A Return to Midway

Kate and I had such a busy week that we didn’t get to finish all of our C is for Caterpillar activities.  No worries, we decided to spend another week finishing them up.  🙂  I’ve spent the week editing photos like mad trying to finish up all of my April goals, but I’m not sure it’s going to happen.  Fingers crossed!  I’m hoping to make quite a large photo order in the next day or two so I have lots of fun pictures to play with for the faux LOAD (layout a day) I’m participating in during May.

While I’m working on all of that, here’s a fun new layout.

Midway Page

Ah, October Afternoon.  I realize that Doodlebug has been getting all of my love lately, but you’ll always be my favorite.  I inked up some paper and layered it a bit.

Raptormama_-6Then I added some washi tape, wood veneer arrows, and my favorite Thickers and letter stickers.

Raptormama_-7A bit more washi, another arrow, and a sticker and I’m calling this one done.  🙂

Project Life Week 3

There’s a bit less “embellishing” this week, but I’m still happy with the layout overall.

Week 3A blog


I’ve decided that I really like that calendar card.  In fact, I think I’m going to use it every week.  🙂

Week 3B blog

Doodlebug Rainbow Layers

Raptormama_I had a lot of fun with this layout.  I am seriously addicted to the Doodlebug rainbow line.  I haven’t done any traditional scrapping in 2 weeks while I’ve been learning the ins and outs of Photoshop so it was great to meet up with my friends for a crop.  I’ve been cutting one inch stripes off of my patterned paper before adhering it to the cardstock for a while now and this layout was a great was to use up some of the scraps.  I punched a few with my Knockouts border punches to give them some variety and outlined then with a marker to help them stand out.  I usually like to ink the edges of stuff, but I have a hard time getting it to look right when the edges aren’t straight.  Then I added a doodlebug sticker, some washi tape, a few wood veneer hearts, some thickers, and some letter stickers.  I was about to put it away when I found this little tag on my desk.  I have no idea who the manufacturer is; I got it when I was on the design team for my local store a million years ago.

I’m loving doing Project Life digitally, but I could never give up traditional scrapping all together.  🙂


C is for Caterpillar

Bees were such a huge hit last week and I’m even more excited about our caterpillar activities.  I’m loving this project!  It has really cut back on the tantrums and such around here.

I sent out a bunch of printables since Raptor’s favorite thing about the last 2 weeks has been the worksheets.  I found a great caterpillar book template and some fun math sheets on Pinterest.  I also have some letter tracing sheets.  I made 5 trays this week.

Raptormama C is for Caterpillar_-4

I printed these The Very Hungry Caterpillar Sequencing Cards in color, cut them out and laminated them.  I’m going to put them in a tray with the book and let Raptor tell the story.  I figure we’ll start with me reading it to her and her putting it in order and progressing toward it being an independent activity.

Raptormama C is for Caterpillar_-2

I’m not sure if she’s quite ready to do this one by herself, just from a reading perspective, but I figure that it will be a fun one to do together.  (And yes I realize that I’m cheating a bit by having butterflies.  I’m fine with that.  🙂  )  I cut these pieces out on my cricut using a modified version of this and laminated them.  The body has the numeral, the left wing has the word, and the right wing has the corresponding number of dots.  In an effort to make it easier, I used 4 different sheets of patterned paper.

Raptormama C is for Caterpillar_For these, Raptor will lay out the correct number of buttons to make the green body plus the red head.

Raptormama C is for Caterpillar_-3I had a bunch of leftover wings and bodies that I plan to put in a tray with some background paper and a glue stick.  I imagine this will end up being her favorite activity.

Raptormama C is for Caterpillar_-6I’m also going to put out her sandpaper Cs.  Raptor got these for her first birthday and they are amazing.  They are very high quality and I highly recommend them.

Raptormama C is for Caterpillar_-5For crafts, I think we’re going to make these finger puppets.  She’s enjoyed playing with the bee ones, but they had to be assembled with hot glue so not exactly the kid friendly activity I was hoping for.

We’re also going to make caterpillars out of Cs, glue down red and green pom poms to make caterpillars, make caterpillars out of egg cartons, and do some kind of a tissue paper collage.  It should be a fun week!





Tissue Paper Stained Glass

As we’re wrapping up A is for Apple, I thought that this craft deserved its own post!  By far our biggest hit of the week was the contact paper “stained glass” apple craft.

Raptormama B is for Bumblebee_It also has the benefit of being super duper easy.Raptormama B is for Bumblebee_-2

Basically, you draw the shape (in this case an A) on a piece of construction paper and carefully cut it out from the center so that you are left with the negative space intact.  Then use that as a stencil to draw the same shape onto a piece of clear contact paper.  Give your child some tissue paper (I did red, green, and brown for the apple) and let them go to town!  It’s like collage without having to deal with glue or mod podge.  Win!  Kate loved it so much that we made letter As with the leftover tissue paper.

Raptormama B is for Bumblebee_-3


Once you’re done, you stick it to the back side of your construction paper and it frames it.

Raptormama B is for Bumblebee_-5

We taped ours up on the sliding glass door and they look so pretty with the light coming through.  Almost like a faux stained glass.

Raptormama B is for Bumblebee_-4

Here’s another one viewed from the back side.  A is for Alligator y’all.

These were such a hit that we’re making Bumblebees this week.

Project Life Week 2

Can I say again how much I love this project?!?  Because I do!  I just finished up last week’s spread- on schedule and everything!

week 2AblogAnd the Honey Edition was released!  Be still my heart!  (Too many exclamations?  I’ll try to tone it down.  🙂  )

Week 2BblurAs predicted, the free cards I linked to last week worked perfectly with the Honey Edition.



B is for Bumbleebee

As predicted, we fell far short of finishing everything from our A is for Apple unit.  I’m totally cool with that.  Raptor and I had a delightful week (ok, that’s a bit of a stretch.  I’m sure anyone who has had prolonged experience with a 3 year old is giving me the side eye right about now.) and I think it really helped that I had some go to activities planned.  Our Bee week is a little less structured, only because I found that the structure wasn’t working for us.  I printed off a bunch of “worksheets” (Kate couldn’t get enough of these last week), planned 5 crafts/ activities, and made 5 Montessori-ish trays.

Raptormama B is for Bumblebee_-15I keep our trays in this cabinet.  It was just a modular bookshelf thingy from Target, but RaptorDad was kind enough to add doors that latched when I decided to repurpose it from shoe storage to work tray storage.  He even spray painted the doors with chalk board paint.  Y’all, he’s a keeper.  😀

Raptormama B is for Bumblebee_-11Our first tray this time is an oldie but a goodie.  Transferring pompoms (yellow and black this week to go with the bee theme) from a bowl into a muffin tray with tongs.

Raptormama B is for Bumblebee_-10I think she’s going to *love* this one, though I’ll admit that I have some reservations about giving her free reign with the glue stick.  I cut out all of the pieces for the bee (including wax paper wings) and put them in a tray along with a marker, glue stick, and an example.

Raptormama B is for Bumblebee_-9This one goes along with a little song.  Something about bees which escapes me at the moment. ::note to self, look this up before tomorrow::  I bought the bees at a teacher supply store a million years ago, they’re Learning Trend.  I cut the bee hive out with my Cricut using this SVG file.

Edited to add:  OK, I just looked it up.  Here ya’ go.  Incidentally, they have a ton of cute Montessori bee ideas.

Here is the beehive
But where are the bees
Hiding inside where nobody sees
Watch and you’ll see them come out of their hive — 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 

Raptormama B is for Bumblebee_-8RaptorDad made me these life cycle cards.

Raptormama B is for Bumblebee_-7Raptor seemed a bit bored with just the alphabet last week, so I thought I would mix it up a bit these weeks.  I wrote out some CVC words on beehives and then wrote the corresponding letters on some bees.  I deliberately did the words in lowercase and the letters in uppercase so Raptor could practice matching.  I hoping that this encourages some phonics practice, but I’m not overly concerned about it.

Raptormama B is for Bumblebee_-14The other thing that I did this week was to prep some craft projects.  I have tissue paper and contact paper all ready to make some more faux stained glass.  This time a bee and the letter B.

Raptormama B is for Bumblebee_-13We found these little finger puppets at Joannes and I sorted them so they would be easier to assemble later.  It makes 3 bees.

Raptormama B is for Bumblebee_-12And how awesome are these?!?  They’re another RaptorDad find from Joannes.  I’m thinking that one day we’ll do a sensory bin with spit peas and these, then another day we’ll make and decorate some cookies with the.  Which reminds me, I need to add split peas to the grocery list.  🙂

That gives us 4 special things to do, in addition to the trays.  We have tentative plans to go to a strawberry farm (B is for berry!) on Friday and I think that will round out our week nicely.

I’m currently working on C is for Caterpillar and D is for Dinosaur.  Suggestions for other letters?  I’m leaning towards F is for Frog and H is for Heart (so that I can reuse all of my Valentine’s Day stuff!) but other than that I’m open to ideas.  🙂










I’m in Love…

…with digital project life!  I watched some lovely youtube tutorials and I now feel ready to conquer the world!  Or at least Photoshop.  🙂  I couldn’t wait any longer for my Honey edition before I started playing.  I’m way too cheap to pay for more than one, so I went off in search of free digital cards that I could use.  Y’all, I found the jack pot!  You have to check out this girl’s stuff, it’s amazing and a ton of it is free!  Best of all, I think it’s going to work really well with the Honey edition when and if I buy it.  I had hoped to have a whole spread done by last Tuesday today but there’s been a bit of a learning curve.  (I don’t even mind that it’s taking forever though because I love it!)  I do have the left half of the layout finished minus the title card which I’ll put in after the Honey edition is released.  ::please be released on Monday::

Week-1AShall we go through the layout?  (Can you tell that I had extra caffeine today?)  Just imagine that I have a title card in the top corner, mkay?  I want to use at least one thing from the Honey edition for consistency.

Top right is a DSLR photo.  I don’t know the real terms for any of this stuff, but I basically cut and pasted the heart from one of the journaling cards, made it bigger, rotated it a bit, and added some text.

Middle left is a Hipstamatic photo.  They’re square like Instagram photos so when I shrunk it down it left this weird gap.  I cut the bottom off of one of the journaling cards and shrunk it down to go on top.  I loved it so much that I saved it as a separate file.  Never mind that I cut it and resized it 3 different times before that occurred to me.

Middle 2 cards are regular journaling cards.  I took the lines out of the left one and I’m toying with the idea of making it a color.  We’ll see.  Right one I used as is.

Far right is exactly the same as the far left except it’s a DSLR photo.

Bottom left is 2 hipstamatic photos that I shrunk down.  I cut a strip from one of the filler cards and repeated it 2 1/2 times to get the strip of hearts.  (It’s like custom never ending washi tape!!!)  Then I added a pink heart just like I did in the top right.

Bottom left is just a plain DSLR photo.  I’m trying to talk myself out of adding more crap to it.  🙂  It is an example of how I plan to tackle ephemera now that I can’t just slip it in a pocket.  I took a picture and then in 10 years, once I’ve fully committed to going digital, I’ll throw it away.  Until then, I’ll stick it in a box in case I change my mind and switch back to traditional.  🙂

The verdict so far?  Well, it’s slow.  In 3 days, I’ve made 3/4 of a layout.  Also, I can’t just stick ephemera in.  But y’all the good *far* outweighs the bad.  I think that I’ll get much faster.  Also, I love that I can look at a whole layout at once, pictures and journaling, without having to print pictures every week (which just isn’t going to happen.)  I love that I can easily resize the photos instead of being stuck with whatever I print.  I love that when I forgot a picture, I could get it immediately instead of waiting for another print order to arrive.  Most of all?  I love that I could make “washi tape” and “stickers”!  And that I will never run out of my favorite supplies!

I’ve had some questions about what I plan to do at the end of the year and the answer is I’m not sure.  Eventually I want to get it printed as a blurb book, but I’m not too worried about if that happens at the end of this year or 10 years from now.  I’m definitely not printing individual pages.  2 of my biggest reasons for going digital were to save space (I have way too many albums) and to save money for other scrappy purchases.  Printing 12×12 pages really cuts down on those benefits.

Oh, and I’m almost done with our B is for Bumbleebee stuff!  I’m hoping to finish it up this weekend and have it post on Monday.  🙂



Project Life

Oh boy.  I had such good intentions of starting digital Project Life.  I had watched some tutorials, I know which edition I wanted, I had my photos edited and ready to go, I had even identified which stories I wanted to focus on.  Then…  reality hit.  The edition I want wasn’t released last week, or this week.  No problem, I thought.  I’ll just fill in the cards later.  I sent Raptor off to preschool, finished the grocery shopping and was finally ready to tackle digital scrapbooking.  Should be a piece of cake, right?  Ha ha.  Ha ha ha.  I’m laughing hysterically over here.  I spent about 30 minutes of my precious preschool time cursing at the computer and then threw in the towel. RaptorDad has assured me that he will teach me to do this.  Honestly, I’m not sure that I’m teachable.  I’m pretty much an idiot when it comes to computers.  All that to say that instead of looking at my shiny new digital page, I took pictures of some of my traditional Project Life spreads.  Enjoy!


Here’s a page where I did a little something different.  Raptor had her first hair cut this week and they gave us a certificate.  Now, this isn’t something that I’m going to put in her regular scrapbook, but it was fun to include in project life.  Incidentally, I only use design A, so if something (say this certificate) doesn’t fit, I cut it apart to fit into the pockets.  I actually think it looks neat that way.  Then I shifted the journaling cards around to make them fit.  (I do the journaling cards more in the moment and then add the pictures/ plan the layout later.)

IMG_7585I ended up with one Hipstamatic picture and one DSLR picture on this page.

IMG_7581The second page had one DSLR, 3 Hipstamatics, and the certificate which I cut apart to fit.

IMG_7594 Here’s an example of a more typical page for me. The journaling cards down the middle and a mix of DSLR and Hipstamatic prints.

IMG_7589Why yes, that is a picture of my TV.  What can I say, I’m obsessed with the Olympics.

IMG_7588Most of the time the craziest I get is added a bit of washi tape to the “B side” of a journaling card, but I went crazy here and added some October Afternoon letter stickers to this picture.

IMG_7587The first year I did this project, I was totally committed to a 365 approach.  This year?  Not so much.  I’d say that the majority of my layouts have a picture a day, but not all.  This right side of the spread is entirely from RaptorDad’s and my super awesome overnight date night!  I didn’t want to include a whole layout about it in Kate’s book (because it’s Kate’s book and all) but I did have some fun pictures.  Project Life was the perfect place for it.  The journaling is still a 365 approach because, like I said, I do the journaling much earlier than the layouts.  (This is a big part of the reason that I’m thinking of switching to digital Project Life for this year.)

IMG_7598I included this half finished layout because I thought it might be interesting to talk about my process a bit.  The first thing I do is fill out the journaling cards.  I really try to keep current with these, but I’m usually a week (or 4) behind.  Then I go through and order several months of Hipstamatic prints at a time.  Once they arrive, I sort them by week and then plan the actual layout.  You can see in this one that I’ve adheared the prints and ephemera where they’ll go and then identified the gaps.  At this point, I edit my DSLR photos (if I haven’t already) and pick out a few to fill in the empty bits.  (I try to move pics that I want to order for Raptor’s main scrapbook in a special “to be ordered” file at the same time.)  I put a sticky note where these pictures will go and then move on.

And that’s basically my process!  I’m totally on the fence at this point with regards to digital vs traditional Project Life.  The traditional materials won’t hit the stores until May though, so I figure I have a bit more time to make my decision.  Anyone want to weigh in?  Digital fans?  Traditional fans?  I’m open to suggestions.  🙂






A is for Apple

Kate’s been a bit bored lately and I know that it’s only going to get worse as it gets hotter here.  (I figure we have about 3 more weeks of being able to play outside before we start melting.)  This is a problem for 2 reasons.  1, she’s bored.  2, she drives me crazy when she’s bored.  Right then, time for action.  I’ve decided we should do a letter a week as a theme for projects.  Raptor attends a Montessori preschool on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but they organize their units around the continents so I’m not worried about repeats or conflicting letters.  Kate loves projects and I love making them for her, but I get bored too so you can see how a theme is helping all of us.  My plan is to give her some Montessori inspired “trays” on Mondays that she can work with all week and then have a few structured things for us to do each day.  Just to be clear, I plan on following her lead with regards to how much “school” we’re doing each day.  If she wants to play in the mud one week instead of working on the letter Q, that’s just fine with me.

First up, I cut out some apples and seeds with my cricut.  I got the SVG file for the apples here for free and the seeds are a raindrop from the SCAL software.  I laminated them before writing on them so that I could reuse them over and over.  I’m thinking that the seeds will be great for a watermelon unit and the apples would be great for fall.  Also, I just love my laminating machine and will sieze any excuse to use it.  🙂


I’ve done this counting work several times, but Kate loves it every time I make it.  Why don’t I keep out the ones I’ve already made?  Because she gets bored with them.



Likewise, I’ve made these letters before, but I think she’ll enjoy them again.


Raptor’s been very interested in watching me work on this cross stitch project so I made her some more lacing cards.  On the left is a basic lacing pattern and on the right is one where she can stitch the seeds to the apple.  I’m currently looking for my yarn needle so that she can feel more like she’s stitching.



I think she’ll be the most excited about this.  I found this apple ice cube tray at the Target Dollar Spot and the idea is that she’ll transfer the red puffs into the apples using the tongs.



This one is sorting buttons by color into the muffin tray.  If I can find my tweezers, I’ll throw them in here, but if not I think she’ll like it just fine as a simple sorting activity.

Also, I’m sooooo cool that I spent my Saturday evening writing “lessons plans” for the first week.  Raptor still has preschool on Tuesdays and Thursdays so those days are lighter.  Here you go!

Letter of the Week “Lesson Plan”

Letter: A
Theme: Apples

Book: Dr Seuss ABCs
Song: Apple Alphabet Song
Craft: My Apple Book
Worksheet: Pre-Writing Skills; Letter Trace
Snack: Crock pot apple sauce

Craft: A is for Alligator Book

Song: I like to eat Apples and Bananas
Craft: Stained Glass Apples
Snack: Apple Chips

Craft: A is for Apple Color Page

Book: 10 Apples up on Top
Craft: 10 Apples up on Top
Snack: Apples
Other: Apple seed graphs

Number Apples with Seed Counters
Apple Alphabet
Button Sort with Tweezers
Apple Pompoms Transfer with Tongs
Apple Lacing Cards

Cut out apples from magazines and collage
Cut out letter As from magazines and collage

You guys know that I have very few original ideas of my own so here’s where I stole them from found inspiration.

Oopsey Daisy’s Mommy School (This packet is incredible.  I only wish she had one for every letter!  We could do A is for Apple for a month and still not run out of things to do from this packet.)

Mr Printables’ Alphabet Coloring Page (I went ahead and printed the whole alphabet.)

Kinder Teacher’s Apple Seed Graph (I forgot to send print this one, but I figure I can draw it out easily enough.)

Next week we’re doing B is for Bumblebee.  Get excited!