Wednesday, November 30, 2011

sweet peach layout | staring contest

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Ready for another Sweet Peach Crop Shop layout made with Corrie's fantastic November Sweet Kit? I hope so, because that's what I've got to share with you today!

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I chose yet another 2011 Tennessee State Fair photo to scrap this month (I always take so many fun pictures at the fair!), this time documenting Darren's little impromptu staring match with a rather large rabbit. I'm not sure whether he or the rabbit actually won(though my money is on the rabbit), but I captured the moment and scrapped it using some of the more masculine colors from this kit, including that lovely denim print from the Random collection by Crate Paper.

Can you believe it's the end of November already? Time flies, but that means that I get to share my December Sweet Peach layouts with you (the December Juicy kit is sooooo festive!) super soon!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

sweet peach layout | hanging with sophie

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Somehow this week ended up being an impromptu "Sweet Peach Week" here on the blog (with the exception of yesterday's Scrapbook Circle layout, of course). Totally unintentional, but, hey, it's all good, right? Today and tomorrow I'll be sharing layouts with you, and then on Thursday I'll be back with some gift wrapping ideas courtesy of the brand new December Juicy Sweet Peach kit.

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This page is just a fun one about some time I spent hanging out with my (then) 14 month old niece, Sophie. She's such a fun girl- completely fearless and loves to play around and ride up high on your shoulders.

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I normally don't go girly on layouts, but the deep rose color in the crocheted flowers, chipboard buttons, and in the paper from Studio Calico's Memoir line actually matched Sophie's dress pretty well. I'm starting to agree with Beth (Sophie's mom) that as long as it's not pastel baby pink, I can kind of handle it. :)

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I'll be back tomorrow with another layout made with the November Sweet Peach "Sweet" kit. It's a decidedly non-girly one featuring Darren and...a rabbit!

Monday, November 28, 2011

scrapbook circle layout | macaroni grill

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I've got one last layout made with Scrapbook Circle's Harvest Festival kit to share with you. I totally love any type of woodgrain paper, so I was thrilled to find a sheet from Jillibean Soup amongst the other patterns included in this kit. It ended up simulating a wooden "table" on this page about a day in early September when Darren and I went out to lunch at Macaroni Grill. That day was memorable for two reasons- one, it was a day we both had off work (and that almost never happens), and two, we just don't eat out like that very often (though the number of food photos I scrap may say otherwise).

I like scrapping to remember the little things just as much as the big ones!

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

geek girl | geekmas shopping

This geek girl "tried" to get some online Christmas shopping done this weekend, but I have a nasty sinus something-or-other that has pretty much completely tapped me out, so not much got done. If you're in the market for some geeky gifts, though, I've got some goodies to share with you!


From the top left:
  • If you live in the UK, then perhaps you'll be lucky enough to receive Season 6 of Doctor Who on DVD (or Blu-Ray), complete with Dalek and TARDIS ornaments
  • Santa hats are a Christmas staple in our household, though I may have to upgrade mine to this Santa Yoda hat
  • Speaking of Santa Yoda, check out this massive Lego "minifig" build!
  • It's a sign of the times...Goodnight, Moon has been replaced with Goodnight, iPad. My only question...is it also available as an app?
  • Here's one Christmas gift you won't have to pay for (unless you subscribe in iTunes, of course)- the annual Doctor Who Christmas special! This year's is titled "The Doctor, The Widow, and The Wardrobe," and, yes, it's a take-off on exactly what it sounds like. Here's one production image, and I've included the trailer at the bottom of this post.


  • Need something especially geeky to wrap your gifts in? How about Pi wrapping paper? It has values out to 5,000 decimal places!
  • Gadget Review lists the 25 Top Star Wars Gifts for Christmas. My top pick from the list? The Lego Death Star.
  • The Charlie Brown Christmas special (one of my most favorite Christmas programs since it gets the true meaning of the holiday right) is now a phenomenal iPad app. I can't wait to share it with my niece!
  •  This Lego Star Wars advent calendar will be making an appearance at my own house this year. I'm already counting down the days until I can count down the days!



Until next time, geek out, peeps!

galaxy of lights 2011

Walking through the Galaxy of Lights exhibit at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens is one of our favorite Christmas traditions (even though we do it well before Thanksgiving). You see, we used to drive through it sometime between Christmas and New Years, but invariably the person in the vehicle behind us would leave their headlights on (not that there aren't hugeongous signs as you pull in telling you to turn the frelling things off) and kind of ruin it for us. So three years ago I got the bright idea that we should instead attend the pre-Thanksgiving walking days.

After that first walk, we never, ever wanted to drive again. It's so much more fun when we can take our time (and I can lug the camera) and not have to worry about, you know, glare.

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This year the exhibit was much, much bigger than in the past. So much so, in fact, that they changed the entrance from the Botanical Garden main gate all the way over to the Space and Rocket Center (any Space Camp peeps in the audience?).

Here's a shot of what it looks like when you walk in- winding path after winding path of nothing but gorgeous light displays.

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Some of them are animated, like this caterpillar.

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Here's a whole row of flowers- rather fitting for a garden.

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I think Darren's eye started to twitch when he spotted the squirrels (we have a serious squirrel problem in our neighborhood).

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Dinosaurs. Because it's just not Christmas without dinosaurs. :) Or something like that...

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monthly photo roundup | october 2011

So I guess I'd better get October's photo roundup posted before December gets here, eh? :)


October was also known as The Month When Everything Was Due- there were just a ton of assignments and deadlines, but I got it all done and actually enjoyed it in the process. At the same time, I never want to be that busy again!

Amongst all the "work" (if crafty fun stuff could be called that) there were also some other exciting (and blissfully ordinary) events:
  • Spur of the moment trip to Krispy Kreme to get donuts
  • Those four huge boxes? They were the "starter" shipments for my Bella Blvd design team work. They totaled 42 pounds!!!
  • Obsessing over pumpkin-scented items from Bath and Body Works
  • Fall festival at work
  • Unintentionally bringing a new kitten home- I really did mean to find him a home, but Tigger ended up coming to live with us instead
  • A fun weekend trip to DC (that got scrapped along the way)
  • Finishing up the last of my letterpress articles for Scrapbook Update
  • Enjoying the rare burst of fall color
  • Carving Halloween pumpkins
November has been much, much calmer and more day-to-day. That photo roundup will be coming in the next week or so.

Friday, November 25, 2011

friday favorites | november 25, 2011

Good morning, peeps! I hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving and that if you're out shopping today that you're staying safe! Some years I think that shopping on the day after Thanksgiving is fun, and others not so much. Last year I enjoyed it, but this year I have no interest whatsoever in getting out in the crowds (the touch of the sniffles that I have right now could have something do with that), so I'm just going to go to work instead. And, honestly? There's nothing that I really need out there, so best just to not go and tempt myself...though that doesn't mean that I haven't scored an online deal or two this morning (ahem...thank you, Totally Rad for the deal on RadLab!!).

And, now that Thanksgiving is officially over, I couldn't help sharing just a few Christmas picks this week!

 

From the top left:
  • Kristina Werner ran her fantastic Holiday Card Series again this year, and this card in particular caught my eye. I love her use of one of my favorite supplies (baker's twine) to form the tree!
  • The Daily Digi shared this amazing video teaser of photo unblurring technology that Adobe is working on deep in the bowels of their Photoshop lab. It's nowhere near ready for release yet, but just imagine the possibilities for saving all those blurry photos. This, people, is one of the reasons I never delete any photos, even the bad ones!
  • Bubblegum Life shares a lovely mini album. I love the amazing editing on the photos and all the sweet details on the album pages.
  • Get a glimpse of this fabulous layout (and the cool alcohol ink technique that goes with it) at Crate Paper.
  • It's no secret that I have a massive obsession with snowflakes, so these ornaments by Dawn McVey- made with Papertrey Ink's new snowflake dies- is right up my alley. I love the glittered edges!
  • October Afternoon shares some great ideas for simple scrappy gift tags.
  • Get some new ideas for using your washi tape stash (including a cool journaling technique) from Kelly Purkey.
  • And if that doesn't satisfy your washi tape addiction, Tea For Joy also has some great washi tape gift wrapping ideas.
  • For those who don't have washi tape (and therefore can't understand the addiction) Papertrey Ink shows you how to make your own using stamps. Just so you can become washi junkies like the rest of us. :)
Have a scrappy weekend!

    Thursday, November 24, 2011

    scrapbook circle | december 2011 kit peeks, free printable, + black friday sale

    I've had the December 2011 kit from Scrapbook Circle sitting out in my scrap room for the last few weeks, and I have to tell you that it's so much fun! Lisa put together a December kit that's definitely non-Christmas, but it could certainly be used to document those fun, colorful holiday memories as well! The kit will be available at Scrapbook Circle starting tomorrow should you wish to pick up one of your own.

    I'm busily finishing up my projects, and there's one in particular that I'm super excited to share with you, so be sure keep an eye on the blog throughout the month!





    Scrapbook Circle has also started their Black Friday sale early, and you can get these deals without having to set foot inside a crowded store! Sale prices are good through Monday, November 28th and include discounts on supplies, subscriptions, and more! You can read all about the fantastic discounts here in the newsletter, and below is a peek at the brand new limited edition themed kit, Jingle All the Way, that's also on sale until Monday, November 28th!

     

    Finally, Scrapbook Circle has a free printable available to download on the blog. This printable sheet is very similar to the ones that are included with the kit each month and would be a great companion to the new Christmas themed kit!

     

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    bella blvd layout | white christmas

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    I have been dying to scrapbook photos of last year's Christmas Day snow, so when our fabulous Bella Blvd. design team coordinator (the one and only Laura Vegas) said that my second layout this month for Bella could be about anything I wanted, I jumped at the chance! I mean, could there be more perfect papers for this subject than Bella's Winter Wonder line?

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    I broke out my vast (seriously, I have waaaay too many of them) collection of Martha Stewart snowflake punches (Arctic and Glacial are just two of the styles used here, and the border punch is by EK Success) to make these "reverse applique" embellishments.

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    Here's hoping that we have Christmas snow again this year! We actually don't get much of the white stuff normally, but I can always wish. :)

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    journal your christmas + december daily 2011 | the plan for doing it digi

    2011 marks the fourth year that I'll be completing a Christmas journal of some kind. In 2008 I played along for the first time and created one of Ali's December Daily albums, and in 2009 and 2010 I switched over to Shimelle Laine's Journal Your Christmas class (and never looked back- it's awesome!). This year I'm once again following along with Journal Your Christmas, but I've decided to do something drastically different from the paper albums that I've created in the past- this year I'll be going completely digital with my album!

    I've dabbled in digi before, creating photo books and even a completely digital layout earlier this summer, but I've not attempted a wholly digital album before, complete with papers, embellishments, and ::gasp:: even drop shadows!

    So, why did I choose to switch formats this year? Lots of reasons, actually...
    • The supplies...and how I hate that they are all. over. my. scrap. room. for the entire month of December and into January (because, unlike December Daily, Journal Your Christmas runs until January 6!). It seriously makes it impossible to get any "regular" scrapping done because Christmas supplies seem to proliferate and cover every available (and some unavailable) flat surface in the course of making the journal. And, yes, I could theoretically put the supplies away after I make each page, but I know me, and if I have to drag all that stuff out and then put it away for every page, it'll just never get done. With digi, all the supplies are stored neatly in their own Lightroom catalog, and getting them out and putting them away is as easy as opening and closing that program. I think I can handle that.
    • The portability. While we don't have any trips on the scale of last year's jaunt to Nassau planned for December, I'm sure there will be at least a few long stretches in the car (or on a plane- who knows) where I'll have some time to work. I've done scrapbooking on the go before (in fact I blogged about it recently here) with great success, but nothing beats being able to simply toss my sub-3-pound MacBook Air into my backpack and head out the door. It's so light and easy to pack, and it doesn't make TSA get all twitchy about liquids and sharp objects.
    • The storage. The album itself is pretty chunky when finished- at least it is for me and my Thicker-obsessed self. I'm totally good with that for my regular scrapbook albums, but there are only so many books my shelves will hold, so saving space here and there is a good thing. I love that photobooks (which is how I plan to have my album printed when it's finished) are so thin and compact and am looking forward to having a Christmas album that doesn't weigh 18 lbs. (And, yes, I admit that is total hyperbole.) You may wonder, though, about all the "stuff" that normally goes into one of these books- the brochures, the cards, the tickets, the receipts- and where I plan to put that since it won't fit very well into a digital book. The answer? Into my newly-rebooted Project Life album! I plan on keeping up with both projects throughout December, so all that physical stuff will have a home, too.
    • The sharing. Let's face it- digital pages take a lot less time to prep to upload and share than their paper counterparts. Instead of photographing pages every day (I'm making a huge assumption here that I'll actually get the pages completed each day!), all I have to do is export a web-friendly version and upload.
    • Did I mention the supplies? While I have a pretty good stash of Christmas supplies (that I really do plan to put to good use on other scrappy projects this season), I also have a ton of cuuuuuuuute and fun digital supplies that I'm dying to use in this album. And I may or may not have added just a few more items since starting to gather them all together...
    One thing I do miss already in this paper-to-digi Christmas journal transition is getting to share my "foundation pages" before getting started on the actual book. As a consolation, I'm instead sharing the roundup of the supplies I've brought together to use for this book. I gotta admit, even I'm loving seeing them all together in one place- it makes me want to just get started, already! :)

    While I may not have actual foundation pages made, I am choosing to make things a bit easier on myself by using digital templates for this album. I'm using templates by two different designers and will be mixing them up throughout the album. As an aside, I haven't decided if I will print at 8x8 or 12x12 book yet, but I do know it will be square. I'll be assembling all the pages at a 12x12 resolution and will simply size them down to 8x8 if I decide to go that route.

    First up in my supply list are all of Ali Edwards December Daily layered templates (Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, and Volume 4). I especially love the newest designs, including that gorgeous bracket shape!

     

     

     


    I'm also mixing in Liz Tamanaha's (Paislee Press) Snapshots No. 3 templates. I love the clean lines and those awesome TTV style photo frames.

     

    When it came to choosing paper collections, I had no problem settling on my main line. I've loved the Jolly By Golly collection by Cosmo Cricket for years, but for some reason I never bought it when it was out in paper form. You can bet, though, that when it became available at JessicaSprague.com that I scooped it up (on a One Buck Wednesday deal, no less!). I'm using the Paper Pack, Candy Candy, and Elements in this album.

     

     

     

    I love Echo Park's paper designs, and I especially love that they are available in digital format, too! I've been hanging on to the Everybody Loves Christmas Paper and Elements packs for almost as long as I've had the Cosmo Cricket stuff, and I think that the two collections will work well together. So many fun, bright colors!

     

     

    I really, really meant to cut off the paper selections with just those two sets, but then darned if Design House Digital didn't bring Lori Whitlock on board as a new designer a couple of weeks ago. Lori Whitlock is the creative genius behind many of the paper lines at Echo Park and large portions of Becky Higgins Project Life kits, so of course I loved her Christmas Day collection! I picked it up to use, too, thinking that those doilies might add just a touch of vintage to some of my pages.


    My final addition (I mean it this time...I think!) was made just last week when Sara Schmutz (also at Design House Digital) released her awesome new Jolly kit. Chevrons, pretty tags, and cute snowmen? Yes, please!


    So that rounded out the collection kits for my album, but what about all those little extras that I enjoy adding to my paper pages? I went hunting through my stash (and perhaps, ahem, purchased a few new items) to round out my supplies selection.

    I love baker's twine and will be adding it to my digital pages in the form of these Baker's Twine Photo Wraps by Splendid Fiins.
     
    And buttons? These pretties by Crystal Wilkerson will fit the bill quite nicely.

     
    Of course I had to include some of Rhonna Farrer's fabulous Christmas Junque collection including her Christmas Junque Pieces and Christmas Junque Brushes kits.

     


    I stitch on nearly every paper layout, so it makes since that I should include some digital stitching, as well. These Bright Basics In Stitches by Robyn Meiretto should coordinate nicely with my paper selections.

     

    I'm sure I won't use all of them, but these Holiday and Christmas word art packages by Ali Edwards (Holiday Word Art Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3, + Messy Little Christmas) are great to have in any Christmas journal stash, just in case.





    I mentioned that I do intend to drop shadow this album, but I failed to mention that I'm a lazy shadower. I'll be using Gennifer Bursett's Toolbox Shadows V. 1 for all my shadowing needs.

     

    I should note that I did choose a few more kits that aren't mentioned here- mostly old House of 3 (sniff, sniff...so glad Rhonna started her own site after they closed!) kits that I could no longer find previews or links for. 

    As for keeping everything organized, I've added all my selected supplies to a special collection in Lightroom so I can access them with just a click. Everything is in here, including templates...


    ...papers...


    ...and embellishments.




    As I was sorting through items to add to the collection, I chose only colors that coordinated with my papers from items like the stitching and button kits. Also, if I happened to come across labels, buttons, or bling from any other kits that looked like it would work, I added them to the collection as well. Everything is so easy to look through just by scrolling!

    So there you have it- my grand plans for a brand new (to me) format for my Journal Your Christmas album. I'm so very excited to try doing it digi this year- here's hoping I'm not getting in over my head!
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