Monday, July 7, 2014

Convention 2014 Swaps

So, as a "new" Stampin' Up! demo I get to go to convention FOR FREE! How fun is that??? I wouldn't be able to do it except for the fact that we're having a big family reunion in Utah the same weekend! The stars have aligned. ;) haha. After attending the 2014 catalog release party, I'm REALLY excited for it! I'm a little nervous though. Anyway, I decided (last minute) to make a few cards to swap. So here they are!  I was actually surprised how fast I put these together! There are about 30 of them. I'm excited for the cards I'll receive in return, and the friends I'll make while I'm there!

I used one of my all time FAVORITE stamp sets! I recently needed a sympathy card, and this is a GREAT sentiment image! Everyone needs something beautiful during a time of sadness right? I love the sentiment and the reminder that whatever you're going through, it WILL pass, and if we can endure the trial, there will be blessings beyond our imagination! LOVE this stamp set. And the new in-color Blackberry Bliss?!?! FAVORITE! So lucky that I won that ink pad (and 2 others) at the catalog release party!

Are you ready for your close-up? haha.

Materials used: 
Card base 
Crumb Cake Cardstock
Versamark Ink
Heat & Stick Powder
Dazzling Diamonds

From My Heart Stamp Set
Lovely Romance Stamp Set
Moonlight DSP stack
Burlap Ribbon
Venetian Crochet Trim
Blackberry Bliss Card
White Embossing Powder
Labels Collection Framelits
Tea Lace Paper Doilies
Snail Adhesive
Alphabet Rotary Stamp (to add my blog address to the back)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Guess what I finished today!

So I finished Sophie's baby book! It helped that Shutterfly had a free book offer. Nothing like free for a little motivation! So here it is. You'll notice several pages are pulled right from the 2012 family book. Or those pages were pulled from her book for the family book. Who knows. Anyway... there were a few personal pages I didn't add here. Pretty sure no one wants to read about how she was born. Ew.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Seriously though...Project Life? SO.IN.LOVE.

So my loads of Project Life stuff I ordered (40% off PLUS another 15% off...I couldn't resist!) FINALLY came today!!! Yes, right in time to go pick Dylan up from the airport. So I had to wait a bit to play with it, but I busted it open when we got home and OOH LA LA!!! I'm not kidding, this is FAAAABULOUS! (I hope you heard me singing that.) It's the perfect blend of scrapbooking and plain old albums. Here are a few pages I busted out in about an hour WHILE playing with kids. See? EASY!

Here's what I LOVE about the "traditional" Project Life:
1. SUPER EASY. Just choose your photos and cards, and slide 'em in!
2. There are SOOO many fun cards and designs!
3. Seriously easy to stay up to date. (***TIP***I've always heard you should record where you're at NOW and move backwards. That way you don't forget the little details.) Which leads me to my next point...
4. You can journal on the cards now, and save them to add to the page when you get your photos.

Here's where I think I'll have a problem:
1. Waiting for my photos to be printed, supplies to arrive etc.
2. The layouts are mostly one direction of photo, but it didn't cause too much of a problem, I just did a 2-page spread. Also, I saw a Pin about making pocket page protectors in any layout. Pretty cool, but time consuming.

So here's how to solve my issues:
DIGITAL Project Life. I love love LOVE Stampin' Up's program called My Digital Studio. It's VERY user friendly. Also, you can use cards, papers, embellishments etc. from ANYWHERE. You can print from home, or wherever you prefer, AND it's only $19.95! Seriously can't be beat! (Plus, you can download a free trial for a month. You don't get ALL the papers, stamps, embellishments etc. in the free trial, there are a TON included with the software. It would probably overwhelm you.)

One benefit of digital scrapbooking is that the finished albums take up a LOT less space, and look so nice and uniform on the shelf. Another benefit of going digital is that it's completely portable (especially if you have a laptop). I've decided to do our 2013 album all digital, and our 2014 album with the albums, page protectors, printed photos, and cards. One thing I thought of is that while I'm traveling, I could even create a digital layout with the photos I take so I know which prints to order, and I can have them waiting for me at home. Best of both worlds? Yes, I do believe so! Anyway, here are a few digital pages I created while waiting (im)patiently for my goodies:

I've been playing around with this cover for awhile.
It started out as 8 1/2 x 11, another benefit to digital,
you can change the size of project without starting over.

So what do you think? Digital? Traditional? Hybrid?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

My Latest Love

Ok the past few months have taken me ALL OVER THE PLACE! Nothing like a little chaos to clear your head and set your priorities. Am I right? No? Just crazy? Well, whatever. Here's the bottom line: I'm back to blogging here. I had a new blog set up, but realized it was very specific and not very personal, so although helpful, not very fun. I'll incorporate my ideas there into this one here. (Wow that was pretty Texan right thar. haha.) Anyway... I'm back.

The past few months I have been reminded of my annual theme "small & simple", and have been planning & working on a lot to simplify my life by taking small steps. One of the areas of my life needing the most simplifying is my craft room. I'll admit it. I collect craft stuff. It's hard not to! It's all so much fun! Using it is fun too, but I haven't gotten around to that part of it very much. Anyway, Stampin' Up! and Project Life have just joined forces and OH.MY.GOSH. I am so in love.

Here's the thing: I will always prefer my digital albums. They take up SO much less space, and they cost less too. (There's no printing photos, and all the scrapbooking "stuff" is so much cheaper digitally.) It's also much much quicker in a way. I don't have to wait for my photos to be printed or for my supplies to be shipped. But here's the thing: I am not a scrapbooker. I never have been. I used to be pretty "anti" scrapbooking. I've always been into journaling and photo albums, and I have fun making cards every once in awhile, but all that time & energy & planning just for one cute page? It's really not me. AND I would never get anything done. In fact, I still haven't finished Sophie's 1st year/baby book. She'll be 2 in July. Not bad, but seriously, I should have it done by now.

The other thing is I'm kinda sentimental about some of the little details. Like handwriting. I love LOVE all the fun fonts available, but I also think there's nothing as personal as handwriting. I know you can make a font of your own handwriting, but it's really not the same. Similar, but not the same. And then there's the question of what to do with all the little mementos like hospital bracelets, cards etc.?

So...for this years album I'm going to be experimenting with Project Life, and MDS (Stampin' Up's digital software) and I'll see where that takes me. I imagine I'll figure things out along the way. For example, I've already thought I might continue the digital annual 8x8 books using mostly Project Life, maybe scanning some journaling cards in, but for the kids special things I'll have a "hybrid" album for them. Anyway. That's my latest love and newest obsession. Stay tuned for projects and updates. :)

I'm also curious. What are your thoughts on scrapbooking? If you don't scrapbook, what do you do with your photos? And what about documenting life? Do you keep a journal?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

San Antonio 2014 - Olé!

It has been freakishly cold for Texas this time of year. And by freakishly cold I mean when we left the house it was 70 degrees and as we drove approximately 3 hours we watched the temperature drop. 46, 33... what??? Yeah, so that's what we get for turning the heat completely off while we leave for a week. 

Anyway, we're back in San Antonio. We had a nice warm welcome from our friends Juan & Pablo here. 

Ola, or as Evan says, "olé".

Speaking of Evan and olé, we went to our favorite souvenir shop across from the Alamo the first full day we were here. Evan has been talking about an olé hat since we left Bampa's house in January. (In case you don't know what an olé hat is, I believe the correct terminology is a Three Amigos hat.) Luckily, he changed his mind when he saw them and decided he didn't need one after all. They were like 30 to 40 bucks or more, so instead we bought a $5.99 pink cowgirl hat with sequins and a sparkly crown on it for Sophie, and a couple $1.99 toy guns. Now we've got what we came for and can return home. Olé. 

I'm just kidding. We're not going home, we have a whole week of trashing a hotel room ahead of us.
I'm not kidding about that one.
And for the record, that blurry face was all natural baby.
So, did you know it was Mardi Gras on Tuesday? I taught French for 5 years, so I have to know these things. How did we celebrate you ask? Well, we didn't. But I remembered it was Mardi Gras as we took a drive to see the San Antonio temple. 

The temple is on a hill overlooking a nice residential part of San Antonio. It feels like it's set apart from the city. Such a peaceful feeling. And we didn't even go inside!

Anyway, back to Mardi Gras...or now Ash Wednesday...or Lent for that matter. We aren't giving anything up for Lent, but I think it's a fabulous idea. I'll have to think on that one for next year. We did, however, visit a couple of the Missions here in San Antonio. I had no idea there were more than just the Alamo to visit. And honestly? The Alamo is nicely landscaped and restored, and I know it's super historic (especially since we're Texans now) but the other missions were WAY cooler to visit! It felt a little bit like visiting crumbly old castles in France, only they were crumbly old churches in Texas. Very cool. Or as Evan says, olé!

I realize how fabulous this family picture is,
but I promise it was better than the selfie we took.

Just because you didn't believe me about the selfie. Olé.

Friday, February 7, 2014

We all need a little break every now and then!

Best seat in the house.
We've reached a milestone here. Last Monday was my first attempt at potty-training. I swore it was also my last! There was weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, but it did encourage this little guy to be done with diapers and only wear Pull-Ups. He REALLY wanted to wear his awesome Angry Birds or Ninja Turtle underpants, but he hated getting them wet. So I did what any frazzled, desperate, loving Mom would do and I really did give up (seriously, that day)! Luckily, the other stubborn soul in the house did NOT. Last Friday (or Saturday?) we received the above pictured best seat in the house and he instantly sat and peed on the potty. What?!? Yep! All by himself! It's been four days in a row now of sitting on this beautiful throne without any reminders or nagging from me! He even announced he "felt like going pee-pee" at the Dr's office today. AWESOME! So the moral of this story? Wait until your little ones are old enough to train themselves. Easiest potty-training ever! haha!

In other news, I decided to give myself a little break and I signed up to receive a fun little present every month. (You know you want one too!) For $20 a month you get a fun little package delivered right to your door with all the stamps, ink, paper, and accessories to create things like cards, journals, decor and more! So if you need a little break too, just click here

----->>>Send me a fun present every month!<<<---------

and let the good times roll. :) Oh p.s. if you sign up before february 10th you get free markers ($14.95 value) too! Woohoo!