Monday, January 31, 2011

Exciting Things are Coming

This weekend was the CHA-Winter show which means the scrapbooking world has been all abuzz the past week with sneak peaks and show information. It's always exciting to see what's coming out in the next few months. Personally I'm on a spending freeze until at least the end of March trying to use up some of my stash before a lot of the latest and greatest hits the stores.

Some of my favorites this time are Crate Paper , October Afternoon and Basic Grey. I also really like the new KI Puffies and think they would be great on layouts and projects for the kids. I have noticed lots of companies seem to be gravitating away from the bright colors and bold patterns we've seen so much of lately and going for more of a vintage look. I've seen lots of softer pinks, greens and peachy tones. It's always interesting to see what trends the companies are following.

Since it is CHA weekend, 2P's has had an online social going on all weekend. They've had chats, blog posts with product information and show photos, and lots of scrapbook challenges. I managed to complete two of these challenges over the weekend.

The challenge on this one was to use red as the dominant color. I like red, but don't usually scrap with it this much. I used a sketch from Sketch Support. The papers are Collage Press, Echo Park and October Afternoon. I used old velvet ribbon, Thickers and really old KI Memories tag and Scrapworks (remember them?) chipboard accents. I finally got out my I-Rock that I won from Imaginisce a few months back and added bling to some of the snowflakes on the paper behind my journaling. That thing is awesome! I don't know why I waited so long to try it out but I will be using it a lot more!

The challenge for this layout was to use accessories in the form of flowers and bling on your project. When I saw that challenge I immediately thought of this photo of DD dressed as a hippie for Decade Day during Homecoming Week at school. I had all these beautiful Crate Paper papers and embellishments in a bag from a kit that I had not used yet and thought they'd go with my flower child theme quite well. I used a Page Maps sketch and everything came together nicely. This one is so bulky that it was really hard to scan but there are rhinestones on the word stickers around the two center flowers. This one is pretty different than my usual style (especially all that yellow!) but I really like it and so does DD.

The challenges are still going on until midnight on Wednesday, February 2. Check them out for lots of great inspiration!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fun in the Sun

We finally had a nice day today. It was a warm 65 degrees and hardly a cloud in the sky. All four of us enjoyed spending time outside and taking advantage of this beautiful day before the weather turns cold again. It's amazing what a little sunshine and fresh air can do for the soul.

I usually don't mind winter since ours are so mild. This year is about to change my mind though. Snow for 3 weeks in a row is too much for us down here and I'm tired of it. I know it's still January though and there's more to come most likely, but I won't be sorry when spring arrives that's for sure. That groundhog better not see his shadow next week if he knows what's good for him. :)

On another note, we had a big event here today. We've been working on potty training and Will is getting better and better. Today he went pooped in the potty for the first time at home. He got a sucker as a special treat for the accomplishment. I can't wait for him to be out of diapers!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Babes

We had a great day yesterday. Very relaxing Sunday and a great church service. Our Sunday School class is starting a new series on the history of the Bible and it is very interesting. The teacher has prepared an entire 3-ring binder with timelines and information for us. It's going to be quite deep, but we're both looking forward to it. The kids were great during Worship. They were so still and quiet and we were so proud of them. Right at the end as I started gathering up our things just before we were dismissed Will hollers out, "Come on Mommy; I've got to get out of this place". William and I were about to die and trying very hard not to laugh out loud. Haven't we all felt that way at some point but just couldn't say it? :)

After services we went to Jason's Deli to eat. It's been quite a while since we all went out to eat; it's so hard with Will's food allergies. But Jason's Deli is one place where we can all eat healthy and find plenty of choices for Will. It's one of our favorite places to go.

On a different note, I managed to do two layouts this weekend. I feel like I've done so many for Will lately and need to do more of Rylie so this first one is all her.

I used new to me October Afternoon goodies and a sketch from Studio Calico. I wasn't sure about this one as I was working on it but I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Here's Will's layout for the weekend. I like to get holidays scrapped as much as I can before the next year's holiday rolls around. Still have lots from Easter last year to do but I'm getting there. I seem to have a hard time with Easter layouts because I have trouble finding paper and embellishments that I like. I don't know why Easter is so hard to find a variety of lines. Anyway, this was his first egg hunt and the little ones were still learning what it was all about. I used some GCD papers and Bo Bunny stickers.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Christmas in Amory

I finally got to scrapbook again and it felt so good! I'd been planning this for over a week and had my photos all printed out to size and on my desk. I loved this sketch the minute I saw it. It is from one of my favorite sites, Sketch Support . Although Allison Davis has been around a while, she revamped her site at the first of the year and I am loving it even more now.

When I saw what Allison did with the sketch on the first day, I knew I wanted to use lots of photos in it too. I thought it would be perfect for Christmas photos. I always want to scrap our Christmas celebrations, but don't want to end up with 20 layouts for each year so I'm always looking for ways to fit lots of photos on the layouts. I did change it up in several ways from the original sketch and Allison's many-photo version. I ended up using 16 photos on this layout; something that doesn't happen that often.

I used pop dots on lots of the sticker accents for interest, and even on the green border sticker. I cut off part of the border sticker and used it with my title. I had just this much left over of the red Queen and Co. Felt Fusion so I added it to the bottom of the layout since I decided not to cut the background paper into waves. I also used a border punch on those papers. I did not add any journaling except for the date. You can see details from the photos of what gifts were received and who was there so I thought the photos kind of spoke for themselves in this instance. Thickers were used in the title along with really old Karen Foster pebble letters. Everything else is Echo Park. I really enjoyed making this layout and using inspiration from Sketch Support.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Beef Stew

I have been wanting beef stew for a while. I like it at least once during the winter but the hubby isn't a big fan. I've always made it using one of those seasoning packets you get at the grocery store and liked it just fine. Since those contain soy they were out of the question (our son has several food allergies). I came upon this recipe the other day and thought I'd give it a try. Usually anything I make from the Pioneer Woman is good so I thought I'd give it a go. If you know me at all, you know that I rarely follow a recipe totally. I'm always making substitutions to use what I have on hand and this recipe was no exception. Here are the changes I made:

* I used the beef stock instead of the bullion cubes since they contain soy
* I used frozen stew vegetables. They contained pearl onions but I love caramelized onions and the flavor they add to dishes so I used the regular onion called for in the recipe also.
* I added extra frozen carrots. I had about 1/3 of a bag left in the freezer so I through them in.
* Same with the corn. It was frozen and there wasn't a whole lot left so I added it also. The boy is also allergic to corn so I took his out of his servings.
* I did not have tomato paste on hand so I used a couple tablespoons of ketchup. I didn't measure; I just put some in.

The stew was a big hit with everyone in the family. The kids were excited just smelling it cooking wondering what it was going to be. We loved it at out house and it will definitely be added to my recipe box. Hope you will give it a try also. You can find the original recipe here: Beef Stew with Beer and Paprika

A Week Later

It's been a week since my last blog post. I didn't intend to go that long but then something happened.

Thursday evening it was still icy after our snow on Monday. We got home that evening and the steps to the back door were a solid piece of ice. I got Will in the house first then was going to go back to the car for everything else. I was holding on to the door facing with my left hand, the door with my right, to steady myself on the ice. Will came up and saw that the back door was open and slammed it, holding it there trying to get it to shut; my hand was still on the door facing. I went to the doctor Friday and it wasn't broken, just very sore. It's hard to tell from the photo, but if you look closely you can see the blue bruising and swelling starting. (Sorry for the horrible picture. I took this with my cell since it was with me.) This cut back on my computer time since typing was painful. It's much better today so I'm getting back into the swing of things with my blog. I hope to have a layout to post later today.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day!

We got about 3.5 inches of snow over night last night. Plenty to call off school and have a little fun in. William was going to stay home from work with the kids and I was going to go to work. It's just snow, no ice so should have been no problem. I got ready and got to the top of the hill ready to turn on our county road and it was a solid sheet of ice. We're not far from the city limits but getting there is up and down hills and curvy. They never salt or clear our county roads so it was a mess. I decided I'd take the dock in pay today and just call in. We all played outside for a little while and then came inside for some coffee and hot chocolate. Such a nice day to just hang out around the house.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Couple of Projects

I set myself a goal for 2011. I would like to create 10 layouts each month. This is not a lot for many of you, but it is for me. With working full time and two little kids my free time for scrapbooking is pretty limited. So far I'm off to a good start. I have made 6 layouts and 1 card for January. Hopefully I can keep up. Here's what I have been working on.

This was made for one of the January CG challenges at 2P's. It is based on a sketch from CK Magazine. You can't really tell from the scan but I used glitter cardstock to go with the whole glitter eggs theme.

I really love how this one turned out. These pictures of my son are almost 2 years old but I never could figure out just how I wanted to scrap them. These adorable Echo Park papers and Allison Davis's sketch were just what they needed.

What's better than using all old products? This card was for another of the January CG challenges at 2P's. I've never done many cards so this one is simple, but I think it turned out cute. The heart is cut from the Slumber Party Cricut cartridge and the "Sweet" is cut from Just Because Cards. With my son's food allergies, we keep smarties around because they are one of the few candies he can eat. I grabbed a roll and added them to the card. This will be a sweet treat for my daughter for Valentine's Day. I plan on doing something similar for my son, just not quite so girly.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Top 3!

I had so much fun using this sketch this week from Sketches In Thyme . I was so surprised and excited when I found out last night that my layout was chosen as one of their Top 3 for the sketch! If you haven't been there and love sketches as much as I do be sure to check it out. You'll find a wide variety of layout and card sketches and will definitely find something to spark your creativity.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

First Book of 2011

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. The book is set in Afghanistan mostly during the 1970's. It tells of class and ethnic distinctions of that area and in that culture, but the main focus is on redemption and forgiveness. There were parts that were hard to get through because of the subject matter, but it is definitely worth it to keep going. I would highly recommend this book and look forward to reading Hosseini's next book, A Thousand Splendid Suns.