Project 41: July

My Project 41 companions for March, April, May and June all live within a few miles of me, but Colleen traveled over 3000 miles to try Baskin-Robbins' July Flavor-of-the-Month with me.  OK, she's technically in California for a family member's milestone birthday, but she did make a point to join me for the Flavor of the Month, which is Oreo 'N Chocolate.  

According to the description, "Our two favorite flavors finally together in a single scoop.  Creamy chocolate ice cream and crunchy Oreo cookie pieces swirled with a crispy fudge crackle ribbon."

It sounded delicious and it was.  The "crispy fudge crackle ribbon" was to die for.  We both loved it.  Another thing I love?  This picture of Colleen and me.  We were actually with a third friend, Nikki, who can't eat dairy and thus couldn't play along.  But it meant that for the first time, I didn't have to extend my arm to take the Project 41 picture.  Yet despite the fact that it was a normal picture that didn't involve an outstretched arm, I'm holding my ice cream cone so much closer to the camera than Colleen is that it looks like my cone is 5 times the size of hers, which it was not.  

It had been two years since I'd seen Colleen and three years since I'd seen Nikki (coincidentally in California from South Carolina at the same time as Colleen), so needless to say, we had a lot to talk about and the time flew by.  After ice cream, we met up with a fourth friend, Kathy, who lives about two hours from me.  It was a wonderful visit.

Thanks to Colleen for joining me for July's Project 41!


Ellia at 4

Here is the layout I made for my goddaughter Ellia's fourth birthday.  It's hard to believe it's been four years since she was born!  I remember it like it was yesterday.

Here are the rest of her layouts:

Such a beautiful girl!


Kylinn at 7

Each year, I make a framed scrapbook page for goddaughter Kylinn's birthday.  This year, I was inspired by her skirt to create this bright and happy page.

Here are the previous six years.  It's so fun to see how she's grown and changed.

Happy birthday, Kylinn!


July Flamingo Four

It's time for July's Flamingo Four!  This month, three other designers and I worked with these items:

                                    1) Pink Paislee Mistables patterned paper
                                    2) Pink Paislee Mistables die cut card
                                    3) empty Maya Road spool
                                    4) Pink Paislee "Nantucket" wood shapes

When I saw these four items, the old Sesame Street song ran through my head: "One of these things is not like the others...."  Clearly, the tricky items this month would be the empty spool. I set it aside.  I dug through my extra photos looking for something summery and beachy.  I found a picture from 2010 of Steve and Trevor holding hands at the beach.  Perfect!  
I picked a sea star from the wood shapes and sprayed it with the last of my Clam Bake Glimmer Mist.  The color and the shimmer were just what I'd hoped for.  While it was drying, I used my hands to smear gesso on the patterned paper, then wiped it with a sandy brown paint and let it dry.  Next, I mixed light blue paint with some glittery paint and dipped the end of the spool in the mixture and stamped it onto the paper repeatedly.  It turned out exactly as I'd envisioned!  I tore the die cut card and layered it with a scrap of dark blue vellum and some greyish handmade (by someone else) paper and put the photo on top.   
After adhering everything, the final step was to add a title and an additional embellishment.  I found a Mrs. Grossman's "love" sticker and inked it to match the sea star, then paired it with a Scenic Route rub-on.  I added a second Scenic Route rub-on, a heart, to the left of the photo, even with Steve and Trevor holding hands.  I really like the completed layout.  It's totally different than what I would usually make, yet it is definitely me.  And bonus that it came together so quickly and easily!

Want to see what the other designers made?  Head over to Flamingo Scraps to check it out!  As always, it's so fun to see how incredibly different four projects made from the same four supplies can be!


1st Annual Family Olympics

I mentioned last week that we held a Family Olympics when my relatives were in California for my niece's baptism. My sister Kari and brother-in-law Brian organized the whole thing. We were given no information ahead of time except that we were each to pick a country to represent. Steve chose England, Trevor chose Mexico, and I chose St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It would take a whole blog post to explain the connection I've had with the small Caribbean nation of St. Vincent & the Grenadines for the past 24 years; one of these days, I'll tell you about it.

When we arrived at my parents' house, this board was on display. Each of the 14 contestants and their countries were listed, starting with the oldest competitor (my mom, Kathy) and ending with the youngest (Trevor). Kari and Brian didn't compete, nor did the kids that were under 5.  

We began with a parade of nations. As each competitor was announced, their national anthem played. Here is my cousin Matthew (Scotland), his wife Danelle (Italy), and their kids Ryan (Ireland) and Lillian (Spain).

Here I am at the Opening Ceremonies, wearing a St. V & G t-shirt and waving a pillowcase of their flag that my friend Colleen made for me back in 1990.

Our first event was the Ring Toss. Steve tied with Ryan for the gold medal. I did ok - middle of the pack.

Things went significantly downhill for me during the second event, Darts. My left shoulder and arm had been quite sore for the past few weeks, largely due to pitching to Trevor for a good amount of time each day. When I raised my arm to throw my first dart, my arm completely gave out and fell to my side. I couldn't lift it without excruciating pain.  I announced that I'd be forfeiting the event and all future physical events. My family convinced me to try throwing the darts with my right hand instead. I was honestly afraid that I was going to send a dart into a loved one's head by using my non-dominant hand, but it turns out I'm actually pretty good with my right hand. I scored just above the average. My nephew Timothy, representing Uruguay, was the gold medalist. Here's Trevor during his turn.

I iced my shoulder during the next event: the Word Search. We were given 5 minutes to find as many words as we could. I found 13, which seemed mediocre to me... 

... but I tied with my cousin's wife Ginger for the gold! (For the record, Ginger's t-shirt said, "Move Over Losers." She's a tad competitive, in a good way.)

Alas, my glory was short-lived. The 4th event was Trivia. I'm normally decent at trivia contests, but I scored a measly 3 points out of 10. Ginger medaled for the second time.

Our fifth event, the final event of Day 1, was the Airplane Toss. We had 5 minutes to construct the best paper airplane we could from only our trivia and word search papers. I did very poorly, which I blame largely on throwing with my right hand. As it turns out, I can throw darts right-handed, but I cannot throw much else right-handed.

Here's my Aunt Vickie, dressed in the colors of Kenya's flag (green, red and black). Before each event, she gave a presentation about a different aspect of Kenya - the geography, the political structure, the population, the educational system, etc. Once a teacher, always a teacher! I loved learning more about Kenya and looked forward to her turn during each event. Vickie's husband, my Uncle Don, was the gold medalist, having thrown his plane an impressive 101 feet!

We sat down to a friendly dinner to discuss the day's competitions and to hear the results from Day 1. Don was in the lead. (I was in 5th place.) We were all very curious as to what the next day's events would be.
The next morning, it was time to resume the Olympics. The first event: a Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament! I made it to the second round before I was eliminated. Ginger won her third gold medal.

Event #7 was Children's Nursery Rhymes and Songs trivia. Right up my alley! I got a perfect score and earned my second gold medal.

Next was Event #8: Sudoku. I've done Sudoku before (only in in-flight magazines), so this gave me an advantage over the two family members who'd never done one, but I knew going in that I could not compete with the likes of my dad, aunt and cousin, who all do Sudoku daily. We had 10 minutes to try to fill in as many numbers as we could, with a 1-minute warning so that we could make random guesses and hope to score more points. I got 26 right.  

My cousin Tim finished the whole thing perfectly in 2 minutes. I couldn't believe it. Aunt Vickie, my dad, and Ginger finished a few minutes after that. Impressive.

The 9th event was Name that Tune. With the contestants ranging from age 65 to 7, we had a wide variety of musical knowledge. Apparently being the oldest of my generation (41) put me in a good spot, since I recognized a few more songs from the 60's and 70's than my slightly-younger cohorts did. In general, my parents' generation struggled with everything after the 60's and Trevor's generation didn't recognize much that isn't on the radio right now, so I ended up with my third gold medal.

Our final event was Ping Pong Toss. We each threw 10 ping pong balls into a vase. My cousin Matthew and nephew Timothy tied for the gold with 3 successful tosses.   
Kari and Brian left to total the scores. When they returned, it was time for the medal ceremony. Ginger (representing United Arab Emirates) took the gold! 
The silver and bronze went to my cousins Tim (Brazil) and Matt (Scotland). I came in fourth.

We all had a blast with our first Family Olympics and agreed that it should be an annual event. Tim and Ginger offered to organize the next one, to take place when we all get together in the summer of 2014.  

Regarding my shoulder: I went to the doctor as soon as we got home. I was diagnosed with a grade 2 shoulder strain and told not to use it for three weeks. It's amazing how often one uses their shoulder - something you don't really notice until you can't use it!


Kidding Around: If I Were a Superhero...

Day 15 of Kidding Around asked us to imagine we were given three wishes and to write about it. Trevor said he wished he had three new stuffed animals.  I explained that the wishes could be anything; it didn't necessarily mean what three items are on your birthday wishlist.  I tried to get him to think bigger.  "Maybe one wish could be that you could have every stuffed animal you've ever wanted," I said.  But it was no use.  He was stuck on three particular stuffed animals he wanted and he was not especially inspired to write about them.  We set our journals aside.

I spent some time thinking about my three wishes.  Do I wish for peace and harmony around the world, an end to all disease and suffering, and eternal life for all?  Sounds good!  Or, do I make it less global and wish for good health, happiness and long life for my loved ones? Hmm... that sounds good too.  Do I need to be more realistic?  More selfish?  Less selfish?  More something else?   

Suddenly, a thought popped into my head.  I've always said that if I were a superhero, I would be Weather Girl, with the ability to change the weather.  No more rained-out trips or blistering outdoor weddings.  No more devastating flooding or droughts.  No more scary drives in fog or blinding storms. Surely there are two other superpowers I'd want?  I definitely want to be able to teleport.  I HATE traveling.  Not the actual being somewhere else part, but the getting there and getting home part.  I would teleport everywhere if it were possible.  And then there's the health thing I'd thought about earlier.  I'd be the superhero who would cure disease, starting with cystic fibrosis and continuing on through cancer, IBS, diabetes, and every other illness and condition.

I dug out the Wonder Bunny costume as inspiration, got out some blue cardstock and cut out three capes.  I punched yellow circles and layered one on each cape, then colored letter stickers red and added one to each circle.  Trevor, who'd been playing with Legos, watched with great interest.  He had his own ideas of what his superpowers would be and got right to work on his capes.  Here's Trevor's finished page.  Notice that he wrote his title on washi tape.  He just can't get enough of it!

Here's my page.  I'm happy with how it turned out.

 What three superpowers would you choose?


Kidding Around: Bubble Prints (Fail)

Day 14 of Kidding Around was about bubbles, which included directions to do some bubble printing.  It looked really fun, so we gathered up the supplies: paper, bubble mix, food color, straws, and a tray.  

We poured bubble mix in the tray, added food color, and used the straw to make our bubbles. So far, so good.  But when we touched our paper to the bubbles, then gently pulled the paper away... nothing.  The bubbles popped and left behind a moist spot, but nothing like the samples. We added more color and tried again - still no good.  We tried a bunch of other things before finally laying the paper down in the bubble mix itself (which the instructions said explicitly NOT to do) and leaving it overnight to see what would happen.

Trevor was disappointed, of course, and suggested we do Marble Art instead (since it sounds sort of like Bubble Art).  So we did.

The next morning when we checked on our bubbles, we found that the paper was totally dry and had these interesting feather patterns all over it.  We glued our Bubble Art (such as it was) and our Marble Art into our journals.


Have any of you successfully done bubble prints?  I wish I knew where we went wrong! 


My CHA Wishlist

It's that magical time of year... the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) summer tradeshow starts up today in Las Vegas!  Alas, I will not be attending.  But most of the major manufacturers have been posting sneak peeks (or even full reveals) on their blogs, which is the next best thing to being there.

Here's some of what's caught my eye so far:

Smarty Pants is my favorite of the many school-themed collections I've seen so far, but it's the Simple Basics pack that I absolutely love.  The A-sides all have composition book pattern, and the B-sides feature different types of papers, like binder paper, grid paper, and ledger paper.  The colors are fantastic.  I'm getting multiples of these for sure, as they are so incredibly versatile.

  • Queen & Co. Trendy Tape
Trevor has recently discovered my washi tape and is helping me use up my stash, so I feel justified in getting more.  And since I don't have any Christmas washi yet, these are particularly excellent to add to my collection.  I definitely want to wrap my Christmas gifts with washi tape this year.

They claim this line is "perfect for fall, summer, spring, camping, outdoors, indoors, boys, girls, ladies and gentleman."  You can't get much more versatile than that!  I can definitely see using it for a wide variety of subjects.  I love the color palette.

I need more Halloween supplies like I need a hole in my head, but I really like this collection.  With the exception of the spiderwebs, the B-sides are not themed, so it's pretty easy to justify getting this since I can use it for non-Halloween occasions.

If I don't need Halloween paper, then I REALLY don't need Christmas paper.  But I can justify getting the Simple Basics and the Fundamental and Expression Cardstock Stickers from this collection.  This is my favorite of this year's Christmas collections.

This is my #1 must-have.  I love the colors, love the patterns, and I especially love the dots/stripe Simple Basics.  While this collection is obviously Disney-inspired, it isn't heavily themed and can be used for all sorts of other topics.  

Simple Stories is the big CHA winner for me so far.  They haven't been on my radar all that long, but with collections like these and Take a Hike, they are rapidly becoming my favorite paper manufacturer. So far, I haven't seen any must-have tools or gadgets, but I'll be keeping my eyes open over the next few days!

What are your CHA-Summer must-haves?


Baptism Card

In going through my pictures, I realized I never shared the card I made for my goddaughters and their mom back in May to mark the two year anniversary of their baptisms.  I used the same chalk technique that I described here and showed here. I tore green textured cardstock, inked the edges with chestnut roan, and glued them in place to make the hills. Then I cut a 1" strip of woodgrain paper, snipped it into two pieces (one shorter than the other), and glued them together to make the cross. Finally, I glued the cross in place with the end tucked under the hill in the foreground.

It's been a very baptism-themed week for the deRosiers, as I met my 4-month old godson Teagan for the first time last Friday.  His godfather is his cousin, Ryan.

Teagan and the rest of my out-of-state relatives were in California for the baptism of Allison, my nearly 5-month old niece.  Here she is, waiting to be baptized.

Here's the whole group, including my parents, my aunt and uncle, my sister's family, my two cousins' families, and us.

The 20 of us spent three days together at my parents' house.  Next week I'll tell you about the Family Olympics we held and why I am now unable to lift my left arm...