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.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Altered Cigar Gift Box

Hello friends. It's Friday and thank goodness! This busy bee is looking forward to the weekend and hopefully the "break" that comes with it.
One of my favorite things to do is to visit my local thrift and antique stores. I can spend hours in these stores and I'm always on the lookout for that great find. I was very happy when I scored this wood cigar box for $2 in a recent visit to an antique store. I love the shape and because its wood I know that whatever I do with it, it will last for a long time.
I decided to give it some paper love and turn it into a gift box. I figured the gift box is pretty general, I can fill it with treats or a special gift and the box itself would be an extra gift as well.

So after some measuring, cutting the papers to the measurments and a few more embellishments for extra measure of cuteness this is what I turned it into....
I used papers from Handmade collection of Lily Bee Design. I love the bright, fun colors which is perfect for a gift box. I made a big rosette flower for my title and added white paint on the edges for some texture and added design. I love how the banner stickers emphasize the celebratory feel of this project.
Now it's ready to be filled with goodies.
So now it's your turn....what kind of thrift store/garage sale/antique store treasure have you scored lately?
Till next time,

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Marcus' Scout Bike Rodeo

I love having a cub scout for a son. He's learned so many things through the program and he's extra handsome when he's in his Scout uniform. :)
Last week our pack had their annual bike rodeo. The boys got to ride their bikes around the church's parking lot for 1 whole mile without stopping and they got to practice their hand signals too. They even got to ride around cones and learned what were the different parts of a bike. Over all my little man accomplished a lot in a span of an hour. Here's some photos of the activity...

at the end they were given some popcorn balls and handmade chocolate treats for refreshments. My son gave this activity an A+.

Do you have scout in your home? What is your most unforgettable scout activity?

Till next time,

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

latest layouts

I'm going to be helping out this morning at my kids' classrooms but before I do that, let me share with you a couple of layouts I did recently...
Class Performance
It's always fun when I get to see one of my kids participating with their class in a school performance. They tend to be shy and this is just one way that they can break out of that. I used some older Jillibean Soup papers. I thought that the music sheet pattern went perfectly with this layout of my son and his classmates doing a song performance for their school assembly.

I punched out some pattern paper and layered it on top of the scallop journaling block to give the blue button a patter to lay on top of.

I added the paper where part of my title went with some foam adhesive, giving the page more dimension.
My Dad's Menudo
I recently made a page paying tribute to my mom's eggrolls that I decided to even things out by making a page about my dad's menudo.

I had cut out two pieces of lined paper blocks from pattern paper where I handwritten the recipe on. Because the dish had a long list of ingredients and directions, I divided them into two blocks and binded them together with some twine.

Two more memories documented and preserved on layouts. Woohoo!

Till next time,

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mitch's birthday

Whether we like it or not, we all have birthdays to celebrate this year. My hubby wasn't really much into celebrating this year so we made it a quiet one for him. His special day fell on a Monday and we started the celebration the day before by inviting the missionaries to our home for dinner. I made his favorite- beef Enchiladas (his mom's recipe) along with some Spanish rice, Refried Beans and Green Salad. We finished the meal with another one of his favorite....German Chocolate Cake.
He was feeling younger when he saw that there was only 24 candles on the cake. To his luck, I didn't have 44 candles on hand. Ha! We sang a quick birthday song and he got to blow out his candles...

There wasn't much celebrating going on because he had school and he also had to go to his annual physical check up but we did manage to have lunch at Subway in between his busy schedule. He even got some special well wishes on Facebook.

Another birthday passed and we have one more to go this year (Maddie's next month) and we can officially rest from birthdays in the family till next July.

Till next time,

Monday, September 24, 2012

Revisiting some of my tutorials

Hello friends. It's another week and I can't believe we are in the last week of September. Time sure flies. It's officially Fall and that means that the Holidays is around the corner. Have you finished your Holiday shopping yet? Are you planning on wowing your family and friends with handmade gifts this year? Well if you are going "crafty" this season, let me share with you some of the projects I've done in the past along with tutorials that might help you in making your handcrafted gifts this year.
{click on the title to view the tutorial}
 this is by far my most popular tutorial. It's an easy way to dress up those post it notes that can be given to friends, neighbors and it's a great stocking stuffer.
 Have a little boy in your list? How about giving him this gift? It's a great toy to take to church, doctor's office or anywhere you're little guy might need to sit and wait. Since the homemade magnets all fit in the tin, it's very compact and easy to tote around.
 I think this is a great way to showcase your pictures in a unique way. I made this as a teacher gift to my kids' preschool teacher but you can always take this idea to make something special for grandma.
I love quotes and who doesn't? They are a great way to showcase your beliefs on you wall. This one was made with vinyl and a frame found in Goodwill. It's also a great way to share your favorite quotes to family and friends.
I made this last year and I really like how easy they are to make. It's also a great project to use up scraps of fabric.  
thanks for stopping by.
till next time,

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Creative Memories Dream BLOG HOP

Welcome everyone to Creative Memories' Dream blog hop. I hope you enjoy your visit here and don't forget to gather all of the word clues from each blog for a chance to win some great prizes from Creative Memories.
here's my share today....
Circa 1986 
I love the colors of the Dream collection. The light blue and pop of yellow was just perfect for my old photo. It brings nostalgia and the childhood feel to it. I also love the hot air ballooon die cut that you can pop out from one of the papers of the collection. Soooo cool. I made it my main accent of the page.

Supplies used: Cardstock- Brown; Pattern papers- Dream; Stickers- Dream; Letter stickers- Swirly ABC/123; Star punch; Border Maker system; Border Maker Scallop Cartridge; Pen- Brown; Foam adhesive; Tape runner [all from Creative Memories]


Make-A-Wish® grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. In collaboration with Make-A-Wish, Creative Memories has developed these exclusive Dream products that can help you celebrate the wishes, hopes, dreams and achievements in your world. Each Dream product benefits Make-A-Wish with a $1 or $2 donation per purchase.
Here's my code for you...

So here's the line up for the blog hop....

Creative Memories Digital 411 Blog: Layouts featured by Beth Thomander, Sherry-Ann Hoogland, Debbie Parks, and Jill Klasen. :  http://blogs.creativememories.com/software_solutions/
Gretchen McElveen:  http://gretchenmac.blogspot.com/
Grace Tolman: http://tolmanchronicles.blogspot.com/ -----YOU ARE HERE
Creative Memories Traditional 411 Blog: Layouts featured by Jen Lessinger and Melissa Ullmann:   http://blogs.creativememories.com/product_solutions/
I hope you enjoy the rest of the hop and thanks for stopping by.
Till next time,

Tacos...Mitch's version

In my home, I do all the cooking. It's been one of the "homemaker" aspects that I've enjoyed. Recently we harvested a gigantic cabbage from our garden and we were tyring to figure out what kind of dishes we can use it for. Mitch suggested that we make his mom's beef tacos with cabbage. I thought it was a great idea as we have not had that in forever but I don't remember the procedure so I gave the task of making this dish to him. He took the job on and I have to say....maybe I should make him cook more around here. *wink*
Beef Tacos with Cabbage and Beans
1 lb. hamburger meat
1 can (10 0z) Pork and Beans
Corn Tortilla
A pack of taco seasoning
Oil for frying
Shredded cabbage (about 1 1/2 cups)

1. Brown the hamburger meat, drain the fat and add some taco seasoning. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes and then add the pork and beans.
2. Heat up oil and fry one side of the corn tortillas. Turn it on the other side and place about 1/4 cup of meat mixture on one side, fold the tortilla and fry for about 1 minute more. Place the cooked taco on a plate laid with a paper towel.
3. Repeat step 2 until you've used up all of your meat mixture.
4. Serve with your favorite salsa and the shredded cabbage.

 and here's the proud chef in action...

for this specific dinner, I served it with green salad and a green smoothie. We have some spinach and I tossed it with strawberries in the blender
I have to say that the frying technique is not a healthy option but Mitch and I have talked about it and we will try to heat up the tortilla on a non stick pan without oil next time to see if eliminating the oil would change the taste.

If you try it, please let me know how it turned out for you. :)

Till next time,

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Butterfly Wall Decor Art + How To

Happy mid-week! I have noticed that since leaving the Glue Arts team, I haven't had the opportunity to do step by step tutorials and I'm missing it. I don't know about you but sometimes I understand the project better (and how to recreate it) when I see a "step by step how to" on it. So with that here's a recent project I made....
Butterfly Wall Decor Art
first off,  I'd like to share why I wanted to create this. Lately, I've been compiling lots of items that are recyclable. One of these items are cardboard backings. I have about 8 sheets now and I wanted to make something pretty with it. So hence, this wall decor idea came about.

So to create this project you'll need:
Papers (Cardstock and Pattern papers) I used some Jenni Bowlin Studio distressed cardstocks from Core'dinations
Chipboard Shapes (mine is butterfly chipboard from Jenni Bowlin Studio)
Spray mist (I used three colors that have a fall hue on them and they are all from Tattered Angels)
Pearl pen (Copper from Viva Decor)
Buttons and Twine (button from stash, twine from Doodlebug Design Inc.)
Adhesive, Circle punch, Cutting Mat and blade, Ruler and an empty deep box

So to start with this project, I misted my butterflies first. I used three different colors (olive vine, Peach delight and candy apple red). I use a deep shipping box when I mist so that my paint won't go on anything else in my craft table. Let it dry completely before touching.

By measuring the size of my butterfly chipboards, I got an idea of how wide and long I need my cardboard foundation to be. I then cut the board to size with a craft knife and cutting mat.

Next I distressed this blue butterfly textured cardstock to make the butterfly accent come out. Isn't it beautiful?

Then I adhered the board on the back of the cardstock, then trim the cardstock to fit the board.

After the butterflies have dried completely, I start putting together the design of my wall decor. This is my favorite part. I'm all about layering. As you can see, I added a round journaling block paper (also from Jenni Bowlin Studio) in the center before I added the green butterfly to make it more stand out and then I grounded my artwork with strips of red textured paper. After moving things around a bit, I was happy with the look and then I start adhering them to the board.

I chose to adhere the green butterfly with foam adhesive to create dimension between the butterflies. After I added a title and some circle centers. After looking at it for a little bit, I wanted the edges of the butterflies to have a line around it so I pulled out my copper pearl pen and added this texture paint around the edges of the butterflies. Since I've already adhered my elements, I was extra careful while adding the texture paint around the shapes so it doesn't get anywhere else in my project that I don't want it to go on.

I then added some buttons on the edges of the red strips. Next I punched out a couple of holes on the top then threaded some twine, tied the ends in the back and it was ready to be hung.
So here's the look of the finished project...

and some more close ups...

Thanks for letting me share and if you happen to recreate this project, please share a link. I wanna see your creation :)

Till next time,

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

September TAKE TWELVE photos

Hello friends. We are on the last leg of our Ella Publishing's Take Twelve challenge this year and I have to say that it has become a great collection of photos for me. Don't get me wrong, trying to remember to pull out the camera on the 12th of the month, especially this month as it is starting to get crazy with me being with school and fall activities but once I take the time to capture 12 things representing my day, I feel very accomplished. This just shows you that it doesn't take a lot of effort to capture a bit of what our lives look like right now. So with that being said....here's what my Sept 12th look likes...
1. Preparing for my Sunday school lesson for Sunday today. Lots of reading but also taking time to make a cute handout. After all, that's a good excuse to use up my scrapbook supplies.
2. Since it's fall season, I'm breaking out photos that matches the season.
3. We are having Piano lessons for the kids today since our Tuesday (the day before) was crazy busy.
4. Thawing some hamburger meat for our Taco dinner tonight.
5. Marcus taking a little break in between our activities and homework by playing on the WII.
6. A quick self portrait. I got dressed today (other than my normal jammies and sweats) because I helped out at the kids' school this morning.
7. Our temperature today. Starting to get cold around here.
8. It was raining all day today. We need the water!
9. Fall is upon us and Autumn decorations are starting to pop out around my home.
10. Maddie playing around with my yarn scraps.
11. Got some prints in the mail today for my photography clients. Love the results, as always.
12. Checking off some of my school homework. It's a great feeling to know that I've beaten the deadline.

Are you participating in the Take Twelve challenge? Would you like more info? Check it out here.

Thanks for stopping by.

Till next time,

Monday, September 17, 2012

Giveaway winner + a sneek peek

Happy Monday everyone. This will be a quick one as I have a TON of things on my list today, not to mention that it's hubby's birthday so as you can image, celebrating is on my brain as well. :)
Oh by the way....did you see the changes on my blog "home". Yeah I've been itching to get it revamped for a while but the idea haven't presented itself to me until a few days ago. Do you like it? I wanted the side bar to be less cluttered so I moved a bunch of stuff in the pages tab (up above). Let me know if this works better for you and if there's anything I need to add or delete. :)
Ok so thanks for all those that stopped by and checked out my giveaway last week. As you can recall, Big Picture Classes and Ella Publishing has come together into one company and to celebrate the big news....Ella friends like me was given the opportunity to giveaway a great prize...a seat to this class....
and the lucky winner is....
Absolutely love Fall as is my favorite season. The leaves changing colors, the weather, pines cones, pumpkins, apples, etc. You named, it's all 'bout fall for this gal!!

Thanks for the opportunity to win!

Denisse (aka GIGIGI30 from Scrapbook.com)
I'll try to contact you but if you happen to see this before I can....please email me at graceelainetolmanatyahoodotcom so I can send you info on how to claim your wonderful prize.
And to give you guys a heads up....Creative Memories is doing another fun blog hop this Friday. You might recall that we did one earlier this year and it was a success. We hope you'll join us in the fun this Friday. It will start at the Creative Memories Digital 411 blog.

I'm honored to be a part of this blog hop and here's a peek at the project I'm going to share that day...

So mark your calendars for Friday, Sept. 21st. Start at the Creative Memories Digital 411 blog or you can always hop here and I'll give you the full list of hoppers!

Have a great day and till next time,