Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Word of the Year

I don't do New Year's Resolutions, and I guess in a way this is just another form of that, but I have chosen a word of the year for the last few years and want to keep up that tradition.

For 2011 I have chosen the word 'CONSISTENT'. I tend to be very gung-ho about things for a while, then I slack off, then pick it back up, then slack off. So, my word, and my main goal this year is to maintain some consistency.

Top 5 daily consistency goals
1. workout
2. spend some quality time with Ellie (too many evenings after work, I am too busy to spend much time with her)
3. take care of my skin (use real cleanser, and moisturize)
4. floss - yeah some days I skip it to save a few seconds in my routine
5. do one small to-do list item (many days I put off my to-do list in favor of relaxing or sleeping more, but then I just have more to do later)

That's it! easy! I figure that if I focus on these 5 little things, doing them consistently every day, it would really make an impact on my life.

Other goals that would be nice to achieve, but are not the top of my focus:
Stress Reduction - learn to meditate or do yoga consistently a few times a week
Athletic - finish the 10 mile Broad Street Run in May
Artistic/Scrapbook - focus on creating for the reasons that I got into this art, don't stress about contests, design teams and publishing
Health - stick to a lower calorie balanced diet.
Weight - lose 30lbs
Family - do a 'major' family activity at least once a month - camping, going to a museum, etc.

Monday, December 27, 2010

snow day! holiday and key west recap

So, today looks like a snow day. Which is good because I STILL have to finish my Webster's Pages Design team application. I have never worked so hard on an application before. I keep making things I love, then second guessing myself and trying again. but I am drawing the line today. I am going to finish the layout and card that I am working on now, and call it done. Too much anxiety. If it is meant to be, then it will. and if not, then maybe next time. Yeah, easy to say now... Let's hope I am that zen if and when the time comes.

Anyway, so here are a couple of my favorite holiday photos. this one is from the butterfly conservatory. the butterflies really loved Bubby and Ellie was desperate to have one land on her. She was standing still, then moving to a 'better' location, repeat. We had to go through twice but finally persistence paid off because she had one land on her! mission accomplished! and I managed to catch a photo of it, even though it was a brief landing.

how is this for a chocolate milk? we went to a dessert restaurant in key west called 'better than sex' and this is the chocolate milk with chocolate dipped rim! Ellie didnt even realize that it was chocolate on the glass until we told her. She just looked at it and went back to coloring.

love this face! I had to have her recreate it for this photo because every time I missed it. but the recreation was pretty spot on! every time she opened something exciting she would make this face and say, for this one, 'a bakugan! it's a bakugan!' but you really need to hear it for the intonation, it was GREAT!

and this one is for all of you children of the 80's - yep Santa came through. Boy did he come through! He got Ellie all sorts of He-Man and She-Ra toys.

the elves messed up the wings to She-Ra's flying horse though and they will have to make new ones and mail them after Christmas. Or at least that's the party line for now. Really, they were coming from London and didn't get here in time.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

my new homemade light box/tent

Yay! It is finally done and it works! No more waiting until the sun is up to photograph my projects. No more running outside in the freezing cold and chasing my pages across the lawn when it is windy. Now I can take great consistent photos inside any time! woohoo!

I got inspiration here:
and here:

they are two different approaches, and we sort of went with a combo of the two. The problem for me was that I want to be able to photograph 12x12 layouts, and it was tough finding a box that size. BUT we already had this tri fold cardboard display thing that I picked up at ACMoore for like $1. We DID have to buy lights but the large workshop light on the stand on the left was only like $10 on sale at the local hardware store and the smaller spotlight one was like $9 on amazon. And I will be working a little more on the 'stand' that the projects sit on. Right now it is a dish towel over a plastic shoebox thing.

the fabric is just a roll of lightweight curtain lining that I happened to have and dont plan on using any time soon. Oh and I DID have to switch my camera to manual and play around with the settings a little. I found that 400iso, 'more vivid' optimization, and incandescent +3 (or was it minus 3? I have it written down) seems to work the best (my camera is a nikon so yours may be different) now, does it work?! you be the judge:
the one on the left was taken outside in pretty good light. the one on the right was taken with my new set-up and virtually no touching up with photoshop. ok, maybe not a dramatic difference so how about this one...

the one on the left was taken inside with my lightbox before it was perfected. At this point I thought I was doing pretty well compared to what my indoor photos normally look like. the one on the right is with the new improved setup. notice the difference in the colors. If you arent familiar with the Webster's Pages Hollywood Vogue line, I will just tell you, the one on the right is MUCH more accurate. Also note the glare on the transparency on the left one. Again, virtually no retouching on the right.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Lots of news and an ACOT reveal with Webster's Pages!

So, I went out of town for a week and a whole bunch of cool stuff happened. First, I forgot to tell you that I won one of the Webster's Pages Winter Wonderland challenges for my new blog header, which I designed using their new digi stuff. Then I was featured in their gallery for my card which I made for this month's NVS girls challenge and used the Webster's Pages digital papers as hybrid elements. Then, totally out of the blue, I was informed by Sandy that I had been featured on the Moxie Fab world facebook page for my blue ice cream page posted as my Day 7 countdown page.

hmm, did I forget anything? well, probably I forgot to mention anything about our eventful trip to key west where, in between illnesses I attempted to teach myself how to relax and do nothing. But I think that is a story for another day.

For now, why don't you check out my latest reveal at ACOT featuring Wonder Fall from Webster's Pages.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 10 countdown

Today is going to be the final day of the countdown. I will have some more stuff from this year to share next week, but for now. I love this page because it is soft and pretty. I love the sentiment - is her birthday really her day, or is it mine? probably a little of both. And I love that Seth took the photo of this layout, and the fancy pants metal frame that I had hanging there is swung off the side in this photo! It makes me laugh! I went back and took another photo, but I guess I forgot to update it in my gallery, and that's ok with me. Pink Paislee products here.

And this is my favorite altered item of the year. It isn't as embellished as most of my altered items but it was a very ambitious undertaking and I love how it turned out. I wanted it to be functional, so of course I couldn't embellish it with much. Sassafras Lass here.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 9 countdown

This one is just fun! I love the punched ruffled paper 'ribbon' and I love all of the mixed up Sassafras Lass stuff.

This is my third favorite altered item of the year. I altered a plain plastic pumpkin to create this beautiful treat holder for my princess to carry on halloween. She LOVED it! Graphic 45 papers here.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day 8 countdown

This is another one that I love because of what it got me. this one won the pagemaps contest for the sketch from which it was taken. I also love all the stitching and the somewhat monochromatic look of it.

I also love this mini album because it is different and pretty. I love all of the details on it.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 7 countdown

like yesterday's layout, I love this page because it is outside of my normal style. This was a lift, but I changed it up a fair amount. I love the contrast between the varied blues and the black stitching.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 6 countdown

oh how I love this page! I love the bright bold colors and the messy mist and paint. I love that it is not my usual style. And I love the hand drawn characters. I drew them on scrap paper, used them as masks then drew them again on the background paper.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 5 countdown

I loved this page when I created it because I love the photo and the serene look of the monochromatic green. I rarely do hand stitching but I love it on this page. I love this page even more now though because it was chosen as a fabulous find on the My Mind's Eye blog.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day 4 countdown

Wow, I remember making this one too! I always say that one of the reasons that I scrapbook is because I have a terrible memory for events in my own life. But strangely, I seem to remember a lot about making my scrapbook pages. I remember working on this one at a weekend crop. I remember being inspired by another cropper's layout to create this quilted/tiled look. I also remember hand drawing and cutting out the kites.

I guess that is what I love about this - the distressing, the quilted look, the pops of red, and the memories.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 3 countdown

I remember photographing this page. It was for a Prima contest and I finished it late at night on the due date, so I had Seth hold it up next to the bathroom light to try and get the best photo possible. Obviously, the photo still isn't that great - but hey, that's why we are constructing a light tent right now - so I can get good photos at any time. Anyway, I love this page because it is so soft and 'pretty'. I also just love the photo.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 2 favorites countdown

I love this page because it is so fun and it was fun to make too! I love Sassafras Lass and I loved combining some of my favorite products on this page. It is quite busy but I feel that the whitespace around the edge keeps it grounded. And of course, I love that photo, of Ellie asleep in the car on Christmas day.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

counting down my favorites of 2010

Someone suggested doing a year end blog post containing your favorite layouts from the past year. I have a few exciting things yet to share at the very end of this year, but in the mean time, I really don't have much since I have been so busy with holiday and travel preparations. So, for the next ten days I will be counting down my favorite layouts and projects of the past year.

Today, I will start back in the spring with this layout about Seder. I love it because it has clean lines and a lot of white space and because it is purple!

Also from the spring, is this altered easter basket. This is possibly my favorite altered item EVER! I wove the strips of paper through the basket and then mod podged the whole thing.

Monday, December 13, 2010

oh yes I scrapped!

I was so stressed about getting some scrapping time in this month, but I did it! I scrapped A LOT this weekend. My parents were nice enough to take Ellie overnight so I got to scrap the whole day on Saturday! I participated in a couple of the Webster's Pages Christmas challenges, like my new blog header, and this altered notebook. It isnt really finished, I was going to add some more 'stuff' to it, but I ran out of time.

I finished a couple of other things, some for DT work and some that I just have not photographed yet. But you will be seeing it soon!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

got some photos!

of Ellie!

with santa. is it just me or does she look like she was added digitally?

and her school photo

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

December NVS challenge

The december challenge should be up at NVS (nerdy victorious scrappers) sometime today so I am going to post mine now.

I made this card using Webster's pages digital papers and elements that I printed out on cardstock. The lady was printed on transparency. The pins are jillibean soup. the flowers are websters. Lots of pop dots on this. I am going to try to take another photo soon, hopefully using my new homemade light box /tent. but I need to find a spare minute for that - lol! sketch is from priscillastyles MMSC84

Here is the inspiration for this month, and here is the challenge post .

this month we are sponsored by candy shoppe designs, check it out fabulous inspiration and products over there! there is a photo on the blog of the prize package too which looks AWESOME!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

birthday card

Here is another project from this month's WRMK reveal. I always need Birthday cards suitable for all ages. I love how bright and cheery this one is. This one was created for Card Creations: Favorite Occasions Week Birthday Challenge in the Moxie Fab World
I always get a lot of card inspiration from the Moxie Fab blog. You should check it out and play along. It really helps to expand your card making skills.

Here I used papers and chipboard from WRMK Funfetti line and stickers from SRM stickers.

Monday, November 29, 2010

WRMK funfetti reveal at ACOT

I think I am going through my greatest scrapbooking slump ever! I am just not in the mood to scrap lately. I think the big thing is that there are so many things that need to be done at home. We have been doing a lot of cleaning out and reorganizing and I am totally on a roll with that. It's starting to get a little sad though - there are so many gorgeous new products sitting in my scraproom that I havent even touched! I ordered them, and then by the time they arrived I was in this slump. Oh, well, Im not too worried, Im sure it will be over soon. probably when I finish my cleaning out - which is almost done.

I had to make myself work on these pages for the reveal. But I have to say - it was super easy! These papers were so fun and easy to work with that I just flew through the pages! This card is my favorite though. simple, bright and perfect for a birthday!
See the rest of the reveal HERE.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Wow, has it been that long?!

I can't believe that my last post was on Nov 9th! where did November go? We have been doing some major cleaning out and cleaning up around the house so I havent had much time to scrap. I am doing to fix that this weekend though. After thanksgiving (which I am cooking this year) I will be getting all caught up on my scrapping. I have tons of goodies sitting in my scrap room!

Hmm, I DID do a few things though. I made some sympathy cards with my Scrapbook Nook Nov kit. The photos are pretty bad, because I had to snap them real fast and get the cards in the mail.

Here they are though.

I have also been working on altering the light switch and outlet covers for my kitchen using the same kit. but I dont have any good photos yet. The colors match my kitchen scheme perfectly.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New reveal at ACOT

Check out my latest reveal of Pink Paislee Sweetness over at a cherry on top!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

ACOT crop coming up!

This weekend is the crop at A Cherry On Top! Be sure to stop by for classes, challenges and prizes! (I'm teaching a class on Saturday where we will make 8 Christmas cards and learn a bunch of stamping techniques.)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

New Challenges are up at ACOT ...

The new challenges are up at ACOT!!
This page is my example of my Trends and Techniques challenge this month where I challenge you to use a banner on your page. I created this page using a sketch from Pagemaps

Here are some close ups. I used a lot of Sassafras Lass Mix and Mend on this page

Monday, November 1, 2010

I have the BEST kid EVER!

Saturday morning 10/30/10 we got up at 5:30 for our trip to DC and the Rally to Restore Sanity. We woke Ellie up at 5:45 by singing Happy Birthday. We stopped at Wawa for coffee and the obligatory Birthday doughnut, before heading to the Septa train station. The train was about 15 minutes late but we still made it to 30th Street in Philadelphia with plenty of time to spare for our 8:12 train. At the train station we started seeing people headed to the rally, and Ellie quickly realized that she could get a great reaction by showing people her shirt. She wanted to show EVERYONE! and would walk up - point to the front, give them a minute to read it, then jump/turn around to show them the back and smile!
This is her on the train, and the front of the shirt, which was modeled after the rally poster, but said 'rally for my 5th birthday'.

this is the back, which says - 'and it ain't no tea party'

when we arrived in DC we met up with some college friends and went to lunch at a cute French bistro where Ellie got a chocolate lava cake with a candle in it and happy birthday songs from our friends in Russian AND Spanish.

Next we headed to the rally. we made a couple poor judgment calls. First, we probably should not have stopped for lunch, but we had a good time with good friends, so whatever. Second, we headed directly to the mall from the Capitol building direction, which put us approaching the rally stage from the back. We then had to get all the way to the other side of the mass of people before we could actually get onto the mall. We thought we would be able to walk down the sidewalk, or on the street there in front of the museums. Boy were we wrong!

This was the scene there. Sorry for the blur, I was just holding the camera over my head. and still, see how close that guy's head was in front of me?! It was crazy! But I have to say, everyone was SUPER nice. Everyone was pushing a little bit in the various directions that they wished to go, but no one was shoving or getting upset about it. People were joking and laughing and the guys who had climbed the trees next to us were narrating letting us know that the wave was coming and we had to raise our hands in 3, 2, 1 ! LOL!

and here is a photo that Ellie instructed me to take, of the police on horses. They were keeping that street open between the crowds. (Ellie was on Seth's shoulders so she was doing a little narrating too)

After I have no idea how long, I heard someone say that general admission could get onto the mall at 7th street. We were at 3rd and not moving AT ALL! So I got a little frustrated and, ok, I was starting to hyperventilate from claustrophobia or something. So, I instructed (through hand gestures because we had gotten separated) Seth to make his way to the street, then out past the museums away from the mall. (before we had been trying to move down the street/sidewalk in the direction of the washington monument) after we got about halfway down the block in between the museums, things cleared out a little so we could at least breathe and move. We made it over to the street behind the museums and then went down to 8th street before coming back over. We were then able to get onto the mall, and there was even some space where people were sitting. There were a lot of people with kids there. We gave it one more try to get to a place where we could see and or hear, but ellie was getting tired of the whole crowd thing, so we went back to the more open space and sat near some other families. Ellie had a blast showing people her shirt and having her photo taken. Then there was a drum group and she went over there and danced for a while. After sitting and relaxing a little, Jon Stewart started to speak. I could hear him a little but it just seemed like too much effort. I figured we would read or watch it online later, so I suggested we leave before the thing ended (and everyone else left too) and go to a museum. To minimize walking, we went in the one we were near, the natural history museum. Ellie enjoyed looking at the Hope Diamond. She said "wow look how sparkly!". Then we looked at insects and she got to hold a caterpillar and a millipede. She also liked looking at the tarantulas (safely behind their glass) After that I was very much in need of caffeine so we went outside and sat on the steps and waited to meet up with Rachel and her friend Rachel. They had actually managed to see some of the rally.

We hung out for a while and had some snacks that we brought along. Then we went back to the drum group. (by this time the rally was breaking up) Ellie danced and had her photo taken more.

Then we walked down to the reflecting pool by the Capitol and sat there for a while. Ellie chased the seagulls (so they wouldn't poop on our heads - lol) then Rachel left for dinner and we did also. She was taking the metro and I hope she made it ok because the metro was VERY backed up. My other friend Grant, who was supposed to meet us, ended up going home because he couldn't get on a train because they were all full. Some other friends who were supposed to meet us, did managed to get on a train, but they were overwhelmed by the crowds and also left early. So yeah, the attendee estimates probably don't include the people who turned around at some point because it was just too hard to get there.

We walked, along a street filled with a jovial mix of characters, to our restaurant, La Tasca. I wanted to go to Jaleo, because it seems that every time I go to DC I eat there. But we waited too long for reservations. So I managed to find another Spanish restaurant that DID have reservations (we made them on Friday afternoon via opentable). This photo could be titled, thank goodness for reservations! We were very tired, and hungry, and people without reservations were being told the wait was about an hour. We were seated pretty much right away. Sangria and tapas! yum! Ellie ordered chicken nuggets but ate mostly our calamari. It was good.

after dinner we got on the metro. Ellie got her own ticket because she is now a BIG 5 year old girl! She was excited about that. I was happy that the metro crowds had died down. When we got to union station I bought ellie a book because she was such a good girl ALL DAY!! She started a little meltdown at dinner, and at the ticket machine at the metro, but we managed to calm both of them, She was such a trooper! We were early for our train and that was good because when we finally got on, there were not enough seats, but we managed to find 3 together. this was Ellie before we even pulled out of the station.

and thanks to Seth's dad for picking us up at 30th Street so we didnt have to wait for the Septa train again.

Friday, October 29, 2010

pagemaps winner!

Can you believe this?! It is totally my lucky week. This just made my day!

from this sketch

Monday, October 25, 2010

Crate Paper sketch entry (and honorable mention)

I was having a tough day today. Thanks to Sarah for letting me know that my layout was one of the ones featured on the Crate Paper blog today. I didn't win the prize, but I'm thrilled none-the-less just to be mentioned.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

pencil lines sketch 100

Here is my take on the pencil lines sketch 100 using sassafrass lass products and a lot of stitching.

and this was inspired by the challenge at scrapping the music to use the song Bubbly by Colbie Caillait