01 April 2010

ten things going on around here

since i've been away for awhile i thought i'd fill you in on all the things that have been going on around here. some good news, some bad news, some things to follow up with in future posts. happy thursday and i hope everyone has a great easter weekend!

1. i'm still trucking along with my marathon training. i've been pleasantly suprised at how things are progressing. i completed 12 miles this past saturday - can you believe that?!?! me either! it's still hard for me to imagine doing twice that amount in one day, but two months ago i never imagined me completing 12 miles either. my fundraising efforts are going pretty good too. you can check things out here.

2. my friend trina is no longer is remission and her leukemia has returned. we are all devasted by this news but also very hopeful that she can still kick the $%@& out of the cancer cells that are taking over her body. she is participating in a clinical trail with the hopes of getting her back into remission so she can undergo a bone marrow transplant. please keep her and her sweet family in your thoughts and prayers.

3. while i was on my extended spring break here in blogland i celebrated my 40th birthday. more details about this coming soon!

4. daddy, aka paul, also celebrated a birthday during my extended spring break and the boys had a great time singing happy birthday and helping blow out the candles.

5. we also had a very exciting visit to the dinosaur trail at the museum of life and science in durham. we had perfect weather and the boys had a great time. the vist was two weeks ago and they are still talking about it! i'm sure a scrapbook layout will be coming here as i did get some great photos. this one might be my favorite...

6. as a birthday present to myself i got myself a new camera - the new canon t2i. so, so excited about it even though there is a hugh learning curve to overcome. i'm really looking forward to learning all about it!

7. during my extended spring break i also decided to purchase a large format printer. i decided to go with the hp photosmart B8550 and have been very happy with the results. i've printed both 4 x 6 photos and some full 12 x 12 layouts and would highly recommend this printer if you're on the hunt for a printer that can print up to 13 x 19. needless to say i've been busy printing out some of my digital pages - like this one, and these, and all of these.

8. i have definitely been keeping up with my project 365 album and am planning a 1Q2010 summary post for next week to share some of my favorite parts.

9. i have also been keeping up with my photochallenge picture taking and will be sharing my signs theme photos in an upcoming post as well.

10. and since tomorrow is good friday and the boys are out of school i'm headed off to two easter parties and two easter eggs hunts this afternoon. i hope the timings works out in my favor since i promised both boys i'd attend. and i've got my new camera ready to take some shots.

30 March 2010

an extended spring break

i got an e-mail from my dad today that went something like this....

blog ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

actually that is all it said... ;-)

and actually i had been thinking a couple of days ago and then again just last night that it was time to pick things up again here in blogland. i was actually starting to miss it. i had needed a little bit of a break so i'm glad i took one. this blog is supposed to be a fun thing for me. and so just like with my scrapbooking, when it starts to feel more like a chore and less like fun, i take a break.

but now i'm back and let's just say that i took an early, extended spring break! and it's been busy around here, lots of stuff happening and lots to post about...so i'll be back tomorrow for a ten things thursday post.

05 March 2010

one digital sketch, three hybird layouts

more layouts from one of the digital templates provided with the class materials in cathy zielske's class called design your life at bigpicturescrapbooking.com. again i used the same digital template to create three different hybird layouts. the digital template was from week 5 of the class and the focus for this particular week is on white space - aka open space, empty space. i like the end result for each of these layouts, but i'm not so certain that i applied the design technique we were to master. as you can see i ended up pretty much filling the white space on almost each one...oh well...i guess white space just really isn't my thing...

p.s. you can select each layout to view it larger....

digital "sketch" - what i started with

layout #1 - the smith sisters. i love these particular photos of my mom and her sister when they were younger. i found them in a box with some other photos - a strip of photobooth pictures...

layout #2 - let's fly a kite. pictures from the summer of 2007. michael flying a kite at the beach...

layout #3 - blake's ming ming mask. i changed the layout a bit for this one as i only had two photos, i really like how this one turned out. i still have the mask and need to incorporate it into the album also...

04 March 2010

ten things thursday - totally random...

happy thursday! today's ten things thursday post is just a list of random things that have been on my mind lately - two online scrapping classes i've signed up to take, some interesting blogs i've come across lately, photography stuff, etc. enjoy!

1. so excited about this class at shimelle.com. it's a short one (daily prompts for three weeks), but it looks really interesting and i cannot wait to see how much of my stash i can go through!

2. i picked up the latest issue of artful blogging and man is it packed with eye candy and inspiration. great photos and interviews with artists who also blog. if you haven't seen an issue of the magazine it is definitely worth a trip to your local mega-bookstore for a peak. some of the links i mention below are right out of this issue.

3. so, so happy to hear that one of my favorite photographers - karen russell - is now letting people audit her ever-so-popular photography class. the wait list for one of her classes is up over 1000, so i'd pretty much given up on the possibility of taking one. but a couple of weeks ago she announced an auditing option for the class - you can view the details here.

4. i think this is a great idea and i'm currently on the hunt for a photo of myself that i can re-create. do you have any in your photo collection that you could re-create?

5. i've also signed up for this class at bigpicturescrapbooking.com. i bought the book a couple of months ago and it has just been sitting on my bookshelf, so when i saw this class was being offered i knew i had to take it. it should be interesting!

6. i really love this new blog that i discovered in the winter issue of artful blogging magazine (see #2 above). definitely a must see.

7. i'm also thinking about taking this class at bigpicturescrapbooking.com. tracey clark wrote about this new class here and it's been on my mind ever since i read the post. guess that means i need to sign up for it as well...

8. one day last week i stopped my one of my favorite inspiration stops. it's an old refurbished cotton warehouse that is now home to several local artists and photographers who showcase and sell their products. i saw these cool photo blocks in one of the "booths" and am now on a mission to reproduce them myself. aren't they awesome - vintage photos transferred onto block pieces of wood...

9. another blog i've bookmarked recently after discovering it in the winter issue of artful blogging magazine (see #2 above) - http://www.madelinebea.blogspot.com/

10. i am so tired of winter, cold, ice and snow and am so ready for spring. this past weekend i printed this picture on an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of cardstock and it is posted where i can see it while working in hopes that spring will be here soon!

01 March 2010

miles completed last week (feb 15th - feb 28th): 15 miles

my longest run/walk this week was 6 miles! i was a little nervous when i saw that milage on my training schedule and actually stressed about it the days leading up to it. but i did it! and it felt great! this was my picture of the day for saturday...

donations are starting to roll in as well and i can honestly say that i've been blow away by the love and support my family and friends have shown me. upon returning home from my 6 miles on saturday, i opened the mailbox to find what ended up totaling $300.00 in donations! how amazing is that?? talk about motivation!!

i also had an interesting conversation this past weekend with my six-year old about why i'm doing all this "miles stuff". our typical conversation on the way to school is that he needs to get a three or a four (that corresponds to good behavior in their complicated scheme of conduct) and then i say "and i'm going to do three miles today, deal?". so he knows that i've been putting in the time, but i guess he wasn't quite sure why i was doing all this. it was certainly a good question and it got me thinking about the real reasons why i am doing this. and this is what i came up with...

1. to obviously raise money for a really good cause (explained in six-year old speak as raising money to help buy medicine for people who were sick like mrs trina)

2. to get in shape, feel better and be healthier (explained in six-year old speak as exercise makes you feel better which is why you have gym and recess at school)

3. to be part of something bigger than myself - because the story of the forest is better than the story of a tree - remember that quote from here (explained in six-year old speak as sometimes it feels go to be part of a big team where everyone wants the same thing - like when your whole class brought in the most shoes for the people in haiti and you beat all the other kindergarten classes and got a cupcake party)

4. and perhaps the best reason, because i can and there are thousands of people sitting in hospital beds undergoing chemo right now who cannot (explained in six-year old speak as remember last summer when we went to visit mrs trina in the hospital and how she stayed there for a really long and wasn't able to leave because she was sick. and now she is home but there are other people in her place at the hospital who are sick)

24 February 2010

a visit to a new park

this past weekend michael was sick with a stomach bug and the hubby was nursing two broken ribs. the weather was really nice - bright, sunny and temperatures in the 60s, so blake and i decided to leave the sickies at home and head out for some fresh air. a new park opened late last summer near our house and i'd been wanting to check it out...so off we went.

the land on which the park sits used to be a working farm in the 1940s and a cattle pasture in the 1990s. today the park consists of some restored farm buildings, a grove of hugh pecan trees, a pond, plenty of open meadows, 3 miles of walking trails and a beautiful stone ribbon wall.

first we checked out the pond...

and then the grove of pecan trees. look how big they are...

and i love the stone wall...

but all blake wanted to do was look for a stick to shoot imaginary bad guys with...

he found one he was really excited about...

and headed straight to the stone wall for cover.

here he is explaining to me that if i put him in the tree he can see more bad guys...

so up he went to "save us".

he was having so much fun - 100% boy and all imagination...

and then when he got shot himself i decided it might be time to go. he agreed only after i told him yes, he could bring the "stick-gun" home too...

it was a really great park and is now definitely on my list of favorites. i bet it is gorgeous in the spring and summer with everything in full bloom...definitely a be-back!!

23 February 2010

photochallenge wrap up, month 2

i'm participating in a year long challenge at photochallenge.org and the month 2 challenge finished this past saturday (feb 20th). i posted the first month challenge photos here and in today's post i'd like to share my photos from month 2.

the theme for month 2 was natural landscape. for this particular challenge the definition of natural landscape was "one that is unaffected by human activity". so the goal was to find location(s) that appear to have not been touched by human hands. and i don't mind saying that when i first read this challenge, i thought it was going to be a little difficult for me for two reasons. first, in north carolina in the middle of winter everything is pretty much just brown. but it did happen to snow here in the plast four weeks so that mixed it up a bit. and second, i typically do not take landscape type photos. i generally like to zoom in, fill the frame with my subject and get as much of the finer detials as i can. so this was indeed a stretch for me. but then again, stretching is why i signed up for this challenge! overall i'm very happy with the four photos i submitted. there's definitley a lot of brown, but i find them all very peaceful looking scenes...

week 1 - carolina forest

week 2 - carolina forest 2. how many shades of brown do you see?

week 3 - some of the white stuff. can you see the beaver damn?

week 4 - carolina lakefront. i really like the sun "flare" in this one.

the theme for month 3 is signs and i've already got some location/ideas swirling around in my head. you can check out the details here and it's not to late to jump in and participate!

22 February 2010

miles completed last week (feb 15th - feb 21st): 12 miles

training is going really well. slow and steady is the name of my game! i got the chance to take things outside this week as we had two days of nice bright sunshine and temperatures in the high 60s. i really enjoyed getting outside and i did my long stretch (5 miles) at a new park very close to my house. there is a 2.5 mile loop that i completed twice. and let's just say that the terrain there is not as flat as that on the treadmill. i was definitely feeling it! still do acutally....

and the news shoes and the new ipod both rock!

and donations towards my $2900.00 fund raising goal have started coming in with lots of words of encouragement and support. thoughts of those words of kindness and monetary gifts definitely helped make it up the last couple of hills this week! great motiviation!

thanks for stopping by!

17 February 2010

one digital sketch, three hybird layouts

i've been playing around with some of the digital templates provided with the class materials in cathy zielske's class called design your life at bigpicturescrapbooking.com. i'm really enjoying this class, even though i'm jumping around a little and creating layouts from photos and stories that are inspiring me at the time. for the three layouts that i'm sharing today, i used the same digital template (the one provided in week 6 for those of you taking this class too) and made three different hybird layouts.

after doing a couple of all digital layouts, i'm coming around to the notion that i like the hybird approach better. i like using the digital templates to organize my photos and to capture my journaling. but once everything is all printed out, i like going back and adding some additional elements/embellishments and sometimes some ephemera. i like the dimension and depth "real" embellishments give my pages - a pop here and there, texture, etc. and i also love including the real life bits and pieces where appropriate - i.e. you'll see that i added a hockey ticket from a trip to see a carolina hurricanes game...

p.s. you can select each layout to view it larger....

digital "sketch" - what i started with

layout #1 - sidewalk chalk

layout #2 - hurricanes hockey game

layout #3 - first day of kindergarten

15 February 2010

(my posts for mondays until june will be my place to share my story of training for the san diego rock-n-roll marathon that will take place on june 6th. my first post about this is here in case you missed it...)

miles completed last week (feb 8th - feb 14th): 10 miles

so training has definitely progressed this past week. it still does seem a little unbelievable to me that i did ten miles in one week and in as little as four months i will be doing almost three times that milage (26.2 miles) in one day. but the expert (my coach) has confidence that it can be done so i am just sticking to my training schedule and hoping for the best...

two big developments this week that did help my progress - a new pair of running shoes...

and this new bad boy from my hubby for valentine's day...

yep - a new ipod nano and i'm already so in love with it! my sweet hubby still found time to pull off this surprise even though he was out of town all last week helping restore power to those in the northeast. how sweet is he??

most of my training so far has been inside and on the treadmill with the exception of one bright-sunny-high-in-the-50s day when i decided to venture outside. i'm ready for some warmer weather so i can move this adventure outside in the nice warm sunshine. come on spring!!

12 February 2010

wrapping up valentine's day preparations

just a quick post to round out the week as we wrap up our valentine's day preparations around here. for those of us with kiddos in school all the big parties are today, so the last couple of nights have been a rush of filling out valentine cards, stuffing bags with little bits of the sweet stuff, and even making a cute little necklace for a special little valentine. and while all that was going on i decided that i wanted to complete a little project of my own....

first the valentine treats for michael's kindergarten class...totally stole this idea from becky higgins and it worked out great. i had michael create a "card". we scanned it and printed them out and then folded them down the middle. he wrote his classmates' names on the back and we stapled them to a ziploc bag of goodies. very simple and very cute. thanks becky!

but there is a special little someone is his class he wants to be his valentine. this special someone was very close to getting my sapphire and diamond necklace from right out of my closet (!!) but luckily someone decided to let me know that he'd taken it before it actually made it to school. so after some discussion about what is appropriate (and what is considered stealing) we decided to make this little necklace for his special valentine. and oh how i wish i could be a fly on the wall tomorrow when he gives it to her - how fun would that be?! but then there is this whole big thing about how he never talks to her because he gets nervous and can't think of anything to say. which is unbelievable in itself as i've never seen him at a loss for words....

and here's a picture of my project - taken right off the pages of ali edwards blog. i pretty much just love everything she does and well...imitation is the best form of flattery....i saw it and immediately thought about this small 8 x 8 shadow frame i had gotten last year. i pulled out my heart punch and a couple of mini brads...love it! thanks ali!

i hope everyone has a great weekend and a happy, happy valentine's day!!

11 February 2010

ten things i gotta have - new scrapping stuff

anyone who follows the scrapbooking industry knows that a lot of new products were released/revealed earlier this month at the craft and hobby association winter show in california. i did not attend, but many of the bloggers that we all follow did and many of them posted photos of the new products and blogged about all the new things they were seeing. and many of the companies also posted previews on their own websites. for today's ten things thursday post i've listed ten of my favorite products i've seen around the blog world the past couple of weeks. there's some really great stuff hitting the craft stores very soon and these items are the must-haves on my list!

1. now i'm not a hugh stamp person, but i do have a couple and i know how to use them. and i love this new set by ali edwards from technique tuesday. i love, love, love that vintage camera stamp!

2. and i also love, love, love this vintage typewriter stamp from october afternoon. another must have!

3. now this 7 gyspies display letter tray is a steal at just under $20.00 and i've got to get this thing too! i have a perfect project in mind for this baby and i can't get my hands on one of these soon enough. here is a link to the entire 7 gyspies winter catalog and they have some really nice stuff.

4. this pad of stickers by the girls paperie looks like a really great deal. i really like letter stickers and word fetti and this pad has seven sheets of stickers including both letters and words. very versatile and for under $5.00. i think that's a deal.

5. There's been a lot of talk in blog land about this new artisan albums by pink paislee. they are canvas covered chipboard albums that come with chipboard pages. the available sizes are 4×8, 6×6, 8×8 and 6×12 and i cannot wait to see what they look like in real-life. if they are as nice as i think they are going to be i may just have to stock up! i've got at least one project in mind already for one of them!

6. i also really like these jenni bowlin journaling cards - love the butterfly one and the "read" one! probably be picking up a couple sets of these.

7. i'm also really drawn to these emphemera cards in the new melody ross line called artsy urban from gcd. i love all the bright colors and the messages on them as well! i'll definitely be buying a batch of these too!

8. also from the same designer and gcd, these chipboard albums are really nice. i especially like the one with the tabs and either would make a great mini album!

9. now there are some really amazing new lines of patterned paper out there and i could probably easily bring home two sheets of the hundred or so i saw online. but this set by cosmo cricket really jumped out at me. (you have to remember that i have two boys so the majority of my scrapping is male related! i have to pass on a lot of the feminine girly looking ones. well maybe not pass completely but i definitely use a lot less of it!)

10. and this last set of patterned paper rounds out my top ten list of must haves. this set is also from cosmo cricket and i love the bright colors and the versatility of these prints. love, love, love the tape measure patterned one and will buying a couple of sheets of that one!

p.s. don't forget to vote for me. see yesterday's post here for all the details. if i win i just might be able to get all this stuff from two peas!! how exciting would that be?!