Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Already?

It doesn't feel like it was much of a weekend, but oh well, here we are back at Monday.  Our weekend was quiet, with our daughter on her Confirmation retreat all weekend and then the older boys were out hunting with DH on Saturday.  Sunday was a mixed day of chores and organizing. 

Last week DH and I took a trip down to Ikea to pick up one of my Christmas presents.  A year ago I was determined to get my scrap space in order. . .and I sorta, kinda got there.  A couple of times.  Of course I'm not speaking of how it looks now.  Anyway, somewhere in the middle of last year I decided that an Ikea Expedit (the eight cube) would be a good addition to my Store-in-Style cubes; cheaper too.  Santa had some Elf Union issues and couldn't bring my Expedit on the sleigh, so we finally treked down there to pick it up.  On Sunday my 13 y.o. and I put it together.  It now stands, mostly full, in the corner. . .and I must say it looks good!  As long as you only look at that corner, and no more than six inches in any direction, it's great!  I did empty out two bins of kits and got them into two baskets on the shelves and in doing so discovered I need to go through my kits.  But don't we all.  I wish I could say those were the only bins of kits I have, but alas, it isn't so.  I have another cube of kits, most of which I believe are used and I've re-kit-ed them.  I have pictures of my progress, unfortunately they're on my phone and I haven't a clue how to get them off.

I do have this lovely layout from Sous Chef Maria Swiatkowski, using the January Smaller than a Breadbox kit (the Fancy Pants line).  It's much more fun to look at anyway.  If I remember correctly, this the the title page for Maria's Project Life album - she's being a rebel and doing her own thing!  You go Maria!

February marks Apron Strings 7th Birthday.  AMAZING!  Be sure to follow the blog for a month of celebration and goodies to go.

Chores, laundry and a scrap-space are calling to me.

Happy Monday,

Friday, January 27, 2012

Last Friday Blue Plate Special

It's the end of January. The Last Friday in January. . .how is that possible already?

Anyway, here in Colorado the weather has been nice (until today) - mid-60's have been the norm and NOT a whole lotta snow (until today.) Our snowiest months are still to come, actually. Buuutttt. . .it is winter and while I love the warmer days, I want snow! I want the fluffy flakes. The swirling winds. Frankly, I want something to cover the huge expanse of brown. Brown trees. Brown lawns. Brown flower beds. Even the streets feel brown. Brown, brown, brown. Ick. I NEED snow, and luckily, today, I'm getting it.  Tomorrow we'll be back to warm and melted away.

Since I'm not getting my snow fix from nature, I'm looking for it in my scrapbooking and playing with photos and papers that remind me of those cozy snow days.

Today, I've rounded up things that make me think of snow - swirly, sparkly, wintry looking things. And I've put them up at BIG savings, for today only.

Whether you've got actual winter weather, or you're wishing for it, today's your day to stock up to scrapbook it!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Next Month It Could be You

Starting with this month's autoshipments, there are new rewards with opportunities for members to win goodies.  Each month will be something different, sometimes for a few lucky members, sometimes for all lucky members.  This month, two members won their choice of a Second Helping of Paper. 

Congratulations to Nena Koenig and Brandi Juntunen who'll get their pick of paper packs shipped with their upcoming kits!

You could be the next lucky winner.  All you have to do is be an autoship member; you know you've been thinking about clicking that button anyway!  Come on. . .just do it.

Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Day Later

So I've had a couple "day later" days recently.

DH's birthday was on Saturday, but we had to celebrate on Sunday because of this guy . . .

Yep, Tim Tebow was in concert . . . er, Brad Paisley that is.  I'm not sure when my 14 y.o. became a Brad Paisley fan, but she has.  Now that she's seen him in concert (her first concert ever), she's over the moon.  Add the surprise appearance of another heart-throb and you have an experience that is out of  this world. . .especially if you're a 14 y.o. girl; a 14 y.o. living in Colorado, home of the Broncos' Tim Tebow.   Double Whamy!

The concert was a surprise gift for her upcoming 15th birthday - enter big-time Bonus Parent Points here.  Now, I've been to concerts.  Loud concerts, at that.  But when Tim Tebow came out on stage, I have never . . EVER. . . heard an eruption of screams like that.  Seriously, I wondered who we were there to see.  Him or Brad Paisley.  I liken it to what it must have been like to be at an early Elvis or Beatles concert.  The screams were deafening.  (I now understand the meaning of that.)  And my daughter. . .holy crap.  She almost fell out of her seat as she flew to her feet, which would have been a long fall given our seats, had her aunt not steadied her.  And the screaming.  The screaming. . .if I think about it, it's still ringing in my head.  She could barely contain herself.  She says she cried and I don't doubt it.  She immediately was texting friends across the arena (who I'm told were also in tears, and snapped the above photo), then telling her father at home (she couldn't get enough exclamation points on that message), and then posting to Facebook as fast as her shaking fingers could go.  If I hadn't seen it, I'd have said you couldn't possibly be talking about MY daughter. 
Super Quadruple Parent Points :D

So, DH's birthday was delayed a day.  Which worked out fine.  Gave me a day to fix a decent dinner, make some scrumptious orange-chocolate cupcakes and round up the kids to make him cards, myself included on that making cards thing.  I know. . .what in the world is going on in the universe that I made a card!  But I did.  Super simple, but it works.

So a challenge for you today . . . see how loud you can scream . . . or better yet, use the colors in the card to inspire your next layout.

Happy Wednesday.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Break Over

I'm on a roll.  Sort of.  Kind of.  I was.  Then I sat down to write this post.  Got side-tracked by Pinterest (which if you Pin, well, then you know.)  Then I needed to clean up today's email.  And well, now, it remains to be seen if I have any get-up-and-go when I'm done.  Frankly, there's much to do, so getting up and going really needs to happen.

But as I said, I'm on a roll.  I have done my Monday chores.  Laundry is rolling right along.  I wrestled the tree, finally, into sheets to be dragged downstairs.  The last of the boxes are downstairs.  Dinner is thawing - thank you Pinterest :)  Now, so long as I don't think about downstairs, it's all good.  When I think of what's been dragged down there and just left, well it makes me want to run away.

Downstairs aside, it's time to be productive again, crafty speaking, that is.  I actually made a card yesterday, for my husband, whose birthday was Saturday.  I know scary!  It turned out well.  I'll get you a picture tomorrow. . .cables are downstairs; remember, the place we're avoiding.  I have the December Daily to assemble.  And I'm participating in the Take 12 at Ella Publishing, so I have January's layout to do.  I have my list. . .here's your jumping off place, a nice Becky Fleck sketch.

And then a little eye candy using the January Smaller than a Breadbox kit the Jillibean papers, by Sous Chef Kristin Perez.

I'm off.  It's time to get up and get rolling again.

Happy Monday.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Little Pre-Weekend Inspiration

It seems like a long time since the word "soccer" or "practice" or "game" showed up in any posting, and dang, it kinda feels nice.  Feels good actually.  Really good.  Yesterday though thoughts of chaotic schedules crept in when I received an update from one of my sons coaches about upcoming conditioning practices.  Ick.  And when I told said son about the schedule, I think he kinda felt the same way.  It'll be interesting to see if this will be his last season.  DH and I have wondered about his enthusiasm toward soccer over the last couple of seasons; it seems to be on a decline.  Whether that's related to burn-out or realizations that possibly playing in high school (he's currently in 7th grade) is going to be a tougher task than he anticipated, I don't know.  I know with as crazy as sports make our schedules, I will miss seeing him play.  I love going to their games - all the other crap that comes with it a sport. . .no so much, but games - yes.  We've always left what our kids participate in, and when they choose to stop, up to the them.  Time will tell, I guess.

Someday, I should really do a layout or two, or 10, about their soccer/sports lives. . .I don't think I've done a sports page about any of the kids since their shin guards actually guarded the majority of their legs, instead of just the shin area.  Sous Chef, Maria's layout, with its bright colors makes me want to pull out some of my daughter's volleyball photos and play with them and these October Afternoon papers, found in the January Smaller than a Breadbox kit.  I love the bright pops of color.

I'm just continuing to tick away at my to-do list.  I feel like I'm getting somewhere, so long as I don't look ahead too much and see how much more there is to do. . .I've learned no looking keeps the panic attacks at bay.  See, there's just no good to come from looking too far ahead.  I try to tell DH this, but he continues to want to be the long-term planner.  Frankly, he can have it, LOL.

Happy Thursday.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Permission. . .Sign #1

My One Little Word for 2012, Permission, has already starting popping up. It's crazy how that happens.

In a recent blog post from Lain Ehmann, she linked the following blog post from Stephanie Howell.  In it Stephanie talks about "blocks" to scrapbooking.  The perfection some of us look for before we give ourselves "permission" to scrapbook, whether that's perfect paper, or the perfect time, or the perfect design, or in this case, the perfect picture.  Perfection is in the eye of the beholder.  Is the photo important to you?  Is there a story behind it?  It shouldn't matter if it fits into the parameters of a "good photo" in terms of crispness, exposure, composition, etc.  What matters is that if it's important, you scrap it no matter what it looks like.  Give yourself permission to use it.  Seriously, who in your family, now or in the future, is going to care if the shot was composed right, or had the proper settings. . .they're not.  They're going to see the story.  The memory.  The people. 

As scrapbookers, we . . . me  . . . are fantastic at throwing up road blocks for actually not participating in our craft.  It's something I've never encountered in any other craft.  Knitters, in my experience, don't not knit because they don't have the perfect yarn, or are busy comparing their skills with others.  They knit because they love it.

Now, I'm pretty good at scrapping pretty much any photo I take, but that doesn't stop me from comparing my shots with others.  I still hesitate when posting my layouts, not just because of the design, but because of the photos . . . especially when I don't think they're "good."  I'm giving myself permission to stop.  Permission to say, "You, know, I'd love to be out of manual mode, but the fact is I'm an auto-girl.  I may never understand an f-stop or depth of field."  I knew this when I asked for cameras with good pre-programed modes.  Why fight it.  That doesn't mean I can't continue to try to understand my camera.  Or that I can't continue to improve on what I see through the lens.  But I do need to stop beating myself up over it.

Thanks to those of you who shared your word and your perspective on One Little Word. I would agree, Jen, taking pictures that don't interest you does make the project more difficult to follow through on.  Your word for this year has more choices for photography and or journaling, as it sounds like it's more exercise related.  Maybe if you're walking or running, you could take your camera along and take pictures of what you see while you're "Moving."  Briel, I love that you're using your word for passwords - that's a great idea.  JLP - love your word. . .I think just smiling, changes your whole demeanor and outlook.  Love your layout about it!

Happy Tuesday.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday a Hodge-Podge

Here in the U.S. we have the federal holiday of Martin Luther King day - offices are closed, no mail delivery, no school.  So how come it doesn't feel like a break?  Work. Work. Work.  I have chores done,  dinner is planned, laundry is going, and I'm doing my darnedest to get the last of the Christmas decorations put away and hauled downstairs, where I expect they'll wait just outside the store room for an undisclosed amount of time.  Now I'm sitting down to catch up on my AS work and my DVR'd shows, as tax season is upon me and I have a ga-gillion things in my head to do.

Just as my day is a hodge-podge of things going on, so too is it here on the blog.  In no particular order, here's what's going on:
  • Former Card Kit Sous Chef Laura Williams had a card published in the October '11 issue of CARDS (publishers of Scrapbook Trends) - where in the product listing Apron Strings got a little mention.  Congrats Laura on a job well done!  If you've got the issue, take a gander.
  • Speaking of Laura, one of her long-lost cards from the December '11 Kit is below.  Just the bright spot for a day that is quickly becoming dreary.  Snow moving in.
  • Apron Strings also got a little mention over at Jillibean Soup's blog (scroll way down and you'll also find a Sous Chef's layout!) - they are showing off their upcoming lines - YUM!  DELISH!  Spring kits at Apron Strings are gonna be exciting!
  • Apron Strings is a new sponsor over at Birthday Sundaes, an awesome card challenge blog.  I know cards are on my list of goals this year (I've signed up for a Big Picture Class to help me achieve that goal.)  If cards are a goal for you too, head over there to look at the amazing examples and entries.  I love snowmen, so the challenge Apron Strings is sponsoring is just up my alley!
  • Finally, are you following Apron Strings on Pinterest?  If you are, there's a today-only coupon for you.  If not, well, go . . . besides the coupon, there's so much to love about Pinterest.  Talk about visual eye candy!

As much as I'd rather play today - it's just not gonna happen.  I'll play vicariously through you all.  Go.

Happy Monday,

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Inspire Me

I'm neck deep in shipping and all the fun that entails.  I'm trying not to think of the list of things to do once shipping has been cleared away.  It's sunny but cold and windy, so the fluffy snow that fell yesterday is blowing around.  I love watching the powder-like snow flying off the rooftops and drifting in land-wave shapes.  It's so glittery too. . .but only from inside.  Being out in it doesn't make me so happy.
So I'm in need of inspiration or maybe just a respit from the nose-to-the-grindstone mentality I've had.  I found it in New Sous Chef, Nancy Longo's layout.  She's using the Bigger than a Breadbox kit, the Basic Grey side.  I just love those little snowmen and the colors of red and that robin's egg blue are just yummy.
I'm hoping to carve out a little time to print off photos for my December Daily and eventually get that put together to share.  The list of to-do's is long and my procrastinating isn't getting them done.

So you, go crop for me and share your creations with me.

Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

One Little Word

I'm a fan and a follower of Ali Edwards (which I'm sure is fairly obvious if you've followed the blog for long) - I enjoy her perspective and the basis for some of my favorite projects are hers.  I'm not the deep thinker that she is, may never be and that's okay, but things I've taken part in, that were spawned from her website have changed my views, or the way I look at things, or just the ability to slow down - even if for a minute.  And, for me, that's the benefit.

Last year I undertook her One Little Word project.  I didn't make an album, or journal about it or even make one layout about.  It was just with me.  My word was Simplicity.  I was semi-successful.  Sort of.  Maybe.  Almost.  The word definitely stuck with me all year long.  It was in my mind as I tackled my other goals for 2011.  It popped up in things I'd read.  Or in things I'd see.  The signs, sometimes literally, were everywhere.  It was something I strove for, sometimes with desperation and sometimes with a quiet acceptance.  Sometimes it seemed totally attainable and sometimes. . .not so much.  But the word was with me all year.

It's funny, I don't pick the words.  I don't look at a list, and close my eyes and point.   I sometimes wonder if I were to look at a list of words, though, if they'd jump out at me, or speak to me.  This year's and last year's were just words that, for lack of a better way, came to me.  They floated in and took root. 

My word for this year is Permission.  I'm sure it will change and morph over the year in terms of its meaning and what I want from it (or what the word ends up wanting from me).  Permission, in all its forms, is a difficult thing for me to give and to receive.  It should be interesting.

Do you have a Little Word for this year?  I'd love to hear what it is.  If you're not familiar with the project go check out Ali's website.  She also has a corresponding class at Big Picture Classes.

Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Have you been?  To Pinterest that is.  Are you a pinning freak?  Or are you totally in the dark about it all?

Well, I was in the dark, even though I requested an invite and set up an account.  I think it sat, for months, before I made my first Pin. . .and that, folks, was all she wrote.  So many fun things, interesting things, inspirational things.  I could lose days. . .if it weren't for that darn husband and kids needing clothes and food and rides to and fro.

If you don't know Pinterest, think electronic bulletin board where you "Pin" pictures of everything and anything to "Boards:"  recipes, home decor pieces, room design, holiday items, holiday decor, teacher gifts, outfits, color combos, subway art or inspirational words, gardens, kids crafts and yes, layouts and cards.  Some people are selective and some people are like hoarders.  Although my eyes would like to be a hoarder and pin everything, my head is much more selective.

And so now, Apron Strings has "Boards" that need following.  Boards with Scrappy Ideas, Studio Inspiration, Home Craft Pieces, Recipes (for when you've spent the day scrapbooking) and a couple others.  There's also a December Board, semi-filled with layouts created with the December '11 kits.

I want that December Board filled.  Do you have any layouts using the December kits?  If so, send me ( a link to them online and I'll Pin it to the Board.

Note, I cannot be held responsible for any addictive behaviors related to "Pinning."

Happy Tuesday.

Monday, January 9, 2012

NEW Rewards for Autoship Members

Do you goal-set, make resolutions, give yourself challenges. . .whatever you want to call it.  I guess we all do, whether we verbalize and share them or not.  Sometimes we have goals far reaching and sometimes it's as simple as taking a shower (note, I didn't say easy. . .I have four kids, I know the sometimes unattainable goal of a shower.)  As scrapbookers and crafters I think there's always the assumed goal of more pages, more cards, maybe trying something new.

This year, let Apron Strings help you with those spoken or unspoken goals for your crafting.   Join the no-commitment autoship and you'll get ingredients, along with plenty of inspiration, to create.  Being affordable, with kits starting at just $19, is just icing on your cake.  Autoship members enjoy the benefit of saving 10% over the regular price, unlimited skips, options for flipping or substituting
(some restrictions apply), no extra shipping for add-on orders when they ship with your monthly kits and NOW. . .there's a new Reward for members. 

Starting with January's kit, every month will be  the chance for something different - maybe all autoship members will get a discount code to use, or perhaps you've won a coupon for a free pack of cardstock or patterned paper, or maybe you'll find you've won your next month's kit for free. 

How do you get your chance? 
Join autoship!  Come on, you know you've been thinking about doing it anyway.  Now's your time.  New Year.  New Goals.  New Rewards.

Happy Monday!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Welcome the 2012 Sous Chefs

You know, there's just never a good time for changing computers.  I received a new laptop for my birthday back in September and then life went upside-down.  I had a working laptop so it wasn't critical to move over right away.  Enter Christmas when my daughter received a laptop and now there were two to get going. 

So the files are moved and I'm more or less up and running.  I've been rebuilding my RSS feeds, trying to remember my logins.  I'm still missing two software programs and am in search of the discs.  Funny, how such a small thing can mess with your routines.

All that is why I'm late in announcing the 2012 Sous Chefs.  I want to thank the 2011 team for all the great inspiration they provided last year and kept us creating!

Please help me welcome:
  • TomiAnn Hill - Card Kits
  • Jennifer Halleck - Scrapbook Kits
  • Nancy Longo - Scrapbook Kits
  • Maria Swiatkowski - Scrapbook Kits
  • Kristin Perez - Scrapbook Kits
I look forward to the coming inspiration, along with plenty "why didn't I think of that" moments from these ladies!

To kick off the New Year and New January kit, here's Jennifer's layout, using the Bigger than a Breadbox kit using the Basic Grey side.  I'm loving the Kraft and Red!

Here's to a great 2012!

Happy Friday.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

LAST DAY for BIG Savings

LAST DAY Don't Wait
December 31 thru  January 3rd

If you're the procrasting type, your time is up.  If you're the indecisive type, make a choice.  If you're the forgetful type, write a note on your hand.  Today is the LAST DAY of the Year-end Clearance Sale.

If you haven't been by to shop, there's still a good selection on plenty of items and the savings are still not-to-be-missed!

*  Save on Past Kits - Stock-up on those you missed
*  Save on Paper Packs - Can't decide which side of doubld-side paper you like best, just pick up an additional pack of paper. ;)
*  Save on Embellishments - Have a mini project in mind and need to stock up on embellies?  Got a taste of an embellishment in a kit and now you're hooked?  Toss 'em in your cart and save!
*  Save on TV Dinners and Soup for Ones - A perfect way to test out another size kit is to pick up the TV Dinner.  Or maybe the kit itself is sold out, but there's still a piece or two of the "one that got away."

Today check out Table Scraps - it's like the seven layers of the candy cane forest;it's just too sweet to pass up!  Here you'll find Past Kits, TV Dinners and Paper Packs, Embellishments, Scrapper's Boxes, Grab Bags of Paper or Embellishments.  The savings START at 50% and go up from there!

Want more?  Who doesn't?  With every order of $35 (before shipping and taxes) or more you'll get a free second helping of paper.  Spend $70, get two packs.    Every order gets a Return Rewards discount to use at a later time.

Don't wait any longer...come shop TODAY!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Day 3 - Save up to 70%

We're two days into 2012. How are your resolutions holding up? Did you set goals to eat better, move more, create time for yourself and scrapbook?

If you want to do more scrapbooking, Apron Strings can help you with that part. With such great prices during Day 3 of the End-of-Year Clearance Sale you can certainly stock up on all kinds of supplies.

You'll find lots of selection with savings starting at 25% and going up to 70%! Savings like that is inspiration enough, but think of what inspiration is to come when that little (or big) box is delivered to your door. Like Christmas all over again.

* Save on Past Kits - get the ones you missed
* Save on Paper Packs - restock favorites or pick up extras of kits you have so you don't have to make the tough choice of which side of the paper to use
* Save on Embellishments - sometimes it's just fun to have more sparkle and glitter
* Save on
TV Dinners and Soup for Ones - these are great whether you want to try a smaller verison of a kit out, or maybe you only liked one part of a previous kit.

* Find SUPER savings in the Table Scraps area where everything is at least 70% off -

Today check out the Scrapper's Boxes (big or small) - if you like a surprise, need a gift, or just can't make any more decisions after the holidays, a Scrapper's Box is your item of choice. Filled with any number of items: kits, TV Dinners, Paper Packs, Embellishments, Stickers, Ribbon - a great selection at 50% savings.

Don't foget to snag a
Grab Bag of Patterned Paper
and/or theEmbellishment Bag.

Want more? Who doesn't? With every order of $35 (before shipping and taxes) or more you'll get a free second helping of paper. Spend $70, get two packs. Every order gets a Return Rewards discount to use at a later time.

Don't let your scrapbooking goal fall so soon, get started by stocking up today!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Day 2 End-of-Year Clearance Sale

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2012!

It's Day 2 of Apron Strings end-of-year clearance. If you had a REALLY good time ringing out the old, grab a cup of coffee and come browse the virtual shelves, stocking up on the great deals.

You'll find a great selection of goodies and you'll save up to 70%! How's that for starting off the new year?

* Save on Past Kits
* Save on Paper Packs
* Save on Embellishments* Save on TV Dinners and Soup for Ones
* Find SUPER savings in the Table Scraps area where everything is at least 70% off

Today check out the Grab Bag of Patterned Paper - a 25 sheet assortment of patterned paper from companies you love. Patterned paper grab bags are a great way to get more from your kit scraps. Have some cardstock left over? Match it up to a sheet or two from your grab bag. They're also great for making cards. In fact, use the pattern paper as the base of the card, add a quick sentiment and a small embellishment for simple yet quick cards. Pair the patterned paper Grab Bag with the Embellishment Bag and you're set.

Want more? Who doesn't? With every order of $35 (before shipping and taxes) or more you'll get a free second helping of paper. Spend $70, get two packs. Every order gets a Return Rewards discount to use at a later time.

What are you waiting for? Yes, there's football if your team has a shot at the playoffs, but there's all that time before and after the game. Come stock up while you're waiting!