Monday, November 28, 2011

JBS Blog Hop Winner!

Thanks to all who stopped by during the JBS blog hop!  Only one winner could be chosen, though, so let's give it up for...

Congratulations, Connie!  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

JBS Blog Hop!

Welcome to the JBS blog hop! There are so many exciting things happening at JBS Mercantile this week:
Firstly, Jenni has a new online class, "Home for the Holidays," which includes a step-by-step approach to compiling a charming and festive mini-album.   The class also showcases techniques and details as only Jenni can.

Secondly, the stroke of midnight (CST) tonight will also herald a new section at JBS Mercantile, "One of a Kind Finds," featuring exactly what the name indicates.  I've had a chance to peek at some of the items, like this wooden tote:
This beauty is looking for a scrapbook desk to call home -- don't you agree?  I can see this housing my collection of mists or journaling cards or stamps.  Hmm...the possibilities...

You'll also find lots of sales at JBS Mercantile, since it is, after all, Cyber Monday!

Thirdly, in a few days, as November becomes December, the new kits will be available at JBS Mercantile.  This month I have been playing with ALL of them -- I can't choose my favorite -- and I am looking forward to seeing what the rest of the team has been doing with these lovelies.  Luckily, I will not have to wait long, and neither will you -- in honor of the blog hop, each of us is sharing a peek at what we've been up to with these kits.
I used the artisan add-on here, along with the happy face ticket stamp from the main kit.  I also worked in the new JBS letter stamps, which I love, love, love.  

Finally, thank you for participating in the JBS blog hop!   Just for stopping by, you have earned a chance to be entered in a giveaway for a $10 JBS Mercantile gift card PLUS the lesson materials for Jenni's new "Home for the Holidays" class (a $7.99 value -- kit not included).  There will be only be one winner per blog -- both of these prizes will go to the same person.

If you'd like a chance to be that winner, just leave a comment below before midnight EST as Monday becomes Tuesday, and I will select a name at random tomorrow evening.  Be sure that I have a way to contact you if you are selected as the winner.  Good luck!

Now, choose your next stop on the blog hop from the list below:
Doris Sander
Mindy Miller
Leah Farquharson
Briana Johnson
Megan Klauer
Jenni Bowlin
Lisa Dickinson
Betsy Sammarco
Waleska Neris
Becky Novacek
Shimelle Laine

Thanks for hopping by! Har har. :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Save the Date!

Black Friday? No can do, but Cyber Monday?  I am so there.  Or here, rather.   No crowds, no lines, no mace, no problem.  

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I thought that my week had been busy, but this weekend I have been going nonstop.  I spent almost nine hours yesterday at a speech meet, and immediately afterward, I took Z and her pal to an early evening showing of Breaking Dawn.

If you've followed my blog through the years, you know that I am definitely a Twilight fan.  I'm not one to shriek uncontrollably at Jacob un-shirting, mind you, but I do so love the story.  When the first movie came out, I saw it four times, in all of its campy, romantic, blue-and-purple glory.  I truly loved New Moon, and though I balked at Bella's awful wig and eyebrows and fumed over Victoria's replacement in Eclipse, I enjoyed that movie, too.   As a die-hard fan of the books, I knew that the movies could never really measure up, but I appreciated that the filmmakers always seemed to respect the books enough to never really take the plots in another direction (unlike the fiends who defaced Percy Jackson).

Breaking Dawn, for me, marks a shift in the whole series.  The book was different from the others.  It was kind of nutty at times, actually, and it seemed hurried to me -- too much, too soon, and too much happening in a single book all at once.  Edward sort of receded for much of the story, and I felt disconnected from Bella for much of it.  As far as the whole Renesmee thing, that was just awkwardly handled.  Overall, while I was still happy to be reading the book, spending time with these much-loved characters, and watching their story play out, I did wonder why Stephenie Meyer decided to end the series as she did.  How could the person who wrote a book-length exposition for the series bring it all to a climax and see it through to its resolution so quickly?

So when the movie came out, I thought, well, my expectations are already low, so at least I won't be disappointed.  And I wasn't!  Actually, I was rather impressed with how much the crazy was tempered in this film, and how much what once seemed too far-fetched and rushed seemed almost plausible and thoughtfully handled.  It's the same story, yet it is presented differently, somehow.  I think the visual interpretation of the story really makes a world of difference.  Now I'm thinking that maybe I'll need to see it again. ;)  I'm so predictable.

This week I also have two challenges up at Two Peas in a Bucket.  The first is a journaling challenge that focuses on gratitude.  'Tis the season, after all, to count your blessings!
I worked in a few photos taken on 11/11/11 at 11:11 a.m. here.
It's funny that I used only the tiniest pieces of patterned paper here.  Usually I am kind of a paper junkie. I focused on enhancing the journaling through accents instead.
This challenge runs through November 24, and one lucky winner will receive a gift certificate to Two Peas.  Niiiice.

The second challenge is part of the Two Peas Garden Girl online crop that has been going on this weekend.  The challenges will remain open all this week, however, so there is still time to get in on the fun!  My challenge is to create a holiday-themed card for any November or December holiday.
I had so much fun making this card.  I splattered October Afternoon Sprinklers on the background (a piece of ledger paper from the OA Holiday Style line), stitched around the paper, and then placed some of the new Crate Paper chipboard pieces over it.

This challenge runs until midnight CST on Sunday, November 27. On Monday, a winner will be announced on the Garden Girl message board.  I'm told that there will be a fabulous prize involved.

Hopefully you will be able to play along with one or both of the challenges!  There are also a few more to check out on Two Peas.  I love challenges.  They're so great for jump-starting that mojo, especially at a time of year when life gets pretty hectic.

I hope you had a happy Sunday!  Have a great week.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

'Tis(n't) the Season

Today's sketch challenge on the October Afternoon blog includes a beautiful layout from Vivian Masket as well as my first attempt at using the new Holiday Style line (which just arrived at Two Peas)!

I am crushing on this line, big time.  

I will confess that I tend not to go all in when it comes to Christmas lines.  There have been so few that have really called to me through the years, and when I do find myself liking a line and splurging on it, I usually use only a few items from it, and then the rest just sits in a drawer somewhere all year long, until Christmas comes around again and I think about using it -- and then end up buying a different holiday line altogether.  Typical. 

This year, when Christmas line peeks started in the scrapblogosphere, I was hoping to see a Christmas line with versatile patterned paper, including non-holiday-specific B-sides, so that if the A-side is "out of season," at least I can flip the paper and get the most out of the product.  I also longed for a line with versatile elements that might have non-Christmas specific uses.  This Hawaii girl would also really appreciate a line that isn't smothered with snowflakes -- not everyone gets a white Christmas!  

Luckily, this year I am noticing Christmas lines that have these versatile B-sides and elements.  JBS, Crate Paper, and October Afternoon are making me very happy for this reason.  Some of the items are, of course, specifically Christmas-centered and would only work on a holiday-themed page, but I know that I can make these lines last a little longer because they contain pieces that can be used in alternate ways as well.  For instance, take Crate Paper's Peppermint buttons, or the OA wrap pack, or the B-side of this JBS accessory sheet.  They'll be in season, all year long.  

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Playing Catch-Up

Is it just me, or have you also noticed that time seems to be moving faster than ever?   Every time I sit down to do something it's time to get up to do something else.   I know that this will just intensify as Thanksgiving and Christmas draw closer.

I've also been stockpiling layouts and projects to share, apparently.  

The JBS November kit is really quite a beauty.  It includes the new Red and Black extension line, which is easily my favorite Red and Black extension ever.
This layout pulls together the main kit and the antiquarian kit.
Every time I use an item from an antiquarian kit, I always use it so cautiously -- it's ephemera, not designed to last forever, but it's also a piece of history.  I also know how much thought Jenni puts into selecting items for the kits (and how much hunting is involved as well), which in itself infuses pages with extra meaning.
This particular page was a challenge (which I talk about in the upcoming JBS Gazette), especially because it does not just document my grandmother's 85th birthday.  It also documents the fact that she is losing her memory.  I was not really sure at first how to convey the topic through the design and the page elements, but the kit helped me to tell the story.  I also incorporated thread on the page, which represents my grandmother's memory.  At times, everything comes together and makes sense, but at other times, her memory unravels.
The second page that I made uses the JBS November artisan kit, a kit that can be adapted for cute school-themed pages and more mature, refined pages as well.
I used the kit to help me showcase two photos that I recently discovered.
Not only was I amazed to find photos of my grandparents kissing, but when I flipped over one of the photos, I found my grandmother's handwriting there.  I made sure to include her writing on the page as well.
 I also had a bit (okay, a lot) of fun with paint and mist here.
My third page from this month's JBS gallery also uses the artisan kit.  I used bits and pieces of it since the page itself is photo-heavy.
In addition to immersing myself in the JBS kits, I've also been getting crafty with JBS goodies.  All this month on the JBS Inspiration blog, the design team is contributing ornaments to a communal Christmas garland.  Here's mine:
If you're interested, you can find more details on the original post on the JBS Inspiration blog.

I know that it may seem to early for Christmas, but it's right around the corner!  Our family rule has always been "no Christmas until after Thanksgiving," but I think that an exception can be made for cards and crafts.  I'm about to start working on holiday cards, and I've been browsing the Two Peas in a Bucket gallery for ideas.  I'm not the most savvy card-maker, but I really want to try to make all of my own cards and gift tags this year.

Speaking of Two Peas and holidays, here's a recent layout that I did about our gargantuan Halloween pumpkin, featuring the Bella Blvd. "Too Cute to Spook" collection.
It's rare to find a Halloween line that can work with almost any costume, isn't it?  I just love those polka dots.
The last layout that I have to share was featured this past Tuesday on the October Afternoon blog, in a tutorial for stitched letters.
As I mentioned in the post, "Although we live in an age of die-cut machines and electronic cutting tools, sometimes there's just nothing quite like good ol' messy hand-cut charm."  I stand by that statement!

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, November 11, 2011


The annual Wahiawa Veterans' Day parade has been a tradition for 60 years, but this year, with the APEC conference being held here on island, the parade has been canceled.  Just like that.  The permit was denied, with the explanation that there would not be enough security available for the parade, since the parade would necessitate a lane closure.  We aren't talking about a lane closure in Waikiki or Pearl City, mind you, which would no doubt lead to madness and mayhem.  We are talking about a lane closure in Wahiawa, a small town where the residents have been accustomed to a one-lane closure each year on this date.  No madness, no mayhem.  Just respect.
So let's problem-solve. Perhaps a smaller than usual contingent of officers could be sent?  Nope, because if (and it's an unlikely "if") anything went wrong, someone would sue, claiming that more officers should have been there.   Also, the terrorists (or worse, the protestors) would sense the lack of a handful of officers and would storm the APEC conference.  Perhaps some of the MP's from neighboring Schofield could be of assistance?  Nope, not unless martial law is declared.  Perhaps the parade should be held on another day?  No, because apparently that would be "too close to Thanksgiving," whatever that means.

Bureaucracy for the win!
The point isn't really even the parade.  It's what the permit rejection represents.  It is what the parade represents.  It is the fact that even as our hearts swell with pride as our troops and our veterans march by, they also ache, as they should.   In this day and age, we often do not see very many public displays of patriotism -- patriotism detached from political agendas and consumerism, that is.   The Veterans' Day parade is a celebratory and reverential occasion.
The fact that it was treated like any other event (except for APEC), and that it did not rank just as high or higher than the APEC conference ("which will be wonderful for Hawaii's economy", "which will show the world the true Aloha spirit," "which will bring glory to Hawaii") makes me really wonder about whether the system is working for us or failing us.  It's just a parade, sure, but it is also a deeply meaningful 60-year tradition.
Why couldn't there have been a way around the red tape?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Stop Hopping!

The Two Peas in a Bucket blog hop officially ended at midnight EST on November 7, so without further ado, a hearty congratulations is in order for...

which means it's time to give it up for...

Woo hoo, Annette!  I definitely approve of your wish list picks. :)  I just finished a Jillibean Soup layout not long ago, and I have some Bella Blvd on the way.  As for the Two Peas love, well, you know I agree with you about that, too!

Thank you to all who stopped by my blog during the blog hop(s), and for sharing your wish list items.  A few of them had me curious, so after some research, now my own wish list has become a LOT longer.  Enablers, the lot of you.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Two for One Blog Hop!

As luck would have it, I am participating in two -- count 'em, TWO -- blog hops today, which means DOUBLE the hopping for you!  I'm pretty sure that means you can skip the gym today. 

Welcome to the blog hop for The Crafter's Workshop and Balzer Designs!  Back in September, I had a chance to use a few of the new stencils, and I am now most definitely a fan!  How awesome is it that Julie invited me to play with even more stencils?  Lucky me! 
This layout, which focuses on my thoughts about teaching and learning at an all-girls school, offered the perfect opportunity to use a few of the "Faces" stencils, including Ava...

Edith and Maude...
and fresh-faced Summer...

Using the tried-and-true "ROYGBIV" formula, I worked from left to right, misting over the masks with each color, in order. After violet, I looped back around to red, orange, and yellow, for continuity's sake.  Just above each face, I repeated the color order with patterned strips and accents.   
Usually I try to stick to a color scheme that involves two or three predominant colors, but I couldn't resist the rainbow of possibilities here (har har).   The mix of colors and patterns reminds me of the beautiful faces that I see each day as a teacher in an all-girls school.  

Of course, this is just one of a number of ways to use these stencils.  For more ideas, check out the other stops on today's blog hop:  

Jen Cushman
Karen Grunberg
Paula Gilarde
Julie Fei-Fan Balzer

If you've made your way through all of the blogs and are still craving even more inspiration, you will LOVE the Balzer Designs Flickr pool.  

On to the second blog hop...woo hoo! 
Welcome to the Two Peas in a Bucket Garden Girl Blog Hop!  "Garden Girl" is the title that we receive as designers for the Two Peas in a Bucket website.  As Garden Girls, we create projects, host challenges, teach classes, and participate in Two Peas events, all designed to inspire your creativity. 

This week, beginning on Tuesday, November 1 and ending at midnight EST on Monday, November 7, the Garden Girls are sponsoring special projects and giveaways on our personal blogs.  Be sure to follow the list below as you hop from one blog to the next.  Each Garden Girl is hosting her own giveaway, so be sure to read the instructions that detail how you can participate in each contest.  If you get lost, simply either start at the beginning of the blog hop again, or skip to the next blog listed below.  

Wendy Sue Anderson
Julie Campbell 
Jenny Chesnick
Laura Craigie
Nancy Damiano
Jennifer Gallacher
Lynn Gahary
Jen Jockisch
Shimelle Laine
Jen Martakis
Kimber McGray
Becky Novacek
Kandis Smith
Jill Sprott (You're here!)
Shannon Tidwell (Go here next!) 
Lisa Truesdell
Rebecca Trump
Jaime Warren
Kristina Nicolai-White

One of my most recent contributions to the Garden at Two Peas in a Bucket is the following layout
I had such a blast playing with the new Studio Calico Mister Huey's Color Mists.  In fact, I also used them in the "Why Here?" layout shared earlier in this post.   These have been on my wish list for a while now, and I was so happy to finally have a chance to hold them in my eager little hands (and consequently turn those hands blue and red and green).  
This brings me to my question -- what is at the top of YOUR Two Peas "wish list"?  Given a $15 gift certificate, what item(s) from Two Peas in a Bucket would find its way into YOUR bucket of scrappy loot?   

Leave a comment answering this question, and you will be entered to WIN that very gift certificate!  One lucky winner will be announced after midnight on Monday, November 7 EST.   

Thanks for hopping along with me!