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.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Exciting news to share...

Happy Tuesday. Last night, I got some exciting news. I had learned that I was picked to be part of the WorldWin Cardstock 2012 design team. The announcement came through their facebook page today.

When I made my application projects, I had the butterflies in my stomach. There was a part of me that wasn't sure if what I was doing was enough to make me stand out but there was also that other part that wanted to be true to who I am as a papercraft artist and this news just shows me that if we are authentique and give our best, good things will come our way. I'm a living proof of that! *wink*

In other news...I had my Monday post up yesterday at the Paper Bakery kit club blog. Here's the layout I shared...

and last Saturday, this project went up at the Glue Arts blog. We had a team up with Webster's Pages and I decided to make a love notes box with the Western Romance line. Check the blog here for the "how to" on this project.

Have a great Tuesday everyone!

Till next time,


Halloween Costumes 2011

whew! Halloween is finally over. The costumes have been worn, the candies given out and my kids are finally in bed (all sugared up!). We can cross off Halloween for this year!

Speaking of this year.... in the last three years I've had dreams of my family dressing up in some type of group costume and every year I get disappointed at myself for not having the inspiration and time to put one together. Well thankfully this year, the cards were in my favor and after multiple trips to the Thrift store and having many fights with my sewing machine, here's our official Halloween costumes for 2011....

Yes, the "force was with us" dressing up in Star Wars characters.

I had wanted Marcus to be Luke Skywalker but he had different plans. After researching all of the characters we finally agreed on him being a Sith Lord.

Mitch would've been an excellent Hans Solo but since he "lacked" the hair we decided to go with one where he can pass it up with a hooded robe so we went with Obi Wan Kenobi.

Of course, our Star Wars get up won't be complete without having a Princess Leia. Thank you to my sister who suggested I purchase a brown knitted shirt at the thrift store, we were able to put together the famous "Leia buns" despite Maddie having short hair.

and me- a Jedi Girl. I had wanted to be Queen Amidala but her costume was too much for me to even contemplate of making so I went with an easier costume.

I LOVE this photo! Everyone was into their costumes, playing some light saber games while Ms. Maddie remained in her pose. That is our family for yah!

Happy Halloween everyone.

Till next time,


Friday, October 28, 2011

Some links....

My Friday's going to be a loooonnnnngggg one but before I head off and do the things on my list let me share some stuff with you...

My First Sketch challenge is up at Paper Bakery this week and you have a chance to score a great prize if you play along. Here's the post with the sketch and all the requirements for the challenge.

Also, over at my photography blog, I posted some quick tips on getting better Halloween Photos. Check it out and hopefully it'll help somebody out there make their photos snazzy and not "scary" this year. *wink*

that's all folks on this chilly Friday morning.

Till next time,

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I'm a surgeon too!

I'm sure you've heard of the many roles a mother play. We are the cooks, the taxi drivers, the teachers, the referees and we are even nurses and doctors. And sometimes not only to our kids but also to their beloved stuff animals.

My kids believe in my sewing abilities (I don't know why because I don't have any!) but everytime there's a rip on their favorite stuff animals, they quickly turn to me to "fix" their beloved toys.

Sometimes they even just leave "sick" toys on my craft table for me to fix. They know that that's where Mom does her "magic". *wink*

It feels good to know that my kids' believe in my power to "fix things" for them. I hope and pray that they will always trust to come to me (or their dad) first when they have issues or problems. Whatever small or big they may be. With how the world has become now, I'm scared of what kind of future my kids will have and how much worst the outside influence can be on them.

But for today, I'm happy that I was able to fix/sew back up their favorite stuff animals and that in my sweet and innocent children's eyes...all is well with the world again.

Have a great Thursday.

Till next time,


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Integrity frame + how to

Everybody in our church has a "job" to do. We are all asked/called to be in certain positions by our leaders and none of us are paid. It's all volunteer work. And the best part is that you don't know which position you'd be called in and for how long. It's a matter of where the Lord sees fit to put you at that time.

Anyways, my calling or "job" right now is to work with the Young Women. They are the teenage girls from 12-18 years old. One of the things that I help them with is to set and accomplish goals. We call it "Personal Progress". It has all sorts of goals/activities that they are to accomplish which at the end of completing the program would've helped them gain a better testimony of the Gospel, learn more about themselves and their divine natures and learn skills along the way.

One of the aspects they are to work on is Integrity and a project in that field was to read messages from our leaders about the subject, pick a quote that they like and make a craft for it that they can display in their home to remind them of the quote.

Well I took this challenge on in August and although I'm just now getting around it, I feel the need to share the project with hopes that you can translate it into creating your own quote frame.

Integrity Quote Frame
For this super easy and versatile project, you'll need a frame (I got mine at Goodwill a long time ago!), spray paint, some vinyl sheets ( mine was the Accent it all Vinyl from Glue Arts) and die cut machine (Cricut was what I used)

Here's the frame I got. My initial intention for this was to make it into a chalkboard frame but I guess that's the beauty of crafting, you collect items/mediums you want to work on and then change your mind and use it for something different. :) As you can see, it had a picture in it. I didn't care much for the picture but I did like the detail on the frame that's why I picked it up.

I spray painted my frame with primer. I used a specific one that can coat any types of surfaces like glass. I wanted to go with spray paint on this project because I didn't trust my shaky hands to create clean paint strokes. I was going to spray it with another coat but the lazy one in me said, one was good enough. *wink*

After the frame dried completely, I headed on over inside and worked on creating the letters/words that will go in the frame. I wanted the words to be readable so I chose a classic font.

After choosing the size of the letters that would fit in my frame, I started making lines so I can make the spacings even.

One of my favorite tools while working on letters is this plastic see through ruler type thing. It's not really a ruler but an attachment to my paper cutter but I've used it as a guide for my letters all these years. I'm so imperfect that even my letters don't ever go on straight so I use this tool to help me out with that.

While my Cricut machine was cutting the letters for me, I grabbed some snacks. Can't craft without some munchies! LOL. My daughter actually asked for them so I opened it up for us to share.

After adhering all the letters/words down, I started erasing the lines. NOTE: Erase gently as you can make some unsightly marks on your frame. *wink*

After looking (and looking) at the finished frame, I felt like it needed something more so I added some swirls on the top portion.

and here it is...

I'm not sure yet where I'm going to hang it up so it's just sitting in my red school chair right now.

another beauty of this project is that later on, when I want to change up the quote, I can easily do that because this vinyl is peelable and won't ruin your paint job. Good stuff!

thanks for stopping by.

Till next time,


Monday, October 24, 2011

Family Hike

It's been a while since our little family went on an adventure together. With work, church callings, school and life in general, our weekend exploring had been put into hiatus until last Sunday.
It was one of the rare days that we didn't have too many meetings to attend or people to visit so we jumped in the car and went for a ride. I had wanted to see upclose and personal the beauty of fall in the mountains and one of our friends had suggested the Mt. Herman road which goes behind the Pikes Peak range.
So we grabbed our trustee map and headed north. The beauty of living in Colorado Springs is that is doesn't take you long before your out of the city limits and into the mountains. LOVE THAT!!!
Here are some of the photos we gathered from our trip....

We got stopped in our tracks when we saw this awesome rock formation in the middle of the valley. It was not planned, but we got out of the car and started hiking down to this place. And since we didn't have any intentions of exploring outside of our car, Maddie and I were not dressed properly for the "occassion". Going down the trench was definitely not the kind of terrain my little sneakers were up for.

this was only 15 minutes away from home but as you can see, there's no homes or buildings in sight.

Maddie was appointed leader of the hike today. :)

trying to capture some of that fall goodness we were seeing all over the place.

I love this shot. Maddie found a small stump and decided to rest a bit. What a beautiful view she got to rest her eyes on too.

this is my attempt of getting a "group" shot for the trip. Even though it's just shadows, we were all there. :)

But I am trying to hand off my camera more often now that before and here's one that I am treasuring up today. Love how this photo captures my son and I, and how TALL he has gotten. I'm not looking forward to a few years from now when I'm going to have to look up to him!

My favorite people to explore with. And the bonus of this trip....Marcus got to check off a portion of his Cub Scout requirements. Yippee for that!

Gotta run. Trying to do some final preparations for the family's Halloween Costumes. :)

Till next time,


BTW as you might have noticed, I'm changing things up a bit around in the blog. I have widen the post section and enlarged my photos. Tell me, is this working better for you (is my blog better to read/visit now)? or did I make it worse? Love your thoughts on this. Thanks :)

My Sketch had launched...

Happy Monday blog readers, today I posted my first sketch over at The Paper Bakery blog. Check it out here. I'm been very anxious about this as I've never shared any of my sketches online before. It's definitely a learning experience and one lesson I learned today is that I need to add borders to my sketches! Hehehehe.

And as always with any sketches that I've made and will make in the future, I have a sample page to go along with it. For today's sketch, here's the sample...

Say Hello to my Little Friend

Got inspired? Well you have a chance to play along too. Check out the details here. There's a price for a lucky participant. *wink*

Have a great Monday.

Till next time,


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Flower Power

About two weeks ago I applied for the Heartfelt Creations DT call. I was so honored when they picked me to be a part of their "semi finalist" and I recieved some products from them to play with. I had send in my projects for the final round and I'm crossing my fingers that they'll pick me. We will see.

I liked the products so much that after I made my projects for the final round, I played a bit more with the stamps and die cut shapes and here's the results....

Think Spring

Now I know we are in the middle of fall but I can't help but make Spring-themed cards with the beautiful flower dies and stamps I had recieved. In this card, I used the die cut flower set to make my layered flower which is the focal point of the card.I ran it through my Cuttlebug to add the swirl embossing effect and inked the edges to define the petals better.

Spring Fever

In this card, I combined the die cut flowers with the Posy Patch flower stamp. It's pretty cool how you can have the perfect shape of the flower PLUS great definitions in it provided by the stamps. I curled the edges of each flower to give the petals more dimension.

Spring has Sprung

I LOVE this bucket with flowers stamp! It's so gorgeous and with a few stamp markers I can customize the colors anyway I want/need. It takes a bit of time to put this card together but I love how coloring the flowers took me back to Elementary art days. So fun!

So that's it. Thanks for stopping by and make sure you check out Heartfelt Creations here.

Till next time,

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

this is for Grandma Caryol

One thing we sure miss about California is family. The fact that we can't "drive by" to see them anymore is a luxury we sure miss a lot. But thank goodness to internet and blogging, we can still keep them up to date with stuff that's going on around here.

This is especially helpful when we want to show off things to our grandparents like what the kids did with their gifts. :)

Grandma Caryol send some birthday money for Maddie's birthday earlier this month and we took her to the mall and she used up her money (wisely, I have to add) to purchase the following....a Cinderella accesory set (which included a bracelet, earrings and necklace); a little bag with lip gloss, lotion and nail polish and some candy from Rocky Mountain chocolate factory. I was very impressed with how she made sure to divide her money to get all the stuff she wanted, especially the candy. There were other things she was eyeing on but if it didn't leave her any money for candy, she would turn around and forget about it.

On Marcus' baptism in August, he got this pillowcase from Grandma. She also added some crayons so Marcus can personalize it. About a couple of Sundays ago, Marcus finally worked on it. He even got Maddie to work on it too. He was very proud of his coloring and even added his own artwork on the side (some robots)

Now this is a permanent fixture on his bed. He uses it every night and I think that's super sweet.

My kids definitely feel blessed to have such great and loving grandparents. :)

Till next time,


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

it's not too early to make a Christmas wish list

That's how I'm feeling today anyways. But before I share the top three things in my wish list this year, let me announce the winner of our Glue Arts Glue Glider Pro giveaway and according to the random generatore it is comment #27 which is...

Laura said...
Love dressing up in costume...even as an adult!

Please contact me (graceelainetolmanatyahoodotcome) so I can forward your information to Glue Arts. I'm so excited for you...this new glider pro will rock your boat! *wink*

Ok so onto my wishlist. I honestly don't want too much (hahahaha) but what I do want are quite pricey but I believe that if I put it out there and people know that I'm worth it, I *might* just get what I wished for. (((coughing....hubby are you reading this.....coughing))))

Baking is something I'm slowly becoming passionate about. I love how serving my family "sweets" makes my "#1 mama in the world" factor increase a notch everytime. Having a stand mixer where I can make my breads, my fondants and everything in between would just make this process so much more enjoyable. Plus that apple green color is just super fabulous to add in my kitchen.

This baby is DA BOMB! I have stalked so many photography blogs and sites where I've seen this baby in action and I WANT ONE!!! Definitely the priciest in my list but dang! I get all so excited and anxious at the same time everytime I see it!

Riding boots! Leather, short heels and in brown please! I try not to be too concerned about the "in" thing in fashion BUT these boots are calling my name and I can't resist but dream of having my own pair.

So like I said, I'm banking on my wishing star that the good vibes will come my way and I can open up a box with any (or all of them) this Christmas. You are free to pass this along to anyone that you'd think will help me with my cause. *wink*

Till next time,


Monday, October 17, 2011

oh it's another Monday

and yes I got a lot of things on my to-do list. But this time, it's different. Lately I'm really trying to prioritize and be realistic with my goals. I have learned (the hard way) of course that I cannot have it ALL, all at once. So I'm choosing this day to not make bread and use that time to visit with some friends and do a blog post here. *wink*

If you are visiting me for the Glue Arts Giveaway, scroll down a bit and you'll see the post about it. I have to say I'm loving reading all the comments and what makes Halloween so special for you. It gets me pumped for Halloween! Remember the giveaway will be closed at 9pm (mountain time) tonight.

Want to get to know me a bit more and read my 10 favorite scrapbook products? head on over to the Paper Bakery kit blog today as I have written a short intro there today.

And of course, this can't be a post without a photo (or two) so here's a couple....

I am a photographer too (among other things. LOL) and I did a quick photoshoot with my daugther two weeks ago for her 6th bday. I still can't believe that my baby is all grown up!

She was a trooper despite the cold weather during the shoot. To see more photos, click here.

Have a great start of the week everyone.

Till next time,


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Glue Arts new Glue Glider Pro PLUS GIVEAWAY!!!

Happy Saturday to all. Today's a fantastic day here and I'm starting it off with an awesome giveaway from Glue Arts.

If you've not heard about the new Glue glider pro (where have you been?) now is your chance to see it in action because I am giving one away.Here at my blog!

Here's a few details about the new Glue Glider Pro...

GlueGlider PRO+ MultiDirectional Flip Cartridges (exact product name)
Same superior adhesive strength
Enhanced glideability
Uses the same GlueGlider PRO handle
Currently available in PermaTac, HighTac, and Repositionable
Ships and available online Oct. 24th
Taking you in a new direction...anywhere you wanna go.

and a special note...this works with the existing PRO handle. No need to purchase a new one. *wink*

So have I hyped it up for you? Want to own one of these babies?! Just comment on this post and tell me what your favorite thing is about Halloween. Giveaway will run till Monday (9pm mountain time).

Speaking of Halloween. Check out this shadowbox project I made for Glue Arts.

For this project, we have teamed up with Die Cuts with a View and I used the Midnight Spell Stack to complete this project.

I had used a ton of U Cut if foam adhesive to create dimension for each of the elements inside the boxes. Some are raised more than others which I think is the perfect little way to show variety and movement to the project.

To learn more about this project and find out where I scored this cute little shadowbox, check the Glue Arts blog here.

So that's it. Make sure you comment and get that chance to win the new Glue Glider Pro.

Till next time,


Friday, October 14, 2011

Paper Bakery October kits are now available + layout share

Happy Friday everyone!
Today's first order of business is to share with you some sneek peek photos of the wonderful October Paper Bakery kit. Lookie look!

Just heard from Sarah that the add on kit is sold out (wow!!!) and there's just a handful left of the project kit so I suggest that you grab these kits now before they are totally out. Look at what an awesome home decor this can be on your mantle or door?!
To purchase the kit or to learn more about Paper Bakery, check the site here.

and because it's not a totally scrappy post without some shares,here's a couple of layouts I finished recently...

Egg Hunt
Can't believe these photos are from last year's Easter egg hunt at Grandma's house. So many different changes had occured since then, one major thing being is that we no long celebrate Easter Sunday with the Tolman's because we've moved out of state. So sad about that!

Flying High

This photos are from this year. Earlier this year, during Spring break. We had decided to buy some kits and fly them. See the post about it here. Although that day was perfect for kite flying, it was pretty brutal for the body because it was super cold! For the layout, I had handstitched some embroidery floss from my kids' hands in the photos to the handmade kite Imade on the top right corner. It created some movement to the page.

thank you for stopping by and have a great weekend. I heard it's going to be warm this weekend for us so I'm looking forward to being able to enjoy the weekend outdoors!

Till next time,