Monday, October 10, 2011

CRAFT: Who are you? Who am I?

I met up with Rachel the other day to finalize my CRAFT class. She handed me the goodies I'm going to use in my project, and we chatted for a long time about the content of the class. But we also chatted about life, kids, relationships, food, religion, because well, that's Rachel. She makes you feel immediately comfortable, and you want to tell her your entire life.

Anyway. So we chatted about my class, and what I'm going to be covering. My class is named "Double Agent," but what is that all about? When Rachel and I first met many months ago to talk about what I wanted to do, we ended up talking about how we are perceived. The jobs we women have. Or maybe we can call them titles? Positions in life? Mine would be: wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, chauffeur, cook, housekeeper, volunteer, scrapbooker, graphic designer, so forth. But what about those dreams we had as children? Have we fulfilled any of them? Or dreams we have now?

And that is how this class was born. In it, we'll explore who we are. And who we'd like to be. And maybe explore how to get the two to meet.

We'll be creating not really a mini-album, but more of a file of thoughts, ideas, hopes, and wishes.

I can honestly say that I've achieved quite a few of my childhood dreams. I wanted to be a graphic designer. Did that. I wanted to be a world traveler. Did it, still doing it. Pediatrician? Well, nowhere near, and never will be. Sorry Mom and Dad!

Is there more I want to do and be? Heck yeah. It has nothing to do with being unhappy or lacking in fulfillment from my current life. On the contrary. I think that being happy with my current life is what enables me to dream about what else I'd love to do. It is about growing and reinventing oneself.

And with that, I need to go be a mommy-cook and feed my kids!

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Perils of Having A Scrapbooking Blog

as seen in the Budget Friendly Scrapbooking issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine. copyright creative crafts group. posted with prior permission from the publisher.
I was telling a friend about how infrequently I was updating my blog, and she said, "You should start a food blog instead. You eat out way more than you scrapbook." Ha! So true. So true. But what I need is more exercise, not more food. So scrapbooking it is.

Here are some layouts from recent Creating Keepsakes issues.
I really love this one. It was a limited supply assignment: five things! FIVE! Including the font I used. But it is one of my all-time favorites. (Click on the pictures to get a bigger view.)
as seen in the October 2011 issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine. copyright creative crafts group. posted with prior permission from the publisher.
Well, I love this one too. I think it's the sewing that makes them my faves. This is a layout about the kind of candy flavor I love: cooked sugar! I don't eat dessert all that often, but my husband calls me Sugar Bomb because I'd rather have cotton candy than chocolate. There, I said it. I don't like chocolate. Don't judge.
as seen in the October 2011 issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine. copyright creative crafts group. posted with prior permission from the publisher.
And this one might be simple and grid-y, but it's the subject that I love most: Cindy and Keisha. Damn, how I miss those girls. Come visit me! I have many places I want to take you guys. To eat. Of course.

(Be warned: if you come visit me, you'll eat a lot. And then I'll make you visit the La Brea Tar Pits. That's a fact.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

CRAFT Blog Hop & Giveaway!

For list of winners, click here.

Welcome to the CRAFT: Creating Reflective Art for Transformation Blog Hop! This event is brought to you by the team at Scrapbooking from the Inside Out, the premier source for inspiration to explore your inner world. I’ll be leading a creative and meaningful workshop, using some of the latest and greatest products from our generous sponsors, at this intimate, boutique event right on the beach in beautiful Santa Monica, CA, November 11-13, 2011. You’ll spend a magical weekend focused on embracing who you truly are and gaining the skills, techniques and tools to use our craft to understand yourself more deeply on an ongoing basis.

My workshop will have you digging deep about the roles you play in life with a project called 'Double Agent'. This innovative mini album project will let you explore the faces you show the world, and the ones you don't. 

Think about the roles you play that you share with the world. Are you a mother, daughter, teacher, doctor? What about the parts of yourself that you don't show... are you a worrier, a daydreamer, a rebel, a gossiper? Learn a lot about yourself and feel more expressed. 


Three full days of crafting, creativity and camaraderie for only $450
(three consecutive monthly payments of $150 each.)

Spots are still available for this unique, pampering and heart-expanding getaway. 

Register now at the event blog HERE 

• 6 emotion-focused, technique-teaching personal workshops ~ All CRAFTers participate in every class. No need to choose ~ they're ALL yours in
CRAFT’s ocean-view, beautifully styled, creative space
• 4 special Art & Soul experiences
• Scrumptious breakfasts & lunches from Hollywood hot spot 
Urth Caffe
~ Friday, Saturday & Sunday
• Sweets, treats & beverages all day long
• Transportation from The Ambrose to and from the Annenberg Beach House for all workshops and activities via the CRAFTy Cab
• Oodles of workshop supplies
(you’ll just need to bring your basic tool kit – checklist to be provided later)
• A fabulous welcome gift, a CRAFTy tote filled with goodies,
valuable giveaways and fun prizes!

*Lots more details on girls’ night out dinners, airport transportation, location, hotel and event venue and more are available 

For questions, comments and special requests, 
please email event coordinator Paige Ramos at

The Dates: November 11-13, 2011
The Times: Workshops from 9-5 each day, broken into two sessions.



And now for a giveaway! SFTIO is giving away FIVE kits to FIVE lucky readers…make sure to leave a comment (before Noon Pacific Time on 9-15) on each blog you visit in the hop to increase your chance of winning. Tell us please, in your comment, what emotion you’d love to explore in your scrapbooking! Winners will be chosen from all blog comment entries and will be announced on 9-16 on the SFTIO blog.

For your next stop, make sure to check out Paige Ramos' blog.
 Good luck and we hope to see you at CRAFT! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Last Day of Summer (Vacation, that is.)

Yesterday, it was my kids' last day of summer vacation. A bit of a bittersweet date for us. I just love having the kids around.

   I love the lack of schedule.
   I love that they bond as brothers and learn new ways to play together.
   I love that we can be lazy.
   I love that we can travel anytime we want to.

But after two months, I could tell that the boys were suffering from a bit too much togetherness. They were starting to bicker. So the back to school day was perfectly timed. For them. For me, well, today is also my youngest's first day of Kindergarten. I told my husband that I would not cry when it's time to say goodbye. We'll see how that goes.

So to celebrate the last day, we headed off to do what we love most: hang out at the beach. The kids ran in and out of the surf, and built sand castles. Bryan played with them. And I got to people watch.

In Brazil, where I grew up, we have a saying that translates into something like, "the beach is a democracy." And it's true. It doesn't matter who you are, how much money you have, where you live, the color of your skin, who you voted for (or didn't vote at all), what language you speak, what God you believe in, your age, sex, height, weight, we all come together at the beach. Hanging out, having fun, enjoying ourselves and the company of those we love.

It was totally fascinating watching the other families around us, seeing how they interacted, eavesdropping in their conversations. Lots of languages I didn't recognize at all. Love that about America. You see all kinds, you hear all kinds in this country.

All in all, a lovely afternoon. And no one got sunburned. Win-win.

Crowded day at Venice Beach / Running back and forth carrying seawater in a yellow pail with holes  / Hoping for a prize + hoping for customers / Toddling with a saggy-soggy behind / A boy + a bat / Called back / Going home / Walking home / Sailing home / Interesting photo shoot / Pink!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Weekend In Photos: Birthday Edition

We were in Palm Springs this past weekend for a little late summer/birthday holiday. It was my birthday last Friday, and we also really needed a break from our daily routine. So we booked ourselves a three-day weekend in a spa with a salt water pool and off we went.

It was a total success. We basically did nothing all day, everyday. Total relaxation. Well, I did go shopping on my birthday, but ended up buying nothing. It wasn't for the lack of shops. There were plenty there. It was because of the temps. At least 110F every single day. Not exactly inspiring me to buy Fall fashion.

But hey, we had that salt water pool and our poolside cabana. Hello, lap of luxury. It had a nice big bed, a cooler filled with ice, drinks, and fruits, and Nick, the poolside attendant who came by every so often to see if we needed anything else. I reclined on that bed for half a day, flipping through September's issue of Vogue. It takes half a day to do so. Have you seen that sucker? It's at least 700 pages.

And now, we are back and ready for the back to school season. Kind of. (The truth is, we are dying to go back there. But during a cooler month.)

I'm usually a super light packer. But when traveling by car, I can bring 4 dresses and a few blouses for a 3 day trip. Right?
Walking down El Paseo in Palm Desert. HOT!
We ate a lot of chips and salsa.
And tacos and iced tea too.
A blurry selfie in Anthro's dressing room. Tired, sunburned, but happy.

The view down from inside the gondola.
We watched a storm roll in from the mountaintop. Then went back down, and got rained on. For about 30 seconds.
Just about everything blooms in Palm Springs. Stuff that doesn't normally bloom around Los Angeles. Is it because of the crazy amounts of sun + copious watering?
More random flowering bushes.
Cabanas! Nice! (Yes, Jenn Olson, it came complete with a cabana boy. No, he did not look like Taylor Kitsch.)
They are happy!
More happiness.
1 pool + 3 boys = water fight.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Layouts Layouts! (And A Card. Or Two.)

I have some projects to share!

I just love this one. It was a Creating Keepsakes assignment, and I used Elle's Studio Vintage Months Flashcards, Lily Bee's Stationery paper, and finally used my PaperTreyInk big number dies and felt. I really like the bulletin-board-year-in-review look. It would be great as an opener for a year long album project. If I actually bothered to put my layouts into albums...

These are Jillibean Soup layouts. I just love their products. So colorful and whimsical. And really, the nicest people to work with.

Some Jillibean cards...

Tomorrow, we are leaving for a last summer hurrah in Palm Springs. Which is crazy because I hear the temps will be around 110F+. I'll be wearing a ton of sunscreen, sitting in the shade with a book (and iced tea), and will have a cold water mister aimed at me all day long. We'll be there to celebrate my birthday. Which means that Anthro birthday coupon will need to be spent... there's an Anthro in Palm Springs... And maybe a new camera? I need a new camera. I've been dithering between a Canon 7D and a 60D. Half of my friends say 7D, and half say 60D. Not helpful at all! Ha! Anyone else have an opinion? Please help!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

(Two) Weeks In Photos

Let's face it. I'm not good at blogging regularly. Just like I'm not good at taking photos everyday. But I'm okay with that. I want blogging and photography to be happy parts of my life. So I try not to pressure myself into having to do either. That said, I do feel bummed out when my favorite bloggers don't update their blogs regularly. Hahahah! I know, I know... the double standard!

Wandering our way to the Santa Monica Pier.
Walking around Third Street Promenade.
Ever since we've moved to Los Angeles (a total of 4 months), we've had visitors almost every other week. I love when friends and family come see us. But I am not a touristy person. Even when I am the tourist. And of course, all of our visitors want to do touristy things. My problem is that I'm a major germaphobe, so I worry that I'll catch some horrid disease from the large crowds. And guess what? We took my brother and his girlfriend to the Santa Monica Pier, and I came home with the worst stomach bug. Ever. I didn't even eat anything there. Sigh. I got sick a few days before I had to fly off to Tulsa to teach CKC.

Yes, we were having fun!
But in the end, it all worked out. I had a great time at CKC. People in Tulsa are so kind. Plus I got to meet the fab Deena Wuest. She's not only an amazing scrapbooker, but also a really nice and generous person. Kelly and Lorie were there too, so I got to hang out with them in the Studio Calico booth, and at dinner. The venue was right next to the nicest Target ever. I went there twice in four days.
Deena towering over me.
KP, Lorie, and I on our last night in Tulsa.
But the most important event in the past two weeks was my youngest turning six. I can't believe how time has flown. I knit him this cake with candle hat for his first birthday, and it turned out a bit on the large side. I'm so glad it still fits him, and that he will still wear it. Even if it's just to humor me.

Happy Birthday, not-so-little guy!

I'll be back tomorrow to share some layouts.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

CRAFT Beach Retreat

I'm guest blogging today at Creating Keepsakes about journaling, a subject I know a lot about, since I have a lot to say. All the time. Or so say my friends. And my mom.

You might remember I posted about CRAFT Beach Retreat a while back. And now it's time to share a bit more info.

Here are the details:

The Dates: November 11-13, 2011

The Times: 9-5 each day, broken into two workshops

The Workshops: Six emotion-based scrapbook and mixed media/home d├ęcor sessions.
Plus four bonus ‘art and soul experiences’ will be right before and after classes, and a few in the evening at the hotel. Some secret…but including a henna painting workshop, sand art/message in a bottle and more...

The Instructors: Stacy Cohen, Paige Evans, Ly T. Le, Amy Tan and me!

The Location: Beautiful, sunny Santa Monica.

The Venue: The classes will be held at the Annenberg Beach House, right on the sand off Pacific Coast Highway (also known as HWY 1). 

The space we'll be in is an intimate room, the Terrace Lounge, with floor to ceiling windows...every seat has a view of the ocean. Right outside the door is a lovely seating area with a fountain where you'll be enjoying your lunch breaks.

The Hotel: The Ambrose. They have Frette linens. Yeah. Enough said.

The Sponsors:  Creating Keepsakes, Prima, American Crafts, Lily Bee and Jillibean Soup.

You can get more of the details and sign up here:  CRAFT Beach Retreat. I'll share more details about my class soon! Hope to see you there!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Week In The Life: Totally Random

I was possibly the worst Week In The Life participant. I just could not remember to take photos until around noon each day. On Tuesday, I actually remembered around 2:30 in the afternoon. But no problems! I had decided early on to not stress out too much. I'd take as many as I could, and see where this would take me. I took almost all of them with my cellphone, so the quality of the photos is crummy. But I'm glad I have them. I also want to borrow a few from my husband's cellphone, as well as my oldest's point and shoot.

Here are a some random shots of our past week. Mostly of food. But you aren't surprised, are you?

So glad I have them home with me, everyday. They can be pretty noisy, though...

He is a 10 indeed.

Another nice day on my street. Yup, I have tall palms trees in front. And an orange tree.

Introducing the kids to the joys of artichoke eating. They were sitting on the floor to get a better view of the movie we were watching: X-Men, First Class. Love me some James McAvoy.

Boden's Fall catalog is out. Wool scarf? I'll probably not need one this winter.
Kids and I walked up a steep hill to visit the Griffith Observatory, and noticed that the Hollywood sign was way close to where we were. We also ran into a bunch of really smelly people. Wish others would take personal hygiene more seriously.

Yogurt + strawberries. So yum. Please ignore mirrored wall and ugly chandelier. This is a rental. Don't even mention the still packed boxes. Please.

My sister in law is getting married in a few months, and I spent many hours this past week, online, looking for photographers, invitation ideas, and ugh, bridesmaid dresses. I look like a kielbasa in mine.

My pair of Dieppa Restrepos came in the mail. So beautiful!

Took kids to a teppanyaki restaurant. We walked there! In LA! We did get a lot stares.

Made Smitten Kitchen's Bloody Mary Salad with steak. Well hello! It really does taste like a bloody mary. Minus the alcohol. Going to make it every week until good tomatoes are not longer available.

What would be a week without laundry? HEAVEN! Or vacation. That's what.

Grabbed some sushi with Alice Carman, my newest local scrappy friend.

Alice is a keeper. She went with me to shop for the bridesmaid dress. And didn't laugh at me. Or make kielbasa jokes. Or take photos to blackmail me with.

Sunday brunch at Tacomiendo. Possibly the best Mexican food in the westside.

Ack! I found a place that sells Stumptown here. Plus the cold coffee french press showed up. There's a pot in the fridge right now. Working its magic.

I don't make beds. Evah!

I do, however, make peach pies. Smitten Kitchen's Peach and Creme Fraiche pie (yes, I do love that Smitten Kitchen, she has never steered me wrong.) This was the perfect way to finish the weekend. I just wish the kids had left me some pie for today's breakfast.
Photos taken: less than 200
Dinners eaten out: 2
Outings: 4
New friends made: 2
Costco trips:1
Shoes bought: 1
Handbags bought: 0
Fruit consumption: watermelon, peaches, blueberries, strawberries, cantaloupe, honeydew
Mexican food meals: 3
Layouts created: 1
Tantrums: 2 (1 by me)

I'm contemplating what to do with these photos... I'm thinking something hybrid. Print all photos and journaling together, and then add some paper/tape/letter stickers.

I loved doing this project. I'm thinking I might need to do this at least twice a year. So I'm planning to do it again once school starts, and our routine is different. Or so I hope!

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