Archives for February 2012


Twisted Sketches has revealed sketch #141, and the twist is “leap.” Be sure to head over to the site to grab the sketch and see all the other design team members’ beautiful examples. Then create something of your own and link it up!

Here is what I created using this great new sketch:


These are photos of me (and friends) during college that illustrate the quote I used as my title.

I just love using short quotes as titles for layouts, so when I saw that the twist on this sketch was “leap,” I went in search of a good quote I could sink my teeth into. I found several that inspired me, but I chose to use this one by David Herbert Lawrence (English writer, 1885-1930) because it also made me think of some old photos I had.
“Life is a travelling to the edge of knowledge, then a leap taken.”

The photos this quote put me in mind of were from my college days. When else in our lives do we so often travel to the edge of knowledge and have to take a leap into our own unknown? The first photo is of my brother, Phil, me and my mom from freshman year. Mom was visiting us for Mother’s Weekend, and we had loads of fun. The second photo is of me with the three roommates I had during a wonderful summer internship program in New York City (lots of learning and leaping!). And the third photo is of me with some friends at the end of our junior year in college.

These are certainly not good photos; in fact they’re pretty terrible. But really, how many photos of you from the 1980s do you love? What’s important to me is that they represent memorable times of growth in my life and help me remember to travel to the edge as often as possible. The edge is uncomfortable and exciting. Sign me up for that!

So, this is my last layout as a design team member for Twisted Sketches. I have been enjoying the challenge of using Anam’s sketches and twists for a little over a year (you can see my very first DT layout here), and the time has just flown. I want to thank Anam for taking a chance on me. She was the first person to make me part of a design team, which means that she and her sketch site will always hold a special place for me. I thank her for believing in my design skills and adding to my confidence.

My Take Twelve February layout

Back in December when Ella Publishing was promoting their Take Twelve project, I decided to participate. I don’t do a Project Life album, so I thought this might be a good alternative. You take photos on the 12th of each month in 2012, and then do a layout with the 12 best.

There’s a Take Twelve layout challenge hosted by Ella Publishing each month, but I didn’t get mine done in time for the deadline. I seem to be taking baby steps on this project. I completely missed taking the photos on January 12th, so the fact that I took my photos on February 12th and created a layout is a big improvement. Maybe in March I’ll be able to finish my layout in time to enter the contest!


I'm a little late getting into the Take Twelve challenge with Ella Publishing, but I only missed January, so no worries.

Here is the journaling that explains my 12 photos:
Sunday, February 12, 2012:
We went to 11:30 Mass and then stayed to have breakfast tacos made by the Men’s Club. When we left church we were met with an icy rain, which always makes us giddy because it’s so rare in Texas. We took a photo of the progress that’s being made on construction of our new church before heading to the gym for a vigorous workout. Then we ran some errands—to HEB for a few groceries and to Redbox to return our movie from the night before (Conan—not too good). By the time we returned home, it was snowing lightly! I had to grab a shot of the snow in Matt’s hair. We spent the rest of the day doing housework and laundry before making a simple dinner and settling in front of the fire (with Oliver in his favorite spot) to watch the next installment of Downton Abbey (so good). Our nightly feral visitor, Wilson, showed up for a healthy meal before heading off to find a warm place to hole up for the night. It was just a normal, lovely Sunday spent together.

I used some older American Crafts papers that have a Valentine’s Day theme to them and followed two-page sketch #20 from the Sketch Support site.

Old school

Twisted Sketches has revealed sketch #139, and the twist is “old.” Be sure to head over to the site to grab the sketch and see all the other design team members’ beautiful examples. Then create something of your own and link it up!

Here is what I created using this great new sketch:


I saw this Hot Date collection by KI Memories and immediately wanted to use it to do a layout about my love of fountain pens.

Do you ever create a layout because a certain patterned paper triggers something in your brain? The background paper on my page above was the inspiration for this whole idea. It’s from a Valentine-themed collection called Hot Date by KI Memories, and as soon as I saw the little fountain pens in the design I was committed to creating an ode to fountain pens (mine in particular).

I have loved fountain pens for a very long time. Daddy had a few old ones in his valet tray on the chest of drawers in the bedroom, and I loved to take those out and turn them over in my fingers. They were made of various colored pearl laminates and had lever fillers. They fascinated me with their beauty and old-world functionality. What?! You use the lever to suction special ink into a bladder inside the pen before you can write with it? How could I think that was anything but awesome when all we ever used at school were Bic ballpoint stick pens?

So I carried my love for fountain pens into my adulthood. I even bought a few inexpensive vintage pens at flea markets, but they didn’t work very well. Then one day, in my very first job out of college, my office mate brought a rubber stamp catalog (from Rubba Dub Dub) to work and asked if I wanted to order anything from it. I pored over that book for a long time, loving the idea of rubber stamps but having no concept of how I would use them. But there was a beautiful vintage fountain pen image that won me over. It seemed so expensive to me at the time, but I had visions of using it to create my own stationery, so I bought it.

Fast forward a number of years, and I must have let slip to my new husband how much I loved fountain pens because for one of our first Christmases together (1999) he gave me a gorgeous Mont Blanc. It’s a special edition pen called Hommage à Fédéric Chopin, and it includes a CD of Chopin’s music. I adore writing with it. It feels like you really mean what you’re saying when you write it with this beauty.

As I say in my journaling: I love technology, but old school is so cool.

I’m bananas about you!

Yesterday I posted a layout I completed about Matt participating in the Austin Gorilla Run in January. While making that page I thought I would use more banana embellishments than I did, so I had a few extras scattered around on my craft desk. In a bold move I decided to challenge myself to use at least one of those bananas in a Valentine’s Day card for Matt. (I really hate to waste things I’ve cut on my Silhouette.)

The answer to my card conunudrum came in the form of another primate. I pulled out an old set of clear stamps with monkeys and palm trees and my Copic markers and created the least Valentiney Valentine’s card ever!

I also wanted to participate in this month’s Young Crafters Unite challenge, so I followed their sketch in making my card and I’m entering it in the challenge.

Young Crafters Unite! Challenge #6


The YCU challenge sketch I followed.

For reasons unexplained she loved the monkey man. Happy Valentine’s Day, Love!


I made this to be Matt's Valentine's Day card, even though the colors are a bit non-traditional for this holiday.

Austin Gorilla Run

Why would more than a thousand people get up way early on a Saturday morning, pull on gorilla costumes and meet in downtown Austin? To raise money for the highly endangered mountain gorillas of Africa, that’s why!

Now that Matt is running and looking for 5K events to participate in, we are learning about cool events in and around Austin like the Gorilla Run. Registration for this race includes a gorilla suit to make the event and its fundraising efforts more visible.

According to the Austin Gorilla Run site, “Proceeds from the race directly benefit Ugandans, Rwandans and citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo in veterinary educational training, with the end goal of protecting the highly endangered Mountain Gorillas in Africa. In 1987 there were only 248 mountain gorillas alive in the world, but through the veterinary and conservation efforts of the MGCF, the population has nearly tripled to 720.”

It was such a cold morning! But the reason for the event and the many funny and creative costumes that people wore over their gorilla suits made waiting a little easier and a lot more entertaining. Matt ran a great race (only his second so far), and he had a great time.


Matt and a few thousand others donned a gorilla suits and ran a 5k to raise money for mountain gorillas.

I created this title treatment as my only embellishment on this layout.


This is a close-up shot of the title treatment I created in the Silhouette software.

The photo of Matt on the far right of the right-hand page is courtesy of Austin Outdoor Photography.