Thursday, December 27, 2012

..:: currently ::..

Currently I am . . .

enjoying a little time off from work and spending more time reading in my pjs

reading several young adult fiction books, that are just as good as any novel written for adults!

finishing my December Daily. I am not a very good finisher of things.  :-)  So I am devoting my time to finishing, which means I haven't done much sharing on the blog.  If I needed to choose, I would choose working on the mini instead of blogging about it! And I'm OK with that.

recovering from walking pneumonia!  Our house has been full of illness.  All of us have been hit with a variety of (mostly respiratory related) illnesses, and it has spread to the grandparents (on both sides)!  Ugh!  I do feel like we are all on the road to recovery, finally!

missing our sweet Mikaela during this holiday season and every day.

enjoying time with family.

appreciating every day.

thankful that we were able to give B. a magical Christmas.

contemplating another try at a 365 photo project

considering a stab at Project Life.  Elise's Seafoam kit is calling me.  My only reason not to try is because I am afraid I will fail. Another possibility is that I will spend so much time on it that I will no longer do traditional layouts.  I dunno.  I have a few days to decide.

ready to begin One Little Word 2013.

so ready for this year to be over and a new one to being.

hoping anyone reading this is having a fantastic holiday season!  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

~ fantastic snow ~

Nope.  It didn't snow this week. We haven't had much precipitation all of 2012.  In fact, there was really only one snow day this past school year (usually we have 8 or more)!  These photos are from January 12, 2012, before Mikaela's accident and death (funny how I measure almost everything that way now).  The girls had such fun that evening -- a great memory that had to be documented!  I actually started this layout in March, but never finished!  I finally went back and finished it up this week.

Most of the items are from an older Scrapbook Circle Kit :: Note to Self (still available, I think) with a bit o' (custom) flair from ormolu. I absolutely love the bright colors and patterns, complete with snowflakes, but the paper doesn't really look "winter" at all!
B. and I have both been pretty sick!  She is back at daycare, but I am quarantined the rest of the week (they suspect pertussis, I do not).  I for sure have walking pneumonia!  Bleh!  I'm really ready for the cough to be gone!!  I've been working on my December Daily while I'm home and I hope to share my first few days by the end of this week!

Peace out!

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Currently I am...

smelling bread baking.  Well, not right now, but I did bake bread for Thanksgiving this year.  I love the smell of baking bread.  This was my first time from scratch.  It wasn't horrible. Next time, and there will be a next time, I will make sure to listen for the timer and take it out before it gets too crispy!

anticipating the Christmas Season.  I just know it's going to be amazingly magical this year.  B. is really getting excited about it, too.  She is loving all the Christmas lights that she sees around town and has informed us that we need to put up lights on our house this year (I think it will happen this weekend).

excited about documenting the season in my December Daily mini book!

coughing way too much.

watching Christmas movies as a family.  B. is loving them and is so much fun this year.

popping popcorn, real popcorn, on the stove (B.'s first time was amazing to watch, and we captured it on video)!

listening to B. talk...All. The. Time.

scraping frost off the car in the mornings.  I would mind this a lot more if B. wasn't so funny about it.  Here's a conversation from this week:

     B: Mommy what is that stuff on the windows?
     Me: That's frost, honey. Like ice.
     B: You need to wipe it off
     Me: Yes I do
     *squeals from B*
     Me: Do you like it when I scrape the windows?
     B: YES! It's so loud!!!!!

drinking coffee to keep warm.

hearing B. coughing way too much.

wearing cozy pajamas

celebrating that my Dad's body was able to accept one of my kidneys five years ago today.

so thankful that we've had five more years with him.

loving my Soul Mate even more today than yesterday.

Monday, November 26, 2012

~ december daily :: a foundation ~

Hello!  I have been so busy (probably you too, right?)!  GOOD busy, not icky busy.  Creating has not suffered a bit, in fact, it is part of the “busy” -- just the sharing on my blog has been lacking!  I’ve started an art journal, I have completed a couple of layouts and started to prepare for Christmas – all of which I hope to share here soon.  Today I would like to share the start of a project that I think many people have been working on lately – December Daily.  If you’d like more info about December Daily, check out Ali Edward’s site here!

I attempted December Daily last year.  Attempted.  Didn’t finish.  I thought it would be easiest to purchase a book from the amazing Elise Blaha Cripe, so I did.  But I didn’t even decide to do December Daily until rather late, so I ordered the book late, so it didn’t arrive until we were several days (more than a week) into December.  Plus, I had no idea what I was doing and I had never done a mini before.  I'd say I had a few strikes against me from the start!  Now that I have a few minis under my belt I think I just might be successful with my goals this year! 

One of the things that I have learned about myself as a documenter of memories – I can’t really do 4x6 mini albums!  I’ve tried several times.  I like 6x6 WAY better!  So, no Elise book this year (boo!), but that doesn't mean you can't get one (here).  I love her stuff, but I’m pretty sure I cannot do that size (no worries, her stamps will totally make it in the book).  So, I decided I would purchase an American Crafts Modern Album (6x6 in cardinal red) and some 6x6 paper pads -- Sleigh Ride (Crate Paper) and Merry and Bright (Carta Bella), along with a few other items (such as Hambly Transparencies), and of course I will shop my stash. 

When I got the album in the mail I was excited and disappointed!  When I ordered it I did not read carefully enough to realize that “chipboard cover” wasn’t Kraft (the only place it was Kraft was in my head).  I was thinking I would be able to leave it fairly plain (Kraft + red is very “Target” but also just awesome), but when I got it, I knew I was going to have to paint it or cover it with something.  So…I went with it.  I covered it with this awesome jillibean soup paper -- And I love it!
december daily cover
Another “issue” that I’ve had while attempting to prepare this album for December is the album’s binding.  I attempted to stamp/emboss on the binding with a stamp from this awesome Ali Edwards set.  But, it didn’t quite look like I wanted it to!  Ugh!  I hate it when that happens.  I did fix it a bit – it’s a little better and will work, but I’m not quite done.  I know am going to do something fun at the top, but I’m not sure what yet.  
1st try
a little better
second attempt
I used the "December" stamp from that same Ali Edwards set, to emboss some funness onto a green circle (the same green paper is on the inside covers).  I hooked my Cricut up to my computer and created the "twenty 12" cutout, then embossed it with silver glitter.  Added a few more fun things, and the cover was done and I'm happy with it.
cover close up
One of the things that I’ve learned over the last year about minibooks (for me) is that it helps to have a theme or pattern to what I’m doing.  For example, the format of the engagement book that I did for my friend Amber was simple – two page spreads, one side had a 4x6 photo and the other side had a quote with some embellishments.  I also threw a little love and magic in the mix (every engagement book should have a little love and magic, no?).  I stuck with circles (mostly), and a few arrows mixed in for good measure.  So for my December Daly mini I decided that I needed to have a few similar guidelines for myself.  I’m going to stick with circles, snowflakes, and stars.  That might seem like a lot, but I think that snowflakes and stars are like circles, if that makes sense.  I know it doesn’t probably, except in my strange mind.  But it works for me.  So I’m going with it.  That, and you will see the word “magic” frequently!  Why?  Because I just know that Christmas is going to be so magical for B this year!  The age of three is So. Much. Fun.

SO… enter problem number 327…I really wanted to use this new stamp that I got recently, but it’s squares (and my plan is circles, remember?).  I thought it would make a great title page!  Well, I fixed that easy enough with my sewing machine!  I stitched a circle around it.  And I had a bunch more fun with this page!sewing
I used some discarded packaging, sewed around it and stuck some confetti inside -- FUN!
title page
Yay!  I love it!  I love the pink, too!  This title page is chipboard, painted with gesso and pink paint.

I’ve tried really hard to do “foundation” pages, like many of my fellow December Daily blogging friends are doing.  I can’t do it!!!!  Maybe someday, but I’m not there this year.  I can’t seem to put it all together with numbers and stuff, if I don’t have the pictures.  However, in addition to the cover and title page, I have done some things that I’m going to call my “foundation”:

1.     Organized my embellishments and other extras so that I don’t have to dig through things when I’m doing my page each day
2.     Cut Hambly transparencies to the right sizes and maybe added a little tape or other things (minus the number) so that I can just pick what works for the day and go with it
3.     I have a plan for several things that I would like to include: the obvious (tree decorating, traditions, etc.) and the not as obvious (journaling prompts that I’d like to include if there is a dull day)
4.     Ordered a bunch of stuff in advance and it will all be here before Saturday (most of it is already here).  For example, you are going to see fun flair from a flair for buttons and Ormolu (they both have awesome December collections), but I also just had to add some items to my stash that will help me bling-i-fy my minibook.
5.     I have a basic “plan”.  For example, I know that I want to have either a Hambly transparency or a stitched insert between each two page spread, and I want my focus to be the “Magic” of Christmas, with things like circles, stars and snowflakes
6.     I have a basic idea of color – mostly red and green, but also pink, blue and silver (and I have, and will continue to, get my glitter on)!

This is WAY further ahead than I was last year.  I feel better and more calm about it.  I’ve also given myself permission to not get all wrapped up about which day things happened and documenting it exactly like that.  I will probably stick to the day fairly close, but if I have several things that I want to document about a day, I might make it two days, or I might use four pages instead of two, or whatever.  And that is OK.  My purpose is to document what happens, the everyday and the extra special, the magical and the mundane.  It’s all worth remembering and that is why I do this. B. loves to look at my scrapbooks and other photos that haven’t made it to print yet.  When she talks about the photos and "remembers" the stories from the pages, it is so rewarding!

Are you doing a December Daily?  I would love it if you would link it in the comments.  One of the things that I love about the online community is being able to share, see (and sometimes steal) what others are doing all over the world! I will be sharing here as we go through the month, but I am also sharing via instagram and twitter using #decdaily and/or #decemberdaily.  I will also be sharing photos of this project in this flickr group!

This weekend I hope to attend Craft & Fancy and see my friend Kirsten (who is also blogging her December Daily)!

Peace out!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

~ baby time ~

No, I'm not pregnant!  But, I've never scrapped B's baby photos (I know, right?)!  When I saw this Ashley Horton sketch for the November Sketch It Out Challenge at Club CK, I knew I wanted to use it.  Then I saw the November FITkit over at ScrapFIT and rushed over to Paper Issues to grab one up.  I've never purchased a kit there before, but the day the November "Gather" kit (designed by Audrey Yeager) arrived in the mail I was instantly inspired to scrap a few layouts.  I think there are still kits available at the link above if you are interested.  The layout that I've completed and have to share with you today is a two pager, with page one inspired by the sketch.  Here's page one:
When I saw the scallops on the Studio Calico paper I fell in love (and I was super excited a few days later when my Scrapbook Circle kit arrived and there's one in there, too)!  In fact, I really like all of the Studio Calico Yearbook collection. Anyway, here is page two:
And the pages go together like this:
Here are a few close-ups:
I decided on "Baby Time" for my title and then went with it and added some times to the journal strips and wrote times directly on some of the photos.  I always have such a difficult time with titles!  Why is that??

I like the colors and the mix of washi in this layout.  I made several mistakes while adhering the papers, but I think I was able to cover most of them up!

One of my favorite solutions that I came up with was the title letters.  I wanted something in that green color, but I didn't have any paper that color.  So, I stuck some of the washi on white card stock and put that through my Cricut!  Woot!  Go me!  ;-)

I should have another layout to share with you in a couple of days AND my December Daily is just beginning to take shape!

Monday, October 29, 2012

~ mini gift ~

A few weeks ago I took engagement photos for a friend and her fiancĂ©.  It was stressful, but also quite fun!  I got a few good ones out of the hour and a half, and she was happy, which is all that really counts!

As a gift, I decided to stick a few of her favorites into a minibook.  I was going to use her wedding colors, but decided I would stick with fall colors since they were such a part of the photos.  One of my (and her) favorite photos is this one :
I bought two ampersand stamps from Elise Blaha Cripe (along with a few other stamps from her store) and used circles and ampersands throughout the book.  This was a bit of a challenge because there was no journaling.  I don't know them as a couple all that well (I mostly just know Amber), so I didn't feel like I know enough about the two of them to journal, and Amber isn't a scrapbooker, so I didn't want to just leave some journaling spots (not sure that would be a "gift", if that makes sense). So I found some "love" quotes and printed those out for the other side of the page.
Hambly screen print overlay on the front and back of the book.
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

..:: currently ::..

Currently I am...

creating all kinds of fun things at the same time, with little to share at this point!  I recently took engagement photos for a friend and I am making her a fun little mini book as a gift.  I will photograph and share soon.

waiting for Elise Cripe stamps and other goodies to arrive in the mail!  Over the last couple of weeks I've participated in several scrapping events and won on two different occasions -- and the stamps I ordered from Elise will help me complete the mini book gift.

sweating or freezing with this crazy Iowa weather (today it is snowing on the other side of the state and I had the air conditioning on yesterday)!

anticipating B's excitement with carving her pumpkin!

hoping to get a chance to use my new lens and speed light (birthday presents) more!

thankful for every day that I have with my family.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

~ enJOYing the ride ~

I've been going crazy with the layouts lately!  All kinds of crazy.  First of all, I'm a double page, multiple photo gearle.  However, of the last nine layouts or so, seven of them have been one pagers!  What's up with that??  Next, I used to be lucky to get one or two layouts done per month (except July, when I am not working) and I've completed three in the last ten days -- the last two for the same challenge over at Club CK.  Crazy, right?  I know for some of you, that's nothing, but for me it's quite prolific!  It's like I got started and cannot stop (I have another nearly completed on my workspace)!  OK, here's my latest...and I made several mistakes that I'd love to share!
I am pleased with the final product, but it's not exactly what I had in my head (this photo makes it look a bit crooked, but it's really not).  I wanted a bit more white space, and the placement of the title was going to be a bit different.  I started with this awesome layout (by corrie over at You, Me & Crazy) that I pinned just a week ago.  As soon as I saw it, I knew I would lift it, and I knew which photo I would use!

Most of the papers came from a Scrapbook Circle Kit :: Daydreamer (tons of Amy Tangerine), and it's all linked below.

I started with the yellow paper and added my mask and ink. Then the confetti.  After the glue dried, I took the spray bottle apart and used the end of the nozzle to put some bigger dabs of ink on the paper and let it dry for a long time (I'll get back to that later).  I cut the middle out of the pink backgroud paper because I knew I wanted to us that behind my photo.  Next I went to glue the yellow and pink paper together.  When I pressed it down, I messed up the paint.  Badly.  I tried to mess it up a bit more, thinking it would make it look like I meant to do that, but that didn't work. Mostly because I had purposely painted and glued in the diagonal, and much of the paint had smeared horizontal.  I almost cried!  But then I decided to just cover it up.  I got out the little Amy Tangerine banners (misted them a bit, cut them a bit, etc.) and then hid the worst part behind them (on the left).  I had to adjust my title a bit and then put more banners up at the top to balance it all out, but it ended up working.  I added some hidden journaling, clipped it on with a fun little clip, and it was done!  The last mistake I didn't notice until all of the photos had been taken and I was putting it in the album.  I had completely forgotten that I had used part of that pink paper already -- SOOOO it's not 12x12!  Argh!  (let's just keep that our little secret) Eh.  I just went with it.  I've been doing that a lot more lately, which is likely why I have been getting more layouts done!

Here are a few close ups:
My favorite parts: the title and the holes that I punched in the photo. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

~ my assistant ~

Washi love.
Amy Tangerine love.
B. love.
(not necessarily in that order)
Everything is linked below except a couple of the washi tapes (couldn't find them online), Elise Blaha Cripe's THIS stamp (which I love, but couldn't get the InLinkz grabber to grab it), and some little patterned paper scraps that I used between the washi tapes!