at a different wall and maybe I'd find some creativity. I'm not familiar with Feng Shui and the proper placement of this or that, but let me just say this....if facing this new wall doesn't work out then I'll be reading up on a little Feng Shui!

The other wall...

Mr. Tiggs got bored watching me...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My very first challenge

So I entered my very first challenge. Urban-Anthology is asking for submissions for their March Manufacture of the Month Challenge. They want predominately Jenni Bowlin products on either a layout or card. I LOVE Jenni Bowlin, so I thought that should be inspiration enough to get something created. Well, here is what I came up with. I'm a little nervous because I'm not all that confident in my card making skills. I know what I like, but will it qualify to win me a prize and recognition? We'll see. The deadline is March 31st.

A little coffee? Paahleeese!

My sister came over the other day for a visit. Coffee and gossip. Family gossip mostly, but I have to admit that we've been known to tear into the who's and where's of people we don't really know. Anywho, this time the conversation turned on me...onto me literally. My sister wanted to know exactly how many cups of coffee I drink in a day. One of my addictions but don't tell anyone.

You know, I really couldn't tell you how many "cups" - my "cup" is more of a jethro mug...

I can tell you with complete certainty that I make 3 (12 cup) pots of wonderful hazelnut coffee every single day, and my husband has maybe 3 cups - IF he's feeling lucky.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Nothing to BRAG about...

My "mojo is still out to lunch, but I was able to finish a little brag book yesterday afternoon. I used K&Company papers and Wild Saffron embellishments - along with some other embellishments from my stash. It's only 4 pages (8 counting front & back), but it's a project started and finished - I'll take it!

Pages 1 & 2

Pages 3 & 4
Pages 5 & 6

Monday, March 23, 2009

Creativity - Out to Lunch!

It seems I've done lost my "mojo"!
I'm not sure where it went or why it left, but I haven't been able to make a card or create a layout to save my life as of late. I'm teetering on a huge frustration cliff, and I'm desperately trying to come up with something - anything to save my sanity! It's killing me that I might be tapped out in the ideas department.
This past weekend I went to Craft Mania in a meager attempt to find THE SPARK. I left with no more of a creative spark than when I first stepped foot in the door...only $45.00 dollars shorter in the wallet. Crazy fool that I am purchased a couple of stamps and some paper packs for my lack of creativity.
So, I thought I'd head on over to the bookstore and browse through the arts and crafts section. Found ONE book on scrap booking and it wasn't really all that interesting. Over to the magazines, I can at least pick-up the latest editions of Craft' n Things and Paper Crafts. Nowhere to be found. Either they were sold out or they don't carry them. I stood in line to ask, but I could feel myself moving closer and closer to the edge of my frustration cliff. The woman in front of me was certainly testing the knowledge and patience of the sales clerk (who was a saint in my eyes). She was looking for a specific book, but she wasn't sure what the title was exactly. Huh?
THIS IS WHY I AM NOT IN RETAIL. I'm afraid I would have most certainly flung myself over the proverbial cliff and taken that confused woman with me....laughing hysterically the entire way down!
All this and my "mojo" is still AWOL. What to do next?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Woman Over 40

In case you missed it on 60 Minutes, this is what Andy Rooney thinks about women over 40:

“As I grow in age, I value women over 40 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:

A woman over 40 will never wake you in the middle of the night and ask, 'What are you thinking?' She doesn't care what you think.
If a woman over 40 doesn't want to watch the game, she doesn't sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do, and it's usually more interesting.
Women over 40 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won't hesitate to shoot you if they think they can get away with it.
Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it's like to be unappreciated.
Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 40.
Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 40 is far sexier than her younger counterpart.
Older women are forthright and honest. They'll tell you right off if you are a jerk, if you are acting like one. You don't ever have to wonder where you stand with her.
Yes, we praise women over 40 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it's not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed, hot woman over 40, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year old waitress.
Ladies, I apologize. For all those men who say, 'Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? Here’s an update for you. Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it's not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage! “

I have to say that as I approach *gulp* my 40th birthday this year, it's nice to know that there are still men out there who appreciate a woman with a little "experience", and by experience I'm talking experience that causes wrinkles, stretchmarks and a great comeback in an argument!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tons of Projects

Here is one of the invitations that we sent out for Mackenzie's birthday party. I made it with no real theme in mind just using what I had around. I love the little elephant card...leftover from a stack cards that she no longer plays with. Each invitation was a little different but the elements were basically the same.

Here are a few of the memory album pages I did for my ex mother-in-law. She doesn't get to see the girls as much as she used to since we moved, so this was a way for her to see how they've changed over the years. Sorry for the picture quality...I was in a bit of a rush. I'll be sure and post the rest of the album sometime tomorrow when I have a bit more time. Tuesdays are busy for me...I visit my grandparents for coffee, oldest to chorus rehersals, then we're off to Girls Scouts. Have a great day everyone!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spent Creative Energy

A little spent creative energy this morning. I made this little book for tracking all the websites I visit...information, passwords, etc. It has a pullout bookmark and each page is marked with a trio of corresponding letters. I have to admit that I didn't take as much time creating as I normally would have since I'm only going to use it for myself, but I do like how it turned out, and I'm thinking I might create one to list in my Etsy shop. Be sure and check it out!!!


Happy Birthday, my *clears throat* sweet Kenzie!

Yesterday was my sweet baby girl's 3rd birthday. It's hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that she's already three, but then she opens her mouth and calls you "chick" and you remember that she's wise beyond her years. Of course, I have to give her two older sisters the credit for that one...thanks, girls!

All was going well. We had Kenzie's favorites (salsa, sour cream, nacho chips and of course birthday cake) all set out and ready to go. Family begins to arrive and Kenzie is looking all confused. She asks, "When are we leaving?".

"Where are we going?", and her reply is a bit impatient. "Swimming!"
Let me just say that swimming in March (in Maine) is reserved for those lunatics who haven't taken their meds. We're closer to the sane end of the scale as far as families go. Besides, snow on the ground should be clue enough for anyone (even with barely an IQ) that swimming is out of the norm and could be grounds for a nice white coat.

"Why do you think we're going swimming?" "Because I want to!" "Well, I'm sorry. We're not going swimming, honey. Everyone is here for your birthday party. Don't you want to eat some cake and open some presents?" A logical question...or so I thought.

She open presents. Thank you's to everyone. Paper in the little garbage bag. No requests for more gifts. I think to myself, "Maybe she's had some kind of epiphany? She IS three now. Maybe she's learned that good manners and listening will get you further than the complete meltdown."
Who am I kidding? I know, only myself. I'm a dreamer and a hopeless optimist.
Anyway, she had one last gift from her Dad and I to open...a brand new bike. We led her around the corner to my office where it sat nice and shiny, and when she saw it, the expression on her face was priceless. It was all I could do not to cry. We all clapped and hollered. She was proud and wanted to ride it immediately. I reminded her of the snow outside...


I dropped my head in shame and embarrassment. I'm supposed to be this wonderful stay-at-home Mom who spends hours teaching her child the rights and wrongs of the world. My family was laughing...isn't she cute? Not so funny, just fuel for the meltdown! So, my husband, sensing my defeat, took it upon himself to calm Miss Kenzie and talk her into putting on her new helmet and pads so she could ride her new bike all over the house. She calmed down...liking the idea. We got her helmet fitted just so, got all her pads on...elbows and knees, and then I get this precious little look:She's not liking all the extra equipment. And I shouldn't be surprised...she is a free spirit...or should I say chick?

Just so your not feeling pity for me (though pity is good once in a while), I want to mention that once all the chaos of family and friends left, Kenzie was perfect. She spent a good part of the remaining afternoon playing with all her new goodies. She even gave me a hug out of the blue. My heart melted and that's when I had my own epiphany...that's why they come to you as babies. They're so little, precious, smell good, and innocent...sweet memories ingrained in your brain...so you can handle those immenent three year old meltdowns later on when they're not so cute and innocent. LOL!
Needless to say, if I were a drinker, I'd have been completely snookered by 5:00 - the party ended at 4:00!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday the 13th - My lucky day!

I've never been the superstitious type. I've never run away from a black cat, I've taken the short cut under a wayward ladder, I've even participated in a seance on a Friday the 13th back in high school, but my husband takes the superstitious cake. He's been known to use a vacation day from work just so he can avoid any unlucky mishaps. Let me just say, my husband does not need Friday the 13th for his lack of luck...oh, the stories I could tell!

That all changed minutes after our daughter was born three years ago. She arrived on March 13, 2006 at 11:35pm. He went from complete joy to panic in seconds. The realization hit him - there was no getting away from this momentous occasion eventually falling on a Friday somewhere down the road. He smiled nervously, took my hand and asked (in all seriousness) why I couldn't have waited just 26 more minutes before letting her out. Letting her out? Like I had a choice. If I had had a choice, she would have been out 11 hours earlier - saving me the extra 10 hours of beautiful natural labor! Needless to say, he never mentioned the inconvenience of Mackenzie's birth date again...until today.

"Do you realize that today is Kenzie's third birthday AND it's Friday the 13th?" "That's month 3, on the 13th day and she's turning 3!" "That's way too many threes." I hadn't realized that threes, in general, were bad luck.

My first belly laugh for today and at 7:00am! Lovin' my husband!

How could a face like that be wrapped up in his superstitious-ness? Oh, we're celebrating her birthday this Sunday afternoon so my husband won't have a stroke. *giggle*

My day just kept getting better, too! I got all the goodies I had ordered from a fellow Etsian. I just love getting presents - in the mail or in person! Aren't they wonderful? I have so many ideas for them. Thanks, 5dollarfrenchmarket! Please visit Etsy sometime...buy and support handmade!

Well, I'm on my way to pick up my two oldest from school. Have a great day, and remember to laugh at least once!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


So, I finally found some time between taking care of my sick baby girl (she has an awful cold) and getting myself organized to complete a challenge put out there for aspiring members of the EtsyPaper Street Team. The challenge was to create an ATC/ACEO using a spring theme and including a flower or flowers. I was extremely excited to get started - I had this idea of using some leftover basket weaving material for dimension...gotta love that dimension!! Anyway, I finished the first one and decided to go ahead and do another. Now, I'm having a hard time deciding which to post.

Time for Spring

Spring Time

Monday, March 9, 2009

Surprise visit!

Hope everyone turned their clocks ahead one hour this weekend. It really messed up my routine. I didn't get to bed till 2:00 am Saturday night and then around 1:00 last night. Sleep is over rated, right?!

Got a surprise visit from my Dad and Stepmom. They were only a week early for my youngest daughter's birthday party...lol. It was nice having a coffee and getting caught up, and I'm ashamed to say that we don't see them nearly as much as we should.

I was able to make at least one card yesterday in the midst of my Girl Scout cookie chaos. My office is overrun with boxes!!! I actually used a piece of that little brown barrier sheet that comes in a box of chocolates. I love the dimension and texture it adds. I've posted it to my Etsy store. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saturdays aren't for sleeping in anymore...

I can vaguely remember a time when Saturdays where for sleeping in. Seems so long ago, but with three very active girls, I can't get past 6:00 am! Today, I've picked up a truck load of Girl Scout cookies (not much of a stretch...my car was FULL of boxes) for my two oldest to deliver this week, I've cleaned the downstairs (certainly not my favorite thing to do) and participated in an online chat with my girls from the Etsypaper Street Team on Blockhead radio.
What fun that was! It was a way for the team to get the word out - BUY and SUPPORT HANDMADE. You should make an effort to visit their site...lots of talent! Let me know what you think and what you bought!!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

There is ALWAYS a first

Well, I've just come to realize that I need a blog...or so it seems. Every single scrapbooking or cardmaking site with posted challenges and calls for design team members asks for your personal blog and gallery information. If I want to further my career in paper then I guess I need to plug my nose and jump into the blogging pond. So, here I am attempting to familiarize myself with what to do and how to do it...we won't even touch whether or not I have anything of interest to say.

I'm thinking that the first logical step would be to introduce myself. My name is Mandee and I'm addicted to paper! There, I've said it. I've been creative ever since I can remember, but scrapbooking and card making have only started to take over my waking hours for about three years now. Before that, I would draw or dabble in painting. I was lucky enough to have a few of my drawings hanging in a local museum during a special showing for the school of art I was attending at the time (many many many years ago - you probably get the point). I have to admit that I really didn't believe that I belonged there. I was just amazed at some of the talent, and then there was a drawing by little 'ole me...didn't seem to fit in, but I guess we all feel that way sometimes when we've put ourselves out there like artwork does.

I'm a SAHM to three beautiful girls who range in ages from 3 to 9. I'm married to a wonderful man who is recently retired from the Navy after serving 20 years. He is now employed with a government contractor and is starting on his second career. I have this fantasy that one day my paper obsession will pave the way for him to retire a second time a little earlier. We can dream, right?

Anyway, I still love to draw, but I need to be in the right state of mind in order to start something (and with three young, active children that doesn't come easy); whereas in paper crafting, you only need to sit down with the right patterned paper and ideas just flood in.

I've included in this first time ever post a couple of cards I just finished for my Etsy store. I certainly hope you like them.