Week 1 – Victoria Marie Spring Clean Challenge: Scrappy Space Organization

Welcome to week 1 of the Victoria Marie Spring Clean Challenge! This week we are focusing on one (1) area of our scrappy spaces. Yep, you read that right…just ONE area! The purpose of this week’s challenge is to jump-start your scrappy space organization.

And to help you, I have created a Creative Space Organization Planner! Use this planner to sketch out your organization plan and to make note of your action steps and supplies needed to get the task done.

This week I am tackling my scrapbook room closet. Here it is in all of its glory:

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Yep, I know. 😦

Sadly, I have put off organizing this closet for several months now. I am typically a very organized person but I cannot stand to look at this closet anymore. But before we get started, we need a plan of action!

PLAN OF ACTION

  1. Identify one area in your scrappy space that needs to be purged and/or organized. Perhaps you need to sort and organize your stamp collection, paper packs, or embellishments. Select a zone that you can tackle and complete THIS WEEK. The point is not to do a major overhaul of your space…we are only focusing on one area this week.
  2. Using the Creative Space Organization Planner, quickly create a simple plan to organize your identified zone. Jot down your action steps, supplies needed, and make a sketch of what you want your zone to look like.
  3. Get to work! Once your plan is set, it’s time to get to work. Begin by clearing out your zone (i.e. storage bin, closet, drawer, corner) and sorting through your stash. Be sure to sort the items into three categories: KEEP, DONATE, and TOSS. As you are going through this process, you might want to have extra boxes or bags ready for the items you want to donate or toss.
  4. Based on the items you want to keep, you will need to decide if you need additional storage options such as bins or storage boxes. Make a note of this in the “Supplies Needed” section of your planner PDF.
  5. Once you are finished, immediately take the items you want to toss to the trash. Next, place the items you want to donate by your front door or  place them in your car. That way you will not forget to take those items to your local donation center.
  6. At this point, all you should have left is the items you want to keep. If you need to purchase organization bins or other supplies, set some time aside to do that this week. Otherwise, try to use what you currently have on hand to organize your items – old storage boxes and bins, desk organizers, cube systems all work well!
  7. Organize Your Zone – Now you are ready to get your zone in order by organizing your items. If you have one, pull out your label maker or create labels using cardstock and a marker…you don’t need anything fancy!

Once you are done, identify another zone that you can tackle at a future date. Keep the momentum going! Before you know it, you will have a super organized scrappy space that you will be proud of!

Be sure to take a picture of the space or zone that you organized this week and post it to the designated post on the Victoria Marie Facebook Group! Your name will be entered to win a Mystery Scrappy Organization Prize Pack and a 20% off discount toward a Victoria Marie Online Class!

Be sure to check out my organization process video on the Victoria Marie YouTube Channel coming this week!

Happy organizing!

The Victoria Marie 2017 Spring Clean Challenge!

Are you ready to finally commit and organize at least one aspect of your scrappy life? Do you need a challenge to motivate you? Then you should give the Victoria Marie 2017 Spring Clean Challenge a try!

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Hot Mess Alert! My Scrappy Closet – I will tackle this next week!

The Victoria Marie Spring Clean Challenge is designed to get you motivated to tackle one of three trouble spots that scrappers often struggle with (1) craft room/space organization, (2) layout organization, and (3) photo organization.

The VM Spring Clean Challenge is a 3-week challenge that will begin on March 6th until March 26th.  Along the way I will provide tips and tools to assist you in your organization efforts. Toward the end of this challenge, you will have the chance to win a Mystery Scrappy Organization Pack and a coupon for 20% off a Victoria Marie Online Class!

WEEKLY LINEUP

March 6th to March 12th: Scrappy Space Organization – During this week we are going to focus on identifying ONE area in our scrappy spaces to organize. This is the perfect time to FINALLY organize those trouble spots that have been staring you in the face for a long time! Ideas include: paper storage, embellishment organization, sorting through old tools, etc. Simply focus on one area to complete this week and get it done!

March 13th to March 19th: Layout Organization – It is finally time to tackle those stacks of layouts that have been hanging around your scrap space (or closet). During this week we are going to purge, toss, or re-do (set aside to re-do) our completed layouts. You will be provided with awesome tips that will help you through this process in addition to ideas that will assist you in determining which layouts to keep, toss or re-do.

March 20th to March 26th: Photo Organization – During this week we are going to tackle photo organization! Don’t panic…I am not suggesting that you spend an entire week organizing ALL of your photos! However, we will spend time focusing on just a few sets of photos to organize, print, or toss. You will be provided with tools that will help you manage your photo organization process.

Be sure to check the Victoria Marie Blog and YouTube Channel each week as we work through this challenge! I will have fun videos and FREE tools to keep you motivated and inspired!

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“Please put us in an album!” – My Layouts

PRIZE

If you haven’t already, be sure to join the Victoria Marie Facebook Group! Each week participants will be asked to post pictures of their organization process on the designated post on the Victoria Marie Facebook Group page.

In order to be eligible to win the prize, participants will need to respond to at least one (1) challenge prompt and post a picture on the designated post for that challenge prompt on the Victoria Marie Facebook Group. Winners will be selected by Random.org. 

A winner will be chosen and announced on Monday, March 27, 2017.

Participants have until March 26, 2017 at 12:00 CST to play along!

ROOM TOUR

To get us started, here’s a look at my scrappy studio on the Victoria Marie YouTube Channel! I hope you play along with this fun challenge! See you next week!!!

Blog Hop – Meet the Clique Kits Design Team!

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Hello and welcome to the Victoria Marie Blog! I am so excited that you have joined me. I am up next on the Meet the Clique Kits Design Team Blog Hop! I hope you have enjoyed all of the wonderful blogs so far…the design team is pretty awesome wouldn’t you say?

The purpose of this blog hop is to get to know the new design team and for us to share our personal scrapbooking style with you! If you are new to my blog, be sure to subscribe! I will be sharing tons of creative inspiration using the Clique Kits scrapbooking kits and much more!

Before I forget, here is a nifty little coupon code for 10% off your order of Clique Kits goodies!!! Use coupon code Victoria10 when finalizing your order.

Here is the Blog Hop line up – be sure to subscribe to the blogs listed below!!!

Maryam Perez http://maryamperez.blogspot.com/

Melissa Elsner http://theprofoundbrunette.com

Vincenza (Enza) Gudor https://creativefindingsblog.wordpress.com/

Caroli Schulz www.carolinaschulz.com

Nathalie DeSousa http://tachita55.blogspot.ca/

Candace Perkins http://findingeverydayperfection.com/

Audrey Yeager http://audreysreflection.blogspot.ca/

Stephanie Gold http://stephaniegolddesigns.com/

Nicole Martel http://nicolemartel.blogspot.com/

Donna Espiritu http://scrappydonna.blogspot.com/

Reka Turoczi http://laceandcase.blogspot.hu/

Hannah Lemieux https://scrapbookpagesandcupcakes.wordpress.com/

Victoria Calvin https://victoriamarieblog.com/ YOU ARE HERE! 

Taina “Evi” Cortes http://www.lifewithevi.com/blog

Sheryl Banares www.sherylbanares.com/

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So, the Design Team has been asked to share a little bit about ourselves by answering the the following questions. As you can tell from my layout, my coffee game is strong! I am totally winning at life right now!

ABOUT ME:

1. What’s your favorite color?


In my formative years I preferred all things purple – lavender to be exact. Lately, my favorite color is mint green…or perhaps turquoise. Both colors are fighting for first place at this point!

2. What’s your favorite song right now?
 

Let’s just say I have an eclectic taste in music. My Spotify playlist includes: Florence + The Machines, Ingrid Michaelson, Coldplay, The Postal Service, Snow Patrol, Alicia Keys, Drake, Adele, Feist, Mumford and Sons…the list goes on and on. I love music!

3. Who inspires you?
 

I am going to give a cliche answer…my mom. There is no other person on this planet that loves and supports me more than my mother (besides by spouse). She is my best friend, my advisor, and my shoulder to cry on. She still calls me her baby girl and I am okay with that!

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4. Favorite Book?


Are you kidding? I am a true to life bibliophile! Asking me to pick a favorite book is like choosing between chocolate and coffee…it can’t be done! Okay, okay…I’ll pick one book – She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb. Look it up…it will not disappoint!

5. Favorite Movie?


My favorite movie of all time would have to be The Color Purple, based on the epistolary novel by famed author Alice Walker. What other movie offers a look into the intersectionality of gender, sexual orientation, racism, classism, misogyny, and disfunction within the family system? (Can you tell I have a social science background? 🙂 ) I feel that I have come full circle with the characters and the story. This was the first movie I ever saw in a movie theater and since then I have read the book and have seen The Color Purple the Musical – amazing!!!

6. Favorite snack?


My favorite snack is chocolate, followed by Cheetos Cheese Puffs, and then there’s yogurt and fruit…you know…to balance everything out. 🙂

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7. What is your favorite food?


My all time favorite food is pepperoni pizza followed by steak…steak, steak, steakity steak! (And chocolate…copious amounts of chocolate!) Sorry, I can’t pick just one. Food is my life!

8. Where would you like to visit someday?


Oh, there are so many places – Italy, Germany, South Africa, Australia, Japan…if only I was a billionaire (with a private jet and time to kill). 🙂

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9. Who got you into scrapbooking? 


It wasn’t exactly a “who” but a “what”. Years ago my mom and I would go to our local craft and hobby store to shop for sewing notions and cross stitch materials. Occasionally, I would head over to the paper crafting area and pour through all of the scrapbooking goodies. Most times I would successfully convince my mom to buy me a sticker pack or paper. I used these materials to create a scrapbook of my school awards, class pictures, and such. Ahh, the good old days when scrapbooking wasn’t so complicated. 🙂

10. How many years have you been scrapbooking?


I have been scrapbooking in some form ever since I was a kid. However, I would say I’ve been “seriously” scrapbooking for over 12 years.

11. Favorite Manufacture?

See, there’s that coffee vs. chocolate question again!!! I can’t choose! I like anything by American Crafts, Crate Paper, Bella Blvd, Pebbles, and Hero Arts…just to name a few.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Check out the process video for the layout featured in this blog post on the Victoria Marie YouTube Channel. 

Up next in the blog hop is the amazing Taina “Evi” Cortes! Head on over to her blog at http://www.lifewithevi.com/blog and be sure to subscribe!

Enjoy!

Guest Designer for Felicity Jane!

Hello Scrappy Peeps! I am so excited to share a layout I made as the guest designer for Felicity Jane! Felicity Jane is an awesome scrapbook kit club! Their kits are stunning and perfect for soft and simple layouts. I just recently started subscribing and absolutely adore their kits! When I was approached to be their guest designer for February, I quickly jumped at the opportunity!

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Here’s what I created using the February 2017 London Kit. All of the elements in this kit are exclusive to Felicity Jane with the exception of the washi tape by Little B.

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This layout features a photo of my daughter Corinne and I during a recent visit to a local art museum. My intention for this layout was to create a clean design with a bit of movement and a lot of emphasis on the photo.

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I started this layout by creating layers of pattern paper behind the photo. To the photo layers, I added a tag and a black and white gingham heart from the 12×12 cut apart sticker sheet. To the heart I layered a label that says “smile” and a chipboard triangle die cut. To the right of the photo layer I added a bit of washi tape by Little B and a white acrylic heart.

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To the left of the photo layer, I added a black and white stripe chipboard frame and layered the frame with a chipboard label that says “amazing”, a white acrylic heart, and a yellow chipboard triangle to accent the frame. To create the title I used the “happy” chipboard sentiment and the exclusive black and white letter font stickers that came with the kit.

Seriously, I am totally in love with these font stickers!

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To the top and bottom of the layout I added small strips of black and white floral pattern paper and stitched the strips with my sewing machine to add a bit of texture and interest. To finish the layout I added a small amount of typed journaling and a label at the bottom of the layout that serves as a spot for the date and a pink chipboard triangle die cut.

This kit was perfect for my clean and simple layout!

Check out the process video for this layout on the Victoria Marie YouTube Channel! Thanks to the awesome folks at Felicity Jane for this wonderful opportunity!

9Months in the Biz – An Update!

Well, it has been 9 crazy months since I started Victoria Marie Designs. Lately, I’ve been feeling like a chicken with it’s head cut off. Most of the time I am a really good boss and employee, other times I should probably be “written up” for a lack of productivity and general laziness.

It ebbs and flows.

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Winner 🙂

So what have I been up to? Glad you asked…here’s my 9 month update:

The Good Stuff…

Classes and More Classes: So, I successfully launched two new classes, The Holiday Project (December 2016) and Layering Like a Boss 2 – Impactful Embellishing (January 2017). I have four more classes coming later in 2017 so stay tuned for more information!

Other projects: I am in the process of working on an exciting new project – Victoria Marie Merchandise! I’ve had several requests from of my subscribers to offer VM branded t-shirts, coffee mugs, binders (for VM class PDFs) and much more. I’ve spent several months researching and developing ideas and I am getting closer to a finish product to bring to the market. More to come soon! Oh, and there might be a sketch guide in the works as well (shhh, I’ve said to much! Stay tuned)!

Wonderful Opportunities: This year I have gladly accepted two awesome opportunities. I am excited to announce that I am creating custom scrapbook sketches for the April Lilli Shop, a new online scrapbooking store! I love working with other creative entrepreneurs and was thrilled when the owner asked me to design sketches for her shop! Be sure to check out the April Lilli Shop and the beautiful work of the April Lilli design team – they will be using my sketches starting March 2017.

The next opportunity I’ve had to keep a secret for a few weeks…but now I can share! I’ve been chosen as a design team member for Clique Kits scrapbooking club! I am so totally excited and can’t wait to create layouts using their gorgeous products. My 6-month term will begin in April  2017. Be sure to visit Clique Kits for more information about their kits and other product offerings!

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I still like the entrepreneur life: As I continue to my journey as a creative entrepreneur, I am thankful for the opportunity to call my own shots and to be my own boss. There is a level of flexibility that I cannot easily give up at this point in my life. I am trying to slow down a bit, enjoy the moment, and show myself grace when times get really tough. And they do. Speaking of…

The Challenges:

I almost quit: Yep, you read that right…there was a period right before the holidays and a little after the new year when I considered giving it up and going back to work. I mean, it would be so much easier to work for someone else (nothing wrong with that at all). I would know what the expectations are, do my work, and collect a paycheck every two weeks. It’s comfortable and familiar and sometimes safe. And that’s okay.

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But I don’t want that.

To be honest, we experienced a financial setback and I began to worry about my “not-so-consistent” income relative to our expenses. But the weird thing is…things always work out. Something happens (God, the universe, positive vibes…whatever) that turns the ship around and keeps me headed in the right direction. The financial crisis got solved. I’ve learned not to panic in the moment – fear is debilitating. Also, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will my business. I am taking things one day at a time. My family is fine, our needs are being met and then some, I have a supportive spouse who works hard for our family while I am getting this thing off the ground and I have the encouragement of our relatives who say, “Don’t give up on your dream! You are doing so well! Don’t let minor things set you back! Come to us if you need anything.”

So I keep moving along. 🙂

Everything takes longer than expected: Part of my panic comes from the fact that I set unrealistic expectations for myself and my business projects. I want ALL THE THINGS to happen right now and I want them to be done right and I want to make a million dollars and shut down the internet with my greatness!!! Of course, I have to come back to planet Earth and remind myself that everything takes time. I cannot rush the creative process. I cannot rush filming content for my classes. I cannot rush the design of my upcoming merchandise. I cannot force my clients to like my offerings. I’ve had to learn to pace myself and to slow down. Otherwise, I am going to quickly hate the work that I love so much. I don’t want to be resentful of my business. The main reason I am working for myself is so I don’t have to be stressed over deadlines or working “quick, fast and in a hurry” (been there, done that). Everything takes time…

It’s okay to enjoy the creative process: As a creative entrepreneur I sometimes feel guilty for spending my days creating. I know…you are probably saying, “Victoria, shut up…you are stupid.” Okay, you probably didn’t say that, but honestly, I do feel a bit guilty sometimes…like I have to justify my creative time when people ask me what I do.

“Oh, I just finished working on an awesome layout for my next class. And I played with two new art journaling techniques…just practicing because I think I might offer an art journaling class next year. And then I played around with my die cutting machine because I want to offer a tutorial on how to create stencils using stencil paper. Then I contacted a hotel about a venue space for an upcoming event I plan to host. I took a break, went to Starbucks and took a walk around the park. Then I came home, read for an hour and worked a bit on the content for my new class.”

That is literally how my day goes, more or less. 🙂 And sometimes I think, “Man, I should probably do more serious stuff.” But the thing is, I AM WORKING! I’m working creatively so I can continue to provide creative goodness to the masses. This means that I am constantly practicing my craft and flexing my creative muscle. Not all of my work is creative…I have to balance my business account, file my taxes, send an invoice to a client, and blah, blah, blah. But my main focus is creating. That is just as important as my taxes and expense reports (but more fun). 🙂

Sometimes, I’m a bad boss and a piss poor employeeall wrapped up into one: There are some weeks when I am rockin’ and rollin’, getting my stuff done, being productive and moving my cheese! And there are other weeks when I should fire myself. I sit around for hours doing god knows what (watching yet another episode of Parenthood). Then I realize, “Oh holy hell! It’s 11:59 am! I need to get to work.” Sadly, there is only so much I can do before leaving the house to pick up my kid at 3:45 (remember, everything takes time).

I realized that I needed to put myself on a schedule…like a 9:00 – 5:00 kind of schedule…sort of. When I left my last job, I vowed that I would never ever, ever, ever, ever work a 9-5 schedule ever, ever, ever again.

Well, look at me now!

So, while I don’t exactly work 9-5, I had to impose a schedule that allowed me to work in chunks but to be product throughout the day. Basically, this is what it looks like:

Up at 6:30 am – Get the kid up, dressed, breakfast, kid off to school 

8:00 am – A quick 30 minute workout, shower, eat and get dressed (hair and makeup, decent outfit – I need to feel “put together”)

9:00 am to 12:00 noon – Work, create, listen to podcasts about creative entrepreneurship, participate in an online workshop

12:00 noon to 1:00 pm – Lunch (by myself or with a friend), errands, lay on the couch and watch Parenthood (catching up…plus I’m obsessed!), watch my favorite YouTube creatives, read my book

1:00 pm to 3:30 pm: –  Work  then take a break – get coffee because I usually crash at 2:00 pm…read or watch YouTube videos for a bit then finish a work task

3:30 pm to 9:00 pm – Pick up the kid from school, finish up a bit of work, cook dinner, family time, bedtime routine for the kiddo, spouse comes home from a long day of teaching

9:00 pm: Watch more Parenthood (can’t get enough), catch up with my spouse, maybe work a little more, get ready for bed, read

11:00 pm or later: Fall asleep

There are some days when I cannot work during the day because (1) I don’t want to or (2) I have something going on like a field trip with my kid or spending time with my mom. There are some tasks that I prefer to do at night when everyone is asleep and the house is quiet, like writing a blog post (it’s 1:23 am as I write this post) or write content for my classes. So, I make the executive decision to work at night and allow myself time during the day for creative play, taking an online class, reading, and spending time enjoying my other interests (shopping). Honestly, I work better after 2:00 pm but I have this thing called “parental responsibilities” (so very lame). 🙂

When I am being productive, I reward myself. When I am not being productive, I have to call myself out on it and make the necessary changes to get back on track (bad employee). When I am working myself to death, imposing to many unrealistic expectations on myself (bad boss), I have to pull back and show myself some grace, rest, and regroup.

It’s a fine balance. And it’s not perfect.

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Well, that is basically it. I am so very happy and thankful for this time in my life. I try to live my life with intention, to be grateful for hard work, challenges, and good times. I embrace my imperfections, my fears (then I let them go), and the fact that I am a very new and very novice business owner. I am doing my best and learning many lessons along the way. I am continually amazed by what I can do.

I will just keep on keeping on.

Thanks for your support. 🙂

 

Scrapbook Process – “Hello Supers”

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When you and your grandpa are superheroes…

There is nothing like the special bond between a grandparent and a grandchild. My daughter and her grandfather adore each other! It’s so fun seeing the two of them together. A week ago we hosted my daughter’s 7th birthday party – and outdoor superhero themed party at a beautiful park. We totally lucked out as the weather in Texas in February can be a bit tricky!

One of the party activities involved making superhero masks. Grandpa Mack wanted to participate and made a mask of his own. He wore it throughout the entire party! In this picture, he is waiting his turn to complete Superhero Training, a small obstacle course we set up for the children. This dude is pretty stealth, bobbing and weaving, jumping rope, and running. Of course my daughter, running right beside him, thought this was awesome!

Because it was. 🙂

I had to capture this moment. I want Corinne to always know that she is well loved and that her grandparents are an important part of her life.

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For this layout, I used the February 2017 Hip Kit Club scrapbooking kit. Starting with white textured cardstock, I created a watercolor effect using Heidi Swapp Mint Green Color Shine (see the process video for a demonstration). Once the first application was dry, I added gold and mint green Color Shine to create sprinkles around the layout.

Next, I layered several pieces of ephemera from the Maggie Holmes Chasing Dreams ephemera pack behind my photo. I added chipboard butterflies as well as die cut butterflies that I made by fussy cutting the butterflies from a piece of patterned paper called “Monarch” from the same collection. To the butterflies, I added wood buttons by Shimelle – super cute! These buttons added a bit more dimension and texture to the layout.

Lastly, I created the title using a die cut word “Hello” from the Maggie Holmes Ephemera pack and a Thickers font called “Collect”.

Elements List:

  • Maggie Holmes Ephemera Pack
  • Monarch from the Chasing Dreams Collection by Maggie Holmes (Crate Paper)
  • “Collect” Glitter Foam Font by Thickers
  • Wood Buttons by Shimelle
  • American Crafts Textured Cardstock – White
  • Black and White Twine – American Crafts
  • Heidi Swapp Color Shine – Mint Green
  • Heidi Swapp Color Shine – Gold
  • Roller Date Stamp – Heidi Swapp

Check out the process video for this layout on the Victoria Marie YouTube channel! Enjoy!

Scrapbook Process Video – “The Best Life”

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There are just some stories that must be captured and the story of my labor and delivery is by far one of those stories! For my spouse and I, Valentine’s Day was pretty uneventful – we had a series of bad dates and horrible circumstances each year leading up to 2010. We decided that we were completely done with the “day of love”…or so we thought.

On Valentine’s Day 2010, my spouse and I had plans to see a local play and have dinner at a posh restaurant. We decided to give Valentine’s Day one more try since the birth of our first and only child was just weeks away. During our romantic dinner, we laughed and joked about our last days as a child-free couple. We were very much looking forward to being parents.

Then my water broke.

Yep, at that very moment I felt a “pop” then a gush of water streaming down my leg. “Uh, I think my water just broke.” I said calmly to my spouse. “Okay…you should go check.”

Off to the bathroom I went, dripping fluid on the marble floor..lovely. When I reached the bathroom, my suspicion was confirmed: THE BABY WAS ON HER WAY!!!

“Okay, it’s time”,  I said as we gathered our things and paid the bill. Off to the hospital we went! In our nervous and hurried departure, we got lost en route to the hospital! Needlessly to say, we made it and 24-hours later, on February 15, 2010, we gave birth to a beautiful and healthy 5 pound 14 ounce baby girl!

This is one Valentine’s Day I will never forget!

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For this layout I used bits and pieces from my Valentine stash. The photo is mounted on scrap strips of pattern paper. To the left of the photo I added a doily, die cuts, a puffy Valentine’s envelope, and enamel hearts.

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To the right of the photo, I backed a chipboard frame with velum and layered knitted hearts in the empty squares of the frame for added texture and interest. To the frame I added a “XOXO” sticker.

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For the title I used two fonts, Fitzgerald by Thickers and the word “life” by Citrus Twist. The entire layout is backed on a piece of floral pattern paper.

Check out this process video to see how the layout comes together. Thanks for stopping by!