Monday, December 30, 2013

It's Been Quiet Around Here

I have decided to take the holidays off from blogging.  I keep meaning to get here, but I get lazy.  And that is a good thing.  Life should have it's slow moments where you just recharge.

Speaking of quiet, I have picked my 2014 Word of the Year.  It will be WHISPER:

I want to be quiet enough to hear the whisper.  I want to talk softer.  I think it increases the possibility of real conversation.  It helps people listen carefully and makes you listen more in return.

I want to hear the whispers around me.  Kids playing, interactions of family members, comments among students at school...those whispers that will make me more observant.  There is a lot to gain from listening and learning.

I want to listen to my inner whispers.  Those quiet voices that speak with calmness.  They are there, leading and guiding.  All the stress and chaos and noise can drown them out.

I want to whisper more with my kids.  Show them a different way to deal with problems.  I want to approach life with more dialogue, even more firmness.  A whisper should be all it takes.  When we get in those cycles where we are all heated and loud, I want to whisper.  It will be really hard, but I believe they will have to stop, lean in and listen in a different way.

I love this word and all it can represent.  There is so much power.

I will be back soon with my top 10 layouts of the year along with many projects to share!

Until then....Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

I hope today finds you happy and peaceful!  Christmas is a celebration...a time to cherish.  I love these times building memories with family and friends.  In celebration, I am sharing a Christmas-themed project!

May you believe in Christmas magic and embrace the season.  We went to mass last night and they started it by simply having us greet those around us.  It was such a nice moment.  People just turned to one another and said hello with a smile.  It was so simple, yet so powerful.

It brought home the importance of everyday kindness.  It happens in small ways.  In a blink of an eye, Christmas is here and gone.  I want that excitement and happiness to continue!
Wishing you a wonderful holiday!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tuesday Tip: Match it Up!

For my most recent Webster's Pages layout, I decided to do some fun journaling.  I used color as my muse.

The New Year, New You line from Adrienne Looman is fantastic.  It is full of beautiful colors and ledger paper.  I love the idea of this are meant to journal with it.

I used the days of the week paper across my page and grounded all my elements on it.  I decided to use the columns as my place to journal.  I took it a step further by matching the color of each resolution tag with the color of the column. 

Routine, respect, reach, exercises, and reconnect...key words that sum up where I want to go in 2014.  I put each key word down and journaled around it.
I added other touches like the flowers and pretty bow.
This page came together very quickly.  I just followed my gut and worked with the day paper, matching all the colors along the way!


Sunday, December 15, 2013

At Home: Simple Gift Giving

Last week, the Lily Bee Design Team focused on making gifts using scrappy goodies!  I put a few papers and elements from the We R Family line to good use, creating a gift that any baker or cookie-eater would enjoy.

I made a gift-bag-recipe-holder with a cooking utensil set. The cookie bag was super easy to make.  I started with a bag wrapped with some burlap ribbon.  I like to use lots of texture when making simple items.  It really jazzes it up.  I topped the burlap with a doilie.  I grabbed a metal circle tag from my stash and decorated it with the punched circle heart.  I finished it with twine.
I decided to attach the recipe to the back of the bag.  It serves an extra purpose as I stapled it on, closing the bag.  I placed a sample cookie or two into the bag first!  I used a Daily Deck card for the recipe. These little lovelies are really great!

I moved on to the utensils.  I pick this set up at Ikea for mere pennies!  They are simple wooden spoons and a fork.  I made them prettier using washi tape.  There is no technique for it.  I just wrapped around the handle.  The one with the circle washi took a bit more effort.  I did one piece at a time to keep each circle really lined up.

I tied them together with big blue ribbon from my stash.  I think this came from a present I bought at the Gap years ago.  I save stuff like that to use again.  I cut the Daily Dish from a Daily Deck card.  I thought it fit the theme perfectly!  I gave the tag a special touch by adding the wood veneer heart.
It is really darling!  I always enjoy spending time making things other than pages.  There are so many ways to use your supplies!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday's Musings: Remembering the Basics

When I first started scrapping, I was all double pager.  I was all Creative Memories and fancy scissors around my photos!  I moved away from two page layouts for a while.  It can be challenging to create dynamic pages when  you are using two of them. 

I started creating a double pager, knowing I wanted to use a sequence of photos.  I wanted to show a story with pictures.  My design got a bit static until I decided to add some leaves and hexagons.

This little cluster saved my life on this page.  I simply started cutting and came up with this.

I layered a Daily Deck card with some wood veneer shapes!  The Urban Autumn collection from Amy Heller and Lily Bee is so awesome!
I went back to basics.  I seem to be doing that more and more often, especially as my kiddos grow older.  I want them to have a good foundation.  It works.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thanksgiving Decor Ideas

Yesterday, I was sharing a Christmas page and today I am back to Thanksgiving!  I made some table d├ęcor that I wanted to share.  The projects are easy to recreate, yet add a homemade touch to the day.
First, I made place holders using the paperclips from the Family Traditions collection.  I simply tied off some burlap twine and wrapped it around the napkin.   Then I used the clip to hold the name tag! 

I also made a file folder to hold the Thanksgiving prayer we read.  It looked so pretty on the table.  The file folder gave it a really special touch.

I placed the Perfect Accent and some stickers on the front.  The button acts as the closure.  I threaded the burlap through it and then wrapped it around the file to keep it closed.

Both projects added a special touch to our holiday!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Christmas Wishlist is Written

If you talk to my kids, they will freely tell you what it on their Christmas list.  Electronics and toys in many shapes and sizes.  Right now, I am wishing for enough time to get our cards done, to finish shopping and to somehow manage all these busy weekends. 
I am sure you can relate!
I made this page to capture our wishes from last Christmas.  I used the Santa's List collection from Teresa Collins.  It is full of vintage motifs in traditional colors.  I love it!
This diamond paper is really cool!  To bring out the diamonds, I placed down the green sequins.  It adds some holiday sparkle.
Of course, chipboard is on my wish list always!  This large 25 is perfect right on the photo!

This season, the most important thing on the wish list is family and friends. 
And cookies.  I wouldn't mind some cookies.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

At Home: Thanksgiving Decor and More

We had our favorite day of the year this past weekend, Thanksgiving!  Our annual deep frying turkey get-together was in full effect by 7:30 in the morning!  This was our 17th year and the celebration gets better and better.  Not only do we host the party, but we also host our family dinner. 

While Steve is prepping the outdoors, I take care of the inside.  I set the table using a variety of collectibles from my house as well as natural items.  Here are some glimpses:

We seat 18 people for dinner and I love when all of us can be together.  I have to use my living room as the setting.  I line up three tables in order to accommodate everyone. 
I use Steve's grandmother's dishes.  They are simple treasures and it reminds us about family.  I use simple white paper tablecloths on the tables.  Then I run burlap down the center.  It adds a lot of texture.  I buy the rolls of burlap at Michael's. The candle holders are from Ikea, super inexpensive.  By using two sets, it makes the table feel rich. 

Obviously, seating for that many people can be an issue.  I use my couch as seating for 4 people.  I then mix chairs from all around my house.  It looks eclectic and comfortable.

This year, I wanted to put out other decorations to fill in the long center of the table.  I put real cranberries into a bowl and topped it with a candle.  I brought in my rooster from the kitchen as a centerpiece.

I also added these long white dishes, also from Ikea.  I filled them with dried green peas.  I placed a medium pumpkin and some Indian corn on top. 

Outside, it looked like this:

We deep fried 13 birds this year so we needed double fryers. 

This was the first bird of the day, which promptly gets carved and eaten by the partygoers.  There is nothing like crispy deep fried turkey! 

The crowd was full of family and many friends who are like family members.  Many friends have attended since the tradition started.
It truly is our favorite day of the year.

I am very grateful!


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