Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

I love omelets. I think I make them at least three times a week. And now that I am home for Christmas break, I am sleeping in later and making them for brunch. Harbor isn't crazy about them, but he likes the tomatoes. Yesterday morning, we both enjoyed them for a late lunch.

This is my parents' exercise room- well, it used to be. Harbor's things have slowly started creeping in, and now that my mom keeps him during the day while we work, he has become the king of this domain. With his recent birthday and Christmas, he has played nonstop with new toys. It is nice to have a room dedicated to the madness.

 Last night, Rachel and her roommate, Ashley, stopped by to visit. Harbor enjoyed being read to by someone other than my mom and me.

This is a picture of Harbor William from David's side of the family's Christmas. It is a bit overexposed, but he has such a funny little smile!
 My good friend Brandy recently helped me with a big project, and as a thank you, I whipped up some custom cards for her family during Harbor's afternoon nap. It is always fun to design colorful cards, and with my Big bite and Cricut, my work has been made much easier.

I feel so blessed- and lucky tonight. In the wee hours of this morning, a deadly storm hit our area. Not 20 minutes down the road from our house, an E4 tornado touched down and killed several people. Please say a prayer for the people of my area- many folks have lost property and livestock. Tonight, they even covered my area on ABC News. Such a sad way to end 2010. If you are a praying person, keep us on your heart.

Be safe and ring in the New Year in a big way! Here's to 2011!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Everyday Album

I am a firm believer that if someone takes the time (and with the ever increasing cost of postage! Yikes!) to mail you a letter, birthday card, wedding invitation, or a thinking of you sentiment, the best way to appreciate them, is to scrap them. And, I haven't, sadly, always done this. I think we have all received a wonderful handmade card and felt it valuable to keep and store it, but haven't really found a system that fits with our fast-paced lifestyle. For me, it is hard to toss something that includes a hand written note. 

My system is identical to my Holiday Album, but I tend to scrap more sentimental items in additional to everyday cards.
For this album, I chose a chocolate fabric covered "D" ring album. They can be purchased at Hobby Lobby and are on sale all the time.

The "D" ring looks similar to a regular 3- ring binder, which is the kind we are all familiar with from high school. The advantages of a D ring album are that you can scrap cards that have thick embellishments (big flowers, buttons, ribbon) and not really lose any of your space in the album. As you look through the album, the pages won't fall over on themselves either.

I am lucky to have lots of friends who make and mail handmade cards often, so much of what you will see are cards like those. But, I also keep store bought cards and can show you how I group those and layer them together.

I keep birth announcements and miscellaneous holidays cards. I don't scrap them by family, though I have seen some AMAZING albums that scrap all of a certain family together. I'm not really that particular, but I do scrap them as I receive them. I will leave them out for display for a few weeks, and then start a new page in the album. So, it would be totally normal for you to see a birth announcement and a spring card together. 

I scrap wedding programs..

and birthday invitations.
 Again.. another birth announcement paired with a wedding invitation.

I also keep random newspaper clippings in this album- I try to keep engagements close to wedding invitations.

Another thing I save- and maybe my favorite- are handwritten notes and letters. I can pull this album out on a gloomy day and instantly feel good. I think we all have days where cards and notes serve as reminders of love and friendship.

I'm noticing here that I have scrapped our own family card for Harbor's 1st 4th of July. I actually keep another album that is completely separate for our family cards that we make and send, but if I have extra, I will double up and use them in my Everyday Album as well as our Family album.

For regular store bough cards, I usually layer and collage them. These tend to come in large amounts during a birthday week, for instance.

The nice thing about scrap booking cards is that you have the added bonus of using the page protectors for whatever purpose you want. Just recently, Rachel, wrote an essay about my influence in her life and sent me a copy after she turned it into one of her UofA college courses. I simply stapled it and slipped it into a blank page protector.

I also save graduation announcements for both high school and college. I, for one, know how expensive those things are!

Another favorite of mine is to scrap postcards! Postcards are so sweet and old fashioned! It is nice to know you were thought of during someone's vacation time.  

And of course, my students supply me with never-ending cards. I love them all! Someday, I know I will be glad to have kept mementos from this season of my life.

Find a way to save important cards and letters from the friend and family in your life. If you are not into scrap booking, use a simple photo storage box or take a picture of them and upload them into a digital album. You could create multiple digital albums for each family member and save them accordingly.
If you mail something to me, rest assured it will have a home- forever! Ha, ha!

I wish you a Happy New Years! If you are from the south like we are, we always cook black-eyes peas and eat them on New Year's Day. I also have an anonymous poll that will be up all month if you want to participate.
Stay warm and happy scrapping!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Word on Card Keeping

I keep two albums for scrap booking cards: one for everyday use and one for Christmas cards. In my "Everyday" album, I also keep birthday, get well, congratulations, baby and graduation announcements, and any other holidays, such as Easter, Valentines, etc.. I use a 3 "D"-ring album with a fabric cover. I prefer these since they open like a regular 3-ring binder, and I don't have to mess with the old fashioned tabs that require you to load each page individually and limit how and where you can move them once you are done. Regardless of what style you prefer, most all albums are made with acid free paper to ensure your cards won't yellow through the years.

I used my Cricut cutter to label them on the front. If you are looking for a simple, but fun way to keep your cards intact, you may like to develop some system of your own similar to this or any other number of ideas. I would love to hear from any of you that save and scrap your cards. I'm always up for new ideas.

If you are new to saving cards, have no fear. I only recently started scrapping my cards- probably in the last three years. Before then, I kept them in a big clear Rubbermaid tub on a shelf in my craft room. I never enjoyed them that way. They were out of order and rarely saw the light of day.

Though I may get some New Years cards later in the week, I went ahead and scrapped my 2010 cards tonight, which is another favorite activity of mine.

 I just use regular double sided tape- strong enough to hold the cards in place, but if I don't like the layout, it doesn't tear the cards to move and reposition them either. Always position them first and tape last. If you are new to scrabooking, this is my best tip. Ha!

This is the first page of my album- these cards start around 2001. I thought I would show a few pages through the years before I talk about how I decide my layouts.

These are the cards I received this year. Before I get started, I fan them all out so I can see them according to size. Deciding on layouts is much easier if you can see all that you are working with.

As a rule, I try to group them so that each double page spread either coordinates by size or design. I also try to never overlap them or cut off any one's face. : ) I will, however, trim newsletters to fit beside their prospective cards.

I loved the size of the middle card- it worked perfectly to separate two photo cards.

Here is a newsletter and photo card from the same family- I did cut the excess paper from the sides of the newsletter to make it fit. Try to keep pictures with newsletters as you work so that you don't end up with a random picture at the end and have to search through 30 pages to find its match.

This spread had some coordinating elements. On the outside corners of each, I kept a loose photo (not a photocard) with the store bought card it came with and included two different sizes of photo cards. Though it is not an obvious theme, grouping cards is always a good idea when trying to create a theme. I never use extra paper or embellishments in these types of albums, so you naturally do what you can to show coordination.

For this layout, I just used store bought cards. Grouping them helps create a theme so that a lone store bought card doesn't appear out of place with photo cards. I always make sure to tape the cards down only on the back side and never in between the actual card. In doing so, when I want to reread them, I can pull out my page and open them easily.

If I have cards where the sender hand wrote a special message, I may tape them down to show the internal view and not the outside. 

Also, some cards, depending on size, may require a full spread of two pages. This card, from Miranda, included a newsletter and a birth announcement, which required more space. If your cards are spread out before you start scrapping, you can make sure you will include all pieces and not run out of pages to group them together.

I try to save a few cards from my students every year, too.

I do save all the envelopes every year as well, but I only do it until the next Christmas. I make sure to send a card to everyone I received from. It is a good system that works for me to guarantee I won't forget anyone.

So there you have it! It is simple, but very valuable to me. I love looking through the book every year and remembering what family and friends looked like or did or said as the years pass.

I would love to do a post on my "Everyday" album, but I'm sure you are half asleep as it is! Ha!