Friday, April 29, 2011

Last Day of KP sketch class

What can I say? I'm behind in the class so I'm catching up starting at the end. It's been a busy couple of weeks with Easter, my second infusion (which went great - nothing serious to note other than fatigue) and family in town for a lovely dinner, visit, Easter Egg hunt and rousing games of Ultimate Frisbee and Can Jam.

When the sketch arrived in my in-box this morning, I knew exactly what photo I was going to use. In fact, all the elements were laying out on my table. The whole page came together in under 10 minutes!

The photo was actually taken quite awhile ago, but Mason still has a gum obsession. He asks for it as we near the checkout every grocery trip. If I have it in my purse, it tends to disappear very quickly. And if I actually buy him a pack, the whole thing will be gone in a day. He is very good about sharing, however...

Layout was made with Studio Calico's April kit, Singing in the Rain (and a spare gum wrapper, most likely emptied by Mason!)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Right now...

He is a little sad as the end of preschool approaches. He can't wait to play soccer this fall and asks all the time which team he will be on. He's registered for kindergarten but is a little leary about leaving his beloved Miss Leanne. He has several BFFs in preschool and is always asking for playdates. He lost his first tooth and is reading all the time!

He loves playing baseball (coach pitch this year.) He is very into volcanoes and oceans and reading non-fiction books about animals. He is pretty happy-go-lucky most of the time. He has been almost toothless in the front (top AND bottom) for several months but his teeth are finally starting to grow in.

He went on his first backpacking campout this past weekend. He received high praise from his Scout Master for being kind to another Scout who has had a hard time fitting in. He is getting tested today to take 8th grade math next year (he'll be a 7th grader.) He is doing MUCH better at staying on top of his homework.

He is setting up his schedule for next year in HIGH SCHOOL!!! He is playing lots of Warhammer 40K with good buddies from school & church. He stayed up way too late on Friday night playing (4am!) and missed the family Easter egg hunt while napping. He got 3rd place in the 1500 at the track meet on Thursday. He is hoping to get a job at the strawberry fields this summer.

She survived her first two weeks of Driver's Ed. She has three AP tests coming up in the next 2 weeks and is studying like crazy. She is still managing for the track team as her legs heal and is starting to run again slowly. She just did her schedule for her SENIOR year and we are scheduling senior pictures!

He is counting down the days til graduation. He just completed his paperwork and deposit for his dorm this fall. He's going to his last high school dance (Prom) this weekend with Julia. He's hoping to find work this summer as a lifeguard. He is just about to leave me...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Five on Friday

Busy day ahead - we're hosting the cousins and grandparents tomorrow for an Easter Egg hunt and dinner, so I'll just leave you with five of my favorite recent photos. I'll be back next week with more tips for time saving scrapping.

Opening Day for baseball - one just a couple of months too young to play and one playing his first season of coach pitch.

A little 80's action for McKelle and her friends getting ready for a dance.

Is there a doctor in the house??

Happy Easter! Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Save time - use one line

Tip #3 is to save time by using one line of product. The manufacturer has already gone to all the trouble of making sure all the elements look good together - paper, brads, alphas, stickers, ribbons, etc.  All of it is already coordinated so you don't have to spend the time looking through your stash for the perfect color of blue alpha to match your patterned paper or just the right ribbon that works well with your stickers.

Some manufacturers' individual lines also work really well together so just staying with one company's products can also be a time saver. Studio Calico, Jillibean Soup, Lily Bee and Sassafrass are some that flow nicely from line to line.

The patterned paper from Studio Calico's Documentary line reminded me of pool tiles, so it was a perfect fit for these Scera Pool photos from our vacation to Utah last summer. The journaling card and fussy cut arrows from the same line were a perfect compliment to the page. I did stray outside the line just a bit when I grabbed some Glitz word stickers, but they were sitting on the corner of my desk and didn't require any extra time or effort on my part :)
Other supplies used - Claudine Helmuth paint in Teal to help my pictures pop on the white background.

I love grids and what better way to showcase several patterned papers from a pretty line. This is Lily Bee's Catching Fall line. I used a variety of patterned paper, some cardstock stickers and rub-ons, both on my photo and as part of my grid.
Other supplies used - sewing machine and thread.

Micah had these shorts on the other day, complaining that he needed a new pair. When I saw this picture from the first day of school last fall, I realized how much he has grown this year! I knew I wanted something with arrows and found some patterned paper in the Jillibean Soup New England Chowder line that was perfect. The line is actually a transportation themed line, but by just grabbing certain elements, I think it worked out perfectly for this page. The stop sign sticker was a great way to express how I'm feeling about my kids growing up so quickly!
Other supplies used - pop dots

If your running short on creative time, grab supplies from one product line!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tip Two for the Time-Crunched

It's always nice to have a folder or file full of inspiration from others, but hey, YOU are a great designer, too. Tip #2 - Lift yourself!

If you've made a page you love, there is no reason you can't repeat that design again. And again! Your children and grandchildren are not going to look at your albums 50 years from now and say "hey, mom (or grandma) made three pages with the exact same design. What was she thinking?" So go ahead, save time by copying yourself.

I shared this layout last week, made with a Kelly Purkey sketch from her current class. I loved the design, but I also loved creating the circular element with stamps. Specifically, a long acrylic stamp that I could bend around the curve. So I did it again:

I used the adorable pennant banner from Studio Calico and curved it into an arc. I stamped it around in a circle and then used an embossing pen to color in random pennants. Other supplies - Zing in Butter, Blue Metallic and Rouge, Studio Calico tricycle stamp and Sassafrass alphas.

YOU can be your own best source of inspiration! Design it, love it and do it again.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tips for the time crunched scrapper

What's a busy girl to do, when life gets hectic and her creative time is measured in minutes instead of hours? When left to my own devices, I'm a pretty slow scrapper. I fiddle and putter, pull this out and that, arrange and rearrange. I can spend several hours on one layout or even days. But time is precious and though the creative process is one of the main reasons I scrap, I also like to have some finished pages.

A few things that draw out the hidden Speedy Gonzales scrapper in me:

1. Scrap lift, CASE, copy - don't reinvent the wheel. If someone designed a great page, use it as inspiration! It might be just an element or two, perhaps the title work or photo placement, or it could be the entire page. Just remember to credit your inspiration.

A 15 minute layout! Might be a record for me. This was lifted from the lovely Joy Madison, former design team member at Studio Calico. This was the very first layout I added to my favorites when I joined SC almost three years ago and the design is classic. Loved her woven patterned paper frame with the photo right on the edge. I added a couple of embellishments, but overall my page is a direct lift of Joy's.
SC's Into the Woods kit and add-ons, with some green brads from my stash.

I'm a devoted Lisa Dickinson follower. She has great style and a wonderful sense of humor. Her grid layouts are second to none. I think I've pinned or favorited every one of her layouts. Another pretty direct lift, using Studio Calico's fabulous new State Fair line and wood veneer stars plus some tiny alphas from Jillibean Soup. This one took about 30 minutes.

Jenn Olson is another former SC design team member whose work I really miss seeing on the forum. I loved her large number title with one enlarged picture. Scrap time? About 20 minutes and it would have been shorter, but I decided to do a little stitching between my ribbon and photo.

Large alpha from Pink Paislee, ribbon and jute from Jillibean Soup, stamps from Ali Edwards (Technique Tuesday) and wood veneer heart from Studio Calico. The stamped hearts are embossed with Red Glitter Zing.

Three layouts, all done in 30 minutes or less. Scrap lifting can definitely be a busy girl's best friend!

Come back tomorrow for another time crunched tip :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Just a little behind...

I need more hours in my day...or more days in my week. I was keeping up pretty well with my KP sketch class until the two bigs started Driver's Ed last week and Max started baseball. I'm in the car now from about 3 o'clock til 9:30 or so.

I did finish a couple of layouts with sketch #5. It is definitely one I could use again and again.

Supplies from Studio Calico's Into The Woods kit, plus some Mister Huey in Pickle and Honeydew twine from The Twinery.

All supplies from Studio Calico's Into the Woods kit and add-ons.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A brotherly kiss

This layout and the story surrounding it makes me laugh. There are several pictures that I shot around the same time that I did NOT include on the page, just knowing how things sometimes go on the internet.

Somewhere along the line, either on TV or very possibly while waiting for the bigs at the high school, Max observed some very romantic kissing. For a couple of months after that, he would pucker up (or open his mouth!) and then swivel his head from side to side anytime he was giving kisses. In the middle of this photo shoot, he decided to try it on Mason. It was at that point that I decided a little chat on the etiquette of a brotherly kiss might be appropriate.

Studio Calico Joyland kit

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

More KP Sketches

Sketch #4

Ali Edwards Studio AE stamps, Pink Paislee (large) alphas, MM alphas (tiny), Washi tape and some very old Cloud 9 Design raindrops.

This is the same sketch! Nicole Magouirk was one of Kelly's guest designer's for sketch #4 and I did my version of her version :)

More Studio Calico Joyland, with the addition of a BoBunny rub-on. I covered all the Maya pennants in paper from the kit, sanded the edges and inked them with Pumice Stone Distress Ink. The yellow paper at the 2 o'clock position is actually the back of a postcard that came in the kit. SC has THE best looking postcards! I always save them to use on cards and layouts.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Scrapping as therapy

There are moments when the reality of having a chronic, incurable disease settles over me like a black fog. Many fellow Wegs patients on our support forum advocate counseling/therapy to deal with the issues that can be overwhelming. The heavy mood swings caused by prednisone alone can be enough to cause severe depression. Top that off with the unflattering physical side effects of the drugs Weggies take and you've got a recipe for an extreme case of the blues.

For now, I choose not to add another pill to my daily regimen, happy pill though it may be. I will probably explore the possibility of therapy, but for now, creating is my lift, my fast-track up-only elevator. I've had some pages swirling around in my brain for awhile, documenting the reality of my current life. They are not a "please feel sorry for me" or an "I am spiraling downward" cry for help. I'm simply putting to paper some very real feelings I had/am having about my health situation. I hope in doing so that I can express and acknowledge those feelings, without letting them drag me down.

KP's sketch 4, SC Joyland kit

(Just an aside - all three pictures on the layout are from 2-3 years ago. I don't have a current picture because I have been avoiding being in front of the camera like the plague. Someday I'll come to terms with that, but I'm not quite there yet...)

Monday, April 11, 2011

KP's sketch class - finished week one!

Such a great class with inspirational guest scrappers. I wish I had time to do more layouts for each sketch, but people keep complaining they have no clean clothes to wear and that there is no food in the fridge ;)

Another Joyland kit layout from KP's second sketch. The photos are from back in 2000, pre Max and Mason. I was mama to four, born in just over five years. And just today, I paid the deposit on Matthew's dorm housing for college this fall - crazy how fast time goes.

More Joyland and a slightly different version of sketch 2. I love summer/late spring birthdays since all the festivities can be held outside!

This is from sketch 3. I hope to do a couple more with this as the alternative/rotated versions were really cute. The top half of this came together rather quickly, but the journaling spot gave me fits. I stamped the journal box and decided I didn't like it. I cut shapes to cover it up, thought about painting over it, looked through all my stickers and pre-made journaling spots...and then ended up using the stamped image as it was. I'm not 100% happy with it, but sometimes done is better than perfect. Still trying to use up all the Joyland kit.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Posting from the infusion center...

I'm here for about 6 hours today getting my first infusion of Rituxan. Hoping and praying this will kick the Wegs into remission!

I was happy to hear they had Wifi - something to occupy my time along with a couple of books I've had in my stack to read. I wish I could figure out how to scrapbook here - no kids, no dishes, no laundry... ;)

This one is done with SC's Joyland kit from April 2010. The photos are of Matthew & Julia at prom last year. I love their fun relationship!

An Into the Woods layout with that lovely bubble stamp and some clear Zing. I used my big cropadile to punch some of the bubbles and backed it with aqua paper.

I'm taking Kelly Purkey's Sketchbook 3 class - I took #2 and it was so well done. Both of these last two layouts are from her first sketch. I used Joyland again and the lightbulb stamp from Candyland. I used black Zing for the bulbs and butter Zing on the frame.

I used Joyland for this one as well (sketches are fabulous for using up your stash!) as well as the ampersand stamp and some Jenni Bowlin ink in Cough Syrup.

I'm half hour into the infusion and no reactions at this point, so hopefully all will be well.

Friday, April 01, 2011

New month, new decor

St. Patty's decor has come down and I'm starting to put up my Easter and spring stuff.

I love Gerbera daisies. My watering can still looks a little sparse - I bought all they had at JoAnn's. Looks like I may need a road trip to the Tri-Cities to find more!

I followed the tutorial at Love Laughter and Decor for my egg topiaries. I used green styrofoam cones - couldn't find rattan, but the styrofoam worked just fine. White styrofoam might be a little iffy as it tends to melt in the presence of hot glue, but the green worked with no problems. FYI, Spanish moss is MESSY!! If I was going to do it again, I would spread an old sheet under my work area. And definitely be prepared with lots of glue sticks. I used about nine or ten for both topiaries.

I'm not sure who to credit for the original idea of the paint chip egg garland. I've seen several on Pinterest. Here's the one I pinned from ohdeedoh. I do like the rainbow order at ohdeedoh, but I had way too many colors for that, so I just went with random. I cut each paint chip with my Sizzix Torn Edge Oval Frame and just used the middle oval. I punched each egg with a 1/16th circle punch and threaded all the eggs onto some jute.

The subway art is another free printable from eighteen25 and the big flowers were on clearance at JoAnn's.

The sun has been out all day and my thermometer is reading 70 degrees, so putting up all these bright colors feels perfect for today!