Monday, December 30, 2013

Yearbook 2013

Last year, Big Picture Scrapbooking had a live online (and in person) event on 12/12/12.  It was a project-based workshop to make a yearbook wrapping up 2012 in a compact, but soul-searching minibook. I loved the product, and my family and I have flipped through it countless times during this year.

I decided to make another one wrapping up this year.  I used the same prompt .pdfs from last year, and set to work.

I used a recollections 6 x 8 in travel binder (the Michael's store brand binder that's half way between a Sn@p binder and a Smash Book).  For the title, I used Glossy Accents to adhere the Thickers to the cover and the spine.

The quote on the first page is from one of the handouts from last year's class, but I love the idea that happy memories are the best things I could leave for my kids.

I chose all my favorite photos from 2013, and printed them on my Polaroid Z2300 (fun printer, horrible camera).  The Zink paper is sticky-backed, so I didn't have to use very much adhesive in this book at all.

Once they were all printed,  I grouped them by event, theme, and chronology and pasted them into the book

Once all the pictures were in, I found places for the .pdf prompt sheets from the class that I wanted to reuse, and pasted them in as well.

With that structure laid out, I took a couple of days to do the journaling.  I wrote whenever I had a minute or two here and there.  I didn't think too much about it, just wrote whatever came to my head when I turned the page.  I did all my writing from the front of the book to the end.

My favorite pages of 2012's yearbook was an alphabetical list of places that were significant to our family during the year.  I really had to stretch to find places for some of the letters, but that process was a great way to think about the last year in a different way, so I decided to do it again.

Here are a few more of the pages from the yearbook.

It's only the 30th of December so I'm leaving one page blank for a photo of our New Year's Eve activities.  We're going to have the cousins over for a movie night, pizza party, and sleep over.  I'll take one photo from the night and put it here.

The last little thing that I liked about this binder that made me choose it over some of the other ones that were available was the last page.  I thought it was a great way to end a mini book.  I'm planning to add 2013 just below the word "adios."

What projects are you planning to do to wrap up 2013?

Friday, December 27, 2013

A minibook surprise

I've been thinking about an end of the year project for a while now.  I was thinking that I would do another yearbook (like the one I made for the BPC 12/12/12 at home class last year), but after the lovely time we had on Christmas, a minibook seemed like the perfect way to commemorate it. 

I printed pictures from my DSLR using my Z2300 polaroid camera (if you're thinking about buying one...DON'T! Get one of those Zink Happy printers instead, the camera is awful.  I end up just using it as a printer).  I've been eyeing these little faux leather binders in the electronics section of walmart for a while.  They're $4, meant to be CD cases, and it always seems like they should be able to fit 6 x 6 in page protectors...they don't, but as it happens, they're great for a sturdy minibook.

If there is one scrappy lesson I've learned during 2013, it's that if you want to get a project done fast, you need to limit your supplies.  I limited mine to my 2012 3 Scrappy Boys Trio Kit.  Here's what I came up with.  Hope you like it!



Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Template Freebies: 51 and 52

It's Christmas!  Have I mentioned that I love Christmas?  In honor of my favorite day in my favorite month of the year,  I'm giving you my last two templates of the year.
I haven't done a lot of digi scrapping lately, I've been more into gelli printing and paint  (I'm sure I'll share some of those little things with you later), but my plan for this template is to use the photo spot for my favorite picture of the year.  Then, I'll write some of my reflections and what this year has meant to me.

I find that this time of the year, I have a lot more activities on my plate. More activities means more photos, so I tend to want to do layouts with collages rather than the larger photos I'm drawn to earlier in the year.  This template has room for 13 photos, but if you wanted fewer, you could use some of those spots for paper or elements.

I hope you've liked the templates this year.  I would love to hear from you and see the projects you've used them for.  Link to them in the comments section!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Holidays!

 This is my absolute favorite time of the year.  I love the lights and the decorations and all of the anticipation building up to Christmas.  I love the pageantry involved with our family's Christmas celebrations.  It never goes smoothly, but it's always interesting.

Growing up, we always started out, early in the morning with the Santa presents.  Those were the big presents for each kid that were unwrapped.  We would hover over them and the stockings, until our parents woke up and the festivities could begin.  The whole family gathered in the living room IN PAJAMAS to open them.  Individually, from the youngest to the oldest, we would take each item out of overstuffed red stockings with white trim, announcing the treasures and cooing over them.  That procedure could take as much as two and a half hours for the 9 people involved.

After that, the women go to the kitchen to make a full breakfast: eggs, pancakes, biscuits, bacon, the whole nine yards, while the kids eat the candy from the stockings getting completely wound up.  Everybody sits down to breakfast, and at the end of the meal, someone is elected the present distributor, whose job it is to make sure that no one opens too many presents in a row or goes too long without opening a present.

Opening presents took, literally, hours because every person gave a gift to every other person.  We didn't have an allowance growing up, so in the weeks leading up to Christmas, my mother would lay out all the gifts that she bought for everyone on her bed sorting by recipient. She would bring each of the kids into the room one at a time to "shop" for the other members of the family from the gifts that she had already purchased.  If you fast forward to the big morning, there were dozens and dozens of presents to be  By the time the presents were all opened, it was time for cooking to begin for dinner.  The kids would go play with all their loot, Dad and Grandpa would watch TV, and the women would cook for the second time of the day.

Christmas dinner always involves ham, sometimes turkey or roast beef.  Then, mashed potatoes (real never from a box), creamed corn (also never from a can), candied sweet potatoes with cloves, colossal olives (they go on the table while we're still cooking so people can snack), dinner rolls, and this horrible salad made with banana, pineapple, and mayonnaise (which, apparently, everyone likes but me).  For dessert, was pie: pumpkin, apple, minced meat for Grandma (nobody else ever touched until Alfred came for Christmas one year).  Sometimes we added some other things for variety, but these were the key players.

After dinner, we all drift away into a food-induced stupor and watch the movies we received as presents until it's time for bed.

What are your holiday traditions?  Are they simple and straight-forward?  Or intricate and time-consuming?  In any case, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

PS: The pictures in this post are some of my favorites from the last two years.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Creative Knockouts: Winter Wonderland

There is a new challenge at Creative Knockouts this week.  Kelly is challenging you to use the prompt "Winter Wonderland" in your project.  If you link up your project on the challenge site, you'll get a chance to win a digi stamp from Delicious Doodles.

Here is my project for this week.

It's a digi layout using: Little Green Frog Designs Anthology Template, One Little Bird kits (Click & Pedal Pusher), Danielle Young Designs Merry & Bright kitStudio Basic In My Life kitBella Gypsy Search for Santa kit, Lynnemarie Tinsel kit, Gina Cabrera Arizona Autumn kitMeghan Mullins Beauty in Everything Kit,Kristen Cronin Barrow Sweater Weather KitStudio Rosey Posey Lifetime kitWild Blueberry Inc. Lovestory kit.  I don't normally have such a large list of supplies for a digi layout, but I didn't want to buy a new kit for my Christmas layouts this year because I have so many digi supplies that I haven't used.  I put together a sort of counterfeit kit pulled from some of my favorite recent kits.  I hope you'll join us in the challenge at Creative Knockouts

Monday, December 16, 2013

All the silly little things you do

Lilah is both precocious and hilarious, as I've been reminded several times this week.  She is always paying attention to what is going on around her, even when nobody is paying attention to her.  On Thursday, Loraine came by with a catalog for Jamberry.  I'd never heard of the company before, but they sell designer nail overlays.  I wasn't really interested, so she held onto the catalog, and we moved on with the conversation.  It shouldn't have been a surprise to me that my little girly girl would want to hear more, but she stopped me in my tracks when she broke into our conversation and asked Loraine, "Whatcha got there in your hand, hun?"  While I was laughing hysterically, Loraine didn't miss a beat, and launched into her sales pitch.

Since Loraine had forgotten to bring the card order she had for me home from work, we stopped by her office on Friday to pick it up.  Lilah was in her carseat in the third row, listening to me having a conversation with Loraine at my window.  Loraine is making some changes to her house, and we were trying come up with a solution to a minor construction project.  We figured it out, and she was so excited at the simplicity of the solution that she did a little happy dance.  Lilah, decided to provide her with some music and started singing the theme song from Bob the Builder, because, well...Could there have been another song more appropriate for that moment?

She's so smart that it's easy to forget that she's still only two.  Saturday, we were supposed to have a field trip to the National Children's Museum with Maggie, but it snowed all day, so the trip got cancelled.  Instead, I decided that we'd have our slumber party under the Christmas tree.  Michaela needs a bit of isolation to sleep (in her crib, in her own room), so she didn't participate.  Lilah had mommy and daddy all to herself.  Apparently, she still wanted to see Maggie, because as soon as we got our bed set up on the floor next to the tree, she started dancing around singing, "Maggie Claus is coming to town!"


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Simple Sketches 16: Yummy Evidence

Melissa has another fun sketch on the blog this week.  I love that all her sketches give you a great starting point that will give you a great page if you follow it exactly, but at the same time, they're easy to modify and make them your own.

I don't do a lot of distressing on my pages, just a little bit of mist droplets, so when I look at this sketch, I'm focusing in on the two photos, the circle, and the rectangular paper scraps.  Here's what I came up with:

I used my December 2013 Add On kit from 3 Scrappy boys to put together this page.  The papers in the kit all come from the Amy Tangerine Cut & Paste collection from American Crafts.  I really loved how all the papers coordinated with the branding strips, so I left the branding strip and cut half an inch from the top of several of my layouts this month.  I don't usually use gems because I don't like the texture of the facets, but since they came in the kit, I figured I'd use them here.  I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome.  They look similar enough to enamel dots that I don't really notice the difference.

I've had my fair share of paper cuts, but for the first time in my crafting history, I actually bled for this layout.  I was attacked by my Martha Stuart circle cutter.  It would probably tell the story differently, but my version  is that I was being completely responsible and carefully removing the cap, when it bit me.  It might say that my finger was on the wrong side when I slid the cap off the blade, but in any case, the blade sunk deep into my finger and made a mess of the paper that I cut the circle out of (although it's interesting to note that the paper was thick enough that it didn't ruin the b side).

I hope you'll try this sketch, but don't get hurt in the process.  Go over to Simple Sketches and share the layout you make.  Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Feeling Bubbly

I've got another template for you today.  I put this one together today, so I haven't had a chance to scrap with it yet, but I think it's going to make for a really fun 2-page layout.  I have 3 photo mats and lots of circles for adding fun patterned paper.

Download here

I would love to see what you create with it!  Link to your layouts in the comments!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Creative Knockouts: Christmas Splendor

This week at Creative Knockouts, you're being challenged to include Christmas splendor in your project.

This layout is built around a collage of photos of the holiday decorations in my house.  I'm so happy with the decorations in the house this year.  Lilah loves the colored lights on the tree, but I prefer the white ones.  Unfortunately for me (or fortunately for her), this year she knows how to switch the lights from white to colored on our tree.  Every time I turn around, I'm confronted with colored lights on the tree when I left them white.  Luckily, I discovered this "problem" when we had our undecorated tree up for a week before Thanksgiving.  When we got out the box of decorations Lilah and her cousins helped me divide all the ornaments by color, and for the first time ever, I decorated my tree for it to look nice with colored lights.  As it turned out, that meant that I didn't like it with the white ones during the day when I could see all the other colors of the ornaments.  So we've reached a compromise in our family this year, colored lights during the day, white lights at night and an even mix of red, gold, silver, purple, and teal ornaments.  I'm totally loving it!

It was an awesome coincidence that my 3 Scrappy Boys December 2013 Add On coordinated so well with these holiday photos.  Check out the my video going through my kit contents on my YouTube Channel.

Today, I have a layered digital template for you based on my Christmas Splendor layout.

Download the template here

I hope you enjoy this template and that you're having a great time during your holiday season.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Our Family Advent Activities

This is the third year that I'm doing activities with my family every day during Advent.  Every year I write our list of activities from scratch because I have lost my list from the year before.  There is the obvious downside of it taking a little more time each year, but the up side is that every year, I get some great new ideas from the huge pool of talented bloggers out there.

Today, I'm sharing my list for this year, as well as a few of my favorite lists from around the blogosphere.  This list isn't in any particular order because we're drawing them out of a cup every day.  There are a few that are pre-scheduled because they require some planning.

1. Make paper snowflakes
2. Go to a live nativity
3. Play hide and go seek with Elf
4. Visit a nursing home and sing carols
5. Bake cookies
6. Have a cookie exchange
7. Go to Zoo Lights
8. Trip to the museum
9. Decorate the outside of the house
10. Go ice skating
11. Read the Christmas story from the Bible
12. Raindeer Games (family game night)
13. Drive around to see Christmas Lights
14. Write a letter to Santa
15. Stuff and send Christmas cards
16. Build a gingerbread house
17. Make paper Christmas trees for each child's room
18. Slumber party under the tree
19. Christmas movie night
20. Call friends and family who are far away
21. Take kids to get Daddy a Christmas present
22. Tune to a Christmas radio station and have a dance party
23. Read Twas the Night Before Christmas
24. Have a Noche Buena Party!

My favorite lists
Paint Cut Paste
Hip Homeschool Moms
Oh, Happy Day

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The last day of November

It's the last day of November, and with this post, I'll be all caught up. 48 layered digital templates given away on the blog this year so far.  So let's get started with no further ado.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

7 more layered digital templates!

We're getting down to the end of the month, and I have lots more templates left to catch up on my giveaways.  Today, I have 5 for you.  I hope you enjoy them!
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