Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Fun

Not much scrapping for me lately. I've been cooking, shopping, wrapping and all the other fun things that keep us busy during the holiday seasons. I really like the way this one particular project turned out though. I framed some photos for our families in shadow boxes filled with bits of sea glass, tiny shells, small peices of coral picked up along the beach here plus tiny shards of Ryukyu glass . I hope our parents and siblings like them!

This one is ready for mailing to my Mom. She loves sea glass.

Here's a close up of the bits that surround the photo. They are sandwiched between two pieces of glass.

And this one is filled with lots of tiny shells and coral for my sister-in-law.

I got a bit of scrapbooking done earlier in the month while at a retreat in Okinawa. I had this great view from my cabin.

Here's our group of scrappers. You can tell how much fun we were having!

And here' some of the pages I got done during the retreat.

We had lots of make-n-takes and mini classes too. So much fun! Glad I went because I'm not exactly the scrapping queen this month. I have taken my scrap room apart and am in the middle of a reorganization. I'll be clean and fresh and ready to go again in the New Year.
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Making a Star Album for Christmas

Over the years I have taken many of my favorite family photos during the Christmas season, so I decided  why not highlight a few of those in a star-shaped mini album? Star albums are 6x6" mini albums that open up into a star-shape display.  You'll want to make one for yourself as well as a few for gifts. They are fun to make and easier than you may think but do take up a lot of cardstock and patterned paper  -- so make sure you have plenty before you get started.

Here is the supply list I used followed by some instructions. I would love to see how yours comes out, so please share a link if you use my instructions. Meanwhile, have a very Merry Christmas!


1. Three sheets of Bazzill Red cardstock
2. Three sheets Bazzill Yukon Gold cardstock
3. Three sheets of Basic Grey Wassail patterned paper
4. Two pieces of chipboard 6x6”
5. Two sheets of Bazzill Metallic Gold paper for cover
6. Two 12” pieces of 1” wide ribbon
7. Heavy-duty adhesive such as Red Line tape or Book Binding Glue
8. Embellishments of your choice


A. Cut two pieces of Bazzill Metallic Gold paper into 8x8” squares.

B. Place these pieces face down and glue the 6x6” piece of chipboard in the center of the back of each.

Photo C.

C. Trim off each corner of the Metallic paper leaving a 1/8” of space on each corner. (Photo C)

D. Add some glue strips around each edge and fold over the edges of the paper. (Photo D)

E. Lay the two pieces down in front of you and glue a piece of ribbon onto each. The long ends of the ribbon should run to your left on the left page and to the right on the right-hand page.

Building the Star Points

A. Trim the tag ends off of the Wassail patterned paper.

B. Cut your cardstock as follows:

         a. Red – 12x6”

         b. Yukon Gold – 11x6”

         c. Wassail – 10x6”

C. You should now have 6 pieces of each color. Fold each in half.

D. Run a piece of Red Line tape along the short inside edges of the Red and the Yukon Gold papers.

E. Lay the Yukon Gold paper on top of the Red paper and adhere only the edges together.

F. Lay the Wassail paper on top of the Yukon Gold paper and adhere only the edges together.

G. Each star point is made of three layers of paper and now that you have six of these together, you will begin to see the star emerge.

A. Glue the back of one of your stacks to the left-hand cover. 

B. Continue gluing each red layer back to back until you have glued the back cover on the last page.

C. Decorate the inside pages to your liking.

D. Tie the album open and display on a table.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Playing with my Cricut

Recently I bought a Cricut Expression. I love that I can cut up to 12 x24 if I want to, though just cutting 12x12 is exciting enough for me. I've only got a few cartridges -- and I can see that I'm going to be buying a lot more.
For this page I borrowed the Summer Vacation catridge from a friend as it offers a Ferris wheel shape, perfect for my neighborhood! I glittered it with Martha Stewart glitter so that it very nearly resembles the real thing!

One of things I don't like about the Cricut is the inability to change the weight of the fonts. For the word 'hood' I wanted some letters that were hefty but not tall and my Cricut would not let me do that with the font cartridge I own. So I turned to my Wishblade to cut all the words in the title shown here as it allows me to stretch my letters in any direction I so choose. The Wishblade's downfall is the steep learning curve and though I've had it for 4 or 5 years now, I've never been able to cut anything on it but titles and circles.

So for ease of use, the Cricut is the winner hands down. I can't wait to get some more cartridges so I can get scrappin'! If anyone wants to know what's on my Christmas list this year, just let me know!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I'm soon to be a Guest Designer at Scrap a Little

I recently applied for a Guest Design Team position at the Scrap A Little blog. Helen is a fun person, with a spunky personality, great design sense and is always thinking up new ways to make scrapping fun. So of course, I wanted to play along with her sketches. I use her sketches quite often to complete my pages and even use them in some of my own scrapbook classes.

I had fun with the sketch (shown below) she provided for this challenge. I decided to use one photo instead of a series of photos and turned the sketch on its side. And here is what I told her about the page I made for the call:

Even though Okinawa is a beautiful place, someday we get more homesick than others, don't we? I used to watch every launch while in Florida; no matter where I was I would stop what I was doing to watch - as did everyone else in our county. We were all attached to the Space program in one form or another. It's so sad that Obama is putting an end to this program. I particularly love this photo as you can see Atlantis breaking through the sound barrier.

After a great three-day weekend attending some of Okinawa's local events, I'm feeling a bit less homesick today. Once Helen assigns me a month (or week?) to be the Guest Designer, perhaps I'll showcase something of Okinawa's beauty. I really can't wait to see what all the new GDs come up with as all the submissions were so different, so unique.

Here is a list of supplies I used for this LO:
  • BoBunny Paradise Flight patterned paper
  • Mosaic Moments Birch Grid Paper (Mosaic supplies can be purchased by clicking on the SnapNCrop link to the right) 
  • Close to My Heart inks 
  • Ranger Glossy Accents 
  • EK Success 3-D Dots 
  • And I used my Cricut for the journal block, arrows and title.
  • And of course- this sketch from Scrap A Little





Thursday, October 7, 2010

I'm So Proud of my Students!

Kazumi, Waka, & Yuko

Though they are only into month 2 of their beginners' lessons, this week my scrapbook students really rocked the Casbah! I gave them each a page kit courtesy of Helen Croft from Scrap A Little which consisted of the same few elements - a background sheet; 2 paper flower shapes; four strips of various patterned papers; and a journaling block.

I lined the table with punches, ink, stickles, flowers, ribbon, twine and all the tools they could want and told them to be creative! At first I was greeted with a look of horror and shock. After all, though Waka and Yuko had been to 6 classes, Kazumi had only been to one of my classes so far.

I did provide my simple take on the use of the materials. But after settling in with a few sips of our Beauty & Vitamin Drinks, they took to the project with glee.

It is the beginner's inclination to want to use every pretty bit of glitterati and ribbon in sight, but with a few suggestions from me, they each used the kit in entirely different ways. At the end of the day they were all so pleased with themselves and with their creations that I think they have gained in confidence and are beginning to feel like imaginative, artistic scrappers.

Scrapbooking is still in it's infancy in Japan, but these three girls have taken to the art wholeheartedly and that makes me so proud!

And here's mine:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I've Been Published!

 Check out the latest issue of Scrapbook News and Review to see 5 - that's right, count 'em - 5! - of my mosaic creations using the Mosaic Moments Grid Paper and cutting system. It's easy, it's fun, and it makes beautiful pages!

To order supplies to make your own mosaics, click on the SnapNCrop link to the right.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Going Postal

Do you remember the excitement of receiving birthday cards and other sentiments in the mail when you were a kid? These days with email being so fast and free, that personal touch is something I miss. It was always such a good feeling to know that someone cared enough to go through the effort to get that piece of paper to you.

Well recently I received a very nice surprise in my mail box. A handwritten 'Offical Poem on a Postcard' from my next-to-youngest sister. I thought the poem was sweet -- though she had labled it 'cheezy' and created her own little logo to go along with it. Here is a copy of her 'cheezy' poem. The front photos flip open and the postcards and supporting photos are behind the flaps.

As you can see, her poem calls for interaction, so of course I had to answer her in post card form. I hope she got as much enjoyment out of reading mine as I did hers.

And of course, what would a scrapper do, but turn the interaction into a scrapbook page. I used MT washi Masking tape to make the air mail-look border and Close To My Heart Flip Flap pockets to enclose the postcards. Surprise Trish! This is why I asked you for a photo of yourself sitting in your backyard. Thanks for brightening my day and bringing back that nostalgic feeling of opening the mail box and finding something special tucked inside!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hummingbird Look-Alikes

This month we had a bit of stamping fun at our Close to My Heart Scrap Club. Monica provided us with  pretty Veranda papers and the Stamp of the month (called Something Splendid), so we could make a page entitled Sunkissed. Though I had fun creating the page, I just did not have any photos to go with her Sunkissed theme, so had to change it up a bit. I've always wanted to make a page with photos of these huumingbird look-alikes and finally got the chance.

Greg and I have long been fascinated with these amazing little bugs. The first time we saw one we were sitting in a window seat at the Food Court on Camp Foster back in 1996. Outside the window the bushes were in full bloom and these amazing little creatures were drinking nectar to their heart's content. At first we thought they were humminbirds. But no - hummingbirds don't have stripes and they're not brown. These little things were even tinier than a hummingbird and had a long probiscus that they furled and unfurled as they darted from bloom to bloom.

The more we took notice as we travelled around Okinawa, the more we saw these fascinating bugs. Unlike hummingbirds, they don't seem to mind if you approach them to get a closer look.

Now that we are back on Okinawa after a 10-year absence, we can enjoy watching these litttle guys once again. The street outside my window is lined with their favorite flower bushes and they busily flit around not minding me a bit as I follow them with my camera.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Our newest addition!

 It didn't take us long to start feeling like the house was too quiet and lonely without any pets at all. The decision was not made lightly, but we felt like Shima would not mind if we had another kitty in the house. We always talk to his photo and felt that we were making the right decision. So off to the kennel we went and found this poor little white kitty all alone in a cage. Abandoned at one day old, he was found by the military police, brought to the kennel and bottle fed. Two months old to the day when we brought him home, he was a bit undersized and disheveled looking. His fur was like the down on a baby bird - not quite grown in and all fuzzy in spots. His tummy was distended, probably with worms. So he was given some worm meds and we brought him home. He had a rough first night as he seemed to be having a bad reaction to the worm medication, but a call to the vet assured us that he would be fine come morning. So one week has gone by and he has become playful and loving and we are enjoying each other's company very much. His name is Tsuki, which means 'moon' in Japanese.

We have since discovered that he is deaf - a common trait among blue-eyed white cats. So now we are using sign language to try to teach him his name, and to come when we call, etc. And we spray a blast of air from a can on his back when we want to teach him 'NO'. It's a learning experience for us all, but we are enjoying every minute of this new family addition!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Remembering my precious putty tat

 A few weeks ago, my husband and I lost our kitty to cancer. We were both so devastated as he was our only pet and he had been with us for the last 12 years. I wanted to commemorate him on a scrapbook page because, shame on me, I had pages of all our previous pets but none of Shima. And he was the one closest to our hearts.

This page was made with a sketch over at Scrap A Little, but instead of paper strips I used Japanese Washi Tape. This stuff is fabulous - it comes in a zillion colors and is easily repositional if you change your mind about the placement or the color scheme. The flowers on this page were made with toilet paper rolls.

If you've got a washi paper project to show, check the link at the right as Trendy Crafters is having a little contest with a prize giveaway. It's not important for me to win, but I do love to share when I discover a great product - so get yourself some washi tape and create away. Trendy Crafters is sure to give you lots of great inspiration once their contest gets rolling.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Splash Time

I just love this month's featured Grid Paper color! I've got so many ideas of pages to use this fabulous color on. This month, I did not cut up my photos, just the patterned paper. I used the 1" sqaure punch, plus a 1" circle punch on the same paper. The square and the circle are combined to give my page some movement. Check out my how-to on the Design Each Moment site.

And to purchase your own supplies, click the SnapNCrop link to your right.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Don't worry, be happy

This month I have been feeling a bit beaten down by the trials and tribulations of my life. A little Okinawa beach time helps to keep my spirits up and once I printed out this photo of my favorite beach spot, I knew I wanted it to be the main focus of my page.

Though I love to make my mosaics using multiple photos, lately I've been using a lot of patterned papers with a single matted photo in my mosaics. With the feeling of tranquility this one single beach photo brings to me, I decided to extend this single photo into a mosaic with the use of matching cardstock papers.

When life gets you down, you have to find that sweet spot that lifts your spirits and brings you hope. As Emily Dinckinson says hope is the 'sweetest' in a storm; it's when we need it most and it is up to us to find it for ourselves. Sometimes, the beauty of an Okinawa beach can be that spot where you can sit and gather your thoughts and get that hopeful feeling that it will all work out.

Here in Okinawa, the local people – Uchinanchu -- tend to see themselves as bound together by their home island and, especially among older Uchinanchu, will always consider themselves from Okinawa first and Japan second.

Even though I can not claim Uchinanchu by birth, I take solace in being able to claim another variation of the word – shima gaijin (island foreigner). I am an island foreigner not only because I have lived in Okinawa on and off since 1996, but also because I share a common bond with other shima-gaijin and Uchinanchu alike. Maurice Dudly describes it this way: "This common bond ... is venerated in Okinawan dialect when we say "nankuru naisa." It was also described by Bobby McFerin when he sang "Don't Worry, Be Happy." In either tongue, these words are truly words to live by."

 It'll all work out. Have hope.

Want to make your own mosaic page? Check out my tutorial here. To get your own mosaic supplies, such as grid paper and cutting tools, click on SnapNCrop link on the top right-hand side of this post. If you need any help, I will gladly answer your emails at

Watch for my monthly posts featuring the hottest colors in grid papers at Design Each Moment. Here's a sneak peak of July's design.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Quiz fun!

This week's Funday Monday prompt at Creative Scrapbooking Divas is to take the quiz 'What Color is My Soul Painted' and use the results in your journaling.

I'm a fan of the quirky little quizes that sometimes are seen on FB or sent via email and this color quiz is one of my favorites. According to, 'This quiz was designed to explain the meaning of colors and how they represent the human persona.' Though many of these Internet quizes are meant for enlightenment, they simply end up as amusement for me and sometimes the results can be hilarious. So come join us, take the quiz, create a page with you results, and share in the fun!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Easy-peasy Mosaic Scrapbooking

This month's featured Grid Paper at Mosaic Moments is Granite. I really like how the red of my page accents pop off this pretty, soft gray color.

Don't let the complicated look of mosaics scare you away from using this fabulous system. All you need is a little practive and you will be hooked. Making a page with one photo is a great way to begin.  A simple project such as this Taiko page may be just what you are looking for.

Take a peice of paper with a subdued pattern in a similar hue to your Grid Paper and practice using your Mosaic Moments Self-Healing Mat to cut the paper into squares. Accent them with pieces from the Paper Tiles packet. There are 55 tiles in varying sizes in every packet and they come in a myriad of colors.  Next, add what you know: a little stamping, some journaling and a title and your page is complete! See how easy that is? 

Click on the SnapNCrop logo to your right to shop for the supplies you need to get going on your first mosaic project today!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Show Me Your Rainbow Challenge Enries

The online crop at Creative Scrapbooking Divas is coming to an end. Check out these great pages in the Show Me Your Rainbow challenge. If you want play you still have until June 8 to get in your entries to win a great RAK!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Learn to Mosaic!

I love showing off my mosaic layouts to friends and family because they are so beautiful that everyone thinks I'm some sort of scrapbook genius! The truth is that it is really quite an easy technique. Though non-scrappers look at me skeptically, my scrapping friends clamber to learn more.

Recently I signed on to be a Consultant/Instructor for Tami Potter's Mosaic Moments. If you are in Okinawa and would like to learn how to make one of these mosaic pages, simply drop me a line and I'll be glad to get you started.

For a quick preview, check here for my article at Design Each Moment and see for yourself how simple this technique can be.
And once you are ready to give mosaics a try, Visit via the link to your right to begin shopping for your own supplies.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Design Team Call!

Hi Divas! I'm hosting a Design Team Call over at Creative Scrapbooking Divas. I hope you will play along as we've got a really great bunch of gals - and guys too! As you may know, many Ning sites are closing due to a price increase, but we are staying open thanks to the help of our fun-loving Diva members. Stop on by and play along even if you don't want to go out for the DT - we've got a lot going on and you are sure to have some fun and find some inspiration. The call is as follows.

Creative Scrapbooking Divas is excited to announce that our Ning site is remaining open and active thanks to all our great members! To celebrate, we would like to announce a call for two additional Design Team Divas.

The call is open from May 22 – June 18 with the announcement on our site June 26. This will be a six-month term and only those who promise to fulfill the following criteria will be considered.

Who are we looking for?

• A Diva who is willing to dedicate time to our site by being active in the forums, commenting in the gallery, welcoming new members , wishing Happy Birthday and spreading good cheer on a regular basis.

• A Diva who endeavors to inspire by hosting one challenge per month and offering a small RAK to the winner of their challenge, and by posting tutorials or tips from time to time.

• A Diva who can respect deadlines and is a good team player.

• A Diva who will help promote our site and upload their work in the gallery for inspiration on a weekly basis.

How Do I apply?

Email the following to Admind Diva Theresa at (that's me!!!)

• Full name, email and mailing address.

• A link to your blog (if you have one).

• A link to your online gallery.

• A short bio including why you think you are a Scrapbook Diva. Also let us know if you have a specific skill or area of interest (for example, sketches, cards, altered art, digi).

• Your take on the attached sketch (from Page Maps).

Good luck everyone!

Friday, May 7, 2010

How to make Origami Flowers

It's been a while since I've had a chance to post as I've just moved into my new place and my scraproom is still in boxes. So I've decided to share with you my most recent post at Design Each Moment- just in case you missed it there of course.

I received this Petal Pink Grid Paper from Tami Potter and Mosaic Moments at a perfect time of year as April in Japan turns pink with the blossoming of all the cherry trees. Though in the US pink is associated with little girls, in Japan the color pink has a masculine association. The spring blooming of the cherry trees is said to represent the young Samurai warriors who fell during battle in the prime of their life.

Everyone in Japan celebrates the arrival of spring with a picnic or a stroll through the park simply to take in the pleasure of all those pink blossoms. Rain or shine, it’s a celebration and gratitude just for being alive. Though our stroll under the cherry trees was taken on a very rainy day, it did not take away from the pleasure of viewing these beautiful blooms.

As I began to scrap my cherry blossom photos, I looked for a way to add dimension to my mosaic page. Why not layering? This page used four 4x6 photos and one 5x7. Once my 4x6 photos were in place, I trimmed around the main subject of the 5x7 and placed it over the mosaic. The tree is a piece of Microsoft clip art enlarged and layered over the mosaics. The title – which says Sakura (cherry blossom) -- is cut from a package of cherry blossom noodles (yes, this time of year everything is made from the edible blossoms) using an EK success extra large retro flower punch. The cherry blossoms are origami, made by folding a 1 ½ inch square of paper. I’ve included a tutorial at the end of this post on how to fold the origami flowers for those who are interested. It’s my first video tutorial so please go easy on me!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Okinawa Bound

Well, here I am moving again! After leaving the beautiful island of Okinawa 10 years ago, we are once again Oki bound!
I cannot explain it any better than Virtual Okinawa so let me quote them for you:

An ancient kingdom of glittering seas, lush green islands, and fields of sugarcane, Okinawa enjoys a measured pace of life that's far removed from any hectic city routine. A sub-tropical climate keeps Okinawa pleasantly warm even when the rest of Japan is shivering, and in the scorching summer months it is a kaleidoscope of brilliant flowers, dazzling white beaches and stunning coral, making the islands perfect for diving, water-skiing, sailing and every other form of ocean recreation. Okinawa also has a proud artistic and musical tradition, and is home to many unusual and beautiful species of flora and fauna.

You can see why this Florida girl is delighted to return. The culture of Okinawa is so different from that of Japan and I will miss life here on the mainland immensely. I leave a peice of my heart here in Japan, but look forward to what the future holds in sunny Okinawa. While I sort and pack and make my arrangements I may seem missing in action for awhile, but check back because you know I'll have lots to report.

PS: Like my mosaics? Check out Mosaic Moments for tips on making them and for purchasing the grid paper. This month's featured paper is Cypress Green.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Divas Spring Break Online Crop!

I just realized that I am about to make my 100th post here at Sunshine Memories! So what could be better to post about than the Spring Break Crop that we are organizing at Creative Scrapbooking Divas!

Join us on Feb 20 -- We've got a brand new DT and lots of fun and exciting games planned!
Joining Luisa, SheShe, Toccara and me are
Lora, Ann, Lori and Alecia!
We are all so pleased to be working together and have such an exciting crop planned. There's Bingo, Photo Hunts, Steal the RAK, Sketches, Scraplifting, Recipes, Altered Art, Card Making, Stamping, Color Prompts
Lots of Tips & Techniques to help you learn and grow while you are having fun!

What is happening? Spring Break Crop!
When?  Feb 20th!
See you there!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Silly Time!

This week's Sketchy Thursdays sketch arrived about the same time as these cute pictures of my grandsons. The sketch calls for 3 photos on a patterned background as you can see here:
But since I had four photos I decided to blow one up, turn it to a green duotone and use that as my base for the other photos. The little cameras are die cuts from and the clock face is a Making Memories Vintage Findings. It just happened to fit perfectly in the hole in the die cut.

Since I'm such a sloppy scrapper I had to use the white camera to cover a big glob of something-or-other that stuck to my page. I think because I kept it white it does not distract too much from the design of the page. LOL! A little black backing behind the die cuts, main photo and patterened paper grounds the page. The stripe is made with one of my favorite scrap items right now - MT masking tape. It's sold everywhere in Japan in about a zillion colors -- but if you have deep pockets, you can buy it online under the name of Happy Tape. Click on the link on the right to be taken to MT's home page. They do have an English Menu so you can translate and read all about the company. Kind of a fun read! Customer Service par excellence! (And while you are there, check out my LO in their gallery made with a rainbow of MT colors.)

I love that my daughter-in-law Jenny shares moments like this with me. She is a military wife whose husband is deployed and it helps me to worry a little less about her and the boys when I see their playful smiles. We must never forget that those who wait also serve. God Bless them all!

And thanks to Sketchy Thursdays, another page in Jenny's 2010 album is complete!

Grooviest Birthday Bash Ever!

What a fun month it has been over at If It's Groovy! Celebrating the site's first birthday as been so fun and I've gotten so much inspiration from all the challenges over there. And because Groovy Deb opened up a Ning site we have all had so much fun chatting and getting to know one another while ooohing and aahhhhing over all the birthday pages. Of course Groovy Deb is still keeping the blog open and that is where you will find the names of the winners in the Birthday Bash Challenge.

My challenge was to add a birthday card to your LO. One of my favorite albums is the one I made for my husband in honor of his 50th birthday. I took all the cards he received and added each one to a page with a photo of the sender and sometimes an extra message or a cute embellie. To view the cards in the album, I just cut a slit in the page protector that goes around the card. Now, instead of throwing out those cards - you know that is what happens to most of the cards we receive, such a shame - the cards are kept for future enjoyment.

The winner of my challenge coincidentally made a 50th birthday page! Here is Kathy Williams take on my challenge. Head on over to If It's Groovy to see the other winners from the other fun challenges! Congratulations Kathy! Look for your RAK in the mail.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sketchy Funday?

When I saw the Sketchy Thursdays sketch this week with all those circles, I immediately thought of the setting sun. And I knew I wanted to use my new Martha Stewart Glitter to bring those circles to life. I just love the way colors sparkle on a black background. My photo is of a favorite sunset viewing spot in Indialantic Florida (recently in the running for Most Romantic City in the USA - vote here).

I had a bit of a mishap gluing the circles to my page. I was using Scotch Scrapbookers Glue which has really great hold, but the top fell off and the glue smeared all over the bottom of my page. I'll never be able to enter the page into a contest with that glob on there, but I will still cherish it in my own album. And because I love the
 black and the bling, I'm challenging you to show me your own Black and Bling on Creative Scrapbooking Divas.
Come on over to my Funday Monday Challenge to play along!