Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Second of the Firsts

My big boy finally got his chance at a first day on Monday...

He was SOOOO excited!



He very carefully selected the burgandy shorts and the burgandy and salmon striped shirt for his first day outfit.

If you knew him well, you would say this was not a surprise.

He also very carefully selected the backpack...we pored over packs from three stores. This one won for its volume capacity, toughness and "circut board" quality.

We took his picture with his teacher on his open house day...


 This morning, he informed me that the homework is SOOO much better in first grade...I told him that he hasn't got a lot of room to judge just yet...HAHA!!!

Happy day, ya'll!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

First of the First Days

This one started school on Monday...




Get a load of the size of that backpack!!! And that one is the smaller of the two. It looks like HE could get in there and his daddy could just carry him to school.

Speaking of daddy, he took these pictures. When I went to edit them, I could tell it was the first day of school for a three year old boy and cooperation was not at its all time high...

Still, He loves school...can you tell?



I was somewhat overwhelmed by ideas for teacher presents...I settled finally on THIS idea (there are about 100 versions of this pinterest...I just did my own version.)



There are pens, colored pens, sharpies, mechanical pencils and traditional pencils, plus a custom note pad and a little chocolate. The "ribbon" says "You are just the WRITE teacher for me!" The big boy will have a version of this same idea for his new teacher when he goes back too.



Honestly, I about blew up my Pinterest Good Gifts board with all the amazing creative teacher gift ideas I found this time around...What did YOU do for back to school this year?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Vacation's All I Ever Wanted

Well, well, well....its that time of year when little's go back to school and parents everywhere breathe a sigh of relief at being able to get back to schedules, routines and some level of organization...at least that is what THIS parent is doing.

I LIKE schedules and organization and the immense possibility of a new school year beginning...

I'm ready to get my planner in shape, to stock the fridge with some school lunch possibilities and to settle into some days where we have a routine. I think my husband is just ready for some quiet time around the house to work, since he works from home.

BUT...we literally just returned from vacation...a lovely, fun and water filled beach vacation...

There was a bit of this...though truth be told, there was as much bickering as hugging with these two...they love each other immensely, but they ARE boys...so...there is that whole competition thing..


There was some of this....in case you can't tell, that is dancing...with wild and joyful abandon.


There was some napping...mostly in our condo, but this was an attempt on the beach.


There was a bit of this...which is pretty much all the further he would go into the water.


There was a LOT of this...and since the beach we were on was FILLED with Jellyfish....


There was one of these...this picture doesn't do it justice...it was the biggest, reddest, ugliest thing...and, honestly, it is STILL hanging around.


So...we switched to this:  The splash park/lazy river/big pool/kid pool at the condo. No jellyfish here!




Jayden took this...a budding photog!


There was some hugging and tickling...



That kind of looks more like this in all the pictures we DON'T show the internet...


And, of course, there was the mini-golf. This is our SECOND attempt. We got rained out the first time and ended up in the local diner eating desserts instead (not a bad way to spend a rain-delay!)



Now to settle back into the "real" life...but I do know this...I could very easily transition to a life in pony tails and flip flops!!!

Peace, ya'll!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sketch to Layout

I took May Flaum's  Camp Scrap 2013 class through Big Picture Classes earlier this summer.

Awesomely filled with both big and small projects, this class was just the push I needed. 

It gave me the courage (and the right basic products list) to try some mixed media techniques.

I've had a couple of layouts in my "to try" file for a bit now...

This one by Kim Watson that I have tabbed in my Scrapbooking Boys and Men edition (the techniques are awesome and could be used a multitude of times without ever repeating yourself!).


And this one from Shimelle, (Plus the awesome technique video from Two Peas in a Bucket):


As is my habit, I started with a sketch -  so that my experimental background would turn out as I hoped:



My experiment turned out like this:


Now I have to confess...I originally purchased a small amount of matte medium and some watercolor gellatos.

BUT now, I have all gellatos I could get in one set, a BIG thing of matte medium and some special wrinkle free matte paper adhesive - more about those products and how I've been using them in another post. 

Like I needed a reason to buy more supplies, right?

Peace, ya'll!!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Scrapbooking on the Go

Scrapbooking on the go isn't something I've done much of.

Oh, I'm quite familiar with packing up my papers, trimmer and adhesives in a large scrapbooking tote and travelling to a store, a convention or a crop to spend the day. 

I do that about twice a year...and my friends do it once a month (to my house).

But packing all that stuff is just not that practical when we are talking about a family trip to the beach. That is a CAR trip. Heaven forbid I have to get on a plane...

I've tried ONE effort - it was our travel scrapbook last year...we did two family vacations and I dutifully took my smash book, mini printer and pen along...but somewhere in the midst of having fun on vacation, I didn't have a ton of time to actually sit down in our condo to put things into the book. It just wasn't my priority (over, say...a nap!)

Still, this is an idea I think I could master, but I believe it will take me putting together the right kit and then making the time at the end of each day to brain dump the day's activities, feelings and fun.

I've been saving up links to cool on the go scrapbooking kits as jumping off points. 

Here are a few scrapping on the go kits the intrigue me:

There is, of course, still the Smash Book route. Shaunte from Crafts Unleashed put a few Smash Book branded items in a zip lock bag and traveled England with them, documenting as she went. the results are so neat. I love how she had her children add their own journaling to the mix.



The plain old travel journal is always an option. I could easily pull off the Moleskin journal and add my photos, bits and pieces after all is said and done. Kari from the Babs Blog focuses more on the journaling aspect and displaying the yummy ephemera from her travels in her travel journal post. The results are just gorgeous...


Shimelle made a wonderful mini book and then dropped it into a tin with some adhesive, and a few basic supplies. I don't see myself making an album before I leave for a vacation, tho. There is enough else to think about before embarking on a trip.


The Scrappy Jedi Melissa Stinson also made an album, but it was much simpler (and more my style). Her criteria - it had to fit in her backpack for he weekend away. Now, she packed inks and mists in her quart-sized carry on of liquids...I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't venture there...still its cool to see what she included.


One of the best things about the latest "life booking" craze has brought about are an abundance of 4 x 6 and 2 x 3 decorative journaling cards. I love how Miss Smith of the Journal of Curious Things (don't you LOVE that blog name!?!?!??!) takes full advantage of mini letters and preprinted journaling cards as the means to her travel scrapbooking. She says up front that her ideas is not to be done when she gets back from her trip, but to have at least captured the important memories in the moment by journaling them. This just may be the best idea for me...hmmmm...


My final link is the Here We Go travel art kit assembled by Elizabeth Kartchner. Its so pretty. And its got a lovely canvas bag to hold all the bits and pieces. Honestly, I would NEVER do it this way...there are too many little things to keep track of...but what I LOVE is how she anticipates doing ART on her vacation. Why do I never think of doing ART on my vacation????


She even packed the kids their own art kit...which...well, lets just be honest, for me this would be an extension of MY kit...what with the paints, camera and all.


Have you scrapped while you travel? I would love to see what you took with you and how your finished travel journal turned out....please link me up!!

Peace, ya'll!

Friday, August 09, 2013

Polaroid LOVE (and tutorials!)

Polaroids are one of my new obsessions...Its an obsession I now share with my Uncle Herb.



Uncle Herb is paralyzed on one side and has lost the ability to speak..at least to speak in long rambling conversational sentences. He has mastered a few words, and communicates mostly using those few words and his tone of voice. He tells the best jokes and stories of anyone I know, but he does it all with expressions and tone and just a few simple words.

When I was growing up, he had this thing for Polaroid cameras. He would take pictures of the people he met, the places he'd been, the things that interested him over the days and weeks of his life...and then put a series of pictures in his pocket and carry them around with him. They became his portable scrapbook.

That was how he told his story, since he couldn't talk or use many words. When he wanted to tell others of a trip he took to visit his aunt, or a drive to the Lavender Inn for dinner or a night of playing Eights with the family, or the beautiful roses in the front yard, he would reach into his breast pocket and pull out a series of Polaroid pictures and lay them out in order on the table. Then he would point to each one in turn, and say, "And yes! and OHHHHHHH!" His method of story-telling is remarkably clear and beautiful.

There are days I wish I could get my hands on some of those "stories" and put them in a real book for him.

This is a memory I cherish of my uncle...a uniquely "Uncle Herb" thing...and it makes the fact that I love to scrapbook seem a bit like it runs in the family.

For Christmas I got an instax camera and I love fiddling with it. It honestly takes some practice, and the pictures, of course, are not the greatest things in the world.

Fun-but-not-great is the POINT of a Polaroid picture, don't you think? My kids think it is infinetly cool...kind of like I did when I was a kid and I watched my uncle Herb taking pictures.

I've done a bit of experimenting with using Polaroid frames on regular pictures. I have a layout coming, but I'm not QUITE done with it yet.

In the process of obsessing, I have found myself purchasing a lot of products that are Polaroid frame specific.

I purchased this paper from KI Memories:


And this one from Jillibean Soup:



And these little lovies from Studio Calico:



On one rainy morning a few weeks ago, I found myself looking for a couple of good tutorials on using the frames, as well as making my own (cuz the sizes of the ones I buy never seem QUITE right).

In my search I found a layout by Kirsty Smith of Curiouser and Curiouser:


And, of course, the ever amazing Shimelle (she might be my new bestest scrapbook hero!) had Ms. Smith as a guest blogger...and she did an outstanding tutorial for creating the elements of this stunning layout: You can see it HERE.

Shimelle, also inspired by Kirsty created an amazing tutorial on Using a Polaroid Frame Stamp on a Scrapbook Page...I think you will agree, the layout is SOOOOOO liftable! (and this technique could be used in so many ways!)


And then finally, I found a great tutorial from Wendy Sue Anderson on the Create Blog on making these sweet little frames just from scratch using a square punch and a paper trimmer...this is SO my speed! You can see the full tutorial HERE: 



Do you like polaroids?

Do you have any "polaroid" memories?

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Sketch to Layout

I get my sketches from everywhere, and sometimes I even draw my own! haha....

It seems funny that I would say "sometimes" about drawing my own. Honestly, I don't draw too many of my own...

I tend to modify an existing sketch to get to the layout I want. I rarely draw my own.

This one started with the pictures. I wanted a particular layout with the pictures, so this one is "from scratch."

It makes use of the very popular print collage, but I did this by hand rather than printing the collage out as is.

Here is my original sketch:



This layout is also a stash buster. It makes use of LOTS of leftover from a kit I made for the Counterfeit Kit Challenge.

This was my original kit:



This is the finished project:


I confess, the whole layering thing is still not a comfortable technique for me, for some reason. It took forever to get a layered frame I was comfortable with. 

Perhaps with more practice?

Peace, ya'll!

Friday, August 02, 2013

Just My Style

If you take a wander through my layouts, you will find that I regularly employ a technique that Debbie Hodge has dubbed "a shelf."

If' I've got a multitude of photos, this is my go-to technique...and since I scrap mostly 4 x 6 photos, its a handy thing to have in my back pocket.

In this case, I used a bunch of elements from a Studio Calico kit plus some washi, jewels and stickers. 


This is one of my examples of getting things done in a very efficient way when it comes to scrapbooking. When I love the photos, and my story, I kind of keep it simple..

Peace, ya'll!