Monday, August 31, 2009

Great Weekend

This weekend Tom and I took the boys to see Michael Jackson live in concert.

No was the Jackson 5.

No...five Michael Jacksons??? Actually, it was a performer named "Christopher" (no last name). He provided entertainment at the Louisville Bats minor league baseball game Saturday night. And yes, it was as disturbing in person as the photo makes it appear. The live person was in the center attached to the fake Michaels by poles. Whatever movements he'd make were also made by the dummies as he lip synced Jackson songs. It got old fast. But, we didn't let the in-between-innings entertainment spoil our night. (The cotton candy made up for that!)
While at the concession stand, Kevin met mascot Buddy Bat. However, I didn't have my camera with me since I'd be carrying back food. So, later I staged a shot of Kevin with Buddy. See...he's one level below us and on the visitor's dugout. Kevin loves Buddy Bat!
Tom and Blake enjoyed the game most. Our team lost, but they still made the postseason. It was hard to get a shot of Blake with him looking at the camera and not the game!Oh's proof that I was at the game, too! Unfortunately, no one tells Mom when her hair is standing up all crazy. I wonder how long it had been like that?

My favorite shot of the night was taken on our walk to the ballpark from the parking garage. We happened to be walking all side by side and the sun was behind us. AFter years of thinking about getting a shot like this, I finally did. Tom thinks I'm the most creative person in the world. I don't want to disappoint him and point out that I've seen countless scrapbook pages with a similar shot on them.

Should I tell him?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I {heart} Noel Mignon's Core Curriculum

On Monday, I just happened to be catching up on some blog reading when I saw a post announcing the new "Core Curriculum" kit at I usually like their kits, but often by the time I see them, they are sold out. Well, when I first saw Core Curriculum, it was love.
Front sides of patterned paper

The kit had a school theme, although almost every sheet of patterned paper was double-sided. As an added bonus, the colors screamed "boy" to me. I noticed there were only 10 kits left, did a little figuring in my head and realized that even with shipping, I was getting a deal.

Back sides of patterned paper

My kit arrived on Friday and I am such a happy girl to have so many products in hand that aren't available locally. The papers are by Cosmo Cricket (Boyfriend), SEI (Play Day), American Crafts (Junior), Imaginisce (Teacher's), and Jillibean Soup (Alphabet Soup).

The embellishments were just as wonderful as the papers. I received the Letterman Thickers I've been drooling over; Scenic Route rub-ons; Jenni Bowlin die cut paper, tickets, bingo cards, and mini alpha stickers; Melissa Frances chipboard flash cards, tags, and Tag & Envelope mini book; a Making Memories edge distresser, a Prima stamp; Jillibean Soup ribbon; Imaginisce paper flowers and large brads; an American Crafts red pen; an ink pad and several vintage items, too.

There were a few items in the kit that would need specific photos to work with them. Since I want to use the whole kit (or as much as possible), I went through my photo boxes first.

I knew the "sly fox" vintage playing card would be perfect with these shots of Kevin slipping in next to his crush as a basketball game. The photos are awful because I had to zoom my camera all the way across the gym and the gym lighting is terrible for photos. Still, I had to scrap this moment. The background paper is actually a free sheet of Creative Imaginations paper that I received as part of my free gift with my order. I mixed it with the Jillibean Soup and SEI (stripe) papers. I pulled the alphas from my stash - Thickers - and added some brads to accent the initial circles and here and there. Love this page!I had an idea to use the "book" Jenni Bowlin bingo card as part of my title - Book Smart. In my head the LO looked better than when I got it on paper. Blake liked it though and it is for his album. It shows off his Talent Pool research project from 3rd grade explaining how paper is made.
I think if I just came across the Imaginisce papers in a store, I'd probably pass them off as being too "theme-y" or childish. I do love them though and am happy to have received them in the kit. I also love this page I made for Blake with his four teachers from last year. I loved the "apple" card and worked it into my title, too - apple 4 my teachers. I made a pocket behind the apple card for a tag to slip in with journaling about his teachers and the subjects they taught. The Thickers were a brand new purchase (and a new favorite font of mine).

I took the papers that were actually my least favorite and put them to work here with these pics from 2006. I also used an Allison Davis sketch. I was even able to add the darling little Melissa Frances chipboard "saw" tag. I used vinyl Thickers from my stash for the title. With 19 sheets of patterned paper, I think I will have plenty more layouts to share using this kit!

My name is Amy...

...and I'm an alphaholic. I don't think I need a support group though. I enjoy my alphas so much and they aren't harming me or others. They simply add the perfect touch to my pages. I went on a little road trip Friday night with my aunt to Archiver's. We hit the Thicker jackpot. There was a sign over the Thickers saying "American Crafts Glitter Stickers $2.99." They didn't find any other AC stickers that were glitter other than the Thickers, so the manager gave us the glitter Thickers for $2.99/pack. They are regular $4.99/pack. So, I had a little fun. I even picked up a pack of the glitter Halloween shapes. Fun!

I also had a coupon for buy 2 Hot Spot items ($1.99 ea.), get two FREE. I was once again drawn to alphas. I picked up two packs of felt alphas by Making Memories and two (identical) packages of Cosmo Cricket Blackboard chipboard letters. They ended up being $1 each - can't beat that.

It was a nice outing! Now I need to get busy on some pages and use my new alphas.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Simply Kevin

Kevin is 7 and has just entered the 2nd grade. I am constantly amazed by the things he does and even more so, by the things he says. It's especially fun to listen to his conversations with Blake when he doesn't know I'm listening.

Ladies Man
Speaking of listening, our neighbor called one afternoon to tell me that she overheard her daughter telling a friend that my Kevin was her "husband." The mom questioned her and was told that it's already been decided that they'll get married when they grow up and have one kid. They are 7!
Ladies Man Part 2
One day after getting off the bus, Blake runs in to tell me that Kevin has a girlfriend. I ask if he does and he shrugs and says, "Yea." I ask who and he replies, "Haley." Haley who? "Haley-something." (Eyeroll.) Supposedly, she told him she was his girlfriend and he said okay.

The next day, he runs in all excited and tells me that Mallory (his major crush - the younger sister of Blake's best friend) told him she likes him. I jokingly remind him that he has a girlfriend. He does a headslap and hangs his head.

On the third day...Kevin walks in from school smiling. "Mallory is my girlfriend." I ask what happened to Haley. "She's my girlfriend, too." He looks at me like I have a third eye. "I sit between them at lunch." Oh, the life of second grade ladies man.

Tooth Fairy
Kevin lost a tooth this month. The tooth fairy left him a dollar. When I was little, I got a quarter. That morning while getting ready for school I overhear Kevin telling Blake that the Tooth Fairy "only left $1 again...That's gettin' a little old." To which Blake replies, "Yea man, I know what you mean." ???

Who's the Boss?
Sometimes I wonder if Kevin is unhappy with his status as the little brother. WAY too often, I'll catch him bossing Blake around. Blake is three years older and has over 40 pounds on Kev. Yet, on a regular basis I'll hear Kevin reminding Blake to do his chores and pointing out that he's doing something he shouldn't be doing. With the tone he uses, he's lucky Blake is a good, kind brother!

With Kevin, there is NEVER a dull moment!

Friday, August 28, 2009

For a sweet baby girl...

As the oldest of six girls, having two boys has become an everyday adventure with daily events that I never could have imagined. Then my sister Ashley had two boys of her own. My sister Lindsey and her husband Brandon are expecting a baby at the end of September and they are having a GIRL!!! I don't think anyone is quite as excited as my youngest sister Molly though.

Earlier this month, I helped my two youngest sisters host a shower for Lindsey and Brandon.
Kaitlin, Me, Brandon, Lindsey, Molly

I think it's gotten to the point where I am expected to give scrapbooks as gifts, so I was happy to make a 6x6 album for their "first photos" of the baby.

I found a 6x6 American Crafts modern album at Tuesday Morning (cheap!) and it was PINK! Then I found some Heidi Grace papers at Michael's that actually match the decor for their nursery. I covered the front and back covers with patterned paper and embellished the cover and spine with Heidi Swapp chipboard letters, Creative Imaginations felt, and a bit of bling. The pages are really simple so they can just add their 4x6 photos of the baby's first day(s) - depending on how many pics they take! On the first page, I have a blank journaling card for them to record the baby's stats. I kept the rest of the pages really simple. (These are in no particular order...)
And finally...the end.On the way out the door to the shower, I realized we'd need a notebook to record the gifts. Well...I had scraps left over from the album, so I grabbed a mini composition notebook I had and altered it with the scraps. I finished it off with a cute little pacifier charm. Now the countdown is on until we get to meet Reese Adeline.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'm such a mess!

When I get creative, I work fast, grab supplies, use them, push the leftovers out of the way and grab something else to work with. What happens next is that I end up with my desk piled up with scraps of this and that and piles around me on the floor.

It's not a pretty sight!
I knew I had a crop coming up this month, so I took a day to clean up the bonus room where I scrap. I started with the floor and quickly cleaned up my "piles" and was able to sort them out and even get rid of some things. I was left with even bigger piles on my work table though!
Instead of just putting stuff away, I took the time to go through all of my storage. I sorted through every bin, drawer and kit bag. I cleaned out my scrap drawer. I organized everything and then was able to file everything away IN ITS PLACE!
Nice, huh?
At the end of the first day of the online crop, my work table was still clean. (Gasp!)
Last night, after a week on online cropping, 22 layouts and 7 cards, my area was still clean.
It's amazing how you can keep things organized if you just put things back in their place. Who would have thought???

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

...and scrapping...

Tonight the crop at Personal Scrapper will come to an official close at midnight. I had my August kit out on my table and decided to scrap with it until it was gone. Keep in mind, before the kit arrived, I had already purchased most of the patterned papers from the Scenic Route Garden Grove line that was in the kit. Plus, I pulled extra cardstock and some embellishments from my stash. For "my coach" I used a sketch from Got Sketch.
I loved the American Crafts foam shapes that came with the kit, but I didn't have any travel pics to scrap. I tried to get creative so I could use them and came up with "kid, you'll go places!"
Finally, I took my scraps and just got busy making cards. I am surprisingly happy with them. I don't consider myself a cardmaker and usually stress over making them. It was fun to make them by piecing my scraps together though. I'll have to do that more often!
Now that my August kit is gone, I'm looking forward to receiving my September kit!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Just keep scrapping...

Even though I finished all of the challenges for the Personal Scrapper Birthday crop, I have continued to scrap. I have recently been inspired by several Allison Davis 2-page layouts. With that, I took my August kit from Personal Scrapper and three 2-page layouts.

"The Perfect Day" was a good way to describe a trip to a local playground a couple days before school started earlier this month. Blake loved it just as much as Kevin did.
I mixed my new kit with some old baseball embellishments. Blake's Rookie League team was the Orioles and I've had these Orioles embellishments for quite a while now. I even included the picture than ran in the paper announcing that the team was regular season and end-of-season tournament runner-up.
In January, we lost my cousin Tiffany to brain cancer. It was hard to scrap these photos of another cousin's (Emma) birthday party that the boys attended since it was held at the same place as a benefit we had for Tiffany. I'm glad they'll have the memory, but now it's a reminder that I miss her.
Finally, I did a simple one-pager. Another baseball page - I could scrap baseball for years! I'm not complaining though.
My August kit is down to scraps, but I'm determined to keep scrapping with it until it's gone. Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Summer Birthday Crop

Personal Scrapper posted 15 great challenges for an online crop. I'm not one to turn down a I completed them all.

The first six layouts that I'm sharing with you were all made with the August kit from PS and coordinating products.

"The Line Drive Stops Here" is my new favorite layout. (I say that frequently, huh?) These photos were taken a couple weeks ago when Blake was FINALLY given a chance to play 3rd base in an all-star tournament. He did great - stopped a line drive. This LO was for a "summer fun" challenge to scrap a summer memory.Every crop has a "scraplift the design team" challenge. I took a single page LO by Carrie Postma and stretched it into a 2-pager. Pretty much the only common ingredient was the placement of the patterned papers.
One of my goals for the crop was to try to scrap some older photos instead of just grabbing the last batch I had printed. I pulled out these photos from 2006 to use for the "something new & something old" challenge. I used my new kit and for the old items used some Navy embellishments and the blue tag. This LO is special because it documents a close family friend visiting with us. "U Did It!" captured the exact moment I told Kevin he made the 7 year old all-star team. (Us scrapbookers think ahead!) Since Kevin had dreamed of being an all-star since Blake first made the team three years ago, I thought it was fitting for the "dream" challenge. I was inspired by a sketch by Scrappin' Day.
There was a "recipe" challenge to make a 2-page LO with 4-6 photos and orange somewhere on the layout. I pulled out some pics from the Relay for Life in '06 for Kevin's album. I LOVE THIS PAGE! I often find that I'll pull song titles to use for my page titles, so I was looking forward to doing the "MTV Rocks" challenge with music inspiration. I took it a step further and scrapped about a song that was part of our personal soundtrack last summer. I've been a Weezer fan for years and last summer bought their new CD (I rarely buy CDs). A favorite song of mine was "Pork & Beans" (watch the video here). I played it so much that the boys even knew all the lyrics. Tom HATED the song and we drove him crazy by singing it so much. (Good times!) I ended up writing the lyrics of the song out for the background of my page. We got our dog, Scout, from the pound in April 2006, but I never scrapped it for Kevin. It fit under the "what's in a name" challenge since I explained that Scout Radley was named after two characters in my favorite book, To Kill A Mockingbird.
Since this was a birthday crop, there had to be a "birthday" challenge! I pulled pics from Blake's 7th birthday (he'll turn 11 in October!). Yes, we had to open his present at 6:30 in the morning before Tom went to work. Blake has no patience. I have no idea where that comes from!
I pulled out my PS kit from September '07 for the "use your oldest PS kit" challenge. I had actually purchased two of these kits that included the Basic Grey Mellow line since I liked it so well. The photo is from Halloween '07 when Kevin's Kindergarten class went on a field trip to the pumpkin patch. Luckily I had jotted down my thoughts of the photo (not the event) when I filed the pic away. I just had to rewrite my journaling on the page. I was determined to use up that old kit while I had it out. In total, I made six layouts (including the next five) with it.
I thought the "Scenery" challenge would be hard until I came across the photos I took of my parents' farm last summer. I kept it simple. Sometimes simple is good.
I don't know how many times I've pulled out photos of our fishing trip with my mother-in-law in Tennessee in April '06. I realized they went great with the Mellow line of papers. I took the stack of 24 photos, the kit and some additional naked chipboard and made the following three layouts. I am really happy with them all.
This one is for a "list" challenge.
I got a little creative with this page and made my own fish embellishment. The fishing pole is a piece of a skewer that I cut down. I handcut to "fish" and layered them, raising the top layer up with pop dots. I finished it off with a button eye. In total there are 35 items on this page for the "35 item" challenge.
This LO came together really quick for the "Speedy Gonzales (in under 20 minutes)" challenge. Thanksgiving is a holiday that I never manage to capture photos for. I guess I'm too busy eating??? I had these pics of the boys and my nephew dancing in the yard. I'm not sure if it was called a turkey dance at the time, but the title fit for the "holiday" challenge. The only challenge that really stumped me was the "Hawaii 5-0" challenge to do something tropical. I finally found this shot of Blake in '07. I used some older papers that I must have been saving for this page. I kept it really simple - just three patterned papers (one double sided) and two alphas. I had cut a few things and used pop dots for dimension.

So, there you have what I've been up to since last Tuesday when I've had free time. The crop isn't over yet, and I still have some ideas. I may complete a few more.

Thanks for looking!