Friday, December 31, 2010

The hassle of moving

Well we are FINALLY almost moved out of our house and into our temporary apartment. This move has been one headache after another like most moves generally are. It has been a bit of a learning experience going from a 4 bedroom house to a 2 bedroom apartment and a small storage unit. The worst part is that once we're done, it will be only a month or so before we are doing it again! Thankfully back into a house again.

Some things I've learned about myself on this move:

1. I'm stronger than I thought. I was able to help lift and move almost all of our furniture and take even the heaviest of it up a full flight of stairs. (Our apartment is 2nd floor).

2. I get REALLY frustrated when my body decides I can't push it any harder. Day 2 of the move and we were carrying a dresser up the stairs and we had to do it one stair at a time because I couldn't carry it. Brought me to tears because I wanted to just pick it up and I just couldn't do it. Hate it when something says I can't.

3. I love internet. I use it for everything. Having it unavailable to me drives me crazy. I'd rather be without TV.

4. I am spoiled beyond belief. I have this wonderful husband who works hard and we have lived in nice, big houses. Moving into a small apartment is hard. I don't have access to all of my stuff, the kids are constantly underfoot and the dog is restless. Its only been about 2 weeks and we're going crazy. Not to mention the noise from the people above us. A constant herd of elephants on the ceiling.
And our cable in the apartment sucks. It changes channels by itself and you can't just turn it on and have it work. No, no, you have to reset it. Then reset it again every time you change the channel. Definitely could do without tv.

Ok...whining over :)

If you made it through all that...this was just a quick post, typed out on my blackberry, to let you all know that I greatly appreciate your patience while I'm dealing with the fun of the move. Hope to be back to regular blogging very soon!! Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sporadic Posting

Please excuse me for my sporadic posting!  We are in the middle of a move and I promise that as soon as we are settled I will have more interesting things to share! 

In the mean time, have a look at a new pic of the hubster and me :-)  Photo shoots with a remote for a Christmas card suck...even with only 2 people.  But we managed to get a couple usable ones!



















Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Family Sneak Peeks

M has been a good friend of mine for a few years now, so it was a lot of fun to shoot her beautiful family.  I also used to babysit these two beautiful little girls.  Absolutely loved getting to photograph them and giving them the chance to model for me!  I definitely hope we can do it again!

A few of my favorites from the shoot yesterday...

Gorgeous Miss A




The whole A family...


















Sassy Miss T...who is also just stunning





Some sisterly love...






































Enjoy your peeks!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Motivation Monday: Quality time

It's Monday again and I'm about to fall asleep sitting up.  Stayed up way to late editing pictures and now I need a nap.   Mondays come much too quickly.  I am not a fan.  However, today my husband finally gets home after yet another almost 2 week mission overseas.  He's been gone for basically the past month with a few days home here and there. 



Anyway, back to the task at hand...my Motivation Monday this week is about my hubby.  With all this traveling he does, I really want to get more in the habit of putting more effort into the time we spend together when he is home.  We have a deployment coming up and those are not the easiest thing in the world, so my goal is to up the effort on the quality time with him over the next couple of months. 

He really does mean everything in the world to me, the cheese to my macaroni, the spring in my step, the cool whip (emphasis on the "h"-like Stewie on Family guy) on my dessert... Sometimes, though, I know I don't communicate that.  Life gets in the way, the kids go crazy, the house is a mess, the dog chews up yet another something...add to that packing, and the stress of losing a job and you get a cranky me...which is not so fun for him.  (Or for me, for that matter).

Plans for the coming week(s) depending on how quickly we can get things done...

* go get our Christmas tree (first time EVER for me getting a live one)-really exciting
*  decorate the tree
*  go to the Festival of Lights
*  go see the Harry Potter movie
*  lots and lots of pictures
* Family movie nights with popcorn and Christmas movies
*  Finish the Christmas shopping
* pack, pack, pack the house

Lots of this is holiday related, but we have been wanting to get some traditions going with the kids.  We spend a lot of time traveling to visit family so we haven't been able to really establish any traditions of our own.  We're working on that. 

Love this man so very much...







































So there you have it...my Motivation Monday post for this week!  Now go on over to Nain's blog and link up what's motivating YOU this week!

M + C Sneak Peek

I had my first ever official photo shoot this weekend with this adorable mother & her two year old son.







































I had an absolute blast.  C was a true blue two year old boy and was EVERYWHERE.  Really made me miss that age with my kids.  He has gorgeous blue eyes and his smile! M is in trouble when he gets older...I think he's going to be a ladies man!







































*sigh*  isn't he just adorable?!  I told M that I'd gladly keep him. 

And one more just for good measure...







































They were so much fun to work with and I'm really happy with the way the photos turned out ( so excited, in fact, that I stayed up til 2 a.m. editing!) and I think M liked 'em too!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fun Photo Props

I have a couple photo shoots this weekend and whipped these up last night as kind of an ice breaker...nothing like being silly to get people to relax!! 

Here I am modeling...


























(the starch is still wet on that last one...it's all black!)



Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Photo Cards

Ordinarily for Christmas, I design my own photo cards to send to friends and family.  However, this year I have a lot going on and wanted to do something a little easier.  Between photography and the editing and all of the graphic design I'm doing for Studio E, I haven't had as much time to do my personal stuff.  The answer?  Shutterfly.com!


I really like this design:



There were several others that I liked too...but I love the versatility of this design having the space for multiple pictures.  With 5 little misfits to include, we need the extra space!  You can find it here.
I have ordered photos from Shutterfly multiple times and have always been pleased with the quality of the prints.  This will be my first time getting photo cards from them, but I am confident that the quality will exceed my expectations. 

Looking for awesome gifts?  Check out these desk photo calendars!  Another one of my favorite products.  These would make a perfect gift for a grandparent, aunt , uncle, or other family member that could use some photos to brighten up their workspace!

Love these wall decals as well!

And check out these beautiful wrapped canvas photos! And while you're there, check out all the other items they have to offer including thank you notes, and birthday cards!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

On a roll...

The page I showed you yesterday came together so quickly and so easily that I just let the ball keep on rollin' and I made a few more.  I really have missed having the extra time to spend up in my little studio space so it was really nice to be up there quite a bit yesterday!

Here are the rest of the pages...






































Love.
6x6 page
Patterned paper:  American Crafts
Cardstock:  Papertray Ink
Border strip:  Bazzill
Chipboard Letters:  Colorbok







































Sweet Sisters
6x6 page
Patterned Paper:  Came out of my scraps bin...no clue who the manufacturer is...sorry!!
Cardstock:  Papertrey Ink
Buttons:  Papertrey Ink
Border strip:  bazzill
Other:  Sisters plaque-Making Memories (it's probably 4 years old!)

and last but definitely not least...






































You feel like home to me
6x6 page
Cardstock:  Papertrey Ink
Stickers:  Making Memories
Arrow Brad:  Oriental Trading Co.
Patterned Paper:  Making Memories "Noteworthy" Memo pad
Chipboard Letters:  Colorbok



And there you have it.  The result of some quality time in my studio.  Really happy that it got the juices flowing for my December Daily album which starts TODAY!  I will share little peeks at that as I get the pages done.  Today's page is focusing on our Countdown to Christmas calendar.

Also, I'm happy to report that I've had an overwhelming response to my photography sessions.  I have my first shoot this weekend and I'm SO excited!  So you'll start seeing the sneak peeks for those sessions here on the blog-o too and I'd love to get some feedback on those as well!

Have a great day everybody!  Happy December 1!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Since I had them out...

My craft table was kind of covered in paper scraps and stamps from yesterday, so I decided to use some of those supplies to do a quick scrapbook page. 





































This is a 6x6 page...just the right size to fit on one of the shelves in our living room.  {I have about a hundred of those little stands that I got for free - I need to start putting 'em to use!}

The whole thing took me literally less than 10 minutes and I'm pretty happy with it.  Doesn't hurt that I absolutely. love. this. picture!



Monday, November 29, 2010

CPS Sketch #195

Felt the need to drag out some supplies and create with actual paper and supplies other than my computer...  I've been meaning to get a card out to my mom for all of her emotional support over the past couple weeks with all my job craziness and the fall-out from it so I headed on over to Card Positioning Systems blog for a sketch to get the mojo going and came up with this card for their latest sketch:



















card recipe:
Cardstock:  Raspberry Fizz & Kraft-Papertrey Ink, White and Chocolate Chip from Stampin' Up. 
Ink:  Chocolate Chip-Stampin' Up; Raspberry Fizz & Spring Moss from Papertrey Ink
Stamps:  Wishing You, Polka Dot Basics, and Women of Life all from Papertrey Ink.
Dies:  Nestibilities
(Patterned paper:  I designed that brown damask print on the kraft paper)

I forgot to take a picture of the inside, but it says "You're someone I look up to no matter how much I've grown."

Are you a card-maker?  Head on over to CPS for some sketch-inspiration!!  And then link up what you make, they have weekly drawings!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mama said there'd be days like this...

There'd be days like this, mama said...

I am sad to report that my sweet, angelic, beautiful little girls have been possessed by evil little aliens.  Had to go to the grocery store.  MY girls behave in public.  They know how to keep their mama happy.  These little girls?  Pinching, hitting, yelling, crying, whining, fit throwing...all the no, no's in this family.  Complete with foot stomping and a major meltdown.  This mama needed a stiff drink before noon. 

While they were serving time for criminal behavior  quietly spending some quality time in their respective bedrooms, I was able to do a little bit of design work to help salvage my sanity. 

Here's a new stationery that I came up with:



 and in a favorite color combo of mine right now: black, gray, and yellow







































The design was inspired by some bedding that I saw at Target on Black Friday.  I also fell in love with a quilt that I saw there...but unfortunately don't need to purchase a new quilt right now... {sigh}  I could spend years in Target.  I love it.


PS...I did promise some fabric projects and they are coming soon!                                         

Friday, November 26, 2010

Final Card in Modern Note Card Series

Hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving!!  I was slightly bummed because I had been hoping to head back to the good old midwest to visit family for the holiday, but we weren't able to go.  Such is the way of the military life.  We did have a wonderful day at home, though.  My husband made a delicious turkey and we had TONS of food and yummy pies and all kinds of good stuff.  Definitely a day to be thankful for. 

We did just a tiny bit of Black Friday shopping today.  I went to Justice, Bath & Body Works, Target, Walmart, and the fabric store.  **Expect some fun sewing projects to pop up on here soon!**  It was mostly uneventful except that Misfit #1 broke a candle while we were in Bath & Body Works.  In her defense, she was holding the candle because I asked her to, and then tried to put back a candle that Little Miss had gotten off the shelf when she was supposed to be sitting in her stroller.  She was trying to be helpful.  But she dropped the candle I had her hold.  Glass went everywhere.  There was a collective gasp in the store.  Thankfully the staff was  really nice and didn't make a huge deal so we avoided any further embarrassment.  She felt pretty bad, though.  Poor kid.  That is precisely why my misfits should be left at home during shopping trips...but it was kind of unavoidable to have them with me this time.

On to the card...final card in the set. 



And a peek at the matching address labels.










So what do you guys think?



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Awesome Giveaway at Today's Mama Blog

Check out the awesome giveaway ofer at Todays Mama!  Just copy and paste and then fill out the questions like I have below and link up to enter!


Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme


TodaysMama (link to: http://bit.ly/tmwishlist) and GameStop (link to: http://bit.ly/gamestop10) are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What is your holiday wish for your family?  Like many others, I wish for health, happiness, and togetherness for my family.  Being a a military family is difficult because many times we are great distances away from our family members and are on a completely different schedule with deployments and other missions that can come up.  This year I'm wishing for plenty of time to enjoy being  together with our immediate family and our extended family before my husband deploys again in February.

2. What is your Christmas morning tradition?  The kids usually wake us up around 5 a.m. shouting "Santa came! Santa came!"  Then we have some donuts and hot chocolate while the kids open their stockings and then gifts.

3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be?
A Nikon D90 with a telephoto lens!

4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money?
we enjoy our time together doing things like playing board games, playing soccer or football in the backyard, going for family walks, and creating handmade gifts for one another.

5. What games did you play with your family growing up? We played a lot of card games when I was a kid, Crazy 8's, Old Maid, Go Fish, and Rummy.  We also played Bunco quite a bit.  Outside we played t-ball, flashlight tag, and Hide and Seek.

6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood?  We do an advent calendar which is something we did every year when I was growing up.  And the kids each get an orange in their stocking, like I did as a child.

7. Where would you go for a Christmas-away-from-home trip?  To visit family in Indiana.

8. Check out GameStop (link to: http://bit.ly/gamestop10) and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year?
1.  xbox 360/Kinect
2.  DSi Pink or Light Blue
3.  Zumba Fitness for wii


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Modern Note Card- 3

Are you ready to see card number three of the modern note card set?? 

Here she is...


And here is an example of how it looks if you change up the colors a bit...


and another one...



















What do you guys think?  These would make cute thank you notes for wedding or engagement gifts or greetings from a newly married couple. 

Back tomorrow for the debut of the final card in the set!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Motivation Monday: Operation Fun with Kids & a new venture

It's Monday again, and lucky you!  Two posts from me in one day!!  Come on, admit it.  You know you look forward to it. 
So for Motivation Monday this week I'm all about the kiddos.  One of the things I was constantly complaining about when I was working was that there just weren't enough hours in the day and often playing with the kids just for the sake of some good old fashioned fun fell by the wayside because of other obligations and responsibilities.  You know...like homework, and eating, and bathing, and of course soccer.  Now that I'm at home for an unspecified amount of time, I have decided that I am going to make the most of it and have some fun with my kids. 

Painting, park days, movies snuggled up on the couch with some popcorn, makeovers, and painting their precious little fingernails and piggies to their hearts' content!  Of course, Little Miss will benefit from this slightly more than Miss Thing since she will be home with me all day, but I definitely intend to spread the love and play time. 

Also...been doing a little thinking on possibly extending myself a little bit and doing a little bit of child photography.  I definitely love kids, and love photography so kind of makes sense to branch out a bit and combine the two.  I've had some people ask in the past after seeing photos I've taken of my own kids and I've always been too busy.  So now may be a perfect time to try something new.   

Because seriously...how fun is it to capture moments like this??


and this??!

Miss Thing struggles with her self-confidence a bit because of some things we went through a few years ago and it made my insides go all warm and mushy when she looked at these photos and said, "Wow, I look BEAUTIFUL!!"  Yes.  Yes she does.  So thankful that I captured it and that she sees it in these photos, even if she doesn't quite see that she is this beautiful all the time yet...it's a start.  I intend to print these photos and display them in our home so that she has a reminder every time she walks by them.  Wouldn't it be awesome to have all kids see themselves that way?! 


Ok, so now it's your turn.  Head on over to Nain's blog and link up what's motivating you this week!!

Modern Note Card Series- 2

Happy Monday!  So strange to not be going to work this morning.!  Nice in a way...but definitely different! I am not going to get too comfortable in this stay-at-home role, but I think I like it!  I was a work at home mom up until about a year ago.  I was pretty spoiled getting to be here at home all day long.  So were my little misfits! It was a big, difficult decision to go work outside the home and now I've sort of come full circle.  I know it will be hard to go back again when it's time so I might as well enjoy the time I have with my little miss during the day while I am able to {and the hubby too when he's home}!   

Obviously my day of mourning for my job is over and I'm doing my best to just move past it and open myself up to whatever opportunities lie ahead for me.  When one door closes, another one opens up...or if not a door then at least a window.  And in the words of Forrest Gump, that's all I have to say about that.

Now on to today's fun stuff...here is card number 2 in the modern note card series that I showed you yesterday. 
I like that this is a fun print but at the same time it's still graphic and clean.  This one can also be customized with colors and sentiment just like the one from yesterday. 

Be back tomorrow with card number 3 in the set! 


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Modern note card series-1

Hi Friends!

This is the first of 4 cards that will come in a pack of 12.  The set will contain 3 of each design and will include envelopes.  These will be available on the etsy site and will sell for $15. 
The cards can be done in any color scheme with the sentiments shown or one of your choosing and of course can be personalized with your name.  They are blank on the inside.


Matching address labels will also be available for an additional cost. 

What are your initial thoughts? 



Saturday, November 20, 2010

Monogram Notecard

Quick share for this Saturday morning...
Last soccer game of the season and a banquet today.  So not much time to get chatty today...


Here's the monogram note card. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

December Daily

Forgive me in advance for any emotional rambling that comes out today.  I lost my job today.  It came as a bit of a shock...and maybe it shouldn't have.  I worked for a doctor's office and recently the doctor decided to make some changes and stop accepting insurance and developed a system using sort of a menu of service options.  Well out of 5,000 patients, only 30 had signed up as of yesterday for the new program.  A couple weeks ago he assured me and the others working in the practice that our jobs were safe and we had no reason to be worried at all.  I believed he'd keep his word, so I didn't really bother with any preparation that I might be losing my job.  I had only been there for 6 months so I was the low man on the totem pole.  I went in for work this morning in a great mood, ready for the day and he dropped the bomb on me right when I got there before anyone else showed up. 

To say I'm overwhelmed is a bit of an understatement.  It's a month until Christmas.  We have 5 kids.  We are building a house that is to be completed in February.  It could all fall apart now with this.  I'm incredibly stressed out and worried about how we're going to make ends meet.  To top it all off, my husband is halfway around the world on a mission for work so I don't have him here to reassure me that things are going to be ok. 

I did manage to send in my application for unemployment this morning when I got home.  At least they have that all accessible online so I didn't have to go anywhere in all my puffy, red-faced, runny nosed, emotionally disasterous glory.  My poor babysitter.  I think I may have scared her **Sorry**. 

To make myself feel better, I did spend quite a bit of time working on some craft stuff...it always brightens my mood.
I started my December Daily.  Sort of.  I started gathering some supplies that I can use for it.  Designed a couple sheets of patterned paper, made some tags, etc and started on getting things printed and all in one place.  Here is a shot of some of the paper, including 3 of the ones that I made myself...


 
Mine of course are the ones on the top.  I have a thing for polka dots lately...I made a red one too...that one isn't in the picture.  And that damask print, yum.  Love it. 
These will all be trimmed down.  I can't decide how big I want the album to be.  Maybe 6x6...maybe 8x6...decisions decisions.  If you're not familiar with the December Daily concept, go check out Ali Edwards blog here

 I also made my first ever sock monkey.  Actually I made 2.  They aren't great,I don't think I used the best kind of socks for the project but my girls like them.  Here they are...
























Please ignore the hanging strings and such, I haven't had a chance to clean that all up because the misfits ran off with them as soon as I had all the pieces sewn together! 

I guess the good news is that I'll have a lot more time to keep this thing updated and to work on more designs!