Think in Color Thursday

I love color. For the most part, it's what attracts me to fashion and art. And when it comes to scrapbooking it's the biggest inspiration for my layouts. I either choose the papers to revolve around the colors in my photos, or if  I find papers that I really love with no coordinating photos, I will print them out in black & white just to be able to use the desired paper. I've even been known to stage my kids in particular outfits just so they will coordinate with the paper I want to use lol.

I also love Pinterest. And a person can really find some amazing color palettes there. I've pinned a plethora of them to one of my boards. And as beautiful as they are just hanging there like tiny pieces of art on my virtual bulletin board, I've been contemplating how I can actually put them to use So in the coming year, I've decided to commit to creating one project every week using one of the color palettes I've pinned. I will post them every Thursday. I hope that this will provide some color inspiration to each of you as well. And if it does, please leave a comment with a link to your project...I would love to see them!


Christmas Cards

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas. We had a really good one. Although, in our family we have something I call the Franco Family Curse...at least one person in our family is sick for every major holiday. This "curse"became apparent to me in the first few years that Noé and I were married, and it's only become worse now that we have two small children. Last Christmas was one of the worst incidents as both kids had the stomach flu and were vomiting in their beds on Christmas Eve. So I count my blessings that this year it has just been a cold that (so far) only Paolina and Santiago have. But it still hindered us from attending the Christmas Eve service at church and has definitely kept the kids slowed down the last couple of days. Although this may be a good thing, since Santiago got a set of Nurf guns from his Abuelitos, and I personally don't have the energy to be fending off sneak attacks or pretending to be a sniper all day.  I would much prefer to sit at the table and play dominoes or put together a puzzle, which were also a few of the gifts the kids received. Speaking of which, I am so so thankful to both sets of grandparents, who totally made it possible for the kids to even get gifts this year. I know that gifts aren't what Christmas is all about, but it sure would have broken my heart to attempt to explain to my 4-year old and 2-year old that there would be none this year because their father doesn't have a job. As an adult, however, I have to say that despite the fact that we are now into the second month of being unemployed, this has been one of the best Christmases we've ever celebrated. Both kids are finally old enough to help me make cookies "for Santa" and they both made gingerbread houses at our local library. Santiago is old enough to put together advanced puzzles and play more challenging board games, and Paolina is completely into dress-up and playing with dolls...so I've had as much fun with their Christmas presents as they have! But more importantly, our personal circumstances have given me the opportunity to really really reflect on the true meaning of the season and to appreciate God's grace and mercy to us on a whole new level. The Creator of this infinite universe humbled Himself enough to be born as a helpless baby in a lowly manger, experience a mundane life on Earth with the many trials & temptations we also experience, and then to die an excruciating death on the Cross...so that we may have the opportunity to spend an eternity in His presence. And this same Lord and Savior also loves me enough to care about my daily needs. We are still in our home, still driving our car and still have enough food every day. And He has gone above & beyond our actual needs by putting it on the hearts of others to bless our children with more toys & games than they really needed. I am humbled by His love for this broken and sinful world.

Now onto my favorite part of Christmas...making cards! I used to do a sort of "assembly line" of identical Christmas cards. I usually made about 200 and had to start around August to get all of them made and put out into the mail by December 1st. This year has been a more hectic year than usual, and in the end I would never have been able to put the money into mailing that many cards anyhow.  But I couldn't give up making cards altogether, so I chose to only make 13 cards, each a different design, that went out to our closest friends and relatives. And here they are...

Thanks for looking, and I hope each and every one of you continue to have a blessed and happy Christmas season!


Let's Get Sketchy! December Week 4

Whoops! I got so busy with all the Christmas Eve activity that I completely forgot to post this week's challenge at Let's Get Sketchy! I know if you're like me then you're also busy all this week, but if you have a chance go check out this week's sketch.

And here's my take on it...
I used photos taken of me and Santiago the night before Paolina was born...his last moment as an only child.We had been experiencing the stereotypical "two-year old" behavior most of the day, and taking photos that night was no different, as he squirmed around in my arms and refused to even look at the camera.


Sketches With Color - December 15th Challenge

Today is the December's second challenge from Sketches With Color. You are to use the following color combo...
with this sketch...
as well as a boy theme.

Here is the card I came up with:
Isn't it awesome how you can use a 12x12 scrapbooking sketch to make a card? Please check out the Sketches With Color blog to see what the rest of the design team came up with, and hopefully you will be inspired to play along!



It's 12.12.12! A hundred years in the making...so in honor of that I thought I would post my favorite 12 layouts of this year.


Webster's Pages Giveaway

If you like Webster's Pages you should check out their blog. They're introducing a scrumptious new line called Sweet Notes plus a chance to win it!


Let's Get Sketchy! December Week 2

Another Monday, which means another challenge at Let's Get Sketchy! This week is one of my very own sketches...

And my interpretation...
I used a photo from Santiago's newborn photo shoot. I've said it before and I'll say it again....I love love baby feet! 

So please head over to the Let's Get Sketchy! blog to see what the rest of our team created. We would love to see what you do as well!!


Scrappy Friends December Challenge

I just want to start off by giving a huge "thank you" to all of you who left comments on my last post. Your encouraging words and prayers have been a huge blessing to me. I truly feel the Lord's love & comfort through each of you beautiful women. Thank you!!!

Now on to scrapbooking!  Another month and another fun Scrappy Friends challenge. The girls decided to mix things up a bit this time. Each blog has a challenge using one of the letters in the word NOEL. First stop is Kery's blog (N) where she requires the use of a number in the title or sentiment of your layout. The next stop is Kristi B's blog (O) where she requires the use of an oval. At Rochelle's blog (E) she requires the use of at least 5 eyelets. And last but not least, at Brenda's blog she requires a list with 3 or more things and/or the use of lined paper.

So far, every time I have participated in the Scrappy Friends challenges I have been able to complete all four challenges on my layout, but I searched throughout my entire stash and could not find one single eyelet. However, I did knock out two birds with one stone by using a sketch from Creative Scrappers as my inspiration.
I'm pretty far behind on having photos developed, so these are pictures from last year of Santiago "helping" Paolina "write" her letter to Santa.

And that's it for now...I'm still busy working on Christmas cards!


Scrapbook Therapy

There are many reason to scrapbook. I certainly enjoy going through my albums and seeing my photos displayed in a more creative and unique way than just tossed into a simple photo album. And even though I struggle with journaling (writing is NOT my strong suit) I know it's good for other people to know the story behind the photo, because I realize that I may forget some of the details and one day I will not even be around to tell the story. But what I love the most about scrapbooking and cardmaking is that it's a creative outlet for me. Sometimes it's even a way to escape from my present reality. Almost three weeks ago Noé lost his job. At first he enjoyed being away from a job that he has dreaded going to for the last two years and the kids and I enjoyed having him around. But now that we're into the third week of being unemployed, I think reality has set in. Unemployment checks won't even cover our monthly housing costs, let alone food. So I've been trying to update my résumé (which is quite a task since I've been out of the work force for five years now) and looking through the want ads. I pray that it won't come to that. As exasperated as my children make me at times and as exhausted as I am at the end of the day, I feel called to be a SAHM, and I love doing it. I have faith that the Lord will carry us through this trial but fear that His way will not be mine. So in the midst of this, I find myself praying...and scrapbooking. Noé can only spend so much time searching for a job, so he has also spent a lot of time working on a Honey-Do List and playing with the kids. With the time that I now have freed up in my normally hectic schedule, I have found myself escaping into my creations. Last week I made a dozen Christmas cards and completed three layouts. I can't remember the last time I got that much done in that time frame. So I thank God for the faith and optimism He has given me as well as my artistic abilities. We are created in His image and are meant to enjoy the beauty around us, even in the midst of the trials in our lives. Now on to what I created this past week...

Since I'm on Team B at Let's Get Sketchy! I was not required to create a sample for this week's challenge, but since I had the time I thought I would have a go at it anyway.
The photos were taken the night before Paolina was born. Having a scheduled c-section definitely provides an advantage to an avid scrapbooker like myself.

One of my sketches is also being featured this week at Colorful Creations for Twisted Blueprints.
These photos are from Memorial Day 2010, a month after Santiago had turned 2 and a few days before Paolina was born.

On this third and final layout I doubled up on challenges. I used this week's sketch from the My Scraps & More Sketches blog. And I must confess that I fell in love with one of their DT member's interpretations of the sketch, and I lifted it. So a shout out to Missy Whidden for creating such a fab layout!! The challenge I combined with this sketch was this month's Plus Challenge at Colorful Creations. We were to use the colors cream and green, as well as incorporate butterflies.
These are photos of Paolina scooting around on the floor "cleaning" with my dish towel. My kids really love to play "cleaning"...I guess this is a natural result of witnessing their mother's daily OCD lol.

Thanks so much for looking. Once I finish the rest of my Christmas cards I plan to post all of them.


Sketches With Color

I am just so thrilled to announce that I am the newest member of the Sketches With Color design team. I'm such a huge fan of sketches, and this challenge blog offers not just bi-monthly sketches, but they include awesome color palettes to stretch your creativity. 

If you have seen any of my previous work, you may have noticed that I do a lot of two-page scrapbooking layouts, and often times I modify single-page sketches to create them. Single-page layouts can just as easily be translated into cards. So as I will for every challenge at Sketches With Color, I have created a card by using the provided color scheme and by modifying the scrapbooking layout sketch.

Please go and check out our first challenge for the month of December and see what all of our talented designers had to create.