Happy 5th Birthday Owen!!

Today is our son's birthday and we decided to buy him his own Nintendo DSi. I really struggled with the decision of whether to spend this kind of money on a child. Honestly, it goes against the grain of what I feel comfortable with. My husband loves to buy the kids whatever they want for special occasions, which I do too, but I have a hard time stomaching spending that much on a 5 year old. I'm not sure that he will take proper care of it so that is mostly where my issue lies. David is not going to be the one who will always have to be like "Owen put your DS away, Owen don't put it there it will get ruined, Owen move your DS it's going to fall" That will be my job. Anyway, watching him open the present was quite a joy. Don't get to see smiles that big very often. I wanted to share some pictures right away.

So, the jury is out on whether this was a good present for a 5 year old or not. This is yet to be determined.


i dare you not to fall in love with this song. double dog dare you.

I'm in love with it. Gorgeous. I know she's weird at first, she's hard to take for a lot of people. If you look past the artistic(? questionable for some) "look", this woman has talent. The kind that comes from a passion for her art. It can't be faked. The real deal. If you look past the exterior, she has an inspiring dedication to what she does.

Here are some quotes from an interview By , About.com Guide::

About having the opportunity to write for the Pussy Cat Dolls:
"There's something that's very humbling about being able to write for a powerhouse group like that. Probably the biggest influence that they've had on me is making me want to be a better writer for them."

About working with Akon:
"So it's been an incredible influence. It's like every time you work with somebody that's better that you are, you become greater."

About working with RedOne(a producer):
"I met him and he completely, one hundred and fifty thousand percent wrapped his arms around my talent, and it was like we needed to work together. He has been a pioneer for the House of Gaga and his influence on me has been tremendous. I really couldn't have done it without him. He taught me in this own way – even though he's not a writer, he's a producer – he taught me how to be a better writer, because I started to think about melodies in a different way."

On filming the video for "Just Dance":
"Oh it was so fun, it was amazing. For me it was like being on a Martin Scorsese set. I've been so low budget for so long, and to have this incredibly amazing video was really very humbling. It was really fun, but you'll see if you ever come to a video shoot of mine one day – I'm very private about those things, I don't really talk to everybody. I'm not like the party girl running around. I might even seem to be a bit of a diva. I'm sort of with myself, in my work head space worrying about costumes, and if extras look right, and placement. I don't just show up for things, you know."

On explaining something she'd been quoted on, 'I make music for the dress.'
"I mean, I don't write records and then decide what the video will look like. I instantaneously write things at the same time so it's a complete vision, the song and the visual, the way that I would perform it on the stage. It's something that all comes to me at once. So when I say I make the music for the dress, the dress is a bit of a metaphor for 'I make the music for everything,' for the entire performance vision. "

On attending high school with the Hilton sisters and whether it had an affect on her:
"They're very pretty, and very clean. Very, very clean. You know, I never saw Paris, she was older than me, and it's funny that the press always write that I went to school with the Hilton sisters, but I actually only went with Nicky. Paris, I believe, left and went to Dwight. But, you know, it's impressive to be that perfect all the time, these girls. I was always a weird girl in school, who did theatre and came to school with lots of red lipstick on or my hair perfectly curled, or whatever I was doing to get attention. It's funny as it's almost like they were there to make me aware, because so much of what I do now is that I try to twist my world into the commercial community. So I guess they've been quite an influence on me. Not them in particular, but the idea of the self-proclaimed artist."

Just wanted to share because I respect her artistically, you know?

Have a great weekend!



December Daily Day 1/2

Last night I got two days prepared for my December Daily album.

Here they are:

I gessoed the whole background of the two pages and then I plyed around with paint. I painted red acrylic paint bordering both of the pages. While still wet and adding some water, I added a little bit of black paint around the edge to make it look more distressed. I ripped some of the paper when it was damp in the upper right corner. Something got stuck to it and then it tore the upper layer off. I love the texture that it gives the page, so I will probably be doing that on purpose from now on. Then I mixed some green and gold paint and dipped a piec of embroidery floss in it and dragged it around the page wherever you see green. I then painted the central part of each page with a gold acrylic paint. Then I painted the edges white to brighten it all up just a little bit.

Close up of glass flat backed marble (the kind you find in vases):

I cut around the marble until it fit into the page flush with the surface so that my book will close properly. Plus then you can enjoy it on many pages. I backed the marble with a little piece of graphic 45 paper, Child's play, Playtimes Past collection.

Close up of flower:

The little girl and boy faces were cut from the same G45 paper and outlined with stickles. The flower center was made from the pieces that I cut out of the book for the marble enclosure. This was another happy accident/experiment. I glued a few of the circles together, then I put a couple of rhinestones in the middle. Then I decided that I wanted a black edge so I decided to heat emboss it, so I did. Whist setting it with my heat gun, I noticed some bubbling in the rhinestones, so I thought to myself, wouldn't it be cool if I could melt the rhinestones. So I tried to/did, also resulting in a beautiful burnt paper look (and a very annoyed, paranoid husband, who hates my experimenting on the best of days, whom I woke up when the fire alarm sounded, no joke). This I will definitely be doing again, but next time I will disable the alarm first or do it under the hood fan. Please, if you are going to try this, take proper precautions and don't do it with my endorsement. I am not recommending anyone trying this.

Well that's it for now. Have a great day!



December Daily Numbers Cut Project

I haven't added anything new to my Etsy shop in donkey's years but I just added something that I think might be of interest to some people. Earlier this week I showed you my progress so far with my December Daily album. Some people were asking me if I could make the numbers available as a project. So I have them available in my shop now. For $4, you get an actual "project file" in .scut format, which you can just open up in Sure Cuts A Lot and hit cut, easy peasy. I also included the .svg files for the shapes that are in the kit, which means that you can use those shapes for whatever you would like, again and again and again, the size limited only by your machine. The shapes are great as journaling spots or as a mat for title work, etc. etc. You can check out the listing HERE.


Mojo MIA? Four Alternative Sources for Inspiration

I wanted to share my article I wrote for this month's ScrapMuse Newsletter here so here it is:

For this article, I thought that rather than share the obvious scrapbooking sources that we are all used to going to, i.e. The challenge sites, the sketch sites, perusing galleries, checking scrapbooking magazines etc., I would share with you some of the “alternative” sources that I go to when my mojo needs resuscitation.
Here are my top 4 “Alternative” Sources for Inspiration:

#1 Kuler

Kuler is a free web-based application by Adobe (http://kuler.adobe.com) that allows you to explore and create different colour schemes that can be used for any project. Any of these color “schemes” can be downloaded as well which can serve a multitude of purposes including loading them into your working color palette in Photoshop.

My favourite feature about Kuler is that you can upload your own photos and Kuler will pull colour schemes from it based on basic colour theories. Again, these “schemes” can be downloaded as swatches.

Think of the possibilities in terms of inspiration. The use of color on your layouts makes all of the difference. You can even just browse their community gallery of swatches to find unique and unexpected color combinations that you might just love.

#2 Home and Decorating Magazines

My personal favourite magazine to look through when I am in need of scrap-spiration is, believe it or not a home improvement magazine, called do it Yourself ™. I find the colors used in projects in this magazine divine. Not only that, but so many of the spreads in this magazine help inspire me with print and graphics combinations and layout design, or even ideas for unique embellishments. They also have a great blog that I like to visit as well http://www.diyideas.com/blogs/teamdiyblog/.

#3 Fashion Anything

Looking at anything to do with fashion can also be ultra inspiring as well and might just be the thing that kicks your mojo back into action; might help you dress better too(not for me L). Fashion can inspire for the same reasons as the first two sources, but for a couple of others as well. I find inspiration in the textures that you see in the variety of textiles that are used as well as the combination of textures. The other major thing that I find particularly inspiring about fashion is the way things are put together can often be replicated with paper. For example the way something is pleated, ruffled, draped or stitched, for example, can be transferred to paper. My favourite source for fashion inspiration is a site called Polyvore (http://www.polyvore.com/), where you can browse, shop and create looks created by a global community of stylists and want-to-be stylists. It is very cool and so much fun to create your own sets.

#4 Etsy

Another place that I frequent when I am fresh out of ideas is Etsy (http://www.etsy.com/). Because there are so many categories on Etsy that I would find inspiration from, my favourite way to browse Etsy for inspiration is to use their “pouncing feature”. You can have this pounce feature randomly select from shops that are undiscovered (haven’t made a sale yet) and from shops that have just made a sale. Each time you hit the pounce button, three shops come up with several of their items on display. I find that this is a great way to see a good variety of the kinds of things that are out there.

Here are some of my favourites that I found with the pounce feature. Ideas that can easily be crossed over to scrapbooking, again through colours, textures, embellishment ideas, design ideas etc.

So, why don’t you try stepping outside of your inspiration box and try out some of these or other sources for inspiration when your creativity needs some revitalizing? If you have any neat ideas for places to get inspiration that aren’t mentioned here, please share them with us in the ScrapMuse forums.