January 29, 2015

looking back

Usually sometime in late December or early January I'll notice other scrapbookers posting their top ten favorite layouts of the year. I've always liked the idea, but never done it myself. It's part procrastination, part I just don't ever have it in me to do it in a timely manner. We take a pretty low-key approach to Christmas, and it is our time to unplug and really get away from it all (even if we are staying home). For me, I get to spend lots and lots of time with my husband; it truly is a special time for us. When January comes, I focus all of my energy on getting us back on track with our studies.

All that to say, I'm just now getting around to posting this.

I should probably say that these aren't actually my top ten favorite layouts. I scrapbooked quite a lot last year, but a lot of my favorites have either already been posted, or were part of my workshop Sketch Solutions, and I am not at liberty to share them here. So instead of posting my favorites, I thought I'd do a bit of catching up and share 10 layouts I made last year that never made it to the blog.

Considering that pregnancy usually completely zaps my creative energy I was happy to keep making layouts until about November. Then the hustle and bustle of the holidays kicked in and I haven't made any layouts since. I'll start with those last two, an assortment of favorite photos of the boys:

and Sam, who won't stay still for much, but loves to have his picture taken.

Actually, these two probably would have made the top ten. The Life Documented collection from Simple Stories was one of my favorite collections from last year. It was both fun and inspiring creating with these papers. Seriously, some of my favorite colors (primary color base with a twist) and simple basic patterns (stripes and polka dots) are included in that collection. Plus, Bradz.

Sometime early last year I was organizing my albums and I got the bright idea to remake some less-than-favorite layouts... Here is the first of, well, not many if I'm being honest! It is Nathan as a baby eating one of his favorite foods (he was super-picky as a baby!) The original had drab papers and I wanted to brighten the page and change the design by putting the photos front and center. I'm happy with how it turned out.

Another collection of photos that make me happy. =)

Last year I had mentioned that Crate Paper's Boys Rule collection was on my must have list. These are just three of the layouts I made last year using that collection. There are many more, but as I said above, unfortunately I cannot share them here.

Love this one of Nathan and his fashion choices.

Sam, not smiling for the camera, but generally being silly.

Then there is Gabe being an awesome big brother and taking Sam for a ride in the pedal car.

It took me a while, but in August I finally got around to scrapbooking our trip to the apple farm. You know, our trip from the previous year.

In actuality, this does not bother me. I keep a list of stories I want to tell, and when I get to them, I get to them.

Sam at the pumpkin patch.

Playing with patterned paper is probably my favorite thing about scrapbooking. Admittedly though, even this layout has more pattern than I typically use. But I love this layout. It doesn't hurt that it features a baby and a pumpkin. Hello, cuteness.

Finally, here is another set of photos that took ages to scrapbook. My photos weren't all that great, and I struggled with how to include the map and brochure from our visit. I ultimately created a little pocket behind the patterned paper and tucked them in there for safe keeping.

Well, that's it! It's taken me longer than it should to get this posted, but I'm gonna be happy I did it before the end of January. =)

January 16, 2015

Five on Friday

Earlier this week I thought I'd try out a new feature (not weekly, mind you), inspired by my friend Elizabeth, called Ten on Tuesday. It's like Five on Friday only twice as long. Obviously, that did not work out! It's been a month since I last wrote a post, so I'm going to be happy with baby steps!

1.  We started school last week.

Last year it took me a full week to get back into the swing of things after our Christmas break before we really commenced our studies and got down to business. But, we don't have that luxury this year. At least, not if we don't want to be "doing school" all summer long. I don't. Of course, Sam had to join in the fun too.

2.  I made pumpkin oatmeal earlier in the week on an unusually cool and cloudy morning, and used up the last of the homemade pumpkin butter in our fridge. I freeze what I know we can't eat within a reasonable amount of time so there are a few containers waiting for us later this year when fall arrives (it keeps amazingly well in the deep freeze in case you are wondering). I use Deb's recipe as my foundation, but I cut the sugar. And the cloves; not a huge fan of clove. Also, instead of using canned pumpkin I roast the sugar pumpkins that have been sitting on our mantel as decorations all November and adjust the recipe accordingly.  It's kind of an all-day process, but I love doing it... is that strange?

3.  I always have to check whether I am using the correct spelling for mantel. I always do, in fact, spell it correctly. But it's just one of those words... I'm never certain about it.

4. Back in November we learned that Nathan might need glasses.

Over the Thanksgiving break we had him tested, and yes, he did. So, this is now the face I see everyday. Pretty cute, huh? The sides of his frames have little flames, and are oh so him. He takes surprisingly good care of them. Although, the lenses are always dirty.

5.  On Monday I will be 32 weeks along in this pregnancy. Yikes! I don't feel quite ready yet, and I suppose that I shouldn't. But, you better believe my nesting instincts are kicking in. I will probably drive Glen nuts the next several weeks with never-ending to-do lists. But that comes with the territory, right?

Well, that's all I've got. A few bits and pieces from life around here. Until next time...


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