Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Let's Talk Titles

One of my biggest scrappy pet peeves is when I don't have enough letters to spell the title I want to make. There just never seem to be enough vowels, s's, r's, and t's. And I always end up with a bunch of q's, z's, and x's.

This happened to me when I was planning a layout for the September gallery. I had in mind a topic I wanted to scrap--I was going to journal about what it was like growing up in apartments--and had in mind the title "Apartment Life." Well, naturally, I was out of e's and didn't have enough t's. I stared at the remaining letters, willing my brain to think of an alternate title, but ended up frustrated.

That's when I turned to A2ZWordFinder. This nifty word generator, meant to help Scrabble fanatics, is the perfect solution for scrappers with leftover letters. I searched for a bunch of different word generators, but many of them limit the number of letters you can input. A2ZWordfinder doesn't seem to have a limit.

So in input my leftover letters and out came a gazillion words. "Boxy" was one of those words, and it turned out to be the perfect word and drove the angle of my journaling. I think this title is SO much more interesting than the one I had originally wanted to use. Here's my layout:

You might remember this image I shared in my July 24 blog post. I used it to inspire my layout.

I know there are other solutions to the dilemma of not having enough letters, like mixing up the title font, but the next time you're stuck with a handful of letters that don't match the title you have in mind, give the word generator a try. You might end up with a surprisingly perfect title!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Simple Math.

One Shadowbox filled with Silly Bandz...
Plus one cute picture...
Equals my new favorite piece of artwork in our home.

I wasn't lying when I said I was obsessed with Shadowboxing now...
Happy Monday to you!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Reflecting on This Summer

You may recall my earlier post on this mini that I started at the beginning of summer (inspired by the one and only, Ali Edwards)...
As we enter the last week of summer, I wanted to show how simple and basic this mini was to do...

I kept the journaling very short and simple. Most of it is contained on these pre-printed pages, using the bullet format. I also included a few tags with info on them throughout the book...

I tried to include a lot of everyday moments, as well as special occasions.

This summer has been simply fantastic. I'm really kind of sad to see it go. I have been reminding myself that there is something wonderful with every season though, and I'm fortunate enough to live in an area that experiences those changes. I do love that.

Looking forward to spending this last week finishing up this book...and adding a few more pics to my new favorite mini.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Peach Cobbler

Tried this for the first time ever today. Had to do something now that the kids are back in school. The family gave it a big thumb's up, so here goes...
Peach Cobber

1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup self-rising flour
3/4 cup milk
1 (29 ounce) can sliced peaches in light syrup (*or 3 cups of fresh peaches and 1/4 cup apple juice)
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place butter in a deep 2 quart baking dish and place in oven to melt.
2.In a medium bowl, mix sugar and flour. Stir in milk, a little at a time, until wholly incorporated. Pour carefully over melted butter in dish. Spoon peaches and syrup over batter.
3.Bake in preheated oven 35 to 45 minutes, until crust is puffed and golden. Note: The crust rises to the top when it bakes!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back to School

Sometimes it's hard to let summer fade away...after one very busy summer, this mom is so ready for the kiddos to go back to school. Our family needs the regularity of that school year schedule.

Here are some great ideas for sending your kids back to school in style...

I still remember covering my textbooks in grocery bags the first night of school. These covers by Book City Jackets cover your books in style.

Protective Blanket Book Covers

Or make some cool felt book blankets! Directions here.

Give your loved one cute, handwritten lunch bag notes. Free PDF download from Thig and Thistle here.

or decorate the bags with free printable stickers from Martha Stewart.

free + cool bookplates from Martha too.

or another by the amazing Helen Dardik?

I'm sure you will be taking lots and lots of first day photos, how about some really cool school themed paper to scrapbook with?
Alphabet Blocks
Show and Tell by WeRMemoryKeepers

and a cute font to journal with?

Download Learning Curve here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Favorite Photo of 2010

Ya'll know I love to take pictures. And I take a lot of them. Once in a while I get one that makes my heart skip a beat. This one did it for me...

My husband and I have a tradition of spending the last day of summer (the day before the start of school) doing something together that is fun. This year, we went out with a bang and celebrated for two days--woo hoo!

These are our three cheeseball kiddos. Believe it or not, I didn't see this shot coming. Our daughter is a total poser and she called my name. I turned around, and snapped three shots in a row. (Set your DSLR cameras up to do this--especially if you have a family of blinkers like us!) This was the third shot. Makes me weak in the knees. Perfectly imperfect--half forced/half natural smiles. A wonderful way to end the summer up at the lake...

That ever happen to you? A killer picture without really trying? Like the stars fall into alignment and the clouds part and angels sing. Happiness!! Sometimes I try so hard, it doesn't work. Then lo and behold...whee!!

I've received a ton of email about the bulletin board and a final pic of it. You can check it out on our facebook page here. (And if you're not a fan, be sure to join us!) I hung it with paneling nails and it did the trick!

Enjoy your Wednesday, friends...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Turning a Blog Post into a Layout

Remember this post about summer a while back?  I now have a scrapbook page that documents this memory using the September kit!  Here is a scrapbooking tip from me: I keep a private blog where I document my daily life, and some of these posts get turned into scrapbook pages.  I think of my private blog content as ready-made journaling.  Just like in this case, I took the writing from the post on WIP blog and made a few changes and hand wrote it onto my page.

The brown gingham fabric tape is from the August WIP kit. I thought it matched this kit seamlessly! In the close up, you can see that I punched out the butterflies into circles and inked the edges of the circle with distress ink.  I then used 3-d adhesive to pop them out.  I also quite love the curved title around the butterfly chipboard embellishment.  They were the perfect size for each other! 

That wraps up a post and off to finish my other WIP projects!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hello, Nancy!

You might remember Nancy Damiano (our guest designer last month for WIP Kits). You'll be seeing a lot more of her work around here, and on a regular basis, too! Please help me welcome her to our Work in Progress Design Team. Can't wait to see what she creates with the September kit!!

Welcome aboard, Nancy!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Back to School Bulletin Board

I had this idea for a "Welcome Back" bulletin board for the school. My wheels started turning when I saw this awesome wreath...and I took it from there...

I went to our local craft store (Pat Catan's) and purchased solid wood 12" letters and painted each one a differnet color. I wanted to keep it bright and gender neutral, so I stuck with primary colors.

Then I hit the school supply section. Thankfully, I had extra glue sticks in my stash at home (with 3 in school, you have to keep stock...)
Took my hot glue gun and went to town...
I used what I had. It wasn't nearly as expensive as you'd think! The whole project cost under $25...
For this one, I cut up notebook paper and rolled it around a pencil and glued the end shut. I then took a MM spiral from one of their journaling notebooks, and hot glued it around the center.

This O is what started it all. It only took 42 crayons!
I wanted to use my giant pair of scissors for this...but I couldn't get it to stick. Mine are metal and it was too heavy. So the foam pair I picked up did the trick.

Give it a shot and do one for your school! Fingers crossed that the kids will love it when they walk in next week...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Who says

money doesn't grow on trees?

For Zach's 16th birthday my sister made him this adorable money tree. They cemented the branch into the coffee pot and wired the money onto each branch.
I loved the idea so much I decided to embellish it and make it for my daughter's boyfriends birthday.
I added quotes to the branches with sayings like;
"The mint made it first its up to you to make it last"
"The art is not in making money but keeping it"
"The best way to double your money is to fold it over and put it in your pocket"
and then of course added some 100 grand bars to the bottom, along with a few dollars that had already fallen from the branches.