Thursday, March 31, 2011

Almost the Weekend

Tomorrow is Friday, hooray!!  DH has the day off and so do the kids.  I am planning on surprising everyone with a trip to the rollerskating rink  in the afternoon.  They'll love it.  We all enjoy rollerskating and have been bemoaning the fact that we haven't been able to go as a family because of work and class schedules.  Tomorrow is the day.  May even purchase DD her first pair of skates so she'll be all set for the summer.

I haven't been very creative this week.  Most of my time has been consumed with spring cleaning and keeping the kids from destroying the house or each other.  Add in DD's friends that don't get that we have those things called "RULES" at our house and it gets even better.  It feels like this week has sped past and I haven't accomplished a thing and yet it is creeping by with the kids getting bored and cranky.  Yeah for the weekend.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Still Baking

One nice thing about it being cooler outside at the moment is that I am still baking without worrying about how hot the house will get.  I made homemade Chicken Potpie for dinner and it was lovely.  Used my great-grandmother's pie crust recipe and my grandmother's creamy chicken filling recipe.  It is a good thing that I put DH's share away for his lunch tomorrow right away, otherwise he might not have gotten even a taste of it.  Amazing how encasing anything in pie crust then adding just a little bit of half & half and a splash of cooking sherry can change peas, carrots and celery from "yucky veggies" to "yum, more please" with the kids.  I'm glad that they enjoyed it and I'll have to remember to make another one when I have leftover chicken.

Homemade Chicken Potpie
Spring Break got off to a slow start today.  We all slept in and then lazed about most of the morning.  DD learned how to make scrambled eggs for breakfast, and did very well with hardly any mess at all.  She even helped me bake Rumpledoodles and helped roll out the pie crust for the pot pie.  She'll be a pretty good cook before too long.  Both kids love helping in the kitchen, now if only they liked to help clean up.

My Silly and Sweet kids.
I have a painting class to teach tomorrow and a few other projects I'd like to work on also.  The kids are hoping that it will be nicer outside because they are anxious to get on their bikes.  It is supposed to be sunny but cold out so we'll see how it all goes.  Maybe we'll sew up a few aprons and bake some brownies.

Sunny Icicles

Sunday, March 27, 2011

When is Spring?

Snow in mid to late March is not all that unusual around here but ... I was so ready for spring, especially after the little taste of gorgeous weather a week ago.  Last weekend we had wonderfully warm temperatures, the snow had melted and the mud puddles had almost disappeared.  But instead of spring this week we got snow, freezing rain, freezing temperatures, two snow days, cranky kids and a stir crazy mom.  At least the snow stopped, for now, and the sun has been shining.  The temperatures were still cooler than expected this weekend but sunny.

Spring Snow Storm

I got to work on a few layouts after putting the kids to bed on the snow days.  Having a great time combining my older papers and embellishments with my latest kits from Jenni Bowlin.  I've been so busy with creating that I've got to get more adhesive soon.  I've almost gone through all of my tape runners, dot runners and even the reserves.  I may have enough to get the layout I pulled paper for this afternoon completed.  Since I've got to take a trip to restock adhesive I'll just have to look around at paper, embellishments and other fun stuff while I'm there.  Can't pass up the chance right?

Daddy-Daughter Dance Layout
Adore Layout
2 Missing Teeth
My cute "winter" banner came down this past week also.  I created a bright "spring" banner while it was still sunny and spring-like.  I put it up to make the snow, sleet and freezing rain not seem so awful.  It did do some brightening up and the kids thing it is cute so that worked.

Spring Banner
This upcoming week is spring break for the kids.  An entire week with both of them home all day, thank goodness I've got projects planned for us all.  Should be fun - cards, name banners, aprons, painting too.  Plus plenty of spring cleaning and more organizing.  Here's hoping that the weather will get warmer and that we'll be able to spend time playing outside too.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Finishing Up

I have been finishing up the journaling for my i.Scrap album from the Stacy Julian class of the same name over at Big Picture Classes.  This has taken a lot of time, thought and reflection.  The connection between photos, thoughts, feelings and memories is such an amazing tool that we seldom really grasp.  Yes, journaling about the photos and memories is typical, after all that is "scrapbooking".  But to connect a statement with a photo on a purely intuitive level and then explore that connection is beyond where I usually go.  There were many "a-ha" moments while I worked on the various parts of this album.  Every aspect brought something new to light for me.  I loved this class.  I love my album.  I love Stacy and all the other class participant that took this path of discovery with me.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Art Every Day

I am so glad that we moved my "studio" into a corner in the living room from the kitchen.  I not only have a cleared table to eat at but I actually get the chance to be creative every day.  Having most of my supplies and inspiration at my finger tips makes the creative process so much easier.  I also love being right in the midst of all the family/kid activity.  I'm out of the way enough so they don't knock anything over or make messes but I can hear, see and be a part of what the kids are doing.  Now I just need to get some containers, racks, and hooks for items that I'd like to organize better.

DS playing Super Hero while I work on a layout.

I tried something different in my art journal the other day.  This was the first time I wrote the journaling on the page first and then painted over it.  The journaling is something I don't really want everyone to read but I wanted to write it down and make it part of my art journal.  So this technique worked out well.  I painted my favorite fabric paints over the journaling then wiped a few spots off with baby wipes.  After that was mostly dry I went over it with my "happy" color acrylic paint (green tea), again wiping areas with baby wipes.  The next day I added paper using gel medium and then more paint.  The latest step has been sketching the portrait and flowers I'll be painting next.

Sketched Flowers on art journal page.

I love getting new paper crafting products delivered right to my door.  This is fantastic and it will be happening monthly!  The March kit from Jenni Bowlin(JBS Mercantile) has some yummy papers that are going to work with photos I have been waiting to scrap.  The embellishments are darling and I can't wait to dress-up a mini album I have in the works with some of them.  And I'm still having fun creating with February's kit too.

Boy Wrap layout - March 2011 Jenni Bowlin Paper Crafting kit
1st Day of Preschool - February 2011 Jenni Bowlin Paper Crafting kit

1st Apartment layout - February 2011 Jenni Bowlin Paper Crafting kit

 I am also using a few layouts I created for some Silhouette classes I taught about three years ago.  It doesn't seem like it has been that long but it has.  Anyway, I created very basic layouts without photos to show some fun things you could do with the Silhouette and just found them stashed away.  I had a wonderful photo of my DD playing in the late afternoon summer sun and one of the layouts was perfect for it.

Summer Fun layout - title/topper, flourishes, and flower with bee all cut using Silhouette
 The weather was so gorgeous out today that the kids and I just had to get outside.  The kids played in our mushy, still thawing, mostly muddy yard while I grabbed a trash bag and started picking up the debris that winter left strewn about.  I am anxious to have consistently nice weather so I can start my garden this year.  I've got big plans including a vegetable patch, a flower & herb patch and even a small water feature.  That is if I can convince DH to help me get it started - need some raised beds and help with the water pump.  I think we will all enjoy spending time playing in the dirt and then harvesting but I'm pretty sure that I'll be the one doing the weeding and watering all summer.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Is In The Air

and the snow is melting.  We have mud puddles everywhere at the moment and I think half of my yard has been tracked into the house.  Yikes.  While I'm excited that the weather is getting a bit warmer and the kids can use up some of their excess energy playing outside, I'm not too thrilled that I've got to scrub the floors a few times each day.  But this stage will only last for a few more weeks (ok, months, but humor me).

I am still working on more scrapbook layouts.  I'm on a roll and it feels pretty good.  There are so many stories I want to share.  Can't believe how much I've missed doing layouts for myself.  I've done so many layouts, cards, mini albums and other projects as class samples or for someone else that it felt a bit weird just creating for myself.  I'm over that phase and totally enjoying making layouts just because I have something to share, a story to tell.  Fun, fun, fun.  I've gone through this process a few times and seem to let the "work" of creating get in the way of just having fun. 

Part of why I got back into scrapbooking is the great classes I've been participating in at Big Picture Classes.  They have certainly brought back my creative spark and got me going again.  I'm working on the journaling portion of Stacy Julian's i.Scrap class at the moment.  The album we made is turning out to be an awesome capsule of my life in 2010.  Working on my i.statements has really given me some great insight on where I was and where I want to head towards.

I've been working in my art journal lately too.  Delving into "Art at the Speed of Life" by Pam Carriker.  Great art, ideas, prompts, techniques and so much more.  So much I want try.  So many ideas floating in my head.  My 'inspiration' journal needs to get larger just to track everything.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Plenty of New Work

I had such a great time with the "Creative Retreat" class that May Flaum taught over at Big Picture Classes and am feeling full of creative energy still.  I can't believe the stack of layouts I have completed in the last month and I'm still on a roll.

I love the layouts I've created for Stacy Julian's i.Scrap class at Big Picture Classes, which started last Thursday.  They came together so quickly and turned out so cute.  I am loving how this album is turning out and can't wait for the next phase, the journaling.

I've been making "project packs" when I'm feeling creative but not able to spend much time in my "studio".  I have five packs for layouts, two new packs for mixed media projects and one for a sewing project.  My photo stash and supply stash are getting smaller.  I think I'll have to get some cardstock pretty soon since I've run out of my often used "Green Tea" from Bazzill, most reds, whole lot of blues, no white or black either.

I did get an infusion of some new products via my new subscription to Jenni Bowlin Monthly Kits.  Awesome stuff, loved February's and can't wait for March's.  I did one layout so far and have two more planned, packed and ready to go.  I will probably be working on these tomorrow while the kids are at school.