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!