My Very First Scrapbook

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Oct 23, 2008 in Scrapbooks

When I did an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer for my Scrapbooking Ministry about a year ago, I mentioned that I created my very first scrapbook based on the movie “Grease” when I was 10 years old.

Well…guess what my mother brought over this weekend?  That very same scrapbook! 


In 1978, Topps marketed “Grease”  trading cards to girls – probably to compete with boys’ baseball and football cards.  I collected them all and put them into this little scrapbook…


In the scrapbook, I also included magazine photos of John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, ads for the movie…I even saved a wrapper and a piece of the bubblegum that was inside with the cards (30 year old piece of gum, anyone?)…


I was obsessed with this movie!  I memorized every line and knew every song by heart.  Of course, being only 10 years old, a lot of the jokes went right over my head…but even then, I just loved Sandy as a ‘bad girl’! 


Yay! Stampin’ Up! Online Ordering!

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Sep 10, 2008 in Cards, Crafts, Other items, Scrapbooks

Good news – you can FINALLY order Stampin’ Up! products online – and it’s about time!

Just visit my Stampin’ Up! website (a link can also be found down below in my Blogroll) and click on the “Shop Now” button. 

Feel free to email me with any questions – happy shopping!!!!


A Glimpse Inside the Teenage Brain

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Aug 21, 2008 in Family Stuff, Scrapbooks

Now that I’m the parent of a teenager (Seriously?!?! Am I really that old????), I am amazed at the lack of common sense that a child of that age possesses.

Apparently, scientific research has shown that teenager’s brains are not fully developed – especially the parts that handle logic and reasoning.  This leads to risky behavior – and apparently an extreme lack of common sense.

Case in point – we were having corn-on-the-cob for dinner the other night and I left a few ears in the pot of hot water on the stove so that it would stay warm.  Andrew (my 14 year old) went to grab an ear of corn out of the pot and instead of using the tongs that were on the counter, he reached into the pot with his bare hands! At which point he screamed that the water was hot – duh!

Remember the less-than-bright Vinnie Barbarino from the TV show Welcome Back Kotter?  That’s how Andrew’s been acting this summer…”What?”  “Where?” “Who?”

“Take what trash out?  Where do I put it?”

“I don’t know how to put dishes in the dishwasher [make a bed, mow the lawn, run the vacuum…].”

“We have a hamper?”

“Was that my iPod that went through the washing machine?”

“I’m supposed to flush the toilet after I go?”

“Where’s my cell phone [book, shoes, Nintendo DS, jacket, belt…]?”

Okay – that last one applies to most males I know, so I guess that’s not just the teenage brain…


Shopping (and Stalking) at CKC Valley Forge

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Aug 3, 2008 in Crafts, Local Community, Scrapbooks, Soldered Art, Today's Photo

I had a great time at the Creating Keepsakes Convention in Valley Forge, PA this weekend!  My friends and I went at the same time last year and had so much fun shopping, we decided to do it again this year but stay overnight for the crop and some more classes this time too.

I took two great classes (I’ll finish up the projects and post them later, but here’s what one of them will look like when it’s done…but with photos of my own family, of course)


and got to SHOP all afternoon!  And when I say shop…the vendor area in these conventions is incredible!  Lot of new paper crafting products, demos, make-and-takes…and I also did a little bit of celebrity ‘stalking’…

When I first started making soldering projects, I mentioned on my blog a website called Simply Swank that sold pink soldering irons and other supplies including a fabulous instructional DVD.

I may have also mentioned a book, Simple Soldered Jewelry & Accessories by Lisa Bluhm (one of the ‘swanky’ sisters), that I just loved for project ideas and instructions.

Well, Lisa Bluhm, her royal ‘swankiness’ herself was at the convention and I just had to stop and gush over how much I loved her book and products!  I was such a geek – but I honestly do love her stuff and didn’t hesitate to tell anyone who stopped by her booth (in fact, she asked if I could stick around for a little while and help sell some sets with my free advertising/testimonial).  I eventually pried myself from her booth and continued shopping, promising to send her some emails of some of my projects.

After shopping all afternoon (I got some GREAT bargains!), my friends and I grabbed a quick dinner then went to the crop Friday night.  I couldn’t believe how many women were there!


Here we are at our table:


There were lots of vendors inside the crop as well – and one of the people helping out was…Lisa Bluhm!  This time, I was even geekier and showed her a photo of one of my projects that I still had on my camera:


I whipped this project up this week after one of my co-workers announced her retirement – THE NEXT DAY!  (Note:  If you are going to retire, please give your friends more than 24 hours notice in order to plan an appropriate gift)  I used a vintage postcard with some images of a rose garden, added some glitter and a rub-on that says, “Enjoy” – then I wrote on the back, “Take some time to stop and smell the roses.”  Hey – it was the best I could do in one evening with no advance warning!

Anyway, I showed Lisa this photo on my camera (at least, a tiny version of it on the little camera screen) and she said she loved it (I’m sure she was just humoring me, but I pretended that she meant it anyway).  Then I took even one more step toward being arrested for celebrity stalking, I asked to have my photo taken with her and she kindly obliged:


How did she manage to look so good after all those hours at the vendor fair?

I noticed a man standing to the side laughing at us – Lisa said that he was jealous that no one ever recognized him and asked for his photo.  Turns out, his name is Brian and he’s a model who has done lots of work including underwear ads for Target…so I told him I’d like his photo too:


Um…I didn’t ask him to see his work – or his abs.  That might have been going just a bit too far.  Right, Mike?

I also chatted with former Paper Crafts editor-in-chief Stacy Croninger (I had my photo taken with her last year, so I didn’t make the poor woman pose again) – but this time, she came up to OUR table (was she stalking me???).  Turns out that she just announced that she is leaving the magazine to take a position as the director of the Creating Keepsakes conventions.  We talked about that a little bit (I offered some feedback on the convention – she also humored me and made it seem like she was interested in my opinion) and I showed her the photos of Emily during the “princess incident” that I happened to have out on the table – she thought they were really cute and would make a great layout…I’ll work on that when I have time.

I also saw Mindy from Crop Classix – she also found me out in the crowd and came over to chat…I guess scrapbooking is really becoming a small community – you see the same people year after year at each event.

I didn’t get nearly as much done at the crop as I’d hoped (I was too busy chatting!), but I had a lot of fun and will definitely go back next year!

After a late night of cropping, we headed back to the vendor fair the next morning and picked up a few more bargains and did a few make-and-takes.  Most of the free make-and-takes were pretty lame, (mine were always MUCH better, if I do say so myself)…but what do you expect for free?

On my way out, I ran into Stacy Croninger again and she was with Stacy Julian, the founding editor of Simple Scrapbooks.  But poor Stacy J already had a list of other stalkers waiting for photos, so I just said hello and headed out.

I had JUST enough gas in the truck to get home…and then got stuck in a MAJOR traffic backup on the Schuylkill Expressway (known for its traffic backups) – it took me almost 1 1/2 hours to get home – twice as long as it would under normal conditions.  But I didn’t run out of gas (thank goodness) and to ease my stress, I took the time in the truck to admire my purchases…now let’s see what I can create with them!


Camping In Hershey

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jul 28, 2008 in Family Stuff, Local Community, Scrapbooks

As you may have gathered from my previous post, we spent this weekend camping in Hershey, PA at the Hershey Highmeadow Campground, one of our favorites.


We had a really nice time…with the exception of a few minor meltdowns due to the heat and the crowds – and half the time it was me melting down, not even the kids!  But after a break in the shade, a cold beverage and a chocolate-y snack, all was well.

We spent our first day (Saturday) hanging around at the campground – just enjoying the nice weather, swimming in the pool, playing some games – my parents even came up for a visit.

We purchased tickets for HersheyPark for Sunday, which meant that we could go on Saturday night for a few hours for a ‘free preview’ of the park.  Unfortunately, we were not the only ones on the park Saturday night – in fact, there was a record number of people at HersheyPark that night!  Between the Jonas Brothers and Brad Paisley concerts at the arena this weekend, the place was CRAZY!!!!







Emily was very excited to see that she was a “Reese’s Cup” this year and was tall enough to go on most of the rides.  Andrew, of course, is now tall enough to go on anything he wants!

We fought our way through the crowds and managed to go on a few rides that first night, but that was about all we could take and left exhausted.

Sunday morning, we headed out bright and early – as guests of the campground, we got to enter the park an hour before it opened and enjoyed a few quick line-free rides.


As soon as it opened, Emily, Matt and I headed over to the new “Boardwalk” – a huge waterpark filled with all kinds of fun things for the kids to do.  We changed into our swimsuits and played for about an hour…until it started to thunder.  At which point everything in the park shut down.

This was not such a bad thing – it was time for lunch and we needed to let the dogs out anyway, so we headed back to the camper on the shuttle bus and returned later in the afternoon after the skies had cleared.

Emily was proud to go on her first real roller coaster and Mike and Andrew went on a BUNCH of roller coasters including the new “Fahrenheit”– which to me looks just insane.  But no more insane than this one – the “Stormrunner” – which goes from a complete standstill to really-really fast at the very beginning of the ride.  Every time I saw the start of the ride and heard this creepy voice, I had my own personal little panic attack – and I wasn’t even on the ride!  I managed to take a video of Andrew’s car at the start of the ride – take a look at this (this voice still gives me nightmares):

Andrew on the StormRunner

And here he is by one of the loops:


Matt doesn’t enjoy rides very much, but he waited very patiently at the ride exits for everyone to finish:


We made reservations to stay at the campground again next year – between the campground, the amusement park, the water park and all the other activities, this is one of our favorite ‘one-gas-tank’ trips!


Church Scrapbook

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jun 14, 2008 in Crafts, Scrapbooks, Today's Photo

One of my largest and most overwhelming projects this month was to make a scrapbook for our pastor, Dr. Rev. Lanie Price, who is leaving us in a few weeks to go to another church.

Our church has been through a lot in the last few years including a church fire and rebuilding project, so there was a lot to include in the scrapbook.

In order to get the book completed, I had to let go of my OCD side and keep the pages simple – if I agonized over each embellishment on every single page, I never would have finished. Instead of traditional journaling, I included one more scripture verses on each page that reflected the subject.

Still, this book was an enormous amount of work in a small period of time – and my messy house proves where all of my attention has been focused lately!

I will be presenting Lanie with the book tonight – and will also be making a speech to the 200+ people who will be attending the Celebration Service – yikes! But I think I have a good little speech and I’m happy with the book turned out – I’ll just be relieved when the speech is over and the book is out of my hands.

I thought I’d include photos of the pages of the book here on my blog for members of the church to view (since she’ll be taking the book with her). There were also a few additional pages not included here that contained letters and cards given by members of the congregation.

P6130051 P6130058 P6130059 P6130060 P6130061 P6130062 P6130063 P6130064 P6130065 P6130066 P6130067 P6130068 P6130069 P6130070 P6130071 P6130072 P6130073 P6130074 P6130075 P6130076 P6130077 P6130078 P6130079 P6130080 P6130081 P6130082 P6130083 P6130084 P6130086 P6130087 P6130088 P6130089

Just as a point of reference, I started the book at our last Scrapbooking Ministry meeting on May 31st and completed the book yesterday. Can you see why I haven’t had time to post in a while? :)

I did make it a bit easier on myself by purchasing coordinating products from the K&Co K-Ology “Hannah” collection. I bought one of the “Scrap Pad to Go” paper pads and actually used the whole thing and had to buy another.

I think the result was well worth it – I hope that this book will help Lanie to remember her years at PUMC.


Scrapbooking with Angie

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jan 13, 2008 in Scrapbooks, Today's Photo

Yesterday was our monthly Scrapbooking Ministry Crop at church.

I did take a photo of everyone at the crop, but was threatened with certain legal action if I posted it here on my blog…

However, my friend Angie gave me permission to post a photo of her…here she is working on our "Joy" page:


Thanks for being a good sport, Angie…


Happy Anniversary, Michael!

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Dec 3, 2007 in Cards, Crafts, Scrapbooks

Okay, I’m a little late on this one, but last week was so crazy, I haven’t had time to post this until now – sorry, dear!

We celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary last week – I am so grateful for my wonderful husband! We were married in St. Thomas on Thanksgiving weekend nine years ago and hope to go back there someday…maybe on a cruise for our 10th anniversary next year? (hint, hint…)

I made this card for him – he said he thinks it’s one of the best I’ve made (hmmm…not sure about that, but I’ll take the compliment!):

Anniversary Card

I tried to keep it manly but sappy at the same time – not an easy thing to do!

Since money is a bit tight, I also made him an anniversary gift instead of purchasing one.  This was a little out of my comfort zone, but I wanted to try something new.  It’s a box that also has a scrapbook on the lid…

Box top

Again, I tried to keep the design manly by using the “Serengeti” kit from Club Scrap to make and decorate the box – and I mean I actually made the box.  I painted  all of the cardboard pieces and adhered them together with glue to form the actual box.  Then I covered the box with paper and added the lid and scrapbook (which is also made from scratch – in the kit, you get the pieces, posts and page protectors, but you have to paint, cover and assemble the whole book including the hinge).  I filled the book with some photos from our camping trips – he can use the box portion on his desk to hold little mementos.

Scrapbook inside

Happy anniversary, Michael – I love you!!!!!


Soldier’s Scrapbook Project

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Oct 18, 2007 in Scrapbooks

A few weeks ago, I saw a request on SplitCoastStampers for scrapbook pages.  SCS member mom2tysonnashlee was putting together a book for her cousin who is currently serving in Iraq.  She was hoping for one 8X8 page from each of the 50 states, and was still missing about 6 states (NJ being one of them).

I volunteered to help her with NJ, and just finished the page yesterday (sorry it took so long, Cara).

Each state’s page will incorporate something from that state.  I found a book with beautiful vintage postcards from Ocean City, NJ (one of our favorite vacation spots), so I decided to use one on my layout.  8X8 is not a large page, so I really didn’t have room for much else.  Here’s my page:

NJ page

I added Dazzling Diamonds to the water on the postcard and put several ribbons behind it.  I used brown chipboard to spell out New Jersey and added some yellow ribbons tacked with brads for the soldier.  I also added a small pressed yellow pansy – the yellows pick up the little bit of yellow in the postcard.

I hope they like the page…


October Scrapbooking Ministry

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Oct 2, 2007 in Scrapbooks

As I’ve mentioned before (at least I think I mentioned it), I coordinate a monthly Scrapbooking Ministry at my church. 

We are scrapbooking the “Fruits of the Spirit” this year and last month, we made the title page for our scrapbook:

Fruit of the Spirit page 

This month, we will be talking about “love” and I designed a make-and-take scrapbook layout depicting love in our lives.  I decided to design all the layouts to use whole 4X6 photos uncropped to make it easy for attendees to just drop their photos right on the page after we’re done.

Because I don’t know exactly how many people will attend, I have to be very flexible on my make-and-takes – I usually use just cardstock with few embellishments (I may not have enough for everyone).

I sat down this morning to design my layout and decided to use photos that show the love between a mother and child – photos of me with each of my children as babies.

Here’s what I came up with:

LOVE layout

The two photos on the left are me and Andrew, the two photos on the right are me and Matt and the two photos in the center are me and Emily.

I used the Priceless Stampin’ Up! stamp set (LOVE that set) and stamped swirls and flowers onto Sahara Sand cardstock.  I stamped the monogram letters and cut them out for the title and added a little bit of journaling and some cut-out hearts popped up on some dimensionals for a little texture.

This layout could also be used to showcase other ‘love’ photos – husbands and wives, pets, things we love, places we love…whatever love means to you.

But I had so much fun looking at photos of my children as babies!   I may try to finally catch up on their baby books someday soon…

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