Tuesday, August 31, 2010

:LAYOUT: 1st Grade Jitters

Kaitlin's now a couple of weeks into her 2nd grade year and things are going great so far! I hope she always loves school as much as she does right now!

Here's a layout I created with her 1st day pictures last year.

This is a great, simple layout for showcasing standard 4x6 photos.

The bright, ‘bubbly’ feel of the patterned paper fit well with the excitement and jitters of the 1st day of school.

The rub on spanning the center of the two pages connects them and draws the eye across the page.

 Glittered brads accent numerous circles for a little extra punch.

This was your fourth ‘first day’ of school. You’ve gone through the first day of preschool, Jr. Kindergarten and Kindergarten…I’d have thought you’d be an old pro at this by now…but this year was a little different.

As school drew near, you kept telling me, “Mom, I’m scared.”

Maybe you had a sense that this year was going to be just a little different than what you’d experienced so far.

I just kept assuring you that everything was going to be JUST FINE and the first day came before we knew it.

You had the first day outfit, new shoes and new back pack…you were all set when I dropped you off that morning.

I thought of you many times throughout that day…wondering how everything was going.

However, when I picked you up after school that day, I quickly found there was no reason for worry.

When I asked you how your day was, you said without hesitation, “Mom, it was GREAT!!”

No more 1st grade jitters for you!

Cardstock: Bazzill
Patterned Paper: Imaginisce
Chipboard: Basic Grey, Imaginisce
Letter Stickers: Making Memories
Rub ons: Imaginisce
Brads: We R Memory Keepers, Doodlebug
Paint: Craft Smart
Corner Rounder: Marvy
Font: American Typewriter
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Monday, August 30, 2010

:REVIEW: The Artistic Mother by Shona Cole

On occasion, I receive book review requests that I choose not to take...usually because I feel that the content of the book does not fit the content of my blog or discusses are particular area that I don't feel fully qualified to evaluate.

Mixed media art would be one of those areas and since the projects in The Artistic Mother: A Practical Guide to Fitting Creativity into Your Life by Shona Cole certainly fit into that category, I have to admit that I almost did pass this one up.

However, upon further review, I realized that this book is much more than a mixed media art idea book. In the introduction of the book, Cole addresses the question that I've often asked myself when it seems like there's not enough time for anything as a working mom:

"Why should mother take time to create art?"

While there are many varied and personal reasons to this question, one statement by Cole stood out to me:

"The sense of well-being and fulfillment our creativity generates often spills over into other areas of life, including our mothering."

There was also a quote included in the book by Paula Dion that really sums it all up for me:

"There are many reasons why we are moved to make art. To communicate a message or to reveal some part of ourselves, to amuse others, to commemorate events and milestones, to come to a deeper understanding of inner feelings. And then there is the simple act of just making beauty. Art for art's sake to give pleasure to the eye, to provide the spirit with a gentle place to rest and contemplate loveliness."

Here is how Cole describes the division of her book:
The book is divided into 3 main sections:
Firstly, there is a discussion of why it is important for artistically inclined mothers to do art, followed by a short chapters on the nature of creativity, finding the time and motivation to do art and organizing your life so that you can fit art into it.
Secondly, there are some chapters introducing you to the basics skills in collage, photography and poetry writing.
Thirdly, there is a 12 week workshop that guides you through making family focused art. Each week has an action plan to help you prepare for later weeks and meet the goals of that week’s art making.
Peppered through out the book are interviews with seven moms who are living the artistic mother lifestyle, be prepared to be inspired!
The interviews included feature Shannon Mucha, Corey Moortgat, Rebecca Sower, Misty Mawn, Susan Tuttle, Ellen McClay, and Audrey Hernandez.

Again, while the projects are mixed media, it is easy to see how the ideas and concepts could easily be applied to other various forms of art - even clean and simple scrapbooking!

The book is divided into 5 chapters:

Chapter 1 - Understanding Creativity
This chapter discusses the four stages of THE CREATIVE PROCESS including imagining and research, preparation, project execution and resolution. Cole also includes a section called LEARNING FROM THE WISE which creates an analogy to how we should approach our creative life.

Chapter 2 - Motivation
Don't we all need more of this from time to time?! This chapter includes three sections. The first - THE ARTISTIC VISION STATEMENT & GOALS LISTS - outlines why these concepts are so important and how to write them. Cole provides examples to help you in this crucial step. Next she addresses ACCOUNTABILITY. Just like a friend or support group can help you stay on track with a diet, so can other resources help you live your most creative life. Finally, Cole discusses the idea of RITUAL. As creatives, we must recognize how our five senses affect our creativity and use it to our advantage.

Chapter 3 - Planning
In CREATING TIME, Cole recognizes a big complaint among mothers - there is simply not enough time. Cole names some time stealers, time savers and time finders to leave this excuse in the dust. Next, Cole offers tips for finding and organizing your creative area in CREATING SPACE. In THE ART ACTION PLAN, there are creative motivators to keep you moving forward.

Chapter 4 - Media
This is the chapter that Cole introduces you to her favorite creative mediums:
Photography: Cole covers camera features and settings, elements of composition, basic photo processing and tips on working with children.
Poetry: This was one of the sections that really intrigued my upon my first flip through due to my own history with writing. While I used to be an avid poet for much of elementary school and then high school, it's certainly not something I have maintained in my adult life. Cole has inspired me to revisit this love to add a deeper meaning to my future layouts. Cole asserts that no matter your experience , adding your own poetic language can add volumes to your art and offers insightful instruction on getting started with putting pen to paper and coming to a final, and meaningful, product.
Mixed Media & College: Cole defines this medium as 'the combination of more than one art medium'. She includes a beginner's guide of supplies - which is, not surprisingly, quite similar to a standard scrapbooker's supply - and offers ideas for growing your stash.
Chapter 5 - Workshop
The last half of the book is dedicated to a call to action with 12 projects designed to be completed over 12 weeks using the ideas, concepts and techniques discussed in the first half of the book. Of course, the length of the workshop and be shortened or lengthened to fit any one's creative timetable. The main idea is to have a timetable.

It starts with a PREP WEEK section that covers activities and tolls you'll need to be ready for the creative process.

Each of the following 12 projects includes a complete list of materials, preparatory steps and detailed instructions with photos:

1 - Backgrounds & Lists
2 - Poetry Journal
3 - Poetry Tote
4 - Vision Statement Banner
5 - Butterfly Reminder
6 - Nameplates
7 - Altered Storybook
8 - Canvas Art
9 - Poetry Scrapbook
10 - Fairy Findings Box
11 - Inchies
12- Poetry Box

Contributing artists in addition to the author include Shelley Kommers, Mendy Mitrani, Carrie Harney, Sarah Keith, and Cindy Mayfield.

If you need a little infusion of inspiration and direction in your creative life, The Artistic Mother: A Practical Guide to Fitting Creativity into Your Life might be just the book for you!

Have you read Cole's book? If so, what ideas and/or concepts were most helpful and inspiring to you. If not, which areas are you most intrigued by based on this review?
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Sunday, August 29, 2010

:SALES: Great discount at Scrapbook.com ... TODAY only!

Shop for your favorite scrapbooking supplies today!

Scrapbook.com is offering 10% off your entire order TODAY only!

This discount applies to sale and clearance prices. Simply enter coupon code tenaugsave in the coupon field at checkout and 10% will be automatically deducted from all items in your shopping cart.

Hurry - this offer expires at midnight PST.
:SALES: Great discount at Scrapbook.com ... TODAY only!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Friday, August 27, 2010

:GIVEAWAY WINNER: My Mind's Eye Life Stories Collection Kits

Life is still a little on the hectic side, so I'm going to keep this short and sweet.

So who's the winner of one amazing collection of My Mind's Eye papers and journaling spots.

Well, Random.org picked lucky number...


Congrats, Judy! I think this really IS your lucky day as I think these papers would be PERFECT for your project!!

Watch your email for further instructions on how to claim your prize.

Don't miss out on more great giveaways coming soon! If you haven't already, sign up for updates to the AMOM blog by email subscription or your favorite blog reader through the links in the left sidebar.
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

:QUOTES: on EDUCATION according to Franklin, Twain, Carter-Scott

I think we may start school a little earlier here than many places, but Kaitlin officially entered the 2nd grade as of last Thursday.

She was ready to go for weeks and even better, she was placed with the second grade teacher she's been praying for all summer (there is more than one 2nd grade class at her school).

So far, things are going great!!

With some back-to-school spirit in mind, here are a few great quotes on education I'd like to share.

“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
CHERIE CARTER-SCOTT (author, motivational speaker):
“Remember, there are no mistakes, only lessons. Love yourself, trust your choices, and everything is possible.”

Vote for your favorite quote and I'll create a word art freebie with the 'winning' quote to share with you sometime next week. In the meantime, check out my other word art downloads.
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

:MEMORYWORKS EXPRESS: September 2010 Kit Sneak Peak - "Playful"

Take a look at the September 2010 "Playful" MemoryWorks Express Kit...

Watch for futher details on this kit coming soon!

In the meantime, enjoy the details of a few past MemoryWorks Express Kits!

A MemoryWorks Express Kit subscription is ONLY $29.95 (plus $6.50 S&H) per month! They are chock full of the latest and greatest in the scrapbooking industry, the items are always timely in terms of the current season or holiday, and the price can't be beat!

If you are interested in subscribing or would simply like more information, please don't hesitate to contact me!
:MEMORYWORKS EXPRESS: September 2010 Kit Sneak Peak - "Playful"SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

:LAYOUT: Golden Knights

Yankton's annual Riverboat Days celebration took place this past weekend.

I was so worn out from the week that I didn't spend as much time there as I normally would, but we still took in the fireworks on Friday night and watched the parade on Saturday morning. Kaitlin was on the Yankton Children's Theater Company float and had a great time.

A couple years ago at RBD, the Golden Knights performed some of their aerial feats...it was quite a lot of fun to watch and knew I had to scrap the pictures.

The loopy pattern on the blue background paper (hard to see in this image...sorry) reminded me of the path of the jumpers in the sky.

The three glittered swirls create a visual triangle on the page and the golden, glittered letter stickers reinforce the title.

Adhesive: Duck
Cardstock: Georgia-Pacific
Patterned Paper: American Crafts, Fancy Pants
Letter Stickers: Making Memories
Adhesive Transfers, Glitter: Doodlebug
Ink: Colorbox
Corner Rounder: Marvy
Pen: Zig, American Crafts
:LAYOUT: Golden KnightsSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, August 23, 2010

:GIVEAWAY: Life Stories Collection Kits by My Mind's Eye [CONTEST CLOSED]

Here's one sweet giveaway!! The lucky winner will receive the Life Stories Kit 1, Kit 2, plus a great set of journaling cards.

Just leave a comment to this post by 5 p.m. (CST) on Thursday, August 26th, 2010.

That's it...

Random.org will choose and I'll announce the lucky winner on Friday.

:GIVEAWAY: Life Stories Collection Kits by My Mind's Eye [CONTEST CLOSED]SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Friday, August 20, 2010

:LIFE: ...is crazy right now...period...

More specifically...work is crazy right now. It always is this time of year, so taking a blog break today...

12-13 hours days and taking the worries/to-do list in my mind home with me are wearing me out.
I'll be back...
:LIFE: ...is crazy right now...period...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, August 19, 2010

:PHOTOS: Orange Tank...

I've been wanting to take pictures of Kaitlin in this tank all summer and finally got it done.

If you think her hair is looking a little shaggy, it is! :-) She thinks that she wants to grow out her bangs, but her hair seems to grow SO SLOW!

Did you notice the creative editing on the sign in this last picture?? :-)
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

:WORD ART: Book Quote Word Art

Here's your freebie book quote word art! I hope you enjoy it...

:WORD ART: Book Quote Word ArtSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

:LAYOUT: i am...

Summer is almost over...it went too fast and looking back at some old summer season layouts to draw it out.

The distressed nature of the papers and the rub ons as well as the way in which I staggered the descriptive words and the tilt that I gave to the rub on frame compliment the ‘rustic’ look of the photo background.

Patterned Paper, Cardstock Diecuts: Cosmo Cricket
Rub ons: Daisy D’s
Ink: Colorbox
Edge Distresser: Heidi Swapp
:LAYOUT: i am...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, August 16, 2010

:SIXTEEN ON THE SIXTEENTH: Great new scrapbooking finds...

Oops...I missed my usual FIFTEEN ON THE FIFTEENTH, so I'm going to go with a SIXTEEN ON THE SIXTEENTH this month. :-)

Believe me - it was NOT hard to find one more favorite new scrapbooking item with all the great stuff that's been coming out in the past 30 days!

Number Rubbings by 7 Gypsies
7G's has a total of 6 new vintage themed rub on collections and all of them are amazing. Check out the rest here.

Just Leafy 12X12 One Fall Day Paper by Bella Blvd
My favorite season will be here before we know it and here's one adorable collection that will help me scrap it!

Birds Of A Feather 12X12 Togetherness Paper by Cosmo Cricket I LOVE the worn, yet warm colors of this paper along with the bird motif in mix-matched patterns. It has me dreaming of a cozy quilt. Check out the rest of the new Togetherness collection for more of this wonderful motif.

Bold Stripes Life Is Good Paper by Echo Park Paper Co.
A new favorite, Echo Park has another winner with their just-released Life is Good collection. A bright, bold stripe is always a winner.

Garden Flower Chain Large Edger Punch by EK Success I am a BIG fan of border punches and love these new ones that create chains! Stunning! There are DOZENS to choose from so you're sure to find one that's perfect for a wealth of your projects.

Jubilee Words Glitter Stickers by K & Company What's not to love...beautiful sentiments, shapes, fonts, and colors. Just one piece of the stunning new Jubilee collection.

DigiKit - Reading Adventures by Kerry Stewart I love the patterns and colors in this reader-themed digikit! It also has some super-cute digi-stickers!!

DigiKit - That was Yesterday {Add on} FREEBIE! by Michelle UnderwoodHow about an amazing digi freebie!! This is it! If you like what you see and want more, check out the larger That was Yesterday collection.

Boy Alphabet Soup Adhesive Chipboard Elements by My Minds Eye, LLC WHAT! Who doesn't love cute little monsters, robots and animals? Put them on chipboard and you've got an even bigger winner in my book! Check out the rest of this boyishly sweet collection here. (By the way...here begins the My Mind's Eye love fest...)

Love Lost & Found Decorative Brads by My Minds Eye, LLC I love the variety of styles, shapes and finishes on this collection of brads from My Mind's Eye extensive Lost & Found collection.

Moments Lost & Found Buttons by My Minds Eye, LLC Now some buttons...sweet!

Sisters Boutique Glittered Lost & Found 12X12 Paper by My Minds Eye, LLC Now some paper...I love how the journaling spot is incorporated right into the pattern!

Sweet Song Girl 12X12 Alphabet Soup Paper by My Minds Eye, LLC Here's a paper from the MME Girl Alphabet Soup collection! Love these sweet and colorful musical notes!

Free Spirit 12X12 Indie Girl Double Sided Paper by SassafrasSassafras is known for their special treatment to one edge on their papers. Love the muted colors on this paper from their new Indie Girl collections.

Turquoise 6X12 Glitter Alphas Stickers by SassafrasI love alphabet stickers...make them turquoise and add some glitter and I like them even more! There are four other colors to choose from as well.

Out & About Sewn Cardstock Loop De Loop by We R Memory Keepers, Inc. I've always loved the look of stitching on scrapbook pages, but don't have a sewing machine, so these great cardstocks from WRMK's helps me get the look without the effort!

What's your must-have find from the list above? Or, is there another new item not listed you've seen that you can't wait to get your hands on? If so, share a link!

(Note: The links above lead to further information on the listed products either at TwoPeasInABucket.com or Scrapbook.com. Remember, the Two Peas FREE SHIPPING code for August is B2SKOL.)
:SIXTEEN ON THE SIXTEENTH: Great new scrapbooking finds...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Friday, August 13, 2010

:GIVEAWAY WINNER: Time to Scrapbook from Ella Publishing Co.

Well, after reading all of your great tips for fitting the wonderful hobby of scrapbooking into our very busy schedules, I'm thinking that you should all get together and publish your own version of Time to Scrapbook! :-)

However, I've got a free copy to give away, so I suppose I should get on with it!

This time around, Random.org chose lucky #...

NINE! Congrats, Debra! Watch your inbox for instructions on how to claim your prize!

Don't miss out on more great giveaways coming soon! If you haven't already, sign up for updates to the AMOM blog by email subscription or your favorite blog reader through the links in the left sidebar.
:GIVEAWAY WINNER: Time to Scrapbook from Ella Publishing Co.SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, August 12, 2010

:QUOTES: on BOOKS according to Bryce, Eliot, and Kushner...

“The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it.”

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”

“I think of life as a good book. The further you get into it, the more it begins to make sense.”

Vote for your favorite quote and I'll create a word art freebie with the 'winning' quote to share with you sometime next week. In the meantime, check out my other word art downloads.
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

:FIVE FAVES: On the road again with great travel scrapbooking products...

Summer has flown by way too fast for me!

I hope that you've all gotten a little travel in. Vacations can be one of the most wonderful topics to scrapbook.

Ledger Palm Tree Panorama Collection Paper By Making Memories
For those of you that had a beach location for your summer vacation, the Panorama collection might be just right for you. Beautiful papers and a tons of cute embellishments are sure to make a winning layout.

Pack Your Bags Journal Album by Little Yellow Bicycle
Afraid you won't have time to scrap your vacation when you get back home? Take along this great little journal from the Pack Your Bags collection and record all the best highlights along the way.

DigiKit - HA Travel Journal by Hero Arts
Whether your a digital or traditional scrapbooker, these journaling stamps would be a great addition to your stash. They great thing about digital products is that they never run out...you can 'stamp' or print them out as many time as you like!

Way To Go Die Cut Roughin It Collection Paper by Bo Bunny Press
Camping is a much-loved summer activity for many families. The Roughin It collection is perfect for recording a stay in the wilderness.

Out & About Layered Chipboard Tags by We R Memory Keepers, Inc.
Great for embellishments or titles, these tags will add great depth to your travel layout. Pair it with items from the rest of the Out & About collection for a great layout.

What products did you use (or can't wait to use) to scrap your summer adventures this year?

(Note: The links above lead to further information on the listed products either at TwoPeasInABucket.com or Scrapbook.com. Remember, the Two Peas FREE SHIPPING code for August is B2SKOL.)
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

:LAYOUT: One Fair Maiden

I'm looking forward to scrapping the pictures that I took on our recent weekend vacation and it has me looking back of some vacations-past...especially this one from when we visited a Renaissance fair in Minnesota a few years ago.

I had a lot of pictures that I wanted to include on this layout, especially of the jousting tournament, so my square punch came in very handy.

I also had the map of the grounds from the festival brochure and I thought it would be a great addition to the page. I was going to tear and ink the edges, but then thought “Why not just burn it?” which would give it a much more authentic feel for the period. So I did and I love how it turned out!

(click for larger view)

In September 2007, Kaitlin and I took a weekend trip to Minnesota for a family wedding (Chris & Samantha Bang) with Mom & Dad, Lee, Lynn & Chris. Lynn had gotten some free tickets to the Renaissance Fair through work, so we decided to check it out on Sunday before heading back.

It is certainly an amazing event…the costumes and colors were all so beautiful. We were also lucky to have a beautiful, sunny day. I was probably more ‘enchanted’ by the whole affair than the rest of my family, but I’ve always been interested in this type of thing.

One of my favorite parts of the day was watching the jousting. It felt quite ‘real’. Our knight was the green knight. And he fought valiantly. But he did not win...he was a loser...yup, that's him face down in the dirt in the final picture in the row of mini-pics.

And the picture with the gentleman holding the rose and the mug of ale…that’s Puke & Snot. You heard right...that's really their names (at least during the Renaissance Fair, that is). Evidently, they are the #1 act to see when at the fair. They were quite funny...a little off-color (come on...what did you expect from two guys named Puke & Snot?), but definitely funny. Fortunately, the off-color stuff was mainly over my fair little maiden’s head.

I would have liked to stay longer, but everyone was a little tired and we still had a long drive home…hopefully we’ll have another chance to revisit the Renaissance Fair – maybe even in costume next time!

Patterned Paper: We R Memory Keepers, Fancy Pants
Chipboard: Fancy Pants
Ribbon: Basic Grey
Font: Aquiline Two, Papyrus
Ink: Colorbox
Square Punch: Marvy
Pen: Zig
Adhesive: Duck
:LAYOUT: One Fair MaidenSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, August 9, 2010

:REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Time to Scrapbook from Ella Publishing [CONTEST CLOSED]

There was quite a bit of excitement and buildup this past month at Ella leading up to the announcement of The Most Influential Scrapbookers of 2010.

Once the big announcement was made, they also announced their newest eBook - Time to Scrapbook! - which just so happens to be authored by those 9 most influential ladies:

Jenni Bowlin
Maggie Holmes
Noell Hyman
Stacy Julian
Shimelle Laine
Renee Pearson
Margie Romney-Aslett
Jessica Sprague
Cathy Zielske

This particular eBook focuses on the issue that so many of us have that love this wonderful (yet sometimes time-consuming) hobby...finding time for it!

These nine ladies each share and discuss their top three tips for fitting scrapbooking into busy lifestyles. While some tips contradict each other (and this is recognized in the introduction), this only brings authenticity to the work as they are simply sharing what works for them.

Personally, I found several tips that I consider my own tried and true strategies such as 'choose a few go-to designs' (Noell Hyman) and 'order photos in batches' (Shimelle Laine) and some that made me stop a think a bit...ones that I almost consider a challenge such as 'make 'I don't care' pages' (Stacy Julian).

Each contributors three tips are also accompanied by a personal layout on the theme 'ten things I love about my life right now' for a great compilation of styles and techniques...further enforcing that there really is no 'right way' to share your memories and record what's important to you.

Now, for the giveaway!

I have one free download of Time to Scrapbook! available for one lucky reader. Simply tell me YOUR top tip for fitting scrapbooking into your busy schedule by Thursday, August 12th, 2010 at 5 p.m. (CST) and you'll be entered for your chance!

Random.org will choose and I'll announce the winner on Friday!

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