Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Go To Your Happy Place

You know, there are days, as a mom, when I wonder how much time I spend cleaning up after people. I don't mean the laundry, breakfast dishes kind of clean-up, I mean closing cabinet doors, picking up someone's socks, snagging the trash left behind from a snack off the couch, putting the toothpaste lid on the tube. Stupid little things like that. I wondered, as I shut a cupboard door for the umpteenth time this morning, how many minutes a day I'd have if people would just shut the cupboard themselves! It was a path that would only lead to exasperation, so I left it and went to get my coffee -- my happy place. With my coffee in tow, I sat down to work -- actually, another happy place. I mean, being surrounding by all kinds of scrapbook stuff. Who wouldn't be happy? And even yummier is that I've been sorting the October kits; the Halloween stuff -- love it. All the fall pretties -- gotta have them. (Little tidbit -- November's stuff is almost all here! Heavenly.) Plus, I'm pulling together goodies for this week's Blue Plate Special. Add to that I'm planning Treats for during Croptober-fest! You should be in your happy place now just in anticipation! Have you started gathering things for Croptober-fest. It kicks off tomorrow and I want to know all the layouts you complete in October. Let's make it fantastic and super-duper productive! Photobucket

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Are You Ready For This?

First things first -- the winner from the 6 on Saturday challenge, according to, is Molly! Congrats, Molly. Great layouts all around, ladies! Now, check this out, and you might want to sit down as the news is rather shocking. I cropped. I know, wait, there's more. I also created this weekend. I know, you're thinking "What? You?" But it's true. I not only cropped, I created a project. From scratch! I'm definitely a "lifter" for inspiration, I mean, for heaven's sake I can't scrapbook without a sketch in front of me. So doing that alone is big, but add to that that I had the uninterrupted time to do it, and holy cow! What dimension was I in?? I think the time thing is more of a shocker than doing something from scratch. Anyway, this little treat was created in under two hours, with very little pre-planning. Meaning I knew the basic layout I wanted and that's it. Well, and I knew the papers and embellishments I wanted.

How cute is this! And the fact it came together in under two hours is amazing! Like it? Want one? Watch for this week's Blue Plate Special notice, as this little kit will be available then. I'll include a "what I learned doing this" tip sheet for you. I mean, seriously, it's so easy to do and the tips I have will make it even easier. How great would it be to put this together before Halloween, snap your shots and then slap them in this little cutie and send it off to an out-of-state grandparent. Heck an in-state grandparent would love it too! How about going to your kids' school parties, taking some photos of the kids doing their thing and then presenting it to the teacher as a gift. Or, if you're a scrapbooker like me, sometimes struggling to get anywhere near current year photos, this is an instant-gratification way of putting some current things to paper. Did I mention it was under two hours to do? Planning, pictures and all! Come grab yours later this week!! Next up, I'm super excited to get to October 1st, aka the beginning of Croptober-Fest! This is a super fabulous month-long event filled with challenges, a game or two and, of course, Cookie Jar Treats up for the taking! During the month, there will be a weekend crop that is jammed with more challenges. It'll be fast-paced so get yourself ready by rounding up photos, your Apron Strings kits (if you have them), start doing some exercises to limber up your fingers and dig out some slow cooker recipes so your family won't starve while you're enjoying a little bit of fun! It'll be a whirlwind of activity, but by the month's end I hope you'll be able to look at your scrap-covered crop area and see a stack of completed pages. Check back on the 1st for a quick run-down of what's planned and the first challenge to kick things off. Photobucket

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday Challenge #9 - Sketches

Hey ladies, hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Sorry this is so late, I made a huge mistake when I scheduled the posting yesterday, instead of 9/28/09 I put 9/29/09 and obviously my morning post wasn't posted. Anyhoo, I can't believe is FALL already. Time is sure flying in a blink of an eye. Don't you think? Hopefully, you had some time to scrap...if not here are two sketches to get your juices flowing. The first sketch is a 8.5 x 11, the reason I chose this size is to try and motivate you to experience another size. Of course, if you are not comfortable with this size just adjust it to 12 x 12. I'm also giving you a card sketch, for those card makers out there. If you do both, you get two chances for a cookie jar treat. How awesome is that? Both sketches are from our amazing sketch artist: Becky Fleck. For more sketches and inspiration please visit the Page Maps website.
Here's my take on the sketch. Sorry for the poor quality of the picture. It was night time and took it without a flash since the flash was reflecting on the pictures.
Hope you play along. Now, on to last week's winner: Briel. Thank you for playing along. For some strange reason I couldn't save her LO (it was giving a format error) so please stop by her blog here to see how awesome her LO is. Thanks for all the ladies that played along...and until next week. Have a great week, Bessie

Saturday, September 26, 2009

6 on Saturday

After a week of cool temperatures and rain, we have a bright and sunny morning. First off, soccer, two games. Then it's home for a bit before heading off to church. Tomorrow we get to celebrate our September birthdays, but otherwise it'll be a nice quiet day. Perhaps, nice enough for some cropping. . .maybe. Hence, my going for 6 on Saturday.

Lest I waste any time in getting the ingredients out to you, so you can make the most of your free time:

  • 1 sheet patterned paper
  • 1 6x6 sheet of cardstock
  • 1 set of stitches; real or imposters
  • 1 set of chipboard
  • 1 metal embellishment
  • 1 set of buttons

Remember, outside of journaling and a title, only the above ingredients can be used. Deadline to have your link posted in the comment section? Sunday evening. Come on, you know you want to try it!

I issued a challenge on Tuesday, to share your signs of Fall in photos. Charlene, you are the winner of a Cookie Jar Treat, just email me your information ( Loved your photos. Pencils, I'm there with you. Actually, any school supply. When I was taking my pictures (which I'll have to share when hubby returns with the camera) I totally spaced out the Season of the Pumpkin Latte! I even had my season's first last weekend at soccer. How could I have forgotten! (total head-slap moment) So, thank you, LOL, I'll be amending my photos. Next, I'm awaiting the Peppermint Mocha -- yes, I know I can get it anytime, but it's not the same when it's 100 degrees!

So, enjoy your weekend, and if you haven't caught your first glimpse of the October kits, pop on over to take a gander. They're adorable and gorgeous all at the same time! Perfect for everything fall!


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First Day of Fall (WooHoo) and a Challenge

First day of fall, and my son's 9th birthday, he's super excited. Yes, we have another birthday in the family. There's actually five in September. I LOVE fall! It's my favorite of all seasons. So yesterday when a cold front blew in to abruptly end the summer (80's on Saturday and it barely made it to 55 yesterday), I was thrilled. It was cloudy and rainy all day. This fall-like weather is supposed to continue through Wednesday and with a freeze warning out it means Indian Summer could be just around the corner. Yeah!! In watching for fall, I see lots of little changes taking place in my backyard. Changes that will probably accelerate with the cooler weather. The bushes along the side of the house are turning hot red, the tree in the back has spots of gold tucked inside and the Autumn Purple Ash has started to turn. As I drive around the city there are spots of color and other signs of the season change. It got me to thinking, what changes are occurring elsewhere. I know the "Gold Rush" has begun in the mountains -- when the Aspens turn brilliant shades of yellow and gold, but what about where you live? Are the leaves starting to change? Are mums blooming in the neighborhood? Have you rotated out your summer linens for fall ones? Dusted off your slow-cooker? What marks the seasonal change for you? Go out and document it -- snap four photos that show the changing season in your neck of the woods. Provide a link in the comment section by Friday night and be eligible for a Cookie Jar Treat. Speaking of Treats, my late posting of 5 of Friday, for 6 on Saturday garnered a win for Bessie -- Congrats! Layouts were wonderful, keep them coming! Enjoy (and document) your first day of fall! Photobucket

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday Challenge #8 - Color Inspiration

Hello ladies! Happy Monday....hope you had a wonderful weekend. Did you have a little time to scrap? Hope you did. This week's challenge is a color combination for your inspiration. Some of the kits that have this color combo are: Sept. '09 STB Dream Street Sam, Sept. '09 BTB Crate Sprout, June '09 Fancy Pants Delight, May '09 STB Crate Lillian & Cosmo Cricket Lil' Man, and April '09 BTB Bo Bunny Abbey Road. Not a member? Not a problem...use your own stash to make a LO or a card for this challenge.
Here's my take and I used this month kit of the smaller box Dream Street Sam. You can go to Apron Strings website to check it out.
Now on, to last week's winner: Maria. Thank you so much for playing along. You'll have a cookie treat on your next kit.
Thanks to everyone that is playing along...and I hope you have a wonderful week. Until next time....don't forget that you have until Sunday evening to upload your LO or card to the yahoo group or link it here in the comment section.
Happy Monday,

Saturday, September 19, 2009

5 on Friday? How 'bout 6 on Saturday?

First -- thank you to everyone who wished me and my son a Happy Birthday. As a one year old, your birthday is like any other day -- eat, whine, play, cry, sleep, repeat. As for my own birthday, well, I'm a mom so my day was pretty much business as usual, as well. Pry kids out of bed, breakfast, lunches, shove them out the door, cleaning, shuttle kids back from school, pleas to "just get your homework done," dinner, soccer practices and cooking lessons, followed by showers, baths and bed. BUT in between the usual, I did manage to get coffee with my husband. I had one sister drop by to pick up some kits (she's apparently on a scrapbooking kick -- lucky girl) and my mom came by with some super yummy cheesecake samples from a local cheesecake bakery. My husband picked-up a yummy lemon coconut cake from another local bakery - delish! Then my daughter came home with cheesecake bites from her cooking class. So it was a Sa-Weet, birthday. Then another small moment before everyone went to bed I opened a card and gift from my kids and husband. So along with the mundane, there were perks to the day -- and isn't that what makes any day special? Somehow yesterday went by without a single thought about 5 on Friday. I have no idea how that happened -- I was actually home all day, had little in the way of chores and there were no after school activities -- maybe that's the reason. It was too quiet. I'd hate to not have you scrapbooking and using "well, there was no 5 on Friday" as your excuse, so let's do 6 on Saturday. :D
  • 1 sheet of cardstock - color 1
  • 1 sheet of cardstock - color 2
  • 1 sheet patterned paper
  • 1 tag
  • 1 frame
  • 1 set of brads

Just like on Fridays, outside of the above listed items you're only allowed journaling and a title. We'll call this due on Sunday night -- linked in the comment section will earn you a shot at a Cookie Jar Treat.

Thank you again for the lovely birthday wishes. Since it's soccer mom Saturday, I'm off to round up boys and their gear and head off to the fields for the afternoon. It's looking to be a gorgeous day here in Colorado, deep blue sky, tiny hints of color in trees, just a touch of crispness in the air and a nice breeze to cool me off as I stand in the sun on the sidelines!

Have a fantastic weekend!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Birthday Wishes.....

Hey ladies, shhhhh, where's Lori? Hopefully getting a nice spa treatment somewhere in CO. Well, today is her birthday, so help me give her warm birthday wishes. I don't know about you, but I've always thoughts that is the little details in life that counts....and any little thing can make someone's day or smile. Lori, on behalf of all your members at Apron Strings and our amazing blog readers we wish you the best of birthdays. May the Lord bless you with health and lots of and always...for many, many years to come. We can't express what an amazing woman you are...and how you deserve the that's exactly what we wish for you. Enjoy your day! :-) Happy Birthday, Your AS members and blog readers. P.S. It's also our Sous Chef, Kristi's birthday, so Happy Birthday Kristi. P.S.S. Happy Birthday to Matthew as well (Lori's youngest son - yesterday was his birthday.)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Use Those Scraps - Fall Canvas

Hey there, it's Maria. Have you had a chance to go through your September kit? There are some fabulous papers and embellishments in both kits this month. I had the privilege of working with the Smaller Than a Breadbox kit for this month. After finishing up my layouts and a few cards, I had enough scraps left to make this canvas: Normally, I don't venture too much outside the realm of layouts, mini-albums and cards. But, I had this 12x12 inch blank canvas (a Big Lots find for $5.00!) sitting around my scrap area for many, many months and I finally got brave enough to use it. I wanted to share how I created this canvas, it's very easy to do. First, I took the canvas and rubbed it with a very light coat of Tim Holtz Tea Dye Distress Ink. (I used a makeup sponge to apply the ink.) This took some of the brightness away from the white canvas. I'm a fan of all things linear, so I started with a grid. I cut the papers with a square Sizzix die - 3 3/4 inch square - I used a mix of the Dream Street and Pink Paislee papers. Next I distressed each edge and inked them with Tim Holtz Vintage Photo Distress Ink. I adhered each square with FabricTac glue, it holds quickly and has a great bond. To create the photo frames, I again used a Sizzix die (postage stamp frames). I cut out some recycled chipboard, inked with the Distress Ink and then covered the frames with Distress Stickles. I also die cut (Cuttlebug die) some recycled chipboard leaves, inked with various Distress Inks and Stickled a few as well. In each square I used a combination of kit embellishments, leftovers from previous kits (the green Maya Road pin and the Maya Road chipboard tree were from a March kit), die cut chipboards and some fall quotes. That's it! It really came together rather quickly and is an easy way to create a display piece. I'm already planning ahead for a Christmas canvas. Maria

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday Catch-All

Typically it will take me a few hours to create a blog post. Not because I'm that slow, but because I'm usually multi-tasking while I'm composing; house chores, work chores, baby wants to help, school pick-up -- you name it, I'm probably doing it. Today though, we'll see if I can do this in one sitting. It'll help that it's going to be short and sweet. Lucky you! :) It was so great to see the layouts from the 5 on Friday -- more ladies, more layouts! I love that. You realize, of course, that I enjoy it because I crop vicariously through you all. Sad, but true. Keep 'em coming and watch for this week's 5 on Friday. Speaking of 5 on Friday, I have a winner, provided by -- Briel! Congrats, you'll find a treat in your next shipment. This week's Monday Challenge from Bessie is a great one since both September kits have diecut papers in them; both Bigger kits and the My Mind's Eye page kit in the Smaller. How easy is this challenge now?? Just go grab some photos. See -- short and sweet. I can't ramble on when I have pressing matters -- laundry to finish, a few kits to wrap up and get out, Sous Chef October kits (which are totally awesome - yes, I was in H.S. in the 80's) to get ready to go and best, of the best, November kits to select and get ordered, I have two of the five paper lines . . . choices, choices. Then there's soccer practice and the last of the back-to-school nights tonight. And so, I'm off. . .have a great Tuesday. OH, watch for Maria's post tomorrow on creating her beautiful and easy-to-do (love that) 12x12 canvas. Now I'm done. Photobucket

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday Challenge #7 - Die Cut Papers

Happy Monday, everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. This week's challenge was very challenging, lol, it sure helped me step out of my comfort zone. I hope you take the challenge too. So, this challenge is to use a die cut paper as your background, whatever shape you like. I chose a scalloped circle one, but you can choose any other shape. The white background that you see here its just for photo purpose, my LO is not glue to it. :-) So here is my take: Hope to see yours! Remember, you have until Sunday evening to upload your creation to the group or link it here for a chance to win a yummy cookie jar treat. Talking about cookie jar treats...this time around our winner is Briel according to Briel, thank you for playing along. This was a very touching LO for well as for you. Here's her take: Lastly, this month is National Sewing Month, so if you want a second chance to win...add some stitching to your LO, it can be hand stitch or machine rub-ons or stickers please...sorry ;-) Thanks to everyone who's playing along...and I hope you have a wonderful week. Bessie

Friday, September 11, 2009

5 on Friday

Oi -- I remembered last night that it was Friday, but this whole Monday-vacation-day thing has thrown me off. Well, and I'm in the middle of shipping September kits off to everyone and that tends to take the focus for the day. In essence, sorry that 5 on Friday is late. Good thing I give you the ingredient list and you just do the creating! I'd really enjoy seeing the ladies that participated last week and a couple new folks. Come on, you know you want to get a layout done this weekend . . .
  • 1 sheet paper with dots or circles
  • 2 sheets of cardstock
  • 1 set of chipboard
  • 1 frame

No, it's five things -- 2 sheets of cardstock. :) Remember, outside of the items listed above you're only allowed title and journaling. Layouts need to be linked in the comment section by Saturday night to be eligible for a Cookie Jar Treat.


Cartoon Feet & Lots of Stuff

I love TV -- there it's out there. I grew up watching it, and I could still sit and just veg in front of it. It's the perfect "great escape" for me. My kids mess with my escape time now -- dangit! :) Ah, well, I can share with them all my favorite cartoons, you know, the good ones: The Flintstones, The Jetsons and, of course, Looney Toons. Do you know how when a cartoon character is getting ready to run, run really fast, that they jump in the air and their feet start spinning around in a circle. They just hang in the air for a few seconds before dropping to the ground and flying off like a rocket. Well, that's how I feel when coming back into work/school life after a long holiday weekend. Especially when I've been out of town. Add to that the week is billing and shipping week and wholly cow! While I was hanging up in the air for that split second, on Monday night, I saw before me the busy, busy week ahead. I knew when my feet touched down, it was going to be a crazy ride. And here, on Thursday, it has been and I still have a couple days left before Sunday, decompression day. I issued a photo challenge before leaving and have a winner from that challenge: Maria Swiatkowski was selected by I'll add a goodie to your kit shipment :). It was great to see photos from people's long weekend. Below are a few shots from our weekend away: DH and I enjoying a nice quiet game of Cribbage, our newest way to spend quiet time together -- no electricity needed. So far, I'm up on wins over him.

Three of the six fish caught on Sunday afternoon. A storm drove the excited fishermen back to shore. Those of us back at that cabin, aka "Base" received a walkie-talkie update from "Boat" every time a fish was landed.

My sweet kiddos, with the beautiful scenery behind them. Look how great they're coordinated, with no planning!

After a little four-wheeling, my older boys tumbled out of the car to do what boys do when rocks present themselves; throw the rocks into Texas Creek and see who can throw the farthest.

Hurray, to those who completed the 5 on Friday challenge. Great layouts! Thanks, Molly, for the letting us know the reasons you enjoy 5 on Fridays. If you haven't tried 5 on Friday, I encourage you to take it up this Friday. It's a quick, fun way to get a page done (maybe step outside that box, like Molly said) and get the chance to win something yummy, too. Speaking of which, has selected Bessie! Bessie, look for your goodie in your shipment. The last Blog Party Challenge produced some wonderful layouts with metallic embellishments. says that Linda is the winner -- look for your goodie in your next shipment. Congrats! It's a beautiful layout. Wow, that's a lot of stuff -- I'll leave you here for now. 5 on Friday coming up! Photobucket

Monday, September 7, 2009

Monday Challenge #6 - Grandparents

Enjoying this long weekend? Anything fun and/or special? This month is National Grandparents Day - specifically September 13th - so, lets honor those grandparents in our lives. This week challenge is to make a LO about grandparents - your grandparents, your kids' grandparents, of you if you are a grandparent, etc. For card makers, make a card for that special grandpa or grandma to let them know how much they mean to you.
This is what I came up with: a LO about my parents (my kids' grandparents) and a card for grandpa.
Hope you play along. Remember you have until Sunday evening to link your LO or card to this post. Want a second chance to win? Leave a comment along with your LO telling me what challenges you enjoy the most, and your name will be put on the drawing twice. How simple is that?
I'm very happy to see more people playing along. I see that a lot of us like sketches, so we'll have more of those coming on future challenges. Now on to our winner of last challenge: Molly. Thanks for playing along. Another cookie jar treat will be heading your way. :-) Here's what she created:
Thanks everyone for playing along, and see you next Monday!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Photo Challenge

Inspired by a photo challenge we had during our Blog Hop, I'd like to issue this challenge for the coming holiday weekend. It's easy, and if your camera is out anyway, which mine will be, it'll be a piece of cake. The challenge: Snap one photo a day, starting today, Friday September 4th, and running through Monday September 7th, of something you did during the weekend. Whether you're taking off for a quick vacation, or it's business as usual with laundry and sports, share what you did. Post a link to your photos from the weekend, in the comment section, by Tuesday evening to be eligible to win a Cookie Jar Treat. How easy is that? No creating, no thinking. I love it! Photobucket

5 on Friday

Ahhh -- a three-day weekend. No homework, no soccer, no nothing. We've rented a cabin up in the mountains for a couple nights; the kids are very excited. We haven't been away all summer and the last time we "camped" our youngest at the time was about a year old -- our current youngest's age. My older boys have dreams of catching a record fish; it's been a rough fishing season I guess. I haven't made any plans for while we're there. I think I'll try to pull a couple kits together to play with, maybe work on November kits and pretty much enjoy the sensation of not being pulled to do something, like when I'm at home. So, because of the holiday weekend, I'll extend the deadline for today's challenge until Monday night. While I'm sure that Molly has enjoyed winning, it's always fun to have a little competition, which we had last week with Bessie. So I'd love to see the extended deadline entice a couple more folks out of the woodwork to try their hand on this week's challenge:
  • 1 sheet of cardstock
  • 1 set of florals
  • 1 set of buttons
  • 1 sheer something
  • 1 length of ribbon

Outside of any journaling and title, use only the listed ingredients above. As I said, because of the holiday weekend, we'll move the deadline to Monday, September 7th, in the evening. Link your layout in the comment section below and we'll award someone a yummy treat.

I hope everyone has a nice, long, relaxing weekend.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Naked or Dressed Chipboard is the Best

Do you remember the first time you every saw chipboard? It was probably square or rectangle or, if you were lucky, round. It was this thick (relative to what we were using at the time), brown stuff that prior to having someone tell you that you could use it in your scrapbooks you only found in men's dress shirt packaging. Within just a few months it became the thing to be using on your layouts. Today it's a staple and it's so much more than squares, rectangles and circles. Now you find it in black, white and brown. It's any and every shape you can think of. It's been embossed and laser cut for fantastic detail. I love chipboard, it is one of the most versatile embellishments out there. I think I like it because it is totally customizable for your layout and customizing it is easy. Can you believe there are folks out there that actually avoid "naked" chipboard (chipboard that is waiting for you to "dress" it) and I've read that some scrappers actually toss it in the trash when they get it in kits they buy. When I read that on a board, my first thought was "Why?!" Chipboard is the best stuff. The quickest way to customize plain chipboard is to paint it with acrylic paints, use stamp pads or markers. Left alone you have a nice matte finish. Add a little Diamond Glaze to the dried piece and you have a glossy, epoxy-like look (I use this affect most often.) You can cover the pieces with paper -- also a quick way unless the piece is more than just a basic shape and it'll take just a little more to cover the piece. If you want to cover a more intricate piece simply trace an outline of the chipboard on the paper you want to use, adhere the paper to the chipboard and using an emery board draw the board down over the edges of the chipboard to shave off the excess. If you're handy with a craft knife -- which I am sooo not -- this is the easiest way. Depending on how much "buffing" you do, you can get a more distressed edge on the piece. I love this affect. If you like living on the edge, try leaving the chipboard naked. You can apply stickers, rub-ons and bling to add even more dimension to dressed and naked chipboard. Speaking of dimension, if you like flatter layouts, most chipboard these days is thin and when simply painted or paper-covered you add very little bulk to your layouts. See perfect! I didn't even mention chipboard albums. Totally blank slates for creating great mini books about whatever your heart desires. Check out what Maria Swiatkowski did recycling some of her chipboard. Because Maria went "green" with her creation, she was able to bind it herself. She used a Bind-It-All, but paper rings and ribbon would also work. Mini chipboard albums are a wonderful way to use up all sorts of scraps. So, if you're a tosser-of-chipboard . . . STOP! Stop the madness and rethink the ways you can customize and use this extremely versatile staple. If you need inspiration I encourage you to check out Maya Road's Gallery. Maya Road makes a lot of chipboard and their designers do amazing things with it. Another place that's all about chipboard is Magistical Memories. One of our sous chefs, Kristi Bergin-Smith, is also a designer over there. I've come to enjoy how she has utilized their chipboard on her layouts and projects. You can check out Kristi's blog to see her work, or go to Magistical Memories' Designers' Gallery (click on the smaller box next to each designer's bio to see their work.) I'd say if you want to stock up on chipboard, watch for a Blue Plate Special that's all about the perfect, customizable embellishment ;) Photobucket

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Blog Party Challenge #7

This challenge comes from World Traveler Chef Louisa-May: "I always get stuck creating Masculine pages - eg. for or of my husband, dad or grandpa, and mine somehow inevitably ends up looking 'effeminate' LOL!!! And I always wonder how others do it so nicely and what are the tips they can share! So was thinking perhaps the challenge could be about creating a Masculine page - and to add a fun twist, to incorporate anything 'metallic' on the page." I agree, even though I have three boys, my "big boy" layouts don't quite have that grown-up look. And until this year, masculine themes were tough to come by. There was a lot of pink out there. So let's see your masculine layouts, don't forget the metallic embellishment. Have your layout linked in the comment section of this post by Saturday, September 5th to be eligible for a Cookie Jar Treat. Thanks Louisa. You can find Louisa's blog here. Photobucket