Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Rob and Kirsten’s Reception

So last weekend’s reception was so lovely. Really chill and laid back with great food, good friends, delicious cupcakes (that Kirsten made herself) and some fun family pictures. Kirsten and I have known each other since 2003 when we both worked at Page by Paige, a little scrapbooking store in Omak. It means so much to me that she always keeps me in mind when it comes to their family’s picture needs. She had a display board at the reception, and I was “oh I took that picture, and that one and that one. Oh, that one too!” Pretty cool to be a little bit of a part of their family history.

Here is my friend, the beautiful bride. She looks so happy and content.


And here are a couple of the group shots we got. The sun was so gorgeous that afternoon. They're a really fun bunch of people. I just love Connor’s face in the kissing shot. So perfect! And Gabby is growing up so fast. I remember when she was first home from Haiti. Such a lovely family.


Thanks so much to my friends Kirsten and Rob, and congrats to them on their marriage. We had a lovely time, and enjoyed our little weekend trip to Spokane. It was a great feeling to get behind the camera again. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back to it…I’ve missed it so much.

Thanks for taking a peek at my pictures. It really was a celebration! Of life and love and marriage. So glad I got to be a part of it.


Monday, July 30, 2012

SPSD: Clipboard Display

I am excited to bring you another installment of my Stop Pinning // Start Doing project.


This idea has been pinned on my Home Board for well over a year and I knew it was something I wanted to incorporate into my studio/office space.


The clipboards were cheap and easy to find. I got mine at Walmart for about $1.25 each, so I got 4. I played around a bit with where I wanted them and how I wanted to arrange them, but decided to go with a square grid right above my desk workspace. They will be great to hang inspiration, quotes, pictures I love and things as I collect them. I just finished hanging them last week and have added a few things so far. I think they will be constantly changing and growing, and I like that they’re not permanent like a framed piece of art would be.


So far I’ve added a printed copy of the portrait I commissioned of Dani for her blog. Love seeing it while I work. I also added a couple printed quotes, one of our anniversary pictures, some instagram images, a couple great pieces of scrapbook paper and a mini collage I made for my locker sophomore year. It will be fun to collect and add more as the days go by.

I’m so glad that I finished another pinned project for my studio. Its been the main place that I’ve used the ideas I’ve found on Pinterest, but I’m looking forward to completing a few more in other areas of our place. We’ve got a chalkboard wall on the list and some more little customizations to make our house a home. line2

Have you completed a Pinterest project recently?
What is one thing you’ve pinned that you just can’t wait to try?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Featured on the BBN

The Better Blogger Network is an amazing online community for bloggers and by bloggers. Blogging is something that I’m really passionate about and is a big part of my life, and the BBN is a great place to find like-minded people. It is an open and welcoming community where you can find tips and tricks for blog design, creating content, advice on many blogging related topics, and also discussion about life, which fuels all of our blogs, right?

I am so excited to share that I am the featured member this week on their blog and site homepage. Come take a peek at the post.


I shared my favorite things about blogging and my advice for brand new bloggers. I’m really enjoying being a part of this community. Great bloggers sharing and supporting each other. Come check it out!

And if you’re new here visiting from the BBN or elsewhere, WELCOME! Check out my about page to learn more about me and what you’ll find here in my online home. Looking for a blog designer to work with? I do that too! Check out the packages that I have available. And I’d love to hear your thoughts on celebrating the everyday. What does that mean to you? So glad you’ve found your way here. I hope you’ll say hello in the comments and be back to read again.

Have a great weekend everyone!


What does celebrating the everyday mean to you?
What is your favorite thing about blogging?
Are you a part of the Better Blogger Network?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday’s Letters


Dear Dr. Dominguez: You are my new favorite doctor in the whole world, and yeah that might sound a little crazy, but that’s how I feel. You really listened to me and cared about me as a person and made me glad that I went to a specialist. Looking forward to my follow-up with you in 6-8 weeks. Dear Mama Longstreet: Thank you for coming with me to my appointment. I was glad to not be there alone and your support means so much to me. Also, the Costco shopping trip completely saved us this month. You guys are so kind. Dear Hannah: Thank you for always having time to fit me in for my hair cut and color and for your generosity. I love the shape of my hair right now, and Chris keeps complimenting me, so it must be a good style! And I’m really loving my gel nails…we’ll have to do that again too. Dear Dad: Thanks for stopping to visit me yesterday on your way through town. It literally made my day. Dear Alt Classes: I have learned so much from the 3 classes I’ve taken so far, and made some great new connections online. Looking forward to implementing what I’ve learned and growing my blog. Dear Milk of Magnesia: You are the light at the end of the tunnel. I hope this plan of attack works and I’m able to regulate things with my system. This first couple weeks will be a little rough, but hopefully the end result will be me feeling like my old self again. Welcome to my everyday. Dear Second Part-Time Job: I’m excited to be a “girl friday” and learn from one of the smartest women I know. And hopefully take care of some medical bills in the process. Dear Husband: You are so kind to me, and I appreciate the little things you do…like barbequing chicken and rescuing me when I vacuumed sealed shut the salad dressing I was making Wednesday night. You made me feel so loved. This life is better because I share it with you.signature

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hello Thursday

TILTtitleIts another Thursday of another week, but seriously? This has been such a great week! I had my appointment with my GI specialist on Tuesday and I’ve never left a doctor’s appointment feeling so good. I’m sure I’ll talk about this some more, but I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders…just from really understanding what’s going on inside my body. Specialists are awesome!

So yes, great week! And I’m celebrating with coffee, a fresh hair cut and {things I love} Thursday.


>>>> My favorite Instagram images from the past few days. Colors and “girlosophies” making me happy. 1//2//3//4


>>>> Chevron is a trend that I have totally fallen in love with…I love it on clothing, scrapbook paper, accessories and as my blog background! Here are a few things on my wish list that I would love to add to my chevron collection.


1. Black and White Chevron Earrings: $7.00 2. Grey Chevron Long Zipper Pouch: $11.00 3. Chevron Vinyl Laptop Decal: $14.50.

>>>> A tweet led me to this great sketch with Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David driving around in Jerry’s VW Bug and going to get coffee. I love seeing comedians in regular life being funny. Like spit-tea-out-of-your-mouth funny. Yeah, that happens. I’d like to think I’m that funny…maybe just to myself. And my unintentional pause face in this screen capture is pretty killer. Click and enjoy.


>>>> This is a pretty awesome pin-board that I found all about Altoid Tins and their many uses. My favorites: the mini marshmallow roaster and the zen garden.


>>>> I was totally intrigued by this post on the Define blog about shooting an engagement session with a disposable camera. Such pretty and naturally magical images. You should pop over and check them out. They’re done by photographer Kristen Marie.

>>>> I don’t know what my friend Kelly has planned in the way of birth announcements, but these are just adorable. I saw the post here, but you can purchase the custom illustration from artist Denise Hedin in her etsy shop. I wonder if Kelly would let me design hers…that would be fun.


>>>> Three great tutorials for fun short hair styles via ModCloth blog. I can’t wait to give a couple of them a try. I really love my short hair, and its fun finding new things to try with it.

>>>> These painted shelves via DesignLoveFest are pretty awesome. The unique designs painted on them are all hand drawn first. They have a great video about the whole process up on the blog and the finished styling of the shelves is pretty much perfect. I wish I was better at that.


>>>> Post I loved reading recently: A letter to the man who will one day make me an honest woman written by Meg of The Wild and Wiley Ways of a Brunette Bombshell. Killer writing.

>>>> And lastly, the power of spoken-word poetry. I was so moved by this TED Talk by Sarah Kay I had to share it. I emailed it to my mum after I first watched it. I think she is my “Point B.” Enjoy…


What do you {love} this week?
Do you have chevron on your wish list?
Have you ever tried spoken-word poetry?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

52weeks: a look back

For the year of 2010 I embarked on a journey of self-discovery through poetry and photography in the form a 52weeks project. I took a self-portrait and wrote a poem for every week of the whole year. It is one of the things I am most proud of in my life and I cherish the pictures, the words I wrote and the book I made from my completed project.

Sabrina Ward Harrison said “We must create what we most need to find.” And that year, what I most needed to find was me. That is what prompted my project. I turned the camera on myself in hopes of discovering my true nature, the things that made my heart sing and how I would cope with what life threw my way. In between all those things I found beauty, honesty and truth. I found my voice.

Even now two years later I know that this is the greatest gift I could ever give. And not just to myself, but to all who take the time to read my words and see my pictures. It is a gift to my husband. A gift to my mother. A gift to my friends; the ones who really know me and the ones I’ve just made. A gift to those I’ve formed a bond with in the wonderful online creative world. A gift to those who love poetry and those who enjoy portraits. A gift to those who need some inspiration or just the knowledge that someone out there feels the same way they do. A gift to those starting out on, or knee deep in their own journey.

And I want to share again. I want to go back through each week remember how it felt to be that Shaina and write a bit about how I’ve changed, or what I’ve learned since then, or even how I’m maybe just the same. This is a part of why I’ve always been a writer…to look back and reflect on the story of  everyday life and celebrate what it has become. To appreciate where you are you need to honor where you’ve been.

So look for a weekly post with a picture and a poem. Perhaps you’ll find a little bit of yourself in these posts…may it be a little part of your own journey.


stunted by my own creativity
i cling to concept
rather than reality
i am aware of the greatness of my dreams
but frozen by their power
today i bravely move forward...
to dig deep
deeper than ever before
to learn of light & shadow
to capture & portray
self & other selves
& then it all~
preserved in 4x6


I have always loved photography and knew that it would play a big roll in my life from a young age. Its what I’ve always wanted to do, and 2010 was a HUGE year for me learning my craft and really developing my style. I used my project to practice because I was always available to be a subject. I got a new camera and my very first glass, a 50mm lens that year. Still my favorite lens to use. Its kind of crazy cool how things started off so small, but I had big dreams for sure. Since then I’ve watched those dreams change and morph into a full creative business including photography and design and even just blogging itself really. Since I’ve been sick I haven’t taken on many photography clients, but I’m never without my camera.

I no longer preserve everything in 4x6 really…lately its in 600 pixels wide. But from that moment back at the beginning of 2010 I feel like I’m now able to harness the power of my dreams and create and make and write things I’m really proud of.

I’m glad that Shaina believed in herself and started the process. Started the journey. Even though I still struggle with feeling worthy of living my dreams, I love where those dreams lead me to today.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Everyday Products

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this concept I’ve come to cherish: celebrating the everyday. I want this online home of mine to be a place to find inspiration and real life ways to do just that. And by creating and curating content to that effect, I myself am inspired to look at my life in a different way…coming from a place of gratitude.

I’ve slowed down. To stop and look and see.

And share.

I have many little things, including products and brands that have become a part of my everyday routine. So I took a little walk around my home thinking about these things and taking pictures to really see my everyday. Today I’m sharing a couple of my favorites products that I use almost daily.


Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo: $2.79 Spornette Little Wonder Teasing Brush: $4.70.

If I’m not having a shower, I am using my dry shampoo. And the cheap Suave brand is my go-to. I love how it smells, kind of fruity, and it does the trick for me getting rid of the grease, especially around my hairline. And then I use my teasing brush to get volume on the crown of my head and make my bangs do what I want them to do when I’m not blow drying them. And I’ll admit it, I wanted this brush because it had pink bristles! But it works really good and I feel like I have more control than I would just using a comb.

I’m not really one to spend big money on beauty products. My cousin (and hair stylist) Hannah just cringes when I tell her I use Suave shampoo and conditioner too! Gasp! But I like cheap, and it works good for me. So my little “Everyday Products” features won’t really be expensive products or anything. Just the little things I go back to again and again and love to use. Perhaps you’ll find something new to try with these posts. Or maybe they’ll inspire you to stop and look at what you use, and think about why you like it and how it makes your life better, or smell better, or feel better.

Here’s to loving the lives we have and celebrating each day!

What is a hair product you buy again and again?
Have you tried dry shampoo yet?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Around Here:

On my reading pile: I am finishing up “This I Know” by Susannah Conway. It is a gem. I start each new chapter thinking “she can’t possible touch my heart more than she did in the last chapter.” But each time I am wrong. Her writing is so pure and she writes as if to a friend. I feel like her friend, and I am enjoying her spirit and her wisdom. Can’t wait to finish this book and do a little book review post.

On my TV: NOTHING! lol. We have our DirecTv service off for awhile. We decided to do a 6-month shut-off, and we’re rather loving it. Lots of time for other better things. We do catch a couple shows sometimes on HULU. We’ve been watching the episodes of So You Think You Can Dance as they come through. Love that show.

On the menu this week: We’re planning on trying a couple new Pinterest recipes this week. Like this teriyaki sauce recipe and a fried egg breakfast pizza. We tried these slow cooker Chicken Caesar Sandwiches last week and they were really yummy. I want to try making them with my mum’s Caesar salad dressing.

On my to-do list: Today I start a brand new little part-time job for my days off from my other part-time job. So Mondays and Tuesdays will find me a “personal assistant” to one of the smartest ladies I know. I hope to learn a lot and help to “make her life easier,” which is how she described what I’ll be doing. I also have my appointment with the gastroenterologist tomorrow, and I’m taking my mother-in-law with me. She has lived with these types of problems her whole life, so I know she will help me ask the right questions and hopefully get some clearer answers.

What I’m creating: Right now I’m working on finishing a blog design for a repeat customer inspired by vintage sports memorabilia with fun colors and fonts. Beginning a couple new ones also. Another previous customer is having me create a blog for her classroom. She is a teacher and will be using the space to keep in touch with her students and parents throughout the year. I think that such a cool idea and I’m excited to begin the process with her.

Tips & Tricks: A new money-saving tip from Miss Darlingheart :round your paycheck to the nearest hundred and save the difference. So if you have a $340 paycheck save the $40. I think it would be fun to wait and see how much from each check you’ll end up saving. Gonna start doing this with our checks this month.

Looking around my house: I got up early enough this morning that the coffee was still warm from when Chris made it. Score! I look around my house at the remnants of a weekend away and bags still to be unpacked I’m grateful that we took the trip even though the drive was hard on me and I was sick. We so needed a little road trip together and some time away from our regular everyday. It was so good. We had a lovely time.

From the camera: Here are a couple Instagram shots from our drive home last night. I loved the sunset and all the different scenery between Spokane and home.


Happy Monday friends! May the sun rise and warm your face and find you celebrating today for all that it holds.

New list post idea from Elise Martinez. Thanks girl!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Taking pictures again

Today I am headed to the city for my friend Kirsten’s wedding reception. Her and her now husband Rob got married in Cabo San Lucas on June 12 and are having a large reception for friends and family that weren’t able to join them on their wedding day. We were excited to go and be a part of the celebration but just a few days ago Kirsten asked me if I would be willing to take some pictures of them and their family at the reception. I am so honored that she always thinks of me when it comes to photography and her family. I photographed them as a family a couple years ago and last year did their engagement photos too. I’m so happy to continue the tradition and take pictures today too.


So I’ve been pinning ideas for posing and getting excited to be behind the camera again. Its been months since I’ve taken pictures of anything other than our daily life. Hopefully my body will manage the trip okay and I’ll be feeling good and able to do a great job for my friends. I’m so honored that they thought of me and asked.

Have any tips for working with large family groups?
What is one “must-have” wedding reception picture?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Coffee Date Friday

Alissa from Rags to Stitches has been doing Friday Coffee Dates for awhile and recently started making them vlogs. I love the idea of seeing someone and hearing their voice and really getting to know the person behind the blog better this way. So I thought I would link up this week and decided to film my very first vlog!!

Join me for coffee and hear 5 things you may not know about me.

So, thoughts on my very first vlog: I couldn’t stop smiling through the whole thing cuz it felt strange just talking to the computer. I wish the quality was better, but I’m assuming that’s just my webcam. Tips and tricks on that would be much appreciated. Did you get the Gilly reference? After I was finished I was kind of pleasantly excited to post and share. Maybe vlogging will appear some more here in this space. 

So how was your week?
If we were having coffee together what would you share with me?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My Sleep Talking Husband

Chris is able to fall asleep soooo fast it drives me crazy, but real gems happen when his mouth is still working after he’s entered dream world. The things that he comes up with sometimes just kill me! I usually share on Facebook so others can have a laugh too, but Chris thought it would be fun to share on the blog. I loved that idea!


Here are three of my favorites:

“Muppets can’t drool, they’ve got no saliva.”

“Cowboys don’t need power tools.”

“Picasso is a douche bag…asymmetry is for pansies.”

I really have to start remembering to write them down more often. The best times are when he responds to the questions I ask him in his sleep. We’ve had full conversations before that just keep getting funnier and funnier.

Laughter is good for my soul…I’m so glad this husband of mine can make me laugh…fully conscious or not! Hehe!

Have you ever read The Sleep Talking Man blog? His wife records what he says to share, which I think is brilliant. He’s a bit of potty mouth sometimes, but so many good one-liners.

Do any of your loved ones talk in their sleep?
Do you write down the funny things they say?
Please share some!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Me, Myself and I

There is a new link-up party in town! Once a month 5 new questions will be asked on the theme “me, myself and I” and my friend Kristen is one of the co-hosts. I knew I wanted to do a post for this when I first saw it, but as I’ve been reading other people’s answers to these questions I knew I just had to participate. The answers I’ve been seeing are so great, and you really learn a ton about the person behind the blog.

So here are my answers for this inaugural link-up party:

1. What is your biggest phobia?
Okay, so a “phobia” is an irrational fear, right? I really don’t think I have a phobia. I don’t like spiders or mice, but I’m not really irrationally afraid of them… But something that I do fear (just regular fear), and its just a recent thing of course, is that being sick will keep me from living the life I want to have. I fear that life won’t be the same. I obviously have a hard time with change…

2. If you could relive any day of your life, what would it be and why?
My first instinct was to say my wedding day. But then I thought about it, and it really is the perfect memory. I wouldn’t want to relive again, maybe things would change, or my perception of them would change. I want to keep the memory of that day sacred in my mind. But if I could relive a day, I would pick the day my best friend Kelly had her baby and I would make it so I could be there with her.

3. If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?
I would want to stay 24. It was just last year, but so many good things happened. We had just bought our house, we were really hitting our stride as a married couple and I wasn’t sick. Chris hadn’t gotten in his accident yet, I hadn’t lost my Grandmother yet, I was pioneering.  Yeah, 24 was a pretty great year.

4. Which celebrity do you get mistaken for?
I’ve never been “mistaken for” a celebrity before, but I’ve had a few people say I look like Drew Barrymore. There was a thing on Facebook a couple years ago where people put their celebrity doppelganger as their profile picture. This is what I put up as mine:


5. What songs are included in the soundtrack of your life?
1996: “Right Here Waiting” by Richard Marx, 1997: “Barbie Girl” by Aqua, 1998: “Together Again” by Janet and “Crush” by Jennifer Paige, 1999: “Learn to Fly” by the Foo Fighters, 2000: “Affirmation” by Savage Garden, “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls from 2006 when Chris and I met. And I’m going to stop there for now, cuz this is turning into a great idea for a post all by itself! I’m loving traveling through time with music. Bringing back a lot of great memories.

Great questions! I think this will be fun to participate in every month. Now I’m off to link up, and go explore some new blogs and learn a bit more about the people behind the blogs I love.

Have a great Tuesday!! SHE

Monday, July 16, 2012

dirty feet. wide open mind

My far-away friend Dani is one of the very first people I connected with in this big wide world of blogging, and we’ve stayed close through the years. We’d tossed around the idea of working together on designing her blog in the past, but something clicked this time. My design skill level has increased and I could create what she was looking for. This is my first time using an image map as a header. Totally loved figuring that out!

Dani wanted her blog to just be the header and the main post column, kind of like how most photographers have their blogs. I thought that was perfect and unique like her and was excited to work within those parameters.

Here is her completed header. I am so proud of the finished product! Click through to see the complete design live on her blog.


Whenever I am working on designing blogs I usually have this “aha” moment where everything comes together…the colors, the concept, the elements themselves…and once it clicks I just go! My “aha” moment for this project came when I was reading blogs and saw Hey Miss Indie’s sponsor giveaway post. One of her sponsors, The Joyful Fox was giving away a line portrait, and as soon as I saw it I just knew that’s what I needed for Dani. So I contacted the blogger, Laura for more information. Turns out, it is her boyfriend Chris Conlon (from Grand Rapids, MI) who is the artist behind the portraits. He was quick to respond and send me some more samples of his work to see if it was exactly what I was looking for. I must admit, I was smitten with his art.

Check out his line portraits and his painted circle portraits. Crazy good, right?! I know!

So I commissioned him to do a line portrait of Dani from one of my favorite pictures of her, and I am beyond pleased with how it turned out. His turn-around time blew me away, and I will be working with him again in the future for sure!


It was just what her header needed, and the thing that brought the whole design together. I just adore it and will probably hang it in my office. Thanks so much Chris for creating this for us! (You can contact Chris directly at blindfoxart@gmail.com if you’re interested in working with him.)

I was able to be on the phone with Dani when she saw the completed design for the first time, and her response just brightened my whole day…okay, probably my whole month. She really loves it just as much as I do. Thanks so much Dani for letting me create this for you! 

This was a really fun project to work on, and I learned a lot in the process. Thanks for sharing in the joy of a completed design with me. I’m celebrating!

Are you looking for a new header to freshen up your blog?
Or maybe its time for a brand new look?
Check out my design page for more details.
I’d love to work with you next!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Guest Blogging

I am so pleased to share a guest post with you that I did for Zie of Darling Dear. It was so nice to go over my 5 ways to celebrate the everyday again. I needed the reminders…to be present in each moment and use little things to celebrate.

I'd love it if you’d pop over, check out Zie’s cute blog and maybe find yourself a little tip to incorporate into your everyday to help you celebrate.


Thanks for having me Zie!

I hope you all had a great weekend. My weekend was full of thunder and lightning storms, the Russian language (I’m slowly but surely getting better at reading Russian!), free movie rentals, deep cleaning the shop where I work, an unsuccessful shopping trip and loosing money from pockets. And I work every day this next week, so my schedule is a little bit different...I have a feeling this is going to be a long week.  But I’m working on two new blog designs that I can’t wait to share! And then on Saturday I’m taking pictures at a wedding reception for some friends of mine, which I’m really looking forward to. Lets make this a great week, k?  Deal!

What was the highlight of your weekend?
Have you had any crazy summer storms where you live?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Its Thursday again

TILTtitleAnd I’m excited to share some great things I’ve found online in the last 2 weeks. My TILT bookmark’s folder just keeps growing and growing. Lots of great content these last two weeks, some fun new music, some helpful tutorials and some sweet pictures. Welcome Thursday!!


>>>> 4 of my favorite instagram images this last week. Scrip writing and photostrips have my heart. 1//2//3//4


>>>> Thanks to these two tweets and these two ladies I have discovered Branches music. I’ve got all their music streaming from their bandcamp site and love their voices, harmonies and eclectic music mixes. Still haven’t picked a favorite song yet… You should listen and tell me which one you like the best.


>>>> Shane of Whispering Sweet Nothings did a post last week about blogging faux pas and the Ten Commandments of Blogging. I especially love #3: Thou shall put careful thought and consideration into your comments. Its something everyone appreciates and should be best practice for giving and receiving comments.

>>>> This post by Jen of Punky and the City really struck a cord with me. As bloggers we record life so we shouldn’t feel guilty when we’re out living instead of inside blogging. Be inspired by life. Be grateful. Truth! Great post.

>>>> Found this clothing company called Idyllec through a giveaway on Story of My Life blog and I just love them. My favorite is the painted bird shirt.


>>>> Friendship shapes us into who we are. Post via The Conversation blog.

>>>> I attended my very first BlogBrunch this last Saturday and I was so inspired by it! It is a live conversation on twitter where bloggers from all over tweet in response to pre-posted questions. The most recent one was all about content with the theme “The Power of the Post". Lots of great ideas shared regarding developing series ideas and overcoming creative blocks. I made so many new blogging friends and after the hour was over felt a renewed spark for blogging once again. Come join us next month!


>>>> I am loving all the Adobe Photoshop Elements tutorials showing up in blogland. Elsie and Emma of A Beautiful Mess are Ambassadors for company currently and their most recent tutorial was like a huge “aha!” moment for me. Come check out this super easy way to create vibrant colors in your images. I have a feeling I’ll be using this a ton!



Have you found any great tutorials online lately?
Have any new music to share with me this week?
What do you {love} today?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Alt + Bing = free learning

The last couple years I’ve been watching online as many of my favorite bloggers attend the Alt Design Summit. Its an event for bloggers of all types to gather together, share ideas, take classes, and grow their blog and network…to make their blog better and to be better bloggers. I think I just used the word blog like 27 times. (hehe)

Anyway…the next one is scheduled for January 2013, but this summer Alt is offering a ton of blogging classes online. And partnering up with Bing’s Summer Of Doing to offer a couple for free! How neat is that?!


There are so many great classes, but the ones I’m hoping to take are:

Totally things that will help me in my own blogging and in moving forward with designing for other bloggers. I’m really excited.

Want to learn how to qualify for the free classes? More information on the Alt Blog and see all the classes available here. I love Bing’s Summer Of Doing concept as a way to celebrate the summertime. There is a daily search word to inspire more doing, and I love that they’ve gotten bloggers involved. We “do” and then we blog! Pretty perfect match. #thanksbing

Yay for summertime and free learning!

What classes would you sign up for?
Have you ever been to Alt?

Scrapbooking Inspiration

Back when I first started this blog I was a serious scrapbooker, and a lot of what I blogged about was the pages I created for various challenge sites, design teams, etc. I also worked a two different scrapbooking stores since I started this blog. Loved that!! And I had a blast serving on the Scrapbooking from the Inside Out design team for the second half of 2010. I made some of my favorite pages those months. Inside Out’s concept is still dear to my heart: scrapbooking about yourself with a kit created around a theme or emotion each month. If you like to scrapbook, you should check them out. This month is all about communication. Cool, right?

So today, while reminiscing about my scrapbooking days cuz its been so long since I created a page, I thought I might put together a couple of my favorite techniques to use on my pages, just as inspiration… for me to pull out some pictures and paper and start creating again, and for you too. Smile 


Here are 3 of my go-to things I like to use on my scrapbook pages and I’ve used 3 layouts from my Inside Out days as demonstration. First up is a page I created from the “Acceptance” kit.


This kit came with this amazing hexagon die cut paper that had a really cool pattern on the other side. But to me it screamed out “turn me over and cut me into flowers!” So I did!  I always tray to do something a little unexpected if I have a neat or different paper. I like to play with mixing patterns too…usually ones that others would be scared to pair together. I like to think that’s something I’m really good at.

The next page was created using the “Purpose” kit. I pulled this one out of the box and just fell in love with the colors. They were very Shaina!


The kit came with these neat corrugated cardboard arrows to really emphasize the theme that month. Purpose = directionality. So I used them to add visual interest while leading the viewers’ eye through the page from the journaling to the pictures to the quote. It’s a photography trick of leading lines that I find myself using quite often in my scrapbooking too.

This next page was also from the “Purpose” kit, but using lots of layers of vintage ephemera and my last favorite technique (which is actually something I used on all 3 of the pages I shared!).


I do this sooo often, and its probably my favorite way to add journaling to my layouts. Sometimes I computer generate and print off my words, but other times I’ll cut the paper strips and add my own handwriting. You know how much I’m a sucker for handwriting!!

Now that I have my office all set up and organized I hope to start scrapbooking regularly again. I’ve missed it a lot. But going through my archives to find layouts to share for the blog post has really inspired and motivated me again. Perhaps I’ll have some new pages to share soon.

Are you a scrapbooker?
Have you used any of these techniques on your pages?
What is one of your go-to techniques?