Monday, September 19, 2011

Birthday Blessings

Is it the weekend over already?  Oh my....well hopefully everyone had a ball.  Today I want to share with everyone this little cutie that I made for a friend of mine.  Her birthday was last month and I wanted to make something for her (I owed her that) but instead of making her just a simple birthday card, I decided to try out this idea that I've had for awhile, so this is the mini book I came up with.  My inspiration came from Arlene over @ Butterfly Kisses from a mini here that she did.  I thought @ the time that the mini was really a 'mini', turns out that hers is like 6x12 - where as mine here really is a mini, it's maybe 3x4.5 if that.  So when I realized this and knew that there wasn't going to be much room for anything of their own, I decided it would make a great birthday mini.
All in all I think that this one is my new favorite: it is cute, it is teeny tiny, and it has lots & lots of character.  Of course the paper collection I used has been a long time favorite (here), I've used this same collection for several projects.  You can bet that when my friend told me what her favorite colors were, I got excited because I knew that this was going to be the perfect stack to use.  
Here is a top view, as you can see it is thick and full, full, full
Here's a look at the opening page
So on the left side I put a little note to my friend for her special day and then added a couple of butterflies and a flourish with a little ivory rose.
On the right side I added a couple of ephemera pieces: ticket stubs, and some tissue tape, her age (but don't tell her that I told you) and then a little jab about getting older. (heehee)
Here's a look at the next page, love this - that when you open it up you see the whole butterfly!
So on the left side, I have a hidden pocket that I put behind the circle flourish and in it I added a couple of journaling tags: one says, "Happy Birthday", one says, "Make a Wish", then on the back of it, it says, "Wish Big". 
On the right side here I have a stamped image where I wrote her name, then I also added a couple of ephemera pieces: one is a vintage label & then a couple of stamps.  I also added her first name initial and a rose to top it off.
Here is one of the tags that is hiding in that pocket.
Here is the next page
So on the left side I kept it simple, I added her sign in a little word strip.  Then I added in some roses, with a little pearl flourish & bling.
On the right side I used a journal spot and wrote in it some other famous Virgos, thought that would be interesting and fun.
Here is the next to the last page
On the left side I used a flourish frame and added on a calendar spinner, pointing it of course to her birthday month, then added a cute little punched out center to the spinner.
On the right side here I have a vintage label, an arrow pointing to the sign that says, "Happy Birthday"
The last page
On the left side here I added in some paper ephemera; there's another arrow pointing @ the ticket stub, then I also have a stamped image that I punched out, a couple more blank tickets, and then a butterfly with some pearl bling added to her for the body.
On the right side here, which also happens to be the last page, I used another large flourish, a butterfly with the pearl bling body, a couple of the roses, and then another journal spot that I signed like I do with all of the things I make.
The final outcome:  One cute little teeny tiny mini that I absolutely adore and having two little girls, I might be making a few for around here in the next couple of years.
Well I hope all of you have enjoyed my crafty mini, I have lots more on the way to share with you so stop by again soon, and Thanks!  Feel free as always to leave me a comment, I would appreciate your time, thoughts, and feed back.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Week in the Life

Good Day Everyone
Hope everyone is having a good week.  Here in the Midwest we are the enjoying the signs of Fall, and although Spring is my very favorite season, Fall is most certainly the runner up - love watching all the leaves  change their color + the cooler weather is usually a very welcome relief.  So for today I am going to share with you my Week in the Life project that Ali Edwards started many years ago here.  It is going to sound really bad of me but I must admit this isn't one of my favorites, only because it takes a lot of time & effort, but the reason I do it anyways is because I believe that it is important to document our here & now (not only for my girl's sake but for future reference).  So to spare all of you the very long & drawn out week that I documented the last week of July, I am just going to give you the overview.  

This is my opening page, I have done most of my picture layouts in Photoshop Elements.  I am by no means a digital scrapper but for this project along with the December Daily project just the sheer number of photos that I take and expect to use makes the hybrid pages so much easier (for the most part anyhow-unfortunately I am very slow when it comes to using PSE probably because I don't use it enough, I oughta practice a bit more then I could say that & it'd really be true, but you get the idea).  Anyhow, on here I used a photo strip to get a few more pictures added to the overall project and then eventually I will use one of my slick writers to put journaling on the little recipe card (because I print @ home with the photos, I use photo paper - it's not a shiny paper but it still requires a special pen to write on which is what a slick writer is (here).
The way I set up my days goes as follows: the first page is two photos in opposite corners along with two pattern papers in the remaining opposite corners.  There really is no reason for the pattern paper except to keep an overall continued theme within the book, in fact I use the same two patterns all the way throughout. Then the last element I gave to this page was the date circled, with the day of the week circling that.  I liked this because it seems like I have a title page for the beginning of each day, which ultimately I needed because I have several pages per day and some days have more pages than others, so this is good.  I apologize in advance for the 'bird' my wonderful husband gave me when I told him that I'd be doing this project & that it would require me taking lots & lots of photos of us - including him...... I guess he didn't like that idea very much but oh well.  It's my hobby and I'll annoy him if I want to (heehee).  

So here is what the second page looks like, I used the free PDF download that Ali had offered on her site for this project specifically and I'll tell it seemed to make all the difference this year.  She actually offered two different types of charts: the first being an hour by hour list, so that you could fill in what you did that hour, on the hour or within that hour; the second was for specific things - i.e. observations, overheard, gratitude, favorite moment, as well as what you ate for all 3 meals.  As you can see from this photo and the next page's photo, these were huge to me because what I did was print them all out (14 pages in all-both charts for all 7 days) put them in a 3-ring binder so that I was able to go to the same spot all week and know exactly where to write down all the happenings  for each one of our days, for the entire week!  That was huge in helping me to succeed with this project so "Thanks Ali".

So here is my third page using that second chart that Ali was so kind to release to the general public, and boy did I use it.  I think I have every single spot filled in, in almost all of my chart pages, just because it was so easy to do this year with the help of these two simple little tools.  I'll tell ya, just like a Chef will, the right tools makes all the's the same for crafting, or building, or scrapbooking.  

So here is my fourth page and not everyday has this page, this is just something extra I threw in.  For some reason I was in a mood to write, the week of this project and so if I found that I had something on my mind that went along with the whole idea of this book then I rewrote it on the right size of notebook paper and just added it in.  Speaking of which, not sure if I mentioned that the binder I used this year is from Target, I picked it up almost a year ago and was waiting for just the right thing to add to it.  I love it and thought that it'd make a great home for this project.  Not only is it a 3-ring binder with page protectors available, it is also only 6x9 in size...roughly and it happens to have a cool black graphic pattern on the hard plastic covers that I actually like.  I have since looked for more of this same binder @ my local Target stores but to no avail.  Oh well all the more happy with my choice to use it for this project. 

On this next page, what are we on... #5, I added lots of ephemera pieces.  Anything & everything - just whatever I could get my hands on, if it even remotely helped me tell a broader story then in it went.  These pieces here are actually the tags from a new suit that my husband finally got out of the bag.  Also on here I added this library card with a quick recap of a conversation that my daughter & her friend had about my husband.  Things like that, what other people say &/or do, especially coming from my own daughter(s), is just priceless and so worth documenting to me.  I even thought about going through some of the ephemera and adding a bit more of the story that way - like why I chose the corn husk I put in, most people would just assume that we really like corn (which we do) but unless I add to that piece that my father-in-law grew it - you would never know it and that's a shame because that's a fairly significant piece of our story.

Alright so here we are on page six, and it's more ephemera; more tags from yet another suit, also a prescription label that was for my husband.  Here also is another way I could go back in and tell an even more complete story...why did he need this prescription?, what had happened prior to getting this filled?, will there be more to the story afterwards?, these are all the questions I could go back in and ask myself if I wanted to tell a more fulfilling story.  Another thought I just had is what if I created a separate layout for some of these extra stories, and just added them to our family yearly album, that'd be a great way to document the details without having all the extra work added to this already big project.  I really like the second idea better, I'm always @ a struggle when it comes to doing just regular everyday layouts, I never know what to include, now I have a whole book of possibilities. 

So here we are on the last page for Monday in my week in the life album, yep still Monday.  This also happens to be something else I did for each day, a 5x7 photo.  I did this on purpose, for one - I just really like the large photos mixed in with the smaller ones, and two - it acts like a closing page for that particular day, which as you probably can guess....... I like.  Also, now that I'm seeing this again after having put this away for awhile, I really like being able to 'see' the subject.  In this photo for example, I happened to get lucky enough to get this shot of my daughter with her laughing, an absolutely adorable laugh that we only see when the neighbor's dog comes over for a visit and starts kissing her like crazy.  Because of this picture you're able to see a side of her that we rarely see and I love that.  Don't get me wrong, she is always happy and laughs a lot, but usually the camera is nowhere in sight and we're the ones making her laugh and therefore too tied up in the moment to get a picture!

Okay so here we are again with the two photos in opposite corners and then the two pattern papers in the remaining opposite corners, this is the start of the next day in my week in the life album.  As the two circles in the middle of the page states, this is Tuesday the 26th.  As I mentioned earlier I think, all of my days are set up the same, so Wednesday, Thursday, Friday - so on and so forth, are all going to look just like this except with different photos and  the correct date & day.  Then the follow page is going to be the first chart that goes by the hour, followed by the next page having the second chart that tracks meals and special moments, etc. - all ending with the 5x7 photo from that day.

However, as anything & everything, I do have some exceptions.  Some days have extra journal entries because I felt the need to write.  One of them happens to be about selling our previous home, which still effects us even today, the fact is well....we haven't sold it yet.  This particular entry is about how we almost had it sold & then the guy backed out and now we're back to square one.  Is it worth putting in here, maybe - maybe not, it isn't all that much fun to read because I'm a little pissy about the whole thing but then again, it is apart of our story and how we got to where we are today.  The second journal entry is about my affection for Deadliest Catch which is a document series on Discovery Channel (here).  In the last season Captain Phil Harris passed away, so this was the first season since the beginning of the series that he hasn't been apart of it and I admit I had a hard time watching it, even as much as I like it, it was hard.  Seems crazy, but these guys are like family now after 5+ years on TV.

Here was another exception that I added to the very back of my album.  It turns out that we had a birthday party to go to that Saturday so this was the little treat bag from that and inside of it I included some artwork from my oldest daughter, the fact that we also happen to like Tangled very much was just a fluke.... so in it went.  As for the artwork I included, I think one of the pieces was a coloring page from the doctor's office that my 5 year old did.

Finally here is the last thing that I included in my book.  This is the Archiver's journal (here), the front page of it is missing because that's the page with all the coupons on it, but the rest of it I just punched holes in and added it right into my binder.

Whew that was a lot of information.......but I think we finally got through it all.  So what do you all think of my Week in the Life album?  I'm happy with it, like I said earlier, there are lots of ways I could have made it even more in depth but being that this book is already a really big project, that just wasn't possible for me this time around.  But the good news is that if I need some more layouts to do of our year this year what a great place for me to go to get those extra stories, because there's quite a few to choose from in there that I wish I had the time to document even now, but oh well maybe soon.
Thanks to all of you who came along for this journey, I hope that you enjoyed your time with me and maybe even been a little inspired to document your own stories.  Stop by again, anytime!
just B.............

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Life is Good


My heart goes out to all those who on this day lost a loved one, my prayer is that within these last ten years your hearts have been mended and your wounds have become faded scars; but only scars that remind us of what truly is precious in our life and of the joy that those who've gone on before us would want us to bask in, take part in, and put our whole heart into.....for JOY is LIFE & Life is good!

The effects of 9/11 are very different depending on of course who you are but also where you lived @ the time.  I am deeply aware of the fact that I can not even begin to imagine the devastation that occurred in New York ten years ago, and it disturbs me but because of that... I am also much more aware of what exactly it is that I hold dear.  "These are the days to remember", (sang by Natalie Merchant of 10,000 Maniacs here) and for that very reason.... I scrapbook and I document, and I collect bits & pieces of our lives, because if I don't....who will?  Is it important?  Hell ya! others not so much, but if I were to go today or tomorrow God forbid, at the very least there would be something of me for my girls to know or something left for them to pass on to their children, so that they too would know, and that is important.  Family & Friends need to know that you love them....period.....that's all there is in the end.  How you get about 'saying' it or in this case 'showing' it is completely up to you, just DO IT!!!
I thought that I'd share with you a mini book I did for our beloved 'mini nanny', Miss Colleen.  I chose to dub her that because she did way more than 'babysitting'; she'd bust out the Dyson, or mop the kitchen, or throw in a load of wet clothes to dry....those kinds of things that don't take long by themselves but all together add up to whole lot and man I'll tell ya - now that I don't have those extra pair of hands, I feel it & realize just how much she even means to me in more ways than I could ever count.  Unfortunately with our move earlier this year we had to let Miss Colleen go and so to 'show' her (because we do live in the 'Show Me' State) how much we love her and are going to miss her, I made her this little gem.
The book pages and pockets were all done with 7 Gypsies Lille collection and then all the extra stuff is random tidbits that I threw in.  All in all it's a hodgepodge album to throw random memories in and it's freakin' cool, just like Miss Colleen!  Even more so because now someday down the road, she'll have something from her young adult 'single' life, that she can share with her husband & kids - probably to prove she 'use to have a life' right?-but cool is that?  : )
As for the book... it is full of pockets that even have mini books in them.  I think in all I made 3 minis to go in my mini and I'm not really sure how, why, or what possessed me to put that many in, but it worked.  Now I will admit it is a FAT little mini..... but it all what the hell....
In fact here is one of the mini books that I slid into one of pocket pages.  This is made from Tim Holtz's mini baroque die here and then I just folded it in half and tied the 3 pages together to make 6 little mini pages.
This is a pocket page, the two little butterfly's that you see on the left hand side actually pull out a tag that is highly embellished, 
and a little teeny tiny note to Miss Colleen is also hiding in there.
Had to add the red butterfly stick pin to the bottom of the page to help make it a pocket and to add just another piece, I like lots of 'things' on my mini books.
Here is another pull out tag page
And here's the tag
The other side of the same tag
Here is the 2nd mini book that I somehow fit in here
This is what the cover looks like
And here is what the inside looks like
This is the next page after that mini book
And yes this is another tag pocket page
Here's the tag front
and the tag back
This is just another tag pocket page
And then here is the 3rd and final mini book that I hid in here
and this is what this mini looks like
and the inside of the mini
another tag pocket page
what the...... here's another mini that I forgot about - holy smokes
I made this mini using Tim Holtz's mini cabinet die here and then I used my crop-a-dile here to attach the eyelet here in the center of the half circle to bind the mini, all 3 pages have photos mats and they just fan out
This tag is also hiding somewhere in the book, I just don't know where exactly but I do love all the pieces I was able to stick down in there.  I think it really makes a book come alive when there are lots of things to make it interactive, I try to achieve this standard in all of my mini books, that's why they are so fun.
So anyways here you have it, my mini creation for our wonderful mini nanny, whom I I mean whom we no longer have (boo hoo)  but hopefully now that she has seen this.... she knows that she is loved.
Thanks everyone for stoppin' in and takin' a peek, hope you like what you have seen today.  Feel free as always to leave me a comment anytime, and until next time......thanks again
just B......joyous!!!