Sunday, January 26, 2014

Layout | This Is DEFINITELY the Sweet Spot

It's been awhile since I've created a layout other than for Child's Play Challenges, but all it took was the words "6-word memoir" in the testimony section for Case File 106 at CSI (color, stories, inspiration) and a look at the color scheme to know I'd be playing along this week. 

A bit of a back story. This summer I took Ali Edwards' class "Hello Story" through Big Picture Classes.  One of our story types was the 6-word memoir, which is essentially capturing a thought in six words.  At the same time, I read this blog post about being in the sweet spot as a family.  The author of the post put perfectly into words what I was thinking and feeling, so I made myself a note to do a layout on it and moved on with life.  That was in July, 2013.

Fast-forward to January, 2013, and the challenge at CSI.  It was a sign and I knew I would be solving this case.  
Picking the picture for this layout was really easy. I loved the play on the word "sweet" this picture allowed for with the kids' faces covered in ice cream (well, technically frozen yogurt). 

I spent most of my time hand stitching the 5 circles on the background, which you can barely see.  I was inspired by this layout, but it was just a jumping off point for what I created. 

My silhouette cameo got a workout for this layout.  I cut the word "definitely" out five times and glued the layers together to make it thicker and stand off the page more.   I cracked into the stamp kit my friend Adele gave me and cut my first stamp out on the cameo, the arrows. For the journaling, I used the sketch pens to write it all out, then had it cut around them for me. Super easy! 

Evidence for the case file includes:
- ombre. The background paper goes from light to dark.
- circles. All the stitched ones, even if you can't really see them.
- arrows. My homemade stamped arrows. 
- gold.  The stamped arrows are heat embossed with gold powder and I splattered a bit of gold paint on the background, but it doesn't show very well in the light.

Testimony: 6-word memoir- "This is Definitely the Sweet Spot"

Journaling: "While we love getting sweets from TCBY, the sweet spot I'm referring to is the time right now in our lives, when you are six and three years old. A time when you're not little any more, but not big, either. Daddy and I no longer take care of your every need. You can do so many things on your own now (laundry, get dressed, make some food, go to the bathroom) but you still love to snuggle in our laps, give us hugs and kisses, and hold our hands while we walk. You are both eager to help when we ask for something, and will easily ask for help from us when you need it. You are old enough for us to share some of our interests with (football, scrapbooking,superheroes, chapter books) but not so old that you're embarrassed by us. Watching you both play, either together or by yourself, is one of my favorite things to do. You have amazing imaginations. You are both happy, healthy, and full of life. I don't know how long this sweet spot in our life will last, but I'm enjoying every precious minute of it, and look forward with anticipation, and a bit of dread, to the next chapter in our family story."

Sunday, January 19, 2014

2014 Week Three | January 13-19

This past week was exhausting.  I had early meetings 3/5 days this week, and was busy with something every night after work but Friday. Because of that, most of the pictures for this week-in-review come from the weekend.  It's a three-day weekend, so plenty of time to recoup my sleep.

Here's what happened this week:
My office, a place a barely saw this week because I was busy at schools. And when I did, I made a trek.

By the time Friday night rolled around, I was exhausted, so we went out to Red Robin for dinner.  Both kids started out on my side of the booth, and by the time dinner was done, they were on Darrin's side.  If you are going to RR anytime soon, might I suggest the sweet potato fries. They're the best I've ever had.
Saturday was PJ day.  Here, Ian's helping Annaliese on her Innotab. Later, they were practically in the same position, and they were reading their magazine together.  They are each others best friend.
Saturday Darrin installed my tablet shelf he gave me for Christmas.  It frees up much needed counter space and works beautifully... if you're my height. Darrin's too tall and it cuts the top off when sitting vertically.

Saturday it was 63 degrees in January. Unheard of.  Perfect weather for taking down the Christmas lights.  Ian went up in November to put them up with Darrin and never moved from the spot Darrin told him to sit; he was terrified. I walked outside and heard Darrin telling someone to be careful. I figured it wasn't Ian, and yelled up, with astonishment and fear, "You have Annaliese up there!?!?!" She was walking around up there, fearless. Darrin told her to sit so I could snap a picture and she said, "But that's boring!"
When she safely got down, she went for a bike ride.
Then we went for a family walk on the trails behind the houses that are across the street from us.  We've lived here nine years, and this is the first time Darrin and the kids have been back there. I've been running/walking back there when the weather's nice for about a year.
The frozen creek bed. The only sign of winter on the 60+ temp day.
Ian had fun running the trails and jumping off the hills. We saw many bicyclists, and he decided he wants to learn to ride his bike without training wheels so he can ride back there.
King and Queen of the mountain
Annaliese and Darrin headed home, while Ian and I stayed out to explore longer.  I was going to snap a shot of him walking from behind, but he turned in time and posed for me.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

2014 Week Two | Jan. 6 - Jan. 12

This week winter break ended and school started again, and boy, was that rough to get used to. By Friday, it was practically impossible to wake the kids. They were definitely not happy campers in the morning.  They did both sleep in this weekend, which means Darrin and I did as well.

Some pictures you won't see below, but that I should have gotten, are of the storage area in our basement.  Sorting through nine years' worth of stuff in there was my goal for this weekend, and I'm fairly impressed with myself that I stuck with it.  Unearthed some treasures (letters I wrote Darrin while we lived apart during college) and created quite the pile for Goodwill and Best Buy (which I learned recycles most small electronics).  Hopefully next weekend I'll tackle another room (or two!) in my effort to purge and organize in the new year.

Here's what else happened this week:
Confession: this actually happened last week, but I forgot to pull the image from Darrin's cell.  Ian earned his first stripe on his ju jit su belt thanks to the great report card he brought home. 

The picture on the left was the temp on Monday when I woke up.  The image on the right is on Sunday night. Quite a temp change in a week, and that doesn't take into account how cold it felt like on Monday.
The kids killing time before Friday night game night playing a friendly game of catch.
We played a couple rounds of UNO Attack on Friday Night Game Night, and then I introduced the boys to Skip-Bo.  It was too long of a game, and too involved for Annaliese to play with us, though.  We decided if we play again, we'd reduce the starting size of the stock pile. 
The picture quality on this isn't great, but the sandwich sure was yummy. Trying a new recipe each week. This week was an Italian Beef Sandwich which cooked in my crock pot all day.
One of my stops while errand running today.  It will probably be the last time I ever walk into an Archiver's, as they are going out of business in February.  Already, just about 10 days after announcing the close, much of the items I wanted to get were gone. 

While I was out errand running, everyone else played outside for a bit.  Yeah, I know the picture quality is bad, but the picture captures the fact that it's the middle of January and there's no snow on the ground here, and it was warm enough to play some football outside. 

This happened on Saturday, too.  Annaliese LOVES her jammies that look like a princess dress, and is always dancing in them.  Usually she just spins by herself (and sings songs from Frozen at the top of her lungs), but this time she convinced Ian to dance with her. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

2014 Week One | Dec. 30 - Jan. 5

I've tried in the past posting weekly pictures of my project life layouts. Everything goes great... until I get behind, and then nothing gets posted. Just like the years before, I'm starting off January great and with the promise to myself that THIS year, I will keep up with it until the end.  Guess we have 51 more weeks to see if that's true.  I actually do a better job of keeping up then what the blog reveals, I just get behind in taking a picture of the spread and then posting it. So, this year I'm trying something different. No pictures of the spread, just pictures of that week.  My thinking is that even if I get behind in the physical book, hopefully I can record the memories here consistently and refer back to them when working in the book.  So here was the first week in January, without further ado....

What are the days after Christmas for if not to enjoy all the presents received, and play with all of them, at least once.  We made it back from Iowa on Sunday the 29th, and with all of us home until Thursday, we got a lot of playing time in.  

Ian learned how to play checkers and chess during break.  He's too much of a thinker for me to play with him.

He also did an experiment with his chemistry kit (yes, goggles are required when adding water to sugar and salt...).  He also spent a lot of time over break playing with his TMNT Legos.  He was able to successfully put together a set all by himself for the first time!

Annaliese played a lot of babies (this new one's name is Ori... which sounds very similar to her cousin's name) and loved dressing up as Rapunzel in her new skirt and shoes (hair was from her birthday).

We played some family games of UNO Attack.  Way more fun than regular UNO. 

The kids always love daring Darrin to get them, and now he has a new weapon to try out on them.  Annaliese did lots of singing and playing with her new Disney Princess toys. 

Ian building with his Snap Circuit set.
This week also brought Darrin's birthday. As always, he said he didn't want anything. As always, I didn't listen (he got a new XBOX game).  He also didn't want a cake... obviously I listened there and didn't get him a cake, but cupcakes instead.

We actually started the new year with some snow... and 1.5 inches.  The past few days have been in the 20s and sunny, so it's practically gone.  We were all out there shoveling, and the kids somehow even managed to go sledding in the backyard on the minimal amount we got. 
 Annaliese and I got our hair cut on Friday.  It was FREEZING out, but you wouldn't have known that by all the sun. She said from the back, "I should have grabbed my sunglasses." Well, I wasn't wearing mine, so she used those instead.  Oh, and her curls, basically gone... so sad, but it really needed to be cut.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Layout | And they called it Puppy Love

Welcome to the new year, and with it, a new challenge is up at Child's Play Challenges.  We're switching things up a bit over there with only two challenges a month.  To start the month off, the inspiration is a game you probably either loved or hated as a kid: Monopoly.  I loved to buy the properties and have people pay up, but when it came to the putting houses on, that meant the game had gone on too long and I was probably bored.

For the challenge, I took inspiration from the pewter playing pieces, specifically the dog.  Ian's grandma has a puppy named Lacy, and Ian has been in love with her since he was old enough to recognize her.  He loves to cuddle with her, get kisses, play fetch, and just hang out.  Since I'm not a big dog fan (actually, any pet), this will probably be as close as he'll get to a real pet for awhile, and I wanted to capture their relationship.

The word "love" in the title is all numbers except for the letter v. Loved using up Thickers that don't usually get used.

Oh, and the winner of the "My Favorite Things" blog hop prize was #2- Moongirl!

Cardstock: Bazzill
Patterned Paper, stickers, brads, wood veneer banners: My Mind's EyeWood Veneer hearts: Elle's Studio, Studio Calico,  Arrow: Studio Calico
Twine: Teresa Collins
Title letters: American CraftsEnamel Dots: Doodlebug
Bling: Hero ArtsSketch: Scrapbook Generation Other: Thread