Cruise Mini Book Part 1

I haven’t had very many substantial blog posts in the past week or so because I’ve been working on this minibook.  I finally finished it and I can’t wait to share!

I <3 minibooks.  I had a blast making my December Daily (here’s Ali’s) and have been looking for an excuse to do another one, so when I recently looked at my to-be-scrapped list and saw that it had 7 or 8 2 page layouts from our recent family cruise, I decided that it was a minibook waiting to happen.  I was also dying to use my new Tim Holtz filmstrip ribbon tape and this project was the perfect excuse.

I’m going to break this down into 2 posts several posts in an effort to avoid making this post 12 pages long.  🙂

I found some plastic sheet thing in our office that, according to Michael, came out of a picture frame.  Score.  I was going to order an acrylic album, but I’m cheap and impatient so this was way better.  I used my trimmer to cut it and then punched holes in it with my crop-a-dile.  Side note: I am in love with my crop-a-dile.  I used an old acrylic album as a template to decide where to place the holes, but if I had to do it over I would have put 3 holes in the album instead of 2.  I might add some stuff to it later, but for now I’m leaving it blank.

On the right you can see the first page.  I used a Hambly transparency that I bought forever ago.  It was so nice and thick that it worked great as a stand alone page.  I trimmed one of my 4×6 prints down a bit and added some ric rack so the side of the of the photo with staples.  Then I got all fancy and put some stickles on the staples.  Yum…  glitter.

A million years ago, I was on a design team at a local scrapbook store which is now out of business.  Basically, I got products once a month to make a layout for them to display in the store.  One month they gave me some cruise rubbons which I had to get pretty creative with as I had never been on a cruise.  Clearly my pack rat nature has paid off.  I actually found these and added one to this page.

You can see green showing through from the back of the page and that was intentional.  One of the challenges (and a lot of the fun) of working with transparencies is that they are, well, transparent.  To keep the adhesive from showing through on the green strip of cardstock, I used my Xyron machine.

Hmm…  I was hoping to get a few more pages included in this blog post, but it’s already pretty long.  I’ll post some more on Monday.  I would love to know what you guys think!



New Skirt!

Well, it’s not so new anymore, but here’s the most recent one.  🙂

I added some elastic to this one and I love it.  It keeps it from falling off of my tush.  🙂  It was super easy; I just made the top hem a bit bigger and suddenly it was a pocket for elastic.  I bought some new fabric and I have grand plans for another skirt soon.  This time I’m going to try to figure out how to add some pockets!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Look what my awesome husband helped Kate make me for Mother’s Day. I love it!

While I was sleeping in 🙂 Michael helped Kate make this using a canvas and some orange paint. I love that he used her handprints to make the letter M. What a nice, different, way to incorporate some handprint art into our home decor.

Potato Planting AKA My Black Thumb

I bought some organic potatoes the other day and they started to sprout.  Michael, the cook in our family, was a bit put out by this, but I thought it was kind of cool.  He suggested that I plant one with Kate so that she could watch it grow.  He even helpfully found these directions as he knows that I have a bit of a black thumb.  No really, I kill every plant I touch.  But I figured, how hard can it be?  It’s already sprouting.

First I gathered our supplies: potato, skewers, cup, water, scissors.

Then I cut the skewers down to size.  I know the directions called for toothpicks, but we like to improvise here.  Also, I have no toothpicks.  Kate was fascinated with the skewers.

Then I let Kate explore the potato.  Hey, it’s her science experiment, right?  I cut it short when she started trying to eat the raw potato.  A picky eater she is not.  🙂

Then I stuck in the skewers.  I decided to go with a nice star pattern.  (I sound like such a snob here.  I’m really not.  I am, however, a bit neurotic and OCD.  )

I decided to let Kate pour the water since she’s obsessed with pouring water.  Plus, I wanted her to feel like she was involved.  She loved it and would have happily poured the water back and forth for an hour if I had let her.  Then she got to help set the potato in the water.

Seems easy enough, right?  Wrong!  The black thumb strikes again.  We did this weeks ago, but our potato never sprouted.  It just dissolved.  There were trails of potato snot in the water.  I thought about changing the water, but Michael suggested that maybe the potato knew what it was doing and it needed the starch.  We waited and waited and waited until tonight we finally threw it away.  Maybe we’ll try again with a different type of potato because Kate thought that it was pretty cool to check on our potato every day, but she (and I) lost interest when nothing every happened.  Has anyone successfully done this?  Care to share any tips?

The 16th layout

I completed 15 layouts on Friday and Saturday, many of them 2 pagers.  None of them anything spectacular.  They were all just blah throw down layouts.  While I was at my crop on Saturday there were some ladies there who were passionate about their scrapping.  They had come from all over Texas and they were obsessed with Tim Holtz.  Now that’s not really my style, but their stuff was amazing and it reminded me of how much fun I used to have scrapping.  When I would get *maybe* one layout done a week, not 15 in 2 days.   When I used to spend hours adding layers of fun goodies, not just slapping some pictures on some cardstock and calling it a day.  I was inspired.

Today, I got one layout done.  It was only a one pager.  I spent hours on it.  I love it.  Now it is far from perfect, but I felt like I finally got to play again!  I’ve decided that I can’t keep on at the pace that I was.  Good lord, I have something like 19 layouts slated for January alone.  I’ve decided that I am going to be much more selective about the layouts that I choose to scrap- as Michael says, I don’t need to make a page every time Kate goes to the park.

Without further ado, let me take you through the 16th layout.

First I trimmed the photos slightly, maybe 1/8th of an inch off of each side?  Then I matted 3 of the photos very thinly with some patterned paper before I busted out the big guns, the hubby’s sewing machine.  I have had several scrapping buddies who are intimidated by the thought of sewing on paper and I just don’t get it.  Of course, I learned to sew on paper way before I learned to sew fabric so maybe I’m biased, but I think paper is easier.  It doesn’t bunch or shift and you can glue it together instead of messing with pins.  I didn’t even change the bobbin.  🙂  Don’t put glue right where you’re going to sew though.  It tends to gunk things up.  For these pics, I sewed a slightly crocked line around the edge 3 times.

Then I decided to ink the edges of the paper, because, hey why not?  I got nothing but time here.  This was right about the point that Kate woke up from her nap and I realized that I had basically gotten nothing done during her whole nap except for matting 3 pictures.  It was fun though!  I went ahead and slapped those 3 pictures down while Michael was getting her up.  Have I mentioned lately that he’s awesome?  🙂

Now what to do with the one remaining picture…  I decided to frame it with some of the die cut ribbon tape stuff that came with the patterned paper I was using.  It’s kind of a pain to use, but it sure is cute.  It wasn’t really popping against the paper though so I outlined it with a brown marker after I had it down to give it more definition.

Then I decided to use some of my stash of chipboard glitter letters.  Of course, I only had 1 of the 4 letters that I needed, but I’m not one to let that stop me.  I just cut up an “h” to make an “l,” a “g” to make an “o” and an “a” to make an “e.”  The “e” doesn’t look perfect, but I’m going with it anyway.  I went ahead and outlined these too.

I also made a little tag to slip behing one of the photos to add some journaling.  Not that it needed to be hidden, but it didn’t fit on the page anywhere.  Then I threw on some rubbons and a bottle cap.  Speaking of, who knew bottle caps were back in style?  Not me, but I saw them out at Archivers this weekend.  Lucky for me I never throw anything away and I still have several from the last time they were popular.  I had even already flattened and painted this one.  🙂

Here the finished layout!  I decided to get all artistic with the background.  Well, that and the fact that it was rapidly getting dark and I wanted to take these photos with natural light.

Here’s a close up of some of the details.

Questions about any of the supplies?  Leave a comment and I’ll try to dig out the packaging.




Happy Mail

I’ve been falling behind in Kate’s scrapbook for a while, but I am determined to catch up.  I finally finished Year 2 Volume 1 (which was the 6 months ending in December) and it feels great to move on to her current book.  I was scrapbooking last night and I’m already forgetting the details that I wanted to include with the journaling, so I’m determined to catch back up so that I’m working on more current layouts.  I’m also toying with the idea of prewritting the journaling and including it with the pictures until I’m ready to scrap the layout.  Maybe I’ll do a combo of both.

I did just order a ton of pictures.  Like 251.  And that’s only the pictures from February and March.  Hmm…  I might need to cut back on the number of layouts I’m scrapping in the future.  🙂  This did include the pictures from our cruise in February though.  I’m trying to decide if I should include the pictures in with Kate’s scrapbook or just make a mini-book…

I used to order from Shutterfly, but the pictures always came out a bit dark.  Don’t get me wrong, their photobooks are amazing, but for regular prints I was less than thrilled.  So I switched over to Picture Preview on the recommendation of a friend.  Wow.  I love them.  Super fast, awesome prints.  Their upload interface leaves a bit to be desired, but the print quality is great.  And super fast.

Oh my, I have got my work cut out for me.  I did get four layouts done last night though, and I’m going to a crop this Saturday.  🙂

Fun with Rice!

I have been wanting to dye some rainbow rice ever since I saw this come across my google reader.  I decided to go ahead and make a plain rice sensory tub first though.  That way when I dye the rice later it will be all new and shiny.  More bang for my buck.  Yee haw.

Eventually I plan to put all of the rice in a rubbermaid box about the size of a shoe box.  Of course first I need to find said box in the pit that is my half of the office.  Hmm…  that might take a while.  I was tired of waiting though, so I decided just to use a pot.  It worked great.  I’ve been collecting some random treasures for a while with this sensory tub in mind.  The idea was that Kate could dig around in the rice and find them.

This was fun for a while, but then Kate noticed that I had put the pot on a cookie sheet to try and minimize rice spillage.  Kate took this as an invitation to transfer the rice to the cookie sheet.  Not quite what I had in mind little one.  Right about this time, I vaguely remembered some Montessori lesson about moving rice with spoons.  Of course, maybe I was making it up, who knows.  At any rate, I went with it and dug out some bowls and spoons.  Raptor approved!

She particularly liked scooping the rice up with the spoon and putting in the bowl.  Once the bowl was full she poured it back in the pot.  This seemed to be a natural extension of her obsession with pouring water back and forth.

After a while she decided to put the tiny animals in the bowl and give them a rice blanket because they needed to go to bed.  Adorable.  It was slightly less adorable when she decided that she simply had to pour the whole pot of rice out on the cookie sheet.  What can I say, at least she didn’t pour it on the floor.  Still, I think that this might be an outside activity from now on.  🙂


Sick Raptor

I’m afraid that the Raptor is down for the count.  She’s been sporting a fever since Saturday afternoon but we have an appointment this afternoon to figure out what’s going on.  Consequently, I have no blog post ready for today, but I can give ya a cute picture from Friday.


A Comedy of Errors

Oh my.  For some reason, unbeknownst to me, I decided that it would be a good idea to dye Easter eggs.  With Kate and the 2 girls I sometimes babysit.  Welcome to crazy town.  🙂

First of all, if you’re planning to dye eggs, I recommend buying the cheap white eggs, not organic brown eggs.  Mistake number one.  I decided to forge ahead anyway.  Nothing could make me return to the train wreck that is HEB until I absolutely had to.  Like say, we run out of diet coke.  Or wine.

I found this great idea on Pinterest (which I am totally addicted to by the way) to put the dye in a muffin tin.  We’ll go ahead and call that mistake number two.

I’m getting ahead of myself though.  First I cut each of the dye tabs in half so that I could split the dye between 2 sets of muffin tins for the 2 big girls.  I was feeling so optimistic a this point.  ::sigh::

I decided to put stickers to spell out the girls’ names on the eggs.  The plan was to remove the stickers after the eggs sat in the dye bath.  As you can see, Kate is more than ready to get this show on the road.

Michael decided to try a crayon resist.  Probably would have been a good idea not to use washable crayons.  It did work as a resist, but all of the color was leached out.  We’ll call that mistake number 3.

Turns out that the crayon color disappearing was just the beginning.  I was trying to dry the egg and the dye started rubbing off.  OK, at this point it was just getting comical.  What are we up to at the point, 4, 5?

Hmm…  I’m just going to go with “shabby chic”.  🙂  Kate just could not help herself, she had to bang the eggs on the table.  It was pretty funny.

Kate’s name egg turned out the best because it was in the darkest dye bath, but I think they all turned out pretty cute.  Bottom line: we had a lot of fun, but we’re not going to be winning any egg decorating contests.  🙂