Everyone has a story to tell, here's mine sprinkled with some creative projects along the way.
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you come back again.



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Our bundle of joy is growing

I'm still trying to make a decision if I have the brain power and energy to do a weekly update on Mason or just do a monthly one along with a few photos. Since he's my last child, I have this urge to record/document every little move and growth he makes but at the same time I am also realistic in the fact that I would probably not be able to keep up with it. 

So with that being said, I will do the best I can and hopefully be able to jot down important facts about him. And I will start with the following...

1. His first week was full of struggles. I was not producing enough milk that he lost almost 10% of his birth weight. Thankfully we had some formula on hand to feed him. I've had this issue before with my other kids' and somehow, even after knowing we will get through this hump, it still stressed me out to know that I was not giving my child what he needed.

2. The poor baby also had to deal with lots of blood test since his Bilirubin count kept on rising and he was showing signs of Jaundice. Fortunately after getting some food (from the formula) his numbers stabled enough that he didn't need to be poked anymore. 

3. Because of all of this, he didn't sleep on a regular basis. We were up at least three times every night and his naps were inconsistent. Sometimes it would go for three hours and others for only a few minutes. 

But despite all of that, everyone at home is enthralled by him. Maddie always wants to hold him and Marcus likes to talk "baby talk" with him. Here are some pictures I snapped on Labor day...

I love the picture above and although we all know that babies don't smile yet at this point, and it's just gas, it's still pretty darn cute that I was able to capture this moment with him smiling (sort of)





He's going to be a month old next week and so I need to catch up with all of his baby updates soon if I wanted to document his growth weekly. Do you have any suggestions? I'm open to it all.

Thanks for stopping by.

Till next time,
Grace

Monday, September 15, 2014

Red Rock Canyon layout *Ribbons Unlimited Inc.*


Hello Ribbon friends. Today I’m sharing a layout I created recently with some ribbon accents from Ribbons Unlimited Inc. My favorite part of adding ribbon to my scrapbook pages is finding ways to layer and create dimension with them. With the different widths that Ribbons Unlimited Inc. offers, it was super easy to achieve my goals. Read on to see how I created this scrapbook page….


Instructions:
1. Gather your supplies


2. Trim the grey pattern paper to about 11 ½” square and adhere to the yellow cardstock, centering it. Adhere the pictures. 


3. Add the journaling block on the bottom of the layout, next to the photo. Cut the ends of three different ribbons into a notch and adhere them on the left side of the layout, layering them over each other a little bit. 


4. Add the title using two different sizes of letter stickers. 


5. Add the yellow grosgrain striped ribbon on the bottom of the layout, ruffling it a little bit and attaching it with some machine stitching.  


6. Add other embellishments, layering them over each other. Add some glitter glue to the centers of the butterflies and set aside to dry.

Here’s a few close ups of the scrapbook page…




I hope this inspired you to layer your trims and ribbons on your next scrapbook page.
-Grace


Supplies Used:
#995 Grosgrainstripes, Yellow, 3/8”, Ribbons Unlimited Inc.
Royal/white dots, Polka dot, 1 1/2", Ribbons Unlimited Inc. 
Grosgrain,Stripes, 5/8”, Ribbons Unlimited Inc.
Countrycheck, Red, 1”, Ribbons Unlimited Inc.
Cardstock- Worldwin Papers
Pattern papers- My girl, American Crafts
Butterfly chipboard- Studio Calico
Glitter glue- Turquoise, Stickles, Ranger Industries
Stickers- American Crafts, My Mind’s Eye
Circle punch- EK Success
Pen- Millenium, Zig

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Flood Story layout

Hi there friends. Today I'm sharing a layout that I would like to enter for the latest Paper Issues challenge. The challenge was creating a project using the theme "Tell Me Dies". Basically it can be a project using some kind of die cutting skills (manual or with a machine) or about journaling. 

I chose journaling and here's my entry....

The Flood Story
A few years back we had some flooding in our basement with the water going into my scrapbook room. It was a major "incident" that I felt the need to blog about it while the event was still fresh in my memory. I finally scrapped it and the great thing about blogging about it...I didn't have to write the journaling part of my story. I just copied and pasted and voila...my story was documented with all the details included. 

Here's a process video of how I created my layout in case you are interested to see it from start to finish...


and here's some more close ups...


 Thank you for stopping by.

Please check out the latest challenge at Paper Issues here.

Till next time,
Grace

Friday, September 12, 2014

For Someone Special card *Inspired By Stamping*

Hello crafty friends. Today I'm sharing a one layer card that I created with Inspired By Stamping stamp sets. 

For Someone Special card
I'm always looking to challenge myself when I use my stamps. If you've followed my "crafty" journey then you would know that I'm a pattern paper junkie. I like to layer them on my card. Well this creation is a definite departure from my "comfort zone" and I was excited with how the result turned out. 

I used the Friends Flower and Petite Banners set for this card. I had punched out a cardstock on my table prior to creating this card and I thought of using the negative space of the cardstock as a mask for my flower images on the bottom. I used the same "mask" to add the circle pen line around it. I then added some banners, using the same inks on the top left of the card and then finishing it off with a simple sentiment. 

It's really fun to experiment and create outside of the norm. I hope you try something new on your next crafty project. 

till next time,
Grace

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Little Mason's birth story

Hi there friends. So if you are a friend of mine of Facebook, you already know that I gave birth to our third baby late last month. I've also shared these photos already on there but have never really talked about how he came to the world. I figured that since we are slowly getting into a schedule and I'm not a total zombie anymore due to lack of sleep, I might as well jot down Mason's birth story while it's still fresh in my mind. It will also help me when I finally start his scrapbook. 

So here it goes...

Mason's due date was Sept. 2nd. However my doctor and I agreed that because everything was going good with the pregnancy (no medical issues) that I can be induced after 39 weeks. I was super excited about this as I've never had that option with my other two kiddos.

So anyways, we got the induction scheduled for August 29th at 5am. That was a Friday and with the Labor day coming that following Monday, it would work out really well for us, especially with my husband not having to take too many days off from work. 

Everything was set for the 29th. We talked to a good friend and have scheduled the kids to spend the night at their house on Thursday night and help them get to school the following day. Mitch gave his boss the heads up and I was finalizing our hospital bag and other little things. 

The Monday (Aug. 25th) before our scheduled induction, I went about my regular routine. I walked Maddie to school. Took care of my "to-do" list that day and even squeezed in a nap after the kids got home from school. I didn't feel any pain, just the usual contractions (which were not at all painful). 

I finally decided to get up from bed at about 4:45 to start dinner. As I got a pan ready to bake some rolls, I started leaking (down there) and first I thought oh no! I have to make it to the bathroom soon. Well...I didn't quite make it to the bathroom. I stood there and water started gushing out of me. My shorts were soaked and I didn't want to move because I didn't want the water to go on the carpet. So I stood on my kitchen tile floor for a good 3-4 minutes until I thought it was all over. 

Finally I walked to the couch (where I was taking a nap at) and grabbed my phone and called my husband. I wasn't 100% sure it was my water breaking but with all of the amount that came out of me, that was my biggest suspicion. He told me he would be on his way. 

With my other two kiddos, my water always broke when I was already at the hospital so I wasn't sure what to expect or how soon he would be coming out after this. So with that, I called my good friend Christy and she drove me to the hospital and stayed with me till Mitch got there. 

After testing the "liquid" that was still coming out of me, the nurses confirmed that it was indeed amniotic fluid and quickly admitted me. They waited for a couple of hours before giving me anything to speed up the process because they wanted to see if I would go into heavy labor on my own. Finally after two hours the doctor came in and said that they will order some Pitocin for me. I quickly replied and asked for an order of Epidural as well since I knew that once that Pitocin kicked in, I would be in major pains. And sure enough that was what happened. 

I was in major pain when the anesthesiologist finally gave me my Epidural. The nurse checked me right after that and my cervix was at a 10 and I was ready to push. I didn't even have the time to "enjoy" my Epidural because it was time to get the baby out. 

And at 9:45, about four hours since I was admitted, Mason Allen Tolman welcomed us with his beautiful face and loud cry. 

Here are some pictures....




I found it rather interesting that both my boys were born with loads of hair and my sweet daughter didn't get any till she was close to a year old.

And here's some picture from the day after....


And some when the kids came to visit and met their baby brother for the first time....

Both were a bit shocked and didn't know how to react. I could only imagine how hard it might be to process the fact that one day Mommy was still pregnant and the next, the baby is out and they are holding him.

Mason and his proud daddy. 

So there you have it. The story of how Mason came to the world and how, even with the best planning, babies come whenever they want to.

Thank you for stopping by.

Till next time,
Grace

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Denver Botanical Garden mini *Inspired By Stamping*

Hello friends. So the kids are now back in school and you have the time to document those vacation photos. Well I'm here to share with you one of the ways I document travel photos. If you're like me, there are TONS of pictures from one trip. I just can't help myself, I want to be able to capture all of the memories from that trip so I get a little "trigger" happy with my camera. About three years ago we took a day trip to a nearby botanical garden. They were having a "free admission" day and we couldn't pass it up. When I printed my photos, I had over 12 images to document and I knew that a double page layout wouldn't be enough room for all of it so I decided to make a mini album instead. Here's the finished book...

denverbotanicalgardenmini
 

I started with an old board book that I had cut out the inside pages into thinner strips to have an accordion style mini.
   inspired by stamping

I then covered each page with pattern paper, added my photos and then used the IBS Fancy Labels dies 3 to create some unique labels to add my stamped words and images. Here's a collage of what the finished book looked like, inside and out....

  inspired by stamping1

I hope this project inspired you to document those travel photos soon. Recycle a board book and see what you come up with. -Grace

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Others: Pattern papers (Basic Grey); Chipboard butterflies (Studio Calico); Pearl stickers (Recollections); Letter stickers (American Crafts); Ink (Tsukineko, American Crafts); Pen (Millennium, Zig); Embossing powder (Hampton Arts)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Altered gift bag *Inspired By Stamping*

Hi there friends. I am usually a 12x12 scrapbooker. That means that I prefer 12x12 sized cardstock versus 8 1/2x11. But sometimes when there's a great deal on them, I can't help but snag a few colors for cardmaking and other papercrafts. One of my favorite things to do with this size of cardstock is to make my own paper bag. With a little addition of pattern paper, border strips, ribbons and stamps, I'm able to personalize my gift bag. With this particular birthday bag, I used the new flower stamp of the month (Water Lily) for a dramatic embellishment.

happybirthdaygiftbag
 

 I stamped the water lily flower on grey cardstock with embossing ink and then heat embossed it with white. I like the dramatic effect of the white embossing that it gives the image. I then added my sentiment on white cardstock and then matted it with pink cardstock.

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   Flower of the month: Water Lily, Inspired By Stamping
   Colonial Rose Satin Ribbon, Inspired By Stamping
 Others: Cardstock, Pattern paper, border die cut, pearls, inks

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August Family Update

Hi there friends. It's that time of the month when I look back at what my family has been up to and here's a jist of what our August looked like....

Marcus turned 11 last month and that meant that he was "officially" moving on from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. So with that he was able to be recognized for all the hard work he had accomplished as a Webelos during August's pack meeting. Because this was our first meeting after the summer break, his "awards" piled up. In this meeting he was able to get his Webelos advancement, Arrow of Light, Religious knot patch and did the official crossing over from Cub to Boy Scouts. We are definitely proud of all of his achievements and express our gratitude to his den leaders (all throughout cub scouts) for their assistance in giving my son the opportunity to grow and learn in the scouting program. 

Next big thing that happened in August was my baby shower. I am extremely grateful to be surrounded by friends who were so kind to throw me a shower. My baby and I definitely felt the love. There's too many of them to name one by one but I hope they know of my deepest appreciation for their efforts and of course, friendship. Here are some of my favorite pics from the shower....

I love having creative friends. The above baby carriage was cut from a watermelon and dressed up with different fruits. My friend Jen's daughter made it and it is uber adorable.

This cute centerpiece was made into a motorcycle using diapers and other baby items. I wanted to photograph it in better lighting (that's the photographer in me) but unfortunately my kids' got a hold of it and it didn't last the following morning. :( Trust me when I say that it was extremely creative and super adorable!

Above is a picture of me opening up the presents. We were definitely "showered" with a lot of gifts and it was a great combination of necessary items (diapers, wipes, baby essentials) as well as cute boy clothes. I gotta say....this little one is going to be one stylish dude! 

And here's a fun photo. The woman on my right is a teacher and at one point or another, all of us (in this photo) has had our children in her class. I love the bond that I have with these women. 

The day after the shower we attended a company picnic hosted by my husband's work. It was our first time to attend so we didn't know what to expect. The kids had a blast with all of the games they had. The food was catered by a local BBQ place and it was delicious plus Mitch participated in the volleyball tournament. Here are some photos from that...

Marcus at the sack race. The kids got a little bag of goodies for participating so both of them were excited to join in on all of the games.

Maddie impressed me by getting the rope around the bull's head on the first try.

 Mitch's team got third place and they got a small cash prize to split between the members of the team. It was fun to see him enjoy his time with his peers outside of the normal routine of work.


Another big event for our family in the month of August was school starting for the kids. Marcus started middle school (he's in 6th grade) and Maddie is in 3rd grade. Marcus rides the bus to and from school and Maddie will continue to walk to school. I was so relieved that Marcus' first day of school went off without any issues and he surprised me at how responsible he was with keeping up with his schedule and bus pass. 


Maddie's school has had some staff changes this year. They have a new principal and she is in a class with a new teacher. We didn't know much about this new teacher but after asking her how her first day of school went and she replying with..."Mrs. Moreau is so fun!" I think it's safe to say that we are off to a great start.


And finally a baby bump picture. This was taken at about 38 weeks. As you can see I'm ready to "pop"! I don't think I can stretch my tummy anymore than this so I'm praying that baby M will decide to come sometime soon. 

It will be interesting to do this family update post in September which will probably be littered with baby photos and stories. 

Thank you for stopping by.

Till next time,
Grace