Archive for the ‘Creations/Crafty stuff’ Category

Today is the first day of spring! When those blossoms bloom on the trees as spring approaches, it is so beautiful and I love it. March started out on the rainy and overcast side and it was a little sad too (the one year anniversary of my mom’s death, and we went and spread her ashes) but ultimately, life is sunny and exciting and full of love. I am constantly blessed by my family and I appreciate those blessings.

(click for larger images and details)

Next up… Jaimee’s 6th birthday and the awesome fairy party we threw her.


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Most scrapbookers have heard of Project Life, the pocket-page style of scrapbooking. I mostly see the weekly version where you create a page or spread for each week of the year. The “365” version is the “photo a day” approach. I’ve always liked the style and simplicity of Project Life, but I knew I could never stick to scrapping each week by the week, and DEFINITELY would not enjoy trying to take a photo every day. I finally thought to just do the pocket style but scrap however many days in each page/spread I wanted and (oh my!) even skip days if nothing happened that day. It freed me up to do this quick and easy style, and doing it digitally makes it REALLY quick and easy. So here’s our January: Spread #1: left side: right side: The first spread covers only the first 4 days of the month. But it was a BIG four days! I’m keeping VERY simple by using white cardstock for the background and mat every time (I can take forever to decide on paper colors & patterns and this really simplifies and streamlines the process). I choose one accent color for each spread and embellish minimally. Not my usual scrap style, but I am at a busy phase of life with my four kids (I have a high-schooler, a middle-schooler, a kindergartener, and a toddler!) and it’s quick-and-easy scrapbooking for me right now or none at all. Here’s the 2nd and last spread for January: left side: right side: Since the flu hit us, it made the rest of the month a pretty slow one. We didn’t even TRULY celebrate my birthday (the plan was for me and Ron to go to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner) because I was still feeling horribly. Hey, that’s life and I’m glad I gave myself the freedom to not try to create a page or spread for every week of the month. There was pretty much nothing going on from the 5th to the 16th and how would those pages have looked if I’d stuck with the by-the-week approach religiously? So there it is. I already can’t wait to see how the rest of the year goes, and then to create a hard-bound photo book using these pages (I will probably do a 10×10 book from Shutterfly) as our family album for 2014. Do you do Project Life? If you’ve posted images online, link me up in the comments!

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Last week, BasicGrey announced the Design Team for the 2013-2014 year. And yep! For the third straight year, I’m on the team again, yay!


Up to this point, I’ve made strictly digital creations for them. Most recently, I made this:


using their newly released “Clippings” digital kit. Which I *heart*.  I just adore the style and the muted colors.


Have you seen their new Capture line?! And the Carte Postale collection?! Let me give you a peek:




Ok, seriously… I saw this stuff and HAD to do something with the awesome.


I’ve actually been pinning paper creations for over a year. You see, I started scrapbooking digitally over 4 years ago and while I love it and it will remain my main way to document our memories, there have been some things I’ve missed about paper scrapping. The two biggest of those have been utilizing the actual memorabilia, and incorporating my own handwriting. Sure, I’ve taken pictures of memorabilia and included it in the photo books where have my digital scrapbook pages printed. And I could use a Wacom pad to include my own handwriting. But it’s not the same. And I’ve missed it.

I’d see paper scrapping things on Pinterest that incorporated these things… Project Life pages, “Smash” book pages… and I started pinning the ones that inspired me. But nothing made me actually want to create a paper album UNTIL… I saw BasicGrey’s new Capture line. It has everything! Yummy kraft albums. The coolest papers and embellishments. Pocket pages. I fell in love! Between that and their Carte Postal line, I was finally inspired enough to actually do some paper scrapping again! And what better way to get my memorabilia fix than to document our recent family vacations with a travel book! And of course, the Carte Postale line couldn’t be more perfect for a travel theme.

So I started with the plain kraft binder-style album in the Capture line that includes 7×9.5 kraft pages and envelope. I love love love it!

It allowed me to create any cover I wanted and here’s how I decorated the cover:
(and most, but not all of this is on the BasicGrey blog today)


I love the notebook page-style sticker along the left side. And clearly, I couldn’t get enough of the Capture and Carte Postale goodies! In the filmstrip, I used pieces of a Disneyland newspaper (yay, incorporating memorabilia!) and I loved using the various alphabets to create my title.


On the inside front cover I used paper from the Capture pad (it’s already sized perfectly for the Capture albums and the papers are so nice and thick!) as well as more alphabets to create a “log” of all the dates of our trips. We started a “Year of Disney” in April. We went again in May and again in July. I wanted something at the beginning of the book to show a list of our trips. If I fill up the front, I can create another one on the back cover (because there are two of each of the papers in each pad)!

In this spread, I wanted to document the road trip (thankfully, we live close enough to drive).



I printed out maps from the internet (imagine how fun these will be to look back at as technology changes!) and on the left side used BasicGrey fabric tape and a few embellishments:


and plenty of my own handwriting right on one of the kraft pages that comes with the Capture album. On the right side, I adhered the Yahoo Maps printout directly onto the back side of the kraft envelope. There’s a label and some alpha stickers used to create a journaling spot as well as an arrow sticker (from the Waterfall pack) and some vellum binder-hole reinforcing stickers directly on the map printout.


When you turn the “envelope page”, you see where I documented the hotel where we stayed.


I had lots of fun incorporating the memorabilia from the hotel (there’s more inside the pocket like the hotel bill) and using a sheet from one of the hotel note pads to create a journal spot.


And isn’t this a fun little cluster of delicious BasicGrey goodness?!

On the right side I simply used one of the pocket pages for photos of us in our hotel room. Easy! The room key (yes, I kept it! and punched a hole in in it!) and a business card (using more of the cool vellum binder-hole reinforcing stickers) are their own “pages” within the spread.

In this next spread, I documented how we surprised our 5 year old.


The same pocket page from the previous hotel page houses the photos as well as a title card with patterned paper behind it:


and look how perfectly the “1st Visit” button fits in one of the pockets! (I removed the pin and flattened it first). On the right side I used a kraft page and an assortment of photos from some of the first things we did when we got there. I love the garland from the Carte Postale line – such perfect whimsy for the photos about how much fun we were having!


Overlayed on top of that is a card from the Capture Waterfall Pack which has a little more journaling about the surprise as well as a printout of a QR code which takes you right to the YouTube page where I uploaded of video we’d taken of the actual moment we surprised Jaimee. I think it’s a pretty cool way to get videos into your scrapbook pages!


If you’ve been to Disneyland or Disney World, you know about the Fast Pass system, right? It’s very cool and I love being able to put the unused tickets into my album:


The tags “swing” open by the tape:

The arrow stickers, acetate stopwatch, and “ticket” are BasicGrey.
while the stamps, tape, and tags are from my stash. The info on FastPass came from one of the Disney park maps – I just cut it out and adhered it right to the kraft page with a little black outlining around it.

Can you tell how much I utterly adore the Capture and Carte Postale goodies?! I’ve obviously still got more of our three trips to cover to complete my album. This is just part of the first trip! But I’m so pleased with how the album is turning out so far. Stay tuned for more!

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I know. It’s been awhile. But remember where we last left off… my mom had just passed away. Just a few months before, the business had failed and there was months of unemployment and the financial situation was… grim. It was such a very dark and dismal time. I was not in good shape physically; I was on bed rest for the 2nd half of the pregnancy with Bennett and had continued in the bad habit of just sitting around and eating whatever I wanted during the breastfeeding phase (which thankfully lasted until this April). But wow, when I look back to this spring… the days were dark and I was hardly sleeping…

In May, we went on family vacation to Disneyland. I love Disneyland and it was a huge bright spot and the beginning of feeling like the sun was coming out. When Bennett and I were done with the breastfeeding I knew that it was time to take back control of my physical situation and get healthy and fit. Last month I decided to participate in a 14-week fitness challenge. I’m just over 6 weeks into it and so far, it’s going really well. I decided that part of how I would reach my fitness goals was joining a CrossFit gym. In short, I love it. I started with 3 days/week and now I’ve worked up to 5 days/week. It’s hard, but it’s a good kind of hard. I know I’ll keep going after the 14 weeks is over. It’s a part of my lifestyle now.

So I’m getting stronger, and feeling better, and sleeping better, and looking better… I feel like I’m coming alive. Life feels good! Each day is exciting!

I already love the summer… the kids are out of school and we can spend more time together . But it’s even sweeter now and I appreciate it more. We went to Disneyland again earlier this month (we did keep our Annual Pass vouchers and activated them when we went in May – and we didn’t have to pay for the price increase difference!) when the A/C went out during that heat wave. It was fun to be spontaneous (and was a great way to escape that crazy heat… can you imagine staying home with no A/C when the temps were hitting 112?!) and what a great vacation when you’re trying to get in shape… you’re walking and moving all day long!

I’ve gotten some great freelance work lately too. I just finished up an article for Scrapbook Magazine (look for it in issue 75; I think it hits shelves in September) and I’m about to start a big project for a major manufacturer… can’t say anything more than that yet, but I will say… it’s a PAPER project. I know! I haven’t done paper scrapbooking in years. It’s gonna be a trip, but I’m really excited about it and can’t wait to share it with you when it’s time.

So it’s all very busy and the house is a wreck, but… as I expressed in this scrapbook page, it feels like the sun is coming out. And I love it.

Here’s that photo:
taken yesterday and I gotta say… yep, I’m feeling good!

Here’s the fam in Disneyland:
Radiator Springs is so cool at night!

Bennett getting bigger and walking all over the place:

My girls:

My boys:

Jaimee taking swim lessons this month:

So that about wraps it up. I’m so happy to be able to make a happy post. Happy to be climbing up and out of the darkness.

P.S. Isn’t Pinterest awesome? Give me the link to your boards so I can see what you’re pinning.

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Mom; March 4, 1936 – March 3, 2013
One day shy of her 77th birthday, the esophageal cancer won.

Mom wanted a gathering at her house as a memorial. I’m so thankful for my sisters who made it so beautiful. I was touched by everyone who came and there were people I  hadn’t seen in years that brought back such sweet memories.



Ron lost his job in October. Except for a job that lasted about 6 weeks that brought in less income than unemployment (oy!) he was, well, unemployed. BUT he got a job as an Account Executive… back in the mortgage industry! A real job with full benefits and everything! Obviously the previous 5 months were hard. But really, it’s been a hard five years since the mortgage industry crashed and we lost our house, savings, etc.  It will take awhile for things to get rolling and for the income to be what we need to get by, but at least there’s a good chance to make beyond the minimum necessary and it feels like a long time since that was even possible. I’m so happy that at least he loves what he’s doing now. And he’s working with and for such nice people. So thankful. And medical, dental, vision, life, and 401K? Yes please, and thank you.

Bennett is weaning. He is my last baby. And he’s gone the longest of any of my babies. Now that I know first hand how shockingly fast the kids grow (um… Drew is getting his DRIVER’S PERMIT!) it’s so hard to let this stage go. Nursing my babies has been hands-down one of my most treasured joys in this life. I will miss it. I will miss him being completely out of baby-stage and full-on into toddler-stage. Didn’t I just give birth to him? What is happening? Trying to look on the bright side… I am looking ahead to getting my body back. I have plans to get back in shape. I’m tired of being weak and flabby. I want to be strong and fit again! More on that later.

Good things:

Well, my kids are all healthy and amazing. No lie, they make me smile every day. Tonight Jaimee and Bennett were playing and doing this funny yelling/screaming thing. Bennett’s face is so cute when he does this and he and Jaimee go back and forth. It’s really so cute (even though it did get pretty LOUD, lol). I do love how Bennett is big enough that now he and Jaimee can be playmates:

And while it continues to shock me how fast this is happening, we did have a great day celebrating Jaimee’s 5th birthday:

this was just the “cake” part of the day; the present-opening and Chuck E. Cheese parts were awesome too!)

And other holiday events since my last post:

Jaimee making Valentines for her pre-school classmates. SO CUTE.

And Easter:

My older sister did a truly beautiful job with everything from the decorating, baskets and toys for all the kids, the dinner… she really does have a gift. And it was a good day.

Looks like I need more photos of Drew & Holly. *mental note*

Just hangin’ in there, folks.

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I haven’t shared many scrapbook pages lately. These are some of my faves!

I just made this tonight. It’s from March of last year and Bennett is 4 months old and Jaimee just turned 4 years old. Love this page which is a total scraplift of a paper page by mini m le scrap:

I joined a photo swap challenge and got photos from a girl in Germany. I wasn’t sure how I was going to scrap sunset photos, but I’m pleased with how it turned out.

Just some cute pics of Jaimee playing with her dolls. Totally love this page!

I used this layout for the cover of my December Daily hardcover photo book. I also used these photos for our Christmas cards.

I love this kit of Mindy Terasawa’s and have used it several times.

Playing with Holly & Jaimee at the park:

Bennett’s darling little curls!

Thanks for looking! 🙂

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I’ve always loved Halloween and it’s even more fun with your own little ones.  For a few years there I was a little deprived since Drew and Holly wanted to spend it with their friends and Jaimee was too little. But this year was awesome because it was the first year Jaimee REALLY knew what was up. And she was so excited! For the last two years, she’d been a pirate:


And I must say… could she BE any cuter?! At that time, I was ten days away from giving birth to Bennett. I was having some physical issues and could only make it around the block and then Ron had to take over and do the rest of the trick-or-treating with her. Which they did for HOURS. She loved it then.

And she loved it this year too! She was so excited and loved every second of it. This year, she was Alice in Wonderland:


I thought she looked completely adorable.

I haven’t made the scrapbook pages about the actual night yet, which will include Bennett in his costume, but I didn’t want to wait any longer to share how fun our night was.

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