Sunday, January 27, 2013

Happy Birthday Bro!

Materials used:  Gate front card from DCWV,
Webster's Pages ribbon,
Maya Road ribbon, 
MME patterned paper, and
misc. Happy Birthday stamp

{Heart} Cards

The gals over at Practical Scrappers are looking for a few good cards for the 2013 Card Challenge - here are the two I entered with the theme of "Valentines" or "Love".

The card bases are Gate front cards from DCWV.

Materials used:  Webster's Pages

Materials used:  Maya Road ribbon, StampinUp blue polka-dot paper and Webster's Pages

Keeping my fingers crossed that I'm going to be selected to move into the first round of voting.

Monday, January 21, 2013

No Specific Challenge Here

Happy Monday - 
Its truly a happy Monday here at the Johnson house, no school and its just me and the girl - the boy is up north for a church retreat ... what to do?  We are planning on going to the Desert Botanical Gardens - bringing our cameras of course!

Yesterday, I played around a bit more with gesso and a bunch of scraps - no specific challenge here - just me, gesso and scraps.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Look What I WON!!!

One of the cutest and newest stamp companies around is Sweet Stamp Shop and look what I won:

Click on the picture to go right to their blog and then order a set or two of their stamps!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ledger Paper - Merry & Bright!

Happy Tuesday!

While I am home cooking up soup for a rather sick boy, I figured that I should get a layout or two - maybe even twenty-two - completed as I watch over my darling!
And - since I’m taking care of my boy, how about a layout featuring him?  I earnestly gathered (around Thanksgiving time) all of the materials I needed for a December Daily album and here we are at January 15th and I’m working on page ... ONE.  

Its all good!

My friends over at the Paper Girl Challenge Blog are currently accepting layouts using ledger paper for Challenge #23:  Ledger Paper.

I’m using Simple Stories Handmade Christmas papers for a Sn@p album that is 6” x 8” and I’m using Kiwi Lane Designs templates.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Gesso - I "gesso" for the first time!

 In my Christmas stocking, I received a new magazine that combines art, art journaling and scrapping.  A product that I've never tried is gesso which was also featured.  Gesso is a white primer used in acrylic painting as a base or primer on a canvas.  Scrappers are using this in a variety of ways - to create texture or to create a whitewash effect.  After finally finding this in the fine art supply aisle, I put it to use as a whitewash effect:

I decided that it was time to use My Mind's Eye:  Follow Your Heart - which I must add is a very beautiful line - nice and heavy paper that is easy to cut and create with!  When I stamped those adorable blue birds, they adhered to the gesso treated page so beautifully - I think that the ink is a bit more vibrant (even when stamped on white paper its not as striking!).

And - I really had fun playing around with the hexagons, bakery twine and just being a bit out of my typical comfort-zone with both style and technique.

Have a scrap happy kind of a day!

Christmas layout #1

Another layout with Christmas photos - they are an adorable family!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Why cul - ti - vate?


Why did I select the word “Cultivate”?
The definition of cultivate brings to mind farming more so than anything else.  I love working in a garden and I have always loved fresh veggies that were grown in our backyard - but how does this apply to a year of introspection?

Definition:  cul·ti·vate     /ˈkəltəˌvāt/  Verb
  1. Prepare and use (land) for crops or gardening.
  2. Break up (soil) in preparation for sowing or planting.
  3. To improve by labor, care or study:  refine.
  4. To seek the acquaintance or goodwill of; make friends with.
Synonyms:  better, cherish, devote oneself to, educate, encourage, forward, foster, further, help, imporve, promote, pursue, raise, rear, refine, support, teach, train.

I looked at the etymology of the word cultivate and its origin is early 17c., from Medieval Latin cultivatus, pp. of cultivare, from Late Latin cultivus "tilled," from Latin cultus (see cult). Figurative sense of "improve by training or education" is from 1680s. Related: Cultivable; cultivated; cultivating.  So as I continued my search in several different dictionaries and even a thesaurus - I came to the conclusion that its the “improve by training or education” part of the word that I’m really locked in to.  I’ve been a teacher for the past twenty years and there are always training sessions to attend, classes to take, lesson plans to retool and rework to meet the needs of my students.  So is this the  reason?  I think it goes even beyond the fact that I’m a teacher and I continually have to attend trainings and professional development classes.  I think that its because I want to “improve by training or education”.  When I review my 12 intentions, I really do want to improve and cultivate a purer relationship with others, myself, my faith, my husband, my family and revel in the day-to-day life that I can have a positive impact on anyone that I come into contact with.  I’m done with gossip - made that choice years ago, I’m done with comparing myself to others - still working on that!! I’m done with lamenting things that are not within my realm of change and most importantly, I’m done with following for the sake of following.

To me, the word “Cultivate” means to “nurture, take care of” and that is what I intend to do in this coming year.


1.  cultivate myself
I will buy running shoes - and use them for something other than walking.

2.  cultivate learning
I will read to learn not just read to read.

3.  cultivate relationships
I will be intentional and take risks - I will continue to reach out to others through cards, calls, and/or crafts.

4.  cultivate faith
I will read the Bible and not just on Sunday mornings while I am at church.

5.  cultivate being healthy
I will continue to create healthy menus for our family even when life is getting the best of us.

6.  cultivate my marriage
I will continue to tell and show my husband how much he means to me.

7.  cultivate creating
I will try new techniques in my crafting.

8.  cultivate new skills
I will continue to improve my teaching skills to include all students at all levels regardless of where they are.

9.  cultivate the day-to-day
I will live an intentional life that shows my kids what they can do with their own lives.

10.  cultivate simplicity
I will make choices in our calendars/schedules to keep family first and at the dinner table together even when life is getting the best of us.

11.  cultivate frugality
I will make choices that will foster a greater % of our income to our short-term and long-term savings.

12.  cultivate family
I will make my family my number one priority without hesitation.

Cute, Quick, Card

I've been spending the past couple of days working on reorganizing my scrappy stash.  There is quite a bit of it at the moment and I really need to dig in there and use up what I have before the CHA show and all those cute papers, ribbons, embellishments, stamps, inks ... you get the idea!

I wanted to make a fun card that used neon colors - the only thing that I have close to neon is this bright green - so girls - I'm going for it!  I love taking elements of a card and taking it out of the box or off the edges in this case - adds a bit of whimsy to it.

Materials used:
kraft card stock (my newest favorite)
Echo Park:  Summer Days "Quilt" 
(hoarded from 2 years ago)
My Little Shoebox:  Destination - 3D roll up flowers 
(hoarded from 2 years ago)
Letters:  from who knows where?  No company label on those and I threw away the packing materials.
(hoarded from ? years ago)

Submitted to:  Paper Girls Challenge Blog - Challenge #22 "Neon"
Use It Tuesday - Challenge #46 "2013"
I challenged myself to create more cards to cultivate my relationships with my friends near and far.

Have a great crafty kind of a day!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Not So Picture Perfect

Its a “Not So Picture Perfect” Challenge!

The Design Team over at Let’s Get Sketchy decided that this week’s challenge is all about those pictures that aren’t typically used in a layout - you know the photo is slightly blurry, too dark, head is cut off, red eye, etc.

This is a photo from Christmas morning and there are reasons why I don’t enjoy having photos taken of me - one of which is that my head is typically cut off!  Funny since I am quickly becoming the shortest person in this happy family - anyway.  Here’s to pictures that are “Not So Picture Perfect”.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

One Little Word 2013

At the suggestion of several of my scrappy-happy friends, I am embarking on a year-long art journaling journey this year with Ali Edwards' One Little Word class.  This is my very first time of taking a class online for scrapping as well as its my first time with a project of this length and magnitude.

The first lesson in the class is to select a word to focus on for the year.  I contemplated using “Create” or “Enjoy” or “Family” but then while just daydreaming while working on a sudoku puzzle and having a cup of coffee a word just popped into my head:  “CULTIVATE”.  

What could “CULTIVATE” possibly mean for me this year?  I mean I love to create and enjoy my family, but “CULTIVATE”?  I think that this has something to do with my faith, family relationships and my need to cultivate new skills in the classroom.  Don’t get me wrong, there are no “issues” with my family relationships - there’s always room for improvement, right?

To maintain a focus on the word “CULTIVATE”, I have created 12 intentions, one for each month of the year.  Along with intentions, there needs to be action and I’ll be working on what actions need to occur.  So here are my 12 intentions:

1) cultivate myself
2) cultivate learning
3) cultivate relationships
4) cultivate faith
5) cultivate being healthy
6) cultivate my marriage
7) cultivate creating
8) cultivate new skills
9) cultivate the day-to-day
10) cultivate simplicity
11) cultivate frugality
12) cultivate family

Very shortly, I will create my OLW title page and writing out my intentions and actions.  Once I have all of this put together in my album, I’ll continue to post here on the blog.

I’m still trying to determine a color scheme for this project, most likely I’ll dive into my scrapbooking stash and pull a few items out of there to get myself started.

I’m really excited about this art journaling journey and hope that you will be inspired and blessed by this project in the same way that I pray that I will be inspired and blessed.