I'm a wife and a stay at home mom to one sweet boy. I love to read, take photos, scrapbook, cook and spend time with my family. This is my place to keep track of it all!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Great reminders from two of my favorite blogs

The creative people in the scrapbooking world amaze me. And I'm often inspired by them in ways that have nothing to do with patterned paper.

(photo from Mothball Charlie)

I've been feeling so overwhelmed lately. It's a terrible feeling only made worse by the realization that I'm not doing enough to justify feeling this way. No outside job, no church calling, no out-of-the-ordinary responsibilities placed on me. And I still feel flustered and behind all the time. December Daily still isn't done, One Little Word not even started 2 months into the class. Layouts piling up in my head that I can't get around to...and this is just craft stuff! I can't seem to get on top of my list of to dos and wish I had time fors.

So it was wonderful to see inspiring words from two of my favorite ladies in the scrapping world: Ali Edwards and Lisa Truesdell. Ali has a great post right now the simple reminder to focus on One Thing At A Time!

Lisa added to Ali's thoughts with a couple of great quotes and the darling print above from Mothball Charlie (that may just be necessary. wonder if I could get it in brown to match the scrap room...) My One Little Word for this year (after changing suddenly 3 days into the new year) is BEGIN. This quote is a perfect jumping point for me and a different way to look at my word. But the thing that stuck with me from Lisa's post today was a quote of her own: " because i'd rather do a few things well than everything half heartedly. because sometimes things won't work, don't fit or just can't happen. and that's ok."

Love these ladies! I'm so grateful for the special online people I'll probably never meet that take the time everyday to share their gifts and thoughts with others. Their little bit of time let me stumble onto some great life truths today and that's pretty amazing.

Have a great day!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Nom Nom Monday Begins!

Welcome to the first installment of Nom Nom Monday! Being Valentine's Day, I've opted for the super simplest, but possibly THE most delicious thing in my bag of delicious tricks. My apologies for the photo that just does not do justice to this treat!

Peanut Butter Cornflake Cookies...aka the most addictive thing to bring to gaming night :)

2/3 C light Karo syrup

2/3 C sugar

1 C peanut butter (I prefer creamy but either works)

5 C cornflakes

Combine syrup and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until boiling. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter until smooth and slowly add cornflakes until combined. Make sure to get all the peanut butter mixture off the bottom. Drop by tablespoons (or however big or small you like) onto wax paper and cool to set. Try in vain not to eat the entire batch by bedtime.

Ridiculously easy for the level of delicious awesomeness.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Monday, January 31, 2011

December daily day 15 and plans for the blogging future

Welcome to day 15...the light at the end of the tunnel has appeared! AND, I finished page 23 tonight...almost done!

A 3 page layout again... this time about a nice day out with Brecon. :)

Page one is a combo of 2 templates from the Ali Edwards December Daily 6x8 templates from Designer Digitals - "tis the season" and "peace and joy". I liked the photo layout on peace and joy so I turned off the overlay on that one and flipped it vertically to switch things up a bit. Then I put the "tis the season" overlay on top. Once my pictures were in place I added the Christmas Words Twill from the Ali Edwards Christmas Twill set from Designer Digitals. These were fun photos from a trip to Barnes and Noble...the kiddo loves it there. Train table and cocoa in one
spot!!! We took turns taking each others picture at the cafe...the black and white shot is one he took.

Page 2- went pretty simple here...for once! Just made a doc in photoshop to fit the large box and filled the center area with a text box. I used the georgia font for my journaling and then used CK Ali's Handwriting (available here) to highlight some key words. I wanted them to stand out a little more so I turned them read and bumped up the font size. Dropped a couple of cute Katie Pertiet elements on and done. The title in the small box comes from my boy. He sang this phrase all day to anyone who would listen to about a million different tunes. Too sweet. I especially wanted to remember that part of our day and a title seemed a good way to do it.

Supplies for page 2: little girl sticker and silver tree charm from Katie Pertiet's Christmas Memories Collection from Designer Digitals; red ribbon from Katie Pertiet's Old Time Christmas Kit from Designer Digitals; Merry Border Strip paper, Merry Christmas Alpha stickers and Merry Christmas Element Stickers from the Merry Christmas collection by Echo Park Paper Co

Page 3 Love. Another favorite pic from this year. I loved that he wanted to wear that hat every where we went. This was made with the "wonderful memories" December Daily template. I wanted the little text box on top so I just flipped the overlay. I decided to swap out the text too since I'd already used this template once. I erased the text and used the "Merry Christmas to you" brush from the Ali Edwards Hand Drawn Holiday set from Designer Digitals. Love how the red overlay pops on this photo.

There we go, another day down...
So I have lots of ideas for expanding the blog topics here. So far its obviously been heavy on the DD, but that's why I started the blog, so there ya go. But as I near completion of that project I'd like to move on to some other things. I'm going to start with a "nom nom monday" post each week to share a favorite recipe. I'm also taking Ali Edwards' One Little Word class and I'm sure discussions on that will pop up too. I'd love to do some book reviews and ideas as well. I up for suggestions :)

December Daily day 14

Day 14 was a rough day, both to live through -in an I have a 3 year old sort of way- and to scrap. But I ended up being very happy with the layout though.

Day 14 was probably my favorite intro page, so I had to share it again. Since its not a transparency this was a 3 page layout.

The 2 page spread- I actually took the picture before I had it complete...whoops.

Page 1 - another full photo page- these full shots ended up being one of my favorite elements in my album. I was so pleased with this pic. I asked Joe to sneak a picture of the two of us at some point unannounced and it happened to be a really sweet time together. I used one of the full pic templates from the Ali Edwards December Daily 6x8 templates from Designer Digitals and used the eraser tool to take the text off the template. I replaced it with the Love You brush from a freebie set Ali Edwards offered on her blog - she is so great, have I mentioned this?

Another smug Photoshop day for me, since I've never had any training on it and have had to figure stuff out on my own. So, this is how I did it...a much easier method almost certainly exists. I created a 6x8 doc in photoshop so my sizes would be right, dropped the color photo into it and got it arranged and sized the way I wanted. Next I created a copy of the picture layer and used the convert to black and white command on this copy layer. Finally I took the eraser tool and, working on the black and white layer, I erased the shape of Brecon's hat, allowing the color on the layer below to show through. Yay! Love how it looks with the over lay and brush. Of course, I had to do all these adjustments before adding the picture to the template...a frustrating truth I've learned through trial and error...

Page 2 was super simple. I created a doc in photoshop to fit the large box of the dated over lay page and added the sketch star brush from the Ali Edwards Christmas Celebrations Elements Pack from Designer Digitals. I turned the opacity on this layer down to about 20% so it was a soft grey background. Then I added my journaling (a little note to Brecon) in a text box on top of the star and printed it all right onto my dated overlay page. I signed the note by hand. Other supplies: buttons -Splendid Treasures from the Artsy licious Kohl collection by Chatterbox; floss-DMC; this is gorgeous embossed cardstock that I know I got at Archiver's. But since my sister and I used literally every scrap we bought I can't find anything that tells me the name or company. I'll figure it out.

Brecon loves to have me set up my camera timer and take pictures together. So I included a couple of these silly shots for page 3. Just dropped a couple of photos onto a 6x8 blank doc and added a Peace & Joy green twill from the Ali Edwards Christmas Twill from Designer Digitals

I am also happy to report that the album is VERY nearly finished! It has been rough getting the motivation to finish it up when I got behind those last few days. Apparently I am one of those people who loves Christmas, but is so done with it once the day is over...who knew.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

December Daily day 13

Hello Day 13! You feel like a long time ago already!

Day 13 had a transparency intro page and I wanted to show it here since I loved the little "peeks" you can see of the page behind. I wasn't sure I was going to like that, but I do.

Page 1 with the transparency open. I loved that snowflake lace. Just realized how horrible this pic is! Wow. I really wanted to scan the pages in, but there is some trick to getting my scanner to actually "work" that I haven't discovered yet...need to get back on that...

A closer look at page 1. I actually didn't use a December Daily template for this page . (I know its shocking...but don't worry, there's one on page 2. ) I really like this little journaling tag and it fit perfectly on the dated overlay page. Printing my photos as 2x2 squares left just enough room for the journaling card. I measured the blank spot and created a doc that size in photoshop. I used my favorite wonderful trick again (printing on plain paper and taping the journal tag over top and printing again...how I love this) and it turned out so so great. I really liked using the little box on the bottom for my titles, though it did make my album a little lopsided. Ah well.
The journaling reads: Brecon is big enough this year that we wanted to teach him about doing service during the holidays. We decided to pick out a toy to give to a local charity. Brecon chose a Chick Hicks car launcher. When we went to Walmart the next day we found out Wow 104.3 was doing a promotion for the Boise Mission charity. Their DJ Dan Matthews is spending 104 hours in a tent in front of Walmart collecting donations. We decided this was a perfect place to donate our toy. The radio guys took pictures of Brecon putting the toy in the bucket and getting a high five from Dan Matthews. They put 2 of the pictures up on their website and I grabbed them to use here. Brecon loved showing off his picture on the computer. He was excited that they made a big deal of his donation. I know he doesn’t get it yet. He doesn’t know it’s important to help. But now he knows its fun, and that’s a start.

Supplies for page 1: Journaling card from the Christmas Wishes collection Journaling Tablet by Deja Views; Mistletoe Argyle paper from the Mistletoe collection by Making Memories; rubon letters in Jack Jr by American Crafts; "delight" thickers in leaf by American Crafts; red Mark-it pen by Bic

Here is my trust December Daily template! The word art is another brush from the Ali Edwards Hand Drawn Holiday set by Designer Digital.
I love this picture. This is Brecon with Dan Matthews, a DJ from 104.3 here in Boise. He was so excited that Brecon had picked something himself to give as a donation and the guys at the booth took several pictures of him talking to Dan. He also announced Brecon's name on the radio. The pics were posted on the radio station's website and Brecon was very excited to so famous!

Friday, January 28, 2011

December daily Day 12

I loved this project. I loved the challenge. I loved how aware it made me of what we did each day and how we shared and experienced it. I loved actually making a scrapbook. (I have a room literally full of supplies and have been collecting them for years but this will be my first completed album, holding my first completed layouts.) And I loved loved loved how this "day" turned out...

Another 3 page layout, and a good thing since I ended up with some really fun photos to use.
Here is the 2 page spread...with a peek at my very messy scrap room lol.

I adore this page...it may be my favorite. I love the photo, how the colors pop. I'm really rather proud of it since it was exactly what I tried to do! Yay! This is yet another Ali Edwards December Daily 6x8 template with the text removed and the border turned white. The word art is a brush from the Ali Edwards Hand Drawn Holiday set from Designer Digitals. I added the underline with the pencil tool in Photoshop. I gave it its own layer to make adjustments easier. I was rather proud of my little line too. ;)

Wow I got some great photos for this day. These cookies are one of my favorite parts of Christmas and I was so excited that we had time to do them together all 3 of us. It's tricky since my hubby works for FedEx and the holidays are CRAZY for him. I love the black and white pic of Brecon...again the camera was friendly and did exactly what I tried to do. I also love the patterned paper on this page. (Tradition Strips from the Tradition collection by Fancy Pants Designs) Great colors that go perfectly with my photos. For the pics at the top I used the "celebrate today" template from the DD 6x8 templates and erased the big outline around the edge of the page. Then I was able to print it and the remaining box fit just right on my dated overlay page.

Page 3 was fun to put together. I cropped a photo I'd taken of some blue snowflake cookies to a closeup and filled a 6x8 doc with the photo. Then I turned the opacity down to about 30%. I put my journaling over top of the pic and printed the whole thing onto the back of my dated overlay page. The picture looks really cool. Its soft and aged looking, almost like its on canvas or soft fabric. This picture isn't great. I promise in person its pretty cool. The font is CK Journaling available free here.
The journaling here reads: It never really feels like Christmas until we make these cookies. This is the first year Brecon has really been able to help.I’ve been making them ever since I can remember. When I was little we had a metal cookie press with a handle you had to turn. Now Mom has a fancy electric cookie gun! My press had a lever that isn’t very easy to use (in fact I think I pulled a muscle today because the dough was a little too cold). Oh well, it gets the job done. Someday I’ll upgrade to a cookie gun. When I was a kid we only made 2 shapes : green trees and red flowers. Now it has expanded to include blue snowflakes and this year I tried some yellow stars. They are my favorite Christmas cookie, so soft and yummy. Now it feels like December.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

December daily day 11

Welcome to day 11...nearly half done!

Day 11 was a 3 page layout, and since my pages were simple I was able to tell 2 stories for this day.

Here is the 2 page spread

Page one- another full page pic...loved these! And I adore this picture of my 3 favorite little boys. I used one of the Ali Edwards December Daily 6x8 templates from Designer Digitals and turned off the picture spots and used the eraser tool to remove the text from the overlay. I dropped the full page photo in and turned the remaining border line white. I'm sure there is an easier way to make this little border line on my own, but I knew the template worked and would keep everything consistent, so there ya go. The cute outline wording at the top right is the "Tis the Season Outline" brush from the Ali Edwards Holiday Outline Word Art set from Designer Digitals.

Page 2- the dated over lay page. This used the "peace earth" template from the December Daily templates. I turned the over lay off this time and just used the template to size my pics. Then I made a text box to fill the rest of the large section of the dated page. The "merry" is a brush from the Ali Edwards Painted Christmas Words set from Designer Digitals. I "stamped" the word on its own layer and turned the opacity down to about 20%. (Another idea I took from Ali, sensing a pattern?) I messed with the small box at the bottom FOREVER and finally decided I liked this simple cut circle/paper thing. Lol. The paper is Christmas Morning from the Christmas Delight collection by Little Yellow Bicycle. The snowflake circle is from the Diecut Cardstock Pieces pack from the Jovial collection by Basic Grey.

Page 3 was the closest I came to designing the whole digital page by myself, haha! I just wasn't loving the way the page was coming together using the templates the way I had before, so I sort of made my own. I did the same border trick as page 1 (used an Ali template and turned the pics off) and then made a photo collage on the right. Text box in the bottom corner for the journaling. Finally, one of my favorite brushes this year: "Hello Santa" from the Ali Edwards Holiday Word Art set from Designer Digitals. I'm pretty happy with how it came together.
The journaling reads:Brecon got an email from Santa today. Santa checked his list and found his picture. He even knew Brecon had been to the beach, & was a pirate for Halloween. Santa was proud of Brecon for trying hard to listen to his parents and that he wants a camera for Christmas! Brecon couldn’t believe it! What a fun surprise!

Page 3 in the book with the intro page for day 12.
One of my simplest days so far but I really liked how it turned out.
PS...the personalized Santa email Brecon got was one of the coolest things we did this year. Bookmark http://www.portablenorthpole.tv/ for next year. We loved it and Brecon had a ball showing off his email to his Grammy and Grampy. And it was FREE!!!