I actually have a few things to share! First up, I had a Shutterfly Groupon that was all set to expire on the 28th. What day is it? Yup. I'm a procrastinator. In all fairness, I did try to get my act together enough to use this as a gift, but it just didn't happen - everything was taking longer than I thought it would. So, rather than kill myself trying to finish it when I had time before I needed to give the gift, I decided to do a graduation book instead. I had been planning on it anyway, so it worked out great. It's an 8x8 hard-cover photobook and you can see it here:

Click here to view this photo book larger

Create your own personalized photo books at

I put the entire thing together in just a few hours... start to finish, including editing most of the photos. Probably my fastest project ever! I did have help... I used a template album by Paislee Press. If anyone is interested, you can buy it at OScraps. I had the 8.5x11 template set but the book I did was 8x8, so I obviously did a little tweaking to make it work, but it was really awesome. I love the minimalist feel - it made it nice to not be worrying about papers and embellishments and stuff.

And now, just a few other things I've been working on here and there... a few more smashbook pages. One from conference weekend when Mel and I went for Ladies night out, and another from the weekend before last when I met up with Mindy and her girls, and Chad and his brother and sister, Courtney and Sean to grab dinner and see Footloose.

The pages:

Smash Pages Oct11
Here are some of the pictures from Footloose. We killed a little time in the arcade at the theaters - we were amused by the guys riding the motorcycle game/ride thing. They got into it!

Courtney, Sean, Mindy and Maddy:

Footloose 1

Chad taking his turn, with Kenzie and Griffin watching on the left:

Footloose 2

Me, just hanging:

Footloose 4

We went to the Mad Greek before dinner for gyros and souvlaki, and then hit up Sweet Tooth Fairy (Mindy needed to pick up Sunday night dessert for her family, so we all went.) And then after the movie, I think we all stood around in the parking lot for almost an hour and a half, just talking and joking. Too bad the weather has gotten cold... no more of that for a while! But it was a great time.

One other project I've been working on... I saw some ideas on Pinterest that made me want to try this - I stamped on a vintage dictionary page and then colored with Pan Pastels. I love how it looks - I'm trying to decide what to do with it. I had a scrap of letterpress that I think looks good with it. Maybe a collage? We'll see... too much else to work on right now, but it's kind of bumping around in the back of my mind.

Stamp and Pan Pastels on Dictionary
and a little close-up:

Stamp and Pan Pastels on Dictionary Closeup
And with that, it's way past my bedtime. But I'm thrilled that I got a photobook done... one more thing off my pre-trip checklist!

Off to bed. Happy Friday!

Playing with Paper

Amid all of the digital work I was doing on the yearbook, I did actually do some paper stuff recently. I worked on updating my smash book and also doing a layout while I was over at Melody's house during conference last weekend. I've had the layout sitting on my desk mostly done for over a week now, just waiting for the journaling and a few finishing touches. I have to say, not my favorite layout ever, but at the same time it kind of captures the grunge of the experience, you know? As much as I wanted to pretty it up with some flowers and butterflies, it just wasn't going to work.

Dirty Dash

And the individual pages:

Dirty Dash 1

Dirty Dash 2

The sticker on the tag that I'm using as the title is one that came in our bags at the race. I used some burlap trim from an old Rusty Pickle trim set and some Tattered Angels sprays to kind of mimic splashes of mud. I managed to keep my number from the race - covered with mud, of course... lol. I made a little plastic pocket to hold it on the page that keeps it from touching everything else. The pictures are stills I grabbed out of the video Todd put together that's linked on my Facebook page.

I think I need to do a pretty layout next. lol.

Also a few pages in my Smash book:

Smash 8

The right side of this one isn't done yet - I kept a few of the ads from the Ladies Night sales on conference weekend that Mel and I went to.

Smash 9

That's it for now! I've got some projects I need to get to work on... photo books with expiration dates, stuff to get ready for my trip to Peru next month, you know. The usual. lol.

P.S. Yay! Hockey is back! And this year I can enjoy it again now that I'm not in classes and study groups at night. Woohoo!

Graduation Smash Pages

Just posting a few pages I did in my smash book from when my parents were here for graduation last week. I'm not sure yet how I'm going to document all of graduation... Layouts or maybe a small photo book? We'll see what I'm in the mood for :-)

Vive le weekend!

Graduation Smash Pages

Graduation Smash Pages

A little sketching, a little smashing

Just jumping in quickly to post a few more pages from my journals that I didn't get up last time. I haven't had time to do any more, but things are slowing down again so I hope I'll be able to get back into the lessons, document graduation, finish up the yearbook and get to work on my FBE photobook.

The first is just fun recent weekend stuff - playing around and having fun :)

Smash 1

The second has a page about rejoining the gym near my house - I was a member before school, but knew I wouldn't have time to go. But now that I do, I wanted to add some variety into my daily routine. Treadmill and hand weights are fine, but having other cardio and strength options really helps. Also a page about the art classes I signed up for.

Smash 2

The last is another page about my produce addiction. Apparently I have a limited imagination (or very short-term memory) because I use the same or similar titles in several different places. I'll have to work on that. But on the other hand, I can always say that I was thinking in terms of a series, right? Graduation will eventually make its way in here.

Smash 3

And a few more from my sketch book. I'm trying to sketch things from daily life instead of copying, so I sketched a slice of the veggie pizza I made recently. (The drawing on the left is an old one I posted a while ago). I did actually intend for this to be a series of sketches about my love of produce.

Sketch 1

The second was more of an exercise... Alisa did some succulents in one of her videos, but I've seen a lot of photos of them on Pinterest lately and just love them, so I did one too... I didn't actually look at her sketch when I did it, so I think that helped me put my own spin on it. When I looked back I was surprised how different they were.

Sketch 2

The last sketch for now is a little drawing I did of strawberries after getting a beautiful container of them in my Bountiful Basket. Sweet and yummy and so lovely to look at. (And yes, this is a different book - one is a sketchbook and one is watercolor paper and I switch between them depending on what supplies I'm using in the sketch. I also have different sizes that I haven't broken into yet, but it's coming!)

Sketch 3

One of the best and most important parts of doing these classes has been learning to accept my own style. I'm finally getting to the point where I feel like it's okay that my stuff doesn't look like what I see from artists in books and on the web. And I'm not an artist, so why should it? And you can tell by looking that it's a slice of pizza or a bowl of strawberries, so as far as I'm concerned, that's pretty good. But it's ironic that it's taken me this long to embrace my own individuality in a genre where being unique is celebrated. Why do I want to blend in? I have a fairly unique style so I'm trying to run with it and just improve it rather than make it into something that's not real. So anyway. Enough deep thinking... lol. On to the next one!

Art Class

Last week I mentioned that I had signed up for some online art classes. I haven't started the Pan Pastels class yet, but I've been working through the lessons and videos for Sketchbook Delight, and it's been a lot of fun. I've been playing a bit in my sketchbook and took a few pictures. I have a little more since then so I'll get those posted eventually.

First, I just did a little playing and sketching along with the videos to get used to the supplies and to doing any kind of drawing again after so long.


Then I started playing with watercolors, watercolor pencils and my Caran d'Ache watercolor crayons. I love the outlined look too - that's something I've picked up from the class that really suits my personal style.



I've also been playing in my Smash Book - I've done several pages, but I only have a picture of the finished page for this one so far:


I guess I need to take some more pictures and get stuff posted, huh?

Anyway, that's the artsty stuff. Next up, graduation!

Just Smashing

This is how you know I was bored last week. lol. I have cooking and scrapbooking in this post!

First, the food. Crazy as it may sound, I watch cooking shows on my DVR in the mornings while I'm lifting weights (it's iPod for the cardio, of course.) Lately I've been into Chuck's Day Off from the Cooking Channel. This week I watched an episode featuring a tasty looking risotto and I already had most of the stuff on hand to make it, so I picked up the other two ingredients and whipped up a batch. Yum! Of course, I don't do shrimp so I skipped that part and threw in a few sliced Aidell's chicken apple sausages instead. Also, the store by me didn't have kefalotyri cheese (there's a shock) so I picked up machengo instead and it worked great. This was really good - I'll probably make it again some time.

Chuck's Lemon Spinach Risotto

Next up... a scrapbook layout! The first one I've done since before my trip (I've been home 6 weeks. holy cow!) and funny enough, it's not a trip layout. I haven't been in the mood to even begin to try and tackle that one so I did some cute pictures of Adorable-Niece-Aubrey. They're from March since Nicole hasn't posted anything more recent (ahem. lol.)


Isn't she just precious? And a close-up:

Pretty in Purple Close-up

And finally, if you follow the scrapbooking industry at all, it's almost impossible to have NOT heard of Smash books from EK Success / K&Co. I loved the concept when it was released and then after really getting into this kind of scrapbooking with my scrapbook on the road, I've enjoyed having something where I can easily get memories and inspiration down without the stress of trying to put it together in a formal layout. I'm getting lots of little memories and tidbits recorded that normally wouldn't have made it onto a layout, as well as pulling together things that I just like or that inspire me. So here's a peek into the smashing I've been doing.

Smash 1

Smash 2

Smash 3

Smash 4

Smash 5

And a few spreads that are still incomplete...

Smash 6

Smash 7

K. That's it for tonight... I have to go hit the sack so I can get up early tomorrow. I can't be late for my first day on the new job!