The key to great holiday decorating: The perfect centerpiece


For a three-legged cat, Jake certainly knows how to get where he wants to go. In this case, I guess he wanted to be in the middle of my fall decorations!

He really is the cutest pumpkin ever, isn’t he?

I decided to scrap this photo during the week of Thanksgiving because it reminds me of how thankful we are for our pets. They love to be with us. They’re such good companions. They make us laugh. And they keep us from focusing too much on ourselves.

They’re our babies, and I’m ever so grateful to have them in our lives.

Product/technique notes

Most of the products I used on this were from Echo Park’s “Reflections: Fall” collection, with the addition of a few pieces of paper from way back in the day. That butter-colored pumpkin paper is an oldie from Paper Salon. I followed the inspiration of this November sketch from Stuck Sketches:

Blogtoberfest sketch contest

I’m quite excited to announce my first sketch contest! I hope you’ll join me in some scrapping fun and that this sketch will inspire you to create a layout then come back to share it with me for the opportunity to win the prize shown below.

The sketch

This sketch is simple and celebratory, with room for one 4×6 photo (or two 4x3s) and a banner running down the side. If you make a layout based on this sketch, please link it up at the end of this post by October 31st and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a great prize that’s perfect for the upcoming holiday season.

My sample

My sample page is all about celebrating this fabulous photo of my dad as a boy. He’s showing off his muscles with his dad by his side. What a gem! I used papers from Echo Park and a banner from BasicGrey.


I followed this Constant Scrapper sketch to create a layout celebrating a wonderful black-and-white photo of my dad as a boy with his father.

The prize

Are you thinking about documenting your holiday fun this December? Well this prize package includes holiday-themed items to get your project going! Or you could use this kit to create your Christmas cards. Either way, it’s a fun, color-coordinated collection of yummy supplies.


This sketch contest prize package includes: 6x6 Hot Cocoa paper pad, glittered dimensional stars, rub-ons, page pockets, fabric labels, ribbon, Christmas phrases stamp, washi tape and a clear stamp set!

Enter the contest

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I welcome all to participate, no matter from where you hail. However, with international shipping rates what they are, an international winner will receive a gift card instead of the pictured prize package.

Old friends


That's Kerbey Lane Cafe in the background. We had just eaten brunch together.

Matt met Jeremy in 1998, when the two of them were the first full-time employees hired by the founders of a start-up called TManage. Jeremy lived in Austin, TX, where the three founders were basing their new company, and Matt and I still lived in Chapel Hill, NC. But it was a company focused on helping other companies roll out telework programs, so they were pretty OK with having Matt work remotely (and me too, soon after). For a while.

Matt and Jeremy worked together quite a lot in the early days. Matt was in charge of software development, and Jeremy was in charge of building out the IT infrastructure. So they became friends through this shared experience in the trenches.

The short version of the story is that eventually, as the company quickly grew, having Matt work from North Carolina became too difficult. He was always flying back and forth and started staying longer than he was home. So we finally moved to Austin. And then we became friends with Jeremy and his wife. The four of us had so many good times together, full of lots of laughing.

Fast forward maybe four years, and when it was time for us to leave TManage (it was acquired and we wanted to try something new), the three of us started a business together. That business is the one that Matt and I still own and run together.

Several years ago Jeremy and his family moved from Austin to be closer to family, and Jeremy has started his own company there. But they were recently in town and we all got together for brunch. This photo of the first two employees 16 years later makes me very happy because it reminds me of some really good times and big dreams.

Product/technique notes

Almost everything on this page is from Echo Park’s “This & That Charming” collection.

You belong with me


I belong with you. You belong with me. You're my sweetheart.

The 20th sketch challenge has been posted at the SCRAP & MUSIC challenge blog! Head over to the site to grab the sketch, which I’m proud to have designed, and play along. This sketch came with the song “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers.

Scrap & Music sketch #20

Product/technique notes

I used papers from Echo Park’s “Here &Now” collection and created/cut the title on my Silhouette Cameo.

The challenge

The challenges on this blog involve following the sketch and using a title on your layout with a line from the provided music. Below I’ve included the video as well as the lyrics for this song:

“Ho Hey” by The Lumineers

I’ve been trying to do it right
I’ve been living a lonely life
I’ve been sleepin here instead
I’ve been sleepin in my bed
Sleepin in my bed

So show me family
All the blood that I will bleed
I don’t know where I belong
I don’t know where I went wrong
But I can write a song

I belong with you, you belong with me
You’re my sweetheart
I belong with you, you belong with me
You’re my sweet

I don’t think you’re right for him
Think of what it might have been if we
Took a bus to chinatown
I’d be standin on canal and bowery
And she’d be standin next to me

I belong with you, you belong with me
You’re my sweetheart
I belong with you, you belong with me
You’re my sweetheart

Love we need it now
Let’s hope for some
Cause oh, we’re bleedin out

I belong with you, you belong with me
You’re my sweetheart
I belong with you, you belong with me
You’re my sweet
I belong with you, you belong with me
You’re my sweet



Me and my paternal grandparents: Thanksgiving 1987

That’s me with my Nana and Papa on Thanksgiving Day in 1987. Our extended family in Pennsylvania always used to gather together for Thanksgiving at Aunt Doo Doo and Uncle Ron’s house, and when this photo was taken we had just cleared away the dishes after a fabulous feast.

I will always hold dear my memories from those years when we spent Thanksgiving with Nana and Papa at the head of our big happy family. We were truly blessed to have them and each other.

Product/technique notes

I created this page using Echo Park’s “Reflections” collection and a few stickers from their “Reflections Fall” collection. I designed the title and cut it on my Cameo.