Year 1

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Here's my latest. I little recap for Matt's and my 1 year anniversary. I adored this beautiful Little Yellow Bicycle patterned paper and I'm glad that I got to finally use it. It's a light light blue, red ruled and flocked with white flowers! I started this project before the weekend, left it for the beach house, and came back with a fresh take and a much better idea. I played off the xoxo's and made it a makeshift tic-tac-toe board. Used my fave lil Slice die-cutter to make the x's and o's and created the little calendars in Excel. I really liked how this turned out and even better that I actually had 1 year anniversary to highlight. Who'd have thought? :)



Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's Stamptoberfest, don't ya know?! Over at Two Peas in a Bucket, we've been having a blast creating creating creating! American Crafts has sponsored a HUGE giveaway in honor of this annual event. So what is Stamptoberfest exactly? It's basically a party. A huge party where everyone creates, shares, challenges, and inspires. Just within the last few days I've created so many projects! 1 layout, 1 mini book, and 5 cards! I never would have accomplished that much without the help of this event and I most definitely wouldn't have delved into the cobwebby confines of my stamp bin. And that's just sad! Because I have a lot of great stamps that have just been itching to be taken out of their box, inked, and applied to paper. These are just a few of the cards I've created in the last few days.

My favorite project, by far and away is the mini book/pocket card I created as a birthday gift for Matt. I played off the title of the movie "500 Days of Summer". Summer being the main character's girlfriend. I haven't seen it yet but I'm dying to do so.

If you don't know me and Matt's story or if you need a little refresher, here goes! Matt and I were both part of the Mountbatten Program in London. I started the program in September and he started it 6 months later in March. Being that the program is small, we knew of each other but didn't really "know" each other until one fateful day when Sarah dragged me along for a night out with the "Marchie's" {insert shudder here}. But it turned out to not be so bad and I got to "know" this one guy who I'd previously written off. He was funny and charming and very sweet. We had a lot of fun together that first night but neither one of us was thinking seriously about any kind of relationship.

Fast forward to a month before I left London. We had started to hang out a lot. We got to know each other a little bit better. We got to appreciate each other's sarcastic and argumentative natures. But our time together was rapidly coming to end. And neither one of us felt comfortable bringing up THE topic. What was going to happen when I left? {dum dum dum} So I left, and I missed him so much, and I was so sad that I had to leave this really amazing guy that I had barely got the chance to know. I even wrote him a lengthy letter on that plane ride home. It was more for therapy and not something I ever intended to send. I did end up sending it to him at some point. Probably just to prove a point knowing me.

But we missed each other so much. I remember searching frantically for his number and having to overcome so many obstacles to finally get it (no thanks to EVAN!!). But that first talk was so calming and so natural. It was so nice just to hear his voice. So that's how we started, slowly and gradually. We talked occasionally and then e-mailed more. Then talked more and e-mailed everyday. Then we were suddenly in this long distance relationship that neither one of us had ever intended to happen and were definitely not expecting. But like they always say, you find someone when you least expect it.

We celebrate October 4 as our anniversary. Mainly because Matt drunkenly (the only way he would have worked up the courage!) asked if he could call me his girlfriend. And as you can see, I said that he could. Even though we're constantly 1000's of miles away from each other! In the past 365 odd days, we've each lived in three different countries on three different continents. Doesn't make it easy to have a relationship, even a fledgling one like Matt's and mine. But somehow, despite all of the odds, we're still together. And he's actually been there for me as best as he can be through all of the difficulties of this past year. I love him a ton and I'm so grateful to have him.

Hence the creation of this little book for his birthday. Why "53" you might ask? Because of those same 365 odd days that we've been a couple, we've only spent 53 of them in the same city. That's not a lot of time but its time that we both cherish. He's so fun to be around and I miss him so much when he's gone.

This was created as part of the pocket challenge featured at 2Ps. The paper is Sassafras Lass and basically did all of the work for me, being that it's so gorgeous! I created the little mini calendars in Excel and stamped out all of the days that we were actually able to be together. A grand total of 53. There's tons of photos included in the book and if you click on the title under the photos you can see more. [[FYI: If you click on any of the titles on any of my posts, they're direct links to my 2Ps account which will show you more pictures and more product detail.]]

I would have to say Stamptoberfest has been a very fruitful experience for me. I've had so much fun, stayed up way to late, ate way too much chocolate, indulged in far too many challenges, and just generally had a blast listening to my tunes, watching the odd movie, dancing around in my pjs and creating. Always creating.


New Leaves

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's fall! It's fall! It's officially fall! You know how I know? It's rainy and windy and below 80 degrees! And I'm excited. Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year and I feel like I've missed out on the last two. London doesn't have seasons, just cold rain and warm rain. And Bangkok...yeah, got there right during the end of Monsoon season. 90+ degree weather pretty much everyday we were there. So needless to say, I'm uber-pumped! So with the advent of fall, comes the inception of a new scrapbook. Ta da!

So I've refrained a bit from posting all of the photos from Matt's recent trip because I knew I was going to be working on this scrapbook. I couldn't wait! With all of the other projects I should complete first, I just had to get my hands on these gorgeous photos. The first being all of those close ups from our trip to the Botanical Gardens.

I had a lot of fun mixing and matching all of those patterned papers. Background paper: DCWV, a Basic Grey from their Eskimo Kisses line, some vintage Ki Memories, and some scrap Pink Paislee (journaling) and K&Co for the "Gardens" title. I've gotten use to and have started to love my little Slice. Especially for the lettering aspect!

So this guy...what can I say? {Sigh} I envisioned it so much better. But alas, this was the result. It's adequate to say the least. I like parts rather than the whole. The concept is cool. I mean I loved that photo. And thought it was a clever title...I dunno. I had scrappers block I suppose. It's mainly Making Memories papers and embellishments, with those awesome Sassafras Lass apples that I so gleefully butchered :(

This layout was inspired by the Stamptoberfest activities to be had over at What is Stamptoberfest you might ask? You soon shall see! Check back for my next blog update. This was one of my entries into the "Thankful/Gratitude" and "Fall" challenges.

Here we go again with my punny tittles! It was a charming break after having created 3 other cards and even more fun using the new "technique" I've unearthed. Using stickers as stencils! It helps one admire all of those gorgeous patterned papers out there. It also didn't hurt that the whole layout is just a nest of lines and that there's no weighty shapes aside from the few I've added. Perhaps now you can grasp the depth of my creative vision! {Haha! I really don't take myself that seriously} This is virtually all Making Memories with American Crafts letter stickers and that one little jewel brad.

Thus, we've come to end of my new scrap"book" of "leaves". Check back for more updates, because Matt's hounding me on the progress of "our" new scrapbook. What a guy! ;)


Baby Birdie

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Here he is, the baby, the myth, the legend, Urijah John Leija! The cutest baby in the world! I'll admit that I'm biased being that I'm his Aunt and all. So as one can see, Urijah or Goo as we affectionally refer to him, has a signature trademark. That hair! He was born with a full head of it and doesn't appear to have lost any along the way. Ever since the first day his mama gave him a bath, it's been sticking straight up. At nearly 5 months old, when these photos were taken, the verdant little guy has had 4 hair-cuts! It grows like weeds. The joke being, "at least his mama is a hairdresser". We're quite partial to Cardinals in this household as a result. Matt gave Mama a little thank you present, a Cardinal ornament and she's been gushing over it ever since. She even sent him a thank you card. I guess you can see where I get it from (refer to previous post).

I was instantly inspired by this gorgeous Making Memories Christmas paper. Not caring that it was "themed", I used it anyway and I'm happy with the results. I'm also not the biggest fan of silhouetting photos, but I just had to emphasize that little impish up-curl of his. I think it helped reinforce the Cardinal theme. Heck, maybe the lil guy will end up being a St. Louis fan. Only time will tell!


Cards! Cards! Cards!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

It seems like all I did last week was make cards. I don't mind. I love making cards! It makes me think of the person I'm creating them for, how much they mean to me and all the great memories we've had together. The "You Complete Me" Card was what I used for Sarah's Birthday card. Even just looking at this guy brings up a flood of memories, tons of laughing, and lots of quiet moments just hanging out in our room. I miss that girl so much!

I also had to set about creating thanks yous for all the awesome birthday presents I received. This was a quick solution and probably one of my more ingenious ideas. I love love love these Basic Grey papers. They made my job ten fold easier just by existing! Of course, I had to have them all...and the matching buttons...and the matching brads. What can I say, here's another not so secret obsession of mine.

I don't care. What I do makes people happy (at least I'd like to think so). I love getting cards, so why wouldn't anyone else. I firmly believe that if someone randomly pops into your head, there's a reason for that. Perhaps things aren't going so well for them, perhaps they need a friend. I never over look those opportunities because you never know how something so little can have such an impact on someone who's down. Or how special a person can feel, just because they know you're thinking about them. Ok, done with my preaching! But this is something I do feel strongly about. I call people out of the blue all of the time, I write on their facebook walls, I send them e-mails and messages and if I have their address, I drop them a card. It's me. It's what I do.

This final card was the grand finale of my cardmaking for the past week. I wanted it to be over the top, out there and fun! It had to have an awesome theme because guess what, he's an awesome guy. It also doesn't hurt that our favorite TV show, How I Met Your Mother, features the infamously awesome Barney Stintson, and that it's a running joke between the two of us. I hope he likes it. I hope they all like my little thank you's and just feel appreciated. Because I appreciate each and everyone of them with my whole heart.



Thursday, October 8, 2009

"Fiction is not fact, but fiction is fact selected and understood, fiction is fact arranged and charged with purpose."
Thomas Wolfe

This project has been a labor of love for the past few months. I was very inspired to create something recycled and then it slowly became the theme. It's a reading log I've been using to keep track of my recent literary undertakings. While books might not be the most recycle friendly product on the planet, I could never do without them. Even now, the two bookshelves in my room are heaving with my not so secret addiction. I've already told Matt, "babe I think I need one more" (bookshelf that is). And then the crazy man goes and gets me a B&N giftcard for my birthday!

It's a disease I tell you, a disease!! I can't stop buying and I can't keep myself away from the alluring smells and bright lights of 10 pm tea run to my nearest B&N. Nor can the Dora the Explorer in me, stop myself for meandering through the rooms of my favorite second hand bookstore. What treasures to be behold on these laden shelves! I keep promising myself that one day I'll stop. That one day I'll have enough. But I think the true definition of an addict is one who can't stop and one who won't stop. I think I'll just have to suffer through this one...


Belated Birthday

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


So things have been a bit crazy around here. Sadly, it took me over two months to get around to finishing Mama's birthday present. She now has an orange "guest" room. Really its the room of acquisition i.e. everything that doesn't have a place to go, ends up in there. She's got some good plans though. Once I move out, it'll be the new guest room and these will be a few of the "art" features. From my lofty point of view at least.

Anyway, I was the requisite photographer for both of these photos on our grand tour of Italy and the few days they spent with me in London. I loved getting to share my home with them and getting to traipse around Italy for a few days, riding around in the Panda Fiat we rented and listening to "Bella" the name we picked out for our GPS navigator. Papa played Mario Andretti and Mama took to reading magazines as the gorgeous Tuscan countryside flew by. C'est la vie!

Once I got around to working on these, I thoroughly enjoyed using orange almost exclusively. It's such a warm color and has me all amped up for the Fall. Which according to Matt, will start next week. At least temperature wise. Can't wait!