We started the day off by vacuuming the dog. Literally. And then made the decision to get him shaved like we do during the summer. We simply can't keep up with the fur.
And we ended up with these, plus 4 other yummy kinds of Christmas treats.
I have a scrapbooking plan for next year. As my honey says, I always have a plan for everything. It's just how I work. I like lists, school supplies, and plans. Those things just rock. And it's the only way my otherwise-chaotic life doesn't overwhelm me. And I honestly, truly believe that pre-planning gives me more free time for fun things. Which is how I find time to scrapbook and quilt. Well, besides not watching TV - biggest waste of time ever, in my opinion. I spent way too many years watching it every single evening for hours. And I have spent the last seven years NOT doing it and my life is so better for it. Funny thing - I watch more TV than anyone else in the family, I would guess. Tom grew up without a TV for much of the time and would love to totally get rid of the TV (he would have to watch UT games on the computer, though - he's not giving those up!). And I don't watch much. But don't mess with my "Biggest Loser," Grey's Anatomy," or "Private Practice." Everyone needs a wee bit of mindless entertainment. So now you know my guilty pleasure. And, wow, I sure have gotten completely and totally off-topic. Holy diversion!
Anyway, back to the scrapbooking plan.
As always, I cannot imagine my life without DesignerDigitals. I could give up every other part of this plan and not care, but not DD. I've been scrapbooking digitally for over 4 years now and it suits me so very well. I love the process, the result, and the way the layouts look when they're printed.
And, oh my gosh, the lack of mess, the saved space in my house, and the lack of bulk in my albums is awesome. Just awesome. Not to mention that DesignerDigitals has the best digital products ever. Even if I wasn't on the Creative Team at DD, I wouldn't shop elsewhere. There just is no comparison to any other store. So, Part I includes the same digital pages that I've been doing. You can see my gallery here.
I will also be doing Becky Higgins' Project Life this year. I tried it back in January of 2010 when it was still called Project 365. But, ummmm......we put our house on the market that month, had to keep it in show-condition constantly, then sold it, packed up and moved. Guess what stayed packed up for months? Yep. So much for Project 365. It's hard to catch up on a daily project when you are 3+ months behind. So, I'm trying it again for 2012. (And I'm bringing along a friend - I Blame Vetne - tee hee!!! Love that she's doing it with me!! Sharyn and I have sooooo much in common that it's freaky. Seriously freaky. And I love her. Even when she blames me. LOL. ).
Holy heck - this must be my day to digress and include parenthetical remarks. Okay, so Project Life. It's a hugely popular system and I just had to try it again. I love that my kids can write in it, that they can have a say in the content, and that it will reflect more about our family than just MY experiences. And I'm doing it in a way that works best for my family - I will not be following a prescribed plan. It will also NOT be a daily project throughout the year. I know myself way too well to attempt that. It will be my life - it may be daily sometimes, it may be weekly sometimes and it may be monthly if that's what works best. It will be LIFE. And it will be simple. Super-super simple. (See Part III for reasons why.) And I also plan on mixing it up with digital pages interspersed. I'm hoping to have one album to put everything into. Digital pages about specific kids will go in their own albums but pages about our daily life will go into the Project Life album. If this plan works, I will try to do this every year. I would love to have a system that incorporates everything.
Part III: I am giving away or selling all of my paper scrapbooking supplies. I am done paper scrapbooking. For reals this time. And I know some of you are scratching your head. Because isn't part of this post about Project Life - which is paper? Yes. But Project Life is not scrapbooking as I've done before. As Becky says in the package insert - it is scrapbooking without the scrapbooking. And that is exactly how I plan to do it. Memory-keeping on paper without the scrapbooking.
Here's part of the reason why: I'm currently doing a paper December Daily album and this is my dining room.
And I'm not enjoying it at all. It feels like work and it's making a huge mess. I don't like either. And, if it's not fun, I won't keep it up. This is supposed to be a hobby and preserving memories - not more stress. So, my Project Life album will be filled with journaling, photos and ephemera - that's it. I'm not blinging up my pages or adding lots of little pretties. So, I simply don't need any other supplies than those that are included in Project Life. I reserve the right to make it my own, but simply and easily. I want the focus to be on the photos and the stories - our LIFE - not on the scrapbooking products.
So, that's the plan. As soon as Christmas is over, I will go through the remaining scrapbooking products I have and box them up to get them out of my house. And I cannot wait for the new year to start so that I can put this plan into action. I will do another post with the specific Project Life products I'm using. I'm starting with the Clementine Kit. :)
I've had a lot of friends remark on how early I was done with Christmas shopping - December 2nd. And then a couple of questions about my iPhone app, so here's more info.
One of the best things I ever did this year to get ready for Christmas was to start early. I've never really been organized about Christmas. Which is a bit surprising because I'm organized about most things. But I knew I wanted to make some things this year, spend less money, and just enjoy the season more. So, I started after Halloween, instead of starting two weeks before Christmas.
I also set a budget this year - for the first time, I might add. And it was a very tight budget. I'm sick of excess in so many ways and have spent two years doing a lot of de-cluttering of our house - moving will do that to you - and the kids are older. They can understand a budget and it also sets a great example for them. I used to shop for a certain number of gifts - never buying big-ticket items really - but I also didn't set a dollar amount. And we paid for that later. Literally and figuratively.
So this year, I made lists of who we were buying for, who we were making things for, and who we hope to give baked goods to (mostly neighbors). And because my trusty iPhone is an extension of my right hand, I also went searching for an organizational app.
And this is the one I chose. It's called "Better Christmas List" and it's 99 cents.
So all I can do is explain why I like it so much.
First, you can password protect it. Which I freaking love. Because I hand my phone off to Andrew all the time if I need to keep him occupied. And the last thing I want him to find is a list of what I've bought him. Oy.
Second, you can make categories (I think the app calls them Groups) of gifts and set budgets for those categories. You can set a Family category, a Friends category, etc... I loved that I could separate the kids from everyone else on our list because obviously they are my biggest priority.
And third, you can organize by individual. For example, I have a Family category and each child has their own page. I can list all the gifts I want to buy them and can include the store, whether I've bought it yet or not, whether it's wrapped or not, and whether it needs to be mailed. And it totals the amount you've spent and what's left in your budget on the same page. So, you can see your progress and your budget just by opening up the app.
Here's a link to it in iTunes - Better Christmas List - and here's a screen shot of the iTunes examples.
Finally (almost) caught up with my December Daily. For my non-scrapbooking friends, December Daily is a scrapbooking project that captures something about every day of December leading up to Christmas. Most people stop at Christmas Day but I always go all the way to the end of the month. I love capturing moments after Christmas when the kids are home from school and we're all snuggled in together. You can see two of my previous albums here and here.
I used an 8 x 8 acrylic album again this year but it will probably be the last time I use this kind of album. I used it because the kids asked me to but it's not my preferred medium.
Front Cover and Inside Cover
December 1 - the 1st is Elizabeth's birthday and she was sick so it was a very low-key day and I simply included a photo of her in new nightgown made by her grandmother and some facebook wishes I received for her.
December 5 - after 4 days of working with paper, I couldn't stand it anymore and had to go back to my true love of digi scrapping. This is a two-page digital spread that I simply printed at home and adhered to cardstock and put it in the album.
December 8 - it was Nerd Day at Emily's school and I loved Em's outfit.
I finished Libby's Horsey Quilt over a month ago (only 8 months after I started it - oy!) and forgot to blog about it. It was a special request for her bed and she had very specific requirements - it had to be a wonky log cabin quilt to match her first one and it must have pink and green as the primary colors, high-loft batting, and a "really soft" back.
Here's her first quilt. And you can see more photos here. She uses it as the bedspread for her trundle bed and her new quilt will be the bedspread for her regular bed.
And I finally finished it last month! Her pink and green requirements were easy to meet but the high-loft batting gave me fits!!! There was no way to machine quilt it so I hand-tied it just like my grandmother used to do with her quilts. And Libby loved it. That's all that matters. :)
I'm not sure why it wrinkled so badly but it sure is soft and the wrinkles are falling out. I added a white border and a pink border to make it wide enough to fall over the sides of her bed. And, as you can see, the binding is about an 1.5" wide instead of the usual half-inch - I need to make sure I really had the high-loft batting secure around the edges.
And here it is with the first quilt - a nice matching set. :)
My sweet little Libby is 11 today!!! I couldn't be more proud of a child if I tried! (And I'm just as proud of Emily - just for different reasons, sweetie - gotta love teenagers who read their mom's blog!) Elizabeth has gone through so many medical procedures, so many different medications, and dealt with epilepsy better than other people deal with the common cold. She amazes me.
It's become a tradition to post pictures of Libby through the years on her birthday, so here we go. These photos are some of my all-time favorites of her and make me cry every single time.
I love you, Libby!!!! Happy Birthday!!!!
And the most recent picture of her. :)