Monday, November 30, 2015

December Daily Memories + Getting Started

I am gearing up to do another year of December Daily and I'm so excited about this project.

I have been doing this album every December since 2012.  The project felt very daunting to me before I tried it but now I'm hooked.

This year I signed up for Ali Edward's December Storytelling class.  I spent a good portion of my walks this months listening to her album overview videos.   So many things about this project are timeless and classic.  I still love all the full page photos and daily templates.

I really loved the walk down memory lane too.  I decided to pull out my old albums and take a look.  Here are some of the covers of year's past.

My December 2012 album.  I used chipboard and a little stamping and embossing for the cover.  I still love that red seam binding. 

A couple of my favorite pages from that year.  Grids and full page photos. 

Merry and bright, December 2013.  I layered die cuts and painted over them with white paint and gesso.  I also have a free cut file for this word art on my blog.  

I got the album out while putting out decorations and loved the way it feels.  I almost feels like a really intricate wood veneer.  I love it.  

The pages themselves feels very fun.  I was very pregnant and there are lots of great memories here. Lots of Christmasy colors and kraft die cuts.  I think it was my first year using a kit. 

December Daily, 2014.  I kept this album really simple.  Number stickers and a felt gift tag.   

I really liked this album, we have so many December traditions now, like going to the tree farm and the Capital Tree Lighting.  On these pages, I used a lot of white space, divided pages and open pockets with embellishments.  I do kind wish I had used more full page photos and want to do that this year.

For this year's cover I decided to try the layered die cut technique again.  I cut this phrase twice in green, light green, light blue and silver glitter paper.  I glued the words together and attached them to the cover.  I cut layer of red as well when I was making this but decided not to use it.

I made some matching word art to go along with the cover as well.  Loving this silver right now! 

We already sat down and started making our calendar of activities for December.  Bring on the magic!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I am thankful for ...

 The grass being so green from all the rain lately.  And crab apple blossoms in the middle of November.

A sense of wonder in this first grader who seems to be growing up all too quickly.

 Random free rock concert from the Plain White Ts at our mall's tree lighting ceremony.  Austin is so cool.

 The lady who put this swing up near the trail.  She is moving soon and I am praying that the new owners leave it up.

 This little bit of woods we can walk to.  It's five minutes long and I love it.  Sometimes there is even a brook.  I feel like I'm in Calvin and Hobbes land.

This baby learning to eat and chew and everything.  He got a pretzel as big as he is and basically charmed the pants off of everyone in the bakery while eating it. 

 Trips to get pie with this girl.  They ran out of my favorite, apple, but she got her chocolate pie and we talked about our upcoming feast(!).  She wants to have ice cream and popsicles tomorrow.

Our almost two year old who learned five new words all in one day yesterday after learning to make and then eat one and a half empanadas at school.  Maybe he can help make dinner tomorrow too?  Apparently it is not too early to put him to work.

I am so thankful for our life full of friends and fun and activities and music and dancing and learning and joy. Now, bring on the mashed potatoes and stuffing!

">The Land of Nod: Design For Kids and People That Used to be Kids</a>

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

10 Best Pinterest Diwali Decorating Ideas

When is Diwali this year?  
Diwali is on November 11 in 2015 and on October 30 in 2016. 

Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights.  We celebrate Rama's victory over evil and the return of Rama, Sita and Lakshman to Ayodha.  It is a story about the triumph of good and the return of Lakshmi, goddess of prosperity.  

One of the ways we celebrate is by deep cleaning and decorating the house.  Here are my favorite elegant and unique finds from across Pinterest.  Luckily, most are pretty easy to make.  I like having a few things around the house beyond strings of lights to make it look more festive.

I have so many mismatched sets of bangles.  What an elegant use for them!  

Doing a School Diwali Presentation 

I am always a little intimidated about presented something in their classroom but turns out it is actually pretty easy.  

I kept it two parts, something informative and something interactive. With little ones, simple is the way to go. 

I read a lovely little Diwali book, called "Lighting a Lamp" and then we made diyas with air dry clay.  They also stuck on some little gems for decoration.  

Other alternatives are to make the diyas ahead of time and have them paint them.  Making a nature mandala is another fun activity.  Just gather a nice assortment of leaves, flower petals, acorns, etc and have them glue them down on a paper plate in a repeating design. 

DIY colored salt is really easy to make. All you need is some ordinary table salt and some paint. We used craft/poster paint (sometimes called tempera paint), and squeezed a little into a jug of salt. Stir it all together to get an even color, and leave to dry over night.

This is another fun project to do at school or with the kids at home.  Use glue and paper plates to make designs you can keep or just decorate the front patio.  

I am blown away by this DIY.  I haven't seen too many Indian crafts on Oh Happy Day, so it was pretty neat to see this.  

More ideas for paper flower garlands.  Somewhat less ambitious than that huge Toran from OHD. 

This is such a unique take on marigold garlands. 

Chalk Rangolis are also a really easy and fun project to make.  

Paper marquee letters are another favorite of mine.  Fun and customizable!

We celebrated with lots of sparklers at the Temple this weekend.  We decorated at home last night and will have prayers at home tonight.

I hope that your Diwali season is bright, festive, and blessed!  May you have a happy and prosperous new year!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Cocoa Daisy November Kits, Gathering

I have really been loving the feel of the kits lately.  Not to mention how much fun it is to work with new releases without having to place multiple orders across different sites.  This month had a lot of fun Dear Lizzy stuff from her Documentary line.  There are so many great watercolor elements.  I love the rub-ons so much. I think I used them on almost every project.

Krishna | I have been neglecting my Holidays 2015 Mini-book for far too long.  I love these photos of Lakshman dressed up as another little brother, Krishna, for Janmashtami.  I find with Indian events, it is best to stick with simple designs that don't overwhelm the photos.  I made these pages after making most of my other projects and had been saving that bold black and white print for this.

Pumpkin Patch | This was the first layout I put together.  It took a while to find time given how hectic things were this weekend with Halloween and Tornado warnings and torrential rains.  Now all we have to deal with is a simple street repaving and road closures in our neighborhood.  Fun.  We get to walk everywhere!

This patterned paper was just begging to be cut into.  I cut a few matching circles from the other patterned papers as well.

I had a lot of fun working with these gold alphas and layering them as well.

Always | I had to jump in and scrap Avi's recent Harry Potter party.  I love this picture my friend took of my whole living room.  It's a bit decieving though because we had what felt like 100 first graders running around all afternoon.
Of course, it was mostly an excuse to use the deer rub-on, in honor of Snape and Lily :)  I sprinkled other rubons all over the page as well.

Dumbo | This is a little sneak of the stamping project I did for the CD blog.  Another great left over page that came together really well.  Hope you will like it!

October 2015 | My last project was a little mini book for the blog as well.  This was so fun to put together.  Lots of 3x4 photos and PL cards too.

How is your scrapping going?  What was your favorite part of this month's Cocoa Daisy Kit?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Trick or Treating!

Trick or treating has everything I really want in an evening - dressing up, taking pictures, being silly together, getting candy, and occasionally getting scared. 

And, if you head out at dusk (which we tend to do, since trick or treating in the dark is not the safest thing with the little ones), the lighting is just perfect. 

My SLR is on the fritz but I did my best with the iphone. 

I love this costume, but I think I went too big with the oversized tuxedo shirt.  Audrey's is more impeccably tailored to herself, than something she just threw on. 

I can't believe she popped her leg.  That is the best.  She wanted to be Elsa, but when I gave her the chance to pick out anything at all from her closet, she picked Snow White.  Which I let her wear to a shopping trip before putting her costume on.  After she got this on, she didn't want to switch back to Elsa after all.  

I'm just glad because I had to buy so many different accessories on Amazon that I didn't want to go to waste.  She got a ton of compliments too!  People were very surprised by the "erudite" choice of Holly Golightly.  

We carried Lakshman most of the way, but every few houses he would get down and grab some candy with great delight.  He was also ecstatic to see all his friends in costume.  He was totally pointing and gesturing at them but I'm not sure they understood. 

All that was left was to head home and to barter for candy with each other.  Mommy and Daddy get dibs.

More details I want to remember:

Nandini was very concerned with getting the big candy bars for her own personal stash.  Avinash too, but Nandini was focused on it.  She sits very quietly now with her tiny pair of scissors and doesn't even ask for my help opening the wrapper anymore.  Clever and focused.   Lakshman on the other hand took one or two licks of everything he could get the next morning and had at least four lollipops opened at once.

Avinash and Nandini singing the trick or treat taunt over and over.  They were delighted with that little ditty and found it very novel and amusing.  I loved hearing them all in unison.

I'm so glad they are still not embarrassed by us yet.  Avinash was very eager though and went to most houses first in the group while we followed up in the rear with Nandini and the baby.

That they were all brave enough to check out the little haunted house in the neighborhood, though Avinash sat out the chainsaw house when I wanted to go through again.

Avinash eagerly and always at the last minute wanting to join our group costume photos.  As Sally Tomato for Breakfast of Tiffany's, with red clothes and a little water pistol.  This led to a lot of contention over the tiny water gun between the two boys.  It's hilarious to me how they compete already and how their preferences come out.  In most of the pictures then Lakshman ended up looking like a gun-toting Fred/Paul instead.

I had the hardest time finding a boy's trench coat for Lakshman and ended up cutting the ruffle off the bottom of a girl's one.

I'm so glad I saw those old school plastic masks at Target and got the idea for a Breakfast at Tiffany's theme in the first place.  I'm also really glad that Ryan independently looked up Fred and dressed accordingly.  It was so cute that he wanted to be involved, even if not in the pictures.

It was also very sweet of K and F to ask me for face paint so excitedly.  I'm not the best but I like doing it anyway.

It was so fun to see Nandini behaving like a social butterfly, just like Avinash always has been, for a change.  She spent time with Katie, Olivia and William and alternately made them hold hands with her while walking in the street.  It's such a relief to me to see that since she can be painfully shy at times.

Hope you had a safe and fun holiday! Who is ready for Christmas stuff everywhere tomorrow?!
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