Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Merry (really late) Christmas!!

I don't know what happened this year!  I always post my Christmas card to my blog on Christmas day... but this year I totally, completely forgot to do it.  And since I usually always post it, five days post Christmas, I had just assumed that I had already.  Anyway... here it is, just a few days late.  But it's still getting to you before the actual cards are getting delivered.  Besides the few we hand delivered, the cards are still sitting in a box on our table.  Oh well.  Some years are like that.  They just get away from you!

Soon I'll get caught up with posting my PL pages from 2014 (working on my Christmas day pages now) and then I'll do my post about my plan for 2015.  I'm still very much in love with project life and can't wait to tackle another year!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Project Life 2014: Week 46

Week 46 was a bit of a tough week in regards to PL, so there are some photos on these pages that are a real stretch in regards to their importance.  I'm actually not sure why I even took a couple of them.  After doing a week in the life, I forgot that I still needed to take photos for regular project life.  During AWITL I took photos of everything, every step of the way throughout the day... afterward, I had the attitude that "I don't need to take that photo, there will be more worthy things later".  Well... then I kind of forgot to take any.  Add to that, AWITL runs Sunday to Sunday, so my week 46 was already a day short.  Oh well... it's done and here it is...

Monday, December 15, 2014

Project Life 2014: Clara's b-day party

Part of the reason I haven't posted many PL pages lately is because I've been debating about what to do with my a week in the life pages.  I'm really super proud of them, but they just had too much daily routine info for me to feel comfortable with posting publicly.  I thought about blurring out the journaling, but as that week ended up being 12 pages long, I just didn't have the motivation to do it.  So, I'll post the last two pages of that week... Clara's 13th birthday party....

Clara was so excited to finally have a big birthday party again.  Last year her birthday was about two weeks before we moved, the year before she was about a month into a new school... so it was fourth grade (10th b-day) when she last had a real party.  She invited all of the upper middle school girls and they had a blast!  I am so glad we were able to pull it off this year for her.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Project Life 2014: Last of week 44

 I can't believe how quickly time has flown!  It seems like this was just a couple of weeks ago, but it was over a month ago!  The girls were even invited back to perform the piece with the red costumes again and it's already been about three weeks since that performance!  I have a ton of pages to post here that I need to get caught up on.  And... sadly, I'm nearly four weeks behind on PL.  I'm not quite sure how that happened.  I blame a string of illnesses for the girl and Thanksgiving.  Plus I was pretty wrapped in completing some Christmas gift projects.  Those are done and printed, so I'm trying to catch back up again.

Monday, December 08, 2014

26 Things: 1-4

My first printed pages for my album arrived!  It is so much fun to see them printed already.  I'm used to doing digital albums that I print all at once as a Shutterfly book once everything is done.  It's kind of neat to actually be able to touch the work in progress.

I'm still not showing the title page yet, since it's basically the same as our Christmas card.  But the cards have been ordered!

Here are my pages so far...

Thing one... this is our first official event of Christmas each year.  Thanksgiving night we watch the movie Elf.

Thing two is putting up our tree at Bearski and I made sure to document all of our new ornaments.  It's a little hard to see, but on the top row is one of my favorite new ornaments... an ornament of bears with skis that we found in Cheyenne, WY this summer!  It's perfect for our tree!

Thing three is the Holiday Trail.  It was the same day that we put up the tree, but I wanted to document it separately.  For the past few years, this is the one and only time my kids will pose with Santa for a photo.  It's the same guy every year and I'm sure it's someone we "know" from around the resort.  I can't figure it out though!  I may need to ask :-)

And thing four had us back in Chicago, putting up our tree here.  The kids weren't into this year... maybe because we had just put up the Christmas tree at Bearski, maybe because Clara was still not feeling well (she had come down with the flu two days before Thanksgiving), maybe it was because they both had homework... who knows.  It was basically just Jeff and I, except when we called Alex up to see if he could figure out why the lights on a third of the tree wouldn't work :-/

Now I've got to get busy on more pages so I can send those off to print!

Here are my supplies that I've used so far, you can find the links on my pinterest board...

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

26 Things: My plan for December Daily 2014

It's been a while since I've posted, but I've been planning.  It seems like the more I do with scrapbooking/documenting the more I want to add to it with more projects.  It's a lot of fun, but I'm getting a bit backlogged at the moment.

Anyway... on to my newest project... 26 things.  Last year I attempted a December Daily album.  It didn't go so well.  I started strong, but didn't finish.  I learned from the experience though and I'm hoping that will help me be successful this year.

Here's what I learned:

  1. Doing DD doesn't capture all that I want to include.  Our Christmas traditions start on Thanksgiving night, so it I needed something that extended beyond December.
  2. The daily thing just didn't work for me.  Maybe someday it will... but last year it nearly sent me over the edge.  We don't do something Christmas-y every day in December and I found myself trying to create events that shouldn't have been attempted just to have something for that day.
So now on to what I'm doing differently this year.
  1. My working theme for this book is 26 things.  The actual subtitle on my title page says "26 days, events, details, moments and traditions of Christmas 2014".  Why 26?  Because I wanted some of the numbers to coordinate with the actual date.  I wanted #25 to be Christmas Day and since we celebrate with my in-laws after Christmas, I needed another number which brought us to 26.  This theme helps address my two major issues from last year.  I can go outside of December for "things" to include, which then helps out with issue #2 above.  It is no longer daily, no pressure to create things out of thin air for my book.  It's just 12/2 and I already have five "days" worth of things to include in my book and all of those happened in November.  We did nothing Christmas-y yesterday and have no plans for today.. I already would have been freaking out with last year's theme.  
  2. I'm attempting a hybrid album.  I've been wanting to try one.  It's not truly going to be hybrid as I doubt that I'll be using any physical scrapbooking products, just designing with digital stuff and printing it out.  I really loved doing our travel journals this summer, so I thought I wanted to add some "smash book" to my project.  I want to include brochures, playbills, cards, etc. as I come across them.  I decided to go for it one day and bought a Sn@p album and some (possibly entirely too many) inserts...

Those are the high points of this year's project.  I'm excited to get started!  I have my title page and four "things" done so far!  They're all off being printed at the moment.  I have to decide how to share them... as the digital file or printed out and in the album.  We'll have to see.  The title page won't be shared for a while, as it is basically our Christmas card and I want to get those mailed out first.

Oh... and since the December Daily idea still intrigues me and I can't totally drop it... I'm attempting a photo a day for the month.  Not following any prompts, just a single photo a day.  I'm posting them to instagram, but I'm also organizing and labeling them in the Collect app.  I'll print them as 3x4's from Persnickety and add them to a section in the back of my album.  I know it's just day two, but it's kind of fun when there's no pressure... just one photo of something Christmas-y, no further story needed.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Project Life 2014: Week 44, part two

I had so many fun photos from Halloween day, that I had to make it it's own spread...

Sadly, you will notice that Alex is missing from the festivities.  He declared himself too old to dress up and trick or treat this year.  He and his friend were going to decorate the back as kind of a haunted house and pass out candy, but the weather did not cooperate.  They ended up down in Alex's gaming room, playing computer games instead.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Project Life 2014: Week 44, part one

Week 44 was another week that exploded into multiple pages.  Here's part one of that week...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Project Life 2014: Week 43 insert

Perhaps it's time to post again!  :-)  Last week I was busy with other project life things and forgot about posting.  First of all, week 44 ended up with SIX pages, so I was doing a bit of scrapping.  And second, I decided to make another attempt at Ali Edwards' A Week in the Life.  The week that it was supposed to be was the week before (week 44), but I just didn't have my act together, so I started fresh on week 45.  In addition to scrapping six pages, my downtime was filled with taking and organizing a ton of photos.  I did okay with it.  I didn't take as many photos as I would have liked, but I took a ton more (capturing our everyday life) than I would have otherwise.  I truly love the photos I got.  In the end, I decided not to make a separate book, but to include the photos in my regular PL book.  I have them all laid out already.  Week 45 will be TWELVE pages!  I'm debating on this still, but I will probably not post them here.  Although I post a lot about our day to day here with my PL pages, these are just a little too detailed in with our current EXACT schedule.  I might cover part of the journaling and still post them... I have to think on it still.

So, back to week 43!

My baby girl turned 13!!!  I did a little insert for just the actual day of her birthday since so much went on...

Like with my other inserts, the blank portion will be trimmed off after I get my printed book back.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Project Life 2014: Week 43

Week 43 was a week with quite a few photos, but then not quite as many as I would have liked :-)  But such is life with teenagers... they do so much without you and don't take photos of what they do (well... besides selfies from the girl).

Here is week 43...

Clara turned 13 during this week so I'm working on an insert (yes, another insert!) with the pics from her actual birthday.  It's crazy how long her birthday will last though :-)  Week 41 had pics from her birthday with my parents, week 43 has her actual birthday, week 44 will have her birthday with Jeff's parents and week 45 will have her birthday party with her friends (she had to wait for it until after her upcoming dance performance).

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Project Life 2014: Week 42 insert

So, it's done.  I really like how it turned out and I think I'm going to be okay with how it looks with the pages I did yesterday.  They look very dark and heavy here, but the blank half will be trimmed off once the page is printed.

Here is my insert for week 42 of the fashion show Jeff and Clara went to...

I used the same kit that I used on the main pages for week 42.  I was so pleased to see how elegant some of the pieces of that kit could be to match the fashion show photos.  It's a very versatile kit... from apple picking to fashion show!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Project Life 2014: Week 42

Okay... so this week technically isn't done yet.  I had so many random photos this week that I had more than what would fit on the two pages.  It took me a while to figure out which event would get separated out, but I finally decided that the fashion show Jeff and Clara attended on Friday, should be the insert.  I haven't even started it yet, so I hope I can make it flow with these pages.  I think it's a bit funny that in my last post I was lamenting my lack of inserts in book two so far and then, boom!, the very next spread I worked on required an insert!  After the previous week where I barely had enough photos to do my pages, too many photos was a good problem to have.

Supplies used (links on pinterest)...

Friday, October 17, 2014

Project Life 2014: Book One

Since I'm caught up on posting pages, I thought I would finally post about my book one for 2014.  I really, truly love having my actual pages in hand to look through.  I flip through my digital book online on Shutterfly all of the time, but nothing beats the actual physical book.  I was disappointed at first last year that I wouldn't be able to print just one book for the whole year (I was going over the page limit), but now I don't mind at all and have even considered printing quarterly because a whole year (and maybe even six months) just seems to long to wait!  :-)

So here it is...
I like my cover, but next year, I'm going to be more proactive about my cover.  Every time I've printed, the cover is the last thing I think about and I end up just throwing something together in order to get my book ordered before my coupon expires (like actually watching the clock... that's how close I am some times!).

The one thing I messed up on with the cover was that I did not make the photos of the kids even.  Never even thought about this, but the first thing Clara did when she saw the book was count how many photos she was in versus Alex (?!?!?).  What the girl needs to realize though is that if we counted all of the photos within the book, she would win by a mile.  Given that Alex is off a lot doing his own thing and he and his friends aren't that into taking photos.  :-/

I'm really pleased with my book this year...

Things did print closer to the edge than I would have liked, but nothing got cut off...
I reduced everything on my background by 98% before flattening my page, but I should have reduced it a little more.  It showed this way on the Shutterfly site, so I should have known to reduce it more, but I decided not to.  I'm leaving it at 98% for book two, just because I'm too lazy to correct the pages I had already uploaded and the books might as well be consistent.

Thanks to inspiration from the Family Bees blog, I decided to try a few "inserts"...
I should have taken a before photo, but the "inserts" were just full 12x12 pages that were blank on half the page.  After a week of having the book in hand, I finally worked up the nerve to trim off the blank portion.

It went really well, with no issues.  Jenny of Family Bees cut hers with scissors, I used my paper trimmer.  I was a little nervous, so I left a little room on my trimmed edge in case I needed to clean up any mistakes.  I didn't end up needing to clean anything up, so I have a wider trim on that edge, but that's ok.  I used that extra edging to attach my washi tape tab to (idea also from the Family Bees blog).  It gives people something to grab onto when turning that half page.

Just a random page from the book...

And my other "insert" from this book...
I'm really in love with these "inserts"!  I'm a little sad that I haven't done any yet in book two.  I'm not sure why I haven't.  I may have to correct that soon!  :-)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Project Life 2014: Week 41

I really dreaded working on this week once I figured out how few photos I had to work with.  But then I got started and it all came together pretty well!  Most of the photos I did have were from doing attempting a photo a day challenge, so they were really random which made putting these pages together even more daunting.  In the end though, I was very pleasantly surprised with how this week turned out.

Now I'm caught up again (unless you count week 37, which I'm still avoiding... sigh).

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Project Life 2014: Week 40

I wasn't sure where it was going when I started, but week 40 turned out to be one of my all time favorite weekly spreads!  I used the exact same kit I used in week 38, yet it looks completely different.

It was an exciting week, especially Saturday with Clara's performance earlier in the day and the concert at our house that night, so thankfully it was a week with lots of photos.  Week 41 was a totally different story though... I don't have a lot of photos to work with and I'm dreading getting started on it.  Ugh.  I have so many photo projects to get done and I'm just not feeling them at the moment.  It's a dark, gloomy, rainy day, so maybe it's a good day to work on them!

Wish me luck!  :-)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Project Life 2014: Week 39

And here's week 39...

For those of you worried about Alex not making the robotics team, check out the first page of this layout... he got asked the join the team!  It was definitely a learning experience for him.  The day after he got the news about not making the team, we sat down with him.  We asked him just how important being on the team was to him.  He told us that it was very important, it was what he wanted to do 100%.  So, with that being the case, we told him that we would advise him to contact the coach, thank him for the opportunity, highlight that although he was disappointed, he knew it was a tough decision and then finally ask what he should be working on for next year's try-outs.  I was impressed, the coach got back to him right away and they emailed back and forth a bit about some things to work on.  Then, a week after robotics started, he got asked to join the team!  Now did his emails to the coach about wanting to work towards next year have anything to do with him being offered a spot... we'll probably never know.  But I'm guessing they didn't hurt anything, and at the least, even if he hadn't been given this opportunity, he would have known what he needed to work on for the following year.

And let me just say, Alex has loved every single second of being on the robotics team!  We had worried a bit that it wouldn't live up to his expectations or that it would be too much with his homework load and School of Rock (robotics is 10+ hours a week)... but oddly enough, it's made him more efficient with his school work.  He also really likes being on a mixed grade team... his particular team has freshmen to seniors on it.  And now that the team has spent so much time together, they're starting to talk about doing things together outside of robotics, like going to the football games after practice on Fridays.  It's been a really good thing for him!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Project Life 2014: Week 38

 Still avoiding week 37, so we're moving on to week 38...

This week contained an interesting PL dilemma for me.  I was still running a bit behind when I did this one.  I had placed the photos about Clara running for class representative and had most of the page done when they had the elections and she did not win.  At this point I wasn't sure what to do.  Should I take them out and pretend it never happened or leave it alone?  As you can tell, I decided to leave it alone in this particular case.  Clara was totally fine after the elections (she was running against one of her best friends and they knew it could really go either way) and she was proud of the posters that she had made.  A week before, Alex had a somewhat similar situation which I handled completely differently.  One of the main reasons Alex picked the high school that he did, was because of their robotics team.  He has been obsessed with being part of it from day one.  Well... in previous years they pretty much took everyone because it was just starting up, but this year they had a huge turnout for the informational meetings and had to do try-outs to narrow down the 70+ applicants to around 20 team members.  This was all Alex wanted.... and he did not make it.  He was devastated.  It really hit him hard, so there is no mention of it on the pages for week 37 (oh wait... I haven't actually done those yet, but I have no intention of including this).  Each of these situations is different in regards to the emotions around the event.  Alex's try-outs aren't going to be on a page because things were a little raw... I included Clara's prep and posters on this week's pages because she was proud of those, but I didn't bring up the fact that she lost on the following week's pages.  I guess that's the interesting thing about working current... it's harder to censor what you're including.  If prep for some event is a big part of your week, it gets included, even if the outcome in the next week or two isn't what you were expecting.  If I would work with a bit of a delay, I could better control what does and doesn't get included.  Being current is important to me, so I'll just have to keeping working on finding the right balance.  I don't want to make everything seem shiny and perfect in my books, because life isn't, but I also don't want to include painful things that would make me children not want to look through these books in the future.

On a happier topic... take a peek at the top right corner of the first page!  Yep... that's my book for the first half of the year!  I'm totally in love with it and I can't wait to do a post about it! (right after I finish week 37... sigh)

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Project Life 2014: Week 36

Here's my layout of Hop-Along and Lefty on their first day of school :-)  They were quite a pair!

This week was the first casualty of being behind with layouts.  Some weeks I just don't remember to take photos and I don't have much for my weekly layout.  But when I'm working current, I catch it right away and remind myself to take more photos the next week.  When I'm 3 or so weeks behind (like I was when I was working on this one), I don't catch it right away and have several weeks that are light on photos.  At this time I'm working current, EXCEPT I still haven't gone back on finished up week 37.  I skipped it because it was so light on photos that I wasn't sure what to do and skipped it while I tried to round up photos from other people I could use.  I did manage to find a few more, but it just would have been easier to have taken more photos myself.  I'm currently making another attempt at the Fat Mum Slim instagram photo a day challenge, so I at least have some filler options.  If you want to see my photos, the link to my instagram account is on the right.