Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Oh how I love this time of year! Everything is so festive and decked out in holiday beauty. I so hope you are all taking some time here and there to be creative and let the season inspire you. I am trying to do that too. My studio is covered in Christmas scrapbook paper, glitter, snowflakes and all sorts of holiday pretties just waiting to be tinkered with. So much to do and never, ever enough crafty time...

I mentioned my excitement about the Teresa Collins design team in my last post. Unfortunately, I did not make the DT, but I sure had fun playing with her products and submitting. It has been a long time since I submitted for a design team and I love the challenge it brings - always an inspiration for me. If you have not already, please visit Teresa's Blog and take a peek at her new DT - they are fabulous. Congratulations ladies! I thought I would post my entries for all of you since they are perfect for the season. My first project is a little wall hanging featuring Cole in a Santa hat. This picture was taken last year by my photographer friend Dawn and I actually used it on our Christmas cards. I wanted an airy light look to the picture, so I edited in photoshop and then printed it on some resume paper instead of photo paper. For all of my projects I used the NOEL line. I had mentioned in a previous post how pretty and classy this line is - love it!

The holly paper was so pretty in its most simple state. I hand cut some of the holly leaves and edged them with silver glitter. This paper is so pretty and has such a heavy weight to it that it stands up to all sorts of distressing, crinkling, twisting and rolling. For the small rosette-type paper flower, I simply took a thin strip of paper and twisted it around a pencil. A small dab of hot glue secures the ends.

Some time ago, fellow blogger Cristal aka Pinky posted a tutorial on the Helmar blog on how to make these adorable paper bows. Remembering just how cute these were, I took her lead and fashioned my own paper bow for the top of this piece. So fun to hang this up in Colson's room and bring a little bit of Christmas cheer into his sweet little life.

I also submitted this little round box topped with some paper trees, fluff, and the "Naughty or Nice" sentiment. The vintage image is from Lisa's Altered Art. Please pay her site a visit - she has the cutest collage sheets for every occassion. I loved how this little girl is trying to be so sneaky...

And a close up of my simple paper flower with wound ribbon in the center:

I used the ribbon from the NOEL line and cut it into two inch pieces. Then I looped it and secured it with hot glue to form a "fringe" around the box lid. All in all, it turned out so cute and made the perfect gift for my friend Jen. Hope you liked it, sweets! Remember, Santa is making a list and checkin' it twice...

My final entry was the card I had posted a few weeks ago. Thank you to Teresa Collins for the awesome opportunity to submit! I for one am looking forward to seeing what the new team has in store for all of us. I will leave you with a few Christmas cards I whipped up after digging into my holiday stash. Amazing how many Christmas papers I have. Some of these are a few years old and it was fun to revisit them again and use up some scraps.
Kids are gettin' antzy and ready for dinner. That's all for tonight!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Welcome Winter

Yep, it's here. The snow started in the wee morning hours on Saturday and it kept on until Sunday. Just like that winter makes its way to us and the entire ground is covered in a serene, fresh blanket of white. There is just something about the first snowfall of the season that makes my heart skip a beat - it truly is breathtaking. 

 Of course the kids were so excited to get out in play in the fluffy white stuff, I had trouble getting all their snow gear on. Desi almost had hers together but ran outside without her mittens. Here she is with her cheesiest of grins and her hair all bundled up inside her hat.

 And my little man; love his chilly cheeks and big bright blue eyes. Last year at one year old, he wasn't quite sure he even liked snow. This time around, he was full speed ahead.

Eventually they let me come in and once Cole was all warmed up and taking his nap, Desi and I had some craft time. She colored in her Hello Kitty coloring book and I busied myself with some snowy themed cards. I have never thought of myself as much of an artist when it comes to painting. Most of my painting look like a child's, but I guess that is the beauty of them. A couple weeks ago I was playing around and had snowflakes on my mind and below was the result. I thought it might make a cute piece of wintery art for Desi's room. Then I got the idea to scan it into my computer and use it as patterned paper.

I figured I would start small with a couple cards and a matching tag. I love this color combo of white, lavendar, aqua and silver. So....well....snowy!

Two of my favorite words for the upcoming holiday season: JOY and REJOICE. That pretty much sums it up. Joy because it is my mom's name and it is the most utterly wonderful feeling a person could have. Rejoice because we are victorious in that a Savior was born to us. Perfect.

I was more than filled with joy this morning as I read Teresa Collins blog and to my delight saw my name listed as one of the finalists for her design team! How exciting! Wish me luck friends, as a decision will be made this week as to who the selected designers are. How awesome to have the chance to submit and create some fantastic projects that I fell in love with as I created them.  I'll share those with you all later this week. That's all for tonight...

nite, nite -

Friday, November 12, 2010

Have you started....

...your Christmas cards yet? Do you make them or buy them? Photo cards or no? The possibilities are endless and oh so creative! I recently picked up the Holiday Cards publication by Paper Crafts. Wow - what inspiration! I think I must have marked up the whole magazine with circles and folded corners. So many ideas by such wonderful designers. I had a little card making party with my sister-in-law LeeAnn a few weekends ago and we had tons of fun using up our stash and cranking out some cute little card creations. But first, I'll show you a little idea I came up with using the new Noel line from Teresa Collins. It just screams Christmas glamour and sophistocation. The classic styling is a true winner in my book - love it! Teresa has a knack for adding the perfect little companions to her lines. I love the cardstock die cuts and the library pockets - so pretty and functional.
For this fun card, I took the larger library pocket and and adhered it to the card to have a place for the tags to be inserted. I like the idea of having the tags pull out and used for display somewhere; maybe tie on the Christmas tree?
A little pom pom fringe, tinsel and pearls compliment these festive papers. I cut the word "believe" from the ribbon in the Noel collection; such a great font and not one stamp involved! Ahhh, too cute. Might have to leave it sitting out to bring some early holiday cheer...
This next project has been long in coming and I have been working on it here and there. It's a little book, about 7x7, of Ellie and her kindergarten pictures. This one is tough for me to create since the memories flood back with each paper that I lay down, but it is also very therapeutic in a sense. I have collected school themed papers ever since Ellie started preschool in 2006. I have a ridiculous stash of all the adorable school things that hit the scrapbook store shelves every August. And I still love each one even though some are 4 years old. So, they are making their way into this book, all mixed and melded together along with my precious few kindergarten pictures of my angel girl. Here's a few peeks at a couple of the pages:

Remember this fun line by Foof-A-La/Autumn Leaves? So cute and still a fave of mine. The little mini banner stamp is from American Crafts' Dear Lizzy line. Love banners...

Missing you always Ellie Belle; thank you for giving me the chance to be your Mama and truly understand what it means to love, hope and walk by faith. Thank you for the strength that you showed me each and every day. You taught me so much, little girl....

Hug those kiddos extra tight before they head out your door this morning. Have a blessed Friday all.
Love to you, Nik

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sweet November

Here we are into November already. Time goes so fast and it seems that life never slows down. I hope you are all enjoying all the beauty that autumn brings. I think it must be my favorite season; so much to breathe in and savor. We have had glorius weather in Minnesota. Lots of sun and temps in the 50s. So not normal for us here in the north. This could all change by Friday since they are forecasting snow for us. Not sure I am ready for it just yet, but I will welcome it as a different kind of freshness.

 One thing I love about this time of year is the creative side of me that jumps at the change to make something earthy, bursting with colors of cinnamon, pumpkin and deep olive green. I am not much into Halloween, but I sure do love the other fun things that fall brings. A couple years ago I began this little "box" for whatever reason never finished it. The paper is an oldie but goodie from Daisy Ds -oh boy do I ever miss seeing their pretty products on the shelves. I got busy and finished and the result is the little container above; a pretty setting to dress up our home a little this November.

The kids had a great time trick or treating and below is a sweet little picture of Cole and Desi just waiting to be scrapped. Desi was a pink cheetah and since Cole is only 2, I simply picked through his closet and turned him into a little mechanic. Nothing like being thrifty, right? If you look closely, you can see that Desirae dug into her candy stash early and has a big ol' wad of bubblegum in her mouth. That's my girl....

As November continues on, I am reminded to keep moving forward. Keep creating, keep the focus on God, and keep creating joy. I think "Give Thanks" is going to be my little motto this season; maybe make it your too if you so desire. We are all so blessed in so many ways.

Love to all, sweet blog friends! May your November days be filled with laughter, big blessings, good friends, and much, much JOY.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Summer time...

Hi Bloggers! Oh my stars how I have missed you all. Summer has flown by and I have not had too much computer/blogging time.  So I thought I would give you a little recap and post a few pictures for you to enjoy. I wish I could say that I have had a crafty, scrappy summer, but my projects have taken a backseat to being mom. I am just now getting back into my creating and will have some pretties to share with you all in the months to come.

May began with my nephew Joe graduating from high school. The entire Willaert family was present at Pat's brother Gerald's farm and we had a great time eating and socializing. The above picture was taken at the farm and I played around with it in Photoshop to get the effect I was after. So wish I could tell you what I did, but it was so long ago I can't remember. That's Desi and Cole running for the corn field.
Desi celebrated her 5th birthday in May and we had a super glamorous time at her "Make-Over Party". We performed manicures, pedicures, hairstyles and applied makeup to 10 little girls. I could not have pulled it off without the help of my nieces and sister-in-laws. Thank you ladies - you did a phenomenal job! Above are the party invites I created using my Cricut and the Forever Young cartridge. I liked the idea of the little mirror and Desi was able to help apply the pieces of the invite together. Such fun!

Here she is getting her hair straightened by my niece Whitney. She has curly hair, so whenever someone will take the time to straighten it for her, she is all smiles and oh so grown up. She opted for cupcakes and below you can see her getting ready to blow out her candles.

One of my favorite lines that made it's way to the stores early in the season was Melody Ross's Homespun Chic by GCD Studios. I could play with these papers over and over again, they are so shabby but bright, simple but complex. Love them and would buy this line all over again! Ellie made her way onto the layout below and of course I shed several tears while piecing it together. I loved this line so much I even used pieces from the packaging!

And a little birdie house. This little house had been painted and crackled back in December and then sat unfinished for the winter. The Homespun Chic papers dressed it up nicely and it is now displayed in my kitchen.

Cole also celebrated a birthday as he turned 2 in May. We kept his "party" very simple since I was spent from Desi's little gala. He is big into anything that drives, moves, bales hay or digs dirt. His cake was simply adorable and decorated with an excavator that now takes its place in his sandbox. A little dump truck adorned with brown sugar dirt completed the look and Cole could not have been happier. He held onto the excavator the entire time he "ate" his cake and fed some to Grandma Joy. Precious - cannot wait to scrap the abundance of pictures I took that day:)

Ellie's memory garden was just gorgeous this year. Delphiniums, yellow peonies, clematis, johnny-jump-ups and yellow roses bloomed brilliantly in May and June. I was thrilled to see that all of the work we had done last year planting Ellie's favorites came back with such beauty. Oh so pretty - she would have been so very proud of me.

We have had lots of crazy weather this summer too. Very heavy storms and lots of tornadoes. The stormy picture below was taking from my window looking out over the backyard. We were headed for the basement that day. Below I captured Desi in the rain and was able to scrap a cute little page using some fun products from KI Memories. The colors in the Posh line were so fun to play with. KI was the sponsor over at Scrappin' Mojo for June and they were more than generous with their product. Thank you KI Memories!

I have not posted a picture of my sweet hubby in some time so I thought I would do that in this post. Here's Pat and Colson snuggling while we watched Desi at her swimming lessons. I love getting pictures of my two guys together; Cole is the spitting image of Pat at age two! They look so much alike, don't ya think?

I will leave you with a little something that I made for my mom's birthday. Keeping Ellie's memory alive is something I do on a daily basis and I enjoy creating little pieces of art to hang here and there. Often they have scripture on them to remind me to keep God first; and many times they have pictures of my precious angel child, my Ellena. I say it in every post, but my heart continues to ache for her. She continues to inspire me to keep moving forward and so I do. Each step a little tougher than the last, but none the less, a step.

I will leave you all now. My kiddos need supper and my thoughts are starting to blend together. I hope to be back sooner than later with a few more shares for you. Be Blessed my sweet blog friends!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rainy Scrappy Tuesday

Rain, rain go away; come again another day. Unless you are a crafty mama like me who waits for a day like today and all the creative bliss that only a day of showers can bring. What a perfect day to watch the rain fall only to bring about new life when the sun shines again. I love its smell, its cleansing beauty, and its freshness. And I can't wait to see the peonies and pansies open up when the drops from the sky cease. So relaxing...


So I am gonna sit down with a cup of coffee and Desi and see where the day leads us. Maybe a some scrapbook time, maybe some story time, maybe some American Girl doll dressing time or maybe just some snuggle time. I am sure Cole will join us when he wakes up from his nap time  - perfect day for taking one of those too.....
And maybe tonight we will head over to Aunt Wendy's to deliver this little gem...
A very much overdue Christmas gift that I was unable to finish in December. I love trinket boxes and making them for others. This one was specially made for my sister-in-law, Wendy, for her to keep any little treasures she likes in it. The pretty paper is from the Prima Indeed collection, which has been nesting in my scrapbook stash for some time just waiting for the perfect piece to adorn itself with. Here's to you Wendy! Thank you for all you do and all you have done. You are a blessing!

Enjoy the rain and breathe it in today -
XoXo, Niki

Monday, April 26, 2010

My Boy Monday

Even though he is into everything , leaving a trail of mess behind him with each step he takes, I still love my boy. And even though he digs up my flowers and runs them over with his Tonka trucks, I still effortlessy love my little boy. And even though he climbs the cabinets to turn on the sink and splash water all over himself, the bathroom mirror and the floor, I still love my boy.
And even though he throws his food from his plate onto my freshly cleaned floor, I still love my boy.
You have captured your mama's heart with your antics, little man.
Enjoy your little guys today mommies; dirt, trucks, messes and all!
XOXO, nik

Monday, April 12, 2010

It's Been Way Too Long...

Starting over can be so overwhelming. Each day is a brand new opportunity to do just that and so often for me, it is a task that is so incredibly daunting. The last few months since my last post have been very difficult for me and I am saddened that I have not been able to keep up in blog land. In February, we came upon the one year mark since Ellie went home to be with Jesus. Our lives have not and will never be the same without her here as part of our earthly family. Missing her, wanting to hold her, laugh with her, sing with her.... all so very hard for us to do. It has been way too long since I was able to do those things and feel her touch; hear her sweet raspy voice. So desparately do I want to have her with me and yet I just have to wait....I just have to wait...

I have had time to do some crafting and have been enjoying the wonderful weather we are having in Minnesota. Spring is here and it is so refreshing to be able to get outdoors and breathe that fresh sunshiny air.

This month at Scrappin' Mojo my design team work centered around the new Basic Grey Kioshi line. If you have these papers then you already know how gorgeous they are. I love all things Basic Grey, but this one in particular has to be one of my all time faves. I love pastels and this line is full of pretty lavender, sweet pink, minty greens, pale yellow and sky blue. It's spring on paper!
In this sweet little layout of Desi, I added a doilee border; a trend that I just adore. Little lacey doilees look so fresh and pretty on paper projects, don't they? The flowers and flourishes are from Prima and have been nestled in my stash waiting for this layout to take shape. I added a little Glimmer Mist in Irridescent Gold and some sprinkles of Martha Stewart fine glitter. Such a pretty end result!
A little bunny box.. love this little guy. He used to sit in Ellie's room when she was just a babe. So happy I found a use for him to adorn this little Easter box.

And lastly a cute little picture frame using one of my favorite papers from the Kioshi line. Now I can look at it all day long if I want too. It's sitting pretty right now as I chat with you all. Since I always say I will post more, I am not going to this time! I'll be back soon, but until then, savor spring!
Love, nik