Wednesday, October 30, 2013

December Daily 2013

   I love creating little projects, which are sort of mini project life books or an expanded mini book.  Last year I did a 'Autumn 2012' album and a December Daily.  This year I did Week in the Life and am still working on Day in the Life every month.  I skipped my Autumn album this year, though we did a lot of stuff so I'm sure I could go back and make one if I only had the time.  I am super excited to do December Daily this year again, even though it looks like we won't be able to travel home to PA.  I'll be 8 months then and it just seems to risky, especially since you never know when a flight will be easy or super stressful.

   I think I will still have plenty to document around here and I do plan on putting our Diwali activities into this book as well.  I still haven't come up with a title, but last year I simply titled it "twenty twelve JOY".  I will do something simple and non-binding this year as well. The idea of doing it daily is nice but not always realistic for me these days, ha!

I am working with the Ali Edwards kit from Studio Calico again this year.  I did 8x8 last year, but I'm excited to work with the 6x8 Handbook size, though I really enjoyed the 8.5x11 size I used for Week in the Life a lot too.  Isn't this kit so lovely?   I love all the gold and wood veneers.

I also gathered a big collection of holiday-themed washi tapes for this in my shop.  They are such a simple and easy way to add color and patterns to the little pockets.  I like mixing in some teal, navy, lime green and chalkboard with the usual red and greens.  Gold and silver of course too.  Don't worry, you can order your own set too.

I thought I would be pretty good with these things but when I saw the new wood veneers from Elle's Studio I just had to add them to my DD stash.  You know I love wood veneers and the designs are just fabulous.

My game plan is to work on days as they come.  I will probably also include Thanksgiving in my album as well.  Somehow I find my Thanksgiving layouts to be really dorky on their own, don't know why.  I will get a start on my cover soon hopefully, when I get a little more caught up on PL I think.  So, are you working on  any fun Holiday projects this year?

Great deal on all MINTED Holiday Cards this weekend!!  Ends Monday 11/11: $25 off + Free Shipping on all holiday cards. Code: JOY25FS Choose Express Service for an extra $20 off, you can get more than a total of $45 off your order that way!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The best mom.

Pop Quiz:
You are at the grocery store. You see an extremely pregnant person walking around with two very young children.  One has been screaming about something for at least three aisles now.  As the person pulls into the checkout lane you should:
a) ignore this person
b) offer to help
c) politely smile knowingly, as in, been there and it's okay

a) shoot this person a disapproving look
b) accost this person and point out everything you think they are doing wrong

If you choose to do the latter be prepared to be shamed in front of the entire grocery store as an unkind creep while three employees flock to the rescue of the first patron.  You have been warned.

In totally unrelated news, Nandini thinks that today is "Gudiya birthday", hence she deserves to sit in the back of the cart with free access to the cake bought for Ryan's birthday.  She also thinks the cake needs a happy face.

It is crazy how I will be feeling like I am doing a great job as a mom one minute.  I made countless home cooked meals in the last few days.  Took them to playdates and school on time.  I also cleaned the entire kitchen and painted pumpkins with them.  Not including all the books and games we play.  Seriously, it is only Tuesday!
I even felt pretty good about not giving in to her tantrum and getting her a treat.  I tried to console her and distract her, but she is two and all about discovering her own voice.  I shouldn't have to justify my actions anyway.  I also know I shouldn't take being yelled at in the grocery store so personally but it always gets me.  There is so little validation as a mom.  I need every scrap of help I can get.  Truly, I am so thankful for the employees who stepped in and helped me to my car.  Just, totally saved the day and my sanity.  The guy who walked out with me had a three year old and got to hear all my venting about how it is hard enough without unkind people butting in. 

And, when we got home?  Nandini and Avinash were happy as clams playing legos together, while I am still reeling.  My friend Sasha shared this video earlier today about how kids see their mom.  It had me tearing up earlier in the day and that was before cake-mageddon.  Even though I don't always feel like it I am the best parent I can be.  If you are having a rough day, it doesn't hurt to remember that you are too. Hugs.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Project Life | Walk the Plank

This week: We celebrated International Talk Like a Pirate Day.  We tried on our Halloween Costumes for Avinash's party.  We went to dino day at the museum.  Brunch, again, as usual one of my favorite things to photograph.  And mini golf, a thing they have not stopped asking about since but still worries me because we are literally handing them clubs.  Not good for my blood pressure.

First Page: I used my SC Marks&Co. kit a lot here.  I loved the colors, navy, bright yellow and touches of teal.  I also used my midnight kit, the cards are neutral and are a great base for photos or embellishments. I used white distress ink on the colored cards so I would have space to write or to frame a photo. 

I used the large roller stamp from Pebbles for the pirate day card title.  Finally get to use some anchors in context.

Second Side: I love this picture of Avinash teaching Nandini to say "walk the plank".  She did it with such gusto too.  Ryan and Avi started working on their first 'big kid' lego project together.  Definitely PL worthy. 

That cute wood veneer is from my SC kit as well.  I used the mini teal alpha from a KP kit for the mini golf card.  I cut apart a little Allison Kreft transparency card to overlay the photo of me and my baby belly. 

I am linked up with The Mom Creative for Project Life Tuesday. The PL kits I am using generally are the Studio Calico kit, Kelly Purkey kit and Midnight kit, with multi-pack page protectors.   Thanks for visiting, I appreciate all of your support.  Please, leave your links to any PL pages in the comments so we can check them out too.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Diwali Decorating Ideas | Easy&Modern

I'm sitting here trying to work on a design for the Becky Higgin's Holiday Card contest.  So of course I am looking at old pictures and just generally getting nothing done.

I realize that I have yet to decorate for actual Diwali this year, even though it is only ten days away.  We still have bats and cobwebs hanging up all over the place from Avi's Halloween Dress Rehearsal.

All I really need to do though is take those down and put away the candy bar I set up.  I have a lot of decorations that I made from years past that are just waiting to be hung.  If I slather myself in Off I can even go outside and attempt another chalk rangoli on our patio.  You know we have no shortage of chalk.

If you are like me and woefully behind, don't worry!  Diwali decorations are great because they can be left up all winter.  So even if you are late, you still have plenty of time to enjoy them.  And, to help you out, here are some of my favorite easy&modern decorating ideas.

Chalk Rangoli| If you live in America, getting access to real rangoli powder can be challenge.  Even if you do live really super close to an Indian store (ahem, cough), you might have no idea how to use said powder.  I am utterly clueless with it.  Also, how am I supposed to keep the kids from messing it up?
This is why I like chalk.  It is easy, accessible and won't get messed up when kids walk on it.  I try to find a part of our patio that is shielded from the rain, though it doesn't stand up that well to big downpours.  I think a lot of houses have a shielded entryway where this would work as well. 

Flower Rangoli| Another fun rangoli to make is a flower rangoli.  The good thing about these is that a few flowers go a long way.  I made this one for a friend's Diwali party and it held up really well all night.  

Paper flower garlands| I love all of the Martha Stewart crepe paper flower tutorials.  In orange and pink I think they make really nice Diwali decor as well.  Most of the flowers I made were using the tissue paper pom-pom flowers. I made shaped crepe paper flowers as well.  These are a bit more time intensive so I didn't make quite as many, ha! We packed these loosely in boxes for the move and they held up really, really well. 

Paper Lanterns and Twinkle Lights| I added some of these last year, along with big bulb lights and silver tinsel.  Martha Stewart has a paper lantern kit available at most craft stores.  Bring your 40% off coupon and it's not a bad deal. 

Mini Marquee Letters| I made these mini marquee letters last year as well after reading a tutorial at Oh Happy Day.  They are a true standout and I left these up for a long time last year.  We didn't have a mantle in our apartment, but we do now and I think they will fit there perfectly.

No matter what you celebrate, I wish you happy holidays and happy decorating.  If you have any other fun holiday decorating DIYs to share, please link me up in the comments!

Introducing Minted's first Diwali Card Collection! Ends Monday: $25 off + Free Shipping on all holiday cards. Code: JOY25FS Choose Express Service for an extra $20 off, you can get more than a total of $45 off your order that way!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pirate Chest DIY (and free silhouette woodgrain cut file!)

And, while we are on the theme of parties, here is something I made for Avinash's pirate party last year.  Some how I find it more arduous to blog about party crafts than actually do them (I do a lot!), lol.

Here are the basic steps.  You need a big box, kraft paper (you can get rolls of this very cheap for packages at like Staples and stuff), black construction paper, yellow washi tape (I used cheap target brand stuff) and some mist or paint.   I created a woodgrain stencil and cut it out with my cameo.  I then drew in the wood beams and misted the pattern here and there.  The lock is an old chipboard set I had, but you can make one out of paper and color it with a metallic sharpie.

The box was filled with plastic swords and fairy wands for the kids to play with and take home after the party. 

This is the stencil file I created.  You should be able to click on the image to grab the file if you want to use it. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Project Life | food&fun

This week: We celebrated our anniversary. My dad was still here visiting.  Avinash started half days at school (so painful, why torture moms with pick up and drop off like that).

First Side: I used a lot of Dear lizzy cards, again!  I love that they have such a large variety.  Plus, the colors are soft and complement my photos well. My favorite core kit right now.  I also used a lot of new chipboard stickers from Cut&Paste all over.  It 's easy to coordinate with just one pack. A few other little things from my KP kit, a badge and letterpress card. 

Gold glitter thickers to make these anniversary selfies more festive ;)

Second Side: I used a vertical design here.  I found this little pack of WRMK cards at Target that had some fun chalkboard designs. I made Avinash pose with his marquee letter A for his first day of school.  I also got out the camera on a random rainy day here.  Had to be done.

I am linked up with The Mom Creative for Project Life Tuesday. The PL kits I am using generally are the Studio Calico kit, Kelly Purkey kit and Midnight kit, with multi-pack page protectors.   Thanks for visiting, I appreciate all of your support.  Please, leave your links to any PL pages in the comments so we can check them out too.

ps. Chantal Phillippe and Shanna Noel have teamed up for a wonderful gratitude documented project. With freebies too, go check it out!

Also, more beautiful free printables from Two Peas are available. Go get them all!
And you too can answer the age old question, what does the fox say?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Halloween Dress Rehearsal | Chalkboards, bats and ghosts, oh my!

Subtitle: There is nothing safe in this house from me and some chalkboard paint. 

I came up with this theme when I was walking through Target last November and hit the 90% holiday clearance jackpot.  Avinash has an early October birthday and we love dressing them up at all whenever possible.  Also, there is nothing that other parents love more than getting their kids costumes ready three weeks early and goodie bags filled with candy to take home in the car.

DIY Crafts| 

We got a bunch of Kid Made Modern craft kits (a fantastic bargain on sale, since there is no prep work for me required) and made one every few days leading up to the party.  We made a glittered bat wreath, painted wooden haunted house and felt door hangers.  I also had a foam haunted house but that didn't get done in time. 

Avinash was also able to help me with a few other crafts for the party.  I bought a big pack of orange napkins and we created these pumpkins stuffed with candy.  Don't hate me but the triangles were cut from some leftover Hanukkah stickers.   I used one napkin to make a candy bundle and one to twist around the bundle in a pumpkin shape.  I used dark washi for the stems and to hold it all together of course. 

We also bought paper towels and made ghost pops.  The kids were truly confused by these, but I like how they each come with a handy napkin already attached.

The Food|

 I let Avinash look at pictures from pinterest and this is the cake he choose.  It was between this and meringue ghosts. 

I think I did a pretty good job coming close (with only some foam stickers and wooden skewers).  I decorated the cake with pieces from another Target craft kit.

Witches fingers - just carrot sticks, cream cheese and a tiny sliver of red pepper.  These were finished off pretty quickly.  Avinash loooved telling everyone to try a witch's finger.

A candy bar because I just like the way they look.  I try to get different colors, shapes and heights for the candy and containers.  The rock candy was by far the most popular thing there. 

I also covered the water bottles with some JBS printables.  I wanted to make some more spooky food that was easy to do so I quartered a cauliflower, spread some butter on it and roasted it for 45 minutes in the oven.  A surprisingly popular dish.  My mom also made Indian chickpeas and rice with fresh chutney.  Yum.


I made this banner for Nandini's party in the spring.  I used the chipboard sheets that come in my Studio Calico kit packaging (hoarding for the win!) and cut them into 6inch squares.  After painting, I scalloped the bottoms for a more finished look and strung them together with twine.  Because it really is chalkboard I just switched out the names for his party.  It looked really cute in the spring but it also blends in perfectly with the Halloween theme.  Score!  [I make a lot of party banners in my Etsy shop, if you are interested in a chalkboard one, just request a custom order and I will hook you up!]

The party sign is something I recently painted.  Turns out we are not super great at doing things like hanging mirrors.  This poor mirror shattered in the middle of the night.  After sweeping up the damage I decided to recycle the base into another lovely chalkboard.  I think I like it better this way. 

  I also made the chalkboard signs for the food myself by painting from chipboard sheets. You can read more of my chalkboard painting tips and ideas for furniture here.

Party Activities|

Facepainting.  I did this myself.  I used to paint faces professionally, oh, about ten years ago in New York City.  Ryan refused to get painted so he just went as himself.  Avinash choose a rainbow bird, Nandini did her own self portrait and my Dad was an awesome sport for choosing to be a lion.

Pumpkin Scavenger hunt.  This would have worked out a bit better if Austin wasn't having the worst rains and floods in years.  The backyard was soaked so we hid all of the pumpkins on our little concrete patio (mostly in plain sight).  The kids still had a blast 'finding' a pumpkin.  I pictured the kids calmly taking them home and opening them there.  They all tore right into them and picked out their favorite pieces and left the rest.  My plan to sneak in some boxes of raisins was quickly foiled.

Decorate your own pumpkin.  I bought bags of mini pumpkins and set them out in the playroom with black markers, googly eyes, stickers and glitter glue.  More glue ended up on the table and very few pumpkins were actually decorated.  I tried to make sure everyone at least got to take one home. I guess five is still too young for craft time at a party?  The number one favorite activity was chasing each other and screaming while holding on to a stick of rock candy. 

Are you tired yet?  The key for me was doing it piecemeal and making the crafts a part of our regular activities.  Crafting with a purpose is much more fun for me anyway.  My mom helped a lot with the food so that was easy (for me anyway).  The hardest part was getting our house clean and ready to go.  We only moved in like six months ago, so it is still a work in progress, ha!

linked up with Paper Issues' Halloween Issue.

I love fall. | New Layouts.

While my entire family was here visiting I did manage to sneak in a little scrapbooking time. I worked in bits and pieces at night just because I had so much free time, ha!  Actually, scrapping helps me stay sane and I feel a bit disconnected without it. 

Since we moved to Austin (and away from the awesome built in bookcases of our old apartment) my stuff sort of litters the living room in cardboard boxes.  These were put away so I largely worked from my most recent Studio Calico kit, Antiquary.  I just loved the new Printshop release papers and had a hard time choosing which papers to start with. 

This layout was such a blast to put together.  I decided to use the bold black and white A-side of this paper, even though I have loved Geralyn's ampersand print on the B-side for a long time.   It just fit the rocker-ness of these photos from Austin's music festival.

The best part of ACL was how kid friendly the whole thing was, so we brought the kids with us on the second day.  I think the thing I was most excited about was getting their hair spray painted in funky colors.  So, I spray painted my layout too, with a blend of pink and yellow neon mister hueys.  I have found few uses for them, but here was definitely one of them. 

I arranged everything down the center, including the title and the wood veneer stars.

Are these kids cool or what?

This layout is much more traditional and much more the norm for me. Visiting the pumpkin patch is one of those things that I fell instantly in love with after becoming a mom.  We have to go every year, and this year was no exception. Again, using the same kit here.

This page has a much softer feel than my previous Antiquary layout. I used a lot of the die cut tags with that beautiful rainbow scallop Printshop paper. I added a strip of chalkboard paper for contrast and stitched on some ribbon for texture. I added even more chalk ink around the edges than the 'distressed' pattern on the paper had to begin with.  The brads on the tags are really just enamel dots I colored with a metallic sharpie.
Even my mom liked this page, or she liked the picture of Nandini at least. Now she wants me to move to LA and start her modeling career.  I'm game I guess.

I love how versatile Antiquary is. Both pages also have a rainbow color scheme and elements of black and white, but you wouldn't really know they came from the same kit at first glance at all.

I am applying to the Becky Higgins' Project Life team (again, but it doesn't hurt to keep trying I suppose) and want to design a holiday card for that too.  I've never seen a Diwali card picked before and it would be fun to make one anyway.  I also really need to finish my post about Avinash's birthday party.  It was epic. Two other things are making me super happy today.  One is a bit of scrappy good news (ok, more than a bit) that I can't wait to share.  The other is that when Nandini was going to bed she turned to me and said, "bye Mommy, I miss you tonight."  She doesn't even know that I would have let her eat a whole bowl of candy and watch cartoons all night at that moment.  Sigh, it's too good.

linked up with Paper Issues' Halloween Issue and I love fall challenge.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Project Life | Read This.

This week: My dad came to visit.  We had an open house at Avi's school and got to meet his teacher for a home visit.  We celebrated Janmashtami at the temple and Avinash started reading for reals.  Yes, I am still catching up with September here! 

First Side: I used a lot of the 5th&Frolic core kit again and some Studio Calico cards.  I didn't journal on the photos like I normally do, so I used a 4x6 card to hold most of the writing.  The card of wood veneers was really fun to put together.  I thought about coloring them, but I still like the natural wood color best. 
The teal color of those arrow paper clips from Allison Kreft is the best.

 A back to school polaroid frame from my Etsy shop.  Again, I kept it plain and uncolored. 

 Second side: Lots of photos and just a few cards here. That cute flair is from JBS. I added a Crate Pier frame around Avinash as he marched confidently into his classroom.  Wood veneer cameras, always.  I had better not run out of those ever.

I cut the edge of the good times banner so I could slip the photo underneath.  Simple journaling with it.  

I love this little story about a boy taking candy from Avinash.  Nandini has retold it over and over so many times since then she thinks it happened to her. The small-ish black foam thickers are from Amy Tangerine and are perfect for subtitles on PL cards or anywhere.

I am linked up with The Mom Creative for Project Life Tuesday. The PL kits I am using generally are the Studio Calico kit, Kelly Purkey kit and Midnight kit, with multi-pack page protectors.   Thanks for visiting, I appreciate all of your support.  Please, leave your links to any PL pages in the comments so we can check them out too.

If you are interested in getting a Studio Calico kit, they have a pretty great promotion right now.  I really liked the add-ons this month, especially Amsterdam and Rome because of all the great new Printshop stuff.  Just put the add-on of your choice in your cart along with the new sub you want and the promo code will work. 
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