Half ours

Half ours is a scrapbook page with one photo and products from Simple Stories.

Barney officially belonged to our next-door neighbors, Tom and Clara Veit. But he spent so much time with us—begging for treats at our door, playing in our yard and walking us to school each morning—that we always said he was half ours. He was so intelligent, loyal and fun! We were quite fortunate to get even half of him. xoxo

In this June 1980 photo Phil is teaching Barney a new trick in his back yard.

Product/technique notes

I used all products from the Simple Stories Say Cheese II line on this page with a title I cut on my Silhouette.

Kiss kiss layout and string art tutorial

This one-photo scrapbook page incorporates a photo frame created with string art.

I’m so excited about today’s project because 1) I tried something new and 2) liked how it turned out, so 3) I want to share the idea with you! Do you remember doing string art projects as a kid? That’s what I incorporated on my layout as a frame for my small photo of Grandma helping me kiss my brand new brother in January 1968. Mom says I called him “B” (for baby).

My thought process

This idea came to me because of a sketch (as most of my scrappy ideas do). I was referencing this My Scraps and More sketch below, and I started thinking about how I wanted to create the central “tic-tac-toe” area of the page. I ticked off my options (get it?): strips of patterned paper, strips of washi tape, strips of ribbon, lines of stitching. Lines of stitching made me picture creating an elaborate hand stitched grid area to frame the photo. And then it hit me: string art!

I went to Pinterest and perused other artists’ string art in search of some ideas for making a square frame (as represented in the sketch). After successfully incorporating this technique into my page design, I thought I should share my process in case you like the look as much as I do.

My Scraps and More sketch 107

String art tutorial

After deciding to make the string art area take up 8×8 inches in the center of the 12×12 page, I created a quick template for myself in my Silhouette Designer software. If you have a Silhouette and want to recreate this, draw an 8×8 square, center it on the page, open the rhinestones window and follow the settings below. If you don’t have a cutting machine, just measure and mark equidistant holes (perhaps 1/2 inch apart) with a ruler.

rhinestones settings I used

I cut out my simple template on a scrap piece of paper, lined it up over my background paper and poked the holes. Then the fun began!

I double matted the 3×3 photo with white cardstock and patterned paper so it would pop better off the background. Then I mounted that onto another pattern that was 6.25 square. Following the numbering system in the diagram below (up at 1, down at 2, up at 3, down at 4, etc.), I stitched away with two colors of embroidery thread to create the four corners of my square frame.

String art stitching diagram

I do hope this tutorial was helpful to you. If you decide to try this technique on a page, I would LOVE to see it, so please come back and leave me a comment on this post. I will leave you kindly comments in return, I promise!


Homegrown is a one-photo scrapbook layout using supplies from We R Memory Keepers Farmer's Market collection.

I have these summer memories from my childhood of Mom getting breakfast set up for me and my brother (usually cereal, I think) and then throwing on her robe, getting herself a fresh shot of coffee and heading outside to make the rounds. She would walk slowly around the house to check on how all her flowers were doing. I remember the daisies, marigolds and mums most.

I can’t say why that’s always stayed with me. Perhaps because she did it so routinely that I could hardly forget it. Perhaps because I thought it was a weird thing to do first thing in the morning. Perhaps I was a little embarrassed that she was in her robe and people might see her (you know how easy it is to embarrass kids of a certain age). I don’t know! But I can say that it has become a fond memory for me.

Last summer when I went to visit my mom, I watched her watering her plants one day and it pulled up that summer morning memory. Time for a few photos…

Product/technique notes

I created this page using patterns from the We R Memory Keepers “Farmer’s Market” collection and this My Scraps and More May sketch.
The sketch I followed was My Scraps and More #105

Sweet is the memory of distant friends

This one-photo scrapbook page uses supplies from Pebbles.

My brother and I had the wonderful experience of attending college at the same time and place. This meant that we shared many of the same friends while we were there. Rich was one of the earliest friendships we developed—he was a resident in the same freshman dorm as Phil, and I lived in the girls’ dorm right next door. He was fun and studious and up for adventure, just like us!

We became fast friends as freshmen. Then, in our senior year Rich started dating Lisa, who was fun, bubbly and smart to boot. When Rich and Lisa got married not long after we all graduated in 1989, Phil and I were there to witness and celebrate with them.

In the summer of 1994, while I was still in graduate school and Phil was living/working in Pittsburgh, we all gathered together for a day at my parents’ house to catch up. We had a lovely time, including this backyard barbecue. The next time I saw them was at my own wedding in 1997.

Since then we have stayed in touch (much more frequently now through the use of social media), and Rich and Lisa still mean so much to me. We knew each other back when we were all doing our best to figure out just who and what we wanted to be in the world, and those are the kinds of friendships that remain sweet in memory no matter how far the distance.

I took my title from this quote:

“Sweet is the memory of distant friends!
Like the mellow rays of the departing sun, it falls tenderly, yet sadly, on the heart.”
Washington Irving

Product/technique notes

I created this page using patterns from the Pebbles “Family Ties” collection and this ScrapMuch? May sketch.
ScrapMuch? May 2015 sketch

Swing your partner round and round

Swing your partner round and round is a scrapbook page with one photo from 1973 and products from Chickaniddy Crafts.

During the early 1970s my parents took square dancing lessons with their friends, Bob and Peg Young. Mom tells me that they had taken 18 of the weekly 26-lesson course when my father had his heart attack (yes, he was quite young), which meant that they had to miss the rest of the lessons. However, they both loved square dancing, so whenever the church held a dance they would go promenade, allemande and do-si-do with the best of them.

In this February 1973 photo, taken by one of us kids, Mom and Dad are gussied up and ready to head to a dance at our church. Mom made that dress specifically to wear to square dances.

Product/technique notes

All the patterns on this page are from the Chickaniddy Crafts “Date Night” collection. I was inspired by this sketch from Let’s Capture our Memories. Because of the “round and round” title that I wanted to use, I added a circle of patterned paper so I could shape the title around it.
Let's Capture Our Memories sketch #122