Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wordless-ish Wednesday

I taught Ethan how to drive the four wheeler at Grandma and Papaw's house a couple of weekends ago. Scary for Mama, exciting for him.  

Not sure which was more fun, riding alone or taking Grandma for a ride. Regardless of which was more fun, he smiled the whole time he was driving. He was so proud of himself.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Disorganized Overload

This weekend I began working on my Halloween 2012 mini album using this Bag of Bones project kit from Cocoa Daisy. The Bag of Bones kit is from last year & is sold out, but this year's Halloween Kit Full Moon is still available.

Once I get through Halloween each year, I am so over all the decorations and candy that I tend to just pack it all away until the next year. That is why I usually don't tackle my annual Halloween mini album until the fall of the next year. I know... weird...but I kind of enjoy scrapping the previous year's photos and reminding myself how quickly time passes.

As I began working this weekend, I noticed that it was going rather slowly and my creativity was missing a flow. I figured out rather quickly that I was working in a very disorganized manner. It looked like this:

My table was an absolute disaster! I had literally just pulled out a whole bunch of papers, washi tape, inks, stamps, & embellishments that I thought I could use along with the kit. Rather than trying to start out in an organized manner, I just chunked it all on the table (which was already covered with things from my previous crafty endeavor) and went to work. What was I thinking? I had stuff strewn out everywhere.

 The kit was stacked in the chair beside the table. Underneath the kit were other papers and kits I had gotten out to use in the next few weeks.

On my other desk behind me were stamps I was using on the project as well.

In all this disorganization I had basically managed to reduce my productive work space down to a very small area & even within that area I was constantly having to push things out of my way to be able to work. All of this left me frustrated and unable to work in a timely, creative manner.

My solution was just to stop working. This frustrated me a lot because with a busy household, my creative time is usually a bit limited. But at the same time I knew I had to clean up a little so that I could use my time better and find a better flow to the project.

I seriously would have loved to have taken my arm and just scraped everything off onto the floor, but I realized that there were to many sharp objects, items that could stain the carpet, and paper that could tear or wrinkle. Dang it! That would have been so therapeutic. So instead I just began making piles on the floor and putting unneeded things away.

When I was finished my table looked like this:

Things on the table were so much more organized and like items were grouped together.  I seriously think that I heard an Angel chorus singing when I stepped back and took it all in. At this point I really felt my crafty mojo coming back and the frustration leaving my body. I was instantly happier to be in my space.

Now that I had things where I wanted them it all seemed to flow much better.

Out of the chair & onto the right side of my table was the neatly stacked kit and additional colored cardstock that I will use to mat photos.  


Stamps, inks, embellishments, and washi tape are all stacked neatly on the left side of the table.

Photos are grouped by both boys, just Carter, just Ethan, family, & pumpkin carving. I will go back through these and determine which ones to use and which ones to put away for other projects. 

Most importantly I made a list on a scrap piece of graph paper. Now I have an idea of what I want to get accomplished in each step and it becomes more of an assembly line process. This is not usually how I work, but I don't do mini albums too often and I think that this will speed up the process, give the project more continuity, and keep me from getting disorganized again.

I know many of your craft spaces look similar to mine & I know that much of this post is common sense. But sometimes I think we forget that the clutter around us, whether creative or not, has an affect on how we create &/or how function within that space. Sometimes just by cleaning up a bit we do find the tops of our work spaces, but more importantly we find peace within that space again.

I hope you will take time to straighten your space a bit this week. I promise that it will make you feel quite accomplished! :)

 I will post my completed album later this week (once I finish it) & let you know how the assembly line process worked.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wordless Wednesday...Almost :)

This is my current favorite of my three sweet boys.

I am so blessed. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Embossed Boy Card

In the last two weeks I have mailed both my sweet nieces a card. Since the boys & I are headed home to visit my brother's family and my parents this weekend, I think I need to also mail my rambunctious nephew a card as well. Otherwise I might not make it home in one piece :).

For this card I used a swiss dot embossing folder to emboss some older woodgrain patterned paper from Crate Paper. My plan was to mount it on a piece of dark red cardstock. When I cut it & laid it on the cardstock I realized I had cut the woodgrain paper about 1/4 inch too short. I had even measured twice and cut once....Grrr!!

Instead of tossing it in the trash I decided that I could use a border strip sticker & some washi to cover up my mistake. Once I had it all mounted to the red cardstock I was actually pleased with the result. I like it more than if I had actually cut it properly to begin with. With the washi and the sticker there is a layered look without a lot of added bulk. 

 I then began pushing different elements around on the card until I found a combination that made me happy. The two rectangular pieces are stickers from a Studio Calico sticker sheet. The little dog was from a Studio Calico kit as well. I stamped & embossed him, die cut the circle, and then inked around him with Scattered Straw Distress Ink. He also has a few splatters of Gold Perfect Pearls for added shine. The kraft colored star was a die cut I had left from another project. I added the "hi" and my nephew's name "Beau" with some older Sassafras letter stickers.

To finish the card I added a few brads from my stash and a small button.

This card is being dropped in the mail tomorrow & hopefully will arrive at Beau's house before I do this weekend. Otherwise I am in BIG trouble!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Week in the Life- Saturday Recap

The boys slept in Saturday since they stayed up late Friday. Jude was still up before 7:30, which was fine since were expecting a guy to come over around 8:30, to check the leak going on downstairs. Not good news about the leak. Great! I get a new shower, but the one we currently have is only 5 years old. It's a long, sad tale that needs a post of its own, once all the new work is done.

After breakfast the boys and I played Headbandz and then went downstairs to scrap and play while Jude napped.  The boys also spent a lot of time playing outside since the temperature has dropped a little bit. We watched Arkansas play and then watched Texas A&M lose to Bama...Yuck! I made cookies, did a little housework, and baked chicken for dinner.

It was another nice, relaxing day. My favorite kind!

Saturday, September 14, 2013
Sleepy Heads
I absolutely love how happy he is to see his big brother's Every.Single.Morning. 
Headbandz! This game absolutely cracks the boys up.

Jude and Daddy after he ate breakfast & had a diaper change.
He found the small set of wind chime's on the front porch. Loved the noise he could make with them.
Velcro dodge ball/tag in the play/scrap room 
Warm Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lunch with this sweet boy

Trying to drink a bottle in a new & weird position
Popping Snappers between his fingers...I don't know must be a boy thing
Helping Mama with folding clothes. Helping being the optional word.

Reading with mom after bath & before bed. This is the second Martin boy to enjoy the Magic Tree House series.
Saturday photos: DSLR:102, Point & Shoot: 49, Cell Phone: 17= 168 Total Photos

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Week In the Life 2013- Friday recap

Mom spent the night last night & suddenly the middle child didn't feel so well. He felt bad enough that he talked Grandma into staying home with him on Friday. In all honesty he did feel bad, even running a low grade fever Thursday night. But had Grandma not been here, he would have gone to school on Friday. He is suffering, like the rest of us, from sinus problems. I left Tiny at home with Grandma too, since he can always use more Grandma love.

I spent the day at school trying to get my library automation system backed up, since this next week we are going to begin the move to a new system. It all makes me a bit nervous. I have a fear that all 7,000+ books in my library won't transfer to the new system and I will lose it all....Yikes!

Since Ethan and Jude didn't go to school, we weren't going to the high school football game either. Jess had to work the game, but the boys and I stayed home. It was a nice relaxing evening.

Today Jude turned 9 months old! Incredible...Time moves way too quickly :(

Friday, September 13, 2013

Morning love from Grandma

Sicky... or as Carter says, "Ethan is one big Faker!"

I came home and Mom was making the boy's favorite meal before she left to head home.
 Grandma's that make Chicken and Dumplings are awesome! 
Jude loves to grab his feet when I am trying to change his diaper, making it hard to change him.
 He also has started closing his eyes when brother's show up with the camera. He is not a fan of the flash.
Having a bottle, playing with his ear, and watching TV.

I caught these two playing on the See Saw. That doesn't happen much anymore.

Looking for a snack. That pantry door is constantly open with a boy standing in front of it.

Friday night means staying up late, playing on technology. They love it!

Friday photos: DSLR: 68 , Point & Shoot: 41, Cell Phone: 13= 122 Total Photos

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Week In the Life- Thursday Recap

Back to normal! Everyone was back at school today, which is a good thing. Jude was feeling much better and I had to get back to work. There is lots to do in the library before we begin the process of updating our district libraries automation systems.

Jess and I have been struggling with Carter at home. He gets irritated with us when he is asked to help around the house. Lots of eye rolling, huffing & sighing, and foot stomping. After Jess and I talked & after talking with Carter we decided the best thing to do is to go back to chore charts. That way there is a visible list that the boys know will be on the counter. We started that today. There seemed to be less complaints and more work. Hopefully attitudes about helping will continue to improve.

Grandma came back to our house tonight and spent the night. The boys were super excited to have her here again. They always enjoy having her all to themselves.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Morning snuggles

Helping with chores


Piles of summer shoes by the door
 Thursday's photo count: DSLR 39, Point & Shoot 27, Cellphone 18= 84 total pictures

The boy's both took photos today with the point and shoot. Glad they are picking up the camera to help document this week from their perspective.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Simon Says Stamp-Monday Challenge- EMBOSSING

The Monday challenge blog at Simon Says Stamp has a new challenge up this week for embossing. I
am sharing a card I made this week for my 7 year old niece. I used both heat embossing and an embossing folder to create this card.

I started by diecutting this piece from a white scrap of cardstock.

I then used VersaMark & gold/glitter embossing powder to emboss the diecut piece.

The gold piece was then placed on turquoise cardstock and I added a die cut label and a cardstock covered chipboard "a". The "a" was put through an embossing folder, which gave it the raised dots. 

I then stamped and embossed the large leaf. I use a small paint brush to brush away any extra powder that I don't want, before I turn the heat gun on. After embossing I cut the leaf out.

I stamped and embossed the butterfly and then painted it with Twinkling H2O's.

There are a few other things I did on this card, but didn't describe above. If you have any questions about products or techniques I used , please ask in the comment section. Thanks!

Week in the Life 2013- Wednesday Recap

Today was still off our normal schedule:

1. Jude was still sick.

2. The High School had lost power Tuesday night when a transformer blew up during a powerful thunderstorm & Entergy crews were unable to get the power back on. So 9th-12th students and teachers were out. No work for Jess until 11:00 when he had athletics at Middle School.

3.Mom came over to spend the night Tuesday night.

Adjusting to the abnormal schedule went pretty well for all of us, with the exception of the big boys who were so excited to see Grandma Tuesday night, they had a hard time going to bed. Staying up later made it difficult to get up this morning.

To combat the grouchiness, Grandma offered to drop the boys off at school. That made everyone much happier. There is nothing better than having Grandma take you to school!

After the big boys got off to school, I sat down with Jude and watched the news coverage of September 11. Such a hard day, the memories I have are as fresh and devastating today as they were 12 years ago. I think it is so important to remember and honor this day.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Some one's big brother got hold of the fake mustaches and gave him a "Uni brow".
Typical morning routine. Teeth brushing and face washing with a parent supervising. They don't take hygiene as serious as we do and usually need to be reminded or helped. Hope they outgrow grossness!

Ethan playing with his slingshot before leaving for school.
Before and After- We have a leak upstairs that is causing damage to the wall & ceiling in our playroom/scrap room/guestroom downstairs (It is a large room). I decided to take the shelves down to make it easier for the repair crew to inspect damage this afternoon. Hoping it is an easy fix. 

Ethan took this picture of Jude. So cute!
Making lunches for school Thursday

Wednesday's photo count: DSLR- 76, Point & Shoot- 37, Cellphone- 25= 138 total pictures.

 I had help today with picture taking, which made me very happy. I bought the point and shoot last year before Jude was born, so the boys could take pictures at the hospital. This week I have made sure to leave it out and available...hoping they would pick it up and take some pictures. Ethan finally picked it up today. Yay!