Friday, September 23, 2011

Welcome Fall + a Giveaway! (NOW CLOSED)

****************GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU.********************

Psst...I have an announcement:

Fall is my favorite time of the year!

I know it's not earth-shattering, but just have to shout out about how I adore the crisp air, the fresh apples & pumpkins, HALLOWEEN, cozy sweaters, hot apple cider, my birthday ;) and all the other wonderful things that autumn brings. It's enough to make me positively giddy on the first day of fall! Picture me twirling ala Mary Tyler Moore in the falling leaves here. (ohgoodgriefIcompletelydatedmyselfdidntIsigh)

Another thing making me hugely giddy this first day of fall? The Fall 2011 issue of Scrapbook & Cards Today! How I love this magazine and the people who put it out each quarter. It's truly one of the most beautiful scrapbooking magazine's out there and I love being a part of it when they let me. It's so full of gorgeous work and I always find something I love and want to try instantly (this month it's the 3T's article and especially Sheri Reguly's tip on making your own layered cork paperclip - it's genius, seriously!) But the best part ever about this magazine is that besides being a print magazine, it's also available online for FREE download. Yes, you read the right - FREE!! Just click HERE!

This issue I had the honor of submitting a cover option and was so thrilled when they decided to use it for their Fall cover.

Isn't that little girl precious?! I loved having a chance to work on a girlie page and I am thrilled with the setting they put my page in for their photography. So fall-ish!

One of my favorite things about this page is the fun leaves I clustered around the journaling frame. The texture and dimension they created really helped to set off that sweet photo. And guess where I found out how to make those leaves? Yep. Pinterest!! Oh, Pinterest, how I love thee! If you remember, I told you a couple of posts ago about all the eye-popping, jaw dropping inspiration there is there. This amazing tutorial was incredible and very easy to follow.


It taught me how to take these gorgeous BasicGrey papers and turn them into these beautiful leaves:

The Picadilly line was just perfect for autumn leaves - not only in the gorgeous colors and patterns, but check out the distressed edges and how they make those leaves just pop!

I had such fun making the leaves that I wanted to use them on another project (or two or twenty!) but I settled with starting on this one. This "welcome fall" card is perfect for the first day of fall and welcoming in our most colorful of seasons. I used the same principles I used on the layout above but this time clustered the leaves around the card sentiment rather than the journaling frames. I printed "welcome" a sheet of aqua paper and then used it to covered an oval from the Out of Print chipboard. The alpha stickers completed the title and by simply tucking the leaves behind the oval, this cute card was created in a snap.

Source List: BasicGrey Picadilly Prairie Grass, Eat at Joes, Fresh Baked Bread, Farm Fresh Eggs; Element Stickers; BasicGrey Color Me Silly alphabet stickers
Other: Fiskars scallop border punch, Zig pen, Bazzill cardstock, twine, Cursive Standard font.

So to get fall off to a wonderful start, how about a little giveaway? I'll send some BasicGrey Picadilly as well as a hard copy of Scrapbook & Cards Today's fall issue to a random commenter who leaves a comment telling me about *your* favorite part about fall!

Happy Friday, everyone! (We might just make it to the apple orchard today. The kids are off school so it should make for an interesting day! ;))

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Back To School OXFORD Winner!

Hi, all!

So sorry this is a bit later than I wanted it to be - I had crazy fun things like SCRAPFEST in between (will blog about that soon) that kept me hopping. But I don't want to keep you waiting any longer so here's the winner of my BasicGrey OXFORD giveaway:

HUGE Congratulations to you! Please email me at kelly(dot)goree(at)gmail(dot)com and I'll get your prize out to you!

Happy Wednesday, all!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Never Forget.

‎"America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining." ~ George W Bush 9/11/01
For the husband who told his wife I love you one last time before his plane went down in a field, for the wife who stopped in the stairs to call her husband to say I will love you forever, for the mothers & fathers who kissed their kids goodbye the morning they died, for the policemen who rushed in with the firemen to help get others out only to die themselves, for the soldiers who fought back & lost their lives. today, tomorrow, ten years from now, we will remember.

God bless us one and all!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Finding Inspiration

Several years ago I was asked by Scrapbook News & Review to answer the question I got asked most often which was (and still is): Where do you find your inspiration?

It’s such a good question and my answers are just as true today as they were when I was first asked, so I wanted to take today to share them with you in case you missed it the first time around. I’ve updated the examples just a bit but most of this text was taken directly from this article: HERE.

“Where do you find your Inspiration?”

This is such a loaded question because for me there is no one answer or one place but rather I find inspiration all around me. Here are a few of my favorite ways to get inspired to create and I hope that they inspire you as well.


My absolute primary inspiration comes from the photos I take. Whether it's an important event, an everyday moment or formal portraits, photos just speak to me. I most often let my photos dictate how I am going to scrapbook with them be it by color, subject, theme, whatever. I scrap only those photos that speak to me and inspire me. I don't feel the need any more to scrapbook every single picture that I take. I look for the ones that will tell the story I want to tell and tell it the best!

I know many of you were probably *very* familiar with the Silly Bandz crazy of the past year. These crazy little bands were our *jelly shoes* or friendship bracelets and they. were. every.where. My kids were no exception and my littlest wore his constantly. I snapped this photo at our local ice cream shop where the light from the window was fabulous. I knew immediately that it would be the perfect photo to document the fad.



However, there are times when the photos just simply aren't enough, so then I search for….


I love color! LOVE! Color makes me insanely happy so the more color the better as far as I'm concerned. Color has a way of conveying mood just as much as words (if not more so) so I am constantly looking for new or unique combinations. I find them often in nature, in magazines, in fashion or just about anywhere. I'm a huge fan of Pantone's website ( as a tool to create your own interesting color combos. If you're the type that likes to have colors pre-selected for you, my friend Janet also has a website, , completely dedicated to just that. It is a sure bet to get your creative juices flowing.

This color combination below was based off the flowers I brought to my father’s gravesite on the 10thanniversary of his death. I fell in love with the rich autumn palette and worked up a color scheme to scrapbook these very precious photos.


This layout was originally done for a BasicGrey sketch using one of Becky Fleck’s sketches which leads me to the next topic. Sometimes even wonderful photos and the perfect color combination aren't always enough because then the question becomes “How do I mix them together??!” For that, I often turn to…


First, my own.

There was a time when I never used a sketch, much less sketched myself. I would gather up all the paper that I thought I would want to use for a project, pull all the coordinating embellishments and then push paper around for hour while I was making up my mind in how I wanted to go. I found that process took TONS of time and as I started working full-time as a scrapbooker, I needed to find a way to move faster! Enter the sketch! Rather than spending hours moving paper around, I would use a notebook and jot down all the things I hoped to accomplish with my scrapbook page - things like the story I wanted to tell, an element I wanted to use, and even how I thought I might like to lay out my design. I used the paper as a stream-of-conscience way to get everything down and I found I could eliminate ideas much quicker that way.

This sketch was from when BasicGrey’s new Lauderdale line came out for Winter CHA. I jotted down in my little notebook some things the line reminded me of and perhaps some things I wanted to consider using on my layout. The result was not only this sketch but this final design!


And Other People's…

But believe me I don't like re-inventing the wheel. If someone else has done a sketch that I love and it will work for the photos I have, I'm not above using it! There are several sketch sites I like to frequent but two of my favorites are and Both Becky (of Page Maps) and Valerie (of Got Sketch) are incredible sketch artists and their designs are versatile and timeless.

Here is an example of how I interpreted one of Becky's sketches from Page Maps.



Another favorite place to get inspiration is from scrapbooking product itself! Find an element or a design, a manufacturer or a product you love and start building your design around that! Since I happen to work for a manufacturer, I have to use this one a lot! (It's a good thing it's a favorite, eh?!) I have my “go to” items when it comes to scrapbooking and one of them is element stickers. BasicGrey’s element stickers come with every complete collection pack and they are by far my favorite cheap embellishment. I will often cut them apart, layer them up and build my entire design around it. I did that in both of the layouts below where I clustered the element stickers as my embellishments and then the layout just flowed.


Another vast area of inspiration comes in the form of…

5. The MEDIA

By far one of my favorite places to get inspiration whether it is in magazines (both scrapbook and non-scrapbook related), on websites or on personal blogs. In fact, the media is how I first started feeding my love of scrapbooking. Every morning I'd log on to one of my favorite scrapbooking websites and I'd sit for an hour browsing and praising all the beautiful projects that caught my eye. And as I was looking, I'd pick up a technique here or an inspirational color scheme there. I'd bookmark projects I thought I might want to try and I never tired of all the inspiration I was getting. I still do that to this day, especially when I feel I'm in a creative funk or just need some eye candy.

A couple of my favorite sites beyond the ones I've already mentioned are Two Peas in a Bucket and And even better, both of them have wonderful shops so that once you're inspired, you can go shopping for exactly what you need!

I also keep an inspiration journal both in a file folder on my computer and an actual binder where I've pulled pages from magazines that I want to have at close reach. It's a fantastic resource when you just can't seem to get things going on your own.

And with the introduction of, there is a never ending source of pretty images AND tutorials. I could get lost in that site for hours if I let myself!

But sometimes even that's not enough! So when all else fails, I often turn to….


That's right! I'm not above lifting myself and taking something that I loved and was successful in creating before and do it again! If the photos work for a design, give it another shot! Perhaps rotate it or flip it, but I bet you'll find that even if you stick to the exact same design, it'll still look brand new with new papers and embellishments.

But when I had to do another layout quickly using an entirely different line, I went back to the same basic layout design, but flipped it horizontally. I think you'll agree that the look is the same, yet entirely different with minimal time invested!


I sincerely hope some of these ideas have inspired YOU and make you want to get creating yourself! And remember - my OXFORD giveaway is still open as well a couple of posts below! Get in on that one, too! :)

Happy Thursday and Happy Scrappin'!


Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Creating with BasicGrey + Hero Arts

You know. I'll be the first to admit, I'm pretty darn lucky to have the job I do. I get to spend the day creating with BasicGrey, the best paper manufacturer around. But as with any job, some days are luckier or better than others - like the other day when I received a wonderful box of goodies from Hero Arts! And inside? Inside were the incredibly beautiful stamps that coordinate with my two favorite BG lines from CHA-Summer, Picadilly & Little Black Dress.

Now I'll also be the first to admit that I don't stamp much. And when I do, it's usually at the encouragement of Jennifer McGuire, stamping queen extraordinaire. But these stamps were so awesome (AND I had also just purchased a huge amount of Zing! embossing powder I was dying to try out) that I had to put them to work right away. Here's just a bit of what I created:

First with Picadilly:
Can you believe how teeny tiny my Carson was here? I think this was back in 2007 when he wasn't quite 4.

Admittedly this layout doesn't have tons of stamping, but it added just the right amount of detail to the top of the envelope with the red lacy pattern. The stamp consists of rows of patterns, so I simply masked off what I didn't want to use and stamped with the rest. I also got a lot of inspiration for this layout from the talented Stephanie Dagan. I loveeeeee her clean but full-of-eye-candy style and tried to incorporate some of her wonderful elements onto this page.

Check out the gorgeous stitched brads in this line. And those wooden buttons? They have me over the moon. I think I've used every single one I've received and have begged for more already! The colors in this line just scream happy summer!

Supplies: BasicGrey Picadilly patterned papers, stitched brads, brads, wooden buttons, chip sticker shapes, Hero Arts Stamps.
Other: Bazzill cardstock, My Mind's Eye twine, Quikutz Silhouette, Fiskars border punch, Zig pen, Versamark ink.

And then Little Black Dress:
This layout is actually over on the BasicGrey blog as Monday's inspiration sketch layout! Did you know we're doing sketches there EVERY Monday?! After visiting here, you'll definitely want to hop on over there. Prizes just may be involved. :))
Wow. If Carson was little in the first layout, get a look at this! My sweet (now 8-year-old) back when he was only 9months. Oh those cheeks and teeny baby parts! (swoon)
Here I used my stamps to create the tags under the title. The first floral tag was created with the background stamp I embossed. Then I punched a circle from it and mounted it on chipboard. It was super easy but looks so cool. And I think the chip sticker shapes from this line might be some of my all-time favorites. There are plenty of florals, leaves, vines, labels and more. Yum!


Supplies: BasicGrey Little Black Dress papers, chip sticker shapes, Olio rub-ons, Basics alpha sticker, Hello Luscious alpha stickers, Hero Arts Stamps.
Other: Ranger Embossing powder, Versamark ink, Technique Tuesday chipboard circles, My Mind's Eye twine, Jenni Bowlin artisan label (template).

And believe me, there's more. I loved these stamps so much, I have a couple more layouts and several cards to share over the next couple of weeks. Maybe I need to look into getting more Zing! ;) Now remember, these items will be shipping the beginning of October so put them on your wish-list now!
Have a great Wednesday! Remember - my OXFORD giveaway is still open in the post below! Be sure to put your name in there for a chance to win!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

And no, I'm not talking about CHRISTMAS - I'm talking about the first day of SCHOOL!

While I love my kids and cherish them being at home, I know most of you are with me in the excitement of having them return to school, too! ;) Though my guys have already been back for a couple of weeks now, for many of my northern friends as well as friends overseas the first day back is TODAY! So I thought I'd share a little back to school scrapbooking inspiration with you so you can document this momentous occasion with the bazilliondy photos you are bound to take in all the spare time you are about to have! (I kid, I kid!)

This layout was initially done as part of BasicGrey's Page of the Month program. If you're a retailer and you haven't heard about this program, you NEED to check into it now! It's truly fantastic and a great regular class for your clients. If you're a customer, hound your retailer into getting in their store! You won't want to miss it next year, I promise!

My big guy Ethan started middle school this fall and he's not as much into having me take his photo anymore, much less a first day of school one. So to make me feel better (and delude myself into thinking he's still small), I documented all his first days of elementary school in this one double-page spread using BasicGrey's new OXFORD collection. This collection is one of my all-time favorites for school, boys and everything in between.


Just LOOK how tiny he was in kindy. You know I can hardly remember him that small and yet I remember his first day like it was yesterday. I am so thankful I have these photos to remind me of just how much he's grown.

And if you're looking for further inspiration, my friends at Scrapbooks Etc. has put together some of their favorite back to school pages, including a couple of my oldie but goodie favorites. You can check them out here and here. Keep scrolling to find many more wonderful examples of ways to document school related things that go even beyond the first day.

So to celebrate this most wonderful day, leave a comment here about YOUR favorite thing about school and you will be entered to win an OXFORD collection pack of your very own! Contest will close without notice so get your entries in ASAP! Only one comment per person, please.

Have a great short work-week!

Monday, September 05, 2011

The Harry Potter Party

Before I even get started and you even begin to think I thought of all this stuff on my own, I just have to give credit to Pinterest for the most amazing Harry Potter party ever. Seriously. I can't even believe all you can find on there and don't know what I did without it. I'll link up what I can so that you can find it for yourselves and possibly have one of these of your own!

First, this boy? Well he was one incredibly happy just-turned-eight-year-old complete with wand, scarf and glasses and cloak. I joked that with his blonde hair, he's make a better Malfoy, but after seeing him in his get up, I think Daniel Ratliffe better move on over because there's a new Potter in town!

My mom and I knitted the scarves (as well as a scarf for each child that came) in Gryffindor's colors. Next to his wand, it was Carson's favorite part of his costume!

My trusty Silhouette machine was put to use in making all the signs you see. This one was to give directions to Platform 9 3/4. You have to find the platform first to catch the train to Hogwarts!

Upon arriving, the first thing the new wizards and witches did was travel to Ollivander's to receive their wands.
And here is where one of the amazing pins on Pinterest came in....check out this tutorial on how to make these gorgeous things. You'd never believe it was just paper, hot glue and paint, would you?!

And since of course the wizard doesn't select the wand, the wand selects him, each guest was blindfolded as they ran their hands over 2 full trays of wands. Mr. Jaxon here took his job very seriously. (Note his cool Hogwarts t-shirt!)

Once everyone received their wand, they tried to stupify their photographer ;) before heading off to incantation class where they practiced using their wands. Swish & flick. Swish & flick.

After incantation class came Potion's class that was again made possible with an amazing tutorial from Pinterest...check out this party here. Everyone received their own potions pot and together we mixed clear explosive solution (water) + fire rocks (dry ice) + firefly elixir (bubble solution) and we got this....

I love their faces in these shots - they were amazed and I think this was the biggest hit of all. :)

Next up was the refreshments (we needed a chance to cool off a bit) and cupcake time. Notice the jelly beans on the top to mimic Bertie Bott's beans that Harry & Ron ate. (These were all yummy ones though ;))

A little wizard-y secret...

After cupcakes and presents, it was time for a little Quidditch match.

And Harry Potter (er, Carson) found the Golden Snitch! He was super excited!

And most of the hot, happy crew (a couple had already had to leave and one is a bit hidden here)

And there you have it - one 8 year old and one Harry Potter party in the books. It was absolutely a ball and I'd totally do it again....but I'm glad it's over! Post party letdown is hitting me hard!

Have a wonderful Labor Day!