Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Monday, No Wait, Tuesday

Happy day after Memorial Day.  Hope you had a nice weekend and that the weather treated you well.  Here we enjoyed seven soccer games over four days, under mostly sunny skies.  In the end neither boys' team made it to championship rounds (though I hear my niece and her team did - and won!  Go Katie!)  They played well though - with the 12 y.o. netting a goal!  And the 10 y.o. with an assist!  Yeah boys!  The silver lining to not making championships is we had a day of down time that we took full advantage of in doing. . .NOTHING.  Well, almost.  The boys mowed a couple lawns and DH did a little spot carpet cleaning - you know, new puppy thing and all.  I made ribs, fluff and potato salad in true summer fashion.  I even managed to get down to my space to sort out a drawer full of paper. 

Holy moly, paper I had totally spaced out having - some I didn't even recognize.  Sad.  Loose stuff.  Kit stuff.  Cardstock in colors I didn't use then and don't use now.  And hello, anyone remember vellum?  I'm guessing the stash I have is a QVC purchase.  The drawer is now empty and I have stacks - cardstock, stuff I'm thinking of keeping, stuff that is going and then the kits - not sure what to do with them.  I need to return to the scene of the crime and get it cleaned up.

I also found the time to do this:

I really, really wanted to do more, but just didn't happen.  However, I used another sketch from Lisa Day's 28 Sketches class at Big Picture and a challenge from LOAD - something about journaling the hard stuff.  This layout doesn't fit that subject, but with LOAD challenges, that's okay.

Now, check out this totally cute card, created with scraps from the October Afternoon line in the May Smaller than a Breadbox kit.  This is the final project from this month's Guest Designer, Wendi Robinson - and like her card says "Thanx" Wendi for a great month filled with wonderful examples and inspiration.  Follow Wendi at her blog HERE.

I'm off to rotate laundry, get some lunch and head back to my focus for the day - my studio space.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Inspiration

Ah it's the unofficial start to summer with Memorial Day this weekend.  We'll see how the weather holds here and how much free time we have between games.  I hope there's BBQ and baked goodies in ya'lls plans this weekend.

While you're waiting for that strawberry cake to bake-up, check out Wendi Robinson's layout using the Sassafras Lass portion of this month's Smaller than a Breadbox kit and the PageMaps sketch included with this month's kits.  You can see in the close up shot below that she added rhinestones to the paper to add some dimension (I personally like the "crinkled" ribbon - FUN).  If you've loved Wendi's work, and how could you not?  Go check out her blog HERE.  Oh, and did you note, she not only used rhinestones on her son's layout, but has flowers and pink! And it works perfectly!

I'm off to pick up kids who have a half day and get ready for another soccer game and hopefully a little down time.

Go, BBQ and have a great weekend!  Don't forget your camera.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thursday Already?

I'm really not sure where this week has gone - crazy fast, pseudo busy - all those little things that don't seem to take up much calendar space, but are spaced just right to take up your day and before you know it the day is gone.

Last weekend was soccer-free, we hardly knew what to do with ourselves.  We sort of wandered around in a daze, with a lack of focus tossed in for good measure and ended up doing mostly nothing.  I did manage to do this. . .

I combined one of the sketches from the class 28 Days of Sketches by Lisa Day over at Big Picture and then a May LOAD challenge.  The sketch is pretty much verbatim - needed to do that to try and get past this creative bump and then the challenge was about using embellies, trendy ones - which I interpreted to mean JUST USE THEM, wuss.  Embellies are my achilles heel - just struggle with using them in any great amount or variety (though in my head I use a ton.  Perfectly.)  So this was a stretch for me, sad as it is - five blooms and five flower brads (with brad centers, I might add) and one sticker - geez.  I know, you can laugh.  I was pretty psyched about my visual triangle that happened without me really trying, with the orange bowling balls in the pictures.  This layout brings my grand total for the month to . . .drum roll. . .ONE!  Though if any of the projects I helped with for the kids counts, then I'm a little higher.

Well, I've got one almost-graduated 8th grader home in full slug mode, the toddler always running on "go" and have to get ready to serve hot lunch, the last of the year.  We've also got two soccer tournaments this weekend.  Naturally, one is at one complex and the other is spread out over three complexes all over the Denver Metro area.  Luckily in the seven scheduled games we have only one game conflict between the two boys and then one game that is now at the same time as my daughter's graduation Mass - so her brother will miss that, but make the reception.  We lucked out on the schedules this time.  Hopefully, we'll escape the storms that roll through here about game time.

Speaking of storms, my thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the horrid storms that have literally blown through the country this week:  Joplin, Kansas and Oklahoma.  The images are simply unbelievable.  We have family in the Overland Park area, and while they were only two miles from those tornadoes, they are all well.

Take care!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Creative Spaces

I recently received (okay, totally impulsive pre-order purchased - I don't remember even whipping out my credit card)  Creating Keepsakes special issue "Creative Spaces."  You know, 'cause I'm making such headway in my own space I'm ready for good design inspiration, LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!  I did get it for the inspiration, to see how others make the most of their spaces, storage ideas, etc.  It's a nice publication, arranged by space sizes, with plenty of variety in looks and design.  I have definitely seen some spaces that make me wonder how someone works like that - but you know, much like scrapbooking, it's all about where and how you find inspiration.  I also think some of them look way too clean - I mean who works in there?

I've been leisurely flipping through the issue over my morning coffees so it's been a nice way to window shop.  I'm about halfway through and haven't even hit the mega-spaces yet.  I'm folding corners for things I like, but there isn't a lot of I-wish-I-had-that-envy (a surprise). . . but like I said, I haven't hit the ginormous-spaces yet.  Another surprise, it has made me look at my own stash, not just my space, in a a different way. 

I always think I have a lot of stuff.  A lot.  Especially with it spilling out, and dripping all over its inefficient storage.  But I'm semi-relieved to see that I don't.  I'm actually on the smallish-side, well, my stash is, not me personally.  I think it helps that a huge section, like 90%, of my stash is in kits - which I have a lot of.  A LOT.  As I peruse the spaces of other people I see things like stamps (holy moly, so many stamps), inks, paints, paper (lots o'paper), buttons (good crimeny, tons of buttons), tools, etc.  I'll think to myself, "Cool.  Have that.  Good storage solution."  or more often than not "Have that.  Don't use it."  It's kind of interesting that seeing what other people have, whether they use it or not, makes me think it's okay if I get rid of my like-item.  Like I saw a wall of stamps - seriously, a wall - and I thought I don't need that many and can't even imagine using them.  Just sort of reaffirmed my getting rid of a large portion of my own collection.  No regrets.

I've also been mulling ideas for my own space that I've seen similar ideas in the issue and it's nice to "see" them, even in print, instead of my head.  I can see the set up is like what I was thinking and that it not only looks good, it looks like it'll work!  I can picture things in my head fairly well, though as a scrapbooker, we've all had the "dang, that looked so much better in my head than it does here" moments.

I've enjoyed looking at storage jars that fit the space I envision, color combos, space configuration and even ways of incorporating special or family items into the room - it spurred a collage wall idea to incorporate a few pieces from my childhood into my space and gave me an idea what to do with the deep-inset window sills I have down there.  Makes me wish I had my space dealt with and money to burn, LOL.

Go check out the magazine if you've thought about dealing with your space (they even have one space that's just a desk - so you kitchen table-scrapbookers can find inspiration), if you've thought of renovating your own space, tossing around reorganizing your current work-flow system, are getting a new space or just like to drool over what other people do - you'll probably find something that will help you tame your own area.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Holy Moly - I'm a Winner!

I'm so excited - after a particularly rough start to the day, I got a pick-me-up when I checked the Lawn Fawn blog and found out I had won a stamp set (Admit One) from their reveal week!  So cool.  Outside of Stamps for Life stamps, Lawn Fawn are my new loves.  They're just adorable and the work the design team does, makes them seem usable!  Now let's see if I can use them, meaning sit down and create.  It is, after all, a 2011 goal.

Speaking of which, I am still keeping my goals for this year in mind, and as I've done the last four months, it's time to review them and where I am with them.  This is gonna get ugly - good thing I'm still high on winning a stamp set . . .
  • Eating/Meal Planning - Hmmm. . .I must have been driving on a road with a steep drop off while tired, because I seem to have dozed off and plunged down the embankment; the road seems far above me.  Not sure what happened in April - schedule chaos?  Laziness?  Lack of inspiration?  Not sure.  I cooked at home, though it was more from a box - it was unimaginative and not-so-much healthy.  I am happy that with the times I was out at practices or games I didn't swing through the local  drive-thru for a meal.  Tempted?  Heck yes! I love a greasy burger every now and then.  But I stayed strong.  I came home to eat poorly instead. 
  • Walking - what's that?  I think that about sums it up.
  • Organizing - I did the junk drawer.  Does that count?  I've already spoken of the Pigs that couldn't be bribed to move in downstairs.  And though I keep waiting, there's no magic elves coming to clean it up while I sleep.  Dang it.  I have another charity pick-up scheduled for Monday morning, but that's more about what I pull together for this month, not April.
  • Me Time - Me, who?  Actually, I did finish a book - the first in years.  I'm laughing my way through a second.  But otherwise, I seem to be in a desert - a large, dry, seemingly endless desert.  Where is Bear Grills when I need him?
  • Studio Space - LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL (tear wiping) Sigh.  Ah, ya, we've already discussed this folly.  I looked back at my March review, "April focus. . . " Clearly not.
So let's see in summary, we ate, though not well and that's about it.  I think I'll just cling to my "win" feeling and look forward.  Just a note - this is not discouraging.  Disappointing?  Yes.  Will continue to plug along with determination?  Yep.

Happy (rainy) Thursday,

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Are we crazy or just plain stupid?

You know, 'cause we don't have four kids - two of which are teenagers (okay, in six months there will be two) and one is a toddler; the third well, he's a handful too, but he's a middle child, so you middle kids know all about that.  ya, 'cause it's not the end of school with projects and finals galore.  'Cause one said child isn't graduating from 8th grade and the plethora of activities she has crammed into the next five days.  'Cause it's not the wrap up of soccer for two of the kids.  'Cause I don't run my own business.  'Cause there isn't the regular day-to-day list of chores, projects and meals to deal with.  Heck no, we had to go and do this. . .

Who, to makes life fun, enjoys doing this 

Which makes getting those above mentioned chores accomplished a little more difficult.

So, are we crazy?  Or just plain stupid?

Jury's still out. . . .

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Go Rockies!

Good Luck Charms?  I think so.  Photo Ops?  I think so.  The Rockies game was great.  Had nice seats up the first base side; boys were disappointed when the fly ball fell just two rows in front of us.  Managed to avoid the concessions, other than teaching Matthew how to hail the Cotton-Candy Man, which he continued to do no matter which vendor was walking by.  It was a gorgeous night - mid-40's, light wind, high energy game, THE WIN - it was just fun!  And bonus?  The seven runs earned last night by the Rockies, means Rockies Tacos at Taco Bell tonight!

Enjoy your Tuesday!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday (cough, cough, sniff)

Recovering from a cold - I hate it when viruses don't listen and leave when you tell them to.  They're just so inconsiderate about your schedules.

While the cold made getting around, well just getting up, difficult, it was worth it once I hauled my butt up.  Both my boys finished their regular seasons with a win!!  My 12 y.o. won 3-0, which along with the #1 ranked team's win, put my son's team in 2nd place and thus earned them a move up to the next level for their U13 season!  My 10 y.o.'s win of 3-2, gave them their second win in two seasons!  It's a long time without a win, but it was a great way to finish out the year and head in to tryouts in a few weeks!

My daughter heads into her final week, and finals week, at school.  It's hard to believe her time there is coming to a close.  I remember dropping her off that first day in Kindergarten, in her little purple skirt and pink top (or was it pink skirt and purple top), so excited to be going to school - well, on the outside.  Her hands were clammy - a sure sign she's not as calm as her outward appearance would have you believe.  She was so little then.  (sniff)

Let's have a look at May's Guest Designer, Wendi's work for this week.  Using the October Afternoon portion of the May Smaller than a Breadbox kit, Wendi has created this adorable layout.  Love that she punched out the dots from the Root Beer Barrels paper and stitched them down to embellish her page.  Check out more from Wendi at her blog HERE.

You can also find Apron Strings sponsoring this week's sketch over at Sketch Inspirations.  This week's sketch is a good one, and if the one-photo thing is tricky for you, it's a great size that you can work multiple photos into its space.  Check out what the Sous Chefs did with the sketch while you're over there!

I'm off to do some wrap up stuff - we've got tickets to the Rockies game, though that sounded more exciting before their recent slide out of the win-column.  Maybe we'll be good luck charms ;D  If not, can you say photo-op??

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Oh Yes It Is . . .

. . . .snowing that is.  Yes, it is!  May 11th and it's snowing - I was in shorts on Sunday.  I have too much email.  No eggs.  Forgot to take out bread from the freezer.  Have chicken thawing but no idea what to do with it.  My coffee seems to have disappeared; it's such a downer to go for another sip only to find the cup empty.  Is it Monday?  If not it should be!

But on the bright side there's this great work from Wendi.  The card below she uses her scraps from a layout that I can show you later ;D  See more of Wendi's fantastic work HERE on her blog.

From Wendi:
Step 1: I used the blank orange card from the kit
Step 2: Added all my papers, embellies, sentiment and added some machine stitching
Step 3: Lined the inside of the card
Step 4: Gave the card some texture with a spiral flower

Apron Strings is over at Polka Dot Door Designs blog, and sponsoring their blog hop.  If you haven't been over there, they've had a revamp of their site (super cute) and the hop and associated challenge is great for firing up those crafty-engines.  You have until the 16th to get something submitted over there.  Check it all out HERE.

I'm off to . . . ah . . . too much to choose from I'm sure I'll find something to occupy myself.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Unfocused Friday

Remember these? 
Well, here's how they look today. . .

Ya, I know.  They look, oddly, in the same condition and manner as they did on Tuesday.  And they are.  Still in their boxes.  Still in their developer sleeves.  Still waiting to be happy and living an organized existence.  Much like me - wanting that organized existence.  But hey, I did make enormous in-roads in the basement.  I almost feel peaceful down there - so long as I don't look at my desk area.  That area is scary - like "the blob-living-force" scary.  It's starting to drip over the edges and slide along the vertical surfaces in an effort to pool and spread on the now clean floor.

I'm enjoying an open-window-day, with plenty of lack-of-focus thrown in for good measure.  The breeze is fresh and warm and the yard, while starting to look a little overgrown, is greening up and my lilacs are nearing the "almost-blooming" stage.  Half my family is winging its way straight into Tornado-ville for the weekend (which doesn't mean there isn't soccer - it just mean, it's one kid with two games.)  With them gone, I'm very tempted to spend some daylight hours doing some scrapbooking - catching up on LOAD challenges from the week.  Printing them off and putting them in a stack is hardly the kind of progress I want, or least of all, satisfying.

Really, what is it about actually having time to do some things for yourself and not having the motivation or focus to actually take advantage of that time?????

I'm off to try to do that - focus.

Happy Friday, ya'll!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Spring Tuesday

Matty (the 2 y.o.) loves being outside.  He doesn't care what the weather is like, but he loves, loves it.  Today, he's just exploring - wandering around pulling leaves off bushes, pushing the lawnmower and checking out the east side of the house where all the action usually is.  It's a gorgeous day, so I can understand the attraction - bright blue sky, soft breeze instead of the small-dog-blowing wind we've had.  The mountains have a bright white coating of snow on them that is just dazzling against the sky.  There's soft white Cottonwood cotton floating in the air (I know people with allergies aren't too happy, but it sure looks pretty).  And then there's the scent in the air - it's a sweet vanilla scent from the May Day trees and Lindens that line our street.  I can't wait for my Lilacs to finally bloom.  This is the time of Spring I love.  Love, love, love.

Too bad I won't be enjoying it more than through whatever breeze blows in through the windows.  It's time to head to the pit.  May kits need dealing with and before I can stand being down in the basement, aka studio, it needs cleaning.  Seriously, it's a sty - I think pigs would look at that property and go, "You know, we were looking for something cleaner, but thanks."

Also on the agenda today is turning these:

Into this:

The above are two shipments of photos (2006 and 2007 - I wasn't fully digital yet, so they are just add-ons to my film photos that are already in the boxes).  They need to be turned into nice, neat, chronological categories.  I have a $30 credit that I can't, refuse to, use until I get what I have put away - that and the photos have been sitting on the corner of my desk for three-months too long.  The above cases represent my photos in progress - I won't use the term "backlog," it implies I'm behind and scrapbooking is always a work-in-progress.

What are you working on, scrapbook-wise, these days? 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Monday (sheesh)

Monday, already?  Seems like the weekend just flew by.  Probably due in part because it was a single-parent weekend with DH out of town.  We started off with the final regular season game for my daughter's volleyball team.  They broke their 3-game losing streak with a come-from-behind in their second match and a pretty good romping on the opponents for their third match!  Great way to go into the city tournaments.  Witnessed my 12 y.o. son make the game-winning, and only, goal during his game on Saturday!  Woohoo!!!  The 10 y.o. pulled out a 0-0 tie in their second game of the weekend - which on the surface may seem like nothing, but it's been a very rough season for him and his team.  Very rough!  So coming out with a scoreless tie was a good thing.  My two older boys went out to the Rapids game on Saturday night and enjoyed a 1-1 tie, lots of crazy boy antics (or so I've been told) and a bagful of schwag.  Seriously, don't put free stuff out in front on my 10 y.o.  It's like a piranha attack.

Sunday, after the soccer game, was a lot of overseeing two projects - my daughter's continued work on her Ed Fair project and my son's work on some cake pops for his book report.  Because of that I missed my first assignment in the May LOAD challenges.  :(  So I'm bummed I missed an opportunity for a goodie box, but I will scrapbook this month if I have to do it from the back of my car!!!

A new month means a new Guest Designer.  Welcome, Wendi Robinson.  Here you'll see what Wendi worked up with the Sassafras Lass Ellie's Tale line fro the Smaller than a Breadbox kit.  Love that she gave us a close up of some her detail . . .take a look.

Here's some tips from Wendi:  "One technique that I focused on my page is about highlighting shapes and making them stand out:
  • First and foremost, I inked my square page in black, to add some depth and pop to the edges.
  • Next, I focused on the half circle from the Sassafras paper. I used my sewing machine to add some circles in between the lines, to add more depth to the circle itself.
  • Last, I cut out triangles and made them into a banner. To make the triangles stand out, I used my sharpie pen and doodled triangles within the banner, and then also used the sewing machine to add a banner top.
All of these techniques add to the original shapes that are on the layout itself."

Check out more of Wendi's great work on her blog HERE.

Okay, so I started this post around noon - it is now 9:06 pm so any challenge I was going to give you is going to have to wait - sorry 'bout that.  Will I even be able to get LOAD Challenge #2 done?  I don't know, we'll see.