Tuesday, June 30, 2020

SPSH 2020 | The Toy Room

I knew when Mary-Lou posted this year's Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt list that I was going to do something I've been wanting to try for the past couple of years - find all the items in Robbie's collectible toy room!

The room has been in disarray since we swapped the original toy room space with my craft room several years ago; however, we spent the past five weeks getting everything unpacked, organized, and on display. These scavenger hunt finds will give you a peek into this FUN space.

1. A favorite piece of jewelry: The vintage Blue Goddess Gene Doll is wearing a multi-strand necklace that perfectly matches her dress.

2. Something with or in a knot: The gold tassel at the end of the maroon heart nestled in with the stuffed animal collection has a perfect knot.

3. Something with the colors of your country’s flag: There were quite a few red, white & blue options, but I couldn't resist Superman holding the US flag.

4. A toy you play with: Robbie picked up this vintage Showboat stage a few years ago. It came with several scripts, character stands, changeable sets, and chipboard figures that can be used to act out the plays!

5. Something you have more than one of: Robbie's all-time favorite TV show is Lost in Space, so it's no surprise that we have quite a few Robots.

6. Something in the shape of a triangle:This triangle shaped pendant and medal plaque is an actual prop that was on the fictional USS Nathan James in the TV series The Last Ship

7. Something that displays a rule(s): Tinkertoys are definitely designed to Build Big Fast!

8. A leaf longer than your hand: If you look closely, you can see that Treebeard's leaves are definitely longer than (dressed in red) Mork's hands!

9. Something that starts with the initial of your name (first or last): Minions, lots of them!

10. Something smaller than a paper clip: The crank shaft on the Munster's Koach is very small!

11. Something you need to throw away: These quarterbacks need to throw the ball away from themselves and into the arms of a receiver to score a touchdown.

12. Something that holds your favorite beverage: A few of Robbie's favorite bottles from our travels.

13. A rubber band/elastic in use: It's in the back, but Barbie's hair is definitely held back by an elastic band.

14. Something with wheels: There are LOTS of wheels in the toy room!

15. Something inherited: This farm set belonged to Robbie's dad.

16. Something with rough texture: Lots of interesting texture on Sanda the Gargantua.

17. Something naturally round: The Magic 8 Ball might be manufactured rather than naturally round, but it supposedly has all the answers.

18. Something that can go in the water: The Batboat is Batman's favorite way to travel on water.

19. A stone/rock/pebble with some color in it: A reddish rock, a white rock, and a black rock (all picked up on our travels) are on display with The Incredibles.

20. Something with the number 7 in it: The Starship Enterprise and the Galileo shuttle craft both display the number 7.

Alt A. An animal statue: This giraffe statue from Africa is nestled among the super heroes.

Alt B. Something heavier than your shoe: Robbie's childhood riding horse is definitely heavy! A stuffed Russian Winnie-the-Pooh and Kermit are enjoying a ride.

Alt C. Something with four sides: This Wall-E is not only cute, he is voice activated and has realistic expressions, light-up eyes, and movements.

I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of finding all the items in this one room! Sending a huge thanks to Mary-Lou for hosting and curating such a FUN list! Are you participating in this year's Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Mantels | Summer 2020

My goal this year is to design a new mantel display each month in a way that will remind us of bits and pieces of our wonderful life...and share those stories here on the blog. However, I left the May display up throughout most of June as well because we really enjoyed showcasing the old cameras.

I composed the new display today (which we'll probably keep up for most of the summer). Since we are focusing on our happy colors in the 20in20 class this month, I added yellow and red items against the green wall.

Have you noticed that my displays are often taller on the left? This corner wall is shorter on the right - you can see the angle of the ceiling in the top of the photo above, so I often "balance" the display to align with the wall. This time I have the tall ruby vase from Robbie's grandparent's 40th anniversary on the left with a tall floral arrangement, balanced on the right by the yellow pitcher vase with a shorter floral arrangement.

I created the white framed pressed flower piece at a free DIY class at our library a few years ago. Robbie had the trio of candle holders when we married, and we set them on top of his Grandy's dessert dishes (turned upside down).

Some red, yellow and white colored pencils are displayed in a holder I picked up at MoMA on my first trip to New York in 2001. The miscellaneous Hot Wheels, the ViewMaster, and the Ronald McDonald and Donald Duck figures came from Robbie's collectibles.

As always, I included a photo of us and a collection of books from our personal library. The yellow books are children's and young adult books, some of which we've had since childhood. The red books represent our faith (hymnal & devotional) and our eclectic reading habits!

Once again, this new display makes me smile ... and that's really the whole point of this FUN creative project each month (or so). What space inside your home makes you smile?

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Scrapbooking | May 2020 Scrapped

As with most months so far this year, I only needed a few layouts to capture our stories for the month of May. In addition to our month in numbers and my cousin's visit layouts, I only needed one more page.

I started with an 8x8 photo collage of activities and creations from (inter)National Scrapbook Day on May 2. For my 12x12 layout, I added a title, a strip of ribbon, a journaling block with some older stickers, and a heart with buttons embellishment inspired by a May Flaum tutorial.

I actually spent three days in my craft room to celebrate this year. I completed some challenges (like this one), watched free online classes from Shimelle, May Flaum & Stacy Julian, and visited with my friends Amy and LeAnne via Facetime and Zoom several times throughout the day on Saturday. It was lots of FUN!

What did you do for (inter)National Scrapbook Day this year?

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Sunday Musings | Are You Making Your Vapor Count?

In James 4:13-14, we learn that our life is just like a vapor.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

Thinking about how fast time goes by (Can you believe we’re almost halfway through 2020?) has me wondering if I'm doing what I should be doing. Am I following God's call on my life? Am I striving to follow and complete the plans He has for me? Or am I simply living each day to please myself?

How about you? Are you making your vapor count? What can you do in the coming days to purposefully and intentionally impact your world for the Kingdom of God?

Please share your thoughts in the comments!

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Scrapbooking | Unity & Space

Week Three in the 2017 Design Your Life 2.0 class (that I'm completing/re-working this year) is all about using unity and space to improve the design of our layouts. 

The first assignment utilizes a center column to group the title, sub-title, three photos and journaling. I actually made a couple of modifications to the digital template, adding a page border and line border around my 12x12 layout about the new job Robbie began in early 2019.

I followed the same format for a paper layout, this time doubling the main section to include more photos and using patterned paper in the place of journaling.

The second assignment template also holds three photos, this time as a strip across the bottom third of the page. I had FUN using the digital template to record the visit we had from one of my first cousins in late May.

For my paper layout using this template, I substituted my friend Ellyn's thank you card for one of the photos and added three chipboard embellishments.

I'm so glad I decided to work back through and complete this class. So far, I've created a digital layout and a paper layout for each of the assignments and am enjoying Cathy's teaching on design principles. (And did you notice that I'm working on filling in some gaps in our 2013 albums now that the 2012 scrapbooks are complete?)

Friday, June 19, 2020

Happy Mail

Several times last month, I discovered a piece of Happy Mail amidst the bills and advertisements that typically appear in our mailbox.

There was a FUN package of planner goodies from my friend Amy H in Austin, Texas. I've already put some of these bits & pieces to use in my calendar and have plans to use a few on upcoming scrapbook pages.

I also received lovely notes from Rinda in California, my local friend Darlene, and Ruth across the pond in London!

All of these items made me smile and feel such happiness during these times of social distancing! Thanks sweet friends!

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Scrapbooking | A Scrapbooking Challenge

On (inter)National Scrapbook Day last month, I participated in a FUN virtual crop and enjoyed the following 9-step scrapbook challenge posted by the crop host (a friend of a friend). If you're looking for inspiration to get scrapping, try this out!

Step 1 - gather your supplies
2 sheets cardstock, 5 patterned papers, 1 piece of ribbon (at least 15"), washi tape (or something similar), 5 buttons, circle embellishment (or circle cutter/punch to create your own), title for your page (either alphabet stickers or die cut letters)

Step 2 - cut 3 mats and one journal spot from 1 sheet of cardstock 
(match to fit the size pics you want).

Step 3 - Cut pattern papers into various sizes 

Step 4 - Create a border on your cardstock
use a strip of patterned paper, washi tape, and ribbon

Step 5 - If you do not have a circle embellishment, create it now

Step 6 - layer your patterned paper pieces in various directions on the cardstock piece

Step 7 - Add your photo mats, circle embellishment, and title

Step 8 - Add buttons & choice of embellishment

Step 9 - Add photos, memorabilia & journaling

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Scrapbooking | May 2020 By The Numbers

This year, as I process each month's photos, I'm creating a digital layout featuring six photos and journaling "by the numbers." I'm using a digital template and various papers from my stash. My plan is to include a photo of me and Robbie and a photo of my mantel display as the top line of photos each month.

Here's how the numbers add up for May.

* 10 color bins set up & organized.
* 20 days Robbie worked from home.
* 4 online classes watched on NSD.
* 6 Blue Angels flew over DFW area.
* 3 pieces of patio furniture cleaned & stained/sealed.
* 2-hour visit from Rissa.
* 1 new shelf unit ordered & set up in Toy Room.
* $400 to have 1 new outlet and 2 can lights installed.
* 2 NASA astronauts (Bob Benhnken & Doug Hurley) launched from US soil to the ISS. #launchAmerica
* 8 movies watched: Hidden Figures, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Molly: An American Girl on the Homefront, The Love Bug, The Martian, Maryellen 1955: Extraordinary Christmas, Melody 1963: Love Has To Win, Ivy & Julie 1976: A Happy Balance.
* 25 layouts completed, 3 art journal pages created, 1 recipe scrapped, 6 cards made, 1 canvas covered, 10 blog posts published.

We originally saw Hidden Figures when it premiered in theaters in 2016. This movie is based on the true story of three black women who worked for NASA in the 1960s and were instrumental in the success of the US space program. We re-watched it at the very beginning of May, weeks before the SpaceX/NASA launch from Kennedy Space Center and the events that have led to all the racial unrest currently sweeping our nation. If you've never seen this movie, now would be a great time to watch it as a reminder of the changes that have occurred in the space program, in technology, and in racial equality while also realizing that there are still improvements and advancements to be made.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was the perfect movie to watch on May the Fourth Be With You day. We also saw this at the theaters when it premiered (last year), but around here it's always a good day to see what's happening in a galaxy far far away. The Martian also occurs far away as Astronaut Mark Whatley, played by Matt Damon, is stranded on Mars for a year and a half. We originally saw this movie after we both read the book in 2015. A really good show with a happy ending.

The Love Bug is a delightful movie about a down-on-his-luck race car driver and a VW Bug named Herbie. This 1969 movie is just plain FUN to watch.

We also enjoyed four American Girl movies last month, all of them available on Amazon Prime. Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front is set during World War II and contains so many aspects of the war. Molly's father is stationed in Europe, her aunt heads off for WASP training, her family takes in a young girl sent to America from London, and Molly and her friends find ways to serve the war effort on the home front. Maryellen 1955: Extraordinary Christmas features the lovable Maryellen who tries to find a way to stand out in her big family. She learns a lot about the meaning of friendship and enjoying the little things in life when a family friend is afflicted with polio and has to spend the holidays in the hospital. Melody 1963: Love Has To Win follows 10-year-old Melody, a delightful black girl with a vivid imagination and the creativity to sew fantastic costumes, as she learns to find hope in the midst of national events that threaten her sense of security. Ivy & Julie 1976: A Happy Balance is a beautiful story of friendship and cultures and family values. I highly recommend all of these movies!

How did the numbers add up for you in May?

Friday, June 12, 2020

Cards | Paper Scraps & Card Kit

Just sharing a couple of miscellaneous cards today. First, I had a few papers from the Authentique Fabulous Collection 6x6 pad in my stash of paper scraps that worked perfect for layering on a birthday card for our sister-in-law. These retro papers are so FUN, aren't they!

The Mother's Day card I created for Mama was actually a card kit I purchased from our local scrapbook store. This beautiful card went together quickly, then I just added Stickles to give the swan some sparkle!

I really like the way both of these cards turned out. Do you use paper scraps or card kits? Which do you prefer?

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Book Reviews | Books in Verse

As I've mentioned before, I'm not much of a poetry reader, but I'm often pleasantly surprised by stories that are written in verse (as opposed to a book of poems). This year I've read a couple of great books written in verse. Both of these small books are geared toward older children and tweens, but can be enjoyed by teens and adults as well.

Here's a little of each book's description. I highly recommend both of these books!

Garvey's Choice is an emotionally resonant novel in verse by award-winning author Nikki Grimes celebrating choosing to be true to yourself. Garvey's father has always wanted Garvey to be athletic, but Garvey is interested in astronomy, science fiction, reading—anything but sports. Feeling like a failure, he comforts himself with food. Garvey is kind, funny, smart, a loyal friend, and he is also overweight, teased by bullies, and lonely. When his only friend encourages him to join the school chorus, Garvey's life changes. The chorus finds a new soloist in Garvey, and through chorus, Garvey finds a way to accept himself, and a way to finally reach his distant father—by speaking the language of music instead of the language of sports. 

On the Horizon by Lois Lowry
 tells the story of people whose lives were lost or forever altered by the twin tragedies of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima.  Based on the lives of soldiers at Pearl Harbor and civilians in Hiroshima, On the Horizon contemplates humanity and war through verse that sings with pain, truth, and the importance of bridging cultural divides. This masterful work emphasizes empathy and understanding in search of commonality and friendship, vital lessons for students as well as citizens of today’s world. Kenard Pak’s stunning illustrations depict real-life people, places, and events, making for an incredibly vivid return to our collective past.

I'm a huge fan of Lois Lowry and her personal reflections on World War II are so well-written. She actually lived in Hawaii before and during the time Pearl Harbor was attacked, then in Tokyo after the war. In the 1980s, she was watching a VHS tape (made from an old family movie reel) of herself playing at the beach with her grandmother. A friend watching with her noticed the USS Arizona passing through the mist in the background. You can read more about her inspiration for the book and see some additional pages HERE.

Have you read any good books written in verse lately? Please share them in the comments.