2014 Pinewood Derby

The first time I made a Pinewood Derby car was in 2011.  I'd gone through the county fair entry book looking for something I was eligible to enter and stumbled upon an adult category for the Pinewood Derby.  I made a watermelon-themed car that was pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.  Steve entered a car too.  (At 5, Trevor was too young to enter).  We had a blast.

The following year, all three of us made cars for the county fair, Steve and I in adult divisions and Trevor as an Open Junior.  My car looked like a box of popcorn.  Again, we all had a lot of fun.  Trevor had a great experience entering for the first time.

Last year Trevor started Cub Scouts, which meant he'd be participating in the Pinewood Derby with his Pack and not just at the county fair.  The Derby was in April, two months earlier than the fair we'd been entering in for the past two years.  We built our cars over spring break.  I went with a rabbit-shaped car.  Again, lots of fun.

We switched Cub Scout Packs over the summer.  The new Pack held their Derby last weekend, four months earlier than last year's Pack and six months earlier than the fair.  The earlier date made it too difficult for all three of us to build cars, so Trevor was the only one entering a Derby car this year.  Here's what he made, with cutting help from Grandpa:

In case someone doesn't recognize it, it's Toothless from the How to Train Your Dragon series. Those are Trevor's favorite books.  He loves the movie as well.

Here's Trevor, bringing Toothless to be weighed and checked before the race.

There were approximately 60 cars racing, with lots of friends and family cheering on the Scouts and their cars.  

Toothless raced in the first heat of his age group and won.  It's on the far right in this picture, about to cross the finish line.  As it turns out, that was the only heat he won.  Trevor ended up finishing in the middle of the pack.  Nothing wrong with that.    

Toothless won't race again with the Cub Scouts this season, but he'll be entered at the county fair both to race and to be judged on design and workmanship.  Looking forward to seeing how he does!


Golf Camp

For Trevor's seventh birthday, we bought him his own set of golf clubs.  (You can see the layout about that here.)  He'd been interested in golf for a long time, but his interest skyrocked in first grade when he became friends with a boy who plays competitively and is very highly ranked for his age group.  That friend's dad encouraged me to sign Trevor up for a golf camp at our local course.  

One problem: Trevor was a year younger than the minimum age for the camp.  Because it never hurts to ask, Trevor and I went in to speak with the instructor to ask if it was possible for Trevor to enroll.  The instructor sat down with Trevor to get to know him and to explain the behavior expectations and physical requirements.  After the conversation, he gave me the OK to enroll Trevor.  Hurray!

Trevor loved everything about the camp.

Trevor struggled with hitting the ball any distance, but quickly became an excellent putter.  The camp culminated with the kids playing a 'best ball' game in the evening with parents caddying. Trevor's ball never went the farthest (not even close), but once they were on the green, he almost always aced his putts.  (They say it's all in the short game, right?)  Most importantly, Trevor showed huge improvement and had a lot of fun.

Trevor can't wait to do Golf Camp again this summer.


A Card from Sketch 10

A few weeks ago, I shared a layout from Easter 2013 that I made using this sketch:   

As usual, when I was done with my layout I used the scraps from the layout to make a card.   I love doing that.  Everything is already out and color-coordinated and just the right size for cards. Here's my card:


See the mistake?  I didn't... not until I'd scanned it, edited it, and was about to submit it for an article.  Here's the improved version:  

If you didn't notice the problem, check the lower right corner.

Anyway, about the card... as you can see, I kept several of the elements from the sketch and used the same color scheme as the layout.  Because of the extra mailing expense, I don't usually make square cards unless I'll be giving the card in person.  Approximately 98% of the cards I make are A2, so it was a fun exercise to make a card that with a different shape.  


More Manufacturer Spotlight Articles

In November, I shared the first three manufacturer spotlight articles I wrote for Scrapbook.com, which included We R Memory Keepers, Bo Bunny and Simple Stories.  Four more of my manufacturer spotlights are now live.  Check them out by clicking on each:

It's been so fun researching each brand, interviewing company representatives, and learning more about how each manufacturer got started and how their company has changed over time. These four truly could not be more different.  Enjoy!


Tutti Frutti

Trevor and I are obsessed with Tutti Frutti, a self-serve frozen yogurt chain.  Their yogurts are absolutely delicious.  Their topping selection is not as good as some other frozen yogurt stores in town, which is actually a good thing - instead of loading candy bar pieces, sugary cereals, cookies and other (admittedly delicious) junk on our yogurt like we (happily) do at other places, when we go to Tutti Frutti, we pretty much stick with nuts and fresh fruit toppings.  Those, of course, are also delicious.

In my mind, yogurt + fruit + nuts is a balanced meal and totally appropriate to take the place of lunch or dinner.  Steve prefers a 'proper' lunch or dinner, so whenever Steve goes out of town on business, Trevor and I have Tutti Frutti as one of our meals.  Delicious!  

Here's the layout I made about one of our Tutti Frutti dinners.

Most of the items on the layout are from Doodlebug, including the blue striped background paper with a 2002 copyright date on it.  Which means not only have I been holding on to this paper for 12 years, but I actually moved it to this house with me.  I'm glad it's found a place on this layout.

I should also mention the alphabet stickers.  My title has five T's, but with a son named Trevor, I don't often have extra T's lying around.  In fact, I had exactly zero T's on this particular sticker sheet.  Fortunately, it's really easy to substitute other letters for the missing ones.  T's in particular are really easy to make.  I cut apart two X's, two Z's, and an exclamation point to make the five T's.  After inking all the letters (they started out white) and adding Stickles, the T's blended right in seamlessly.


Belt Loop Display

Are you familiar with Cub Scout belt loops?  For those who aren't, a brief explanation: a belt loop is an award earned by a boy for completing three basic requirements in one subject area. Think about it like an extremely simplified Boy Scout Merit Badge.  There are three different types of belt loops: gold for academic subjects (astronomy, nutrition, pet care, etc.); silver for sports (baseball, hiking, ice skating, etc.); and bronze for the two sports that can only be earned on approved BSA shooting ranges (archery and BB gun shooting).  The award is a 1-inch square piece of metal that slides onto the boy's belt.

When a boy earns his first few belt loops, all is well.  They slide onto his belt well and he can proudly show them off any time he's in uniform.  However, after he's earned more than a handful, it takes longer and longer to get into uniform and the belt gets heavier and heavier. Unless you have a Cub Scout of extreme girth, he'll run out of space on his belt early in his Cub Scout career.  Trevor has a tiny waist and was out of space after his first year as a Cub.

Half the fun of earning belt loops is showing them off, so I didn't want Trevor's belt loops to sit in a drawer somewhere where no one would see them and he wouldn't be motivated to earn more of them. So I asked my dad, Woodworker Extraordinaire, to design a belt loop display that he could help Trevor make.  He came up with a brilliant design, a T-shaped wood piece that supports six acrylic arms onto which the belt loops can slide.  It will hold up to 60 belt loops (there are currently 53 offered).  I took Trevor to my parents' house for a long weekend and this is what they built:  

Trevor did 95% of the work himself with my dad's close guidance.  Once we got home, we hung it on the wall and Trevor started sliding his belt loops into place.   

He's arranged and rearranged his belt loops, which is exactly what I'd hoped would happen.  I used a pushpin to temporarily put the "C" patch holding his pins above it.   

In the time since I drafted this post and put it in the queue, I found out that BSA has announced that the program that includes belt loops will be discontinued as of May 2015.  It's disappointing, as the Academic & Sports program is strong and highly motivating to the Cubs.  Trevor will continue to work on completing as many belt loops and pins as he can through his Wolf year and into his Bear year before the program ends.  In the meantime, he now has a really cool display that shows off all the hard work he's done so far.


Trevor deRosier: Second Grader

I had so much fun scrapping the picture from Trevor's first day of second grade.  

I started with an alphabet background, then pulled small scraps of paper from different collections and tucked them behind the photo.  I stamped the title and the date (using a stamp set I've owned for at least 2 years but hadn't used yet - woo hoo!), punched a star, and glued the whole thing down.  So easy and I love it!


Be the Change

Each day after the Pledge of Allegiance, the students at Trevor's school recite their school pledge:
I am a Redhawk.  I reach higher and know that real learning takes effort and responsibility. I have a resilient mind, the heart of a champion, and big dreams. Every day is a new day in which I choose kindness, respect, gratitude, and happiness.  I will be the change I wish to see in the world.
They don't just recite this pledge - they incorporate it into everything they do.  It's awesome.

Last year (when Trevor was in first grade), all 740 students were invited to write an essay about what they do to be the change they wish to see in the world.  Along with the essay, they filled out a form listing the community service they do. Trevor worked really hard on his essay and form.  About a month after he turned it in, we got a letter in the mail telling us that Trevor was selected to be one of 20 students that would form the first Be the Change Student Summit.  We were invited to attend the ceremony where he and the others would be honored.

We didn't know what to expect, but it was clear from the moment we arrived at the school that morning that whatever would be happening was way beyond what we could have imagined.  The assembly was amazing: we heard what each honored child does to Be the Change, listened to dignitaries including the mayor, superintendent, council member, congressional representative, and more talk about community service, and learned that the students would be meeting to decide the recipients of $500 donated in their honor.  Trevor and the others were given beautiful certificates, lunch, and gift cards from a dozen local businesses.  To say we were proud would be the understatement of the year.

Between Steve and me, we took several hundred pictures that day.  I really struggled with what pictures to use for this special layout.  I went back and forth on what to include before deciding to keep it really simple and allow three photos and my journaling to tell the story.  I asked Trevor to write the title in his handwriting.

Trevor has just submitted his application for the 2014 Be the Change Student Summit.  While we hope he is selected, what is important to me is that he knows that, even at 7 years old, he can make a difference.  He understands that we don't do community service to win a contest, but because helping others is the right thing to do.  He knows that anyone, regardless of age or circumstance, can be the change they wish to see in the world.  In my mind, that makes him a winner no matter what.


Project 41: January

Time for Month 11 of Project 41!  

Because I'm on Baskin-Robbins' mailing list, I know what the Flavor-of-the-Month is before I visit the store to try it.  In 11 months, there have only been two times when I learned what the flavor would be and was worried that I wouldn't like it.  The first time was in April when the flavor was Jamoca Heath.  I can't stand coffee and usually don't like coffee-flavored stuff.  I was pleasantly surprised when I tried the ice cream and liked it.

January's Flavor-of-the-Month is Movie Theater Popcorn.  It is described as "buttered popcorn flavored ice cream and buttered popcorn flavored crisp pieces all wrapped together with a salty caramel ribbon."

I had serious concerns that it would be awful.  I can't stand Buttered Popcorn Jelly Bellies and was afraid it would be similar.  Here's how it looked:

My companion this month was Jennifer.  I met Jennifer in early 2008 on the forums at Scrapbook.com and in person about a month later.  She was the one who trained me as a Certified Fiskars Demonstrator and recruited me as a Fiskateer.  We live about 30 minutes apart and get together for crafting every few months.  She was my assistant when I taught the Quilling 101 workshop two years ago.  

We actually had a third friend, Sheena, with us. The three of us spent the morning visiting one of the few remaining Bay Area scrapbook stores, Scrapbook Territory in Berkeley. Sheena and I had never been before and the three of us had been talking about going for over a year. We spent 2 hours there, looking at every single product they had for sale.  We had lunch on the waterfront and then our Baskin-Robbins ice cream in Jennifer's town.

Neither Jennifer nor I thought that Movie Theater Popcorn ice cream would be a good idea, but I'm happy to report that we both really liked it! The ice cream itself was like a salty vanilla with lots of caramel.  In it were candy-coated crunchy bits that were shaped like popcorn and tasted vaguely of popcorn (in a good way). I would definitely eat it again.

One more month left of Project 41!


Draw Along with Trevor

The other day, Trevor came home from school all excited to teach me a drawing project he learned. He did such a good job teaching me that I asked him to do it again for the camera.  

Grab a black pen and a sheet of white paper and draw along with Trevor!

Pretty neat, huh? I've seen a number of this style of draw along, but I don't think I'd seen that actual one before. Trevor thinks it's the best thing ever. I tried to convince him that Fred and Bob should be touching the forest path so that they're not just hanging in mid-air afterward and instead look like teeth, but that's not the way the teacher showed him. In Trevor's mind, the teacher is ALWAYS right. There are pros and cons to that.

Here is one that Trevor drew and colored in. It's hanging on our art wall.

I should encourage Trevor to make up a rabbit draw along ... we're already starting to brainstorm projects for this year's Bunny Week and that would be a fun addition.


The deRosier Chopped Challenge, Episode 2

Back when I was doing 40 new-to-me things to celebrate my 40th birthday, one of the items on my list was to cook from a mystery basket.  I'd recommend reading (or re-reading) that post before reading this one.  I'll wait.....

... ok!  We had such a great time with our original Chopped Challenge that it was only a matter of time before we had another one.  But this time, Steve would be the chef!  Trevor and I headed to the grocery store to pick out the four mystery ingredients. 

Trevor was giddy as we went up and down the aisles, bouncing the whole time (which is what he does when he is really, really happy).  We spent a long time selecting the perfect items.  We settled on sparkling apple cider, honey roasted peanuts, a tube of refrigerated pizza crust, and Jennie-O Turkey

Steve and I watch Biggest Loser together, which means he's seen PLENTY of ways to cook Jennie-O Turkey.  I've never bought it before, but I couldn't resist for this challenge.  Once I saw it, I was really tempted to put together a basket of only the products they shill on Biggest Loser, but Trevor (who doesn't watch the show) rejected that idea.

When it was time to begin, I made Steve put on Trevor's toddler-sized toque (hilarious), set the timer, and let him see the ingredients.
It took him a few minutes of basically doing nothing (looking at the pantry and returning with nothing, staring at the fridge, getting out pans and putting them back) before he got started. The first thing he did was make a mocktail for the judges using sparkling apple cider and grenadine.  The judges were pleased.

Turns out Steve was stalling.  Suddenly, an idea came to him and he was a blur of action.  He cooked the turkey while chopping carrots.  He sauteed broccoli in butter.  He spread out the pizza dough on a sheet pan and combined apple cider and dijon mustard in a bowl.  He chopped peanuts and set them aside.  The judges were perplexed.  The judges were also impressed. Steve usually struggles with multi-tasking, but he was handling it like a pro.

Next, he put the cooked turkey and broccoli on the pizza crust and added some grated cheeses and a little barbecue sauce.
He folded the pizza crust over the fillings and put it in the oven.  Then he added oil to his apple cider and mustard mixture and started assembling a salad.  The judges entertained themselves with some self-portraits...

... while Steve finished plating.

He presented the meal: "I've prepared a stromboli, stuffed with Jennie-O Turkey, sauteed broccoli, a blend of cheeses, and barbecue sauce.  I've served it with a salad of mixed greens, carrots, mozzarella, bacon, and chopped honey-roasted peanuts, dressed with a vinaigrette of dijon mustard, olive oil and sparkling apple cider.  Your mocktails are a blend of sparkling apple cider and grenadine.  Enjoy."

It was absolutely delicious!  Both judges were quick to declare Steve the Chopped Champion. We'd both be thrilled to eat this meal again and again.


Cub Scout Day Camp '13

Another quick layout - I'm on a roll!  This one uses photos from last summer's Cub Scout Day Camp.  I didn't really have a specific story to tell, so I made a rare layout without journaling.  

Cub Scout Day Camp (affiliate link)

I don't love it, but I don't hate it either.  Most importantly, the photos are off my desk and into an album where Trevor can enjoy them.  


Easter 2013

I made this sketch recently, my tenth:

I used it to make the second of two layouts from Easter 2013.

I was happy with the layout... until I scanned it.  As soon as I saw it on the screen, I didn't like the way some of the letters in the title seemed to disappear.  It looked fine in real life, but I decided to change it so that it would look ok digitally too.

I didn't want to spend too much time making the change, nor did I want to use new supplies.  So I carefully peeled up the a and the e and added some turquoise ink to them.  The title is much easier to read now.

One simple change and now I'm satisfied with how it looks both in real life and digitally.


Back to Scrapping!

It's been a long time since I've done any scrapbooking.  In fact, the last new layout I posted was on November 7.  All of my creative time in November and December was dedicated to Christmas gifts and kids' crafts.  It feels great to be scrapping again.

This is one of the fastest layouts I've ever done.  I spent as much time trying to find alphabet letters in the right color that would fit my space as I did on the entire rest of the layout.  

Another layout tomorrow!


Favorites Layouts of 2013

I've finally headed back to the scraproom after spending pretty much all of November and December making Christmas gifts and crafts.  Tomorrow I'll share a new layout- my first in months.  Before I do, I wanted to share my favorite layouts from 2013.  It was REALLY hard to pick favorites.  Out of the 55 layouts I made last year, I LOVE about 15 of them, dislike a few, and like the rest.  Amongst the ones I love, these stood out to me for one reason or another. 

New layout coming tomorrow!


CHA Wishlist

For the past few weeks, manufacturers have been releasing sneak peeks of what they'll be officially debuting tomorrow at the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) tradeshow.  As always, I've loved seeing the new stuff and what trends emerge.  Just as fun is starting my wishlist!  Here are some of the items that have caught my eye.

  • Fancy Pants 'Nautical'

If I only get one new paper collection this year, it's probably going to be Nautical from Fancy Pants.  I love the colors (perfect for boy pages) and the fact that they're double-sided with non-themed B-sides makes them really versatile.   

  • Simple Stories Letter Stickers

I'm already obsessed with Simple Stories letter stickers and typeset stickers and use them all the time.  Eight new colors?  A must-have.  I will probably get at least three sets each of the letter stickers and the typeset stickers.

  • Doodlebug Sprinkles Vellum

I'm intrigued.  I never really stopped using vellum after its heyday years ago and I'm always a sucker for polka dots.  This seems like a really great basic.  I'd like to see it in person to check out how translucent it is.

  • Jillibean Soup Beanboard

Jillibean Soup is introducing Beanboard, described as thin chipboard that's colored on both sides. I love the look and ease of chipboard but hate the bulk, so this is ideal for me.  It comes in eight colors. I'm definitely getting the green, grey, yellow, red and navy.

  • Ranger Mini Ink Blending Tool

I have the standard ink blending tool and love it.  This mini would be great for covering smaller areas.  I'm not sure I can justify getting this one since I already have a ton of Tsukeniko sponge daubers that I love.  I'm definitely thinking about it though.

  • Glue Dots Desktop Dispenser

I use a lot of Glue Dots and this dispenser would be handy.  I'm not sure if I want another thing that sits on my desk though.  Now, my Glue Dots hang from my pegboard, off my work surface. Something to think about...

How about you? Have you seen any CHA sneak peeks that are on your wishlist?


Trendwatching, 2014

In the history of Ever, no one has made a project more trendy than this one that I made in 2012. 

Twenty trends packed into one awesome project!  Fabulous, right?  (Nodding enthusiastically.) So now that we've established that I'm an authority on trendiness, it's time for me to predict the Top Scrapbook Trends of 2014, based on all the sneak peeks that have been coming out in anticipation of the Craft & Hobby Association trade show that opens Saturday. I present to you my predictions for... (drumroll....)... the Trends of 2014!

Color Trends
  • very soft pastels, especially yellow and pink
  • neon
  • teals paired with pink, yellow and kraft 
  • Radiant Orchid
  • gold, especially with pale pink
  • ombre 
  • chalkboard 

Pattern / Image Trends
  • cameras of all shapes and styles, including Polaroids
  • corded telephones
  • arrows
  • Viewmasters
  • anchors
  • hashtags
  • really tiny hearts
  • chevrons
  • foxes
  • speech bubbles
  • handwritten / cursive fonts and images
  • ampersands

Textile Trends
  • burlap
  • bare wood
  • foil
  • vellum
  • sequins

I should point out that some of these have been going strong for awhile (like ombre, chalkboard, chevron, etc). I think they'll continue to dominate in 2014.

So what do you think? Am I right on or totally off? Anything that I should add to my list (or remove from it)? If these are indeed the trends of 2014, are you excited about any of them? Anyone want me to redo my jewelry frame to reflect the latest and greatest?  ;)