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Friday, November 30, 2012

Let the Fun Begin!

In November 2009 I got the idea to make an advent calendar for my girls. I wanted something with little drawers that I could put 3 small sweets or gifts into. You can read all about it here. Last year I revamped it using the Dear Lizzy Christmas line. Why, you ask? I needed to make the drawers easier to open and my original "drawer pulls" were ripping off.

So, why am I telling you all this now? Two reasons. One, I don't think I took pictures of the Advent Calendar last year and thought you might be interested. I've been seeing some pretty cool versions out there this year so figured I'd throw my little calendar into the ring! And two, I had to fill it up today as tomorrow is December 1st. Marley has been gently reminding me (read - most annoyingly pestering me!) to get it ready but I've been so busy I have been putting it off. Really couldn't put it off any longer though could I?

Here it is.

I've since moved it into it's December home above the fireplace in the family room. I really hope Christine can't reach it! She'd empty the drawers before you could say "Naughty List"! 

Just one close up for you today. These are the first two drawers. I can tell you that they only contain candies (extras from Halloween). I normally fill the drawers with little candies and a note with a fun Christmassy activity to do. This year, with my two jobs I'm not sure how much time and energy I'm going to have to do all those extra things so candies will have to suffice. For the most part!

Anyway, tomorrow (almost today!) also means the official start of my December Daily. I'm working all weekend so I'm not sure what's going to get in there but ... hope you'll check back to see!

Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday, November 23, 2012

It's almost December Daily Time Again

Can you believe it? If you're American you are probably still in a Turkey Coma today or you've been at the malls since 4AM scooping up some great deals. Up here in Canada we're in full Christmas Prep Mode. As many of you know, I have two jobs right now. (Why two you ask? Not sure ... it just ... happened!) Anyway, BOTH my jobs are ready for Christmas. Pier1 Imports started putting out the Christmas product in mid-October (basically right after our Thanksgiving) and The Upstart Crow (my local job) got their halls decked this past weekend. So ... I'm in a Holiday Mood!! Beware!! I may start singing Christmas carols and  hanging lights!!

Must. Wait. Til. December. 1st!

You know what can't wait until December 1st? My December Daily. I am featuring my foundation pages over on the Practical Scrappers site today (check it out here) but for all you loyal followers, I thought I'd share more pictures and (maybe) more insight into my process. Oh and if you are wondering just what is a December Daily, it is a project started by Memory Keeping Guru Ali Edwards designed to help you record the daily goings on during the Holiday Season. You can check out her blog for more information here and see what she's prepared to use this year here. This is my 3rd year embarking on this journey with her (and thousands of like minded memory keepers out there!)  You can find my 2010 album here and 2011 here. Both of these albums use digital templates that I purchased from Ali Edwards and this year she is offering them again but I have decided to try my hand at making my own. I've downloaded a trial version of Photoshop Elements with the assurance from Greg that I can have the full blown version whenever I want (it was actually a birthday present that I haven't cashed in yet!) We'll see how it goes. I may break down and buy hers in the end!!

So, what have I got ready for 2012? I'm sure you're all dying to see some pictures, right?
Well, here you go ...

This is my cover. I had another set of the same Teresa Collins Christmas album covers that I used last year so I just covered them with layers of white paint, stencils and other bits. 

And this is what the album looks like at the moment. In previous years I have had every single page ready to go - all I needed to do was add pictures, journalling and some embellishment. This year I want to leave room for a bit more creative freedom so my pages are pretty unfinished (as you will see). I'm also hooked on the Art Journal look so a lot of my pages will be more art journal and less traditional scrapbook page.

This is a close up of my cover page embellishments. I am using mostly Echo Park papers from various Christmas lines (some have been in my stash for a while so it's time to use them up!) The frame was one I found in the clearance bin at Michael's several months ago. It was originally turquoise but a couple coats of some white craft paint and some brown ink distressing and voila! 

The insides of the front and back covers look like this.

And the back cover is a blank canvas waiting for inspiration to strike!

While digging through my stash trying to figure out what to use for the cover I found these pieces of raw chipboard. They were almost the perfect size to fit into the Teresa Collins covers! They are also what prompted the art journal idea as they lend themselves nicely to being covered with all sorts of things!

These are the art journal-esque pages that I have started so far. Some are messier than others and to be honest I'm not sure where this is going to end up, but the journey should be fun! 

These are the back sides of the pages above. As you can see, some are covered in patterned paper, some are covered in more paint and some are still raw ... I'm leaving myself lots of room for play this year.

Here's a close up of some of the texture I've got going. 

I've got a variety of supplies set aside and ready to add to this album. My day numbers (see below), lots of different journalling tags and cards, papers, scraps, paint, stamps, inks, stencils and some transparencies that may go in front of these art journal pages as day dividers if I don't feel like putting the numbers over any art. I can't wait to see how it all comes together!

As for my numbers, here is what I've done.
 Pretty simple. I felt that the pages themselves were going to be quite busy so the numbers needed to be bold enough to stand out but simple enough to let the artwork take centre stage. As you can see I have not attached them to any of my pages. I am determined to assemble as I go this year!

A close up so you can see how I popped up each star to give dimension.

And #25 got special treatment ...

Well, I hope you enjoyed this look into what I will be working on this December. I'd love to see your December Dailies if you are working on one this year. Please leave a link in the comments so I can come and  check out your work!

Monday, November 19, 2012

It's Let's Get Sketchy Reveal Time!

I'm a little behind getting this posted - it's been a crazy weekend of working shifts at both my jobs plus trying to keep on top of things around the house. Guess which one is slipping!!!

This week my team over at Let's Get Sketchy worked with this sketch.

Here's what I came up with.

This is a picture of Marley at age 4 - back when we did annual Sear's Portraits!

Some close ups for you.

The doilies were all cut out using my Stampin' Up Delicate Doilies Sizzlits die. I just cut a bunch out of several different papers and then folded them over my pieces of twine. 

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you have a chance to check out all the lovely layouts our team contributed this week! Have a great Monday everyone!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Practical Scrappers Frugal Finds

For this month's Frugal Finds feature at Practical Scrappers we are showing you ways to use paper plates in your projects. Paper plates, you say? What can you do with a paper plate besides hold a load of yummy buffet food? Well, I made this ...

Both my jobs are putting out their Christmas decorations (actually, Pier1's have been out since mid-October!) so I'm in that mindset and decided to run with it! 
I made this out of 4 desert sized paper plates which I first sprayed with mists. But the coverage wasn't  as opaque as I was hoping so I tried to cover up as much of the plates as I could with paper. Keeping with the "frugal" theme, I raided my scrap drawer first for all red and green papers. I punched out 2-1/2" circles and then glued them onto the plates with Modge Podge. It was looking a bit too much like a flower so I used my circle punches to turn some of the 2-1/2" circles into holly leaves and tucked them in behind. 

Here is a close up of one of the plates. On top of all the circles I glued down some tree shapes. On top of all that I put a very light misting of black and then used a stencil to add some star shapes with a fake snow product someone gave me (it was in a giant box of random craft supplies - most of which went to and were quickly destroyed used by my daughters). The letters were printed off on my printer and then I cut them out by hand (REALLY want a Silhouette!!) I glittered them with some old Martha Stewart glitter and popped them up with pop-dots.

Here is a close up of the texture.

And just in case you didn't believe me about the paper plates thing ... there it is! Hot glued to some Stampin' Up! ribbon from last year!!

Thanks for coming by to see my project. Please be sure to check out the Practical Scrappers blog today to see what some of the others on our Design Team came up with. Have a great Sunday!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

LGS Fall into Fall Blog Hop

Welcome to the very 1st Let’s Get Sketchy blog hop!! We at LGS are so very excited about our first blog hop!  If you have arrived here from Carla's blog welcome to the LGS blog hop!! If you have stumbled across this by chance and want to play along then you can head back to Stephanie's site to start at the beginning. Hidden on each Design Team member's site is a word that, when put all together, will give you a quote about Fall. I highly recommend heading back to Stephanie's site to collect your Fall challenge words in order! These words should be in bold on each Design Team member’s pages. Once you have gathered all the words and have figured out the quote, email it to for an extra RAK of scrap goodies! My clue word is FRUIT.

Blog Hop Challenge-Fall into Fall

Fall is such a beautiful time of the year, it's when the leaves start changing colours and everything around us is beautiful.  It is also the season of Thanksgiving, which reminds us to take a moment to reflect on all the things we are most thankful for. (Side note for my Canadian participants - yes, we've already celebrated Thanksgiving but I like the idea of taking the month in between Hallowe'en craziness and Christmas craziness to slow down and be appreciative of life, don't you?)

So in celebration of the fall we are hosting a Fall Color Combo challenge.  You are to use the colors below and create ANY project related to the Fall.  It can be a layout, card, mixed media project or altered item.  The sky is the limit!  Once your project is completed, please return to LGS and upload your project using Mr. Linky.

Please use the colour combo below:
You MUST use all of the colours in the picture (light blue, autumn red, yellow, brown, green). Each DT member will have a project of her own featuring these colours to give you some inspiration. Here is mine.

As soon as I saw the colour combo I thought of this paper that I had actually put into my "to be sold" pile in the summer. Go figure! It's got all the colours in it so I knew it would be perfect. And then the other day the girls had a couple friends over and they wanted to rake up the leaves to jump in them. Talk about serendipity!!
Here are some close ups for you.

I tucked this journalling card from Ali Edwards behind the photo strip. It's not glued down at all so you can pull it out and read the journalling that's on both sides.

Here's a view of it pulled out from behind the photos. The journaling reads: "We had one of those rare, sunny days today. We also had the Cowley girls for a bit so when you all wanted to jump in the leaves that Peter (our neighbour) had blown onto our lawn, I got out my camera! But this is not about leaf piles and jumping ... this is about YOU and how much I love you all. Each of you is so unique and I am learning to love you for all your unique attributes. Marley approaches life by running full speed ahead. Paige makes sure it's safe before diving in with a silly face. Christine just does it all! Whatever her big sisters do but with her own flair! Love you all so much!"

The title.

I used a couple of my Studio AE stamps from Technique Tuesday on my layout too. She has such fantastic sentiment stamps for layouts and I always seem to forget to use them! But this tag and the one up by the journalling were perfect for some stamping.

Hope that was inspiring, I can't wait to see what you come up with. The winner of the hop will be randomly selected and will win the beautiful Prima collection below.  

As always there are rules for playing!

Here are the rules for playing and winning: 1. You MUST be a follower of each LGS team members blog and leave a comment on each blog and; 2. You MUST also be a follower of the LGS blog.
Please make sure you visit the entire team today as some members are hosting additional blog challenges during the hop and offering their own extra goodies for you so the more you play the more chances you win!

All blog hop entries are due by midnight, November 15, 2012.   

Now hop on over to Laurie's blog to see what she has in store for you! 

Line up

Stephanie <<<<<< START HERE>>>>>>>
Alison <<<<<<<>>>>>>>>
Laurie <<<<<<<< GO HERE NEXT>>>>>>>>

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

Always like saying that!!

Okay, so I think I am a week behind in posting this (not so good on keeping track of things!!) but I have picked a winner for my 354 to 40 giveaway.

Drum roll please ...

(My super high tech winner choosing device! LOL!)

... and the winner is ... MARYA GRANT!!! 
Congratulations Marya! Please email me (alisonday at eastlink dot ca) with your address so I can get your prize out to you.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Practical Scrappers: 10 Ways to Use Embossing Powder

Today, over at Practical Scrappers, we're sharing 10 ways to use Embossing Powder. Make sure you head over to the site to check out all the great ideas our Design Team is sharing with you!

I decided to create my own background paper with it. Here is my layout.

I took a Stampin' Up! stamp (Flowering Flourishes) and created the pattern by alternating the orientation of the stamp. Once I'd stamped the whole page, I sprinkled the embossing powder over all the stamped images  and that way was able to emboss the entire page at once. 

Here you can see the shine the embossing powder gives the paper. If you have flocking powder, this would be a really fantastic technique to try!

And this is a better shot of the detail of the stamped images. I meant to take a picture of the paper before I added everything else on top but ... ah well. At least you can get an idea of how the whole page looks!

I decided to take the embossing theme and really run with it by creating these blocks of dry embossed card stock to my layout. I used 4 different folders - lattice, woodgrain, chevron and vintage wallpaper. 

The stamp set is a really old Martha Stewart set that I found in my stash.

Thanks for stopping by today. Don't forget to check out the other Design Team projects on the Practical Scrappers blog today!

Monday, November 5, 2012

LGS Reveal Day - November Week One

It's Monday which means there is a new sketch over at Let's Get Sketchy! Please be sure to pop over there and see all the inspiration that Team A has come up with this week.

Here is the sketch we are working with.

And here's what I came up with.

I interpreted the blocks of patterned paper behind the photo as paint - that's what happens when you attempt to create in a dimly lit room and can barely see the sketch you're supposed to be using! But, I really like it so ... happy accident then!

This is a picture of Marley's first visit to see a real mall Santa. I found it while organizing my scrap room in the summer and this sketch seemed like the perfect one for it. She had no clue what was going on but in true Marley fashion she took it all in stride and has been insisting on seeing Santa every year since!

I added some Mister Huey Opaque White splatters to complement the painted block.

And then I journalled in a white pen to keep things all the same.

I was wondering what to call it and had a sheet of random words I'd created from leftover letter stickers. One of those words was CHILL which I added to to make CHILLIN because that's what she seems to be doing in the photo. Just hanging out and taking it all in!

Well, thanks for stopping by today. Remember to pop over to the Let's Get Sketchy blog to see all the wonderful layouts the Design Team has created for your inspiration. It's a new month which means there will be a new prize so I hope to see some of you entering layouts into the challenges! Good luck to all!!

Oh, and before I forget, join us this weekend for Let's Get Sketchy's first blog hop! Things get going on Friday November 9th and there are going to be lots of challenges to enter and prizes to win so I hope to see you all! I may even have an RAK to give away ... haven't decided yet!! 
See you then!!