Friday, April 29, 2011

Thinking of fall....

Or fall colors, at least! Recently, I've been looking longingly at my pumpkin patch photos from back in October and creating some layouts.

The funny thing is that both of these layouts include photos taken at the same event, but they each have a completely different focus!


This layout is a more typical event-y layout. I have other layouts that also document that day (I had recently gotten my Rebel and there were a LOT of photos taken, ha!), so I didn't go into much detail and journaled way less than I usually do. I love how the colors and mood of the layout totally echo what I remember of that moment.

(note: this pinked circle banner was inspired by my talented friend, Rebecca Ertel!)

This layout is a bit more introspective--I wrote about how I felt at the pumpkin patch on a deeper level. When I'm with my husband, I just feel totally myself. I can be 100% who I am because I know he will love me no matter what. It was that emotion that I wanted to convey on this layout.

I kept the design simple to focus on the photo and message. The rub-on at the bottom is from Lily Bee, and one of my favorite embellishment sets ever. I could have about 500 of those packages:)

So there you have it--one event, one set of photos, and two completely different layouts!

What do YOU do when you have tons of photos from one event?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A very happy mail day:)

Well, Pesach is over, and it was lots of fun--I got to see so many friends and family, and many boxes of matza and macaroons (if you've never hand a classic Manischewitz macaroon, you're missing out!) were consumed. But I'm glad to be back to blogging!

I've been meaning to post this for ages, but better late than ever, right?

A few months ago, I got a very happy (and unexpected!) little package in the mail from my friend Meghann.

Included was this little lovely:



And this gorgeous card:

I'm always impressed with how much detail and layering Meghann uses on her projects, and the stunning decor pieces she creates. And even more impressed with her kindness.

Being involved in this online scrappy world has been hard for me, at times, as I'm sure you all have heard about (ha!). But I would never trade it in, because aside from the chance to do what I love, this scrapbooking community of ours has brought me so many wonderful friends.

Want to learn how to tie a perfect bow out of ribbon? You're in the right place.

Want to learn how to be a good friend? Just stick around.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Future dream house?

If you aren't on Pinterest, check it out--it took me a long time to decide to join, but now I can't get enough! it's the perfect way to organize online inspiration.

Since I'm newly passionate about home decor, I've been saving a lot of inspiring images of houses that I WISH I lived in. Or maybe I just wish I could combine my favorite room from each house into one house!

Here are some of my fave images right now:


I've "known" Reyanna Klein from Studio Calico for a while, but I didn't know she had such a fantabulous laundry room. What I love? The beautiful color of the wall, the pops of pink and yellow, and the frames!

I saw this image on Lisa Leonard's blog and fell in love. I love the ruffles and the mix of patterns--and I love how having the same design of the pillows makes it look cohesive even though there are so many colors.

What I love about this room is that it looks so usable, with a fun mix of storage and style. I also love how punchy that black and white rug looks against the cool wall color.

Can I have an exposed brick house in my future home? Pretty, please please? This one is just lovely.

Maggie Holmes' home decor is absolutely fabulous--love the fun colors in this image!

And last but not least, I love the neutrals and pops of color in this room over at Becky Novacek's.

What's fun about this is that you can see trends in your design sensibilities. I've learned that I love the pink + yellow + aqua color scheme. I like mostly clean, cool color palettes with punches of color. I love eclectic combinations of frames and banners and photos.

If you also like drooling over pretty room, there's more where this came from--check out my Pinterest boards here.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Scarlet Lime April!

It's coming a little late this month, but here are my Scarlet Lime April kit layouts!

(you can blame the delay on Passover + USPS, which now absolutely positively refuses to leave packages at my door. I might resort to leaving pleading, pathetic letters taped to the door. Thoughts?)

The main kit is full of delicious new stuff, like Crate Paper Emma's Shoppe and Cosmo Upcycle. I just loved playing with it.

Here's what I did with the kit (note: the alpha never made it into my package, so I gave my Thicker stash some love and substituted my own).

I'm getting kind of hungry just blogging about this pie! It's made with strawberries and blackberries and some lime zest, which adds a little kick. The blog where I got the recipe is no more, sadly, but if you're interested, I can email the recipe!

I used an EK Success heart punch to death on this layout, creating dimensional hearts.

As you can see, I'm still working out what to do with all of my Disney photos. I decided to create this "disney at a glance" layout using one photo to highlight each park we visited. I added some journaling about the highlight of each park. I plan to create more specific layouts about each memory, but this way the basics are all down!

And now, the Frugal Fab! I'm in love with yellow lately, so this kit and me were a match made in heaven:)



This was my first layout with the kit. I highlighted a quote that resonates with me: In each journey of your life, you must be where you are. You may only be passing through on your way to somewhere else seemingly more important--nevertheless, there is purpose in where you are right now. --Rabbi Tzvi Freedman

I created a layout for this quote because I need the reminder that THIS moment, THIS experience in life, is valuable, and not just a "waiting station" on the way to being a mom.

(excuse the blechy photo. Need more light over here, please!)

Brief note on this closeup--to create this label, I cut a rub-on into pieces and placed it in the arrangement I wanted (originally, the "bloom" was on top of the "where you are planted." I was worried the rub-on + sticker combo wouldn't work, but it went on just fine!)



This last photo is a little ode to my snow day snack this winter--smoothies! Kind of a strange winter snack, but they were delicious!


Well, that covers it for today!

What are YOU planning for this weekend?
PS--my friend Diana is doing a series of posts on the scrapbooking basics--super helpful for any new scrappers who are asking for help!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pesach adventures

If it seems like I've been talking about holidays A LOT lately, you're right! It's major holiday season over at the Starr household. It seems that it was only yesterday when I was happily hoarding my mounds of candy from Purim, and now the kitchen is all cleaned and scrubbed for Passover, the leftover cookies and cakes from Purim donated to Ike down the hall.

This photo is from last year, but the view hasn't changed much:


Hmmm-where did I put those mixing bowls last year? They're quite nice, aren't they?

Aluminum foil. A (Pesach) girl's best friend.

As you can see.


Pesach, aka Passover, is where we celebrate the Jews being freed after hundreds of years of slavery in Egypt. At the seder, I'm always amazed at the many stories of redemption in Jewish history--the many, many incidents where you wouldn't think we'd make it out, but we did. Since my grandparents are both Holocaust survivors who actually experienced losing their freedom for several years, seeing them read the words of the seder has extra meaning.

As I read in article recently, Pesach is G-d's way of telling us: I saved you. And I will save you again. (from Chabad.org)

And if I drop off the face of the earth for the next few days (unless you're in brooklyn, in which case, come say hi!), you now know why! On the first and last days of Pesach we follow similar rules to the Sabbath, where we don't use the computer, write, etc. Just a whole lot of quality time:)

And since I'm digging around my house for ideas, what's YOUR favorite non-wheat snack?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

It's that time of week again....

Shabbos cooking time, that is.

This photo isn't from this week (I have yet to cook the food this time), but it gives you an idea of the happy chaos and wonderful aromas that fill the house every Friday.

In case any of you are confused, Shabbos is what we call the Jewish Sabbath--basically, we don't use electricity or do a whole bunch of other things from Friday night to Saturday night. Instead, we have big meals with friends, pray, spend time with our families, learn Torah, socialize, read scrapbooks with coffee cups on the couch, etc. Since we don't cook on the Sabbath itself I make it all in advance.

This week's menu? Zuchinni soup, tomato and portobello mushroom salad, olive chicken on a bed of rice, asparagus, roasted potatoes, a sweet kugel (aka casserole) that my neighbor's making, banana chocolate chip cake, and double chocolate chip cookies. I asked S if he thought that was enough food and he looked at me like I was crazy! Must be something about that overfeeding gene:)

Challah is one of our favorite Shabbos foods. I bake a ginormous batch once every 6 weeks and freeze it. I LOVE experimenting with different toppings!

Some raisin loaves for S....

Zatar is my new thing--it's an Israeli spice and gives the challah a cool savory flavor!

Cinnamon sugar is my old faithful. Love this stuff on challah. It's like eating cake at the beginning of the meal. At least almost.


Another new experiment is chocolate chip challah, and I have to say I love it so far!

What are YOUR favorite bread toppings? Alternatively, can you recommend any good side dishes? I'm always stumped for side dishes!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spring is in the Air!


I hear that spring is around the corner--so far, I've been too deluged by rainfall to notice any flowers peeking out, but I'm hopeful!

The folks over at Ella Publishing are also getting pumped about spring--check out the new Spring Training program!

This extravaganza is coming to a computer near you very soon - and registration starts today!
● Four expert coaches (Angie Lucas on journaling, Wendy Smedley on inspiration, Tammy Tutterow on techniques, and Kelly Willette on photography)
● 12 exclusive videos (one per day) featuring coached training exercises (watch for 10 minutes, "exercise" for 10 minutes)
● A daily layout challenge based on the daily exercise
● Daily giveaways from our event sponsors (including Big Picture Classes, Jenni Bowlin, Little Yellow Bicycle, and more)
● Exclusive downloads and offers
● Access to the videos for a full 60 days after the event ends

If you sign up this week and you can enjoy all of the above for 20% off the list price! (There is no charge to participate in the daily layout challenge and giveaways). Stop by the Ella Publishing blog The Daily Trumpet for all the details. See you there!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Scrappy Sunday--So blessed.

In the middle of all of the (many) things that have been going wrong this month, I've been thinking a lot about blessings.

It's funny how blessings can seem so relative--you look at one person who has the things you want, and think how unfair life is. And then you read a story about a young mother dying of cancer or something, and realize that your life is brimming with blessings but you've been too sorry for yourself to notice them. Or maybe that's just me:)

I created this layout with the Lily Bee Lovely line--which is totally up my alley. The journaling reads: No matter what troubles I'm facing, all the beauty in the world cheers me up. Thank you, G-d, for flowers.

Technique-wise, I used Studio Calico's Mr. Huey mist in Piglet to highlight the two embellishment clusters on my layout. I find that I like mist best when it's used more sparingly, like this. My beloved Apron Lace punch also came out for a spin. As well as my Martha Stewart 3 in 1 butterfly--love that little guy. [ps--just saw the apron lace punch is on sale at Two Peas!]

So today, I'm going to spend the rest of my Sunday enjoying the blessings I have. And if I forget, this little quote reminds me how lucky I am to be so loved, and to love in return:

"And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth. "
Raymond Carver

What's one good thing in YOUR life today?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Embracing Imperfection

When I was little, my favorite doll was named Pollyanna. She had a poofy pink dress, long blond curls, and a cherubic face that was very, well Pollyanna-ish. I loved her the most out of all my dolls, and she bore the brunt of all that lovin'--her face was smudged with dirt, she was missing an eyelash on one eye, and two fingers had broken off her porcelain hands.

But I loved her anyway, and I loved her even more because of her imperfections.

I was onto something back then. These days, it's much harder to take the imperfect pieces of my life (this week, that's financial situations and difficult news about a friend and some design team rejections) and love them anyway. Seeing the good in your life amid the bad is one of the hardest things to do.

Which is why I loved the theme of the Write Click Scrapbook gallery so much this month--Imperfect Photos.
I snapped this shot of S's cousin and his dog at a family event, at night in low lighting. Try as I might with editing, I wasn't able to get a photo I loved. But, I loved the story so I scrapped it anyway.

Perfect? No. But I can make something I love out of it.

To see the rest of the WCS gallery, go here.

How do YOU create perfection?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Scrappy...Friday?

I'm back with my latest (and last as a DT) Sketchy Thursdays layout. As you can see, I'm having lots of fun playing with all of the photos I took in Disney. For this layout, I used the Mossy Knoll add-on from Studio Calico's Into the Woods kit. At first, I was kicking myself for not buying Babbling Brook instead, but I actually love the colors in this add-on and I'm very pleased with my choice:)

In other words, this week has continued to be a little rough--when it rains, it pours right? We had a little financial reality check that was sobering and hard, and put our thoughts of potentially buying a house on hold. I know we're making the right decision, but it's not easy. What can I say? Growing up is hard to do.

So my weekend plan is to drown my sorrows in the olive chicken, carrot soup, and peanut butter chocolate chip muffins I'm cooking. And I know this next week will be much brighter.

Now for some uplifting content--what was the highlight of YOUR week?