Thursday, January 28, 2010

Scrapbooking Inspiration

Hi all,

Sorry for the blogging break. I've been exceptionally busy lately working on an aisle runner for a lovely bride, Kaylee. I will be setting it up tonight for her wedding tomorrow, so I should have pictures of it in all it's glory. Congrats to Kaylee & Zach!!

On to other things - I started scrapbooking when I was 16 years old. I was elected Historian for our Student Council during my junior year of high school, which included taking pictures of all sorts of events we hosted and putting them into a scrapbook. It was very basic and simple, but I fell in love. Ever since then, I've considered myself a scrapbooker. The reality is though - I've only finished ONE scrapbook, and that was a mini-book. I have layouts from different times in my life, and a few books that are almost complete, but otherwise, I have a pile of works in progress. One of my goals for this year is to really get back into scrapbooking where I'm creating layouts on a regular basis, and I'm completing a story. More on goals later in the post.

Kelly Purkey is so inspiring to me in her scrapbooking layouts. Her photographs are so real and fun, and her layouts are gorgeous. I get the sense that I know her just from looking at her layouts - and I imagine she's a very fun person to be around! Check out her blog if you get a chance. (All the images in today's post are Kelly's layouts - I have to share them!)

The reason I bring up Kelly this morning is that she basically inspired this post. She has posted some layouts recently that I not only love, but would like to adapt to my own scrapbooking stash. I'd also challenge you to consider these types of layouts if you're like me - I think it will motivate me to tell my story, as well as give an accurate picture of my daily life, rather than trying to tell the story of a certain period of time in my life.

This first layout details Kelly's loves for the year. Read her original post here. I think this is such a great concept, and a very easy way to journal. I'm the type of scrapbooker where I'd probably try to make a page for each of these things, which is why I can't keep up with my pile of pictures and memorabilia. Think about all the things you've loved over the last year or so. These don't have to be great lasting loves (or, they could be - my love for cupcakes, for example, is eternal). Think about doing this every year of your life. How much would things have changed? My list in 1987 (I was 5) would have included things like Legos, my Carebears, my parents, mac & cheese, watching He-Man & She-Ra and playing with my Popples. (Do you remember those shows? Or even know what a Popple is??) Fast forward 22 years to 2009 and my list looks much different. Sure, the parents are still on it, but it also includes things like Facebook and my cell phone and my new husband. The point is - I always love thinking about all the things we loved as kids, and then as teenagers. I imagine that won't change as I grow older - it's fun to look back at all the things that have stuck around, that have disappeared, that seemed so important at one time, or that we couldn't even imagine back then. I WILL be trying a similar layout for 2009 in the coming weeks. What a great way to wrap up last year.

This layout is another creation of Kelly's that I love! What an interesting way to look back at the last year, in terms of numbers. Visit her original post here to read about the details of her year. One of the things I really admire about Kelly is her amazing self-portraits. There are very few pictures of me by myself in the thousands I have on my computer and CD's. I'm just not comfortable taking pictures by myself. I will overcome this. Hopefully this year. I'll try :)

Anyway, think about your year last year in terms of numbers. What kinds of things will you come up with? Following Kelly's example, I might say something like 7 weddings (yes, we attended 7 weddings), 1 marriage, 2 cell phones, 2 flights, 11 books about vampires, 8 levels conquered on Super Mario Bros. Wii, etc. It's harder than you would think, but a great way to look over everything that you've accomplished and experienced (and maybe still are experiencing.)

One last layout to share. Kelly turned 27 in 2009, and challenged herself by creating a layout of 27 things she wanted to accomplish over the course of the year. You can read about how well she did here. I think this is a fantastic idea, and I would love to try it myself.

(Here's the goals thing I was talking about above.) At the beginning of each year, I rarely make a New Year's Resolution. It seems like everyone is feeling very ambitious at that time of the year and has these lofty goals. The same is true for me. But, I know myself well enough to know that if I make this grand resolution on January 1, I will likely be feeling like a failure by January 8. I can plan for things and dream of results, but I don't have the best follow through. What I can do well, though, is break down what I'd like to accomplish each year in small bites. This is what Kelly has done with her layout. Think of little things that are easily accomplished and go for that. In my opinion, there's much less chance for failure! And even if you don't conquer one goal, you can look at your list and say - hey, look at everything I did get accomplished!

I'll stop gushing now about how much I love Kelly and all of her creativity in scrapbooking. It's getting a little ridiculous at this point, but I can't help it. She's so easy to admire! You've just gotten my scrapbooking to-do list, of sorts, so look for my take on these layouts in the coming weeks. One of my goals (that will probably appear in a layout soon!) is to create one scrapbook page per week. It's a manageable goal, and just think - a scrapbook with 52 layouts is a pretty substantial story. Be sure to visit Kelly's blog when you get a chance!

I've been trying to keep my Project 365 updated, so visit that album when you get a chance. So far, so good. I think I've gotten a picture everyday, though it is VERY challenging right now.

Have a fantastic day, everyone!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Good morning!

How is everyone's day going so far? Mine is kind of gloomy so far - it's foggy and raining (and cold, which means it's icy). I was struggling not to slip on the sidewalk this morning and was thinking that that had been the story for about the last month or so.

I decided that today was the day I needed a pick-me-up about our house. I'm tired of the gloominess and being shut in and looking out and seeing nothing but white for the last few weeks. Here are a few pictures of what I've seen since the beginning of December:

Looking back (now that I'm not snowed in!), these pictures are pretty cool. My poor little Molly wanted to come in so badly after our first snowstorm. The snow was bigger than she is. Now that she's been through a few big snowstorms, she loves them and wants to go out and play. I'm afraid one of these days we're going to lose her in a big snow drift! The other two pictures are views from our deck of our property. You can see how there's an ocean of white all through our yard - and it stretches out from the house for 10 acres! It's really incredible to look out over undisturbed snow for as far as you can see.

But, I need the snow pick-me-up today, so I'm looking back at photos from our realtor when we bought the house. Here's our home buying story: Mike and I had been looking for a small farm for about 5 months. We put in offers on 4 different properties and they were all rejected for one reason or another (mostly because someone put in another, higher offer - grrr!) I was feeling very dejected at that point, and then Mike sent me one picture and said, "I thought you'd like this kitchen." Here's the picture:

Um, hello. I want that! So, I told Mike that we would be viewing that house, ASAP (keep in mind that I still haven't seen the listing, or any other pictures of the house). I called our realtor and she said she could get us in that evening (Tuesday). We met her after work and spent about 2 hours on the property. It was love at first sight. I remember being so excited that I could hardly contain myself, and when we got a moment alone, I told Mike, "This is our house. I want this house." In the two hours we were there, we didn't see a single car drive by (meaning it's SILENT!) The sun set over the back property line - gorgeous! I couldn't get the smile off my face.

We told our realtor we wanted to make an offer, so we set up a time to meet with her the next day. She called the seller, who told us she already had two offers on the property. My heart sank because this had been our luck through the whole process. And I loved this house more than any of the others (those were ones I could just live with/make changes to). We went ahead and put in the offer, and waited to hear back. On Thursday, just after noon, Mike called me at work and told me to go close my office door because he had bad news. I immediately knew that we hadn't gotten the house and my eyes teared up. I asked him what was going on (meaning did they reject the offer or submit a counter offer) and he said, "Well, the bad news is that you're going to have to pack again - we got it!!" I cannot tell you how thrilled I was because there aren't even words.

After that experience, I truly believe that you don't appreciate successes or happiness until you struggle for them. I am so thankful that we had all the ups and downs that we did in our home-buying process, because I would have never known how amazing it felt to finally have a place that was ours and that would be our home. Most of the time, I look around our house and think how lucky we are to live in such an amazing place, full of history and stories and the promise of a future. I loved the house I grew up in, and I know that when we have children one day, they will have that same sense of love for our home.

Thanks for bearing with me through that story. I need to remember how much I love the house and where we live sometimes. It's very easy to wonder why we live in the middle of nowhere when we're driving 90 minutes to work, or can't leave the house for 4 days because of snow. Since you made it this far, I'll share some other photos of the home from our realtor. I haven't actually taken photos of our house since we moved in (over a year ago), because I want to be finished decorating before I do. I've come to realize that's an on-going process, so I'll just get my Christmas decorations put away (yes, there's still not put away - I'm dragging it out as long as possible!) and then take pictures. I've said it on the blogg-o, so now I have to do it!

(I just realized how few pictures I actually have of the inside of my house - so that must change!) The first picture is the back of the house from the driveway. The second is of our beautiful (original!) built-in cabinets in the hallway. Love the storage that comes in old farm houses! The third is the view to the south, where most of our land is. Can't wait to see that space green and cows eating. The first is the room that would eventually become my craft studio. Mike was so understanding when one of my demands for our home included my own space for crafting - that I could leave messy! This room is perfect for that :)
Thanks for checking out my home. Have a great day, everyone!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sparkly Monday

Happy Monday, lovlies!

As you can see from my lack of blogg-o time, it's been a very busy week. It has been a very productive week though, and I'm happy with everything that we accomplished. I could write the longest blog post ever, but I doubt anyone wants to read everything we did last week, so I'll give you highlights :)
1. I joined Twitter. Look to the left, and you can find a link to follow me on Twitter. I'll be tweeting when I write a new post on the blog, upload an item to my Etsy store, or just find something interesting to tell you about (my personal, creative life included.)
2. I've updated the Project 365 photo album. I'm finding that as I spend more time at home, this project becomes even more challenging. I'm struggling to figure out exactly what I'd like to remember about each day. I'm remembering to tell myself not to photograph "events" so much as reminders of my daily life.

3. I've created a few cards for friends this week. I'll only post a couple because I don't want to spoil the surprise, and I know these folks have already received them. First, my dear friend Karen's birthday card:

Karen was celebrating a milestone birthday, so I wanted to make a really special card for her. This card isn't my typical style, but I do like the way it turned out. And, apparently I'm really into black, white and red color schemes lately. Here's a close-up of the ribbon and Heidi Swapp's beautiful chandelier stamp:

Next, here's a card that I sent to friends of mine from college, JT & Heather. They were just married and I wasn't able to attend the wedding. Their colors were black, white and red, so my color scheme obsession fit in perfectly! (I love when things work out like that)

Again, this isn't usually the style of card I make, but I'm challenging myself to try new things :) I wanted to create something elegant and romantic. I used an organza ribbon I found in a clearance bin at Hobby Lobby, a lace border punch from Martha Stewart and the sweet sentiment "Happily Ever After" to help convey that image.

4. I've been creating more embellishments for my Etsy shop. I love these little coordinating embellishment sheets. They make scrapbooking and card making so much easier. When I create an embellishment for a scrapbook page or card, I usually create a few extras while I have my supplies out. It saves me a ton of time if I want to duplicate the card, use the same color scheme, or create a coordinating scrapbook page. Check out PaperMeadowsDesigns on Etsy to see what I've come up with!

Have a fantastic day!

{Sparkle supplies}

Cardstock: whisper white (Stampin' Up!) Stamps: warm words (Stampin' Up!), chandelier (Heidi Swapp) Ink: basic black (Stampin' Up!), Other: real red grosgrain ribbon (Stampin' Up!), red rhinestones (Prima), labels two nestabilities (Spellbinders), stardust gelly roll pen (Sakura)

{Happily Ever After supplies}

Cardstock: pure poppy (Papertrey Ink), whisper white, basic gray (Stampin' Up!) Stamps: guidelines, favor it weddings Ink: basic black (Stampin' Up!), fresh snow (Papertrey Ink) Other: black organza ribbon (Hobby Lobby), true black vintage button (Papertrey Ink), rustic cream button twine (Papertrey Ink), red rhinestones (Prima), word window punch, corner rounder punch (Stampin' Up!), doily lace border punch (Martha Stewart)

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Hello friends!

How was your weekend? I'm definitely looking forward to getting out of the house tomorrow, even if it is for work. We've been snowed in all weekend, so any kind of social interaction is fine with me!

I've been busy, busy today. I finally got some items listed in my Etsy shop. Do you know what Etsy is? If you don't, you should visit immediately! It's the online home for all things handmade (along with vintage items and supplies needed for crafting). Be prepared to spend some money though - the sellers on here are incredibly talented and come up with the most original things!
You can directly link to the PaperMeadows shop on the left of the blogg-o, or you can click the link above. Right now, there are a couple of handmade cards (that you've already seen here on the blogg-o), and some embellishments for either scrapbooking or card making. I'll give you a couple of preview pictures here, but you'll have to visit the Etsy shop for all the pictures :)

Here are some sweet baby girl embellies that would be pefect for baby books, scrapbooks, annoucements, or shower invitations. They're attached to an acetate sheet, so all the user has to do is peel and adhere. Easy peasy, right?

And here are some bright sentiments that would be great for putting together a quick greeting card. These have the same set-up as the baby embellies - just peel and stick. Each set has 8 embellies.

I've also updated my Project 365 album, so you can take a peek at daily Vogt life.


Saturday, January 9, 2010


Good morning! (It's the weekend, yay!!)

We've been snowed in for the last two days. It's been extremely windy, so snow keeps blowing over the road, which makes it hard for them to be cleaned. We're very fortunate to have a big supply of food, dvd's and internet access though, and we don't really miss going out (too much!)

I've been able to spend a lot of time in my crafty studio since we've been home so much. I've been cleaning, organizing, looking for inspiration, and occasionally creating. I get a lot of my inspiration in home decor catalogs, which means I've requested every catalog I can get for free :) (Pottery Barn, PB Teen, Pottery Barn Kids, Z Gallerie, Crate & Barrel, etc.) It adds up to a lot more junk mail, but I think it's worth it. And it's great on the budget - unless I find something I just have to order. These are some adorable pillows I found in the PB Teen catalog:
I loved the black/white one with the flower. All those bright colors on a white background - yum! I tried to recreate the flower with ribbon scraps. Great idea in theory, but my challenging than I expected. I'll consider it a work in progress. Here is my second attempt at creating something based on this adorable pillow:
Clearly, it's not an exact interpretation! But, it does pull a lot of the key elements. First - the stitching on the pillow. I liked the small circles in the stitching, so I went with Spots & Dots Cuttlebug folder (on white, of course). I mimicked the black scalloping along the edges with a scalloped edge punch. The butterfly colors were chosen because they're similar to the flower on the pillow. It took me a long time to figure out that I didn't have to re-create the inspiration piece, that I could just pick out some of its features and use them on my cards or scrapbooking pages. I'm glad I've finally made that leap. (Although, a card featuring a white stitched heart with black scalloped edges is definitely on my Valentine's "To-Do" list.)

Do you all have fun plans for the weekend? I have a feeling our weekend will include a lot of dvd watching or cuddling under warm blankies - which is fine by me!

{Celebrate Supplies}
Cardstock: melon mambo, bermuda bay, basic black (Stampin' Up!) white, spring moss, summer sunrise (Papertrey Ink) Stamps: 2008 Holiday Tags Ink: basic black (Stampin' Up!) Other: swiss dot true black ribbon (Papertrey Ink), kraft twill (Stampin' Up!) round tab punch, corner rounder punch, scallop edge punch (Stampin' Up!) butterfly punch (Martha Stewart), aqua rhinestones, pearls(Kaisercraft), tourmaline glitter (Martha Stewart), spring moss button (Papertrey Ink), spots & dots embossing folder (Cuttlebug)

Have a great one!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Raspberry Suite Color Challenge 21

Happy Thursday all!

I hope you're having a fantastic day. I wanted to share with you the card I created for this week's Raspberry Suite Color Challenge. Here's the great color scheme that Dawn came up with:

I love the light aqua and chocolate combination (our bedroom is actually decorated with those colors). I don't use yellow in my cards very often, but I love the combination with the aqua. It's so bright and fresh - it reminds me of spring. I'm VERY ready for spring (as I sit here snowed in from the storm we had last night!) This combo was definitely a challenge for me, but one I loved taking on. Here's what I came up with:

I think this would be a great card for cheering up a friend during this never-ending winter we seem to be having. Supply list can be found below. Thanks for looking!

{Smooches Supplies}

Cardstock: dark chocolate, lemon tart, and aqua mist (Papertrey Ink), very vanilla (Stampin' Up!) Stamps: handwritten notes (Papertrey Ink) Ink: chocolate chip (Stampin' Up!) Other: so saffron grosgrain ribbon, twill (Stampin' Up!), large oval punch, ticket corner punch (Stampin' Up!), butterfly punch (Martha Stewart), aqua mist button (Papertrey Ink), color ball pins (Dritz), aqua rhinestones (Kaisercraft), textile embossing folder (Cuttlebug)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Project 365

Hi lovelies!

Did you do your homework from my last post and google Project 365? I hope so. It's such an interesting concept.

I thought I'd tell you why I decided to start this project, this year. I've heard about it for a couple of years and thought it sounded great, but then I wasn't really prepared to take it on. I didn't keep a camera with me, or I missed the first few days, or something. There was always some excuse. This year, I decided that I had enough excuses and what I needed was more pictures of our day to day living. I'm sure people take on this project for all sorts of reasons, but here is mine:

When I was younger, my brother and I spent a lot of time at my grandparents' house. They were our main babysitters when my parents were at work or needed to run errands. We spent every summer day with them for many years. One thing I will always remember my grandma doing is writing down notes in "her book." That's what she called it - it wasn't a diary or journal, just sort of a log of her daily activities. It was open to everyone to read; she never kept it private. I found out a couple of weeks ago that she took all the books she'd been saving (huge black binders stored in the basement) and destroyed them. I was so sad that she hadn't thought to ask me if I'd want them first. She couldn't imagine why someone would want to read what she'd done everyday for decades.

This album of pictures will serve as my "book." I'm not sure that too many people are interested in my ordinary life at this point, but at some point, someone might wonder what our life was like in the first year of marriage. As I look back over my photographs from the last few years, I've noticed the big events are well covered - Christmases, birthdays, vacations - but that there are very few pictures that document how I live my life. I'm aiming to change that now, with this project!

I've put a link to my Project 365 in the sidebar of the blogg-o (look to the left). I will do my best to update it often. I'd love to see your Project 365 albums or blogs, if you have already started this project, so leave a link in my comments. If you haven't started yet, it's not too late! Get started TODAY and show me your pictures. I'd love to see them.

This is the view from my window at work. I don't think you can see, but it's snowing pretty hard outside right now. We're on our way toward another bad snow storm (4-6 inches of snow are predicted, plus below 0 temperatures and 40mph winds!) Please pray for everyone facing this harsh winter weather.


Monday, January 4, 2010


Thank you for visiting my blog! However you found out about me, I'm so glad that you did!

What you've stepped into (not to be confused with what you've stepped in...that often leads to a search for a rock or curb and some serious shoe scraping) is a field of creativity. My first creative love is paper crafting via hand-made cards and scrapbooking. I suspect this will always be the case. However, I also love other creative endeavors such as altered items, home decor, the occasional fabric project (I say that because I couldn't sew if my life depended on it - these projects merely involve fabric), and who knows what else might pop up. I also include cooking and baking in my field of creativity, because let's face it - it often involves patience, sometimes involves imagination, and almost always involves me sharing it with others. One other thing (for now - I'm sure this list will expand) that I'll include is stories (and photos) of farm living. I'll come back to that later.

This is me. (I'm getting my hair done in preparation for my wedding, but it's the only picture of just me that I have. I'm a group-picture taker.) Speaking of weddings, I just got married in October to the most wonderful man in the world (in my opinion), Mike. Hence, the wedding. I'm sure the wedding will come up often as I'm still an excited newlywed, so I'll spare you the mush for the time being.

Do you want to know more about me? If yes, then keep reading. If not, skip to the next paragraph. I grew up in Iowa, in a city called Council Bluffs, which I suppose is a suburb of Omaha, Nebraska (though I'm still not sure if suburbia can actually cross state lines). I went to college at Iowa State University and majored in Political Science, and eventually graduated from Bellevue University in Human Resources. What is that supposed to tell you about me? Well, I love to argue. I can get along with most anyone. I'm not opposed to paperwork and bureaucracy. Sounds creative, right? Wrong. I'm a Gemini; I'm full of contradictions. I met Mike almost 2 years ago, and since then, we have dated, gotten engaged, gotten an adorable pug named Molly, purchased our farm, and gotten married. It's been a whirlwind of fun times. Molly will make appearances in the blog as well, because she's adorable and I'm a proud mama!

Growing up near a city (yes, Omaha is a city, even if it's not huge), my exposure to farm life was pretty much limited to my friends in 4-H. I saw some cows and horses and pigs every year at the county fair, and that was pretty much it. Oh, and my dad collected tractors. Okay, that's really it. I'm the kind of girl who doesn't get dirty, doesn't like to get dirty, and doesn't want to get dirty. I can sum up my life on the farm (so far) in two words: It's. Dirty. So, that's why living on the farm is part of my fields of creativity - I'm challenged to step outside my comfort zone, try new things, face new challenges, and find a way to make peace that I'm not part of the hustle and bustle of city living anymore. (Don't get me wrong, I love our farm and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.) And, quite frankly, it's probably very hilarious to see the things I come up with or the new experiences I have living where we live.

On to the creative stuff. Here's what I'm working on for the time being:
  • Launching my Etsy store. You can find it here. There's nothing in there at the moment, but I promise there will be shortly. I'll throw this link up on the sidebar of the blogg-o for future reference.
  • Project 365. Google it. I'll put up a photo album somewhere of my daily photos, so you can see my day to day life, if you so choose. I think that's the direction I want to go with my project - day to day Vogt living.
  • Setting up a crafty display in a local antique/hand-made merchandise boutique. It's called Mill Creek Mercantile. No website, or I'd send you a linky (it's an awesome locally owned store in the Florence neighborhood of Omaha).

Please keep checking back. I hope to update the blog reguarly (hopefully daily) with crafty information, projects, and photos.