Saturday, July 16, 2011

Arrividerchi Nueva York!

We are off to the airport! I set up remote blogging but can't figure it out so talk to ya in two weeks!

OOO let me just say this- last night we saw Harry Potter in 3D- TOTALLY AMAZING!

Oh and I went by Strand Bookstore on Broadway to pick up a long book to read- got "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett which I already can't put down and "Game of Thrones" which comes highly recommended by almost every gaming and fantasy geek I know. This is gonna be a GREAT trip! Plus I must admit I got a whole slew of FANTASTIC Cavallini "office supplies" their sticky notes are drop dead gorgeous! (PS I did not go bananas and get all these- the photos are all linked on their website)
The travel postcard set (not the other 2)
New York notebook for Letty
To Do stickies
Office stickies
And this:
Micheal Roger Decomposition Notebook- Topographical map- grid paper inside!!!
 I think I have a new "thing"- notbooks!

PS- Any robbers who may consider visiting the apartment while we are gone... Its not empty. Dave's very large and angry brothers are home- one is hanging' out all day so PICK SOMEWHERE ELSE.
Just sayin'! (smiiirk!)

MuChOs SmOoChEs!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

It's TRAVEL TIME! (and a winning page- woot!)

A page of mine won the 7/3/11 Sunday Sketch Challenge over at Studio Calico. I love how I'm all questioning my ability and then I win something and I'm convinced I can take on the scrap universe.
Whatevs- here it is:
Summer Lovin'- Studio Calico Sunday Sketch 7/3/11 (winner)
Materials: Studio Calico Floorplan paper, Hambly washi tape, Sassafras Lass Turkish Blooms,  Studio Calico Countryside tag and photo matt, Fancy pants filter paper, Mister Huey in Sunshine, Tattered Angels in Patina

OMG- we fly out to Italy on saturday! I'm not packed! I have no idea how Lola will take an 8 hour flight followed by a 4 hour one. What do Italians feed their babies? Do they have Pampers???? It's not MARS Michelle! Get a hold of yourself woman!!!
I HATE traveling! I love seeing news things and meeting new people but the actual flying makes me a nervous wreck. My poor sister! She's going to deal with all my worries the entire time we are there. I'll back off during the actual wedding day but it's full on freak out mode till then.

Here's the crafty packing list:
-Black Smashbook
-2  washi tapes
-Instax camera and film (3 packs)
-My iTouch
-My Leica (hope we can recharge batteries- I don't think our generic European plug works)
-K & Co travel die cuts (and probably some SC ones too)
-20 random 6 by 6 papers that I will most likely choose from my Studio Calico stash
-Uni Ball pen black and white
-Watercolor pencil set (I can wet the pencil and get the look without the mess)
-Paper clips and a few brads (or maybe not - don't need a crazed TSA agent on my tail)
-American Crafts double sided tape
-Ribbon, Needle and embroidery floss
Am I missing anything??? Any suggestions?

What stays
-Scissors- I will rip shiz up or use hotel set
-Stamps, mists and ink- maybe I'll stamp stuff up before I leave and use those as die cuts
-fancy stickers or dimensional stuff- I will add those when I return home.
-Tiny Attacher- Aaack! I use it on EVERY page!
-My computer and internet connection- holy heck this is gonna be HARD!

So my sister gets married on the Amalfi Coast to a wonderful supportive man. We get to go to the beach everyday ('cause it's free) and ignore that we are seriously and pathetically broke for a little while (that's what planning ahead gets us!!). And everyone's happy. I'm telling you, it's a charmed life.
MuChoS SmOoChEs!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Let that sun SHINE!

This a page for the Studio Calico 4th Anniversary song lyrics challenge. I felt it was time to pull out my newborn Lola photos again as I do every year around this time.

Have you ever (this should be a regular column!) gotten a random print "just because" or maybe it was a gift or part of a kit- anyway- you didn't recognize it's TRUE BEAUTY and HIGH ART POTENTIAL till months later when it's no longer available because everyone else was like "WHAAA? That print is AWESOME! MINE times 50 please!" 
You are my sunshine- Studio Calico Lyrics challenge
MATERIALS: Sassafras Lass Starters- ABC, Maya Road kraft die cut doily and kraft doily die cuts (black),  Studio Calico wood grain butterfly run ons , Fancy Pants Filter paper in pinked edge, American Crafts Polka dot alphas, Mister Huey in Calico Cream and Sunshine yellow, Studio Calico yellow script alphas stickers, Kaiser Craft mini alphas in kraft, Jillibean Soup Watermelon Gazpacho circle journaling tag, Martha Stewart Punch all over the page pinking circle, SC exclusive journaling tag and heart wood veneers. Epiphany Crafts Vintae surrounds, American Crafts Zing in Mustard .
Like the body builder in that annoying commercial for Planet Fitness, I picked up and put down Sassafras Lass' Starters ABC print dozens of times but I had seen it in so many fantastic pages I just didn't feel up to the challenge. Ah the heck with it- it's JUST PAPER Michelle! SHEESH! 
Lo and behold- it's the PERFECT shade of warm beige and now I'm in LOOOOVE. Naturally it's sold out everywhere but that's ok as I'm broke anyway.

Ok back to story behind the page:
Love how I can't control my "new" Smith Corona typewriter.
I was seriously freaked out by the lyrics to the song "You Are My Sunshine" during the first few weeks of Lola's life. The song is so eerie for a family in our situation. I just could not get the words out without choking back fearful tears. So I changed them.
You are my sunshine
My lovely sunshine
You make me happy when days are grey
I'll always love you and take good care of you
When you come home I'll hug you every day
Miss Lola was diagnosed with a 9mm Cystic Hygroma at 19 weeks (she was barely double that size herself!) and was given very small odds to survive. I was told she would most likely be severely disabled but no one could tell me for sure- everything was a set of odds like I was gambling in Las Vegas. So Dave and I stuck it out. We ignored all the scary genetic probabilities. She was born 6 weeks early and stayed in the intensive care unit for 2 months. I did not get to actually hold my baby for 2 weeks and my breast milk made her fluid retention condition much much worst. Yet Miss Lola is completely fine today. 

I post about this at least twice a year to encourage parents whose baby has been diagnosed with Cystic Hygroma or Fetal Hydrops to try to stick it through and give the baby a chance. Lola was given a 1 in 10 chance of survival. Well she survived and she's STRONG- no genetic, developmental or health defects. 

The numbers are scary and the genetic counselors have to focus on the scary news in order to protect their practices from lawsuits but no one can give you a real yes or no answer on whether the baby will survive, be severely disabled or not- we simply do no know enough yet. All we have is probability. Yes the chances were small and the risks were great but I ask myself what if I had given in to my fear of the unknown? Ahh it's too awful to contemplate.

Here's last year's page:
I worked on the stitching for DAYS. I wouldn't pile so many small details into a page now but I still really like this page. I wonder what next year's version will look like? :)
I love that photo and scrap it repeatedly because of Lola's expression- intelligent life- brave life- that's my kid. This photo makes me want to FIGHT to make sure Miss Thing gets every chance to survive and thrive. This is my NEVER FORGET photo.

Window were I shoot most of my pages- the light is sporadic and weak but it's Brooklyn, I should feel lucky I don't face a brick wall. Lola approves of the page- she says OOOO OOO. :)
MuChoS SmOoChEs!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Studio Calico multiple pattern challenge

It's Dave's birthday so I don't have too much time but I wanted to share a quick layout I made for the Studio Calico 4th Anniversary challenge involving using multiple patterns.

21 Months
Materials- Studio Calico "Mind The Gap" kit exclusive papers, American Crafts card stock, Studio Calico and Basic Grey alphas, Red Lead Paperworks Honey Comb statement rubber stamp,  Dusty Attic chicken wire chipboard, Martha Stewart Punch All Over The Page punch" Pinking circle", Studio Calico heart veneers, Tiny Attacher, SC Mister Huey in Calico White, Tattered Angels in Suede (favorite color ever!), SMASH date stamp
I love the paper patterns in SC kits but I am often intimidated by them- the paper is so gorgeous and complex I want to try to do it justice and end up with "scrapper block".

Here I loosened up a bit, let the page keep the mistakes I made (the cut out footprint, the brown paint drips) and finally "finished". I was trying to incorporate Lola's footprint using tissue paper for the Punky Scraps tissue paper challenge but my mixed media art skills are so basic I kept creating scary mottled cloud things that looked like mold growing on the page so I gave up on the tissue paper- for now.

The chicken wire mask is actually a piece of Dusty Attic chipboard I've wanted for months and have FINALLY been able to acquire through Paper Candy Crafts. I really wanted to use an SC stamp but their hexagon border stamp sold out so quickly I go whiplash. LOVE the honey comb stamp from Red Lead. I misted tattered Angels "Suede" on it and used it just on the edges.  Yes I know it's super messy and deconstructed- this is on purpose I promise.

Hope you are having a great weekend. I'm off to finally see Transformers 3- hope I am not as annoyed by this one as I was by the last.
Fooling around with what we believe is ad for an art show...
MuChOS SmoOcHeS!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Punky Scraps Tissue Paper Challenge

Ok so I've been furiously destroying paper ALL WEEK for this week's Punky Scraps challenge which asks YOU, dear scrapper, to incorporate tissue paper into your layout.

There are many MANY ways to use this wonderfully thin and pliable material. Plus you probably already have tons of it around the house. I've seen people use Modge Podge to glue pieces in layers all over a page (and all kinds of other random things- like glass or transparencies). I've seen it get crumpled, wrinkled with water, ripped, stamped and misted with paint- it always looks great.

I tried them all and FAIIIIILED! Miserably. But if you remember I posted a page last week that used tissue paper and vellum- this was my "test page" for this challenge  and darned if that page was more interesting than anything I came up with after.

See what I mean about not TRYING- just doing?
Listen to Nike (the Goddess of Victory) and JUST DO IT!!
Don't study, don't over think, just DO! DO! DO!
Oh OK- you are allowed to draw up a sketch if you like. :)

So here's what I did for this page- I know it's not Rocket Science but bear with me:
1. Misted the vellum in Mister Huey Lemon and Tattered Angels Patina and used a brayer to smooth the mist droplets out. I put a Maya Road kraft doily and used it as a mask-LOVE THOSE!
2. Used a Martha Stewart doily punch to punch through some tissue and vellum paper. This is harder than it looks. I doubled up the material to get the punch to work and still had to cut out the rounded edges.
3. Put my hand on the vellum to trace it and stitched it right up- this was so FUUUN!

Super duper fast page! Now please head on out and create your own!!
My failed page was foot related- Lola has beautiful feet but
I know most people find feet gross so I kept second guessing myself. Oh well.
MuChOs SmOoChEs!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Xoxo July challenge- clouds, stitching and kraft

As you know if you read this blog often I am a member of the True Xoxo Design team. Every month the design team BRINGS IT in order to inspire you and get you out of your funk (if you're funky) or away from your usual style (if you're in a rut) but always to have FUN with our fave hobby.
Rise- True Xoxo Girls DT page for July 2011
Materials: Bazzill Kraft, American Crafts cloud paper (as template) alphas and  grid stamp(on scallop border) K and Co frames, Sassafras star stickers, alphas and paper foldies, Maya Road star pins, GCD Studio paper clip, Uni ball white gel pen, bicycle brads from Eyelet Outlet, heart brad from My Mind's Eye
This month the completely UNmandatory list of things we wanted to include in our layouts was:

  • at least 2-3 small photos
  • Kraft or white background
  • blue, orange and/or yellow  (any shade, patterned or plain)
  • paper strips
  • grid
  • stars
  • handwriting
  • numbers
  • bicycles
  • food
  • brads
  • frames

Usually I try to include every single list item in my LO but that has led to crowding issues, as you may have seen in my "teaser" post. I also have to watch out because we have some great regulars visiting Xoxo now and they can light it UP. Was I complaining about not getting any critical (read: incisive and knowledgeable) feedback? Got some! Now I need to put what I learned into practice- thanks guys- you ROCK!!!!
Clouds are soooo cool!!! 
For this page I knew I wanted to scrap some great photos of Lola running around in front of a tiny Empire State Building with a balloon. I actually have some 4th of July images from 2010 that are perfect for this challenge as she's eating blueberries but they are lost in the great maze that is my Mac without iPhoto. When I have more time I will have to search for them manually- and find them amongst 20 THOUSAND other image files but I digress...
GCD Studio Soul Food paper clip
I also knew I wanted a kraft background as I love it but rarely use it. But where would I include paper strips or bicycles? The answer was obvious- ignore them. Not on purpose but after running around for a week trying to come up with a design, my brain apparently blanked them out. PHOOEY! So I promise to do every single item next month!

So join us over at True Xoxo- you'll love it! Also there's a great RAK for someone to win- why not you!
The Lolster is very much a Daddy's girl so when I get a VOLUNTARY hug everything pauses.

MuChOs SmOoChEs!

Monday, July 4, 2011

ARTastic Blog Guestie! YAY!

She Tried- ARTastic Challenge Blog July Guest Designer
Materials- Core-dinations Jeni Bowling collection, GCD Studios Brave Soul paper,  Glitz  Love games floral (fussy cut flowers), Maya Road heart pins, roses from dollars store, velvet posies from Making Memories
Upper floral cluster with fussy cut details
Hello everyone! Hope you had a great 4th of July. We stayed home as the fireworks can be easily seen from our fire escape even if they are on the West side on Manhattan- again. Why doesn't Macy's alternate Manhattan island sides?? Whatever- nothing would induce me to join the crowds at the bay this year. I love me a fireworks party but the train ride home is HECTIC.
Used a hand die cut from K & Co as a template and some clear
 film to make this "glove". I didn't use the die cut because it's pink and felt- the
 transparency also allowed the paper to show through.
I know you are all busy so here's a quick post with some fun news- I'm guest designing for ARTastic Challenge blog out of Australia this month. Yay! ARTastic uses paintings as the jump off point for scrapbook pages and the projects for this month are AMAZING (as is always the case).
This page is me talking to myself- sometimes you just gotta
keep on keeping on.
Please check them out and join the fun. ARTastic Challenges.
Fun 4th of July window display.
MuChOs SmoOcHeS!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Xoxo America!

It's been a great week! So great I don't want to scrap. Who wants to hang around in a tiny dark apartment when the weather has been so perfect?
THIS is what you do in great weather!
It's 4th of July weekend and we have no plans. Not having a car puts a great fat crimp in that department but the pay off is this- many humans have left New York City.  If you stay you can now enjoy a walk down Broadway without getting carried off by streams of harried workers. Or take the subway without wrestling people to get the baby carriage in and out the train car. We can even walk in and sit down at that cool restaurant that always has a long line in front of it - not that we can afford it but you get the idea. New York during 3 day holidays is AMAZING.
Water feature at High Line park has no one else wadding in it!
So I'll share a page that's been "in the works" for a while. This is my "first draft" for my July page for TRUE XOXO GIRLS! I forced myself to sit down and do this but didn't like the results after a couple of days. You can tune in on July 7th to see the final version or even better- join the fun!
True Xoxo Girls SNEAK (first draft page)
Materials: Sassafrass Lass stickers and flowers, Bazzill kraft,  K and Co transparent frame, American Crafts
numbers, American Crafts clouds paper (cloud template), GCD Studios "Be brave" paper clip
PAPER ISSSUES has a wonderful Fourth of July link party going on! Many of you make beautiful decorations and/or scrapbook pages for this holiday so go link them up! Plus- we have a whole new Creative Team to introduce!! I am SO happy to learn fave crafter Amy Baldwin has made the team! YAAAY!

Here's my project using October Afternoon's Rocket Age. It's a card for the hubster who will be turning 37 next week.
Materials: October Afternoon Rocket Age,
Fiskars star punch,
American Crafts gold paper

Happy 4th America!

MuChOs SmOoChEs!