Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Ninja Costume

I was looking back at old Halloween layouts recently.  They're some of my favorites.  The costume Trevor has chosen each year says so much about who he is and what has been going on in his life.  This last Halloween, he wanted to be a ninja.  This was no surprise, as he is a HUGE fan of Lego's Ninjago books, TV show and building sets.  I've discussed my poor sewing skills many times, so I was dreading having to make something as complicated as a ninja costume. Fortunately, Grandma came to the rescue and searched the stores for something that Trevor loved.  I was very relieved.

Here's the layout I made about his ninja costume:

I used this sketch by Tammi Bennett for My Scraps and More.

I love that the sketch has a spot for journaling!  So many don't.  I flipped the sketch and added a second photo and a fourth paper strip.  As you can see, Trevor is holding his pumpkin ninja in one of the photos, so I echoed that with my homemade embellishment.  I started with a glittery chipboard letter O, turned it on its side, then backed it with cardstock and added googly eyes and a stem.  I love that his eyes are looking toward Trevor in the scan.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Another Christmas Layout

I have another Christmas layout to share, this one from Christmas Day.  After spending Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with my family, we raced back home to host my inlaws at our house. I chose four pictures to scrap.  Of course, I had to include the photo of my nephew Sean opening his Dollar Bill Dispenser

My goal for this layout was to use some of the many Christmas die-cuts in my stash.  I started with the tree, then pulled out some coordinating paper scraps.  (And I do mean scraps.  The blue scraps are only as big as you see.  The red piece that looks like it extends across the page is actually two smaller pieces with the photos barely covering the gap between them.  That's half of a lime green doily.)  I chose three ornament die-cuts, thought briefly about adding silver floss to hang them, then immediately decided it would be much easier (and would look just as good) to draw the strings.  Finally, I chose two mittens and connected them with a small piece of red yarn.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Big Day for the deRosiers

When Steve and I got married in 2004, he was working as an embedded software designer for a company that made player pianos and I was teaching fifth grade.  Between us, we made good money.  We had no debt except the mortgage on my house.  We had savings.  The economy was in fine shape and our jobs were secure.

We knew we wanted to have a baby in the somewhat-near future and that we both wanted me to be able to stay at home to raise our child.  For two years, we did our best to live on Steve's salary and put every penny I made into savings.  It allowed us to learn what our lifestyle would be like on one salary, plus provided a huge cushion in case something bad happened. And then it did.

When Trevor was 3 months old, this happened:

We got a call at 4:45 am telling Steve not to come into work because the building was gone following a six alarm fire.  He started working from home full time, which was wonderful (hence, the layout title of 'A Blessing in Disguise.')  But the company was wounded from the fire and Steve was laid off just before Trevor's 2nd birthday.

I was absolutely devastated. Our only income, our source of health insurance for the three of us... gone.  I was absolutely panicked over the thought that I might need to return to work if Steve couldn't find something new in a reasonable amount of time.  Fortunately, it took less than 4 months before he had a new job.  Overall, the job was better, but it meant that Steve now had a long commute.  Trevor had a very hard time adjusting to Daddy being gone so much after nearly two years of having him home.  I did too.  But it was such a relief having him back to work.  

You can imagine how devastating it was, just 11 months later, when he was laid off from the new job. It took seven months to find the next job.  By this point, the economy was in bad shape and layoffs were common.  In Steve's industry (embedded software design), the norm was now to hire for a specific project and lay off the entire team when the project was completed.  Over the last few years, this has happened to him over and over.  I can't even keep track of how many different layoffs we've been through - at least seven.  Almost all of the layoffs blindsided us, coming at a point where we were just starting to feel secure, just before the one year mark.  

After the first two layoffs, the others weren't quite as devastating.  We knew the routine with unemployment, COBRA, and everything else that goes into abruptly having no income.  More importantly, we knew that the next job would be right around the corner.  Steve is extremely talented and well-respected in his narrow (but high-demand) industry.  He's received outstanding recommendations from the companies that laid him off.  Each time, he's been snatched up by a new company quickly, thank goodness.  

So why is today a big day for the deRosiers?  Because, after 6 years and even more jobs, Steve has now hit the one-year mark at his current job.  Hallelujah!  

I feel so blessed to have such a talented husband whose hard work and perseverance has allowed me to be a stay-at-home mom all these years.  I'm proud of us for planning ahead the way we did, for working together, and for being committed to doing what we think is best for us and for our child.  

Monday, April 14, 2014

More Christmas Scrapping

I used a very traditional red/green color scheme for my layout about our December 23 tradition of opening presents with our family of three.  To mix things up a little, I used an icy blue and dark red to scrap about our Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at my parents' house.

The patterned papers and die-cuts I used are from four different collections by two different manufacturers.  They sure look like they were meant to go together!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Trick-or-Treat 2013

I love scrapping Halloween photos.  I usually stick with the traditional black and orange, but for this year's trick-or-treat pictures, I went with bright green, purple, yellow and orange.  The pumpkins are fussy-cut from patterned paper.  

I used this sketch by Laura Whitaker for Let's Get Scrappy.

As is often the case with sketches, I had to create my own space for journaling.  While the photos and the title make the activity, location and date obvious, I definitely wanted to record the names of the friends who joined us.