Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Festivities

Saturday we decided to do one of the local community events.  We didn't stay long...Emma was overwhelmed and it was really crowded.  So Emma wanted to be held most of the time.
 She did go up to some of the Trick or Treating houses on her own, the ones that weren't scary ;)  But always making sure we're close...Dennis was the one she was attached to this day...he was the friendly ghost.  Hopefully, I'll have pictures of me with them today...
 I'm not a fan of snakes really, but they are so beautifully when held by someone else ;)  His name was Butter...he was really beautiful...
 Okay...Dennis told me I had to post this picture...can you see why?  Hope you get a little chuckle from it  as we did ;)
 Then today I went with Emma to her school "Fall Party."  She was really overwhelmed, and didn't want to do anything, wanted me to hold her or be near me...
 Just not feeling it, so we left the party early.  Getting ready now for our own little, very teeny tiny Halloween party for just us.  We are all sick and really could use some rest.  But will not miss Trick or Treating...got the wagon decorated, pumpkin pie is cooling, and Emma and I hit the local bakery for some chocolate treats too ;)  I'll make up some Hot Dog Mummies, and Pizza Mummies here in a little bit too.  Hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween!

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Favorite Playdates

...are those spent once a month at the park with other Chinese Adoptive Families...and with Wendy and Merrin...  This time we went to their house...Emma kept asking over and over again to go to their house. As soon as I saw Merrin's shirt, I laughed...Emma has the exact same shirt except short sleeve...
There's one thing that makes these girls a lot a like...and that one thing is "stubbornness."  They both have it!  Whether it's from their genes or just plain being 3 year olds...

Got some pictures of the girls swinging...
They didn't wear the same shirts, but they both had the same colors on!  The little fashionistas... 
 And playing in the sandbox...where the power struggles really took place ;)  The sandbox was just not big enough!
 But they really do play well together...we love seeing Merrin!
 Wendy and I just needed to be at the beach to cool off a little ;)  
 The days have been starting off pretty chilly in the 30's, but nice and hot by the afternoon...
 And sweet Merrin again.  It's going to be really hard picking Christmas card pictures this year.  Hopefully, will finish editing all the photos soon and be sending these to you, Wendy!  Thanks again for having us over!

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

5K Goal, Costume for Halloween, School, Bedtime, and Getting Crafty

I've been walking again since last December, but it's not consistent unless Emma is in school...  So gaining consistency again and wanting more motivation and I really miss the feeling of finishing a 5K.  I used to do them all the time...I want that good feeling again.  So I'm adding 10 mins to one walk each week.  My normal walk was 27 mins, so for one day last week I did a 37 min. walk.  Today I did 47.  Foot is achy and I think I need to put the compression sock on, but I'm going to do this!
This weekend, Emma saw me putting some pieces to my costume together for Halloween.  I'm going to be a mix of a butterfly fairy sort of thing...so Emma decides she is going to be a butterfly, Minnie, princess fairy ;)
I've been able to walk in and get Emma started on school work since school started and then leave...but she did not like picture day...big time!  She is a child who likes routine and it was not the normal school routine day.  Plus kids that didn't have school on the day of picture day, had their Moms with them...yep, she wanted Momma...she didn't understand that as as soon as pictures would be over, those Moms and kids would be leaving...so weepiness started last week...well more like crying when I went to leave.

I knew something wasn't right...so I stayed with her to do some work...and I'm back to staying 30 mins with her at school before I can leave.  Today I negotiated and she, well...she negotiated right back.  I said today, I'll do 3 works with you and then I have to leave.  She said 4...I said, it's a deal.

At least I get to see the work she is doing...she loves math and early reading...
 So hopefully we can get past the bad experience of picture day and get back to normal...but for now, I stay for about 30 mins before I can leave...
The routine of bedtime is still the same...thankfully we finally bought a real mattress that will eventually be hers.  I really got tired of waking up feeling my butt on the ground because the air mattress once again deflated on me ;)  Dennis snapped this iPhone pic of me putting her blanket on the mattress...she snuggles first with me and then she gets in her bed...
 Been getting a little crafty...wish it could be more.  Emma and I did these glass and acrylic ornaments we got at Michael's.  They have glue that you put on the inside of the ornaments and sprinkle and swirl the glitter on the inside.  I don't know if you really have to have that particular kind of glue...but it is watery and coats well...
 My friend, Linda, Emma will challenge me on that...as Linda is her friend, she tells me...Linda gave me a link to some fun Disney things to do for Halloween...I had to carve the Mickey in a pumpkin...the fake pumpkins, really loving these things...
 These little carving tools really do work well...and I've gotten even more comfortable with doing it...the curves and edges are tricky...but I'm getting much better...

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Disney Album Finished Up

Last pages of the Disney album...

 I really liked the whole idea of the album with the different size page protectors.  
 I liked it so much that I think I'm going to start my own Project Life, but using the protectors, albums, and supplies I have.  Here's some examples here and here of what people have done.
 I want to attempt it and try to make it work for me because I print every picture I take and put in albums.  There's no way I could ever scrapbook every picture, but I also hate not seeing them in paper form in front of me.  
What I normally do is in Photoshop Elements, I create contact sheets to fit four pictures into one 4x6 area.  I just want to see the pictures, I don't need a 4x6 of every single picture.  I cut each section of 4x6 photos and put in a regular photo album.  I like the Project Life approach, because even if I'll never scrap certain photos, it's life that I want to flip through and look at, but with the added detail of artwork and mementos...
 So that's one goal for 2012...I have some time to think it through to make it work for me.
 So maybe, especially Emma will be able to look back on the details of our life and her life.
 Back to the Disney album...I had to be careful what I put in here in hopes that Emma would not try to take them out for her to scrap.  I kept explaining that this is our "family" album of our trip together.  She and I did have to get two separate princess postcards...I knew I'd never be able to use the one she had.  So far she's been okay, but she's been looking...  It was hard trying to scrap with the mementos on my desk...so I had to kind of clean up after myself and "hide" it from her.

 And here, I just did a normal 12x12 layout to sum up the trip home in our rental RV...

 A few more tidbits from the trip in an 81/2 x 11 protector and almost done, all except for the...
...cover...I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do for the cover until I looked down at the PJ set I got from WDW and had the lightbulb moment.  So this...inspired...
...this...I went to Disney Junior to the coloring and create link and found a Mickey that would be good as a silhouette.  
I enlarged him a little in Photoshop Elements, printed him on cardstock, then cut him out.  I used Studio Calico white mist to spray the cover.  After that dried, I used a little adhesive (Scotch ATG) to make him stick down while I sprayed Studio Calico's blue...which is why he is blue right here ;)
I let that dry several hours, then it was time for some stenciling...
 I got the ears from one of the purchases of hair accessories I picked up for Emma at WDW (I save everything that would make good art).  I mixed Studio Calico white and red...and started stippling the ears onto the album...
I was still getting some chalkiness on my fingers from touching the album...so I sprayed a coat of the clear acrylic sealer...after drying for several hours, I was still getting chalk from touching it...
So since I had decided on using Thickers (letters) for the album, I knew I would be using some gel medium to make sure they weren't going anywhere.  I used this kind, but any is fine...I usually use the 40% coupons at Michaels for these.  The gel medium worked to seal the cover, but I knew it would kind of smear and remove the light colored stamping I did on the background for texture...but I had to do it.
 Gel medium dries really fast and it is noticeable with the "D" in World being a little off...I should have known better, but it's not forgiving, so there it will stay.  Emma told me it is all right if I mess up...we should always tell ourselves that ;)  The stars were rubons from Studio Calico as well as the letters and the year, which don't stand out a lot...I may get a Sharpie pen to outline around them...but then again...I like the "Disney World" to stand out...
I didn't have too much of a mess to clean up in the scrap area, because I did it a little as I went...
 Still need to clean up a little more.  It's always an organized mess...Emma and I are always making something so it's usually a little messy...
 Princess Emma working right next to me..."sharing" with her as she says...

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Disney Album So Far...

Took some quick pics of the Disney album so far.  I went with this American Crafts binder and the majority of the page protectors are from We R Memory Keepers because I wanted various sizes...here's a link to just one and then you can see the others that are offered.  This one has 8 3x3 pockets and 1 6x12.
 Used up pretty much the rest of Mind the Gap kit from Studio calico just on the first part...
 This page protector is 6x12...love mixing them...and they are good for putting memorabilia from the trip in them.  It made me think of redoing the album I did going to China and adopting Emma...but at least I have it documented.

 This page protector has 4 4x6 and 3 4x4 pockets.
 I have been holding onto the Happy Camper from Cosmo Cricket since it came out...I still love it and used it a lot here...
 and then a traditional 12x12 protector...
 I had also ordered some of Studio Calico's State Fair and Countryside...and then just recently got more in their grab bags...so glad...they were perfect for a lot of the album...along with just about everything in my stash that coordinated...
  an 8 1/2 x 12 holding the guide of animals we could see from our room...
 another 12x12...
 ...and included our tickets/room key, and map of our hotel.
 Wanted to emphasize the first day of going to Disney World, so used the 8 3x3 and 6x12 pockets...
 the whole trip was special...but seeing the characters for the first time...had to document it well...
 Scrapping the rest of Chef Mickey and then our first time seeing the Magic Kingdom...included the Photopass cards on this one...
 The CD for the Photopass photos was pricey, but you can add signatures of the characters, frames, etc.  And to just have all three of us together...it was worth it...
 The majority of the rest of album I used these 4x4 pockets...I knew I would have tons of pictures...so it was perfect...

 The guide map of the parks wouldn't fit, so I scanned them and resized to fit in the pockets using Photoshop Elements.
 And then from here on, I really tried to be more creative with not using any thick embellishments, only paper...so it would not flare out too much.  And I included more journaling along with the photos in my handwriting.

 I just wanted visual interest, so used every possible piece of pattern paper, stickers, washi tape, labels, etc.
 I had also held back on using one of my Studio Calico kits, because I wanted to use it for this album.  Lots of Paper Moon on these pages...

 Stickers and labels were great...but also cutting out of pattern paper helped a lot too...
 Started to include some of the labels and things from our purchases...and scanned the Disney Dowtown map for this one...much bigger so had to make sure it would fit across 12x12 but in the 4x4 pockets.

 I tried to keep the colors to compliment the photos or the overall page...so I used more subtle colors for Emma's makeover at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
 Started cutting some stars and a bow out using the Silhouette and cutting more out of pattern paper...trying to keep it as flat as possible.
 And this is where I stopped...almost done...I've had fun doing this.  I would definitely do another album like this and may consider redoing our trip to China like this too...the rest will come later...

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