Friday, September 30, 2011

The Mother LOAD - the final count.

Besides all the Learn Something New Every Day, Me In My Moleskine, and Big Idea Festival pages that I've created during my month of Mother LOAD, what have I accomplished???

this pretty envelope...
and this card, which I sent to Sarah at college with a few gift cards tucked inside.

I have to admit that the card design came from my Close To My Heart consultant - I just assembled it!

 This pretty envelope sent off to my recipient in Ginger's September mail art exchange - with a pretty little bookmark tucked inside.

I had fun with the "earth" theme!

And - oh my - a 12x12 layout???? Yes!  This one takes us back about 19 years in time to when Sarah was an adorable toddler going through a "black" phase.

The journaling reads:

Every little kid goes through phases and you were certainly no exception. At two years old you went through a period where you preferred to dress in black.  Not goth, just black. It wasn't all you wore by any means, but given a choice, these were the outfits you liked best.  They saw the washer frequently.  Sarah - Summer 1992.

Another 12 x12 layout!  The journaling reads:

A trip to the bookstore for new books was always a fun activity. Meeting Arthur and getting your books signed was a bonus! Summer 1997.

At that time, Becca really liked the character "D.J." in the Arthur books, but as you can see from the photo, she wasn't at all shy about cozying up to Arthur!  Believe it or not, signed Arthur books still reside on the bookshelf in the bedroom of two high school seniors!

So, during the month of September, participating in the Mother LOAD class at BPC, I completed:
4 Big Idea Festival layouts;
30+ pages for Learn Something New Every Day;
6 pages in my 'Me in My Moleskine' book;
2 Good Mail Day Envelopes;
1 Card;
5 12 x12 layouts - Chocolate Tasting, Hurricane Irene, The Black Phase, and Meeting Arthur;
1 One Little Word Album Cover and 1 internal journaling page (to be revealed tomorrow);
2 Monthly Goals layouts (to be revealed tomorrow); and
2 5x7 canvases (coming soon to a blog near you!).

I had approached the Mother LOAD class with the idea that I would catch up on a lot of 12x12 layout ideas that have been floating around in my head or on the back burner for quite some time.  Of course, I got side-tracked with LSNED and other projects that were calling for more immediate attention - which seems to be par for the course with me.  Still - not too shabby for one month effort!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Still More LSNED

It is nice to be reminded how lucky I am to work from home.

Anyone prefer laundry???

True couponing really is a part-time job!

Monday mornings see me finishing the laundry and any other chores I didn't quite get to over the weekend. I always feel so accomplished once I can call it "done"!

Here is one instance where I am happy I'm not including photos on my  LSNED pages this year!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

More on LSNED

My layouts from last year's LSNED album were featured in prompts 15a & 17 this year. So exciting!

I actually took off the 19th - 21st and didn't even tell my family - I knew if I did they would lay claim to my free time. I spent my days while the girls were at school being creative.  Loved it!

While I was playing hookey, I also took care of some medical stuff. :p

Anyone else have this problem?

My babies are seniors in high school. And adults now.  Holy crap, when did I get so old????

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Yes, the sticker chart is doing a pretty good job of keeping me on track!

Becca didn't get what she wanted for her birthday. She wasn't at all shy about voicing her displeasure either.

Because thinking you know a better way home can add an extra 15 minutes onto your trip!

Heading out to the doctor first thing in the morning (when you are normally exercising and writing morning pages) throws everything out of whack.  Thank goodness for reminders!

You can't always fight it and soldier through. Sometimes you just have to surrender.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Me in My Moleskine

I've been using some of my LOAD time to work with ongoing projects (LSNED being the most obvious!) But one that I've really spent some time on in the past ten days is Me In My Moleskine.  Check out these new pages:

First up - My bag. I chose to use this photo rather than the drawing from the kit.  It really gives you a good idea of how much crazy stuff I can pack into a bag!

Finally did that hand and foot page.  And learned the hard way that watercolors do NOT adhere well to gesso. Suppose I could have added that to my lessons learned this month!

To save you the headache, the journaling reads:

My hands are an amazing gift. My hands allow me to feed myself, dress myself, write letters, type blog posts, button, zipper, cook, and clean. But most importantly my hands allow me to be creative - to cut, paste, paint, draw, stamp, and click a camera shutter button.  With my hands... [the rest will go on the journaling card inside the pocket and hasn't been written yet.]

Journaling:  I am a barefoot girl at heart - which is what I love most about Summer. But if I have to wear shoes, comfort is the primary consideration. And I hate heels!

I own 10 pairs of shoes - including slippers and flip-flops.  Really!

These are my two most used pair of shoes.

My Food and Drink page.  Yes, cruciferous vegetables should be abolished - broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts - all give me such wicked intestinal pains I wonder how anyone can consider them edible foods!

My Hair & Skin page in progress. I wanted to show you this before the completed page.  That lovely diamond pattern?  Is Bounty paper towels!  I brushed on a very watered down layer of acrylic paint (about 1/3 paint, 2/3 water) and then pressed the paper towel down and lifted gently to remove excess paint.  Where there were depressions in the paper towel, the pattern was left behind in paint!  Cool, isn't it???

Finished page!  Another page where I totally ignored the kit and instead of attempting to draw my dream hairstyle, I just borrowed some images from the Internet... after all, why shouldn't I look like Petra Nemcova?!

Friday, September 16, 2011


Just as many of you are feeling, the temps around here have turned decidedly toward Autumn!

Nothing earth shattering - just a traffic jam caused by flooding and mudslides on major highways around here - the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee - that caused me to be late for a meeting a work.  But it does remind me that there is little in life that I can truly "control".
Pretty self-explanatory.
We watched documentary films regarding the heroes of 9/11.  Seeing those images again - planes, fireballs, buildings collapsing in a cloud of grey smoke - gave me the same sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that it did ten years ago.  I actually didn't create this page until two days later.  When I was still feeling the energy drain from having watched the news coverage.  And it isn't that I don't want to be "informed" but all media coverage has a negative effect on me physically, so I just stay away from it as a general rule!
In this case, I just allowed myself to go with the listlessness and lack of drive to do anything productive or creative. I did what I HAD to do - laundry and grocery shopping - and left the rest for Monday.

Well, that catches you up with my LSNED pages up to a week ago. The rest are done up to date, but waiting to be photographed. Life has been crazy busy around here.  I have a lot to catch you up on, but seemingly very little time in which to do it.  But I'll be back later!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

LOAD and LSNED - Day Six

On the Sixth, I completed three more LSNED pages:

Sunday is shopping day for me.  I always make a list and coordinate coupons. And end up in a mess when half the items on my list aren't on the shelves at the store!

This layout celebrated having completed my 30 LSNED backgrounds on the 5th.  Just start. It's half the battle.

With the girls back in school, I was able to crank the tunes and do some strength training.  Those September daily goals are going well!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

LOAD and LSNED - Days 3, 4 & 5

Technically, I didn't actually scrap a layout on Sept. 3rd.  But I'm counting all those Big Idea Festival layouts I finished on the 2nd for the third... posted here... because as far as I'm concerned, by Day Three I already had SIX layouts done!  And since I'm not following daily prompts, I'm already getting confused about what I did on which day anyway!

On Day Four, I turned my Storytelling Sunday post into this layout. I know you can't read the journaling here, but if you click the link for the post, the whole story is there, in more detail than I could fit on the layout! And yes, it is a Cathy Zielski template.

On Day Five (Labor Day here in the U.S., so a holiday for us), I got seriously inspired by Ginger's LSNED pages and the wonderful little packet of ephemera I received in the mail from her, and decided that I would create pages for LSNED!  The trick was they had to be so ridiculously simple that I could finish each one off in no more than ten or fifteen minutes a day.

I started with a 4x6 creative pad from Pebbles Inc. (old Theodore line - from my OLD stash), and added a chipboard circle with a rub-on date (Karen - all those wonderful rub-ons you sent are being put to good use!) and journaling block to each of the 30 backgrounds.  The journaling blocks are mostly from the Making Memories {Note}Worthy line (also from very OLD stash - seriously, 2007!). It took me about 3 hours to assemble all the bases. Okay, because admittedly I obsessed about trying to space out the background colors so there was variety and stagger which journal note and which type of date went on them to keep it all looking random.  Type A tendencies are hard to kill.

With these 30 bases complete, I can add as little as a line of journaling and call it done.  Or I can get more detailed with embellies like ribbon and butterflies if I have a little more time.  In addition to creating 30 bases, I finished the first three pages on the 5th:
 Oh... Ginger ... that package of ephemera is almost all used up already!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

LOAD and LSNED - Day Two

I'm not particularly following prompts for either of these classes.  But on Day Two of LOAD - I did the Day One "goals" prompt... by completely scraplifting this layout from Melissa.  Here is my version:
I used a bunch of paper scraps from my One Little Word album as that is where this layout will ultimately go. And I started out checking off each day as I completed my goals.  But the check marks just weren't doing it for me. A check feels like a chore has been crossed off a list.  I don't want these goals to be chores... I want them to be an enriching part of my daily life. And I needed more validation about what a good job I was doing.  Yep, I needed the gold stars. Because I'm just needy that way.  So I went out to Staples and bought me some gold stars.  Aren't they pretty???
A little detail.

Thanks for the inspiration Melissa!

LSNED:  Today I learned that scraplifting isn't always as easy as it looks!

Big Idea Festival - Live, Moment, Embrace, Play

I got a little behind on this, but used my "LOAD" time to finish up these layouts:

For all of these I went with watercolor backgrounds.  Images are stamped except for the "moment" layout which is rub-ons.  In the last one, I colored in the stamped images with Pitt Artist Pens.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Four Simple Goals - September 2011

I'm thinking about picking up this challenge from Lee's blog (ala Elsie Flanagan's blog).  I decided to give it a go this month because it would be easy to draft... I could borrow from Lee's goals for September which were in perfect alignment with my own, with just a few minor tweaks.
The Rules:

1. choose simple goals that will make your life richer and happier on a daily basis. choose things you may not otherwise get done, but that are not difficult to accomplish. 

2. do not choose result oriented goals, choose activity oriented goals. for example.... instead of "lose 10 pounds", choose something like "eat fresh fruits and vegetables every day". get what i'm saying? positive actions instead of just the end result! 
3. choose goals that are personal that you believe will truly make your life richer just by doing them! they can be daily, weekly or one time experiences. 
4. choose a reward for each goal as it is accomplished! it can be a small or large reward. 
5. blog your goals, each one as you achieve it and a big post when they are all finished before the new year! i'll be doing this too! 

    My 4 Simple Goals, September edition, includes:  

    1. SCRAPBOOKING. Essentially, keep up with The MotherLOAD over at BPC, try to stay up-to-date with LSNED, and get fully involved in Album of Awesome which starts later this week.  Knowing that any Awesome layouts I create would count toward LOAD actually gave me the freedom to go ahead and sign up for this class, even with everything else going on!
    2. CAMERA PLAY. Blow the dust off my Canon Digital Rebel.  Spend some time playing with it so that I am once again familiar with the buttons and settings before the big World Wide Photo Walk on October 1st!
    3. CALENDAR. Organize the calendar through to Christmas. This means getting work travel on my personal calendar, kid's school activities on my work and personal calendars, checking out the S.U. website for Sarah's dates....
    4. PRINT. I've been meaning to do this forever.  I bought 50 12x12 print credits from Scrapping Simply back in August of 2009 and haven't used them yet... yikes!  I have a backlog of digi layouts waiting to be printed and just need to get it DONE!
    In the meantime, I also have a September Goals layout, created for MotherLOAD (coming soon to a blog near you) which should keep me on track for daily goals. 
    REWARD: I'm still trying to decide.  If I get all this done, I'm thinking maybe the Cinch that hubby was going to give me for my birthday - until he found out that he would soon be unemployed, so the purchase got back-burnered.  I also have a rather long list at Amazon, and would really like to own this book.  So one or the other will be mine when this list is accomplished!! 

    Sunday, September 4, 2011

    Storytelling Sunday - the MacGyver Edition

    Every time Storytelling Sunday comes around I think about participating... I do have lots of stories to tell! But somehow life always gets in the way and I never get the post done.  I am determined today will be an exception... so here goes!

    Once upon a time - well actually, just last week - a certain family was going through their normal weekend routine. Chores were being done, lots of television was being watched.  But there was a distinctive difference on this particular weekend. The normal television fare had been replaced with lots of news watching as the family tracked the weather headed their way.  Weather with a name.  Hurricane Irene.

    Given the media's penchant for over-dramatizing just about everything that ever happens in the world, the family was not particularly concerned over Hurricane Irene.  It would probably be just another rain storm and the media hype would be all for naught.  Indeed, by bedtime on Saturday the 27th of August, the rain had begun in earnest and the wind was whipping around the house.  Not so terrible though... the family had been through worse storms in the past that hadn't even had a name!

    Mom and Dad went to bed while the teens stayed up to watch some more late night television. But Mom couldn't sleep. And so after laying in bed awhile, she got back up and rejoined the young ladies around the television. There was mention of tornado watches. And news footage of a tornado that had touched down nearby.  Still the family wasn't worried.

    About midnight the teens decided it was time for bed. They were in the process of gathering up the family cats (who also get put to bed at night) when one bolted for the basement, stopped two steps down, and perked her ears. The teen who was trying to capture said cat wondered what had caught the cat's attention. She went down into the basement... five steps down... and she heard it.  "Mom!" she called, "You need to come here!"

    Mom went down into the basement and heard it too... water... lots and lots of water.  It took only seconds to find the source. The utility room... water pouring into the basement where the furnace vented to the chimney. LOTS of water!  Mom ran upstairs to awaken the sleeping Dad and drag him, groggy and not fully comprehending the urgency of the situation, to the basement. But the sight of all that water sure pulled him out of his sleepy stupor!

    Within minutes the entire family pulled together. Towels were gathered to soak up the water on the floor. LOTS of towels. Maybe twenty or so (good thing Mom never throws away old towels!). A bucket brigade was formed to catch the water pouring in from the wall and transfer it to the sump pump.  But the water wasn't slowing down and the family soon realized that none of them had the stamina to be up all night long catching water and passing buckets. The space was too tight. The spot in the wall was higher than shoulder level, so holding the bucket up quickly became painful. The rain was still coming down and the water flowing through the wall wasn't slowing at all!

    So the family started tossing around ideas... how to get the water from the basement wall over to the sump pump hole.
    "Tin foil?"
    "Do we have anything we could use to redirect the water?"
    "What about a noodle (foam pool toy)?"
    "No, we gave the noodles to Good Will awhile ago."
    "What about a vacuum hose?"
    "No wait! The shop vac in the storage room! What about the shop vac hose and some duct tape?"
    "But I don't have any duct tape" said the Dad.  Imagine that! A man who doesn't own a roll of duct tape???? Is that even possible?

    All this chatter was happening while buckets were still being passed to and fro and towels wringed and laid back out.  More thought was given to the dilemma. The shop vac hose was gathered. A wire coat hanger. A funnel from the garage. The Dad wired the hose in place with the coat hanger.  But the coat hanger by itself wouldn't hold the hose in place.

    "WAIT! I HAVE duct tape!" remembered the Mom. Indeed, she had patterned duct tape that she had purchased to use in crafting. And had used for book binding. So the duct tape was gathered.

    After a brief attempt, the Dad declared the duct tape unsuitable for the job.  Everything was too wet for the tape to stick. He went off in search of more supplies. While he was gone, the Mom and the teens figured out how to make the duct tape work. And the result of the family project was this:

    Note: All photos were taken the following morning once the storm was over and the water had stopped. The family was much too busy trying to prevent property damage to take photos during the actual event!

    A different angle. Not very pretty (well, except for the duct tape) but quite effective.

    hose feeding the water into the sump pump.  Sorry for the blurry photo.

    furnace burner wrapped in plastic trash bags and pretty duct tape to keep the water out.

    The family had the MacGyver solution fixed up by 1:30 in the morning. They spent the next hour wringing out and replacing wet towels on the floor and generally attempting to clean up the mess. The teens went off to bed around 2:00 a.m. while the Mom and Dad rested in the basement, babysitting the flood waters until the wee hours of the morning.  Mom finally went upstairs to bed at about 4:30 a.m., leaving the remainder of the babysitting to the Dad.

    And that is the story of how the family survived Hurricane Irene and saved their basement from being destroyed by flood waters!