Plus One: Adventures in Digital Scrapping

I hate to admit it but I got very little done since Wednesday since I’ve had extra people and critters in my home since then. Hubby’s been working from home and we were +1 corgi so the house was fuller than usual.

All these extra beings made it difficult to work until Sunday when I got into my Toolbox class at Studio Calico. This first week was all about digital which is right up my alley. As an ex-web designer, I’m pretty good with Photoshop! I took a couple of hours and was able to put together a few layouts. The first is the one above. They gave us that chevron template above as a class file. I used it with some of the digital papers from the Project Life Kraft kit then added it as a border. I lightened it up quite a bit since, as I think you can tell from even the lightened version, it was pretty wild as is but I can’t wait to use it in another project! Another tip that was given was mixing fonts. Thankfully, I had this pinned on one of my Pinterest boards! I used Bebas Neue mixed with League Script for this one.


This one was me trying out some digital stamps. I have a TON of them that I’ve purchased from Studio Calico with the good intention of using them “someday”. Apparently, that someday was Sunday! The coffee cup stain is from the class set and the sentiment is from March’s set. I’ve also been using Rad Lab to edit all my photos. It’s the best! I got a great deal on it during last year’s black Friday sale so keep an eye out. It’s only a few months away now!

Finally, I wanted to use one of the sketches they provided to do a bigger piece:



This is one of the Kraft papers, digital stamps (the coffee stain and stars), mixed fonts and a really cute picture of my husband and Finny chilling in bed one morning. It’s a sweet photo because the two of them are the same, both big, bold and raucous. This photo shows a quiet snuggly moment between the two of them and it’s pretty special. Also, Finny adores Ryan and you can see that in the photo here. They’re my boys and they’re each other’s as well.

Let me know what you think in the comments below and share any projects you got done this weekend! I’d love to see them and maybe feature them in a future TILT post! Have a great week!

Struggling with Project Life? Four Tips to Get Back on Track!


As the year progressed, I’d found myself really behind with Project Life. I heard people be embarrassed for being a few weeks behind and I scoffed a bit inwardly. A few weeks?! I knew I was more like a few months behind. I’d charged in with enthusiasm at the beginning of the year but as the year progressed that enthusiasm fell away like the rest of my unloved new year’s resolutions.

However, I like the idea of Project Life. I like what it represents. I may not have children to either fill it or to reflect on past years with, but maybe someday someone, either a niece or nephew or maybe even a vintage store shopper, will find it and see what life was like for one woman living in Los Angeles in 2013. Having that view into the past has been really inspirational for me personally and I want to help ensure that will be there for future generations. The love of that idea is what kept me lingering on it and wishing I was doing better rather than just giving up and tossing it all out in a huff.

Thankfully, I went to the Studio Calico boards for help. These boards are, without a doubt, one of the nicest places on the internet. Perhaps I’ve been jaded by the almost twenty years I’ve been online, but everyone I’ve run into there thus far has been nothing but kind and supportive. I came to them feeling lost and a little broken and pretty damn boring. They responded not only with advice but their own struggles. Since writing that forum post, I’ve taken some of the advice and added a bit of my own. I now feel like I’ve gotten to a really sustainable place with Project Life. I’m excited when I take the opportunity to sit down and I don’t feel chained to it anymore. This is a new feeling and so I thought I’d condense what I’d learned in the hopes it would help someone else.

So here are my four tips for making Project Life work for you:

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Things I Love Thursday


Today’s an exciting day here at finn & roo headquarters! Why? Because it’s time to cancel the apocalypse! pacificrim

I’m a huge kaiju/giant robot fan so I’ve been waiting on this since it was first announced. This summer has been great for sci-fi fans and I think this one may come out as one of the best of the season, if not the best. Seeing it tonight at 10PM with the hubby and I can’t wait!

But now onto less nerdy things… 

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Interior Tuesday: Living Love

Our poor unloved living area is definitely in need of an update. Today, I’m focusing on the “TV Zone”, which contains a sectional couch, TV and console as it’s main components. As I mentioned in our move-in post, the pieces that we moved in with are too big for the space. I love our couch and have taken many many naps on the chaise, but it’s a pain to clean under and the dogs like to hide things there. Additionally, it blocks our sliding door. The TV console also blocks the fireplace which isn’t a big deal right now when it’s 80* every day, but once fall arrives, I’ll want to use it! And from a design perspective, they both crowd the space. There’s no wiggle room and, because of the aforementioned couch blocking issues and just the position of the apartment in the building, it’s dark. It needs more space, more light and more color!




I’ve been building a Pinterest board to help me get an idea of what direction I wanted to go. I’ve always been able to picture how I want it to look in my mind but it’s sometimes more difficult to go from a mental image to the real world! I see a squishy couch and my fireplace again. I’m easily won!

I love the couch I included (the Kensington from Jonathan Adler) but at almost $4k, that’s our entire WDW budget out the window! On something that we let the dogs up on 🙂 I’m actually thinking something insane, something I swore I’d never do again… I’m thinking of just getting a futon! Assuming it had a high enough quality, I like the idea. It’s comfy and more washable than your average couch. This one from Target would fit the bill quite well. It’s a bit trendy with the chevron, but at $200, it’s easily sent along to a college student who would love it or given a slipcover.

Screen Shot 2013 07 08 at 7 15 53 PM

NewImage“But Carolee”, you say, “you mentioned color. I’m seeing a LOT of grey!” That’s true, there is a LOT of grey and white. But that’s what layering’s for, right? There’s tons of great things, like the wall of art I showed in the design board above to the mess of pillows you see to the right. I also have an impressive collection of random art bits that will be a solid start that I can continue to build on.

Finally, there’s the mantel. People laugh at the current state of our mantel. I’m thinking you might be able to guess why:

Watching Fantasista Doll recently

Along with the cute BMO and family picture is… the Velvis. I’m easily the third owner of that velvet painting, though I could easily be the fourth or more! I absolutely love it but some people don’t find it as hilarious as I do. I’m hoping to use it as the large centerpiece for my mantel, but I’m not sure if it’s big enough. It’s only about 25% of the mantel and I feel like a large piece should be 50ish percent. That will definitely be a work in progress, esp. since I’d like to update it from time-to-time with holiday finery!

How about you? What one piece would you love to update in your living room/TV watching area? 

Weekend Wrap-Up: Happy 4th!

First, a technical update: This site should now be running much much faster! If you have any issues with it, please let me know via the contact form!

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! Mine was long, relaxing and sorely needed! I spent the 4th with some of my favorite people here in LA: 

(Taken from iamchubbybunny's Instagram feed)
(Taken from iamchubbybunny’s Instagram feed)


New suit!
New suit!

However, I have to say that one of my personal triumphs for this weekend was shopping for, buying and wearing a bathing suit, in public, without drama or feeling self-conscious. I’m not embarrassed to admit that this has not been the case for most of my adult life. I’ve “made due” with whatever I could find and it usually fit poorly or it was black because black is what I wore.

I worked with Reachel over at Cardigan Empire recently and she sent me a whole little book full of all sorts of fun fashion inspiration for me, my coloring and my shape. I used the newly given knowledge and approached my swimsuit shopping with it in mind. I was able to grab this fabulous suit at Marshall’s for under $25 and under 15 minutes! Woohoo! I got quite a few complements on it and felt great wearing it. It meant I got to enjoy floating around on that turtle you see up there rather than worrying about if all my parts were covered, if my boobs were going to fall out, etc. Pure chillaxing at it’s finest!

Beyond that, I had two specific intentions this weekend:
1) Take some Nendoroid photos
2) Start my Wondercolts Rarity cosplay

Let’s start with #1! As you can see, it went very well!


On a recent trip to Little Tokyo here in LA, I found a Taiga Aisaka Nendoroid and happily brought her home with me. My Miho Nishizumi arrived this week along with her little tank seat. I immediately thought of putting the two together! Luckily, we had a nice sunny day on Saturday so I grabbed my camera and took a few shots. I’m very happy with them (except for the dog hair. I’ll check next time!)

#2 didn’t go quite as well. I did manage to get the Wondercolts C and her cutie mark completed in Silhouette Studio, but then it kind of all fell apart. Fabric was the wrong color, pattern pieces were missing, the works! So, I decided to wait and try again in a bit. 

Aside from that, my weekend was filled with Korean food (one night with Sarah of Jynxed Art & Cosplay after she’d hit up AX as Pentakill Sona, the second with Yume Ninja, her boyfriend and our friend PSY!) and anime, lots and lots of anime! We watched:

I think that I’ll keep up with all of these except for Attack on Titan which is pretty much nightmare fodder for me. I tried, I really did, but it was too much!

And now it’s Monday, back to real life for most people, including myself. I had some real life thoughts this morning as I realized that I miss papercrafting. I still want to do it, the reason I haven’t been is a lack of inspiration. So, I’m going to try forcing it and hoping that gets the lead out. Thankfully, I have a person in mind who’s having a birthday soon so it’s a good time to start their card!

What do you do to get over creative block? Let me know in the comments below! I need the help!

Things I Love Thursday

mermaid nails


NewImageMy new words to live by!


Crazy Card Sunday!

cardmakingI’d been hesitating on playing with these five minute cards from SVGCuts because I didn’t believe it would actually only take five minutes. And to be totally fair, they don’t. But that was mostly because I’m using Silhouette Studio and it requires a touch of extra work to cut SVGs 🙂 Once I got those done, they came together lickety split!

I had so much fun making these cards. I got to go through my stash of paper and actually use some of the stuff I’d been just dropping into a box (especially my 12×12″ paper) to use “later”. Now that I have .studio files for these, I’ll be zipping through making these ones and enthusiastically converting the rest ASAP!

The “I Like You” card above was really stash-heavy, so I may have problems giving product names for everything! A lot of it was from random Studio Calico card kit paper packs. The main base of the card is a textured green, the floral pattern in the front is Basic Grey for Studio Calico (XSC-029 if that helps!) and the floral hand and scalloped orange were both from Lawn Fawn’s Pink Lemonade pack. The yellow chevron came, I think, from the special Ali Edwards December Daily kit that Studio Calico sold.

As for this one, I used almost exclusively the Pretty Party collection from Crate Paper*. BTW, if you like it, you should click the link! I just looked and the 6×6 pack is 25% off! The denim is from Simple Stories and I’m trying to find it for sale but having a lot of trouble!

I hope your weekend was equally productive! I’m surprised but glad I was able to get these two cards done. I also cut a second thank you card so I’ll have it in reserve for when I need one. Planning to put that one together today. Have a great Monday!


* This is an affiliate link. However, the product I used was paid for by myself. If you buy something via the link, thank you! You’re helping feed future projects 🙂

Things I Love Thursday!

Today’s post was hard! Why? Well, I’ve been avoiding being online for the last day or two so I didn’t have any links. It’s only up from here!!

Remember the TOMS x Shabby Chic shoes I mentioned last week?
Here they are! They’re my shoes for the summer!

Lawn Fawn 2013 Spring Release: One of my favorite new to me brands. They just released some insanely cute stuff for Spring 2013 and you should go check it out! I’m obsessed with the Pink Lemonade line!

Studio Calico’s Neverland Kits: While on the subject of paper, Studio Calico is showing off it’s March kits and they’re gorgeous! I’m going to be up on time on the 27th so I can grab them all!

Shabby Chic Easter Wreath: One of many from this incredible shop! Go check them out!

Baking Cupboard Labels: I’ll admit to being totally crazy for Torie Jayne’s blog. This week, she shared how she made her adorable labels and how you can make some too!

Spring and Easter Pastel Colours: As you can see, I’ve started to dream of Easter’s pastels, and hearthomemadeuk is totally feeding into that!

atelier lavanda: I just found this blog via hearthomemadeuk and I’m in love! Go check it out for yourself!

My Easter Tea: Loads of fantastic springy stuff on this pinterest board!

Shabby Chic Spring: As advertised, a board full of amazing inspiration from Astrid Carlucci.

Source: via Pink Piccadilly Pastries on Pinterest


Source: via Astrid on Pinterest

Source: via Pink Piccadilly Pastries on Pinterest

Source: via Pink Piccadilly Pastries on Pinterest

Wardrobe Wednesday: Action Steps

So, now that we’ve established where we want to be, we need to start taking action toward getting there!

1) Get clear on your “brand” and what you really need.

Ask yourself, What do you want your clothing to say about you? What do you want that first impression to be? Give yourself some time to daydream and think…

Then ask, What sort of clothing do you need in your life? For example, the person who needs a suit for work has very different needs than the person who works in a casual office or is a stay-at-home mom. Or maybe, like me, you’re often cold, even in summer, so you need to be aware of sleeve length and having your legs covered. If you go to a lot of parties or have a hobby where more formal attire is required, you’ll need to factor that in as well.

This is also an opportunity for you to radically change your answer to both of those questions, so if you’ve ever wanted to, now is that time! Maybe you wish you had more sparkling party dresses. Maybe you hate being underdressed. Factor that in here.

2) Clean out your current closet.

Take an afternoon, get yourself your favorite non-alcoholic beverage (you need to be of sound mind for this process!) and a friend or some fantastic music and go through everything and put it in three piles: love, TLC and other.

  • What do you love that loves you back? Make sure it’s hung and well cared for. Make a note of it in a notebook so that you’re aware of it and can remove it from your possible lists of needs.
  • Anything you love that needs a little TLC? Show it the love and either fix it yourself (you’d be surprised how easy a button is to fix) or send it to someone who can fix it for you. Again, add it to the list of haves and move on.
  • Not right? Doesn’t fit? It goes into the other pile. Grab some big black garbage bags and get rid of it. Either give it to a friend who will love it or donate it to charity. I always tell myself, “oh, I’ll put it on eBay or etsy!” but realistically, the time I put into it never pays out. If you have some fantastic vintage finds that make a killing on one or the other, go ahead but 99.9% of the time, it’s better to just give it away and get it out of the closet.

BTW, this is directly applicable to anywhere else in your life, including but not limited to your computer, your jewelry drawer, your cosmetics case… the list goes on and on!

3) Ask yourself, What would best serve you right now?

When I gave the massive list last Wednesday, you may have thought to yourself (like I did), “Oh my goodness… I like this idea, but rebuilding? That’s going to get really expensive!” and it potentially can. But, here are three questions you can ask yourself to help:

  1. What can you spend right now? Give yourself a number.
  2. When’s the next time you’ll be able to spend another big chunk?
  3. What pieces do I really need between then and now?

Answer these three questions honestly and that will give you an idea of what you should start window shopping for.

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Wardrobe Wednesday: The Beginning!

I’m switching it up for a few weeks in favor of a “real life series” I’d like to do.

a dreamy wardrobe…

“How does one manage to be well dressed? Planning your wardrobe is the answer. A wardrobe of clothes which are becoming to you and which are appropriate to the occasion do not just happen to collect in your closet.”

Guide to Modern Clothing

Sure, the quote above has a copyright date of 1962 but that doesn’t make it any less true today than it was then! I know that in my own life, I’ve had a very “fly by the seat of my pants” approach, if you’ll excuse the pun, to my wardrobe and it shows! I’m rarely to never prepared for anything beyond walking the dog or going to the grocery store and even that’s a little sketchy at best! Any time I have something more needy than that, from a friend’s birthday soiree to a public event or a vacation, I’m totally stumped. Often, I resort to something that’s ill fitting, either on me or for the occasion.

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