Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Insomnia Memory Keeping

(a fancy way of saying 'I couldn't sleep last night so I updated my scrapbook)

Every so often, I have trouble sleeping. Sometimes it is too much caffeine, sometimes it is too many worries. Anyone else? Last week I had two days where I had trouble shutting my brain down, one of the ways I deal with it is working on some kind of project in my office. Something mindless that I can relax and hopefully-shut down. I finished up these three layouts for my 2014 scrapbook and thought I would share them today!

All products used are linked at the bottom, these are affiliate links. All products were purchased by me, but if you choose to shop thru any of my links, I get a small commission that I put back into this blog. Thanks in advance! 


My niece Madison might be the sweetest baby ever. And her smile (which is so much like her brother Carson's) just gets me. I used some new Shimelle papers that I LOVE and bits and pieces from my stash (hello old acrylic letters)


 Oh, newborn pictures. This was Madison's first photo shoot! I love these pictures of my brother's family.Nothing complicated, just the pictures and a little documenting. And one of my favorite techniques-sewing around a large matted paper to make a frame. And coral paint, which might be my new favorite color = ). I got this wood look paper at Michael's, it's been a while since I've bought any patterned paper there. I always buy cardstock, because their prices are so great, but I was looking for something for a custom job and wow-they have really stepped up their game! I found a bunch of current, fun designs to add to my stash.

Look at Carson and Connor-they are getting so big! Watching them getting into the big brother role has been really fun this year. In particular, I have seen Connor really fall in love with Maddie and that just warms my heart. He is so proud of 'helping' her and cheering her on, it's awesome.

Products Used

{Hello Beautiful} American Crafts Shimelle patterned paper-this one and that one, Jillybean Soup-doilies, Shimelle-wood veneer, Elles Studio-'life is lovely' tag, random sequins and heart badge from my stash, Scotch-ATG adhesive

{Party of 5} Studio Calico kits- script paper and doily, wood letters, '5' cut on Silhouette, gold paper clip, Abandoned Coral distress ink and paint, Michael's-wood background paper, Scotch ATG gun-adhesive

Friday, April 24, 2015

Free Fun(ish) Friday-Spring Cleaning Edition

Happy Friday, y'all!

'Tis the season for spring cleaning and home projects. Depending on how you look at it, spring cleaning is fun(ish). I have a love/hate relationship with my chore list. A few of the things that need to be done are more in the 'we have to clean that before it falls over' category. A few of the projects are going to be really fun and give my space a little bit more personality. Today I thought I would share a few inspiring I found online that might make the whole process a little bit more just-fun.

First-here's a peek at my list:

1. Clean/organize the 2nd bathroom (otherwise known as the black hole The Boys (aka my cats) use as their bathroom and I store crap that I don't know why the heck I even keep it)
2. Paint/redecorate in my kitchen. Maybe add a tile backslash? Definitely clean and organize cabinets. Am I the only one who feels like they do that once a year?
3. Finish setting up my home office/studio. Its about 70% done, I've just been putting off the boring stuff ; )
4. Re hang and reframe a few pieces on the photo wall pictures above. I have a couple of small art pieces to add and I want to update a few of the kids' photos. (Don't ask about putting away that stack of yarn, because, duh, that's where I keep it)
5. Plant my container garden! This year I going to tackle eggplants. I think? I currently do: tomatoes, herbs, but I want a new challenge. Any good ideas?
6. Give the car a looonnnggg needed bath. And inside scrub down.

(What's on your spring list? Please, let's share! )

So...how to make the whole process a little brighter?

- Follow THIS PLAN to deep clean your kitchen (or come over and clean mine?)
- I've tried to pair back on the amount of chemicals I use at home. I have a new stash of microfibers cloths and THIS LIST of homemade cleaner recipes
- GOOD ADVICE to keep you motivated through the whole process ; )
- Lots of GOOD INFO here about container gardening!

Need something to listen to while working away? I suggest a good audiobook (LIKE THIS ONE and I'M DOWNLOADING THIS ONE from the library) or, do you like podcasts? I've been digging THIS GREAT GAME OF THRONES podcast or DEATH,SEX and MONEY.

Lastly, if you need something to distract you from actual housework? I've listed a bunch of paper awesomeness in my shop!

That's it for now-leave a comment and let me know what's on your TO-DO list this weekend.

Share the pain, internet friends,


Monday, April 20, 2015

Watercolor and Glitter Birthday Cards

Happy Monday, peeps! 

Today I wanted to share a fun idea with my fellow card makers for a set of really special notecards. A set of handmade cards can make a great gift for people who are not card makers, but still like to send notes and cards (or as a way to encourage your peeps to send more cards! -guilt laden gifts ; ) ). I have given a set of birthday cards or even thank you cards many times- to peeps on their birthdays, new moms, new brides-and they always are welcome! 

These cards are deceptively fancy. They look like they took forever, and each one is unique, but they can be whipped up in an hour! 

What I used:
- Thick white card stock (I use this brand I buy at Office Depot)
- Distress Ink (I used this variety pack) You could also use any brand dye ink, but it will look a little different)
-Kraft card stock for bases (I like the Bazzill Natural color heavy paper)

First, I created the 'happy birthday' in my Silhouette software. I used a free font called Jenna Sue, then welded each word together to make it look handwritten. I actually created three phrases while my software was open:

I saved them in my library to use for another project. Then I look each piece of white card stock and added Distress Ink in different combos- just whatever colors I wanted. I have done sets like this in a rainbow, all the same color, and ombre. I use the sponge daubers to blend them. Then I added a little magic. I sprinkled a bit of water with my fingers.  The distress inks react with the water and the colors blend and splotch to create a really pretty watercolor background! Seems very fancy and complicated, right? But, no, just a few flicks of water and the magic happens. Set aside to dry (or use a hair dryer/heat tool to help it along)

While they dried (which only takes a few minutes, really) I cut out three happy birthdays with the double sided adhesive. Peeled off the white layer, laid each one down on a painted background. The great thing about this brand of adhesive is it's really sticky. It could also work on a more textured background like acrylic paint, maybe something embossed? Once the adhesive was properly adhered I pulled off the yellow paper and sprinkled on the glitter. It's not necessary to use the Silhouette brand glitter, that's what I had on hand. What you do want is a fine glitter. If it's too chunky, it might flake off. No good, right? Another way to ensure no glitter trailing behind you- once you've added the glitter, tap off the xtra into the garbage, then take a scrap piece of paper and lay it over the glitter. Run your finger over it (or a bone folder if you have it!) to really press the glitter into the adhesive. This is called burnishing and it can really help with the flakage. 

That's it! Assemble them all, wrap them up in some pretty packaging and give the world's best present.

Are you a cardmaker? Have any other suggestions for easy to make card sets? I'd love to hear about them in the comments!

Need more card making ideas-start HERE 

Be back soon, have a great week!


Monday, April 13, 2015

Adventures in Bathroom Remodeling- Statement Painting

Good morning! Welcome back for another little peek into my bathroom remodel project. (New here? You can see all my older posts under Adventures in Bathroom Remodeling here). 

A few years ago, I stumbled upon this post on Elise Blaha Cripe's blog, where she used black paint and just her handwriting to capture her favorite song lyrics on canvas. I had been waiting for a reason to make something like this for my condo when I remembered there is a long wall above the potty. A long wall that clearly needed a statement piece knowwhatimean?

This was not as easy as it may seem, for a few reasons. It's a pretty large canvas (maybe 1.5' by 3'?). I would have to stay consistent with the size of my writing and not let it start slanting. I drew very fine lines to help guide me, but the trick to getting a scripty quality with my paint was moving my hand in a fluid and quicker motion. I know this because I started once, and it looked a hot mess so I painted over it and started again. Every time I tried to paint over my 'mistakes' it looked horrible. I had to get over the fear of messing up. The fear of it not being perfect. I had to just do it. For the record, I used heavy bodied black acrylic paint and a small round brush.

The easy part was choosing what to paint. I had also stumbled upon this quote from Audrey Hepburn. I love the message and knew I needed this mantra in my life somewhere.

Did it turn out perfectly? No. I can see places where the writing is a little messy, and I even slightly misspelled a word. But that's only when you look at it way, way too critically. When I stand back and just take it in as a whole piece I think it's kind of beautiful! And it's all mine, made with my own too hands.

And that is a  pretty awesome feeling.

In case you are wondering- the brownish picture frame is an older one from Target, with a picture of my nephew that I love. The silver leaning frame holds a print that says 'flush the damn toilet' in sign language. I downloaded it from here ; )

Thanks for stopping by, be back here on Friday for something fun!


p.s. New to the 'Adventures in Bathroom Remodeling' series? Start here
p.p.s. Want to see more of my crafty home decor projects AND inspiring quotes to use in your home? Follow me on Pintrest! 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

I love Instant Cameras

 I had a lovely Easter brunch this weekend with some of my family and brought along my favorite instant film camera, the Mini Instax Camera. In the world of camera phone and digital pictures, there is something so fun about breaking out an actual film camera. My nephews, age 5, think its quite a novelty to hold the picture in their hands and watch the picture develop.

I managed to get one perfect keeper from each niece and nephew present. Score. And that picture of my father holding my niece Bridget......love it.

Really, my nephew Connor looks like a little model here, right? Watch out ladies.

Of course, I had to let them try to take a few themselves. Teach them early to love pictures, that's my angle. The film for the camera can run about $1 a print, so not as cheap as photo on a screen, but you can't hold that in your hand, can you? I try to buy my mini film on Amazon ( a link to the listing I buy from, the more you buy the less per print). Totally worth the cost if you ask me.

There are several instant cameras on the market now, but I like the Mini Instax Camera for several reasons:

-it's light and sturdy. Obviously, one of the boys has dropped it (maybe both), but it is still working great three years after I got it from Santa. Sturdy is a nice feature for a toy like this.
- It's a pretty low price point.It runs at $70 in this listing on Amazon, but I have seen it at Michael's and then you can use a coupon!
-It's really easy to hold and use. There is a Larger sized Instax available, but I have the mini one. It fits right in my hand and has just the flash and the shutter button. It actually has two shutter buttons- one at the top and one at the bottom, so you can hold it sideways if you want. I like the fact that it's a simple set up, makes it easy to use and you can't over compose it.

So, do you have an instant film camera? The Fuji company has a new version, Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic  and it has a cool 'retro film camera' look to it. But at $149? Ummm, no thanks. I'm still happy as a clam with my cheap little Instax. And, as long as I have willing models it will get plenty of use!



Friday, April 3, 2015


It's April, whaaaa???? Where is this year going, y'all? Spring is here in full force (with the allergies to go with it, blech) and I'm happy to have you back for another edition of my random holiday series (see other posts here). If this is your first time stopping by, I am celebrating a few everyday holidays this year with handmade card ideas you can make and share. Or you can go buy a card at the store and send it-as long as you take a sec and send a little paper love to someone special. In the spirit of sharing I'd love to see what you send and receive- tag it on your favorite social media with #happymailisthebestmail 

If card making is your thing, I will link to all the products I used so you can make your own. (Thanks to everyone who has already used my affiliate links, it means alot!). For the record, nothing I used here is essential.You can easily make both cards with what you have. If your more of a buy it at your local Target kind of person-then just enjoy the pretty pictures and my ramblings, k?

Check it out:

{SIBLINGS DAY-April 10th}

I posted this picture on Instagram of my pretty, supposedly innocent distress inks 'smooshing' (Jersey Shores anyone?). I got the idea from one of the blogs I read (unfortunately, I forgot to save the link-sorry internet friend!), where the card maker took her inks and created this pretty watercolor splotchy background. The technique as easy- press your ink pad onto an acrylic block (or if you don't have those any scrap piece of plastic) then spray or flick with a bit of water, then press that to your cardstock. I kind of love how this turned out-like a messy ink blotch. Then I stamped and colored in my favorite stamp twins to look like me and my sister. My favorite Mama Elephant stamps on a banner, then done and done.

Siblings Day Card Handmade

{HIGH FIVE DAY!-April 16th}

High Five Handmade Card

Did you even know this was a holiday? I didn't. Kind of makes it more random yet a great opportunity to write someone and say hello! I had the idea to create a background of bright, washi tape stripes (just like this print I made for my bedroom a few years ago). I cut the hand from my Silhouette in plain white, but now I wish I had jazzed it up a little, maybe with matching stripes or a contrasting print? Next time. Those letter stickers are super old and from Studio Calico, found them at the bottom of my sticker box! (like I said, I will link to all the products i can below)

Now that I know this is a certified holiday-please expect me to high five you on the 16th #getexcited.

So, there's April-now go out and make something! This month I gave you PLENTY of time, so no excuses, k? As always, tag your pictures with #happymailisthebestmail and share them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Have a Happy Easter weekend, peeps!


SIBLINGS DAY CARD: Stamps: Mama Elephant this one and that one, Lawn Fawn banners stamp, this pack of mini Distress Inks, Momento Luxe Ink in Black , musical paper an old scrap from my stash

HIGH FIVE CARD: washi tapes from Target (not availible), Silhouette Cameo, hand cut file comes with software, Studio Calico Letter Stickers (super old, no longer availible)