Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tips: Chipboard Shortage - Solutions

Tips: Chipboard Shortage - Solutions

Not only will this technique save your bacon while at a crop away from home and the comfort of having your entire chipboard stash nearby, it will also save you some money (so you can buy more awesome products to hoard....I mean collect).

So the design dilemma, I had the perfect size and shape alpha chipboard letters to finish my layout - but not nearly enough of letters I needed. Solution: use the chipboard sheet that hold the alpha as a stencil to trace the letters I was missing. Using a black American Craft s Stamp Marker I was able to achieve a bold trace.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Title: Imagine 


Tinkering Ink Convent Garden Victoria Willow Patterned Paper 
Tinkering Ink Convent Garden Oxford Soft Spice Patterned Paper 
Tinkering Ink Convent Garden Monogram Letters 


The moment the phone call came I was at work, in the midst of a ho-hum day. The message coming from the other end of the line left me gasping for air while dropping the phone in disbelief. My grandmother, my precious grandmother, who always boasted of never having been sick a day in her life, was in the hospital after a serious heart attack. That is it - no other details. I had so many questions, and still I was speechless. I had to make plans immediately to get to her side yet my feet would not move. Terror of not having her in my life drained the blood from my body. 

We hastily packed whatever it didn't seem to matter what. All that mattered was getting on the road. Early on during the six hour drive, the song Imagine by John Lennon played. It stuck in my head, only the words changed as it ran through my head over and over. Imagine the person who influenced me and is responsible for who I am not being there. It was too much. 

Imagine? No, I could NOT imagine such a thing, like the song says it would be like imaging there is no heaven. After arriving at the hospital we learned she would have to undergo quadruple bypass surgery. It was a big scary deal. More family members Arrived, we all moved into the ICU waiting room. It seemed like forever before we had any news. Finally a huge relief, she had come through the surgery. It was God's will to spare her. She has so much more to give to this earth. 

When I saw her face to face it was so strange, simply unreal. This woman I have admired all of my life, the strong woman who prevailed against all odds, she was lying there on the bed so pale and frail looking. I called on all the strength I could muster to put on a brave face and not show how afraid I was.....

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Scrapbook Problem Solving: How to deal with not so great photos

This happens to everyone at some point, bad light, bad camera, whatever the cause. The moment you wanted to capture is blow out, crazy color, etc. Here's how I handled the situation when it happened after recently "upgrading" my pocket camera. Side note, let's just say my trusty Rebel will be my first choice in the future until the new camera is outta here.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Top Ten Chipboard Layouts - Personal Favs - Ode to Chipboard

Ode to Chipboard - my favorite product to design with!

Ode to Chipboard.....

Oh chipboard, how I love thee
There you are plain, raw, yet beautiful in your simplicity, but this you already knew
Your possibilities are endless, making you perfect, how you are coveted by me
I will never tire of sanding, misting and painting you, achieving the perfect hue
You are the finishing touch, the icing on the cake, we all know it's true


Top Ten Layouts Featuring Chipboard - My Personal Favs

1. You Rock & Run
2. Pre-Ker

4. Fresh Face

5. Willful

6. Goodnight Girls!

7. Extreme Me

8. These Shoes

9. So This is Christmas?

10. It's a Triplet Thing

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Lost Art of Hand-washing dishes...

Whoa! Upon my arrived at the homestead this evening after a long day at work, followed by an extra intense workout at the gym, I find my husband standing in the kitchen with furrowed brow.

Ut oh, maybe I should find some errands to do and come back later...nope...too late, I am already in the door. Dare I ask what the problem might be? {sigh}

I make the inquiry with hesitation; he informs me that the dishwasher is BROKEN. I take this to mean that oh-so-convenient appliance we love to shove dishes at the end of the meal has met with an untimely death and will now have to be put on the freakishly long TO DO LIST.

The TO DO LIST warrants all caps, and we are not going there now.

He repeats the "dishwasher is broken". I am puzzled and far too tired to get the meaning of his inflection. Just tell me, like I'm in third grade, it will be faster that way.

He explains the gross condition of the supposedly hand-washed dishes, discovered when he was attempting to put them away . No go on that plan, mission aborted. We won't get into naming names on who might be responsible dismal effort mailed in last night.

In a semi-controlled fury, he rants about the lack of quality control kids demonstrate these days, the abundance of short-cuts available that lead to the inability of kids to even complete a simple task of properly washing a dish without the aid of an appliance. While this is probably more of a case of laziness versus the complete ability to complete the task, I get it and I agree.

In so many ways, the foundation of survival has eroded to near extinction. Therefore, in an effort to address the situation and make the lesson really stick....

The dishwasher has been declared "broken", until further notice.

In the meantime, the dishes will go on - old school style. Hey kids, hold out your hands, meet the dishwasher. Roll up your sleeves and settle in, those dishes are not going to wash themselves.  

Let's embark on the journey to mastering the lost art of Hand-Washing Dishes.

Wish us luck!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Running, license to be gross

Photo by  Randy Lefko 

Weird, but fun fact of being a runner, when participating in a race - you get to be as gross as you want to be! Yep, it's true, be gross, it's okay and even encouraged.

When you run you just let it all hang out there. The simple fact is that there is no where to hide it. It being your imperfections, your modesty, your vanity, your pain, agony...the list goes on. In summary all that you have put in or failed to put in up to race day will shine through at the finish line, whether its the good, bad or ugly.

My draw to the organized events is that I am a born competitor. It simply does not matter if I am the best, fastest or even prepared for the event, I will leave nothing in my reserve tank, I will bring everything I have to the table. Many times this leaves me gargling my heart steps before the finish mats, I push through. I love every moment ... after I'm done, that is.

There you are, you and your shoes and as many gadgets as you can strap to your body and still move. The first mile, lactic acids try to choke the momentum out of you. But experience will teach you, push through, it gets better, you settle in and find your stride.

So, the gross fun part, you get to be a complete pig. You grab your water cup from the race volunteers (those people really deserve some extra credit and sweaty hugs for catering to us, sometimes that sip of water is your lifeline when you bonk and want to quit). Little paper cup in hand you attempt to keep moving but water is sloshing around and hitting your face but not your mouth. Drat! You then do a weird half walk half jog before succumbing to the full walk so you can take in the fluids.

Double crud, the stroller people are approaching. Nothing sucks worse then having  a baby stroller pass you by. Forget that, time for a swish of water in and a giant spit - gross. At least I make an effort to peek behind me and make sure I am not spitting on someone - so not cool. Crumble up that cup and throw, oh yeah, throw it on the ground. It's so counter-intuitive, we are forever picking up and keeping things tidy. But in this world we just throw and go, no remorse, move on.

It's funny how a small thing like throwing your cups on the ground is naughty and fun too, breaking the rules, I like it! And this is where I extend another huge thank you to the race coordinators and volunteers who have the enormous responsibility of picking up after us racing piglets.

Disclaimer to the stroller people, I was once one of you - with my triplet stroller filled with babies, oh the pride I felt every time I was able to pass someone. Evil laugh, born to compete.

Reclaiming My Time

I am so excited about taking the "Reclaiming My Time" Class by Karen Grunberg at Big Picture Classes.

After going from being a single mother of triplets to a married life with the addition of two more kids that are with us part time - whoa that's a lot of change. Between family obligations, working full time, working out 4 days a week, running events a few times a month, errands, chores and homework and scouting and blah blah blah.

No, I really should not "blah blah blah" my life, however, that's what it feels like sometimes. Like maybe I am just getting through the days and not really "living" them. So, the goal of the class is the really dig into where the time is going and refocus energy on things that important and spend less time getting wrapped up in the daily grind.

That's the goal, wish me luck. Even better come join in the class. It just started and it's going to be great!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Is there a 12-step program for this...

There is nothing like having the truth shoved in your face and having to deal with it! After getting married earlier this year and moving to a new home, I took time to organize in a feeble attempt to make the Big Move easier. Fast forward to now, it's time to decorate for the Christmas holiday and Jeff pulls down the storage boxes while I unpack and begin decorating.

At first it was not obvious, there was a Santa hat or two in a box here and another in a box there... no biggie, we love to do the family Santa hat photo! It was not until I neared the end of the unpacking, that I found myself wading in Santa hats. Good golly matters only worsened when I laid out the extensive Santa hat collection on the table. Can you say... HOARDING??

While  I am not sure if there is a 12-step program available for Santa hat hoarding, it's probably something I should look into. In the meantime, Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Technique: Distress Paint & Glimmer Mist

Title: Yeah Fall
Format: 12 x 12

Adironack Alcohol Ink Latte
Delish Bikkies Chipboard Letters
KI Memories Lace Cardstock Flower Child Socialite
Pinwheel Flower Brads
Ranger Crackle Paint Peeled Paint
Scenic Route Sumner North Street Patterned Paper
Scenic Route Sumner Village Drive Patterned Paper
Scenic Route Sumner Jounaling Die Cuts
Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist Autumn Leaves
Tattered Angels Fibers Olive Vine
Zig Journaling Pen

Special Techniques

Glimmer Mist applied to pattered paper and lace cardstock with brayer.

Use a Craftmat to protect your work area. Layout your lace cardstock and spray Glimmer Mist lightly, then spread out with a brayer. Heat set to speed up drying time.

Spray glimmer mist around the edge of your patterned paper - use heat gun to speed up drying time.

Chipboard title painted with crackle paint, heat set and sprayed with glimmer mist

Paint a generous coat of crackle paint on your chipboard, the thicker you coat the chipboard the more crackly you will get. Optional - you may want to start with a base coat of paint before applying your crackle. Allow to air dry.

Once your chipboard is completely dry apply a coat of Glimmer Mist for a sparkly touch.

Here's a close up of the finished chipboard.

Pinwheel brads altered with alcohol ink and use to attach fibers directly to photo

The pinwheel brads where too shiny for this project. So I used alcohol ink to change the color.

Use a dabber to apply the ink directly to your metal embellishments. Allow to air dry or use a heat gun to speed up the process.

Assemble the pieces and you are done!

First 5K run with the girls!

November 19, 2011

My girls started on what I hope to be a long life of running and good health. Alexa and Jessica have worked hard to train for their first 5K run! I was the official "Running Buddy", what a great honor.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dionne & Jeff's Trash the Dress Session - Jacksonville, FL Wedding Photographer Corinna Hoffman Photography:

Dionne & Jeff's Trash the Dress Session - Jacksonville, FL Wedding Photographer Corinna Hoffman Photography:

Jeff thought I was a crazy person when I explained what a "Trash the Dress" photo shoot meant. He and I differ on how we place value on things. For example he will store prized items in boxes to make sure they are preserved will last forever. Then he will pass the box on to his kids, just like it was passed to him, so they can store the box and pass it on... and so on.

Personally I feel this approach is flawed! It's lunacy to me! I wholeheartedly believe that you should proudly display your prized items in a place of honor, to viewed and enjoyed frequently. I believe you should use the "good dishes". Consequences be damned if something gets broken.

The saddest thing I hear is when someone inherits the "good china" collection from their grandmother or  mother and they only remember that it had never been used... because something might get broken! My grandmother used her good china - Franciscan Desert Rose - for our family meals. That memory will be with us forever. Grandma + Desert Rose = Favorite Memory

Despite his hesitation with the whole concept, we had the Trash the Dress Photo shoot. It was the most amazing experience. Not only did we have an amazing time, but the photos are such a great representation of who we are as a couple! I love them!!!!

Corinna Hoffman Photography Jacksonville, FL Wedding PhotographerCorinna Hoffman Photography: Dionne & Jeff's Trash the Dress Session - Jacksonville FL Wedding Photographer:

Slide Show Link

Major props to our amazing photographer Corinna Hoffman

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Glimmer Mist Altered Projects - How to

Re-post of favorite techniques from old blog...(since the cruel, cruel internet ate my previous blog....oh let's just quit crying about it and start the rebuild - insert HUGE {sigh}... >> HERE!)

This is some work that I did when I was a Glimmer Mist Design Chick. Awesome products back then and even better over the years! Several of my creations were used in the Glimmer Mist Catalog.

Here's a little sneak peek on some of the projects I have been working on.

PROJECT ONE: Acrylic hanging photo

Clearly Creative Acrylic Album
Fancy Pants Rub-ons
Prima Say it in crystals
Tattered Angels
 Glimmer Mist Colors: Pink Taffy, Vintage Pink, Pearl Robin’s Egg Blue
Tattered Angels Chipboard Butterfly
Tattered Angels Sheer Butterfly

Starting with the acrylic album I sprayed a generous amount of Glimmer Mist in two shades. I used a piece of cardboard to block the areas I did not want to spray. The drying time is increased because of the non-porous surface.

Next I sprayed the Sheer Butterfly in pink and blue and set aside to dry. I sanded down the chipboard butterfly so that it would absorb more Glimmer Mist for a deeper color.

Once dry I added white accents by hand.

The rub-on is applied directly to the photo.

The photo is attached to the back of the acrylic album, concealing the glue behind the butterfly and dried Glimmer Mist. The Prima crystals are layered over the top and finally the butterfly is attached with fibers and secured with glue dots.


Clearly Creative Acrylic Album
Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist Colors: Pink Taffy, Vintage Pink, Pearl Robin’s Egg Blue
Tattered Angels Sheer Butterfly (used as a mask)

When I created the Acrylic hanging photo I was able to sneak in this bonus project. As I sprayed my sheer butterfly for the other project, I just placed it over this acrylic piece just like a mask. The photos do not do this justice the sparkle of the Glimmer Mist look beautiful when the sunlight shines on it.


Wood Monogram Letter
Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist Colors: Pearl, Iridescent Gold, Lemon Zest
Tattered Angels Fibers Coffee Shop
Tattered Angels Chipboard Crown
Tim Holtz Crackle Paint

Paint the monogram letter in crackle paint and allow to dry completely. Spray a generous amount of Glimmer Mist over the painted areas, allowing it to fill the cracked areas.

I sanded the chipboard piece lightly and sprayed with Iridescent Gold and Lemon Zest, then added the hand writing and accents. Finish by adding fibers and attaching crown.


Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist Colors: Pearl, Iridescent Gold and Suede
Tattered Angels Chipboard Owl
Tattered Angels Fibers Coffee Shop

Take your candle and lightly spray Glimmer Mist over the entire candle. You will need to allow plenty of drying time. Once dry you will have an amazing glimmery beaded finish. My chipboard owl is sprayed with Iridescent Gold to add a little extra shine. The owl is attached with a variety of fibers. This is a fast and easy way to add a custom look to your home d├ęcor.


Dried Flowers
Delish Chipboard
Maya Road leaf ribbon
Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist Colors: Gold and Olive Vine, Iridescent Gold, Pearl.
Tattered Angels Chipboard Shapes
Tim Holtz Crackle Paint

Spray the entire wreath and ribbon in Gold and add accents in Olive Vine. Weave ribbon around wreath, securing between the vines.

Paint the chipboard letters in crackle paint, once dry, add Glimmer Mist. Tie on chipboard accents with raffia (spray raffia in gold before tying). Leave the ends loose on the raffia and use them to tie the letter directly to the wreath.

Lightly spray the dried flowers, allowing drying tie to see how much color has been absorbed before applying another coat. Attach the flower securely and add a final coat of Pearl Glimmer Mist.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Me, the competitor -- 1st Place Sports | Tour De Pain Extreme

If you know me.... you KNOW I am a competitor! I stinkin' love extreme sports and physical challenges that make a lot of people want to cry.

So there I was browsing the upcoming race calendar and checking out the events I might want to add to race schedule. Low and behold.... I come across Tour de Pain EXTREME!

What the heck is that? I do the regular Tour de Pain just about every year, that event is well represented on my wall of medals. It consists of 3 races in 24 hours. Typically the schedule is Friday evening a 5 mile run on the beach (I loathe beach running), followed by a 1 sizzler (all out sprint) Saturday morning and finishing up with a 5K downtown.

Last year after I finished the final leg of the event, got my medal (will run for hardware), I was side-swiped by some crazy on the freeway!!! HOLY COW they just crashed me out and started taking off. Good golly, I was driving a big blue Suburban - how does anyone miss that? Anyway, not one to let an injustice go without taking action --- I chased them... into da' hood..... finally I regained my senses and got outta there and called the police. Yay, awesome just ran my butt off in a race and have to file a police report with my sweaty self....nice!!

Boy, did I catch some heat for chasing after them. Sometimes I lack good sense. Lets get back on track...we will save the rest of that story for another day.

The new event Tour de Pain EXTREME is even better then the regular 3 event series!! How could that be you ask.... it breaks down like this:

Saturday morning 7am  --->>> 10k run (6.2 miles)
Saturday evening 7pm  --->>> 5k run (3.1 miles)
Sunday morning 7am    --->>> Half Marathon (13.1 miles)

Does it get any better then this?? I know, I know - I am all IN!! Sign me up baby!

1st Place Sports | Tour De Pain Extreme:

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Going all the way...

Looking back on previous Cuboree's. It's great to see how much the boys have grown! Dug up this layout to share, my first 100% digital layout. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Ultimate Fav from our Trash the Dress photo shoot

Here's our ultimate fav shot of the Trash The Dress Photo Shoot.

Jeffrey & Dionne - Photo by Corinna Hoffman Photography (she ROCKS)

Link to old blog..

Why I cannot access this...well, I just have no stinkin' idea. It's still out there lurking.

That's okay, looking forward to a fresh start anyway.



Have you seen...

Apparently cyber space has eaten my old blog --- Grrrrr. If you happen to see it, sent it home. In the meantime, let's just start over!

After an extended break.... I'm BACK!

Earlier this year I was up to my neck in preparing for my wedding. We survived and I have tons of great photos to share! We have settled in our new house and as of this week my office is set up and I am back in swing of things.

Hey, take a moment and count your blessings. Love the people around you and make the most of today!