Thursday, September 11, 2014

Project Life | Black & White and making it work.



This Week| Moving in, getting settled.  Taking time to play and avoiding unpacking.

First Side| Lots of great black and white cards here.  Not a lot of faces in the pictures here, but they still tell the story.  The word art on the photo is from the A Beautiful Mess app.  I used a diamond transparency as my window pocket.  The tag was run through my die cutting machine to the get the 'hello' on there.

Second Side| I wasn't that happy with this side.  I think all the browns didn't match well with the black and white.  I normally love woodgrain, but the woodgrain post card just didn't look right. The watercolor hearts show through from the other side. I added a lightbulb transparency on top for fun.  The lightbulb moment of Lakshman's first laugh maybe?


This Week| Baby checkups. Avinash playing basketball.  This happened every week for a while because he was in two leagues, but I really don't have to document it every time. Also, science experiments at the museum and reading Noisy Nora with Gudiya. Oh, and a bear eating my nose. Important stuff.



First Side| More black and white.  The peonies photo has a lot of white space which is nice too.  I have a bunch of random die cuts lying around and the Love This circle (from Ali Edwards' files) was a perfect fit here.




Second Side| I sort of love how this page is wildly colorful.  Somehow, what wasn't working the previous week suddenly does.  I still have one page of black and white but they somehow mesh better together.  When in doubt trust in white space, here on journaling cards and an extra large border around the photo of Lucky and me. Those colored doilies are just my favorite.  They are from the SC kits and different from regular doilies.  Blue green is always a fun combination.  And, when right on top of red and pink it reminds me of a rainbow.  With yellow coming from the pie chart card, a card I designed myself and for sale in my Etsy shop here. One red asterisk from my SC kit letters is the perfect window page.

You can see all of my Project Life pages here.  This is my third year of doing Project Life and I love this method of memory keeping for our family.  The PL kits I am using generally are the Studio Calico kit, and Midnight kit, with mostly Design A pages this year. I am linked up with the Mom Creative this week.


Now it is your turn!  Add your link back to your Project Life pages here and try to visit and leave comments for each other as well.  Grab a button if you'd like, or just pin it to your favorite scrappy pinterest board, anything works!  Thanks to everyone who linked up last time!  I will be holding a regular weekly link up from now on.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

First Day Of Kindergarten and Preschool.

 Luckily we had plenty of preparation for this day. Meetings with Nandini's teacher at home and at school. We already knew Avinash's teacher from summer camp.  His kindergarten is in the same place where preschool was, so there was no major transition. Still, this was a much anticipated day. Full of excitement and promise for great things to come.

We didn't do anything extreme but some pictures were definitely in order. And, any excuse to pull out my chalkboard. We told them our hopes and prayers the night before. Special outfits were donned in the morning.

A breakfast of dry cereal was eaten in the car (because the fridge was acting up and we had no potable milk).  A special lunch and special water bottle were packed.

 Nandini was too shy to go in first so we all dropped off Avinash together. He found his good friend Emme and held her hand like long lost pals.  It has maybe been two weeks since they saw each other.
Nandini didn't want to talk to anybody at first but was ready to do puzzles. She wanted us to stay with her but let us go without crying. She was still doing puzzles when I peeked in the window a bit later. 
 Nandini got a good report at pick up. I heard her tell her teacher she didn't want to go since she didn't get a chance to color yet. She also informed her that her water bottle was from Target.


I asked her to tell me about her favorite thing at school.  Definitely got a better response than the standard "how was school?".   Her answer? Puzzles. And learning scoottering outside. And talking to Miss Haley. She likes talking to Miss Haley because she is nice. This was a big relief for me since she was so bonded to her last teacher and wary of a new one.


We all went back to school two hours later to pick up Avinash. I peeked in on him at lunch time. Of course he ate his chocolate chip cookie first and was delighted to have the student teacher read the note Ryan put in. One of his friends tattled on him later to me about the cookie. Ha. 

We made borax crystals the night before and I let him bring one in. His friend G was dying to come over to our house and make some with us. C kept asking me what Avinash likes (as a secret) so he could plan something for a play date. I said pirate stuff. So now we apparently need to plan a treasure hunt play date soon. His other friend told me  she didn't know who she was going to marry yet at pick up. Seems like a very full day!

Avinash told me his favorite things on the way home. There were several. First one, starts with G and ends with D (go outside).  The next starts with R and ends with T (art).  Maybe he can learn some more about spelling this year?


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

These three.




Lakshman:

Seven months old today. 

Has started crawling. 

Had his first two teeth pop out. 

Loves to chew on anything he can find. Bits of paper, fingers, toys.  Spoons are his favorite. 

Such a good snuggler. I love to watch him nap with Nana. 

Has started eating a solids a little bit. He mostly just chews on chunks of watermelon or something. He seems to like soup and had dal with Nana. 

 Loves to explore the house searching for things to put in his mouth.  He will also play with yarn like a little cat. 

Always wants to be in the center of action with his kids. If they are in the playroom, he needs to be in there too. Having them back home is such a big deal for him. 

Nandini:

Avinash's constant shadow. 

Still not 100% sure about the baby. Until recently she thought "he needs to go back to his doctor home" (ie, the hospital). Thankfully we were able to convince her that we should keep him. 

Is getting much stronger after her ballet class and working on her tricycle with Nani. 

Can be either princess Gudiya or super Gudiya depending on the time of day. I think she's always a bit of both. 

Avinash:

Has so much imagination. 

Can play car games with Nandini all day long. 

Dotes on his baby brother. And gets plenty of admiration in return. 

Loves treasure and adventure. I think he may be a pirate. He draws out maps, picks up all shiny rocks he finds and has at least five hiding places around the house. 

Starts kindergarten tomorrow and I'm so not ready but I'm trying to be. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Home Tour | Playroom Makeover

Sometimes it amazes me that we ever bought the house we did.  Looking back at the old real estate photos it is hard to know what drew me to the house in the first place.  We really did not want a fixer-upper.  We are that couple who didn't even want to worry about painting after moving in, let alone some kind of DIY project.  But, buy the place we did.  Painting commenced soon after once I realized we had over a week lag in between closing and needing to move out of our rental.

I initially was going to just touch up a few rooms myself.  A friend suggested I paint the shelves as well so they would feel fresh and clean when we moved in.  I took Avinash over to the new house and 'we' painted for four hours.  I got one tiny shelving area painted and basically gave up on that plan.  In between nursing the baby and not wanting him near paint fumes I knew this was not going to work at all.  We had a green kitchen, bedroom and bathroom that needed not to be.  Also, the media room.  Was horrific.  Just awful.  A room I can only describe as a dark plum pit in the middle of our house.

 {These pictures are from our real estate packet.  Apparently this room is where outdated furniture and velour went to die.}

A media room was totally useless for us.  We only have one TV in our possession and have every intention of keeping it that way. What we were in need of was a place to keep ALL THE TOYS. So, we had the room painted.  It took four coats of Benjamin Moore's Simply White to cover all that plummy badness, but they finally did it.

The room kind of stayed that way for months.  A few toys were unpacked and then toys and empty boxes littered the room. 

I had ideas but it was hard to move forward.  We moved all of our cheap white metal Ikea bookcases into that room.  We organized the room a little.  Ryan started going to these auctions at Goodwill and buying old, I mean, vintage toys.  Something magical started to happen.  Avinash and Nandini started playing together.  Making up stories.  Mostly about their new old hot wheels.  Each has a name and a birthday.  They recently had a long talk about what their special powers would be.  Oh my word, it is just amazing to listen to them.

I knew I needed to make them a better place to play. 

Then something else magical happened.  We organized the toys.  All the toys.  My mother in law came to visit and she was eager and excited to help me.  And we actually had a fun time doing it.  She loves reading and playing with them.  Her love for them really showed while she helped me sort and put away all the leftover boxes from the garage.  It just really warmed my heart. 

While having flashes of the Berenstein Bear's Messy Room transformation we sorted toys by type into canvas bins (from Land of Nod) and stacked books on the shelves.  We also cleared out a ton of trash.  Ryan took bags and bags of stuff back to Goodwill to donate (our old stuff, not theirs).  The kids went up north with her for a week and we completed the only real project for the room, putting up shelves.


I started by moving Avinash's globe collection out of his room.  It's for the greater good, plus it gives him more space to display his lego creations.  Totally win win.

Sometimes things start to look worse before they look better.




 Luckily, since everything was already organized it didn't take much time to get everything set up. I tried to avoid overcrowding the shelves.  I like to have a balance of display items, like the suitcases, ferris wheel, and globes with regular everyday toys.  The muppets even found their way on to a shelf of their own.

 I painted a couple more things for the playroom.  The dollhouse looks so much classier in grey instead of pink.  Plus, I used chalkboard paint (when do I not?) so they can draw on the walls if they want. The little magazine rack now holds coloring books and art supplies.


Actual playing.  The hallmark of a great play room :)





Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Project Life | Yes, Indeed.



This Week| Avinash's last week of ballet for the season.  An outdoor ballet show at the park 'for Nandini'.  Unpacking, getting settled in to the new house. And, lots of snuggly baby time of course.


First Side| I used several full patterned cards here.  I think these were easier to mix together and work with because the colors are softer.  I have a harder time doing that with bolder colored cards because they take away from the photos too much.  There is definitely extra space to add some journaling about the baby.  SO need to get over my mental block and do that. 


Second Side| Keeping it pretty simple this week.  Photos and a bit of journaling.  Not sure I love how the postcard turned out, but it is done and that's it.  I snipped a bit of journaling card off to add extra words to a photo.


Window pocket| More die cut water color paper, this time hearts.  Also, you can see the die cut from the previous pages showing through.  Love how the see through elements layer up on each other making you want to turn the page and see more.


Card Idea| The watercolor was already done for me on this card so all I had to do was add a die cut word and letters. I mixed different textures too by adding cork and wood.

You can see all of my Project Life pages here.  This is my third year of doing Project Life and I love this method of memory keeping for our family.  The PL kits I am using generally are the Studio Calico kit, and Midnight kit, with mostly Design A pages this year. I am linked up with the Mom Creative this week.


Now it is your turn!  Add your link back to your Project Life pages here and try to visit and leave comments for each other as well.  Grab a button if you'd like, or just pin it to your favorite scrappy pinterest board, anything works!  Thanks to everyone who linked up last time!  I will be holding a regular weekly link up from now on.

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Different kind of blog hop

Hi! I was tagged by two wonderful scrappy ladies for a scrapbookers blog hop that has been making the rounds.  The lovely Betsy Sammarco, aka PharmGirl, who is also our fearless leader at the JBS digital team.  She is such a lovely person to work with and I consider her a friend and major source of my self-esteem.   She does that amazing thing where she combines talent and organization and sweetness and encouragement all in one.  The very  talented and sweet Tisha also tagged for this blog hop.  She has such great style and awesome ideas. Like, her recent post about placing albums around the house for people to see.  I love that, scrapbooks need to be shared!


 
  1. What am I working on right now?


So many things.  My oldest two kids (that feels so weird to type, since we always now tell the baby that Avinash and Nandini are his kids) have been with their grandparents for a week so I have time for everything and nothing.




I find myself painting a lot.  This little antique book holder we had got some circus-y triangles painted on it.  I also repainted the pink doll house a more stately grey. The chalkboard frame also got a fresh coat of grey paint.  Turns out chalk markers aren't always as washable as they claim.


Also put up shelves in the playroom.  I couldn't decide between staining the wood or painting but ended up doing white on white.  Love it.  Now I just need to keep the shelves organized and neat.  And pray they don't climb on them when they get back.

I recently had one of my digital designs licensed for resale by The Ink Road, a really cool Etsy shop.   So exciting and fun to do something different for me.  Hope to do more of this stuff in the future.


        2. How long does it take me to create a project?
Forever and no time at all.  Take this layout for example.  I spent a whole afternoon stamping and watercoloring along with the kids.  I loved it so much that I turned the scrap paper it into a layout.  That part took no time at all and I finished three other layouts that night.  The longest part is usually coming up with an idea.  I think I am guilty of trying way too hard to scrap each page differently. 



        3. What are my favorite things to create with at the moment?

Have I mentioned paint yet?  Yes, that.  Also, stamping and mini books.  I have too huge a stamp collection not to use them.  I started a few mini books with Avinash.  We actually finished one about the aquarium and I am still plugging away at my Disney book



        4. How does my writing/creating process work?

I used to have naptime.  Now it all happens after bedtime.  I love scrapping because it lets me unwind while we watch TV.  It also helps me pause life, just for a little bit.  I do all of my cutting and pasting at night and find little quiet times during they day when I'm alone to write.  I need to capture the things that are going on because otherwise I get overwhelmed with the feeling that life is just whooshing by me.   


        5. How do I become inspired and stay inspired?
Um. Pinterest?  Yeah, defiintely that actually.  I just love to look at a bold image, grab an idea from that and put it on a page somewhere.  It is a lot tougher for me to scraplifta page, than to just take one idea or embellishment and make it my own. 


        6. What is my signature style?
  Still evolving.  Always evolving I hope.  I have a lot of different interests, knitting, nature and science, scrapbooking, painting, photography, etc.  I like my pages to reflect that when I can.  They definitely vary a lot, I think.  I have been finding more of a style with my PL pages lately though.  Lots of black and white elements, because it is so bold and clear cut.  I also love to add openness to my pages by adding see through elements. 


I am tagging three crafty ladies of my own:

Michelle Hernandez, aka my analog life.  This woman has style for days.  Is such a tough New Yorker, who is so tough she even dared to leave Brooklyn and start something new for her family.  I love following all of her adventures on instagram too.

Smitha Katti, from Smiling Colors.  She seriously does it all.  There is no crafty skill she can't teach you.  Did you see her statue making abilities?  Blown away so much, I can't even describe it.  

Anandi Raman Creath, of papercraft labratory.  Seriously? Could her shop and blog name be any cooler? I love that she shares so many great memory keeping tips all the time and shares her memory keeping talent with others who want scrapbooks but can't make them or don't have time.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Project Life | #DFTBA


This Week| Let it go (actually that's every week, but I had to document it sometime).  Also, shadow puppets, mini golf and un-birthday free ice cream. 

Full Spread| Lots more pink. This time paired with yellow and aqua. I mixed up a few different kits.

Letterpress card + die cut embellishment. Perfect for my little diva. 

 I scatterd the stars and then dotted them with glossy accents after they were on the photos.

First Side| Oh, let it go.  I had to use that letterpress card from Kelly Purkey to document Nandini's Frozen obsession.  I think that and the rock star with sunglasses photos say it all. This page was a little more of a checkerboard than I've been doing lately.  I just love adding black and white elements to pages. The rest of the cards are SC.



Second Side|Sort of randomly stamped make stuff, from the Jubilee stamp set, onto a gold label and used pop dots to stick it on.  These journaling cards from Penny Arcade are so gorgeous I don't need to do much to them. #DFTBA (dont' forget to be awesome). These two brothers together have such a bond already.

Window pocket|  I used a pre made die cut made out of watercolor paper.  Love the rich feel they have to them. 



Card Idea| I made two artsy cards this week. One had a stamped design colored in with watercolors.  The other had a die cut title, also watercolored to add depth.  Simple titles are also a great way to add interest.

You can see all of my Project Life pages here.  This is my third year of doing Project Life and I love this method of memory keeping for our family.  The PL kits I am using generally are the Studio Calico kit, and Midnight kit, with mostly Design A pages this year. I am linked up with the Mom Creative this week.


Now it is your turn!  Add your link back to your Project Life pages here and try to visit and leave comments for each other as well.  Grab a button if you'd like, or just pin it to your favorite scrappy pinterest board, anything works!  Thanks to everyone who linked up last time!  I will be holding a regular weekly link up from now on.

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