Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Journal DIY

This is a cool project. I wanted my 9 year old to have a journal for this summer. For a few reasons, really. One is that he is going into the fourth grade next year and needs to practice writing skills. Another is that I loved journals growing up and would have killed to have one specially made for me. (I'm not sure why it never occurred to me to make it myself, but, oh well.) Also, he tends to get super bored during the summer and this is just one more thing, fingers crossed, that will entertain him. And finally, selfishly, I want him to record all of his feelings, activities, drawings, dirt, and rocks in one special little place. Maybe we can even make it a tradition.

Here it is ready for Nakiah to fill as his little heart desires...
Front Cover

Inside pages...

Transparent sheet with a doodled mustache. He can draw other accessories for his photo.

More inside pages.  Lots of blanks for him to fill, as well as journal prompts.

He says he is most excited to draw himself.

Back cover. (N.D. are his initials, in case you were wondering.)

He loves it....
The best part is that it actually made him feel really special. 

So that's it.  A quick and easy, anything goes, summer journal for your kiddo.  All you need is a few pieces of chipboard (for durability) and some other products of your choosing.  You can even throw in a few pieces of notebook paper, or tags, pages from a favorite book.  It's up to you! Mine was made predominantly from Fancy Pants Rough and Tough collection, as well as some odds and ends I had laying around.  It's a great stash buster.  I love that it is really rough around the edges and has an unfinished look. I can't wait to make more!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

29 and Feeling Fine

Ok. So, I always make my kids hold up their age on their birthday. So I thought I would do it too, you know, just to be cute. Turns out...'s not really that cute. 
Hahaha, oh well.

I had such a great birthday a few days ago. Even though I didn't accomplish a lot of the things I wanted to in preparation... like a layout about me at 28, or a wish list, or party, or girls night, or any of the other 1,000 things I wanted to do.... it was still great. (By the way, don't judge about the mess in the background of these photos. I refuse to clean on my birthday... at least that is the excuse I am giving.)

We took the kiddos to Disneyland since our season passes are blocked out for the majority of the rest of the summer.  My goal was to get on the new Little Mermaid ride.  Mission accomplished, and we only had to wait 20 minutes.  That is a dream since typical waits for a new ride can easily be over an hour. The ride was seriously epic.  I loved it.  I even took some photos with my handy dandy iPhone, so I'll post those later.

After the baby tired out we decided to head home and relax.... but not before we headed to my new favorite scrap store. I wanted to pick up some goodies for upcoming design team submissions. 
Here is my loot...
Oh yeah, can't wait to work with this eye candy.  What to make, what to make.  Well, it will have to wait awhile because I also made some (& by SOME I mean a LOT of) purchases online.  Love me some two peas online shopping!

I also ordered some washi tape online.  The more I see this decorative tape on the scrapbook scene the more obsessed I become with tracking it down.  I was able to do just that (thank you, Google).  I ordered some from Cute Tape. They had a lot to choose from and the prices seemed pretty good. I'll report more when they arrive.  

I also got a couple of REALLY awesome gifts. (I think this might be the most spoiled I have ever been on a birthday.) Like this one!....
An Instax camera.  It's basically the new Polaroid. (In case you didn't know, Polaroid is SO out. No really, they are totally out of production.)  I'm really stoked that my man came through for me on this one.  I've been dropping not-so-subtle hints for months now.  He has been flat out telling me no since the film is so gosh darn expensive.  "Buy in bulk," I tell him.  "You take too many photos," he tells me.  So I was thrilled to see he actually caved. (I love birthdays!) 

I can't wait to make my first layout with these two cherished photos...
They are the only two I have taken with the new camera so far. (Oh! I have to name it!--I name all of my prized possessions... but that is for another day.) I tried to take one of Brian (my, not so amused at the expensive film he just had to purchase, husband), but he said, "don't take my picture, my hair isn't even done, you'll be wasting film!" (Sorry babe, but that IS what you said.) Anyway.  Aren't the photos cool?

I also got these...
 Minnie and Mickey Mouse salt and pepper shakers. Cuteness for my growing Mickey kitchen collection. *sigh* (So cute.)

Anyway.  I feel like I have blabbed on and on and on about my silly little birthday.  So I will stop now.  But, I do love birthdays, and I do try to make them special for my little family.  I am so glad that they returned the favor.  I could not have felt more special.

Oh, P.S.  My husband told me that he also purchased the pink Smash Journal that I wanted so badly I actually asked for it outright.  They were out of stock so it should be arriving in the mail any day now!  Between that, my two peas order, washi tape order and upcoming Studio Calico, I am officially stalking the UPS dude.  

Monday, June 27, 2011

It's My Birthday & I'll Smile If I Want To

Today is the day.  I can only sign in long enough to say what a killer birthday this is turning out to be. (My husband ran to the store to get me a vanilla/vanilla cake.) Good times....can't wait to tell you all about the delectable scrappy goodies I was able to pick up. Details to follow.

Friday, June 24, 2011

I Love Echo Park...

Last week I gave you a sneak peak into my latest Echo Park projects.  Today is the day I get to show you the whole thing! --Three things to be exact.  I am so excited to show of these fun products.  I have just fallen in love with ep.

Here we go! First up "Dress Up Minnie."
This layout was created using the Little Girl line.  There are three different types of patterned paper, one journal card and stickers used here. Isn't the clothing line design just adorable?  I found that it was perfect for my dress up theme. 

For the purple hearts on this layout I cut up strips of patterned paper and then wove them together. Alternating over, under, over, under with each strip.  Then I cut around the strips to make the shape of a heart. Easy peezy lemon squeezy!

Next up "I Love Summer Days."
You guessed it, this is made from the Echo Park Summer Days collection.  I wanted to do something different with this kit. I made a lovely wall hanging to declare my love for summer (and Echo park:) This is patterned paper and stickers placed on a 10X14 canvas. Some of the elements are adhered with foam squares to add a little dimension.  

The large sun is made from cardstock and patterned paper with a  hand stitched border. There is also wire to let the butterflies take flight.   This project will definitely grace my wall for the rest of the season.  It brightens the whole room.

Last but not least is a layout entitled "Pretty Baby." This turned out to be one of my all time favorites. 
I think it's because I had so much fun making all of the different flowers. This one is from the Little Girl collection with a little Summer Days thrown in.  The paper and stickers really helped me create a lovely layout for this photo that is so special to me. 

Here is a quick tutorial on how to make these paper flowers...

Cut out a piece of patterned paper in the shape of a square or circle.  I rounded the edges of mine.

Draw a spiral from the inside out and then follow the line while cutting.  Now you can crumple your paper slightly so that it is easier to manipulate.

 Start rolling from the outside in. And roll, roll, roll, in the same direction.  Keep it nice and tight while you do this.  When you let go at the end it will give a little slack, but not too much.
See, it's that simple! You can pull on different parts of the flower a bit to achieve the shape you desire.

Play with it! Have fun! They are so easy to create and there are so many different options.  With most of the ones on this layout I tore, instead of cut, the paper.  It gives the edges a rougher look, which I like. You can also vary the size by changing the size of the paper you start out with.  Or you can make a wider spiral for a thicker "petal" effect.  It's really up to you!  I also put some bling in the center of mine just for fun.

I like how the double sided paper makes it possible to see something different from every angle. 

If you couldn't tell already, I am quite taken with these products.  They are so vibrant and colorful which is something I always gravitate to in my work.  Next I want to get my hands on the Echo Park Splash Collection....with my family just starting our beach trips the possibilities are endless.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

First Day of Summer

Ok, so now it's official.  It's the first day of summer... just in time since it was the last day of school for my kiddos (I wonder if that was planned, hmmm, clever).  In honor of this season so proudly marked on our calendar, (by our kids) I have made a list.  I am so very good at making lists, you see. Usually they are more of the chore driven to-do type. (Boo. Hiss.) This one was so much more fun than all that nonsense. It's perfectly free of all responsibility and pressure and necessity.

I like to call it our "Summer Do-dies." It goes a little something like this...

Things We'll Do...
Fly a Kite
Draw w/ Sidewalk Chalk
Slip n Slide
Host Lord of the Rings Viewing Party
Wii Sports Tourney
Water Balloon Fight
Hike in O'neil Park
Family Game Day
Blow Bubbles
Cookout at the Beach
Watch the Sunset
Star Gaze
Build a Sandcastle
Movie Marathon
PJ Day (& breakfast for every meal)

Things We Will Make...
Watermelon Stars
Build an Inside Fort
Ice Cream Sandwich Bar
ABC Book (for Evareaux)
Summer Journal (for Nakiah)
Hand/Sock Puppets
Bicycle License Plate
Shadow Faces at the Beach
Frozen Treats
Pizza's on the BBQ
Create a Mini-Me Craft

Places We'll Go...
Wild rivers
Wild Animal Park
Sandcastle Contest at Corona Del Mar
Sno on the go
Camping Trip
Splash Pad
Mini Train Station
Dollar Theatre
Outdoor Concert

Food We'll Enjoy...
Hot Dogs & Burgers
Corn on the Cob
Slurpees (ok, not a food, but sooo tasty)
Potato Salad

So there you have it. Fun, fun, YUM.  I have no misconceptions that we will effectively check off all of these items.  That's just fine with me.  It's a great way for me to get a big picture of the simple, and not so simple, things I would like our family to do together this summer.

I'm thinking it would be nice to make my own summer journal to document family activities.  Maybe I will make a version for our 9 year old so he can check things off and write about them as we go.  That would be fun to look back on come September.  Also, I'm thinking a "before" page with all of these items presented as a checklist. Once summer is over I'd make an "after" with some of the items checked off (hopefully MOST of them).

What are your plans for the summer?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Best. Dad. Ever.

My husband is the BEST Dad ever. (Excluding my own Dad, of course. Hi Dad.)

Really, my kids are so lucky....Right now he is at work providing for his family while we lounge around in our pj's eating all of his pita chips, watching his cable, and using his gigantic computer for our own blogging purposes.  Well, this blog is for you babe.

Here are just a few reasons why you kick so much---well, you know.

You show us new things, and watch over us...

You are there to comfort and protect us when those things you showed us turn out to be scary...

You take us to Disneyland and even sport Mickey gear....

You bring us giant bouquets of balloons...

...and get them down when they float away.

You cook dinner when Mommy is too tired...

Ok, you cook dinner almost every night, who are we kidding.  But you are the best chef! We LOVE your cooking!

You teach us to swim...

...and to ride our bikes (or hot pink barbie recreational vehicles).

You let us wake you up early in the morning and hang with you in bed-- you're not even grouchy...(and you let Mommy take photos even though you have bed head)

You give the best kisses....

We love you Daddy, because you love us so much.  You really are the best.  We are lucky to have you. You love us unconditionally, provide for us, and are there for us no matter what.

Happy Father's day....just as soon as you get home from work we will celebrate. (Quick kids get out of your jammies!)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Studio Calico

I love kit clubs.  There is just something about them that works for me.  Maybe it's the fact that after shopping in the same two stores for years (you know who you are...rhymes with Shmichael's and Shmo-Ann's) I wanted more. More new lines. More variety. More product!

Joining a kit club is a great way to get a collection of goodies that have been hand picked to use together.  It also allows you to connect with other scrappers and see what they have done with the same products you received. Share ideas, inspire and be inspired.  Once in a while you may even get things that you would not have purchased on your own for whatever reason. That's great, it opens your eyes to new and exciting things and different ways to use them....this leads to creating more pages. No dreaded slump! :)

My two fav kit clubs right now are Studio Calico and Sweet Peach Crop Shop. Today I am writing about SC, but I really hope to work with Sweet Peach in the future because their kits rock my world.

I was so excited when my first kit arrived in the mail...
How could I not be with a box like this?

Inside was a lovely little bag...

With a darling little sticker enclosure...

and here are all of the fantastic products...

Super cute! Some of this stuff (like the Smash tags) are things that I attempted to purchase online but were sold out.  So I was delighted to see them in my kit.

Even the packing tag they include is adorable. Since I'm all about using every scrap I will probably find a way to incorporate this cowgirl into a layout....

Here is a page I designed using the kit. (Of course it has to be all about Dad, it IS his weekend after all) Fun, fun, fun.

Isn't that tag cool? It was handmade by Amy Tangerine.  I think it may be exclusive to this kit.  It gave me a great ideas for all of those blank ones I recently  picked up (see, inspired already).  Well, off to scrap some more. Stay tuned...