Monday, August 31, 2009

Catching Up

Every once in a while, okay it's, unfortunately, more often than that, but I'm sticking with every once in a while, a week goes flying by and I really don't know where it went or what I did. Such was my week last week. I thought it was Wednesday on Thursday, thus loosing an entire day on top of the week rushing along. This phenomenon was, I'm sure, due to the fact that my kids started school and getting used to a new schedule coming off summer can be, and is, nuts. During times like that I just keep paddling along, hoping my feet will eventually brush up against solid ground. Luckily, they did today -- brushed up against something fairly solid, so my toes dug in. I started back on my cleaning routine, the baby cooperated by following the same routine he has been in since last week, and I'm working on finding a moment or two in the day for me - even if that moment is only 15 minutes long, I'M GOING TO FIND IT! There was one challenge that will finish up today -- thank you Jennifer for the wonderful inspiration, and there is a 5 on Friday winner to select. I tossed the entrants into which picked lucky number 1, who is Bessie! Bessie, you know the drill -- you'll get a tasty treat in your next shipment. Look for this week's 5 on Friday and create your layout for a chance to win. In the meantime you can see the layout Bessie created from last week's 5 on Friday Challenge.

On another note, Missy had a question about Apron Strings' Yahoo Group, which serves as our chit-chat place, but has its fair share of challenges and contests. Missy you can find the Group here. Some exciting news -- Apron Strings will have a blurb in Scrap 'n Art e-Magazine's Kit Review. Scrap 'n Art magazine is online by subscription, but subs are only $10 A YEAR! Their magazine, besides just scrapbooking, offers info on paper crafting, tutorials, product demos, sketches, tips and more. Plus there's a whole slew of subscriber exclusive places to wander around in. Ooh, and that $10 will also get you access to available past issues. It's hard to find a deal like that these days. Is my excitement showing? LOL, well, I am very excited to be included in their review.

Let's see what else -- oh, a large portion of October's kits are here and OOOHHH MY GOODNESS, they are just too cute. I love the Halloween and Fall lines that came out and had a really hard time choosing. Luckily, I have November to let the overflow spill into :). I'm so looking forward to the upcoming kits, September's turned out fabulous and October's makes my fingers itch, so much so that I may need to show some super sneaks. We'll see if I can hold out.

Okay, well I think that's enough rambling for one night. Turn in your "Jennifer" challenge and look for this week's challenge AND 5 on Friday.


Monday Challenge #5 - Sketches

Hello everyone, hope you had a wonderful weekend. Maybe some relaxing and scrapbooking involved...isn't that the perfect weekend for us? For some, this was the first week of school for kiddos, for others we still have one more week left before they go back to school. Whichever is the case, I'm sure that we have or will have many pictures to get scrapping. That brings me to our next challenge. I'm sure that a lot of us love sketches, so this week I'm bringing you a LO sketch and a card sketch from the very talented Valerie Salmon. Feel free to use these sketches as inspiration, and load your LO or card to our yahoo group or link it here on or before Sunday evening for a chance to win a fat-free cookie jar treat.
TOU: Valerie Salmon's sketches are for personal use only and not for the purpose of publication submissions, contest entries, design team projects, and design templates. For more amazing sketches from Valerie feel free to go here.
So, here are my takes on both sketches. Can't wait to see what you create.
Now, on to our winner for challenge #4: Linda, thank you for playing along with us. Great card with the color inspiration from this challenge.
Hope you all have a wonderful week and until next Monday.

Friday, August 28, 2009

5 on Friday

Well, first week of school is behind me. Only 12 more weeks until Christmas Break -- not that I'm counting. ;) It's been a crazy week of shoving kids out of bed, pulling them downstairs to get their things together and beg them to eat and while I make lunches. Followed later in the day by homework pleas that will ring all year round "Please, just do your work!" (This will eventually be followed with threats of restricted privileges, which has some degree of success.) With all the pushing and pulling, I'm about ready for something easy. Bring on this week's 5 on Friday challenge! Grab these five items:
  • 1 sheet patterned paper with swirls
  • 1 sheet patterned paper with stripes
  • 1 sheet cardstock
  • 1 alphabet set
  • 1 length of ribbon

Outside of any journaling, use only the ingredients listed above and have your layout linked in the comment section of this post by Saturday evening. Remember, you can be creative with the items you do have to use -- ripped, rolled, torn, paper blossoms, etc. -- but you can only use these items.

Molly resolved her technical issues from last week and was finally able to share with us her 5 on Friday layout. Nice work Molly!


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Blog Party Challenge #6

Our challenge today comes from Awesome Chef Jennifer Halleck. She thinks, and I agree, that we should create a layout about where "we (yes, I mean we as scrappers!) are right now in our life, right before the back to school stuff. Or how about a summary of summer layout? Don't you love my alliteration (isn't that what it's called?)" Don't ask me, Jennifer, I'm fairly brain dead these days and getting the kids back to school hasn't helped. I think I just created the basis for my layout, LOL. How about you? What's your layout look like, since it's about right now. Create it and post a link in the comment section of this post by Monday, August 31st to be eligible for a Cookie Jar Treat. Thanks Jennifer. Photobucket

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Challenge #4 - Color Inspiration

Happy Monday, ladies! Hope your weekend was great. I know that some of you have kids going back to schoool, which I'm sure is bittersweet. So, lets do what we do best...record those memories.
This week challenge we turn to color for a bit of inspiration. So, make a LO or card with this color combo and link your post her or at the yahoo group by Sunday night to be eligible for a cookie jar treat.

Subscribers of Apron Strings think of June '09 STB Fancy Pants Delight, June '09 BTB Lily Bee French Couture, May '09 Cosmo Cricket Lil' Man & Crate Lillian, March '09 STB Scenic Route Sonoma, August '09 STB Basic Grey Lemonade & Prima Mommy & Me, August '09 BTB Basic Grey June Bug among many others. Not a member? Not a problem, you can still play along using your stash.

This is what I created for this week's challenge:

Now, on to last week's winner: Michelle, thank you for playing along with us once again. Isn't that LO so adorable and look at that perfect hand stitch border. Awesome!

Can't wait to see what you create. Until next Monday!


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Winners and School

First things first -- the winner from the Blog Party Challenge #4 (Crop Green) is Charlene. Charlene send me an email with your shipping information and I'll drop some "Cookies" in the mail to you. We had participants in the 5 on Friday, but one didn't share -- Bessie :) -- and one had technical trouble -- Molly I still want to see your creation when you're all fixed up. We start back to school tomorrow and I'm half looking forward to it and half not. It'll be nice to get back into a predictable, if crazy, schedule. But with the kids gone, the distraction for Matthew is also gone. Here's to hoping I'll re-learn how to get things done with a baby in the house. I had all summer to forget. It should be a hectic start, trying to rouse bodies out of bed and get them moving. Snapping the requisite first day photos and hustling out to make first bell. Luckily, we have two half days to get a rolling start, so there won't be lunches to have to deal with, but the time will come. Hopefully as school schedules pick up for most of us, you still manage to find time to make for yourself and, perhaps, a page or two. Look for Blog Party Challenges to continue through the end of the month. Photobucket

Blog Party Challenge #5

From our fantastic Sous Chef Amy Duff, comes a card sketch -- her very own, just for us.
The challenge? Use the sketch, of course. The sketch is for a card, which can be made of your scraps (so you can clear a spot for the next challenge) or new goodies you may have. If you're of a scrapbook layout frame of mind, use the sketch as the basis for your layout.
Link up your work in the comment section of this post by Wednesday, August 26th to be eligible for a Cookie Jar Treat drawing. Bonus - Do both, a card and a layout, and get your name in the "hat" twice for the Cookie Jar Treat drawing.

A big thanks to Amy for her sketch and so let's see what she's inspired in you!


Friday, August 21, 2009

5 on Friday

5 on Friday -- sounds like quittin' time. Sounds like Happy Hour. Sounds like croppin' time!
Another week behind us, another weekend ahead. If you're like me, and most of us in this school district, this is our last weekend of summer break -- school starts on Monday. There's usually a lot of last minute dashing around gathering the last of the supplies. For me it's typically the paper towels, hand sanitizer, kleenex and wet wipes.
As you're running around this weekend, be sure you grab your five ingredients to complete this week's 5 on Friday Challenge:
  • 1 sheet patterned paper with stripes
  • 1 sheet patterned paper with circles
  • 1 set of brackets
  • 1 set of alphabets
  • 1 set of brads

Outside of any journaling, use only the listed ingredients above. Have your link posted in the comment section by Saturday evening to be eligible to win a Cookie Jar Treat.

Congratulations to Molly ("Two Years Sweet") and Bessie ("New Love"), previous weeks' winners of the 5 on Friday Challenge. Bessie received some Back-to-School themed goodies and Molly, well we won't spoil Molly's treat since she hasn't seen it yet ;).


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Blog Party Challenge #4

This Blog Party Challenge comes from Super Sous Chef Maria. In this day and age of living more "green" this is a challenge to use something recycled (packaging, chipboard from paper packs, household item...)? Post a link to your work in the comment section of this post by Saturday, August 22nd to be eligible for a Cookie Jar Treat. Thanks Maria for the great idea! Photobucket Oh, you can see Maria's wonderful blog here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Time to Slow Down

My middle son, the 10 year old, had his first soccer tourney of the season. It was a pre-season tournament, so he's been at practices for several weeks now. His team finished 2nd in their bracket and 6th overall in their division. I still smile when I remember the games; all four of them over the course of the weekend. It's like being back in high school and cheering on the home team. I totally forget who I am, a soccer mom, and become that screaming teenager. I wonder if that's why my husband takes the photos -- so he has an excuse to stay away from me during the game. :) Life is starting to get into its crazy chaotic schedule with the onset of school. Sports start, which mean after school practices, there's homework, getting up early, packing sack lunches, the nightly fight to get them all in bed at a decent hour. I get tired just thinking about it. But, I did manage to notice the small stuff this weekend -- it wasn't hard when I stopped to look; it was a gorgeous weekend. The season is changing and you may not see it if you don't look. The daylight hours are getting shorter - 2 minutes each day, actually. The light has changed, it's not as harsh and direct. It's softer and that bright white of summer is mellowing to a golden shade of fall. When the evening cools off, there's just a smidge of an edge to the breezes -- that soft summer comfort is slowly melting away. Even the afternoon breezes, when the temperatures are below average, have that crisper edge to them. I LOVE IT! What do you love (or hate) about the coming changes, and have you noticed the ones that are already taking place around you? Whatever your answer, have your scrapped it? Take a minute to look around you -- snap a photo or two. Maybe of the first leaf you see changing colors. Or maybe it's the flowers that are starting to fade. Is it the blanket on the end of the bed that you needed for a night because it actually got cooler. What marks the change of seasons for you and what feelings does it create in you? So, stop and smell the ros. . . err, hmm. . . deeper smells of late summer: rich earth, the crisper breezes, the occasional wood smoke. Ahhhh. Photobucket

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday Challenge #3 - Quotes

Good morning ladies! Here we are again...another Monday...another challenge. This week we'll do an easy peasy since a lot of us are getting ready for back to school. Remember that these challenges can be a LO or a card. This week challenge is to use a quote on your LO or card.
We all know that sometimes journaling doesn't come out so easily...what better way to say what you want to say with minimal effort? Quotes are a great way to say or convey the feeling you want to on your LO without the big thinking process of what to write.
I used a quote from Aristotle which was already incorporated in my patterned paper from the June 09 STB. The quote reads: To live happily is an inward power of the Soul. As you can see my journaling is minimal with just my son's name, his age at the time of the picture, and a little sentence to complete the epoxy sticker 4 laughs.
Hope you find some time for yourself and do a little scrapping this week. Don't forget you have until Sunday at 7:00 pm eastern time to link your work here or upload it to our Yahoo Group to be eligible for a yummy fat-free cookie treat.
Now to announce last week challenge winner: Michelle Houghton. She's been with Apron Strings for quite a while, and she's an amazing scrapper. Michelle used a punch for her border and she used a circle punch to make her buttons. Isn't that such a budget friendly idea? You make your own buttons and make them match with your papers. I don't know you, but I'll definitely make buttons with my circle punch more often. Michelle, your cookie jar treat will ship with your September kit. Thank you for playing along.
Happy week,

Friday, August 14, 2009

Five on Friday

Another Friday, another weekend, another day closer to the end of summer. This weekend we have our first soccer tournament. Life will need to be pretty simple this weekend since game schedules make life crazy. Like sports season fitting in with regular life, fitting in scrapbooking time can get crazy. Thank goodness Five on Friday is easy. I pick the five ingredients you use, you simply gather the items, your photos and, if you like a sketch. Get the layout completed by Saturday evening, post the link in the comment section of this post and you could win a Cookie Jar Treat. Five on Friday ingredients:
  • 2 sheets of cardstock
  • 1 sheet of patterned paper with lines
  • 1 set of 6 buttons
  • 1 sheet of rub-ons

Use only the items above on your layout, outside of any journaling. Remember to get your layout link posted by Saturday night to be eligible for a Cookie Jar Treat.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

It's all about the water challenge - Blog Party Challenge #3

Hot summer days and cool water are the perfect mix for a great time. I thought for our challenge that we could highlight or incorporate water into your pages in some way. I have used rain dots, Robin's Eggs, clear gems, opaque buttons and a silver gel pen to highlight the water on my pages.

On my card I used watercolor paper and worked with that. Have fun and don't be afraid to get wet. Can't wait to see what you create. Post the link to your water creation by Monday, August 17th to be eligible to win a Cookie Jar Treat. Anita Sous Chef

Monday, August 10, 2009

Blog Party Challenge #2

Hello scrappy friends...for those that don't know me let me introduce myself briefly. My name is Bessie and I live in New York with my 10 year hubby and two amazing kids. I came across Apron Strings back in 2005 and since then I've been a member. Ummm, enough said....being a member for almost 4 years says it all....more than satisfied with the customer service that Apron Strings gives their members and/or clients; I'm more grateful for all the ladies here that make me feel at home.
Anyway, I'm so glad for the opportunity to host a weekly challenge for all of you amazing and talented scrappy friends out there. These challenges will be eligible for what we call Cookie Jar Treats (scrappy products), which I have to say there are very yummy. To participate you just have to link to this post or post in our group if you are a member with your creation before Sunday at 7:00 pm Eastern time.
Well here is the challenge, I'm sure that all of us have a bunch of punches that we don't seem to use as often as we would like. Well, lets dust those punches off and lets go play. This week challenge is to make any embellishment of your liking with punches. As you can see this challenge has two purposes: play with your unused punches and help our pockets by making our own embellishments.
This is what I came up with...I used the threading water punch from Fiskars to make the flowers stems, a 1" & 2" circle for the body, as well as a 1" scalloped punch by Martha Stewart, and finally a heart punch by Martha as well for the leaves...I cut the heart in half and came up with the two leaves.
As you can see, all you need is a little bit of imagination and a little time to play. Can't wait to see what you create. Should you have any questions, post them in the comment section and I'll be happy to answer them.
Happy Monday,

Friday, August 7, 2009

Five on Friday

Here's a quick challenge to take you into the weekend -- but first a quick reminder that your layouts for the first Blog Party Challenge (Sketch #30 from 52Sketches 52Weeks) are due today, August 7th. Provide a link to your completed layout in the Challenge post. Now, Five on Friday. What? Yep, Five on Friday. Like ordering pizza for Friday dinner, it's meant to be quick and simple and uncomplicated. It's meant to help you really just get back to the fun of scrapbooking. So here's the deal, I pick the five ingredients, you grab them, your photos and if desired for even more speed, a sketch to work from. Ready for your list? Five on Friday ingredients:
  • 1 sheet cardstock
  • 1 sheet paper with polka dots
  • 1 length of ribbon
  • 1 set of 5 brads
  • 1 set of alphabets

Other than journaling your layout should include only the above mentioned ingredients. Because this should be quick and easy, complete the layout by Saturday evening, link it up in the comment section of this post and be eligible for a Cookie Jar Treat. As I peer into the Cookie Jar I see a great set of American Crafts papers and a sprinkle of embellishments to go with it, that could be yours.

Remember, Blog Party Challenge layout is due today and Five on Friday layout is due Saturday.

Let's see 'em! Photobucket

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sharing is a good thing. . .sometimes - Blog Party Challenge #1

Yesterday I asked son #3 to strip his bed, which he did, without complaint. But probably because it's easier than making it. Either way, he did and even brought his sheets downstairs to the laundry room, rather than heaving them over the landing railing. Last night I walked in on son #2 helping son #3 remake his bed and also noticed that son #2's bed looks remade; another nice, argument-free moment. Flash to this morning, I come downstairs and go into the laundry room to switch over the laundry and it vaguely registers that there's only one set of sheets. It's too early, I'm too groggy and caffeine-challenged for anything out of the ordinary to register. As I am upstairs in the boys' room I ask son #2 if he has stripped his bed lately, and he says "yes, last night." I then flash to the laundry room where only one set of sheets is lumped in the middle of the floor and so I ask, "Where are the sheets from your bed then?" His reply, "Well, Jack really wanted those sheets on his bed, so I gave them to him." At first I'm dumbfounded, then the standard mom response comes, "NO, restrip his bed and bring the sheets down. I'll wash them first and he'll have them tonight." They seemed oddly confused by my reaction. Maybe it's the same guy trait that has them smell a shirt to see if it's still wearable. Even now I'm mentally rolling my eyes. While reusing unwashed sheets is a mom no-no, there are times when sharing what other's are already using is a good thing. Take a sketch for instance. Sketches that are used by many is a great thing. You get the sketch and you get others' interpretations of that sketch. It's like instant inspiration. So for our first Blog Party challenge, we're using 52Sketches 52Weeks current sketch #30, which also happens to be the sketch that Apron Strings is sponsoring. You could potentially win twice -- once if you enter your layout over there and once here. Take your cues from the sketch located here, create your own version, share your work in a link in the comment section of this post by Friday, August 7th and be eligible to win a Cookie Jar Treat. Photobucket