Thursday, July 24, 2014

Hiking On Smith Mountain

I went hiking with my hubby Kevin on Smith Mountain. Not only was it a great workout, the views were incredible. If you are ever near Lake Martin in Alabama, you must check it out!

Here are a few shots from our adventure.





Wednesday, July 23, 2014

It's Been a Long Time...

It's been over a year since I posted anything on my Blog. Life got kind of busy, but I'm not complaining! Since last July... My daughter finished her Freshman year in high school. My son completed his last year of Middle School. Lots of milestones have been met. My hubby decided to make a change and will be teaching at a new school next semester. I'm so excited for him. Change is GOOD!

I'm so happy with the success of my Etsy shop. Last November two of my books were featured in Better Homes and Gardens Do It Yourself Magazine. I was beyond happy!

We've been at the Lake Shack all summer, and sadly, plan to head home soon. Here are some of the highlights from the past couple of weeks.

We had a "Movie Night" in our backyard the last day of school to kick off the summer. 


4th of July with great friends. I know these pictures are not 
the best quality, but I wanted to share the moment anyway.

Kevin and I celebrated 17 years!



Toni's best friend Jayson joined us at the Lake. Thanks Tracey & Jay for sending him!


Kevin & Toni hiking around Lake Martin. 

Hope you all enjoy the rest of your summer!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

DIY- How to Make a One of a Kind Pocket Journal


I love notebooks! I would actually consider myself a notebook junkie. I can't live without them. I am an obsessive list maker and due to my attention deficit disorder, I need to have one on hand whenever a "bright idea" hits me. If I don't write it down, it's gone forever! 


I started making my own journals/notebooks in 2010. After some prompting from friends, I decided to open up my Etsy shop. Almost 3 years later, I'm making journals for wonderful people all over the world. I absolutely love the idea that someone, somewhere is writing in a book I made with my own hands!

I thought I'd share a tutorial, so you can start making your own.




Supplies:

  • A sheet of 140lb watercolor paper (I use Strathmore, but you can use any you prefer)
  • 15 sheets of 8.5” x 11” paper
  • Paper Trimmer
  • Various paint brushes (optional)
  • Pencil
  • Your favorite marker
  • Twine
  • Watercolor paint (optional)
  • ¼ Corner Punch
  • ⅛ Hole Punch (not pictured)



Step 1

Use your paper trimmer to cut the cover and pages for your book. Mine measures 
5.5” x 4.25” (A2 size) 

Next, use your ¼ Corner punch to round the edges of your cover and pages.
                           


Step 2

Make a light mark with your pencil about a ¼ inch from the binding edge on the front cover and lightly mark the four spots where your holes will be.  

         

Step 3

Score the cover about a ½ inch from the binding edge and punch the holes. Here’s a tip, use the cover as a template for punching your pages and back cover.


         


Step 4

Design your cover. This is the fun part, so get creative! Use your favorite marker or pen and doodle or draw your one of a kind design.

        


Step 5

Measure your twine and sew your book together.

 

I used this easy to follow video tutorial by artist Kelsey Norwood from www.vanillajoy.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UO-KYuC85sk&feature=em-share_video_user

I watched her video to learn the technique I now use to make all of my books.

          

If I had to use watercolors again, I would probably use different ones. I wasn't exactly happy with the bold blue binding, but my daughter liked it, so I gave this one to her.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this tutorial.

Hope you like it.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Goodbye Middle School


It's been a busy few months at our house. My kids are growing so quickly and I wanted to make sure I was present for every big moment, so my blog was put on the back burner for a bit. The most recent event was my daughter's 8th grade dance. It's the middle school equivalent of Senior Prom. Such a bitter sweet moment for me and the hubby. Watching our beautiful daughter grow has been an incredible gift.

Toni and her childhood friends Jordan & Chris.

We love you so much Toni!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Valentine's Day Love


If you're going to give me flowers, this is what I want! These beauties are from West Elm and are completely made of paper. Not only are they great to look at, they'll last forever!

Valentine's Day Love


     

Sunday, January 27, 2013

FOR MOM


There's so much I can say about my mother Madeline. She's one of those women who does it all. She is incredibly giving, loving, and will do anything for anyone, sometimes to a fault. I always worry that people will break her heart.

Mom is 69. She's an incredible wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. She works wonders with fabric. Personally I think she should go into business making sewn, home goods.

Here she is sewing a dress for my daughter.


Mom was born in Puerto Rico in September of 1943. My siblings and I are no strangers to old stories. We've been told countless times how she ran around barefoot with her brothers all day so she could save her shoes for school. How "back then" a penny went a long way.  That we don't know how lucky we are to have an actual bathroom, because her "letrina"-outhouse- was so scary!

Sadly, mom isn't getting any younger. She asked me to make her a book so she could write down her life's stories. She wants it to be a keepsake for us and the grandkids. I see it more as something she can leave behind that will be passed on for generations to come. 
This is mom's book. 

  
I can't imagine my life without her!

 
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