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Remember Paper Bag Albums?

These were such a staple of the crafting world for awhile… :)  Even though their heyday has passed, I’ve been known to pull them out now and again as a fun gift or project.  This post features two fairly identical albums that I created for my son’s daycare teachers at the end of his first full school year with them as a baby.  I included a card that described how they could add pictures of their own kids to the pages and inserts.

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Lots of lovely texture, that’s my favorite part of paper bag albums!  This is an older album (these pictures are from 2012!), but I still love the style I used and the lumpy bumpiness I used to decorate the front cover.

IMG_6763.JPGThe interior pages featured simple layers of cardstock, patterned paper, and journaling cards, and featured some simple stamping and embellishment.

img_6750Had to make sure to use some real buttons with the super cute button patterned paper.

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Paper tearing, photo corners, staples, all these “older” trends are still some of my favorites, when the moment is right. ;)

IMG_6760.JPGYou can also see a few of the inserts sticking out the open paper bag ends.  Here’s a better look:

img_6753Again, I kept it all simple, and added matching cards for each teacher.  I’m feeling inspired enough that maybe I’ll try to tackle one for my DD’s daycare teacher this May!

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TFV!

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Scrap My Stash Project #1

So, remember this decision? To scrap my stash down? Well, I started with my 6×6 pads.  I refuse to pay full price for these, so I have acquired most of these at Tuesday Morning or Big Lots for $2-3 apiece.  That number astounds me because of the sheer number of projects I can get out of these!  These are a good value, but really, I have no need to make the huge number of cards and layouts that they would require to actually make a dent in them, so I’m not convinced they were all a good purchase, even with being fairly cheap.

So, without further ado, here’s my process for using up a 6×6 pad!

1) Purge what I won’t use.

My typical process with a 6×6 pad is to bring it home and immediately flip through the pad and remove any sheets I know I won’t use.  I generally RAK these. So that’s one pass through I’d already completed, pulling out some paper nearly two years ago when I bought this.

2) Scrap a layout.

Next, I want to use each paper pad on at least one layout.  For this particular pad, I’d already used it on this layout. Excellent, I’ve got a head start!

3) Scrap a batch of cards.

Then, I aim for at least a dozen cards.  This is easily accomplished with templates like this one at Operation Write Home, which is what I used for this card set. 6×6 pads are really excellent for cards due to the size and small scale of patterns, so that’s why I shoot for a dozen. I added some coordinating cardstock, a stamp set that matched the style, and some type of fiber–in this case, jute.

4) RAK the remnants.

When I had finished the cards, I RAKed the remnants of the pad.  Yes, I still had plenty of paper! So that’s a total of 2 RAKs, 1+ layouts, and 12 cards for $2-3.  I think that’s okay! But I’m glad to have one less sitting in my stash.

Here are some card close-ups:

Very simple, just how I like ’em. ;)

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Bridal Shower Cards–Simple, Subtle, Stunning

I love these die cuts, aren’t they amazing?  I wish I could tell you the name of them, but I received them as a RAK.  As soon as I saw them, I knew they’d be perfect for some upcoming wedding showers I had been invited to, and also knew they wouldn’t need much to make a pretty card.

I used Distress Inks (Chipped Sapphire and Dusty Concord) and a blending tool to created the gradient background.  Then I dripped, dropped, and splotched some Pearl Glimmer Mist all over it for a shimmery droplet effect to imitate a starry night sky.  Some crystal Stickles in the streetlights, a stamped “Best Wishes” on the inside, and done. :)

TFL!

 

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LO: Stinker Bella

I guess it was a play off of Tinker Bell, but it’s a name that has stuck.  I use it whenever Amy B is feeling particularly ornery or up to some toddler mischief, like in these photos.  It’s funny, because I have some pictures of Izzy at close to the same age, doing the EXACT same thing. :-)  Different couch, different level of the house, and a different box of tissues–but they tell the exact same story.  I’ll try to find it and post later this weekHere it is!

Here are some close-ups:

Fun layers of gold lame mist, a doily, a sunny flower, punched cork, flair, and bling.

A stamped BINGO card, dressed up Tim Holtz clip, and an ancient “Proverbs” strip, converted into a banner.

STILL trying to use up my alphabet stash… Slow going, I tell you! As a side note, punched cork shapes have very little structural integrity! They broke and crumbled if I had to shift them a little, so I ended up cutting some in half to replace one beyond saving, then had to do a lot of surgery on what was left so I had enough to create a visual triangle with the cork elements.

TFL!!

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Beanette’s Birth: finding out and telling people

Merry almost-Christmas! It’s zoooooooooming up to Amy B’s first birthday, much more quickly than I’d like, so I thought I’d best be documenting her birth story soon-ish!

It was late May, 2012.  Bubbaroo had just turned one, and school had ended for the year.  We were on vacation, but I was so tired, all the time…  Hmm, that felt familiar…  So we dug out a leftover pregnancy test (and of course confirmed with as many other different pregnancy tests as I could buy), and received a wonderful surprise!  It had taken so long to get Little Man, we were shocked when Beanette showed up so quickly, but we were also thrilled. As much as people liked to tell us we were nuts for trying (and succeeding) to have a second baby so soon, we had our reasons, and it was a lovely, planned-for surprise. :-)  We had had such a positive experience with Bubby’s birth that we decided to keep as much the same as possible for Beanette’s birth.  We immediately hired the same doula, made appointments for my doctor, and began spreading the word that we were expecting again.

This was such a fun way to announce our news.  I just chopped up and hand-stitched an old onesie, then used my foam stamps and some acrylic paint for the design.  This was our best picture (man that photo shoot was frustrating! LOL) and we first sent the picture to be developed at the one hour photo at the WalMart in my hometown.

My parents were on their way to a family gathering, and I sent in about a dozen of the latest pictures of Little Man, including this one, and then told her to stop and pick them up before she went to the family party.  Then we waited…  That phone call is, I think, my favorite one to ever have received–her in the car, with Dad driving, her sputtering, “You’re kidding!!!!!!!!!!!!”, and explaining how perfect it was, as it was the last picture in the stack. While we waited, we skyped with my in-laws.  I came on first and told them I wanted to show off a shirt I had made Bubby, then pulled him into the frame, wearing the shirt. :-)  Later, I emailed a couple close friends with the picture, too.  One of them hadn’t opened the email after a few days, so I finally called her and said, “I’m really sorry to bother you, but I have to insist you go look at that shirt I made Little Man!” She laughed, and said, “I know, I’m sorry, people like to show off when they’ve made something new.”  Then it was my turn to laugh, and I said, “You are more right than you realize!!!”  So she opened it up while on the phone with me, and that was a fun phone call, too.  When I hit the three month mark, I uploaded the photo as my new profile pic on Facebook, and tagged my husband in it.  So we definitely got our mileage out of this one shot!To be continued…

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The Birth, Part 3 (and the end!)

I never did get around to finishing the story of Bubby’s birth.  (Here is Part 1 and Part 2 if you’re interested…)  I figured now was a good time to finish this story, because in less than a month, I will have yet ANOTHER birth story to share with you! :-D

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Really, there isn’t much left to tell.  I was well into the transition phase, verging on being able to push, and was beyond comfort measures, I just needed to get in a position and GO.  I felt like it was time to push before they would let me–my doctor hadn’t arrived yet, and they wanted me to wait for him, but that’s just ridiculous.  When it’s time, it’s time, and especially without an epidural, I could definitely understand what my body was telling me!  {436737f2-c9b8-4377-9c43-59a6e685f49b}_5BW

I had a hard time pushing.  By the time my doctor arrived, I was beyond ready to get down to business and get this baby out…  I had many uncomfortable and intensifying Braxton-Hicks leading up to the birth, and so had a little technique down for breathing through the tension and peak of the contraction.  I used it well during early labor.  The problem now was that I was continuing to use it.  It took at least a half hour of me pushing ineffectively before someone finally told me I needed to hold my breath and use that to bear down during my pushing.  Oh!  That would have been good to know!  I was still having difficulty, just could not figure out the correct muscles to engage.  Our doula finally whipped out the rebozo, tied a knot in it and told me to hang on.  I would pull with all my might during the wave of the contraction against her weight on the other end.  This helped so much!  It was still a long process, one which I hope to be much better at this time, but those two things helped immensely.  I wore her out, eventually the nurse had to switch out with her to keep going.{436737f2-c9b8-4377-9c43-59a6e685f49b}_6BW

All in all, it took 2.5 hours of pushing to bring Izzy into this world.  (He is of course, worth it!)  We found out that would have been ample time to have an epidural after all!  But I did feel pretty dang “I can conquer anything” after giving birth without drugs…  Overall, my doula was so happy about my birth, and the more I have reflected on it, I realize how right she is.  I got everything I wanted in this experience!  I got to use my music, I had the majority of my early and even active labor at home, no drugs, wear what I wanted, etc.  This was an amazing, magical time for our family, and I absolutely love looking back at these pictures…  I can’t believe so much time has passed already.  He will be 21 months in a few days!

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