Monday, February 27, 2012

Coming Up in March!

Here is a little peek of one of the projects I will be sharing over at Scrapgal.
There is a little bit of misting on this project because...
We will be focusing on mists this month on the ScrapGal blog. The design team will be sharing projects, challenges, tips and tutorials on using your mists! If you are like me, it took a while to jump on the mist bandwagon. And now that I have, I love finding new ways to use them :)

So hope you will join us starting in March!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Creating a Mask for Misting!

I have a post up today at the ScrapGal blog involving this layout and a tutorial using an acrylic key chain to create a mask. The title area of my layout is where I used my mask :)
Would love for you to come and check it out!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Few More Ireland Pages!

Well, that was a nice little, unintended week long blog break.
Between losing internet for almost two days, a busy weekend and the holiday on Monday, I just didn't have time to check in.
But today I want to share a few more pages from my mother-in-law's album.
I showed the title page for the album here.

These photos are from the boat ride they took down the St. Lawrence river to get to the Atlantic and on to their journey to Ireland.
I am learning that even with "newer product" this album is going to have the older vintage feel to it that I hoped. It helps having the older photos in photo corners to the handwritten journaling by my mother-in-law's father that she wants included.
I did leave a blank square there at the bottom for her to add some journaling. We haven't decided yet if she is going to hand write or she wants me to type it. We will see when the album is completed.
A few photos as they arrived into Ireland once again using a vintage post card and her father's handwriting :)
This page is one of my favorites! And it's all because of that photo on the left. I LOVE her smile in that photo. If you click on the page, you may be able to see it closer. The excitement in her smile at finally arriving matches the journaling by her dad underneath.  The sticker "a little birdie told me" is special because my MIL has such fond memories of her older cousin Birdie who helped take care of her while she was there. Birdie is the woman on the far left in the photo.
And I had the absolute pleasure of meeting a much older Birdie when Mike and I went to Ireland back in 2009. She is a pretty amazing woman!

I am looking forward to completing a few more pages soon, but I have some assignments to work on for the month of March for ScrapGal first!
Those will be coming up next week already :-O

Just one more note - I have been struggling with the new word verification on blogger. Hopefully this won't still be an issue when this is posted. But I apologize in advance if it is.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day Recap!

Another non scrappy post, but that's ok.
We had a nice day yesterday.
Evan and Mike had work all day of course, and this year Erin had preschool in the morning. (so much fun that she came home from school calling her Valentine box, her "box of love". And it was full to the brim!)

Valentine's Day has significantly changed for me in the past several years. It's no longer so much about romance, but family.
Don't get me wrong. It's not like I don't believe in romance. I do. But personally I don't really need to devote a day to it. :)
And Mike and I actually celebrated on this past Saturday when we were able to have a date night with the kids at my parents. We have actually had several date nights this year already which is nice. As the kids get older, it gets easier to put that time aside! I'd rather have date nights than one day a year (lol)

Anyway, for Valentine's Day we do a family party in the evening when everyone is home together. I decorate the dining room, we have a special dinner and dessert, and exchange a few Valentine's.
And I was pleasantly surprised at the "valentine's" Mike picked out for each of us this year.
What you may say? How are books good for Valentine's Day?
Well if you know my husband, you know he is not a reader. He just doesn't like to read unless it's something "useful".
But the rest of us are. We love to read. Evan more and more so as he becomes more comfortable with it.
And I have been a book addict since I learned to read many, many, many years ago ;)

For me:
I never told him I wanted to read this book. But he knows how much I love her and love Glee. Great choice, no? :) I always find it kind of hard to buy books for others without some kind of clue.

For Evan:
Somehow this book came up in conversation, and I realized Evan really didn't know who Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn were. So Mike picked it up at the book store and they are going to read it together. What could be better than reading a book together? And I should know after reading all of the Harry Potter books with E.

And for Erin:
Mike knows how much she loves Strawberry Shortcake and how much she loves her dance class. Perfect :)

A dad who knows what his family loves. Something that isn't about him. Could you ask for anything more? Especially on Valentine's Day :)

Me on the other hand. I bought Mike this:
We have been wanting to see this for a while. Pretty happy to say that I am three for three in the surprise department for gifts lately. Mike is really hard to surprise with gifts and he is so good at surprising me! But so far, his birthday in December, I got him Radiohead tickets. He didn't see it coming and loves Radiohead. Christmas - an ipad. And now - this movie. Grant it, the movie is small compared to concert tickets and fun technology, but it is just being able to surprise him with something he wants!

So Valentine's Day was fun! But hardly any photos. For some reason, I just wasn't into "capturing the moments" this year. The only real photos I took were
Erin marble painting while I tried to finish up cookie dough, and...
the kids opening up a little gift from their Mimi. Their own flashlights which they loved. She knows them so well :)
Otherwise, it was a pretty photo less, stress free, Valentine's Day.
How about you?

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Scrappy Post :)

I know my last three posts have not really been scrapbook related, but I enjoyed reading and appreciated the comments! :)
Today is all scrapbooking starting now!
First a layout...
I found myself choosing all My Mind's Eye product to work with this month from ScrapGal. For this layout, I wanted to use my favorite style - clean and simple. Wit the two die cut cards, plus two photos and a journaling block I created out of a piece of MME patterned paper, I was able to set it up pretty quickly! I used my corner rounder so the photos and journaling would resemble the die-cuts. Three floral stickers from this...
sticker sheet (two of them pop dotted) and some October Afternoon letter stickers and a label sticker. Done! I think typing and printing up what I wanted to say was actually the longest part.
Anyway, now I have a layout that looks like it's about two girls playing dress-up, but really tells the story of a close relationship between cousins :)
Kind of following my previous challenge to use a photo, but make the journaling/story about something else :)

Second, do you read this magazine?

This is the April 2012 issue. You can find one of my layouts on page 32 and 33 this month. It's a two page layout so it has a two page spread :) This is only my second publication so it is still pretty exciting seeing my work in print!! :) I should be able to share it on the blog soon, but I have to wait just a while longer.

And last of all, I have been asked to stay with the Scrapgal design team for another term :) You can see the blog post here of new and returning design team members.

I'll be back with a Valentine's Day post on Wednesday.
Hope you have a day filled with love and happiness tomorrow!
Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Art and What it Means to Me!

(photo taken back in September 2011 by me)
We are so lucky to have this amazing art museum here. I have been going there since I was a little girl. My grandpa loved to paint and often did reproductions of famous paintings. Especially by Van Gogh. In fact, for the longest time, I thought my grandpa Pete was Van Gogh because we had so many copies of his paintings hanging in our house :)
When I was in high school, I once again started spending time at the museum. Especially with one of my best friends, Linda. It was such a peaceful place for me. Somewhere, I could go and just walk around in the quiet. I always had my few favorite pieces that I loved to visit while there. Number one on the list was this sculpture by Rodin...
 (Photo definitely not taken by me - lol)
"Despair". For a teenage girl in high school going through all that teenage angst, it spoke volumes to me. Although I will never forget the first time I saw it. My friend Linda and I had stopped by and as we walked up to the sculpture she said "Awwwwww" and reached out to pat him, just being silly. The docent on duty exclaimed in a loud voice "Don't touch the sculpture". Well after that we never touched the sculptures or anything for that matter.
But this piece became one of my favorites. It really expressed something that I knew in all my trials and tribulations I had yet to truly experience. Thankfully. 
And then one day it was gone.
I went looking for it and couldn't find it anywhere. 
I just figured it was moved to another museum.
Until today!
Erin and I were driving through the park on our way home from lunch with Mike. She was recalling the flag display (shown in the first photo from the 9/11 tribute) that we had seen last September. At first I couldn't figure out what she was talking about and then it clicked. The Art Museum. She asked if we could go and I said why not. The flags are no longer there, but I was looking forward to walking around the museum with her. It is under construction right now so a lot of exhibits are closed or moved around.
But I still enjoy the quiet and peace. The chance to share one of my favorite places with Erin. 
And then there it was. As we left the little cafe area, right in the next gallery. Despair. 
Can you believe how happy it made me to see this sculpture that represents something quite the opposite of what I was feeling.
Apparently after fifteen long years, it is back.
I didn't have a camera with me today, but I plan on going back.
Because in addition to Despair, I want to get a photo of this painting
Loch Lomonde by Gustave Dore - love this painting! Always have.
And one of my favorite Van Gogh's
Stairway at Auvers. Yep, I had a copy of it hanging in my home by my grandpa. I think I will always have a special place in my heart for Van Gogh because of my grandpa. And standing there staring at the original painting in our Art Museum just fills me with awe. I feel a little bit the same way when I am at a U2 concert and Bono or the Edge or Adam are standing right there making their music (lol) It's amazing!

And I wonder sometimes if my love for art, and the fact that I have been taking my kids to the art museum since they were babies (especially Evan), plus the talents of my grandpa and mom have been a little bit of the force behind Evan's need to draw and create and want to be an artist or architect someday.
Can you imagine the world without art? I know I can't :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Currently Listening To...

Foster the People - love pretty much every song they have. Now if they would just come here or anywhere near hear for a concert, Mike and I would be happy.

Duran Duran - yes, I was a groupie back in the day. And their new album is pretty darn good. Really connected to all their old school fans with some trips down memory lane. Love "All You Need is Now." Makes me bust out my dance around the room moves just like when I was thirteen. While no one is looking except Erin of course :) And to think, my mom said they would never last. How many years later are we? lol
The Black Keys - Now these guys we *are* going to see live in a few months. Happy about that. Love their classic rock sound.
Foo Fighters - love them. That is all. And I am listening to Walk over and over. And love Dave in this...

in this video!
Other bands seeing soon in concert - Jane's Addiction and Radiohead.
And as always, listening to U2.
What music are you listening to right now?

Monday, February 6, 2012


being a parent is not always easy. Especially when it comes under the category of "doing it for their own good"
After Evan left this morning, I came into the kitchen to find this

Yep, that is his lunch bag.
And why don't I just run it up to school for him you ask?
Because it is a goal that he is working on, and truthfully been doing a great job at it!
Part of his issues with ADHD have been executive functioning issues. Organization, remembering to turn in assignments, etc... He has come a long way because it has been the big goal for this school year.
But occasionally there is a forgotten item. Or something that needs organizing :)
He is given one chance for me to bring lunch up to him at school for the school year.
After that, it is a peanut butter sandwich from the cafeteria.
He has not had to do that all year. Until today.
I am so tempted to just run it up there! But I won't.
It would not be fair to either of us in the long run.
And I guarantee you tomorrow he will not forget his lunch.
It happens. I know. But these are the moments we learn from.
And as a parent, I have to know when I need to stick with the plan and when I can be flexible.
But knowing at some point he is going to go to grab his lunch and find it's not there, just makes me feel bummed. He is going to be disappointed. Especially since one of daddy's famous chocolate chip, peanut butter cookies is in there.

On another note, I thought Madonna did a great job with the half time show during the superbowl. It was the only thing I watched and the commercial for "The Voice". Which made no sense to me until I saw a little bit of The Voice last night :) But Madonna. Wow! Brought back some good memories of songs I loved when I was younger.

And finally, this is a card I made for ScrapGal this month. I chose all  My Mind's Eye product this month. For this card, I decided to cut up this paper...
from the Madison Avenue collection. And this sheet of diecuts...
Also from the Madison Avenue collection.

Hope you have a great Monday!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Ireland Album

Today I just want to share a little bit of the album I am making for my mother-in-law.

Just to give you an idea of the feel of the album, here is the title page. You can get a feel for the color scheme (yellow, greens, blues, gray and white) I found that "Celtic" trim ages ago knowing someday I would need it :)
Also using a little bit of subtle patterned papers that go with the "theme", some Amy Tangerine washi tape, and Sassafras letter stickers.

My mother-in-law and I sat down and talked about what she really wanted for this book. After all, this trip was probably one of the highlights of her life. If you look at that photo with her parents, that smile on her face all those years ago, still lights up her face today when she talks about the trip :) It was so much fun to hear her stories. We went through all the photos she had, separated them into piles and figured out that the album needed to be done in sections. Such as preparing for the trip, the journey over, and then the different places she went while there.

That great postcard at the top of the page is one she brought back with her from that trip. In fact, she has a set of different postcards that we are going to use for each section's title page! I used clear photo corners to hold it in place so she can remove it if she wants. In fact, I am using clear photo corners for all of her photos!

In the end, I really, really hope I can do this album justice for her since it means so much! And then she will have a visual way to share her adventure with her grandchildren and possibly even great-grandchildren :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Advice From Mom

Happy February! It's a new month, and so it's time for new monthly challenges to go up at ScrapGal.
This month I have the photo challenge.
Like I said in my last post, time seems to be flying by to fast as my children get older. When I saw this photo of my son staring out the window on a snow day last February, I felt a little tug at my heart. I found myself wondering what he was thinking.
And then I decided to do a layout totally unrelated to the photo, but speaking from my heart.
All product is from My Mind's Eye except for the letters that spell MOM (American Crafts) and the cardstock (Bazzill Basics).
So my challenge is to scrap a photo, but tell a story totally unrelated to what is actually going on in the photo. Be inspired by the feeling in a photo!
I could have done a layout about the snow day and how he wished he could go out but it was really just to cold and windy.
Instead I chose to talk about what I hope for him because the photo made me feel such a hopeful feeling. :)

Hope you will join in! And if you want to check out the other challenges by the DT members this month, you can find them on the monthly challenge board :)