Tuesday, January 29, 2013

And the Winner is...

This is going to feel AMAZING to finish this album!!! Can't wait to see pictures of it! Love the idea of a group like that and your favorite things exchange :)

Ok, Becky! I need your address, so please email me at mmrhoda@sbcglobal.net so I can get a "favorite things" package off to you! :)

Had one of the best, most relaxing weekends I have had in a long time. And I am still carrying that feeling with me today. Although I did start a thorough cleaning of my scrap office.
Side one is done! My printer there on the left usually has a stack of layouts to be put away. Not to mention piles of stuff next to it. I moved everything, dusted, and wiped down the counters and the windows.
Now on to this side. Will be sorting, moving and wiping everything down today or tomorrow. Have an extra project to do down in the kitchen this week. I am going to paint all of the trim and back door so it will look fresh and clean! I hope to get to it today or tomorrow afternoon.

So if you are looking for me, I will be cleaning, painting, organizing and packing boxes to mail. :)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sketch Inspiration

Last week I came across a great post with a layout on Patricia's blog, using this sketch
by Diana Fisher. In fact, I discovered that Diana has a whole section of great sketches she created for Sketchy Thursdays archived on her blog here!

As for this sketch, I was definitely inspired to try it. Love it's simple design. :)

And here is my take using the Echo Park Everyday Eclectic line.
Definitely kept it simple :)
And I am definitely going to have to try more of Diana's great sketches!

I will be picking a winner from my last post later today after the kids are home from school. Just didn't have time last night! But I am going to go ahead and enter everyone who posted by 9pm :)
Thanks! And have a good weekend :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Right Now...

I am getting ready to start a huge project I have been wanting to do for over five years!
I am finally going to work on our Florida trip from back in 2007 when I was pregnant with Erin!
The photos have been ready to go for a few years along with the album and a little bag of memorabilia. Now I just need to pull it all together.
I am using a WRMK 8 1/2 x 11 black leather ring binder, and will be following a basic formula throughout that will hopefully speed up the process. It was inspired by a similar album Ali Edwards that I saw in her Life Artist book a few years ago. I think it is going to be fun to finally have it done and on the shelf!

And now for something else fun! Many years ago, I became friends with a group of women through
this woman, mainly because of scrapbooking. We had a closed group we called "Suziebeezieland" which was drama free and full of great support. As the years have passed, the closed portion no longer exists, but many of the friendships still do. We still hang out through blogs and Facebook.
Recently, one of my friends decided to put together a "Favorite Things" mail party. She divided us into groups of five, and we are supposed to send happy mail containing some of our favorite things to the other four members in the group. In return, I will also receive four different packages as well. Kind of a much, much smaller version of Oprah's favorite things episode, but by mail.

I am not going to say what is going to be in my favorite things package yet in case one of my friends is reading. But what I would like to do is put together an extra package to mail off as a giveaway for one of my blog friends.
I have enjoyed getting to know so many of you through blogging, and would like to include one of you. I will be picking up my goodies on Friday and mailing this weekend, so there is a quick turnaround here. You need to comment by Thursday night by 6pm, and I will announce the winner on Friday morning :)

And you never know. There just may be some of those coconut m&m's inside from my last post ;)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Evan's First Fish

So over at Two Peas in a Bucket, I have been chatting with some fun ladies on the General Scrap board in the forums. The group is called "Chatty Scrappers" and they start a new running post about once a month.
In addition, to just chatting with each other and sharing our layouts, there are also challenges. I decided to try Toni's sketch challenge this month which you can see here...
And  here is my page...
I decided to use the Simple Stories "Take a Hike" line. Lots of camping, fishing and hiking themes, and oh so cute!

Anyway, Evan was so proud of this little fish, a blue gill I believe. Mike and I have both taken him on little fishing excursions to practice, but this time around he was with Mike. I think Evan started showing an interest in fishing after watching the River Monsters show hosted by Jeremy Wade. My little fisherman architect! That is Evan :)

Now in music news. I have always like Christina Aguilera. I think she has an amazing voice, but I haven't bought any of her music in a while. At least since "Beautiful", and that was before Erin was born. But her new album Lotus has a few songs on it that I loved and I added to my itunes list.
Especially this song with Blake Shelton...
They performed this duet on the Ellen DeGeneres show before Christmas. I don't typically follow  country music, but do like the occasional song. And I love this song which has a bit of a country vibe to it!
Also added "Make the World Move" with Ceelo Green and "Army of Me." Those were the only three though that I really liked.

Now off to find some of these...
Coconut M&M's to send to a few friends who have never tried them. :)
They are yummy!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Book Reviews

Recently, I picked up two of the books from the Northridge Publishing Signature Series.
Kelly Purkey...
and Elizabeth Kartchner's books. I may pick up Amy Tan's eventually, but that will probably be it out of the seven authors. Luckily I have a connection that was able to get me the books for $8 each as opposed the the $18 price tag. A huge bargain!

For starters, I love Kelly's book! Really beautiful projects inside, as there are inside Elizabeth's book. But there are two things that made me enjoy Kelly's book just a bit more.

1. She shares a little bit of her thought process and fun details about each project. I love to hear  more about how pages come together, and she does that quite frequently in her book along with a short "how to" section. Liz Kartchner does do a step by step tutorial for each project, but it lacks the background information that makes reading the book much more interesting.

2. I also love the chapter topics in Kelly's book. She covers mini books, stamps, sketches, all About You, finding inspiration, favorite things and techniques, plus project life. And each chapter is really well done in my opinion.

The one thing that did set Elizabeth's book apart, is that she had a section in the back with projects from other scrapbookers. That was fun to see.

So if you have been eying either of these books, my vote goes for Kelly Purkey's book. I just found more inspiration for possible future projects in that one.

Have you bought or read any of the books in the series?

Also, for all of you mamas out there. I just started reading this book...
She also has a blog that you can see here. I am only one chapter in, but am enjoying it so far. Lots of fun memories resurfacing for me about the "good old days". When I was younger and life seemed simpler. The author makes a lot of good points. And truthfully, as with most "parenting books", I take it all in with a grain of salt. I don't think there is one right, perfect way to parent. But I will take all the help I can get :)

Funny story though. I had the book sitting on the bathroom counter because I like to read a few pages of a book while I brush my teeth. I was laying down with Erin reading her a bedtime story when I heard Evan's voice from the bathroom. "Mom! I can't believe you are reading a book called "Mean Moms Rule". He was just so shocked by the title it was hilarious. I told him that it was a mom being funny, but also giving good advice about being a parent. He seemed to accept that and moved on. :)

I hope you all have a great weekend! See you next week :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Pretty Little Studio Sketch challenge

The Pretty Little Studio blog had a sketch challenge last Tuesday which you can read about here.
And this is the sketch...
If you know me, you know how much I love grid designs :) So much fun!
And here is my take on the sketch...
using one of my favorite photos from last year! I did change the sketch a tiny bit by putting the title at the top and reworking the grid. But it's a page I really love :)
On your first day of Kindergarten, your Mimi came up to see you. Daddy took this photo capturing the moment when Mimi was talking to you with your face cupped in her hands. And the love for her just shone out of your eyes. You love your Mimi so, so much and it shows! August 2012

I did some distressing of the polka dot paper from the Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic line. I also used some chalk ink by ColorBox in Yellow Citrus to color the white fabric letters and added some Stickles in Frosted Lace to add a touch of glitter shine.
The tag with my journaling is actually up on pop dots to add a little more depth.

Today I see they have a new sketch challenge up on the Pretty Little Studio blog. I may have to give this one a shot, too. :)


Monday, January 14, 2013

Goals or Resolutions? And a Layout :)

As each new year rolls around, I find myself thinking about resolutions.
It seems so many people talk about making resolutions which too often are forgotten after a month or so.
I do like to set little goals for myself. Things I want to work on to improve my health, character, skills etc...And it got me thinking. What is the difference between a goal and a resolution? Is there a difference?

While surfing the internet trying to find more information on the topic, I came across this blog
and found a few answers.
According to the author, "one is a hope, and one's a plan." The goal is your hope, and the resolution is your plan which helps you achieve your goal. Interesting.
So to reach one, you basically need the other if I am understanding it correctly.
And I love at the end of the article when the author states, "This year, resolve to actually have plans, and not simply hopes."

I made this layout when I was 37. Four years ago.
The journaling:
So sad to to me that when asked by a friend, I could not name one thing about my physical appearance I liked. Top on the list is my weight right now. But I am taking control and doing something about it. I am learning to love myself...right here, right now at 37.

And I did. I set goals for myself and worked hard to try and lose the baby weight I gained with my pregnancy. But I also tried to find the positives in my appearance as well. And then it hit me. It wasn't so much about how I looked. But how I *felt* about myself. And I felt the best about myself when I was making healthy choices!

So fast forward to 2013. Age 41. Something has clicked. The need to be healthy for my children at all costs. My dad had a quadruple bypass in his early 40's. And I know I am healthy enough not to be at risk. He was over weight at the time, smoking, generally not healthy at all. But it was a scary time. A time when I thought I was going to lose my dad. And I don't want my children to have to face that. I mean I was in my late teens when my dad was my age. My parents started having kids young :)
But my kids are only 5 and 10! I want to be around a long time for them!

In 2013, I do have a goal. To be healthy. To make as many healthy choices as possible, but also not beat myself up if I make the occasional "oops".:)

For me, I think the way to do this is a different mini resolution each month in 2013.
For January, I have been eliminating fast food. Frankly, there isn't a lot of fast food I like. But every little bit helps. And over the holidays between errands, I found myself just grabbing a carry out if I needed lunch away from home. But I know how fast food makes me *feel* after eating it. Gross and bloated. Not so healthy in fact. :) I did have fast food once this month. McDonald's on an early dismissal day for school, when we met friends there and had lunch. Truthfully, my salad was so disgusting and just reinforced my pledge to stay away from fast food this month.

In February, I will have a different resolution as I walk this path to healthy living. I know it is about small changes and not doing too much at once. After all, I switched from white breads to whole grain several years ago and it had pretty much stuck. I will have the occasional white bread, but my first choice is whole grain. :)

Do you have any plans, hopes or dreams for 2013?
Will you scrap about them?
I kind of see a mini album for my 2013 goal and resolutions. :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Five on Friday CHA Style!

As the winter Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) show approaches, a lot of new product is being showcased on blogs and message boards.
Today I wanted to share my top five (so far) picks for this season.

1. Simple Stories...

Urban Traveler

and Vintage Bliss. All three lines by SS have my attention! I think they may be my new number one company this time around!

2. Cosmo Cricket
I am a sucker for retro and vintage type product, which is why this Cosmo Cricket line is at the top for me as well. I can think of tons of photos I could scrap with these papers :)

And I want to give a shout out to a favorite little company that has great vintage style product.
Pretty Little Studio has some of the cutest product if you love vintage and/or doing Project Life!
And they have a new line coming out! Birthday Cake :) Holy cow, there are some really cute die cut and journal cards in the collection!

3. Webster Pages
Sweet Notes...
and Composition & Color are the two new Clean and Simple lines by Webster's pages. Truthfully, I am not drawn to their regular papers. But their C&S stuff is wonderful! More my style because I obviously tend to be a simpler scrapper :) And they made a wise choice to team up with Allison Kreft, who used to design for Hambley and did the amazing Everyday Eclectic line for Echo Park. She is going to do great things for them!

 4. Basic Grey

This photo came out a little small. But I have to say BG's new Hipster line is intriguing me. I can't wait to see more than this peek from their blog.

5. MME 

As always, I love My Mind's Eye's label stickers. They are the best along with Jillibean Soup. :) Can't wait to add more of these to my collection, because I do use them up!

I am also looking forward to adding a few bits and pieces from other companies such as Glitz (love their alphas and tapes), Crate Paper, American Crafts and Studio Calico.
Like these masks

The Dear Lizzy "Lucky Charm" line by American Crafts has some potential...
Love the starry theme and cut out pieces.
But I am not really feeling Amy Tangerine's new line, "Yes, Please". Although once I see it in person, I may change my mind. That is what happened with her Sketchbook line. I saw it at Archiver's, bought some and then went on to create a few of my favorite layouts in 2012 with it :)

And really can't wait to see what October Afternoon has up their sleeve this time around. I wasn't as crazy about their releases last season, but I did find enough to make it worthwhile :)

What are you looking forward to from CHA? Link me up if you already have a post on your blog and I will come check it out!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

One Little Word 2013 and a Layout!

All over the scrapbooking community, you will see people talking about their OLW. One Little Word. This is a concept that I was first introduced to several years ago by Ali Edwards. It's a word just for you to represent your year. A word to focus on.
I didn't choose a word last year. But I have in the past.
Words like breathe ( I always  need to remind myself to do that!) and
purpose (I wanted to live that year with purpose).

I think I am going to try again this year.
I was looking on my Pinterest boards and came across these three pins that spoke to me.

All three caught my eye.
But for some reason I keep going back to the first one.
My mother-in-law and I always joke about difficult family situations that have been dealt with the past few years saying "we just have to laugh through the pain". And we do. We find the humor in it all of the time :)
And it's a lesson I have been learning. To find the humor in any situation is always uplifting. To find the joy and the positive makes all of the difference.
To not be so serious all of the time.
But I am looking forward to this year, 2013 as being one full of laughter and humor.
Like they say, "laughter is the best medicine." :)

And since Wilna over at Two Peas in a Bucket had a video and challenge to create a layout based on our OLW, I decided to join in!
I can tell 2013 is going to be a good scrap year with a word like "humor". I had so much fun putting this layout together. I played with my mists and made a little collage of photos to cut apart from my "makes me laugh" board on Pinterest. As you can see though, I still used my favorite grid style design with my misted elements as base. I can't help it. I am a grid kind of girl! I used three different masks and some blue, pink and yellow mists. But still lots of fun!

I also have this layout up on the Craft Your Nest blog today as well, talking more about One Little Word.

Do you have a word picked for this year?

Monday, January 7, 2013

New Beginnings

I have a layout with a small process tutorial on the Crafting Ireland blog which you can see
The assignment was "new beginnings" which made me think of this photo, our first family photo, on the day Erin was born. We had so many changes when and I just wanted to document how monumental that time was for us. And just how amazing our family is to me.

I used all October Afternoon Woodland Park in addition to a few smaller letter stickers by Jillibean Soup and Basic Grey.

Totally unrelated to scrapbooking, I am finally finishing up watching the many episodes of  "The Voice" that I had recorded on our DVR. I am down to the final last two, and what a great season! So, so many wonderful singers! I was so pulling for Nicholas Mrozinski. Love this video clip from YouTube

He is so unique and seems like a genuinely nice person. And he reminds me of my brother so much who is just as cool. My brother who sang "Soul Man" in just as soulful of a voice to my son Evan when he was a little baby to get him to stop crying. And it worked :) 
Shout out to my brother Pete who I love so much! If you are reading this dude, "what's up?" 
Wish he and his wife lived in town!
Anyway, looking forward to next season of "The Voice". Not sure if it can top this one with Nicholas, Terry and Cassadee in the top three :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Crafting Ireland Magazine Issue 15...

is now available on-line
I have a canvas and tutorial on page 10.
The assignment was "valentine's day" and this quote kept popping into my head. I have been wanting to use it on a little home decor piece for awhile. So using my scrapbook supplies and a 6x6 flat canvas, I got to work. You can read more about it in the magazine. I did use lots of product from the Ready, Set, Go! line by American Crafts. The little wood veneer people (representing each member of the family) are by Studio Calico.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year! :)

I just want to start out by saying, that one of the things I am absolutely looking forward to in 2013 is keeping up with my blog friends!
When I started "blogging" several years ago, I just wanted to share my work and a little bit about my day to day life. Who knew that I would "meet" such an amazing group of women that I have enjoyed "getting to know". I wish we could all meet up in real life and have a huge scrapbook crop or girl's night out somewhere :)
Scrapbooking is such a supportive and fun community, which is something that I truly appreciate!

And now a layout to share! This one was featured on the Crafting Ireland magazine blog. You can see the post with a little tutorial Here.
The assignment was "year in review". I decided to go through my photos in 2011 since at the time I was creating the layout 2012 was not yet over. For this layout I used mostly product by October Afternoon, except for the title and some of the smaller alphabet stickers. The fabric letters are by American Crafts.
I created each month by using an October Afternoon journal card, and tiny alphabet stickers by October Afternoon and Pink Paislee. I made a file of photos that I wanted to use in Picasa and then printed them up at home on cardstock. I just may start making a page like this for all of my annual family albums as the introduction. :)

I still can't believe 2012 is over and we are already two days into the new year. The kids are back in school today, so I am looking forward to getting back into routine. Lots of plans and projects are in the works for the next few months. And hopefully plenty of scrapbooking in there, too! :)