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, April 27, 2008

projects galore....

wanna see some eye candy? Well don't know if this fits YOUR description of "inspirational" projects but I do hope you like my latest creations......

These tags were made from scrap stuff but the flowers are from the Scrapwords store. It's really cool is its 3d. When you look at it in a different angle it will say a different word. Like the wish one also says dream and the the moment one says perfect as well.

This one used some Prima papers available at the Scrapwords store. Oh and this page was also featured in the CK website last week. The web editor noticed it because of the curvy dumbbell.

Everyday at 5:30 in the afternoon you can find Mitch stretching and warming up his muscles while watching the news. Then he heads off to the weight room to do his strength training “routine”. I’m very impressed at his determination to stay in shape. Rain or shine, he’s always doing something to burn calories. He knows that he needs to work hard so he can live longer. That’s my man, strong inside and out. April 2008

This page was also featured in the CK Website at their homepage on Friday. I made it for a few challenges. I was inspired by the text pattern paper. I encircled the words that suited my theme.

A card using Prima papers which is again available at the Scrapwords store. Can also be seen in the Prima gallery.

this one too.

and these are made from hod podge of stuff but the foam embellishments can be purchased at Scrapwords store.

This one was made for a challenge at Scrapwords with the word- harmony. Used products from that store.


Harmony according to the dictionary is a “pleasing or congruent arrangement of parts”. Lately I’m feeling more creative when I combine music and papers. Something with Rihanna and Natasha Bedingfield singing in the background while I move my pictures and papers around gets my groove on! Scrapbook harmony, lovin it! April 2008

And this one is for a scrapfaith challenge. We were to document the time in our lives when we finally realized for ourselves that our faith/belief was the one for us.


As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we have the opportunity once a month to voice out our “testimonies” during our Sunday services. Testimonies are best described as your personal affirmation that certain Gospel principles the church stands for are true. But growing up in the church, young members tend to “borrow” other’s testimonies without the real understanding of them. They just say what the common statements are without any conviction to live by them. I admit, I was one of those “kids” that borrowed my parents’ testimonies for a long time. I would go up during testimony Sunday and say what I hear people say with out really understanding what I was affirming to.

And then, I hit my lowest of low. My life was falling apart and nobody there to catch me. I’ve made some very wrong decisions and for me to go through the toughest challenges in my life I had to go back to what I learned in my primary days. I remembered the promise that if I call unto Him, he will help me. I’ve never prayed as hard and as sincere as I’ve done at that time. Reading my scriptures gave me the peace and promise that I needed/wanted. Through that dark time I finally understood when they said that Christ lives, He hears us and if we but follow Him in faith, he will deliver us from our afflictions. After reading and pondering the Book of Mormon, I then knew for myself that it is a true book and that the Prophet Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. I then realized for myself that I belonged to the true church upon the face of the earth.

I now truly know what it meant to say all those words I’ve so accustomed to saying during testimony Sundays. For me it’s not just words anymore but my perfect conviction that what I’ve been taught all along is true and to be shared with anybody that will listen.

*I don't know if you can tell but I stamped the first part of my title lighter than the bottom part. I wanted to show that when I was younger I still wasn't sure but then now I'm sure.

So that's it. A little of everything. Hope these projects inspired something in you to create and/or document something that you and your family will cherish for a long time.

Have a great day,

Friday, April 25, 2008

all words....

ok so first off, THANK YOU to all of you who sympathized (sp?) with me about my kids. Just the fact that you didn't call the social services on me by posting that blog entry is evidence enough that I'm not crazy plus all the kind words made me feel that I'm not alone in this world for having such days. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.

And for updates, yes we are fine now. Everything is back to it's normal pattern. I haven't really worked on my garden since that day except for watering them so I don't know if the kids have actually learned their lesson about the fragile state of baby plants. But things are calm, no more snipping of hair or any of that sorts so I'm very thankful.

This post is gonna be all the words/books/things that are inspiring me today. Yes I will post a couple of pics but not so much cause I really want this blog entry to be all about the written inspirations I've come across to....

stumbled upon this book at the children's section of my local library on wednesday and was totally hooked to it....

I skimmed through the pages and opened it up to the 2-3 year old chapter. Man! while reading her description of an average toddler I was in awe at how she was describing my dear Maddie to a T. I mean seriously, as if she was describing my very own kid in her book.

The main thing I learned from her book is that at the toddler age which she says starts at around 18 months to 3 yrs. old and she calls these kids "present-timers". They live in the now, they don't worry about the future. That's why when they run, they just run without the future thought of where they might bump into or if they get hurt or something.

and my AHA moment is this part of the book

"Why are the time-intensive 2s so much more difficult than other ages?..... Through daily experience, these toddlers gradually learn that "me" and "you" are different. Melody, "me", loves to splash water out of the bathtub, but Dad doesn't like that. There's a clue that "you" and me" are different. Melody isn't hungry, but Mom says it is dinnertime. Another clue, after many others throughout her day. The experiences that are so necessary to toddlers development of this new concept can be very trying for the whole family"
That's why it's always a battle with Maddie. The author did include suggestions to curb these instances of "power struggle". She said that you have to have a LOT OF PATIENCE and give her choices. For example, if she complains when you tell her it's time for bed and she makes a big fuss about it (like we do every night) she said to turn it this way..... tell her its time for bed and give her a choice between being carried to her bed or walking. This way she still gets to make a choice and you made her go to bed (which is want you wanted for her in the first place) without all the drama that comes with it!

I'm telling you, this book is such an eye opener and I'm just reading the toddler chapter. I can't wait to go to Marcus age section. I will share more when I get around to it.

Second thing to inspire me is a line I heard while watching Grey's Anatomy last night. Now I have to tell you, I'm not a Grey's fan. Not that I have anything against it, but just never got into it since I saw the racy previews for the show. But last night they went on before my fave show which is LOST so I just tuned in for a while. At the last part of the show, one of the doctors was talking to Heigl's character (see I don't even know their show names). He said....
"You are in a competition for lions. If you lose, it doesn't mean you didn't know how to roar".

Wow totally taken aback by this quote. Totally true and can be adapted to any situation. Not only in the medical field. What a great motivation for those that are trying hard to be on top. (like me)

And finally words that I've heard before over and over again but now it's finally taking impact in my life....

"Be Prepared" and "Wickedness was never Happiness"

and to end this post, here's a pic of me and hubby playing around with the camera before going to church last Sunday. Ok so it was more me playing that him.....

We are celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary next month and we've made some plans to have a weekend getaway. So excited!!! Will share more details once it's all ironed out.

Have a great day and weekend everyone.


Friday, April 18, 2008

somebody please take my kids away.......

Even for just a day or even a few hours plllllleeeeeaaaasssseeee!!! I'm afraid that if we're not separated for just a bit that I will eventually sell them!!!

Seriously today (friday) has not been a good one for the three of us.

When I woke up this morning I was already in soooo much pain. I got a really bad stiffed neck the other night and have been surviving with Motrin but last night I felt so brave that I didn't take one before going to bed and by the time the alarm clock rang at 6 am this morning, I couldn't hardly turn. It was so excruciating! It took me 2 minutes to literally get up from bed! And when I started to drive out of the driveway to go pick up Amanda from Seminary, I couldn't turn my neck/head to the right to see if there were cars coming. Oh the pain! Thankfully now I have motrin back in my system and I can actually function.

So that was already the deal and then my kids decided to be the naughtiest they've ever been today. Seriously just couldn't comprehend all the things they did today. Wanna know how "devilish" they were?

Point 1
I've been keeping all the candies my kids get from all sorts of holidays. They only get a couple of candies from their stash everyday. Can you believe we still have Easter ones right not?! Anyways, I told Maddie that she got her candy for the morning already and she can't pick another one so she started a fit. Crying and bawling like there's no more tomorrow. Oh and it's not just your whiney, can tolerate cry, it was the screeching, "I'm going to make you nuts if you don't pay attention to me" type of howling!!!

survived that by putting my foot on the situation and everything eventually calmed down.

Point 2
Went into the garden. I needed to plant more seeds since we got gofers eating away in my garden. On a side note- anybody have any suggestions on how to kill those suckers besides poison and putting water in the holes? Anyways so I let the kids help me plant, but how much can they really do without ruining everything else? Well a lot, in the span of the hour we were out, Marcus managed to stomp on my onion baby plants; pull out my artichokes that are just barely growing, turn on and off the water (which is not needed at all) and Maddie pulled out a fruit three that was only about a foot tall. Yeah, all that work went down the drain. What's wrong with my kids? I tried to explain over and over again that plants need to stay in the soil or it won't grow and we won't have the fruits it can bring.
When I saw Maddie pull out that tree I cried. Seriously I cried! All that hard work of gardening gone in a second! What more can they do to me? right? How dare I ask!

Went inside, changed their muddy clothes and put them to bed for an early nap. This was only around 11 am. But I didn't care, they needed to be quiet and out of my sight for a little bit while I get back my composure!

They slept and woke up close to 1pm. We all were rejuvenated and happy together again. I (again) gave them the talk about the plants and had a lovely lunch of pb&j sandwiches with sliced mangoes.

I was letting them play when point 3 happened....
Went and checked up on them playing in Amanda's bed. Found Maddie holding scissors and I gasped......

Well just look at these pics to know the deal

yup that's my girl holding her wonderful curly locks that she AND her older brother have decided to take out of her hair.

(photo not uploading)
look at all those chunks!!!!

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I don't know if you can tell from this blurry photo, but there's a big part of her scalp that's showing.


anybody want two kids- an almost 5 year old boy who loves to destroy plants and a 2 year old girl who can give herself a haircut????

Sunday, April 13, 2008

What's up in the homefront........

Yeah I know it's been a while. So sorry about the lack of bloggin lately. Just been so swamped with projects and tryin' to live a "full" balanced life.

We're having a quiet Sunday night tonight. Went to my sister in law's ward this morning cause one of her son's leaving for a mission to Germany this week. I'm so excited for him and I know he'll do well in his mission.

Got back from Murrieta at about 6 pm and found out that ants have made themselves at home in our kitchen. The heat and the cereal bowls with milk that my kids left this morning has attracted them to come out of hiding (wherever that is) and have a feast in our kitchen. Yuck! Not the thing that we were expecting to find when we got home. Oh well, thank goodness for some ant poison and now all is well again around here.

Speaking of home I felt that I've totally neglected sharing my family pics here. I've been so excited to share my scrapbook projects I forget to post the family events/happenings. Sorry family. I'll try to be better soon. I've had comments that family and friends DO visit our blog and I appreciate the visit and I promise to think about you guys more often when I'm here. :)

Ok so what's been happening in the Tolman home lately? Well a LOT! Let me share some in pictures........

First off, last weekend was General Conference for our church. It's a big conference that all members of the church all over the world are invited to watch in tv's, satellite broadcast and even the internet where the general authorities/ leaders of our church shares to us their messages of faith and wisdom that helps us in our daily struggles. What I love about these sessions are that we get to hear our dear prophet speaks (which so happens was the first time our newly called prophet, Pres. Monsoon, was sustained and spoke as the Prophet of the church in this conference) and counsels us with scriptures, anecdotes and special stories about things that pertain to us RIGHT NOW! I emphasize on the "right now" cause that shows that Christ lives and he heads our church today and that prophesies that concern us AT THIS TIME still exists. We need these counsels cause each generation deals with different "demons" and we need to have that guidance to tackle them.

Anyways while watching the Sunday morning session, we had the kids sit on the couch cause they were making such a ruckus (sp?) that we can't hardly hear what's being said. By the time we got done, we found them like this. What' so funny about this pic is that Maddie was using Marcus' butt as a pillow. How hilarious is that! Yeah a definite scrapbook page waiting to happen here. hehehehehe.

And while watching the conference on the internet, I got a grand idea to multi task and make some changes in my scrap area. This is the result. Last year I posted a pic of my space and if you've seen that you know by comparing to this pic that I've downsized. Yes that was my goal. I felt that I had all this space that wasn't being used properly. I got rid of some small shelves and went vertical in my paper storage. I also got rid of ALL my old magazines and purged a lot of supplies (which went to my mom or the trash). Still can't believe I've accumulated all these things in a span of five years. I will have to make a post on the details but for now here's the space.

Our dear Marcus have been making such strides in his development. Totally gettin ready for "big kids' school" and I'm so impressed. Here's a pic of him proudly showing off his handwriting. Yeah that's "spiderman" all written by himself.

And I was folding laundry last Monday and he decided to help me. He pulled out all his shirts and underwear and started folding them. I gave him a quick little lesson on how to fold shirts and undies and he did this all by himself. Still needs some tweaking here and there but gotta love the fact that he wants to do them. Seriously my boy is growing up and I'm so happy about his development.

The only thing I don't like about the "stage" he's in right now is the part where he always asks the big "WHY" question. Lately everything has to be commented with a "why". Huh wish I had all the answers in the world then it won't be too difficult!

And finally, these last two pics are from our trip to the Santa Ana zoo this past week. It was our school district's spring break and so we decided to go on a field trip with a friend and her kids. I picked the santa ana zoo bec. the kids haven't been there in a while and it's small enough that I won't be overwhelmed taking them by myself (without Mitch). The kids had fun, they enjoyed seeing all the lemurs, monkeys and birds.

Here's Maddie playin in the little playground that they have. If you live locally and have little kids I totally recommend this place. Not too big, not too expensive and totally geared to younger audience.

Here's the kids on our ride in the little train they had. The kids sure had a blast.

ok so that's what's been goin' on in the family. Lots of fun and development.

On a little "plea" I wanna ask for your help to visit this website/forum- http://www.socalscrap.us/
I'm trying out for their design team and there's a contest for it. We are given challenges to make/share and at the end of the month everybody that has access in the forum gets to vote which person they want in the team. Please if you have the time to spare, check the site and vote at the end of the month for ME. My screen name their is scrappy grace.


have a great day and week,

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

are you up for some challenges?

I am!!!

Join me this month at Scrapwords for my Memory trigger and A day in the life challenge.

"Memory trigger"
I have a book from Tracy White published by Creating Keepsake titled “The Journaler’s Handbook”. In it there’s a lot of prompts and journaling ideas to spark up your memory. In one part of the book, Tracy gives 9 memory trigger object/s and questions regarding that object that will “prompt” a memory or a story worth scrapbooking.

Got so inspired by it that in the next 9 months I will hold a monthly challenge, sharing one of these “triggers” with you together with the questions. All you have to do is pick that certain object in your life, answer the questions and make a scrapbook page relating to a memory that was triggered by the object and questions.

The monthly challenges will be posted in the DT section but I will also post it in my “meet the wordsmith” section. I will put a thread there about this challenge so that way anytime you want to join in or wanna go back to a certain trigger, the objects and questions will be saved there.

And to sweeten the deal a little, everybody that participates will have their name included in a random drawing for a small rak from me.

Sounds good? Ok so for this first month it is……

OBJECT: Photographs
“Photographs are amazing tools- they allow us to transcend time and make connections that are often easy to overlook. Find one of your favorite photos and answer three or four of the questions below.”

1. What do you smell, hear, see and feel when you look at your favorite photo?
2. If your favorite photo were a movie, what kind of music would be playing? What kind of lighting would be used?
3. How do you feel about your favorite photograph? Why is it your favorite?
4. Who or what does your favorite photograph remind you of? Describe.
5. As you look at your favorite photograph, what fears do you have? What do those fears say about you?
6. What would you like to tell the person pictured in your favorite photos? Why is it important to do so?
7. Why was it important for you to take your favorite photo? What did you want to capture and express with the image?
8. How is the person pictured in your favorite photo unique? What do you love about him or her? What are his or her quirks?
9. Describe the memories surrounding the day you took your favorite photo. What was going through your mind? What circumstances were you facing?
10. Looking at your favorite photo with fresh eyes, what new perspective have you gained? What have you learned?

As for me this is what I made:

My photograph was of my older sister and I vacationing in Hong Kong when we were kids.

I answered most of the questions but decided to go with the #10 question as the basis of my journaling/ whole theme of the layout. When I looked at this picture again with “fresh eyes”, I immediately noticed the way we dressed back then and remembered all the times that my mom would dress her and me alike or even the same. We were three years apart in age but this didn’t stop people from thinking we were twins. It’s funny now that I look back at how we both disliked looking the same and yet being in the same clothes bonded us in a special way that up to this day we are close.

So I hope you join me in the next few months and let’s all start to build a compilation of pages that are “triggered” by memories.

"A day in your life"
So the theme this month is “Life Artist: Take time to notice the details of everyday life". As Leslie mentioned the theme helps us be more conscious of the little things, the somewhat mundane moments of our everyday.

Have you ever sat down at the end of the day and tried to figure out what exactly did you do today? Or have your husband/children asked about your day and you’re left speechless cause you really can’t remember?

Well this challenge will help bring a little glimpse of what “you” do on a single day preserved on a page or project that will be a treasure to your family in the future.

What I want you to do:
Pick a day, any day, grab your camera and start taking pictures of what you’ve been doing. Try to notice the little things. Maybe you have a daily routine that you didn’t even realized existed. Take lots of pictures. If documenting your day seems do daunting of a task, do just an hour or even a week. It’s up to you. All I want is for you to document what your “everyday” looks like.

Then make a page with your pictures and share it to us through a link to your blog entry. Share with us how you came up with your concept and if there’s anything you learned about doing this exercise.

Everybody that participates will get to pm me their two fave layouts at the end of the month and the one that has the most votes will get a small rak from me.

I picked a Friday. Why? Just because. As you can see I started and ended the page with my alarm clock. The “eye-opening” lesson I learned from the exercise- that I *try* to maintain a balance life, making time for all my different passions. I also found out that I have lllloooonnnggg days starting from 7 am to 12 midnight. Wow no wonder I’m always tired when I finally get in bed.

so what about you? what's your day like? Can’t wait to see your creations.

and Coconut Scrapshop message board......

Product challenge

Every month I will feature a product available at the Coconut Scrapshop store, write up a little review, show a sample of what I did with the product and encourage you to play with that item.

For you to be eligible to win a small rak from me…..

Please make a page including the product. any size and any theme

Must be a new layout as of April 1st

And have fun with it.

At the end of the month I will pick a random winner who will receive a small prize from me.

*Item doesn’t need to be purchased at the store but just to let you know that IT is available there if you want one. (wink)

This month its: Fancy Pants Simple Sentiments Creative Cards

I got mine with the fancy pants kit (november 2007). I like these cards a lot. It’s so versatile plus the designs are so easy to work with. I especially like the blank ones with flourishes around. It was the perfect place to house my title. And the lined back of each card was meant to be used to make your handwritten journaling pop on your page. Here’s my sample layout.

Scraps challenge

Every month I will host a challenge encouraging you to use your scraps for your next layout project.

Here’s the details

-Make a page with at least 75% of it is from your scraps.

-Twist: this month use up scrap letters/alphabets.

-Must be a new layout as of April 1st and has to be uploaded to the coconut gallery and shared in this thread by April 30th.

-Everybody will PM me their most favorite layout and the one with the most votes will receive a small rak/gift from me.

So what are you waiting for, dig in that scrap stash and show us what you can make.

Here's my sample. *for the twist, I used the negative side of a letter e sticker. I adhered it in the same cardstock I used behind my picture.

so please check out these sites and join me for the challenges, you have till the end of the month to get your pages done. Oh and did I mention you can win fun stuff/raks? Hope to see you guys play.
and ending on a happy note.....
remember this page...
The sweet Teresa Collins showcased this in her blog last friday. Here's the link- http://teresacollins.typepad.com/teresa_collins/2008/04/deleted.html How awesome is that!!!
gotta go, taking the kids to the zoo today. will post pics of that *hopefully* tomorrow.
Have a great day,

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Coconut Scrapshop's April kit

Yes I'm still here, alive and well but up to my ears with stuff/projects to do. Sometimes I wonder why I get myself into so many things but then again, there's where the fun lies, right!?

Got my Coconut Scrapshop's April kit the other day and I was so floored by the beauty of the new Teresa Collin's line, I couldn't put away the kit. These are the projects I made with it..........

My Growing family layout

*For the flower, I did a lot of layering. This is perfect since the heart was "transparent". Don't be afraid to layer embellishments over each other. Just always consider the size, smallest ones of course goes last on top.

Love card

*Sometimes you can make a clever card sentiment just by looking at text paper. Such was the case I had with those great papers from the Teresa Collins line in the kit. I cut out the sentiment for the front of my card from her paper and then continued the theme of the sentiment by handwriting my own in the inside of the card.
* also if a paper has some really great design but you're afraid to use the whole paper, why not cut out parts of the paper. That's what I did with the beautiful fancy design used in the background of my card.

family layout

*I got the inspiration paper that our dear dt Pam shared in the kit and I followed her advice by playing up my ghost letters with paint. My regular glue stick couldn't adhere the hearts well so I ran it through my sewing machine instead which also created an extra design to my page.

Fly layout

*for this one there's two I want to point out: 1. the homemade butterfly was made by cutting some petals from the red flower in the kit. cut two parts with four petals each. Adhere the petals on paper with glue dots. Seperate the petals into four equal parts, this will make your butterfly wings. Grab a small scrap of black cardstock, cut it out for the body, adhere in the middle of your wings (this will also cover the unwanted parts) and finish off with some doodles.
2. the blocks of beige cardstock was fancied up by the beautiful doodlebug design rubons included in the kit. Place the rubons on your paper, moving them around till you find the design you want. Cut out that part of the rubon and transfer to the paper. Nobody will never know that that wasn't part of a fancy paper line. hehehehehe.

So grab this kit before it goes away. You won't be sorry. (the link is on the left bar of my blog.)

Have a great day,