Friday, April 30, 2010

Middleschool Prep: Practice Paper Combination Lock

Cardstock practice lock with brad spinner

I won't bore you with all my worries about Ethan going into middle school next year. I will skip straight to the practical stuff. Come August he will have to navigate the halls of a middle school and deal with lockers and most daunting of all... a combination lock!

Set of steps for Ethan to memorize first of all. It is handwritten in large print and goes like this:

How to open a Lock

1) 2 full turns right, stop on __

2) 1 full turn left, stop on __

3) Turn right, stop on __

4) Pull, unlock __

I remembered how the school recommended teaching kids there lunchroom pin number.
They sent home an over sized printout of the lunchroom key pad, they recommended hanging it on the refrigerator and having the child practice "keying" their pin number with the paper, on a regular basis. As a learning aid it had worked wonderfully.

How about a paper lock with a brad to spin the tumbler. The therapist's reaction made me feel as if I can expect to win a Nobel prize very soon!

So today I couldn't find a resource for making a craft project of a combination lock... I thought this would be in high demand and available on the Internet but I couldn't find it.

I used this image, pulled it into Photoshop Elements and blew it up to a size that would print on standard size paper. I test printed on a regular paper, then I loaded 2 sheets of card stock into my printer & printed 2 copies. I cut out the spinner from one sheet of card stock and left the other intact.

To find the center I cut out the spinner from the paper copy, folded it in fourths & used the spot where the lines crossed to mark the center of my card stock piece. Then I poked a hole & put in a brad. Foolishly easy, really. Now we are ready to practice unlocking without the frustration of a lock that won't open.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Everyday Adventures: 1

This is the first assignment for Everyday Adventures: How To Be An Explorer of your World. It's a 4 week class from Big Picture Scrapbooking taught by Tammi Morrison.

The thing that got me interested in this class was the idea of noticing more of the little details in my life. That is something I enjoy. It did not occur to me that there was an art end to the class. The field Notes are kind-of like an art journal concept. That is not something I've been interested in doing before.... so I give you that disclaimer. Here are my notes. I tried to make them at least colorful.

The assignment was called "Right Where You Are Sitting"

I had no room for a traditional photo so I printed a contact sheet sized photo of my tabletop that is at top right. The flower is punched out of a photo of the ugly sheet that is in my lap. My color printer is out of ink, I might replace those later... but I might not. I need to get used to the idea that everything does not have to include a photo. I'm very much outside my comfort zone with this class!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Birthday Retreat Pages: Twitterpated

OK I have scrapbook pages from my marvelous birthday weekend get away. I took these photos yesterday. I was so happy here at this retreat that the only pages I wanted to work on were pages about the retreat I am on. So here are the first pair of pages. Hot off the press thanks to CTMH Studio J online scrapbooking software!

Paper Pack: Twitterpated
Click for larger view.
Journaling Detail

I'd also like to point out that this is the same page template as I used on the Easter Morning Pages, but the left hand page is rotated, I love that I'm able to get such different results with the same template.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Room With A View

I'm at a Scrapbook Retreat. I usually end up alone on my birthday, my husband travels my friends go away... it's pretty depressing. So I wasn't going to take a chance on spending my 40th birthday alone. So I booked myself a spot at a scrapbook retreat.

I haven't done much scrapbooking. I have done a lot of computer work organizing digital supplies & things like that... but for me this weekend isn't really about the projects... Its about the view.

Here is the view that greeted me as we drove onto the property.

This is the view from my work table.

This is the view out the bathroom window of my cottage (yeah I said Cottage)

This is was the first thing I saw this morning when I woke up.

I'm a visual person... I like words a lot - can you tell by the number of them that I use? But I'm also very visual. Having something beautiful to look at... it just does very good things for me. If there is a lot of green, all the better.

At this moment I'm watching the hedges shimmer and the boughs of the Texas live oaks across the road are swaying in a gentle breeze. Any moment I will be called down to the dinning room to eat wonderful food prepared by someone else.

I'm a visual girl, in a room with a view!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Isn't This Pretty

They say what you collect says something about you.
I don't know that I collect things, anymore. Except aprons, maybe. Yes, I suppose I must own to being a collecter of aprons. I have 3 pretty ones, several regular ones, yet new ones are always flirting with me.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Help In The Fight Against Multiple Sclerosis!

My friend @meganknox is raising funds for National MS Society's Walk Event, to find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis. Can you help?
Donate Here:
To read Megan's blog & or show your support by Buying a Megan's Mates Event shirt visit Megan's blog:
This cause has been dear to my family for many years as my Mother's dearest childhood friend and neighbor suffered from MS.

Friday, April 9, 2010

This Girl Could Use Some R&R

I'm so scattered these days I feel like I'm running toward all points on the compass at once. I thought I'd run down a list of them real quickly, but if you know me, you know I'm not a girl of few words. I am still planning to do further installments of the How I Learned To Scrapbook story - but want to show you photos of my first scrapbook & when I went to photo it, was a different album in that box.

The Biggest thing I've been concentrating on is Organizing Digital Photos. Get it Together Keep it Together This is a photo organization class taught by Molly Newman that I took at It was a 4 week class on organizing photos and digital elements using a program called ACDSee. I found out about the class from Julie Johnson 4 days after it started - so I had to hit the ground running. I am well on my way to categorizing, keywording, & rating my digital photos so that I can easily search them and find what I want.
It's been time consuming and exciting, and a lot of work. Due to the technical nature of the class I was trying to keep right up with the lessons in order to be able to ask questions of the instructor at weekly online video chat sessions.

During the class I also got an external hard drive. Half my photos are on my laptop and half on a desktop computer that I never use. I am in the process of migrating all the photos onto the External Hard Drive so that I'll have access to them at the scrapbook retreat I am going on for my birthday at the end of this month.

I feel like this is the most PRACTICAL of all the online classes I have taken as I am putting a system in place that I will use for everything I do. I am very pleased with the experience & am planning to take a Photoshop class from Renee Pearson in June.

In the middle of all of this I also Created 8 CTMH Studio J double page scrapbook layouts in a 5 day crash session. I blogged about that Studio J Posts are here.

Design Your Life - a 12 week design concept course taught at Big Picture Scrapbook just wrapped up, I a behind so I have a LOT of materials yet to go through. This class included layered templates for Photoshop Elements and prompted me to make my first ever digital scrapbook page. Holy Cow! that seems like forever ago.

I am in the final week with Adventures in Scrapbooking: Go Hybrid taught by May Flaum also at Big Picture Scrapbook. This was a 6 week course about incorporating digital elements into traditional paper scrapbook pages. Wonderful class. I feel behind due to the photo organization focus, and am looking forward to finishing out the rest of that content. I feel like It's a little surprise package that is waiting for me to go back and play with it.

I also convinced my husband that it was better to share "the good camera" (seen in photos) with me, than to have to buy me a brand new camera. Hurray!

Gracious me if that wasn't enough now I've signed up for several future classes:
Everyday Adventures: Becoming an Explorer of your World. A 4 week class beginning April 15 taught by Tami Morrison.
Textuality A class about incorporating text and print into scrpabook pages. 4 weeks starting April 22 taught by Amy Sorensen.
Get Great Photos with Any Camera a 4 week course beginning May 13, taught by Elisha Snow.

I was also contacted by Mardel Christian & Education Stores. They asked me to review a copy of a soon-to-be-released book that they are very enthusiastic about.
Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt. I have been hearing great buzz about this book. I can't wait to dive into it!

It is a beautiful afternoon! Dinner is in the crock pot, I have a glass of iced tea ready & I'm taking it outside to read on my lounge chair as soon as I finish this post.

Monday, April 5, 2010

I want this: Embellish Your Story

I want this Embellish Your Story Memo Board for my craft room! It's customizable with magnetic words & images.

Telling My Story: The Introduction

This morning after a busy holiday weekend I waved my kiddo off to school, walked back to my kitchen and where I usually would brew myself a cup of coffee.... I encountered a sink full of dishes and counter tops that I could barely see. This is in part because my husband "helped" with the cooking this weekend.

The electric griddle was sitting on top of a mega-pack of paper towel rolls on the kitchen floor. His giant monster juice machine was crowding out the toaster. I really just wanted to sit down with my coffee rather than scale what felt like my very own dirty dish k2. Yet I knew that those sticky stacks were high enough for me to see from the kitchen table. If I didn't tackle that thing, before breakfast, I would only end up with indigestion.

I put on my purple dish gloves, grabbed a sponge & got to work feeling very much like a drudge. But then I remembered that I have a number of wonderful & entertaining podcasts that auto-update on my phone. I grabbed my DROID and decided that an episode of Paperclipping Roundtable was precisely what was called for. I love a good podcast! I was focused on the conversation, my mind had something to play with, something to turn upon, but all the while my hands were busy chipping away at a breakfast bowl tower of Pisa, and a dinner dish tower of Babel.

At a certain point I looked around & found the mountain had been brought low. I had finished the dishes & I had podcast time to spare. On to breakfast! I was listening to Paperclipping Roundtable 013 Taking It Beyond the Page. They were talking about art journaling, about blogs, and quilting and collage and all sorts of mixed media things that can tie in with scrapbooking and also about how each lady in the panel found her way into scrapbooking. It struck me that the unifying thread in each woman's experience had been the desire to tell a story. I think I tell stories on my blog, but that is an area where my scrapbook pages are lacking. This is due in part to scrapping photos several years after the fact and is one of the reasons I have recently begun taking so many online scrapbook classes. I am a storyteller & I want that to be reflected in my scrapbooks.

The conversation moved on to where many of these different art forms began, how old they are and at what point they began to blend their edges with scrapbooking. One panelist talked about how plain scrapbooking was in the beginning and how she realized what she was doing was not an expression of her. It made me think of my own scrapbook beginnings and all the Scrapbooking booths I approached at craft fairs, full of a desire to fill up albums with darling photos of my newborn. How as the consultant talked with someone else, I would page through her albums, how turned off I was by them, and how I would try to slink away without talking to anyone. I had no desire to do THAT to my precious photos.

So this is going to be a self-indulgent series. I want talk about how I started scrapbooking, how it was in my blood, somehow, long before was a Mom or realized what I was doing and where it has led. This figures quite well I think, with my One Little Word for 2010: Purpose. By looking at how I have come to this place, I can be more intentional about where I am going. I can set my course and (as the cook in me desires to call it) plan my meals.

(It amazes the HECK out of me that even at this point the words scrapbooking and journaling are not in spell checkers - please get with it dictionary builders! - And by-the-way why do Spell-checks not check Subject lines & Titles - they are PRETTY important too! - Exclamation points galore, run-on-sentences and strong feelings, today.)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I made my deadline!

I made it! I made my scrapbooking deadline and got all the pages done & ordered by last night March 31 in order to take advantage of the introductory special I was working toward.

I did want to give you a heads up that when I was all done I tweaked the first set of zoo pages I made. I added the updated image to the original post. Here's a link in case you want to go back & see.

I ended up only making 8 instead of 10 layouts because I convinced my Dad to get copies of 2 of the layouts that were shared memories. I don't know if I could have made it, otherwise.

All the layouts are on my blog & I'll be updating those posts with some additional info like fonts & etc in the next few days.

Thanks everyone for your encouragement & comments on this project, they really kept me going. I now have 8 new 2 page layouts, 16 pages that might be more than I scrapbooked all of last year! And what an experience it was making 8 pages in 5 days; 5 of them in the final 2 days.

On top of all that Cathy Zielske commented on my blog! Squeee!
Yesterday I was also contacted about reviewing a book that has yet to be released. Wow! this week life has suddenly taken off in the creativity category! My one little word for 2010 is: Purpose!