Saturday, 30 March 2013

Over-easy Egg Decor Idea

I've always loved plastic eggs! Not only does the Easter Bunny use them to hold sweet treats (awesome!), but they also hold great creative potential. Here's one of the over-easy ideas I created for tomorrow's Easter celebration--an egg garland!

It only requires a few simple supplies.

The trick is selecting eggs with little holes in them. I found these at Target. Then you just thread some twine through those holes...

Position the egg where you want it on the twine, and tape it in place. I used washi tape, but regular tape would work just as well. 

Make your garland as long or short as you want. For added fun, fill the eggs with lightweight treats (dollar bills, y'all) that can be opened on Easter. Quick, over-easy and fun!


Thursday, 28 March 2013

Finding My Happiness

Happiness. What does it mean? This question has been on my mind a great deal lately. So much so that I’ve spent time reading books on the subject (currently reading The Happiness Project) and watching happy-based documentaries. (Happy, directed by Roko Belic, was a great little flick. And it’s available on Netflix. Bonus!) 

I don’t think this comes from a current lack of joy in my life. While I have what a consider to be a fair amount of stress, just like the next gal, I’m happy overall. Nope, I actually think much of my curiosity comes from recent moments of feeling deep amounts of happy. Small bursts of happy, for lack of a better description. Allow me to explain with a few recent examples. 

Burst #1: I recently took an amazing Instagram class taught by Rhonna Farrer. I wasn’t able to find someone to attend with me and I was beyond swamped at work, so I almost bailed at the last minute. SO glad I didn’t. I loved the class and the ideas. But, more than that, I felt those overwhelming happiness bursts when I stuck around after class to meet new friends. I met the amazing owner of Persnickety Prints, Chari Pack, and Rick Maddox, an awesome marketing guy with Adobe. I also reconnected with a few old friends, which felt great! Though my conversations and interactions were brief, they left me with an intense feeling of happy on my drive home. A feeling that stuck with me for several days. 

Burst #2: I love going to local shops in the towns I visit. Chat with the locals. Experience the way of life. Last week, I had the pleasure of doing just this in Portland, OR. If you haven’t had the chance to visit this part of the country, you should add to your bucket list. It is such a calm and kind place. Shop owners let you come in after they’re closed. They offer up engaging conversation. They seem to genuinely like what they’re doing and the opportunity they have to connect with customers. Love this! It made an impact. The more I shopped, the more I felt alive inside. Peaceful. Happy! Was it because I was shopping, which happens to be a favorite pastime of mine? Was it because I was meeting new and interesting people (another thing I adore doing)? Was it because I was in a new place seeing new things? Maybe it was a little of all of the above. Not sure. What I know is I LOVED the feeling I was left with, and I want to bottle it. Understand it. Feel it every. Single. Day. 

Some of the local shops I visited while in Portland. Mississippi is a delightful area to visit and experience the PDX flava! 

Burst #3: I was chatting with a new(ish) coworker. Nothing exciting or revolutionary. In fact, it was pretty stupid stuff. Stuff I think annoyed everyone else within earshot. We were discussing childhood TV. Specifically, Today’s Special and Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. It got pretty silly after awhile, but it was so fun. I still think of that conversation and find myself laughing out loud. A giddy feeling I want to capture. (“What’s the deal with Mr. Rogers anyway? Why does he zip his cardigan all the way up, only to then zip it halfway back down?”—Yes, this is one of the comments made in that silly convo. Can you believe Dan remembered this about that show from our childhood? Sure enough. I YouTubed it, and there Mr. R was, zipping that cardigan up and then down again. Hahahaha!) 

Burst #4: Thanks to Facebook, I recently saw a friend accomplish a dream. Kelly Purkey created a stamp kit for Simon Says Stamp. It’s adorable. And it’s clear she’s ecstatic about her fabulous accomplishment. Can you blame her? She works hard and it’s awesome her hard work is paying off for her in such a cool way. (WTG, KP!) This got me to thinking about others I know who’ve accomplished notable things in their lives. I’m blessed to know SO MANY accomplished people. Company owners, product designers, creatives, published authors, teachers, parents, and more! People who’ve turned something they love into a prominent part of their lives. Seeing this success... this joy... makes me happy! I’m talking, deep, take-my-breath-away happy. It gives me hope that I’ll one day take one of my many (MANY) ideas and turn it into something big. Something wonderful. People prove it can be done. Why not be one of those people? 

Kelly Purkey's Project Kit for Simon Says Stamp. Image by Kelly Purkey.

Notes on Happy

“Happy,” the documentary I watched on Monday, had so many awesome things to offer that I eventually started taking notes (nerdy, but true!). Here is some of what it had to offer: 

Practice cultivating happiness and compassion to transform the brain in very positive way. 

Hmmm... practice cultivating happiness... that’s a new way of thinking for me. I never thought of happiness as a skill that required practicing. It makes sense though, don’t you think? We are always given a choice when it comes to how we react to any given situation. Sometimes it takes effort to choose to be happy. I suppose this is where the practicing comes into play. The more we work at actively choosing the happy, the more inclined we’ll be to naturally react in such a way. 

The trick is to be authentically you. It’s a skill, which is no different than learning to play the violin.

A skill, eh? I suppose that’s why it takes practice. How skilled are you when it comes to being happy?

The things we love to do are the building blocks of a happy life. Play. Friends and family. Doing things that are meaningful. Having new experiences. Appreciating what we have. These are the things that make us happy. And they’re free. 

They’re free! Don’t you love that? You don’t have to go out and buy the bursts. I find they come when you open your heart and your mind. Let go of prejudice. Let go of preconceived ideas. Simply let go and enjoy the moment, whether that’s meeting a new person, experiencing a new place, or trying a new thing. Let go and really experience.

With happiness, the more you have, the more everyone has! 

Yes! This is my favorite! The more I have, the more YOU have, and the more we ALL have! How absolutely cool is that? No need to hoard. No need to compete. Be happy. Spread your happy. And watch as those around you, in turn, up their own happys. It’s a wonderful cycle. 

A Few Final Thoughts a la Pollyanna

When I’m happy, I’m more aware. My memory is keener (which is huge when I struggle with short-term memory issues as part of my narcolepsy). I feel more grounded and in the moment. I feel more energetic. I feel more alive. 

I want to model happy for Maggie. I want her to see and experience it so it becomes a natural way of life for her. I don’t want her to find herself at 32, actively trying to seek out the happy, as her mother is doing now. I want it to be so natural for her that she can’t imagine any other way of being. 

Nothing makes me happier than seeing my girl's happy soul bursting with joy!

Okay, at this point (if you’re even still reading at this point), you may be thinking “enough with the Pollyanna (gosh, I love that movie!), Megan.” Fair enough, but I hope my sincerity is coming through. I mean these words. I don’t mean to come across as obnoxious. I realize life is hard. Trust me, after some of the experiences I’ve had in recent years, I totally realize this, but I don’t want the hard to get in the way of the happy. Can’t we be happy even when the going gets tough? After all, can one truly know happiness without their share of adversity? Sure, this may come across as The Glad Game, but that’s okay with me. I like that game. I want to win that game. What about you?

What are you doing to be happy today? Welcome the happy. Attract the happy. Be the happy! Do this, and watch the happy grow around you. 


Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Project Shoebox: You'll want to do this!

Have you heard of this? It's a photo-based movement, and I love it! It's about getting those old photos out of the shoebox and into the hearts of those you care about. Here's one of my favorite old photos. My brother and I are being pushed in my grandma's tire swing. (Yes, those are my cousins legs hiding behind ours. She's doing the pushing!)

Why Project Shoebox?

So many reasons. But the one I'm most fond of is the fact that it will bring you fulfillment. There's great power in shared images. When you scan an old photo and share that with loved ones, whether that's via Facebook, email, a photo sharing site (such as, or by printing and mailing the pic, you've now given the image and the memory new life.

Image courtesy of Studio 5.

Take this image, for example. It's one my cousin scanned and shared with me. At first glance, I see my Uncle Howard on a horse. That's where he can usually be found, so this comes as no surprise. Little did I know it's actually a postcard he did for the state of Colorado. How cool is that?!

And discovering this lead to more awesome tidbits. My handsome uncle was also featured in national commercials and in movies, and he's even trained Tom Cruise on how to ride a horse when he was filming Last Samurai. AI had no idea he was Mr. Hollywood. He's quiet and a hard worker, so he wouldn't be the one to boast about these facts. But this image holds the stories he's too modest to share. Giddy up!

How to Share

I've never met anyone as passionate or creative as Wendy Smedley. Ever. And when she puts her heart into something, as she's done with Project Shoebox, you know it's going to be good. She's done all the work for you, finding cool sharing apps for your smart phones, sites that will scan images for you, and more. Check out her article for all of this awesome info!

A Final Experience

Last year, I asked my loved ones to send me images of them in Montrose, Colorado. This town holds great significance for us, as it's where our grandparents lived and our parents grew up. I got so many fun shots. Here are just a few:

I ADORE any picture of my grandparents, but this one is extra sweet. They both look so happy. If it weren't for my request, I may have gone my whole life without experiencing this shot.

This is one of my mom's favorite Montrose pics. I'm the wee one, and that's my brother Jeff holding me. You'll see Curt, my other brother, in the background with a monkey puppet that our mom made. Both bros were always playing with me and making me happy, which this picture illustrates. I love the image, because it shows what the inside of my grandma's house looked like. Seeing it, I can remember the sound that phone made, the smell of that kitchen, and the sounds that filled that small house. It takes me right back there and actually brings tears to my eyes. In a good way. :)

Look at my cute mama with her older sister and their parents. It's not very often I see pictures from my mom's youth, so I loved it when relatives sent this one to me. More than that, I loved hearing the stories behind it. 

My Sharing

Once I received everyone's photos, I uploaded them a photo website and created a digital book. I then printed multiple copies and used them as a family reunion invitations. Last summer, we all met again in Montrose for the first time in years! It was wonderful. We shared memories and laughs. I know part of the excitement for this event came from the previous sharing of Montrose memories tied up in pictures.

Here's one of my cousin Cynthia at the "Hooray" (how we pronounce Ouray--you-ray) Pool. This is a special spot for our family and has been for years.

And here is Cynthia (on the left) in the same pool this summer, along with her sister, Cheryl, Cheryl's daughter, and our other cousin, Teri. So awesome to go back those childhood spots and create new stories.

Following the reunion, I uploaded all of the new pictures from the event and created a second photo book, which I printed and mailed to everyone. These small volumes of our Montrose memories are worth SO much! And it all started with a few old photos!

How You Can Be Involved

Like the Project Shoebox page on Facebook. Wendy and Studio 5 keep it loaded with ideas, support, and fun. And I'd love to hear any photo sharing stories you have, if you care to take a minute and share.

I'll leave you with a flick. It's Wendy on Studio 5, describing this movement. A good way to spend a couple of minutes. Hope to see you on the Project Shoebox FB page soon.


P.S. If the video below only shows half of the screen for some reason, you can watch it on the Studio 5 website instead. I appear to be having some technical difficulties. (Story of my life.) :)

Friday, 11 January 2013

Creative Space Vol. 2 is here!

I've been keeping a secret for quite some time, and that secret is finally out this week. I got to work on another Creative Spaces. I was delighted when the first installment became a company best seller for two years running, and even more tickled when I was asked to go to work on a second generation. Since coming back from my maternity leave this summer, I've been hard at work with my editorial team at Creating Keepsakes magazine, putting this special issue together. And now, after months of work, it's here!

You know why I adore this particular project so much? It affords me the opportunity to collaborate with so many near and dear friends, including one of the kindest people I know, Neko Carrillo, who did all of the design work on this one. Isn't she talented? And so nice, too! There is absolutely NO WAY I could have done this one without you, Neko. Thank you!

Behind the Pages
There are so many fun behind-the-scenes tidbits I have to share about this issue. Here are just a few of them:

  • My new sewing space is featured in this issue. In it, you'll find a step ladder that I covered with sewing patterns. This idea came to me at 8:50 PM, the night before the photography team was to come to my house, so I ran over to IKEA (fortunately, it's right here near my home), purchased the ladder, and got to work. I was decopauging from midnight to 4:00 AM. Not something I would recommend.
  • Several of the friends featured in this issue are either coworkers or former coworkers of mine, including Stacy Julian, Symoni Johnson, Jennifer Schaerer, Amy Yingling (that's her stunning space on the cover!), Emily Call, and Paula Hogan. What a treat to work with such talented people!
  • One of the awesomely organized in this issue also happens to be my cousin. I guess this kind of crafting passion runs in families. Love you, Teri!
  • That beloved IKEA cart I mentioned in my last blog post can be found in four different places in this issue. Crafters definitely know a good thing when they see it. Can you spot the carts?
  • We featured Sande Krieger's space in this issue. Visiting her home was something else. It was built in 1911 and is full of character! They don't build them like that anymore. 
  • I used to work in the PR department for Stampin' Up! And one of my job responsibilities there was to take visitors on tours of the company's Legacy Room—a cool area of the company where room displays are set up. In this issue, I get to take all of my readers on that same tour, which is an extra special treat! 
  • Pictures of my crazy pups, my darling daughter, and several friends and family can be spotted in this issue on one of the storage products. Can your eye spy these images?
  • The bubblegum in the Viewtainer storage container came straight from my office at work. Those who know me know I always keep gum close by. Yum!

To celebrate this very special occasion and accomplishment in my life, I have a copy of the new Creative Spaces Vol. 2 to award. Simply leave me a little note on this post for a chance to win. I'll randomly select my lucky name on Sat., Jan. 19.

Here's to getting organized in the New Year. Cheers!

P.S. Increase your chance to win a copy by visiting the Creating Keepsakes blog for a list of others in this issue who are giving away copies!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

A few fun gift ideas!

Still looking for a few gift ideas for the guys and gals in your life? Here are a few fun finds that have caught my eye lately. Hope some of them inspire you and help you out with that wish list.

For the Artistic/Creative

Signature Series: Kelly Purkey
Price: $17.95
I adore this girl, and I've already added her book to my Dear Santa list. Hope I've been a good enough girl this year.

A book loaded with inspiration... and the cutest author around! 

For the Photo/Camera Lover
iPhone Camera Remote
I take SO many of my pictures with my phone these days. Love the idea of a remote for that camera!

For the Girl who Just Wants to Have Fun

Beastie Boys Solid Gold Hits
Price: $8.99
I know it's old-school, but this music is always the pick-me-up I need when I'm feeling low on energy or simply want to have some fun.
Available on

For the Modern Maven

IKEA Cart (with some Swedish name)
Is it odd to have a crush on an object, because I think I'm in love with this little fella.
There are just a few of the happy things that have landed on my Dear Santa list this year. What is it you're wishing for?

Happy gift giving!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Halloween Happiness

Maggie's first Halloween!
Bwa ha ha ha ha! It’s time for a frightfully fun Halloween recap. 

Okay, so our Halloween was far more cute than creepy with it being Mag’s first and all, but we still had a scary good time. 

Carving pumpkins is a family tradition. We head to my parents’ house and transform basic gourds into works of... art?

Auntie Ruth and the Unc (Jim) joined us from Colorado this year. So nice having them here! 
Our freaky crew. From left to right: Auntie's cat, The Unc's...pock-marked pump'; Mom's unfinished gal; Cory's pumpkin carved to match the one on Maggie's onesie (below); my First Halloween pumpkin (for Mags); Curt's cute guy; Dad's odd fella; Gina's not in pic, but very pretty!

Saw this idea on Pinterest: carve the pumpkin with a drill insert twinkle lights. I did a 1 for Maggie's first Halloween.
Wanting to document Maggie’s first fright night, I made her a First Halloween onesie. 

Okay, so maybe four-month-olds are too young to enjoy sugary treats, but this doesn’t mean Mom and Pop can’t use that babe as an excuse to indulge in free candy. So we dressed Maggie up as the friendliest ghost you’d ever see and set to the office where I work to get our pumpkin full.
Maggie went as our friendly little ghost. 

I simply ironed a ghost face on a onesie--super easy!

Piecing Maggie’s costume was easy. 
  1. The Onesie: I simply ironed on an iron-on backing to the black and white fabric, cut the face, and ironed it on a long-sleeved onesie. 
  2. The tutu: I purchased the tutu at Jo-Ann. It had a spring-like waist band, so I covered it by gluing on some black ric-rac using Beacon’s Fabri-Tac glue. (LOVE that stuff!)
  3. The tights: The super cute mary jane tights are from Dillards. 
  4. The headband: My friend Emily made the FAB headband. (You should check out her store or follow her on Instagram to see her latest designs available for purchase. They make awesome gifts!)

Since I’m a new mom, I didn’t have much time to put together a costume. Here’s what I ended up with--definitely a fail on the costume scale. Several people didn’t get it. Any guess?

Not my best costume, but there's always next year. 
I’m...a new mummy! Yeah, I know, but at least I tried, right? ;)

I can’t resist making my coworkers a little something for some of the holidays, including Halloween. This year, I stuck with the new-mummy theme and wrapped jars with that self-stick bandage stuff, which just sticks to the jar without any glue (so fast!). I then stuck on some self-adhesive googley eye. Easy!

Mummy jars for my coworkers.

For the tag, I used a cute mummy stamp from Imaginisce, smaller googley eyes, and a little baker’s twine. 

And I filled the jars with Sixlets. Who says guts have to be yuck? ;)

I filled a few larger jars with a pumpkin spice caramel apple dip for the neighbors. 

Well, that's about it for our fright night recap. I hope you and yours had a very Happy Halloween. What did you do to celebrate? I’d love to hear of your hauntings!


Sunday, 12 August 2012

Onesie... twosie... threesie...

Monthly onsies... a project I've had in mind since before my dear Mags arrived. I thought they'd be a cute way to track her growth during her first year. Alas, I didn't complete them until month two of her sweet life, which means onesie one is out of the picture. But, better late than never, I suppose.

Here's the plan: I'll sit her in her cute rocker wearing the onesie that coincides with her current month of age and snap a picture. Lambie will join her to help illustrate her growth. 

How the onesies came together:

Step 1: Purchase onesies for months 1 (or two, in my case) through 12, wash them, and iron them.

Step 2: Select fabric for your numbers and iron fusible webbing (stiffener) to the back of each piece. This is a two-sided iron-on material that will allow you to die-cut your numbers and iron them to the onesies. I used Ultrahold Heat-n-Bond by Therm O Web.  

Step 3: Use a die-cutting machine to cut your numbers. I used the Fabrique by Making Memories. Note: If you don't have a die-cutting machine, you can use stencils to trace numbers and cut them out, or you can simply freehand cut them out. It's up to you!

I cut four of each number so I can make extra sets to give as gifts. 

Step 4: Iron the numbers on the onesies. 

Step 5: Take your photos onesie... errr, once a month. ;) 

Since I was a slacker and missed month one, I'm starting with month 2. (How can my baby girl be two months old already?)

You'd think the photo taking would be the easy part. Yeah, not so much. Here are just a few of the MANY outtakes. 
When ever there's a camera out, Jack has to make an appearance.

Reese (dog speak for "cheese")



Whew! This picture-taking business is hard work.


BTW, I'm thinking about selling these onesie sets. If you're interested in purchasing a set, please e-mail me at M2E2G at I'm happy to use colors that work for your needs, and I can do sets for boys, girls, or I can keep 'em gender neutral. Just let me know. :)