Thursday, December 30, 2010

I've Been Infatuated

with Mini Moo Cards for a while now. In my mind they are super fun. I have a few little designs ready to order but wasn't sure I wanted to order 100 just to prototype them. This Create a Calendar 2011 from iKari Designs at JS gave me the perfect reason. Seriously, aren't these awesome? Who wouldn't want to have such a sweet at a glance in their wallet? It comes with 12 different masks for photo options + separate files for each month. I choose to keep it simple because they were going to be so small [mini moo cards are the length of a business card and about half the width]. The kit is on sale until tomorrow night for $3.99 actually the entire site is 20% off right now, but it ends with 2010. And just so you know, the calendar doesn't come in such a small size. It's intended to be 4 x 10. I think that's a pretty fun size too... too bad nothing can compete with a Mini Moo.
ps. Do I have Mini Moo Cards on The List? If I don't I should. I didn't actually order these yet. I printed them at Costco and stuck them back to back to see if I liked the tiny size. Like it? I LOVE IT!
pss. Speaking of the back. It's a page from Erin Zam's DIY Droplet Planner and Calendar Digital File. I'm not sure if she's still selling them or not [though I can't imagine why she wouldn't. They're DIY, meaning you fill in the blanks]. Her shop is on vacation and will open up again Jan 3, 2011. Anyway. I bought it a couple of years ago and I've had lots of fun using the different pages for various projects. Though I've never actually printed the whole thing and made a planner... Hmm. Anyway, it's a small corner of one of the many pages.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas is Coming...

First off, this is my newest project for JS. Valentine Goodie Bags by Elle's Studio. Cute, fun, simple. They come out Monday.
I was a good girl this year. I completed the assignment as the begining. In the end I just couldn't leave well enough alone [plus, it's Christmas and I wanted some Christmas fun] so I hijacked the file and made a few alterations. Now it's a candy-gram. So many options...
I used Elle's Studio Birdnotes Sheets for the letter portion. I just deleted out the backgrounds of the Birdnote and layered it right over the valentine message on the bag. Nice and simple. I wrote little love notes to the kiddos. Good idea to do that every once in a while I think.
I hope things are going exactly as you plan and I hope there are some happy surprises too. Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'm Making

a nominal effort at pulling through on the December Daily project. Had a bit of a setback when I lost my camera bag + battery charger for a few days. Here's my latest project for JS. It's a bit crazy busy, but that's what we're doing these days. I thought fit the mood quite nicely.
iKari Create A Calendar 2011_5x7 set. Since my December Daily is 5x7 and iKari has these great 5x7 templates for making a 2011 calendar I decided to just go ahead and use those. I did have to scrounge up a 2010 calendar though.
Katie Pertiet Roughed Up Krafty Paper. Though I did change the color a bit and added some texture.
Queen of Quirk + Paislee Press Collaboration You Are Here. I used the paper preview. The one with all of the papers lined up. I'm always so much more infatuated with those than I am with the actual papers. I think I just really like stripes.
Free People December Calendar. I love these free calendars by Free People. I've been using them all over my layouts. For this one I just deleted out the white background and then did the soft light blending mode on the layer. I also copied the dates and pasted them to a new location seeing as how the photo block was covering them in the original.


How to create a banner in 10 steps or less [not including duplicates]. This little project I had a bit of fun with. It was soothing for me to cut out these letters. Soothing for me to hang them. Soothing for me to see them. That was the point. Entirely.

I made this using Crystal Wilkerson's Merry & Bright Pack #2. Want one?

  1. Just open up the Alpha of your choice [it comes in three colors + if you opt to recolor your options are really endless].
  2. One by one copy and paste the letters you want into a new document [I used 8.5 x 12]. Each letter should have it's own layer. Now keep in mind that to make "All Is Calm" I had three different "L" layers, etc.
  3. What you are going to do is select a layer + resize the letter by clicking on a corner of the bounding box. This will open up some options on your task bar. You're going to want to type in a number to increase or decrease the size depending on the size you want. For example: I wanted mine to be approximately 3 inches tall so I increased to 250% by typing 250% in the W: ___ box and clicked the chain icon to constrain the proportions [don't forget this step... your stuff will be wonky if you do *ctrl + z will undo it if you forget*].
  4. duplicate the layer [ctrl + j]
  5. flip the duplicated layer vertical [image + rotate + flip layer vertical]
  6. move layer so that the tops of the letters touch [this is where you will fold + glue them back to back over the string or whatever, so try not to move side to side. Just up and down].
  7. You should have something that looks like the "M" above. Merge those two layers [ctrl + e]. Only those two layers.
  8. Repeat with remaining letters.
  9. Cut out + fold over string of choice. Glue wrong sides together.
  10. Hang + enjoy. I envision a whole slew of happy Christmas sayings...

Sound a bit confusing? Sorry. It's really not. And, suprisingly, it didn't take that long to accomplish. If you have any questions just ask. If needed I could include screen shots or whatever to clear up confusion.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Every Little Thing

Today she opened the sequins. She wanted to play. So play we did. She played with paint and glue and sequins.
I played with paper and scissors and glue. Oh, and a bit of fabric and sewing thrown in for good measure. I love the homemade entry peeking out there. Thus the reason I shot it upside down.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

You Hold the Key

I keep trying to remember what it's all about. I keep trying to remember what it's like to be a child at Christmas time. I keep trying to remember to breathe. Can I just say again that I've got to get out of this funk? Argh. It's about them. I want them to enjoy it. Why do I have to keep telling myself not to slaughter them? When I just can't take it anymore we put our heads together. Foreheads touching. And I imagine that all the tension is leaving. I just let him have it. Crazy I know. I don't hold the key. He does.

Friday, December 3, 2010

All You Need is Love

"Today, focus on love. Feel it. Be it. Capture it. Share it." -- Tracy Clark Today I love the feel of yarn slipping past my fingers. The sound of the needles click, click, clicking. Watching the loops become stitches and the stitches become rows. The rows become... What? Who knows. Sometimes I just unravel it so I can start all over again. Crazy. I know. Today I bought a skein of red wool yarn. Yarn so I can knit. Wool so I can felt. Red so I can cut it into hearts. It's a lot of work I know. None of that flimsy poly-blend felt for me in that too bright too primary red. I want these to be real. These hearts will be substantial. They will be thick and sturdy. They will not mince words. They will mean exactly what they say. Today I didn't take a single photo. Today my list includes Pajamas. Hearts. Dollhouses. Fingerless gloves. Dolls. I make things. It overwhelms me a bit. I wonder why I do this to myself. It's so much easier to run out to the store and just pick up something I can check off their wish list. And most years I will end up doing just that in a mad dash on Christmas eve morning. But still I make things. Every stitch, every cut, every late late night. I put my heart into it. Then I wrap up my love and I give it away. Today I thought about myself as a giver of gifts.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Reframing the Season

This is supposed to be all about my point of view... if I could honestly frame something it would be to preserve the order amidst the chaos. Freeze frame that is. I had a plan I was going to take a photo of all my empty laundry baskets. I was going to take a photo of all of the clean clothes folded neatly + stacked to be put away. I was going to take a photo of the empty sink. I thought about setting up a frame around each one. Then life happened. I took a photo of The Girl helping me empty the dishwasher. She's putting away the silverware. And I realized that it's not about framing the perfection. It's about changing my frame of mind. The budding artists. The bursting energy of youth. Curiosity at it's finest. We won't talk about the photos I could have taken to illustrate this. I'm trying to change my frame of mind. Breathe. Now. See those little fingers popping through the grid? That's what I'm talking about.
I remember Christmas.
Christmas was magical. Christmas was alive with anticipation and wonder. Christmas putting an ornament on Grandma's advent tree. Christmas was Secret Santa. Christmas was knocking and running as fast as my legs could carry me praying I wouldn't break a leg. Christmas was wassail. Christmas was sneaking peeks. Christmas was early mornings and bleary eyed twinkle lights. Christmas was drives in the car with my face pressed against the cold glass. Christmas was mix tapes full of deep voices singing noel. Christmas was tinsel. Christmas was jingle bells on Grandma's door.
Where are you Christmas? I want my kids to know you too.

Holding on to Gratitude

This was the assignment. Of course I've been wallowing for the past few weeks. I'm having a hard time digging myself out of this pit I fell into. I keep telling myself to just get over it. Everyday I tell myself this. And then I feel the guilt. I pile on the guilt. I tell myself to get over it again. I can't seem to do it. I had a hard time with the assignment. Oh, I know I can rattle off a list of things I'm grateful for on any given day. And I really am grateful for them. I love my kids. Today I took photos of them. Each one of them. *E* has got his smile on. He even busts out with a belly laugh on occasion. The girl found her princess. She does not know how to hold still. *A* ran into a wall yesterday and got 3 stitches. He also does not know how to hold still. He draws pictures of sea creatures and submarines on his homework. *I* created the arctic in a quarter-machine bubble. There is no end to his imagination. I enjoy them. I enjoy watching them play. I love *B*. I wish there was good light so I could take a decent photo of him when he gets home. If I could only capture it, *E* lights up when his daddy walks into the room. That would be light enough. We are healthy. We are warm + dry + we have food to eat. We are forever. We have incredible parents. We have awesome brothers + sisters. Especially sisters. We have good neighbors. We have good friends. My grandma taught me how to crochet. It's a bit like riding a bike. I have a sewing machine and I'm not afraid to use it. I have big plans in the works. Somebody put the old Disney cartoons on YouTube. The girl loves watching "Christmas Tree." Christmas is coming.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


For the past few years I've fluctuated between yes December Daily and no December Daily. I've even made small bits of progress towards actually doing it each of those years. This year has been no different. I've picked up a few more sheets of paper to add to the small stash I've collected with this project in mind. I also picked up a few bundles of ribbon and some elements. Then last night I bought some digital elements from House of 3 [even though I'm not doing this project digitally]. My intentions were that I would actually accomplish the task this year. Based on the fact that it starts tomorrow and I am still dreaming + playing with ideas for the album it's looking like this year will be another great advancement towards next years album [it's a real bummer sometimes that I am so incredibly slow at this. I'm not making any promises, but I have been working on a few things today...
one: the embellished paper doily project. I followed this project with interest when Christine did it back in May. It's been stuck in my mind. I've been scrapbooking digitally for so long now that I miss holding things in my hand. I miss playing. I can't even remember how to go about doing it. I love the step by step she offered. I decided that I'll be doing some embellished paper snowflakes to add to some of my december daily pages.
two: a fun little project for you. Inspired by the Christmas Cheer Elements Kit I bought at House of 3. I bought the kit so I could make some cute little dimensional things to put on my snowflakes. One of my favorite things in the kit was a little vintage sticker/ribbon thingy. Today I printed 3 copies of them and cut them out and layered them. I loved it. I wanted more! I made a template for you. You're so lucky [assuming that it's as easy to use as I think it will be]. It's basically just the shapes you need to make the badge and a vintage picture I turned into a sticker looking element. Just add your papers digitally [I used Elle's studio + Echo Park papers from JS] using the shapes as masks and then print [or print them out as they are and use them as a template to trace around] and cut out. Stack them up and enjoy your handywork.
Easy peasy lemon squeezy [especially if you just happen to have a punch that will make that pinking circle. Then it would be really easy.
And speaking of lemon squeezy... today I made lemon simple syrup to try out a new italian soda flavor and all I can say is lemon drops anyone?
ps. as tomorrow is December 1st I've been searching for some type of Christmas countdown to add to my advent boxes. I finally found one. Here's the link if you're looking too.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


one: the 3rd grade man came home from school with Father + Mother Pilgrim yesterday. They were so cute I wanted to share. I even made a pattern for you all because I think they would make awesome name cards/place settings. The boy has gone to bed, but I'll have him pose with them tomorrow + get a photo up ASAP. The template is in the box. Please let me know if you use it!
two: I've got packaging on the brain these days. I love this. What a great gift tag.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Photoshop Friday

It's digi-friday again. I'm still up in the air about making this a permanent feature. Maybe [if I keep doing every episode of Photoshop Friday at JS it would be a simple enough thing to do]. This is the layout I did using Photoshop Friday Episode 26: Soft Glow Photos. $1.00 until Sunday night. I can't get enough of Photoshop Friday! This layout was done using the template that came with the episode [though I did switch out the papers to make for more boyish ones and I dropped the brads and added more of the journal lines]. The photo was altered using the tutorial. Can I just say that I loved it! I use PSE 4.0 [yes, you read that right... 4.0] and therefore miss out on all of the cool photo actions out there. Thanks to Jessica it doesn't matter! This is such a great effect. I love it! I also used papers from the My Awesome Life: Teen Album Class and other textures from a site Jessica recommends/uses in the tutorial. I fell in love. I covered the paint swatches and the background paper with them. You'll have to pick up the episode to find out what I'm talking about ;). Seriously, it's only a buck. Go get it! Also, don't forget about the free class. Registration is open now. Sign up if you haven't yet. And one more thing: Don't miss the Jessica Sprague Holiday sale for 20% off that will start on Black Friday and will go through December 31st. And here's a little extra incentive. Spend $20 and get a free kit put together by the designers. Lots of paper [over 35 sheets], lots of elements [over 50], lots of fun. Here's a sneak peek at some of the papers... I think I might love that star one.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's About That Time Again

I've been looking over my list. Seeing what I can cross off. Making exceptions. Giving myself a little slack. It's all good you know. No pressure when it comes to the list. That's what I tell myself. So, here it is. The official List of 33. I'm calling it good enough. I also added a few things I accomplished that weren't on the list. They more than make up for the things I never got around to.
  1. expand my bookshelf
  2. write a sentence a day
  3. make a mix tape
  4. paint tiny art
  5. capture me
  6. save 33 x $10 in an envelope
  7. do something for someone they can't do themselves
  8. try new recipes
  9. feed people not living in my home
  10. do a photo transfer with acetone I'm counting this as done. I followed the instructions but wasn't successful. Trying it was the point I think.
  11. shoot ttv
  12. get garden boots
  13. take a dance class Zumba anyone?
  14. embroider something Initials on a scripture bag weren't necessarily what I had in mind, but whatever.
  15. take back the bookcase does covering it up count?
  16. get photos taken in a photobooth [anybody know where I can find a photobooth?]
  17. make + send postcards
  18. learn to play lucky penny
  19. get a photo gallery wrapped
  20. spend a weekend w/B [and only B] I'm counting this too. Even though we had the baby with us. Should've done it before the baby was born...
  21. make a baby book the book is made. It's just lacking the little details... like photos + words.
  22. do random acts of kindness
  23. explore the antique shop on the outskirts of Cedar.
  24. make an artsy family video [anybody know how to do this?]
  25. plant flowers
  26. print photos
  27. dress up. be brave
  28. re-cover throw pillows
  29. make a quilt
  30. alter a shirt Percy Jackson's camp halfblood shirt will have to do.
  31. go on a photo walk
  32. save 33 lists Igot really close.
  33. revisit "Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life"
Things I did that were not on the list: Added another little person to our family Made new friends Reconnected with old friends Made scripture bags Made a doll bottled lots of soup bottled some salsa Made apple pie Learned to make bread Made lots of pizza Made calzones too. Made [and enjoying very much] homemade yogurt Practiced saying no. Became a teacher Finished the happy banner + hung it up Enjoyed the happy baner every day since. Wondered if *B* would like me to take down the happy banner Made juice - lots and lots of juice Made pumpkin muffins Converted entirely to whole wheat pancakes Reminded myself how to crochet Crocheted a few baby bear hats + one large bear hat Crocheted a hair bow Planted a garden Pulled lots of weeds with a very large belly in the way Made the JS Creative Team Sold a few pieces of art Made a few sets of baby legs Played volleyball anyone else have something to add to my list?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Seems like 2.for.Tuesday has turned into digi-Tuesday. Today is no exception. I will, however, commit now to incorporating more other stuff as well. one: free class! Inspiration everywhere is a 10-day class covering five different paths to inspiration: •Words •Music •Art •Tools •Play For each of the themes there will be a project to make, and different techniques to call your creative muse, no matter WHAT kind of art you make! Class runs from November 29 - December 8. Now, I know what your thinking... "that's a really busy time of year. I can't do a class then." Well, you never know. Maybe you'll have a really quiet week! I say sign up. Make an effort to read and be inspired by the daily prompts. Do the assignment or don't do the assignment. Whatever. Just let it inspire you. I'll admit to doing this on more than one occasion [like maybe every class I've ever taken] and I've decided that it's okay. I'm being inspired. And the great thing about Jessica Sprague's classes is that they're always yours. You can always come back and revisit lessons. The classroom doesn't close. So, like I said. Sign up! There is no reason not to... It's free! two: template 1.09 from Jessica Sprague. It's up for one buck Wednesday tomorrow. In its original state it's set on an angle across the page. I guess I was having one of those days because I just couldn't make it work for me. My brain didn't function that way. I ended up rotating everything except the backgrounds so they were straight. A little OCD? Yes. But we already knew that. So. That's my most recent. Click the layout to get more info about it. Like what other products I used + how I did something.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Digi Day!

There's a free [yes, you read that right F.R.E.E.] Photoshop Friday up at Jessica Sprague. It's free all weekend. I made this page using the template that comes with the "justified titles" tutorial. I did, however, change out the papers + some elements to coordinate better with my photo/theme, but as a whole I left the template as-is. It's a pretty cool one]. So, not only do you get a free template, but this is your opportunity to see what Photoshop Friday is all about and to finally find out for yourselves how amazing Jessica is. She is a master teacher. You can't get it wrong with her. Really. So seriously. It's free. What are you waiting for?
What was that? Did I hear you say you don't have Photoshop? Sheesh! It must be your lucky day! ...Photoshop! GET YOUR PHOTOSHOP HERE! [It's a free 30 day trial + I recommend going with Elements].
Products used: Photoshop Friday Episode 25 Sweet Summertime Paper Pack 1 Teen Album Add-On Kit

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


one: This really great template. It's Jessica Sprague Template 1.02 and it's $1.00 tomorrow only. One Buck Wednesday people. Gotta love it! So many great things to play with. Go see!
two: Number 33. I'm calling it done [nice that I'm crossing it off just for watching this video and participating in the interactive part of it. That's revisiting, right?]. Thanks to Amy for the help.
If you haven't read "Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life" I highly recommend it. Highly.
ps. her children's books are really great too...

Friday, October 29, 2010

What Do You Think?

A few months ago while reading Tollipop I saw this shirt. At first I thought, that's really random. Cool though. Actually I really like that. Then I commented on her blog that I was curious about the shirt. Then she wrote back that she thought they got it at American Eagle. I wrote back, "When I saw it I thought, 'wow, what if I had a gocco [or could cut out butcher paper with mad skills] and made a shirt for each item on my list of dreams/wishes?' What would you do with your dreams always before your eyes? Do they really have more of a chance if you put them out there? Would putting them on a t-shirt make them come true?" And the more I dwelt on that thought the more it reminded me of something I did a while back. So I went looking...I found it in May 2007 kind of a while back. So now I am prone to think that I am the unknowing designer of an American Eagle shirt. What do you think?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thoughts on Consistency

I visit teach a few sisters that I can't seem to touch base with for one reason or another and so have started delivering a copy of the message with a letter of my thoughts I would share if I were there. I decided that since the task is done I might as well share it with the world. So, believe it or not, I have taken it upon myself to visit teach anyone who cares to listen. Enjoy! This month's Ensign is a special issue all about temples. It has some really great articles in it. I chose to share this one, and specifically focused on this part: "If we can pattern our life after the Master, and take His teaching and example as the supreme pattern for our own, we will not find it difficult to be temple worthy, to be consistent and loyal in every walk of life, for we will be committed to a single, sacred standard of conduct and belief. Whether at home or in the marketplace, whether at school or long after school is behind us, whether we are acting totally alone or in concert with a host of other people, our course will be clear and our standards will be obvious. The ability to stand by one’s principles, to live with integrity and faith according to one’s belief—that is what matters. That devotion to true principle—in our individual lives, in our homes and families, and in all places that we meet and influence other people—that devotion is what God is ultimately requesting of us. It requires commitment—whole-souled, deeply held, eternally cherished commitment to the principles we know to be true in the commandments God has given. " As I read through this article I was especially touched by the thought that if we make the Savior’s life a pattern for our own it will not be difficult for us to be consistent. I think one of the greatest things I struggle with is being consistent. Sometimes I feel like I’m wandering through life with a blinders on. Seeing only what is directly in front of me. Letting myself be distracted or lead off course by the words or actions of another. On more than one occasion I’ve had older people in church turn and, not so gently, ask why I can’t manage to keep my kids quiet. It hurts every time. And every time I wonder why I even try. What the article says, “It requires commitment --- whole-souled, deeply held, eternally cherished commitment to the principles we know to be true in the commandments God has given.” That’s not a new concept. As I look around at people who seem to have it all together I feel like I often fall short. I’ve got to stop doing that. I know that no one is perfect and we’re all just trying to do our best. I for one can do better at taking off my blinders and recognizing the good. Seeing not just the grouchy old person who can’t hear the speaker, but also the beautiful loving face of the grandma in the row behind who understands exactly what I’m going through. I know it’s been random, but this has been good for me. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts. I hope you’ve been able to get something of worth from them too.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Welcome Back Autumn

So glad to see you again. Seriously. I just can't get enough of Autumn. Last night we took a drive up Kolob Mountain to gather leaves and just enjoy the Autumn light. Everything looks prettier in Autumn. On the way home we stopped at the Farmers Market and picked up pumpkins. The 10 cents per pound price tag meant that everyone got to choose their own. The girl has been giving her pumpkin some love today. I've been working on some projects. This here is my latest for Jessica Sprague.It's Photoshop Friday Episode 23: handmade photo collage. Some of you out there have asked me how to do this in the past. Here is a quick and easy to follow how-to. And because it just happens to be Friday, it's on sale! That's right! $1.00 until Sunday midnight EST [f.y.i: There is a great how-to up for a buck every Friday. This is a great + need I say cheap way to expand your Photoshop skills]. I can't even explain it for a buck! Plus with every episode you get all you need to complete the sample page as you walk through the how to with Jessica guiding you the entire way. It's awesome!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


one: a heads up: Calling all superheroes, ghosts, witches, ninjas, grandma pumpkins, and fairies [naughty and nice]... Jessica Spragues template 1.07, is wicked cool and the JS Aroo! paper + elements pack... yeah. Nice. I worked a bit of an engorgement charm on the journal card and some shrinky dink magic on some paper for the ribbon. And now that that's taken care of... Butter beer anyone? Here's to my first time posting a layout as a CTM at Jessica Sprague. I still think it's crazy. Fun + exciting + overwhelming [though I'm sure that particular feeling will dissipate eventually] + crazy. Did I mention crazy? Here it is: This page is entirely made with products from Jessica herself. So not only is she the mastermind behind the "Spraground," but she makes awesome products as well [not to mention her brilliant ability to teach complicated things in an understandable way]. Seriously. I'll bet you didn't know that my first encounter with digital scrapbooking came from Jessica. It was a walkthrough template freebie like this one. And it was so simple. I was hooked. I've learned a lot from Jessica and I'm proud to be able to show off her products! FYI: The template is $1.00 tomorrow. That's right. It's One Buck Wednesday! And just so you know... that means there are lots of other great products for a buck too. So go check it out! two: a little sneak peek... this is a sampling of my super secret project. I am flip-flopping between excited and exhausted with the whole thing. I'm trying not to give up on my optimism. one more thing... go read this. It's awesome and hilarious and I promise you'll read it a couple of times and laugh every time. Really.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Notice the New Banner?

Little Man has a chair. I guess he's officially part of the family now. I'm only, what 2.75 months behind.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


vacation home for one very very rambunctious little girl. I promise that she will not leave a single surface free of one thing or another... including but not limited to paint, syrup, honey, pencil, pen, marker, poop, Vaseline, lipstick, etc. You get the point. It will only be for a couple of weeks... Anybody? I knew when I was refilling the honey bear that it was a bad idea to let her watch me. Bad idea. I'm sure you've guessed what happened next time I was confined to a space. Sadly, this story involves not the honey bear, but the refill bottle and unfortunately the couch was targeted again. And the toilet and bathroom counters [because she did try to clean her hands at one point] and random drops and drips on the carpet and floor in between. I think I'm far too distracted right now... Am I being overly ambitious with my super secret project? Argh.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday Monday

So, yesterday was 10.10.10 and I tried and tried to think of something fun to do to commemorate the occasion. The boys even wanted to play along. That's as far as that went. Today I decided to celebrate late with three lists of 10. Here you go: 10 things I did on 10.10.10
  1. washed my hair
  2. wore mascara
  3. arrived late to church
  4. looked up to see Elder Holland sitting on the stand
  5. decided our family should just have a bench in the hallway so as not to be so disruptive in our comings and goings [late + girl to the potty + diaper changes + feeding + crying, etc]
  6. gave assurance to a new mom
  7. taught a lesson on repentance
  8. cut out bats
  9. supervised a bat painting session
  10. took a picture of the little man so I can finally get thank you cards printed

10 surfaces with paint on them:

  1. her hands
  2. her feet
  3. her legs
  4. her hair
  5. my hair
  6. the wood floor
  7. the carpet
  8. the couch
  9. the toilet
  10. the bathroom counter + faucet + hand towel

10 things I'm thankful for:

  1. little people
  2. who want to do crafts
  3. happy singing
  4. good nights sleep
  5. understanding husbands
  6. PBS Kids
  7. "gum bears"
  8. clean panties
  9. breezy windows
  10. baby swings

I had considered doing a photo walk of 10 things I'm grateful for, but I'm to lazy busy to even put much thought into that [honestly, the only reason I even posted this is because I started it while nursing and now I'm typing without looking at the screen because the girl is sitting on the table right in front of me. I guess she needs some love]. Today I am way behind on my super secret project. Way behind

Off to make lunch.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Today I...

  1. taste tested my first attempt at homemade yogurt. The girl declared it yummy. The mommy thinks it needs some work. I'll share more on that when I've got it figured out. Until then I've used this and this for guidance.
  2. Have permission to drop the guilt over the messy house.
  3. *B* and I came to an understanding that I've got a lot to do in the next nine days.
  4. Am trying to work but it's not really working.
  5. Have a lesson on repentance floating around in the back of my mind.
  6. The littlest man is crying.
  7. The girl is into everything you can imagine and more.
  8. Today I was announced a member of the Creative Team at Jessica Sprague!
  9. Am feeling a bit overwhelmed.
  10. But excited all the same.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mandi Makes

It's October nd that means Halloween parties for room moms. I had a request to re-share my Halloween Ghoulies game [aka cooties] to the box. You can get it here. Having played this game with kindergarten aged children I would either explain before starting play that there are only these features available and that it's okay if their pumpkin is a mix-and -match kind of pumpkin. In fact, it might be a good idea for you put together a very random sampler pumpkin. So they know it's okay. Because, honestly, it's either that or have enough of each feature that they could all make pirate pumpkins if they wanted to [the eye patch was very popular last year]. That was the only trouble we had with the game itself. If you're a little rusty on your cooties skills you can get the instructions from my original post here. There is also a link to a coffin from Martha if you're interested in that. Tomorrow I will try to share a post of what you can do with that if you want to make your life a little bit more complicated but at the same time save yourself some money. If you're in the room mom Halloween game business that is.

Friday, October 1, 2010

He Said

The funniest thing this morning. And wouldn't you know, I forgot what it was. When he said it I thought, "I've got to write that down. He doesn't really say funny things on accident anymore." But then I thought, "Oh, I'll get to it in a minute. It was so funny that I'm not going to forget..."
Ladies, it's a big conspiracy. See, the older kids start to think that we're not so interested in them because we don't talk about the funny things they say. We don't take as many photos of them. etc. I don't remember the last time I did a scrapbook page about just *I*. I've noticed that the girl has top billing on this blog with a whopping 24 posts to her credit with Little Man #1 in second at 18 and sadly, Little Man #2 with a mere 12. I know it's not about keeping it even and the cute factor has some play [as does time spent at home], but... I know that Little Man #2 says and does and is as cute/funny as they come. And they all love to see themselves and read about themselves. Honestly, my kids can't get enough of the yearbooks we've done. They love them. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's important to jot down the stories. Because we'll forget. It's a given. And for my kids at least, it's the stories that really make them feel important. They are the stars of their own book. And I love that they love it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hello Today

  1. I decided to audition for the design team at Jessica Sprague. I just might regret this. I don't know what kind of time committment is involved [these are the pages I decided to enter].
  2. I really feel like I need to do more of this. It makes me happy to feel productive in a creative way and this is the least messy way I can think of. Plus, the kids love to see the pages I've made for them.
  3. I need to make a conscious effort to do more about #1. Mr *I*.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


one: this amazing blog. really. amazing. If you like food or, more appropriately, if you like to look at pretty pictures of food you will love this. As an added bonus, she types recipes to her pretty pictures of food so you feel like you're looking at a funky fun recipe book. You'll have to see it to understand. I just didn't do it justice in my sad description.
two: colors. I cleared my obligations plate recently and am really excited about a project I'm working on. but all I can tell you now is that these are the colors that will print true on a self designed fabric from spoonflower. That's all I'm going to say. Except that I'm very excite and far too hyperfocused on this for my own good. Oh, and also that inspiration is hard to contain. I keep having to jot down new ideas that pop into my head as I've been working/dreaming about this one project. It's multiplying. It's fun. It's exciting. I can't wait to share. ps. I think it might be a couple of months before my project is ready. Just so you know. I'm shooting for the 2nd week in November. I probably should have waited to say anything, but I can't help it. It's all I think about.
pss. I was all finished and had even published this post, but I ran across this beautiful and fun card and had to share. Because it shows the color palet in a much more creative and useful way than I did. Head over to the Ginger & George blog and download this beautiful card for free. Yes, that's f.r.e.e.

Friday, September 17, 2010


clothes I can be excited about again. I haven't had a new skirt in... well, it was just a bit after *A* was born so it's been at least 5 years. It's hard enough for me to find clothes that fit and that I like and that I can afford without having to worry about the styles and that they're intended to hit just above the knee and therefore hit around mid thigh. Shirts are another big problem for me, but that's another story for another day I guess. As you can imagine I was very excited to open my inbox and see this declaration. Yes, very excited indeed.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

List #8: ING

WAKING : up three times last night. and that after going to bed a bit past midnight. finally deciding that it just wasn't worth it to try and sleep anymore. getting up at 6:30 and going for a walk. all by myself. READING : as is typical of me, currently have multiple books I'm sampling [at the moment that number happens to be six]. Some actual delving going on in a few. The Hunger Games I am slowly reading to *B*, Toss the Guilt and Catch the Joy I am enjoying small tastes of here and there. How to Win Friends and Influence People was recommended by a member of our bishopric as a possible help to get through raising my kids. It's the one that gets picked up when I'm feeding the little man. Gospel Principles. There is actual delving going on here as I'm a newly called RS teacher and it's killing me. really. The Parenting Breakthrough. I guess this one shouldn't be on the list yet because I've only skimmed the begining. Then decided that I need to finish with these others first so as to give it it's proper respect and attention. Next up: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society for bookclub. It's been on my list for quite a while. WEARING : Black t-shirt and Gray sweat shorts. a bun in my hair. I'm very dressed up today. DRINKING: water. lots of water. and occasionally a rootbeer flavored italian soda [I cooked me up some rootbeer flavored syrup for just this purpose]. they're yummy. CAPTURING : sweet little faces and happy moments. WATCHING : This awesome video: The Day Money Actually Grew On A Tree. I love it! WORKING: on getting the little man to sleep so I can get started on a baby name order due saturday. I'm also hyperfocused on fine tuning/developing a couple of brilliant ideas I had recently. More on that later. CALLING : to make VT appointments. If I remember that is. I always remember while they're at work. Never once they get home. REMEMBERING : to make VT appointments. hopefully. ENJOYING: the coolness that is slowly sneeking into the air.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


one: Home Ec. I never took home ec. in school. It always confilicted with something like band or spanish or show choir or something that could eventually wrap back around to the fact that I was in band. So. I really don't feel like I know what the heck I'm doing when it comes to sewing. I just pretend like I do and jump in with both feet. Usually kicking myself halfway through the process. Wondering where my brain is. I was thoroughly interested in this class. I think it would be a good thing for me to do to broaden my base as far as sewing goes. Then I think... yeah, but I could find tutorials to teach me how to do every one of those things on my own and save the $60 that I don't have in the first place. Yes I could. But there isn't anyone I like better [at least not off the top of my head] for throwing together a cute and fun class full of great projects than Rachel Denbow. I think she just might be the queen of craft. I would pay for the class just for her. I really would.
two: a multi-generational bassinet that is currently in my possession. If I remember the story right it was made by by my Mom's great-great grandma. My grandma Verde had 12 kids. When her first was born she was given this bassinet. It was used for all 12 of her kids and who knows how many of her grandkids. I know for sure that my mom was in it and I was in it. Now this new little person is in it. And the girl spends way too much time in it too. I'm thinking I'm going to have to get it out of this house soon if it's going to survive another generation.

Monday, September 13, 2010

List #7: Today I Am Happy

  1. because I was privileged to hear "elk" bugling in the cool morning air outside my window [*A* does a great elk impersonation. Seriously, it's impressive I hope the neighbors don't mind].
  2. because the windows are open and there is cool fresh air coming in.
  3. because I was able to get out and walk/slow jog in the wee morning hours.
  4. because I've got a gallon sized baggie full of frozen grapes in my freezer and still more on the vines waiting for me to get them taken care of.
  5. because the boys have decided on halloween costumes and they are pretty basic.
  6. because it's almost autumn people. I love autumn.
  7. because I'm slowly working my way through the ridiculous amounts of photos on my computer.
  8. because the table re-finishing project is finally back in progress.
  9. because I rock at throwing random things together to make a meal.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

List #6: Guiltiest Pleasures

  1. dark chocolate milky way
  2. rainy-day reading
  3. pretty paper
  4. a new box of crayons
  5. an extra game of volleyball
  6. starting a new project

Friday, August 27, 2010

Imagine If I Woke Up

in the morning on my own terms. If I actually accomplished what I set out to do. Imagine me walking into a room and cleaning it until it was finished. Imagine me not picking up a new book, three [yes, three] different books to be exact, and starting to read them at various times throughout the day [yes, the same day]. Imagine if the clothes that went into the washer actually made it into the dryer in a timely manner. And for that matter, imagine if they got folded and put away in an equally timely manner. Imagine if I was focused but not hyper-focused. Imagine what I could accomplish if I were not so completely me. Not that me is bad. It's just so completely frustrating sometimes. Now, imagine this: "Imagine waking and going for a run, as if running were all you do. Nothing else is on your mind but the run, and you do it to the very best of your abilities. Then you eat, enjoying every flavorful bite of your fresh breakfast of whole, unprocessed foods. You read a novel, as if nothing else in the world existed. You do your work, one task at a time, each task done with full focus and dedication. You spend time with loved ones, as if nothing else existed." - Leo Babauta author of the blog ZenHabits. Quoted from this guest post [which has really great tips on how to go about accomplishing such a highly focused/present frame of mind]. I realize that this might be a little ambitious, what with having two littles around, but I'm going to read this everytime I get distracted. Everytime I feel less than focused. Everytime I start a new project. I'm going to be single minded. I'm going to be a starter and a finisher. I'm starting today.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

No. 11

shoot ttv [through the viewfinder] of an old camera that is. It's an Argus 75. I love it. There is actually a tube contraption that you make and position between the viewfinder of the Argus and the lens of the digital camera, but I decided to just go ahead without it [as it's likely that I will never actually make the contraption]. Looking through the viewfinder of the argus produces a whole new point of view. I saw things that I didn't expect. I saw things I wouldn't have normally looked at. I decided I like looking through the viewfinder of the Argus. But not necessarily through the viewfinder via my digital. I think I'm going to buy some film. I'll add that to the list for next year.

So, my review of ttv photography [without a contraption] is this:

+ it looks really neat because you get cool flecks and "noise" on you photo.

+ it looks really neat because the colors and lighting get altered a bit.

+ it looks really neat with rounded corners and black borders

- it's awkward to get a good shot because you have to hold both cameras at the same time.

- holding both cameras is impossible.

- the shots you can take are limited to what you have on hand to position the Argus.

So, that's it. It's awkward, but I like the way it looks. I might re-visit this one with a contraption.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


It's been one of those days. One of those days when everything she does drives me nuts. Everything. Oh, but it looks so sweet in photos. So that's what you get. The photos. Because all little girls should be sweet. Wouldn't you agree?
one: she kept telling me, "Baby stinky." I had no reason to believe that she would try to remedy the situation. No reason to believe that it would take near a whole box of wipes. No reason to do anything other than grab the camera and take a photo.
two: he was so happy there on the floor. I think he may have actually fallen asleep. I always wonder why she can't leave him alone when he's giving me a few minutes respite. But she just can't seem to stay away. He must call out to her in some sweet little baby voice... "hey you. Girl. come over here and see how close you can get without actually smooshing me. See how many times you can pat my head without actually making me cry. See if you can wrap your arm around me with out choking me." Really. I think he might actually be saying that. Because that's what she does. And she looks so sweet doing it. If only she would have fallen asleep there next to him. That would have made my day.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Just A Few Things

I really need to put more focus and effort into. Elsie had this challenge up on her blog and I thought I should put these out there too. Accountability and all that. You know how it is.
1. Eat 2-3 fruits and 4+ veggies daily. Instead of candy. It's a myth that candy will give you energy and keep you awake. A myth I tell you. And yet I just keep right on disillusioning myself.
2. Sleep when they sleep. Even if that means going to bed at 7:30 p.m. Even if it means not cleaning the house. Even if it means missing out on my alone time. Yeah, even then.
3. More water. More water. More water. Do you think that if I drink more water this infernal headache will finally go away? More water I say.
4. Put something away. Anything. That nursing pad on the table? Put it away. And while you're at it, put away your cereal bowl too.
And then go take a nap. Because they're sleeping right now dang it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

So They Say

that if you put your wishes out there they will come true. Well, here you go: Peoples, I am looking for a toddler bed. A cute toddler bed. Something for a very cute little girl. I am willing to sand and paint as needed. I would also not be opposed to altering something that was currently twin sized [though *B* doesn't love the prospect of that]. I'm thinking maybe something a little like this. Thanks for listening [and if you happen to stumble upon just such a thing would you let me know. please. thanks].

Monday, August 9, 2010

5 - Four - 3 - 2 - 1

5: the number of laundry baskets of clean clothes that need my attention at this very moment. One could say, "at least they're clean." But I like baskets of clean clothes less than I like baskets of dirty clothes. Clean clothes say, "no worries. I'm clean. It's okay to walk away." And then they proceed to jump out of the baskets onto the floor and soon I'm picking up clothes and smelling them to see if they're clean or not. Sometimes that game goes a little sour. Baskets of dirty clothes, on the other hand, call out to me: "hey! don't you walk away from me. you'll regret it tomorrow when you have to wear that shirt with spit up on it. Hey! I'm talking to you!" I can deal with one basket of dirty. I have a hard time with multiple baskets of clean. FOUR: little people in my home. This I would say is by far the most significant number in this particular list. Honestly, four feels quite a lot like three except for one thing. Four feels like a lot less sleep and one enormous headache. I'm not sure why. Maybe the lack of sleep. Maybe the fact that I'm playing the highly ineffective game of keeping the motor running on sugar. Really I just don't know, but I am liking our little number four. I'm liking him quite a lot. 3: new blogs I've enjoyed this morning... Wild Olive, Zakka Life, and Chez Beeper Bebe. 2: days left until school starts. Really? Really. 1: minute left of computer time for me. I've really got to get something done today. Really.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Will You Accept A Collect Call

from Mr. Wehaveababy Itsaboy? Around here we'll be calling him *E* [for distinguishing purposes we'll continue to call the girl, "the girl"]. The surgery went well. The doctor said we'll have to call him, "King Kong." He's big like all of our others. 9 lbs. 14 oz. 21 inches long. Very cute. Not afraid to make some noise. There was a, "true knot" in the cord. The nurses said we're glad he even made it here. We are glad he made it here. I'm good too. Throwing up, but good. I'm sure there will be more photos soon. Say hello to baby Miles.