Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Interesting ...

So I have always thought that maybe Costco's color photo prints were a bit off from what I saw on my screen. A couple of years back I even seem to recall reading that someone said they printed the color green poorly. It's never been enough to make me pursue a different printer for my photos. What I was getting back was good enough. Until last weekend.

I was in a mad dash trying to get my stuff together for Scrap Weekend. My main problem was not having any recent prints to scrap with. Minor detail right? So I stayed up way too late selecting photos from the many folders I had on my computer to print. I uploaded them to Costco and was about to process my order when I saw that the earliest they would be ready for pick up was 1:00PM. That was a couple of hours past the time I wanted to leave. So I searched for a Costco near where I would be headed. No luck. So in a desperate moment, I opened an account with Walgreens. Uploaded my pictures and selected a store near where I would be staying. I was a little bummed that they only offered the glossy finish for pick up orders (because I have become fond of the matte or "lustre" finish), but at this point, beggars couldn't be choosers.

Everything worked out well. I got my pictures and began scrapping. Sometime on Saturday afternoon, I came across a set of photos printed from Costco (I had grabbed some photos I had at home just in case before leaving). Unbeknownst to me, I also had the exact same, unedited photos printed in my Walgreens order. I compared the too, and my theory was confirmed. What a difference!!!

Here I have laid the Walgreens print on top of the layout with the Costco prints. Both sets of photos are the same exact shots, with glossy finishes, and are unedited. Just in my photo of the photos, you can see quite a difference in the vibrancy or pop of the colors. I think Walgreen may have just found a new customer. This is not to say I will never use Costco again. They're super convenient and I do some of my shopping there. But for my prints that I really love and have specific plans for? Walgreens it may be.
Thought I would share in case anyone has been questioning their Costco prints or pondering where to get their photos printed at. These are the only two pick up places I have tried. I have used Shutterfly and Snapfish in the past, but long before the days of me knowing how to shoot in Manual.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Scrap Weekend Projects Part 4

This is the final installment of my scrap weekend projects. I wish I had lots more to show you. There are a TON of ideas in my head that I want to create (both scrapbooking and home decor), but I am finding there's not a lot of time or energy when I do find the time. Enough said, on with the show.

"Pinata Time" - This was the first layout I completed at Scrap Weekend. This is probably my least favorite of all I did. Yet surprisingly, it's the one the most people complimented. Go figure! This documents my Hannah whacking the pinata at her birthday party.

"Happy Girls" - a simple layout. I love that floral rubon in the upper right corner. I do happen to remember that it's by Hambly Studios, and let me just tell you ... quality rubons from that company!

"Click" - a layout documenting my appreciation for Hannah and her willingness to pose for me. This little dilapidated building in Breckenridge, CO was screaming at me to take a picture of it. I am no photographer by any means, but jumped at the opportunity to practice. And I love love love this paper line by American Crafts. I know it's Dear Lizzy. I think it was the very first one she released. I have been drooling over it for almost a year. Finally got my hands on it this Summer and then finally put it to good use. It did not disappoint. Everything on this page is from that line.

"1st loose tooth" - a two pager! The one and only of the weekend. It's a little plain jane right now. Thinking I may go back and add some blingy swirls to it. The title is pretty self explanatory of what I am documenting here.

And there you have it folks. My 16 layouts. I so wish I could find more time and energy to do some at home. I'd love to be able to make a goal of 1 layout a week, but I think that's unrealistic. Especially with all the other craftiness I end up sneaking in last minute.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Scrap Weekend Projects Part 3

This type of layout is probably my favorite concept. Inspired by Ali Edwards who is AMAZING at documenting real life through scrapbooking, I created this layout about my youngest. Inside that pocket contains a little note about all the various things that make up her personality. I may at some point go back and write something on the outside of the envelope that lets people know they can open it up. Otherwise it looks like a randomly placed embellishment to me.

A layout documenting a cute series of photos I snapped. Makaela jumping to Joel and him not expecting her to jump so close to the edge. She went under the water and he had to scramble to her. She was fine and her happy little self. I just love the action setting on my camera for quick firing.

This layout is a little different for me as I usually fill up the entire page, but I really like it. When my husband looked at it, he asked, "Are you going to put anything on the other side?" Nope!

Just a sweet and simple layout about when Hannah got to hold her new little cousin for the first time. She felt like such a big girl! (all papers are by Echo Park)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Scrap Weekend Projects Part 2

Here's another set of projects I completed last weekend on my Scrapbook Weekend trip. (noticing the colors seem very washed out in these photos so when looking at them, imagine a whole lot more vibrancy)

This layout is super simple. That's just one piece of patterened paper as a background. The pink detail and lines were all preprinted. Love it! Then I just needed to slap a cute photo of my girls loving each other on it, a title, some journaling, and some washi tape pieces (I think that's what they call it - basically pattern printed tape).

A layout of Hannah's first ever soccer game. I used white puffy letter Thickers for the title and then using my journaling pen, traced around the outside of them. The quality of this photo of the layout is horrible. If I had the energy, I would TOTALLY take a new picture.

This layout is of my cutie Makaela riding a horse for the first time.

once again, the colors are really washed out. Again, it's one piece of patterned paper with the antique frame detail on it. Then there's a smaller strip of patterned paper underneath the photos (it was the cover piece in a paper pack that displayed all the patterns inside that I just cut off the title part). I happen to remember that all of this page is made with items from Echo Park.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Scrap Weekend Projects #1

I was going to share all of my layouts in one post but if any of you are like me, sometimes it's hard to take in a lot of projects at one time. So I'll share 4 projects with you today.

First off, I really wish I could remember in which order I created these layouts. then I would share them that way. When I first arrived at the house, or Scrapbook Inn, I felt really blocked. Nothing was coming to me. I was not as prepared as I had hoped to be. I brought my Noel Mignon kits (2 of them), my Studio Calico kit (just the 1), 3 paper packs from Echo Park, and a bag of stuff I bought back in September from Archivers in Colorado (that I had not dug into once). Side note: HOLY COW! Archivers rocks! I am so sad that they do not have one here in CA. I will apologize now ... I do not know most of the manufacturers of the products I used. It was not about documenting what I used this weekend people. It was about getting stuff done. And that I did.

So here we go! I LOVE YOU TOO is about this picture of my husband framing some graffiti in the way background. We had stopped off to stretch our legs after many hours in the car on the way to Arches National Park. It's probably hard to tell, but the graffiti he's framing with his hands says "Wife I Love You!" I seriously hate taggers but how sweet a message. :) I do know that laser cut paper is by Basic Grey. They call it Doily Paper I think. I cut some of it away as you can see and though the picture doesn't show it, the whole piece is raised with pop dots.

This might be my favorite layout of the whole weekend. This photo booth strip has been hanging out in my purse since the night we bought it. Each time I came across it, I thought, "I NEED to get this scrapbooked before it gets ruined." I like how the colors all work together and the black and white photos contrast nicely. I also like how I had a ready made title with paper. I really love how in the series of photos it goes cute, silly, cute, silly. And that we all 4 did it together.

I snapped these lovely photos of my oldest back in November. The title is simply "BEAUTIFUL on the inside and out". Very true of this wonderful girl. That scalloped floral background piece is just one precut piece of paper. They've been around for years now and I think I will always love them! All of the detail adds so much to the page without all the work.

This may have been the first layout I finished. It's very simple. If you look closely, all of my layouts are simple, but this one is especially simple. 5 embellishments and some letter stickers. Done!

And that's it for today.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Whoa yah!!!!

Sunday I returned home from a wonderful scrappy weekend. 2 days of uninterupted scrapping. Heaven I tell ya! Bless you Joel and inlaws who make occassional escapes like this possible!

The last time I went on one of these (April 2010), I accomplished what I thought to be a lot for me. 14 layouts I believe. Well this time I finished 17!!!! And I really like them all. It feels so good to get something for me (and my family) done. Now if I can just manage to get them into albums.

So when I get out from under the hustle and bustle of today, I hope to post them.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Goal for Today - updated

To turn this into something pretty.

I am thinking chunky glitter, some pale pastel papers, a pretty button or two, perhaps some twine.

Hopefully I'll be back later to post the final product. I have lots of other things to do today before I can tackle this.

Two days later ...

Ha ha! Silly me to think I would be able to tackle this little box in one day! The night of my original post I did actually pick my paper and cut it and ink the edges. Note: the amount of paper I used was one 1 1/2" strip by about 8". So yay me that I did all that work. {sarcasm}

Yesterday, I snuck in and quickly and glued some glitter on the top.

Today, I could no longer take it anymore and had to go into my scraproom and finish this project!


Aaaahhhhh. I feel rejuvenated! It's amazing how therapeutic crafting and creating can be. And how easily I can forget that. Now ... who to give this little lovely to?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My WORD for 2011

So lots of people choose a word solely for themselves each year to focus on. I first heard of this idea from Ali Edwards. Last year I picked the word PEACE which you can read about here if you'd like. Let me tell you, the first 3 months I really got a lot out of this choice. When things would start to get hairy, I'd just say the word "peace" over and over in my head and I would cool down, or mellow out, or relax much more quickly than normal. But unfortunately, somewhere along the way, PEACE go left by the wayside. I had all sorts of crafty ideas for that word. I was going to buy anything and everything I saw that had that word on it and plaster my house with it so it would be everywhere we turned, serving as a reminder to me. Never happened. I found one thing, that I was going to alter, but like all things that go into my scraproom, they get burried and don't resurface for years. So I soon found myself going through the days without so much as a thought about peace.

For the past couple of weeks, I have been pondering what my word would be for 2011. Two words in particular have been swirling around. "Imperfect" and "Calm".

not because I want to become less perfect than I am, but because I want to accept that I am imperfect. Sometimes I feel too much of my time is spent trying to put forth an image of perfection. I am never successful in this endeavor, but the attempt is made. For example, I was up until 4AM on Christmas morning putting finishing touches on things (because a 2 1/2 yr old and a 5 yr old will notice all of it right?), typing up a cute letter to Santa (rather than scribbling it out), and finally cleaning up all the clutter so my Christmas morning pictures would look put together. Can you believe that? Am I the only one who cleans up so the evidence of her normal, everyday life is nowhere to be seen in the photos? I think I rationalize some of this by saying I don't want extra "noise" in my photos distracting from the subjects at hand, but I think really it's because I want to pretend I have it all together all of the time.

for similar reasons as why I picked the word PEACE. But also because I find myself getting worked up or stressed out or panicky about things I have no control over or things I shouldn't care about. The other day at work I realized I needed to get some deposits made before our bank courier arrived. With the New Year holiday coming, this was the last day to do it and these deposits needed to be made in 2010. Naturally I realize this minutes before the courier was to arrive. Seriously, it would have been interesting to know what my blood pressure was at that moment. I can't explain the internal knots I was feeling inside my body. My hand was shaking as I was endorsing the checks, trying to write the deposit slips, make copies of it all, getting it in the bag, recording it in the register, and making sure the amounts were correct for the accountant. It was the worst 1o minutes of my day I tell ya. And in hindsight, I should have taken a deep breath, told myself to stay calm and gotten it done. If the courier came, I could have asked him to stay an extra minute while I finished. The stress could have been avoided. This is one example of many I encounter because I don't know how to stay calm. I worry too much about other people. Inconveniencing them. Bugging them. Total strangers. Who cares if you have to wait for my parking spot while I buckle my kids into their carseats?! Unfortunately I do and then the craze comes on. Well no more! Because CALM is my new word for 2011. I'm gonna take on an "It is what it is" attitude. I hope this will allow me to be more tolerant with my kids, get through life with less stress, enjoy the simple things more, and generally be a happier, more carefree person.
I think I need to purchase one of these soon: