Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bran's Adventures in Scrap Efficiency

How much are you really spending per page you make? A question I had to face a few months ago. While I love to scrappy shop, how can I justify my hobby? Yes I am creating priceless memories of our lives, but can I justify all of those cute papers, buttons, badges, stamps? My goal is to be scrap efficient. I want to challenge myself to get the most out of my kits that I purchase at Studio Calico so I am setting a minimum goal of 4 layouts per kit and add-on each month Starting with 35mm. So you can see the breakdown, I get my main kit for $29.50 because I am a subscriber. This month so far I have created 5 Layouts with my main kit. That breaks down to about $6.00 per page. To me that is a good price per page. I want to work my way down to $3.00 dollars a page. That would be 10 Layouts or 5 layouts and 10 cards using each kit.

On another note there are lines from companies like October Afternoon that I must total and figure out how to get the most out each collection. Same thing with Collections like, Abroad, Take Note, HeyDay, and more from Studio Calico. I also have my supplies list for inks, glue, ect that I separate from these totals.

Want to join me for a free accountability challenge? I will create the templates from my layouts and post them throughout the week for free. I will also keep a running tally of how many layouts per kit or collection once a week. When I get to the end I will follow scrappyjedi's "use your scraps" series to get use out of the rest of those small paper scraps. Sound Like fun? If you participate link up your layouts here :) Here are 5 LO's today to get you going. :)




Cheers!
Bran

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer Bucket List and a LO

I have been keeping up with my blogs lately, but I somehow missed one of Ali Edwards posts. In this post she has created a summer manifesto of things that she and her family wanted to get done. I must say brilliant and why hadn't I done this sooner. It is a great way to get out and see the town and fulfill everyone's addition to the list. Here is our list.
1. Go to the Library every weekend big boy is home.
2. Go to the Park every weekend big boy is home.
3. Go swimming with family.
4. Go to Cocoa Beach to watch the fireworks.
5. Visit with hubby's family throughout the summer.
6. Big boy have a successful summer reading camp and pass test.
7. Go to Legoland.
8. Visit 3 new gardens in Central Florida
9. Visit the art Museum, History Museum, and Science Center.
10. Take Deklan to MOSI in Tampa.
11. Try to go to St. Augustine
12. Go down to Largo and visit Grandparents.
13. Have Backyard picnics.
14. Play lots everyday.

Well, that is about the sum of the list so far. I think it is a healthy list and a fun Summer Album to create :).

I also finished my LO yesterday and took pictures this morning. The funny thing is that I was inspired by a picture I saw on Pinterest, and I have seen so many similar ideas on pages. All very brilliant and beautiful to look at.

This was such a fun page to put together and my first time trying this type of technique. I had all of my circles punched the day I got my kit from SC this month, but than life happened and it took a while to get back to this page. I am happy with how this page turned out. I think giving my self permission to be myself and not so into everyone else's techniques really helped free my scrappy mojo this weekend. I have tons of ideas that I am putting in my sketchbook. :)
Cheers!
Bran

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

35mm and Brownie...

are such fun kits to work with. I have created a total of 5 layouts with 35mm and 2 with Brownie and I have more I want to do. It took me a while to find my mojo this month to scrap, just trying to get through my Business Law class, which I passed and wont have to take again...ever...ever. I also dropped my hubby off this morning and this marks the beginning of a year and odd months countdown to his return. In other news, well it is quiet so I will just share my newest layouts using these fantastic Studio Calico Kits.




The top 4 are from 35mm
This is from Brownie and I have been working on another one for a month lol, it is almost finished but it is wet and rainy outside too bad for pictures.
Have a great day!
Bran

Monday, May 28, 2012

Remember on this Memorial Day...

I took this photo 05.19.12 on the way home from Busch Garden
Happy Memorial day. Thank you to all who have kept me safe and kept my freedoms intact. I urge you to look past all of the Memorial day sales and remember the history that is behind Memorial day. The day began as a way to remember those who fell in the Union many years ago. It has grown to encompass all of our servicemen and women who have fallen in service. I think it is forgotten that this is a day to reflect not catch the biggest sale. I ask how would you feel if we had huge blowout sales on September 11th? All I ask is that you remember...
Cheers!
Bran

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Just some Layouts on this rainy day!

What a day, my heart is heavy and sad. I love rain but today the rain reminds me of the sadness I found outside this morning. The 3rd kitty that was with mama outside, that I couldn't catch passed on. It makes me feel so many emotions and love on the other two babies who are recovering well. I realized that it was nearly the end of the month and I had not scrapped a single Layout with my 35mm kit from Studio Calico. Oops! Well, I remedied that and I am working on another. I also have a layout with a picture from Easter of my two boys. On a final thought Happy Memorial Day to everyone who celebrates with me. To all of our service men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for my freedom, thank you.
Page from Easter

Page using 35mm kit from Studio Calico


Cheers!
Bran

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Catch up!

I have been a busy lady over the past few weeks between school, family, and other activities. I just wanted to share an outfit that I actually sewed! I recently purchased a clearance pair of red sandal wedges from Urban Outfitters and wanted some fun shorts and summer top to go with them. I purchased Iris from Colette Patterns and got the digital version. I also went through my stash and found a simplicity top that I liked. I decided because I don't have enough time (enter sarcasm here) that I would sew this in a nice challenging gauze like fabric and a red gabardine for the shorts. I love them, but I will go down a size on both patterns for they were just a bit generous or I lost weight magically overnight :) Anyways I am please with the look. We also have taken on two baby kitties, been to Busch Gardens for our military free day, been to boat races on the beach, and a Bon Voyage party today for my hubby. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the past two weeks. :)












Cheers!
Bran

Friday, May 25, 2012

BYH-May-Bran's edition



Stephanie Howell is one blog I read avidly. I think it is her real sense of heart that truly captures me. I like to read about other military wives and how they march through life with their families. On those tough days it is a relief to find that other women have felt like I do. So she blogs from her heart and has encouraged many others to do so. In a way that does not criticize the individual, but allows them to really say what is on their mind. It has been a tough few months here at the Layton home and I have a few things that I want to release.

1. I have recently begun to realize that I have truly introverted away from social contact. It was not until 2 weeks ago when our family went to meet my brother-in-law and his family after almost 2 years of marriage. Granted my husband was deployed a week after we were married and their were other circumstances involved. I just feel that so much time was wasted and had I known them sooner I might not have retreated so far into my cave.

2. Last weekend I made amends with my sister-in-law, I am so happy, there was a lot involved but all it really comes down to is family is what matters and life is too short to not love them regardless. I had no idea that this caused me so much anger inside. It was like the biggest, thickest, dark cloud was lifted from my shoulders and this week life is looking clearer.

3. My hubby leaves on Tuesday for AT and training for a month, he will make a short rendezvous home for a week before leaving for a year. We have had some tough moments, where as he is much younger than I and is still trying understand the role he took on when we got married. We spent a long few months not even sure where we were heading. I never gave up, I kept helping him through a great amount of emotional turmoil he carried inside. I was afraid I lost my husband forever, he was just not the same when he came home from mission. Now we are better than ever.

4. I spent a week in the hospital last month over a nerve condition in my Bracheal Plexus (the spot in between your neck and shoulder). I am not 100% as I found out when I went canoeing. I don't know what happened, but the nerves still act up from time to time, but thankfully not as bad. I may be selfish and I never spoke a word of this to my parents, but I was a little hurt they never came to visit me. I know the hospital harbors painful memories of my older brother and my mom's near death experience when giving birth to my brother. Being home however, I know that it was ok that they did not come to see me, and I feel guilty for feeling that selfish, like I needed to be the center of attention.

5. As a mom, I know that my family will always come first, but I realized in the hospital, that I craved attention in the lonely hours between procedures. I realized that I was not doing much for me anymore and I was blaming it on other people. I know that my happiness is created by me and so I have plans to take mommy time. Painting my nails, exercising more, reading leisurely.

6. As often as I say I have too much on my plate. I always seem to keep it full...I am not certain if I crave this busy cycle or not. Last year, I fell so deep into depression after the baby, that I just wanted to give up on me, my school, my small business, my photography, it took a lot to pull me back. I now know that I had post par tum depression that was offset before the baby was born. I had a baby shower and all of the guest who responded that they were coming did not come at all. After that, I felt so lonely. When the baby was born my husband left to finish his mission. I got through the day-to-day but felt so utterly alone. Back then I could not see how to get out of it, because that depression really makes it hard to be positive. I am ok now and am ready.

7. I hate business law...I love being challenged, but I do not like being nit picked in everything I write. I have spent the entire year being taught to write my papers in one style, that when the instructor of my previous class red line my papers, I was just done. I found through communicating with my peers I was not the only one. I also felt so overwhelmed with all of the material reading for the class, not a 6 week course by far. I am still waiting for my final grade for my paper. I am so scared of failing that paper and having to retake that class again, I just don't have it in me. I feel inspired by my new class, but the last class had me doubting why I was even in college for my master's degree. I know it is not meant to be easy, but wow, with everything going on in my life, it sucked the life, creativity, and desire to do other stuff right out of me.

8. Let us talk about my frustration over the FCAT, a standardized test that can decide if children should advance or stay back and is totally disregarded by colleges. I spent the last half of the school year working with my oldest boy on how to read, think, and respond to the reading portion of this test. He was so excited that he felt he passed, only to be told he failed. This means he has 2 possible chances to pass. I gave him a mock test last night to prep for today and discovered his undoing. The boy wrote so sloppy I could barely read the written portions and he improvised on his spelling in the word jumbles instead of using up the letters. I just hope we can turn this around, because he was in tears yesterday and felt like a big failure. Thanks FCAT, for changing the aspect of the test each year so that you cannot set accurate benchmarks. Thank you for teaching our kids to feel lower about themselves, because of your testing. Mind you I took the mock test for 3rd grade and the questions were from the 5th grade FCAT from the previous year...Still mad about this.

9. I want to scrap...I have just been so caught up in how technical everyone's pages are and beautiful that I lost the reason I was scrapping...I went back to my digital roots and realized I am a pretty clean paged scrapper. I like neutral backgrounds, lots of space, with a minimalist approach, I love my color pops and fun elements, but I really need to get back to me in my physical pages. I also wanted to to PL this year, but I got so behind on it before I felt like I could get going. So, I am doing what I call "Summer Life" in which I scrap just like PL, but more involved on our summer experience. I get so caught up in what everyone else is doing that I forget, my schedule is limited and I already have a bunch on my plate.

10. I have many new focuses and plans that I want to try out in all aspects of my life...I am guilty of letting the laundry pile high because I hate laundry...I also get upset when the house is messier than it needs to be and I get upset with everyone for not helping out. I then realize that I am not asking them to help out, just expecting them too. So I am working on a new family chore system, which will be important when hubby leaves. I also have other ideas up my sleeve for the family.

Well, this is about the sum of it. These have been the biggest things on my mind and in my heart and I feel better that they are out there and I have let them go. I feel lighter and freer and I have to remember I am the change I wish to see...
Cheers!
Bran

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My "Pieces of Me" Class Kit

Two Peas in a Bucket and Studio Calico joined up for a Class in June over at 2peas called "Pieces of Me" I loved my "Happy Little Moments" class with Maggie and really wanted to join in the fun. Money was really tight last month and I had to behave, but that did not stop me from shopping...my stash...that is :) There are still kits available and hurry because the class starts June 1st! Need a little inspiration? :) Here is what I put together from my own stash and I can't wait to get started!!
The Whole Sha-bang!

Word stickers, buttons, and alphas oh my!

Brads, wood veneers, and punched shapes

Washi, just a small assortment from my growing stash...Washi anonymous is where I am heading :)

Various tags, string, and glassine bags I have saved from product

Look at those little hanger paper clips giggle and badges from a previous kit
I am working on the photographs I want in my album, have to decide on just what pieces I want to find :)
Cheers!
Bran

Monday, May 14, 2012

Belated Mother's Day

Hoping all you wonderful mom's had a beautiful Mother's day! I enjoyed a nice weekend at Wekiva Falls Saturday and time with my family Sunday. I met my brother-in-law and his family for the first time Saturday and we had a blast! My big boys was with his dad so we will have to visit the falls again this summer :). My little boy went canoeing for the first time! Loved the springs and swimming and being helped to jump in the water. I have all of my pictures prepped for a mini album I am making for the special day. Here are just a few of my favorite pictures!
Hello




Jump!

Hubby

Hubby and Baby

My nieces

Bye Bye!
Cheers!
Bran

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Getting Messy Class Post 1

Hello and good Wednesday morning fellow enthusiast. Today I will be sharing what I have been working on for my Get Messy Class over at Studio Calico (Linked to the gallery over there). Each month we have the option to take a class at a really good price and this one is fantastic. If you ever get the chance to take a class by Celine Navarro you must!!! I have learned a large new arsenal of techniques already and I am just beginning! Here is what I have been up to so far. I started with my front and back cover to my album and worked on a good portion of the lined papers that came in the album from October Afternoon's "9 to 5". However there I still see the class kit available with the album in it at SC. With a slew of oranges, yellows, reds, pinks, and shine Mister Huey's, gesso, modeling paste, my heating gun, stamps, craft mat, chalk inks, and stencils I got messy!  Enjoy!
Front and Back Covers respectively

Front cover

Back cover

I used the modeling paste on this page a pencil eraser and a butter knife to pull of the affects

A closer look

sharing a technique and my favorite Studio Calico Background stamp from last months add-on

Using SC's bubble mask 

using a stencil from TCW and new stamps from SC for PL

Using a stamp from one of the newest SC lines
Well, that is it for now, I am off to get ready to go visit with my mom.
Cheers!
Bran