September 30, 2010

Work in Progress October

Here's a look at the very first page I sat down to do with the new Work in Progress October kit. There was something about the brown and red colors that I was immediately attracted to. The measurements reminded me of when Nico was little and I was constantly weighing him to see if he was thriving.

My poor little guy was a mere 4.5 pounds when he came home from the NICU. He was the tiniest 2 month old ever. I remember the nurses sending us home with this little chart so that we could mark his progress. I couldn't even put his 2 month old weight on it, because he was "off the chart". It actually took 17 more months to get him officially on that growth chart. Today he is firmly in the 40th percentile for weight and 70th for height - NORMAL! It was a proud milestone for us.

I've been playing with my Cricut lately and I used several cuts here. The arrows are all from the Accent Essentials cartridge and the circles were cut with the Cindy Loo cartridge. I love how they add texture and design to the page without overwhelming it.
Thanks so much for taking a peek! It's going to be a big day around here tomorrow. Look for an announcement and a very 'haunted' page.

September 28, 2010

Ride & Crash

Nico loves his 4-wheeler and you can find him cruising our cul-de-sac on it all summer long. I swear it gives him a sense of independence. You should see the huge grin and the little gleam in his eye as he drives away from me screaming "bye Mama". I have visions of my future teenage driver and I shudder.
This layout is all about the story of how my Dad bought him the Jeep Hurricane for his third birthday. All of the kids climbed on and Nico & Mario quickly learned how to crash into things and knock down the sandbox. Ah, the wonderful world of destructive little boys...

I made this page for Right at Home Scrapbooking with the Out & About line from We'R Memory Keepers. I love the bold colors and icons.
My favorite part of the line was this felt circle border. I added a strip of ric rac and ran it up the sides of my page to mimic the look of a tire treads. I hope that's what it looks like anyway! This was a fun and easy line to work with.
I've been busy working on a new project which is challenging me and pushing me outside of my "box". I love that! Look for a big announcement and a new Halloween page on Friday. I can't wait!

September 22, 2010

I Married an Italian

I can't believe it's been 15 years since we got married. I was looking through my wedding proofs this week reminiscing and I had a couple of thoughts.

1. Wow, we were young. Fresh out of college and already getting married - crazy! 2. What the heck is that poof on the back of my head? Ah yes, the mid 1990's in all it's glory. 3. These pictures scream "My Big Fat Italian Wedding" to me. Ha!

Which brings me to this little picture below. It's my husband and I in the center surrounded by some of his cousins. Who in the world has this many first cousins? There were 56 at last count.

I am not Italian, but I married into this huge, very traditional, first generation Italian-American family. And so I've learned a few things...

1. Spaghetti sauce is called "gravy" and it can only be homemade from the tomatos you picked at the farm and canned. I've got the gravy down, but I refuse to pick the tomatos.

2. You will attend the wedding, baby shower, baptism, communion and 50th Wedding Anniversary party of every single one of those cousins pictured above. We've been to 48 weddings since we've been married.

3. Family comes before all else. Period.

4. Mother-in-laws are very involved in their sons' lives. Especially so, when the son is the eldest and the "golden child." An opinion on finances, parenting and even furniture placement is freely given. I've learned to smile quietly and nod (alot).

5. If you ever need something, there are two dozen families who would give you the shirts off their backs to help. There is always someone there for you.

6. Holidays are an event. A big group, 16 main entrees and a buffet table of desserts is required. Everything is celebrated BIG.

And so often times I find myself dancing a tarantella, cannoli in hand, surrounded by 200 of my closest in-laws. And I smile. This sure isn't how I thought my life would turn out. And yet it's better than I dreamed.

Thank you Mr. Damiano (because I know sometimes you read here), for making me a part of this crazy family. Ti amo bello mio.
I've posted a quick tutorial post on how I organize my sketches and memories over at the Work in Progress blog.

I'm busy working on 4 new projects that I'll have up late next week. Bear with me, I'll be back soon!

September 17, 2010

I am speechless.

I log into my email this morning and there's a flood of "congratulations" messages. What the heck?

Unbelievably, I won a bicycle - a replica of the Little Yellow Bicycle logo. I entered the contest over at Two Peas because I really wanted to win one of the smaller prizes. I would've been happy with any of the new LYB collections. I love them all! Who would'a thunk it...I won the Grand Prize.

And yes, my much too old, overweight self will be riding that bright yellow bicycle all around the cul-de-sac. I might even add a basket to it. My neighbors are in for a treat. Ha!

This is the winning page. It's a round up of Nico's favorite things from this summer. I chose one picture for each of the things that he told me and then added as much of the LYB Boardwalk line as I could.

I love this big sun die cut paper and I was determined to use it. I tucked it in and embellished it a bit so it didn't get lost on my page. It took a while to get this 2-pager to come together. There were so many pictures and elements I wanted to include. It almost like putting together a big giant puzzle. The Boardwalk line is my favorite of all of the summer releases, so that made it easier.

A great big THANK YOU to Two Peas in a Bucket and Little Yellow Bicycle. I will ride my Greenline Yellow Daisy bike with pride!

September 14, 2010

Back to School @ 2Peas

Have you checked out the Back to School Event going on at It's packed with tutorials, free classes, give aways and a Guest Designer post by little old me! I love that community, I think their gallery is one of my greatest inspirations. The shopping area doesn't hurt either.

I was so very thrilled when Jamie asked me to design something "different" for a back to school page. This is what I came up with...

The flash cards were created in Microsoft Word.

I love this School Spirit line by Crate Paper. My favorite piece is that little red schoolhouse.

For more details on how I came up with the page, please visit the 2Peas "Back to School" Event. I'll see you there!

September 9, 2010

I haven't had much time to scrap this week. Between coming down from vacation and settling into Nico's back to school activities, it's been a whirlwind. I finally managed to to sit down and get something fun done today.

The entire page revolves around this nifty pocket from Little Yellow Bicycle. I've been doing a Top 10 list for my trips for years and years so I'm so happy to have this embellishment do all of the work for me. The title, the journaling spot and focal point are all taken care of with this one little pocket.

Most of the products are from the Traveler line and then I threw in some Coordinations cardstock (swiss dots) and a little left over straw mat paper from another project.
The most time consuming thing was lining up the journaling on those little tickets. I didn't want to use my handwriting, because I wasn't sure everything would fit. Other than that, this came together pretty quickly thanks to that pocket.

I'm not ready to let go of the season quite yet, so be prepared for a few more rounds of summer layouts!

Have a good one...

September 7, 2010

Flash Cards

Just in case you're interested, I've posted a tutorial on how to create a custom flash card over at If you have any questions, just give me a holler.

Be back Friday with another Mexico page, until then...

September 5, 2010

Happy Labor Day!

We got to spend the last week of summer in Ocean City, Maryland with some friends. So while I dig out from under my mound of laundry and unfinished projects, here's a look at what we did.

We rented the cutest townhouse by the sea at Sunset Island. I loved all of the balconies and the village was beautiful.

We built sandcastles by the sea (the ocean was too rough to swim in). And we walked the boards and rode the rides.

We flew kites on the beach and rode race cars.

We took a voyage on a real pirate ship and played really bad games of miniature golf.

And before you knew it, it was time to come home. We had a great time despite it being quite a bit of work (this is so NOT a relaxing type of vacation), Hurricane Earl and a little bout of illness that layed me up for 3 days. Hey, who said vacation was perfect? Ha!

I hope everyone is enjoying the very last weekend of summer. I can't tell you how sad I am to see my favorite season end. This week will be back to school and I'm excited, but I am so so not ready.

I'll be back soon with a couple of things I've been working on....

September 2, 2010

Down by the Seashore

This is the very first page that I've done about my trip to Sanibel last year. I fell in love with this little shelling island off the Gulf coast of Florida. It's an idyllic haven off the beaten path, just the kind of place I hope to retire to someday.
I love the mix of cool and warm colors in this Kaisercraft line. It was the perfect feel for telling my Sanibel seashell story. I added the cool resin seashell (Jolees) and teal bingo ticket (Jenni Bowlin) to complete the embellishments.
Included in my kit was this clear stamp image which I thought would be a good spot for journaling. As you can see, I am so not a stamper. The image is a little fuzzy but I kept it and hopefully it looks like a soft, chalky colored image on purpose. Ha!
And lastly, some pictures and a story about our recent family outing to the boardwalk. I really wanted to use this red star paper from Bo Bunny Press' Block Party line. The sunburst image was a little overwhelming for my photos, so I cut out a section and then placed a red Cosmo Cricket chipboard frame in the center. I think it adds interest to the page and ties together well with the theme.
And so there you have it, my four Work in Progress pages for the month of September. I think this whole designing thing is going to be a fun ride!

September 1, 2010


I'm proud and thrilled and excited to announce that starting with the September kit, I will be designing for Work in Progress Kits! You may remember that I was guest designer for WIP back in July and I got to work with the wonderful Echo Park kit.

I like working with kits because they challenge me to create with a set number of supplies. Sometimes my stash can get overwhelming, so it's almost easier for me to create a page like this. I may add alphabet stickers for the titles, but mostly I stick with what's in the kit. Also, it really helps that Trish at WIP puts together color & pattern combinations that are just my style.

Here's my first page using some of the brand new Togetherness line from Cosmo Cricket. I love the whimsical drawings and colors in this line. I think it was perfect for my Disney parade page below.

I didn't have very many pictures of the Toy Story parade, but it was an important memory for Nico. He's a Toy Story fanatic and I really wanted to remember how crazy he went over the parade and getting his picture taken with a green Army guy.

This is another Disney page - this time about Nico and his insistence on getting a Peter Pan tattoo.

It's really difficult to find Peter Pan embellishments (other than Jolees, which I've used to death), so I created my own. I will post a tutorial on how I made the Peter Pan flash card next month on the WIP blog. I will post here to give you the heads up when it's available.
My favorite part of this layout is the simple row of buttons. I think it's a understate way to add texture and draw the eye back up to Peter.

I'll be back tomorrow with the rest of my WIP layouts. Thanks for stopping by!