ktware

sharing my creativity, one project at a time


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The School Scrapbook Project

*** This is not a Project Life post, but it is related to Becky Higgins and another of her concepts***

(Natalie's title page)

(Natalie’s title page)

For as long as I’ve had my blog, I’ve made mention of “the school scrapbook project that I do”.  It may be more commonly know as Becky Higgin’s Personal Yearbook (not to be confused with Project Life).  HERE is a blog post where she talks about her newer, digital version of the Personal Yearbook, but also gives a little back story on how it began. I’m not a very naturally trusting person when it comes to who is around my children/who is responsible for them when I am not around. I spend a lot of time volunteering at school and have since my oldest started school(let me clarify, I completely trust my girls’ teachers, but in the beginning, they were all strangers). Around the end of her kinder year I read about Becky Higgins doing the personal yearbook with her son and thought it was a great idea for a few reasons. First of all, it gives me a “reason” to be at school and know what is going on with my child. Second of all, I was already planning to make my girls their own school scrapbooks and this project would make it easier for me to get photographs of her and her friends at school without looking like some sort of stalker :)  I spoke to her first grade teacher very early on and she was so excited about the project and couldn’t wait to start. I offered to help the other first grade teachers if they wanted to do it as well and the first year I worked with Natalie’s class and two other 1st grade classes. Just like anyone else that has done this with their child’s school, I learned quite a bit that first year of what to and what not to do. The following year, Natalie moved on to 2nd grade and Sydney started kinder. Even though I hadn’t done this project with Natalie in kinder, I approached Sydney’s teacher (who was also Natalie’s) about the project before the start of the year to get her thoughts. At first, she wasn’t sure, but after giving it some thought she decided we would have the student’s copy in the beginning (which is a skill they need to practice anyway) and towards the end of the year, they would write themselves. Okay, enough words, let’s get to the pictures :) Here is a sample of one of Natalie’s layouts for this current school year: IMG_5658

left side - photo and journaling

left side – photo and journaling

right side - art work

right side – art work

We do a layout every month (sometimes two) and the teacher chooses the topic (sometimes I suggest things as well). The paper strips are 8.5×2″ and are a great way to use up patterned paper you aren’t going to use … or can be picked up at Michaels/Joanns/Hobby Lobby cheaply using coupons or when on clearance. I also get donations from parents on occasion. IMG_5661Since her class is all fourth graders, I’m trying to encourage them to give a bit more detail in their journaling instead of “I liked it. It was fun.” Some of the kids are doing this, some are not. It took me a while to finally understand that even if there is not a lot of “deep” journaling on the page or if there’s not a whole lot of effort of any kind, it’s not a reflection on how hard I work, but of the student his/her self. IMG_5662 For the “art page”, I usually bring up stamps from my personal stash along with blocks and ink and let the kids stamp to help with their illustration. It started as a way for me to feel like I was getting some use out of some neglected stamps (and sometimes an excuse to buy a new one). The kids absolutely LOVE this part! Even the youngest ones learn the “rules” quickly about what is acceptable for using my stamps and what isn’t, so I don’t really worry about my stamps getting ruined. IMG_5665   Here are some examples from Sydney, my second grader. Here is her title page: IMG_5673   Some months, the topic isn’t something that a photograph of each student will work well with. This is one example – Sydney’s class grew some plants from seed in class and I took some progress photos. It made more sense to use the same collage-style photo for each student, instead of having them each pose with their plant. IMG_5675

her journaling/photo

her journaling/photo

IMG_5680Here is a closeup of her journaling: IMG_5682 The girls have two weeks of school left, so I am at my frantic “will I get everything done?” time, but this three day weekend helped a lot! I do try to file the pages into the page protectors as we go during the school year. The first year I waited until the end and ended up staying up until midnight for about 3 weeks trying to get it all done. The only thing I really save to the end of the year (last month and a half or so) is the cover page. Since these go into 3 brad folders, I wanted to make them look a little nicer. Also, the parents don’t always know about this project, so when they are going thru their kid’s backpack that last week of school, I didn’t want this to look like just another random folder. I stamp a generic cover page and have the teachers run off black and white copies. Then at night, while I watch tv, I use my favorite Lawn Fawn alpha stamp and stamp the students’ names in colored ink. This is extra work that is so not necessary, but I know it makes the kids feel even more special. IMG_5670

(haven't finished Sydney's class yet)

(haven’t finished Sydney’s class yet)

One one last note, I just did this layout a week or so ago and wanted to share it. Last year was my busiest/craziest year (and I don’t think I’ll ever do that much again), but seeing that many happy kids made it worth all the work! IMG_4104 Okay, I think that about wraps up everything. If anyone has questions about specifics on how I get this project to work, especially with multiple classes, just leave me a comment. I will be linking up with The Mom Creative (next week) and will be getting my PL layouts back up on a regular basis real soon … in about two weeks :)


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Throwback Thursday #3

Sydney a week after her first birthday

Sydney a week after her first birthday

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I took these photos of Sydney (my youngest) back in July of 2007, about a week after she turned one. I remember this was the first time I set up a staging area for my girls and really *tried* to get some nice portraits of them on my own. Even though I’ve loved photography for as long as I can remember, I relied on a photo studio for my girls portraits up until this point. These are still some of my favorite shots of her and her stunning blue eyes – I still have these hanging up in our house :)


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Project Life – weeks 14-16

For those of you following along, you may have noticed that I skipped weeks 12 and 13 and that’s because … well, because I just realized that I never photographed them and it’s too dark to do it now. Guess those will have to wait. Onto week fourteen -

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left side

left side

right side

right side

I used mostly the Blush core kit for this week. I knew I wanted to use the colors from my girls’ clothes and Amy Tangerine’s neon colors just didn’t quite match, so Blush it was. I even used colored ink instead of my usual black for the title card.

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I have to share this picture:

IMG_3669Anyone that lives in Texas (or a few surrounding states) will recognize that this is the inside of James Avery (jewelry store).  I started “collecting” jewelry from them around 12 or 13 years old and did it until my early 20’s. I kept the jewelry, but didn’t wear it much as I got older and just pulled my charm bracelet out about 2 years ago. This past Christmas, I had the jewelry store take off some of the charms and put them on another (sterling silver) charm bracelet my sister in law gave me. I then got a letter “N” charm put on it and gave it to Natalie, telling her that when she has a daughter, that she could give her a charm or two off the bracelet to start her own. Okay, short story long, this day Natalie decided to take the money she had saved up and go buy herself a charm or two. She ended up getting a drill team boot (she’s on her elementary school’s dance team) and a sea turtle because we are all beach lovers. Here is the journaling:

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As a side note, James Avery had a sale that started the day after where you could get a charm bracelet for free with the purchase of two charms and they were nice enough to let me “return” the charms and repurchase them to get the bracelet. Now our younger daughter has her charm bracelet started – she just doesn’t know it :) Speaking of my younger daughter:

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Her best friend has become home-schooled due to some medical issues, so Sydney was even more lost than before.  I am proud of her though, since then she has been trying hard to be brave enough to ask other kids if she can sit with them. I know I’ve said it before, but I wish there was some way I could magically give her more confidence – so many of her classmates think she is awesome (teachers’ words, not mine), but she is too shy to ask friends to sit with her or play at recess. <sigh> One step at a time.

And speaking of steps … my husband took a big one recently. He decided to leave the job he’s been at for 4+ years and move to a large company. I knew I wouldn’t be there his last day, but I wanted a “final walk out” photo, so I made him do it a few days before. Being a small office, most of the people he works with know I scrapbook/photograph everything, so one of them was laughing at him as she drove by (knowing exactly what I was doing).

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Okay, now onto week fifteen.

IMG_3678Here is the full spread for this week.

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This was such a busy week! Sunday was the Austin Capital 10K race. This year we did it as a family. Monkey ran it last year while we cheered him on, but the girls wanted to participate this year. Since they can’t keep up with daddy while he’s running, that meant I was going along. My best friend and her daughters joined us, along with another friend. There were four adults and four kids and between us all, there was running, walking and a mixture of both. I’m so proud of my girls for making it. Hell, I’m proud of myself! With my medical issues, movement of any kind can be rough, so the fact I walked over 6 miles (in raining 50-something weather) AND still got out of bed next day was pretty amazing!

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The very next day, Monkey started his new job.

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That day, Sydney requested ponytails for school. This was a HUGE deal for her. She got a pixie cut when she was about four and some kids at school told her she looked like a boy (she also prefers to shop in the boys’ dept), so she has felt like she has to look like a boy so that no one will make fun of her (understanding her lack of confidence a little more now?) She decided a few months ago to let her hair grow out long again and just recently got it to the length she could wear ponytails. I had her journal about it and we made a fun little collage with the pictures.

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The dance team Natalie is on (at school) got to dance in the high school’s Spring Show. That Monday, she had practice at the high school to get used to the stage. She was so excited!

The girls are going thru this stage where they are constantly fighting and always assume the other is doing everything just to make them mad … well, in an effort to help them move out of this stage (even just a little) I suggested they practice talking to each other. Both are dealing with girls at school that are just being mean and since they are too young for “Mean Girls” and every other high school clique movie, I thought they should talk to each other about it.

( please excuse the mattresses and mess - leftover from crashing after the 10K)

( please excuse the mattresses and mess – leftover from crashing after the 10K)

They seemed to calm down a little, but I think this process is going to take A LOT of practice :) Friday and Saturday night, Natalie had her performances. Friday night Monkey had to work a hockey game and we had to take one of her friends to the show. Sydney and I got to go backstage with Natalie and watch the show from there (which was fun) and I took them out for frozen yogurt afterwards to celebrate.

IMG_3687With so much going on this week, I ended up making a 6×12 insert. Here is the front:

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… and the back

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Okay, one more week:

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Here is the full spread – I used mostly the Midnight Core kit (I bought a small portion of the kit from someone) and photo templates from Tracy Larsen.

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I see a lot of designers whose layouts are all white or full of open space. That is so not me at all (bring on bright colors and a lot of it!), but I thought it would be fun to do a spread like that, or as close as I can get to that. I purchased these templates from Tracy Larsen and have used one or two on previous layouts, but never used them for the whole layout. They really are so pretty.

IMG_3991Okay, you know how sometimes you make your kids wear certain clothes or do certain things just so you can use certain products? Yeah, this was one of those times. I purchased a dandelion stamp a while back for a particular layout because it would complete it perfectly AND because I could use the dandelion flower section as fireworks. Well, I wanted an excuse to use the stamp again and when I spotted two random dandelions in the yard, I called the girls over.

IMG_3990I know some people like to stick to using the same style of page protector every week (and when I’m tired, I consider doing the same) but I like using different styles to challenge myself to think outside my “normal”.  I’ve used this particular style once or twice before, but for this week I just couldn’t find a way to make it fit into my white space/graphic style. I finally just chose light gray cardstock and put some black and white washi tape on it. Not really all that original, I know, but it’s better than putting something else that that just didn’t fit. (I promise, the other side of this page protector looks much cooler).

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Fast forward to Friday – the girls had off school and we had family plans to go pick strawberries at the farm. Unfortunately I was not able to make it (sometimes it really sucks doing the “right thing” and taking it easy), but Monkey took the girls (and met my best friend/her girls like we do every year). He was sweet enough to take a few pictures for me and then I snapped a couple of the berries when they got home.

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In the last two weeks I had four different people request my photography skills. The first one was a Senior portrait session with Emary. I’ve done family portraits of her before and have photographed her mom quite a bit – she was both Natalie AND Sydney’s first grade teacher. I still work with her (mom) this year doing the school scrapbook with her current class. We went to an art museum where they also do art classes to do the portrait session. They have a beautiful spot by the lake where you can walk around and see different sculptures – it made for beautiful portraits!

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Okay, that wraps up those three weeks. If you read all of this, thanks for sticking with me! I’ve been working on so many other things lately that I keep putting off posting my Project Life spreads. Big Picture Classes #NSD10k challenge this past weekend motivated me to get these layouts done and photographed. How about you – did you participate in any scrap related challenges this past weekend?

As always, I will be linking up with The Mom Creative for Project Life Tuesday/monthly.

 

 

 

 

 


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Throwback Thursday #2

I missed last week – it just came and went before I had a chance to breathe. We have hit the crazy time of year at school … projects are due, all the final events are happening and I’ve got to wrap up the school scrapbook project (more on that to come soon).  I just happen to be able to be “working” at home today and get some time to link this up to The Mom Creative.

 

Our girls have been watching the Disney show “Kickin’ It” pretty much non-stop lately. It is not one of the ones my husband or I are particularly fond of. My personal feeling is as long as it is appropriate and not spawning bad behavior from our youngest, then fine (as long as I don’t have to watch it). My husband, however, has taken to trying to convince them to watch something/anything else which has made for some interesting back and forth conversations in our house :) Last night he mentioned to me that he didn’t like the theme song to the show either (he may have been tired and a wee bit crabby). This video jumped back into my memory and I showed it to him – of our girls singing a different theme song.

Girls Singing Hannah Montana (2009)

(This is my first time trying to figure out how to post a video to view, so you have to click the above link – it will take you away from this page)

Everytime I watch this video, I’m smiling wide the whole time … my favorite part is the “best of both worlds” lyric where you can tell Sydney finally knew more than one or two words in a row. Makes me laugh every time! I’m so glad that I remember to take short videos of them every once in a while. There are just some memories that a photo can’t fully capture. Plus, I figure when they become well know performers as adults, they’ll need footage for their ” this is how it all began” montage, right? :)

How about you? Any photos/video of your budding performers or athletes?


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Throwback Thursday Story

The Mom Creative is starting a new weekly link-up for “Throwback Thursday Stories” and I think it’s such a great idea. I haven’t actually ever done a #tbt post on my Instagram feed, but I think I might start doing that as well. So here goes my first one …

scan0094I’m not sure what year this was taken or my exact age – I’m guessing somewhere between 5-7 years old. This was our dog Gypsy. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized that not everyone views their pets as another family member. I get my love of dogs from my dad who made sure that Gypsy went everywhere with us (camping trips, etc). The first time I ever saw my dad cry was the day she died. I wish I could thank my dad for showing me how important pets can be to me and my family.

We currently only have one dog in our house:

Leo, the day we brought him home

Leo, the day we brought him home

Loralei passed away in February (I’ve mentioned her in my PL layouts):

Loralie aka "Little"

Loralie aka “Little”

And Chewie passed away about three and a half years ago …

Natalie with Chewie when she was 2-3 yrs old

Natalie with Chewie when she was 2-3 yrs old

I may have added more than one #tbt photo, but they all help tell the story, right? :) I think this is going to be a fun thing to keep up with. How about you – do you post Throwback Thursday pictures on social media/your blog?

 


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Blues on the Green (2013 family album layout)

So one of my goals for this year was to include more than just my Project Life spreads on this blog, so I guess it’s time I actually do that!

IMG_2321I got the idea for this layout after looking at that Amy Tan cityscape patterned paper. I’d used it before on another layout, but had a 2nd one because I loved it so much.  I only had two decent-enough-to-use photos for this layout, so I wanted to make the layout itself spectacular. I started with the black paper at the top and heat embossed several different star stamps in gold, silver and opaque white.

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I also added some gold star sequins from Studio Calico for some variety and interest. Beneath that I added two layers of torn dark blue paper (night sky fading into the black) and then sat and cut along one of the cityscape lines (while watching a show) for the next layer and then finished the bottom with green (along with a few torn edges of green).

IMG_2324I wanted to add more detail and stumbled upon these cute lawn chairs on the Silhouette website. And a cute picnic basket for the bottom next to the journaling … (with some Lawn Fawn apple stamps)

IMG_2326I had so much fun doing this layout – I was actually giddy about it. Best of all? When I showed my husband, his response was “Wow!” Again, here is the full layout:

IMG_2321Short and simple :)

 

 

 

 


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Project Life – Weeks 10 and 11

I have to say that I am having a lot more fun putting my layouts together this year since I am no longer confining myself to one core kit for the majority of the page. I have most of a Honey and Blush core kit, but I’ve also cut up some 6×6 Amy Tan paper pads to use. And if I can ever find the Plus One mini kit, I will be adding that to the mix! Here we go with week ten …

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For this week’s layout I wanted to mostly stick to black and white journaling cards/paper because the colors in my photos were all over the place. I had two different Amy Tan patterns that I used for the weekly card. When I put the March calendar card in, it was green (which thankfully went with a couple photos) and then added the teal (Tim Holtz Peacock Feathers ink), so those are the color enamel dots I pulled out … and then an orange one to pull a color from the right half of the page.

(wow, that was a long description for one pocket!)

(wow, that was a long description for one pocket!)

On Sunday, Natalie went to do some baby-sitting of sorts. She goes to her 3rd grade teacher’s house (she’s in 4th now) and plays with the kids (3 year old and 2 year old twins) so that Magen can get something accomplished :) Magen is also great about taking pictures of Natalie with her kids and sharing them. I had Natalie do her own journaling.

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I’ve mentioned in previous weeks that my husband is redoing part of our bathroom. I’ve been trying to document the process in our PL pages instead of doing a mini album or something along those lines, because really, who wants to look at a bunch of photos of demo? He has some work jeans that had a rip in the back and this particular day, the rip, uhhh … became more than a rip …

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The Friday before Spring Break always seems like one of the busiest days of the school year. This year Sydney (and the entire 2nd grade) presented their endangered species projects in the hallway. Then I photographed first graders releasing the butterflies they’d had since the caterpillar stage (LOVE doing this every year) and then I spent quite a bit of time with Natalie’s class trying to get caught up on 4 months of scrapbook layouts that they were behind!

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this little guy was on MY arm ... he didn't fully form and wasn't able to fly well, so he stayed with me

this little guy was on MY arm … he didn’t fully form and wasn’t able to fly well, so he stayed with me

 

And now on to Spring Break!!!!

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Here’s a look at the full spread:

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You know you’ve trained your children well when they bring you stickers from their stash to match photos you’ve taken of them.

Syd was kind enough to share her Lego Chima stickers

Syd was kind enough to share her Lego Chima stickers

Monday Jason took the day off so that we could do something together. One of the nearby theaters has gone thru several changes over the years, closed completely and then reopened as a dollar theater. It also happens to be the theater I was working at when a new guy started working there and we started dating …and then five years later we ended up getting married. Needless to say, it’s a special movie theater to us.

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I love this filler card from Studio Calico and it seemed to be the perfect card for spring break.

IMG_2419Thursday we met close family friends (our kids actually tell people they are cousins and call us adults “aunt” and “uncle”) at the newly redone children’s museum. All four girls had a blast!

(I forgot to photograph it from the layout, so here's the original photo)

(I forgot to photograph it from the layout, so here’s the original photo)

They came back and spent the night and then the next morning Jason took off work and went with us to the recently opened Austin Aquarium (other friends/family met us there, too). The hands-on things were what the girls loved best. The lighting was not the greatest for taking pictures, so the ones of them petting rays and little sharks were not quite as good as the ones of them petting lizards and feeding birds.

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IMG_2423The above photo earned the “epic” flare because Sydney won’t go near our parakeets at home when they are out of the cage, so the fact that she actually agreed to feeding a much larger bird AND didn’t freak out was just awesome!

After the aquarium and lunch at Rudy’s (outside), we went to the park by our friend’s house and let the kids play for another few hours. Monkey taught Syd how to play hacky sack.

IMG_2424By Saturday morning, I couldn’t get out of bed (thank you, Lupus) so Monkey, Brenna and the four girls played a board game all morning until it was time for the girls to leave. I didn’t have any photos, so I got a picture of the game they played (see above right card).

That is where I am with my PL spreads. I have two more weeks worth of photos in pockets just waiting for journaling. Thanks for reading along. I will also be linking this post up to The Mom Creative and would love to read your comments!

 

 

 

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