Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Five for Friday: Back to School

...Yes I realize it is now Tuesday but I had originally written this Friday & it just didn't get 'published' for some reason...

1. Erin FINALLY allowed her hair to be cut!  This has been an almost 2 year battle but all it took was comparing her hair to that of Disney Channel stars (Dove Cameron "Liv & Maddie" specifically)  lol!

2. After years of fighting the tourists for clothes (why does everyone seem to do back-to-school shopping on vacation?), I made the crazy trip up Birmingham's Galleria for new clothes.

3. Suspicion confirmed ;-) - genetics has won yet again & the girl received her first pair of glasses this August. She picked pretty much the exact opposite style I expected her to choose but no matter she's happy(ish) :-P

4. Seems the school supply list grows every year - this is for two kids (PK, 2nd) but still INSANE!

5. Last day of summer vacation...I think the Lego "table" exploded....

Friday, August 7, 2015

Five for Friday

1. My always crafty eldest has gotten bit hard by the sewing bug (so it must skip a generation :-P), she can't quite control my machine yet but she loves to hand-sew & she adores owls.  So when I found a stuffed owl sewing kit at Hobby Lobby I knew it was meant for her ;-).  She is so diligent in making sure every stitch is just right that it took 2 hours just to complete the front face & then somehow she broke the needle (?!) so she couldn't complete the full project le sigh

2. Of course since Erin was in our study (at daddy's desk), Dillon just had to be in here as well.  Thankfully he had a new Lego set to keep him occupied as well ;-).  After he built the set I expected him to start tearing through the house like the crazy pre-schooler that is him.  But he surprised me & played for hours quietly with the new set at my feet - reminded me of when he was a young toddler & wouldn't leave my side for anything <3.
By the way, that mess behind him isn't mine (or John's), it's Erin's -- quite a while ago I read on May Flaum's blog  that she has an art bin just for her girls to make their own scrapbook layouts & cards.  At about the same time I was purging & reorganizing my own stash, I was just going to throw all the "rejects" in a yard sale grab bag box but made it hers instead.  The deal was she could have anything in it as long as she kept it neat - which worked for all of a week, le sigh redux :-P

3.  While the kids were happily occupied I was able to complete two more layouts for our Disney 2013 album - I'd really love to be "caught up on" Disney albums by the next time we go back but we shall see! .... When I have pictures that have a very similar theme but don't exactly go together or tell the same story, I like to use the same paper collection so the layouts coordinate (but don't match) & store them face-to-face in the album.  In this case I used My Mind's Eye Collectible collection with the addition of a few Idea-ology pieces & both layouts are based off Mid-Week Mojo sketches.

4. Mr. Duncan was being a goofy pup this morning & tunneled under my quilt to sleep,  staying there for hours.  How he didn't overheat with that much fur under a quilt in the middle of a FL summer I don't know....

5. It's back-to-school in just over a week & I'm far from ready, this year I need two sets of supplies (pre-K & 2nd) and needs shoes, clothes, haircut, new glasses oy!  The most frustrating thing about back-to-school shopping is the more Erin grows into "school-age" sizes the less I can find near home because most tourists do their shopping while down here on vacation.  And yes I know the obvious answer is "order online" but Erin is the world's pickiest dresser & even if she helped pick it out (off the screen) more then half would still be returned guaranteed :-/.  So this year I've come up with a new radical & quite possibly insane plan - we're going to drive all the way up to north AL (4-5 hrs away) and spend the whole day shopping in one of largest malls in the south and then spend the night in hotel before driving all the way back down.  Crazy? Yeah I think so... but I'm hoping it'll be some good mother-daughter time as well since I'm not crazy enough to drag husband & son up as well!  They're going to spend the day driving go-karts & eating wings ;-)..  Wish us luck! 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

To plan or not to plan, that is the question...

Simon Says make a plan which for me is quite easy because by nature I am a planner, I not take comfort in methodical research & planning out of anything in my life.  I find it very difficult to just "let loose" and allow things to fall as they may - this applies as much to crafting as it does to other areas of life, I just can't throw paint/ ink/ paper down & "see what happens".  From the time I started scrapbooking up until my eldest was a young toddler I carefully sketched out every layout on graph paper.  I selected the pictures I wanted to use & printed them out on basic printer paper to refer to as I was designing.  I bought specific paper & embellishments for each layout and printed out pictures in the specific size I had drawn out on the sketch.
Sketch & photo selection circa 2008

Then only after I had everything planned out, I would create the actual layout. I say "create" but really it was more assembly since I never-ever deviated from my carefully constructed sketch.

Completed layout circa 2008 (title is only different because my mom found the pre-made die-cut somewhere)

By the time my son was born in 2010, this much planning had become very tedious and quite frankly boring.  I had such limited free time with a toddler & newborn (with health issues) that I just couldn't bring myself to spend so much time sketching every layout.  I tried to craft in a more free-form fashion allowing the pictures to dictate the layout & paper on the fly but the lack of a plan/ direction drove me crazy.  And so I hit a slump that lasted well over a year until I discovered pre-made sketches & the radical (to me) notion that you could alter said sketches for several different layouts. By using pre-made sketches I cut out the time-consuming part (for me) of scrapbooking and could focus on the actual creation of art & preserving of memories.

These days I order standard size 4 x 6 pictures in 100+ batches and cut them down as the layout and/ or story to be told dictates.  And I buy paper & embellishments just because I like them without a specific layout in mind.  After selecting pictures, I often start with Mid-Week Mojo sketches because they're convenient (& who doesn't love the chance to wing goodies? ;-) ) and then pull out paper & push it around until it looks right.  Since I very rarely stick to the provided sketch exactly, this is about as close to open-ended creative play as I get ;-).

Since I made a layout about Crystal Palace for my son's album, I of course had to make one for my his elder sister as well ;-).  The pictures are very similar but I wanted a more feminine look & to play up the classic architecture of the restaurant.  My first thought was Teresa Collins's 'Family Stories' line, but the black paper was way too dark for the colorful pictures & dominated the visual space.
After I switched it out for a cream-colored floral paper from Teresa Collin's 'Tell Your Story' line, the rest of the layout came together easily.  Taking cues from Mid-Week Mojo Lilac sketch #4, I inked & layered more paper & embellishments from 'Family Stories' and stamped the floral design in the upper right hand corner.
The journaling is hidden in the envelope down at the bottom.  The envelope came with a plain white card so I stamped it for interest & embossed the sides.