Sunday, January 31, 2010


We just got back from five days in Tahoe with my now I'm in the midst of mega laundry! It was well worth it though :)

I was smart this trip & brough three scrapbook kits for me to do in the evenings. I still need to finish up the journaling on one (on the computer), but otherwise I finished three layouts. Yay! Okay, not one of them was "my" design, but hey, I got them done :)

Before I get back to the laundry pile, here are a few pics from our trip:

I took all of my photos in RAW this time, so I have to edit them before I can print or share them. But the colors came out great this time! I usually shoot & JPEG + RAW, a great feature on my camera. However, that takes up a LOT more room on my memory card. It makes it take a bit longer to share anything, but well worth it when you take way too many pictures :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Three years later...

These photos were taken in Sept 2006...when Brandon was a year & a half (same age as Abbie right!). He would go around with the goggles--well, he still wears those--and the hammer, and say, "hammer hammer."

(Hmmm....that should've been the title of my layout, but too late now!)

I used more goodies from my September kit. The rub-ons are from Prima & super cool (the grunge edge & stars). However...they were horrible to use! The rub-on was stuck to the "liner" sheet a ton, so I had to toss a bunch. Which was super annoying since I had already put some of the edging down. I was able to make it work, but...I was not happy. I don't know if they got overheated or what, since it wasn't all of the rub-ons that were affected.

What I do love in that kit: the Sassafras letter stickers. They are the multi-colored ones ("our own little"). There is a ton of each letter, and a few colors too. I really like that "mis-matched but matched" look that I have a hard time doing on my own!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hybrid Scrapping

At one time, I printed only 4x6 photos & did my best to cut them down to fit. The problem? I took too many pictures & would have multiple layouts of a single thing just to fit all the pictures in.

Then, at some point after I switched from film to digital, I realized I could crop my photos in Photoshop Elements prior to printing. Now I could get any size photo I wanted & fit 13 photos (or more!) in a single layout.

Recently, I've started doing a bit more digital. I wouldn't call myself a digital scrapper by any means. But I do incorporate a lot of digital techniques. I am a hybrid scrapper.

Like on this new layout:

I've used lots of paper goodies from my July kit. But my photo section is a collage all done in photoshop & printed up that way. I even have "photo" under my title block. I just put the paper & stickers on top.

How simple was that? Seriously, no cropping. I just plunked the whole photo collage onto the paper, and basically was done.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


So my last layout "fit" with the weather. This layout does not :)

I finally finished the July layout for Abbie's first year album. I think I only have a couple more months to go! As long as I finish it by the time she's two, right?

As usual, I worked from a Becky Higgins sketch. This time, after I got my photos resized, I added a little text in photoshop. It saves me from having to write a lot. Which was a very good thing this time, since it took me a couple of weeks staring at this to figure out how I was going to work in my journaling!

For the layout itself, I used a bunch of goodies from my July kit. There was some October Afternoon in there, so I added some of my journaling cards of theirs that I purchased over the summer. The cool border I did was Kristen's awesome idea on one of her layouts. I love how it adds a punch of color & lots of fun patterned paper without being overwhelming. I just punched out a bunch of circles, adhered them to the edge, & then trimmed it down. Like Kristen, I added some fun dots for a little "extra".

Monday, January 25, 2010

rain rain go away

Rather appropriate to be scrapping this now, right?

I know we need it, but my kids get SO restless! And frankly, so do I!

When we had our supersoaking of 3" in one day this last October, I was at work & then stuck in mega-traffic on my way home. My kids were at my parents' house, where my mom decided that it would be okay for them to play outside. At least they got to come into to a hot shower, dry clothes, and hot chocolate!

This layout is another scraplift, this time from Creating Keepsakes. I needed an easy layout for the pictures my mom took while my crazy kids were getting drenched! Both pictures & the journaling are an 8x8 block, so I did it all in Photoshop & printed it on an 8x10. All I had to do was trim it back down to 8x8. I used my Oct/Nov kit, including one of the custom tags that I wasn't sure to do with!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Brandon *loves* to play Legos, like most other 4 1/2 year old boys. Left to his own devices, will come up with the most amazing Lego creations. And I finally got a picture of him with them! Of course I had to scrap it :)

I was inspired by a very similar layout design in Scrapbook's Etc. I happened to have some of the same paper from Jillibean Soup, along with some other fun goodies from my stash of October Afternoon stickers and the August kit from Green Tangerines.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Olivia's first day of preschool

Another day, another layout :)

This was a simple one too! All 4x6 photos. I just got one of Creating Keepsakes "special issues" of quick pages with 4x6 photos at JoAnn's a couple weeks ago. I like that I don't have to spend hours resizing photos & figuring out layouts. I can just do a few photoshop tweaks, decide how many photos to use, and print them. For 13 cents each! Nice!

One Year Later

And it's scrapped!

So weird...As I was sitting here stitching the layout together in Photoshop, I realized that I took these pictures on January 16, 2009. And I did the layout on January 16, 2010.

My kids love to go to a local shopping center, called the Fountains, with it's big center fountain. They choreograph the fountain to music once or twice an hour, and they love to watch it. And dance along too of course!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

First Day of "Four" School

It's such a great feeling to get a bunch of layouts done, isn't it? I have a list on my computer of "pages to do". And of course I have a HUGE stash of goodies waiting to be used.

I knew I wanted to use a bunch of goodies from my August kit for this layout, and I found this cute layout sketch at PageMaps. I love that site! As many of you know, I'm an avid Becky Higgins fan. But I'm also an avid Becky Fleck fan. I mostly use her sketches for my one page layouts. But I really like how she sketches in embellishments too.

What I like to do is open up a copy of the sketch in Photoshop Elements. I resize it to a 12x12 and add some photo layers. Then I can play around with the photos until I get them to the size I want. I enlarged the photos for this layout.

Brandon has always called his prekindergarten class "four" school. I think it's because his sister is three and in preschool. And he insists that we're saying "three" school.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Countdown to Christmas, pt 2

I know it's over 11 months away :)

This is my first "Christmas" layout that I've done for 2009, and my first with my new December kit from Green Tangerines.

I knew how I wanted my layout to look before I even took my first picture. I didn't get a picture every day (some activities were just watching movies), but I tried. And I knew I wanted some patterened paper mixed in, so I didn't stress too much! Plus, I got more than one cute picture on some days.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

more from project life

Like I said before, I can't promise that I'll post ALL of my project life pictures, but I'll do it at least every so often. Hey, my favorite part of most blogs is the photos!

I'm having fun taking my POTD (picture of the day), and trying to be creative and think about "what is today ABOUT?"

So here are a few from the last week or so:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Just over a month ago, we had a guest speaker at my MOPS group. Her name was Wendy Hagen, and she has an amazing story...she has a blog here, and I haven't had a chance to add it to my google reader yet.

But that's beside the point.

The morning she came, our table of nine was down to four, with no leaders. So my friend Kristen came on over, since she's in MOPS leadership. The topic was Hope, with a capital "H". We were supposed to discuss what Hope meant to us, and honestly, I didn't know. I know what "hope" with a lower case "h" means. And I like how HOPE looks spelled out (and think it would look great in my now empty entertainment center). But other than that...?

I left MOPS feeling like I'd listened to a great testimony, but like I didn't get it.

A few weeks later I was listening the the radio & the song "I am Free" came on. If you're not familiar with it, take a listen. I *love* that song & get teary every time I hear it. And even more emotional when we sing it at church.


I work in special education as a speech therapist. I also work in nursing homes. Both part time, but I've done it now for ten years. Some of my patients/students have minor needs, like producing an "s" correctly. Others have much more going on. Like a student I had just over five years ago, before I had my son. Let's call him Adam.

Adam was born a healthy, happy baby. At 18 months he had meningitis, which was misdiagnosed as the flu & therefore untreated. By the time all was said & done, and I met him in kindergarten, he was in a wheelchair, with very limited use of him arms & hands. He was, as far as we knew, blind. He had profound mental retardation. And I had to work on his communication skills, which basically meant, try to get him to respond to his name. Very, very sad situation.

His parents were very involved, and some of us working with Adam thought they were in serious denial. They would go to school with him everyday, and there were times that we'd walk into his classroom & ask them where he was. To which they'd respond, "he's outside jumping rope." Which really meant, his wheelchair is parked next to the kids jumping rope, and he may or may not be watching them if he's awake right now. Kind of like saying my newborn was playing the Wii with my husband because she was in the swing in the family room taking a nap.

I have no idea what has happened to Adam since I left that school.

Fast forward to now.

Like I said, I get emotional whenever we sing "I am Free" at church. Every time I think of Adam, and how his present condition is just that. His "present" condition. Someday he will be free to run, and laugh, and play, and sing just like every other child of God in Heaven. And I wish I'd been able to share that with his parents when I worked with him all those years ago. But I didn't have that relationship with them, nor did I have the spiritual maturity to do it.

So after hearing Wendy speak, and then hearing "I am Free" on the radio, it hit me. That's what Hope is. It's knowing that Adam will be free of his present condition for all eternity through Jesus Christ.

And maybe his parents weren't in denial after all. I wasn't a mom at that time, so I didn't fully understand. But now I've got three kids, and I can see their potential & beyond the present. Maybe his parents had so much Hope that they were able to actually see him jumping rope, and running and playing and being a boy, not bound to this earth.

Now I get it.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Life in Pictures

I finally finished the title page of our 2009 album...Now I only need to finish the album, right?

I *love* how this turned out! I just wish I had a way to display it already....I have seen cute displays with the Ikea curtain wires & page protectors hanging from them. And the bonus is that they are CHEAP! However, I held off on buying those when I was last at Ikea since I was still in the middle of figuring out my office.

I have the Expedit shelves in here with all open spaces. I'm planning on putting 12x12 frames over the openings of some spots to cover up necessary clutter, and to display layouts before they get hidden away in albums. But again, I haven't bought the frames! I did pull out a 25% sale & regular price frame coupon for Michael's today, but I didn't feel like going over there after work. Oh well, for the time being at least I can share on here, right?

So here is my layout:

It's a take on Kristen's Christmas card. I loved how it looked & knew when I saw it I could adapt it to work for our family. I was going to include our dog too, but I don't have any good recent pictures of him!

Everything is from my September kit. I wrote out "life in pictures" for two reasons: 1) I wasn't sure if I really liked how the ribbon that said it looked & 2) when I decided that the ribbon word looked fine & went to adhere it I put the adhesive on the "right" side, making it pretty unusable. Oh well!

At first I wasn't sure how the photos looked on their own, without any border or mat. It needed something and a white or colored edge just wasn't doing it for me. Then I looked over at my pile of goodies & saw the word strips. Awesome! I did have to trim them a little to make them fit, but it was so easy & *exactly* what the picture needed. It was a bit plain on the left so I added the year.

I must say, I'm pretty proud of this one!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

thanksgiving day

Now that I've picked up my December kit club box, it's time to dig in & get to work on my Oct/Nov kit! Actually, I'd love to be playing with my December goodies, but I haven't printed those photos yet!

My layout is similar to Brenda's Thanksgiving; I knew I wanted orange cardstock for the background, and the deeper colored one worked better with the orange tops my kids had on. Originally I was going to use a fun light orange patterned paper for my accents, but it just wasn't working. And the gold made it "pop" more to me. I'd like to think that great minds think alike, even if I had seen her layout before I started!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Life, week one

And a title page too.

Not the best pictures; I have great lighting in my office to take gorgeous pics in the afternoon. Assuming it's not foggy &/or raining, and that my 1 1/2 year old is napping. And since we had cruddy weather & an uncooperating toddler this afternoon (and I was scrapping when she was napping), these pictures were taken late at night. Under an ugly chandelier with a flash. But you get the picture, I hope!

First is my title page. Yes, of course there is super-glare right on top of the one picture. Oh well, you get the gist. I'm planning on adding thickers with our last name & the year, but haven't yet. Not sure which ones I want to use yet.

And here's week one. I need to get used to the limited space & not be so wordy! At least I was able to fit the arrows on most of the journaling cards :)

Third time's a charm

Lately I've been having issues with Costco printing my photos--wait, let me rephrase that--I've ALWAYS had issues with Costco printing my photos. The first thing I noticed when I made the switch to Costco was that their 4x6 photos are NOT 4x6. They're a smidge off. Not a big deal when you're printing a 4x6. A very big deal when you're printing six 2x2s & two of them are 1/8" off. I've dealt with it by not printing up to the edge (which means I can't do six 2x2s, a relatively minor nusance).

More recently I've been annoyed by the cruddy color quality. Really not a new problem, but when I didn't do any photo enhancement in photoshop, I didn't mind. Now that I spend quite a bit of time editing my photos, it's frustrating to say the least! I know part of the issue is that my monitor isn't calibrated (something I need to do, like to do, but don't want to pay for!). But we're talking MAJOR off. Like super dark, and skin tones that don't look human.

Hence printing the photos for this layout no less than three times!

1) I forgot to "uncheck" the auto correct on Costco's website. Anytime you do post-processing, this should be turned off. But one would think that when pictures come out of the printer, the developer would say, wow! That cute baby looks like a corpse! Fortunately they were very understanding when I asked that they be reprinted.

2) This time I remembed to turn off autocorrect. But the photos were so dark & lacked depth. Just super blah. So I played around with the monitor settings & figured out that it was set to "super bright". That would explain why photos looked overexposed on my monitor & underexposed from the developer.

3) And take three! Hey, they're not perfect by any means! Most were taken indoors with cruddy lighting. Or outside at noon. But for the most part Abbie looks "normal".

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2 layouts in one day!

Sometimes I just get on a roll...Well, actually, I tend to print my photos in batches. So when I go to scrap them, I scrap in batches to some extent too.

This is the February layout from Abbie's first year album...less than a year to complete :) And everything was from my stash...woo-hoo! The patterned paper is all from Bo Bunny, from a layout I did of Brandon. And the letter stickers are from the Green Tangerines July Kit. I thought I was going to have to buy new thickers--oh darn ;). And while I was seeing what they had at the scrapbook store, I saw these glitter thickers & remembered I had them at home--still in the kit club box rather than with the rest of my thickers.


Finally! Over one year since the photos were taken, and almost a year since I printed them. And I did it!

We went up to Tahoe for family pics in November 2008. I used our family one on our Christmas card last year, and have been meaning to scrapbook the others for quite some time. I just couldn't figure out exactly what I was going to do. I knew what layout I was going to use before we even took pictures.

Fortunately, I'm a part of a kit club, and have quite a bit of stash laying around :) So I dug into my September kit, added some old Basic Grey, and voila! I'm done.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

January Desktop

I love having these fun desktops for my computer. And my husband even has me send them to him at work now (he says it's because he likes having the calendar...).

However...sometimes it's hard to find pictures to use! Not like I don't have enough pictures around. But since I make the January desktop on December 31, I don't have "January" photos. I have a ton of "December" photos, aka, "Christmas" photos. :) 

Note to self: next year, take random photos in December of the kids that AREN'T Christmas related. Good luck with that one!

And now that I think about it, this would be a great "photo" for today's Project Life!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Project LIFE

Last year, Becky Higgins introduced many scrappers to the concept of Project 365: one photo a day for a year. Of course, I didn't feel the urge to jump on the bandwagon until AFTER it had sold out.

So this year, when she announced Project Life I told my mom, husband, and sister if they needed a Christmas idea, this was what I wanted.

Thank you David for getting it for me!

So here's week one. I can't promise that I'll upload every week, but I'd sure like to try!

Sunday, 12/27: Great Grandma Mary

Monday, 12/28: Abbie

Tues 12/29: Olivia & Misty

Weds 12/30

Thurs 12/31: New Year's Eve at the Webster's

Fri 1/1: Taking down the Christmas tree

Sat 1/2: Still playing with the Batcave one year after Santa brought it. Best darn toy EVER! Barbie & the princesses are even allowed to live there.