Sunday, July 29, 2012

Summer Envelope Exchange

I came across the Elevated Envelope blog in the spring, and knew I wanted to participate in her summer exchange. When I first started this blog, it was mainly to share my mail art projects, as that was a hobby of mine (pre-kiddos).

The theme was "sweet" and I was inspired by Kenley's berry-covered birthday cake. Part of the project involves including a little gift inside the envelope. I included a photo of the cake and a copy of the recipe.

For my envelope design, I carved a 4"x6" stamp. Obviously, I was a little rusty, because I forgot to carve the words backwards. Whoops! I just flipped it over and started again.

Once I finished carving my design, I printed it on the envelopes with black block printing ink. The sound of the brayer rolling in the ink really took me back to my days of teaching elementary art. I needed 11 envelopes for the exchange, but I printed up some extras to have on hand, as well as a few on white cardstock to use for mailing labels on boxes. When they were dry, I colored in the berries with colored pencils.

It was time consuming, but also fun to dip my toe in that world again. I'm glad I participated, and look forward to receiving lots of artful mail in the next couple weeks!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Book Review: The Night Circus

I don’t often write book reviews, but I wanted to take a few moments to recommend The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This is one of the most imaginative books I have read in recent years. Ms. Morgenstern’s beautifully descriptive writing throughout the book captivated me. The story has a staggered timeline, which provided enough complication to keep me intrigued, but not enough to become overwhelming or confusing. It’s a story of star-crossed lovers, but also a love letter to the circus, which is the setting, but also really the main character.
When I finished reading it yesterday, I had that sad feeling that I didn’t want to say goodbye to the fictional world I had been enjoying so much. I also look forward to seeing a movie adaptation. I don’t feel that way about most books, but this one was so visually descriptive, that I know it could be great in movie form.
You can read a description of the plot to find out if the story would interest you – but if you are generally a fan of fantasy and love stories, and books with a little bit of magic (this one has a lot of magic!) I’m quite sure you would enjoy it. Next up in my queue is The Age of Miracles. I was going to read The Thirteenth Tale, but I left it in Des Moines last time we were there, so I’ll have to pick that one up when we are in town for the State Fair in a couple weeks.
Have you read anything excellent lately?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Project Life, week 27,28,29

I'm getting quicker with this digital Project Life process. Partially from practice and getting in a rhythm with the products I use over and over, and also because I'm still behind (still need to do weeks 21-24), and so spending less time on each layout means getting more pages finished. I've also given up on listing each product I've  used here on the blog posts. If you want to know where I purchased a certain product, just let me know.

I still love the project. So many of these photos and memories would be totally lost in the shuffle if I weren't finding a home for them in Project Life. I know these aren't the most thrilling blog posts - but to be honest, I'm using the energy I used to put into blogging photos/stories into Project Life, so this is what you get! ;) Seriously, I hope you enjoy seeing either the scrapping aspect, or the little window into our daily lives via Project Life.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Layout Share

I ordered some Instagram prints via Printstagram a few weeks ago. I wasn't entirely impressed - either with the shipping speed or the printing quality. There's nothing wrong with them, I was just hoping to be wowed. I was still inspired by the fresh stack of prints, so I dug into my July Studio Calico kit last  week.

 The rest of the layouts were made with other papers from my stash, including some Amy Tangerine Sketchbook I picked up in Des Moines last weekend. It's so fun! I also used a couple pages from the Duly Noted paper pack I got from JamaicaMakes.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Project Life 20 & 26

I've been struggling to catch up with my digi Project Life pages since week got back from Italy, but I'm determined to be back up to speed within the next couple weeks. Right now I am 5 weeks behind. I decided to alternate between older and more recent weeks, to make sure I don't forget all the recent daily details.

I noticed that I used lots of "craft" paper in these two spreads. Luckily they won't be next to each other in the album, so I'll make sure to get more colorful in the next round!

Last week I actually made some time to work on these three paper layouts. It helped that Lachlan was taking an afternoon nap and Kenley was happily "sorting" some of my supplies. It felt great to get these photos of our trip to Chicago scrapped, and to dig in to my last two Studio Calico kits. I slipped the layouts into my albums this afternoon and it was so much fun to flip through those photos and memories. I'm recommitted to setting aside some time on a weekly basis to make more layouts. I love my digital Project Life project... but it feels good to create with paper and glue and stickers, too. Plus, pages like these really highlight the special moments I want to remember about our lives.

Happy 4th of July!

Originally uploaded by Kirsten W

We're having a low key day at home, and counting our blessings to live in such a great country!