Friday, July 29, 2016

"Also Known As..." | Scrapbook Layout

I'm back today to share a fun layout I made about JJ! Around here, he probably gets called by a nickname more often than his actual name, and we have quite a few to choose from! I thought it would be fun to have them all together on a layout. I'm also going to create a few separate layouts for some of the nicknames that have a bit more story behind them. I used the super fun and bright "Sunny Days" collection by Elle's Studio, which goes perfect with this cheerful story.

I created the white base with the nicknames in Photoshop. I just created a brush file for each nickname I included so that I could randomly stamp them all over the page. I put some on a different layer with a low opacity to get some variation in the 'ink' colours and saturation, so it would look as if I actually double stamped them.

Looking at the finished spread, I wish that I had made the blue 'base' paper a little smaller, and had more of the yellow at the top... I think that would have looked a little better design-wise, but oh well. I'm still really happy with how this layout turned out.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

"The Homestead at Old Chico" | Scrapbook Layout

I was able to knock out two more pages for our Yellowstone album this weekend! Yay! I'm feeling super inspired to scrap right now... which feels great after going through a few months of not really feeling like scrapping at all. Just the ebbs and the flows.

For this spread I documented the awesome little log cabin we stayed in for our trip. I loved it. It was one of the highlights of the trip for me. I will probably end up saying that about almost everything... haha! But this is a major highlight. I've always wanted to live in a log cabin (the Laura Ingalls in me, I suppose), so staying in one for those few days will have to do for me, for now! It was the cutest little cabin, that was actually built in the 1800's in Helena, then bought and moved to this area about 30 minutes outside of the park. It's been renovated to have modern necessities (running water, a shower, etc.), but still keeps it's rustic charm. I loved it. It is also nestled right into the mountains pretty much, so stunning scenery all around it. I hope that whenever we end up making our way back to Yellowstone that we are able to stay in it again.

Anyways, onto the page. After seeing this page by Mary Ann Jenkins on the Paper Issues blog, I knew that I would have to scraplift it. I love that mountain paper from the Pink Paislee Outfitters line, but didn't really know how to use it. Once I saw what she had done, I thought a similar design would work out great for my cabin photos, and I love how this spread has turned out!

I love the copper/rose gold accents in this collection, and LOVE those Thickers. I have also been having fun with the Heidi Swapp Minc Reactive spray mist, and foiling a bunch of stuff (tags, doilies, cork embellishments) to add to my pages. I highly recommend the reactive spray mist - although it doesn't spray very well (and I have read that is just the way the spray is, not that my mister is defective or anything). It kind of shoots out in a stream, not really a mist. But I have just been dropping/flicking the liquid onto my pieces, and am loving how it is turning out! I used it on the tag in the picture above.

I'm also trying to fit in some Ali Edwards 'Wild' Story Kit and Stamp products wherever possible (the "Super Good Time" stamp above).

Another example of using the Minc Reactive Spray on the cork heart. I wasn't sure it would work on the cork - I thought it may absorb the spray too much - but it works wonderfully!

So far, (ha! Three pages in!) I'm really happy with where this Yellowstone album is going. And definitely loving this Pink Paislee collection. And now that I have a bit of my scrapping mojo back, I'm hoping to start working on my Project Life for this year. Around March some stuff came up, and I stalled out on that project. But I just printed some pictures from the last few weeks, and am planning on starting at the most recent weeks and work backwards (while hopefully starting to work on current weeks as they come as well). So, wish me luck! I have about 4 months worth to catch up on! (Has that much time really gone by since I last worked on Project Life....??!?)

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Yellowstone Album Opening Page | Scrapbook Layout

I don't even remember what exactly prompted it, but I have been Yellowstone crazy these last few weeks. We took a trip there with friends back in July of 2010, and I've been dreaming of going back ever since.

I've never scrapped our trip - mainly because it's been one of my favourite trips ever, and I was kind of scared of not being able to capture it in a way that would do justice to how awesome I think it was. But finally, after watching a bunch of Paperclipping videos, and thinking about story-centred albums, I started feeling super inspired to finally get this album started. I also found the Pink Paislee Outfitters collection, and it just seemed too perfect!

After receiving my haul, I got to work on an opening page for my album. I had a picture of Jason and me that was taken at one of the park signs entering the park that I thought would be perfect.

Along with the Outfitters collection, I plan on using a lot of the Wild Story Kit from Ali Edwards throughout the album (for obvious reasons). As a bonus, the colours of it go pretty well with the Outfitters collection.

I recently bought the Minc Reactive Mist and have been having so much fun playing around with it. I added some splatters to a doily and some white tags I had sitting around, then added some rose gold foil. I love how it turned out! It goes perfectly with the copper accents included in the Outfitters collection.

I'm super happy with how this opening page turned out, and can't wait to get working on the rest of the album!

Thanks for stopping by :)

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Around Here | June 2016

Around here it was my birthday! :) I had a fairly low-key day - we did our weekend cleaning (my husband and I have a weekend cleaning job where we clean an office building for some extra income, so we can do fun things like travel pretty regularly), then relaxed in the afternoon, then went out with our friends Jarrett and Sara for dinner.

Around here we've had a real mixture weather-wise. It's been crazy hot one day, then the next day we have fall-like temps. It's been soooo weird...

Around here I started practicing brush lettering again, and have been loving it! I find it so calming and relaxing.

Around here JJ got asked to be a ring-bearer for my cousin's wedding next summer. So exciting!!

Around here Austen has been in a major Toy Story phase. He is loving the movies, and playing with JJ's Buzz and Woody 'action figures'. I feel like I am re-living part of my childhood... my brother was also a huge fan of Toy Story, and I remember him watching the original movie over and over and over. He would watch the movie (on VHS!), rewind it, and just watch it again and again.

Around here we've had a busy month of socializing - a 40th wedding anniversary, an engagement party, a baby shower, and a couple of Father's Day get-togethers. It seems like every weekend we have one (or more!) things we have to be at!

Around here Jason has had to work every weekend. Not the worst thing, since weekends don't really mean to much to us (since I stay at home with they boys), and he has been getting a string of days off during the week. It's just made for crazy and busy days of me carting the kids around to all of our social commitments, solo.

Around here I finally signed up for a yoga class. And loved it. It was a very small, intimate setting, which was perfect for a total beginner like myself. I'm hoping that the instructor offers a class again in the fall.

Around here I attempted to eat fully vegan for the entire month. I did pretty well, but did stray a bit towards the end of the month. It is unbelievable just how much stuff milk and eggs are in... Going forward I am still eating mostly plant-based, with the intention of going 100% plant based in the future.

Around here we were finally able to pick up JJ & Austen's long awaited Blue Bomber jerseys (our local football team). We'd pre-ordered these in May, and made the mistake of telling JJ. He's been hounding us about them ever since. Of course, there was also an issue with the manufacturer, which made them delayed even longer. We finally got to go pick them up last week, and needless to say, JJ lived in his for the first few days!

Around here the boys went to my parents for a sleepover and Jason and I had a much needed date night. Pretty low-key - we went for supper at Tony Roma's, which is a mini story in itself. I wanted to go there for a specific pasta dish, only to find once we got there that they've taken it off the menu. *crying emoji* They also took the sandwich that Jason likes off the menu, so it was a double bust. Although, just being able to go out and eat a meal in peace, without dealing with an unruly almost-two-year-old who doesn't want to sit, then trying to force-feed that same almost-two-year-old because he also doesn't want to eat, made it worth it anyways. Afterwards we just came home and enjoyed a nice quiet evening, had a bonfire, and called it a relatively early night. It was a nice little reset.

How was your June??

Monday, June 13, 2016

'Favourites' Read Story Kit | Scrapbook Layout

Happy Monday everyone :) I'm back today to share a quick layout I made using the Read Story Kit from Ali Edwards. Full disclosure: this layout was almost totally scraplifted from a layout Ali made, so I can't take credit for the design aspect. But I still had so much fun making it! And it was one that came together fairly easily, due to the simple grid design, and the fact that I love books.

I used the Jonah Alpha stamp from Elle's Studio for the title. Love that stamp set!

And I used the stamps from the digital kit to create the word block at the bottom of the page, using the colour picker in Photoshop to pick colours from various journal cards in the kits. I love using the digital stamps to make word clusters like that (I did something similar and created my own patterned paper here).

The Read Story kit has definitely been one of my favourite Story Kits, 1) because I love reading, and 2) I just love the fun, bright colours of the kit. Can never say enough good things about these kits :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Week in the Life | Tuesday in the Album

Hello! I'm here to share my Week in the Life Tuesday pages today. Working on this album has been a bit more slow-going that I was hoping. But, it's getting done, and that's the important part. So here's what my Tuesday looks like in the album :) 

Keeping it consistent with a 3x8" insert to start off the day, as well as my full 6x8" photo.

I made sure to add a little note with how old the boys are right now. I'm going to add JJ's age onto one of the 6x8" title pages for a different day.

Like I mentioned last time, I am using one of the 6x8" templates from this set by Ali for the back of the title page. And I decided to use the rolling time stamp from Ali's Day in the Life kit (now sold out) to add some times on various photos (I just took the times from the metadata of the photo). I didn't do this for Monday, so I'm going to go back and do so now.

JJ had an eye appointment on this morning, and I included a few pictures from that, as well as some journaling about how great he did at his appointment this time. Previous appointments have not gone well. He used to get very shy/scared, and didn't really cooperate, and they could never get very accurate prescriptions, etc. But he did amazing this time! We did some 'practicing' in the weeks before his appointment, so I think that helped, but also just the fact that he is getting older, and understanding more.

On this day we found out that JJ is technically considered legally blind, because his visual acuity is so low, and because, although they can't test it at this young of an age, he has poor peripheral vision. We can just tell this in our day to day life, as he is constantly bumping into things, and just has trouble seeing things that aren't directly in front of him. This wasn't exactly 'news' to us - he's had very poor vision since birth due to some complications in utero. And he's not blind in the sense that he can't see at all. But it is still disheartening to hear him called blind. I journaled a bit about that and made it a little more hidden, by creating a flip up card (just joined two journal cards with washi). I was finally able to get my hands on some of those Avery Index tabs from Ali's shop (the shipping on them to Canada was atrocious on Amazon, and I can't find them in any office supplies I visit), and added that to the flip up card as well. Love those tabs! I've already ordered more...

I've used another 6x8" template - as you can tell, I took a lot of photos this week (I take a lot of photos in general, nevermind this week), so I've loved using these templates to be able to squeeze them all in. Maybe it's too much detail... but I think, in 5 or 10 years, when everything will be so different I will love having such a detailed look at our week.

Nothing too groundbreaking here - photos, journaling, journaling on photos...

After looking though my last year's WITL album, I didn't like how I had so many 'extra' pages (ie. pages just added into the album, not in page protectors). I thought I was going to completely stay away from that this year, but then realized, I don't mind a few here and there for a bit of texture to the album. Plus I just had too many photos I wanted to include that didn't fit into the page configurations, and between adding the directly into the album, or leaving them out totally, adding them directly in won :)

I'm trying to use up more of my little word stickers, plus I still have a lot of the perforated strips from last years WITL kit leftover... But I have a problem in that I sometimes take things too literally... haha. I have trouble putting something that says 'best day ever!' on just an ordinary day... such a dumb problem, but it's something that keeps me searching for 'the perfect' word strip and wasting so much time in the long run...

This I actually did adore though... so that worked out well. Haha!

I've been loving the hybrid approach lately. I used to be a digital scrapper, because computers are easy for me, and it was so much easier, cause you can undo anything with the click of a button. But I was always finding myself drawn to physical products. Digital embellishments didn't really do much for me. So taking the hybrid approach has really been the best of both worlds!

Thanks for following along for my Tuesday in the books. I'll be back soon (I hope!) to post Wednesday!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Around Here | May 2016

Around here we had an awesome 2 week vacation to Orlando - which included some days in Disney World and Universal Studios (plus lots of relaxation - or at least as much relaxation as you get get with 2 young boys). So much fun!

Around here Austen got his first haircut! It was a sad day for me (and for him - he hated it and cried almost the whole time). We made an appointment for him to get his haircut in Disney about a month or so before our trip, thinking he'd probably be due for one by the time we were down there. (JJ had gotten his haircut in Disney during a previous trip, so thought we'd do the same for Austen.) Well, by the time it came for him to get his haircut, I loved his crazy little curls so much, that I totally regretting making the appointment. We went through with it anyways, but I still slightly regret it. He'll never have those true baby curls again - but his hairdresser was really good, and didn't go to scissor-happy. Either way, he's a cutie ;)

Around here the boys were big time into swimming at the house in Orlando. JJ has always put up such a fight about wearing his puddle-jumper previously, but has finally realized the independence it gives him in the pool. Him and Austen were like two little fishies, swimming around like crazy.

Around here Austen is starting to eat a little better.  More variety, and he will eat more than just a few bites of something. He is loving most kinds of fruits right now.

Around here we've had a lot of rainy, gloomy and cool days. Which I typically don't mind... but I'm ready for some sun and warm weather now! (However, not looking forward to the barrage of mosquitos that will likely bring.)

Around here I've been loving working on my Week in the Life album as I get the chance. My favourite project, for sure, and I can't wait to get it all finished up and on the shelf!

Around here JJ finally started soccer! It's already the end of May, and he's only made it to one game (missed the first 3 weeks while we were away, then it was a long weekend, so no soccer, then it got rained out), but he loved it. Ran for pretty much the whole half hour 'game', and even scored a goal! Go, JJ!

Around here I've gone a month+ without eating meat. It's actually been quite a bit easier than I thought it would be (our family never ate a huge amount of meat to begin with). After seeing how easy that's been, I am hoping to move to a plant-based diet. I'm going to try to go the whole month of June without eating any animal products. We'll see how this goes!

Around here I finally got together with a good friend, who I hadn't talked to or seen in almost a year. Ooops. It was so nice to have some adult time with a friend. Also, since she doesn't have children, our conversation didn't revolve around kids for the whole time, which was also nice. I love my kids to death, but it's always nice to have some time that's not focused on them :)

Around here I've really been focusing on getting JJ to draw, colour, cut paper, etc. All those preschool tasks he'll be doing in the fall. Of course, Mr. Determination has been catching on pretty quickly.

Around here Jason has been geeking out over his iPhone app controlled Sphero BB-8 he got for his birthday. (And has also been taking a lot of flak for being a Star Wars nerd - not from me, btw.)