Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Project Life - Week 8

Week eight, wow, almost two months down, I can't believe it.  This past week was busy, it was my birthday so I ended up adding my first insert this week which you will see below.  I can't see doing these a lot but for big events like this it certainly does warrant some extra highlight. 

Here the full spread, you can't see all of the right side because of the insert but you get the basic idea.

Here is the full left side, lots of green, pink and yellow this week. 

I couldn't resist adding more banners made from glitter paper and used them to highlight my ripe old age this week.  I'm trying to tell myself that its not as bad as it looks in black and white. 

The top right slot are a few photos from dinner at my sister in laws, my brother in law loves to goof in photos so it always makes it fun to include those.  The journaling was done on a blank grid card that I cut down, I used some of the Epic Stamps fromn Studio Calico to decorate the top.

One of the things I don't like about the Project Life protectors is that they aren't double sided.  You can only access the pockets from one side of the protector so when it comes time to do the left side of the pages you have to insert your stuff from the back, thus making it hard to do any sort of pull out when working on this side.

My blog post from this past Monday talked about our trip to San Francisco and the drawing that Simone made for us.  I wanted to include the drawing and her writing this week and use the journaling from that post.  Since I couldn't use a pull out I had to improvise.  I purchased these cute chevron bags from Mish Mash and had been waiting to us them.  I ended up attaching the bag directly to the outside of the page protector with double sided tape.  I created a document in Photoshop Elements the size to fit inside the little bag and copied the journaling from my post onto it.  I added a little tab that I punched from the Jenny Bowlin tab punch and adhered the two pieces back to back with the tab in the middle.  I then stamped "pull" using an old rolling alpha date stamp.  It seemed a bit plain so I added the "Words from my Blog" stamped from the Stepping Stone alpha stamps from Studio Calico in black ink.  I'm beyond thrilled with this and I know I'll use it again.

I shrunk down Simone's drawing and used Ali's latest Technique Tuesday stamp set to stamp the Remember This.

I'm totally hooked on Downton Abbey, have you seen it?  I stayed up past midnight last Monday watching the last 4 episodes from Season Two so I added a bit about that.  I'm currently watching Season 1 on Netflix so I can get caught up on what I missed.  Its such a great show.

I also added a screen shot of our weather forecast since it was so unseasonable this past week and a cute shot of Simone vacuuming.  I added one of Ali's fairly new life banners to this slot, keeping it pretty simple.

Here is the front of the insert.  I made myself another Keep Calm image to highlight my birthday.  I added another tab with the date and attached that with my Tim Holtz tiny attacher, loving the tiny little staples.

The second slot is a Cathy Zielske tiny template that she made for the 6x4 slots and the bottom is just a photo with a few banners to hold the journaling.

Here's the backside of the insert.  The first is a photo of the girls with my cocktail of choice for the night, Cosmo's.  I added a little round journal spot and just cut off the corner.

The second photo of the cake is mounted on one of the new Dear Lizzy papers, I love the pennants so I just wrote my journaling along the lines.  I kind of love how it blends in to the design.

The last photo was edited using one of Pioneer Woman's action and also utilizes one of Cathy Zielske's cool check box journalers.  I just pulled it into a 6x4 document, pulled in my photo and typed the journaling to fit the space. I printed the whole thing on photo paper and then added the check marks after using a sharpie.

I used one of my 7Gypsies rolling stamps to stamp the Happy Birthday to the index tab on the journaler.  That's my cute 90 year old Mother in Law, she's totally fab and we love her!

Here's a look at the left side.  It ended up being really simple but still seems to take forever!

Lot's of typed words for the top two slots, love that when I have lots to say, I can't seem to write small when needed.  The top right slot has a little banner that I cut using my new Cameo, I think it was one of the first things I cut out.

For the far left middle pocket I used one of the filler cards, I loved the polka dots.  The second from the left is a plain grid journaler and a banner.  Sometimes less is more and I'm liking the plainness of it.  The slot with the barrel is a photo of a poster my husband received in the mail from Maker's Mark, he's an Ambassador with them and he has is own barrel, their marketing is genius!  The last slot on the far right is another plain grid card that I ran through my printer to add the text.  It's one of my favorite Instagram shots from the past week.

The two bottom cards are both from Saturday.  I made a 6x4 grid journal card myself because I couldn't find one, crazy right!  I made sure to save it for the future, I wish the kit came with them.  Anyway, I added the little arrows with the text before I printed the cards out.

For the card on the left I printed out my instagrams at 1.75" square and taped them on with some smash tape, I did the same thing with the photo on the right, I just figured out the size I needed the photo to be to still have room to write.

Here's close ups of both slots.

I got a ton of love after I posted these photos to Instagram yesterday, and that makes me so happy.  I hope you all like it too.

Have a wonderful Leap Day!  Are you doing anything extra special?

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Great Outdoors

We have had some crazy good weather around here lately and we've tried to enjoy every bit of it.  The sky has been clear the sun in shining, we just need the wind to die down and it would be perfect.  If we didn't have the wind, it would really warm up but I guess its nature's way of easing us into Spring, telling us not to get out hopes up just yet, there may be more winter to come.

One of my favorite delights this time of the year are the Plum Blossom trees.  We are lucky enough to have one in our front yard and I believe I've shared a photo of it here last year around this time.  We also have a whole block of them just down the street from our house and we drive by them every day.  I've been meaning to take pictures of them before the blossoms fall so I rode my bike down the other day and snapped a few shots.  These really don't do them justice, I should go back and stand in the middle of the street to get the shot that I really want but I'm a bit affraid I'd get hit by a car, its a pretty busy thoroughfare.

The blossoms can look white from afar and then you get close and see that they are definately pink with bright fushia centers.  You can see the dark crimsom leaves that will take their place starting to open up in this photo toward the bottom.  I bet the blossoms will be gone within a week, especially if this wind sticks around.

These trees are all over Elk Grove and its awesome to see how large some of them are. I hope the one in our yard continues to flourish, I can't wait to see it grow.

Since it was so windy this weekend and not the best bike riding weather Larry thought it would be fun for Simone to set up a tent in the backyard.  I don't know who had more fun, Simone or us just watching how much fun she had.

She brought out some friends; her buzzy bee and her doll's and Daddy gave her a mat to lay on.  She also had a drink, Dad's iphone and her Strawberry Shortcake activity book.  She was in absolute heaven!

Lucky for her the tent provided a nice wind break.  Larry sat outside with her and was freezing because of the shade and the wind.  He eventually climbed in with her for some relief.  She however probably would have stayed all night if we let her. 

I think its pretty safe to say a real camping trip will be in our near future.  She doesn't remember her first one back when she wasn't even walking.  But that's a story for a different day.

Friday, February 24, 2012

My new Bike

Since Simone has done such a great job learning to ride a bike Larry has been riding with her a lot these past few weeks.  Mostly to the park down the block from our house but also on longer rides about a mile away to another near by park.  Since I haven't owned a bike it like 25 years he suggested we get one for my birthday gift.  He noticed recently that Costco had received some nice bikes so we did some looking at our favorite local sporting goods store just to see what else was out there.  Of course it didn't take long to realize Costco had the best price around.  I was pretty shocked how much bikes are these days.  We purchased the bike a week before my actual birthday and Larry tucked it away in the single garage with his motorcycles.  He had hoped to take Simone with him to buy it so instead he showed it to her and told her it was a secret and a surprise for me.  He didn't think she would last the day but she managed to keep the secret and only mentioned it twice to me, without actually telling me the secret.  After she got home from school this past Tuesday they both wheeled it out and surprised me!

Yesterday we went and picked up a helmet and a basket and had every intention of riding after Simone got out of school but it was so windy yesterday we decided to wait.  It gave Larry a chance to get my basket bracket attached (its removable which I like) and adjust the seat height and handle bar position.  I took it for a few test spins in front of the house and was pleasantly surprised that yes, I still remembered how to ride a bike.  I was a bit wobbly but it came back all the same. 

Luckily for us the weather was perfect today with very little wind so we got all set and took off.  It was a great ride and the other park is really nice.  I can't wait to ride more and really look forward to riding in the evenings this summer.

If it's been awhile and you don't have a bike, get one, it really does make you feel like a kid again.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Project Life - Week 7

I was so excited to work on this weeks pages that I started Saturday.  I had so many ideas swimming around in my head and as usual didn't have room for all of them but I got the major ones in.  I knew the pages were going to be filled with pink and red because of Valentine's Day and I also had a special red element for the right side.  I think this is the first week I didn't include a photo for everyday.  I opted to eliminate some that weren't really important so that I could include extras of a few other days.  Here's a look at the pages together.

And a close up of the right side.

I knew when I got this Starbucks cup a few weeks ago that I was going to use it here.  I asked for an extra cup and the Barista was kind enough to give me one but when it was time to work on this I opted for my used cup  instead (cleaned of course).  I liked that it showed my drink, which is not usually decaf but I got this one at night.  It helped tell a bit of my story without really trying.  I cut down the back and around the bottom and then cut strategically so I would have as much of the design as I could get in on a 6x4 size.  I had to cut thru the green Starbucks logo on the right side so it left some of it showing, I opted to cover it with some paper flags and added the dates there.  I hope Starbucks starts doing this for other holiday's as well, its a great idea.

The Grammy's were on Sunday and I was totally rooting for Adele.  Her performance was fantastic and she looked beautiful.  I really love adding these types of details about what we watch on TV.  It's really a great way to showcase my favorites as well as calling out what is popular at that given time.

My sister in law came over one day to go through my makeup stash for some new lipsticks.  Simone had a blast going thru everything too and even tried on some lipgloss.  The "captured" arrow is from the Awesome stamp set from Studio Calico.  I'm loving these stamps, the clear ones make such and amazing impression.

We went to the Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner finally this past week, I haven't been to one of these since I was a kid, it was good and Simone liked it so victory there. 

She also had to sign all the Valentine Cards for her friends at school, 18 of them.  She did a really great job and had fun doing it too.

We do small gifts on Valentine's Day so this year we gave Simone a set of girl Lego's.  She got her first set for Christmas and loves them.  I love this picture of her, the Lego's are in focus and she is a bit blurred a happy accident for sure.  To dress up the photo I cut out some flags, one paper and one from glitter paper, added a date stamp a little journaling and some heart stickers.  You can see it up close below.

Another food photo, this one of a giant maple bar Larry got me for breakfast.  Evil and bad for me but oh so good.  The stickers on the tags are from the new Dear Lizzy line, I love these.

Here is a look at the whole the right side.

I took Simone to McDonald's this week and when I saw these cute little mini fry boxes they are using for the kids Happy Meals I was hoping it would fit on one of the 6x4 card slots.  Sure enough it did, I had to cut a bit off the bottom and then just taped it closed to make a pocket for photos.

I printed two photos sized down to fit inside the box and adhered them back to back.  This shot is so cute, they had this little smile card that punched out of the box so you could take pictures and then send Ronald grams to your friends.  The little word bubble is also cut out from the box too.

Here's a look at photo on the other side.  It shows the Build a Bear toy she got in her box.  I love the way this came out so much. 

Our Plum Blossom tree is blooming not early as I had thought but right on time from what a friend told me on Facebook.  I love the blooms, I wish they lasted a bit longer.

This past week we drove to San Francisco to have dinner with my brother before he flew home.  We decided to go over the Golden Gate bridge so I handed my husband my phone to take photos since I was driving. 

I also included a shot of the restaurant sign, the card is from Marcy Penner.  I used my typewrite for most of the cards on this row.  I had a lot to say and not a lot of space so it was a perfect solution, typos and all. 

The one on the left is typed on a plain grid journaling card and the photo is attached with some Smash tape.  I love the cheese face on Simone in the shot on the right, its on a card from the Clementine kit.

Simone sat down at Larry's computer and it ended up that she wanted to send Grandma Teri and email.  This is a photo of them typing it up and the actual email, copied and pasted on the card.  Love this so much!

We ran to the library to return some books and I let Simone stick them into the book return.  She had so much fun, but had to be coached to go slow and not push them in too hard.  I used the Stepping Stone alpha stamp sent from Studio Calico for the title.  I'm so glad I opted to buy this set when they re-released it.  I almost didn't and now I know why everyone wanted it, the size is perfect and to have both the solid and outline versions of the alphabet are genius!

I'm so pleased with this weeks pages and I hope you enjoyed them too!  See you on Friday!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Drawing and Writing

This past Thursday we drove into San Francisco to have dinner at Izzy's with my brother before he flew home.  It's our favorite restaurant in San Francisco and we've been going there for years.  They have the best Steaks, Creamed Spinach and Scalloped Potatoes I've ever had so if you are looking for a good steak house, try it, it's fantastic.

After we sat at the table and after Simone spilled her second drink of the night our waiter thought it might be a good idea to keep this kid busy before the food arrived.  He brought her a cup of crayons and some paper and she got busy.  First she drew a picture for her Aunt to send home with my brother, and then she said she was going to draw a picture of Daddy and Mommy and Simone and this is what she made.

I love that Daddy is wearing his glasses and is holding his cell phone.  A fairly old cell phone seeing as how it has an antenna but cute non the less.  I love how I have super long eyelashes and I'm smiling.  I also love that she drew hearts between each of our hands. someone must feel loved.  The sun is shining, there are birds flying and we are walking around Lake Tahoe, her favorite place in the world.  It's a keeper for sure.

Simone has also started to right words besides just her name.  Most of the time its gibberish and indistinguishable but yesterday she got out a pad of paper and a pen and sat next to me on the couch.  She wrote the first three characters and then asked how I spell my name.  I typed each letter on my ipad so she could see them and this is what she wrote for me. 

It was perfect timing for the Instagram photo a day challenge, today's prompt was handwriting so I posted this image.

Man I love this girl!

Friday, February 17, 2012

My Desk - Before and After

I'm a totally organization freak, if things are out of place I get really uncomfortable.  I do however tend to let things slide and then I can't stand it anymore.  I waited to get through my Project Life work and then decided my desk needed an overhaul.  Plus I had my new spinning rack to load up and find a home for.  Mind you, in comparison to others, my desk even at what I consider its worst is hardly a mess to others.  Just proof that everyone's tolerance for mess is vastly different.

Here is my space before;

I'm lucky to have this space.  At our last house I also had a nice space but this one is great.  It's a small loft area that already had the build in desk and drawers.  I do love it, it just has some limitations.  The angles make it hard to have a large open work space when I'm trying to lay things out and the windows also present a problem.  They face West so in the afternoon the sun setting is pretty unbearable to deal with.  I have yet to figure out a window covering solution that will work with the slight arch of the windows.  A project I defiantly need to tackle.

The shelves hanging on the wall are from Ikea a few years ago.  They are just simple pine shelves and metal brackets.  They fit perfectly in that space and hold some nick knacks from my life.  I could probably move these things and utilize the shelf's for more scrap stuff butt I do like to have things in arm reach as you will see below so for now the nick knacks are staying.

The space is open to the floor below so I have this nice shelf that I do use a lot to set things.  As you can see in this photo its a mess of papers and things that don't normally occupy my desk space so it was just a matter of putting them back to where they had come.

The shelf was in our bedroom until recently.  My husband made it for us, its a copy of of shelf I had seen in a Pottery Barn catalog ages ago.  We've have it for awhile and its moved around a lot and used to hold our daughter's toys in our family room at our old house.

My desk chair is from Ikea, I got it when we moved here almost two years ago.

I'm thinking I would like to rip up the carpet and put tile down. Rolling around is a pain because I'm always rolling off my floor pad and then my wheels get stuck, annoying for sure.

And the after.

I moved a bunch of stuff around. The books that were sitting next to my printer moved to the shelf, and I put my photo printer in its place. It made more sense for the two printers to be together. I left my Ott Light where it was and my white paper holder where it was as well. I'm right handed so it makes sense to have things to my right whenever possible. I also moved the clear plastic paper sorter to this area for a simple reason, I didn't like seeing the paper sticking up over the wall where it used to be. My quirks are showing!

I also put my Spinning rack on the desk top as well. I still have enough room to lay out my Project Life binder and have a little bit of work space still.

That drawer unit right it the middle under my desk is always in my way but I need the storage so I just work around it. I usually end up rolling my chair right there and scooching up to it which is why I have the problem with the mat and the carpet. This is usually when I end up rolling off the mat.

Here is a look at the shelf area after.  All clean and tidy, just the way I like it.  You can see I have my paper trimmer and Project Life album leaning against the wall on the right.

My husband and I discussed building a shelf unit for this space it would  run the length of the wall and be as deep as the space would allow.  It would be a run of two shelves.  For now moving this existing shelf was a way to determine if having something there would make the space too small or be in the way of my chair.  So far its been great, I could definitely use the space.  So more on that later.

Here is a closer look at the shelf.

On the top I have a muffin tin that I just got yesterday at the dollar store, it holds small doo-dads like paper clips, paper flags, tabs, etc. I also plan to fill on of the slots with confetti that I hope to cut out today.

Next to it are some plastic drawers that hold other supplies, like tags, label stickers and small chipboard pieces.

The plastic bin next to it was from the dollar spot at Target, I went back yesterday and got a few more. This one holds my Project Life cards. The small sections are perfect for the 3x4 cards and the long area holds the 6x4 cards. I made dividers for them so they were easy to identify. My old Creative Memories paper trimmer sits beside.

The middle shelf holds books , the orange box from Ikea holds my spooled ribbon. The two other plastic bins from Target hold my clear stamps. I also got the cute plastic cups from the dollar section at Target, they hold my sharpies and other markers.

On the bottom shelf I have a metal pail is a catch all for stuff I don't want to toss out yet, and some wipes from the Dollar Tree to clean my stamps. The mesh basket holds miscellaneous tags and labels and the other mesh bin holds larger elements and letter stickers and all my Smash tags and other stuff.

Here's a look at my rolling rack all filled in.  I moved a lot of stuff that used to be in bins on the black shelf here, like my wooden stamps, stamp pads, rolling stamps, ribbon, tape, clear stamp blocks, punches, glitter, mists and stickles.  I can totally see why others got more than one.  What a great piece!

Steps away from my desk area is our bonus room.  Here I have two Expedit shelf units that happily fit perfectly below the windows.  Here I have a lot of craft books, my old photos are stored here my paper is here, the large bins at the bottom hold small albums, coils for my bind it all, rubber stamps, my tool box, lots of stuff.  The vintage typewriter I got from Craigslist is on top ready to go when I need it.  I need to make a dust cover for it soon.

This room also houses a TV and DVD player, Simone plays in here a lot and watches movies. It's also where my husband likes to escape to watch the news so it's really a multi-purpose room used by everyone. We found the white velvet chair on clearance at Macys and the tweed ottomon was found at Home Goods, its opens up and we use it to store Simone's toys. The small table and lamp are from Ikea awhile ago.  This is also where I photograph my Project Life album each week.  I lay it out on the ottomon because the windows to the left give nice natural light in the morning and I tend to avoid glares on the page protectors when I photograph it in the morning.  You may have noticed the tweed background in some of the photos.

To the right of the Expedit's on the opposite wall to the windows is my old desk that we had it our last house.  The drawer on the bottom right holds old paper but pretty much Simone has taken this over.  She colors here and plays so it's a big mess.  I need to revamp this area and will probably do so soon.  The top shelf holds more mementos and photos.

I would love to have both areas together but I use my computer so much in my crafting especially with photo editing and digital scrapbooking that I tend to spend most of my time at my desk.

One day I may move into the bonus room totally, maybe when Simone is older and needs a desk for homework but that's well down the road, so for now I'm using both spaces.  One more for storage and one for the actual work.

I hope you've enjoyed my little tour, have a wonderful weekend!