Wednesday, June 29, 2011

That's a wrap...

Last week, the first night of the end of season was called due to rain. I guess it was a fitting way to begin the last tournament. Everything else had been delayed for rain!

Kevin's team won their first game. It wasn't really any surprise though. They'd won EVERY other game this season, too.

Blake's team, however, was the #4 seed with a losing record facing the #1 team in the league. (I love this photo of B in his catcher's gear...)

Blake hit is 3rd HOME RUN this season!!! Finally, I had my camera handy and thought to use it!It was a little crazy watching his team congratulate him at the plate. I barely caught him in the frame (far left)!Kevin's team played the Cubs. He had fun. (The kid LOVES to steal bases!) They won both of their games by so many points that they were called early due to the run rule.

He went home with not one, but two trophies. One for regular season champs based on their record and another for the tournament champs. This kid loves his hardware!

Blake's team took second place to the #3 team. It was his last Little League game at the park that's become our second home over the past six years. Next year, he'll be able to play Pony League, but they play at at a different location. It was nice to see all of my guys go hoem with a trophy (or two).

Now we need to prepare for Blake's Little League District tournament for all-stars this weekend. Our league has never advanced to state and we are hoping this year's group of boys can change that. I think they can!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A little "Homespun Charm"...

When the May "Homespun Charm" kit arrived from Polka Dot Whimsy, I fell in love with the kraft patterned papers in the kit. I guess they were "the" items I wanted to save for the perfect project. Do you ever do that with your scrap supplies?

I had been waiting on the kit to make a mini album for my niece, Reese, to document her Easter. (You can see it here.) After making the mini album, I was amazed with all the product I still had left over.

And there were my kraft patterns...

I thought the floral pattern would work nicely with our "ready for church" Easter photos. There wasn't anything in the photos that would clash with the pattern.

I had fun layering on this layout. I pulled out some border punches and had fun mixing some things up. I continued with my Easter theme on a two-page layout also. For this page, I went with a solid kraft background and used just a strip of the polka dot kraft pattern mixed with some other patterned paper strips and some Pink Paislee border stickers. I thought the hand-stamped tag that Michelle included in the kit for May was adorable. The "doo-dahs" (butterflies and flowers) were nice little touches, too. I added some twine by Pink Paislee.
I also added some mist (Mr. Huey by Studio Calico) to the kraft background paper before adding any of my other elements. (You can see in the photo below.) The border sticker I used for the base of my title gave me a little bit of dimension that was lacking in the flat alpha stickers by Echo Park.

That concludes my work with the May kit. I did make a few other projects, but they are under wraps right now. I'll be able to share them throughout the month of July.

Now, I'm (impatiently) waiting to see what is in store for July with Polka Dot Whimsy...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Local heroes...

The Kentucky State Baseball Tournament started June 13 in Lexington. For the second year in a row, our high school was part of the sweet sixteen vying for the title. Led by eight seniors and a whole team of talented, dedicated players, we really felt like this could be our year. Our school had never won a boys' state title in any sport.

We were also excited about the team doing so well since three of Blake's friends/former teammates had brothers playing on the team. Plus, since I work at the school, I knew some of the players, too.

Kevin had a league game the first night of the tournament, so I stayed home to get him to his game while Tom and Blake went to Lexington to cheer on our Bruins. Blake was even pulled from the stand to be the team's ballboy/batboy. (He loved being in the dugout with the team!) We won!

We weren't able to attend the team's second game later that week, but listened to it at home on the internet. Another win for CH!

Friday we made plans for all four of us to attend. Our friends' son (and brother of Blake's friend) was pitching again. (He'd won on Monday, too.)

Our boys didn't want to sit with us. They sat on the front row behind the dugout with their friends.We beat the No. 2 team in the state. Yay! We were going to the finals!Once again, we headed up to Lexington. (90 minute drive!) CH took off and never looked back. They earned 7 runs in the second inning. Blake's friend Dylan sat with us for a lot of the game. (His brother, Austin, was the pitcher I mentioned earlier.)Blake first played ball with Dylan six years ago and we've all been friends ever since. When we met this family, Austin was the age Blake and Dylan are now. We feel like we've watched Austin grow up and grow into an amazing athlete. He didn't pitch the final game and wasn't in the batting line up either.

In the bottom of the 4th inning, we were up 17-1. The game would be run-ruled in the 5th. With two outs, we saw Austin step out of hte dugout with a bat. He was being subbed in. Dylan was with us and we were all hoping the boy at bat wouldn't get an out before Austin had one last at bat. The boy made it to base and Austin was up. The boys (Blake, Dylan and Kevin) commented that they hoped he'd hit a Grand Slam. Wishful thinking for kids, right?

At his last at bat as a high school student in THE championship game, Austin HIT A GRAND SLAM! Amazing. Even more amazing is this shot that I caught of my boys and Dylan celebrating Dylan's brother's success.Our competition earned one more run in the top of the 5th before the game was called. Needless to say, the crowd went wild!Our boys had earned themselves a state championship. See the yellow arm bands...the team played in honor of Addison Jo Blair. Addison was the three year old daughter of one of teachers. She battled neuroblastoma from just after Christmas until she passed away on May 27. After the game, Austin was named MVP of the State Tournament. Wow! We are so proud of this kid. He's a great role model for our boys. You always hear that if you work hard, you can do anything. Now my boys actually know someone and the goals don't seem out of reach. Another player my boys look up to is the team catcher, Russ. Russ was named to the all-tournament team as well. He was our catcher. Since both of my boys catch, they'd been keeping up with Russ for a couple seasons by watching him at games and reading about him in the paper. This year I had the opportunity to get to know him since he was one of our student workers in the school library. I am so happy for the CH team. They worked hard and earned their championship. I am also happy that our boys had the chance to experience these wins with them.Congratulations, Bruins!!!!

Friday, June 24, 2011


I have to admit that I wasn't impressed with the SMASH folios the first time I saw them mentioned at Studio Calico earlier this year. Everyone seemed to be in love with them and impatient for them to go up for sale. I didn't see the need to take things out of my junk drawer and "smash" them into a journal. I also wasn't interested in creating an "inspiration" journal either.

Then I happened to catch a promotion on the SMASH blog and got a free mini SMASH journal in the mail. It was cute. But, it sat on my table where it remains today. Empty.

Last month, Studio Calico finally had the SMASH items in stock and everyone on the board seemed to be dying to get their hands on them.

I was working on "reveal day" and missed the noon presale. Usually all the new things are gone quick, so when I checked back later that night, I was surprised to see some of the SMASH folios still available. And, they were only $12.99. I clicked on the examples for each one and although I love red, I wasn't crazy about the pages in the red book. The black book did interest me. I added it to my cart.

When my package arrived a couple weeks ago, I was very happy with the quality of the book, the size and also the number of pages. It was much more substantial than I was expecting. It also came during my first full week of summer vacation from school and following a weekend full of activities. And so my idea for SMASH was born. I was going to document my summer...

The first pages I completed are actually the second spread in the book (after the title page that I'm still avoiding...). I had spent the previous Saturday in the ER with my husband and thought the "just lovely" page pretty much summed up my feelings. I added "emergency" on the side of the page using Sassafrass Lass stickers.The facing page documented our trip to get passports for the boys. I used their extra photos on my page. I also added "memorabilia" from our trip to the ER.

Backing up...I used Studio Calico day rub-ons to journal about our first week out of school. Then I added in some of the SMASH tablet cards to document a date night with Tom, my current playlist, and I journaled about the boys getting contacts and us trying a new restaurant. Had to include our fortunes, too!

I thought the grid/ruled spreads would be great for listing movies and books of my summer. (If the book doesn't fill up by summer, I'll just keep it going until it is full.) So far my "movie" section is a little short, but it's still early.

My "books" section is starting to take shape. I have more time to read in the summer. I added the book stamp that came in my January Studio Calico kit. The big I {heart} Morelli sticker came in the new Stephanie Plum book I'm reading. I even added a section for "scrap" as in scrapbooking...

And what is my summer without baseball?Our baseball "news" quickly filled up two pages. So, just this morning, I had to add a new section "more Baseball"... (Stamps are from Studio Calico kit.)One of my favorite pages so far is actually on a spread that was one of my least favorites. I had no idea how to work with the preprinted photo on the spread below. So, I started covering it with memorabilia. I added a hat from Krispy Kreme and journaled directly on it. I ripped the wrapper off my ice cream cone at Baskin Robbins and journaled on it too. The sample spoon from that night (I tried a new flavor that I LOVED) is also included. In the "white space" I journaled about a favor we did for one of my sisters and then about eating out for Father's Day. To finish off the spread, I added a photo of my favorite pizza (after I brought it home) cut from a coupon flyer and finally the label and top of the cork off my favorite wine when I finished a bottle this week.

My last page to share is one I just started this morning. I was actually going to toss the package from my sunflower seeds, but realized it tells a big story. When Blake pitches, I have to have my seeds. They save my fingernails. And keep me from chewing on the inside of my lip. They help me survive my nerves!

I'm really glad I made this purchase! It's a work in progress and I'm having fun with it!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Catching up with the Wheelers...

We are enjoying our summer break! Are you ready for a photo-filled post?

Kevin just wrapped up swim lessons. He went M/W/F for six sessions. One was rained out, but he wasn't able to attend the make up today because he was already scheduled for baseball camp at our high school.

One of these days, he'll figure out the proper way to dive. For now I guess it's just fun to jump "crazy-style"!

Both boys are now proud contact wearers. Kevin has done especially well with his. I was worried since he's only 9. I think he is most excited about getting to wear sunglasses now! For buying a year's supply of contacts on one order, he got a free pair of sunglasses. He LOVES them.

I am just enjoying seeing him without his glasses. He looks like "my" Kevin all the time now. I used to only see him without his glasses when he would climb into bed at night.

Our baseball season extended really far into June due to all of make up (rain) games. It's sort of sad seeing Blake wrap up his Little League "career." He and Tom seemed to really enjoy their coach/player relationship this year. Blake has turned into a really good pitcher. I have been so proud of him. After he broke his wrist earlier this year, I was worried about how it would affect him. He's a stronger player now than he was. And, BLAKE MADE THE ALL-STAR TEAM!!! We are so proud of him!!!

In other baseball news, one of Blake's teammates has a father stationed in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to see his son play a single game this season. Alex was our second baseman and he had a great season. The team all signed a ball to send to send to Alex's dad and then posed for a picture. This was after the game when we FINALLY beat our biggest rival - the Cubs.
That same night, it started to sprinkle at the ballpark. We saw the prettiest double rainbow. (Photo op...)Monday night wrapped up the regular season for our baseball league. Kevin's team finished UNDEFEATED!!! They are the NUMBER 1 seed in the tournament and will play tonight. Go Braves!

Blake's team came back from behind to go into an extra inning and then WIN their final game. They are going into the tournament tonight as the #4 seed. We'll take it. Hopefully we'll knock the #1 seed out to make it into the best of 3 tournament series. Go Tigers!Now if the rain will just hold off so we can get our games in...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A little help from Sketch Support...

Recently I had a little help creating some layouts with sketches from Sketch Support...

First, I used a CARD sketch and products from Echo Park's Playground line to create an 8-1/2"x11" layout to document my sister's 21st birthday.
I handstitched the "flames" on the top of each candle.
Next I used a 12x12 sketch flipped on its side to create an Easter cookie layout. I used leftovers from my March kit from Polka Dot Whimsy.
I added alphas from my stash though. I LOVE dimension on my pages and the alphas in the kit weren't enough for me.
Finally, I created a 2-page layout using a 2-page sketch. I used products from the February add-on(s) at Studio Calico.
I mixed alphas from Studio Calico with Jillibean Soup's corrugated alphas (love those!). The grid pattern on the sketch instantly reminded me of the calendar grid paper and Sassafrass Lass flowers in this add-on. It took a few months to find a use for them, but I finally did.I have a few other projects completed using sketches, but I can't share them with you just yet...

Monday, June 20, 2011

June PDW cards

Happy Monday! Wow...what a weekend we had here, BUT before I can share it, I have too many photos to edit and not enough time. So, for now I will share my cards created with the June Polka Dot Whimsy kit.

I don't really consider myself a card maker. I am a scrapbooker. However, every so often products come alone that make me want to use up every last scrap. The June PDW kit is a great example of this.

There was one sheet of patterned paper in the kit by My Mind's Eye. It was pretty, but floral, and oh-so-not-me. But, I didn't want to waste it. It matched a sheet of (orange) cardstock in the kit perfectly, so I immediately knew I'd get a few cards out of this kit.I made two with it. One is simply "4 you" while the other is "Have a Lovely Day" thanks for some help from an October Afternoon sticker. I LOVED the orange gingham ribbon from the kit.

While I really like the stamped tags that usually come in our kits, I usually find the images hard to use with my photos. I tend to cut them or flip them over. This month, I added one to a card by tucking it behind a scrap of a "bingo card" from a sheet of patterned paper by Simple Stories. Then I added some of the kit's "doo-dahs" and my card was complete. (I added some Pink Paislee twine to the tag, too.) This made a great birthday card for our niece. The next card is an example of how to make a quick any occasion card using the partial tag method mentioned above and another scrap of floral paper. (The backside of this floral was a great green diagonal that I used quite a bit!). I can always go back and add a sentiment to the card before I send it. Next up...Kevin was invited to a birthday party for TWO of his teammates. I had the perfect scraps to make a couple of fun cards for two 10 year olds.
I cut the hats out of a sheet of My Mind's Eye paper and adhered them with pop dots. The sentiment stickers were off a sheet by October Afternoon. I layered some scraps and then drew in some lines to mimic hand-stiching. While cleaning up the other day, I noticed I had several partial kits left over. Since creating these six cards was a rather painless process, I plan to pull them out and see how many cards I can make with them.

Happy Scrappin'!