JOURNALING: dec. 11 & 12: For a while I thought it might never stop snowing, it showed no signs of letting up. The forecast predicted 12-15” of snow originally, but it wound up being 22-inches by the time Sunday morning arrived. The news channels dubbed it “The Blizzard of 2010” which was an easy bet since there are only three weeks left in the year. It took the snowplows three days to get everyone plowed out – I haven’t seen a storm like this since I was a kid. | The relentless wind drove a snowdrift almost 5-feet high right up to our living room window, which makes turning on the Christmas decorations rather pointless. We decided to leave it there for a few days so Nicholas can be the one to knock it down. | Tom announced that the snowblower has officially paid for itself with this one snowfall, saving him from having a coronary incident while trying to shovel out the end of the driveway after the plow went through. Any lingering remorse we may have had about purchasing it (which wasn’t much!) was alleviated this weekend.
MATERIALS: Home for the Holidays by Catrine Hallingstad; Fonts are Mr. Sheffield, Orator and Neutraface 2.
About This Project
A Year of Weekends is an ongoing album project that embodies my desire to stay grounded in the everyday unsung moments that make up the weekends of my life while also giving me a playground to express myself through design and storytelling – without any pressure to be poignant or a trendsetter. My goal is to always design these pages around products I already own or designed myself, which allows me to revisit some of my favorite kits and products and either use items for the first time or see previously used products in a whole new light. Sometimes the pages will be irreverent, other times they’ll be serious or emotional, but all of them are created in celebration of the extraordinarily ordinary moments that fill the 48 hours of each weekend.
Feel free to join in and post links to your own pages in the comments. Don’t worry about what products you use, all stories are welcome.
I consider myself something of a bibliophile, having always had a burning desire to acquire piles and piles of books. Books to read right now, books to read “someday”, books I think other people might like – even books with pretty covers. I’m the sort of person who can’t go to the library and just check out one book. I always check out at least three, and then only get a chance to read one. But there’s comfort in walking out those doors with a nice, substantial armload of books.
About two years ago I got my hands on a Sony eReader (I even scrapped it here) because our bookshelves began to runneth over, and also because I’m impatient and become intrigued with a book on a whim and must have it right! now! So the eReader has done nothing to curb my obsession with acquiring books – but it has saved our bookshelves from collapsing under the pressure of them. Books are the one thing that I tell Nicholas I will always buy for him – he doesn’t have to save up his allowance or beg and plead. When he mentions a book that he wants we’re in the car and on the way to Borders. He’s nearing the age where I’m toying with the idea of an eReader of his own. Between the two of us, our “digital” bookshelves will be awe-inspiring.
We’re book lovers. How about you and your little ones?
Page Turner Giveaway
To enter for your chance to win this digital kit, simply leave a comment below by Wednesday, December 15th at 11:59pm (midnight) EST. You can improve your odds of winning by posting about this giveaway on Twitter, on Facebook, on your blog, on the phone with your mom or in line at the supermarket. Just make sure you come back here and post links in the comments section (please post as a new comment each time) so every entry counts towards your chances to win.
I will announce the winner on my blog and in my newsletter on Thursday, December 16th – with the debut of Page Turner.
I had some time this weekend to sit down and create a few more pages for my 12 Days Holiday Album. This time I wanted to document what has become a tradition in our house – the Lego Advent calendar. I don’t think it would feel like Christmas without it at this point.
I used the “Day 11” pages from my 12 Days Template Album because I had six photos to showcase and quite a bit of journaling I wanted to do. Mixing and matching is the name of the game. This is the design out of the box:
I didn’t modify much at all this time, other than to drag the “2” ornament from the original “2” template onto my page and remove the journaling line (I never did color well inside the lines).
This is the epitome of keeping it simple, the majority of my time on this two-page spread was actually spent deciding which photos to use and then writing out my story. Another holiday tradition documented in under an hour.
MATERIALS: Templates from 12 Days Template Album, Papers from Pear Tree, tag and “some assembly required” word art from Creator, by One Little Bird; 24 stamp from P365 Calendar by ON Designs (retired); Fonts are Neutraface Slab and Neutraface 2 by House Industries.
About This Project
The 12 Days Holiday Album is a compilation of holiday traditions and special moments that paint the picture of our holiday season as it happens. Because December is a busy time of year. I designed a template album for my project well in advance so that when I flipped the calendar over to December I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed with the idea of getting started, this way I can focus my time and attention on choosing the photos + words that best document our Christmas 2010.
Feel free to join in and post links to your own pages in the comments or in the One Little Bird Flickr Pool.
… for the two pounds of post-wedding weight I managed to lose by revisiting an old friend: Special K Blueberry. When I make myself eat breakfast I make better food choices all day, and if you put the word “blueberry” on any product I’ll buy it.
… for Holiday! Trees! in my office! They make me feel as though I’m working in a wonderland. I wish I could leave them up all year, although then they wouldn’t feel quite so special.
… for holiday ornaments given to me as gifts over the years, which remind me every year to touch base with old friends that I have fallen out of touch with.
… for the availability of two-day shipping on the holiday photo cards I meant to order all week and still haven’t sent in. Today will be the day!
… for a cold winter morning exactly 10-years ago, when I looked into the eyes of my baby boy for the first time and it gave rise to the fiercest swell of emotion I have ever felt – a feeling that has shaped every single day of my life since.
The boy is officially turning 10 years old this coming weekend, but since he’ll be at his dad’s house we’re celebrating tonight. The impending double-digits are bittersweet for me. I’m one of the (seemingly) rare mothers who enjoys the school-age stage of parenting way more than I ever enjoyed the baby or toddler stages. That’s not to say that I wish away his childhood, but I’m not crying into the birthday cake icing either, if you know what I’m saying.
This particular jump into the double-digits affected me a little bit, though, and it came completely out of the blue. It could be because I realize he’s closer to being a legal adult now than he is to the day he was born. It could also be because at (almost) 10 years old he’s decided to start exercising his right to stay home alone rather than run to the store with me sometimes. Or maybe it’s that I know that “teenage boy body odor” isn’t long on the horizon. I’ve heard the tales.
Nevertheless, tonight we celebrated his still odor-free advancement into the double-digits – and he’s just like his mom in that he’ll take a pan of gooey, chocolatey brownies any day over a big fancy birthday cake. This is one of the tell-tale signs that we share all the DNA that matters.
These aren’t just any old brownies. In the past they were. In the past they were just any old brownies. Now, though, we make spectacular brownies – and I owe it all to digital scrapbooking because on one fateful day back in April of 2009, Katrina of Tiny Toes Designs posted a recipe for these brownies in a thread at My Scrapbook Art and my pants have never fit the same since.
If you are a brownie lover like we are, I urge you to make these and then tell me that you could ever make a boxed mix of brownies again. They’re not any more difficult than preparing a box mix – it’s just that instead of a big mixing bowl you use a saucepan on a stove, where you get to witness chocolatey goodness in the making. Why would you want lumpy, grainy brownie batter when you could have rich, molten chocolate lava batter?
Don’t you want to be good to yourself? Don’t you deserve this? Of course you do. You owe it to yourself.
While they’re still warm from the oven you ice them. Don’t even think about skipping the icing because it’s the best part of this whole experience.
It’s a thin liquid chocolate that spreads across the surface of the still warm brownies to create this glass-like layer of chocolate awesomeness.
So when you cut into them, the icing runs all down the sides screaming “Get out your stretchy pants!!” because that’s exactly what you’re going to need.
And that’s exactly what birthdays are all about.
Plus the obligatory Todd Shot – the “Who Wore It Best” Edition:
Car Wash Brownies
(note: I have no idea why they’re called Car Wash Brownies but I don’t even need to know…)
1 cup margarine
4 Tbsp cocoa
1 cup water
2 cups flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
½ cup sour milk (add lemon juice)
2 cups sugar
½ cup margarine
¼ cup milk
4 Tbsp cocoa
2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350°F
Mix in a pot the margarine, cocoa and water, bringing to a boil. Remove from heat and add flour, salt, and baking soda. Stir until combined. Add milk, sugar and eggs last. Mix well and pour into 9×13 pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until it tests done.
Bring margarine, milk and cocoa to a boil. Take off stove, add icing sugar. Stir until combined add vanilla. Mix with beaters until smooth, then pour over lukewarm brownies.