Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Pinterest project: Cake Stand/Soap Stand

Inspiration, pinned from Rachel Hall (originally from Natalme)

Here's my first project as part of a resolution to make (at least) one project per month inspired by Pinterest. I can hardly call this a project, since it consisted of me: 1) cleaning up my kitchen counter and sink, 2) grabbing this glass cake stand from upstairs in my art loft, then 3) arranging our soaps and lotion on the cake stand. It is certainly not as cute as the inspiration photo, but I like the fancy/whimsy it adds to the kitchen.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Project Life - week 4

Loved playing with my digital supplies on this week's Project Life! I've settled in to a weekly pattern. I download my photos and select photos for the project on Saturday night. Then I work in Photoshop Elements to make the pages off and on through Sunday. Then it seems I need a few minutes to finish them up and post them here on Monday mornings while Lachlan is at preschool.

Cobalt Edition Full Collection
Project Life - The Templates
Banner Labels No. 1 by Katie Pertiet
Everyday Papers by Robyn Meierotto
Borderline Journal Brushes
Paislee press cards

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Favorites

Lots of bloggers I read post Friday link lists or round-ups of some kind. It seems to be a popular way to share some favorites from around the web and life in general.

A few of my favorite Friday favorite posters:
Design Mom
Iowa Girl Eats

Favorite Instagram photo from this week (and favorite winter accessory, from Hey Jen Renee's shop)

Favorite new list-making tool:
Teux Deux (found via the Pioneer Woman)

Favorite recipe tried this week:
Blueberry Gingerbread pancakes. Lachlan requested blueberry pancakes on one of his sick days this week, and these were a tasty treat! (I made half the recipe for the 3 of us. But next time I'll make the whole recipe and freeze the extras!)

Favorite lucky break:
more than half of my preschool class was out sick with a stomach bug yesterday, plus two other teachers, and I think I actually avoided it (knock on wood).

Favorite purchases:
Some seriously cute finds at Old Navy, including this Hello Kitty shirt for K, a Curious George shirt for K, a Batman bathing suit for L, and a retro Star Wars lunchbox for L. Plus lots of good clearance deals on cozy pants and leggings for K.

Favorite Pin:
Gotta make it happen on our kitchen counter soon.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

brother and sister

brother and sister a video by Kirsten W on Flickr.

This is representative of how Lachlan and Kenley play together right now. She giggles whenever he pays her any attention. He uses her like a personal assistant. She says "thank you" over and over. It doesn't usually last long. But it always makes me smile!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Project Life - Week 3

Hmm, it appears that my blog has become "all Project Life, all the time". I promise I'll be back this week with a couple things unrelated to Project Life (all though isn't everything related to Project Life?)

I enjoyed using Cathy Zielske's new "Tiny Templates" this week. They work great for putting my Instagram photos into the pages, and for getting multiple photos from one event included. We had a pretty quiet week, since I was down and out with a cold, and the wintry weather enouraged us to stay home. I used the journaling cards to tell more in depth stories about a few days - rather than creating a "weekly roundup" list like I did last week. I love how flexible it can be - and that I can decide which page layouts I want to use as I look back at the photos I collected over the seven days. Definitely still loving this project, and also feeling inspired to get back to paper scrapping soon. I have a stack of photos and a January Studio Calico kit calling my name!

Cobalt Edition Full Collection
Project Life - The Templates
Tiny Templates #1
This One Brushes and Stamps
Labeled Journalers #4

see all the pages on Flickr

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Project Life - week 2

Kept it simple this week. I wrote the journaling in a list format and left the rest of the two page spread to photos. I narrowed down my week of Instagram photos to just four so that I could use the Template Design E.

I realized that since I am selecting photos weekly, this project is helping me keep my digital photos edited and organized. A nice perk that I had not anticipated!

Cobalt Edition Full Collection
Project Life - The Templates

Monday, January 09, 2012

Project Life - week 1

I finished my first 3 pages for my 2012 digital Project Life book today! Even though there are so many inspirational paper versions on the web right now, I think digital is going to be the right choice for me. I don't have to worry about printing photos or keeping my supplies organized (other than in a folder on my MacBook). Once I get better at manuvering in Photoshop Elements, the pages will come together even quicker than they did this week.
I am not planning to include a photo-a-day on my pages. Instead, I'm considering them a week-at-a-glance. I'm hoping to make my pages on Sundays, then post them here on the blog Mondays. At the end of the year, I'll have the layouts printed in a photo book - most likely through Blurb. Let me know if you're also doing Project Life! I think it is a great idea and a fun and easy way to capture all those little moments we would otherwise forget.

Cobalt Edition Full Collection
Project Life - The Templates
Borderline Journal Brushes

Saturday, January 07, 2012

December Daily, phew!

It was difficult to get motivated to finish this mini-album, now that Christmas is a couple weeks behind us, and especially with the strange spring-like weather we've been having! I'm glad that I made myself do it. It's fat (I had to switch out the rings that came with the album for big-daddy 2" rings) and full of fun December memories.
The end of the album is more photos and less words and embellishments, but that's fine with me. I know I'll be so happy to pull it out of a Christmas decoration box in December.
You can read more about the album here. The spread below was definitely inspired by Elise.
If you'd like to see the whole album, check out the set on Flickr. I didn't photograph the covers, because I kind of hate the weird fabric + tape thing I did to them. I also left out a spread featuring a photo of my preschool students, and another featuring an envelope with our home address and our Christmas card. Thanks for looking! Now on to Project Life week 1!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Lachlan at 3 1/2

My blog was a little "Kenley-heavy" last year, since I updated with her monthly photos and changes post. Mr. Lachlan as been growing and changing, too! So I wanted to write a little bit about what he is like at 3 1/2.
Your creative play is fun be part of and entertaining to observe. Just today, we played pirate ship, Star Wars, trash dump, Bluebird Diner, and Batman within the span of a few hours. You also enjoy board games and card games, and you’re getting better at following the rules and sequence. We’ve been playing Crazy 8’s and the Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game.
You (we) just gave up on your afternoon naps a couple weeks ago. We still try to work in some quiet time, but the lack of nap often results in early evening crankiness. A couple days a week you still crash in the late afternoon and sleep until I wake you for dinner. The good news is that you are sleeping until a decent hour in the morning again – 6:30 or 6:45 am.
You have very little patience for your sister now that she is able to get into your space and toys so easily. You do love playing chase with her and the two of you get the craziest giggles and belly laughs going as you run circles around the couch. Every now and then you’ll have a sweet moment and bring her something she wants or just give her a big hug and kiss.
We’re still amazed by your great memory, and the way you bring up events that happened months ago. You’ve starting using your memory to recite movie lines and re-enact favorite scenes. Many times a day you choose a movie or show, then assign each of us a character to act out. I’m usually Princess Leia, and Kenley is often Darth Vader.
You love to make plans for playtime or for how the schedule of our day will go. You get so frustrated and upset when everyone won't go along with your plans. I can sure remember that frustration from my own childhood. We usually encounter at least one or two big crying meltdowns per day, and although I know it is just you being 3 and trying to exert your independence, it can be very upsetting. I have to remind myself that you are "just" 3 sometimes, because you are so sharp and capable most of the time.
Your favorite foods are Mac and Cheese with hot dogs, and spaghetti with sauce. Pretty standard fare for a 3 year old. But you also love spicy tuna sushi and baked salmon. Really, you are a great eater and try all kinds of different foods. I hope that willingness to try new things continues in the years ahead.
You attend preschool five mornings a week, and you love it. You have always been a social guy, so you love been around the other 18 children in your class. You enjoy music class, love all your teachers, and have a couple special friends. I hear that you're getting better at sitting for storytime and keeping your hands to yourself at playtime, both of which were a struggle for a few months. I love that I get to see you experience school on Tuesdays and Thursdays when I am at preschool - but that you also get a chance to experience it on your own on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Your dad and I lay in bed at night giggling over all the funny observations you make and things you say. We love you so much!

Kenley at 18 months

It is delightful to watch you explore the world on foot, becoming more confident (and quicker!) every day. I see you solving problems and figuring out cause and effect throughout your daily adventures.You're also starting to play more creatively. You feed your babies and stuffed animals, work on "projects" and set up the Fisher Price people in all kinds of arrangements.

You love your stuffed puppy and your babies so much. There’s some new competition now, since you received a stuffed Scooby Doo, a pink baby sock monkey, and a couple special baby dolls for Christmas. Luckily, you have plenty of hugs and love to go around.

You have a very clear “no” and shake your whole body back and forth to make your point clear. You also have a strong nod yes. We definitely know what you mean!

Now that you are mobile, you love to try and do whatever Lachlan is doing. You also get pretty jealous if I am reading to him or cuddling with him. You do love your bath time together, you giggle like crazy when he chases you around, and you light up when he pays you special attention. When Lachlan is in need of a warning, we count to three to give him a chance to shape up. You have picked up on that, and shout “two!” after Bill or I says “one…”. You’ve also started to enjoy Lachlan’s favorite shows, and can say Curious George, Scooby Doo, and Gabba Gabba.
We are in the process of transitioning from two naps to one midday nap. It hasn't been very successful yet, so right now you take two naps some days and one on others. You usually sleep 8 pm - 6:30 am, but recently you've been up at least once in the night due to teething and an ear infection. Dada has been putting you to bed almost every night. You enjoy having that special time with him. You also still need your paci to help you fall asleep, and you search one out whenever you are sleepy.
The love affair you have with your winter coat is pretty hilarious. I have to hide it if I don’t want you begging to wear it 24-7. You also enjoy wearing a hat and shoes most of the time.

You’re talking up a storm and imitating just about everything we say. We have a few favorite words that are especially cute – like “applesauce”, “baby”, “puppy”, "sleepy", the extended “hiii”, and all the names of your aunts and uncles. Yesterday you put your shoe on your hand and said, "puppet". Right before Christmas, you surprised me by asking to get out of the bath and sit on the potty (we have a small one in the bathroom). Then you surprised me even more by peeing and pooping on it for the first time! You used it again over the next few days, but have since been resistant to sitting on it. You do love to read our potty books, and to put your animals on the potty. I'm not pushing it at all right now, but it does seem that as a 2nd child and and girl, you may pick up on the idea a little earlier than your brother did.

Oh, yes, and the crayon story. A couple weeks ago I noticed that you were depositing a crayon from our art table into the nearby heating vent. "Hmm, I wonder how many are down there?" I thought. So I pulled off the cover and discovered 50+ crayons and colored pencils down the vent! I'll never forget that! I can't be too upset, because you were clearly committed to your work and finding a hiding place that was perfectly sized for what you were depositing! Smart girl.

I know there is much more I'm forgetting to write. You are a pleasure to be around every day!

Kenley @ 18 months (at doctor's appointment on 12/23/11)

Height: 31 3/4"

Weight: 22 1/2"

Head: 19"

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year!

My daily journal and a new book, housed in a great woven newspaper basket (thanks, Wendy!)

January 1st always feels like a fresh start, and I've been thinking about my resolutions and goals for 2012.

I have some monthly, weekly, and daily goals, and I am truly excited to stay committed to all of them.


* read (at least) one book per month. It doesn't sound like much, but my "books read" list in 2011 was, sadly, quite small. I should be fine for January, since I already read half of The Forest of Hands and Teeth today! If you're a fan of the Hunger Games series, I think you'll enjoy this one!

* complete (at least) one project that I have pinned on Pinterest. So much inspiration there, but it's easy to pin it and forget it!


* make a meal plan and keep track of which recipes our family enjoys. I'm hoping this will keep me organized, save time on daily meal decision-making and preparations, and help us to eat healthier.

* complete a weekly digital Project Life spread.

A little more about this: I started a paper Project Life in 2010, but fell behind and gave up about halfway through the year (maybe that newborn did it?). I *love* the concept and I actually love the paper version, but the main thing holding me back is how massive the albums become. If I end up continuing with Project Life every year, I can't imagine storing a dozen or more of those albums. I will probably print my book through Blurb at the of the year. I'm also hoping that keeping it digital will be faster and easier AND will help me get more comfortable with using Photoshop Elements. I still love to paper scrap, and I still intend to create 12x12" and 8 1/2x11" layouts for more specific topics and events throughout the year. Project Life is just a great way to document all the little moments that we would otherwise forget.


* make an entry in my daily journal (pictured above). Each page has the calendar date and a space for five year's worth of entries. How cool would it be to look back at the end and see what happened on the same day across five years?!

* drink more water and exercise every day. Whether it is taking Sadie for a walk, using our neglected elliptical machine, or having a date with Jilllian Michaels, I know I need to make it a priority!

I've joined Cathy Zielske's Move More, Eat Well class for additional motivation and inspiration. Hopefully that community will help me stay on track with becoming more healthy.

If I can find time for Pinterest, reality tv, and scrapbooking, I know I can find time for exercise and novel reading, too. Priorities!

I also have some crafty projects on my list to accomplish this year (hopefully in the first half of the year!):

- sew pillows on our couch

- sew curtains for our bedroom

- Finish my quilt

- Crochet an afghan

Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2012 and best wishes if you're embarking on your own resolutions and life changes!