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.


Have you ever wondered why we say “Merry Christmas” to each other but don’t use the word “merry” in any other salutation throughout the year? You hear nary a “Merry birthday” or “Merry Valentine’s Day,” right? Well, I did a little online search for the history behind the popular Christmas greeting and found varying stories about when it all began. I’m sorry I can’t vouch for the correctness of its story either, but I’ve decided to share with you the description from Wikipedia:

“Merry,” derived from the Old English myrige, originally meant merely “pleasant and agreeable” rather than joyous or jolly.

Though Christmas has been observed since the 4th century AD, the first known usage of any Christmastime greeting dates back to 1565, when it appeared in The Hereford Municipal Manuscript: “And thus I comytt you to God, who send you a mery Christmas.” “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year” (thus incorporating two greetings) was in an informal letter written by an English admiral in 1699. The same phrase is contained in the sixteenth century secular English carol “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” as well as the first commercial Christmas card, produced in England in 1843.

Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” was also published in 1843, during the mid Victorian revival of the holiday. The word merry was then beginning to take on its current meaning of “jovial, cheerful, jolly and outgoing.” Merry Christmas in this new context figured prominently in “A Christmas Carol.” The cynical Ebenezer Scrooge rudely deflects the friendly greeting: “If I could work my will…every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding.” After the visit from the Ghosts of Christmas affects his transformation Scrooge exclaims, “I am as merry as a school-boy. A merry Christmas to everybody!” and heartily exchanges the wish to all he meets. Because of the instant popularity of “A Christmas Carol,” the Victorian era Christmas traditions it typifies and the term’s new meaning appearing in the book, Dickens’ tale popularized the phrase “Merry Christmas.”

I think it’s so cool that our saying “Merry Christmas” is bound up with Dickens’ famous story (which I’ve always loved)! Now that you know from whence it came, perhaps you will enjoy a little more heartily exchanging this greeting with all you meet during the season. :-)

Here is a layout I created with photos from Christmas 1972. It’s based on a sketch from the Sketch Support site and uses patterned papers from Webster’s Pages and Jillibean Soup.


How do you like my little cap to match my nightgown? I really loved that set!

Swab the deck, you scurvy dogs!

Back in 1995 two friends developed the idea for International Talk Like a Pirate Day (you can read the whole history of this quirky holiday on their Web site). Celebration of this day has really taken off since 2002, when syndicated columnist Dave Barry covered the idea in an article. It has now become quite well known, and on September 19th each year you can hear conversations being held in pirate slang.

Our friends, Keith and Katie, have hosted Talk Like a Pirate Day parties for the last few years, and this year we were able to attend! There was good grub and grog, a bawdy limerick contest, great costumes, a sea shanty sing-along and good conversation. We had a great time! And me thinks Matt was born to be a pirate! Arr!


These are fun photos from our friends' Talk Like a Pirate Day party.

I created this layout with papers from the My Mind’s Eye “Mischievous” line and based it on sketch #21 from Sketch Support.

It’s a wonderful life

Sketch Support blog

This has been one-page layout week on Sketch Support, and today my project is live! Please head over to grab the sketch so you can use it in your own crafting, and while you’re there I would love it if you would leave a quick comment for me. :-)

Here is a look at the one-page layout I made.


Our darling Oliver loves Christmas decorations and wrapping paper, just like me!

Our cat, Oliver, is fascinated by everything about Christmas! He loves to be around the tree and in among the presents and wrapping paper. I started with the photo of him camped out in front of the classic Christmas movie, “It’s a wonderful life,” which I obviously stole to use as my title. Then I found a few other darling shots of him in full holiday mode to complete the concept.

I followed the sketch pretty closely, but I did make a few adjustments:

  • Rather than making the two background pieces 7 inches deep as stated in the instructions, I made mine 7.25 inches deep because I knew I wanted to add the tree at the bottom, and I wanted to ensure that it would overlap the other pieces.
  • I moved up the background pieces an inch so that the mistletoe wouldn’t have to “hang” too far from the top and the tree would have enough room.
  • Obviously the Christmas tree at the bottom isn’t in the sketch!
  • I replaced the trailing leaf elements with the mistletoe and made it hang from the top of the layout instead of the top of the patterned paper. I crocheted my hanger instead of stitching it.
  • I went with two rows of Christmas ribbon beneath the photos in place of the strips of patterned paper. It fit my theme better, plus I wanted to echo the ribbon from the bow on the mistletoe.
  • I also left out the little word sticker elements at the left and right of the page. I figured that my page was busy enough without them!

Here’s a close-up of part of the title area. I don’t think it shows up well, but the word “wonderful” is glittered.


I cut the mistletoe element and the title on my Silhouette.

I have so enjoyed being the guest designer this month and working with Sketch Support’s fabulous sketches. A big thank you to Allison and her great design team!

Origami leaf wreath

Sketch Support blog

This has been add-on week on Sketch Support, and today my project is live! Please head over to grab the sketch so you can use it in your own crafting, and while you’re there I would love it if you would leave a quick comment for me. :-)

Here is a look at the add-on project I made.


The origami instructions I used were quite easy to follow.

This add-on sketch made me think of origami because of the lines radiating from the center. So I searched online for instructions for making origami leaves similar to the sketch, and I chose this one: Origami flower leaf. I wanted to make enough leaves to create a fall wreath for our front door, so I rummaged through my stash for patterned papers that would go with it and found an older pad of Cloud 9 papers that included the russet of our door mixed with brown, turquoise and gold. I started folding!

The leaves were rather easy to fold, though I would caution that if you’re going to try this yourself you should consider using patterned papers that are on the lightweight side. I used these sturdy double-sided papers (because the colors worked for me, and I wanted to make sure that if the undersides showed they would look good), but my fingers paid the price. 😉

Once I had enough leaves in an assortment of patterns and sizes, I hot glued clusters of them together before arranging and hot gluing them to the wreath base (which I purchased at Hobby Lobby). Hot glue is such a great tool for projects like this; it made quick work of the assembly.

I then created a few rolled flowers using cardstock, misted them with iridescent gold Glimmer Mist and nestled them in among the leaves. And now it decorates our front door! Here’s close-up of a few of the leaves.


I used 3- and 4-inch squares of patterned paper to make these leaves.