Monday, June 29, 2009

:DAILY INSPIRATIONS: July 2009 Edition

Here it is...the July 2009 edition of Daily it now for FREE here and start scrapping!!


  • Layouts must be new and created for this challenge.
  • Upload to your favorite online gallery and leave a link in the comments of the corresponding Daily Inspirations announcement post. A link back to AMOM's Daily Inspirations in your gallery posting would be greatly appreciated, although not required to win. If you do not upload to online galleries, you may email your entry to me at (images should be 100K or less, please).
  • In comment link or email, please include your name, email and challenge square used for the entry.
  • Entries are due by the 5th of the following month. July entries are due August 5th.
  • Challenge squares may be combined onto one layout if you wish, but only one chance will be given per layout entry. The more challenge squares you complete, the more chances you have to win!
  • A random drawing will be conducted to determine the monthly winner and will be notified by email as well as being announced on the blog.


Download the FREE JULY 2009 DAILY INSPIRATIONS now and start scrapping!!

It's not too late for your chance to be inspired and win the June 2009 Daily Inspirations prize! Layouts can be submitted until Sunday, July 5th, 11:59 PM (CST) for a chance to win!

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Friday, June 26, 2009

:FIVE FAVES: Seeing stars for the 4th of July...

It's hard to believe that the 4th of July is on seven short days away...

The summer might be flying by like a shooting star, but at least we have some great products to scrap our Independence Day festivities.

#1 - "Brothers" Lucky Stars Paper Die-Cut Breaking Free by My Mind's Eye
This particular sheet of patterned paper might be meant for a boyish theme, but the colors and festive design are perfect for a more patriotic theme!

#2 - DigiKit - Big American Parade by Holly Brooke Jones
I recently realized that I've been forgetting an important sector of scrapbookers in my FIVE FAVES posts - digi scrappers. I promise...I won't let it happen again. So, how about this great kit by Holly Brooke Jones to record your memories on your computer!

#3 - China Blue 12inch Negative Strip by Narratives
I've envisioning five of my favorites fireworks from this years show peeking through the openings of this negative strip!

#4 - Patriotic Bingo Card Set by Jenni Bowlin
A fun and festive bingo card would add the perfect little something to your 4th of July layout. You could even incorporate the header word as part of your title. (Home of the 'brave', Land of the 'free', etc.)

Fancy Pants didn't forget this super summer holiday in their new line of kraft patterned papers. This decorative edged sheet is the perfect background for a few of your favorite holiday pics.

What new products will you be scrapping your festivities with?
:FIVE FAVES: Seeing stars for the 4th of July...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, June 25, 2009

:QUOTES: According to Otto, Stevens, & Unknown

“Every job is a self portrait of the person who does it. Autograph your work with excellence.”

HERBERT A. OTTO (author):
We are all functioning at a small fraction of our capacity to live life fully in its total meaning of loving, caring, creating, and adventuring. Consequently, the actualizing of our potential can become the most exciting adventure of our lifetime.”

“Confidence, like art, never comes from having all the answers; it comes from being open to all the questions.”
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

:LAYOUT: Splash

Summer is most definitely here...we went from chilly to HOT, HOT, HOT in less than a week!

Kaitlin is loving her pool time though as her daycare takes them nearly every day now that the weather has heated up and I can't believe the tan she's already got going in just a handful of afternoons!

She's always been one to tan easily and has yet to ever really burn.

I'm totally jealous, by the way.

Here's a layout I created from her pool time last summer...

Adhesive: Duck
Cardstock: Georgia-Pacific
Patterned Paper, Rub on: Basic Grey
Chipboard Letters: We R Memory Keepers, American Crafts
Gems: Bead Party
Scallop Punch, Deco Edge Trimmer: Fiskars
Font: Ali’s Writing
:LAYOUT: SplashSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

:DAILY INSPIRATIONS: June Daily Inspirations submissions reminder...

You've got 12 crafty days left to submit your entries for the June Daily Inspirations challenge...and earn your chance to win this month's awesome prize - your very own copy of Linda Harrison's Starting Points: Creating Meaningful Scrapbook Layouts From Whatever Inspires You.

If you missed the initial June Daily Inspiration post, download them now for FREE here and start scrapping!! All the details for submission are included with the download.

Layouts will be accepted until Sunday, June 5th, 11:59 p.m. and the lucky winner will be announced within a few days following the deadline.

Happy scrapping!!
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Monday, June 22, 2009

:LIFE: Czech Days highlights...

Another great Czech always seems like we wait for it to come in such anticipation and it passes so quickly...

One highlight this year was that my cousin from Minnesota brought her daughter, Kierstyn, down to experience Czech Days. I have to admit that I felt a little deja vu watching Kaitlin and Kierstyn enjoy Czech Days. It certainly brought back some memories of when Traci had visited us during Czech Days one summer many, many years ago.

Things started off with the baseball game and fireworks on Thursday night and then the big parade kicked things off on Friday. As usual, lots of floats...

...funny cars...

...and candy to collect for the kids.

Then, it was time for some RIDES!!

This one wasn't too bad...until the end. I was definitely ready for it to stop! My stomach can't take what it used to.

Friday night we watched the Beseda dancers brother, Lee, and niece, Emily, were among the dancers.

Luckily, we had a Czech costume that was just the right size for Kierstyn, so she got to go through the Kiddie Parade with Kaitlin on Saturday morning.

They had a ton of fun 'fishing for kolaches'!

After the Kiddie Parade, there was some dancing in the park and Kaitlin was pretty excited when she got to dance with the Czech Days Prince! :-)

A few more rides and then we decided to take in a little real fishing with Traci and was the catch of the day.

:LIFE: Czech Days highlights...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Saturday, June 20, 2009

:HAPPY FATHER'S DAY: Quotes by Kelland, Brown, & Unknown

"He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it."

JOHN GREGORY BROWN (Decorations in a Ruined Country Cemetery, 1994):
"There's something like a line of gold thread running through a man's words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself."

"A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty."
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Friday, June 19, 2009

:LAYOUT: Dance

We're off to celebrate Czech Days in Tabor today...I'm sure I'll be sharing pictures and more here soon, but if you'd like to know more about my little hometown's annual celebration, you can read more about it here.

In honor of Czech Days, I thought I'd share one of the layouts that I created with photos from last year's celebration.

Adhesive: Duck
Cardstock: Bazzill
Patterned Paper: Teresa Collins
Rub ons: Basic Grey
Stamp: Autumn Leaves
Chipboard Letters: Making Memories
Ink: Colorbox, StazOn
Scallop Punch: Fiskars
Pen: Zig
Font: Porcelain
:LAYOUT: DanceSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, June 18, 2009

:REVIEW: Outstanding Mini Albums by Jessica Acs

Personally, I'm not much of a mini album maker. Not because I don't like them, but because I have very limited time to spend on my craft and I tend to spend what little time I have creating standard 12x12 layouts.

However, after reading the book that I'm about to share a bit of information with you about - Outstanding Mini Albums: 50 Ideas For Creating Mini Scrapbooks by Jessica Acs - I am thinking that I must carve some time into my creative schedule to try my had at this facet of scrapbooking.

Before Jessica gets underway describing the different types of mini albums, she starts of with a 'Before You Begin' section that outlines some very helpful tools that you might want to consider if you want to pursue some of the albums highlighted in this book. Do to the binding and scoring often necessary when creating mini albums, there are some tools that you may not already have in a standard scrapbooking stash.

The book is divided into 4 chapters:
  1. Make Your Mark
    This chapter showcases 9 albums and discusses the use of pre-made mini albums and how to make them your own through creative embellishing techniques. Jessica points out that using a pre-made album can certainly speed up the process of creating a mini-album, but it certainly does not have the limit the level of creativity.

  2. Back to Basics
    This chapter showcases 10 albums and shows us how to create a unique mini album completely from scratch!! Not only are these types of albums cost effective, but there are also NO LIMITS on size, shape or material.

  3. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
    This chapter showcases 14 albums and focuses on how to make mini albums out of everyday items - trash to treasure, so to speak. There are examples of albums made of everything from restaurant drink coasters to paper bags.

  4. Think Outside the Box
    This chapter showcases 9 albums and is perfect for the crafter who loves to use their creative talents for making gifts. Who doesn't love a handmade gift? This chapter has mini album ideas for everyone you might have on your gift-giving list which can be adapted for a multitude of holidays and/or occasions.

Now, in working with Jessica at WeScrap (she is one of the founding members and I was an Inspiration Team member there last year), I knew that she loved mini albums, but I guess I didn't realize quite how much! One of the first things I realized in going through this book was that nearly every mini album was created by Jessica herself and they variety in style and technique was just AMAZING!!

She did bring in a few other talented artists to share their mini album creations as well including Andrea Deer, Mou Saha, Brenda Neuberger, Carolyn Lontin, Michelle Van Etten, Cami Bauman, Kathie Daub, and Julie Overby.

One thing that I really loved (and appreciated) about this book was that each featured album in chapters 2-4 came with a complete material list, step-by-step instructions on how to create the album in words and photos as well as a photo of the finished product. Some even included cutting and scoring guides! These features make even the most complicated looking album an fun and easy task for the novice and expert mini album maker alike.

There are also several templates at that back of the book that can be used in your mini album making.

Also in the book are 5 amazing step-by-step techniques for making your mini album even more unique and 4 bullet-point lists on the following topics: Embellishment Alternatives, Mini Album Theme Ideas, Displaying & Storing Mini Albums and Mini Album Gifts. All feature some great tips and ideas!

Again, whether your a novice or pro at mini album making, this book is sure to have some album ideas that you'll love and make you want to get in your mini album mode right away!

Visit the Outstanding Mini Albums page at You can also read more of my reviews for other recommendations.

Sharing Your Story: Recording Life's Details with Mini Books

Easier-than-Ever Scrapbooking 2

Check back for this review soon and your chance to win a free copy!!

:REVIEW: Outstanding Mini Albums by Jessica AcsSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

:FIVE FAVES: Hitting the road...

Are you lucky enough to be vacationing anywhere exciting this summer?

If so, record your journey with a few of these great travel-themed products!

#1 - En Route Epoxy Stickers by SEI
I love the sheen of epoxy stickers and these great travel images and symbols would be the perfect addition to any vacation layout! This is just one part of the amazing SEI En Route collection. Be sure to check out the rest by following the link.

#2 - Road Rage Signs Chipboard Set by Maya Road
Who doesn't love can leave these naked chipboard pieces as is or customize them any way you like to fit the theme of your destination!

Bamboo?? Really?? Not only will these amazing letter stickers from the new Making Memories Great Escape collection add some wonderful texture to your page, but may also add context. Hawaii, anyone?

#4 - Road Sign Decorative Edge Traveler Paper With Thermography by Little Yellow Bicycle
This road-sign shaped patterned paper could be the perfect backdrop to highlight your summer road trip! The LYB Traveler collection is HUGE!! Of course it has an assortment of patterned papers (including a set of matching cardstock), but it also has about every coordinating embellishment you can imagine!

#5 - Travel My Word Album by Bo Bunny
Need a place to house your favorite vacation photos? Here's the perfect mini-album to make them shine!

What are your favorite travel-themed products currently on the market.
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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

:QUOTES: according to Keller, Quindlen, & Robbins

HELEN KELLER (1880-196; author, lecturer, activist):
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow.”

ANNA QUINDLEN (b. 1952; American author, journalist):
"Life is made of moments, small pieces of silver amidst long stretches of tedium. It would be wonderful if they came to us unsummoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead now, that won't happen. We have to teach ourselves now to live, really live... to love the journey, not the destination."

ANTHONY ROBBINS (b. 1960; self-help writer, speaker):
“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.”
:QUOTES: according to Keller, Quindlen, & RobbinsSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, June 15, 2009

:LIFE: Birthday celebrations...

It's so hard to believe that we have a 7 year old...

Kaitlin knew our annual backyard grill out to celebrate with family wasn't going to be until Saturday. Since her birthday was actually last Tuesday, she kept asking if we could 'have a party with just the three of us' to celebrate on her actual birthday.

We kept playing it off with 'we'll see' like it was no big deal.

She'd get this sad little look on her face...

but really her dad and I had plans all along.

We took her out for supper and to the movies...

This is a HUGE treat as we almost NEVER go to the theatre to see a movie. Even when we got to the movie theatre, she didn't get it right away that we were actually going to see a movie there!

We saw Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. It was just as good as the first that Ben Stiller!

Kaitlin thought it was pretty cool, too.

Afterwards we went for a little stroll at the local duck pond and Kaitlin fed the rest of her popcorn to the ducks. It was getting a little too dark for pictures, though.

Then, on Saturday we prepared for our annual grill out...

Justin always mans the grill...

...and family and neighborhood friends come and hang out with us for awhile.

Usually the sprinklers come out, but it was just a bit on the cool side for sprinklers this time.

However, we were simply pleased that it didn't rain that day as it had just about every single day for a week leading up to Saturday (it's rained every day since also...).

Kaitlin's cousin Rachel helped with the card reading when necessary and covered Kaitlin's eyes for the cake reveal...

It was Daddy's idea to bring out this little cupcake first which she thought was pretty cool...

...until he told her she had to share it with everyone...

...but then we brought out the 'real' cake and there was more than enough for everyone.

:LIFE: Birthday celebrations...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, June 11, 2009


A layout to share today...

These are pictures from when my hubby took Kaitlin to her first softball clinic this spring. It was right after I broke my leg, so I didn't get to go along.

I'm glad Justin took these pics...

Adhesive: Duck
Cardstock: Bazzill
Patterned Paper: Cosmo Cricket
Chip Alpha: My Mind’s Eye
Ink: Colorbox
Corner Rounder: Marvy
Pen: Zig
:LAYOUT: ALL * STARSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

:REVIEW: Month by Month Scrapbooking by Amanda Probst

Personally, I have long been a fan of calendar-based prompts for scrapbooking inspiration.

The stories that can be told by taking cues from the common and not-so-common (which can often be the best prompts...they often lead to some unexpected, yet important, stories) calendar events are literally endless.

This is the fact that lead to the development of my own monthly Daily Inspirations prompts which are available for free download each month right here on this blog.

It is also why I was very excited to see that Amanda Probst had a book coming out that drew its inspiration from the calendar as well.

Month by Month Scrapbooking: A Year of Scrapbook Ideas is one very unique scrapbooking idea book and one can see this from first glance.

The first thing I noticed about this book was its wonderful design which features spiral binding at the top of the book (like a calendar...get it?!). It also features what I can best describe as an 'easel-stand' back cover which allows you to prop the book up in an upright position. It's perfect for keeping right at hand on your scrap desk.

There are 12 tabbed sections - one for each month of the year - and the first half takes you from January through June. Flip the book around and you'll flip through the rest of the year - July through December.

Within each month's tabbed section, you will find:

  • a different take on a calendar-style layout
  • that month's birthstone, flower, and astrological information
  • 8 layouts
  • 1 altered project
  • a chart with numerous additional ideas for journaling and photography related to that month
One of my favorite parts of the book were the calendar-style layout examples and is one of the ideas that I most hope to experiment with myself. I have never created an actual calendar-style layout (highlighting the major events in a month) and think it would be a wonderfully fun way to document 'a year in the life'.

Of course, each month generally mentions the obvious themes for that month (for example, Easter baskets in April and fireworks in July), but many ideas go a little deeper such as taking some time to focus on your fears in October or reminiscing about your various summer jobs in June.

Contributors for the book:
This book will certainly have you looking at the calendar in a whole new light and creating thoughtful and memorable layouts in no time flat!!

Visit the Month by Month Scrapbooking page at You can also read more of my reviews for other recommendations.

The Scrapbooker's Almanac by Elizabeth Dillow

Outstanding Mini Albums: 50 Ideas For Creating Mini Scrapbooks by Jessica Acs
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