Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The One with Registering for Scrapbook Werkstatt Workshops!

Guten Morgen!

Registration is NOW OPEN for the mini album and layout workshops taught by me and Janna Werner at the Scrapbook Werkstatt store near Frankfurt, Germany on September 27th and 28th 2014! 
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Here is the mini album I will be teaching how to make:
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The mini album workshop is on September 27th 2014, is 3.5 hours long from 10am-1:30pm, costs 45, and includes all of the supplies you see here. You will have TONS of leftovers to make more mini albums, layouts, cards, you name it! Should be a wonderful time filled with lots of laughs and inspiration!

And here is the layout I will be teaching how to make:
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The layout workshop is on September 28th 2014, is an hour and a half long from 1:30-3:00pm, costs 35, and includes all of the supplies you see here including a heart punch and custom "love" AND "liebe" die cut titles I designed. You will have TONS of leftovers to make more layouts, cards, etc! Should be a wonderful time filled with lots of laughs and inspiration!

It would be so wonderful to meet more German scrapbookers (or heck, you could fly across the pond to come :)! Hope to see you there in under 10 weeks!

Register online at!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The One with Displaying Layouts

Before my layouts make their way into an exponentially growing pile where they await for MONTHS until they get put away chronologically into albums, I slide them into page protectors and tape them on the wall above my computer. (I know I know, tape isn't good for the wall, but we have to repaint before we move out anyway, so c'est la vie!)
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I like doing this for several reasons:

1. It's fun to see them for a few weeks before I put them away indefinitely. I only look at albums a few times throughout the year upon special request from Mr. Fox. 
2. It's an easy way for me to make sure I'm not using the same color of cardstock base for too many layouts. 
3. It helps me to challenge myself so my layouts don't all look toooo similar, although lately I admit they have a homogeneous vibe!
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Once the wall is filled up with 20 layouts I take them all down and start fresh!
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These photos were taken approximately 10 minutes ago so it looks like come tomorrow when my August Studio Calico kit is supposed to arrive I'll be making more layouts and a new gallery will begin!

What do you do with your layouts as soon as they're finished?

Monday, July 21, 2014

The One with American Crafts SIGNATURE STYLE Layouts

I have a pair of layouts on the American Crafts blog today with a "Signature Style" theme! I first found my style while working in-house at American Crafts back in January 2008. I love to use bright colors, tons of patterned papers, punches, my Silhouette Cameo, watercolors, often quilt-inspired, and lots of repetition. That's my style in a nutshell! 
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JANE ON EASTER by Paige Evans

DESCRIPTION: Wilna Furstenberg makes the prettiest cut files! As soon as I saw this whimsical heart design I knew I wanted to use it on a sweet layout about Jane in her Easter best.

JOURNALING SAYS: Oh what a pretty and sweet little girl you are dear Jane! You're such a doll and I always want to give you big hugs!

HOW TO: Die cut the hearts cut file from white cardstock and leave it on the mat. Watercolor a rainbow of stripes across the top half of and let it dry. I found the paper doesn't crinkle as much if you leave it on the sticky mat while painting. Or use actual watercolor paper :) Lift off the cardstock then back each heart with patterned paper - use foam dots to adhere them in place. Embellish some of the hearts with buttons and enamel dots placing them on like colors. Emboss banners onto white cardstock and use it as a photo mat on the bottom right. Tuck a journaling card under the left side and stamp the date below. Stitch a Thickers title above the photo and add mini alphabet stickers to finish the title. Place a few of the watercolored hearts by the photo and the left left corner.

SUPPLIES: Cardstock, patterned paper, wood button, chipboard letter stickers, mini alphabet stickers, enamel dots, journaling card, banners embossing folder, pen, date stamp, adhesive: American Crafts; Watercolors: Mr Huey's by Studio Calico; Buttons: Color Theory by Studio CalicoDie cut machine: Silhouette Cameo by QuicKutz; Hearts cut file: i Heart Studio by Wilna Furstenberg
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DESCRIPTION: Shameless selfie goin' on here :) I rarely scrapbook pages of myself so it's a nice change of pace every once in awhile. Hopefully my kids and grandkids, great-grandkids, etc will enjoy seeing pictures of their mom/grandma/great-grandma/etc! I used journaling cards and patterned papers from the Sunshine Project Life Edition designed by Elsie and Emma of A Beautiful Mess because I LOVE the bright colors!

JOURNALING SAYS: Instead of packing for our trip to Disneyland Paris I took 'selfies' in the bathroom mirror for a few minutes. 

HOW TO: Die cut the Dhalia Flower Mat (Design ID #47089) from white cardstock then back it with journaling card and patterned paper pieces along with a photo in the center. I hand cut every paper piece and placed them with foam dots. Adhere a large doily on a blue cardstock base then stitch the doily to the center. Place tone-on-tone buttons around the layout and add a mini alphabet sticker title around the bottom right curve. Journal below the title with a white pen. 

SUPPLIES: Cardstock, patterned paper, journaling cards, adhesive: American Crafts; Buttons: Color Theory by Studio CalicoDie cut machine: Silhouette Cameo by QuicKutz; Doily cut file: Dhalia Flower Mat (Design ID #47089); Doily: Wilton; Mini alphabet stickers: Studio Calico; Pen: Uniball Signo
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What about you? What's your signature style? I'd LOVE to know!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The One with Grandpa Ted's Funeral

Yesterday was my grandpa's funeral. It just didn't work out for me to fly across the pond to Utah for the funeral and I was so totally and completely sad to miss it. My sister and her husband who have been living in China the past six months got home last weekend so they were able to go. My brother and his wife were miraculously in Utah that very weekend for a wedding. It was perfect timing for everyone - except me (pity party for one please!). My friend's daughter Mikey picked out this flower (it's purple - her favorite color!) and brought it to me earlier this week to say sorry for my grandpa's passing. What a sweetheart! It has brought me so much comfort and joy this week.
Thank goodness for technology. My mom was able to video chat with me and I got to watch the grave service. 
A relative took a bunch of pictures which I'm so thankful for. My mom is standing there with her aqua phone under the tent and that's me watching from the phone :)
 I'm guessing this is Grandpa's helmet and boots and dog tags from the Korean War.
 Pall-bearers: my dad, brother, Uncle Dave, and cousin James are carrying the left side of the casket.
 Then the American Legion performed the 21 Gun Salute.
 The flag over the casket was folded up.
 And then the folded flag was given to Grandma. My Grandpa John is in the back, middle, along with his son, my Uncle David on the right and his son, my cousin, Benji in the middle. My Aunt Cissy (Ted and Doris' middle daughter) is sitting next to Grandma.
 My sister Allie, glowing. She's so pretty :)
 My cousin James. His face says it all. 
 James' older brother, so also my cousin, John Jr. 
 John Jr's oldest daughter, Alli. 
 Grandma looking happy and sad.
 Love you so much Grandma Doris!

Even though I couldn't be there physically, I was able to design the funeral program so it felt like a part of me was there in a small way.
Still missing you Grandpa Ted!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The One with Noble Paiges: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Our 3rd book discussion is GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn which is a crazy, intense, mysterious, grab-your-seat-by-the-edge-and-squeeze-as-tight-as-you-possibly-can book! Every chapter kept getting better and better and more intriguing.

Synopsis On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

1. Did you ever think that Nick killed Amy?
Absolutely! Especially the more we found out about him and his lies and deceit.

2. What did you think of Amy's disappearance plan? Was it believable? Were you surprised that she was actually alive?
I think if you spend an entire year planning for something it could happen, even if it was as wild and crazy as Amy's. I think too many things could have gone wrong though and in the end she would have been found. But if makes for a great story to have everything go just right. Was I surprised she was actually alive? Well, I'll be honest, I flipped through some pages and saw she was alive, so in that moment it surprised me, but then leading up to it I was so interested to see how it all played out.

3. What did you think of Amy overall? She had a lot of people in her past that she tricked and manipulated. Do you think one person could plan all of that stuff and be that devious?
I think Amy is psycho! They both are in their own way! Perhaps that's why they're perfect for each other. I mean, who deliberately hurts themselves (multiple times over the years) and blames it on somebody else just to punish them? Crazy crazy crazy.

4. What did you think of the ending - of Nick and Amy staying together?
I could have used a more resolved ending. Tell me what happened two years later. I don't think think I'd be able to live with someone as crazy as Amy or as deceitful as Nick - living in fear all day long that the other person would murder me. Because Amy murdered somebody! Ahhhh!

5. Gone Girl is going to be a movie! They've selected Ben Affleck as Nick and Rosamund Pike as Amy. Do you think they'll do a good job? Here's a trailer:

The movie looks like how I imagined the story in my mind's eye to a "T"! I can't wait to see it!

Kelsey Noble has another set of intriguing questions about GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn on her blog!

Time to announce our next Noble Paiges book: ALL FALL DOWN by Jennifer Weiner!
Synopsis: Allison Weiss got her happy ending—a handsome husband, adorable daughter, a job she loves, and the big house in the suburbs. But while waiting in the pediatrician’s office, she opens a magazine to a quiz about addiction and starts to wonder…Is a Percocet at the end of the day really different from a glass of wine? Is it such a bad thing to pop a Vicodin after a brutal Jump & Pump class…or if your husband ignores you? The pills help her manage the realities of her good-looking life: that her husband is distant, that her daughter is acting out, that her father’s Alzheimer’s is worsening and her mother is barely managing to cope. She tells herself that they let her make it through her days…but what if her increasing drug use, a habit that’s becoming expensive and hard to hide, is turning into her biggest problem of all? With a sparkling comedic touch and a cast of unforgettable characters, this remarkable story of a woman’s slide into addiction and struggle to find her way back up again is Jennifer Weiner’s most masterful work yet.

Want to win a copy of ALL FALL DOWN by Jennifer Weiner so you can join in NoblePaiges book club? Leave a comment on this post by Saturday July 26th 2014 and tell me your favorite book?! I'll pick and announce the winner on this post next Saturday so come back then! 

Our next Noble Paiges discussion of ALL FALL DOWN by Jennifer Weiner will be on Saturday August 30th 2014 - over a whole month to read so mark your calendars and see you then! And make sure to visit Kelsey's blog for the other half of the discussion!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The One with Dressed Just to Scrapbook!

Sometimes I dress my kids up just so I can take pictures of them to one day scrapbook. It happens :)
 I ordered Jane a mint bow from londy locks and it got here lightning fast! So here's little miss Jane sporting her new bow and halterdress from Old Navy.
 Meanwhile Fox is wearing some cute babyGAP khakis and shorts. And sandals. I get 99% of their clothes from babyGAP from the sale section with a 40% discount - rounds out to like $5 shirts! If you love something, just wait a couple weeks or months, it always goes on sale and they always have killer deals!
 This one is a little firecracker I tell ya. 
 Such a sassafras lass.
 "Moooooooooom! Are we done yet????"
 Yes children. For now :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The One with Paris, France Day 2

Our last full day in Paris was also packed with fun and many adventures!
The metro takes us wherever our heart desires. Fox and Jane were pretty enthused about the whole situation, obviously...

Our first destination: the Arc de Triomphe!
Napoleon had the magnificent Arc de Triomphe commissioned to commemorate his victory battle of Austerlitz. There's no triumphal arch bigger (165 feet high, 130 feet wide). And, with 12 converging boulevards, there's no traffic circle more thrilling to experience. The foot of the arch is a stage on which the last two centuries of Parisian history have played out - from the funeral of Napoleon to the goosestepping arrival of the Nazis to the triumphant return of Charles de Gaulle after the Allied liberation. The carvings feature a mighty Napoleon and excitable Lady Liberty. Underneath is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. You can climb 284 steps to the observation deck up top, free with the Paris Museum Pass, but it didn't open until 10 and it was only 8. And we'd seen Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower so we were okay skipping it.  
Just for fun, is a pic from the internet of the Arc de Triomphe from above:
Jane and Fox in front of the Arc de Triomphe on Sunday July 6th 2014. 
THE Champs-Elysées starts at the Arc de Triomphe.
Every European city we go to has their own version of the Champs-Elysées: a fancy schmancy street lined with über expensive stores I wouldn't even dream of stepping into for fear of getting a speck of dirt on something.
This famous boulevard is Paris' backbone. From the Arc de Triomphe down Avenue des Champs-Elysées, all of France seems to converge on Place de la Concorde, the city's largest square.
In 1667 Louis XIV opened the first section of the street as a short extension of the Tuileries Garden. This year is considered the birth of Paris as a grand city. The Champs-Elysées soon became the place to cruise in your carriage. It still is today - traffic can be gridlocked even at midnight. One hundred years later the café scene arrived. From the 1920s until the 1960s this boulevard was pure elegance; Parisians actually dressed up to come here. It was mainly residents, rich hotels, and cafés. Then in 1963 the government pumped up the neighborhood's commercial metabolism by bringing in the RER (commuter train). Suburbanites had easy access and pfft - there went the neighborhood.
The nouveau Champs-Elysées, revitalized in 1994, has newer benches, broader sidewalks, all-underground parking, and a fleet of green-suited workers who drive motorized street cleaners. 
The fine structures lead all the way to the gardens of the Louvre, once the palace of the kings.
We sauntered down in the rain, pausing every block or so to snap photos. In the 19th century this was an area for horse stables; today it's the district of garages, limo companies, and car dealerships.

We crossed the street and caught a final glimpse of the Arc de Triomphe.
Why did the Evans' cross the road? To get to Ladurée!
Ladurée is a classic 19th-century tea salon/pâtisserie. Macaroons are the new cupcake and these ones in Paris seem to be the most coveted/grammed about.  
I'll take one of each please! Good thing they were delicious at nearly 20 euros for only 8 macaroons! 
And I LOVE the colors, of course :)
The sign (all black because of the bad lighting) said Abercrombie & Fitch and it totally smelled like an A&F store! Headquarters? A store? I dunno, but it has a fancy entrance!
It started raining something fierce so we hurried across the river. I would stop and take a picture and then catch up with Chris and the kids.
A really neat-looking museum - someone help me out, what is it? Updated - thank you Sophie! It's the le Grand Palais.
Boats lining the Seine.
We passed the Assemblée Nationale - the lower house of the bicameral Parliament of France under the Fifth Republic. The upper house is the Senate. 
Our next stop was the Musée d'Orsay (mew-zay dor-say).
It was the first Sunday of the month so it was free, it was raining so everyone wanted to be indoors, and it was the last day of a special Van Gogh exhibit, which means it was extra super duper crowded. 
But, we had our handy Paris Museum Passes so instead of waiting in the line that literally wrapped around several blocks, we went into the special and short Pass line. For the win!
The Musée d'Orsay houses French art of the 1800s and early 1900s, picking up where the Louvre's art collection leaves off. For us that means Impressionism, the art of sun-dappled fields, bright colors, and crowded Parisian cafés. 
The Musée d'Orsay has the best general collection anywhere of Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Van Gogh, Cézanne, and Gauguin - thereby making this my favorite museum in the world. Once again our stroller came to the rescue when we were in the super long queue for the Van Gogh exhibit and we were brought up to the front.
Picture taking of the art was not allowed, but it was allowed when I was here in 2005 so these are pics I took of them back then, but we saw them this time too.

Brought tears to my eyes again to see these beautiful Van Goghs that I see in pictures and books and online. There is something about seeing a painting in the flesh that is so... Spiritual? Humbling? Special? Take your pick.
The interior of the Musée d'Orsay. A much more manageable size than the Louvre!
After a couple of hours looking at art and eating a bite in the small café inside, we headed back out into the rain. 

Neat texture on this building. | Statue of Thomas Jefferson. 
The Pont de la Concorde with fancy golden statues. | Yet another cool building that I can't remember what it is...
Our next stop was the Army Museum and Napoleon's Tomb. I'd never been here before and was excited to see it because we've been to so many of the cities that Napoleon overtook and I wanted to see where this guy was buried!
The Hôtel des Invalides, a former veterans' hospital topped by a golden dome, houses Napoleon's over-the-top-ornate tomb as well as Europe's greatest military museum.
Inside the courtyard.
We stayed along the covered walkways because it was raaaaaiiiiining so hard!
Through the museum and around back is the tomb.
Walking up the stairs and passing through the royal blue and gold doors into the tomb.
Inside is a huuuuuuge round pit. 
Above is the ornate and painted dome.
And down inside the pit, directly below the dome, is the biggest, most majestic tomb I've ever seen, with Napoleon Bonaparte inside.
All of this for one guy?
He must have been pretty gosh dern important.
There's a chapel attached to the tomb.
All the flags remind me of Bern and Zürich Switzerland.
Then we went into one of the many attached museums and saw Napoleon's stuffed horse.
I was expecting a huge and grand horse, but it's a pretty scrawny thing and not big at all! Maybe he was big, but they didn't fill him with enough stuffing?
We ran to a metro station to get back to the apartment, drenched from the torrential downpour, and took a long afternoon nap. 

After dinner, the sun started to shine through the clouds so we decided to stroll through Montmartre and take the funicular up to the Sacré Cœur since it was only 20 minutes away.
Paris is so photogenic! I was taking pictures left and right and couldn't narrow them down anymore.
Montmartre is Paris' highest hilltop (420 feet). Many types of people have lived here through the ages - monks stomping grapes (1200s), farmers grinding grain in windmills (1600s), dust-coated gypsum miners (1700s), Parisian liberals (1800s), Modernist painters (1900s), and all the struggling artists, poets, dreamers, and drunkards who came here for cheap rent, untaxed booze, rustic landscapes, and cabaret nightlife. With vineyards, wheat fields, windmills, animals, and a village of tempo life, it was the perfect escape from grimy Paris.
Love this wooden corner café.
Overgrown plants making it like a jungle to walk inside this home!
Paris in one word? Charming!
I love the architecture. 
As we got closer to the funicular, things got more... lively and stores more unique and colorful!
This entire store was filled with colored balls that you add to a string of lights! A lightstrand store! That would so not stay in business anywhere else.
LOVE the teal facade!
We found the funicular and used two of our metro passes (babies are free) to get to the top.
Janey waiting for the funicular and eating a horse to pass the time. | Another plant-covered house.
We reached the top, walked a little bit, and gazed out at the beautiful view of Paris.
Then we turned 180 degrees and saw this:
The Sacré Cœur (Sacred Heart) Basilica's exterior with its onion domes and bleached-bone pallor looks ancient, but was finished only a century ago by Parisians humiliated by German invaders. Otto von Bismarck's Prussian army laid siege to Paris for more than four months in 1870. Things got so bad for residents that urban hunting for dinner (to cook up dogs, cats, and rats) became an accepted behavior. Convinved they were being punished for the country's liberal sins, France's Catholics raised money to build the church as a "praise the Lord anyway" gesture.
The five-domed, Roman-Byzantine-looking basilica took 44 years to build (1875-1919). It stands on a foundation of 83 pillars sunk 130 feet deep, necessary because the ground beneath was honeycombed with gypsum mines. The exterior is laced with gypsum which whitens with age. You can climb 300 steps to the top but we didn't. 
Fox and Jane found some friends of similar ages outside, visiting all the way from Australia.
Evans family in front of the Sacré Cœur on Sunday July 6th 2014. 
The walk back to the apartment was just as pleasant and I still found more fun things to take pictures of like this yellow scooter and a red half-timbered home. 
Aqua and blue doors. 
My favorite picture from Paris.
There are SO MANY more things we could have seen such as the Orangerie Museum, Rodin Museum, Marmottan Museum, Cluny Museum, Pompidou Center, Panthéon, Opéra Garnier (with a lake in the basement that inspired the Phantom of the Opera), La Défense and La Grande Arche, Jewish Art and History Museum, Carnavalet Museum, Moulin Rouge, Deportation Memorial (closed during our visit), Ille St. Louis, gone inside the Conciergerie, walked through the Tuileries Garden, taken a boat on the Siene and seen the Eiffel Tower light up at night, St. Sulpice Church (featured in Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code), Luxembourg Garden, Catacombs, Picasso Museum, taken a day trip to Giverny and seen Monet's garden and house, and so on. 

BUT. We did SO MUCH in our three days! We loved every second and hope to go back some day, pretty much like every place we go :)