Saturday, March 31, 2012

Calvinball: The Thrilling Conclusion

Okay, maybe that post title is overselling it a bit.

Since today is the last day of March, it is also the last day to earn Calvinball points.   Looking back, I think I've had a good run:

Calvinball points: 28.5
Calvinblog points: 31 (as of this post)
Bonus/handicap points: 14.5

  • 1 for hyping it 
  • 1 for grading student papers 
  • 5 for challenges 
  • 1.5 for cleaning area and posting photos
  • 3 points for scrapping photos within 7 days of taking them
  • 1 point for scrapping on vacation
  • 1 point for the working wounded
  • 1 for procrastination perk 

Grand total: 74 points

Although I would have liked to earn 100 points or more, I am satisfied with my "performance" this Calvinball season.  Last year I only earned 16.5 points total!   Maybe next year I'll hit 100.  The key seems to be mini-albums.  Lots and lots of mini-albums.

Today is also one of my favorite days of the month: JBS kit reveal day!  As midnight CST arrives, the month's kits and the design team gallery are revealed.   I know that I've been gushing about the April kits lately, and now you can see why!
I shared one of my kit layouts in the last post, and here's another, using the main kit:
There's even more ahead, since the mid-month reveal is on April 10.

Thanks for rooting for me this past month as I attempted to achieve Calvinball glory.  :)

Friday, March 30, 2012

JBS April Preview!

Have you seen Jenni's blog today?  It's all about the loveliness that is April at JBS Mercantile.  The April kits are absolutely wonderful.  The colors -- oh, the colors!  And the chevron stamp?  Swoonworthy.

I've been working (playing) with the main and artisan kits (above).  Here's a simple layout (I know!  Me? Simple?) that I put together using both kits: 

I gave myself a half an hour to scrap just before bed a few nights ago, and though that's less time than I usually spend creating a layout, I decided to relax into the process and see what I could do within that time.  I think I need to do that more often!  It's actually quite freeing.  

I'm off to go work/play some more with the kits!  Thanks for stopping by. ;)  Have a great weekend! 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Power of a Sketch

You know what I love about sketches?
They provide a sense of direction for a layout.
They take the guesswork out of where to place everything.
They are forgiving and adaptable.
They allow for innovation.
They invite so many different interpretations.
They just make everything easier.

I'm always happy when it's my turn to post the sketch challenge on the October Afternoon blog.  Even when I'm the one creating the sketch in the first place, I still never really know where it will take me.  This week, Amy Heller joined me in using the following sketch as a springboard:
Here's my take on the sketch:
Can you tell that I am excited for Easter?  :)  I had so much fun mixing papers from the Sasparilla, Sidewalks, Boarding Pass, and Cakewalk lines here.  This pink, mint green, and aqua combo reminds me of flowers in bloom and blue skies -- it's the perfect springtime mix.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rice Rice Baby

Meet my grandchild:
This bouncing five-pound bag of rice is Jon Snow, my daughter's "baby."  All of the students in her class are required to bring their rice babies and flour children with them to school over the next few weeks.  The assignment also requires that each student put a face on her baby, so my daughter ensured that her new charge wouldn't be too hard to look after by giving herself a reason to keep looking.  :)

For the next few weeks, she will carry Jon to and from school with her, and will reflect upon her parenting experiences in class.  I can just see her documenting his growing attraction to the color black, his inability to sleep without his direwolf (toy) by his side, and his first words: "Winter is coming."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

As Promised...

Here's a wee bit of a peeky peek at an April JBS kit layout:

I'm psyched about this one!

Monday, March 26, 2012

On the Mend

Now that I am finally enjoying the sensation of paper (other than kleenex) in my hands, the long weekend has to go and end. Bummer -- just when the JBS April kit kick-started my mojo again!  It's a beauty.  We're talking (1) Crate Paper Storyteller (and green, wonderful green), (2) a stamp that has made the entire team downright giddy, (3) Hambly overlays that I've been coveting for some time, and (4) a mini-album kit that I keep holding in my hands, imagining the possibilities.  I'll have sneaks soon!  You can already see some on Megan's blog and Doris's blog.

I don't know what it is lately about green.  I want to surround myself with it.  I want it on every layout.  Proof:
The supply list can be found with the original layout at Two Peas in a Bucket.
Yep, green.  Ooh, and green with yellow.
I love this color combination.

Calvinball update:

Calvinball points: 25.5
Calvinblog points: 26
Bonus/handicap points: 11.5
Total:  60

Sunday, March 25, 2012

At the Moment:

I am
...feeling MUCH better, now that my antibiotics have kicked in. grateful for the three-day weekend.  I really needed the rest.
...not as far ahead as I wanted to be with Calvinball at this point in the month, but there are still five days to go.  Ha.  We'll see!    Here are my current totals:

Calvinball points: 24.5
Calvinblog points: 25
Bonus/handicap points: 10.5
Total:  60

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Blog Hop Winner!

Firstly, I'd like to extend a huge THANK YOU to everyone who stopped by during the Garden Girl blog hop.   My cart most definitely runneth over at this point with Echo Park, Jillibean Soup, and more, thanks to the suggestions that you all shared in the comments.   

Secondly, I'd like to congratulate the March blog hop winner: 

Now that you've got a Two Peas gift certificate, Karen, those buttons are yours!  :)  

Friday, March 23, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Gardeners' Digest: March Blog Hop

Welcome to the Gardeners' Digest, a monthly update from the Garden Girls, the design team at Two Peas in a Bucket. We'd love it if you'd visit each of our blogs today to see what's in bloom in the Garden. 

My most recent Garden Girl layout focuses on my daughter, who is coming into her own as a teenager, and who clearly knows her own mind.   
I absolutely love the colors and patterns in the new My Mind's Eye "Follow Your Heart"/"Be Amazing" collection, which I used here.  To create the "hybrid" hexagons, I cut a row of hexagons down the middle from a sheet of "Honey Blue" patterned paper and then hand cut along the white borders. I repeated this with another row, and then overlapped and stitched together the two rows to make a new, varied pattern. 
More details and a full supply list can be found on the original layout in my Two Peas gallery. 

I'm not alone in loving this collection.  Garden Girl Nancy Damiano also used it wonderfully in this layout...
as did fellow pea Rebecca Keppel (who has many more amazing projects in her gallery): 

I mentioned in a post a few days ago that I received some happy mail from Two Peas this week.  All of the CHA releases that we've all been longing for are finally arriving in the store, and I seem to be clicking "check out" at least once a week, I swear!  Thank goodness for free shipping!  

Here are a few of the items that I was more than happy to add to my stash this week: 

Basic Grey Konnichiwa Wooden Buttons

Collage Press London Market Collage Sheets
Cosmo Cricket 2Wenty-Thr3E Mini Deck 
And here are a few items that are in my cart right now, tempting me daily to hit "check out": 
Chalkboard Numbers Washi Tape by Love My Tapes
Heidi Swapp Vintage Insta-Frames
In addition to providing a whole lot of inspiration and a whole lot of reasons for me to click "check out," there's even more going on at Two Peas in a Bucket these days: 
Two Peas has a new blog, featuring daily inspiration, tutorials, and ideas from the Two Peas community!  In fact, that's just where the blog hop starts and ends today.  

To thank you for visiting today, I'd love to offer you a chance to win a $5.00 Two Peas gift certificate.  Your task? Tempt me.  Just leave a comment (between now and Friday night) sharing your current favorite line or product from the store right now, and I will announce the winner on Saturday. 

The next stop on the blog hop is Amy Tan.  She is crazily innovative and knows how to work a piece of patterned paper like no one's business.  Happy hopping! 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


So a few weeks ago I went a-huntin' for a prom dress -- well, a prom chaperone dress, that is.  And let me tell you, it was NOT easy.  It couldn't look like an actual prom dress, but it needed to be formal enough for the event.  I did finally settle on an Adrianna Papell dress from Nordstrom: 

I think it'll work. :)

My prom date is an obliging dude by the name of Rob.  He's used to these sort of gigs by now:

R & J, Junior Prom 1991

Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy Mail!

Today when I walked my bedraggled self through the door, there was the best kind of mail waiting for me:  happy mail!
My Two Peas order arrived today, and I can't wait to play!  I loved the new Cosmo Cricket 2Wenty-Thr3E collection when I saw it during the CHA sneaks, and when it appeared at Two Peas, almost all of it went into my cart.  It's funky-cute.   I also stocked up on new BasicGrey, Tim Holtz, and Maya Road, and added a few more items to the Bazzill and Echo Park goodies that I got last time.

It almost makes Monday bearable. :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012


It's mid-March, and thus, the perfect time for an "ing-ing" inventory post, especially as I say farewell to spring break and look ahead to spring itself.  I'm feeling wistful and hopeful at the same time.

Spring break highlights time! I've been:

...reading The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides.  It's been on my want-to-read list for some time.  I was a little apprehensive about it at first, recalling the advice one of my creative writing instructors gave me years ago: although you may want to write about school, and being a student, no one wants to read about it.  Avoid this topic. It's unoriginal.   However, Eugenides clearly did not receive this advice, or if he did, he ignored it, and I'm glad he did.  The first half of this novel is set at Brown University, and one of the main characters is an English major.  The content takes me back to seminar after seminar of Derrida and Barthes and Irigaray and Cixous and Lacan, and while that might be an intellectual rush for me to revisit those days and actually keep up with the conversation, I know that one of the reasons why I am connecting with this book is because I am so very familiar with the experiences within it (so far).  I do wonder whether the book is accessible for all readers, or whether it is too esoteric.  It's full of wonderful surprises, though, with sentences embedded among other sentences that make me smile or, in some cases, laugh outright.  Here's hoping that the rest of the book is as engaging.

...listening to The Strokes, Evan P Donohue, and The Head and the Heart.  The latter was introduced to me via Kara Haupt's blog. She shared this incredible live video, and it stole my heart:

Now I'm definitely a fan., every night!  This has been a change from our usual I-should-cook-but-gosh-it's-so-late-and-we-only-just-got-home routine.  I even had a chance to make my favorite, roast chicken with gravy:
...watching Grey's Anatomy (at last, it returned this week!) and The Walking Dead (crazy finale, hmm?), and re-watching season one of Game of Thrones.   I can't wait for season two to start next month!

...preparing for the fourth quarter.  I can't believe that there are only a few months left of the school year. Whoosh.

Have a great week!   Be sure to stop by during the Garden Girl blog hop on the 22nd!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Feeling Springy

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  I love being surrounded by green. :)

This month I have had the pleasure of being a guest designer at Technique Tuesday.  The new "Beauty of Spring" stamps from Studio AE have most definitely put me in a springy mood.
I had so much fun using them on this layout with cotton tape and wood letters.  
Before stamping on the cotton tape, I prepped the background by misting it lightly with Maya Road Buttermilk Cream mist...
and then I shook up a bottle of October Afternoon Miss Mary Mack Sprinkler Spray, opened it up, and let droplets fall over the tape.
Although the tape is somewhat absorbent, I wanted to be sure that there was no excess fluid on the tape before stamping, so I flipped over the tape and pressed it down lightly.
I flipped the tape over again and prepped the stamps.  The idea was to repeat various sentiments in different colors on the tape, so I cut out a few of the words from the stamps...
adhered them to an acrylic block, and began stamping away.  I alternated green chalk ink (Versamark Aloe Vera) with yellow Tsukineko pigment ink.
When it came to the title, I just stamped with chalk ink directly onto the wood letters.
I love how versatile stamps can be!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Scrapbook Stamper's Workshop Winner!

The winner of the Scrapbook Stamper's Workshop giveaway is...

Congratulations, Debra! 

Thank you to all who left comments.  I always enjoy reading them. :) 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring (Cough, Cough) Break

As luck would have it, just as spring break began, so did my daughter's cold.  Of course, she just had to share the love, and so guess who has a cold now, too? All this week we've been huddled on the couch or in bed.  Z will sneeze with a mighty blast radius and I'll start cough-laughing and then we'll end up just looking at each other, cracking up, shaking our heads.  Spring break.  Yay.

You would think that being confined to the house has done wonders for my scrappy productivity, but no.  Mostly I just groan and drag kleenex, cough drops, and my blanket with me wherever I go, like Marley and his chains in A Christmas Carol.  My hair is even more frightening than his.

Back when I had a functioning immune system, however, I was able to create a layout for this week's October Afternoon sketch challenge.  Fellow DT member Becky Novacek shared a page out of the Madewell catalog with me (you can find it in the OA post), and I used it as inspiration not just for the design of my layout, but for its content as well.   I decided to "catalog" my daughter's style.
My daughter thought I was insane, grabbing items from her room periodically and taking them outside so that I could snap photos of them.  I think she approves of the layout, though. :)  I could see myself creating at least one of these a year, to document her changing style.  Maybe I should create one for myself -- well, that is, after I recover from this cold. Otherwise, the items would include a kleenex box, pajama pants, Tylenol, Sudafed, Mucinex, socks, and my cat.  Sexy.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Introducing the NEW Two Peas Blog!

This week we welcome the new Two Peas in a Bucket blog, which features daily inspiration, tutorials, and ideas from the Two Peas community!

To celebrate the launch, Two Peas is giving away FIVE collection packs from manufacturers such as October Afternoon, Crate Paper, Webster's Pages, and Echo Park.

Be sure to leave a comment on the inaugural post to be entered for a chance to win.

Also, just in case you haven't entered yet, it's not too late to win a free pass to Jennifer Gallacher's Scrapbook Stamper's Workshop.  Be sure to leave a comment on the original giveaway post. I'll be drawing a winner tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. Hawaii time.

In the meantime, look forward to the next Gardeners' Digest blog hop on the 22nd!  I'm excited about this one. :)

P.S.  Happy Pi Day!  (3.14)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

With a Whole Heart

Last night I worked on a mini-album using the March JBS Mini-Album kit, but once I had assembled it, I couldn't quite figure out what I wanted to do with it.  I ran up against the old journaling glitch -- what to say, what to say.   I ended up leaving the pages and cover blank, and called it a night (well, after a Game of Thrones marathon, that is). I woke this morning to discover that the Lenten reading for the day, from Joel, included the words, "...Return to me with your whole heart," and I immediately knew what I wanted to do with this album.
I decided to document my advice to my daughter about what it means to live "with a whole heart."  
In addition to the mini-album kit, I also used the Jenni Bowlin Tab Large Squeeze Punch to add tabs to the pages.  I also wrapped the front and back covers with 7Gypsies "Off the Wall" papertape, from a previous JBS kit. 

It's been said that mini-albums are the fastest way to accrue Calvinball points, and now I understand why.  Here are my current Calvinball totals:

Calvinball points: 21.5 
Calvinblog points: 13 
Bonus Points: 6.5
Total: 41

P.S.  Be sure to check out the March JBS Mercantile Gazette, which is hot off the (virtual) presses today! 

Monday, March 12, 2012

(Selective) Spring Cleaning

Apparently I can earn a bonus point in Calvinball for tidying up my scrap space.  Initially I just sort of laughed off the point, given that I don't so much work around messes as I do from them.   This week, though, I decided to find out what was in the bottom layers of my stash, and to do that, I had to clean. Since the extra 0.5 bonus is dependent on before and after pics, I suppose that I must share the eyesore that is my scrapping space with you:


No matter how much cleaning or organizing I do, though, I will never quite "pretty up" my space.  I scrap in a corner of my living room, so there's not much wiggle room there.

Do you think that our scrap spaces influence our styles?  I tend to get a lot onto a single page, and I wonder if that's just because my layouts are a product of their environment.  What say you?   Does your scrap style reflect your scrap space?  I'm curious to know whether there's a connection.