Everyone has a story to tell, here's mine sprinkled with some creative projects along the way.
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you come back again.



Thursday, June 23, 2016

A NEW CLASS + giveaway!!!

Hello my dear friends. Today I have a fun and exciting news to share. One of my goals this year was to put together an online class and I'm happy to announce that after months of sweat and love I have published my first class

What is it about? Well if you know me, my favorites are two page layouts so this class is full of inspirations for it. It is called "Twice the Inspiration" 

In this class you will get the following:

-5 Double page layout sketches (10 12x12 pages in all)

-Process video for all layouts. You will see me create each page from start to finish. 

-PDF version of the class for easy download and access later on. 

-Complete material supply list for all projects. 

Are you ready?


The price of the class is a mere $15.00
BUT WAIT....

If you purchase between now and June 27th (Monday) you can get a 15% discount off of the class price. Just put in the code- FIRSTCLASS


BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE....
Because I'm super excited about this class and have felt the love and support of many of you through the years, I'm offering a giveaway for a lucky blog reader. Here's the fun stuff I'll put in a box for the lucky winner...

Here's a little video of me sharing the items in the giveaway...



To enter the giveaway all you have to do is share the link to this blog or the landing page of my new class in any of your social media accounts. Come back to this post and leave a comment stating where you shared the link and that is it!

I will pick a winner on Wednesday and announce it no later than Friday of next week. 

Thank you again for stopping by and I hope to hear from you soon. 

Till next time,
Grace

"Thankful for family" layout

I was excited to know that the Creative Scrappers challenge blog was up and running again. If you've been following and reading my blog, you know that I'm addicted to sketches and Creative Scrapper sketches were one of my go to places for inspiration and layout design. This month their sketch was this...


and here's my take on the sketch...
I loved the layers behind and around the photos. It was perfect for me to use up scraps. Yes I have big scraps too and I love incorporating all of them in this layout.
I focused on pink because that's the color of the sweater I was wearing in the photo. There was a lot of black and white in the clothing of my family members (understandable since the photo was taken after a funeral) so choosing a color that is not common in the photo helped the picture stand out a lot better.

I added the tags by punching my own with pattern paper. I also added some hearts instead of stars. 

I'm into long titles lately and mixing up types and fonts. This one consisted of a die cut made with my electronic die cut machine plus a couple of thicker stickers.

Thanks again for stopping by.

Make sure you stop by again tomorrow as I have a fun announcement + a giveaway.

Till next time,
Grace

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

"Fireworks" layout

Hi friends. Today I'm sharing a page inspired by the following sketch from the Stuck?! challenge blog. 


I love the linear arrangement of the photos. I have these images of fireworks from a few years back and although they are all vertical, I couldn't make them small like what is shown in the sketch. But it's all good, I was still able to add layers of papers, stickers and other embellishments around the photos. 

I used this foam glittered thickers to emphasize the fireworks theme.

I did some layering of stickers in this corner. I love the clusters created around my photos.


Thank you for stopping by.

Just a heads up, I have a fun announcement and giveaway on Friday, so make sure to stop by then.

Till next time,
Grace

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

"Remember our quick Utah trip" layout *double page spread*

Hello friends and happy Tuesday. I hope that you are enjoying summer. I love this season but it has some drawbacks. One being that because I'm spending quality time with the kids outdoors, it's hard to get some time in my scrap room. It's all good though as we are creating memories for me to scrap later on. 

Today's layout was inspired by the latest Clique kit challenge. The challenge was "anything goes" and so because I had this pretty wide open theme, I went with my favorite....two page spread. My favorite part of this page....everything here is from my scraps pile. Can't beat that!

I got this photo collage printed at Costco and because it's an 8x10 piece, I decided to create a double page spread instead of trying to cram it in one 12x12 canvas. 

 I layered some stickers too which helped me finish off a sticker pack that I've been holding on to for a while now.

I'm loving long titles lately. It helps me use up my alpha stash.

I did some water coloring on the text piece of paper. I wanted the main color scheme of the page to be turquoise blue, mint green and yellow. Colors that stood out in my photos.


Thanks so much for stopping by.

Till next time,
Grace

Thursday, June 16, 2016

"The four words" layout

Hi crafty friends. Today I'm sharing another page that is focused on journaling. This and the page before are some layouts that I've been wanting to get documented for a while now. This specific one focuses on my feelings when my first child was diagnosed with ADHD in 2012. You can read more about my feelings in this blog post here

I also made this page with a scrap challenge in mind. The challenge was to use scraps and create a rainbow with it. I used some 1/2" strips of paper and created my colorful background. I loved how bright and cheery the background which is kind of an opposition to the theme of my page, which is about something serious and kind of sad in nature. 
But I liked how the rainbow brings the positive and hope back into the story. 

To mute some of the brightness of my background, I added a piece of vellum. I also used a hodge podge of black letter stickers for my title. Great use of scraps as well.

I made this handmade embellishment from scraps as well. Just having fun layering and creating my own accents.

The embellishments were very minimal since the background was so colorful.

That's my share for today.
Thank you for stopping by.
Till next time,
Grace

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

"Believe in Miracles" layout

Hello friends. Today I'm sharing a layout focused on journaling. I was inspired by the latest challenge over at the Mercy Tiara 27 day challenge which she has on her Facebook group and YouTube channel. The challenge was to scrapbook a photo of ourselves plus journal about our emotions.

In this page,I finally got a chance to document my feelings of being pregnant with my third (and last) child. My journaling focused on the "why" we felt that we were missing somebody in our family. It felt good to jot down my emotions on paper. 

This is going to be in my baby's album so I kept the "pink" to a minimum. I also used papers/products from the kit that I've put together for this specific album.

I added some texture and interest on this page by stamping onto the butterfly cut that I created from a cut file in my Silhouette Cameo.

Thank you so much for stopping by.

Till next time,
Grace

Monday, June 6, 2016

Family Update

Hello family and friends. I'm starting off  this week with a family update blog post. If you've come here for a "crafty" post, sorry there won't be any of that today. But I do hope you come back soon. 

I have noticed that in my scrapbook documentation, blogging had been an integral part of my journaling. As you might have noticed, I don't scrapbook in order and are a few years behind, so having the stories already journaled here has helped me when I am ready to scrapbook the story. 

That being said, there has been some stories meant preserving in my family. Here they are in no specific order...

At the end of April, Maddie's school choir culminated their Spring season with a performance at the Pikes Peak Center. Maddie participated in it last year and she had such a great experience that she wanted to do it again this year. It was a commitment on her part (and us too) as she had to wake up early two times a week to attend the practice and a couple more practice sessions just before the performance. On the day of the show, she was out of the house from 7:45 am - 9:15 pm. That was because of school, then practice right after and then the show at 7 pm. But it all paid off cause she did wonderful. Here are some pictures....




This festival is composed of many school choirs within the county. Hence that's why the picture above showcases many, many kids.



This little guy has been keeping us on our toes (as always) and he has improved in his speech this month. If you haven't heard it from me, he is going through speech therapy because he wasn't saying anything, not even mama, after turning a year old. We have been working with a therapist that comes to our home every month and gives us tools to help him communicate. As of the end of May, we counted that he can say, sign and/or sound about 43 words. That was a tremendous jump since we only started the therapy in January. Our goal is to get him to about 50-75 words by two years old, and that is in about two months. We have our work cut out for us but I am optimistic because of his achievements thus far.

In other news, Marcus participated in a big history fair at school. As part of their social studies class, they spent a lot of time researching and putting together a presentation, of their own choice, about something in history, Marcus decided to do his presentation on Samurai and Ninjas. Specifically asking the question who won win the battle between a Samurai and Ninja. Here he is with his presentation board and his made up sword and Ninja stars. 

In the month of May, Mitch finally got glasses. He has been using some reading glasses for years but the computer time at work made the need for glasses even stronger.

Also in May, I attended the scrapbook expo in Denver. It's a fun event for shopping, learning and just getting together with other crafty minded people. If you are a crafter and want to know my thoughts on the expo plus see what I purchased, you can view that in my YouTube channel and the link is on the right side of this blog.

Another thing we celebrated in the month of May was our wedding anniversary. We didn't get to do anything on our official day (the 18th) because it was in the middle of the work week but we did get to go out the week after. Mitch heard about this yummy Mexican place in Downtown and we had lunch there. It was yummy. Happy 14th anniversary to us. 


On that same date, Mitch and I took a little detour to our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore shop and scored a great deal on this dining room set. We've had a mismatched set since being married and it only took us 14 years to upgrade. This set which has a leaf and six chairs only set us back $100. Yeah can't beat that! Oh and the wood is high quality and made in Canada. Score!

Maddie participated at her school's talent show. She sang alongside her bestie Keira. It was fun seeing her enjoy singing and having more courage to go up in front of people. We are definitely proud of her. 

One last story to tell....
So our dear Marcus has been on an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) in school for three years now. It was due to his ADHD and High Functioning Autism diagnosis. It has helped him with his social skills and has given him accommodations to allow for the specific way he learns things.
Anyways at the end of the school year we had our annual IEP evaluation meeting. The good news is that he has made such great strides this past year that he no longer qualifies for the IEP. Basically it is deemed that he can get the necessary education that he needs through the regular school program without the IEP in place. This was a good news to him because he didn't like to be taken out of his exploratory classes to go to social group meetings. This would also mean that he can take a language class next year (which would be Spanish)
If you ask me, I'm not sure what to feel about the change. We've worked so hard to make sure that there are things in place for him in school so he can be the best he can be. I believe that one of the main reasons that he's done so well these past three years is because of the IEP in place. That being said, I do acknowledge that this kid has done some major maturing as well and he has taken on the responsibility of learning (the way he knows how) and we've seen that in his grades. I also want him to learn to succeed on his own without any extra help as the "help" won't always be there in his life.
So I am cautiously optimistic that we are on the right track for him. 8th grade would be a transition year for him and I'm prayerful that he will continue on his success and not regress.

Speaking of success, this kid got a silver medal (again) this year for grades. He got it from making major improvements on his grade from past quarters and having a GPA over 3.5. We are definitely proud of our Marcus.

So that's it. Thank you for stopping by and catching up on our lives.

Till next time,
Grace

Friday, June 3, 2016

"Celebrate Today layout" Stick it down challenge blog hop

Welcome to Stick It Down's June blog hop

Several of our design team members have created projects to share with you using any of our past SID sketches. If you've never participated in a blog hop before, you'll "hop" from blog to blog to visit each designer's page and project. You'll leave a comment at each stop along the hop. The hop will end here where you started, where you can comment to let us know you've completed the hop and you're entered to win the grand prize. You have until Monday June 6 at 11:59pm to complete the hop. The winner will be announced on or before June 9.

We have several prize packages and one grand prize lined up! Paper Wings Productions is generously sponsoring our blog hop and is offering a gift certificate to the online store!

Paper Wings Productions is owned by Carrie Edelmann Avery. All of the PWP stamps are produced in the USA and are made using the highest quality of materials. You can check out the PWP online store to see the red rubber cling stamps and the clear photopolymer stamps!
In addition the the grand prize, many of our design team members are offering prizes on their blog and we also have a few other prizes lined up. We've also made it possible to earn additional entries for prizes by following the SID blog, our Facebook page, the PWP blog, and the PWP Facebook page.

If you've come here from Jess K's blog then you are on the right track. Check below for the complete list of hoppers.

Our assignment for this month was to pick a previous sketch and create a page inspired by it. The sketch I chose is this....

And here's my take on the sketch....
I love the lined photos on both sides of the two page spread. But instead of using 3 vertical photos on the left side, I used 4 smaller horizontal photos and added some embellishments in the center. I also replaced one of the slot for photo on the right side with pattern paper. I love how this sketch is so flexible. 

I got this wood "celebrate" Heidi Swapp accent from the clearance section at JoAnn's craft store. I debated if I should color it in but at the end, I decided that the natural color stood out against the colorful background. What do you think?





Your next stop would be Shanna. Click here.

Are you ready to get started? Here is the order of the hop, in case you get lost:


Have fun hopping today. 

Till next time,
Grace



Thursday, June 2, 2016

Sand Dunes *Family Adventure*

Hello friends. I'm going to break up all of the crafty posts with a recap of a recent camping trip that my family and I took over Memorial Day weekend. It was a bit last minute but with a three day weekend plus having a free pass to national parks this year because of our fourth grader, we couldn't pass it up.

We started our adventure on Saturday morning. We got a little bit delayed because we got caught in a long traffic through a certain part of the canyon right after passing Canyon City. Apparently there was a head on collision in one of the bends between two vehicles and a FedEx truck. We were in a stand still for about 45 minutes. Luckily the wait didn't seem too long, we had a good amount of Starburst in the car to keep everyone happy and the view was beautiful all around.



After the accident was cleared, we got back on the road and headed to our camp site. The weekend before, Marcus' scout troop went on a camping trip to Sand Dunes and Mitch found out that the guys camped at a free site an hour away from the dunes. We tried it and found our camping spot just in a nick of time. It was somewhat packed with fellow weekend campers/trailer users. The area where we camped is also used for ATVs so we had some of that noise going around. We didn't care much though as it wasn't too obnoxious.

After setting up the tent, eating our lunch and securing other camping items, we took the truck and did some 4x4 driving through the trails. Exploring in the truck is definitely an easier way than hiking. :)

After our exploration we went back to camp, started the fire and placed our foil dinner on top of the campfire. We had high hopes for the dinner but it took forever and we almost lost some hamburger meat in the fire because we were trying to flip it on the grill. The family made a decision that foil dinners won't be part of our camping menu next time.

After dinner, we roasted some marshmallow and had some smores. This one is a staple of our camping trips and everyone looks forward to it.

This was the first time that our little guy had smores and you can tell with his smile above that this is going to be a part of his fave camping traditions too.

The two older kids decided to explore a bit near our campsite. Our site was near a very steep part of the hill and they decided to climb that up. Well on the way back down, Maddie tripped on some rocks and did some tumbling all the way to a big bush. She ended up getting some gashes on her face, wrists and hip. Definitely her least favorite part of the trip.

It was a cold night but we endured it. The following morning, Mitch and I got up early and started our breakfast. After eating, we got on the road and headed south to the Sand Dunes National Park. I heard from a friend that it was best to get their early so that you can have a good parking spot. We ended up not getting a spot in the parking lot but we managed to get a spot in the nearby picnic area.

Our plan was to hike the dunes first, play in the water a bit, have lunch and then explore the rest of the park.


Not soon after we started our hike did we realize that there were a lot of people in this area too. I guess that's what you get when you visit this park during a holiday weekend. We all hiked up to the second tallest peak and then we let the boys go on the highest peak.

The photo above shows Marcus on the top peak. It's amazing for me to know that these giant hills of sand are surrounded by mountains. See the peak of that mountain behind Marcus? It is still snow capped!

And here's another view from the top. Mitch took the pictures.

When they got back to where the rest of us were, we took some quick photos and then headed back down to the water.


One fun part of the hike is having to go through the water. There was no other way to go around, so we had to take our shoes off. The water was actually very refreshing after doing the climb up the dunes.

The weather in the morning was beautiful. There was some wind, but not so bad that it ruined our time. But we were all getting hungry from the hike so we went back to our car and had lunch.

When we got back to the water, the wind started to pick up again and we could see the dark clouds looming over us.

The kids enjoyed the water, mostly to play in the mud and Mason was so enthralled with everything that he didn't even mind shaking because of the cold wind and water.

After a few big blows of the wind, we decided to pack up and soon after we left, the rain came. It took us a long time just to get out of the parking lot because of the amount of people trying to leave as well. It was so bad that we decided to just leave the park all together. We didn't even get to go see the falls on the other side of the park.

When we got back to our campsite, we had dinner, played some card games, had some more smores and then went to bed.

The following day, we got up, had breakfast, got warmed up with another campfire and then started getting everything packed up.

One thing that we did have to deal with was ticks. It was no fun for everyone. We were vigilant enough that it didn't stick to anyone but Mason. Thankfully we got it before it did any major damage. This was definitely one of the "low" parts of our trip.

Other than that, we had fun! We just wished we had more time (and less crowd) at the Sand Dunes. But since it's not that far from us (about three hour drive) then we will try to get back there sometime soon.

If you've read all the way through, thanks for being here.

I hope to do a family update post sometime soon too. There's been lots of stories to tell and not enough time to document them.

Till next time,
Grace