Life with Besties

Friday, August 30, 2013

Happy Friday all! I'm so excited to relax my bum off, this long weekend. Like sooo excited!! Happily, my apartments all clean, so really I have the whole weekend to play with paper, read, watch videos and movies.

I'm planning a Two Peas video marathon and to catch up on my Hello Story and Toolbox classes. It's gonna be good.

But tonight I wanted to share a summer layout I made weeks ago, but just hadn't sat down to blog about it. It's a page using a Toolbox prompt and some of the new(er) Carta Bella, Hello Again collection (it's on sale at Two Peas for a bit, so snatch some up!).

I tried something a bit different and decided to film a quick 90 second video of me talking about the page. Apologies in advance for the quality. I have no idea what happened! But if you listen to the words and check out the photos, you get the picture.

And I'm super pumped that I get to hang out with this girl this weekend. She's visiting the boyfriend who just relocated here. That means more time with besties for me!

Hope yall have a lovely long weekend if you're in the US. Otherwise, I hope you have some awesome relaxing days!

cheers & besos,

Handstitched Cards

Sunday, August 25, 2013

What's with all of my married friends being born in pairs?! Kim and Eric are born in June. Susie and Gus (and now Lauren) have August birthdays. So it's more coordinating cards from me! (See K&E's travel birthday cards here)

Lately, I'm loving a neutral background with pops of color, mixed alongside a bold graphic design. So I custom made a boy and a girl version using paint, mist, black and white washi and stamps.

For Susie's card, I was inspired by the Mama Elephant Photo Challenge again. I love the white with the pops of pink and black. And instead of the yellow as in the inspiration photo, I used gold.
Tim Holtz Distress Paint is pretty awesome. The dauber makes it so easy to smear across a stencil. This pink is Picked Raspberry. It's so vibrant IRL (and in this photo thanks to RadLab). 

To back the sentiment, I used a few date stamps and gold brilliance ink to create a text block. I wrote the word "happy" on a scratch piece of vellum and poked holes where I wanted them over the text. Then I stitched through with black thread.
For Gus' card, I knew immediately that I wanted to create an argyle pattern. He's a sock guy and so that pattern just seems him to me. I used my Silhouette to cut a diamond out of scratch paper and then used it as a mask for the blue blocks (that's Distress Paint in Salty Ocean).
I traced more diamonds with a pencil and poked another round of holes. This time I stitched them in teal and finished the card off with tape and a die cut that was misted with Heidi Swapp Color Shine in Bronzer.
The "Happy Birthday" stamp is by Papertrey Ink, a set I had totally forgotten about but still completely love! Might need to place another order with them sometime soon, they have the best stamps!

Happy belated birthday Gus! And happy early birthday Susie! The month of the Cruz celebrations is almost complete =)

cheers & besos,

Scrapbooking from the Soul Review

Saturday, August 24, 2013

[ETA: Giveaway closed, Winners announced here]

Wow, almost the end of summer. Time never ceases to amaze me, as it flies so quickly on by. 

Matt and I drove out to Austin in July to celebrate Tara's birthday. We floated the river in San Marcos; relaxed, laughed, nearly drowned (at least Tara did) and really just enjoyed the experience. 

I bought an old school water proof disposable camera to document our drifting and only just yesterday picked it up from the developer. (BTW, its so crazy to me that not very long ago, 1 hour film developing was the norm. Now you have to send them away!).  

It was fun to open up the package to see how the prints turned out. That was the awesomeness of film photography, you never actually knew what you were gonna get. Not all of the pictures were great, lots ended up blurry and hazy. But I love them anyway. They still captured that day and these memories.
On the surface, the page and photos are about the day we spent on the river. But the journaling was all about how this is life now, none of us are married or have kids. And how carefree and lacking in responsibility our lives are--which is lovely for now!

It's like that for all of us on this page. But we're each getting older. I'm sure one or all of us will take the plunge into marriage and parenthood eventually. But for now, I'm personally content with the life of a single (marital status) childless person.

The part of my life that includes marriage and babies may or may not be very far away in the future. And one day I imagine I'll look back at these pages and remember what life was like back before the husband and the kiddos.

Journaling Reads:
I love summer for its lazy carefree laid back vibe. I love the long summer nights. What feels like all kinds of time to just breath and relax. It's not going to be like this always. One of these days we'll all get married and start having babies. Not that life will be over then. But gone will be the days of minimal responsibility, of picking up and going wherever/whenever I please. For now, I relish this time. Still not married, no babies. Still carefree.

The journaling is a bit of a departure from my usual style. That's not to say that I've never made connections or done more introspective journaling before. But this was a totally different approach for me. And I have one person to thank for it, the incredible (not so edible) Jill Sprott.

Jill has long been a favorite scrapbooker of mine. Her pages are always gorgeous and full of masterful design. But I think the subjects she chooses and the connections she makes are what have always drawn me to her layouts. She transforms pretty portraits and still photographs, into poignant and meaningful visual stories due largely to her journaling. 

Let's face it, she has a bit of a leg up on all of us in this department, being a high school English teacher and all. So I try not to be too intimidated. But it's so hard to look at her pages not feel a connection to the lady herself. Her voice (she uses her words!) come across so brilliantly in each of her creations.
As if all of this isn't amazing enough, she sat down and created a class to help each of us achieve what she does so beautifully, meaningful journaling on gorgeously designed pages. The class is aptly named Scrapbooking from the Soul and is available at Two Peas for such an insanely low price. I bought it last week and was only able to dive in yesterday afternoon. Let me tell you, the first two lessons have me completely reconsidering the foundation of my entire scrapbooking process. That's how profound the class has been for me already!

Want another example of how awesomely talented Jill is? After watching the class videos and reading through the .pdf's I felt like I'd just had a conversation with her. As if she and I had sat down to chat (over a cup of tea I'd imagine =) about this thing called scrapbooking and how meaningful it can be.
I have to admit, Ms. Sprott has an insanely huge soft spot on my heart. She has been one of the best creative cheerleaders a girl could have asked for. She actually follows this blog! She even looks at my layouts. And if there's a comment on a post here, there's a 50/50 change Jill is the one to have left it. It's the little things, right? It takes her not so much time, but it always means so much to me, to read her sweet comments.

After reading through this post, I think its safe to say that I'm an avid Jill Sprott fan. And I'd love to honor this sweet lady with a giveaway. I believe so much in what she's taught me already, that I'd love to give away to two readers, access to her workshop.

To enter to win, please leave a comment below (with your 2Peas name). I'd love to hear which scrapbookers are super stars to you! I'm leaving this open through Saturday, 31 August at 11:59 CST and then I'll draw and announce two winners! Best of luck to you all! And even if you don't win, really consider taking the class. It will be worth each of those 1,200 pennies!

cheers & besos,

History of Ever

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hi there! I'm so excited to share this double page layout with you. Because come on, look at that sweet little face =) He's getting to be such a big boy and this terrifies me. Stop getting older little one!

I LOVE how this spread turned out. LOVE! I created the left side using the arsenal of techniques I picked up from the Toolbox class. It was for the Pinterest Challenge Shanna issued and is directly inspired by these two pins: [Pin1] [Pin2]

A messy crafty watercolor-y feel was what I was going for, and I think its so awesome that you can achieve this digitally without making a total mess!


I just couldn't not enlarge this sweet photo of him. It's not the best image, it's a bit blurry and the photo quality isn't the greatest. As a quick fix, I just did a quick screen grab of a video I shot of him. He was jumping on the bed and laughing his head off at me.


I dug into my Elle's Studio Cameron collection which was so perfect for this photo. Glad his mama picked out that shirt for him to wear! The colors couldn't have worked better!


I embellished with some cork circles and glittery stars.  Plus since my printer didn't really pick up the green very well, I added some actual green ink splatters and a vellum circle sticker.


I loved both of these die cuts because they used the word "you" which is how I personalize all of my journaling to him. I always write it "u" since his name is Urijah. I covered them both up with thickers and added my journaling about this boy and his latest milestones. He's doing so awesome!

cheers & besos,


Monday, August 19, 2013

Hello Story has been one of my most favorite classes! I'm loving these story structures, and for the most part, I'm keeping up with the class. Here's a page made with last week's prompt. It's about the places I've been. 
It took awhile to build that list on the left hand side there, and it isn't even complete. I had to delete a few of the repeated places to make sure I had room for all of the cities. But I'm so glad I have at least a good start of a list all in one place!

I typed this up in PSE and printed it onto vellum before adding it to my page. I like that you can still see the cloud paper underneath it.
I was originally going to make an 8 1/2 x 11 page and so I printed the photo that wide. But then I grabbed this gorgeous paper and knew I wanted to show case as much of it as I could. So it stayed 12x12.

At the very beginning, I had this vision of a line of embellishments along one side. I dug into my stash of October Afternoon Travel Girl and Basic Grey Carte Postale embellishments to place along the line of the Freckled Fawn London Underground tape (eek, I love it a ton! but it looks like they don't have it anymore which is a total bummer)
I added my title directly to the photo using Photoshop Elements (font: Windsor Hand). It's this title that's part of the Hello Story prompt which is about 6 word stories.

I loved this totally random photo that I snapped while we were driving to Austin (note: I'm in the passenger side so definitely NOT driving!). I love the movement in the photo. I love the selfie that's not me smiling at my phone. I love the landscape. I love the reflections (I'm big on reflections!) It's a special photo that so perfectly conveys this title of adventure seeking.

This is part of a series of "She" layouts I've made. Here are two other layouts [She] [She]. They are some of my favorites. I think its the words. And really, most of them are about travel. It's my absolute favorite thing to do!

cheers & besos,


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Hi hi hi!! My first free weekend in forever has been so lovely. We went to a party on Friday but after that, we had nothing planned. And it's been heavenly. I cleaned and scrapbooked and later today have a friend coming over for a cat date. Huzzah!

So I was able to get caught up on classes this weekend and make a few pages. This is layout is inspired by a Toolbox prompt and also the Mama Elephant Photo Inspiration challenge. Here's the inspiration photo, isn't it fab?

I love the white with the pops of color. I only ended up using the pink and substituted white for silver, but you can see where I was going with it =)

This is a mixed media piece inspired by my Toolbox class. As soon as I saw Celine's video, I knew the foil look would be perfect for this page about me and Tara at Gordoughs. We had to take a photo in front of the airstream! Airstream...foil tape, the perfect representation!
Mama Elephant stamps are rapidly becoming some of my favorites! And I LOVE the Bling set. I mean, the set had a $ sign it! How could I not use it, seeing as Tara's nickname is T$ [read T-money]. I heated embossed a few of the sentiments in white on vellum and stapled them to the foil part of the page.
Lastly, I broke in a pack of Elle's Studio die cuts. It was one of their exclusive kits and I'm so happy they made their way onto a page! They were the best shade of pink, a perfect match for Tara's shorts and also for the photo challenge.

I have one layout done and few others prepped and ready to be put together. Loving that I have time to scrapbook again!

cheers & besos,

Lauren's Pages

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A special little lady turned one last week. For her birthday, I contributed a few pages to her scrapbook. I spent a happy Saturday making these for her. It was fun to just play with my stash, no rhyme or reason, no challenges or assignments.

Find more Lauren pages here =)

cheers & besos,

Hello Story Pages

Monday, August 12, 2013

Morning yall! I wanted to jump on quickly to share the last few pages I put together using prompts from the Hello Story class.
This first page is all about direction. I don't usually scrapbook my failures. So it was a different kind of approach for this page, which is all about how I couldn't pass the PMP exam. [Tear! ....sigh]

I've had to re-adjust and re-orient and now am on a slightly different career path than the one I had envisioned in my head. Which is fine, it just means I have to look at things from a new perspective which never hurts.

For the page, I used Ali's digital elements to clip the images down into arrows. The rest of the layout was done on an axis. I put down some washi and dug into my stash of arrows to finish off the page.

Math was the theme of another of Ali's prompts. Using some inspiration from the class, I came up with this white + black + dash of red color scheme and design. It's a hybrid page (I'm loving those lately!) with just bits of dimension--silver paint splatters and punched/pop-dotted + and = signs. I also did a bit of stamping with my roller stamps.

In an unlikely turn of events, I went to a business meeting and came away with a kitten. Well...maybe not quite like that but it wasn't very far off! Look me at all innocent and unknowing on a Saturday, then mama to fur baby on Monday. Life!

cheers & besos,

50 Wishes Card

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Egads! This month is slipping away from me! I feel like I'm losing all kinds of time. Just busy really, hopefully it'll slow down for a few weekends. And then come September, it'll get crazy again! 

So needless to say, I'm falling behind in blogging and classes and scrapping in general. I'm not so bothered, it means I'm making the memories I'll get to scrapbook later when it slows down!

This was meant to be a post for yesterday. Yesterday, because a certain adorable Mama turned the big 5-0. 50! I can't believe it really. She's a young mama, still full of gumption and spunk! I love her to bits.

For this year's birthday card, I wanted to include 50 hearts. Some of them got covered up with the bigger heart, but you get the picture. [See 2012's Card Here, See 2010's Card Here]

I used printables and digital brushes from my SC Toolbox class to create the card.
For dimension, I printed and punched a larger die cut, added some washi and glitter tape and then letter stickers and finally some enamel dots.
I played around in PSE and discovered how to add a gradient or ombre effect. Fun! I printed it out on vellum and taped it inside the card.

Happy Birthday lil Mama!!! I love you bunches and bunches!

cheers & besos,

Pacific Ocean

Monday, August 5, 2013

I was in Los Angeles for work last week. It was a lot of time spent in a meeting room, but the parts outside of work were lovely. On Tuesday night we grabbed a cab out to Santa Monica. We walked out to the water and put our feet in the ocean. It was divine!

I made this page using the digital template from the Toolbox class. Shanna made a really great tutorial that I learned a few new tricks from. All of the papers are from the class but I only used of them in its original color. The rest I altered to fit the colors in the photo.
The design was almost entirely created in Photoshop Elements. Since the page was so flat, it needed some dimension. I added some enamel dots and punched anchors.
I also added brads and some baker's twine to help with the mini gap between the digital elements I added.
Finally, splashed some gold mist and hand wrote labels on vellum.
Oh, and I love that I got to use my anchor swag!! Gold ink plus the roller stamp from Glitz and my lil SC anchor punch. So excited!

I'm having so much fun with my digital learning this summer. Between Toolbox and Hello Story, I'm learning tons!

cheers & besos,