Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Photo Love & Thoughts on Hoarding

click to see larger image (sorry for the horrible scan)
I have been taking Amy Tan's class Stretch Your Kit, offered through Studio Calico. And I'm *loving* much inspiration, so much creativity, so much fun. One of the best lessons of the class has been "use your favorites first."

Confession: I'm a scrap supply hoarder. 

When I find a product that I really love, I hang on to it. Stare at it. Store it. Think about it. Dream about it. Plan pages around it...but rarely use it. Which is a shame as these supplies are meant to be used.

Changing my mindset to using my favorite supplies first may take some adjustment. But on this recent layout I went for it! I used several products that I had been hoarding: the chipboard butterflies, the rub-on butterflies, the skinny black letters, the tiny aqua buttons, the "be" labels, the wood asterisks and the number brads.

I. Used. Them. All.

And I love it. I love seeing my favorite products on a page. I love the freedom of using beautiful supplies just 'cause I want to. I love the surge in inspiration and creativity that comes from not limiting myself. I love the "go for it" attitude. And I love the feeling of accomplishment, of completion.

I'm off to spend the day crafting...and I'm going to use whatever I want in the process! xoxo

Friday, February 17, 2012

February Take 12 - The Layout

I am having such fun with this project.

click on image to appear larger

I made a 2-pager, y'all! this is big news. I was inspired by a sketch that came in the Ella Publishing Co. Take 12 kit. The original sketch was very linear and featured a grid, which are elements that I liked & kept. But the photos in the sketch were placed in two horizontal rows, along the bottom and middle of both pages with the journaling fit in between. As you can see, I used the photos in three vertical columns and moved the journaling to the right side. The title was placed in the right upper corner in the sketch. I kept it that way but mirrored the elements in the lower left corner to balance out the page. I used simple embellishments - two kinds of washi tape, a word strip, painted chicken wire pattern for some texture & interest and an Elle's Studio calendar circle. I plan on using these calendar spots and kraft cardstock every month as a way to unify my pages.

Well, kids, I am off to catch up on a couple of the many shows I have backed up on my DVR. I need to photograph this year's Valentine mini so that I can share that project this weekend. Have a lovely night!

Friday Photo Love - The Coolest Kid I Know

I got to spend some time last weekend with my godson, Mr. Sam. He is the coolest kid that I know. In fact, I might be biased, but I'm pretty sure that he is the coolest kid in the world. Just so you know...

More to come this afternoon. I will be posting my completed layout for the February Take 12 photography challenge.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Take 12 - February Photos

It's time again for Take 12, a monthly photography challenge hosted by Ella Publishing Co., where participants take 12 photos of the 12th of each month to scrap and share. For 2012, I am two for two on this project and feeling pretty darn good about it.

As February 12th fell on a Sunday this year, my day was a mix of puttering around the house and helping out with a fundraiser to benefit a family friend. It was a lovely mix of everyday and special occasion, home and friends, introverted and extroverted, me and others.

Like I said, it was a lovely day.

As I did last month, I will be sharing the words + photos today. Once completed, I will also share a finished layout featuring my Take 12 photos. I am working from a sketch that was included in EPC's Take 12 Kit. My mind is percolating with ideas on how to best document these memories.

I woke up at a leisurely hour on Sunday 2/12. What a lovely feeling. Threw on a sweatshirt and headed into my craft room.

Worked for 2.5 glorious hours on a Valentine's Day mini as a gift for my husband. I am loving how it is turning out. It's almost complete. The photos are printed, the embellishments are collected - I just need to adhere everything into the book. Stay tuned for a dedicated post (with photos!) on this mini later in the week.

Loved seeing this guy as I was leaving the house. I enjoy seeing the little signs of winter around the neighborhood.

I spent most of the afternoon and early evening working a fundraiser to benefit our friend, Casey, who is battling pancreatic cancer. I am in charge of a multi-week raffle so I sold raffle tickets and t-shirts for a few hours. One of the neighborhood's favorite hangouts, The Dundee Dell, hosted the event. Casey has worked there for over a decade. The owners of the Dell donated 25% of the day's total to benefit Casey and his family so Jim & I had dinner there with friends. We had an amazing turnout. I was even interviewed by a local news crew to promote the events.

Jim & Bowers in "Go Big For Casey" t-shirts

Deana & I

Princess Izzy sporting Mardi Gras beads/mask

Kozy & I at dinner

I am the raffle queen

Mr. Sam "borrowed" my iPhone and took a series of self-portraits. Too cool.

Home again, after a long day, I notice a spectacular view from my bedroom window.

I threw on my warmest jammies (with matching slippers!).

And settled in to watch the Grammys.

Good day. And good night...

Friday, February 10, 2012

10 Things - Random Facts

On the 10th of the month, Shimelle and friends share a list of 10 things. Any 10 things you want. I've been a sporadic participant but decided to jump in at the last minute this month to share 10 random facts about...

this girl

 1. I love road trips.
 2. If I could live anywhere in the world, it would be on a beach or a sailboat so I could wake up and see the ocean every day.
 3. I can hold an entire conversation using nothing but movie quotes.
 4. My first car was a sunshine yellow 1972 Volkswagon Beetle. It had a rusted out area on the passenger floor and a manual transmission. I have never loved any other car as much as that clunker.
 5. I am a cancer survivor.
 6. I have a piece of the Berlin Wall.
 7. I regularly buy things from QVC. (Yes, you could call it an husband does.)
 8. I hate roller coasters and love to dance around in summer rainstorms.
 9. My favorite food is Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.
10. I sleep with a stuffed turtle every night. His name is Seymour.

Want to share 10 things? Join in and link up to Shimelle's post here.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Day in the Life 2012

 Can I just say that I love this project?

I love this project. I really do.

I have done a day in the life several times in the past. And I just adore the process, every single time. When I look back through my albums, the layouts documenting one whole day of  my everyday life are always among my favorites. This year is no exception.

I woke up Wednesday 02/08/2012 fully planning on participating in a day in the life with hundreds of other people, inspired and organized by Ali Edwards.

But very early Wednesday morning I got a phone call from my son. One of those phone calls. The type where your heart sinks and you just know your whole day has just been flipped upside down. Where that one thing becomes your whole day. And that story was not one that I wanted to document.

So, I didn't.

(how liberating)

Instead, I re-printed Ali's daily planning pages (available as a free download on Ali's blog) for today and opted for a do-over.

Today was average. Today was going to work early, stopping by Starbucks to get espresso drinks for three. Today was eating Jimmy Johns for lunch. Today was going to the grocery store. Today was making dinner in my brand new pressure cooker. Today was putting my OLW 'do' into action. Today was getting gas and doing dishes and throwing in a load of laundry. Today was laughing with Jim and dinner for two in the dining room. Today was foot pain and lost glasses. Today was giggling over the phone with my best friend. Today was playing Words With Friends on my iPhone and winning. Today was tv in bed and snuggling. Today was perfectly ordinary - and *that* was the story I wanted to tell.

I used Ali's Day in the Life layered template - available on sale here - to arrange the photos. I used the planning pages to record thoughts and events of the day. I plan on using the sheets to tell the story of the day. I probably will use a 6x12 page to house the journaling. Voila!

Did any of you join in a Day in the Life? I'd love to see your work - just leave me a link in the comments. Here's to a wonderful weekend...

Friday Photo Love: The Uncommonly Beautiful Variety

I first saw this amazing poster on Karen Walrond's blog, Chookooloonks. I immediately fell in love with it. Karen is an amazing writer and photographer. Her site never fails to inspire and uplift. The poster was created by artist Kal Barteski. 

I feel so strongly that this is a message every man, woman and child on earth should hear every single day.

If you love it too, you're in luck. You can pre-order a 16x20 print here.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Gratitude Sunday - For The Boy

Photo courtesy of Helga Weber

I've been thinking an awful lot this past week about my blessings. We found out that a good friend has advanced pancreatic cancer. It is inoperable. He is 40 years old and has two young sons.

Our neighborhood and circle of friends have come together in an impressive show of support and love. We are hosting 6 weeks of Sunday Fun Days culminating in a blowout event with live music and a silent auction. Local businesses have donated space for these events, food and drink, raffle prizes and auction items. Local residents have offered time, treasure and talent. I am amazed at the generosity and humbled by the depth of giving.

This week, I am grateful for my blessings. I am grateful to be a part of something special.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

OLW Blog Hop - 2012 Beginnings

Welcome OLW blog hoppers! It's time again to 'ooh' and 'aah' over the amazing work done this month  by the participant's of Ali Edwards' One Little Word class at Big Picture Classes.

I really like the introductory prompt. As much as I do not typically relish the idea of having my picture taken, I have been trying to experiment a bit more with self-portraits over the past year. Utilizing the timer on my Cannon DLSR and the camera on my iPhone has made the process of self-portraiture so much easier. And I like being able to look back at these photos, seeing the changes and remembering each moment. So I enjoy knowing that each year my OLW adventures will begin with photo of moi.

Welcome 2012.

I like that thought.

In addition to a self-portrait, this month's prompt also included making a series of cards to document, define, explore and create with our word. My word for this year is do. I explain my thoughts on choosing the word do here.  Here are my cards.

I am loving how this turned out. The mix of type and handwriting. The neutral embellishments. The color scheme.

love it all.

Up next in this blog hop is Carmen. Check out her post here.

In case anyone needs the complete list of all 46 (yes, that is 46!) participants, I have included the complete list below. This is the largest OLW blog hop to date. I'd like to welcome any and all newcomers. I can't wait to see everyone's take on this month's project. And a huge thanks to Margie for once again supervising and organizing this blog hop.

See you next month - or sooner. Come on back anytime.  :-)

Cindy    C
Melissa S
Missus W