Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Favorite iPhone Apps this week

Does this look familiar?
My wallet is loaded with preferred customer cards.  Did you know there was an app for those?  Thanks to Tina, I now use Key Ring.  After scanning all your cards, it houses all of your info (and backs them up to your email address for your own security), so you don't have to haul all those cards around.  It is free and you can read more about it here.   LOVE.

Downloaded the Day One app last week, after reading about it on Cathy Zielske's blog.  She's been using it as a took for her Project Life, so I gave it a shot.  Kind of neat when you are in a pinch, or want to remember something your 5 year old said...

Enjoy your day!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Project Life Weekly Topics

Hello Monday!

First off, thank you so much for the kind words on my PL post.  I can't tell you how many people touched me with all the sweet comments--in person on on the computer!  THANK YOU for cheering me on and inspiring me to keep this up for yet another year.  I hope you enjoy the journey with me, and that even if you're not doing a PL project, that somewhere you too will take bits and pieces of it and use it for good somewhere with your own scrappy journey.   It's all good!

I wanted to post a list of the weekly topics I have jotted down for my 2012 Project Life.  While the list is numbered 1-52, please note that this list in in no particular order.  I have a copy of it posted by my computer, and as each topic is covered, I plan on crossing it off my list.  Note too that there are enough open weeks to do "random stuff" here and there, or if I come up with a great idea, say in June or something.  This flexibility also allows for life events, in the occasion that something unexpected comes up.

52 Project Life Weekly Topics:
  1. Around Here.
  2. Us.
  3. Winter Fun
  4. Technology in our Lives
  5. What and Where we Eat
  6. Things we can't live without...
  7. No Photos Week
  8. No Words Week.
  9. Jami--right now
  10. Evan--Right now
  11. Griffin--right now
  12. Sage Advice (Grandparents week)
  13. I Know This Much is True.
  14. TV & Movies we Love
  15. Music we Love
  16. Friends for Life
  17. Taylor's Graduation
  18. First week of School
  19. Last week of School
  20. Trish--week
  21. Chris--week
  22. Where we Shop
  23. What we Wear
  24. Where We Work
  25. Fall Fun
  26. Summer Fun
  27. Springtime Fun
  28. The Boys (Chris & E & G)
  29. The Girls (Me & J)
  30. Our Pets
  31. Where we Live (City & Neighborhood)
  32. Neighbors we Love
  33. Scrappy Girlfriends
  34. Gratitude
  35. Faith & Church & Spirituality
  36. Inlaws
  37. My Parents
  38. What we Drive (cars)
  39. Our Yard
  40. Spring Break
  41. "I Miss..."
  42. Christmas
  43. Thanksgiving
  44. Family Vacation
  45. At Play
  46. Our Home
  47. Politics/Election Week (Nov.)
  48. Open
  49. Open
  50. Open
  51. Open
  52.  Open
(Personal names used are family members--FYI.)
I'll be answering questions in tomorrow's blog post, so if you have any others, please feel free to ask!

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Project Life--My take on it...

By now, you have all seen dozens of versions of Project Life.  They're all over blogs, websites, and of course, Pinterest.  This is my fourth year (yikes!) on PL, so I hope that I can provide some insight on the topic from someone who has done it a while.  Let's hear it for the veterans out there!  Whoop!

Let me state up front--I wasn't going to do it this year.  Back in October, I started to notice that my pages were looking similar, that I was looking for things to photograph, and that I was basically lacking inspiration on any level.  I tend to operate in that manner.  I will be hot and heavy into one project, and the next week, I'm full throttle on to something else.  I will go back and visit projects, reinvent things and such--but with PL, I was getting flat out bored.  I wanted to funnel all the energy that I put into those books into something new and challenging.  So I made the decision to take a break for 2012 and maybe revisit the topic again in a year or so.

What changed my mind?  Two things.  The first was my friend, Jen.  The woman had me worked over before I even knew what hit me.  Gotta love a girlfriend.  How did she do it?  One simple phone call.  "Okay, don't be mad at me, and just listen.  I couldn't decide which Project Life kit to get this year, so I bought three different versions and divided each one of them into three monster kits, so I hope you didn't already get yours."  Hello--no guesswork with what kit to get, no ordering or hassle--I'm feeling the draw.  Add to that another close friend who was going to try it for the first time--and so the three of us would support one another.  Did it hurt that those two said friends own Cameos and are total techies who were willing to help me have fun and create cool new things?  Do you see where this is headed?  Second thing--and this is a biggie here folks--looking back at my other finished versions.  Honest and truly.  I can't fully describe how thankful I am that I have these books that document the littlest details that are so often overlooked and forgotten.  When I went back and looked at the first year I did this, I had forgotten so much already.  Our kids look so much different now.  Family members have passed.  Neighbors have come and gone.  Interests have changed and evolved.  And it's all right there, in those pages.  That gratitude made me consider moving into another year...

Once I made the decision to invest my time, money and energy into this again, I knew that I would have to do things differently this year for me to be interested and to not fall into a rut.  I had remembered Jamie Pate's version from last year, and how she so beautifully did a weekly theme, and I thought that would be enough to catapult me into starting something fresh and different.  Sure enough, it was.  So with pen in hand, I began to make a list of 52 weekly topics for me to cover in this year's Project Life...

Today, I wanted to share my take on the title page and my first three weeks.  Here is my title page:
I played around with this idea a bit before I got to a place where I was happy with it.  The one thing I wanted to do for sure was to use elements on the title page that would be carried throughout the book this year.  What are those?  Photos of my family.  Bright colors, with no rhyme or reason necessarily.  Punches and die cuts.  Chipboard, labels, and vintage elements.  Twine.  Tiny alphas.  And handwritten elements from each person in our clan.  (Note:  the above white card contains each of our signatures and ages, as a quick reference in years to come.)

Where did I get the "2012" numbers?  I bought wooden letters and covered them in yarn (similar to this project) as a New Year's decoration.  I also thought ahead for next year and bought a "3", so I have the option to recycle the idea for next year.

Week 1--Using Design A & E Page Protectors
I didn't figure out I was doing PL until I was actually into the first week of the new year, so I had to go with just random life stuff the first week.  I am not one of those people who get hung up on chronological stuff--and doing PL for the past few years has really helped me let go of those notions and stressful thoughts.  So I used the photos I had, and went with it.  The left side is the B side to the title page, so I had to go with it.  I mixed black and white with colored pictures, and varied the size of the photos.  The right page is a Design E page--a set of 4 6x6 square pockets.  I simply created 4 6x6 square layouts (using my iPhone Instagram and Camera + apps, paired with the PicFrame app) on my phone, and uploaded them to my computer and then to Costco.  I had all four printed out in one 12x12 layout ($2.99), and simply cut them when I got home.  You'll notice, I only used 3 6x6 layouts on this page.  The other 6x6 will be used on another scrapbook layout.  What did I document?  Sunday breakfasts with my folks.  Crafting project.  A sunset.  The opening of a new McDonald's in our little town.  Snapshots.  Simply, everyday stuff.
Week 2--Design E and Design A Page Protectors
Around Here--Week 2.  This week, my intention was to do more photos of things around our house (as in the bottom left collage.)  Looking back on it, I didn't really accomplish what I set out to do.  But you know what?  I'm good with that.  This is the kind of flexibility that is frankly required for me to make it work for me.  What did I document?  Our son shoveling snow, the forecast, our son coming home from school, a basketball game, our pooch, playing outside, a sweet text from our niece, my husband losing at Nerf Darts, planning upcoming Cavs games, and dinner with friends.  I used one of my favorite October Afternoon papers just because I like it, and made it work.
Week 3--Design A and Design F Page Protectors
Jamison. Week 3.  I knew our daughter was preparing for a big week, so I knew documenting just her for a week would be fun.  It was so much more than I ever expected!!  At twelve, she's got a lot going on.  So I snapped away and tried to give a glimpse of her and where she is right now in this place.  I love how it turned out.  What did I document?  The girl loves clothes--and so I photographed her every morning before school, showing her style and interest in the topic.  A photo of her practicing her clarinet, and a photo of dance practice.  A photo of her texting.  Her holding our dog.  Her first dance performance of the year.  A photo with her bestie.  Her bedroom.  And a new set of braces on her pearly whites.  On one of the fold out 3x4 journaling cards, I wrote all about my feelings for her right now.  On the front of that card, she filled it with tons of her favorite things, in her own handwriting.

Now, there will be weeks where not a lot is going on, for sure.  But one of the reasons I like changing it up with the weekly version for me is that I get to touch on a person or topic a bit more in depth.  That crazy concept has me giddy like a school girl, and I can't wait to document our lives a little differently, using the exact same framework.  How cool is that???
My style.  I take lots and lots of pictures.  I love my iPhone, and like to play with apps and features, and so do my kids.  That almost always results in pairing down photos (I know--crazy, huh?).  I must say, having the iPhone has made me feel more creative in a whole different sense, and hopefully that will help when the boredom sets in.  Because it will. 

Elements used.  Free Printables.  For the love of God and all things holy, I've been a printing fool, using all the freebies out there for Project Life.  Look here if you need any assistance in that department.  And this blog post is an excellent resource for printable cards.  So stinkin' FUN. I'm also ga-ga over die cuts & punches.  Labels.  Vintage elements here and there.  Chipboard.  Small alphas.  Not complicated.  And nothing too bulky so things fit into the protectors nicely.

My outlook?  Excited.  Motivated.  Interested all over again.  Aware of pitfalls and also how to deal with them and move on.  Flexible.  Experienced.  I got this.

I look forward to sharing regular updates with you here on the blog.  I will also be posting a bit more detail in the next coming week.  Feel free to ask any questions you may have--I'll do my best to answer you!

Enjoy your day!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Lego Birthday Party

When my oldest son turned 9, I knew what type of birthday party he'd want. The boy lives for legos, so we went to town...
Okay, so the boys live for Nerf, too.  So the first hour was spent outside shooting one another, and specifically aiming at the 3 girls in the area.  As my son said, "Sometimes a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do, Mom."

I made this banner using a free printable I found over at Pinterest.  SO easy and perfect for the occasion!  I added black chipboard letters that spelled out his name.

We played the Candy Bar game--a favorite in our house.

I found Lego hard candy (yes, they actually interlock) and put them in these colorful containers.
I put the hubs to work, and had him make the cake topper.  His initial and his age.  Not bad, eh?
He wanted one of those weird cakes from Walmart that has cake mixed in with ice cream.  Look, it wasn't my choice--but it did the job!  And it was colorful, so we made it work.

So proud to be his mom.  He was surrounded by friends and family who love him, and the day was great.  I can't believe he's nine...
Thanks for letting me share.  Enjoy your day!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Valentine (or anytime) Treat

Hello! Jamie here to share some scraps, valentines, and a tutorial. Today I want to show you how to use those scraps you have left over from the January kit and put together a treat bag for someone you love.

supplies you will need:
treat bag
paper shreds
heart punched confetti
scraps of pattern paper
border punch
tiny attacher
paper doily
decorative brad
die cut pattern paper~heart
banner trimmed book paper
hot glue

Fill treat bag with chocolates.
Add paper shreds and heart confetti to bag.
Trim scraps of pattern paper to the width of treat bag. Border punch the edge.
Score the top edge in order to fold over top of bag.
Attach pattern paper topper to the top of treat bag with tiny attacher.
Layer paper doily on top of pattern paper topper.
Position paper shreds behind the decorative brad and add to the top of the die cut heart. Attach using hot glue to the center of the doily.
Tuck banner trimmed book paper under brad.
Tie yarn in a bow, and layer on top of the book paper adhering with hot glue.

You could add a sentiment if you wish to the topper as well. I kind of liked how this turned out and kept it simple.


wip siggy

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Happy Year of the Dragon

The Lunar new year was on Monday, and for the Chinese people, it is the year of the Dragon. It's supposed to be a very auspicious year just like the year before and the year after :)  I suppose it makes sense.  What's the point of predicting a year to be less than auspicious, eh?
One thing I do know is that I missed out on a major family feast on New Year's eve for the nth time in my life. In fact, the last time I was in China for the Chinese New Year was 2002! Just check out the food...

As to how I celebrated... I bought a Chinese New Year cake and Second Child and I ate some.  Yeah, it was pretty good, but nothing compared to the feast above, right?  Oh well, maybe next year... yeah right! :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Valentine's mini

I swear its an addiction! It seems I cannot even look at a card kit now without thinking... mini book! I stopped at Trish's the other day to pick up the kit,(I know lucky me!) and knew I had to have that card kit the second I saw the sample board!

The perfect size for "counting the ways" I love my family
and with all the embellishments from the card kit, this baby went together in a snap!

I typed a few "count the ways" sayings for everyone and added them to the pages

I dug out some of my favorite photos

and only using 4 pages of each color paper, I still had all these goodies left over to make some cards with

and the card kit was only $12

Monday, January 23, 2012

Snow Day Craft

I had the pleasure of helping out in my son's kindergarten class last week. We worked on a fun craft project that I wanted to share today. Perfect for those of you out there with snow days, or who simply like to dig in and get messy with your kiddos...
The fun ingredients?  Elmer's Glue and shaving cream!  Mix together two parts shaving cream to one part glue in an extra large bowl.  The shaving cream will not dissolve--it actually keeps its form and dries somewhat hard.  So cool!
Here is Miss Morris, showing us how to do it...
And here is a finished product.  She had cut out pieces parts (hats, noses, arms, and eyes) in baskets, ready to go so the children just had to stick them into the foam.  Their favorite part?  Picking out buttons for their own snowman!
I hope you give it a shot with your little one!  Enjoy your day!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Valentine Garland

I made this conversation heart banner using the February Project Kit (still available here.)
I took each of the chipboard pieces and painted them a bright color.  Next, I used the dark pink foldable as the backing so the words on the hearts would pop out.  I simply glued the cardstock from behind each heart.  Next, I ran a strand of yarn and attached all the hearts in a row.
I went into my stash and then cut several 6" ribbon strips and tied them on to the yarn, in between each heart.  I love how it turned out!  Its new home is in my dining room, right by a candy bar.  The one thing I don't have in a jar?  You guessed it--conversation hearts!  Off to the store...

Enjoy your day!

Friday, January 20, 2012

CHA Wish List

So, in the midst of prepping a house to sell, putting it on the market, selling it, packing, moving to the new house, unpacking, one doesn't have much time to think about getting new scrappy supplies.

I haven't bought a single thing since last June. (Well, except for a couple of packs of Thickers that were 50% off at A.C. Moore--one can never have too manyThickers, I say). Which means I missed all the cool stuff that came out at the last CHA.

I don't actually need anything (and could probably scrap for the rest of my life with what's in my scrap room), but isn't it fun to wish? Plus I still have my birthday money from last September burning a hole in my pocket.

Here are some things I put on my list while scoping out the sneak peeks for the upcoming CHA:

This collection, by Little Yellow Bicycle. The colors make me smile, and I'm a sucker for polka dots.

These papers by My Mind's Eye. Love. Love the colors. Love the patterns. I can see using the tickets and the circle images as embellishments, so they'll go a long way.

How cool are these wood clock faces by Prima? I must have them.

How fun is this October Afternoon collection? Love their stuff.

The colors and patterns in this Teresa Collins collection are so pretty.

And these Tim Holtz stamps are so cool. I want them because I just can never seem to do all those cool, artsy, misty, stampy, techniquey things on my background, and these might do the trick for me.

Love the pretty images in this Cosmo Cricket collection.

And this one, also from Cosmo Cricket, mainly because I'm obsessed with tea.

I love My Mind's Eye. Their collections always have a wonderful assortment, and this one's no exception. Love the mix of neutrals and brights here.

I'm not sure why, but the flying pig on this Graphic 45 paper strikes my fancy. Have no idea what I'd ever use it on, but I want it!

These fun elements by Jenni Bowlin.

And these papers, also by Jenni Bowlin. Love the colors. Love the polka dots.

And because one can never have too many border punches...

So what's on your list?