Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day as a First Grader

School started last week...for the Second Graders and up. This year the school district implemented a new program where the First Graders start a week after everyone else for the teachers to do a reading assessment on each child before school starts. The PTA hosted a picnic last week for the families to meet the teachers (and for Kindergartners and First Graders to schedule their meetings). We learned last week that Erica is in a combined First/Second Grade class. We asked her teacher about how she was put in the class and she said it was based on academic skills, social skills, and her ability to work independently. VERY exciting!!!

So today was her first day!!! The night before she had me get her "grown up outfit" out and ready for her. Once again, she woke up before we got her up...at least this time she slept thru the night and didn't get us up every two hours. She was soooo excited this morning. I hope this lasts. She did everything we asked of her today...and with gusto! And when she was ready, she looked like such a BIG GIRL!!!

Last year we started a tradition of going to the Muffin Man for breakfast before school...so of course, we had to do that again this year. She wanted me to take her to school, but I wanted her to go on the bus...so we did both and I followed her to school. It wasn't a very eventful first day this year...other than me being one of only a few First Grade parents there (I felt like a dork, but I was there for my daughter, right?).

When we picked her up she didn't have much to say other than her day was perfect and her teacher was perfect. I love that she is enjoying school.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Another Digital Layout

I don't think I wrote about the digital kit and how I learned to do the digital layout in my "first digital layout" post. So let me do that for a minute....

ACBailey has some digital kits for Beginners. These kits are AWESOME to help you get started. They have papers, embellishments, and instructions. The cool thing is there are videos on the CDs. So I opened up Photoshop and created a layout with the elements in my kit as I followed the video. It worked really well. I'm still learning how to maneuver thru the program, but I feel like I "get it."
I got a newsletter from a scrappy friend of mine and liked the design of one of the layouts...so I decided to lift it in digital form. Well, I haven't moved over all my photos from my old laptop, so all I have downloaded right now are blueberry picking pictures...but they actually work OK with the colors. The funny thing about when we went blueberry picking the girls probably spent more time playing in the creak than they did picking berries...thank goodness Jeff went up the south slope cuz he came back with half a bucket full of berries. So here's my second layout. I'm having fun...but I can't wait to get my new order from ACBailey because I ordered a second digital kit that has more subdued papers and lots more elements...stay tuned!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

"Erica" Layout of the Week

Woo Hoo...My "Erica" layout was selected as the ACBailey Layout of the Week. It can be found HERE and will be shown on the ACBailey Blog for a week. How Exciting...and the coolest thing is that Gail (one of the DT members) said some REALLY cool things about the layout:

"It is simple, yet complex - the layout and design is basic but the patterns of the papers chosen, placement, subtle effects and photography are amazing. It says so much about the subject. Every detail seems purposeful, the "boyish" patterns, the lacy girly patterns, the repeat outdoorsy theme, the lack of color theme in the flower embellies and b/w prints. Congratulations Michelle! Great Work!!!"

Friday, August 21, 2009

Family Breakfast

Erica starts First Grade next week. She's really been feeling like a big girl lately and likes to do things that big girls do. This year for Mother's Day, she wanted to make me breakfast all by herself. The night before she asked what my favorite breakfast was. I told her it was breakfast burritos. She can't make those by herself, so she asked what my second favorite breakfast was. I knew what she was angling for so I started to mess with her...I said a breakfast sandwich. Finally she asked if I liked oatmeal. I said, no, not really (but I do). The next morning she comes in to wake me up and says she's going to make breakfast. I went downstairs to "document it." She did, in fact, make me breakfast, with minimal help from Daddy...and no egg shells! Here's the layout, which I lifted and tweaked from a layout at the LSS in Anchorage (it got two thumbs up from Jeff cuz it has LOTS of pictures).And yes...you guessed it...this, too, uses the ACBailey August Kit of the Month and the same set of Thickers (I had to alter an M for the R and a V to make an A). The title tag, ribbon, and chipboard are from the exclusive add-on kit. I inked the chipboard to make them a little subdued. I also inked a heart from the acrylic sheet on the first page. The pieces on this layout don't show it, but some of the chipboard pieces have glitter on them...they're really pretty!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sealife Center

Last summer Jeff went on a fishing trip with some guys. We decided to make a family trip out of it. One of the other guys brought his family and camper...and they have a daughter a year younger than Erica, so we played together while the guys fished. The trip was in Seward, Alaska and was a halibut trip (yummy!!!). Seward is a fun place for Erica and I. They have a WONDERFUL new playground that keeps Erica busy for a long time...and wears her out. And the Sealife Center is always a blast, too.

The really interesting thing about the Sealife Center is the Seal and Sea Lion tanks. The animals seem to do laps thru the tanks. For some reason, Erica LOVES to sit in front of the tanks and watch them do laps. She'll sit as long as I let her and not really move much. Which, for Erica, is an amazing thing...cuz that girl has more energy than any other TEN girls I know!!!
Once again, I used the August KOTM. As you can see, there's sooo much to these kits. I also used an acrylic template to cut out the paper shape. These templates are on sale in the "While Supplies Last" category on the store...get them while you can!!! I bought one of each template so you'll see more made with these. Just a reminder...only two more days to take advange of the "While Supplies Last" sale...get some good deals and help clear the way for all the brand new stuff coming!!!
This layout also uses part of the add-on embellishment kit (Pebbles Inc candy...the white dots). The exclusive add-on kit also included ribbon, chipboard, and some journaling/title tags. I have a two-page layout coming soon that shows each of those.
BTW, I got a sneak peek at the Sep kit and exclusive add-on kits. If you have kids in school, you'll NEED this kit...and the only way to get the add-on kit is to have a subscription!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Color of Fun

Erica is a very lively child...she's active and into EVERYTHING. I always say she has two speeds: off and on. When she plays, she plays hard, and you can see it all over her. Her pony tail is usually half out, her jeans are dirt and grass stained, in the summer, her bath water tends to look more muddy than clear, and I could go on forever. When she has been playing hard, we always tell her "She's the color of fun." So this layout is all about that!!!

And yes, it's the August KOTM again (sorry, I know it's sold out) and another layout with sewing. I just love the play on words with this layout and the kit cuz I think the kit is also the color of fun...I LOVED working with it. Oh, and this is another lifted layout from Scrapbook Trends (I love that magazine!!!).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


My friend, Nicole, scrapped a page from Scrapbook Trends and I lifted the layout for my first sewing page. It was perfect to get inspiration flowing on the August Kit of the Month. The ACBailey kits are HOT...this August kit sold out. The only way to guarantee your very own is a subscription. Check out the link here for options. And here are some benefits:
  • Guaranteed to get the kit before it sells out
  • Free shipping every month
  • A discount on the value of the kit ($28 for 6-months, $25 for 12-months)
  • Frequent Buyer Club Points toward a $25 gift certificate
  • The opportunity to add on exclusive products not available to the general public
  • An exclusive idea file of layouts/cards/projects completed by the ACBailey Design Team, complete with instructions
  • A SECOND exclusive idea file of layouts/projects I complete, also with instructions

Remember, all order thru Aug 21 will be included in a drawing for at least one $10 gift certificate when you put my name in the consultant box...we're already at one GC...get the word out and let's get another one drawn!!!

OK...so now for the layout. When we went to Fairbanks in June, I took these pictures of Erica at the Santa Claus House. She was frustrated with me taking too many pictures and started pouting. But then I kept taking pictures and got these. I inked the acrylic sheet that came in the Kit and stitched some of the papers on the layout (my first layout with sewing...and more are coming cuz I love the look!). I also used the Threading Water Fiskars punch and added Rootbeer Float Thickers

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Productive Scrappy Weekend

Yeah...I got to go out on Friday night and all day Sat to a crop at a local store called More Than a Memory. I had a BLAST and got lots done.

First, I finished that acrylic album kit on Friday. Now I just need to figure out what pictures to put in it. I'm toying with Disneyland since the colors are so vibrant. Or I could just pick various Erica pictures. I can't decide...

Second, I finished a mini book for my good friend Cecile. I make baby books for my friends when they have babies...but I started AFTER Cecile had her first boy, Ian. She has always picked on me for not making one for her...so now I did. Ian starts school this year and it's a fun A-B-C mini album for a boy...it's PERFECT.

Then...I completed FIVE pages with the ACBailey August Kit of the Month .This kit was really fun to work with. And I sewed on my pages for the first time ever. So stay tuned over the next few days to see my "works of heart." I even got thumbs up from Jeff on all the layouts (cuz there's more than one photo on each page).

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Update on Scrappy Resolutions

So I put a list of what I wanted to accomplish this year as it pertains to scrapping...here's my post from last December with the list. So how am I doing?

  • I've been getting at least 5 layouts a month, so I'm happy with that!
  • I cleaned my scrappy room and it's "mostly" been clean since just before the New Year...but don't look at it now, cuz it's on the edge.
  • I haven't yet attended a weekend retreat, but I'm saving that for the winter...and maybe I'll HOST one (I really want to do an all inclusive deal like the Sweetwater House had).
  • OK, fourth Friday crops have been few and far between...that one's out!
And finally...the acrylic album. I'm working on one NOW and am having a blast. Check out this already put together kit that Design Team member, Gail did for ACBailey: Acrylic Album Kit It's soooo easy and takes all the intimidation out of working with acrylic products. Take a look and give it a try...and for every three orders placed from Aug 10-21, I'm drawing for a $10 GC...no limit on the number of GCs I'll give out. Just make sure to put my name in the Consultant Box for your order to qualify!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

First Digital Layout

I got a new computer this weekend. One of the things I've been wanting to try is digital scrapbooking. I have had Photoshop for over a year and have never used it...other than for photo editing. So I loaded it onto my new laptop and tried my hand at the digi world. It takes a little getting used to, but I'm getting the hang of it. I think it helped that I bought a disk with papers, embellishments, and TUTORIALS!!! The kit I used is from the Digital Scrapbook Memories Beginner Series, and is the Back to School set. I'm planning on getting more use out of it in a few weeks...hee, hee.

So here's my first layout. We went blueberry picking with Mike, Nicole, and Bella at Arctic Valley. The pickin's were scarce, so the girls ended up playing in a creek. Sorry, I didn't include a pix of Bella with Erica, I'll do that on a paper layout. Thanks for looking...and hopefully I'll do more of this in the future.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Sign up for my Newsletter

If you're a scrapper or paper crafter, and love ideas and shopping deals, sign up for my newsletter. I'm getting ready to roll it out in the next week. I am planning on sending them once or twice a month, no more!!! They will include layout ideas, product highlights, deals, contests, techniques, and more. Check out the box on the right of the blog and sign up today!

Monday, August 3, 2009

First 10K

Well, I ran my first 10K this weekend. I've run two before, but never the whole thing without stopping. I didn't do as well as I hoped, but I met my goals, so I should be happy with that. My goals were to run the whole thing and do it in less than 1:12…I JUST beat that at 1:10:40 (according to official time…but my stop watch said under 1:09). I got a calf cramp at mile 2-1/2 and the toes in my right foot fell asleep at mile 5-1/2 (I have a neuroma, so I think that was the problem). My body was willing me to stop the last 1/4 mile because it was a STEEP INCLINE. But I kept telling myself I had to stay with Tracee...and we were almost there. We even managed to sprint the last 50 meters. What kept me going was that nobody passed us the whole run (after everyone spread out at the start) and toward the end we started passing people that went too fast for their true pace…that feels good to me, for some reason.

Anyway, here's the link to the run and results: http://www.peakperformerstc.org/10kClassic/results.html

And two weeks ago I ran my first 5 mile run. I finished at 55:50 (pretty close to my stop watch time of 55:45): http://www.ustooak.com/mensrun/index.html
Looking at the age group standings, I'm not last, but I'm toward the bottom.

I start my "formal training" today, so we'll see what happens. Just over five months to the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in Phoenix...that's the end goal (at least for now).

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mt. Baldy

Jeff has been training for his elk hunt this fall. He has been running and hiking up Mt Baldy in Eagle River. Soon, he'll start his trek back to Icicle Creek (several miles into the Chugach National Park). Erica has really wanted to run with both of us. We had her ride her bike as we ran thru the neighborhood and she kept up really well. One day she asked if she could RUN with us. We said OK and Jeff stayed with her as I continued to run. She did pretty well. Then Jeff asked her if she wanted to join him on a hike up Mt Baldy...she jumped at the opportunity. So one beautiful weekend in July we went as a family. Erica really surprised us on that trip. I was taking it slow for her, but she wanted to go, go go. We made it to "the flat spot" just before it got really steep, but it was a success. They've been up several more times on their own. I'm sure one of these days (soon), she'll make it all the way to the top.

So this is a layout I made of the first trip up. I used the ACBailey July KOTM again. Originally I was going to try and use this layout for the monochromatic challenge, but I don't think it qualifies since I added white letters, journaling, and flowers. Oh, well. And as I look at the uploaded pix, it's a bit faded out due to the flash...sorry. I modified a layout from Scrapbook Trends again.This is layout #4 using the KOTM. And while the July KOTM was a summer themed kit, I used it for a cold theme, an animal theme, a sports theme, and now a general outdoor theme. I just love how versatile these kits are. Stay tuned next month for layouts using the Aug kit. The papers are a little more masculine and I think they also have a family/vintage look. Hopefully I'll get some time to scrap so I can showcase the kit.