Friday, November 22, 2013

A Hobby within a Hobby

It has been a long time since I have updated this blog.  Does the absence make my blogging heart grow fonder? LOL. This entry was done by me for Creating Keepsakes' blog last month, and it's time to post it here as well.

I generate enormous amounts of scraps when I scrapbook. Patterned paper is one of my enduring loves when it comes to scrapbooking supplies so even if a piece of paper is partially used, I still find it difficult to let go of the leftovers. My paper scrap stash is impressive and I am here to show you one of the ways that I reduce my stash: making ready-made paper piecings. I call this my hobby within the scrapbooking hobby or as my second child calls it “making animals.”

When I wrap up a layout, the papers on my table are at its most coordinated state. I often turn to my beloved Cricut or Cameo to make cuts and prepare the scraps for the next step. As you can see here, I have a stash of already made paper piecings that can be easily incorporated into a card by adding a sentiment and some additional papers. This is also an activity that my second child loves doing with me so there’s plenty of quality bonding time for us. Indeed, she also has a little box of her own where she keeps her “animals” with their given names on the back. I would say mine are better assembled than hers, but who’s judging?

Here are a few cards I’ve made with my paper scraps. I also used SRM Stickers and CTMH, My Favorite Things, and Cosmo Cricket sentiment stamps on them.

This is a good way to use up some scraps but of course it creates smaller scraps. Now if you have ideas on how to further deal with the smaller scraps, please let me know. I do put them into the recycle bin, but I’ve been known to fish some out because I am a weak-minded person when it comes to letting pretty papers go, however small the pieces might be!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

It's That Time of the Year

It's literally been three weeks since I stepped into my scrapbook room.  I know I cannot fundamentally change who I am but my gosh the state of messiness gets on my own nerves.  If only I can be more decisive when I purge!  I almost hired someone to help me with this last year when I was asked to contribute to Creative Spaces.  Believe me, my room would have needed a complete make-over!  Anywhoo, the mess contributed to my lack of productivity, but snapping me out of it is the annual United Way fundraising drive at work.  I spent part of the weekend busy making cards.  

My favorite tool when it comes to making cards is my Cricut.  The designer accents always add such lovely touches to any handmade card.  Here are a few that I made or finished up this weekend to be added to the auction at work.  

Sentiment stamp by Close to My Heart. 

These two cards were started when I was visiting the Stampin' Up headquarters back in April. They've been sitting on my table so it's so nice to finally finish them and put them to good use. I think the weather is going to turn on us soon and the Vikings have made this fall quite unpleasant.  I am still working out every day and as a result, I have found a new hobby: shopping at Athleta.  I will work on a layout documenting this current obsession.  LOL.  

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Happenings...

Several weeks have gone by, what have I been doing since my return from vacation?  Before the euphoria wore off, this was announced by Creating Keepsakes.  I am coming to terms with it still, processing, figuring out a few things.  My initial feelings were that of doom and gloom, but thankfully, things are coming back into focus.

My thoughts go to the editors who lost their jobs.  I feel a tremendous sense of loss and disappointment for them.  Had I not had the chance to meet them and spent time with them in April this year, the whole event would have been more abstract.  As it is, it feels like friends lost their jobs and that's just sadness all around.

I think the most important take-away for those of us who read, subscribe, and contribute to this magazine is that CK Media will continue to publish twelve print special issues each year.  Each one of these print issues will be 132 pages, something we can hold in our hands!
As for me, I need to start scrapbooking again. Timing with my vacation and this announcement did put me in a mood of deflation, but I will snap out of it.  This weekend is the annual Scrapfest at the Mall of America. I am neither working nor attending the event, but a dear friend has traveled all the way from New Jersey to Scrapfest.  I saw it as my duty and took her to the October Afternoon warehouse sale happening concurrently with Scrapfest.  The pile of goodies I bought should put me into the scrapbooking mood again soon!

We are headed out to Pine Tree Orchard for lunch and festivities today.  It's appropriate that I post a layout of our last year's outing on this very day.  This is published in the Sept/Oct 2013 issue of the Creating Keepsakes. It was a sketch project where I was required to follow the sketches exactly. With an abundance of photos, this came together super quickly!  I had just received a box of Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L and used their awesome self adhesive photo corners for a few additional details.

Two days ago, when we were looking through my vacation photos of Stanley Park and of the Lumberman's Arch, DH wondered if the tree growing on top was there when we visited 12 years earlier. I took out my album titled Summer 2001 and as I looked through it, I longed to create scrapbooks like that again.  DH said that none of it is publication worthy, but I had captured the entire summer in an album full of memories...  the way PL does today.  Again, if you write it down, it's that much more likely to happen.  So here it is: my goal is to finish a couple of scrapbooks for the Alaskan cruise in the PL fashion. A goal must have a deadline, so by the end of this year, album one must be done.

Writing this post has been therapeutic.  I feel a sense of excitement about my new goal. The weekend is full of promises and fun happenings ahead.  Who knows, I might even dig into my newly acquired Travel Girl!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Summer Vacation Quick Review

One can always count on time flying by on vacation!  We had a wonderful time and created some beautiful memories on our trip.  It is good to be home on this Labor Day weekend when we can catch up on sleeping, working out and sorting through 4,000 some pictures.  I am going to post just a few here. 

Our Alaskan cruise started in Vancouver where we visited the Capilano Suspension Bridge park.  We spent the majority of the day there walking and taking in the sights.

Here the kids are getting onto the Cliff Walk in the park.  That was some engineering feat and very enjoyable to walk through. If you are a fan of nature and its preservation, I highly recommend this very family friendly park in North Vancouver. 

Canada Place was next.  We came here for the view, to scout out where the cruise terminals are and to find out where we would go the next day. 

Stanley Park is celebrating its 125th year this year.  I would have loved to walk the 5+ miles around the park but these two critters' legs couldn't keep up!  In fact our hotel provides a map to run around the park starting and ending at the hotel, about 8 miles.  I really wanted to do it but that did not happen.  I ended up on the treadmill in the hotel, oh well, lol. 

Ship embarkation went very smoothly.  We were in line for a total of one hour from dropping off the luggage till we are aboard the ship.  We headed to the Windjammer for lunch immediately.  Let the eating begin!  We did a lot of eating but I am happy to report that there was no weight gain in the family.  First Born reported a loss.  We were very active walking and doing various activities.  I also hit the gym five days on board out of seven.

The kids and I posed in the Solarium pool for a bit of fun after lunch.  This would be my most favorite place on the cruise ship.  It was open to family (aka, kids) twice a day.  I would take a nap or play games while the kids had their fun.  This was the only time I got into the pool.  

As for the second most favorite place on the ship: Shipshape Center's shower/sauna/steam room.  It's beyond spacious compared to a cruise stateroom's shower. I thoroughly enjoyed that space after my run on the treadmill. 

We wasted no time in getting onto the rock!  What breathtaking scenery surrounded us! Only one person can go at a time so the waiting was long at times. It's fun to look around atop of the rock to see one so high above the ocean!

Now onto our cruise ports... Our first stop was in Ketchikan. It was a rainy/misty day but temperature in Alaska in general was very pleasant for us.  We are from Minnesota after all, 50s or 60s with proper clothing is very enjoyable. 

We stopped on our flight tour to take some pictures of the Misty Fjords. 

Then we headed into town to do the historical route and saw lots of salmons in the streams.  Can you see the one jumping in this photo?

Next day... Guess where we are at in this photo? :)

Alaskan amber brew + half a Dungeness crab = happiness.

We are gathered here in the Capital City!

Several pods of humpback whales greeted us with their majestic breaths and tails!  And these orcas were such treat to see in the wild!  We learned that they don't eat fish but mammals! 

Mendenhall Glacier is in the background.  Next time, we have to go on a trekking tour on the glacier!

Our last port was...

We drove through parts of British Columbia and ended up in the Yukon Territory where everything is larger than life!

On the last day of our Alaskan cruise, we cruised to the Hubbard Glacier.  The little yellow boat was the cruise personnel getting a piece of 600 years old ice for an ice carving on board.  What a view it was!
And then our vacation ended and we are back at home.  Here's to the final frontier Alaska and the fantastic cruise we enjoyed on board of Radiance of the Seas.  Now it's time for me to plan our next vacation!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Daddy the Baker Recipe Album

I've showcased a few posts here on the blog regarding my daddy dearest's baking.  When I received the assignment to create a mini-album using a recipe box, I naturally turned to him and his many baked goods.  It just seemed like such a natural choice of mini-album selection with the subject matter.  This album is now published in the All About Albums Special Issue by Creating Keepsakes.

I am super happy with how this album turned out.  It was pure coincidence that Cosmo Cricket had just released their TV Dinner collection and I was able to use it for this project.  Many thanks to Cosmo Cricket!
I had also just received Close to My Heart's Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge with some matching stamps.  I used it to create the labels you see on the front of the box and the top of the lid.

I had a lot of fun using some of the older Cosmo Cricket's chipboard elements with the newly released chipboard alphas from TV Dinner.  I like to hoard beautiful products but nothing beats using these products on projects that I love! 
Open up the box, you can flip through the pages just like recipes. Take one out to read it but I must hold back the drooling, lol. 
Here are the four pages that are in the album right now.  

The ultimate awesomeness of this album and approach is that I can continue to add to the album effortlessly.  Daddy continues to bake and I continue to photograph his gorgeous baked goods.  There are times that the impulse of diving into eating overcomes the drive to photograph and document!

Today we are off on our big trip of this summer!  I am headed to the YMCA for one last pre-cruise workout!  I will miss my classes but I intend to run an hour a day on the ship. Given the fact that I have no self control, there will be over-eating while aboard the ship.  All right, off I go with my travel journal!  49th state, here we come!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Wrote It Down and Now It's Happened

In my last blog post, I mentioned the goal setting theory that if you write it down and make it public, it is more likely to happen.  It has in fact happened!  Here is my travel journal in preparation for my upcoming family vacation!

The cover uses Uncharted Waters from Glitz Design. Obviously the nautical theme is too perfect for this travel journal. The die-cut cruise ship and the word "cruise" are both from the Pack Your Bags cartridge.

I chose Fancy Pants' Artist Edition Spiral Brag Book for this album for the following reasons:
  • This book has 12 sections.  It is perfect for 12 months of the year, or in my case, a 10 day vacation plus a couple of extra sections.
  • Each section has 5 sheets + 1 pocket page + 1 acetate page that can fit four 4x6 photos.  I can add to the pages by adding an accordion or more pockets onto the page.  I can subtract pages by removing them from the spiral bound.
  • The sheets of this book are lined on one side (perfect for journaling) and blank on the other side (perfect for more creative layouts or just photos).
Without actual photos and trip materials, it was quite the daunting task.  However, it is really important to get a few pages started to provide some structure.  I know if I just bring a blank journal on my trip, it'd be still blank at the end of the trip.  Since I know where we will be each day, I have the "title" pages for each day stubbed out. On the trip, I plan to write my journaling and leave plenty of spaces for photos.  I will bring some throw away photos of various sizes and put them onto the page and journal around them to save spaces for photos.

My other grand idea is to make a travel journal for both of the kids, but let's get real!  I think I will share mine by giving them a "Kid's Corner" in every section of this journal. The can write a few lines and draw some pictures of what is memorable to them.  I will bring some Mama supplies that are typically vertoben to them to add to the appeal, lol. 

I am very looking forward to this upcoming vacation.  If at the end of it, I would have an almost-complete album that needs just a few photos and some embellies, all the better it will be!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Licorice Mustache

This morning was the second annual family blueberry picking event. To entice everyone to head out the door as early as possible to make it to the farm by 8, donuts were served in the car for breakfast.  Second Child is definitely a lazy bone who typically rise around 8 a.m..  Initially she was grumpy and uncooperative, but the donut cheered her up quickly.  We filled two gallon sized pails in an hour and half.  Had we been ambitious enough, we could have made it to the YMCA for BodyPump!  LOL.

A couple of weeks ago, I received a box of Fancy Pants products and as usual, I love and adore everything that company makes!  So here's a layout using its Wonderful Day collection.  Back in April, Megan gave us a welcome sack full of goodies that included a licorice mustache.  Knowing the market is full of mustache related products, I had Second Child model it for me. In the end, I am not even using mustache products for these photos, but it is a fun one and I enjoy it immensely.
I paired the collection with some Fancy Pants die-cut letters.  Even though I have both the Cricut and the Cameo, sometimes, it is nice to have out-of-the-box ready to use products on hand!  

Lastly, Fancy Pants have put out some lovely self-adhesive cork embellishments that I used on this layout.  Cork seems to be everywhere and I imagine we will all be incorporating its usage into our projects.  Another company that has amazing cork products is Little Yellow Bicycle!  The stuff is so much fun!

Lunch is calling and then we are headed to the Mall of America this afternoon.  I am finally going to make it to the store to return my Athleta purchase and check out the new lines available.

My other big plan is to make a travel journal for our upcoming trip. They say it is more likely to happen if one writes it down. Since I think I'm all about the idea and not about the execution, I am putting it down hoping to improve the odds of me actually getting to the journal.