CREDITS:

Digital scrap items in the header, layouts and sidebar are by Miss Mint at PeppermintCreative.com or Jen Wilson at JenWilsonDesigns.com

Monday, December 31, 2007

Layouts & Scrap Stuff



This is one of the Christmas template layouts I did. Aiden was so cute on Christmas morning! I really should do a LO about how he kept trying to get Molly's pink & purple toys that Santa left for her!

Okay, I seem to always have people asking me what my favorite or most-used products from PC are so I decided to make a list. I know a few of my friends are new to digiscrapping and probably wonder what to buy. I'm putting the things I would buy all over again in a heartbeat in bold as a MUST-HAVE. Here is my list:

Best $2 Coordinated Kits:

I use the Playground Pop kit the very most. I LOVE the paper stars in this kit and it has lots of boyish elements that I love. If you're going to scrap for a boy, I would consider this a must-have.

Party Pants is another that I use year-round. It is gender-neutral and great for scrapping anything. No matter what type of pages you are scrapping, this kit is a MUST-HAVE. I would spend my first $2 on this kit.

I have been surprised by how much I have used the Twinkle Toes kit on Aiden's baby pages. Again, this would be a great kit to have if you're scrapping baby boy pages but I know most of you already have it. The lime green paper swirls in this kit are great and they recolor easily, too.

If I was scrapping girl pages, Foxy Lady would be the girl kit I couldn't live without. I use the white paper heart on every other layout it seems. (See it in my blog header, under the purple binder clip?) This should top your buying list if you plan on doing girlie pages. (A close second would be Sweet Easter . The bright colors are gorgeous and the bows & doodle stickers will be used on countless pages!)

My Pick on Paper Packs:

There are some papers that I just can't scrap without. Cardboard Grunge is one of them. My boy pages have never looked better because of this pack. (I would recommend the Holiday Mix Cardboard Grunge for girl pages, if you like the look & texture of the papers.)

I always like scrapping with holiday papers but I find myself returning to the same paper packs frequently. They are:

Pop Rock Graffiti - I used two of the papers from this pack in the layout above. I really like the bright colored stripes, the splatter paint paper, the perfect lime green dot paper and the piece of cardboard. I would list this as another MUST-HAVE, well worth the $3 price.

Oopsy Doodle - I use this a lot on boy pages. It's a great paper pack that I keep coming back to over and over. I've easily gotten my money's worth out of it.

October Rust - This is a fairly new collection but I have loved - and used - every single sheet at least twice. This is a MUST HAVE if you want to do any hybrid projects for your house. (It's also great for family pages.) The papers can be recolored and they have the most fabulous textures. Plus, you get 8 papers for $3.50, which makes the price per sheet less than other packs.

Sugar Dollhouse - The truth is I never use this paper pack because it is so darn girlie! But if that's what you're scrapping, then I would say this is a must-have. (When you view the product page, click on the pink link to see a layout using that kit. Is that not the cutest girl page ever?!!)

My Favortie Element Sets

You will notice some of these don't match up with my favorite paper packs. I like to mix elements from several different kits (unless I am scrapping to deliberately showcase new products.) These are the element packs I use the most:

Rebel One - BY FAR the coolest boy set I have ever found online. I use this stuff all the time! If you like a bit of grunge in your boy pages, I would suggest this set.

October Rust - This has all the leaves & things to make great fall pages. I used it to death in October & November and I still use the grungy frames & tags out of it.

Recycling Bin Bits - This is Miss Mint's best selling element set for a reason. It has lots of great basics: a staple, safety pin, binder clip, index cards for journaling, notebook paper, metal rings, a piece of ripped cardboard....it's a great element set.

Pop Rock Graffiti - I will be honest and say that I over-use the paint rings & splatters and masking tape pieces from this set and not much else. I do like the newspaper hearts & stars but I always seem to forget about them and use a Rebel One star instead. Still, I think this kit has great pieces for any layout and the paint smears alone make it a MUST-HAVE in my book!

The Best Embellishments

I am an embellishment junkie. This is where I spent the bulk of my money before I was on the CT. There are some that just make your pages look awesome. Here are the ones I absolutely cannot scrap without:

Paint Box - This may seem so random and I did skip over it once or twice before I bought it. Then I started putting the paint smears behind photos and titles (see the pictures off to the side.) Now I use these in nearly every layout. If you like how the paint smudges look, buy these! They're my number one MUST-HAVE! (Note: If you're buying the Pop Rock Graffiti Element Set, you might be able to skip this.....until you get tired of the same old paint smears and want some new ones!)

Mintage Frames - This is my favorite frame set. I like the vintage look. Pick them up if you love them, if not, keep reading!

Ultimate Frames - Once you get started scrapping you'll discover you need more frames. The $2 kits usually come with one but you don't want to use the same one for 10 layouts! This is the best mix of frames you can buy. There are tons to choose from and they come with straight or scalloped edges and with or without a cool, curled up drop-shadow effect. This element is a MUST-HAVE.

Felt Hearts - They seem so simple and boring, yet they're the perfect element. I use these a LOT. They recolor the easiest of any element and once you have them, you'll use them a hundred times over. (I like the felt stars, too, but since lots of kits come with stars in them, the heart set is the one you'll want to pick up first.)

Bead Factory 2 - Love these beads! I like set 2 because of the brighter colors. These really add depth to your pages and are gorgeous on girl pages. Some of the kits, like Sweet Easter, come with a strand of beads you can try out first. If you love them, buy the factory sets.

Doodle Arrows - Still kind of surprised by how often I use the arrows! These are handy if you like to journal a lot in your LO's and you want to point to specific, subtle things.

Rollie Ribbons - I thought these were silly at first, until I saw them in use. Now I add them to pages frequently. If you like the look I think you'll enjoy having them.

Rainbow Rhinestones - They're glittery and cool. I'm listing these as a girl page MUST-HAVE.

My Alpha Pics

Miss Mint would probably die if she heard this but I would suggest using the alphas in the element sets before you bought very many to see if you like using them. Some people just don't have the time to use alphas. I am often that way. I'd rather use the type tool and do one word in an alpha. Nevertheless, I love how alphas make a page look. Here are my favorites:

Grunge Stamp Alpha - Hands-down my favorite. I love how it looks. It's more stamped than it is grungy but it's definately great for boy pages. This is a must-have for me.

Scribbled Alpha - I don't use this as much just because everyone else uses it! It's adorable on boy and girl pages. I really like how cute it is. This one is a MUST-HAVE alpha in my book!

Mintage Alpha - This is my favorite alpha for monograms. I love to staple the letter A from this set on Aiden's pictures. It's a great all-around alpha that matches the mintage frames. If you like the look, get it!

Cut-Up Alpha - I should probably put this higher on the list because I really do like this one. It's so cool! Great for boy pages. I can't wait to use this on Aiden's pages as he gets older, too. Very teen-ish alpha.

Newsy Schmoozy - This one is brand new but I can't stop using it! I like how it looks. Don't know why, I just do. I think it will be great for school pages when Aiden gets there. For now, it's popping up in a lot of my layouts.

Scribble Sticker Alpha - This one is cute and looks good on lots of pages. I LOVE how it recolors.

Stamps & Brushes I Like

Stamped Hearts - I have started using these a lot and I really like them. I use them in place of the felt hearts when I want something light and subtle to go behind a picture or title. I have started using them instead of paint box smudges in some layouts. Because you can enlarge some of them enough to make a frame or a frame mat, these are a MUST-HAVE!

Complete Classic Date Stamps - These are easy to overlook but I use them a lot. They are the digital version of those library card date stamps they stamp checked-out books with. I really like to "stamp" these on a tag in a layout or in a corner, so I can date everything. They look pretty cool! I would say these are a MUST-HAVE if you are as anal about dating pages as I am!

Painted Brush Strokes - Really, I just love the paint smears. I have every single one available. I actually use this set often but I think Paint Box is the best buy for the casual scrapper. Unless you're as addicted to the paint as I am and want these!

There you have it, my favorites list! If you only bought the items with the bold must-have tag, I think you would have a great start on digi scrapping supplies.

A word to the wise: Miss Mint was a graphic designer before she began her website and has YEARS of experience over most of the other designers. There are other sites that sell digital scrapping supplies but be careful and look at example images closely before you buy. You'll find most people's items are slightly blurry, more plain and/or not as realistic or detailed as Miss Mint's. I have been spoiled using the best scrap supplies that are out there, which is why I scrap almost exclusively with her products. They are very high quality and are reasonably priced! (Most other people sell elements & items that aren't near as crisp at $3.75 or $3.99 price points.) I know I'm a little biased but there is nothing more frustrating than working hard on a layout and discovering it's not going to print crisp because of the digital scrap products you used. I have had lots of things printed and Miss Mint's items always come out sharp and attractive. Trust me, you're using the best stuff money can buy! Now let's go shopping!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Props To Kelsey

This layout uses one of Miss Mint's storyboard-type templates. It reminded me of a model portfolio so that's how I themed the page. All these pictures were from Aiden's last photo shoot with Kelsey. He was being SUCH a stinker! BUT LOOK AT THESE PICTURES! Could his eyes be any more stunning?



Kelsey, you impress me. Even when my kiddo is being a total handful, you manage to get the most breathtaking shots. I had the one in the upper left corner printed for MaryAnn's house. You should see it on the shelf - it really captures your eye. I wish I had your super expensive camera. I love how creamy & smooth his skin looks and how glassy and clear his eyes photograph. Oh, well, I'm just going to have to keep coming back for more!

I didn't mention it before but the templates are going to be sold in a set of 4 so you can do lots of pages. And everything in the template is moveable, so you can change them around a bit and use them over & over!



Click the above image to go straight to the new tip, my digi scrapping friends! How cool is Miss Mint? She sent me this graphic yesterday just for my blog!

Scoll down to her previous blog post to see a sneak peek of the template sets. (The storyboard & holiday sets aren't shown.)

We Can Post!




THIS is what the new templates look like in use! It was ridiculously easy. Layouts usually take me about an hour but template layouts are done in 30 minutes. These babies can cut your scrapping time in half!

So, for those of you that have figured out there seems to be a "system", we were cleared for posting layouts today which means new products will be available at the shop within 3 days and the new freebie will probably be available for downloading by Friday.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Night 2

It wasn't quite as bad because Aiden's crying was split into a couple different outbursts. The first came at 10:30, similar to the night before, but I think he fussed for maybe 5 minutes. He fell back asleep and slept until sometime around 3:45 and cried again.

And here's the funny thing. Now that I know we are sleep training and I don't need to go to him, I am sleeping through his crying! It's so nice! Even more fun is the fact that I can sleep through it but Brian wakes up! Bri was fuming around 5:45 that I was snoozing and not doing anything about Aiden, who was awake and crying again. Sorry babe, I've been on the night shift since last March. But he did get his chance to sleep in this morning while I took Aiden so it's fair! (Well, even then, not really. I woke up this morning with a wet T-shirt and boobs about to pop they were still so full. Ready to be done with breastfeeding, too.)

Gotta scrap now. How am I going to get layouts done for all the new things she has coming?

Friday, December 28, 2007

70 Minutes

That's how long Aiden cried last night when he woke up. Brian and I are doing some sleep training because the kiddo is WAAAAY off schedule after all the holiday trips. Aiden doesn't sleep well in strange places so when we travel, he usually just ends up in the bed with us. That way, when he wakes up and doesn't know where he is, we're right there to quiet him before he wakes the dead with his wails. Well, now that we're home, Brian and I can't take him waking up every two hours to see where we are. So we're having to use a little tough love and only check on him - not bring him in with us - when he wakes up crying. Aiden didn't like that idea last night, hence the hour and ten minute stand-off. It was awful. I hope he's not near as stubborn tonight because I won't be able to operate a vehicle safely if he doesn't start letting me get some sleep!

Peppermint Update: There should be a free kit at the shop this month but it's not done yet. There won't be a new "big" kit for January but there are going to be lots of new elements and for the first time, TEMPLATES!

Us Chicks have already gotten our eager little hands on the new template sets and WOW are they fast & easy to scrap with! I hope you picked up some paper packs while they were on sale because you're going to want to try these babies out. The templates come in a gray-on-gray tone WITH FRAMES and space for journaling. All you do is click on one of the layers (for example, the background layer), place the paper you want it "covered" in over it and then hit Ctrl-G to "cover" the layer with the paper. DONE! You then go through and paper-cover all the gray parts, put your pictures in and then add any elements or journaling that you want. What you end up with is a great looking page in about 30 minutes. There will be tons of examples so you can see how they're used. Check Miss Mint's blog tomorrow for a preview.

We should be getting the new elements to scrap with VERY soon - when I do, I'll type a verbal description of what is coming. Then I need to get my butt in gear & start scrapping, otherwise I'm going to miss the deadline......

Thursday, December 27, 2007

So much stuff, so little time!

I'm hoping my scrapping friends hit the PC sale and picked up some goodies. I got a couple of alphas from the clearance section that I didn't have before, some of which are in my new blog title! I was feeling "Office-y" and since my New Year's resolution is to finally organize that darn bead room, I think the header fits for this month.

We got back in town last night and I have my family, including grandparents, coming to my house in less than 24 hours so we can all swap gifts and so the now-great-grandparents can watch Aiden open his gifts from them. Meanwhile, I am trying to get unpacked, get all the laundry from our week-long trip done and put all the new gifts away so our guests will have some place to sit! This is such a busy time of year....and I still need to make something for all eleven of us to eat!

My blog title is the only thing I have had time to scrap and it doesn't look like I'll have a chance to do anything else until this weekend. I have a December 30th deadline for LO's using some new products and I'm sure there is more stuff coming in early January at the shop, including another freebie. I'll post the details as I get them. Meanwhile, all you gals that don't yet scrap but have Photoshop and would like to, keep an eye on my blog and the Peppermint Creative Shop for a new product that is going to make your scrapping life a LOT easier! Hint: I would STRONGLY recommend picking up some new paper packs and element sets while they're still 40% off - until midnight tonight!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

SALE! SALE! SALE!

We're still in Oklahoma but I logged in to the team forum just to see what the Chicks were up to and found a sale post from Miss Mint: 40& 50% OFF SALE DEC 26 & 27!

She's never done 50% off! She's startng a new Clearance category on the 26th, where she will put products that she's about to retire. Everything else in the shop will be 40% off.

Stock up now because new stuff is coming in January and I can promise there won't be another sale this big!

Even better, the Clearance section is going to have some items mot of you have never seen before. Here's a sneak peek on her blog of clearance items: http://peppermintcreative.com/blog/?p=548

Thought you would all enjoy knowing! Now, back to the holidays!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Worth The 2 Days To Make It

When I was a child, my mom would make strudel for breakfast on Christmas morning. It's an old family recipe and even the recipe sheet looked fabulously vintage, like it carried the secret of the best strudel on earth. Her copy was written on a single piece of typing paper, folded, creased, yellowed and browned from being splattered with ingredients over the years. The recipe takes two days to make. On day one you mix the dough then refrigerate it for 8 hours or overnight. Day two you knead the dough, roll it, fill it, shape the pastry loaf, let it rise for 5 hours, bake, cool and then drizzle the brown sugar glaze over the top. It's pretty time intensive, which is why my mom stopped making it when I was 12. It just took up so much time and as soon as all three of us knew about Santa and she wasn't up at 3 am putting out gifts, she wasn't willing to get up that early to prepare the strudel for rising. (I can't blame her. After a decade of no sleep on Christmas day, I might put a tradition on hold so I could enjoy sleeping in, too!) It was the Christmas when I was 12 that she announced she wasn't going to make it. But I loved strudel so I made it that year. And I made it for us several years after that, the last time being Christmas of 1998 before I left for college. I was 17.

Fast forward nine years to this week. I had copied my mom's recipe on a single sheet of paper for myself the last time I made it. Unfortunately I believed at 17 that I could never forget how to make strudel, so I just listed the ingredients, baking temp & time and the most basic instructions. Of course, I had forgotten a lot. I stumbled through the recipe and luckily, the strudel turned out okay.

Actually, it was more than okay. It was divine. You can't buy pastries like this any more. Panera Bread's Pecan Rolls kind of resemble the taste, but I never have been able to find it's equal. We cut into one last night, before we took the warm pastries to friends, and that first bite was like returning to a long lost place in time. It really brought back happy memories of Christmas, when the magic of a fat man coming down the chimney was so real! I had never made it for Brian before and I was flattered with how impressed he was. Then he wanted to know why I hadn't made it every year! (See: 2 days to make.) We're going to enjoy having it this year. Even Aiden had a little nibble!

Aiden, I know you're small and you don't understand what Christmas is yet, but I mostly did it for you. I have missed the tradition of having strudel and I couldn't think of any better time to bring it back than at your first Christmas. We have combined some of our favorite Sullivan & Silver holiday traditions and I hope they are the foundation for many memorable Decembers to come. Of course, since several of the traditions involve cookies and pastries, maybe a trip to the dentist in January should also become a tradition! LOL!

Friends: I am planning on digi scrapping myself the full recipe, since my little hand-written one leaves so much out. I'm actually going to re-create the vintage look of my mom's recipe sheet and have it printed, probably as an 8x10 so it can be kept with my large cook books. If any of you would like a copy, just leave me a comment and I'll get one to you!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Hybrids In A Hurry!

Here is the beachy shadowbox monogram I made for Aiden's room! These are turning out so cool and they are SOOOOO easy! I scrapped the 5x7 monogram in under 30 minutes, including all the inking time. I uploaded it online for 1 hour printing then picked up the weathered wood shadowbox at Hobby Lobby on my way to get the print. I assembled the shadowbox, added a few of Pottery Barn's beach pebbles that I had on hand and in one day, this project is done!



I really love how this looks, all sand-blown and roughed up! The letters are the Peppermint Creative Mintage Alpha. The full list of supplies is listed in Miss Mint's gallery, under this project if you'd like to see what all was used. Happy hybriding!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Whew!

The wedding is FINALLY over! It was absolutely gorgeous and I did have fun dancing with Aiden & Brian but I'm glad it's done. It was a very busy day trying to be where we needed to be with Aiden fed, nursed and everyone dressed in the right clothes with no spills or stains. Poor Aiden had to be fed baby food in his car seat in the parking lot of the country club. (It would have taken too long to drive all the way from Champions home and then back.) But we survived and with Sheena being the last of all the siblings married, WE ARE DONE WITH WEDDINGS! (We've done 3 in the last 18 months. We needed a break.) Brian and I couldn't be happier.

Now for some peppermint creative news: My scrapped monogram has been a hit. Miss Mint is making one for her house - I'm so flattered! - and posting directions on her blog. We have also been chatting on our message board about January's kit. Nothing set in stone, just tossing around ideas, but if we get hints about what is coming, I'll pass it on! ;)

I have some free time so I'm going to get working on some LO's - I have gobs of pictures from this weekend, not including all the ones Kelsey took at the reception! Watch for some new pages soon!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Hybrid Projects

Digital scrapping is cool, but hybrid items are REALLY cool to decorate with! Here are some of my newest projects:



I have had this shadow box for about a year and while I always meant to put pictures in it, I never have. Since I have the bad habit of having lots of photos printed and no where to put the extras, I thought this would be a great use for this item. Whenever I have extra prints or other neat paper items, I'll just change out the pictures in the shadow box. Such practical decor! (The tags & metal items are from Hobby Lobby.)



This turned out better than I expected and it has a lot of depth, even for a print. All of the hybrid projects use Miss Mint's stuff, but this has a lot of layering & recoloring because I wanted it to match the house. It's a framed monogram that is now hanging on the picture wall in the hallway. Digitally Scrapped Monograms - you saw it here first! Cute way to fill an extra frame and add some oomph to your wall.

Ugh, I could so use one of those easy wall hangers right now Miss Mint!

Maybe This Week?

So much to do and so little time to do it in. Sheena's wedding is this week and it seems like I talk to her every few hours about some detail or a picture she needs photoshopped last-minute. My holiday to-do list is growing and I'm wondering when I'll get a moment to scrap!

There are lots of new products, including holiday cardboard grunge papers that I have only used once. Here is a layout I did recently. I was trying to see if I could scrap in my old, boring paper style, just to see how it would turn out. Pretty blah, right? I figured a Sick Day LO was the best type of page to do that on! Makes the boys look even more miserable somehow...



I am excited for our family pictures this weekend. I've got some neat things planned for the family pics. Can't wait to have them all done & printed! I'll post 'em whenever they're ready.

Monday, December 10, 2007

A woman's work is never done

If you have tile, you know those annoying splats & drip marks you get that you can see when the sunlight gleams across the surface just right? They're invisible when you're standing right over them but glance along your floor during the late afternoon and it looks like it's been splatter painted with water spots. I hate 'em. I usually wet mop once or twice a week to get up all the grit and *try* to get rid of these splatters but they don't always mop away. Today I finally got sick of it. I broke out the heavy duty yellow scrub brush I bought at ACE hardware for the shower, some rubber gloves and the mop bucket. I also pulled out the citrus scented rubbing alcohol I bought from HEB a couple weeks ago.

Now, really quick, if you have never cleaned with rubbing alcohol, you simply MUST try it. Not only is it nearly as cheap as water, it cuts through grime FAST. I use it on lots of things but it works especially well at getting the dirt film off glass and windows, leaving them so clear it doesn't even look like glass is there. Oh, and try it for polishing anything chrome. Faucets will shine clean & bright, as if you just replaced them with all new fixtures, and mirrors gleam like they did when you first moved in.

Any ways, I mixed up some of the rubbing alcohol (1/2 cup?) with 1/3 mop bucket of warm water. I put Aiden in his high chair with some snacks and started scrubbing. It was quite the workout! I hand scrubbed the large, main traffic area in the living room and hallway plus a majority of the kitchen that had the worst splatters. I dumped the bucket of now dirty water in the hall bath, filled it back up and then rinse-mopped the floor with just my regular sponge mop and the clear water. I flipped on the ceiling fan to let it dry and went to check on Aiden, who had been surprisingly quiet the entire time.

I didn't mention it before, but I gave him the top half of an oreo cookie, with the cream filling scraped off, along with an arrowroot cookie, a couple of Ritz and the usual Cheerio-and-Gerber-Puff mix. (I have begun referring to this as baby trail mix - it's a staple around here.) I came back to find THIS waiting for me in the kitchen:



Yes, ONE oreo cookie half did all this! I don't think he got a crumb of it in his tummy. He just smeared it all over. Even better, Brian, in his superior wisdom of where he thinks things *should* go, had moved my hand and face wipes from under the kitchen sink to under the bathroom sink where they used to reside before we had kids. So I had to haul a cookie-smeared Aiden to his changing table for a wipe-down, leaving a tiny crumb trail across my freshly scrubbed floors. (Seriously Bri, just leave the wipes under the kitchen sink! Please?) I got Aiden wiped down & completely changed then walked back to the living room to examine my back-breaking scrub job.

The floors are gorgeous. Beyond gorgeous. They haven't looked this good yet. The matte finish is flawlessly streak-and-spot free, even in direct sunlight, and I'm frustrated I didn't scrub every single tile in the whole house. The rubbing alcohol & water mix was an amazing cleaner and since I used the citrus scent, the place smells pretty good, too. Aiden is down for a nap and I'm blogging while I let my back recover because I'm about to re-do the entire kitchen and hand scrub every tile in there. I'll do each room on other days and see if I can't finally stay on top of these mystery spots. After that I need to scrub Aiden's bib & tray. I've got them in soapy water, trying to soak off the oreo paste at the moment. Honestly, a woman's work is just never done!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Plague Has Ended!

My boys suddenly seem better this evening, completely out of the blue. Aiden has been much happier and in the mood to play so we opened the ball popper I found on sale at Kohl's and let him play with the box for quite a while before showing him how the popper worked. I thought it would be a harmless ball-and-chute toy. Not so. It's reminiscant of a 1970's pop corn popper gone awry. First of all, the toy takes four D batteries to power the leaf-blower engine. The balls don't just pop out, they launch out in six different directions and scatter under the furniture faster than even Major can move to catch them. (Bad dog.) I had hoped the mild little toy pictured on the box would keep Aiden entertained and kick out a loose ball now and then for him to crawl after. Looks like this toy is more likely going to provide his first lesson on how to duck-and-cover. They should package it with an air raid siren.....

In other news, I am still enjoying the creative team and all the scrapping with free products. (You know how I love free stuff!) Here are a few layouts that I made with the new items:





Oh, and remember the picture of Aiden that I applied my Rugged finish to? Kelsey ordered me a large print and it arrived on Friday. It's GORGEOUS! I absolutely love it! I want to do a whole wall of interesting pictures just like it. Picked up a really neat frame set at Kohl's, too, that should get our wall started. ;) I'll post pictures when I get it all up!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

This is why men never get sick

God took pity on us women by giving men superior immune systems I believe. Brian rarely gets sick, but when he does it's enough to make me crazy. He suddenly turns into a stuffy, miserable little boy who doesn't like any of my ideas (or even hearing my voice for that matter) and who loathes every question I ask. I must endure his whiny pleas for attention in between his general moodiness, all without loosing my patience because he isn't feeling well. If you don't know what I am talking about because you have forgotten what it was like the last time your hubby was sick just wait, the bugs this cold season are exceptionally nasty. Your turn is coming.

I think it's the way Brian turns into a bratty little boy when he's ill that gets me the most. For example, after reading my last blog post on Friday about fingerprints on the back door glass, he came home that evening, scooped Aiden up in his arms and took him directly to the back door for a little saliva finger painting. I am refusing to clean it off this weekend for fear Brian, with this cold that makes him do impulsive, mischevious things, will just have Aiden smear the gleaming glass up all over again. I wish I could tell him NO! and lay him down for a nap all weekend....I did buy the bulk double-pack of Nyquil (you know, the original, full-strength alcohol-laden green stuff) hoping that would do the trick but I've had no such luck. I could just KILL the doctor who saw him on Wednesday and didn't write a perscription. For the love, write him a perscription for something that would knock him unconscious until Sunday at least! RRRRR!

I have retreated to the office, stocked the house with snacks & cookies and am praying this same cold that has plagued Aiden for over a week will hurry up & run its course on Brian so I can have my normal, rational, even-tempered hubby back. (I'd also like my cute, giggling baby back sometime soon but that will take getting over his cold AND that second top tooth breaking through and for tonight, it seems too much to ask for.) Thank goodness I didn't ask him to put up Christmas lights this year.....it's worth having an unlight house to avoid that mess!

Enough blogging, let's see if I can get something scrapped!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Funny What Makes You Happy

After having two sick boys at home these last two days I have to say that for our family, it is best for Bri to go to work while I stay home with the baby. I have much more patience with Aiden when I am home with him and much less patience with Brian when he is at home with me. I never realized how much I enjoyed my alone time with the kiddo during the day. It was nice to have an extra pair of hands around and someone to entertain Aiden but at the same time, it was hard having Brian around to watch my every move on a "regular" day at home. (You know it's true ladies, they want to know what we do all day. And a lot of times they wonder why we don't get more done.)

We had a discussion today about how my life at home is a slow pace but it's also a nearly-unrelenting 24-hour job with little to no "after work down time". I get the evenings after Aiden goes to bed and nap times to do my little hobbies, the projects that need to be done and whatever else is on my to-do list. The rest of it I do with Aiden in tow or screaming as he crawls behind me while I go about my chores...

The funny thing is how happy being at home makes me. Sure, it's repetitive. Feed the baby three meals, two snacks, change six to eight diapers, nurse, unload the dishwasher, vacuum, wipe the tiny finger prints off the glass on the back door for the tenth time this week....but I love it. I have never been happier or more fulfilled. Maybe it's because I can easily squeeze my quiet jewelry & scrapping hobbies in during nap times. Or that we have so many friends close by if I need out of the house for a day. Whatever the reason, I'm really, really happy. Even if I'm just putting away the laundry and cleaning Cheerios off the high chair, same as yesterday. It's a nice feeling and I hope Aiden knows that I love being his mom.


Midnight Madness at Peppermint Creative

Miss Mint is posting the JUMBO Winter Sparkle freebie right now, along with all the brand new goodies. The store upload will be complete around midnight our time and maybe a little sooner. Then tomorrow (Friday) begins the December 20% off sale! Scrap some cute pages and post them on your blog or in the gallery for all to adore!

Here's my winter sparkle LO:


Kelsey (KelseyCallPhotography.com) took the photo during the shoot on Tuesday. LOVE this picture! Now that we're allowed to post our Jinglebell Rock pages, I'll be putting some of those up soon.
Happy Scrapping!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Guess What I Did Today

Aiden & I had a photo shoot! I am beyond thrilled with how the pictures turned out, even though he was being a handful. We did get one breathtaking shot of Aiden's face that is being printed for my house and the grandmas. Probably will see it on Kelsey's website soon, she liked how she captured every fleck of blue in his eyes. I think the one of he and I reflects the exact moment it was taken. I was so happy to be in front of the camera with him, instead of behind it, and Aiden just wanted to crawl off and play!



After several pictures we put Aiden down for a nap and Kelsey did some shots of just me. I was stunned. I am not photogenic - never really have been - and just about every picture she took I think I look great in. Honestly, I haven't had pictures this trendy and cute since my senior year of high school. Here are two of my favorites:




And this is before I have even played with them! I fully intend on doing a magazine-type print with a few of them applying some of my roughed-up photo techniques to others. I didn't post it but there's also a very striking black & white head shot. Too many to choose from! (Notice the bold mix of colors? It really pops in pictures so skip the blah and dress in brights! I wish I had done the whole shoot in fashion combos.) Kelsey, thanks for all the fun this afternoon. You've proven me wrong, I can look good in pictures. But apparently only if you take them!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Full Size Kits for FREE

Did you know Miss Mint gives away one of her full price kits for free to someone who posts a pretty layout in the gallery? Here's the info, copied from PC:

Post your PC creations in our gallery and win a free kit. Each month, one fabulous layout will be selected. If it's yours, you win! Plus your winning layout will be featured in our newsletter!

RULES: Eligible layouts must be created using PC products only. Layouts created using freebies are not eligible. Judging will take place on the last day of each month. Winners will be announced online and in our monthly newsletter the following day and will be personally notified by email and sent their prize.


Very few people actually submit layouts that adhere to the rules, meaning your odds of winning are very high if you submit a darling page and have only used peppermint creative stuff. I want some of my friends to get in on this! Here are some hints if you want to win yourself a free kit at the end of this month:

1. Scrap your page using the newest kit. Pages made with the newest products attract all the attention. Stuff from the current month & previous month are a good bet. Be sure you're only using peppermint creative kits & elements. Just one outside element disqualifies you. (This is why the competition is so thin.)

2. Do NOT use the current freebie or any $2 kits. Freebie kits disqualify you. $2 kits were given away as freebies at one time and often look like you're scrapping with a freebie, which means your layout might be skipped when qualifying layouts are pulled for judging. The bulk of your layout - the background paper especially - needs to be from one of the big kits. (Of course, little items like staples, stars, buttons & bows from PURCHASED $2 kits in the LO are perfectly acceptable!) Bonus if your picture frames are an add-on element, like Miss Mint's Ultimate Frames or Mintage Frames. Throwing in one of the newest elements, like these butterflies are another great way to really stand out. Keep in mind the winning layout is published in the monthly newsletter to inspire other scrappers. New stuff is definately the way to go!

3. Stretch yourself - do something really creative! It has to catch Miss Mint's eye. A beautiful photo with a great clustering of elements always seems to come out on top. For those of you with babies, cute photos of the kids doing something out-of-the-ordinary, like diving into a birthday cake or covered head-to-toe in mud are great. Humor and charm can help you win!

4. Actually upload your layout to the gallery! You can't win if your page isn't there! When you are done scrapping and have saved your work in Photoshop, go to Layer>Flatten Image. Then go to Image>Image Size and size the image to 500 x 500 pixels by entering "500" in the first two white boxes and making sure the word "pixel" is selected from the drop down menu beside it. Click ok. Photoshop will resize. Now save this image using a different name, like My Layout_Gallery.jpg

5. Credit EVERYTHING - list out the items and actually type that every element is from Peppermint Creative. Miss Mint recognizes her own stuff but if you have recolored a background paper from navy blue to hot pink, it may not look like a PC product under all the pictures & embellishments. Better safe than sorry. Credit everything down to the staples and paperclips! There is space to list these items when you upload your layout.


Have fun scrapping - see if you can get a page done AND win something new and yummy! Don't be shy. This last month there were about 4 layouts that would have qualified. You only have to out-scrap a teensy number of people! I want to see my friends listed as winners and their pages next to mine in the newsletter!

Mondays...

Dear Credit Card Companies and Junk Mailers:

Thank you for your constant stream of litter-ature that I find every afternoon in my mail box. Your perserverance will likely not earn you my business, but the waste of paper does occasionally provide me a moment of peace so that I can make my toast and eat my yogurt in three minutes of blissful silence, knowing the offers I don't want are being thoroughly drenched and shredded.



Aiden loves junk mail & print ads. He goes slightly stiff and his movements become a bit jerky with excitement and anticipation when I approach him with papers that are glossy and gorgeously colored. As soon as he can get his anxious little hands on the pages, they go straight to his mouth and after a good soak, are either chewed (for mom to find bits of) or ripped, to hear that glorious noise. I don't think you can blame a mother for just wanting a few minutes to eat breakfast without an eight-month-old sticking his fingers in her food.

In other news, Aiden has started to pull up on things. I set him down in his crib this morning - the only safe place I can leave my little cord chewer these days - and I came back to find that he had pulled up to a kneeling position. Time to lower the mattress! He is working at pulling up on the couch but the tile is slippery and since he's very cautious by nature, he hasn't started cruising yet. We'll see. These things happen so quickly. It was just last week that he pulled up on a window sill at Kelsey's and now he does it all the time. So funny how things just seem to change over night!

Oh, and he's temporarily stopped eating baby food as well as before. I don't know if it's because he is sick or if it is because he's suddenly gotten very good at feeding himself Gerber Fruit Puffs & Cheerios and only wants to eat what he can put in his mouth himself. Not worth fighting over, I just let him eat what he wants. A little wasted baby food is no big deal. I bought him some new freeze dried fruits & veggies so he can have more fun practicing and hopefully get some of the nutrients Cheerios may be lacking...

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Scrap-a-holic

Just finished my layout's for the Jinglebell Rock kit due out at the shop this Wednesday. There are several new Christmas stamps and a new alpha coming, along with pre-made Christmas cards. The cards are nice, almost as good as having something custom made. At least your card won't look the same as everyone ordering from Snapfish or Shutterfly! Or, God forbid, Wal-Mart...

Aiden is still sick and Brian has caught his same rough cough. That's one of the reasons I didn't get any scrapping done or any blog posts up until this evening. I've been taking care of my boys! I also had to teach the lesson at church today. It went really well. The subject I was given had the potential to be fairly boring but we got a bit off topic and I ended up enjoying how the discussions went.

Well, Aiden woke up and is in the mood to play. I can hear him babbling "Mama" in the living room. Gonna go have some fun with him before he has to go back to sleep! (We're all such kids around here.) Really excited about the cold front tomorrow, too.

I'll post the new layouts as soon as we're allowed!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Extra, Extra!

Miss Mint gave us Mint Chicks the Christmas kit late last night and WOW is it cool! The colors are red, hot pink, light pink and lime green with the most amazing pink ornament paper! If you have girls you're going to LOVE the light pink on hot pink floral toile paper that comes in the kit. The elements are filled to the brim with all the best, including an adorable gingerbread man and whimsical christmas trees! Not to mention the coolest button wreath I have ever seen! And of course, STARS! Boy are there ever a lot of cute paper stars!

Even better, there are several new christmas elements. My favorite is the new Magnetic Poetry with more holiday word strips than I could ever use!

Our layouts aren't due until Monday so I don't know if the kit will launch this weekend or if it won't be until next week. Keep an eye on Miss Mint's blog to see if there's a sneak peek and info on when the new kit and the new freebie will be up. (I haven't seen the new freebie but I heard it's going to be wintery!)

Taking Aiden to the doctor at 9 am for this horrible, phlegmy cough he has and then he's coming home for a nap so I can scrap! Glad I have until Monday....she wants several things from each of us for a big, fat newsletter. I can't wait to start playing!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sick Baby = House Arrest

Aiden is sick with his second cold in a week AND he's getting both top teeth at the same time. That's probably why he cried for about 5 hours straight last night. I don't know how parents with colicy babies do it. Usually he quits crying when he's held but last night he screamed, even in my arms. Today he's developed a bad cough and threw up all over the carpet in the office while I was trying to look up his symptoms online to see if we needed to visit the doctor. He got an outfit change and just went down for another nap but I'm sure he's going to wake up famished. I scrubbed his entire lunch out of the carpet...poor baby.

I wish I had something more interesting going on. I filled a jewelry order, downloaded all the Thanksgiving pictures to the computer and scrapped a new frame for the picture column on the right during Aiden's earlier nap. Pretty boring day, stuck here at home with a grouchy, sick kiddo!

I'm posting this one bigger so you can see it. I think this is one of the cutest pictures of his little face!


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

More Picture Tricks

I just can't stop making these! I think I should probably convert these into overlays so I can just slap them on a picture instead of doing all ten or twelve steps to get these images to look this way....the Beachy effect was 30 steps! Yes, THIRTY!




Beachy


Brassy Tone


Urban Green & Grungy

Brian said his favorite is still the rugged style that we're having printed. Mine, too. :) Now I just need to get scrapping with my funky new pictures! Still can't wait for the new christmas stuff.

Playday

Today is a playday! I know yesterday probably sounded like a playday, what with the party and all, but I spent nearly all afternoon cleaning up the chaos so it wasn't much more than another housecleaning day. Aiden and I need some down time so as soon as his morning nap is over, we're going for a walk.

Meanwhile, I can't stop inventing new photo finishes! These are SO fun! Here are a few more I have been playing with. This is the original again for comparison:




Defog Technique


Dark Chocolate Tint


Rugged Finish


The rugged is by far my favorite! I LOVE the blue tint with the blackish gray grit over the top. Totally my own custom mix - I don't think I have ever seen blue tinted photos with grunge. (Remember what I said about being original instead of copying? See, it works!!) I'm having this printed large for Aiden's room and plan on adding other roughed up photos to it. What a perfect boyish look!

I need to quit playing with pictures and get all the christmas cards & birth announcements done. Then it will be the end of the month and I'll have new scrap stuff that I need to get layouts done with.....so much fun! I really like my hobby. :) Brian, thanks for taking care of Aiden last night. It was so nice to come in the office after dinner and play until bed time. I love you!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Show Off!

Kelsey got a gorgeous card/photo in the mail a few weeks ago of a baby girl done in a cool looking colored sepia photo finish. (Why does Kelsey get all the inspiring mail? I get nothing but junk ads...) Any ways, she asked if I could figure out how to do it. I told her I could and when she asked about it again today, I sat down & whipped out some new fun photo effects. You can never have enough, especially when scrapping! This is the original:


Chocolate Finish

Colored Sepia


Worn & Weathered Colored Sepia

I used my new weathering trick to rough up the colored sepia photo. Kind of cool. Can you believe we're actually TRYING to get our photos to look old? My grandmother is freaking out about my dad's baby pictures and how they're aging and I'm attempting to get Aiden's baby pictures to look as vintage & fabulous. The grass is always greener, isn't it? LOL!

Okay, off to bed! I'm beat!

New Tricks

I finally got one nap time to play in photoshop with some of the new tricks I have learned. Way, way, way back in early summer I stumbled upon a website that had the most GORGEOUS grunged out photos. I was totally in love! I immediately tried to do my own scratchy photo aging but to no avail. I have been playing with techniques off and on until very recently it clicked and I can do it!





And these aren't even the GOOD ones! Of course, no sooner do I figure out how to do this edgy, super-unique photo treatment than I find messy, dirty, splattered edges showing up EVERYWHERE! Oh, well. I guess the only way to have something orginal is to BE original!

Will Post More, Promise!

I'm having a party in the house this morning so I can't write much but I did want to mention, for my out-of-state scrapping friends, that Miss Mint is brewing up some great holiday stuff so start watching her site towards the end of this week for the promised big freebie and all the new goodies!

I swear I will write more and post some pictures and new LO's! Check back soon!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Funny Video

The link below is to a SNL skit video that I just love! I'm sure you all have heard of Penelope. If not, here she is in all her glory:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2378t_snl-penelope

Is that not a riot?!! It just cracks me up! Brian has been bugging me to post a video on here because every once in a while I'll suddenly start speaking like her and playfully one-up everything he says. Don't forget to twirl the ends of your hair if you decide to impersonate her, too!

Hot Off The Press!

There's going to be a Black Friday sale at Peppermint Creative! One day only and I don't know what the discount will be but the new Hanukkah kit will be released - which has a great religion-neutral paper pack - and some GORGEOUS new cutesy butterfly elements are being added, too! They're adorable little mesh winged butterflies with silver wire wrapped bodies and a touch of glitter on the wing tips. Really crafty & whimsical looking! The set has them in several colors, including pink, purple & lime green!

I'll keep you posted on the sale info as I get it. Be sure to watch Miss Mint's blog, she usually will put sneak peeks and sale details there first.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Just Another Monday

Aiden can crawl but that hasn't stopped the screaming. He's resorted to VERY loud yells any time I walk "too far" away from him. The too far part changes by the hour, depending on how recent his last nap was. It could be five feet or five inches. Even worse, he's started fussing in my arms when I shift his weight and he *thinks* I'm about to set him down. All the crying is just too much for my ears to take! I give in and end up playing on the floor with him, looking around at all the little things I'd like to get done and counting down to his next nap.

I started packing for us today. Weather.com says it's going to be freezing the whole time we're in Granbury and the wind chill around the lake is even colder than the actual air temperatures. The daytime high will be in the 50's the entire time we're in town. I'm so excited about the cold weather! Tomorrow I'm going to try to pick up a cute new long sleeved something to wear while I'm up there. Still kind of in between sizes. My skinny size 6 stuff doesn't fit from 2 winters ago and neither does my huge maternity stuff from last year. It seems like I'm always filling in gaps in my wardrobe, only to find more gaps....oh, well. Aiden is dropping daytime nursing sessions left & right and I've lost weight this week because of it and had my libido return. (Brian is loving that part!) Now I just can't wait to have my body be all mine again!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Random Things

I just have to brag. I got an e-mail yesterday about being on another Creative Team. I was so flattered! Unfortunately I'm a bleeding-heart loyalist and have already been spoiled by using the most crisp & perfectly printable digital scrap stuff there is, so I decided I would remain exclusive to Miss Mint's team. (Her stuff is SO GOOD!) Still, I can't tell you how much that e-mail made my day!

In other news, Aiden got a new car seat this weekend in preparation for our big holiday road trips. It looks like it was ripped straight out of the first class section of a 767 and is by far the plushest thing his bum has ever touched! Doesn't matter, he still hates car seats. I'm sadly bidding farewell to the easy days of clipping his infant carrier into shopping carts and my favorite little stroller for fast outings. Grocery shopping next week will be loads of fun, now that he's going to be able to grab items out of the cart and reach the coupons where I keep them in the little tray that the HEB carts have up near the handle bars.

I guess the biggest event this weekend is that Aiden is officially crawling! He started last night at the football party and just took off! He's 7 months (about to be 8) and he's up on all fours. It's fun to watch him, although I wasn't expecting him to crawl for another month. Oh well, lock up the cupboards! My mom and all her fancy, breakable decorations are in for a real treat this week! LOL!

Before I go, here is a LO I finished using the new "bright grunge" trend. I've been seeing just a few things in the DigiShopTalk gallery like it but basically, you scrap grunge style but instead of dirty browns, blacks, grays & greens you substitute bright colors for the dirt & smudges on things. Notice the Cardboard Grunge background paper? I just can't quit using them!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Productive Day

My mom was in town yesterday to see Aiden. We went to lunch and then stopped in at my favorite local boutique to do some shopping for the more difficult people on our list. They had some really cute stuff and candles 50% off that I might have to go back & get...

When we got back to the house mom surprised Aiden with a box full of wooden toy sets by Melissa & Doug. He was happy to have something new to play with but I was surprised because everything she gave him was what she had told me he was getting for Christmas. I asked her why she gave him the early gift and she admitted that she had bought him a lot for Christmas already (that she didn't tell me about) and that everyone else had fun shopping for him, too, and she was worried we wouldn't be able to fit all his new toys in the car for the ride home - let alone our gifts, too. WHAT! Apparently everyone in the family and extended family was so excited to have someone to buy toys for, since Sheena is the last one that got toys and she's now 23, that they all went toy shopping for Aiden. I immediately had visions of Brian spending hours trying to pack the car, lashing toys to the roof of the Xterra and trying to rent a U-Haul the day after Thanksgiving. Now I am feeling extra nervous about how we're going to get all our stuff home. I'm going to have to be careful when packing, we have to travel light! And that's just getting it home, where are we going to put all this stuff in our modest little house???

Any ways, Aiden went to bed early after all the excitement and I finished a layout:



This uses Miss Mint's Cardboard Grunge papers and the leaves from October Rust. I REALLY like combining these two items! I can't wait for the new holiday stuff to come out!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I have a style!!!

I found descriptions of digi scrapping styles on a website the other day and I'm proud to say I'm a BLENDY! Basically this means I use odds & ends from lots of different kits to create very unique, sometimes super-cluttered pages. I started a poll on the right so you can tell me your scrapping style, too!

The house is straight, fall cleaning is done and I'm back in the saddle and doing LO's:



This is Aiden's first lick of an ice cream cone. I know every mom has a thousand messy ice cream pictures but these were so funny to us! Especially how he kept opening his mouth SO wide to let me know he wanted more. He's so expressive!

I wish I could say I had more interesting things going on but I don't. I "helped" Kelsey today decide which of her forty thousand gorgeous new pictures should go on her website and then stayed at her house because everyone kept dropping by. (Her house is the hang out place. Totally baby-proof and the twins will entertain ANY kiddo, even Aiden!) Random get-togethers are fun for us mommies!

Monday, November 12, 2007

No Scrapping, Just Housecleaning!

How boring am I? Not a single page scrapped in three days! That's okay, my house has come back together nicely and I'm doing some serious fall cleaning that is making the place look great. (Ever scrubbed all your baseboards? I did this week!)

Also today I have been filling bracelet orders not only for my webstie but also for Alisha Ashton's website, Small but Splendid. She sells GORGEOUS blessing gowns & outfits and now, my bracelets! I have to admit that I thought we would only get one or two orders a month from her site but this week, her sales are keeping pace with my site's! Way to go Alisha! What is really funny is how different the product sales are. Of COURSE the pink chocolate is the best-seller on both our sites right now. It always is in the fall. Oddly enough, Alisha is selling tons of the cotton candy swirl on her site while I continue to sell a completely random mix of other bracelets that seems to change every week. (Although the candy sprinkles bracelet and the purple bracelets are picking up!) It's been really nice to have the "trends" from both sites!

This month is zooming by. We leave in 10 days to go to my parent's place on the lake for Thanksgiving and I don't have a single gift wrapped. (We're doing Christmas at the same time.) When I get home I have to find a place to stash all the gifts because I'm hosting a lunch for our new mom's group the very next day and then the holiday kits will be out and I'll have pages to scrap. Then my sister is getting married December 14 and thank goodness it's here in Houston but that will be a Thursday-through-Sunday kind of deal and then we leave for Christmas with Brian's family in Oklahoma. CRAZY!

Oh, and somewtime after Christmas while it's still cold I simply MUST have Kelsey take our family pictures. The stuff she has been cranking out is magazine-worthy and STUNNING!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Holidays!!!

I love the holidays! Thanksgiving is next week and I'm actually looking forward to the trip - maybe because we're also doing Christmas at the same time? Mostly I enjoy seeing my siblings and my dad is always hilarious at the holidays. Aiden will have a lot of fun out at the lake and since my mom has been shopping for him since August, he's sure to make out like a bandit!

Unfortunately not all my Christmas shopping is done. I have a few more people to shop for and some jewelry gifts I need to get made....and very little time to do it in!

This weekend was fun for us. We had a birthday party yesterday and then we went to Babies R Us to pick up some new goodies and items to baby-proof the house. Brian has projects to do now and he loves it! I got just a touch of scrapping done, too. Here's the birthday girl:



This is Adalyn, one of Aiden's playmates. Diana threw an adorable hot pink party for her and Addy LOVED her cake! It was the cutest thing ever! I'm so greatful for my group of friends. I am so lucky to have so many other moms close by and Aiden is lucky to have so many children his age to enjoy being with!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Friday

Yesterday was a great day! I ran errands in the morning (the weather was gorgeous!), grocery shopped around noon, came home & unloaded everything, cleaned, had the carpet re-attached, cleaned some more and made our favorite salad for dinner. A very productive day! Unfortunately Brian caught some sort of stomach bug and went to bed at 8 something last night only to wake up around 11 throwing up. No fun for him. Or me - I didn't really get an evening break but luckily Aiden wasn't too bad and Brian took him all this morning so I could get a little extra sleep.

Any ways, while Brian was snoozing, I scrapped a couple pictures of him holding Aiden when he was just a few hours old:



I like how boyish but sweet this page looks. I used a bunch of different kits and everything mixed quite well.

We're off to a birthday party this afternoon!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Peeing Picasso

Aiden's mischevious personality is starting to show through. This afternoon I was busy dusting and putting decor items back when I noticed Aiden's diaper needed to be changed. I got his diaper off but like every 7 month old, the changing table is a battle trying to keep Aiden from flipping over and off. Sometimes I let him flip over towards the window and look out, which is exactly what I let him do while I wrapped his diaper & tossed it in the pail. Five seconds, right? I flipped him back over to find a big wet spot on the terry cloth cover and an even larger pool of pee on the wood dresser top! He must have leaked a full cup! I quickly dressed Aiden then placed him on the floor in the kitchen with a Gerber wagon wheel fruit puff to eat while I went back to get the pee-soaked cloth cover & his laundry to wash. I got everything in the washer pretty quick and looked over to see that he had army-crawled over by "Brian's Chair", which is up against the half wall in our kitchen, and was painting the wall with the soggy, wet gerber puff! What a handful!

No pictures of all of this but I did have to call Brian and laugh! I'm afraid we're going to have to touch-up paint Aiden's first masterpiece...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

It is finished...

The crew finished grouting last night around 7 and it looks great! Here are some quick pictures:


Now there is just cleaning to do. Boy did the house get dusty and boy did I underestimate the time it would take to clean. Last night I started in the entry way, expecting to have everything wiped down in about 25 minutes. A little over an hour later I had barely worked my way into the front hall by the mirror. Every inch of the door moulding, door facing, base boards and light switch plates have to be wiped free of dust. It's so time consuming to get it as clean as I want! I rubbed my finger tips raw just doing that one small area. It's going to be a fun day, let me tell you...

To make matters worse Aiden has either been spoiled by attention from us over the last few days or he is uncharacteristically clingy today. Either way, he hasn't really quit fussing all morning since Brian left. I mopped him a clean place in the living room and laid down three thick floor blankets on top of each other to make a soft play area. I set him down with lots of toys and his learning puppy (which sings to him) and thought he would be content to play while I cleaned. NOPE! He wailed. He has to be right by me. Of all the days, I don't need this today!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Now he sees!

For just a moment today, after Aiden had been awoken from sleep too soon for the second time by the sound of the tile saw, Brian realized that maybe taking care of the baby all day really is an all-day thing. I will admit that circumstances were unusual and by this afternoon Aiden just needed his crib and some quiet but it wasn't coming. He wouldn't let us put him down so Brian and I spent the whole day passing him off to each other and rotating walks & errands out with him. I usually have one bad day like this every 7-10 days, because that's generally how often he is teething, completely refuses to nap or is sick!

My days aren't always quite this crazy but at least Brian has gotten to see why I am so scheduled about naps and why some days nothing visible gets done around the house. I wasn't kidding the other day when I simply told Brian, who asked what I had accomplished during the day, that I "prevented nuclear war". That little blondie of mine has a way of melting down and exploding faster than anything we dropped on Japan! I love him so much, Brian too, but I genuinely spend most of my days trying to keep him from screaming, trying to get some baby food in him and praying for a little free time in between when I can recharge my self and maybe do enough around the house to keep me out of trouble! There is always room for improvement, though, and I would like to be better about a few things.

Any ways, I did get another page scrapped this afternoon while there was no cleaning to do!



The tile is coming along quickly. They are almost done laying. The entry and part of the hallway need to be finished and it's ready to grout. We have been able to walk in the kitchen and living room tonight and see how the tile looks under our feet and around the house. I'm totally in love with it! Really, I don't think I could be happier. It looks so much like stone! The pattern is awesome, too. I haven't ever seen a staggered joint lay with 1/8 grout lines. It's very unique and adds a lot of personality to the house, which has begun to feel more formal as the floor has been laid. I'm so anxious to get the furniture back in and start living on it!

And Kelsey, thanks for the impromtu dinner party tonight! It really is fun to come over and hang out with friends. We owe you - Brian is going to make that famous chilli of his and we'll have everyone over! Did I mention we are baby-proofing when we move furniture back in? Hopefully the place will finally be ready for a ton of babies and we can relax and enjoy a nice meal!

SO BORED!

For once there is nothing to clean and of course, I feel like cleaning. Even better, I COULD actually scrap all day long and really, I don't know if I feel like it. I'm sure I'll kick myself later for passing up the opportunity!

The dust settled last night, leaving a fine layer over everything from the front door to our master bedroom. I think I may need more than one pack of the orange scented dusting cloths... If you've never used them, they're awesome! Not only do they smell good, but citrus scents lift your spirits and actually make you want to clean. Especially lemon and grapefruit scents. Orange makes you feel the happiest, though. (Want to have a productive weekend? Burn citrus scented oils or candles.) Just a little psychology tip there for ya! Now Brian is going to want to know why I don't have citrus oils going all the time...

I finally finished the title page to Aiden's scrap book. The original has his birth date & weight but I didn't think the whole world needed all that info!



The crew is back and tile is progressing quickly, row by row. They usually work from 9 am to 6:30 or 7 at night and the guys are saying everything should be laid today. I'll be thrilled if they can finish laying today and grout tomorrow. I also love how careful they are being. Every row is measured, chalk-lined and checked before they lay. Each tile has several spacers and then when they do the next row, they re-measure, snap a new chalk-line and double check all over again. I'm very impressed. Humble Carpet will get our business again! I'm really wanting to do wood floors in our office. Kels, let's see if we can get a discount and do ours together!

Monday, November 5, 2007

If you wanna see...


This is what the tile looks like! I know folks that aren't in Houston want to see it, grouted or not. We LOVE it! This tile is a bit dirty - the whole house is a construction zone - but this is what I mean about it looking like stone. It's meant to look like the Noce shade of Travertine and some of the deeper colored limestones but it's twice as hard and stain-resistant. We even did the smaller 1/8 inch grout lines to enhance the stone look. I can't tell you how pleased I am! I'm always so worried about big color choices like this but really, it's looking much more beautiful than I had imagined!

It's looking like everything will be finished by Thursday and we can start moving things back in. (At this moment Brian is playing video games in the garage, he's got the TV hooked up right where it is amongst all the kitchen & living room furniture!) We'll see how it goes tomorrow when we actually get "tiled out" of the hall and the rest of the rooms....

Update

The crew was here around 9:30 am and began demo, which only took a few hours. By noon this is what the house looked like:




Can you tell I have been cramped up in one of two rooms all day with very little to do? The title is symbolic of all the CRAP we found under the carpet and baseboards! Lots of nails and a few other odds & ends. There were even some M&M's under the washer & dryer.....I did take advantage of the opportunity to sweep and vacuum up all the debris. I feel much better having it gone! Any ways, that's what our house looks like with no floors. Brian, Aiden and I had a pic nic on the slab in the kitchen and ate Sonic burgers while the crew went back to pick up the tile and to have some lunch of their own. As of right now tile is going in the living room and kitchen. I can't wait!!!

Just waiting...

As soon as Brian walked out the door at 6:30 this morning Aiden woke up. So I got up, fed him and finished all the little details for the floor demo today. It's barely after 8 am, Aiden is down for a nap and I embellished a picture that I snapped of the empty house to pass the time. I guess we're finally baby proofed!!



Now we just sit back, wait and hope things go quickly and as planned!

P.S. As of yesterday, Brian and I have been together for 8 years! (Although married for only 6.) Gosh how time flies!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

2 in a row

Aiden surprised us by popping that second bottom front tooth today in church. He sure was a handful and LOUD! I didn't hear hardly any of Brian's lesson. Two teeth in 24 hours? No wonder he's been an animal lately! I'm really hoping this new fussy, clingy behavior of his was all teeth cause I want my sweet, laughing Aiden back.
I haven't even touched photoshop today. We got home from church, made dinner and promptly moved everything out of all the main areas of the house. I can't wait for tile but the prep work is ridiculous! So strange to have to move out of your house just for floors. Any way, I'm armed and ready with swiffer dusters and orange scented cloths for some serious fall cleaning after all this is done. It's sure to kick up a ton of dust but I think in the end tile will be much better than the builder-grade carpet. (Did I mention we picked a gorgeous stone-look porcelain that we're having pattern-laid? This floor could stand up to nuclear war and still look designer! I'll post pics when it's all done.)

I feel like I can't go another day without posting a LO so here are some old ones:


Hmmm....my style has improved. Well, that's why I haven't scrapped everything in order! But I guess I can't help it - his book will get better as I go along. Let's just hope it's not too obvious!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Toothy Grin

No one will care but Brian and I - still, we're SO excited that Aiden has cut his first tooth! That little thing has caused us so much trouble this week, I'm glad it finally broke through! I was very surprised to feel it when I stuck my finger in Aiden's mouth earlier this morning. It's small and sharp - exactly what I needed while breastfeeding!

Brian got to have a play day and we have some new plants in the back yard but no scrapbook pages got done so there's no pretty pictures to post.

Cool Link: OptOutPrescreen.com
Get your name off those credit card mailing lists so you don't have to worry about shredding those offers up or one little envelope falling into the wrong hands. Great resource. And for those worry warts out there, it's legitimate and recommended on the FTC website.

All-Night PC Party!

Yeah, it's after 1:30 am and I'm up chatting online with the other Chicks about all the new stuff on Peppermint Creative and helping out with small, last-minute details. I really like debut night!
Okay, my blog tips are up on Miss Mint's Blog: http://www.peppermintcreative.com/blog/


The 30% off sale is going on, too and so is the raffle! Check the blog - every time you spend $10 you get entered into the drawing for gift cards. Miss Mint rarely does this so take advantage of it!

Can you tell I'm really addicted to this scrap stuff? I couldn't have picked a better screen name! For anyone who wants to start, these favorite kits of mine are WELL worth the $1.40 sale price: