Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 Wrap Up

As I'm sitting here reflecting on the year, I realized it's been awhile since I blogged. I thought it might be fun to round up my favorite layouts from 2014 and put them all in one place. Below are 16 pages that I'm super proud of.. 16?! you say? Seems like she's showing us everything she made, you think. Nope. I assure you, this is less than a third of what I actually created this year. Feast your eyes...

This is an interesting time for me. A new year means a fresh start, and I tend to use January 1st and my birthday (conveniently 6 months later, June 27th) as mile markers. Each time those dates roll around I hunker down and assess where I'm at with my life. Make new goals, congratulate myself for successes (assuming there are some) ;), plan and tweak as needed to keep myself on track... I really slow down and think about where I want to be, and how I will get there. 

I could go into great detail about this past year... but I will just say this... it was both wonderful and horrible. I had extreme high points and even more extreme low points... for someone like me, who tends to enjoy living comfortably in the middle, it was a huge challenge. A test. Yes, that's a good way to put it.. this year felt like one big test, and often I felt like the answer key was being shredded. 

I'm excited at the idea of a new year. I'm ready to get back into conquer the world my little world, mode. I'm ready to get healthy (more on this later), take better care of myself (more on this too), and work toward creating the kind of life that I want. I'm ready to embrace routine and start thriving. 

I'll check back in here soon with some of my plans for tackling 2015, full steam ahead.. & I'll share the One Little Word that I chose for next year... it just slapped me right in the face! :)

Happy holidays everyone! Stay safe and happy, and celebrate! 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Layouts: Oldies but Goodies

I took a look back at some of my holiday pages and I thought I'd share them here today. Christmas isn't one of those things I scrap a lot of... too much pressure, I think. haha. It sounds a little nuts when I see it typed out like that... pressure? who cares how "good" the layouts are? It should be about capturing the memories, just like all of the other stuff I make. 

I'm going to make a concious effort to make more holiday pages this year (beyond my usual December Daily.). We'll see how that goes. ;) Hey, maybe it can be my New Years Resolution?!

Anyway. Here are the pages.. most of them I just like because of the moments in the photos... 

I think this was collectively my kids' best Christmas. Santa gave Aidan a Mac, Nakiah an Xbox, and Evareaux all of the stuffed clubhouse characters. Way to go, Santa. How will we ever top that?? (we won't. #spoiled.) :)

Hottie's favorite moment each Christmas. Clark himself would be proud....

Buddy McElfersteen antics and possibly the first grid page I had ever done...

A two-pager that I scrap-lifted from Creating Keepsakes magazine by Suzy Plantamura. Awesome way to include a ton of holiday photos on one spread...

I don't really like the composition of this layout at all but it was a cute thing to look back on. I had forgotten all about how her first Christmas, at 7 months old, all she cared about was the tags...

I hope you're all out doing something festive and fun. Around here we are listening to iTunes Christmas Hits (so good!) and I'm trying to find ways to keep my kids off of the tv and entertained while Hottie puts in extra time at the store. After years of working in retail it still feels super weird to have "time off" around holidays. Hope you're enjoying yours! 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Me Series: November

I've been one busy little bee lately, though you can hardly tell from the blog. Every time I sit down to write a post I got nothin'.. even though I'm making trees like a lunatic (tutorial and possibly selling them to come soon), catching up on the last of this years Project Life... working on my first Paper Camellia Scrapbook Kit projects (Jan is SOOO good, ya'll).. and even scrapping some just for fun pages... as well as sneaking in some family holiday traditions and agonizing over Christmas shopping... so I am doing stuff, I'm just bad at sharing it right now.

Anyway. Today I figured I might as well share my November Me Series page, since it is in fact done (was done in Nov) and photographed and ready to post. I'm actually right in the middle of scrapping the one for December this weekend... which means I have held up to my commitment to do all 12 layouts! Whoa! Here is November...

If you want to see more of these Me Series projects check them out below...
I'll have December up for you soon. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

O Christmas Tree(s)

Right before Thanksgiving I was bitten by the bottle brush tree bug. Instead of prepping for the holiday I found myself dyeing trees...

I decided to do a little ombre rainbow collection.... seeing them lined up all cute and tiny on my typewriter made me crave more. I wanted a whole forest!

So I did some tree recon and found out that a JoAnn Fabrics not too far from me had 6 packages of these bad boys.. plus they were on sale... and I was able to use a special coupon for the entire purchase (LOVE it when the timing works out like that!). I ended up getting each package for around $4. Total Steal!!

The obsession is real....I used every single color of ink I own. I can't get enough. It's so fun you guys!

Even Buddy McElfersteen got in on the action. Who knew he was such a tree hugger?

Truth be told I don't really know what to do with them. I thought about giving some away as gifts, but I just can't part with them! Seeing my little rainbow forest all lined up just makes me happy. So I guess I'll continue to hoard them and probably keep my eye out for even more. :)

Warning: If you decide to hop on the tree dying band wagon it might be wise to wear gloves. My hands looked like this about half way through.. and a couple of weeks later are still a little blue. :)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thankful 2014

It's been quite a week here. Between processing the loss of a friend, flu hitting 2 out of 6 of us, work piling up, the holiday counting down... it's a lot. But it's times like these that really force one to sit and think about what it is that's important in life. Even through all of the hurdles, hiccups, and and challenges, I'm here... and I intend to make the most of it... sure, there's a lot to be down about on any given day, but there is a lot to be happy about too.

I can't think of a better way to get back into the swing of things than to share my "thankful" project from last month. Each year, just before Thanksgiving, I make a page about the things in life that I am grateful for.. big or small. Here's 2014...

As far as the upcoming holiday goes, I'm failing at the gift buying thing but totally winning in the decor department. We managed to score a gorgeous 9 foot tree for $30 (thank you, Costco) and spent last weekend decorating it. The kids loved it. I've also already created 4 mini vases of flowers for our center pieces, another (fake) floral arrangement, and dyed more bottle brush trees than I care to admit. (Ok, ok, I'll show those later.)

Here's some photos from around here lately...
(I'll keep the up-chuck and pooped pants ones to myself. You're welcome.)
(Btw. I didn't actually take photos of either of those things, just keeping it real.)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Rage On

I've been trying to think of the way to write this for days... but there is just no way to put it into words... still, I will do my best...

A friend of mine passed away on Thursday night. She had been in a terrible car accident just before Thanksgiving and was put into a medically induced coma. I knew it was bad. I knew she'd have a long road of recovery ahead of her. I knew she'd need a lot of love and support... I just didn't think it would be the end.

She was one of the most vibrant, strong, and dedicated women I've ever met. Her humor and personality were larger than life. I met her almost a year ago when I transferred to the local roller derby league and she was one of the first people who welcomed me.. made an effort... said hello, asked questions about my life. When I went to step down from our travel team due to personal stuff at the time she made sure to ask how I was... she said, "I want you to know that there are a lot of people here who care about you, and like you. I care about you. You kick so much @$$, but you don't even know it yet."

She would show up ready to work, learn, have fun. She was a force on the track and often times unstoppable... she had this fierce focus and determination when she'd lace up her skates, she'd put her head down and plow through any obstacle... I think that's why it's so hard to believe that this happened.

I just can't believe she's gone. I can't believe that I won't see her week to week at practices. I won't feel that random smack on my butt that tells me she's there.... She's one of the faces I would look forward to seeing. We'd giggle, make inappropriate jokes, talk about her hematoma....

The people she touched just by being her are vast... but my heart breaks most for her children. She has two sons and a daughter. One thing I saw very clearly was that, above all else, she loved the crap out of those kids. She was such a good Mama. You could just see in her face the way she adored them, and they adored her right back. I'm so incredibly sad for their loss. Their Mom was something special. One of a kind.

It's a hard thing to lose someone you love that was important to so many people. It's even worse, I think, when they are so young, and healthy... and heart breaking when it's caused by an accident that could have been avoided. There's not much else to say, except that my heart is heavy, and I miss her. I'm starting to finally process it, days later... for awhile I was just in shock and disbelief. Still, it's hard.

I'm trying to think about what she'd want us to do.... and I have no doubt she'd want us to celebrate. She'd want us to share our random Rage stories and get a good laugh. She'd want us to try to live life to the fullest. She'd encourage us to hug our kids, and tell them we love them. She wouldn't want us sad-sacking around cuz, she'd say with a smile... "ain't nobody got time fo dat..." So I'm going to do my best to keep her in my heart and skate my butt off, cuz she'd love to see us kick some serious tail.... and I have no doubt she'll be rooting for us.

Rest in peace, Rage. I will miss you.

And just because it feels right I'll share a far better piece written about Rage by one of our league mates.... in case you want to read more about her....

Nov. 23, one of the strongest women we know was the passenger in a terrible car crash that sent her to the hospital in critical condition and ultimately took her life.
Mary “ ‘Rage’ing Blockaholic” Byrnes, 35, was a rising star among the Burning River Roller Girls and a member of the Rolling Pin-Ups, HazMat Crew, and Burning River All-Stars. As her name implies, she was a powerhouse blocker, but was also known for her tenacity as a jammer.
But at BRRG, we all knew that her most prominent skill was her fierce loyalty to her friends and family. She was always there for us, whether it was making us smile with her irreverent humor or having our backs during the really tough times, both on and off the track.
Who will be there for us now, though, as we say goodbye to our beloved Ragey? She fought just as hard in the hospital as she did on the track until the intense trauma took her life Dec. 4.
Rage just capped an incredible second season with many honors. At our annual banquet in October, she was awarded Rolling Pin-Ups Most Improved, HazMat Crew Best Jammer, HazMat Crew Team MVP, All-Stars Most Improved and All-Stars Rookie of the Year. Her death will leave a giant hole on our league and in our hearts.
She leaves behind three children and a stepson, an extensive family and many derby sisters and brothers who loved her dearly.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Great News!

I have some great news to share today! I made the Paper Camellia Design Team for 2015! I've been on the Everyday Life team for the past 6 months and have LOVED working with the kits and sharing what I've made. In 2015 I'll be switching over to the Scrapbook Kit. I'm so happy I was chosen for another term (& full year!) of fun with PC. Ria is doing amazing things with the kits and there's a lot of fantastic things on the horizon for the company. I'm super proud to be a part of it. Here's a look at the Paper Camellia post, and the other women on the team... yay!

We would like to introduce you to our Paper Camellia 2015 Design Team. We are thrilled they will be sharing their talent with us throughout the year!

Amy Coose - DT & Blog Coordinator
Sandrin Eve
Sherri Funk
Elizabeth Gardner
Jennifer Haggerty
Mary-Ann Maldonado
Veera Saarivuo
Brenda Smith
Stephanie Strader

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Paper Camellia: December Everyday Life Kit Reveal Part Two (and the 2nd longest blog title ever)

Welcome back! Here for day two of my Paper Camellia project reveal? No? Welcome anyway, glad you're here. I made two layouts using the kit this month but I honestly could have done even more. These were lots of fun. I love stretching pocket page kits/supplies beyond the pockets.... think outside of the pockets sometimes, people! Use up that scrap crap...

Sewing for a journal spot is my new fav...

Here's another one using little strips from the top of the 6x6 patterned papers. You know, the ones with the holes that seem unusable. Weave 'em and weep....

I'd like to point out that if you look closely this is a terrible photo of my children. Three out of four have their eyes closed and the fourth is looking away in his usual grumpy-Grandpa manner... terrible photos never stop me from scrapping. There's always a story there. Usually it's even funnier if a mistake is being pointed out. I mean, that's life, right? It's a scientific impossibility to get a photo of all four children looking happy, in the same direction, in the same photo. I have the proof in my photo library. ;)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Paper Camellia: December Everyday Life Kit Reveal Part One (and the longest blog title ever)

It's reveal day over at Paper Camellia... check out those gorgeous kits! I want to share the pocket page spreads I made with the Everyday Life December kit (It's DEC FIRST, YA'LL! freak out!)...   

Spread numero uno....



and number two...



You may have noticed that these pages are documenting two weeks in October. One thing I love about Paper Camellia is that it doesn't really matter what "months kit" you purchase.. they're interchangeable. So if you find yourself two months behind when that scrappy goodness shows up on the door step & you're suddenly inspired to jump in to catch up, you can!!

Tomorrow I'll post the two layouts I made using the rest of the contents. Yay! ..and here is a look at the Dec Everyday Life in all it's kitting glory...