Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Scent of KANSAS!

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Today is the big day! Better Homes and Gardens® State Fragrance Contest begins and I have been chosen to represent the state of KANSAS! I’ve always been a huge fan of good smelling candles and oils, so, when I was asked to create a unique smell that would represent my beautiful state, I couldn’t wait to get started!

Here are the things I love most about Better Homes andGardens® Wax warmers and cubes:

They are super affordable
Only $15 for a BEAUTIFUL warmer (lots of styles to choose from!)
 and only $2 for a container of 6 cubes (MANY scents to choose from!)
Reuse and Recycle
If you want to change up a smell, just pour your melted wax back into
one of the cube containers and let it harden back up. Reuse it again and again!
Create a unique smell that is all your own!
This is the most attractive thing about these!
 I can mix and match smells to create a unique smell for
our home that is all our own!
You can get them at Walmart
You don’t have to drive to a specialty store
to stock up on supplies. (big bonus for me!)

This is the warmer I chose. It's so pretty in my kitchen!
not all scents displayed here... there are several more!
 Once I had all the different scents spread out in front of me, it was time to mix and match them to create the smell for Kansas. I closed my eyes and pictured all the wonderful things that made up my beautiful home… the big blue skies, the rolling plains, the hard-working farmers, the friendly small towns, our Native American history, the Flint Hills and wild prairies, I could go on and on.

I could have offered Better Homes and Gardens® hundreds of unique smells that would capture the wonderful things about Kansas, but I could only provide one. Here it is, along with the recipe!

This event pulls everything so wonderful about Kansas together...
our farmers, our arts, our music, our families, and just the overall joy of the simple things in life. 

The Recipe  
(I cut ½ cube of each and put them in the warmer together)

 Baked Apple Strudel 
for all the WONDERFUL home-made food you can find at our county and state fairs!
 (Probably the number one reason to go... to eat!! ) 

Enchanted Evening Walk 
 The local county fairs are so magical each and every summer. 
You can feel your heart skip a beat when you see the Farris wheel being set up. 
From the rodeos to the 4-H displays, from the games and rides, and to the food.... 
bed times are skipped when the fair is in town.   

Vanilla Carmel Spice & Cinnamon Spice 
Summer time is Harvest time in Kansas and you can't help but smell
the aroma of cut crop in the air. We loved the views of  the farmers burning their 
fields while driving home from the fair. I LOVED the spicy smells and the 
lines of glowing red fire in the distance.
So, what do you think? Did I capture Kansas well? Would you VOTE for me?
and VOTE for your favorite state smell! (pick KANSAS! pick KANSAS! lol) 

If my scent wins, I will win 10, $25 gift cards to give to my readers.. THAT'S YOU! 
10 randomly selected voters will also be chosen to win a Wax Warmer and a 6-pack of Wax Cubes!

Did I mention that if I win... I will get to go to Better Homes and Gardens® headquarters!? I can't even imagine how cool that would be!!! But, really, I'm already a winner by being able to represent my wonderful home, Kansas.

Read another Mommy Blogger's review here!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Torch Graphic Tutorial

Pin It Happy Saturday! Here is a quick tutorial video on how I used a png graphic to make my own element using digital scrapbook paper. Hope this is helpful! If you missed it...You can find the FREE png file here.
Please share what you created by posting a link here in the comments! THANKS! Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Freebies - Let the games BEGIN!

Pin It I do have a pretty awesome freebie for you today... but I wanted to turn the spotlight on another Talented Artist first. In honor of Sweet Shops 2012 Summer Games I thought it would be fun to introduce you to my partner in the couples challenges! I was surprised to find that we have several things in common and our styles are going to mesh so well together! I'm so blessed to have her as my team mate!

Here is a little about Mari -
"What I love about scrapping is that I can capture so many memories of my son. Without scrapping, I wouldn't be able to save all these little moments; the things he says, the places we go, the fun times we have.  I also love that it is a great way of getting my creativity out.  The scrapping community is very encouraging, always willing to help each other out from doing charity kits to support another member having a hard time to creating tutorials to teach something to answering questions about everyday life."

And here is just a few of my favorite layouts from her gallery!

And check THIS OUT... 
Here is her layout she created from watching 

Thanks Mari for letting me show you off! LOL. 
I can't wait to work together for the summer games and GO FOR THE GOLD! :D

Ok... ready for the Freebie?!?!

Since we are celebrating the opening ceremonies of Sweet Shoppe's Summer Games, I thought it would be too perfect to have a torch element to go along with the celebration! So, I drew one for you and created a png file for you to use in your layouts! I set it up so that you can use the different colored areas of the drawing to paste in your own paper choices to create your own custom torch! like?

Here is the PNG file for FREE! just click on the image to download.

And here is a quick layout example I threw together using paper from:
 Zoe Pearn "That's My Boy" and
Sugar Plum "Every Day of the Year - Solids"

I can't wait until I have more time to throw some more elements on this and doodle it up...
Be sure to stop back by Tomorrow (Saturday) to see a step by step tutorial
on how to use this graphic to create a custom element!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Products we LOVE - Anything marked 70% OFF!

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Before you roll your eyes and slap a label on me that reads
"Poster Child for American Consumer Marketing Schemes"...
let me share with you my 7 minuet planning process I had as I drove
to the local participating Target stores....

(the conversation I had with myself... yes... out loud.And when I talk to myself... it's a multi-party conversation...)

Minuet One: Ok... let's get a game plan in action... because... we know that we have an impulse buying habit don't we... yes... ok... so whats the plan?

Minuet Two: We were just complaining at our massive garage sale how our house is over ruled by toys... and that we kick ourselves when the boy plays with an empty box and not the toy we spent too much money on... right? Right... so... is this really something we should be doing?

Minuet Three: We really like to try and purchase one nice toy at Christmas for all the kiddos in our family... and that usually adds stress in November... time and budget wise....so, this could be helpful.

Minuet Four: So, it looks like the plan is, to shop for ONE nice toy for each child in the family and the goal is to try and get each toy at 70% off. Sounds like a reasonable plan of action...

Minuet Five: I hope we didn't miss the boat... sounds like the store was already hit this morning by moms... should we be putting our game face on? Nah... we are not of a competitive nature... if we find something... great... if we don't... that's fine too...

Minuets Six & Seven: (did a little happy dance in the car... because... really... this is fun!)

The rumor was true... there were MANY toys marked down to 70% off. There were NO signs posted at all.. there wasn't ONE isle that had all the deals... they were mixed through out all the toys and on every isle. The cool part was... I was a late starter, so, there were only a couple of people there hunting like me. And I had pleasant conversations with EACH lady and we shared the joy of being able to save some money. Sure... there were a lot of empty shelf space that proved there were MANY there before us... but... I felt a little at ease because this helped me narrow down my choices... I wasn't torn on what I should get and I wasn't tempted to get EVERYTHING!

I was able to pick out one really nice toy for each child in our family (6) and I picked up a couple of stocking stuffers for my son and a really neat new scrabble flash game for my Grandma (who is still a child at heart and loves board games! This will be a fun game they can travel with in their camper every year!) I made sure I thought each item through and if that person would really enjoy the gift. And I'm excited about each one! :D

I'm not going to share the photos or items in detail, as, that part doesn't matter... it's the idea that I was able to save money, get a quality product that I otherwise couldn't afford to do... and it was a fun challenge.

What I would've spent at full price: $237.87 What I spent: $84.57 

The lady behind me in line turned her cart around and headed toward the toys as I was adding up my savings before checking out.... HA!

I wonder if Target will change their mark down schedule in the future.... ;)

Thursdays are about to get sweeter!

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OMGoodness... Sweet Shoppe Designs just announced their summer games 2012 challenge line-up and I can not WAIT to get started!!! And the prizes?!?! Be still my beating heart!!! Here are the details:
July 27th – 29th – Opening Ceremonies
July 30th – August 12th – Official Games
August 13th – August 17th – Judging and Voting
August 18th – Winners Announced, prizes awarded
There will be 6 digital scrapbooking challenges loosely themed around classic Olympic events. 4 of these challenges will invite individuals to compete to be the best in their sport, while two of the events will require scrapbookers to team up with others to compete in a group event for top honors.
Each Event will have THREE winners, Gold, Silver and Bronze.
There will also be THREE overall Grand Prize winners chosen from those who compete in and complete AT LEAST 5 of the 6 challenges.
Each event will be judged by a team consisting of 1 Sweet Shoppe Designer, 1 Sweet Shoppe Sugarbabe, 1 Non-Competing Community Member and 1 Celebrity Guest. Each judge will choose their favorite layout from those submitted to their event, and these 4 layouts will be voted upon by the community for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.
As we’re trying to create an overwhelming sense of community-wide goodwill, we’re offering a ton of prizes this year with 3 places for each competition in addition to 3 overall grand prizes! There are a ton of chances to win, which is just the way we like it!

I'm loving the different Olympic event themes, VERY creative and inspiring... especially the idea of competing with a partner! How fun is that?!? And I have to say... I'm pretty excited about who I was able to team up with. One talented gal! I know our efforts will mesh well together and give us the chance to win some gold (aka some AMAZING prizes!)... Check out whats up for grabs on their blog posts HERE! You may want to compete too!

Looks like the opening ceremonies start tomorrow and the official games begin Monday with the first sport (challenge) being Synchronized Swimming, a team challenge... Looks like my partner and I will be doing some strategy talk the next couple of days! Hehe... this is too fun.

Teaser example of the challenge provided by Sweet Shoppe

Vision Board

Pin It Super excited about our vision board, now hanging (almost) blank in our kitchen... oh the possibilities!

I was inspired today to create this pinning board by one question...

"What is your vision for you life?"

I think all my pinterest boards went flashing through my head... lol... I was silent for a moment as art room ideas, trips to Italy, pictures of little girls in pink dresses were flipping like a deck of cards in my mind and suddenly... they all went up in the air when I was hit with this question... "have you shared these with your husband?"...... well.... he isn't on pinerest... so... I guess.... not? (sigh)

As I went through the rest of my day, this conversation continued to tug at my heart. When you are with another human being this long... we just expect for them to KNOW what we want... I mean... He knows what I eat, where I sleep (and that I apparenlty snore?), he has seen my best side, my worst side (so far), he should know my hopes and dreams... right? maybe not... and what I THINK he wants for our life... is that what he really hopes and dreams of? Hmmmm.....

So, something had to be done. I know our, few and far between, date nights will not consist of drooling over Pinterest as we sip on white wine... (although... that sounds like fun...). And, I've noticed that my hoarding habits have spilled over onto my Pinterest boards.... I think my darling husband might actually have a heart attack if I presented my hopes and dreams as my current collection...

No, we needed something that we would actually HAVE to take the time to print it off and physically PIN it on a board... and in a place where we will see it EVERY day. And I had just the space to do it. So, I recycled a cork board, grabbed my yardstick and my sharpie and got to work. And, in 10 minuets, we had our VISION BOARD! I decided to start it off by pinning something from the beginning (an original photo booth strip... taken 11 years ago... ) and a vision we have already achieved, our son. The thumb tacks are all lined up along the edge... just waiting to be used... I can't wait to watch it fill up and the surprises along the way. Let's pray there are more common visions than not. :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It's All about... PANTONE!

Pin It I was super excited to come across this blog post today on the DST (digi shop talk) blog today. 9 palettes of Pantone's 2013 color trend predictions! My inspiration cup runnith over! I can't wait to use these through out the year and know I'm keeping up with the trends! :D

Which one is your favorite and why?
New Old School

Rugged Individuals
Surface Treatments
Out of the Ordinary

Monday, July 23, 2012

Mondays on Art Journal Caravan

Pin It Ok Wow... the past three days were not planned. I had so much scheduled, that just did not happen. So, I'm playing catchup. I tried my best to keep on my schedule. I decided to do some self journaling for Monday's layout with the Art Journal Caravan. The weekly prompt pulled at every heart string of mine like something was telling me... just be real. So... here it is. Maybe I'll have something a little more bright and cheery for tomorrow? We'll see. :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pre-Friday Freebie

Pin It So, I don't have any challenges on my schedule for tomorrow morning scrapbooking. It's a free morning to scrap whatever I want... with whatever I want. :) The wheels are spinning.

One of the things I'm planning to help my son with this summer is to eat cereal, with milk,out of the bowl. I think he is ready  to graduate from the little snack cup with the rubber lid...

Even though we haven't done this yet (waiting for a Saturday morning when Momma and Dada can both be there... these are the sweet moments you just have to witness in person.) I'm setting up my layout already. I know I'll want to doodle in this layout, as, I have a feeling we are going to have one messy situation. I'm already picturing milk everywhere and Cheerios being flung across the room. :)

So, I decided to go ahead and create the main items by doodling them out... a milk jug... and the bowl. I can do a 2 page layout... one side with my doodling and journaling and the other side with the photos from the event. I can already see it in my head. :)

Click here to access the doodle files!

Any who... I'm pretty excited about it and didn't want to wait until tomorrow to share with you. I'm giving away the link to these fun little doodles for free to use however you want. The only thing I ask is... you please post a link to your layout here? I'd love to see how you use these! :D

Stay tuned... I bet I have more for you tomorrow! :D

Thursdays are SWEET...

Pin It Whew... on day two of my new scrapping and blogging schedule. It's really pushing me to focus on the task at hand! :) Let's hope I make it to day three and then on to day four! lol.

Thursdays are saved for Sweet Shoppe Designs. I struggled a little on what I was going to pick from July's Pinterest challenges... I went to grab another cup of coffee and came back for a fresh look. Still... no idea... I then ventured onto their blog and saw a bonus challenge! This looked interesting... and Walla... I knew exactly what I wanted to do! Love it when that happens! :D

This layout will also go in my son's mini summer album. It will be fun to look back and remember his best pals... hopefully they will all be life long pals.. we love them all. :)

I pulled several fun ideas that I've been compiling and included them in this layout:

1. I was inspired by the challenge to create a layout using “Superlatives” for family members or friends.

2. I was inspired by this example layout... I love how Lynnette cut the circles out of the top paper to reveal another paper pattern behind. cute.

Layout by Lynnette

 3. I then browsed through Sketchy Thursday Photostream on flickr for an idea on how I would group the photos... I thought this sketch was a great start, as, I wanted to do the circle idea above.

Sketchy Thursdays - #21110

4. And of course I HAD to do my cut-out photo with doodling. ;) This is one of my favorites 
of him so far this summer... LOVING that smile.

And I think they all came together quite nicely!

I have to say.... I'm pretty excited for tomorrow... It's a Free day Friday for me and I have some fun ideas in mind! :D Maybe a doodle giveaway? I dunno... you'll have to come back tomorrow and see! :D

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wednesdays on The Lilypad

Pin It This Wednesday was my first scheduled day for scrapping only Lilypad projects. They have a wonderful challenge line-up for July and it inspired me to use these challenges to create a fun mini-album from our activities this summer. :) I'm calling the book: "Wyatt's Summer 2012 Bucket List" as, many of the things we are doing this year are centered around Wyatt... go figure...right? ;)  I decided to tackle the template challenge today and use the freebie template provided to create my layout. I will use this layout for the cover of my mini-album. Next Wednesday, I will tackle the Journaling challenge and create our bucket list (with most of the items already checked off! lol... it's been a busy summer...)

 Here is the template (click on the image to access it)

And here is my layout

If you are looking for some AMAZING freebies, The Lilypad is giving away pieces to this amazing kit, each day, for the whole summer!!!  I will FOR SURE be checking in each morning to download the daily freebie! Super fun!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Scrapping Schedule

Pin It So, if you are reading this post and you are into scrapbooking, you are fully aware of the simple fact that there are too many options and not enough time! It drives me crazy when I am able to find a spare 10 minuets to design a page, and I spend 7 minuets just trying to decide what I want to do!


Well, I think I figured out my own little system that will keep me organized, interested, and help me use the most of my time designing... and not sorting through challenges or shops. ;) 5:00am comes early at my house, I want to be able to grab my cup of coffee and know what the plan is before I even sit down at my computer.  Here is my rundown:

Monday: Art Journal Caravan. This is a pay to play group offered at Scrapbookgraphics.com. This, year-long, journey is created and orchestrated by the talented Tangie Baxter. Each week, she sends the "groupies" a list of prompts or ideas to journal or scrapbook about. You also get discounts and freebies for belonging to this caravan group. This is my first year on the journey and it's been a blast so far! This is where I landed my spot on Tangie's Creative Team! :D

Tuesday:  Design House Digital. Love this site! Mondays are when they post their 4Play challenges. They have MANY other challenges on their site too, but, 4Play has always been my favorite... maybe because you get a free kit out of the deal. ;)

Wednesday: The Lilly Pad. I've only been a member of this group for a couple of weeks now. I love their MONTHLY challenge line up. They list out 7 challenges that you can participate in for each month. I like this idea, as, I can pick and choose how many, and which ones I really want to do! :D And, to top it off, they offer a percentage off in their store for the number of challenges you complete! SA-WEET!

Thursday: Sweet Shoppe Designs. This was the VERY FIRST scrapbooking website I found when I started to design digitally... I was excited to see the launch of their new look recently and they are doing things differently! SSD is now using Pinterest for their challenges! (A sight after my heart!)
Each month, they find fun things on pinterest and create challenges from them. I about fell out of my chair when I went to July's board and saw.... MY TUTORIAL... as one of July's challenges! um.... AWESOME!?!?!? (I feel like a stalker in their forum... I can't wait to see who picks that challenge and what they create!!! lol.) :D

Friday: Free for me. Sometimes, I need a day where I don't have anything scheduled. Especially being on a creative team... I need a day that I can use to catch up on assignments and fit in an extra challenge or blog layout.

Saturday: Before and After Tutorials. As you know... I'm now building and recording tutorials. The first one was such a huge hit... I've decided to make a series. And this takes time. A lot of time. So, I've dedicated Saturday morning to tutorials only. I will  pick a layout that I created from the week and do a video tutorial on how I achieved the look.

Sunday: NO COMPUTERS (this is our family day)

This schedule isn't carved in stone just yet, but, I hope it will at least help me get focused and not get trapped in a shopping cart. ;) If you have a schedule for scrapping...post a comment and let me know what helps you! :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Before and After - 4 Play challenge

Pin It I love playing along with fun challenges every now and again. It makes me break away from the norm and makes me use papers or elements I wouldn't normally use. I should do this more often, as, the finish piece always surprises me in a great way. I flipped a quarter this week and ended up participating in Design House Digital's 4 Play challenge.

You can read more about this challenge on their blog, but, you basically use items from the four kits (one kit is always free!). This week, I was excited to see that the colors in the papers went well with some pictures I took of Wy playing with my Busy Town set. The layout couldn't have gone smoother. :) Although... I thought I would be doodling the scallops on the roof pieces FOREVER! lol. Check out my free tutorial where I show you step by step how I create my style of layouts.



Monday, July 9, 2012

Before and After - Gold Member Kit

Pin It This layout was just too much fun! The kit had something to do with it too! :D As a Gold Member at Digi.Shop.Talk, I took one look at the kit for July and thought "oh no! This is a girlie kit!!"

... But I decided to break away from my "boy mom" frame of mind and find something girlie to create. My first stop for inspiration? Facebook of course! I remember my sister-in-law uploading some adorable pics of my little niece and thought there HAD to be one that would spark an idea... and that's when I saw this photo.... OMG... it's PERFECT! :D

As I worked on extracting this photo and doodling... the layout continued to reinvent it's self and more ideas came flowing from my head to the screen. Before I knew it... the original photo was no longer in the picture... in it's place.. lots of paper pieces and hand doodling...and this is what I ended up with.... by far, one of my most favorite layouts of 2012.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Reinvent myself?

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One of the questions for Art Journal Caravan 
(week 26! Where did the time go?!?) this week is:

Is it time to reinvent myself?

It's spooky how a little question like that can makes my eyes pop... I've been thinking along those lines for some time now... maybe not those words exactly... but... that I need some change. It's a little TOO deep to share, so, I decided to go material, outer appearence on this one and list some things that were goofy and fun. Trying to make light on a troublesome idea. Happy Monday!

Products used: Tangie Baxter - Love "The Doctor"

 Journaling reads:

Is it time to reinvent myself?
If so, what would I change?
I’d love to wear goggles every day
and sport a shaggier mane.

maybe I would wear more gloss
and cover my entire face
I could sparkle everywhere I go
and I would shine in every place.

maybe I’ll change something within
with my heart, I’ll come to grips...
or maybe I’ll change nothing at all
just put some color on my lips.