Friday, 22 January 2010

Farmer's Market Goodness

My word for this year is home, and I have been trying to focus and discern what that might mean for me this year. Besides sharing my home and loving my home and being home, I have realized these last few weeks that another part of this journey for me means being way more intentional about buying local and getting back into that culture again. So, I have been buying most of my veggies from the local farmer's market and challenging myself to cook according to what I have in the house, not finding recipes and buying what I need for them (which is usually happens...). So far, we have had some interesting creations, but I have once again been amazed at how good and fresh and completely different the farmer's market food tastes. Yummy...I'm hoping to put together some local/seasonal recipes and we'll see what happens from there...

On another note, I found this free year-long scrapbooking class called "The Street Where You Live". I figured I 'had' to do this class in keeping with my theme this year. Looking forward to documenting my beautiful neighbourhood and all that we love about it.

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Days Twenty-Three, Twenty-Four and Twenty-Five

Day 23 - A simple picture and handwritten journalling on the back of the day 22 hand-sewn page protector.

Day 24 - Christmas Eve is all about Jesus for us - all about waiting for Him, for hearing Him, for being with Him. We spent the evening with our church family; a family that we have chosen to love and to be loved by. I included a transparency over this picture, just to make the waiting for Day 24 a little longer (and because I love these transparencies...)
The actual photo of Eden holding one of the candles that we all get and light at the end of the night...
...and the journalling of Christmas Eve on a photo of a part of the display at church.

And Christmas Day - I LOVE this picture of the girls opening gifts on Christmas morning. They were in the middle of opening gifts from each other and gave each other a hug for the presents they received. It gives such a sense of movement, and captures our Christmas morning perfectly.
Here is the journalling:
Today was one of those days that I would love to wrap up and have for days when I need a reminder of how good life really is. We began the day opening presents, being so very grateful for all that we had been given, spent the day exploring our gifts - the girls playing mostly with Polly Pockets, Ephraim putting together (and taking apart again and again) his new puzzles, and Mike and I reading the great books we had received - and ended the day at Diane’s place, remembering how very blessed we are to have good food and great wine and wonderful friends. But most of all, I realized this Christmas season the joy and peace that comes from just being - being present with others, being present with God and being present with myself. And that has definitely been the best gift of all.

I also included a 'fold-out' picture of the kids checking out their stockings...
And the back side of the whole layout...

I am also including an envelope on the last page to include a few things that didn't really fit anywhere - the wrapping paper the kids decorated for my birthday, the cards that the girls made for us, a newspaper clipping of being the coldest place in NA - made from a die-cut from my local sb store with some of the paper I have left over.

And it's done! I finished my first December Daily, and am so happy with it. My goal for this album was to help me become more intentional about our December and our Christmas celebrations, and it definitely did that. I loved the process of planning and putting it together, I loved choosing the pictures to go into the album and I loved telling some of the stories behind the pictures and what was going on - not just the details, but what was really going on.

Truthfully, it took a lot longer each day than I thought (and I didn't actually do it every day either, just in case you are wondering...), but I have learned a few tricks that will make it easier next time. Will there be a next time? Definitely...

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

December Daily - Day Nineteen, Twenty, Tweny-One and Twenty-Two

Day 19 - This is a journalling block taken from the Project 365 Album that I worked on for 2009. I got the idea from another blog somewhere...the kids trying out the skating rink Mike built for them for the first time.
and the journalling on the flip side...

Day 20 - another page protector that I sewed myself. The brown strip at the bottom is leftover from the background of day 7/8, and I sewed it inside the page, so it is a permanent fixture. I left the top right hand corner pretty much unaltered, so a sneek peak is evident...
...and the back is just paper - wanted to keep it simple.

Day 21 - the background is actually a plain piece of chipboard, with a diecut number sheet (that I once again got from the clearance centre - proud of me, Kim? :P) that I glued on and then painted. I love the way it turned out, but I loved the process more. The list journalling has crept it's way into my scrapbooks more and more - it is so easy to get ideas down that way, without worrying too much about proper English and space.

Day 22 - I had ALOT of pictures from this one event - an evening spent at Fort Edmonton park, and since we didn't get photos of visiting Santa at the mall, I thought I would include our visit to Father Christmas. I also included a bit of my own handwriting again as well (the Santa photos are printed as one image - again, photoshop - and the 'believe' is a digi stamp).
..and the facing page is another page protector that I sewed myself. I am really liking them...I think I might include more of them in my other albums as well (if I ever get to them).

Next post will be up until Christmas...

Daily December - Days Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen and Eighteen

Day 15 - I wanted to document a bit of the magic that I was feeling this year around the whole 'fun' part of Christmas (as we describe it in our home) - that is Santa - I choose to focus a bit on the movie "The Polar Express". I've never seen the movie, so we borrowed it from the library, and sat down together to watch it. Here's the documenting...
And since I didn't take any pictures of us watching it, I borrowed a few images from the website and created a bit of a small grid to use on the other page of this layout, which is a Hambly transparency that I cut into a circle and then trimmed to fit the album.

Day 16 - I wanted to include some of our (well, my actually) favourite Christmas decorations that we have around the house, so I took 9 photos and put them into a grid in photoshop, printed them off and voila - a great page that shows our house so very festive! Here's the other side of Day 16 - just a few words describing the season (a necessity as it is the other side of the transparency, and I didn't want to see the backside of a photo)...
and the grid photo...

Day 17 - The big day of the show!! Eden and Aaralyn both participated in this year's school program called "Winter Solstice". Eden was so, so, so excited (she is a performer, just like her mom, I guess) and just couldn't wait to get on stage. On the first side of the layout, I included a ticket stub and a picture of Eden waiting patiently backstage.
And on the opposing page, I included a schedule of the days events. Because they go to a performing arts school, the rehearsal schedule had been quite intense and this Thursday was crazy - they were at school all day, then had a performance, dinner in their classrooms and then another performance. Needless to say, both girls were exhausted.

And on the back of Day 17, I included a bit of ephemera from my favourite coffee shop with my favourite Christmas drink, just for fun.

And Day 18 - I love putting together Christmas gifts for teachers - we buy them something from the World Vision catalogue, and I also include a cookie mix that they can make over the Christmas holidays. Having been on the receiving end of many teacher gifts, these are the ones that I most appreciated.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Days Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen and Fourteen

It is January, and Christmas seems a long way off, but I still want to share my December Daily album...and besides, I think I look at it at least once a day, so it is still a big part of my day. I so love this format of sharing pictures. It is quite a bit more labour intensive, but it is just so beautiful and tactile and full of our family. Here are a few more shots:

Day 11: A very simple outside shot of a beautiful winter evening. I covered the page with grey velvet (I love using fabric in albums...)

Day 12: Eden and I in one of those photo booths from the mall. I did scan the photo in and then used a clipping mask in Photoshop because I wasn't too happy with the quality of the photos that came out of the mall machine (no surpise there). Eden decided on our faces before we took the photos: happy, silly, proud and angry. This album was all about the everyday - you can't get more in the moment than this!

Day 13:
I laid out the images on a document in Photoshop and printed them off, then added the polka-dot paper and the journalling block after. I am forcing myself to include my own handwriting, rather than printing off the story (which is my go-to, because I really don't like my own handwriting...). The transparency is something I picked up in the clearance section of Urban scrapbook, and I love it!!

and here is the back side of Day 13:

Day 14
This is a photo with some journalling added in photoshop, then printed off and atttached to a chipboard folder I had kicking around. I also added a few felt stickers for the day number on the top right corner. Another thing I love about using different sized pages is that there is almost always a bit of a sneak peek for what is coming up next.

Stay tuned for more and happy Monday!

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Week 1

As I blogged earlier this week, I have decided to do my picture-of-the-day project completely digital this year. Here is week one: the highlight - Aaralyn turned five.

It's hard to believe that just a short five years ago, I held this miracle-girl in my arms. She was a surprise from conception through birth (we didn't think we'd have any other children besides Eden and I thought FOR SURE she was a boy) and still surprises me to this day. We have a tradition of naming things we love and treasure about the birthday girl/boy as we are eating their birthday cake; here are a few that were spoken:

I love Aaralyn's ability to pull the goofiest faces.
I love that Aaralyn often will put other people's needs before her own.
I love Aaralyn. (that was Ephraim's - don't think he quite gets it yet, but it was worth putting it in the list, nonetheless)
I love Aaralyn's creative pictures and drawings.
I love Aaralyn's smile.
I love hearing Aaralyn's laughter when she is being tickled.

She is really the sweetest little girl around, and we really, really love her. She is such a blessing and so much more than we ever dreamed.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Happy New Year

It's a few days into 2010 and life feels life it is back to normal. I just saw the girls off on the bus, just changed another poopy diaper (there goes new years resolution #1 out the window...), and I am back online blogging and blog-hopping (oh, yah, and cleaning those toilets and doing laundry...).

A few things:

1. Project 365
I've officially completed (although it isn't quite completed yet...) my first year's worth of photos, and I have got to say that now that I am through the first year, I have loved this project. Looking back on the everyday details is such a treat for me and for the family, I am definitely going to do it again this year. In 2009, I bought a kit that had the page protectors and the embellishments and the binder and the journalling blocks, so I could print off the pictures and write on the journalling blocks and plunk it into the binder.

This year, I am planning on going completely digital. I have designed a few templates that fit 7 pictures on one 12X12 layout that includes a photo and a place to journal for each day. I am actually a hybrid scrapbooker, but this will hopefully get the project a bit more streamlined. (I will post the first page when it is complete so you can have a look-see) So, if you are thinking about it - DO IT!!!! This project is awesome!!

2. One Little Word - 2010
Ali Edwards (who happens to be a very inspirational woman) has been choosing a word as a theme for each year for the past few years - check out her blog about her choice this year here. I've decided to try this out as well - a word that shapes my decisions, that gives me guidance, that helps me focus on something throughout the year.

My word with year is HOME. After working in December, I realized that although it feels as if my time at home with my kids will never end (and in reality, my life will never be the same as "before"), at this moment in time, my job is to be home with my kids. I have resented that fact - sometimes more, sometimes less - and have longed for the chance to go back to work, to feel like I am contributing, to see myself as something other than a 'stay-at-home-mom'.

There has been a shift in me as of late. Maybe it is because my kids are off to school and I have a bit more time to breathe. Maybe it is because I understand that my kids are growing up really fast. Maybe it is because I have accepted where I am. Maybe it is because I have been given the gift of contentment as of late. I don't know why the shift has happened (probably all of the above and then some), but I am accepting it and loving it and taking it as my own.

So, my word for this year - HOME - reflects that. This year, my goal is to make my priority all those things that have to do with home. Baking at home, sharing our home, loving our home, being at home, cooking at home, making our home a safe place to be, de-cluttering our home.

I am very excited about 2010 - there is something so wonderful about a fresh start at the beginning of a new year (even if that includes changing poopy diapers...).

Friday, 1 January 2010

December Daily - Days Nine and Ten

Day 9 - We sat down together and wrote letters to Santa...oh so very cute. I put them in a transparency pocket that I had made (folding over the bottom third, and then stitching the two sides together. I love, love, love seeing their handwriting in my albums.

and the back of day nine...

Day 10 - Mike and I sat down to write our annual Christmas letter that we send out every year with our Christmas cards. I didn't get around to making cards this year, but we did include a digi card with our family picture as well. I used an envelope cut from some paper (again a die cut from Urban Scrapbook), and included both the letter and the card.

...and opened up (the paper is so decadent inside!)
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