… after being buried under tons of paperscrapping tools and paper and eyelets and chipboard and more paper!

We are having the grandest time at my friend Jessica’s Stories in Hand course ( and I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re in it too! ๐Ÿ˜† )! It’s so incredibly awesome to see so much creativity and so much storytelling coming together in one Spraground from all ends of the world! The course gallery is filled with wonderful works of art and the forums are overflowing with great reminiscing, and–best of all–friendships are in the process of developing or strengthening on the Spraground!

I am in a bit of a euphoric state (hehe) because I’ve finally finished my Stories in Hand binder, which houses the amazing system that Jes has designed for gathering and telling stories. Part of the happiness comes from finally, finally, finally getting to use all these tools in my scrapping drawers and shelves that have heretofore been referred to only as The Hoard. ๐Ÿ˜† Can you spell g.u.i.l.t.-f.r.e.e.? I used to bite my knuckles every time someone mentions “paperscrapping materials” because I know I have a ton of unused stuff. Not anymore! YEAH! ๐Ÿ˜›

Before I put up the evidence of hands at work at more than a keyboard, here’s a little story:

When the course started, dh came home to a room filled with papers, eyelets, punchers, glue sticks and glue rollers, a brayer and a Cropadile… and said, “What is going on? What is all this?”

See, he’s used to coming home and seeing me create on my beloved Wilson compy. I don’t think he has ever seen me get messy (or mess up our room) with paperscrapping stuff.

So I answered him, with a quick glance up from punching tabs with my corner puncher, “Oh, just Jessica’s new course that we’re having on the Spraground…”

Well. I have to say, my hubby is one amazing man. Since that fateful day, he comes home and doesn’t ask about the metal ruler and the cutter and the strips of paper lying about. In fact, he accepts them as the most natural thing in the world. ๐Ÿ˜†

So. Here’s what he had to put up with while I wasn’t done with the binder:


(And nope, I’m not showing you what our floor looked like. This is embarrassing enough! hahaha!)

And here’s the final product:


The binder on the left is what contains the meat of the system and the little notebook on the right plays a supporting role. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here are the front and back views of the binder:


Psst. Let’s pretend you don’t see that the stitching is crooked, okay? ๐Ÿ˜‰

And here’s what the binder looks like inside! Open sesame! ๐Ÿ˜€


(I made the envelope and quote strips to go behind the three main sections–Roots, Family, and Self–because I wanted an excuse to use raffia. ๐Ÿ˜† Just kidding… I love quotes and often I’ll find one and scribble it on a piece of paper… and when the time comes that I need it, more often than not, I’ll forget where that little piece of paper is. So I thought, hey, why not make some little strips that look nicer than those hastily-torn scraps and have them all in this neat little binder, so I never have to look for them again? Hence the quote envelopes and strips were born. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Here’s a closer look at the prompts (color-coded according to the tab they fall under–Red for Roots, Green for Family, Blue for Self)… and the inside prompt-pages that contain Jessica’s Stories in Hand magic!


The Family tab page, front and back:


And the Self page, which I renamed “Me” ๐Ÿ˜€ :


A few more pages from inside, including some additions I made to personalize the pages:



(I cut little slits where the photo corner diagonals are, and then printed each photo on regular photo paper. Then I inserted it into the slits. This way, if I ever feel the need to change the photos, I can easily slip these existing ones out and re-insert the updated photos in the slits. ๐Ÿ˜€ )

And the little jotter, of course!


And now that the binder and the notebook are all ready, let the story-gathering and story-telling begin! YAY!

On other fronts…

Thank you sooo much for all your kind wishes and your precious prayers during the rough month of sickies that my three kids were going through. I think it’s pretty safe to say they’ve finally scaled the walls and are now on the way to getting much better.

Before these past few weeks, I used to think that pneumonia was something someone got if they didn’t take care of a cough or a cold, or if you let a wet t-shirt dry on your back (yep, that’s totally unscientific, and Amy, Shell, and my other awesome doctor-friends, don’t you worry–I’m aware these are probably old wives’ tales that my nanny told me when I was a kid ๐Ÿ˜› ). Well, this whole bout with the double-whammy pneumonia of my three babes began with a cough on the first day, a fever on the next, and by the 3rd day when I was at the pedia, it was pneumonia. (Sound byte from me to doctor: “In two days? Two days and it’s pneumonia? Pneumonia?”

It’s a good thing my kids’ pedia did not stick her face up mine and say, “Read my lips: P.N.E.U.M.O.N.I.A.” ๐Ÿ˜†

And I call it a double-whammy, because after 10 days, they did get well. But then in the evening of that very same day that the pedia announced that they were clear (they were feverless, after all), my youngest suddenly had high fever, and we were in the boxing ring for Round Two! *sigh* I think I’ve made friends for life with the salesgirl at the drugstore, from the sheer amount of medicines I bought and trips I made to her little medicine kingdom. ๐Ÿ™‚

So I’ve taken that Excel file and dumped it in the trashcan (with relish! Aah! The end of all those medications! The kids are well!) and now this is the only thing that will remain on my bathroom counter for the next few days:


Halloween Hangover

So… since the kids were on medical “house arrest” during Halloween, they unfortunately didn’t get to go trick-or-treating. But they’re great kids–they watched the other kids go trick-or-treating from their bedroom window, clapped their hands as the parade and band marched around the streets, and… more than a week after, transformed themselves into…


PS. Yes, those are Spiderman figures they’re holding, and yes, they were watching a Spiderman vid. ๐Ÿ™‚

I have *not* forgotten…

…the last set of my friend Lynne’s and my Fall into Fall freebie collab! Here, finally, are the elements that go with Set 4 (and coordinate with the first three sets that we released).

Because this is the last set of elements, we’ve filled it up with loads of stuff!

Here’s what you’ll find in the Fall Into Fall Set 4 Elements pack:

Fall into Fall Elements - Set 4

Fall into Fall Elements - Set 4

What is in this pack: 17 realistic elements (18 if you count the glass frame which comes in shadowed and no-shadows versions).

Click HERE to download the freebie! And thank you for the love you leave in my blog as you download. ๐Ÿ™‚
Alrighty! Now on to the other stuff that fills my to-do list! Will be back soon, I promise!

In the meantime, huge (((((((hugs))))))) to you, my sweeties!

Wait! One last thing! ๐Ÿ˜€

PS. I just discovered a little button on my dashboard that says “Poll”… hmmm. So I wanted to play around with it and try it out. Will you join me?

See, on this Stories in Hand venture, I discovered that I enjoy scrapping with real stuff and playing around with my hands (I used to do a lot of crafty stuff in my former life, after all ๐Ÿ˜› ) but I’ve also discovered that I really am a digital girl at heart. I love hybrid because there are just some things that can’t be done in digi (say, have tabs that really stick out of pages, or have real holes where eyelets have been pushed through the cardstock), but then I really, really love brushes and layers and the magic that is possible in digi… plus I really like definitely love that Delete key! ๐Ÿ˜†

So… let’s try out PollDaddy and you tell me: are you a paperlovin’ scrapper, a digiscrapper hopelessly hooked to the Dark Side, or are you right there in the middle-hybrid?

28 thoughts on “Resurfacing…

  1. I love your quotes strips!! What a great idea! Sorry to hear about your boys. I am glad to hear that they are on the mend. Brogan had croup during Halloween so we can relate to that. Miss you, my friend!


  2. Hi sweetie!!! So glad that your kiddos are much better. Cute little spideys on that couch.

    Love your binder. Someday (hopefully soon) I’ll actually get to make mine. I’m so tired of my life being too complicated to allow “ME” time.

    I’m missing all my GF’s & Chicago Babes unbelievably!!!!

    Thanks for the elements. I love the cotton!!!! I grew up in the country with cotton fields abounding. Thanks for the memory spark.

    Love you bunches!!!!


  3. Hey … thanks for the update and great post and spectacular freebie!
    I’m in Breckenridge, enjoying WATCHING my kids ski! I thought i would hate the sidelines, but i’m getting great shots that i normally would miss if i were skiing! I am well, taking care, relaxiing! Not getting anything done! forgive me for not being on the SIH forum much! (shameful!) hugs!


  4. Thank you, Liv!! I just LOVE your style. I am SO gad the boys are better. Your SIH binder looks A M A Z I N G you are so creative & thought of things to do that just boggle my mind! Take care….can’t wait to see what you do next! Muc love!


  5. Your album turned out great–I’m please with mine as well (suppose I should take pics too). Sorry the boys missed the Halloween celebration-I had a sick kid a few years back over Halloween, but his siblings were generous and shared some of their loot which made it better. Thanks for the “freebie” too. Even though it is now winter where I live, I am behind as usual on all the pics!


  6. Pingback: ยป Blog Archive » Stories in Hand…

  7. Liv, you are such a sweetie! Thanks so much for the freebie. It is so good to hear that your babies are well again! Thanks too for letting us get a good look at your Stories in Hand Project, I love the quote idea! I have been so tied up, I haven’t been able to even begin mine yet.


  8. Absolutely LOVE the quote idea added to your book. Love the eyelets too. I think you may be trying to lead us ever so slightly away from the dark side! : )

    Glad your kiddos are on the mend. Thanks for sharing!


  9. I Love what you’ve done with the binder! So how did you print it double sided? Those quote strips are an excellent idea! Can I steal/lift/borrow it? You have such an uplifting writing style! I’ll just have to subscribe!


  10. Liv, what a fun post! I just loved reading all that has been going on in your life and it was like getting a phone call from an old friend! I love your quotes idea for the SIH. I love the eyelets (picture me adding eyelets to my SIH) I love the pockets, must copy this!
    I’m so glad your little boys are feeling better. Who says you only get pneumonia in cold climates? I’m sure you know that once having had this, they will be more susceptible to it in the future, sad, but true. Just keep a close eye on those little angels.

    PS Love the dual spidey-man!!



  11. Great job on your binder — and why would I expect anything less.

    Thank you also for the gorgeous element kit I picked up while I was browsing your blog.

    Love your work!


  12. I found your blog through Jessicas site and had to comment on your great idea for your quotes. Way to make this an even more versatile system. I am loving this and I will be signing up for more classes so I can go hybrid.


  13. Love your quote tabs…was that in the class…did I miss something? Colours look great and well done considering all you have been dealing with. My little guys are now 8 and we went through about 2 years of masks, pneumonia, steroids….they have pulled through and your little spidermen look like troopers…. Well done!
    Sandra d.


  14. I haven’t visited in a while, but Marcie said you had a gorgeous SIH binder; you do!! I am going to lift some ideas! I wish I had put photos on the category related pages and with your method I can accomplish that.



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