Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Life of the Party...

I recently picked up the new "Life of the Party" line by Basic Grey. I am in love. No matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to cut my birthday photos back to a manageable number! I think I have more birthday party photos than I'll ever be able to scrap!

The first night I had this paper line in my hands, I pulled out some photos from Blake's last birthday and went to work.I made my own candle to double as a "1" and I hand cut the banner out of another sheet of patterned paper to string across my page. Birthday photos make me soooo happy!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Catching up - mid-March...

Recent warmer weather has kept us outside more lately. The start of spring sports (practices) has added a couple nights of activities to our schedules. I've neglected to add some of our recent events to the blog.

Blake had his cast removed on the 9th. After 5-1/2 weeks, he was happy to have his wrist healed and his right arm back! I still caught him using his left hand for almost everything for a few days though.
The cast came off just in time for him to participate in his last Upwards basketball game. The doctor gave him the OK.
Although he missed both of his free throws (hit the back of the rim), he still scored 16 points. That was a great showing after missing five games though!
It was good to wrap up the season with his team.
In other news...
Hotwheels seem to be one toy that never goes out of style.
Tom and I enjoyed watching the boys play with them in front of the tv one night. I love how they used one of my throws since the tire tracks showed up so well on. I remember playing with Hotwheels as a kid!
Finally, I've always enjoyed having our boys participate in Scouting. But, this year I think they are really understanding the service aspect of it. Kevin is getting to experience a lot of Blake's service activities Blake is now offering to help when Kevin's group participates in one. Last week Blake asked to help when Kevin's pack worked to bag trees for the local extension office. It got pretty messy, but it sure was fun!
I love that spring is here now. Everything is starting to green up and you can see buds on the trees. Our neighbor even mowed over the weekend. I love that smell!
Springtime just warms my heart!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Easter is on the way...

Lent is here and we are preparing for the upcoming Easter. This year our church is promoting small group meetings. The purpose of the meetings is to discuss our faith and remind us why we practice the way we do. I am participating every Wednesday night. I really enjoy the other four women in my group. We made a plan to be more "present" this week in how we worship.

I think being "present" is something I often take for granted. I might be somewhere or participating in something, but am I really "present"? Often, I'm probably just going through the motions. Since Wednesday, I've been trying to be a lot more aware while doing everything. Not just at church. Not just in prayer. But in EVERYTHING.

While driving the boys to haircuts yesterday, I was aware of the beautiful way the sun's rays were coming through the clouds. (Instead of stressing about being on time.)

On Thursday instead of staying home to catch up on housework during the boys' baseball practices, I went along too. The weather was beautiful and it was so much fun watching the boys with their new teams.

And, in church today I was more aware of the readings and my responses. I heard every word of the songs and really thought about what they were saying. I sat between my two boys and enjoyed seeing them participate as well.

I have to admit though, all this being present has pushed my scrapbooking to the backseat a bit. That and NCAA basketball! My evenings have been a bit occupied while I watch games with my guys.

I did manage to finish one layout recently. This layout is an assignment for Crop Chocolate. I used the new Echo Park "For the Record" paper line. I just added a set of Thickers for my title. I thought it was fitting to include an Easter layout in this post. I love celebrating Easter with my family. Back to scrapping...I also love all the journaling and accent stickers that come with the Echo Park paper lines.

With the new week starting, I hope you all take some time to be present.
Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It's almost baseball season...

Today was our league's baseball draft. Yay!!! That means practices are right around the corner. And yes, I am VERY excited! In our house, we live for baseball season!

However, this year Kevin will be moving up to Minor League (kid pitch). That means our days of Rookie League (machine pitch) are gone. Forever. Rookie League has been my absolute favorite.

I starting thinking back to when Blake played Rookie. (And made all-stars both years.) And then about Kevin's three years in Rookie. We moved him up a year early. He was also a 7 & 8 year old all star.

Last Saturrday, my latest design team package arrived from Scrappin' {Sports} Stuff. The timing was perfect. I had selected the new Teresa Collins Sports Edition II products to work with this month. I decided it was the perfect time to scrap some of Kevin's photos from his last weekend all-star tournament last summer. These layouts document the end of his Rookie "career."

This 2-pager documents the teamwork the boys had in the dugout helping Kevin in and out of his catcher's gear. It also shows Kevin leading the team in the cheers.
I mixed a couple American Crafts Thickers for the title.
To embellish my page, I cut different shapes/designs out of the patterned papers and layered them. I like adding pop dots for dimension. Here's another 2-pager. I love the ledger and grid patterned papers that came with this paper line. They made great background papers and allowed me a lot of space for journaling.
It was sad documenting the final photos of Kevin's last Rookie game. The coordinating brads from the line made great embellishments for this layout of Kevin catching.
I even used one of the coordinating trims.
Kevin's team had the best all-star season. They went undefeated and he brought home six championship trophies/medals.
I hand cut this label accent from a patterned paper and added mini Basic Grey alphas for the year.
I used a mix of Pink Paislee and American Crafts alphas for title with a chipboard word from the paper line. Although "Run Forest, Run!" comes to mind when I see this photo of Kevin running in his gear, I asked Tom to come up with a title for me. He selected "hustle" which was more than appropriate. Kevin really does hustle. You can tell he loves to play baseball.
And I love to layer embellishments...And alphas, too...
Oh, and more embellishments.If you have sports layouts to scrap, this new line is a must have!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

More Polka Dot Whimsy Goodness...

I fell in love with the color scheme for the February Polka Dot Whimsy main kit. I have a thing for bright, fun colors and find them so easy to use with photos I have of our boys.

For some reason when I saw the stars, stripes, and polka dots in the kit, I thought of birthdays. I also loved using the Pink Paislee chipboard numbers on birthday pages. The boys love special breakfasts on their birthdays. I "tried" to get creative and make "11" pancakes for Blake's birthday (in 2009!). I mixed the large "11" with the Basic Grey mini alphas in the kit to make a long title on a tag.
To accent the page, I cut the Jenni Bowlin banner stickers to make a border down the page. Then I separated the layered felt flower by Epiphany Crafts to make three. I accented them with "doo-dahs" from the kit.
There were some Studio Calico patterned papers in the kit that I wanted to use for school layouts. Since I wanted to stick with a 1-page layout, I pulled out these two photos of the boys returning home from the first day of school (in 2009...I'm a little behind...)Again I mixed up my title. LOVED adding the adorable handmade banner stick pin that Michelle made for us this month.
I also really enjoyed mixing up the patterns from this kit. They were all so bright and fun!
Finally, I did the unthinkable. I (yes, me...) made CARDS with my scraps. They were too pretty to toss and too few to make more layouts. I thought the one I made with the fabric looked a bit like a kitchen curtain! But, I still like it. It will make a great card for a friend. The other four just make me smile. Kevin gave the "9" card to a friend at a birthday party over the weekend. The "Happy 4th" card will go to my nephew on his birthday next month.
The March preview is up for the next kit. I'm (im)patiently waiting for my box to arrive. ;)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"Love" from Polka Dot Whimsy...

I loved working with the February add-on from Polka Dot Whimsy. I used the whole thing!

I made a layout of the boys with my parents on Kevin's birthday back in November. I liked mixing up the patterns. Loved the combo of red, blue and yellow together. There was a fun mix of embellishments with stickers from Fancy Pants, some felt accents and two alphas fonts from Bella Boulevard.
I used the more muted/pastel paper for a layout of my guys with Tom's mom on her birthday last September. The layered felt flowers from Ephiphany Crafts were a fun addition. I loved that they already had stitching on them. Instead of adding space for journaling, I just journaled around the page.
I used "a little bit of this...a little bit of that..." on this layout with Kevin's Valentine's cards. Felt, buttons, border stickers,'s all on there. I even used the fabric from the kit to roll up into flowers.
My title is made up of a couple of preprinted Fancy Pants journaling cards cut from one of the papers and Bella Boulevard alphas. The kit came with a couple of notecards and envelopes. I had big plans to get creative and incorporate them into my layouts, but I forgot about them. Oops. Instead, I ended up using scraps to accent them. Super, simple little cards ready to go now.
Happy scrappin'!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Weekend Wrap-up...

How is the first week of March already over???

Last week Blake completed a school science project. He had to make a 3-D animal cell. He worked really hard, researched the project and got really creative with ideas for each part of the cell. I'm happy to report that his project earned a perfect score and is currently on display in the school trophy case.
I'm even happier to report that he can point to each part and tell you what it does!

Saturday morning we attended Kevin's annual Blue Gold banquet for Cub Scouts. He earned his Bear badge. We are so proud of him!Sunday Blake worked on a requirement for one of his Boy Scout merit badges. He selected a tree (a red dogwood) to plant in honor of my Pappa who passed away nearly four years ago. Blake was really close with his great-grandfather.

Soon he hopes to add some sort of memorial stone by the tree. He has such a kind heart.

Well, that was our first week. I guess time flies when you are having fun!

Friday, March 4, 2011

More February Studio Calico to share...

The new March kits from Studio Calico are starting to ship. Mine should arrive early next week. Yay! That reminds me that I have a couple layouts using the February kit that I still haven't shared yet.

The first layout, "Any time is Chili time" documents Tom's love for chili. He ordered it in July on our summer vacation! Not sure if you can tell, but that is a stamp under the hexagons. (Yes, I stamped again!) Then I cut the pattern out of a sheet of paper and added individual hexagons with pop dots. (I need to start purchasing those things in bulk!)
I really liked the simplicity of this page. The sun/clouds were hand-cut from a sheet of patterned paper.

The Licorice Twist add-on this month worked well with these hard to match photos. Our old bedspread has given me fits when I've tried to match it with other paper.
I used the Bo Bunny fabric flowers from the kit, but unwound one to use as a border near the bottom of the page. It wasn't that lop-sided when I first adhered it. Oops! It must have moved a bit before I photographed the page.
Sometimes layouts like this make me sad because they remind me of how much my boys have grown. And how fast!

Hope everyone has a great Friday. I'm looking forward to the weekend!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Traveling with Crop Chocolate...

This month's Chocolatier assignment over at Crop Chocolate was to scrap something Travel or Vacation related. I used the new "Little Boy" line from Echo Park and ended up making two layouts to fit the theme.

For my first layout, I found a shot of Kevin sleeping in the backseat on the way home from the zoo. Has it really been THREE YEARS since this photo was taken??? LOVED the multiple alpha stickers and word phrases in this kit. I added some to my journaling. Love how that turned out. But, the story is the most important part of this layout.
Everything on this layout was included in the paper pack except for the orange/white baker's twine I added and pop dots, of course. I found another photo from 2008 to scrap for the vacation topic - our trip to St. Louis. I loved mixing the patterns from this line.
I cut some "tags" out of the journaling card paper to use as a backdrop for my mixed alpha title. And, I added a cloud sticker from the paper pack (adhered with pop dots).
One of my Martha Stewart border punches was put to good use on this layout, too. For a finishing touch, I cut a star out of one of the patterned papers and adhered it with pop dots to make an extra embellishment. The deals at Crop Chocolate are great. I love that they carry the new Echo Park papers as soon as they come out. Last week, their new "For the Record" paper line arrived on my doorstep. :)