Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One Sketch, 4 Ways

I have told you before that I love to work from sketches. Some days my creative mind starts out on a roll and I can sit down and know exactly what I want to create. I can see it and and it all just flows out. But then there are some days that I sit at my desk and stare at pictures and cardstock and I sit, and nothing comes to mind. These are the days that sketches work well. They jump start my creativity and allow me to add my own touches without having to start from scratch. Well, this sketch is from the October 2010 Creating Keepsakes issue...
It is a pretty basic sketch that had all of the components that I needed and about the right amount of pictures that I had for each child. Because I have four children and I want each of them to have a complete record of their childhood (and I have so much product!) that I try to create a layout for each child's album for events such as Halloween. But when you consider 4 two-page layouts plus layouts for pumpkin carving, pumpkin patch photos, Halloween parties and other special fall related events, I start to get a little sick of Halloween stuff. So I try to simplify things when I can. This is one way that I did that, I took one sketch and adapted it to create four different layouts. Here is the first one...
I started off sticking to the sketch very closely. I had the right number and orientation of pictures for Zachary's page and then I started to build my page.
This library card is something that I created with my silhouette a long time ago and never put to use. It is a print and cut and it worked out perfectly for my journaling. I cut out little pieces of one of the American Crafts Boo papers to add all over the pages.
The Boo rub on is from Scenic Route and the chipboard frame I believe is from Fancy Pants and I found it in my stash. I painted it with the new Jenni Bowlin paint dabber in Chicken Feed that I picked up at the Del Mar Scrapbook Expo. (I have to get more of these!) I also inked the edges with black ink. The little Remember This stamp is from 7gypsies.

Come back tomorrow for the layout #2!

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Girls' Room Redo

My daughters are now 8 and 6 (although my oldest keeps reminding me that she will turn 10 next year, 2012) and as I kept getting mad at them for not keeping their room clean it dawned on me that I had not given them the tools to be able to keep it clean. So it was up to me to help them. Their room used to have just a couple of sterilite drawer units with their toys in it and then everything else ended up everywhere. Most days I wasn't sure that they had a floor!

Friends of ours have been keeping a desk in their storage unit for us for over a year now and I finally was able to get over there and get it. It belonged to their daughter that is grown up and I knew right away that it would be something that the girls would be able to grow into. Here is what it looked like before (taken with my iphone before we went to go buy paint)...
I actually loved the blue but it just didn't go with the girls' room. The fake keyhole was my favorite part and that drawer folds down for a keyboard someday when they are ready for it. One knob was broken off and that didn't bother me since I knew that I wanted different knobs anyway. I decided on a nice bright white and after two coats of spray primer and one coat of white spray paint (all Valspar) this is how it came out...
I found cute little crystal knobs at Lowe's and had to tape off the fake keyhole before painting because it is glued on. I really love how it came out because the lines of it are so clean.

Now it is a great place for the girls to sit and read or draw and one day do homework.

In my quest to bring in some old antique type stuff to decorate their room, my grandmother gave me several antique frames. They were all dark brown and one of them was an easel style frame without any glass. So I spray painted it a light pink and made it into this...
I had one of my favorite pictures of the girls printed in 5x7 and adhered it to a piece of chipboard. I then strung some bakers twine onto it using these mini clothespins that I picked up at Michael's in the dollar bins. The girls love having this in their room now.

Previously Madison had Hannah Montana bedding and the matching lamp. Although it was cute, it just didn't go any more. They still needed a lamp but I wanted something a little more girly and yet not themed. I had this lamp in my office but never used it. It was dark brown until I spray painted it that same pink. Now they have a cute little shabby lamp for their desk!

To help the girls with their storage issues, we picked up two Billy bookcases from Ikea and put them on either side of the desk. Now they have a place for everything, even a place for their snow globe collection where their brothers can't reach them.
I'm still working on the decorative aspect of this room. These pictures need to get hung up, two of them are paintings that the girls did with noodles and string and pom poms. The other is a canvas that Madison painted last year. And now that turquoise chair has a place too!

Hope you enjoyed! And I will share more as I continue to add flair to this room. Come back tomorrow when I share a scrapbook sketch and the first of four different ways that I used it!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Blue Chair

My 6 week photography class is now over and although I am sad that I will no longer get assignments and be able to share my pictures with my classmates, I am excited about everything that I have learned. I have gone from taking mediocre pictures on semi-auto modes of my camera, to shooting fully in manual and knowing how and why I choose the settings that I do. One of the things that we learned towards the end of the class was about visually interesting photos and using props, namely chairs. I was so excited to go to the Salvation Army to look for a cheap wooden chair that I could paint a bright color and use in some fun shots. Here is what I found for only $7.00!
It was boring white and wood and was crying out for a really fun color. So I went to Lowe's and bought some Valspar spray paint in Mediterranean Blue. I am so in love with this chair! That night I went out with my girls and my friend Kristina and her daughter Kaydence. We went out into what looked like the middle of the desert and found this great bush with bright yellow flowers. This was the perfect spot and we chose to go out about an hour before sunset to get a nice warm glow. Here is my favorite shot of my friends' daughter...
Isn't she adorable?! She loved this hat that I brought and was being such an adorable little ham! I also got a few minutes to shoot pictures of my girls although it was cold and windy. Here is my little Kaley Bailey...
She couldn't even take her jacket off because it was too cold. And my beautiful way-too-grown-up Madison...
I was so pleased with how these pictures came out that I decided to take it out into our side yard and place against our wood fence in the shade. Then I convinced the boys that they wanted their picture taken and they went with it. First up is Zachary...
I love these striped shirts against the blue chair and wood fence! And then maybe the most priceless face that I have ever seen... my sweet Gabriel...
How can that not just melt your heart?! Well, needless to say I am now excited about finding more cool chairs to paint bright colors and use in new ways! So always be on the lookout for a good deal and a new way to use something old!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


We spent Friday and Saturday at the "Happiest Place on Earth" although we didn't quite leave so happy!... but that's a long story! We got to see the World of Color show for the first time and we absolutely loved it.
I had grand plans of taking the girls around a few parts of Disneyland and finding some great places to take pictures for my photography class assignment. There are lots of little spots in the park that you wouldn't even know were in Disneyland if you just saw the picture but they have lots of great texture and color. But the weekend did not go according to plan (does it ever?!) and I got only a few shots here and there and never even got over to Critter Country like I wanted. But here are the few shots that I got.
There was a 45 minute wait for Toy Story Mania and every time that we go it is well worth the wait. This has to be my favorite ride in all of Disneyland and California Adventure. This was also the first time that we have been to Disneyland with the boys and not taken the stroller. Now I made sure that we had it in the back of the car just in case but the boys did really well after all. While we were in line the boys sat on this little curb and so I decided to start shooting thinking maybe I would get a cute photo. I was quite surprised at just how photogenic Gabriel decided to be!
Zachary is never quite as cooperative as Gabriel but every once in a while I can get a cute one of him if I have a fast enough shutter speed!
I love how Gabriel was standing against this wall while Daddy was getting fast passes for Soarin' over California (which the boys got to go on for the first time and they loved it!). Can I just ask... when did he grow up?!
I had only a minute while the boys got their picture taken for their passes to take a quick photo of Kaley. I wanted to take the opportunity because these chairs were so cute and the seat was yellow. But then it turned out that you could barely see the yellow and the back of the chair blended in with the wall! Oh well, you can't win them all!
This is the kind of thing that I was looking for, you would never guess that this is even in Disneyland let alone right across from the Jungle Cruise in one of the busiest spots in the whole park! I was kind of mad because when we were about to get in line for the Jungle Cruise I looked over and saw this spot and loved that it was in the shade and was the perfect set up. By the time that we got off the ride, the sun was hitting it and was casting a big shadow right across where I wanted Madison to stand! So I had to adjust what I wanted and I still ended up with a cute picture. It just goes to show, take the picture when you see the opportunity and don't wait!
This is my favorite photo from the day! See how adorable Gabriel was being... I love that kid! And I love this blue shirt on him!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I know that I have been very MIA lately and there is no excuse for that but it truly has been a crazy few weeks and I haven't had much to post about! My photography class has kept me quite busy and I love how much better my photos are getting. So let me fill you in on what has been going on lately...
My kids patiently waited for Daddy and Pop Pop to build their new swing set that they got as an Easter present. I just love how they turned the chairs around to sit and watch, and of course they kept asking, "Are they done yet?!"
And finally they were done and it was time to play! And they have played out there almost every day ever since!

My photography class gave me an excuse to spend an afternoon with these two awesome girls and do a best friend/ graduation photo shoot. We had so much fun and drove all over Victorville and Apple Valley but we got some great shots!
I am also learning to take better pictures of my kids inside my house. Every week I learn more and am able to put another piece of the puzzle together. I have big plans for this weekend's assignments! This is my Gabriel and I just took this picture this morning while in the girls' room taking pictures of Madison's American Girl doll as an example of front lighting. Oh yeah, we are also re doing the girls' room but I'm not done yet so I have nothing to show you yet! :(

We also celebrated my husband's birthday by having some friends over for burgers and I got a custom frozen custard cake from Freddy's. Boy, was it yummy too! Lesson learned while trying to take photos of my husband and his cake at 8:30 at night inside... use the external flash that I have! Duh!
My amazing husband bought me one of these for Mother's Day! He is so amazing and I love it so much that I almost don't mind talking on the phone! He did this only hours after I got into an accident with our van. It truly has been a roller coaster of a couple of weeks!

I have a post planned where I show you one scrapbook sketch and 4 different ways that I use it. But I am only halfway done with the layouts so I need to get busy!