Monday, December 31, 2012

Good Bye 2012

My creative scrapz in review of 2012:  various cards, invitations and scrapbooks created throughout 2012.  I'm looking forward to more creations in the new year.

Other changes I'm hoping to implement in the new year is regular posts on here with new themes to keep me organized and motivated to post.  Be on the look out for:

In the kitchen-my adventures with food and restaurant reviews

All things handmade-various projects that I hope to work on throughout the year including paper crafts, crochet, jewelry and other crafts that I may explore

Wilder zoo-updates on my lovable pets

Project Life-weekly update on a new to me scrapbooking style I want to try out for 2013 to help me stay focused and complete an album by the end of the year.  Inspired by Project life started by Becky Higgins. 

Ugly Paper Challenge-Will return when I start this up again with

I may add others as they come up through out the new year!

Wishing everyone a safe and festive New year!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Started off the Christmas season with the annual Amica Christmas Party near Barrigton, IL with Pat and his parents.  Its always a good time seeing the organs played.  Instead of the regular concerts, this year the organ accompanied a couple of silent films-christmas themed of course.  The night ended with food, drinks, and a ride on the indoor carousel.

I've had mixed feelings for the holidays this year, honestly really not feeling them at all.  Cut down my own christmas tree from a local farm-something I started last year and will do so again.  I did make the best of it and hung out with friends downtown, hunting down mushroom ornaments to add to my tree in honor of my mom-one tradition I will continue well into the future.  Christmas eve dinner was the first time I cooked a Polish traditional dinner by myself and it was delicious, and the Christmas Day dinner that followed was also enjoyed by all.  The highlight of the season for me was hand crafting a christmas wreath for my mom-something I hope will become a new tradition for each passing holiday.

Of course the pups enjoyed thier Christmas Bones:

The Holidays were bitter sweet this year but I know surrounding myself with friends and family is what made them a happy experience that I hope will grow as the years go on.  Maybe next year we will acutally get snow!!

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Donuts...

 I've been on a pumpkin kick lately-pumpkin pancakes, waffles, etc.  I tried my hand at homemade pumpkin spice donuts using this recipe I pinned from Pinterest.  I didn't have any baking powder on hand so I used 1/2tsp of baking soda instead and all is yummy!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Chipboard Geocaching album...(Part 1)

A couple of weeks ago, I got together with some friends and I worked on a geocaching chipboard album.  Using some goodies I found at this summers scrapbooking expo in St. Charles-I decided to go with a fall/nature theme that complimented the photos.  Exploring state parks in the fall with friends is always a great adventure guarenteed to provide beautiful sights.

I love scrapping with others-exchanging ideas and getting inspiration from eachother.  This is still a work in progress and I will update with a future post when it is complete.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

New Traditions

Candles lit to honor my mother on All Saints Day...I look forward to lighting these candles again on saturday at the cemetary when I get a chance to visit her.  A new to me tradition that I will always look forward to in years to come.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Scrappy and Lady waiting with goodies for our lil' visitors this year :)

Its one of my favorite days of the year.  Creepy decorations, scary ghouls around the corner.  The cool crisp air and all the kids dress as their favorite characters going door to door saying "Trick or Treat" for some yummy candy. 

Unlike most years, decorations were not hung around the house but I'm staying in the Halloween spirit just the same with some classic horror movies (my favorite genra):  It, The Shining and others since this weekend.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Waiting for 2012 to be over...

I am hoping to get back into the groove of regular blogging to help clear my mind.  This year so far has defintily been a challenge and a struggle.  I am thankful for my friends and family that  have been by my side through all of the ups and many downs that 2012 has thrown in my path.  I can honestly say you guys are the reason why I can be where I am today, stay strong (even if its a struggle) and live each day without regrets and look forward to the future.

A short recap of why I have been greatly absent on my page here and why I feel its best for me to carve out some time back on here for reflection.

Pats's motorcycle accident recovery/surgeries into this year have kept us busy but I am ecstatic to say that he is doing amazing-his attitude and view on life has greatly impacted me and how I look towards the future.  He has been so strong through all of this, very determined to get better and move past this horrible event and get back to "normal". 

Back in the middle of May my mother was diagnosed with renal failure, and spent many weeks in and out of the hospital.  At the end of June she came to live with me so that she could start regular kidney dialysis.  Things began to improve and I saw my mother once again enjoy life and nature around her--in the backyard and strawberry picking at a local farm.  Things did not always remain great and she often had to be hospitalized.  This took a toll on her as well as me, being her caregiver-it was difficult to watch my mother deteriorate and be in constant pain.  On September 25 my mother passed away in the hospital due to heart complications.  May she rest in peace, it helps knowing that I was by her side (as difficult as that experience was) and that she is no longer in pain.  The support from family and friends during this very difficult time has been my inspiration to stay strong and help me get through this. 

Pat and I recently purchased our first rental unit and we are in the process of remodeling the apartments and getting them ready for future tenants.  This has been a great undertaking that has kept him up late into the night mudding and painting walls.  It has been a learning experience and a true test of my patience with all of the small details that go into remodeling run down apartments, but I look forward to the finished project.

My scrapping and crafting has taken a backseat for most of this year.  I have been able to get out and scrap with friends and attend the big scrapbook expo in St. Charles.  I look forward to organizing my scrappy room soon and get back into my crafts.  I have a couple of new projects that I want to start first thing in January to help me to hopefully stay on track with my scrapbooking and memory keeping.

I'm not usually one to say I can't wait for something to be over, but with all of the chaos of 2012 I truely look forward to the end of this year and the fresh start of 2013. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Gone in a blink of an eye...

What happened to May?  it came and it went as quick as can be!!!  So much has happened over the last month (some good, some not so good) I can barely keep up-hoping things start to slow down in June so that I can breathe. 

Be on the lookout for a picture update for May coming soon :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Enchanted Forests...

I've been a busy bee running around getting crafty projects organized and together. This past weekend I was able to complete a baby shower gift for a friend-a woodsy themed shadow box to match her nursery decor, along with other goodies for them to enjoy:

Here are more close ups of the LO/Shadow Box:

 I used my Create-A-Critter Cricut Cartridge to make all the layered pieces. I have to say this is one of my most used and favorite cartridges to date. There are so many options and the animals are adorable!! I hand stamped the "handsome little prince" title and added some green and white bakers twine to make it look like it was floating in the air between the sleeping owls. Inking is another technique I enjoy using in my creations. Here I inked the grass blades, the fawn and the fox. I love the dimensions it creates.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Watseka Wedding Expo

Above:  My table display all lit up ready for the show.
Below:  Close up of samples on display with my sample material book.

This past sunday I participated in my first wedding expo in Watseka, IL. Weeks leading up to April 15th I was busy organizing my sample cardstocks, pocketfold styles and past invitations and stationary I have created. I rumaged through stores looking for thrifty but neat display items to enhance my tables.

Hours and hours of thought and preparation went into this event...thats part of me being a perfectionist showing! I did come across a few bumps and last minute alterations when my original Pegboard display was too large to transport in my Jeep. Luckily I had safety pins and was still able to use my drapery and lights!

This was the first annual wedding expo hosted by a local wedding DJ company. A small show with a great selection of vendors each with thier own specialty from flowers, cake, jewelry, dresses, and photography-it truely was a one stop shop for the brides.

I had a great time meeting the various local vendors and sharing my crafty passions with the brides and their loved ones. I can't wait to do more expo's in my area and hopefully one day expand to do the larger ones as well.

Going through this for the first time here is a list of suggestions for those looking to do their own show/expo as a vendor:

1. Look over the contract and make sure you understand everything in it. These should be fairly simple to read and go over-don't be afraid to ask questions.

2. Practice your display/table set-ups prior to the show. This helps you get organized and ensures that you will have a flawless display that will represent your quality of work ---presentation is everything!

3. Get some rest and eat! It's easy to stay up the night before finalizing the little details but don't stress over it. It helps to have everything ready to go the night before. Make sure you get enough sleep so you are bubbly and alert the next day-no one likes a grumpy vendor! Eat breakfast before the show and bring along snacks and drinks to hold you through the show.

4. Arrive on time for the set-up, usually 2-3hrs before the show starts. You may think you don't need this much time, but its better to be done setting up early and relaxed before the show than to be frazzled the last minute trying to put up your display. Mine took about 1.5hrs to set up from start to finish.

5. Always stand by your table/booth-don't greet potential customers sitting down. I was surprised to see many vendors sitting until the brides approched their booths. Standing up and greeting guests is a great way to show that you are ready to assist them.

6. Make sure you have a business name/sign on display. Business cards, brochures etc are also helpful to have on hand. Bring extra pens and contact forms with clipboard to make it easier for the customer to fill it out. Have contracts on hand in case anyone books at the show.

7. Although its not always required, having a give-a-way at your booth is a great way to attract clients to the booth. I didn't do this at the show but will consider doing it on future ones. Maybe a gift card for your services, or something not related like Gift cards/basket to local coffee shop or restuarants.

Every show will be different, just be prepared to go with the flow.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My 3 stooges

Ava, Scrappy, Lady

Scrappy has joined us now for almost 2 weeks and adapting just fine to his new home. I think he is fitting right in with his new "sisters". They are inseparable and too adorable for words!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Ugly Paper Challenge March LO-"Let's Celebrate"

Just in the knick of time I finished my LO for the ugly paper challenge I participate in every month.

Once I recieved my late papers I knew they were perfect for Pat's birthday celebration. His birthday this year was a special one and everyone was happy that he was here to celebrate.

Let's Celebrate

Good food at Lonestar surrounded by friends. The next day we went to Hollywood Blvd. and saw Safe House.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Getting ready for my 1st Wedding Expo!

I truly LOVE everything about weddings-love, families coming together, the planning, the details and how it all comes together in the end. Taking an idea and making it a reality is what fuels my creativity. After much thought and some persuasion from supportive friends and husband I finally decided to take the plunge and do my first local wedding expo (in Watseka, IL) showcasing my wedding invitations, stationary and scrapbooks. Application is filled out, payment ready and all mailed out to the event organizer.

I couldn't be more excited to start this new chapter in my business endeavours. I have done well with word of mouth and craft shows. I am looking forward to see what happens with this new adventure and what path it will lead me down.

In the mean time, I have about 2 weeks to get my display organized and ready for the big reveal. As well as making up some last minute touches to add to my 8'x8' booth space including a backdrop, table covers, banners and invitation displays.

April 15th will come up quick, I have to be ready!! Be on the lookout for booth pictures and a follow up review blog of the event here :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ugly Paper Challenge-March

Finally recieved my March ugly papers today:

March ugly paper challenge

Looking forward to working on these-its perfect timing for my hubby's birthday (which is today!). Going out tonight and tomorrow to celebrate. I will have to make sure to get awesome pictures and work on a LO by the end of the month with these papers.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring has sprung!

first bloom
I couldn't be happier for the "Texas" like weather we have been having. A mild winter then straight to late spring early summer temps-this is unheard of for Illinois!

geocaching 3 geocaching 1
Enjoyed some geocaching and sun around the neighborhood this past weekend.

Porkchop dinner
Grilling outside is one of my favorite things to do-this was our dinner tonight: Grilled porkchops, green beans sauteed with bacon and baby yellow potato with sour cream and black pepper.

Looking forward to more days like these :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Scrappy Inspiration

I love trying new ideas out when it come to scrapbooking and I find that sketches are a great way to get inspired. Here is the latest sketch created by Bev Code for Let's Get Sketchy.

sketch challenge 2

I missed out on the 1st challenge but I hope to get to scrap something with this by friday.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Taking a walk...

Lady on her walk

Decided to enjoy the beautiful day with my pups Lady and Ava. Here is what lady thinks of our walks and does this every time-its sad its not even a block from the house...and she wonders why I don't take her out first!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Running around...

Hoping to get back to posting on here soon (like this weekend) when I get some free time. Been busy with work, side invitation orders, and driving Pat to the hospital and Dr. follow ups.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ugly Paper Challenge LO-"Good Times"

Found my camera cord just in time to get this layout uploaded for the Feb. ugly paper challenge. This LO was also inspired by Let's get sketchy's impromptu challenge on their blog.

Good Times

Glad to get Pat out of his RIC room and outside to roll down Michigan Ave. One of his friends stopped by for a visit and we went exploring the streets right before christmas. Enjoyed the lights on the trees and posed with a very nice silver lady :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Color Run 2012

Are you ready to run through a rainbow? Then sign up now for the Color Run 2012 Chicago-they also have other locations throughout the US. I am creating a team-Life, liberty and the pursuit of the finish line.

You can walk, jog or run this 5K -its not timed so no pressure at all, just a ton of color and fun! This year the chicago location chose to sponsor Children's Memorial Hospital so feel free to donate to a great organization too!

I can't wait to do this event with my friends in June-be on the lookout for an update to this blog with colorful pictures :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

February Ugly Paper Challenge

I'm proud to annouce that I won for sending the ugliest papers and I was one of five included in the finalist poll for best layout in January. I did not win best layout but it was great seeing it among the other great layouts :)
Ugly Paper Challenge- Feb
Today I recieved my uglies for the month and I can't wait to get started on them :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Let's Get Sketchy DT Call

Inspiration is all around us, we just have to open our eyes and minds to it. This is very true in scrapbooking and I love to turn to sketches for inspiration when I get stuck or fall out of a scrappy mood.

Browsing online I came across a new up and coming sketch site called Let's Get Sketchy. They are currently looking to fill positions in both their design and sketch teams. Team members will be required to complete a layout based on sketches 2 times a month for a total of 6 months. I think it would be a great way to keep my creativity flowing and try out new designs.

You have until February 10th to apply and the new design and sketch teams will be announced on February 11th, with the first challenge kicking off March 1st.

To qualify for the position they ask you to create a layout based on the following sketch:

Here is my layout based on the above sketch:
I Do

I love to distress with inks and recently discovered distressing using water on the pages. I love the way this transforms the paper and gives it a worn/unique look and texture.

Good luck to all the entries :)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

February Photo-a-Day Challenge Day 1-7

Here is my first set of photos inspired from the February photo-a-day challenge from Chantelle's blog:

Day 1-Your View Today: From my front door in the morning

Day 2-Words: Currently reading Diana Gabbaldon's Dragonfly in Amber

Day 3-Hands: I spend a lot of time on my laptop

Day 4-Stranger: Movie actor on TV

Day 5-10am: This one I missed taking since I was busy prepping for the Superbowl Party.

Day 6-Dinner: Leftovers from the party: Spanish rice and taquitos

Day 7-Buttons: My rainbow of buttons in my scrapbook room
Feb 7

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February Photo A Day...

I participated in a photo-a-day challenge in the past and had a lot of fun with it. I stumbled across a great blog: and instantly fell in love with her photo a day challenge with specific ideas for what to snap each day.

So for February and maybe other months I will reunite with my camera and try my hand at the list of ideas. I will aim to post my pictures on a weekly basis.

Here is Chantelle's list for february's photo-a-day challenge:

1. Your view today
2. words
3. hands
4. a stranger
5. 10am
6. dinner
7. button
8. sun
9. front door
10. self portrait
11. makes you happy
12. inside your closet
13. blue
14. heart
15. phone
16. something new
17. time
18. drink
19. something you hate to do
20. handwriting
21. a fave photo of you
22. where you work
23. your shoes
24. inside your bathroom cabinet
25. green
26. night
27. something you ate
28. money
29. something you're listening to

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Ugly Paper Challenge Part 2: The Lay out

I had so much fun creating this layout using my ugly papers I recieved earlier this month. I got lucky since I really liked the zebra animal print paper and embellishement I had to use. I used my cricut to cut the Title border and letters as well as the flourish. I used tim holtz inks to distress the embellishment after I sanded it. I also used a white pearl ink to distress the black cardstock and give it some dimension.
Here is my final LO:

Geocaching LO

These pictures where taken on a geocahing adventure back in October. I was spending my weekneds in the hospital with my husband waiting/hoping for his recovery. A couple of friends stopped by and we decided to take a break from the 4 walls of the hospital room and go enjoy the outdoors. What better way than to go geocaching-it's quickly become one of my favorite ways to explore the outdoors/neighborhoods.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Late Arrival

Just a little late for a first real snow fall, but its here and looks like it wants to stay! Too bad, I was really enjoying the "Texas" winter we were having to date.
The dogs can't get enough of it-they LOVE running through the snow. I do have to admit I do like the way the neighborhood is transformed when covered in snow-I especially love the tree that is across the street from the house.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Ugly Paper Challenge-January

The ugly papers and embellishment I recieved for January 2012

I am excited to be able to participate in this wonderful challenge again from its great for laughs and very inspirational craft wise--no longer need to throw away the ugly paper one aquires in the huge paper stacks!

I discovered this challenge last year and fell in love right away. It really makes you think outside of the box and I couldn't wait to see what uglies I recieved. Unfortunately I had to postpone my participation in the challenge till now, but I can't wait to start again this month.

Overview of Challenge: participants are paired up with a buddy and they are to mail out 2 sheets of Ugly patterened paper and an ugly embellishment to them in the beginning of the month. Once the papers arrive you have till the end of the month to create a layout. Sounds easy enough until you see the strange and sometimes terrifying combos people come up with-its always so much fun :)

I will post a completed LO by the end of the month. To check out the challenge and the other pages people create go to the link here:

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2012 a new begining

Ringing in the new year with my husband and our friends was a great way to start the new year. Great food, drinks and music made it all a memorable night. I'm the most thankful for my husband being able to celebrate with us-he was in a very serious motorcycle accident last september and is now in outpatient PT getting stronger every day.

My goals for 2012:
1. Do something I love everyday-no matter how small or big-simply reading a book to exploring the neighborhood...
2. Try new ethnic foods-ethiopian food has caught my intereste lately
3. Create more-Pinterest is a great inspiration and I have a ton of great ideas I can't wait to try and blog about.
4. Enjoy every moment I can with my family-from the simple little events to the extravagant.
5. Reach my goal weight and maintain it-eat more healthy and workout in the great outdoors as much as possible

Hoping everyone has a great start to 2012 and that it just keeps improving over time.