Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Project Life {February 18-24}

 Hello!

Whew!  Last week was a good one!  We packed all kinds of fun into the week.  All four kiddos played at an orchestra concert together on Monday.  Emily is in band, not orchestra, but they asked her to play her French horn on a couple of the songs.  Very cool.
On Wednesday night I stopped by at Raffi's lacrosse practice to take a team picture for the website.  Raffi is loving lacrosse.  I can't wait until the games start.  I've actually never been to one before.
 The kids had a surprise snow day on Friday--yahoo!!  Last year they didn't get any snow days, and this year they've had two.  The kids got outside to help John shovel.  We tried to build a snowman, but the snow didn't pack well.  That night, Emily, Greg, Raffi, Jack, and I went snowshoeing in the dark.  I absolutely loved it.  I wish they'd open the trails every Friday night.  It was so pretty!  They set out luminarias along the trail to light the way. Greg and Emily wore vintage snowshoes--aren't they awesome?   I also added a picture of the Scrabble game we played together, the delicious apple strudel that Raffi made, and a shot of the Girl Scout cookies that arrived this weekend. This week I also had an insert that held our pictures from our trip to Madison on Saturday:

Maddie, Emily, and Hailey got tickets to see Passion Pit, and I got to go along to drive.  We had so much fun hanging out in Madison all day.  I love walking around on State Street and shopping in all the little boutiques.  We ran across a shop filled-to-the-brim with prom dresses.  After a whole lot of coaxing, we got Emily to try on a couple for us.  She was hesitant to try any on because she is planning on going with Auntie in a couple of weeks.  We told her it would be okay to just try on a couple.  I loved seeing her model the dresses we picked out for her.  I can't wait to do it for real in March!

Another highlight of our day was dinner at Ella's, which is pretty much the coolest place, ever.  It was such a great day.  I'm so glad all my memories are already in the book!  I love this project!

Thanks for looking!

XO,

Vicki

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Project Life {February 11-17}

 Hi Friends!

Sorry for the lack of posts--things have been a little crazy around here, and Jack is home sick.  I can't really blame Jack for being behind with this layout, though, since it's from 2 weeks ago.  : )  I'm hoping to finish up last week's layout when I get back from taking Jack to the doctor.  In the meantime, here is the layout from February 11-17.  Lots of red, for obvious reasons.  :)
 We celebrated Valentine's Day by ordering pizza and eating it with the kids.  Perfect!  :)  On the 15th, we had Amy and Bob over for a romantic dinner, and we sent the kids out to eat together.  On Saturday, Emily and Raffi competed in the Science Olympiad, and Raffi's team took 3rd place!  She didn't get to stick around to collect her medal, though, she had to hurry home to get ready for the big Kings dance.  She invited her friend, Carlos, to go, and double-dated with Klara and her date.  Don't the girls look completely lovely?
Be sure to stop by later today to see last week's goodness!

Thanks for looking!

XO,

Vicki

Linking up with Jessica over at The Mom Creative.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What I Made Wednesday {Watercolor Kits}

 Hi Friends,

I dug out my watercolors again for this week's What I Made Wednesday*.  I have been having so much fun with them lately.  In fact, I've had so much fun that I decided to create a couple of watercolor kits as this week's project. I have two special people in my life who have both recently lost loved ones, and I thought they might enjoy spending some time doing a little painting.
 I used my own watercolors to create the banner I put on  the outside of the can.  Watercolors make everything look good--even simple polka dots.  Then, I wrote one my favorite Leigh Standley (Curly Girl) quotes along the top.  The quote says, "There are some people who bring a light so great to the world that even after they have gone, the light remains."
I tucked a handmade card (more watercolor polka dots) inside the can along with a set of paints, a couple of paint brushes, and a few mini canvases.
My hope is that the watercolor kits bring them a little bit of joy during this difficult time.  I know using my creative side always makes me feel better.

Have you created anything lately?  Leave me a link in the comments--I'd love to see!

XO,

Vicki

What I Made Wednesday is my attempt to create 52 projects in 2013, using items I already have on hand.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Homework {Flash}

 
 Hi Friends!

Tomorrow is my last photography class--already!  I have learned so much in the past 6 weeks.  I am no longer afraid to shoot in manual (hooray!).  I still have a long way to go, so don't be calling me to take your wedding photos just yet, but I've definitely made some progress.  This week was all about using flash, which I guess is super important, but after using only natural light for the first 5 weeks, I was kind of reluctant to flip on the flash.  Plus, Emily had a band concert last Tuesday night, so I had to leave class early, and I missed most of the lesson.  No worries, though, I just pretended I knew what I was doing.
 John told me he'd come along on my picture-taking adventure (yay!), so I took full advantage of the situation and led him to the antique mall.  I could spend hours just poking around in the antique mall, and I knew the wonky lighting would require a flash.  John actually made it all the way around the mall with me (what a trooper!).  I loved it when he pointed out things he knew I'd probably like to photograph, like the old street signs above.
 It was great to have him along, because I seriously couldn't tell if my flash was going off. Is that normal?  I'd take a picture and then have to glance at him for confirmation.
Apparently, using a flash changes all the rules about settings, because I had to fool around quite a bit to get good exposures with it on.
I guess like everything else photography-related, it just takes practice (although I'm sure that lecture I missed would have explained some of the mysteries).
 It might have also explained how to get rid of the light bouncing off the subject.  Try as I might, I couldn't figure it out.  I think I took 25 pictures of that cash register, just trying to get a good angle.
As always, going antiquing reminds me of my dad and all the good times we've shared together poking around in antiques stores over the years.  Hey, Dad, look what I found:
 It's cute, but definitely not as cute as the pink one.  I also spied this shake maker like the one we saw at Blackburn:
Too bad it was $125--without the cups!  One day...  : )

I'm looking forward to tomorrow's critique and having a chance to ask some questions.  We're also taking a field trip to our teacher's studio--fun!

Hooray for fun homework adventures with John!

XO,

Vicki

Friday, February 15, 2013

Currently


enjoying having John home again!
prepping tonight's big Valentine's dinner with Amy and Bob
thrilled to have a free weekend.  Seriously thrilled.
missing Breaking Bad.  Maddie and I finished all the previous seasons on Netflix.
looking forward to dog sitting for Money while Christy is away.
making homemade Ranch bread.
resisting the urge to go get a pedicure.  I know I can do it myself, but I love having it done for me.
writing more recommendations.  So. Many. Recommendations.
preparing to visit colleges with Emily.  Already?!?
eating .lots of spinach in everything.
loving the sunshine pouring through my windows.
craving Sourpatch Kids.  They are ridiculously addictive.

What's going on with you today?

XO,

Vicki

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Project Life {February 4-10}


Hi Friends!

Last week is in the book!  Of course, the highlight of the whole week came two hours before the week ended, which is when I picked John up from the airport.  It was so good to see his face again after 4 weeks!  Lots of pictures (including 2 of me--unheard of!) and not as much journaling this week.    

 Saturday was Boy's Sectionals, and we ended up taking 3rd--by .5 points.  Every race & dive counted!  We are sending 2 relays, 2 individual swims, and 2 divers to the state meet.
Last week my beloved Illini knocked off #1 ranked Indiana, which made me ridiculously happy, so I had to include it in my spread.  Go Illini!!

Love this project.  Love it!

XO,

Vicki

Monday, February 11, 2013

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Project Life {January 28-February 3}

 Hi Friends!

Here's all of last weeks' highlights in two pages.  I didn't plan it, but I'm kind of digging the red/black/white color pallet of this spread.  I used stuff from my stash, and a few cards from the Seafoam kit.  Last week was week three of John being in Russia and opening week of 12 Angry Jurors for Emily.  Saturday was the Boy's Swimming & Diving Conference meet.  Lots of big moments.  I love that this project lets me capture all the big and little moments of the week.
 I'm still practicing with my camera every chance I get, including at breakfast with the ladies.  The light was gorgeous in the restaurant, and Gayle was nice enough to let me play with her food and then take a picture (thanks, Gayle!).  I also started taking a few new vitamins and a pro-biotic last week, so I included a card from the health food store. (A few little moments).
I'm happy that all four of the kids made it in the book this week, even if the picture of Emily was only of her back!  : ) I've been so busy taking pictures of things, that I've neglected taking pictures of the kids.  I think it might be time for a photo session with the kids.

XO,

Vicki


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What I Made Wednesday {Watercolor Quote}


Hi Friends!

Welcome back to "What I Made Wednesday," my attempt at making 52 different craft projects in 2013, using materials from my stash.  Yesterday I spied this absolutely gorgeous (!) birthday party and was immediately inspired to break out my watercolors and do some painting. 
The quote is from one of my very favorite Dave Matthews Band songs, "You and Me".  It's a love song about running away together to the edge of the world and riding in the deep blue sea.  It's about believing that together we can do anything.
I used to listen to this song on repeat as I peddled my way through the back roads last summer.  The line, "And when the kids are old enough, we're going to teach them to fly" always made me choke up a bit.  Because, really?  As much as my heart clenches up at the thought of Emily heading off to college in a year and a half (and then Maddie...and then Jack), my biggest hope is that John and I have given them a strong foundation, a zest for life, and the belief that they are ready to fly on their own.

This canvas will always remind me of the time just before;  just before they started to fly.

XO,

Vicki


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Homework {Week 4}

 Hi Friends!

Here's what I'm turning in tonight for my photography class.  The assignment was simple:  5 properly exposed images of everyday items.  I loved this week's assignment!
 It didn't involve tripods or standing on a street corner in the dark.
 The light was so good yesterday.  It made taking these pictures super easy.




XO,

Vicki

PS Now that I see it all blown up, I think that colored pencil shot is slightly out of focus.  Bummer.

Monday, February 4, 2013

I Choose {February 2013}


Hi Friends!

And just like that, it's February 4th!  Um...wow!  January kind of flew by, which I guess was a good thing, since John was gone for most of it--crawling by at a snail's pace would have been worse, for sure.  A new month means new goals.  But first, here's a look at how I did in January:

In {January} I Choose to…
Unsubscribe from emails from stores.  (Less temptation &  impulse on-line buying)  I did fantastic with this.  And I now receive about 70% less e-mail.  Double bonus.  The only on-line purchase I did in January was for Project Life, and that was pre-planned.
No clothing, shoe, or unnecessary purchases in January.  (We really don’t need anything)  No joke:  within 4 1/2 minutes of posting this goal, Jack came up to me and showed me the condition of his gym shoes.  Seriously?  How do little boys wear out gym shoes so fast?!?  I tried to get him to wait until February, but had no success.  Wearing shoes with toes poking through is not encouraged in Wisconsin during January.  Total clothing/shoe/unnecessary purchases in January:  One.  (By the way--I almost blew this goal when I saw Ryan Gosling on the cover of People magazine in January.  I really wanted to make that unnecessary purchase.)
Go to the grocery store no more than 2x per week—(Less trips & excess buying each week). I was successful with this 3 out of 4 weeks in January.  Limiting my grocery store trips really makes a difference in my spending habits.
Try one new recipe from Maria’s book per week—(Less gluten)  I did well with the gluten this month, but only made one recipe specifically from Maria's book--Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins--so good!
No more than 2 hours of screen time per day, and none when everyone is home during the week. (Less wasted family time) Not even close.  I need to work on this.  
Arrive 5 minutes early to everything.  (Less being late)  Success!!!  I was only late for one appointment all month, and everyone else arrived later than me, so it didn't even count!!

In February, I Choose To...

Purge my craft room and donate things I know I will never use. 

Clean all my junk out of John's garage.  

Continue on the "no clothing or shoes" track.  We still don't need anything.  Seriously this time.

Make it 4/4 weeks with only 2 grocery store trips per week.

Plan 5 under $10 outings--one with John and one with each of the kids.

Okay, February--let's do this!

XO,

Vicki

PS  The "I Choose" graphic at the top is from Elise Cripe's class through Big Picture Classes.