approaching holidays + crafting

Getting excited about the upcoming weeks. Its a time I have a lot on my mind and plate, figuratively and literally :),  but also a time that gets me excited to make stuff.  An excuse to have a little (ok, a lot of) excess paper crafting paraphernalia and tools scattered around the house. Not so much yard or outside work, more time indoors, etc. makes me a happy girl. So soon I'll be gathering some favorite pictures in my software to make a 4x6 holiday photo collage. Much like the one I am using (update:was using) as my Blog Header right now. I make those in google's PICASA and then print them at my local drug store or Wal-Mart. Have also begun going through my supplies to make another December Journal for this year. Over the years I have seen this or something similar to this idea blogged about many times.  I first heard about them from the ali blog and was hooked right away.

(left) (former blog banner; photo collage done with picasa software; simple & fun)

I've said this every year for the past two or three, but ...."I'm starting early" and "I'm going all digital" and I really mean it. You know for the time being. But inevitably something - something like crafter's guilt comes over me and I feel totally like I am cheating. And so out comes the pretty paper, punches, glitter.  Buttons and ribbon spill forth from their containers and visits to wonderfully creative and inspiring blogs increase.

I thought I'd found them all...but then I find more. So many talented people crafting + blogging out there.

Some new favorites from my blogsurfing adventures this week....
cards and scrapbook trends   
(from here you can view their blogs (Four of them) -- grab a cup of something, relax, and read. have a napkin handy because you will drool over the projects. you have been warned.
zakka life
(same as above -  swoon!)
the bright side project 
scissor variations  
(I have ordered from their shop before, papier valise, just never read the blog - many good ideas for small, vintage trinkets, labels and pretty paper, naturally, I was in love :)

because I am a font lover

I don't know about anyone else reading but.....doing anything else as long as it keeps me away from my household chores is a welcome break...why I have missed these gems?

The other thing that happens is this, I get off on a totally new tangent, depending on how many links you follow you may end up in a totally new direction. I feel like I'm on so much time I start to feel so guilty.  I stayed focused though.  I didn't say much about the bright side project blog above because that is what spun me off into a new thought and also brought me back to a project I have started gathering materials for: a December Journal. So I'll mention it here. The blog is great collection of handmade/artistic offerings from the web.  A lot of new inspiration and new artists shops to check out.  More too - you have to simply go over and visit.

I left a comment on their blog - something I don't do very often - but their prompt was to leave a comment about a favorite holiday ornament or decoration. It stirred a memory, about a treasured snowflake ornament I made with mom a long time ago.

And it made me want to blog again after a nearly 3 month break. Inspiration to blog again is good.   

my comment on newly discovered blog – the bright side project – blog surfing + my morning coffee the morning of the 11th

[The post asked us to comment on our favorite Christmas ornament.  Not something I was thinking about at the time I was surfing. There is also a chance to win a 2010 calendar from a talented photographer.  Even if I don’t win, what a great journaling prompt. Once I had the memory jogged I started thinking about an old, slightly worn with age, favorite ornament and all the memories that are attached to it.  Now I’d like to get this ornament out of storage and take a photo of it. Might fit nicely with the December Journal I am once again attempting.]

here’s the journaling: "I think about all the tree decorations I have purchased over the years and then I have to say my one most treasured (I know this bec I would cry if I ever lost it or it was damaged) is a handmade blue and clear beaded snowflake ornament that my mom and I made one year when I was about 8 or 9. In the mid 70’s this came as a kit — a small styrofoam ball, pretty stick pins, sequins, and the beads. I think all my future visions of snowflakes are based on this lovely yet simple creation + the memories of me and mom are attached."

[must find ornament and snap photo!]

here's to happy seasonal crafting and handmade goodness!



re-do, part II

Let's try the video again.....learning curve.....of course there were more steps than just the simple "post this" button from picasa. Who knew making a movie of an ocarina song could lead to such giggles. He was cracking up, I was cracking up listening to him crack up. Very funny stuff only a parent could love.

I love this kid.

To think 10 years ago we held him so carefully, we thought he was so fragile. First time parents. Overwhelmed by the surroundings of the NICU. So grateful when we were able to take him home with us (about 3 weeks after he was born). We wanted everything to be just so --- so perfect.
And it is.
And I must be thinking this because days like today and days like the ocarina day recording remind me how lucky we are. Even though its definitely not perfect all the time.
And that's okay.


Learning, part I

Learning something new..well actually learning to use some of the features on the picture software (picasa3) that we have had for a while. It took the encouragement of my son and daughter to get me to explore these fun features. I must admit I was somewhat reluctant at first but now I am having fun with it. We have a youtube account now. My setup and email and he gets to have all the fun of filming playing his ocarina. All inspired by his love of the Zelda video games. That's his love right now. One of his favorite things. Glad to help him have fun and learn at the same time.

One thing I noticed is that children are so natural around all the features of any software and technology in general. Its so easy for him to figure things out whereas I might be there for hours hemming and hawing over what if I click this? or that?

This a little movie/practice I made of his bloopers.
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Night At The Museum : Rochester, NY

Friday night the Rochester Museum and Science Center and Strasenburgh Planetarium was all ours. Really! Which of course led to all sorts of "Night at the Museum" jokes the whole night long. This was for our daughter's girl scout troop "space explorer" campout/sleepover. What a cool experience!!! Participate if you ever have the opportunity.

I have always loved the Strasenburgh Planetarium and have taken the kids there several times. I have fond memories of school field trips as a kid. But to sleep there all night?! OMG - I was a kid all over again. The Space Tunnel - I was there. The excitement as the planetarium's plain white dome "sky" turns to a twinkling night sky -- had it. This close to a mastodon you can almost imagine it breathing and hear its footsteps - yep.

The scouts get a special Star Show (just for them), hands-on activities that go along with the space explorer theme, Q&A time, and freetime to explore the museum exhibits. The museum at night is just an awesome experience. No one else was around just our troop (plus about three others) and the museum security. There were two employees there to help guide the education part of the program and go through the evenings events along with the troop leaders and moms that came along.

Just very well done. The RMSC is a gem here in Rochester. We are so lucky to have this caliber of exhibits.
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Random April

just some photos from the last month or so.
... signs of spring
...favorite shade of blue + yellow
...cool boots for puddle splashing
...earth day poster contest
...Domo? little brown monster (go look it up on youtube. its hysterical)
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Spring Cleaning Party

its finally here.....spring cleaning fever is hitting. this doesn't happen often 'round here. so the motivation to help me was found on the simplemom.net blog. if there are any others out there that are challenged in the area of "cleaning" then you should check it out.


Watercolor thank you

Still enjoying the watercolor for card makers class. Since I wasn't able to follow along each day I'm still busy practicing some of...