Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Cocoa Daisy: Project Life Pajama Time!

sneaking one more post in to tie my 2013 blogging record.  i was the biggest loser at skipbo tonight, but now i'm a winner once more!  ha!  happy new year, everyone!

created with the cocoa daisy january day in the life kit, pajama time!

fourteen favorites in 2014

happy new year's eve to you!  i managed to stay in bed till 11:00 this morning and after a very late breakfast, have spent the last couple hours enjoying reading others' reflections on 2014 online and looking back through my own blog posts from the year and reminiscing.  it was a very good year.  here are just a few of the highlights.  i'm glad i've gotten so many more recorded here on my blog and in my scrapbooks.

this first one is from a blog post i wrote to accompany a lesson on using natural lighting that i shared with the photography club at my high school.  i think i need to brush up on these points myself and see if i can work them into some winter photography. 

this will always be a treasured photo and one of our favorite childhood memories.  i'm glad i was able to get my thoughts about it written down here.  i'm not always good with the wordier essays.  i like to keep it brief.

i did a little more cooking in 2014.  go me.  i know that gabriel noticed, because at school he wrote a little abc book for mother's day and my favorite page in it is the letter d, "my mom is daring at cooking because she will try new recipes."  many of this year's recipes were tasty soups that i threw together without a recipe.  this one i am most proud of as the corn, peppers, and tomatoes were all from my own garden and the potatoes were from homer's farm.  it is very satisfying to grow your own food.

it was hard limiting myself to one layout.  there were several contenders.  i didn't dwell on it too long as i like them all for different reasons.  this one i love because of the soft  design that manages to let the little vintage photo of my brother and i shine.  i also managed to write a lot of lengthy journaling and get it on the page in a way that works well with the design.  this is one of my all time favorite photos.  the page just has an all around sweetness and i'm glad i've gotten these stories written down.

i love all my florida photos.  it's always warm in florida, plus we always have fun times with the family, like going out crabbing on the intracoastal, and it always reminds me of other great memories from my childhood.

this was my second year taking wildflower photos.  i have tagged them "roadside attractions" and photographing them has become one of my favorite hobbies.

i also got into gardening more than ever before.  i enjoyed documenting my garden and homer's farm in my online garden journal.  these zinnias got a post all their own.

this summer we got to travel a couple extra times.  the first was to visit my sister and her family at their campsite in the mountains of north carolina.

we also visited my sister in texas where i got to photograph texas wildflowers and a crazy grasshopper invasion.

i didn't get as many crafty projects done this year as i had intended, but i do a few.  g's class valentine's are always a highlight of my year.  i was worried this year that i wouldn't be able to come up with anything close to the coolness of last year, but i persevered and was quite happy with the way these turned out.  you can never go wrong with shel silverstein, right?

brevity is my forte with journaling and i was very pleased with this six word memoir.  i just wish i'd gotten more of my dad's old black and white photos documented.  i need to be more diligent about it in 2015.

i am very close to accomplishing my goal of reading 52 books this year.  i know today is the last day, but i think i'm going to make it.  so many great books.  this was one of my favorites this year.  so looking forward to more great books in 2015.  this was a very worthwhile and enjoyable pursuit.

this was one of my proudest moments this year.  i dug up a holly bush with a hatchet, a shovel, a trowel, and my own brute strength.  actually, it happened more than once.  i am woman, hear me roar.

and i think this is my favorite photo of my son and i from this year.  i was actually taking a solo selfie when he came and photobombed it.  i always think my smile is better when he's in the picture though.  and with this, let me encourage you to take more pictures WITH your child this year.  you won't regret it.

i hope your last few hours of 2014 are special ones.  make them so. 

much happiness to you and yours,

doris (and gabriel)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Cocoa Daisy: Pajama Time Guest!

i was delighted to work with the cocoa daisy kit club for january.  the box of happy that came in the mail was happy indeed, but more importantly, the all the peeps at cocoa daisy were fun and kind.  i enjoyed creating and hanging out with them ever so much.

for my first set of projects, i wanted to focus on the mask that came in the main kit.

product: cocoa daisy january kit - pajama time!

story: these are a couple photos i took of my son one afternoon.  first he sanded my feet for me and later on i was photographing my new raskog cart and he totally photobombed it butt naked. the photos really crack me up.  they share part of his personality so well.  the fact that he is who he is and is totally comfortable in his own skin.  i'm proud of that.  also, i think they will make excellent photo editions to his graduation slide show when the time comes. ;)

photos: taken with my iphone 5s.

design: i call this my organic graphic style.  very linear, but not quite.  rigid alignment has never worked well for me.  here everything is in line and tidy, but ever so slightly off kilter.  i like that.

technique: i used washi tape to mas off a rectangle at the top of the page and then used a time holtz blending tool with grey ink and the text mask that came with the kit.  when i finished with the ink, i removed the washi tape and machine stitched around the design.

i also made a tiny fold over card to hold my journaling.  i cut patterned paper to 4x6 a scored it in the middle.  i then added white cardstock for the journaling and a stapled on a little tab from the kit.  the pebbles inc. emoji paper is the cutest.  i wanted to use it on every project.  and dots on the back?  i need two pieces!

this the pocket page on the facing side in my album.  i used the awesome cocoa daisy exclusive patterned paper to create decorative cards for the two photoless pockets on the page.  the cutie emoji paper shows up again as that little tab.

i used white embossing powder to color the kraft diecut and thickers from the kit.

here are the two pages together.  i really like the way these pages blend so well even though the photos are from three (really more) different events.

this is a bonus page.  it's the beginning page of my second album from this year.

i wanted to show the versatility of the stencil, so this time i used the same blending tool technique but cut my cardstock down to 9x4 and only used the top portion of the stencil.  when i finished inking, i used a fine point sharpie to outline the text and give it a different look.  i then sliced the cardstock into three 3x4 cards and machine stitched around each one.  the journaling then is about three different topics from the photos.

the fourth topic was the band perry concert in my high school gym.  just THE most amazing concert experience that i have ever (or will ever i think) been to.  just wow.  it needed lots of its own journaling.  one of my coworkers was also able to get a press pass and go right up to the stage to take these amazing photos.  i wanted to include several of those in the spread as well, so i used washi tape and made a couple little flip books (one is 3x4 and the other is 4x6).

i have lots more projects from the january cocoa daisy kits (note - the add-ons are currently only available to members.  they will go on sale to the general public on january 1st) to share and lots more scrapping to do with them!  you can see even more projects created with these fabulous kits in the design team gallery.

Monday, December 29, 2014

holiday mini: july through november

my holiday mini-album was a year long project that i started with a great deal of enthusiasm last january.  i maintained my enthusiasm through march and then it began wavering.  i basically blew it off for the rest of the spring.  in june i decided to get caught up on it, but pared it down to just the title page, holiday pages, and the ending page each month of my son and i and a few of our favorite (current) things (i left out the birthday page, quotes page, and recipes page).  then i got behind again and had to power though on catching up in november and early december.  i am now down to just my december pages to be finished (i am planning on giving myself a year off from this project and then adding the missing birthday, quotes, and recipe pages in 2016).  what i have discovered is that i do not have the attention span for year long projects.  squirrel!

july opening page

celebrating the 4th of july, u.s. independence day

me and g, intro to august

august intro

first day of school

me and g, intro to september

intro to september

fall equinox

me and g, intro to october

intro to october


me and g, intro to november

intro to november


me and g - this is my favorite part of the book, the monthly photos of my son and i and a few of the things we liked about that month or something we did that month.  if you don't get in the photo month, i highly recommend that you make it a goal to have a monthly photo of you and your child(ren) or a selfie if you're single or past the kid years.  this is my second year doing this and it's so worth it.

g's bookshelf: frindle

i know some of you may have been wondering (from my last post) how i could possibly cheat at my own game.  well, for starters, i pulled book #50 in my quest from g's virtual bookshelf.  i downloaded "frindle" for him earlier this month as it was a novel they were reading in language arts and he needed it to complete a homework assignment.  i had read a chapter in the middle to help him with said homework assignment and was slightly confused (from starting in the middle) and very intrigued.  turns out i was right to be intrigued.  IF YOU ARE A SCHOOL TEACHER (NO MATTER THE SUBJECT OR GRADE LEVEL) READ THIS BOOK!  i LOVED it!  i loved that adorable inquisitive student on the front cover, i loved his teacher, and i loved the message.  i totally teared up at one point.  this is a great read; don't discount it because it's written on a fifth grade level.

what g had to say:

g hasn't finished it yet.  he really didn't care to tell me anything about it.  he said, "it's more we're forced to read it because we have to do that packet (my teacher gave me)."  they were given a big packet of worksheets they've been plowing through and it seems this has killed his interest in the story.  hmmm.  i think there is a lesson here as well.

p.s. for my final cheat, i have begun another trilogy.  i am positive i can finish the first book in the allotted time and as long as i've gotten the next one started, i'm calling it good.  52 books is in the bag.  ;)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

quality literature: if i stay (where she went)

at some point last january i decided that reading 52 books this year was a worthy goal.  at some point in november i realized that i still had 20 books to read to meet that goal and less than two months to do it in.  i wasn't scared.  i am a bookworm.  i devour books.  last night i stayed up till 2:40a.m. reading this one.  then i stayed in bed till 11:00a.m. this morning finishing the sequel.  today i proudly stand at 49 books read this year.  three more to go and three days to do it.  i'm still not scared, but i may cheat a little.

this is another young adult novel recommended by the librarians at my high school.  it is a beautiful little book (yes, i chose to read it last night because it was the smallest in the stack. don't judge ;).  it's about love, family, music, and life.  very enjoyable.  the sequel was good too, although i had the urge to skim in several places.  the angst was totally understandable, i just wasn't in the mood to read it today.

and now i'm off to see what the next skinniest book in the stack is . . .

quality literature: the monstrumologist

this was a strange one.  i started reading it last may right as school was letting out.  i guess it started too slowly or i just wasn't in the mood for the genre.  i'm not sure.  i got about 1/5 of the way in and just stopped.  come to think of it, this was about when i stopped reading for a couple months in general.  anyway, don't blame anything on the book.  i finished it last night and turns out it is quite good!  i'm actually stoked that there are three more in the series that have gotten equally good reviews.  putting them on my "to read" list.

but back to the strangeness of the book.  the english teacher in me is intrigued.  this is listed as young adult fiction.  high school level.  for the first half of the book, the storyline seemed more middle schoolish.  the sentence structure isn't too intense, but the vocabulary . . . WOAH!  there is heavy hitting vocabulary in this one!  love that!  but definitely not middle school level.  then the storyline got a little more disturbing.  definitely past middle school level.  so it's all good.  ha!

anyway.  good book.  horror, but more old school style if that makes sense.  i wonder if my sister would like it?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

the christmas lights at opryland hotel

i wonder if he realizes how silly he looks with this particular smile on his face.  then i think that maybe he does realize how silly he looks when his mother makes him pose with his head in front of a big bow on a christmas tree at the opryland hotel.  we have humor and a great love for each other, my son and i.

there were several trees scattered throughout the hotel that had been decorated by country music stars and were being auctioned off (along with other prizes donated by those performers) for charity.  it was fun to find them as we walked along.

i somewhat envy those with girls dressed in pretty, festive holiday attire.

 oh, christmas tree!  oh, christmas tree!  how lovely are thy branches!

the poinsettias were gorgeous.  i wish the photos of the pink ones had turned out.  those were my favorites.

the angels at the outside nativity scene.

mary and joseph riding into bethlehem.

the tall, tall christmas tree of lights outside the hotel.

we had never seen people go inside the big christmas tree before, but this night we did.  so we did.

g showing how rich people drink their starbucks with their pinky sticking up.

beautiful, beautiful christmas lights.  you should go!

dolly parton's tree.  the shoe does fit.  :)