Welcome! I'm Melissa Gross, a dynamic and interactive teacher and speaker called to lead and encourage Christian women in their walk with the Lord through classes, workshops and retreats incorporating Bible study, devotionals, illustrated Bible journaling, paper crafting and mixed media projects that merge faith and art bringing God’s Word to life so you can find renewed excitement to dive into the Word, use your creative gifts, and apply the Truth as you draw closer to the Lord and serve Him in your everyday life. This site is where I share my everyday adventures, Bible Journaling pages, scrapbook layouts, handmade cards, and other crafty projects, as well as information on my upcoming workshops and events. I also post photos, ramble about books I'm reading, stuff I'm organizing, and other FUN bits & pieces of my wonderful life.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Inspiration Is Everywhere!

When I first sat down over two weeks ago and decided to share my recently created layouts and where the inspiration came from for each one, I had not yet taken time to read and watch the class materials for the Inspired Scrapbooking workshop. Rather than a theme designed to help us tell inspired stories, this month the topic in the workshop is Inspiration! We were encouraged to "set some healthy intentions - designed to increase our aptitude for bumping into inspiration and experiencing happy, creative accidents." Stacy provided a list of possible activities to choose from (like listen to music you don't normally listen to or visit an art gallery). Here's a look at my inspiration activities for the month.

My blog series Where Does My Inspiration Come From helped me see that I'm inspired to create layouts by a variety of things including: photos, stories, products, online classes & workshops,  upcoming events, scrapbooking goals, blog posts, quotes, sketches, and design team assignments.

This list is not necessarily all-inclusive since I was looking at layouts created over a short period of time during which I was taking a couple of inspiring online classes and preparing page kits to take to a crop as well as completing layouts for the LSS design team. I know that I'm also often inspired by other scrapbooker's layouts (as evidenced by my scraplifting tendencies), challenges, listening to podcasts, and the desire to try new techniques.

Here's a look at the second layout I created for Challenge 1 (use a repeating geometric design) in the Stashbusters Anonymous workshop - it was inspired by an example on the classroom blog that used arrows and stitching AND also inspired by a recent post by Tammy about using gelatos to create a background AND inspired by my goal to complete our 10th Anniversary Cruise albums.


Of course, inspiration is not all about creating layouts, it's also about being stimulated or motivated to do something . . . maybe it's organizing a closet or obtaining a degree or eradicating malaria in a third world country. One of the things that has always motivated me in many areas of life is reading. When I'm looking for inspiration and motivation to exercise or eat healthy, I like to read magazines and books about those topics. If I'm working on organizing the house, I like to thumb through a magazine with articles and tips for organizing. I've definitely been taking time for these things lately!

(Yes, I've been very motivated to eat healthy, exercise, organize, declutter and clean! I'll be sharing more about those things soon!)

I also find inspiration by setting challenges and goals for myself. For example, one of my goals (which may take a couple of years) is to read the Pulitzer Prize winners in fiction. So far I've completed three winners and am currently reading the 2010 winner, Tinkers.

To complete the Inspired Scrapbooking workshop challenge to do something different this month, I also watched several sessions of the Right- Brainers in Business Summit and listened to a TED talk on creativity.

I've enjoyed taking a look at inspiration in my life this month. How about you - what inspires you in your scrapbooking? ... in your other creative endeavors? ... in your life in general?

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Where Does My Inspiration Come From? (14)

This post is the fourteenth (and final) in a two-week series of daily posts where I'm sharing my recently created layouts along with the inspiration that prompted me to create them. I tend to think that I always start with a photo when I scrapbook, however as I looked back through a recent batch of layouts, I realized that the inspiration to sit down at my craft table and create a layout comes from many different sources.

Title - Senior Prom
Layout Inspiration - Photos
Design Inspiration - Product Kit

I chose the photos for today's layout to go with the Bo Bunny kit I used for my Easter 1972 and Me & Grandma layouts I shared last week. These photos were in the storage binder that holds photos of me during my growing up years and show a progression as I prepared for the senior prom. I really like the way these photos look with the products and am happy to have this layout in my Early Years album.


Do you have any childhood or teenage photos that you're planning to scrap?

Thank you for joining me and adding your comments as I've shared where my inspiration comes from these past two weeks. I'll be back tomorrow with a round-up post with my thoughts and observations on where my inspiration comes from. You can click here to see all Where Does My Inspiration Come From? posts.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Where Does My Inspiration Come From? (13)

This post is the thirteenth in a two-week series of daily posts where I'm sharing my recently created layouts along with the inspiration that prompted me to create them. I tend to think that I always start with a photo when I scrapbook, however as I looked back through a recent batch of layouts, I realized that the inspiration to sit down at my craft table and create a layout comes from many different sources.

Title - Docked & Anchored, Royal Promenade, Casino plus
Layout Inspiration - Scrapbooking Goal
Design Inspiration - Divided Page Protectors

Some of you may remember the album I started back in 2011 to document our 10th Anniversary Cruise. I completed lots of layouts for that album, however I still have some photos and stories I want to add before calling that project complete. I have set a goal to complete that project (which has grown to two albums!) in the next few months. The three layouts I'm sharing today were inspired by my goal of getting this project done.

I flipped through my remaining photos and made a list of the layouts I wanted to complete. I like to include different size and types of pages in my albums, and I found several groups of photos that would work perfect in divided page protectors. Here are the three quick layouts I put together to go in the album section featuring photos of the cruise ship. This first one uses the front and back of a 10"x12" divided page protector. I simply slipped in my photos and used one of the spaces as a title block.



Next, I used the front of a 12x12 divided page protector to house photos of the Royal Promenade.


I then had the back of that page protector to use for a few shots of miscellaneous places on board the ship.


I'll be sharing more layouts for our 10th Anniversary Cruise album in the next few weeks . . . and hopefully the completed albums within a couple of months.

Have you added any divided page protectors to your albums lately?

Click here to see all Where Does My Inspiration Come From? posts.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Where Does My Inspiration Come From? (12)

This post is the twelfth in a two-week series of daily posts where I'm sharing my recently created layouts along with the inspiration that prompted me to create them. I tend to think that I always start with a photo when I scrapbook, however as I looked back through a recent batch of layouts, I realized that the inspiration to sit down at my craft table and create a layout comes from many different sources.

Title - An Evening With Dick Van Dyke
Layout Inspiration - Story
Design Inspiration - Page Kit

A couple of years ago we enjoyed a fun evening out in Dallas, listening to Dick Van Dyke sing and tell stories as part of a quartet called the Vantastix. One of the members of the group shared the story about how they all got together, and that story became the basis for my layout.

When I attended the Scrapbook Expo back in February, my friend Amy gave me one of the page kits she received because she was attending and cropping at the event for the entire weekend. I decided to use the papers from that kit for this layout. Originally I thought I would create a one-page layout, but since the journaling block containing the story was pretty large and I wanted to include several photos plus the tickets and the envelope they came in, I decided a two-page layout would work best.


Here's a closer look at the story that inspired this layout. (Remember you can click on the photo for a larger version.)


Do you often have large blocks of journaling? How do you fit it into the design of your layout?

Click here to see all Where Does My Inspiration Come From? posts.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Where Does My Inspiration Come From (11)

This post is the eleventh in a two-week series of daily posts where I'm sharing my recently created layouts along with the inspiration that prompted me to create them. I tend to think that I always start with a photo when I scrapbook, however as I looked back through a recent batch of layouts, I realized that the inspiration to sit down at my craft table and create a layout comes from many different sources.

Title - Happy Birthday Daddy
Layout Inspiration - Scrapbooking Goal
Design Inspiration - OnlineWorkshop

The Stashbusters Anonymous workshop started a couple of weeks ago, and I'm hoping to complete at least one layout based on each of the twelve challenges. The first challenge was to create a layout using a repetition of geometric shapes. I based the design of my layout on Aly Dosdall's example, replacing the hexagons she used with squares.

As I've mentioned previously, one of my goals this year is to scrap this year's photos and stories during the year, so I flipped through my 2014 storage binder and found two photos that I thought would work perfect on this layout. I used scraps from my blue scrap file for all the squares and copied Aly's border idea of adding faux stitching around the edge (with a white pen).


I'll be sharing more layouts inspired by this workshop over the next few weeks. Are any of you taking this class? Have you been inspired by the challenges?

Click here to see all Where Does My Inspiration Come From? posts.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Where Does My Inspiration Come From? (10)

This post is the tenth in a two-week series of daily posts where I'm sharing my recently created layouts along with the inspiration that prompted me to create them. I tend to think that I always start with a photo when I scrapbook, however as I looked back through a recent batch of layouts, I realized that the inspiration to sit down at my craft table and create a layout comes from many different sources.

Title - Let's Go Where We Have Never Been
Layout Inspiration - Quote
Design Inspiration - Product Line

As I was flipping through the new KaiserCraft Now Boarding papers in my April Scrappin' Goodtime Design Team kit, I was drawn to a quote on one of the patterned papers (that was designed to be cut apart into 4x6 and/or 3x4 pieces). The quote reads - Let's Go Where We Have Never Been. Robbie and I love to travel, so I was immediately inspired to use this quote as the basis for a layout.

I flipped through the limited photos I had with me at the crop I hosted earlier this month and found a photo of me and Robbie ready to set out for a day trip to a local park. I snapped the photo before we headed out using the timer on the camera, and I like that we are heading out for an adventure and we have our hats on the counter in front of us.

The travel theme of the Now Boarding papers made it easy to put together this grid design layout. I mounted the title and photo together to created the top block, then punched sections out of each corner to resemble a ticket. I added three blocks along the bottom, embellishing one with a wood veneer rectangle of hearts and adding a popped-up embellishment to another. With the addition of a little twine and a couple of other popped-up embellishments, this layout is definitely a favorite from all the layouts I've created so far this year.


Have you ever been inspired to create a layout based on a quote or used a quote as your title?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Where Does My Inspiration Come From? (9)

This post is the ninth in a two-week series of daily posts where I'm sharing my recently created layouts along with the inspiration that prompted me to create them. I tend to think that I always start with a photo when I scrapbook, however as I looked back through a recent batch of layouts, I realized that the inspiration to sit down at my craft table and create a layout comes from many different sources.

Title - Incline Railway
Layout Inspiration - Photos
Design Inspiration - Design Team Assignment

When I saw the new KaiserCraft Now Boarding collection of papers and embellishments, I knew I wanted to use it for my April Design Team kit. Luckily, Susie, the owner of Scrappin' Goodtime, is always accommodating and wants her design team members to feel inspired by the products we're using, so I was able to choose several papers, an embellishment pack, and a sticker sheet from this collection while I was there for a four-day crop earlier this month.

I had a limited number of photos with me at the crop, however I had brought along one storage binder with photos from our Tennessee Road Trip last summer! I pulled a group of photos from our ride on the Incline Railway on Lookout Mountain and created a one-page layout with these FUN products. (Check back tomorrow to see another layout using this product line.)


I have enjoyed working on the Design Team at Scrappin' Goodtime where our assignment each month is simply to create projects using the products provided - we're free to create layouts, cards, canvases, art journal pages, banners .... basically whatever we're inspired to create. The projects we create are displayed in the store for six months, then returned to us. It's FUN to walk through the store and see displays like the one below featuring the three layouts and cards I made back in February. Most exciting, however, was when I noticed one of the other croppers scraplifting one of my layouts and using my design choices as inspiration for her own photos and stories!


Have you worked on a Design Team? Were you inspired by the products and assignments you received?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Where Does My Inspiration Come From? (8)


HAPPY EASTER Y'ALL!

This post is the eighth in a two-week series of daily posts where I'm sharing my recently created layouts along with the inspiration that prompted me to create them. I tend to think that I always start with a photo when I scrapbook, however as I looked back through a recent batch of layouts, I realized that the inspiration to sit down at my craft table and create a layout comes from many different sources.

Title - Easter 2013
Layout Inspiration - Photos
Design Inspiration - Sketch

The photos from Easter Sunday last year were the initial inspiration for this layout. I pulled some coordinating papers and embellishments to go with them and created a kit to take to my crop earlier this month. At the crop, one of the other ladies was giving away her copies of PageMaps and PageMaps 2! I really like using sketches, so I nabbed those from the giveaway table the first day. I found a sketch in one of them that I used as the starting point for this 2-page layout. Another lady had gifted each of us with a small Ziploc bag filled with punched butterflies in a variety of colors - some of which you can see scattered across this page.


In the online classes I take and on scrapbooking message boards and blogs, there's often a discussion about scrapping events & holidays- some people say they never scrap events or holidays while others scrap every event and holiday? Personally I like to create a layout for most events and holidays as a record of our year. I think it would be wonderful if I had a two-page spread like this featuring photos from each of the holidays we celebrated when I was growing up.

How about you? Do you like to scrap events and holidays?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Where Does My Inspiration Come From? (7)

This post is the seventh in a two-week series of daily posts where I'm sharing my recently created layouts along with the inspiration that prompted me to create them. I tend to think that I always start with a photo when I scrapbook, however as I looked back through a recent batch of layouts, I realized that the inspiration to sit down at my craft table and create a layout comes from many different sources.

Title - Me & Grandma
Layout Inspiration - Photo
Design Inspiration - Product Kit

Today's layout was inspired by the same Bo Bunny products as yesterday's layout - while I had those products spread out on my table, I flipped through my storage binders looking for photos that would work with the beautiful papers and embellishments. The photos in my storage binders are ones that I know I want to scrap, either because it's a special photo or there's a story attached to it or it represents an event in our life. I love this photo of me and Grandma taken when I was a young teenager and am so happy to have added it to my Early Years album.

The background paper I chose was very ornate, with pre-printed embellishments all along the top. The bottom of the paper was rather bland, so I used the rub-on package that came with the kit to fill it in and give the layout some balance. I like that the rub-ons are slightly darker and add some weight to the bottom of the page. I included one of the chipboard borders across the middle of the page (with washi tape at each end) to separate my photo and title - quick, simple, and lovely!

Do you use product collection kits to inspire you in your scrapbooking?

Friday, April 18, 2014

One Little Word - April

So far this year, I've been reading and responding to the prompts in Ali Edward's One Little Word class at the beginning of each month, however I've just gotten around to completing the April prompts. As in previous months, we were encouraged to review our intentions and action items and to fill out the reflection card for March.


There were two parts to the main prompt for this month. The first was to connect with our word and see it working our lives through photos. Ali printed nine photos that she added one line of journaling to and slipped into a 9-pocket divided page protector. I decided to skip this part of the prompt since I've already started creating a photo collage of FUN photos each month. I'm printing the collages and adding them to my One Little Word binder, so I'm definitely seeing my word working in my life each month through photos.

The second part of the prompt was to let go of something. Ali printed a full page photo of herself, then journaled about what she's letting go of (fear) in order to have more of her word (thrive) in her life. I scrolled through my photos and found one that I thought would work perfect for this prompt . . . even though it's not really a great photo and is a little blurry. My personal trainer captured this on my iPhone during one of our appointments. I printed the photo on an 81/2 x 11 page and added my journaling with a Slick Writer.

Journaling reads: This year as I strive to focus on and add more FUN in our life, I'm also giving up unhealthy habits: not taking time to exercise regularly, overeating, and maintaining relationships that zap my joy. I'm striving to lose weight, exercise most days, add more activity into my daily life, eat healthy (and less), and find joy in the little things on a daily basis! I'm feeling good about my efforts so far and am thrilled that Robbie is embracing the healthy living habits right along with me. We're both exercising regularly and tracking our eating. I'm even working out with a personal trainer - letting go of my fear of exercising in public and using the weight machines.

I'm happy to report that all our efforts are beginning to pay off as we are both feeling good and losing weight - Robbie's down 15 pounds and I'm down 11 as of today!! I'm also feeling stronger and my energy level is much better than it was throughout most of last year.

How are you doing with your word this year? Have you let go of something in order to more fully focus on and incorporate your word into your life?

Where Does My Inspiration Come From? (6)

This post is the sixth in a two-week series of daily posts where I'm sharing my recently created layouts along with the inspiration that prompted me to create them. I tend to think that I always start with a photo when I scrapbook, however as I looked back through a recent batch of layouts, I realized that the inspiration to sit down at my craft table and create a layout comes from many different sources.

Title - Easter 1972
Layout Inspiration - Photos
Design Inspiration - Product Kit

I'm slowly but surely continuing to remove and organize the photos from Grandma's old magnetic photo albums, discovering lots of treasures along the way! I found a fantastic photo of me and my sister sitting on the hood of a car eating Easter eggs. I really didn't know much of the story until I discovered another photo from that same day with Grandma's writing on the back noting the year and location. (Without these handwritten notes, I might not have realized that we were celebrating Easter in Texas with Grandma that year!) I scanned both of  these photos so there would be a digital copy and set them aside to use on a layout.


As I was preparing for the four-day crop I hosted earlier this month, I pulled out the Bo Bunny Back to Basics product kit I had received in the mail last summer. I had slipped this kit onto my Project Files shelf and completely forgotten about it! I spread all the papers and embellishments out on my desk and then started looking for photos and stories that would work with these products. The Easter photos were the first ones I chose, and I love the way this layout turned out. I double matted the photos into one block and cut the Who, Why, Where, When boxes from one of the pieces of patterned papers. This layout went together very quickly with the addition of letter stickers, wood numbers, and vellum butterflies.


I often read comments from scrapbookers who say they don't worry about including dates or names or locations on their layouts because for them it's really all about the story. However, I'm so glad Grandma thought these things were important, otherwise I might have thought these photos were taken at our home in Mississippi and not realized that my parents had traveled all that way with three very small children to be with Grandma for Easter.

Have you discovered any old photos lately that you want to put on a layout? Where you lucky enough to find handwritten notes on the back of the photos?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Where Does My Inspiration Come From? (5)

This post is the fifth in a two-week series of daily posts where I'm sharing my recently created layouts along with the inspiration that prompted me to create them. I tend to think that I always start with a photo when I scrapbook, however as I looked back through a recent batch of layouts, I realized that the inspiration to sit down at my craft table and create a layout comes from many different sources.

Title - Melissa's Chocolate Stash Container
Layout Inspiration - Blog Post
Design Inspiration - Photos

After cleaning and decluttering our laundry room, I shared the story of the container that holds our cookie cutter collection here on my blog. After writing that post, I was inspired to create a layout to document the story in our albums.

I mounted my two photos together on a piece of white cardstock, then let the colors (blues and reds) in the photos determine my choice of papers and embellishments. Since the top of the container included hearts, I added strips of a heart ribbon and a punched heart as embellishments.



Do you ever use your blog posts as inspiration for creating layouts?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Where Does My Inspiration Come From? (4)

This post is the fourth in a two-week series of daily posts where I'm sharing my recently created layouts along with the inspiration that prompted me to create them. I tend to think that I always start with a photo when I scrapbook, however as I looked back through a recent batch of layouts, I realized that the inspiration to sit down at my craft table and create a layout comes from many different sources.

Title - Superbowl Pizza Nachos
Layout Inspiration - Story
Design Inspiration - Online Class

The initial inspiration for today's layout came from the Scrapbook Outside The Pocket workshop at BPC. Monica Bradford shared a layout using 4x6 and 3x4 cads to create a "T" design, and I knew that I wanted to try it!  I liked that Monica's sample layout featured football photos, reinforcing the "T" theme (since the goal is to make Touchdowns, right?). I flipped through my 2014 storage binder and found the photo of the new recipe Robbie tried out on Superbowl Sunday. I had printed this photo with the intention of sharing a story about Robbie's cooking inspiration. I then flipped through my pocket cards to find ones that would work with the photo and really like the way this turned out.


I used one of the cards for my journaling, however I goofed when I was writing it out and wrote "tacos" instead of "nachos" - but it was easy to fix!


Are you taking any scrapbooking classes now that inspire you to create layouts?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Where Does My Inspiration Come From? (3)

This post is the third in a two-week series of daily posts where I'm sharing my recently created layouts along with the inspiration that prompted me to create them. I tend to think that I always start with a photo when I scrapbook, however as I looked back through a recent batch of layouts, I realized that the inspiration to sit down at my craft table and create a layout comes from many different sources.

Title - 2014 Title Page
Layout Inspiration - Scrapbooking Goal
Design Inspiration - FUN

One of my scrapbooking goals this year is to scrap stories and photos from this year during the year. I like to scrapbook whatever inspires me, however when I'm looking for photos I often start flipping through my oldest storage binders first. While I'm still not concerned with scrapping in order, I am starting with my newest photos first when looking for photos to go with an inspiration. So, when my first batch of photos for 2014 arrived from Shutterfly, I decided to create the title page for my 2014 album right away.

Since this is the first year I've chosen a word to focus on for the year, I decided to use that word as the focus and inspiration for the layout. I chose a photo of me and Robbie on New Year's Day along with several  photos depicting some of the FUN things I want to include in our everyday life this year. I flipped through my pink and red papers (pulling those colors from our photo) and chose my background papers. The circle design is so much FUN that I decided to use it for most of the remaining photos.


I used the photo of the numbers and letters on our fridge as my title block and a 3x4 card for my journaling.


Do you have scrapbooking goals that inspire you to create?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Where Does My Inspiration Come From? (2)

This post is the second in a two-week series of daily posts where I'm sharing my recently created layouts along with the inspiration that prompted me to create them. I tend to think that I always start with a photo when I scrapbook, however as I looked back through a recent batch of layouts, I realized that the inspiration to sit down at my craft table and create a layout comes from many different sources.

Title - Flowers
Layout Inspiration - Upcoming Event
Design Inspiration - "New" Products & Online Class

As I was preparing for my fourth unofficial BPC crop in Corsicana (which occurred earlier this month), I thought about the stories and photos I had not scrapped from the previous events and was inspired to pull some photos and get a couple of those stories recorded. (See my layout about the Onion Glove here.)

Robbie had recently picked up a package of coordinating papers, embellishments, and stickers that he found for $1 at a local resale shop. Since I hadn't yet put those items into my stash, I decided to pull my papers from it for this layout. I also still had the Happy Mail package from Brenda on my table, so I pulled items for my embellishment clusters from it. So, these "new" products were the initial inspiration for the layout design. I also pulled one of the 4x6 cards (with the brown hearts) from the basket on my table and used the idea from the Scrapbook Outside The Pocket workshop to cut the card into two pieces so it looks like it goes under the photo block.

Journaling reads: Flowers from Robbie had already been delivered to Scrappin' Goodtime by the time I arrived early Thursday afternoon, so once again I had to share the story of my "Monday flowers" and this special treat Robbie always sends when we're apart!

I'm thrilled with how all these bits of inspiration (the upcoming event, the "new" products from Robbie & Brenda, the technique idea from the workshop) all worked together on this layout. Has an upcoming event ever inspired you to scrap stories from previous events?

Click here to see all Where Does My Inspiration Come From? posts.

BTW (for those of you who are wondering) - Yes, a lovely bouquet was waiting for me once again when I arrived for my crop a couple of weeks ago!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Where Does My Inspiration Come From? (1)

This post is the first in a two-week series of daily posts where I'm sharing my recently created layouts along with the inspiration that prompted me to create them. I tend to think that I always start with a photo when I scrapbook, however as I looked back through a recent batch of layouts, I realized that the inspiration to sit down at my craft table and create a layout comes from many different sources.

Title - Twice Scrapped
Layout Inspiration - FUNny Story
Design Inspiration - Online Workshop

Back in February, Mama came to visit and scrap with me for a couple of days. The first day she completed several layouts, including the one below showcasing photos of our "poor college students' turkey." (I added the journaling blocks later.)


The next day Mama created several more layouts, one of which included the EXACT SAME PHOTOS as this layout! Now, I should tell you that Mama had spent several days putting together photos and page kits to work on while she was here. So, she had worked with these photos first on the computer as she chose which ones to scrap, then when she printed them out, and again when she was picking papers and embellishments to go with them. However, she did not realize that she had put together two kits with the same photos until I pointed out that she had scrapped those same photos the day before!


We had a great laugh over this incident, and Robbie snapped this photo of the two layouts. I think it's interesting to note that she chose different designs and colors for each kit! Since I hadn't scrapped the story about the Cornish hen, Mama gave me one of the layouts for my albums. Of course, I knew right away that I would have to make a layout to share this story of the twice scrapped photos.

Since I was working my way through the Scrapbook Outside The Pocket workshop, I had a batch of 3x4 and 4x6 cards in a basket on my desk. I didn't use any of the specific design ideas from the workshop for this layout, however I definitely credit the workshop for giving me lots of ideas for using these cards on traditional layouts. I pulled two of the smaller cards to use for the journaling on this layout, cutting off about 1/3 of the card and keeping just the grid portion.


Many of you know that I scrap whatever inspires me, without regard to chronology at all. However, one of my goals this year is to scrap more of this year's stories as the year goes along. When these photos of me and Mama arrived, the story inspired me to put them on a layout and get this FUN story recorded.

Have you been inspired by a FUNny story lately?

Click here to see all Where Does My Inspiration Come From? posts.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Heaven Is For Real

When I logged in to Booklook Bloggers to chose a new book (which is provided free to me in exchange for an honest review), I was excited to see Todd Burpo's Heaven is for Real among the choices. Robbie and I have seen the preview for the movie based on this book and are planning to see it in the next couple of weeks (it comes out here April 16). Of course, anytime there's a movie based on a book, I really like to read the book first!


Because I've seen the preview, I already knew a good bit of this true story - a young boy survives a life-threatening surgery and then reveals that he spent time in heaven. He talks about his great-grandfather (who died when his dad was only a boy), his sister (who his mom miscarried) and where his parents were during his surgery - people and things his parents had never discussed with him and that he could not possibly have know about at his young age. 

Since I knew so much of the story, I did not expect  the book to be a can't-put-it-down kind of read . . . but it was! This is a fabulous story that shares this young boy's glimpse into heaven. His father is the author of the book, and it is extremely well written, using quotes and comments that came from this innocent young child as he shared about his experience in a nonchalant kind of way, like it was just one of the many things that had happened in his short life. This book was originally published in 2010, so it's been out a while. The copy I received was a special movie edition and had photos and interviews with the family and the director and actors involved in the upcoming movie. 

I highly recommend this book! Robbie's reading it now, and we are both looking forward to seeing the movie!

Have you read this book? Are you planning to see the movie?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Happy Mail

Last month I was the lucky recipient of several pieces of happy mail. First, I won a set of stamps on Becky's blog, however when the packaged arrived I discovered not only the stamp set but a little bundle of scrappy goodies and a handmade card from Becky. Thanks Becky!

I've mentioned previously that my sister and I are sharing a book each month this year. In the last package she sent me, I received a book plus a little bundle of scrapping goodies and new photos to scrap!

And a total surprise several weeks ago was this lovely postcard that Mel made from one of her own photos.

Have you found any happy mail in your box lately?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

March FUN Check-In & April Plans

I have to admit that my main focus in March was exercise and healthy eating (including tracking everything I ate & drank), although I did continue to look for ways to include FUN as often as possible (like having my personal trainer take photos of me skipping during one of our sessions)!

There really weren't any big events in March, but we did take a FUN day trip to Tyler for the Azalea Trail festivities. The azaleas were not yet in full bloom due to lots more winter weather than usual this year, so we enjoyed the beautiful weather, a stroll through the arts & crafts festival, and a horse-drawn carriage ride instead. We also had a FUN evening bowling, enjoyed lots of walks, completed a puzzle, and tried several new recipes. And, of course, I had FUN scrapbooking and participating in online classes.

We also saw three movies in March.
1. Non-Stop - great movie, although the ending was a little unbelievable.
2. Son of God - neither of us enjoyed this movie and would not recommend it as I think they took too much "artistic license" thinking it would improve the true story recorded in the Word of God!
3. Draft Day - this movie actually releases on April 11, but we were able to get tickets to a free screening & really enjoyed it!

Here's a look at my FUN March photo collage.


My FUN plans for April include:
1. A four-day crop with BPC friends.
2. Online classes - One Little Word, Inspired Scrapbooking, Stashbusters Anonymous, An Update to Remember, Hello Story, Library of Memories Community.
3. Seeing a movie or two with Robbie.
4. Inspiration Day with Ellyn.
5. Celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday.

Did you have a FUN March? What FUN things are you planning for April?