Thursday, September 15, 2011


It's our Anniversary!  We have spent six full years working together to inspire readers all over the world and we have loved every minute.  A few months ago, as I was doing some archiving, I counted up the number of published pretties in our storage.  At that point, we had published more than 10,000 gorgeous scrappy creations.


What an honor it is to be able to share our love of scrapbooking with others who share in the excitement that comes from snapping the perfect shot or finding an alphabet you adore or buying your daughter a shirt that perfectly matches the hue of a paper you have been hoarding.  We love our job!

We know that it is because of all of you that we have the pleasure of our magazine work.  It is all of you that submit, that share, that read, and that enjoy our issues that make it possible for us to do what we do!

So we have a present.  A great big scrappy present.

Inside is more than $100 worth of scrappy goodness.  I cannot show you it all yet since the final items are on the way to us this week (brand new Summer CHA releases!).  I can share that it includes pretties from Pink Paislee, Theresa Collins, Webster's Pages, Simple Stories, Jillibean Soup, American Crafts--to name just a few.

How do you win?  The luck of the randomizer.  How do you enter?  So glad you asked.  You may have up to five entries:

1.  Leave us a comment.
2.  Join as a follower and leave us another comment telling us so (if you are already a follower, tell us that. it counts!)
3.  Blog about us and comment with the link.
4.  Join our facebook followers--and comment about it. (if you are already a follower, post on our wall and then come back and comment about it).
5.  Tweet or facebook about our Anniversary and comment about it.

There you go!  5 chances to be richer in scrappy goodies.  We will stop counting new comments at midnight Sunday, Central time.  We will announce the winner on Monday!

Thank you for being a part of our magazine!  We appreciate you! 

Sunday, September 11, 2011


On the first day of my new job as a program developer, my boss said "proactive" was the one thing he most desired in this role.  He really did not seem to care what I accomplished as long as something got done.  He described the many different programs that were in my portfolio and the areas that could be included.  Let's see if I can make sense of this.

It is my job to develop, coordinate, and manage programs for the college.  My main area is high school--anything from testing to summer school, but nothing vocational.  I also have anything related to computers--but only if it does not help train you for work as those classes belong to the workforce division.  And I get music--as long as it is not for credit since the regular music department handles those.  Music scared me the most since anyone who knows me understands that I am tone deaf and can barely play my ipod.  Next, I have anything that works directly with all of the credit areas on campus.  I also am to contribute to "big events" like guest speakers or performing arts shows.  And then there is the usual "maintain records and do anything else the boss asks" statement tossed in there.

Proactive, boss says.  Pick an area and go to it.  Wow.

I would definitely describe myself as active.  I have never shrunk away from life and get bored if I am doing the same thing over and over.  In high school, one of my first jobs was assembly line work for a florist.  Pick up a corsage, stick in ribbon, set it back on conveyor belt.  Let me tell you that conveyor belt work is NOT as much fun as Lucy and Ethel made it seem.  One weekend was enough to refocus my energy on getting a college scholarship.

I like to be busy.  For many years, my motto was "the more you do, the more you can do", so this proactive directive did not phase me.  Still, I had to wonder if my definition of proactive would match the one in my boss' head.

Six weeks later . . . I am so in love with my job.  I love having so many different avenues to pursue.  I have not been bored a single second.  And I have used every bit of knowledge from past jobs to be successful.  All of my high school teaching and administration work comes in really handy to create programs for the schools.  My work as a college prof for the last 8 years makes understanding the needs of the students easier and means I already know most of the "important" people on campus. 

My scrapping experience has REALLY come in handy.  Little did I know that learning design, developing my eye, and mastering photoshop would be so important.  My flyers and presentations are not the usual Office template variety.  And because I understand the feeling of receiving a hand made card, I started sending out thank you cards from my stash after each initial meeting with a new person.

This touch has made such a difference.  People are very happy to answer the phone when I call to set up follow up meetings and have been lovely about thanking me for brightening their day with a card.  Because many of the people are in and out of each other's offices, I have not been batch making them, but creating unique cards for each.  Right now, I need 8-10 each weekend which is much more cards than I usually whip out.  Especially since I have layout mojo going right now.

Here are a few from this weekend.  I was feeling a bit floral--perverse since the leaves are falling and the flowers fading.

Restoration was probably my all time fave Craft Paper line (so far!) which is saying something since they have always been a fave manu of mine.  I paired their goodies with some bold Thickers and a Pink Paislee bling brad.

A little more Crate with some October Afternoon minis.  I am loving these and using them like mad--they are just a smidge bigger than others and line up nicely.

More October Afternoon letters paired this time with a Pink Paislee die cut and some Theresa Collins bling.  I also used my goto scallop punch--definitely a super purchase.

I am so very grateful for my new job that I am having an easy time making card after card to express my thanks.  It is just marvelous to head into my office knowing that I can tackle a variety of challenges daily.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's July!

It's Time! The new issues are up and going out. I love fresh magazine inspiration!  Summer Issue of Magazine:

And the July issue of GingerScrapsStreet Magazine:

Head on over to the ScrapStreet blog for more!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Simply Summer

I have been on a quest to simplify this spring.  It seems that I spent a good bit of my thirties adding things to my life.  They were good things.  Valuable things.  Often even happy things.


There were an awful lot of things.  I became the girl who just could not say no.  Need a volunteer?  I was your girl.  Need help?  I can lift that, do that, organize that.  The thing is that I really do enjoy doing a little bit of everything so saying yes was never outside of my comfort zone.


Enjoying everything and trying to do everything did not work.  I ended up missing out on life.  My kids were growing and I was not fully present in their life or my own.  So it was time for a change.


I took a breath.  A really long breath.  I learned how to step away from the screen.  I stepped down from some committees telling myself it is time to give some other moms a go.  Those ones in their thirties look hungry for experiences.


After several months of removing, I can begin to add again.  To really relish the items that I add back in.  To enjoy.  To breathe.  To live.

I love capturing moments of my children on film.  In my business, I found I was taking photos primarily for assignments and with a specific need in mind.  I am rediscovering my love of photography.  And I am keeping the camera as a side note while the family fun takes center stage.

On Monday, I headed to the Morton Arboretum with my mother in law, sister in law, and all of the kids.  7 in total from age 1 to 11.  I took an assignment in mind inspired by a challenge at the blog Simple As That.  It was to take a photo of a simple moment this week.  LOVE!

As we wandered along a lake, the older five kids sneaked under a tree off the beaten path and found a big rock where they could sit and look at tadpoles and search for frogs.  I was across the way pushing the baby stroller when I glanced back to see this sweet summer moment.

I added just a simple title to make a postcard to send to my inlaws as a simple reminder of a wonderful day.

Would you like to see some more simply beautiful photos, click the logo and wander through.  These are some totally talented people!  Thanks to Rebecca for the inspiration.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sketching Crate

My desk is covered with gorgeous new Crate Paper products and I could not be happier!  I just adore them--every single collection.  Today, I decided to try the current Crate Sketch:

I flipped it on its side and worked it without flowers and using Portrait collection.  I have had these two wedding photos unscrapped for 13 years now!  This was the perfect moment to pull them out and play.  I wanted a pop of blue so I used a Copic marker to color the bling and the pearls.  I love the little pops!

Supplies: Paper, Die Cuts, Chipboard, Trim, Stickers, Buttons: Crate Paper, Alphabet: American Crafts, Font: Shannon, Bling: Kaisercraft, Marker: Copic, Other: thread.  Tools:  Sewing Machine: Brother, Punch: Fiskars.

Journaling:  Of all of our wedding pictures, these two remain my favorites.  They show our wedding party for their true selves.  A little bit of elegance hiding the screwballs that we love so much.  Above all, our wedding kicked off our life together with a celebration.

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a super day!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Happy Hump Day--Freebie!

Howdy all!  How is your mid week treating you?  I am looking out the window watching the crazy Chicago weather.  We have had 70 degrees, rain, sleet, and snow all rolled into 3 days.  Insanity!

Last week I was on "spring" break (we midwestern college folks use that term very loosely) which usually amounts to spring cleaning week for me.  My kids have a different schedule and I am not the type to pull them out of school to race off to a tropical location--though it was tempting!

First up on my cleaning list was the mudroom.  Although (looks out window in disgust) we still get snow in March and even April, it wont be the heavy snow pants type.  I cleared out all of the serious winter gear and broke out the lighter jackets and rain gear.  As I was sorting, I noticed just how into hats my kids are.  We have winter hats, ball caps, cowboy hats, holiday hats, silly hats, stylish hats--the list goes on and on.

It is completely my fault.  See, when my daughter was born she was completely bald.  She could have doubled as Mr. Clean's love child.  And she stayed that way until after her SECOND birthday.  Just a little soft blond fuzz.  What is a mom to do?  Buy hats!

After looking at the collection, I was inspired to make a little mini kit to share.  Maybe I am not the only one that has a bunch of pictures of kids in happening hats. Hat's Off to all of you!

Downloads:  {papers}     {elements}  
Please understand that this kit is for you to download and enjoy.  As with all of our freebies, you may NOT upload them and post them in any other location.  I know it seems horrible that I have to type this, but our site is being pirated with each freebie we post.  Please download with respect.  Thanks.   

Monday, March 21, 2011

I am a bad blogger

and I am not sure why.  Let's take the quiz, shall we?

Blogger Aptitude Quiz:

1.  Your level of comfort with a computer is:
a.  what's a computer?  
b.  I compute   
c.  I *heart* my computer      
d.  if left on a deserted island you Macgyver one together from coconuts and duct tape

2.  You are online:
a.  never   
b.  once a week   
c.  once a day      
d.  your smart phone is attached to your hand

3.  Your friends would describe you as:
a.  quiet    
b.  speak only when spoken to    
c. a talker     
d. you can have an entertaining chat with a turnip

4.  When it comes to writing:
a.  you hate it   
b.  you can manage with spell check  
c.  duh, it was your major       
d. even your grocery list reads like an episode of Falcon Crest

5.  Your amount of free time per week is:
a.  does on the potty count?    
b.  an hour or two  
c.   you have time      
d.  shhh we shouldn't talk about it

Eeeek!  Hmmm apparently there is no real excuse for my bad blogging.

*lifts right hand and places other on copy of Blogging for Dummies*

I hereby solemnly swear to blog daily  more than I have been.  Really!

I even have a layout to share today.  Made with this month's Kit featuring the fabulous My Little Yellow Bicycle.  When I first looked at the goodies, I thought girl, girl, girl!  When I pulled it out, though, this photo of my Zack jumped off of my photo board at me.

Favorite Friday.  Supplies:  Paper, Stickers, Die Cuts: My Little Yellow Bicycle, Die Cuts: Jillibean Soup, Buttons: BasicGrey, Font: Traveling Typewriter, Other: thread.  Tools:  Sewing Machine: Brother.

Journaling: This was your favorite day of the summer--baseball at Wrigley Field.  As a new Little League player, you are starting to love and understand the game.  I am sorry to tell you that being a Cubs fan brings plenty of frustration along with the joy.  If you can remember to enjoy the warm sun on your face and the cold drink in your hand while you watch the boys of summer play, you will be ok.  If you want them to win, well . . .
Until next time!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Free print!

Ready for a bonus freebie?  Our amazing friends at Persnickety Prints offered our readers a special gift--a free 12x12 print with no strings attached.  Just use the code scrapstreet at checkout.  If you have not used Persnickety Prints, you really need to give them a try--you will be more than satisfied!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Five Faves

Time to share a few things that I am loving right now!  I find this one of my fave scrappy pages to look back on.  Just a few months and it changes.  I really wish I had a list for every year of my life.  How totally cool would that be?

1)  My new iphone.  Ok, I have had it all of one day, so I better love it.  However, if I did not list my iphone, it would have been my itouch.  It was a Christmas present from mom and I have been in total love with it.  Now that I upgraded to the phone, Allie is the proud owner of my touch and is absolutely loving it.

2)  My new cocktail.  Cucumber Cilantro Margarita.  I know.  It sounds totally strange, but it is YUMMY!  It actually does not taste like a margarita (which I love) but has this really unique mix of  flavors--a little sweet, a little tart.

3)  My students.  Both my current ones and the ones that stop by to visit.  I really really love my job and that is something that I love to be able to say.  It totally keeps me sharp to be around the 18-25yo peeps so often.

4)  Hellcats.  I admit to being a tv junkie.  I have a ton of fave shows for every mood, but Hellcats is my guilty pleasure.  And my workout motivator.  After an hour of looking at their little cheerleader abs, I am totally ready for my crunches.

5)  40.  Yep.  You read that right.  I am loving being 40.  I feel strong and healthy.  I have a new sense of contentment--I know who I am and no longer feel the need to prove it to anyone. 

So, what are you loving right now?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Look, Mom. It snowed!

Ok, grumbling first.  Isn't the purpose of canceling school the night before to allow mommies to sleep in?  Someone forgot to mention it to my kids who wanted to go out at bright and early.  *yawn*  Convinced them to let me make them eggs first so they had something warm in the tummies.

We knew it was Blizzard Watch 2011.  Supposed to be one of the worst storms ever in a city that does not get excited about snow.  Actually the first snow day Zack has ever had--in 3 years of school.  Not really sure how many inches we have.  The official total for our town is 17 inches.  But it is still snowing and it is blowing.  one side of our yard is four feet deep.  The other side more like 6 inches.  It is a bit crazy.

This is the view from my door.  The fence is 4ft.  The bbq is on blocks so it is 6ft. 

I must say that Wolfie loves it.  She keeps whining at the door wanting to go back out into it.  If you live here, a husky is the perfect dog choice.  The kids love it, too.  They are out and playing in the madness.  Allie admired the snow before heading out:

and here she is ready to head out into the frozen tundra:

Here they are.  My little snow bunnies playing in waist deep snow.

The town is closed down for today--shocking to those of us who are used to snow, snow, and more snow.  I wonder if it will continue tomorrow or if we will be back to normal.  The word from the weather dudes is that it will soon be too cold to snow more.

Uhm, goody?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sunny Wednesday Freebie

Hi all!  Are you ready for the last piece of the Sweet Sunshine digi kit?  Today we are having a "heat wave" here in Chicagoland.  Which simply means that the temps have almost reached 40.  Clearly the weather dudes and I have COMPLETELY different definitions of the word "heat".  I did pick up a bunch of tulips at Target this week to try and trick myself into believing that spring really is right around the corner.

I will let you know when it starts working.

Until then, here are the elements for my Sweet Sunshine kit. I hope you enjoy playing with it as much as I enjoyed creating it!

Sweet Sunshine

Download from the ScrapStreet Blog

Today we have the elements filled with flowers and sunshine!.  The link is good until next Wednesday when it is time for a new freebie!.  

I hope you enjoy a little bit of sunshine from my world to yours!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My little winner

Today was the pinewood derby for Zack's Wolf Troop.  He worked diligently on his car all week long.  His idea?  To create a car that looked like a Wii controller.  His goal was to try for a design award.  Last year's derby taught him that plenty of the experienced dads took speed seriously.  They made cars that quite simply flew.

We did a bit of trimming and a touch of weighting and then got to work on the design.  He used spray paint to make it a nice and glossy white.  Then we grabbed the camera and took pictures of his wii controller.  After printing out the best shot, he trimmed the decorations and we modge podged them to the top of his car.  After that, he spray painted a clear gloss coat.  It is definitely easier at age 8 to work with spray than a brush.  Here he is with his creation:

He headed to the race feeling hopeful.  Allie and I headed to the health club for Tae Kwon Do and a work out.  As soon as the races were over, my phone rang.  A very excited Zack could not contain himself.  He won his very first trophy--for original design.  Zack is still bouncing around the house filled with excitement.  He came in 2nd place a couple of different heats for speed, but did not make the finals. 

I was proud of him for winning, but even more proud when Drew shared that one of his classmates was sitting crying after losing and Zack handed dad his trophy and went to sit and talk to his friend.  Talked to him about how Zack felt last year when he did not win anything and the crying kid won the speed prize.  Then they headed to play a bit of basketball together.  If I could give him a trophy for kindness, I would. 

I am so proud of my little man.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wednesday Freebie!

Happy New Year all!  Did you start 2011 off with a bang?  Or at least a photo opportunity?  I hope it is a banner year for you!

I am a one month winter girl.  I love a nice snowy December filled with carols, hot cocoa, and big white flakes.  And then when the new year hits, I am ready for new flowers and warm weather.  Sadly, I have yet to find a location with just one month of winter.  Here in Chicagoland, we can work those snowflakes from October to May without any trouble.

Since in my heart it is already spring, I took to my design space and started scrapping and creating with bright colors and garden tools.  I captured a bit of sunshine and am happy to share.  For the next three Wednesday freebies, you can download pieces of my kit Sweet Sunshine for free!

Sweet Sunshine

We start with the papers today--a dozen textured ones sure to brighten your day.  The link is good until next Wednesday when it is time for the alphabet.  

I hope you enjoy a little bit of sunshine from my world to yours!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Freebie tomorrow

We start a New Year of Wednesday freebies on the ScrapStreet blog tomorrow!  Sitting in lovely Chicagoland watching the snow fall, I just could not resist creating my own little window of spring.  I pictured getting out the gardening supplies and starting to plant and before I knew it, I had plenty of pretty tools and flowers to play with digitally.

I will give the kit away in three peices--paper, elements, and alphabet.  Here is a bit of a hint:

Digital Supplies: Kit: Sweet Sunshine by Dora Phillips, Stitches: Stitched by Anna White No. 04 by Anna Aspnes (Designer Digitals), Font: Sweetheart Script. 
Journaling:  I love your spirit.  you are so confident in your style, in your wardrobe, your hairstyle, your walk.  junior high looks so good on you!

Pop back in tomorrow and I will link you to the first part of the freebies! 
designed with love by beautiful dawn designs