Monday, January 31, 2011


One Little Word Blog Hop February 1, 2011

Here is the entire list of bloggers for this blog hop. Start at the top and check each one out. Some of the blogs may be offering prizes. Please scroll down to see my January pages for One Little Word and how & why I chose illuminate for my 2011 word.

“A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything. From my own personal experience, it can be a catalyst for enriching your life.”                                                                                                                               Ali Edwards

This is my first year doing One Little Word.  After reading Ali’s description of the year-long project I thought this would be better than New Year’s resolutions and probably more effective.  My word is illuminate and it chose me.  I had a list of about 50 words that I thought of over several days and illuminate was not on it.  But illuminate kept coming back to me.  There were several areas in my life that were either changing, confusing or troublesome that I really want to find answers to and ideas for.   I want to illuminate these areas to gain clarity and knowledge.  I want to throw a light onto these areas and to focus on them throughout the year. I want to resolve them over time with real and genuine solutions and understanding.

In January our assignment was to choose a word, learn about it and begin to live with it.  Its amazing how quickly your word begins popping up into your life.  As I began doing research into my word, websites, blogs, music, books all became sources of new knowledge and information for me. I began to clarify and further identify what I was searching for with this word. Going into February I have actions outlined for 4 of the 6 areas I want to illuminate this year.

Please leave a comment and/or sign up to follow my blog.  I'll be posting more of my January pages tomorrow along with a supply list.  I will also be doing some blog candy (prizes) in the future if I get 10 or more followers.   Please head to Miranda's blog which is next on the list. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Project Life - 3rd Week and One Little Word Blog Hop

Week 3 is a variety of activities from wrapping and packing up baby shower presents, visits to the art gallery at the Prendergast Library and the Fenton Historical Museum, a visit from one of our deer families and a male cardinal along with another snow picture.  Unfortunately during this time of year there's no end of material for snow pictures!  I added a 8 1/2 x 11 page protector to hold the items from the art gallery and the Fenton Historical Museum.  I love the yellow & greens in the flower picture (done in acrylics) and had to take a photo of the horse as it is made from dried flowers!  I had hoped to have Week 4 done and ready to post but did not get that finished this weekend.
I do want to let you know about the upcoming blog hop that I'll be participating in this Tuesday, February 1st.  I'll be posting the blog hop info tomorrow night but it does not go live until Tuesday, February 1st at 11am EST.  So check back for the entire list of blogs that will be sharing their first month's work for the One Little Word project.  I think you'll find it illuminating!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Project Life - 2nd Week

 Here's the full 2 page layout with close-ups of each side below that.  I'll have Weeks 3 & 4 to post this weekend.  Between the 2nd and 3rd week I got sick and so I got a little behind.  Just about caught up.  I'm actually finding this very easy to do although it does take a little planning, keeping your camera handy and  learning to look for photo ops that you might not normally take advantage of.

I'm not doing a strict photo a day style project but focusing on the activities of the week.  This week's photos include several outdoor shots after a snowfall some right before the sun rose and others later in the day.  I aslo took some photos of the animal tracks in the snow - my dog, Lily's, the deer and some birds along with my tracks.  I ran out of 4 x 6 spots so I cut the photos in half and put them in the smaller pockets in the middle and I like the way it looks.  There's also a photo of one of pages in my Art Every Day journal.  While I'm not actually doing something every day I've tried quite a few techniques in my journal and am having fun even if its only for 15-20 minutes!  There is also a photo of my craft room a week later and its not looking as organized or tidy as it did a week ago!

I still need to get some different size page protectors for the odds & ends that I want to include like my birthday cards and some other memorabilia. 
So far I've pretty much stuck with exactly what came with the Project Life kit and haven't strayed from the original intent of Becky Higgins project.  I'll be looking to add a few more of my own touches and to use the bonus cardstock that came with the kit as I get more comfortable with the process. 
I'm also hoping in the future to start learning more about digital and hybrid scrapbooking.  For now though, I'm really enjoying this. With each week completed there is a sense of accomplishment and you quickly have a variety of things to look at. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

baby cards

 Here are a few of the cards that I made as samples for my daughter-in-law to look at - the live on the opposite coast from us.  If she likes any of them I'll make up her choice(s) into baby announcements and/or thank you cards.  I used the Cricut cartridge New Arrival for these.  The plane card may seem an odd choice for a baby announcement but my son works for Boeing working on their airplane, the Dreamliner (787). 

Sample cards

Inside of airplane card

Inside of onesie card

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Memory Works

  Just wanted to share with you that I am now a Memory Works Independent Consultant.  Please check out for all the best in scrapbooking & crafting.  Tim Holtz, Cosmo Cricket, We R Memory Keepers, Ranger, Adirondack, American Crafts, Basic Grey and much more!  Check out Simple Stories - a simplified scrapbooking system.  This is great for anyone that wants to do a Project 365 or a photo a day project.  Email me ( for more information or to place an order. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weekend Projects

Here is one of the items that I was working on this weekend. Its a Tattered Angels Glimmer Kit (Frosty Memories)  that I got a couple years ago at CKC-Buffalo. I finally got a craft mat so I was able to spray away!  The kit came with 3 bottles of Glimmer Mist - 2 different shades of blue and one of Cocoa.  This type of project I found takes quite awhile to spray each of the pages, let them dry and move to the next set.  You have to remember to cover any area of the book that you don't want to get sprayed each time you spray.  Another problem was that the Glimmer Mist had settled in the bottom of 2 of the bottles from sitting for so long so I don't think I got the depth of color/shimmer that I would have had the bottles been new.  Note to self:  don't buy things til you're ready to make/use!  On the cover above I used the Glimmer Screen snowflake stencil and both shades of blue.  You'll see on future posts of other pages of the book that I ended up using Tim Holtz Distress Inks to deepen the color as I found the 2 shades of blue too light for my taste.  I then used a jelly roll pen to outline the snowflake for a little sparkle. 
Page 1 and 2
On page 1 I used a Tim Holtz snowman stencil and I stamped the snowflake image with a Close To My Heart stamp and a Pearl Paint Dabber.  The kit comes with "calling cards" and I placed one on page 2.  It's title Snowday Checklist.  I thought this would make the book good for some winter fun photos, memorabilia and journaling. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Art Journal Every Day 2011

If you have ever thought about working on an art journal this site (see below) is a great inspiration with some how to get started tips.  My strategy to this is to take 10-15 minutes max and just play with some products with no end result in mind although in the photo at the left my One Little Word project (illuminate) was certainly in my mind when I created this with Paint Dabbers and some Distress Stickles.

I didn't hear about this project until this past weekend so I've only done a few days so far but I've already found it to be fun, relaxing & productive.  I had some problems with my paint dabbers and through my All Things Tim Yahoo group I found out that others are too.  Some solutions if you have problems include adding a dropperful of water to the paint dabber and mix with a craft stick.  Many are using the dabber top once and then resorting to using a paint brush from then on. I also found out that you can purchase new dabber tops which I wasn't aware of.  In just a few minutes each day I've also used several products and stamps that I hadn't found time to use before. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Project Life - First week

 Top photo is the title page for my 2011 Project Life album.  As I may have mentioned before I'm not necessarily doing a  page a day as my work week is not all that exciting usually.  Weekends, generally, are when our activities are scheduled (particularly in the winter - I don't like going back out in the cold once I'm home).  This is working out really well for me and I'm really excited about this project.  I've been in a scrapbooking slump for quite awhile and not anywhere near as productive as I once was and this looks like its going to help me get my albums done!  I know many people on the message boards have questioned whether this is a project for people without kids and I think its a great answer for those with kids or empty nesters.  This way your able to share a glimpse into your life even though you may not have as many photos of one subject or event as you would if you had children.  Did I mention that this is a FREE class through Big Picture Classes?  Its worth registering at Big Picture Classes and signing up for the class to get access to the community and message boards.  Lots of great resources there.   The next photo is the left sided page of my first week layout.  On New Year's weekend we were packing up our Christmas stuff and this year I was determined to go through our decorations, weed out was broken and not repairable, what needed to be fixed (another to do pile in my craft room!) and what didn't fit with our color scheme (we're working towards a red, silver, white color theme).  I actually got it done and was thrilled that all our ornaments and a few small decorations fit all into one ornament tote that we got this year at the after Christmas sales.  There are 3 small photos in the center row that are pictures of the 3 oldest ornaments that I have left from my mom & dad and grandma.  The one on the far left was brought over from Germany with my great-grandma.  Anyways, I never would have thought to photograph these items if it wasn't for this project.  I wish now I had taken photos of all the Christmas ornaments my sons made over the years and are now gone.  Construction paper, paint, school glue and macaroni does not have a long shelf life! The other photos on this page are the actual box that the kit comes in and my very clean and well-organized craft room (remember this photo - I have a very different looking one for this week's layout!).
                                                                                    Last photo is my right hand side of this week's layout.  Photo of the mess on my desk as I worked on the decorations project and putting my Project Life album together.  The next photo is a picture of my laptop screen during a Skype call with Derek & Katie as they opened their Christmas presents from us on New Year's Day.  Love Skype!  They had visited Katie's family for Christmas and had saved our presents for their return home.  Photos of Lily ready for the Penn State Bowl game :( she's not looking too happy as they lost.  A photo of me at breakfast on Sat - Tom looking over our finances (a yearly tradition we do at the beginning of the year) and my Project Life album on its table all set to go.  I used one double journaling card and one single card for all I wanted to say.  It will be interesting to see how this evolves as the year goes on.  I'm looking for some different size page protectors for those weeks (I'm thinking when my first grandchild arrives, summertime, visits with the kids) when I have a lot more photos to share.  I think I'll also get more creative with embellishments, some matting, and doing some photo editing.  Some people are doing this project digitally or a hybrid style but we all are learning a lot. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

One Little Word

 I've had an amazing weekend in my craft room - would like to call it a studio cause its more than just "crafts" but feel that sounds pretentious.  Anyway, I have been making lots of messes and having a blast.  So, I'm hoping I'll have plenty to post throughout this week.  Really trying to post regularly if not daily.  On the left are the pages for January for One Little Word.  You'll notice there are a variety of page protector sizes that Ali has us using.  They came in a pack like that from Pink Paisley (I double check that info) thru  Back when I was using Creative Memories albums and page protectors I use to use a variety of sizes in those albums and then when I moved to Close To My Heart I got away from it and forgot about doing that.  The first page is 5 x 7 and the title page.  As you can see my word is Illuminate.  The 2nd page is a 9 pocket protector and includes a definition, a quote, a dictionary entry from an old dictionary, why I chose the word I did, synonyms, and a list of what I'm inviting into my life with this word.  Ali Edwards started One Little Word as an alternative to resolutions and its been an interesting journey so far and its only been a little over a week.  I have a little more to do on both of these pages.  On the other side of the title page I need to place a photo of myself.  On the 9 pocket page protector I have some blank cards that need some artwork but I'm waiting for the ideas to present themselves to me - I'm not rushing it. 
I wish you could see the gold tag and card better - I used 3 different Distress Inks (Tim Holtz's) on them and they have a suede look to them now.  I still need to add some art work to the card as I mentioned.  For right now I'm just enjoying the way it looks.

Monday, January 3, 2011

One Little Word, Project Life

Working a little each day on both my projects.  Still waiting for the album and page protectors the One Little Word. I have several pages started so I hope to have some photos this weekend for both projects as the album and page protectors are due to arrive Thursday and I'm developing photos on Fri.  For One Little Word I'm working on the definitions, synonyms, quotes, etc to get to know my word illuminate.  For Project Life I'm taking photos each day and at the end of the week will make a final decision as to which ones make it in the album for the week.  I'll then complete my journaling.  I'm keeping notes though each day because I know by the end of the week I'll forget why I wanted to take that particular photo!  Today's photo I took a picture of my desk at work as I arrived.  Its generally covered with papers, films, jackets & more but today was particularly bad because of the 3 day weekend.  We'll see if it makes it to the album!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

One Word with Ali Edwards

I don't have any photos today.  Yesterday we finished putting all the Christmas stuff away.  I was so happy to get all our ornaments into an ornament storage box.  I've pulled all the ones that need repairing out and will work on those (sometime).  So today I spent catching up on some stuff with Tom in the morning - bills, figuring out how some of Christmas gifts work.  I got him a pandigital scanner.  He has a lot of old negatives and slides of train stuff (his passion) along with a lot of photos so he's going digital with it all.  This afternoon while he watched the Bills game (he's a diehard fan with low expectations) I did some printing of digital elements for my One Word project.  One Word is Ali Edwards' class over at Big Picture Classes.  The essence of this 12 month long class is to pick a word, or in some cases, the word picks you and you work with that word through the year.  On the first of each month Ali provides prompts and materials for you to explore, get to know and "invite the word into your life".  Check out the course information at  Site registration is free.  You get access to their free classes and you might find some other classes that you like!  Anyways, I haven't gotten my album or page protectors yet as I just decided last weekend to do this class as well as Project Life.  I've got everything printed out for January and my next step is doing the actual work which I hope to start tomorrow.  I'll share photos of pages as they come together for this project and Project Life.  An additional benefit of this class, for me at least, is learning a little more about PhotoShop and a variety of file types.  Ali offers pdf files which I am familar with but as I have time I'll do the other tutorials and start becoming a little more digital saavy! 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

 2011 is here and I'm starting Project Life with Becky Higgins and Big Picture Classes.  Project Life has evolved from  Project 365.  Project Life has more flexibility for those who can't do a photo a day, want to do a themed album or is combining it with other projects.  The class itself is free so if you want to use your own supplies it doesn't cost anything.  The kit can be ordered through  There is a link on Big Picture Classrom to the kit.  So at left is the album (12x12).  This is the turquoise version.  It comes with pretty much everything you need although again you can change it by not using certain elements and/or adding your own supplies/touch.  The 12 x 12 papers at the far left do not have a specific function but can be used any way you want.  I have the inside pages set up part way but do not want to add the rest of the elements until I see if I end up doing a photo a day or not.  Because of our work schedules being opposite of each other we tend to do a lot together every other weekend so I may be doing photos of the week.  I've had a lot of ideas so maybe it will still end up as a photo a day.  I'm not going to get too hung up or stressed about but just let it flow naturally.  The boxes hold journal cards, number and day sticker sheets, a date stamper, decorative cards and more.  The bottom 2 pictures are of my craft room which I've shown before but I've made some changes.  The table that my Cricut & Gypsy is on is now a longer table and its also holding my Cuttlebug, embossing folders and dies.
I've added a table (at the left) to hold my Project Life album and supplies.  I think, and I've now heard others feel this way too, that leaving the album out in plain sight will help me stay current with the project!  The 3 table put together against the wall now are designated for their own projects - one being my "Tim Holtz" table (the red box is holding inkpads and other Tim Holtz products), one table for my sons' scrapbooks that I really need to finish since they are all grown-up and married (!) and the other table for now is just for general use but will probably be for my One Word project with Ali Edwards (also at Big Picture Classroom) - more about that next week.  So I spent part of today re-organizing and cleaning it up (I should have taken a before picture).  We also were putting away our Christmas tree stuff and decorations so its nice to have the house mostly back together. 

So if you think you'd like to do Project Life, go to and register.