Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cart Me Away.

I just stopped in at Two Peas and noticed a whole bunch of new products in the store.  You know what that means...

I'm a goner.
Darling Dear Chipboard Heart Stickers

Yep, that goes in the cart...
along with these, which are feeding my arrow fixation:

Darling Dear Hearts and Arrows Stickers
I'm loving this paper, too!
Darling Dear Gable Patterned Paper
The holiday break is just a few weeks away, and I can't wait to get scrapping!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wrapped.

This week, the October Afternoon blog will be focusing on holiday gift wrapping and packaging. Here are my contributions to today's post
All items are from the Make It Merry collection. 
This feature came at the perfect time for me. 

I have been on a mission to find creative ways to wrap gifts that do not violate my scrapper's need to hoard "someday" objects -- you know, those objects that make you say (even shriek), "No! Don't throw that away! I'll use it someday." This has proven to be an impossible mission for me, however, as anything I add to a package I simultaneously imagine putting to use "someday." 

I can't stand the thought of anything pretty being trashed, so I have a plan: pretty packages will only go to those who can appreciate pretty. I also have a back-up plan: surreptitiously pocket anything that people set to the side as they open gifts. Hoard all the pretty things!  
So...how are you working your way through gift wrapping anxiety?  Any cool packaging ideas you'd like to share?  

P.S.  Blog hop winners, I haven't forgotten you!  I'll announce the two winners soon.  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!


I am grateful for those moments
when words fail
when I am humbled
by the realization
that I don’t have all the answers.

I am grateful for every chance to say,
with honesty,
“I don’t know,”
because it welcomes
an opportunity to learn.

I am grateful for the hands and mouths and minds
that transform the tasks of word-work
into the wonders of word-play,
for days that end not in periods
or exclamation marks,
but with question marks,
or hopefully, with ellipses.

Most of all, 
I am grateful for a God 
who guides me toward
a greater understanding
of the extraordinary story 
at the heart
of every one of us.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gardeners' Digest: November Garden Girl 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 this month. 
This month, the Garden has been packed with layouts celebrating Thanksgiving and expressing gratitude for our many blessings.  This week's gallery features the following layout about where and how I learned to count my blessings:
The journaling, which is tucked into the tab at the top, reflects on how my grandmother inspired three generations of women to pursue vocations that involve serving others. I am so very grateful to her for raising my mother with such strong values, and in turn, I am trying my best to raise my daughter with those very values.  More details and a list of supplies used may be found at Two Peas in a Bucket
I am not sure if I have the mental strength to attempt a holiday album this year, but these little beauties (made by peas!) are making me believe that if I am inspired enough, then anything's possible: 
The first is a lovely, family-centered "Thankful" mini-album by EllePrice, and the second, "Our Christmas Days," is mireipol's uber-pretty approach to gathering together a series of snapshots taken over the holidays.   

So if I really am going to make a holiday album, then what should I use? I've got this part covered. :) 
If you know of my love for all things green, then you won't be shocked to find this October Afternoon Make It Merry Make a Star patterned paper  at the top of my list.  I first fell hard for this paper when I used it on a holiday layout with more Make It Merry goodies. 
Studio Calico/Hero Arts Two Peas exclusive Wesley Alphabet Clear Stamps . I used these in an upcoming holiday layout, and they are perfect for stamping titles!  I confess, I may have already lost the T.  I'm not taking it very well.
If I am going to take the leap in creating a holiday album, then it's going to be with the help of these new Kikkerland Writersblok albums.  Once Jamie shared a peek into the contents of this album, I was a goner.  I can't wait to fill its pages! 

I have not always been a friend to glitter, because it has not always been a friend to me, but glitter that stays put on tape?  We just might end up BFF's.  There are a bunch of colors of American Crafts glitter tape now available at Two Peas.  I think the first thing I'll do with the ones I just ordered is to use a few strips as the background for a title.
...And finally, new Evalicious!  These are just what I need to document everyday life. 
To thank you for stopping by today, I would love to offer you a chance to win a $5 gift certificate to Two Peas in a Bucket.  In fact, because I'm just feeling all around grateful (which I attribute largely to the fact that just a few days from now, I will be in gravy heaven), I will give away TWO gift certificates!  To be entered to win, just leave a comment by Saturday, November 24, at 6:00 p.m. Hawaii time.  Don't forget to include your pea name, so that I can contact you via pea mail if you win.  

Onward!  The next stop on the blog hop is Garden Girl Lexi Bridges. You can also start from the beginning by going to the Two Peas in a Bucket blog.  Happy hopping! 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Up for a Sketch Challenge?

A few weeks ago I came into contact with some of the most ravenous creatures in the entire world:
And I thought the teenage girls at my daughter's slumber party could eat!  These piranha-like koi at Dole Plantation here on Oahu are both captivating and repulsive to watch -- they are the most beautiful shades of orange and yellow, but when they eat, they pile on top of each other, clamoring for any morsel that their mouths can find. 

They are also the subject of the layout that I created for this week's sketch challenge at Two Peas in a Bucket
I gathered together five photos from our fish-feeding-turned-fish-frenzy encounter, and placed them over a misted, patterned background. I placed strips between the photo blocks, incorporating patterned strips that I had cut along with the some of the strips that you find at the bottom of patterned papers. 

The journaling mentions how the fish frightened a tourist who had ventured near and peeked over the rail.  She screamed and went running in the other direction.

The idea that the fish could evoke a sense of terror in others eventually led Z and I to speculate about whether, if someone fell in, the fish would eat that person alive.  We also wondered how long that would take. I omitted that part from the journaling. It might lead to the splatters on the layout being misinterpreted. :) 

I'd love it if you would play along with the sketch challenge! The added perk is that if you do, you'll be entered to win a gift certificate to Two Peas.  The challenge runs from today through next week. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

New OA at Two Peas!

I just popped in to the Two Peas in a Bucket store, and lo and behold, the new October Afternoon lines have arrived!

I'm also excited to announce the winner of the Two Peas in a Bucket workshop giveaway.  Amy Heller's Seasonal Storytelling class is packed with ideas for scrapping the seasons! 
(That album on the bottom right is my contribution to the class. I'm planning on making another one to document this winter.)
The lucky winner of the class is...
Congratulations, Erin!  I'll forward your info to Two Peas, and you should have class access soon. 

Onward to Friday!  I've earned this weekend. How about you? 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Even More JBS!

Doesn't this make you want to start listening to holiday songs and baking cookies already?  These festive finds and more will be featured at Thursday's JBS Mercantile Holiday Open House, beginning at 10:00 a.m. CST.

For more information and peeks at the vintage items that will available, check out Jenni's blog!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November at JBS

It's the middle of the month, which means that the design team gallery at JBS Mercantile has made room for a few more projects. Here are my contributions, using the November kits
I smoothed a layer of modeling paste over the stencils from the papercrafting kit and the artisan kit to create the raised circles on this layout. The journaling includes my daughter's definition of a "cat person" (which she is, as evidenced by the photograph with her familiar).  
This layout was inspired by our recent elections. Rather than take a partisan stance, I focused on my own beliefs and attitudes toward voting and its importance in a democracy. I used the November Backdrops Kit Cuts file to create the star background. 
This month's kits contain lots of new Jenni Bowlin Studio items, including the new Red and Black Extension V collection as well as some of the cutest label stickers I've ever seen: 

You can also find these lovelies at Two Peas in a Bucket, as of today.  

Be sure to check out the JBS Inspiration blog all this month for holiday crafting ideas.  Tomorrow's post will feature my approach to holiday gifts for teachers.  Given that my daughter has eight teachers, you know that the item is going to have to be mass produced -- but I promise that'll it still be meaningful! 

A Perfect Plate

It's coming.

Today, while at the store, I walked past freezers full of turkeys, and realized: soon.

At my mom's, I thumbed through her copy of the November Martha Stewart Living, and as I glanced at recipe after recipe, I thought: really soon. 

Moments ago, I was eyeballing the mouth-watering images on the cover of this month's Bon Appetit, and now I keep thinking: not soon enough. 

Bring on the turkey. Bring on the gravy. 
More stuffing and casserole and pie, please. 

Even the Garden at Two Peas is making me hungry. It's packed with layouts featuring lots of savory goodness, including this one: 
This layout pays tribute to my favorite meal of the year.  I adopted a checklist approach to the journaling, checking off the components of the meal that apply to our family's traditions. 
If you'd like to download a copy of the checklist, check out the original layout at Two Peas for a link.  If you happen to use it, link me up -- I'd love to see what you do with it!  Enjoy! 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Congratulations to...

Woo hoo, Mary!  You are the winner of the October Afternoon Make It Merry blog hop giveaway.  Enjoy your set of the new Make It Merry postcards!

Thanks, all, for leaving comments. By the way, there's still time to get in on the Two Peas workshop giveaway (see previous post).

Have a great week!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Marathons, Mini-Albums, and a Giveaway!

Whew -- what a week! I should get a marathon t-shirt to commemorate the fact that I crossed the finish line into Sunday.  And, like any other marathon runner, I am celebrating with a heaping plate of bacon and eggs and a day of scrapbooking.  The glory is mine! 

With Thanksgiving a few weeks away, and Christmas and New Year's right around the corner, many a scrapper is gearing up for another attempt at a December Daily album. As appealing as the concept is to me, and as often as I tend to forget my usual failure rate when I attempt to start one each year, I have realized that there is a need for a different approach to scrapping seasons that can actually work for people like me -- you know, the bacon-eating marathon runners. 

Guess what? I think I found one, in the course of contributing a winter album to Amy Heller's new workshop at Two Peas, Seasonal Storytelling
Here are more details about the class: 
Winter, spring, summer and autumn: each season brings about its own wonderful and memorable moments for us all.
Perhaps winter, when celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah and the New Year, is your most memorable time of the year. Or maybe it is spring, when your family celebrates a number of birthdays, or you love preparing your garden and celebrating Easter. Then there is summer - full of outdoor activities, the Fourth of July, camping, and family vacations.  And of course, autumn, with the beginning of school, the glorious changing of nature’s color, bountiful harvests, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. When you break the year up into seasons, there certainly are plenty of stories worth telling!  
In Seasonal Storytelling: Mini Books for Sharing Each Season’s Special Memories, we break down the year into the four seasons. This provides a naturally broadened perspective through which to document your special memories. Because of this broadened view, we introduce you to four different approaches to creating seasonal mini albums - Events & Traditions, Timeframes, On-the-Go ,and Reflections. With each chapter, we will focus on a different season and share two of these four approaches for tackling that season to create a mini book filled with a memories that fits your lifestyle, your scrapping habits, and your style of creating. 
Showcasing eight different and unique mini albums filled with over 100 pages (close to 200, really!) of ideas, Seasonal Storytelling covers each of the seasons, throughout four chapters. Every chapter contains a printable PDF containing two beautifully crafted mini albums along with a coordinating video. Also included are two exclusive printable journaling cards used as the base for one of the mini albums featured in the workshop. 
The content of this workshop will be available immediately upon purchase. The lessons are available for you to work at your own pace and upon purchase can be accessed in the "Workshops" section under "Classes & Events." A private message board forum is also available to ask questions for Amy and to connect with other participants. Enjoy!  

Today I am happy to offer you a chance to win a spot in Amy's class (a $25 value)! 

Just leave a comment on this thread (including your Two Peas username) before 6:00 p.m. Hawaii time on Wednesday, November 14,  and I will select one lucky winner.  If you purchase access to the class and end up winning the drawing, the fee will be refunded, or you can "regift" the free class access to a friend. Good luck! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

October Afternoon Make It Merry Blog Hop (Giveaway Closed)

'Tis the season for an October Afternoon blog hop, featuring the new Make It Merry collection!
I am absolutely crazy about the vivid colors and festive patterns in this line.  Here are some of my favorites from the collection:
Make It Merry "Make a Bow" patterned paper (B-Side)
Make It Merry "Make a Countdown" patterned paper
Make It Merry Chipboard Bundle (I just used these on a layout in my previous post). 
Make It Merry Tidbits
Make It Merry Postcards
If you'd like to be entered to win a set of the postcards (above), leave a comment by 6:00 p.m. Hawaii time on Monday, November 12.  Please include your email address in your comment (or a link to a site where your email address may be found).  

Thanks for hopping by today! The next stop on the blog hop is Becky Novacek.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Surfacing

What a week, and what a weekend!  Inhalebusybusybusybusybusybusybusyexhale.  That's it, in sum.

I just realized that I never shared the winner of the Two Peas in a Bucket Gardeners' Digest giveaway!  Congratulations to...
I'll be in touch via peamail, Lisa! 

As exhausted as I am at the moment, I must say that this weekend was fun.

My daughter had a slumber party to celebrate her birthday, and let me just tell you, all that talk about teenage boys having huge appetites?  They've got nothing on the teenage girls who gathered around the table this morning.  I set down plates of bacon, eggs, and pancakes, stepped away for a moment to put something in the sink, and when I turned back around, the food was gone.  Impressive.

This weekend I also had the honor of witnessing my daughter expose her friends to the wonders of 1980's teen flicks such as Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club, and Better Off Dead.  It was like a rite of passage. They are all officially awesome now, if only just for their ability to make and understand references to these films. The torch has been passed.

Speaking of torches, check out the inferno that was my daughter's birthday cake:
I can't believe that there are so many candles on her cake.  I think her birthday has created a teensy bit of a mental crisis for me, as I contemplate my own attitude toward getting older.  It's the subject of a layout that I created for this week's October Afternoon challenge:
The challenge is to use the flip side of papers, postcards, and accents.  I guess it also prompted me to look at the "flip side" of being 37 (and turning 38 this month). As I wrote the journaling, a thought came to me -- "I have that peculiar habit of looking back more often than I look ahead" -- and I realized how true this is of me lately. I really do need to adjust my perspective, and start to be more forward-thinking.
With that in mind, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the week ahead, and the month ahead, and the year and years and many years ahead.  It's a birthday frame of mind, but I'll try to make it an everyday frame of mind as well.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November?!

Oh
my
gosh
it's
already
November.

November?!

It's off to quite a start, with the reveal of the November kits at Jenni Bowlin Mercantile.  The main kit includes a brand new JBS line!
I combined this kit with the mini-album kit to create the following layout:
I'm working on a few more layouts for the mid-month reveal on the 10th, and will have more to share soon. :)  In the meantime, I've been gawking at the projects in the design team gallery.

Two Peas in a Bucket also knows how to kick off the new month.  There's a massive sale going on right now.
It's crazy -- new items that just showed up in the store a few weeks ago are now 25% off.  This includes the new Crate Paper, Pebbles, Dear Lizzy 5th and Frolic, and the KI Memories washi tapes, as well as lots of October Afternoon.  Whoa.

So...how was your Halloween?  Ours was full of surprises -- as in, awful traffic surprises that forced us to take a detour and spend Halloween night away from home. :(  Fortunately, we wore our costumes all day yesterday, so we didn't miss out on dressing up.  Guess who Z dressed as?
"You got red on you" was the phrase of the day. :)