Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Look who's FOUR

My littlest girls birthday was the 26th, she's not a baby anymore! We kept it simple this year and had a small little get-together with some family, with just cake and punch. Last year's birthday party for her was insanely crazy -- all the neighborhood kids, all the family, ponies, pinatas, and everything in between -- and I love to be able to do that for the kids every couple years or so. Not this year! But she loved it just as much. I think at this age it's still magical just knowing it's her birthday -- not because of what she gets to do on her birthday or the gifts she receives.
Knowing they would be gone, her Grandma and Papa West left a couple of gifts for her at their house before they left for Tombov. She was tickled as can be with her elephant bank, which has become a birthday tradition from them. It's amazing they can even find elephant banks on a regular basis! They don't come easy, I've looked. But thanks to them, she's got quite a little collection going.
Naturally, sister had to help with all of the gift opening. Most of her help was welcome, some..... not so much. But they worked it out. :)
I kept the cake nice and simple this year too. I used some little wafery-type roses and daisies that my mom and dad brought back from the Ukraine for me several years ago when I was still really into cake decorating. They added a festive touch to the otherwise plain cake (for whatever reason I didn't make a double batch of frosting, leaving me with nothing for decorating or writing on her cake). Luckily the only instructions from the birthday girl were white cake with
chocolate pudding filling, so the flowers were just fine and she thought it was great! Nate was there just the right amount, even allowed me to take a few pictures of him! Grace really adores him and he is so good to the girls. He is such a good big brother.

I love this picture of me with my baby girl. Billy is really getting good behind the camera!!
Grace really got into her cake this year too. I think she ate all the pudding out of the middle before she even ate the cake part. I must have done something right with that cake because she made a point to say "Mommy this is GOOD CAKE!" (emphasis hers) :)

Her gift from us this year was a Baby Alive doll, which was a specific birthday wish, so you can correctly assume that this went over very well. She was so excited about it, she fed it right away, and changed it's diaper just as soon as she was done feeding her (this all took about five minutes LOL), and today she named her Abby. Grace has always loved to play with and care for dolls, this was really perfect for her. Kids are so funny, and they grow up so fast.... yesterday she had her birthday with so many fun things to remember about it, and today she asked me, "Mommy, is it my birthday yet?"

KNK November kit reveal #1

I cannot begin to tell you how much I love the KnK November kit! Here are my first two layouts :)
The photo of the turkey was taken in my parents' backyard last April. This particular bird had three hens he was courting. Of course they completely ignored him and his advances, but because he was so determined to impress them he gave me plenty of opportunity to get a good shot.My second layout is with some photos taken in 2004 of my son and my first daughter, along with their cousin on a pumpkin patch excursion. There's some really fun memories here which I managed to document in super-tiny text (sorry -- I had to make it fit!) as well as quite a few photos of the afternoon. I always worry a little when I'm using lots of photos, the balance between the embellishments and the photos can be tricky!
Looking forward to getting started on my next couple of projects as I have ordered extra of this kit and it should be on the way soon. I can't wait!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Maybe tradition is overrated....

Have I mentioned that I'm a pretty traditional gal? When I think Christmas, I think red and green. Maybe some white. So when I chose these Nikki Sivils papers from her "North Pole Nights" collection, I knew what I was getting myself into. The papers are adorable, with all the right Christmas elements, you know, candy canes, Christmas trees, elves, etc. But the colors. I knew I wanted to challenge myself to really step outside of my little Christmas comfort zone I've had going my whole entire life and do these papers justice!! Hot pink, navy blue, and yellow for Christmas pics were definitely going to challenge me. Then I remembered..... last year the girls wore bright pink and white on their trip to visit Santa (and, amazingly enough, my husband had on a navy blue pullover). Why I had not scrapped them yet, I have no idea...... probably because they were pink and white lol....... but they ended up being absolutely perfect for these papers. I love when I am up against a pretty big mental block with something and then am able to overcome it (remember the purple incident??). Hmmm... I'm seeing a color trend here..... well at any rate, I was very happy with the final result. Another color fear conquered. :) Thanks for having a peek.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My little dancing girl

I have to share this photo. Gracie, my three-year-old, started ballet classes with Ballet Rogue a month or so ago, just in time to start learning the holiday performances. The costumes came in last week, and of course with it being her very first one -- and with her being sooo excited about it -- I had to have her try it on and pose for me a little (please try not to notice the dinner she still had on her face, or her bangs that desperately need a trim) and isn't she the cutest!! The bodice is actually a very dark green, with sparkles of course. I can't wait for the performances, as parents are not allowed to observe classes in progress, which means I haven't seen the dance yet. Seriously, the suspense is almost more than I can handle. One of the performances is going to be at the Providence Festival of Trees , which is an annual local benefit event. Oh, the photo-ops that await :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

KNK November kit -- WOW!!

All I can say is GORGEOUS. I can hardly wait for some quiet time so I can really get to work!! Little Yellow Bicycle, Maya Road, Webster's Pages, and Core'dinations are just a few of the fabulous products found in this kit. And, as always, they coordinate beautifully together. Go to www.knkclub.com for even more coordinating cardstock and embellishment add-ons. Hurry -- these kits are going to sell out quick!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's never too early....

Thinking about Christmas yet? It's not all that far away and I am getting the bug to get my Christmas crafting started. The perfect opportunity came when I got Nikki Sivils' "North Pole Nights" papers. These cookie cutter ornaments are quite easy to make. All you need are some plastic cookie cutters, paper and your choice of embellishments. Just trace the cookie cutters, cut the paper to fit and adhere it to the rim. I used ZipDry because it dries so quickly. I used coordinating ribbons to wrap around the outside (ScrappyTape made it a snap) and some Stickles on the outside rim. I found that the Stickles chipped off the plastic very easily once it dried (note to self -- don't use Stickles on plastic) so I sealed it with Glossy Accents. A little embellishing inside and I was done! I finished them all (set of six) in a couple of hours. These will make a great gift or serve well in an ornament exchange. Of course, my six-year-old has already laid claim to this particular set... we'd already have our tree in the living room if she had her way! I told her we have to at least get Halloween out of the way first. She was ok with that. Barely. ;)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

KNK October kit Reveal #2

I have just two more creations with the October kit. I like to try and do at least one double with every kit to maintain diversity and this was a fun one. I matted the pictures onto tags and used the Core'dinations cardstock as pockets so that you can remove the tags if you want. I was able to use a lot of pictures that way, which was a good thing because I had quite a few I wanted to use commemorating the day we got our new puppy.
For this I used one of the 7 Gypsies Book Boards. I have done so many mini-books lately that I tried to think of something a little different I could do with the book boards which come four to a package. So I took one board and created a mini layout on it for a little tabletop easel I had. This is perfect for my husband's desk at work or here on a side table in the living room.
You can see the rest of the design teams' gorgeous layouts and projects created with the October kit in the Hall of Fame at www.knkclub.com !

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I got PINK

Our very creative and ever-generous Gerrianne decided to have a "color-kit" challenge, free (yes, free... shipping and everything!) to those of us who were present at kaboodling (a member's chatty get-together online) one evening at Kit 'n Kaboodles. We all picked our favorite color and she sent everyone product based on that color. I received a Kaisercraft mini "Beyond the Page" book, Kaisercraft acrylic paint in Dusty Pink, Kaisercraft wooden butterflies, Imaginisce bling, a chipboard oval and an acrylic tag. There were no rules, "just create!", she said. So I did. I added a little paper and some leather flowers from my own stash, and here's what I ended up with:

The book itself is only 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 .... I really had to think about what I wanted to do with it. As soon as I gave up the idea of thinking I had to put photos in it, it came together pretty easily! My oldest daughter, who is six, has exactly the right number of letters in her name to make each page representative of one letter (not counting front and back covers, of course), so I wanted to make something for her showing all the traits I believe she possesses. I added lots of Stickles -- but what's new -- and had fun with my new Tim Holtz Rock Candy Crackle Paint. I still have a couple final touches to add -- for example the "N" page is supposed to be "Natural Beauty", just haven't decided how to add the extra word. Overall I love how it turned out!

And you should see some of the other projects!! I was totally amazed at the creativity of the others that are posted so far. They should all be added by the 10th, you should stop by Knk and see some beautiful work by some talented crafters.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Last Lazy Days of Summer

Well I guess this settles it, summer is officially done in our backyard. On one of the last warm days in September the girls were allowed to let the water out of the pool. They were having so much fun out there I had to grab my camera and snap a few pictures.
Even Cassie had to get in with them and play! She plays like a little kid in the water, hopping around and splashing as much as she can.
I've never seen a dog love water the way she does. We knew labs were water dogs, but we didn't really get just how much until she jumped into the bathtub with the girls one night! Bathing her will never be a problem.
So goodbye warm weather, goodbye swimming pool, goodbye hammock and park and shorts and flip-flops. Autumn is now officially here, jackets are necessary in the morning and there's a chill in the air that wasn't there even last week. But I have to say, Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of year and I am soooo ready!