Category: inspiration

halloween fest

HELLO and happy halloween!! halloween is probably my most favorite holiday! it’s just FUN… doesn’t have tons of expectations attached… it’s highly decoration oriented… and no one really expects a big fancy meal! phew!  this year, one of my dear friends wanted to throw a halloween dinner party, and recruited me to help! (twist my arm)… we had SO much fun with the party and preparations… in celebration of TODAY, i’d like to share our ‘halloween fest’. We picked the weekend before Halloween so that whatever we did, didn’t compete with Trick or Treating!

First order or business was to send out a ‘save the date’ and just get a feel for how many people on our initial guest list could come.I had a blast creating this invite! I love making unique invites to parties…. I did this one mostly in photoshop- the best part of this   project was the coffee- stained countdown! When we sent out the ‘save the date’ there were 23 days until the big party day! Guests could removed a number each day to get EXCITED for the bash!

Once we knew who could come and we had a firm guest list… these Poison Apple Invites were distributed along with food assignments.

Between the time that we distributed the SAVE THE DATES; and the party… a few preparations needed to be made. My friend Libby had seen these DIY Cloches made from plastic goblets and decorative crystals for the topper. We glittered and spray painted creepy bugs and glued them to a gold doily. These would be adorning the place settings, and be a take-away parting gift at the party.

the doilys needed to be sanded down a bit, and typed up messages were attached at the top.

they looked GREAT on the tables! they were just the right size placed on the clear plastic salad plate

My friend had been scouting out thrift shops and picked up 50 pieces of china for a song!  It really upped the game on the place settings. we had 44 people for dinner, and we wanted a beautiful, upscale look!  to top it off, we got the silver plastic ware from Costco for the flatware. that stuff looks incredible!

as we were deciding on the place settings, the cups were an issue… didn’t know how to make it look nice and fancy with just plastic tumblers – so after hemming and hawing, i decided to make a $48 investment in 48 goblets from the Dollar Store! it was my favorite part of the whole set up! they looked GORGEOUS! i bought them all boxed up, so storage is not a problem!  i am sure they will get a LOT of future use! they looked SO sparkly and fancy! just the right touch!

the plan was to use the neighborhood clubhouse for the event! it’s SUCH a great facility and its FREE for residents to use! we were able to set it up to accommodate 44.

The clubhouse has 3 large leather couches that we were able to move outside to the patio to create a place for appetizers and drinks.

this is what it looks like from the outside… we hung lights around the outside patio, and for a creepy, Halloween look, we tore up old sheets and created a “rag banner”. it looked fabulous blowing in the wind! it was just the perfect amount of Halloween!  The club house is situated where it has this incredible view of the wasatch mountains… the view from the dinner party was spectacular as the sun was going down!

Decorating the inside of the clubhouse is pretty easy- its already beautiful and feels like a home inside, so just a few touches is all it takes… i decided to use my new-found obsession and cut the word “BEWARE” out of wood in several different sizes and hang them from the ceiling to create a cool visual effect when you walked in!

so i was in love with how this turned out!! the wood is only 1/4″ thick, and quite flexible as well as light weight! of course you can customize it to any color/style. After adding a base coat, i sprayed them with gold spray paint and then added a layer of gold glitter! and POW!  Eric was out of town, and he is usually my ‘go to guy’ for all things banner hanging… so my friend Libby’s husband braved the ladders and with his engineer/artistic background hung all the signs, lights and banners! GOLD STAR FOR JACKSON!

as we were hanging the signs, we decided that the lights needed something- Libby happened to have these old dyed sheets and so we shredded them and hung them off the lights! it was the perfect addition…  and 7 BEWARE signs is JUST RIGHT!



our plan for food was appetizers and drinks first… and we set out to figure out the perfect “MOCKTAILS”…  we don’t drink alcohol, but we still wanted something fun and unique! Thank you Pinterest for so many ideas! we settled on creating a glowing drink station. We learned that TONIC WATER glows in the dark…but tastes gross! so, with a little combination of POP ROCKS, sprite, grenadine and lime.. we were able to come up with a yummy and spooky fun drink bar.

this was on the last-minute side of things… and you know how you have those “if i could have done this different’ moments… this was mine!  I could take this way further! there could have been all kinds of cool black light reactive stuff in this station! so NEXT TIME this will be the bomb… but, you can only do so much, am i right?

i dipped the cups into lemon juice and then lined the rims w/ PopRocks. This is way fun! not only did it look cute, but the pop is fun when you take a drink. We had shots of several drink flavors as well as Sprite and Fresca. The key was LOTS of ice, lime squeezed and some adventure!  as it got darker this looked better! we really needed a spooky bar tender! (next year!)


We asked our friends to bring Soups and Salad Bar stuff, and the food was Delish! Libby made Pumpkin Bread bowls and Witches Finger breadsticks which looked AMAZING!!

my amazing SIL brought over some of her AMAZING baked goods… she just ‘whipped’ up these BRAIN cupcakes and adorable and delicious sugar cookies you will ever taste!

of course… my BFF Emily Waters was there most every step of the way! she is ALWAYS up for crazy ideas and willing to do whatever it takes to help!  She is the glitter master! we were able to glitter those 7 BEWARE signs in a total of 40 min start to finish! pretty fast!

Every party i ever do, i am RACING against the clock, right down to the last minute before guests arrive! this party was no exception! I am still amazed at how it came together and how rad it looked! it was so much fun to do! I am thankful for crazy friends who like to do nutty things just as much as i do! These are the kinds of things that make holidays SPECIAL and MEMORABLE! Happiness is being a little over-the-top and sharing it with friends! :)

i was able to use some of my party decor last night as we had a ‘trunk or treat’ in the church parking lot… i draped lights and the rag banner on the door of my Yukon and tied up just a few of my Beware signs… it only took me about 15 minutes to deck this thing out! it’s ALWAYS good to have banners on hand!

we dove in with some jack-0-lantern carving yesterday afternoon… my littles LOVE the tradition and love that they are getting big enough to participate… just in time for my BIGS to think its LAME!


here’s to wishing YOU a happy, fun and SAFE Halloween!




make pretty pockets – week 7

it has been so much fun following along with this series! there are so many ways to customize your pocket pages and make them unique and YOU! if you have missed any of weeks 1-6, you can click here to find them all! Maridette has some fun twists to some of the ideas from my free Heidi Swapp Project Life e*idea book! check them out!

Don’t you just love these Heidi Swapp Beckky Higgins Project Life Collections? They are just amazing! You can make as simple as they are or dress it up with some mixed media, embellishments and some stamping.  I had so much fun creating this one page layout that includes a few pocket page ideas about our amazing day in San Francisco celebrating my bff’s birthday with our family and friends.

I love creating interactive projects and was inspired to use this interactive 4×6 card from the Heidi Swapp’s Project Life e*book.   So many inspirations in one place!  Okay, so my all time favorite is that camera! Ahh..mazingly awesome! Needless to say I have more than 1 or 2 (wink). Here I added a chipboard circle that says “hi” so that when you lift up and the shutter opens it greets you.  Add those awesome wood veneer over the pocket.



For the first pocket idea is an interactive card. I followed Heidi’s directions that she shared in her free e*idea book. You can find them right here.  First, trace the shape of the slider onto a piece of paper.



Cut it. Then add words to it using Heidi Swapp stamps.  Here I included the date stamp using my favorite of all roller stamp ever!



I added a group photo of us at dinner.


For the second pocket idea it’s all about layering which adds dimension.



Grab the heart canvas from HS Color Magic kit and emboss it using HS Heart embossing folder. Glue over the black and white stripe PL card from HS My Favorite Things core kit.



Adhere a circle chipboard over the top right of the heart. Then place the 3×4 clear “delight” over the canvas heart.



To create the shaker card for the third  pocket, I used Heidi Swapp’s PL Gold Foil, Color Magic and Clear Value kits.



Grab the black and white stripe 3×4 clear chipboard, a die cut 3×4 and a plain 4×6 card from HS Color Magic Value kits.  Choose some gold chipboard elements from the Gold Foil Value kits and place them towards the middle.  Next, adhere some foam strips if available or you can use foam dots like I have is fine as well. Place the clear overlay over the 3×4 card and shake.


Stamp using the HS PL “I like totally love you” stamp to the left of the shaker card and place the 3×4 clear overlay card over it.  Decorate the card by using the gold foil stars, arrow and the “like” circle chipboard from HS Clear Value kit.


Lastly, is a bonus pocket page idea because I just couldn’t help myself!  I had more photos of my day so I printed them out using my Fujifilm Instax Printer printed from my iPhone! This thing is just the best ever! Love it! To add these to my page I created a 3×4 vellum pocket card by cutting the top portion of the “best ever” vellum card a and gluing the two sides and the bottom to the ombre card from HS Dreamy PL core kit.


There you have it!  Can’t wait to see your pretty pocket pages.

print the inspiration sheet and add it to your collection from this series – just in time for weekend crafting! click here to download and print!

SUPPLIES: Heidi Swapp Becky Higgins Project Life My Favorite Things and Dreamy Core Kit; Heidi Swapp Gold Foil Value Kit, Color Magic and Clear Value Kits, Project Life Vellum and Tags, Project Life Interactive cards, Project Life Roller Date Stamp, Project Life Love You Stamp, Project Life Cherish Clear Stamp and Project Life Heart Embossing Folder


create to remember – project life panoramic pocket pages

let’s be honest here. i take a lot of photos. a lot. usually each one tells part of the full story that i don’t want to leave any out! today i wanted to share how to get more real estate in your Becky Higgins Project Life album by using my Project Life Panoramic Pocket Pages.

here is Design P, all 4×4 squares perfect for Instagram photos and i used it to document my trip to Italy! i love that the flaps open to the side…

so there is more room to add photos! can you believe they give you almost a page and a half more pockets to work with?!!


here is another example – Design C, flips up from the top…


and was perfect for my sons’ rugby photos! what i love about there being more room is the more space to add journaling and interactive cards like this one…


you can find out how i created this fun interactive card, along with many more tips and tricks to these pages in my free Heidi Swapp Project Life E*Idea Book right here!

photo pocket pages don’t have to be used as is! you can fold them, cut them – use them how you need them! watch this week’s NEW ‘Create to Remember’ episode to see how i customize them for these pages above!

here and now… documenting real life

ok, we all need to hear what Maggie Massey has to say today because we have all been there. in fact, we are probably all there right now – at this very moment. our full lives aren’t ever going to be perfect. it is these imperfect times that we will want to remember when years go by and our children are grown and gone…

I live a perfect life.

My hair is always done…my makeup is always perfect…my kids NEVER misbehave…my husband brings me flowers every. single. night…and my house is straightened and dust-free all the time…beds made, pillows fluffed, laundry folded & put-away.


Not a single word of that is true.

In fact, most days, the exact opposite of all that is my reality.

If your family’s life is anything at all like mine, then it is filled with imperfect moments.

But imperfect doesn’t mean unimportant. Imperfect doesn’t mean unnecessary. Imperfect doesn’t mean non-documentable (write that down…non-documentable).

In fact, aren’t those moments just as (or even more?) important to document?

Today we’re talking about documenting real life. Here & now. Life for real…with all of it’s not-so-pretty parts.

The photos in the layout above represent how my house looks right now. Today. As I write this.

My craft space is CA-RAZY messy…our guest-room/additional craft storage room is covered with stray papers…my basement is OUT OF CONTROL with piles of stuff we just can’t throw away (yet)…the yard is covered in fallen leaves & hasn’t been mowed in weeks & our laundry room is currently storing our old couches because the Salvation Army won’t be here for another two weeks to pick them up. And these are just a few of our “messy everyday moments.”


But I love this layout.

I love it because it represents a few things to me…it reminds me that I am blessed enough to have a home that can get messy…that I am blessed enough to have a separate craft space, laundry room & guest room…that I am blessed enough to have a gorgeous tree in my front yard whose leaves turn the most beautiful yellow-orange color in the fall…that I am blessed enough to be so busy with my family, and my work, and my other obligations that my house cleaning can take a backseat for a while…that I am blessed to have a husband that works his tail off so that we can buy new couches for the family room…and the list goes on.

I created this page using Heidi’s newest collection, September Skies (available at your local scrapbook store & online)…and the embellishments in the set really worked beautifully for this theme.

The stamp set, in particular, was a real inspiration…

…the “HONESTLY, I LOVE YOU” stamp jumped right out at me when I was pulling items I wanted to use on this page. In order to use it for my theme, I simply covered up the “I LOVE YOU” part of the stamp with washi tape, inked up the stamp, removed the washi and stamped “HONESTLY” around my page. It was just what I wanted. I love when I can change something up just a bit and create a whole new look…



I have this page hanging on my refrigerator right now…that’s not weird, right?

It’s serving to remind me to relax a bit…to let go a bit. The world hasn’t stopped and no one has suffered because I have messy rooms. I’m not perfect. My life is not perfect. My house is NOT perfect. And that’s totally OK by me.

Today I challenge you to create a layout about your real life. Right now. Don’t let it scare you…just do it. We all have our messy moments…that’s a fact…so embrace them…and document them.

thank you for this “honest” layout and post Maggie! we all need a good reminder of what we do have and that it is ok to let go of those things we can’t have control over. so we don’t have a perfect _____ (fill in the blank)! we do have our family, a home, a place to lay our head, food to eat…. the list goes on! the more we think on the good things we have, the more our hearts lean towards the abundance in our lives and not our mistakes or shortcomings. 

SUPPLIES: SS Patterned Paper – Meadow Bloom, Aspen, Dusk;  SS 6×6 Paper Pack, SS Word Strips, SS Ephemera, SS Attachment Kit, SS Washi Tape, SS Clear Stamps, SS Wood Veneer Shapes, Color Shine – Primrose, American Crafts Precision Pen .01 Black, American Crafts Mini Stapler, Pink Stamp Ink, Grey Stamp Ink


september skies gratitude book

in the busyness of my life i feel like sometimes i can blink and the month is gone. if you have heard me talk about this before, i call it the ‘blur complex.’ life goes by WAY TOO fast – in a blur!!! as the month of November comes upon us, it is good to keep a journal and record our gratefulness big or small. knowing Jamie Pate does ’30 Days of Gratitude’, a challenge to document your blessings once a day for the month of November, i asked her to share her journal with us… 

It’s that time of year where this stronger than usual emphasis on gratitude comes around and we focus again on all the abundance in our lives. If you are like me, and I think you are, life can be messy and relentless, and sometimes just staying up with everything causes the act of thankfulness to get lost in the debris of the day. But I also know for me that if I do not keep tabs on my gifts, the blessings in my life, that I can start on this path of resentment, forgetting all the good in my life.

So with that in mind I created this inspiration piece I am so lucky to share with you today.

I call this a table top album because the plan is for this to sit out front and center in our home this next month and for our family to purpose to focus on thanksgiving and gratitude.

With the use of September Skies, Peach Color Shine, and a few of my very own cut files, I created this interactive mini album.

As with almost everyone of my minis, I always seem to start with a cover page. This one gives emphasis to the everyday focus of gratitude. I wanted to invite my family to think on this daily.

I decided that I wanted this book to be interactive and even a bit random. Let me show you what I came up with.


First off I wanted to have traditional journal pages to be part of this album. So for the right side page I added just a few embellishments and then made my own lines with pen and ruler so that we could journal or even bullet point gratitudes.

Then, on the left side…

I created a pull out tag. The elements hang over the pocket a bit, and then a tag can be pulled from the pocket and used as a journaling piece.

The next page I incorporated a flap interactive piece. Color Shine was sprayed over a polka dot stencil laid over card stock. Ephemera and Color Magic pieces were added to the top. A piece of September Skies washi tape keeps it attached to the page.

And there is a hidden space underneath for journaling.

Next page has a slit created for a mini card to fit.

This card is simply folded over leaving plenty of room inside to journal.

As I went along creating these pages for this album, and pulling together the Stickers and combining them with the Color Magic Die Cuts, little themes began to pop up. So I imagined gratitudes in response to the prompts seen here would really revolve around what goes on here at home that makes us happy and grateful. You know, those little family things that make us smile or laugh. I found myself drawn to wanting to make sure we capture those moments as well.

Amazing is a great way to describe those little times. I used a 4×4 cut-away and fancy cut the ‘amazing’ banner for this interactive page.

Last page I will show you today might be my favorite. Again another full sheet journal page.

And then a little accordian card attached with a clip from the Attachment Kit. More space to add our gratitude journaling.

I look forward in years to come to pull this album out see what we all wrote. To play hide and seek with the little interactive pockets. To take a moment to be thankful for a past moment in time and continue to refresh our hearts to be thankful daily.

Jamie, your album is beautiful! all those interactive pockets for journaling makes my heart sing! it will be a joy to watch as it fills up with blessings, thankfulness, and gratitude next month!!

supplies: September Skies Collection. Peach Color Shine. Polka Dot Stencil. American Crafts Cardstock. Gratitude cut file.

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  • halloween fest October 31, 2014
    HELLO and happy halloween!! halloween is probably my most favorite holiday! it’s just FUN… doesn’t have tons of expectations attached…

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