Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Moment to Reflect

Over the past 6 weeks I have spent countless nights hovering over my sleeping children. We have struggled through a scary medical situation with Paizlee and let me tell you, no one could have ever told me how much a parent worries about a sick child. I would have never believed how all consuming it can be. Ever. Laundry did not get folded. Dishes did not get washed. Mail sat in the mailbox. Phone calls went unanswered.

And then, thankfully, Paizlee got better.

And then I ended up in the hospital.


Yet, there is a silver lining in my very own Lifetime Movie Channel drama. We found a renewed sense of family. We pulled together. While I was hovering over my children, I made lists of the things that I loved the very most about them. I remembered funny stories that I hadn't thought of in years. I enjoyed moments which is something that I haven't been so great at lately.

And that is where I am. I am working on my October layouts with a renewed sense of telling my story. I am excited and ready to continue on this crazy path that I am on.

I can't wait to share my layouts with you. Are you getting excited for the reveal on November 2nd? We can't wait to show you what we have been working on!

How are you?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Scene: Rushed, No Photos, Away from Home.

Hey! It's Brook with our weekly installment of "Behind The Scenes Wednesdays".

For the past two months, my scrapbooking scene has been at my parents house where me and my family are living because of a flood at our home. It's not easy trying to get creative away from my usual routine and organized (well, kind of organized) supplies at home. It's also tough having to clean up my mess from the dining room table every night, but I've made it work. I love to have my Amy Butler (I think K&Co) bag filled with my mosy-often used tools beside me. And working on a large self-healing cutting mat makes it easy to lift everything off the table at the same time if I need to move my work-in-progress to another table.

below: my temporary scrap space on the dining room table

So, come behind the scenes with me... welcome to the chaos! LOL.

This month, I flipped through the papers & goodies in the November kit with such excitement (Oh man, wait until you see it!!!!)... until I sadly realized that I didn't have any photos on my laptop that would go with it. I have tons of GREAT photos at my house in my desktop computer (buried beneath boxes). But, since I don't have access to them I had to really use my creativity to make some photos work. A tip on that: turn any photo to B&W and it will match. Even if the photo is taken in June and the papers have fall leaves on them. ;) haha.

I've also been really busy lately with the work going on in my house so I waited until the last minute to start scrapping for the DT gallery. Talk about stressful! So I came up with a quick plan. I set up a photo shoot with the kids in the back yard and at the local playground. Then, after loading the photos, I opened up Photoshop on my computer and worked out my layouts and journaling in the program digitally. If you have any experience with digital scrapbooking, or if you own a copy of Photoshop, try this!

As you can see below, my photos were laid out in a 12x12, 300 dpi .jpg document which I then uploaded via internet and had printed at Costco. They were ready 1 hour after I uploaded them! Love Costco. Muah, muah, XOXO. Then, once I got my giant prints I cut them up and started scrapping right away. It was a little more work up front, but in the end it saved me a ton of time!

below: one of the 12x12 inch .jpg files I prepared and then the pile of photos after cutting them.

below: working on a 2-page layout with my B&W impromptu photo shoot photos and pre-typed journaling (also on photo paper).

below: a closer look at the embellies you will find in the November kit... tumble of ribbon and jar of brads are from my own stash

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Snip, Snip... you hear that? That is the sound of my scissors chopping up some patterned paper! You know what I am talking about...that paper that you love, but when you sit down to use kicks your scrappy butt! It never fails that my most favorite piece of paper is the busiest, most bold of the entire line. So, what to do you may ask...CUT IT UP!!! Take a look at how I have done just that...

Happy late Tuesday...stay tuned the reveal is coming up!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Can I Get a Woot Woot?

Hello Mosh Poshers. Happy Monday. It's Jenny checking in with this week's installment of Manic Monday. The day when we share ideas on how to fit scrapping into our busy lives. Today I'm going to combine a little ad inspiration with a shortcut. Easy as pie...

So, I'm so not the greenest person around. But, I got this mailer from Gymboree and I just knew I had to do something with it. At first, I was going to use it for inspiration for a card for this month's gallery. The next thing I knew I was altering it into a little journal for my kids to add in some of their favorite moments from our trip to Hunt Club Farm earlier this month. It totally took on a mind of it's own and I just couldn't finish it fast enough. I can't wait to let my kiddos loose on it and get those memories recorded before they're gone.

The mailer was super cute as is. It had 9 punched out circles backed by tiny square pictures. And opened up as a cool tri-fold card.

I replaced the tiny Gymboree pictures with squares/rectangles of patterned paper and square/rectangular pictures of my own. I love how quick this was to put together with some scraps from my November kit and some leftover wallet-size prints.

I also covered up the rest of the Gymboree ad space. I included title areas and areas to journal. I even pulled out this cute Heidi Swapp stamp from an older Mosh Posh kit.

Super simple little journal/miniBook, BUT it took me no time to put together and my kiddos will love getting to journal it for me. Alright, that's all I have for today. See you Friday...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Makin' Somethin' Out of Nothin'

Hey ladies! It's Behind the Scenes Wednesday and I am here to let you in on where I find inspiration. Well these days, I am a happy, happy girl when I can take ordinary paper and make it into a fabulous embellishment. As soon as I get a peek at my Mosh Posh kit, my gears begin to slip into overdrive. These days, I do not plan my layouts, choose my pictures, or create a title first...I begin with thinking about what I can or want to make. I inspect the paper, think about the colors, and the patterns, and this is when I can envision what goodies I can piece together. For instance, I see orange...pumpkins, I see red...apples, etc. See what I mean? And from there, the layout usually falls into place. The October kit, Smarty Pants, proved to hold true for my little obsession. Almost every layout I completed had a homemade embellishment adorning it. Take a look...

Like I said, the October kit was just perfect for some of the layouts I needed to complete. And it also fulfilled my need to create my homemade embellies. Hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful Fall weather. Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

That Thing She Does

Well, I spent 10 plus hours at my LSS yesterday and I feel so inspired. It's just plain silly. Hopefully, I can share a bit of my inspo with you today. My sweet hubby watched the kids, fed them, cleaned up and even had Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory waiting for me. Pretty nice, huh? I guess, after holding down the fort while he was gone for 7 months earned me that much, no?

While I was scrapping and chatting with one of my besties, I noticed me creating with one of my favorite go to techniques. I'm not even sure where it began, or even how. While looking through my Mosh Posh Gallery from last month here, I noticed that I used the pleating technique on three layouts, all with a different twist. To start a pleat, I just grab a scrap of a strip of paper 1/2 inch or an inch, or whatever suits my page. I bend it back and forth to form a pleat. Sometimes, it's a straight pleat sometimes it's a little haphazard.

In this first example, I ran the strip of paper through my Xyron "X" and started pleating away. To finish it off I trimmed the edges like you would a ribbon.

For this next one, I used a slightly wider strip and no adhesive. I just started bending back and forth. Once I had it the way I wanted it, I grabbed my stapler and joined the pleats. After that, I kind of roughed up the edges with my fingers. See, different look, same technique.

And in my last example, I used adhesive and finished off the ends like in the first one. But, this time I pleated left, right, left, right, left, etc. So, I could add threaded buttons to the centers of the pleats. See...

Well, that's all I have for tonight. Hope you enjoyed today's Tips on Tuesdays. I'm just about finished with my projects for November's Gallery. Stay tuned for that.

Monday, October 19, 2009

October Sketch

So, have you gobbled up your entire October kit yet? If not, our monthly sketch should help you! Like I've said before, sketches are great tools for speeding up our scrapping and getting us out of creative slumps.

Our October sketch was made by Estee and features 3 photos, a vertical page title, lots of room for journaling, and 3 balanced embellishments. It's a great sketch to follow or use as a starting point for a more complicated page. See how Jenny, Frances and I used it to inspire our layouts below:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Nov Sneak!

I have been droooling over our kit for November. Here is a sneak peek for you. PLUS the add-on is going to be a must have as well. Lots of new product and perfect to get you in the mood for fall!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mom's Got a Latte Do Today

God Bless my extremely limited Photoshop Abilities. I know how to do 2 things with that program. Resize layouts/crop em and click the brightness-tabby-thingy. Schweet. Cuz it's desperately overcast and Fall-y up in here. SO, these pix aren't perfect, but you should be able to get the jist for a little bit of inspo.

Welcome to this week's installment of Behind the Scenes Wednesday. I wish I could blame the randomness of this post on a Starbucks overload, but it's all me today. I would like to share some things that are inspiring me today and also my love of lists with you. I loove notebooks. Cute little notebooks with which to write lists or sketch or record the funny things my kids' say. Seeing as I'm a busy mom of five, I am certainly "behind" in my scrapbooks. I'm finally ok with that. One way to combat the forgetting some silly little ditty that Reagan says, is to keep track of these ramblings in notebooks. I have them all over, in my diaperbag, on my bedside table, and even in my daily planner (think the now defunct Creative Planner from Memory Dock). Whenever the mood strikes me, I right down a quote, a sketch or even a blog and/or scrap page title. Just remember to wait til you get to a red light. Just sayin.

I also have notebooks just for Mosh Posh. See below. Love this little beauty I picked up at Barnes and Noble's. It's their exclusive Vera Bradley Cupcake line (mmm, for so many reasons). Just added some Thickers to the cover. I include all things Mosh Posh in here. Kit contents, sketches, add-ons, themes, etc, etc.

This love of notebooks thing of mine is not a new thing. Below you'll find an altered notebook I made for the Mosh Posh Gallery last year. I even altered the pen. It's gotta look cute for all my stuff. Beside it, you'll see the journal I used to record my notes from the start of my labor with the twins up through the month they spent in the hospital through their first few months at home. This notebook is proving invaluable as I scrap these times. Those days were nothing but a scary blur, BUT I have my notes to put a story with the pictures. It may not have started as a pretty story, but it's story that needs to be told nonetheless.

I sense a cuteness theme going on here. I found some cute free printables for the many lists I have to get me through my harried days. You can find them here: and here: One is no longer available as a freebie, but I found a super cute replacement!!

Now, onto the randomness. This is what is left over from my recent scrappy projects. Rather than putting it all away, I'm going to make something. Anybody else in? Wanna make something with your scraps? I'm planning on getting something done within the week. How bout you?

This pile o goodness is just some product I've pulled cuz I want to use it. And that old book from Patrick's Grandma's hose?!? Yumm-o. I'm scrappin them too.

Oh yeah, and one last thing. This mini I made earlier in the year, I'm finishing it up. Anybody else wanna finish something with me this week? Would love to hear. Alright, off to pull my twinnies off of Momma's Diet Coke...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Scrap Doldrum No. 1: Piles of Photos!!!

Can you believe it's Monday already? Can you believe October is almost halfway over? Christmas decorations are in the department stores! Time just passes so quickly... and the photos keep piling up. :) How can we ever get caught up with our scrapbooking?

Let me ask you a personal question. How many pages have you completed this month? And one more question: how many photos have you taken this month? Please share your answers in the comments. Want to know my answers? I've completed 8 pages this month and I've taken approximately 100 photos. YIKES! At that rate I'll never catch up!

So, you're probably wondering where I'm going with this...

Something that will make your scrapping go SO much quicker. Something that will help you catch up. A magical solution that will erase your scrap-stresses and instantly make you a success and all the envy of your scrapping buddies who bring a 5" stack of photos with them to crops:

Don't scrap every photo.
In fact, if you're like me, you should scrap about 5-10% of the photos you take.

GASP! "But, Brook," you say, "that is scrapblasphemy! How could I ever decide which photos should be scrapped and which should be... scrapped!?"

Well, let me give you a tip and an example. TIP: Include photos which play a part in telling the STORY without turning it into a NOVEL. Think short stories or snippets of moments. EXAMPLE: Instead of doing an entire Christmas album every year, why not pick the photos you love the most... the ones with strong memories (journaling) attached to them and do, say, 4 pages? Then, if you still want to honor the other 300 photos you took, arrange them in a good ol' fashioned photo album.

You will accomplish your scrapping in record time if you edit your choices. And, if you're finding scrapbooking has become a chore or a drag, using this method may even bring your passion for the craft back. :)

Here are two pages with the October kit where I edited my choices. I had SO many photos of these two occasions... each one had something endearing about it. The page "excellent" is of my Grandma with my two kids. I took 40 pictures of her with them. Each photo was adorable in it's own way. There were 10 that were keepers. From the 10 I chose the 3 that were the best. I could have done 4 pages of these photos. But I did one. The page "dad lessons" uses two photos from our afternoon at the beach house. Again, there were dozens of photos of my husband with my son. I chose two.

So, for those of you getting dragged down by the sheer number of photos you have I hope this Manic Monday post has empowered you just scrapbook the photos you love the most! Go to your next crop with an edited pile of photos and enjoy yourself again!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Need a Little Inspiration?

Hey Ladies...Frances here! Hope everyone is loving their Smarty Pants kit. Don't ya just love it? Well, if you are needing a bit of inspiration, the gallery is up...yep, you can check it out HERE. This month I tried to do a few things out of my box. Take a look...

I know...just cards huh? But for me, this was out of my box. I was soooo inspired by Estee's precious cards last month, that I felt the need to give it a try. I think you may be seeing a few more cards in the months to come. Have a great week!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Path Less Traveled

I'm here! I'm heere!! Sorry for the absences here on the blog this week. Everyone is crazy busy. I, for one, am crazy busy in a good way. My hubby who has been gone since March (gotta love the Navy life) is back home. Yippee!!

Last week, on Thursday's Thoughts, I shared with you a sneak peek of this month's fabulous Smarty Pants kit. The Gallery will go live on Saturday at 10 PM EST. But, in the meantime, I thought I would share a peek into one of my projects for the October Gallery. Our theme is "Lessons". A pretty obvious choice due to the school-related-looking patterened papers. I printed some pictures of my eldest son on the first day of second grade and started creating. I even glimmer-misted!! So much fun. I highly recommend it.

I digress, yet again. But, when it came time to journal my page, I completely switched gears. While my hubby was away, my 8yo really stepped up and taught me a lot of things. A lesson, I guess you could say... I titled my page "He is My Rock". The hidden journaling (written on a Jillibean Sprout tucked behind the picture) says "he's my #1 child; he's my friend; he's my helper; he's the one I can count on; he's the one I leaned on." It's ok to use pictures that don't match your story, just like I did here. And, I still got to show off some of those great first day shots we all loove to take.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Who's Up for a Challenge?

Hey there Mosh Posh fans!!! Did you see the kit? Well, Kristen has once again chosen a wonderful assortment of products, and I have just the challenge to help you use it. Here ya go...

BINGO CHALLENGE: You complete this challenge just like you play BINGO. Choose any 5 in a row and add them to your layout. Post a comment and a link to your layout in this post by October 31st to win a RAK!!! The DT will choose a favorite and the winner will be posted on November 1st. Make sure you leave a list of what you used in your post. The card is below. You can print out the card and participate as many times as you would like.

Have a great weekend and HAPPY SCRAPPING!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pstt... Wanna See Another Peek?

Hey Mosh Poshers!! I'm sitting here with a handful of M&M's and oohing and ahhing over my new October kit and the add-ons. My wonderful USPS lady left them on my porch just yesterday. The colors are dreamy... yellows, reds, and blues, and greens. Kristen put together a great mix of manufacturer's this month! I'm including pictures of the main kit and the cardstock and alpha/paper add-on. Hope you likey...

Don't miss the Jillibean Soup in both kits. This is a new manufacturer that we've never had in a mp kit. Love it! And the journaling spots, too AND the Lily Bee 12x12 rub-ons. Delish!!

Also, thought I'd let you in on another little tidbit... our October Theme is Lessons. Today is Thursday Thoughts, so now YOU have some things to ponder yourself. Will you join us in creating some Lessons...

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