28 February 2009

The Start of a Portrait Album

A couple of weeks ago, I started putting together an album of our daughter's 8x10 portraits. I thought about including them in my regular family albums, but there are so many (when you consider school portraits -- sometimes two per year -- dance, show choir, and professional sittings) that they seemed to warrant an album of their own. I thought long and hard and came up with a VERY simple format that can be repeated (with a kraft cardstock base and different accent colors) on each page.

I've put together several pages so far, with many more to go. It will be nice to have all of these portraits in one place. And it's fun to look through them and see how she's grown over the years. :-)

26 February 2009

Getting Control

There is a MASSIVE project underway at our house. It involves boxes of photos, old negatives, years of unprinted digital images, and a looming deadline (high school graduation in May, 2010). Can anyone relate? Many scrapbookers find themselves in this kind of predicament. It is, quite frankly, overwhelming.

I recently decided that if I am ever going to get on top of this mountain of scrapbooking, I needed a plan. I knew the scope was "big" but that is too vague a term for me. So when I saw Becky Higgins' chart of layouts to make (see it here), I decided that some sort of chart would be one component of my plan. More on that in a bit.

The first thing I tackled was the boxes of old photos tucked away in a closet. I thought they were in fairly decent order, but when I dug into them, I realized that wasn't the case. In fact, there was an entire box of undated photos that had been pulled out and never returned to their correct spot. After years of digging through the boxes for school projects, photos were in quite a disarray. I could not possibly tell which layouts needed to be created with this kind of mess.

So I created my own version of Becky's chart and dug into the boxes. I put photos back in their correct spots, identified layouts I might want to make, and started creating lists.

As I wrote down the various events and topics represented in the photos, I could easily see which ones would be the most important to scrapbook, combine with other photos, leave in the box, or make into mini-albums. I now have a good idea of what I need to complete for each year.

I had already started a binder for old negatives, and as I went through the boxes, I added more negatives to the sleeves. I use Cropper Hopper Negative Sleeves, labeled with the month and year so I can retrieve a negative if needed. Once I'm done with this binder, I'll store it at my husband's office. It's a good idea to store negatives at another place in the event of a fire.

Of course, we're digital now, so I no longer have to deal with negatives. But I have another issue with current photos: I'm a good two years behind in printing. Now THAT is a daunting problem.

So I purchased a pre-paid 10 cent/print package on Shutterfly and started editing, uploading, and placing orders, beginning with January 2009 photos.
And as soon as I received my first order of photos, I started scrapbooking them. I've made several layouts already with just a couple more to go before I receive my next batch of photos.

I hope that this process will enable me to get on top of what was previously a looming, but undefined, challenge. I now understand how many and what kinds of layouts I need to make. Looking at the fun topics to be scrapbooked (pre-school, zoo, first steps, vacations...) actually makes me look forward to jumping into those boxes. For me, defining the problem is a critical first step in solving it.

In addition, I now have a process which will enable me to print my backlog of digital images and keep up with more current scrapbooking. I'm feeling confident now that with ongoing planning and persistence, I CAN meet this challenge ahead of the big deadline!

24 February 2009

Another layout to share

Here's another layout I finished up recently using photos of our daughter's show choir at their open dress rehearsal back in January, just before the competitive season started. They've attended several big events this winter, so I have NUMEROUS show choir layouts to make!

This design is actually based on a sketch from Cathy Zielske's Big Picture Scrapbooking online class, Design Your Life, which ended back in December. The paper is hoarded Ki Memories from my extensive Ki stash. Notice that I used just a tiny bit. Yep, still hoarding. :-)

23 February 2009

Layout Share

Here's one of a few layouts I made over the weekend. If you've been reading my blog, you probably recognize these pictures of our Lily playing on the step ladder.

Believe it or not, I have made very few pages for Lily, as I'm trying to focus my scrapbooking efforts on Daughter's activities. But as soon as I printed these photos, I knew that I had to do something with them.
I'll admit that Lily makes a very fun subject!

22 February 2009

Puff Ball Mania

Lily and Tinsel live in a somewhat "crafty" household. This works to their benefit, because we have lots of leftover supplies which make fun toys.

Of all the leftovers, they like puff balls best of all. Around here, it's practically a puff ball bonanza! We have puff balls in a variety of sizes and colors. On any given day you can find them being pushed...

or carried from one hiding place to another.

Sometimes at night, Tinsel takes a puff ball to the foot of the stairs and "calls" upstairs to Lily with her rare, but very distinctive motherly meow. On those special occasions, a puff ball can even be a peace offering.

19 February 2009

Quick & Easy Travel Mini-Album

In the spring, the store where I teach will celebrate National Scrapbooking Day with a series of short classes. I'll be doing a one-hour travel mini-album class. I was inspired by this sheet of Around the Block travel quotes and journaling blocks to put together this little project.

In addition to the quotes and journaling blocks, I used a combination of cardstock "pages" and die-cut shapes to create surface area for photos. This little album will hold as many photos as you'd like. I used lots of 4x6 and wallet-sized pictures from our trip to Seattle and Vancouver a few years ago to complete my sample.

This promises to be a fun and lively class!

18 February 2009

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Lily relaxing with back legs extended, like a dog
(Starbucks straw close at hand...er...paw)

17 February 2009

Scalloped Box of Cards

Here's another class project I recently finished up: A scalloped box of cards. I made the box completely from scratch using cardstock and a scalloped square dieboard. Making a box isn't nearly as hard as you may think! I filled the box with six simple cards, but it could also be used to hold jewelry or keepsakes.

I decided to use this older 7 Gypsies paper for my project, since I've always loved it and the color palette worked well for the for the "look" I was trying to achieve with this project.

Can't wait to teach this class! :-)

15 February 2009

Love You Forever project

Here's another class project I finished up this past week, and I have to say, I think it's one of my favorite projects ever. I was inspired by the children's book, Love You Forever, to create a mini-album for a mom to give an adult child or a child who is headed off to college. I adapted the text of the book so that it describes how the mom's love stays constant over five stages of a child's life. Suffice it to say that many tears were shed as I worked on this project! (Sometimes I wonder why I put myself through these things! lol)

The color inspiration for this project was the Sassafras Lass scalloped paper on the front cover. I used shades of teal, green, and ivory throughout the album.

I'm looking forward to teaching this class in the spring. Note to self: Bring box of Kleenex. :-)

13 February 2009

Feline Friday

There's nothing like a pile of warm towels on a chilly winter day!

12 February 2009

Tabby Thursday

I walked into the family room yesterday and found Lily staring at the blank TV screen, waiting for her "show" to come on.
Sad, isn't it?

11 February 2009

Under Construction: Recipe Album

I've been hunkered down over the past few days planning out some classes for next quarter at the store where I teach. I decided that it was time to do another recipe album, this time in an 8x8 format. For something different, I'm using an acrylic stand instead of an album. The finished project can sit on a kitchen counter for easy access to favorite recipes.

I used the new Teresa Collins line "Haute Cuisine" for this project. I love the clean, crisp look of the product. I'm looking forward to teaching this class!

10 February 2009

Honor Choir Performance

Over the past couple of days, our daughter participated in an honor choir event at Iowa State University. The choir was comprised of approximately 105 high school students from across Iowa who auditioned in November. It was a great opportunity to work with an accomplished director and musicians from other schools.

Last evening, we had the pleasure of attending the group's concert. It was a fine performance by a group of outstanding young vocal students. For their final selection, the group performed the very challenging spiritual "The Battle of Jericho". Our daughter had sung this piece previously and it's one of our favorites.

If you have a moment, I hope you'll take a few minutes to listen to this great performance!

09 February 2009

Armed, but not dangerous!

One day last week when I was at Memory Bound working on class projects, the store received a shipment of the new Glue Glider Pro adhesives. Our store owners had recently returned from CHA where they had been introduced to this line of adhesive, and one told me it was the best adhesive she had ever tried. I've been in the market for a new adhesive, so I decided to give this one a go.

While the size of the tool may make it look intimidating (it measures 7" top to bottom and 5" side to side), let me assure you that it is VERY lightweight and easy to grip. It comes loaded with 40 feet of tape adhesive, and other types of adhesive are available in even larger refill cartridges. I understand that the cartridges are easy to pop in and out, making it easy to change adhesives for different kinds of projects.

In using the Glue Glider Pro on several projects over the weekend, I found that the adhesive dispensed cleanly and held well. The roller moves smoothly and handles easily. My only complaint (and it's a minor one) is that the tape isn't completely centered on the dispenser's roller. Normally that isn't a problem at all, but when applying adhesive to a narrow strip of paper, I had to watch carefully to be sure the adhesive was centered on the strip and not extending off the side. This problem is easily remedied by simply re-centering the tape if needed.

I'm giving the Glue Glider Pro a big thumbs up! I believe I've found my new adhesive! :-)

06 February 2009

Feline Friday: Organize your ribbon!

If you're a scrapbooker, you know that ribbon can quickly turn into a tangled mess. So, as a public service to scrapbookers everywhere, Lily kindly offered to put together a brief tutorial on organizing this essential scrapbooking embellishment.

First, sort through your ribbon and be sure you like it all. There is no need to organize ribbon you don't like! Use your undesirable ribbon to wrap packages or even make cat toys, or give it away to someone who might enjoy it. Keep only the ribbon you like and will actually use.

Next, test the strength of your ribbon by pulling it through your teeth. This is an important but often-overlooked step in the organization process!

(Editor's note: This photo is a bit blurry, but I thought you might like to see how the inside of Lily's mouth is spotted like a cow!)

Finally, wind your ribbon around floss spools and sort it by color. We prefer rainbow-color order at our house. This system makes it easy to choose the perfect ribbon for your project.

Once your ribbon is organized, put it in a nice box like this one and close the lid. You sure don't want any cats getting into it! :-)

By following these steps, Lily says that your ribbon will be purr-fectly organized!

Next week: Tinsel tackles pop dots.

05 February 2009

Tabby Thursday

At the risk of being redundant (refer to last week's post here), I bring you yet another glimpse into life at our house:

03 February 2009

White Chip Chocolate Cookies

Looking in the cupboard the other day, I realized that we have accumulated a PLETHORA of white baking chips. So I decided to make a batch of cookies to use some of them up. Luckily, there was a recipe on the back of the package, and (amazingly) I actually had all the ingredients. If you like the combination of chocolate and white chips, then this recipe is for you! The cookies were quite tasty. For quality assurance purposes, I tested several. :-)

White Chip Chocolate Cookies

Estimated Times:
Preparation - 10 min | Cooking - 9 min | Cooling Time - 15 min cooling | Yields - 60 cookies (5 dozen)


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Premier White Morsels

PREHEAT oven to 350° F.

COMBINE flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Drop by well-rounded teaspoon onto ungreased baking sheets. (Note: The dough is very stiff!)

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until centers are set. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. (Note: I baked the cookies for 12-13 minutes.)

01 February 2009

Fabulous Award

My blogging buddy, Sarah C., graciously shared this award with me. (Hey, that rhymes!) Thank you, Sarah!

The Fabulous Award Rules:

  1. You have to pass it on to 5 other fabulous blogs in a post.
  2. You have to list 5 of your fabulous addictions in the post.
  3. On your post of receiving this award, make sure you include the person that gave you the award and link it back to them.

My 5 Fabulous Addictions:

  1. National Public Radio -- I listen to it day and night.
  2. Diet Coke -- Other than bubbly water, Diet Coke is my drink of choice.
  3. Blogging -- Didn't expect this to become an addiction! :-)
  4. Fonts -- I love, love, love fonts. Searching for fonts, identifying mystery fonts, and playing with fonts...all things I do quite frequently.
  5. Owls -- I've been somewhat obsessed with owls since they started coming back into fashion a few months back.
I could go on and on with this list, but the rules say to stop at just 5 addictions!

I read a lot of fabulous blogs, and it's certainly hard to choose just a few! 5 Fabulous Blogs I would like to pass this award onto:





Heather H