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, July 31, 2011

Cardabilities #36- 100% boy

It's reveal day at the Cardabilities blog today. I always look forward to this day because I get to see the takes on the sketch by the rest of the design team members. We don't see each other's work before hand and I think it's great because we share the excitement with all the Cardabilities fans out there.

Here's my take on the beautiful and minimalist design of the sketch #36

100 % Boy

I rarely make masculine cards so I thought this should be one of those rare times. I love how the browns, greens and blues gave it that rich and deep "manly" vibe.

to soften the look, since it's a boy's card, I added scallops to the mix placing my sentiment rubon dead center on it.

I added more boyish accents to the card with stars and buttons.

So that's it for me, make sure you check out the sketch and all of the different takes on it my the talented designers of Cardabilities in the blog here.

Happy Sunday.

Till next time,


Friday, July 29, 2011

Welcome mini

So we are gearing up for family visits in the coming two weeks. We are super excited to have our parents and my sister (with her family) come to town to attend Marcus' baptism but also to see the sites in town.

I've been busy planning meals, where people are going to sleep and double checking if I have enough towels for everyone in this past week. But despite the craziness, I managed to get creative and here's what I made....

"Welcome" Guestbook mini

my thought on this mini is that I wanted to have a small documentation of who visits us, when, why and all of those fun things. The beauty of having a scrapbook room resemble a scrapbook store is that I really don't need to go out and buy supplies when the idea arises. That was the case for this project. I had these brown chipboard shapes leftover from a project that I made a year ago. I kept the two unwanted pieces because I knew they can be used as a cover for a mini and that's exactly what I did with them here.

I had a couple of paper packs from Making Memories that I used for the page fillers/inside pages. Projects like these are a great way to use up paper packs that
you've either forgotten about or have not touched in a long time. Because paper packs are meant to coordinate with one another, it provides you with a book that has the pages mesh with each other.

I got a new Cricut cartridge for my birthday and I used that to create my book title, the scrolls on the cover and this "thank you" piece in the front page.

All the inside pages are similar in design/concept. I kept most of the pages open so I can add photos later on. I made a small journaling block to go with each page where I will have guests fill up their name, date of visit, reason for visit and how we showed them a good time.

and here's a look at the back. For the scallop edges of the dot paper, I used my Martha Stewart Crafts border punch. I binded the book with book rings purchased at my local Officemax. I wanted this book to have the option of expanding when all my pages have been filled. That way, I don't have to make another one. :)

but right now, it only has about 18 pages.

I can't wait to fill this up with fun memories of family and friends visiting us. I'm sure this is another mini that will be cherished by the family for years to come.

Till next time,


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pueblo Reservoir

One thing we definitely miss about California is the water. We miss being able to be 30 minutes away from the beach or about the same travel time to a swimming pool (my inlaws). So this summer has been very different for us, it sure is not the same. But luckily Mitch took us to explore the Pueblo Reservoir last Saturday and Summer might be saved after all! It's no beach or grandma's pool but in the heat of the Colorado sun, it's the best thing we can find. Here's some of the photos from our exploration trip......

The day that we chose was perfect! It was sunny and hot at about 94 degrees. The water was definitely inviting although we couldn't really swim far since the reservoir has a rule of "wading only", meaning you have to be able to touch the bottom where ever you swim to. This is also a protection for the swimmers, since there are a lot of water crafts on the reservoir.

Let me tell you that this photo was not edited! I wanted to show you the beautiful blue skies we always wake up to here in Colorado. No photoshop needed for this!

Maddie upon finding some smooth rocks underneath the water. She gathered a bunch and thankfully was able to compromise with her to bringing home just one. Whew!

Marcus having a blast in the water. The water was a bit cold but when you swim around in it, it gets manageable. You can see the see-doo in the background. These were all over the place during our visit. They look like a lot of fun!

and here's where we rest from the sun. Since this was our first visit in this place, we didn't know what to expect. I was only going to bring a small beach umbrella but Mitch thought it would be better to bring the canopy. It was a good call! We forgot chairs so we decided to pull out our expedition's third row seat so we can lounge in "leather" style. *wink*

we brough a little picnic of sandwiches, pasta salad, apples and baked cookies.

I have to get myself in the photos once in a while. :)

drinking water was our constant companion in this trip too.

then in typical Colorado fashion, the storm clouds came in. See the the dark clouds rolling into our perfect sunshiny day?

The swirling activity off in the distance in this photo made us pack up pretty fast. The group beside us thought it was going to be a tornado. We definitely were'nt the only ones rushing to take down canopies at this point.

and while Mitch rushed to pack us up, his avid photographer wife was taking photos! Thanks dear.

and like clockwork around here, afternoon showers came, even before we left the lake.

All in all it was a fun trip. We will definitely be coming back here when the "missing cali water" fever hits us again.

thanks for stopping by.

Till next time,


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Some layouts

how do you feel about Wednesdays? For me it's the reminder that the week is halfway done and that if I'm not planning my weekend by now, I need to get crackin' on it, pronto!

Well today (besides thinking about my weekend plans, LOL) I wanted to share with you some layouts I did recently. I think crafting at anytime of the week is great, with or without any fun activitites planned for the weekend. *wink*

A Birthday Tradition

this first two layouts that I'm sharing today are about birthdays since July is mine and my son's birthday month. We love how baskin robbins offer free scoops of ice cream on your birthday. You need to sign up for their email blasts though but I think it's worth it. My kid know that when July comes, we will be visiting BR soon. These are photos from last years visit. I always give my ice cream scoop to Maddie. Her "i love this ice cream" smile is good enough gift for me. I used some Confetti papers from Ameicran crafts here to bring out the fun celebration theme.

My 30th
-pulled out for publication-

another fun thing we did last year was to go to Denny's for breakfast. They offer you a free meal on your birthday. I'm all about free and birthdays are the perfect day to avail of so many fun things. To make my title stand out against the background, I used a piece of vellum behind the title. I also added some texture to this layout by scrunching the paper circles cut out from a Hello Sunshine paper from American Crafts before adhering them with Confetti brads.

A New Kitchen

For some reason double page spreads have been a thing of the past in the scrapbooking words. You don't see it much in the magazines. But not for me, I still love how the bigger canvas provides me with lots of room for photos, stories and sprinkling of embellishments here and there. With this page, I actually used an old technique of making a panoramic view with the photos. I took section shots of my newly remodeled kitchen (this was in the California house) and then layed them together where the seams from each photo meet the next to make it look line one complete shot. I also placed enough room to talk extensively about the remodeling process and what this new kitchen brought us. I used some Bobunny papers plus flowers and letter stickers from American Crafts.

Thanks for stopping by.

Till next time,

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Great outdoor cards

Hi all. Whew, summer is really going by fast for me. There's so much activities going on a daily basis that crafting is the only way for me to relax and slow down a bit.

Today I want to share with you three cards I made with the "great outdoor" theme.

my main inspiration for these cards are the fun Campy Trails journaling cards from American Crafts. It had so many different designs in there that I wanted that to make the statement in my cards.

Here are the close ups of the cards...

Here I layered two of the journaling cards. I love how the paddle background emphasized the outdoor scene of the card sentiment block

With this one, I had cut out the title from one card, then added it to the top of another which had the oh so cute cabin photo. I then added paper strips and a circle to mimic the sun. And to make the sun "shine" I added glitter glue to it.

With this card, I played with some Campy Trails paper, punched it out with a stamp punch from Fiskars, layed them horizontaly and then broke the square design by adding the sentiment block in the middle, towards the right edge of the card.

So there you have it. Great outdoor cards are the perfect way to share summer fun with your loved ones.

Thanks for stopping by.

Till next time,


Friday, July 22, 2011

Denver Botanical Gardens

Last Tuesday we went to the Denver Botanical Gardens. They were having their once a month free admission days and it just so happened that Mitch didn't have work so it was extra special because we got to go as a whole family.

As expected there were a lot of people there. Hey it's free, you can never beat that! But we managed to have a good time. The only thing that was a bummer was the heat! The kids kept on complaining about it while we explored the many plants and flowers they have there. Finally after getting tired of hearing of all the whining, I told them that if they get through the tour without anymore complains that we'll go to McD afterwards for some sundaes. Bribery, mom's greatest asset. *wink*

I take a lot of photos as most of you know so to streamline this post, I made collages of some of them. Here are my favorites...
note: lately I've been very meticulous about my photographs and sad to say that this blog can't get my pictures any bigger than they are now. So if you want to take a closer look at the photos, just click on them and they'll pull up bigger for you. :)

this stone walkway was pretty interesting. They've painstakingly made it so that the pattern was curvy. So cool!

saw lots of flowers and unique plants.

and some of my fave shots of us.

on our way back to the parking lot, we made a detour to another part of the garden which was dubbed as the "kids' section". The kids enjoyed that part tremendously (which kid wouldn't) with a little river they can wade in and a fun bridge to cross. They told me that when we go there again, we need to go to the kid's section first! My kids the bosses!

So that's our field trip for the week. Now off to finish my papercrafty projects.

Till next time,


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Marcus' birthday

So last Sunday my son turned 8. We had a celebration all weekend long (swimming and Chuck E Cheese on Saturday) and capped it all off with cake and him opening his gifts on Sunday.

Because his birthday fell on Sunday, all the festivities had to wait till after we came home from church. He sure was a trooper waiting, although he kept on asking me...."is it time Mama? is it time?" You can tell his excitement everytime he asked that question.

So after making him suffer a little longer while Dad went home teaching (visit a family within our congregation to see how they're doing, give them a short spiritual message and see what service he can offer them that month) we finally got the cake out and the presents.

becuase he was waiting so patiently, I let him open one present. Hence the Cars checkers box is not wrapped.

I make my kid's cakes. It's not "cake boss" material but I do and my kid's seem to like my cakes. I asked Marcus before hand what he wanted me to make him and his request was a chocolate and strawberry cake with green frosting and gummy worms. This cake actually resembles his 5th bday cake a lot. See the photo in this post.

I suggested that we add small chocolate chips on the cake in the form of an eight. There was no arguments about it so that's what we did. And because I'm just the best mom out there and that has her brain always in perfect running condition....when I got all the ingredients and supplies to make this cake, I forgot one of the most important supply.....THE CANDLE! Yeah you can tell that I'm losing it when I get the cake fixins and forget the stinkin' candle!!! That is the reason why you are seeing a votive candle on my child's cake. Don't hate please, just understand. *wink*

the family singing the happy birthday song to him.

him blowing his votive candle. LOL.

his gifts- two small ones from the party supply store and a WII game of his choice. He also got birthday money from both sets of grandparents. This boy had some great gifts this year. He couldn't wait to spend his bday money.

this is the game he chose and he's been it playing since.

I made a small round cake since there's just the four of us eating it. It was actually a good size because we had enough leftovers to eat more cake the following night for FHE (family home evening) as our treat.

So that's it. Thanks for stopping by.

Till next time,


Sunday, July 17, 2011

8 layout

The celebration continues in the Tolman home because our dear Marcus turned 8 today. This year is a big one for the him and for the whole family because as an LDS we baptize our children at 8. We believe that this is the time when they can be accoutable for their actions. Before that (baby up to 7) we believe that they're too innocent to have their mistakes really be counted against them.

Anyways, our Marcus is getting ready for his baptism which will happen early next month and we are extra excited because family members are coming to witness it.

Yesterday we started our celebration by taking him swimming and a dinner at Chuck E Cheese. I love how simple life is to children. Just a day full of fun and some gifts and they are on top of the clouds.

Today I want to commemorate his birthday by sharing a layout I did recently....


I used some leftover photos of him that I used in his baptism invites.

I got the idea of a q&a type of journaling from a layout I saw at Pinterest. love that site so much! Anyways, I asked him a few questions. Simple ones like what is his fave cereal, toy, tv show and holiday to name a few. I thought this would be a good journaling because I'm sure in a short span of time, the answers to this list would change.

I added his name as the subtitle.

The layout sketch was inspired by the latest sketch at the Pagemaps blog. Love how this layout came out because of ideas that surround me on a regular basis- photos, sketch blogs, pinterest. I don't know what I'd do without these creative prompts.

So that's it. I'm off to continue the celebration with some cake and ice cream.

till next time,


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Project share (with links)

Hello and happy weekend.

Today I want to link you up to a few blogposts I've made for the wonderful companies I work for.

Marcus at Wrestling

Glue Arts teamed up with Fancy Pants this week and I got papers from the Beach Bum collection. To see how I made this layout, go to this post at the Glue Arts blog.

Accent it all Vinyl treat container

Another assignment we had this month was to use Glue Art's Accent-it-all vinyl for a celebration project. I decided to make a treat container. The vinyl is so easy to use and goes through punches really well. See how I made this project in this blog post.

Patriotic Flower Vase

I had the priviledge of posting a tutorial/step by step blog post at the Daisy Diaries blog this month. Check out how I made this project on this post. And make sure you check out the products I used at the Upsy Daisy Designs website.

Halloween banner

and finally, I posted this fun acrylic halloween banner at the Clear Scraps blog today. These halloween themed shapes are one of the new products Clear Scraps are releasing at CHA next week. Make sure you check out all the rest of the new stuff here.

So that's it. Happy blog hopping through all of these fantastic blogs, there's always a TON of inspiration to be gathered at each of these blogs. Happy Weekend.

Till next time,


Friday, July 15, 2011

31 things I did on my 31st birthday

If you are looking for my latest card for the Cardabilities reveal today, please scroll down. :)

It has been such a busy week for me that I've been a bit overwhelmed at trying to be updated with family stories. I'm going to get rid of the guilt and start a new with the latest big event in this household. It's not really a big deal but birthdays, any birthdays, is meant mentioning. Since I turned 31, I decided to make sure I did 31 things on my bday. Just something I thought the last minute to make the day fun for me. Most of the things on this list is random and routine but heck, I needed to list 31!

Ok so here we go....
1. Gave family members hugs after recieving homemade birthday cards from them. I guess Mitch gathered the kids the night before (while I was at mutual) used up Maddie's scrapbook stash and made me cards. How cute are they?!

2. Ate Breakfast (half of a grapefruit, cereal and milk)
3. Read Scriptures (Corinthians chapter 1)
4.. Water my garden/plants. So excited that my radishes and carrots are growing great.
5.Did Yoga.
6.Took pics of latest projects. All through the chaos of this week, I managed to make one layout, 3 cards and a mini. :)
7. Uploaded the photos on the computer and did editing for each photo.
8.Checked my email. Gosh I have a ton of birthday wishes.
9. Read all my birthday greetings on Facebook. I sure felt all the love.
10. Got dressed. Put on something nice (which means not my ordinary tshirt, shorts and flipflops outfit)

11. I even took it to another level by putting some make up on, getting my untamed hair fixed up and putting some nail polish. My version of a birthday pampering on a budget! LOL
12. Made Marcus' birthday card and wrapped up his presents. Since he was born and having our birthdays so close together, my bdays have become a preparation day of sorts for his big day.
13. Typed up visual aids for my lesson on Sunday. Got a cool handout idea from Sugardoodle.net.Love that site!
14. Called Gem (my sister) back and left her a message. I didn't catch her call earlier in the day.
15. Ironed some white sheets that I would be using for photoshoot backdrop.
16. Set up shoot spots in my home and backyard + pulled out all of my props that I'll be using.
17. Practiced best lighting possiblities with Maddie.
18. Had Spaghetti for lunch. Spaghetti is one of my fave dishes and I just so happen to have some leftover from earlier this week. Kinda fun to have one of my fave dishes for a meal on my bday, even if it's the second time around that I was eating it.

19. Talked with YW leaders on the phone.
20. Went to the mall with my kids. Since Mitch was working, I felt like if I wanted to have some "fun" on my special day I need to make it happen even with kids in tow. I didn't purchase anything but the window shopping is always a fun past time for me. I also read parts of a new book I'm reading while the kids played in the mall playground.
21. Took the kids to Baskin Robbins for some ice cream. I signed up all the family for their birthday deal so every year, we go to BR to get free scoops of ice cream. Marcus gets one and I give my bday scoop to Maddie.
22. Went to the library. I scored the Jillian Michael's Yoga DVD that I've been searching forever for. That was definitely a great birthday surprise.
23. Got home and picked up the mail (got a bday card from my mom and a birth announcement from a friend in Cali)
24. Went online and answered all of my Facebook greetings. I was tempted to just do a general thank you post but I really felt so special with each and every greeting that I felt like they needed a special and personalize response. It was quiet a task!
25. Checked Pinterest. Always inspired when I go to that site. Added more stuff on my boards.
26. Watched a bit of TV while I waited for Mitch to be ready for my bday dinner.
27. On our way to go to dinner my sweet friend came by to drop this off. I didn't get to eat it till today but it was super yummy.

28. Ate at a Korean BBQ place in town. I rely a lot on Yelp.com for advice/suggestions on where to eat around here. This place that we went to did not offer all you can eat BBQ and the kimchi was so so but the meat was great, lots of great flavor, reasonably priced and not too far from us. Definitely a must return place in my book.

We only bought two meats and it was good enough for all of us to be filled. Not too ful but satisfied. It was great cause then we had room still to have some desert.

29. and for that, we went to Dunkin Donuts. Now I know bdays are associated with cakes and ice cream but since nobody is going to bake that for me around here, donuts is second best!

30. Got home and gave the kids' baths.
31. Watched the "Wall Street" movie with hubby while scrapbooking.

My day was long and as you can see, filled to the brim. I didn't even get to bed till after midnight. But I was very happy and felt so loved by all the well wishes and greetings of dear family and friends.

Birthdays are always sweeter by ending it with some toasted coconut donut!

Till next time,