Thursday, January 12, 2012

a big switch

Hello friends....

I'm making the switch to typepad. With all of the blogging I do -- and all of the sharing of pages -- I need to be able to do it with more ease for everyone. (Me AND you -- comments can be difficult on blogger!)

Go on over to

And please follow me there -- okay?! I have a new page up today and I will have MORE EXCITING news to share soon. So, head over -- okay?!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

LOTS to share -- and the Ella Publishing WINNER!

Ah, where do I begin?

I guess...well, first with the big news -- shall we? I am blown away, humbled, and crazy excited to announce that I am now a Nikki Sivils design team member. There are not words to properly and adequately describe how I'm feeling. I'll just stick with EXCITED!

On January 4, 2011 I started this blog because I decided I was going to get out there with the online scrapping world. I'd been scrapbooking for 9+ years and I knew that this was something I wanted to be a part of. I'd been following scrappers like Susan Weinroth, Kelly Purkey, Becky Higgins, etc and I wanted to join in.

At first, I set meager goals -- 104 pages in 2011 and to blog regularly. I also wanted to get on some kind of design team and get published anywhere by the end of 2011. Within weeks, I was on my first design team (My Sketch World) and had a publication request from Scrapbook Trends. I was BLOWN.AWAY. Seriously on top of the world. My first submission had been picked up -- I couldn't believe it.

As the year went on, I set slightly loftier goals and reached new spots. I was on Design Teams for sketch sites, stores and kit clubs. I had 14 pages picked up for publication in 10 months by 2 different print publications. Not to mention that my albums were much, much heavier with 323 pages created in 2011.

When 2011 came to a close -- I knew I wanted to see, for me, if I could beat 323 pages -- just for fun, no pressure. Just to keep creating how I do and see what would come. I also set a lofty goal - one I thought I wouldn't *really* get at this year. Get on a manufacturer design team. I thought I would be so lucky in 2013 if I kept working hard honing my skills and defining my style.

I never, ever thought that January 9, 2012 would be when I would get the phone call -- the one where my goals became reality. So, I am thrilled and excited and honored and humbled and...more -- to be invited to join amazing people to design with other wonderful scrappers. I can't wait to share it all here...and hope you think it's worth looking at.

Today, I have a page to share -- a fabulous sketch from Pretty Little Studio (whose products I am shamelessly addicted to. vintage images and bright colors?! UM, HELLO!!) using photos taken of two cuties over the holidays.

And, used on that page?! My brand new to me, long awaited TYPEWRITER. I've been wanting this for a very, very long time and I would not settle. Unfortunately, it came broken, so I have to use it as is ... but it'll do. I don't need or want perfection!

AND, now...for the winner of the Ella Publishing TAKE TWELVE winner!


Please email me ASAP at aj_mcgarvey AT msn DOT com so I can get you the info so you can get started TOMORROW!!!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

practice makes perfect -- and more good news!

Last fall, Harrison started playing soccer in our local league. Seriously, 3.5 year olds in organized sports is about the cutest thing EVER. Anyway, we all enjoyed our time there -- most of all Harrison. Even, if it was just at practice!

LOVE these new items from Kesi'Art that were included in the January Studio Calico kit. Seriously awesome designs, texture and colors. I'm totally in love!

And - for my good news!! I'm now on the design team for Vintage Street Market! They have the CUTEST vintage goods that I cannot wait to start playing with -- and sharing with you! Hop on over there and check it out!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Full of awesome and an ELLA PUBLISHING giveaway!

The other day, my youngest, Harrison, and I were getting ready to go grocery shopping. He got ready to go and I turned around to see him -- and this is what I saw.

I immediately snapped a picture -- and the title for this page was just there -- because this boy is full of awesome!

Now, as I posted the other day -- I'm now a member of the Ella Publishing Take Twelve team and I could NOT be happier. I LOVE Ella and the materials they put out -- this is super exciting. You know what else is exciting?! You can win the inspiration kit!

You must be a follower of my blog -- leave a comment with one scrappy goal for 2012 and I will draw a winner on WEDNESDAY! Did you already purchase the kit? You'll get a refund!

Exciting, right?! I think so!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

love us together

A warm, sunny Saturday -- that is what I'm enjoying today! Boys playing outside (bikes, basketball, football, scooters, etc) without jackets. It's an epic kind of day in January!

here's a page I did with last weeks Sketchy Thursday sketch. I totally modified it (flipped it, omitted the big photo, etc) but was happy with how it turned out!

Off to finish a page with my new Studio Calico kit (County Fair!) and then get outside with the boys!

Friday, January 6, 2012

watching emma cheer

One of our friends in California was a JV football cheerleader. A week or so before we left we finally got to a game to watch her -- we really enjoyed it and I know she was glad we were there!

I made the page based on this weeks Studio Calico sketch of the week! I loved the original page AND the sketch it created -- so I was doubly inclined to take a stab at it!

Bonus? I made the page with Handmade -- a kit I had reserved for a mini album (my November Gratitude album) and wasn't sure I could make pages with. I was wrong!

AND! In super exciting news?! I'm a proud member Ella Publishing's TAKE TWELVE Team! Take Twelve is an exciting photography and scrapbooking challenge to keep you inspired throughout 2012. The idea is to take 12 photos of your everyday life on the 12th of each month and create 12 awesome scrapbook pages that feature 12 photos each. It's the perfect way to celebrate 2012!

I'm super excited and can't wait to share it with you!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

the signs of christmas

Okay, so a few weeks before Christmas, I saw somewhere on the web (a blog, I bet) some super cute Pretty Little Studio stuff. I mean, like the most adorable flags and Santa's you've seen. I had to have some. So, I ordered them up and they arrived yesterday. (It was quite the delay with Christmas, then we were traveling!)

I dug right in. Conveniently, there's a sketch challenge that I LOVED. Awesome new goodies and a sketch that was super cute?! Perfect.

Here's my take!

I plan on looking around the Pretty Little Studio shop tomorrow for some new items, as I've used up almost all of the patterned paper I bought!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hello, McGarveys!

Did you hear we moved? LOL, I think the whole world knows we moved. (OUR whole world, that is!) It was an odd time of year to pack up and leave your old home for the new. The week before Halloween really was - an interesting time to transition. We didn't put up a single Halloween decoration (we *did* purchase one small pumpkin for the front step). We trick or treated in a new neighborhood, checking out the local scene.

Then we were pushed full force into the depths of fall and planning for Thanksgiving. (Plus a certain someone's 4th birthday on November 6) We all know how Thanksgiving quickly tumbles into Christmas -- add school and basketball, and you've got a very full schedule.

Now that we've lived in the house 2 months, I think we're getting a feel for it. I know what projects are at the top of the list (boys bath!) and which I can live with for a while longer. (brassy pool bath!) I also know which spots are more wonderful than I ever imagined them to be. (Big tree in the backyard, the screened in porch and the window seat/built ins)

So, here we are! Welcome to the first part of the tour -- the entry, the kitchen, the eat in area and the sun room!
Come in, won't you?

To the right, the dining room. (Aside from the piano and 2 stray barstools, it's furniture-less. It also has gorgeous paint, wallpaper and brass chandelier. All in due time...)

To the left, the scrapbooky. (In the previous formal living room)

Lets head to the kitchen!

The family room is to the right before that desk. It's quite the mess, after I fold the 5 baskets of laundry, I might show you!

Hello, gorgeous! I fell in love with the island's huge and full of storage!
(Please note my vice, Diet Coke from McDonalds. I would prefer QT, but it's not an option!)

Another view of my lover...I mean, kitchen island. This time, I'm standing in the area where I could go to the garage/powder room/laundry room OR the dining room

Care to wash our laundry? To the left. Need the loo? To the right. Straight ahead? Garage and bonus room!

Standing in front of the sink you have a view of the dining room. To the right just before the dining room is our cleaning closet.

Here's the sink with the lovely window overlooking the screened in porch. And, just to keep it real, I kept the clean dishes in the sink for you!

And, one of my very favorites, complete with dog bone -- the eat in area of the kitchen.

YES, I know the drum light is crooked and the seam is showing. The handyman we hired was ridiculous. So ridiculous, in fact, I will be touching up paint this weekend! (He did an awesome job hanging our TV?!) So, the light will eventually get fixed...

The window seat and built ins captured with a bad photo. You get the point...and if you'd hurry up and come visit, you could see for yourself. Eventually the cushions will be changed -- that means I would have to pick fabrics and it's kind of low down the list of things I want to do...

What I don't like about this photo? That you can't see my favorite vintage relics on the shelves. Someday, I'll post a better photo!

Here I'm standing in the entry to the sunroom - these doors go the screened back porch and then the backyard.

Standing at the window seat looking back to the kitchen

And, the sunroom right off the eat in part of the kitchen

See those spindles? Staircase to the finished basement. It's all boy down there.

Sunroom. And out that door? The pool and the deck around it. To the left just before it is a closet and a HUGE full bath, affectionately known as the pool bath.

Standing on the way to the pool, looking back toward the eat in kitchen

And, lastly, from the family room looking to the sun room. We had our Christmas tree there this year - it worked really well. Probably won't be as nice when we actually put furniture out here, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it!

The entry is still painted a nice tan from the previous owners, eventually it'll get a new coat of paint to spruce things up. Otherwise, the other rooms are all Moonshine by Benjamin Moore. A nice light grey, that really keeps things neutral, yet bright. Weird, right? And, it looks great with the copious amounts of molding and tall baseboards!

More coming soon -- the family room, the basement, etc.

My Scrapbooky!

Ever since my big boys were little they have called my scrapbook space "the scrapbooky". It's totally stuck and it's just the common name around here!

Anyway. A little back story. We moved here (Southern Indiana) in October from Southern California. We lived in SoCal for 5.5 years -- and I had a medium size bedroom with TONS AND TONS of office type built ins. It was STORAGE HEAVEN. The drawers were huge and deep - I could keep SB stuff AND general craft stuff all together. It wasn't PRETTY and it didn't have style, but it was as functional as could be. I really did love it.

Fast forward to Southern Indiana. We have converted a formal living room into the scrapbook room. It was dark and VERY formal with the previous owners. They had a baby grand piano and silk drapes. We installed a ceiling fan (for LOTS of light and possible climate control) and went to town.

We chose this room for accessibility. We also have a huge bonus room and a basement area that could have held the space. This works because I'm always near the family and can hear and see whats going on. It's perfect.

To give you an idea of size -- my work tables are 79 inches wide and 24 inches deep (each). So, I have an overall of 79x48 workspace. It's PERFECT.

Welcome to my scrappy space. I love vintage and re purposed pieces for accent. It's not perfect or particularly neat. I don't have built-ins or anything that resembles order but it's really me and it's just a wonderful space I'm so happy with!

From the entry way to the left:

To the right:

Inside the room to the left of the door

The wooden buffet (I'm going to paint it white this summer!) holds my sizzix dies (YES, I still have a sizzix. Can't beat how it cuts felt or chipboard. Or, anything else, really!). On top is an infant scale that I use for photo prop and on top are layouts to go in albums. The aqua drawers have vintage milk bottle caps in them.

The red boxes have misc. craft items and some completed projects. (Banners, etc)

The windows plus a small desk for my laptop, silhouette and to heat emboss/glue gun

The wire green rack above the laptop desk holds my embossing powders and misc. other stuff. It's not full, but that is how I like it. Full of potential!

The main wall -- what you see when you enter the room.

Tiny drawers for all kinds of things -- ink pads, old embellishments I never use but can't let go of, foam brushes, etc. Not completely full -- but again, just how I like it! Room to grow!

The wall display is completely taken from Elizabeth Kartchner. The day she posted it on her blog I fell in love. I ran to Ikea the next day to stock up on frames and I made a similar wall display. It was perfect for the photos I knew I wanted to be special and on display!

The Coke box has Thickers STUFFED in there, like I can hardly get them out. The overflow has gone into the bottom of the wire basket tiered thing. The middle has some mini albums -- the top empty! (PERFECT!)

The locker has misc craft items and my sizzix machine ... just stuff I need/want but don't need OUT.

My main workspace. Where I sit. Where the pages get made. The fruit box houses scraps on the left side on the floor, on the right is the most current stuff I've got. The wooden tray on top has my gratitude mini album I need to work on. The yellow/brown box has stamps, tags, etc.

My awesome chair. You're probably appalled by it. It's the messiest thing EVER. First, I'm planning on replacing it when I find the perfect thing. Second, my youngest (now 4!) colored and painted on it -- and I find it kind of charming. Not in a keep it forever kind of way, but in a it works for now kind of way!

Top left drawer:
The last little corner. For now, it's got an aqua ladder and a box of cards I've made but never sent. We're waiting until the PERFECT arm chair comes along. I don't want to settle, I want it to be perfect for the space. So, until then - it has an Iowa tomato box. PERFECT for me -- I love nothing more than home grown Iowa tomatoes!

The view into the family room
The black TV armoire holds my 12x12 paper in cropper hopper vertical files.

The walls are painted Benjamin Moore Moonshine -- and we still need window coverings. All in due time!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2011 in numbers...and a card

So, for 2011 I:

Made 323 pages
Made 42 cards (that I photographed, could have been more!)
made 5 banners
made 6 mini albums
made other altered items, as well.

WHEW. My goals for 2012? Well, I'd like to beat those numbers, just to see if I can! Today, I made 3 cards and 2, we'll see!

Anyway. Here's one of those cards...the other stuff was samples for CHA so I can't share (YET!) but, this quickie I can.

Not a fan of the green and pink together, after all...but I needed the card to mail tomorrow. It'll do!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

not at all friends

We have a cat. A 12 year old cat. He's always been pretty tolerant of the kids -- as long as they leave him alone. (For the most part!) To say that he is not fond of Harrison is an understatement.

Saturday, December 31, 2011