Friday, April 29, 2011

A Royal Wedding

(Photo of course not taken by me)

I really was not going to get caught up in all of the Royal Wedding stuff. But it's kind of hard not to :) I watched a special or two on t.v. and read a book about their courtship.
I didn't get up at 4am to watch live, but did record it on my DVR.
Although I was awake at 5:45 am this morning anyway, so decided to watch a bit live.

Evan's teacher had been talking about it at school. Being eight, almost nine, he doesn't really get it. But did want to watch a little with me this morning. I think to see what all the hype was about.
Some of my favorite lines from him this morning:

"Mom, they're wearing suits!"
"Mom, they have cars!"
He thought everything would be more "old time" as he put it. 
It was fun talking to him about it and hearing his perspective :)

As for me, seeing her walk in church, hearing the vows, seeing the carriage ride and this kiss is enough for me.  I hope they have a wonderful and happy marriage. :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Children's Books

Anyone who knows me and my early childhood education background, knows how much I love children's books! And sadly lately, I've found a lack of really good quality children's books in the book stores or at the library.
I don't expect every book we read, to be perfect and entertaining. But at least give me some interesting, attractive illustrations. Or a story that doesn't talk about farting or Spongebob or completely bizarre topics that make no sense. It's almost as if they are dumbing down books for children these days because they think that a certain type of story or humor will sell!

I have to say though, our last two trip to the library was a success :)
This book tells the "story" about Jane Goodall's formative years and what led her to work with animals in the jungles. Talk about your cute, sweet illustrations! I love her little stuffed monkey that she takes everywhere. And I love the message to children. When you grow up, you can be what you want to be. You can follow your dreams :)

This book is just fun! :) For any exhausted parent of a newborn baby, you will get a laugh. I know I did! Funny illustrations with some very truthful statements about this boss baby and you have a book that is fun to read! I'm so glad we found this one, too.

If you have any good recommendations for children's books, please share! :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Scrapping for Fun!

I'm in the process of decluttering and organizing all my scrap stuff. This is a huge project because it includes all scrap product, photos that haven't been organized into boxes (and redoing some photo boxes), my inspiration binder, and my scrap office arrangement and the closet that holds the stuff that doesn't fit in my small office! I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by it, but am slowly getting there.
To get to my scrap office, you now have to walk through Erin's room. And the closet in there needs major reorganizing as I want to move her clothes and toys in there. It's a huge walk-in closet with lots of space. So I do want to keep one small area for some scrap product like my messy supply cart. The one that holds the paints, mists, etc...
In the process, I am taking apart the last few Studio Calico kits I have. Only two left now after finishing Documentary. I finally literally used this one to bits with this layout...
I was inspired by a layout Steph H. had in her DT gallery. The title and using the tickets for a mat. The journaling talks about how I would follow Mike anywhere. Even to the Cliffs of Mohr in Ireland! This layout is going in my personal album from our trip to Ireland :)

And these cards are created using the sketch on Day 3 from Kelly Purkey's Sketch 3 class. I loved this sketch and decided to make two cards when I found that little You & Me sticker from the October Afternoon Thrift Shop line that went with the papers :)
Haven't had a lot of time to scrap lately and need to work on my Design Team projects for Scrapgal in May.
So those will probably be the next I share :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pinwheel Tutorial for Scrapgal!

My pinwheel tutorial should be up on the Scrapgal blog today, but I am going to share it with you here as well :) I used my pinwheels to create flowers for my layout. Ribbons for my stems and Doodlebug polka dot glitter cardstock for the the stem leaves :). The patterned paper is all by American Crafts. As are the large letter stickers.

I saw a tutorial in Scrapbooks Etc...this month on how to make pinwheels to put on display and thought they would make a great addition to a scrapbook page :)

April Step 1

1. You first need to cut your paper into an even square. My pinwheels on my end layout are 4x4 and 3x3. And you need to use double sided paper because both sides will be showing :)
Then use a ruler to draw a large "X" in the center on the back side.

April Step 2

Using scissors, you should cut a line almost up to the center leaving about a 1/2 inch before you reach the center point.

April Step 3

3. Punch a small hole in every other corner.

April Step 4

4. Begin folding in each corner with the punched hole...

April Step 5

until all the punched hole points meet at the center.

April Step 6

5. Then fasten with a brad :)

A great way to use leftover scraps of double sided scrapbook paper :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Reading and To Be Read

This one on my own. Once I got past the slow start in the beginning, I started to enjoy it! I am not a big Jane Austen fan. Shocking I know (lol) The only period book that I love is Jane Eyre. I could read that one over and over again. And I have. But Jane Austen's books kind of tire me out. This one is not so complicated as far as the language. And apparently has a twist on the original Mansfield Park. I have never read it. 
But truthfully, I think I am definitely going to give it a try now that I have read Murder at Mansfield Park. I'm curious in how the characters are different from that book.

Reading this one with Evan at bed time. He is really loving this series right now. It's the third time I have read this book, but it's fun seeing his reactions to the series for the first time. And his endless questions about what is going to happen are getting harder and harder to deflect.

To Be Read

Looking forward to this one. I don't know that much about it, but it seemed intriguing. Especially that cover! I love books with great covers :)

Still looking forward to this one.

And the reviews weren't so great on Janet E.'s book, but since I've read a lot of her other books, I thought I'd give it a try. I've been known to start a book and not finish it, so this could be one of them. We'll see :)

What are you reading right now?
Any good recommendations?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Park Photos and a Layout

About a week ago I took my camera with the zoom lens across the street to the park just to play around with it. And as you can see by my description of "zoom lens", I am not a pro at this. I have no idea what kind of lens it is. I just know it's the one that takes really cool close ups. Mike is the one who knows all the technical stuff!
One of these days I *will* take a camera class. Although, I have definitely learned a lot the past few years.
We are really lucky to have a great park right across the street from our house. With two playgrounds and a splash fountain. Lots of historical pavillions and just really pretty areas. Everyone teases us about what a great "front yard" we have :)
My first favorite shot was of Erin.

It amazes me how much fun the kids have in the park. First we played baseball for a little bit. And then Erin wanted to just check out the trees, while Evan was running around collecting sticks.

Then Erin had to get in on the stick collecting.

So Evan could build this. My artist son entitled his wood sculpture "the stick dancer". Seriously this kid loves art so much and creating and building things out of legos and any kind of construction material he can get his hands on. He goes back and forth saying he wants to be an architect or a "lego builder" when he grows up. And by lego builder, he means those lucky guys who get to work with legos for a living :)

And then daddy was back from his run around the park. Yep, it's a good place to exercise, too! Very peaceful and pretty. We use this park a lot, can you tell :)

And finally a layout I made for Kelly Purkey's Sketch 3 class. This one was from day 3. And the photos are from a Sunday we went to see our nephew in a rowing meet. A totally different park, but just as pretty and with a lake. I also made a card to go with the sketch but haven't taken a photo yet.
So far it's been a great class with four days of sketches for inspiration.
But I knew it would be :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Book and a Layout about Duran Duran

So I've been reading this book. I requested it from the library just because of the title. I'll admit it :) Duran Duran was my favorite band until I discovered U2 in 1987. And then they quickly took a back seat. But I've always had a special place in my heart for them.
As for the book. It's ok, but has kind of lost me. Written by a music journalist, it's a little to jumbled and rambling. I like the premise to an extent. Using his favorite songs from the 80's to talk about how they related to his life. But after a few chapters, I just didn't care anymore. I did read the last chapter since it was of course a song by Duran Duran. I'd be interested to know what others thought of this book.
It did make me think of this layout I made for an on-line crop a year or so ago at Scrap Diner which is no longer open :(  All the challenges had to do with music. And I don't specifically remember the challenge for this layout, but I had fun making it!
For the journaling, I just made different statements about the band and what I remember. My favorite being that my bedroom, that I had to share with my poor sister, was literally wallpapered in photos and posters of the band!
 "I Was a Teenage Duranie" I really was :)
And the fact that this band is still around is pretty amazing to me. My mom said they would never last (lol)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Story Time!

I love that they offer free scrapbook classes over at 2p's . I've done layouts from a few of them off and on since they started offering them last year. This is a layout I did from Nichol's Stamp Class . For the month of April we were encouraged to use stamped journaling. Whether that be journal spots, stamped words and phrases or images. I stamped journal spots, the title and images. She also suggested using colorful inks which to me is better than using black all the time :) I pretty much just used her layout as a sketch. Especially the top. I changed the bottom a little bit though to fit my needs.

Also, the Scrapgal website will be closed for the next few weeks as they try to work on the new site. There have been a lot of issues and glitches and Jenn just wants to get it taken care of once and for all. It will be great once it's back running! In the meantime, the blog will still be open as will their Facebook page!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Blog Hop Winner and the Rest of My April Projects!

Here are the rest of my projects for the month of April using American Crafts :)
I decided to do a 12x12 layout for this one. I lightly misted the yellow side of a sheet of American Crafts paper from the City Park line (Gryffn Park) using Tattered Angels Gingerbread Glimmer mist. I wanted it to have a muddy effect. My title was created using American Crafts stickers, thicker alphabet and Cosmo Cricket mini alphas. Same for the cloud sticker with Evan's name. The chipboard accents are American Crafts as well.

My second layout is 8 1/2 x 11 because I wanted to just highlight one photo. Some pretty yellow flowers from a flower box in our backyard. For the strips at the top and bottom of each page, I used American Crafts patterned paper from the City Park line (Liberty Grove) and Fabric Paper from the Dear Lizzy's Spring line (Snapdragon Soiree). I also used an American Crafts chipboard frame and Dear Lizzy rub-on's. The flower embellishment is Sassafras Lass. And the memo page I used to type my journaling on is from Making Memories.

I did a two pager this month! When I saw the October Afternoon picnic flashcard in my kit of supplies, I knew exactly which photos I wanted to use :) Since the other flash card didn't really fit the theme, I turned it around and used it for my journaling. Decorated with a button strip, some trim, a tree cut from AC patterned paper and a tree sticker and label, I had a home for my story. I also matted both flashcards on AC patterned paper from the blue skies line. I hand cut the cloud and kite from some more AC patterned paper and my title was complete.

And the news you are all waiting for! The winner of the American Crafts prize pack is:

Arla Mo!
Scrap supplies are definitely one of my top reasons to scrap! Love your mini - very cute!

Please email me at with your address and I will send out your prize pack ASAP :)