Monday, May 30, 2011

Saying Goodbye

For those who have served - 
 Thank You!
And for those who continue to serve -  
Thank You!
My Grandpa was a vet and was honored with a military funeral, never realized that my dad followed so closely in his footsteps.
I was fine up until the trumpet wailed it's sad goodbye while 2 marines folded up the American flag and presented it to my dad's wife.
It was the 21 gun salute that finalized it for me and I was in tears.
Memorial Weekend will never mean the same to me again, it'll mean more
And my dad will be remembered..........

Sunday, May 29, 2011

It's A Merry Day

Good Morning Everyone!
Hope all of you are enjoying a wonderful Memorial Holiday.  I have found over the years, as I get older, that the holidays tend to mean quite a bit more to me when I can get together with family, so our celebration will be on Monday evening @ my brother's house.  It is so fun to watch all the cousins interacting with each other, although in the years to come I will be feeling sorry for my youngest nephew, he is outnumbered 4 to 1; lucky for him he has a much older brother that will hopefully help keep all the girls in line.
 In the wake of my December Daily being posted, I thought that I'd share with all of you a home decor project I made several years ago that showcases my oldest daughter's first Christmas.  Trust me I do realize that it is May, but I figure any of that 'holiday spirit' @ any time throughout the year is good - Right?  
I got this idea from Shari Carroll here, in her book titled, "Layers" where she walks readers through her steps in completing this cute little mini.  "Layers" here has inspiration galore and has motivated me many times over to get things done.  This is one of those projects that worked really fast for me, I jumped in one night when we were having computer problems and completed it within a few days following.  Funny how I seem to get a lot done when I don't have the computer or the laptop distracting me, does that happen for any of you? 
Now you will notice that the framed mini is made from light switch plates, I thought that was so unusual at first, until we remodeled our home 5 1/2 years ago and I ended up with several left over switch plate covers; being that they were no longer needed I thought about that odd decor piece that Shari had done and decided to try it.  
To this day, this is one of my favorite holiday decor pieces that I have done and although I have thought of doing one of these for my youngest daughter's first Christmas, I'm not sure it would have the same meaning because we aren't remodeling right now - in fact we have recently moved.  But that was half of the point of this project, not only was it a mini about our daughter, it was also a tangible piece of our reality @ that moment in our lives.  So for right now the material that I use for Justice's first Christmas project I feel, should somehow represent our living situation @ that moment in time.  The problem... I wouldn't have a clue what to use as the base material.  It's too bad I wasn't doing the mini right now, because I have all kinds of moving boxes that could make up a really cute mini.  LOL 
I think my reasons for liking the finished project so much is that I used black & white photos and the papers I chose all had the same tone (red & white), so mixing it all together gave it a real elegant look.  So this is something to think about next time you have left-over light switch plate covers, do a mini altered art piece, they are!
Thanks for peeking, hope you liked my mini as much as I enjoyed making it.  Have a wonderful holiday, enjoy lots of love & laughter with your family & friends.  I also just want to say, "Thank You" to all of our service men & women who choose everyday to protect our country and fight for our freedom daily.....
"Thank You"
just B....grateful

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

December Daily - the over view

Hello again, I am back with the rest of my December Daily Album, hope you don't mind even though it's almost June.  I am actually very pleased with this album and was surprised at how quickly it came together (once I devoted the time to it)
I decided to present the pages as if you were actually looking at the album and I think that I will be doing this for future album pages, they make more sense when you can see them side by side like this.  Also on several of the pages, even though you cannot tell from the photo, there are lots of 'movable' pieces, for example on day 6 (the very first one in line) the two somewhat blue rectangle journaling spots that have each girls initials on them, well they actually flip up 'to open' to the journaling for that day for each girl.  Another example is on day 8 - on the right side there is the angled picture that lays on top of the other 4, well just to the right side of that there is a little tab that is red and can be 'pulled out' to reveal the journaling for that 'craft project'.  I absolutely love interactive albums and although sometimes they take a lot more time and effort during the creative process, they are worth it to me. I also think that as my girls get older and hopefully more interested in what I enjoy doing (being creative), I think that they too will love searching for the hidden gems: the flip ups, the twist & turns, or the tags that come out altogether - like on Christmas Day where I added a mini album to the envelop.  To me that is 'cool' and it makes for a very creative outlet which is why I scrap book in the first place; the documentation of our family's journey in this life, is just an added bonus - one that I hope our girls will appreciate when they get older and start to make their own way in this big wide world.
So sit back and enjoy!

day 6 - I am a firm believer in starting the day with a good breakfast and some mornings it's nice to 'go out' for breakfast - so this morning I took the girls to iHop for pancakes & sausage.
day 7 - just enjoyed our day @ home today and was able to get some really good pictures of my little one
day 8 - this is probably a growing tradition in our home, as my girls get older I will probably continue on doing a couple of Christmas crafts each year that they can help me with and then we will give them to our family & friends during holiday celebrations.
day 9 - to the left is a picture of our living room with it's twinkling lights, to the right is - on the front of the 7 Gypsies packaging, the Christmas cards I made for this year, if you were to flip that 7 Gypsies packing over, on the other side you'd find our family letter that I sent with the card and a picture of the girls on Santa's lap
day 10 - as you can see I haven't gotten my journaling done on all of my pages, might not ever get it done, I do however have a December journal in my desktop so that if I do want to add some later I will be able to.  On this day I also added a Starbucks coffee sleeve because I liked the message it had printed on it, it says, "stories are gifts to share"

day 11 - here is where I included - several pictures of Liberty writing out her letter to Santa, mind you she is not quite 5 but working very hard on getting all of her alphabets mastered.  She is actually a very smart little girl and she amazes me everyday
day 12 - these photos were taken the morning after I had wrapped a whole bunch of gifts for our family, Justice our little one couldn't help but notice all the pretty packages.
day 13 - again she is noticing all of the pretty packaging, so cute
day 14 - today Liberty & I got all the Christmas cards ready to be mailed, I had done a total of 87 I think and was so over it by this point that I made her help me by putting the stamps and address labels on them; thankfully this was my last year to do 'handmade' cards, who has that kind of time?
day 15 - I had to @ some point in my December Daily, include a few of the Christmas 'things' I have made over the years so here is a picture of my advent calendar (left) and several of my ornaments (right)
day 16 - this day sticks out to me the most, I absolutely cherish this day with my mom.  She had come over to visit with me and the girls and we decided to try our hand @ a gingerbread house, OMG - I hadn't laughed with my mom like that in awhile, this is so on our list for next year. : )  But in the course of creating a wonderful new memory an amazing thing happened, my mom & I connected in a whole new way, we talked about when I was a kid and then when she was a kid and different holiday stories in between, it was fantastic
thanks mom!  
day 17 - another fun day, today was picture day with Santa and we also got to 'mail' our letter to him.  Both girls did great with Santa, Justice even sat on his lap, wasn't sure if she would but she surprised me.  Liberty of course rattled off an entire list of things she wanted to open on Christmas morning, it was a bit flabbergasting.....about 90% of it was all news to me too.  : ) 
day 18 - for this day I wanted to get a shot of just the everyday things, so on here I have a couple of pictures from around the house and then I also included: the iHop silverware band, a wrapper from my favorite chocolate, the rest of the sheet from a book of holiday stamps, and the packaging from the tree skirt that we got for our 'pink' tree - it's quite the collection of things & will be interesting to see a few years from now
day 19 - today, as you might have guessed, we spent time with family - extended family that is - every year we get together with my mother-in-law's side of the family and have an afternoon full of food, fun, and a comical gift exchange
family time = good times
day 20 - as you might have noticed I have several days where I just added a printed copy of my computer journaling to my page - this helped me fill the space with quality, instead of just stuff - not that the stuff isn't important, but in 20 years it's the days activities that I'm most going to want to be reminded of.
day 21 - here we are again with my little one, she was just so much fun this last year.  This little 'Santa' Teddy Bear had gotten her attention from the moment I took it out of storage.  I was a bit curious if it was going to scare her because as cute as the picture is, it doesn't explain that he actually sits on a little bicycle and peddles  across the floor while music plays (up to this point she had not liked the things that moved), she was a bit hesitant right at first but within minutes decided that this little fellow was going to be her friend so this picture was taken half way through the season and you can see how close these two have become; so sweet and such a precious memory for years to come
day 22 - again another full page of journaling and looking at it even 6 months later, I am so glad I took the time to jot all of this down, yes getting to my computer every night sometimes even every other night took effort but it was well worth it.  To the right is a picture of my dear grandmother whom I have a huge amount of respect and love for, she is one of the finest ladies I know
day 23 - I had thought about the idea of having a dinner party for my immediately family earlier in the month, so I talked it over with my husband and my mom and came up with a game plan.  Turned out that this was the perfect night for everyone I wanted there, to come. So I cooked dinner for: my mom & her husband; my older brother, his wife & their 3 kids; my younger brother; my nephew; and my grandma; plus of course us - it turned out wonderful.  Afterwards we exchanged gifts with everyone then dove into a couple of desserts that my mom was so kind to bring.  It was an enjoyable evening, enough so that I might have to make a tradition out of this too, in the years to come.
day 24 - Christmas Eve, what's to tell..... our oldest daughter was so excited - to the point where I almost considered drugging her in order to get a thought in edge wise (not really) but she was super excited and I'm still amazed that any of us got any sleep @ all..... oh wait...... we didn't.... didn't because my youngest one, bless her heart, decided to get sick that night about 11 PM, fabulous timing huh?
day 25 - Christmas Day - Oh My Goodness - talk about a wonderful day, it was quite possibly the best Christmas morning we had had for the simple fact that it was the first time ever that any of us woke up on Christmas morning in our own home.   Because of our job, my husband & I are required to work holidays - last year I somehow managed to get it off and I'll tell you, what a magical feeling it is to see the sheer surprise and awe on your kiddos faces when they realize that Santa came in the middle of the night.  And doubly magical when my husband called me only an hour into our morning and told me he was on his way home - which meant that literally we had the rest of the day to celebrate, how wonderful!

So there you have it in a nutshell, my December Daily about 6 months late.  But better late than never or at least that's what I've always heard.  Hope you enjoyed flippin' through my album with me, make sure to check back later in the week, hopefully I will have some design team things to share with you.  Thanks 
Just B ..... thankful!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hello Again

Good Day Everyone
I have lots to share with you this week because I have been an absentee long enough.  I have several weeks of design work to show you and some new house pics to post and then just what ever else I can think of to throw in here.

First up I will have to say that I am loving our new home, it has been a very long time coming and to be able to jump on it several years early (so that our soon to be Kindergarten daughter doesn't have to transfer schools in between grades or the middle of a year) is huge to us.  But with the move comes a lot of unforeseen work, and although I technically don't work full time, I do still work 4 days a week and to throw a move in the mix has been my excuse for not blogging lately.

Another thing that I am still doing is my design work for The Scrapbook Page, during the course of our move I was able to take several weeks off, but here lately I've been right back @ it and I think slowly but surely I am finding my creative groove again.  It was a little rocky there the first couple of weeks but with the organization of my scrapbook room finally coming into it's own, it has certainly helped.  And just in case you missed that - I did say my scrapbook 'room' 

check it out....
                  (it's obviously a work in progress still, but I am so loving it...oh and yeah it's also our guest bedroom so when ever we have family or friends over we can offer them a place to sleep if need be)

As for the house I have not taken near as many photos as I would have liked @ this point but here is a couple of nice shots I took last week when we got our living room tables in

 taken in the living room
 new landing table and coat rack that my mom had
 view of the living room taken from the kitchen
 mother's day roses that my 5 year old picked out : )
a peek into our dining room

As of right now I don't have much up on the walls, heck I'm lucky to have the curtains up, but my 'coffee' shelf there in the corner of our dining room was a must to get up before I used up the wall space.  For those of you that don't know, I am a coffee freak!  They say the road to recovery is to admit you have a problem, well I haven't a single problem with coffee: I love it in the morning, I love it in the evening, I love it in the Fall & Winter and most definitely in the Spring & Summer, I will have it here or there - pretty much anywhere, and for those of you that care..... I don't  : )

Okay so here are a few sneak peeks @ some design work I've been doing lately.  Carolyn has me doing a little bit of everything: layouts, cards, mini books, etc.  Can you tell which is which?  

 it was a princess theme...can you tell?
 in ode to Princess Diana
 first attempt ever @ doing a princess one, not bad since I have 2 
 another princess theme
 this one is my favorite
 this one uses my favorite patterned paper
 really like this one for a guy
 and this one was just genius on my part
i just love Spring!  it's my favorite season!

It wasn't that hard to figure out was it?  Didn't think so but I had to try.  So as you can now 'see', I have lots to share and hopefully the next few days I'll be able to get a couple things up for all of you to enjoy.  Now that the house is finally coming together and we have somewhat of a routine, I should be able to post a bit more even easier once I get my laptop up & running again!
Okay then I'm off to get some other things done before my entire day escapes me, hope you are having a fine day yourself and thank you for stopping in.

Just B ..... joyful!!!

just a quick look @ my first altered project for our home
these two ended up in my youngest daughter's room
 and these two went into my oldest daughter's room

love how they add a little bit of something to their curtains, may have to try something more down the road to add to that - I'm thinking maybe a fabric pin board is in order for both rooms - hum
: )