Husband and I just got back from vacation celebrating our tenth(!!) anniversary.  He treated me to the most wonderfully luxurious week for just the two of us in Grenada!

When I was preparing for the trip, I knew I wanted to bring some sort of journal along.  When we went on our honeymoon, I deliberately did not keep a journal, because I just wanted to enjoy the trip… however, I immediately regretted it.  We ate some phenomenal food on that trip, and I didn’t have any record of it (it was before I had large memory cards for my digital camera, and at that time, taking photos of your food wasn’t really a “thing,” anyway!).  I planned to scrapbook the trip, so we did take as many photos as we could, but I have forgotten many of the details (it was before I even knew about metadata!)


This time, I was determined to have a written record.  I decided to make my own notebook (goodness knows I have enough paper in my craft room!), and I followed my own tutorial to construct the book.  The only variations were that I used my long-arm stapler to bind the pages into the cover, and I used lightweight cardstock for the pages rather than printer paper, since I knew I’d be doing a little stamping and using felt-tip type journaling pens–I didn’t want to have to worry about bleed through or ghosting.



To embellish the cover, I pulled out some very old Studio Calico alphas and layered them on a journaling card from the June Cocoa Daisy pocket scrapbook kit (thank you, Cocoa Daisy! — I won this kit in the iNSD giveaway on the Scrapbook and Cards Today blog).  I added the “adventure”** die cut with my Silhouette from Ali Edwards’ Pinterest Passport freebie series earlier this summer– it was cut from kraft cardstock, but I colored it with a blue permanent marker to give it the navy color.  I added the date stamp, a little piece of washi tape, and a few enamel dots to finish it off.



I also had the idea that perhaps it would be fun to have a little scrapbook-y kit along, just in case I decided I really wanted to do some crafting while I was away.  After all, papercrafting is one of my main passions!


I gathered some supplies.  I added some stickers from the Clementine Project Life kit, as well as some other random bits and bobs I collected from my scrapbook stash.  I also added a roller date stamp, the stamp set from the Cocoa Daisy kit, and my black ink pad.  I learned a trick from Online Card Classes’ chat with Kathy Racoosin that you can use the lid of an ink pad as an acrylic stamp mount!


I wound some lengths of washi tape around a Project Life card (from the yellow baby edition, I think!) so that I could have a large variety without the bulk of all the rolls.



I chose some die cuts from the Cocoa Daisy kit and turned them into “stickers” by adding

adhesive and placing them onto some plastic packaging.




I cut some more of Ali Edwards’ Pinterest Passport files with my Silhouette and turned them into “stickers” as well.


I fitted all of my embellishements into this cute Craftmate Folio by Webster’s Pages (thank you, Megan!).  It seriously was the perfect size to pack in my bag and carry to the beach (but more on that in a later post!….)


I used another little zipper pouch to carry my journaling pens and a small pair of scissors (I put the scissors into my checked bag so that I didn’t have to worry about them as I went through airport security).


Even though I went to all of this trouble to assemble a little kit, I really gave myself permission NOT to use it if I didn’t end up wanting to do extra crafting.  It was just plain fun to put the kit together.  At the very least, I wanted to have one place where all of my notes could be jotted each day.  At the best, this journal could become its own little scrapbook-y record of the trip!  I didn’t place any expectations on myself other than writing some facts about each day.

In a future post, I’ll let you know how I actually ended up using the notebook!


**Really, “adventure” might be a bit strong of a word– we went to a lovely resort with the expectation of lazing on the beach for the majority of the time.  We did do some fun activities, but “relaxation” or “vacation” probably would have been a better word choice.  But I had this cute png from Ali…😉

cover: kraft cardstock-The Paper Studio, yellow tropical floral patterned cardstock-Bo Bunny
embellishments: June Cocoa Daisy pocket scrapbook kit, Ali Edwards’ Pinterest Passport freebie png files, enamel dots-The Paper Studio, washi tapes (the Paper Studio, Bella Blvd, Recollections, Queen & Co.), stickers: Project Life and other
journaling pens: Project Life, Shimelle
date stamp: Project Life (original edition)
zipper folio: Webster’s Pages Craftmate Folio (grey)

I definitely bit off more than I could chew in July… Somehow I forgot about all of the other stuff we had going on!  Craft time was at a minimum.  Here’s a recap of my goals, and my assessment:

  • Finish my dress.  I’d like to have a couple new dresses for a trip.  I would love for more than one of them to be sewn by me, but I’m not ruling out just buying one or two😉  I finished my dress!  I will publish a post about it soon! (I also bought one for my trip…and some fabric to make a couple more summery garments.)
  • Make at least 1 traditional scrapbook layout for my albums.  NOPE.  BUT, I did help V make a layout for her own scrapbook, so maybe that counts??
  • Make a travel notebook.  Yes! (post coming soon)
  • Work on finishing B’s 365 album.  The album is “finished” in the sense that almost all of the daily cards and photos are in place.  What is left are all the extra inserts for momentous occasions and events.  I’m going to set a goal to have at least three of those inserts planned, at the minimum.  NOPE.  
  • Make at least one photo book.  Yes! (post coming soon)
  • Exercise at least 3 times per week and continue my daily arms/abs/legs toning exercises.  Yes.  
  • Prioritize Bible study and prayer.  Yes.  

I did get to finish up a few “bonus projects” during July:


So what about August?  Oh, I have grand plans again, of course.  I have some sewing projects in my brain, and as always, I want to scrapbook!  Here are my top project goals:

  • Sew a lap desk for B.
  • Sew a back-of-seat organizer for our car
  • Sew treasure-collecting bags for the kids.  This is a vague idea and might get ditched!
  • Put together travel activity books for the kids.
  • Do some scrapbooking.  Any scrapbooking!  (options: regular 12×12 pages for my albums or Disney project, special inserts for B’s album, photo book(s), etc.)
  • Exercise at least 3 times per week and continue my daily arms/abs/legs toning exercises.
  • Prioritize Bible study and prayer.

August is a busy month!  Summer is wrapping up and we have adventures planned, so we’ll see what actually gets finished!

Get ready for some more Paper Smooches sweetness!

I created this birthday card with one of the floral cluster stamps and some sentiments from the “Blossoming Buds” set.  I got out my trusty old Xonix colored pencils and colored the image using hues chosen to coordinate with the pattern papers I selected for the background layers.



I added some pearls for a little shine, and layered the pencil-colored piece on top of some dotted cardstock, which in turn is layered on a tiny floral with a strip of yellow grosgrain ribbon.


Inside, I used a single flower from “Blossoming Buds” to embellish the sentiment that I stamped from Lawn Fawn’s “To a Fungi” set.

stamps: Paper Smooches “Blossoming Buds”; Lawn Fawn “To a Fungi”
ink: Stampabilities
colored pencils: Xonix
patterned paper: Jillibean Soup, Bo Bunny
pearls: Queen & Co.
grosgrain ribbon, doily, white cardstock

I’m trying to renew our challenge from 2013 to make at least one new recipe from our two newer cookbooks each month.  I’m not doing very well on making new recipes every month, but we are occasionally delving into the cookbooks for new meals!  There’s a category on the blog for these posts called “recipe review 2016.”

~ ~ ~

Recipe: Potato Frittata with Feta and Scallions from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook (affiliate link; pages 39-41)

SK potato and feta frittata

SK potato and feta frittata

  • when did we make this? Sunday, June 5, 2016 for supper.
  • did we change anything? Nope.
  • what did we like?  This is a really delicious combination of flavors.  I don’t think I would have thought of putting bacon, feta, and potato together, but it is fantastic.
  • what didn’t we like?  Nothing!  It isn’t quite as eggy as I was expecting for a frittata, but it didn’t bother me:)
  • will we make it again (any changes in the future)?  Yes.  Especially if we are looking for an excellent brunch dish!

VBS headbands

It started out because Monday’s VBS had a theme of “nautical…”

At our church’s VBS, we have a ton of fun.  Each night has a theme, similar to a “spirit week” at school for homecoming or whatever.  I really love getting into the themes…

Anyway, I had no idea how to dress in a nautical way with what I had on hand, or help my daughter to do so, for that matter.  I got to thinking…  Boat-related…hmmm…maybe we could wear headbands with boats on them!!

The night before, I broke out the pipe cleaners…and then the floral wire because I had wimpy pipe cleaners, old scrapbook paper, and scraps of fabric–and my glue gun. (I went through so much glue gun glue this week!!)  While watching TV,  I made little paper boats with sails (similar to the one I made for B’s first birthday cake!) and tethered them to headbands for V and me.



The next night was “under sea” night.  Since the headband idea had worked the night before, I decided to continue with the theme, even though V had a mermaid costume to wear from her dress-up clothes.  I had a printed fabric panel with shells and fishes, so I fussy-cut them out with a matching felt backer.  (I made my blouse back in 2009!)



(Wednesday night was color night, so V wore her purple shirt.  I had ballet class, so I was unable to go myself.)

By Thursday, I had a reputation to live up to!  Thursday was pajama night, so I made moon-and-stars headbands for V and I to wear.  (See more about V’s robe HERE)



Friday was “wacky-tacky” night, and so I completed our outfits with heart headbands.  (Tutus HERE and HERE)



Each age group/class at VBS has a color associated with it– my daughter was a “Lil Purple Guppy,” and the adult support teams have colors, too– my team, the snack team, was aqua, and we received a color-coded bandanna to wear to identify ourselves.  I tried to make sure to incorporate our color (and in my case, pieces of my bandanna!) into our headbands each night!

Remember when I said that after making a double gauze baby quilt for my friend, I immediately wanted to make one for myself?

Well, I did!



I used some birthday gift money to treat myself to more double gauze from the Imagine Gnats shop–including this Charley Harper sea birds fabric that caught my heart when I first saw it.  I have a thing for sandpipers!



Fabrics: Charley Harper maritime: Sanderlings in double gauze; Nordic double gauze: Zinc Lozenges; L’s Modern double gauze: black stripes; Kobayashi double gauze solid white; Rough Cut double gauze: Arrows in black & white (for back).  All double gauze purchased at Imagine Gnats.  White flannel for “batting.”    

This quilt is constructed in exactly the same way as the baby quilt.  I did use some of the Kobayashi solid light grey scraps from that quilt to augment these scraps for the pieced binding.


I used my embroidery machine to add the date on a little tag, just like I did on the other quilt– except this tag is just the year, not a dedication, too:)


I absolutely love this quilt and I’m looking forward to snuggling under it when I’m reading or watching TV!

Recently, I was blessed to be a winner for a Scrapbook and Cards Today iNSD giveaway– and as part of that giveaway, I received a gift certificate to Paper Smooches!  It was so hard to decide on which stamp sets to choose, and I had a great time looking through all of the adorable stamps.  You’ll be seeing more cards made with the ones I selected soon!  I’ve been itching to make cards with them, and I don’t ever have as much time as I’d like (which I’m sure everyone can relate to!).

One of the sets I ended up choosing is “Space Cadet.”  I used it to make this card for a friend.


The background is a “watercolor galaxy:” a technique that I learned from watching Kristina Werner’s videos, specifically THIS one.  Oh my goodness, it is so FUN to make these space backgrounds!  I “borrowed” some Crayola washable watercolor from my daughter to make this one, but now I really think that I need to get myself some watercolors of my own.  The white “stars” are splatters of white acrylic paint.


I stamped the astronaut and planets from the stamp set (as well as the greeting) with black pigment ink and added clear embossing powder to add dimension.  I colored the images with my Crayola markers (nothing fancy here! ….yet….) and fussy-cut them out.

I made the “planet surface” for my astronaut to stand upon by curving an older stamp from My Mind’s Eye that looks like a line of stitching around a small circular dish to give it the shape I wanted, then heat embossed it with clear powder on grey cardstock.  To add the surface texture, I stamped an older stamp from Wplus9 with clear pigment ink and heat embossed it with clear powder.


The astronaut and planet surface are on a white cardstock frame popped up from the background galaxy and planet with a layer of craft foam.

I’m entering this card into the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge to “Create a Scene.”

stamps: Paper Smooches “Space Cadet”; Wplus9 “Funky Flowers”; My Mind’s Eye “Fine and Dandy: Tickled Pink”
ink: Stampabilities black; Inkssentials Big and Bossy
markers: Crayola
watercolor: Crayola
acrylic paint: Liquitex Titanium White
enamel dots: the Paper Studio
Strathmore 300 Series watercolor paper
craft foam
white and grey cardstock



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