Aren't these pictures so much fun?!?
A couple weeks ago, while we were down in Utah to visit some of Ryan's family, I was able to snap some quick pictures of Zoe and some of her cousins.

I originally planned to do a film strip type layout with all the different photos, but it took a different direction.

Thank goodness I got some crafting in today, because I just found out my craft room needs to be disassembled for awhile, so the management can take care of the leak issues. I am pretty sure they are gonna rip out the wall. Which means it might be awhile before I can have my whole room back together.

There will be a lot of sorting and cleaning up - maybe even a stash downsize giveaway....

I got some new goodies from Paper Issues this week and my favorite thing is the Prima resist canvas.
Have you seen this? It's amazing! They are die cut made from canvas, with different patterns on them. I had so much fun testing these out. I mixed some mist colors, my favorite combo is Studio Calico Mr. Huey Cameo + Lemonade.

Cassie still has some in the shop, check them out here!
(You can get a 20% discount by using the code HOLLYH)

Zoe and I are off to the pool this evening, hoping to tire her out, 
even though she spent the day hiking, she still is bouncing around....

Holly & CO.

What I've been up to....

May 30, 2012

Crafting for an upcoming Paper Issues theme...

Trying to get my body back to normal...

Spending lots of time watching her scoot all over the place...

Piecing together the most difficult quilt I have attempted without a pattern...

Life seems to be going a million miles a minute these days. 
June is a HUGE month for us celebrations wise, 
which is keeping me rather busy and occupied at the moment. 

Hoping to get some projects photographed to share :)

Holly & Co.

Paper Issues - Honey Bee

May 27, 2012

The new theme for Paper Issues is up, and for this theme, I got to work with this awesome kit from Cassie - Bees Love Cantaloupe - made up of My Mind's Eye papers, white and kraft cardstock, snug hug binding, twine and diecuts.

I loved this kit so much. I made 3 layouts all from this kit.

This first layout I relied heavily on my Silhouette machine. I used the dresden pattern shape found here. I cut out the pattern pieces using several different patterned papers and then mix them up and put them back together. I added some stitching around the edges with the twine to make them pop!

This layout is one of my new favorites, probably because this is one of my favorite pictures from our wedding. On this page I did some fussy cutting. I cut out the hexagons from this paper for a border. I also cut out the cluster on this paper, added some stitching and some diecuts from the the kit to recreate a 3D embellishment. I embossed some naked chipboard letters with white Zing embossing ink from American Crafts. (amazing stuff)

For my final layout, I used a sketch from Studio Calico on NSD. I misted the white cardstock from the kit with Studio Calico Mr. Huey colors, Cameo and Dewey. Both colors go great with this kit! I added a piece of 6x6 grey stripe paper to back my picture.

Now as usual with Paper Issues Blog Hops, Cassie is offering the blue version of the kit - Boys are Sweet, Too - up for grabs, Just make sure you leave a comment on the Paper Issues Blog for a chance to win!

And if you are like me and you are too impatient to wait, you can use my code HOLLYH in the Paper Issues store and get 20% your entire purchase :)

Next on the hop is Judean and you can visit her fabulous blog HERE

Holly & Co.

Pinterest in Action

May 22, 2012

If you spend lots of time browsing Pinterest - raise your hand.

Pinterest is such an amazing website and I love all the inspiration and ideas found there. However, it's a time suck. A BIG one. or it can be.

I find that I'm pretty good at referring back to what I pin, especially when it comes to recipes, but I thought it would be fun to start a Pinterest in Action feature, to show all of you some of my favorite finds on Pinterest.

Today's feature is Pesto-Chicken Penne Casseroles

The original pin is from Taste of Home via Here is the link to the recipe - LINK


The recipe states that it makes enough for 2 8x8 casserole dishes. After reading the reviews, I saw that some people said it made a lot more than 2. After I made the sauce, it seemed like a lot. I cooked up 2lbs of penne instead of the 1lb suggested by the recipe.

I ended up with 4 8x8 casserole dishes. Yep, 4. Thank goodness the package of aluminum pans I bought came with 3.

I've cooked it both fresh and frozen, both turned out delicious :) Great for days when you don't feel like cooking, or have unexpected dinner guests.

Holly & Co.

Lightroom Love

May 18, 2012

This post is a little like the Wizard of Oz pulling back the curtain - I just have to share my love for Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom is a photo-editing software, to use in companion with Photoshop. You can download the trial version from the Adobe website - good for 30 days.

 My favorite thing is being able to create your own presets. Basically, I edit the first photo, from the same session, then create a preset for that session and can apply it to all the other photos with one click!

My trial version expires in 5 days, and I'm really thinking I'm gonna need to bite the bullet and buy this program .

I was lucky that Zoe was smiling. These photos were actually taken at mid-day (the worst time, light wise) and thankfully with the shade of the neighboring apartment building, they turned out ok.

I love her messy hair and bubble covered pants. So authentic to her. 

If you haven't ever tried Lightroom, I would suggest you download it and take a gander. I think at this point I prefer it over photoshop.

Holly & Co.

Breaking away from kits

May 17, 2012

I didn't use to think I was a kit scrapper, but after the last year or so, of scrapping mainly with kits - making a layout without one, is increasingly more difficult.

I recently got some new non-kit goodies in the mail and having been trying to mix those up with some things that have been sitting in my stash for awhile. This layout came together fairly easily, although I originally had a few more colors in the mix, I decided to simplify it.

I still think I scrap more and more efficiently with kits, they will probably continue to be my main source for scrapping, but I like having my stash to use. I doubt I'll ever be a kit-only scrapper.

What kind of scrapper are you? Do you keep a stash around, even if you scrap almost exclusively with kits?

Holly &Co.

All Around

May 15, 2012

Photo taken by Aly Willis Photography

We spent the weekend in Utah, surrounded by my family. Young and old, we walked together, ate together, laughed together, it was blissful.

We spent Saturday participating in Race for the Cure in Salt Lake City, followed by a luncheon at my parent's to celebrate my Grandfather's 80th birthday.

Zoe was entertained by all my cousins, and her second cousins. Even though they go sometimes years without seeing each other, they play wonderfully together. She's been asking repeatedly to go play with them again.

I often forget how lucky and unique it is, to be so close to one's extended family. I take for granted the large extended support network I have, and have had my whole life.

Photo by Aly Willis Photography

I got to spend Mother's Day with my Mom and Grandma Morgan. Such a treat to get to spend the day with these wonderful ladies. Even more lucky, we get to see Ryan's family this coming weekend.

Today, I feel blessed. I feel surrounded by the best people. I have the best families. I am one lucky girl.

Holly & Co.

Sock Monkey Christmas Quilt

May 14, 2012

After my awesome burst of scrapbooking over National Scrapbook Day - I needed a change of pace. I went back to my craft closet and pulled out my *almost* finished Christmas quilt and decided to bind it up.

Isn't it wonderful?!? I adore this quilt. I've been working on it slowly since I bought the fabric, right after Christmas (I got it on major sale) This is most difficult quilts I've made - probably because I didn't use a pattern, I just made it up as I went along.

I am in the process of creating the pattern - but it's a lot of math, which isn't my favorite part about quilting. The final size is about 45" x 45", although I should probably measure it again to make sure.


I had so much fun quilting this top. I knew when I added the red squares, that I wanted to quilt stars in them, but as for the rest I was kind of lost. For the borders I ended up with a loop-de-loop pattern and then did stippling (random curved lines) on the inner diamond shapes.

I wanted the center of each square to look like peppermint candies. I'm a little sad that I have to wait 7 months to pull this back out of the craft closet to actually use, but it will certainly liven up the couch during December.

Holly & CO.

Calico Cookies

May 8, 2012

These cookies are a spin off from my mom's classic chocolate chip cookie recipe. It is tried and true. It works in high elevation and near sea level - no need to change a thing.

1.5 sticks of butter
2/3 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. white sugar
1 large egg
2 t. vanilla extract
2 C. flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 C. chocolate chips
1/2 C. butterscotch chips

Combine softened butter and sugars. Beat in egg and vanilla. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt together, slowly add to the dough while mixing. Chill in the fridge for 30 -60 minutes. Roll into 1-inch balls and bake at 350 for 8-10, just until slightly golden. Enjoy!

The Way to her Heart

May 6, 2012

 The saying goes, " The way to a man's heart is through his stomach," but I think it's applicable for toddlers too.

I made this yesterday along with several other pages, but I think this one is my favorite. I used some bits for Maggie's class kit HERE and new Hello Forever cut outs, which I love.

With the scrapbooking overload yesterday, I think tonight I will be switching over to quilting, so as not to burn myself out.

Come back tomorrow for a yummy cookie recipe :)

Holly & Co.

Happy NSD!

May 5, 2012

Happy National Scrapbook Day!

Let's celebrate with a yummy treat!
Zoe and I had a fun time taking some pictures yesterday, with this giant ice cream cone.
Yes it's real. Yes I made it. No she didn't eat all of it. Not even close.
She only got in a few bites before the mess way running down her hands and she gave it back to me.

This afternoon I will be in my craft room having a great time celebrating NSD. 
I've been making some super secret projects for an upcoming Paper Issues theme/blog hop, so I don't have any really recent projects to share, but I wanted to share this layout I made a few weeks ago and never got around to posting.

This was made with the April Studio Calico Kit (LINK) and our awesome family pictures taken by Aly Willis. I'm happy she got a picture of just my immediate family. Not that I don't love my brothers-in-law or my niece and nephew, or my husband and child. But I spent the first 19 years of my life with the 6 of us, and I like to have those pictures too.

I also like having a picture of the 6 of us because we really don't look anything alike. 
People find it hard to believe that we are all blood related.

Well I'm off to get my craft are you spending NSD?

Holly & Co.

Elle's Studio Sketch 4/26

May 2, 2012

When my favorite sketch site, Sketchy Thursdays, closed down, I was really sad and wasn't sure where to go for new sketches, but thank heaven for Elle's Studio - I've been loving their sketches lately. Here was their sketch for this week.

And Here's my take - 

I used my April Studio Calico kit (LINK), some Elle's Studio tags (LINK) and a few bits from my stash.

By the way, I still have a few stamps for sale, just click on the Stamp Sale link up at the top for more info.

In other awesome news, we found out Ryan was granted a full ride scholarship for next year! He had one borderline grade and we weren't sure which way the GPA would be calculated (engineering classes are on a different GPA scale) but he did it! I'm so proud of him. He works so hard while he's in school, which can take it's toll on us, but it pays off.

I'm getting super excited for National Scrapbook Day this Saturday. I bought some new ink for my printer and I have a big box of goodies headed my way - arriving just in time to get my scrap on.

Holly & Co.

Real Smiles

May 1, 2012

You might be like me and have a "Cheesy Face" kid.
Yep, that's Zoe. It's probably because I take her picture so often, but when I say smile, I get....

Now this is definitely not the worst face she could be making, but I prefer her natural smile like this one...

I'm no professional, but I wanted to share a few tricks and tips I've found for getting the natural smiles, instead of the cheesy face.

1. Tell them not to smile. Say things like, "Don't smile, you better not smile, please don't smile for the camera, etc." Usually you get a kid who can't resist and will crack a smile.

2. Tell them to look for the pink monkey on your head. When Zoe gets distracted and isn't looking at me, I say, " Zoe do you see the pink monkey on my head?" Now, I've done this trick enough where she knows there is no pink monkey, but she humors me and points, "I see it!" and then I get my smile.

3. Ask them personal questions. Ask them their favorite color, or dessert. Ask them about their best friend, or their crush. Etc.

4. Make a fool out of yourself. Laughing is my favorite face to photograph. It's so really and the fun of the moment shines through the photograph. For little ones, tell knock knock jokes, or trip over something on purpose. For adults, especially couples, have them whisper in each other's ears. That's how I got this photo.

5. Take a break. Give them a drink or snack, or just a minute to forget there is a camera in their face. That's easier said than done sometimes, but when I just can't get Zoe to cooperate, that's what we do.

So There you go. Just a few tips and tricks to keep in mind the next time you're looking for that natural smile.

Holly & Co.

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