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.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Little Shoebox sneek peek + Kid Craft Camp

Wow where does the time go by? It's already Thursday! Are you having a lovely day so far?

I hope so. Speaking of Lovely day...check out this blog post over at the My Little Shoebox blog to see my May Projects focusing on the "lovely day" paper line. And here's some sneek peeks...

And if you are local and are looking for some fun activities for your children to do this summer, enroll them in my very first Summer Kid Art Camp! Here's the details...
The seats for this workshop is almost filled so don't wait too long to register. Email or call me to save your child/ren seats to this fun camp today. :)

till next time,

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My own camera bag + tutorial

Happy hump day everyone. So I've been eyeing this great camera bag for a while but with the hefty price tag I knew that I would be dreaming for a while if I have my heart set out to get this. So because I'm very impatient, I decided to make my own camera bag/purse. With the help of Pinterest and tutorial 1 and tutorial 2, I finally got my own camera bag made. Look on to see my process...

I started off with a bag purchased at the thrift store for $8. I love that the handle looks strong and the shape of the bag is sturdy and structured. Everything that is essential to hold heavy (and expensive) equipment. I used some fabric that I already had on hand and it just so happen I had leftovers of the ones I used for my camera strap so I got that to match with my bag liner :)

So my process was similar to this tutorial and this one too. If I happen to not cover everything in my steps below, make sure you check out the links I provided to give you a better idea on how to recreate this project.

So first you need to have your bag/purse; foam (the tutorial used a 1" thick foam but because the opening of my bag seemed a bit narrow and my camera is quite large, I opted for 1/2") fabric (over a 1 yard) and velcro. Plus thread to match your fabric and basic sewing notions like tape measure, chalk or pencil and pins.
I measured the inside of my bag next. I measured the bottom portion (width and lenght) and the sides.

then I cut out my foam to match the measurements that I just made.

 Next I placed the foam on top of two pieces of fabric, giving 1/2" space between the pieces and 1 1/2" all around. Cut the fabric out.

 Then I measured my foam insert dividers, cut out the foam and then the fabric. The tutorial said to sew the 3 edges of the fabrics which I followed BUT if I were to do it again, I would sew on the velcro to one side/part of the fabric first before I sew the fabric sides together because I had a difficult time adding the velcro later on.

 So after I've sewn the three sides of my fabrics, I laid my velcro where I'm going to sew them. I found that pinning was difficult to do without pinning the bottom portion of the fabric so I used some glue dot in the middle of each velcro to hold them in place. I placed them in the middle since I'm sewing the sides of the velcro to the fabric.

After placing the velcro to the right spots (BTW I just eyeballed the spots cause I don't like measurements, it makes the process longer for me. Sorry but that's the impatient side of me)

When I've sewn in all of the velcro to the corresponding fabrics, I sewn shut the panels/blocks.

I had a little bit of fabric left so I sewn a strip and tied it to my bag handle. I'm thinking I'll make an I.D tag later on.

So that's it. Instead of purchasing a $300 camera bag, I made my own for about $25.

Thanks for stopping by.

Till next time,

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

my kids are rockin' lately

I'm so proud of Marcus and Maddie all the time but I was especially happy for them this month for  some great accomplishments they have made lately...

About two weeks ago Maddie's kindergarten class performed at the school's class assembly. She kept on telling me that she's scared of this day because in her words she has...stage fright! We kept on assuring her that she'll be fine and sure enough, she did! Maddie didn't want to have any lines so I didn't push the issue but seeing that she knew the words and actions to all the songs they did, I'm sure she would've been really good with any lines given to her to read.

After the performance they had the award ceremony for the whole school. We decided to stay and I'm glad we did because Maddie was called up to receive a certificate for completing all the 30 words that they were challenged to learn. These are not your ordinary sight words, some were pretty hard for a kindergarten kid but I'm so proud that Maddie got them all accomplished with little help from us.

and because I was far away from her during the ceremony, I took another photo of her when we got home....

and then we go to Marcus...last Tuesday he finally got his Wolf Badge award during our latest pack meeting. It took us nearly 10 months to accomplish all the requirements and I could not be happier with him for working hard to get everything checked off. He also earned a gold and silver arrow for checking off 20 of the extra activities in his Scout book. Oh and I want to add that Marcus wouldn't be successful in his goals without a great Scout leader as well. :)

Mitch had to go to a meeting tonight so I handed my camera to a friend who was kind enough to snap these photos of Marcus putting the Mother's pin on me.

When Scouts comes back in the fall, he will advance to the Bear den and he's definitely excited about that.

I can't believe my "babies" are growing up and I could not be any prouder of all of their accomplishments. Love you guys. :)

Till next time,

Monday, May 28, 2012

Birthday blog hop

Hello friends and thanks for stopping by. Hope you all are having a great Memorial day. Today is also a special day for one of my dear scrappy friend and the owner of Paper Bakery Kit club...Sarah Hill. and because the design team love our fierce leader so much, we decided to put together a blog hop in honor of her birthday. If you wish to start this celebration from the very beginning, please click here.

and here's my birthday card to her...

Sarah is known for her love of vintage and all things pretty so I made this card with her faves in mind. Sarah, my wish for you this year is, all the best for you and the business. Hope you don't change and continue to bring your great eye for putting products in every kit that helps me and everyone who purchases the PBK kits' inspiration galore!!! Love you girl :)

Ok so after me, you may hop on over Angie's blog here. Happy Hopping everyone. :)

To add to the excitement we are going to have a giveaway of a $10 Gift Card to the Paper Bakery, so please leave a comment on each and every blog for a chance to win.

Thanks for stopping by.

Till next time,

Friday, May 25, 2012

Layout share

Thank goodness it's Friday and this week is "almost" behind me. But before I say hello weekend, let me share some layouts I made recently that are not for any design team assignment or publication call. Layouts just for me! That doesn't happen very often.

10 Thing I love about Everyday life
I was inspired to make this layout from the pocket and journaling tickets product. I wanted my journaling to be out and readable so I placed some stick pins with banners in the inside of my pocket instead. I think the banners shows off the celebratory feel i have for "everyday life".

Celebrate this day
With this page, I documented my daugther's preschool graduation. Can't believe it's been a couple of years since this event took place. I chose to do a double page spread so I can fit all of my photos.

I took a class picture of the group but wanted this photo to be hidden incase I would submit this page for publication in the future so I made an open flap with my title block. I also placed my journaling in this spot.

I also made some paper rosettes as my main embellishment in this layout. I found this papers from Little Yellow Bicycle that had school themed designs on it and I used that for the rosettes.

So there you have it, hope these pages brought some inspiration today.

Till next time,

Thursday, May 24, 2012

latest Project 365 photos

I've lost track at what week we are now but here are my latest Project 365 photos....

Till next time,

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Teacher gift ideas

This is the last school week for my kids and I'm sure I'm not the only one that have thought of what to get our children's great teachers this year. I have a few crafty ideas that, hopefully will spark some ideas for you. But before that, I made this mini album with my Paper Bakery May Add on kit and I made a tutorial to go along with it. You can find it here.

So here are some fun ideas that you (and your child) can put together for that special teacher to say thanks for all their hardwork this year.

Hope you all have a great rest of the week.

Till next time,

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Our Logan Trip revisited *lots of photos*

So late last month, we had an unplanned trip to Logan, Utah. My husband's dear aunt passed away and we wanted to pay our respects to her and to be with family during this time. We were able to excuse the kids from school and left on a Thursday to attend the funeral on Friday and drove back home on Saturday. It was short and sweet but very memorable. Here are some of the memories captured in photos...

*disclaimer- when I was editing these photos for uploading on the blog my husband noticed that I was not adding any photos with people other than the immediate family. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you'll know that I don't post photos with other people in it. Why? because I don't know if they are alright about publishing photos of them on the web.It's just something I tried to do to keep people's "internet" safety at bay. BUT my hubby insisted that I post pictures of the family and so I am doing that (for the first time ever) here in this post. So if you are a family member that has your images included in this post and would NOT like it to be posted, please email me (graceelainetolmanatyahoodotcom) and I'll take it down immediately. :)

Ok so the drive to Logan started off without any issues. We borrowed some books on CD at the library and was listening to "Chronicles of Narnia.The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe" on the way to Utah. We stoped by Laramie, Wyoming to eat our packed lunch.

Driving through Wyoming, we started seeing some dark clouds which later on became a full blown rain and lighting show that we had to drive through. It was neat seeing all the lighting taking place but I was getting frustrated that they would go off too fast for me to snap a photo of them in action.

After four hours of listening to Chronicles of Narnia, we took a break and I took on reading this...

We arrived in Logan about 7 pm and went straight to the funeral home for viewing. We would've been there an hour before if we didn't have a "vomit accident" while driving through the canyon right after Garden City. Maddie didn't complain of tummy ache, she didn't warn us of what she was about to do and just hurled right in the car! It was a mess. Luckily we had a change of clothes for her and baby wipes in the car that we were able to clean everything out. Here she is all happy and smiling just a few hours later sitting cozy in our hotel room.

On Friday morning, we went back to the Funeral home for the funeral service. It was a great one. I love how because of the Gospel, we have the knowledge of where our loved ones go after death and the promise that we will see them again.

Before the services started, the family put together a video slideshow of photos of Aunt Norma and here's a few viewing the photo display on the screen.

The family also got to have sometime before the services started to be in the viewing room and have a family prayer.

After the services, we drove north to Dayton, Idaho where Aunt Norma was laid to rest in the family plot. It was a nice drive with mountain views all around.

The gravesite service was short and it even started snowing on  us when we were there. Something that our Florida-based family members were super excited about. And for the rest of us....we were just trying to get through the cold!

All the pallbearers. My mother in law was taking the photo and I decided to snap a photo myself.

Mitch laying his yellow rose on the casket, being followed by his brother Dana.

After the services, we went to a luncheon provided by the local relief society (church women's group) in Dayton. Here's the family all together (Whitney, Tolman and Archibald) There were a ton of cameras trying to capture this moment so all of us were looking in different directions.

After the luncheon we drove to the Archibald's farm house where my mother in law grew up. Mitch has some fond memories of summer and holidays spent here when he was a kid.

Maddie was very fond of the horses. She was not afraid of it at all. She even pulled out some grass for the horse to eat. Sweet girl!

Marcus was following an older cousin climb up this very old barn and unfortunately fell and recieved a ton of blisters from the fall. He was not happy afterwards. Marcus refused to let us take off the splinters and he was miserable for the rest of the trip. Here's Mitch and his brother Dana helping me capture the memory of the barn, even the bad ones.  :)

Maddie met a family member her size and these girls were inseprable all through the afternoon. The played with the horses together, explored the old barn (thank goodness no more splinter incidents with them) and played in bliss together.

After saying our goodbyes to the family, we went back to Logan and found a hotel for our last night in Logan. After settling in, we drove to the Logan Temple and went sightseeing there...

I wanted to capture the temple in all it's greatness but my kids had other plans. They decided that it would be more fun to roll down the hill. This was the time that Marcus perked up and started smiling again after his splinter accident.

The tulips were blooming beautifully in the temple grounds...

my favorite model always happy to oblige her "camera-happy" mother with a smile.

Mitch did a great job capturing me and the kids with the temple in the background. We seemed itty bitty compared to the scale of the building but at least we were in the photo. :)

The following morning, we set out to drive back home. On the way back, we stopped by Garden city to visit some friends that had moved from our ward in California to here. We got to see their lovely home and chat a bit and made a trip to a local shop to have some of the town's famous Raspberry shake. It was definitely worth the stop!

And just before leaving the city, we stopped and snapped this photo of the family eating some lunch with Bear lake in the background.

We were glad we could make this trip and for all the memories that we captured. Thank you for revisiting it with me.

Till next time,