Monday, April 29, 2013

Tips for a Scrapbook Retreat

Hi All!  I just returned from my weekend long scrapbook retreat.  It was a lot of fun, and I got a lot done.  I got 30 pages done, in fact.  This was despite that Thursday afternoon and evening was spent with vomiting children and a sick to stomach self.  I spent all day Friday with a stomach bug with an upset stomach.  It came and went in waves with stomach cramps and nausea.  Not fun.  Anyhow here are some tips for you to get the most out of your time a scrapbook crop....stomach viruses and all.

Rule #1:  Plan Ahead

You have to plan ahead.  You have to know the general direction you will be going with your scrapbook.  If you don't you will end up frustrated and being a time waster.  I am a super anal planner.  I plan how each layout will go into a scrapbook, and if it will it be a single page or a double page.  To do this, first I see where I left off in each scrapbook I will be working on.   Then, I start planning events.  From the events, I choose however many photos I will need.  From the amount of photos, I decide on a layout for each page.  A lot of times, I will even choose paper choices ahead of time so I don't waste time on that when I get there.  (Not this time...I took my did take time to find the right paper.)  For this trip, I planned each page and then I wanted to go back and cut out titles from my Silhouette.  This didn't happen, because of sick kids.  So I improvised with stickers or I will cut them out at home.

Rule #2:  Allows OVER PLAN

Always, always over plan.  Even if you know there is no way you will finish every page you have brought.  The reason for this is that you will have plenty to do.  When I go on this weekend crop, it is three hours from my home.  It is in the middle of no where with very spotty internet connection.  There is no way to print more photos if I need them.  The other benefit of over planning is that if you have not finished at your crop you will have pictures at home to scrap when you get a chance.

Rule #3:  Bring the right supplies

Yes, you know you need adhesive (bring plenty), paper, pictures, stickers, etc.  Do not forget the other items such as rulers, pencils, pencil sharpeners, markers, pens, scissors.  Also, don't forget ziploc bags... You can put scraps in them or small punched pieces or letters.  Another important item is a Xyron.  They come in so handy when you need to glue letters down.  Even if you don't have a Cricut, or Silhouette, chances are someone else will, and they will let you use it.  A Xyron is the easiest way to adhere those small letters to your layout.

Rule #4:  Have Fun and Don't Pressure Yourself

Scrapbooking is a hobby.  It is supposed to be fun.  Enjoy yourself.  Relax.  Take part in any of the activities that might be available to you.  Bring a book to read, just in case you get tired of scrapping nonstop.  Trust me, you will.  Look around at other people's pages and chit chat.  Have a lot of fun and enjoy your time away.

Hope this was helpful.  I will be posting quite a bit this week, I hope.  I am in the process of photographing my layouts so I can post them.  I will also be putting up some of my own cut files for the Silhouette for you to download.  I'm really happy to be scrapbooking again.  It makes me happy to do it.  And it makes me happy to share with you all.  Have a good evening!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Thoughts on being years behind in scrapbooking...

So as most of you know, I've not done a lot of scrapbooking in a few years.  I've been planning my pages for the retreat I'm going to this weekend.  Here are just a few thoughts that have been running through my mind.

*Holy Hell!  I am really far behind.
*My kids were so tiny.
*Forget everything I said about telling the story...lets just slap some pictures on a page and call it done.
*I'm never doing this again.
*Oh my God...I have planned all of these pages and I still am not near close to being caught up.
*I'm going to need so much adhesive.

But all in all, I am really glad I'm going to this retreat.  I've been forced to try and catch up and plan actual pages.  I know it will be worth it in the end...I think.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Planning for a Scrapbooking Retreat

I have gotten so far behind in my scrapbooking the last couple of years.  Once Erik started with the police department, and I started taking photos on the side, there just wasn't much time to get it done.  Let's also state the fact that I just couldn't bring myself to do it for whatever reason.  I lost my scrapbooking mojo.  Anyhow, moving on.  This will be my first retreat in two years.  As with any retreat, I want to get a ton of stuff done.  That means I need to plan really well to make the most of my weekend.  If you go to a retreat that lasts only a day, I'm sure that means the same for you.  You want to get a lot of stuff done too.  So, I am going to share my tips for preparing.

*First you can read these posts on how I plan my pages.  Here is Part 1 and Part 2.  They talk about how I organize my pictures on my computer and my planning notebook.  Now, I'm going to say this.  I am a chronological scrapbooker for the most part.  I have one album for each boy that is chronological, and I have one for the family that is not.  The family album is pictures that I love that I want to tell the story about.

*My perspective has changed...I planned a lot of these pages over a year ago.  I think in that time, I have become more of a "story teller" in my scrapbooking.  I have made the transition from here are all my photos, to here is a moment in time that I really want to tell about.  I want the kids to have the story behind the pictures.  That does not mean that I will not put a lot of photos on a layout.  I am going to go back through my notebook and probably erase/tear out a ton of pages and remake my plans.

*I'm only taking my scrapbooking kits.  Every year, or every one day retreat, I would pack up a ton of my supplies and take them with me.  It was a pain to go through everything, pack it up, and then unpack it when I got home.  Now, I'm going to only take my kits.  They have papers, embellishments, etc.  I will take my inks and some of my stamps.  I think it will be a lot easier to put everything away when I get home, and use up a lot of supplies too.

*Lets say you don't have scrapbooking kits.  Then, make your own.  Get some of the large Crop Bags
and put your papers, stickers, and embellishments that coordinate in them.  You could organize them by theme, or season as well.

I'll be back later this week to show you exactly what I did to organize my pages for the upcoming retreat.  I have to get it done first...I hope you found this helpful.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

You Still Make Me Feel (12x12) Layout

Most supplies from Studio Calico Monthly Kits.  I used my Silhouette for the font and butterflies.  The type font is LD Carefree.  The other is a font from my computer.  I can't remember which.

I promise that I am going to share my craft room make over, and how I am going to plan for my scrapbook retreat next week.  I also want to see what is left of my supplies for a giveaway.  I was waiting on a friend to come by and pick out some stuff but she hasn't come by yet.  

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sometimes Little Things Can Be Big Things

See that?  It's just a little tiny toy tractor but in the right perspective, it might look a whole lot bigger than it actually is.  Wow, what a week it's been.  I blew a gasket today.  You see the little things, they always add up.  You try to blow them off, you do.  It's not a big deal.  It's not until you can take no more and it sends you over the edge.  As much as I've complained about my job this year, I still take it VERY seriously.  Educating young children, or any children in general, is a very serious job.  I have had an outside influence in my class and I really lost it today when things did not go according to my expectations.  It was a thing that has been building, and building, until today I could take no more.

I guess it goes the same way for life in general.  Things add up.  They build up to a point where it just takes one tiny little thing to push things over the edge.  And really, I wonder what the lesson is.  What should I learn from this?  What should anyone learn from the slow build up of things that can go wrong?  I don't have the answer.  Is it something that we allow, because we don't wish to face it head on?  Or is it something that just comes to pass?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Take Flight 12x12 Layout

Supplies from a Studio Calico Kit(Not sure which)...font is from Silhouette Studios

Did a couple of layouts this last weekend.  This is one of them.  It was nice to finally be creative.  

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Scrapbooking Kits.. Are They Worth It?

Memory Works Express February 2013 Kit

Studio Calico April 2013 Kit

This week, I thought I would talk a bit about scrapbooking kits, and how I use them.  I'm a big fan of Monthly Kits.  Up until last year, I subscribed to both the Memory Works kit and the Studio Calico kit.  Last year, when JoJo fell out of the shopping cart and we had tons of hospital bills, I had to eliminate one of the monthly subscriptions.  I decided to keep my Studio Calico Kit.  I love the Memory Works kits.  I think they are great, I just like how the Studio Calico kits are more general.  By that I mean there isn't a Christmas Kit or Valentines Day kit.  If you like to have holiday kits when the holidays come up, then Memory Works is the way to go.  

  • Monthly Kits help you add variety to your Scrapbooking Stash:  I like that kits come with things I might not purchase at a local store or online.  It's something that is chosen for you.  This way, you don't get stuck in a rut.  You have new, fresh supplies coming each month.  The vendor you choose your kit from usually has ideas on how to use it.  They also have designers that design really nice pages you could scraplift if you choose to.    
  • Monthly kits coordinate:  There is no guesswork.  Every supply in your kit will match...stickers, embellishments, and papers.  There is no digging through stacks of paper trying to match your papers and embellishments together.
  • Monthly kits help me be more organized:  I am a piler.  That means I throw things into piles and that is how I organize them.  Having a kit with everything altogether in a little package is a piler's dream.  All of the supplies are "piled" together.  I don't have to put stickers in a place, brads in another, chipboard in another...etc.  It's all together in a nice little pile/package.
  • Monthly kits save money:  What's that you say?  Yes, I said they save money.  People look at the cost of a monthly kit and think, "I can't afford that each month."  The truth is if you do a lot of scrapbooking you have probably spent way more in a year at your local craft store then you would have on a monthly subscription.  Back in the day...I bought tons of scrapbook supplies.  I would go a few months without buying anything and then Hobby Lobby would have a 50% off of stickers sale or papers, or whatever...and I would go crazy.  I would spend tons of money on things, I never even used.  With a monthly kit, I have the $35 set aside in my budget each month.  I don't buy any supplies outside of that unless it's adhesive or page protecters.  I also don't have tons of things lying around that I will never use...oh wait, it's because I purged them.  I really purged hundreds of dollars worth of supplies that I wouldn't use when I cleaned out my office.  None of those items were scrapbooking kits.  Also, don't forget, that companies offer discounts for subscribers on their kits.
  • You don't have to leave your house to get them:  The kits show up without fail each and every month.  I don't have to drag my children to Hobby Lobby, which surprisingly they love, but act like animals at.  No yelling:  stop running, be quiet, while you are trying to decide on a paperstack or sticker package.  They arrive conveniently at your home.  Also, it's like getting a little present each month.  You're not exactly sure whats in it (Sneak Peeks don't show everything) and you get to open it up.  My kids even get excited about this and want to see what's inside the box.  (I am aware they will some day hate me for sharing this.)
That's all I have today on kits.  They are the best value, I feel anyhow, for getting supplies for your scrapbooking needs.  

Thursday, April 4, 2013

So Grateful for this I appreciate my comb.

Once again, this photo has nothing to do with this post.  It's just me and my bestie in the whole world.

So, today, I was looking for a picture of an okra flower.  In order to find that photo, I had to surf through this blog.  As I was surfing, I had to go through posts.  As I went through posts, I found that I really appreciate this blog.  I love the pictures that are on here.  I love the thoughts I've written down.  I am glad that I have a place to "journal."  And for some reason that it's public holds me accountable.  So, all in all, I appreciate my readers, I do.  Thanks for "listening"  I appreciate this place that is all my own.  That's hard to come by around here.  And as far as appreciating my comb...well that was a quote from Junie B. Jones and the Yucky Blucky Fruit Cake.  Sometimes you just gotta roll with it.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

So going to hear flack for this...

So, today I was catching up on my blog reading.  I ran across a post about Mom's on iPhones that apparently went viral.  The basic gist of the post is that a mother was too busy messing with her iPhone to pay attention to her little girl dancing and her son being disappointed when saying "watch me" to which she barely responded.  The whole point was to take time to pay attention to your kids because moments are fleeting.  I get that.  I do.  I also thought that post was absolutely, way judgmental. How does one know that this was the only time the mother had a minute to herself?  You don't.  You can pass judgement so easily as an outside observer.

I really resented the post.  Why?  I love my children.  I do.  I think they are the best, brightest, most entertaining children.  Just like many of you who have children.  I resent the fact that an outside observer might see me on my phone at a park and judge me for "missing out."  You see, I am responsible for my children 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  My husband works a complete opposite schedule from our lives.  Yes, I work.  I'm a teacher.  However, my children accompany me to school.   They are at my workplace.  I have to deal with the "Wolfie doesn't say hi to me" from the counselor."  Jojo making me late because he won't get out of the damn car!  Maddie and his "inappropriateness" which I take no responsibility for...I don't know where he gets it from.  I hear about them ALL the time, good and bad.  I see them walking the halls.  I get emails from teachers.  Each and every day they are in my room after school misplacing my post it notes and dry erase markers.  When I get home, there is fighting, yelling, and "Mom, I'm hungry..can I have.....(insert food)"

On the weekends, I am on my own.  Erik works.  That leaves me in charge once again of everything.  I make breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.  I get up early if kids are loud, sick, or want mom.  I read, write, and pay attention every day of their lives.  I help them with homework.  I see them at school.  I am absolutely involved and supportive of their education.

I am there when they say, "Watch me."  Oh, how I hear it, ALL THE TIME.  So I guess my general message is please don't feel guilty for using your phone, checking email, or visiting Facebook.  All that matters is:  Are you present in your children's lives?  Do they know you love them more than anything in the world?  Do you help them with homework?  Are you supportive of their goals?  Are you instilling your most important beliefs to them?  If you are, then you're not doing too bad...iPhone use and all.

...Stay at home mom's note....please if you are a stay at home mom know that you are absolutely AWESOME.  People wish to look down on you for no apparent reason.  I feel you have the hardest job in the world, one that I could not do.  If you spend most of your time with your children, then I will trust you can monitor yourself on your iPhone.

That is all (insert salute).

Project Life July-December

It's done...finally.  I finished the album up...I'm only 1/4 of the way into the following year :)







And just incase, here is January through July

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Spring Break Book Recommendations

Spring Break is over for me...insert sad sigh...but I thought I would share a few books incase yours isn't. Please understand, that I read ALOT, so if I recommend it, it means its worth reading.

This is book 1 in the series...It was very good.  A love story with a main character who suffers from BiPolar and Personality Disorder.  Very good...

Book 2...I liked it even better than the first.  It was great 4.5 stars and finishes up the story of Clay and Maggie.

First book in the Dark Light Series...It starts very slow.  It does.  About half/three quarters of the way it picks up.  It is still a good read.  You have to read this book, however, because #2 in the Series is AMAZING!!!

That is Book 2...It is a 5 star read!  Five stars.  I stayed up until 2 am reading this book.  In fact, Erik woke up at some point and I was all, "Shhh...I'm going to bed in a minute."  That was around 1ish in the morning.  I loved this book.  It is everything I love about romance..angsty.  I got the chills, I got butterflies.  I cried.  So good.  You have to make it through the first book to read this.  It is so worth it.  Oh, but it's a cliffhanger ending :(  I will be waiting for Book 3.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Office Before Photos

Erik and I have finished painting my office.  It took us two days and a lot of yelling and screaming at the kids super patience with the children.  I wanted to share the before photos with all their splendor.  They are bad, I admit it.  I do love my new office, though it's not finished yet.  I will post them soon, as I will have to redeem myself after you see these photos.

*****Also, I still have a ton of papers, etc.  I will see what I can get rid of locally and then maybe make small packages I can send out in the mail to anyone who is interested*****

Wall 1-Paint Samples we were trying out are on the wall.

Wall 2

 Wall 3

 Wall 4
 Pile of trash I removed 

 The kids being "helpful"


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