Enjoy the Unfolding



It’s Thursday afternoon. I’m sitting at a small table in a local café, enjoying the view of downtown and a mocha chip frappé as I write this. Jack Johnson is strumming out Banana Pancakes. I blink away from watching the people pass outside and it takes a second to sink in: I’m not dreaming. No, it’s Thursday afternoon and I think it might be okay to start feeling like one of those café people.

. . . . .

A week ago today, on the 4th of July, we celebrated my own personal Independence Day. It was my first official day not working for the company I’ve been with for–well, for my entire career. After more than 14 years, I made the giant leap out of my comfort zone, said goodbye to my friends and the security of a steady paycheck, because the time came for me to keep growing. It feels like one of the biggest steps of my life, and it’s crazy insane exciting. Well, maybe thrilling would be a better word, like at the top of a roller coaster, squealing with delight because I LOVE it, but it’s pretty freakin’ scary too.

Okay granted, maybe the planning could have been a little better to make the transition less scary. I did have a plan: plug on for 3 years socking away a safety net and throwing 110% of myself into growing my business on the side until it was strong enough to sustain me full time. It was a good plan. As it went, though, it wasn’t working out so well for my heart. I finally had to sit up and pay attention to what my heart was telling me. I spent weeks and months agonizing over the options, the risks, the consequences. And after all the internal debate, what I decided to do, quite simply, was take both hands off the steering wheel and trust that no matter what, it would all be okay in the end.

This is an amazingly rare place to be. To step out of a routine I could have done backwards and blindfolded into this… big, beautiful world of possibility, choose-your-own-adventure? It’s awesome. And I can’t write this without saying how incredibly grateful I am to the hero by my side who’s as excited and supportive of me and my dreamin’ as any girl could ever wish for. That and I have the best cheerleaders in the world making me feel like Wonder Woman.

Honestly though, I’m not a superhero. I’m human. I’d be lying if I said all my fears vaporized the minute I stepped into my studio to work. I’m still scared, but I realize how easy it could be, if I’m not careful, to become paralyzed if I give too much play to doubt and worry. I’m reminding myself that it’s okay to be afraid–change is scary, and no one ever said growth was easy. It’s okay to be afraid, but if I trust and keep moving forward, amazing things will happen, bigger than anything I’ve imagined so far.

. . . .

When I heard these words in my meditation this morning, my heart was filled with happiness and peace. I was inspired to create this simple reminder for myself, and to share it with anyone else who might need to hear it too.

So this goes out to every brave soul who’s growing, reaching for a dream, stepping out in faith, taking a chance, following their heart. For anyone who’s threatened by fear or doubt or worry. It’s all going to be okay in the end. Relax, and enjoy the unfolding.

iPhone 5

iPhone 4

Okay, so I’m partial to Apple and since my phone’s always on me, iPhone wallpaper was the logical choice. But if anyone would like it for another device just shoot me an email and I’d be happy to make it for you.





Free 4th of July Printable



Wow, JULY. Has this year flown by or what! It feels like its been about half a century since an update from me, and what kind of homecoming would it be if I didn’t come bearing gifts?

How about a 4th of July printable for some easy, last-minute décor? We’re getting ready for our family BBQ and I needed something quick and easy to dress up a shelf on the entertainment center. I found the perfect white-washed, rustic frame at Michael’s and there ya go…vintage Americana!

Click to download.

I hope everyone enjoys a happy, healthy week and I wish all my fellow Americans (all ye six readers, ye) a fantastic 4th!




Font Friday: Airbag


If you like Trend (and who doesn’t), you’ll enjoy Airbag by Simon Stratford. Designed to be similar in style with it’s friendly slabs and stripey shadow, Airbag features all uppercase and numerals–just enough to incorporate a trendy graphic element into your designs.


Download for free with a tweet.

Project Life: Week 5


I’m still on the ball with project life, although with Easter now two weeks behind us, it feels like I’m posting late. Hm, might have to rethink my schedule. For now though, a springy Easter layout.


I love the blues and yellows, especially with the girls’ blue dresses. I let the photos do the talking here and besides a little Happy Easter stamping, I didn’t add a lot of embellishment. Love these little $1 alphabets from Michaels.


On Monday I came home from work to find Jim unloading a bike from his truck. HIS new bike, which means the whole family has one now! We all saddled up and went for our first family ride. What an awesome way to spend a Monday evening.


Check out Bambino in his basket. I LOVE this photo on a polka dot card from the Clementine Kit.


The other big news this week, across the bottom…we finally got our new washer and dryer! Hallelujah! I don’t know if I’ve ever been this excited over an appliance. We lived for months with an out-of-commission laundry closet, and then, an hour and a half before the truck was scheduled for delivery, I talked Jim into buying and installing new cabinets. Hey, we got it done! Sure it would’ve been easier to paint before any of this went in, but this girl needed a tidy place to store detergent. Pretty will come. Photos of the last minute update are attached to a tiny clothes line with tiny clothes pins (thanks to Mariah’s brilliance). Next to the photo of our two brand new, beautiful clean machines, on a mini paper clip hanger, is our very last laundry pick-up tag. And the angels sing.


Font Friday: Photolettering for iPhone


Source: Scott Dadich

I’m a fontaholic. I’m the first to admit I have a problem. I’ll sneak a shot of fine typography wherever I can. So you can imagine my delight when I discovered the Photo-Lettering app for iPhone. House Industries fonts in my pocket wherever I go? Yes, please, with a twist.


The app is free and includes 3 fonts: Plinc Swiss, Bubblegum and House Slant. The rest of the library includes beauties like Neutraface and Times Square for .99 each, or you can purchase the whole collection for $9.99. Which I’m sure is the better route for me. “I’ll just have one…” We know how that goes.


Check out some fun screen shots on House Industries blog, or head right over to the app store and get yours.

Project Life: Weeks 3 & 4


I’m super lucky that I’m starting Project Life while there’s so many exciting things happening. There’s definitely no shortage of photos! But between weddings and showers, holidays, road trips and well, project lifing it all, there hasn’t been a whole lot of time for the blog. So here we are for another two week catch-up starting with mid-March. The week opens with some photos from our friends’ wedding. It was a rustic theme, lots of burlap, twine and grapevine, so I used a piece of twine to embellish a “tied the knot” card.


On the right is our other big event for the week–the TYCO Air Show. We look forward to this every year, and I swear it’s never the same twice. We had SO many great pictures from the day, about 400 to go through! Needless to say, it wasn’t easy to pick favorites. I included a ticket and a fun “montage” of J being silly.


I wanted to make sure I had some “everyday” moments on the spread but I tell ya, I had the hardest time figuring out how make them flow with the rest of the layout. I settled on matching background cards to sort of unify them. I punched craft paper circles for captions to add another unifying element.


Moving on to Week 4, the left side is entirely photos from the baby shower we had for our friend Abigail, and on the right are photos from the week.


The shower theme was a mustache fiesta–gee, that wasn’t too much fun to plan! We had a make-your-own taco bar, a onesie painting station, and a DIY photobooth complete with mustaches on a stick. I’ll do a follow up with more details from the party, but getting back to the Project Life layout, I cut up one of the extra invitations and mounted a piece onto the stripes from the back invite. I also cut out the date and location and pasted those to a photo of the decor.


On the right are shots from the week, ordinary things, but they all seemed just a little more spectacular than usual. From a yummy new recipe we made together to an unexpected date night, this week just sort of sparkled.


And did you see that moon?? We caught it rising right after dinner and I real-quick-like grabbed my camera. I couldn’t believe all the surface details and craters I could see, and I was totally amazed that I actually managed to get a picture of it… in full manual baby! I couldn’t resist adding those lyrics.



Package Pals!

Last month I signed up for March Package Pals hosted by Jamie of C.R.A.F.T. and Julia of Stars & Sunshine. Thanks for organizing this, ladies! This was the first swap I’ve ever done and it was so exciting and loads fun. Highly recommend! I was paired up with the fabulous Gemma of Party Style and Child Style Magazine. With Gemma being involved in event planning, and me designing party invites and wedding mags, we were a perfect pair.

I was squealing when I came home from work yesterday to see my package arrived. I could hardly slow down long enough to take pics! Check out what I got:


Who wouldn’t want to get a pretty package like this in the mail? I love all the embellishments and I’ll totally be repurposing them into my own projects. And inside, a gorgeous mixed-media collage, a pair of vintage dessert dishes, a golden egg to make Easter hunts even more fun, a “sweet love” banner and two girly headbands. Gemma also included a copy of her beautiful magazine and a stack of business building books, which will be super helpful while I’m trying to grow my own! She even included a thank you note on a tiny take-out box of candy. Miss Gemma, you are too sweet! I hope you love your package as much as I love mine. :) Here’s what Gemma got:


I had a lot of fun putting together Gemma’s package too. The golden color scheme sort of developed by accident, so I hope she likes yellow! Gemma told me she enjoys jasmine tea, so I made some pretty bags for her and stole Martha’s idea to repurpose the tin as a fridge magnet. I covered the cardboard tea container with fabric so she can use it again, and carried the polka dots over to a Sharpie mug (which should have been shiny gold, but faded to a bronzy brown after baking. Noted.). My favorite thing to make was the cork G. It was kinda like tiling, but a heck of a lot lighter and a whole lot less cementy. I borrowed colors from Gemma’s new party portal website (coming soon) to decorate clothes pins for an inspiration wire. A cabochon ring, some twig pencils and Bakerella’s Cake Pop book (I forgot to include in the photos!) finished off the package.

This was the most fun I’ve had with mail in a long time, and I can’t wait to do it again!

March-Package-Pals copy

Project Life: Weeks 1 & 2


Welcome to the start of my adventure with Project Life! For as long as I’ve been a fan, its sort of amazing I held out this long. And, with two of my best friends cheering “Do it, do it…,” I couldn’t help myself! I’m finally jumping in.

I missed starting at the top of a fresh new year, so instead I began on my birthday. March has been a whirlwind–all good things, but super busy! After working through some technical difficulties (frackin printer) I’ve been steadily catching up. I didn’t even have a kit of my own yet, but Mariah stocked me up with goodies from her seafoam kit for my bday because she’s aw-somme.

My weeks run Saturday to Friday. It keeps my weekends together, gives me a week to work on the layout and daylight hours the following weekend to shoot the pages. Following tips from other Project Lifers, I’m having fun learning as I go.

We ready? Let’s do it!


Week 1: The story opens in a lovely little waterfront B&B in New Smyrna Beach. I decided to dedicate 3 pages to the birthday itself and another spread for the rest of the week. I included a little welcome note from our innkeepers and a bit of ribbon from the first present I got. How fun is Photojojo’s wrapping!?


A nice panoramic shot of the view from our room extends across three pockets at the top. The backgrounds on these pages are all clippings from birthday wrapping. By the way, my friends are some of the best gift package-makers ever. Just sayin.


The left side are pics from Sommer and Duncan’s farewell beach party and on the right are snapshots from the rest of the week. I lucked out with the photos–I think the colors wound up working so well with the cards I had.


Week 2: Saturday started with a shopping trip to find decorations for the baby shower a group of us co-hosted. The theme was fiesta and mustaches, so I included one of the mustaches I made for our DIY photo booth. The rest of the spread is pretty simple except for a little washi. (Um, I forgot to use washi on my first few pages. Forgot! How does that even happen?) Lots of photos from Sunday Funday: “Home Improvement Edition” and on the far right are projects I worked on for Package Pals. That was so much fun, I can’t wait to do it again! I hand-made some jasmine tea bags and punched out butterflies to attach to the bags with bakers twine. I inserted one of the butterflies to write a caption.

And that about wraps it up! My layouts so far are pretty simple, but once I start getting the hang of it, I’m looking forward to adding more embellishments and finding my own favorite techniques to share.

Font Friday: Sapphire


When a lovely font catches my eye three times in three weeks, I have to go on a mission to find out what it is. I was surprised to learn that Sapphire has been around awhile; originally offered by the French company Mecanorma, it became available on MyFonts in 2004. It was released as part of the Mecanorma Collection by International TypeFounders, “helping to preserve one of the finest font libraries of display typefaces around, combining real arts and crafts into the tools of today.”

Well I must have been under a rock! I think if I had come across it earlier, I might have tried it on a fiesta baby shower invitation I designed for my friend Abigail. (The shower’s tomorrow and I can’t wait to post all about it!) But before I get ahead of myself, isn’t Sapphire’s ornamented lettering just the right amount of delicate? And this ampersand? I die.


Sadly, the only free version replaces the pretty adornments with a nod to a certain not-as-of-yet-legalized substance (oh geez!), but the genuine Sapphire can be purchased here for $45.



Happy Birthday to Me and a Freebie Font Friday to You


Today’s my birthday…on a FRIDAY (Finally! It seems like forever since I had a weekend birthday. D’ya get that too??) Seems like a great reason to celebrate with a freebie Font Friday! This is the first font I created with iFontmaker and it was so much fun! I present you: Mariah Openface…



It’s free for you to use however you like, and I’d love to see how you do! Send me your links pretty please. Besides the font, you can score the other free goodies I used: download the chalkboard background courtesy of  Shabby Story and Emily Lime’s Bergamot Frames and Ornaments.

Have fun! I’m off to spend the day with the love of my life, share dinner with some of my bestest friends, enjoy a relaxing weekend at a beachside B&B, and a bittersweet farewell beach bash for a precious friend who’s starting the next exciting chapter in her life. Life is so, so good.

Birthday wishes for a lovely weekend!