Wednesday, December 31, 2008

:LIFE: 2008 in pictures...

Reflecting back on the year with a few favorite photos...

:LIFE: 2008 in pictures...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

:LAYOUT: Looking Back on 2007

This layout was published in the January/February 2009 Issue of Memory Makers (on page 12).

LAYOUT TITLE: Looking Back on 2007

Adhesive – Duck
Cardstock – Bazzill
Patterned Paper – Basic Grey
Rub on – Daisy D’s, Luxe, Basic Grey
Letter/Number Stickers – Basic Grey
Ink - Colorbox
Corner Punch – Marvy

Comments & Techniques:
This is the first year-in-review layout that I’ve ever done. I had ordered several sets of wallets of my favorite photos of the year and had some left over after putting some in my wallet and sharing with family, so I decided to give this a try. The three rectangles of patterned paper create a visual triangle which keeps the eye moving around the layout. The title even compliments the ‘rewind’ idea of the layout with the first part (“Looking Back”) pointing back at the second part (“on 2007”) with a use of a parenthesis.
:LAYOUT: Looking Back on 2007SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, December 29, 2008

:LIFE: Recovering from Christmas...

Gaging from the activity of my own favorite bloggers, I can see that I am not the only one for whom it has taken a bit of time to get back on track after Christmas.

Christmas can be especially rough on a kid...

This was her at about 10:00 am Friday morning. She did wake up shortly thereafter, but this was certainly past her normal sleeping time.

We certainly had a busy few days. Our Christmas activities began Wednesday afternoon at my parent's house and church at 5 p.m. Then, we went back home for a wonderful supper of prime rib and way too many other very tasty items. After our meal, the unwrapping of gifts commenced.

Kaitlin takes the expression of her excitement very seriously.

Santa made his annual stop at Grandma & Grandpa Pechous' to drop off Kaitlin's Christmas Eve pajamas. No siting again this year, though. That guy sure is sneaky.

On Christmas morning, Santa didn't disappoint. Kaitlin woke us up at about 7:30 a.m. with a very excited, "Mommy!! Santa was here! Santa left presents under my tree!"

He also cleaned his plate of cookies and shared his milk with Rudolph. It also looks like Rudolph liked the special feed we left him.

He also left a special note just for Kaitlin. (It is now safely tucked in her 'treasure box'.)

I bet you never saw a child so excited about a one egg frying pan. Well, this one-egg frying pan is the perfect size for Kaitlin's new kitchen (post and pictures to follow).

After we finished opening presents at home, we headed to Grandma & Grandpa Paulson's for lunch and more presents.

We spent the rest of the day watching movies and playing games. It was a great couple of days...

It took a couple days more just to get everything put away and back in order at home, but I think I'm finally there and it is time to start SCRAPPING!!!

:LIFE: Recovering from Christmas...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Saturday, December 27, 2008

:PHOTO: Finally, a Christmas picture...

I finally got a picture of Kaitlin in her Christmas dress on Christmas Eve...better late than never.
:PHOTO: Finally, a Christmas picture...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, December 25, 2008


:MERRY CHRISTMAS:SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Day 24:
The Night Before Christmas by Jan Brett

With over 600,000 copies sold, Jan Brett’s New York Times bestselling edition of Clement Moore’s classic Christmas poem celebrates its tenth anniversary with a note from Jan and an exquisitely redesigned jacket with red foil trim, making this a delectable holiday treat.

A new generation of readers will find Jan’s visual interpretation of this favorite poem, set in a snowy New England village, both familiar, as St. Nick visits a Victorian family, and surprising, with Jan’s addition of two stowaway elves from the North Pole.
:CHRISTMAS BOOK COUNTDOWN: TheSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

:QUOTES: On Christmas...

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."

"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time."

"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."
:QUOTES: On Christmas...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

:CHRISTMAS BOOK COUNTDOWN: Twas the Night Before Christ

Day 23:
Twas the Night Before Christ by Tom Roberts
Kaitlin actually got this one as a present from her Godparents her very first Christmas. I tried to find it somewhere online for purchase, but no luck. It seems to be out of print.
However, it is a wonderful religious remake of the classic Christmas poem, Twas the Night before Christmas. The illustrations are simple, but beautiful.
:CHRISTMAS BOOK COUNTDOWN: Twas the Night Before ChristSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, December 22, 2008

:CHRISTMAS BOOK COUNTDOWN: The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey

Day 22:
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski

Jonathan Toomey is the best woodcarver in the valley, but he is always alone and never smiles. No one knows about the mementos of his lost wife and child that he keeps in an unopened drawer. But one early winter’s day, a widow and her young son approach him with a gentle request that leads to a joyful miracle.

The moving, lyrical tale, gloriously illustrated by P.J. Lynch, has been widely hailed as a true Christmas classic.
:CHRISTMAS BOOK COUNTDOWN: The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan ToomeySocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, December 21, 2008

:CHRISTMAS BOOK COUNTDOWN: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Day 21:
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss

The Grinch, whose heart is two sizes too small, hates Who-ville's holiday celebrations, and plans to steal all the presents to prevent Christmas from coming.

To his amazement, Christmas comes anyway, and the Grinch discovers the true meaning of the holiday.
:CHRISTMAS BOOK COUNTDOWN: How the Grinch Stole ChristmasSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Day 20:
The Christmas Blizzard by Helen Ketteman

An unusual heat wave at the North Pole forces Santa to move his entire workshop to Lizzard, Indiana, where temperatures are in the deep freeze. Unfortunately, a lack of snow deters the work, so young Maynard Jenkins pays a visit to an elderly neighbor lady rumored to be able to cast spells. She is more than willing to help out, but the storm she conjures has unexpected and hilarious results.

Ketteman's fanciful tall tale is sure to attract young listeners, and Warhola's comical ink-and-watercolor illustrations capture the text's exaggerated humor. Particularly delightful are Santa's sunbathing elves and the bonfires lit to defrost the clouds. An appealing choice for holiday read-alouds or for older children learning to write their own tall tales.
:CHRISTMAS BOOK COUNTDOWN: The Christmas BlizzardSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Friday, December 19, 2008

:CHRISTMAS BOOK COUNTDOWN: A Wish to be a Christmas Tree

Day 19:
A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree by Colleen Monroe

This charming tale of an overgrown pine always being passed by for Christmas, and what his woodland friends do to help him, is sure to become a Christmas classic.

With delightful illustrations by wildlife artist Michael Monroe and enchanting text from Colleen Monroe, the birds, deer and squirrel of this story help make their special friend's wish come true.
:CHRISTMAS BOOK COUNTDOWN: A Wish to be a Christmas TreeSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

:MOVIE: Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

We watched Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (a rental from Netflix) last night with Kaitlin and this is seriously one a the cutest non-animated children's movie that I have seen in a long time.

While not specifically a Christmas movie, it still has sense of magic and wonder that fits well with this time of year.

I generally will only invest in movies that Kaitlin hasn't already seen, but liked this one so much, it might just end up being a last minute gift under the tree!
:MOVIE: Mr. Magorium's Wonder EmporiumSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Day 18:
The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett

Aloo-ki glances up from fishing and sees her sled dogs floating off on an ice floe. She races after them and comes upon an igloo. Being a curious girl, she goes inside only to find no one home. That’s because the polar bear family who lives there is out walking while their breakfast cools off. Aloo-ki eats some soup, tries on their boots, and finally crawls into the smallest bed for a nap. Meanwhile, Papa, Mama, and Baby Bear see her dogs adrift, swim out to rescue them and return home to find Aloo-ki fast asleep in Baby Bear’s bed.

The decorative Inuit patterns and clothing Jan uses throughout are sure to attract adult fans and collectors while children will want to listen to and look at this exciting version of a well-loved story over and over again.
:CHRISTMAS BOOK COUNTDOWN: The Three Snow BearsSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

:GIVEAWAY WINNER: Starting Points BY Linda Harrison

Starting Points by Linda Harrison is certainly a book that will inspire you regardless of your usual starting point.

Today, two lucky readers will have the opportunity to discover all the wonderful insights it holds for FREE!

And the randomly chosen winners are.......................
Teresa Curtis & Carol Gilliam

Congratulations, ladies! Watch your inbox for an email from me with more details on how to claim your prize.


From the looks of my little poll, it seems that it is all about the photos for a vast majority of scrappers out there.

Although I am sure we are all inspired by words, products and many other things from time to time, as of now, the poll states that over 85% start with photos.

If you haven't already, feel free to submit your vote.

Stay tuned...another review and giveaway coming soon...and that book will be a great tool to getting better results with the photos we all seem to love so much!
:GIVEAWAY WINNER: Starting Points BY Linda HarrisonSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Day 17:
Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner

When a boy observes that the snowman he built the day before now looks droopy and disheveled, he imagines what happened to his snow creation during the night.
:CHRISTMAS BOOK COUNTDOWN: Snowmen at NightSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Day 16:
The Nutcracker by Michael Hague

It is the unforgettable dream of a peculiar Christmas gift-a nutcracker that leads a young girl into a magical realm, where she boldly helps save a boy living under an evil curse. This elegant retelling combines E. T. A. Hoffman's original version with beloved elements of the ballet in a readable picture book format.

Michael Hague, celebrated for his lavish interpretations of classics, now makes this tale accessible to a new generation. From the sweeping drama of the battle scene to the magnificent illusions of rich, draped fabrics, every detail will be cherished.
:CHRISTMAS BOOK COUNTDOWN: The NutcrackerSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, December 15, 2008

:REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Starting Points by Linda Harrison

UPDATE: The winners have been announced. Find out who the two lucky winners were here.

Starting Points: Creating Meaningful Scrapbook Layouts From Whatever Inspires You by Linda Harrison is a great inspirational resource!

The book actually reminded me a little bit of my favorite section in The Organized & Inspired Scrapbooker - the PROCESS of scrapbooking.

The entire focus of Starting Points is on the process one takes as a scrapbooker, the different aspects by which we are inspired to create, and how to maximize on that form of inspiration.

The book is divided into 4 main chapters:

Chapter 1: Now that captures it!
This chapter looks at photos as the initial inspiration for our scrapbook pages. Personally, I would have to say that this is most often my starting point and I'm sure I'm not alone. However, this chapter goes beyond simply discussing using your photos to determine your color palette. It also delves into ways to look at your photos to also inspire creative design, techniques and more!
Chapter 2: Wait until you read this!
This chapter is all about the words that we add to our pages. Whether it's in the form of a list, a narrative, a conversation, etc. - journaling in all its various and creative forms can really make a page stand out amongst the crowd. This is probably my second most common starting point. I often write my journaling in narrative format, but love to mix it up with something a little more fun and unique from time to time. This chapter has some great ideas for this.
Chapter 3: Don't you just love it?
For as much as I like to shop for new scrapbooking supplies and as much as I have collected over the years, I would think that the products themselves would be my go-to starting point! However, even though it's not generally my starting point, I know that it is for many scrappers and this chapter delves into how to really maximize our ever-growing product collections for successful layouts!
Chapter 4: Doesn't that look interesting?
I know I've been inspired by some seemingly strange and not-so-strange things over the years - business cards, magazine ads, Target email, clothing, etc. This chapters offers some new and interesting places to look for unconventional inspiration and gives you ideas for how to transfer that inspiration onto a layout.
In addition to Linda's amazing work, the book is also graced with 8 other very talented contributors: Lisa Damrosch, Summer Fullerton, Amy Litch, Ali McLaughlin, Lisa Moorefield, Kim Moreno, Kelly Noel, Denine Zielinski

Within the 128 pages are 120 stunning layouts, all with clearly defined starting points. There are also nearly 7 dozen technique tips scattered throughout the book to further assist the reader in taking inspiration to inspired creation!

Visit the Starting Points page at You can also read more of my reviews for other recommendations.

I've got TWO COPIES to give away!

To enter, submit your vote in the poll below and then be sure to leave the following in a comment to this post so that I am able to contact you if you win!!


Leave your comment by Wednesday, December 17th, 2008, 11:59 PM (CST) in order to be considered to win a FREE copy of Starting Points.

I will announce and contact the random winners via email on Thursday.

(ELIGIBILITY: Only US residents are eligible to win. shipping is just a little too steep for me right now. However, everyone is invited and encouraged to participate in the poll.)

:REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Starting Points by Linda HarrisonSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend


Day 15:
The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell

One of the best-selling children's books of all time. First released in book form in 1946, this story has since appeared in numerous editions.

It tells of a small angel who simply can't get with the program no matter how hard he tries. Then an understanding elder angel realizes that he's homesick and is able to retrieve a box of his most treasured possessions from "back home."

When it comes time for Jesus to be born on Earth, The Littlest Angel gives his precious box to the Baby, but he is worried that God will think his gift too humble. However, God is pleased indeed, and transforms the box into The Star of Bethlehem.
:CHRISTMAS BOOK COUNTDOWN: The Littlest AngelSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Day 14:
Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado

A touching story about a disabled lamb who finds he has a special purpose and place in this world.

:CHRISTMAS BOOK COUNTDOWN: The Crippled LambSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Saturday, December 13, 2008

:CHRISTMAS BOOK COUNTDOWN: Donald's Christmas Gift

Day 13:
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Donald's Christmas Gift by Sheila Sweeny Higginson

What Christmas book list would be complete without a little Disney? Certainly not one for my daughter!

This is a cute story where even Donald, who begins the story as a Scrooge, finds the true meaning of Christmas.
:CHRISTMAS BOOK COUNTDOWN: Donald's Christmas GiftSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend