Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Wish for You

Registration for the "new" Library of Memories from Stacy Julian - FINDING PHOTO FREEDOM - is now live. Go now - quickly - and register for the updated class!

Big Picture Classes

Stacy has a little information here and a lot of information here. All in all, this has the same content, just given to you a little (okay, maybe a lot) differently than previous LOM sessions, for about $20 less than previous LOM sessions!

I can honestly say if it weren't for adapting my own Library of Memories system from the 2007 class, I would not be scrapbooking today. I was worn out with the time-wasting of looking for the right photos, of having big gaps in my chronological albums, and struggling to "keep up" when my kids were younger. With Library of Memories, I'm now stress-free in my scrapbooking. I'm always able to find a photo that will work for the story I want to tell, and I have FUN! I have a system and processes that keep me on the right track even when I've let those systems slide every once in a while.

My wish for you, if you are feeling overwhelmed with all the projects you want to complete, photos you want to scrapbook, and all the stories you want to tell, is that you'll sign up for this class and experience the freedom with your photos that this class can bring! Give this gift to yourself and to your family! :)

And the really fabulous thing? Stacy is allowing ALL alumni to register for this class for FREE using a code based on the year you first took LOM. Everyone who has ever signed up for LOM - even if it was in 2006 - can take this class for FREE and have it in your "forever access" account! You should have received an email from BPC by now with the link and codes. If you haven't received this email yet (and you've checked your spam folder) you should get in touch with BPC through admin (at) bigpictureclasses (dot) com.

I can't wait to see you all there in another month!

The Little Things

have been playing a really big role in my life right now.
I'm sorry I didn't give you, my loyal readers, a heads up before taking a blogging break, but I felt the need to get some things re-prioritized in my life and blogging took a back seat.

This picture cracked me up and tugged at my heartstrings at the same time. The dolphins had all been away from the window, looking at the people who had a private tour on the other side (by the far wall) and my son went up to the class and started rubbing it. A dolphin (this dolphin) saw him I guess and left the other group and came over to the window. Next thing I know, he's swimming by and it looks like my son was giving him a rub-down. Then another one or two cam over to visit.

I've been:
  • cleaning and decluttering - paper files, my closet, our home
  • scrapbooking
  • helping my daughter work on "campaign" goodies for her Jr. Class officer elections
  • going on trips and hanging out with my kids over their spring break
  • shopping for a new car
  • teaching my daughter more driving skills before she takes her test (taken on April 15 and passed)
  • completing taxes
  • driving the kids to soccer practices
  • going to the gym a few days a week, working with my personal trainer two of those days (and she kicks my butt)
  • keeping up with Project Life

Thank you so much for hanging in there with me . . . I think I'll be back for a while, so I hope you'll come back and visit soon. And see over to the top right column? There's a google friend connection if you want to click on that and you'll be able to see any of my new posts in your reader or when you log into your blogger account.

I hope you're having a glorious spring if you're in the Northern Hemisphere, and that you're enjoying all Fall has to offer you if you're in the Southern! :)


Monday, February 07, 2011

Close To My Heart Blog Sale *Updated with Pictures*

Hi everyone!!

Many of you may know that I was once a Close To My Heart Consultant. I had been a consultant since 2002, and over those last eight years, accumulated quite a stash of product. However, I rarely stamped and that's part of the reason I'm no longer a consultant. I'm passing along to you an opportunity to get some very gently used (if ever used) acrylic stamps and other CTMH accessories at about 40% off retail.
Below is a slideshow that will take you to my Flickr Set of CTMH stamps for sale. The price is listed in the description and we can combine shipping. Shipping will be figured once we know what you're purchasing and where it's going, but I've found that shipping Flat Rate Priority usually makes the most sense. Please email me at (april290 at gmail dot com) or leave a comment here on this post with your contact information if you'd like to chat further.

I also have many sheets of cardstock that I'm willing to let go at .25 a sheet. If there are specific colors you'd like me to look for, just ask. I had just about all colors with the new additions of Tulip, Creme Brulee, and the other two - NOT the most recent new colors just released this past fall (2010) but I'm only getting rid of what I feel I have a surplus of (a lot of fall and spring colors) and only a handful of the others.

Eyelet Case Organizer $10.00

Z4200 Accessories Organizer $5.00
Hole Punch (long reach (6") $3.00

Again, please don't hesitate to ask any questions!

Friday, February 04, 2011

And We Have a Winner!!!

Thanks to and their random number generator, I entered numbers 1-22 and ended up with LUCKY number 13!! HEATHER at Artist-in-Residence!! Heather, please send me an email with your mailing address to april290 at gmail dot com and I'll get your package of goodies in the mail to you!

If any of you happen to be fans of Close To My Heart products (or acrylic stamps in general), feel free to come by tomorrow as I'll be starting to clear some stash as a former consultant. Mainly stamps, but some other items as well . . . things that I'm just not going to use and I've finally accepted. Everything will be at least 40% off retail!! The best way to know when it's been posted is to either follow my blog over to the side or subscribe to the RSS feed in something like Google Reader; or follow me on Twitter as I have my blog set to post updates there too!

Happy Friday everyone!! May you have a crafty weekend!!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Project Life Tuesday (on Tuesday this time!) Week 4

***PLEASE NOTE: If you're looking for the One Little Word BLOG HOP, it's the next post down***

This week I kept to more photos then journaling. I enjoy the ability to go with the flow and do what I want each week. This week, you find a few pictures from the same day, and instead of feeling like I had to have a seperate journal spot for each day of the week, I just put multiple days on a tag. There were some things I left out, I'm afraid, but I did get the highlights. My daughter became quickly overwhelmed by Ikea. I was in heaven . . . the little things like that got left out . . . but maybe that should signal to me to do a seperate layout on that topic. I am not one who wants this scrapbook to become my only scrapbook this year, so I'm not adding a bunch of pages in. I figure if I want to expand on something, then I should make a layout and put it in our family album. I want Project Life to be one part of the great big whole. Now, if I could just find that time I keep talking about . . . so I CAN do those stories. Hopefully PL will serve as a springboard of ideas when I have some down time; and if nothing else, if I can keep up blogging about Project Life every Tuesday, maybe the stories will at least be here.

Here's Week 4:

Saturday, my daughter headed out to a friend's 16 birthday party. We finally took down the Christmas tree and then headed out to dinner with the boys to O'Charleys. Matthew got the usual chicken tenders with fries, Lance got the usual Mac and Cheese with Baked Cheetos. Sunday consisted of Monkey Bread for breakfast, building Star Wars lego ships and hanging out watching a few movies. Monday found everyone ready to go back to school., Tuesday Matthew finally sat down to get busy on his homework on the back patio, and Wednesday Lance ended up sick. Soccer (3v3) for Matthew was cancelled because of the nasty field conditions brought on by all the rain (on Monday and Tuesday). Maybe that's why there's not many photos of those two days? Wednesday I also missed the gym since Lance was home (and would be through Friday). Kristen was a huge help with getting Matthew ready for more Academy evaluations. On Friday, Matthew decided he'd show me how pleased he was with my choice to pick up some Extreme Pizza flavored Goldfish. What I didn't get a picture of on Friday was the fact that we ended up with two hours notice that Gavin's birthday party would be celebrated that evening . . . so off to Target all of us went (we were under the impression that his party would not be until February 5th) and barely made it home by 5 to get the boys there. Ed and I then went to Kirklands and grabbed pizza on the way home for everyone. 

I didn't even add any pull-out journaling this week and as you can see, many details were left out. I do have a receipt stuffed behind one spot, and in another pocket is the slideshow printout from the Open House FCAT presentation I went to on Monday night. I'm very sad that I have virtually no pictures of my husband in this album (except for Week 1 when he was working from home). At this point in the year, he is barely here, and his busy month just finished. We have some time together at home for a bit (unless some great big project for him pops up) and I need to be sure and grab some pictures of him - alone, with the kids, or the whole family. SO SO grateful that Project Life helps me to see that NOW, instead of six months from now when this time has already gone and things may have changed.

One Little Word Blog Hop

Hi everyone and welcome to my corner of the world wide web! If you're finding me from the blog hop, I'm glad you're here and I hope you'll stay a while. If you're a regular visitor, feel free to browse the other blogs linked through this little hop and enjoy everyone's different ideas and thoughts on their One Little Word.

One Little Word is a concept that was started by Ali Edwards several years ago. The theory is that instead of making a resolution (or two or three) which may not be kept, you pick a word - single individual word - to focus on as the year progresses. At times, it may be very prominent and forefront on your mind, and at other times, it may ease its way into the background of your life . . . waiting. You can learn more about Ali Edwards and her One Little Word project here or at her blog. If you find that the ideas here intrigue you, it's never too late to sign up. One Little Word at Big Picture Classes is a year-long event and has forever access.

This year, I chose NURTURE to by my word to help guide me this year.

nurture: to further the development of; rearing, up-bringing, training, education, or the like; something that nourishes, such as food. Synonyms include advance, cultivate, encourage, promote, love & care for.

Over the last year or two, I've let other words guide me. Words like present and believe. Words that spoke to me then and helped me through certain periods in my life. When I focused on those words, however, I feel that I've let other things slip in my life. Things like making sure we're eating good meals, things like making it to church on Sundays, and relationships that need work have started slipping all while my focus was elsewhere. The purpose of my One Little Word this year is to keep each of those fragile balls which I care for in my life - relationships, my spirit, my health - most forefront in my mind and work on nourishing them.

TITLE PAGE: everything is pretty much per Ali's instructions. I chose white on white for the softness . . . and as you can see, even though I started in the center of the line with my word, it still didn't get centered. Oh well. I did add a quote that Ali brought to our attention during her January presentation. I loved it, and didn't want to forget the power of a word, so I wrote it on the side. The quote is: "Words are the voices of the heart," ~Confucious. This is a 5x7 page and will go into a 5x7 page protector from House of Three Parisian Anthology set of protectors. I apologize for the wonky color - it's white, but PSE with the white balance color correction made it all weird.

A January self-portrait was the back of the title page. Beginnings 2011 is what the photo overlay says. This was a freebie from Ali. LOVE freebies! I hate our bathroom decor (hasn't been redone since moving last year), but it has good light . . . and I rarely take pictures of myself, so I gave in and did a "me with a camera in front of my face" shot.

Page 1: Defining and solidifying my word; inviting in whatever may come over the next year. I apologize for the glare, but taking them out of the divided page protector would likely ruin the effect. You can tell I left in even the "mistakes" as they're part of me. After I made it, I decided to leave it as is, bolded, because I didn't mind the emphasis on friendliness. I chose to use tints of green on this page, as nurture and growth to me are one in the same in my context, and to me green signifies growth and beginnings.

And here are the pages, as they would be lying in my album:

I mentioned yesterday that there may be giveaways throughout the journey as well, and I have one to offer up to you all! As  you may see in the post below, I've been cleaning and re-organizing my scrapbook room. I have quite a bit of patterned paper, some embellishments, stickers, and other goodies to stuff full into a US Priority Mail box. To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment and tell me if you have your own "One Little Word" and what it is. **Open to US residents only please unless you're willing to pay for shipping.** Comments will close on THURSDAY at 10 pm, and be sure to check back here to see if you're a winner on Friday!!

To follow along the hop, you're headed off to Nicky's blog at See Jane Bake. If you find a broken link, please see the list below and continue upon your path. I hope you find it to be an inspiring journey!

2) Jill Conyers
3) Monica
4) Lynn W
5) Miranda
6) Mandy
7) Kathy
8) Lisa
9) Donna
10) Abbey
11) Sam
12) April <-- YOU ARE HERE
13) Nicky <--GO HERE NEXT ****
14) Rebekah
15) Relly
16) Nancy
17) Cynthia
18) Kathryn
19) Nikki
20) Heather
21) Gayle
22) Kristina
23) Debra
24) Becky
25) Amy
26) Marlene
27) Maureen
28) Cheri
29) Monica Scrapmom
30) Jan
31) Junelle
32) Margaret
33) Sharyn
34) Tere
35) Amanda

Monday, January 31, 2011

Ikea, anyone??

Squee!! I made a trip to IKEA on Saturday with my wonderful teenage daughter. This is quite an experience because our closest IKEA is over 2 hours away each direction and it was a last minute decision to go. Hubby was heading to see his parents with my boys, so I volunteered my lovely daughter to come and keep me company! It was amazing . . . a wanna-be organizer's dream! The main reason for the trip was for a 5x5 White Expedit unit. At 1:00, there were 3 units in stock and based on past sales, it was a green light to go. By the time we got there, we were picking up the last unit! YIKES! We also grabbed a 1x5 unit to go on top of the bigger one, making the unit 6 cubbies high. I also picked up some black organizing accessories and enjoyed browsing the upstairs showroom. I was a tad disappointed that we got down there so late and still had to drive home because I think I could have spent way more than over 2 hours there, and enjoyed every last second of browsing.

Hubby and I spent a few hours yesterday putting together and then I spent a few more hours reloading and re-organizing everything. A "tour" is in the works, but I'm going to order a desk from Target first, as well as a bookcase or two. Once those get in, I'll get a bit more detailed. This project has only been in the works for a year now . . . for proof, take a look here.

Anyhow, here's the final unit put together. I have a bit more decorating and labeling to do, but I want to get the bookcases in first so things can be pretty final for the time-being. The sad thing?? I can't even get a picture of the whole thing with my 50 mm lens (and I'm already outside the door). I'll have to change back to the kit lens when I give my "tour" in a few more weeks.

Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to come back by tomorrow! One of the reasons for the increased desire to get my room in order again was so I could find things to work on layouts. A very large group of scrapbookers are taking a class with Ali Edwards over at Big Picture Classes based on her idea of One Little Word (instead of the idea of resolutions). A group of about 35 of us are doing a blog hop tomorrow showcasing the January projects/album and the idea of giveaways at a few have been mentioned. We'll each be talking a bit about our individual word, as well as sharing what we've done this month. If the idea of one little word intrigues you, signing up for the class is ongoing, or you can do it on your own. :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Project Life Tuesday (or Thursday in my case) . . .


I have a bit of sharing to do, even though the pages have been done for a bit from week 2. I had already added them to the Project Life page flickr slideshow, but I haven't shared them here.

January 8-14

Photos, starting from left to right, going ALL the way across the top, then middle, then bottom: The Lego train set and truck that my children spent all break putting together and playing with. Legos have become the toy of choice inside our home. It's not often that LITTLE brother rubs off on BIG, but that's what happened with Legos. Matthew would NEVER take the time and patience to learn how to put something together when he was younger. Piles of laundry, sorted and waiting to hit the wash. A photo of the outside of my Y. I've started meeting with a personal trainer (a Christmas gift from hubby). Here's to hoping it works. Weekly title card. Document folded card (see below for inside detail shot) with Matthew in his favorite place. Photo of my newly organized cupboard. Not sure what has come over me, but I'm organizing. Maybe I've hit spring cleaning a bit early so that when spring gets here, I can go have some fun! Project Life arrived on Monday (my "week" goes from Saturday to Friday; though I tend to set my pages up the first half of the week on the left, and the second half of the week on the right . . . so I'm going through these a bit out of order here). A photo of Lance coming home from school. I love that he had on his yellow crocs instead of his tennis shoes even though it was cold out (he had socks on under them). Kristen helping me bring in some groceries before the boys got home. She still will barely let me get a picture of her. And Gia and Kristen. Kristen headed over to her house last Friday for a sleepover. She's become a good friend of Kristen's in only a year and a half, and the fact that she's fun helps too!

here's a close-up of the document card - opened. On the front was a picture of him climbing a tree on the right side of the spread. I'm working really hard on including things that my children find important to them; things that they love and are involved in . . . which isn't always so easy when they spend more time with school and homework and playing outside (even if it is at our house) than inside hanging out with us as parents. I'm so thankful that this project is giving me a push to make sure I'm connected with my kids when in the cold weather, it would be so easy to just hibernate somewhere.

I really like how this week turned out. I still am finding I have way more I want to say each day, but there seems to at least be some balance this week between photos and words. These have been on flickr for a bit, but wanted to be sure I posted them here. I really think I'm liking the smaller photo sizes and the fact that it is giving me the ability to do some vertical . . . though I must say, I'm hoping to order some of the "B" pages from Becky so that I can do full size vertical and mix it up with a bit more journaling since that seems to be where I'm headed . . . and if you don't know what I mean, just take a peak at Week 3 below. I seem to have an issue with words . . .

January 15-21

(Left side) Saturday, Sunday and Monday started out great with a long weekend (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) and th boys played with friends and Garris (pictured with Matthew) even slept over on Sunday evening. They watched a movie and ate popcorn with chocolate chips and Ed has been in a mode of continuing to work late for the year-end books. All three of the boys were found playing with these legos in Matthew's room Monday morning while I was heading out to the gym. I love that they're creating scenarios on their own and not just doing what the "box" said to do. Lance filled me in on the story and it's on a "created" long journaling card with coordinated pp circle punched and attached . . . behind the photo. Oh, we also had to "create" a coat of arms for Lance's class to go in his Memory Book at the end of the year.

(Right side) I guess once school got started and I stopped carrying my camera again? I don't know. Maybe I was too busy. I had plenty to journal about as you can see - and plenty of reciepts from doing things like picking up the dry cleaning, making a grocery run . . . ohhh, I remember. I started feeling pretty yucky on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Nothing "serious" just naseous and weak . . . but I certainly didn't feel like doing anything. I'm sure Ed was disappointed because I know he was hoping I would start organizing and purging some other part of the house. Lance was HAPPY to have PE for once. He usually hates it, so I took a picture of his tennis shoes and wrote that story down. It's on the two alphabet cards (red) up in the top corner. I also went to eat lunch with an online friend I had a chance to meet and dropped everything else on Friday. I hope she had as good of a time as I did . . .  but I left my camera at home and not having an iPhone 4, couldn't grab a picture of the two of us. Plus, I don't think I'd put it here because I'd want to respect her privacy. So, I used two journaling cards in the same pocket here and tucked the reciept from the Cheesecake Factory behind it. Also used for a journaling block was one of the "folding" cards, but I left it open - and definitely journaled on both sides. On the front is the story about me signing up for e-mealz and then on the back is the recipe that everyone in the family LOVED! Can't wait to try more of their meals. I was exhausted or I would have taken a picture of it . . . but making it through the evening with a working late hubby and feeling under the weather was the priority, right?

There you have it, the last two weeks in pictures and words. I LOVE this project; and I'm finding I still have time to do "traditional" scrapbook layouts too. I hope to be able to keep up (kind of) with Project Life Tuesday, but in case you find you're looking for PL inspiration, please feel free to head to the tab at the top and view the slideshow. Even if I'm not always blogging about Project Life, I'll keep my flickr stream updated.

Have a wonderful Thursday!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Life in 2011

(I think I may have borrowed that title from another blogging friend, but it seemed pretty perfect since I was so inspired by her post that I wanted to come right over here and blog . . . and I think it's pretty obvious that it's been a while since I had last done that!)

I have no idea what my year will bring, but I'm hoping I've really set myself up for a lot of success in the areas of my life that are most important to me: my health, my hobbies, my family, and my soul. Many of these things I've neglected more than I'd like to think and much of it was due to several health issues that I recently got worked out at the end of 2010. With that being said, I've still found a way to scrapbook. Scrapbooking truly keeps my mind on being grateful for the everyday. It helps me realize what really IS important and keeps it front and foremost in my mind. I'm grateful I have this hobby.

This year, I have more than a few plans for my hobby . . . but there's a handful of things that I TRULY hope that I will not let go by the wayside as the year progresses. (I have an uncanny way of letting that happen.) While I have always loved creating layouts, I find I just don't have the time to get all the layouts done that I'd like to do . . . no time to tell all the stories that come at me EVERY DAY being a family of five. So this year, I'm adding Project Life from Becky Higgins to my arsenal of scrapbooks and I LOVE it so far! I've just started Week 3, and have committed to take part in a Project Life Tuesday brought to us from The Mom Creative blog.


For this post, I'm just going to give you a glimpse at my Title Page and Week 1. You can look for Week 2 to be up sometime tomorrow. I hope you'll follow along as we journey through 2011 together!

I used American Craft Thickers for our last name and also for 2011. I used Carolee's Creation little brown stickers to write "All of Us" on the white card.

My first week of experimenting with my Project Life kit. I've learned that I LOVE journaling every day - even if there's not a picture to go along with it. I love just using it as a glimpse into what my thoughts were on that day . . . not necessarily a play-by-play of my schedule. I used a folding card (in the last slot) that I used to journal about a mishap my son had today - and a lesson he hopefully learned - even without a corresponding photo. The photo instead is of something else completely that day.

Have a beautiful day!