Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Summer Camp 2012

Summer Camp is over at Club CK.  This year I did four out of the five badges, for which I created some of my favorite layouts to date.

The first badge I earned was for the "Markers and Pens" badge.  CK gave you a coloring sheet to print out. I chose to print it on a transparency, but when the ink smeared, I threw some clear embossing powder on it and used my heat gun to emboss it and make it dry.  I don't have any alcohol-based markers to color with, so I colored with Crayola markers and repeated the embossing on it.  The final product ended up looking like glass in a stained glass window. The banner and journal tag were made in this method.  For the bottom transparency strip, I used blue stickles (liquid glitter).  The pictures are of the first time Ian jumped off a board at swimming lessons. He wasn't scared to get up there the first time, but was terrified for the first jumps that followed. The layout was inspired by a layout on page 35 of the May/June 2012 issue of Creating Keepsakes.

The next layout I did was my favorite for the week. Ever since I did the splattering layout for T*T*D, my mind now includes paint when I think "now what can I do to this page?!" Which is usually what I ask myself on every page after the paper and pictures are down.  This layout was for the "Found Objects" badge, for which you were to include a found object (Chobani wrapper) and paint.  In looking through the photos I had printed, I knew instantly when I saw these that I would use them and finger paint white paint to look like the yogurt Annaliese had everywhere. Darrin even commented when he got home about the paint looking like the yogurt, so I guess I succeeded.  The journaling is about the first time we gave her a spoon to eat with.

A third challenge involved something I have a lot of- fabric.  For the "Fabric" badge, you had to incorporate fabric into your layout. I chose to sew it onto the paper in strips, much like I would put patterned paper back there in strips. And look, paint made an appearance again (this time I was going for water droplets).   I sewed some random rings to go with the theme of "Ring Around the Rosie" which Ian had a great time doing in the pool with Grandma and Grandpa.  It was inspired by this layout.

And finally, the last badge I earned was the "Sticker" badge.  You had to alter stickers in some way.  The "happy" sticker I coated with some glossy accents, the heart next to fearless has some stickles (liquid glitter) on it, and the alphabet letters in the title I inked and put stickles on.  After the fun I had coloring, painting, and sewing on the first three, this one was just ho-hum, and it was the end  of the week...  Still, I can't believe I got as many layouts done this week as I usually get done in an entire month.   Good thing summer camp happens while I'm on summer vacation; I know I couldn't get this many done if I had to work as well. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thoughts on Splattering

I was a bit intimidated by the thought today at T*T*D, if its possible to be intimated by a thought. I've never used paint on a layout before; don't really like to use it in real life. I put off the layout for as long as I could, and then got down to business.  One of the first decision I made was what pictures to use. I knew I wanted pictures that would be fun, so the pictures of Annaliese splashing in the water table won out over those of her baptism or getting tubes (the other sets of pictures I had ready to go).  I found the water swirl and knew I'd fussy cut it, and place it on the right, which helped me figure out where I wanted my splatters. I couldn't figure out if I wanted to splatter before or after I added the patterned paper, so I did some searching on the web. The ones I liked had it on the patterned paper, so that's what I did.

The actual splattering was really fun. I did a few test runs to figure out which of my brushes I wanted to use and which technique I wanted. I opted for a brush with stiffer bristles.   To make the splatters on the bottom, I tapped the top of the paintbrush. To do the splattering in the top, right corner, I flicked the side of the brush (like you'd flick someone's ear) to create a bit of movement.  I remember conscientiously shrugging my shoulders when I got too much orange and telling myself to roll with it. 

Assembly was easy. The pink banner in the top, left, I had to stamp about 20 times to get the words, and it still isn't perfect. It was something new, though, and so I wanted to use it. I used clear embossing powder on both it and the title so that they shine a bit and appear wet, to go with the theme.  I love how this layout came together. Stay tuned, because when summer camp is over at Club CK, I'll be posting another layout I painted on, this time without hesitation!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Zoo Visits

We've been to the zoo a couple times in the last few weeks. We hadn't really been there much before vacation as mornings were filled with Jedi Camp and swimming lessons, so we're trying to make up for lost time. One day we met my friend Meeghan and her daughters there. Ian really enjoyed hanging out with her older daughter (the younger was just 11 weeks old and so adorable!).

This was the first time we'd seen Lemur Island open in about two years.

Fossil dig- he'd stay all day.

I was trying to snap a picture of the gorilla that's coming into frame behind Annaliese, but as soon as it started heading our way, she got scared, turned around, and flew into my arms. Had to let the camera hang around my neck to catch her in time (she's on a ledge).

Dwarf Sea Horses- I put my hand on the glass so you could get a true idea of their size.

Our favorite place

Baby giraffe in background- my favorite animals.

The skirt Annaliese was wearing wouldn't fall  down when she'd climb out of the stroller to look. It was always flaired up.

This gecko looked so fake. It was creeping along the branch, moving about a centimeter every few seconds. So neat to watch.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Keeping Cool in the Pool

With temps hovering around the century mark all week, we headed to a co-worker's pool today. She invites co-workers over every Monday to swim, and today was the first day that worked for us. I think we'll be going back as many Mondays as we can before school starts up again in just a few short weeks.  Ian shot baskets, floated on inflatables, and jumped off the board more times than I could count. Annaliese was all about jumping, off the stairs, ladder, side of the pool, and off the diving board, all without having anyone there to catch her.  She actually insisted no one catch her.  Wasn't able to get a photo of her off the board, too scared to get that far away from her, but I did get a video.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Splash Station

After naptime yesterday (well, we woke Annaliese up early), we headed to Fremont to go to Splash Station with Marlena and Walter. We were there for about two hours and had lots of fun. It was the perfect place for the kids; the deepest section is 3 feet 6 inches, and had lots of different options, the train with its slides, a mushroom, wave pool, and just a calm pool section to hang out in. Annaliese was terrified of the water tower that would overflow, and it took us a long time to get her into the water, but she was loving the slides and swimming around by herself by the end of the day. Ian asked as we were leaving if we could go back there. Seeing as how it only cost us $16.50 for all of us, I think it's a pretty good possibility.
We basically had to start our day here at the splash pad part.  Shortly after we got in the water, they blew the whistle for a 10-minute break, which they apparently have every hour.  Funny thing was, when you could get back in the water, this area basically got no use. 
She didn't mind it under the mushroom, where no water could get her, it was getting there that was a bit troublesome.
Chilling in the wave pool. Annaliese was content to float, bouncing with the waves.
Family picture (Thanks Marlena!)
Synchronized toddler throwing
Another 10-minute break. This one was great for slathering on sunscreen and enjoying a snack (and what is my daughter thinking?!)
Chopping down the geysers.
The train had three different slides ending in various depths of water. This one was about 6 inches.  It took lots of coaxing to get Annaliese or Walter to go down initially with the spraying water at the top, but they got used to it and asked to go again and again. 
Ian's favorite slide was this one, ending in about 2 feet of water.  He'd slide down, just top pop up and run around to the stairs to go again.  You can see the third slide on the left in the picture. It ends in about 3 feet of water. 
Annaliese discovered that Darrin could just plop her down at the top of the slide Ian loved, and it quickly became one her favorite, too. What surprised both Darrin and I was how easily she stood up when she got to the bottom. I think she liked it better because there was no water spraying at the top.
My water princess. That life jacket was worth every cent we paid for it.
My surfer dude, who kindly shared his life jacket with Walter.
Here's a different angle of the train, with the water tower blowing. Ian and I got under it once... it hurts! Annaliese was right to be scared of it.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Michigan Trip | Lambeau Field

I know Lambeau Field isn't in Michigan, but we stopped by on our way back home. We were driving through anyway, so what kind of fans would we have been if we wouldn't have stopped?
Mr. Cheese Head

Lining up with the players in the Hall of Fame

Comparing wingspans. Dereck Sherrod has the biggest wingspan, shoe size (16 if I remember correctly) and hand size. Darrin compared himself to each of the models they had of Dereck's, and he paled in comparison. 

The four Lombardi trophies, with the newest on the left.

Walking out the same tunnel the players walk out of.

On the field

You couldn't walk on the field... we're probably tempting fate just doing this.

Lambeau Field. Can't wait to go back and see a game.

Michigan Trip | Picture Rocks National Lakeshore

Disclaimer: there is a bloody picture in this post. Our morning of exploring was quickly shortened when Annaliese, while running down the trail (it's impossible to keep her contained), face-planted. We had to make a return trip to the hotel for a bath and clean clothes.  After that, we left for a picnic lunch... only again to return to the hotel for that because it was HOT and the humidity was the worse we had so far on the trip. We ate a picnic lunch every day on the trip, and it was beautiful, but this was too much.  So of course we followed that up with at 2.5 hour ride on the top of a boat to look at the Pictured Rocks.  We were hot, sweatier, and tanner after that trip, but we all were saved from burns.  We drove a bit and hiked some to look at a few waterfalls, too.

This is how our morning started, our little explorers excited to find the waterfall, and then...

she face planted, and we headed back to the car.  It just looks bad because I had my hand pressed to her forehead to try to stop the bleeding from the gash right next to the bangs hanging down.  She cleaned up really well, just a few scrapes on her cheek and nose, and then the cut on her head.  She was more upset by having to turn around and not go down the trail then getting cut... until she saw her face in the mirror. 

First point on the boat tour, Miners Castle.

This wasn't called anything, just shows the color of the water.  If I wouldn't have known better, I would have thought I was someplace tropical. The weather sure felt tropical, but the water was only 50 degrees. The colors on the wall are created by water tables in the rocks seeping out and the minerals in the water make the colors.  It's amazing how the water can carve out the rocks like this.

Lover's leap. The water below is only two feet deep (you can see the sandy color).

Rainbow cave. How I wish I was the kayaker, that would be such a neat ride.

Indian head

Grand Portal

Battleship Row - looks like the back ends of battleships all lined up in port.

Flower Vase

Indian Drum- the boaters there were rescuing a fawn who was stuck in the cove. Apparently they get scared and jump off the cliff, then swim to shore but can't get out of there. 

Chapel Cove- our boat actually pulled into the part that's a bit blurry from sun glare...

Chapel Rock- if you look closely, the roots of the pine tree at the top stretch across the opening to the rocks on the other side.  There used to be an arch there, but has caved in. Apparently there are lots of cave-ins in the Pictured Rocks, one was 8 days ago.

Miners Falls, this was the fall we were headed to when Annaliese face-planted.

My hikers, all cleaned up.  They were such troopers!

Musining Falls

Wagner Falls. This one was my favorite. The stream it fed into meandered through the forest and you could just plot my future house next to it. It was so beautiful and peaceful.