{memory keeping} I have a story to tell…

…lots of them actually.  Everyone does.  But I haven’t been very good at getting them down.  I once was.  About ten years ago, when my first baby was born, I was a scrapbooking maniac.  Pretty paper, stickers, decorative-edge scissors and all!  I cut the heck out of all those photos.  He has two whole books.  Twenty or so months later, I had little girl.  I did good for a while…bless her heart, she almost has a whole book.  Then it got busy around here.  I lost steam.  Our house seemed to shrink and there were always little fingers that wanted to ‘help’ with the pages.  I soon discovered digital scrapbooking.  I love it.  I recommend it.  But I got so wrapped up in making the pages pretty that I lost a little priority.  Then I was obsessed with making my own little elements and papers, because I couldn’t find just the right ones for my pages.  I still enjoy that, don’t get me wrong.  That’s how all these little printables really started.  But it still left me (and my family) without something to look at, show my grandchildren, to live on after we’re gone.

So I’m changing my attitude this year.  I will get some books made this year.  Books that can be browsed through, loved, and shared.

Let me share a personal story.  My husband’s mother passed away the summer after he graduated from high school.  It was very sudden.  I never knew her…but have gotten to know a little bit about her through the pictures she had kept for her boys.  Each album (there are several), had pictures, in chronological order, of birthdays, Christmases, trips, and sports.  Each had a hand written note on the back of dates, places, and sometimes even a quote from one of the boys.  They have been a way for my husband to share his Mom with me and the kids.

We are an Army family.  We move around a lot.  We get to see and experience places that we would not have under other circumstances.  I realized recently (just the other day) that my children do not remember as much as I thought they would about where we have lived, the people we have met, and the places we’ve seen.  It was startling.  I didn’t realize that all those memories I was storing would not necessarily stick in a 4-, 5-, 6-year old brain.  Just another reason I’ve got to do this.

Because of these, and more, I’ve decided I’m going to be joining in on Project Life by Becky Higgins.

cultivate a good life by Becky Higgins

It’s really a simple way to document your year.  I’m not calling it scrapbooking.  It really isn’t.  It’s taking everyday photos of your life, jotting down a bit or two about it, and sticking it in a book.  Take a look at Becky’s video…


I will be using some of Becky’s products like this and these, but I’m also going to be using things I already have, the digital version of Project Life over at Jessica Sprague, and some printables that I’m working on now {wink!}.  I’m even planning on integrating this approach to the piles of school work of the kids’ that I’ve been keeping.  I’m a little late in getting my supplies, they should arrive this week from Amazon, but I have been taking pictures.  And I’ve decided that my kids are plenty old enough in helping me take some pictures (they are always taking pics on my phone anyway!).  I decided to use Instagram in conjunction with my phone, since it’s pretty much always with me.  You can follow my Instagrams by finding me…domesticatedlady.

Here are some posts to get you all revved up…

on Becky Higgin’s blog

and Mari Koegelenberg from My Digital Art Studio…love her take on it.

Will you do it with me?  It doesn’t have to be fancy.  Heck, it can be whatever you want it to be.

12 Days Blog Hop: Day 11, A FREEBIE!

I can’t believe it’s almost over :(  We’ve had the best time bringing you lots of wonderfully cute, easy, and inexpensive ideas for the holidays.  Today is no exception!

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I love a treat topper.  ANYTHING looks delightful when wrapped up in some cute little paper :)  For today I’ve made you a holiday treat tent.  {I used our delightfully humongous Grab Bag, that is still available at an amazing price until December 13th}  It’s designed to hold a snack sized zipper bag.  Simply print, cut, and fold where the patterned paper changes.  Insert your candy-filled baggie, fold over the top, and punch holes through.  Tie with some cute ribbon.  Easy peasy.  I also used a punch to scallop the edges.

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I even put a little place on the back so that you can make sure they know who it’s from!

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I filled my treat tent with Hershey Kisses, but just about anything would be cute.

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And since I love you sooooo much…I’m giving it to ya as a FREEBIE!!  This free printable comes as a pdf file, so no special software is needed; you’ll just need Adobe Reader, which most of us have already.  You can grab the FREE DOWNLOAD HERE

enJOYfreebie Here are some other ideas for filling your zipper bag…

dry hot cocoa mix and directions

mini marshmallows (snowman poop!)

Chex mix…you know, Santa always ‘chex’ his list twice!

any kind of candy…who doesn’t love candy?

peppermint bark

Coming up tomorrow…Pam’s Question Jar.

12 Days Blog Hop: Day 10

You know I love Mari!  She’s made the cutest little reindeer for today’s project!  Run over to her blog and check it out!

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12 Days Blog Hop: Day 7

It’s my turn again!  For those of you who don’t know, I used to teach elementary school.  And preschool.  And I have a couple of  rugrats of my own.  Which, I suppose, is why I love kid friendly projects.  I have a few educational and fun projects (under The Hybrid Kid name)  in my store, like this one (which is one of my all time favs).  I think these projects foster together time, fine motor skills, and a development of creativity.  Today’s project is a favorite.

Every year, we (the kids and I) make ornaments.  We keep them, display them, and gift them.  Our tree is full of handmade ornaments.  We even have a few that I and my hubby made from years ago!  And although it makes our tree a little bit hodge-podge, every single ornament on the tree belongs to a family member and has special meaning.  The decorating of the tree brings back lots of memories…’I made this one in 2nd grade when we lived in Texas’ and so on.

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For this project, you’ll need…

scissors (or a paper cutter, if you have one)

paper (either printed from our huge Grab Bag or scrapbook paper you’ve bought…preferably double-sided)

clear ball ornament

ribbon

First, let me say that I’m so happy to find PLASTIC ornaments this year.  In year’s past, we have used the glass ball ornaments.  Although they look the same and are still very pretty, they are glass.  So that meant being extra careful with sharp edges and little fingers and being extra careful with holding and hanging.  I am thrilled to find these…and at Michael’s…and on SALE this week!

Before, I called the girls in to begin, I picked a few digital papers from the Grab Bag and printed them as full 8.5″ X 11″ sheets on cardstock paper.  Then I turned them over and ran them through the printer again with a coordinating paper.  Basically, I made double-sided paper.  I trimmed the white edges off with the paper cutter. **VENT:  my blasted Mac and printer won’t print a full edge to edge page!  I think it’s a Mac thing, but it’s frustrating!**  Then I (or in this case, a good friend who came to help) cut the paper in strips.  The skinnier the strip the curlier it will seem.  These strips were probably between 1/4 and 1/2 an inch.

12days-ornament2 Now take a pencil (or dowel or pen or whatever you can find) and roll the strips of paper around.

12days-ornament3 When you pull the rolled strip off the pencil, you can either leave it curled on itself or pull it out in a spiral-y fashion.  Then tuck the curled paper into the clear plastic ball ornament.

12days-ornament4 We actually set out the paper strips and some ribbon for the girls and just let them go.  They took all kinds of approaches.  Curling paper around the pencil, curling it without a pencil, using little bits of ribbon, you name it.  **Thanks C and A for helping us!**

12days-ornament5 When they were finished, we put the little top back on the ornament and they tied a bit of ribbon to the top.  Then we added a little bit of skinny ribbon to use as a hanger.  I love that these were made by her, by herself.  And she likes that, too :)

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Because I used my ribbon and already had paper to print on, I spent less than 75 cents on each of these ornaments.  Not bad.  Did I mention that these fit perfectly in those take out boxes you can buy at the craft store?  Just wrap in tissue and pop them in the take out box…and of course use a tag from the Grab Bag…and it’s ready to go!

Some other ideas for these ornaments…

besides the paper twirls, add some ribbon, fake snow, glitter, or tiny jingle bells

monogram each one with a vinyl letter (using your Cricut) or letter stickers

these are perfect, gifts for aunts, grandmas, teachers, and friends

12 Days Blog Hop: Day 6

I can’t believe we’re halfway through the blog hop!  Hopefully, we are giving you lots of great ideas and, since we’re doing it a little early this year, lots of time to get these projects done!  Today we are back to Mari, who has made the cutest keepsakes.  I absolutely love Mari’s designs…always have.  And I’m especially fond of her because she gave me my first shot at designing!  Check out her Day 6 keepsake project

12days-header-day6 Hop back here tomorrow for my next project…it’s kid friendly!

12 Days Blog Hop: Day 5

Well, we’ve made a full revolution through our participating designers and it’s Kelleigh’s turn again!  Kelleigh always has the cutest ways to package a gift…in fact, I’d say the best part of the gift might just be it’s packaging!  Head over to her blog and check out what she made for just 26 cents…

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12 Days Blog Hop: Day 4…gift tags

I have always liked Pam’s designs.  She’s a little bit shabby, a little bit funky, a little bit doodley…all the things I love!  For Day 4 of the Blog Hop, she has made the most adorable gift tags and she shows you just how to do it.  Go check it out!

Pam Day 4

12 Days Blog Hop: Day 3

My turn!  I can’t say I’m really a very good cook.  However, I am a decent baker.  This time of year is really when I want to make and bake.  This little project involves both!  I started making Peppermint Bark last year.  I saw it in the stores, knew I could do it myself for a lot less $$.  As it turns out, I was right!  It’s easy and delicious, but I just never liked how it wasn’t pretty.  I get it, it’s bark and you just break it off…but I like things nice and tidy…and pretty.  This year I’m making Pretty Peppermint Bark for Day 3 of the 12 Days Blog Hop and it’s also my December feature for Woodlands Family Magazine!

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What you’ll need…

Cookie sheet

Wax paper

Cookie cutters

Chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate chips)

White candy chips, white chocolate chips, or almond bark

Crushed peppermint

Cover the cookie sheet with wax paper.  Lay the cookie cutters on the wax paper.

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Melt the chocolate chips according to the directions.  On a side note, I melt my chocolate chips in a disposable candy making bag (similar to a decorating bag) that I picked up at the craft store.  I put the chips in the bag, twist the top, and melt the chips on half power in the microwave.  After the chips are melted, I snip the end to squeeze out the chocolate.  I filled each cookie cutter with a layer of chocolate, making sure to fill in all of the nooks and the keep the cookie cutter from moving around on the wax paper.  Don’t worry about making the layer pretty, it will be covered up with the next layer.  Pop the entire cookie sheet in the freezer for about 5 minutes.

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The next layer is white…candy chips, chocolate chips, or almond bark work.  I used candy chips and I melted them the same way I did the chocolate chips.  Then I filled each cookie cutter individually, making sure to sprinkle crushed peppermint immediately after filling the layer.  Press slightly on the crushed peppermint to settle.  Pop the cookie sheet in the freezer again for about 10 minutes.  The peppermint bark will slip out of the cookie cutters with a gentle push.

dec-pepbark3 Included in the 12 Days Grab Bag is this quick and easy printable for packaging your Pretty Peppermint Bark.

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12 Days Blog Hop: Day 2

Day 2 of the Blog Hop…

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Are you sitting?  Of course you are, you’re at the computer :)  This project from Mari is about to knock your socks off.  Seriously.  And she makes it look so easy by showing you exactly how to do it.  Check this out…

DSC_9990 Isn’t it gorgeous??  And Mari’s done all the hard work by making it a PRINTABLE!  It’s one of the many goodies included in the 12 Days Grab Bag available at The Digi Chick.

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12 Days Blog Hop: Day 1

Kelleigh Ratzlaff of Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs has created the cutest cash envelopes for Day 1 of our Blog Hop.  Hop on over to her blog to see her great tutorial on how to make these quick and easy gifts!

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