Monday, December 26, 2011

Moving on to 2012.....

I'm just now starting to think about what I'll change in my Project Life (PL) 2012 process.  I already keep my book out on a table in my craft room and have my supplies organized in a 2 shelf wire rack.  I like Margie's idea (see her post at )  about date stamping memorabilila as I tend to leave these items on top of my book rather than taking 10 seconds to put it in a pocket!  I also will try to set my weeks up ahead of time so that I don't need to figure that out as I go.  I also want to be more thoughtful and selective about what photos go into my album.  The one thing I have found is that when I have quantity the quality of the album tends to suffer.  By this I mean that the journaling may be more rushed or less complete.  I don't feel as I've always told my stories the way I would like.  So I hope to have more emphasis on the journaling in 2012 and be a little more choosy about the photos I add.  I plan to do a Week in the Life and December Daily again next year so those will give me the opportunity to add the everyday in twice during the year.
Class supplies - the black 12 x 12 bin holds my various page protectors for Project Life and my class albums and papers I've set aside for those individual projects.

A close up my various albums
Black - Twelve, Cobalt - PL, Red - OLW 2011 & 2012 and Move More, Eat Well

Besides PL 2012 I will be doing One Little Word again and adding Stacy Julian's class, Twelve.  I will also be taking the yearlong class Move More, Eat Well with Cathy Zielske.  I plan to remain active with the Library of Memories Community as well.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Busy time of year.....

Here's what I've been up to since I last posted. 
Printing photos for December Daily - been playing with sizes and a few things I wanted to do did not work out so I'm re-thinking some of my page layouts.  Hope to get some solid work done on the pages this weekend.  I'm not going to stress about it as I'm enjoying our holiday activities and will get to the pages as I can. 
We had Christmas caroling around a bonfire at the town park last night with sleigh rides and hot cocoa!   Finally have most of our shopping done although we will be going shopping one last time this Friday.  Tree is decorated.  The cats and dog have left it alone since the ornaments went on. 
I've also been online ordering things I need for some of the Big Picture classes I'm taking or will be taking shortly - Reclaiming My Time, Twelve and Move More, Eat Well along with Project Life 2012 and One Little Word 2012.  I want to have everything ready to go as I'll be in Seattle visiting my youngest son & his family over New Year's.  I don't want to be too far behind when I get home on January 4th. 
I also spent some time cleaning up my craft room as once again it looked like a tornado hit it.  Its back to the point where I can get in there and work.  I need lots of clear space when I work - this is about as good as it gets.
What have you been up to?  Lots of holiday activities?  Have you been able to fit in any crafting/art time?

Santa arriving by horse drawn wagon - no snow here (unusual for southwestern NY!)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

December Daily 2011

I'm a little slow getting photos of my December Daily pages posted.  I've found that I need a good deal of quiet time to complete my journaling & photo placement.  And by quiet time I mean a block of time that I don't have to be anywhere or do anything for a few hours and that I can work undisturbed.   This past weekend we were busy with errands Saturday morning and Christmas shopping/dinner in the  afternoon and Sunday we attended a musical and did some more shopping/dinner in the afternoon in a city an hour away.  There went the weekend! 
I'm in awe of those of you who whip out these pages quite quickly!
Here is what I have up to now.....

Title/Day 1 page

Close-up of upper right corner Title/Day 1 page

Lower right corner Title/Day 1 page

Day 2 page
As you can see right now I've just used Cathy Zielske's journaling tags.  At first I thought I really don't need  Ali Edwards' December Daily overlay pages.  Then thinking about it some more I realized I needed a place for more photos and journaling.  I have lots of stories running around in my head that I just need to get down on paper.  I keep thinking of these while I'm at work when I don't have a chance to write them down.  Looking forward to this weekend - my husband is working and we don't have very much planned other than some shopping.
The other difficulty I'm finding is battling the urge to get each day done right away.  However, I don't want to run to CVS each day to print/re-print photos and I don't want to rush the journaling.  I want the pages to be well done and meaningful so I'm just going to have to remind myself to be patient. 
Are you running into challenges with your December Daily?  Tell me how its going....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

One Little Word Blog Hop - December 1st

Farewell, Illuminate!

Before we begin I want to finish up some business from the October 1st blog hop.  I'm still looking for scrappnbee - she was one of the winners of last month's blog hop giveaway here.  Please email me at with your snail mail address so I can send your goodies to you.

For those of you who have been following One Little Word's Blog Hop you know that the last few months I've not fully completed each months' prompt.   I've been upset that I seemed to run out of steam without completing the full year.  In the past month, however, I have come to the realization that its because I'm done with my word, Illuminate.  Its done what I wanted to do for this year and its time to move on.  I've looked at the areas that I wanted illuminated and have taken action in each of those areas - my finances, health, creativity, simplicity, family & clarity.  While there were things I could not change or resolve I have made huge gains in all of these areas.  I have read books, blogs, & websites, and taken classes (live & on-line).  I have made friends and have learned so much from them.  I've tried new things, worked through difficult challenges and celebrated success.  I think my biggest success is in the area of creativity.  I had basically stopped scrapbooking and all other creative endeavors - I didn't even want to go into my craft room - it seemed like one more chore.  I felt completely blocked.  I've completed albums, home decor items and holiday items.  I'm excited again to be creating and look forward to my time in my craft room.  So even though I'm not continuing with the prompts I feel that OLW 2011 has been very succesful for me - my journey with Illuminate was meant to be a shorter one & I'm glad I could recognize that. 

I know my word for 2012 but I'm saving it for awhile yet. Its been hanging around for awhile and I finally recognized it in the last month.  I'm looking forward to experiencing it through another year of OLW.  I considered switching this month to my new word but felt that its best to begin in January.

I hope you're enjoying your journey with your 2011 word!  If you're not participating in this year's OLW check out for the 2012 version of One Little Word. if you'd like to join us.  You never know where it will take you!

If you are beginning to think about your One Little Word (OLW) for 2012 you may be interested in listening to Lain Ehman (from LayOut A Day) as she discusses the process of choosing a word for OLW in her podcast here

WELCOME __  __  __!
Stay tuned.....

To continue on the blog hop journey go to Cynthia's blog here-

Or if you want to start at the beginning and hop through....start with Margie's blog.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Easy Ornaments

I've had a box of 6 clear acrylic ornaments for a few years & hadn't done anything with them.  I also had some Tim Holtz Adirondack Alcohol Inks (only 4 colors) that I hadn't used yet.  For information on the Alcohol Inks go here
So I got them together and now I have 6 new ornaments for the Christmas tree!  If you notice the whiskers and part of a paw you'll know once again I was getting assistance from one of my cats!  One of them has already tipped over the tree - fortunately the tree has no decorations yet as we always set it up for a week for them to get used to it & the attraction to fade....At least one cat is now avoiding it all together!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

December Daily/Project Life - preparation & plans

Daily Journal Cards
 I wanted to share with you some of my preparation for my December Daily/Project Life pages that I've been working on.  I had saved this free printable file from Cathy Zielske awhile ago and thought this would work well for my daily journaling for December Daily.  To see Cathy's post and download the files go to her blog

So far I've cut the individual tags out and stamped the date on it. 

I'm not sure what else I'll be doing with these at this point.  Probably will distress the edges and decorate the top part - maybe to match the daily sheets from Ali. 

Close-up - daily journal card

The other item I have put together is my worksheet for the month.  All I've done at this point is print out a blank calendar and fill in the events that we are planning on doing/attending.  As you can see the weekends are pretty much filled but the weekdays are mostly empty (I work full-time days).  So now I have an idea of what days I need to focus on non-event related photographs.  On the back of the sheet I've written some things I definitely want to take photos of such as wrapping gifts, decorating the tree, etc.  I also have planned out two series of photos I want to include in my pages - these may end up being two different collages.  One is "how it all comes together" - this would be a series of photos getting ready for the holiday - decorating the house, shopping, wrapping, baking & those types of things.  The other is "Christmas past" and these are photos of ornaments/decorations/traditions that I've had since I was a child
My worksheet for daily photos
.  These will include a photo of the coffee cake & cookies we have each Christmas, the Advent calendar, and figurine candles that were my grandmother's.  So that's where I am right now.  How are your plans coming along?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Festival of Trees

Since I'm still working on some projects and need to take photos of some finished Project Life layouts I thought I would share photos from our trip to Erie, PA to see the Festival of Trees at the Bayfront Convention Center.  This event is an annual fundraiser for the Miracle Children's Network hosted by St. Vincent's Auxillary.  I can not imagine the hours that were spent creating these amazing trees.  Its hard to say which one was my favorite.  There were 2 snowman - in the bottom photo he's created with silver, white and blue balls and in the other one he's made of balls of white wool.  And these weren't the only trees that had top hats for the topper!  Hope you find some inspiration for your tree trimming!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Second Red Lead order

Red Lead PaperWorks had a sale and I can't resist picking up some items I didn't get with my first order.  You can see how they packaged my order in the top photo - I love that its like getting a present!  Just a nice extra touch, as is, the extra little items they send you!  In the middle photo I've placed the reindeer on my window sill for the time being.  I hope to use these in my Tim Holtz Configurations - not sure just yet when that will happen.  The bottle brush trees and strand of beads will be set aside for that project as well.  The little gingerbread men will be used on my December Daily/Project life pages along with the 3 stamps.
If you'd like to check out Red Lead PaperWorks click on their web address in the Links section below.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Project Life Tuesday

 I've been inspired by Jessica at The Mom Creative to work on my Project Life so that I'm caught up by the end of the year.  You can check her blog out at and follow the progress of her Operation Project Life Tuesday.  She also discusses a variety of topics and provides a lot of good information and links. 
The photo on the left is the left side page of the most current week that I have done.  This is the last week in September.  I frequently use the small pockets in the middle to cut one 4" x 6" photo in half & place it side by side.  You need to trim a little from the top and end but it works really well I think.

The second photo shows the right hand side of the week & as you can see I have a lot of items just punched and placed directly into the album.

                                                                                                                                                                               In the third photo I've turned all the items that are on top of the right hand page protector.  There are two more cards (one was too large for the pockets and was punched & placed directly into the album) & 2 photos along with movie ticket stubs, library check-out list, & a restaurant receipt.  On the left you can see part of my calendar page from my Ditto album.  I use that to keep track of the things we do or that I want to write about.

Life Jessica I'm pretty thin on journaling throughout the album and plan to add more.  I'm happy with where I am with this album - its so much more than I would have had with a "traditional" album.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

the creative process??

So this is what my table in my craft room looks like this morning!  In parts of the room it looks like Christmas has exploded all over! And of course, Santa has his elves and I have my helpers too!  This is Patch, one of two cats.  And they both love to check out what I'm doing and think my "toys" are better than their toys.  And you can just see a little bit of the dog bed under the table for our dog, Lily.  She's not quite as interested in the creative process as the cats!  Thankfully. Here are a couple more photos of the pages in my December Daily/Project Life album.                                                                                                                            

I love how easy this page was.  A piece of cardstock and 3 pieces cut from Simple Stories' 25 Days of Christmas collection.   This page is located in the week of Christmas for my favorite Christmas Day photo.  What I am now finding so exciting right now is wondering how these "foundation pages" will change once I add the photos, journaling and final embellishments.   Right now feels like the 'present shopping' phase and afterwards will be like the 'present opening' phase!  Pretty cool!

On the left side is one of Becky Higgins Design A pages with just a few of the 25 Days of Christmas collection pieces.  This page will be filled with photos and other pieces of the collection or embellishments once I finalize the layouts.  On the left side is a 6" x 12" page protector with one card piece from the 25 Days of Christmas.  Right now I'm thinking I'll use this for memorabilia - ticket stubs, etc.  We'll see how it actually ends up.
Are you doing December Daily, Project Life or both?  I'd love to hear what you are working on.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Winter wreath

For the second year in a row, two of my co-workers and myself put together a wreath for our hospital's Auxillary's Holiday Fair.  This year, as you can see, we decided to work with black, silver and red.  We each look for items and then when we think we have enough we start putting it together.  Fortunately, Linda is a great bow-maker so she always does our bow.  We don't usually end up using everything we each get but always can find other projects for the items.  Doesn't take long and raises funds for the hospital. 
I'm hoping to make another wreath in a couple of weeks - this time a real one from scratch.  The Jamestown Audubon is offering wreath making and paper making workshops and I'm hoping when I call they will still have a spot for me!  What activities are you planning for this winter/holiday season?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

December Daily & Project - Title page and more.....

 Here is my title page for the December Daily section of my Project Life album.  As it stands right now all of the elements are from Simple Stories' 25 Days of Christmas collection.  The calendar block in the top 4" x 6" pocket allows the kraft cardstock of the following page show through.  The top vertically oriented pocket on the right side of the page protector has a 4" x 6" transparency overlay in it with a sheet of white paper (for now).  The bottom vertically oriented pocket is empty and both pockets will eventually hold some photos. 

 Besides the 25 Days of Christmas Collection I am using Ali Edwards' December Daily 8.5"x 11" overlays.  I am not a digital scrapper so I printed the overlays on to kraft cardstock from the pdf files that are provided.  You can find these at    On the right is one of Becky Higgins Design A pages.  You can find Project Life information on Becky's blog at  As I mentioned in a previous post while I use mostly Design A pages in my Project Life album I need to add page protectors that have vertically oriented pockets as well.  In this page the elements are all from the 25 Days of Christmas collection.  What I wanted to point out with this photo and the following photo is that on the right side you can actually see elements on FOUR other pages.  The red/white stripe page is the next set of 8.5" x 11" December Daily pages, the red flower below the "TOGETHER" card is the next vertically oriented page protectors and the red flower with the white paper is another transparency overlay on the fourth page!  Just like with acrylic albums you can have layers showing through and adding depth/dimension to the look of your project.  Love this!   

I received a question about my 8.5" x 11" pages.  The flow of my pages are like this
*Design A page
*December Daily pages in 8.5" x 11" page protectors  (however many days in that week=number of pages
*WRMK page protector with two 4" x 6" vertically oriented pockets
*December Daily pages
*Repeat starting with Becky Higgins's Design A page protector
I hope that helps clarify the page set-up. 
A closer look at a Design A page
 Would love to hear about and see how you are doing December Daily.  Please leave comments and/or your blog address.
A closer look at a December Daily page (Day 12)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

December Daily and Red Lead PaperWorks

I've been doing some shopping in preparation for December Daily and one of the places I went to online was Red Lead PaperWorks at
The items in the photo above all came from Red Lead.  I love the feeling of Christmas' past I get from their products and webstore.  The images in particular I remember from my childhood.  Great way to bring back memories!
Watch for these items to be showing up in my December Daily/Project Life album and a few other projects in the future.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Project Life and December Daily

Are you doing a December Daily album along with Ali Edwards?  Are you also doing Project Life?  Are you doing two separate albums or, like me, incorporating December Daily into your Project Life album?  Over the next few days I'll show you my progress in developing my December Daily pages in my Project Life album.  I'll also show you some of the items I've using.  This is so much fun!

I am starting with Ali Edwards' December Daily Layered Templates.  I originally purchased the 6" x 8.5" size but didn't like the size so I  purchased the 8.5" x 11" size as soon as Ali developed it.  I am not a digital scrapper so I like that Ali offers pdf files with some of her Designer Digital designs.  Above you can see that I printed them out on kraft 8.5 x 11 Reflections cardstock that I purchased at Michaels (one just opened up here a few weeks ago!).  I added a piece of printed paper (see next paragraph for details) to the rectangular box next to the number 1 and placed a wooden snowman that I found at Michaels (12 cents!) in the wooden products section.  So far I've done pages 1 through 13 so I have more to do.  Pretty easy so far! With the 8.5" x 11" kraft cardstock I have a variety of options for the  photos I put here.  I can get two 4" x 6" horizontally oriented photos in the space remaining.  I can place a 5" x 7" photo here or a cropped 8" x 10" photo (anything 8" x 8" or less will fit here).  There may be other options but I haven't thought this through any further.  I'll be checking out other options when I print my photos through Shutterfly.  I'd like a collage photo somewhere but that may be on 12 x 12 layout added in somewhere.  This is what makes Project Life so great - its flexibility and adaptability to what you have or what you want to do.

My second product choice was Simple Stories 25 Days of Christmas Collection.  I love the Simple Stories Collections.  They are perfect for Becky Higgins' Project Life page protectors and other We R Memory Keepers page protectors.  I use mostly Becky Higgins page protectors for my Project Life pages but since I have many vertically oriented photos I decided for this project to alternate this We R Memory Keepers (WRMK) page protector with Becky's Design A page protectors.  The WRMK page protector also has room for a 2" x 12" paper strip to the right of the holes.  The Simple Stories Collections come with 12" x 12" sheets that you cut apart for the pieces that you want.  There are various choices that you can make depending on what page protectors you want to use.  You can check out 25 Days of Christmas and the other Simple Stories collections at
I'll replace some of the items in the pockets in the page protector above and put in my 4" x 6" photos.  The item in the lover right pocket is a transparency that will go over the photo I place there. This collection allows me to move things around until I'm happy with what I have.  I will add more embellishments and journaling once I have my photos in place. 
Thanks for stopping by!  I look forward to your comments and hope you stop back or become a follower to see more of my December Daily process.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Free holiday downloads

Today, I only have a link for you to some great holiday downloadables
I ordered their holiday brochure and received it in just a few days and now I'm deciding what delicious holiday items I'm going to try.  Besides ordering their holiday brochure I just finished downloading some cute gift tags that I can use for presents and baked goods.  There are also fall and Thanksgiving items that can be downloaded and printed.  Placecards, gift tags, pennants and much more.  I like that these are quick and easy - all I need to do is use my paper trimmer to cut them out now.  I'm making some banana bread this morning and I'll be freezing it for gifting at Thanksgiving.  What are your favorite items to bake for the holidays?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Giveaway winners!

Thank you to everyone who visited my blog yesterday for the One Little Word Blog Hop!  The winners of my giveaway are:

Julie Ann

Amanda (ScrappnBee)

Please email your snail mail addresses and I'll get your goodies in the mail.

Thanks again to all!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

One Little Word Blog Hop - November 1st

One Little Word 2011

First off I'd like to thank you for visiting my blog.  I know there are a lot of blogs out there and you only have so much time to be hanging out in cyberspace!   To thank you for your time I'll be giving away two little goodie bags of embellishments.  To be entered into the drawing just leave a comment!     Check back on Wednesday, November 2nd for the 2 lucky winners' names. 
So, on to our October prompt........
At the beginning of the month it feels like I have all the time in the world to work on a fairly simple & straightforward prompt from Ali to take 9 photos that show how your word is part of your life or the meaning your word has brought to your life.  Ali asked us to think about what we would specifically like to happen in the next 3 months of this year.  I took these 4 photos at the beginning of the month and then lost track of my word as I became immersed in other projects. Right now, it feels like the month just zipped right by and here I am,  unprepared, for another blog hop!  Since I missed one month totally I've decided I'm participating each month whether I'm prepared or not. 

October 2011

So I'm still on the lookout for 4 more photos for this prompt.  The card in the center spot holds a quote that I came across that really spoke to me.  It says "When I shine it lights the way for others".  I'm not sure who the author is - I'm going to have to research it.  I'm determined to make sure everything is finished up by the end of the year and soon it will be time to start thinking of next year's word.  If you are planning on joining us for One Little Word next year check out and sign up to recieve their blog posts so you get their latest news and class info.
ADDENDUM:  For Julie Ann who asked for more information on my photos (thank you! for making me stretch and think!)-
Julie Ann - the photo of my shadow I felt represented me in the dark looking to the light which is how I felt at the beginning of the year - I was looking for answers to a variety of things.  The light bursting through the trees in the early morning seemed like the way I felt when answers came to me this year).  The other 2 photos were taken as I played with photos of light and to me just represent our days and life - they each have some confusion and murky areas and then areas of light.  I never take photos like this and wanted to include them to remind me to try different approaches. 

Next on the hop is: Amanda at 

The full blog hop list:
Julie Ann  

Saturday, October 29, 2011


There may be sunshine (or Son-shine) on this layout but its anything but sunny here today.  I finished this layout last weekend at a 2 day crop.  And it just makes me smile!  The photos are of my grandson and I got the idea for SON-shine from my daughter-in-law who labeled his photos on Facebook under the title Son-shine.  It brought the lyrics to mind. 
And for the lack of sunshine here - its been snowing or snow showering (mix of snow/rain) all day today.  Its the second time its snowed on our pumpkins this week!  What about you?  A lot of places have had snow - are you one of them?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Journey of the Heart and Simple Stories

I wanted to share these links with you
Simple Stories has several great collections - Ele'mentary, Life Documented, Baby Steps and many more.  These are great for Project Life, scrapbooking, cardmaking, mini albums and home decor!  Go to this link for free downloadable digital elements (printable too)

Journey the Heart Journal combines an art journal and a writing journal with weekly emails.  Even if you only do one or the other the emails are great for inspiration and the artwork is beautiful  Check it out here...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall tags

 I finally got to play in my craft rooom yesterday!  A week ago Saturday I was in Wendy Vecchi's Ranger Ink Studio 490 class have lots of fun and getting very inky!  The next day when I was ready to play I realized that I had left my craft mat at the workshop!  Bummer...  Since it was a 4 hour round trip to get the mat I just ordered another one from my LSS.  I think it would have cost more in gas to make the trip than the mat itself cost.  So on Friday I got the new craft mat - aren't they amazing?  You can do anything do these and it just washes off.  I completed these 2 tags - I just love the fall colors.  Not sure if you can see the sparkle from the Distress Stickles on the pumpkins and vine in the photo on the right.  The second one did not turn out as originally planned & I may still play with that one a little more.  I have 2 more tags I've started but not finished.  One thing Wendy told us at the workshop was to have several things in various stages that you are working on.  This way your artwork has plenty of time to dry, you can work on what appeals to you that day and you enjoy the process of creating step by step and layer by layer.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tags from Wendy Vecchi's Ranger Ink 490 Style Class


Technique Tags with Wendy Vecchi
Ranger Ink 490 Style

Alcohol Ink on Glossy Paper

Pearlized Stamping

Yesterday I shared photos of Wendy from Saturday's class.  Today I'm posting photos of some of the tags we completed.  I love that the directions were provided on white labels to go on the back of each tag! 

Distress Ink Application with two of Wendy's stamps

Alcohol Ink with Pigment Ink

Alcohol Ink on Clearly for Art

Gesso Textured Background
I love all the techniques but I think this last one is my favorite.  I can seeing using this for so many things!  Collages, scrapbooking, cardmaking, the possibilities are endless!  What's your favorite technique?

Ranger Ink Studio 490 Style with Wendy Vecchi

(wearing blue apron)
This past Saturday I had the pleasure of meeting Wendy Vecchi and taking her Ranger Ink Studio 490 Style workshop at Buffalo Stamps.  I wish I had been able to take a class like this a long time ago.  The class is in a similar format as those that Ranger provides for store owners and class instructors.  We did a variety of techniques on manila tags and on the back of each we put a label with the instructions for the technique!  Wendy was an amazing teacher - so relaxed and organized.  We never felt rushed and I think everyone felt that they learned a lot.  I had a lot of fun.  I hope I can take more classes with Wendy in the future.  Here are some photos of Wendy at the class (one with me) and some of her projects.  I'll post photos of some of the tags we made tomorrow.

Wendy demonstrating another technique

Wendy with me

Aren't these beautiful?  The flash on my camera was a little too bright on the middle photo and washed out the beautiful, rich colors in the background.  I'm sure these will inspire you though!