Friday, December 17, 2010

Gifts on the Fly

I don't know about you, but it always seems despite my best efforts I need last minute goodie bags for something... a party, classmates, Sunday school, etc. Well here is a quick and easy solution. I try to have those clear treat bags on hand at all times around the Christmas season. This year I also picked up several bags of Christmas candies and stashed them away for just such an event. Then all you have to do is fill the bags with goodies and staple them shut with a cute paper topper or tie them closed with curling ribbon. (or you could get really fancy if time allows...I'm hoping to share some ideas for grownup treat bags soon) These bags came with us to Awana on Wednesday night as a little reward for some hard work and great behavior by the kiddos in my Sparky class. I tell you, just a little bit of organization and it's so much easier to sit back and enjoy the Christmas season! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Teacher Gifts

I thought I'd share these fun and easy teacher gifts I made this year: Christmas Candy Cones. Ok, so first start with a pattern. Go here if you don't have one of your own. Trace in onto some pretty paper, cut it out, roll it into a cone and fasten with glue or double sided tape. Viola! You have a candy cone. Now if you want you can decorate the cone to your hearts delight or you can simply punch a hole on each side of the cone and tie on a ribbon hanger. Either way they are cute! Then fill your cone with goodies. I filled our cones with chocolate cause who doesn't like chocolate! ;) You could even tuck in gift cards, pencils, or other little trinkets.

This year I also made a bunch of treat bag toppers in photoshop and printed them out so I'd have some on hand for gifts. (you could make yours from scrapbook paper too, this was just quicker for me and sometimes quicker is better ;)) I tucked the cones in clear bags, added a topper, and set them in a basket ready for giving!

We started giving them out this week, and they have been a big hit! I had the kids make Christmas cards to go with them... and those have really been a huge hit. Everyone likes a handmade card with a wonky little Christmas tree and a child's handwriting! ;)

I have some more ideas to share later for quick gifts for classmates, friends, and neighbor children. Merry Christmas! Have a great day!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Gift of Gift tags...

I made these simple gift tags for a Sunday school project the other day, so I thought I might as well share them here! I don't know about you, but every Christmas it seams like I am forever running out of tags! These are nice to have on hand just incase I need to print out some quick ones!
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Journal Your Christmas Pages

I'm so excited about this project!! I received my 2nd email yesterday and I was really looking forward to working on another page. I'm so excited because by the time New Year is here I'll have an entire Christmas album created full of all the little details that make our Christmas ours recorded as they happened. I'm usually scrapbooking Christmas pictures eons after the events are over desperately trying to remember the cute things the kids said and did etc. BUT not this year. Thanks to good ole photoshop, the ease of digital photos, and "Journal Your Christmas" I will have this book off to the printers and back in the hands of my family sometime in January. YIPPPEE!
So here is the "manifesto" page... I used it as a dedication to my family.

... and here is yesterday's page. The prompt (each day there is a journaling prompt to help you record all the details of your Christmas) was all about snow and White Christmas so this is what I came up with.

I don't know if you can tell from these photos but I used some blue tinted textures on the photos and then "erased them" around a focal point. I think they turned out looking pretty wintery! ;)
Here is an example:


Love to play in photoshop!! I'll have some teacher gift ideas to share soon. Have a wonderful day!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Silhouette Ornaments

I found this wonderful little tutorial on how to convert your child's photo into a silhouette (don't you just LOVE Photoshop?) the other day and it got me thinking.... they would make great Christmas tree ornaments for the family!!

I can't believe how well it worked! My Maddie's little profile came out perfectly. I'm going to either mount them on chipboard and glitter the edges or frame them in mini frames if I can find them. I'll show you the finished product when I'm done, and while I'm at it I'm going to make some for me too! ;)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It begins today....

Yep, today is the first day of Journal your Christmas. It's an online scrapbooking class/inspirational thing (man I'm eloquent today ;)) meant to help you document all the magic of Christmas while the memories are fresh. I signed up for the class last year and the awesome thing is that once you sign up you can take it every year after for free!! I'm going to do this years digitally so I can keep up daily and still get my other projects done too! Go over to my sidebar and click on the blinkie to go to the site offering the class. It's not to late to sign up! You won't regret it. Each day you will receive some instructions and a theme/inspiration point for that day's page in your email inbox. There are also great freebies, printables, and tons of inspiration on the website too. Check it out!

I made the title page for my book yesterday... now I just have to work on today's page.

Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

from my family to yours! I'm constantly reminded how blessed we are. I'm so thankful for all we've been given. Have the most wonderful day!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving Place Cards

Here's the little place card freebie I was talking about. If you want to use them just click on the photo to enlarge it and the right click to save and print.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Oh where oh where did October go?

Playing a little catch up around here. I just can't believe how quickly time goes. Thanksgiving is almost here and then we all know that Christmas is just around the corner after that! I finally downloaded our Halloween photos and have to say I love how easy photoshop makes it to create a quick little collage, card or scrapbook page.

See? That took about 5 seconds... now all I have to do is add it to my layout!
I've been busy working on Christmas gifts, cards, and decorations. I love to give and get handmade presents. So far I've made some funky jewlery for the gals, gifts for teachers, and a baby doll diaper bag set for my daughter, just to name a few. I'll try to take some pictures of the teacher gifts and other goodies for my kids classmates etc because they were very easy and afordable to make (something we all appreciate!)I'd love to hear what your doing too... I'm always on the lookout for a good idea!

I've also been wanting to work on some fun place cards for Thanksgiving. If I get them done in time I'll make a little download so you can use em too if you want. Since I still haven't opened my shop I figured I might as well share the goodies I still seem to be making. ;)

Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's Official!!

We started on our new home this weekend. Connor and I took a trip out there today to see the progress. He was so excited.... look at all those mounds of dirt! Boy paradise!!

The driveway is in, or at least "dug out", and the "big hole" as Connor calls it for the foundation has been dug up as well. Everything looked so beautiful out there this morning. It was chilly with low clouds over the mountains so the fall colors just popped liked crazy!

I couldn't resist snapping this pretty picture... this is the beautiful country road leading up to our house. We are so excited!!!

Well I'm off to work goodies and projects for all our Halloween events this week. If your in the Missoula area you should come to our church on Wednesday night. We are having a HUGE Harvest Party as part of our AWANA program. It's at 7:00 at Clark Fork City Church on Latimer behind Target. It's going to be a ton of fun for families... two big bounce houses with slides, hay maze, carnival type games, food, candy, and prizes (all for free)! We'd love to see you there! Have a great week!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Here's One for You Pal.....

Hi there! I hope you are all enjoying a lovely fall day! I had a special request here at my house, so I thought I'd share it with you today. I don't know about you, but being the mother of 3 young children I always find myself trying to make sure things are "fair/equal." You know, things like "why does Connor get the green one, I wanted green," are always popping up. ;) Now as far as I'm concerned the phrase "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit" applies to most situations, but I have to admit when it comes to photographs I'm a bit paranoid. I've heard so many sob stories from fello grown-ups over the years who have said things like, "there are 80,000 pictures of my older sibling(s) and 10 of me," that I vowed I would not do that with my own kids. I think I should've set the bar a little lower with my firstborn. ;) The other day I was scrapbooking, and most of the layouts happened to be of Parker and Maddie. So when my youngest, Connor, came in the room and checked it out he said, "Mama where is one just me?" He has been randomly asking me since then so.... here you go Connor one of just you!

I'm not sure how much he appreciated the pink glasses and the baby stroller, especially since he is 3 1/2 now and thinks pink is girly, but I love it! It will be one of those perfectly adorable photos to share at highschool graduation or his wedding! ;) Have a wonderful day! I've got some fall crafts I've been wanting to share, so hopefully I'll get them photographed soon!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Might as Well Jump!

In the leaves that is. We have several very large cottonwood trees in our front yard and every year they give us the most wonderful gigantic piles of yellow and brown leaves each fall. There were just enough leave on the ground yesterday to get a pile going, so as soon as the kids got home from school we were jumping! I'm really glad we are getting to spend one more autumn in this house before we move. We will really miss our big trees and beautiful leaf piles... but for now we are jumping away!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

More Scrapbooking!

Oh how I miss the days where my Parker wouldn't go anywhere without his wranglers, boots, and a pistol! He makes such a cute cowboy!

Woooo, major shocker I know, I think this is the most scrappin you've seen outta me in a year! ;) It feels SOOOOOO good to be getting caught up! Hope your week is starting out wonderfully! I'm off to get the house ready for a showing, bake a birthday pie for my hubby, and get dinner in the crock pot (I have this super easy really yummy recipe I'll share later) before we have to leave for the potential buyers. What's on your list for today?!

Monday, September 20, 2010

I love fall!!

We've been doing lots around here getting ready for the season changes. I planted mums in my big pots on the deck and decorated the front porch and house for fall. In a few weeks we'll be headed to Greenbluff Farms for some apple and pumpkin picking and we're planning a trip to Yellowstone Park too. I figure I better get last years pictures fall pictures scrapbooked before I take a million more! I love to use digital frames for my layouts, so many photos so fast! Here's a fun frame I got from Shabby Blogs that I'm using for some digi pages. Her designs are so cute!

Now I just have to slap it on a page, embellish, and 1 layout down! ;) Have a great day!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Scrapbook and Craft Season is OPEN!

Well it's bow hunting season here in Montana, and for my family that means lots of "see ya next week Dad" being shouted around the house. Hubby was just gone for about a week so during the evenings, after the kiddos were in bed, I was in serious scrapbook mode. I am really proud of myself! ;) I finished a lot of projects I'd been putting off, things like putting my gazillion scrapbooked pages into their proper albums, finishing couple dozen or so layouts I'd started in the last 2 years and had never finished, scrapbooking baby pages for my 3 year old's baby book, sorting photos and getting kits together to make 14 more layouts, and some digital layouts too! I'm on a roll! It's funny, but I think doing the digital layouts really got my creativity going. It must be because I have felt a bit stressed about being so far behind and that was shutting down my creativity, motivation, and fun! So silly of me, but now that I have a good way to get caught up I've been scrappin like a crazy woman! ...well a little less now that hubby's home.... ;)

Here is another digital layout. I got my first batch back from the printers and they turned out really well. I have to admit I do miss that they are not dimensional, but they still accomplish the goal very well. I used Persnickety Prints and they did a quick and fantastic printing job. My layouts came back looking EXACTLY like they did on my computer, and apparently in the digi scrapbook world that's sometimes hard to come by. They were also much cheaper than most of the places I priced. I would definitely recommend them for any printing need!

If I get some of my other layouts photographed I'll share them too. I also have some fall decor project ideas to share later. I love Scrapbook and Craft Season! Have a great weekend everyone!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Trying New Things...

Whooh, getting back into the swing of back to school and fall schedules is hard! We've been trying to keep a low profile for these 1st few weeks, letting the kids adjust to the rigmarole. Now next week starts another round of after school activities dance class resumes, fall soccer, school open house, and hunting season has started too. This will soon be followed by Awanas, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and possibly piano lessons. I'm tired just thinking about it! ;) It's actually a very fun and exciting time for our growing family. I can't believe we are at this stage already! Anyway, I digress.... onto the topic at hand.

I have gotten so far behind on my scrapbooking that my family has seriously started to protest about the lack of photos they get to see. So... in order to try and get "caught up" (hahahah like that's really possible with the gazillion photos I take each month) I have decided to try my hand at digital scrapbooking. I figured it couldn't really be too different from designing journaling cards etc for my shop so I down loaded some scrapbook products and gave it a whirl. I've done about 20 some layouts in the last week (so definitely getting more done)and they are off to the printers, so I'm hoping I like the results when they arrive. Now don't get me wrong, I am not giving up paper and glue scrapbooking. I love it too much to ever do that! ;) ...but digital is giving me a much needed solution for some quick scrapbook catch-up and the big bonus is I don't have to wait while I sort and edit photos then order prints. I just do it all as I build the pages and I can make them any size I want and fit a ton of photos on 1 page! YEAH! Sooo... here are a few samples of my first foray into the digi world of scrapbooking.

When I showed hubby some of my digi layouts he said, "Those look great babe. I'm so glad your doing this. I know you love scrapbooking, but maybe all your layouts don't have to be so artistic." Yah know, he's right. I do love to scrapbook, and I will always do it, but what's the point of having boxes of photos and files on the computer that no one sees. As long as my layouts come back from the printer lookin' good I will definitely continue to do both paper and digital and mix em in our albums. That way we get the best of both worlds: all of our memories scrapbooked and recorded to be looked at and enjoyed and I get to be a crafty happy gal! I love it when that happens! Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fall is in the air...

School starts this week, the harvest is in, mums and other fall delights are popping up all over town, and even the air last night had a bit of crispness that whispered fall. It's coming, and as much as I hate to see summer go, there is just something so magical about autumn. I love the crisp sunny days, the colorful leaves, the bountiful fresh produce, the festivals and festivities, being able to cook and bake again without overheating the house.... anyway I thought I'd share something else I've been working on for my shop for fall.

I think they will be so fun to decorate scrapbook pages, cards, or strung as a little mini banner for your house. I haven't decided when I'm going to reopen my little shop yet... probably later in September after the initial back to school craziness has worn off. I'll let you know! ;)

Have a great Monday everyone! I'm off to can pickles, peaches, jam, make pies, and freeze some of the 100+ lbs of produce we picked at the Green Bluff Growers (one of my families favorite places to go) this weekend. It's going to be a busy couple of days!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Summer PLEASE stay...

don't go yet. We are not ready. I don't want to appear to needy, but we have not had enough of your loveliness. I know... we have had a lot of fun. We have traveled, had visitors, frolicked in the wilderness, swam and sunbathed, played and laughed ourselves silly, stayed up late, and slept in.

We have pushed schedules and to do lists aside and enjoyed all you have to offer... but I say again we are not ready to say goodbye. Just a bit longer please?

...because when you go this year you are taking 2 of my babies with you. That dreaded date, August 25th, is close on the horizon and when it arrives I will lose the best you have to offer. Time with my kiddos. You see, dear summer, when you leave they go back to school and I'm just not ready. Little Miss starts Kindergarten and Big Brother moves onto First Grade... Little Brother and I will be so lonely for them.

So you see dear summer, why we need you to stay a bit longer. Maybe you could add just a few more hours to each day, stretch them out a touch more? 2 1/2 months is just not enough!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Editing Photos

This is what I've been doing a lot of lately. I don't mind editing photos, I actually really like playing around in photo shop and using all the fun actions that are out there. The problem is that I take a gazillion pictures and now that I have photo shop and fun actions etc. I can't seem to make much progress. Right now I'm working on our Disneyland photos from January. I seriously took over 900 pictures in 1 week. Crazy I know! So it's taking me forever to sort through, pick the good photos, edit, and organize into files so I can print them! My family is really getting tired of our Disney album sitting empty. (I bought an album in Disneyland with the idea that I'd come home and sort/edit/print our photos and put them in an album we could use right away cause I knew it would take some time to get them scrapbooked.... needless to say it's not working so well) The kids LOVED our trip and still talk about it all the time. So I've been feeling pretty guilty about the photos, hence the editing. I'm going to have to stop myself from editing all the ones I'm going to print or I'll never be done! ;)

Have a great weekend everyone!
(oh, the shot above is our little Maddie waiting in line to meet Ariel and Belle)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Making new stuff...

Even though my Etsy Shop is closed for the summer, I can't help but spend some of my evenings designing new goodies for the reopening this fall....and since fall means back to school I've been working on some new school scrapbook goodies. Here's a little sample from a new set of journaling cards I've been working on.

I'm also hoping that working on school stuff will help me to get caught up on last years unscrapped school photos before fall comes around again! ;) What crafty things have you been working on? Sometimes it's so hard for me to stay crafty during the summer, there is always so much to do outside! We've been spending most of our days playing in the lake in our backyard. We will really miss it when we move, but for now were soaking it up! Have a wonderful day!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Farm Fresh

We LOVE having fresh eggs straight from our backyard! It's a great feeling to know my family is starting their days with healthy food that we provide ourselves.

Nothing like french toast made from eggs my little chicken farmers brought in from the coup topped with strawberries they picked from our favorite farm! Yummmy!

Getting chickens has been such a wonderful adventure! The kids love our "girls" and help us to take care of them. They love gathering the eggs, feeding the chickens, and they even carry them around the yard. My two oldest have started selling eggs to friends and family to earn extra money. I love that they get to see how their hard work helping raise the chickens is paying off!

Well I must dash, my daughter is throwing her doll a birthday party this morning and I am a guest! ;)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Fourth Of July!

We are just so blessed to live in this country. I'm so thankful for each and every man and woman who has fought for us, stood for us, and died for us. It's an honor to be a part of such an amazing place! We in for lots of fun here today. First it's our neighborhood parade, followed by hanging out with friends and family, a BBQ, squirt gun fights, relaxing on the deck, and then popcorn and fireworks! I love the Fourth!! Have a very happy and safe Fourth everyone!
xoxo Renee

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Were off!

Getting ready for an open house here this weekend and the headed to Spokane to pickup my mother in law. She's coming to stay with us for a few weeks. Were hoping to get in a bit of strawberry picking while we are there. We had so much fun last year!

I'll probably mia for a while, so in the meantime ENJOY your summer!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Meet the Ladies

A couple of months ago my hubby announced we were headed to the feed store to buy chickens. We had been wanting to get chickens for a while, we had just planned on doing it after we moved... but I guess waiting isn't our thing so one rainy May Day we arrived home with 4 baby chicks and 3 ducklings.
here they are then....

... these are the lovely ladies now: meet Ginger, Tillie, Coco, Lucy, and Mickey.

We also acquired some Big Ladies from a lovely family who was moving and had to get rid of their coop and flock. This is Ethel.

Boy oh boy it's hard to keep track of all these names! I can't believe how well my children do it. They love the chickens. They spend hours with them every day. In no particular order here are Tinkerbell, Belle, Peaches, Big Red, Pepper, and Fluffy. These lovely ladies delivered us our first eggs yesterday. So far the kids have brought in 7 eggs in the last day and a half. They are going to sell the some around the neighborhood to earn some extra money. This whole chicken experience is really amazing for kids! I love it!

...and this crazy lady or gent (were not sure yet) is Fern. He is our resident foofy chicken. Not really good for egg laying, but fun to look at. He/she is a super nice chicken and I think were are going to let the kids enter him/her in the fair this year. Don't you just love the crazy hair do?

I couldn't resist showing a baby picture of those "lawn ornaments" I posted the other day. Here are the fellas as babies! Soooo cute! Can you see why hubby and I couldn't say no when the kids were begging?!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Lazy Days...

What could be better than a sunny day, a big playground, a picnic lunch, and good friends? I just can't think of anything!

Don't forget to take time to soak up the everyday moments of summer! I'm trying to remember to take photos of the "regular" moments this summer along with the vacations and holidays. I'm a bit behind on scrapbooking as usual, but I actually completed a page the other day! HOOORAY! I'm working on some photos from last summer and wishing I had more everyday moments. So this summer I'm going to wear out my camera! What are your scrapbook goals? I'd love to hear them! Have a great day!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer at the Lake House

We've been enjoying summer around here...even with all the rain. It's so nice to have all of our projects done! I've got all my flowers planted, the house has been painted and we are all set up for enjoying our last summer here at our house on the lake. It's going to be bittersweet when we get a buyer... we are all really going to miss living here. Good thing my parents live at the other end of the lake so we can always come and hang out!

Some of my summer staples:

Our front porch is pretty shaded so I always pot plenty of inpatients, fuchsias, coleus, vinca, and lobelia. Big hanging pots of fuchsias are a must.

My peonies are just beautiful this year. Every year they get even better... and the smell oh it's heavenly. Our entire front porch smells amazing especially in the evenings!

Big pots of tomatoes on the back deck. I usually do herbs too, but I haven't planted any yet.

We have a really big deck looking over the lake in the back yard. It gets plenty of sun so I get to have lots of fun with flowers! Geraniums are a definite must with there wonderful spicy sent, along with allysum, petunias, daises, cosmos, zinnias, and verbena. My wonderful hubby added drip irrigation to all my pots on the back deck, even the little ones so now that they are planted they are virtually maintenance free and will stay lovely even while were out vacationing! He's even going to get my hanging baskets set up! Thanks sweetie!

We have a little balcony off our bedroom upstairs. This year I found the cutest red and white chairs to sit up there. We had a table and chairs set up there before, but I was never too happy with it. It took up too much space. I love the scale of the new set... makes the balcony so much more usable. I added a few pots of flowers and now hubby and I can enjoy our morning coffee while looking at this view!

As long as we were painting the house, I had hubby spray our picnic table too for this little area just off of our kitchen. It looks so much better. It was really weathered before. I'm really looking forward to dinners out here in the shade, once summer weather really sets in!

...and of course what summer yard would be complete without lawn ornaments? Meet the fellas: Donald, Chuck, and Sunny (as named by our children). I guess we don't know for sure that they are males(I guess we'll find out eventually if they lay eggs), but I've started calling them the fellas, so lets hope they aren't offended!;)
They are such a kick! I just love having them and I can't believe how fast they've grown! We got them about 2 months ago when they were just a few days old. Now look at them!

Well that's a bit of what we've been up to so far this summer. How bout you?