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I’ve been pretty occupied with tasks and responsibilities other than scrapbooking recently, but a couple weeks ago, I just really, really wanted to make a scrapbook layout for fun (not that all of my scrapbooking isn’t fun–it really is! I just wanted to make something that wasn’t part of a larger project).  I had recently been quickly flipping through the most recent digital issue of Scrapbook and Cards Today (Spring 2019), so I decided to continue my “intentional inspiration” goal and use the magazine to directly influence this layout.

I really liked the layout by Heather Little on page 66 of the magazine– there was a grid of photos plus a some fun layering.  I knew I could translate it into a layout of my own fairly quickly.  I had some photos printed from summer 2016 waiting around, so I pulled out these ~2″x3″ photos from the night we took our kids to their first minor league baseball game.

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I also am trying to be intentional about using up my stash, and when I saw the colors in the photos, it immediately made me think of the BasicGrey Highline collection kit that I‘d started using for two other layouts.  The papers had the perfect warm, sunny evening colors to coordinate with my memories from this warm, sunny evening.  I even used the big “hello” speech bubble sticker that is out of my style comfort-zone, and it looks perfect on this layout!

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You can also spot some spiral paperclips embellishing the photo grid.  I was a bit stumped on what embellishments to use for this page, so I started going through my divided boxes of little bits and pieces.  I like the shine and the subtle nod to spherical baseballs.

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In the end, this layout is pretty simple.  There aren’t even that many layers!  But with the colorful patterns in the papers I chose, I think simple is best, and I had lots of room to add my whole story.

Recently, a friend from church gave me a big box of lovely wooden, red-rubber stamps that she was clearing out of her house.  In particular, there were two of these stained-glass style stamps that really caught my eye.

When a need came up this past week for an encouragement/get well card, I knew that I had to try this stamp out.

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I stamped the image onto watercolor paper with a black pigment ink pad that wasn’t as juicy as I expected, so the lines came out a softer grey color. I heat-embossed them with clear powder to give the image the look of leaded glass.

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After the heat-embossing was cool, I spent some relaxing time painting each space with watercolors.  I love how the transparency and varying intensity of the color gives a glass look!

I have done very little watercoloring (besides playing as a kid), so this might be a new medium for me to look into!

 

P.S. I’m linking this to the Simon Says Stamp “Play with Paint” Monday challenge and the Wednesday “Anything Goes” challenge!

Remember when I said I had another Abrazo tee on my cutting table?  Here it is!

This top is made from the excess yardage from a dress I finished at the beginning of February (that’s another–long–story!), and this brushed poly was so nice to work with– it will not be my last brushed poly, if I have anything to say about it!

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I added a ruffle detail at the end of the sleeves using the circle sleeve tutorial on Melly Sews (Melissa is the designer of Blank Slate patterns!).

It was my first time ever binding a V-neck t-shirt, and it worked like a charm.  Have I mentioned before how much I love this pattern?!

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Now I just need to get my hands on some more knits (preferably brushed poly–oh so soft!) and make some more Abrazos!

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I don’t own many sweaters; in fact, a couple years ago, I realized that I actually strongly dislike most sweaters and gave away almost all that were in my wardrobe.  However, that has left me quite chilly in the winters!  However, I do like to have layering pieces, and I was really intrigued by the Blank Slate Sora Sweater pattern, since it has both a cardigan and a pullover version (and different sleeve options, too!).  I knew that I would love to try the cardigan as soon as I had an appropriate fabric on hand.

Occasionally, when I’m in Walmart, I’ll just walk through the fabric section to see what they have.  One day, I walked through and spotted this pretty light aqua, open-weave sweater-knit, and then I noticed that it was only $1/yard!  As soon as I figured out what yardage I needed, I bought it and cut out my first Sora cardigan!

This cardigan was a really quick and satisfying sew!

I changed only one subtle thing about the pattern for this make: I left off the cuffs and simply hemmed the sleeves with the same 3/4″ hem as the bottom of the cardigan.  If I make another long-sleeved Sora, I will likely shorten the sleeves, since as-is, the cuffs would have made the sleeves a bit too long and slouchy on my arms.

I like that I can use this cardigan for dress-up and dress-down!

I can wear it over a “little black dress” for a cool-weather church outfit:

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why yes, it is flurrying in this photo…

 

Or I can take it to the other extreme and wear it with a tank top and yoga pants for a cozy and comfy outfit!

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…and anywhere in between!

Once upon a time, I was browsing a new-to-me online apparel fabrics store.  As I looked through their brushed poly section, I saw a tiny photo of a garment made from one of the prints, and I was instantly struck by how awesome of a dress it was.  I sought it out on Instagram, and I was so thankful that the maker included information about the pattern!  Turns out, it was from a knits sewing book by Tilly Walnes (<–affiliate link at no cost to you).  I remembered her from The Great British Sewing Bee a number of years ago, and combined with the fantastic silhouette of that dress, made me super excited to get my hands on the book!

I requested the book from the library, and it took about 2 months for it to come to me.  In that time, I found and fell in love with this quirky spacey print (it’s no longer available, but there might be some with a white background) from Finch Fabrics, and so I made an educated guess about the yardage that I would need.  When I finally had both the fabric and the book in hand, I made a quick muslin, and then I finally dove into making my actual space dress.

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This pattern is really straight forward; I think that the trickiest part is the neckline binding.  I was glad that I could practice with my muslin!  My dress was delayed for another week or so when I ran out of matching thread, but finally, finally, it’s finished!

Now that I’ve experienced sewing with double-brushed poly, you can be sure that I’m going to be on the lookout for some more.  I love it!  And I do hope to make more of these cute Joni dresses in the future…especially since there are some great sleeve variations in the book…

 

Every year, on October 4, I document our day, from waking to sleeping.  I document as many little details as I can, and then I put them all into an 8″x8″ photo book.  I started in 2013, and as of last week, I have the books done through 2017 (yay!)

It has helped that I have a particular format that I follow for each year’s book, although it’s not a quick project to complete!

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I actually finished 2017’s book last spring: even while I took the photos for the project, I had a very specific vision of how I wanted to display the photos on each page: in general, one large one with small ones supporting it.  It was an easier project to complete, because I had around 79 photos earmarked for inclusion, plus a plan in mind as I got going on the pages.

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I really love how this one came out, and for future days-in-the-life projects, I plan to have a similar intent in mind as I take photos.  In fact, I have 2018’s photos and words waiting for me…

It was really bothering me, though, that I still had the gap in my book collection from 2016.  For some reason, I had an extra large number of photos for this book– I have 117 earmarked my Lightroom collection for that day!  However, I was a woman on a mission last fall with a couple photo book projects, and I powered through most of the 2016 book… until I got to page 18 (out of 20).  I hit a creative wall, and I just couldn’t get further.  Plus, I had Christmas crafting to do!  So it got put on hold, even though it was so close to being completed.

Recently, Shutterfly had a weekend sale for a free photo book, and as is typical of me, that deadline got me moving again.  I was determined to get this book finished, and I did!  I gritted my teeth and made page 18 work, and then it was smooth sailing after that, thanks to all that I’d completed (including a lion’s share of the work on the cover!) back in the fall.

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This 2016 book was the most photo-intensive book I’ve done so far, and I think it’s my limit (at least for a 20-page book!).  I hope in the future to streamline the number of photos I use… but in this book, there were a few series of photos that told the story better than just a single picture.

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It makes me so happy to see my little photo book shelf filling out.  It is such a satisfying feeling to have these projects all lined up.

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Even better is the fact that my 7-year-old loves to read these books.  It makes my heart happy to see that she also appreciates this documentation… and it motivates me to keep going.

Last year, we went a little bit crazy with V’s kindergarten valentines and a gigantic castle mailbox, haha!

This year, I wanted to keep things a bit simpler, but I still wanted to do something handmade with her!  I’d seen some cute pencil valentine ideas, and as we discussed what she wanted to do (and browsed some Pinterest ideas together), we settled upon these cute little flags.  I made a simple printable design using my Silhouette software, and since my Silhouette SD isn’t working (I’ll be replacing it soon, hopefully!), I simply cut the cardstock into strips after we printed the sheets.

V did the rest!

She folded the flags, cut the banner ends, added stickers, and addressed and signed every single one.  She took particular care to select pencil designs for each friend and classmate that she thought that they would like best, and she taped them with washi tape on the inside of the flag before using a glue stick to seal the ends.

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I really think they turned out well!!

She also did a wonderful job on her valentine box.  We went very simple this year, and we used some color-your-own wrapping paper that a friend had given to us.

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She worked very diligently on coloring it, and she even had Husband and I get involved on some of the hearts (we both enjoyed spending some peaceful coloring time with her :)).

Husband took great care to cover her mailbox with the finished paper…

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…including finishing the edges of the mail slot opening:

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…and covering the flaps that open on the side to get all of her cards and treats out at the end.

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We added her name on a strip of pink vellum so as not to cover up too much of her coloring, and the box was done!  Simple, but still really pretty!  She was proud to take it to school with her.