One is silver, the other is gold


Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold.

I thought I had just about finished this layout with a photo of me and my baby brother in front of this cool gold artifact wall in downtown Austin. Matt and I had just picked up Phil from the airport for his week-long visit from Durham, NC, and whisked him to Torchy’s Tacos for lunch. As we were leaving we stood for a few minutes marveling at the work that went into making this artist’s vision a reality and then decided to snap a photo in front of it.

It was when I sat staring at my almost-finished project that I realized what it needed—a gold artifact border! Burning with the desire to see this happen, I pulled out a slew of old rubber stamps and started stamping in gold pigment ink. Yes, it was time-consuming, but it was also lots of fun. I just don’t stamp on my pages often enough, so this felt great.

Once my border was finished I started rethinking my plan for a title. It had been my intention to go with something about keeping Austin weird. But focusing on the gold motif made me think of that little children’s song, “Make new friends.” Remember it? Well, I went looking for the words to it and decided it was just perfect for a layout about my bro because he’s my oldest and goldest friend.

Make new friends
Make new friends,
but keep the old.
One is silver,
the other is gold.
A circle is round,
it has no end.
That’s how long,
I will be your friend.
A fire burns bright,
it warms the heart.
We’ve been friends,
from the very start.
You have one hand,
I have the other.
Put them together,
We have each other.
Silver is precious,
Gold is too.
I am precious,
and so are you.
You help me,
and I’ll help you.
And together
we will see it through.
The sky is blue,
The Earth is green.
I can help
to keep it clean.
Across the land,
Across the sea.
Friends forever
we will always be.

Product/technique notes

I had such a good time creating this layout. I followed the sketch below from Creative Scrappers and used patterned papers from Crate Paper’s “Snow Days” 6×6 pad. Then, because I really loved that crazy artistic wall of gold artifacts in the photo, I pulled out a ton of old rubber stamps and created a border of gold icons around the whole page. I also pulled out my gold lame Heidi Swapp Color Shine and created the ampersand in the title block and the Christmas tree in the bottom left.

Creative Scrappers sketch #259


You can see where I pencilled in a border on my kraft background paper as a guide. Then in the interest of time, I decided only to use rubber stamps because cleaning and putting away clear stamps would take a lot more effort. I gathered a group of larger images from my collection and stamped those first.


After stamping with the large rubber stamps, I filled in around them with smaller ones.

Fork in the road


Sometimes it's the quickest decisions that make us the happiest. Like when I met Matt while working in this building and blurted out an invitation for a date!

Some jobs in life are just a means to a paycheck. But not this one!

I was recently visiting my family in North Carolina, and while we were walking UNC’s campus I asked my bro to take a few photos of me in front of the building in which I used to work. Manning Hall houses, among a few other smaller programs, the School of Information and Library Science. I was the Director of Communication there in 1995-97. It was my first professional position after finishing grad school, so it was quite exciting and important to me when I took it on. I gained a lot of experience and worked with rich, interesting people.

But what ends up being the most notable part of my time there is that it’s where I met Matt.

Matt was a graduate student (same age as me) in the info science program, and he was assigned to work with me on a web project. We hit it off right away, as you might imagine. And after about a week of meetings with him to talk and work on all things web, I did the unthinkable. Without knowing I was going to say it, I asked him out!

I’m not going to lie; there were bumps in the road to our dating. Like the fact that Matt had a girlfriend whom he hadn’t mentioned. Gulp. But the short version of the story is that everything worked out nicely. He broke things off with the girlfriend, we dated, he proposed (no, I didn’t have to do that!) and we married. And have been married for 16 years this month.

So Manning Hall holds a special place on my résumé and in my heart!

Product/technique notes

I used papers from the new Fancy Pants “Happy-go-lucky!” collection. Just look how well they go with my photos! I stamped the heart at the top and the leaves that serve as embellishment at the bottom. And I designed the title in Silhouette Studio and cut it with the Cameo.

Out & about


Building my whole layout around tags was new for me, and I'm really happy with the look.

This layout was fun to pull together! I gathered four photos of Matt and me just out doing our thing in Austin last December. The north photo is of us waiting for our friends’ wedding to start; the east photo is when we were waiting outside the Alamo Drafthouse before seeing Les Miserables; the south photo is us waiting for our lunch to arrive at Cheddars; and the west photo is when we scored the fireplace table at La Madeleine.

My friend, Laurie, published this cool sketch on her blog and is running a contest with it for her birthday. Isn’t that a great idea? I decided to use the tags as my main focus but configure them a little differently by arranging them in a circle. I’ll tell you, using the Studio Calico cloud background paper with the grid really helped make aligning everything easier. I cut the eight tags out of another piece from the same SC “Here & There” collection and then embellished each. To bring it all together I created a circular title treatment on my Silhouette. I really like my final result, and I would’t have come up with this idea without Laurie’s sketch for inspiration.

Happy birthday, my friend!
Laurie's sketch

UPDATE: The happy news is that I won this sketch contest! Thanks for the Amy Tangerine stitching template kits, Laurie. I can’t wait to use them on my pages. :-)

Valentine rose


I really enjoyed making this Valentine's card for my mommy!

When it came time to make a Valentine’s Day card for my mommy, I pulled out this big rose stamp and started coloring with my Copic markers. As a beginner with Copics, I found this image very fun and satisfying to color. The shading marks provided in the design of the stamp really helped me with making my color-shading decisions, something I continue to struggle with because I lack true art training. But I’m quite happy with how the shading came out on this one, and it was fun!

Now, cutting out this image was another story. Oi! Note to self: Next time you want to use this stamp, do yourself a favor and plan to leave the background intact.

I then created a matching background with Distress Inks and watercolor paper. A lace clear stamp by My Mind’s Eye completed the look.

Time flies when we’re together


I always hate to see my baby bro go back home after our holiday visits.

This photo of me and my baby bro just reminds me of how much fun we had when he came to visit us right after Christmas and into the new year. We were at the airport saying our goodbyes, and Matt snapped a few shots of us. I chose this one out of the bunch because I loved Phil’s laughing smile.

The title has a double meaning: how time figuratively flies when we’re hanging out together and because Phil was about to get on a plane and fly home.

Product/technique notes:
I cut that white background shape with my Cameo and backed the openings with My Mind’s Eye Lime Twist: Out of the Blue patterned papers. I also used MME’s January sketch and am entering this in their sketch challenge.
MME January sketch challenge

Hey, I have great news: I won the sketch contest at My Mind’s Eye! The winner gets a collection of his/her choice, so I picked Collectable » Unforgettable. Yay!