Everyone has a story to tell, here's mine sprinkled with some creative projects along the way.
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you come back again.

Friday, August 31, 2012

New mini album storage

Ok I admit, I have an addiction! An addiction to mini scrapbook albums. I made one to document a family vacation about five years ago then fast forward to today and I've accumulated a big collection of mini albums. From birthdays to trips to everyday things I didn't want to forget. They have overcomed most of my living room. What started with only one basket of mini's have now turned into three baskets FULL!
So last week, while shopping at my local Goodwill store for something else (don't you just love it when you go to the thrift store for a specific purpose only to score something totally different?) I found a large lined basket. I think it was meant to be a hamper or something but for $4 I knew exactly what I was going to use it for.
So I came home, washed the lining of the basket and with mini albums looking like this....

turned my collection to looking like this...

As you can see, now they're all in one place.

and I placed it in a shelf in my living room under my collection of scrapbook magazines that I've been published in and on top of that are some pictures of the family.

Now it's all in one place and still easily accessible, especially for little hands that likes to look at these books and reminisce about the fun times we've had.

and now I have three empty baskets that I can move to other parts of the house to organize our stuff or as my hubby calls it my "crap". LOL.

I also decided that I was going to retire some of my older mini albums. They won't go to the trash (oh the horror of that thought!) but instead they will be stored in a box tucked in my scrapbook room.
So the moral of the story today is.....(a) mini albums can be quite addiciting and you can accumulate a big chunk of them if you are not watching what you do, (b) thrift stores are a great place to score great finds like the extra large basket I got and (c) stuff organized in baskets is just enough to make my home look well-kept! That's my secret to organization. *wink*
Till next time,

Thursday, August 30, 2012

latest Saturday excursion: Red Rock Canyon Open Space

The Saturday Excursions are back!!! If you were reading my blog last year, you know that for the first few months of the year, my family and I were going on day trips on Saturdays. We called it our Saturday excursions and it was a way for us to get to know our "new" hometown. It went away when our lives started getting busy with school and work and finally fizzled out by late last year.
This year has been a challenging one for our family so the excursions seemed to have been a thing of the past until last Saturday. Mitch finally had a day without any major homework to do and I was not slaving on my computer for photo edits or scrapbook work. The day was beautiful and so we planned to go outdoors. We went to Red Rock Canyon Open Space which we had already visited in the past. But this time we went through a different trail. It was a bit windy when we started off and Mitch was laughing at me and the kids for wearing jackets and sweaters. It might have been a bit over the top in my part to wear a jacket but in my defense it was COLD when I left the house!
After a few minutes of walking and the sun finally bursting out of the clouds, the kids and I would eventually take off our jackets and they will become a nuisance and extra baggage that we didn't really want to carry. But alas, lesson learned!
Here are some of the photos we captured during our hike...

my two little hikers. They finally got to use those water bottle slings I sewn up for them a few weeks ago. Marcus' was quite short so we will have to redo it for him. That boy just can't stop growing.

It was definitely a nice day to be outdoors. Beautiful blue skies and a great weather welcomed us at the trail head.

I'm not the only one in the family that "makes" things. My ever so talented hubby made me my hiking stick which included an engraving of my name. cool huh?!

Marcus was in his element around here cause he can explore and climb rocks.

Maddie took it upon herself to notice every flower in sight and pick a few as we walk past them. Here we put a tiny pink one over her ear cause it matched her pink shirt.

The Red Rock Canyon Open Space used to be a rock quarry.You can see the evidence of this in the picture above where there's defined grooves in the side of this big rock behind the family.

You can also see a good view of the Garden of the Gods from Red Rock Canyon Open Space.

We went for a longer trail and we got to see this beautiful view. A vast land full of hills, trees,valleys and beautiful mountains inthe backdrop.

Here's the Garden of the Gods view again a little bit more close up.

We also noticed that the some of the leaves were turning into fall colors already. Time flies so fast!

it was a bit hard taking nice photos of the foliage and flowers because the wind was blowing hard at times but I did manage to photograph this sunflower .

and here's the family nearing the end of the trail.

it was a fun day and there's more to this trip but I will share that in another post. Let's just say that we took advantage of this time together and made it a full day's worth of memories. Stay tune!

Till next time,

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

latest scrapbook pages

Do you ever find yourself in an overwhelmed state that walking away from the challenges/issues and doing something else relieves you of your stress and the feelings of being overwhelmed?
Well my "therapy" for these kinds of days lately is to scrapbook. To create for myself. Recently I was able to finish two layouts, both from the holidays but one from 2010 and the other from our trip back to California for Holiday 2011.
Christmas Party
I love this event bec. we had just moved into our new home here in Colorado and Marcus was finishing up his first week in school when the class had their Christmas party. Maddie and I got to attend and I felt to blessed that Marcus' 2nd grade teacher was so welcoming not only to him but to me and Maddie as well.

I had the matching die cut shapes from this Christmas collection and I used one of the ornament die cut to add a layered embellishment against all of the flat ornament design on the paper.

to make the title stand out against the diagonal striped paper, I used some vellum for my title block.
H.B. (Huntington Beach)
this page is a small glimpse of what we saw when we visited Huntington Beach pier last December. It's funny how in the 9+ years we've been living in Cali as a family, we've never taken the kids here. We felt like tourists roaming around the area and to think we were Cali residents just a year before that!

I added some travel themed stamping on my page to denote the theme.

I initially wanted the stamp to be white but it wasn't showing very well against the brown cardstock so I restamped it with black and I like the "shadow" effect the white and black combo created.

I hope that if you are feeling stressed today, that you can find a time during your day to unwind. Wether it's through some kind of creative endeavor or other means, step away and take a breather. We all need that once in a while. :)

Till next time,

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The kid's Piano lessons

So remember when I talked about my birthday gift this year? how it's been my dream to bring the 'gift of music' to my home? Well I'm continuing to keep this dream alive this fall by starting the kids with some Piano lessons.
Now let me start off by saying that I had only one year of formal piano lessons and that was ages ago BUT I also know that paying someone to give my kids' lessons was not in the budget right now. So with the help of my trustee google search...I looked for ways where I can start teaching the kids the basics by myself. Luckily I found this website and in there was a printable beginner's piano workbook in pdf format which is downloadable for free.
It was 31 pages long and I knew that if I printed it off through my home printer, it will cost me a big chunk of ink so I went to my local copy store, was able to snag a coupon for 4.5 cent per b&w copy and got the books printed that way. During this same trip, I also got some FHE lessons printed off (over 100 pages) that I will share in a later post. Over 100 pages for 4 1/2 cents per page. Not bad and I didn't have to use up my printer ink. Lovely!
So back to the workbooks...I used some of my thick cardstocks to use as front and back covers and then binded it all together with my bind-it-all machine. These are the times when I can happily show off my finished projects to hubby and emphasized what a great blessing it is to have all of my srapbook supplies. *wink* I then labeled the books in the front with letter stickers. I didn't decorate these books because (a) it's not what the outside looks like that matters but what the kids will be learning inside that counts and (b) I feel like it's the kids' books so they can decorate it however way they want if they wish to do so.
Now that the workbooks were done, it was time to do the actual learning. I figured that with our schedules (school, scouts, church callings) Tuesdays and Thursdays will work best for our lessons. Each kid will get a one on one lesson from me for 30 minutes while the other works on their homework. There will be no TV or playing this time which will "hopefully" give the kids the focus they need. Here are some pictures from our very first lesson....

what I love about these workbooks is that they are very simple to understand and all the basics are being covered. For today's lesson we worked on learning the treble and bass clef. They even got to practice writing the symbols on their own.

So that's it. I know this post is kinda long but I try to write all the things I need to remember so I can later use these words as my journaling for when I finally scrapbook this piece of family memory. Happy Tuesday.

Till next time,

Monday, August 27, 2012

Paper Bakery Kit last projects

Hello friends and happy Monday.
Today's post is a little bittersweet. August was my last month as the sketch artist and design team member at Paper Bakery kit club. It's been such a great journey but with some new "adventures" coming my way this fall, I've had to take a long and hard look at where I'm putting my time and efforts and it was a hard decision but working for PBK was something that, although it pains me, I had to let go. I'm not very good at letting go but I also know that I cannot continue to live with just barely keeping my head upfloat. There has to have some breathing room in there.
So with that, I hope you come and check out my last post for Paper Bakery Kit blog today here. I'm sharing two layouts that I made with the August Add On kit. I'm also sharing my tip on stamping on trims/ribbons to personalize your product.
Here's some sneek peeks...

Thank you to all that have used and been inspired by my sketches for PBK and I hope that you continue to stop by and keep in touch.

Although this door closes, I have faith that the future still holds more possibilities and opportunities for us all.

Till next time,

Friday, August 24, 2012

Wacky straw

so a few weeks ago I found a link to a great deal. Free Wacky Straw for signing up to a shopping website. I didn't have to purchase anything and so I signed up. I didn't tell the kids about what I did because I wasn't sure how long it will take for it to get here and I don't want to have to deal with the nagging.

So when it came, the kids were super excited. We put it together and the kids couldn't wait to use it. Here are some photos captures of the kiddos with their wacky straw...

this wacky straw was the favorite item at home for about a week until I notice that there were water spots everywhere in the kitchen. That's when I decided to quietly put the wacky straw away in one of the kitchen cabinets and the kids didn't even noticed it was gone. Funny!

Thanks for stopping by.

Till next time,

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Baby Girl Shower Ensemble


Today I want to share some crafty share.

I was inspired to put together a baby girl showe ensemble using my Cricut machine and some fun papers from SEI. I don't have any baby showers to use it for, I just like the idea. Who knows maybe I'll be able to use it in the future for a friend. :)

This grouping contains a banner, refreshement labels, invitation, party favor and gift bag.

I love using microwavable popcorn packs for a baby shower party favor. I just love the sentiment "popping" in for a baby shower.

Here's the gift bag. This is a small one which can work for those small baby clothes/blanket gifts.
Here's the invite sample
and the refreshment banner/label.
My sweets bowl (gummy worms) doens't really match the theme BUT oh boy the kiddos were going crazy when I was taking these photos. They couldn't wait to get some treats from this container.
and here's the banner.
I don't know if you notice but the layered paper accent in the centers of each of the altered projects are all the same. I think that's important to create cohesiveness in an ensemble project. Having the same design repeated throughout each project and having the Cricut machine cut the shapes made this project super easy and fast.

Well I hope this sparked some great ideas for you.

Till next time,

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Marcus @ Nine

Hi there. If you are a friend on facebook, then you've probably seen these photos but I know I have some family and friends that don't have a FB account so I'm resharing these here.

Marcus turned 9 last month and because he has a mama that is passionate about capturing moments and because I think he's growing up to be a very handsome fella, he got a special photoshoot for his birthday. Here's the result...

This one was a quick one. We literally hopped in the car one night, drove to a nearby empty lot and took these photos before the sun went down. Maddie came with us so it was a bit of a stress for me to get the shots I've envisioned. But I have to say that I've trained my kids well. Marcus was comfortable in front of the camera and gives me a nice smile everytime. Love him so. :)

we scored this big Star Wars hardbound book at the used book store and it's his favorite read right now.
In a recent visit to Goodwill, we found some Build-a-bears in excellent condition so we were able to get that for him too. Maddie got one as well. Each bear was only $2. Can't beat that!

and my favorite. This one makes his eyes sparkle which is my favorite feature of his.

So there you go. Some can say it's a curse having a mama for a photographer BUT for us it's another memory captured and will never be forgotten.

Have a great day.

Till next time,