F O U R

dear lizzy blog

Miss Lola bug turned four yesterday. My mind is blown by how fast the years are racing by leaving a trail of giggles and sparkles and tantrums with this girl. She’s seriously is the most cheerful of my kiddies. Pure joy streams out of her and she’s like a bouncing ball of silliness. Then in the blink of an eye she can throw a tantrum and from a mile away you would run and hide scared of this toddler gremlin. haha just kidding. Kind of.
Friday night we took her out on a daddy and mommy date. Collin let her choose any toy from the Disney store then they skipped through the mall. I am always the third wheel when fun dad is around. Then we had dinner and she wore her crown and wanted us to tell everyone it was her birthday.
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The smaller flowers on the crown were made with my Dear Lizzy flower die set that should be shipping this week! You will love it.

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And here she is about four months old visiting her Great Grandma Charlotte in San Diego and also the last time we saw my Grandpa before he passed away. Such a blessing that they got to see this chunka babe in all her rolls of glory.
Need I remind you she weighed 9 lbs 6 oz when she was born. (Here’s that blog post oldie) Literally born with rolls. I have this lady below, my Greek grammy, to thank for the good birthing genes. No stretch marks even. I am basically Elasta Girl. But seriously what I would give to go back in time and squoosh those cheeks one last time.
lola bug

I also watch the birth video Collin put together every year and shed a couple tears when she takes her first breath and opens her eyes for the first time… how overwhelmed I am with love to have her call me momma. xoxo

Hot Air Balloon Mobile

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LroUG5JYzi69lqR8q0Wko61IkAoNziFjuKxENSzMq3UOne thing that is making more sense to me as I get older is that pure, genuine love can overcome even the hardest of situations. There are a couple relationships in my life that get the toll of everyday stress yet still flourish and grow instead of being squashed. These individuals or  “angels” (ha!) who deal with my wacky hormonal days or my ‘sorry I’m just hungry’ moments get the brunt of difficult experiences yet rise above it and become stronger. I have no clue how this is possible… except that it’s real love. Like really real. Something we’ve worked at and cherished and if neglected then reconnected.
This morning I could hear Collin in the kitchen making french toast for the kids and later he got in a frosting fight with Quincey and me as we were decorating a cake for Lola’s birthday and I remember thinking: I am so glad I get to go through this crazy, happy life with him. Because loving Collin has been my favorite adventure yet.

Today I wanted to share this hot air balloon mobile made by the amazing Wilna. She’s so incredible with her artistic eye… and who knew you could get such a beautiful watercolor effect with food coloring?! Thanks Wilna! Read below for instructions.

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I used the Dear Lizzy Daydreamer die cut set and in particular the hot air balloon and the heart. Then I pulled out my Cuddlebug diecut machine and watercolor paper and cut out a bunch of each of the two shapes.
Next up, I mixed some food coloring with water and dip dyed the shapes and set them aside to dry a bit. Once dry, I used my sewing machine and started with a looped ribbon and stitched right down feeding the shapes back to back through the machine. So that in the end I could fold back the edges of the shapes and create a 3D effect.
Last, I added some beads and a few feathers to finish off the little mobile.

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Yes To This

dear lizzy blog

dear lizzy blog

dear lizzy blog dear lizzy blog

Yes to twinkle lights strung outside already
Yes to daddy’s scarf wrapped around our little buddy
Yes to crunching as many leaves as we can while we walk
Yes to one doggie mitten on one hand as I’ll keep the other one warm in mine
Yes to the bright Christmas tree up in our living room to help us forgot about the early sunset gloom outside
Yes to letting Lola redecorate the tree every day. Although the lamp was a very creative idea for an ornament, it’s a bit too heavy for the branches. So it sits plugged in right next to the tree, for now.
Yes to bundling up since I hate the cold
Yes to reading bedtime stories by the tree every night
Yes to listing and remembering what we are grateful as often as possible… because why is it so much easier to focus on the worries
Yes to this

dear lizzy blog

DIY: Paper Bead Necklace

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I remember the first time I saw a tutorial for making a paper bead (I think it was in “American Girl” magazine?). I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. Paper?! As jewelry?! Needless to say, my six year old mind was blown. Fast forward twenty-plus years and I’m still just as fascinated by the endless possibilities of paper. So I decided to revisit this awesome craft and make a colorful necklace using my favorite sheets from the Daydreamer collection. Here’s how to do it:

First, gather a handful of 12 x 12″ sheets of patterned paper, a long strand of baker’s twine, wooden skewers, and a tape runner. 

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Next, mark out a rough triangular outline to determine where you will be cutting. Since the paper gets rolled up, precision is not necessary in this step.
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Here’s what my papers looked like before they were rolled into beads.
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To create a bead, begin by placing the widest edge of the paper onto the skewer.
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Roll the paper around the skewer tightly until you reach the end. Secure the last bit of the paper with adhesive (a tape runner or glue dot works well). Carefully slide the bead off of the skewer. (P.S. If you want to seal your beads and give them a shiny finish, paint them with mod podge before removing from the skewer.)
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Once you have enough beads, I thread them onto the strand of baker’s twine and knot the ends.
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Ta-da! The paper bead necklace is complete!
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Tubby Time

in other news

vintage tub and bath

We redid the bathroom our girls share and guests use when they come over. It was a crazy process but it’s looking so good. Weird that I enjoy cleaning it now. Never thought I’d say those words. haha

The tub and incredible faucet are from Vintage Tub & Bath. I searched around and they were my favorite place with what I was looking for… Plus, free shipping is one of my love languages.

We just finished painting it so I will share the before and afters, process and more pics soon.

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vintage claw foot tub

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Chalkboard tags + Flowers

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Chalkboard tags contrast with these sweet flowers making a darling thoughtful box! I’ve never thought to mix paper and fake flowers or greens so this is such a fun, new combination for me. Especially since we all probably have a little of both of those in our stash.
Wilna tells us how she put them together below…

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I started by cutting flower shapes (available on iheartstudio.ca) and layering them to make flowers using Dear Lizzy papers. Next, I added to the centre part of the paper flower a fake flower as well as green flourishes (also fake) and ribbons to the back of the paper flower. I adhered them to a little box with hot glue along with a chalkboard tag to write a little sentiment on.
Can totally see these Christmasy too! Red with gold and the white boxes!

wilna and dear lizzy blog

Dear Lizzy Serendipity Collection

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I’m so excited to finally share the newest line of Dear Lizzy products… Serendipity!
I feel like it’s been forever since the last collection and I’m thrilled to get some fresh paper and products for you to play and create with.
With each collection I get to work with an awesome team at AC and we start by gathering inspiration. Most often the process stays true to the vision and follows the theme to the end. Other times, the inspiration and development stages of a collection can naturally and gradually take on a style of its own. That’s what I think this line did. Which is quite serendipitous!

Some of my favorite products from this line include the Diecut Flower Set. I love this! It comes with a few different flower shapes including a rolled flower and other layering floral shapes. It’s all you’ll need to make darling flowers for cards, pages and any project. I included them, along with some larger petals cut with my Silhouette on the crown in the video below.

dear lizzy serendipity

Other products I can’t wait for you to play with: the sticker roll, the 12″x12″ stencil, the rose gold phrase thickers, puffy stickers, jar stamp set (which might be my favorite Dear Lizzy stamp ever), and so much more.

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One of my favorite papers is a navy stripe on one side and lemons on the other. There are a couple other navy papers and touches of it here and there. Definitely helps ground the line. Love the gold and navy phrases too.
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There are unique patterns and different textures we like to experiment with and include with each collection. For Serendipity you will find marbling on paper and inside the balloons, butterflies and different elements. Our designers hand dipped paper to make a beautiful, custom marbling pattern to work with. There’s also a beautiful signature Lizzy floral pattern along with other graphic and simple patterns. The paper is always my favorite product and this collection is seriously a gorgeous mix of designs.

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dear lizzy serendipity

dear lizzy serendipity

Collin Kartchner Studios put together a behind the scenes video for a promo shoot we did for this collection. We had so much fun. I adore everyone at the AC headquarters! You’ll notice in the video, we were dying laughing because I was scared I was going to break the table. Since we screwed the legs on at the shoot and it was held together with 4 measly screws. I was sitting on the table in a tutu. haha Totally real life, guys.
Click here to watch or press play below.

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dear lizzy serendipity

Thanks so much for your support and excitement over the years! It means so much to me!
Stay tuned this week for more closer looks at this collection! xo Lizzy

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Young Maleficent: DIY Costume

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Deciding what costume to wear when you are a kid is kind of a big freaking deal. We’ve been talking about it for months and months. And they’ve all changed their mind every few days. Well, as we got closer I jumped online to buy some Halloween costumes for my kiddos. Making sure they made a final decision. For Avery, I purchased Little Red Riding Hood… since she mentioned that many times and I thought she’d look so adorable!
When the package arrived it was pure drama… apparently I was wayyyyyy off and she wanted to be the young Maleficent. Ummmm, ok, but I thought I had mentioned to her that no one made that costume. At least not that I could find. She was heart broken and she must’ve caught me on a really good day because I told her that I would make her one.
It actually ended up being a really fun project. We went together to the fabric store to choose the fabric for the dress, horns and wings. Collin cut the wings from cardboard and I covered them with fabric. I made the dress with a really simple pattern plus I winged it a bit. This thing is held together by a thread and hot glue. haha  Last, I made the horns finishing touches on the dress bodice.
She has thanked us so many times and mentioned repeatedly that she’s so grateful for putting this together for her. When I was younger my mom made the majority of our costumes. I distinctly remember hearing the hum of her sewing machine into the late hours of the night on Halloween Eve. So it was fun to do the same for Ave.
Tonight we ran up the road from our home and took some pics of her. She was loving it and totally in character. Here are some of my favorites I wanted to share with you…

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young maleficent costume

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young maleficent costume

young maleficent costume

I made the horns by starting with a headband, floral wire (I had on hand), very small paper cups, hot glue, tape, foil and fabric.
Start by attaching one end of the 7″ wire to the headband. Then slide the cup down the wire to the headband and tape the cup to the headband. Next, start molding the horns with foil. It’s so much easier than you would think and just mold until you like it. Then I used fabric strips and hot glue to cover the foil. The hot glue worked well with the foil.
I needed to readjust the horns before these pics because she’d worn them to a party the night before and they are not quite symmetrical for these pics so I need to bend them back to where they were… but you get the idea.

young maleficent costume

young maleficent costume

young maleficent costume

young maleficent costume

young maleficent costume

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young maleficent costume

young maleficent costume

maleficent costume

Nuts About You!

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Really loving my creative process lately. I know I have touched on this before because it’s so different from years ago but this month I specifically enjoyed it and felt my creative process click with my new adapted fast-pace.
For this SC gallery I finished them in a day and it was wham-bam-thank you-ma’am. I didn’t just work on them over a week, here or there, like I usually do. I just did one right after the other. Until I was done and exhausted and flopped on the couch. Who knew memory keeping could be so exhausting. ; ) My mom was at my home with Lola and Myles for the day. She played with them and did all my laundry and cleaned my house. Heaven, right?
The part of the process that I am loving is that I am training myself to not over-think everything. I used to sketch out each layout, with a pencil and paper, drawing multiple options and then I’d decide which direction to go. Now I just go for it. If something doesn’t work I quickly change it up or adjust using go-to techniques or splashes of color or simplifying the color. For instance, the Lucky Us layout wasn’t working for me. I laid out all the paper pieces and tags then sewed them down. I didn’t even glue them. Then I had some circle photos and a title. It wasn’t working… there wasn’t anything standing out. So I spray painted the title words and added different photos. But I didn’t feel finished until I added the gold spray paint splatter. It tied everything together for me.
Each month, I only open the main kit. And do my two layouts using that. I literally don’t even open the add-ons until I finish those. So it’s a reward once I get to rip open those extra packages and get started on the next two layouts with all the goodies.
The main reason I am in the flow with my process is because I am not only creating to record photos and memories but I am enjoying it. I literally had a blast putting these together. To me they are quite simple and really not that cool but I loved making them. I hope you find something inspiring or one of my layouts can spark an idea to try. xoxo

View my entire gallery here: Dear Lizzy pages

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One of the add-ons comes with fabric. It was fun to bring back one of my favorite techniques: rolled flowers.
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Studio Calico KIT

View my entire gallery here: Dear Lizzy pages

Say Yes

dear lizzy blog
dear lizzy blog
I had this brilliant idea a week before the kids were off for fall break to run away to the ocean. I found a beach house steps from the sand and booked it with in an hour of this spontaneous idea. Before I had time to talk myself out of it. (I have used HomeAway.com for the past couple bookings and it has been smooth sailing both times. I recommend it.)
Collin had to work so he couldn’t drive with us and instead flew down a day later. I still think that was part of a grand scheme to miss the loooooong drive. haha. But I packed everyone and drove by myself with four crazy kids. This is how devoted I am to vacation and sunshine. It was completely worth the time together. The drive went well and I dragged my little brother along just to be safe and listened to my husband’s request to not drive alone since I was certain I could handle it. He had some crazy possible fiascos… and I thought I was the worrier. But all went well and I cried, screamed and danced when we pulled up alive to heaven. The kids were so good though. Three stops in twelve hours. Three! Including potty breaks. This deserves some sort of award or something. Oh yes, this was my reward… see below>>>

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I say yes to this!
Yes to running away for a week
Yes to waking up by the ocean
Yes to dance parties at 10 am
Yes to eating pizza on the beach at sunset
Yes to $1 ferry rides
Yes to hippo cookies, always
Yes to memories I will never forget
Yes to holding my phone up to my ear while playing my favorite song and dancing around like a crazy person
Yes to eating an ice cream sundae at Ruby’s Diner at the end of the Pier
Yes to a hot pink bike
Yes to sandy toes, sandy cheeks, sandy smiles
Yes to having no where to go
Yes to traditions
Yes to laughing at kids when I have no idea what’s funny
Yes to never knowing what time it is
Yes to ice cream for breakfast on the sand
Yes to being with my favorite people
Yes to this!

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dear lizzy blog
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dear lizzy blog
dear lizzy blog dear lizzy blog
My little brother came along. Pretty sure I heard him say, “I’m never having kids” during the ride home. And I thought the kids were being good. ha! He’s only 14 so I have some time to change his mind.
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dear lizzy blog
Hippo cookies and ferry rides… makes up for not going to Disneyland, right? Right??! Ugh. Forgive me Walt.
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dear lizzy blog
Until next time, Newport Beach!