Nothing really cool to post right now except that December is zooming by. I am still on Day 1 of actually creating my December Daily album, and as Ali herself would say... "that is OK"!! So no berating myself, I have been working on it when I can. I have a feeling most of it will be iPhone photos with Instagrams and also a new app I found from a twitter feed-Diptic. Liking that I can play with more than 1 photo at a time and make a collage. I am hoping to get my photos and stories in order so I can work on them one day after Christmas. Like many others, with work and everything else, daily capturing + creating + uploading and sharing is just not an option for me. Truthfully I started to feel sad about it at first, like I was missing out on some big online sharing event, and you know what? There's just no point in that. I create for myself and for my family. And while it is really fun to share online and connect with others, I just have to say "Enough" and be happy with what I have captured and created for me and my family. I love what Stacy Julian calls it, the "Enough Quotient." So thank you to all who are able to create and share online. I admire all that you do and I am defnitiely inspired by your work. And to all those who create and don't share, know that there are probably lots of us in this boat, so keep on creating! And to those who think about creating I say awesome! I'm right there with ya! I really love this hobby and am thankful for realizing what I do and who I am is "Enough"

Now, back to playing on Instagram!


Move More Eat Well 2012

Okay, so I am working on December Daily. I've been taking a few photos each day and also jotting some ideas for each day on a sticky note and just putting that in my book for now.

Then today I remembered there was a One Little Word chat with Ali and luckily I was home! So I logged in and was totally inspired to get back on track and commit to a few things.

First, I have been thinking and thinking and thinking about taking Cathy Z's class Move More, Eat Well. This is an area I obviously need to improve. Is this the year? I vote yes! So I'm in. Now just need to go shopping for some new shoes!

Second, this year was very helpful with my One Little Word, Focus. I definitely needed it and have made some great changes because of it. I had put off registering for 2012 but no longer! I am in and actively pondering my 2012 word. I have a few front runners. I will probably choose one main word and maybe have a little "secret" word that is there in the background. That's kind of what I did this year. But I must say the main word had the most impact.

Happy that I am thinking about these now. I have a feeling December is going to fly! Now back to that other project!


December Daily Update

Still waiting on a few last items to put together my foundation pages. I ordered the December Daily kit from Bananafish Studio, and am so excited for it to arrive. I have quite a few pages ready to go, over the past few weeks I chose the papers I plan to use, gathered embellishments, stamped some numbers, etc. Here are a few shots of my project in the planning stages:

Choosing the papers. Definitely inspired by Elise Blaha with lots of patterned papers. I made mine 5x7 so they will be easy to make enlargements. Loved last year's 6x8 size too, especially after looking back at it.

Love the planning stages. So much fun.

Having fun gathering and stamping some numbers. The stamps are from the 7 gypsies Numero stamp set, the little cut out numbers are Teresa Collins, and the big number tags are 7 gypsies Paddington tags.

Remember I said I like storing little embellishments for projects in muffin tins? These are from Goodwill.
99 cents each!

More little items I might use. 

Stamping some tags is always fun. I love the imperfection of them! These are Ali Edwards Good Cheer stamps

Yay! I finally got my Technique Tuesday Studio AE stamp set in the mail, and I ordered the December Daily one with it. More numbers! Be still my heart! I love it!

Love December. Love December Daily. Even have our tree up; not decorated but loving having twinkle lights going on in the house. Really fun story about my daughter seeing the tree for the first time, but that's for another post.

Had to play with the new set! Love it!

How are your preparations coming along? While waiting I put the finishing touches on last year's--it was my first year and I got a late start. I think I started with the album about a week into December but had been using my phone to take photos and make notes of each day. So even if you are on the fence about it, it is still totally do-able. I did about 75% of it last year but had that last 25% unfinished. I just said "enough" and there are a few days missing. I'm still very happy with it, and it helps going into this year knowing that it is okay if I miss a few days. For me it is the whole project, missing days and all that tell the story and help capture bits of what makes December special.

If I don't have another post until after Thanksgiving, I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving! And have fun with your own preparations! Share a link if you would like!


Big Picture shout out and other cool stuff

I gotta say I really love Big Picture Classes. It all started back in 2008 when I was just getting started scrapbooking again. I say again, because really I started scrapbooking as we think of it today in probably 1994 or so, with my sister Katrina. We even went to Pebbles in my Pocket back in the day. I only did a little, but loved seeing all the layouts Katrina did. Hers rocked!

So after I got married the scrapbooking bug hit. I had my photos and wanted to do something with them. I couldn't figure out my style, until I found Stacy Julian and Cathy Zielske and the girls at Simple Scrapbooks. It just clicked. So imagine my delight when I found out about Big Picture Classes just in time to take Design Your Life, by Cathy Z! I was thrilled and signed up immediately. That class basically taught me how to scrapbook, and needless to say, I totally loved it!

Since then I have taken quite a few other classes and have enjoyed those as well. Stacy Julian's Library of Memories--now Photo Freedom--totally changed the way I organize my photos and layouts, and just goes right along with how I scrap. She is teaching a new class this year: Twelve.

And the good news? Cathy Z has since turned Design Your Life into a Self Paced class, and you can get all the content for just $59. And the even better news? BPC is celebrating 6 years and you can grab this class for HALF OFF! Totally awesome! Or you can pick one of the other self paced classes. I know I will. Click here to find out more. Code expires Nov 20th.

Also, just heard about this today: Jessica Sprague is offering a FREE Holiday class. So cool! I will definitely be signing up for that one too. Click here to find out more. I have taken classes from her site before and really liked them. Stories in Hand was a free one I took, as well as Candice Stringham's photography classes which I highly recommend.

Enjoy! And Happy 6th Birthday BPC!


Christmas Cards and Adventures in a Do it Yourself Family Photo Shoot

Like many people I struggle with Christmas cards, and many years just skip them entirely. But since I am doing December Daily this year, I am in the preparing early mode and I found a card I liked from Paper Coterie. The bonus was a code for $30 off! So it totally paid off to do a search for a coupon code before ordering. Love that! And the card is customizable, you can play with the layouts, fonts, words, even word art. I'm excited to get these, I hope they work out. I rented a lens a few weeks ago and we tried some do it yourself family photographs with a tripod and remote shutter release. So no, they aren't totally professional, but they were fun. Here are just a few.

Gotta love an old red barn + October morning light. A cute subject really helps too :)

M&M's helped, and I'm totally ok with them being in the photo

Just picked her up and played. Love these moments

Love that she has her little pink dog in the photo.

Tried having a chalkboard with 2011 on it. She really didn't want to sit still. 

So we played and jumped

And ran back and forth. Gotta love multiple shots on self timer mode!

Things I might want to try next time:
  • smaller bag of M&M's. I know I said I am okay with it but maybe a smaller bag would be good.
  • try to get at least one more person to help. Maybe bribe them with a large bag of M&M's?
  • photo props: saw a photographer at the barn and she had a cute vintage chair and a great old quilt. maybe more things to play with that also look cool.
Any other ideas for do it yourself family photo shoots? Would love to hear what others have done.


Gettin a little messy

More December Daily and holiday preparations. Tonight I even put some Christmas music on my iPhone. And what better way to prepare than to make a few tags?

Had fun tonight playing around with some Zing! plus Ali Edwards stamps from Technique Tuesday. Confession: my first go round with the Zing! but I loved it! Totally fun. I took Ella Publishing's Boot Camp this fall and one of the things I really wanted to try was stamping/embossing/resist technqiues taught by Nicole Magourik. Over the past two months, I bought a heat gun, some white zing, UTEE, a craft mat, Versamark and a blending tool. I have tried out the UTEE and the heat tool and that was pretty cool. Tonight Ali Edwards tweeted she tried out the Zing! so that gave me the motivation to try it out. Not as hard and scary as I thought! My advice: just go with it and have fun. I like trying out techniques on tags like this because who cares if you mess up? Just get messy and have fun.


10 Things: November Edition. Vintage Inspiration List

This past spring I took Jenni Bowlin's class at Big Picture Classes, and it opened up a whole new world for me. Gotta say I loved it. I was always a little intimidated by going into antique shops, but after this class it is one of my favorite things to do when I have a little play time. One of the things she suggested was to make a top 10 list of things that inspire us. I am not sure I shared mine in class, so this is what I have so far.

1. Old typewriters and typography.

2. Letters and numbers.

3. Storage containers of all kinds: my favorite are vintage locker baskets and egg baskets.

4. Flower frogs: love having these around to hold up photos, invitations, cards, etc.

5. Wooden boxes, especially tool boxes. See number three.

6. Cute little salt and pepper shakers. Awesome storage for glass glitter. Which was something I never thought I would use until this class and now I love it. And they look so cute on my shelf. Also in the glass category would have to be old Ball jars. I have a green one I just love. It has my "stories of the year" project in it (from Pinterest)

7. Chalkboards. Maybe it's because we had a giant chalkboard in our attic where I would play "teacher" for hours as a kid. I just love chalkboards. Here I am using a vintage chalkboard as an inspiration board.

8. Vintage cookie cutters, pie tart tins, little jello molds, muffin tins. I think it is all the silver. I have always loved silver, but that's another story. And I think it is because I love food. I store embellishments in these and also use them for "beyond the page" projects, like these pie tart tin refrigerator magnets.

9. Old postcards and photos. Especially when they are pictures of my Grandma laughing as she fell down with roller skates on. That is one of my all time favorites. See inspiration board above. I like using the postcards in my minibooks. I found a bunch at an estate sale and have had fun using them.

10. Office and school supplies, yardsticks and vintage cameras. And whatever else jumps out at me that day!

Looking back I would never have thought of using these a year ago. I love how as we learn things our styles can evolve. I wouldn't say I'm totally vintage. Definitely a mix of modern + vintage items. Still love my IKEA and where would I be without the Container Store?

What are some of your favorite vintage items to use either as storage or in your scrapbooking?

For more 10 things on the 10th check out http://www.shimelle.com/paper/1287/10-things-november-2011/


December Daily 2011: the cover

It's official. Christmas preparations have begun. Last weekend I got really crazy and made my December Daily album cover. I also cut the paper for the daily pages, but haven't added the numbers or embellishments yet. Not sure what I will do for those yet. Am thinking I will wait because I saw on a sneak peek that the November Studio AE was going to be a December Daily set. I am also going to start collecting numbers here and there. But I may just stamp on some office tags, shipping tags, etc. Here is my album so far:

I cut the chipboard to 5.5 x 8 I think, then the interior pages are 5x7. I wanted something smaller than the 6x8, but bigger than 4x6. I can still do enlargements of 5x7's and get them printed local. I am hoping that will be easier and actually help me keep up. Also planning on using Instagrams from my iPhone. Don't think I'm going to do any templates. Just go with the flow and see what I can get in the book this year. I was inspired by Jess Forster's Week in the Life, where she used just Instagrams.

Anyways, so I painted the chipboard white (several coats), then stamped the circles with the cardboard roll from you guessed it--toilet paper! I used a Jenni Bowlin paint dauber in malted milk. You can't see it here but it does have a shimmer. I used a pearl Glimmer Mist over the whole book. I haven't sealed it yet because I'm not sure if I want to add more sparkle yet. Maybe some glass glitter? who knows.

The inside is my favorite green cardstock ever. Kiwi Kiss from Stampin Up. Really wish they would bring that color back. But I did find a similar shade I am just as crazy about at the Paper Source. So the color wasn't so stark green I misted it with Mister Huey's in white. Very cool stuff. First time using it and really liked it.

Found the word tags at Paper Source and punched them with that cute little corner punch, then layered it on a Paper source chocolate cardstock. This chocolate has a shimmer to it as well. Found some numbers in my stash from Tim Holtz, added some bakers twine and a little pearl and key from I am guessing Tim Holtz or 7 Gypsies. And there it is! Here is a close up:

If you haven't heard about December Daily, check out Ali Edwards. Here is the main page for December Daily. She collaborated with Studio Calico for an awesome kit this year, which sorely tempted me, but decided to go with my own little version. You can order the kit here.

So there it is. I'm excited because I really love this project. I was so last minute last year, and I didn't do something every day, but I am super happy I captured some of my girl's first Christmas in this way. And what I like is that even though December can be stressful for me, especially with my work schedule, I like that it helps me focus on a little something to celebrate each day. Whether it was a trip to Shipley's donuts or just the lights on the tree. But for now, it's time to celebrate fall! I rented a 24-70 2.8 lens and am hoping to do some family pictures tomorrow. Wish me luck!


10 on the 10th: October Edition: Projects a Brewing

Decided to join in the party with the 10 on the 10th. Wanted to take pictures of all my projects brewing. Initially thought I would skip it, since a long work day didn't allow for that, but I think just getting it down can help. So I made a quick list and realized I had 15 or so projects actually brewing! No wonder I never finish things! So here are my top ten (what I'm working on right now)

  1. Summer mini album--became more of a scrapbook on the road travel album which is cool. And I am so close to being done it is crazy awesome.
  2. Autumn mini album--have cut the papers and have been taking pics with my iPhone. Planning on lots of instagrams of pumpkins and the like. The potential on this one makes me happy.
  3. Project Life--want to finish my vacation section. Am doing it in chunks on whatever I want to sorta loosely by month. Mostly I have stored memorabilia in it.
  4. Words to Live By- mini album from BPC Big Idea Festival. So want to finish it just because looking at what I have done really makes me happy.
  5. Smashbook Me: A to Z project. This weekend I added some items to P: like planners, playlists, places. I only got the design of the project done in the class by Cathy Z at BPC, and for some reason doing it "Smash Style" has lightened me up and I'm really having fun with it.
  6. Maggie's Journal--using the Ditto line by Hampton Arts. Fun way to capture little things she does each day. And yes, I really need to get some photos added to it! I love journaling in books like this but never get around to adding the photos!
  7. Gratitude Journal--just bought a little gratitude journal from Compendium and absolutely love it. I just write down little things I am grateful for each day on the left side of the page and am leaving the right side blank--hoping to add a photo or patterned paper or art journaling, something like that. Problem is one again--printing and adding the photos when they are odd sized! That takes time to upload and crop. Maybe I should look into Prinstagram? Is that what it's called?
  8. Week in the Life 2011--this project has so much potential to be totally cool. Just need to put it all together.
  9. A project I hope to do is alter the You and Me book by Compendium. Saw that there was a class on this at BPC so I ordered the book. Now I just need to take the class and get it done. Hoping this will be a Christmas present for my husband.
  10. I have a few 7 Gypsies artist trays. Finished one- using the kit from Archivers. Then I made one for the first year for my daughter. Just lacking two photos or it would be so lovely. Again, there is the trend with the lack of the photos. And yes, I am a third year alumni of Library of Memories! lol It's just finding the time to do it. Anyways, I just got another tray with my 30% off coupon and am planning a vacation one for our trip this year. The bonus: photos are printed and waiting for me in their happy little photo box. Here is my almost finished project:

So there it is, my projects just brewing away, taking their time. Just percolating along. And that's totally okay with me. It's the doing it in bits and pieces that makes me happy. The key for me is to remember: No stress--just happy memories and creative "me" time. The almost done summer mini:

To see the rest of the 10 on the 10 posts: check them out at Shimelle


Adorable You

Word art from Cathy Zielske Girlie Type Sets 2, Designer Digitals


Signs of Fall

Fall wouldn't be fall without some football, right? To capture my season this fall, I am making a minibook using Elise Blaha's Autumn 2011 cover, and my own assorted papers from the Nettie stash. I used her Summer album for our vacation to Galveston this summer and loved it. She does an amazing job with the papers in her books. Check her out. Etsy shop and her website: Elise Joy

The cool thing about these little books is how it is making me so much more aware of how amazing the season is, and how fleeting it is. The other day I was driving out in the hill country and found those amazing purple mums. Totally inspired me to break out the fall decor and pumpkin spice candles. Now I just need to make some pumpkin muffins!


Ella Boot Camp: Urban Look

Here is my first attempt at the urban look. I got bold and had my husband snap a few shots of me while I was taking some photos of my daughter. I'm not sure about this one. Maybe just self conscious, but I feel like I am too yellow. Or maybe I'm just "glowing"! I do think it toned down the redness from the first photo. Oh, and can you tell I did the eye brightening! Go me! Anyways, It would be interesting to run her action on it and compare. (love Maggie's actions and they work in PSE6). So I am sure I will be playing with this more.

And here it is by itself- the urban look Nettie! I do think I like it better when I see it by itself.

Alright! I did all three of the photo challenges, and I learned some awesome techniques. Maybe I won't rely so much on actions! And I am hoping to finish up the other challenges when I have time. For now, I will leave you with a challenge of my own: be bold and hand off the camera. Get in front of the lens for a change. You just might like it! (And even if you don't I know your loved ones will!)

Ella Boot Camp: Photo Enhancement

So here is my before photo: My daughter Maggie around 10 months of age. This is her "Look, Ma- No Hands!" photo. Funny girl. This is SOOC. 

And this is following the tips from Maggie Holmes. I will definitely be using these tips again.

And here is the before / after: 

Ella Boot Camp: Extracting Inspiration

I really enjoyed the design instruction by Lisa Dickinson. Maybe it's my own affinity for the grid design, but I love learning about design. For this challenge, we were to find an ad or something in a magazine and extract inspiration from it. I liked how she went more than just the obvious, with the layout and talked about colors, fonts, etc as ways to get inspiration.

My inspiration piece is from the most recent Pottery Barn for Kids catalog. Lots of ideas in the catalog. For me, I was inspired by the layout as well as the title and journaling block. Reminded me of Cathy Zielske's designs. And lo and behold, I just happened to have some of her titles! I also liked trying the idea of all photos on the layout. Normally I would probably subsitute patterned paper or something in one of those blocks. I noticed the photos were all consistent, so I looked at my most recent stack of photos and found these awesome photos depicting the wonderful daddy-daughter relationship between my husband and my daughter. On their own, these really aren't spectacular or anything--I took them all with my iphone! But I thought that the grouping made for a nice depiction of their relationship. So off I went to make a page! I know...amazing for me! Here it is!

Journaling: Maggie and your dad. What a wonderful sight. No matter where you go or what you do, your dad will be right there for you. Waves crashing, holding you up. Imagining, playing, dreaming. Building castles out of sand. Holding your hand. You will always be daddy’s little girl. July 2011

Supplies used: Fancy Pants patterned paper: Sand Dollar in the Beach Babe collection, shipping tag, Lime Twist bakers twine in grey and pink from My Minds Eye, Canvas Corporation Burlap Sheet, butterfly accent stickers from Jenni Bowlin, grey paint from Jenni Bowlin, staples from Tim Holtz tiny attacher, label stamp from Jenni Bowlin, remember this stamp from Ali Edwards Technique Tuesday, daddy's little girl word art from Cathy Zielske, Designer Digitals. And the heart overlay from Ali Edwards Awakenings pack Designer Digitals.