Wednesday, November 20, 2013


So I just got home from work after working some crazy hours this week - people out sick, having to cover while team members are out at meetings, etc. All the normal stuff we all do as staffing gets leaner during the holiday season! Exhausting but quite the norm this time of year.

Last week, I decided to try and leap back into my crafting by applying for the design team of a really cool Scrapbooking Kit Club that asks subscribers to focus their scrapping on themselves (on their inside self). I had a blast going outside of my comfort zone to create about me, and I was a bit excited about getting back in to this creative realm. However, I was pretty scared I wouldn't be able to really commit the time it deserved.

So I was secretly relieved to come home and find out that I had not been selected for the design team.  A little bummed out, but I knew that I hadn't been blogging in awhile and I threw together some fun layouts at the last minute. I didn't really plan out the story I wanted to tell or the spin I wanted to focus on.  I just made pretty layouts that were fun.

My rejection letter was beautifully written and actually empowering - which speaks volumes to the kit club.  So I thanked them for that - I literally emailed them back to say thank you :)

Now...I need to get back in to my crafty niche...and find the right next move for me in my creative life.

Thanks for the push SFTIO!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Today was one of those days at work when I couldn't wait to get home to unwind. I plan on working out a bit (third day in a row - madness), but I needed to unravel a bit through creativity. 

I work with all kinds of families - some of which are much easier to work with than others. No matter the interaction, I know that they are going through surreal and challenging circumstances so some of our interactions are probably unique to their own normal. 

Anytime I have a difficult moment, I start to think about my family and how we have dealt with any unexpected circumstances. I have aunts who are blind, an uncle with a drug addiction, and a godson that was born hearing impaired. 

While many of these family experiences are unchangeable, I'm proud of how my family has faced them. There is no sitting back and doing nothing (though at times that would be easier!). We rally together and we do the best we can. 

One of my visually impaired aunts is more independent than I am!

One of my favorite memories is from October 2011. I ecstatically took part in the Walk-4-Hearing 5K. This walk divides its proceeds amongst many organizations working with the hearing impaired. One of the beneficiaries is a school called One Voice. This incredible institution provided the avenue in which Andy could learn to navigate beautifully in a Hearing world. 

I had a blast walking with Andy and his family. It felt amazing to see my younger relatives engage in service while having fun. I hope we can do more of this soon. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My gift

Today my layout and post will be simple. 

I'm choosing to brag about the one thing I know I do best. KIDS!!!

From babies to teenagers, the skill I'm most proud about is my ability to connect with them. I'm a baby whisperer, the one to tame a crowd of young kids, and the one to make a quiet teenager engage in a conversation. 

So I'm shouting it loudly -- I'm good with kids!!

Monday, November 11, 2013


I woke up early today because I wanted to start this layout. I had picked out my picture and my pretty papers and had a concept in mind. 

This past year, I've played around with make-up and fake eyelashes (which I love). When I couple great make-up, its application and a general happy disposition, I find myself feeling really confident physically. Now, I'm not a size two model (and probably never will be), but I know the power of kind eyes and a great smile. 

So what happens when you feel good...well as a scrapbooker, I want to document it visually. So I started this hysterical trend of trying to take a good selfie. Who knew selfies could be so stinking card? I have so many terrible angles of my face but am completely taken aback by some of the photos. 

This photo is one of my personal favorites because I feel what I'm projecting visually. Looking at this photo, I feel happy and that's because I have been happier this year. A lot of that has to do with being happy professionally. I already love my personal life but my professional world was missing a key piece - a targeted passion point. 

I took this picture on March 31, 2013 which was almost exactly a year after I submitted my resignation to take my new position with Ronald McDonald House Charities. This picture says it all. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013


I'm toying with the idea of applying to be a member of a design team to a really great company. I've been following their blog for months and have seriously considered becoming a member of its kit club. 

The only thing that has stopped me from joining the kit club is the fact that I've been trying to declutter my craft room by using what I already own (which is a lot!). I don't really need more beautiful supplies!! could argue that I do in fact NEED those gorgeous embellishments and papers.

Scrapbooking From the Inside Out asks its followers to use their creative energy to express themselves about themselves. In all my years of scrapbooking, I have never made myself an album despite my best intentions. Even if I decide not to apply, I thought it would be fun to make layouts about me and my favorite life moments. 

It's a start, right?

Sunday, November 3, 2013



I've spent the last year delving deep in to a new world of work. I have loved every second, cried at how tired I've been and missed hanging out with my friends and family. 

However, I haven't regretted any second of this time because I truly think I'm where I'm supposed to be career-wise. I've been so exhausted yet happy that I haven't even delved into my crafty world goals! I haven't necessarily forgotten them. I've just realized that I needed to push back some of my personal crafty goal deadlines. And that's ok.

I've even missed blogging, but I have used Instagram to share my current lovely moments. Some have been crafty but many have been work and friend related. There have been beautiful babies born (Julian & Marco), and I've seen so many of my munchkins grow (Ellie, Roya, Marlena, Mateo, and Jaiden). I've eaten lots of incredible food and sprained multiple body parts so I've also gained a few unhealthy pounds from the decreased mobility. 

Am I happy? Yes!!!!

Body is feeling healthy. I've started eating better. I got a sassy new haircut. I've even been promoted twice in one year. Even I couldn't have imagined all that for one year!

So now it's time I recharge and recommit to all of it. I'm happy professionally, but now I need to better all the rest of it. My health, my soul and my love for exploring sharing my culture and self through art. Get ready for more regular posts!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Xitlali - goddess of the stars - turns 1

My colleague is the coolest aunt ever. To add to her coolness, she has decided to add some special touches to her niece's first birthday party. 

I had the pleasure of meeting little Xitlali last July when she was just a few weeks old. I remember getting to snuggle her at work so I was shocked to learn she was turning one. Where does the time go?!

Xitlali is having a Dora the Explorer fest and her aunt wanted to make sure that the decor was personalized. When you're blessed with a beautiful/unique name (I might know something about that), you have to custom make anything personalized. So.....enter me!

This cute little sign will be used for photo opportunities.  

These little flowers will be used in the centerpieces. I got the ideas from a Pinterest board my colleague created. I can take no credit for the idea, but I can say that I had to whip open my Adobe Illustrator to play. It's been awhile since I've done that.

The most detailed piece commissioned was the birthday banner. I couldn't find polka dotted pink paper so I used my Cricut machine to create my own. It was a little tedious but I love the layers of paper in each banner segment.

To top off the fun I had making these projects, I actually created everything in my newly super organized craft space. It's been amazing to walk in here and not only have a place to work but to also know what my inventory is and where to find it. If you've ever lived with me and my crafting (Sogol? Dortiz?), you would be amazed! Seriously....amazed. 

See? I have empty and decluttered shelves. Madness!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Nerdy craft

This month, I took a course called Dictionary Couture by Jennifer Priest on My Creative Classroom.

I jumped at taking the course when I saw that she would be teaching us how to make paper cone wreaths.You see, she has a large wreath in her craft room that I have coveted since the first time it appeared in her videos.

Using old books (or in my case, books I was planning to chuck in my decluttering), I went to task on creating some fun "nerdy" crafts for my home.

The most tedious of the projects was a wreath covered in paper roses. I'm glad I chose a small base, but I love how delicate the flowers look and smile every time I get to my door (where it is currently hanging).

I literally tore apart an ENTIRE book to make this small wreath.
I thought about giving this away as a gift (as I do with all my projects), but I ended up keeping it!
 The second project was the piece I was dying to make! I thought I would end up putting the final project in my craft room, but I realized that it would fit perfectly in my dining room. I needed art on my walls, and pieces made with book pages seemed to fit the room well because that's where my bookshelf is located.

The base was a simple ring covered in book pages. I then proceeded to attach cone after cone after cone.

I added a little lace, some paper flowers and some buttons.
I just love the volume and subtle color this wreath gives my walls.
One of two cone wreaths that currently hang on my wall. I'm hoping to add a smaller third one. I believe in the power of three for visual balance.

 Love, love, love these projects. I'm so glad that there are so many mediums to learn new techniques. Being able to take a class online means that I can take my time to gather my materials and watch when I'm free. I'm definitely planning to take some more!

Mixed Media Project: DIY Masquerade Ball Mask

A long delay does not equal a lazy crafter!  I've probably done more crafting in the last two months than I have in a really long time, and it's been a ton of fun.

I've decided to dabble in the mixed media realm for the first time. While I'll always be a paper crafter at heart, I needed to push my crafting comfort zone a bit. If you know me well, you know I love a crafty challenge!

So what would be my first challenge....

For a work fundraising event, I was charged with adding a masquerade mask to my formal attire. I waited until the last minute to really start hunting for a unique mask and I realized I would have to drop a pretty penny to buy one. I much more preferred to give a donation to our cause then to buy a mask I probably wouldn't wear again.

I went to youtube and I did a search for DIY masquerade masks and came across this video:

I couldn't believe that all the ingredients I would need would be aluminum foil, tape, and newspaper. Lord knows I had the embellishment supplies to spare, so I figured I had nothing to lose in trying.

Off I went on my crafty adventure!

Are these really the majority of the craft materials needed?
Molding layers of aluminum foil on your face is much harder than I expected.
Ha! I needed to make sure my molding was on target. Had to make the eye holes a bit larger than originally drawn.

It wasn't until the papier mache part that I really felt like we had something coming together.
Painting my base
And then I lost my mind looking for embellishments!

I had a bunch of embellishment options, but I realized I also wanted to use up supplies that I hadn't touched in months. So I took some of this adorable "Day of the Dead" fabric I bought YEARS ago and went with it.  After all, I am why not celebrate it!

I also went with a mask on the stick...probably the smartest of my decisions.

I had a blast watching this unfold step by step and I liked the original look of my final project.

This first little dabble in the mixed media world was not as scary as I imagined. Here's to more fun projects!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What a hiatus - it's almost embarrassing

If you know me personally, you know two things are true:
  1. I started a new job that I love
  2. I de-stress by crafting
Almost a year ago, I happily accepted a position with Ronald McDonald House Charities. In this year, I have taken on the largest supervisory role to date and I've had to deal with some highly stressed individuals (the families we support). It has been challenging and rewarding in ways that I never imagined. Despite some of our crazy hours, I can almost always say that the little bit of crazy is worth it because we were able to support a family during their time of crisis. So even if it was an exhausting day for me personally, I know that my exhaustion and/or stress levels pale in comparision to that of the many families we support. I've learned to suck it up and move on because the end result is a happy heart.

However, I'm now getting to the point where I'm starting to really know some of our families...and growing pains as a new House are evolving into some dynamic expected and unexpected changes. Which means that sometimes I do feel stressed out. This is all outside of whatever personal situations and issues that I might be experiencing myself. For example...dealing with a sprained ankle that took about 7-8 months to finally heal! Dear me.

The one thing that I haven't been good about doing is using my love for crafting to destress. Now, don't get me wrong, I've crafted...but it's mostly been for clients or events. They have definitely provided me an outlet of artistic escape, but I need to get back on track and start doing some stuff for me...for fun...for my crafty goals.

So here are three crafty goals for 2013:
  1. Finish setting up my etsy shop
  2. Submit original work for potential publication monthly
  3. Make myself a scrapbook
There is a lot more I want to commit to, but I'm going to start with those three. I need to finish the craftroom organization goal from last year, but that is more than half way done so I just need to continue what I've already started.

Here's to a crafty fun 2013!