Sunday, November 30, 2014

menu plan: cravings

i didn't post a menu plan last week as all it would have said was "thanksgiving food."  gabriel was leaving town with his dad early wednesday morning to go visit his aunty and cousins in arkansas.  they always have a lovely honduran thanksgiving dinner there which he enjoys.  he didn't want to miss out on his deviled egg fix, however, so i made a typical southern style  thanksgiving dinner for us on sunday.  we ate on that till he left and then i went to sherri's for thanksgiving and brought home a resupply.  by the weekend i was turkey'd out and resorted to some childhood favorites.  not once, but twice (each) i might add.  it's a good thing my baby is coming home tonight so i can start cooking healthy again.  while buying the above indiscretions from the dollar general, i saw a can of beef stew and got a hankering for the real deal.  g has requested my version of taco salad as apparently his aunty's dogs ate his bag of yesterday and he was much peeved.  i also may need to work in a trip to the chinese buffet after seeing christy eat some at the crop friday.  sounds like the makings of a (menu) plan!

this week's menu plan:

sunday - canned goods from the dollar general
monday - taco salad
tuesday - elementary school teacher christmas party
wednesday - church (subway $2 special?)
thursday - esl teacher christmas party
friday - beef stew
saturday - chinese buffet

project life: dallas trip

i got our texas trip scapbooked!  i ended up with three project life spreads for this one.  this first page is our trip to the fort worth botanical gardens.  the photos were all so beautiful that it was really hard to choose which to include.  i ended up only leaving one pocket open for a journaling card and not even embellishing the rest at all.  i thought the pictures were just lovely enough on their own.

the card is a free one i downloaded from elise cripe's log a couple years ago.  they are still available HERE.  i simply added the stamp and stitching.

here is the first spread.  the right hand side is our not so great fishing trip to a texas state park.

this fishing trip was much, MUCH better and we just walked there from my sister's house as it was at the little drainage pond in their neighborhood.

i used the november cocoa daisy exclusive day in the life cards (sold out) plus my oh dear me embellishment kits for these next two spreads.

this little circles were all punched out of one of the embellishment cards and then pop dotted for dimension. i really liked using them to spotlight the little creatures and journaling in the photos.

this page was our great grasshopper adventure.  i love that g and i have so much fun together out in nature.

this is the journaling card that i punched all those circles from earlier.  i did a lot of altering here!  i used a blender tool and ink to color it yellow, backed the empty circles with patterned paper, then added pop dotted circles and enamel dots to the rest of the circles.  i really got my mileage out of that one journaling card!  (you can see what the card looked like originally on mandie's page HERE.  look on the bottom row).

and my last texas spread.  on the left is a couple snaps of the flamingoes at the texas aquarium and pics of g and i at the bass pro shop cuz the bass pro shop is a tourist attraction, don't ya know?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

jbs mercantile: changes

if you are one who follows the scrapbooking industry, you may have read the news that jbs mercantile will be discontinuing their monthly papercrafting kit club.  i am very happy for jenni and her decision to pursue her new passions.  this is so very good for her and i'm so glad to live nearby and still get to help her and spend time with her.  she is truly one of the amazing ones. 

the thing i am sad about is to not have regular contact with the team of amazing women i have worked with these last few years.  it has been wonderful to surround myself with not only brilliant talent and inspiration, but such integrity and kindness.  at least i can say thank goodness for facebook and instagram.

december is our last month with the current selection of kits.  i decided to make a little christmas ornament as a momento of my years with the jbs mercantile kit club.  this little guy is very sweet and makes me happy.  he is a fitting reminder of treasured memories.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

good blog reads

well, my little sweet potato has gone with his dad to arkansas to spend thanksgiving with his aunty and cousins there.  he gave the kitties a little extra loving this morning before he left.  we're going to miss him while he's gone and are already eagerly anticipating his return.  in the meantime, what's a girl to do while the boy's away and the cats are napping?  why scrapbook, of course!  christy and i will be hosting an online crop all day friday at get it scrapped!  feel free to join us!  i've also found quite a few new blogs to explore.  i've been collecting them for so long that i've forgotten what all they are.  i will be rediscovering them this week, as well.  enjoy!  and hope you're having a great week!  :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

get it scrapped!: nature photography and scrapbooking

i'll be chatting with debbie hodge tonight at 7pm cst/8pm est.  you're all invited!  the topic is one that is near and dear to my heart, nature photography and scrapbooking.  read more about it HERE

product: this is another created with my diy shop knock off kit.  this time, instead of using my glitter box of tags and such, i added in some bits from my october oh dear me embellishment kit.

design: can you believe i knocked out a SIX photo layout with a HUGE journaling block?!  awesome!  i think this worked well because i stuck to with softer tone on tone patterns with slivers of brights around the edges.

technique:  these photos were taken with my iphone 5s.  i used the pictapgo app to brighten them and then used the diptic app to create the grid of 2x2 photos and also to edit the focal photo into a 3x4.

photos:  taken this october just as fall was hitting.  the trees look golden, but it was just a trick of early evening sunlight.  they were actually still 95% green.

journaling:  this one is atypical for me as it's an "event" layout.  yes, it's actually about fishing and what he caught!  (as opposed to my typical "moment" layout where i use photos to journal about a thought, emotion, story from the past, etc.  :)

Monday, November 24, 2014

me on monday: thumbs up!

tomorrow is the last day of school before turkey break!  trust me, teachers and students are all very thankful!  thumbs up on every hand!  this has been such a fast paced, hectic year in our county.  we appreciate every little break we get.

this is me one day last week taking a sixty second break with my first grader (you know the one).  she wanted to teach me a new game.  "thumbs up, dumbs up"  the object is to get your thumb down before the other person's slicing hand hits it.  i am, apparently, terrible at this game.  now, if laughing was the object, i'd win the prize.  that's me with the ending snort in the slow motion video reenactment below.  ha!

happy day, all!  i hope you find many reasons to feel blessed this holiday season!
joining in with the delightful sian fair and her "me on monday" meme.  you're welcome to join in, too!  we'd love to hear what you've been up to.  :)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

diy kit: smile

i always want to share more thoughts about my layouts, but alas i am lazy.  recently, i have been contemplating this dilemma and came up with a five area system that i could try.  photo, story, design, technique, and product.  maybe writing a sentence or two about each of these areas would be a nice compromise.  also, using the header/colon system eliminates the need for segues.  seques are just painful to me. 

let's give it a whirl . . .

design: i've been into playing with patterned paper mixes lately.  this has been especially fun when working with patterned papers that I've pulled from my own stash (as opposed to working with a kit that has been mailed to me aka chosen by someone else).

technique:  the cards on the right were originally manila colored.  i used an ink pad and blender tool to color them.  i then decided to add a few splats.  i guess it's been a while since I've splatted.  my first attempt was with my reinkers and a few strong blows.  that went totally wrong.  i then remembered that perfet splats are achieved with the dabber tips of distress stains.  i used this method plus some well placed sequins to hide my distressing splats.  good save, doris.

photo: a copy of one my mom snapped of me when i was a flower girl in my cousin's wedding.  don't you just love the muted tones, blow out, and white photo border?  (totally not being sarcastic, i really do love those things).

story:  while the photo is from my cousin's wedding, my journaling is mostly about my personality.  i was a very serious child back then.  i was often perceived to have a frown on my face, but in actuality i was just a very deep thinker.  i still am, but i've learned to relax the facial muscles so as to be less intimidating.  ;)

product:  here's a quick snap of the patterned paper i pulled together for my own little kit.  i based them off of american crafts diy shop paper pad.  i actually had so much fun pulling these together that i added an extra row or so.  so far, I've made three layouts with this kit that all look completely different even though they use some of the same papers (you can see another i posted from this kit HERE).  i plan to do at least one project life page with it as well before i disband it.

for the two pages I've posted from it so far, i also pulled extensively from my glitter box.  this is where i keep stuffing all my leftover tags, label stickers, and diecut bits.  you can see it's getting crowded in there and needs to be used more.  i'm hoping to make more of my own kits like this, so i can whittle down my stash.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

quality literature: flight behavior

another good one.  this one satisfied the science nerd, butterfly chasing, tree hugging side of me. 

it's quite a bit science preach-y in places.  i enjoyed that, but it's not for everyone i guess.  except taking care of our environment really is a group effort. 

really, i thought it did a lovely job of marrying science with a fictional storyline.  i was particularly pulled in by the character development of the protagonist and her mother-in-law. 

save the monarchs!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

family birthday bash

i kinda love these requisite cousins-who-came-to-the-birthday-party shots.  i need to one day dig them all out and make a mini-album of them.  so cute.  how can one photo document so much?  this is millie's first year with us, riley was in a ta-da phase, and the boys are getting so tall!

per aunt doris's instructions, lining up according to age for the piƱata.  the family parties are usually kept simple.  gallon sized ziplocs and a sharpie worked beautifully for the treat bags.  okay, maybe serviceably would be a better adjective there.

one . . .

two . . .

 three . . .

four!  score for the birthday boy!

i didn't feel too bad that jacob and troy didn't get a chance at bat.  they're in middle school now and can handle not getting a turn much better than the kindergartners can.

i had to photoshop these pictures a lot and they're really horrible still, but they have a certain charm about them.

i forgot the candles.  luckily gma had a few leftovers.  that looks like the number eleven, right?

went simple with the cupcake toppers too.  halloween is really the best time of year for a birthday.

 blowing out the candles right after the off key rendition of the birthday song.

gives a new meaning to cutting the cake.

doubly sweet!!

that moment when you know you've nailed his gift . . .

and then you nail the satisfied smile too . . .

and you just keep snapping away . . .

because the moment is so perfect and you want to remember it forever and always.

friend parties are amazing and fun, but there is just something extra special about family parties.  so hooray for cousins, smashing pumpkins, stores that sell fsu wrapping paper, finding the perfect gift, aunties, uncles, gmas, papas, and fall break in florida each year for this birthday boy's big celebration!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

birthday bowling

if you've visited here a time or two, you've probably noticed that i thrive on sunlight.  the winter months are difficult for me, to put it mildly.  i'm trying my best to stay positive about snowbird this year (even though he's had the nerve to show up early). 

one problem area for me is photography.  i adore natural lighting, but natural lighting is hard to find in hibernation mode.  hmmm.  but seeking the positive, this is a great time to work on my black and white photography skills, yes?  i mean, when pictures are of an inferior quality, converting them to black and white definitely helps, right?  so why not just work on actually taking cool black and white photos? 

that was the intent at my son's birthday bowling party last week (yes, i know his birthday was in october; i tend to get things done on my own time table around here).  it was hard getting into taking pictures.  indoor settings just don't seem to inspire me.  i'm really glad i tried though.  i like these few i took quite a bit. 

they didn't seem to work well in black and white, however, so i went with a vintage filter.  they're all edited in pictapgo with the "sx-70" filter at full force and then a slight bit of "lights on" added to it.  i think it's a fun look. 

this makes me laugh.  the big boys all used bumpers except for the second j.  they had fun bowling, but really it was just an excuse to visit the arcade afterwards.

these last two group shots are my favorite.  can't wait to scrapbook them.  :)

jbs mercantile gallery updates: tree fort part one

the photos of the boys building and playing in their tree fort have been begging to be scrapped.  i finally got one set done with my jbs mercantile november kits.  the "do" tag and "work hard" (used on the accompanying project life half page) tags were just beyond perfect.

this page talks about the actual process of building the fort and how much fun that was.  i'm saving the other set of photos of the two boys to do a page about their friendship.  these two have been together since they were three months old.  eleven years now.  how crazy is that?

look at me stamping again!  i might just turn into a stamper yet!

i printed out the journaling from the blog post about these photos, tucked it in the top slot of the project life page, and attached it with a little paper clip.