Tuesday, October 29, 2013


I had an assignment to "stalk" someone and then write the dialogue just from watching them.  I will give you the photo first.  Please bare in mind, I could not hear anything they were discussing. I was simply watching and made up the story all on my lonesome!

And then the story I wrote.  

Let me know what you think... :) 

“That’s What Friends are For”
By: Erika Hayes

They frequent this establishment every Thursday morning, the taller of the two gentleman, Stan sits arms folded clearly guarding his pain. His longtime friend and breakfast partner, Earl brings a mug to his lips and takes a long draw from his piping-hot house specialty Ethiopian Yrgacheffe.  A top grade blend produces a stunningly aromatic cup of java. Hints of floral and citrus permeate this full body coffee that is exotic, and a bit earthy.  
“AHHHHH, this is much better than Starbucks.” Earl reflects as he sets his cup back on the table. Earl knows Stan is hurting, and he searches for the right words to comfort his friend.
Stan touches his and hand to his head, “She’s not going to get better, is she?”  His nose tingles as he combats the tears that since he was a boy, he has learned to suppress. Tears do not come easily, as a decorated veteran of two wars Stan has seen many things in his long life. 
     “No.”  Earl’s voice is low and gentle, “She has lived a full life. I know it’s not long enough Stan, it will never be long enough when you love so genuinely. Stan she’s ready…”   
Leaning forward, Stan places his elbow on his knee, “Yeah, but I’m not ready. I need her…”  His long fingers extended over the side of his face as he rests his chin in the palm of his hand. “I wonder, do you think there is a heaven?” Hope brings a slight lift to his voice as he returns to an upright sitting position.
“If there is she will be there and St. Peter won’t even ask her name, they will be expecting her!”  Earl dips his head slightly and lifts his cup to the air giving a invisible toast to St. Peter.
Pinching the bridge of his nose, the tears are battling to force themselves on him, as he valiantly fights them off once more. He clears his throat and shakes his head slightly.
 Leaning forward Earl taps his friend’s hand then quickly pulls away, “She loves you.  That is why she is fighting.”
“I know, I feel like I should tell her to just let go, but I don’t want to, I just don’t want to, she may be ready, but I am not! I always thought I would be first to go...” the words shake with grief.  Rubbing his large worn hand across his forehead, he tries to shield his sad blue eyes. He shakes his head, then retreats for an ephemeral moment to the place that he fears the most, a life without her. Then taking in a deep breath, he exhales with a slight chuckle of disbelief.
 Returning his attention to his friend, he runs his fingers through his thinning silver mane, “What will I do when she is gone?  Who will I talk to when the house is quiet?  Who will keep my bed warm at night? How will dinner ever be the same if she is not there to snatch my broccoli from my plate? She knows I hate broccoli…”  His elbow returns to his knee, shoulder slope, eyes cast downward he shakes his head. 
“Stan, stop it!” Earl lifts his hand and brings it down abruptly in his palm. “She doesn’t want you to be sad for her.”
“Earl, that is the thing, I am not sad for her. I am a selfish man, I am sad for myself.”
Realizing his friend was already mourning the impending loss, Earl shifts uneasily in his chair and for the first time, felt frustration in his friend’s reaction to the news that she would not live much longer. Earl clasps his hands together leans his head back and his face betrays his exasperation with a slight eye roll.  “She’s not even gone; you are wasting time on this Stan.” He lifts his hands toward the door and continues, “Go relish in your time together, sit with her, stroke her hair, and just enjoy the time you left.”
Stan shakes his head places his elbows on the table leans forward hands placed together as if he were about to pray, and chokes out, “I know Earl, but I will miss her so much.” 
A warm sincere smile spreads slowly across Earl’s face, his eyes travel upward as he assures his friend, “We will all miss her but she wants you to be happy. She would want you to find another dog. She wants you to make that dog happy, bring him or her in to your home, and love that pup like you love her!”
Stan’s posture relaxes, tension releasing, moving from sorrow to appreciation for his friend’s kind words, he offers a weak smile and says, “You’re right Earl, I know your right. We should get out of here.”
As they stand to leave Earl brings a plastic cup with  a small amount of water to his lips takes a final sip, then tosses back his morning pills and places his hand on his friends back and says “Let’s go get Maggie and take her to the park!”
“Sounds good, thanks for being such a good friend!” Stan lifts his hand and the two men embrace as only old friends can and walk toward the glass doors marked EXIT.
“You’re welcome. That’s what friends are for.”

Monday, October 28, 2013

My poor car!

This is only the back panel, the front by the driver is just
as bad! :(

So I was in a car accident. My poor car.  They have told us it will be 4 weeks to repair it, there was a lot of damage to my car and to me!  I am doing MUCH better now.  I was actually able to try and pull a layout together last night.  I got very tired so it's not the best, but it is the best layout I have ever made while on pain killers.  WHICH I HATE by the way.  They always make me itchy.  

Speaking of itchy, I was really feeling like I had abandon my studio completely so I told my hubby I am going to try and get a layout done today.  He agreed that I needed some time to be myself.  So I went up about in the the afternoon and finished this layout about 9:00 pm... mostly because I had to go and take breaks because I would get tired.  I can also see that my lines were well straight in my head at the time but clearly not so straight.  

Please ignore the failed straight line. It was the hydrocodone
working its magic  :)  

Something I love about scrapbooking though is that there is always more than one story being told.  The story on the page and the story of the creation of the page.  I look at layouts that I have created previously and I remember where and when (about) I made that layout... the people I was with, what was happening. It is a bonus about scrapbooking. You get to remember more than the tale on the page... but the story of your own journey and creative heart.  I know this one will go down in the annuals of  WOW I remember that layout, it was the one I did after the accident!  

Well that is all for today-- I do have some short stories to share but that will be later this week!  

Be blessed friends, and remember, life is precious, it can be gone in a moment (1.5 seconds) live in the joys of life NOT in the mundane.  Hold on to your memories, and scrap them.. cause when you are gone, it may be the only thing you have left to leave the ones you love! 


Monday, September 30, 2013

Bella Bombs = More Writing

Ok that is a harsh title.. but I was sad that I was not chosen for the Bella Team. BUT that is part of putting yourself out there is learning that rejection is not a bad thing.  I just didn't fit THIS time... RIGHT!  Of the layouts I submitted I agree they are not my best work.  I love Bella but I am not a ONE line kind of scrapper. I like to mix the manufacturers up. I did like the layouts but didn't LOVE them!

ON the flip side, I did get some feedback from my Creative Writing professor!  So the good with the bad.. I think the writing is more important to me too, so maybe I need to learn to stick with what I know!  NAH.. where is the fun in that?

ANYWAY, here are some of the layouts I created for the Bella DT call.. Thanks for hangin in there with me. I have a lot more fun stuff to share and a few (anyone that knows me sit down) Halloween crafts.. YES I am doing a few Halloween Crafts this year!  Why.. because I have kids that want to do them!

Be Your Own kind of Beautiful By Erika Hayes

Her Futures so Bright She's Go To Wear Shades
So Very Loved

ALL of the above layouts are 99.9999998% Bella Blvd Product. I will say this, the product IS timeless!  It never goes out of style.. some of the papers used are from several years ago!!! (I used the Lovely line for the first time since I bought it.. and it worked just lovely hehehe) 

OK that's all I am off to class.. See you friends... 
I am getting closer to having the challenge blog set up.. I would appreciate if you share the fact that I am moving that direction soon... 
Be Blessed! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Baby's got BACK!

So I created a new quilt top.  The story in a nutshell - I purchased 2 yards of  this fun Green/Black fabric one day about 8 or 9 months ago from Hobby Lobby using my 40% off.

I returned the next day to purchase the a couple yards of the coordinating white/black/green butterfly fabric at 40% off

-- side note: I love that Hobby Lobby let's me use my 40% off everyday!--

 I had some black fabric at home and threw them all together for a "someday" project.  Haha- that is most often the kiss of death- cause I collect fabric just like paper, ohh it's just too pretty to use!  I had all but resigned to this fabric joining that pile of too pretty to cut fabric.... BUT  I happened to grab it as I was walking out the door to a quilt retreat I mean there is a chance I may use it.. or at least show it to my quilting friends.

On this retreat I was going to finally use some of the MANY Jelly Rolls (a collection of fabric that has been cut in 2.5' strips) that I have had sitting around and I asked my mom if she had any good patterns for a Jelly Roll Quilts.....
Well, my mom had a fun book for "Jelly Rolls"    The book is called Jelly Roll Quilts  --
Some fun Jelly Rolls
The Book I borrowed from my mom
if you want it, click the title in the
post and it will take you to

As I was looking for a quilt to make, I decided I wanted to use my green/black fabric and I would make my own Jelly Rolls.  So while a traditional Jelly Roll is filled with many different fabrics, mine would not be, so I was a little nervous on how it would look when it was done!  

Here is the result!

Thanks to my 6'2" son for holding mom's quilt up
so you can see the whole thing.. see how careful
he is being with the edges so not to stretch the
fabric... you are awesomesauce Brad!

FYI:  I used the Garden Trellis pattern.. seriously took a day to complete this nice sized Twin Quilt top.. 

NOW for the Baby's got BACK-- Yesterday I went to Hobby Lobby, seeking to find fabric for the back of my new fun quilt.... I walked over and there was the fabric I had purchased almost 8 months ago... with an additional fabric from THAT line that I had not seen before... Imagine how fun that will be on the back, here is a sneak peek at the fabric and once I have the quilt finished I will post the final product. BUT what fun right!  I am excited to get this quilt ready for quiltin'! 

I am hoping to get more Scrapbook/Cards made this weekend and have lots to share over the next few days.  I am very much considering making a challenge that will mimic the ISSUE challenges again... Just need to know if there is enough interest!  Let me know what you think...


REMEMBER!!! Its the little things that make life awesomesauce with a side of coleslaw... so get out there and find your little slice of joy for today! 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Print and Cut and fall in LOVE

If I have not said this already let me say it again... I LOVE MY SILHOUETTE!  I have a friend that had a baby very recently and I wanted to give her a welcome baby card at church last Sunday.  I was going to do the traditional stamp it, color it and assemble a card-- then it got late.  You know how life...
cleaning up after dinner
folding putting away laundry
sweeping and straightening before bedtime
prep of Sunday School

HAPPENS!  Time was short and I wanted to make something pretty AND I wanted to make it FAST!  SO I went to my little heaven here at home (AKA my crafting space) and went to the computer to get some inspiration.  WELL I popped onto the silhouette store to get a "Baby" svg cut that I wanted and I always check the "new designs" category and it usually distracts me for about 45 minutes (this is truly how the creative process works - 20 minutes of work for every 45 mins of goofing off-- well that's how it works for me!)
SO whilst scanning the new stuff I saw a fill pattern that I loved so I downloaded it.. then of course I saw a few other things I loved and downloaded them...
all this time the clock keeps matching on..
When I was done scoping out the new stuff I realized it was almost 11:30 -- probably need to get busy on the actual reason I came up here!

I went to my silhouette studio and was thinking about that fill pattern.. it was SOOO cute I wanted to use it. So I started playing.  Oh and in that time I was working so diligently to find fun stuff to play with I downloaded a bundle that had a fun new font in it.. so I wanted to use that too.   I really loved the design I came up with but as you know time was slipping by and I didn't want to spend all night putting the giraffe bodies together.
THEN I remembered.  OH I can make this cut file a print and cut by simply filling in and removing the "cut" lines. SO easy.  In about 10 minutes I had the giraffes colored (and the cute heart which was another fun fill pattern I downloaded)  and sent this bad boy to the printer. -- with registration marks of course.  Then off to the silhouette to have the card front made.  I then realized I needed a matte to set off the printed and cardstock pieces. I just used the print and cut and used the offset function to make the matte to perfectly fit my printed card front.. SO easy then cut it from contrasting cardstock added a little bow stuck it down and in less than 15 minutes I had a super cute one of a kind card.

Here is the final result!  OH and this here is why I LOVE my silhouette.. there is ALWAYS a solution and it is always fun and exciting to create with it!

Welcome Baby Card by: Erika Hayes 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Busy bee.. that's me. Bella Blvd I love you!

So I missed a few days there. Well I have been creating but I just have not been able to share the stuff I have been creating.. let me give you a hint...

Yup, I am creating some layouts to submit to the Bella Blvd Design Team! I never like to tell when I submit to Design Teams because just like everyone else, I get nervous!  It takes a lot of guts to have your work judged.  I do know this.  I have tried to make many teams and don't make it. Sometime I do, but this particular team is really nerve-wracking.  I love Bella Blvd, and I have decided that it is time to just go for it.  
So I hope you will also go for that special team that you really want to be on.  I also would LOVE to be on the Silhouette team, but its the tutorial thing that I think I am struggling with.  I do love silhouette and I use it ALLLLL the time in fact the NEXT blog post is about my Silhouette! I made a super cute card that I can share with all of you!  

That's all I have tonight, I have to have my layouts done by Tuesday, only have one more to go.  I hate two of them, but that is because when you are trying to highlight a product sometime you lose yourself.  ONE reason I hate DT submissions.  BUT I do love that I have been able to work with such fun product. I pulled out some of the older lines and it just proved to me one reason I love Bella Blvd is that it NEVER ever goes out of style.. the older lines still ROCK and WORK with the newer lines.  Stephanie Hunt is my paper superhero! 

Night friends

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

thoughts on Selfies...

OK I admit it... I sometimes like to take selfies.. Here is how it started.  I wanted to put on some lipstick and I for whatever reason I couldn't find my compact so I grabbed my phone and used the self-portrait like a mirror. Once my lipstick was on, I took a photo of my new hair cut and sent it to my hubby... and thus my selfie photo collection started.  SO today as my wonderful hubby was on the phone in the car, I was bored and took a few selfies.  I liked them so I thought to myself. Why?  OH I know one reason.. I have lost almost 33 pounds since March.. that helps.. but I realized that I don't have a lot of photos of ME because I am usually the one behind the lens.
So I decided (back all those months ago) to start taking more photos of myself.  I like self portraits, they let me be silly...

How about you.. when do you take self portraits? Do you always share them or like me do you have a little stash of them hidden away on your hard drive!

Here are a few of my favorite selfies

Sometimes they are with my hubby

Sometimes cause I'm bored

Some are sent to my brother

Some are cause I want to remember something special

Some cause my kids rock

Some cause I feel pretty that day

Doesn't happen all the time so if you feel pretty take two! 

Some cause I just got my hair done and want to show my hubby

But it all started because I needed to be sure my lipstick was straight! 
SO anyone else feel a scrapbook layout coming on... I sure do! 


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Stitch Much??

So I HAVE been scrapbooking but I can't share those layouts with you just yet... sometimes that's how it goes!  I have been doing other stuff too!

So my mom and I went to a quilt show a few years ago and I found this beautiful quilt pattern that I wanted to make. For some reason I got it in my head that I wanted to cut it by hand, stitch it by hand AND quilt it by hand! LUCKY for me my mom said she would help.  Since we moved, I have been sewing a lot more.  I like to sew, I forget how much sometimes, but I really do love it.  I have dusted off my hand work and here is what I have been doing.
Cut with scissors, stitched by hand.
One of several I have done.   
My mom told me my stitches need to be small and tight.
I hope this passes her test!  :) 

So I will keep working on it. It has been my experience that when I have several projects going I am happiest.  They must be controlled and able to be put away but I love having hand work to do when I am not in the mood to bust out all the stops. So like I said before... many works of art make for a balanced mess.

Tonight I am crafting a character inventory for my Creative Writing Class. It is fun because I get to look up all kinds of interesting information.. LIKE did you know that there are several very expensive Irish Whiskey's.. yeah there are and if you want you can find out how they taste.. even if you don't drink! :) 

OK my friends thank you so much for stopping by and sharing life with me.  I love hearing from you! 

Be blessed and make a mess! 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

ZEN again...

Me I have just started a new school semester, and that can be bumpy as it adds new stress to life.  Schedules change and we moved recently so I still have the rest of those boxes that seem to "loom" and you are positive that you put that stuff in that box away yet when you look in the box, there is more stuff!
I am sharing all that to say.. LIFE can be stressful!  Being creative is a great way to relieve stress. One of the things I LOVE to do when I am stressed and just need my brain to have time to recoup is Zenthangle.. or Zendoodle...

Here are a few of my Zens

Zenthangling is pretty easy you just kind of doodle in a shape, now there are a lot of doodle ideas for zenthangling and I find that they are very helpful if you need a little inspiration.  

Here are a few so grab several different pens with different tips and get to doodlin!

Thangle Patterns


Get creative somehow everyday... remember many creative outlets makes for a balanced mess! ;)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Creative Words

I am taking a class this semester one that is NOT sign language but Creative Writing.  Many people know I love to write, but I guess until today I never thought about words as being a form of Creativity I can share.. They are. so today for my creative outlet I would like to share with you the words I chose as my "introduction" in my class.  The thing is this.  It had to be 300 words or less (by the other submissions I realized I may have been the only person to read that requirement)  I had to use two of these three words: choreographed, bone or seedy.  This was to be an Origin Story with a Super Hero theme... so here are my carefully crafted words... (Today I am working on a scene from a book I am writing, I will share it later..)

Fall 1991
The palm trees swayed gently in the Hawaiian breeze.  The sweet smell of the indigenous flowers infiltrated her senses.  It was a balmy day, almost sluggish leaving one wanting only to sit on the beach to enjoy a few manapua and a Coca-Cola. Erika Hayes had long planned for the events she now awaited. Nothing would rob her of this thing she dreamt of becoming since she was but a child.
 In her own mind she questioned, “Could today be the day? The day I finally …”, It happened suddenly, ridiculously abrupt. She had anticipated, longed for, and desired this moment to come but the pain rushed upon her ripping through her, so intense it screamed out from the very marrow of her bones. She stifled the moans.   The metamorphosis had begun.  Slowly the waves of agony pushed at her, and in a moment it had transpired.   The changes in her body seemed choreographed like this was a natural event, as if any person would be able to achieve this highest of calling.  Her ability to shape-shift had come to completion. Erika had forever changed; she felt the eyes forming in the back of her head, the uncanny ability to hear all things spoken and implied. Erika knew the pain was worth the reward.  She knew her plan was coming full circle, and the world would never be the same.
 In the days that followed her initial transformation she noticed her abilities had become keen, she was able to complete many tasks simultaneously more than that of a “normal” person.  She was able to function completely with no sleep.  She could distinguish the sounds of need, hunger, and discomfort from just a whimper.  Erika realized she had truly become a super mom. 

Tonight I am hoping to work on some layouts so perhaps I will have something scrapbooky for you tomorrow. I have class tonight but it's my Friday.. (of sorts, I still have my online classes!)


Monday, August 19, 2013

New Studio..

This blog is a celebration of "NEW"  I am trying to not just focus on scrapbooking but all the interesting things I like to dabble in, from paper crafting to wordsmithing, I am getting crafty and loving every minute of it.  
I recently moved...and I can finally say I feel like my new space is near completion.  I love that everything has a place and that I am very comfy in my space.  This is my favorite place in the world because it is in a place I can get great natural light, see out the windows to a beautiful park across the street, and of course I can create.  

Today I wanted to share my space with you. There is stuff to do to add the finishing touches, but I don't want to wait any longer to share.  I would like to point out that the desk... is cleverly placed filing cabinets which nicely double for storage! 



This is only a quick look.  I can tell you it was a great time putting this together.. if you look in the upper right hand corner of the second and third shots you can clearly see my Project Life collection is a little out of control!   

Thank for sharing my space with me-- you are welcome anytime! 


I have class tonight so I am not sure what I will have time to get crafty with tonight :) but I will come up with something I am sure!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Quilt in a day!

Completed Quilt Top! 
Remember yesterday when I said I would be doing lots of crafty things?  Well Yesterday I made the quilt top from the Super Simple Quilts book and YES it was very simple in fact I completed the entire quilt top in only a few hours from first cut to final stitch.  I still need to add borders (which I need to go buy the fabric).  The top was very quick and I think it came out pretty cute!  I will add the process below for you... bare with me. there are a lot of photos!
Cutting the fabric for the strips.
Remember it is important to use a nice
sharp blade and use the ruler
correctly (Thanks Mom!)
Start stitching, I used the
chain stitching method which was
perfect for this quilt 

All of Block A complete
Strips are done

Begin making strips of blocks!
This is the fun part! 

ALWAYS mark your blocks
before you  start assembling!

So that is what I did yesterday.  I am going to buy the border fabric today. This was a lap size, so it is not really for a bed, but great for when you are watching TV or when you just want to experiment with a pattern.

OK I will try and do a little something tonight for you, but it was a busy day today-- When I have the quilt completed, borders, back and binding I will post it!  

Have a great weekend
Keep Crafting! 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

HAPPY Saturday!

Good Morning Sunshine!
Yup it is another HOT day here in Phoenix!  We may make it over the 110 mark, so what does a girl do when she can't go outside to enjoy the summer sun... she stays in and gets crafty!

Today's Layout is brought to you by CSI Case 85 challenge which I will be doing again later as I do NOT like this layout.  HOWEVER, to be fair, I am just getting my mojo back.  This layout started out sooo much better in my head.  The printable downloads for this case file are adorable and I had a hard time picking which I wanted to use so my solution was to use a bunch of them! OH and did I mention they have pattern papers as well!  Yes they do and as I sat playing last night I realized that every time I play a CSI challenge it's like getting a new pack of goodies to play with every new case.  OK enough stalling here is the layout I made
Sedona Sunset - by Erika Hayes
CSI Case #85
SO to make up for the layout I don't like I have one that I do like... it is of my beloved Grandfurpuppy Akea. The title of this layout is about as true a statement that has ever been made...even people that say "generally I don't like dogs... but he is so sweet"  I am 110% sure it is those eyes. How he ever ended up in a shelter I will never know! I am sooooo blessed that my daughter rescued him, he is just Mr. Personality rolled up in cuteness...
Everybody Loves Him - By Erika Hayes

OK so today I am cutting a quilt.  I will have some photos for you tomorrow!  This quilt is SUPER simple.  In fact the name of the book I got the pattern from is called Super Simple Quilts by Alex Anderson and Liz Aneloski.
Sneak Peek at the fabric:

NOT Colors one would expect from me.  That's okay.. sometimes it is fun to step out of what is expected into something else that you may find you just LOVE!

Quick Note: While scrapbooking is my first and primary love in crafting, I am a crafter, I do all kinds of stuff and this blog is dedicated to that-- making stuff... so when I make stuff I will share it here. Check labels if you want to find something faster! 

Have a Rockin' Good Weekend! 
Craft your he{art}s out! 

Friday, August 16, 2013

A must for all CRAFTERS!

The Silhouette Cameo- A Crafter's MUST! 

If you don't know by now, let me assure you my love for my Silhouette rivals that my love of chocolate.  Of course you should know my love of chocolate is a bit out of control thus my love for my Silhouette falls neatly into the category of unhealthy.

As previously mentioned, I am getting back in my scrappy mode-- although there shall be quiltin' going on for sure in the next few days!  Last night I pulled out my latest Studio Calico Kit and decided to get a layout done.  I must tell a truth here... sometimes it is hard for me to just get started!  A kit is always a fast way to get your mojo movin'  if the challenge blog challenge is already done that is ;)

I created this layout of my amazing daughter whom will ALWAYS give you a goofy look if you ASK her to smile.. now if you just take a photo she will look at you and give you a lovely smile-- just never ask her... or even say "smile!"  Almost all the product used here was from my August Studio Calico Kit.  As I was constructing this layout I had a little spot that was well "naked"  so here is where my Silhouette Cameo came to the rescue AGAIN!  I needed just a little something, all my embellishments were truthfully overwhelming, taking too much of the eye!  So I decided to check my cut library and found these cute borders (look under the LOVE THIS) that I sized to fit in the space I needed added a little mist (Mister Huey from Studio Calico Sunshine and Piglet)  and created the perfectly sized, perfect embellishment to put the attention on the photo and not take away from the photo.  So sometimes my Silhouette is for a BIG project, other times I will use it when I need a little touch of something to give the project a finished look.  With my Silhouette I always have the perfect embellishment in the perfect color.
Never Say Smile - by Erika Hayes
Studio Calico August Kit

Well that is what I have for you today my friends! Have a great day!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Moved from Typepad...

It all started with blogger and now the prodigal has returned... I am excited to get started on my first post.

First let's talk about Summer Photos.. anyone take photos from the car?  I am so bad, I do this all the time.  My challenge over then next week is to create a layout using my "scenery" from the car photos. I hope that challenge will not prove to be too daunting.  I am in a very creative mood as I got my new Kit from Studio Calico this week and due to being super busy at work have not been able to play yet!  I have been mulling over what I want to create and I have some ideas...

Next, Challenge Blogs.. love em' hate em' whats the verdict?  Well I think I might love them and hate them.  I am trying to re-ignite my scrapping.  I took a little break as life just simply was overwhelming this year. You know it's okay to do that.  It doesn't mean you can never scrap again if you stop for a spell.  I know I have done that several times, and when I come back to it I am stronger as a person and willing to try new things.  I must say, I don't completely stop I will make a card or a layout or two and continue my Project Life.  I just mean I am not trying to daily get in my space and create.  I decided with all the great challenge blogs out there I should be taking advantage of the talented folks that put out the challenge for me.  This week I took part in the CSI challenge (case# 84).  Here is the layout I completed
A New View  -  Created for the CSI Case # 84 - By Erika Hayes
I am not really THRILLED with this layout, but I don't hate it.  I guess that is all part of the creative process.  "They can't all be your favorites" my husband often reminds me.  While its not a bad layout, it just seems a little forced.  Here's why.. this one challenge included a sketch, that sketch was not conducive to my style.  While trying to include elements from the sketch I struggled a bit. ON the GOOD side, when one stretches oneself to try new "styles" we learn new things not only about a different style but about ourselves.  So the lesson for today... pick a challenge blog that features layouts that are outside your personal style and complete the challenge. I am a clean scrapper no doubt, CSI seems to swing more shabby. You don't have to post it in the challenge, but do complete it and keep track of what you have learned.  THINK through your design process, learn something new about yourself.

Good luck!