Thursday, June 30, 2011

Giveaway Winners!

And the winners are....

Christine Zani said...
You're famous! Congrats!! Very cool accomplishments :) you deserve it!
June 23, 2011 5:36 PM
Olivia said...
Congratulation on having your work included! Looks like a fantastic book :)
June 29, 2011 4:41 PM

Congrats ladies! Please email me by July 7 at sara{dot}benzkofer{at}gmail{dot}com and I'll send you a code to get the ebook.

If you didn't win, you can still get your copy here. Pick it up! It's a great price for all that you get!

I'm off to take an ice bath. With the humidity, it's over 100 degrees here today. Totally a Minnesotan things to say, but uffda.

Have a good one.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Stretch Your Sketches No. 6

I'm back today with sketch No. 6 from the Stretch Your Sketches challenge over on the Ella Publishing blog.

I stretched the sketch a bit by using three photos instead of two and I also added my journaling below the photos instead of to the side. I had fun using a bunch of little strips of Jillibean Soup paper. I love their paper so much that I use it a little bit at a time to keep it around longer. I added three buttons gradually moving to the top of the page to mimic growing up.

Here are a couple close-ups.

Thanks for stopping by. I'm off to soak up some sun that has finally decided to stick around for awhile.

Have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1| Sigh. This picture makes me very happy. I met Josh Ritter! He is my favorite singer/songwriter. He was so wonderfully gracious and kind. He had this super long line of fans, but he spent a good chunk of time with each of us. I love his music. He's a fantastic performer. You see him once and you'll be hooked. And now he's an author too. Just released a new book, which I can't wait to delve into. By far, one of the best evenings of my life.

2| The night before seeing Josh, I saw Ann Patchett. One of my favorite authors. She did an interview and a book signing. I've been a lucky gal lately.

3| I plan to participate in Ali Edwards' Week in the Life project in July. I say this every year. I love the idea of this project and I love seeing what other people create, but I always end up not doing it. I think it's because I don't feel like I do enough in a regular, mundane day that's worthy of documentation.
But this year will be the year, darnit! You can read more about Week in the Life here.

4| I succumbed and finally joined Groupon....a couple of months ago. I never saw anything that caught my eye, until a few days ago. I got one for $1 AMC tickets. Wahoo! I snatched those up real fast. Already planning on seeing Larry Crowne.

5| I finally made it to the Farmer's Market. I loaded up with green onions, snap peas, radishes, spinach and deliciously small, tender strawberries.

6| I've been devouring book after book lately. Don't you love when that happens? When you have a big stack of really great books waiting for you. I'll do a review of a couple of them soon. What are you reading?

7| Two Peas in a Bucket has an event right now called Snap & Scrap Your Summer. There's a bunch of fun interviews and a plethora of challenges all about scrapping about summer. I like that word plethora. But I digress. Later this week, I'll be sharing layouts I made for a couple of the challenges.

8| I'm coveting this top and this skirt. (Only I want the red and cream color skirt which isn't pictured online.) I'm currently strapping myself to a chair, so I can't run out to buy them. A bit extreme, you say? Ok, ok, you're probably right. Maybe I'll just buy one of them then.

9| June has been incredibly busy and so much fun! I can't believe July arrives on Friday. Someone could make a lot of money if they thought of a way to slow time. My July is looking a tad bit meager. Will have to get some fun things on the calendar. I'm always looking for ideas. What are your plans?

10| The giveaway for a free ebook from Ella Publishing is still open below. I can understand if you're saying to yourself, I'm not single, so that book isn't for me, but it is for you! It's full of ideas for current and former singles on how to document your life in fun and unique ways. Check it out!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Scrapbooking Your Single Years Giveaway!

Scrapbooking Your Single Years: 88 spectacular page ideas for current and former singles (by Stephanie Baxter)

I"m very excited to announce the new ebook from Ella Publishing, Scrapbooking Your Single Years by Stephanie Baxter, has been released! Wahoo! I am thrilled to be one of the contributors. I am in such great company. This is the first time I've been published, so I am incredibly excited.

I've had a chance to look at the book and it's fantastic. It's full of awesome layouts and tons of ideas. My mind is already spinning with additional layouts I'd like to make.

Ella has been so kind and has given me TWO copies to giveaway. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post. You can double your chances by becoming a new follower of my blog and you can leave an additional comment indicating you're a new follower.

ETA: Be sure to either leave your email address in your comment or come back for the announcement to see if you won. Otherwise I won't be able to find you!

The giveaway will close at 10 p.m. CST next Wednesday, June 29 and I'll announce the winner on Thursday morning!

If you can't wait to get your hands on the book, you can purchase the book here, Scrapbooking Your Single Life.

Good luck and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Bucket List

Since I'm still looking for a new job, I knew my summer bucket list would
need to be primarily free activities. Surprisingly, the list came together really
quickly. I can't wait to get started!

//See an amazing firework display.

//Spend an entire day outside.

//Play lots of tennis.

//Have a water fight.

//Eat Smores

//Go to the arboretum (at least once!)

//See a movie at the drive-in.

//Eat as locally as I can. (The farmer's market is one of my favorite parts of summer.)

//Go to a Twins game.

//Attend free outdoor concerts. (There's one every week in a nearby park. Score!)

//Take a blanket, find a place away from city lights and enjoy the starlight.

//Visit another city in MN I've never been to before. (Still deciding where.)

What is on your summer bucket list?

See more of my lists here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1| My nieces and I had a fun time at our sleepover. The tradition is to get Punch pizza (delicious) and then watch a movie. They always inhale their food, so inevitably they start the movie before I'm finished.  They chose Spirited Away. A slightly strange but neat film about a little girl who finds herself in a new, different world with spirits and monsters and she needs to find her way home. It won Best Animated Feature at the Oscars a couple of years ago.

2| Kal Barteski, a talented artist and blogger, recently launched a new project called Link with Love. The project stems from Kal finding out that one of her graphic art pieces was being sold without her knowledge. Instead of curling up in a ball of indecision and anger she started this awesome project to encourage all of us to remember how important it is to link back to the creator when we're on twitter, pinterest, tumblr, blogging, etc. Remember to give credit where credit is due. Respect the work of your fellow artists. I'm in full support of this idea. You can read more here.

3| Today marks the official start of summer. I'll be celebrating with an ice cream cone.

4| I finished reading Ann Patchett's new book, State of Wonder. Run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore or library and get it. It's excellent. It's been added to my top 10 favorite books.

5| I'm looking forward to having dinner with a couple of friends tonight. It's always fun to reconnect and enjoy a good meal. I had hoped we could eat on the patio, but the torrential downpour we're having today will probably get in the way.

6| I'm still experiencing some whiplash pain from the car accident I was in last week. It got better and now it's bad again. I really, really hope this doesn't turn chronic. I'm looking into exercises that might alleviate the pain.

7| I'd really like to see this exhibition at the Walker Art Center. I love that I live in a city that has such interesting things to see and do.

8| When I was in Archiver's this weekend I saw a beautiful new line of product called Authentique. I love the colors and patterns of all the lines. Great little alphas too. I'm a sucker for alphas. Their site isn't up yet, but you can see a few pictures here.

9| Ali posted about this site Dear Photograph. If you love photography, you should definitely check it out. It's a very cool site where people take a picture of a picture from the past in the present. My mind is spinning with ideas of what pictures I could use to do this.

10| Loving this quote:
Every great dream begins with a dreamer. 
Always remember you have within you the strength, the patience, 
and the passion to reach for the stars, to change the world.--Harriet Tubman

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fun News!

I have some very fun news to share with you on this fine Friday.

THE BACKSTORY| Back in January, I was named the 8 is Enough contest winner on the Ella Publishing blog. I was thrilled! Such a fun honor. Then a couple of months later, I got an email from Angie Lucas saying they were impressed with my work and she wondered if I'd be interested in creating a layout for one of their upcoming ebooks, Scrapbooking Your Single Years. Um, yes! Of course! (Imagine me jumping up and down in glee.)

BACK TO TODAY| The ebook comes out next week and I'm so excited. (More jumping up and down in glee.) I'm in the same book with many incredibly talented women whom I greatly admire. (I'm pinching myself in disbelief.) I'm also so thankful to Angie for giving me this opportunity. You can read more about what's in the book here. I hope you'll check it out. 

Be sure to come back next week. I'll have one to giveaway!

Have a most lovely weekend. I will definitely be celebrating!  

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Lovely Night

I realized I haven't shared this layout here on my blog yet. I entered it into an American Crafts Facebook Challenge. The challenge was to use the barcode strips on the bottom of their papers. They now have a pattern on one side of the barcode, so you don't have to waste any of the paper. What a great idea! I used three strips to create a base on my page, as well as a little pennant banner in the left corner.

JOURNALING| Sitting on the patio chatting about the yard and all the new flowers. Everything blooming. Snacking on cheese and crackers and sipping on wine. Preparing dinner with farmer's market finds. Talking genealogy. A colorful, tasty dessert with a hot cup of tea. An evening walk around the neighborhood. A truly lovely night. May 2011.

I'm very excited about a new line of product that American Crafts announced in partnership with Amy Tan, whose work I love. I can't wait to get my hands on it later this summer/fall! You can check out a sneak peek here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I'm home from a few days watching my niece and nephew while my brother and sister-in-law had a long weekend getaway. There was lots of reading on the porch in the morning sun, my nephew teaching me Origami, playing with Pretty Ponies, walks around the block keeping track of how many and what kind of birds we saw, playing tag at the park, picnic lunches in the backyard and running from one activity to the next. Summer has arrived and I'm very glad. Unfortunately, there was also cleaning up some throw up and a car accident on the way to the airport. Thankfully, my nephew recovered quickly. I've been icing my neck and back and popping the Advil (for whiplash) and will probably have to visit a doctor for something stronger. No fun.

It's good to be home. My to do list has grown. Looking at it is making me hyperventilate a little bit. I'm taking a few deep, cleansing breaths and will tackle each item one by one.

I miss the little ones. Already looking forward to seeing them in a couple months.

Have a wonderful Wednesday.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


On the grocery list|Blueberries. Obsessed with them lately. 
On the TV|Nothing. Not watching much these days. 
On the nightstand| State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett. I'm devouring it. Love her writing. 
On the scrap table| May's overview page. 
On the movie list| Larry Crowne. Oh, how I love Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. 
On the dinner plate| Boca burger stacked with red onion and leafy greens and some fried potatoes. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Stretch Your Sketches No. 5

I'm back today with Sketch No. 5 from the Stretch Your Sketches challenge over on the Ella Publishing blog.

The sketch is a two-pager, but I just don't do two-pagers. Not sure why, but everytime I try, I get a mental block. But, what's great about sketches, is you can adjust it to work for you. I made a one-pager instead. I added the journaling around the edge of the paper, which is a technique I use often. Love the look. I used several Echo Park lines and a bit of October Afternoon. I also finally snagged a Smash date stamp! I'm using it on everything. Love it.

The page is about attending my niece's school performance. We all asked for her autograph following the performance. She signs the program. A tradition we started last year. She loves it. On the way to the car, she was ahead of me a few steps, and I ran up to her asking if she was the famous Diana who just performed. She played along beautifully. Love these moments.

I'd love to see your take on the sketch. Leave me a link in the comments with your take.

Happy Scrapping!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1| I've been living in these white linen pants and red flats. So, so happy summer is here!

2| I heard The Head and The Heart on the radio and immediately became a fan. Such cool music. You can hear more here. I checked their tour dates and they are actually here in the Cities this week, but it's sold out. Bummer.

3| Are you looking for journaling ideas? Ideas to tell your story in a new way? Check out these awesome prompts from Ali Edwards.

4| There is a reason I'm not a baker. The recipes are too specific and I usually mess it up. I made banana oatmeal cookies recently and I put in the wrong amount of flour and oatmeal, missing the 1 in front of the 1/2 on the handwritten recipe card. Oops. They actually were still edible, but very flat. Ha! I think I'll stick with cooking where I can add a dash here and there and it will only add to the dish.

5| I attended my niece's dance recital and she was awesome. I am so in awe of how she can go in front of an audience and perform. So cool. I'm bursting with pride.

6| This mini album from Elizabeth Kartchner is fantastic. I'm loving the Instax photos and the paint. When my family is all together for a week during the summer, I always bring little books for the kids to document the week. Will definitely be taking inspiration from this book.

7| I've been on an organizing binge. Shredding, donating, recycling. Love the feeling of simplifying my space, my head, my life.

8| Fresh lemon in ice water is making me happy.

9| It's HOT. 95 degrees yesterday. Same today. Hellooooo summer.

10| At the end of May, June was looking bleak. But after a couple emails and phone calls it's looking much better. Can't wait to see people, sit on patios and drink something cold and frothy and Josh Ritter returns.

Friday, June 3, 2011

On The Road|Red Wing

One of the things on my 33 list is to visit three MN cities I've never been to before. So, this past weekend, my parents and I took a day trip to Red Wing, MN. I couldn't believe how close it was to the Twin Cities and I've never been there! It's a really quaint, beautiful town, right on the Mississippi. They still have a downtown area with parking on the diagonal, which I thought was neat.

The highlights:
  • Stopping at Lark Toys and getting handmade wooden block letters of my initials.
  • Stopping at Lake City to see Lake Pepin.
  • Shopping at Pottery Place and finding a Bell jar I couldn't resist. 
  • Having lunch at Falconer's Vineyard.
  • Attempting to climb Barn Bluff.
  • Perusing the shelves at The Best of Times bookstore. (There are so many books I'm wanting to read right now!)
I put together this mini to record the trip.

I used two pieces of cardboard as the front and back. I added a Hambly transparency to the front piece of cardboard. Then I added a tag, a scallop punched piece of patterned paper from My Mind's Eye, a cute little owl stamp from Hero Arts, the title and a little label, both from October Afternoon.

I added travel quotes throughout from Ali Edwards' Scrapbook on the Road class. I began the album with a tag describing the reason for the trip. The first page has a piece of the brochure from the toy store, along with a picture of the new wooden block letters on my shelf.

I included a picture of the Bell jar in its new home, along with a business card from the store and a cute little tag from Office Max. I love the 7 Gypsies papers from the Lille collection. They are so pretty and perfect on their own.

Another travel quote, along with a bunch of photos from our stop to see Lake Pepin. I made this in Photoshop Elements with help from Elise. You can check out her tutorial here. I'm slowly becoming friends with Photoshop. Really loving how this looks.

I added a bunch of journaling on both sides of the grid paper. I created and printed four smaller photos from Photoshop and included a 7 Gypsies tag.

Lots of journaling on these two pages, along with a little photo of where we went hiking.

I love how this series of photos looks side by side in the album. We attempted to hike up a bluff to the summit, but just couldn't get there. Whenever we thought we were getting close, we'd realize it was just beyond our reach. Once we got to the many flights of stairs, we called it quits. My Dad climbed the stairs to see if the summit was at the top, (way to go Dad!) but there was still more after that. Seriously?! Will definitely have to go back and conquer that bluff.

I added an envelope to include a few Instax photos and the last page is another one from 7 Gypsies. Again too pretty to cover up and a great page to end on.

I'm very pleased with how it turned out. I love mini albums. They are so fun to flip through. They are an easy way to document an event or a trip. It's also a great way to use up some of those supplies. I just grabbed what I liked and made it work.

I can't wait to visit two more MN cities.

Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

In The Kitchen|Creamy Broccoli Soup

Two thumbs up. Really delicious. The crushed red pepper flakes make the dish.
This was super easy to make. All in one pan, so a quick cleanup.
The contents pureed beautifully in the blender.
I halved the recipe and it was plenty for one person. A bowl for lunch the next day.

Find the recipe here.