Friday, March 29, 2013

In Focus Friday With My Mind's Lens: March 2013

Where has the month gone?  It is already the last Friday of the month and that means it is time to hear from Kaeley....budding photographer extraordinare!  Major kudos to Kaeley for managing a post this month.  She does tax preparation, so at this time of the year any spare time is certainly a luxury!


I always love to see what beautiful pictures she has decided to share and as usual, she does not disappoint.  Kaeley lives in Oregon and seeing the beautiful scenery there makes me want to visit even more.  Enjoy!!!!

This month, as much as I wanted to, I just did not have the time to pull together a post.  Instead, I would like to share one from the past that is pretty special to me.  This post is the very first one I wrote last year for my own blog.  Although they are some of my early photos - the featured pictures are some of my favorites so far.


All of the best artists start somewhere.  For some, it may be a quiet room in their house.  For others, maybe a sunny park or shopping mall.  What they all have in common is that they seek out inspiration - that thing that drives them and establishes new ideas.  Inspiration can come from all aspects of life and is what makes all artwork different.  The same subject may inspire 5 artists in 5 different ways and they will all interpret it differently, coming up with different expressions and finished products.  That is what is so great about art: you can make it yours.

Lately I have been seeking out that inspiration.  Where do I find beauty in life?  What makes the gears of my mind start turning and creating new ideas?  How can I interpret the scene I am looking at and turn it into something beautiful that other people can admire?

Beauty surrounds us everyday, but rarely do we take the time to really notice it.  We go about our days and don't stop to think about the flower blooming outside our front door, or the barefoot child running around in the yard across the street.  Every once in awhile we need to just stop and take in everything around us.  I am determined to seek out this beauty and capture as much of it as I can through my photography.  To be able to share the things that I believe are beautiful and things that matter with the rest of the world is a great honor.

A little bit of background on my photography:  I am no professional!  I have enjoyed taking pictures for as long as I can remember but have recently been working on making my pictures worth looking at.  I own a Nikon D3000, with the stock 18-55mm lens.  It was a gift a couple of years ago and I recently attended a half-day class (another gift!!) to learn how to really use it and to manually adjust the settings to get the picture I want.  As I continue to work to grow my skills, I am looking forward to sharing my work and hopefully providing some tips and techniques along the way.

For now, here is a little teaser of some recent photos:

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

DFW Spring Blogger's Meet Up

In case any of you are wondering, I am missing my somewhat regular blog posts.  Life is just downright other way to describe it.  The move is progressing at a pace that I am happy with and depending on how productive things are this weekend, there is a good chance that I am going to try to move the date up for the movers by a week.  Fingers crossed!  Then there is work....busy season has hit with a vengeance.  This is the first season that I have been doing order entry and it is nuts.  I love interacting with the customers but it is seriously cray cray!!!!  When I finally get done, the LAST thing I want to do is go home and boot my computer up....hence the lack of content lately - except for my awesome contributors who are keeping me afloat.  You ladies are the best!

For any of you that have been following me for awhile, you know that I love to meet fellow bloggers - in my opinion it is one the greatest things about blogging....making  those connections that NEVER would have been possible.  I have attended three DFW Blogger meet ups since I started blogging over 2 years ago....two of them I co-hosted.  Next month will be my fourth and I am super excited for two reasons  1) I can't wait to hug Nicole - because let's face it, she is the best hugger EVA! 2) all that I have to do is show up!  No planning for me this go around.

I could fill you in on all the details myself, but Nicole did it so much better so I am copying any pasting.  If you are in the DFW area and are free, please join us - we always have such a fun time. I am looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and hopefully some new ones as well.  Act fast though...there are only 20 spots available!

Here is Nicole's post announcing the event:

I am excited to announce the next DFW Bloggers Spring Meet Up is Saturday, April 27 in Fort Worth’s West 7th Street Development. We’re bowling at Lucky Strike and eating dinner at Brownstone Kitchen + Bar. You don’t want to miss this!
Use EVENTBRITE to reserve your spot … space is limited to 20 people.
springmeetupHere are the specific details again:

                                            Saturday, April 27
5:30 – 7:30pmBowling at Lucky Strike
Dinner at Brownstone Kitchen + Bar
This event is limited to the first 20 people who sign up. To reserve your spot, go to EVENTBRITE and register. I will also send you an email confirming that I’ve received your information and your name is on the guest list. Easy-peasy!
Lucky Strike has graciously waived all lane and shoe rental fees, so each person will bowl FREE. If you want drinks or food at the bowling alley, you’ll have to pay for your own. Each person is responsible for their own dinner + drinks at the Brownstone. I suggest car-pooling (don’t forget a designated driver if you plan to consume extra adult beverages!!!) and there’s a FREE parking garage available too. Pretty sweet deal, right?!
If you have questions, or want to provide take-home gifts for 20 of your nearest-and-dearest blog buddies, contact me atnicole.m.hutchison at with DFW Bloggers’ Spring Meet Up in the subject line. Oh, and there will be prizes for bowling and other random nonsense too. If you want to join the fun, go to EVENTBRITE and reserve your spot. RIGHT.NOW.
I hope to see YOU on April 27. =)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Third Thursday Scrapbook Stories: March 2013 Edition

It is that time again....Third Thursday Scrapbook Stories with Katie.  If you have taken the time to check out Katie's blog (and if you haven't.....get yourself over there!), you know that she currently resides in Chicago - such an awesome city!  But on Saturday, she and her fiance are embarking on a new adventure.....the are moving to Baton Rouge, LA.  I know she is going to miss the fabulous view from her crafting desk, but I am so excited that she is going to be considerably closer to me in little ole' Texas.  We have decided that we are going to meet, no matter what we are going to make it happen!  Before I get carried away, I will turn it over to Katie....she is all organized with a craft basket for her long drive on Saturday.....Project Life must go on!!!!!


Happy Third Thursday of March :) I hope you all enjoyed the first day of spring yesterday!

Like Julie, I am in the middle of a big move. Right now, all of our things are on a truck on their way to Louisiana. Including all most of my craft things.

I say "most" because I kept out a few essentials for Project Life. I couldn't be completely craft-less for over a week!

Now, I know that I should be able to complete Project Life with just the core kit + binder + pictures. But lets be honest here...I love having way more things than I actually need at my disposal. What if I suddenly need a stamp with red ink and I don't have it on me! I just like to be overly prepared. And it all fit in the cute little box, so why not?!

1. Project Life Core Kit in Cobalt my current project life kit
2. Martha Stewart Ink Pad Sets lots of colors, not a lot of space
3. Sharpie Pens my favorite for journaling
4. Clementine Cardstock (to be honest, not sure why I have this...its for the kit I will start using on May 14 of this year...didn't really need it this week!) + 3x4 Grid Cards
5. Lots of $1 stamps from Michaels
6. Corner Rounder (this isn't the same one I use, it has no markings on it and I can't find it anywhere, this is the one that Becky Higgins recommends for PL)
Not pictured: Scissors + Adhesive

And with just the things in this kit (okay, with just half the things in my kit...but seriously, I need all of that stuff!) I was able to put this layout together in my otherwise empty apartment!

What would be in your essential craft kit?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Pretty sure most everyone is all done with the celebrating, but you know me always running just a bit behind.  This time last year, I was just back from a great girl's weekend with two of my favorite ladies in Chicago.  It was a seriously fun trip and I managed to document it all.  Chicago has to be one of the best places to celebrate St. Patty's Day - no?!?!  All of our antics are now forever preserved for our kids and grandkids.....uh, oh!!!  It was really not bad at all, but we did have a great time and I finally managed to photograph the entire album that I completed almost a month ago.  I thought today would be a fitting day to get it posted.  I hope you enjoy!  My photography skills - especially where capturing my layouts is concerned, has definitely not improved, but you do get the added bonus of a couple of feline photo can thank me later.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


There is no denying work area is sad!  So sad that I thought I would join in for another What's On Your Workdesk, Wednesday.   The weekly link up from Julia at Stamping Ground, where crafters from all over share what they have going on at their workdesks.

In short, this is all that's left.  Everything else has been boxed up and moved to the new place. Am I freaked better believe it!  The chairs are pretty much gone as lone straggler!  But I left just enough out so that if I have a little down time (who in the world am I kidding), I can start working on all the journaling cards for Project Life that I plan on doing in my own handwriting - yikes!

Also, I got Happy Mail last week that I have been meaning to post.  Since posts have been pretty scarce around these parts lately, I thought I would throw it in today.  There was a Studio Calico promotion hosted through Becky Higgins' blog that if you were one of the first 100 people to get on the Project Life kit waiting list that you received a  FREE pack of February jounaling/filler cards.  I received mine last week and was so excited!!!  

Now, if I can just actually get some of them working in a layout....things will be golden!  Hope you are all having a great week and thank you for sticking with me.  Operation paint the new place is starting hopefully Friday.  Baby steps, steps!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

We're A Movin' On Up.....or across town

So, for those of you that are on the edge of your seat waiting for the moving update here goes nothing.  I signed the lease last Friday.  I had to leave work early even though I had a pile of work to do, but I was excited to get the keys and check things out.  Well to my disgust, when I walked in through the garage I was greeted with about 15 dead horse flies that were big enough that if they banded together, they probably could have carried of my 10 lb think I kid.  BUT it gets I progressed through the duplex there were not only a plethora of fly carcasses, but there were also a tribe of live ones flying all over the place.  I will be honest with you.....this girl was FREAKED out.  I had no idea where they were coming from....the duplex did not smell and was in fact very clean (well with the exception of the fly infestation).  The Cliff Notes version is the that the property management company took care of it.  They bombed on Monday and when I was there last night, there were a very few dead ones and not a one buzzing around .....HALLELUJAH!!!!  Here's to hoping they stay the heck away.

My actual move date is not until April 18th, but I am trying to get as much done as I can before hand.  I am hoping to have pretty much everything moved except the furniture.  I have A LOT of stuff stored...plain and simple.  This past Sunday I managed to get everything out of my garage....which is not attached to my apartment - I am giving it up as of March 14th.  I am all about saving the bucks right now.  I also have an outside storage on my patio and last night, Zachary and I got that all moved over to the new place.  So although there is virtually nothing in the duplex the garage is filling up quickly.  sorry for the poor picture quality!

Thank heavens for friends with trucks

Yep, stuff is piling up.....

and on the other side too!

Trust me....we didn't waste any space!
This weekend, I am planning on packing more and hopefully tackling lining some of the kitchen cabinets.  They are calling for rain, so I am not sure how much I will be able to get moved.  I have been really lucky so far to have access to a truck a couple of times and that has made my trips significantly more productive since normally my mode of transportation is a Honda Civic.  All in all, I feel pretty good about my progress so far.  I am packing up my scrapping stuff this weekend and quite frankly that has me feeling a bit antsy, but it has to be done (right, Katie???).  The sooner I get it all done, the sooner I will get settled.  I guess there is always a chance that I could move up the move date.  Oh, did I mention I still have to squeeze in painting?????

That is about it from here....sorry it wasn't so entertaining, but at least there is a good explanation for my absence.  I will leave you with this little sweetie pie in case you haven't already seen her on Instagram...last week it was dill pickles and this morning bananas.....GO FIGURE!!!!

Sweet little Jessi

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


I am getting ready to starting packing up and moving probably about 85% of my scrapping stuff to the new place, so I thought that I would squeeze in one more WOYWW.  Julia at Stamping Ground hosts a weekly link up where crafters from all over share what they have going on at their work areas.

I would love to tell you that I have been busy scrapping away on my next album, but alas, this table has seen no action since I finished Chicago.  Shameful? Yes, especially since I was ahead of schedule for my 4 albums complete goal for 2013.  However, busy season has definitely begun at my work and I have been averaging 9-10 hours a day and scarfing lunch down at my desk.  Let's not forget that ongoing move.
So, yes.  This is the aftermath of me getting my latest book done.  Quite honestly, I don't think a thing has changed since I ceremoniously patted myself on the back and exclaimed, "It's a wrap!"  Stamps need to be cleaned and put away...scraps need to be thrown away or filed.  Leftover supplies need to put in there place and then most everything needs to make it's way to a packing box for the journey across town.  Some ideas are flowing on how to create a little crafting nook in the new place, but some storage is definitely going to have to be purchased one way or the other or I will completely lose my mind.  Thank you so much for stopping by today and for those of you that were hoping for a move update, please bare with is coming - I promise!

Monday, March 4, 2013

First Mondays With Megan: March 2013 Edition

First Mondays mean it is time to hear from Megan from The House of Martinez.  She is going to share what looks like a quick and easy process for making your very own hoop earrings with a punch of color.  They are so easy and affordable you can make a pair for every color you can imagine....not to mention great gifts!


DIY: Beaded Hoop Earrings

It's no surprise I like color. And what better way to add color to any outfit than with accessories. Adorn your ears with these DIY beaded hoops that are super cheap and easy to make in an array of colors.


  • Seed beads (any colors you prefer)

  • Plain wire hoops (the size of the hoop earrings is up to you)

  • Needle nose pliers

To make the earrings, thread beads onto the hoop. I found it fastest to cup the beads in my palm and pick them up with the wire hoop.

Then with a pliers, bend about 1/4" of the end of the wire back at a 90 degree angle. (Don't make the angle any sharper, or it will be too difficult to feed the corner through your earlobe.) Hook the bent end through the "loop" end of the earring to close it.

You can buy hoops in bulk, get a rainbow array of seed beads, and invite everyone to make zillions of pairs for themselves or to give as gifts. Happy beading!

Thank you, Megan for that fun DIY, making it quick and easy to add that finishing touch to any outfit.  

Stay tuned this week for a status update on the move as well as attending my first rugby match - it was the Mustache Match, no less....details coming soon!