Thursday, March 28, 2013

busy. busy. busy.

What a busy week it has been. I started my new job and it has been a whirlwind! It is so overwhelming. Good. But overwhelming. I haven't had much of a chance to do anything for myself this week. Just now I worked on a layout. But I'm tired an in a bit of a funk so I'm not real happy with it. But the journaling was meaningful. are a few other layouts I don't think I've posted that I made over the past few weeks. Hopefully when I figure out my new routine I'll have time to do even one layout a week.

Christmas Day & Eve: Two page spread

Halloween: This was before I added the journaling.

1st Birthday: This page was difficult. I couldn't make any decisions and I'm still not sure how I feel about it. Still need to add journaling. My goal is to do that while it's fresh in my mind!

Guard Christmas: This photo was also taken before I did the journaling.
Thanks for reading. Hoping to catch up on others blogs this weekend!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

be in the moment

Spring 2012
Don’t look further for answers: be the solution. You were born with everything you need to know. Make a promise to stop getting in the way of the blessing that you are. Take a deep breath, remember to have fun, and begin. -Jonathan H. Ellerby
Taking a deep breath today. Tomorrow is a fresh start for me. As some of you know, I worked in the same art therapy position for 9 years up until being laid off this February. I had been wanting to make a change for so, so long. But so many things stopped me. Namely myself. But being "forced" to make a change may have been a blessing. 

I'm nervous. Excited. Uncertain. Relieved. Happy. I have a million questions running through my mind. I hate the unknown. I wish I could fast forward a few months when I am in the swing of things and don't feel like I'm "new." I am the sort of person that wants to answers right away. And that just doesn't happen when you start something new. 

I'm ready though. 

I'm also ready for Spring. The picture above is from almost this time last year. In a few more weeks it might look like that around here. I can't wait. I'm in a place of wanting to freeze time and speed it up simultaneously. I need to just be in the moment.

Take a breath and be in the moment.

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

my little patient

my little patient...wearing her new hat.
This little lady is still under the weather. I took her to the Doctor today. No ear infection. No red throat. No other symptoms except a very little bit of congestion. Her breathing was fast so they sent her for a chest x-ray. No pneumonia thank goodness. But no answers either. This a.m. her temp was 103'! Once it goes down she's playing and just a little grouchy. They said she still has a fever on saturday to bring her in again. Her regular PCP is on vacation so we had another Dr. who I didn't like as much. Oh well. My husband was able to get coverage for his shift tomorrow because I can't cancel my two classes tomorrow.

Today was also my last day of unemployment. Not a great last week that's for sure with a sick sweetpea. Monday I start my new job. So nervous.

But meantime I finished the funny hat baby girl is wearing in the picture. Literally the fastest knit ever. Finished the hat itself in a few hours. Did the pom poms today...I had never made any so that took a bit of figuring. The pattern was made my the owner of my LYS...which sadly is closing in April. Not cool.

Last night after a worry meltdown I finished up this layout...

I took some of my favorite pictures ever that weekend. They have a tall ship parade on Labor Day weekend. We spent the weekend as tourists in our own town...though unfortunately my husband had to work the entire time. But it was a good memory anyhow. I kept it simple...didn't add to many extras. I love the Uncharted Waters line of paper by Glitz. to continue taking care of the patient!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

up and down

This little cutie is not feeling well. I hate when she's sick. She's had high fevers since yesterday afternoon when my daycare provider called me. But she's still playing and eating when the fever subsides so that is a good sign. No other symptoms which is odd - but I'll take it. We had a nice weekend visiting with my parent's for the holiday. But now that makes me so nervous. My dad had his 4th chemo treatment yesterday. She brightens his spirits and I hate worrying that she is now sick and was with him on the weekend. Sometimes I wish I could escape with my family to Disney world and forget all of it.

Needless to say I haven't had much of a chance to scrapbook these past few days. I have several unfinished layouts from the crop I went to last Wednesday night. I just wasn't feeling it that night and couldn't make any decisions and get in a groove. Depending on how she is doing I may/may not go tomorrow night. Next week I go back to work full-time so I'd like to while I feel I have the energy.

Here's the two layouts I did finish last week...both from Christmas. I have trouble getting into anything Christmas related after the holidays. Come to think of it...that may have been what through me and my motivation off last week!

Christmas Eve...and Day: Two page spread

Guard Christmas
I just need to add the journaling on these layouts. I kept them very simple and less "busy" than I've been leaning toward lately. I mainly wanted to show the pictures with little other distraction. This Christmas was so special I didn't want to have to eliminate photos so I had room for embellishments.

Well...hopefully tomorrow is a better day all around for everyone. I feel blessed but also heavy at the same time. Can anyone relate?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

week & St. Patrick's weekend

Our City Hall through the trees
 It's been a good Spring Break week and weekend. Got to take a long walk with my dad, sister, and sweetpea earlier this week. This weekend I went to the bi-annual giant consignment sale and bought the baby a pile of clothes for her next size up. Such a good deal. Several pieces still had the tags on them. Took some time organizing a pile of hand-me-downs too. I love space bags! They are amazing for tasks/storage like this.

Also went to two yarn stores during our area's yearly "Yarn Crawl." I was responsible and only bought 3 skeins to add to my large stash. I have plans to make this owlet sweater for sweetpea with the pretty rich blue I have here... and some fingerless mitts for my good friend and daycare provider with this....

I was into blue that day it seems.

Also baked up two loafs of my Irish Freckle Bread...I started this tradition about 6 years ago or so. It is a recipe I found online. We used to have my Nana's recipe but it literally disintegrated it was so old and worn. This recipe is delicious. Would be happy to share if you'd like!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

little shrines

I have been reading Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin. It is a follow up book to The Happiness Project which I loved and through reading I really felt I learned from her experience. In the first few chapters of this book she explores her goals for change at home and the first revolves around her possessions at home. She talks about this concept/goal of creating little shrines of beloved objects at home. I find that I have a tendency to do that. I really always have. I was always doing that with my toys, in my playhouse, and later in my dorm rooms in college. I thought I would take a look around my home and see where these little shrines have developed. We have only lived here since mid-October so they are new. Some have carried over from our apartment. Some are new. I hope you enjoy them!

This first shrine has collected on the top of a bookcase in our hallway. It has wedding memories. Our sand frame we used at our ceremony for the sand ceremony - it now holds a wedding photo. A (now empty) flower pot that was one of the centerpieces - we had potted herbs and strawberries lining the center of the tables for our Sunday morning brunch reception. The candlesticks were a gift, the Claddagh was our wedding cake topper, and the candle was lit in memory of our loved ones who had passed and couldn't be there on our special day. I see this shrine of sorts every morning as I come down the hallway and start my day. A good reminder of keeping things in perspective.

The next little shrine is a less focused on one memory, day, or thought. It is a collection of sorts. The oldest books I have. A Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn that were my Dad's when he was a boy. My grandfather (and then Dad's) Bird book. It has little marks next to the birds he saw. My Flower Fairy books - a find as a child when family was cleaning out a great aunt's house after she died. They are still my favorites. A print my dad brought me from San Francisco, an owl to remind me of my grandmother who collected them, a jewelry box from the MOMA that my mom got me. It has lilacs on it. A favorite and reminder of childhood. And another wedding photo - of our hands during the ceremony.

This little shrine is pretty simple. It is a shrine to our dogs! My husband's dog Ginger was truly a mother of sorts for him as a boy. His first friend. Maddy was my family's black lab who was puppy-like her whole life. She might have been a dog but she taught me how to be courageous and lighthearted when you are in pain.

The last little collection was the very first one I put together in our new home. It is in what some may consider an odd place. Our half bath. But we painted it a bright aqua blue which is a color I associate with summer, the beach. My favorites. This little gathering is mainly of pieces that I got in California on one of two trips to the San Diego area to visit cousins. Shells in a glass jar, a photo of the sunset over the Pacific, a cactus plant. It has a few other ocean momentos from my hometown on the East coast as well. A piece of driftwood, a starfish candle I got at church on my first Mother's Day, and a framed photo of a schooner I took this past Labor Day. Looking at this collection makes me happy and gives me good energy.

I loved reading about this idea of shrines and was really surprised by how it resonated with me...even more surprised to realize that I was already doing this in my home without realizing it...all along.

Do you have any little shrines in your home that bring you happiness, peacefulness, or energy?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

finished & unfinished

A few more layouts for baby girl's album from the past week...some are completed and some still need journaling. For each of these layouts I worked my way through a different Cocoa Daisy kit. As I've mentioned before I have had these kits for at least 2 years. I used very few additional elements that weren't in the kits. I'm still loving the elements and am challenging myself to use them up with the plan of re-subscribing once I start my new job!

Here they are:
Zoo: need to add the date and a tiny bit of journaling along the bottom (under the red arrows)

Welcome Home Visitors: plan on adding journaling on the left of the pictures.

Portage Lake: this one is complete. It is of a place my husband went as a child. We took baby girl there last summer with his sister and father. She was still in the stage of not wanting anyone to hold her except us!

First walk to the Bridge: This layout is also complete. It was the first time after she was born that me, my dad, and brother took her for a walk from my parent's house to the little bridge on the creek that holds many family memories and history. It was where my dad grew up and the neighborhood where we did as well. One of my favorite places. I was (and am) so happy to be able to bring my baby there.

That's all I have for today! Haven't done any scrapping since this weekend. Hopefully will do some later this week. Have been feeling a bit sick for the past few days. Tomorrow I'm hoping to enjoy the nice weather with a much overdue walk with my dad, my sister, and the baby. Also need to get a part fixed on my car. Hoping for a somewhat relaxing day.

Thanks for looking!

my other favorite hobby

 My good friend from high school is having a baby boy in April and I'm so excited! I knitted her the placket knit sweater in a really pretty yarn by Sirdar that makes a beautiful fair isle effect.

I knitted the same sweater for baby girl in the 6 - 12 month size and she has been able to wear it since she was little and it still fits her...

I also pulled out an old card I had made out of my stash of cards and bought her a little notebook that says "rest." When Ellie was little I always found having a small notebook around handy for writing down questions for the doctor, feedings, little memories I wanted to remember. I also used a cutout to decorate a plain aqua blue bag and stamped a little giraffe tag...everything was so fun to make and it was neat seeing my original bag among the sea of store-bought bags...many of which I saw at my own shower over a year ago!

Haven't done much scrapping since Friday night I think? So I have a few layouts almost complete to post. Things have been busy though. I'm on spring break from the college so yesterday I sent her to daycare so I could finish touching up the white baseboards. When my dad installed them we never got around to touching them up after we moved in. They look so much better. There are still a few more projects I need to get done but most of them involve my dh or my dad when he feels better.

I also have great news...which I really needed. I got the job! I start in a few weeks. I'm so nervous but excited!

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, March 8, 2013

a snow day in pictures

Lemon cupcakes remind me of spring -mmm. So if I just don't look out the window....

Dune Grass Yankee Candle


My little companion.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

on a roll

Here's some layouts I have completed recently...

My First Mother's Day: I really like how this turned out. It is more my style. Details but not too busy. I feel like I'm already getting into a rut where everything is starting to look the same. I know that can be an issue more often when using 4x6 photos...but I'm determined not to let that get in the way. Used mostly new stuff on this page though I don't remember all the specifics...sorry! I'm terrible at that. When I set up to work I don't think to write down each thing as I use it typically.

Our First Family Photo: Another favorite out of my recently completed layouts. I love the black journaling card that says "This makes me happy." It is a nice balance to have that dark black almost as a shadow under the photo. That is from Glitz's Uncharted Waters line. I got the sheet of cutouts and one sheet of 12x12 at my LSS recently. I really like it. It's a little different from other things I have recently seen.

Here's one more....

Beautiful: This one is a favorite because of the photo and because I kept it simple. I finished it at a crop on Wednesday at my LSS. These pictures were taken by my dad this past Spring in their yard. My parent's have a picture of me when I was little in the same daisies. I was a little older in thier photo...I want to take her picture in them each year.

Tomorrow I teach two classes at the college and then next week is Spring Break...still anxiously waiting for word on the other job opportunity. But as I mentioned yesterday I am really enjoying this time with my daughter and time at home. My house is clean and I love it! I don't feel frantic and rushed. It's great. I hope I can maintain that when I got back to work full-time. Fortunately by the time I do go back there will only be another month of classes left at the college before summer break so I'll be back to part-time for a few months. I really do like my usual schedule. I'm so nervous about starting something new...but I think it will be good and I'm definately ready for new.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

mayville, ny

Here are my pile of layouts I created last week to document a Girl's trip with my Mom & sister we took in 2010...

We took the trip to a small town in upstate NY where my mom lived when she was in kindergarten and my Grandfather worked at Welch's. It was so much fun and let us see my mom in a different way...

The grapevines...I used a pile of journaling cards on this layout.

closeup of the tags..some I have had for years.

Just us Girl's: we stayed at a hotel my mom remembered staying in as a kid...and we had a pile of junk food! We always refer to ourselves as the snack family. We also played mini-golf...and this is one of only a few pictures we have of the three of us.

closeup: some pretty buttons from the old CD kit. I also cut some banners. Trying to layer papers...

A layout of all the random things we did on the trip. Pretty simple with just a few stickers and patterned papers. 
I also took some time last week organizing my old albums and finishing them up with journaling, album covers, titles, etc. Took out extra page protectors and labeled each on its cover somewhere with the year. It felt good to do that. I am also making great progress on the baby's album of her first year. It is by far the thickest album I have! This morning I fought with the posts to add more pages and organize the pages by date. Added in a few pages that I want to complete. It has been so fun to do and has reinvigorated my love of scrapping. Last night I went to a crop at my LSS. There were only a few women there and I mostly kept to myself since they all knew each other - but it was fun to get out and get some layouts started/finished. I'll post the rest of the layouts I've been working on over the past few weeks tomorrow!

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


This is a sneak preview of a literal stack of layouts I worked on last week! I was on a roll. I finished 4 in one afternoon and evening. What helped was sitting with an old CD kit and limiting my supplies.

I'll start by showing one that is very out of my comfort zone and usual style. I challenged myself with details and colors I rarely use because they fit the photos well...

I took these photos a few years ago of some tulips in the center of the town where I used to work. They always amazed me and one day I remembered to bring my camera to work. They are beautiful and remind me of when I lived in DC. In the Spring they have red tulips everywhere. I used a really graphic patterned paper I recently got with the houndstooth pattern. I toned it down with a layer of white and dark grey cardstock. All the other elements are from an old CD kit...I mean probably 2 years old since I haven't subscribed in about that long! I chose not to do any journaling and let the pictures speak for themselves. Used a few interesting rubons to create the white grid patterns and the line of black dots. And two old red page turns. It is definately different than my usuals!

Tomorrow I'll post the rest...they all involve photos from a girl's trip I took with my mom and sister a few years ago to upstate NY.

I just have to say I love being home with my sweetpea! I'm nervous because I still haven't heard back from the potential job. They were sending an "offer" letter for approval from thier HR office at the end of last week. Hopefully I'll hear something in a day or two. I'm so nervous about starting something new after 9 years. But also kind of excited. It will be hard getting back to a routine where I'm not with my baby girl though. I really love this time with her.

Anyhow...thanks for listening and thanks for looking!

Monday, March 4, 2013

mom and dad & baby me

I love these photos. These are copies that were slightly enlarged of a photo of each of my parents holding me when I was a baby. They make me happy. But they were hard to scrap. I found myself cutting several patterned papers, playing around with them, and being indecisive. They just didn't seem right with the photos. I wanted something cleaner. Very little extras. I'm happy with the end result. The journaling was cathartic for me and brought up a lot of feelings I didn't expect. I feel truly lucky when I see these pictures and think of my childhood and I'm very aware of this not being everyone's experience. I'm so grateful.

I got some great suggestions on my last post re: my clear stamp organization. I looked up the MS binders and page protectors...they look like they could really work well. I am going to go through my stamps and see how many I have and go from there. My biggest concern is that they are slim but they seem like they would bulk up a binder pretty quickly. Has that happened for those of you that store stamps that way?

Thanks for looking!

Friday, March 1, 2013

scrap space

My little corner...
I love looking at other scrappers spaces. I am often jealous of those who have whole rooms to devote to their hobby and love to see their setups. But we have never had the space. I have always had a small corner of my bedroom or living room. This summer we bought a condo and my space is just coming together since I have renewed my interest in scrapping. I have had the same desk for about 10 years. It was one of those put-together cube sets from Target and I have always loved it. It has a small surface for working but it has always worked in our small apartments. Right now it is in the corner of our bedroom and seems to fit well there. My husbands computer "station" (as we lovingly refer to it) is next to my desk. It is kind of nice to each be in our spots at night working on our individual hobbies (he is a gamer), but still kind of spending time together.

I have had to baby proof my setup recently so I don't have things set up exactly as I'd like just yet. I would also like to get some shelving above the desk so I can display more of my stash and projects. I find that if I see the pieces regularly I'm more apt to remember to use them. "Out of sight, out of mind" rings true for me. I recently reorganized how I store my alphas and embellishments. I used to store them in 3-ring binders in clear page protectors. That worked for me for years...but I find that now I just want to be able to grab one box and find alphas, one box to grab stickers/labels/2-D embellishments, and another box for journaling cards. I am liking the new system but will tweak it a bit. I am going to get another small box to store word/phrase stickers separately since I use those quite a bit and would like easy access to them. I would also love to (ultimately) find a better way to store my clear stamps since they are in a pile in a drawer...the "out of sight, out of mind" thing happens. I try to go through them periodically and put less(er) used sets on top as a reminder to use them!

I don't tend to have a lot of products so my little space works for me...


Here is my corner....

This was a piece I reclaimed from my dad. It had been a part of a desk he put together for my mom when I was little. I use it to store my stamps and inks and love it. It is also difficult for the baby to open so I don't have to childproof it (yet)!

Ellie is helping to show you how it is organized. Here is one of 2 drawers of wood stamps.

This is the bottom drawer of clear stamps. I really want to figure out a better system for these...any suggestions?

Second drawer of wooden stamps. These drawers are shallow but deep...absolutely perfect for stamps.

The top drawer has all my inks and embossing powders. I tend to rely on basic blacks, browns, and some occasional blues or reds. So I don't have too many ink pads otherwise this drawer would overflow. Most of my stash is this way...streamlined due to space, budget, and the reality of how few supplies I actually return to time and again.

These 2 cubes sit on top of my stamp drawers...

Drawer of punches...I don't use them too often. More for cardmaking.

Speaking of blank card/envelope stash.

The top drawer has misc...ATC's, origami paper, 4X6 cardstock, index cards...

My paper. I recently went through it and weeded out stuff I'd had for years and never used and didn't really like anymore. I love paper but compared to some I don't really have a lot I've realized! From left to right: my patterned paper (I tend to keep newer pieces to the front), cardstock, 8x8 or similar cardstock, 6x6 pads and misc. I don't really have a system for organizing patterned paper. I used to keep it by color but it just frustrated me. I also don't tend to go for a particular manufacturer. I just go through the stack and pull out what will work or what "speaks" to me at the time.
These 12x12 boxes from AC Moore are great. I use one for scraps and the other two I keep my old Cocoa Daisy kits inside. It makes it easy to grab one. And on top I keep my pouch of often used tools and paper cutter...far from baby hands!
Scrap box. No order to it. This is my favorite system! Easy and it works well. I often find inspiration for cards when I rifle through this box.

Top Left of my desk. This corner bugs me. Especially the modem and internet box. Unfortunately it is right next to the tv and the cords don't reach my husband's desk across the on my desk it landed. Have to fix that...

Inside the desk...behind baby-proofed doors! Small embellishments in that white box, rhinestones in the clear box, all my glues, adhesives on the bottom shelf. Though I keep my most used taperunner in my travel pouch on the desk.

Bottom shelf of desk. Lesser used stuff....random.
On the right, under the desk..I keep current albums I'm working on in the top shelf and the bottom shelf holds the two new bins I use for 2D embellishments and alphas, along with 2 smaller containers for journaling tags. These shelves are really deep so in the back, out of sight, I keep random mini albums and other misc. things.

My alpha box. I just got 2 12x12 boxes at the container store...this is working so far. Though from here on out I will keep alphas in thier original packaging. I used to take them out so some are all over the place.

Box of journaling might be a little too small I'm finding since I love these and do buy them a lot. But so far, so good.

Inspiration board above my desk. I have been tacking up things I want to remember to use...I also use it to put up coupons and reminders that have nothing to do with scrapping!

Right top of my desk. I have a bill organizer since I do use my desk for multipurposes. My paintbrushes too. I have to keep my acrylics, canvases, etc in the utility closet next to our bedroom because there just isn't space. I also don't like things all out in the open...too cluttered. 

And finally, my chair. It isn't the most comfortable. But I love it. It is an antique chair my parent's had. I just love it's history and its shape. It is one of my favorite things..sounds funny I know. But for some reason I'm attached!

Thanks for looking! Let me know if you have any suggestions for organizing clear stamps...I need a new, small system....

Have a good day!


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