Top Ten Layouts of 2008

Ok, so I've seen a few scrappers do this (Andrea, Amy Tangerine, Alexis Hardy) and I figured I'd jump on board too!

Here are my top ten favorite layouts I've made in 2008.... in no particular order:

Whew. That is hard to just pick 10! I think I put a little of myself in every layout I make, so it's hard not to love each layout for knowing some of the creative process that went into making each one. I can say this- this has definitely been a productive year for me! I'm looking forward to what 2009 brings for creativity in all areas of my life (well, maybe not the baby-creating arena... we need a little break from babies in our house for a bit! hehehe).

Talk to ya next year! ;)

(Yes, I am that corny.)


And this is the way I need to wake....

I love love love this song by Joshua Radin called "Sky." I can relate to it so well.

After being married for 9 years, the lyric,

"Sometimes I forget to love you like I should, but I'd never leave you, no, I never would"

resonates with me.
You know, marriage isn't perfect. It seems like you can get into a rut and you don't always remember in the daily routines to show your significant other how much you love them... but when it comes down to it, they are the one you want to wake up next to everyday. I am thoroughly amazed at how deep marriage runs; I love seeing the cool ways God teaches us about love.

I woke, dreaming we had broke
dreaming you left me
for someone new
and you cried, drying those brown eyes
crying you're sorry
sorry won't do, but
this is the way i need to wake
i wake to you
and you never left me, all that i'd dreamt had been untrue
open my eyes, i see sky
you know
the way to keep me on my toes
iwill be fine
just say you'll stay forever mine
til we fall asleep tonight

Last night, we had a great fight
I fell asleep in
a horrible state

then dreamt that you loved my best friend
my heart would not mend
seemed it was fate but
this is the way i need to wake
i wake to you
and you never left me
all that I'd dreamt had been untrue
open my eyes, i see sky
you know the way to keep me on my toes
i will be fine
just say you'll stay forever mine
til we fall asleep tonight

sometimes i forget to love you
like i should
but i'd never leave you
no i never would
you know the way to keep me on my toes
i will be fine
just say you'll stay forever mine.
til we fall asleep tonight

If you'd like to listen to the song, you can hear it here:


(Everything but the tulle on this layout comes from the Noel Mignon Love Story kit.)


Grams' Kitschy Christmas

I finally uploaded my pictures from Christmas onto the computer this afternoon. Gotta finish up my December Daily album.

I found these pics on there that I'd forgotten that I'd taken.

My Grams is the diva of Christmas in our family. She's definitely been a major influence in my love of the season and the joy of all the different aspects of it.

I shot a few pics of some of her classic decor that she's put out over the years.







And here's the jolly elf herself. :)



The post-Christmas malais has set in...

and so I must take a short break from blogging.

Be back in a few days!


For you...

About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire.

This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria.Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David's town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there.

He went with Mary, his fiance, who was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.

There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master.

This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger."

At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises: Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. "Let's get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us."

They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.

Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself.

The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they'd been told!


A Cheating Kind of Post

I don't really have much time to sit and type now, but needless to say, our lives have been full of much merry-making lately, between Sabriel's birthday, visits from friends and family, and Christmas time!

Here are a few pics from the last couple of weeks.

The Christmas parade wasn't a big hit with the little dude.

Atticus at the photo shoot for "Sew Beautiful" magazine. :)

Trying to get a photo of the three monkeys. I think this is the 3rd or 4th time this month I've tried to do this. Why don't I give up?

Sabriel likes playing peek a boo with anything nearby lately.

She's trying to walk. :)
Em was all about making some gingerbread (aka graham cracker) houses.

Sab was happy to just sit and eat crackers.
What a goofball.
Hope you're all done with your Christmas preparations... I'm still working on a few loose ends, but we are mostly done and just waiting for the big day and enjoying time together!


Holiday Cocktail Party- Come join us!


Click here to join us on Friday night!

2 Challenges
2 Games
2 Make & Takes (I'm doing one!!)

Lot's o' fun!!!(Sneak Peek at my make & take)


Happy Birthday, sweet girl.

I can't believe how much you've changed over the last year.

Your sweet countenance makes such a cheerful presence in our home... we love you, Babyelle.


Quick & Easy Gifts

You may have seen me do these before; they are such a quick & easy way to make a personalized gift for someone!

I just use the small $1 photo albums and take out the cardboard covers inside, and make my own decorative covers. I used the December Scripts kit to make these.

We gave these to my kids' mother's day out teachers today, and they just loved them!

(I added the '08 stickers from my stash.)

You can tell I used roughly the same design on all three to make it easy on making them.

I learned how to make this little Christmas tree out of a scalloped circle punch from a video on youtube. You can see it here: [Video Tutorial]

I am totally addicted. I love 'em!

P.S. I've been Scrapjacked!!!!!



Blogging has been such a great hobby for me. I get a kick the geeky side of things- playing with the template, getting it looking pretty. I appreciate that it has been the only form of consistent writing I've done over the last few years. I enjoy sharing my creativity and ideas on here. And I absolutely love that I can connect with other people, other moms, other creative souls out there through this crazy form of blogging.

However- it's so easy to just focus on the good stuff in my life. I mean, who wants to air all their dirty laundry on their blog (literally!) ? Who wants to highlight the crappy things- the way they fail others, the ugly side of things? Why in the world would I let you know the real me- the imaginary me on the internet, where I can choose what I want you to see, is so much prettier!

Because of some very sweet and complimentary comments, I wanted to clear up any misconceptions people might have about me (if they only read my blog and don't know me in real life. I assume that my faults are very much more apparent in real life than what I choose to reveal here!).

I don't have it all together. Shocker, hmm? ;)

If someone appears like they do have it all together, rest assured, something is suffering for it in their life.

So in the spirit of authenticity, here is my "airing of grievances" (against myself!):

I'm really bad about keeping in touch with friends and pursuing relationships. I'm rather hit and miss with it. It's nothing to do with the person, but I know that I end up probably hurting people's feelings because of my scatterbrained lack of communication for long periods of time. And I feel really guilty about it, a lot of times.

If you notice when I post pictures, I rarely post them if they are in my kitchen or kids' rooms. :) There is good reason for that. Trust me. hehe

I don't sleep a lot at night... I'm a night owl, and I covet my time by myself, to the sacrifice of sleep. That means I'm kind of crabby when I wake up in the morning.

Exercise rarely, if ever, happens for me. This is my own choosing- I don't play victim on any of these... everyone has choices they make for what they deem the most important thing. Sometimes it's a deeper issue and you have to kind of dig to figure out why you are choosing to do something, and sometimes it's simple like this one: I'm lazy and I don't like to sweat. That's the ugly truth.

The laundry.Oh, the laundry.
(And you can ask the Hubs, it's unfortunately like this a lot of the time.)

There's more I could share... I have a wealth of failures and faults I could share- as does everyone. Trust me, what I've shared here isn't the worst of it, by far... but also, there's only so much I want to put out there on the WWW. (My family does read this. And Child Protection Services. Just kiddin'.) ;) hehehe

(Great, now I'm paranoid about that CPS comment. I hope they don't monitor things like that!)

Here's the thing I'm starting to understand about myself: I'm figuring out what it is I believe.

When I focus on the strengths I have, or my failures- it means I believe that I can control these things.

When I talk about someone behind their back, or compare myself to someone else, and feel that twinge of self-righteousness, it means I believe I'm better then them.

I'm a visual thinker, and for so long I've pictured myself as a strong woman, floundering in the ocean, occasionally catching a gasp of air when I get things under my control, occasionally dog paddling when I have "it all together."

You know what, though? I am weak. I deceive myself. I'm not floundering at all.

I'm sunk. At the bottom of the ocean, utterly without the ability to pull myself up and swim with full strength to the shore.

The only One that can do that is Jesus, and this time of year, I seem to be reminded of that even more.

He, the Creator of everything you see around, big and small, put Himself in a little human baby body, and come to earth, to bring us light in the darkness.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born

So I'm coming to realize... I believe in grace.

What would I do without precious grace.... God's aggressive forgiveness, inviting me to life.

(Supplies: Noel Mignon's Cornucopia kit and Making Memories alphabet letters. Done for the new "Believe" challenge at Noel Mignon. Join in here: Noel Mignon Challenge)


A gathering of cool Christmas stuff on the 'net:

It is my unfortunate addiction that brings you this post today... I just can't stop looking at all the cool stuff that is out there on the internet, especially during this season! It's easy to get caught up in all this stuff- believe me- it's SO easy for me, and I'm really trying to keep this in mind:

As part of my effort to change things for us this year, I have said "no" to a LOT... trying to keep things simpler; even if it sounds fun, it's not always the best choice for our family.

I'm also trying to do a lot of handmade giving. Shocker, huh?

I've made an effort to look for ideas and gather away things that might be helpful... and then some of it's just plain frivolous and fun!

Below is a smattering of some of the coolest, prettiest, fun ideas for this time of year!

Gift ideas:
Vinyl wall decals- inexpensive, unique, and supports the handmade community! I want to get some of these birds for Em & Sabriel's room in a bright red.

(Image from Dana McCauley)

Cupcakes in a Jar

Another type of cupcakes in a jar

Free printable bookplates from (Inside the Black Apple)- click here for printable .pdf

Tutorial for handmade paper basket (VERY easy) to hold votives or other small giftables.

Tutorial to make a children's hooded towel (looks simple enough for an inexperienced sewer like myself to do!)

Camera Strap Cover tutorial (another easy looking one that I want to try as a gift for myself! hehe)

Quick & easy personalized soap dispensers

Yummy recipes:

Chocolate fudge (looks ever so yummy- but kind of complicated!)

Chocolate Cheesecake Candy Cane Bars

How to make a Cookie House Village

18 Luscious Chocolate Cookie Recipes from BHG (I made the Peanut Butter Crunchies and they are gooooooooood.)

Decor:(Image from Ranjini)

Free Christmas vintage images for printing from Scrapologie (just scroll through her posts and right click & save the ones you want!) ** she's got a GREAT Christmas playlist!**

(Image from Erin)

Tutorial for Book trees

(Image from Martha Stewart)

Tutorial here for paper evergreens- can't you just see these in a variety of patterned papers?

While you're at Martha, check out these cute tree place card holders here.

Tutorial for Christmas Card holder box, sent to me from Greta!

(Image from Elise Blaha)

Love this simple but ingenious idea for displaying cards!

Stars made from twigs (did this with the kids and it was kind of crazy, but fun! I think my kids need to be older...)

Pink Paislee 12 Days of Christmas handmade ornaments- pure eye candy.

Reinventing what you have for seasonal decor
Santa Baby Party Decor

Michelle & I have been drooling over these coffee filter paper garlands and pom poms. Oh yeah, baby, I'll be making those soon! These would be so cute year round!

Wrapping the presents:
Tags from (Inside the Black Apple)- click here for a free printable .pdf

Buy a set of vintage gift wrap, or use it as inspiration to come up with your own!

Here's some more great inspiration for cool wrapping ideas:

Heather Bullard's vintage wrap series- part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4

3-D Snowmen & Christmas Trees

Making it meaningful/memory keeping:

Tia Bennet's Holiday Journal

The concept of a December Daily Album

Jesse Tree ideas

Wilna's free digi downloads for Christmas


ABC's 25 Days of Christmas Movie Specials - schedule

Amazon's 25 days of FREE- Christmas music mp3 downloads

There's more... much, much more... but those are some of my favorites I've seen!

Now- don't look at all that and get overwhelmed and think you need to do it all. Sometimes it's fun to just see it, and then go onto simplicity. Actually- it's probably good to do that a LOT of the time.

I hope you have a restful and peaceful holiday weekend, full of meaning and reflection of the Light that came into our darkness.


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