That’s how I roll


My brother was born 13.5 months after I was. So I was still “taking walks” by stroller when Grandma and Grandpa traveled from California to Ohio in January 1968 to be with us for his arrival.

Sadly, I don’t remember this moment. ;-)

Product/technique notes

I used this nice sketch from Stuck?! Sketches and papers from Crate Paper’s “Close Knit” and “DIY Shop” collections. I designed the title and cut it on the Silhouette Cameo. I also like to add a bit of hand stitching to cozy vintage layouts like this.
StuckSketches 01 February 2015



Happy Valentine’s Day to my dearest love and to all who celebrate this holiday.

Product/technique notes

All the Simple Stories “Hugs & Kisses” products I used to create this Valentine’s Day layout came from the Back Porch Memories January kit (thank you to BPM for allowing me to be a part of their design team for the next couple of months!). I followed this PageMaps sketch and used a Silhouette cut file for my title.

The Cleveland Flats


I grew up in a suburb of Cleveland during the 1960s, 70s and 80s. And once I was old enough to start enjoying a nightlife with friends, it was the Flats in downtown Cleveland where we headed when we really wanted to party. Wikipedia says, “The Flats is a mixed-use industrial, entertainment, and increasingly residential area of Cleveland, Ohio, USA. The name reflects its low-lying topography on the banks of the Cuyahoga River.” It was rich with bars, restaurants and music venues.

When I recently came upon this photo of my mom and friends down in the Flats in the summer of 1990, I conducted a little Google search about the area to find out what it’s like now. I wanted to see how much the Flats had grown since I moved away. Much to my surprise, I read this: “The Flats’ heyday as an entertainment destination was short-lived. Three drowning deaths in one month in 2000, along with a city crackdown on fire and health code violations led to the closing of many bars. Patrons becoming scared off due to safety concerns led to a sharp decrease in business. While this was a boon for the redevelopment for the Warehouse District, the area just up the hill from the East Bank, it sent shock waves through the Flats’ redevelopment from which it has never fully recovered. Most of the East Bank has gone “dark” due to the number of businesses that have closed.”

Whoa. Not at all what I expected to read! I guess that’s what happens when you move away from an area and don’t really look back. Things happen without your knowing.

It’s too bad that things have changed so much in that area, but I still have great memories of time spent there. The peeps in my photo are: Mom, Mark Mathes, Hansel Moore, Phil (my baby bro) and Jenny Schwann.

Product/technique notes

All the Echo Park “Anything Goes” products I used to create this layout came from the Back Porch Memories February kit (thank you to BPM for allowing me to be a part of their design team through March). I followed this Rochelle Spears sketch and used a combination of Silhouette cut file and Thickers for my title.
Back Porch Memories sketch by Rochelle Spears

Love you beyond the stars


Although love is big on all our minds in February anyway, I started thinking about the fact that because Matt and I originally met in February that gives us another great reason to celebrate love and life in addition to Valentine’s Day.

My journaling reads: “Some days creep up on you and change your life. Monday, February 5, 1996, was such a day for me. It’s almost more than I can get my head around how much life began to shift once Matt breezed into my office at UNC-CH’s Manning Hall that morning. Can that really have been 19 years ago?”

Product/technique notes

This clean and simple page came together so quickly, as it uses both sides of one piece of patterned paper (the stars at the top and the polka dots with heart embellishment at the bottom) plus a 6×4 card cut from another piece from that collection. Pop it all on a contrasting card stock background, add a pre-made chipboard frame for the title and you have a sweet page about love. All the Bo Bunny “Star Crossed” products I used to create this layout came from the Back Porch Memories February kit (thank you to BPM for allowing me to be a part of their design team through March).

The catbird seat


My brother is a man of many passions. One of his current obsessions is The New Yorker magazine—its articles and history. While Phil visited us for the Christmas/New Year’s holiday, he read aloud to me a good bit of the book pictured here by James Thurber. Thurber was a cartoonist, author, journalist and playwright, best known for his cartoons and short stories that were published in The New Yorker magazine.

Because Phil was so “into” this topic while he was visiting, I asked him to let me take a photo of him reading the book. As soon as he sat down, as if on cue, Flash jumped up to read along with him! When I asked Phil what he thought I ought to title this page, he replied, “How about ‘The catbird seat,’ one of Thurber’s short stories.” Just purrfect!

Product/technique notes

Notice that I overlaid the title stickers in the “empty” space at the bottom of the photo. In this case, it worked quite well because the slope of my brother’s left leg and foot direct the viewer’s eye right to the title. So, the eye rests first on his face and the cat, then slides down the leg to the title and finally roams around the details of the circle grid to figure out how the patterned papers support my story. It helps connect everything.

I used patterned papers from BasicGrey’s “Oxford” and “Out of Print” collections and followed Let’s Capture Our Memories sketch #107.