Saturday, August 29, 2009

This week’s LOs

I keep trying to plug away at the Savannah vacation photos. One day I will get this album completed! SavannahRiverwalk_9-19-08 SavannahRiverwalk_9-19-08-1SavannahRiverwalk_9-19-08-2

journaling: I took an abbreviated tour of the guidebook’s Riverwalk by starting in the middle of their route, since that was where I happened to be. My first indication that I was getting near the river was the Port Society’s house with the bell. I stopped to take a brief look at the Pirate’s House- one of Savannah’s well-known restaurants for its atmosphere. Then, I ventured to Emmett Park with it’s Harbor Light and anchors and then down to the water. The 1996 Olympic Yachting Cauldron reminds people of when the Olympic flame was lit in Savannah for the games, and The Waving Girl statue of Florence Martus (1869-1943) who would welcome arriving boats and sailors standing on the riverfront waving a white cloth. The rest of the riverfront neighborhood is filled with shops selling souvenirs, clothing, art, candy and lots of bars offering a party. The city water taxis offer free rides to the conference center across the river and to various stops along the river. Occasionally a big commercial boat will move silently by reminding everyone that a busy port is just up the river.
Along the Beach, Along the Beach Addon (blog freebie), Secrets of the Past (grass), Mixed Stitches 2 by Manuella Zimmerman at; Curlies Alpha by Birgit Kerr at; Template 64 by Yin Designs; brick from my photos
fonts: TXT Longhand, CK Journaling Condensed


journaling: The Lady and Sons was one of the restaurants that I really wanted to eat at during this trip. The lines that formed every day at the door starting at lunch time were a bit intimidating, so we put off going until our last day. We stopped by the restaurant at noon and with a wait of over an hour for a table, we opted instead for a reservation for the first sitting at dinner. We were seated on the third floor and asked right away for the Southern Buffet. Everything was delicious, and a wonderful change from all of the seafood we had eaten the rest of the trip. We rolled out the door later so full we couldn’t eat another bite.
credits: from
Clippity Snippets by Lorie Davison, Everything But the Kitchen Sink-Encore by Maya, Itty Bitty Paper Circles by Birgit Kerr, Vintage Antiquities: Rustic Elements (chicken wire) and Vintage Antiquities: Shabby Elements (lace and doilie) by Jen Ulasiewicz, Worn overlays by Manuella Zimmerman; photo frames from Template 19 by Yin Designs; smaller photos and menu from the Lady and Sons website,
fonts: Typewriter

and a little trip back in time to my own first grade days with Pixel Works’ new School Girl kit.


journaling: I attended a small private school located on 21st street, where I had also gone to kindergarten. I remember the first grade classroom being located on the second floor with windows that looked out over the playground area. My mom says I didn’t like school there much this at desks and being told to be quiet. I was more curious than most of the kids and the teaching style didn’t suit me very well. I went to a house across the street after school for daycare until my parents got off work. I remember playing in the backyard with the other kids and looking forward to when the honeysuckle bushes on the back fence would be in bloom. I learned to tie my shoes sitting on the back stairs.
credits: School Girl and School Girl Addon (dot alpha) by Pixel Works at; wordart by Ali Edwards
fonts: TXT Romanesque, CK Becky


journaling: You made it to first grade, Brenna! It’s been a couple of weeks now, and I think you are doing pretty well. The first week was a bit rough as you weren’t used to the new schedule and with the added stress of the dance auditions there were some difficult evenings. You seem to have settled in just fine now though. You are learning and making new friends, and already Mrs. Price is telling me how sweet and helpful you are. I think it will be an exciting year for you, and I can’t wait to see all that you will learn in the months to come!
Hello School and Hello School Wordart and Stamps by Baers Garten at scrapbookgraphics; Date It: Chrome by Arisu at scrapbookgraphics; PMP Challenge Template 14 at PeppermintCreative
fonts: Natural Script, Ticket Capitals Impressed

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pixel Works Layouts

I have a new Creative Team! Michelle Godin is back in the designing biz as Pixel Works, and I was happy to get a spot on her new creative team last week. Here are the first LOs I’ve done with her new things, which are available at her store at

credits: by Pixel Works at Best Buddies - Full Kit by PixelWorks, Sunshiney Day- collab with Rachel Young, Tiny Dymo Alpha by PixelWorks, Spring and Summer Wordbits by PixelWorks; La Paperie templates 14-17 by Baers Garten at;  fonts: Pink Flamingo

Bryce and I have a tradition that when we go to pick up his schedule for the new year that I bring my camera along and spend a few minutes taking some portrait shots.

Bryce_8thGrade_7-28-09  credits: Funky Junky Old School by Pixel Works, Rachel Young and Kate Hadfield at; Matties Curlers by Corina Nielsen at; fonts: TXT Scribbletti

I think Sarah and I are off to the mall this morning. I have a bridal shower to attend next weekend and I need to get a gift. Mark is home sick from work again today, and I have a feeling that if I put off venturing out to find a gift then I will end up sick and not able to go out to do it next week. So, today it is while I only have one child to take with me. I spent yesterday evening after dinner out shopping with the kids- Bryce needed new pants and gym clothes, and all three of the older kids had money they wanted to spend. So, the twins spent a good hunk of their birthday money on a Hannah Montana The Movie BlueRay DVD, 2 Webkinz animals and a couple of Littlest Pet Shop animal sets.  Bryce spent a little of his lawn-mowing money on some Pokemon cards he wanted.

I spent some time yesterday afternoon getting all of the calendars updated since Bryce brought home a schedule for jazz band practices before school. The twins have joined the ‘honor choir’ at school, which they are able to do because it meets in the mornings before school. Between jazz band, honor choir, and trying to keep track of whether it is a band or spanish day (those two classes alternate every other day this year- that is a whole ‘nother post/rant), and if Brenna has school or not since the elementary students have quite a few days off the middle doesn’t, the calendar is getting pretty cluttered. After labor day all of the dance classes for the year will be in full swing too, so it will get even more hectic around here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Making Rainbow Cupcakes for Beth & Carissa

For Beth and Carissa’s birthday  on the 13th Sarah helped me make Colorburst Cupcakes while the older kids were at school. I saw the recipe mentioned at The Daily Digi a while back and had bookmarked it for future use. It was definitely more involved than we usually get with cake, and a lesson in patience for Sarah as we had to wait periodically for things to cool down and warm up, and then of course the ultimate test was waiting until after dinner to eat them! Sarah definitely loves cupcakes!


credits: Life In Technicolor and addon, staples from County Fair by Dani Mogstad at SweetShoppeDesigns; fonts: SP You've Got Mail

and here are a few more pictures of the completed creations, just because I think they turned out so pretty. They sure were yummy too! Sarah’s favorite part of the whole process, other than licking the beaters, was putting the sprinkles on the cupcakes at the end.

 2009_0813_RainbowCupcakes-27 2009_0813_RainbowCupcakes-34 2009_0813_RainbowCupcakes-49 2009_0813_RainbowCupcakes-542009_0813_B&C-11thbirthday-17 2009_0813_B&C-11thbirthday-162009_0813_B&C-11thbirthday-15 

more birthday pictures to come later!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Brenna is in First Grade

It’s hard to believe that she is in first grade and going to school all day! The long days were difficult the first week, but I think she is getting used to it- at least the second week went better than the first.


credits: Academic Overload by Saxon Holt and Tracy Monette at
Elementary School Papers, Elementary School Charms, Essay Titles, Ruled Alpha, Frame Up, Make The Grade, Preppy Priscilla Papers, School Papers Lined, School Ties
template (freebie) by Chrissy W at digitalfreebies
fonts: SP You've Got Mail

and she has had her first big homework assignment- decorating a doll to look like her and then picking out three things that she is good at that she can share with her classmates on Wednesday next week. She said she was good at ballet, doing puzzles, and making her own breakfast.


journaling: Brenna’s first homework assignment of 1st Grade was to decorate the doll to look just like her. She got a little bit of help from Mama with the hair, dress and shoes, but she did all of the coloring and pasting by herself.
credits: Academic Overload by Saxon Holt and Tracy Monette at scrapbook-elements: 
School Mattes, School Pattern Papers, First Day Outfits, Supply Me, Ruled Alpha, Preppy Priscilla Papers, Elementary Strings, Teacher I Spilled, Alpha Male, Color Crayons
Scrappable Template 45 by Tiffany Tillman at LittleDreamerDesigns
fonts: CK Handprint

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Is 13 an unlucky year?

You know how bad things seem to come in groups? Bryce turned 13 and this summer seems to be the time that the things we own are all breaking. And no, I’m not saying that in any way Bryce is responsible for any of this LOL
So far this year we have had to put money into:
*My old HP laptop processor went out. We had already ordered me the new one by the time Mark got lucky and his guess of getting a new processor sorted out the problems it was having.
*Brakes on the Corolla, and evidently now one of the brake lights is out, our neighbor informed me after I got back from the grocery store last evening. Mark isn’t sure if it is actually the bulbs that are burned out or if something with the wiring is wrong.
*The power window motor on the front passenger side of the van needed to be replaced. The lock on the sliding door on that side has ‘issues’ from time to time too. The tires on the van need to be replaced.
*The gate into the backyard had to be completely rebuilt. Mark was tired of trying to shore it up, so he just started completely over with a new metal frame that will hopefully stand up to the kids running in and out of it all of the time.
*The television in the family room was giving off its final gasps Sunday morning, so Mark took that opportunity to run out and buy a big new flat screen. He had been wanting one for a while, but I kept saying no as the one we had worked- until yesterday. That of course meant he had to rearrange the room, which meant moving the old TV cabinet upstairs to Brenna and Sarah’s room, and that meant I spent the afternoon cleaning things up. Organization skills do not come to my children naturally, unfortunately, and I spent most of my time sorting the toys out and collecting them from all over the house to sort some more. I’ve got more work to do in the family room too, as now there is a bunch of scrapbook supplies that were tucked under the table the TV is sitting on that need a new home. A wall mount for the TV has been ordered, and I’m not sure how exactly the room is going to be arranged in the end. That complicates getting things put up before the twins’ birthday/slumber party Friday night.
*Our phone stopped working yesterday afternoon. Thankfully the internet was still working, but we had no dial-tone at all. We had to call the phone company for a repair ticket. (Exactly how people without a cell phone accomplish that is a mystery!)  The problem was outside our house, so it didn’t cost us anything. All of the rain we have been having evidently shorted out the line in the junction box. The major junction box for our house is in our neighbor’s back yard, buried – which it evidently shouldn’t be.  The phone company was supposed to put it on a pedestal of some sort during the house construction and it never did, she said. Our neighbor has been having troubles with her phone line too, so it is something that needs to be taken care of. Exactly who is responsible for getting it done is unclear at this point.
*It’s a little thing (but important), several toilets need new seats.
*The water pipe to the sprinkler system outside burst again when we turned on the water in the spring. Of course it couldn’t break outside. Oh no, it had to split in the ceiling of the basement bathroom, which means we have a huge hole that still needs to be patched down there over the tub.
*Curtains for the windows of the house everywhere are falling apart or falling off the walls.
*It hasn’t stopped working yet, but the microwave above the stove is making funny popping noises every now and then. It has stopped working before and Mark did something that fixed it, but it was just lucky as he doesn’t know exactly what he did that time. I think if it does break again he will just suggest replacing it.

I’m sure there are more that I’m just not thinking of at the moment too.


Sunday, August 09, 2009

Battle of the Creative Teams – Week 4

The last assignment for the Battle of the Creative Teams at DigiscrapAddicts was a scraplift. The twist was that we had to pick layouts from two of our team mates and combine elements from both of them on ours.



I lifted Kimberly's (kpollinger) "Mine" (photo and clustering arrangement, tone on tone layered papers in the background) and Robin's (rcabana) "American Dog" (square stitching and mat, title work, general LO arrangement). We all used Jessica Bolton's "Pastiche for the Boys".
journaling: The girls have been waiting all summer for a chance to use the Slip ‘n Slide, and finally it was not raining on a watering day. It was a bit cool, but that didn’t stop them from having fun!

Everything by Jessica Bolton
available at Funky Playground Designs:
Pastiche for the Boys|Full Collection
Eclectic Needs Variety Basic-n-More Stitches
Thrifty Stamped Alpha
not currently available:
Messy Painter Brushes
font: Typewriter Oldstyle

You can see all of our LOs closer in this thread at DSA, and if you like you can vote for us here in the designer category- Jessie’s Girls.

It was a fun experience. Scrapping is usually such a solitary activity for me, and so it was different to have to coordinate thoughts on the challenges with my team mates. They are some of my favorite people and scrappers, so it really was a joy! Thanks to Jess too for giving us all sorts of awesome scrapping goods to play with!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Battle of the Creative Teams – Week 3

The week 3 assignment was to scrap ‘by the numbers.’ We had to come up with a formula for our layout that the whole team had to follow using of 1 this element and 2 of that element up to 10 items. Here’s the formula we chose to follow:
7.journaling strips



All papers and elements by Jessica Bolton
1- font:
Baby Boston
2- alphas: Thrifty Doodled Alpha, Bead alpha (recolored) from Little Darlin'Eclectic Mini
3- photos
4- papers: grungytee from
Outnumbered Girl, lightblue from Thrifty Solids 1, hotpink from Thrifty Solids 2, purple from Glenda
5- arrows: Thrifty Graph Paper Cut Outs
6- staples: Outnumbered Girl
7- journaling strips: Thrifty Graph Paper Cut Outs
8- stitches: Epiphany Elements (straight and zigzagged) and Make Me Eclectic (hand stitched)
9- buttons:
Epiphany Elements
10- flowers: Thrifty Blooms

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P365: July 2009



credits: True Blue by Dani Mogstad at SweetShoppeDesigns; 365 Project Templates by Amy Pearson27w_365project_July09 28w_365project_July09 29w_365project_July09 30w_365project_July09 31w_365project_Aug09

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Back to School Today

And we have officially gone back to school in our district as of today, which was the first full day for everyone.


credits: Snap and Scrap The DigiFiles Collab, Playing with Paper 13 by Michelle Filo at LDD, Doctors Orders by Pamela Donnnis at TheDigiChick; Teacher's Pet by Bren Taylor Boone at ScrapOrchard; glasses by Kate Hadfield (Blog freebie); staple by Flergs; music notes from Piano Room and checkmark from Crush by Krystal Hartley at SweetShoppeDesigns; to do list stamp by Gina Cabrera; date border from Wings of Imagination by Amanda Resende  at After5Designs;  
fonts: CK Becky

In the last couple of weeks we have:
*had Bryce and Beth in for eye exams. Bryce got some new glasses, one pair with transition lenses that he thinks are really cool. His prescription hadn’t changed but he needed new frames.
*All had haircuts
*Beth and Carissa had their annual physical. Their shots were up-to-date, so they got out of that this time around ;)
*Got school supplies for everyone
*Got Beth & Carissa heavy-duty (translation: expensive!) backpacks to carry all of said supplies in for the whole year since they don’t have lockers in the 6th grade hall
*Got band method books for the three oldest
*Picked up schedules and paid the fees for the middle-schoolers. I still have to pay the fees at the elementary, but they haven’t told me what they are yet.

Beth and Carissa had their 6th grade orientation day yesterday, so they were the only ones to go to school. They messed up Beth’s schedule and didn’t put her in band like they were supposed to. That was all too familiar since they did that to Bryce two years ago. Hopefully they will have gotten it straightened out today, but I won’t know until they get home this afternoon. Maybe by hte time we get Sarah to the middle-school they will have figured out that if their last name is ‘Staley’ then they should be in a music class! Brenna got to meet her teacher/see her new classroom/drop off the school supplies yesterday afternoon. I have about 15 more minutes before I have to leave to walk to school to pick her up and see how her first day went.

Sarah's been having a hard time today with everyone gone. She was bugging me every 10 minutes this morning and asked if it was time to go pick up Brenna from school yet about 9:30. I decided to go grocery shopping and take her out for lunch so she could play with some other kids for a bit. She fell asleep on the couch after we got back. I'll probably have to wake her up when it is time to walk to school now.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Weekend Camping with Grandmama

We haven’t done any major traveling this summer, but we did spend a weekend out with Grandmama and her trailer down at the Great Sand Dunes National Park a week ago. I had a computer ‘malfunction’ because of a virus last weekend after we got back (which required a total system redo- that SO did not make me happy!) so I haven’t had much time to do anything with the photos I took, but I got this first layout done today with a few of them. GreatSandDunes_7-24-09 journaling: The Great Sand Dunes is a place of contradictions & beauty- hot desert sand hundreds of feet high, alpine mountains that stand guard behind them, streams and lakes of cool water to splash and play in, and all kinds of plants, animals & insects to view, if you take the time to look. We spent the weekend with Grandmama exploring and learning about this unique environment. Mark, Bryce, Beth, & Carissa climbed to the top of High Dune while Linda, Melinda, Brenna & Sarah played in the sand & stream while following their progress up the hill of sand with the binoculars.

Credits: everything from scrapbookgraphics: Amazing Moments by Bluebell Designs; Little Details by Hillary Heidleberg; Styles: Sand Brush by Wendyzine; Plain Jane Alpha by Birgit Kerr (retired);
fonts: CK Becky

Mark and the three older kids spent most of their time out on the dunes climbing to the top of High Dune- the big peak you see in all of the photos. I have pictures of them working their way to the top and down again, but as they are tiny little specks even with my lens zoomed all the way out I need to come up with a creative way to scrap them. While they were hiking up the dunes, Grandmama, the younger two girls and I sat near Medano Creek and enjoyed the water, sand and sun. Brenna and Sarah reveled in the fact that they could get dirty and wet and it was OK. I think we were cleaning sand out of Sarah’s cracks and crevices for three days before we finally got it all LOL They all had fun, and I think learned something about a unique environment found only in this one spot in the world. We all came home covered in itchy bug bites, but that is pretty typical of camping ;)

Here are a few more pictures from the weekend.

Grandmama’s Pilot and Trailer at the San Luis Lake campground. Mark I decided to skip trying to sleep in the back of the pilot and went to Alamosa and got a hotel room ;) Grandmama toughed it out with all of the kids in the trailer.2009_0724_GreatSandDunesNP-14
The only picture I have of ‘me’ from the sand dunes- my footprint in the sand of Medano Creek.2009_0724_GreatSandDunesNP-32 Brenna and Sarah making angels in the sand.2009_0724_GreatSandDunesNP-43 2009_0724_GreatSandDunesNP-44
High Dune- the one Mark and the big kids climbed. They are at the top of it in this picture- the little black spots up there on the peak.2009_0724_GreatSandDunesNP-49 and a little closer, though you still can’t tell exactly which is them. In some of the other pics I have of them climbing the dune you can make out the color of their clothing and thus tell who is who.2009_0724_GreatSandDunesNP-49b The singing ranger was doing a presentation a little ways away from where we were sitting by the creek. “This sand is your sand, this sand is my sand, from the Rio Grande to the Sangre de Cristo, this sand was made for you and me.” (come on, you know you were singing along too!)2009_0724_GreatSandDunesNP-62 Sarah and Brenna looking at the scale map of the park in the visitor center. Sarah is standing right behind the dunes at the base of the Sangre de Cristo mountains.2009_0724_GreatSandDunesNP-71 Eating lunch at the picnic area.2009_0724_GreatSandDunesNP-88
After lunch we decided to hike up to Zapata Falls. You follow a rocky streambed up to this crack in the mountain, where you have to hike in the stream for a little ways. The falls is just through the crack you can see Bryce standing in front of.2009_0724_GreatSandDunesNP-94
Once you go into the crack, this is what you see- the upper part of the falls, and the lower part near where you stand. This is mountain water, so it was quite chilly!2009_0724_GreatSandDunesNP-96 2009_0724_GreatSandDunesNP-103 After dinner that night, we drove around San Luis Lake to see if we could spot the white pelicans that like to nest on the lake. There were a few- they are the white spots on the opposite shore near the left edge of the picture. You can probably see them if you look at the full-size version of the picture by clicking on it.
The wind was blowing quite hard this evening, and we discovered that these little blue and black dragonflies were hiding from the wind by hanging onto the down-wind side of some small bushes. They were quite pretty!2009_0724_GreatSandDunesNP-133

Saturday on our way home, we stopped at Fort Garland to see the Fort Garland Museum. It was a nice little museum. It is put together and maintained solely by volunteers and I have to say that I was impressed with all that they have accomplished to date. The fort is set up as it was during the time Kit Carson was its commander, and there are displays that showcase the role the fort has played during the different periods of its history. Most of the pictures I took are of the exhibits, but here are a few broader shots of the fort and a couple of the larger displays.2009_0725_FortGarland-104 The commandants quarters.2009_0725_FortGarland-42 The enlisted men’s barracks.2009_0725_FortGarland-77 2009_0725_FortGarland-94 2009_0725_FortGarland-98