Friday, December 31, 2010

Top Ten of 2010



I'm sure you know the old saying--if everyone jumps off a bridge, are you jumping, too?

Well, in the case of scrapbooking, the answer is yes!

I have been admiring "top ten of 2010" posts around the WWW, so I figured I'd try my hand at one myself. I didn't include some favorites that are out for publication (although it's always refreshing when a favorite gets picked up!) or some new faves that I can't share yet.

So, without further ado (and in no particular order), my top ten:
This layout is a helpful one to have--it reminds me what REALLY defines me and what doesn't. And since I'm the sort of person that gets muddled with these things sometimes, the visual reminder that certain things matter and certain things don't is meaningful to me.

This one is just fun and funky, but I love it--the stamp (gotta use those stamps more!), the alphabet, the sticker. I just like this one:)

And it's a two pager! Love this so much. It was one of the first layouts I made that scrapbooked my story in a "different" way--beyond "we went to the zoo and it was so much fun" (although I love those layouts, too!).

I love simple, central designs. I lifted the heart with buttons idea from Celine Navarro--loved it! This layout records such a special memory for me, so it always tears me up.

I had a BLAST creating these flowers--it brought back the fun of scrapping for me after a slump. So I will always love it for that, and because it looks like a corsage necklace on a layout!

This is one of the many "scrapbooking as therapy for infertility" layouts I've created. Since I just saw an infertility support group with a NINETY dollar registration fee, I'm more convinced than ever that this method is more fun--not to mention cost-effective! :)

This one is about Post-its. And if you know me, you know I lurve Post-Its. It's like a sickness. Except I don't choose to see it that way.

I used actual post-its on this layout for a fun twist. Which reminds me, I'm out of that cute little size.......

This one took a good amount of time to make, but I was on an inspiration high and loved it! I was also super honored when Susan Weinroth lifted it for the Studio Calico gallery.



I rarely use dark backgrounds on my layouts, and I don't know why! I love the contrast they provide. Love the colors on this layout (go Back 40 kit!) and the journaling is really moving to me.

And it's back to the therapy chair again! Love this one not only because of the journaling, but because of how the design makes me feel. The pinks, blues and greens are calming and I feel hopeful for the future just looking at this.

I've come across some wonderful Top Ten posts here, here and here.

If you've done a Top Ten post, link up in the comments below! I'd love to see!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

730 Days

A long, long time ago (or at least it feels like it!) we started out like this:

A bright-eyed, bushy-tailed (or at least curly-haired) couple ready to set out on a life together. We had been engaged for a few months when this photo was taken, and were knee-deep in wedding planning. (Speaking of wedding planning--my friend bought me an engagement card that read, "Congratulations! Now elope." She was married already, so she knew what she was talking about.)

I was excited, and nervous. About to take the greatest leap of faith I had ever faced.

And then, two years ago yesterday, we leaped. The day was surreal. Beautiful and exciting and fun, but it almost didn't feel real. I barely ate anything and ran on pure adrenaline all day long.

In the two years since, I've learned so much--about myself, about him, about marriage and love and G-d.

About having fun. Taking the time off from the hecticness of life to laugh, enjoy and connect.

About creating rituals that help you reconnect and make you happy.

About taking the biggest leap there is, and being so glad you did.

Basically, about all the important things in life.

Hope this Wednesday is treating YOU well, my friends!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

SC Wishlist--and an Assortment of Layout

Studio Calico reveal is almost upon us (which is SO unfair, because I have only made two layouts with the December kit and NEED MORE TIME! Ack!), so I'm sharing some items on my wish list. (Okay, okay--Studio Calico is also having a little giveaway related to listing items from your wishlist. Pure coincidence (wink, wink))

I'd love to try this paint dabber--it's like painting for people who don't feel like getting out a brush, little dish and cup of water. Which is totally me.
Rumor has it that this stick candy ink matches the January kit perfectly:


I've been wanting this punch for ages and ages, but haven't bit the bullet yet.


Cloud punches--need I say more?

And because this is a scrapbook MAKING blog, instead of a scrapbook SHOPPING blog, here are some layouts:



I created this for Write. Click. Scrapbook last month--you can see the full gallery here.


This is an old layout I created for Who's That Girl and forgot to share. Made with the Studio Calico September kit.

Hope you all had a great holiday and weekend! S and I are currently snowed in, and taking the opportunity to scrap (me), watch movies (us), drink milkshakes (us), read (mostly S), and take hour-long showers (all me, baby).

Life is good.

What are YOU doing today?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sketchy Thursdays fun--and a cool prize!




Isn't this purty?

As you know, I'm more of a blue and white Chanuka girl, but even I am swooning at these rich, lovely colors.

Want to win it? First, you have to LIKE Sketchy Thursdays on facebook.

Second, PLAY ALONG with the secret sketch (found only on facebook) and LINK your entry. You have from Dec 23 through Jan 5 to play along--and then if you win, you can scrap all of those holiday photos!

Here is my take on the sketch:



This one is about my cute little sis, in honor of her 13th birthday. Had SO much fun using the Studio Calico December kit on this one, plus some extras (fabricps and alpha).

The journaling reads: At 13, you are even more beautiful and kind and loving than I could have imagined. I feel so lucky that of all the families in the world, you were put into mine. Dec 10.

Here's a little close-up of the fabrip under the title:



On a totally different note, check out this cool geneaology project you can do on Ella--I have a review of it here. Follow the link and you can even learn some cool secrets about my family!



Hope you're having a great Thursday!! If I disappear from blogland tonight, it's because I'm having a blast here:

I'm going with my little sister and I can't wait!

Since I know this is an exciting time for so many of you, what are YOU looking forward to most in the next few days?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Through the Lens

I'll start with a familiar story: When you spend a whole lot of your free time scrapbooking photos, you start wanting better photos.

Hence the beginning of my photography journey, lusting after a DSLR even though I hadn't the foggiest clue what to do with it.

Fast forward a few months, and I after attempting to shoot my little Canon Elph in manual, I decided to bite the bullet and go for the big guns. S and I took a lovely little trip to B&H, which S loved because they have a really cool conveyor-belt system that transports the products around. It was also pretty funny because the gentleman demonstrating the cameras liked to photograph animals, so he would say things like "this lens is great if you want to catch a flamingo in a distant swamp." Which is convenient, because living in NYC I spend a lot of time chasing flamingoes:)

So.....I decided that if I got a camera, I had to learn how to use it, right? I signed up for Maggie Holmes' Beginner workshop (which I LOVE), but I totally fell off the wagon due to the holidays + starting a new job + life getting in the way. So, in an attempt to motivate myself to finish the class on my own, I decided to copy the Nike Marathon model, only with less running: reward myself with a necklace.


When I finally finish the class, I'm going to buy myself this beauty from Lisa Leonard Designs. Fitting, no?

And to gush a little about how much I love this new realm of learning (not including the many MANY dark and blurry shots I've left out here:), here are some of my fave shots with my Rebby, as he's affectionately known.


A cup...but what a beautiful cup.

One of the few people pictures on this list.

As you can see, I like photographing things--they complain less.


This one is probably technically awful, but I love it. I think I like things a bit overexposed.

A photo of myself in my makeup mirror. I was very excited about the whole reflection thing:)

Boy, is that light yellow. Like it anyway, though:)

How has YOUR photography changed through scrapbooking? What things do you want to grown in next?

PS--Sorry for the long gap of blogging last week. Life got insane, as usual. Love it in the crazy lane though:)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Very Scrappy Wednesday


Hope you are all off to a great start to the week!

My week woke to an alarming start yesterday when I slept through my alarm again. For those of you that have never slept in a room with me (which would be most of you I presume?) I sleep like a rock. Or a baby--choose your analogy. I've slept through fire drills, tornado alarms, and various ruckuses of many kind. I even have conversations in my sleep and then have no memory of them later. Which is great fun for my husband.

So all things considered, it's no surprise that my body decided to take matters in its own hands and get some sleep. The result being that I woke up today to no less than three alarms, one of which was the sound of a tweeting bird. Fairly annoying, but at least I didn't have to get dressed and make the train in 20 minutes!

Onto what you came for (other than an oration on my sleep patters, of course)--here's some scrappy goodness.

My layout for this week's Sketchy Thursdays challenge:

For these photos of one of my best friend's wedding, I focused on the location, since it was the first wedding in my hometown synagogue's new building. Which is gorgeous!

I am in love with these AC thickers (newly purchased) and was excited to use them! I also spritzed some white Mr. Huey to add some spunk.

Here's the sketch I used:

I opted out of the patterned paper and changed the brackets to Elle's Studio journaling cards, but you can see the bones of the layout here.

Which is why I love sketches--when you're having a hard time planning the bones of the layout, they wake it right up. Come play with us at Sketchy Thursdays sometime! We personally visit each and every blog that enters and I so enjoy finding new blogs that way!

Do you use sketches? What do YOU use to get your mojo going?

And, just for kicks, are you a heavy or light sleeper?

P.S.--For you light sleepers out there, check out Ella Publishing's 12 Days of Christmas posts when you're woken up!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Scarlet Lime December--Frugal Fab!!


This month, I used Scarlet Lime's Frugal Fab kit--and it's a good thing too, because I LOVE it!

Check out all of this pink and green goodness:


Pink and green is one of my FAVE color combos, so I actually squealed when I unwrapped this kit!

One of my favorite elements in the kit are these Sassafrass flowers:


Sigh. Love layered blooms.

Here's what I did with the kit:

Journaling reads: I love you so much more each day. Not too deep, not too complicated--but completely from my heart.

Ignore the horrible photo of this one. It's like the gingerbread cookie, the layout that refuses to be captured for posterity.

Journaling reads: I try to focus on what I do have, not what I'm missing, but sometimes I fail miserably. I want a baby so badly, I even want sillier things like a design team. But I remind myself that reality today may not be the same tomorrow. I dwell in possibility of good things to come. 11/10. I nearly always date my layouts--adds some context to a pure stream of emoting:)

If you can't tell from the layout above, I'm in a bit of a slump the past few days, in terms of feeling confident in my scrapbook work and life in general. But despite the nasty weather outside today, I can already feel the fog lifting, mostly thanks to my friends. I just have the best friends ever. And I'm lucky to meet so many new friends through scrapbooking--you all are truly wonderful.

What are YOU up to this scrappy Sunday? How is the holiday prep going, friends?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Rededication


I've been focusing so much on the fun parts of Chanuka--the donuts (I can't stop talking about the donuts), the latkes, the songs and candles--but I don't want to forget the essence of this holiday.

The meaning of the word "Chanuka" is rededication. As a result of the miracle of the candles burning for eight days and the Maccabees defeating the Greek army, the Holy Temple could be rededicated. There were amazing miracles during the time of Chanuka--a small army defeating a powerful one, a tiny store of oil being found in the ravaged Temple, that tiny vial lasting for a full eight days until more oil could be made.

In the spirit of Judaism and its obsession with questions, this makes me ask a question: Why isn't Chanuka called "miracles"? Or "oil"? Or "military triumph"(now that's a catchy title)? Why rededication?

I don't presume to know the answer, but I'll take my own little stab at it. This holiday is called Chanuka, rededication, because that's the part that really matters. The miracles are amazing and inspiring, but it's what you do after the miracle that makes the difference. Do you go back to the same old, an unchanged person? Or do you rededicate yourself and your life? Embrace the higher calling that this new miracle has brought you?

I may not have everything I've ever wanted (who does), but I've witnessed miracles nonetheless. My life, my health, my husband and his love, my family, my wise and funny and wonderful friends, our ability to pay our rent and buy as much food as we need. And even though I wish my story right now was a bit different, I will renew my efforts to find meaning in this challenge, and bless the miracles that are so present in my life.

Rededication. It's a good thing.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

8 Days

As promised, here is my Chanuka version of a December Daily!

* A note about the name--people just have different ways of spelling it. In Hebrew, the holiday is called "chanuka" with a "ch"--which isn't a "ch" as in "cherries," but more of a guttural sound. It really isn't quite as unattractive as it sounds, I promise! I use the Hebrew transliterated version, which is why it looks the way it does.

Here's the cover, made from a My Mind's Eye Lush album (I ditched the actual cover because it was too formal for what I was looking for, and went with just the pages):

I sprayed Studio Calico's Mr. Huey Lunchbox for the cover, and added in a mix of items from Cosmo Cricket, Jenni Bowlin Studio, Prima, Hambly, Studio Calico, and labels from Crafting Jewish Style's Chanuka line.

Some new products on this one include Basic Grey paper, Prima canvas, American Crafts chipboard words, and Evalicious flowers. I used numbers graciously given to me by Stephanie Wheeler of the Living Room Floor--she has some wonderful numbers in her shop!

Envelope from Maya Road....

I had SO much fun fussy cutting this menorah and adding My Mind's Eye Lush gems to give it some extra spunk. The beautiful winter flashcard is also from The Living Room Floor.

LOVE blue and yellow together. Love, love love.

I also adore adding gems to chipboard, paper and anything else--as in the jewel on the chipboard snowflake above. I never would have purchased these gems on my own, but thanks to Studio Calico kits, I now have them in 4 colors, and I actually need replacements! They are the perfect finishing touch.


I created this background by misting over metal numbers (which cleaned right off!)

Since I made this album entirely from my stash aside from sponsorships, I wanted to use what I had, and that meant being flexible with the theme. So Chanuka --> winter --> snowman, and Chanuka --> latkes --> kitchen themed items. (Let me know if these little equations actually make no sense).



I like to make the pages different sizes and have peeks of other pages!


And now the final page....


And there you have it! My Chanuka album? How is YOUR December Daily coming along?

I'm off to do more Harry Potter-watching and dinner-eating, but hope y'all had a great Sunday! Make sure you head to Write.Click.Scrapbook for more holiday inspo (including an awesome Chanuka quote!)

Huge thank you to Crafting Jewish Style and The Living Room Floor for your generous sponsorship!