Good news, bad news…

Good news: My December 2014 album is underway!!! Despite my best intentions of completing this album DURING the month of December, it became quite clear that it just wasn’t going to happen this year. That’s okay though! I took lots of photos and typed up some notes to make sure I didn’t forget the stories I really wanted to remember. So…with my notes and photos ready to go, I’m working on getting some spreads done a few at a time, tackling them in order of whatever happens to be the story I most want to tell at the moment. My first spread tells the story of our very first Kindergarten Christmas Concert, which was incredibly “memorable”. (Yes…quotes are appropriate.) PBALDWIN_DEC10_PROMPTSP1We were all really really excited. It was going so well. Liam was totally into it, which was awesome, because in the past he hasn’t always been a group activity kind of guy. He starred as “Candy Cane #5” for their first act. And for the second act, he found his way to a little opening between kids on stage where he could see us, and danced away, peeking and waving every now and then 🙂 PBALDWIN_DEC10_PROMPTSP2So much fun!

And then…..DISASTER!!

For the final act, all three kindergarten classes performed 2 songs together. The stage was crowded, and Liam was behind another classmate. He wanted to be closer to the front. From where we were sitting, we watched what appeared to be an “unpleasant exchange of words”, followed by some shoving, then screaming, and then it was just way too much for him to handle. He cried for the rest of the performance, right there in the middle of the stage. The little scuffle didn’t last long, but the poor guy was inconsolable. So not only was it his first Christmas Concert, it was also his first (and I pray only) fight at school. Totally broke my heart, especially because he had been having such a good time just moments before. You know that feeling when you just can’t get to your kid fast enough… awful. Anyhow, I was finally able to get to him as he was coming down from the stage for a big hug and some hand holding…and eventually, all was right with the world again.

So CLEARLY, this all needed to be documented.  I’m using Ali Edwards’ December Daily 2014 kit for my album. For this particular spread, I’m also using Ali’s digital “Prompts” stamps in a few spots. I printed the “Remember” & “This” stamps on a 3×4 piece of vellum and embellished it with some of the kit contents to make the title card. PBALDWIN_DEC10_PROPMPTS_DETAIL1I also threaded some of the hand-written words from the stamp set into my journaling (both front and back) for something a little different. And on the second page, I added the big “LOVE THIS” digital stamp directly to the photo before printing it. PBALDWIN_DEC10_PROMPTS_DETAIL2

Now for the bad news…3 spreads in and my printer just died. HA! I sure am hoping to have a solution for that very very quickly…and my handy tech savy hubby is working on it. I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks so much for stopping by today! (And just a quick note to mention that those children have ADORABLE little faces, that I’ve blurred out for their privacy 😉 )

For the love of word bubbles…

PBALDWIN_DEC3_STORYBUBBLES_DETAILI’ve got 2 new scrapbook layouts this week featuring Ali Edwards’ digital “Story Bubbles”. AEdwards_StoryBubbles_PREVThe first one was a long time in the making. I had the story and the photo back in August, but man I struggled trying to figure out what I wanted it to look like. So it sat on my computer….and waited….and sat…..and waited some more. Then…Santa signed me up for a subscription to Ali’s new Story Kits, and the classroom (included with any of Ali’s subscriptions) went live just this past Monday (so SO GOOD!). I listened to the “welcome” presentation and it snapped me right back into focus. It was EXACTLY the reminder I needed that what’s important here is the story. PBALDWIN_DEC3_STORYBUBBLESI remember this day so clearly. Liam had a new Spider Man costume that he wanted to wear EVERYWHERE. And you’re only 4 once, so why not, right? On this particular day, we woke up to news that my dad had been taken to the hospital with some not so fun and very unexpected cardiac issues. So when we got the okay to come for a visit, Liam wore his costume. As we walked through the ER, he made EVERYONE smile. And in that moment, I knew for sure, the best part about being a mom is watching the joy your kids bring to others, even in difficult situations. It happened again just the other day! Emily and I were waiting in a long line at the post office, a situation that doesn’t always bring out the best in people. And as she quietly explored and seemed to be so delighted by this new place, everyone around us started to watch her and couldn’t help but smile. Those moments…that feeling…I want to remember forever.

The secomd layout included a photo that was taken the same day as the first one. PBALDWIN_DEC3_STORYBUBBLES_2We spent our morning running errands and grocery shopping….with Spider Man 🙂 PBALDWIN_DEC3_STORYBUBBLES_2_DETAILAnd word bubbles just make everything more fun!

The supplies for these layouts came from my stash of Studio Calico add-on kits (Clover, Alcott and Ni Hao).

Thanks so much for stopping by!

My whole heart…

PBALDWIN_NOV26_NOVEMBER3X4LAYEREDSENTIMENTS_DETAILNovember 2nd….that was the day I we decided we really needed some new family pictures. It was a BEAUTIFUL sunny Sunday, so we rushed went to the park, with just an hour or so of daylight left. I remember telling myself to “chill out”…don’t worry if this doesn’t work out, just try to enjoy the time together. Of course, I wouldn’t need to be telling myself that if I was actually FEELING that way… but I’m sure you know how it can be, trying to convince little kids that we need to get somewhere to do something on a timeline. Anyhow…the little chat with myself helped. We let the kids run around for a bit and check stuff out. IMG_7105_edited-3These big old doors are pretty awesome, but Liam could NOT understand why they wouldn’t open. IMG_7097_edited-2Found a park bench and attempted to get a decent family shot, which was…..interesting. IMG_7136_edited-1IMG_7150_edited-1IMG_7165_edited-1IMG_7141_edited-2We took a little break from trying to get a family picture, and that’s when this happened. IMG_7103_edited-1My whole heart….right there! I got a lot of good shots, but this one, definitely my favourite!!! Liam liked the cannons. IMG_7206_edited-2IMG_7219_edited-1Emily liked the leaves.IMG_7201_edited-3 IMG_7198_edited-1 IMG_7194_edited-2We paid one more visit to the big brown doors, trying to get a nice photo of Liam, who had a serious case of the sillies.IMG_7241_edited-1silliesIMG_7260_edited-3And then just when I thought we were ready to go home…IMG_7271_edited-2A leaf fight broke out!IMG_7308_edited-3IMG_7311_edited-1 IMG_7310_edited-1IMG_7360_edited-2The sun set and the air got cooler, so we hopped back in the car and went out for dinner 🙂 So SO thankful for this day!IMG_7388_edited-2I wanted to share my favourite photo and the story on a scrapbook layout. When I’ve got a favourite picture, I almost always want to make it BIG and often the focus of my layout. So I went EXTRA big with this one and turned that photo of Brett with the munchkins into a two page spread, with the photo spanning both pages! PBALDWIN_NOV26_NOVEMBER3X4LAYEREDSENTIMENTSI used Studio Calico’s The Underground kit and I made my own embellishments for this layout. PBALDWIN_NOV26_NOVEMBER3X4LAYEREDSENTIMENTS_DETAILThat tag was actually made out of white cardstock, printable adhesive gold foil, and Ali Edwards’ digital overlays “November 3×4 Layered Sentiments”.  I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of gold 🙂

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

This is what “happy” looks like…

PBALDWIN_NOV19_NOEL_DETAIL“First we’ll make snow angels for two hours, then we’ll go ice skating, then we’ll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookiedough as fast as we can, and then we’ll snuggle.” – Buddy the Elf

Well we didn’t exactly do allll of that, but the snow angels and the snuggling part did in fact happen! Liam had a PD day from school two weeks ago, and we got the rare opportunity to spend the day together, just the two of us. I feel like I’m not exaggerating when I say “It was the best day ever!”, because seriously, I had so much fun with him! It’s amazing how different the dynamics are with my kids when I spend some good quality one-on-one time with them as opposed us all being together. Maybe because there’s no competition? I don’t know, but what I do know is I WANT TO DO THAT MORE OFTEN!

We went out for breakfast together and did some Christmas shopping and put up Liam’s little Christmas tree.little treelittle tree lights We went to a movie…and the only thing Liam really wanted to do when we were making our plans for the day was “go outside and play in the snow”. snow angelsbest day everSo we did that too!

And that’s how this layout was born.PBALDWIN_NOV19_NOEL

For the happy title, I used a digital brush from Ali Edwards’ “Noel”  stamp set. AEdwards_Noel_PREVI love that they can be used for even non-Christmas themed projects. The rest of the title is done with “Amatic SC” font, which is a freebie at Font Squirrel. (Side note: I came across this font from Rebecca Cooper’s list of “14 Festive Fonts” for the holidays, most of which are free, on her blog! Here’s the link if you’d like to take a look.) I printed it, along with my journaling on white matte photo paper (Staples brand).  I added a bit of stitching over the “THIS” and a few colourful stitched chevrons, just for fun. And those cork asterisks….they’re my FAVOURITE!! And I’m down to just 4 or 5 in my stash, hoping Studio Calico will make more 🙂

Thanks so much for stopping by today 🙂