Thursday, October 29, 2009

Backyard Neighbor

Here's our big bad "neighbor" that lives in the pond behind our house. I mentioned one day how I wish I didn't have curious kids with an all too friendly curious alligator, and the other day I grabbed this shot wen he was out sunning - one day when the weather was cooling off last week. While I don't mind him at this point, because he hasn't gotten close enough, we're watchful . . . as he doesn't seem very afraid of us. In fact, he likes the idea of coming up while we're feeding the fish, so we don't get to do that often. I'd say he's pretty close to four feet. Anyone want to come and visit? Maybe catch a gator?

Monday, October 26, 2009

One-Photo Layouts

I don't know what happened to my scrappin' style since LOAD started, but I've just realized when looking over my most recent layouts that I've really been doing a LOT of one-photo layouts. On the message board of our LOAD group, someone had asked about what criteria we use when we decide to do a one-photo layout vs. a multi-photo layout . . . and until that question, I never stopped to realize it.

Before I go any further, let me share with you several of the layouts I've completed for LOAD since my last layout posts. By no means is this all of them (I had worked on my 30 Days Hath September album from Sept. 08 as well as a few layouts from Ali's Yesterday+Today class that I'm not sharing at this point) but they are the ones that have had no real "predetermined" class or layout. The ones I sat down at my scrap table, browsed through some storage binders or category drawers and said "ah-ha, this one has a story behind it!"

 So, what I realize when looking at all these layouts is that a) I could tell the story with just one photo . . . and b) I didn't want to mess with trying to manipulate 8 photos of an event to fit on a 2 page spread and have it look pretty. During this challenge, I'm all about getting photos scrapped that I can work on in less than 30 minutes, AND that have a story to tell. Quite honestly, part of it is that I'm kind of out of that "event-based scrapbooking" right now that tends to lend itself to multi-photo layouts . . . those events that you have to cover hours (or days) of activities - Christmas layouts, birthday layouts, vacation layouts . . . just not where I'm at.

Seriously, it's part of the beauty of having a Library of Memories. Some of these photos are from 2002, some from 2004, and some from 2009. They'll be put in my albums in various locations to help tell a complete story of my thoughts, and my children's likes/dislikes/desires, from an at that moment perspective. I'm sure my future grandchild in 30 or 40 years will love looking back at my daughter's iPod playlist - maybe searching and re-discovering old favorites? And what about my daughter's desire right now to be the first female President of the US? I'm sure she'll laugh back at it in 20 years and say Oh yeah, I DID want to do that, didn't I? (Okay, the LOAD layout is for me, for a reminder of an accomplishment that I did of a hobby I enjoy doing!)

So, my long-winded point here? I use the number of photos I feel I have (and need) in order to tell the story. I had a lot I wanted to say in some of these (and honestly, I'm not into hidden journaling if I don't truly feel like I don't want to have those thoughts in the open). I've stopped making journaling be an afterthought on my layouts and so I make room for it. Does that make any sense or am I just rambling in my exhaustion tonight? I'm signing off for now. If that made any sense, do you seem to do the same, or do you have a formula for how to choose single vs. multi-photo layouts? I'd love to know!

Monday Check-in!

So, how'd you do? Did you accomplish a lot? I'm amazed at all I (and my family) got done, but I paid myself for it with moving slowly today! (Somehow I don't think that's the way it's supposed to work.)

So, what I got done this weekend:
  • bought pumpkins (one for M's class, one for each of the kids, and one for our family carving)
  • carved pumpkin
  • cleaned bathrooms (at least the toilet and sink and floor - no one ever uses that tub so I skipped it this week)
  • vacuumed floors
  • decorations out - but I'm not really happy with them. They look pretty wimpy in our front lawn . . . they'll work for this year, but we need a serious makeover for next Halloween.
  • laundry was done and put away
  • we didn't get a box unpacked, but we did get the corner units moved to the garage.
We also made time for breakfast Sunday morning at Dunkin' Donuts, along with some park time for the boys while Kristen went to a friends house. We also had my inlaws up Saturday late morning after we got our pumpkin and they stayed until it was time for football. Hubby also took L to get a haircut, AND we still watched football. Gators won! Whoo hoo!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Finish It Friday

Aby Garvey over at Creative Organizing does a Finish It Friday on her blog for what she's setting out to accomplish in the coming weekend . . .  we tend to get more done with goals in mind after all. I thought I'd share my list of "to-dos" this weekend of things I need to finish.
  1. finish cleaning the house (one bathroom to go and vacuuming the carpets)
  2. finish decorating for halloween (the new decorations I picked up the other day, plus the ceramic ghosts I made with my mom when I was a child - need to find them in the holiday boxes from the move)
  3. finish the laundry - this includes folding what's in the dryer, putting that away, and washing the remaining load).
  4. finish unpacking one box and take the side entertainment center pieces to the garage.
  5. buy a pumpkin and get it carved . . .
sigh, it's been tough going this week to get anything done. I had two sick kids home on Monday, one sick kid home on Tuesday, and then today was a Planning day for the teachers, so no school yet again. It's been tough to get into my normal routine and I didn't walk at all this week . . . :-(

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Whoops, Where'd I Go?

Also known as: more LOAD Layouts:

Day 7:

Day 8: (Another 100% digital layout) sorry for the white background.

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13

Day 14

Whew, sorry for not keeping you all posted on my progress through LOAD better . . . I actually did a 2 pager with that Christmas layout, and a page in my Me: The Abridged Version album as well that day.

Thanks for looking!

More Layouts from the Past

What I Like about This Layout: I like the story and memory that this layout tells about. I like the bold colors, too. I like the sequence of photos that are shown as well. I also love that this layout was done in under 20 minutes for my very first LOAD challenge back in 2008.

What I Would Change if I were to do this Layout again: I don't really care for the way that the stripes are going (even though I like the color they add). I also don't care for the splatter of photos angled around. I really think I'm going more for the linear/grid look these days.

What I Like about this Layout: I like that the title and photo says it all. Some photos just don't need an entire story to tell what's going on. Obviously, my boys are bringing in the trash can TOGETHER, and I am saying that I love them.

What I would change: Honestly, I hate that the balance on this just feels off. I used a design sketch, but between the papers and how I did the title, I didn't have sucess with this sketch. This was also done for the very first LOAD challenge back in 2008 and was probably done on one of my less-inspired nights when I needed to put something together before the deadline! haha! Honestly, I'd probably change that PP too . . . oh well. The photo alone is one of my favorites and it's worth having in my albums just like it is.

What I like about this layout: I like that I have something on the page besides photos and paper (in this case, stamped images that have been chalked). I also like the paper tearing. I love the photos I chose too.

What I would do differently: I would change the papers (not much of a fan of fall leaf papers). I wish I had journaled about how these pictures were taken on Christmas Eve Day - that THIS is when the fall leaves in Florida finally fall . . . not in the Fall. I hope I have another photo of my daughter with the reindeer necklace around because there's a sweet story of my father-in-law (now with Parkinson's Disease) going out and searching in the pile of leaves for that necklace when we realized it was lost. I'd love to tell that story soon.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A few more LOAD layouts

Sorry I keep lagging behind on these. I don't seem to make it to blogger as often as I'd like right now . . .

October 4: Challenge today was to scraplift a layout that inpired you. This one was lifted from Lain. She had done it in 8.5x11; I did mine in 12x12 but used her pop of red and the simple line of photos on the right side.

October 5: The challenge today was to pull out some fall colors and create a layout. I pulled out photos from our trip to NJ in October of last year . . . the leaves changing colors is something I'll not soon forget.

October 6: The challenge today dealt with trying something new. I tried a template from Cathy Z.'s Design Your Life class that some kind soul made up for those people who were digital. Now, I've tried digi before, don't get me wrong, but I'd never tried it with templates. OH MY GOSH! It was so easy! 7 years ago, there weren't templates around . . . heck, there were barely kits around and I had to create my own eyelets and brads! A lot has changed . . . While I'm not super fond of this layout, and goodness knows, I'll probably never print it, it was nice to get this story down from a Thanksgiving Day tradition.

October 7: Today's layout didn't go along with the challenge (which was to finish something you had previously started), but I had been thinking of this picture a lot since a few days ago when I pulled those scenic New Jersey shots, even yesterday when I did the Thanksgiving layout, my mind was constantly on what story I wanted to tell about this picture. I will actually be using this photo again, as it's one of my favorites (not so much because of the pumpkin picking activity but because of the memory and his smile) because Matthew was going through a very difficult year last October . . . I have LOTS to say about the memories and what I feel when I look at this photo.

And on that note, isn't it amazing what a photograph can do? I scrapbook so that I can share these insights with loved ones and remember for myself in the not-so-distant future (my memory absolutely stinks). It's amazing how things can affect you when you're in the thick of them, and once you make it through the challenge on the other side, how looking back can give you clarity in moving forward. I love looking back with the mindset of moving forward, learning from previous actions, and seeing just how far we've come.

Sorry for the ramble! If you've stuck with me through the end, thanks! Feel free to leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Spending Some Time Looking Back

I'm taking a class (yes, another one - I know you're all looking at me like I'm crazy) over at Big Picture Scrapbooking with Ali Edwards, called Yesterday+Today. So far, everything's looking fabulous and very PERFECT for making sure we're scrapbooking what we want to scrapbook, NOW. We all have stories we want to tell, and this class is all about helping us stop procrastinating and TELLTHEM. Registration is open until October 7, so if you're interested, go sign up - RIGHT AWAY!

Now the point of this post is that part of our assignment this past week was to start looking back at our layouts and deciding what it is that we liked about them (those things that we'd do over) and what we'd absolutely love to do differently if we were to start over from scratch. So, over the course of the next week, I'm hoping to revisit a few OLDER layouts each day and share. Not only did I want to do this for class, but also for laughs sake with all of you new blog readers that may enjoying laughing at older pages right along with me.

So, without further adieu, here are a few layouts:

LUCKY - This was a layout from a challenge back in March (about why we're lucky) with a design from Cathy's Design Your Life class. I went WAY back to 1995 with this photo when Ed and I first met. It was at a Derby Days party when we were doing a mix and mingle for Ed's fraternity. By luck, we happened to end up on the same team for the fundraiser. I am very lucky that we have this photo - back before we were dating - that wasn't even from my camera. I love that I have this photo now saved and safely put away for our children and grandchildren in our scrapbooks.

What I like about this layout: I love the clean and simple design (thanks to Cathy) and I love the rare photo used and scrapbooked, and the 8.5x11 size for the single photo. I love the Thickers, I love the shimmer paper too, and that there wasn't too much of it to be overbearing.

What I would do differently: I don't think I'd change anything at this point. I don't like the "big block" of journaling, and I'd probably consider doing computer journaling. BUT, I'm afraid I'd still do it like I did it because I wanted a personal touch of ME in the design. It's a message from me about how lucky I was by going to that party . . . and it's a little hard to change my handwriting . . .

Work Tuff, Play Hard

What I like about this layout: I really like these photos and to me, they still feel like they're the focus. The paper and embellishments, while they support the story, don't really add or even tell the story.

What I would change if I were to do it again: I'd focus on the story behind these pictures. It's not too late to add this in, thank goodness, but i can't reprint the pictures or redo a layout because these weren't mine and they were my only copies. The story behind these pictures is why they're some of my favorite around . . . It was fall of 2003 and I had just had Lance, and my inlaws were up helping out with Matthew for the day. We had a new neighborhood being built just down the road and Matthew's favorite place to go was over to see the big construction trucks. His first birthday party was a construction zone, and even when Matthew started Kindergarten and Thunderbolt was adding on to their parking lot, Matthew was fascinated with the excavators and bulldozers and pavers . . . Machines like this have always been a favorite of his, and I love that he got to sit in the driver's seat of this big bulldozer when he was so young!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

LOAD 10/1, 10/2, and 10/3

Day 1 - This Moment: (Did you notice it was 8.5x11?? I mix sizes in my albums) I was browsing through my storage binders (my most recent one, mind you, as I just sent Spring and Summer 09 to the printer) and decided to scrap a photo that, when I looked at it, tugged at my heart. I pulled the blue and orange combo from their outfits (it's rare to get this particular son into Gator clothing) yet I wanted a tad softer so it didn't compete too much with the photo. I found a design for a vertical photo in my binder from Cathy Z.'s Design Your Life class. (Oh, and btw, she's teaching it again in Jan-Mar 2010 and you should sign up if only for her weekly videos!) In Cathy's sketch, she tells us the size of the journaling block, so I went into Word, typed up my journaling, and printed. For the title, I went to my handy dandy Thickers for MOMENT and then found some rubons (as I wanted smaller letters) for the word THIS. I think it turned out pretty cute and it took less than 30 minutes (which tends to happen when I don't start mixing in patterned paper!) The journaling reads: This was a day I never saw coming. We were at EPCOT with all the kids back in December 2008 and I wanted them all in a picture together with the flowers behind them. Well, I'm not surprised with the fact that I couldn't get all three of them in the photo together, but rather what happened when I got Matthew and Kristen over there. While these two are usually the ones most at each other's throats: sneaking into rooms, shoving each other around, and just being mean, I got THIS as the picture. Yep, that's Matthew who, out of the blue, decided to lean over and give his sister a hug. He says he doesn't love her, but we know better. It was just nice to see THIS! After all the times of trying to get them to understand that they're stuck with each other and they should be nice to each other, it was fabulous to capture THIS moment on film. Of course, the shot right after this on is of his arms tightening around her neck . . . getting tighter and tighter by the second. Some things will never change, but I'm glad to see something sinking in.

Day 2 - 14 and Fabulous: This one is the reason I don't usually use a lot of patterned paper. I don't think I'm that great at it. These papers and embellies were all part of a kit that I used to get from Cocoa Daisy. I love Basic Grey anyways, so I'm glad it was in this kit. My daughter turned 14 and while she didn't have a party in the traditional sense with LOTS of friends and a big cake and lots and lots of gifts (I earned that break after her 13th birthday party), we did still take her out to dinner of her choice and a few simple gifts, and later, she had a sleepover when we took her to see Twilight when it finally opened in theatres. I think I like the journaling the best as the pics don't really show what her gifts were; they were more like little hints as to what her 14th was all about. The journaling reads:

Remember this:
  • Twilight was all the rage
  • Jonas Brothers made purity rings hot
  • Dinner at O'Charleys
  • Regan, Charley, Rachna, Bonnie, and Kiley kept you company at the movies

Day 3 - Love is in the Air: I rarely take photos of Valentines Day but I wanted to remember some of the traditions that go along with some of these smaller holidays (although I only got one tradition on this one). I don't usually do a lot of holiday type layouts anymore, but I also felt the need to also use up some of the remaining Loveland (from Scenic Route) that i had. I will miss my beloved Scenic Route. They were always a go-to manufacturer for me, as I loved the bright happy colors that they used.

Friday, October 02, 2009

October 1 (a day late)

Last year, on October 1, 2008, I participated in a "Be Present" activity with Stacy Julian and MANY other women. Yesterday, we were to take a look at what our life was like 365 days ago, and see what came to mind. While I don't have the mini album any longer (it was "misplaced" in the move) I do still know what pictures I had in them, so I will reprint and create my "layout" using those photos this month during LOAD, so you can look for that soon.

What I realized however, looking back, was that I am a creature of habit and structure. I still love starbucks (and the same drink too) though I don't get there as frequently now that the boys take a bus to school; we're still in the middle of football, though Lance is taking a break from soccer; and while we're in a new house, we're in the process of painting the main rooms with the same color palette.

There's so much more (and I'll elaborate on the future layout to be) but what I want you to do is, if you haven't already done this activity, GO NOW and document in photos October 2nd and be PRESENT in today! I cherished every second yesterday reminiscing just how far we've come from 365 days ago!