Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday's Musings

Sometimes I think we go too far with our children.  Maybe we are making up for things we lacked as kids or we think there are certain holiday events we have to engage in because the "list" says so. 

Disney is the perfect example.  We pushed and trudged and planned and exclaimed, "look at that!"  The kids loved it, but at a certain point, they wanted something simplier.  Nathan asked to leave the Magic Kingdom so he could go swimming in the pool. 

We take our children on the Polar Express every year.  I look forward to buying them new pjs and meeting all of our friends.  My kids have a great night.  Funny thing is that it is not the Polar Express train or Santa or the singing that gets Nathan most excited.  It is the simple, old-fahioned train set that is set up in the waiting area.  I can't drag him away from that. 

It is the whole "buy them new toys, but they love the box" syndrome.  I am going to try to be better about reading my kids.  I am going to try to meet their simple needs.

I caught these photos on my iPhone...not the best, but they tell the story!  I used the Dec. kit from My Scrapbook Nook to complete this layout!  It features Crate Paper's Peppermint.  Fun collection perfect for December!

On to simplier times...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

At Home: Turkey Day

Twenty years of the same tradition.  It involves an early morning, lots of prep work, protective googles, $30.00 worth of oil, 15 friends, multiple family members, a fire, mayo, cast iron pan for the grill and laughter.

For the past twenty years, Steve has opened his yard to his buddies.  It is about deep frying 12 birds for dinner.  But it is more about having a reason to get together with close friends for a celebration.  It is a bonding day for Steven and Uncle Jimmy.

For the past few years we have been short one member.  It is not always talked about, but the awareness is there.  This is a day that Jay loved as much as Uncle Jimmy and Steve. 

Here are some shots of the day:

Yes, this is my kid's breakfast on this day!

Steve did this 12 times this year.  Slow and steady...

Yep, that is an axe...shh, don't tell him!

The first bird of the day!

Pinterest inspired...can you day dollar store glass jars and candles!  Split peas and cranberries for color...easy and cheap!  I used up some scrappy ribbon to tie my utensils together!

Black Friday prep...

It was a great day...I was even caught singing Christmas carols a few times (even if I was making up my own words).  Who isn't happy with friends, family and a good meal!

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Did You Start?

So, now that Thanksgiving is over...have you started your Christmas decorating?  Some peeps I know have already put up their Christmas trees.

I cannot do it yet.  Mainly because I am so tired from Thanksgiving!  Our deep fry party and dinner were is a long day.  Then Black Friday shopping.  To top it off, we had a dinner party last night.  I can't imagine happily pulling out my Christmas boxes to start.

I have, however, created some handmade ornaments.  I was given the assignment by Webster's Pages and immediately starting searching for paper-crafted ornament ideas...there is a lot out there.  I settled on altering small wooden spools I found at my local Jo'anns...they come six in a package for under $5.00.  Gotta love that.

Here they are:

As you can see, I went with a vintage feel!  I used both the Botanical Christmas and the Winter Fairy Tales lines to assemble these little beauties.  I combined trims and bling and resin hearts and silhouettes.  I also used either a stick pin or cameo pin to top each on off! I was quite surprised at how quickly these came together!

I wanted each one to have its own little personality.  That thought really helped me to focus on which embellishments to use!  This one...a serene butterfly...very monochromatic:

This one a bit more bold with the large Silhouette...I added the Ho Ho Ho to compliment that feel:

She is wearing a a ballerina:

This one is classic with a simple design and the focus on Santa:

For a supply list and tutorial on how to make your own, visit the Webster's Pages blog here!

You might want to rush over there ASAP because there is an amazing Black Friday sale going on until Sunday!  Beautiful kits, each with a project, for amazing prices!

This is as close to Christmas decorating I will do this weekend...but next Saturday...that tree will go up!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thank You

We were out shopping today, gathering last minute items for our Thanksgiving feast.  My kids must have asked me seven times if I could "get" them this or "buy" them that.  Each time I answered, nope!  "Tomorrow is about being thankful for what you have."

They might not get it now...but they will understand one day.  They will be thankful for family who stands by them, friends who love them no matter what, a hobby that bring them joy, experiences that help them grow.  They will feel passionate about something in much so, they will make it their calling.  They will appreciate health and life because it can be so fleeting...

They will be thankful for tradition.  Thanksgiving is an event around here.  Our favorite day of the year.  It starts at 6:00 am with deep frying turkeys.  Think earmuffs, coats, bloody mary's, chatter and good friends. 

It will be followed by a house full of people and a yummy dinner. A time to remember who we have lost and feel grateful we even knew them in the first place.

One day, my kids won't think so much about what they want.  They will look at their own children and will teach them to be honor tradition.
That thought fills me with so much gratitude...there aren't enough thank yous.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Musing: Holiday Happenings

I struggle with scrapping the holidays.  I think I am looking for the wrong associated with Christmas...instead of the feelings, and more importantly, the people behind them.

This year, I am going to try to capture that look a mom gives her child when such child experiences Christmas magic.  The giggle of cousins.  What the bottom of the tree looks like before and after.  I need to capture family photos of brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles. 

I would like to say I am going to do a December Daily, but I don't have the energy.  Maybe that would help me get in touch with all the memories of the season.  Things to think about...

This recent layout captured one of those cool moments.  You might not even understand it unless I put the story and words with it.  But I remember it clearly.  More so than the gifts that were given or the dinner we ate.  It was THE moment right after the kiddos heard something strange.  A distant bell and a commotion in the air.  That second they look at each other and a light goes up in their eye.  They run to the window and look.  At first, they can't see out because the fog that forms over the glass when the heat from inside meets the cold wind outside blocks their view.  They wipe and look, standing on their tiptoes.  And they see!

Santa is in their view!  Gosh, I love THE moment.  It brings me right back to my own chilhood. It makes me happy that I can give them THE moment in their childhood.

I used Teresa Collins Christmas Home for this layout!  I love her brads so much!  And all those little die-cut tags!  Fabulous!  Be sure to check out the design team blog for awesome inspiration!  This month is all about the holiday!

Help me get over my holiday blues!  What moments do you capture on film?  How do you decide which to scrap on a layout...or is a mini in order? 

Any advice is appreciated...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

At Home: Eclectic Details

I think decorating your home should incorporate the same design elements  you use when scrapping.  I am by no means an interior decorator, but I think my scrappy eye helps when it is time to make a room look finished.  It is about grouping common elements, layering, making sure there is a pop of color and a touch of texture.

Last week, I shared my living room.  Today, I share the details.  I have had so much fun treasure shopping in my own house.  And so much fun shopping in my mother-in-law's storage unit!  A trip to the Elephant Trunk in New Milford helped me to add in those vintage pieces I was yearning for!

My mantle! I had these frames in my dining room in the old house. When we moved in, I decided to layer them on the mantle and finish it off with the iron star! I love that chandelier even though I have bumped my head on it 9 million times.

This Pottery Barn pillow inspired the color scheme that runs throughout my entire home!  I adore it!  It is a bit bold in the room, but I think every room should have an unexpected.

This room was pretty empty until my mother-in-law donated her huntboard.  It is so pretty and works great in multiple places around the space.  I love to change out the top decorations to match the season.  I keep a set of jars that I fill with a variety of things to fit the holiday/season.  Think Pottery Barn, but I got mine at Home Goods for a 1/3 of the price. 

I have to show you this very cool, antique notepad.  It was sent to me by Anabelle O'Malley...she was antiquing one day and came across it!  What a nice surprise to open the package and find this!  It even has my middle initial.  She is the sweetest!

I also have a clustering of vintage books and bowls mixed in with random things I already owned.  I love the layered look.

On my coffe table, which is actually an antique trunk, I have some books and this awesome bird cage adds interest and some height.  I think that the trunk is too short for the couch, but I am okay with that.  I don't think it is about having the perfect pieces, just interesting ones. 

Here are some groupings.  I have had this bookcase came from the unfinished wood store and I painted/distressed it.  I have grouped some vintage cameras and clocks.  The shelves are really made for tall items like stereo systems so I needed to fill the space up.  Using old mirrors or small prints will do the trick.

Old books, photographs and art can add so much to a room, regardless of how much of a budget you have!  I will be changing the formation of this room around soon to fit the winter season.  I will share when it is all done!

Happy Sunday...hope you have a beautiful cozy day in the place you call home.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Behind the Page: Is it too Boring?

Sometimes you have a great idea.  There is a visual in your mind.  You have awesome supplies.  You build and think, " needs something."  You fiddle and putter.  It gets better.

Sometimes you have the, "Ahh, that's better!"  Sometimes you have the, "Ohhh, that is so it!"  Sometimes you it still boring.

I could be talking about a presentation at work, my fashion sense, a party I planned or parenting.  Today, I wonder this about this page:

Is it boring?  I love this line by Bella Blvd...that red paper and the calendar grid!  Love it!  I love the title that is built with numbers.  I wanted to use the grid in a fun way and came up with the idea of putting a numeral in each box to create a random and big number.  I added the striped strip along the top of the calendar.  It was blank there before.  Then I put my journaling there. However, the layout didn't flow that way.  I covered up the journaling with the strip and moved it underneath.  Now, I feel like my eye travels around  naturally.

But I am still not sold!

I suppose that will happen.  There will be humps in your creativitiy.  Their will be wondering.  Maybe that is what causes a creative shift.  The good kind where you follow it with a project you just adore.

The one thing that makes me smile about this layout is the story behind it.  It seems so simple to get a picture of my dog with a frisbie.  But there is a great background story there.  It is as if that frisbie is his security blanket.  One day, this layout will make us giggle and reminisce about how this crazy dog strategically dropped it in the path of the lawn mover so Steve would have to stop and throw it.  How it was so gross to touch that thing. How he would nudge you over and over and give that shrill bark until you gave in.  How he made us throw it a million times. And how much we wish we could be able to throw it one more time.

And suddenly, the page doesn't seem so boring to me. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday Trending: Orange

Maybe it has something to do with fall?  Maybe it is because I lurve pumpkins?  Maybe it is because it can be a color for girls or a color for boys? 

Whatever the reason, I love is bright and cheery.

I might love it this month because it was a part of the Crate Paper November Color Challenge palette...

I had to join in the challenge since the color combo is, orange and sapphire blue...

my interpretation!

I have to say that I can't get enough of the Random collection...the colors and patterns.  I think they are out of this world!  Again, this collection makes great layouts for boys and great layouts for girls!  The orange strip on this paper is subtle, yet has so much texture.  I placed another, bolder orange on top to give it some pop! 

I went with a bit of whimsy on this one and decided to use the blue frame as a journaling box!

I didn't win the challenge...but I ended up with a layout I wouldn't have made otherwise...even though I adore orange!

What color are you loving right now?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Whatever Wednesday

This Wednesday...

I made this in the crock pot:

BBQ Pulled Pork that starts out cooking in root beer...yum!  My kids even gobbled this down!

I am adoring this! 

Like I would love for 30 boxes of globes to show up at my doorstep so I could use them.  I would even build bookshelves to make them work:

I am wearing this:

Except my shirt is blue/gray plaid and my sweater was gray...comfy and cute!

And I am inspired by this little sneak peek:

Webster's Pages...coming soon!  Um...can you say kites and clouds!!!!

Happy Weds....the weekend is almost here!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Musings: Not to be Taken For Granted

This past spring we said goodbye to our beloved cat, Roxy.  She had been in my life for 15 years.  Overall, she was damn good to me!  I think back on those years and know that for a period of time, I neglected her.  She was fed and got a night time snuggle...the basics were there, of course.  But she was no longer my fur baby like in the past.  I had other babies occupying my lap and demanding my time.  She was well treated for...but there was a natural shift.  I had the chance to spend a ton of time with Roxy the last couple of weeks of her life and I think I made up for it.  She died one happy kitty.

Losing a pet made me appreciate my other ones even more.  Every time I walk by our dog in a rush and notice THAT look...the "Please, belly rub.  Please...I will do anything." look, I now stop.  I make it a point to brush my other cat every night.  She actually stalks me each evening around 8:00 looking for that attention.  These little critters are members of our household.  They have taught our children about kindness, how to care for another and about the concepts of life and death.  Our dog was our first baby together as a couple.  He represents family, home, hobby and our american dream.

Both of our furry friends are on the elderly side.  They are both so loved by all of us!  And so follows the layout!  Here is our gentle giant!

I love how regal he looks, how strong and handsome!  Yet, still quite goofy with the ball at his feet.

Supplies:  Paper: Chipboard, Stickers:  Bella Blvd.

He is the most loyal friend.  He knows all our secrets and loves us anyway!  Our pets round out our lives...and for them, I am grateful!


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