Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Playing with old pictures

I look at a lot of scrapbook inspiration and really want to just allow myself to play at times.  I like to keep up to date with my memory keeping but sometimes it's fun to find an old photo and just let your creativity go!  I pulled out a box of photos and had a great time going through them.  Ah, the memories.  Many of them are already documented somewhere but I'm sure I've found a few new stories to tell!
Also, there were a lot of great products introduced at the Winter CHA show and they are just starting to roll out.  However, I feel bad buying any new products while I still have so many to use, so this has really made it a great time for me to try some new things out, relive some old memories, and work through my stash in a fun way.
So, let's share some of the layouts I've put together!
 This first layout uses Heidi Swapp's September Skies collection and is a great photo of my mother and I on a trip to New Mexico in 2009.  It was a beautiful trip visiting my aunt and uncle touring the beautiful city of Santa Fe.  They are history buffs so there was a lot of fun detail in their stories and many interesting visits. 
 I played with layers and dimension and tried out some new stamps I made with the Silhouette stamping material.  I could do another entire post about that but let's just say my reviews on it are mixed.  More experimenting for the future...
I threw in a little washi tape and used the Epiphany crafts large round bubble too.

This one doesn't go back too far, just to the beginning of last year but it was fun to look at again as the boys had so much fun in the snow last year and we've not had a chance to do the same this year!  I worked with a grid pattern here and had a bit of fun using Color Shine on that wooden "adventure" title.

 And then I found this fun old shot of my hubby and puppy.  Such pals they are and the picture was cute!  I had wanted to try out some messy techniques and this felt like a good one to play with as the picture itself wasn't the cleanest.  I pulled out a stencil and set to work with some modeling paste.  I colored over that with watercolor crayons and then used my watercolors for some drips and drops.  I pulled together some elements from September Skies as well as some odds and ends from Studio Calico.  I really like how the colors came together on this one!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Welcome New Year!

Finally, finally a little time to play.  I love December with all the joy filled events that keep us busy and happy but January is not my favorite.  It's personal to our family really, but it's a tough month for mama and her littles.  See, daddy has to work ALL MONTH LONG!  It means we still have some Christmas decorations up that won't come down for weeks.  It means that while everyone else is back to "routine" and crossing things off the list, we feel like we are forever in catch up mode. All those things forgotten during December are normally taken care of in January, but see, mine is even busier than December because I am left to fend for myself, the children, and the homefront while my husband endures endless hours at the office. Oh well, life will go on but let's just say it's hard to get much crafting done in January! 
However, today I forgo Sunday football in order to do a simple project and enjoy the process.  I had yet to capture our New Year's Eve celebration and so that was a great place to start.  For the last several years we have simply stayed at home and celebrated with dear friends.  We let the kids have a party, put them to bed, and then spend some time as adults.  This year, we were all yawning by 11pm but hey, that's ok.  We had a nice relaxing time together.  Yes, those kind of friends where the excitement level doesn't matter because we were together.

Anyhow, I was looking through my ephemera from the Favorite Things collection and realized I had a lot of it!  So I thought, let's use some circles for fun and I still had a sheet of the circle paper so yeah!  And It was colorful so I just went with it.  I dotted with colorshine, used lots of color, and put together a fun filled page about our NYE.  It's a bit different for me, but I love how it turned out!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Planner Love

Planners are a huge rage right now.  Have you noticed?  It seems like every paper crafting company is releasing a planner for the year along with plentiful accessories.  I have a confession...I love organization and I'm a complete geek for office supplies.  So a pretty planner - yeah that's right up my alley. 
I've always maintained a printed planner despite the electronic options I also use with my family.  I knew for 2015 I wanted something a bit different and when I started seeing previews of new planner releases a few months ago I was VERY excited.  So what did I get?  Well...

The Heidi Swapp 2015 memory planner in black and white.  And I love it!  I had pre-ordered mine from Studio Calico so it arrived just before year end, ready for me to begin in January.  Although, the planner doesn't come with numbers on it so you really could use it any year.  I also got one of their limited addition stamp sets and have really enjoyed using it to fill out my pages.
What I loved most about this one was that there is plenty of space to write things down, it has binders to add more pages or remove them, and it's really pretty!

I also enrolled in the Capture30 class taught by Heidi Swapp at Big Picture Classes.  It's been great to focus on some new goals and get organized to accomplish them this year.  
At the beginning of the class we wrote down 15 things about ourselves and tucked them away in a pretty little envelope.  At first I really didn't want to do this but then I dived in and actually had a lot of fun.  It will be really great to look back on this at the end of the year.  I have a feeling these are the things that are not going to change much.
I've also formulated a goal, documented the areas to focus on, noted possible limitations, and (gulp) wrote out an action plan.  Yes, wow!  I felt so good after getting that done and by tucking it right into the planner I have easy access to remind myself.  And as the year goes on, it's easy to change if need be. 
Another exercise encouraged us to identify the items we needed to do each day to feel successful - to head to bed with out a list running through our minds.  I wrote down five things on a card and move that along with my day at a glance pages as a useful reminder.  And they really do work. 
After completing this exercise I realized I also wanted a place to just pat myself on the back.
I found an old mini memory file, trimmed it a bit, and stitched it up so that I could slide big journal cards in and out of the top.  Inside I've already written down a few things I'm proud of myself for doing this year.  It will be a great place to go to for focus and encouragement.
If you haven't thought about goals in some time, I'd really encourage you to give it a try!   It doesn't have to be for the year.  Any ole time will do but I know you will be thankful you spent some time thinking about it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

December Mini Album Recap

 Ah December.  You are wonderful but you are FULL.  I think I would find January to be a breath of fresh air, all light and full of promise, if it weren't for the fact that my husband is very busy at work each January and more falls on my plate than usual around the home front.  However, no matter the busy nature of it, I love the many traditions and fun events that arrive each December.  And so I present a recap of my December daily-ish album.  ( I love the cute name of December Daily but I don't do daily). 

I hoard purchase craft supplies at a good deal when I see them.  So this little number was an old Heidi Swapp binder that was marked down at Michael's for about $3.  Crazy right?!?  Well, I didn't have a plan for it but when I was thinking about my December album I thought that might be a great thing to use.  I painted the cover with acrylic paint, added stamping, and some embellishment.  For this project I ordered some of the new Pink Paislee Merry & Bright collection but also mixed in some left over items from the Heidi Swapp Believe collection I used last year.  I love how well they mixed together.

 The binder came with divider pages that I removed but for this one.  I thought the music notes were perfect and I decorated a cute intro page.
 Of course, we always start out the year decorating after Thanksgiving!  We got a new tree this year so it was fun to put that upstairs and move or other one down to the basement for the kids to decorate.  That is where they play a lot so we thought it might be fun to have it there for them to enjoy.
 They even decorated the dog!

 And of course our Elf arrived as well.  I really enjoyed mixing and matching different sizes and styles of pocket pages within this album. It created fun interest and allowed me to work with many different items and photo sizes. 
 Those cute tabs and the beautiful craft tags were frequent in my album.  I used the tags to do most of my journaling!
 This year I decided to write down the holiday movies that the boys enjoyed.  It's fun to introduce them to classics but seriously all they wanted to do was watch the Elf on the Shelf movie.  Like five times a day.  In. a. row.

 And to increase the FULLness of the month, our oldest son has his birthday!  The big 4 this year and so I added in a few non traditional colors to set apart his birthday pages but I did enjoy using the Merry & Bright collection papers to keep it consistent.

 So that is just an overview and peek at the album.  What I love most about it is how simple I kept it.  It was still fun but very manageable to work on during the month.  It was also great to show a few friends who think they have no time for this craftiness thing just how simple and cute it can be.  Until next year...

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A puppy pawtay!

A few months back our little man turned two!  Wow, it felt like that last year went really, really fast as he was changing so much and becoming so active.  So active.  He's a real spunky sweetheart with a love for animals, especially dogs.  As such, I thought it might be fitting to throw a dog themed party - a puppy pawtay to be exact!  He loved the idea of it.  And he loved his party.

I have a lot of fun being creative with the kids birthdays, time permitting of course.  I planned ahead but kept things pretty simple.  We planned food with a play on the dog theme - having hot dogs and bonewiches, for example.  We got some black & white balloons and decorated some of them with brown, white, and black ears and sharpie puppy faces.  Those turned out to be one big hit for our son and the other little friends that attended.

We had a small, simple craft where the kids could make a puppy ear hat and decorate the ears with dots.  Little kids love glue sticks!  And instead of letting our guests depart with more sweets or little toys, we decided to fill our treat bags with a ball, rope toy, and bone for the furry friends back home.  That was quite the hit with our four legged companions who had to be alone while their families were gone!  Our son loved seeing the pictures people sent with their dogs enjoying the treats!  My husband had suggested that we ask everyone to bring their dog...but seriously, this is not a dog park and that is not a great idea!  :)  cute, but no.

When I received my order of the new Heidi Swapp September Skies collection, the colors spoke to me and I know the vibrant shades would be perfect for documenting that day of fun.  Heck, there is even a little dog as an embellishment!

 I mixed in some color magic ephemera and banners that I had in my stash and used my Silhouette to cut out a number two.  I actually cut out two of them and stacked them for an added dimensional touch.
 Above I used a clip to hold a fun fold out page with journalling and pictures of the decor.
 A hidden pull out pocket between two pages allowed me to add lots of photos of the fun!
 Couldn't resist creating a flap page for my son to pull up.  It had a picture of him and his cake...he loved that.  He also really loves cake.  To construct this I glued the photos down onto a plain, color coordinating piece of paper, then I measured a new patterned sheet to be exactly the same.  Some careful measurements are needed so you know where your photos are!  Using my craft knife I cut three sides of each flap, scored the remaining side, and then used a punch to make that notch opening.  Some stamping and ephemera really finished it off.
 Another pull out page here shows a close up shot of the kids on the trampoline.  I couldn't decide which one I liked the best so I included both!
 The birthday boy had a lot of fun running around with balloons!
 I even included the invitation right in the book.  Why not??
Finally, I used a Project Life slide out card for fun touch of my selfie with the birthday boy!

I really love how this mini turned out - it's as fun as the day itself!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

More Catch Up...

 Play, yes they do!  I have a few more layouts that I made over the past two months that I wanted to share.  The top one is the boys, just taking a break from what they do best - play!  This layout is using mostly Heidi Swapp Mixed Company. 
 Although I created a fun mini with my Mother's Day pics, I still wanted to play around a bit and make a special "big" page of that day with my kiddos.  I used a mixture of Heidi Swapp Hello Today and dreamy, with a Project life card or two thrown in.  I also received some artwork that day from the boys that I slipped into the next page of the binder - a better place to keep it and cherish it than just laying around the house!
And I decided to go back to some winter pictures as I felt the cool air begin to blow around these parts to remind myself that we did have some fun during that long, long, long, longest of winters.  I look forward to more snow filled fun this year.  I used the Mixed Company line again here and painted on some color shine in various colors so the background was not too plain.  I like white space.  But I just always seem to fill it up!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Dreamy Layout

I'm not exactly sure why but I have yet to make a layout with Heidi Swapp's Dreamy line.  Well, the urge hit me and so I grabbed a recent photo and went to work.
I also used some wood veneer letters from Studio Calico and the "adore" from the project life gold value kit.  Seems I can just never leave a plain paper plain.  I used a shape punch in white card stock and made a stencil.  Then I dabbed Studio Calico's Color Theory acrylic paint in mint on in the sextagon shape.  It's subtle but added a great little layer.  Some more mist, stamps, and those cute little gold chipboard embellishments just really added to the loving feel of the page.

See, I have nicknames for my kids.  Pretty sure most moms do.  Dimples and Curly-Q.  They think the names are fun.  They describe the most noticed feature on both of them and I want them to feel proud about the unique gifts God gave them.  Ayden has the best smile.  And he smiles a lot. It's complete with these adorable dimples on either side, and it kinda knocks people off their feet a bit to see that flashed at them.  And Owen, well, those wild curls are the best.   It's almost like his silly personality is just so big that it had to spill out the top of his head. Well, anyhow, I love how this page will let me remember this time with our two adorable blessings!