This past weekend was a big one. There was a sprained ankle (Mine! Zumba! Gah!), first steps for Briar (I’M SO PROUD I COULD EXPLODE), and lots of fun working on my almost-one year old’s birthday party invitations! It’s hard to believe that in just a few short weeks, Briar will have made a full trip around the sun. I could swear we just brought her home from the hospital?
But instead of wallowing in the fact that my baby is getting older, I am focusing on all the fun things ahead. Namely, birthday crafting! For the invitations, I’m jumping on the hand-lettering bandwagon and pairing my handwriting with a little watercoloring. (There will also be a photo involved, if only I could just get her to stay in one place for five seconds…)
I’m pretty sure I could write out her name all day, everyday. I used to FILL notebooks with lettering just because I loved playing with my handwriting and trying out different words in different ways (anyone else?). The thing about hand-lettering is that I need a marker with a wide tip to achieve my best look, so I busted out my forgotten Copic markers and went to town. Those markers are expensive but they really do work like a dream.
I also had a great time creating full page watercolor washes to use as a background texture. I am by no means an expert painter, but I do find it to be incredibly relaxing, especially with a fun podcast on in the background.
I’ve already scanned in all of my favorite samples of the lettering and watercoloring (using this method!) and I am so excited to pair them together to create a finished product. Stay tuned for more party updates coming soon!
So here’s why I love digital stamps: this entire spread, from start to finish, took twenty minutes. Twenty. THAT’S IT. In fact, the hardest part was choosing which photos to use…! When I first started scrapbooking, the concept of “digital scrapbooking” could not have been less appealing to me. I mean, who would want to their supplies to be on the computer? Wasn’t the tangibility of traditional scrapbooking where all the joy of the hobby lived? But as the years have passed, I’ve come to think of myself more as a hybrid scrapbooker. While I still love physical products and shuffling papers between my hands and holding a tangible layout before my eyes, there’s definitely something to be said about using the computer to streamline and expedite my scrapbooking process. I love adding titles or journaling to my photo BEFORE I print it; not only does it expedite the situation but it also looks good. The minimalist graphic designer in me love love loves it.
For these two pages, I used my new (or should I say old?) digital brushes to add titles where I saw fit. Here’s how it all turned out:
Photo by La Rousse Photo
Lord knows I love a massive photo, so for this page, I sized one of my favorite images to 8 x 10,” added a pink gradient and the “Let’s Go On Adventures” brush to the top, and then mounted it onto a sheet of patterned paper. Couldn’t have been easier!
Supplies: BasicGrey Aurora Paper // Yellow Washi Tape // Aurora Die Cut Tag // Amy Tangerine Heart Sticker // Greatest Hits Digital Brushes
For the second page, I used a mix of photos (when did my baby get so big?!) and digital brushes, with a few physical embellishments as well. It’s funny…I designed most of these rubber stamps-turned-digital brushes waaaay before Briar was born, but now the sentiments are SO FITTING for our parent / child relationship. I love how that works.
Supplies: Greatest Hits Digital Brushes // Amy Tangerine Epoxy Stickers // Amy Tangerine Die Cut “Love”
So maybe I was wrong about the whole digital scrapbooking thing way back when I was a newb; now I can’t imagine my style without the computer close at hand!
P.S. Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four of Briar’s scrapbook album!
As the temperature continues to rise and Briar continues to wake up in the middle of the night, one thing has become crystal clear: I NEED ICED COFFEE. As much as I love hot coffee, I’m more than happy to switch over to the iced version during the warm summer months. I love it in the morning with my breakfast but I really love in the afternoon when my energy begins to slump…it’s the perfect pick-me-up! Recently I had been going through the Starbucks drive-thru (God’s gift to moms of babies) on an almost daily basis, but I realized I could save a lot of money by making it at home. So! I did a little research and experimentation and found my favorite new way to get my caffeine fix.
What you’ll need:
– 1/3 cup of coffee grounds (anything but instant coffee)
– 4 cups of water
– Two pitchers or carafes
– Saran wrap
Pour 1/3 cups of coffee grounds into a pitcher or carafe. Then, heat up 4 cups of water on the stove for about a minute (no need to boil) and pour it on top of the coffee. Once both the coffee and water are in the carafe, cover the top with saran wrap and leave it on your counter for at least eight hours.
After eight hours, remove the saran wrap and cover the mouth of a different pitcher or carafe with a few layers of cheesecloth. Slowly pour the coffee over the cheesecloth and let it filter into the second pitcher.
Finally, fill a glass with ice and then pour in the coffee and any other flavorings (I like a splash of milk and the tiniest bit of homemade simple syrup) and enjoy! I store my pitcher of coffee in the fridge and cover it with saran wrap to preserve the taste. It usually only lasts a day or two before I find myself drinking it all up and starting the brewing process all over again! So good and so easy.
P.S. My daily coffee routine and coffee stories from my Utah days!
We’re already to part four of Briar’s scrapbook and I am still loving the process. I made this particular page using Dear Lizzy products and it was a fun way to utilize some of my favorite photos from the past several months in a single layout.
This page incorporated some of my favorite divided page protector techniques: placing embellishments on the top of the plastic and splitting the same photo up amongst multiple pockets. It always feels like a bit of a puzzle putting everything in it’s place!
I’ve been asked about how I print my photos and here’s my simple answer: I do what works best with the resources I have on hand. Since we moved in January, I haven’t gotten around to replacing the cartridges in my home printer (I have no idea why?), so I just order prints from Target instead. There are pros and cons to both options, of course. With a home printer, I can customize the size of my photos based on my project with a few simple clicks in Photoshop, however, it always takes way longer than I anticipate it will and it uses up a ton of ink. By printing straight to Target, I don’t get to customize the sizes (well, aside from 4 x 6″) and I have to pay every time I need prints, but it’s so nice to have a huge stack of photos to pull from when I sit down to work on this album each week.
Supplies: Messy Book album + page protector // Serendipity Sticker Roll // Pleather Bow // Serendipity Patterned Paper Pad // Fine and Dandy Paper Pad // Gold Foil Thickers // Circle Punch
P.S. Part One, Part Two, and Part Three of Briar’s scrapbook album!
I’m beginning to find a really good rhythm with Briar’s scrapbook. Once or twice a week during nap time, I surround myself with all my favorite supplies, put on Keeping Up the Kardashians on my iPad (I can’t quit it!), and get lost in crafty land until Briar wakes up. It’s a great way for me to zone out for a bit and remember how fun this hobby can be. Plus, blog fodder! Win win.
Also, I’m now at the point where I’m ready to start throwing in random photos from various weeks of early Briar-hood. After all, there’s only so many photos of my puffy, exhausted face from our time in the hospital that need to be on the internet. (You know how it is.) So this week, I made two pages featuring the last of the hospital photos and the start of the thousands (milions?) of photos I took once we got home.
For the left page, I split four vertical 4 x 6″ photos into four respective pieces and placed them in the pockets of a Messy Book page protector. I’ll admit it took a little math to figure out how to do this evenly, but somehow I managed. Once all the photos were trimmed and glued into place, I treated each photo as a separate “page” and embellished them accordingly. (Looking at these early photos of Briar makes me laugh; she used to sleep ALL THE TIME…how do we get back to that?! Ha!)
Supplies: Dear Lizzy phrase tape // Basic Grey Highline papers + letter stickers // Dear Lizzy “Hello” Stamp // Flair Badges // Black pen
For the right page, I created a layout featuring a photo of Briar at six weeks old. I decided that I would not worry about making sure everything is chronologically accurate, so if I skip back or forward a few weeks, that’s a-okay with me. This page incorporated all of my favorite colors and more importantly, my favorite scrapbook paper print of all time…Amy Tangerine’s flower paper! Gah, I just want to wallpaper my life in this pattern. It’s absolutely perfect. I did some fussy-cutting (P.S. I despise that term) to trim the flowers and frame the photo. Additionally, I busted out Kelly Purkey’s wooden alpha stamps and stamped the most fitting title I could think of. I reflect back on those early exhausting weeks and I have to admit….I don’t miss them! I love my ten month old Briar who can eat solid foods and take long naps and entertain herself while I load the dishwasher. It just gets better and better :)
Supplies: BasicGrey Aurora papers // Dear Lizzy heart paper // Amy Tangerine flower paper // Amy Tangerine stickers // Dear Lizzy “XO” stamp // Kelly Purkey Wooden Alpha Stamps // My favorite black ink pad
P.S. Part One and Part Two of Briar’s scrapbook album!
I have been on a serious scrapbooking kick lately and I must admit…I’m super excited about it! I started an album for Briar two weeks ago and am happily filling it up whenever I can find a few hours to sit down and play with paper. These pages were made thanks in part to a long naptime, coffee, and the Kardashians on repeat via Hulu. #essentials
To fill up the backside of the previous layout, I made another page using my favorite colorful sheet from the first Messy Box kit and the photo I carefully selected to announce Briar’s arrival on social media (such a big decision!). For the embellishing, I was so excited when I remembered that I had some of my favorite stamps on hand: Martha Stewart alphas and Kelly Purkey wooden alphas. What is it about stamping a title that feels so satisfying? I also used a handful of Amy Tangerine stickers, gold Thickers, and lots of enamel dots!
As it turns out, I’m really loving the whole “cut photos up and stick them in separate pockets” thing. It’s such a fun way to work a divided page protector! For this page, I kept things simple and used three photos, white watercolor paper, and gold heart Thickers. Holy moly, that middle photo of one day old baby Briar kills me.
These photos of Briar in the hospital tug at my heart…how was she ever so tiny? I’m so grateful that we brought the big camera and our iPhones to document those crazy first few days! For this spread, I chose some of my favorite pictures and cropped them to 3 x 3″ to fill out the center pockets of both pages. I also cut up a sheet of watercolor paper that I had loosely painted with black craft paint and used that to tie the spread together. Super easy!
P.S. The first installment of Briar’s scrapbook!
Recently, I’ve been enjoying a resurgence of creative energy and I can’t even tell you how happy it makes me. Being crafty and using my hands is how I make sense of my world, so I am beyond excited to be back at it again. Yesterday as I was roaming the aisles of Target picking up the essentials (faux-Birks and loose tanks, as one does), I decided to try out a few new paints from Handmade Modern. I had a few crafty projects in mind and I couldn’t wait to get started!
A few years ago, I purchased a handful of these small zippered bags from the dollar section at Target with the intention of using them to hold bridesmaid gifts. But as it turned out, I was never able to collect all six, so those plans were thwarted (sorry b-maids) and they’ve been sitting in my craft stash ever since. However, when armed with new paint and a need to corral Briar’s stuff in my backpack, I was able to turn those bags into something usable!
To paint the bags, I used a mix of small brushes and different patterns. I allowed each side plenty of time to dry before I flipped them over and painted a similar pattern on the back of each respective bag. Super simple.
Let me just say, I’m kind of thrilled that loose + free-form is where the current style trends are pointing to because I have never been one for straight lines. (There’s nothing that kills my creative mojo more than having to use a ruler!) I’ve also been making a concerted effort to just experiment strictly for the sake of experimentation. The more I can play around without any preconceived notions, the more fun it is to craft!
Even Briar wanted to get in on the action, by slyly dipping her hands in my black paint when I looked down for half a second…! Ay yi yi. But I guess it just goes to show that she’s a girl after my own heart ;)
It’s been nine months since Briar was born, which means I only have about four million photos of her sitting on my hard drive. I cringe at the idea of those images living there forever, never to be seen by anyone other than me, so I finally had a bunch of photos printed. It felt so good to hold those pictures in my hands and reflect back on all the precious memories that they hold. It was right then and there that I realized that my Briar Bear deserves her own scrapbook. After all, I documented my pregnancy in scrapbook form…it was only a matter of time until I continued the story! So here’s the first installment of Briar’s scrapbook:
I can’t think of a more perfect overlay for Briar’s scrapbook than the one that came in A Beautiful Mess’ Messy Box kit…I’m obsessed! To add it to my album, I simply punched four holes with a Crop-A-Dile and popped it into place.
For the first page, I kept things pretty simple since I wanted the photos to do most of the talking. I also added in a journaling card with Briar’s stats and a few of my favorite gold papers + embellishments.
Supplies: Dear Lizzy Serendipity Papers // Dear Lizzy Heart Thickers // Amy Tangerine Fabric Stickers // Precision Pen
For this page, I used the backside of the first page protector and broke up the grid by placing a 4 x 6″ photo over four pockets filled with the same sheet of Dear Lizzy ombre paper. I also added a subtle title using Kelly Purkey white letter stickers.
Supplies: Dear Lizzy Serendipity Papers // Dear Lizzy Daydreamer Map Paper // Dear Lizzy Serendipity Sticker Roll // Dear Lizzy Serendipity Puffy Stickers // BasicGrey Flair Badges
For the third page, I decided to make a traditional layout…such a fun change of pace! This photo of John and Briar is one of my very favorites from her first day. She had just been cleaned up in the nursery and brought into our room and John couldn’t take his eyes off of her. Such a magical moment. (P.S. Since the 9 x 12″ page protectors are currently out of stock, I improvised and punched extra holes in an American Crafts 12 x 12″ sleeve and plan on cutting off the extra bit and sewing up the side.)
Supplies: Woodgrain Paper // Messy Box Kit // Dear Lizzy Serendipity Papers // Amy Tangerine Foam Thickers // Precision Pen
I’m excited to continue to work on Briar’s scrapbook each week! I plan on keeping the album as loose and rule-free as possible; if I miss a few things or go out of chronological order, that’s totally fine. I figure, as long as I’m capturing the big picture of her babyhood, then I’m doing my job.
The other day, John was recounting just how upset I was when I first discovered that our Utah apartment did not have a recycling bin on the premises. I had totally forgotten about that! To combat the issue, I kept a huge box of recyclables in our place and then when it was full, I would force John to help me take them to a recycling center a few miles away. It was a major hassle, but it pained me more to throw away anything that I know can be recycled, or even better, upcycled. You can take the girl out of California…
So recently, as I neared the end of a spool of Dear Lizzy baker’s twine, I knew just how to give it new life.
To begin, I pulled the labels off of the baker’s twine spool using an xacto knife.
Next, I took baker’s twine from a different spool and wrapped it all the way around the spool until it was completely covered.
From there, I busted out my Cuttlebug and cut out feathers using a nesting die and a few sheets of Daydreamer paper.
Once I had the feathers cut out, I tied long strands of baker’s twine to each shape.
Finally, I tied each strand to the upcycled ribbon spool and hung it in Briar’s room! Easy to make and easy on the environment.
You guys. The day I have been dreaming of since I first saw two faint lines on a pregnancy test has finally come! (Well, kind of.) Yesterday I introduced Briar to the wonderful world of crafting! Truth be told, she wasn’t as excited about it as I was (CLEARLY), but I intend to slowly wear her down until she becomes my little crafting sidekick. #persistence
A few weeks ago, my good friend Angie posted a photo of her infant daughter “painting” through a Ziploc bag and I knew I wanted to try it out with Briar as well! The supplies are about as basic as they come: cardstock, various craft paints, Ziploc bags, and scissors.
Place a sheet of cardstock in the bag (I folded a sheet in half, like a greeting card) and squeeze in a few drops of paint. Make sure the bag is completely sealed and then let your little one mash it up as much as they want! I used two different shades of yellow and two different shades of pink to build on the visual interest, but I’m pretty sure I was the only one that cared about that (ha!). Briar was far more concerned about trying to pull the red fasteners off of the bags ;)
Once the masterpieces are complete, carefully take them out of the bags and let them dry.
After Briar’s artwork was dry, I cut them in half and taped them up to the wall above her crib for her to admire.
As you can see, she was very proud of herself ;)