Friday, August 28, 2015

Finishing projects part 3: Vacation album

I'm making progress on my summer to-do list, finishing off number 4. Here's the list:
  1. Finish creating the boys' 5th and 6th grade school album pages
  2. Edit and print photos from Custer S.P. (2011)
  3. Create mini albums with thank you cards from school
  4. Finish the Disney album (2010)
  5. Update the Easter mini-album
  6. Complete the iScrap class/album
  7. Complete the Get Messy class/album
  8. Ask Derick to finish journaling his London album
  9. Complete 5 Vacation Faves (2015)
  10. Create cards for my Dad
  11. Rowan school album photos: 3rd, 5th, and 6th; class photo 4th and 6th
  12. Dominic school album photos: 2nd, 4th, and 5th;class photo 3rd and 5th
Last month I scrapped a series at Write Click Scrapbook sharing how I go about scrapbooking vacations. My goal was to finish this vacation album this summer, and I'm done! Here it is:


Here's the cover of the album. It took me a couple tries to get it sized right. I always forget about the space that needs to be left that can't be seen. No designs can go there!


I've mentioned before that I do the same design every time I do a vacation album. This simplifies my process and still leaves me with a visually appealing album. For the title page, I pick a great family photo, give a big title and embellishment cluster, and a table of contents. Here's the content pages:


Most of these are a two-page spread. I do a photo and title block, then photos and journaling on the other half of the page. I alternate products between pages, and I alternate where I put the title/journaling (top or bottom).




Although I do two-page spreads mostly, I also do a four-page spread when I have a lot of photos I want to include.





 
 
 

For the last page I included photos that I had forgotten. Not much journaling here; I often give just a quotation that fits.


And the back cover! I super glue an envelope (actually using sticky strips) and include memorabilia I wish to keep.

As I mentioned on WCS, I decided long ago it's easier to use a single product line for an album (though I do dig into stash on a needs basis). For this album I used October Afternoon Boarding Pass. I liked the bright colors and thought they would work well with my Disney photos.

Thank you for letting me share my Disney album! I hope to still print my photos from Custer State Park is 2011 before the end of the summer (I've already scrapped our 2012 trip to Maine).  For that album I plan on using October Afternoon's Sasparilla.  I hope to scrapbook our 2011 trip by the end of the year, and then I can focus on 2013 through 2015 (Glacier, Itasca S.P., and our big road trip this year). I won't finish my to-do list by the end of the summer, but making progress on it makes me feel satisfied.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Scrapbooking the books and the Bakken

Before school starts again, I want to share the pages I made for Simple Scrapper's September gallery. Here's the first:


The story starters for the month involve books. I have to tell you that I am so excited by them and will be using them again and again. This page involves my night stand and setting a goal to finish the books I had on them. I have to admit, I worried about the title, fearing it looked too much like "One Night Stand." LOL. I used an older sketch for this page. Here's some details:


I mostly used October Afternoon's Public Library collection for this page. I thought the colors and themes were perfect.


I wasn't sure if I should put the actual books I've read and plan to read in the next year. Aesthetically I worried it looked too cluttered. I left it on there, though, because I know writing things down makes me more likely to achieve my goal.


The next page uses a current sketch to record my son's magical experience at the Bakken Museum Summer Camp.


I flipped the sketch to match the orientation of the photos, realizing too late that this made the page look awfully similar to the last one. Oh well! Here's some details:


I used more October Afternoon Public Library and Daily Flash Milk Money, plus a gorgeous old piece of Bella Blvd computer paper.


Since the Bakken celebrates electricity, I was able to pull out every light bulb embellishment I own and get some serious thematic use out of them.


The title is supposed to be a play on the phrase "Release the Kraken." And the yellow Thickers, which are old, I had to adjust since I was out of e's and n's. I squooshed a c into an e, and I trimmed an M to make an n.

Thank you for checking out my pages! Please visit Simple Scrapper and check out their membership. You'll find lots of inspiration in the form of story starters and sketches/digital templates. As I said, this month would be a good one to join because of the amazing story starters.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Getting organized for the new school year

The new school year approaches: I begin workshops this Thursday, and the boys start school the Tuesday after Labor day. It's a big year for them because they both start Middle School, Dominic in 6th grade and Rowan in 7th. Our district reconfigured grades from K-6/7-9/10-12 to K-5/6-8/9-12, which is why both boys are entering middle school at the same time, even though they are a year apart.


This may just be my boys, but homework has been a struggle. When they get home, they want to play, but the play never stops without a struggle. They learned that it's best for them to do their homework first, even though they might not want to. I wanted to share a couple ideas I have that I'll try out this year, both of which I've used with some success in cultivating good habits with the boys.

First is breaking down big tasks into smaller chunks. This is really important for my boys because they both have ADHD, and they don't know where to begin when faced with a big task. As a result, they tend to quit early, frustrated. Here's something I did with my oldest son a few years back to help him clean his room:


(Sorry for the poor resolution; I got this from my Instagram feed.) My oldest son resists my helping him, for he wants to do it himself, so I broke the room cleaning into smaller tasks on sticky notes. I put them inside his room, and once he finishes the task, he puts the sticky note on the OUTSIDE of his door. He does not have a perfectly clean room, but in the years since we started this routine, he's been able to manage doing this on his own and has kept his room in a much better condition.

How will this help him in school? When he gets home from school, we'll talk about his homework and discuss short term assignments--what he needs to finish tomorrow--and long term assignments--what is due later. With long term assignments, we'll break it down into "mental sticky notes"--smaller tasks to complete the assignment--and we'll use his planner to map out when he'll complete them. With luck, he will develop this as a habit much like he did with his room cleaning so that when he gets to high school, he will be better able to manage the bigger, long-term assignments.

Next, to help manage the daily tasks we will have a to-do list to complete before playing, which for the boys generally involves some sort of limited screen time (we have a computer and use the parental controls to limit the amount of time  the boys can spend on it, and we have a wii, although until the boys can demonstrate that they can manage their homework during the week, they'll only get the wii on weekends.) This summer I started making lists for my younger son to complete before he could have screen time (my eldest was away at summer camp at the time):


Here I made a list of what my son needed to do before he got screen time--the list was mine, the illustrations his (heh). 1-5 were daily tasks, ones we'd like to be automatic with him; 6 and 7 tended to change depending on which chore needed to be done that day. By making an actual list my son could actually cross off as he accomplished things, he felt successful and saw when the end was near. Since my younger boy has autism, creating a list gives him particular focus for what he needs to do first. I can see doing this during the school year, maybe with a while board with the daily tasks in permanent ink and the shifting ones in erasable ink. But writing it down so he can cross things off seems to be important.

How will this help him in school? I know the schools use planners. I hope the teachers help students write down their tasks at some point during the class (I know I do that at the high school; it helps all students, not just the ones on the spectrum). When he comes home, we can check his list of assignments and we can make a game plan for completing them before he runs off to play.

Thank you for letting me share some ideas I have that have worked with my boys in helping them manage themselves and their time and their space a little better. We have done other things too--the website habitrpg helps you set goals and rewards you, sort of like you are playing an rpg (role playing game). The experience points you gain really are good habits. In the website, though, you get rewards for doing your daily habits and avoiding bad ones (playing on games for longer than an hour, e.g.). The boys liked using it this summer, and it helped them develop some good habits, or at least to understand that helping out around the house is their role as well as mom and dad's. Making a list--either one that physically gets moved when completed or one that simply gets crossed off--has been the real key. I hope it works as well with schoolwork when the year gets going!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Finishing projects part 2: a messy mini

Hello again! I'm still working on finishing up as many projects as I can this summer in anticipation of a busy school year. Here's my updated list:
  1. Finish creating the boys' 5th and 6th grade school album pages
  2. Edit and print photos from Custer S.P. (2011)
  3. Create mini albums with thank you cards from school
  4. Finish the Disney album (2010)
  5. Update the Easter mini-album
  6. Complete the iScrap class/album
  7. Complete the Get Messy class/album
  8. Ask Derick to finish journaling his London album
  9. Complete 5 Vacation Faves (2015)
  10. Create cards for my Dad
  11. Rowan school album photos: 3rd, 5th, and 6th; class photo 4th and 6th
  12. Dominic school album photos: 2nd, 4th, and 5th;class photo 3rd and 5th
I decided to kill two birds with one stone and use the mini-album from the Get Messy class for my 5 Vacation Faves album this year. Here's the cover:


I had gesso'd the cover a long time ago and finally got around to using a mask and modeling paste, punches, more gesso, and mist to finish it up. Here's the back cover:


I finished the lessons in the class--there were about 7--to do the internal pages for each family member. Here's the inside pages:



The font I used up here on the right is a nice one I should use more often called "Wolf in the City."


Most of the products I used came with a kit I bought with the class. I also used stuff lying around, like some journaling cards cut from patterned paper from Shimelle's first collection, I think.



More modeling paste and a different way to mist.




This is maybe the one part of the project I may change. We had to create a pocket with vellum and confetti punches, so I did it with my son's picture. I think it would have looked better with a photo where he was occupying more of the frame. As a result, I may add another photo of him somewhere, maybe by adding another page.


Another note about the pocket page: I put this flair on the inside of the pocket and it didn't look good, so I cut it out and adhered it on the outside, adding the number sticker to cover the cut.


This might be my favorite page spread. I stamped with a couple texture square stamps in different colors to make a photo mat. Not in the class lesson, just an idea I got.


Thank you for checking out my mini-album! I am so happy with it, even though it isn't what I typically do. The class is no longer available, but you might check out Studio Calico and ask; they do seem to bring it back or offer updated versions.

(One final confession: I technically haven't finished the class yet. I haven't done the photo transfer--there were three techniques taught--because I wasn't sure how I wanted to use them. Now I have three ideas, two for this mini-album and one for scrapbook page, so I should finish that lesson (and therefore the class) shortly. I'll share those when I get done.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Scrapbooking the water with Scrapbook Circle

My younger son loves the water. When we go on vacation, we have to ensure that we get a hotel with a swimming pool; we made the mistake of reserving a room without one once, and never again. It crushed him. He waded and swam in many places this vacation--ocean, pool, reservoir, lake--so I put some photos together on a page to celebrate this love.


I used Scrapbook Circle's August kit Make it Happen. I loved this kit; it's so bright and fun. I (appropriatey) used a lot of Crate Paper's Poolside and Pinkfresh Studios' Happy Things for this page. Here's the details:


I made frequent use of the Poolside stickers from the Sweet Details add-on, which is still available.
 

The You Shine add-on, which is also still available, has the wonderful summer chipboard title pieces. I used the word "Splash" and decided it added enough to the piece so that I didn't have to add more journaling, just some place details.


Thank you for visiting my blog today! Now that summer is almost over here in the North, I hope this page gives you something warm to think about once autumn arrives, hopefully not too soon.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Finishing projects day 1: school mini-albums

Hello!The end of summer is around the corner, and I'll be starting a new year with a new teaching prep. My boys will also be in middle school, so I'm anticipating less free time, at least at first. As a result, I'm trying to finish as many projects as I can this summer.

I've actually accomplished quite a bit--I organized the garage, taped and speckled some wall holes in the house, and begun harvesting the garden and cooking (marinara, anyone?). Now here's a list of some of my scrapbooking projects I had to tackle:

  1. Finish creating the boys' 5th and 6th grade school album pages
  2. Edit and print photos from Custer S.P. (2011)
  3. Create mini albums with thank you cards from school
  4. Finish the Disney album (2010)
  5. Update the Easter mini-album
  6. Complete the iScrap class/album
  7. Complete the Get Messy class/album
  8. Ask Derick to finish journaling his London album
  9. Complete 5 Vacation Faves (2015)
  10. Create cards for my Dad
  11. Rowan school album photos: 3rd, 5th, and 6th; class photo 4th and 6th
  12. Dominic school album photos: 2nd, 4th, and 5th;class photo 3rd and 5th
I'm on my way, as you can see. I completed three things on the list, and I'm within a day or two of finishing 3 more. As a motivational push for me, I am going to share my projects as I finish them. First, the mini albums: I had to clean out my office desk last spring at school since the area was being turned into new classrooms. I found 17 years of thank you notes in the desk and decided to make them into mini albums to keep them more solidly. Here they are:



These first two mini albums include thank you notes given out for teacher's appreciation day. Students send them to teachers they want, so I kept the ones that were the most specific. Because they were the same size, they were easy to scrap I used some older Jillibean Soup kraft file folders to house them. For color, I lined the inside with some bright patterned paper (I dug into my scrap piles for them) and used a bunch of bright, non school accents.

Next are some actual cards.They were irregularly shaped, so a little more difficult to fit in mini albums. Here's what I did:


For these mini albums I did dig into my school themed Iris container for products. I pulled chipboard mini album covers from a 7gypsies mini album for the one on the left, covered it with paper using my 5-inch Xyron, and embellished the cover. The cards are not bound in there, by the way: the ribbon is holding it altogether.

On the right I wanted to use the Report card paper for the covers, so I trimmed some spare cardboard to fit, used the Xyron again to adhere, decorated and tied together with the ribbon like I did with the last album.

Finally, I needed something bigger for the actual letters and printed-emails I've collected through the years, so I used an actual manila folder:


Again, I lined the inside with patterned paper scraps, and for the outside, I dug into the school themed Iris container to finish decorating it. (Note: once I got to this point, I realized I had used basically the same design on each mini album. Different products, but same design. Huh.) Like I did with my first two mini-albums, I used a binder clip to close this. Easy-peasy!

Thank you for letting me share some of my projects! I'll share more this month as I complete them. I doubt I'll finish it all, but boy, will it feel good to empty out more project containers that I've been storing the half finished projects!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Scrapbook Circle August pages

Hello! Now that August is underway, I wanted to share the pages I made for Scrapbook Circle using their kit Make it Happen. I loved the bright colors in the main kit, and I especially loved the two add-ons Sweet Details and You Shine, which helped give some wonderful embellishments that meshed perfectly with the main kit.

And here are the pages I made:


First is a page I made about my sons' favorite exhibit at the Landscape Arboretum: the maze. I used a few smaller pictures plus a big one of them at the maze. I used the Fancy Pants alpha in the main kit as the central feature--and I spelled it that way on purpose. :-) Here's some details:


I used asterisks as hyphens, and set them on dimensional stickers to make them stand out. For similar reasons I outlined the letters.



The boys were hard to see in their photos, so I stitched circles around them.


Next was a page I scrapped on a 12x12 photo:


I particularly loved the Elle's Studio die cuts from You Shine and the Crate Paper stickers from Sweet Details on this page. Here's some details:



Next is possibly my favorite page:


I had several photo strips of my son and I, and I also had some notes he had made for me for Mother's Day. They were too big to put in full on the page, so I used my favorite photos from the photo strips and handwrote his notes on the page. Here's some details:




Finally, I got inspiration from the Poolside words "ice cream" from the You Shine add-on and the Studio Calico Seven paper in the main kit. The angle made me think to lay the photos on an angle too. I added the pink paper at the top because it reminded me of an ice cream parlor.


And here's some details:



The Elle's Studio tags from the You Shine add-on were perfect for this page.


Thank you for checking out my pages! This kit was so much fun to play with in the summertime. I have another page I made that I will share later this month.