Saturday, September 26, 2009

Nathan Followill, if I were single...

I have to admit, I have a crush. Yes, I'm a wife and mother of two, but I am in love with the oldest Followill brother and drummer of the Kings of Leon - Nathan Followill.

My sister and I drove over three hours to see them at the Verizon Wireless Music Center in Noblesville, Indiana last night. Although we had a bit of "excitement" on the way (an hour and a half into the trip we realized the tickets were on her fridge AT HOME!!!), we FINALLY made it. (Thankfully the Music Center assured us over the phone, after we'd already turned around to head back, that they could reprint our tickets when we got there.)

We had to take quite a hike to get around to the box office, but we finally got our new tickets and entered the music center just as the first song, "Crawl" started. We got to our seats - in row AA in the LOWER LEVEL!!! - just in time to hear them start one of my most favorite KoL songs, "Charmer."
We had great seats!!!
And I took too many photos.

But hey, it was hard to get a good one of Nathan with all the moving around he was doing drumming! I liked this one though... He's singing "On Call" for me.
It was kind of hard to get a good shot with that cymbal in the way! Still, I'd swear he was looking right at ME in this shot. (He's probably wondering why that crazy 34 year old was taking so many pictures!) I told my sister, I would be a happy girl if I could see him blow a bubble - as in gum. He's a gum chewer and for some reason I get the biggest kick out of seeing him blow bubbles. Well, I saw several of them, but had trouble getting a photo of it! I think in all the excitement, I may have shaken my camera too much!Here's my version of "blue light special"...Oh and the grand finale after the encore...I got to see him stand up and walk off. Check out those arms....Sigh.OK...Now, I'm home and settling back into wife and mommy mode. And listening to KoL. And patiently waiting for their next tour.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I love online crops!

Personal Scrapper is having a week-long online crop that started yesterday. Erica (the owner) always posts the best challenges to get everyone scrapping. I LOVE challenges.
The first challenge that I finished was for SCRAPLIFT THE DESIGN TEAM. I decided to lift a page by DT member Jenny from the September kit idea sheet. I ended up changing a bit. Plus, in addition to using my brand new American Crafts "Junior" papers, I added an old "allstar" embellishment and some OLD baseball stickers that I stuck on top of pop dots for some dimension.
The FALL WORD challenge was to use any or all of the words "fall, fresh, fun, farm, back" in your title. I scrapped "Fall Ball" to explain that although the boys didn't play fall ball (baseball) this year, they sure played a lot of football in the backyard. I have a lot of hand-stitching on this page and it uses more of the "Junior" line.
I had to use more of that basketball textured paper on a Blake layout to keep peace in our house. (Although I didn't stitch on it like I did for Kevin's page...) This was for the COUNTDOWN CHALLENGE to use 5 photos, 4 patterned papers, 3 embellishments, 2 alphas, and 1 journaling box. To make the journaling box, I stacked some label stickers. I'm getting a lot of use out of this "Junior" line!
Design team member Carrie Postma posted three variations for a SKETCH CHALLENGE. I had this enlargement of the town Kevin built with blocks. I saw the lego-looking AC paper and was reminded of this photo. It worked great with the sketch.
Finally, I was flattered when Erica asked if she could use a layout I did a while back for a SCRAPLIFT CHALLENGE. I took my layout and adjusted it a bit by using a square piece of diecut paper. (I cut about an inch out of the center and pieced it back together.) The My Mind's Eye papers I used were part of my "secret sister" gift from Kim/kimmcc at Personal Scrapper. As soon as I saw them, I knew they'd be perfect for these pictures of us with Tom's brother who was visiting last month from Alaska.
Well, I now have 5 of the 16 challenges finished. I hope to finish the rest of them before the end of the crop on Tuesday.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I {heart} American Craft's "Junior" & White Cardstock...

This weekend I had a friend come over to scrap with me. I did a lot more talking than scrapping, but was able to finish a couple layouts. I decided to pull out the American Crafts "Junior" package I had received from a friend.

First, I scrapped Kevin's basketball photos from back in January/February. There really wasn't a story to tell, so I skipped journaling. I did make my title "Go 2" to remind me that Kevin was #2 this year. I also pulled some basketball snaps from my stash to add. Love when I can use up old stuff! When I was pulling out the basketball snaps, I came across a Jolee's football set. I decided to use it, too. Loved this "x" paper for football pics even if they are just from our backyard. I used something new, something old, and when it looked like something was still missing, I drew a border around the whole thing.
As soon as I opened my package, I fell in love with the orange sheet of patterned paper because of it's texture. I knew it had to find a home on a basketball page. On Saturday, I got a bit creative and cut out a large circle, then drew on lines to mimic a basketball. It looked ok, but not great. So, I stiched black thread over the lines. Now it's a basketball! I roughed up the edge of the star paper and added another hand-drawn border. For a finishing touch, I added the red piece of paper that was a scrap from my September Personal Scrapper kit. Blake was starting to feel left out when he saw that I'd scrapped three layouts in a row for Kevin. I recently received a photo order, so I pulled pics from one of Blake's all-star tournaments this summer. I had printed several collages, so I pieced them together with my 4x6s. Then I just added paper here and there to block them in. The baseball embellishment by my title is just a punched circle that I drew stitching on. I raised it up with pop dots. I didn't realize until I photographed them, but I used white cardstock for all of them. I tend to go in spurts where white is my "go to" color and then I'll use only colors for a while. I guess I'm back in my white phase.
I haven't scrapped since Saturday and I'm starting to have withdrawals! Lucky for me, Personal Scrapper is having an online crop that will start later today. I'm hoping the challenges will get me going!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Getting ready for fall & taking a fall...

We LOVE fall! One of our favorite fall traditions is decorating the house for fall. We love going to a local farm to gather up things for a fall display we put in front of the house every year. This year, our neighbors across the street were so nice and gave us pumpkins that their father/father-in-law grew.

This weekend, we went to Wooden Farm.
The boys had fun playing corn hole, going through their straw maze and becoming part of the fall decorations!
I had too much fun looking through their selections of interesting pumpkins, goards, mums and other decorations. I picked out some mums and goards for the front yard display and several mini pumpkins and goards and indian corn for inside decorations. I had my guys to help me get it all loaded up.
We couldn't leave without posing with the HUGE round-bale scarecrow out by their entrance!

Our next stop was to visit my parents. Dad was harvesting corn on the farm where I grew up. We were surprised to get there to see my grandmother waiting in the truck with Mom.
I had never realized that Grandma had never been in a combine before! It was fun seeing her on her first ride! She enjoyed it. Dad said she needs to come back when it's time to run soybeans. While Grandma was riding with Dad, my boys were helping Tom gather up corn stalks for our fall display. Later, they had their turn in the combine, too. Before heading home from the farm, we also picked up some straw bales. When we got home, I pulled out our "Happy Fall Y'all" pumpkin and the scarecrow I made with my Pappa a few years ago. It's extra special to me since the scarecrow wears one of Pappa's shirts and his hat, too. With a little arranging, our fall display in the front yard is complete!Our "fall" activity for today involved a real fall. Kevin attended a birthday party at a gym and fell coming off an inflatable. We ended up spending four hours in the ER tonight. He has a concussion. We had a very scary couple hours with him unable to remember many events, repeating himself, and not understanding. He was also dizzy, had trouble walking and vomiting. We were happy to hear that the scans had been thoroughly reviewed and did not show any bleeds. After taking a long nap in the ER, OUR Kevin was back, alert, and talking to us like normal. We are happy to be home now!
Happy Fall Y'all - the seasonal kind, that is!

Monday, September 14, 2009

More September Personal Scrapper Layouts...

I've been able to scrap a few more layouts with the Personal Scrapper September kit over the past couple of days. I am determined to use it up before I move on to other supplies.

First, I was inspired by an April '09 PageMaps sketch. I made a few changes, but love how this turned out. In addition to the kit items, I added a Sassafrass Lass chipboard "2". This page is for Kevin's album. We went to a local playground a few days before school started and the boys had fun goofing off. This 2-page layout finishes up Kevin's outing to the playground. I added some Thickers and Jenni Bowlin crepe paper ribbon. This is a happy page. I still had Blake's photos from the first day of school to scrapbook. I loved the "textbook" looking patterned paper, but found it a little hard to use. I cut it down and turned it on it's side. Then I cut the scraps down to thin strips and used the reverse side to make a border around the page. Finally, I just added scraps of other patterns until I was happy with the look of the page. I added Scenic Route and Sassafrass Lass chipboard and Jenni Bowlin stickers.
Finally, I had Blake's photos of the boys goofing off before getting on the bus the first day of school. I used some more scraps from the kit for this page. I added a few buttons and some cool Letterman Thickers.
I think I'll use the rest of the scraps from the kit to make some cards. Sometime...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Wonderful Weekend...

I guess you know a weekend is going to be a good one when you spend your Friday shopping in your favorite scrapbook and having lunch at Cheesecake Factory. I was happy to spend the day with my aunt Missy to celebrate her birthday a couple days early. I came home with a few new scrapbook supplies, some new seasonal scents from Bath & Body Works, hoodies I found on sale for the boys, and leftover Carrot Cake Cheesecake (YUM!).

Saturday morning I woke up to find the boys crafting away using my scraps to make a gigantic birthday card for Tom's mom. Her birthday falls on 9/11 and she was stopping in to visit with us and celebrate before heading home. I always smile when I see my boys getting crafty. (Check out the scallop punches they added!) We had a nice lunch and good visit with Grandma Rosemary. The boys adore her! (See the size of their card compared to the one I made!)
Saturday evening took us on a secret mission to do a little shopping for the soon-to-arrive Baby Reese - the first baby girl grandbaby on the Smith side. I'm not sure who was more excited about the gift - the boys or Tom.
We made a pit stop into J.Crew and when I turned around, I about cracked up at the sight of this:
No, they aren't right, but they're mine.
Oh, and I can't forget one of the highlights of my day...
While cleaning on the house yesterday morning, I heard a honk. The mailman was in the driveway. I hadn't ordered anything and didn't think Tom was expecting a package either. I was very happy to see the return address and realize that it was a surprise package from a dear friend.
Although we've never met in person, I am constantly amazed when I'm reminded of how well she "gets" me. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU (you know who you are) for the "Junior" papers, Thickers and extra goodies.
I'm hoping Sunday will allow me a little time for some scrapping. With my two sports-lovin' boys, I know I have just the photos for these supplies.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

September Personal Scrapper kit

When Erica at Personal Scrapper mentioned we'd have October Afternoon papers in our September kit, I knew I'd love it. The kit is a fun mix of the Report Card, Farm Fresh and Night Light lines.
The paper with the vegetables on it was one of my favorite sheets of paper since it was so different. I decided to take a break from "school" pages and made one with these photos of my boys planting corn with my dad back in April. I added a button, twine and foam Thickers. (I think if there is a need for a title, I must have the perfect Thicker for it!) I also used a May 2008 PageMaps for this LO. I still have a lot of the kit left and even more ideas of what to do with it. It's a fun one!

Friday, September 11, 2009


May God bless everyone who has kept our country safe for the 8 years following the attacks on our nation.

I am amazed at the feelings I have experienced today while viewing tributes and recaps on the television.

We will never forget.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mojo Found

I received my September Personal Scrapper kit last Saturday. While I was in love with the October Afternoon papers, after finishing up one layout over the weekend, I was stumped on scrapping. No ideas. No motivation to scrap.

I had pulled some photos out that I thought would work with the kit. They stayed in a stack. Every so often, I'd grab a group of photos and move them around on my scrap table. Nothing came to me.

This morning after the bus left with the boys, I came up to my table. I took Kevin's first day of school pictures from this year and started playing around with them. I had them divided into groups for three different layouts. I took the first section and pulled out three sheets of patterned paper to use.

I finally found a photo arrangement that made me happy. I used several different embellishments from the kit and added the "bus" card from my stash. Then I realized I only used ONE of the patterned papers I'd pulled out. But I love the layout. The kit included the coolest sheet of paper that looked like a game board. Instead of covering up the paper, I decided to cut it apart and use it in pieces. I framed the LO with strips of patterned paper. I pulled some yellow foam Thickers from my stash to finish off the title. I'm debating finding a larger "2" for my title since it's so much smaller than the "nd".
To finish off Kevin's first day of school pics, I played around with some stips of the more muted patterns and worked everything at an angle. In addition to the kit, I pulled some vinyl Thickers, the "school" card and some buttons from my stash.
So Blake wouldn't be left out, I decided to scrap his last day of school from May. I used more of the gameboard paper. I used the top half of the page for pics of him that morning and the bottom for the afternoon "school's out!!!" shots. I cut some pencils out of a sheet of Cosmo Cricket paper and added some twine to the page, too.
It feels good to get back into a scrapping grove!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

PageMaps' September Card Maps

After I posted a challenge at Personal Scrapper to use a September PageMaps sketch, Mel challenged us to use the newest Card Maps. I'm not one to turn down a challenge, so I did all 12 of them. I think I finished the 10 layouts quicker than I did the cards though!
I used scraps from a Bo Bunny line to make a few birthday cards and then leftovers from an older Love, Elsie line. For many of them, I'll add sentiments as needed.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

September PageMaps Inspired Layouts

For the third month in a row, I challenged myself to scrap using all of the new PageMaps sketches that were posted September 1. I find that using the sketches saves me a lot of planning time and it's a fun way to knock out ten new layouts.

I had these photos of Tom helping my sister tattoo identification numbers inside her Highland cattle's years on Easter. I had printed them into a 5x7 collage, but cut them apart to use with an 8.5"x11" sketch. I used my June Personal Scrapper kit and love how the colors of the papers/embellishments worked with the photos. One sketch called for six 4x6 prints, but I adjusted it to use with my four 5x7 prints/collages. Again, I used my June PS kit. I used pop dots behind the cut out stars. I loved mixing the crazy Doodlebug alphas with Thickers for my title. The foam Thicker font I wanted to use for "museum" almost didn't fit, so I scrunched the "m"s a bit. I like how they look though.
While I had the June PS kit out, I realized a couple papers would work well with this shot of Blake that I was having a time matching up with anything. (Although according to Addie, EVERYTHING goes with camo!)I altered my sketch just a bit so I could sew in a pocket for the Governor's Cup Program. Blake had done well enough to advance to Regions and we were super excited the morning that I snapped this shot.

I really liked my July Personal Scrapper kit, but this floral patterned paper wasn't a favorite of mine. I noticed it matched out first day of school pics from two years ago, so I pulled it out to use. The story here is more about our tradition of posing before the bus comes on the first day, so the title is "posers."
My "2nd Place" layout is the result of a few happy accidents. I followed the sketch pretty closely, but when I was finished, something was missing. I decided to cut the LO down a bit and mat it on yellow cardstock to create a frame. Before adhering it to the yellow, I used my edge scraper, but accidentally tore into my layout in a couple places. Since the striped paer was already backed by the blue that was my original base, I added some stripe behind the blue that I tore. To keep with the "rough" feel of the LO, I adhered it crookedly to the yellow. A little background story...Last year Blake ran for 4-H President. He didn't win, but he won 2nd place in the poster contest. I used my July Personal Scrapper kit for this page.

When I made "a fan" I did something I never thought I would do. I took a 2-page sketch and condensed it down to a one-page layout. It's more common for me to take a single page sketch and stretch it into a 2-pager! The sketch for this was actually a 2-page 8.5"x11" LO. I made it into a 12x12 since I needed to crop my photos down. The important thing was Blake's expression and not the crowd around him at the ballgame. I used Bo Bunny scraps for this page. Again, I felt the need to "frame" my LO with another color of cardstock. I decided to use handstitching and sub stars for the flowers on the sketch.
I took another 2-page sketch (the one with the circle photo on the left-hand page) and used only the right hand side to scrap this certificate and photo for Blake. Every so often I have something like this to scrap and I usually find it hard to make it "pretty." Since the sketch called for an enlargement, I just subbed in the certificate and flipped the sketch. I used my brand new September Personal Scrapper kit that arrived yesterday.I've been wanting to scrap "don't scrap that" since I took the picture a few weeks ago. The boys had gotten into a fight in the backyard and Kevin stomped to the back garage door crying. Scout ran over to comfort him which was so cute I had to run in to grab my camera. Just as I snapped the shot, Kevin yelled, "Don't scrap that!" Doesn't he know you don't tell a scrapbooker that! I had fun using some Sassafrass Lass papers, here. I used my large title in place of the flowers on the sketch. "Fab 5?" took an 8.5"x11" sketch and turned it into a 12x12. I loved these Sassafrass Lass papers, but had them sitting around. When I came across this photo of these 5 wild and crazy guys, I knew I had to use them. I stuck pretty close to the sketch on this one. I LOVED the sketch I used for "2 cousins" but decided to alter it to use with these two photos I had out on my desk already. (The sketch called for 4 photos.) I added some embellishments and repositioned my title to fill in the space that called for the other photos. I just think this is a really fun page with the photos, colors, and Sassafrass Lass papers .

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Underclassmen, beware!

There's a new safety patrol manning the halls at school this year!

And look who is one of the officers: Congratulations, Blake! Good luck keeping the kindergarten hall under control each afternoon. We are so proud of you!