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Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day scrapping

Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone!

To tell the truth, until recently, Memorial Day didn't trigger much of an emotional response in me. I didn't know anyone personally who was in the army, and was generally more focused on the sales and hot dogs.

But thanks to the scrapbooking world, I have read hundreds of words by women whose husbands risk their lives every day. So this Memorial Day, I have so many families on my mind.This post by Stephanie Howell is especially beautiful.

So it seemed fitting to show you a layout today that's all about gratitude. In an effort to remind myself of what I have, instead of always focusing on what I want, I decided to write down one thing I'm grateful for every day for 30 days.

This could easily be a great mini book or even home decor item, but when the idea came to me in layout form, I decided to go for it! It's still in progress, hence the extra lines:)

I used lots of Elle's Studio Handmade Layers tags on this one, and my beloved Studio Calico woodgrain butterflies. Seriously, woodgrain butterflies? Best. idea. ever.

So my question for you today is--what are YOU most grateful for right now? (Alternatively, how do you feel about woodgrain butterflies?)

And I'm working on that Q & A post, should be up soon! Feel free to contact me with any more Qs:)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Scarlet Lime May!

It's already May 24, and I haven't shared my Scarlet Lime layouts yet! As my South African friend says a lot, for shame.

Here's a little peek at the May main kit, Sunny Disposition. This one is sold out, but you can still view the lovely images!

The bright, bold colors in this kit went perfectly with my Purim layouts (if anyone is confused about what Purim is, refer to this post).

This first one uses a fun group photo:

This next one is another Purim layout (I had the stack of photos out, and was on a roll!) Two of my friends came to our Purim party dressed as the couple from "American Gothic"--I loved the costume, and wanted to scrap it!

The Frugal Fab kit this month was packed full of fun 7 Gypsies products.

For my first layout, I was feeling nostalgic, so I wrote about S and my first date. (No, the photo is not from the date itself--that might have been a little awkward:))

If you can't read the journaling, here's the short story: we spent our first date at Mama's Falafel in Philadelphia, which, if you've been there, you'd realize is not the most romantic restaurant, to say the least. And falafel is certainly not the ideal date food! Add to that the fact that I was coming from an interview, so dressed in a boring black suit, and got caught in a rainstorm on my way, and it's really a miracle we went on to have a second date. Ha!

And finally, a little Mother's Day card (can you tell I'm a bit behind the times here?)

And that's all, folks!

Out of curiosity, what was YOUR first date like? And if you haven't dated yet, what's your ideal date?

(And for those of you that have asked questions in the comments--I'm prepping a Q&A post for the next few days! If you have any other Qs, leave them in the comments below!)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

An exciting new development!

A few months ago, I got an unexpected email from scrapbook extraordinaire May Flaum. The email was oh-so-casually asking if I wanted to contribute to a book she was writing. Clearly, I accepted:) This was my first experience learning about publication from the inside, and I learned quite a bit--and really enjoyed it!

And now, I can finally tell you about this little guy:

It's available for preorder on Amazon right here.

And here's a teensy little sneak at what I created:

So while we're on the topic, what's YOUR favorite scrappy book?

[And PS--I'm going to address some kosher Qs in a follow up post, fear not!]

Friday, May 20, 2011

Kosher 101

[image source: http://pinterest.com/pin/18198179/]

The other day, a friend was asking me about keeping kosher. While it was on my mind, I figured I'd give you all a little explanation as to what keeping kosher entails--complete with fun photo assistance!

Kosher Rule Numero Uno: Eat the right animals.

In the Torah, certain animals are listed as kosher and some are not. To qualify as a kosher animal, an animal has to have split hooves and chew its cud.

Here are some classic kosher animals:

[image source: http://cow.gallery.sytes.org]

[image source: www.google.co.nz]

And a very classic NOT kosher animal? Pigs!

We don't eat any pig products, from ham to bacon to pork. Even though I didn't grow up keeping kosher, I never ate pig, so I don't know what I'm missing.

And to tell you the truth, ever since I watched Charlotte's Web back in the day I'm not sure I could eat a pig. They're so cute!

[image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/45562778@N02/5304355986/in/faves-kristyns/]

And just to emphasize my point:

[image source: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://pixdaus.com/pics/]
But I digress.

Kosher Rule Number Two: If you're eating meat (just wrote "meating" my accident--ha!), it has to be killed the kosher way.

What does that mean, you ask? Well, it's a complicated answer, but the basic idea is that the animal has to be killed as quickly and humanely as possible--any animals not killed according to the specific kosher method aren't kosher (even if they're cows).

Kosher meat is specially marked in the grocery store:

[image source: http://www.google.com/imgres?]

A classic Empire Kosher. You can also tell if meat is kosher by the price tag:) Given all of the supervision and transportation that goes into kosher meat, it's more expensive.

Kosher Rule Numero Tres: No meat and milk together.

You can't munch a piece of cheese and a piece of steak at the same time.

And none of these bad boys:

[image source: blog.heritage.org]

But, you can always get your cheeseburger fix this way:

[image source: http://pinterest.com/pin/6134464/]

Couldn't resist!

In addition to not eating meat and milk in the same sandwich, we also don't eat them in the same meal (ie, no hamburger + chocolate milk). We have two sets of dishes and pots and pans for milk and meat. We also wait 6 hours after eating meat before eating dairy (which is why I'm not a fan of weeknight meat meals--no time to eat your chocolate!).

Some Final Odds and Ends: Mind your Ps and Qs

When we go grocery shopping, we only buy products that have kosher symbols on them (except for fresh fruits and veggies).

Here are some common kosher symbols:

[image source: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://web.mit.edu/burton2

We also clean vegetables for bugs, and do a few other little things. But since this is a quick summary, I won't give you ALL the details!

After reading this, you're probably like, "WHAT??? So many rules? And you can't eat anything!" But the truth is, when you live kosher, you don't think about the rules--it's pretty seamless. And that's coming from someone who did not grow up this way!

So there you have it--a short and (hopefully) sweet description of keeping kosher. Any questions?

And since this post has made me kind of hungry, what's YOUR favorite food? (And to feed my curiosity, are YOU familiar with kosher stuff at all?)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

More scrappy goodness, coming right up....

The brief summer of last week (oh sunshine and bright colors and swingy skirts, how I miss you!) has turned back into the April special--of rain, rain and more rain.

Which gets me in the mood of cold weather and comfort food, like freshly baked cookies. Hmmm. Just writing about this kind of makes me want cookies.

I created this layout for an Ella Publishing/ Write Click Scrapbook project. The topic was paper piecing, and I have not been a very inventive paper piecer up till now.

Hence: behold, the easier paper piecing ever.

To make the cookie in the bottom left corner, I simply hand-cut a circle from kraft cardstock and then layered punctuation marks from a pack of Thickers. And voila--we have a sweet little cookie, with very little muss or fuss! I don't normally create my own embellishments for layouts, but I love the homespun charm they bring.

And a little closeup on the title (I challenged myself to use those metal banners, and I'm so glad I did!)

And if you want more Ella Publishing fun, check out my post up on the Ella blog today! Here's a little sneaky peek at the layout that's up:

Hope you have a happy Tuesday!

I have two questions for you today:

Have YOU ever paper pieced?

What is YOUR favorite thing to read on this blog?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Scrappy Sunday

So it seems that Blogger ate my comments from my most recent post. (Please regurgitate them, blogger! please?) But that's besides the point.

Today is one hectic day--I just attended a community women's brunch (where I won a sushi set, woohoo!), and I have two more events to hit up today. Not to mention exercising, menu planning, and laundry. So I'll keep this short and sweet!

I created this layout with the Studio Calico March kit, Into the Woods.

The colors in this kit aren't my usual--very earthy, with lots of pops of green and orange. But that's what I love about working with kits! I work with a much wider range of colors than what I would choose my own (which would be pink....and yellow.....and aqua:)).

Since the kit had a more earthy tone to it, I decided to finally scrap the "old time style" sepia photos we had from Hershey Park.

I love the KI Memories calendar papers (and had an extra sheet to play with), so I used it as my background paper on this layout. I then pleated and stapled the woodgrain fabric strip, layered the labels and stickers, and added the final touches. I misted the chipboard stars to add more color.

There's nothing terribly deep or profound going on in this layout, but I love it--because it reminds me of a fun day with my husband. It makes me smile:)

What is YOUR favorite layout right now? Link me up!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A big thank you and some scrappy goodness!

So today is Mother's Day.

And the word I'm thinking of the most today is....

The closer I get to being a mother, the more I appreciate all the things my mother did, and still does for me. And without going into details, I'm pretty sure I wasn't the easiest kid, either!
So if you're reading this mom--thank you.
I love you so much.

[This card was made from Studio Calico's delicious February kit, Candy Shoppe. Here's hoping I can order up some time to play with it more!]

And, in honor of National Scrapbooking Day (I'm a day late, but too much celebration can be a good thing, right?) I have a scrapbook layout for you!

The monthly challenge over at Write. Click. Scrapbook this month was to scrap a day in your life.

I created a similar layout almost two years ago, and it's funny how much has already changed!

Here's my layout from back in October of 2009:

And here is my layout from April of 2011:

In between the two layouts, we've both graduated, so our daily schedules are really different!

Since I was running low on time and didn't have time to order photos (reason #4566677 why I need a Canon Selphy as a birthday present!), I decided to just use a random photo of myself and focus the layout on the journaling.

I kept track of what I did all day on a notepad, and then typed up the schedule as journaling. Using my typewriter, I was able to (mostly) navigate around the embellishments to get all the writing in. I used the Studio Calico April kit on this one. While days like this one (lots of scrapbooking, visit to the mall with a friend), aren't exactly my everyday life, I still love how this layout captures a moment in time in a really detailed way.

Check out what the rest of the WCS girls did here.

So when was the last time YOU created a Day in the Life layout? And what are YOU doing for Mother's Day?

And just a final note on Mother's Day: for those of you reading who aren't mothers yet, hang in there. You aren't alone and before too long we'll all have sticky fingers bringing us breakfast in bed:)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

8 is Enough

I'm in Ohio right now, babysitting my little siblings for a few days while my parents are out of town and enjoying checking out my old haunts. Looking forward to heading home today though!

Since I'm away from most of my scrappy supplies, I'm catching up on showing you some old projects. Here are some Eight is Enough layouts I created for the Ella blog.

Here's the eight products I used:

1. Garment paper from Studio Calico
2. Bella Blvd polka dot paper
3. October Afternoon damask paper
4. October Afternoon gray paper
5. Fiskars apron lace punch
6. October Afternoon Fly a Kite word stickers
7. American Crafts pink Fancy thickers
8. Jenni Bowlin butterfly banner stickers

I love this collection of stuff, because it's so bright and cherry--it really is perfectly "me."

Here's the first layout I created with this set of product:

I layered patterned paper and word stickers to create a bit of a collagey feel for the title. That's why I love those word stickers sheets--they really pack a lot of punch!

For my second layout, I used a dark background to create more contrast and a different look. Since I didn't have a circular element for my title, I freehand cut a circle outline from cardstock and used that to house the title.

So it turns out, eight really IS enough.

Will that stop me from buying too many scrappy supplies? That remains to be seen?

Have YOU taken the Eight is Enough challenge yet?

PS--Check out the Write Click Scrapbook blog today for some fun Ella/WCS goodness!

Monday, May 2, 2011

More Disney photos!

I realized I still have lots of Disney photos to share with you! In no particular order, here are some of my favorites from the trip:

How pretty is this spot? It's part of the zoo area in the Animal Kingdom (not pictures: tigers!)

S was WAY into the street performers at Disney. We enjoyed this Japanese drumming show.

Beer glasses anyone?

Can you sense a theme here? ha!

Since we keep kosher, we couldn't eat out so easily, so we were super excited to order drinks. This Shirley Temple was the perfect accompaniment to lunch by the pool!

I had a lot of fun photographing this sheep in the Animal Kingdom.

Can you tell? if only all of my subjects were this cooperative.

The safari was definitely one of the highlights of the trip.

The Aisa section of Animal Kingdom was full of unique photo-ops, like this vase....

and this bicycle.....

and these beautiful paper banners!

Us having fun together:)

And loved these masks at Epcot!

Some highlights of the trip:

Skipping our dinner plans on the last night to spend more time touring the "world" in Epcot. We spent an hour at a pub in England, listening to a piano performer who made songs up on the spot.

On the very last afternoon, we packed our bags, checked out, and hit the pool. We went down the water slide at least ten times and just soaked up the sun. It was magical.

Every night after the parks, we'd go to the hot tubs after dinner. It was fun to meet random people that way!

One night it was raining like crazy, so we watched a Harry Potter DVD and ate lunch on the bed in the hotel room. Not very Disney-like, but it totally hit the spot:)

What's YOUR favorite vacation memory?

And on the topic of fairy-tale, magical adventures, anyone else tune in to the Royal Wedding this past weekend?

Even though I enjoyed watching it, I felt a bit unsettled afterward. As I'm writing this, my life feels very un-anchored, like a buoy just bobbing in the water and waiting for something to happen. For a baby or a job to materialize, for the feeling of confidence and excitement for the future that I used to feel so strongly. I'm not sure why I've felt this way lately (or maybe I do--crazy hormone-inducing medications, anyone?), but I really envied Kate as I watched the wedding. I envied the feeling of being chosen, of being significant, that she must have felt on that day.

I haven't felt very significant lately, in many ways. But I know I have the power to change that.

And I'm going to start today.