Tuesday, December 30, 2008

December layouts

With so much going on in December, I really didn't scrap much at all. When my new kit arrived from Personal Scrapper at the beginning of the month, I had the itch to scrap. I finished three layouts one afternoon before the boys got home from school. The funny thing is that I didn't tear into the new kit like I usually do!

I made this page for Kevin's album using the November Personal Scrapper kit with We R Memory Keepers paper. The photo was taken in October on Blake's birthday. This layout was inspired by a sketch by Inspired Blueprints, sketch #5. Wildflower150/Deanna, a member at Personal Scrapper, had posted a gingerbread house layout using the November kit earlier in the month. I knew knew then that the papers would also work with our gingerbread house pictures from 2006. Unfortunately, our house collapsed into a pile!
As I sorted through my (many!) Christmas pictures to use with the new December kit, I came across several family/group photos that I'd had enlarged. I decided to pair them up with some DCWV papers that came in a mini kit I received at a crop at Archiver's in November. I loved using my new American Crafts foil Thickers.
If it weren't for an online crop at Personal Scrapper mid-month, I think my total count for December would have been kept to 3 layouts! The crop was from Friday until Wednesday and I don't think I even started scrapping until Monday morning!
I did use the December kit for this layout for Blake's album. The challenge was to do a layout based on an interview. I thought Blake's wishlist for Christmas counted. I'm glad I have this documented for him now. I was inspired by a sketch, but didn't write it down on the LO - it might have been a PageMaps.
There was a challenge to use a b/w photo. I had just copied this photo of my paternal grandparents and paired it up with this Jenni Bowlin paper I'd had for almost a year. I used my Stampin' Up colored pencils to color in the pattern of the paper.
For the "girly girl" challenge to use flowers & ribbon, I made another layout of my grandparents. I had these photos in 8x10, but had also made copies so I could scrap them "someday." Again, I used Jenni Bowlin papers. The button in the center of the flowers is a vintage button from my other grandmother's sewing stash.
For the "off the page" challenge by Carrie Postma, I ran my photos off the page. This page just cracks me up because I remember how funny it was to look up and see my two boys and my nephew all dancing on Thanksgiving. They'd all gotten hot and removed their shirts - it was funny that they all had on white tees underneath. I used the leftovers in a "kit bag" that I had sitting around. I added naked Junkitz and MM chipboard letters.
Another Design Team member, Carmen, posted a LO that we were supposed to lift. Here is my take on it. Kevin was so proud of his building. It was taller than he was! I love how he was dressed in his baseball pants!
There was also a challenge to mix alphas in your title. I hope my sister, Molly, doesn't kill me for posting this layout of her and her boyfriend! I didn't realize they'd snagged my camera for some self portraits until later. I used the November PS kit for this page.
I had a couple pictures I'd taken of the food at Mom & Dad's on Thanksgiving, and they worked perfect with the "holiday tradition" challenge. I used the December PS kit for this layout.
A page about Kevin's tree in his room this year worked well with the red/green challenge. I was inspired by a Valerie Salmon sketch for this page, but I did make a few changes.
I loved these pictures of Kevin learning how to make Mom's chicken & dumplings. I worked them into the seasonal challenge for winter since that's when we usually have dumplings. However, the pics were taken on his early November birthday. This is probably my favorite page from the crop. It's based on a Jana Wilson sketch.
I lifted a DT member for another challenge. I really liked a layout by Carmen. I just realized that the layout loaded sideways (oops!). By the way...this is the "bad" Santa I mentioned in my last post!
I had a three other layouts from the crop, but they are loading sideways, also. I also made some cute ornaments out of the Scrapworks little 2x3 postage stamp shaped acrylic albums. I had gotten the idea at Archiver's last month. I made one for all the kids in the family, one for my sister, and a set of our boys to keep for myself. Finally, I also altered a couple star shaped boxes to hold ornaments I'd sewn for Kevin's teacher's aides.
Right now, I am in the process of going through my December photos so I can get them uploaded and ordered. I don't know when I'll get back to scrapping though. I'm having too much fun playing Yahtzee and Upwords with the boys.

Monday, December 29, 2008

What happened to December?

This month really flew by!

We took the boys to see Santa, but he was a rude Santa. I took my own photo and it must have made him mad because he waved his hand at me and told me that wasn't allowed (I was supposed to buy from them). Needless to say, once I snapped the photo, he told our boys goodbye. I had to inform them that the real Santa was at the North Pole.
I turned 34 and celebrated by going for a wonderful stone massage. Tom and the boys knew just what to give me! We also had dinner at my parents' house. Two days later we celebrated our 11th anniversary and were able to go to dinner without the boys. Our boys enjoyed their Cub Scouts Christmas bowling party. They were hilarious to watch. Thankfully the gutter guards were up!

We had back to back Christmas programs for the boys and they both did a great job. Somehow they were each standing next to their current "crush" - not sure how they managed that one!

I had a great shopping trip to Louisville with my mom and sister, Adriane. We hit a couple new stores (Martin & Osa and Crazy8) and took advantage of some great clearance sales with an add'l percentage off WITH an additional coupon discount on top of that. It was fun.

The boys were out of school two days the week before Christmas due to snow/ice. We had fun playing outside (me and the boys) and they got in some sledding time. One of these days, I'm going to end up disappointing them when I finally landscape that side of the sidewalk. Then they'll lose their "launch pad."

They did get back to school in time for Kevin's Christmas party on Thursday and Blake's 4th grade auction on Friday. He came home with Boston Red Sox purchases. :)
I thoroughly enjoyed having them home all last week. We had a lot of fun. They were big helpers all month in preparing for Christmas. Last week we made several ornaments for gifts and Christmas cookies, too. Christmas was wonderful. We visited with my Grandmother (above) before we attended Christmas Eve Mass with most of my family. On Christmas morning, we opened presents here and then went to my parents' house. My grandmother joined us for most of the day. Yesterday we had Tom's family over to celebrate Christmas with them.

One of my favorite gifts arrived via mail from Tom's brother, Tim, who lives in Alaska. We now have an autographed copy of Sarah Palin's book. And...yes, it's made out to "Tom & Amy". Thanks to his involvement in a veteran's group up there, he knows Gov. Palin. It was a cool gift to receive.

The boys will head back to school next Monday. I'll miss them. I can't believe 2009 is just around the corner! I need to edit my photos so I can post more to share.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

7 Random Facts

I was tagged by Erica at Personal Scrapper!

The rules are:
-Link to the person who tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
-Share 7 random and or weird facts about yourself.
-Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
-Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here are my 7 random facts...but I'm making mine all Christmas-related!

  1. I collect the Charlie Brown/Peanuts Christmas ornaments from Hallmark.

  2. I cry every year when I watch "Nestor the Christmas Donkey."

  3. The scene of cousin Eddie in the black dickey in "Christmas Vacation" gets me laughing every time!

  4. I don't want my boys to have a Red Rider BB gun because I seriously fear they will shoot their eye out!

  5. I try to make some new handmade ornament/decoration every year. This year I used my sewing machine to make "tree" ornaments.

  6. I handmade all 78 of my Christmas cards again this year.

  7. Tom and I had the same personalized angel ornaments as children and we have them hanging on our tree together today.

I'm breaking the rules and not tagging anyone. I think most everyone's blog I follow has already been tagged.

December Daily album

A while back, scrapbooker Ali Edwards posted a project on her blog called "A Week in the Life." The idea was to document everything you do in one week in an album with photos and journaling. I didn't think that week of mine was "album-worthy" enough to do the project at the time though. I hoped to do it later.

Well, Sunday night, I was sitting in the living room admiring our Christmas decorations after everyone was in bed. I love this time of year. Although I couldn't believe December 1 was right around the corner, I remember thinking how exciting this week was going to be. (I have a birthday AND wedding anniversary this week!) I decided now would be a good time to do that "week in the life" project.

When I went to bed, I started planning out in my head how to organize the album. I also thought about a new Ali Edwards project - her December Daily album. For that album, she suggests making up an album in advance and then adding a photo and journaling for each day. I don't like to print photos out at home though, so I decided that album wouldn't work for me. Plus, I like to plan my pages around my photos and not the other way around.

Then it hit me that I could combine both of her projects into one small album - stress free!

Yesterday I took photos of the main things that happened in our day and made two 4x6 collages that included a total of five photos and the journaling for my day. Now when I get the photos printed at the end of the month, I can quickly put together a small album and have my favorite time of the year documented.Another thing I like about this method vs. having a premade album with each day marked is that if I don't get photos for a day, I can just skip it in the album.

So, that's my crafty thinking for yesterday. I'm hoping I can stay on top of my daily photos.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I am now a friend of PageMaps! Becky Fleck asked me to create a layout based on one of her 12x12 sketches for December.

Here is the layout that I made. I used Scenic Route "Sonoma" products and Christmas pictures from 2006.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

7 years ago today...

At 9:29 a.m. on Sunday morning, November 4, 2001, this little guy entered our world. What would we do without him?

Well, we'd probably get to sleep in a lot more. But, think of all the fun we'd miss. Oh, that laugh!And, the hugs...his hugs are really good. And his shoulder rubs, too. He's a great kid and the only person in the world allowed to call Blake "Blakey".

We love you Big Kev!

Election Day

I just got back from voting. The boys enjoyed getting to do the kids' vote, too.

Monday, November 3, 2008

What a busy weekend!

We had something every night last week, so our pumpkin carving was put off until Thursday - the night before Halloween. This year Kevin brought home a story about 5 little pumpkins and picked the face off of one to be the design for his jack-o-lantern this year. He cleaned out his pumpkin for me, I drew on the face, and together we cut the face out.

Blake did everything for his pumpkin all by himself this year for the first time. :)

Last weekend when we went to get the boys pumpkins, as we were leaving, I found a pumpkin that reminded me of a skull. So...I decided I needed one to carve myself...

Here are our jack-o-lanterns - left to right created by me, Kevin and Blake. Friday was Halloween and after talking about it for months, Kevin finally got to be his mad scientist...Dr. Frankenstein. Blake was his creation. The costumes were in my head for a long time and luckily I was able to pull them off in the hour between the boys coming home from school and Tom arriving home from work.

Everything Kevin wore was out of his closet except for the "lab coat" (a shirt Blake had outgrown) and his glasses/nose combo. I had to buy Blake a new pair of Black sweatpants, but he wore is (outgrown) jacket and long sleeved tee. I just had to buy him some makeup and hairspray. Oh...and that's their REAL HAIR!!! I teased it and then sprayed it black.I almost forgot...I dressed up this year, too. It was a last minute idea to be a witch. I pulled it off without anyone knowing except for my aunt, Missy. When the boys got home from school, I was all dressed up and I scared them after they got off the bus.

We went to Glendale for the boys to trick or treat and there I met up with Batman (a.k.a. my younger sister Kaitlin).Guess what Tom dressed up as this year??? I found this photo on my camera. Kevin tried to take a self portrait of himself the day after Halloween eating candy while wearing my witch nose and hat. (He had to explain it to me, too!)Kevin's birthday is Tuesday the 4th, but we started celebrating early. On Saturday we went to the new Kansai Japanese Steakhouse. When we were in Florida, we fell in love with Benihana's, but there aren't any around here. We REALLY enjoyed our dinner. The birthday boy was joined by Adriane, Blake, Kaitlin, Grandma Kim, and Molly. My mom had never been to a place like this before. It didn't take long for her to realize why Blake pushed his chair back from the grill when the chef came to our table. As always, Kevin's favorite part was the onion volcano.Well...maybe his favorite part was the birthday cheesecake...with whipped cream...and cherries...
Sunday we went to church in Henderson to hear Terry sing at church. We didn't know he could sing! We all really enjoyed it. Afterwards, we went to Build-A-Bear for the boys to add to their collections. Kevin created Monk E. Mark (a monkey) to join Roar E. Pinecone (a bear) and Bark E. (a dog).
Blake made a dog that is affectionately named "Papi Dogg" in honor of "Big Papi" David Ortiz (Boston Red Sox DH).Today I found more pictures added to my camera. There were two guilty suspects today. I had to make a photo collage to document part of the SIXTEEN shots they took of their BABW animals!
Tomorrow my baby will turn 7!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

"The" email...

I was thrilled to open my email last Friday night and find this:

Hi Amy!

Thank you for submitting your work to
our recent “easy and fast” page call. We would like to use your

Congratulations! And thanks for being a friend of

Liesl Russell . Project Coordinator . Creating Keepsakes
One of my double page layouts will be in the upcoming "Easier than Ever 2" special issue. It won't be out until Spring, but when it is printed, I will be sure to share it with everyone!

46 Layouts (59 pages) & 12 invitations for October!

I know I have a day left in October, but there will no time for scrapping on Halloween. I finished the Layout A Day "Croptoberfest" challenge at Personal Scrapper with 46 layouts (a total of 59 12"x12" pages) and 12 birthday party invitations. Yay me!

5 layouts that I finished wouldn't upload correctly and it's getting to late to fool with them, so I'll get them posted later. I do have several to share though...

Every time I'd sort through my paper crate, I'd see the free 8x8 pack of We R Memory Maker's paper that I got free with purchase a while back. I decided to pull it out and work with it. It took a while to piece the 8x8 papers to get them to work on my 2-page 12x12 LO, but in the end, I scrapped pics from 2006 that are now ready to go in an album. The scallops bordering the page were inspired by a LO I saw in Scrapbook Trends.
I made it to Archiver's last weekend and was thrilled to find a 12x12 pack of Fancy Pants felt shapes for 1/2 price. I knew I could use them at that price! I couldn't wait to use them with the Cosmo Cricket papers I'd picked up to use with the boys' Camp Invention photos (thanks for the idea, Debbie!). I now have all of their pics from that week ready to go into albums.
Here's one for Blake's album. He was so proud of that rocket!
This one is for Kevin...
Kevin had so many inventions, I had to make a 3rd page!
This page for Blake's album describes their mismatched clothes day and crazy hat day...
Who could forget crazy hair day?!?
This one is for Kevin's album...
I have so many ideas for more LOs, but no time to make them!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Croptoberfest mid-month update

It's the 22nd of October and I have already met my goal for 31 layouts this month for Personal Scrapper's Croptoberfest. As of last night, I'm up to 34 layouts. If you factor in double page layouts, I've actually completed 43 pages so far. I am still going to try to complete a layout a day just to see how many I can do this month. (Yes, I'm an overachiever!)
I actually completed this layout on the 9th. It would have been Mamma & Pappa's anniversary, so I planned to make a layout with one of their old photos. Instead I came across this photo of Grandma Smith and decided to scrap it. I was able to copy the photo the photo that my aunt Missy had. I pulled out my September Project kit from Scarlet Lime and used it with this photo. Although the project kit was Halloween-themed, everything on this layout except for the cardstock and alphabet stickers were in the kit. I traced another scalloped circle and hand cut this one so I would have the color I needed. This is one of my favorite pages.
On the 11th, Erica gave us a challenge to use scallops on our page. I used my new Marvy Uchida scalloped circle punch on "Tricked out!" I saw a layout by Shannon Zickel in Scrapbooks Etc. that had bats on a white background. I think she had used stickers, but I was reminded of some Heidi Swapp foam stamps (with bats) that I had gotten on clearance cheap earlier this year. Most everything else for this page was from the September Scarlet Lime Project Kit - that's where the glitter for the chipboard star came from!On the 12th, we were busy partying with family to celebrate Blake's birthday, but after everyone left, I found time to make one page. Kevin received a skateboard for his birthday LAST NOVEMBER and I was until this month finally getting pics of him on it. He plays with it all the time, but I just never seem to have my camera handy. I used scraps from the April Personal Scrapper kit to make this LO along with some other Fancy Pants products I had picked up at Archiver's.I stayed up late on Blake's birthday after everyone went to bed (I couldn't sleep!) and finished three layouts. They knocked out a couple of the October challenges from Leah at Personal Scrapper and all three used the new October kit, too.
"Shelling Corn" highlighted a fall tradition - the boys harvesting with Dad."Backseat Entertainment" mainly used up some scraps with a couple pictures that matched. The boys love using the new DVD player on roadtrips. (Here we were going to Evansville for Tom's birthday.) I loved that my new $1 set of Studio G wood mount alpha stamps matched the font in my Scenic Route stickers perfectly. Leah had a challenge to scrap your fall favorites. I pulled together pics from our trip to a pumpkin farm and also one of our fall display in our yard. Used scraps from the kit (made my own 'tags') and an assortment of alphabet tickers. On the 14th, I finished off Leah's final challenge for October. It was to create a month in review LO for September. Instead of using pictures, I decided to just list the highlights. Photos from everything will have their own pages at some point. I used the last little bit of the kit for this one. I also got back to work on our Florida vacation album. These are some pics from our last day there while we played in the pool after the rain finally stopped.
Erica challenged us to pull out an old PS kit for a LO. I found the July 2005 kit with scraps and was able to match up pics from Tom's birthday in '05 with it. I kept the LO simple and use the papers to make embellishments. It's a finished page...The final scraps of the kit sat on my desk for 4 days (I wasn't feeling well for a few days), but I used them up on this random shot of the boys in March '06. The title reflects their ages at the time. I added some naked chipboard. Since I finished off my October kit, I decided to pull out my barely touched October kit. I found these last day of school pics from '07 to work with it and Erica's "use 4 or more pics on a page" challenge for the day Monday. It's not my favorite layout, but it's done.For a past "sports page" challenge, I finally scrapped these pics of Blake with his basketball trophy from March '06. His trophy collection has more than tripled since then!Yesterday was all about me...I had a couple pics of souvenirs I brought home from our vacation this summer. Every day I sit at the computer with "my monkey" looking over the top of my monitor at me. I found the coconut bank at a roadside fruit/souvenir stand on the way home. I fell in love with it. I actually lifted a layout by blondegrrlie/Lindsey, since Erica had issued a scraplift challenge. I was able to use an assortment of scraps for this page.

Finally, last night I scrapped my new fall favorite. I can admit now that when I worked, I had an obsession with purses. I had way too many of them and spent way to much on them. When I started staying home, it seemed like all of my personal purchases came to a halt so I could prioritize (wink, wink) and purchase scrapbook supplies. While we were in Florida this summer, we found an outlet mall. My sisters were excited to find a Coach outlet. Although the purses were pretty, I wasn't impressed. Later we came across a Lucky outlet. My sisters were thrilled to find the expensive jeans half price. I wondered around the store while they were in the fitting rooms and fell in love with the Lucky bags they had. It had nothing to do with the Lucky brand - I just LOVED the leather bags. I finally broke down and spent $70 for this (all leather) multi-colored bag. It was regular $148! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. So, I had to scrap it - right? I even scrapped the tags that came with it.

Have a great week!