Friends Always – ScrapMuch? Sketch-y Friday Reveal

I’m in denial that this weekend it’s November already.
I’m in denial that the clocks go back Saturday night.
I’m in denial watching the thermometer dip day by day.

So with the new month beginning on Sunday, it’s time for another Team A ScrapMuch? Sketch-y Friday reveal. In keeping with usual tradition, the first layout of the month is a double pager. I’m happy to share my layout featuring my Vegas Wolfpack! These ladies are awesome. We come from all walks of life, from all over the US and I’m the lone Canadian. I’ve known one of these amazing ladies since 2007. We always have so much fun together, bound together in our common love of scrapbooking, and travel, and travel for scrapbooking. We may not be able to all get together next year and that makes me very sad.


I used a mix of Teresa Collins, Simple Stories, Heidi Swapp and Amy Tangerine products on this layout. I loved going with the black, white, and gold palette. I even added in some chipboard pieces that I put through the Minc (love that machine!) – the ampersand on the big camera embellie, and the “good times” on the photo.

Here is the sketch we had to work with this week

So now it’s your turn! Hop on over to the ScrapMuch? blog and see what the rest of Team A has created for your inspiration! Then create your own sketch inspired layout and share with us for a chance to win an awesome ScrapMuch? prize!

Have a safe and Happy Hallowe’en everyone! I’ll see you in 2 weeks with my next ScrapMuch? creation!

Botanique – ScrapMuch? Sketch-y Friday Reveal

Hello everyone! Happy Friday! Happy May!!

Since it’s been announced on the ScrapMuch? blog I can officially say here that I will be continuing on for another term with the ScrapMuch? Sketch-y Friday Design Team. (They like me, they really like me!). All kidding aside I am both flattered and proud. I can’t believe I’ve been creating with them for a full year. I remember how giddy excited I was when I got the email last year like it was yesterday. I may have squeed and danced around a bit!! Shh! Don’t tell anyone!

On a sad note, we bid farewell to Ashley, Karen and Jessica. I will miss their inspiring creations, but will still keep following them in my feedly to see what they’re up to!

With departures and new terms, that means arrivals, and we welcome Kimberly, Kristin, Lyne, and Sharlene. They will be debuting either today, or next week depending on the team. Make sure you hop on over to the ScrapMuch? blog and give a warm welcome and be inspired!

And now it’s time to share my layout for this week with you! I’m still on Team A, and it’s the first Friday in the month, so it’s double page time! I opted to go technique heavy and get messy for this layout! The photos are from a visit to a local greenhouse last summer, but I thought they were perfect to use on a layout to welcome spring! Here’s what I created:
Supplies used: Patterned Paper – Teresa Collins; Cardstock – American Crafts; Wood Veneer – Teresa Collins; Flair – Dear Lizzy for American Crafts; Sequins – Teresa Collins and Fancy Pants; Mist – Heidi Swapp Color Shine, Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist; White Embossing Powder – Close To My Heart; Embossing Ink – Versamark; Stamps – Stampin’ UP!; Stamping Ink – Stampin’ UP!; Epoxy Flowers – Fancy Pants; Tab – Jillibean Soup; Paint – Tim Holtz Distress; Ribbon – Tim Holtz; Border Punch – Stampin’ UP!; Tag – Tim Holtz; Button – Stash

Time for some detail shots:
You can see some of the white embossing powder and the effect of the mist over the stamp in the corner of this shot, as well as the gorgeous woodgrain texture in the cardstock – totally perfect for this organic layout.

Some corner stamping, the painted tag, the two tones of mist, a painted woodgrain flower, the fussy cut flowers and the dreamy “tie dye” ribbon.

More of that stamped and white embossed image that was misted over, more stamping, more fussy cut flowers, the tag and the flair. Multiple collections that just seem to work together.

One last shot of the lower left corner with the versamark and white embossed image, misting, layers, that ribbon, “multi-generation” stamping.

Here is the sketch we had to work with:

So I took some liberties with the sketch, and I love how it turned out. I don’t normally get messy with layouts at a crop but I went for it and it worked out (imo!). I skipped on giving this an official title and I’m ok with that too.

So now it’s your turn! Hop on over to the ScrapMuch? blog to see what the rest of the team has created and be inspired! Then create your own layout and link up with us for a chance to win an awesome ScrapMuch? prize!

Tomorrow is National Scrapbook Day! Yay! I’ll be at a crop hosted by ScrapMuch? In honour of National Scrapbook Day I have a few fun blog things planned for this week so stay tuned!

bloom – ScrapMuch? Sketch-y Friday Reveal

Happy Valentine’s weekend everybody!

It’s time for another Team A ScrapMuch? Sketch-y Friday reveal, and the last February reveal for Team A. Which means spring is right around the corner. I hope.

It’s another week that I’ve dug into my stash and finally started to scrap things I’d been planning for a while. If only I had all the time in the world to scrapbook all my ideas I’d have no stash, full albums, and likely no job (hah!).

I’ve noticed somewhere in my archives that the inspiration sketch becomes a broken image, so I’ll be sharing the sketch last because the broken image irritates me a bunch.

So here is my layout for the week:
Supplies used: Patterned paper – Teresa Collins; Cardstock – DCWV, American Crafts; Stamps – Teresa Collins; Ink – Stampin’ UP!, Ranger; Tab Punch – Teresa Collins; Die Cut Machine – Silhouette Cameo; Twine – CTMH; Button – Teresa Collins; Mist – Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist; Chipboard – Teresa Collins

This picture has a ton of meaning to me, and I bought this paper to go along with this phase in my life. It was a page of tremendous growth and self discovery after a very difficult time. It’s from my first time at High Park for cherry blossom season. It was a time where I was starting to bloom, yet ever fragile, just like the cherry blossoms. There’s a little bit of hope to go with that too – that the trees survive the cold, bitter winter and produce beautiful blooms anyway. So just like life – you can go through some harsh, bitter times to a time of great beauty.

The paper blossoms were cut with my Silhouette and then I used some Tim Holtz distress ink on my splat mat and a waterbrush to create the multi-toned flowers. I learned the technique quite some time ago at one of my scrappy events. Laura has posted a waterbrush tutorial on her blog here.

Here is the inspiration sketch:


So now it’s your turn, of course! Hop on over to the ScrapMuch? blog to see what the rest of the team has created for inspiration this week. Then create your own and link up with us!

Here is a run down of our Sketch-y Friday rules.  Just link up your creations in our sidebar to be entered into a random draw for our monthly prize.    You have until February 28th, at midnight to participate in any of this months sketch challenges, each linkup tool will remain open until that date!

If you are playing along with more than one challenge you will need to link each of them up via a separate blog post for the link up tool to work. (International participants may be required to pay some shipping fees.)  Good luck, we cannot wait to see what you create!

*note – If you are playing along using Flickr the team will no longer be leaving comments, due to changes in Flickr policies and passwords.  However, we will be checking out your entries for sure and you are definitely eligible for the prize draw. Our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

Autumn – ScrapMuch? Sketch-y Friday Reveal

I know it’s not quite November yet, but it’s time for ScrapMuch? Team A’s first of the month reveal. In keeping with our routine, the first sketch of the month is a 2 pager.

Here is the sketch we had to work with:

And here is my take on the sketch:

Supplies Used: Cardstock-Die Cuts With A View, Stampin’ UP!; Patterned paper-Teresa Collins; Ink-Tim Holtz Distress for Ranger; Wood embellishments-Teresa Collins; Sequins-Teresa Collins, Fancy Pants, Lawn Fawn; Stickers-Teresa Collins; Washi tape-Bella Blvd; Die cut machine-Silhouette Cameo; Mist-Maya Mist by Maya Road; Journaling pen-American Crafts

I had so much fun playing with this week’s sketch! Honestly, when I took Scrapbook 101 at my LSS in 2005, the layout we created was a 2 pager. So I’ve never really found 2 page layouts all that difficult to work with.

For me, the biggest challenge was finding the “perfect” fall themed paper without being too cutesy to showcase these awesome pumpkin dudes! I bought the Teresa Collins Nine and Co. collection (paper and wood embellishments) from ScrapMuch? because it really was the perfect palette for these fall colours. It is an elegant line, so it also met my criteria of being not too cutesy. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy cutesy, it just felt like most fall lines this year were on the cute side. I opted to leave the wood pieces “naked” because I wanted to keep their rustic feel. The flowers that bracket the layout are indeed fussy cut from one of the papers in the pack. The title is half cut on the Silhouette, and the other half stickers from the collection pack as I’m trying to be better about using those. The quote for the title is a beautiful Albert Camus quote, which I thought was fitting given this fall display was all done up in flowers. As for those awesome pumpkin dudes and mum displays, they were in the middle of The Shops at Crystals, which was essentially attached to my hotel on the strip in Vegas (yes yes, I still need to get that trip report up). Not only were they beautiful to look at, but they were very fragrant and aromatic too.

Here are a few detail shots:

autumn detail 1

autumn detail 2

So now it’s your turn! I’d love for you to pop over to the ScrapMuch? blog and see what the rest of the team created this week, including a warm welcome to our newest member from the design call, Barbara. If you haven’t tackled a 2 page layout yet, maybe this is the one you start off with. I promise, it’s not as scary or overwhelming as you may think! Remember if you play along with any of our sketch challenges or colour challenge (or maybe even combine the two and enter both!) and link up with us, you have a chance to win an awesome ScrapMuch? prize!

I can’t wait to see what you create! Happy Hallowe’en! Have a great weekend and thanks for visiting!

ScrapMuch?! Sketch-y Friday – Melt My Heart

This is the reveal that almost wasn’t for me. You see, when it came time to post my layout for the team, my laptop hard drive died before I could even edit the photo. Thankfully I was able to work on DH’s laptop that still had an old version of PhotoShop Elements installed. Needless to say this week has been filled with a lot of anxiety over the hard drive, as the last 10 years of my life in photos were on that drive. Thankfully the amazing tech at IC SuperComputers was able to get me up and running in just over 24 hours including salvaging 99% of my data. HUGE SIGH OF RELIEF.  So let me be a cautionary tale to all – have 2 copies of everything!!!

So here we are!  Happy Friday! Team A is up again with another Sketch-y Friday reveal at ScrapMuch?!

Here is the sketch we had to work with this week:

And here is my take on the sketch:

Supplies used: Cardstock-American Crafts, Stampin’ UP!; Patterned Paper-Teresa Collins; Texture Paste-Martha Stewart; Stencil-Tim Holtz; Mist-Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist; Sequins-Teresa Collins; Ribbon-American Crafts; Flair-American Crafts; Die Cutting Machine-Silhouette Cameo; Pearls-Pebbles; Tab-Pink Paislee; Arrow Clip-Freckled Fawn; Stickers (banners, circle)-My Minds Eye; Circle Punch-EK Success

This week’s layout is dedicated to my very special girl, Socks. Socks is my happy. Socks came into my life some 17 years ago when I was just starting college and in my first apartment. I adopted her from the Upper Credit Humane Society as an adult cat. She was found abandoned with a litter of kittens. By the time I got to meet her, her kittens had all been adopted, and there was just Socks. A beautiful tuxedo cat, with delicate white paws, a white bib and tummy and adorable white whiskers. Giving credit where due, Mom had actually found her at the local Super Pet in their adoption area, and within the week I was there signing papers to make her mine. It’s been a match made in heaven ever since. We’ve truly been the best of friends. Doing the math, she is approx 19 years old now and doesn’t have much longer on this earth. So for now we take full advantage of every snuggle moment we get. She is always with me on the couch, and at night she sleeps on my pillow – The pic was taken one morning when I woke up to find her face next to mine. She is a chatterbox, always has been. She is the kindest, gentlest kitty ever. She’s been through some very uncomfortable procedures at the vet and never once did she get angry. She’s amazing. She’s spoiled and gets anything she wants, because at 19 years old, she deserves it, and then some. There will be other kitties in my life, but there will never be another Socks (Socksie, Socksinator, HRH Socks Rotundo).

As for the layout, it’s a lot busier than I’d normally do, but for some reason it just all worked for me. I absolutely loved this Teresa Collins line, You Are My Happy. The circles at the top were punched from one of the pieces of paper that fit my EK Success circle punch perfectly. Teresa just does some amazing things with her papers and each line just gets better and better. Have I mentioned how excited I am to be at her Inspiration Unlimited event for the third straight year in a mere 41 days??!?!?! So close! I digress.. I misted the textured hearts because I didn’t like the stark white, then spread some excess paste on the black background because the hearts otherwise looked really stark in the middle of the page.

I’d love for you to pop over to the ScrapMuch?! blog to see what the rest of the team is up to this week, and then play along with any or all of the sketches. Make sure to link up with us if you do for a chance to win a totally fab ScrapMuch?! prize! You have until August 29th at Midnight EST to link up your creations. I can’t wait to see what you create! Have an amazing weekend! 🙂


Better Late Than Never!

At long last I’m finally blogging about my trip to Las Vegas for Inspiration Unlimited 2012. A warning, this will be long and full of lots of pictures!!

I was genuinely concerned at the outset of this trip as my fankle hadn’t recovered overly well before I left.  I was still in physio and I  still couldn’t walk a heck of a lot. And If you know anything about Vegas, it’s that there is a TON of walking to be done!! This girl had lots of plans that I’d been making since last year when I realized how much I didn’t get done on my first trip: the Grand Canyon, Fremont Street, the iconic sign at the south end of the strip, watching the Bellagio fountain show, and riding the mechanical bull at PBR Rockbar.  I’m happy to say this time I accomplished all, bad fankle and all, except the mechanical bull. I feared getting hurt again/still/worse from getting tossed from the bull and I wasn’t sure how I could explain that to the physio after all the work he’d done on me all summer.

I got in on Saturday night, which also happened to be fight night at MGM Grand (that of course was not scheduled when I booked my plane tickets), which means Vegas was a zoo. I wanted to stay at Planet Hollywood for the duration of my time on the strip, but for that Saturday night PH was crazy expensive, and they had a mandatory Friday checkin for that night. I opted to stay at the cheap and cheerful Hampton Inn Tropicana for the one night. It was one of the only hotels that still had availability and not jacked rates. Minus the free airport shuttle that was a total disaster (that I waited almost 2 hours for a pickup), and trying to get a taxi to come pickup when it was time to leave, the Hampton was fantastic. The service was good, the location was great, and the room was clean. By the time I finally got there, my foot was swollen and sore from the flight, and I was tired so I didn’t venture out to the strip at all.

Sunday morning I was up early for Vegas time. I got to enjoy breakfast in bed from the buffet downstairs and watch the tail end of Sunday NFL Countdown, and the start of the first football games. Then it was time to checkout and move on (finally!) to Planet Hollywood. I was so happy to see this sign again!

I love staying here. I love the atmosphere. I love the location. I love the amenities. I loved going up to the Heart Bar after finding my room to see how Sunday football really should be watched!

Oh, and that room? I splurged a little and got a strip view. I couldn’t justify going to fountain view, and the advantage of where my room was is I had a great view of the Cosmo pool where Enrique Iglesias was playing that night! Free show! Here were my daytime views – first the Cosmo pool and Bellagio “lake”, and below directly below me to the PH pool, bar and outdoor gambling tables.


That evening, still full of energy, after watching some of Enrique (who was fashionably late, natch!), I went over to finally watch a Bellagio fountain show. In my super quick stint on the strip last year I didn’t have time to stop and watch the show, this year, I made sure I had time!

A beautiful end to a fantastic day.

Monday – I picked Monday to be a mostly relaxing and touring the strip day with plans of Grand Canyon for Tuesday, more relaxing and strip on Wednesday, before migrating to Green Valley Ranch and Inspiration Unlimited for Thursday. So I started off sunning by the pool with my Starbucks in hand.

I tried to use my MyVegas rewards to get a Zarkana ticket but it wasn’t working, so I opted to go over to the box office at Aria and see what I could find. I did check with Tix4Tonight first, and while they said they could get me a great price, they had no idea where the seat was until I got to the box office at Aria, so it only made sense for me to do my own legwork. On the way into Crystals, someone in character was handing out discount coupons for Zarkana. I managed to snag an AMAZING seat at a FANTASTIC price. I celebrated my find with delicious pints and oysters at Todd English P.U.B.

And a mandatory after-show touristy photo:

Zarkana was excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I saw O last year and it was definitely the better of the 2, but I wanted to see something new. Next up it was time to go across the street to the Cosmopolitan to the second feature at their “Dive-In Movies” shown on the huge screen by the pool. It was Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Another movie I’d been dying to watch but had never seen in it’s entirety. Well, my busy day and excitement caught the better of me. I got onto my comfy poolside lounge bed, got a great view, saw the first few minutes and the next thing I know I’m hearing Moon River and watching the credits scroll by. Yes, I slept through the whole thing. 😦 Sad girl.

Tuesday – I was up bright and early, renting a car and I was on my way to the Grand Canyon, with detours to the Hoover Dam and old Route 66 with stops in Kingman and Seligman AZ. In the Pixar movie Cars, the town of Radiator Springs was loosely based on the town of Seligman. I have a ton of pictures from this road trip but there are some significant ones missing. Normally, when I travel I use at least 3 cameras to take pictures – my SLR, my point and shoot, and my phone, and sometimes even my Instax mini. When I got to the Hoover Dam I got camera cocky and only used my SLR. When I stopped in Kingman to review my pictures I discovered I had none! It seems I brilliantly left my CF card out while shooting. I’m just thankful I noticed it early on in Kingman, and quickly shed my cockyness and went back to snapping with 4 cameras..

FINALLY, after several trips to Phoenix and now my second trip to Las Vegas, finally I made it to the Grand Canyon, and it was every bit as spectacular as I’d hoped.

I can’t get over how big it is. I know that sounds silly when it has the name “Grand” but seriously, so wide and so deep and so long. I took their shuttle bus system all over the park and found the views no matter where to be quite similar, and yet I couldn’t see a lot of the places I’d already been from one lookout point to the next.

It’s definitely an excursion that should be on everyone’s bucket list to do at least once. And don’t waste your time with the tourist trap fabricated West Rim, go all the way to the South Rim.

On the way back I made sure to stop at the iconic sign.


With rental car I went up to my last stop, Fremont Street. In being fully honest, I really didn’t like it and it was the most unsafe I’ve felt on any Vegas trip. The canopy kept the smoke in, so that wasn’t overly pleasant at all. The laser show was a bit neat. The casinos were dingy and sketchy. The crowds were different than those on the strip. Most of them were quite fall down drunk and had ZERO respect for personal space. I downed a very overpriced drink and made my way back to Planet Hollywood where I settled in for a well earned sleep.

Wednesday was a relatively low-key day. I started off poolside with my Starbucks again, and Skyped home so he could see what he was missing (me, sun, palm trees). I went up to the Venetian because on my last trip I stopped at the Forum Shops at Caesars and didn’t make it any further north.

I found my favourite slot machine in their casino and stopped when I was up $5.

I fell in love with the Canal Shoppes.


Some of the gelatos there looked positively heavenly. I’m not sure how I managed to resist but I did. That being said, I had a spectacular lunch there at Morels. I paid for the cheese fondue for 2 with a caesar salad and 2 for 1 vodka tonics on the patio that overlooked the strip and the outdoor canals. It was incredible and I was truly living the dolce vita that afternoon.

I went back to Planet Hollywood to get cleaned up for dinner as I had plans to go to Paris to try Mon Ami Gabi and go up the Eiffel Tower, yes another thing I hadn’t done yet. There was a red carpet event going on at Planet Hollywood I thought I may try to take in before dinner, but by the time I got back there, the area surrounding the carpet was already packed, and I’m short, and the celebs were late (natch!).

Yes, I opted to give up on trying to fight for a glimpse of JT and Ben Affleck, and as I later found out Holly Madison too. Bummer!

I did make it up the tower for some spectacular views of the Vegas strip and the Bellagio fountains.



I then went down and my patio strip side table was ready at Gabi.  I had a great spot to people watch, watch the fountain show over and through the palms, and my dinner was so incredible.

After dinner I went back to the Heart Bar at Planet Hollywood for a nightcap or two of my new favourite cocktails, cherry bombs! So so so delicious! And I couldn’t help but take a picture of the super neat light up cocktail menu at the Heart Bar.

And with that my time on the strip was over and it was time to relax and scrapbook to my heart’s content at Inspiration Unlimited at Green Valley Ranch.

Thursday – I took a taxi from PH down to the airport to catch the GVR shuttle. I took a cab last year and it cost over $40. For less than $20 to get to the airport it was well worth the leisurely trek as I wasn’t in any rush to get there before check-in time. What can I say about GVR?! I love the room and the property. I love the chill and laid back vibe. I love the view my room had:

Inspiration Unlimited is bar none the BEST scrapbooking event I’ve been to. Teresa Collins is just incredible and I feel so lucky to get to take 2 amazing workshops with her. Ginger runs a super tight ship like a well oiled machine. The roster of instructors is always top notch. I fully plan on going to every one as long as they continue to exist. I’ve already paid my deposit to return next year. And one of the things I love about Inspiration Unlimited is the friends I see there year after year. I love our yearly reunions!

Here’s the worst picture ever of me with Teresa:

In my defence, it was day 2 and I was tired from my week of adventures and full day of crafting the day before.

I got to make some neat projects:

I resisted sampling some of these delectable treats from the pastry case at the cafe:

I had so much fun reconnecting with these ladies:
Missing Patty who was being our awesome camerawoman..
I totally need to get more pictures with friends next year because I’m missing so many..

And then the ugly…

On Saturday night one of my girlfriends and I got violently ill from the buffet at GVR. I was so sick and it put an incredible damper on my final days there that I had hoped to spend with friends, and by the pool, and relaxing.. essentially anything but spending it in bed and getting very acquainted with the beautiful bathroom. I’m beyond disappointed to say that when I brought it up to the front desk when I was feeling well enough to emerge from my room in the hunt for some Gatorade, they showed no concern whatsoever, and suggested I should call the buffet manager in the morning. I had far too much to do on Monday morning that I couldn’t call the manager and it was time to go. I will return to GVR because that’s where Inspiration Unlimited is, but I will definitely consider alternate dining options while there.

Monday I had my traditional lunch leaving McCarran, cheese quesadillas at Sammy Hagar’s. I opted to skip out on the Can’t Drive 55 drink because my tummy was still queasy and recovering from the food poisoning.

Southwest got me, and all my luggage home safe and sound.

What an incredible trip. I had so much fun and I can’t wait until next September!

A lot of my projects are still in progress but will be shared when completed in a separate post (this one is long enough already!)

In 100% full disclosure I have not been compensated for my reviews in any way shape or form.