Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas and December Daily Days 14,15,16,17,18

Supplies: Cathy Zielske Ho Ho Holiday Words, Mindy Terasawa Christmas Dreams digital paper, Katie Pertiet stacked photo clusters

This is our Christmas card for the year. It was fun working with a different size this year. I had the design done ahead of time. I tried to wait till all our haircuts were done to take the photo but that didn't happen. Even though I found it harder to take photos with two kids, none of them were looking at the camera at the same time or smiling, I think they came out rather well. I sent them off to Scrapbook Pictures to be printed. Even though they came out too dark despite my adjustments in Photoshop (something I have to figure out with tweaking the corrections options I suppose).

This ended up being my day 14.

I used an envelope from an old card and added wrapping paper to the front. Then created the number 14 in photoshop.

Day 15

Supplies: Ali Edwards Hand drawn Holiday, Katie Pertiet cut-ups Christmas

On this day after dinner we took an impromtu trip to Baskin Robbins for some ice cream. This has become a family time ritual to go out for ice cream after dinner every so often.

Day 16

I took the idea to use Tumblr as a way to document my favorite things at the moment, from Ali Edwards. I took a snapshot of the screen then adjusted it to size in photoshop added the title and printed out. Here is a close up of the page.

A few of my favorite things at the moment are those knit hats for babies, the woodland theme lamp at Target (again big on that theme this year), my iPhone, Starbucks coffee, "It's your life" song by Francesca Battistelli, etc. It'd be fun to look back years from now and see what interesting me at this time in my life. See how my interests have changed or stayed the same.

Day 17

Supplies: Making Memories snowflake frame, Metal numbers are unknown mfr.

Today I printed out the forecast for the week and the massive snow storm headed our way. I thought it would be a nice to document the record breaking amount of snow we were getting (and that we got) especially odd for our area this early in the winter season.

Day 18

The pictures with Santa. The photos and journaling were all pulled from my blog post. To read it click here. This is a close up of page 1.

Supplies: Cathy Zielske Ho Ho Holiday words

A close up of Page 2. The journaling I printed out directly from my blog post and stuffed in the paper bag.
Supplies: Ali Edwards HolidayWord Art, Fiskars Apron border punch, EK Success 1/2 inch scalloped circle punch

This is the journaling.
Ok off to enjoy some Christmas dinner. Will post photos of our present opening and more December Daily pages tomorrow.

Hope you are all having a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday.
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Thursday, December 24, 2009

December Daily catch up: Days 10, 11, 12

Day Ten
Supplies: Bazill Basics library pocket, American Crafts ribbon and alphabet chipboard stickers

Today we made the gingerbread house. It was kit bought at Target. Mason had been asking to put it together for days. It was a lot of fun. Though it didn't stay together so well. Someone was impatient, Fred, and started icing the house before it was set so when all the candy was put on the roof kept falling off. It was funny. My favorite parts were seeing how concentrated Mason was when helping Fred squeeze out the icing and watching the two of them sort the candy by color so we could put it on the house.
Definetly something we will do again next year.
Here is a shot of all the pictures that are in the pocket.

Day eleven

Today Fred sent me an email to have Mason watch. After his nap he sat down at my desk in my craft room and I played the link. It was Santa! He was contacting Mason via the PNP (portable north pole). Mason sat and watched intently as Santa explained how the PNP worked, how he knew Mason was trying hard to be good to his sister, and that he wanted a mini van. Mason loved seeing the photo of himself eating ice cream from the ice cream truck earlier this year. Santa also let Mason in on a little secret about how he eats all the cookies that the kids leave out for him. I have to say Fred did really good. Don't where he found this but it was THE coolest thing I've seen. And since Mason has watched it like 5 more times since, I know he does too.

Day tweleve

Supplies: Making Memories metal frames, K&Co. metal tags, American Crafts chipboard stickers
I took some shots of all the holiday decorations we put up around the house. It was a day of decorating.

I have more pages done just working on posting them. But I just heard my parents arrive so that means it's cookie time! Gotta run.
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Santa Claus is coming to Town...


It's been such a busy month. I can't believe we have only four days and it's Christmas! Yikes.

This past Friday, due to the imminent record breaking snow storm that was practically upon us, we decided to do our annual photos with Santa.

I don't fight traffic, parking issues and hours worth of lines at the mall and overpay for a mediocre photo of my children with Santa. Oh no. We have the real deal as a member of the family. To me he is Dad. To my children he is Pop-Pop. And to the many children who cross ways with this man from November until Christmas time he is known as simply Santa Claus.

He is the best Santa I know. Used to play one at the mall and then for church. But since his stroke he has decided to just put the suit on for my children. And me. I am ecstatic that I can do pictures however I want (and get as many shots as I need) and in the comfort of our own home. Well, my parents home. Not to mention that me, my dad, and my kids get to have these visual memories of something special shared between them.

This year didn't go quite as I expected. Last year I was convinced Mason would know it was Pop-Pop and this year I had my doubts. He is an incredibly smart kid. Figures things out way better than I do sometimes. Crossing my fingers, we had Grandma distract the little tyke while my sister helped Santa get into his suit and I changed Sophie into her Christmas dress and hat. I wasn't sure how she would handle this. Especially since she'd been moody earlier and crying when looking at my dad. But I took a deep breathe and said, we'll get what we can get.

Time for the reveal. Hey Mason did you hear that? I think someone is here? Who do you think it is? Mason not sure what was going on seemed apprehensive and then in walks Santa. And Mason got weird. He started hiding his face in Fred's chest and being shy. Mason who is this? No answer. Who is this Mason? All of us now on the edge of our seats to see what he was going to say. All convinced he would know and we'd be caught. Santa. It's Santa. Phew! Our secret is safe and he still believes. Though getting him to sit on Santa's lap was a whole other story.

We had Sophie go first since Mason was being difficult. Surprisingly she did excellent. And we got some great shots.
I can't believe she smiled and even laughed for us.
She didn't seem to mind at all. She seemed to even like Santa. Mason, it took much coaxing and numerous bribes to get him to sit on Santa's lap. Even telling him that he looks like Pop-Pop. That one seemed to help a bit. I have to say that with how much Mason has surprised me with this knowledge he didn't realize that Santa and Pop-Pop sound the same. Hmmmm. Anyway. We finally got Mason on his lap and I got the joint Santa photo of the season.
Then Mason started to get comfortable. And laughing.
That one is my favorite.

And he started to tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas. A red eight 'o clock car, a corvette, a Maserati, etc. You know the quintessential items any three year old would want. Or any grown man for that matter.

Later in the car on the way home he informed us that he didn't tell Santa everything he wanted. He left off a truck. More specifically a truck just like Mr. Mike's. (Not the one that stuck in the sand, the one we rode in). Only not blue but red. I tell you for a three year old he is very particular and specific about what he wants. I suppose that's better than having my indecisiveness.

When it was time to say good-bye. Mason eating his pudding, one of the many bribes. He asked, is Santa leaving? Yes, honey he has to go. I don't want him to go. Well now he doesn't want him to go. *rolling my eyes* Though Mason sufficed in waving good-bye to Santa. And as I walked with my Dad into the family room to help him change I heard Mason ask my Mom, Is Santa going to change?

And speaking of change. It's amazing how much Mason has grown over the years. The following are photos of him as a newborn, a year old, two years and now three years this year. Amazing!

I don't know about you but I think this world could use a little bit of Christmas magic.
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Friday, December 18, 2009


This is what is headed our way. 2-4 inches of snow tonight and another 3-6 inches tomorrow. Just in time for our long planned Family Christmas with my extended family. What a bummer. I was really needing some family time and looking forward to seeing those I haven't seen in months and even some since Family Christmas last year. I suppose it was bound to happen. One year that we had to cancel plans due to weather. Every year until now we've lucked out. It's just really unfortunate. Especially since this year I have been so big on spending time with family and getting together.

Of course everything has been bought and I've been going crazy to be all prepared for tomorrow and it might not even happen. But as my son has told me, at least we get to go play out in the snow right?
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The 12 pains of Christmas

The holidays are supposed to be a time of good cheer. But inevitably it ends up being one filled with stress, anxiety and extreme moodiness.

I know it is better to give than to receive but lately I find it pure pandemonium packing up the kids and running from store to store desperate to find something, anything, that our family members (and sometimes friends) will be overjoyed to open.

Does that make me a Scrooge?

I feel horrible that I don't enjoy shopping for presents anymore. It starts out with good intentions of finding that one gift that will get you the gleeful reaction you hope to see but inevitably wind up standing in the aisle of the store, eyes glazed over wondering what the hell do I get? Meanwhile the kids are screaming, crying, running amok. It's three o'clock. Clearly beyond naptime. You're tired, hungry, fed up and looking at that to do list with the million things that STILL need to get done that day. Quite honestly it takes all the fun and happy out of the holiday.

Is it just me, or do most adults feel this way? Is this what my parents felt every Christmas?

It's like the 12 Pains of Christmas carol. I always laughed at this song but sadly it's so very true.
The constant fight for a parking space, realizing that every freaking toy needs batteries, a lot of them, and of course they aren't included. The kid screaming, "buy me something, I want candy, whaaaaa, whaaaaa." The constant phone calls for donations to charities, in-laws, making and then getting the Christmas cards out...on time. And heaven forbid you forget someone on the list out of the 60+ people you HAVE to send a card to. The struggle with the lights. Where to put them and why are they not working?

It's all a ball of laughs until it becomes your reality. But then again I guess that it part of the appeal of the song because it IS reality.

As I sit here, in my own holiday hell reality, looking at the list of things to do. Groceries. We desperately need baby food, formula, sour cream and paper towels. Not to mention the Turkey for Saturday. And plan something for lunch and dinner. I also still need presents for my sister, brother in law, in-laws, daughter, mom, etc. Plus I have to pick up all the clothes, toys, and junk around the house and put it all away so that the cleaning service can come on Friday and make our house beautiful for the 20+ people that will be here. Yet I find myself, butt on the couch, watching Dora's Christmas Carol for the 10th time this week, posting to my blog and procrastinating.


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Monday, December 14, 2009

December Daily: Pages eight and nine

Day Eight

Supplies: Katie Pertiet cut-ups: christmas, American Crafts Thickers

Another page pulled directly from my blog. Isn't it wonderful when most of the leg work is done ahead of time?

I assembled this page in the same fashion as day six. Hybrid style. I decided on the size for the page. In this case I made it 9x8 inches. Then I cropped each photo to be 3x3 inches. Then just placed them in order in a block on the left hand side. Messing with the orientation. A few ended up having to be smaller to fit but it works. Then I wrote the journaling on the right hand side and placed a few cut-ups from Katie Pertiet at the bottom. Like before I hid the text layer and cut-ups layers and printed the photos onto photo paper and trimmed it out. Then I printed out the journaling (with photos hidden) and cut-ups onto white cardstock and trimmed out. Then I printed the cut ups again and cut out wrappings and placed that on top of the wrappings on the journaling block with pop dots to make it stand out a little bit. It's hard to see in the photo. I then adhered the journaling to the page and the photos overlapping the journaling paper a little bit. Finally I added a number eight from American Crafts thickers that I embossed with white/silver glitter powder.

Day Nine

This day was simple. I cropped the photo and added the journaling directly on the photo in PSE.

Supplies: Heidi Swapp ghost clocks and months clear stamps, Jolee's boutique: pointsetta,American Crafts thickers: number nine

I adhered the photo to the back of page eight and finished off the page by adding a few ghost clocks from Heidi Swapp, a number nine from American Crafts and stamping the word December.


It was after all a simple day. Still in our pajamas and playing Candy land. I think some of the most ordinary everyday moments are those that should be celebrated and treasured forever.
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Sunday, December 13, 2009

December Daily: Pages five and six

Finding time to blog about my album is proving to be EXTREMELY difficult. This month has been so freaking busy. I can't believe Christmas is already two weeks away. Where did the month go?

Anyway here are the next two pages of my album.

Day Five
This day is another multiple page day. I really like to take a lot of photos and have a hard time picking just one for most of the days. So instead of making me fit the album I am making the album fit my style. So if this means every day will have two or three pages so be it.

Today was the day it snowed. I took the pictures and journaling straight from my blog post. Reason #2 why I have a blog in the first place. Makes for scrapbooking a memory at a later date much easier.

I got the idea for my first page after I snapped this photo of the front of our house during our playtime outside, from Ali's 2008 December Daily album (scroll down to day 19). The photo collage I created using Picasa then added the Michelle Martin paper to the ends in PSE. I rounded the corners on one side and adhered both photos directly to the Snowflake acrylic paper. However, I am not thrilled with how the journaling page turned out. I might change it up later. You can't see it very well but the page was very plain and I absolutely hated it. So I added the Rhonna Farrer swirl stamp to it with red ink and then embossed that with white snow looking powder. It's better but I'm still not thrilled. So for now I am letting it go but I have in mind that I can always change it.

Here is the before photo of that page.

Day Six

I aboslutely adore this photo. I snapped it while holding her at my Mom's place. And that adorable hat! I'd been trying to find a hat for Sophie for the winter but something that was cute and not too warm. Seeing as people tend to overdress babies in the winter. At the mall shopping on day I saw this new store unBOWlieveable. They had the cutest hats and the most adorable bows and flowers to clip on them. It's my new fave I think.
Isn't she so sweet in these hats? I want to put them on her all the time. I see how they were made (the flowers) and think that I could replicate it with a few trips to A.C. Moore and Target. That will be a project for the new year.

Supplies: Ali Edwards You word art, Katie Pertiet Cut-up: Christmas, Ribbon: Cosmo Cricket, Pointsetta: Jolee's Boutique

One of my favorite pages so far. This is the front. It's kinda blurry. Still working on photographing my pages. Something that needs improvement.

As you can see from the before photo of page five I changed it up a bit. I liked having the embossed number six in the corner but it didn't go with the design I had for the page. So I added the number six to the photo instead.

The journaling talks about that adorable hat. How we spent Grandma Sunday as a family. Usually Mason goes to my Mom's house alone. Giving him some much needed one on one time. We were dressed up because we took the family christmas card photo that day. I will be using that picture on a later page when the christmas cards go out. Mason and my mom and sister all decorated my parents tree. They are doing the village today during their visit. I hope they take photos cause I'd like for those to go into the album. It also talks about how I felt seeing my dad holding Sophie for the first time since her birth. He had a stroke two years ago just before Mason turned a year old. It affected the left side of his body. He got use of his leg but still does not have the use of his left arm or hand. So he can't hold things well much less hold my children. So seeing her on his lap looking up at him made my heart soar. The last time she saw my Dad was Thanksgiving and she cried every time she looked at him. So it was a welcome relief that she wasn't scared this time. I think it is that my Dad looks like Santa, he plays one, and most little kids are scared of Santa. This year my dad won't be doing Santa at church like he used to. It's getting too hard but he is still going to dress up for my kids to get our annual photo with Santa. More about that on a later day. We have it all set up to do this coming friday. Looking forward to it.

Supplies: Ali Edwards Remember Word Art, Lil Davis Holiday Bottle Caps

This is the back of the page. Once again I was inspired by Ali Edwards. She did a design like this for day eight of this year. I however, did not use her layered template which you can purchase from Designer Digitals. I created my own.

First I figured out the size I wanted the whole page to be and created a new document that size in Adobe Photoshop Elements. I then figured out what size I wanted the photo block to be and created that document as well. Next I used the shape tool and created four squares for my photos. Then I used the circle marquee tool in the center and deleted the selection on each shape. Next I chose my photos and after altering a cropping them I masked each one into each shape, adjusting the placement or size as needed. Next I flattened the image and moved the photo block to my original page document and centered it. Then I used the word art from Ali. Changing the color to one that matched the pink in Sophie's dress using the eye dropper tool. And placed them at equal distance around the photo block. Since I am a hybrid Scrapbooker I didn't just print it out this way. I like dimension on a page. So I hid the layer of my text and printed out the photos onto photo paper. Then I hid the photo block layer and printed out the text onto white cardstock. Cut out both elements and placed the photo block in the center of the white cardstock and added the memories bottle cap to the circle in the center.

A simple page. A style I am embracing. Looking back at older layouts I just put too much on the page never leaving space for your eye to rest. Heavily influenced by Cathy Zielske and Ali Edwards, my style has changed. Turned towards a simplified one of photos + words.

In this layout it is photos of my Dad holding Sophie, the tree decorating and a message of Remember This. Exactly what I wanted to convey. Remember this day. These memories. These moments. It was good spending time with my family. And much needed. I got some alone time with my dad when we went to Red Hot & Blue to pick up dinner together. It was some quality talking that I have missed. It reminds me of what I really want for Christmas. The material gifts are nice (like that sewing machine I really want and the PSE 8.0 that I got as an early present) but what I really want this holiday season is quality, and I emphasize QUALITY, time with my family. It is something that I have taken for granted far too long.

Day Seven
still in progress
I don't have a photo of the original page seven. It was a full 8x8 page in a protector sheet. However since Monday was a day spent cleaning and no photos were taken I decided to change it up. I could have gone with just some journaling about our day being a normal ordinary day but I saw the envelope for page 10 and knowing that on Thursday we did the gingerbread house and no way would that day fit the small envelope I made the switch. Though thinking about it now I suppose I could have printed out the photos like postcards and written the steps on the back of each one and tucked those into the envelope. (note: this is a good idea maybe it can still be done just affix a pocket to the gingerbread house page or new envelope.) But I decided that I like the idea of writing a letter to each of my kids. Again inspiration came from Ali Edwards but also from Dooce's Heather Armstrong as well. I read her book and follow her blog and she periodically wrote letters to her daughter each month of her first year of life. I like the personal touch that writing to someone gives. It makes the reader feel involved, part of the moment. I wrote a letter to Mason just before Sophie's birth and I have one in the works for Sophie now that she is 6 months. So it just seems fitting to do it for our first Christmas as a family of four.

Next post will be days 8 & 9.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Today I finally got my husband to cut down that massively huge piece of homasote I bought weeks ago. You can purchase it at any Home Depot or hardware store. It's a type of fiberboard. I read on Martha Stewart's website that this is what she used to make her ribbon bulletin board. So that's what I bought. It was really easy to make (once I got a chance to sit down uninterrupted and do it). If you were ever wondering how to make it yourself. Here's your chance.

Homasote (cut to size)
Fabric (cut to size)
Staple Gun and staples
Decorative upholstry nails

First you need to decide what size board you want to make to fit your space. Mine is 20x35 inches to fit the small wall in my kitchen in which it will hang. Your fabric will need to be slightly larger. I chose a gold fabric (not sure what kind). I was going for Christmas, since this will hold all our Christmas cards we receive each year, but also something I could keep up all year round.

You may want to iron your fabric to get out all the creases. Lay down the fabric and place the homasote on top of the fabric. Then with your staple gun start stapling your fabric to the board.
Keeping sure to pull the fabric taut as you go along. For the corners. Fold them over like you would when wrapping a present or tucking in your sheets. Making sure you staple a lot to secure.
Next you will want to measure out the lengths of ribbon and cut those. Then play around with the placement of your ribbon as to what pattern you want.
Note if you are doing a diagonal design like I did. You will want to measure out the distance between each ribbon so that they are even on top and bottom.
When you have the placement you want, pin all the ribbon down then turn it over and staple it.
The ribbon will not be tight enough to hold any photos or memorbilia unless you pin them. So take those decorative upholstry nails, and this is what is so great about the homasote, and push them into the homosote at the point where the ribbons criss cross in an X.
And you're done.

Now I just need to get it hung. Hope you followed the instructions and see just how easy it is to make. I just might have to make another one with the left over homasote in my basement.
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