Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Project Life: on getting behind and catching up (part 2)

Last week I wrote about how I was several weeks behind on Project Life (you can read that post here) and the reasons why I wasn't about to let myself give up and how I was committed to catching up.  I have slowly but surely been doing just that.  Today I wanted to touch briefly on that process and share some of my caught up pages.  In a way I am a bit happy that I fell behind and needed to catch up as it got me into a great groove and helped me form a process by which I can get my pages done weekly in no time at all.

My week:
My week runs Saturday to Friday.  I started the year going Monday - Sunday because I really wanted to keep my weekends together.  Halfway through the process I realized that if I had any chance of keeping up with this project for the long term (and after this epic catch up I love PL even more so that answer was yes) I had to change my week to accomodate when I scrap.  Truth be told, I scrap mostly on the weekends and sometimes manage to sneak a few hours in during the week.  I decided to end my week on a Friday so that I could upload the pics Friday night or Saturday morning and send them to print locally to have for Saturday afternoon/Sunday.  That way I can get them in the pockets, start to work on them over the weekend and finish it during the week.  This still allowed me to keep my weekends together which was my original goal.  I plan on keeping this format for 2013 as well.

My process:
I created a folder for each of my weeks on my computer.  This way when I upload my pics from my camera or phone I can just scan through those pics by date and pop the ones I want to use in PL into the correct weekly photo.

Note:  Because I was doing an epic catch up I also created folders for 4x6 prints, instagram pics by size and photoshop prints.  I use photoshop for putting my smaller pictures on a 4x6 canvas so I can print them locally instead of at home.  This way as I was going through a weekly folder I just copied the pics and dropped them into the correct folder.  Once I did all my manipulations in photoshop, I moved all the pics to the 4x6 folder and uploaded them all to Shutterfly to print.

Once I got the pictures into the folder it was time to plan the pages.  I used planning pages very similar to those used by Marcy Penner.  Below each template I listed the type of each photo that I had (4x6, Instagram or 3x4) and then penciled in what was going into each pocket and the size instagram photo I wanted to use.  (this was the point that I moved my photos into the appropriate folder for printing or photoshop...I wouldn't really need to do this if I was caught up and just working one week at a time). 

All along I had also been collecting bits and pieces of everyday life in 8 1/2 x 11 page protectors labeled with the week right in my album.  I was able to pull each of these out and see if I had anything that I wanted to include with that week at that time.  If I did, I just slipped it into the appropriate pocket at this point. 

By planning my pages this way I could tell if I needed to combine more than one week to fill up the pockets.  I do have some weeks that stand alone but I have a few weeks where I just didn't have enough photos so I combined several weeks to tell my story.  I am so glad that I got over my need for perfection and convinced myself that it was ok to combine weeks.  It has made this process so much easier.

Week 10 & 11 (left):

Weeks 10 & 11 Right:
Weeks 10 & 11 were about St. Patrick's Day and the festivities around here, deployment preparation ad everyday life.  Here I used lots of Clementine Core Kit, October Afternoon Woodland Park label stickers, Basic Grey Picadilly Chipboard Sheet (SC County Fair Kit), a homemade quote card and lots of goodies I received in a happy mail package from Jenny G.  And yes, I just realized that my journaling cards in the first photo are switched...just made the change in my album...oops!

One pocket at a time:
Once the photos arrived I took my planning pages and just inserted the photos into the appropriate pockets.  After the photos were in, I went through my weeks one pocket at a time adding journaling cards, mounting pictures to cardstock or 3x4 cards and adding bits and pieces here and there.  I kept it simple using my Clemetine Core Kit and one Studio Calico kit at a time.  This limited my choices which is good as I tend to get overwhelmed with the amount of supplies that I have.  Once the spread was done, I either put the kit away or continued to use it for the next spread. 

I did save my title cards for last.  I found it eaiser to take the stack of title cards from my Clementine Core kit and go through each week to find the card that complemented the colors of that spread the best.  I then lined them all up and added the weeks and any embellishments.  The title cards for weeks 8 through 15 took my about 45 minutes to complete.

Weeks 12 & 13 Left:
 Weeks 12 & 13 Right:
Weeks 12 & 13 saw lots (and lots) of baking, everyday life, the first pedicures of the season, Blue and Gold banquet and a band concert.  I also included the program (not shown) from Kelsey's concert.  I simply put it into a 8 1/2 x 11 page protector, trimmed to size and sealed with washi. Here I used the Clemetine Core kit, more of my SC County Fair Kit (Basic Grey Picadilly Chipboard, SC Wood Veneer Alpha, October Afternoon Mini Market Stickers - Gray), washi tape and the coveted chevron paper from Echo Park (SC Elmwood Park Kit).

Where am I now:
When I started my catch up process the last full completed spread I had was a combined week 6 & 7.  By the end of this week I should be completed up through week 33.  I am waiting for weeks 24 - 44 (up through November 2) to come back from Shutterfly.  I plan on working on those while working on the current week.

This week and next I will share some more of my completed pages and touch on some of my lessons learned in this whole process and my plans for 2013.

If you have any questions about my process...let me know. 

I would love to know...are you behind?  Do you plan on catching up?  Any tips for catching up, keeping up, and not falling behind?  Let me know.

Project Life is a scrapbooking system created by Becky Higgins.  There are no rules and it can be anything you want it to be.  For me, PL made me fall back in love with scrapbooking.  For more information, go to Becky's blog here.

I am linking up with the Mom Creative for Project Life Tuesday.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Project Life: on getting behind and catching up (part 1)

I am sitting here in the corner raising my hand with the other Project Lifers that have fallen behind.  At the onset of this project I told myself I wouldn't get behind, I wouldn't stress about it, and I would effortlessly document my family's life for 2012.  Then reality set in.  Sure I love to scrapbook but honestly, I can't say when the last time was that I have actually sat down and created more than one page in well...a month.  So who was I kidding that I would be able to pull off a spread a week?  Well actually I did quite well up until week 5...WHAT?  and we are now entering week 43...yikes!

But all is not lost...

Even though I wasn't finishing a spread a week, I was still taking pictures, still collecting bits and pieces of our daily life, still recording the little moments, I just wasn't getting those pictures off the computer or those bits and pieces in the pockets.  I was thinking like a Project Lifer I just wasn't acting like one.  But then my son asked me where the rest of our weeks were.  And my daughter came home and handed me a movie stub from her first movie alone with friends and told me it was great for Project Life, if I was still doing it. 

and that got me thinking....

All 5 weeks of our lives that I have recorded and documented and finished were the most favorite part of any album that I have ever done.  All 5 weeks of my Project Life album are the only album pages that anyone in my family has ever taken upon themselves to look at, marvel at, comment on, laugh about, reminisce about.  This was something that I loved.  This was something that they loved.  This was scrapbooking in its simplest form.  This was documenting and recording our lives as we lived it.  This was capturing those moments that I would otherwise not create a layout about.  This was getting out into view those pictures that would otherwise take a back seat to my typical scrapbook and live forever in their chronological place in my photo boxes.

So what on earth was holding me back....

I could make so many excuses for what was holding me back...I didn't take enough photos that week, I didn't have time to edit my photos, my pictures looked boring, my kids wouldn't cooperate with the camera, my pages don't look like so and so, I don't have time to make my pages the way I want, I had too many options...  In reality?  The only thing holding me back was me..so what if I don't have enough photos for the week to fill 2 pages?  Who says I can't combine 2 (or 3) weeks?  Why do my photos have to be perfectly edited...life isn't perfectly edited...a quick tweaking session each week is just fine.  My pictures are boring to whose standard?  Who was I trying to please?  When I look back on it and how much I love what I did and my family loves what I did...obviously I am pleasing the right people...so, the answer is ME! I am the only one holding myself back from moving on and documenting our lives.  My need for perfection and my self doubt about my work are the only real reasons that up until 2 weeks ago my family only lived through February 5, 2012...at least according to Project Life.

so I jumped back on the bandwagon....

Although I guess I never was fully off the bandwagon.  My workspace was filled with receipts, ticket stubs, labels, post it notes, etc. etc. My PL album sat open waiting to be filled.  I still visited my favorite inspirational blogs, I still wrote "catch up on PL" on my to do list.  But a few weeks ago, I made the conscious decision to do just that.  Today I am finishing up week 14, I have photos in the pockets up through week 32 and I am getting ready to place an order for weeks 33 - 43 which will make me current in photos.  The weeks that I have already completed have gone by quickly because I stuck to the premise of project life...photos & words, easy and simple.  I have relied heavily on working the Clementine Core Kit and one Studio Calico Kit at a time; and while I have added a few personal touches here and there I haven't gotten caught up on fussing over every single detail and I have to say I LOVE the result.

If you are still with me...thank you!  I plan to share some full pages and my process on how I got caught up in the next few days.  My hope is that it will help someone else out there that is as far behind as I am/was to document your life and not give up.   The more I work on my pages, the more I love this system, the more I love my album and the more I am so happy that I wouldn't let myself quit.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

CTMH September Specials End Soon!

It is the last week of September which means October (my absolute favorite month of the year) is right around the corner!  But it also means that it is the last week to get your hands on some great CTMH stamp sets before they disappear!

The September Stamp of the Month Fall Favorites is an 11 piece stamp set.  It is available for $17.95 or just $5 with any $50 order.

Plus - it is the absolute last week to pick up this beauty!  A double stamp set exclusively made for National Stamping Month.  This set is so perfect for documenting the everyday but would also be perfect for anyone documenting their lives through Project Life!  This exclusive double stamp set is yours for just $5 when you place an order of $35 or more.

Both sets can be ordered through any CTMH consultant and if you don't have one...I would love to help you out and give you a chance to win $25 in free product as well!  Head on over to my CTMH shopping site www.tracyoleksak.ctmh.com and click on the JOIN button next to September Mystery Hostess underneath Tracy's Gatherings (bottom half of homepage).  Simply place your order and your name will be entered into a drawing to win $25 worth of free product at the end of the month.   

Sunday, August 19, 2012

National Stamping Month: It's Your Day Double Stamp Set

As many of you may know (or not), I am a CTMH Consultant, well, actually more of a hobbyist and my own best customer.  I don't always promote CTMH on my blog (except for the link to the Idea Book) but once in awhile, a special comes along that I have to share with you!  This month's special qualifies...especially for all you Project Life fans!

{more information)
 Celebrate National Stamping Month now with CTMH's It's Your Day Double Stamp Set.  You’ll love this double set — two D-size sets in one envelope — which includes nearly 50 trendy images that makes it easy to capture the everyday moments in your life. This set is perfect for Project Life!  With a retail value of $35.90, this set drastically increases the value of your qualifying purchase. Have twice the fun stamping during National Stamping Month with our new It’s Your Day double stamp set!

The set is yours for only $5 when you spend $35.  How great is that? 

The Autumn/Winter 2012 Idea Book just went live on August 1st, so now is a great time to purchase items to adorn your layouts or cards for the upcoming season.

The It's Your Day Stamp Set is available until the end of September BUT if you place your order online between now and August 31, please be sure to join my online Mystery Hostess party for your chance to win $25 in free CTMH product!  The link is located on the bottom right hand side of my home page.

And to enter my enabler mode...here are a few of my favorite current CTMH products for Project Life:

Memo Assortment $4.95
Approved Stamp Set $13.95
Dimensional Elements Quotes $4.95
Memory Protector Flip Flaps $3.95 / $4.95
Milepost Shapes $3.95
Posh Journaling Spots $5.95
Decor Journaling Spots $5.95

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Weekly top 5 list: progress and reality

Last week I posted about how I needed to focus on getting things done during the week and limiting my "to do" list to five items per week.  Well, I made progress but I also decided that it might be easier for me to make a list of 10 - 12 items I would like to accomplish during the month and pick and choose what I can accomplish at any given time.  In reality, I would have loved to sit down and accomplish each item on my list before moving on to the next, but that just isn't going to happen...I love my sleep too much and that seems like the only time I can get things done lately.

Here was last week's list:

1) Start catching up on Project Life 2012 - In progress.  I have completed eight half done weeks this past week so I am up to week 13 completed.  Now I am moving on to choosing and printing pics for week 14 to current (or maybe break it into smaller chunks).  So happy with what I have so far and I will post as soon as I free up room on the computer.

2) Pictures from 2009 - not started
3) Pictures from 2008 - in progress.  Almost done purging/renaming and ready for transfer to disc.

4) Finish The 19th Wife and start a new book - Completed and moved on to Fall of Giants by Ken Follet.

5) Clean the Craft Room/Office - In progress (but far from done).  I filled up 2 large trash bags and started purging my craft supplies.  I have a very large box full of CTMH stamp sets that I will be posting for sale soon.  I still need to go through my paper and my Unity Stamps.  Most of my old CTMH paper I will be donating but as I start scrapbooking more (because I have the space) I will be selling grab bags of current paper/items that I just won't be using.

So I have made progress but haven't really checked anything off the list.  So I made a list of 13 items to accomplish in August (and since we are already going into week 2...I know some of these will end up in September too...but at least I am planing ahead).

1)  Project Life 2012 - become current
2)  Pictures 2008 - complete
3)  Pictures 2009 - Complete
4)  Clean/purge office
5)  Box Tops - I am the school coordinator and I have a huge box that I need to review and submit
6)  Box Tops Bulletin Board - I also maintain the school progress board
7)  Kelsey's room - finish redecorating
8)  Master Bedroom & Hallway - paint trim
9)  the great magazine purge
10) organize recipes
11)  scrapbook more - use up 3 kits (?)
12)  Read...Fall of Giants, Insurgent, Discovery of Witches (I have a week at the beach coming up so this will be done!)
13)  remember to breath, relax, smile and be happy!

I might update along the way with pictures of Project Life, or layouts or hopefully Kelsey's big bedroom makeover reveal, but I really want to focus on accomplishing at least half of my list before the end of the month so I can add more items from the master list for September. 

What is on your "to do" list this month?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

August CTMH Mystery Hostess Party: Win free CTMH product

The Close to My Heart Autumn/Winter 2012 Idea Book went live yesterday and I am giving my customers the chance to win free product all month long by hosting a Mystery Hostess Online Party.
For every $150 in total orders that are placed this month I will draw a mystery hostess who will be able to choose $25 worth of free product!* Every order counts no matter how big or small and the best part is they are delivered directly to your door approximately 2 weeks after the order is placed (often much quicker too!) When shopping online, you are able to take advantage of the stamp of the month, CTMH specials and you can shop from the While Supplies Last section which offers huge discounts on several retired items....plus new items are always being added.

Ready to get started? 
  • Head on over to www.tracyoleksak.ctmh.com
  • On the bottom right hand half of the home page you will see a tan box that says "Join one of Tracy's Gatherings"
  • Click the "Join" button that appears after August Mystery Hostess Party
  • You will then be brought to the shopping page where you can browse and start filling up your cart
  • If you have not created a shopping account on my site before, you will be prompted to do so. If you have, you will be asked to log in.
  • Once you are done, click checkout, enter your payment and that is it.
I will draw a winner(s) on September 1. Good luck!
*In order to offer $25 in free product, $150 in sales must be reached from the combined total of all orders placed during the month. One prize of $25 will be awarded for every $150 in sales reached.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

I have been making weekly dinner menus for my family for as long as I can remember.  It used to be (& still is to a point) a running joke with my brother in laws and myself....everytime they would come to the house the first question would always be "what's on the menu this week?"  It always just seemed logical to me to plan out what we were having and shop for those items...I had neither the time nor patience to be running to the store to pick up items I needed for a recipe.  Plus, with a picky husband, kids with different tastes and myself who is very strict on low carbs/low sugar, knowing I have something on the menu each night that everyone will eat, and fits into our schedule, was genius!  If you popped over here from Org Junkie...you must be a genius too...and my BIL's cave dwellers...

I must admit though, meal planning isn't my all time favorite activity.  It takes me HOURS sometimes, leaving me frustrated and ready to throw in the towel.  Perhaps it is because the varied tastes of my family, although I have learned to overcome that...the main reason is I am so overwhelmed by the amount of recipes I have already and the amount that I keep finding on Pinterest or the Internet.  I am on a never ending mission to get myself organized and as I write this post I think I need to move the huge job of tackling cookbooks, magazines and clipped recipes up to the forefront...to save my weekly sanity.

One thing I did do this week, which I wish I had thought of earlier, was to assign each night a theme.  It made it so much easier when looking at my recipes and our schedule to pick out that night's meal.  I wish I had thought of it after racking my brain for 2 hours thought...here is what a week might look like:

Monday - Mexican/Tex Mex
Tuesday - Asian
Wednesday - Italian
Thursday - Leftovers (with the exception of the summer months, I shop on Friday morning)
Friday - Pizza
Saturday & Sunday - Pork, beef or chicken recipes that don't fall into one of the above categories

During the summer, my menu runs Saturday to Friday (Friday to Thursday during the rest of the year) only because of when I shop.  Here is what is on the menu this week:

Saturday - Pizza (pepperoni and cheese for the kids, BBQ Chicken for the hubby) and mushroom and cheese using this gluten free / low carb crust for me. 

Sunday -  Lemon BBQ pork chops, green beans, baked potato

Monday  - Mexican Chicken, corn, hashbrown potatoes

Tuesday - Spicy Basil Chicken, white rice, snowpeas and carrots, mandarin oranges

Wednesday - Spaghetti & Meatballs with homemade sauce, bread machine bread

Thursday - Key West grilled chicken, salad, baked potatoes

Friday - Leftovers or sandwiches

I hope something on my menu inspires you this week! Want more menu planning inspiration?  Head on over to Org Junkie to see what others are cooking up this week.

What is on your menu this week?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I Suffer from Disorganizationitis

Ok, so I know that disorganizationistis isn't a real disorder (or is it?) but if it was I really would suffer from it.  I am always getting down on myself because it seems like I have a never ending to do list that never gets done (sound familiar).  It is a never ending circle...I can't seem to accomplish anything because I always feel like my house is a mess and my house is always a mess because I can't get anything done.  I think one of my main problems though is that I don't finish what I start.  I jump from project to project, task to task without really finishing anything.  I am a keeper of the never ending to do list but what I crave is the ability to cross things off.

Since August is right around the corner (yikes!) I have decided to start the month fresh and try to focus on five tasks/projects a week.  Some will be bigger than others and I am sure that some will get moved into the following week but if I can prioritize five things to focus on (along with my other daily duties and of course my creative detours) I might just be able to start checking them off.

I have decided to post my five weekly tasks/projects each Sunday and update my progress each week.   This way, I am being held accountable for putting it out there. 

So here is my weekly top 5:

1)  Start catching up on Project Life 2012 - I won't even mention how far behind I am as that is another post in itself.  I do want to mention though that as I look at the weeks that I have completed I love the outcome and really, truely do not want to give up on this project.  I have some work ahead of me but I will push through and conquer. (Watch for my epic PL catch up plan post coming soon)

2) Pictures from 2009 - My computer is ancient and running out of space.  It is so bad that I can't download any of my new pics from my camera because there is no room!  I need to tackle moving old pictures from the computer onto a external hard drive and DVD (plus print them...yikes!).  I have a huge post in the works on my process for this but first I need to free up some space.

3)  Pictures from 2008

4)  Finish The 19th Wife  and start a new book - I probably should finish due to the fact that it is already 2 weeks overdue.

5)  Clean the Craft Room/Office - this one gets a task all to itself as opposed to cleaning every other room in my house because this room is out.of.control.  There really is no excuse....except the mess is a good excuse as to why my PL is so far behind...I cannot function in chaos!  I would post a before picture now but I there is no room on my computer!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

CTMH July Specials: Perfect Pairs

Celebrate Perfect Pairs in July…

Place an online shopping order of $75 or more during the month of July and receive a Paper Packet and coordinating Embellishment FREE—it’s a Perfect Pair! Which specific Paper Packet and Embellishment you receive is based on the date you place your order.

Order Dates                                            Perfect Pair                                                                           Retail Value

July 1–5           Mischief Paper Packet (X7144B) and Midnight Felt Shapes (Z1462)                   $15.90

July 6–10         Dreamin’ Paper Packet (X7142B) and Harvest Charms (Z1633)                         $14.90

July 11–15       Fanfare Paper Packet (X7138B) and Fanfare Level 2 Assortment (Z1400)    $17.90

July 16–20      Lucky Paper Packet (X7137B) and Lucky My Stickease®                                     $17.90
                             Assortment (X7137C) 

July 21–25       Mayberry Paper Packet (X7136B) and                                                                          $17.90
                              Mayberry My Stickease® Assortment (X7136C)

July 26–29       Sophia Paper Packet (X7131B) and Sophia My Stickease®                                 $17.90
                              Assortment (X7131C)

July 30–31       Believe Paper Packet (X7145B) and Holiday Pockets (Z1486)                            $14.90
                              OR Wonderland Paper Packet (X7146B) and Wonderland My Stickease®
                             Assortment (X7146C)

All featured products in the Perfect Pair promotion can be found in the Autumn/Winter 2011 Idea Book.

But wait....when you qualify to receive a free Perfect Pair, you also qualify to receive the July Stamp of the Month for only $5 (receive the Stamp of the Month for only $5 with any $50 purchase).  Don't forget to add yours to your order.
 The Perfect Pairs offer is only available to online shopping orders and while supplies last.  If you are interested in a paper packet, please place your order early in the week to ensure availability.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Stampaganza ends June 30th!

Purchase any two stamp sets (sizes A, B, C, D, or E) at full retail price and receive a third stamp set of your choice FREE (of equal or lesser value)—a savings of up to $29.95!

Stamp sets that count toward the qualifying purchase include full-priced A, B, C, D, and E sets only. Stamps that do not count toward a qualifying purchase include customizable (K), Workshops on the Go™, Cricut® collection, and Stamp of the Month (both discounted and full-priced) sets.

Hurry!  Offer valid until June 30 (11:59 pm MDT).

Friday, April 20, 2012

Favorite Pin Friday

Happy Friday!

Traci over at Beneath My Heart has started a new Friday linky party...Favorite "Pin" Friday and since I have been eating, sleeping & breathing Pinterest lately I figured I would join in this week. 

As you may (or may not) know I have slowly (very slowly) been transforming my home.  I finally found my style after years of just throwing stuff together and hating it.  I have a very good friend (whose home I covet) who took me under her wing and pointed me in the right direction.  I have a plan in place and have decided to just do it (after I have a marathon cleaning session this weekend...good thing it calls for rain).

So...my "pin" I actually found today, while browsing another pin when I was supposed to be doing something else...

The source will bring you directly to Amy's website.  She has some beautiful decor ideas.  I apologize but I couldn't find the actual post that this picture links up to as I was getting an error going from pinterest.

Why is this my favorite "pin" today?  Well, I have been searching for something for the one large wall in my downstairs bath, thinking I wanted open frames and this just screamed at me today when I happened upon it.  I think it will be a trip to Goodwill this weekend for me searching for some frames I can spray paint and hang.

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Project Life Week 4: Jan 23 - 29, 2012

The Mom Creative

head on over to The Mom Creative for more PL inspiration every week

Hello Tuesday and hello another week of sharing Project Life.  After a slight glitch this morning with my camera and its stubborness in connecting with the computer (which may or may not have resulted in a few tears and a slight panic attack) I am ready to share Project Life Week 4.  Yes, I am behind but in my book that is ok...I am trucking along and should be caught up in no time.

Week 4 full page with insert:

 Full page with backside of insert:

We had a full weekend this week and I took lots of pictures of our event on Saturday that I wanted to include either in PL or a traditional page.  I decided to do a baseball card protector insert in my PL album because there were far too many photos that I wanted to include even for a traditional page.  I resized the pics to 3x4 in Photoshop using the free template I downloaded from Paislee Press and printed them at CVS.  I just trimmed them to fit and slide them into the protectors.  Not that Liz reads my blog or anything...but I really can't thank her enough for these templates.  I use them all.the.time!

Left side:

Pictures:  my new lover - the kitchen aide mixer, cupcakes, warm weather & melting snow = flooded driveways, and hanging out in the box with dad.

Little bits of life:  an orthodontist referral for the kids

Used:  PL Clementine, cardstock from my stash, silhouette cuts for the title page and really old letter stickers.

Right side:

Pictured:  The kids with Auntie Danielle after her plunge, Danielle's plunge, hot cocoa on a 50 degree day, and pics from the cardboard box race.

Used:  my computer to print the journaling card to talk about the week and the little handcut flag.  The brad is CTMH.

Front of insert:

I had to laugh when I went back into my inspiration file to link back to the post where I first saw this idea.  Jenni Hufford (whose PL rocks!) had used it in her week 4 insert...I didn't realize that I had used the same exact paper, until I went back to grab the shortcut for you all to look at...I really, really, really love her work. (and no...she doesn't read my blog either...but if she did, I would really want her to know how much she inspires me).  The paper is from the Dear Lizzy Neapolitan Line that came in my February Studio Calico kit Daydream Believer.  The "Love this Life" & that big bracket were cut on my Sihouette.  I layered them with matching green cardstock. The floral paper was also in the SC kit...I love that I don't have to guess about coordinating papers.

 I didn't have any little banners so I hand cut one after printing the "January what???" using the Old Typewriter font on my computer.  I traced it with a black fine tip sharpie (which I now use for all of my hand written journaling) and attached it with a Splendor Designer Brad for CTMH (they are now retired).  I have come to love the look of little bits here and there.

This week:  I plan on putting the finishing touches on Week 5 & start to tackle week 6 - 8.  I am heading back to the gym, working on filing the mountains of paperwork in the office and getting ready for a fairly busy weekend...although relishing the fairly slow week. 

Thanks for stopping by!  I would love for you to say hello.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Project Life Weeks 2 & 3

The Mom Creative

I am linking up once again this week with Jessica over at The Mom Creative for Project Life Tuesday.  So much inspiration over there each week.

This week I have weeks 2 & 3 to share.  I got behind a bit, mostly because I was striving for perfection and loosing touch with my creativity...but I think I have my groove back and these 2 weeks came together quickly and I am so happy with the finished pages.  I am really loving capturing the everyday stuff...the things I wouldn't put on a layout, the things I probably would never take a picture of....but these are the things I want to remember.

Week 2:  January 9 - 16

Full page spread with an insert.  JT was in a play and I inserted the program.  I used a 8 1/2 x 11 page protector, cut down to size and stitched up the side.

Left page close up:  Everyday things, homework, the first snowfall and our Thursday routine.  I also was able to capture one of my husbands little quirks.  I love the colors in the Clementine Kit as they match with so many things I have in my stash.  I love using up bits and pieces that I have had around forever.
Right page close up:  Kelsey had a project so I documented the making of and the finished project.  I also included pics from JT's play.  More everyday life with my Friday routine (the littles are sound asleep and so cute...but I needed to block their faces for privacy as they don't belong to me) & pics of our skiis outside the lodge as we finally got enough snow to spend the weekend on the mountain.

Week 3 January 16 - 22

Full page with insert:  This was such a busy week and I had a hard time choosing which pictures to include although I think I did a good job of showcasing our week.  I included an insert here again of Bob's ticket to the AFC Playoff game.  Again I used a 8 1/2 x 11 page protector trimmed and sewn.  The bottom contains confetti that was blown into the stands after the Patriots won a trip to the Super Bowl...I love how Bob thought to bring that home for our PL book...even in its infant stages...he gets it.

Full page with backside of insert:

Left side close up:  Cub scout trips, basketball games and a iphone pic of my friend and I doing meal prep (her face is blocked for privacy). I needed a filler so I used a quote I found on pinterest and made a 3 x 4 block in Microsoft Word, added the text and printed it out...perfect.  Sorry about the wonky pictures...I haven't found the perfect non-glare photo taking spot/time just yet.

Right side close up:  Our first snowman and significant snow of the year, more playoff game pics and a little treat for me after a Colleen meeting.  Instead of putting journaling in my 3 x 4 spots this week, I choose to combine it all on one 4 x 6 card.  I used the number stickers that came with the Clementine kit to put on the pictures I was highlighting on the card and corresponded the numbers in the text.  I made the journaling card in Microsoft Word and just printed it out and cut to size.

Those little badge buttons I am using to protect everyones identity are from Marcy Penner.  I think they are currently out of stock but she has some wonderful things in her shop perfect for PL.

Thanks for stopping by!  If you have time I would love your feedback.  If you have any questions on items I used...please just ask.

Project life is a system created by Becky Higgins. It can be as simple or artistic as you want it to be. It is designed to get back to the basics and record your everyday life. For more information read this post. Project life elements can be purchased here.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

a confession & a card

I must confess...I think I have a problem.  While cleaning out my craft room, or at least attempting to, I have come to the sad realization that I am more of a supply hoarder than an actual scrapbooker...sad, I know, but so, so true.  It would be different if I actually used the supplies, but in all honesty I haven't created a card or layout in an embarrassingly long time. 

My plans are to remedy that in 2012.  I have started Project Life and plan on incorporating many of my on hand supplies into my album.  I also plan on getting back to regular scrapbooking.  Going through my pics of 2011 I found so many that I would like to create a layout for...now I just need to get it done.

I can't say that I won't be buying new products...I am a kit subscriber at Studio Calico (love, love, love), those Elle's Studio tags are constantly calling my name and the new CTMH Idea Book is filled with some great must have goodies (you can check it out over on my sidebar).  I do want to focus though on using up what I have.  So my first attempt is a card I made for JT's basketball coaches this year.  He has had a tremendous season and has grown so much as a player.  His coaches are wonderful and work so well with the boys.

Inside I stamped the team name and 2012 and had all the boys sign it.  We took up a collection and will be presenting the coaches with gift cards at the last game.  I am so sad to see this season end.  JT truly enjoys playing and looks forward to each game and practice.

Thanks Coach Supplies:
Since I am using up my supplies, most of what I have used is no longer available.  If CTMH, I have indicated that as (ret).
Sketch - Mojo Monday #198
Paper ~ You Rock Level 2 Paper Packet (CTMH - ret); White Daisy Cardstock (CTMH); Dutch Blue Cardstock (CTMH)
Stamps ~ A Little Everything (CTMH - ret); Let's Play Ball (CTMH - ret); Alphas (CTMH, incentive, ret)
Ink ~ Autumn Terracotta (CTMH); Black (CTMH)
Other ~ Pop Dots

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Project Life Week 1 : 1/1/2012 - 1/8/ 2012

I do realize that I should be posting week 5 this week, but I am not.  There is a very good reason behind that and a very good lesson I have learned about Project Life. 

First let me say that I LOVE Project Life.  The feeling I had when I finally finished my first week (and I keep looking at it) was what it is all about.  I LOVE that my children like to look at it. I LOVE that my husband likes to look at it.  I LOVE that my step daughter (who is grown, married and just came home for a visit) thinks it is so cool.  I LOVE that my children keep finding little things and handing them to me for Project Life.  All of these reasons, and so many more, are why I will continue with Project Life. 

Now let me tell you why I almost gave up...one week in.  I am a comparer and a perfectionist.  Two really bad traits that I must let go of.  Project Life isn't meant to be perfect, it isn't meant to be someone elses album, it isn't meant to be stressful, it isn't meant to be something you are not. But I made it that way.  It is meant to represent you, your style, your family.  I got caught up in all the inspiration in blog land.  I got bogged down with wanting to do this, and this, and that and that.  In the meantime I didn't really do anything. I tried desperatly to incorporate 50 different styles from other PL layouts I have seen but didn't really embrace my style.  I got behind, I got frustrated and I almost gave up.  But then I read this post by Jenny Meyerson and I felt as if she was speaking directly to me.  I gained a new perspective on Project Life, I took the inspiration that I had found online, I sat down and I created and I didn't stop until week 1 was done. 

I am happy to say, week 1 is mine.  Week 1 is done.  I LOVE my week 1.  Although I created it in my scrapbooking style, I did incorporate the ideas of others.  I love the title blocks used by Nichol Magouirk.  I love incorporating a week in review insert like Michelle Wooderson and I love the idea of writing a note to my kids like Jenny Meyerson.  If it hadn't been for the inspriation I have found, I wouldn't have learned to use my silhouette (which contributed to the insane amount of time it took to finish week 1).  I am now on week 2, with pictures inserted into weeks 3-4.  They are coming along nicely and much quicker now that I have decided to look, get inspired, but then just create without getting bogged down and trying to make my Project Life look like someone elses.

So...if you are still with me...here is Project Life Week 1:

Both pages
 Close up of left page:
 Close up of right page:

Supplies used:
Project Life Core Kit Clementie Edition; Project Life Design A Page Protectors; Washi Tape from Studio Calico; Happy face badge CTMH (ret); Play tab CTMH (ret); Typewriter stamp Unity Stamp Co.

I hope to have Week 2 up this weekend and Week 3 soon to follow. 

Linking up this week with Jessica at the Mom Creative

Project life is a system created by Becky Higgins.  It can be as simple or artistic as you want it to be.  It is designed to get back to the basics and record your everyday life.  For more information read this post.  Project life elements can be purchased here.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 Goals & Projects

Last year I wrote down a whopper of a list of things I wanted to accomplish in 2011.  Needless to say, many of those things did not get accomplished.  That is ok, I expected that.  I guess the list was more a way to keep me accountable for what I have to get done instead of actually things I wanted to accomplish in the year.  This year, I was a bit more specific and tried to make my goals a little more attainable.  I broke them up into categories.  I thought it would be cute if I listed 12 goals in each category...especially the DIY/Home Improvement one to translate into one project a month, but I am trying to keep these realistic and I know looking at the laundry list of things that need to get accomplished on some of these projects that I may need more than a month to finish them.

So here they are for accountability sake.  I do have a few other things I would like to tackle this year, but these are my priority...everything else is just icing on the cake!

DIY/Home Improvement
Purge/Organize/Decorate Office/Craft Room (this one might take all year!)
Re-decorate Kelsey's room
Overhaul of master bedroom
finish dining room
refinish stairs
paint upstairs hallway
decorate sunroom / gallery wall
purge magazines and organize clippings
purge / organize recipes

The above is just high level...I have broken down each major goal into attainable steps to work on throughout the month I am tackling it...and if I do say so myself, I have some really neat ideas up my sleeve (thank you Pinterest).

Keep current on Project Life 2012 (& complete PL 2011)
Improve my photography skills
Keep a clean & uncluttered home (not that my home is dirty but...I could try a little harder to maintain it in between deep cleans)
Smile & laugh more
Stop & listen (to my kids, my husband)...before I react
Complete the Couch to 5K program (finally...i have reached week 7 about 4 times)
Run a 5K race
Read 18 books from my Books to Read list (basically one book every 3 weeks)
Schedule time to scrapbook each week & stick to it (something I love but never find the time)
Date night once a month with the hubby
Family night (unplugged) twice a month
Continue to pay off debt (goal...debt free by February 2013)

There you have it...my priorities.  I want 2012 to be simplier,  more organized, relaxed.  With those goals above I hope to share more here...DIY, redos and of course scrappy stuff and Project Life. 

Do you make resolutions?  Do you stick with them?  What are you hoping for from 2012?

Linking up at Money Saving Mom


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