Sunday, October 5, 2014

Make Your Own Autumn Leaf Garland

Those of you who know me, know that I love fall!  And once October rolls around the signs of autumn begin to pop up both outside my house and in!

My kitchen sports a hint of fall year round because I love its beautifully warm colors, but I decided to turn up in honor of my favorite season with this simply, yet fun leaf garland.

Read on below to see how you can make your own hybrid garland and bring a touch of this beautiful season inside your home.


Make Your Own Autumn Leaf Garland

What You'll Need:

  • Autumn Leaf  Cut Files by Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs
  • Patterned paper (digital or physical)
  • A stick or small branch
  • Sewing machine and thread.

1. Decide on a color scheme and print a selection of digital papers or gather physical papers from your stash that pull from this scheme. I printed 6 sheets of digital paper from Karla Dudley's Zephyr Woodgrain Pack onto 8.5 x 11 cardstock.

2. Open the different leaf cut files you wish to use from the set in your Silhouette Studio Software. Then duplicate/size them appropriately to fill your sheets of paper. I set up a different document for each style of leaf and positioned 9-12 leaves on each 8.5 x 11" document.

4. Then load and cut each sheet of leaves.

5. Decide on a color/shape sequence for your leaves so that you will have a good mix of colors and shapes throughout your garland. 

6. Create strands of leaves by stitching over a leaf with your sewing machine, pulling threads and then stitching over the next leaf. Remember to leave your threads long on one end so that you can tie your strands to your stick

7. How many leaves go on each strand and the spacing between is up to you but remember to consider the space you'll be hanging your garland in.  If you have high ceilings make longer strands if you are working with smaller spaces like I me, you may only want 4-5 per strand. 

8. Find a stick and tie your strands around it, spacing them evenly across the stick and so that the leaves/strands are staggered vertically.   

Note: Kelleigh's template + cut files offers you a lot of solutions, including layered templates, printable templates, cut files, etc. So determine whether you are planning to use digital papers or real papers a cutting machine or your trusty scissors and proceed with the method that will work best for you. The method listed above is the method I used, but it's definitely not your only option!

Have a lovely Autumn day!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Write. Click. Scrapbook. | October 2014 Reveal

It's that time again!!!  Time to head on over and get your first look at Write. Click. Scrapbook's October Gallery where you'll find lots of great ideas for having fun with your scraps.

Here I've recreated the look of using scraps in my digital page, with this fun foundation made of patterned paper strips.

Have Fun by Amy Kingsford | Supplies: Amanda Yi Designs: Let's Play; Mommyish Designs: Templated Trios 1 & 2; Karla Dudley: Dad's Day Cardstock; Amy Martin: Blanc Stitches.

To read more about my approach to this page and to check out the rest of the team's pages head over and check out the Write. Click. Scrapbook. October Gallery!

Have a great day! 

Monday, September 29, 2014

UPDATE: 14 Books in 2014

As you may remember from my post earlier this year, I made a resolution to read 14 books in 2014 and though I'm a bit behind on my goal I wanted to check back in and update you with my progress and my thoughts on those books I have finished.

As it stands I'm at 55% of my goal, but I've developed quite a bit of momentum since I've started listening to books while doing my housework.  You see I'm one of those weird people who enjoys cleaning (or rather the satisfaction that comes from it). Pair that with a good audiobook...and well as they say, "that's my jam."

And if I keep this up not only will I have tackled deep cleaning and some much needed organization in each of the rooms of my house, but I might also make my reading goal as well!

Insurgent Book 2 in the Divergent Series (read)

by Veronica Roth

I read the first book in this series last November. Divergent was actually one of the books that got me excited about reading again.  So it only seemed natural that I would read the next two installments. I was truly excited to see how this dystopian YA novel series played out.

UPDATE:Though this book was a bit of a placeholder in the series (as most second books are) I thought this book provided us with some fascinating information about secondary characters like Marcus Eaton, Jeanine Matthews and Caleb Prior.

Allegiant Book 3 in the Divergent Series (read)

by Veronica Roth

After reading Divergent I had pretty much committed to finishing the series, there really wouldn't be any reason that would keep me from finishing the final book--plus the twist at the end of the second book was certainly enough to keep me interested.

UPDATE: I know many people were disappointed with this book and the way the series ended, but I didn't feel disappointed at all. In all I liked the way the book played out and felt a sense of closure turning its final pages.

The Fault In Our Stars (read)

by John Green

I will admit this book was chosen largely because EVERYONE WAS READING IT and I felt almost obligated.  I actually had no idea what this book was about when I picked it up, but I'm actually glad for this because I felt like I was able to lose myself in this love story even more fully as a result.

UPDATE:I really fell in love with this book. The story of Hazel and Augustus was beautiful and real and sad. I thought the author did a great job of conveying the voice and emotion of his protagonist and I also really love "the book-within-a-book" element that he created. This is one of those books whose words really stick with you, with lines like "Some infinities are bigger than other infinities" and "The world is not a wish granting factory."

The Kite Runner (read)

by Khaled Hosseini

I chose this book because I wanted to expose myself to a new culture and to identify with that culture on deeper level.  I knew a little about the plot of the story before I picked the book up and I knew that it would be a difficult book to read.

UPDATE: I was really moved by this book. While I'll admit at times Amir's story did make me feel very sad and and a little hopeless about the world we live in, it was also an amazing tale of redemption and a great reminder of the small but beautiful things that we find a midst the darkness. The author is a beautiful storyteller and I enjoyed listening to this book read by him as the description of Afghan customs and pronunciation of Afghan words in his voice made the experience that much more authentic.

The Maze Runner (read)

by James Dashner

What can I say?! I'm a sucker for the young adult, dystopian society genre, so I couldn't pass this up--especially since I definitely want to read it before seeing the movie this September.

UPDATE: I really liked the idea behind this book, but  I had a very hard time making it through the broken speech of the "gladers." I really wished I had listened to this book instead. However now that I've made it though I must say I'm excited to see what the next installment has in store.  

On another note I saw the movie recently and I think it felt rushed and a bit shallow in comparison to the book. In fact if I hadn't read the book I'm not sure I would have known what was going on enough to have really enjoyed the movie properly.  

 I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't)... (read)

by Brene Brown

While I've found Brene Brown's recent TED talks very inspiring, that's not what initially inspired me to pick up this book.  I bought this book before I'd even heard of Brene Brown simply because I strongly identified with the title/subtitle: "I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't): Making the Journey from 'What Will People Think?' to 'I Am Enough' ".  Little by little I've been making room in my life to be a better me and I know this book will have some great insights to help me on my way.

UPDATE: Shame is a difficult subject to talk about let alone read a whole book about, but that being said, I absolutely loved this book.  This book literally changed the way I look at shame--specifically how I define it, how I deal with it (both my shame, as well the shame of others) and how I too dole out my very own forms of shame.  There were a lot of aha moments for me in this book and I already see a difference in the way I let shame affect me and my awareness and reaction to the shame of others.

The Hundred Foot Journey (read)

by Richard C. Morais

I really can't wait to read this book.  I was inspired to read it after seeing the movie trailer.  And as much as I would love to see the movie, I couldn't help but think while watching the trailer what a wonderful life journey this would be to read about.  It combines two things I'm very interested in: world cultures and international cuisine and its message of acceptance and being able to learn from one another as different as we might be is one I strongly believe in.

UPDATE: This book was absolutely wonderful--like a good meal I savored every last page. The characters in this book had so much depth and watching them grow throughout the story was such a treat. Seriously, this book made my soul warm and my stomach growl all at the same time!!!

Gone Girl (currently reading...)

by Gillian Flynn

This is another book that I had no idea what it was about when I bought it, just another title that I had seen several friends reading on Good Reads, so I thought I'd add 'er to the old list. I'm not much of a suspense/thriller fan, but then again its been decades since I've sampled from this genre so I figured this was a good book to start with--who knows maybe I'll love it and be inspired to read more from this genre.

Life of Pi

by Yann Martel

This book I chose not only because of its popularity, but also in hopes of it being one of those books where you can lose yourself in the world that the author creates.  I have held off watching the movie in hopes that this will motivate me to read the book, but from what I have seen from trailers an amazing story and an exotic world awaits me!


by Cheryl Strayed

I love reading stories about personal reflection and redemption, they give me hope and inspire me to reflect on my own life in new ways and to strive to be a better person.  Though I don't think I'll be tackling The Pacific Crest any time soon, I do look forward to reading about how being lost in the wilderness helped this woman find herself.

The 5 Love Languages of Children

by Gary Chapman

I read Chapman's original book on the five languages of love some years back and it really changed the way I looked at some of my closest releationships.  After giving birth to two beautiful boys, I have bought a number of books on parenting--most of which I have not yet found the time to read.  So I'm starting with this one and looking forward to applying what I learn to the relationships I have with both of my boys--who are so very different but deserve the very best love that I can give them.

Specials - Book 3 in The Uglies Series

by Scott Westerfield

Another young adult dystopian series that I started reading and then put down almost five years ago.  But I figured it was time to finish this series up and get some closure.  So this last winter I re-read the second book in the series and now I'm ready to find out what's in store for Tally, Zane, Shay, The Crims and Dr. Cable.

Daring Greatly

by Brene Brown

Everyone's talking about this book and while I elected to read some of Brene Brown's earlier work before tackling this one, I'm still really excited to read this.  It's refreshing to hear someone talking about vulnerability and insecurity openly and in a way that can really help people to grow and transform their lives.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

by Steig Larsson

I started this book a few years back before the movie came out.  I have since seen the movie (the American version) and it was a bit dark for me. I had trouble identifying with the main character because the movie's portrayal of her seemed cold and shallow and I couldn't help but feel that I would understand Lisbeth better if I had actually finished the book. I also heard an acquaintance talk recently about her feelings on this book and the fact that it was empowering to her and it was really her passion for the book that inspired me to pick it back up again.

I'd love to hear about what you're reading right now or any recommendations you might have--leave a comment below!

Happy reading!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Write. Click Scrapbook | October Sneak Peek

Hi All!  Here's a quick peek at the page I've made for the October Write. Click. Scrapbook. gallery.

The full gallery reveal will be up on the Write. Click. Scrapbook. blog on October 1st--I hope you'll come check it out!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Make Your Own Stylin' Cash Envelope System

I'm sure you've all heard of the "Envelope System" at some point or another in your life.

Yes, I'm referring to those labeled envelopes that your grandmother and maybe even you mother carried around with her in her purse and used to pay for groceries, gas and various other living expenses.

In fact this was a system many of our mothers and grandmothers used before credit cards and free checking were readily available and believe it or not its a method of finance that many people still use today to manage their family's budget.

I myself had never really seen a use for the system until I started to research ways for my husband and I to start eliminating our debt and I realized that one of our biggest obstacles was staying on budget--especially when it came to things like groceries, gas and extras. 

I started reading a few personal finance books and all of them referenced this system as an option to help us control our spending and maximize our savings.

So after a chat with my husband we decided to give it a shot.  

Of course no ordinary envelopes would do--no sir! Those of you who know me probably guessed that I would have to dress my "envelopes" up a bit ;) And so with the help of a few of my favorite Pixels & Company designers I made this stylin' cash envelope system that fits perfectly inside of my wallet and coordinates too!

 The template and cut files from Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs made this project so simple and easy to customize with these awesome digital papers by Gennifer Bursett and Sugarplum Paperie.

If you're interested in making your own I've included the steps and supplies below. 


Make Your Own Cash Envelope System

What You'll Need:

  • Tabbed Envelope Cutting File + Template by Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs
  • Patterned paper (digital or physical)
  • Adhesive
  • Hole punch
  • Coordinating embroidery floss or ribbon
  • Circle labels for tabs (optional) 

1. Open each of the envelope templates in your version of photoshop.

2. Clip your favorite digital papers to each of them and save them each as a .png.

3. Open the pngs in Silhouette Studio and size them appropriately for your wallet.

4. Open the cut files included and layer them over top of your png files, resizing if necessary.


Use the trace feature in your Silhouette Software to create the cut line for each of your tabbed envelopes.

5. Apply registration marks to each of your envelopes, making sure that all of the cut lines fit within them.

6. Print your envelopes with registration marks.

7. Then load each of your printed envelopes into your Silhouette and cut them.

8. Fold and adhere each of your envelopes.

9. Stack all of your envelopes on top of one another and punch a series of holes just in from the bottom edge. Then use your embroidery floss or ribbon to bind them together.

10. Then label your tabs with 1.25 circle labels or with simple handwritten labels.  

Note: Kelleigh's template + cut files offers you a lot of solutions, including layered templates, printable templates, cut files, etc. So determine whether you are planning to use digital papers or real papers a cutting machine or your trusty scissors and proceed with the method that will work best for you. The method listed above is the method I used, but it's definitely not your only option!

 Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Write. Click. Scrapbook | September 2014 Reveal

It's that time again!!!  Time to head on over and get your first look at Write. Click. Scrapbook's September Gallery where you'll find lots of great ideas for recording your back-to-school memories.

Here's a look at my page, which features a list of some of my son's favorite things right now. Back-to-school time always acts as a good reminder to me to record these details in my boys' lives.

Currently Loving by Amy Kingsford | Supplies: Karla Dudley: Currently Collection; Creashens: Splendid; Amy Martin Designs: Polly Love: Kim Template.

To read more about my approach to this page and to check out the rest of the team's pages head over and check out the Write. Click. Scrapbook. September Gallery!

And while you're there be sure to check out these recent posts geared towards helping you write, click and scrapbook your back-to-school stories:

Have a Happy Labor Day! 

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Scrapbooker's Blog Tour

I was so excited to find that I had been invited to be a part of The Scrapbooker's Blog Tour, when Betsy Sammarco tagged me on her blog Just a Pharmgirl, last week.

Betsy is someone that I have so much admiration for, both as a person and as a scrapbooker. I have had the opportunity to work with Betsy in a number of different capacities over the years and I'll never stop being inspired by her work or overcome by her generosity!

There is so much to love about Betsy's unique style of scrapbooking as she puts so much thought and detail into each page and she's never afraid to tackle emotional topics or push herself creatively in her page designs.

I thank Betsy for the opportunity to share a little bit about my own scrapbooking with you today...

What am I working on right now?

Right now I'm working on finishing up a few pages in my "in progress tray" on my scrapbooking table.  This page is about my youngest son's sheepish little smile. I just need to print out my photo and my journaling and add a few finishing touches and then I can call this page done.

How long does it take me to create a project?

It can take me anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to complete a scrapbook page.  Sometimes this depends on whether I'm doing a digital page or a paper page, but most often I'd say my average finish time is roughly the same whether I'm working with paper or digital supplies.  Now clean up...that's a whole other story!

What are my favorite things to create with at the moment?

I'm in love with anything gold right now. And I've always been a sucker for wood veneer pieces, doilies and enamel dots.

How does my writing/creating process work?

My pages often begin in one of two ways, either with a photo or with product.  

When I begin with a photo I will often pull colors directly from my photo and motifs from it's story when choosing my papers and embellishments. 

If I begin with product, then I typically like to work with in a kit (either premade or assembled by myself) and then I search through my backlog of photos to find a picture that is a good fit with the product I'm working with. This approach works well for me because I am not a chronological scrapbooker.


My journaling usually comes last in my process and can range from a name/place and a date, to a few lines, to half a page.  It really just depends on how much I have to say.  Though I will say storytelling has become increasing more important to me as my boys grow older and they have more stories to tell.  

How do I become inspired and stay inspired?

I turn to a number of different sources of inspiration in my scrapbooking including other scrapbookers, classes, as well as the inspiration I find in my everyday life.  As of late I have been really inspired simply by the photos and stories of my family.  Both of my boys are at really fun ages and it feels like there is so much to capture right now!

What is my signature style?

You know I've never been good at pinpointing an exact name or definition for my style. My pages can sometimes seem fairly eclectic as I switch freely between digital and paper scrapbooking and I enjoy learning new techniques, trying out new trends and exploring other styles in my own pages.

However, when it comes down to it I am a fence-jumping 8.5 x 11" scrapper, who loves color, patterns, texture and structured layers.

And now its my turn to share a few of my favorite scrapbookers with you and invite you to visit their blogs on Monday, September 1.

I am tagging:

Marie-Pierre Capistran
Carrie Arick
Christy Strickler

I have been blessed to work with these ladies over the past few years on the Get It Scrapped Creative Team and I'm always so inspired by their work.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you'll join the ladies above next week to find out a little bit more about them and their scrapbooking!

Have a great week!