Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Greetings from Camp Scrap!

Oh, my, has it been a busy few days!! After my trip to IKEA on Saturday I spent the majority of my free time on Sunday and Monday assembling a pair of 5x5 Expedit bookcases. One is now settled into my scrap room (where I'm in the process of organizing things into it) and the other is about to find a new home in the dining room, as soon as I move some boxes of books out of the way. Those books will live on the shelf once I get it in place- imagine that!

All this furniture assembly hasn't stopped me from enjoying Camp Scrap, though! It's turning out to be the most productive part of my personal summer scrapbooking boot camp. I already have one two page layout finished and another in the works along with three single page layouts started. I think that as long as I actually get them started, I'll eventually finish them!

This is my two page layout, made with some new paper and old photos from when I used to just print stacks of 4x6s to scrap. It feels good to finally get these in an album!

And look at me- I even remembered to take left and right detail shots. :)

Back with more later, and I've got some good geeky stuff to share when I get time, too!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Small Reminder...

...that not all scrapbooking supplies have to come from the craft store.

Some of my favorite latest finds:

Red, white, and blue striped crepe paper, $5.99 for 500 feet at Party City.

Japanese washi masking tape, $10 on clearance at Anthropologie

And, because lots of pretties do come from the scrapbooking aisle, a K & Company "Simply Scarlet" paper pad, $10 on clearance at JoAnn.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Favorites: Cards and Mini Albums

Ha!! Bet you thought I was going to forget again today, didn't you? :) I've just been so busy crafting today that I haven't blogged yet. Oh, and tomorrow I'm road tripping to the closest IKEA (4 hours away) with my brother, so I had extra motivation to get this posted tonight knowing that I won't be able to sneak it in early tomorrow. :)

From left to right:
  • Pink Paislee gives us a sneak into Vicki Boutin's lovely craft room. I just love the white furniture!
  • Celine Navarro has yet to make a mini album that I don't like, and her latest travel album is no exception.
  • Lexi Bridges posted these fun cards on her Night Owl blog. Makes me want to get out my paper strips and be random right along with her. :)
  • Spell Out Loud has some great ideas for incorporating your child's artwork into your scrapbooks. I know that my Mom still has boxes of projects my brother and I made in school- it may be time to get them out and put them in albums.
  • Valerie is going to think I'm totally stalking her lately, because I'm including another one of her gorgeous cards today. This one was from a couple of weeks ago- I simply love the color scheme on this one!
  • Ooooh, shiny!! I love this salt-shaker-turned-glitter-dispenser set from Crafty Storage. Supposedly it was purchased at Target, so I'll definitely keep an eye out for one next time I'm there. Those little Doodlebug glitter jars are cute, but such a pain!
  • How about another travel mini album, this time from SEI Lifestyle.
  • Kimber McGray shows how to make these 3D stars on the Scrapbook and Cards Today blog. Hint: They have a new issue out today, too!
  • And, finally, learn to make these tissue paper fans on Martha Stewart's craft site. I love anything red, white, and blue.
Have a scrappy weekend!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Please Pardon the Mess!!

Yes, I'm messing with the blog again! :) I decided it was time to trim things up and make it a little less cluttered.

You may have noticed that the Labels and Blog Archive widgets have disappeared from the main page. I decided to move them to their own page here. They're also accessible via the Blog Archive link in the navigation bar right under my blog banner. Removing all that text left a little breathing room. :)

In the coming days (weeks?) I'll be adding buttons to the left hand side that link directly to major categories and special projects. The right hand side will continue to contain stuff related to whatever I'm interested in or happen to like at the moment. I plan to try to get blinkies of a uniform size and use them to replace the long list of text links to blogs that used to reside on that side, as well. The name of the game here is declutter and simplify.

The biggest change is the most exciting for me- I bought my own domain name!! You can now access this blog via www.scrappyjedi.com. The old blogspot address will still work and should automatically redirect you to the new domain. Eventually I may grow the site such that the blog is only a part of it- that remains to be seen and will depend on how much time I have and whether or not my business grows such that it's needed.

If you notice anything amiss or broken, please leave a comment here and let me know so I can clean it up. I think I've caught everything, but something could have slipped through the cracks.

Thank you!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Showering Beth: Part 2

Howdy, and welcome back for part 2 of Beth's baby shower photos (if you missed part 1, check here). Today I'll be sharing photos of the party that my family gave her in mid-May.

For me, the preparation started weeks in advance, and I've been documenting a lot of it on the blog. The night before the shower I went to my aunt and uncle's house (they have a fab kitchen) to back cupcakes. My cousin Michelle helped me and learned to use a frosting bag in the process. :)

The morning of the shower I dragged myself woke up early and loaded up the 4Runner. I had the room starting at 9am (we rented a room at the church), and with the shower starting at 11 we were on a tight schedule to get things done.

I knew there was a reason I needed an SUV for this party...the thing was packed!! And this photo was taken before we added the ladder. Yes, I throw parties that require ladders.

I picked up Michelle at 8:30 am, and we headed straight for Party City to pick up my balloon order (6 kiwi and 6 purple). So now not only was the 4Runner completely loaded, but I was having a hard time seeing out of the back.

Luckily it wasn't a long drive to the church, where we unloaded (I had a ton of help- they all met me there) and started setting up. Michelle did a fantastic job putting the cupcake tower together and then getting all the candies unpacked.

And we both did a fair amount of crawling under tables to secure the balloons...

..while Dad hung tissue paper flowers from the ceiling (hence the need for a ladder)...

..and my aunt Linda waffled on whether or not she wanted her photo taken. You can see what she finally decided. :)

I was so tickled with how the dessert buffet looked when it was completed!


I love doing these cupcake towers so much that I've kind of opened my own business for them- I've already booked a birthday party in July!!

This was my first (and probably last) time to make cake pops. I loved the way they looked, but they were such a pain!

Each guest received a small favor bag that they could fill with candy and sweets as they left the party. I printed Sophie's name and due date on labels and adhered them to the bags along with a punched shape to dress them up.

And we had tons and tons of food, as well. My aunt Linda, cousin Donna, and my aunt Tina all brought food and helped set up. I totally could not have done it without them.

This is the room all set up and ready to go- with 20 minutes to spare before party time! It gave me a chance to get the tripod out and take some decent photos of everything.

And, of course, miss Beth received many more adorable gifts. Isn't she just cute in that shirt? :)


Now that the showers are over, Beth and Jon are busy putting the nursery together (along with gifts, they received lots of gift cards). I tried talking them into a Star Wars mobile over the crib, but Classic Pooh won out. :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Pink Ninja Addicts Blog Hop

Those awesome Pink Ninjas are at it again! They're hosting another fun blog hop, with a chance to win one of three cool prizes.

This Playdate Journal...

...or this Summer Journal...

..or their latest kit (so pretty!) "Sing for the Moment."

So hop on over here to the Pink Ninja Addicts site and check it all out!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Friday Favorites: Better Late Than Never

Yup, I totally realize that I'm posting this on Sunday night. I meant to post on Friday evening and just ran out of time. I planned on doing it Saturday morning from my parents' house (I went to see them this weekend), and silly me left my laptop at home! I can't believe I did that...I guess since buying the iPad I've gotten out of the habit of carrying my laptop so much.

Anyway, I'm back home now with my MacBook and my photo library, so let's get these picks out there, shall we?


From left to right:
  • Take a peek at Danielle Thomspon's lovely studio here on Decor8.
  • I'm completely smitten with these hand-cut butterflies featured on Lushlee. Should I admit that I'm now saving pretty pages from my scanned in magazines (that I'm ostensibly scanning so I can throw out) to try this myself?
  • Scrapbook Trends shares a tour of Melissa Samuels' scrap room on their blog. I love the white...everything!
  • I think I officially have a scrap-crush on Jennifer Johner. I love how she layered all the butterfly punches on this page. Did you know that she doesn't even use a paper trimmer most of the time?!?!
  • Check out The Daily Digi for a lesson on basic design priciples. They also think to other such lessons from the same post.
  • Kelly Purkey made this amazing mini album to document her month of April 2010. I love, love, love this kind of mini.
  • Speaking of minis, Elise Blaha shares an update of her 25 To Do list book.
  • Allison Davis recently hosted another sketches week on her blog (link is to the wrap-up post). She's got another edition of her sketches coming out soon, along with a DVD. I can't wait!
  • Elle's Studio will be hosting a free 3-week journaling workshop on their blog starting August 8th.
Have a scrappy weekend!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Showering Beth: Part 1

I really think that it's about time for me to get these nearly two month old baby shower photos out there, don't you?

Beth (my adorable sister-in-law) and my brother are expecting miss Sophia Clare to make a grand entrance in mid-July, so in April her mom had a baby shower for her and I threw one in May. These are the photos from her mom's shower.

The event was held in a barn.

Yes, this is a barn. Or, rather, the top story of a barn that had been converted into a banquet hall (and an apartment on the other end- the place is huge!).

I spent quite a bit of time chasing this little guy around with my camera (this is what I do when I'm around a bunch of people, whether I know them or not- I hide behind the camera). Anyway, this cutie's name is Isaiah, and he's Beth's sister's little boy. He was a total ham for me- awesome!

Beth picked out some really fun, bright colors for her shower, and her mom did an awesome job putting everything together. The cake was super adorable...

..and I loved the little details, like the M&Ms with Sophie's name on them.

Beth makes being pregnant look totally adorable, doesn't she?

This is Tera (Beth, I so hope I spelled that right- please correct me if I didn't), Beth's best friend for, like, ever. :)

Tera made this beautiful quilt for Sophie, which in turn made Beth cry.


And while I don't normally squeeeeee over baby clothes, I couldn't help it when I saw this tiny little yellow dress!


So, that was shower #1. I'll share #2 next week.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Because I Don't Want to Forget What Days Like This Are Like...

This was my crazy day today...
  • Woke up at 6:30 and read the iPad in bed for a bit. Take Sasha (babysitting Darren's Mom's dog this week) outside and then feed her breakfast. Laugh because my 20lb cat is afraid of the 4lb dog. Get myself ready for work and arrive by 8am.
  • Have a slightly frustrating morning trying to fix an STR (Software Trouble Report). Have several conferences with Steve (since it involves his code, too) and come up with a solution. Somewhere in there I conference with the other Steve on current integration STR status. And on the lack of availability of conference rooms with projectors on Thursday.
  • No time to implement said solution before the section meeting at 11:30. I really dislike section meetings because they're "on our own time" because they buy us lunch. I somehow think that an hour of my time is worth slightly more than a cheese steak sandwich and a bag of Baked Lay's. Nevertheless, I did bake cupcakes to bring with me, and they all got snarfed up by the end of the day. :)
  • Still no time to implement the solution because at 1pm we have our weekly team status meeting. It runs over until after 2pm.
  • When I get back to my desk, I realize that I haven't heard from my car repair shop (having the AC fixed) and give them a call. They don't know exactly what the problem is but have put in a temporary fix, so I call Darren, go pick him up at work (I've been driving the 4Runner for 2 days) and go get my car. 
  • Darren goes back to work and I go home for a few minutes because my Cricut Expression arrived today and I didn't want to leave it sitting on the front porch. I also checked the mail, took Sasha outside, and took a shower. Yes, you read that right. 5 minutes in the shower is my reset button- it wakes me up more than coffee ever could. Grab clothes to change into for orchestra rehearsal and head back to work.
  • Finally, finally get the STR solution implemented, and thankfully it works!! Unfortunately, it starts working at 5:28, and it's one of those that has to sit for a few minutes to make sure it really took. I really, really need to leave to make it to Willowbrook for orchestra rehearsal, so I decide to run to the bathroom down the hall, change clothes, and run back to check on it. Thankfully it's still working. I grab my stuff (including the empty cupcake carriers) and run by Steve's office on the way out to tell him the good news.
  • Drive to Willowbrook and get there just in time for the 6pm start of rehearsal. I've not been going to Wednesday night practices for a while and have forgotten how much fun they are.
  • Get out of rehearsal at 7:15 and stop by Target. We're out of eggs and oil and getting dangerously low on cake mix and frosting.
  • Drive home and unload the car. Take Sasha outside and then feed her dinner in the kitchen while I cook cajun chicken (for dinner) and cupcakes (to take to work the next day...again). While things are cooking, I unload, reload, and start the dishwasher and start a load of laundry.
  • As soon as the last cupcakes come out of the oven and are cooling, I change clothes, grab the iPad, and head to the gym. 45 minutes on the elliptical (at 9pm!). At least I get to read while working out- the current book is Star Wars: Backlash.
  • Go back home and take a shower (yes, I am shower crazy). Once out, I take care of getting things ready for the next day- plug in the iPhone to charge, put Sasha in her crate, and make sure all the food is put away in the kitchen. Oh, and I frost the cupcakes and put red, white, and blue sprinkles on them. :)
  • The last thing to do for the night is to hang the laundry up to dry...and then fall into bed at 11:15. 
I'm totally not complaining, but, man, was that a busy day!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Review: Design Workshop by Ella Publishing

Note: I am not being paid or sponsored by Ella Publishing to write this review- I simply love their books! Also, all images in this post are courtesy of the Ella Publishing web site.

I recently picked up the latest eBook from Ella Publishing- Design Workshop. Written by graphic artist and often-published scrapbooker Lisa Dickinson, the book covers a variety of design principles and techniques that will enhance almost any scrapbook layout.


Warning: I intended this to be a review, but I think it's going to be one big gush-fest because I really love this book!

Design Workshop is 26 pages in length and contains 22 layouts by the author. As with all Ella books, the format was created by the fabulous Cathy Zielske and benefits from her mad graphic design skills. The book is available for $5.99 as a PDF download and looks incredible on both a PC (well, a Mac) and the iPad (I use the 99 cent Goodreader app to view PDF files).


Design Workshop presents 10 sections of design principles ranging from using a grid to enhance your layout to clustering embellishments. One of the things that struck me right away about the presentation of each section is how accessible Lisa makes each "lesson." Her writing style is conversational and not overly technical, and each principle is accompanied by at least two supporting layouts and notes as to exactly why each layout works based on the given principle.


The layouts themselves are stunning, and I found myself immediately getting into that "gotta go scrap NOW" mode. I really appreciate that Lisa included all types of layouts in her book- both multi and single photo, one and two page, and covering a variety of subjects. Even without the (awesome) design instruction, this book would be wonderful simply for its layout ideas.


While the book is already inexpensive at $5.99, Ella is currently offering $2 off any of their books when you use the code STUDIOCALICO. This is one book I would recommend that any scrapper snap up and read ASAP!

Speaking of Studio Calico, the next Ella book (available later this month) features layouts from their design team. I can't wait!