Friday, August 22, 2014

Back to school

It's the end of a full summer. I'm not ready for my oldest to go back to school, but he is. And that makes me happy. We toured the new school, met the new teacher, brought the school supplies. Today, we got the booster seat (because who wants to show up for 1st grade in a car seat). All that's left is to get a hair cut. I even have this card ready for his lunch box on the first day.


This card is mash up of two adorable sets by two adorable companies. I used the book and sentiment from Lawn Fawn's Science of Love and the globe and pencil from Paper Smooches' Smarty Pants. I used colored pencils and school patterned papers (sent to me by the lovely Jaala) to give it an elementary school feeling. I'm not sure about the felt and twine. I did the felt to mimic the bookmark on the stamp and the twine is stapled on because school/office supplies again, but I don't know.

I hope my favorite 1st grader likes it! I'm linking this at Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Back to School Challenge. And to all the parents and all the kids and all the teachers at home, at school, at college: Have an AMAZING year!

Thanks for looking!

Supplies:
Stamps - Lawn Fawn Science of Love, Paper Smooches Smarty Pants
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper - PTI Pure Poppy, DCWV school papers
Other - felt scrap, twine, Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher, Prismacolor pencils

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Triangle Party

Hey, fly by post, but I couldn't resist the chance to post to the same challenge as my ├╝ber talented friend Alyssa! (Jaala, we're getting you in on this next time!)

The card is a white mft triangle screen on pti soft stone cardstock. I watercolored several of the triangles with gelatos. The sentiment is an oldie wood mount a muse stamp that I cut into a banner. I wanted to staple it to the actual card, but my beloved tiny attacher doesn't have that much reach. So the smart person would have attached it before gluing the screen to the base, but yeah. The black dots are extra. I never feel like they look right when I do them, but I love them so I just keep on trying. 


Sorry for the crazy photo. This was a really last minute card and laster minute (yeah, I said that) post. And I promise to clean up all the little glue bits showing. Because yeesh.


Thanks for looking!


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Hello with Sparkles

Well, hello blog and three friends and my mom who read my blog! So nice to see you again!

I've been meaning to post and have all sorts of things I'd like to write about: books I've read, blogs I love, and how sugar is the devil. But today is a quick card for the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge in my favorite theme of all, Anything Goes. (Am I the only one now humming Cole Porter? Yes? Okay then.)

This card was not the fastest thing ever but super easy. I taped my new Heidi Swapp stencil down with washi tape, picked my inks, and went to town with my Ranger blending tool. (No, not the cool new mini one. Sigh.) I decided the rainbow needed sparkles to go with and die cut pti's hello out of a black glitter paper from Michael's. I adhered it with Glossy Accents by oh so gently squeezing the tiniest but out and spreading it with the nozzle. Glossy Accents holds really well but I tend to get glue squish when I use it if I'm not super careful. The hardest part of this card was deciding on a green ink that wasn't too light or too olive. Suggestions for a bright green dye ink? (Like my fancy backdrop? Copy paper with a bend in it and a white shirt. Keepin' it classy.)


Thanks so much for looking! 

Supplies:
Ink - Memento Lady Bug, Tangelo, Dandelion, Paris Dusk, Grape Jelly, SU Wild Wasabi
Paper - PTI white, Recollections black, Recollections black glitter
Other - Glossy Accents, Ranger Ink Blending Tool, PTI hello die, Heidi Swapp stencil set Bird

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

No? Well, me either! But I am a wee bit obsessed with Frozen. :)

I didn't LOVE it at the movies. I think this is mostly because it's hard to really soak a movie up when you are trying to make sure your daughter doesn't eat popcorn off the ground and your son doesn't "shush" everyone to death. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it. I thought it was good, but not amazing. No Beauty and the Beast or The Lion King. The music was a mix, I thought driving home from the theater. Some GENIUS, some Tangled rehash, some way too cutesy, and one song that had me gritting my teeth.

But the kids couldn't stop singing it. And I couldn't get it out of my head. And on our first (No)Snow Day, we watched clips of Frozen on youtube until the kids couldn't stand it anymore. Then I bought myself the soundtrack. - The kids think it's theirs but they are wrong. - And then I had every intention of waiting for the DVD release to buy it, but caved last week and have blissfully seen it 4 times. (Which if I was the kids it would be more like 10 by now. Obsessed!)

And now I am wholly converted and agree with the advertising tag line, the best animated film since The Lion King. And it's the first one since the switch to computer animation that has captured me so completely. I love Brave (Emma Thompson and Billy Connelly are fantastic as the parents!) and Wreck It Ralph and Monsters Inc and Toy Story. But Frozen just speaks to me.

"The sky's awake so I'm awake!!"
"We're not saying you can change him because people don't really change/All we're saying is love's a force that's powerful and strange/People make bad choices when they're mad or scared or stressed/Throw a little love their way and you'll bring out their best"
"Let it go, let it go/I'll rise like the break of dawn/Let it go, let it go/That perfect girl is gone!"
"Some people are worth melting for."

So. Awesome.

Then I read this. http://momastery.com/blog/2014/01/27/frozen/ It's awesome. Go read it. I'll wait. Here's a tissue.

And, on a far less life-changing note, this pin cracks me up.

So I made a couple of cards inspired by it.

 
This is one is inspired by everyone's favorite snowman.


And this one is inspired by the end credits. I loved the snowflakes against the black background. I'd love to work on this again as I don't feel I did them justice, but it was a fun experiment all the same. Sidenote: I'm pretty sure it's impossible to have too many snowflake dies or too many colors of glitter paper.

I am a super nerd when it comes to animated movies like this so feel free to tell me what you loved/hated/or otherwise about the movie!

Thanks for looking!
Paula

Supplies
Cool:
Stamps - Paper Smooches Swanky Snowman
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper - PTI Spring Rain, white glitter paper (Recollections maybe?), and GP white
Other - Copics, PTI In the Meadow hill die, Recollections wood veneer, cutterbee scissors

Warm Hugs:
Stamps - Lawn Fawn Milo ABCs
Ink - Versamark
Paper - GKD black, assorted glitter and foil papers (from Michaels and Hobby Lobby, nothing super fancy)
Other - xyron (could not have survived without it on this one!), Zing light pink embossing powder, Impression Obsession Small snowflake set dies, Memory Box Lindeman Snowflake die

Also, nothing from Disney, Momastery, or Pinterest belongs to me. The cards are mine. Well, not anymore because I mailed them, but they were mine when I took the pictures. PS, I love Disney, Momastery, and Pinterest and you should check them out if you haven't. And if you haven't checked out Disney in some fashion yet I would just like to say "Welcome to civilization!"

Friday, January 31, 2014

Goals

It's been a long, busy, full, and emotional month. Lots of loved ones going through some very difficult things. Lots of exhaustion from the awesomeness of a house full of mostly healthy kids going on for others, including me. Two (No) Snow Days. A birthday. Lots of things.

I am working on an art project for my goals, but it's taking it's time so I'm going to list them here for now.

My 2014 Goals
Focus on homemaking not housekeeping. - Obviously the former requires some of the latter, but it's not the most important part. Jeff and I both want to make our home a cozier, warmer, more welcoming place. We've gotten started and I'm very excited about the plans we have for this year. And, of course, you can't focus on homemaking without focusing on the people in the home.

Be a soft place to land. - For my kids especially, but also for friends, family, Jeff, and even myself. Softening both my words and my tone are where I need to start.

Buy things that do good. - There are so many ways to do this: support small businesses and artisans, shop secondhand, buy things that are ethically sourced and produced, buy products that give back to charities, and probably lots of other ways!

Eat cleaner. - I have a mission this year to find at least one vegetable per child that they will eat without too much fuss. And I will totally count green smoothies. :)

Self-care. - Reading, exercise, sleep, creative time, and actual hair cuts every now and then are all on my agenda. So far, I've read 2.5 books, made time for yoga, gone to bed before midnight many nights, and stepped up my water intake.

Connect with the Word. - I want to do a way better job reading the Bible regularly, but I also want to study, to memorize, to discuss it. Put in place family rituals and seek out fellowship to help our family grow together in this.

Play. - With the kids and without them. Dance, sing, laugh, be ridiculous, run, color, be more spontaneous, look for adventure in every day.

Learn to speak the love language of each person in my family. - The kids don't care if I lovingly paired all their socks, cleaned the bathroom, and picked up dog poo in the yard so they can play. They will. (You know, when they have kids.) And I'm not going to stop doing those things! But it doesn't count to them and it's important that I make them feel loved. And I think Jeff and I are pretty good at being awesome for each other, but 11 years in is a great time to be even awesomer. ;)

Have less stuff. - Abundance is one thing, excess is another. We need to share. This ties directly into so many (maybe all) of my other goals.

Connect more with others and be more hospitable. - We need to get out more and also have more people over, host-stress be darned. Also reach out to those in need, awkwardness be darned.

Trade feelings of scarcity for gratitude, worry for prayer, and feelings of urgency for peace. - If all else fails, sing show tunes until I can't remember what the issue was in the first place.

Do one important thing every day. - If I can do one important thing every day, one thing worth making time for, one intentional thing, then that's enough.

Happy February, y'all.



Posts with way more pictures and way less talking coming soon!




Thursday, January 2, 2014

Enough

Happy 2014! I hope you had a great first day of the year! I went to the grocery store without children, did yoga in my living room with no one climbing on me, called a good friend, made cards, did a little home remodel dreaming with my husband, and hung out with the kids. It was simple beautiful and enough. 


Enough is my word for the year. I'm not exactly sure how to express why I picked this word. I read Brene Brown's The Gifts of Imperfection last year (so awesome, read it in a day, bought it) and in the chapter on gratitude and joy she says that we fall asleep thinking of all the things we didn't get done and wake up thinking about how we didn't get enough sleep. SO ME. Scarcity pervades my thoughts. There's not enough time, money, sleep, quiet, energy, joy. Sometimes I'm just not enough. But the whole book starts off by talking about how people who live their lives with their whole hearts do so because they believe that they are enough. No matter what. That you have to believe it in order to really love the people around you. And I think it's true.

So I've decided that there is reality and there is truth. Reality is I will never be enough/have enough/do enough. The truth is I'm enough already. I'm enough like the loaves and fishes, on my own not enough to feed many, but through faith enough to feed everyone present. Nothing extra, but enough. And because of that truth I can kill the scarcity in my head. And good riddance, too!

So my vision for this year is to stop worrying about not enough. To start living as though there is time for what's important because there is and to stop wasting time on what isn't important because ain't no one got time for that. And what is important to me? To make sure that my kids know that they are enough to me, right now, just as they are. To teach them compassion and boundaries and a love of service by modeling it for them. To realize that I have more than enough things already and that it doesn't matter how awesome, cute, or great a deal whatever I'm thinking about buying is if there's no darn place to put it in my house. To get rid of our excess so that we have enough, but not tons more. (Pretty sure the Bible says if you have an extra shirt give it away not buy 8 more on sale.) To make time for yoga and hair brushing and Bible reading and pushing kids on swings. To make our home beautiful with love and art and things that have meaning not just random stuff that was on sale at Target. To have energy for dance parties and patience for eight loads laundry because people want to pour their own juice. To shop ethically, from secondhand stores, small businesses, and places that do good work. To feed our bodies good food. To not be a slave to the urgent. To do more things that fill me up. To notice the good as much or more than the bad. To encourage people.

I'm saying yes to books, to crafting, to singing, to going outside, to play food picnics, to trying new recipes, to yoga, to people, to playdates, to bringing food to people even though it makes me really nervous, to sending cards, to dinner parties, to budgets, to building rituals even when it's awkward, to decluttering, to dates, to being still.

I'm saying no to comparison, to shopping for the heck of it, to lots of sugar, to worry and anxiety, to free cell - is it ever really fun?, to my own crazy expectations, to judgment, to gossip, to being passive aggressive. And I hope to diapers. Because she'll turn 3 this year. It's time.

That is quite enough for now. I'm not used to being this wordy. :) Check out Lara Casey's posts on goal setting for 2014 so you can write your own mini-novel! It really is great stuff.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Shalom Y'all

Good-bye 2013, hello 2014, peace everyone!

So I haven't posted in ages. What else is new? ;) Well, I'm doing the 2014 Goal Setting plan from www.laracasey.com/blog so there's that. :)
This is a rambly post so consider yourself warned.

It's been a good year. I've learned a lot. Good things have happened.

A great family trip where I stressed less planning than I ever have before.
A great Christmas project with my cousins - I learned both that my cousin Ashley gets stuff done and that we all feel like the awkward less eloquent one.
My son started Kindergarten and we are all doing okay with it. And he's reading so well. It makes my heart practically burst.
I tracked my craft spending and did okay keeping my spending in line with my use.
I hosted a challenge for Hope You Can Cling To on Splitcoast. It is my favorite crafty event of the year and I was so honored to participate as a hostess. You should check it out next year. October 1 and the rest of the month.
We got a dog. We lost him. We got him back.
I went to a Carry On Warrior book signing with my mom. So fantastic. It was spur of the moment, I loved meeting Glennon. And it was the first time in ages my mom and I did something just us.
I learned to knit and crochet pretty much entirely thanks to my friend Jaala.
My sister came to visit. We bonded over how weird our parents are. :)
Good friends had beautiful, healthy babies.
An awesome mommy date with one of my dearest friends for her birthday. Definitely repeating this year!
I read more books than I have in ages! - Carry On Warrior by Glennon Melton , Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson, The Gifts of Imperfection and  Daring Greatly both by Brene Brown, The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin. All good!!!
I gave up sugar for the month of June and 2.5 weeks in November. June was easier.
We sent a lot of happy mail including art and cards to Jeff's dad.
 I paid more attention to how my clothes make me feel. I like boatnecks and stripes and especially boatnecks with stripes. I'm getting rid of everything that doesn't make me feel awesome.
Lots more things, but that's a good start. :)

There were not so great things, too.

I worried a lot. I need to stop that. Worrying is not the same as thinking things through. We went to an absolutely amazing wedding and I truly loved being there, but leading up to it I was a mess. It was black tie and I felt very not enough going into it. Such wasted energy.
Keeping a household budget was such a fail this year. I just did not do the work.
I yell too much.
I have expectations that no one knows about and I get grouchy when they don't happen.
We have too much stuff. Dealing with this stuff takes energy and time away from people.
We don't have good spiritual habits and rituals and are more catch as catch can when it comes to teaching the kids.
My teeth are in pretty bad shape. Flossing is definitely on the agenda.
I so want things to go organically that I tend to give up when there isn't any flow. I'm learning, slowly, that flow usually comes later so stop giving up.

There will be more coming. I will do posts on what fires me up, what my vision is for this year, and why I chose my word for 2014, Enough.

Here are some challenges I'm doing at the start of this new year:
The 100 cards or projects in 100 days challenge on Splitcoast with no shopping. Man, I need this. Am I going to love it? Doubtful, but I need it.

Stamp to Spend. I did this last year and it really helped me. The basic idea is you "pay" yourself a certain amount for each crafty thing you do and then when you shop you don't spend more than you "earned".  I need to do better with my spending in the first place, but I am ending the year in the black on stamping and knitting, and I rocked it with sewing.

A Target fast.  I spend a lot of time and a lot of money at Target. They sell cute stuff and it's pretty cheap and there is nothing wrong with cute, cheap stuff necessarily. A lot of my favorite things including one awesome friend have come from Target. But just like sugar, too much is not good. I need to clear my head a little and make space in my house and my heart. I do get a lot of necessities there and I use their pharmacy so I will have to go occasionally. (For example, I have 10 Dollar Spot calendars to take back.) I'm going to try to limit it to once a month and only shop from my list then get out. No coffee for me, no icees, cake pops, or popcorn for the kids - no wonder they love Target as much as I do! I can check Cartwheel and the target coupons for things that are already on my list, but not add things to my list because of them.

There will be more. I'm hoping to do the contentment challenge later in the year and do more no-sugar months. This is enough for now.

Oh, here is my to read list so far. If you are still reading this post and have any book suggestions please let me know!

The Night Circus - recommended by my mom and my neighbor, on request from the library
A Confederacy of Dunces - one of my husband's favorite books
Where'd You Go, Bernadette - recommended by the tiny twig on IG
Interrupted - recommended by Lara Casey
The Story of Stuff - just looks interesting, on request from the library
It''s All Too Much - a reread from 2012, but it really fired me up
Say Goodbye to Survival Mode - Crystal Paine's (Money Saving Mom) new book, I really enjoyed her first one.

And my one bona fide resolution for 2014? Buy comfortable bed pillows. Ours are all lousy.

I'll end this terribly long post with one of my favorite cards from 2013.


Shalom y'all!