Thursday, January 31, 2013

..:: currently ::..


Currently, I am...

appreciating the geese that fly over every evening.

thankful for my mother.  She is wise and kind.

excited about the rug she made for my literacy room at school.  I cannot wait until I get it (you know I will share pictures).  She made it to match my awesome table.  :-)

frustrated with pacifiers, potty training, and sleeping issues. We think B. is going through a growth spurt.  It actually looks like she has grown the last few weeks, but also her sleeping and eating patterns are changing.  Those changes are causing growing pains around here (and circles under our eyes).  Will she figure out care about this potty training thing...EVER?  She can...but she doesn't.  Argh.

amazed that we will be registering B. for four-year-old preschool soon.  YIKES.  Not ready for that.

remembering when my older daughter, H. was three and a half, seems like just yesterday, but it was twenty-one years ago.  She didn't have the pacifier or potty training problems...but oh the sleeping! :-)

spending way too much time getting to know my bathroom lately (but feeling better now).

appreciating snow days with B.

anticipating spring, but thankful for right now. Snow. If it has to be cold, I love the snow.  I love B. in the snow. I love the magic of a new snow. My One True Love doesn't really like the shoveling part.  I appreciate his shoveling.

loving my Soul Mate more than ever.

wishing we could figure out this moving thing.

experimenting with my camera and Photoshop again.  I'm feeling like I'm getting in the groove with my 365 project!

playing with a new iPhone app (Vine).

satisfied with my progress toward my Pinterest Challenge and Layout Mission.

finishing the January prompt for Ali Edward's One Little Word class.

enjoying this prompt. So. Much.

excited for the OLW blog hop tomorrow!  Join us!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

project life :: week 3

Week 3 spread without insert
Holy catbirds, Batman! The weeks just keep flying by!
with insert, front
with insert back
Another insert this week!  This time I used an American Crafts 12x6 page protector, and stitched it a bit so I had an 8x6 spot and 4x6 spot.  Mainly I wanted to add this awesome drawing of my daughter's, along with a photograph that I snapped while she was drawing it.  :-)  Journaling reads: "I love that she draws in her art journal.  I love that she drew Africa.  I didn't even know she knew the word Africa." (and then on the photo at the bottom) "Why does she keep growing?"  For this journaling I used some fun striped washi (that I'm pretty sure is Recollections), and then cut some white strips of paper to write on.  For a little added fun, I trimmed the white strips so that one end looked like a banner.  Journaling this way is my favorite because I can mess up and easily fix it!
I needed something for the other side of the insert. I had taken several photographs of B. taking photos with her pink camera.  I had a difficult time deciding on which one to add to the book, so I grabbed a second one and cropped it 12x6.  I don't have a printer that prints that size, so cropped that photo into two photos (8x6 and 4x6) so I could print them (and I needed to use them as that size anyway). FUN!  The related photo is right beside the insert, so I put some fun arrow Washi that I got in my January Scrapbook Circle kit, across the top of the big photo, pointing toward the second photo.  I felt like that tied it together a bit.
This week I also wanted to add just ONE MORE photo for Saturday, so I made an extra pocket using these self-stick photo flip pockets.  I did need to alter it a little bit, but mostly it worked really well, and you may see that technique pop up in future weeks!
flip pocket closed
flip pocket inside
This is such an enjoyable project. It is so awesome that I now have a place to put the photos that I take and I love being able to stick in things like her art work! So far, I think that is one of the best parts of this project.  I was recently cleaning out some "stuff" and I just kept thinking, "Wow, I wish I had done project life [insert year here] because this would have gone in the book, now what am I going to do with it?" Plus, there have already been stories that I've documented that may or may not have made it in to a traditional scrapbook layout. Awesome.

Coming soon : OLW Blog Hop on Friday (yay) and 'Week Four of Project Life (guess what?...there's an insert)!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

:: layout mission | January ::

Last week I told you about My Pinterest Challenge to myself, this week I'd like to let you in on another one of my goals.  I hope to do at least two layouts a month, not counting Project Life or One Little Word prompts.  For those of you that do two or more a day (or an hour), I know that you are thinking, "Uhh...loser!"  LOL, but I am afraid that I will no longer do layouts because of Project Life, so I had to start with a goal and go from there.  If I surpass it, no problem!  

My layout mission :  In addition to OLW prompts and weekly PL spreads, I challenge myself to complete at least two traditional layouts per month.

Both of these layouts I'm going to share with you today were made almost exclusively with January's Scrapbook Circle kit -- Only You (as you will see there's a bunch of Crate Paper's Fourteen Collection included in this kit!).  I added some washi, some flair from A Flair for Buttons (and one from American Crafts, I think), and of course some alphas.  This first one was a photograph that I took when I woke up one morning.  My phone is always right beside my bed so I grabbed it when I saw felt this:
I kept this one pretty simple (didn't even use my sewing machine or any washi on this one), but I like the way it turned out.  Journaling reads : "On Mother's Day I woke up to this hug and a little voice saying Come Here You".  It's a true story, yo -- she is that awesome!
I raised the "YOU" (Fancy Pants) with foam squares and placed a card from my Seafoam PL kit behind it (actually, I think this is one that I printed out from the digital kit, but didn't use...until now).  I traced around the inside of the card to add a bit of depth.  I used Ashley Horton's sketch for the Sketch It Out Challenge at ClubCK, and the twist for this month is "Outlining" (just another reason to trace around the inside of that card)!  Here's the sketch:
For my second layout, still using Scrapbook Circle's great January kit, I chose a couple of photos from June 2011.  I take TONS of photos of my daughter B. (if you follow me on instagram or facebook, heck, or even this blog, you already know this), but I don't take nearly as many of my best friend, and even fewer of myself.  The day that I took these photos (also my iPhone) he had brought one of his electric guitars outside, but still plugged in (you can see that the door to the house is behind him) and was playing.  It was nice out, B. was playing, and apparently needed an electric guitar as background music.  I so love these moments.  

I decided that I would scraplift myself for this one. I started out with this layout as inspiration, but then it kinda morphed into using this one.  I love the colors in this one!  I like the pop of yellow, and how it brings out the gold guitar.
I used arrows for the Scrapbook Circle "Make your Point" Challenge (Studio Calico Vellum ones -- from the kit -- and also some Amy Tan from my stash).

My favorite alphas right now are pretty much any of the 12x12 abc stickers from Lily Bee Design.  I believe these come from the Picket Fence Collection, but I've purchased about as many of these different sheets as possible, I love them!  I've used them a lot for PL, they are the perfect size.  I used DIY Thickers for "Soul Mate", and misted them with Mister Huey's "taxi" mist and then secured them with a little stitching, just in case).
I think the camera flair is American Crafts I think, and the arrow fair (as well as the one in the top left corner) is from A Flair for Buttons (love Shelley's flair).  The "inspired" sticker is Amy Tangerine (also love).
I must be into foam squares this month.  I decided that one of the photos needed to be lifted for a little dimension.

January Layout Mission: Accomplished!

Peace, love and understanding to ya!
:-) o.g.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

project life :: week 2

Week 2 Spread With Insert
week 2 spread with insert
Holy inserts, Batman!  This is fun stuff!
Week 2 Spread (no insert)
week 2 spread (without insert)
Week 2 Left
Week 2 :: left side
Week 2 Right
week 2 :: right side
This week I was able to put in some "stuff", which was kinda cool!  We got a new TV, so I put the quick start guide in a pocket. We went to a concert so I punched holes in the program and stuck it, along with the tickets, in the book. Our nephew turned five, which meant this week we needed an insert! (Becky Higgins "G", which is a bit smaller, 12x10).
Week 2 Insert Front
insert front side
I put lots of photos in the pockets on the front with one journal spot that also held the title and some tickets from Chuck E. Cheese's.  Of course I got some flair from A Flair for Buttons in there along with some alphas and other stickers.
Week 2 Insert Back
insert back side
On the back side of the insert I also left a place for journaling. There was an injury, so it needed documented.  More flair, more alphas, more stickers.  The picture of the three of us was originally printed out (from one of the games) on a piece of paper.  I went ahead and scanned it in, resized it (it was a little too big) and printed it on photo paper before I stuck it in the book.
Week 2 Tickets
what happens to tickets when they go through the wash
Concert tickets went in a pocket (after one had also gone through the wash).  I used the tiny attacher to staple them in (love that little thing)!  I love that B. now says, "Hey Mom, are you going to put that in your book?"  I love it even more that she has "a book", too. What an awesome project.

The basics:  Becky Higgins "A" and "G" style page protectors, Seafoam Digital kit (printed out), the "Yes" flair is ormolu, but the rest is A Flair for Buttons.  The rest of the stuff is from my stash -- just ask in the comments if you want to know about a product and I'll look it up!

Peace, love and understanding to ya!
:-) o.g.

Confused about Project Life?  Check this out from Becky Higgins.  Check out all my PL posts here.

Friday, January 25, 2013

:: my pinterest challenge | taped table ::

In this post I talked about how this year I am challenging myself to actually do something with all those lovely things I am pinning on Pinterest!  I find myself pinning, and pinning, and pinning, but not returning to the pins and doing, doing, doing them! My not-so-lofty goal is one per month.

I have been wanting to tape a table like this since I saw it on Elise Blaha Cripe's blog last June! There were a few obstacles in the way, but it's done and I like the final product!  Obstacle number one: I wanted to do it, but I had no tables or spaces that needed it at all!  My work desk at home is in great condition and it's rather "pretty" wood that I didn't want to cover, and the only other thing I could think of was Bea's work table (which still might happen).  My concern with using Bea's table is that I'm not sure that it will withstand all of the water ('tea') and paint that gets spilled all over it! However, I knew I wanted to do it, so I went to every Target within an hour or so of my house to look for the tape that Elise used.  Obstacle number two: None of the Targets within an hour of my house had the tape.  They had similar tape (same brand) but it was patterned and wouldn't work for me.  So, I kept looking every time I was in a Target, but never found it.

How this table came to be. So how did it happen?  Well, without going into it all, my job description was tweaked a bit this year and I am seeing more students than I have in the recent past (as a Literacy Coach, I work mostly with teachers).  So I have been trying to make my room more inviting for students and I switched out some furniture recently.  I ended up with three tables, all with black tops and in good condition, but not exactly inviting.  Enter: perfect opportunity to make a taped table! With this renewed motivation for the project, I set out to get that tape.  Not available from Target online, or anywhere else online that I could find, I decided to see just where the Target Store is that has the tape (you can do that on  Bad news. Nothing for three to six hours away.  That would be expensive tape!!! Enter: casual conversation that turned magic.

I was telling a colleague about my predicament. She and her family just happened to be traveling that next weekend to visit family about six hours away in a city that had this tape. And she said that she would be going to Target anyway and would pick some up for me.  Score.  I got the tape on a Monday, and a half hour later I had a taped table!
in progress
in use
Before I felt like I could really use it, I felt like I needed to seal it.  So, I purchased some of this Mod Podge to seal it and make it a little bit more durable (especially because there will be kids using it).  I gave it four coats, drying about 15 -20 minutes between, and now it's done.  Pinterest Challenge for January...check!

Coming soon:  Project Life Weeks 2 & 3 (almost ready to share) & OLW blog hop (on Feb. 1st).

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

:: goals and my olw ::

Most people post goals on their blogs at the beginning of the year, month, week.  Nope.  I'm posting in the middle of the week toward the end of the month, and twenty three days into the year; I'm fun like that, yo!

I decided that I cannot do a post about my word for this year, without also sharing some goals I set for myself.  I also couldn't share my goals without my one little word.  They are so connected.

If you are a friend, or happen to have followed my blog over the last year or so, you will know that 2012 was a rough year, a rough year that actually started October of 2011.  :-)  Our miscarriage, my oldest daughter's marriage dissolving, adjusting to her and nearly two-year-old Mikaela moving in (but I was glad they were with us), Mikaela's accident and death, and several other deaths in our family, to name the biggies.  Ugh.  I'm am glad that is over!  There were positives to last year too, and I have NOT forgotten them.  My mother, who lost a daughter to a car accident many years ago, said something quite wise to me during all of this, "There will always be a hole, but I don't have to live in it."  I am happy to say that she is completely right (as usual) and that I haven't been living in it, but I'm keenly aware that it's there!  :-)
What a powerful quote this has been for me!  I am happy to say that my oldest daughter is participating in Ali Edwards' One Little Word class with me.  I am so excited about that!  Her word is strength. What a wonderful word for anyone, and perfect for her.  I contemplated that word myself, but another one just kept coming at me.

Be Present. If I've learned anything over this past year or more I've learned that nothing is permanent, and that it is important to embrace the present...and be present for yourself and for those around you.  So present it is.  I need to remember to live in the present, not worry obsess about what the future brings  (at least not too much) because it 'empties today of it's strength'.  And today is so strong.  Completely connected to that, my word is also about being present for my family. Listening to my Soul Mate completely; noticing, appreciating and loving him as he deserves. Three year olds, work and life can make that seem impossible sometimes, but it's so important, and so possible.  Computers, blogs, and memory keeping also get in the way, if you let it.  My goal with this word is not to let it. And work, let's not forget work -- it can so easily engulf you me if allowed to, and I must not allow it.  Being present is about being present in both body and mind. So, my focus with this word is also related to choosing to be physically present at those things that are important to me, namely with family & friends.

I will continue to share my adventures with this word in future posts.  As I finish Ali's first prompt (which has been amazing to work through) I will also post pictures of my product, and more about my focus and experiences with this word. What a fun journey this word will bring me.

Goals.  In addition to Ali's class I am also participating in another self-paced class at Big Picture Classes.  This one is with my other mentor, Elise Blaha Cripe, called I Choose, and it's all about goal setting.  It seems so funny to call Elise (who is more than ten years younger than me), a "mentor", but I cannot think of a more perfect word to describe it.  I would love to be more like her when I grow up -- she starts and finishes things!  LOL. The class has helped me to look at goal setting a bit differently, and likely more manageable.  I'm looking forward to getting 'er done.  I think this has been a perfect match with OLW for me this year.  Many of my goals are silly and fun, and others are more serious and connected with keeping my word close to me.  My plan is to "share as I go" with this one.  I thought about following Elise's lead and sharing a list at the beginning of the month and then checking them off as I go, but I think I'm going to let these goals seep into my blog as we go, if that makes sense.

Seep. If you follow my instagram feed or flickr, you may have already caught a glimpse of one of my goals. Do you pin stuff on Pinterest and then never do anything about it?  One of my goals is to do something with all of these lovely pins; do a project, use a sketch, scraplift a layout, make a recipe, transform my house, etc.  At least one per month.  At least that's how I'm looking at it now. So, by the end of the year, I will have done at minimum twelve projects that I've pinned.  Not too lofty, but still progress compared to pretty much nothing.  ;-)  I have a feeling that I will end up surpassing this goal, and I may even beef the goal up more as the year progresses.  Either way, this is one that I hope to share here, and I'm calling it my Pinterest Challenge.  If you want to play along, I would love to hear about what you are doing, please share!  I have met this goal for January and will share soon.  There have already been sneaks, so it may not really be a secret.  ;-)

More information about One Little Word with Ali Edwards can be found here (and the class is still open).  More information about Elise Cripe's I Choose class is here (and it's a self-paced class, that is also open)!  Also there are links on my sidebar!

Peace, love and understanding to ya!
:-) o.g.

Monday, January 21, 2013

project life 2013 :: week 1

Week One Spread
Holy smokes, Batman! This project life thing is addictive!
Week One :: Left Side
Week One :: Right  (I will probably write a bit on the photo with the hole in the glass, but I haven't decided exactly what to write yet!  It's quite the story.
Here's the lo-down: I'm not yet satisfied with my "product", but the "project" is awesome. What does that mean? It means...

I love the idea of Project Life, or at least my idea of Project Life. I am an everyday scrapbooker. When I am motivated to document something with photos and words, it is almost always something that happens in everyday life, and almost never an "event" (such as a birthday or holiday or reunion, etc.). Project Life, as I see it, is exactly that...documenting the everyday. I especially realized that this might be for me when I did my December Daily 2012. I am loving the memory keeping part of this project.

My product isn't there yet. I think I'm not in the groove, or maybe I just haven't found my style for PL. That is OK. The project is worth doing, and I know that I will figure out the product part as I go.  In fact, I have almost completed week three, and each week the product has gotten better, or at least closer to something I can be happy with. I'm going to try really hard not to go back and fix the stuff that I don't like.  :-)  Also, I am a bit worried that I won't make traditional layouts anymore, mostly due to time constraints, and I'm not sure that this project meets my needs in the creativity department. That is totally what is adding to my dissatisfaction when it comes to the product.  I can't put my finger on what I don't like exactly other than it just looks amateurish, which is probably understandable, since I AM! :-)

A bit about how I am tackling this project: I decided to have my weeks go from Sunday to Saturday. I have no reason for this, I just had to pick a starting day and I didn't like starting on a Tuesday (Jan. 1st) so I chose Sunday. I may need to switch that at some point (maybe not until next year) so that my weekends are together.  Not sure. Did you notice that I'm already talking about next year? That is how much I love this project and it's only been three weeks. It's difficult for me to imagine not doing it...indefinitely. Anyway, so Week 1 started on Sunday December 30.  I am also attempting another 365 (photo a day) project, and sharing on flickr.  However, I am not tackling Project Life in that way.  I don't necessarily include every 365 photo in my book.  And I'm OK with that. I imagine that many of them will be included, which is cool, but not necessary.  Also I am using both my Canon and my iPhone (can't wait to upgrade the iPhone though). I do plan to incorporate quotes each week (sneak: so far they are all related to my One Little Word, but I don't know that it will stay that way). Finally, I'm looking at this as more of a "week in review" and not being super strict about having a photo or story for each day.  So far I think I actually do have a photo/story for each day, but I'm not worried about too much, it's mostly about the stories!

I am using the Becky Higgins Project Life Seafoam Core kit designed by Elise Blaha Cripe.  It wasn't available when I started, and I'm impatient, so I decided to purchase the digital kit and print from that for those first couple of weeks.  I am so glad I did that. I liked being able to start right away and not feel like I was behind from the get go. Plus, I think I may use, modify, and print cards from the digital kit throughout the year.  I like being able to change the cards a little bit before printing. Here is one example of that:
On the original the stripes were all the mustard color. I wanted orange (of course), so I changed it in PhotoShopt to orange using the eyedropper tool to pick the color, and then the paint bucket to color each stripe.  Then I decided that I wanted one stripe aqua, so I repeated the same process with aqua for one of the stripes.  LOVE the result.
I think this will help keep the kit fresh for me.  The kit is awesome. And I love it even more now that I have it in person!  I'm not sure that I will be able to use just the kit all year, though, so I will likely incorporate other papers and things throughout the year. I will probably not link every single product that I use because I want to get the blog updated and that part holds me back (just sayin')! So, if you want to know something specific, just ask in the comments and I will do my best. 

I also purchased some (digital) Project Life Templates and I'm using them to help myself organize each week.  I hope to be able to share that process at some point, but I'm just figuring it out myself, so it will need to wait!
I ordered a bunch of flair from my favorite place: A Flair for Buttons.  Shelley wrote me a nice little note, so I kept it!
This is the note hidden behind one of her cards and little baggies that flair arrived in!
This week's supplies: Seafoam digital kit (printed out). My badges are from A Flair for Buttons, and I've thrown in a bunch of stickers/labels which are mostly from Elle's Studio.  My alphas this week are mostly Amy Tangerine, and the  "January" calendar card is from Paislee Press (I will probably use one of these in the first spread of each month).  The "hello" stamp is from Target.  I stamped it directly on the calendar card, and then again on something else.  I used my 1 inch circle to cut it out of the second piece of cardstock and then use a foam square to make it pop off the page a bit. When I write on photos I use American Crafts Slick Writers. This week I also used these awesome Hero Arts/Studio Calico stamps and all of the ink is StazOn.  Then, of course, my other addiction besides flair, washi tape. The washi I used this week was Freckled Fawn and Recollections (from Michael's).

Week two is also completed, and week three just needs a few finishing touches.  Will share those soon!

Final  note: I totally thought our lives might be too boring for Project Life.  But during this week we had our window shot at (seriously, it was just a pellet gun, but this is another indicator that we need to move), we had visitors, I got tons of happy mail, we celebrated a birthday and visited old friends.  Whew!  Guess we aren't as boring as I thought!

Peace, love and understanding to ya!
:-) o.g.

Confused about Project Life?  Check this out from Becky Higgins.

Monday, January 14, 2013

~ december daily one of two ~

Saying goodbye to 2012 is AWESOME!  I am ready to say hello to a new year and new projects.

I loved December Daily so much, that I'm going to attempt Project Life.  Wish me luck.  I've decided not to share all my DD pages here because I don't think anyone wants to see all of them!  So, I will post a few here, and all of them can eventually be found here on flickr for those that are interested (days 1-15 are there now, I still have a couple of journaling spaces to finish and then I will share the rest on flickr)!

I was thinking it might be easier to share my book and process in a video.  I have things that I want to share, but I just think it would be easier in a video!  I've been going back and forth for a week or two about if it's worth it to create a video that maybe no one will watch.  :-)

Moving on...

I am excited for OLW again!  I'll share more about my word, why I chose it, and my first layout in the next couple weeks.  I'm excited that my oldest daughter will also be participating this year!  It is going to be so much fun to do this with her!

We have been super busy around here -- PLAYING (mostly building things).  It has been wonderful to be able to experience Christmas with my three year old.  It was truly magical for her, and for that I am thankful.

I wish you all a wonderful 2013!

Coming soon ::  December Daily post #2 and Project Life post #1!  (I'm not sure if I will share every week, but I would love to share my process as I begin this project for the first time).