Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dear Friends

Hey there friends! I'm back in the saddle finally after being gone since Sept. 21st to various parts of Peru. I feel all happy inside! Most excellent trip and also most excellent to be home.

I'm slowly doing what THE MAN calls "peeing on my house" which basically means I'm tidying up, putting away, and in general, easing back into the day to day.

I have so many stories to tell you about Karina our Peruvian Cool Ass Guide Girl, community dogs, a hike to the Sun Gate, and Inca ingenuity that I don't know where to start.



Well, actually I have to start with the 450 e-mails in the work inbox, the 150 in the home inbox, and folding some laundry, but since it's Saturday, I plan on employing my typical method of getting that kind of thing done.

Glass of wine in hand I fold a few clothes, read a few e-mails from both accounts, and put something away.

It's terribly scattered, but I do eventually get it all done, lol.

Kinda like eating an oreo, the best part is inside, like checking out every one's latest projects that have arrived via e-mail....but then you should also eat the cookie part too.....

oh and PS. Karina always said:  OK FRIENDS when she wanted to get our attention and I liked it...I think I am going to steal it fair and square.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Peru Day 7: Watkins & Erin


Day 7 • Thursday – September 27
Cusco / Lima En-Route
After breakfast, fly back across the Andes to Lima. Enjoy a superb lunch of local delicacies at Puro Peru before an afternoon Colonial Lima tour.  Dayroom use is available at the Swissôtel until the evening airport transfer. 

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Ha! Proof you can rescue turtles from the middle of the road and it doesn't cost you a huge vet bill!

As you can see, a rare page with a real date! I tend to leave a date off sometimes because my pages go in books chronologically and I always figure it does kind of work in the general slacker scheme of things. 

Aren't they adorable little twerps??

And tomorrow I'm home! And ends my week of flashing back to previous scrap pages!

Hope you enjoyed!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Peru Day 6: SWINE


Day 6 • Wednesday – September 26
Cusco
Spend the morning strolling the streets of Cusco with your guide, exploring the Koricancha — also known as Santo Domingo, Santa Catalina Convent and the Cathedral. The Church and Convent of Santo Domingo are beautiful examples of Spanish architecture superimposed on Inca construction — the complex was built over the Koricancha, a temple dedicated to the sun, the Inca’s most important god. After lunch at Incanto, walk the historic streets and galleries of San Blas with your guide visiting San Blas Church, Twelve Angled Stone and Artists quarters.

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This just proves I will scrap just about anything. And has NOTHING to do with my itinerary, I just thought it was cute now that it is a distant memory! 

This is how the WEEK OF SWINE went:


Monday:  Kids a bit tired
Tuesday:  Lexi all out sick & I stay home with both kids making doc appointment for Wed. 
Wed:  THE MAN declares I am nuts about them being sick, it's his turn to stay home, so he takes kids, discovers they have the swine flu, they get the shot to help them get over it, he leaves them locked in the truck at various pharmacies searching all over town for drugs. Most places were out of it, due to the epidemic. He finally gets them to decrease the adult dosage at Wegmans (anyone local to NY will know how amazing that grocery store is) and tells me how smart I am to get them into the doc that early
Thursday: Kids lay on couch all day
Friday: Kids lay on couch all day
Saturday:  Kids lay on couch all day

It was honestly more difficult on THE MAN although I was the one off three days. My work was much more understanding than his at the time. I was climbing the walls even though I was working. I had to be to take photos of the misery and then scrap about it!

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Peru Day 5: Bradford Home of the Braves


Day 5 • Tuesday – September 25
Machu Picchu / Ollantaytambo /  Sacsayhuamán / Cusco
A 3rd entrance is included should you wish to return to Machu Picchu on your own.
Return via Vistadome train to Ollantaytambo. Explore the mighty archaeological wonder of Ollantaytambo, where ancient temples and fortresses were built to protect the Sacred Valley.  Once back in the Sacred Valley, enjoy a traditional lunch at Wayra Ranch before a show of Paso Fino horses. Continuing across the valley toward Cusco, we stop at Sacsayhuamán — a huge fortress of massive stones which zigzags across the side of the mountain.

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This page has NOTHING to do with my itinerary unless of course you think Inca Warriors may also be like Bradford Braves, no not really I guess!

I just liked the pretty flowers and had just blogged about them in a recent page I did on Lexi, so they show up again, just a few years ago! She was in THIRD grade here and Luke in first!

And how to you like our bus turn around? That was across the street from my house. Every morning someone had to meet the bus there because they would not turn down my dirt road. Kids were way too little to stick on a corner in the middle of nowhere by themselves!
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Peru Day 4: I Used to be....


Day 4 • Monday – September 24
Machu Picchu
A full day to explore Machu Picchu or simply relax! You may wake up early and hike to the Sun Gate or enjoy some early morning birding in the abundant gardens surrounding our hotel. All wildlife-related activities and your entrance fee to Machu Picchu are included, and your guide will be on-hand to help you make any needed arrangements. For a more relaxing day, treat yourself to the spa or visit the extensive orchid garden, currently considered the biggest in-habitat garden on the planet. The grounds of the Machu Picchu Pueblo are home to exquisite birds including 16 species of hummingbirds and the Andean cock-of-the-rock, the national bird of Peru.
Overnight Machu Picchu Pueblo. 

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A bird, an airplane....maybe you can see how my itinerary relates to this page....

No, not really....

I did laugh when I came across it. I had enjoyed how the two photos looked kind of similar at the time and one was my little Gram and the other me. 

Anyhow, there is a lot of journaling in the little book you can see there that I won't bore you with. OK, so it's a bit private but going on about spunk and nerve and all that jazz.

WHICH I suppose relates to taking my first ever vacation by myself. Typically THE MAN and I would never dream of taking one apart, but this year morphed into that with him going to Vegas with his Dad and me headed to Peru with my parents....

Now we do have something amazing planned for next year and our anniversary...and parents are NOT INVITED. ;-) 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Peru Day 3: YMCA Page


Day 3 • Sunday – September 23
Machu Picchu
Take a short ride to the Ollanta train station, where we board the Vistadome train to Machu Picchu. A bus takes us up the mountain to Machu Picchu. We spend the afternoon exploring the ruins with our guide.  Our home for the next two nights is the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, an intimate luxury hotel nestled on 12 secluded acres of tropical cloud forest.
Overnight Machu Picchu Pueblo.

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I will REALLY be missing my kids by now, I am sure. Although there is the word LUXURY above...so perhaps that will help me forget!

This page was from 2008 and was one I made to celebrate joining the YMCA, which is a gym here in the states. It's not a LUXURY gym. BUT, very family oriented. 

I used to take the kids here for swimming lessons and just to swim in general.

Due to Luke's age (5 I think), he had to use the Men's locker room himself since these frequent trips were usually without THE MAN.

I remember one such time when he was taking FOREVER getting dressed and thankfully a guy I worked with came outta the locker room. I begged Steve to go check on him, figuring he needed help. Steve (a young guy without kids at the time) came out laughing with my son who was teary eyed and claiming that "someone" had taken his shorts. I still think he misplaced them, however it was super cool Steve let him borrow a pair. Goodness gracious! 


Now Steve has a baby of his own and I am sure that he'll have his own adventures in parenting. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Peru Day 2: Journey Scrapbook Page


Day 2 • Saturday – September 22
Lima / Cusco / Urubamba Valley
Transfer to the airport in time for the flight to Cusco. We arrive in Cusco — the heart of the Inca Empire and the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Western Hemisphere. Upon arrival, we meet our guide and depart for the historic Urubamba Valley. Along the way, we stop at Awanacancha is a weaving center with the goal to keep alive the traditional textile arts.
Here you can see four members of the cameloid family - llama, alpacas, vicunas and guanacos.  Alapacas have thick wool and is the most commonly used while the vicunas are small and delicate with fur considered the finest.

Here you can meet these four cameloids, learn about the harvesting of the different wools and the natural dying techniques and have a chance to see native weavers from different areas showing their different weaving styles and dress.

Continue to the town of PisacModern Pisac is a picturesque Andean Village, typical except for the huge, spreading pisonary tree that dominates the central square. The village is best known for the market that hosts hundreds of tourists each week. In spite of its popularity the market retains much of its local charm, at least in the part where villagers from miles around gather to barter and sell their produce. In the tourist section of the market you can buy a wide variety of handicrafts - mostly the same things you see in Cusco. Pisac is a good place to buy the local ceramics including a huge and varied collection of hand-painted multi-colored beads.
Overnight Sol y Luna. 

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Today's agenda looks like it's the start of the REAL Journey as we start towards our destination so I chose this page for today.

I made it around early Spring 2007 as a result of a challenge a friend gave me to make a completely FLAT and simple page. She must have known of my tendencies to layer! I wonder what she thinks of my pages now, EEK!

Most of this was printed directly on the page, with the exception of the white rub-on. I did NOT have my large format printer at this time, so that ribbon strip is hiding where the two parts of the paper join. TRICKY!

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Peru Day 1 & Egg Head Page


Day 1 • Friday – September 21
U.S. / Lima, Peru
Upon arrival in Lima, you will be met by a representative of International Expeditions and transferred to your hotel for the remainder of the evening and overnight.
Overnight Ramada Costa del Sol.

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I imagine I will be relieved to finally be IN Peru. AND exhausted. So picked a page from when my kids were LITTLE and made me tired all the time with their energy!

Here is a page from April 2007 that I really enjoyed making. Funny how FLAT it is. But the hand dyed paper is a shout out to my current scrapping, which involves a lot of ink dying. 

These letters WERE hand cut since I did not have a cutter then. Love them! 


































How do you like this project? We hand dyed the eggs and then planted grass in them!

Of course I made my own paper with the rest of the dye....forgot how beautiful that can be!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Altered Frame: About Fairies & Angels



The other day I came across a very fancy very old frame that was missing a scallop on the edge with the very low price of $2. I figured I could make something pretty, so home it went with me.

In a fit of cleaning, I set a smaller frame I had also picked up at a second hand store on top.

Inspiration struck me then! ;-)


 Of course, spray paint makes just about anything better as does hot glue, a Manor House flower and a most amazing image!

How do you like the very pretty imagine in the center? Ignacio at Nicecrane Designs hooked me up and I love it! The images are so soft and adorable! About Fairies & Angels can be found directly at:






Well, that is about it for me this week! I'll be packing tomorrow and hitting the sky on Friday for Peru!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Happy Birthday Kristy!

Look at her there, looking so young! I bet she still gets carded.

Made this page for a dear friend from back where we used to live.

I kept it simple with just a few layers!

Used a sketch from Get Creative, so in a way, I'm sending Kristy to Greece for her Birthday! What a lucky duck!




Took a few liberties with the sketch due to the fact I printed the photo out way too big, but then I liked it that way so I ran with it!

Used a few fun items, one of which Irini will notice right off as being something she crafted!


And how to you like my title? That is a little piece of Kristy Wisdom right there. Anytime I get confused about the many priorities cropping in up in life, she'd always say, "Do what is BEST for Pratt Inc." Meaning don't schedule so much stuff in your life and forget what is most important! Good idea!

Her page and something yummy are headed her way care of the US Postal Service. Hope it gets there quick! 

Happy Birthday Kristy and Happy Tuesday Blog Land!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

MMD Divas 6th Grade Page

OHHHH so much fun with this page.

I am nostalgic and made my kids pose in front of the Black Eyed Susans for their first day of school photos. Those flowers just kinda just grew along side my step. I think they hitched a ride with a hosta that I brought with me from the last garden.

Those were always blooming at the old house and we took many first day of school photos in front of them, sometimes even taking some to the teacher.

This page was a heck of a lot of fun. Heather has a new sketch up at Miracles Momma Designs and I used the right half of it, turned sideways and zoomed in!



My favorite part was interpreting that scallopy boarder. I considered getting out some punches and then came up with the idea of using up some of the large amount of white buttons I had and some banners with butterflies! Add in some liquid pearls and I'm feeling all impressed with myself!


And...how do you like that outfit Lexi is wearing? Aunt Jennifer and Lexi picked out via texts while Aunt Jennifer was in the Justice Store. Talk about shopping from your phone. All I had to do was just pay for it!

And BTW, if you are interested in adding features to your photos like filters and all that fancy stuff, Picasa has added a whole bunch to their free program. I started using Picasa years ago and for something that is free it just keeps getting better!



Hope you are enjoying your Sunday and scrappin!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

First Day of 4th Scrapbook Page for Another Freaking Scrappy

Getting a bit painterly, right!?

Necessity breeds that sometimes. I had these little math cards downstairs in my kitchen for the entire summer. I THINK he was supposed to study them over the summer, but that Math Fact may have been left out! Or, perhaps they were just something he bought home and they never made it into the recycling bin. I tried asking and got that blank look...

Regardless, I loved their rough edges and pretty bright colors enough to turn them into the background for a page.

We have another challenge up at Another Freaking Scrappy, this time using just a sketch! As you can see, I rotated mine!


This page is pretty straight forward...my favorite part are those little wooden hearts I colored with a marker!

And, interestingly enough, this page fits in with a challenge up over at Top Tip Tuesday that asks you to use recycled items! Love it! 

Hope you are enjoying your Saturday!


Friday, September 14, 2012

Roses and Hay

My rose bush out front is going crazy! The blooms are so delicious looking! I want to find some flowers JUST LIKE THEM for scrapbook pages or make some. Love the yellow in the center. 

I didn't stop to smell the roses, but to just grab a photo of them on my way to the first of two Open Houses at the school. Pretty soon it will be fall earnestly here instead of flirting with it.

Right now as I type, we have two tractors in our back meadow making rows of hay in the second cutting. 

Didn't manage to catch the tractors, but here is our field looking so lovely with the sun and the blue blue sky. 



I just wanted to pop in here and say:

ONE WEEK UNTIL I LEAVE FOR PERU!!!

I have an interesting thing planned for my blog too.

FLASH BACK WEEK!!!

So, having moved all 26 of my scrapbooks, I did open a few and look around. Some of it was terrible awful scripted stuff lacking imagination. Some of it I am quite happy with. You can almost see a progression to what I'm dong now.

And as far as the stuff lacking imagination, there are adorable photos of my babies scrapped, so it's all good.

A few of my other pages I am going to share with my itinerary for the day and how it may (or may not) relate. I am writing the posts now and have been having a whole lot of fun with it.

I won't get your comments until I get back I don't think, unless the hotels have a pc and I have time to check my blog.

Back tomorrow as it's the 15th of the Month and new challenges go live. ;-) 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Busy Trap & Nesting

So recently I feel like I've been nesting. Thank goodness there are no Pratt Babies involved, that ship has sailed! But, leaving my house for almost nine days has me a bit freaked as much as I am excited about heading to Peru.

Closets have gotten cleaned, Scrapbooks organized, new sneakers purchased, design team commitments completed....

On the electronic end, a small international data plan has been set up on my phone for e-mails from home, I have unsubscribed from a lot of e-mail lists, and I have decreased the amount of blogs I have in my reader.

On the blog/e-mail end, I never understood how all that "extra information" about sales and new products really was distracting. I love sales and new products but I have opted to go search that information out myself when I am interested versus getting an e-mail! Or, reading about it from real people on THEIR blogs!

The thought of what my home inbox would look like after nine days made me wanna puke. It's upwards of 100 e-mails on a day I'm not checking it.

I feel lighter somehow and more relaxed.

Plus, it clears my in box out so I can focus on what I really want to read about. New projects made by real people, real e-mails and comments from my blog! This all ties into a recent article I read.

I had been searching for this quote originally:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein

I had been trying to prove a point to my boss (I did lose, despite quoting Albert Einstein) when I came across the following article from the New York Times that was actually useful.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/the-busy-trap/

Almost took my breath away.

Typically I avoid the New York Times like the plague. They usually bash my industry pretty well. I do have a cousin who works there and I took it up with her, but obviously despite our cousin connection, she cannot change their bias.

Anyhow, this is a good article regardless.

And when I get to Peru, I am looking for the same sort of existence the author writes about. The quiet, the unmolested time of breathing without a phone buzzing or computer chiming for an incoming e-mail.

Never again will I say I'm too busy. Earlier this week despite an overflowing in box and the phone ringing, I left my house to post something to a friend in England who is battling with the demons of having a sick kid. As THE MAN likes to remind me, you are NOT SAVING THE WORLD with your job, Mitra and I can honestly say posting that package gave me more satisfaction than writing 18 well written e-mails. ;-)

And:  I leave you with a quote from the article:

Life is too short to be busy.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

LESSology E Book and A Vintage Moose Munch Project


A few months ago, I got an e-mail from Yvonne Yam (you may know her as the Head Honcho over at LESSology) asking me to participate in an e-book she is sharing with their readers. It had to be related to gift wrapping just in time for the holidays.

Here is a link to the super cool e-book if you would like to check it out! Full of Cool ideas with a Recycling Twist!

I decided to START with something in the holiday spirit and then make it over to be a gift box.

As you can see, I geared up for the big project with some ice coffee.




And, it's a great time for spray paint, seeing how it's still summer! A great time to work on presents!

Just a quick spray with some cream colored paint so the red & the green won't show through.


Not only is the container recycled, I also used vintage music paper, a re purposed handle from my bathroom vanity that has been painted with a green patina, some vintage cloth on my lid, vintage lace, and also an old advertisement from a magazine!









Of course, all the pretty flowers were new...as is the lacy beads sneaking out from under them!


The inside got a little bit of spray and some mist as well.
And one last photo of my box sitting pretty and ready for a nice present. Perhaps I will make a little vintage Christmas tag to pull it all together and they can remove it later!




Monday, September 10, 2012

Happy Camper Page


In a fit of wanting to use up a pile of scraps I had and also that cool die cut purchased eons ago that says "Campers" I decided to create six of these little scallops from scraps and also cut out my bear photo.

YES, I said BEAR! As in real live bear! Our camping trip to Old Forge also gave us an additional adventure besides crazy water rides!!!!! And this one didn't involve standing in any lines...

OK:  Here is the journaling so you don't gotta squint, Lisa:


The girl at the counter who was checking us into the campground said, listen, the bears are pretty bad around here. Keep your cooler locked up in your car, keep food put away, and watch out for the bears. I must admit thinking the whole thing sounded silly. I have only ever seen a bear once and never up close.

The second afternoon in the campground, Nate came back with this story of a bear who was tearing apart a campsite.

It actually wasn’t even that far away from where we were set up. He said the bear had gotten a hold of a cooler, dumped the contents and even drank a beer while a crowd of people watched (who were also drinking their own beer). He then proceeded to start tearing the grill off the side of the camper. The owner of the campground showed up and “Boo Boo The Bear” left in a big hurry.

I of course was very disappointed to have missed all the action.

Ten minutes later I heared a hiss. HONEY COME QUICK. I round the back side of camper just in time to see Boo Boo the Bear heading away from our campsite. Nate had been grilling and our bear friend was considering coming for supper, I think!


Anyone here think I should also have included a Coors Lite die cut for my beer drinking bear friend?

No Joke, THE MAN said the bear grabbed it, bit it, and tipped his head back. Guess breaking into that cooler had him all thirsty....

Here is a side view of my cut outs. It's hard to see here, but I printed a photo of the campsite that the bear attached in a pencil sketch black & white for my background paper. It's easier to see in real life under my velum journaling!

And no joke, if you come camping here in NY in the Adirondacks, don't leave out your food & secure you grill! I admit seeing a bear up and close had me a bit nervous!

Happy Monday! 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cabinet Drama



Two Fridays ago during my work day, I determined that to celebrate a long three day weekend I would like to get covered in paint and annoy my husband. No, just kidding. My thought was, OH BOY, three day weekend, I can get a lot done!

I have had this project on the mind for a bit.  I have 26 scrapbooks in various places hiding throughout my house. It is embarrassing I have so many. I even had some in my closet...

So, with a bit of measuring, I figured out that this cabinet COULD hold more if I moved the shelf down inside it. Of course, it was nailed in. And to move it, I kinda already had to empty out the entire thing.

Which of course meant I should PAINT the whole thing? Girl Logic right there.

Here is a before photo at our old house. This cabinet originally came outta my Grandpa's Store so has been around in my life for quite a while. It has also held scrapbooks and paper for the printer as well as other odds and ends. It was pretty darn beat up. You can't see it from the photos, but the top has a piece of VERY old plywood on it. The edge of course was not so fancy edge where you could even see the layers of the wood.



So, by the time THE MAN got home, this cabinet was ripped apart and the contents were laying all over my office.




He winced when he came up the stairs.

See, I forgot I'd be taking up his barn space to paint and HE also had a project. I also failed to take into account how much REAL work I'd have to do.

We have this HUGE project at work that is coming to an end and the boss asked for "all hands on deck" which meant a fair amount of working on my part.

I innocently thought I would put my laptop in the garage and could work on both. CRAZY on my part....I ended up starting work on Tuesday needing a vacation from my vacation....

So, Friday night we took the cabinet out in the garage and I started sanding it. On Saturday I covered it with a cream colored layer of paint so I could later distress the edges and it would show up.

Sorry about the blurry cell photo....

Of course, while cleaning up the Oil Based Cream colored coat, I dropped the container for the spray gun and it broke...

THE MAN did not get mad. Did not even twitch. He just said, we can buy a new one and I have a different one we can use tomorrow for the black.

On Sunday I started to spray paint the black on it. The spare sprayer spit out paint eight trillion times as fast as the first sprayer and I ran out of black.

Had to run the store to get MORE BLACK PAINT and while I was there, I picked up a piece of molding to cover my front edge on my cabinet.

THE MAN nicely nailed it in and showed me how to send it all down to it matched.

More spraying occurred.

By Monday, I was depressed. Yes, we had the day off, but the paint was super clumpy, the cabinet was zebra striped, and I was annoyed. We came up with the plan to wait for the new sprayer, which wasn't arriving until Thursday. Plus, outta paint. ;-)

By Wednesday we were really wanting to get our garage space back AND things put back together.

So, THE MAN came home with more paint and a clear coat.

We came up with the plan of sanding it all down to get the clumps out and while I did that I distressed it.

It was like magic, the whole thing evened out and the matte clear coat protected my distressing. Didn't even need the extra black paint.






That little piece of molding we added at the last minute makes me SO VERY HAPPY!! As does the chippy distressing.

AND, even better, all 26 scrapbooks fit into it!

Of course I think I can only fit one more in there....YIKES!

Please tell me you have more scrapbooks than I do...pretty please!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Infested Forest Page for ScrapFriends



Long ago, in a galaxy far far away.....when I was much younger, I worked at an amusement park.

The real name is the Enchanted Forest Water Safari, but was referred to lovingly by staff as "The Forest" or the Infested Forest."

I think (and don't tell the lifeguards this) they put the smart ones up front working with the money.

Hence, it was not fun like you might think.

So, when the end of the summer neared and I was determined to squeeze just one last smidge of fun out of a weekend before the daily grind of school, I didn't REALLY want to go to this park. I was of course out voted.

We have had a magnet on the front of our fridge since early spring that says "The Curse of the Silverback" and my youngest maintains you cannot have that magnet unless you drop 100 feet and are flushed down their purple toilet of a ride. Here is a video someone took. They are crazier than me. I did not take any electronics into this park (which is why I have a photo of the park in the dark when I actually have my phone). And for the record, I went down this ride on the toilet part backwards and swearing like a sailor.



So, due to a free magnet, we wandered off to have some family fun...and I made a page.... 

Used a great sketch to make this page. I LOVE these big photo sketches.....Thanks Lizzy for posting this ScrapFriends sketch so I can play along!


Here is a close up of some flowers, gems, and a mishmash of paper. That is one of my favorite things about their sketches. The little snippets they have on the sketch usually inspires me to use up some scraps!

That little bird in there is from Samantha at Eye Candy Magic. Isn't it adorable!

Anyhow I am off. Conference call in an hour to discuss Peru Trip. EEEK!