Saturday, August 30, 2014

Friday Faves

Yes, I know it's Saturday.  It's been one of those weeks, y'all.  So, I'm a little late posting my Friday Faves, but I'm here to share a few of this month's favorite finds none-the-less.  Let's begin with Webster's Pages' Ocean Melody...
and Strawberry Fields Collection Packs.  The palettes, floral prints, vintage appeal, summertime themes... What's not to love?!  Plus, while I got a couple pieces of Ocean Melody in my Jenni Bowlin kit this month, Strawberry Fields' wheat field paper has this Kansas girl written all over it.
I'm also digging one of Freckled Fawn's new Washi Tapes.  This Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow Chevron is sure to put the perfect finishing touches on so many future projects.
Precious Remembrance is new on my radar, especially for the stunning detail in this new Fall Colors Stamp Set.  Eeek!  Fall is right around the corner!  And I just love that it appeals to both my card making and scrapbooking sides, too!
And since we're talking fall, I simply adore these gorgeous Tiny Gold Leaf Earrings from Burnish.  So sweet and simple and yet packed with beauty.
Speaking of sweet and simple, Pottery Barn's Linen Pouches couldn't help but capture my attention for just such, not to mention their usefulness and versatility.
My hubby and I were introduced to this Gluggle Jug Gurgling Pitcher on our 10-year anniversary trip to Eureka Springs, but we kinda forgot about how stinkin' cool it was.  That is, until I happened upon it again while visiting The Grommet.  It does just what its name says and gurgles when being poured.
This Wild Wood Mouse Ruler, from Karma Kiss, is already on its way to my doorstep.  While it's a short ruler with only six inches of measurement, it was too cute to pass up.  Plus, there are lots of times a short ruler is really all my kiddos need for many of their everyday assignments, and this one will be such a fun find in Adina's Christmas stocking.  I didn't forget about my big kiddo either, as their Wild Wood Gator Ruler will be stuffing his.
Since I'm sharing some Christmas gifts, I had to show off The Corner Stork's 4-piece My First Tool Set.  Oh, I'm totally thinking this needs to find its way under the tree of our littlest.  He loves stuffed critters and things way more than I remember my other two, especially at this early of a stage.  I can already see him toting this sweet, little package around.
And finally, I couldn't resist sharing this beautiful Printable Digital Art File, from The Print Annex, simply because it couldn't sum things up more perfectly.  Sigh.
That's all, for this month, friends!  Thanks for checking out my lineup.  I hope you found something here to love, too.  I'll be back tomorrow with a layout for The Studio's last August challenge.  Until then, have a truly amazing weekend!  Hugs!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

For the Love of Books

Well, here we are nearly at the close of yet another month, but the end of this month is unique in that it marks the end of the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer for most of us, as our kiddos head back to school.  So, in honor of my middle kiddo beginning kindergarten this year, I rummaged through my kindergarten-specific books and picked out one that has long been a favorite of mine.  It is written for children ages three to six.
Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten, written by Joseph Slate and illustrated by Ashley Wolff, introduces us to Miss Bindergarten's students as they prepare for their first day of kindergarten and make their way to school and she herself readies their classroom.  It still amazes me, having been a kindergarten teacher myself, that she does it all in one morning, even has the time to read the paper over breakfast.  It used to take me days and days and days to get my classroom all set for my students.  But from beginning to end, this book is filled to the brim with playful, rhyming text, as well as deliciously vibrant, watercolor illustrations that both draw the reader in and fill them with excitement for a year of fun to begin.

I'm sure Miss Bindergarten and her class of alphabetized critters aren't strangers to many of you, as there are now upwards of a dozen different Miss Bindergarten books, celebrating their first to last day of kindergarten and everything in between, but I can guarantee that readers and listeners alike will find a piece of themselves in this multifaceted treasure.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Vacation Pics

Well, I'm getting back to posting a little sooner than I had anticipated earlier this week, but my blog visits are seriously lacking.  Ugh!  There simply aren't enough hours in a day, friends; but I'd really love to share a little of what we've been up to, over the last week, if you're interested.  If not, no worries.  I've got August For the Love of Books and Friday Faves posts lined up for the remainder of this week but cooked up some creative stuff for next week.  Hope to see you again soon!

With that said, last week, we took a much needed family vacation to Minneapolis, Minnesota.  It was close enough for my littlest to survive being strapped in his car seat and my biggests to not run out of books, coloring pages, or snacks.  We traveled most the day last Monday but arrived in time to check into our hotel and head to Target Stadium to cheer our Kansas City Royals on to another win against the Minnesota Twins.
What a beautiful stadium!
Although, the atmosphere left much to be desired.  They definitely don't know how to garner up the excitement of the fans, but we entertained ourselves counting airplanes and helicopters, getting a few Minnesota fans to join in our Royals' chants, and munching on handfuls of Jelly Bellies.
The next morning, we visited Mill City Museum.  This was such a fun place to start our time in Minneapolis, because aside from learning about how the flour industry propelled Minneapolis into much of what it is today, it taught us tons about the city itself.  Plus, just check out these views of the Mississippi Riverfront!
They also have super fun baking...
and water labs, where we spent way more time than was recommended to us.
My silly girl is always making us laugh.  She was soaked after playing hard in the water lab and decided the hand dryers might help her with that problem.
A yummy, late lunch and dip in our hotel pool prepped us for a good night's rest.
You may remember my saying that Kaden wasn't a fan of the swimming pool.  Well, that is no longer the case.  We broke him in, and now, he gets so, stinkin' excited about putting on his swimming trunks.  He doesn't even seem to care about the temperature of the water anymore.  It's so cute!
Then, on Wednesday, we packed a lunch and made our way to the Minnesota Zoo.  It wasn't one of our faves, but we love zoos and had a great day visiting our furry friends.
My kiddos loved the touch tanks the best, especially when those leopard sharks and stingrays came in their direction.  Plus, it was really nice to have a fun place to get out of the heat ;).
Dinner at Davannis Pizza ended our day out with a bang!  Yum-O!  Wish we had one of these in Kansas City!  Even Kaden wanted a piece of the action.  LOL!
Another swim in the hotel pool wore my kiddos plum out...
but they were up with the sun and ready for a trip to the Mall of America the next morning.  That place has gotten so BIG!  BJ and I visited years ago on our honeymoon, but goodness gracious, it isn't now what it was back then.  It was super overwhelming for this non-shopper, but we still enjoyed our short stay and are proud to say that all we came out with was a much-needed pair of tennies for myself and a couple new Lego sets for my kiddos.  Woohoo!  Oh, we also filled our tummies with yum-yums from Rainforest CafĂ©.
Of course, my kiddos had to have another swim at the hotel before nestling in with a movie and picnic dinner.  Our last morning in Minneapolis delivered our first trip to Ikea.  Now, don't get me wrong.  We've been introduced and know one another well.  I've just never been to an actual location.  How fun, though!  Plus, with our very own Kansas City Ikea opening in just two weeks, we had to scope things out.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a single picture.  I know... Shame on me!  I think I was all pictured out.  Plus, Kaden's a bit of a squirmy, little thing and makes it difficult to get good pics sometimes.  So, I just stashed the camera and enjoyed the scenery.  Once again, we were uber frugal and left with only a couple of decorative bins for my creative space and a rug for Ezekiel's bedroom, but our heads were bursting with ideas to continue making our house a home.

Well, that covers the highs.  We had a number of frustrating and creepy issues with our hotel and were totally turned off by the steep parking fees, literally, all over Minneapolis, but we're still bringing home lots of wonderful memories of our time just being together as a family.  Thanks so much for checking in on us!  Have a wonderful Wednesday, y'all!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Just Busy

Well, hello there, strangers.  I know it's been a long time and wanted to let you know that I haven't dropped off the face of the earth.  I've just been busy taking care of my family.
Sometimes, it feels like the longer I'm away from here, the harder it is to come back.  Everything just piles up and becomes uber overwhelming, but I promise to visit and post again just as soon as things settle down a bit really soon.  Been thinking about you all and missing you tons.  Love you lots!  XOXO

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Studio Mood Board Challenge

Happy Sunday, friends!  I trust you all are enjoying your weekends.  Fall ball is officially underway in our neck of the woods, so we'll be back to the ballpark, after church, today; but while all that is going on, I want you to have the opportunity to start thinking about your next challenge in The Studio.  We'd love to see how the mood board below inspires you this week.  My Jenni Bowlin kit arrived on my doorstep just in time for this challenge, and eeek!  It is packed to the brim with delicious goodies, y'all!  So, I dove right in.
I started this page by anchoring two strips of color-coordinating, patterned papers the length of the beach, base page with white-threaded, straight, machine stitches and topping them with a bit of black, floral Washi.  I then created my photo layout by cutting and matting my pics with Whisper White cardstock.  The far left photo was backed with a piece of Cameo-cut vellum, as well a ledger transparency and dressed up with a "Smile" tab...
and the far right photo with a feather tag, which I stitched with a soft pink, embroidery floss; dressed up with a "sandcastles" sticker; and laced with a length of Coral Calypso Baker's Twine, tied in a bow.  I then tucked a kraft, May 29, 2010, Memorial Day Weekend, journaling tab under its right side...
and both a "BEACH" Bingo card and kraft tag, laced with white string under its top.
A cluster of pretty branches, stamped in both Crisp Cantaloupe and Coastal Cabana inks, on White cardstock and hand-cut out, as well as die-cut, vellum leaves, dress up a bit of vintage flair and flank a teal, chipboard frame, filled in with a dimensional, "TOGETHER" sticker.  I also stamped a few more of those branch images, in Jet Black ink, on the background itself, just for added fullness and strung a hand-cut, from patterned paper, banner from this point to the outside edge of the layout.
Another similar cluster can be found near the bottom of the page, but rather than grounding the branches with a flair button, I did so with a raw chipboard butterfly.
My entire design was then grounded with the "[TOGETHER] AT THE shore" title, which was created from the dimensional sticker mentioned above, glitter alphas, and aqua letters.  A "waves" sticker and "WHERE" Melvern Lake label complete the title grouping...
and a chipboard cloud, topped with another chipboard butterfly; handful of teal and aqua sequins; and "DELIGHTFUL", cardstock sticker complete the look.
Further inspiration for this page came from ScrapMuch?'s August Colour Challenge...
and although I'm late to the party, Let's Capture Our Memories' Sketch #81, put out by Page Drafts.
And here's your August Mood Board to get you off and running in the right direction.  Obviously, I was drawn to somehow include the beach on my page; but being as I'm from Kansas, and the nearest real beach is like 18 hours away by car, I decided to scrap pictures of my family at the lake.  Believe it or not, us land-locked people still call the sandy plot pictured above the beach.
This month's winner will receive a package of chippies from A2Z Scraplets.  A2Z Scraplets manufactures laser-cut chipboard products, in Australia, for the scrapbooking world.  They have an extensive range with 1000's of products to choose from or can cut designs or titles to suit your needs.  Their products can be painted, inked, embossed, glittered, etc... The possibilities are endless!  They are WHOLESALE ONLY.  Head over to their website to see a great range of products and/or be inspired by a visit to their blog.
Please don't forget to click over to the challenge link above to see how the rest of the team has been inspired.  Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a wonderful week!

{Supplies & Tools}
Stamps: foliage images (Jenni Bowlin) Paper: White (Wplus9); Whisper White (SU!); beach scene, banner, polka dot, & bitty floral (Webster's Pages); vellum (Paper Studio) Ink: Coastal Cabana & Crisp Cantaloupe (SU!); Jet Black (Ranger); Black PITT artist pen (Faber Castell) Other: white thread (Coats & Clark); sewing machine (Janome); heart cut file, vintage flair, Bingo card, & kraft tag (Jenni Bowlin); Cameo (Silhouette); white string (Hobby Lobby); kraft journaling tab & ledger transparency (Maya Road); chipboard cloud & aqua letters (October Afternoon); chipboard butterflies (Scrapmatts); Folkart Florals die (Wplus9); Big Shot (Sizzix); circle template (Fiskars); soft pink embroidery floss (DMC); feather tag, sequins, & "Smile" label (Studio Calico); "sandcastles" sticker (EK Success); glitter alphas (Pink Paislee); dimensional "TOGETHER" sticker, "DELIGHTFUL" cardstock sticker, & black floral Washi (MME); "waves" sticker (Deja Views); teal chipboard frame (American Crafts); "WHERE" label (7 Gypsies); Coral Calypso Baker's Twine (SU!)