Thursday, October 31, 2013

Throwback Thursday - Happy Halloween!!!


Trick or Treating.  Candy.  Jack-o-Lanterns.  Spooky Bats and Cats.  Mr. Bones.  I love it all!!!

For today's post, I thought I'd just take a quick walk down memory lane.  Call it a Thowback Thursday - Halloween Style.  :)

2009 B.C. (Before Children - albeit pregnant).  Oh Grandma, what big ears you have!!  I actually made these costumes in 2007.  I'm a terrible sewer so I was pretty pleased with myself.  :)

2010.  And we have a duck now.  The Halloween post with more photos from 2010 can be found here.

2011.  Buzz, buzz, buzz!!  Our little bumble bee.  See more photos on this blog post.

2012.  Adding another pumpkin to our patch.  This was Benjamin's first "outing" since getting discharged from the NICU.  He was still 11 days shy of his due date in this photo but doing great. 

And here's the monkey ballerina with her baby pumpkin.  Monkey Ballerina.  Hehehe, I mean, awesome, right?  :)

This year shall involve some monsters and princesses.  We'll see how it all goes.  :)  Hope everyone has a very happy and safe Halloween!!!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Xyron and Maya Road Blog Hop

So this week, Xyron is teaming up all week with Maya Road!!!!!!  Okay, did you just see me do my amazingly awesome and geek-filled happy dance.  I mean, can you think of a better partnership?!?!  Maya Road makes some of my favorite alterable embellishments in the industry.  Chipboard, metal, wood, twine, trim, paper...the list goes on and on and on. For this week's project, I wanted to make a book for my daughter using this gorgeous Maya Road Scroll Edge Chipboard Binder.

The motivation behind this project was the desire to make my daughter a special Daddy book.  Most of my mini albums or books are usually geared for her - to integrate those photos and memories into our daily bedtime/ reading routine.  Even when Daddy isn't gone on deployment, he is away from home quite a bit.  There are those long and unpredictable underways when the ship is gone to sea for various exercises.  There are the weekly duty nights.  There are those tireless work days gearing up for inspections or tests or trainings.  Regardless the reason, it inevitably results in my daughter crying for her dad and telling me how much she misses him.  He's only gone for a night, I reassure her.  But he's not here right now, she persists.  A little girl missing her dad is heart breaking - if it is for months or just a night.

So using the amazing products from Maya Road and Xyron, I made my daughter this "Fun Times with Dad" book.  Because even though Daddy can't be here all the time, we can still remember the fun times we have had with him.

Supplies: Maya Road (Scroll Edge Chipboard Binder, Chipboard Alphabet, Twine Cording, Antique Angel Wing, Love Chipboard Banner Set, Wood Shaped Button Embellishments); Adhesive (Xyron 1.5" Create-a-Sticker, Xyron Adhesive Dots, Xyron Creatopia (Permanent Adhesive), Xyron 2.5" Create-a-Sticker); October Afternoon - Sidewalks (Patterned Paper, Stickers); WRMK (Journaling Cards - Simply Happy); Lil' Inker Designs Stitched Mats: Rectangle; Doodlebug Designs - Crushed Velvet Flocking Powder; Epiphany Crafts Heart Shape Tool; Basic Grey Letter Stickers; Bossy Joscie Flair; Core'dinations Sand It Gadget; Tim Holtz Distress Ink. 

My daughter already adores the little book and thankfully the Maya Road Scroll Edge Chipboard Binder is amazingly sturdy and can easily hold up to little hands.  Using edge-to-edge adhesive with my various Xyron products also ensures that everything stays adhered on despite the frequent handling of the book.

And here is a peak at the entire album (along with some tips and tricks along the way).

1.  Flocked Letters.  For the "dad" title, I embellished Maya Road Chipboard Alphabet letters by applying adhesive on the top of the letters using my Xyron 1.5" Create-a-Sticker and then rubbing in some Doodlebug flocking powder.  Then, just run the letters back through the Xyron 1.5" Create-a-Sticker again to adhere them directly onto the chipboard album.

2.  Securing Twine.  Simply roll up some Xyron Adhesive Dots and place them directly underneath the bow and where the Maya Road Twine Cording is wrapped along the binder to keep it in place.  May I also say that the Maya Road's twine is some of the thickest that I have ever worked with!!  Just stunning.

3.  Embellish with Trinkets.  Tying on a single Maya Road Antique Angel Wing really adds a lot of charm to the cover.

4.  Covering Album Pages.  After cutting out the patterned paper to cover the album pages, I used my Xyron Creatopia (Permanent Adhesive) to quickly apply edge to edge adhesive onto the backsides to then just stick onto my unfinished pages.  It literally took seconds.  Awesome!  To finish off the edges, I sanded them down using the Core'dinations Sand It Gadget and distressed the edges with Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Antique Linen and Vintage Photo).

5.  Adhering Little Embellishments.  The little heart in the corner of the WRMK "I love us" card is from the Maya Road Love Chipboard Banner Set.  I inked the little heart with some My Favorite Things Dye Ink and adhered them both using my Xyron 1.5" Create-a-Sticker.   

6.  Printing Little Photos.   To print those tiny photos, I created a photo collage in Picassa set for four photos set on 4x6 paper.  I then cut them each out using my favorite Stitched Mats: Rectangle dies from Lil' Inker Designs.

7.  Writing in Pencil.  I was a bit uneasy about writing directly onto the album pages with ink.  So, I wrote in pencil!  It's acid free and archival safe.  And if I mess up (which I did), I can just erase and try again!

8.  Working with a Single Collection.  To keep it easy, I primarily used papers and embellishments from a single paper collection to make it easy on myself.  Since many of the Maya Road embellishments are unfinished, you can make them coordinate perfectly with any collection!  For this project, I used October Afternoon - Sidewalks.


9.  A Personalized Trinket.  For the back cover, I added another charm I made using the Epiphany Crafts Heart Shape Tool and the coordinating jewelry setting.  You can see a tutorial here.

So there you go, 9 tips and tricks to make your own mini album!  Make sure you head over to the Xyron Blog and Maya Road Blog all week long for more awesome inspiration and giveaways!

As always, mahalo for stopping by!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Aloha Friday - Big Island Style

This post is dedicated to our short vacation to Hawaii (aka the Big Island).  There was so much drama just to get into Kona.  I won't bore you with all the details but let me just warn you...avoid Go! Airlines at all costs.  The most horrendous customer service I've ever experienced in my entire life.  But, thankfully we eventually got off of Oahu and onto Hawaii.

1.  Downtown Kailua-Kona.  We spent our first evening/ afternoon walking along the waterfront in "downtown."  It's filled with lots of touristy shops and restaurants mixed with some historic sites.

This was one of the royal summer homes built in the 1800s out of coral, laval rock and local wood.  Really beautiful.

Beautiful Kona coastline.

And the starting line of the Ironman Championship!

There were a lot of rowers out on the water practicing out of the local Canoe Club.

2.  Mauna Kea Observatory.  We made the long drive up to the Mauna Kea Observatory Visitor Center.  You are literally above the clouds here.  Maybe when the kids are all grown up, we can drive up further the mountain to where the telescopes are.

A birds eye view of the visitor center at the top of our little hike up the hill across the street.

Squirmy and grumpy kids.  :)

3.  Driving Around Waimea Valley.  This is where the Hawaiian cowboys roam.  Really beautiful.

4.  Pu'ukohola Heiau.  This is a beautiful national historic site where you can view the temple built by Kamehameha, John Young's homestead (he was one of King Kamehameha's closest advisers), and shark-filled waters covering a submerged temple.

5.  Waipio Valley.  This is a gorgeous lookout of the amazing Waipio Valley (which is the breathtaking home to wild horses as well).  We unfortunately didn't get down to the valley (sigh...little kiddos) but the view was amazing still and Charlotte had a fantastic time just running up and down the grassy hills.

6.  Hilo Farmer's Market.  I had read that this was an awesome farmer's market.  Maybe it was because we got there towards the end of the market, but it definitely was not what I was hoping.  It was fun, nonetheless, walking around the few stalls that were still open.

7.  Volcano National Park.  Our first stop at Volcano National Park was the primary lookout over an active volcano at the Jagger Museum!!!!

And may I add that our park ranger was AWESOME!

We stayed overnight at the Kilauea Military Camp so that we could see the volcano at night.  Both times that I went back to the Jagger Museum lookout (8 pm and 4 am), it was drizzling and misty and hazy.  This is what I saw.

And here are J and C getting ready to go out.

And thankfully, since it cleared up just a little bit for them, this is what they saw...

How cool is it to see steam just coming up from the ground?!?

Here we are inside the Lava Tubes.

Lava, lava everywhere while driving along Crater Rd.

And the views at the end of the road.

8.  Punalu'u Beach (Black Sand Beach). We didn't stay here long since both the kids were sleeping in the car, but it was definitely worth the detour.

9.  Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park.  This national historic park is nothing short of breathtaking.  It is a place of refuge where those sentenced to death could be protected.  Amazingly peaceful and beautiful and amazing.

Whew!  That was a long post but it was a truly memorable and amazing trip to the Big Island.

As always, mahalo for stopping by!!!!

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