Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Treat Time...

Back to school time is here again, and around here that means lots of treats.  I love sending sweets and goodies for my munchkins, with cupcakes being a favorite.  The down side is constantly buying the paper wrappers, and then picking them up from all over.

I found these great silicone wrappers on Amazon, that are reusable and don't even require a cupcake pan.  The colors are fun and bright.  

I laid them out a cookie sheet, filled them with carrot cake mix and popped them into the oven.  After a few minutes, they were cooked to perfection.

My kids loved how they looked, and how easy it was to peel back the wrapper.  And my favorite part, no papers to clean up.  

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Pocket Scrapping 101...


Wecome! You should be arriving here from Krista's Blog.

I am a scrapbooker, a crafter, a document-er.  I am the one who keeps track of our who, our what and our where.  There are events like graduations, and birthdays which are always the "easy" ones to remember.  But what about the fun school trips and the cavity free dentist appointments?  They seem a little harder to look back and remember.  I found an amazing solution to this, a process to help remember and celebrate our everyday.  In 2009 I heard about a product called Project Life by Becky Higgins.  It's a simple process of placing pre-printed cards and photos into pocket pages.  I was sold from the beginning! 

I had several boxes of photos that were just sitting there, I had unfinished baby books, and too many scrap booking supplies.  I was overwhelmed to say the least. I felt so guilty for not having these amazing books for my girls. Was this really too good to be true or could I finally start getting caught up?  I ordered a kit as soon as they were available, it arrived in a pretty white box and there I was.... Intimidated.  This was supposed to be easy but I just couldn't get started.  *totally embarrassing*  I had been crafting my whole life and I couldn't put pictures together in a album?  That's right.  So on my shelf it sat.

I had a rough couple of events that followed... and it all put it into perspective for me how important it was to document our everyday.  Not just the good, not just the big events... the everything! Fast forward to late 2012- I pulled out my kit again and I was determined to get it put together this time; And I did!!!

I love what I accomplished for 2013!  I am slowly going to go backwards and document previous years as time allows as well as my kiddos' albums.  But I want to share how you can all document these everyday events and make it special to you and your family.  These are my own suggestions, I am not getting paid to endorse these products.  I just love that I can create something so meaningful for all of us to share!

There are a lot of companies out there that now make items for this style of documenting your memories, they are all called a little something different.  For a simple reference they are all products that fit into smaller pockets (usually 3x4 or 4x6) in a 12x12 sheet protector.

Here's a few things that I have found helpful along my journey, I am hoping that they help any stress or anxiety that you might have.  I promise the finished albums are worth the work.  There are a few must haves to get started.  Album,Photos,Pens for journaling, Page Protectors, Cards, Embellishments, and Tools.

Although there are several sizes available I prefer a 12x12" sized album (shown here in black chevron). The red one pictured is a Becky Higgins Mini Album.

 I use the 12x12 for ease of choosing other products to coordinate.  Most scrapbook companies out there make products in the traditional 12x12 format.  It makes shopping for page protectors, papers, and embellishments easy.  

Photos are available to be printed all over.  From your neighborhood drug store to fancy professional mail order companies.  I choose to print my own at home using my Canon Selphy CP900.  It allows me to control the sizes and the styles of the prints.  Although it may not be the cheapest route, it means that I do not have to pre-plan my pages.  I can print as I go.  It's a small printer and is portable so that I can even travel with it.

This little miracle will print any sized photo up to a 4x6.  I take most of my pictures on my iPhone, with the click of a button I can even print wirelessly.  I also like to add text or fun sayings to my pictures, and this prints them flawlessly.  I love the ease of being able to use my phone pictures for my pocket pages.  Here are some of my favorite apps that I use regularly to add some fun to my pictures: 

Instagram: Gives photos an Insta-camera look
Phonto:  Adds text to photos.  Allows you to upload fonts from your computer.
Fuzel:  Collage photos together.  Put two 3x4 onto one 4x6 print
Rhonna Designs: Add stickers, quotes and fun fonts onto your photos
Collect: Save a photo a day with notes 
Dropbox: backup photos from your phone to your computer

If I am working with photos that are already on my computer, the easiest collage and editing program I found has been Picasa.  The best part... It's FREE!!!  If you're new to the program and downloading for the first time, it's almost magical how it locates all pictures on your computer and lets you organize them from there.  

I am a self proclaimed pen junkie...and I am super particular when it comes to my writing utensils.  There is a huge selection out there to choose from, and this one I believe is a personal choice.  These are some of my go-to pens for my journaling.

(From the top)
 Fine tip pen from the Target One Spot
American Crafts Slick Writer to write on vellum or photos
Becky Higgins White pen for dark papers
Winks of Stella brush pen for glitter highlights

With pocket scrapping you can write as little or as much as you like.  It's your story, tell it the way you'd like!  If you don't like to write you can always type out your journaling.  My grandpa gave me his antique typewriter that I even use.  The possibilities are endless.  I also use a paper planner to jot down events, just in case I get too busy to get it in the book right away.

Page Protectors
There are a lot of options available for these.  I stick with what I consider to be the standard design, two 4x6 photos across the top and bottom with four 3x4 through the middle.  


I mostly stick with this design throughout the year.  I know which orientation to take my photos, and I can always add in a new page if I need it in another direction. 

Cards and Kits
I receive a monthly kit for Project Life from Studio Calico.  It includes cards, embellishments, washi tape, and a stamp.  I love that I can get this sampling of new products each month without breaking the bank.  

The majority of cards that I use are from the Becky Higgins kits.  There are almost 30 available!!! They come in large kits called Core Kits, smaller kits called Mini Kits, and a sampling sized pack called Themed sets.  You can use what you need for each project.  My favorites are Just Add Color, Kiwi, and Coral.

There are also 1,000s of cards available online that can be used for your pocket pages.  I have a Pinterest board that I keep track of the freebie cards and Project Life ideas.  

I use an Iris case to keep track off all of my cards.  It fits both the 3x4 and the 4x6 perfectly.

Decorate your cards and pages as much or as little as you'd like.  There are a million options out there to use.  I like to add small details to my pages, but I like to keep it quick and easy. These are a few of the embellishments that I use:

Wooden pieces, clear stickers, small buttons or flair, and labels.


Washi tapes.

There are a few general tools that you can use to help you out.  After a lot of trial and error here are my most used:

1.  Fiskars scissors
2. Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher
3. EK Success Adhesive
4. Sakura Quickie Glue Pen
5. ATG adhesive gun
6. Fiskars corner rounder
7. Fiskars Rotary paper cutter (not one that slides, blades dull too fast)

These items can be found in most craft stores, or even Walmart.  Remember, it's not about the price.  It's about documenting the memories and getting them down.  There is not a right or wrong.  It's not supposed to feel complicated or overwhelming.  

'Whew... that was longer than planned....thanks for sticking with me!  

If you haven't noticed already, I sort everything by color.  I find that I can find my things easier.  This is not something that works for everyone but I find it helpful, I hope you do too.  I also have a small area set up just to work on my album.  It makes it easier to keep up to date. 

You can see me here or find out more on pocket scrapping here:
The Pocket Source- Jen Macknick
Flickr- Jen Macknick

My favorite places to purchase supplies:

Please share how you document your family's memories.  If you Pocket Scrap or Project Life, please share your blog or gallery.  

Your next stop on the hop is:  Samantha

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Total Randomness...

Several of you have stumbled on this blog on accident, a few of you you because you're family, and some I know from my crafty-ventures.  For those that don't really KNOW's your chance to get to know me better.

1) My favorite movie ever is Dirty Dancing
 2) My dad died in 2010
 3) I played softball from age 6 until High school
 4) I was a cheerleader 
 5) I love the South
 6) My first job was at a bridal shop
 7) I still watch cartoons regularly
 8) I once met a girl who was Minnie Mouse 
 9) I had my first baby when I was just 18
 10) I have a degree in Early Childhood Education
 11) I'm a stay at home mommy
 12) My last job was as an assistant manager at a beauty supply store
 13) I have a black lab named Cooper
 14) I have a 14 year old cat named Itty Bitty
 15) I have only ever completed one video game, Duck Tales
 16) I have a minor Facebook obsession
 17)I have been scrap booking since I was 17
 18) I was the editor of my schools news paper
 19) I used to play tennis, and was part of a #1 ranked doubles pair
 20) I have seen Grease, the movie over 100 times
 21) I have a  girl crush on Miranda Lambert
 22) I demoed product for Fiskars 
 23) Peonies are my favorite flower
 24) I love to read
 25) I live up north but I hate snow
 26) I watch the ID channel nonstop
 27) I'm a Supernatural fanatic
 28) I met Kenny Chesney's dad, and went to a sound check with him 
 29) I love to travel
 30) I eat my scrambled eggs with ketchup and put sugar in my chili
 31) I met my best friend online in a group
 32) I have been in a relationship for 15 years
 33) My favorite restaurant is Chick Fil A 
 34) I love the show Good Luck Charlie and watch it with my kids
 35) I collect honeybee items
 36) I have a Pomeranian that we flew home with us from Florida
 37) I love Disney World more than my kiddos
 38) I am Polish
 39) I'm afraid of heights
 40) I still sleep with my blanket from when I was a little girl
 41) I never played with dolls as a child, only art supplies and stickers
 42) I have a full collection of the Care Bears (the originals)
 43) I have an usually good memory for names
 44) I organize things by color
 45) I have a shoe "collection"
 46) My oldest daughter graduated from Preschool the same year I graduated college-2005
 47) I'm rather afraid of reptiles... especially snakes
 48) I'm highly allergic to hay
 49) I've always wanted to learn how to sew
 50) I have a room specifically for my craft supplies... all organized by color!

Leave a comment and tell me 5 things about yourself.... or better yet link up your blog with your very own bunch of randomness!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What I'm working on Wednesday...

I woke up this morning to snow.  Snow? Snow!  More snow.  I think that I am going to consider hibernation if we get any more.  This has been the coldest and snowiest (yup, just made THAT up) winter in about 30 years.  The kiddos are in complete cabin fever mode and are in desperate need of some quality outdoor time.  I have been trying to come up with activities and things to keep them busy, but there are days when nothing seems to work.  And with Livybug's basketball season in full force, we spend a lot of time in the car driving from Point A to Point B.  I needed something to keep the Peapod occupied in the bask seat.

We've tried coloring books and crayons, they spill all over.  And if you have a backseat like mine...once they spill you'll never find them in the abyss that once was the floor.  We've tried the electronics route, but there's no WIFI while driving and they always seem to die when you need them the most.  We've tried food and snacks, but again it adds to the never ending mess!  I decided we needed something...something simple. Something different!  Off to the Dollar Store I went.

I was on a mission... I went up and down, down and up every single aisle.  Finally after quite some time, I hatched a plan.  They had some nice looking picture frames in several different sizes. and right across from that was the school supplies.  Picture Frame + Markers= Wipe off boards.  (we learned that in Math class, right?)  So I made my big $2.00 purchase! ( I bought two)

Here's what I came up with:

One piece of scrapbook paper cut into an 8x10 size.
One Frame
One Wipe off marker

She couldn't wait to use it!

Here's our wipe off board on it's Maiden Voyage to a game.... Yay! For fast ideas and my scrapbook stash!  It's the simplest of things can can make us all happy.

What are your kiddos favorite car toys?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Throw Back Thursday...

Back before our lives were as crazy as they are now, before things changed for us, before Daddy-O was back on the road for work.... This was an annual tradition for us, Flake Out Fest.  It's championship ice sculpting right here in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.  The kiddos love seeing the ice figures, watching demonstrations, horse carriage rides and the delicious hot chocolate.  This was the last year we attended, 2009.  Look how small my Peapod looks!  She could barely walk, especially once weighted down with all that winter gear and boots. 
The kiddos with the turtle sculpture, one of their favorites.

Dragonfly sculpture.

Peapod on her first pony ride.

Livydoodles in her fur!

Daddy-O and the kiddos.

The kiddos.

The winning sculpture.

This event has changed quite a bit in the past few years.  It's been moved to Racine, and they've added several activities.  If you'd like to go try it all out you can find out more info HERE.

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What I'm Working on Wednesday...

I craft.  I have kiddos.  This meaning that sooner or later, the two of them will cross paths. With living in the North and temperatures reaching almost -50* we have had several school closures this week.  This means lots of time to play and create. My girls have the crafting bug much like I do, but my oldest loves all the supplies and tools when it comes to school projects. And in our house this week there has been a lot of school "projecting".   Her latest assignment was to create a Country; create a flag, an anthem, and an introduction page.  The other parts of this assignment were divided up between a few other students.  I was so proud of her design skills and her creativity :)  She used lots of tools like her favorite, The Silhouette Cameo.  The new Deer Head punch by EK Success, and my trustyFiskars paper trimmer.  I hope you all enjoy her work, these pictures will be making it into my Project Life this week for sure!!!



Introduction Page

Do your kids raid your stash when it comes time for school projects?

Monday, January 27, 2014

A look back at some of my work....

Mothers Day AlbumValentine BannerReady Set GoFlowerCabinHome
MinibookShadowsGirls Gone WildWreathGrowGrow Details
BeautyWhat a CharacterDzia DziaSquirtSo SweetHappy Details
HappyBelovedColor-FallFamilySisiter ActDelight-Fall
jenmacknick's photostream on Flickr.

Today I was looking through pictures on my computer and I came across some of my work.  I have been focused on Project Life lately, and had forgotten about some of these gems!  Join me for a peek back at some of my favorites:

You can find more of my work here on my Flickr.