mem oirs (mem'warz) 1. an autobiography 2. a record of events based on the writer's personal observation and knowledge

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


So... these were his 6 month photos. He turns ONE in just a few weeks.

I still remember this day, though. His big brown eyes were irresistable to shoot! :)

Love my sweet nephew!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tour de Photos-- First up, Lana!

Part of the reason I haven't consistently been blogging is because I was filling my free time with another thing I love-- photography.

The time has come (now that all is edited and stored) for me to share shots from the shoots I've done over the past 6 months. I'll post my favorites... not necessarily the favorites of those in the shots. :)

So buckle up, and prepare to set forth on a chronological journey of my portraiture I've done since I finished my class last spring (I blogged about that class here.) I'll put up several posts of photography over the next few weeks.

First up, my sweet niece Lana. Here's my favorite shots from her 2 year old photo shoot in June. Aren't her blonde curls and sweet smile irresistable? And she and her mama Shelle are so sweet together, too.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I adore you.

I really do adore this girl. And I was so excited to use the My Minds Eye "Lost and Found Two" line because it fit with my photos just perfectly.

This was my favorite layout using the products. You can see more projects I did with it at the Paper Pals Design Team blog!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Space to Make My Own

Yeah, I haven't been here lately... blogging has been pushed to the back burner after I added 30+ hours of work per week a few months ago. But I still think/act upon some crafty impulses and want to share them here!

I wanted to decorate my office. I found a Bazzill paper line that was just adorable and so I created a few items for the office.

Mod Podged some pattern paper onto canvases...

I dotted the red centers with Stickles and painted the sides of the canvas black too.

 Created a LOVE banner w/ photos of my family...

And add a few coordinating accessories... voila! A cozy, personalized office space.

And when I got my nameplate and biz card, it truly felt official! :)
Love my workspace, and love my job. Only downside: restricts my blogging time. :) I'll still try to visit once in awhile. So don't assume I'm gone!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Chore Charts

This is not my first chore chart.

I feel like I've tried a thousand "plans" and none have exactly worked.

But this chore chart is different: it's pretty likely to work (for us... but not necessarily for you).

Here's why. We've already been doing the chores for at least a year. They just haven't been charted until now. Mom just did lots of reminding, and my hopes are that my kids who can read (well, 2 of the 3) will read their reminders now that they're all prettied up and hanging on the wall!

 I think there's two reasons y'all are here looking at this post.

1. You are motivated to make a pretty chore chart. I'm all for papercrafting pretty, but even a pretty plan may not work. (Trust me, I've been making "plans" for at least 7 years now... and I'm just now feeling good about the current plan!)

2. You are motivated to find a plan that works for your family. I'll share mine and hope you can take something from it. But if it doesn't work for you, don't give up. Tweak it and try again!

First, the PRETTY details.

I used a dollar store poster board and cut it into three pieces for my three kids. (In hindsight, I'd pick a colored one instead of white next time). I used this as a great chance to use up some of my jinormous chipboard letters that were mismatched and big fat ribbon remnants that weren't suitable for scrapping. 
The clothespins were decorated by my girls w/ fabric, sequins, wooden hearts, and glass flat sided marbles (what are those things really called???).  They loved to participate in the project!
I printed the actual chore sections on colored paper and plan to make tweaks to the plan and re-print as necessary.
The purpose of the clothespins is simply to hold the stack of 7 days pages to the chart. But my original idea was to place them all on one side of the chart and as the kids completed tasks they could move them to the opposite side of the chart. Maybe that would work for you!
 And now, the actual PLAN and CHORES I have set up for my kids.

(Not sure if it's big enough for you to read, but I'll give you a general overview.)
Some tasks we've been doing for many years (i.e. brush teeth, pick out clothes, homework, backpack ready). This is just a reminder.

I have three sections: 1. Before School, 2. After School, and 3. Ready for school tomorrow? (i.e. just before bedtime).

Before school tasks are: breakfast, get dressed, shoes and backpack on, and brush teeth.

After school tasks are: homework, AWANA verses, 20 minutes of reading, piano practice (for Sadie) and 10 minute cleanup.

10 Minute Cleanup has been the most successful chore plan I've had over the years. Before the 10 minute clean up plan when I'd set specific chores, I felt like the things that really needed to get done were being neglected (i.e. the chore was dusting, yet the family room was two feet deep in toys, books and stuffed animals.) Now the kids just know that after dinner mom will assign a 10 minute cleanup to each child of stuff that NEEDS TO BE DONE. It has been glorious, people!!! (I have had to let go of how well a job gets done and just be pleased that they tried and are learning the discipline of helping out around the house.)

The big change for my charts here is that I've now assigned specific tasks back to the 10 minute cleanups (vacuum, sweep, tidy a room, wipe down bathroom, laundry, wash windows/mirrors, dust, trash and recycling). We'll test this plan for awhile to see how it works, but I may head back to an unspecific 10 minute cleanup each night if this doesn't truly help me in my housecleaning duties.

So, why do I have 7 pages versus the same plan for each day? I have also added in the "extras" of "pack your piano bag, gymnastics outfit, AWANA vest, etc" on the appropriate days based on our regular activities. I also give them a day off of chores on Wednesdays (see, I'm not a total slave driver! :)

There are also a few chores we rotate each day: 1. Feed Zeke (the guinea pig), get the mail, lead the dinner prayer, 2. Set the table, 3. Clear the table. This started w/ them fighting over who got to get the mail, so they each got two turns a week. Now they complain over who HAS to get the mail... but it still gets done because they're used to the task by now! :) Three kids x 2 days a week= 6 days. Mom gets day 7. For all three chores.

The Ready for School Tomorrow? section: Homework done, backpack ready, lunches prepared and outfit picked out.

What a long post! I didn't realize I had so much to say about it, and I also didn't realize so many of my friends were interested in how I make it work. I sincerely hope that SOMEHOW this inspires you and that you can make it work for your family. Come back and let me know!

So, what looks most appealing to you? Which element of this would work best for your family? Is there something new that you haven't considered as you've made your chore plans? I'd love to know!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Happy National Sugar Cookie Day!

It's National Sugar Cookie Day today! My very favorite cookie.

Twas no better reason to whip up a (double) batch of dough. But summer temps don't entice me to do baking.

So we may never make it past the dough stage... ;)

To see many lovely COMPLETED food products, visit the lovely Lisa's blog, The Kitchen Catwalk. She's got great foods (including lots of COOKIES) in creation from start to finish.

Enjoy a sugar cookie today! (or, um... at least the dough!)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Second Time is a Charm!

Okay, so I couldn't wait for "Wordless Wednesday" to be over... I gotta share!

My son just checked the mail and brought me what I have been waiting for... the July/August issue of Creating Keepsakes Magazine.

You got it too? Great! Go grab it and turn to page 65...

There's my layout! The second layout I've had published in CK. Second time's a charm, right?

I needed this good news today. I'm struggling. And I needed this boost to remind me that I have something of value to share with the world. At least the scrapbooking world. :)

Sending a shout out to the sweet niece of mine in the photo... Miss Mya! She's almost three now! You can see more about her and her family on their blog and you can read more about this layout in a past post here.  And thanks to Brea at Cye Photography for agreeing to let her portrait of Mya be published! Doesn't she do beautiful work?

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Final Assignment

My final Photography 101 assignment was a group photo. I was lucky enough to shoot a lovely family whose little girl you may recognize from a previous post. :)

Here's the assignment shot straight out of the camera. (All of my assignment shots have been posted here SOC--straight out of the camera. Anytime I take photos, I make edits to them prior to posting. These assignment shots are my only exception.)

And you can hear my audio comment from Candice by clicking HERE.

(P.S. Today is Tuesday. The last photo I took was almost a week ago. I've officially taken a break! I even scrapped a little last night... more to share later!)

Monday, May 30, 2011

In Memory

Today as I remember those who have served our country and gave the ultimate sacrifice, this image comes to mind.

A year ago on Memorial Day weekend I was in Saipan. I visited the American History Museum that has a great display of the story behind the Battle for the Marianas.

That day, this older gentleman was intently studying the facts. Standing there in his hawaiian print shirt with nice tanned skin... likely on vacation just like me.

Oh how I wish I'd asked him his story. I'm assuming he is a veteran. His age, interest in the artifacts and even body language told me he had a history with our military.

Was that picture on the wall his plane? Did he fight against the Japanese during that bloody battle? Was the man pictured at the right a friend he knew? Or perhaps it's a picture of him???

I guess I'll never know. But just seeing him there and having this image from that day makes me so grateful for what the american soldiers did for us then in that one battle.

And that was only one battle. The lives lost in all military situations where we had brave men and women fighting for our freedom is unspeakable. But my gratitude for them all is neverending.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Fave-- three year olds in tutus

Here are my favorite shots from a recent photo session. Isn't this little sweet pea just the cutest? You can read more about her and her family here on her mom's blog.

Hopefully you'll be seeing more than just my photos here soon. I gotta put down my camera-- I'm not getting anything else done!!! :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lesson Three: Portraiture 101

This last week's portraiture assignment was to photograph someone from a specific age group. I chose children-- partly because I had a perfect model in mind! :)

My sweet middle child offered to have her picture taken... a couple hundred times. :) I got some really fun shots of Allison and picked the following shot to turn in for my assignment:

And if you're interested, you can listen to to what Candice has to say about the shot here.

And, I have to share a few more of my favorites here too because like I said, we took hundreds! :) The shot above is SOC (straight out of the camera), and the ones below I edited in Photoshop Elements.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Blogroll Surprise

So, I was scrolling along through the blogs I follow this a.m. and look what I found HERE...

Looks familiar! :)

I'm grateful to be featured on the Echo Park blog. I just adore their products! Thanks, Echo Park, for making some incredible products to work with!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lesson Two: Portraiture 101

Remember my Friday Fave Photo of Sadie? It was for my assignment for my portraiture class. Just last night Candice Stringham commented on my photo for the side lighting assignment in class. I actually got a better review than I expected!

If you're interested, you can hear what she said about my photo here.

And if you care, here's the technical info on the shot:

This is my 10 year old, Sadie. We used a white posterboard for a reflector. I shot in aperture priority.

Camera: Nikon D40
Shutter speed: 1/200
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 40 mm (35 mm equiv. 60 mm)
ISO: 1600
WB: Auto

Did I mention I love this class and I'm so excited to learn more and more about photography? ;)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Fave-- 10 year old photo

 We are learning how to use window lighting in Portraiture 101 this week. I haven't gotten any recent good shots of my sweet Sadie, so I asked her to be my model. :) She did a great job!

Sweet girl-- when she would smile, her eyes would close! :) We decided to do a more serious pose so that we could see her beautiful brown eyes.

And speaking of eyes, we took off her glasses, too! Doesn't she look different? She couldn't focus on me or her left eye would have been crossed. Here's a shot w/ her glasses on:
It definitely looks like her! But the reflection in her glasses practically shows our whole neighborhood. :) I decided to focus (no pun intented) on the lighting portion of our assignment and leave reflections in glasses for more advanced lessons!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011