We Love Clubhouses

Cody and Wyatt have always loved to make clubhouses anywhere they can find to tuck a little hideout in our house. A couple of nights ago, one of Wyatt’s blankets from the top bunk was hanging down a bit in front of Cody’s lower bunk. Cody saw it and immediately wanted a whole blanket to create a fort in his bed. I hung up a big beach towel and Cody was pleased as could be. Well, then Wyatt saw it and wanted his own fort in the top bunk. Ok… so I grabbed another blanket and tucked it into his book shelves and propped some pillows up in the corners so he could actually breathe in there. They both had their lights on to read books before going to sleep and I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to snap a picture. I even broke out my tripod since it was so dark and I didn’t want to use my flash.

Excuse the mess… children actually play in here! J


Tree Pictures

I’ve gotten the itch to dive into my photography skills again lately and I’ve seen some really great tree pictures around and took the time over the last couple of days to play around in full manual mode to learn how to get a good bokeh shot of my tree lights and then also how to get sparkly lights.  Here are some of my favorites:


and my plant and decked out for Christmas too:

iPhone Cover

Anyone that knows me, knows that I love digital scrapbooking.  I discovered it in May 2006 and it literally changed my life.  I would stay up until all hours of the night learning how to do it and would get up early to work on a page for a just a few minutes before work.  I learned so much because I became a member of a couple of forums with other digital scrapbookers.  I’ve “met” some amazing people on these forums.  Now, my main hang out is The Lily Pad.  I love that forum.  The people there are amazing scrapbookers, but there are also a bunch of avid readers there and recently we’ve started a book club amongst ourselves.  There are also so many amazing creative and craft girls over there.  People are constantly posting cool pictures of craft projects and ideas and then I can’t get them out of my head until I make them myself.  A couple weeks ago, someone posted a felt stitched owl made into an iPhone cover and I immediately fell in love with it.

Saturday after we went to the beach, we stopped in our local 5 and dime store that has a decent little craft section.  They had a rack of felt and on a whim I decided to buy some colors and give that owl a try.  I needed one piece of regular fabric for my owl, so I ran out to Joanns after the boys were in bed.  I found exactly what I wanted in the clearance section.  Bonus!  I came home, fired up Photoshop and set to work on a pattern.  I printed my pattern and then started tracing onto the felt.  I cut the pieces out tacked them together with a little Alene’s tacky glue and then looked up the blanket stitch on the internet.  I work on it while watching TV with my husband and I just couldn’t stop until it was finished.  I finally finished it at 1:20 in the morning.  Whoops!  I guess it’s a good thing I’m a night owl…. pun intended.  🙂  Anyway, this is the adorable iPhone cover I came up with.  I bought some more felt tonight to make another one… pictures to follow.

If you are interested in the pattern that I made, you can download it HERE.

You need to stitch all of the little pieces onto the front piece first.  Leave the stitching along the outer edge of the wings off, until you stitch the front to the back.  Make sure the left wing goes on first and then the right.  The pattern for the left wing is jagged and the one side is not mean to show.

I’d loved to hear if you make one for yourself!

The Vacation Pages Continue

Last week, was officially dubbed “Date Week” for James and I.  James’ parents took the boys up to her trailer at a private campground last week, so we had the whole WEEK to ourselves.  My first inclination was to take the afternoons off of work so I could scrapbook from noon until midnight, but he said I wasn’t allowed.  He told me I could do that any day of the week that I wanted and he’d take the boys to the beach so I could scrap in peace and quiet.  So, instead, we went out almost every single night.  We didn’t even have to call for a sitter.  Woo-hoo!

Monday night we went to Silver Beach Pizza and were able to order our favorite BBQ chicken pizza without having to consider whether the kids would eat it or not… for the record, they wouldn’t have.  We each had a Schooner of Oberon and just chilled.  After dinner we walked the pier and just sat there until sunset.  It was kind of a weird feeling.  I kept thinking we had to hurry home to get the kids to bed.  After the sunset, we walked up to the bluff and watched the kids play in the fountain until they turned it off at 10:00.

Tuesday we met some friends at El Cozumel, a delicious Mexican place just up the street from us for pitchers of Margaritas.  I told James on Monday night that I was a little worried about going to the Jimmy Buffett concert on Saturday because I haven’t been drinking much this summer and I was worried I’d pass out after two beers that day!  So then I declared that I needed some training before Saturday.  Ha ha!  I was mostly joking.  Wednesday, James went golfing and I did get to scrap for a good portion of the day (took the afternoon off work) and finished 9 pages.  Thursday night we went to dinner (again) at Wheatberry with another couple from work.  Wheatberry is about a half an hour away and their specialty is smoked and slow cooked meats.  I had a pulled pork sandwich and it was delicious.  We had some wine with dinner and then met another friend at a different bar/restaurant and had a few more beverages.  That was a late night!  Friday night James’ Sister and Boyfriend came into town and so did my friend Colleen from college and one of her friends.  We had a fire on the patio that night and just chatted.  Saturday was the big Jimmy Buffett bus trip to Chicago and was a very fun day.  I’ll save that rambling for another post.  🙂  I told James that I was going to need a vacation day to get over our mini-vacation of Date Week.  It was really nice to have so much time to spend together alone, but I sure was happy to see my boys come home on Sunday again.

Here are some of the pages that I was able to finish on Wednesday.  I’ve rambled WAY more than I intended to, so I’ll do half today and the rest tomorrow:

I have decided that since I took so many pictures with my new camera and since I can’t stand not using as many as possible, I’m doing a lot of big pictures, blocked onto pages instead of making each page so fancy and time consuming.  I really like that way they are turning out too!


I am always amazed with people who not only take great pictures but take the time to organize them and pick out the best ones AND process them AND post them online.  I’m lucky that I had time to download all of my vacation pictures.  I suppose I do fairly well at organizing them, but instead of post processing them and posting just my pictures online I always jump right into scrapbooking my pictures and the end result is that I never take the time to share just my pictures anymore.  SO, after that long rambling sentence, I decided to share at least this one picture because I love it.  It makes me very happy that I finally broke down and decided to get a new camera.  This new camera is so much sharper than my old one and I really like the colors I get with this camera too (A Nikon 3100).

I took the afternoon off work today.  My boys are enjoying a week with their Grandparents at their long-term campground.  I decided to use one afternoon and night to work on scrapbooking our vacation some more.  So far I’ve completed six pages in eight hours.  That’s pretty good for me these days!  Back to work for me!

More Vacation Pages

I finished a few more scrapbook pages from our vacation over the last few days.  I’ve been trying to keep my mojo going by doing one page each night after the kiddos are in bed.  Maybe I’ll finish scrapping this vacation before I forget all the details this time.  The last batch of pictures were all from just the trip to the U.P.  These are first night in the campground (fishing and the amazing sunset over the river) and then our trip to see the Lower Falls of Tahquamenon.  Enjoy!

I’m still having a little trouble figuring out how to display the proper credits for my layouts.  I’m adding the information into the description of each page, but that isn’t showing up anywhere, so I really need to work on figuring that out…

Back from Vacation!

We successfully completed another 4th of July vacation with my Sister’s family.  Last year we went to Niagara Falls.  That was our first long distance car trip with all of our kids and I was a little nervous about it but they did great.  So without hesitation we decided to drive up to the U.P.  We spent three night in Tahquamenon Falls State Park (Rivermouth Campground) and then we moved to Germfask near Seney at the Northland Outfitters Campground for three nights.  At the second campground we had two small cabins and I was very grateful to not have to set up camp a second time and more importantly, I was thrilled to have a place to hide from the bugs.  They were awful in both places.  But thankfully that was the only downside to our trip.  Everything else was great and we did some really fun things and saw lots of gorgeous nature landscapes and critters and animals.

James has taken the boys to a Father/Son camping weekend this weekend so I was able to get working on my scrapbook pages already for this trip.   I’ve scrapped five pages already and that hasn’t even gotten us to our first destination!  Could be because I had a new camera for this trip.  I took 2,507 pictures.  Yeah, it could take awhile to scrap even just the best ones!  But, here they are:

Here’s a bigger picture of the texts shown in this layout:

I’m hoping to get a lot more done today, but the boys and James will be home in just a few hours, so that’s probably not going to happen.