Well what can I say, my blog has been very VERY neglected.  All I can tell you is that 2011 was a challenge for our family.  As most of you probably remember we have a son with Epilepsy who is also described as “being on the spectrum” which of course refers to the Autism Spectrum.  Since he does not meet all of the criteria of Autism the experts simply describe him as being “on the spectrum.”  Which means that he attends a special class at school with kids like him.  Last year that sent him to a school 45 minutes from home and to a different school from his twin brother and older sister.  To make matters worse we were on a constant roller coaster with his medications and things simply did not settle down around here all year long.  This year at least he is in school closer to home but the downside we’ve found is that I have to pick him up each day so that he doesn’t take a nap on the bus and so that we can still make big sisters after school activities and of course he’s still not in the same school as his siblings.  However we are learning the ropes and pretty much changing the way EVERYTHING works in our family to help him manage better.

Which brings me to today’s post.  With all of the adjustments that had to be made in our family in the past year somewhere along the line I got lost.  My world was all about learning how to deal with the new challenges and when I wasn’t doing that I was simply being the MOM.  Which means that the main thing that I do to relieve stress, CREATING, was not getting any attention.  A few months ago I did get the very exciting opportunity to teach cake decorating at Michaels and since I have been a trained cake decorator since 1996 I jumped at it and also found that many people wanted to buy cakes and other baked goods.  So I started my own business and I now bake cakes and other goods right here at home for my customers.  But my scrapbooking, rubberstamping and general papercrafting was still going undone.  So to kick it back into shape I hopped over to Big Picture Scrapbooking and signed myself up for two year long classes to help me out.

Class 1 is “12” with Stacy Julian and I am so excited to start the journey to making 12 pages per month in 2012 a total of 144 creations.

Class 2 is “One Little Word” with Ali Edwards which is a new thing for me.  Although I have heard the concept of chosing a word to focus on for the year I haven’t really done this before.  As I have been pondering what word to use the only word that kept coming back to me was CREATE.  So for 2012 my word is Create.  

Of course there will be more on these two classes as they go since they are both year long classes.

In an effort to try to take more pictures and document our journey I am also making another run at Becky Higgins Project Life.  Back when it was Project 365 I made it through most of the year but then kind of fizzled out the last few months of the year.  My attempt the next year only lasted 2 months so I am going back and using that kit that has been collecting dust in my studio this year and I am determined to make it through. 

So that’s it in a nutshell, here’s to 2012!   

LOAD catch up, and some cards!

Miss me?  It’s been hectic around here as the last week of the month usually is.  I’ve been getting my layouts up on the LOAD Flikr group but haven’t had as much time to get over here.  So here’s some fun for you…

Day 23:

I was all out of fall pictures so this layout went into my “blank layouts” file and I will add photos later!  Created this 2 page beauty using the Olivia workshop on the go kit from Close To My Heart.  And since that’s the end of Olivia…here’s some cards from that same kit:

Day 24:

I took these pictures just days before Christmas last year when we got our first real snow.  I used the Mistletoe workshop on the go kit from Close to My Heart for these two pages!  And since that was the last set of Mistletoe pages…that’s right, CARDS:

I’m loving the classic look of the Mistletoe kit and I’m sure that it will make it’s way onto my Christmas cards this year!

Day 25:

This kit was so FUN!!!  I’ve been missing halloween kits in Close To My Heart’s line-up the past few years and this one totally got me in the spirit!  The fun stamp set and bright papers was just what I was needing.  This is the Hooligans workshop on the go kit!

Day 26:

This layout was on my table without a title yesterday morning when my mailman brought me AdornIt’s October Busy women kit!!!  The rub-ons in the kit matched Hooligans so well that I couldn’t resist using them on these pages!  And since that’s the last of the Hooligans kit…CARDS!!!

Sorry for the blurry picture on that last card.  My camera didn’t like all of the patterned papers!  Aren’t those cards fun?

Day 27:

Since I have officially run out of Close To My Heart kits to play with for now I decided to play with AdornIt’s October Busy Women kit this morning! 

Basically these are all three the same layout with twists thanks to the idea sheets that are sent out with each Busy Women kit.  I love AdornIt’s paper just as much as I love Close To My Heart’s!  And the letters are from an alphabet stamp set that was also included in the kit!  So much fun!

Ok that’s enough for now, I’ll be back tomorrow!

Load Day 22…And Cut the Crazy!

I’ve once again been a busy bee this morning and instead of completing just one page, I’ve done four today!  First I started with the Olivia workshop on the go kit:

Fall 2009

This is a sketch from the new Magic scrapbook book which is such a fun book.  It has interactive pages that can also be completed without the interactive options (which is what I’ve done here.)  The title shape is from the dvd that is included with the book.  I’ve added in some foam letters from Adorn It on this page and simply titled it “Fall 2009.”

Fall 2009 pg 2

And page two just shows some more of the shots we took of the kids, you can tell how hard it was to get a good one with all three kids.

Two years ago I took a class at BPS called Cut the Crazy out of Christmas.  It remains one of my FAVORITE classes ever.  Georgana Hall and Debbie Raymond from Adorn It teach this class every year and they are so fun to work with.  When I first took it in 2008 we had just moved here to New York.  During the course we made a great holiday planner to help cut the crazy out of our holidays.  There’s lots of sharing of ideas in the message board for this class and it really helps you to kick start your holidays.  This year BPS offered an Alumni option for the class so that past participants could get a discount on class fees and I jumped for JOY when I saw that and signed right up!  I’m having so much fun sharing with everyone in the class.  The pre-class assignment every year is to make a layout showing your joy so for this year I made an updated layout:

Joy pg 1

I used the Mistletoe workshop on the go kit for this one which is such a beautiful holiday kit.  Very classic and it comes with a stamp set and really fun brads to play with too!

Joy pg 2

I love how these pictures of my kids with Santa last year worked so nicely with the kit!

Tomorrow I’ll be back with one last Olivia layout and some cards!

Load Day 21

When I opened the Olivia kit today I fell in love.  The glitter brads and the fun fall stamps but with papers that could be used for a variety of subjects! 

Fall festival pg 1

Fall Festival pg 2

The photos are from a Fall Festival held at a Children’s Zoo every year near where we live.  It seemed to take forever to get a good shot of all three of our kids that day! 

Thursday thoughts…

Today is a rainy COLD day in upstate NY and they’re predicting snow for tomorrow!  Right now as I type away one of my twins is asleep in the chair next to me, I love how fall seems to exude warmth and love even as the weather turns colder.

Load Day 20 more Magnifique

Today Lain challenged us to do our layout in 30 minutes, I am happy to say I did two pages in 30 minutes!

I wish the picture were better!  I love the picture on this page.  It’s of one of the boys and three of the girls in the basement of our church before the First Communion began.  My daughter is the one in the middle with her little girlfriends on each side and one of the boys behind them.  These kids are great and all four of them are in my religious education class this year so I’m getting to watch them grow each week.  Recently I was talking to them about doing a service and giving back to the community and I gave them three choices of things that we could do and the class voted to do all three even though I told them that they only had to do one!  How great is that?  A room full of third graders that are already giving back!  I used the Magnifique workshop on the go kit for this one and I’m so pleased with how it turned out (you really have to see it in person to appreciate it since my camera decided to be picky today!)

And since I’ve finished with Magnifique you know what that means…I’ve got cards to share too!

It’s WACKY WEDNESDAY!!!  And what is more wacky than MISMATCHED SOCKS!!!  You all know I LOVE Little Miss Matched ( and right now there’s a SALE!  Buy three pairs of knee-highs and get a pair of anklets for FREE!!!  Use code ANKLET4U to get your free pair!

Load day 19 more Magnifique!

Today when I sat down to do this layout I decided to do something I rarely do when I first work on a layout, I did my journaling!  Of course I always journal on my layouts but usually you don’t see it here on the blog because I do my journalling after I’ve shared.  I can’t stand my handwriting but I feel it’s important to have handwritten journaling on all layouts so that in the future when I’m gone my kids and their kids can go back and see my writing.  So before I put a layout in an album I do the journaling.  And then on the back of the layout I put my initials and the date.

Sweet Ayla page 2

Once again the Magnifique workshop on the go kit was used for this, I love how dynamic the patterned papers are in this kit while still being timeless.

Ahhh it’s tuesday, that means TEN ON TUESDAY!!!  So here are ten things I love about FALL!!!

1.  Beautiful fall colors in all the trees!

2.  Pumpkins everywhere!

3.  Baking without heating the house up!

4.  Wearing nice cozy sweaters and sweatshirts.

5.  Apples, apples, APPLES!!!

6.  School back in session!

7.  Playing in the fallen leaves with my kids.

8.  Halloween candy!

9.  Cuddling!

10. My husband’s birthday!

Load day 18…Sweet Ayla

Have you ever opened a scrapbook kit and just KNOWN the perfect subject for that kit?  When the Magnifique kit came it just SANG “first communion” pictures to me.  For those who aren’t Catholic let me explain about First Communion first so that you can understand what a HUGE moment it is for a young Catholic boy or girl.  Our children are prepared via faith formation classes starting in kindergarden or first grade and taught about the church and it’s beliefs.  In second grade as the kids are reaching age 7 we prepare them to take a big step, and that’s recieving their first communion.  They have to do a reconcilliation with the priest beforehand which means confessing their sins to him so that they can be absolved of them.  Then they are taught exactly why we take communion and what it means.  Finally after nine months of preparation the children are ready and in a big ceremonial mass they get to take communion for the very first time with the girls in pretty white dresses and veils and the boys in nice suits.  Imagine rows of little girls in little miniature wedding type dresses and veils and sweet little boys, many wearing their very first suit.  It’s a gorgeous thing.  We got Ayla’s dress early on and had her pictures taken a few months before hand by a very talented photographer but those pictures are for our walls at home, the ones I used on this layout were the ones I took the day of the big event.

Sweet Ayla

As usual when I started this layout I cut the papers according to the cutting guides in the workshop on the go guide and then stamped the flowers on the layout and added embellishments.  Finally I added the pictures and the title (I used the Amore Caps alphabet for this one.)  I love how this turned out and I hope that page two (coming tomorrow) turns out just as good.  The blues in this layout reminded me so much of my daughters blue eyes that I just had to use it for these pictures.

Something I haven’t done in awhile…MONDAY MOVIE MADNESS!!!  Most weekends we watch a movie and this weekend was no exception.  This weekends movie was “Killers” and I have to say that I loved this one as much as I loved “True Lies” many years ago.  Funny and action packed, this one goes on my list of good movies!


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