Around here... Part 1

A picture of "the move" before things got messy. Very messy.

A picture of "the move" before things got messy. Very messy.

Hello friends -

I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted on here.  It hasn't been intentional, sometimes life just happens for too many days and weeks and months in a row. 

So many things have changed around for me personally and I'm very excited about the future and a little crazy in the present.  I feel like I've been in a constant desire for "reset/fresh start" for months without success.  One reason is because I've been in "wait" mode for what feels like forever with regard to my home and financial situation. 

I've been living on a rather tight budget for quite a while and to help get out of that frustrating spot, I'm actually changing my living situation.  I've been renting for a while and the place was in the right location and the perfect size for me and McGee and while it was not expensive, when added to a ridiculously high car payment (my own fault) I was living pretty tight.  But it was old and had some super duper flaws as well.

I talked it over with my parents and they helped me get a loan and after looking at a few different options, we have decided to build me a little house on the back of their property.  It's going to be small (750 sq ft) but fresh and new and cute.  Plus it will be close to them which was one of my priorities.   It will also have a flaw or two (only satellite internet - sigh), but I think overall it will be great and I'm excited.

In the meantime, however, that means I'm living in one of the bedrooms at my parents house.  I have way too much stuff for one room and even though I rented a storage unit, I brought way too much with me and it's crowded and a mess.  I'm going to have to do better and take more to storage or I'll go crazy.  I also have a very tiny crafting space so my projects are going to have to take up less space, make less mess and require less supplies.  This is something I'm going to have to work at because currently, I'm failing.  But this is only 6 months (I keep telling myself that) and I can handle it for that long. 

I'm planning to start a personal blog still on this site where I want to document what's happening with the house project.  All of the crafting will still be on this main blog, but I wanted to have a place I could talk about the house and my self improvement efforts as well as my newly diagnosed struggle with "diabeetus."  (I always call it that.  I can't help myself.  Sorry.)  You'll be able to find this blog in the sites main navigation as soon as the first post is up.

I have more to talk about with regard to what's been going on around here but I'm going to break the posts into pieces.  Thanks for sticking with us through the dry spell and I'm looking forward to getting back to the fun around here.


Shellie: Super late January cut challenge - stickers from a printable

My January cut file challenge project was to use my new Felicity Jane printables to print and cut on sticker paper for my planner.  This isn’t supposed to be a challenge in the sense that it’s hard, the challenge is to use our silhouette every month at least once.  (Hopefully more than once, but at the very least once.)  Since this is the only cut project I did in January, it wins! LOL

I signed up to receive the Felicity Jane monthly kits because I just love their color scheme.  The black and white is something I’ve been loving so much lately and the pops of color are “my” colors so it just made sense.  Also, she doesn’t do like 20 add on options that I always feel like I “must” buy.  I did add on some paper but it’s not like I’m sucked into spending $100 plus each month on my kit.  Because I can never resist a good add-on.  It’s a flaw.  I’m working on it.

Each month she sends out an exclusive printable that we can use along with our kits and January’s included some super cute labels and tags that were perfect for how I’m using my Erin Condren planner at the moment.  Currently I’m using each of the three sections as a different category, work, personal and blog.  So I wanted to label each week that way.  I also made a little silverware graphic but cropping off part of one of the One Little Bird word art flags and I’m (supposed) to be using that to track my food at the bottom of each day in this weekly layout.

Using the print and cut feature with sticker paper is so fascinating to me because I get so happy with how it cuts through each sticker perfectly, but doesn’t cut the paper backing.  It’s so neat!  I know, I know…the simple minded are simply entertained. 

Anyway, hopefully my February cut challenge will be a bit more entertaining. I’ll strive for complexity.  Sorry for the delay in getting this one up and posted.

Shellie: Big Picture Classes - Doodled 1.0 & 2.0

I want to start out by saying that I am in no way affiliated with Big Picture Classes.  I'm just a customer.  But since I sign up for way too many online classes, I thought that I could actually participate in some of them and if I liked them, share them here.

Recently I took the Doodled 1.0 and Doodled 2.0 with Brandi Kincaid.  I love doodles but I never feel like I do a good job so I thought hey, it can't hurt.  I absolutely adored 1.0.  I love the way she breaks down the doodles and reminds you that it's not complicated.  I found that I could duplicate her doodles pretty well when practicing. 

As the lessons continued, I kept doodling as I watched and listened and doodled other things that were pictured on screen as her examples.  I'm as pleased as I can be with this class.

2.0 takes it a little further into the digital realm and shows several ways on how to get your doodles off the page and into your computer so you can use them in multiple ways.

The doodles I'm showing throughout this post are the doodles I did while taking the 1.0 class.  I do recommend this class if you are a BPC member.

If you are not, they do offer a 30 day free trial and during that time, you can take as many classes as you like so why not give it a try?

See you real soon!


Shellie: January Challenge - Best of 2015

When considering challenge ideas for the year, I didn't want to go the obvious direction where January was concerned.  I didn't want to do goals or resolutions.  Instead I decided to go the other way and reflect on what was good about 2015.

This ended up being a fun but challenging project for me.  It was fun looking back through the year and selecting what were my favorite moments.  It was hard - specifically when choosing photos to represent my two trips - narrowing the photos down to only a few.  There were so many great memories to choose from.  I also tend to avoid using photos of myself and I couldn't do that here.  This is something I want to work harder at in 2016.

This year I went with the following from left to right then top to bottom as my best moments.

  • My trip to Las Vegas with Gina in May.

  • My trip to Disney with Gina in July.

  • The spinning retreat I attended in Destin in January. (I go again in just 2 weeks!)

  • The birth of my niece, Selah in July.

  • My other new niece, Kaydence, turning one also in July.

  • Having the entire family together at the church where we all grew up in October.

I used a collection of various digital products.  I just knew when I started I wanted the background to be black and white.  I've lowered the opacity to make it less harsh.  I meant to use a bunch of different kinds of frames but using the multiple images from my trips sent me looking for photo strips and I ended up using 3.

So challenge #1 for January is done for me.  I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do for my cut challenge but I need to get on it. 

Until next time!


Shellie - November Challenge "Food" - Las Vegas Eats

For my November challenge (food) I decided to use the photos we took of what we ate when Gina and I went to Vegas in May.  On our trips we try to take a picture of all of our meals, whether it's a donut or somewhere fancy.  We did the same on our Disney trip in July.  I think that the only meal we didn't take a picture of was the buffet brunch we had at the Wynn. 
The dining tables and the buffet were so seperate that it didn't occur to us I guess.  I do have some pictures of the flowers they had but none of my food or the buffet tables. 

These pictures are almost in order of consumption except I wanted the "feature" picture to be my favorite meal.  Technically photos 2 and 3 on the bottom row would be reversed it I had these completely chronological.

During the Black Friday sale at The Lily Pad digital store I bought a set of what in my head where page templates.  I loved this layout above and the others are simple and minimalist and I just liked them.  If I'd been paying attention I would have seen that these are not template but pre-designed pages.  The only parts on the original layout I could actually edit was the journaling.  I could insert my photos, change the copy and that's it.  But I didn't want to use the embellishments she'd used on this particular layout because they didn't coordinate with my topic.  Fortunately I was able to remove them using photoshop but that means the other layouts that came in the set are going to be the same and that's disappointing.  (They're still pretty, don't get me wrong, but I wasn't buying what I thought I was in my head.)

But I was able to fix this one easy enough.  Most of the embellishments I used were from One Little Bird.  She's still one of my top favorites when it comes to digital scrapbooking files.  I used two of her digital kits - Nosh and Prix Fixe

Nosh - two phrase paper strips.  Prix Fixe - flair, wood veneer silverware, bon appetite word art

The glitter sprinkle is from Valerie Wibbens in her embellishment set called Sprinkles V34.

My favorite part about scrapbooking and documenting is that as I go back and look through the images I get to experience the memories and moments again.  It's the best part I think and I know that's the point.  But sometimes I forget and it's a nice reminder when I get down into a project... oh yeah, this is the whole point.

Until next time.


Shellie: October Challenge #2 - TV Show

I had every intention of doing this challenge digitally but I'm having this weird aversion to sitting at my computer.  It's the room layout or something that's causing it but it's there, none the less and is also the cause for my slow updates.  I'm avoiding the machine.

Anyway, so I have known exactly what I wanted to do since the moment we decided on the subject of TV show for our challenge.  I wanted to do a summary of my current Netflix watch list.  I wanted it to be minimalist and each photo to be a little square. What I ended up with is nothing of the sort and while I still like it, I feel a little like my inner high school girl escaped me while I was creating. 

I searched for photos online and printed them which wasn't as easy as one might think.  Getting the right image and the right cast members and the logo etc was harder than I thought it was going to be.  I wanted a lot of the cast to be included in my Buffy picture but I just couldn't find one that I liked so ended up with Buffy solo in this one.  Same with CSI:NY which was the hardest to find.  I'm still in the earlier seasons so I wanted to include Stella since she's still on the show instead of Sela Ward's character.

Anyway, I eventually got them and printed them and they were all a little larger than I'd planned.  I decided to use a new paper pack that I picked up at GiGi's a couple weeks ago - My Mind's Eye "My Story".  It's full of cream and black, hot pink and gold.  It's a fun collection of papers. 

This is only my third 12x12 paper layout and I'm no expert at it.  Getting these pics where I wanted them took me a while.  But I'm satisfied with how it came out.

Here's the aftermath. :)

Shellie: October challenge #1 - Cameo silhouette

I love all of the super cute paperclip clippies that I see in planner photos on Instagram all the time.  I bought a few of the embroidered felt ones from shiningstarboutique on etsy and I love them.  I wanted to make something Halloween themed for this month’s project so I decided to one of my bajillion silhouette design store purchases to make a clip of my own. 

I picked out 3 options.  A ghost, the skull and cross bones and a printable.  I did my print and my cuts and knew right away I didn’t like the printable and the ghost was too big.  So for the clip, I moved forward with the skull and cross bones.  It has a 3-D element which I like.  I also made him double sided.  He was perfectly symmetrical so it didn’t make sense to not have the back look the same.  I did my gluing and assembled the kit.  I did decide to not adhere the bottom two sets of bones so that they could part and let my pages slip between when it was on the page. 

I went ahead and assembled the ghost as well and glued the top have together to make a slip on bookmark without the paperclip.  He works pretty well and I would use him in a book, but I’m not sure I’d use him in something that I’m going to be carrying all over the place for fear that he’d fly away somewhere unexpected.

I’ve been using my skull and cross bones at work on my planner there.  He works great!

Shellie: September cut challenge

So this is late.  I did do the cut challenge project in September but I just never got around to posting it on the blog.

Every year my knitting group (Pensacola Purls) and I participate in our local Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in October.  I am not great at fundraising as my circle of friends is rather small outside of work.  I do fundraise at work and every year they are so super supportive.  I love my co-workers. 

A year ago, on a whim each time I received a donation I cut out (with scissors) a little pink cloud and put the doner's name on it and posted it on my cubicle wall.  Something about this practice really worked because my donations for last year were a solid $200 higher than any previous year.  I think it served as a reminder as well as possibly a peer pressure thing. LOL

This year I decided to bring my Cameo Silhouette into the mix and pre-cut pink ribbons and as I’ve received my donations, I’ve added their name to a ribbon and posted it on my cubicle wall.

If you feel so moved to donate to our team for the walk, you may do so by following this link.  Thank you for your support.


Shellie: Disney Travel Journal

Disney Vacation Travel Journal - "as it happens" but not really.  :)

Disney Vacation Travel Journal - "as it happens" but not really.  :)

In July, Gina and I went to Walt Disney World in Orlando to celebrate my 39th birthday.  It was hotter than the blazing fires of hell, but we still had an amazing time.  I lived in Orlando for more than 12 years and even worked there for several of them but this was still one of the best times I've had at the park.

Gina drove down from one of the sites she visits for work and then we road tripped it from my house.  I do live in Florida, but most people just don't realize how long it actually is from one end of Florida to the other.  From where I live to Orlando, it's about a 7.5 hour drive.  (Depending on how fast you drive and how often you have to stop to pee, of course.)

This is what the welcome sign looks like at full speed. :) I love how this picture came out.

This is what the welcome sign looks like at full speed. :) I love how this picture came out.

We arrived about 10:30pm and the very first thing we did was set up our on the road crafting space on the hotel table.  We both brought a crap load of supplies that we had such good intentions of using.  Little did we know.

The crafting spot.

The crafting spot.

See we planned to make little travel journals during our breaks and in the evenings.  And we did... for about half a day.  But then sheer exhaustion kind of killed our plans and our beautiful little crafting area just sat abandoned.

I did a few pages of journaling while I was there.  I may have made it through the first day but maybe not.  The rest of my journaling I did from home.  But I still wanted to make the book so I continued on the same path I'd intended to take while I was there.  I journalled about each day and tucked and clipped in the corresponding photos.  I didn't want a neat and organized book, I wanted it to be very cobbled and clipped together.  Collected.  And I think that in the end it came out as I'd hoped.

I use bit and pieces from a lot of sources and I'm not going to look at each piece to try and determine where they came from.  But for the major pieces I used 3 main sources.

And so it begins...  Notebook by Heidi Swapp and the Sn@p Pack by SN@P.

And so it begins...  Notebook by Heidi Swapp and the Sn@p Pack by SN@P.

The notebook was by Heidi Swapp and I bought it on sale at JoAnn before the trip.  It says Notes on the front in gold lettering but I covered that up.  It turned out to be exactly the right size.  In fact, I think that I only ended up with the back side of the last page blank.  It couldn't have been more perfect. 

I used a Simple Stories Sn@p Pack that was Disney themed and I bought at Michael's.  Most of my stuff came from this.

I also used a few prints and cuts I made using two digital kits.

1. Project Mouse from Sahlin Studio that I purchased at The Lily Pad online store.

2. Dreams Come True from Scott Girl that I purchased at The Digital Press

I used a ton of different clips and after doing the journaling for the entire trip, went back and printed and just clipped a bunch of photos into the book.  It came out fat and jumbled with stuff sticking out on all sides and I love it.  The only thing I don't love is my cover.  It needs something else and I just don't know what that is.  So for now I'm calling it done and moving on.

Gina (left) used YouTube for a quick lesson on how to use chopsticks.  And (right) there was a total tool making a fool of himself in front of the Mexico spot so I covered him with the geotag.

Gina (left) used YouTube for a quick lesson on how to use chopsticks.  And (right) there was a total tool making a fool of himself in front of the Mexico spot so I covered him with the geotag.

Gina and I took literally thousands of photos on this trip and I'm going to do a mega mega Disney trip book with them and so I'm not going to go back and worry about this one any longer. 

Next trip I hope to do better at my on the spot journaling and since we hopefully won't ever do Disney again in July (LOL) then it shouldn't beproblem in the future.  Sorry for the picture overload.

Shellie: September Challenge SEW

For my September sewing challenge I decided to make up some cute flags or banners for my planner.  With October coming, I wanted to try and use up the cute paper pad I bought last year and barely touched.  (Warning, I use the word "cute" way too many times in this post.)

I picked out a few of my favorite papers and using scissors or punches, cut out my flag and banner shapes.

Then I pulled out my sewing ribbon and lace stash and picked out some black lace and this black trim with gold studs to add to the flags.

I also used some edging scissors that look like roughly torn paper to make the edges on a couple of them not so neat.

I stacked smaller tags on top of larger ones and stitched them down and stitched down the lace.  I didn't sew the trim on but used glue on that one instead but I had already stitched on the flags.

I could have made a million of these, they were so fun and cute.  But I know that I can only use so many in the month of October so I'll have to continue to find other ways to use up my Halloween themed paper.

So there you have my first challenge project for September.