Friday, September 29, 2006

Post Cards

The other day I was reading submission requirements and suggestions for a rubber stamp magazine that suggested enclosing a self-addressed post card that would be returned as notification that a submission entry was received.

So I thought I would create a post card to send with a submission entry. This post card measures 3.5x5 inches. You can find templates for 3.5x5 in. and 4x6 in. post cards in our gallery. Just right click and save it to your PC. Stamped image is from The Angel Company.
You can find additional information on mailing postcards (in the US) here

Thursday, September 28, 2006

FINALLY ALL HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So the cds are all here and I am madly packing, packing packing!!!!!!!!!!! They will start shipping tomorrow and I will let you all know when the last one is posted! :)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Photographing Toddlers

They're here, they're there, they're everywhere! Just when we see the perfect shot, they move on to bigger and better things. It's so hard to photograph a toddler. Forget about trying to pose your toddler. They are doing what they do best, learning. That learning process does not include staying in one place and smiling nicely up at Momma. It means running from thing to thing full of innocent curiosity. What can you do to take some great shots of your toddler? Know that it can be done and done well. Be prepared to take a ton of pictures, practice a lot, and learn to play to their nature. So, just what nature is that? Well, for one thing all toddlers love toys. Bring out the big props to create a play session that is sure to entertain them for more than a few moments. Some great prop ideas are bubbles, water, paints, etc. You know, those toys that you usually set up with care, so as to contain the mess. Forget the mess! Take them outside and let them go crazy. You will be rewarded with giggles, smiles, screams of glee and loads of fun pictures. Let them jump on the bed and have a pillow fight. You might want to have another adult around for that one. The idea is to get them engaged in playing and not focusing on you with the camera. It's the candid shots that will turn out the best. They are fast and you will have to be, as well. Get on their level. Don't just stand there taking shot after shot. Hit the ground, bend down, do whatever you need to get on their level. Make silly sounds. They love to hear silly sounds. Be creative and go for it. It's a great way to bond with your toddler and have a fabulous play session at the same time.

Just make sure you always have your camera around. Sometimes opportunities present themselves and you'll want to be ready to take advantage of them. They may be as simple as letting them go somewhere they think they aren't allowed. Here are a couple of shots of Dylan sneaking onto a boat at the lake house. He knows he's not supposed to go in the boat without an adult, but sure enough here he is sneaking on for a look see. Mr. Impatient pants decided he was tired of waiting around to go out with Daddy on the big boat and decided to toddle over to the small boat and explore on his own. Here he is sneaking on:

and above, he is looking to see if he's been caught.
The picture progression gets really fun, with Dylan in all giggles over an oar he finds. Blogger isn't letting me upload anymore, but the idea is just to go with a situation even when it's one you usually wouldn't let happen. You just might end up with the best photographs you've ever taken of your toddler. If they think you are all about play, they will be all about play and much more receptive to having their pictures taken.

For some inspiring professional children photographers, check out these blogs:
Audrey Woulard:
Skye Hardwick:
Michelle Croson:

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Product Review - Zip Dry Paper Glue by Beacon Adhesives

I do not know about you, but I was the biggest “anti-liquid adhesive” fan out there. I was a Hermafix Permanent Dots Girl. The liquid glues out there were just too messy. They would wrinkle my paper, take way too long to dry, and leave me frustrated when the glue would ooze out the sides and leave a stain on my layout forever. UGGG!
Well, Ladies those days are over! Last year, I was introduced to Zip Dry Paper Glue by Beacon Adhesives. I was instantly hooked! This liquid adhesive was amazing. It did not wrinkle! It dried super fast! And excess glue rubs off easily without damaging your photos, cardstock, or patterned paper. This glue also adheres to everything, including metal, wood, and plastic. I did this layout using large heavy metal washers and they are not going anywhere. Now, while playing with this Zip Dry Paper Glue, I did discover another use for this liquid adhesive. Are you all sitting down? Seriously, I think you need to. Ready? It removes RUB-ONS!! Yes, you read that right, it removes them. Just put a thin layer of glue on top of the rub- on you want to remove, let it get tacky, and rub off in a circular motion. Voila, rub-ons disappear without harming your photograph, cardstock, etc. This glue is spectacular!
Since my love affair with Zip Dry Paper Glue started over a year ago, I have tossed aside my Hermafix and never looked back. No regrets! So, if you have not yet tried Zip Dry, I would suggest that you do. You will not be disappointed. I know that I have not been! Zip Dry Paper Glue made a Liquid Adhesive Lover out of me.

-Kathleen Taylor

Monday, September 25, 2006

Just a quick update

In case it takes me longer than usual to answer your email, I have a sick child...again. Delainey now has a high fever, is throwing up and pulling at her ears. So we get to go back to the Pediatrician again. Looks like we're making a go at last week's 4 visits in one week. They officially know my family at the pediatrician. Sigh.
Just wanted to give you all a heads up - trying to get to it all ASAP! :)
Thanks for understanding!

Weekly Inspiration

Well, it is officially fall now and I can't believe how fast September is flying by! As much as I love to be outside and enjoy the fall leaves and trips to the pumpkin patch, I also get the urge to stay inside more this time of year. I like to bake and get the house smelling yummy. I also start thinking about the holidays and handmade gifts that I plan to give. As much as I miss not being able to spend lots of time outside, as the days get colder, I also like the idea of being inside and creating.

I hope this week is a productive one for you in your scrapbooking. It's such a beautiful time of year, there seems to be inspiration everywhere you look. However, it wouldn't be Monday without our weekly inspiration post showing off some gorgeous creations that I've come across over the past week. Enjoy them! A big thank you goes out to the talented women who are inspiring us this week!

Boys Will Be Boys by Jamie Gavin:

Senoritas With Margaritas by Celia King:

New York by Traci Murphy:

Live Your Passion by Beth Finley:

Warm Wishes by Sheila Penner:

Saturday, September 23, 2006

LOVE me some Imaginisce Sam and Abby!!!

I loved it at the show and now that I have it in my hot little hands, I love it even more! I can NOT say enough about this paper - gorgeous texture, heavyweight, white core! YUM!!!!

I got these two LOs done last night and while the photography is not stellar (let's just say my plans for today were thwarted by a dog, some ducks, and an emu) hopefully you can still get an idea of how fabulous these papers are!!! :)
OOOOHHHHH!!!! And for those of you playing Project Homegrown for the Cricut - the letters on Am I Cute or What are Cricut Teardrop! :)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

October Kits Posted in Shopping!!

The October kits have just been posted in the shopping area under Next Month's Kits!




Hybrid Add-On

XOXO Special Edition

By the Numbers Add-On

Trilogy Add-On #1

Trilogy Add-On #2

Product Challenge--Making Memories 8" Shapes/Letters

Here's a quick and easy Product Challenge using some of the great stuff from the July Hybrid Kit. (plus some goodies from my scrap pile)
I used the Making Memories 8" Flower Shape but, the same concept could apply to all shapes and Letters.
Items needed:
Making Memories 8" Flower
2 sheets of Coordinating Daisy D's Girlfriend Line Pattern Paper
Bazzil Big Brad (my stash)
Bull Dog Clip (my stash--office supply store)
Ribbon (Walmart)
Liquid Adhesive
Fine Grit Sandpaper
Self Adhesive Magnets
1st Step:
Trace the flower on the back side of 1 of your pattern papers and cut out and adhere to the front of the flower shape.

2nd Step:
Sand edges to get rid of any 'over' cuts or mis-cuts.
This is a great way to make your project look a little more 'finished'.

3rd Step:
Trace flower on the back side of 2nd pattern paper and then free hand draw another 'flower' about 1/2" on the inside of the outer line. (see photo)
Cut out and adhere over 1st pattern paper.
This will make a contrasting 'outline'.
Sand edges again if needed.

4th Step:
Using the Crop-a-dile, punch a hole in one of the 'petals'.
Attach the Bull Dog Clip with a Bazzill Big Brad and Tie the ribbon on the Clip.

Last Step:
Cut a bunch of Magnet strips and adhere to the back of the Flower Shape.

That's it!
You have just created a Fun Magnet for your Fridge to hang your childs school work/notes or things to do list.
This would also make a great gift for a friend or teacher.

Let's see what you can dream up with your Making Memories 8" Shapes and Letters!

Have a great one!

Design Team Showcase and A New Challenge!!

Have you ever experienced "Scrapper's Block?" I have! When "scrapper's block" does rear its ugly head, I find myself looking through our gallery and I am instantly inspired!

I have to say that I love being on this Design Team. Not only is everyone wonderful to work with, the talent is just amazing. I am one lucky lady!

Below are some of my favorites from the August Hybrid and Trilogy kits.

Layout by Charissa

Altered Board Book by Michele Reed

Card by Melissa Bierlein

Now to the challenge! I would like you to Scraplift Charissa's layout or Melissa's card.

If you are competing in our Project Homegrown Contest this challenge is worth 3 points!!

If you have not joined our contest yet, it is not too late!

Come on! Join the fun! You could win a Cricut Die Cutting Machine!!

Blog Challenge - September 21

Okay everyone, you know what today is. You're tired of hearing me talk about it so I won't mention that today is finally the day! All I will do is give your blog challenge for Project Homegrown and set you loose on those scrapping supplies!
But before you go - make sure you check out Stacy's card on the entry below this one! I am such a Freak for Fall!!!!
This is by far my favorite time of year! I wish I was with all of you who are enjoying this cold front. We had the same cold front and our low last night was a whopping 70 degrees and today's high is only 90! Break out the parka!!! Enjoy it for me guys!
But I digress...
Your blog challenge for today is to scrap your favorite TV show or movie. Maybe this challenge can go in your BOM or maybe it will be the jumping board if you haven't started one yet! And if you can't narrow it down to just one, then give us a top 3, a top 5, or even a top 10! :)
Can't wait to see what you create! Get them posted to the gallery by Sunday at midnight (I'm feeling like a slavedriver today!).
See you there, and Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Homegrown Project of the Week!!

As I lay in bed last night not able to sleep I designed this layout in my head! I was thinking about my Grandmother and the church she was so dedicated to. Poe Babtist church. It's out in the middle of no where and Sunday service is often ten or twelve people. But the church keeps plugging along!
I designed this layout for my All about me Album. It started out to be about childhood memories of summers at Grandma's which included Sunday School and Vacation Bible School.
This morning I started searching for a photo of the church to complete the layout and I found this one. The date in the bottom right hand corner is 9/11/2001.
Not only was this the day that our country was attacked and thousands lost their lives. It was also the day of my Grandmother funeral.
As we celebrated her long, fulfilled life (she died at age 97) others were losing their loved ones to a terrible tragedy.
The second page of the layout is an entire page of journaling. Childhood memories, what my Grandmother meant to me and most of all remembering the tragedy of that day. I guess this is a salute to 9/11 with a twist!!
Layout was made with a previous months Hybrid Kit - Crate Paper. Everything is from the kit except the stamps are of course Ronna Farrer and the flower centers are Making Memories Gems.
I stamped the cardstock first then laid two strips of paper across the cardstock covering part of the doodle stamps. Then added the leaf ribbon and flower border. I cut a photo frame to use as photo corners because it was not quite big enough for the photo!
Enjoy, Melissa

Here's a little fall inspiration for you. Products used: Bazzill cardstock, Basic Grey Patterned paper, The Angel Company and Hero Arts stamps, palette ink in Noir and L'Amore Red, and a mini gold brad.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Public Service Announcement!

As most of you know we have been inundated with illness around here for the past almost 4 weeks. We have 3 children (Eli, Noah and Delainey) and between them they have 5 infected ears, 3 sinus infections, 2 cases of bronichitis and 1 case of healing pneumonia. There was also a rash and a weird bug bite in there but I won't go into detail about those... ick!

DH was bitten by a brown recluse and after multiple dr appts and surgeon consults is in therapy for 1 more week!

I have had a sinus infection for over a week and went to the dr to find out I also have ear infections in both ears and bronchitis!

WoW- I knew we would all be sick when Eli started school for the first time, but seriously! After 14 doctor visits and 3 trips to the hospital, I have to say that this is borderline ridiculous!

All of that to say that I am behind in almost every way I can be, but help is on the way and I am hoping to FINALLY be caught up by this weekend with ALL ORDERS SHIPPED! WOO HOO!!!! And all emails answered, prizes sent, billing finished, etc!

So please be patient and THANK YOU ALL for your understanding and concern! You've been great and it really helps to know that with such great customers and a WONDERFUL DESIGN TEAM to keep things going while I'm down, everything will be back on schedule and running smoothly soon!

And by way of good news, the Imaginisce papers for next month's Hybrid have arrived and the embellishments should ship this week, so maybe, just maybe (FINGERS CROSSED!) the October kits will ship EARLY! I'm determined that it is possible! :)

Let me know if you have any questions, and please forgive me in advance if it takes longer than usual for me to get back to you! :)


Weekly Inspiration

Take a look at the amazing layouts (including a digi one) and the card I came across this week! If these don't inspire you, I don't know what will! I hope they get your creative juices flowing for the week! Have a great one!

Kissable Cheeks by Tessa Ann Watte:

Sippin Aint Easy by Araxi Dertavitian:

100% Original by Roxanne Jegodtka:

Sad To Go by Tanya Mundt:

Beautiful Blue by Julie Hickey:

Bon Voyage by Xenia Feere:

Friday, September 15, 2006

8.5x11" Sketch Inspiration

I thought this time I would try scrapping small photos i.e like those index prints. I had about 8 that needed to be scrapped and was wondering how best to place them in a LO. I didn’t fancy laying them in a 3x3 (rows/columns) formation and decided to go for a linear design instead. Hence I came up with this sketch.

Here’s my LO based on the sketch. As always feel free to add additional embellishment where you see fit.

Materials used:

Fancy Pants Frou Frou
Making Memories metal letters / buttons
Heidi Swapp plastic letters
Delight Designs arrow chipboard
SEI Winnie rubon
American Craft remark letter sticker
Royal Langnickel ethan and kyle white rubons

We would love to see your layouts based on the sketch so do upload it to the Homegrown gallery.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Using Tags on Greeting Cards!!

How many of you just love Tags??? I tend to be one of those timeless people - While I am shopping for furniture or decor items I choose things that will still look good in several years. For me tags are like that with both card making and scrapbooking. There are so many different things you can do with them that no matter how much this hobby changes tags will still be in!!

Here are a few ideas of what to do with a tag on a handmade greeting card:
* Cover it with paper
* Use random strips of paper on it
* Staple it
* Stamp on it
* Wrap the entire tag with fabric strips
* Use ribbon, fiber, yarn ect. on the top of your tag
* Layer them - Use a smaller tag on top of a larger one
* Use it for your card message or sentiment
* Ink it!!
* Use leftover strips of ribbon to cover the tag

To get your inspiration going here is a card sketch to help you out.

Here is an example of a card that I created using this sketch!

Hope this inspires some of you to use your scraps of paper to make greeting cards. Think of the money you will save! Let's see some cards in that gallery!

Melissa Bierlein

Maya Road Prizes!!!

Maya Road is helping sponsor our Project Homegrown contest and today I got a box of goodies from them that had tabbed chipboard books and blossom chipboard books inside!!!! Someone will win one tonight! Are you playing?!

Thanks Maya Road!!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Here's a stamping technique for you!

Being that I am a novice at stamping.
I did a very basic but fun technique this week.
I decided to use stamping for a background instead
of patterned paper. First I chose a stamp to use.
Next I chose the colors of ink I wanted to use. I decided
to use my colorblock ink pads. Next I stamped on my
cardstock in a random pattern with each color. Then, I
took my black zig pen and traced the outside of my design.
You don't have to do this but I chose to because I thought
it would bring out my stamp design. Next thing is to adhere
you photo and embellish. Pretty simple and easy but it
turns out to be a great effect. Here's my layout doing this

Let's see some awesome pages in the gallery!!

Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 Blog Challenge

In keeping with Kathleen's project remembering 9/11, I am challenging all of you Project Playes to create your own 9/11 Memorium. It can be a LO, project, tag - whatever you choose. (I have a WTC die cut and the words to Have You Forgotten in a file to use for this LO, and I think this challenge may just get me to finally do it!)
If you have been to the Smithsonian since 9/11, you may have been to the rememberance exhibit where you are asked to write your own experience from 9/11 on a piece of paper and add it to the exhibit. I did write my experience there, and while I haven't scrapped it yet, I would like to share it with you all.
I was teaching Middle School English that morning, and was 6 1/2 months pregnant with my first child, Eli. I happened to be sitting at my computer while my students were taking a test or doing their journaling - quiet time anyway. My email alert popped up saying that I had a new message and it was from the church secretary (it was at a Christian school that was part of a church) saying that a plane had hit the WTC. Pray for the victims and their families.
I immediately turned on the TV to the Today Show and we watched live as the chaos ensued. The second plane hit and then the towers fell. Some of my 6th graders understood a little of what was happening, but not the enormity of the situation. I remember thinking that I was bringing a baby into this world and how I would so rather keep him inside where he was safe.
We went through the day in a haze of questions watching the news coverage, listening to the status of the 4 planes that were still unaccounted for, then seeing the field in Pennsylvania where one of them went down. I called my husband who was watching at work and I remember just wanting to be with him and feel safe again.
It was a very rainy day here as we had some sort of tropical system nearby and the weather mirrored all of our moods. The school was on lockdown, parents coming to pick up their children and go home to familial safety.
All we wanted was to feel safe.
We were dismissed early once the students had all been picked up and Bryan and I went home to watch with the rest of the world. My first call was to my roommate from college who worked at the Pentagon. I couldn't get her so I called her mom and dad. I found out that she had had to walk several miles down the interstate to get to a place where she could make her way home.
Home. Safety.
All we wanted was to feel safe.
Those days after 9/11 felt very ethereal. We were instructed not to turn on our classroom TVs anymore because of the stress to the children. I can only imagine how the people of NY, PA, VA and DC felt during the hours and days that followed. I was fortunate enough not to know anyone who was lost that day, but I still, like most Americans probably, felt personally touched by the events of 9/11 and I still do. How could you not?
I feel sad for my children that a part of their innocence was stolen from them on that day. I feel angry that someone could hate me enough, not even knowing me, to do something so atrocious.
Looking back now, I remember too how many flags were flying for weeks and months afterward and wish they were all still flying today. I remember going to buy a flag for my car and them being sold out. I've always loved my country (though there is a good bit of gypsy in me that would love to spend years travelling the globe!), but Septemer 11th made me a patriot. That is what I will take from 9/11.

(and since I know we have alot of UK members, if you would like to commemorate 7/7 rather than 9/11, please feel free)

Special 9/11 Inspiration

A special 9/11 creation by Homegrown's very own Kathleen Taylor. May we never forget . . .

Weekly Inspiration

A big thank you goes out to these ladies for sharing their creativity with us this week! May their work inspire you!

Trio by Martha Treadway:

I'm All About by Karen Moore:

Way Too Cute by Julie Stone (from kit by Wendy Redshaw-Bruhns):

Celebrate by Annette Hilyard: