Summer in progress

As we drove past the kids school this morning, we talked about how there’s only 2 weeks left until they’re “back to school” and summer is over. 2 weeks!! And it feels like we’ve hardly done anything on our list. It’s true…there’s a lot that hasn’t been checked off yet. BUT there’s still been a whole lot of living. I’m really enjoying the process of documenting our everyday summer stories in this little 6×8 album, and I thought I’d share a little update on the progress I’ve made so far. (Title Page supplies: Ali Edwards’ July Digital Kit, Gossamer Blue July Scrapbook Kit)

We went to see fireworks this year in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday. It’s the first time we’ve taken the kids to a firework event and we all had a great time! It was awesome to share this experience with them, because it was actually the same place that I spent every July 1st as a kid with my family to see the fireworks. On the shuttle bus ride back to the car, they were already asking if we could come back again next year. Pretty sure this will be an annual tradition now 🙂

(supplies: Gossamer Blue July Scrapbook kit, Studio Calico Silver Lake Lodge Main Printable Journal Cards)

I shared this page in my last post, but this is what it looks like in my album. I’m using Ali Edwards 6×8 Story Book in Greige. I should also mention that I purchased the June and July Scrapbook Kits from Gossamer Blue and I’m in LOOOVE!! The kit contents are currently being designed by Geralyn Sy (In a Creative Bubble) and I’m such a fan of her designs!! I added a rubber banner from the July scrapbook kit on my strawberry photo and love that the blue just happened to coordinate with the pics on the left hand side of this spread.

(Supplies: Gossamer Blue July Scrapbook Kit, Ali Edwards July Digital Kit, Ali Edwards Fun Story Kit)

This is another page I shared last month. I wound up adding a little sticker to the “Super Love This” card just for a little something more.

(Supplies: Ali Edwards July Digital Kit, Ali Edwards Bond Story Kit, Gossamer Blue July Scrapbook Kit)

We discovered the face filters on Instagram this summer! Super fun 🙂

(Supplies: Ali Edwards Fun Story Kit, Studio Calico Silver Lake Lodge Documenter Kit)

I made a little change to this spread because that tag from the Gossamer Blue July Scrapbook Kit was just PERFECT!! And I’m trying really hard to use the stuff I love instead of hoarding it 😉

(Supplies: Ali Edwards July Digital Kit, Ali Edwards Fun Story Kit, Gossamer Blue July Scrapbook Kit)

The thing I’m loving about this album is the collection of little stories about big moments, like spending time with my work family. These ladies truly are like a second family to me. They’ve been there from the beginning of my nursing career. They’ve watched me get married, they’ve watched me become a mom, and on this particular evening, we celebrated a very dear friend’s retirement.

(Supplies: Ali Edwards Fun Digital Story Kit)

I pulled this page out of my album for a closer look because that photo on the top right makes me laugh every time. Real life right now 🙂  We were so lucky this summer to be able to have Liam and Emily in the same summer camp group (they go three days a week while I’m at work). And they were pretty darn excited about getting to spend the days together too (they might not be quite as excited now that we’re 7 weeks into summer….but it definitely helped them feel more comfortable in their new environment, knowing they had each other there.

(Supplies: Gossamer Blue July Scrapbook Kit, Gossamer Blue June Life Pages Kit)

Observations (and little stories) about life right now, like 1) the “fidget spinner” sidewalk when we go to soccer every week, 2) her excitement to make her own sandwiches and help pack her lunch (for the record….that enthusiasm has now faded), 3) watching her soccer game from the bleachers, 4) Peanut Butter squares…no longer just a Christmas treat, 5) “Don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flowers?” and 6) poop emojis = text messages from the kids. It’s all about the little things!

(Supplies: Studio Calico Silver Lake Lodge Main Printable Journal Cards, Gossamer Blue June Scrapbook Kit, Star transparency (an oldie from my stash…I think it’s from Studio Calico).

One of the things that’s different about this summer is that when I bring a book with me to the park, I actually get to read it! The kids are becoming more independent and are comfortable to play on their own now, which is both awesome and a sure sign that they’re growing up. (The Undoing Project was a great read!! Loved Michael Lewis’ writing style. It’s a real life story about the development of decision making theory and the men who created it. My description doesn’t even scratch the surface, but if you’re a fan of non-fiction, this is one I would definitely recommend.)

(Supplies: Gossamer Blue June Scrapbook Kit, Studio Calico Let’s Go Main Printable Journal Cards, Studio Calico Summer Camp Add On, Ali Edwards Lost and Found Digital Story Kit)

Signs of a good day: crafting, a visit to the farm, playing and slurpees. I have always liked mixing sizes in my albums. I recoloured and resized a digital card from Ali Edwards’ July Digital Kit to  tell the story of this day. Also, from here forward you’re likely going to see a lot of chipboard pieces added to my pages. I ordered the Chipboard Set from Ali Edwards’ summer release and I can’t help myself! Love it!

(Supplies: Ali Edwards July Digital Kit, Ali Edwards Summer Chipboard Shape Variety Pack)

Working his way through a summer work book = love this!

(Supplies: Ali Edwards Summer Chipboard Shape Variety Pack)

Documenting this story about her first year of soccer. She loves going! Loves participating in the practice! But when it’s game time, she refuses to play. On this particular Saturday, after arguing with her to at least try, I stood back and watched the scene in front of me. If you’ve ever watched little kid soccer, you have probably witnessed some seriously awesome moments…like the little girl who’s focusing hard on kicking that ball down the field with her tongue sticking out and a little stuffed kitty tucked safely under her arm, or the mob of kids that buzz around chasing the ball off their own field and right into the middle of the game the next field over, or the little boy who uses his “super powers” to stop the approaching players, bending down on one knee and zapping the other players with the imaginary lasers shooting from his outstretched arms. This was the Saturday that I finally realized, I think she doesn’t want to play the game because she’d miss out on the show 😉

(Supplies: Ali Edwards August Digital Kit, Ali Edwards Summer Chipboard Shape Variety Pack)

Real life isn’t always fun. Don’t let these smiling little faces fool you…this day was a rough one! I went into it thinking “hey, it’ll be so fun if we get the kids one of those ride on animals to keep them entertained at the mall”…and left with a hoarse voice, more grey hairs, and reality checking my expectations. The “everything will be okay” card was pretty much perfection for this spread 😉

(Supplies: Ali Edwards August Digital Kit, Ali Edwards Summer Chipboard Shape Variety Pack)

The very next day, we tagged along to watch my parents go ziplining down Niagara Falls. The falls is only 45 minutes away from home, but we don’t go very often. I’m always surprised by how beautiful it is up close and find myself wondering why we don’t go more often.

(Supplies: Ali Edwards August Digital Kit, Ali Edwards Fun Digital Story Kit, Ali Edwards Lost and Found Digital Story Kit, Ali Edwards Summer Chipboard Shape Variety Pack)

We managed to end up with a few weeks of fevers and stomach bugs this summer, but even on those days there are still stories to tell. I passed along my folder of extra and misprinted photos to Liam and Emily so they could work on their own projects and Emily totally ran with it. She said “hey! I’m pretty good at this!” and used several packs of enamel dots on one page 🙂 That’s my girl!

(Supplies: Ali Edwards August Digital Kit, Ali Edwards Summer Chipboard Shape Variety Pack, Studio Calico transparency from my stash)

These guys are not bothered in the least about having so many things not checked off our summer list. Quite honestly, we’re all homebodies and are happy to spend our days off just hanging out together. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to watch as they come up with new ways to entertain themselves, whether it’s putting on a “magic show”, watching the construction take place out front, or taking on the role of sleeping beauty and stretching out in the living room window. “Ordinary day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.” Always.

(Supplies: Ali Edwards Day in the Life Summer Journal Card Set, Ali Edwards Summer Chipboard Shape Variety Pack, Studio Calico Bluegrass Farm Scrapbook Kit)

This page is still in progress. The left side tells the story of their summer camp trip to African Lion Safari and the right side is one of my favourite pictures from the night we made a fort and camped out in my room together.  I’ve got more photos to add and a story to tell about that experience 🙂

(Supplies:  Studio Calico Let’s Go Main Printable Journal Cards, Studio Calico Summer Camp Add On, In a Creative Bubble Storyteller Journaling Cards, Ali Edwards Summer Chipboard Shape Variety Pack)

And I’m going to finish off today’s post with one last “in progress” page. Because this photo is what I’ll think of when I think about summer 2017 🙂

(Supplies: In A Creative Bubble Summertime Journaling Cards, Gossamer Blue July Scrapbook Kit)

I’ve really enjoyed working on these pages so far! I’m about 2/3rds of the way through our July stories and filling my album up with whichever ones I most want to tell as I scroll through my photo library.  I’ll be sure to post an update as I dig into August. Thanks for stopping by today!

 

 

 

 

July Stories

Hi friends! Liam reminded me today that we’re already 3 weeks into the summer break. Can you believe that?! 3 weeks!! We’ve been enjoying our extra few days together each week but it feels like we’ve barely scratched the surface of all the things I’d like to do. The first 3 days started off with a bang…fireworks (still working on that spread), strawberry picking, jam making and a trip to the “lake”. Trust me, the rest of July hasn’t been nearly this eventful, but it has made for a fun start to our summer album.

One of the things we DID manage to accomplish is strawberry picking! It’s one of my favourite traditions and it’s getting easier now that the kids are a bit older. We had our 6 quart basket picked in about 15 minutes. Emily’s an awesome little worker and Liam said “I have an idea! How about if you guys pick them and I’ll eat them?! Okay?” He definitely ate more than he picked 😉 

Keeping things super simple but still getting our stories told…I added the story to a 3×4 digital journaling card from Ali Edwards’ July Digital Kit. I re-coloured the card to a blue shade to coordinate with the blue from the sky in my photos and added just one little embellishment from the Fun Story Kit. I’ve always loved full page photos. This big close up of our strawberries makes my mouth water!

One of the other things on my summer “to-do” list was to make jam this year. Check!! Liam loved it so much, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be another annual tradition. Loved this little moment together 🙂 I used a digital stamp from the June Digital Kit for the “summer stories” circle on the left (popped up with foam tabs). Love how that page turned out!

I made the “super love this” card with a digital stamp from the July Digital Kit., adding it to a greige 3×4 canvas and printing it out. I acutally picked up the colour from one of the jar lids on the opposite page and used it again to recolour the journaling card on the bottom right. This is a super handy trick for maintaining a cohesive look in your pocket page spreads!  The “you and me” rubber charm is from the “Bond” Story Kit.

Gulliver’s Lake is a cool little quarry turned swimming lake not too far from home and we had a great time meeting up there with friends on the holiday Monday. The idea for the “watermelon dress”  pic came from @Averageparentproblems on Instagram 🙂 Super fun!

Again, capturing our summer memories with just a few photos and a little story 🙂 The “weekend adventures” is a digital stamp included in the July Digital Kit, as well as the “memories” journaling card and the “Best Times” chipboard circle (which is actually printed onto matte photo paper and popped up with foam dots).

One of the things I like most about this 6×8 format of memory keeping for the summer is that I get our stories told without having to spend a ton of time on it 🙂 Even if my entire album is made only of full page 6×8 photos and 4-pocket pages, this collection is going to be so great!

Hope you’re having a great summer!

Pam

Day in the Life – June 2017

I have a confession. When Day in the Life rolls around, I’m pretty good at getting lots of photos, sort of okay and making lots of notes, and TERRIBLE at actually getting the project completed, on paper, into an album. THIS IS NOT A DIFFICULT THING TO DO!! But when it comes to pulling a project like this together, I’m totally guilty of overthinking how I’m going to do it, to the point where nothing actually gets done.

Not this time. Ta da!!

I can’t tell you how happy I am to have finally got one in the books!! Here’s what made it work for me:

  1. The documentation structure. This was the first of 3 “Day in the Life” projects hosted by Ali Edwards, that are planned to occur this year. Each time it’s scheduled, there’s a kit available (digital and physical version, not required but always awesome!!) to go along with it that usually helps focus on a new technique for how to capture your day. This first one was based on time. The idea was that each hour, you would take a photo and write just one related story. I was happy to take the suggestion of setting an alarm on my phone each hour to remind me to do it. This structure made it easy, and I really enjoyed following along!

2. Bringing it together. This is the part that I usually get stuck. The DITL kit (both the digital and physical format) included 3×4 cards with colourful numbers in the upper left hand corner and lots of white space to write your story. Lots of people simply used them to fill in the pockets of a divided page protector alongside their photos. As easy and beautiful as that was, I’m not really in love with the 12×12 size at the moment. I played around with 9×12 formats but I just wasn’t feeling it. And the idea of “designing” a layout seemed like a loooot of work in that moment. Here was my “aha’ moment. I took a look back at the templates from this year’s Week in the Life collection and found one that I thought might work really well. I used the 8.5x 11 version and played around with different orientations for it in PSE. I then decided that I’d punch the times from the journaling cards into circles and use them in place of the existing word art elements that were included with the template. There was plenty of white space in the design to fit in my journaling. Once I started laying it out, I knew it was going to work and I was really excited to get it done!! The final product is 3-8.5 x 11 pages that capture one day in our (my) life.

I think the next DITL is anticipated to happen in the fall and I’m looking forward to it! Thanks for stopping by today 🙂

Week In the Life 2017

Anyone else planning to play along with Ali Edwards’ Week in the Life™ this year? I’ve been joining in every year since 2011 with varying degrees of “success”.  I don’t have a completed album for every year, but participating anyway has resulted in some of my most favourite photos in the history of ever, and that alone is a good enough reason!! My goal for this year is to be more on top of the “real time” journaling, jotting down some of the little conversations that happen around here on a daily basis, and expanding a bit more on the facts and feelings that go along with the stuff of life.

We’ve been incredibly lucky as part of the Creative Team to get to play with this year’s kit and a few of the new Week in the Life™ products! Here’s what I’ll be working with this year (in addition to the digital products, anticipated to be released in April):

Last year’s album is one of the one’s that didn’t get completed. I’ve got hundreds of time stamped photos from the week, but very little journaling about the specifics of what was going on at the time. I’ve been spending some time this week looking back at those photos and printing them out to play around with this year’s kit. Every time I do that, I find the pages come together so easily and find myself wondering why it felt like such a huge job at the time! It gets me motivated to go back and finish it up.

Here’s what some of those pages are looking like (and why I’m really wanting to buy a second kit):

First of all, those wood veneer days of the week, LOVE THEM!!! I’d buy and hoard several packages if they were available individually. The colours in this year’s kit are seriously a perfect blend of classic neutrals and fun pops of rainbow colours. The font used in the big chipboard alpha is lovely. Super clean lines and sized approximately 2×3 for a perfectly centred fit in the 3×4 pockets. I’ve always loved full page 6×8 photos, and the gigantic days of the week acetate die cuts (sized around 4×6) are a really fun addition to the kit this year!I’m just not sure if I’ll keep them separate for each day of the week or put them together for in intro page at the beginning of the album. Love the 2×2 pocket pages, but I’m not always sure what to fill them with. They’re perfect for a collection of similar photos. And there’s lots of embellies in this year’s kit that almost look like they were made for them. Those chipboard squares are awesome!In addition to the kit, there are some new products that have been released in Ali’s shop that compliment the Week in the Life products, including silk screens and additional stamp sets.

If you’re hoping to play along with this year’s Week in the Life project (or curious to learn more!), here’s what you need to know:

  • You can do this project anytime you like, but it’s always more fun to join in with a group of like minded people 🙂 April 17th-23rd is the “official” week in the life date for this year.
  • Super awesome page and detailed description about this project right here.
  • You don’t have to have a kit to participate! The point of the project is to document an in depth look at one week in your life with photos and journaling, and a lot of people put it all into an album. If you’d LIKE to work with a kit to bring it all together, there are 2 new one’s that have been released for this year that include an album, page protectors, journaling cards and awesome embellishments. Both are still available as I write this. There are also a few of last year’s kits still in the shop and a huge assortment of other coordinating items to check out. You can check them out here.
  • If you want the opportunity to chat with other participants, check out the Facebook group for Craft the Story and/or Week in the Life.
  • There will be LOTS of posts on Instagram about this project. Look for #weekinthelife, #witl, and if you’ld like to see what the Creative Team is working on, look for #aecreativeteam

It’s going to be fun! Thanks so much for stopping by today!

February – Week 6

Another week in the books!This week’s spread came together with the February Digital Kit by Ali Edwards. The digital kits are something new for this year! A collection of journaling cards, stamps and chipboard elements all in exclusively digital format will be released each month, often with a seasonal theme. With Valentine’s Day in February, it was no surprise that this month’s theme is all about “love”. This is definitely a theme I can incorporate into my projects all year long. Going back to that idea that “memory keeping is a way to make love visible”.

This spread covers a few of the highlights from February 6th-12th.

I’ve been using the digital chipboard pieces by printing them out onto matte photo paper and cutting them out with scissors or shape punches. I changed the text on that heart in the upper left corner to just say “monday.” and stapled it onto my photo. Emily is so ready for spring!!

My mom asked if I could find a few photos for her from when she and my dad were dating and first married to go into a frame she recently purchased. Liam took a look at them and said “why do you have a picture of Terry Fox?” when he saw my dad, lol! That pic from their wedding in the bottom left…love having that in here.

I made a few cards myself with the digital kit. This “love” card is actually a 3×4 canvas, a pattern from one of the 4×6 cards, and a digital stamp all merged together to make something new.

I worked with the colours in this month’s kit and used them to re-colour some of the journaling cards and elements to make a more cohesive spread in combination with my photos.

There’s also a quote card included in this month’s kit that is so perfect for this week. I didn’t even realize how fitting it was until I was putting this spread together. It says “When I get to the end of my life and I ask one final “what have I done?”, let my answer be: “I have done LOVE.” I’ve been trying to be more intentional about how I spend time with my kids this month. (My daily practice for OLW was to try to spend at least 20 minutes everyday playing with them, without the distraction of my phone or my to-do list. Just spending time WITH them. I haven’t been successful every day, but the days I do feel a whole lot better.) So there was that connection.

And then a crazy Friday at work had me starting at 8:30 am and not getting home until 4 am the next morning!! Very very not the norm, hence the full moon reference. But again, the quote stuck with me because as nurses, we make sacrifices for others to do what is right and to show love for people, to provide care and support, even when we don’t know them.One more customized journaling card, recoloured and literally a white space added to include some journaling. And that wraps up week 6! I probably say it every week, but I love how this one turned out 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Love Story

I love our stories. I really really do. And that’s why I love this scrapbooking hobby so much!! Because I get to preserve and remember both the little ones and the big ones. This month, I’ve been working with Ali Edwards’ February Digital Kit. And somehow, pieces of the universe have aligned to make me see all the little love stories going on around me. A big one these days (one that is not new, but not always present either) is the love story between Liam and Emily in their big brother/little sister relationship. Knowing what story to tell for this one was so easy, but deciding on a design… lets just say that today I’m sharing 3 versions of the same layout.

 

A really important part of this story was the photos that go along with it. Liam and Emily were deeply into a pretend scenario of being doctors and getting ready for “doctor school”. I asked them to stand against the wall so I could take a photo of them for their ID badges, because clearly ALL doctors have to have an ID badge 😉 They were more than happy to agree and stood side by side as I snapped a few photos with my phone. It was on the 5th snap that Emily leaned over to Liam and whispered “I love you”. And the pictures that followed, that’s what love looks like!! His face transforms with a giant smile and even Emily lights up. A perfect little moment and a super lucky capture.

So I started this project the way I usually do, playing on my computer. I created a photo grid to be able to organize the photos in sequence and used numbers from the digital “Numbers” kit, pulling the colours from another card in the February Digital kit. I started with 8.5×11, because that’s my go to, but I struggled finding the right size and scale to create a well balanced layout. I worked and reworked this one so many times, I wound up with 3 different versions of the same thing. Hopefully, you’ll find some inspiration for your own projects. Here we go:

  1. 8.5 x 11The thing I love most about this one is the colourful title and embellishment clusters!! The first time around, I printed the left page on a sheet of matte photo paper and it felt like too much white space. I couldn’t figure out how to add a bit more visual interest and balance. After playing around a bit, I trimmed about an inch off the white paper and mounted it onto pink cardstock. I also printed the chipboard hearts from the kit onto matte photo paper and punched them out to build a few little embellishment clusters. And now I kind of love this version…
  2. 12×12As I was struggling with the 8.5×11 design, I spotted the film grid from a previous Studio Calico kit on my desk and thought “ooooh, this might work!”. I already had the photos and numbers printed from a previous attempt, and it turned out the fit pretty much perfectly! I reworked the title and journaling to fit down the right side of the grid and mounted all the pieces onto a 12×12 sheet of cardstock. I liked it…but it didn’t really feel like a great way to show off the kit elements because there was just that one digital stamp there. I moved on to a third attempt with a different size, but went back and added a few more of the heart circles. I have to say, that extra little pop of hearts really does help.
  3. 6×86×8!!! The scale of elements feels like a much better fit in this size. I put together a quick video tutorial to share how I recoloured the digital stamp for the title, so if that’s something you’re wondering about, feel free to check it out 🙂

    Thanks so much for stopping by today! I’ll be sharing our Project Life Week 6 tomorrow with more elements from the February Digital Kit 🙂

**Note: None of the links in this post are affiliate links, just here for your reference if you’d like to check them out!

 

Project Life: In the beginning…

Recently, I was invited to have a chat with the amazingly talented and fellow Canadian scrapbooker, Jess Forster, for her Podcast “Pocket Talk”! Jess and I are both a part of Ali Edwards’ Creative Team this year, and it turns out we have quite a bit in common! We chatted about our mutual love for memory keeping and story telling including the process and why we do what we do 🙂 We also spent some time talking about how I got started in this hobby, and it brought back all those feelings about why I love doing this so much. So I took a little trip down memory lane and thought maybe you’d like to see what my Project Life albums looked like in the beginning.

I filmed a video walkthrough (warning….it is NOT short!!), and you are all invited to check it out 🙂

My Project Life style has definitely changed over the years. I lean more towards clean and simple, don’t worry at all about having a photo for every day, and I include a lot more words to tell our stories now than I did then. But I still LOVE these albums!! I’m genuinely so thankful to have these photos in a place where I can easily see them and share them with my family.

I also wanted to mention that Ali Edwards has re-opened registration for an awesome class that I took last year called “Storytelling with Project Life”. I’ve recently found myself going back and watching the videos over again and come away feeling so inspired to keep going with this project! Class begins February 14th and you can check out the details here if this is something you might be interested in.

Hoping to have an update later this week with Weeks 5&6. Thank you so much for stopping by today!

 

Crafting our stories in February

Feb sneaks

February has been full of stories about everyday kind of moments.

There was a pretty typical Monday…

PBaldwin_EnouragementBubbles_FullLayout

(supplies: Ali Edwards “thicker days” and “encouragement bubbles” , Studio Calico “Arendal” Scrapbook Kit, Citrus Twist Kits “Stories” pocket life kit )

followed by a holiday Monday (the best kind of Monday!!)…

PBaldwin_ValentineJournalCards_FullLayout

(Supplies: Ali Edwards “Valentines Journal Cards” , Citrus Twist Kits February “Sprinkles” )

and a haircut.

PBaldwin_CraftStoryKit_FullLayout

(supplies: Ali Edwards “Craft” Digital Story Kit, “Craft” Story Kit, Studio Calico’s “Arendal” Scrapbook Kit, One Little Bird’s “Cheri” papers, Citrus Twist Kits “Stories” Pocket Life Kit, and the cork paper is one I’ve been hoarding forever from an old Crate Paper collection “Story Teller – Archives”)

Liam and Gus

This story isn’t just about a haircut though. This is a story about passion. That man in the photo cutting Liam’s hair is Gus, proud owner of “Gus and Son”. Gus just turned 90 years old (!!) and has cut the hair of 4 generations of Baldwin men. Now THAT is a man who has a passion for his craft! Here’s what I want to remember about him:

This photo will without a doubt be remembered as one of my most favourite photos ever, not just because it’s awesome (it is seriously awesome!), but because it will always remind me of the day I met Gus. At the age of 90 (yes 90!!), Gus has now cut 4 generations of hair for the Baldwin men.

I’ll never forget walking into “Gus & Son”, a little 2 chair barber shop on King Street that I’ve passed by so many times before. It was like stepping into a time capsule, with photos pinned to the walls that easily go back to the 50’s. We walked through the door and were greeted with the most wonderful smile from Gus and his son Lou, and stories about how he had given Brett his first haircut, and how he had cut his dad’s hair, and even his granddad’s. 

I watched in awe as he gently combed and cut Liam’s hair. He spoke so gently, with a heavy Italian accent as he worked. I sat and I watched and I tried hard to soak it all in. Because there is something special about this place, and there is ABSOLUTELY something special about this man!

I can’t think of any greater way to live than with passion for what you do, and that is so clearly Gus!! You can hear it in his stories, see it in his smile, and feel it just being in the room while he works. He is awesome. And when you know how rare it is to get to meet someone who has found their passion and lives it everyday, even at the age of 90, you feel humble in their presence. You want to sit and watch and listen and learn, and you hope some of that magic will rub off onto you.

As we got our coats on to leave, Gus smiled at us and said with such sincerity, “you have a beautiful family”. And I knew it was true. Because after 90 years, you definitely know a thing or two about what is beautiful.

The part that didn’t make it into the story was how badly Emily wanted her hair cut too, and Gus’ son Lou played along, giving her a little trim. She was ecstatic   🙂

Emily and Lou

Thank you so much for stopping by today!

 

Is it too early to start talking Christmas?

I think not 🙂  It seems to sneak up earlier and earlier every year. I saw people posting their “red cup” pictures on Instagram yesterday. Emily and I did some grocery shopping this morning and sure enough, the Halloween stuff that filled the aisles just 2 days ago was NOWHERE to be found, replaced entirely by Christmas. It’s hard NOT to get swept up in the excitement when all of the holiday scrapbooking supplies start popping up in August and September. I totally jumped on board and ordered my December Daily kit the very first day it was available for pre-order. And yes…there was a voice in my head saying “are you crazy? you still haven’t finished LAST year’s album (or the year before that 🙁 )”. I ordered Ali Edwards’ main kit and was very lucky to receive Jasmine Jones’ mini kit as a gift. They arrived a few weeks ago and they are so stunningly perfect!! I’m dying to dig in! But I’ve got some unfinished business to attend to first…

After finishing up my Week in the Life album, I wanted to keep the momentum going, so I jumped into working on December Daily 2014. I’ve got a goal to get it finished by the end of November. I’m pretty much starting from scratch (just 3 days completed out of 25 last year, yikes!!). I’m working with my 2014 December Daily kit and I’ve been so incredibly lucky to get to work with the digital versions of all the December Daily products for this year as well, thanks to my time on Ali Edwards’ Digital Creative Team for 2015 (a pretty amazing compromise for having to hold off on digging into my new kits if you ask me 😉 ). I’m excited to share my album here as it comes together, starting with the first 5 days of December 2014.

Day 1:

By the time December 1st rolled around, the holiday decorations were still stacked in Rubbermaid bins in the kitchen. I cropped the photo to 3×8 and trimmed down a page protector, stitching a strip of journaling down the side. IMG_1479001

There’s lots of Christmas stuff that happens before December officially starts and I wanted to be able to include those things in our album as well.

IMG_1484002I used a digital paper from the 2015 main kit cropped to 3×8 and typed up some journaling about what we had done so far and some thoughts about my favourite parts.

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We went to see Santa a few days before. I wrote about how Liam was so into it this year. He was in the room, sitting with Santa and talking away before I even realized what was happening! Emily was quite happy to see Santa as long as she didn’t have to touch him 🙂 I printed the photo to be 5″ x 5.5″ and stitched it onto a Becky Higgins Project Life photo overlay (cut down from 4×6…it was from the “Playful” overlays, which I can’t seem to find a link to now). I think I still need to add some sort of tab to this insert, not sure what it’ll be yet.

IMG_1488005Our family photo is on the back. I’m not sure who gets more excited about the Christmas trees…me or the kids 🙂 We had 3 little trees set up before December 1st, one in Liam’s room, one in Emily’s room and one in the play area in the basement. I love the way they glow, the way they make everything feel so peaceful and the smiles they bring to these little faces.

IMG_1490006And I have a thing for tags. I used a few journaling cards from the One Little Bird digital mini-kit to make tags for journaling.

Day 2:

IMG_1494007I scanned the kids letters to Santa before we mailed them and included them here. I resized them to 3×4 and printed them on matte photo paper.

IMG_1496I added some confetti from the 2014 December Daily kit for something fun, and printed another card from the One Little Bird mini kit as a tag, stamping the date and adding more confetti.

IMG_1531017I found an image on line of one of our Canada Post mailboxes and created my own 3×4 journaling card to tell the story about mailing our letters. The “2” stamp is from the 2014 kit.

IMG_1500008The back holds another card from the One Little Bird mini kit and a digital stamp from the Messy Holiday Circles. As we were leaving the post office that day, all excited to have mailed the letters to Santa, I looked down and realized Emily wasn’t wearing any shoes. I swear she had shoes on when we left the house!! She just took them off in the car on the way to the post office.  There was a lengthy line of people watching us as we walked by, smiling away, remembering how their kids use to take off their shoes in the car too. I know I’ve said it before, but the best part about being their mom is seeing the joy they bring to others… seriously.

Day 3:

IMG_1502009We have an Elf named Elife who spends the month of December with us getting into all kinds of mischief. He’ll be making a couple of appearances in this album for sure 🙂

Day 4:

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I snapped this photo of the giant Christmas tree in the lobby of the hospital as I was sitting on my lunch break. I thought it was cool that I could see myself in the reflection of the ornaments. I typed my journaling on one of the ornaments about the two things I was most thankful for that day…the most stunning sunrise and the safe arrival of my nephew (!!). Its’ hard to see in this photo, but some of those ornaments are popped up with foam dots for a bit of added dimension. It looks really cool in person!

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Big love for the giant gold foiled chipboard letters and numbers in the 2014 kit! This year’s kit includes red ones, and I stocked up on some of the other colours available in the shop.

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I printed one of the messy holiday circles really big on some matte photo paper and attached it to one of the chipboard pieces that had been in the 2014 kit to make it sturdy. I’m thinking this would make a really cool cover for a mini album and I’m going to put it on my list to try again one day.

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The back includes a photo of the star of the day 🙂

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Another One Little Bird mini kit card turned into a little tag, along with some digital word art (from this set).

Day 5:

IMG_1515015We do the wrapped Christmas book countdown at our house. This year Liam noticed that his Christmas books were missing. And wouldn’t you know it, he found Elfie under the tree with my wrapping paper and tape and scissors! I need to add some journaling to the little tag here still. The journaling card was printed from Jasmine Jones’ mini kit (slightly modified), with the book titles (so far) typed on and stamps added from the 2014 December Daily stamp set.

So that’s what I’ve got so far! It’s hard to pick a favourite because I really like all of them 🙂

I think I’ll try to post an update with a few days at a time each week. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to ask away! Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Week in the Life 2015: Sunday

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My album is officially done (and overflowing)! Today I’m sharing the last few pages of our 2015 Week in the Life album. Here’s what Sunday looks like…

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Sunday was actually the first day I started with as I was putting my album together because it was still fresh in my mind.

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I used some elements from the Build digital Story Kit, enlarging another 3×4 card to 6×8 and cutting out some “+” signs to show the events of a 20 minute span. It’s kind of a norm around here. I’ll start off folding laundry in my room and I’m usually joined by Liam or Emily very soon after. Today it was Liam, climbing the posts of my bed. He spotted the camera up on my dresser and wanted to take some photos. But he needed to roundup some of his favourite things first  🙂 His colouring binders, his bunny, and his Halloween bag. Emily came in to see what was going on and wanted in on the pictures too… and so it goes! It’s just a little thing, but I love that it’s been captured.

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Another little norm right now…Emily playing in the bathroom sink. She pulls the little potty over to the bathroom counter and goes to town. I normally would have been shooing her away, but today I just hung out and watched her having fun. Seeing your kids happy is one of the best parts about being a mama. (“little details” from this digital brush set)

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“She is quick and curious and playful and strong”. A Kate Spade quote that fits Emily so perfectly.

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I spent a bit of time cleaning the bathroom and getting myself ready for the day. My make up routine hasn’t changed since highschool, ha! …and as I was doing that, they were “wrapping presents” in the living room. True Story.

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We needed some groceries and some breakfast. I let the kids pick where we would go and they decided McDonald’s was the place to be because “there’s toys there”   🙂  (“hello breakfast” from this digital brush set) Watching Emily walk down the front steps is the reason my hair is turning grey.  Well not entirely…but I always find myself holding my breath and saying a little prayer that she makes it down safely, preparing to lunge for her… and at the same time, trying to give her the space to practice her independence.

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A few shots from the grocery store. By the time we arrive home, Emily’s ready for a nap. She falls asleep in my arms again (love that part!).

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Liam and I get to hang out, just the two of us, while Emily naps. We play cards and eat cheesies 🙂 After Emily wakes up, there’s MORE playing…play-doh and forts. (Those tags from the GO Story Kit are my favourite!)

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Sundays are usually catch up day for laundry and dishes and garbage. (I printed some digital art on the back of the tag from this set.) And when the kids start to really drive each other crazy, a bath is a pretty effective distraction  😉

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And that’s our Sunday!

In the last 5 years I’ve attempted this project, this is the first one that really feels “complete”, and it’s got me super excited to start tackling some of my unfinished December Daily albums next 🙂 Stay tuned for those!

Thank you so much for stopping by today   🙂