Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rain Doesn't Stop the Fun

When you're four, a little rain ain't gonna stop your fun.  Frankly, if the adults in your life let you run around in the rain, it'd only amp-up the fun.  Adults are such fun-suckers, aren't they?

I don't remember what the picnics were like for my older three when they went through this school, but I'm sure there were a few games that weren't moved indoors - I'm guess some water-related activities.  Not that the kids would know or care.  They started with beach balls that they had their friends sign and moved right on into cotton candy and snow cones.  After that, I'm not sure that they cared there were other plans.  They're enthusiasm and pure joy (and energy) in just playing with a parachute is crazy to be around - I wish that sort of thing could be bottled, or at least rubbed off on.

Having no computer has me feeling dead-in-the-water, with a list of "don't forget to do this" getting longer.  I can't print labels.  I can't access my order forms for the June kits.  I can't get my sheets to sort out said orders to know what goes in what kit.  I can't access my iTunes.  I'm getting all my mail on my phone, but some require actions that I can't do on my phone.  Well, I could but it'd be a big pain.  So I feel like I'm coasting, which is rubbing off on my housework.  It doesn't help I'm looking at summer break and a house that won't stay clean.  The clutter from hubby working on restoring my computer is all over my kitchen counter and has reached the official "bugging" me point.  I'm grateful he is not only able to fix it, but taking the time to do so, but I need the clutter out of my sight.  Anyone else get this way about their homes?

So you can get something done and ignore any clutter, today's Color Theory inspiration has these great colors that are so fresh - I love the pop of apple green and red-orange.

For examples in Apron Strings kits with this pallet, we need only to turn to the May All Year Cheer Card Kit, with this example created by Wendi Robinson.

And in this example, by. . . uh. . .me, for my Project Life, using the October Afternoon 9 to 5 line found in the Bigger than a Breadbox August '12 kit.  I don't know what week this is for, other than it's February.  But it's done and in the coffee table book.

A couple more days to get your work linked up to the various comment sections.  Remember if you don't have the kits, you can still play along, just search out your own stash for the color pallet, create and share.  Boom, you're eligible for May's prize.

Happy Thursday,

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


I'm blaming my inability to jump start getting to work on the fact that my computer died and is in the process of being rebuilt/restored by my tech-savvy hubby and the fact that I'm still exhausted from our soccer-filled weekend.  I mean I must be, I went to bed at 10 - this is an hour of the night I'm usually still getting things done.  So, that must be the reason, right?

Today I woke to dark skies and falling, make that, driving rain.  These kinds of days are energizing for me, so it's a great day to dig in and tackle the list and piles.  Unless of course your pre-Kindergartner has his end-of-year picnic, even with the rain, because his teacher had a contingency plan and has moved the event inside.  Still it should leave plenty of time for being productive.

You get to be productive today too, by creating with some Apron Strings kits.  Sometimes it's fun to look off the page, like for this Color Theory pallet.

Now you can see this color in the December '12 Bigger than a Breadbox kit, in the Basic Grey Aspen Frost line.  You can also find it in the Carte Bella Winter Fun found in the January '13 Smaller than a Breadbox

But it's also found in the February '13 Bigger than a Breadbox Basic Grey True Love, seen here in Kristin Perez's layout.

Or in this one from Maria Swiatkowskiusing September '12 Smaller than a Breadbox's Lily Bee Handmade line.

This color pallet is actually found in several kits and lines - most recently the April '13 Bigger than a Breadbox kit - the American Crafts Lucky Charm Line.

There's still time left to get any one of this month's inspirations completed and linked up in the corresponding comments sections to make you eligible for the May drawing of a selection of products from the American Crafts Hello Sunshine line.

Happy Wednesday,

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Lost Weekend

With their warrior haircuts, my two boys took to the fields at the tournament this weekend - nine games over three days.  Stinkin' hot.  I escaped with sunburn to my shoulders where I seem to have missed them with sunscreen and then on top of my head because I don't do hats - though I did have an umbrella, just apparently not often enough.  My 14 y.o. and his team came away undefeated with first place medals in their bracket.  Besides just being great, it was AWESOME given the season they were coming out of.  They scored more goals during the tournament than during the past two regular seasons combined.

My 12 y.o. and his team took fourth place, with one win during the tournament, but they played some of their best games.  My son played with the kind of aggression and attack that we know he has, but wished he'd bring all the time.  He's incredible to watch when he's "on" and he was this weekend.  Way to go to both my boys and their teams!

The above mentioned 14 y.o. son is now officially a graduate of his school.  His graduation was Friday night and I didn't cry - bonus.  They changed the format, and I really enjoyed it being in the school gym.  He received the Academic Achievement Award (an A-average for the year in all core subjects), something he set his mind to at the start of 7th grade and has achieved for both years.  We looked over the 8th grade posters and laughed and sniffled over the changes both he and his classmates have gone through.  They were all so little.  After the ceremony the graduates headed into the Cafe-gym-atorium for their final dance.  Picking him up at 11:00 pm I was met with a face that said it didn't care he had a tournament to play in the next morning, it wanted to join his classmates over at the IHOP for the tradition of late night and pancakes and I was a big buzz kill if I thought otherwise.  I succumbed to "the face" and wandered over for no-pancakes, but an hour or so of chatting with other parents while the kids did whatever the kids did, besides filling an otherwise empty restaurant and giving the staff something to do at that time of night.

It was a very long weekend.  Very. Long.  It didn't feel like a weekend, let alone a holiday one.  We spent two eight hour days and one three hour day at the fields.  In the evenings, after showering off the sunscreen and dust, I was trying to make my house feel less cluttered before I crashed for the day.  How, tell me how, can house nobody is in all day get dirty????  Needless to say the laundry has erupted and created islands in my laundry room, the dishwasher needs emptying, the menu needs planning, the floors need sweeping and vacuuming, I'm turning a blind eye to bathrooms and I lost a day - it feels like Monday instead of Tuesday.

Because of all of that, today's inspiration is simply a color challenge.

I do love these colors, they are equally bright for summer themes and rich for fall themes.  I'm almost positive you can find them in kits from the fall.  Lighten up this color pallet and it could be the American Crafts line found in the April Bigger than a Breadbox kit.  

Remember, if you don't have kits, you can still pull from your stash using the pallet and enter to win this month's American Crafts Hello Sunshine selection.

I'm off to stand in the middle of my home and figure out where to begin.

Happy Tuesday,

Friday, May 24, 2013

Food and Friday Inspiration

This week has been a bit crazed with final days at school, 8th grade stuff, soccer stuff, my sister and her family visiting this week, topped with the fact that hubby has had meetings all week that took him out of the house all day which meant I had all the driving around.  It also meant my menu for this week had to be mostly quick and easy and able to be reheated according to arrival and departure schedules.  With the exception of one recipe, my menu came from Apron Strings I Can Cook That board on Pinterest - something I've wanted to do for a while.  Use the recipes I've been pinning, that is.  Finally.

I made these Thai Chicken Tacos on Wednesday - They were quick and easy and pretty good.  I didn't add the Sriracha, it was too spicy for the whole family so it was served on the side.  I also only used one corn tortilla.  I felt like they needed something creamy, though.  I may try a garlic lime sauce that I use in fish tacos or maybe a peanut satay sauce to go with the Thai flavors.  But I'll move them over to my I Cooked That board, with notes for the sauce.

If you've got some time this weekend to play with your scrapbooks, then here's a little inspiration to get you rolling.  I know I've used this pallet from the Color Theory board before, but it's just so bright and rich and perfect for this time of year.

And the pallet is found in this month's Smaller than a Breadbox kit - the Studio Calico Snippets line.  The very one Jennifer Halleck used to create this layout.

It's also found in the Bigger than a Breadbox kit from June '12 and on this layout by Kristin Perez, using the My Mind's Eye On the Sunny Side line.

I've had a nice relaxing morning with three of the four kids off from school.  I need to leave to get the one and only child forced to attend school this morning which consisted of Mass followed by movies.  I know it's only a half day, but really?  My hope is to enjoy some time in my studio before we need to get ready for tonight's graduation festivities.

Enjoy a lovely Memorial Day weekend!

Happy Friday.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Field Day, Lightening and Laughs

Yesterday was a beautiful Colorado Spring day.  Temps were in the 70's, there was a breeze and if you were in a shady spot it was great!  Out running around on field day. . .yeah, you probably got a little hot.  Our 6th grader's field day festivities (he's there in the green) included several heats of foot races, some sort of team flag-tag (my boy was the last one standing on his team - though his "take down" reminded me of a video of a gazelle being chased by lions; he was a marked man,) and a pickle/gummy bear eating contest.  Of which he declined to participate because he wanted to run the races.  Good choice.

As I watched him, I realized it was not a typical field day for the school - less carnival like games and more actual competition (outside the pickle-gummy bear thing.)  I was reminded of the field days I had growing up; games of fitness - push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups.  Games of speed - 50 and 100 yard dashes and relay races.  Not everyone won then and not everyone won yesterday.  Something that the PE teacher actually pointed out, while congratulating everyone on their participation and good sportsmanship.  Nice!

Then just a few hours later, storms started rolling in over the foothills.  I had dropped off the 6th grader at soccer and was making a run to Kohl's with my daughter, when we came out and I saw the clouds building.  I ran her home and headed back to the fields.  The clouds said, "lightening" and had that ominous green-tint to them.  I saw lightening as I was coming up the drive to the fields and was annoyed to find teams still practicing.  They continued to practice another 30 minutes with the flashes getting closer and you could hear the thunder.  I get so annoyed - wide open fields with super tall, metal lights for the fields - can you say lightening rods?

This morning as I was dropping off my 4 y.o. I saw there was some additions to the art in the hallway.  I had found my son's yesterday so I was interested to see what the "addition" to the drawings were.  They had dictated to their teacher things about the pictures- which turned out to be us moms.  They were hilarious (I should have taken more photos) - things like, "My mom's favorite thing is texting." or "She makes good Ramon Noodles and Cereal."  or "My mom likes adult parties (and I get to stay with Grandma and Grandpa.)"  My own little tag included my enjoyment of my computer, printing things downstairs, my ability to whip up good cheeseburgers and salami and helping him with his tracks.  It's funny, and enlightening, how they see their world and what we are doing in it.

Definitely scrap-worthy and the photo will go in with my Project Life for the week.  Whether you're using this month's inspiration for regular scrapbooking, a special album or even Project Life doesn't matter, it's all about using the inspiration to use your stash and create those pages.

Today's inspiration from the Color Theory board over on Pinterest is crisp and bright and works for a variety of topics.

And using this month's Bigger than a Breadbox kit is Maria Swiatkowski - this is the Jillibean Irish Farm House line, which is actually very multi-colored, but she's pulled the color pallet to ground some photos of outside play.

The Smaller than a Breadbox May kit also contains this color pallet - the Pebbles Family Ties line is all about greens and blues.  Here Kristin Perez used it to highlight a trip to the mountains.  I know this park, it's in our backyard ;D

Now, if you didn't get this month's kits, there are a couple available.  If you haven't used them, today is your day to pull them out.  Or there's the option of simply pulling the pallet colors from your own stash.  It all works.  All you have to do is share your work in the comments and, bippity-boppity-boo, you're eligible for this month's prize - a collection of the American Crafts Hello Sunshine line.

One more major item to cross off my list today, just in time for that spare moment to be filled with a dinner gathering with my out-of-state-visiting-this-week-sister and then jump right on into graduation and soccer tourney.  Sigh.

Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

No 8th Graders Allowed

We're almost to the official end of an era with our 14 y.o. son - he's been told, as have his classmates, to not return to school unless they're with a parent, because they are DONE.  (This announcement must come from years of 8th graders returning as Kings and perhaps disrupting those who are still in school.)  Outside of graduation on Friday, he is no longer a student at the school he's attended for nine years.  Their time came to a close yesterday with the tradition of releasing green balloons (green being a color of hope) with their wishes and dreams attached - "the sky's the limit!"

It's funny looking at this picture, most of the kids have been here since Kindergarten, an age when you would barely see the tops of their heads over the railings here.

I attended the awards breakfast yesterday morning, before the big send-off, and enjoyed listening to light-hearted poems for each of their teachers, finding out who was awarded scholarships to the local private high schools and who received various awards.  Our boy was recognized for the highest overall grade average in History - something that came as a nice surprise for us all.  We'll find out Friday if he received any other academic awards; he's been on the First Honors list since 7th grade, so fingers are crossed.

I'm feeling the need to kick people out of the house, siphon the gas out of the car (sorry, can't run you here or there. . .no gas) and do nothing, or rather do what I want, for about 12 hours.  It's nuts around these parts.  I need some me time with the sketches I seem to be only collecting from the 28 Days of Sketches class over at Big Picture.  I need to do some cleaning and clearing and work seems to be piling up.  Today's color inspiration will at least get one thing crossed off your own to-do list.

The first example comes from this month's Card Kit, a card by Wendi Robinson - an awesome card for any graduateyou may need a card for.  The May kit is, unfortunately sold out, but the paper line - My Mind's Eye Boy Crazy - can be found as just the papers or in the March '13 Bigger than a Breadbox kit.

Another example, also from Wendi, is this card made with the March '13 All Year Cheer Card Kit, using the Pebbles Fresh Goods line.

A quick note, there is another FREE Class being offered over at Big Picture, and it's a Pajama Party.  I'm already signed up; challenges, prizes, video and more.

Happy Wednesday,

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Crazed and Chaotic

The last couple weeks of school are usually chaotic - projects, finals, field-days, short days, teacher appreciation, etc.  Added to the typical home-life schedules and it can get a little nuts.  Add a graduating student and well . . . look out . . . Crazy is coming.

And that's where we are.  Crazy.  Like that's new though, eh?

We did take our trip, sort of as a family - half of us anyway, up to Cheyenne for our 14 y.o.'s final regular season game, which they lost, in part due to some very bad calls.  Very. Bad.  We finish out the soccer season with a tourney this weekend.  Luckily on our home fields, so no travel, but busy back and forth.  I'm eager to get these days behind us so we can settle into a slower routine for the summer.  I like to think I'm more productive in the summer - even if I'm really not.

Today's color inspiration from the Apron Strings Color Theory board is not a typical combo for me, unless you look just at the colors.  Then you realize they are a fairly typical combo for Halloween/Fall.  

Like found in the October '12 Bigger than a Breadbox kit, the October Afternoon Witch Hazel line - here by Maria Swiatkowski.

Or here, by Nancy Longo, using the February '12 Smaller than a Breadbox kit, the Basic Grey Picadilly line. 

For May you're creating along with the chance to win a selection from the American Crafts Hello Sunshine line.  There's still plenty of time to enter any one, or all, of the challenges posted so far this month.  And remember, you can use the color inspirations to pull from your stash if you don't have the kits suggested.

Happy Tuesday,

Friday, May 17, 2013

Free Friday

It's 10:15 am.  I'm out for an appointment.  It's 75 degrees.  The air is still cool enough to carry the smell of cut grass and wet earth.  It's awesome.

It's too nice a day for big rules, so today is simple.  Here's your color inspiration from the Color Theory board.  It's luscious, juicy and perfect for today.

You pick the kit in your stash that best meets the inspiration.  No kit?  No worries, find supplies in your stash that work.  Then simply upload a link to your project using this inspiration in the comments and BOOM, you're eligible for this month's drawing:  American Crafts Hello Sunshine sampler.

It's turning into a very warm day today.  I have no menu planned (I had some struggles this week producing my  usual weekly plan) and I'm too tired to do much for dinner.  It's our weekly Friday hosting of the in-laws, so I have brats thawing and think I will make this chocolaty no-bake 4-Layer Cookie Bar for dessert.  Found on the I Can Cook that board, it's perfect for the days when any excess heat in the house is just too much!

Plans for the weekend are fairly light.  One more regular season game.  Various children in and out of the house.  A cool front coming in.  I'm looking for some time together - the last couple weeks have been a bit scattered family-time-wise - and some down time.

Happy Friday,

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Problems. . .

So I logged on to Pinterest. . .always a risk since the time suck could be large.  Even when I tell myself, "just go to the Color Theory board and snag a pallet," it never really works out that way.  Case-in-point, today, 50 minutes later I leave my landing page after pinning several recipes, liking several free fonts and a few ideas for Dad's Day, I finally get to the Color Board.  

As I'm browsing around, I realize I may have a problem - in that I think I may be following more food boards than scrappy ones.  My food pins far out-number scrappy ones.  Now, we're well familiar with my obsession collecting of recipes, so I guess it should surprise no one.  However, in my defense if I don't have quick and easy recipes my family will hunt me down when they're hungry demanding I stop crafting and go feed them.  As family cooks we know PB&J really ain't gonna cut it, it's a meal they demand and no matter how quick, it'll take a bit valuable crafty time t prepare.  So see, really, it's a service that I'm providing by digging out these fast and fabulous recipes; these don't-interrupt-me-I'm-crafting-your-dinner-is-in-the-kitchen meals.  Whew . . . well  . . . I'm glad there's a logical reason there.

On to today's color inspiration.

Now why complicate matters by looking for kits outside the holiday season that fit this pallet?  Life is sticky enough without making things harder than they need to be.  So we look to both December kits from 2012.  The Smaller kit with its My Mind's Eye Winter Wonderland line and the Bigger kit with Basic Grey's Aspen Frost line.

I love a traditional color scheme for the holidays - but could be swayed with pink and lime green too - but Jennifer Halleck stuck with the tradition using the Winter Wonderland line here.

And here, Maria Swiatkowski used the Aspen Frost (which has a touch of teal to it) by pulling the traditional colors together, as well.  

Reminder:  If you've used these kits, didn't get them (the Smaller kit is available and a Second Helping of the Basic Grey is also available) please pull from your stash using the color pallet for inspiration.  Then please, share your link in the comment section.  You have all month to complete any or all of the challenges - so no excuses.  Plus, I've got a meals for you over on Pinterest to avoid the family's hungry interruptions. ;D

Happy Thursday,

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Da Vinci In the House

The boys' school generally has one large event for every grade level - usually surrounding a unit of study.  We've had 100 Day Celebration, Johnny Appleseed Day, Rendezvous Day, Colonial Day, Ameritowne and then this year, the Ed Fair which just passed and today Medieval Day.  My 6th grader has spent the better part of this trimester studying that era, and today caps it off.  They have food (turkey legs, fruits, flat bread, no plates or silverware - my boy is psyched about that), games and their presentations.  

Leonardo here is in a costume made up from at least six separate costumes or items.  As a mom, I'm pretty proud of that (see I knew there was a reason to keep all those Halloween costumes!) and he is very happy with the over all look.  I know he was skeptical when I started suggesting things to pull out.  Well, here is the list. . .I guess I can see his point - Superman cape worn inside-out, Jedi Knight robes, "possibles bag" from Rendezvous Day (4th grade), soccer warm ups, a wool driving cap worn sideways, his mother's brown leather boots - they come up to his knees as was the fashion o'the day - and his sister's woven leather belt.  His presentation is on the back of his painting and his satchel holds some of his other famous drawings.  I gotta say, he's rockin' the da Vinci.

Today's color inspiration from the Apron Strings Color Theory board is

With one girl, who is far removed from her "Pink Girlie Days," I don't get to use this color combo much myself.  But I have used it recently. . .enter a Project Life page I did a week or so ago, using the February '11 Smaller than a Breadbox kit.

More recently this color combo was found in both the February '13 kits - the Bigger with Basic Grey's True Love and Authentique's Lovely in the Smaller kit.  There is a Basic Grey Second Helping paper pack and a TV Dinner of the Authentique lines, if you want to play with those.

Here Maria Swiatkowski using the Smaller kit, the Lovely line, for showing off her 100-Day Celebration.

And Kristin Perez uses the Bigger kit, the True Love line, for a more traditional take on the Valentine's day papers.

Remember use these kits if you have them.  If not, find items in your own stash inspired by the color pallet for today.  Then come, share your work by linking it up in the comment section for your shot at winning the May American Crafts Hello Sunshine sampler.

Happy Wednesday,