Monday, January 30, 2012

Mystery Scrap '12 Week 5 - Monday

Easy page this week since I'm doing double duty with the Mystery Scrap & LOAD.  Grab 2 landscape 4x6 photos and stop back by on Wednesday!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Layout A Day - gearing up.

I've talked before on my blog about Lain Ehmann's Layout a Day.  If you're new to the blog and have not heard about it - the concept is simple - you create a Layout a Day, every day, for the month of February! 
Let me tell you a little about how much & why I love "LOAD."
My scrapping speed improved dramatically. Prior to 2011, if I had time to scrapbook, it would take me hours to complete a single page or two page spread - I'm talking 6 hours on average (who has time to do that!?!?!).  The tips and strategies shared via LOAD reduced the anxiety of making a page perfect.  Not to mention, I certainly couldn't spend 6 hours a day for 28 days!  The challenge of creating a page a day kept me interested, excited & on task - forcing me to make faster decisions, go with the first paper or embellishment choice that looked good because I didn't have time to go through every piece of paper or every button looking for the "perfect" one. Scrapbooking is my getaway from the mundane day-to-day, my escape once the kids are in bed.  LOAD reminded me that you have to MAKE time for the things you enjoy and that if I can create a page every day for a month, I can certainly squeeze in a few minutes of scrapbooking time during a non-LOAD week.  This little time keeps me sane and when I don't make that time for myself, my stress level rises.  In 2010, I completed maybe 15 pages all year. As a goal for 2011, (prior to finding LOAD) I challenged myself to complete 52 pages. In February with LOAD, I did 30 pages, May LOAD 33, October Informal LOAD 34.  And, in between, I did at least a page per week (Mystery Scrap which I began in March when I was going through LOAD withdrawal. I'd estimate my total for 2011 at 128.  I'm not saying everyone will have that same result, but how excited would you be even to get a quarter of that number of layouts completed!?!?!
The daily LOAD prompts are so much fun and can really kick start your creativity and can help get you out of a rut.  The problem, though, is that every night I stayed up past my bedtime because I couldn't wait to see the prompt for the next day!  Every night it was like opening a present and then I'd drift off to sleep thinking about the page I'd create with visions of paper & pictures & ribbon in my head.  At first, my husband thought I was off my rocker, but he quickly got into it and would ask "What's the prompt for tomorrow?" (then would give his suggestions on how to interpret or which pictures to use!).  Sometimes, he'd even pull up the email on his phone in bed and read it to me (best bedtime story ever!) On days when I didn't think I had it in me to do my page, he'd kick me off the couch and send my upstairs to do my page. He's always been supportive and willing to offer an opinion, but this got him more involved. (By the way he thinks the prize at the end should be for the husband!) ;-)
Also as a result of LOAD, I created this blog, found lots of other fabulous blogs to follow & improved my digital skills by leaps & bounds.
The community at LOAD is unbelievable .  The support & kindness of all the LOAD-sters is indescribable.  So much positivity, lovely comments about completed pages, helpful suggestions when something doesn't look quite right, encouragement, friendships.  The feel-good energy is a scrapbook "high". Not to mention, the inspiration that is gleaned from perusing the gallery. That alone has changed my scrapbooking - I'm not great with design - that's part of why it would take me 6 hours to complete one page - I'd move things around forever until they looked right to me.  Now, I see a page in the gallery that looks great, I can scraplift the design, but put my own spin on it - so much more fun & productive for me and I've accepted that this isn't breaking the rules!  In addition, there is so much inspiration topic-wise in the gallery. With each LOAD I come away with dozens of ideas for page topics that I would not have otherwise ever created. 
Finally, it has changed the stories that I tell. Prior to LOAD, I scrapbooked mainly events, during LOAD I saw so many amazing pages and the prompts were often more feelings driven.  As I started to push myself to do more of that, I found that those are by far my favorite pages, my most meaningful pages and the pages that I know will be so special to my girls as the grow up. 
Now, because my husband is now home most evenings and weekends, I'm not sure how successful I'll be this time around, but I'm trying to get myself set up to make it as easy as possible to do pages.  I'm printing out pictures, picking out inspiration to use for scraplifts, making lists of topics/events I want to document.  So, we'll see.  None of that is necessary if you want to try LOAD. And there is no penalty or pressure to do a page every day, so don't let that inhibit you from trying.  
Anyway - if things get really nuts, I may do something a little different - I may post pics of my layout from the day before and brief instructions if you were to want to scraplift that.  I'm hoping to stick with Mystery Scrap, but just in case, wanted to give you a heads up!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Mystery Scrap '12 Week 4 - Friday

The layout that we are scraplifting this week comes from Poki Nobeno and you can see it here (It's the second one down on the page).  Here's my version - another page from our Christmas trip to Kansas City.  There is a white squirrel that visits my sister's back yard regularly - he's not albino, just white and we had so much fun squirrel watching.  I took more than 100 photos of him and my sister told me I need to do a page with dozens of photos. Instead, I figured 8 would be sufficient.

We're prepping for Evan's birthday party tomorrow and my husband just cut his finger with my good Pampered Chef bread knife while cutting a dowel to attach Perry the Platypus' eyeballs to the body of the cake. Might be time to call it a night...  Everyone have a great weekend and I hope you get some scrapping time in!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mystery Scrap '12 Week 4 - Wednesday

Supplies needed for this week are:
1 piece of 12x12 cardstock
7 3"x3" squares of patterned paper or coordinating color cardstock (papers from the same line would be perfect for this page - as that takes the uncertainty out of combining patterned papers)
7-8 .5"-1" embellishments - a variety (buttons, rosettes, punched pieces, brads)
title - will have to be pretty small this week (grab small stickers or chipboard letters) will fit on one of the 3x3 squares...
there will be multiple spots on this page for journaling or quotes
1 light colored journaling tag (or a larger punched shape would work)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mystery Scrap '12 Week 4 - Monday

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! We had a good one - got lots done around the house, cleaning, organizing, crafting, exercising. So far I'm giving myself a solid B+ on the "balance" thing for 2012.  ;-) Yesterday was my older daughter's 8th birthday. Hard to believe. It was a low key day - she opened her main gift & we had a nice birthday dinner.
This week's Mystery Scrap should be a fun one. You will need 8 3"x3" square pictures. I betcha can't guess where this is going! So, gather your pictures and see you back here Wednesday!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mystery Scrap '12 Week 3 - Friday

This week's inspiration layout is a January 2008 design by Kelly Noel - check it out here. Don't you just LOVE the bright, fun colors? The patterned paper is great to - kind of pulls it all together!
Here is my page for this week - I'm so glad I finally got one done - it feels like forever since I've done a page (in reality it's probably been 2 weeks).  Anyway - I ended up with kind of an odd color combination as I was trying to pull the red of the bike the silver/chrome color and a little bit of blue. I tried to incorporate more blue - I wanted something darker blue for the 1"x12" but (believe it or not) didn't have anything patterned paper wise that I liked for it.  I was going to leave off the big embellishment, but at the last minute, thought about the Pebbles Chips (love those things!) Hope you enjoyed this week.

Isn't my nephew adorable?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mystery Scrap '12 Week 3 - Wednesday

Supplies for Mystery Scrap Week 3...
This week's inspiration layout used bright, fun colors and it really looks great! You can use whatever works with your pictures, but don't be afraid to go BOLD!
1 piece 12x12 solid color cardstock
another piece of 12x12 cardstock + border punch OR shape-edged cardstock (does that make sense?)
1 piece or patterned paper 1"x12" 
1 piece of 9x9 light colored cardstock (or white)
journaling will be strips - typed or handwritten - whichever you prefer - you'll have room for 3-5 of them approximately 3" long each
4" length of ribbon
large embellishment (sticker, die cut, paper-piecing, stamped image, etc)
5 small embellishments (brads, gems, small buttons, etc)
Title: you know the drill - multiple colors/styles of letters will work well with this one
See ya Friday for how it all comes together. Hopefully I will be able to carve out the time to DO this one! ;-)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mystery Scrap '12 Week 3 - Monday

Yep - it was a no-go on the scrapbooking this weekend. My parents came through Friday night for a quick visit on their way to Hilton Head for a couple weeks & my Mom took me birthday shopping. We got some clothes which was kinda fun because I am a total NON-shopper unless it's for scrapbook supplies.  Then they left Saturday morning and we headed to my in-laws to exchange gifts with my sister in law and her hubby. Sunday was grocery shopping and painting while my sister in law & her hubby took the girls to see Beauty & the Beast in 3D.  Not sure who liked it more - my girls or their aunt! Anyway - I'm writing this after putting the kids in bed and am totally wiped out. Chris & I are going to open a bottle of wine and watch some tv in bed (the living room tv is sitting on the couch at the moment until the painting is done!) It was a nice, productive weekend - there just wasn't any scrapbooking involved. Oh well, they can't all I guess.  ;-)
So - I may or may not ever get around to doing the week 2 page - I've got the pictures, but was never able to find the right papers to motivate me. And you know what? I'm ok with skipping a week. Instead, I'll turn my focus to Mystery Scrap Week 3.
The sizes and orientations you will need to play along with this week's page are:
portrait - 4"w x 6"t
landscape 3"t x 4"w
Lots going on here right now so it's quite possible I will skip making more pages in the coming weeks... I will try to do posts of some of the more fun projects as they occur (Valentine's for the teachers, kids, Valentine's party, and some Valentine crafts that we'll be doing). So, keep checking back and I'll try to have something fun to look at!
Happy Monday!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Mystery Scrap '12 Week 2 - Friday

This inspiration page was created with Bella Blvd Winter Wonder line. (One of the ones I got for Christmas!). Check it out here - by Kimberly Garofolo.  Scroll down past the Christmas Tree.  And again, it's gonna be later before I post my take on this... Maybe I should just plan on not getting my page done before the Friday post for the near future. At least until after Valentine's Day & Layout a Day in Feb...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Other Treats

Before Christmas, I made some other treats - first, for the collegiate ZTA's at Radford & VT, the Roanoke Alumnae wanted to do some goodies to wish the ladies luck on exams. I happened to luck into some super super cheap Skittles at work so I bought a ton. Still have 2.5 cases left in my scrapbook room! Anyway, I made these (one of the ZTA symbols is a 5 pointed crown, but the closest I had in my stamp collection was a 4 pointed crown, so I figure that was close enough for this purpose!).  I Made 240 of these...
I saw this a while back and thought the Smarties would tie in well with exams, so made 80 or so of these. (Our colors are turquoise blue & steel grey).  These came together super quickly and would be cute for Valentine's Day for the kids' classes I think.
Then, since I obviously didn't get enough of the Skittles bags, a week or so later, I made another 70 for the teachers and staff at the school for a PTA sponsored holiday luncheon but these were more holiday-ish (Again the PTI stamp set). 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mystery Scrap '12 Week 2 -Wednesday

supplies you will need are:
1 12x12 piece of solid color (or textured) card stock
1 piece of patterned paper 5.125"w x 7.5" t and  another piece of the same pattern 6.875"wx5.75"t
1 piece of a 2nd patterned paper 6.875"w x1.5"t
1 piece of a 3rd patterned paper 6.875"wx1.5"t & another piece of the same pattern *6.875"w x 2.5"t
2 pieces of a punched border or cardstock sticker border 5.125" w
1 piece of ribbon or trim 5.125"w
title - mixture of sticker/cardstock letters & tiny letters - it will fit on the piece above *
1 embellishment ~1-1.5" in size & another small embellishment .5" or smaller
journaling - can be sticker strips or journaling strips - 6.875"w and .5"-.75" in height

I know I said this was a simple one, but it's not feeling simple to me this morning! 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Christmas Treats

Each year I like to do a little something for the kids' "specials". These are the art, music, gym, guidance, teachers, and librarians & bus drivers and other fabulous people at the school who make it such a wonderful place for my kids to be.  This year, it was sock cupcakes, sugar scrub & a package of gift tags.  Below are pictures of the first two. I didn't take any of the gift tags, but they were made using the Papertrey Ink set Tiny Treats (Christmas) and the die in the same shape. I used the same set to make the cupcake toppers for the sock cupcakes & the tags on the sugar scrubs. It's a great, versatile set - check it out here.
The sock cupcakes were so easy - buy cute fuzzy socks, stack them one on top of the other and start rolling from toe. Keep the bottoms fairly level. Once rolled, rubber band the base & put into a cupcake/muffin liner. If you can find the silicone ones, they'd be great to give a little more weight to the base. I found these ruffly ones at Walmart. You could put a little pompom on top, but I put a little cupcake topper with pink mittens. Put into cellphane bag and add a ribbon & a tag (this one says warm wishes - also from the PTI set).
The sugar scrub was super easy, too. Mix white sugar & body wash of your choice (EDITED - this should be body GEL!) . I used a peppermint and a warm vanilla to make two different types and mix until it's the consistency you want. The little plastic containers are found in the wedding favors section of ACM or Michaels. WARNING: If you use these, this stuff does seem to expand overnight, so don't fill above the line where the two pieces of the box meet or you will end up with a gooey sticky mess!  A local restaurant owner was super sweet and gave me about 20 little sample spoons and Chris drilled little holes in them for me. Wrapped the ribbon like a little present, added spoon & tag and voila! I hope people like getting the little treats as much as I enjoy making them...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Mystery Scrap '12 Week 2 - Monday

How is everyone doing with their New Year's Goals/Resolutions?  So far, I think my "Balance" is going pretty well. I'm trying to spend time on at least two areas each day, maybe three on weekends. Chris & I (mainly Chris) started on one of several house projects we want to do this year yesterday - now our living room is half painted!  Next up, combining the girls back into one room (and redecorating/organizing it) so we can have a dedicated guest room.
This week's Mystery Scrap page is a pretty simple one. Gather 2 portrait oriented pictures (3.25"x5.5") and 1 landscape oriented 4"x5" and stop back by Wednesday to see what materials you will need to complete the page!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mystery Scrap '12 Week 1 - Friday (my page)

Finally got it done this afternoon and even though I wasn't super motivated to get it finished, I'm really pleased with this one. Plus, I'm often intimidated by events with dozens (if not hundreds) of pictures. So for me to start on something as big as Christmas within a couple weeks is big for me!
 this first pic is a close up of the paper pieced tree in the first section. I LOVE how this turned out. These are all scraps leftover from a 12x12 pack of Christmas paper from My Minds Eye called Countdown to Christmas (this was probably two years ago, if not more). I put adhesive over a 4x6 piece of white, them cut skinny strips from my scraps and laid them down. Then cut a simple triangle. Of course, I had to jazz it up with some brown i-rock glam rocks & some red Silhouette gems (that work with the i-rock).

Friday, January 6, 2012

Mystery Scrap '12 Week 1 - Friday

Last night I just crashed with Chris on the couch. I worked a little on my page in front of the tv, but just couldn't make myself finish it. SO, here is the link to the inspiration page (by Shari Thurman) so you can get started. I'll post a picture of my page when I get it completed (could be tonight, could be tomorrow!) Happy weekend everyone!
PS - I haven't forgotten about posting Christmas crafts - just haven't had the energy this week. Maybe over the weekend...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mystery Scrap '12 Week 1 - Wednesday

Time to gather supplies for this week's page...
2 solid color pieces of cardstock
patterned paper 4x6 pieces (2 - same pattern for both)
light solid color paper 4x6 (can be border punched around edges if desired) journaling will go on this
20 1" squares of patterned paper - several different designs
4 super skinny strips of patterned (.25" or so) or solid color paper - 12" long
2 border punched pieces 8" long each
large embellishment to go with the topic of your page if possible (paper pieced, large shape, large chipboard piece) - should take up better part of one of the 4x6 patterned papers above
~9 small embellishments (buttons, punched pieces, etc)
title - chipboard, pazzles/cricut cut letters, thickers, stickers - mix it up - use several different colors or styles
As I'm typing this I'm watching my Hokies play in the Sugar Bowl and it is SO SO SO frustrating. I'm not even enjoying my time in my "Scrap Up Room" as Mattie calls it.  (Hubby is in New Orleans at the game). Honestly, every season, this team takes several years off my life, yet I love them anyway.  Funny story - one day we were talking and Chris said to Mattie "What do you call Mommy's play room upstairs?" (trying to get her to say Scrap Up Room) and she said "Messy!" Of course, he thought that was hysterical. :-) Ok - back to the game and cleaning up all my scrap paper leftover from my holiday crafting frenzy.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Mystery Scrap '12 Week 1

So, I think I have some Type A issues, so I'm going to start the numbering over with the New Year.  That way the Mystery Scrap numbers will coordinate with the calendar week (I use this a lot at work, so it'll make it easier for me!)  Did anyone get any scrapbook goodies for Christmas?  I did.  :-)  My awesome sister got me the two Bella Blvd lines that I mentioned a couple weeks ago - Winter Wonder & Spring Flings & Easter Things.  Then, when we were visiting them in Kansas, she, my Mom & I went to both Archivers and a fabulous Local Scrapbook Store (LSS) about a minute from where she lives (The Scrapbook Page) and spent the $ I got for Christmas. I got a couple pieces from yet another Bella Blvd line (Christmas Wishes) - love that one, too!
Anyway - I'd love to hear what you got from Santa! This week, we'll do a two page spread - got to get through some of those Christmas pictures! You've got some options with this one. The inspiration page includes 3 portrait 4"x6" and 4 landscape 4"x3" BUT, if you have more landscape photos you want to incorporate, reduce the number of portrait and add two more small landscape (example 1 portrait & 8 landscape). We've got room for a longer title if necessary and up to 4"x6" of journaling space.
I'm hoping to get a couple extra posts in this week showing some of the Christmas goodies I worked on leading up to the holidays. So, stop by! Have a great second day of 2012!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Kick Off!

Yesterday I posted about the goals I remember from 2011.  What are your personal creative/crafty goals for 2012?

Some of mine are:
~150 scrapbook pages (through blog and 3 Layout a Day's)
~2nd Annual Crop for a Cure (Southwest Virginia) - goal $2000 donated to Susan G. Komen and double the attendees
~To not be scrambling at the last minute to finish my calendars (I do these each year for certain family members) - (I'm actually starting them as soon as I finish this blog post!)
~200 cards to Operation Write Home (personally) any additional if we do another ZTA Alumnae card making day would be fabulous, too.
~To increase traffic to my blog.
~Do Project Life (This is on my wishlist for my birthday this year in a couple weeks). I started a digital version last year, but once I discovered LOAD, Project Life fell by the wayside. I'm thinking maybe the paper version (Cobalt) would be more motivation than the digital.  If you haven't heard of Project Life, search Becky Higgins Blog and watch her video about this (her brainchild) and the products are available on
~Work on (maybe even finish) the quilt I started for Evan (ummmm over a year ago.)
Improve my sewing skills (right now I can sew a straight line - mostly on paper!) 
~To spend more time making my home lovely. It's comfortable and functional, but two things I am NOT good at are Fashion & Decorating. So, one of my goals is to make more of an effort on those two fronts.

Has anyone heard of "One Little Word" I think this is an Ali Edwards brainchild. It's one word that you focus on for the year. Something that you want to keep in the forefront or something you want to work on. A trait you want to embody.  I have purposely avoided this, but earlier this week as I was driving home, one popped in my head and would NOT get out. BALANCE.  This year, I had a great crafty/creative year because I really focused on it.  So for 2012, I want to put some of that same energy toward eating healthier & exercising more regularly as well as decorating the house & putting more effort into my daily appearance. I also realize that when I'm serious crafting (like before Christmas or making a large project, the house suffers, so I need to find a happy medium between keeping the house clean and uncluttered and doing the stuff that I enjoy so much. Hopefully, BALANCE will lead to success in each of those arenas!  I might do a page and hang it up or something else small so that I keep it in mind all year. How about you? Do you have a word that simply describes what you want out of life in 2012? 
Whatever your goals are I wish you luck. Wishing all of you a HAPPY, HEALTHY NEW YEAR.