13 July 2018

Feline Friday with Rory

 Rory is spending a few days with her Cat Dad while her meowmy comes to visit us in Iowa! She very much enjoys visiting Cat Dad where she can sleep in her special chair. There are also great windows for outdoor viewing, just at the right height!

  And guess who showed up on the walkway outside the window? A new ginger friend!

 It is unclear whether Ginger Kitty has a home but since she appears thin, "someone" put some food and water out for her. :)

Ginger Kitty is very content to just hang out on the cool walkway outside the window.

Rory thinks it's fun to have a "through the glass" friend! :)
Happy Feline Friday, y'all!

06 July 2018

Feline Friday: City Kitty

Lily enjoys venturing outside occasionally on her harness. (I STILL need to get her a sturdier harness, so we don't go very far from the door.)

 She's such a city kitty that she won't even walk in the grass! But this time, she actually nibbled some catnip from my pitiful looking plant. That's a first for her -- very outdoorsy!

 She was mostly content to just sit on the step and look around. All was well until I saw a dog coming down the street. (Remember the Dog Incident from last summer?)

Lily saw the dog, too, and she was ready to go back inside. We are taking no chances!
Still, being outside was fun while it lasted!
Happy Feline Friday! 

29 June 2018

Feline Friday

 Things you can do from atop the cat tree:

Hang your feets straight down:

  Then fall asleep pressed against the window, watching your meowmy work in the garden:

 Discover coffee brewing and wonder if it's tasty:

 Say hi to new friends!

Or let your imagination go wild:

Happy Feline Friday! 

22 June 2018

Feline Friday with Rory

 While her meowmy was away recently, Cousin Rory in Texas broke in an awesome new cat sitter! As you can see, Rory was pretty stressed out about it. LOL

She loves her new cat sitter and was only too happy to show off for her!

  It's a great sign to see Rory exposing her tummy like this. Kitties only do that if they feel safe and secure. 

 And of course, it's fun and reassuring for Cousin Rory's meowmy to see pictures while she is away and know that everything is going great!
If you have a furbaby in your life, you know that a caring and professional pet sitter is worth his or her weight in gold. Here's to those unsung heroes who care for our furbabies while we're away! 💕

Happy Feline Friday!


19 June 2018

Catching Up on Scrapbooking: Disney Album

A version of this post was originally shared on our Memory Bound blog! :)

If you follow my blog, you know I've been working on catching up on my scrapbooking. As I've slogged through boxes of photos, I've encountered several stacks of vacation photos that had not been scrapbooked. I actually love making vacation scrapbooks but when you're trying to catch up on your family albums, sometimes vacation photos can take a back seat. Know the feeling? :)

 Now that I've finished 2004 and 2005 family pages, I decided to turn my attention to scrapbooking a trip to Disney World we took in 2004. I've been working on the album for a few days now and it's coming along well so I thought I'd share my process!

  Themed/coordinated paper

 I typically don't choose themed paper for a vacation album, since on our trips we usually visit different places resulting in photos with various color schemes. But since these photos were largely taken at the same place, they mostly have a similar look and feel. So I decided to go with a themed collection for this album, which makes scrapbooking super easy. And albums that use themed/coordinated papers have a very cohesive look and feel.

I chose a current Disney collection and made sure to get a couple of different cut-apart designs which fit in 4x4, 4x6, and 3x4 pockets.   

 I also purchased die cuts for various sections of my album -- Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Disney World, etc. These die cuts serve beautifully as titles for each section. Here's one I used in a previous Disney album as the first page in that section:

In praise of the project box

I use a 12x12 Iris box for my album projects to keep everything organized. In fact, I have many going right now, one for each project. This makes it easy for me to tote my projects around the house if I want to spread out on the kitchen table!

Here's what I have in my Disney album project box:
All paper, cardstock, embellishments, etc. for this project
Memorabilia - postcards, maps, ticket stubs, etc.
Tools such as punches, dies, stamps, etc.

As I work on projects, I try to keep things (somewhat!) organized, although I'm constantly having to tidy up after myself! I'm a REALLY messy scrapbooker! I find it helpful to put all small embellishments in a container so I don't lose them. I also clip together partial sheets of paper so that I remember to use those up first before cutting into a full sheet.

Photo organization

This trip took place in 2004, back when all of my printed photos were 3.5x5. We are so lucky to print in 4x6 now, which fit directly in pockets with no matting! Since my photos are smaller, they have to be matted on 4x6 cardstock/paper before slipping into the pockets.  The good thing is that this allows you to incorporate more color and pattern into your album with all of those mats!

 Normally I'm a very chronological scrapbooker but with a trip like this, I find it easier to group photos by location. So for instance, all photos taken at the hotel -- regardless of day -- will be grouped in one section of the album called "Around the Hotel". I organized the stack of photos in this way, discarding duds as I went along.

Divide and conquer

I came up with these sections for my album and grouped my photos into these categories:

Cover page -- set aside 3 favorite photos
Packing and travel to WDW
Around the hotel
Blizzard Beach
Animal Kingdom
Magic Kingdom
End page -- set aside 1-3 favorite photos

Dividing your album into sections makes it much easier, as you can work on one section at a time and not get bogged down. This can also help your album have a cohesive look and feel, as you can repeat page designs and color schemes with each new
 section -- you don't have to re-invent the wheel each time!

Here's an example of a page I created for a Universal Studios album last year. Even though we went to this part of the park on a couple of different days, I grouped all of the photos together in one section and created an introductory page like this one with a few traditional pages and lots of pocket pages to follow. For each new section of the album, I created a similar intro page. (Note the layered die cut which functions as a title and embellishment all in one!)

Gather all the things

Finally, I put everything together for each section. In other words, I grouped my photos, memorabilia, and any embellishments for that particular section so I'd remember to use what I purchased or saved from your trip! After all, I've saved this stuff for 14 years!

Sleeves and pockets (not the kind you wear)

In addition to traditional 12x12 sleeves, I purchased package or two of 4x6 vertical and 4x6 horizontal sleeves. 6x12 sleeves are also very handy for those folded park maps.  4x4 and 3x4 pockets are great for distance photos that can be cropped down without losing any important context. I always keep a variety of sizes on hand.


I have converted all of my albums to 12x12 3-ring binders by We R Memory Keepers.  I went with gray for this project, although black or red would be also great for a Disney album (the color shown here is tan).

I filled the new album with the empty page projectors and pocket pages. When I finish a page, I just pull out a sleeve, add the page, and put it at the front of the album.

I cut the 12x12 cut-apart paper into pieces (3x4, 4x4, 4x6) and slipped them into the blank pockets for safe keeping. When I need one to add to a page, I can just pull it out of the pocket. This keeps everything nice and neat!

Now keep in mind that most of the time, my work surface looks like this! haha :)

It took just a few hours to complete the above steps and with those tasks done, I was all ready to start my album! After just a few days working on it, I'm happy to report that my Disney album is coming together quickly and will soon be ready to enjoy!

Stay tuned for the next part of this series, which will focus on planning out the pages -- both traditional and pocket pages -- of the album.
Thanks for visiting and happy scrapbooking! :)

15 June 2018

Feline Friday: Refill Day!

I have to store Lily's food in a container with a tight lid because she's quite good at prying things open. In addition, I  store the big bag of extra food in the garage because -- you guessed it -- she will gnaw a hole right in the bag to create a free-flowing dispenser! BTDT!

So if you're Lily, you know it's going to be a good day if it's time to refill your food storage container! There is always the opportunity to snag a few extra morsels while Mommie has her back turned.

Recently I was fixin' to refill Lily's container and left it sitting on the floor with the lid off (my first mistake). I ran out to the garage to get the bag and came back to her attempting to tip over the container. Naturally, she easily pulled it down and created a minor food spill. I was too busy scooping up food before she inhaled it to get a picture, but you can imagine what that looked like. Please see Exhibit A for an idea of what she's capable of... 😅

Meanwhile I left the food bag unattended (my second mistake). While I was cleaning up the food spill, THIS happened.

Yep, she managed to poke herself far enough into the bag to grab a few tasty morsels.
 All I can say is Royal Canin Moderate Calorie Urinary S.O. kibble must be extra DELICIOUS! Actually, Lily thinks pretty much any food is extra delicious! 😀

09 June 2018

Scrapbooks Under Construction!

This is a page from 2003 from a scrapbooking convention our store hosted. I only recently scrapbooked this big event! The title "Scrapbooks Under Construction" seems fitting for this post!

I talk with people all the time who are behind on their scrapbooking, and I can certainly relate to that! After considerable messing around with things, I FINALLY finished the 2004 scrapbooks...14 years later!

You might be wondering why I was in this predicament to begin with. Way back then, in 2004 or thereabouts, I did quite a bit of scrapbooking but started skipping over events or activities that I didn't want to scrapbook, such as holidays. All holidays. And vacations. All vacations. And cat pictures. All cat pictures. And anything with a picture of ME. With so much skipping, I had oodles of pictures still not scrapbooked.

Add to that the problem of the old post-bound album format, which made it hard to go back and add photos...and that's why I am in this situation today: Partially finished albums.

Thank goodness for 3-ring binders! I converted all of my post-bound albums to this format, which makes life ever so much easier. And thank goodness for pocket pages, with which I easily added the missing events into my 2004 albums. I forced myself to deal with the Christmas photos and they really weren't as overwhelming as I expected. I kept telling myself that as soon as Christmas was done, the album would be finished!

I just kept the format very simple and added a few captions here and there. With that, I've finished two albums for 2004.
 However, we did go to DisneyWorld that summer, so I have an entire vacation still to do. I've purchased the album and paper for that and plan to start that project in short order.

 So I thought I'd take a cautious one-eyed peek to see how daunting 2005 might be. When I lifted the lid on the photo box, I could see that it was stuffed FULL, so that was a bit concerning! 
 But when I pulled out my albums, I could see that I've already made two albums for that year and they're also very full, which suggested that I just MIGHT be in better shape than it appeared! I started looking through the pictures in the box and comparing them to layouts already done and discovered...HIP HIP HOORAY!...that with just a few exceptions, almost all of the events have already been scrapbooked! The photos in the box are duplicates which I promptly and GLEEFULLY recycled!

Now I did discover TWO big trips in that box which will also need to be scrapbooked, but I will do those separately as they will need to go in a different album.

 Then I turrned to my memorabilia files....YIKES! This is where I will need to focus my attention for 2005. In these files are newspaper clippings, programs, tickets, etc. which need to be incorporated into the two albums. I had skipped over them previously because I was using the old post-bound format. So now I will use smaller sleeves and just add them in between the pages that are already done in my 3-ring binders. This will be easy to do and shouldn't take a lot of time. Some of this stuff is vacation memorabilia, so it's actually not quite as bad as it looks.

 So even though I still have a ton to do, I am slightly encouraged to find that 2005 won't be nearly as hard to scrpabook as the previous years I've worked on. I'm going to keep going and see how far I can get this weekend!

08 June 2018

Feline Friday: Good Morning, Rory!

Occasionally, in the early morning hours, my phone will *PING* with that familiar text sound. The only person who texts me at that hour is Bailey, so of course I always check my phone immediately to be sure everything is OK. (As all moms know, that's just what moms do.)

But I've also come to look forward to those early morning texts because they often deliver a picture of sweet Rory, doing her morning thing. And that precious girl never fails to bring a smile to my face, no matter the time of day. 

Good morning, Rory! 😊

06 June 2018

Catching Up on Scrapbooking: Slow but Steady

Emphasis on SLOW.

Very slow, actually.

Awhile back, I shared that I had finished loosely scrapbooking all of my 2004 photos, but still had to go back and add the journaling. I wasn't sure if this way of doing things would prove to be faster or slower. I do think there are efficiencies working this way, but OH, MY GOODNESS... 

I can't seem to find my way out of 2004! I'd like to be able to finish a page and not have to revisit it.

I am not going to do this again! Going forward, I won't move on until the page is completely done, with embellishments and journaling.

ANYWAY... here are some thoughts.

I've had to do a lot of "speed scrapbooking" with pocket pages to make everything fit in two albums for the year. The pages are very flat (no pop dots allowed!) with very few lumpy embellishments. Super simple. Most are so simple that they are not even worth sharing! LOL But my goal here is to just get the darn pictures out of the boxes and into the albums -- not to win any prizes! :) 

Here are some examples:
LH: Random kitten and camper photos -- on one page!
RH: Girl Scout trip, with newspaper article

Below are 3 super-simple, minimal embellishment pages. Journaling is always the most important thing to me. But when you wait 14 years to do the scrapbooking (AHEM!!), it's a test of one's memory! :) 

 Luckily, I've been diligent about keeping my memorabilia organized. That's my saving grace! For instance, I had saved newspaper articles about the new school that opened in 2004 and reading those articles reminded me of the excitement we felt at the time. During those years, I also had Bailey fill out a little "form" at the beginning and end of the school year. It's interesting to see what she looked forward to -- and worried about -- each year!

I've found several fun items in my memorabilia file. At left is a list of the Halloween candy Bailey collected on Trick or Treat night. Although she claimed the list was to keep track of popular candy trends, I really think she tallied up the totals so she'd know if someone (her father or me!) snitched a piece or two! :)

LH: Here's a 6x12 page using the only (poor quality) photos I had for an honor band event. If I don't have many photos, I find it helpful to just use a smaller page protector. The 3-ring binder makes that easy to do. Next to the 6x12 page, I included an 8.5x11 sleeve with the program.

Going back through these photos, it's evident that we were very busy during those middle school years! Bailey was involved in all kinds of projects and activities. Girl Scouts took up a good portion of our spare time, as I was a troop leader for many years. I have so many scouting photos that I've had to pare them down with minimal journaling, but I have kept some favorites including a few pictures of regular troop meetings. (When deciding which photos to keep, I try to save some that are representative of all of our activities. I also think about the kinds of photos I WISH I had from my childhood today!)

Until we lost my parents, we camped at the fair every year. Bailey would camp during the entire duration of the fair, so we have TONS of fair photos. These are precious pictures to me, so I tend to keep a lot more than I probably need to.
In addition to attending the fair, in many years we entered competitions so I have lots and lots of great stories in my scrapbooks. 

For a few years (LH page) Spouse was a judge in the chili competition. RH page: Both my aunt and mom entered exhibits in the dollhouse competition.

At this particular fair, Bailey entered the junior sewing competition with a pajama top and bottom. Looking back on these photos is a great reminder of how much fun we had during those years!

And that's really why we scrapbook: To preserve -- and re-live -- our stories. So no matter how long this process takes me, I will continue to work on my scrapbooks!