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.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Project Life 2014: Week 35, part two

So, what do you do when both of your kids are broken?  You go to an amusement park, of course!!

We've been talking about going to Michigan's Adventure for years since we drive past the exit all of the time on our way to our place in Michigan.  It has just never worked out to go.  I wasn't sure how much fun they would have with their injuries, but we decided to go for it anyway.  Turns out that they had a blast!!  And thanks to the waterproof cast cover we had bought for Alex, he was able to ride a bunch of the water rides too!

While we were waiting for the kids to ride their last rides of the day, Jeff was looking on his phone for somewhere nearby to eat on our way home.  One of the things that came up on the list was Dog 'n Suds.  Jeff kind of skimmed over since he'd never heard of it... but I remembered going to one as a kid.  I was really hoping that it was the same type of drive-in that I remembered!  We were not disappointed!  It was a totally old school Dog 'n Suds!  This one had the added bonus of being right on the water, so we pulled into the last spot in the row and ate at a picnic table by the dock.  We just had to get our root beer in actual frosty glass mugs.  Let me tell you... it tasted so good!  

That was our last big hurrah of the summer at Bearski.  Friday was spent baking cookies and other treats to deliver to the staff at Crystal Mountain.  We love our CM family and the kids always try to make them treats before we leave at the end of summer.

Main kit used on this spread (link on pinterest)...