For Starters | Meet Me Here


The idea for the Meet Me Here kit [still a work in progress] came from an image similar to this that I added to my “things to do”  folder in my Microsoft Office Portfolio about three years ago. I’m just a little obsessed with the possibilities contained in that simple phrase. Meet me here. Someday [when we’re both independently wealthy] I’m going to send this to Erin. We can wander the streets, shop, eat desserts, and basically do all the things our husbands wouldn’t want to do with us, all while we brainstorm ideas and call it a business meeting. A girl can dream, right?


arrowscolor |  wordsluggage |


This year I really, really don’t want to dye Easter eggs. So we’re not going to. We’re going to decorate easter egg boxes. I made this lemon box last year for a friend and loved the possibilities. For this project I’ve simplified the process and put my handy-dandy cutter to use. I created a nesting box template and an egg shape for the top/bottom [think heart shaped boxes of chocolates]. Now, to all of those lacking in the electronic cutter department, please don’t tune me out quite yet. While it’s nice to have an electronic cutter for any project, it is, by no means, necessary for this one. The template is simple and straight forward, and the project is just as easily accomplished with the printed PDF template and a pair of scissors.

For the boxes I wanted a heavier material that would stand up to my kids, so I picked up some shirt boxes at Target. Unfortunately, the Silhouette doesn’t play well with such heavy materials. I fussed and tinkered and cursed before resigning myself to the fact that if I wanted the machine to do all of the cutting and scoring I would have to use standard cardstock. I shouldn’t whine about it. They turned out awesome anyway. If I do say so myself. Here’s how we did it…

Eggcellent Egg Box at Purdue Avenue

1.  Using the Egg-cellent Egg Box Template and heavy cardstock cut one each of the top + bottom and two of the egg shape. Also cut two egg shapes from your paper of choice for decorating. I liked using a second egg because it made the box feel more substantial. 

2.  Glue the cardstock and paper eggs wrong sides together for thickness but don’t attach them to the box quite yet.


PurdueAve_Egg-cellent43.  Decorate the eggs in any way you would like. We tried a few different things: watercolor, colored pencils, patterned paper, solid paper with patterned paper polka-dots/zig-zags/stripes. We like it all. Please note that if you are using any 3-D objects do not attach them yet. This step is for flat paper application only. We just used glue sticks, but mod-podge would work as well.

4.  Assemble the box by folding along the score lines and gluing the tabs to the inside of the box. I tried this with a permanent glue stick and it worked fine, but I did have to use paper clips to hold the sides while the glue dried. In the end I used my hot glue gun. I much prefer the hot glue gun. I did not try my tape runner.



5.  Mark the desired position of the box on the back of the eggs and attach the egg shaped tops and bottoms to the corresponding piece of the box.

Eggcellent Egg Box at Purdue Avenue

6.  Attach any 3-D objects [optional].

7.  Fill the box with whatever your heart desires. Me? I love Cadbury Mini Eggs. And I’ve just been introduced to Laffy-Taffy jelly beans and, though I’m really a chocolate girl, I think they’re pretty good as well.

So that’s it. Awesome, gift-able eggs that are fun, easy to make, and 100% customizable.

The template kit includes Egg-cellent Egg Box Template in PDF/SVG/ PNG formats. The finished size of the box portion is 3 x 5. However, the template can be enlarged or shrunken as desired. We did some 3 x 5 and some 2 x 3. If you choose to adjust the sizes just be sure to adjust all the pieces accordingly.

ps. This week only the template kit is free. Get it here. Happy Easter!

pps. For those using the Silhouette and really wanting to use the heavier shirt box, it will work with a few alterations. For whatever reason, the machine had problems with the score lines. To bypass this problem simply un-group the lines on the box templates and  remove the score lines. Set the blade to 10 and the thickness to 33. It’s possible I need a new blade, but I had to go over it four times. To do this, make a copy of the template by holding down ctrl and clicking [cmd+click on a mac] on the portion of the template you want to duplicate. This will make a copy directly over the original and will tell the machine to cut it twice. In the cut settings choose the double cut option to make two more cuts, bringing the overall total to four cuts. And, like I said, it’s possible I just need a new blade, so I would do a test cut first to see if just two cuts will work. After cutting the box shape, score the fold lines with a bone folder or whatever tool you prefer. I used the edge of a spool of thread because it was right here. Anything will work. Assemble as instructed above.


Good morning everyone! Mandi here. I am just about ready to begin this Scrap-along! It will start in a few minutes at 11:30 am MDT. I’m going to go ahead get the little man climbing on my back situated with PBS kids and a snack… and cross my fingers that he’ll cooperate!.

This is where I’ll post the steps. They’ll be in color for distinction. If you need an intro on the how-to of a Scrap-Along you can see those below.

Let me know if you have any questions as we go along. I’ll be here, chatting and playing along with you.

Here is how a Scrap-Along goes:

* I will post a new instruction every 10 minutes for the next hour for a total of 7 different “rules” for you to follow in creating your layout. I will update this post with each of the instructions.

* At the end of the hour, when all instructions have been given, you will then have until next Wednesday to complete, save, and upload to gallery of your choice [or e-mail me a screenshot/copy and let me know in the comments so I’ll know to watch for it…].

Bubblegum Alley Meet Me Here kit teaser by Mandi Miles

* After you upload your layout to the gallery of your choice make sure to come back to this thread to let me know you’ve posted your layout with a direct link [ps. instructions on how to do that at end of post]… everyone who participates [determined by a finished layout linked up before next Wednesday] will receive a mini-kit courtesy of Bubblegum Alley Design Company [that’s me, Mandi].


Are you ready? Today we’ll be dreaming of places to meet. Here we go!

1. Choose 2 photos. One of a person and one of where you’d like to meet them OR of something than represents the message you’d like to convey [ie. could be a photo of yourself]. If the meet place is a dream there are some great photos on Wiki Commons. Also, keep in mind that this doesn’t necessarily need to be a physical place, the place that keeps coming to my mind is in the middle.

2. Choose one background paper and any coordinating papers you think you’d like to use. Add your chosen background to your layout canvas.

3. Add your photos to your layout with any frames and/or techniques you’d like.

4. Make a connection between the photos in some way… i.e. overlap them, have an arrow from one to the other, lines/dots.

5. Using a favorite font write the words: MEET ME HERE. Use your favorite technique to jazz them up… i.e. embossed, stroke + shadows to make a sticker look, shadows + warp to make a paper cut look, grunged for a stampy/painty look… you choose. 

6. Choose and add up to three decorative elements of your choice. 

7. Complete your layout with journaling or a favorite quote. 


So that’s it. Send me your links and I’ll send out your freebie. Thanks for playing along!

Here’s mine:

Mandi Miles | Meet Me Here

ps. How to post links in comments:

1. Copy + past the code below into the comments

2. Replace the yellow section with your link

3. Replace the bolded portion with your words to identify the link

<a href=”http://www.location of image to link“>Here’s mine! Or other words of your choice here</a>.

Meet Me Here

Purdue Avenue Scrap-Along Invite 20MAR2013


Next week [Wednesday, March 20th] I’ll be here leading a scrap-along. What is a scrap-along? Well, I’m glad you asked. A scrap-along is my remake of the speed scrap concept. I think speed scraps are loads of fun. I love that there are parameters to keep me from over thinking a page. I also get a kick out of chatting it up in the forum and getting to know people. But I know that sometimes it’s hard to be available at the specified hour. And to finish in the allotted time limit.  Well, the scrap-along will encompass the best and leave the rest.

For those who can make it, I’ll be blogging the instructions or “rules” for a specified hour beginning at 11:30 am  MDT on Wednesday March 20th [1:30 pm EST/ 6:30 pm GMT… here’s a handy-dandy time zone converter if the need arises]. I would love to have you join me. Blog comments will be used as a forum of sorts for questions and general gabbing/getting to know you stuff.

For those who won’t be able to make the time slot, the instructions will be available indefinitely and you can play along at your convenience.

For those who love a prize, I’ll be offering up Copy Cat Template #1 [that’s the preview there on the left side of the invite] + a handful of digital items [scribble, confetti sprinkles, word art, textured paper].

The freebie will be available for one week to those who complete and share their completed scrap-along layouts [via e-mail or a link in the comments to the gallery of their choice or blog post].

So mark your calendar and join me. Won’t you?

ps. The Copy Cat Templates are exactly what the name implies, templates made from images I’ve seen. I would love to link to the image, but I can’t seem to find it. I could have sworn it was in my Pinterest. Or Amy Tangerine’s Pinterest. Or Molly Irwin’s. I’ve looked for over an hour [longer than I would like, but I really think it’s only proper to give credit where credit is due], but alas, no luck. I will link it up when it turns up. As it most certainly will. Now that I’ve given up the search.

pps. Here’s the quick info:

Who? Everybody

What? Scrap-Along


When? Wednesday March 20, 2013 | 11:30 am MDT

Why? Because it’s fun. And there’s free stuff.


Good Golly


Say hello to Miss Molly.

She is very large.

10 lbs 12 oz to be exact.

+ 22.25 inches long.

I apologize to all who have been anxiously awaiting this news. My inability to handle decent pain meds have made the surgery recovery a bit harder to handle this time around. Not so young as I once was I guess. Worth it though. She is 100% worth it. And I’m doing much better. We’re home and we’re good. We’ve had lots of wonderful help.

ps. I’ll be sure to take more photos soon.

December Daily | Day 1-4






As I worked on the pages I realized that I needed to pay attention to the book as a whole unit and not the individual pages. Example: the back side of the day 2 photo. I’ve got nothing. Though I am positive there’s some piece of kid art around here somewhere. Or I could always take a photo of a big pile of tissues and a warm cup of something. After all, that’s what this week has really been about. I’m just a little bit tired of it.

Pretty much everything I’ve used here came from my Hello December Journal Kit. The only exceptions are:

  • The December calendar. It’s a free download from  Rebekka Seale at Dear Friend. I altered it slightly so it would tie in with the rest of the chalkboard stuff in my book [hopefully that’s okay].
  • Day 4 is one of the digital papers from my Brown Paper Packages paper pack [still not up in the shop]. I printed it onto the back of the print of the Etsy treasury.
  • The black/white polka dot washi is Smash tape from my stash.
  • The gold letter stickers on day one. I got those at Michael’s. They’re sticko from EK Success.

I would have shared my cover, but it’s not done.

Not even started, actually.

Though I do have some ideas.

And some liquid gilding.

In gold.

I Am Here

Christmas Whites Treasury by Amanda of Her Beautiful Life... Fantastic.

Just thought I’d pop in to share… My Merry & Bright printable was featured in this fantastic collection of Christmas Whites at Etsy. So exciting. Mostly I just love how the print looks with all of the other beautiful projects.

On a different note, I’m sick.

Well, mostly we’re all sick around here. I’m just the only one who can’t mask the symptoms with drugs and feel like a normal person. But, I’m planning on getting some December Daily goodness up tomorrow.

If all goes well.

I’m in need of some accountability.

So there you go.

ps. Don’t forget about the FIFTYOFFDIGI and PURDUEAVE15 codes good for both the Purdue Avenue Shop and Bubblegum Alley [links in the sidebar]. Codes are good until Saturday night.

I Did It


It’s been a long time coming. That is to say, I’ve been working on it for a long time. And by that I mean I’ve been listening to Christmas music since July.



So come on over and visit.

The door is always open.


Only it a good type of conspiracy.

I think I may have mentioned it before.

When the universe conspires on my behalf.

This morning I got an e-mail from Pinterest indicating that they’re trying out secret boards. On my laptop [Windows based] I have a program called portfolio that  I love. When I switched over to Mac it was the only thing I really missed. That is when I finally caved and joined Pinterest. But I’ve been dreaming of having a secret board or two for quite a while now. I’ve got some stuff in the works. I like to keep the random ideas I have bouncing around in my head under wraps until I decide how exactly to proceed [or if they’re even worthy of developing]. My desktop is a mess because of all the inspiration ideas I throw to it because I’m not ready to have people guessing what I’m working on. So… hooray for secret boards.

And thank you Pinterest.

And, as if that weren’t enough, Spoonflower has announced they are introducing gift wrap. I’ve loosely been looking for/wishing for/hoping to find a place that prints custom gift wrap in small batches. And now here Spoonflower goes and delivers. Wow. And they’re having a giveaway! The only bummer is that it looks to be a limited time offering. I think it ends with the holiday season.

Thank you Spoonflower [though I wish you’d make it a permanent addition to your offerings].

So there you go, ask and ye shall receive. If you can dream it you can do it. etc.

ps. I’m hoping to introduce something I’ve been working on for the last couple of months next week. Here’s a little peek. As you can see, the actual desktop is a mess [in addition to the previously mentioned virtual one].


At least that’s what he called it.

I had completely forgotten all about it.

And then, as I was borrowing the correct spelling of voilà [I am not proficient in the special character aspect of blogging and must resort to borrowing correct spellings on occasion], informed me that voilà is a great word to know and so is slumgullion. Then I was asked to guess it’s definition. Which I randomly happened to know.

You see, every other month we will have a Relief Society meeting called Fun with Foods. Last month a pastry chef brother from the ward was asked to come and share his favorite quick and easy breakfast foods. He let us each try our hand at preparing crepes and then he fixed us slumgullion. His favorite throw together breakfast.

I made it for breakfast this morning and considered taking a photo, but realized that sometimes photos are not necessarily the best selling tools. Which is to say, if I were to share a photo it’s very possible that no one would try the recipe simply because it doesn’t look appetizing. At all. But it is. I promise. And it’s so very simple…

For my kidlets and I [that’s five] this is what I used:

1/2 lb sausage [we like Jimmy Dean’s sage flavored sausage] or a few slices of bacon

5 slices of bread

5 eggs

  1. Brown the sausage [do not drain].
  2. Break the bread [bite sized chunks] into the pan with sausage and drippings. It isn’t necessary to break each piece individually… stack a few together and chunk them up.
  3. Stir the bread around with the sausage and drippings for a few minutes so it can soak up all that good, um, flavor.
  4. Crack the eggs into the pan and mix them up with the rest of the ingredients until done [I interpret eggs done when they are no longer shiny… these will cook up similar to scrambled eggs with a bunch of other stuff mixed in].
  5. Serve + enjoy. Seriously.

A few notes:

When he made this he actually used bacon. Truthfully I’m not a fan of bacon, but it gave a great flavor in this mix. Though I did avoid actually eating the bacon pieces. It’s more of a texture thing for me. We use sausage because I don’t buy bacon.

There are no rules here. Ladies kept asking him how many slices of bread he used, how many eggs, etc. He had no idea. He just threw some stuff in. I kept track of what I used so I could share. I know some people like actual numbers. I’m more of a tosser-inner myself. I think this makes just enough to feed those of us at home during breakfast. My boys think they would like more. It won’t fit in my skillet. I don’t want to use a bigger pan.

Wiktionary says slumgullion is a stew of meat and vegetables and the images that pop up [if one were to choose to google the word as I did] look much like what we call goulash around here. So I like that he called it slumgullion.

And my kids love it.

ps. The photo above is obviously not of slumgullion. It’s just fun. And every post needs a fun photo.

The end.

pps. Happy Halloween

ppps. I found a reference to slumgullion that may indicate where this particular recipe originated… Apparently Jack Kerouac talks about making slumgullion in his book The Dharma Burns. It was made with home fries and eggs.