Growing through life creatively…

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Olympics are almost here – Go Team USA!

I LOVE the Olympics.  I get so excited about cheering for the good ol’ Team USA.  This past week, I decided to use some of my left over scrapbook paper to make a Team USA Banner with my Cricut.  I’m going to give you a quick overview of products & techniques I used to make it.


I had used the BoBunny “Liberty” papers to do a scrapbook of our Washington DC trip a few years ago.  I had a bunch of different patterned papers and the solid Dark Denim & Paprika “Double Dot” papers.

I made rosettes in contrasting color to the background of each pennant.  There are a bunch of different ways that you can make the rosettes.  I have always found it best to use hot glue as it is really strong and dries quickly.

I used a banner from the “Pretty Pennants” Cricut cartridge to make the base and the letters are from “Storybook”.

I used silver glitter craft foam cut on my Sizzix Bigshot for the stars.  At first I was going to put the stars in the middle of each rosette.  Then I decided to mix it up for the rosettes with letters and keep only the solid star rosettes symmetrical.

I finished it up by punching holes with my slot punch and stringing ribbon through the whole thing.  I figure that I will also be able to use this banner again at the 4th of July, but just taking off the TEAM part.  Double duty!

It is hanging right under my TV and once I get my Olympic flag up out front (and maybe my red, white and blue bunting if I am feeling really crazy), we are all ready to watch the Opening Ceremonies!  Go TEAM USA!

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In Love with a Bug

If I had to pick just one tool to craft with, it would likely be my Cricut!

A little about me and my “Bug” since the story of my 1st Cricut is actually kind of a funny one.  One of my friends had mentioned that she did not think she would be using her Cricut much as she transitioned to digital scrapbooking.  She had also mentioned that she was interested in taking up golf.  WAY back in the day when I was single and working a corporate job in San Francisco, my parents bought me golf clubs thinking that would be beneficial to my career.  After injuring my back, doing a 180 degree change in my career goals and meeting my husband who was not a golfer, I realized that golf was not in my future.  I proposed to my friend that we trade my golf clubs for her Cricut.  This sounds kind of crazy now when Cricuts are pretty reasonable, but back when they first came out, they were pretty pricey.  We made the trade and I have been chirping along ever since.  Although I still have this original “Baby Bug”, I have had several since that time and am currently doing most of my work with an Expression 2 machine.

These machines can take your scrapbooking to amazing new heights.  In addition, I have found so many uses for this machine outside of scrapbooking.  I have used my Cricut to make signs for my business, banners for my school, countless projects for my Girl Scout troop, greeting cards, posters and projects for my children’s school assignments and much more.

Perhaps the most interesting use of my Cricut came as I was getting ready for a bridal shower I was throwing for my nephew’s fiancee.  I remembered back to one of my own bridal showers that was done by my husband’s co-workers.  One of the cool, local ethnic food places near my husband’s office in Berkeley, CA had taken a plate of hummus and decorated the top of it with a multitude of different spices in a patchwork quilt design.  That gave me the idea to decorate my own hummus…or in this case monogram it!


To do this, I started by spreading my hummus and giving it a fairly flat surface.  I then took some heavy paper and cut out a large M (using the Creative Memories Divine Wedding cartridge).  Instead of using the shape that the Cricut cut out, I used the outside (the negative of the shape) as a stencil.  I placed this gently over my hummus and sprinkled some paprika over the opening.  I carefully lifted up the paper and was left with the above result.  Pretty fun for a last minute idea 10 minutes before I ran out the door to the shower!

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No One Can Top This…

I’ve always said that I have one of the more unique reasons for starting to scrapbook.

I started creating my own albums when I was in high school because of an “epiphany” I had several years earlier.  I remember sitting straight up in bed one Saturday morning when I was about 10 years old.  I had decided what I was going to do with the rest of my life.  This was a big deal for me.  Before that time, I had varying interests which put me in a different career path every day of the week – a firefighter one day, a teacher the next, a florist, a ballerina, etc.  I had finally decided that I was going to become the President of the United States.  I had two very specific reasons for this decision.  The first was that I wanted a job in which I could help a lot of people.  When you are 10, you figure that the President makes laws and these laws make everyone happy.  The second reason is that I was a huge Princess Diana fan.  I figured if the Reagans could go to her wedding, if I was the President, I could be her friend and I felt like she needed a friend.


As a fan, I collected books about the Princess.  A few years into this dream, it hit me – someday people would be writing books about me.  I started scrapbooking because I wanted these books to be interesting.  Ironically, my early scrapbooks do not include journaling and therefore lack a good bit of “the real story”.  I truly believed for about eight years (until soon after I left for college and realized I was far too honest for politics) that I would someday be the President of the United States.  While my dream of even meeting Princess Diana was sadly dashed in 1998, my desire to have a job that helps a lot of people has been realized.  15 years ago today, I signed up as a Creative Memories Consultant.  Through Creative Memories, I am doing a job that can have a positive effect on people’s lives every day by helping them tell their story and the story of those most precious to them.