Ugh where do you even begin!?

Do I pick layouts I personally find especially aesthetically pleasing, or do I pick the layouts with the prettiest/most fondest pictures, or the ones that mean something to me? Hmm.

Nevertheless, I ended up with twelve I just had to have in my “Top 10” list. And a few more in the runner-up spots. Conceited, who, me!? :p (plus, “top 10” was maybe a wrong term to use from the start of – it’s more a “fave 10”, but ohwell)


Definitely one of the keepers from 2009. What more can you really ask for here..?? Multiple photos, sun, summer and beloved children plucking (harvesting?) wild berries, glimmer mist and a lovely mix of 3ndypapir-paper, Hambly and Basic Grey rubons, Prima flowers and journaling-spot and tags from Elle’s studio. Among other scraps I found on my desk when making this one.


More sun! :)

To be honest I’m sort of hesitant when it comes to papers which have their own “design”-patterns already sort of and I’m “just” utilizing the pattern – it feels like taking credit for an awesome design I didn’t really put together sort of (I’m weird I know). Still, I love this layout because I do feel I made it mine – you can find more detail-shots of it here. I had a duplicate of this paper so I cut out some of the flowers, stars and suns from one paper and adhered them upon the other in the exact same spots with 3d-foam. I added a frame-transparency, buttons and felt, journaling-spot and sewed on the whimsical frame. It turned out to be an energic and happy layout. Me like. Everything on this layout is from Fancy Pants Designs.

babyknutI made this layout at a weekend-getaway with some scrappy friends. I remember playing aimlessly with this one until I was like, bah, let’s just adhere stuff and see what happens. Think it turned out well :) Plus, I used *two* stamps here. GO me!! :) Fancy Pants Designs.

(still rummaging in my FP-catalogues) – this is one of the more recent layouts I’ve made earlier in December. In a way it feels like a traditional layout-setup w/Fancy Pants – yet it turned out sort of different. And pretty if I may have to say it myself ;p

What can I say? Love the lime green on black. Plus the feisty, spunky attitude of the girl on the photos ;p  Pretty much all Hambly w/a lil American Crafts & Adorn-it.

20090111  Grungy. Emo. Loves.

Hambly stuff.


Love this layout. One of the first ones I did w/my then-new edgepunchers, I think. I made a sort of flat box w/cardstock before adhering patterned papers on it. Attached to this layout it holds some of the little ones’ drawings inside. Especially like the rubon-stuff here. Hambly & Prima.

sweetdelightHm yeah. This was a way to try clean up all the Hambly-scraps I had on my table. *cough*



I tried. I’m still trying.

Hambly stuff.

White cardstock + glimmer mist (my fave colors – jazz blue/patina + suede) + Hambly + dear friend = win.


Lovely photo + awesome papers + a design which just clicked = also win.

Mostly Pink Paislee-stuff.

Glimmer mist & jumping = lots of energy. Sort of. I really like how the layout captures the feel of the photos. Imho. ;) Fancy Pants stuff.

Okay, that was my top 10 (12).

Here’s the runner-ups. Because I’m feeling especially conceited today :)

I just like the way this turned out. PLUS I got to use one of my beloved momji-stickers I’ve been hoarding forever!! Pink Paislee-stuff.

I’m not too sure about this layout, but I love the photo. Totally captures the relationship between these two. Plus I kinda like that I actually managed to use buttons here! (and I stitched them to the layout w/my sewing machine! I’ve never done that before. Haven’t done it since either come to think of it. :p)

Fancy Pants Designs.

Photo + title says it all.

Fancy Pants Designs.


I loved this layout when I made it. I’m not so sure now. Still think the use of the bubbles is cool, though. Plus, American Crafts = win anyways. Love their graphic papers & bold, clear colors! :)


Tbh I’m not too fond of circle-layouts, but think this one turned okay.

Hambly+My Little Shoebox.




I like to think this layout sort of captures my silly sense of humour. *like to think* being the keyword here ;p

Nikki Sivils.


I love you.


orly *snicker*
I don’t know if I really like this, but I had fun making it for sure – not thinking about design-rules or anything at all. Not that I normally do tbh, but hm. Maybe especially more for this one.


Thanks for reading all the way down here and hope you liked some of these too :)

I still have a few more “Top 10” posts to share the next few days. I think.
But for now – thanks for the old year & hope to see you in the new one :)

I'm sooo excited for this new year... before the clock strikes 12:00 I want to recap the wonderful adventures of 2009...

An Ardent Photography Photobooth

2009 was a terrific year for Ardent Photography... I started out the year shooting a wedding with Rachel of in Key West Florida. I flew to the island in a ridiculously small 8-seater airplane - in the co-pilot seat! I knew from that moment it was going to be a fantastic year!

In March I returned for my second straight year at the WPPI conference in Las Vegas, NV. I had a blast rooming with Molly Michel of m three studio and participating in classes and shootouts all week long. I bought my first "real" purse and necklace at Tiffany's... thank Molly for introducing me to nice things.

That Easter Andy and I took off to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for some along adult time. It was so very relaxing to have nothing to do besides sit and soak up the sun.

Shortly after our trip to Mexico I was hired to shoot my first destination wedding in the Dominican Republic. I brought along friend and photographer Miranda Zynda-Kneeland of Reminisce Photography to be my second shooter. It was a true honor and privilege to photograph Robin and Justin's wedding in Punta Cana.

My busy wedding schedule only allowed me to take a limited number of High School Seniors. This year I shot 10 sessions and had a blast photographing seniors from Xavier, Appleton East, North and West as well as a senior from Winneconne High Schools.

The summer's weddings brought lots of joyful moments in couples lives - and I loved shooting at many new locations. I especially loved shooting for Tracy and Tim in Pembine at the Four Season Resort and in Door County for Kirsten and Andrew at the family's private residence. Thank you to all of my wedding couples for making 2009 such a fantastic season!!!

The most joyful news of the summer had to be finding out I was pregnant with our second child - a GIRL!!! Drew will finally be a big brother - our due date is March 1, 2010. He wants to name her "Cook"... it's actually quite cute, we are calling her that for now... but we do have several cute girl names on our list!

In other business 2009 news... Unveiled Portraits - my boutique boudoir photography venture has been such a dream come true. I've shot more than 75 boudoir sessions total and in the month of October I raised $900 for my first ever Boudoir for Breast Cancer fund raiser with the help of matching funds from Invitation Consultants.

I was also featured in Wisconsin Bride Magazine as an expert in boudoir photography. I am beyond excited to continue photographing boudoir session in 2010 and continue to make Unveiled Portraits the best boudoir photography studio in the state of Wisconsin. Thank you to all of my wonderful ladies!!! Here's to a new year of loving your sexy-self just the way you are!!!

This year was also a great year for my family. We took our very first family vacation in December to Disney World. Seeing Disney through the eyes of a 3 year old was definitely magical.

Drew had the most fun on the Triceratops ride at Animal Kingdom and getting his face painted up like a dragon. For Andy and I, our favorite part of the trip was getting selected to see the fireworks show as VIP's at Epcot. We were the only people in the entire park that got to sit alongside the people who designed the show and just yards away from where the fireworks are shot off.

To help make way for lil' sister "Cook" Drew said goodbye to his toddler bed and hello to a big boy bed. He is doing great in the bed and hasn't fallen out yet... He also was bumped up in his swimming class at Swimtastic Swim School. He can swim all independently for 3 feet, he is also jumping into the pool and swims to the side - all by himself!

Andy caught the biggest fish at my brother Nic's bachelor party in Pickerel Lake, WI - the thing was a HUGE 42" and very very tasty ;-) He has also been very busy playing in his softball and pool leagues. We are very fortunate his company has been so successful this year and are looking forward to what the future holds. We are both so lucky to have careers we love and a family that we adore!

Have a very happy and prosperous 2010!!!!

xoxo Amy

As with cards, I’m not really an altered item person. Not in the true sense of that word I think. I suppose most of my items aren’t really altered items, but rather prettified packages and giftwrappings and uh, I dunno. Anyways. Here’s a mix of my 10 top gifts, giftwraps and actual altered stuff – in no special order. Plus a bonus at bottom :p


Here’s a closeup of a giftwrap I made earlier this summer. It was a part of my stuff for the stint as GGG (Guest Garden Girl) at twopeas in…uh..June or July. I wrapped my gift (which actually was a few packets of tasty sausages/cured ham stuff) in corrugated cardstock and dressed it up with lots of lovelies from Prima and Hambly dashed w/glimmermist. Nothing says meat as a pretty packaging of kraft, flowers, tulle and bling ;ppressies The pressies for Amalie when she turned four :) Love to pack my pressies in kraftpaper and dress it up – here with 3ndypapir-papers.

box_cu1Here’s a gift-box I made from scratch for a wedding-present with Fancy Pants Papers and lots of Maya Road pretties (the top and bottom of the box is actually pages from a chipboardalbum from Maya Road).


Ah here’s a real altered item. I think. The former button-box from Fancy Pants Designs became a little box filled with candies for my mom. Just because.


Another real altered item. An empty box (formerly storing bind-it-all wires) was turned into a hairclip-holder with stuff from Fancy Pants Designs.


I love mini-canvasses. I really should make more of these, with them it really feels like I’m creating (quasi)art for the sake of creating them sort of (*trying real hard to not sound too pretentious*). Hard to explain, but it just feels liberating creating these little canvasses with whatever I want to put on it. Gesso, glimmer-mist and transparencies and rubons from Hambly. The quote here is an excerpt from a song by the Norwegian singer&songwriter Maria Mena.

Another mini-canvas. This time w/Hamblys’ Halloween-stuff. Yeah! Especially like the splatters of neon-green. The quote here was taken from “The Graveyard” ;p

doorhanger2 Here’s a door-sign made with Fancy Pants Designs, Crackle paint and a wee bit of Hambly.

doorhanger1And here’s the tougher, boy-version of the same door-sign :) Also made with Fancy Pants Designs :)

And finally….one of the many match-boxes I made this Christmas – and yeah, although this was the most simple in design of them all (ugh, that sounded weird – am I expressing myself wrong?) I really really loved this one. Elegant & subtle cream and silver patterned paper combined with crisp and equally elegant red rubons. Sigh.

Added bonus. Because I just realized I haven’t shared this one before. And because I’ve sort of promised to not blog more of my Christmas-stuff now.

The matchbox I made for myself & my personal use:

Stay tuned for more top 10, and feel free to share (link) your own too :)

Soooo I admit to be a bit of a sheep. Several bloggers have blogged about their “top 10” of the year the last few days, and I’ve been enjoying scrolling down their posts. I also sort of figured “hey, I can do that too!”

I’m contemplating doing one post for cards, one for layouts, one for altered stuff and maybe - (and this is only maybe) – one for photos too. Although. How the heck do you manage to cull down photos to only ten..!? Or anything for that matter… I’m sort of infamous for not really knowing how to cull at work. But I digress.

Figured cards would be an easy place to start..? I don’t really consider myself a cardmaker, and only occasionally make cards I’m happy with… that logic it should be quite easy picking only ten here, no? (also – a quick headcount told me I took photos of 33ish cards this year. So probably made like 35-40ish cards only.) Let’s see…in no special order..

Simple & I love the peekin’ monster w/3d hands over the “fence” :p

(Made with Fancy Pants Designs)

Hm yeah. I made this for a challenge Bibbi (a totally totally awesome cardmaker) had on her blog this fall. If I remember correctly it was about using several patterned papers, chipboard & tags. Also made w/Fancy Pants Designs.

card A pretty girlish card. Love the subtle, feminine touch of tulle :) I later added the name of the recipient inside the glitter-frame (from Making Memories). Mostly Fancy Pants Designs..

A recent card, made w/….you guessed it… Fancy Pants Designs..:p (their papers really are easy to make pretty cards with). This was a card that held two bags of instant coffee inside :p

mom_card Mmm..more Fancy Pants Designs….(MOM: This is the card I forgot to send you! *cough*)

weddingcard2 OY! A NON Fancy Pants Designs card!
Love to make elegant cards w/Hambly transparencies :) When I think weddings I think of Hambly…

Mkay, this is a mix of Hambly, Fancy Pants Designs and some 3ndypapir/Jenni Bowlin/prima. Sort of had to add this one cause this card cost me a DARN FORTUNE!!! (hubby forgot this card to the party he was attending alone so I had to drive to him to deliver it and ended up with my FIRST and LAST (!!!!) speeding ticket :( :( :( Ugh. Totally my fault (and a loose gps that happened to fall down from the window right before the ticketphotomachine ruining my attention for a bit), but still – totally sucks :( Nice card tho :p)

More Hambly! Love :) Simplicity + white corrugated cardstock + one of my fave techniques with Hambly – creating a shadow-effect thanks to “same design – different mediums&colors” (brown on creme paper on bottom – creme transparency on top – a bit skewed to show off the shadowing). Only thing I’d do different would be to – eh – you know – make the shadow go the “right” way. Downwardish instead of upwards. Sort of. Ahwell. Can’t win’em all. Or something like that.

card3 Tbh I really prefer this kind of card myself – simple and whimsical and careless. However I have this feeling that people expect “more” of a card, which means I haven’t made as many cards in this style as I’d like. Silly I know…but I do feel that if I’m supposed to give away a card it “has” to be..or look….more…contentful (sp?)?? Fancy Pants Designs..ruboncard

Added this one because….well, although it’s quite noisy (too much pattern going on I think) I sort of like the graphic nature of it. American Crafts.

And there you have it….ten of my fave cards from 2009 :)

Stay tuned for more 2009-fave stuff..coming….as soon as I get them culled (um remind me again why I thought this was a good idea. Oh yeah. To be a showoff. I think. :p)

(and in the background Amalie is singing: "Adrian is kind. And nice. And kind. And nice. And *BURP* oops sorry!" She's a terrible burper, and not in the good way. Her burps rivals an old sailors. And she loves it. sigh. Her snore rivals a sailors too come to think of it. I should scrap that. But I digress.. again..)