Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Digi-Scrapping a Girly Tomboy.

I'm not a digi scrapper. But for some reason, I really got this urge to do a digi-page. So I did. Here it is... (you can click on it to read the journaling)


So... I needed a new purse. I hadn't gotten a new purse in two years. I searched and searched for the perfect purse... *sigh*... to no avail.

And then I headed to Etsy. I think I just typed in "Amy Butler purse," so that I could find the yellow/grey print (in 2nd photo) in *some* type of style. I looked at HUNDREDS of purses. I really wanted a cute style... unique... with personality. And it HAD to be the perfect size... to fit my wallet, day planner, sunglasses, reusable bag and a small water bottle.

I happened upon the store, ChasingElephants. I LOVED the style of the Huckleberry (and loved her other stuff too), so I emailed her to find out if she'd be willing to do a custom order. And she was. :) Yay.

So I had planned on getting ONE purse. One with the grey/yellow Amy Butler fabric, but first I wanted to make sure the purse was the right size and style, so I purchased one (Amy Butler red with white polka-dots) she already had in her shop. It doesn't really "go" with my wardrobe, but it was SO cute, and I figured I could just give it to my sister (who would LOVE it) after I carried it a few times. :)

The purse arrived. Perfect. Perfection. I wanted it a bit thicker, and Stephanie (who is wonderful and sweet and lovely) came through. But while I was looking for fabrics at QuiltHome (to see if perhaps I liked one better than the Amy Butler), I happened upon this gem by Heather Bailey (in 1st photo). *sigh*

It was SO beautiful. And lovely. And soft. And warm. And lovely. And wonderful. And I couldn't decide between the two. So... I figured... hey, they're really not *that* expensive. Three of Stephanie's purses are half the price of ONE Coach purse. LOL.

What price can you put on a homemade, one-of-a-kind, I'm-the-only-person-in-the-world-with this-*exact*-purse purse? Ummm... none. None, I tell you.

And that is the story of how I got the two (okay... three) most beautiful purses in the entire world. :D

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Happy Earth Day!

My "one word" for the year is *Save.* And I love doing my part to save the planet.

I thought I'd share my favorite earth-saving products and ideas today. :)

1. My first one (and very favorite) is reusable water bottles. I really wish more people would carry them. I cringe when I see 12 and 24 packs of plastic water bottles in the grocery stores. Most of those don't get recycled in the end.

And even if you recycle, you're still saving the earth (and your money) if you buy reusable/non-disposable water bottles. :)

It's... what... like $10 or so for a 24 pack of water bottles these days?! So why not just spend that money on WaterWeek water bottles?

You get five in one pack for $19.99. They even have children sized ones (10 oz.). They're dishwasher safe, and they come in some great colors! (The are actually a MUCH lighter color in real life than the website shows. The photo I have here [also from their website] is more true to color.)

We JUST got these water bottles in at The Container Store the other day (they're not sold at their website as of now), and though I haven't purchased them yet, I will be doing so this week. :) I already have several water bottles in my house, but these WaterWeek ones are 16 oz... perfect to fit in my purse!

I also love Nalgene 32 oz. water bottles. You fill them up twice, and you have your water for the day. There's a water bottle out there for everybody! You should have at least two per person in your household, so you can have an extra while one is washing. :)

2. Re-usable bags. If you don't own at least one of these, you're out of the loop. Seriously. :) I own like... 10-15 of them now. LOL. I love the ones that fold up really small. The 24/7 Reusable Bag is my favorite. The pouch is *attached* to the bag, and it takes like 5 seconds to fold into itself. I carry this one in my purse... always. :)

3. Say "No bag please!" If you're buying only two or three things, and you don't have a reusable bag, just carry the things out to your car. If they're small, you can fit them in your purse (you know... *after* you've paid for them). Most stores ask these days, but some forget. I never ask for bags anymore. I know I have tons in my car if I forgot to bring one into the store. LOL.

4. Turn off the lights in a room when you leave. Even if you're just going to the next room, turn off the light. Doing this a little every day will save lots of energy. :) Also, if it's light outside, you can always open the blinds and curtains, so you can have lights out during the day. :)

5. Turn off your computer monitor when you get up to: go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, get some food, take the dog out to go potty, etc. :) Not only is this good for the environment, but it'll save you money... we've had the SAME LCD computer monitor for five years! The life on them is only supposed to be 2-3 years.

6. Recycle. This is a long-time favorite, and I'm sure most people are sick of hearing about it. LOL. But it really is important to recycle papers, plastics, cans, etc. "If we each do a little... we can do a lot!" ;)

7. Limit your use of sandwich bags. You can try these on Etsy. SO cute! Or just type in "sandwich bag" on Etsy to find lots more from other sellers. :) I have specific plastic containers I use for my hubby's lunches. One size fits TWO sandwiches... perfectly! Try reusable plastic containers for fruit, veggies, nuts, chips, etc. Anything you can put in a Ziploc bag, you can probably put into a reusable container. :)

8. Buy a lunch bag instead of using brown bags. The Gourmet Getaway Tote is a favorite of mine (three new colors JUST came out, and those should be online soon). For something a bit smaller, I LOVE the Cool Keeper from Vera Bradley. :) And they JUST came out with new colors. How cute is that Bali Blue?!

9. Instead of buying something new, try to use something you have on hand... or alter it to change the appearance. I make my own mini-books using 12x12 raw chipboard sheets and a book ring (okay, I showed this yesterday too, but it's still worth mentioning... LOL):

And I really wanted a cute little clay pot in my studio, but I just had this ugly beige one. So... I got out my acrylic paints, and I painted it a nice robin's egg blue! I love it. :) Now, it makes me smile every time I see it.

You can paint just about anything. My sister actually taught me this. I would have never thought to paint a planter's pot! LOL. But she'll paint ANYTHING a new color before buying something new. She even painted the pedestal of their dining room table to give it an updated look! LOL.

I hope some of these ideas were helpful! What are *you* doing to save the planet?!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


So at noon yesterday, I get a call from my friend Katey. She asks me if I want to come lay out. I don't lay out. I'm just very pale, and I burn SO easily, and laying out is just not something I enjoy.

But I really wanted to hang out with Katey. So I jumped in my car and headed over there.

Before I left the house, I realized I'd need sunscreen, but remembered that I had sent it with Jeremy on his business trip. Ah well. I'll just borrow Katey's...

But Katey's sunscreen?! SPF 4. I should have known right then. I should have remembered back when I was 13, got burnt, and went through the very traumatic experience of being called "Racoon Eyes" for two weeks. I should have set a timer for 20 minutes. I should have worn clothes. Shoulda. Woulda. Coulda.

Notsomuch. When I got home, I was a *bit* pink. Went to work, and they all noticed I was a *bit* pink. They asked to see my tummy... a *bit* pink.

And three hours later?! I almost cried sitting down for my break. My jeans rubbed against my burn, and OH.MY.GOD... that hurt. I rushed into the Ladies' Room to check out the damage.

OH.MY.GOD. I could barely move. I was in SO much pain. I haven't been this burnt since... well, I don't even *remember*! I was limping as I left The Container Store. The manager on duty goes, "Are you limping?! Were you limping earlier?!" Uhh... no. I was not limping earlier. My sun burn HURTS. HURTS SO BAD.

When I got home and got undressed, I almost cried at the vision in the mirror. I look like I let someone PAINT on me!

Aloe, vinegar, cold water, ibuprofen... all my friends right now. :)

There is a silver lining... since Katey and I lost track of time (obviously), we also forgot to "turn" and let the sun also get our backs. So I ONLY have this horrific burn on my front (you know... except for where my bikini was... that's white as Bazzill's white cardstock).

Why is this a silver lining, you ask?! (Not counting how ridiculous I look from the side...) I can lie on my back, and it doesn't hurt at all! So there you go... at least I can lie on my back!

Sitting? Walking? Wearing clothing? Not three of my favorite things today.

I also wanted to share this fun project... :D

[Products used: Studio Calico April kit (Hambly rub-on, Sassafras paper whimsies), Jillibean Soup (papers, alphas, journaling spots), Crop-A-Dile, book ring, staples.]

Craft Critique is celebrating Earth Day, and I made this little project to show how you can recycle and re-use supplies. :) The front and back covers of this book were made from 12x12 chipboard sheets that came in packages of patterned paper or cardstock. :)

This book took me under 30 minutes to complete, and it was a lot of fun. (I ended up giving it to hubby because he really liked it.)

Please leave me some *cool* thoughts... ;-)

Thursday, April 16, 2009


One of my favorite booths at CHA this year was Sassafras. I must have gone back to visit like ten times. LOL. I loved the display. (Actually, their set-up was my very favorite and the most creative, in my opinion.) I loved the new lines. And I loved the staff and design team. They were just so much fun.

So I was SO excited when Studio Calico included some of the new lines in the past few kits. I let the Vintage Yummy just *stew* on my workspace for a bit... letting the inspiration sink in... let the creative ideas run wild in my head. Tee hee.

I made this dog treat container with some cardstock stickers (and Stickles!):
(The little dog is from K&Company. Thickers from American Crafts.)

I think the items I was looking forward to most from CHA were the die cut cards. LOVE. THOSE. I was STOKED when they came in a March add-on. Now I can't wait to get the other two sets. :D

I loved them so much that I really wanted them in my "new and improved" scrap space. Lucky for me, they were a *perfect* fit in my canvas bins that hold my punches. AND... (this is my favorite part), I didn't even have to give them labels because the shapes are perfect for what the bins are containing! (YAY!) Circles for circle punches. Squares for square punches. Flowers for floral (okay, I also have stars and hearts) punches! I smile every time I look at them.

And one of my new favorite things in my scrap space... My "I Heart Art" frame. This idea came to me as I sat in The Container Store 2008 Fiscal Year meeting. LOL. (I *was* listening too!) I came right home from the meeting to make this...

And this frame became the inspiration for my "new" room. I can't wait to post photos of my room. But this frame's colors and "vintage yummyness" go very well. :)


I love Sassafras.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I hate shopping. I think I've mentioned that quite a few times on my blog. However... I love having new stuff. LOL. I suppose it's a love-hate relationship then. ;)

So... during a recent trip to our storage unit (to remove my spring/summer clothes), I discovered that my husband accidentally gave 2/3 of my wardrobe to the thrift store. Last summer when I moved to Austin, I only brought a few things (before hubby arrived to meet me) to last me a month: just a few of my favorite tops, shorts, sweaters and pants. I hadn't lived in a hot climate though, so I didn't really have a wardrobe suited for Texas. I left the rest behind in Rhode Island... a few boxes to keep and one box to go to the thrift store. He ended up donating everything that was not hanging in my closet! Oops.

This meant that I had to set out to find myself some new clothes. Clothes that I would LOVE. Clothes that *fit* me (and I mean that in more than one sense of the word). Clothes that would last.

I hadn't planned on getting *any*thing at Anthropologie, but the first time I stepped foot in there, I just had to give in...

This beautiful, blue cardigan goes with nearly EVERYTHING in my wardrobe, and is the perfect weight for spring/summer. I've already worn it about 20 times (I wore it in the photo of my previous post). LOL. The photo just does not do it justice ...
This magnificent navy/white skirt...
I love that I can wear it with my slip-on mocs (cutest shoes ever!), flip-flops, lace-ups, or mary-janes. It's very light and flowy. And most skirts do NOT look good on my pale, chicken legs, but this makes me feel beautiful. :)

I'm always cold. Even the slightest breeze makes me chilly. I wanted a light sweater to cover up my shoulders on breezy days. AND I needed a cute piece that could add a bit to my constant "jeans and t-shirt" look. This sweater was perfect...
A few other favorites (in different colors) from J Crew, and my new outfitting was complete...

I have never loved my wardrobe so much. And I feel so pretty and confident. Eek. I hope I don't actually *like* to shop now...

p.s. I ordered a cross-body bag (for hiking) from Zappos last night at 7:30pm, and I received it TODAY at 11:30am! That was their FREE shipping option! I usually get their stuff the next day, but 14 hours?! That is AWESOME!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


(Back: Aimee, Stephanie, Jacquie. Front: Liz, Kelly, Reyanna, Diane)

This photo makes me happy. :)

Kelly Goree flew to Texas to crop and teach some classes, and a few of us Studio Calico Gals were very excited to visit at Crop, Paper, Scissors in Waco. I had to work, so I wasn't able to go to the classes, but I was very fortunate to find someone to cover my shift, so I could crop! Got home at 2am, but at least I got to go! HA!

Very few of us actually got something accomplished. But we laughed... a lot. We had such a blast, and I can't wait to visit that scrap store again! The owner, Emmalie (and her mom too), was so sweet and wonderful, and the whole store is just beautiful! Seriously... the most beautiful scrap store I've ever seen. I just walked around and smiled. *sigh* Lovely.

I did happen to pick up a few things. A *bunch* of Jenni Bowlin embellishments. I'm altering a tray to hang on the wall, so I got those things for that little project. Can't wait to start on it!

So worked on my scrap space A BUNCH yesterday and today. It's not *completey* done, but it's getting there. And at least it's clean and dusted and organized. :-) I still need to label a bunch of stuff. Ugh. That's my least favorite part. LOL. Ah well.

My very favorite part was altering a bunch of stuff. My favorite thing I altered was a little doll chair I picked up at Goodwill for just a few dollars. I touched up the white paint and added some October Afternoon for the seat. The cute little bird was a Christmas gift from my best friend, Amy. Seriously, how cute is that?!

I'll post more pics of my projects soon!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


So... I'm not feeling "it" in my studio. It's very pretty and lovely and everything, but it's not giving me the inspiration that I need. Don't get me wrong... I LOVE that shabby-chic/romantic cottage/French country decor. I have it in my bedroom and bathroom. But for my scrap space?! Meh... not exactly what I need in there.

So I decided to sit down and *really* think what has given me inspiration in the past several months. What has REALLY made me want to stand up and scrap (I'm a standing scrapper) or sit down and alter something (ironically enough, most times I alter on the floor)?!

Well, of course... Studio Calico. But what in particular... I thought.

September's kit, Iconic and add-on, Audrey. And March's kit, Garment District. and add-on, Chiffon. Do those have muted colors?! No. Pastels? No. That cozy, calm feeling I love so much? Umm... notsomuch.

And then it hit me... I don't WANT to feel cozy and calm (like I do in my bedroom...) in my scrap space. I want to feel energized! I want to feel excited to create! I want to feel giddy! I NEED those awesome, bright colors with cute, vintagey things in order to feel that way. I'm such a bonehead...

So... I made the decision to change it up. Hubby politely reminded me that I don't need to go *too* crazy and buy ALL kinds of things... spending money that doesn't really *need* to be spent (ironically, *I'm* the one who handles the finances... LOL). But I'm practical about these things, Dear. And I'm out to show the scrap world that you can have the MOST adorable scrap space without going over $100. And if I can stay under that, that would be fab. :)

My first purchase was from Crop, Paper, Scissors in Waco, Texas. A small flea market and scrapbook store in one?! Umm... yes, please! I found this adorable little (tiny doll sized) clothes hanger. I need to alter it in some way, so I'll post it when I do. :-) Liz (fellow SC-er... met her at the crop) made this with her hanger, and this photo does NOT do it justice. She is super-talented!

Next... found a super-cute little antique/vintage shop (next door to the candy shop I love so much in Downtown Austin), Off the Wall. And I found the following adorable things (including the table cloth)... all for $30...

With these things (along with thoughts and pieces from Iconic and Garment District) and other things I just happen to have laying around the house, I'm setting out to create a studio that inspires.

Wish me luck!

p.s. Tomorrow, I'll talk more about the crop and share a picture of the SC reunion we had. Yay!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Sometimes I wish life came with instructions. Or perhaps... just guidelines. LOL.

I've been keeping something a secret. Actually, we both have. For about five weeks. That's a long time to keep a secret.

But I was talking (over a month ago) to a friend of mine, and she told me something her mom has been telling her for her whole life. She said to me, "There is no one way to make a relationship work. You simply find a way that works for you. You find a way; and it may be unconventional... but you make it work."

This hit me. Hit me like a ton of bricks. I went home and wrote about 15 pages in my journal. And the next day? My husband and I talked. And then... five weeks after leaving, he came home.

That was over a month ago.

As I start to tell people, more and more opinions come out. Some good. Some bad. But you know what? It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter to me. It doesn't matter to him. It doesn't matter to us. We want to be married to each other, and we are making that work. Sure it takes a lot of work. Every relationship does. We know this. We've been together for over eight years.

And we have a LOT of fun together. We smile a lot. We laugh even more. We hug more times in one day than I bet most people hug in a month. We are relaxed. We are calm. We are happy.

I feel loved. I feel adored. I feel special. I feel cherished. And I haven't felt that... in a very long time.