Monday, March 13, 2017

Spring Break Remembered

 Hello Hello
I'm back with a similar project that I shared a little over a week ago. This one happens to be a wee bit smaller at a handy size of 3.25 by 5.25 - that's pretty small but oh so cute and packed full of memories and things that we had going on the week of Spring Break
 My covers are done using medium weight chipboard then covered front/outside first with a silver stripe pattern paper then inside with a black script pattern. For the binding I used book rings but first I used oversize eyelets to give it more strength. I figured being so cute it would get a lot of attention and I want it to last a long while.
 For the pages I used a white card stock and then cut them all to the same height but instead of cutting them all the same in length I decided to try folding them all in a different way with forward and backward motion, some with flip ups and some with flip outs and I'll tell ya I got quite creative with it. I even created pockets for several of the pages by gluing certain sides of the papers together.
As for the contents of the book well...what did I not put in it would probably be more appropriate.
 I have everything from a parking pass and a drink receipt to clothing tags and the little hard plastic tie thingy from a bagel's bag, there are even tiny art pieces my daughter made for me using some paper flowers I gave to sweet that one 
For my hidden social butterfly personality I save lots of inspiration and eye candy and then attempt to do something with all of them here I have Instagram screenshots that I printed off plus Pinterest photos that I saved and printed off as well.
There's a vintage hair clip that I saved from among my grandma's stuff and then a Beenie Boo name tag that I saved for my daughter. I have scrapbook papers and ephemera pieces and photos from my own camera roll so as I mentioned it is quite full of stuff...I call em' memories. 
Here is a page that flips out with photos of our borax project -> we were trying to grow our own crystals...yeah not something I would recommend unless you have a degree in science or perhaps chemistry...thankfully I only made the glass measuring cup explode and not the entire kitchen...geez the things we'll try for our (NOT)
Here is a pocket page that I stuck a drawing in and it looks like maybe a screen shot or two 
 This page has a flap that flips up on both sides of the page
 front side flap flip

back side flap flip and although it is hard to see it in this photo that page opposite has a slash pocket
 This page is just a regular page but along the side there to the right I added a hidden pocket, then used my tab punch to give me a thumb notch so that it wouldn't be hidden after all
 Here is another flip out and the vintage hair clip actually keeps the page flap shut
 For the inside back cover I did a pattern completely different than the inside of the front cover - no reason really I just picked out one pattern from my scraps that matched sort of and went with it but I'd almost bet that if I hadn't pointed it out you never would have even noticed, so really it doesn't matter. And there's the lesson for today, try not to get so wrapped up in everything looking just 'right' and go for the end all that really matters is that the memories are there to be cherished and shared
thanks so much for taking a look at my project today - I hope that you are inspired to document even the smallest bits and pieces of your story because you matter and down the road it will matter to your loved ones
just B

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Music = Life

Hello Hello
For today I thought that I would share an older project with you. I believe I made this music file about 3 years ago but honestly I can't remember. My reasons behind it are simple...I love music but some music I love more than all others, those are the ones I have stashed in here. If it ever at any point in my life, thus far, made an impact in my life than this is where I document it. I have Tori Amos first and foremost, followed by Dave Mathews Band, the Sundays, Indigo Girls, Mumford and Sons, Stevie Nicks, Jewel and Journey just to name a few. Soon I will be adding in a few new ones -> Sia, Bear McCreary (Outlander), and Ed Sheeran. I think music is life set to melody and harmony or maybe better put - a genre; could be pop at certain times when times are good and things are going your way, could be the blues when you feel overexposed or heartache, I think indie (in my opinion) would be when times are a bit strange or out of the norm. I love music! I love music that makes me think and that requires me to pay attention, I like music that makes me believe that I am not the only one, that I am normal, I like music that allows me breathing room too that sense of calm. 
 Now that I've said all of that, I should get back to the project at hand. So the way that I started this idea was to take Laura Denison's stack the deck idea but in a totally different direction. I used it to create my file base instead of as a book spine. Having the stacked base to hold my mini file folders in place I think is what gave this one enough support to stand on it's own - it's more bottom heavy than the last attempt  plus the fact that I kept it shorter and had quite a few more files added in. 
 Here is a side view of what it looks like with all of the folders adhered in place and the photo below is a closer look at that stacked binding. The way it works is that the two farthest ends are essentially adhered to the same piece of paper, then the next two in are adhered to the same piece of paper, so on and so forth until you get to the very center of the file - there is only about an 1/8 of an inch width between those two center folders but they are adhered to the same piece of paper. Another way to explain it is to think of the letter 'U' - your two files are sitting on both of the sides, the further you get out away from the center the bigger the gap in the bottom of your 'U' is. In the photo the center of my last stacked 'U' is only 1/8 of an inch, the 'U' on the bottom of the stack has about 2 inches of a gap between it's two file folders. Whoo...I hope that made some since to 
Another thing I did with this one is I added two side pieces of elastic so that there was some give in order to get into the folders but not so much that it would alter the structure to much. I adhered the ends down before covering the inside so that they are tucked in and secure. 
Next I added on two Velcro dots to keep that bottom flap in place and to keep the file closed. I like the two together at each corner it seems much more efficient than the double dots above and below one another on the previous project that I shared awhile back.
 Here is a look from the top, as you can probably tell I have it pretty much full and may have to make another one at some point. Now granted, most of the folders only have one file (library card) in them, there might be one or two that have two files in them but soon I think they may all have two or more in'll see how that works out.
 The mini file folder that I used it actually a die that I have in my stash and unfortunately I do not remember who it is by but there are a ton of online shops that more than likely will have something similar. I cut the die out, put it together the normal way and then cut a tiny strip off the bottom to attach to the sides of my stacked 'U' binding.
As for the files themselves, well I used another die in my stash as well as a 'library card' stamp. On one side of my card I stamped the library image (photo above)then on the other side I saved a CD cover image from Google (photo below) printed it out and then adhered it as my photo. 
I love that I can get a hold of images like this so easily for my own personal use so long as I am not stealing it and saying that it's my work. There are a lot of albums that I have bought over the last several years that I buy through iTunes so I don't have access to their covers like I use to when I'd buy the actual CD so this makes a nice replacement.
So there is my music = life file storage box hope you like it and find it an inspiration to record your own life's soundtrack (no pun intended-well maybe)
Thanks for stopping in and I hope you are enjoying life and counting your blessings.
just B

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Memories of May

 Hello Hello
Welcome back, I am excited to share a kind of mini scrap/junk journal with you today. The idea came to me last April which is when I am usually filled with lots of ideas and inspiration. I tend to hibernate during winter and don't get much accomplished but this is also when I am scouring all my social threads looking for ideas to make my own and let me tell you, there are a ton of ideas floating around in cyber space, you all are a creative lot for sure. So this is what I came up with.
The base of my mini is the tab blanks that many people use when filing index cards, I like that they have multiple sizes available which are all cut to a convenient size plus I love the weight of the paper itself, it seems to last a bit longer. Also I added in bits and pieces of other papers here and there to give it more room to add in our memories and to hold all the photos.  
 The binding is just two simple book rings and using my Tim Holtz binder punch made it super easy to punch all the necessary holes quickly. I think for projects like this, ones that are more just for the fun, this is my favorite way to bind them, there is no fuss and no hassle. Also I think this is my favorite way to document the everyday happenings around here. I tend to take a lot of screen shots with my phone and I save pins and I snap pictures, this just seems like the perfect format for me to get those memories out of my phone and into my hands so that we can remember them and enjoy them.

 Some other pieces I used were free digital downloads that I found through Google images. There are some catches for using freebies that I've come to expect and to except. For example several sites made me give an email address first before they would let me download anything, most of the time I am okay with this. Another example is that you may only use the freebie for personal use, which also makes sense since you didn't buy it, I'm okay with this also, but it is important to remember those that are free and can only be used by you. For this I created folders on my computer, the free ones go into one and ones I have paid for go into another. But even still, sometimes even the digital content that you have paid for may still only be used by you...just so you know. 

 Anyhow back to this cute little mini, I had decided to print as many small photos as possible just so that I'd have lots recorded and looking back on this the other day while I was taking new photos, I realized again how much I love this simple jam-packed mini.

 Other things I included were bits and pieces from my stash, just random things that really didn't belong to anything else. Which is where the 'admit one' tickets came in - besides that night we attended our school districts 'End of Year Celebration' which our girls enjoy much more than we really so it fit with the theme of this particular page.

Being that May is the fifth month of the year I decided to include a spot that highlighted the top five days of this month, which is fun to look back on now. I have grudgingly decided that I have a terrible memory when it comes to details, dates and times, names, etc so it's good that I have gotten in the habit of adding in that information with more of my newer pieces.

  The inspiration behind this little mini was actually a scrap book line that I still had a little bit of, most of the papers I had already used but I found a number of the paper pieces and embellishments. Once I had those in place I then filled in where need be with photos and ephemera. I love the yellow and blue combination, to me that will forever represent the month of May

Other bits and pieces I added in were clothing tags mostly and a few ticket stubs, the ones from the zoo for sure - also I made sure to add in what we were listening to on the radio and on our iPods at the time because today's music is here in a flash and then gone it seems with whatever else is in. For me I think that's the curse and the blessing in today's age...nothing lasts, this is my

   As for pictures I took random photos of everything and anything, doesn't mean I have to add them in but just in case I need them they're there. I love my Starbucks and so I have several shots of either my mozzarella and tomato panini or my caffeine fix for the day. I included photos of projects I was working on at the time. I also included a screen pic of other peoples photos that I'd saved from a social media thread, I love the inspiration and so it seemed fitting to add it in as well. I even added in several 'selfies' with me, myself, and my girls! 
So there you have it - a mini scrap/junk journal. Hope you like it and more than anything I hope it will inspire you to get those photos off your phone, off your laptop, off the tablet and into your hands.
Until next time...thanks
just B

Monday, October 24, 2016

For Tonight

Hello Hello
How is everyone? Wonderful I hope and if you're in my neck of the world, enjoying the Autumn weather I hope. This past weekend was absolutely beautiful outside, low 70's with sunshine and a light breeze...perfect in my opinion.
So I'm thinking that since it seems I have absolutely no time to myself these days that I would let you in on what's really going on around here. 

outside my is dark, the season has come upon us where the days are getting shorter and the sun sinks lower earlier and earlier

i am thinking...about everything that has to get done and everything that I want to get done and hardly ever do these two list collide so then I will have to decide what is actually more responsibilities or my sanity... Hum?

i am thankful for...the peace and quiet, sometimes I just crave silence. Hot tea too. I am also greatly enjoying the changing colors, Autumn is one of my most favorite seasons because of all the colors and seeing them just makes me happy

from the kitchen...a fore mentioned 'hot tea' from my still-new-to-me Keurig, store bought mini Fall cupcakes that are pretty tasty, and later this week it'll be time to can FIL brought me 20+ lbs. of tomatoes this past weekend, thankfully they are green enough to last for several more days until I have time to make it and then can it all...but in the end...all good stuff  

i am wearing...gray...I am not sure what it is about the color gray but it has been one of my favorites for many, many years. I have always been a lover of a good thunderstorm and so maybe I subconsciously relate the two...?

i am creating...well I am currently working on some Christmas card ideas but we'll see if they actually come to pass. And this weekend, after canning salsa-if there's time left, I will be starting on the foundation pages for my 'December Daily'. This is a project that I do every other year for the simple fact that it is exhausting to me. I always love going back through them several years later but to do this every year seems crazy to me. Of course on the opposite year of doing this project I do 'A Week in the Life' which I suppose is just as daunting but doesn't seem near as time consuming.  

i am be running around like a mad woman this weekend; between canning salsa and carving pumpkins and running errands and cleaning the house and getting foundation pages's gonna be nuts...I need another day added to my weekend I

i am reading...two books currently: 
The From-Aways by C J Hauser
I like that it's written from the perspective of two outsiders who have claimed this small town as their own and are trying to preserve their way life they've heard about in stories and songs, while fighting against some of their own families who actually are considered 'locals' 
The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
I just started this one over the weekend and I am already hooked, it is intriguing and thought provoking. I am absolutely in awe at how Yann describes the animals that Pi grows up with and the detail in which he describes certain aspects, it's...almost unnerving how well he can write you into the surroundings and such. I am excited to finish this one for sure

i am hearing...nothing as much but just moments ago my husband called to let me know that he is on his way home. He refs high school soccer and had two district games tonight about an hour and a half away from our home and since he knows how well I worry he was just touching base...deep breath... exhale...sigh...I love this man, one day I hope to be as thoughtful as he is.

around the house...oh my goodness don't look too close if you come is filthy...but I promise cleaning is on my 'to do' list for this weekend and as bad as it is there is no way that I won't do it, that's just how I am. In fact I will probably clean before I ever even start my salsa...
But as for what's in my immediate line of vision...well I have school papers stacked up behind me on the floor in two little tidy piles, I have my 'everything' bag sitting at my feet which holds my planner and my book and my notebooks and my Origami Owl catalog that I am so gonna order out of this next month so I can call it my birthday, behind me and off to my left is the trash can with the trash waiting patiently to be taken out either tonight or most likely in the morning as we head to the bus stop, and then last but not least is my porcelain doll that my grandma bought for me when I was 8 or 9 I think - sitting in her little wooden high chair here in the kitchen with me    

one of my favorite things...sleep 
I have found that working 40+ hours a week is exhausting (recently I changed careers and went from 30 hours a week as a part-time employee to full time working 40+ a week) so anytime I can get quality shuteye...seems almost a luxury/lazy, there is always so much to do and so many places to go and people to see and on and on and did it get to this??? Whoever thought of working 40 hours a week? Maybe they should be shot...just an idea...not joking
My other favorite thing when the first one doesn't pan out is: COFFEE

a few plans for the rest of the week...hum...I think we covered this but in case I missed it:
*clean house
*make and can salsa
*carve pumpkins
*run errands
*start foundation pages for my December Daily Album
*...make more COFFEE

a photo to share...from my lunch break today...yes I drive over to our local cemetery to sit while I eat my lunch...I do this often...I find this place to be relaxing and the most quiet being close to town...remember I said that I sometimes crave the silence... you go...I like that my mind has time to breathe, whether it be to read my book of choice or listen to the rustling of the leaves or close my eyes for a bit or even listen to music quietly...this seems to be enough for me to enjoy the rest of my day
So there it is, this is what's been going on in a nutshell, trying to get use to the new job with the additional hours, figuring out a new routine that works for all of us, eventually getting back to square one so that I can start from scratch and maybe actually do some meal-planning again (that would be nice) and then when all that is said and done, hopefully have a little bit of time left over for me.
Hope you all are doing lovely and enjoying your own time in the ways that matter to you, I thank you for checking in and hope to be getting some projects rephotographed soon so that I can share those with you.
Thanks again!

just B 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Review: What Alice Forgot

Hello Hello
I'm here I'm here...or well everywhere at once I think. Got the girls started back up in school here a couple of weeks ago and I got myself a new job. I will say that getting a new job in your early 40's after doing the same thing for the last 18 years has been a struggle and although I've been at the new job now about a month, I'm still not use to the hours and the schedule and the never having any time to myself anymore...I mean do you people do this every single day? I can hardly find the time to read...and I'm about to lose my freakin' mind. Now admittedly I have been spoiled for quite sometime only working 30-32 hours a week and I appreciated every one of those hours I didn't have to work but this 40+ hours a week is for the birds...trying to decide what my next course of action should be. Being that I haven't had time to even read (as mentioned above) one can assume that I have not been able to scrap either and that would be a fair assumption so in order to keep up with my own desires and demands (this blog being a bit of both) I have decided to share my Goodreads reviews with you so that maybe there is a bit for everyone. 

Not sure which of you out there do read, nor for that matter what you read but I thought that this would be a good time to try this hair-brained idea out...lucky you! So to get us started I threw one on here that I read several months ago and really enjoyed and being that this is a new idea I will probably only share with you the books that I either really enjoyed or that really made me think, to start with anyhow, then maybe if that goes well I'll venture into sharing more of the not-so-good reviews how does that sound?

So for today I'm sharing my review of What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty, it's super short as most of my reviews are at this point but I hope that you enjoy this new aspect of my blog. By chance if you do have any questions or comments please feel free to let me know and I'll be happy to listen and respond.
Hope all of you are doing something wonderful and enjoying the journey.

What Alice Forgot

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I cannot stop thinking about Alice and Nick and all the trials they endured, how they each one in their own way never gave up or gave in and made their happy-ever-after come true. A very good read indeed; thought provoking and emotionally challenging.

Thanks so much!
just B

Thursday, June 30, 2016

All You Need Is Tea

Hello Hello
How are you all?
As grand as I, I dare hope. It's been a few months for me, finishing up the end of the school year and getting use to our summer schedule. Also we were able to get away for a bit, some call that a vacation, my husband however does not since we traveled as a "family" But all is well that ends well and getting away even for a bit was much needed.

Today I thought I'd share another one of my art journal pages that I art lifted from none other than Vicki Papaioannou, you can see her art journal page here if you are of the curious sort such as myself. 
I absolutely love the way my page has turned out, it started nothing like Vicki's page, she has a lot more texture on her background layer than I but the end results are very similar, with the title of course and the stacked cups. 
For my cups I used my Tim Holtz Sizzix die to cut them instead of free drawing them and what's nice about this particular die is that it makes them super easy to actually stack, there is a slit in the top of each cup to slide something else into it, so say you wanted a spoon in your tea cup...with that little slit towards the rim of the cup it will totally look like the spoon is inside the cup. This die also cuts out the tea bag tag which I think is absolutely adorable and why would you have tea without the tea bag tag? Or in this case a page about tea without a tag at the top of your page?
So that's my take on Vicki's art journal page. I love my end result as much as I loved Vicki's. Her process videos make following along so simple and after watching even one or two you really feel like you have learned something useful, enough that it made me want to try my own hand at a page so...there you have it, hope you like it and even more so I hope that you'll check Vicki's channel out and give it a go yourself.
Thanks for stopping in and have a delightful day!

just B

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Filed Away

Hello Hello
How are you lovelies today?
Fabulous I hope to imagine.
Today I have the perfect project  for you to try, it's a great gathering place for all your memories and photos. I created this piece well over 2 years ago and am having the notion to make another one.
What is it you ask?
Well this is my own version of a file folder or box (as in this case) of memories or rather in this particular file, books that I have enjoyed reading.
The way that I began this project is by using an older Sizzix library pocket die and cutting out 12 pockets. Once I had them all cut out I folded them up and glued all the sides to make my pockets, then I cut about 1/8 of an inch off the bottom of each pocket, which of course opened the end back up...this is where I will attach my binding.
Next I pulled out a medium weight chip board and measured out what pieces I would need. I made sure of course that my files would sit easily and that they would have some breathing room between each one; once all the measurements were settled I went to cutting out all my pieces: the front cover and  the back cover which were basically the same size, the bottom and the top which were the same size as well and then finally the front flap which had just about a two inch overlap on the cover. I covered all the pieces with some patterned paper that I had chosen beforehand.  
As for the files? I decided the best way to attach them is with a hidden hinge binding system that I learned from none other than the great Kathy Orta over on YouTube. If you haven't checked her out you should, she has some wonderful tutorials that you might be interested in. Anyways so that is how I attached my files and it worked great, my biggest challenge was getting the whole design to stand up properly which I suppose I finally figured out by accident.
In order for that happy accident I decided to make an expandable box, so to create this I punched four holes, two on each side - one front and one back directly across from one another and finished each of them with an eyelet (more for appearance than performance) then I added a piece of elastic through the front and back hole, crimped a bead on the outside of  each hole to hold the elastic in place then did the same on the opposite side, the key here was to get my elastic pieces the same length on each side which was harder than I thought it would be but the results were fantastic.
To finish the file box itself I added a knob to the top panel and then on the front inside flap I added a Velcro dot so that the box would stay shut when not being used - this worked out great by the way because I think by making it remain closed it actually helps keep the balance and therefore standing up - see I told you that was a happy accident.
Now what did I put in the files themselves? Well I used Google Images to find and save all the book jackets to the books I'd read. Once I had several of them copied I used my printer on the wallet print size (it puts 9 photos on a letter size page) then printed those onto regular cardstock, cut them all out and added them to the back of my homemade library index card. It turned out pretty cool actually and I have used this idea again and again when I am wanting  to keep track of books I've read.
This is the book jacket printed off and added onto the index card and below is the back of the index card where I used one of my stamps to create the look and give me the spot to document all the information. 
Now for me since I have the book jacket featured on the front I needn't worry to include the author or the title obviously but things I did include were the dates that I read it, my overall summary and then a final rating that isn't based on anything other than how I liked it. In the years since I've done this project the only thing I've changed is that I now print on Everyday Photo Paper instead of card stock for the simple reason that the glossy paper is a bit more like the actual book cover and I like that so much better.
So here is a top view looking into my files and I'd dare say it is certainly time to make another of these I believe, especially considering the amount I've read since then. But until I make a new one I have come up with a couple of ways to keep track of all the books I've read: for one I still print out the book jacket and use my library index stamp, also recently I purchased a stamp set from Kelly Purkey that has become a favorite of mine when documenting books read but probably the most useful way for me, which I've used for a while now, is Goodreads. I can find pretty much anything and everything and it keeps it all on their website for me, including what I'm currently reading and where I'm at in that read, plus when I added it, when I started it and then when I finished it. It's a great tool for me since it's become important to me. Last year I did my first reading challenge through Goodreads and it kept me updated via email on my progress which was pretty cool but even better is when it told me I'd met my goal. 
I'd never been a good reader growing up (ironic that my first job was at the local library) but my mom always had a book in her hands and even read to my brother I throughout our childhood so maybe by her example I thought it important. Several years ago after having kids, I quickly realized that television was out of the question so I turned to books and although I was slow going at first I felt very comfortable in my new found freedom and dare I say that since then have become an official bookworm

Well there you have it, I hope that this inspires you to create or least of all maybe to read. I thank you for stopping in and spending a moment with me. 
Until next time...
just B