January 31, 2012

January's Take Twelve

I'm back today to share my Take Twelve layout for January with you.  When I first talked about this project, back in December, I mentioned my plans to make a mini-album at the end of the year similar to the one that Elizabeth shared in this article at Ella.  After giving it some thought however, I've decided to incorporate my photos from the Take Twelve project into a layout and then include those layouts in my Document 2012 album.  Here is my layout for January

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I decided to use this sketch


from the Guided Inspiration Kit as the starting point.  And really, I only made a minor adjustment to the design by moving the journaling.  I'm going to continue to use the KI Memories Sew Cute papers as the foundations for my monthly layouts. In addition, I mentioned before that I'm also using the Year-O-Graphy collection from Simple Stories for my Document album

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I plan on incorporating these same papers and elements into my layouts so that the album will have a cohesive feel to it.  My purpose isn't to have the album be matchy-matchy, but rather, my motivation is to help keep things simple.  Having these products set aside specifically for this project narrows down the choices I will have to make as I go through the year and make my pages.  And I'll probably be using this same sketch many times as well.  I have to say, it is one of my favorites from the book.

Speaking of Document 2012, I had planned on finishing all of the envelope pages and the title page by the end of this month.  I haven't quite done that, but I am making progress (other projects, and general last-month-of-pregnancy preparations have gotten a little in the way of that plan).  I am happy with how the envelope pages are coming along though, and when I get them finished I will share them with you.

Don't forget that it is not too late to start this project!  You can sign up for the reminder emails, here (make sure you select the box for take twelve).  Each month the Take Twelve team will be sharing their ideas, layouts, and photos both on the Ella blog, and on their own personal blogs.  There is plenty of inspiration out there if you are ever feeling uninspired or overwhelmed by the prospect of a year-long commitment.

Even if you are not participating in Take Twelve, are you doing another year-long project?  As the first month of the new year comes to a close, how are those projects coming along?  Share your experiences with me in the comments.  As always, I would love to hear from you! 

January 30, 2012

CHA Winter 2012

This is going to be a quick and short post.  I've got to get to bed soon, as it is, I'm staying up past my bedtime.  Any minute I expect my sweets to tell me to wrap it up. =)

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to spend the day with my fellow Write.Click.Scrapbook. teammates, Marnie and Aly, at CHA.  We had a ton of fun looking at all the new goodies, meeting friends, and in some cases, making new ones.  If you haven't had a chance to sneak peeks of the new products yet you can follow along at WCS this week where Vivian will be blogging about the show.

Also, inspired by Vivian, I have started my own CHA Winter 2012 pin board.  Come see my favorites from the show, at least what I can remember so far!  I certainly won't be getting everything on my board, but I thought I'd keep this board as a visual reminder of the products that caught my eye.

If I had to narrow it down though, these would be my top five picks, in no particular order:

from Simple Stories, the Awesome Collection


the Mix & Match 6x8 Album


and their new memorabilia pockets



Baby Boy Collection from Bella Blvd



This & That Charming Collection from Echo Park



Have you been paying attention to the new releases?  What has sparked your imagination or caught your eye?  I'll be back tomorrow to share my Take Twelve layout.  For now, night night!

January 25, 2012

my favorite season

Fall is by far my favorite season.  It's becoming the boys' favorite too.  We do the most outings that time of year, visiting the pumpkin patch and the apple orchard.  Then there is Halloween and Thanksgiving.  The weather cools down, and even if we don't get those crisp cool days like they do in the northeast, we do get relief from the summer heat.  Scrapbooking this season is a little more fun too, since I get to use some of my favorite colors.  And with that, I do believe I promised to share some of my recent pages with you...

I don't know about you, but it always takes me a few months before I get around to scrapbooking seasonal photos.  I actually think it is a good thing, since with time, the moments that stand out in my mind become more clear and I'm able to pick the photos that best tell the story much easier.  I hope that makes sense.  For example, this layout features six photos 

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but if I had made this page immediately following our trip I probably would have included many more, and probably would have made a double-page layout.  Which is completely fine, I love making two-pagers, but time gave me a bit of focus and I was able to narrow down the selection.  I decided to keep this layout pretty simple in design and color since there are so many photos, and they are all rather colorful.  I used a lot of neutrals with just a touch of orange.

Here is a layout I made of Nathan helping to clean out the jack-o-lantern

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The year before, he really didn't help at all because he didn't want to get dirty.  This past year wasn't too much better.  He stuck is hand in once and then essentially lost interest and asked us to wash his hand.  I think the look on his face says everything.

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The boys in their Halloween costumes; an astronaut and a Saturn V rocket.  They were sooo cute. =)

And here is Nathan at Thanksgiving helping to make the pumpkin pie
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The gratitude card that is featured on this layout is part of a gratitude journaling set made by Crystal Wilkerson.  You can read more about this project and the gratitude cards in this blog post that I wrote for Ella Publishing.

I'm all tuckered out and as soon as Top Chef is over I'm going to bed (which is, um, right now).  Thanks for stopping by! 

January 22, 2012

35 weeks

I am going to have to just admit to myself that for the next several weeks, possibly months, blogging will be a bit sporadic.  I say to myself, because I have a feeling you already knew?  I'm sure there will be some weeks when I'll have lots to share and will feel very talkative.  Then there will be others where I just don't have much to say, or the energy to say it.  Because you see, I really have wanted to blog this past week, but I've been so very tired.  My husband had a long work week which meant a long week for me too.  By the end of every day, the time when I would normally formulate some thoughts and possibly write a post, I was just plain worn out.  The most either of us could manage was to get the kids to bed, and then watch a little TV while doing kick counts (with a few other chores thrown in).

But here I am, and I have just entered my 35th week.  Last week we had our last growth ultrasound.  Baby Samuel has been doing very well this entire pregnancy and his growth has been completely normal.  There has been absolutely nothing to indicate that there is anything to be concerned about at all regards having a healthy baby and a healthy delivery.  Now for some personal details, as with Nathan, my goal is to deliver naturally, without pain medication or unnecessary medical intervention, under the supervision of a nurse midwife.  The midwives I see work within a hospital system and the birth center where their patients give birth is on a separate floor from labor and delivery.  Because of our circumstance with Michael, I had been risked-out of a birth center delivery by a perinatologist that I saw early in pregnancy.  I had to meet with another perinatologist to have my charts updated.  This pregnancy has been officially called "normal" and I am now birth center eligible.  Being in the birth center simply makes it more possible for me have the kind of birth that I want, and for that I am truly thankful.

We are ready to meet this little one, but there is still so much to do.  My husband is working on painting the baby's room this weekend (and he won't let me help).  Even though Samuel will be in our room for some time, we know that after his arrival we will simply not have the time or the energy to get such a project completed.  And oh yes, we put that off...  there is a lot to be said about that, but I will spare you the details... it is getting done now and that is all that matters. 

Currently, I'm refreshing my memory on the process of birth (reading books and such), reminding myself of relaxation techniques we used during Nathan's birth, and generally preparing myself mentally for the next step.  In my heart though, I am ready to welcome this baby to our family.  I have been ready for so long now.

I want to say thank you to those who have been praying for us, or who have sent us messages of encouragement and support.  They truly mean a lot to me.

I have a few posts to share with you this week.  I've been doing lots of creating, when I have the energy for it, and I'd like to share some of those things with you. 

Until then, I hope you have a lovely and blessed week.

January 13, 2012

Michael Anthony, Pray for us

If it has been a little quiet around here lately, it's because I have quite a lot on my mind these days.  Sometimes, a lot of times, I have a hard time putting it all together for my own sake.  Yesterday marked one year since Michael was born into this world, without life.  It is still hard to write that, to say it out loud.  
 
I think about him every day.  I still miss him.
 
I wrote last year about my thoughts on grief, limited as they were at that time.  God is infinite and mysterious and I think that some things will always remain mysteries to us.  One of those mysteries is how we live with grief.  How we move forward from the intense pain of losing someone we love.  Because life does go on.  Having my husband and Gabe and Nathan to care for certainly taught me that.  And now, as we look forward to Samuel's arrival, I have those feelings again.  It is truly strange to feel both joy and grief simultaneously.   
 
Last night I picked up a devotional that has been sitting on my dresser, unread for several months, and the quote selected for the day bookmarked was this:

He heals the brokenhearted,
and binds up their wounds.
~Psalm 147:3
 
 
In the midst of my sorrow I know that I am blessed.  I know that I am loved by our Heavenly Father.

Michael, we will love you and remember you all the days of our lives.

January 4, 2012

Document 2012: Getting Ready

Last week, in introducing the Document Project, I talked about my reasons for deciding to do this particular project in 2012.  I first learned about this project when I noticed the Document 2010 pages of scrapbooker, Alissa Fast, in the Studio Calico member's gallery.  I loved how this project combined traditional scrapbooking with the use of divided page protectors and envelope pages to help tell a more complete story. 

As part of my blogging week for Write.Click.Scrapbook. last November, I asked Alissa to share her views on this project, starting with how she learned about the project and what inspired her to start her own Document 2010 album.  Seeing her album and reading about her process was certainly a huge inspiration for me.  Her perspective on the project convinced me that such a project would in fact be doable given all the changes we will face this coming year.

Just to review, the idea behind the project is to make four pages for each month of the year.  One page is an envelope page, and holds a collection of items from every day life, essentially ephemera.


Two of the pages are made from divided page protectors where you can put photos, journaling, or anything that will fit into a 4×6 block (this is actually one page protector which makes two pages - front and back).



The final page is a layout that focuses on one event or memory that you want to record in more detail.


All of these pages are part of Alissa's Document 2010 album.  
You can see more of her album, here.


To get ready for this project I have collected the supplies that will be the foundation of my album.  Our library of memories is made up of the American Crafts cloth D-ring albums in various colors depending on the subject.  For this project I wanted to use a different type of album to set it apart from our other scrapbooks.  I decided to use this one from Pebbles
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For the page protectors I plan to use a mix of sizes and formats, at least that is the plan for now.  I've chosen this multi-pack from We R Memory Keepers,
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and this set from Becky Higgins' Project Life collection.
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I will more than likely include more than one page protector per month depending on how many photos I take, but probably not more than two.  I might also decide after a couple of months to simplify my choices.  I'm going to see how that goes for the first few months and allow myself some flexibility (especially with a new baby on the way; no need to make this harder than it should be!)

I know that I could work from my own supplies for this project, but I'm taking Lisa Truesdell's advice by having pre-made elements at my disposal for those times when life gets busy.  So in addition to the album and the page protectors, I also purchased a few other items.  For my layout pages, I'm going to use these calendar pages from KI Memories (which come in a variety of shapes and colors)
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I'm also going to use the Simple Stories Year-O-Graphy collection which comes with elements which can be cut apart to fit divided page protectors of various sizes.
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In addition, I've purchased bits and pieces of another Simple Stories collection, Life Documented, and I plan on adding that into the mix too.

For journaling cards I'm using these 4x6 journaling card from Pebbles,
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and these 3x4 journaling cards from Becky Higgins' Project Life collection.

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As part of her tips and tricks, Alissa mentioned that she made her envelope pages at the beginning of the year and that that step made the process much easier for her.  I haven't made my envelope pages yet, and so I can't share them with you here.  Originally, I had planned to make my envelope pages in December, but early-on last month I realized that wasn't going to happen, and instead of putting extra pressure on myself, I simply adjusted my goals.  My new goal is to make both a cover page for my album, and all of the envelope pages before the end of January.  I truly love Alissa's envelope pages and I'm going to make envelope pages very similar to hers (no need to reinvent the wheel).  I want to make an effort to use my stash here too.  So I'll be using a mix of what I have on hand in addition to the Simple Stories collections I mentioned above.  I will share those pages with you when they are completed.

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I know this is getting long, but I want to talk very briefly about the envelope pages.  There are tons of options for these and I thought I'd point out a few more examples to give you some additional ideas for how they could be made:

First-up are the envelopes being offered through Project Life (although I see that they are unavailable at this time).  These would provide a really fast and easy way to store your ephemera, or anything like children's artwork, etc.  Since those pockets are a full 12x12 they give you more flexibility for what can be stored.

KI Memories made 12x12 pocket pages which could be used for this purpose too.  However, these might be hard to find as it's been a while since they were released.  You can see what they look like, here.  As a less expensive option, they also make 10x5 pockets which could be attached to a piece of cardstock to form a pocket page.


Finally, Shimelle Laine, the creator of this project, made layout-like pages for her album and simply attached actual envelopes to her pages. You can see some examples at her blog, here.

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Now that I have a plan, gathered all my supplies, and made the commitment to myself to follow through, I'm really excited to get started!  I know that this project will demand an extra effort on my part.  In deciding to do this project I tried to be very honest with myself about the required time commitment.  I do think that by working ahead, and by having a plan, this extra project will be manageable (and it is an extra, as I have no intentions of giving up traditional scrapbooking).  But, I also know that at the end of the year I will be very happy that I took the time to make that additional effort.  Part of my plan includes sharing my progress with you, here on my blog.  I do hope you will join me throughout the year as I Document 2012.

January 3, 2012

a new year, a new month, a new gallery

I don't have anything particularly reflective to share with you today.  I've never really been one to make new year's resolutions, and for the most part January 1st is just another day for me (I know, boring!)  I do plan on doing a recap of my 2011 Goals sometime in the next couple of weeks.  I got a few more things checked off that list in the month of December and I wanted to share my progress and some final thoughts about the list.

For now, here is my contribution to Write.Click.Scrapbook.'s January gallery

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Journaling reads:  These days, because the weather has been so beautiful, and because mommy is starting to feel tired more often, you boys have been spending a lot of time outside. This is what the back door mat looks like when you come inside. I love it. December 6, 2011

The theme for this month is, Today.  As always, everyone has their own take on the theme, and there are lots of ideas for scrapbooking the everyday, the immediate, those little and big moments that make up our days.

Have a great week!

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