Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Elf on the Shelf

I wanted to share with you what has been going on this week at our house that has been a HUGE hit! On Sunday, I went to Target by myself which in all honesty ranks right up there with going on a Caribbean cruise...it is a luxury. When I got home, I explained to the kids that Santa Claus was outside of Target handing out these boxes to people so I grabbed one and brought it home.

We sat down and read about the elf that Santa had just given us. The kids quickly named him Elfie. The story explains that this elf has magical powers and if anybody touches him, his powers go away. He stays at our house during the Christmas season and watches how we are acting. Each night after the kids go to bed, he reports back to Santa and then returns to our home before everybody awakes. The kids job is to be good and to find him each morning in his new location. I can't even tell you how AWESOME this has been for the kids. We read the story over and over and they are sooooo excited about it. The one downfall has been that they are getting up earlier each day because they can't wait to find Elfie.

The first morning, Elfie was found on the star.

Here are a couple of photos that I captured of the kids when they found him. It has just been so precious and I highly recommend it if you have little kids in the house.

I hope you are having a good week. I am hoping that in my next post, I will be able to share the new website with you so please check back in the next day or two.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

December Daily

Yes, I realize that it isn't December yet but "December Daily" is what I call this project even though mine should be called "Thanksgiving to Christmas Daily". I started with this project on Thanksgiving just because we usually have a fun Thanksgiving weekend and I want a record of that as well. This weekend proved to be very busy and very fun so I actually had to do a couple extra pages so that I didn't omit anything.

These pages are pretty quick because I'm using a basic template (Scrap Pack Templates by Katie Pertiet) and adding a few embellishments and I'm done. One thing that I really like to do when I am doing a project such as this or Project 365 is to upload the pages to Shutterfly as I go. There is something about seeing them in the book that makes me more committed to a project. I don't like to get behind and that has helped me stay up to speed. I will admit that life is a little crazy right now...there is just a lot going on and certainly not enough time in each day but I love doing this project. Here is a look at my first few pages of my album.

All products are from Designer Digitals.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Masterful Scrapbook Designs

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had an awesome day spent with family.

I just wanted to let you know that I am guest teaching for the month of November at Masterful Scrapbook Designs. The topic is texture and dimension. I have a webinar scheduled for Monday, November 29 at 2:30 EST. This is a reminder to the people that were in Blending and Beyond that you can go to the class forum and sign up. Debbie graciously invited you to check it out.

Masterful Scrapbook Designs is a series of seminars taught by a guest panel of teachers each month. Debbie Hodge owns the site and has done a fabulous job with this series. Each month she brings in five guest teachers to teach on a specific matter of scrapbooking. The panel of teachers consist of both traditional paper scrapbookers as well as digital scrapbookers. It costs $12.50 per month for a WHOLE LOT of inspiration. I have thoroughly enjoyed looking at the breakdown of layouts each month and hearing about everybody's creative process...both paper scrappers as well as digital. Subscribers to MSD get a series of written pdfs that share tips and techniques that work for the guest designers as well as the opportunity to listen to a live webinar and ask questions of each of the guest teachers. All I can say is that it is a TON of information and inspiration. Even when I am not guest teaching, I love having access to all of the different approaches that people bring to scrapbooking. Debbie has created something very unique and fabulous at Masterful Scrapbook Designs. If you haven't checked it out....I certainly think you should.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

First Snowfall

We had our first snowfall of the season over the weekend. There were screams of excitement in our household. There is something magical about that first snowfall. I would admit that I don't like cold weather but I do like snow. It is so beautiful. The kids took some runs down the neighbors hill. Ellie took one run and she called it a day. Mia, Quinn, Wiley and I spent the entire afternoon on that hill.

Wiley is our English Bulldog who rarely leaves the couch. On this day, he started running down the hill alongside the kids. I almost had a heart attack laughing because he is just not all that "active". I think he almost had a heart attack as well. It was one trip down and he was done. I was thrilled to catch it on film.

I love how his rolls are all pushed back on this shot.

Thanks for stopping by and I want to wish each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Blending and Beyond Comes to a Close

As many of you may know, this fall I embarked on a new little journey. I taught my first scrapbooking class called "Blending and Beyond". As I was preparing for the class, I was nervous and excited. I wanted to make sure that I was able to deliver what people were looking for in a format that was easy to follow. I was very excited for the class to start because I love sharing my passion for scrapbooking with others.

After six weeks, the class has come to a close. I learned so much throughout this process and enjoyed every single step of the journey. I could not have asked for a better group of people to work with. Their enthusiasm, creativity, and insight blew me away. Honestly, I would go to the gallery and I would be giddy. I cannot say enough about how everybody in the class took the techniques I shared with them and made them their own. The gallery is full....FULL of beautiful and inspiring pages. I am so proud of what everybody has done. I thought about posting some pages here so everybody can see what I am talking about but honestly I went to the gallery and started to sweat. There was NO WAY that I could just pick a handful. I want to thank everybody in the class for taking this journey with me. It confirmed two things for me.....1) I LOVE to teach and hope to continue to do it for a long time. 2) There are a lot of talented people out there who are looking for more advanced courses.

I want to also thank Debbie Hodge for giving me this incredible opportunity. I had never taught before and I feel like she took a chance on me and walked me through the entire process. I could never have done this without her guidance, encouragement and insight! I also need to say "thank you" to my husband who played a major roll in all of the technology needed for this course. He has been so supportive through it all. I couldn't have done it without him.

As I move forward, there are some changes that are on the horizon. I have shared a little bit with the people in my class and thought I would share it with you as well. First of all, I will no longer be teaching at Get It Scrapped. Debbie Hodge started Get It Scrapped several years ago because she wanted to also share her passion for scrapbooking with others by teaching. She also started Masterful Scrapbook Designs which has been amazingly successful as well. As Debbie's site has grown, she has found that she has not been able to teach because her time has been focused on taking care of the site and all of the customer support. She would agree that the growth of the site has been fabulous but she wants to get back to teaching herself. In 2012, Debbie will only offer her classes at Get It Scrapped. I cannot say enough positive things about Debbie. I think she is inspiring on so many leveles and I wouldn't hesitate to take any one of her classes. As I move forward, I will be offering my classes at a new site. I cannot share too much with you now but the site will be released in the next couple of weeks. I am OVER-THE-MOON excited to be a part of this new site! I cannot wait to show it to you. There are a number of teachers that I think you will be thrilled with at the new site as well....including Debbie who is offering some classes at the new site. I am thrilled to be teaching on a panel of very creative and inspiring people.

When the new site is released, I will have registration information for "Blending & Beyond" as well as a new class called "Creative Composites". The new class is designed for individuals who have completed "Blending & Beyond". One of the advantages of the new site is that I have the flexibility of teaching what I choose which is wonderful. I have a lot of ideas running through my head right now and just need some time to develop them.

At any rate, please stay in touch with me through my blog and there will be a lot more information coming in the next couple of weeks. Thanks again for checking in and for all of your support! Have a great day!

Friday, November 18, 2011

December Daily

The last two years, I have participated in December Daily. The idea is to document your life on the days leading up to Christmas by creating a page each day. I have loved this project and it is so fun laying these books on the table during the Christmas season so we can relive these special memories. In the past, I have started this project on Thanksgiving and ended on Christmas Day. I am planning on doing it that way again.

When I start on a project, I really try to make it as simple as possible. I think that there is a direct correlation between the simplicity of the project and me actually completing the project. I don't like to have things hanging over my head. I am very task oriented.

Last year, my album looked like this. I used a template set from Ali Edwards that worked great and really helped make this project feasible. Last year, I used a full page photo on the left side for each day and carried that throughout the album. I really liked that aspect of the book. It made this project come together quickly. I will continue to do that again this year. The only problem with that is that it puts a lot of pressure on my photography to get a decent shot each day but I'm up for the challenge. I'm always trying to work on my photography.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner so I wanted to get my ducks in a row for this season. I have decided to use Katie Pertiet's Scrap Pack Templates. She has two in the store that can be seen here. Katie also has some Christmas versions coming to the store this weekend and next which I am also very excited to use.

Scrap Pack No. 1

Scrap Pack No. 2

The Christmas season is especially busy as many of you would agree so I went ahead and got a jump on the project. I am using the same background paper for the entire album...Krafty Canvas No. 1 and I am using the number charms from one of my most favorite kits Artistry de Blanco. I went through and just placed the background paper and the number charm for each day of the project and saved them. It is a small step but it saves a bunch of time in the long run. If I know that all I need to do each day is open up that page, drag a template on it, add pictures and a few embellishments.....well, I know that I can do it. I just like breaking projects down into a manageable format. Here is a sample page of what I am envisioning for this year's project.

All products are from Designer Digitals.

If you are considering December Daily, I would strongly suggest it. There are little things that you can do ahead of time that makes it easier to keep up when you are in the "craziness of the season".

Happy Friday and Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Green Bay Packers

Jeff and I snuck away for a couple of days which we have never done before. It was soooo wonderful to ride in the car in peace and quiet and also to be able to have an uninterrupted conversation. We went to the Packer - Viking game in Green Bay. We had such a great time. A huge "Thank You" to our dear neighbor Jan for watching the kids for us. Jeff is a Viking fan and I was born and raised a Packer fan.

It was military appreciation night and I thought this was so awesome! Of course everybody else in stadium is holding up their card except me who HAD to take pictures.

The Packers killed the Vikings but it was still so much fun to be there.

This is a layout that I did last year after going to the Packer game with my dad.

My journaling from last year:

When Mom and Dad first met, one of the things they had in common is that they were both Green Bay Packer fans. They were both born and raised in Minnesota and yet they both loved the Packers. It is not cool to be a Packer fan in Minnesota. In 1970, Mom mailed in the forms to be a season ticket holder. They were placed on a waiting list. In the mean time, we followed the Packers like nobody's business. On Sundays after church, we would spend the day watching football together. They continued to be on the waiting list. In 2003...33 years after applying for season tickets and 10 years after my mom had passed away, my dad got "THE LETTER". He was now a season ticket holder and he couldn't have been happier. Since 2003, my brothers and I have taken turns going with dad to the games. I got to go with him on December 26th of this year. There is nothing that beats Lambeau Field. The fans are crazy, church is held on Saturdays on the weekend of game days, and you cannot go into an establishment in Wisconsin without everybody sporting a Packers jersey. It is unbelievable. It is so fun to see dad at the Packers game...he is like a little kid. I left at 7 in the morning and returned at midnight but you certainly can't beat seeing dad enjoy life like this. He said to me before the game, "thank you for coming to the game with me...you know if your mom would still be with us, she would have loved coming to the games with me". It was so sweet and so true. It touched my heart and I'm so glad that he gets to bask in the glory of Lambeau Field all season long.

I hope you are doing well. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Recent Pages

Happy Weekend! I hope you had a great week. I thought I'd share some recent pages with you.

All products are from Designer Digitals.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Creating the Scene

I was just looking at Somerset Memories Fall 2011 issue. I love this magazine as well as their Digital Studios magazine. I find so much inspiration in them.

Throughout my blending class, I have been hearing people say that they are going to approach their photography differently as a result of the class. I believe that the way that I approach photography is probably different than most people. I can't really describe it. I ran across this artist today and I loved the way that she described her work. Her name is Heidi Kelley and this is from Somerset Memories Fall 2011 issue. She wrote:

Somewhere, some time ago, the words "You don't take a photograph, you make a photograph," fluttered past my ears and found themselves ground within my artistic heart. They so accurately described everything that I felt when I watched my children interact with the world on a daily basis. While they were skipping past me - in creative play or gazing into some unknown wonderland they they had created in their own minds - I discovered that I, too, was seeing something around them. When I snapped pictures, I myself, had created a vision of what I saw happening around them. At times I could almost see the "bubbles" that they swore they were dancing in, or the "garden" that those princesses were sitting it. When I heard those words, it became so clear to me how it was that I wanted to create my artwork. For me, it is all about setting a scene and capturing the memory of the very moment in which I "made" the photograph.

I just loved her words. I can so relate to what she is saying. One of my favorite aspects of scrapbooking is trying to convey the mood of the moment. The mood starts by being aware of what is really happening around you when you have your camera in hand. I love trying different angles when I am taking pictures and trying to figure out how that photo is going to work on my page. I have the end in mind as I'm clicking away with my camera. Once the photos are taken, the fun really begins...I love trying to recreate the scene and the mood that was captured in my photos. I think that hands down creating a mood is most most favorite aspect of documenting life.

I read Kelly's words and then reread them. I love her insight and I thought you might find them inspiring as well.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Quarterly Sale at Designer Digitals

Designer Digitals quarterly sale is this weekend which means 30% off the ENTIRE store including new releases. I can assure you that you don't want to miss the sale. There are many perks to being on the creative team and one of them is certainly seeing the new releases before they hit the store. I'll just say that you are going to love what is hitting the store this weekend!

In addition to the sale, there is a series of chats. It is so fun to connect with other people who share this passion and each chat includes a freebie. Here is the chat schedule:

9 am EST - 30 MM with Cassie
11 am EST - Comfort and Joy with Pattie
2 pm EST - Template Challenge with Kayleigh
5:30 pm EST - Scraplift Challenge with Lynn
9 pm EST - Masking and Blending with Katie

I hope you can take advantage of this fun weekend!

Monday, November 7, 2011

From the Printer

We had a pretty quiet weekend which was nice. I mentioned in a previous post that I had just ordered some prints from Persnickety Prints. We just received them in the mail and once again I was so impressed with the quality and speed of their services.

I thought it would be fun to show you what life looks like when we get pages in the mail. Most of my scrapbooking inspiration comes from my kids at this point in my life. I always show them the pages that I have created as I'm going along. They usually look at them for a second and that is about it. It is a whole different story when the pages come back from the printer. They sit around the table and we go through each one and put them in their respective piles for their albums. They are so excited to have them in their hands.

When I am creating pages, I would say that my least favorite part of the page is journaling. When we get pages back it reinforces the importance of journaling. I am often in a hurry to move on to my next projec and I know that I don't take the time that I should for journaling in a lot of instances. Once again, I was reminded of the importance of journaling. The kids look at their pages and immediately follow with "mom, read it to me". They treasure the words that I write now...just think how they will treasure them years from now. I would give anything to go through the few photos that I have of my childhood and "hear" the recollection from my mother's point of view.

My kids love to look at their pages as well as their albums. They pull them out frequently. I love seeing them do this and hearing their memories of the event. These days totally reinforce why I am so diligent about documenting life.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Persnickety Prints Sale Ends Today

As any scrapbooker would say, one of the things that I am very particular about is the quality of my printed images. Last year I started having my pages printed at Persnickety Prints. I have been over-the-moon with their quailty as well as speed. They are having a fall sale right now that ends today (November 5th). Each print is $1.49. I just ordered a lot of prints and wanted to share this with you in case you were looking to have some pages printed.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Friday, November 4, 2011

My Birthday

My birthday was yesterday. I will be honest. I kind of like having my birthday. It is just like any other day but it gives me the excuse to use this line with the kids "it is my birthday and you need to be nice to me". I don't get caught up in age...not at all. When I have to report my age on a form...in all honesty, I have to do the math in my head. A couple of weeks ago, I started doing the math for this birthday. 2011-1971 = 40.....40....40...FORTY! And I found myself sitting there thinking....when did that happen? I don't feel like I should be that number although when I look in the mirror now, I am starting to see that number.

Somebody asked me yesterday if it made me feel down to be turning 40. I laughed and said "no". I just like to joke about it. I think of life as a gift...I truly do and to think that God has blessed me with 40 years...I think that is pretty awesome. I don't know where the time has gone. There certainly have been some challenges along the way....things that I wish would have been different but when I look at where I am today....I can't help but be overcome with gratefulness. I am surrounded by a loving family, I get to be home to raise my kids, I am healthy, happy and enjoy life. What more could I possibly ask for?

This is how I spent my day. After getting the kids ready for school, I dropped Ellie and Quinn off at school. Mia and I then headed to one of my most favorite places. The kids and I can frequently be found walking around this little lake, exploring nature, and taking pictures. I absolutely LOVE it!

I took some shots of Mia. I love having special time with her.

We attempted some fun self-timer pictures.

We gathered pretty leaves that Mia was excited to share with her teacher.

Mia and I went to Panera for hot chocolate and blueberry muffins. A cup of hot chocolate was only 338 calories...I couldn't bring myself to look at the calorie count for the blueberry muffins!

The rest of the day was just normal...dropping kids off...picking kids up. We squeezed in a quick dinner out before having to get Ellie to choir practice. Our dear neighbors came over for cake afterwards. My neighbor walked in and saw the balloons that my dear friend dropped off earlier in the day and said "WHAT...this is the BIG one...and this is ALL we are doing....we would have went ALL out if I would have known this was 40"... I just laughed. My birthday was perfect....simple.....just the way that I wanted it.

Thank you to everybody who sent me cards, flowers, gifts, birthday messages and love. I am so grateful for ALL of the wonderful people in my life. I am truly, truly blessed!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!