Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Nothin' on Wednesday

Yesterday was one of those days where I spent time doing things, but in the end all it felt like I did was chase around in circles and not really accomplish much at all.  I had wanted to get down to do some more sorting on my desk - but that didn't happen.  I wanted to get laundry put away.  Nope.  I had a few other chores I wanted to do.  Noper-noper-do.  Instead I spent way too much time returning a dress - seriously, one dress and,  Way.  Too.  Much.  Time.

Nancy Longo, who just moved to a new home (with dedicated scrappy space - woohoo Nancy!) - while she was working on deadline for her Apron Strings layouts, purchased a new car and had a couple other unexpected things thrown at her during the move, still managed to crank out several layouts using her May Bigger than a Breadbox Kit.  This one featuring the Cosmo Cricket Tea for Two line, seems to be the perfect accessory to her page about "Home."  The papers are perfect for the theme, as well as well suited for the style of her home.

So let's see, so far this vintage rose-themed line has produced a page about a house and a soccer game. . . not bad!

Are you following Apron Strings on Pinterest?  If you aren't aware of this latest addiction, it's wonderful.  Fantastic.  Fun.  Electronic bulletin board.  Save recipes.  Save layout ideas.  Save words of inspiration, decorating ideas, color schemes, books to read - really anything.  Following Apron Strings will give you layout ideas in one place, recipes for days you scrap away and more.  Plus, you may need to be following along when the next challenges come up. . . :D

Happy Wednesday,

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Clean Sweep

Well, I did it. . .and if you followed me on Twitter, you know. . .I dug down (literally at points) and cleaned my shared studio space; the basement is part my space and part my kids' space and there are too many times where there's a lack of division between the two.  There's a definite "ooze factor."

I tried to load pictures as I went, but there's some techie thing that needed to be done from my phone in order to do that  . . . and well, that's why I married a man who knows all that stuff - so I don't have to.  But he wasn't around, so the photos I took will post here on the blog later this week.  After I figure out how to get them off my phone.

In the meantime, I can tell you I made enough progress to actually want to be down there again.  I have my desk to clear off - and have a pretty good start at that.  I have some odds and ends on my scrap-table that need to be dealt with.  And then I have my cube-storage where a whole-lotta-crap got dumped and that needs going through. 

Question:  what do you do with your bits and pieces from kits that you didn't use on your layout and aren't really sure you're going to use in the future?  Things like brads and buttons I sort into containers, but things like pockets or tags or cards that I still like, but am not sure either a) how to store them so I'll see (and thus use) or b) if it's realistic that I'll actually use them?  See, this a good argument for creating a card when I'm done with a layout!  Practice what I preach.

Clearly, Maria Swiatkowski is creating up a storm.  She used the Smaller than a Breadbox May kit to create the cute Disney layout - using October Afternoon Sarsaparilla line - how cool is that?!

Happy Tuesday,

Friday, May 18, 2012

Mid-May. . .Already?

How is this possible. . .dang.

Yesterday, I started Ali Edwards' class 31 Days, over at Big Picture Classes.  I wish I could say I was ready to start the class.  You know, that I've read the pre-work, watched the info videos, shoot, even read the first email, but no.  No I haven't. I'm actually listening to the prep video as I type this.  I'm excited about the class as, next to the Week in the Life, it's the only scrapbook-y type thing I've done in a few months.  I was on a roll and then, well, as you've read, I wasn't.  I'm hoping this will help get my mojo back.

I know part of my mojo is buried in my studio space.  I have a feeling it's wrinkled and smooshed down there.  It's as surrounded by clutter, covered over with junk and buried, as I feel I am.  I'm thinking of going into the lion's den this weekend; regular season soccer came to a close last night with the last game (a 2-2 final).  We just have a tournament coming up over Memorial Day Weekend, so I want to take advantage of the opportunity I have with an un-scheduled Saturday.  I'm also thinking I may need to report my progress, just to keep me going.  If you follow me on Twitter, set your preferences to get Tweets on your phone or inbox as I will try to update there. So if you enjoy a saga, watching other people work and being thankful it's them not you, enjoy a good comedy, like horror-stories ('cause there's no telling what lies beneath, down there), are in need one of those, "well, at least my space isn't that bad!" moments, or just need a good laugh, then come join Apron Strings on Twitter and watch. I may be brave enough to include a photo - talk about just plain freaky!

Now, I know that Jennifer's space is less than optimal as well, LOL, however, she's still managing to scrapbook - of which I tip my hat to her!  I also love that she used the oh-so-frilly Cosmo Cricket Tea for Two line to create this great layout about a soccer match!  Jennifer used the Bigger than a Breadbox May kit, and it just goes to show you, that double-sided papers open up all kinds of options, you just have to think off the page a little.

Weather's moving in.  The question is, will it blow over us, or will it hit?  We need the rain, badly, but my basement isn't tornado warning ready.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Week In The Life - Sunday

You know I had the scrapper's guilt going pretty good over Week in the Life, until I noticed in Ali Edwards' post that she was still messing with getting her photos taken care of.  I shouldn't have had the guilt in the first place, but it made me feel better to know that she was still compiling.  I'll not think about the fact that she posted her photos online daily, and it's the album she's working on. . .

I'm just going to wrap up a look at my Week in the Life. . .these are a peek into my Sunday.

I do my best to menu plan every Sunday over my breakfast, update my calendar with practice schedules, appointments and what-not and gather up my shopping list for that week.  Usually, this works great.  Every now and then, well, we'll just call it an "interruption in programming."

There are times I actually enjoy this process by myself, savoring the quiet and my cup of coffee.  More often than not, I'm joined by some little elf with non-stop chatter.  Seriously.  Non.  Stop.  He spies my camera.

My 3 y.o. is so excited when his older brothers are around. . .most of the time.  Tonight he and "the brothers" would be camping.  Matthew is totally pschyed to go camping.  Since our trip isn't for another month or so, we console him with "practice camping" of which he is an over-eager participant.

My 13 y.o. earned this tent when he was a Boy Scout and selling popcorn like a mad-man.  He saw the tent in the catalog of prizes, and knew what he wanted and there was no stopping him.  The problem with these great incentives is that someone has to deliver all that popcorn!  And to get this tent, it was a lot of popcorn.

And so, in the living room, for the second weekend in a row, there was a tent pitched and three happy boys, who actually got along for a brief moment in time, cozied up in the tent with the light of the lantern casting shadows on the walls.  I could hear stories being read, watching when the dog would pass outside the tent and they could see her shadow and made believe she was some wild animal, and things talked about that only boys talk about, or at least boys with their 3 y.o. brother in their midst - cars, trucks, some sort of bodily noise subject matter. . .never mind.  And they never knew their mother stood outside the tent and was soaking it all in.

WooHoo - well, it's not an album, but it's documented.  And for that I'm grateful.

Happy Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Week In The Life - A Saturday View

So day two of trying to jump start the motivation/creativity.  I do enjoy playing with these photos from Week in the Life though.  Makes me feel productive even if I'm not so much.
Here we have a view from a typical Saturday for us - days full of soccer and church and little else.  We have the pre-game wait. . .both boys have to report to the fields 45 minutes before their games, so I've learned to bring distractions for Matthew, otherwise it's more chasing him than watching the boys chase the ball.

Cars and trucks are usually the key to successful distraction.  Especially with games being well over an hour (30 minute halves for the U11 and 35 minutes halves for U13)
My 11 y.o. is up first, plays defense and has incredible speed.  He's short compared to most of the boys his age, and so I think when he comes up against the other teams offense, they don't think much of him.  Little do they realize his insane speed is what makes him a force. . .that and his "no fear" attitude when meeting up with these bigger boys.
They would win this game. . .though unfortunately, the score escapes me; and Jack was on fire, saved a couple goals when the keeper was out, drove off the offense when they were pressing.  Good game.

Game two.  Home fields.  No break between games.  We will be gone all day.  My 13 y.o. (in blue) plays midfielder.  I'm not sure where or when he himself developed some wheels, but a couple of times I've seen him come out of nowhere to attack.  I had to look twice and make sure that was my boy.  This game too would be a win.

We'll wrap up our day with church.  Outside of the special events I don't know that I've ever photographed our church for the sake of documenting it.  I also didn't have photos of the boys serving Mass.  My 15 y.o. used to serve as well, would have been nice to have a photo of the three of them.  It did make me think. . .about my faith.  About what it means.  About why I don't document it, outside those special events.  It was an interesting thing to have happen, when I was just going to take a simple picture.

Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Week In The Life

Yeah, I know. . .Week in the Life was a couple weeks ago.  But that whole motivation thing, or lack there of, well. . . . I struggled with documenting this one.  I have pictures from four or five of the seven days and since I didn't post them during the week of, I'm hoping that posting them this week.  Trying to get the ball rolling people.

So I shared some photos, then I got sick. . .I had to make an effort to not only remember my camera, but to take photos.  It's funny how it's easier to do once you just do it!

These are from Friday of Week in the Life.  The boys' school has an annual "Race for Education," a fund raiser where the kids run laps during a one hour time period.  They can get donations for laps or flat amounts.  Their uncle once, ONCE, did a pledge per lap.  When the three of them told him they had run 24, 26 and 28 laps, he wrote the check and then went to a flat donation.  LOL.

Here we have the start of 3rd, 4th and 5th grade wave.  My 11 y.o. 5th grader is there, all in white.  He and his buds had a plan to pace each other so they'd all finish first and thus all get the rewards and their names on the banner. I haven't heard the official ending, but there is trouble in the ranks that someone double-punched at the end of the race, thus putting himself above his pace-buddies.  My 11 y.o. is up in arms.

About 20 minutes into the run . . . still lookin' good.  Though there don't seem to be as many buddies running with him.  I would learn later that two left the run after throwing up and two fell behind.

There is a train that runs through Olde Town, just down the block from the school.  My 3 y.o. loves to look for the train every day.  E-V-E-R-Y DAY!  Today, during the race he got lucky, heard the horn and watched "the dingers" come down.  It was a perfect day. . .if you're 3 and love trains.

When you have two brothers running at separate times, it's tough to stay occupied for two hours, but he does amazingly well.  Helps that grandma was here to watch the train with you and take you over to the playground.

Not lookin' so hot after an hour's run. But 26 laps, equal to 6 1/2 miles, and he's proud of himself and ready to be doused in water.  Nice job Jackson!

Up next, 6th, 7th and 8th graders. . .aka the group that's too cool to run.  Or they have been historically.  Every now and then you get a few that dress up (we had caped 8th graders) and have some fun.  Or in the case of my 7th grader, a challenge from one of your teachers to beat him and earn a reward.  I figured they'd get an out of uniform pass, highly coveted when you're in a uniform five days a week.  But it was better. . .pizza party.

A moment to take in the gorgeous morning.

Seriously, every time he and his pace-buddy passed me they were walking - naturally.  I love coming out to watch my son walk.  Then I glanced around and noticed he was running, after he passed me.  They were coming out of the "punch station" and then picked up their jog when they reached the corner.  I still figured he'd be doing good to get to 15 laps completed.

Imagine my utter surprise when he flashed me 28-laps, or 7 miles!  Dang boy!  Way to run for the pizza, Thomas.

Happy Tuesday,

Monday, May 7, 2012

Apron Strings Sale Day #3

Did you have a nice weekend? We enjoyed a much, much cooler day than normal - it's supposed to rain all day today. I LOVE THAT! I'd like to say I was totally productive, and I was, to a point. Were you productive? Like, oh, in scoring some sweet deals at say, the Apron Strings Sale? No? Well, whatcha waitin' for?

Sales like this are a great way to stock up on paper you love and used (you're using your favorite papers, right!?), grabbing full packages of embellishments you got a taste of in a kit and now you NEED more, or picking up a TV Dinner from a line you might have previously passed on.

Prices are GREAT. Selection is slimmer in some areas, so don't let today go by without grabbing a shopping bag and stocking it full!

Now, I don't like to tip my hand, but you might find some 2011 overstocks at 70% off. . .like maybe some things under Blue Plate Specials.

* Check out all the yummies under
Blue Plate Special where you'll save 20 - 40% (maybe more on a few thing ;D)
* Head over to the Table Scraps and
Kits, Paper Packs orOther Scraps to find deeper discounts.
* There are the always popular
Specials, Scrapper's Boxes, Embellishment Kits and Grab Bags at 50% off or more.

To make shopping sweeter - all orders placed get Return Rewards to save again. Orders over $50 receive a Grab Bag of Patterned Paper for FREE.

Day Three and counting. . .you won't want to miss this!


You know, there's nothing good about that word.  Blocked.  Blocked streets.  Blocked sinks.  Blocked noses.  I'm trying to think . . . and nope, there's no form of that word that is positive.

I am blocked.  I have no inspiration to scrapbook.  No energy to clean the house - it's not a pit; you know floors are swept, beds are made, bathrooms are cleaned.  It's more stuff that just doesn't seem to get put away. Stuff that piles up.  Bit and pieces of things that are just kinda all over.  My studio space. . .OMGoodness if I had the nerve to post a picture you'd be horrified.  I have no umph to do other work either.  I can't even think of content for blogging . . . which is why it's been sparse in the posts here.  It always amazing to me how quickly I can go from more inspiration and motivation than I know what to do with, to totally empty - nothing to draw on.  About the only thing I'm managing to hang on to is planning dinners and executing them. . .actually dinners usually the first thing to slide, so I'm impressed with myself there. 

What do you do when you're uninspired?  Blocked?  Unmotivated?  Tired?  I know if I cleaned my studio I'd get the itch back, but seriously it's in a where-the-heck-do-I-start kind of mess.  I hit tax season and stuff just piled and piled. And piled.  The areas in the house that nag at me are similar - just piled - need sorting through.  I know I need a call for a "we'll be in your area" charity pick-up to get me to round up all those things and then they'd be gone.  I know if I moved some of the laying-around stuff my eye wouldn't constantly be drawn to those areas.  LOL, the problem is it'd all go down to my shared studio space - and we're back around to the beginning.

So, what to do?  Push through?  Eat ice cream?  Take a walk?  Retail therapy?  So far, relying on chocolate and "I Love Lucy" isn't helping me get much done.

I may be totally blocked, but thank goodness Sneaks for May kits are up.  If you aren't a member, and you don't need to be to get a May kit, feast your eyes and then plan to pop on over on the 10th to pick up your kit.

Happy Monday,

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Best Laid Plans Sale

You know how it goes. . .you make some plans, you may even start on the prep, but then life invades. Someone gets sick. Something breaks down. Something needs replacing. Whatever it is, it interrupts those big plans.
Such is the case with this sale. I was in prep mode for a Spring Clean-out (I mean, I was in serious Spring Cleaning Overdrive) and then, well . . . life popped in. I try not to stress and look on the bright side. And it is brighter. . .for you! Now, there's more on sale and the discounts are bigger. See? Good for you!
What will you find? You'll find savings of 20, 40, 50, even 60%.
  • Check out all the goodies under Blue Plate Special where you'll save 20 - 40%
  • Head over to the Table Scraps and pick-up Kits & Paper Packs or Other Scraps to find deeper discounts.
  • There are the always popular Specials, Scrapper's Boxes, Embellishment Kits and Grab Bags at 50% off or more.
  • Oh, and today only you may find a few 2011 kits on sale for 70% off. . .just saying.
To make shopping sweeter - all orders placed get Return Rewards to save again. Orders over $50 receive a Grab Bag of Patterned Paper for FREE.
Shop this sale NOW for the best selection. Don't wait!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Meet Sous Chef Nancy Longo

I love how Sous Chef Nancy Longo shows up in so many of her layouts. . .the same cannot be said for moi.  I also enjoy how Nancy scrapbooks any number of subjects - she and her husband, her fuzzy friends, pieces and parts of her life.  I can't say I even think about taking pictures of some of the things she actually manages to get scrapped- inspires me to act, snap, scrap.

Let's learn a bit more about her:
Originally from Orlando, FL.  Currently living in Yonkers, NY.
My husband and I have been married for five years.  We have six rabbits and one guinea pig.  I am an early childhood teacher and also tutor at a learning center part-time.  I started “scrapbooking” in college, when I would save cards, tickets, photos, etc. and put them into Hallmark magnetic albums.  In 1999 a friend invited me to a Creative Memories party and I was hooked!!  I have always been sentimental and loved keepsakes.  Saving memories in such a fun, creative way as scrapbooking is my passion.  Some of my other hobbies are baking, reading, yoga, running, Yankees baseball, and shopping (for anything and everything!!)
My favorite technique, although it’s not really a technique, is using kits.  I like when everything is put together…it lets me focus more on scrapbooking, rather than looking through what I already have, which is way too much, to find something to use.
The most I’ve completed in one “sitting” has been seventeen 12x12 pages and nine cards, completed at an all day scrapbooking event.  Over Winter Break in 2011 (nine days) I completed sixty 12x12 pages!!
My biggest challenge when scrapbooking is to say I’m done.  I’m always thinking “should I change that placement, should I use different paper/embellishments”.  I just need to be happy and move on to the next layout! :o)
My favorite scrapbooking tool is the Quickutz Revolution.  A friend got me hooked on Quickutz…now I don’t know how I ever scrapped without it!  I mostly use it for the fonts.  It’s great because you never run out of letters, like you do when you use stickers or store bought die-cuts.
I confess that sometimes I think I like buying the scrapbook supplies more than I like actually scrapbooking! :o)  ha ha

Happy Friday,