Friday, April 30

What's Your Favorite...

Music. I have always loved anything Rock & Roll... from the Beatles to Led Zeplin... I know old stuff... but can't think of anything new right now. Anyway... about 17 years ago I worked on a graveyard shift and all they played was country music. The reason... the building was built during WWII & the only reception it got was this one country channel. I know what you're thinking... we could have wore headphones... but for safety reasons they weren't allowed. So we didn't have much choice... it was either the quiet and possibly fall asleep (which of course you can't do while you're working) OR the country music channel... and we all chose country music. At first I couldn't stand it... but somewhere along the way it got into my heart and I fell in love with it.

When I go married, Steve introduced me to Jazz and Blues... and I do like them... but what makes my heart happy is... Country or Rock & Roll. So if I'm driving in my car you'll find a variety with the different buttons to push or at home it's iTunes with bunches of my favorites going on there... but no matter where I am... I love the variety... and yes on occasion even Steve's jazz and blues.

What is your favorite??? What do you like listening to most? Share it with our These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things challenge either in a card, scrapbook layout or a project to express what makes your heart sing!!!

Thursday, April 29

Sketchy Thursday Fave....

Had to share... the Memories layout I did for Sketchy Thursdays was chosen as one of the Design Teams Faves this week...

Hope you have a fab Thursday... mine has already started out to be a wonderful day!!!

Tuesday, April 27


After seeing the sketch for Sketchy Thursday, all I could think of was a quilt. Quilts and my South Dakota photos would go so well together... and because I still have sooooooo many photos left from our trip to scrap, I decided to use some of them. On our daily walks we saw such beauty in the landscape I had to use some of the photos. The horse, Meta, is my cousin Ronnie's and every time we went on one of our walks Rainee insisted we go by the stables to see Meta.

I had such fun doing this layout... I hardly ever do hand stitching on a layout... I always want to get the layout done. But this time I felt it needed that little extra bit of homemade touch. I'm glad I took the extra time to do the stitching... for me it finishes it off...

(Materials: Paper: Creative Imaginations, DCWV, My Minds Eye, Karen Foster, Rub-ons: Creative Imaginations, Colorbok, Tag: Creative Imaginations, Ticket: EverydayScrapbook Etsy, Bird: EverydayScrapbook Etsy, Branch Stamp: Colorbok, Sticker: Creative Imaginations, Pens: Puffy Paint, Pigma, Ink: Ranger)

Monday, April 26

Weekly Gratitude...

Bath Time. Sounds kinda weird I know, but I do love it! Rainee has always enjoyed bath time. She loves playing in the water... for that matter, who doesn't love playing in all those bubbles!! Bath time has always been... my time with Rainee!!! When she was a baby...and working full-time... I loved bath time... but I also didn't... because as soon as bath time was over it would be... book, bottle & bed time for her... then our time was done for the day!!! Besides weekends... this was my only time with her, so it's always been a special time for me. Now bath time isn't her going straight to bed once it's done... bath time... is a time to have fun... to watch her play... to splash... & giggle!! The only down side of bath time these days is... walking out of there soaking wet and the bathroom a complete mess... wet and all... it's still a favorite time in my day.

But this last week it was especially w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l... because for the last 2 weeks Champ has been a stinky doggie! Yuk!!! If you remember, he was bit by a dog the day we were going to get him groomed!! So, because of the stitches, we had to wait another 2 weeks for him to be groomed... and let me tell you he was a s-t-i-n-k-y doggie!! When Rainee gave him a hugs, which is all the time... she would smell like s-t-i-n-k-y-Champy-boy!!! So not only did I have one stinky dog in the house... I had two!! It was really starting to get to me! At least at the end of the day I could give Rainee a bath to get rid of the stink!! What's funny is... Steve couldn't smell a thing... but me... it's all I could smell...

Anyway... it is now 2 weeks later... and we took him to the vet on Thursday (with the window all rolled down) for the stitches to come out. After that, I made an appointment for him to be groomed on Friday... just one more day... Yeah!!! We got up early to take him in, then picked him up after school... you would never know he was the same dog... he was clean and smelled great!!! It's amazing what a bath can do for a person...and a dog!!!

Now... I'm a very happy mommy... happy... Champ is better... happy... Champ is clean... happy... I don't have to hold my breath when I feed him... happy... I don't have to scrub the lingering smell of... o-du-dirty-stinky-doggie... off Rainee, at bath time!!! Yes, you could say, I am a VERY grateful for bath time... a clean Rainee... and a clean Champy-boy! Life is good... and so are baths!!!

Friday, April 23

Tom's Farm...

While I am continually going through and getting rid of things in the studio... I always seem to come across photos I still haven't scraped... I don't know what's up with that... but I do. At first I use to get mad at myself for not having them done... but now I look at them as little treasure for me to enjoy... I get to recount a memory and then scrap them. For this layout, I used Creative Imaginations Real Wood, their April sketch.... and some of those treasured photos I found recently while purging the studio...

This is Tom's Farm... it's open every day, but it's one of our favorite places to go on a Saturday. They have a furniture/antique store... yummy restaurants... a candy store... a wine & cheese store... and their little fruit & vegetable market is amazing! But I love going with Rainee on the weekends because they have fun things to do... they have a craft fair... Tom's Mining Company... a live band... face painting... a little train ride... an old time carousel... tractor driving... a construction scooper... a toy gun shooting gallery... a pond to feed ducks... a magic show... and our 2 favorite things... the farm petting zoo... and horsey rides!!!

We don't go get our fruits & vegetables then leave... when we go... we are there all day. It's such a fun, Rainee & mommy Saturday afternoon thing to do. Rainee loves loves loves animals... so our first stop is always the petting zoo... which I can barely get her out of... I have to piratically drag her out to go on the horsey rides... which of course then she doesn't want to get off of... but she does... then we're off to do all the other fun things Tom's Farm has to offer... and by the time we're finished... we're both so exhausted we really don't want to get our produce.... but I bribe Rainee with a treat... and we make our last stop... because you can't leave there without getting all those amazing fruits & veggies!!!! On the way home Rainee tries... but because she is completely tired and completely happy... she falls asleep. It is always a great day whenever we go to Tom's Farm... I love Tom's Farm...

Wednesday, April 21

Week In The Life...

Wasn't quite sure I was going to do this... I've had so much going on... but thought what better time to document our life... to remember a glimpse of what goes on in our week. So here are few photos of our week so far....

Rainee's really been into pretending to be a lion... and of course you have to have a lion's cave if you're a lion... so we made one our of boxes and furniture in a corner of the room... and she has been enjoying it so much. If she really wants to get cozy, we put some of her animal friends in there and she watches movies with them. She's been trying to get me in there... but it's such a small little cave... I'd take all the space... so I've been sitting on the side looking in. And since she's a lion, she chases her prey (me) all over the house... several times during the day... can I tell you I'm beat from trying not too be eaten. lol!!!

On Monday, Rainee came home with some little birds that were just so cute I had to get asho of her with them. Aren't they just the cutest thing ever... tweet tweet!!!

On Tuesdays, I help in Rainee's class... so I made sure I took plenty of pictures... and this one... I love because she's just coming into class... and she's always so excited when I'm there to share in her day... it's a blessing!

After school I always check my rear view mirror and I get to see this cute little face... so had to get a shot of it. Sooooooo happy it turned out!

And every night before we go to be we always always always read books... we usually read 5-8 books... but we have these little books that the school sends home for her to read... so she now reads to me... all 15 of them and I usually only get in one or two. I've wanted a photo of us reading together... cuz it's our special time together... but unless I put up the tripod, it wasn't going to happen.... but last night my nephew was going past the room so I snagged him to take this photo... it really is one of my favorite times in the day... so happy I was able to get this!!

Anyway... these are just a few moments of our week so far... I'm looking forward to capturing the everyday moments... of our week, so happy I decided to hop on the Week in the Life train!

Have a lovely day... and thanks so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 20

Fresh Eggs...

I love this Renaes House Kitchen Collection from Creative Imaginations... so I decided to make a card using both the Collection and the CI April Card Sketch. I also used the 2 Copic pens I have... love those pens... but a full set are still a bit out of my price range... maybe some day... Oh and how could I forget that I used the Real Woods... which are just the fun-est thing ever! If you haven't done one yet, there's still time post your card on the April Card Sketch Gallery.

Monday, April 19

Weekly Gratitude...

Doctors & Nurses. This last week I got phone call that my dad wasn't doing well and he was going into the hospital. Which that in itself was hard, but the fact that, I'm here in California and he's in South Dakota... really made my heart ache.

Because of the distance, I have to rely on the nurses and the doctor's in his rest home to care for him and to know what's best for him. So if they say... he needs to be admitted to the hospital... he needs to be admitted. Wonderful nurse, Sarah, is one I can always rely on... she tells me what's going on with my dad and she's right there if I have a question. I know sometimes the care they give is taken for granted... that we don't always take the time to thank them for doing their jobs... for providing peace of mind.

So this week, I am so grateful for all the doctors and nurses... especially for those who care for my dad every day. I thank you for persevering... thank you following a path, which personally impacts my life and the care of my father daily. From the bottom of my heart... I am grateful.

Saturday, April 17

Just A Little Toot...

Had to share the card I made with the Creative Imaginations April Sketch...
"You're So Tweet"... made it on the Catwalk. Very Excited!!! I didn't know until today... it's the first chance I've had to look since I've been dealing with my dad being in the hospital all week. Anyway... it made my day and just had to share my little toot!!

Also don't forget to enter the Creative Imaginations Card Sketch to win some awesome CI products... can't wait to see what you come up with.... Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 15

What's Your Favorite...

What is your favorite... City??? This is our new challenge at These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things... I love Paris, Nice, NYC, San Francisco, Chicago, San Diego, Minneapolis, Las Vegas, Puerto Plata, Monte Carlo... the list could go on and on... I love to travel... I love to experience different places, cultures, people, food. So to pick an all time favorite was going to fun to figure out...

So I decided to played a game with Rainee... I put down pictures of my favorites and asked her to help me choose... she'd point to one and I'd tell her about it....when I was there and the fun I had. She really enjoyed hearing about all the places I'd been... but then she asked me "What are my favorites cities, mommy?"... and of course I had to print out pictures of some of the cities she's been... San Diego, Huntington Beach, Anaheim, Las Vegas, Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Los Angeles, Hollywood... she really enjoyed seeing the different cities. Then as we sat there looking at all the pictures and the memories came flooding back to her... she got a big smile on her face and said... "I know what my favorite is... It's wherever you are!!!"

Which was perfect... how could I choose any one city after that statement? I know there are places I've been without my family... and I loved the experiences of traveling alone when I was younger... I also know I could have chosen any of the cities I had layed out, and it would have been a favorite... but honestly... my most favorite cities are the ones I share with my family.... our times together, wherever we are, are what makes each city special.... gotta love what kids say to make you think... so for me... my favorite city is... Wherever I am with my family.

This time you have a chance to win from our amazing sponsor... KIKI ART! So come along on a little trip with all of us at These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things... and share your favorite CITY...

Wednesday, April 14

Wild Animals...

Loved going to the Wild Animal Park last summer... I'd never (yes never) been to a zoo or a wild animal park my whole life... so this was a treat not only for Rainee, but for me as well. We had such fun seeing all the animals... my favorites were the giraffes... Rainee's favorites were the gorillas... Steve's favorite... elephants, which we couldn't get any good pictures of and could barely see because they were so far away... so on this lo, I decided to put in the lazy rhino instead... Anyway.... I did this layout with the sketch from Sketchy Thursday... simple and I think it's perfect for my photos.

Tuesday, April 13

5 Minutes for Mom's... Blog Party...

I am so thrilled that you could stop by! My name is Michelle and I’m a busy mom to a wonderful little girl, Rainee, and a wife to my husband, Steve, for 7 years!! I have been a graphic designer for over 30 years, but I am currently a stay at home mom, working on getting my own business up and running...which will be happening soon. Yeah! Finally!! I love spending time with my family... Photography has become something I am still learning, but I love love love taking pictures of my family, especially the everyday moments. I scrapbooked when I was in grade school and off and on since then... but really got the bug when my daughter was born. I enjoy sharing my work with other and making scrapbook/technique videos, when I get the chance, with Rainee. I am currently design team member for 'These are a few of my favorite things' and Creative Imaginations.

Here I share my love for my family in scrapbooking which is sprinkles throughout with photographs... challenges... videos... techniques, sketches... everyday moments of our life... favorite recipes on 'What's Cooking Sunday' and something I'm grateful for each week with 'Weekly Gratitude' .This is my place to share what I love.

This is my first Ultimate Blog Party and I’m so excited to be a part of this and get to visit your blog!! As for my top prizes I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to win…I’d have to say:

There are so many cool prizes to be won at this year’s Ultimate Blog Party, but my top three picks would be:

US5 – Baking Magic for Kids mini-cupcake kit for two winners. This kit contains 12 gourmet mini-cupcakes, unfrosted, with an assortment of frostings and decorations.
Provided by: Baking Magic for Kids
Follow here: Baking Magic Kids or Visit Our Fan Page: Baking Magic for Kids

US102 -$20 gift certificate for The Stamping Lady. Can be used for any scrapbooking or stamping classes/kits or for Stampin’ Up! supplies purchased through The Stamping Lady.
Provided by: The Stamping Lady, Tasha Hickert
Follow here: Stamping_Lady or Visit Our Fan Page: The Stamping Lady

US84 – One $25 Gift Certificate to
Provided by: Scraps of My Geek Life
Follow here: scrappinmichele or Visit Our Fan Page: Scraps of My Geek Life

Monday, April 12

Weekly Gratitude...

Responsibility. This week on our Spring Break things were going quite peacefully... then Thursday came... We had made an appointment for Champ to be groomed and Steve always takes him to the dog park before he goes in.... to help burn off all that morning energy Champ always seems to have.

They'd been gone for about 20 minutes when Steve called me to tell me Champ was bit by another dog... that he's bleeding bad... Ahhhh!... I called the vet and let them know they were coming in. There were several phone calls after that... and on one I found out the other dog's owner was with them, and was going to pay for everything. She was taking responsibility for her dog.

I was shocked... relieved... blessed... because when it was all said and done... it was over a $800.00's. Champ has never been to the vet for anything... except shots... we've been really lucky... so this was huge. I couldn't believe this woman was going to pay for it... especially after the vet gave us all a talking to about how off leach dog parks - are at your own risk... and if anything happens to your dog it's your responsibility, not the other dog owners. Even after hearing this from the vet, the woman still wanted pay for everything. She felt responsible.

Wow. That says a lot. I don't know about you, but I was raised that way too... to take responsibility... it doesn't matter if it's me... Steve... Rainee or Champ... if the fault lies with us... we need to do the right thing. And sometimes the right thing isn't always easy... or cheep. But it's the right thing to do.

I think it's important to instill this in our children being responsible is apart of doing the right thing, whether or not you like it... it's important. So today... I am completely thankful there are people who believe in doing the right thing... even when they can get off the hook... I'm thankful for this woman taking responsibility for the care of our sweet Champy-boy. I'm grateful.

Champ update... he has stitches on a wound that's about 8-10 inches long... it has a drain because he was bit so deep... which will be coming out in 5-7 days. He has to wear the cone until his stitches come out... about 2 weeks... which he's having a hard time with, spilling his water, bumping into everything and trying to figure out how to get around with this thing on his head. Poor guy! :( He's also be a bit out of it with the med they have him on... but he's home... and that's what matter. Rainee? Rainee's been upset about the whole thing... crying a lot... giving him more attention than ever. They both seem to be doing better, now that he's home and they are together.

Saturday, April 10

Creative Imaginations - April Sketch

This month the Creative Imaginations April Layout Sketch theme is April Showers brings May Flowers... The showers can be anything you like... showers of love, baby showers, wedding shower, showers of rain, showers of blessing or generosity... Would you like to win? Just hop over to Creative Imaginations blog for all the details on your chance to win a prize package of CI goodies.

And don't forget to watch out for the National Scrapbook Day Contest they're having... the prize is the IOD collection... which is soooooooo wonderful... I love it!

Friday, April 9

Grandpas Hugs & Kisses....

While reorganizing the studio again for the hundredth time... I stumbled upon a photo of me with my grandpa Grajczyk. When I saw it, it reminded me of other photo I'd taken of Rainee with her papa.

I have lots of photos with the two of them together, and I could have used anyone on them... but what I love most about these are... we are both visiting our grandpa... both giving them a kiss... plus, both photos were taken only a few miles away from each other in South Dakota.... AND... both Rainee and I were 4 years old...

I loved that...

How often does that happen??? So of course I had to do something with these 2 photos together... a lovely full circle moment. Has this ever happened to you?? Doesn't it make the memory even more special??? I just love this...

Thursday, April 8

Sketch... Card... Contest... Layout...

Hi everyone, happy Thursday! Here is the latest Creative Imaginations Card Sketch Challenge. I hope you have fun with it... be sure to go to CI's blog for the details.

Here is my card done with the sketch. Couldn't resist doing a little bird with this sketch!

Also, National Scrapbook Day is just around the corner and CI's blog has a fabulous announcement today you don't want to miss for one lucky person for their National Scrapbook Day Contest!!! Be sure to check it out!!!

Now for my layout... while at the Wild Animal Park in San Diego last summer, Rainee decided her favorite animals were the gorillas. So when we came across this fun statue... we all decided we needed a 'family photo'... we were laughing so much I'm surprised the photo turned out as well as it did...

I love this photo... it's silly... it's fun... and it's not often we're all in a photo together... I just love it!!!

Wednesday, April 7

Remember Home...

When I saw the Sketchy Thursday sketch for this week, I knew what I wanted to scrap...

For me, it was one of the most touching moments which happened on our trip to South Dakota... We always take a drive... and we always go by the old Grajczyk farm. But on this trip I wasn't driving... I was in the backseat with my dad... and this time when we reached where the old Grajczyk homestead once stood... we stopped... and as I looked out the window passed my father, I could see tears in his eyes of what use to be. I can't imagine what was going through his mind... maybe he was thinking of... his childhood... his mother... his father... his siblings... of how hard he worked the farm and how now it's only a memory. Or maybe he was thinking how did 84 years fly by so quickly... where did the time go?

It was a difficult moment... as we all looked out to where his 'home' used to be. All those stories he told of the farm... of growing up... came drifting back into my heart... all those memories snuck in and overwhelmed me.

It reminded me of how times flies by in an instant... but it's the memories we make which take us back to the places we've been and the life we've lived. Memories are not just to be held on to, but to be shared so others can appreciate what you've done or where you've been or how you lived. That is why I love scrapbooking so much... all the memories made today, tomorrow or even yesterday... I can hold on to, look back on... and share with those I love. It's a blessing to share in the memory of anther's life. And I feel blessed to have had a glimpse of the life my father lived... as he remembered home.

Tuesday, April 6

A&W Traditions Shared...

I can't believe how many memories were brought back to mind on our visit to South Dakota with my family. I'd been there without them, visiting my dad... but this trip, brought memories I hadn't thought about for years.

My Grandfather Grajczyk, always enjoyed a nice cold glass of A&W Root Beer, and whenever we were in town he would take us kids to the corner A&W for a mug. At that time you could get real glass mugs filled with root beer.... he would have the large 'papa' mug and we'd have the 4" kids mug. We would sit together, enjoying our root beer and talk about everything. It was always a favorite thing to do when visiting our grandpa.

On this trip, we all went down to the same corner A&W... my dad, Steve, Rainee and I... where we shared a cup of root beer. It was hard to believe this is where I sat all those years ago with my grandpa and here we were with Rainee's. It was wonderful to be back, enjoying a lovely afternoon with papa... they may not have the glass mugs anymore, but the place is the same and so is the root beer. It was a beautiful walk down memory lane, sharing a childhood memory with my family....

Materials: Paper: Colorbok, Recollections, sei, Creative Imaginations, Ribbon: American Craft, Rick-Rack: Wrights, Tags: Jillibean Soup, Creative Imaginations, Buttons: Joann's, Chipboard: Colorbok, Recollections, Punch: Martha Stewart, Letter Stickers: Jenni Bowlin, Journaling holder: A&W French Fry Package.

Monday, April 5

Weekly Gratitude...

Cooking. Ever since I was I little girl I've enjoyed it. While I was cooking this week I was reminded of the blessings I received with those who taught me to cook, they are some of my favorite memories...

My grandmother... she was wonderful at everything she put her hand to... she always had something in the oven or on the stove... her home was always filled with wonderful aromas. We didn't get to see her often, but when we did, she'd get us kids involved in the kitchen and I loved it... I loved helping and couldn't wait to see what we made. I remember her prune kolachi's... they were always one of my favorites! With both my mom and grandmother no longer here, I am lucky to have my aunt Dolly to give me the recipes I enjoyed with her. It's such a joy making those same things I made with her... now with my daughter.

Homemade bread... this is from my grandfather. He baked his own bread.. every day. Whenever we visited him, I'd get up early to help him... and then we'd share the first slice together. To this day whenever I make bread, it reminds me of him. There is nothing like homemade bread.

My mother, she didn't think she was a great cook, not like her mom, but if you ask my sisters and brother, she did make the best potato salad! She also liked to experiment with recipes or different foods... like when she made frog legs... and we watched them jump around in the frying pan. Some of the things she made didn't always turn out great, but I enjoyed being apart of trying something new. Because of her, I love making different things... and know that it's okay if they don't turn out... it's the joy of trying that's important.

The perfect over-easy eggs with my dad. Making breakfast with my dad was our thing... he showed me how to make eggs, bacon and pancakes. To this day, I still watch the dancing water in my frying pan... and am reminded of my dad showing me the exact same thing... and telling me 'You'll know when the pan is hot enough and ready for cooking your pancakes when the water dances.' Such a beautiful childhood memory... which I now share with Rainee every time we make pancakes together.

I may not be a chef, but I do enjoy cooking/baking. I feel blessed to have had such wonderful influences in my life who have helped me along the way to become someone who enjoys not only the end result, but the process... of cooking.