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Last Christmas, Husband and I decided that V should “inherit” my American Girl doll that I’d had when I was younger.  She was delighted, and I really enjoyed seeing all of my special little doll clothes and accessories out and being enjoyed again.

One thing that I really felt strongly about, though, was having a good way to store the doll’s dresses.  When I was younger, the dresses must have stayed in a pile or gathered under the little garment bag I had as part of the doll’s traveling kit.  It made it hard to play with them, and so I asked Husband if he could help… and of course, he did!

We browsed for some ideas, and somewhere on Pinterest we saw an idea that we both liked– it was straightforward and we had scrap wood on hand.  Husband purchased a dowel, and put this cute clothing rack together really quickly!

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Originally, we had intended to paint it, but we think it looks nice as-is.  It’s stable without being bulky, and I love how it keeps the outfits tidy and unwrinkled.  It’s also tall enough that my daughter can store more accessories on the floor under the hanging clothes.

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I noticed, however, that the dresses collected dust really easily.  (Our house always seems so dusty, no matter how frequently we change our filters!)  It really got to me the other day, and so I went down to my craft studio and drafted up this fabric cover for the rack.

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There are main panels connected with a top panel (so that the design of the fabric could be upright on both sides), and end panels that flare to fit the shape of the clothing rack.

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I added a handle on top so that my daughter can easily pull the cover off whenever she’s ready to play with her doll.

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I think it’s working out really well!

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The cover is easily vacuumed or washable, and it keeps the dresses ready for playing!

May I just say, I am just so pleased with how this layout came together? 🙂

When I was organizing my album and planning my photo printing, I envisioned the basic “sketch” of this layout and made a note to myself.  When it came time to put it all together, it turned out exactly as I had hoped!

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I don’t usually use such small photos on layouts, but the one I wanted to feature was terrible quality (a selfie taken in low light on an older phone!), and so I wanted the rest to be even smaller. I made the main photo black-and-white to further compensate for its technical quality, and I used a design with a lot of white space to draw your eye to the focal point.

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To separate the two main patterned papers, I layered the branding strips from the Shimelle Starshine papers I used, plus some strips from one of the cut-aparts from that collection.  I also layered some aqua tissue paper under the photos and the journaling/title areas to add some more texture.

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Some of the chipboard stickers in the the packet I’d ordered online were flawed (I only discovered it much later, so I didn’t think I could return them), and so I used other embellishments to disguise the damaged portions… a puffy heart sticker from Go Now Go (oh how I love those puffy hearts), and my “hidden” Mickey that appears on all my 12×12 layouts in this album….

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I broke into a packet of Thickers I’d been hoarding to make the title, and I used alpha tiles from Shimelle’s #stickerbook to add the smaller words.

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I love every bit of this layout and I can’t wait to make more for my Disney album!

It’s pretty hot here today: temperatures are in the 90s, even before you look at the heat index.  So what better time to look at some snow day memories, right?

This is the first of two inserts that will fit in my January 2019 pages in my 2019 album.  On the front side, I featured some photos of our family and our kids playing in the neighborhood on a day we got a lot of snow (for our area… we probably had 9″ or 10″ by the end of the day).

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I used the same supplies as for the other January pages, with the addition of some snowflakes I cut with my Cameo from shimmery vellum.  This vellum has been in my stash for years and years, and I think this was the last piece!

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I also pulled out some little white Colorbok dots to add some extra texture to the embellishment.

The alpha included in the Studio Calico kit was a set of Heidi Swapp Color Magic tile stickers (<–affiliate link…I didn’t realize that they were still available!).  I got out my pigment ink collection and used some aqua and light green to tint them to coordinate with the patterned papers I used.

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The next day, school was cancelled, even though the weather was gorgeous in our neighborhood.  We went with some neighbors to the nearby high school to go sledding.  It was my kids’ first time sledding on a real hill, and it was SO fun.

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I used many of the same motifs on this side of the insert: the alphas…

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…and the vellum snowflakes.

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The labels I used for journaling are all print-and-cuts that I made with my Cameo!

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I’ve been wanting to make this pattern for a while now, and the other day, I just sat down and did!

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This is a Hey June Racerback dress (it’s a free pattern!) made in a pink floral border-print knit that was given to me by a friend.  The border print runs perpendicular to the stretch direction of the fabric, which made for a non-ideal placement of the pattern, but I opted to just go for it, since I wanted to have the border along the hem.

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I really love the little detail of the gather below the racerback.

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It was a fast and satisfying sew, and I’m so glad that I whipped this little dress up in time for a hot fall day.  My daughter was excited to wear it to school, and it’s perfect for playtime, too.

I am definitely going to make more of these dresses!

Goldfish card

My children took swim lessons for over a year at a local swim school, and during that time, we developed a deep appreciation for the teachers and staff at that location.  When we finished lessons earlier this summer, I wanted to make a special card to let them know how much of an impact they had on our lives.

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I’ve had this layering stamp from Hero Arts (affiliate link) for quite a while, but I’d never gotten it out to use it before now.  I used my MISTI to line everything up, and I used yellow, orange, and brown ink to stamp several fish.  Using a long-ago tip from Jennifer McGuire, I added clear embossing powder to the orange layer of the fish to add a bit more texture and dimension.

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For the background, I used the seaweed stamp with two shades of green, stretching the stamp and repositioning it to get a wider variety of shapes.

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This card is bigger than the cards I normally make, but I wanted it to be nice and large so that I could include a photo collage inside, as well as my letter to the teachers and staff.

I’ve made several sets of matching PJs for my son and Husband, but up until this point, V and I didn’t have any matching PJs!  Well, when I made my lavender pajama pants for VBS this year, I had excess fabric– enough to make a pair of pants with V!

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Of course, I used my tried-and-true favorite kids’ PJ pants pattern from Blank Slate Patterns, and V sat on my lap to help me sew as I put these together.  I’d found a perfectly coordinating lavender tank top on clearance for $1, and so her outfit was complete in less than an afternoon.

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I thought it would be especially fun to have these matching PJs finished in time for our family vacation this year, but I realized that I didn’t have a great top to wear… until I remembered that I’d also found a $2-on-clearance 3XL men’s T-shirt in the exact same lavender, intending to turn it into a Blank Slate Texana Tank for next year’s VBS.  It was the day before we left, but this is another TNT pattern, so I was able to whip it up in about 2 hours from start to finish!

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My PJ pants are a modified version of Simplicity 1504, but I adjusted them slightly again for this version.  I’m still not completely happy with the pattern, so I’m still on the lookout for a better women’s pajama pants pattern.

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One last little detail– for VBS, we’re supposed to wear our team bandana every night so that we can be easily identified, so I’d used my lavender bandana as a faux piping/trim at the cuffs of my PJs. I managed to eke out enough from my bandana scraps to add the same trim to V’s!

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I showed you part 1 of the January 2019 pocket pages a couple of posts ago, and now, here’s part 2!

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I kept the theme going and continued to use the Studio Calico kit + Echo Park collection pack that I used for the first spread.  I started by choosing cards and cutting 4×6 and 3×4 pieces of paper to put in each pocket with the photos, then fine-tuned each section with journaling, layering, and embellishments.

Here’s a closer look at the left-hand page…

January 2019 pocket pages, part 2

The top left pocket is another flip-up– inside are all the wristbands that we wore for our family swims this month.  Family swim was a big part of our lives for the first six months of this year, and I plan to include a collage like this for each month’s section of the album.

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I also included some screenshots of the things that Husband and I watched together this month, and other little photos of random happy moments– big trucks working near the bus stop, a special Sunday school class…

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This spread has more of the greenish yellow from the kits, rather than the more golden yellow of the previous spread.

January 2019 pocket pages, part 2

The right-hand page of the spread has more random everyday-life types of photos, along with the beginning of the story of my ankle.  Little did I know in January that I would still be dealing with it now…

This pocket is actually a little paper bag with a tag slipped inside to tell the beginning of the story.  The doctor’s card is in the envelope, too, but mostly because I want to remember that he wasn’t a very good doctor.

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…and the story continues in the bottom right-hand pocket, where I have another flip up; this one is about the appointment with the orthopaedic doctor.  Inside, I have his card (he is much better than the doctor I saw previously!) and a story about my son, who accompanied me to the appointment.  He was an amazing little buddy.

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I am particularly proud of the bottom left-hand pocket of this side: it’s a collage of all the projects that I did in January.  It was a wonderfully productive month, and it is really neat to show off everything all in one spot.  I intend to do project round-up cards in each month’s section as we go on through the year, too.

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I have two inserts to add to finish January 2019 for my album!  Stay tuned!