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This is my baby.

She’s 20 today. 20 on the 20th.

And in the blink of an eye…I have no more teenagers.

What is this world coming to?

Happy birthday sweet thing.

jordan birthday breakfast web

Sporting her new birthday outfit and having a birthday breakfast at Kneader’s.

  • Patty - November 21, 2014 - 5:14 am

    She is so beautiful, just like her Mom! You should be proud and I know you are! Cherish the moments. hugs, PattyReplyCancel

  • Suelynn - November 21, 2014 - 5:25 pm

    I’m right behind you and completely understand. So very bitter sweet.ReplyCancel

  • Trish - November 22, 2014 - 6:25 am

    Your baby girl is gorgeous and I know your heart is full! How wonderful to celebrate your cherished daughter’s path to adulthood. I am here to say adult children are one of life’s most glorious blessings!ReplyCancel

Packaging up little gifts is quite delightful, don’t you think? And being able to create your own personalized packaging is even better, right?

Well then, do I have a fun little diddy for you today!


This cute little pillow box kit is what you’d say…versatile. So many options with this! Not only is there a plain ol’ pillow box design that you use with your favorite patterned paper, but there’s also three awesome designs that you can use ‘as is’ or customize them to fit your needs by switching colors or text.

Oh but wait…it gets even better.

It comes with little pieces to the pillow box puzzle so that you can use them to Crop or Subtract or change colors for one section, or whatever you feel like doing!


You get to become the master designer of your own packaging. How sweet is that? I think my favorite thing to do would be to type a name in some big letters for the person you’re giving it to. It’s pretty rare to get personalized packaging.

But look how awesome these are with what’s already in the kit.

pillow box 2 web
pillow box closeup web

These are prefect for the holiday season. And those numbers? Great for birthdays or anniversaries or any type of celebration involving a number…and it’s great just for fun too. :)

Here’s a little video on how you can work with all of it.
The question is now…what are you going to make with it?


  • Susan P - November 18, 2014 - 5:30 pm

    What a great kit! Thanks so much for the tutorial – can’t wait to try it out.ReplyCancel

  • Susan P - November 18, 2014 - 5:36 pm

    Question for you Keri – can you resize the pillow box (fatter, thinner, longer, shorter – and everything still fits correctly? I am assuming you can.ReplyCancel

    • Kerri - November 18, 2014 - 6:12 pm

      As long as you size the box+components together, you should be fine. The included designs probably wouldn’t work though. You’d have to make your own. :)ReplyCancel

  • Michele - November 19, 2014 - 12:01 pm

    can this only be done using the Silhouette machine? I have the Pazzles cutting machine.ReplyCancel

  • MIchele - November 19, 2014 - 12:06 pm

    BTW i do have the print+cut feature. I just got my new Pazzles machine so I’m not sure how that works just yet but I love this pillowbox idea as it’s perfect for any type of gifts!! (including a babyshower gift) :)ReplyCancel

    • Kerri - November 19, 2014 - 2:34 pm

      I’m not as familiar with Pazzles, but a quick look on their home page, I see that there’s some kind of Print+Cut with the Inspiration Vue. There searching and manuals aren’t very informative/user-friendly, so I can’t tell for sure what to do. You might want to check with them and see what the requirements are to do a print+cut with their machine+software. I’d love to know what you find out. :)ReplyCancel

It’s that time of year. One that starts making you really grateful–or maybe more conscientiously grateful– for the things and people in your life.

November just brings that out in us, right?

I think it’s something we need to have on our mind all the time. I feel like I try to do that on a daily basis all year long–from the smallest moment to the biggest moment. I believe it’s an attitude of positivity. I try to appreciate every little thing that I encounter each day–a hug from my children, a laugh from my husband, an adoring look from my cat or dog, a sunset, the fall smell, a roof over my head, transportation (when my kids don’t have my car), green lights all the way, lunch with a friend …there is much to be grateful for.  I think when you take stock in what you have and are grateful for, it makes you have a better attitude about life which results in being happy. And happy is a good thing. :)

So I’d asked my dear friends and design team–for which I am also very grateful for–to focus their attentions in the ‘grateful’ category. Check out this awesome idea from Miss Laura.


[ Designs | Holly Jolly Christmas (tag) / This+That: Gratitude (leaf) / Banners (banner), Giving Thanks (thanks) / Weathered Door Alpha (give) ]

I love this idea! And I love how Laura stapled the banners onto the tags….love the look. I think this is a must-do while you’re waiting for the turkey to get done. 

Here’s what Laura has to say:

I think it’s such a fun Thanksgiving tradition to have each member of the family write down what they’re thankful for. The last time my family did this, however, was five years ago. I thought I would create some fun tags for everyone to write on this year. To start, I cut a handful of tags, using Kerri’s Holly Jolly Christmas kit, from kraft cardstock. I ran each tag thru a dotted embossing folder and then spritzed it with brown misting spray. I machine stitched around the outside edges of the tags a few times, and then I also decided to draw some rough lines around the outer edges with a brown pen.

I picked out some fall patterned papers and used a leaf cut from the This & That: Gratitude [Just Shapes] kit to cut leaves from both the patterned papers and some white cardstock. I ran the white cardstock leaves thru a woodgrain embossing folder, even though it’s not that noticeable when I layered the leaves together on the tag. I also cut some little banners from white cardstock, which I layered over the leaf on each tag. I used tiny alpha stickers to add family member’s names to each tag. Everyone will know exactly which tag is theirs, and they can write on the backside of the tag, listing the things they’re thankful for this year.

I also wanted to have a place to store these tags, and came across this cute little burlap bag at the craft store. It was the perfect size to slip all of my tags into. I cut a piece of kraft cardstock for the front of the bag, and glue dots to lightly to position it on the bag where I wanted it. I then hand stitched a button to each corner of the cardstock to secure it to the bag. I don’t plan on this being handled a lot, so having only the corners secured is ok with me. If I was worried about it staying in place, I would probably add some more hand stitching around the edges to really make sure it stayed in place.

The burlap bag is the perfect touch!

My time has been extremely limited over the past couple weeks–well, the past month, including a trip to DC. Not only have I been preparing for the new workshop, I have two callings in church  that have kept me hopping these past couple months–the biggest one being our ‘Super Saturday’ in which we do several crafts all day. Whew. That one is over at least.

But yesterday we had what’s called Activity Days. The other leader and I meet with the ten-year old girls and do different things. It’s kind of like scouts without the camps and obnoxious cheers.

I allotted myself  one hour to prepare a gratitude journal for six girls…since it’s November and all. I made the base and then gave them product to decorate it with. This is what I came up with. Remember, it needed to be fast and it was only the base so they could add their own embellishments and I worked with what I had on hand–which ranged from newer Simple Stories  + Bella Blvd (thanks Layle and Laura ;) ) to old QVC product…as in older than they were, as we discovered. ( ha ha! )


The girls really had fun with this activity. When we told them it was time to clean up and go, I heard lots of disappointment. So I guess that was good. :) The one girl that made the ultra thick one (pictured) ended up sitting on hers to make it a little flatter. That was kind of funny.

I’m glad it turned out well because when you only have an hour to pull it together? You never know what will come of that. :)

Here’s the nitty gritty on making them.

Supplies needed for 1 journal:
2  3×4 journaling cards from a 12×12 sheet of paper so it can be folded
1 coin envelope for them to glue where they want
1 tag
3 pieces copy paper, cut in half and then folded in half
postal paper, cut into 6 1/8 x 9″ pieces
1 letter cut for their initial
1 phrase of ‘i am grateful’ printed onto photo paper
1 long stapler or some other kind of binding device

  1. Cut two 3×4 cards, copy paper and postal paper, and fold them in half.
  2. Fold the tag about 1/3 and 2/3.
  3. Place the cards in at two pages in and the tag at four pages in. It just adds a little dimension to to the album.
  4. Staple four times along the fold for the binding.
  5. Cut their initials.
  6. Print ‘i am grateful’ onto some photo paper
  7. Gather whatever other supplies, including the coin envelope, for them to decorate with.


  • Trish - November 11, 2014 - 3:34 pm

    What a great project! I have a 9 year old granddaughter who would love to do this with her friends, so thank you for the directions and sizing. I am grateful for you!
    PS I am enjoying Santa’s Workshop class:)ReplyCancel

  • angela - November 12, 2014 - 11:35 am

    Love this. Am going to try with my 4 year old later this week and see how it goes. I think I have everything on hand except the postal paper so will use something else.ReplyCancel

    • Kerri - November 12, 2014 - 12:42 pm

      A paper bag would work great too…or just cardstock. :)ReplyCancel

First off, I just wanted to shout from the the snow-free rooftops that the Santa’s Workshop workshop is in session!

If you follow me on Facebook you’ll know it’s actually been up just a little longer than I’d anticipated due to an accidental button push called Update.

Oh well. It was Monday somewhere even though it was 10:30 at night Sunday for me. :)

And now I’d like to talk a little bit about this ‘out of my control’ part of my life.

I’ve been an independent person my whole life. I do my best to try and be as responsible as possible. Because sometimes life is out of control, I may not be as on the ball with every aspect of my life, including my business, but I try to be. And I also understand that it happens to everyone. I’m good with reasonable delays. I don’t judge. We’ve all ‘been there done that’, right?

There are perks to running your own business–you can go have lunch with a friend, run to support your kid in a play, or have Casual Friday, which can actually occur on any day really and consists of pajama pants and often braless attire. But it’s also hard when you are the CEO, social media director, creative team leader, graphics designer, pseudo accountant, ‘web designer’, and janitor all wrapped up into one.

A lot of time and effort and working many more hours than the average Joe occurs when you are a teeny tiny company. I do have the most awesome of design teams and a little part-time help from child number two as well.

But being the independent ‘just do it yourself and get ‘er done’ kind of girl, it’s been really hard for me to have to rely on the work of others. One of these is my website. Stores and message boards and all that goes into them are beyond my wealth of knowledge–and that kills me. Granted, I do understand a little coding–I did create macros (a form of coding) many moons ago at WordPerfect. I’ve even taken a community ed class to help me understand the current stuff just a little bit more. Totally worth it!

But I ain’t got the skills, baby.

So without going into too much detail, I’ve had to rely on  the skills of others to get my store and message board to match the new look of my blog…which I changed almost a year ago. Granted, I did want to live with it a month or so before having to pay someone to change it to match, so there’s that.

The guys are great, don’t get me wrong. But somehow we’re coming up on a year now and my site is still a mish mosh of old and new. I’m hoping this is coming to a close soon. I can’t wait for cohesive bliss.

But this is one of those things in my life where it’s out of my control.

The other thing that is out of my control is updating the Getting To Know You class for all of you who have purchased it on 

I get asked about when this will happen on a daily basis. I just thought I’d let you know that the dynamics of their company changed from when I first spoke to an employee there about it a few months ago, in which they were so excited about the fact that I would share the videos over there for all of you had purchased it there. This person has since moved on from the company, so I’ve been patiently waiting to hear from the other person who needs to do this for me and for everyone. I’m not sure what the delays are on their end, but I’m ready when they are. :) Just know that I’m still working on making it happen.

So that’s part of my ‘out of control-ness’ going on right now. I guess I have a lesson to learn here. Must be patience or something. But surely there’s  a time limit on learning patience, isn’t there? ;)

And because I don’t like to post without some kind of visual goodness, here’s a shot from Evermore, the place Dan worked on last year and this year. I want to do a whole post on this, but here’s  a little taste for now. This statue is the work of an artist named Cory, but you can see Dan’s obelisk in the background. I just loved the mix of the statue with the yellow and red leaves and mountain in the background. And check out the little statue at the left too.


  • Sue Kimmet - November 10, 2014 - 4:30 pm

    Life has a funny way of keeping us on our toes… or often of knocking us on our keesters! This too shall pass.ReplyCancel

  • Melitta Ball - November 11, 2014 - 1:49 pm

    Kerri my heart & prayers are yours! I feel terrible knowing that I asked twice about the JS update, not thinking that you would be getting the same 2 or more questions from hundreds of other people too! I’m so sorry to have added to your burden girl! You do so very much for us, give us the best of you and we are just thankful for you!

    Have you considered not waiting around for JS any longer and perhaps offering a ‘coupon code’ which would allow us free access to the classes on your site instead of over at JS. I’m sure everyone can print off their receipt from their purchase history at JS, email it to you for proof of purchase then you could send them a pass code? It would be so wonderful to have all of my KBS classes all in one place anyway! So much easier!!

    Regardless my friend, you are a remarkable woman, doing remarkable things and you are appreciated!

    Many Blessings,


    • Kerri - November 11, 2014 - 2:02 pm

      Oh dear, Melitta…the ‘asking’ is not an issue at all.
      It’s the ‘I can’t do anything about it’ that’s an issue for me. :)
      I’ve thought about doing something like you’ve suggested.
      You are so sweet.

  • Lycia - November 13, 2014 - 3:12 pm

    I could almost write a carbon copy of Melitta’s comment. I’m so sorry that you’re suffering stress due to things not in your control. I can really identify with that.

    Yes, it would be GREAT to have all our classes in one place (your site). I’m almost to the point that I’d buy them again just to make that happen.

    Hang in there!ReplyCancel

Sometimes the slower–more picturesque–road is better than the fast get-ya-home road. This is how I felt the other evening as I made the choice to keep going straight down the slower road  rather than taking a right to head over to the ‘main drag’.

The sun was setting and one of my favorite tree-lined streets was all a glow with the remaining golden leaves on the trees.

That nature is changing.

The trees that were once full of gold are slowly fading away–literally and figuratively. Eventually those trees will be bare and I will be sad. That’s why I have to take every opportunity to slow down and choose the beautiful road over the fast-paced one.

I keep asking if we couldn’t just keep up the fall leaves all through winter. Maybe in February they can disappear to make way for the new ones.

Nobody’s listening to that idea.

Well,  here’s one way to always be able to enjoy fall. Taking photos and keeping them forever. I also think it’s a great way to document the time of year that they turned. Because I know that this year, they started turning early–like end of August, which was way crazy. We had a cold spell and just like magic–poof–they started.

Take a look at this darling page Naomi made to capture fall in her *ehem* neck of the woods.


[ Designs | All About Fall (words) / This+That: Autumn (leaves) ]

Love all the metallic autumn touches! And man, I just wanna go sit there on that chair and be surrounded by that golden goodness. Move over chica…I’m a-comin’. ;)

Here’s what Naomi has to say:

I used the new All About Fall and die-cut leaves from  This+That Autumn.  I then splattered them with gold tea stain, and used some leaves I got from the dollar store and glittered them up for some extra dimension.

Me likey the extra dimension!

Now get out and enjoy the last bits of fall while it’s still there. Unless someone gets the memo to keep the leaves on until February? They’ll be gone before we know it.

  • Kary Nelson - November 10, 2014 - 5:40 pm

    There’s a reason those leaves don’t stay on until February–if they did, when the snow flies it freezes to the leaves, making them so heavy that the branches just break off. I live in Colorado and this happens every few years with either an early snow in the fall before the leaves are gone or a late one in the spring after the trees leaf out. It is awful–broken branches (and sometimes even whole trees) snap off and litter the ground. So turns out it is a blessing that the leaves fall!

    But fall is my favorite season–enjoy every minute!ReplyCancel

Do you ever have a great moment that you just want to repeat? Something so simple, yet it just fills you up with nothing but contentment?

That would be this moment in DC.

wahsington monument night web

Having a photographing family, you just had to figure one or more people would want to take night photos down at the National Mall. Zach and Kass took turns with the tripod to capture some great photos. But after spending a few moments photographing Abe, I sat on the top steps of the Lincoln Memorial, behind a column so I wouldn’t get tripped over in the ‘darkness’, with Jordy-girl sitting next to me, sat my camera on my knees, held as still as possible, and took this shot. Well, I took a few more, but this is one of them that turned out pretty darn well.

And if you look to the right you’ll see three green dots. I call them orbs. Having a husband who has enjoyed watching Ghost Hunters, we were calling them the spirits of DC past. Perhaps Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson were hanging around. ;)

There wasn’t much else that we did but sit on the steps and talk about history and all sorts of stuff.

I loved it. 

If I could go back and do it again just to sit on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, I’d do it. I don’t need a phone, I don’t need a book. Just sit and soak it in.

Some people enjoy relaxing on the beach.

I liked relaxing here.

I liked soaking it in and truly appreciating where we were at.

What a moment.

I’m ready to do it again.

  • Jeanene - November 5, 2014 - 7:49 am

    I think the view of the Mall from the Lincoln Memorial is one of my favorite spots on the planet. You can’t help but feel inspired.ReplyCancel

  • 3kidmama - November 5, 2014 - 12:23 pm

    That is one view I have always longed to see! What a precious country we have been blessed with – thanks for sharing this, today!ReplyCancel

  • Lori - November 5, 2014 - 12:46 pm

    This is practically my backyard! It is awe-inspiring and glorious–yet sometimes I forget that because it is right here (why do we do that?!). Thanks for the reminder! I am glad to hear that it was such a special memory for you and your family. I feel blessed to be raising my family in such a historical and beautiful location.ReplyCancel

  • vicki - November 5, 2014 - 9:01 pm

    WOW! Truly amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Marla - November 5, 2014 - 10:32 pm

    Beautiful picture!!! Looks like you had the perfect night to sit out there soaking up all the history. I have always wanted to visit Washington DC, but know I will not be able to go. Thank you for sharing your trip!ReplyCancel

  • ana roat - November 8, 2014 - 7:26 am

    i had a moment like this at Yellowstone this past summer while watching a bear cross a valley. All went quiet and for a brief moment life stood still. While watching I thought about how mighty this bear was and how many more of his type had crossed this very valley so many years ago. What a beautiful country and rich history we have.

    Your picture is simply amazing. Thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly Janes - November 24, 2014 - 5:59 pm

    Fantastic photo!!!! I love that about photos & scrapbooking! You were able to capture that moment and it will forever be frozen in time! I love the emotion behind photos like this! Thanks for sharing!!ReplyCancel

Now that the costumes+candy has passed, what are you going to do with all those photos? Well, I think we can help ya with that here.

Take a look at what Nichol has done for the photos of the ghosts+goblins in her home.


[ Designs | This+That: All Hallows Eve (spiderweb, witch hat, spider, pumpkin, broom) / This Is Halloween (skull) / This+That: Halloween (witch boots) /  Halloween Freebie / Decade 2000 (2008, twothousandandeight) / Monthlies (october) / Weathered Door Alphabet (B, P, E) / This+That: School (books) / This+That: Autumn (scale, pumpkin, apple) / Picture That: Squared

Can I just say, fabulous! Photo templates are so perfect for multiple photos. It keeps your layout clean, yet so fun with more than just a photo or two. The photo template makes it ‘one photo.’ And nobody can create a scene better than our Miss Nichol. Love the scale…the houndstooth, laced-up witches boots…the web subtly in the background of the whole page…just all of it. It’s like Where’s Waldo. You have to inspect every little thing to see all the yumminess.

Here’s what Nichol has to say:

I love creating fun scenes with Kerri’s die cut shapes and word art for my scrapbook pages. Since we just had  Halloween I thought I’d work on our families Halloween Cosumes MIni Album. This two-page 8×8 spread is from 2008. I used one of Kerri’s photo templates to make adding lots of photos on a smaller format a snap and created a Halloween scene on the left side of the layout spread combining lots of fun Halloween (and non-Halloween) elements for visual interest! I layered the year and month die cuts over one of the photos on the right side of the layout and stapled vellum die cut monograms over my kids’ photos as well. I printed journaling on a white paper strip and attached it over the photo collage to complete my page.

  • Judy Stiles - November 4, 2014 - 7:26 am

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this layout by Nichol and will be making a similar layout for my grandkids’ Halloween pics for this year! Kerri, your images from the this+that kits are perfect for this!ReplyCancel

  • ana roat - November 8, 2014 - 7:29 am