Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Big Secret

Sh....don't tell DH....a couple of you asked in comments how I get so much done with three little boys....I neglect my housework and dinner preparation in favor of diligent scrapping anytime the 2 littlest boys nap at the same time. And I've been quite fortunate in that regard so far (don't worry, I have my fingers crossed in hopes I haven't just jinxed myself.)

Now remember, DON'T TELL MY DH!!!!


Here's all the Jen Wilson challenges I haven't posted over the last few weeks...whew! Now if I can just post them weekly as I finish them...

The challenge was to scrapbook a quote/scripture/etc that has real meaning at this time in your life, plus use something you'd never used before, and something you couldn't scrap without.
The thing(s) I couldn't scrap without: JWD solids paper (any of her lines) and Candara font
The thing(s) I had never used before: JWD Lotta Heart brushes, Doreen Stolz lace and Vickie's Pink Mocha alpha
Quote: "Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart" -William Wordsworth (journaling says that's why I scrapbook)
JWD Academy: Elementary solids and Laundry Line solids
JWD Lotta Heart Brushes
JWD A Little Love
JWD Being
Doreen Stolz Spring Romantic lace
A Work in Progress- Pink Mocha alphabet
Altas Greeting and Candara fonts

Our challenge was to scrap a less-than perfect photo. This one comes out ok on web, I think, but the original was noticeably blurry and really bugged me, but I love their expressions and what they are doing.
My photo was pretty blurry, so I "hid" that fact by using a chipboard style on the photo to make it look more like a coaster. The style includes a pattern overlay that made it less obvious that pretty much nothing was very focused in the photo.
JWD Laundry Line Zachery papers
JWD Grunge Edges overlay
JWD Grunge Detail Starter
JWD Project 52 Dated Stamp Circles
JWD Cowabunga journaling block
JWD Hand Stitched Starter
JWD Jenerally Speaking "live out loud"
Melissa Renfro Cardboard
Ariadna Wiczling Warped action
Erica Hite Frayed brush
Jan Hicks Coin Folder chipboard style
AL Highlight and Bloktype fonts

Challenge to scrapbook a "bucket list" of the things you want to do before you die. This one is much brighter IRL, despite my resaving it in the sRGB color space that is supposed to be for web viewing. Oh well.
I used a lot of blending modes and had fun with this one...journaling and all!:)
JWD Academy Biology paper and Offset Tinted Stamp Block
JWD Breaking Free Camping Out paper
JWD Jenerally Speaking Live Out Loud
JWD Beginnings Paper Date Starters
JWD Twenty-Nine and Co. Time Flies
Brandy Hackman Retro Family Love (metal corner)
Brandy Hackman Persian Breeze (hinge)
Fonts: Gentle Redhead, CK_Ali's Handwriting, Candara
Journaling: So before I myself kick the proverbial bucket, here’s my list: Oh, and please by all means assume that money and obligations are not an issue!
1. Learn Spanish fluently, and since this is a dream world I’ve entered, I’d also like to learn Italian and French fluently as well.
2. Travel with my family! Florence, everywhere else in Italy, Paris, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Egypt, Israel...
3. Ski at least once per year on a real mountain
4. To be able to make friends and connections wherever I go
5. Learn all the ins and outs of my CraftRobo to use it to its full potential
6. Have time to read ALL the books on my to-read list (you’d need 5 liftetimes for that!)
7. Help President Obama ensure that ALL Americans have health insurance! (And that implies that it’s going to happen in the next four years)
8. Hike in picturesque locations: Yosemite, Grand Canyon, New England in the autumn…
9. Own a truly professional camera and know exactly what makes it tick and how to take a great image
10. Have my very own “Mrs. Gruen” a la Nancy Drew (nanny, cook, and live-in housekeeper all rolled into one person!)
11. Have a PA job that I love…and have PA finally stand for “physician associate”, not assistant
12. Live in a completely green house and be able to eat mostly local foods
13. Have all my heritage memories scrapbooked

Collection Challenge (scrapbook someone's collection of something)
JWD: Being, Delighted, Fancy Free, Rekindle, Academy: Art, Beginnings 05, Laundry Line: Emily, Project 52: Dated Stamp Circles, Stamped Art School Alpha
Brandy Hackman: Sassy's Pumpkin and Hopsack (frame)
AL Charisma font

This challenge was to scrapbook the story behind a name (didn't have to be a person, but I decided not to think too hard since William needed a page about his name, lol)
It was difficult enough for us to come up with one boy name, let a- lone three. I don’t know what made Daddy wait this time, but my line of thinking was that if we waited until you were almost born, there would be less time to argue and agonize. So on the way to the hospital I said I wondered what we’d name you and Daddy said, “How about William Aidan?” I thought, “hm, I like it!” But I still told him what I had been thinking: Andrew Ryan or Andrew Jeffrey (in keeping with our meaningful family middle name thing we had going on with Christopher and Michael). Andrew reminded Daddy too much of someone, but he was ready to compromise with William Andrew. I just didn’t think it had quite the right sound, so William Aidan you are! We didn’t decide for sure until you were 24 hours old, so you were Mr. No-Name/New Baby for awhile. Daddy wanted you to be a “W” name because M is 10 letters past C in the alphabet, and W is 10 letters past M. I think this appeals to his orderly engineering mind:)

JWD Nostalgia 1, Laundry Line: William, His Tuesday Attire, Sugared Tissue Paper Alpha
Thao Cosgrove Endearing (circular elements)
Paula Wright word stickers
Syndee Nuckles Monday and ruler elements
Katie Pertiet date line
Dominican and AFL font nonmetric (journaling)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Good Activity for a Rainy Day

Christopher's friend Kiki gave him this Dinosaur kit for his birthday. We were all excited to check it out, so a few weekends ago on a nice rainy day, we settled in at the kitchen table for a super fun, messy, time:) Oh, and if you can't tell already, I want one for MY birthday (May 29)!

Spring Crop

Nope, I didn't attend a fancy crop without you, lol. Just little 'ol me holed up in my ugly basement scrappin' area when I'm lucky enough to have two little boys asleep at the same time in the afternoons while the big boy is at school and the biggest boy is at work;)

Easter last year: The boys had a lot of fun coloring eggs. I was pleasantly surprised at how the brown eggs took the dye...definitely going to do that again this year!! The slightly shiny wadded up green fiber on the left looked just like Easter grass to me when I saw it in my fiber drawer (the fad may have been and gone but _I_ still like it!), so I just left it all wadded up like it was in the plastic bag I stored it in, lol. The next page is the right side of the 2-page spread.

This one is based on a Pencillines sketch (got the sketch all printed out nice and neat at the Night OWLS Retreat...thanks girlfriends!!!!). Michael riding in the truck cart at Hy-Vee with the Arthur (from PBS) stuffed animal he checked out at Bookmobile. Not sure if you can read the journaling, but he became so attached to Arthur that I had to scour the internet to find a similar one. He was never as enamored with his own as he was with the library's, but didn't seem too upset thank goodness. Basic Grey Fruitcake paper, WRM Keepers eyelets and snaps, and EKS title sticker block.

Ok, a couple of these WERE done at a crop...this one is a photo I took at Christopher's preschool last year when the buds were first coming out on the shrubs and trees. To stave off questions, I haven't the slightest idea what kind of plant this was, lol. (Somebody already asked me that in person). I was just SICK of winter last year and wanted to document the signs of spring. I used some ANCIENT supplies on this page...Sharon Ann paper I've had for at least FIVE years and some cut-outs I've had almost that long, coupled with the leaf ribbon that's probably only a year or so old.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Back in the Groove

Well in the last month I have FINALLY been back in the groove of paper scrapping:) Unfortunately it's WAY more convenient to share the digi pages though, lol, so you still get to look at one of those for today (later). Eventually I'll get the paper pages photographed and edited to share.

This will be my first weekend back working at the Fast Track (I do one weekend per month) as a PA since William was born. Wish me luck! Not only do I have to add lactating to my already sometimes so busy I can hardly pee or eat schedule, but they have a brand new computer system I have to use. It is an awesome electronic medical record system, and I'm sure I'll love it, just could do without being piled with all the new stuff my first weekend back. Luckily the nurse/trainer for the system will physically be there and can "hold my hand" at least for the first few charts:) And worst case scenario we are still allowed to use the old system if necessary.

Here's a recent page...I actually power-planned this one before William was born and just plugged the photos in and did the journaling a few days ago.

Nitwit Collections: Winter Wishes and What's the Buzz
sketch from SBetc N/D 08 issue
Grace font
You certainly are a bundle of joy, and since we only have winter babies around here we know plenty about bundling you up. The first photo shows you just minutes after birth, then ready to leave the hospital, and arriving at home. The ladies auxiliary makes the hats for all the babies. Grandma Carol has always called the car seat covers “casserole covers.”I guess that makes you a delicious little casserole.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Unexpected Wednesday Present

Check THIS out! I'm so excited b/c one TALENTED bunch of women hangs out at this site and it's really cool to be chosen for this week. And rumor has it that I get a prize too...*squeal!* Also, scroll CLEAR to the bottom of this message if you want updates on our lives over the last few days:)

The challenge was to create a layout based on things about your life now that you'll miss in years to come (like Trace Adkin's country song).

I had a bit of a different take on this week's assignment...hope this is not too irreverent, lol. After my Friday 13th, it's a wonder I found ANYTHING to miss about my children. It was the beginning of spring break here and they were at each other's throats (sometimes literally)

Journaling: Things I Will Miss:
Baby kisses
Chubby cheeks
Cute baby clothes
“This little piggie…”
The latest Lego creation
Themed birthday parties
Artwork on the frig
holiday excitement
baby hands
baby feet
baby blues
“Oh I love my Mommy!”
Stuffed animals
Thomas the Tank Engine and elaborate track setup
Reading books together

Things I Will NOT:
Whining and crying
Temper tantrums
Sibling fights
The Legos all over the floor
Socks strewn all over the house (are they clean or not?!)
Poopy diapers
Picky eaters
Burping and tooting (and incessantly talking about it)
“accidents” (including Poodini and Peedini)

JWD Academy: Tinted Stamp Block
JWD Project 52: Slightly Imperfect Photo Masks, Unchartable paper, Repeat After Me quote(s)
JWD Complete Boy 02 Accessories
Brandy Hackman Retro Family ribbon tie
Shabby Princess Round Labels: A Child's World (cuddle)
Nitwit Collections Little Men (frog) and What's the Buzz (bugs)
Heather Roselli Backyard Boy (caution sign)
Tracy Ann Baby Boy Kisses Charms
Fonts: Hootie! and Mechanical Fun

Ok, our last few days here: Friday 13th was crazy...Christopher had Thursday and Friday off since last week was parent-teacher conferences at his school. This week is spring break, so they get a LONG break. I'm sure that would be SUPER cool if we were bopping off to Disney/enter your favorite family vacation destination. However, with a 6 and 3 year old who are often at each other's throats (literally, as mentioned several times before), 7 days alone with them is enough to make me cringe. True to form, there were several fights and a couple messes that added to the chaos of me packing for the weekend.

We got through the day on Friday, whew. Saturday morning we all scurried around to get ready for our mini-adventure with my in-laws and sister-in-law and her family (kids ages just turned 2 and 4 months). Then we were off to the Wasserbahn in Little Amana. William was a sleepy and cooperative little traveler, and even stayed asleep for a good long while at the water park. Christopher and Michael had a wonderful fun time, and I did too, though I will admit I was spoiled this summer with the MUCH larger Waterpark of America.

Our favorite thing this weekend (Jeff's too) was the Millrace where supposed to get across the logs in the water. M looked like he was surfing b/c when they wobbled he waved his arms to get balance and was very good at it. C went across on hands and feet b/c weighed too much to walk like M.

M was SO VERY exhausted from no nap and all the physical exertion that couldn’t fall asleep or stay asleep in the night. Christopher couldn't sleep either b/c Michael kept thrashing around due to his exhaustion and they were trying to share a double bed. Mental note: NEVER try to stay at one of these places without adequate notice during spring break!! And NEVER try to stuff TWO small children in a DOUBLE bed, lol. At dinner he fell asleep repeatedly in his food and fussed when head jerked awake. Caught a second wind in mt mother-in-law’s lap. My 2year old niece and b-i-l had to just leave before food arrived b/c she was so tired. No nap for her either.

So despite the usual troubles with traveling with small children it was a fun mini-weekend. I think 1 night was plenty, lol. Oh, and 2 of Jeff's cousins and an aunt and uncle were there too, lol...small world. Apparently they come every year for a day or two for the uncle's birthday and we didn't even know they were going to be there! They had been there a couple days already by the time we got there and we saw them in the hall when arriving, but were never in the pool at the same time b/c they were already getting ready for the uncle's early birthday dinner. Then by the time they were back in the pool WE were eating dinner:)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Periodic Table

Coolest periodic table I ever saw!! I think I'd rather be tested on this one than the traditional chemistry version too;)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Scrapping Challenges

I just love a good scrapping challenge! These are from my local group's metal (February) and ribbon (March) challenges:

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this hat for Christopher! As the journaling states, his head is too big for children's hats, so our friend Dan came through with this awesome black fur (fake) lined hat with ear flaps. Totally cute! I used almost my last scraps of this beloved hoarded winter paper, too as well as some of the last Westrim embellishments I have from my stash:)

A friend's daughter is in competition dance..."Dream Girls" was the name of this dance. Loved this paper...bought a bunch of it and used it for sister-in-law's baby shower invitations and had a couple sheets left.

You've seen all the pics HERE on the blog, and the rest of the journaling for this page is also taken directly from the blog. The boys were climbing in and around the cabinets when it was first delivered.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Paleontology and assorted miscellany

We had a great weekend...I'll post pictures when I get the RAW files edited, but on Saturday we played with one of Christopher's birthday presents. It was FUN! You'll have to wait and see what it was, but your clue is in the title of this post;)

I had a great day on Friday too. DH took the afternoon off and I headed off to scrapbook with my friends:) We had such a fun time visiting and actually scrapbooking too. We're all trying to win the challenge this month on my local list b/c Amber is going to give out the prize, and word has it there is an awesome ribbon store up where she lives!

Since it's been so rainy I thought I'd post this one I did a few weeks ago...

Partial scraplift of Sokkie at plaindigitalwrapper
Kristin Aagard Swim Fishy, Rain Rain, Glassy Alpha, A Little Blue
Amanda Sok Frosted Glass style (photo mat)
CK Marker and Futura fonts
Jen Wilson Designs tag

This one has been done for awhile, just hadn't gotten around to posting it...The chemistry and physics students at the local university come out to the elementary schools to put on a great show for "Science Night."
For the photos, I practiced pre-focusing while the lights were on so I'd be ready when they shut the lights off and set off the reaction/fire. Click on the layout to "bigify" so you can see the pics...I love the flaming jack-o-lantern one!
Theresa Kavouras Science Collection
Brandy Murry Chronicles (black background)
Melissa Renfro Lifted Photos Weathered Biggie Emb. Templates
CK Chemistry and CK Journaling fonts
Journaling: ISU students present Science Night
Plenty of FIRE
centrifugal force
chemical reactions

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I Think He Gets It!!

I think this post has double meaning...What I meant originally was that Christopher gets the meaning of Valentine's Day, lol..."yo git chiclit" :) LOL! He's in kindergarten, btw.
Since I took the photo with the DIVINE chocolate bar I received from DH for Valentine's Day, it also means DH gets it, heehee. I also received a very cool Silpada necklace I've been wanting. Oh yeah, he gets it!

6 Week Photos

Dh's gorgeous photos of (gorgeous) William at 6 weeks:

Wah, he's getting BIG already!:)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

More Paper Pages

Here's a couple of my pages from a February challenge on my local SB list. I have a small collection of sewing related scrapbooking items b/c Mom used to sew a lot of my clothes (almost all of them until around 1st grade) and I have various heritage photos that I also want to talk about the handmade items people are wearing/quilts/etc.

Anyway...This one uses:
Stella Ruby Basic Grey paper, Two Busy Moms paper, MM pocket, sewing pins (metal), sewing machine charm (metal), canvas title from Club Scrap (God I loved that stuff!), buttons, and embroidery floss

This is a MM chipboard sign that I bought around 2 years ago I think. With my procrastination skills it's a wonder it ever got done, lol, and I started it AFTER Valentine's Day if that tells you anything about me;) I noticed the love-related metal items and decided that was a good place to use them. Charms are MM, stickers are EKSuccess, also used wooden flowers and a "wax" seal.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sixth Birthday Penguin Party

Jeff thinks I was the mastermind behind the theme, but Christopher LOVES his "Flippers" penguin and came up with the theme. I just HAPPENED to have seen Janet make a reference to Paper Capers where the mom put on an absolutely fabulous, over-the-top penguin party. So we borrowed most of her ideas and came up with one or two of our own:)

First up in the photo above is Flippers himself, the inspiration behind the party. The one and only time I've ever caved in at checkout at the grocery store:) You can see the stuffed animal section of the florist area from checkout... Then of course is Christopher with his igloo cake. He chose Pillsbury Funfetti cake and we filled the center with vanilla ice cream and frosted with marshmallow frosting (otherwise known as 7-minute frosting). The little penguins are made from black olives (tutorial on Paper Capers site linked above). Then there's me patting William to sleep in his "I'm grumpy and no other position will do" pose:) This photo is included to show you that I have penguin pajama pants a la JCPenneys and I WORE THEM to both parties, lol!:)

First up here we have the gorgeous paper snowflakes Mom made for us to hang on the front room window and living room window for decoration at the party. I'm leaving them up through March, I think:) Not that I don't want spring, but they look awfully cool from the street! Mom also lent us the large penguin in the next picture, the (antique) sugar bowl in which we put goldfish crackers (penguins eat fish you know) and also all the snowflake and penguin tablecloths. 3rd photo is the cake

Next row Christopher and Jeff begin assembling one of a few Lego sets received, next two are Michael leaping IN THE AIR in Jeff's photos. The boys at Christopher's classmate party (mostly not posted b/c don't have parents' permission) spent the last 20 minutes or so playing Wii b/c one boy noticed it and asked and we were out of games, lol. Michael is pretending/confused that he is actually playing, not just watching and holding a spare controller. He kept yelling, "I won, I won!" :)

3rd row: Cream cheese igloo...DIVINE! Love it on the Pepperidge Farms Harvest Wheat crackers (OMG the crackers are delicious alone, too!). Recipe also on Paper Capers blog...I used goat, not Feta, though I like it also. Next is our friend's silly son/alien;) And last are some of the many boys playing at the party.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Paper Pages

It's hard to believe it was this long ago already, but about a month ago I attended the annual scrapbook retreat that a group of my friends organizes. We go down to a hotel in Des Moines on Friday night and scrap through (with varying breaks for sleeping, eating, and socializing) to noon on Sunday. It's always a blast! They have a different theme each year, this year being pirates. I won the contest for best-dressed pirate (need to have Jeff take a pic of me in full garb...when I get it finished I'll upload the layout with the group picture the organizers took and printed 5 x 7s for us all!) Anyway, these are a sampling of what I accomplished that weekend...

First up is my favorite book Christopher has made. In kindergarten they take paper, fold it in half, and staple on the one edge to make books. Once he figured this out he made about 25 more books at home with various themes. This one was a Halloween book. He had us draw some of the monsters on the inside, but he colored them. My favorite page is the vampire page b/c other than the silent "e" he figured out how to spell vampire all by himself:) The second page of this spread in his album will simply be a photograph of all the pages in the book (4 x 6 pictures lined up on the 12 x 12 background to completely cover it). I will also cut an opening so you can look through the original book too.

I scrapbooked about Christopher's 5th birthday party a LONG time ago, within a few weeks of his birthday last February. I had so many cool pics of his pirate cake (about $40 at Hy-Vee!) that I did a layout just of it... The skull and crossbones is a wooden decor item found in my goodie bag or prize pack from the scrapbook retreat...thanks girls! The reflection on the left in the pic is me standing over the layout to take the pic. Very difficult to take a good pic of a layout with a transparency on it:)

These are all dance and gymnastic pics of my friend Amy's oldest two children...