Sunday, May 31, 2009

Club Baby Daydream 01 Layout

I'm excited about teaching workshops and clubs.

I opted for Club Baby first because I’m so far behind in making scrapbooks for my grandchildren that I’m almost embarrassed to go visit (I said ALMOST) . . . So, I hope to create some inspiring samples of this project and, when we do the workshops, make a set for my daughter-in-law.

I was surprised by how long it took me to build these two pages. Of course, I had to restamp my dots four times to get it right (I kept putting the 4”x12” strip in the wrong place, only to discover it after I had put something else on top). I do believe that my second time around will go significantly faster.

I am generally pleased with the layout and, now that I have an idea of what I’m doing, am confident that my second time around will go much faster. The blessing is that you have a choice: blue backgrounds for boys, pink for girls, or any combination thereof. The Daydream Level 2 Paper Pack accommodates both.
I used a two-page spread layout in Jeanette Lynton’s Cherish Scrapbook Layouts, pages 16 and 17 as a pattern. This particular version is unfinished since I plan to add an “n” and “c” to the left-hand-page monogram.

I random-stamped the polka-dots using a combination of first and second generation stamps on White Daisy cardstock. All the journaling is by hand, though I plan to revisit the revisit the text on vellum.

The horses on top of page 2 are NOT CTMH – but they were stylized enough to coordinate with the pattern on Brayden’s blue jeans; so I opted for design loyalty rather than brand loyalty. I stamped them on CTMH Colonial White cardstock scrap I had and used watercolor pencils and blending pen to lay in additional color. I used CTMH Exclusive Inks Cocoa to stamp the horse.

The Lilac Blue and striped patterns are from CTMH’s Daydream B&T Level Two package.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Precious Memories

Twelve years ago, while I was working as a reporter and assistant editor at a local newspaper, I had the rare privilege of interacting with a family who was enduring the greatest tragedy any parent can imagine -- the loss of a child. I helped chronicle the last days of his life as he endured the pain and mind-numbing fatigue of fighting to live in a body that is rapidly shutting down.

Suffering from a brain tumor, the young boy was semi-comatose most of the time I was around him. I'm sure that I was little more than a blur much like a colorful butterfly just beyond your peripheral vision. You might be aware it's there, only if you turn your head a certain way.

Regardless of his awareness level, he certainly enhanced mine. I have often shared parts of his story on short-term missions trips and in various churches and organizations along the eastern seaboard.

Back in late February or early March, I had an occasion to visit one of my doctors. I hadn't been in his office for a number of years, so I was not surprised to see that he had different staff. Shortly after I signed in, the office manager came around the partition and sat beside me. I looked up from my book.

"You don't remember me, do you?"

She had a familiar look about her, but I didn't recognize her immediately.

"You did some stories about my little boy . . ."

"Justin," I replied softly, before she she could finish the sentence.

She nodded her head, a common bond established.

Subsequent visits led to shared memories and her now-grown sons being surprised not only that his mother met me, but that I remembered them after so long. But how can you forget a life-changing experience?

At the end of our reacquaintance, I told her that I was planning on scrapbooking her son's challenge. I promised that I would do pages for her as well. I planned to bring them to her by my next visit.

That was before I became a Close To My Heart consultant.

Imagine my surprise when the few days since my last visit transformed into 90! Here I was, on the eve of my doctor's appointment, with not one bit of my promise even started. I quickly assembled five pages, embellishing here and there, knowing that it wasn't what I wanted but that it would have to do. A promise is, after all, a promise. The next morning, I gave her the pages in a scrapbook.

"I wanted to do more with it than I did," I said, apologizing for its simplicity. The 12-year-old newsprint showed signs of creasing as bittersweet memories returned.

"After all this time, I haven't been able to do this," she said softly, obviously touched by the gesture. "Now I can show my grandson the stories about his uncle who died the day he was born."

As dissastisfied as I was with the effort, I appreciate the anointing of it all. It's less about the glitz or the bling or the layers and more about the sharing, the caring and the love. Even the bittersweet memories must be shared.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pet Pages

I finished my 2-page pet pages spread using CTMH products last night. Though I hadn't planned on it, I this turned out to be another "Tickled Pink" project since we opted to use papers from that kit.
The first page features Tally and Bo. The letters "we love" are 2 1/2" high using the Making Memories Slice, "Teen Just Chillin' " alphabet fonts. I used a Crystal Blue textured cardstock, which the slice had some difficulting cutting all the way through, so I had to spend some extra time getting them out. The photo tag was topped with a CTMH White Daisy Organdy Ribbon, 1/4" wide. I also embellished with a doggie bone tag from my stash. Since I planned on a large journaling tag on the other side, I opted to use numbered photos to help identify which picture I was talking about. The bottom half of the page is free-stamped dots in Exclulsive Inks Crystal Blue, Blush and Leaf Green. I used Hollyhock to stamp the photo numbers. I used Crystal Blue cardstock and the Tickled Pink glitter striped paper from the set. The strip between the top and bottom pieces, the tags and photo frames are white textured cardstock which I "pounced" with Exclusive Inks leaf green. I created "tag toppers" with the striped and crystal blue scraps.

I decided to use the layout guide from CTMH's Reflections Scrapbook Program by Jeanette R. Lynton. This is the "Triple Play -- Tagline 7b" which is on page 95. Since my daughter-in-law was cropping with me and has more pets than we do, I decided that a two-page spread would afford us more room to journal and capture our memories. So, we mirrored the first page to create the second. That also meant that we could use the remaining background papers. I showcased our kitten, Daisy, and our daughter's dog, Saddie (a.k.a Sadie or Sadie Lou). I made a few errors in my journaling which I tried to correct. If I find the time, I may try to recreate the tag and redo it, but I doubt that will happen anytime soon.

I am using these projects as a foundation for a "pet pages" day-long workshop I plan to offer locally in the near future.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Getting Started

Yesterday afternoon my daughter-in-law, Maddy, came by and we scrapped together for about two hours. She's helping me develop a Pet Pages workshop using Close To My Heart products. (I would love to see you visit my website at

Maddy and I share many of the same interests, so it's quite convenient that she and my son moved next door. Since Maddy is relatively new to scrapbooking, our first big decision was big or little? Maddy found the 12"x12" scrapbooking page rather intimidating, fearful that she couldn't fill it up. I understood since I felt the same way when I stepped back into the genre several years ago. But we opted for the larger size to accommodate our design and technique.

Though I had hoped to finish the two-page spread before the evening was out, I discovered that I was sorely lacking a photo of my pets together. So, I grabbed my digital camera and stepped over the dogs who immediately jumped up, obviously hoping that we were going downstairs to get them treats, which they view as my sole purpose in life.
We went into the hallway where they started milling and waiting, waiting and milling, but they wouldn't remain in close enough proximity to get a good shot.

Finally, I issued the command . . . "sit!"

They looked up at my as if they were thinking, "What, are you crazy?"

"Sit!" I commanded once again. Tally was the first to sit; Bo reluctantly complied.

I positioned my camera and took the shot, but its slight delay caught Bo looking away. He was obviously tired of this nonsense, so he stood and walked into my husband's office.

Since Bo-dog was walking, Tally figured she was released as well. But I wasn't looking for a picture of their tales, so I once again commanded, "Sit!"

They turned and looked at me like I was an idiot. Their expressions revealed their transparent thoughts: "What are you saying? I don't see any treat in your hand!"

"Sit!" I commanded, one more time. Surprised, they turned around and sat in unison. This time my camera cooperated. I got a picture of the best buds together, looking at me as sweetly as I could hope. . . well, maybe Bo-Bo (the black and white dog in the front) wasn't quite as happy as Talley, but he complied.

"Do you want a treat?"

Their ears popped up, then they rushed past me to scrabble down the stairs while I remained in the hallway most certainly left behind.

I'll be posting their completed pages sometime this evening. Have a blessed day.

Diane Cook

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."

~ Anatole F