Hey everyone! I know it's been quiet here. I really do plan to get back to more blogging once we get past the holidays. I do have a new layout to share today. This was created for Kerri Bradford Studio, and I was waiting to share until her new site was up. She's still dealing with issues out of her control, so in the meantime, she's been sharing our projects on Instagram and Facebook this week!
After working really hard last year to catch up on years worth of Christmas layouts, and with Christmas 2016 just days away, I figured I had better get to documenting last year's Christmas photos. If you know me, you'll know that I'm all about getting as many of my photos on the page as I can. So for something like a Christmas family get-together, I turned to one of my go-to two page designs, getting 22 photos on the spread.
If this design looks familiar, it's because I have used it more times than I can count! I even used it on a few previous Christmas layouts. I use a full 12x12 photo collage on one side of the spread, and a smaller photo collage on the other side, leaving me plenty of room for my title, journaling, and sometimes, even a few more photos.
Kerri's Stoyboard templates are my go-to choices for creating photo collages, and the only ones I even use anymore. While I often tend to use the same ones over and over, she's got tons of choices to fit whatever your needs are, as far as how many photos, and size and orientation of photos.
I like to keep with a white background on the top half of my first page, since the two page spread is so photo heavy. Rather than a plain white background, I die cut a ton of stars from Kerri's Out Of This World kit, using white cardstock. The white on white adds interest, without being overwhelming.
Kerri has SO many choices for Christmas titles, so it can be a little hard deciding which to use. I usually start by looking for one that fits the space I have left for my title, as that usually narrows things down a bit. I decided on the "hello Christmas", from the Yuletide Greetings kit, and cut it both from patterned paper and black cardstock, to layer together for a little shadow effect.
When it came to picking out patterned papers for this layout, I came across these super old papers from Making Memories. They matched perfectly, so they were my obvious choice. Sometimes, I wonder why I hold onto things for so long, and other times, I'm so glad I did hold onto them for so long!
I don't always feel the need to journal on my Christmas layouts, and it's something I've talked before. I guess I feel the journaling would be almost the exact same every year. However, if I find myself with extra space to fill on a layout, I will add some journaling. And that's exactly what happened on this layout. I had a little space to fill, and rather than just filling it with more patterned paper, I added in a journaling strip that went the length of the page.
So, it appears that I haven't blogged in three weeks. Oops. I'm not sure I've ever gone that long without posting. While I used to be really big on posting randomness here on the blog - little tidbits about life and what's going on - over the years I seemed to switch over to only posting when I have a project to share.
And without many projects to share, I have less posts going up. I do have a couple coming, but in the meantime, I thought I would just give a photo-inspired update on what I've been up too the last month. And if you happen to follow me on Instagram, you've most likely already seen these ;)
Scrapbooking. Yes, I'm still scrapping. Not as much as I used too, and not as much as I would like to be. But I am still working on scrap related projects. I have a few new projects coming soon to Kerri Bradford Studio (she's working as hard as she can to get her new site up).
I also have several layouts in the works. They have patterned papers picked out, photos printed, journaling printed, and titles and other elements die cut and ready to go - now we'll just see how long it takes me to actually assemble and finish them.
Daycare kiddos. Yes, I've still got all kinds of little ones here with me. All. Week. Long. They keep me busy! I was going strong with 7 kids (a few full-time, and a few part-time), but as of last week, two of those kiddos left, as their mom will be staying home with them full-time now.
The five I have now (9 month, 17 month, 18 month, 3 years, and 3.5 years) have me exhausted by the end of the day. But they're all soooooo adorable, keep me laughing, and give me more snuggles, kisses, and hugs than you can imagine.
My oldest, Alyssa, is in her junior year of college. She's got an insane course load, and is extremely busy keeping up with it all. Being a music major is no joke. She also has two jobs on campus, one of which is a newer one, and one that led her to tell me "THIS. This is what I'm here to do" - which just makes my heart happy!
We went to their band concert a few weeks ago, and it was nice to visit with her for a while after. The college is only 20 minutes away, but we don't see her often, with how busy she is. She's got a week and a half left of this semester, and then will get to come visit for a few weeks.
My youngest, Sarah, is a senior in high school. She recently finished sending in college applications, and prefers not to talk about it unless forced too. Lol. She somehow became the stat girl for the varsity football team, going to all of the games with the team on the bus. She's not quite done with that, as they advanced to the Division 3-AA Nor Cal Bowl this coming Friday night.
High school soccer was moved to a winter sport this year, instead of being a spring sport. This means that instead of games starting around the beginning of February, we started mid-November. And goodness, it's COLD out there! I mean, we are in California, so cold to us is low 50's ;)
We hosted a very simple, small Thanksgiving dinner at our house. I probably shouldn't say that we "hosted", as my parents actually cooked a turkey and several of the other dishes, and brought them to our house. But I made my famous mashed potatoes, and some desserts.
Alyssa and I threw together a very last minute table setting, using a kraft paper roll, vinyl dots left over from my kitchen backsplash project from years ago, and a sharpie pen. And then we scrounged up candles and a few other things from other places in the house. Nothing fancy, but it worked. And I made sure to take some family photos that day, while we were all together and looking nice, for Christmas cards.
Gilmore Girls! One of my all-time favorite shows ever. I even re-watched the entire series this summer, in preparation for their return. And it did not disappoint. I won't spoil anything, for those that may not have watched yet (if you haven't, what the heck are you waiting for).
I will say that I've always been Team Logan. I loved Winter and Fall the most. And while the ending had me hoping that they'll be back for more, I can totally see how it came full circle. Also, I can guarantee you that I will be watching it again. And again ;)
Thanksgiving weekend, we got down all of the Christmas stuff from the attic. Our pre-lit artificial tree doesn't have any working lights on it anymore. Hasn't in years. Every year, I say I'm going to buy a new tree, and every year, I sit there and string all the lights onto it. We've had that tree for 14 years, so I know we got our money's worth out of it (I'm pretty sure we paid about $120 for it, back in the day).
With all of the itty bitties around here, I don't put up too many decorations, as little hands are into everything. I had the tree up, with just the lights, for a full week, before I finally put some decorations on the tree.
Next on my to-do list is address and mail out our Christmas cards. And I guess, since Christmas is apparently creeping up on me faster than I realize, I should probably start thinking about who I need to buy gifts for. The only thing I've planned so far, is the daycare kiddos, since I knew I was going to make the fleece blankets for them. The fabric is bought, they're trimmed and slits made all around the edges - now I just need to tie them all and wrap them up. I also thought I would bake cookies this year. I used to make a massive amount of cookies back in the day, but I haven't done that in years and years. I need to set aside some time for baking too.
That's a pretty good summary of what I've been up too. Hopefully, I'll be back to share a few Christmas projects with you soon. I'd love to say I'll be working on other projects in the meantime, but that may or may not happen.