Monday, October 22, 2007

Difficult layout

OK... to say the least, this was the most difficult layout I have ever scrapped. It also was very healing. I recently suffered a miscarriage at 5 weeks. I am blessed with two beautiful boys and this would have been our third. I had no problems getting pregnant with all three and had very healthy pregnancies with the boys. Guess I always thought something like this could never happen to me. Now I know it happens to anyone.
Thank you to everyone who has given my husband and I so much support (Kissy... I don't know what I'd do without you!!)... the cards, flowers, and prayers mean the world to us. With God's help, everyday gets a little easier... even though we know we will never forget you little one.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Halloweens past...

Are you a big Halloween fan? My husband and I have always loved Halloween. We used to go all out on creating outlandish costumes! Our all-time favorite costume was what we called "double date." (Mind you this costume was B.C.... before children!). I found a suit at good will and our secretary at school donated an old bridesmaid dress she had and we split each down the middle. My Mom helped sew the two together. We bought a blonde wig and top hat which we cut apart and glued together... bought shoes both of us could fit into (I have big feet which helped!) and went all out. I used two different shades of foundation to create a more distinct line down the middle of our faces. My hubby even let me paint his toes on one foot, he shaved half of his chest hairs and let me put mascara on him!! It was a riot! We entered a few big Halloween contests and won numerous prizes. The best one was against about 200 people... we won fourth place and a year's worth of movie tickets, popcorn, pop, and dinner gift certificates. The third place was a trip! Just missed that!!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Guest Designer at Busy Bee Scrapbooking!

Well... this was finally my month to be guest designer at Busy Bee Scrapbooking! What fun! I got to pick out my own products and needed to complete three layouts. The first layout was a freebie layout. The second layout had to use the quote "Nobody's grass is greener than ours", and the last layout was a challenge to use paint from their celebrity guest designer Vicki Chrisman. I had a great time! Thanks Busy Bee!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Awesome kit!

Just got my Addicted Scrappers projects finished up and all I can say is WOW! This is such a great kit! I am just LOVING it! Check out some of the things I've made so far! I still have lots of scraps leftover and can't wait to dig back into it!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

File Folder Idea Book

Can you believe I created this fun idea book out of just 3 file folders!

I found some decorative ones at Meijers while looking for school supplies for my 5 year old. They were brown/cream print on the outside and solid brown on the inside. I simply took patterned paper and transparency and sewed pockets on each page. I bound it by punching holes and tying ribbon. Now I can fill them with ideas, layouts, or cards I see in magazines. Hopefully all the ripped out pages I have scattered around my scrapspace can now be contained!!

If you would like to see the complete instructions, click below!
Idea Book instructions

Monday, July 30, 2007

August Addicted Scrapper Sneak Peak!

Wanna sneak peak?? Well... here are my recent projects I completed with the Addicted Scrappers August kit. It was such a versatile kit to work with. Tons of papers and embellishments and the pink/purples were great for girly pages while the green/browns were good for masculine or generic pages. I was able to create a variety of different looks and I still have soooo many scraps leftover! I still have more projects I wanna do with it! I loved the double-sided Upsy Daisy papers! Very cool line! And Addicted Scrappers just came out with exclusive clear acrylic stamps! I love them. (The flower, journaling oval, "Memories" word, and arrow are all from this month's set of stamps!!) Thanks for peaking!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Cool Clipboard!

I had so much fun making this little circle clipboard!

It came with my July Addicted Scrappers kit (Check them out- they're awesome!). A cool trick I discovered is since I love this clipboard so much, I didn't want to permanently affix the design to the clipboard (in case I want to change it in the future- I probably won't though- it turned out so cute!). So, I simply created the design on chipboard and cardstock to add dimension and instead of gluing it down, I just laid it in place and attached/screwed the silver clipboard clip through it to hold it there! Its very secure! I love the fact that I can change my boys pictures too since the clip just holds the photo so perfectly! Thanks for looking!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Cool Stamp Tip

If you're anything like me, you forget about what stamps you actually have because they are tucked away in a drawer somewhere. Its usually AFTER I've completed a card or layout that I remember the perfect stamp that I COULD have used if I'd have remembered it!

So... I thought of a cool idea...

Create a reference sheet of all your stamps! Just take your wood-mounted ones and lay them wood side down (where it shows the design) on a flatbed scanner... fit as many as you can on your scanner and then scan and print out a reference sheet. For clear acrylic stamps, either copy or scan the piece of paper that they are usually mounted on that shows the design. You can also just stamp all of your stamps onto a card or paper, but this seems to take a lot longer than just scanning them.

Now the next time you are scrapping or crafting, you can pull out your reference card(s) and see what stamps you actually own!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I've Been TAGGED!

I've been tagged!

My best friend Christine (check out her blog: Paper Rhino- link on right) tagged me, so I have to continue this! The rules are pretty simple. List 7 random things about myself and then tag others to do the same. Sound good? Now technically, I'm supposed to tag 7 other people but honestly I don't know 7 people that have blogs yet! So I am revamping the rules and am tagging 5 people. Once you are tagged, you need to post the rules and tag 7 (or 5!) other people by letting them know that they are tagged by leaving them a comment on their blog. So... Jeff, Lisa, Dee, Didi and Jenn... you've been tagged!!

1. I competed in beauty scholarship pageants when I was in high school and college. I even made 1st runner up once and won the swimsuit trophy!

2. I am deathly afraid of spiders.

3. My husband and I were both virgins when we got married!

4. I recorded a CD with our past worship leader at church. I played keyboard. Its pretty amazing to see your name on a CD jacket!!

5. I have always loved horses. As soon as I got married, I bought my first horse "Cowboy." He is a beautiful Appaloosa- chestnut colored with white spots on his back.

6. I ran a 5k race last summer.

7. I started my college degree in journalism and was the editor of our high school paper. I also wrote articles for our local newspaper before going into teaching.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Addicted Scrappers projects

Here are some of the projects I created with the July kit over at Addicted Scrappers. This was such an awesome kit! Great boy "star" themed papers and transparency and embellishments. It was a ton of fun! I am LOVING being on the design team there! They are an amazing bunch! Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Stingray City!

My hubby and I just got back from the best vacation of our lives! We took a Western Carribean cruise to Jamaica, Haiti, Grand Caymen Islands, and Cozumel to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. It was awesome to say the least. Just the two of us... no kids (although we did miss them!), no responsibilities, no worries.... just two tickets to paradise!!

Anyways... our favorite part of the cruise was in the Caymen Islands. We had a chance to snorkel/swim with stingrays. Now of course images of Crocodile Hunter were flashing through my brain, so I was a bit nervous to say the least. We live on Lake Michigan so I never have to worry about fish or animals that could potentially eat or kill you!! But the tour guide said it was suitable for 5 year olds, so I figured we could handle it.

We got in a boat and rode about 20 minutes into the ocean. About 2 miles out there is a sandbar that locals have been going to for 20 years and feeding the stingrays there. The stingrays are very friendly and used to people because they get fed all the time! When the boat started slowing down, we anchored on a perfectly clear, sandy sandbar about waist depth. I saw a little stingray and thought ok, this is fine. But suddenly there was a huge black blob moving in the water and I honestly thought it was a clump of seaweed until my hubby said... no honey... that's a stingray! It was more than 4 feet across!! The next thing I knew we were standing in the water with about 25 HUMONGOUS stingrays thinking they are cats and rubbing up and down you. Seriously... they rub on your legs, back, crawl up you... they love to be touched and pet. Its safe as long as you don't step on them or rub them the wrong way where their stingers are. We fed them squid and although they have no teeth, they suck the squid into their mouths like little vacumes. After I got used to it, it was incredible! I would highly recommend it to anyone! One of the coolest things we have ever done in our life!!

I'm an Addict Counselor!!

Oh my gosh!
Oh my gosh!
Oh my gosh!

I am so excited! I just got news that I was chosen to be on the Design Team of Addicted Scrappers! They call their design team "Addict Counselors"... and I'm officially one!! YIPPEE!

They are such an amazing website. They have tons of contests and challenges and great inspiration in the gallery! Their kits are awesome with very trendy products and papers which is what drew me to them in the first place. Check them out... you won't be sorry!!

Still in shock...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Color Matched Mess!

Ok... seriously... I did not plan my son's yogurt covered face to match his shirt! Really. I know it makes scrappin' these pictures much easier now that they match, but I really didn't plan it! hee hee... Although... that DOES give me some great ideas! I'll have to remember that the next time he's eating ice cream. Brown shirt with chocolate ice cream... White shirt with vanilla... Green shirt with mint chocolate... Enjoy!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Chipboard Challenge

Here is a new layout I created for a June RAK challenge going on at Addicted Scrappers.
The only requirements were to use chipboard on a layout. I had this picture of my brother and I being "rock stars" when we were young... very young... hee hee... (3rd and 7th grade). We were jamming in his bedroom- probably to the radio- with a flashlight microphone, cheap guitar, silver metallic fringed table skirt wrapped around my waist, and our signature 80's jean jackets! Hair slicked back... hoop earrings.. well... you get the idea! ha ha ha... ENJOY!

(Oh... psst.... DON'T tell my brother that this picture is now all over the world wide web!! LOL!)

Journaling on hidden tag. Heidi Swapp chipboard stars, Heidi Swapp ghost letters, silver star bards, Heidi Swapp felt star rub-ons, Art Warehouse rub-on letters, Bazzill cardstock, Making Memories paint, sewing, Bohemia patterned paper.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Perfect Weekend

What more could I ask in a weekend?

Upper 70's
slight breeze
blue skies

Saturday spent with my best friend scrappin' and sipping these incredible cocktails called "Peachmopolitans" on the back porch

Watching our boys play joyously together on the playset

Sunday wearing cute new sundress to church

Spending rest of the day with family on the beach of Lake Michigan at our cottage

Watching boys so excited as they played in the sand with trucks and shovels and buckets galore

If I have to be pulled away from scrappin'... this is what I want to be doing!!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Teacher gifts

I can hardly believe my 5 year old just "graduated" from preschool! He will be going to KINDERGARTEN next year! Where did the time go?!!

Anyways, as a special end-of-year gift for his teachers (he had four teachers this year), I made altered clipboards to give to them. They loved them! One of the teachers won't use it because she says its just too pretty! Guess that's the ultimate

Thursday, June 7, 2007

School's Out!!

Whoo-Hoo! Yippee! Yeowza! Hip Hip Hooray!

The busses left down our school's driveway for the last time this year!

As teachers... we waved enthusiastically to the kids, then calmly returned to the building and...

SCREAMED AND YELLED AND HOLLERED AND JUMPED UP AND DOWN AND RAN DOWN THE HALLS!! School's out! School's out! Then we participated in a much beloved game that is played whenever we need to let off some steam. We call it the Noodle game. We have cut foam swimming "noodles" into 3 foot sections to create "swords" or "whackers" or whatever pet name you'd like to bestow upon them. Then we have sliced small sections off the ends of other noodles to create small disks. The goal of the game is to place the disk on top of your hand and try not to let it fall off while at the same time using your "sword whacker" to try to topple your opponents disk to the ground. With a staff of 30+ teachers... this game is a riot! If only the kids could see us swatting each other and laughing like hyenas, they would think we've all lost it!

Well... off to recover, put my feet up for the summer, and prepare myself for August 27... and the beginning of another school year!

And ya know... even with all the exhaustion of this job, I wouldn't trade it for the world!!

New Layout

Ok.... so maybe I can blame it on my being an elementary music teacher. Or perhaps its my 26 years of piano playing. Maybe its just the fact that music is so much a part of me. Whatever it is....


This is a picture of my oldest son Carson when he was just 11 months old trying to play our piano! It was such a fun layout to do! Thanks for taking a peek!

I used cream and black cardstock to create the keyboard down the center. The patterned paper is one of my favorites- Basic Grey, and the chipboard photo corner is 7 Gypsies. TFL!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Ok... so what's in a name? This name began as a joke between my girlfriend and me. We both sorta tend to go above and beyond normal scrapbooking. Sorta extreme scrapbooking. Its nothing for either of us to spend 3-5 hours on one layout. We sew, we sequin, we handstitch, we paint, we stamp, we create 3D embellishments, we stamp, we sand, we tear, we bead, we're always trying the newest and craziest techniques. Well... you get the idea. So we started calling ourselves "hard core scrappers." Our logo was "Hobby" just doesn't cover it! Well... I guess it stuck!

Hello, my name is...

My name is Amber Bretz.
I'm a scrap-a-holic.

hee hee hee...

No... seriously. I really, truly am horribly addicted.

I am one of those people that think about scrapbooking, stay up to wee hours of the morning scrapbooking, and even see scrapbook layouts in everything from truck logos to clothing! I have even been known to grab a piece of paper and "sketch" out a layout idea based off of one of my poor student's T-shirts! Its amazing how I have mastered the art of sketching with one hand, while singing and conducting my music class with the other! And luckily, 7 year olds don't usually notice it when you're staring at their shirts trying to draw the cool swirl or flower that they chose to wear that day! As long as they're having fun in music class!

Pathetic. I know. But its how I think. Its just me.

Simply creative, a little crazy..... me.

Welcome to my New Blog!

Blog? Me? ...ha ha ha... If you would have asked me that a month ago, I would have told you no way, no how! I just don't have the time for one more thing in my life! I'm a full time teacher by day, a scrapper by night, and a mother all the time! How can I possibly fit in one more thing to my busy life? Well.... it all started a few weeks ago...

You see... I have this best friend who is an AMAZING scrapbooker... She took it upon herself to create her own blog as a personal challenge to herself. Being the "supportive" friend, I encouraged her, and listened to all the glitches she was running into and thought to myself- no way will I EVER do this! ... and then one night she e-mailed me and told me to check out her newly created blog. OH MY GOODNESS!! It was awesome! It was a place she could be creative, journal, and showcase her layouts all at the same time! I thrive on creativity and the ideas started swimming in my head... scrapbook pages, inspirations, sketches, products... pictures of my boys, pictures of my scraproom... I could keep a journal to look back on, I could keep the in-laws up-to-date on what was happening in my life. So... here I am. And here it is... my "never-say-never" blog! Just a few scraps from my desk and my life. Enjoy!