November 29, 2012

this boy...

I trust that you all had a lovely Thanksgiving.  We did.  Grandma and Grandpa Jannuzzi came for the holiday and we enjoyed their visit very much.  It had been nearly two years since we last saw them.  We were wondering if they would even be able to come as they were affected by Hurricane Sandy and were without power for some time.  But, they made it and a good time was had by all.

This week is all about catching-up on chores, laundry, getting back into our routine... I'm sure you know what that's like.  It's been some time since I last blogged and now you know why!  I'm going to keep it simple and share this page I made for the Pebbles blog using Seen and Noted.  With Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all so close together I've had so many seasonal assignments that I haven't had a chance to use this collection as much as I'd like.  Which really is too bad because it is, along with the new Sn@p! lines, my favorite from the past Summer CHA.  The colors and patterns suit my style of scrapbooking plus, they are super boy-friendly.  Even the flowers in this collection are more geometric as you can see in the page above.

So speaking of assignments and that blog post last week, we were supposed to make a project with the theme, "I'm grateful for."  I decided to go a little outside the box with my layout.  Nathan turned four in September, and lately he has been showing us so much more of his personality.  Which we didn't really think was possible!  He has been saying the funniest things, is showing us he understands more, and is basically growing up.  *sniff, sniff*  He is a very sweet and loving boy and he makes us laugh everyday with his silliness.  The day that Gabe and daddy went to the air show I took some photos of him making these funny faces.  Immediately after taking those snapshots I knew I wanted to make a page with all of them together.  These photos make me laugh.  They are just so Nathan, and we are so thankful to have him in our lives.

The boys are all still asleep, but probably won't be for much longer.  Thanks for spending some time with me today... now it's time to get to work! =)

November 16, 2012

five on Friday

I know, I know, just yesterday I was writing about documenting Christmas, and yet, what did I say?  That I didn't want to rush through this season.  Well, I don't.  There are still two weeks left in this month, and I fully plan on taking advantage of what remains of our fall.  So today I thought I'd do a slight twist on the five on Friday theme, and share five things this week for which I am thankful.

1.  I'm thankful... it's Friday!  The past two weeks have been a little rough around here.  Three sick boys, a mommy that has not been fully sick - just under the weather, and a very, very busy daddy.  But!  Deadlines have been met, we are all on the mend, and the weekend waits for us.  There is nothing to complain about here.

2.  Speaking of yesterday,  I am blown away, blown away, by the comments.  This is a humble little blog, and I'm not naive, the pull of a free Sn@p! December Daily prize pack is a pretty big one. =)  But, I can tell from reading the comments that what I posted resonated with a lot of you.  That means so much to me.  This time of year there is so much pressure to get so much done; it can be overwhelming.  Today I am thankful to be a part of the amazing Simple Stories design team, and to have opportunities such as the one yesterday to reach and inspire so many people.  Being a part of this team, from day one, has been a true blessing in my life.

3.  With everything that has gone on in the last two weeks, and I mean in a larger worldly sense here, it has made me more aware of all the little things that I take for granted everyday.  This week the weather got a little colder.  Of course, it is Southern California, and cold is a relative term.  But I grew up in South Texas and it doesn't take much to give me a chill.  There was a moment this week, when I was lying in bed, and I was cold.  For a moment, I was annoyed by this.  And it really was just a small moment, a second or two, and I thought immediately of all those without power, without their homes, those who have lost loved ones...  This week I am thankful to have a roof over my head and a warm bed to sleep in at night.

4.  More scrapbooking thankfulness, and a little inspiration too.  I am also thankful for the opportunity to work for Pebbles, Inc.  If you had told me in January that I'd be working for not one, but two manufacturers this year, I would not have believed you.  It has been a pretty amazing year.  On Monday, I had a few cards featured on the blog.  Our challenge was to mix and match various lines when creating our projects.  I combined Seen and Noted with Walnut Grove and came up with these three cards. 

I started off by making two fall inspired cards, hence the leaves.  Then, I couldn't help myself and had to make one with a butterfly too!

I thought these butterflies made the perfect cheerful accompaniment to the "enjoy your day" sentiment sticker.  And gosh, those Seen and Noted papers just make me smile.  Back to the leaves, if you're interested, you can find the file I used, here.

5.  Finally, I'm thankful that the baby is napping again.  (And yes, he just so happens to be napping right now.)  Oh, man.  Last week when he was sick, when he most needed to nap, he didn't.  It was hard.  He is feeling better and has been napping great this week.  It has made such a difference... in both his mood and mine.

I hope this has been a good week for you too. 

Until next time, what are you thankful for?

November 15, 2012

Document Christmas with Sn@p!

Welcome to the Simple Stories December Daily blog hop!  You should have arrived here from Cari Locken's blog.  Today a few of my fellow teammates and I are sharing projects and inspiration using the new Sn@p! albums to document Christmas.

Confession:  At the last minute I decided to go with a red album instead of brown, so I don't have a cover to share with you today.  But, my album is on its way, and as soon as I finish the cover I will post it here.

Today I'm going to share my approach to this project and how I plan on documenting the season.  I don't have any completed album pages yet because I don't plan on documenting every day of December.  It didn't make sense to me to make pages ahead of time when I don't know what my photos will be or how many of them I will have.  What I do have to share are lots of ideas, a couple of sketches, and a giveaway too!  I hope you find something here today that will inspire you as you set out to document your Christmas this year.

This will be my first year to make an album specifically for Christmas.  I have never really been drawn to the idea of a December Daily because as Catholics we celebrate the season a little differently.  As a family we try to observe the season of Advent, which begins on December 2nd this year.  That doesn't mean that we don't decorate, or bake cookies, or listen to Christmas music until December 25th.  It just means that we try to hold off on the full-blown celebrating until Christmas day.  December 25th is when the Christmas season begins for us, and it will continue until January 13th with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.  

And so that is what I will be documenting this year.  There are three dividers in the album, one section will be for Advent, one for Christmas Day, and one for the remainder of the season.

Of course, I'm using Handmade Holiday as the foundation of my album.

But, if you are like me, you probably have a substantial amount of Christmas products already stashed away.  I wanted to be sure to use some of what I already had, and so I went through my papers and chose a few that coordinated with the Simple Stories collection.  This is what I came up with

I cut all of my papers down to the same size as the journaling pages, which I will also be including in my album.

The pages measure 6 3/4 x 8 3/8 inches.  I've kept what remained from the papers above, and I will use those scraps to embellish the pages I make as I go.

In addition, I'll be using the divided page protectors that come with the album, and whatever additional designs I need as I go along.

Something I have started to do with the element cards that are included in each collection kit is to go ahead and cut them all apart ahead of time.  This is such a small thing, but it saves so much time later.

You'll see that I also pre-cut the 3x4 inch bingo cards and the flash cards.  

I did make a few things ahead of time, and I'd like to share them with you.  

First, I used my Silhouette to cut these folders.    

I'm sort of in love with these... I can embellish them or leave them plain.  Either way, I thought they would add a fun dimension to the album.

The second is a pocket that I decorated to hold my oldest son's letter to Santa.

I used one of the pockets from Documented, and embellished it with papers from Handmade Holiday.  I plan on putting it directly into the binder, and so you'll notice I reinforced the holes with canvas stickers.

Finally, in the spirit of working ahead, I created some journaling cards using the 3x4 Sn@p! Cards.

In case you didn't know, the Sn@p! cards

are double-sided.  And so while one side may have a design or pattern you may not want to use, the other side will be neutral.  Can I tell you that I love them?  I do...

I had so much fun making these, I wanted to make some more, and noticed that the Dots paper from the Awesome Collection,

coordinated perfectly with Handmade Holiday.

My plan for Documenting Christmas is keep it easy and simple.  Design-wise, I want to have a variety of pages.  Most photos will go into the divided page protectors, and I'll use the pre-embellished journaling cards above to write down any notes or stories to go along with those photos.  If I want to include just photos, then I can always use one of the decorative bingo or quote cards to fill in empty spaces, easy.  

Other photos might require more attention or a layout all their own.  Again, in the interest of keeping things simple, I made a couple of sketches for my stand-alone pages.

This next sketch is designed for a 4 x 6 photo, but it would work for a 5 x 7 too.  And instead of adding journaling in the space designated in the design, you could always put a number sticker for the day the photo was taken.

So, that is what I have so far.  I've gathered my materials and I have a plan.  My hope is to capture a bit of our preparation during Advent, our festivities on Christmas Day, and a little of the season as it progresses through New Year's Day, the Feast of the Epiphany, and until the end of the season.  I do hope you will stop in periodically to see how my album is coming along!  I won't be updating daily, but I do hope to update often.


Now for the really fun part!  Simple Stories is giving away a Sn@p! December Daily prize pack as well as a other fun prizes.  The winners will be chosen at random from all of the blogs in today's hop.  To enter please leave a comment below.  Be sure to visit all of the blogs in the hop today and comment on each one, since the more comments you leave, the better your chances of winning!!

I also have a giveaway for you today!  I'll be giving away this fun prize to one lucky commenter.

If you want a chance to enter my giveaway, then when you comment, be sure to leave your email address so that I can contact you if you win.  Comments for my giveaway will remain open until Monday, November 19th, 11:59 pm PST.  I will select a winner at random and they will be contacted shortly thereafter.

And just in case you get lost, here is a list of all the participants in today's blog hop:

Cari Locken
 *you are here* 
Emily Lanham

November 7, 2012

Fall: Great Adventures

It seems like as soon as Halloween is over, the race for Christmas is on.  At least, that is how it can seem...  I suppose I just can't go along for that ride.  I love this season.  The cooler weather, the trip to the pumpkin patch, trick-or-treating, the pumpkin flavored  - everything.  We also have two birthdays in this season, and last but not least, Thanksgiving.  I love it all.  And I think you probably love it too.  So I hope it is not too late to share this with you.

You might remember some time ago, the Simple Stories design team shared projects using the the Mix and Match albums, now part of the Sn@p! collection.  You can see my album, here.  At the time, I couldn't decide how to use the dividers that are included as part of the album,

and so I left them out.  But I couldn't throw them away.  Since that time I have had the idea to use them as the foundation for an album.  This seemed like the perfect time to put them to use.

To create the front and back covers for this fall mini I cut two pieces of chipboard and then used Mod Podge to adhere the coordinating journal pages from Harvest Lane to them.

I plan on using the remaining journal pages in the album.  Even though I am not using the binder, I also plan on using the page protectors in this album.

My idea for the design is to keep it simple, but to also play with layers.  With that in mind, and to make it easier for me to work on this as I go, I went ahead and pre-cut all of the 4x6 element cards that are part of the collection.

I also pre-cut a few of the 3x4 inch bingo cards.

I used my Silhouette to cut these folders

When folded they are approximately 6x8 inches and I like how you can see the two patterns contrasted against one another.  All I need to do is punch holes and add them to the album. 

Finally, I cut a few sheets of paper, both from Harvest Lane, and from my stash to include in the album as pages.  You'll see I cut a couple of leaves too.

As of right now, I have only made the foundation of the album.  I'm not going to lie, it is just so busy right now.  I have been trying though, everyday, to make something beautiful.  It does help me to feel more connected to what is important, instead of being overwhelmed with the laundry...  oh, the laundry!  I used to have it under control, but in going from a family of 4 to a family of 5 it does seem to be getting the better of me.  I need to work on it.

But enough of that!  My plan is to make notes as the season continues and then put it all together with photos and everything, honestly, probably in January.  I will not forget it though!  And I'll share it with you when it is finished. 

For now, about that race to Christmas... an admission, I'm working on the foundation for my very first December Daily, of sorts.  I'll explain more next week, about my approach and my inspiration.  I hope you'll join me.

Until next time, have a lovely week!

November 1, 2012

all about... SN@P!

This is a little late, but in case you don't follow the Simple Stories blog, this week is Sn@p! week.  All week long the design team has been sharing projects featuring the new Sn@p! albums.  The projects shared have been nothing short of amazing!  You can see the first post of the week, here, and then follow the links at the top of each post to see each following day.  Also, what you see on the blog is not all that is being shared - some team members have even more images of their albums on their own personal blogs so be sure to follow the links to find even more inspiration. 

Recently it was my turn to host the blog, and today I'd like to share what I've created so far using the new collections.  To start, I took inspiration from the Sn@p! Icon Stickers:

I was drawn to the sheet of stickers on the bottom left, the circles with the graphic designs and bold colors.  I loved the shapes within a circle and made this card to start.

After having made this card with its simple grid, I couldn't get grids out of my head.  I decided to build on that idea and created a grid-style layout with lots of simple layers.

I cut the numbers and icons using my Silhouette Cameo.  The icons are adhered using foam adhesive to add dimension to an otherwise flat page.

For the numbers, I decided to use the negative image of the number and then back that image with papers from the Sn@p! Life Basics 6x6 paper pad.

I still can't get the idea of grids out of my head, and so you might be seeing more of those from me in the coming weeks.  Or at least, a little more structure and hard lines in my designs.  I don't know... lately I feel a pull back to simple...

Finally, since I was having so much fun, and because I happen to love the yellow polka dot that is a part of Sn@p! Color Vibe, I made this card.

The sentiment on the card above was stamped onto one of the label stickers which I trimmed into a flag shape:

I love these.  And now, I know that design team members are always saying how much they love stuff, but I am truly impressed with the quality and price of the sticker packs that are a part of the new Sn@p! line.  The packs are priced at $4.99 and while at first that might seem expensive, they come with eight sheets of stickers which makes each sheet about 62 cents.  I think that is a great price.  Plus, they don't make you choose, you get all the colors... and believe me, you will want all the colors.  =)

I wanted to mention one more thing about the stickers before I go, and that is, they are a matte finish and are perfect for stamping!  It also makes them perfect for Project Life or for layouts since you can easily add some journaling, a short note, or date without worrying about it smudging.

Thanks for stopping by today!


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