sharing my creativity, one project at a time

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Project Life – weeks 28-29


And with that, I take you back to the first week (or so) of July. Looking at this layout, I am again reminded how much I love the Honey core kit and bright colors (although, I did use a card from the Seafoam kit, too).

left side

left side

right side

right side

I wanted to keep the title card for this week simple, so that it didn’t take away from the pretty clouds, but I didn’t want it “plain”. I ended up lightly painting on some Stickles (yes, I use a paintbrush when it’s a larger area). In keeping with the soft feel, I pulled out my Amy Tangerine letter stickers (the set with multiple colors). I was so happy to find something I could use these on – Natalie keeps taking them for her school scrapbook and I’m afraid she’s going to use up all of the vowels before I get a chance to use them myself!


One of my favorite “things” to photograph are hands. Hands are one of those things that as a kid you take for granted, but as an adult, you realize how important they are. When I was little, I used to take my father’s hand and turn it palm up and then lay my face down on it when I was tired. It was something I just did, without even thinking about it. Now I would give anything to have a good photo of his hands … Anyway, I’m getting off point. I also think kid hands can be really cute, so instead of getting Sydney’s whole face/body, I focused on her little hands.


We went to a birthday/pool party this week. I am glad I got one good shot of the two girls together since the friend doesn’t go to the same school with my girls anymore. This was also a good chance to have Natalie journal.


This was also the week I got my last mail order from Two Peas. I think my journaling about sums it up. Even my girls were sad to hear they were closing.



And now, on to …


The full spread:


This was the first week in a long time that the colors on each half of the layout didn’t all “go” together. On the left side, that purple was the dominant color.


I pulled the purple from Sydney’s shirt in that bottom left photo (at her birthday dinner). I also pulled the colors for the right side from her shirt – this time from the bottom right photo.


In case it wasn’t obvious, this was the week of Sydney’s birthday.

I used Heidi Swapp Gold color shine on the 8

I used Heidi Swapp Gold color shine on the 8

I’ve mentioned in previous posts how we are working on Sydney’s self esteem. I really think that she has come a long way over this summer and (to me) it was easy to see when I was taking her yearly portraits. This was my favorite one from the day.



Well, that wraps up weeks 28-29. I’ve had these photographed for a while and just needed to sit down and finally share them. Now that school has started and we’re finally figuring out our routine, I’ve had a bit more time to work on catching up. I’m excited to get back to the point where I am working on the week previous and not the month previous. There are classes and projects that I am hoping to do over the next few months, so this is the first step towards doing that.

Thank you for stopping by!


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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 –


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.


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:


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:


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).




Okay, now onto week fifteen.

IMG_3678Here is the full spread for this week.




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!


The very next day, Monkey started his new job.


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.


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:


… and the back



Okay, one more week:



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.




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).


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.



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!



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?


Project Life – week 6


I think that week six has been my favorite week so far in regards to the color and putting it together. The way this layout looks? *That* is why I chose to use the Honey core kit this year. On to the close ups:




When I was first trying to decide what cards to use with this layout, I noticed I had a lot of strong colors, so I pulled out one of the title cards with a lot of color. The actual “week 6” part was getting lost against all of the color, so I recut it on gray to make a bit of a shadow.


One of the photos was of my girls at a birthday party that I didn’t make it to (Monkey, aka daddy took them). Instead of trying to reword what they told me, I made room to have them both journal about the party. Aaaaannnd because they are kids and listening is not a skill they are always familiar with, this was the second version of the journaling cards because the first time they wrote with the arrows pointing up, even though I said I needed them to point down. See, don’t you feel better that it’s not just your kids? 🙂


Something I’ve been wanting to try is using pockets in the pocket pages (there’s a joke in there somewhere). I picked up a couple of Simple Stories’ sets when Archiver’s was having it’s closing sale.  Here is my first attempt – it’s holding hockey tickets.



A good friend of ours really wanted an excuse to see the Lego movie that recently came out. Since he has no kids of his own, he borrowed ours and another close friend’s and took all four girls, the other girls’ mom and my husband (we’re all friends) and they went to the Lego movie. I was more interested in some kid-free scrapbooking time at home. I wanted to do something fun for the girls to remember the movie by, so again I turned to a magazine (see this layout where I used a photo for Breaking Bad). I found this photo/synopsis of the movie in Entertainment Weekly. Also, my husband was sweet enough to remember to take a photo for me!

(journaling made easy)

(journaling made easy)

Finally, I had a small 6×8 insert this week for the start of the Olympics. I found some free journaling/filler cards online and used those along with the photos my husband found online. The Olympics have always been a really big deal for him, so I left the journaling and choice of diecuts up to him (I just did the work).





I knew I wanted to use the Silhouette die cut of the flaming torch and finally decided to put it on this card and loved the final result:


For the back two 3×4 spots I knew I wanted to use the Silhouette to cut out dies of my husband’s favorite winter Olympic events. Hockey was a no-brainer. He also chose snowboarding and I thought just a black silhouetted image of each was the best look.

(flying off the card)

(flying off the card)


Okay, that about wraps up our week six. I will be linking up to The Mom Creative for her first of what will now be a once monthly link up. Thanks for reading along and I would love to hear from you!



Project Life – Week 26 (Summer Love)








The fact that it is now December made me realize that I need to get my butt in gear and not only get caught up on my pages (I’m about a month behind) but that I also want to try to get all of the weeks posted by the end of the year, if possible.  Come January, I am starting fresh, so here goes …




When I start putting a layout together, I use the week card as a starting point and try to draw the colors from the photos. This was one of those weeks where the colors were just all over the place. I had a few brightly colored filler cards that I wanted to use, so I decided to go with bright, summery colors.



I wasn't sure if this red would clash with the "I love summer" pink card, but I think it works

I wasn’t sure if this red would clash with the “I love summer” pink card, but I think it works

I think it helps to have something with multiple bright colors in it that incorporate the colors on the page to “tie it all together” and this was the one I used

circle note is from Sydney

circle note is from Sydney

This week I finally got a good picture of Keet. Sometime in May, my husband and some of his coworkers found a lone parakeet searching for food in their office parking lot. There were talks of making him the office mascot (they are very pet-friendly, on any given day, there will be at least 1-2 dogs in the office), but someone needed to take care of him over the weekend. Well, my husband was the last person to leave, so guess who brought the bird home? He now lives with us. Keet (as in para-) is very shy around people and so just being able to get a picture of him has been difficult. This was a big achievement for me.

this is the original - the one from the layout had a glare on it

this is the original – the one from the layout had a glare on it

With my health issues becoming more and more of a presence in our daily life, I’ve decided to not try to gloss over/hide it like I usually do and just add it in as a factual part of our daily life. My hair has always been one of the few things on my body I was proud of. As a kid, I had the longest, thickest blonde hair. I literally did not have it cut until I was twelve years old. It went from being just past my butt to chin length in the matter of 30 minutes. When I was 16, I watched my cousin with such jealousy about her natural curls … until I tried to do what she did and realized my hair is also naturally curly (it had always just been too long/thick for the curls). A few years back, I got tired of the dumb blonde jokes and the “are you a natural blonde?” questions and colored my hair red. Most people I “work” with at school assume the red is my real color and ask where my girls get their blonde hair from 🙂 ANYWAY … just thought a little backstory was important.


Something very cool happened this week – my mother decided to try Project Life! She is not a scrapbooker. My mother’s version of what most of us do was to make photo collage frames of events or groups of family/friends, but she is running out of wall space quickly! I’ve shown her my albums a couple times and explained to her how easy it is to do and that it doesn’t have to be an album of your daily life. She is doing hers with events in her home – starting with finding the house as it was finishing up being built. It was nice to have something common for us to share/talk about.



My husband started about a year and a half to two years ago getting into shape and learning to eat better. It all started because he wanted to do one of those obstacle course races like Tough Mudder, but knew he needed to get into shape first. Now he has lost over 40lbs and is in better shape than he was in high school (excuse me sticking my tongue out at him). He wanted to be able to practice wall climbing, so I suggested we take down a part of our multilevel deck that we rarely use and reuse the wood to start building the wall in it’s place. So he did.


Finally, this week I started chore charts with the girls. They have their “chores” that they do around the house, but had been slacking off. We had a sit down talk with them about needing them to step up and help out more since I’m able to do less and less. I made the charts with stickers because (1) Sydney will do just about anything for a sticker and (2) Natalie (like her mom) likes to be able to check things off a list. Win – win, right?




I figured those chore charts will be something they will get a kick out of seeing later on in life (“Remember when we only had to remember to feed the dogs? And not worry about making enough money to feed ourselves and our family?”)

Okay, I’m off to link up to The Mom Creative for Project Life Tuesday. I would love to hear from you in the comments!



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Project Life – weeks 24 & 25


This was from way back in June – our first full week of summer vacation.



I stuck with a lot of greens and oranges to give it a summery feel. I love taking photos of flowers in bloom during the summer and put these three together onto one 4×6 so that the entire layout wasn’t just flower photos. Now that school is out, I have the time to relax and just enjoy what’s around me.


When the mason jar stuff first came out, I was loving it, but not always sure how to incorporate it into my layouts. I’m just not one of those people that puts random designs on a layout for decoration with absolutely no meaning. I did think that lightning bugs in a jar was good imagery for summer, so yay!


Something else that screams “summer!” in our family is all of the summer reading programs in our area. We usually sign up for all of them and then choose the ones that we really like to keep up with. We are a family of readers anyway, so it’s nice to get prizes and incentives to continue doing something you love, right?


My girls and I spend most of our summer mornings on our back porch, either reading, playing or keeping cool in our little blow up pool. As goofy as I look in this picture, I was trying to make my youngest laugh while remembering to include myself in photos more (especially with them).


click on the photo to read the journaling

click on the photo to read the journaling

I’ve told my girls this story before, but I wanted to record it to make sure it’s remembered. This is one of the reasons I started Project Life – little bits like this that are important and should be remembered, but don’t really need an entire 12×12 layout.

This week had one insert. Last year we took the girls to Blues on the Green (free concerts outdoors) and took them again this year. We didn’t leave early enough and spent over an hour trying to get into the park/find parking, but the short time we were there was fun!

7x5 insert

7×5 insert

and now ….


See the arrow over the dates? Yeah, I didn’t realize I was stamping with the back of the stamp (gray part), so I had to keep going with it, then flipped the stamp over to get the detail with black ink. I’ve seen that “technique” done before with other images, so I’m glad it was in the back of my mind 🙂


For some reason, I forgot to take close ups of each side. Sunday this week was Father’s Day. The girls gave him the presents they made and then we tried a new bbq place for lunch. Turns out the food was not really what we liked, but hey, we tried a new place.


My youngest daughter has become obsessed with the clothes in the Lands End catalogs. She wants to order everything and I’ve explained to her that we can’t really do that. I told her she could cut out the pictures of clothes she likes and we could save that for back to school shopping. She turned it into a morning long project. She made her own book and everything – love it!


This popsicle stamp is from The Stamps of Life – it’s really cute and gave me a chance to practice coloring with my Copic markers. I may or may not have given my girls popsicles for this very reason.


My husband had surgery this week to remove a kidney stone. The doctor came out after the procedure to let me know that the problem was that the stone was situated wide across instead of down (see photos) and that’s why it didn’t pass. I had my husband journal about it. ( he gave me permission to post this – I promise I asked first)

it might be hard to see, but the yellow side thing in the middle is the stone

it might be hard to see, but the yellow side thing in the middle is the stone

close up of his journaling

close up of his journaling

This was not his first kidney stone surgery, but the first one that the doctor gave us pictures (is it sad that I immediately thought “This is going in the PL album”?)

Okay, well that’s two more weeks closer to being up to date. I’m actually working on September’s layouts right now. Thanks for taking a look. Are you up to date with your pages? Now that we are so close to the end of the year, are you feeling that push to catch up before starting fresh on January 1st?

As always, I’ll be linking up with The Mom Creative for Project Life Tuesday.

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Week 23 … seems so long ago

This was the last week of school for the girls … and now they have started a new grade level. I’m actually taking a break from my layouts right now. Here is the full spread of week 23



left side

left side


I had fun making the weekly card for this one since it was a smaller canvas to work with. I used some cute Doodlebug letter stickers and some pink foam thickers. I had just picked up these wood veneer houses at Michael’s, so I added those to the card.



I use Seafoam core kit cards for the title cards each week and tend to stick to the colors of that kit. I had these cut apart cards (part of a 12×12 sheet – don’t remember the brand/line) and really liked the pinks and aquas and thought I could make it work. I wanted this layout to be bright and happy to reflect the feeling of the week.

I will admit to being a big dork. I had these flip flops that I LOVED because they were so cushiony and comfy, but my husband said they were ugly and he kept trying to get me to buy shoes that were better for my feet (these were a pregnancy buy almost a decade ago). Well, sure enough,  within a week of his latest round of giving me hell about them, I had a blow out … while at school.

(yes, the "so happy together" refers to my shoes and I)

(yes, the “so happy together” refers to my shoes and I)

As I mentioned earlier, school was wrapping up this week. My oldest daughter’s class did a “living museum” as a way to show the information they learned doing biographies. After her presentation time, we had her student led conference. Here she is with one of her best friends:


My younger daughter’s teacher is a phenomenal teacher and woman. She is very big on encouraging her students to write – I shot these photos one day when she took them outside at school to work on their poetry.



If you’ve read my posts before, you know that I do a scrapbook project at school with the students. We’ve talked before about the teachers doing one as well, but it just never works out. Instead, I had all the students write on a 6×6 piece of colored cardstock what they love most/what they’ve learned from their teacher. I then put that into a mini album next to a photo of that student with the teacher ( I do a quick photo session during downtime). We gave those to my daughters’ teachers the second to last day of school. It is so fun to watch their reactions as they read thru the albums.



The last day of school I try to get a shot of the girls in the front yard – exactly the same as I do on the first day of school. It’s fun to put together a comparison shot for their school scrapbooks. Here is Natalie on the last day:

last day as a 3rd grader

last day as a 3rd grader


And Sydney:

last day as a 1st grader

last day as a 1st grader



The last day of school I host a “Hooray for summer!” party for the girls and some of their school friends (mostly teachers’ kids) – that was Friday. Saturday, good friends of ours came down for a slumber party. Noel was still recovering from her rattlesnake bite, but you’d never be able to tell from the way she played!

(journaling card on right courtesy of Cathy Z - minus the ink smear)

(journaling card on left courtesy of Cathy Z – minus the ink smear)



And that sums up another week in our life! Thanks for reading, feel free to leave me a comment. As always (or at least when I remember to post) I will be linking up with The Mom Creative for Project Life Tuesday. If you like what you just saw, you should check out some of the other people doing the same project.