Saturday, April 30, 2011

Creativity and the art of hatching a new idea

A few weeks ago, I put my big wish out into the world through this blog post.

Since then, my brain has been doing funny things.

I started thinking about what that would really be like to have my big wild dream come true.  I started thinking about how I can create a space for creativity now vs. something that only lives in imagination.

I've started thinking about the kind of space, conversations, happenings I would want in that space.  The kind of people I would want to invite in.  The pictures change.  The faces morph.  But the daydreams are delicious.  Intoxicating.  Calling to me.

I have an idea.  It's been inspired by several, very small, barely noticeable situations, conversations and settings.  I believe in my idea.  I think it's good.  It's something I can do now.  It's something I can play with and it's something that could live in the real world instead of my imagination.  It gets me a step closer....

I took out a journal tonight that has sat empty on a shelf for probably 9 years.  I filled up the first 8 pages with ideas for this thing I am thinking...this dream I am dreaming.  I think the ideas are good.  They came in a blink - fast, easy - just like a great painting.  I know what my next steps are and I'm so, so, so excited to take them!!

Monday, April 25, 2011


Joy Mandala Necklace from Artasana's Etsy Shop
We seem to have lost our camera battery charger, and this wouldn't be a huge deal if it weren't for the fact that our camera battery is dead.  I borrowed the teenager's over the weekend, but she has since squirreled it back downstairs so she can take her daily allotment of self portraits.

I wanted to take a picture.  My hands were purple and red and pink and white and black.  There is a canvas in the paint room with the same colors.  And a picture frame.

I painted tonight which is something I really just don't do enough of.  No music, no noise, just me and paint and water and canvas.

I wanted proof that I did it.

But the joy and peace I feel will have to suffice for now.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Our Easter

 This has been one of the most lovely days I've had in a long time.  As I write this, the sun is streaming in the windows, the iPod is on shuffle playing a great mix of songs, Heather is curled up on the couch reading a magazine, Felicia has been in the kitchen making a coconut creme pie and Emily is playing with the things she received in her Easter basket.
And me?  Well, I made a big breakfast for the family, started dinner and have just enjoyed watching the girls play, blowing bubbles and generally taking it easy. 
It's been quiet.  It's been peaceful.  Everyone is home and right now, I wouldn't want it any other way.
I hope your holiday is just as beautiful.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Grace Sterling Silver Pendant from Fumiye's Etsy Shop
Years ago, I fell in love with two singer/songwriters, Don Conoscenti and Christopher Williams. I love both of these men for different reasons, but they are both amazing songwriters and storytellers.  Each has a song that talks about grace.  Before hearing these songs, grace was a word that I heard in church as a kid but didn't give much thought to.  Through song, and the stories told by Don and Christopher, I've spent time over the years pondering the word and thinking about the beauty of it.  It's really a powerful word.  It's even more stunning when you experience it in your life.  It can bring you to your knees.

I experienced grace several times over the past week.

Last Wednesday, Heather wound up in the the ICU to be more specific.  The first 48 hours were terrifying.  We've been so fortunate to be overall healthy people.  Neither of us has ever been admitted into a hospital. So as ER doctors were trying to explain what was going on, and while we were trying to absorb the information as best as we could, we both were freaking out.  We didn't talk about the freaking out parts too much as we didn't want to freak the other person out even more.  We were freaked out for many reasons, but one of the largest parts of the whole ordeal for me was fear.  What if something happened to her?  I did my best to keep the 'what if' bugs at bay, but they crept in every now and then.  I'm not going to lie - I didn't always handle it well.
Colbalt on Aqua Rustic Nature Herb of Grace Necklace in UnaOdd's Etsy Shop
But thankfully, we have some pretty amazing people in our life.  Family, friends, co-workers, and bosses.  They listened.  They told me that things were going to be ok - even though none of us knew what was going to happen.  They helped me plot out my next 24 hours when I couldn't figure out to do with my next 5 minutes.  They offered to help.  They brought food.  They helped clean our house. They took care of Emily.  The sat by my side and distracted me with silly stories about kids, work and anything else that we could come up with.  They visited and called and texted and facebooked and checked in and let me know they were there - over and over and over again.  They let me know that I was loved.  They let us know that Heather was loved.  They let us know that Emily and Felicia, us, all of us - as we were, imperfect, sick, scared and freaked out - we were all loved.  The showed us grace.  Openly.  Freely.  Lovingly.   Beautifully.

Heather is recovering now.  She's home and normal life is finding us again.

There were moments when tears came to my eyes throughout those 5 days (and still come), but they weren't always because I was scared.  Sometimes those tears came out of awe and love and feeling like I could never find the right way to say thank you for all of the things big and small that were done for us. On Christopher William's album, The Silence in Between, he has a song called, Daughter's Eyes that makes me tear up a little each time I hear it.  The chorus is the closest I can get to articulating how I feel:
Who am I that I should have all this
Who am I to understand
All these gifts that have been given
And this grace that pours into my hands
We are truly blessed.
Choose Grace Print from Periwinkle Pass Etsy Shop

Thursday, April 14, 2011

momma = muse

I've been watching my kid lately.  She's been watching me.  As a mom, you know this.  As a mom, you know that you are setting an example for your kids.  You give them verbal and non-verbal cues on how to act, what to say, how to say it, what to eat and what to do.  They mimic some of your worst habits - swearing as they drop a toy, losing their patience over something that won't work quite right.  Kids take on the expressions of their parents, their mannerisms and their moods.  They pick up on things that you sometimes don't even know your putting out there.

My kid has been paying attention to me.  More specifically she's been watching the projects I take on and she absorbs the process.  She learns without asking too many questions, creates a vision for herself and slips into that place where creativity takes over and you just do.  I made a book from beads and a few days later, she grabbed a handful of beads, her scissors, glue and foam and made her own creation.  I've made page protectors that to a little kid looks like a bag, and about a week after, she found some leftover protector sleeves, some magazines ready for cutting, her scissors, glue and set about making me a collaged bag for my birthday, which is only 2 months away.  I've witnessed these moments.  I see her sneaking off into the paint room just like I do.  And then I realize - she's been me.  And that's pretty amazing. 

I know that most kids get into arts and crafts.  I know that most kids make 100+ little things for their parents, grandparents and other people that they love, but I wonder how many of those loved ones stop to reflect on their role as muse to the work?  Think about it for a second.  It's a pretty cool thing. 

You have an opportunity, as a parent, as a big person in a little person's life to show them what it is to shine.  To show them what it means to leave the dishes in the sink and get your hands dirty doing and playing with the things you love.  For me, obviously this is artsy crafty stuff, but it could be anything.  Passion.  Joy. Getting lost in something that makes you happy.  That's what we can teach them.  That's one of the many gifts we can give them, but in thinking about this - it's just as much a gift for me as it is for her.  Doing what I love brings me peace, gives me joy and makes me smile.  Doing what I love is better than chores (although the house is getting a little messy), but because it is something that I enjoy, it also makes me a better parent.  I'm more relaxed.  I've taken a moment to create which clears my head which allows me to be more present with her when I am with her.  She watches.  She learns without me saying a thing.  She creates. 

I hope we both can always be this inspired.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pirate ship....for girls

We are into pirates around our house.  A few years ago Heather threw me a surprise birthday party, and the theme was pirates.  I got a cool cake out of the deal.  Last year, Emily was a bit obsessed with a Dora episode that featured pirate pigs, which in turn inspired her pirate Halloween costume.  We make up stories and pretend to be in hot air balloons or pirate ships or other vessels that carry us off to exciting lands where we meet exciting characters.  We say "RRRRrrrr" around our house for no particular reason.  We dig pirates.

So a few days ago, a friend emailed me with an idea.  She wants my help with a potentially cool project and it's been noodling itself around my brain for a few days trying to find a place to get comfy in order to come to life.  Sunday morning, I woke up with an idea for a pirate ship, but not any pirate ship - one that is for girls.  I think girl pirates could have the grandest of adventures and I started to think about all of the little details that went into a ship, and quickly sketched out this:

I took the picture at night, which is why there's shadows, but this was the best shot of the colors.  There are a couple of things in this I would change, but overall, I'm really pleased with how this turned out.  I'm thinking of making a cut paper illustration of this or perhaps even making it 3-dimensional with sculpey, but I can't decide.  Which one should I do?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Polymer clay piggy and octopus

My little Octopus. Made from polymer clay.
When I was a kid, my mom was into miniatures.  She made little tiny things for dollhouses and it seemed like she had a little community of other women who she created these little mini works of art with.  I remember her coming home from a night/day (who really knows, I'm relying on my child self's memory) of making little things and she show them to me.  They were amazing.  There would be little wreaths, trays of food, fruits and vegetables - bundt cakes with teeny, tiny cherries on top all resting on a tiny little doily that looked like it was laser cut from tiny little fairy hands.  I couldn't touch most of this, but she kept her favorite pieces in the living room curio cabinet and I would often visit the cabinet to stare at the little pieces.  My sister got a dollhouse and I believe my mom made some pieces for her house.  My sister recently reminded me of the dollhouse, and inside I felt those secret pangs of jealousy that I had when I was a kid.  I never got a dollhouse.  But to be fair, I don't think I ever asked for one, so there's that.
Anyway - my mom made really cool small things and I think I inherited the love of small things gene.  When I paint, I will often get lost in tiny little details that seem to only be noticeable to me.  When I scrapbook and use die cuts, I love working with the ridiculously tiny alphabets.  When I play with polymer or other clay, I love making small little things.  I haven't played with polymer in awhile, but I'm getting the itch to do so soon.  The pictures here are some of the last things that I did.  The octopus measures 3" wide.  The pig is right at an inch.  I love both of these pieces so much. 
I also had an awesome shoe that was an ode to "The Old Woman who lived in the shoe" - it had windows on both sides and a door and laces.  That was my favorite piece, but it didn't survive the move to/from NYC/ATL which makes me sad.  I think it's time for Em to learn about polymer.  I think she'd have fun making little things and showing them off.  If I'm lucky she'll have great memories of her mom's creative pursuits too!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Kids Craft How-To: Easy Easter Egg Sun Catchers

I have a couple of friends who are moms that claim they aren't creative or crafty.  I might be willing to buy this load of bonk, but they happen to possess some of the most witty and creative minds I know.  I've seen them in action.  I know that they have great, creative ideas, and while maybe they don't feel like they could paint like Picasso or whip up a floral arrangement out of a paper plate, toothpicks and masking tape, I know they have a craft gene it in them somewhere.  So this post is for them and for any other mom or person hanging around little people who want to do something fun, easy and yes - crafty.

Easter Egg Sun Catchers

What you need:
Clear Contact Paper
Tissue paper
Hole Punch
Scrap paper
String, yarn or ribbon
Optional - other bits as desired (glitter, confetti, etc)

Gather all of your supplies up, and start by cutting up your tissue paper.  A little goes a long way.  I basically cut about 4 - 5" of 6 different sheets of tissue.  You don't have to measure or be concerned about any particular kind of shape, unless of course you want to get extra fancy.  We had about 30 minutes to kill after dinner the other night, so there wasn't time to get all fancy schmacy with the scissor work.
If you stack all of the tissue together before cutting, like I did, be sure to separate the pieces as you will want to work with single layers.  It doesn't really matter if things get wrinkly during the process - this is not a perfect craft.
After the tissue is cut, you'll want to cut two pieces of contact paper.  I didn't measure, but do a decent sized piece - I'd guess that our pieces were roughly 1.5' or 2' x 1.5' x 2'  Again - it doesn't have to be perfect.  Carefully peel the paper back from one of the sheets, and lay it sticky side up on a clean, dry surface.
 From there, start placing the tissue paper on the contact paper.  There's no rhyme or reason.  This is a perfect activity for little people and something that even a 18-month-old could do, assuming they don't have a fascination about putting everything in their mouth, like most 18-month-olds I know.  You'll want to fill up the space as much as possible.  You can overlap the paper - it can be krinkled - it doesn't matter...just go to town!
If you choose to go with optional, shiny materials - add those bits towards the end.  Again - there's no rhyme or reason.  I used some random confetti I have on hand for Emily's gluing adventures.  She was tickled that the handful I grabbed had a birthday cake in the mix, and she made it a point to know where the egg with the birthday cake was when we were all done.
Once you have most of the contact paper covered and you are satisfied with everything, remove the paper from the second sheet of contact paper and carefully lay over your work.  It's helpful to have a second set of adult hands.  With Emily being almost 4, she probably could have helped with this task but she was too busy crushing paper by this point to notice.
After you have the second sheet affixed, take some time to smooth out the project.  Again - nothing fancy here - your hands will work fine. 
Next up - grab your scrap paper and pen and create your template.  I actually made two eggs - a big and smaller one.  Of course, you can create other shapes - flowers, hearts, bunnies - go with your whim here and get crazy.  Note the crease in my egg template - I took the easy way here and folded my paper in half and drew just half of the egg on the fold.  From there I cut it out, and voila - a fairly symmetrical egg! Once you have your templates, just place them on top of the contact paper, trace as many shapes as you want, and cut them out. 
After your shapes are cut, use a hole punch to punch a hole at the top of your shape for hanging.  From there, use your string/yarn/ribbon and tie a knot/bow to your egg for hanging.  Staying true on my easy path, I opted for yarn and a simple double knot.  Yes - I could have totally gone all Martha on this, but my kid gets impatient when I get into "that" zone, and at this point we were nearing bedtime routine time, and it was important to wrap it up.  We punched, we tied and we hung and we had a great time doing it, and best of all, according to my darling daughter, "the Easter Bunny will see our house because we have all of the eggs in the window, right Mommy?"  You got it, baby.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Finding my home.

Banning Mill - front entrance.  I lived on 3rd floor (up the ramp)
I initially started to title this post finding my tribe, but I think 'home' is more appropriate.  

Would I love to find a group of people that I can connect with creatively?  Yes.  
Would I love to find a group of people that I can bounce ideas off of, that would encourage me, that I could encourage back and that we could all draw inspiration from?  Yes, yes, yes and yes.

A year or so ago, I set out with intention to find my way back to a more creative life.  I can see and I am proud of the progress I've made so far.  But there are times that I get frustrated.  I want more and I want it now.  The problem is, I don't always know want to admit what "more" means.  

I've thought about the idea of selling art.  I could do it, but honestly - I don't think that's what I want to do.  If it's a by-product, then fine, but it's not my desired focus.

If I'm still.  If I'm quiet.  I hear what I want.  

Banning Mill - back/facing Snake Creek.  My first apt here was 3rd floor, where the vines are over the windows.
A space.  A home.  A place where community gathers. A place that inspires.  A place that has warmth and laughter and a place that you aren't afraid to get 'dirty' or messy.  

If I were putting a great big giant wish out into the universe, it would be that I could have a place to host creativity.  It could be a retreat.  It could be a place that people come to daily.  It would be a reprieve.  It could even be a place where people live possibly.  I don't know the details really, but it would be a place centered in creativity.  It would have supplies.  It would welcome artists and crafters and people who think that they can't or shouldn't or wouldn't be able to.  It would house teaching.  It would house learning.  It would house exploring and inspiration and wanting more.  It would host women and men, kids and people of all ages.  It would be the circus, but without animals or their droppings and smashed peanuts on the floor.  It would be exciting and new and safe and open and a place for people to connect to themselves, each other and creativity.

That is my dream.

It brings tears to my eyes to think about.  It's big.  I have absolutely no clue how to get there, but I do believe in the power of putting things out there into the big ol' universe.  So I guess that this is me doing that.  It's terrifying, really, but that's how I know it's true.  I wouldn't be scared if I didn't want it.  Selling art doesn't sing to me like it once did.  When the song was loud and clear, I painted and I figured out how to sell my stuff and that's what I did.   It's not what I want anymore.  I want this.  My heart sings the sweetest "yes" every time I think if it.  I can't help but smile when I think of it.
Inside the mill.
And when I think about this place that doesn't exist for me today, I think about a place where I used to live.  It held magic.  It held all of the things that I want to create again.  Except, it really wasn't a retreat or a community built with the specific intention of creating art, although artists, musicians and creative types all flocked to it.  It was a mill, built in the 1800's.  I had the immense privilege of living there for about 2 years.  When I am still and quiet, and feeling a little sad for that missing, or yearned for, thing - my mind goes there. When Heather and I sit on the front porch and talk about what we would do if we won the lottery (which we don't play), my first response is always, "I'd buy the mill."  And I totally would try my damnedest to do just that if I ever came into a couple million dollars.  

Outside of that dream though, I do think of buying other buildings/spaces that could serve my purpose just as well.  There's a church that I pass buy every day, and I've started to think about the potential of that space.  It's not for sale, but I think about what it might look like inside - what I could do with the second building behind the main church and what kind of people and gatherings might assemble there.  It's lovely to daydream about.  Again - I have no freaking idea how to do what I want to do, but it's what my heart wants all the same.  I've put it out there.  Now what?
From the wooden bridge that crosses Snake Creek in back of the mill

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

How to: Beaded Book Cover

Yesterday I was so happy to share my finished Mardi Gras scrapbook.  I thought it might be useful to someone out there to share how I created the cover.  Now might be a good time to pause and say that I am not one for directions.  When I have an idea, I forge ahead as if I were the first pioneer of craft, all the while knowing that my good buddy Google might lead me an easier, cheaper, and usually tested approach to whatever idea I have.  So with this, I took the same approach, and overall I'm happy with the outcome, but I did learn a very important lesson about glue.  Before I get to that, let's start with the materials:
  • beads, preferably all the same/similar size
  • scissors
  • chipboard 
  • card stock
  • hole punch or awl
  • adheisive to bind card stock to chipboard (I use 3L Scrapbook adhesive)
  • glue for beads (for this project I tried 2 glues - Judi Kins Diamond Glaze and Beacon Quick Grip
  • paper cutter (optional)
  • inks (optional)
To get started, decide on the shape/size of your book.  Keep in mind that your cover should be anywhere from 1/4" to 1/2" bigger than the pages on the top bottom and right side. 

Cut your chip board to the your desired size.  My book came out to be roughly 8" x 9".  For a thicker cover, you can use two layers of chipboard or cardboard or whatever you have on hand.  I would just be sure to glue the two layers together before covering them with card stock.

Once you have your chip board cut, lay it in the middle of your card stock and leave about an inch to 1.5" on each side.  From there you will need to fold the corners of the card stock over the corners of the chipboard so that it looks like this:

Once you have the corners folded, you will fold each side down, making sure that the fold is nice and straight.  I do this before adding the glue/adhesive as it's a bit easier.  Once you get all sides glued down it should look like this:
Now you have your cover.

After getting your cover situated, you'll want to cover the inside cover.  You can do this in a bunch of different ways, but I took the easy way and just selected some card stock that I liked and cut it to size.  It's roughly an 1/8th of an inch smaller than the cover all the way around.  

Now once you have it cut, you can easily glue it down and be done with it, but I like to ink my edges just a bit, especially if I'm dealing with lots of colors.  It gets rid of those white edges on the paper.  I know that most people probably wouldn't notice it, but I like the little touch.  Here's what my inside cover looked like after I was done:

The little tag is something I added later.  It's a 7gypsy card that I've had forever, and I simply snipped off the opening parenthesis, wrote my book name, location and date and then added a bit of ink to let it blend in a bit more with the cardstock.  Oh, and I used a stamp with a bit of glitter glue.  Here's what that looks like up-close:
Ok, so back to the book.  After you have your inside cover squared away, repeat the process for your back-inside cover.  Once both covers are done, you'll want to punch some holes.  For this, I created a template out of some scrap paper.  
I also used this template for all of my pages.  I just laid the template over the cover/pages each time I needed to punch.  As I went along, the holes got slightly off skew, but I was ok with that considering I was using binder clips for my binding. 
Next is the fun part - the beads.  

The bead part is easy.  You just cut the beads to size.  I tried to layer mine so that the beads looked interlocking, like bricks.  Sometimes it wasn't possible because there'd be a wongo bead (technical term - wongo), but overall it kept the beads as straight as possible - not going for perfection here.
My process went like this:  Cut beads. Run glue down the length of where bead should lay.  Lay beads down.  Repeat.
For the first half of the front cover, I used Diamond Glaze.  I've used this glue for other projects before, so I knew that it was sturdy and I knew that it would dry clear.  What I didn't account for was the fact that this glue is water based.  I went along just fine, but since I didn't start with a full bottle of glaze, I ran out.  I left the cover to dry and as I did, I noticed this:
Buckling.  Yuck!  I had to go back and re-lay the tag, and I used mini glue dots to re-affix some of the worst hit areas.  The top part of the page still has that pretty big buckled area, but I let it go, mainly because I didn't have another piece of that particular card stock and I loved it so much.

So I hit the store to check out my options and I wound up with this - Beacon Quick Grip.
 This glue was great for the job at hand.  It's a much thicker glue, and the beads required less handling. The only downside is that it's got a stink to it, so you need to use in a really well ventilated area.  The big kid was home with me while I was working on this, and I was being silly and she kept swearing that I was high on glue. 

The back cover showed no signs of buckling with this glue.  I also found that the back was a lot more flexible - it felt like a soft cover book, compared to the front, which was half Diamond Glaze and half Quick Grip.  In both cases though, the glue dried clear, the beads seem to be very in tact, and I'm really happy with the end result.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mardi Gras Scrapbook 2011

I can't remember the last time I got a project done so fast.  It pretty much took 3 days if I add up the random hours and 2 work days I took to complete this.  I'm delighted with how this turned out.  Let's take a tour, shall we?
The front and back covers are topped with beads.  I'll write tomorrow on that process and my learnings from the experience.  I like the weight that the beads give to the piece - it makes the whole book feel sturdy and it's definitely something I want to experiment with more.
Above is the inside cover and first page.  I'm including a list of all of the materials I used at the end of this post but I really loved using a mix of papers that offered textures.  This inside cover has some glitter elements on it and it really gives a rich feeling to the book.  I also used a variety of different pages.  For some, I used 4x6" pocket pages.  For others, I used baseball card pages and on other pages, I just used paper + the picture without a protector.  I really enjoy the layered feeling that the variety gives to the whole project - it feels more like a collection rather than just a presentation.  I'm not sure if that makes sense, but I've always liked my scrapbooks to be touchable and interactive.  With all of my photos being digital these days, I also feel more freedom in playing with the pages and I don't have to worry about a picture being the only copy or something that we have to protect forever.
Here's an example of the protected photos and non-protected side by side.  The one thing that I was aware as I assembled the pages was layering them in a way so that unprotected photos wouldn't lay on other unprotected photos.  I did this to avoid photos sticking to each other, but also to avoid the embellishments or journaling from smudging or sticking.  Overall, I tried to keep the embellishments to a minimum and just wanted the story to be told through the photos.
I should mention that most pages measure roughly 6x8".  I say roughly because some are 7x8" like this one on the right.  I varied how the holes were punched - sometimes I allowed for the extra inch and then other times, I kept the width to 6" and punched right into the pictures like the image previous to the one above.  The scalloped edge shown here is a Martha Stewart punch.   In my next life, I wanna be Martha Stewart, or someone on her design team - her products are so great.  There's my non-paid endorsement.  :)
The color on this photo didn't come out true to the actual, but wanted to show another page variation.  On the left is a 4x6" single photo, and on the back of the photo, I slipped in a piece of card stock with some of the cuter beads we caught during our trip.  I just used mini glue dots to hold the beads to the page.  The glue dots also came in handy to tack photos inside the protectors. There are several places where I used them and either hid them behind an embellishment, or just left it visible (or should I say barely visible since they are transparent).
This is one of my favorite pages in the whole book.  Emily is developing such a great relationship and bond with her two grandmas and one grandpa.  Each relationship is so different, but I think page does a good job at capturing Mawmaw - she's not a woman who uses a lot of words to express how she feels.  She SHOWS you through her actions.  The journaling reads:
juice getter. belly tickler. story teller. snack maker. boo-boo healer. magic maker. silly dancer. mardi gras cuddler. awesome.
I didn't do a huge amount of journaling in this book, but where I did, it was a mix of my handwriting, rub-ons and a few die-cut alphabets.  I also referenced social media to help tell the story.
Here I just went to Facebook and took screenshots of our statuses (with comments).  I printed them out on white cardstock and just played around with some stamps to give the page some color.  The "Facebook" is rub-ons, but the rest is my writing.
Here's another example of the baseball card sleeves.  I used them both horizontally and vertically.  Where vertical, I just cut the page down to size and punched holes accordingly.  I thought about sewing all of the baseball pages shut, but wasn't entirely thrilled with the look, so instead I used glue dots.  See that flower in the middle of the page?  There are glue dots hiding in each of the 4 corners underneath.
Before the gulfport parade, we had a little time to kill so we wound up hanging out on the beach for a few minutes.  Emily made the most of her time, by chasing birds, digging in the sand and generally just having a grand time exploring.  I love experiences like this, where we can interact together and then I can pull back and just watch her.  Here's the journaling from this page:
May you always face the world with the wind at your back and your head held high.
And here's a peek at the last two pages:
It's a bit hard to see, but the 3 photos are on their own page, in a single column of baseball holders.  The middle slot holds our hotel key and the rest of the pictures (including the back) hold stories about our hotel.  The very last page of the book shows all of our loot spilled out at home.  It's a tradition to dump everything out on the floor and sort through it to see what we can find.  Considering we didn't have the big kid with us this year, it was still a pretty good haul and I can't wait to go again next year! And with that, here's the materials list:


Die-cuts Quickutz Aquarius and 2x2" dies that I can't remember the name
Inks: Colorbox cat's eyes pigment Rub-ons:  Making Memories Simply Stated Heidi and Rummage  (large and small)
Pens:  Pigma Micron and Marvy LePlume
Adhesive:  Scrapbook Adhesives refillable My Stick, permanent and mini glue dots and pop-dots
Page Protectors:  We R Memory Keepers (4x6" sleeves and mixed pocket pages) and Ultra Pro 9-pocket pages
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