Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Cookie inside

When I got to work on Saturday there were a few nice intros to my upcoming birthday. First off a beautiful card and rolling tote from my best friend, then a lovely scarf in my favorite colors from a coworker. But the grand finale was by far fastest to disappear and lingers the longest; fresh baked peanut butter cookies brought to my window from a master baker's assistant! Of course with all the leftover "dough" that two dozen delights brought to my hips, (a pleasant enough way to round out the year), a card was in order!
I used a few different cookie shaped stickers from Creative Memories, decorated the outside of the envelope to coordinate with the card, and even came up with a few little poems to express my thanks.

Happy New Year friends!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Ornamental Insight

Gazing up, with eyes so bright, softly reflecting fluorescent lights,
I wonder do you know you still
make my heart skip a beat
 louder than the till
of merchants all about the mall we race through
Your hand in mine as we laugh with delight
at trying on shoe after shoe- only the right!
Then collapsing in giggles its out to the car,
and up the side street to a door left ajar.
And who inside but the smilingest face,
my grandma, our bestemor, but alas not a trace,
of the baby that today we've nicknamed with "Grace."
But soon she'll be coming, and the rest of them too...
more smiles, more laughter, under a Christmas moon.

JYC 2014 Album Prep Payout

The stars at night...
my Artsy Super Star, Radient Rainie!
This year I signed up for's Journal Your Christmas class. The daily prompts allowed me to explore Christmas memories throughout the season and also provided some really intriguing photo-taking challenges.
 I figured early in the month that I'd be doing a lot of writing, but more than that, I'd be doing a lot of Christmas card making. Which I did! Well, not so much the writing, but definitely a lot of cards were made and sold which was really invigorating for me. Every day there was also a short video showing a 3x4 card being dressed up for the season, and I enjoyed watching and using the ideas on a few of those cards I made, as well as in creating little mini masterpieces with the girls.
I knew in the past that it has taken almost an entire album to contain just the one month of December's scrap worthy photos, so early in the process I chose an album and then after about five-ten prompts I added patterned papers, project life cards, and embellishments that fit the seasonal theme. I figured it would be easy to maintain a consistent theme throughout the entire album with this base to build on, plus I just like to build kits without pictures for a challenge occasionally. I used the prefilled sleeves that came with the album, added pocket pages as well, and kept everything for the season's recordings in there, adding mementos as they came across my desk.
Now, the title of the class does include the word Journal, which has never been something I've really enjoyed doing in my albums- I'm more of a record happenings daily on a calendar person than a record feelings type of person. So while I thought a lot about the ideas presented, what I ended up doing was more about talking to other people, sharing my own traditions and anecdotes, while learning more about my friends and family through their own story telling.
Photo Prompt: Through the Window
Some of my favorites; Hearing about the little boy who got a bike but didn't know it until he was completely disappointed about not having found one under the tree (it was in the backyard)! The little girl who was shocked to receive a paint by number set from her parents (she thought they were oblivious to her artful inclinations). My friend whose dad took her and her sister to get their ears pierced on a whim while their mom shopped the other side of the mall. Sharing my own story of being up on stage in preschool and being so mesmerized by my granddads shiny bald head glowing under the lights that I forgot to follow my classmates into the wings!

Photo Prompt: Add Sparkle
So, not having written most of the storytelling down as it came my way, how HAS my album benefit from this class? Well, for one thing, I've been able to take some really cool pictures throughout the month that I may not have thought to try otherwise, like this amazing picture of my mom and Sunday in a restaurant before dinner. Tried out a few new apps and created really cool effects on otherwise terrifically seasonal photos. I'm thinking more about stories that I've told over the years and how they all impact how I enjoy the sights and sounds and the whirl of Christmas cardmaking around this time of year... and the awesome bonus is that I'll have access to this class for many years to come and can continue to visit the prompts and tell those stories that make the background for my families traditions.

Thanks for joining me today, I wish you and your family all the best of the Holiday season, and the best hopes for a happy, healthy, scrappy New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Quick Card Share for Dec 15th

Just a quick look at a few cards I made last week, and I'll be back to share more of what I've been doing with my time this month tomorrow!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Letters to Santa

 This week's Christmas festivities included a visit to Santa! While shopping at Michael's the day after Thanksgiving, Rainier started talking about writing her letter to Santa, a task she has learned about through the reading of the Berenstein Bears series. Explaining to little sister that, "we don't put a lot of things on our list, because Santa doesn't have a lot of time to read."
I don't remember reading that part but of course I thought it was a darling statement. There were many things in the store desired, but we also talked a lot about how useful certain items are, decided that we would carry an item around until we found if there was something we'd rather have. Great advice- if only I could follow it myself!  (I've tried going in without a basket, but that just results in arms overloaded with precariously balanced what nots. Inevitablely the pile collapses to the floor just as it's my turn to pay.)
Sunday was really struggling to let go of a little monster truck she'd snagged from a basket of kids toys. As much as I'd love for her to vroom it all over the house, without knowing where the toy was made, toxicity of the paint etc, she needed to leave it behind! Rainie comforted her by promising to write it in a letter to Santa. A little more than a week later, she still remembered how much her sister wanted that miniature four-wheeling machine, and included it as "truck toy."
Now, some of my readers know that we do a lot of card making in our house. I can't recall a time that we have written a letter as a family... so of course Thursday night she presented Santa with a beautiful card, printed in her mix of caps and lowers, and a cute sticker grouping on the front. She really amazed me with her talent for design balance.
So how many of the Michael's items did Rainier put on her list? Not a single art supply mentioned! The one and only item she wanted was the coral pink dress I did not get her from Kohl's that day. What a surprise! And now I am experiencing that long felt mother's guilt of, do I need to go and get it for her? It's the only item on her list! Or does she learn now that sometimes, we just don't get what we want.
While that is an important lesson, I'm pretty sure this mom will be finding herself in line with a pretty pink dress for a very thoughtful little girl this afternoon :-)

What are your thoughts? Do you remember "the gift that got away?" Ever wish for something so badly you could just not stand to consider that it might not appear under the tree (or on your ring finger!) Leave me a comment and let me know, what's on your wish list this year!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The first days of December

 This month has started off spectacularly; I've managed a night out with my friend Jen, some really touching moments shared with my girls, and of course, a few cards and scrapbook pages have made their way out of my paper stash. I even managed to kiss a nutcracker!
The other day I woke up with the image of a fire built out in the snow on a cold winters day, with trees in the background and the sentiment, "Nature lends to each season a beauty all its own." You can see that card in the third pic down on the right, or just click on the purple Instagram camera at right  to see the final vision and my alternate version in much clearer detail.  I wasn't sure I'd be able to create what my mind had, well, in mind, but both cards turned out awesome. I have been using my Cricut a lot more this year but it is still hard for me to envision how to use the hundreds of images I have available to me!
So, how will I capture the memories that are already fading as fast as the seemingly never ending turkey supply? Well for the first year, I'll be participating in Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas forum/class. I'm excited because it will help me with my lifelong hurdle of journaling and my hesitancy to do so, as well as helping me to capture and retain some of the  reasons why I do so love this season.
I've always loved creating my own handmade Christmas cards for friends and family. Selling my cards has somewhat impaired my usual thoughtfulness in this area though! Sometimes I just feel that taking a picture and texting a card front is a good way to brighten a friends day, when before I would not hesitate to simply send it off in the mail. I love picturing the receiving end... whether its someone who purchases a card of mine on Etsy or in one of the shops in Gig Harbor, or the person is standing right in front of me, I'm always smiling knowing that they got something so non-corporate!
When I first started dating Ray, he found out that he WOULD be sending my handmade cards to his clients. Now years later he has cut down his sending list, but I still make him get his cards from me. It is a little bit of myself going out in each envelope to spread some holiday cheer. I love thinking that maybe mine is the one they just can't bear to throw away and keep for no good reason like I have done with so many cards over the years. I'm still looking for ways to use those old cards haha.
Now, if I can just remember to SEND the cards I'm making out to my friends instead of just writing about doing it...
thanks for stopping by, and I look forward to sharing what comes of my JYC experience with you!