Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Catching up with Project Life; 30 Days of Gratitude - Day 11.

So I am now determined to finish my Project Life 2012 digitally and get everything printed and bound in a beautiful book.  I'm serious.  I mean it.  But, um, I'm just a tad bit behind.  And when I say behind, I mean that I still have to document the middle of March through the end of October.  But I can do it, right???  Just wanted to share some pages towards that endeavor.  But just think how awesome it's going to be when I take a photo of me with a beautiful bound album of all our 2012 memories.  You just wait.  I'm so going to do this.  :)

1.  Week 44 (First Half).  The highlight of this layout was definitely Halloween.  Charlotte has been telling everyone that she was going to be a monkey ballerina for MONTHS!!  Click here to see Week 44 (Second Half).

2.  Week 45.  Big events this week were saying goodbye to Justin (again), Charlotte's lantern walk at school, and Benjamin's two month birthday!!!  

3.  30 Days of Gratitude - Day 11.  I didn't include a photo for my Day 11 journaling.  I won't lie, after this week, it was hard for me to keep up with the 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge and I found myself trying to remember what I was grateful for in retrospect.  But I still think it's definitely worth following through.  But, as I noted in my layout above, for Day 11, I am thankful for military wives.  Despite the obstacles that life seems to throw at us, we continue to persevere and thrive with the support of each other.  

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Take 12 Project - October 12 and November 12

Since my September Take Twelve post, so much has happened.  Benjamin is home.  Justin came home then left again.  Movers came to pack up our belongings.  Charlotte is getting potty trained.  I still can't believe that Thanksgiving is this Thursday.  For the record, I am cooking/ baking nothing this year.  I'm lucky to sneak in a shower in the morning before the kids are awake (or finish a shower without having to jump out dripping wet because either Benjamin or Charlotte is crying).

While both of these layouts are "late" for posting for the Ella Blog, I wanted to share them with you and keep up with the challenge.  Of all the scrapbooking things I've done this year, this challenge has been one of the most fulfilling.  It truly has been a reflection of our crazy life this year.

Here is my October Take 12 Layout.

Digital Supplies:  Carina Gardner (Photocuts Vol. 6); Design by Dani (Happily Falling); Liv.E Designs (Needs + Wants Stitches Vol. 1).

On this day, Justin spent the morning with Charlotte at Bates Nut Farm to visit the pumpkin patch.  Charlotte had a BLAST!  Before Benjamin was born and all this crazy started, Charlotte told me that Daddy was coming home to take her to the pumpkin patch.  I would gently remind her that Daddy was still on the ship but would be home by Christmas.  Apparently, the joke was on me.  :)

And here is the layout for November 12 with Daddy gone again and Ben finally home.

Digital Supplies: Splendid Fiins (Template 7); Glitz Designs (Yours Truly); Jenni Bowlin Studios (Vintage Stick Pins).

Make sure you visit the Ella Blog to see November 12 layouts created by the other Take 12 Team members!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Twelve Days of Christmas - Xyron/ Faber Castell/ Creative Imaginations Blog Hop

If you're coming here from the Xyron Blog, welcome!  I'm so excited to share with you my gift giving ideas for this awesome blog hop with Xyron, Faber Castell and Creative Imaginations.

1.  Christmas Advent Calendar/ Banner.  So there is a selfish motivation behind this project.  As always, our plans have changed and we will be spending Christmas in San Diego before moving out to Hawaii.  We weren't able to secure housing before the holidays and the idea of spending Christmas and Charlotte's birthday in a hotel room just made me sad.  That being the case, ALL of our Christmas decorations will be in a storage locker somewhere in Honolulu.  However, I refuse to let that stop our family from having a happily decorated "home" (i.e. a few bedrooms in my parent's house), even if everything is made out of paper!!  So here is the Christmas Advent Calendar/ Banner I made for Charlotte (now hanging in the upstairs hallway and ready to be filled with wonderful holiday activities).

Supplies:  Patterned Paper and Stickers (Creative Imaginations); Cardstock (Neena Paper); Die Cuts (Imaginsce); Stamps (Lawn Fawn); Cording and Clothespins (Walmart); Inks/ Pencils/ Colors (Faber Castell PITT Artist Pens Big Brush, Faber Castell PITT Artist Pens; Faber Castell Gelatos; Memento Dye Ink; Versamark; Copics; Embossing Power by Hampton Arts); Adhesives (Xyron Mega Runner; Xyron 5" Creative Station); Digital File by Silhouette; Silhouette Cameo; Heat Embossing Gun.

All of the patterned papers are from the new Creative Imaginations holiday line, Holiday Joy.  I personally adore the traditional Christmas colors and the bit of blue throughout really makes it an absolutely lovely collection.  I cut 24 library card pockets on my Silhouette Cameo using Neena Solar White cardstock and glued them together using my Xyron Mega Runner.  I embellished the front of each pocket with a bit of decorated patterned paper using Lawn Fawn Stamps, stickers from the Holiday Joy collection, and the amazing products I received from Faber Castell.

For some pockets, I used the Faber Castell PITT Artist Pen Big Brush to directly stamp images onto the patterned paper (like this pine branch from the Ornate Ornaments set from Lawn Fawn).

You can use the Faber Castell Gelatos to create beautiful colored backgrounds to enhance embossed stamped images.  For this pocket, I stamped a large snowflake image from Amuse Studios on to patterned paper using Versamark Ink and then embossed it with clear embossing power.  I then colored on a variety of different colors using the Faber Castell Gelatos, rubbed the color around with my finger, and then cleaned off the embossed image using a baby wipe.

The Faber Castel gelatos were also perfect for simply distressing the edges of each pocket.

Additionally, I used the Faber Castell PITT Artist and Brush Pens to directly draw and color some images.  To hang the pockets, I stamped numbers (Lawn Fawn Quinn's Numbers) onto circles and adhered them onto scallop circles (this was done in a snap using my Xyron 5" Creative Station).

These circles were adhered to mini clothespins using the Xyron Mega Runner.  Finally, the large scallop circles at the beginning and end of the banner are shapes cut from my Silhouette Cameo and then adhered together using some DIY Foam Tape.  The Santa and Elf images are just die cuts from the last year's holiday collection from Imaginisce.  To give the circles some more strength, I adhered a piece of cardboard to the back of each circle.  These circles are adhered directly onto the wall using 3M Command Poster Strips.

2.  DIY Library Kit.  As a kid, I remember trying to catalog our entire book collection and making check out cards for each one.  My sister even instituted a library card/ borrowing system!  (I know, we were super cool kids.)  :)  I wanted to make a kit to recreate this creative play for my daughter.  Since her favorite color is purple, these winter themed patterned papers by Christine Adolph for Creative Imaginations were perfect!

Supplies:  Patterned Paper and Die Cuts (Creative Imaginations); Stamps (Lawn Fawn, Office Depot); Inks (Faber Castell PITT Artist Pen Big Brush; Memento Dye Ink); Digital Files (Lori Whitlock, Silhouette, Carina Gardner); Adhesives (Xyron Mega Runner, Xyron 5" Creative Station - Laminating Cartridge); Silhouette Cameo; Photoshop CS5.

Using my Silhouette Cameo, I cut eight library pockets from the patterned paper and adhered them with my Xyron Mega Runner.  I then ran each pocket through my Xyron 5" Creative Station and trimmed the plastic backing around each pocket.  This effectively made each pocket into a sticker that could be directly adhered to the inside of any book.

I then stamped a library card stamp from Lawn Fawn (Check This Out) onto coordinating Creative Imaginations patterned paper and cut it out to slip into each library pocket.

To complete the kit, I paired it with an office date stamp and a library card I made on Photoshop and laminated with my Xyron 5" Creative Station.

Finally, I cut this cute Scallop Favor Box by Lori Whitlock on my Sillhouette Cameo and placed all the cards and stamps inside.  

3.  Fabric Flower Headband.  For my final project, I wanted to showcase how you can use the Faber Castell Gelatos to make your own colored sprays.

Supplies:  Red Fabric Tote; Faber Castell Gelatos; Mini Mister by Ranger; Twinkling H2Os by Creative Imaginations; Adhesive (Xyron 5" Creative Station, Glue Gun); Felt; Elastic Band.

To make the fabric flower, I started with this little red bag that Charlotte got at a birthday party.

I cut the bag apart and ran a large piece (about 24 inches long) through my Xyron 5" Creative Station.

I then cut the fabric into 1 inch wide strips.  After making sure to burnish the fabric really well onto the plastic backing (to make sure that the adhesive transfers onto the fabric), I pulled each fabric strip off its backing and folded it in half lengthwise.  (Note that because this is not the fabric adhesive that you can otherwise get with the Xyron Creatopia, the adhesive may not adhere perfectly to the fabric.)

Each strip will make one fabric flower.  I basically followed this tutorial.  You initially roll the beginning of the strip into a tight roll.  I glued that down onto the center of a fabric circle using a glue gun.  And then just roll and glue the fabric strip until you get a complete flower.

Once the flowers were made, I set them aside to make a red shimmery spray to intensify the red color of the flower.  To make the spray, I colored the bottom of a small plastic container pretty liberally with a red Faber Castell Gelato.

Then I added a bit of water and some Twinkling H2Os in Red Pearl.

Once completed diluted, I poured this mixture into a Mini Mister and saturated my fabric flowers with the spray.

Once completely dry, I sandwiched the flower and a piece of felt onto an elastic headband with a glue gun.  Viola, the perfect headband to match those cute holiday dresses.  Here's a photo of Charlotte wearing hers while making Daddy a present this morning.

Whew!  That must be the LONGEST blog post ever!  But just goes to show much fun you can have when working with some of the best manufacturers in the industry!

As always, thanks for stopping by!!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude - Days 6 through 10

On Day 6, my first full day of solo parenting again, I'm thanking for tummy time and legos.  Even though it may only last for a few moments, having both kids temporarily happy and occupied gives me a few moments of sanity.

On Day 7, I'm thankful for Charlotte's school.  While her world seems to be turning upside down with another pending move, Justin's absence and Benjamin's arrival, her school and teachers have been a reliable and loving constant. 

Because Charlotte goes to school during the day, I am able to stay at home with just Benjamin during the day.  So on Day 8, I am thankful for those quiet moments that I can just enjoying having him home.

On Day 9, I am thankful for public libraries.  Here we are watching Clifford on Friday night while eating some popcorn.  Ah, you know my life is exciting.  :)

And on Day 10, I am thankful for sisters.  I'm especially thankful for my sister.  For so many reasons.  I hope that Benjamin will love and value his sister as much as I cherish mine one day.

And here is a look at the beginning on my Gratitude Journal (Days 1 through 4) integrated into my Project Life Pages.

To learn more about 30 Days of Gratitude, click here.  

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Monday, November 5, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude - Days 4 and 5

On Day 4, I am grateful for Daddy.

Just look at that photo.  He's cuddling with Benjamin and letting Charlotte brush his hair.  Now that's an amazing dad.

On Day 5, I am thankful for tear-free good-byes.

This is a photo of Justin giving Charlotte one final kiss before catching his flight this morning.  Charlotte was such a strong girl.  "Daddy go to the ship.  Charlotte go to school," she declared.  "Bye bye, Daddy," she chirped.  Now let's see if I can survive the next six weeks without him.  Thankfully it's only six weeks.

For Day 3, click here.  For Day 2, click here.  For Day 1 and an explanation of 30 Days of Gratitude, click here.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 3

I took this photo right after Charlotte got dressed and during Benjamin's tummy time.  My heart melted just a bit.  So for Day 3, I am grateful for sibling love.

Charlotte definitely has her moments of being jealous and upset.  But I know that she loves her little brother so much.  "Benjamin is my baby," she says.  "He's so cute," she coos every morning while looking down into his crib.  Big sister and little brother.  So thankful.

For Day 2, click here.  For Day 1 and an explanation of 30 Days of Gratitude, click here.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude - Day Two

So for Day Two, I am grateful for family dinners.

Justin and I are San Diego natives, born and raised.  Thankfully, both of our families are still in the area which usually means access to lots of free food.  :)  Dinner at Justin's dad's house is a bit of a tradition.  We try to do it every week and Uncle Adam always comes too.  The Smith boys usually talk about sailing or finances or politics.  Grandma Debra and Charlotte play with the dolls.  I get a little break and can bounce back and forth as I please.  Knowing that we will be moving in just a few weeks makes evenings like this that much more special.

You can read more about 30 Days of Gratitude here.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Favorite Photos of June 2012

I was surprised how difficult it was for me to find twelve photos from June 2012 that I absolutely adored.  Maybe it was because Charlotte and I were in our "routine" without Justin or that I was back at work and she was in school most of the week.  But there is some comfort knowing that June, for the most part, was pretty boring and "normal."

So here they are, the favorite photos of June 2012 completely unedited.

We are living at my parent's house during our little 6 month stopover in San Diego. This is my mom frying up some fish outside.  My mom is the best cook ever and Charlotte and I both LOVE eating everything she makes!
My little brother was living at home as well.  (He has since moved out.)  But it was so nice having him around to play with Charlotte and give me a break every once in awhile.  Little brothers are the best!

It seems like every Navy wife I know has a husband on deployment.  So here is Charlotte with J and L whose dad was also on deployment at the time.  Charlotte absolutely loves playing with those two!

Here is a shot of all three kids in front of the San Diego Zoo.

Charlotte with her cousins at Chuck-e-Cheese.  That place is insane!
I love this photo of Charlotte relaxing in the play structure outside of the San Diego Children's Museum with my sister in the background.  My sister is amazing.  I think I would go crazy without her.  She makes life a lot less lonely with Justin gone.

Charlotte sleeping in her big girl bed.  With the whole family sleeping in one room right now (since everything is on it's way to Hawaii as we speak), I'm really starting to miss that big girl bed.  :)

Charlotte riding her tricycle after school.  I love this photo.  I love this little girl.  

Charlotte posing with a father's day card I made for Justin's dad. We met up with him, Debra, and Uncle Adam later that night for dinner at C Level.  Lobster mac 'n cheese.  Mmmmm...
At the end of the month, Charlotte and I flew out to Virginia to spend a week with Justin. We had a red eye and Charlotte only slept about 4 hours total.  But that didn't stop her from soaking every single moment with Justin.  Here they are reading  in bed together.

Charlotte is all smiles while Justin puts on her lotion.  And she HATES putting on lotion.

And she is still giggling while Justin combs her hair.  
As always, thanks for stopping by!
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