Friday, November 28, 2014

12 Days of Christmas CD Mini

Hello Hello
G'day to ya!
Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!!!
I know we sure did - nothing beats time spent with family

Now on to Christmas...lol

So today I have a mini book for the 12 days of Christmas. I don't know about you but I'm not religious nor do I want to get into any discussions so I will mention right now that when I made this mini book it was solely with the Classic Christmas song in mind. That being said I should also mention that there are none of the song's lyrics in here either...go figure? This is quite simply a pocket style mini book that will suit your 4 x 4 Instagram photos perfectly.
I kept the entire book very simple on purpose yet it is still elegant. There are pattern papers in each CD envelope pocket but they are attached to the binder rings so in order to adhere your photo to the actual page you would have to remove the page from the rings pull out the pattern paper, adhere your photo/ephemera, and then reassemble the page. I know that sounds like a bit of work but...you could also just throw your photo in the pocket and not worry about adhering it because the pocket does actually close.
I also intentionally kept to a low key color palette so that it wouldn't clash to much with colorful Christmas photos. Of course you may be able to see from the photos that the red color I did choose is more of a burgundy and paired with the silver it makes a striking combination which in my opinion is what grants it's elegance.
As I mentioned this is a pocket mini and the pages are clear CD envelopes that do actually close. These envelopes are so fun to play around with and certainly to make books with, my draw to them is that they are clear so you can see right through the pocket...it's something different.
As for the embellishments, they are all die cuts that I have on hand and some are cut from regular card stock and others are cut from a specialty paper that is silver in color and has a unique texture to it, love this paper and can't remember where I got it from so I may have to do some huntin' around until I find some more.
I should mention that the die cuts do repeat themselves at least twice throughout this mini, so you'll have the lamp post a couple of times and then the corner flourish a couple of times along with each of the others a few times as well. I think in doing this it keeps the book consistent especially when you may be using photos that are of the same holiday period but not necessarily from the same day.
Also as I mentioned I made this mini book with these pages specifically for Instagram photos, now some of you may be wondering "what the heck...I don't do Instagram" - well I'll tell from my own research that there are plenty of on-line companies now-a-days that will print almost any photo in the popular 4 x 4 size, just type in a Google search for that particular size and see what your options are. I just ordered my first batch from Persnickety Prints, as soon as I get them in my hands I will let you know what I think. I have heard greats things about this company so I thought that I'd try it since I needed a bunch of 4 x 4 prints to finish up a few Christmas gifts. 

Last but not least, this mini is bound using the Tim Holtz binder rings and therefore all of the pages have their holes punched for you, all you have to do is figure out which photos you want to print and then toss them in.
A very quick mini book to put together and durable enough to set it on your coffee table so that all your friends and family can flip through it, just another reason I chose to go with the clear CD envelopes, everyone can see the photos without getting their fingerprints all over them and they hold up nicely as well.
So there you have it, I hope you like it. It would be a fabulous way to document your Christmas holiday in a smaller format. You could quite honestly even add in some of the story, just use your computer to type it up and then print it off in a 4 x 4 square, cut it out and then add it in too...simple.
Thanks for taking a moment to check this out, if you are interested in this or anything else I may have up here on the blog give me a shout out in the comments and I will get back you as soon as I can.
Thanks again!
just B 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Birthday Girl's Birthday Card

Hello Hello
I wonder...often, where exactly does the time go? I have been super busy around here lately and haven't even had a moments thought other than getting things ready for December. 
Good News is: My December Daily Album is ready to rock and roll (hopefully be sharing that next week) and I almost have the Advent Calendar ready for putting up this weekend (will be sharing that soon too).
Now to make my Christmas cards, haven't done these in a few years and I'm actually looking forward to it. The idea I have this year will be super simple (I hope) and I'm only making a handful so I'm positive that I can get them done tonight or tomorrow.
Real quick for today I wanted to share with you this sweet and simple card I made for our youngest daughter -> she turned 5 about a month ago and well...you know...where in the heck did the time go?
For this card I used 3 sheets of card stock: white, dark teal, and light teal. Next I used one of my embossing folders on a piece of the white card stock and adhered that to the front cover, then using a couple of Spellbinders' dies I die cut the layered pieces that are shown on the inside cover and used a Tim Holtz movers & shapers die for the #5. Once I had all of my main pieces adhered in place I tied a couple of lengths of ribbon around the whole cover piece by slitting just enough space in the spine to thread my ribbon through and then added a double punched label using my Stampin' Up punches and called it done. Love how fast it came together - I tend to over think things and then make them harder than they need to be so this ended up being a good lesson for me - and I also love how simple it is yet still elegant.
Who knew right?
So that's all I have for today, hope your week is close to done so that those of us who celebrate Thanksgiving can get to it...enjoy your holiday and I'll see you back here next week with the start of some Christmas craft ideas.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

just B

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Skater's Dream

Hello Hello
How is your week gettin' on?
Fabulous I hope! And how many of you out there are gearing up for Thanksgiving next week? I'm getting there, my goal is to have all of my December Daily pages ready by then so that I am completely ready to go the 1st of December with a bit of headway for any last minute changes/additions and also to have all of my Christmas cards done by then as well. I think that this year I'm going to forego the traditional family photo and just hand make a few cards for my closest friends and some of our family so that I can get them out early this year. If I do a family photo it'll have to be done this weekend most likely and I'm not so sure I can pull that off.
So for today I wanted to share with you a project I picked up at the Pazzles craft room. For those of you unfamiliar with Pazzles it is a software based electronic die cut machine and I picked it up a little over a year ago at the Creating Keepsakes Expo. I had never had an electronic die cutter before this one and as I suspected, I hardly ever use it. I love my CuttleBug and I love, love, love my Tim Holtz' dies so that's what I use and am use to.
However little I use it though, I find it is fairly easy to 
come back to and pick right back up plus they have great customer service so when I do have questions/issues someone is always there to help me through it and that's very good. Now you may be wondering why I went with this brand and not say the Cameo...? Well they got me in a weak moment and I knew better but bit the bullet anyways. I do have some home decor ideas in mind for this little guy using wall vinyl and the what not...now if I could just find some extra time...lol.
As for the project idea this Ice Skate is the first real thing that I actually cut out and put together. This is what my oldest daughter wanted to do on her birthday earlier this year, so I jumped on it. We went to Hobby Lobby and I let her pick out her papers and her friends papers, then we picked up a couple of embellishments, and a ribbon...we were ready...or so I thought. We weren't, not at all really. I hadn't thought through all the ins and outs like I did with my youngest daughter's mini book kit and so needless to say the whole die cutting and cutting again and then again and then one more time for good measure took waaaayyyy more time than I ever dreamed and so nothing much got done at the party. Lucky for me I only had two girls to worry about, my daughter and her friend who stayed the night that night.
(photo is the backside of a different skate but they are set up the same on all of the ones we created)
Since I knew I could work on my daughter's later, I concentrated on getting Emma's finished so that it would be ready for her when she left the next morning. What I ended up having to do was finish assembling the skate first, then I had to make the box stand, then I decorated it for her while they continued with other party activities...
which included watching movies and having popcorn...both very important things to get done at a birthday party/sleep over.
So the final outcome...? I think I did a fairly good job. Emma really liked what I did with hers but next time I will be prepared so that the girls can do the FUN decorating part instead; I think that my oldest still really likes hers as well and for that I am grateful. Next time I'll know and next time we'll rock this!
Thanks for stoppin' in!
 Enjoy the coming weekend, keep calm and craft on.
just B 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Our Maine Layout

Hello Hello
Welcome back again...
and again I apologize for the late post this week, lots going on around here. We are gearing up for the holiday crafting season and I am trying to get lots of prep work done before December because this year I really want to focus on making our Christmas season memorable (and not getting behind in my December Daily) not saying that it isn't - it is Christmastime - but - I am tired of the hustle and bustle and everything seeming to be 'last minute' so...this year I'm going to avoid it at all costs. I have a majority of our Christmas shopping done...yes...you heard me correctly...it's done for the most part with maybe one or two things left to pick up and the Advent calendar I really wanted to do last year is finally coming together for this year...more on that soon...and last but not least I made the mistake of checking Pinterest before getting the girls some Christmasy crafts (part of my advent calendar)...
OMG...
yeah...lets just say I may have gone a little over board...
and leave it at that!

 So for today we have finally come full circle with my layout binge from, ironically enough, one year ago today so I thought it was fitting to go ahead and share it with all of you and then I promise no more for awhile because... well...I haven't made any in a very long while...seriously. 
And it seems highly likely that I may be sharing lots of  inexpensive(**cough**cough**)Christmasy craft ideas for the kiddos in the very near future besides...lol
So today's layout I did to document our trip to Portland Head Lighthouse but also to really grasp what draws me to the beauty of these relics and for that matter, to the coast. It is not a secret that my soul is anchored in the deep blue and that my love of the coast is present in my daily life even though I am land locked, in fact as we speak I am listening to Dan Gibson's Ocean Surf which is probably my go to 'calm' if you will (which relates back to my one little word for this year - collective calm)...I could listen to the surf hit the shore 24/7 and it would be music enough and I love music - I did 5 years of private voice lessons throughout high school and into my first year of collage - but there is just nothing quite like the sound of the sea... 
Now interesting enough the day we were able to see Portland Head it was a bit chilly to say the least and spitting rain fairly well too so when I came across this gray flowery paper I just knew it had to be incorporated somehow. It was summertime and the flowers were in full bloom but with the chill in the air and the misty weather it's almost as if they themselves were a bit taken aback so the smaller flower print made it even seem more perfect. I can't say that I recall ever having pattern paper jump out at me as much but it'd sure save me some time if all my supplies would start talking to me...lol  
So a couple of things right off... I can't remember how I even came up with this orientation but I like the way it flows, the first thing I notice is the title because it's really the only thing that has color, then the eye travels the way the chevron piece is directing - leading you into the main focal point which is the lighthouse it's self - but then you get to this cute little green arrow sending your eye to an unexpected focus...which for me was the fog horn (though I didn't know it until I was there) and then finally you land on a piece of the story - surprisingly enough I actually have journaling done on this layout...amazing...
 A technique you may to notice from this angle is that I used a bit of stenciling to capture another aspect of life on the lights. I have done enough studying on my own to realize that everything dealing with 'the lights' also deals with numbers... clocks/time mainly and for obvious reasons -> it is the most important. Sailors know the 'Lights' first by their color markings visible by day and then at night by their flash sequence and sometimes the color of the light but numbers also comes into play when you have say...fog. This is one of Portland Head's gems that I completely fell in love with - that is their fog horn and because it is a necessity as well and is deciphered by it's sound sequence, it also has time attached it to and therefore more numbers; so I used this large number stencil by none other than Tim Holtz to achieve the look I was after then I grunged it up a bit with distress ink - vintage photo I think also by Tim. I did do some more inking around the whole layout to distress it also because I like that look but seeing it now I think it communicates the idea of this place being vintage and well...that's certainly fitting.
So there you have it, the last 12 x 12 layout that I did in my  weekend birthday binge from a year ago...crazy I know but true...hope you liked it and thanks for stoppin' in. I'm going to attempt to get some recent projects photographed later on today so be sure to check back later this next week to see what's new and until then have a fabulous weekend!
Thanks
just B

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Maine Layout

Hello Hello
How's it going?
Sorry I've been MIA this past week, I was stressin' over birthday party preparations and well I couldn't afford to screw up my now five year old daughter's birthday! So I spent most of the week shopping, cleaning, mock arranging, kitting, and then finally baking/cooking.
The results are in = Success!
She loved her Frozen party and the craft turned party favor (more on that later this week I hope) so I guess...score two points for momma.

for today I want to share a layout a that I did to remember our trip to Maine in the summer of 2013, the landscape was absolutely incredible but anytime I am close to the coast I feel 'home'. It's a shame this water sign was born in the Midwest because my heart has never truly felt at peace here, I'm far to restless and high strung but man...I get to land's end - where sky meets sea - and it's a deep breath in and I can almost physically feel the stress leave, my shoulders relax, my mind clears, and all I see is...
the deep blue staring back at me and in that moment...I am free

 for the layout I decided to stick with something simple because I wanted the photos to be center stage, now granted they do match the back ground extremely well which is why on most of them they have the red photo mat behind them, I like that bright pop of color in a mostly blue landscape. Also in this layout I used some fishing net (which I attached using the tiny attacher this  and this by Tim Holtz) because I wanted something tangible and this was the least bulky item that I had on hand aside from sand, which I didn't even think of until just now but I may have to go back and add on since I did just think of it. I also added in bits and pieces of cheese cloth that I tucked up under a couple of the photos, I did this mostly to add some texture and give interest. I did have some sea shells but nothing small enough.
Another piece I added was the compass with a spinner on the top, I absolutely love travel theme scrapbook products - probably have way more than I'll ever use since we don't get a chance to travel to much - but I won't stop buying them. When deciding where to take my 40th birthday trip I almost literally flipped a coin because I couldn't decide between the West or East coast. I finally decided on East only because I had never been that far East before and I have spent a fair amount of time (for me) on the West coast, we were married @ Heceta Head Lighthouse on the Oregon coast in August of 2004 and then in 2008 we spent a few days in San Diego right off the boardwalk so...
Maine it was. Besides something about the East Coast feels like nostalgia America to me, but I can't put my finger on it enough to explain further than that.
Anyhow, I added my title - complimenting the graphics on the paper, a couple of sentiment stickers directly on the photos, a few descriptive words overlapping each of photos - need to add in a few more and then... well...it's pretty much done - oh and the sand no doubt - I don't want to forget 'that' now that I thought of it, of course where to put it might be a dilemma. Hum?
Well I hope you like this and if you have any suggestions as to where the sand should go...I'm all ears...lol
Thanks for coming by, later this week I'll be sharing what my newly turned 5 year old wanted to do for her 'grown up' birthday party...that oughta be good so swing on by later this week and hopefully I'll have that posted.

Until next time
Keep calm
&
Craft On

just B  

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Saturday's Gratitude Practice

Hello Hello
Welcome to the last day of Gratitude Practice here on my blog. This week has flown by and I can hardly believe with all the thoughts and ideas around Halloween that it is already come and gone...just like that.
Whoa!!!
So lets take a minute and slow down. Here is my last day of documentation of 'blessings' or rather Gratitude Practice. Brene Brown is a social worker that I have followed for years, her work is heartfelt on so many levels in my life I can't even describe it. What gave me this idea to do a Gratitude Journal and document throughout the week is kinda interesting. I actually discovered Brene's work through another one of my long time favorite bloggers/scrapbookers - Ali Edwards and she does this little project (not so little but really cool) called Week in the Life which has been live all this week on her blog and well I knew I didn't have the time this year to do a full on WITL so I simplified it with Brene's help. Unbeknownst to her I learned through her that practicing gratitude would bring about more joy in your life and so I did this about a year ago, I attempted to do a mini book on people, places, and things that I was grateful for and you know what?...
It helped...it wasn't like lighting striking or thunder rolling type of help but more of a gentle rain type of help, I could breathe deeper and I could relax a little faster than the day before, I looked at my girls with a different thought in mind first rather than the half a dozen things that I needed to bring to their attention so that next time they wouldn't get in trouble. So this year I decided to try giving it my full attention for a whole week and honestly...it helped...
again...maybe even more subtly than the first time but I think with practice and patience I could get the hang of it and if it creates more joy and more smiles and more laughter...than why not?

Okay so for today, well Saturday the list reads that I'm grateful for some really good neighbors, this one in particular who has also become a really good friend. Also it touches on the fact that even though my oldest girl and I tend to 'bump heads' quite often, she is definitely my spitfire and most definitely my mini me...and I love her resilience, I love her bubbly personality, and I love her...plain and simple.
 The highlights from our day read like this: 
so finally a Saturday off with no plans, no parties, no 'to-do' lists a mile long (well okay maybe that) so what to do - the girls watched tv most of the morning after I made pancakes - then I did just a few chores before Andi came over to scrap with me; dad (meaning my husband) was @ work & got home @ 3pm. At around 5 Andi picked up her stuff & went home - which just so happens to be next door & I made dinner. After we ate the girls watched a bit more tv, Bill went to meet his buddy Doug, and I watched tv while I finished up some unfinished scrap books - fairly good day!
So there you have it a Week in the Life of practicing gratitude and what better way to end than to just say that I am also grateful to each and everyone of you that take the time to read the posts and look through my blog. Would I do it anyways...of course but it's a whole lot more fun when I feel that someone is learning something or being inspired by something that I created. I will tell you I learn something new myself almost daily and I may not be an expert but I believe in sharing what I have learned through my own trials and errors and so if it makes it easier to learn from my mistakes than why not...right?
Right!
Thanks again

just B


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Friday's Gratitude Practice

Hello Hello
Here's to Friday's Gratitude Practice and I'm hoping everyone had a happy and safe Halloween
So here just like the whole week so far I have included the list of what we are grateful for and then two photos that support what I wrote and/or give another hint as to what else we are grateful for. In the photo here I took a picture of my oldest daughter carving her 2nd pumpkin ever, because up until last year she never wanted to get her hands all yucky, so I'm grateful that she has finally gotten over her aversion to pumpkin carving and that in the process of it all was attempting to talk her little sister into trying something new...how cool is that? Totally worth documenting. In the other photo of course I have a picture of both girls dressed up in their costumes and well I mention that I am grateful that our youngest girl has a mind of her own and didn't want to be one of the masses of 'Elsa' this year...she wanted to be a...
Here's a peek into how our Halloween day went down, in the morning we took it easy after I made breakfast, it was nice because neither of the girls had school. Then later that afternoon we had to go to Sams Club but once we got home from there and got everything put away we carved our pumpkins - which always ends up being so much fun - then of course what comes after dinner and after it gets dark?
Trick-or-Treating
yes that is my youngest...did you figure out what she wanted to be this year?
a Werewolf!!! and let me tell you, trying to find a 4 year old little girl a werewolf costume is a bit difficult, at least the week before Halloween it is but all-in-all I think I did pretty good in getting her into costume.
Well thanks again for taking a peek, make sure to take a peek later on today because I will be posting the last day of my Gratitude practice which was yesterday so you don't want to miss out.
We do hope you all had a happy and safe Halloween...now enjoy the weekend!

just B

Thursday's Gratitude Practice

Hello Hello
Wanted to share Thursday's Gratitude Practice with you
On the right you see a photo of my daughter at preschool with a craft that they made in hand, she is absolutely someone I am grateful for and then the fact that we are able to afford preschool is something else I am truly grateful for. On the left you see where I wrote these 'blessings' down; from the other photo I mention that I feel nothing but love that my husband agreed when we bought our home that the spare bedroom could also dub as my craft room so I am completely grateful for that no doubt.
As for the journaling I just recorded the highlights from the day, first being that I got to go enjoy my youngest daughter's first 'school' party with her at her preschool and then later that evening we got to enjoy another Halloween party, one of our newest neighbors invited us to their home so the girls and I went to that as well.
Here is that 'other' photo that I mentioned and the blessing is that not only do I have a space to craft in that is pretty much all mine, I have lots of supplies and tools to create with and well honestly there are no words that could convey how grateful I am for this, and the hobby, and the passion, and the mindset, and so on and so forth. There is no doubt that although at times I am sure I drive myself crazy with all the ideas racing through my head, this hobby - this passion - keeps me sane, it is truly therapy for me.

So there you have it, a very quick peek into my Thursday and an idea of what was speaking to me for the day. Are you keeping up so far with the things and/or people in your everyday that are important to you, are they getting their due recognition? I hope so and I hope you'll keep with it.
Thanks for stoppin' in and make sure to check back in this weekend for the final two days of my Gratitude Practice - Week in the Life Style

just B