Tuesday, December 27, 2011

FredSheSaid Christmas Challenge

I LOVE FredSheSaid digital images, so I couldn't pass up on submitting something for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate with them!

This tag uses their pre-colored Christmas Cardinal.  
Pre-colored images make for fast and easy, but awesome looking projects!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Coffee cozies

I finally sat down and made some coffee cozies!!  They are so fun and easy to make.  I used a cardboard coffee sleeve as my template.  I love working with this beautiful wool felt.  I found most of this at Hobby Lobby.  And my local quilt shop sells some very nice stuff, like what I used on my journal cover that I posted about yesterday.  I also used some felt from PTI, awesome stuff.

But the sad thing is, I actually made one of these for myself and can't find it anywhere.   You know how it is, we're always whipping up things for others and never make ourselves anything.  Well, this time I was determined to make myself one.  And now it's lost.  At least I have a photo of it!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Log Your Memory journal cover

One last project to get done before the new year rolls around.  I've been busy lately getting ready to close this year out and be ready for 2012 to start!  

One such project was making a cover for my 2012 Log Your Memory journal.  I'm not too happy with the changes they made to it this year. I was VERY happy with last year's book.  But this year they made it into one book, making it very large.  The covers are simply cardstock weight and need some reinforcing for a whole year's worth of use.  Being so big, the whole book just seems rather unstable. Also the monthly tabs that are new to this year's book are not laminated or reinforced and they are already getting a little "used" looking. 
And one last thing I miss from last year's book is the lines to write on for each day.  
Just a total different style this year.

So, anyway, I bought some heavy wool felt to make a cover to help protect it.
I glued on a layer of heavy cardboard to the front and back covers 
and taped along the coil spine with some packing tape.

I sewed the top and bottom edges over to make a perfect fit for my book.

Then I used the blanket stitch all along those top and bottom edges to give a finished look 
and sew the two layers together that wrap around the book covers.

I had some other coordinating felt and made some cute flowers to decorate the front.
I dug through my mom's old sewing machine drawer for a nice vintage button.  I sewed the button on the flower and then used hot glue to attach the whole thing to my journal cover.  I used SU Fun Flowers die cut.

And off we go.  Ready to journal my way through 2012.  
I'm very worried about how this journal is going to hold up.

The first five photos courtesy of my youngest daughter.
She needed something fun to do, so I said "why not??" 
She captured the step-by-step that I never would have taken the time to do.
But I did continue her process of more step-by-step, at least for this post.
And just for kicks, can you guess what yummy goodies these ingredients make??
Love it when a product has just the simplest of ingredients.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Resolutions and brain-storming

A new year is upon us and with that comes the hope for many new beginnings for me...I hope.  
Here are a few of my resolutions.

1.  Practice singing, 10-15 min a day
2.  3x weekly yoga, plus nightly yoga unwind routine
3.  Quiet evening/bedtime routine re-established
4.  Stash Diva challenge
5.  3x strength training (7 min program?)
6.  Time management/awareness
7.  Learn how to cultivate the many passions/hobbies I have

What are your New Year's resolutions?

Regarding #4.  I really, really, really want to use my crafty stash items more.  I've just got to reign in my hobby spending.  Anyone want to join me in this?  
Here are some of my thoughts on starting the challenge:

I want it to be open to all hobbies.

I'd call it The Stash Chic Corner, or The Stash Divas or something catchy.  Ideas??

I'm thinking I don't want any specific challenge or deadlines, just use our stash to make something and link up.  Or should it have more structure?  See, I get frustrated with challenges b/c I see a great challenge and want to do it, but run out of time and then after the challenge has gone by, I lose the inspiration.  I want us to be able to keep the inspiration working in us until we find the time to do it (and, ahem, USE IT)!!  So then maybe we need some inspiration for each challenge?  What ideas do you have?  Maybe have someone submit their idea on a given week!  I know we all have great ideas.

Random or monthly giveaways for everyone who links up.  It will be something simple, but none the less, a little reward.  Any ideas on rewards?

And bottom line, it's gotta' be simple.   I don't want anything complex that I feel like I have to do every week, and yet it's got to be something inspiring to keep us all motivated.

What do you think?  Leave a comment and brainstorm with me.
OR...is there already a challenge out there like this?   
That would, by far, be the easiest LOL!

And speaking of comments, I'd like to socialize more with you on here.  I wish blogger had a nicer way to reply to comments.  I love how Margie communicates using her comment section.   
Here I would just leave an @soandso, but would you come back and see it?

OK, enough picking your brains!
I just had to unload a few bloggy things that I've been thinking about.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December Project Life update

 Share Project Life banner

We're coming down to the last two weeks of the year!  Super exciting to watch a whole year worth of Project Life work come together.  All of my 2011 Project Life posts can be found here.

Emails, recipes, and ephemera from the week,

And a warm and hearty WELCOME to Project Life 2012 Cobalt!!

I'll be back soon as I start my 2012 journey.
But, first, Christmas break is upon us.
Looking forward to some very low-key, 
relaxing days together with my family.
Family time and fun, without a doubt!
Blogging, optional!

Happy Holidays!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Winter VSN over at SCS

As I said yesterday, I stamped a lot this weekend!

I finally got to participate in Splitcoast's Winter VSN
(Virtual Stamp Night with tons of Splitcoast fellow stampers!) 
Here are my cards,

Warm Fuzzies,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Winter snowball fight layout

I made this for a Hambo Hoedown challenge and then realized it didn't meet all the challenge requirements!  But I got a layout done!  That's NEWS!!

This Hambo image inspired me to get this photo scrapbooked.  They girls had so much fun. Then on another day, they had another snowball fight and I have a video clip of that.  It's hilarious.  They actually got into a real fight and I captured DD2 running over to DD1 and tackling her!  Something was obviously unfair to her!!

This weekend, I made these fabulous cookies (I also got a TON of stamping done, but that's tomorrow post!)  from Becky Higgins.  You can watch her special Christmas video here.  They are delicious.  And I did wrap up several plates to give to some our friends in our church meetings. All this baking, and goodies must be shared!

One parting thought,
I'm so depressed.  
We. have. no. snow.  
And it's the middle of December.
All we have is grey. rain. ick.
 And so...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Digital Tuesday, Lights

This is my card for the Digital Tuesday challenge this last week.  Michelle's challenge to use light on our card.  I love these pre-colored digi images from FredSheSaid.  This is the Christmas Poinsettia Lantern set. They make such stunning, quick cards!

I also particpated in Splitcoast's VSN this weekend. This card was for the Blue Christmas challenge.
So far I've gotten 6 cards made and 2 gift card holders! How awesome is that???  :)  Love virtual community inspiration.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Project Life update

I'm getting so excited for Project Life 2012!  It has been a wonderful journey this year, my first year doing PL.  I can't put it into words (I know, that sounds totally sappy...but to have a year's worth of photos and etc documented????  HUGE!) how much it means to have been introduced to this product.  I've kept it simple, but have added in paraphanalia (trip brochures, tickets, etc) as I went along.  I've also included recipes, and I have gone back to them more than once.  My recipe collection is not this organized, LOL, so a few times I've found myself going back in my PL album to find the recipe I remembered making.

So without further ado, some photos to share with you,

Here's an example of the extra stuff I include.  On this weekend, we had a wedding to attend and the kids went to a school musical.   The wedding announcement and musical booklet have been included amid the photos of those events.  I use these page protectors a lot.

Another day, we received our LittleMissMatched socks order.  I couldn't resist putting the catalog in.  Someday this will be so fun to look back on.  See....having this album provides a home for all these things that I would have loved to have kept in the past and just didn't b/c it was like clutter to me.  Now it has a safe home!  I also use these page protectors a lot.

Here's a recipe and the templates we used for carving our jack o' lanterns. Should we look back on those photos and wonder how we were so creative, we'll remember and possibly even be able to use them again!  And these page protectors get a lot of use!

My Thanksgiving lists and notes.  And on the back of the main list (which shows on the other side) are little "notes" that DD1 and her little cousin "wrote"!  I was almost going to put something on that other side until I turned my list over and saw those precious scribbles!

And music that DD1 played at her Honors Band concert.  That may be moved my school scrapbook for her, or maybe just copied so it's in both places.

And since I mentioned all the page protectors I use, here's their home, a fun polka-dot bin from Target.

I'm anxiously awaiting the release of the Cobalt Project Life Core Kit.  Should be any day now.  I did go ahead and purchase the Cobalt digital journal cards and Extra Elements.  Since I caught up on my summer photos, I've been copy/pasting my journal entries from my private PL blog and printing/cutting them out for my album.  I really struggle with liking my hand-writing, plus it's just faster and more stream-lined for me.  But I will still purchase the Core Kit so I don't have to print out the colorful weekly cards, etc.

For my 2012 albums, I'm using these.  I got them on sale a month or so ago.  And I've already received my order of page protectors and other PL goodies from Becky Higgins via Amazon.
Fun, fun, fun!!  :)

Oh, and my private PL blog....a HUGE lifesaver.  If and when I do fall behind IRL with my album, all the journaling and photos can easily be put in the right order and placed in my album.

I think I've mentioned this before, but one more wonderful thing PL has done for me...helped me start a diary of my days, recorded nightly.  I also write at the top Pic: (insert, what the general theme of my photo of the day was).  I record if I did yoga or ran.  And any other highlights of the day.  I've done this using Log Your Memory.  I'm doing that again this year too!  Stay tuned for a homemade cover for my new book.  It's all in one now, instead of two separate smaller journals like last year, so my cover from last year doesn't work anymore.  But I've got grand ideas using wool felt and cardboard to reinforce the book cover and backing.  Whoot!

And now it's on to the next catch-up project, OLW.
Have you signed up for OLW 2012?  I'm totally IN.  That also has been a very rewarding journey.
I  have had quite a year to say the least!  A good one that is.  :)

And then I have socks to darn.  Yes, so old-fashioned.  But I have these awesome SmartWool socks and every (3 pairs) pair has worn out in my heel.  I watch this YouTube video and was inspired to get out my mom's darning egg and fix these.  It looks like a cozy, relaxing, by the fire task.
And my art journal is begging for some attention.  I saved something that would have been thrown out and want to use it for a fun background on my page.

And stamping and scrapping need to take place!
Whew, so much fun to be had, so little time.
What are some of your winter projects?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sewing project, skirts

 (Sorry, it's just me, no drop-dead gorgeous model to show it on!!)

My SIL told me about this super easy pattern (Butterick 3460) for a simple skirt.  I went right out and bought it and also found this delightful snowflake corduroy material at Joann's.  I started sewing classes again (took a few two winter's ago and made a tote and an apron) last evening.  It's one-on-one, unless someone else signs up for the project you are wanting to make with her.  She is wonderful.  Reminds me so much of my talented MIL who lives too far away to teach me to sew!  This lady is always smiling and is oh so patient.  Just like my MIL.  I couldn't believe I was able to finish the whole skirt last evening in about 3.5 hours.  I wanted to make another one on my own before I forgot what I learned last evening, and since today was a quiet day at home, I dug right in.  I did goof and cut the front panel of the skirt with my fabric wrong sides together.  Duh, I know that most basic sewing rule.  Thankfully I noticed it before I cut the rest.  And thankfully I always buy plenty of fabric, because I know myself all too well.  Once I got past that mistake, I did OK...I think.  I'll bring it in to show her next week.  All I have left to do is the hem, and I'll have her help me with that.  She has a dressing room with a little stage in it.  You stand up on the stage and she is down below setting your hem!  Easy peasy.  This second skirt is made from denim.  I was wanting another shorter denim skirt to wear with my leggings and boots.  The one I have now is so worn out looking.  Fine for around the house, but I like to dress up a bit when I go to town.  Just something about getting out and about.  Always have been like that!

One thing I learned is that my machine will do a stitch similar to a Serger, 
enabling me to finish off my edges!  I feel so professional!  ;)

And yes, the skirt has pockets. I mastered the pockets today just fine!  Didn't stitch them closed!!

And just like chocolate nd stamping/scrapping go hand-in-hand, so does sewing w/chocolate.  I remembered that from the last session of classes with her!  She brought out chocolates mid-way through the class.  I stopped and bought some of these.  DH and DD2 had gotten me some this past weekend, knowing my extreme weakness for them at Easter.  I am eating healthier as a whole though, so don't worry!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

At our Thanksgiving table,

Whew!  We had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  Sorry for the delayed post, but I've not had a moment to spare and still don't really, but couldn't let anymore time go by without documenting our delightful holiday weekend.  I'm shorting myself of some much needed sleep, but... I read about this blog idea on Margie's blog and it instantly appealed to me (I had a brief spell yesterday morning to glance at Google Reader).  I was wanting to share with you about our holiday but still have company, so I couldn't sit down and write a novel.

For dinner:  turkey, dressing, mashed potato casserole, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, roasted fall veggies,  gluten-free dressing, squash rolls, cranberry sauce, orange jello salad, mixed greens salad w/fruit dressing, olives/pickles.  Apple cider and water to drink.

For dessert:  Pies, pecan, sour cream apple, cherry, pumpkin, Gluten-free apple, Gluten-free pecan.  pumpkin Roll-Ups, whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, sponge candy.

At our table:  18, some of which included three first cousins, six first cousins once removed, one Poppa, and five dear friends.

The weather:  balmy, 50*'ish.  Breezy.  Perfect temps for our morning run.  And an afternoon walk.

Fun and games:  Ping-Pong, tag football, plenty of basement (or baz {short a}-ment as one little girl called it!) play, Rook, Carroms, Memory, Uno.

Other events:  feeding the chickens and collecting eggs, window shopping for John Deere tractors (guy thing for sure!), Goodwill shopping (we ladies weren't adventuresome enough to hit the real stores!), crocheting, music therapy walks, lots of tea drinking, filling/emptying the dishwasher

Other food:  Chuck roast dinner w/leftover sides from Thanksgiving, pizza, breakfast casserole, Gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, lots of raw veggies to snack on, turkey rice soup, cheese & crackers

Lots of visiting, laughs, relaxation and good company.  Several commented that it was just like an ol' fashioned Thanksgiving...no major accomplishments.  Just sitting back, savoring each others company and enjoying the fellowship.  I took pictures.  But not a lot.  I was just too involved in enjoying the moment at hand.  And we were spread all over the house most of the time.  Some in the basement.  Some in the family room.  Some in the kitchen.  Some outside.   It was wonderful to be with family and share family stories.  To find out that all our mothers (the cousin's moms are sisters) over-cooked meat until it was well beyond dead and thoroughly dried out. Our spouses are greatly relieved that we have since learned otherwise!  :)

And now we have more company.  Thanksgiving company left by 3 pm Saturday and more company came Sunday evening at 5 pm.  By 8 pm Saturday, we were ready for company again!  We will be company free again Wednesday afternoon.

the day before,

Thanksgiving day photos,


well-fed chickens,

leftover line-up,

shoe pile-up,

And last evening, we played Scrabble with our company,

And guess what?? 
Cyber Monday passed by without my buying one thing online.  Just no surfing time.  And I really don't need anything.  Pure & Simple.  And I've got emails to read and write.  Slowly but surely I will get to them.  But first I had to document our life this last week!