Friday, January 31, 2014

What I'm Drinking

More cold weather means more wine for this wimp. I clearly was not the one who purchased this bottle (it's all fancy with a gold wire and shit), but I will happily drink it. And it's quite good, too.

Cheers, everyone!

Five on Friday

1. I'm kinda in love with this shirt.

2. Along with the rest of the scrapbooking world, I was sad to hear that Archiver's is going out of business. But I was also kind of excited to shop their going-out-of-business sale. I finally went today, Now that everything is 50% off (cuz if I'm gonna get a deal, then I'm gonna get a deal, ya know what I'm sayin'?). It was pretty well picked over, but I did manage to spend a whole $14 on some Project Life goodies and a few papers.

3. To pacify myself after spending so little, I promptly came home and ordered these two Carta Bella collections on sale at Blitsy.

4. I also really want this.

And finally...

5. This may be the best engagement photo ever.

Have a lovely weekend, all!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Project Life 2013 Week 23

I realized after my last post that if I'm going to continue to share PL spreads form 2013 and 2014, then I'm going to have to post more than one spread per week or I'll never have time to share them all...duh. So that's what I'm going to do. Maybe two on Tuesdays, maybe more throughout the week...whatever strikes my fancy.

Today's spread is from week 23.

It was the week that the then-new Becky Higgins products finally showed up at my local Hobby Lobby, so it only made sense to use the Kraft edition for this week. This may be the one and only time I have ever used a core kit for an entire spread, without adding papers from other collections.

The "Hello" stamp is one of these $1.00 Studio G stamps from Michaels. It actually said "Hello friend" but I cut the "friend" off. I like it so much better this way. The "Oh Snap" and camera stamps are from this KI Memories set.

The picture of our roses didn't quite fit on the card I wanted to use without covering up the arrow, so I used my exacto knife and cut around the point so the arrow would overlap the picture. The "bloom" stamped there was done using an old American Crafts alpha stamp set and the "date" stamp at the top is from Evalicious. The dog and "woof" stamp on the bottom right is from the Studio Calico Here & There collection

Other than my roller date stamp, the only additional embellishments I used were a few washi tapes (including this one and this one). It's a pretty simple layout compared to my usual style, and I have to say that I kinda like it.

Oh, and one other thing.... In the interest of being honest, I have to admit that this spread isn't actually 100% done. This was the week J went to California for business & extended his trip to do a little sightseeing. I have a whole folder full of ephemera he brought back and photos that he took that need to make their way into this spread somehow. I'm thinking of doing a kind of mini book within the spread...still working out the details though.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Project Life 2013 Week 15

That's right. For this week's Project Life Tuesday post, I'm reaching aaaallll the way back to Week 15 of last year. I've been going through my PL checklist, finishing up some of the weeks I skipped, and I realized that many of my finished spreads never made it to the old blog. So I've decided to gradually show them here. I'm thinking of doing some kind of gallery as well...not sure yet. Thoughts?

Anywho...Week 15 was smack in the middle of our community theater's production of Little Shop of Horrors. Most of my week revolved around rehearsal and showtimes. It was also the week I started dance classes with my friend, Katie. And the week we (finally) filed our taxes.

There was some friend drama during the first part of this week that I wanted to record, but didn't necessarily want it out in the open for everyone to read. So I made the "friends" card on the first page, then added some hidden journaling on a separate card behind it. I used my Jenni Bowlin tab punch to make a pull tab for the hidden card, then stamped the phrase "what a day" with my Amy Tangerine Yes, Please roller stamp.

The papers are all from the PB&J collection by Basic Grey. The labels are a mix of Elle's Studio Lil' Snippets, Martha Stewart file folder labels, and basic white labels from my local big box store.

Monday, January 27, 2014

One Little Word 2014

During the first couple weeks of January, I did a lot of thinking about what I want from 2014. Things I want to accomplish, goals I plan to achieve, places I want to go. But most of all I thought about the person I want to be. While I was pondering these thoughts, there was a single word that kept popping into my head. This is usually how it goes. My word comes organically, without effort.

But this year I fought it. I thought it was too small. I thought it was too simple, too mundane. I couldn't possibly use this insignificant word to motivate me for a whole year.

But my word persisted, insisted that I hear it.

Finally I listened.

I am often always my own worst critic. I'm never good enough, nothing I do is ever perfect enough to meet my own standards. Because of this, I hide. I don't want others to see how much I fall short. The actress in me takes over, and I become who I think people want me to be in the moment. Few people ever get to see the real me.

To be honest, it's exhausting...and I only end up judging myself all the more for not having the courage to just be myself.

So my one little word for 2014 is "real." It is my hope that this small word will motivate me and remind me to...

be real, my real self, however silly or imperfect

to get real when it comes to my own expectations for myself

and to focus on what is real and not the lies I tell myself.

The very day I accepted "real" as my OLW, this quote showed up in my Pinterest feed. It could not have been more a more perfect reminder that so much of my focus is stolen by things that are not real. The fears that too often dominate my thoughts are not real. The standards of perfection that I set for myself are not real. And if I can just let go of them, I can set myself free.

Earlier today I sat down with my inks, watercolors, brushes, and pens, and I had some fun just writing my OLW over and over. I have been so inspired by all of the handwriting examples floating around the internet lately (mostly in preparation for this class). I'll be hanging a couple of these in my studio to remind me and to inspire me to be real.

Friday, January 24, 2014

What I'm Drinking

**I'm starting a new tradition here at 52 Reasons. Every Friday at 5:00 I'll be sharing a new or favorite drink that I'm enjoying. I hope you enjoy! :)

It's cold here in Central Indiana. Like, so-cold-it-burns-and-what-the-hell-is-up-with-these-nose-icicles cold. It basically sucks, and makes me want to bury myself under my down comforter and not come out until spring. But life must go on.

Thankfully there's wine.

Cold weather always makes me switch from iced cocktails and beer to red wine. It has a definite warming effect...and right now, I'll take all the warm I can get. And it's almost always gluten-free, which is a definite plus for me.

So being the wise and crafty person that I am, instead of braving the cold myself, I oh-so-sweetly asked my dear boyfriend to stop and pick up a bottle for me on his way home from work. He asked what brand I wanted, and I responded, with confirmed faith in his wine-picking abilities, that he would know what I liked. With the help of a knowledgable clerk, he brought home this:

Lately, I've been digging the California reds. This one was described by the clerk as "like Apothic Red, but better," a description that actually made me a little nervous, as Apothic is a little on the sweet side for my taste. Luckily this wine, was indeed better than Apothic.

Now here's where I have to add a disclaimer: I am by no means an expert on wines. I sometimes know what I like. Other times, I choose wine by how pretty the label is. My palette is not refined, and I would likely have a hard time distinguishing between a cheap wine and an expensive one (though I wouldn't know, since I only buy the cheap, pretty ones). 

That being said, I thought this wine was good. Not the best I've had, but good. 

It did give me the opportunity to use the new drip stoppers I recently picked up as a replacement for these plastic ones (which are too big for the bottle's opening and eventually cracked from us trying to force them to work...disappointing). 

The new ones work well so far and definitely seem sturdier. We'll see how they hold up over time.

Wanna play along? I'd love to hear what you'll be imbibing this weekend...Cheers!

Five on Friday

1. Lately, I've been inspired by this Oprah Winfrey quote and the beautiful calligraphy version of it found here.

2. I am in love with this industrial-style shelf DIY from Tatertots & Jello (love that blog name!). I've been trying to figure out a place to make it happen in my house, but no luck so far. :(

3. These Atomic Buffalo Turds (seriously, can't stop laughing at that name!) are on the top of my list of Super Bowl snacks to make. 

4. J and I started watching (well, I'm technically re-watching) this show on Netflix, and I have to admit that I have a strange love for this short-lived series. I think I secretly want to be an alcoholic mean girl.

5. On a more serious note, this CreativeMornings talk by Jessi Arrington really struck a nerve with me (found via Kelly Purkey). I am definitely a chronic worrier, and her message was an excellent reminder of the many, many reasons to let go.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Project Life 2013 Week 31

For this week's Project Life Tuesday, I'm sharing a catch-up week from 2013. Week 31 was a pretty rough week for me, and because of that I had been avoiding it. I would start working on it, get overwhelmed once again by all of the drama from that week, then put it down and walk away. But last weekend I was determined to finally get it finished. After all, it's just as important to document the bad weeks as it is the good ones - it's real life, and that's what this project is all about.

Not that week 31 was all bad. We had a really fun weekend with friends, grilling out and seeing our local Shakespeare in the Park production (I had friends in the production as well). But it was also the week J totaled his car and the week I went in for a pretty scary doctor's appointment. In the end, both of these things turned out okay, but while they were happening, I was an emotional wreck. So my goal for documenting the week was to create balance. I didn't want to gloss over how stressful the bad parts were, but I didn't want to focus too much on them either. 

When going through my pictures from that week, I noticed that I took a lot of photos of the little things around me that made me happy: a butterfly on the flowers I had just planted, a sleepy puppy with funny ears, and my favorite latte mug. I wanted to capture those parts of my week as well as the stressful ones.

I also did a lot of big projects around the house that week. I knew the best way to not let myself obsess over a whole lot of "maybes" was to keep moving and stay busy. 

When deciding what products to use for the week, I knew I wanted to keep it pretty light. Dark, saturated colors seemed to add to the doom & gloom I was trying to avoid. Since I had just been working with Here & There by Studio Calico, I decided to pull some of the lighter patterns from that collection. And they just happened to work perfectly with the free printables from ChicTags that I had been dying to use, along with some ChicTags labels I had just picked up. I used my standard Becky Higgins Design A page protector for the left side, but switched it up a bit with a We R Memory Keepers page protector for the opposite side.

Here are few close-ups:

It feels so good to have this week documented and put behind me! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

One Little Word 2013 Wrap-up

I've been thinking a lot lately about my One Little Word for this year, but before I share it with all of you, I wanted to wrap up my One Little Word from last year. (You can read about last year's word and what it meant to me here.)

I have to be honest: I didn't journal or blog about my OLW progress nearly as much as I had planned to in 2013. But my word, "More", was always at the forefront of my mind. It motivated to do things I would normally have shied away from. And looking back, I can confidently say that 2013 was the year of More.

To honor all that the year had to offer, I decided to create a year-in-review-style layout that focused specifically on some of the ways that my OLW inspired me throughout 2013.

I chose an image from each month that represented one of the many ways 2013 was the Year of More for me. Now, even though I didn't journal throughout the year, I'll still have a way to remind myself how much that one little word influenced my life in 2013.

Products Used:

Everyday Life II Month Tags by ChicTags

Arrow & Heart Border Cut File by ChicTags - Freebie!!

Here & There 12x12 Paper Pad by Studio Calico

Here & There 6x6 Paper Pad by Studio Calico

Tiny Type Alpha in Black by Cosmo Cricket (no longer available)

Amy Tangerine Yes, Please Wish Foam Thickers in Black by American Crafts

Apartment Glossy Chipboard Thickers by American Crafts (no longer available)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Five on Friday

If you are anywhere near as paper-obsessed as I am, then you probably know that CHA Winter 2014 just finished up a couple of days ago. I was not one of the lucky ones who got the chance to be there in person, but my Feedly & Pinterest feeds have been blowing up with posts from those who were. And let me tell you, they are full of drool-worthy new products!

So for this Five on Friday, I thought I'd share a few of my favorites. I seriously can't wait for these products to hit the virtual shelves! We may be eating ramen for a while to support my paper-buying habits. (Just kidding, J :) )

1. Let's Go Collection by ChicTags

ChicTags is a pretty new-to-me company. I only recently picked up a couple packages of tags from their previous lines Happy Place and Everyday Life II, and I am pretty excited to put them to use. But I am head-over-heels for this travel-themed line! I love the Captured and Missing You papers, and those wood veneers...are you kidding me?! And even though I'm not exactly a word traveller, I can see tons of ways to use these products to capture my everyday comings and goings. 

2. Mon Ami by Kelly Purkey for BasicGrey

I'm always a huge fan of anything by Kelly Purkey, and this collection is no exception. I love the somewhat subdued color palette, and that grey ombre skyline print has got to be one of my all-time favorites. I see some major paper hoarding in my future.

3. Mini Placemats by Jillibean Soup

I used to be a big Jillibean Soup fan (I still have a rather large stash of their older products), but recently their collections haven't really jived with my style of scrapbooking (yeah, I really just used the word "jived" and no, I'm not taking it back). These Mini Placemats, however? I can see them becoming a Project Life staple.  The camera from the Smile set is definitely my favorite. I only wish they'd release them as silhouette cut files, so I didn't have to buy the whole package to get the 52 cameras I'm gonna want to use. 

4. Plus One by Amy Tangerine for American Crafts

The Plus One collection by Amy Tangerine has been all over the internets lately. It is definitely a crowd favorite. I love the Kal Barteski-designed bits and the black and white papers too, but the real reason it made my top five is because of the die set. I love, love, love that American Crafts has started adding dies to their collections! As much as I love my Silhouette, sometimes you just can't beat the fun of using a manual die-cutting machine. So excited to get my hands on these! 

5. Inked Rose by We R Memory Keepers

We R has really been upping their game lately! Their Albums Made Easy line is totally Project Life compatible...which means I won't have to buy all new page protectors to make this set work with my existing album. Score! 

So that's what's been occupying my extra brain space lately. Now back to using the products I already have to do some much-needed Project Life 2013 catch-up. Happy Friday all!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Project Life 2014 Title Page

2014 marks my third year of doing Project Life. I wasn't really much of a scrapbooker before starting PL, and to be honest, I don't do much scrapbooking outside of my PL albums (though doing more traditional layouts is one of my goals for this year). Still, I can't imagine not documenting our lives via Project Life. It's become a habit in so many good ways. I love the format. I love the products. And most of all, I love how forgiving it is.

If you know me, then you know how necessary it is that a project be forgiving. To be honest, neither my 2012 album nor my 2013 album is entirely finished yet. I still have weeks to catch-up on, and that's totally okay with me, because I know that the format will allow me to do so with ease...when I have the time. Seriously people, I love Project Life! Can I get an Amen?!

So here's another morsel of honesty for you on this PL Tuesday: before this year, I had never done a title page. Yep, that's right, all four of my work-in-progress albums are sans title page. Sad, right? So this year I was determined to finish my title page before even starting the first week of my album. ...And I actually did it! Virtual high five!

Without further ado, I give you my 2014 Project Life Title Page. Drum roll please...

The key to actually getting this done was keeping it simple, so I decided to focus on the pictures. I chose images taken within the last two months, one for each member of our family and two group photos. I edited them using the Pioneer Woman's black & white photoshop action, then printed them at home (another key to getting it done). I also printed two of these freebies from Caylee Grey (love them!) and embellished them with some gold sequins and washi tape.

It's super simple, but I love the way the page turned out! Seriously, I could not have been more giddy when I finally saw the whole thing come together. And starting the year with a completed title page makes me happier than a bird with a french fry. For reals.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Hello 2014!

More than any year before, 2014 feels like a year for new beginnings. It's time to break out of the old routine. It's time to move forward.

This is my fresh start. My new beginning...or at least the beginning of the beginning.

My goals? To be real. To be me. To share the things I love. To document this life. To stay motivated.

Here's to 2014 being the most amazing year yet.

(image viaoriginal source with downloadable calendar)