Monday, December 31, 2012

Get Ready!!

Well, it's the last day of the year, and I'm super excited to start a new one! Although, now that it's 12:40 in the afternoon, and I have tons of items on the checklist that are not yet checked, I'm having a little paniced moment of can I just have one more day before I'm supposed to start being good? So here I sit looking all kinds of glamorous...

Yeah, I'm that kind of resolutioner. It generally lasts about two weeks before I start to think, "Well, since I've been so good for 14 WHOLE days, surely I deserve a little reward, right?" And it's all down hill from there...

But this year WILL be different.

I've spent the last month or so kind of reevaluating what I want in my life and what I want to work harder at and what is and isn't worth a fight and what is most important. You know, all those little existential things...

And what I've come up with is that I actually enjoy my life. Our life. We are happy. We are healthy(ish). We are young(ish) and capable of a lot. Overall, I think what we've got going is good.

But there is always room for improvement, right? Right.

I am always wishing I could have crossed one more thing off my list. Always looking at that damned Hex Quilt thinking how I thought I'd be able to finish it in six months. That was three years ago...

So I've decided my word for this year needs to be something to get me off my butt more. Something that helps me get more accomplished. More work done. More fun had. More memories made. More projects to be proud of. More discipline where food goes. Less being afraid and more going for it.

Seeing a theme here? Yeah, I was going to go with MORE for my new word of the year. But then I decided that was waaaay too broad and not at all exciting. So I'm going to borrow a phrase instead. It's one we've all seen ten thousand times. We all know who it belongs to, and it's a little cliche, but I just don't care.

Like I said, cliche. But it's what I need to hear when I'm sitting there doubting myself about drilling a hole in the cabinet to hang twinkly lights. What will Eric say? You know what he'll say. He won't like it. What about resale? What about when you don't want the lights there anymore? Will it look bad? Will he say I told you so? I don't want to have to dig those damned lights out of storage. What a hassle. No, I'll just do it later.

And then later never happens.

That's what usually goes through my head when I have one of those "crafty" ideas. But this year I drilled a hole in the cabinets to hang the lights. I even hot glued sparkly stars to them and made snowflakes to hang and a garland. And it looks awesome. I love it. And Eric didn't even say he hated it. Which is a win in my book. And maybe that's the key. Just doing it. What's the worst that can happen, really? I have to patch and touch up the cabinets? BFD.

So I'm just going to do it. I'm going to trust myself that I CAN do it and that it will be great. Which of course it probably won't be 100% of the time. But at least I will know that I tried. And learned something along the way, too.

I've decided that in order to do all this schtuff that I want to, I definitely need to streamline my crafty list of projects. I know, like I could possible to less than I already do, right? Ha! But nevertheless, it's something I need to do.

And so I've decided that Project Life is going to be the answer. I know, it just seems like a bigger task, huh? Well, I've decided to approach it a little differently. And yes, I know you've heard this story before. PL2012 made it all the way into March before it died. And I thought I would be so clever to put my own spin on it - do it card by card, to fill up a recipe box, which turned out to be way too small, so then it went to a file drawer, but then turned out to be way too much to take on daily. So yeah...

This year, I have conformed and bought an album and Becky Higgins sleeves. Yes, I spent money. And it hurt through the entire checkout process. Here's the plan:

This plain and simple album from American Crafts. I have to admit that I was able to snatch these up on a BOGO deal at Michael's. Amazing.
This, this, this, this, this and this set of sleeves. Oh wow. I just realized I ordered waaaay more sleeves than I planned on. Way to make it harder on yourself, Britt...
And this bookplate to dress up the plain and simple album. The perfect addition to make it look just a little more grown up when I put it out in the living room hutch. And I LOVE gold right now. Yes, Mom, I love gold, but that doesn't mean I'm going to start painting everything in the house with Krylon Gold. Yet... Oh, and they're clearanced out, so be sure to grab 'em if you want 'em!!
I generally get overwhelmed by having too many options, and I HATE having things looked crowded and chaotic, so I've decided to stick to a fairly small color palette, and add colors as I can handle it. I'm loving grey, pale pink, light teal, and gold right now. Obviously there will be more additions to the palette as I go. There's no avoiding it. But I'm reeeeaaallly going to try to keep it consistent. For now.
I have been maniacally scouring the web for freebie printables to go along with my stash of journaling cards and papers, and am completely ecstatic about what I've been able to find! I started a Project Life Pinboard too, in case you're as addicted as I am.

I'll be adding TONS to it as I find it. Because I can't seem to help myself.

OH! I almost forgot the most exciting thing! I am actually taking the DAY by DAY class over at Studio Calico and it starts tomorrow! I am so stinkin' excited! I was supposed  to get all my EK Success projects finished up today so that I could start it tomorrow with absolutely nothing on my to-do list to distract me. We shall see how productive I am with the rest of the day...

Oh, and I still have to finish my December Daily. Half way through it I decided I hated it and want to start a new one. Because I'm a total freak. So hopefully that gets finished today. Or at least this week. And I'll post pics when I'm done.

That's it. I promise.

Have a very Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A little tweaking...

Working on a little bloggy face lift for the New Year, so hang in there, cause it's gonna look all kinds of wonky for the next couple of days!


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Well,  I've spent the entire day in my studio finishing up some last minute projects and updating the blog a bit with new favorite places and thought, "I haven't posted up a regular old 'hi, you are ya?' post in a while." So. Hi. How are ya? I feel like all my posts are just giveaways lately - which is fine by me, and you, I'm sure - but I often don't post up the "in progress" stuff because, well, I'm anal and like things to be good and done before I get feedback. But the whole point of this stinkin' blog is to share my life; for you now, and for my family to look back on in the future. And really, they're probably not going to care what I gave away. They will want to know what's really going on.

Had to make new stockings because the old ones just didn't fit enough in them. And then I had to make something to hang them on as we demolished the old mantle. Screwed some vintage glass knobs onto a board (thanks, Weezuh!) and slapped it on the wall. Voila.

1.  Last night I had Eric help me with a project I'm making for the rent-a-kidlets that I've been asking for help with for over a week, which he's been way too busy to do. I mean, he had A LOT of laying on the couch to do, so it's totally understandable, right? But last night he finally got around to it and after about 7 minutes he was finished. So then he could go back to laying on the couch. And my ovaries were like, "Really? You couldn't find SEVEN minutes to help me at any point in the last like, NINE days?!" But then I remembered that he has spent three of them traveling for work, two of them being sick as a dog, and that I hadn't cooked a meal for him in about a week either. So we called it even and ate a friggin' amazing pot roast, which had been cooking for five and a half hours in the new Le Creuset French Oven, and I swear it was the best roast I've ever made.

2.  I got up to use the little girls room at about 3o'clock this morning and when I went to lay back down, I pulled back the covers and sat right on Eric. And he burst out laughing. Yeah, he thought that was a great joke. And it was - but mostly because he was lucid enough at 3o'clock in the morning to think that it would be funny. It took me a second to realize that he did it on purpose, and then I couldn't stop smiling that my husband still likes to be playful, even at 3o'clock in the morning, even though my size 16 self probably gave him bruises he wasn't expecting.

3.  My size 16 ass has knocked the stupid entry table about 16 times today. Because not even my brain can believe it's gotten so big.

4.  I made lists for myself today for the next eleven days that I have off. And I added three things to today's list that I had already done, just so I could cross them off. Because that's the kind of crazy I am.

5.  Eric came an hour ago to ask if I could help him pull the bobcat out of the mud. And man, in his work clothes and boots, with two days of scruff on his face that make his blue eyes even bluer, did he look goooooood. So I agreed to help him, but only because he's so cute.

6.  I signed up to take Day by Day with the girls at Studio Calico, to get myself going on my second attempt at Project Life and I cannot wait! I so seldom take classes because number one I hate taking classes, and number two I rarely ever walk away feeling that I learned anything. But this one sounds like just what I need to get on the right path and is a great deal!

7. Last week I gave him a haircut and I noticed he has some more grey coming in around his temples. I like it. So I said that I liked his stress greys because I know they're there because of me. To which he responded that if those are stress greys, then I need not worry that I'm the cause. Happy sigh...

8.  It took a HUGE load of stress off of me, because I often worry that I just add to his already heavy load of responsibility. Bonus: I still get the hotness of the greys without the worry that I'm the cause. yesssssss.

9.  I find that after nearly ten years of being together and two years of real marriage, buying and remodeling a house, forty pounds, and waiting nine months for him to hang a curtain rod, I am happier than we started all those years ago. And plan on feeling the same way in ten more years.

10. Life is good.

Hope you're enjoying life as much as I am.


Monday, December 17, 2012

I don't know about you, but these last two weeks have flown by! I have been a headless chicken, making christmas gifts, shopping, baking, working, and trying to keep up with my December Daily. Which is going so so, if I might add. More on that later... I made some of my new favorite ornaments out of this recipe for air-dry clay, and had a BLAST. So easy, and I love how they turned out! And then last Wednesday, when I was feeling kind of blah, I decided I needed some twinkle lights to cheer me up. And some scrap paper garlands. And maybe some glittery snowflakes, too. So that's what I did. Correction - that's ALL I did that day. Yeah...
I must say, I have been known to turn on my Home for the Holidays station on Pandora in July if I need a little pick-me-up. You say it's weird, I say it's genius. And of all the great songs, I find that -oddly- my favorite Christmas songs are the slightly sad ones. I love Silent Night, I'll Be Home for Christmas, Carol of the Bells. My all time fave is Judy Garland's version of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas :
And since Jill was the closest to my feeling of that quiet and peaceful center you get from Silent Night, I have to name her the winner of all the awesome Graphic 45 Christmas Goodies!

Jill K. - Napa has left a new comment on your post "  Well, I may be a week late posting this freebie,...":

I love Silent Night. Especially when they turn out the lights in the church and you are in the candle light. They often stop the organ and everyone sings without the musical accompaniment. I have loved that since I was a little kid.

Posted by Jill K. - Napa to Life, Paper, Scissors at December 4, 2012 9:18 PM 
Congrats, Jill! I'll send your package out to you asap!
Thanks for playing along, everyone - I really appreciate all of your comments and support!
And also, thanks for all of your favorite songs! I listened to all of them, and I have to say it is so so so perfect to get you kicked back into gear! This last few days have been a little tough - I just keep thinking about all of those families who have presents under their Christmas trees for children that are no longer with them. I mean, what do you do with that? I just ache thinking about this holiday for them, not to mention the months and years to come for them, trying to regain some semblance of a normal life.

I know that given the chance, we would all like to do something to let the families in Newtown know that we are thinking of them, sending them hugs, praying for them, and wanting to help in some small way. So when I found this amazing opportunity at Damask Love, I just knew I needed to repost it! We all know how healing and cathartic creating works of art can be, no matter what genre you are working in. For these children who have so much to process right now, this could be just what they need to help work through all of the feelings they are having. What an amazing and thoughtful way to show support!

So, if you feel so inclined, take a trip over to Damask Love and see if this might be something you'd like to help out with! Send supplies or cards or both!

Friday, December 7, 2012

 Well, it's a week late, but I'm finally posting my December Daily, because I have just enough optimism left in me this year to delude myself into thinking that I will complete it! Isn't that nice? I am not posting every page in the album, but here are some of my faves.


 So this is it. I have to start by saying that I had to make myself buy a pre-made album, lest I be tempted to make it as I went, as I did last year, when I got a wopping five days into it and called it quits. But as I am super optimistic this year, or rather shall we just say that I am trying to be a tad more realistic, I opted for the pre-made Recollections Travel binder from Michael's. Yes. I bought Recollections brand supplies. For shame, I know. But I must say, I love this thing! And I must also here clarify that I actually bought TWO albums - this green-spined travel album and a black-spined everyday album - and combined the pages from the two. I grabbed this "Let it Snow" fabric-covered wooden laser cut from the dollar bin at Michaels (which I think is actually like the dollar fifty bin now) and added a little wooden veneer deer with a heart gem and some jingle bells. It's still sort of evolving, though, and every couple of days I look at it and think, "This is all wrong."

I am using a mix of supplies I already have - some Crate Paper, an old Collage Press Christmas line I found in my stash, and a smattering of alpha stickers, Thickers and miscellaneous embellies. I am really trying to keep it simple this time around - not too many embellies, a little more on the flat side, focusing on the story rather than the bulk.

This is the front pocket of the album, which I have claimed as my birthday pocket. Since it is so close to the starting date of my DD2012, and because I didn't really feel up to creating a whole layout (and to be more honest, taking a picture of myself) I just used this space to make a mini page about my birthday.

 Then I tucked my birthday cards in behind it.


This is the intro page, where I solemnly vow to keep up with things this year... Just added a simple journaling spot and some popped up snowflaskes. This "hello" page is one of the many reasons I opted to buy the readymade thing. Some of the pages are just too stinkin' adorable.

 Day 2
A tissue tape (because Tim Holtz is too cool to call it Washi...) Christmas Tree with a tiny bit of journaling around it and my favorite gold foil 2 from this pack of stickers.

Day 4
It doesn't really get any simpler than this, and that's the point. Just a few lines about our anniversary. And another sticker from my favorite pack.
For the record, I do actually have pictures in this album, but I'm learning the hard part about premade albums is making pictures work with the designs already on the pages. Also, trying to decide between 3x4 normal prints or instagram is eluding me at this point - LOVE the editing features of Instagram, but not loving the squareness on every page. 

Day 5
A day with a picture. Spent the day organizing and cleaning and working on updating days 1-5 of the DD2012. And then realized that my printer was almost out of blue ink. Lovely. Punched some holes through it and slapped a shipping tag on the back to journal on.

So that's all for today. Don't forget to enter the Christmas Freebie - you have until next Friday!
Have a great weekend! We're going to Eric's office Christmas party tomorrow night, and Sunday I will be recovering from the massive hangover I always get, so I'll see you next week!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Did I tell you it's my two year wedding anniversary today? Probably not, because I tend to discredit it because two years is far less exciting than the nine and a half years we've actually been together. Solid. Nevertheless, it is in fact our two year anniversary. And as I drove through our sleepy little town, I loved being able to look over at the bridge we said our vows on, and salivate at the smell coming from the steakhouse we had our reception at. Yes, I said steakhouse, people. But until you've been there you just don't understand.

And now I sit here writing this while I wait for Eric to get home from work. So that we can go out to eat. And then come home to watch a movie.

We are probably the most boring couple, ever. But it's how we like it.


Monday, December 3, 2012

 Well, I may be a week late posting this freebie, but at least it's a good one! And perfect for the season, no?
There is a G45 Christmas Emporium 12x12 pad, 8x8 pad, two packs of chipboard embellies, two packs of Mark Richards coordinating bling, and one pack of Jolee's Bling. I see some pretty sweet gift tags coming out of this stack, don't you?

And can I just tell you how excited I am for this holiday season? It's been kind of a crazy and drama-filled year, and I am so glad to finally be in the last leg of it. All I can think of is hot cider, the smell of cinnamon, cozy scarfs, twinkling lights, laying by the Christmas tree (because in our house we don't do holiday tree, peeps) and busily making gifts and decorations. In fact, that's what I was doing when I was supposed to be posting this giveaway - playing with Mamala and Terri and the horde of dogs and kids at her house which makes me feel very lucky to have her 10 minutes away.

I made these glass ornaments using Martha Stewart Glass Paint - so super easy, but took forever to dry!

And these are a repeat from the Christmas Display I made for the Spotted Canary. LOVE how simple they are, and you can't quite see it here, but I added some Martha Stewart Coarse Crystal Glitter and it looks sooooo gooooood! Just the right twinkle...

So, to win the G45 Christmas Emporium prize pack, leave a comment telling me your favorite Christmas song by Friday, December 14. I'm all ears...
Happy Friday!