Saturday, February 28, 2015

February Sketch of the Month

Ooops...with all my excitement about becoming a Thirty-One consultant, I almost forgot to post the SOTM for February. Well, at least I got it done...even if it is on the last day of the month!

A couple of weeks ago I was doing some pages in Sam's album and came across photos of his third birthday. Since his birthday is in June, we usually have good weather and do an outside play party. That year we put up the bouncy house and had everyone over for a family barbeque. Curious George cupcakes, special birthday presents and beautiful sunshine for my boy made it a grand time!

Keeping my 1-2-3 formula in mind - 1 piece double-sided paper, 2 pieces cardstock and 3 cuts - I chose a bright, happy, double-sided paper from an old Creative Memories power palette called "Candy Shoppe". The bold stripes echoed all the colors in the photos and the more subtle blue and white stripes on the opposite side were a great backdrop for the photos. I used two sheets of white cardstock as the base and I had letter stickers and some epoxy embellishments from the Candy Shoppe kit to complete the layout.

Here's the sketch I came up with for this layout...

 ...and the cut diagram:

Cut #1 is made at 2.5 inches to create a 2.5" x 12" strip. This is Piece ATip: When you are using a striped piece of paper,  you probably want to see all the colors in the stripes, so make sure you cut across the stripes in this situation.

 Cut #2 is made at 5 inches, creating another 2.5" x 12" strip - this is Piece B.

Make cut #3 by turning the remaining piece and cutting at 7" to give you a 7" x 7" piece (Piece C) and a 5" x 7" piece (Piece D).

Now, assemble the layout. First place pieces A and B across the lower part of each of the cardstock pages as shown (about an inch up from the bottom edge) to form a continuous border across the layout.

  Next add pieces C and D just above the border with their edges touching the sides of the cardstock bases that meet in the middle of the layout.

Place your photos. I used three horizontal 4" x 6" photos, one vertical 4" x 6 photo, and trimmed another horizontal photo into a 4" x 4" square.

This was super quick and easy to put together - about two minutes to cut and place the paper strips and another couple of minutes to trim and place the photos! Now you can embellish any way you like. I knew I would use the letter stickers for the title, and I initially thought that maybe I would write my journaling about the photo as shown on my sketch. But then I found a 4 x 6 filler card in the Candy Shoppe kit that said "Awesome" that I wanted to incorporate somehow into the layout.

I decide to trim out the word and pennant. After, I was left with two other pieces from the card.

When I turned them over, I found that on the back side of the scraps there was another sentiment and part of a journaling box that I decided to use instead! How lucky!

I adhered the "Awesome" pennant, the "Today" strip and the journal block and then added the title stickers above the 4" x 4" photo. Once I completed the journaling, I realized there were so many straight lines that I wanted to add some circles to break up all the edges and add some softness and variety. I used some scraps from other papers in Candy Shoppe kit and punched out various sizes of circles to dot across the layout. I finished a few of the circles off with the epoxy stickers shown in the materials photo at the beginning of this post.


And in only about 15 minutes! I guess the reason the final layout comes together so quickly is that I spend the majority of the time planning it out in advance - and I truly enjoy the process of figuring out new ways to cut a 12 x 12 sheet of paper and use it in a different layout. So, when you use these 1-2-3 layouts, YOU can benefit from MY planning - just choose your photos and paper then follow the steps for a quick, foolproof scrapbook layout!

I hope you give this layout a try this weekend - if you do, I'd love to see it. Simply leave a link to it in the comments below.

Happy scrapping!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Packing for the Cabin with Thirty-One bags

I can't wait for my starter kit of Thirty-One products - a big pink box full of fun - arrives! In the meantime I thought I would share some ideas of how I use the Thirty-One products I do own and have been using for the past several years.

My family is so fortunate to own a small cabin about an hour away from our home. It's winterized so we can use it year round, and close enough that we can get up there practically every weekend. I keep an extra set of personal care products and pantry staples up there, so when we want to head up, we just need to throw a few clothes and fresh groceries in a bag and we're gone. Typically I use my two Thirty-One Large Utility Totes for clothes and dry goods, my Picnic Thermal for the fresh groceries and one of my Organizing Utility Totes for everything else!

I keep one of the Large Utility Totes handy and during the week I toss in any items that I need to bring up to the cabin that coming weekend. Then, before we leave, I top it up with some snacks and staples that I have on hand. (Please don't judge the nutritional value of items pictured...cookies and chips are just part of a weekend at the cabin!) 

Then I grab clothes and pjs from our drawers for all of us and throw them in the other Large Utility Tote. Two days worth of clothes for four people fits in easily, with room to spare.

A container of milk, some fruit and veg, cheese sticks and a pack of hotdogs or hamburgers goes in the Picnic Thermal along with an ice pack and a bottle of wine! I need to bring more food if we stay up at the cabin for more than a day or two, or if we are having guests up. I typically end up hauling out our big camping cooler, which is a bit of a pain. I'm looking forward to seeing the capacity of the Fresh Market Thermal as I'm thinking it might be the perfect size for our weekend needs!

My workhorse is my Organizing Utility Tote (now affectionately called the ZOUT because it now has a Zip-top!) I use it instead of a purse ('cause who needs a purse at the cabin?) and it has room enough for 2 iPads, magazines and books, the sleeve of movies and CDs for the car trip, the boys' DS cases, gloves, mittens and hats etc. plus my wallet, sunglasses, makeup case etc.

And I still will have room for the water bottles in the outside pockets. This is the bag that initially introduced me to Thirty-One Gifts and I LOVE IT! Over the last three years it has been on many family road trips through BC, California and Montana. It was my tote during days at Disneyland, the beach and ski resorts. I've taken it to swimming, skating and karate classes. It's even gone to meetings and conferences with me as it is wide enough to hold my laptop (although it's not padded...I can't wait to see the new Jewel Fashion Editor Tote which has a padded sleeve especially for your laptop!)

So here are all my bags packed and ready to go. It's easy to load them into the car and then bring them into the cabin because of the strength and size of the webbed straps. Even when they are loaded up, the straps of the Large Utility Tote easily go over my shoulders and I can carry both totes out to the car and into the cabin at once. The strap on the Picnic Thermal is adjustable and Shane has even carried as a cross body when we have gone on a hike and taken our lunch with us. 

Once were at the cabin, it's easy to unload the bags, squish them down and store them flat under a bed or in a just can't do that with suitcases and hard sided coolers! And when space is at a premium like in our tiny cabin, you appreciate those details.

Although we' re blessed to now be able to getaway to our cabin, in the past I used these totes for camping as well. When we would go out in our trailer, the boys clothes, books and toys would be packed into one tote and would live at the bottom of their bunk for the duration of the trip. The open top made it easy to pull out clothes and toys and to put them away again at the end of the day. I would pack Shane's and my clothes sideways in the other tote and then stand it up on end inside the closet, again making it easy to grab what we needed. They worked great. And now Thirty-One there has so many more great totes and thermals that I think would make camping even easier.

Finally, I can't forget the Bleacher Blanket shown in the first photo. Mine is the older style, but it's still amazing. I keep it in the car most of the time as an emergency blanket, but I make sure it gets packed when we go to the cabin as it is perfect as a "sit-upon" on a cold outdoor chair, and for use around the campfire. It packs small, opens up to a generous size, is fleecy and soft on one side and has the nylon exterior on the other side. What more could you ask of a blanket?

I've appreciated the convenience and quality of these bags since I got them and I am so glad to be able to bring them to ladies in the Calgary, Alberta area! Check out my website to have a look at the whole collection and to learn about the phenomenal hostess plan!

I'll be sharing the bags I use everyday going to work with and of course the contents of my starter kit as soon as it arrives. And I haven't forgot about scrapbooking...I'll be posting the February Sketch of the Month in the next day or so.

Take care friends...

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Big News #2

Note: Our garage sale was a huge success! We really enjoyed re-connecting with lots of ladies and helping them get some great deals. Our upcoming scrapbooking retreat is almost full, but if you are interested, certainly send me a quick email and we'll do our best to fit you in!

Big News #2 is that I have signed up to be a 

Thirty-One Gifts has finally come to Alberta and I am so pleased to now be one of the first consultants in the province! 

I first learned about Thirty-One Gifts about three and a half years ago. I was at one of our scrapbooking retreats which was attended by a gal who brought some of her supplies in this cute plaid bag with all these pockets. I asked her about it, found out about Thirty-One Gifts and learned that her sister was a consultant in North Dakota. I placed an order through her sister and then waited for several months until she was able to visit and bring the bags up to Canada. It was worth the wait, because when I got them, I absolutely fell in love with the products! I've been using those items for over three years now - and they are still going strong!

I've had lots of friends, family members and people I meet ask me about the bags and how they could get their hands on some. I reached out to Thirty-One Gifts at their home office in Columbus, Ohio to see when they were coming to Canada. They opened in Ontario in 2012 as a test market and expanded into Alberta as of February 10, 2014. After over three years of waiting, I am beyond thrilled to now have easy access to these great products and to be able to share them with you here in Alberta!

I invite you take a look at all that Thirty-One Gifts has to offer - fun and practical organizing solutions for you, your home and your family; fabulous Hostess benefits; and an amazing ground floor opportunity to own your own business with a company that Celebrates, Encourages and Rewards women. You can view the entire catalog on my Thirty-One consultant website, see all the specials and place an order anytime.

And if you have questions about the organizing solutions, to order products, book a party or to chat about becoming a Thirty-One Consultant, just contact me and I'll get back to you ASAP!


This doesn't mean that I will stop scrapbooking....I could never give up my favorite hobby all together! And I will still watch and wait for Creative Memories to allow us in Alberta to sell and buy the product again - but that might happen next week or not until next year.

What this does mean is that I would like to branch out a bit here on the blog and post ideas about home, family, organizing and decorating and all the other things that go on in my life. I'm considering the possibility of starting a new/different blog that could encompass all theses ideas to share. (I'll get back to you on that...perhaps that will be my next big news!)

Happy scrapping...and organizing!