Thursday, December 30, 2010

The End

The End of Brown Christmas . . . it's snowing!  'Course it's also 20 degrees, but I'm not going anywhere.  Plus, did I mention it's SNOWING!!!  Soft, fat, floaty, pristine white flakes.  Ahhhh. . . .

The End of the Christmas Season - well almost.  We celebrate until the Epiphany on the 6th. 

Definitely The End of 2010, which went way to stinkin' fast.  But we'll end it nicely, in our traditional Surf 'n Turf fashion.

Following you'll see snippets of "The End" of this holiday season for us. . .

The End of Dear Husband's desire to be reunited with the "one that got away."  His college love.  His Challenger.  I rented him one for Christmas and he, and his brothers while they were here, loved every high flying mile of it.  (Yes, that is what it looked like here in Colorado - Sunny and Brown - on Christmas Eve . . . What up?)

The End of waiting.  "It's Christmas boys!" (Mine are in the hats)  "Hey, I said it's Christmas Eve!"  Hello?  Okay maybe when we're done singing and you can actually touch the presents under the tree.

The End of my waistline as I currently know it. Cookie Bake and Exchange 2010. (and this is all I could fit in the frame, it's certainly not all there was.)

 The End of those seen here who are responsible for the devilish delights seen the previous photo. 

The End of asking for a train under the tree.

The End of clean- what was the mother of this child thinking anyway?

The End of "NO! DON'T TOUCH THAT!"

The End of "My Life as a Social Outcast Because I Don't Have a Phone." 

The End of present opening - time for a nap.  Or coffee.  Take your pick.

psst. . did I mention it's snowing?!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Blog-fading? No, Christmas Overdose

Did you think I'd left for good?  It felt like it.  Unfortunately, it just got too chaotic to get in a post during the hectic weeks leading up to Christmas, even though that was not my intention.  I'm sure for most of you, you totally get that.  For those of you who shop, cook, bake, decorate and wrap well before the holiday arrives, I might as well be speaking Gaelic (I'm part Irish, so that reference works).

We enjoyed family in town for the holidays, good food, great gifts and an enjoyable, though much to quick, time to celebrate.  I'll share photos in another post, later.

I managed to keep up on the December Daily challenge this year, with the help of a class I'm taking from Shimelle that has provided some great prompts for journaling and photos.  Did I get my album done?  Nope.  Am I worried about it.  Nope.  Will it get done?  For sure.  Before next Christmas?  One can only hope.

Today is about getting back into the swing of things.  And the first thing on that list is sharing some sneaks of January's kits.  This month, well January, Apron Strings is pleased to have Patricia Moussatche sharing some projects using the Smaller than a Breadbox kit.  You can see more of Patricia's great work on her blog HERE.  Check out her first project, a layout, using the My Mind's Eye Fine and Dandy line.  You'll see more of her great work during the month.

I'll get back to challenges after the first of the year.  I have some fun things in mind for the blog, so stay tuned to it and 2011 will be your best year yet!

Also, look for a blog hop the first of the year to announce the 2011 Design Team.

Happy Tuesday - off to scrounge up something for dinner.  Yeah, cooking kinda took a back seat too.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Chirstmas!!

My absence has been unintended, but given the time of year, hopefully forgivable.  Amazon was not my friend; I apparently waited too long.  So Power Shopping became my M.O.  And it worked.  I finished in a day and a half, with the exception of one gift I need to grab tomorrow - hopefully with a great reaction from the receiver because I'm super psyched about it (will fill you in on the results, but only if they're good.)

I'm ticking along with Ali and her December Daily, in conjunction with Shimelle's Journaling Christmas class, which is giving me great journaling prompts and photo ops I may not have typically thought of.  Album?  No.  No album.  My annual Cookie Bake/Exchange was this afternoon and it was a banner year of recipes to share (photos later.)  So many things to chat about, but it's the holidays and holidays are for breaks.  So, even though this week was a major break, this is an intentional break.

I just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year.  I hope your tables are filled with delicious food, your homes filled with laughter, a camera with a battery that is fully charged and a memory stick that is empty.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I'm Here and I'm Unprepared

You know, it would have been nice if someone warned me that Christmas was coming.  Said, "Hey, big holiday on the horizon!"  But no.  Nobody did.  So I'm left running around, frantic, hair-on-fire . . . so even though I thought often of the blog this week, I just was never able to settle down long enough to get on here.  You'd think with the crazed running around something would have been accomplished, but no. . .not really.

I am again participating in the December Daily on Ali Edwards' blog.  I did this last year and it was so fun.  It's even more fun to look at the album from last year.  I know!  My album was actually done BEFORE I started the project last year.  You can see my album for this year on the December 2nd photo below.  Ah, yeah, it's not completed . . . or even started. . .but you'll see my photos so far for this year are coming along. 
1)  Abbott, our lovely elf from the North Pole is visiting once again this year.  He was warned to behave, and so far has.  Sort of.  2)  My December Daily albu. .er. . .kit.  3)  Oranges, clementine, Cuties, call them what you will, if the 2 y.o. could eat them every day he would.  And if we have them in the house, he does.  He's even learned to peel them.  4)  Bob Bell JV Basketball Champion from last weekend's tournament and his over-exuberant teen-sister (gotta just love the mood swings!  Really.  You have to or they'll just make you insane.)

5)  Chocolate covered cherries.  Need I say more?  They are a beacon of memories for this time of year for me.  My father always had a box in his stocking on Christmas morning.  6)  St. Nick's day - this is usually a pajama photo, but we opened gifts just before taking off for school and no pajamas made me sad.  7)  Have I ever mentioned what a lovely man St. Nick is.  He brings us things that need to be shared (and new pajamas but we don't share those) - to help us remember the reason for the season.  And this year he brought us a donut maker.  That man knows the way to an overworked mommy's heart!  8)  The two year old loves to cook.  If you have sugar, eggs and a spoon, he's there.  This night nobody was cooking, so he decided to do it himself - a pack of Kook-aid a spoon and a bowl.  No sugar.  A lot of stirring and then the obligatory tasting. . .ah yeah.

9)  These luscious little gems are produced from the new donut maker.  All I can say, besides Yum, is it's a good thing they are smallish, makes justifying eating 10 easier, less guilt. 

I'm sure I had a week's worth of stuff to fill you in on, but that's the gist of it.  Billing and shipping, and apparently the Christmas season, are in full swing, so I'll keep it at this for now.  OOOHHH, there is a new design team ready to go in January - keep your eyes open for a blog hop to introduce them all!

Besides a weekend filled with basketball, I have decorating plans and I think Amazon will be my new best friend this weekend.

Have a great weekend.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday - It Was About Me!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving - ate the good stuff, enjoyed family, weren't disappointed by the football games and if you were a Black Friday shopper, weren't trampled by other enthusiastic shoppers.

Here we enjoyed dinner with my side of the family this year - eating all the traditional foods I remember growing up - and really, isn't that half the holiday?  The rest of our Thanksgiving weekend was spent doing nothing.  We sat around, which for us is a rarity.  We watched some TV.  We got out of the house once or twice.  But we were pretty much your couch-potato family.  It was AWESOME!

I was also bound and determined to play.  I was telling one of the Sous Chefs that if I had to drive to the park and scrapbook in the back of my car, that's what I'd do.  Luckily, it didn't come to that and I was able to create the layouts below.

Now, hold on to your socks - for some of you it will require strapping yourselves to your chairs, or if it's too late, picking yourselves up off the floor once you come to, because. . .yes. . .your eyes are not deceiving you. . .I made cards!  Not one, but two, and note:  They are cards using scraps and they are cards using stamps!!  I know!  Stamps.  Cards.  Scraps.  Me.  Those words don't typically work together in a sentence.

The unfortunate side effect of such bliss, such unequalled opportunity to do what I wanted means that I am hard pressed today to want to do anything else.  Hence the fact that as I type up this post, my 2 y.o. is doing the vacuuming.  His choice, but still. . .there's laundry waiting to be sorted, bathrooms starting to yell my name, and the mess from this weekend's creativity that needs to be cleaned up and put away.

I know I have a winner to pick from two weeks ago, since I took off last week, and I'll probably get to that later today or tomorrow.  But so you have something to do, because I trust you've already been to the Apron Strings sale (save at least 30% on your total order - code THANKS10), today's challenge will be short and sweet and inspired by my own craftiness over the weekend (shhh, and a little bit today). . .  Create a layout and then a card or two using up the scraps.

I'm off to try to do something - anything that is on my "should" list.  I mean schools back in, sports are on tap and life continues it's pace with the addition of holiday chaos.

Have a great Monday back.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Whether you are here in the U.S. preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving (and are frantically Googling how to thaw a 20 pound turkey in 30 minutes) or are elsewhere in this world, take a moment today to pause and appreciate all we have and be thankful for it; family, friends (cyber and in-person), home, memories and this wonderful hobby that brings us all together to celebrate, through layouts, all that we have.

Sneaks and Sale

Get your fingers loosened up and your eyes ready to scan all the delicious goodies that you can get starting tomorrow during Apron Strings Black Friday, Cyber Monday, After Thanksgiving Sale.  You'll be able to take 30% off your entire order - so load up on products at 30% off, or apply it to already deliciously discounted items to make your savings even greater.  Time to start stocking up on all types of treats to get you through the long winter months while you're cozily tucked in scrapping away.

Enter code:  THANKS10 at checkout to get your savings.

While you're there, catch a glimpse of the December kits.

Friday, November 19, 2010

5 on Friday

My oldest is an eighth grader this year.  I'm still trying to figure out how we got here so quickly.  I mean eighth grade!  I remember thinking when she entered kindergarten "Where is she going to go for High School?" and that seemed far off.  And now it's upon us.  Last night, as part of the joy that is being a parent of an eighth grader, I needed to create a "Tribute Page" for the school's yearbook.  Outside of the fact the page had to be completed on an 8 1/2 x 11" page (I scrapbook solely in 12x12), that it needed some heartfelt words (so not my thing), that it needed to be clean enough and bright enough and flat enough to scan well into the yearbook (yeah, no pressure there) and I wouldn't be seeing the creation (or the photos) again outside of the image in the yearbook, I managed to get one done. 

What did I learn?  That I can't part with my photos, even if they're duplicates; there's a reason I'm a "scrap 'em all" kind of scrapbooker.  That an 8 1/2 x 11" canvas is just to darn small; this sort of goes along with the scrap 'em all philosophy.  No matter how hard I try and no matter what the end result reads like, heartfelt journaling will probably always feel forced and somewhat corney to me; I don't talk that way so why would writing be any easier.  And finally, that my sweet little baby girl has somehow manged to become an a beautiful young woman right before my eyes.

That's the first scrapbooking I've done in a while - definitely got the fingers all tingly to do more.  And so I shall, later today!  Woohoo.  Hubby is taking the boys to an Avalanche game and it'll be me, and a sister (maybe two) scrappin' away.  Do I have anything planned to work on - heck no.  I don't roll that way either, so it'll be fun to see what gets accomplished.  Outside of that, we have one basketball game and that's it!  That's it!!  I'm not sure I'll know what to do with myself.

So, because I have time and inspiration from working last night, here's your jump-off-point for your next layout.  5 on Friday ingredients are as follows:
  • 2 sheets of cardstock
  • 2 sheets of patterned paper
  • 1 set of stickers
I figured if I could make a layout without bulk, so can you. Remember outside of journaling and a title, the items above are all you can use on your page(s).  Layout links are due Sunday evening to be eligible for the weekly Cookie Drawing.

I haven't decided if I'll post next week or not - if I don't (to my fellow U.S. scrappers) have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Enjoy the food, the family and the time spent together.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sketches on Wed. . .er . . .Thursday

It's been quiet here - relatively speaking.  I just keep plugging away at items on my to-do list and trying to ignore ones that keep adding themselves to it.  It seems to multiply like rabbits!

Either my brain is too occupied with the above growing list, or, oddly I have nothing to say today.  Wow, what are the odds on that?  If you're someone who enjoys my ramblings.  Sorry.  If you're someone who breezes through my posts just to get to the challenges, well, then today's your day!  Enjoy.

Below you'll find a Becky Fleck sketch, it's one she did for Apron Strings a year or so ago.  Did you know she has her new PageMaps 2 book out!  I need to find one for myself.  I have the first and love it, use it, covet it!  Seriously, the little cards in the back are so worth the purchase.

The above sketch, along with your Sundae layout and tomorrow's 5 on Friday are due Sunday evening.

Be on the look out for sales leading up to Black Friday.  It's on the to-do list. . .

Aaannnddd. . .I'm out!  Enjoy your Thursday.

2011 Design Team Search

Good morning, good morning.  I will be posting a sketch challenge later today, so I'm interrupting your weekly challenges to bring you this announcement.  I have a couple openings on the Apron Strings Sous Chef team and am looking to fill them for the 2011 year.

Things to know about the Sous Chefs:
  • Scrapbook kit designers work two months "on" and one month "off."
  • Card kit designers work every other month
  • Scrapbook kit designers are required to make at least 6 to 8 layouts with their kits
  • Card kit designers are required to create at least 6 cards with their kit.
  • Designers are only allowed to use the contents of each kit
  • Designers are required to provide high quality photos or scans of their items
  • Scrapbook kit designers are required to provide tips and one cut list
  • Card kit designers are required to provide cut list/instructions for each of their cards.
  • You get the kit you're designing with for free, I usually include Side Dish items to play with, plus an additional discount to use for the year on the Apron Strings website.
If you are interested email me at with examples of your layouts and/or cards, if you are on any other design teams, your blog address and any other pertinent information.  Deadline to have your items to me is Monday November 29th.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday's Sundae

Here are your ingredients based on your selections yesterday.  Your layout needs to include these items, not be limited to them like 5 on  Fridays.  So just incorporate.

  • Chocolate Ice Cream =  Color cardstock of your choice
  • Vanilla Ice Cream  = Neutral cardstock - brown, kraft, white or black
  • Hot Fudge = Epoxy Embellishment
  • Caramel Sauce = Ribbon
  • Strawberry Syrup = Frame 
  • Pineapple Syrup = Acrylic Embellishment
  • Cherry Syrup = Stickers
  • Bananas = Brads
  • Marshmallow Cream = Rub-ons
  • Whipped Cream = Fabric or Felt Embellishment
  • Cherries = Buttons
  • Chopped Nuts = Chipboard
  • Sprinkles = Jewels
This layout is due Sunday evening to be eligible for the Cookie drawing.

Short and sweet today - I have two 2 y.o.'s wandering around my family room, trying to gain "rights" to the Mickey Mouse Club House. 

Have a great Tuesday and enjoy building those Sundaes!  I can't wait to see them.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Challenge

Where to start today - weekend recap?  Our 10 y.o.'s basketball team took 2nd place (nowadays called "Consolation Champions"   What is that?  Just call it 2nd place!)

DH and I attended the Booster Club's Crystal Ball.  It was a chance to dress up and act like grown-ups.  We could have won the $10,000 reverse raffle if they hadn't called us out in the first round.  We had a very nice time nonetheless.  It's always an interesting place to people watch.  These are the parents you stand around with waiting for school to let out, have your mommy-chats with and watch parents or couple interact with their kids rather than each other.  To see some of them . . . ah . . . cut-loose shall we say, is always fun.

Last week's winner for the weekly challenges is:  Kristin Perez!!  Congrats Kristin, I'll get something out to you.

Now on to today's challenge - we're gonna build a Sundae.  Yum.  Here's how it works.  Below you'll find ingredients to build a Sundae.  Select at least 4 items to build your Sundae from the list, leave a comment on your selections and tomorrow I'll post the "key" to what each of the ingredients is in scrapbook supply terms:
  • Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Hot Fudge
  • Caramel Sauce
  • Strawberry Syrup
  • Pineapple Syrup
  • Cherry Syrup
  • Bananas
  • Marshmallow Cream
  • Whipped Cream
  • Cherries
  • Chopped Nuts
  • Sprinkles
So, for today, simply pick four or five of the items and tune in tomorrow to find out how those items translate into what you'll need to use on your layout. 

Dang, that made me hungry.  Have a great Monday.

Friday, November 12, 2010

5 on Friday

Deanna, yes it feels great to walk by that room and see unencumbered to the window, but you're right. . .the chaos starts over tomorrow.

We woke up yesterday to our first snowfall, in the Denver area anyway, the mountains have been getting snow for a few weeks now.  A couple inches was enough to get the kids excited.  Me, too actually.  Winter is my second favorite season, but with a few leaves still clinging to the trees and the minuscule color still to be found in patches, I'll suck out the joy I find in autumn until that last leaf is gone.  And then I'll fully embrace the winter.

Kids are off school today, so it's been fairly relaxing having them home.  On the one hand it means less running, on the other more there is a little more chaos and noise.  But I'm one child down as well, and it seems when that happens, there's less bickering; doesn't matter which child, remove any one and the fighting stops.  Weird.

We do have a rather full weekend, so having today is nice.  We have a basketball tourney over the next couple days for the 10 y.o., the 13 y.o. has a birthday party (boy/girl), the adults get to attend the Crystal Ball  and the kids are going to the Rapids quarter-final soccer game - that should be cool for them.  Frigid with snow, but fun.

And for you?  Well you get to start your weekend with today's 5 on Friday.
  • 1 sheet of cardstock (two sheets if you are doing a 2-page)
  • 1 sheet of stickers
  • 1 set of buttons
  • 1 length of ribbon
  • 1 set of diecuts
Outside of the ingredients listed above, you can only have journaling and a title - otherwise you're limited to "the list."  Yes, I know.  There is no patterned paper.  Have this and the other challenges up by Sunday evening get your chance to win a Treat.

Alrighty then, ya'll have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sketch Day

Cleans up nice doesn't it?  Had I been home at all yesterday, you'd have seen it then.  Ahhhh!  I think I need curtains in there, though I've thought that for years.  Or at least whenever it's actually this clean.  Oh, Target?

Given my absence from home all day yesterday I'm up to my neck in catch-up work.  So outside of showing you my clean laundry-is-done room, you get today's sketch.  Nuts About Sketches, besides having great sketches, I love that they're 2-pages and multi-photo.  Nice.  And her design team is great - you can't miss.

This, along with any others this week, is due Sunday evening.

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Croptoberfest Final Winners

Okay, looks like I can see all the posts for the last week of Croptoberfest, since I couldn't do that before I took my "break" last week.  I have the final weekly winner and then the Croptoberfest Grand Prize winner. 

First the winner of the final week of Croptoberfest is:  Kailyn

And the Grand Croptoberfest Prize goes to. . . . Patchi!!

Congrats to both ladies and if you  haven't looked over any of the layouts from the challenges. . .Do!  They're great.  I really enjoyed the "new technique" ones.  Great job on all of them!

Monday's Piles, Tuesday's Inspiration

"Kids, bring down your clothes.  It won't be my fault if you have no clothes for school on Monday morning!"  This has become the standard call every Saturday.  And every Sunday this is what greets me in the laundry room.  This week was a good one, they actually made it past the threshold of the door - usually I have to be a mountain climber to even make it in the room.
Yes, it's hideous (rivals my "studio").  And yes, it's embarrassing to show you this side of my life.  But it's laundry.  It's not supposed to be pretty.

But 45 minutes later it looks like this.  To the untrained eye, I'm sure you're thinking - "What the. . ?  It's the same!  Maybe slightly different."  You would be correct, but laundry is now sorted and the tops of the machines can actually be seen.  The piles of magazines have been boxed and are awaiting the recycle pick-up/drop-off.  This mess, I can work in this mess.

I only do laundry once a week, usually takes me two days thanks to a school with uniforms and sports with uniforms and clothes that get changed into after either of the uniforms.  If you are unlucky enough not to hear my call, or ignore my call and miss this cycle?  Bummer for you.  I like to see a laundry room floor in between my washing days.  It would make me crazy to see this all week, every week.

And so comes today's inspiration.  Our scrap spaces have piles; piles of paper, piles of ribbon, piles of buttons - or maybe it would if we actually cleared our space into piles.  Perhaps, now it's just a spread out mess, similar to photo one above.  Today, create a layout (1 or 2-page) drawing only from the piles on your desk.  If you need a full sheet(s) of cardstock for a base, that's fine, but the rest of the layout uses only what's already out on your desk.  If you're lucky enough to actually clear your space after working - you're probably the type who keeps her scraps.  Go for the scraps.

Post your layout by Sunday evening for a shot at a Thanksgiving Cookie.  I'll share the clean version of my laundry room later.  Like my studio space, it's never perfectly clean, but I enjoy the clear line-of-vision and the knowledge that something's been completed.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tuesday Stuff

Well, another Halloween is behind us.  Time to strip away the Halloween-flavored decor and leave behind just the fall stuff.  And as I figured, the mad dash for costumes ended as predicted - everything came together.  Even my toddler wore his ears and tail once he was on the trail 'o candy.  It was crazy-nice weather for us here - mid-60's at treating time, no snow, no rain, no wind.  The kids loved it.  It was also the first year where the kids didn't go out as a group.  DH took the three boys around our street, then came home with Matt, while the other two took off on their own, coming home only briefly to off-load accessories they didn't want to carry anymore.  Kallene was with a couple friends in another neighborhood trick-or-treating there, and I would suppose, doing things that are best left unthought of and unknown.

Earlier in the day there was a pumpkin carving party which resulted in three additional pumpkins to sit on the front steps;  Blue's Clues, a Graveyard, the Hulk (who was more shrunken after a week sitting carved), a  scary face and a Vampire/Joker looking face.  All carved by the kids.

What eventually left for trick-or-treating was a Greek Goddess (without her laurel-leaf headpiece), a lion (with his tail and ears), a very beat-up yet victorious soccer player (you should see the bruises and bandages) and a WWII Army-man.

They all came home with enough candy to last well into next year so I'm sure they won't miss a few pieces here and there.

A super shout out to Sous Chef Jennifer H. whose 2-page layout appears with this month's PageMaps examples.  Find it HERE.  Way to go Jennifer!!

Apron Strings is the Scrapper of the Month sponsor over at Colorful Creations - HERE - they have a ton of super fun challenges to choose from.  Go, play and get the chance to win!

Hmmm. . . I was hoping to pick the last winner of Croptoberfest, but something's up with Blogger, and InLinkz is down, so maybe later.  I am taking a break from challenges this week - so enjoy and keep scrapping.