Orchard Park

Fun with a few of our friends last year at Orchard Park in Durham:

Supplies: PMP #41 template by Miss Mint; In Bloom kit by Karen Funk; Wooded Whimsy solids by Audrey Neal; Detour kit by Ellie Lash; Maybe v6 papers by Deena Rutter; Notions - Pink by Jen Allyson; Enjoy the Little Things collaboration kit from Sweet Shoppe Designs; Adobe Caslon Pro font.


[almost] Wordless Wednesday: Hummingbird

We regularly have visits from hummingbirds in our yard. Amazingly, this one was determined to enjoy our honeysuckle even with Dylan & me close by. Still need some practice on photographing those quick little guys - but glad I did "catch" him with my 55-200mm lens even if the focus was off.

Wordless Wednesday


Dino Garden

During a visit to Virginia last week, my mom was showing me her new succulent planter on her front porch (note to self: photograph it on next visit - so pretty!) when she suggested we help Dylan create his own. After a shopping trip to get a small, clear plastic container and digging into the toy bag in my car for a small dinosaur - we were ready to visit our friends, Karen & George, at Morningside Farm and Nursery.

With instruction (and a little assistance) from George, Dylan started the project by putting soil into his container:

Next he arranged the succulents:

Filled with a little extra soil. Then added a few small rocks to the top:

Finally, he placed his dinosaur into it's new "home."

I can't begin to describe how much he loves this little garden! I think it has visited every room in our house. He attempted to give it a ride on his trike (I intervened quickly fearing a crash). And even sat with it in chairs by our dining room sliding glass doors - chatting to it and sunning with it. So cute! Thanks, Karen & George!


Memorial Day

US Flag outside our local library branch


Friday Freebie: SuperWords paper

Needing (wanting) one more paper for my Superhero layout last week, I made my own with a mix of fun comic style action words. It's 12x12 with black outlined words on a white background - perfect to coordinate with any design. Free for personal use only.

Click here to download SuperWords paper freebie


Have you missed one of my previous digital freebies? Click HERE to find them. And, don't forget to subscribe to my feeds so you won't miss future freebies!


Railhawks Game

A friend invited us to join him for a Carolina Railhawks soccer game last Saturday. It was a first for all 3 of us. Dylan loved it! He was even kicking his own foot while watching the players kick the ball. Thanks, Kevin, for an awesome evening!

Supplies: 52 Thursday Templates Template No 19 & Dinos papers by Tiffany Tillman; scan of ticket.


Wordless Wednesday: Rim Time

Wordless Wednesday


Handprint Flag Plaque

Dylan & I made this plaque last year just before July 4th but it seemed fitting to share now a few days before Memorial Day. With Memorial Day, Flag Day (June 14th) and July 4th - it will be hanging on our wall for the next few months!

The handprint, stripes and blue canton were all done with paint. The stars were stamped on. Then I sketched the flag outline using a Sharpie marker and added the words with rub-on letters from my stash. Finally, I sealed it using Mod Podge and added a picture hanger to the back.

Supplies: wooden plaque; acrylic paint; brushes; star stamp; Stampin' Up! Whisper White ink pad; black Sharpie marker; Making Memories rub-ons; Mod Podge; picture hanger.


Touch A Truck 2011

Backing up to Dylan's 2nd year album again ... I wanted to include a local fundraiser event we attended called "Touch a Truck." It's a fun opportunity for kids to get close to all sorts of vehicles (trucks, cars, helicopters, buses, etc) and literally touch & climb into them. Dylan loved it.

I wanted to include a lot of photos to show some of the different vehicles we saw so I used a template that helped me quickly arrange 8 of my favorites. Then I left the rest of the design a bit more simple so the focus would be on the photos.

Supplies: Just the Photos 5: Edges template by Kate Teague; Sweet Life papers by Karen Funk; Traffic Jam elements by Miss Mint; Celebration brushes by Rhonna Farrer; Nursery Rhymes elements by Sara Schmutz; Digi Esssentials 8 by Karla Dudley; Just the Way You Are and Arial fonts.



Completing challenges is helping me get back into my scrapping groove. This one for the Two Peas Color Challenge: Grin to use earthy tones on a layout. The colors worked perfectly with photos I took on Wednesday during a nature class we attended.

Supplies: DHD Blueprint 4 template and Favorite Things alpha by Gennifer Bursett; Happy Camper kit by Sara Schmutz; Roar kit by Jen Martakis; Georgia font


my Superhero

Loved this cute photo I snapped of Dylan with my iPhone last month at the park. He agreed to a picture (somedays that takes a lot of begging!), picked the spot and posed. When I saw the May blueprint challenge at DHD and Robyn Meierotto's new Super elements, I was instantly inspired to scrap it.

Supplies: DHD May Blueprint template by Celeste Smith; School is In papers, and Nursery Rhymes & Recollect kits by Sara Schmutz; Rocketman kit by Deena Rutter; Super elements and Oceanside papers by Robyn Meierotto; Favorite Things 2 pattern papers by Gennifer Bursett; Cherish kit by Kitty Designs; Felis brushes and Digi Essentials 9 by Karla Dudley; Detour kit by Ellie Lash; SuperWords paper by 2pawsDesigns; Myriad Pro font (date).



Marble Painting

My friend, Allison, shared the idea of marble painting and I quickly bookmarked it to try with Dylan. As it happened, his neighborhood buddy was over recently so I tried it with both boys. I was impressed with how easily they grasped the concept (you never can be sure at this age) and how much time they spent on it.

  • paper
  • paint
  • marble(s)
  • small cardboard tray

We did our painting outdoors simply because it was perfect weather - too nice to be inside. They really made little mess beyond their fingers. I gave each boy a small cardboard tray with a sheet of paper cut to size and a marble. Then they shared a small tray of paint (less for me to clean up!).

Then they dipped their marble into the paint, placed on the paper and tilted their tray to send the marble rolling around the paper. This was fun to watch. Dylan was very serious about it (notice the concentration in the above photo). His friend was a little more relaxed and even did a bit of finger painting.

Both boys ended up with beautiful works of art. And since Dylan enjoyed it so much, we repeated the process a few days later to create Mother's Day cards for his grandmothers.


Week in the Life: Photo Book

My Week in the Life photo book arrived on Saturday! I was very excited to find it on my doorstep especially since as of Friday, the estimated arrival was Monday.

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know there was a small crushed spot on the bottom edge. This is the first time an item I've ordered from Shutterfly has arrived damaged. I'll be calling customer service today to get it replaced.

Regardless, we've had a great time looking at it - especially Dylan. He loves to flip the pages and point at photos naming faces and places.

** Our replacement book from Shutterfly arrived on May 17th and was in perfect condition. **


Farm Animal Days

Each spring, NC State offers Farm Animal Days to give local children a chance to see farm animals up close and even pet a few. This year was the first time Dylan & I went. We met a few of his friends there. The boys had the best time seeing all the animals, climbing into tractors, holding baby chicks and, of course, eating the free Howling Cow ice cream.

Supplies: Of the Essence add on kit by Fei Fei's Stuff; Tears Set 1 by Tiffany Tillman; Picket Fences kit by Jen Allyson; Digi Essentials 8 by Karla Dudley; 2peas Old Type, Century Gothic, and Another Typewriter fonts.


Fat Quarter Bag

We have a birthday party for a 5 year old girl this weekend. I liked the Fat Quarter Bags I made at Christmas so much, I decided to make one for her gift. I used the same tutorial, but changed up the bottom a bit to give it a more rounded look vs boxed.

Supplies: Heather Bailey (outside) & JoAnn fabrics; Coats & Clark thread; grosgrain ribbon.


[almost] Wordless Wednesday: Baseball Buddies

That's Dylan on the left and his new friend, Dustyn. We had the good fortune of meeting up for dinner and park fun with Sarah Halstead & family on Monday night.

Wordless Wednesday


Primary Day in NC

I've gone round and round. I don't usually voice my political opinion very loudly and typically not here. But, I do feel strongly about today and hope that all NC voters who haven't voted early will get to the polls. If passed, Amendment One could do a lot of harm especially to women and children.

Learn the facts. Vote. Let's show the world that North Carolina is better than this and crush Amendment One.


Week in the Life 2012: Complete

My Week in the Life 2012 album is complete! I ordered it as an 8x8 photo book from Shutterfly last night.

WITL2012: Title Page
Title Page
I decided to keep each of my days to 2 pages -  a main photo with the banner title on the first page and a photo collage with journaling on the second page. Honestly, I had six of the seven main photos selected before I realized Dylan was in every one which helped me picked the final one (Tuesday - not a lot of good & good quality photos that day). He might as well be in them all. :)

WITL2012: Monday spread
Monday, April 23rd

WITL2012: Tuesday spread
Tuesday, April 24th

WITL2012: Wednesday spread
Wednesday, April 25th

WITL2012: Thursday spread
Thursday, April 26th

WITL2012: Friday spread
Friday, April 27th

The photo of the fire engines was taken by Dylan using my point & shoot camera. I altered the template text box to note that. It was important to me to include a bit from his view of the week.

WITL2012: Saturday spread
Saturday, April 28th

WITL2012: Sunday spread
Sunday, April 29th

Following the "day pages" - I took inspiration from a Week in the Life closing page shared by Kristen W on Flickr. I liked the idea of a count of various parts of the week. Ours includes our ages; Dylan's stats (weight, height & clothing sizes); amount spent on groceries, gas, movies; number of miles walked; temperature fluctuations; etc. Across from it, I created a page with corresponding photos.

WITL2012: Overview spread
Overview: By the Numbers

Finally, since our week was unusual in several respects, I decided to finish the album with a spread documenting a "typical" weekday in our home right now since I'm sure by the next time we do this, it will have changed.

WITL2012: Typical Weekday Schedule
Weekday: Typical Schedule

Supplies: Week in the Life 12x12 Vol. 4 Layered Template Album and December Daily Layered Template Package Vol. 3 by Ali Edwards; Instagram app; Digi Essentials by Karla Dudley; Tweet, Tweet collaboration kit from oscraps.com; Arial, Arial Bold & Just the Way You Are fonts.


Week in the Life 2012: Putting it Together

I have completed all the "day" pages for my Week in the Life album as well as a title page and ending page in Photoshop. I wanted to focus on the photos & text so I've pretty much stuck strictly to the templates with almost no embellishment.

I've started arranging the pages into a Shutterfly photo book. Next I need to create my cover. I'm thinking something similar to this (also still considering her idea of 3 years in one album as I would like to get pages for the previous 2 years completed).

Supplies: Week in the Life 12x12 Vol. 4 Layered Template Album by Ali Edwards; Instagram app; Digi Essentials by Karla Dudley; Tweet, Tweet collaboration kit from oscraps.com.


Superhero Pillowcases

This was a fun order - superhero pillowcases for a special little guy. He told his mom he was "big boy" now. :)

Spiderman pillowcase

Superman pillowcase

I hope these fill his "big boy" request!


Wordless Wednesday: Poolside

Wordless Wednesday


Week in the Life 2012: In Progress

The last two years I've taken photos & notes for Week in the Life. I haven't completed a single album though! Hoping third time's the charm. Last week, I started again. I took photos daily using all 3 cameras (DSLR, point & shoot and iPhone) depending on the moment & convenience (not to mention, that is real life - I use all 3) and took notes using the printouts by Ali Edwards.

I averaged 100 photos per day. That by no means equals 100 good shots. There were bad shots and repeats. I sorted them all by day into folders and then have been going through ruthlessly deleting.

I started on my album on Saturday because I wanted to and felt inspired. I really, really want to get this one completed! :)

My initial plan was to use Ali's Week in the Life volume 4 templates and create it all digitally. As I started adding photos, I looked back at her completed album from last year and lifted the idea of adding times and notes on top of photos. I like how that helps define the day while letting me place photos randomly (vs in chronological order) and write my journaling in a more relaxed format.

I'm still working on adding photos and text to the main "day" pages. I currently have two pages per day - a title page with large photo & banner title and an adjacent page with smaller photos & journaling. I'm undecided still on embellishments. I want to keep the design simple with the focus on the photos so, whatever I do, I expect it will be minimal. I'm also thinking of adding a few extra pages that detail a few current things in our lives that might not have been picked up in during the past week. That's perhaps a little vague, but keep in mind, I'm still working out my plan on that myself! Focusing on finishing the day pages first.