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.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

This is why I do what I do....

Happy Sunday. Hope everyone's enjoying their long holiday weekend.
Lately my children, especially Maddie, has been fascinated with stories of what they were like when they were little. There still little by the way, but I guess since they don't remember anything about their baby days, they wanna know everything about that point.
Thank goodness for scrapbooks that I've kept for them that we can easily pull out certain volume/s (oh yeah there's volumeS) and reminisce. I enjoy this time tremendously especially when they asks me to read the journaling I wrote about that specific layout.

Last week, Marcus had the desire to look at his scrapbooks. I took some shots of this moment. They're not the best photos as I was having a problem with my lighting (I still can't quite find the right formula for night photos + flourescent lighting). Anyways here's some shots.....

I love how Marcus is at the age now where he can read the journalings himself. Of course he needs help once in a while but this whole moment just brings me so much joy.

and here's Maddie peeking into.

Even Mitch came down and looked at some family scrapbooks.

These moments reaffirms my belief in the value of OUR scrapbooks. It's not just about putting photos and papers together, or worrying about adding the latest embellishments or techniques in our pages or even agonizing if the pages are "magazine" worthy.

It's all about preserving family memories and leaving some type of legacy of love to our future posterity. My heart is full today. Full of love for my family, our memories together and the beauty and blessing of scrapbook and papercrafting in our lives.

Thanks for stopping by. Till next time,


Oh BTW, I will make a tutorial for the matchbook album next week. Stay tune for that. *wink*

Saturday, May 28, 2011

a quick post...

Hi all. Just wanted to drop by here and give a quick mention that Clear Scraps is having a great giveaway this weekend.

They're giving away some word albums. Cute stuff!!!

Head on over the blog to check it out.

Thanks for stopping and have a great long weekend.

Till next time,

Friday, May 27, 2011

Heritage matchbooks

I'm off to help out at Marcus' school today for their end of year party. They're supposed to have some pizza and rootbeer floats for lunch plus a water balloon fight! It'll be an interesting scene to watch 2nd graders have a water balloon fight.

But before I head out, let me share with you a small project I made in connection with the young women lesson (young girl's sunday school) I'm going to give on Sunday. The topic is about Heritage. Part of the lesson is the question..."What kind of an ancestor will you be?" This got me thinking of making a small journal for the girls to take home where they can jot down their feelings/thoughts about the question prompt.

I made twelve books. Another blessing of having scrapbook supplies in abundance at my home, there's plenty of supplies to make projects like these. There's an average of 10 girls that come but I made a couple of extras just to be on the safe side.

Making matchbook type mini's are not a new thing. I'm sure you guys will find easy to follow steps online. If I have the time next week and if there's some interest (just let me know through the comment section) I'll make a tutorial for this here in the blog. :)

I inserted about 6 pieces of cardstock for every book. I think this will be a goon enough amount of paper where the girls can jot down their thoughts.

here's the look of the inside. On the inside panel of the front cover, I printed this quote which is part of the lesson, cut it out and then added it to the book.

another view.

and one last peek.

So there you have it. I know this might be a good idea to share and I'm sorry I'm just posting this on a Friday when the lesson is on Sunday. I'll try to think ahead in the future so there's more time for people to try my handout ideas too. :)

Have a great weekend.

Till next time,


Thursday, May 26, 2011

linkity links

two more days before school ends around here. Oh I'm so looking forward to some break and a bit of sleeping in.

Today I want to share some links for projects I've made for DT assignments. :)

Head on over to Glue Arts blog to see more of this wedding book I've made with Glue Arts products and a Unibind album.

I got a sneek peek of what the other DT's made with this product team and I strongly encourage you to check the blog oftem because there's some mad inspiration to be had there.

I posted this layout at the Clear Scraps blog recently. Check it out here.

Clear Scraps blog is another place to gather inspiration. Need some ideas on acrylic? The blog is the first place you NEED to go to!

So that's it for me today. Thanks for stopping by and make sure you check out the blogs I've mentioned. They're chock full of inspirations!

Till next time,

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Temple date

I'm playing catch up here so here's another post for today. :)

As most of you know, Mitch and I celebrated an anniversary last week (our 9th one) and to celebrate, we went to the Denver Temple for a date.

Being in Young Women's has given me the great opportunity to meet the young girls in our ward (church congregation) and I got one a super awesome girl watch our kids for us last Saturday. The best part of this whole arrangement is that she didn't charge us for our temple trip. I guess the girls consider that a service rather than a paid job. What a cool thing! We did give her a bit of money still since we ate out for dinner after our temple session.

It was Mitch and mine first time to go to the Denver temple and it's always exciting to be inside a temple. This one was no exception. The only thing I have to take note next time is the travel time. I figured it was only going to take us about 45min.-1 hour to get there but because the highways here are only two lanes and we unfortunately hit some traffic, we didn't get to the temple till 1 hour and 20 minutes later. We missed the session that we were planning on attending but to our luck, they have sessions every 30 minutes so we didn't have to wait too long.

We enjoyed our session and after realized that it's been more than a year since we've gone to the temple together. This definitely was a much needed temple visit for us.

After that, we drove back to the Springs and stopped by a local Olive Garden for some dinner. Love their food and it's so great that Mitch and I can split the "tour of Italy" between us so were not dragging our heavy stomachs out of the restaurant.

so that's our latest Saturday excursion. We feel so blessed to have such great young girls in our church who we can trust our kids with and I'm thankful I can celebrate my anniversary in the temple of which we made covenants 9 years ago to be together for eternity.

Thanks for stopping by.

Till next time,


Olympics Training Center

I can't believe it's already Wednesday! Sorry I've been a bit MIA here, with school getting out at the end of the week, a lesson to prepare for Sunday and a graduation to attend to on Saturday, my long list of to-do seemed to be the only thing I can focus on right now.

But thankgoodness for a bit of a break, I can share with you some photos and notes on a little trip we took down to the Olympic Training Center located in the center of Colorado Springs.

About three weeks ago, (yes I know i'm super late on this one) we toured the OTC for our routine Saturday excursion. It was so close to home that we couln't pass up the chance to see this center.

We went on a tour through the 30 something acre enclosed training center and the tour guide mentioned that the rings in the olympic symbol has at least one color from the flags of all participating nations. Cool huh?!

The one thing that we still yet to get use to around here is the weather. As you can see Maddie has a thick jacket and gloves on and yet it was sunny. Sometimes eventhough the sun is out, it's super windy. So we always bring jackets here wherever we go.

Marcus peeking through the Olympic rings.

I had the kids' jump when I took this photo. I wanted them to match the jumping lifesize bronze sculptures behind them.

this is another neat sculpture we saw.

this one can be seen inside the visitor center.

The family squeezing inside a toboggan.

A photo to show how we were touring the site. There were a bunch of people in our group but the guide had a great voice that we heard him everytime.

Here's a photo of one of the many indoor courts they had there. This is a long court and if you notice the blue things on the sides of the photos, those are the partitions they've used so three different games/groups can use the space at one time.

and of course, the tour won't be complete without taking a shot of my gold, silver and bronze medalists. :)

All over the grounds of the center, they've built flag poles where they've put each Olympic participating nation's flag. All throughout our tour, I was searching for a specific one and just before the tour ended, I found it. Can you guess which flag it was?

It's the Philippine flag. The nation where I was born and raised in. :)

and just because I love taking photos, here's a collage of more schtuff that I took a photo of......

The tour wasn't too long for the kids, only about 30-45 minutes and the best part of it all....it was FREE!!!

We love that!

So that's it. Got more stuff to share and I'll do that in another post.

Till next time,


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Griffit Park Observatory Mini *Clear Scraps*

Happy Saturday everyone! How's your weekend shaping up? Well I had to take my son to the dentist this morning and I feel so bad for the little dude. During his time in the chair getting some fillings done, the dentist found out that the plaque goes all the way down to the nerves. They gave him some medicine but if it hurts him, he'll have to come back on Monday (the earliest) and do a little "baby" root canal. Ouch! Not looking forward to that. I'm crossing my fingers that it won't hurt him so much this weekend. It's bad enough to have to pay for root canal but to have to nurse a hurt child all weekend is daunting. We shall see.

Anyways today I wanna share a mini I made for Clear Scraps using the Spiffy Mixable Album. If you've been intimidated by acrylic albums, give the Mixables a try cause they're half acrylic, half chipboard. I love that there's parts that I can cover up with pattern paper and the acrylic brings some fun clear aspect to the books.

Griffit Park Observatory Mini




I used My Little Shoebox papers, Viva Decor Pearl Pen's and Glam paint from Tattered Angels for this project.

See my tutorial for this book at the Clear Scraps blog here.

Thanks for stopping by and till next time,


Friday, May 20, 2011

Thank you cards *Upsy Daisy Designs*

Happy Friday everyone.
First off, I'd like to say thank you to all the family and friends and left some kind comments about my cake yesterday. You are all right, I deserve my A+ for effort! I feel definitely blessed to have such great blog readers and supporters. {hugs} to all of you. :)

So today I'm sharing a trio of cards that I made for Upsy Daisy Designs this month. If you recall, I used the "man about town" paper line for my layout that I posted here. Well I loved that line so much that I used it in my card set to.

I also love how UDD rubons can create such great sentiments in a snap!

Here's some close up shots of the cards...

the paper in the center seems like there's some intricate stamping done on it, but it's really just a cool pattern paper in the "man about town" line. Love it!

Have I told you guys how much I'm obsessed with border punches? Well I got this Martha Stewart double loop one about three weeks ago and it's all that I've been playing with! The only thing I have to comment about this is that it's hard to make the corner punch match right with the border punch. I think it's something to do with the paper cut, if it's not even then the images overlap therefore the cut is screwed!

and in this one, I played with my baker's twine, wrapping it around into a circle and then finishing off the center with UDD brad and some pearls.

So that's it. Thanks for stopping by and make sure you check out the rest of the UDD products here and for more inspiration, the blog is always hopping with great projects from the design team.

Till next time,


Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Anniversary Cake.....

Have you ever had one of those experiences/projects when, in the middle of it you realized that you were way over your head when you decided to tackle said project?

Well that's exactly how I felt when I "attempted" to make a decorated cake for my husband for our anniversary yesterday.

If you remember, a dear friend taught me how to make a fondant covered cake late last year. See my proud cake here. Back then, she was there with me, guiding me all the way and let me used all of her tools. Now, after attempting to apply what I've learned from here, I learned that having her with me and using the right tools was essential for my success. Sadly I didn't have both this time and here's the result.....

an ugly, lop sided, attempt of a cake!!!

So this "project" was a last minute idea. On Monday, I was watching one of the many cake shows on TV and came across an idea of the swirls on the cake. That gave me the, what would be a totally stupid idea, of making a cake to surprise my husband on our anniversay (which was yesterday). So that afternoon, I called my dear friend. I should've listened to the inside voice in me because while she was giving me a refresher course on the phone, I was already feeling intimidated and overwhelmed.

But I didn't listen to that rational side in me and went out Tuesday and bought the ingredients, made my cake and started making my buttercream frosting and fondant.
The cake baking was not difficult being that I just used a boxed cake. *wink*. When I got to the buttercream, my little hand mixer (lesson learned- do this with a stand mixer!) started having some difficulty. But alas, after some elbow work, I got them all mixed up. Placed them in a bowl, covered with saran wrap and refrigerated it!

Then I proceeded to work on the fondant. I tried to follow my friend's directions to a T. Seriously I did! But in the middle of my mixing/whipping it, my hand mixer died on me. I know! of all the times it could die, it's during a middle of my fondant making!

So what did I do? I did it my hand with a wooden spoon. Let me tell you,my arms had never had a harder workout than that! I think my hand mixing made a big difference with the consistency because on decorating day, my fondant was ripping on me. Grrrr! I thought I had it right because when I did the finger check, it wasn't sticking right away on my finger.

My dear friend would probably be upset with me because even after all her instructions and directing me to some you tube videos on how to do it, I still failed! Miserably!

Here's some close ups....

After watching some you tube videos, I was inspired to make some Calla Lillys to add to the cake. Why do these videos make it seem so easy but when I try to do it, I fail?! Seriously is it just me?!

So on Wednesday, I labored all morning trying to decorate it. I knew I was in some major trouble when I pulled out my buttercream frosting and it was hard as a rock! "Seriously when will the problems end", I say at this time! Being that I don't have any more mixer, I did it by hand! What was I thinking! I added milk a little at a time but it was clumpy and soooo ugly!

With my need to just get through it and not waste my ingredients, I plugged along and covered my cake with the clumpy frosting!

Then I worked on rolling my fondant. Oh boy! Another disaster. It was sticking on my work surface everytime I get to roll it at about 8". Even after many shortening and powdered sugar added to the board! Plus it was ripping! Geesh!

Still I continued. I was already commited to get this done, however it would look. I didn't care anymore if it didn't look like the cake I had in mind!

I worked on the first layered cake which was about 8". Covered it with fondant and transfered it onto my cake pedestal. I had cut out my next layere which was 6". I even used my ruler to make sure it was all even but when I went and transfered the fondant covered layer, it was about the same size as my first layer. Grrr!

Again, at this point, I didn't care anymore. I just wanted it to be over! I placed the layered cakes in the refrigerator and worked on my trims. This process was not hard. Thank goodness there was something easy in this process. Me and Maddie formed some balls in lavender colored fondant and I made the strip to cover my ugly seam in the middle.

I then worked on my swirls. Again this is something where I thought would be easy enough for me but alas, my luck would not be in the "easy" side today. Turns out my handmixing the buttercream and adding milk made it toooo loose. My swirls were drooping on the side! At this time, I seriously wanted to cry!!!

I know this post has been so excruciating to read. Believe me, making the cake was more difficult to endure! But at the end and after a few attempts to cover up my many booboos we had a cake!

The kids knew I was making this and I told them that they can't taste it until dad came home from work which he did a few minutes before bedtime. Poor kids had to wait all day. So because I knew they waited so patiently, I let them have a piece and extend their bedtime for about 15more minutes.

So a little background on why I used white....because it reminds me of weddings and why purple accents...because that was the color of our wedding.

In all fairness though, the cake was delish! My friends recipe for buttercream frosting and fondant was superb that even though the cake was unappealing, it still tasted great!

And to finish this unexpected long cake story...

Marcus told me that I should be "proud" of my cake!

I love my family and how they can see the good things in what I do, or attempt to create!

That's it for today. Now off to eat some cake!

Till next time,


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

9 years ago...

today I was in here....

(LDS Los Angeles Temple)

getting married for all time and eternity to my dear husband.

Can't believe that it's been that long. I can still remember that day and how I was so worried about the little details of the day to actually enjoy it.

We are not celebrating today as Mitch is busy with work and I have mutual tonight. But I am making a HUGE mess in the kitchen making something for him. :) I'll take photos of it tomorrow but I have to warn you that half way through my process I knew I was way over my head for tackling such a challenge.

More on that tomorrow. But for today, let me share a couple of photos of hubby and me on Easter.

He makes me laugh like no other can. Just one of the many things I adore about him.

thanks for stopping by.

Till next time,

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Birthday Greetings - Cardabilities #31

Good morning and Happy Sunday.
Today is reveal day for the next sketch at Cardabilities. Here's my take on the beautiful sketch....

Birthday Greetings

I cut the corners of the paper strips into ribbon like ends for some added interest.

the frame that I used in this card was a green color. It didn't match my color scheme, so I covered it with cardstock and then added some flourish rubons.

Thanks for stopping by and make sure you check out the rest of the wonderful cards at the Cardabilities blog.

Till next time,

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Alphabet frames

this post was supposed to be up yesterday (Friday) but since blogger was having some technical issues, it's not getting posted till today. Oh well!
Anyways, I love Land of Nod and Potterbarn kids. There's so much inspiration to be had there. Some of my favorite days is when I get my catalog in the mail and browse through each page, marking which ones speaks to me.

The big drawback about these stores are the high prices. It's expensive in my pocketbook! So what does this cheap crafty girl do? Copy it!!!
When I saw some alpha frames in their catalogs, the artwork starts at about $99. Holy Cow! How can I justify purchasing something like that when that same amount can feed my family for a whole week?
But to my advantage, I have a TON of scrapbook supplies that I can make my own alpha frame. And that's exactly what I did a couple of weeks ago.....


I was going through my stash and doing some spring cleaning when I came across a jar full of a hodge podge of letters. Chipboard, stickers and die cut letters. I was organizing them into alphabets and the light bulb in my head came on to make a framed alpha with them.

A while back, I got a frame pack which included 2 8x10 and 4 4x6 frames for a clearance price of $5 for the whole thing. I used the two 8x10 here. The frame was very simple and a bit of ugly so I covered the frame with ribbon.

I love how the hodge podge look created a lot of personality with this project.

here's the other frame. I made two, one for each of my children's rooms.

I used some humungous photo corners with stars (from my stash) on this frame. I felt that the star and blue added a masculine feel to the frame, perfect for my son's room.
so that's it. Total cost for me....about $10 for both frames. It's definitely a better price than PB's $99 one and it's one of a kind. this definitely works for me!
I just love how this craft can help me not just in making scrapbooks and cards but also to decorate my home.
thanks for stopping by.
Till next time,


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Where I found me today....

Happy Thursday everyone.
Today I found myself in a few sites....check it out...

my blog was linked at the Creating Keepsakes blog today featuring some scrap spaces and organization ideas. Check the blog post here.

My SEI guest blogging for the week is on it's 4th day and I posted a mini today. Make sure you check it out here.

and I made this little sewing notion jar and pin cushion for Glue Arts. It was posted last week. I have a tutorial for it and you can find it here.

Thanks for stopping by and supporting me in my paper passion.

Till next time,


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Mother's Day

Ok so the house is clean, there's food in the refrigerator and the laundry is done. Whew! So happy when my mommy duties are checked off!

Mother's day happened a day early in the Tolman home this year. There's no real reason for it just that there's more things we can do on Saturdays than Sunday. So what did I do to celebrate, you ask?

Well in the morning, Mitch let me sneak out for a while and check out a flea market in town. I've been so obsessed with thrift stores and flea markets lately. I'm not sure if it's the prices I get, the cool stuff I score or both but I'm just into finding "vintage" treasures lately.

The indoor flea market that I went to was a bit disappointing as it didn't have the stuff that I was looking for but I did manage to bring these items home....

a humungous pickle jar for a buck, fabric for 50 cents a piece and a basket that's priced at $4. I used the basket to hold some books at the front room but for the rest of the items, I'm not sure yet what I'll do with them. I think I'm going to try to build a terranium inside the big jar. We shall see.

then for lunch, I got to pick where we were going to eat and I chose Village Inn. Never been there but I've had their pie before and that's what I was after!

I didn't know that I was going to be getting some cool inspiration in this meal too. They had a few cute stuff on the wall and the colors inside the restaurant was just right up my alley. Lots of ideas was going through my head that I can translate in my own home. :)

Aren't those circles just so cool. Now I'm thinking of adding circles and rings to my list of things to search for in the flea markets.

Mitch and I tried this potato pancake with the southern fixins- carnitas, eggs, avocado and a hollaindaise + green chile sauce. Yummy and I especially enjoyed the kick of the spices! Marcus had a hamburger + fries and Maddie ate mac and cheese with fries. My kid's are not as adventurous as their mommy when it comes to food.

we were so full after our meal but I still wanted pie so we just bought a whole one to take home.

I wanted something else but because I was being diplomatic I picked one that everyone would enjoy. *wink*

this one has a layer of caramel, chocolate and cream plus sprinkling of pecan all over. It was definitely delish but a bit too rich I might add.

and finally some family pics...

and me with the two reasons I get to celebrate such a special day.

Motherhood had definitely shaped me to who I am now. Most of my lessons were learned the hard way but I feel like if the kids are still in one piece and I have a bit of my sanity left in me, it's all good!!!

thanks for stopping by.

Till next time,