23 August 2010

Back to School

Today was my kids' first day back to school.  To send them off confident as ever I made these special cards for them.  I gave each of them a "word for the year".  I wanted a word that I knew would help them throughout the year.  A word that would empower them.  A word that would MEAN something to them.

Adriana, 11, is in 6th grade this year.  In TX that means jr. high.  Sigh.

Jonah, 8, in in 3rd grade this year.  3rd grade was my favorite year!

Drew, 5, started Kindergarten this year.  I swear I gave birth to him just yesterday.

Sasha, 4, starts preschool next week.  This means that 3 days a week, for 5 hours, I will be alone.  All alone! *sniff*

My husband is able to bless them that they have a good year, and this is my contribution.  Love that I can  offer something meaningful in conjunction with him.

20 August 2010

quilting with paper

I have a dream, and that is to one day make quilts.  Lots and lots of quilts.  I have it in my mind that it is hard.  Like superwoman powers hard.  Not just skill-wise.  Patience-wise.  I'm a bam, slam, thank-you-maam kind of creator.  I want results and I want them fast.  But I could look at quilts all day long.  I adore them and all the fine detail that goes into them.  So one day I will have what it takes to sit down for 40 hrs. and make one.  But for today, for my immediate satisfaction, I made the equivalent to one quilt block, using scrapbook paper.  It was fast, easy, and I didn't prick my fingers with a needle doing it!  Win, win, win!!!

All you need is:

scrapbook paper (of course)
glue stick
mat board if you like

I started with my base layer.  Divide the opening size of your frame by 4 and cut those pieces out first.  Then layer as desired... I used a doily for my next layer.  I pieced 4 more papers together and traced the doily across all 4 of them.  And for a little whimsy, I added 2 additional pieces - fan shaped - to the center of 2 of those doily portions.  Kind of pulls it all together, I think. :)


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11 August 2010

unexpected treasures

I love finding rare things, especially when it's by surprise.  A few months ago while I was out shooting some senior photos by a railroad track, my client stumbled upon several discarded track nails.  She gathered up a few for herself, and me.  I just knew I could come up with something fun for them.  And now I have that "something fun" in my flower pot!

I wrapped some thin twine around the bottom of the nail head several times and attached a zinc tag I purchased from The Graphics Fairy.  The tag says "sprout" in chalk.  You could also write grow or bloom.  I think these would be great as labels in a vegetable/herb garden, too.


06 August 2010

Fancy Nancy party!

Sasha turned 4 last month and to celebrate we had a very Fancy Nancy party!

Here's what the invitation looked like:

I found a teapot template online that I liked.  Just do an image search on google.  And I covered the teapot with various scrapbook papers.  Same goes for the Fancy Nancy pictures, I did an image search and found these oval shaped pictures and mounted them on each tea pot.

For decorations I reused some tissue paper flowers I used last year on her Pinkalicious party, and created a little area outside for our activity using $1 store tablecloths.

And I always put something on the front door for my parties.  It helps first-timers identify the house and it's cute!

Sasha had so much fun dressing up. And all the girls looked adorable.  I love all the big floppy hats and overdone accessories!

As the girls arrived we had our tea party.  Doing that first allowed me some time to clean up the table before cake was served later.  I served finger sandwiches.  The girls had a choice of turkey/cheese, PBJ or jam.  They also had ritz crackers, Little Debbie tea cakes, and pink lemonade.  I allowed them to use real plates, and I used a real tea pot, but we kept the cups plastic.

I connected a couple different sizes of doilies together to make a table runner, and layered scrapbook papers underneath.  It was such a fun look for the party.

After tea time we sat down for a Fancy Nancy story.  As you all know, Nancy is quite the little explorer, so in true fashion we decided on a theme to explore during the party, and it was flowers.  The story I read to the girls had a little bit about flowers and butterflies and birds in it.  It's called Fancy Nancy:  Explorer Extraordinaire.

Following story-time we went outside and planted flowers.  I found some small plastic flower pots in the $1 section at Target, 4/$1!  I hot glued some ruffly ribbon around the top, and the girls decorated the rest of the pot with some cute gaden-themed stickers I stumbled upon at my local grocery store.  And we planted cheap little flowers (like purslane) that were just over $1 each inside.  The girls also each watered their plants.

Last, but certainly not least, we sat back down for cake and then open presents.

For party favors I put together a few things on Fancy Nancy's personal checklist:

The glasses - $1 spot at target, the jewelry - $1 spot at WalMart (8 necklaces per pack, 10 rings per pack), the notebooks were 2/$1 at Target and I covered them in scrapbook paper/ribbon, and the pens were a pack of 12 for under $2.  I hot glued the feathers on myself.

On the inside cover of their field notes journal (photocopied straight from the book):

Such a fun, easy party!  And these girls are at such a fun age!

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02 August 2010

Hello out there!

*sound the crickets*

Yes, I know it's been quiet around here.  I do this sometimes - take random leaves of absence from my blog and from the blogs I love.  Sometimes blogging gets to be a chore.  And I don't like chores.  Everything I do, I do because I want to.  And the minute it becomes less than that, I'm outie!  So, sorry for the undeclared hiatus.  I trust I still have friends out there in blogland?   I'm making my way back around to say good morning to all of you! ;)

We just returned from a 2 week vacation in San Diego and Salt Lake City.  Two cities I adore.  Beaches and mountains - does it get any better than that?!?!  We swam, we played in the sand, we visited tide pools and seals, we collected sea shells, I read 4 (count them, 4!!!) books, I shopped (of course), I photographed (oh how I photographed), and we ate all our favorite foods.  From Trader Joes in CA to Crown Burger in SLC, the eatin' was great!  Brought home 5 lbs. of cinnamon bears, too.

Now we are home at last, home at last.  3400 car miles later.  Don't pity us, we love road trips!  How do you think I got all those books read?  Or cinnamon bears consumed?  Lol.

Here are all my favorite highlights from our trip!

From Coronado Beach:

my niece tess

my sister-in-law and her nephew

my daughter sasha

andrew's cousin morgan

andrew's brother and wife, emily

sasha again

andrew's cousin daas and his darling daughter, isabella

sasha looking for me

guess who?  she's so photogenic :)

At La Jolla Tide Pools:

my son jonah and his aunt amy, andrew's sister

my handsome husband andrew and son drew

the only shot of me from our whole 2 week trip!  with daughters adriana and sasha

buca di peppo!  the whole clan

rock on!

my son jonah - this is his shy face

my little drew and his baby blues

tess again!  little stinker :)

side of road in southern utah - beautimous!

arches - southern utah

dang i love that hair.  as you can see, it runs in the family!

andrew's mom's garden

You know what I love most about vacations?  It forces you to focus on your family.  There's less email, phone calls, cleaning, extracurricular activities and such to distract you, so you have time to play basketball with your kids.  Or just sit and watch them.  I loved a lot of these photos because I captured some really precious moments/expressions that in my usual hurry I might have missed.  It also allowed me the time to take some photos of our beautiful scenery.  I rarely carve out the time for that!  And was happy that Andrew allowed me to screech "Pull over now!"  whenever I wanted. :)

It's good to be home and back in a routine.  Stay tuned for Sasha's 4th birthday party!  Hint:  We had a fancy time!