Monday, March 31, 2014

Frozen Birthday Party

Have you been walking around singing the songs to Disney's Frozen in your head? That totally describes us, except it's everyday and not in our heads, but loud and off key. We were pretty much counting down the days until Frozen came out on video and have watched it almost everyday since. When it came time to plan sweet Mckenzie's birthday party, there was no doubt it was to be the best Frozen party ever!!!

My two girls helped with a lot of the planning. One very important detail was to have Olaf outside to greet people. 

Then we turned the house into a winter wonderland. The best decoration of all were the paper snow flakes. They were cheap and easy and made such a big impact. We probably made a hundred of them and taped them up everywhere. 

I bought some digital files on Etsy and printed out a banner and some signs. It was great to have the characters from the movie as a part of the party. 

We did a party Saturday morning complete with PJs and pancakes! All the kids had pancakes dusted with snow (powdered sugar) and decked out with sprinkles! Mckenzie even had candles in her pancake tower. 

 After pancakes and presents the kids colored Frozen coloring pages and made snowmen out of marshmallows!

Our party favor were these wonderful snowflake cookies we made and decorated ahead of time! 

It was a great day. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Project Life

If you are someone who is new to Project life this is for you. If you have seen all the great Project Life supplies at Micheals and want some this post if for you. If you have some Project Life stuff and don't know how to start, this post is for you. If you have been doing Project Life and just want some more ideas. This post is for you! 

I love Project Life. I have been doing it for a number of years now. This was my first album ever in 2010. It is the Cherry Edition. 

I fell in love with it right away. I loved the layout and the way it told a beautiful story of our lives. I used days of the week stickers to connect the photos to the journaling and I took a picture everyday. As I look back, I love the pictures, but I also love the journaling. I love reading about what we were doing and thinking. There are so many little details I would have forgotten is they had not been recorded. And my favorite thing about looking back through my Project Life book is it helps me to see the good. I know we've had struggles and hard days, but through it all, there has been so much good, so many little miracles, so many small blessings. 

Every week follows the same format. I have a title card in the upper left corner with the dates and then a picture for everyday of the week and journaling cards for everyday of the week. Then I use the days of the week stickers to coordinate the pictures and journaling cards. (These stickers no longer come with the kits, you can buy them on-line at Two Peas in a Bucket.) I also make some later on.

If you are new to project life or want to keep things simple, this is a great format to follow. One thing I have always loved about project life is the design is done for you. Instead of trying to come with a great scrapbook page design every time you sit down, you can focus on documenting the memory. It's fast, simple and wonderful. 

Here is another album I did for 2012 using the Amber Edition. This was my favorite kit to work with. I loved the bright colors. It seems to go with everything and fit me perfectly.

This year I was learning more about mixed media and started adding paint and rub-ons and alphabet stickers to my pages. I didn't have time for a lot of traditional scrapbooking so I started using all my cool supplies in my Project Life book and was loving it. 

I used the same basic format, but dressed it up a little bit. This is a title card, where I included the date, but also a title for the week. 

This is one of my favorite layouts ever. School was out and I unintentionally took a picture everyday of my two daughters together. I didn't even realize they were together in every picture until I had developed them and was putting them into the layout. It's my favorite because it shows what good friends they really are. 

I also started adding more paper details from our lives, like receipts, cards, pictures the girls color, business cards, programs, ticket stubs, or even pictures from on-line. 

paper, paint and doodling... 

So the big question everyone asks, is how do you take a picture everyday? And do you want to know my secret? I don't. I know this might seem a little unorthodox, but it is what works for me. I try to take a picture everyday, but some days you forget or are too busy. So when I have my camera out and am having fun taking pictures of my kids I take a couple extra "filler" pictures to fill in on the days I missed. Because this picture of my baby with baby food all over her face could really be on any day. We go through the messy baby food routine everyday. For me I can easily take my camera out on Monday, and take a picture of a child in their favorite PJs, take a picture of our favorite cereal, take a picture of my other daughter with her back pack all ready for school, take a picture of the babies cute smile, take a picture of the kids playing, take a picture of the dog, take a picture of my husband when he comes home from work, or the kids riding their bikes and I easily have enough material to fill our whole week. Some other ideas for filler pictures are, take a picture of the rooms of your house (don't let a lack of design and decorating inhibit you, one day you'll love the memory and the imperfection), take a picture of your Facebook or Instagram feed, take a picture of a sweet text message, use a recipe card, save some of your kids art work, look up images of your town or favorite restaurant online, take a picture of a book your reading, cut a picture out of a magazine or write a note to your kids. The possibilities are endless. 

Now this isn't what I typically do. I do enjoy capturing moments everyday that I never want to forget.   But don't let the idea of having to take a picture everyday stress you out. If you try to take pictures and add in some "filler" material you'll find you will have enough stuff to work with. My biggest asset in getting pictures taken everyday is my iPhone! How did I ever love without it? I always have it with me and can easily snap that precious moment no matter where we are. 

Another thing I hear people say, is I don't have a lot of kids so what would I document? There are lots so people out there you do Project Life and don't have kids. It's a way to document or journal your life, whatever that maybe. If it's mostly pictures of your travels, your thoughts, art work, photography, grandchildren, things you are grateful for, etc. It can be something you do just for yourself or maybe you do it so your grandchildren can get to know their grandma better. Make it your own. Make it work for you. 

Now you don't have to follow the format of taking pictures everyday. You can simply use it to document the pictures you do have. You can have it summarize pictures from January or memories from a fun trip. It's a great way to document almost anything. 

This was a trip we took to Arizona and I have way more pictures then these, but I love picking out a few pictures to tell the story of what we did the whole week and it's easy to see and remember all on a 2 page spread. 

This is from my 2013 album. You can see I really started adding more embellishments and scrapbooking techniques. At the time I couldn't find any days of the week stickers so I simply printed up the days of the week on my computer and printed them out. Then I made little flags out or scraps of patterned paper or used washi tape behind the day print out. 

This little card has all of my favorite things, negative space, phrase stamps and wood veneer. I love using the leftover pieces from when you've cut or punches something out. For a scrapbook layout I did a while a go I had to cut out a whole bunch of circles. I saved some of these scraps to see if I could find a fun way to use them. I just had a small piece and fought it would be a fun layer to this 4 x 3 card. I love how it adds more pattern without covering everything up and I loved that I could stamp "smiles" into the circle and it highlights it perfectly. 

Here is another title card where I stamped all the dates. I love roller stamps with dates and phrases!

This is a recent page I did from last year. Yes I am still trying to finish my 2013 book. I usually stay up to date, but with having a baby in the fall, I got behind. Heck I was behind from the very beginning last year.  I loved using this Project Life Winter Themed Cards. 

 I hate that it's hard to see all the details in this 2 page spread. I balanced the whole spread with pink and turquoise, gold accents and wood veneer. 

Spring Break is still very snowy here in Colorado. 

One of my favorite things about doing project life is that it has inspired me to take more pictures of the details of our lives. I love capturing everyday moments. It's the little things that I love the most. 

This is my Favorite picture from the spread! It was Mckenzie's birthday and she was tickled pink! I love this sweet girl. 

For more project life info and products check out Becky Higgins. Good luck on all your Project Life adventures!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I want to be a Children's Book Illustrator!

I am sorry I haven't posted in a while, life got crazy with family visiting and sick kids, but I am so excited to share an amazing experience I had with you! I was visiting with a friend and she shared the amazing news that she signed a contract with a publisher to have some children's books published. I was so happy for her! Immediately my wheels started turning. She read us the book and showed us a few pictures. I was feeling so inspired. As she read the words, I could picture the illustrations in my head. I really wanted to try sketching the story, just for practice. She sent me the story and I did a little sketch, just for fun. 

Later she called me and said her illustrator fell through and she would love if I would do some sketches for her. I was excited for the challenge and really scared too. I'm sure you've seen people post about their word for the year. Well my word for this year is fearless! (more to come on my word later!!) This experience was a great example for me of overcoming my fears and doubts and just going for it. When I had some time to sketch I felt a little overwhelmed, and the doubts started to come. Who was I to think I could do children's illustrations? I had never done anything like this before. I just told myself to be fearless and went into my room with my sketch book and an hour later I had the cutest little cowboy you ever did see. 

I love him. I also had to give him a little side kick. I though it would be cute to have the frog on every page doing cute things in the background.  Me and my girls love reading books with things like that. I started with a dog, but it just wasn't working, so then I had the idea of doing this frog and I loved it. I loved the idea that it could be a frog he found outside and stuck in his pocket. After completely my cowboy I felt like I had accomplished so much. Then I wanted to make sure I could create the pictures for the rest of the book, so I started sketching the whole story. I wanted to see if I could create the movement and character I envisioned. I was so happy with the results. 

Here is his cute little cowboy boots. 

His mom and little sister. 

Going for a ride. 

Whirling his lasso. 

The next step was to add color and complete a few pages. I used a mix of watercolor, acrylic paint and oil pastels. 

Here's my little cowboy

his side kick. 

His hat shading his eyes from the sun. 

I also did a page for another story about a little girl playing in the rain

Rain, rain go away, come again another day... 

Pink heart rain boots and flowers in her hand. 

My friend submitted the illustrations to her publisher and they choose someone else to illustrate the book. I was sad that I didn't get to work with her on these books, because I really liked them. I also had so much fun with this process. Sometimes you try and fail... and that's ok. I have always loved children's books and I have so many illustrators that I love and admire. I am so grateful for this experience. I don't think I ever would have had the guts to try illustrations on my own, or maybe not for a while. Now I've had a taste of doing illustrations and I loved it. 

I would love to be a children's book illustrator! 

I am grateful for this experience. 

The Cowboy and Girl in the Rain. 

Sometimes you try and fail and then you try and try and try again.