31 Mar 2014

Printing Instagrams at home for Project Life

I feel as though I am finally finding my style with Project Life. I love the little pockets and using little pictures the most - they are so cute and easy to fill and embellish. The folder type is design F and is perfect for little instagram pics and camera phone pics. Plus it has one 4 by 6 pocket for a larger size photo  - if you manage to use your big camera during the week/month.

I used mostly the 'Midnight' range of Project Life cards. I love this range as I find it so easy to co-ordinate and love all of the little phrases. The phrases are often the perfect prompt for journalling. I used red and yellow as my accent colours as it went well with the colours in the photos and 'popped' against the black and white tones of the Midnight cards.

The photos are a mix of days out shopping and eating out as well as including the more domestic shots of The Belgian napping with The Baby and some weaning shots too - this is where your camera phone really comes into play as you can capture the everyday moments like these. I also love the Simple Stories currently card as I was able to get in details like what we were watching and listening to, these will be the fun details to look back on and especially for The Baby to look back on. I used to love it when my parents got out their photo albums and cassette and record collections out for us to look at.  Beach Boys will always remind me of my childhood and I hope that by recording these little details Ellis will be able to explore our interests when he is older.

The main source of embellishment was washi tape, some Studio Calico flair, Studio Calico wood veneer and the stamps from the Copper Mountain kit. I also added some twine around the bottom photo and an enamel dot to add some texture.

I found this really useful tutorial on how to print instagram pictures off at home over at Callaloo soup and I now refer to it at least one a week when I want to print another batch off. I love that instaport gives you the option to print off other people's photos that you have liked or be hashtag, as we use the same hashtag for all of our baby pictures. It is a great website. 

In other news we had a lovely Mother's Day weekend here and I will share some pictures soon of the thoughtful little gifts.
How was your Mother's Day weekend? 

28 Mar 2014

Musings on Motherhood: My baby is Eight Months Old!

Some highlights this month:
  • your big cheesy grin
  • your giggle like Muttley in the Wacky Races
  • your friend Asher trying to give you kisses, but coming away horrified when you tried to lick him
  • you have started to make sounds like 'dadada' and 'owdear'
  • first ride on a swing. You're a fan just like I was!
  • a fun day out to Leeds Museum
  • lots of play dates
  • your first taste of ice-cream. Again you're a big fan!
  • your first two teeth breaking through
  • a fun weekend at the grandparents involving a visit to a soft play centre
  • a few little solo cruises along the sofa
  • you attended a first birthday party 

You're still getting into lots of mischief by:
  • Pulling yourself up to standing on anything - the high chair, the toilet (especially gross), your pram, your car seat, the table cloth. Clearly many of these things are not secure and so there are plenty of bumps and bruises.
  • Pulling all of the books off the bookshelf.
  • Pulling magazines, cups and mail off the table.
  • Trying to eat cables.
  • Getting stuck between the sofa and the wall.
  • Pulling the internet cable out of the wall.
  • Pulling yourself up onto the bath taps in the bath.
  • Diving in and out of your playring.
  • Banging your bottle on your cot bars when you want some attention in the morning.
  • Trying to scratch out my friends' babies eyes (yikes!)
  • Pulling mummy's hair very tightly.
  • Pulling daddy's nose and diving on him when asleep (I actively encourage this one.)
  • Waking up and wanting hour long cuddles at 2 a.m.
You will notice that most of the above are concerned with pulling yourself  up. You are insanely strong and adept at crawling and balancing and I am always amazed when you master a new trick - like reaching the shoe rack and pulling the bottom two rows of shoes out. You impress a lot of people with your agility and your balance. 

You have also mastered sitting up this month, as you seemed to bypass this and go straight to crawling. You're very cute when you sit up and it means you can play 'more nicely' with your toys instead of just crawling over them all. Also you sit up in the bath and this is very cute too.
But with a smile like this I think you're going to get away with murder:

Happy eight months buddy!

27 Mar 2014

Project Life using Scraps and Blush

When I first embarked upon Project Life (a whole two months or so ago) I didn't have any kits and so I had a go at making the cards using my existing stash. I used a Crate Paper 12 by 12 pad so that it all co-ordinated already. I chose a red and navy blue palette to go with the colours we were wearing in the photos.

This is the first week in September 2013 when we went to visit my sister and her husband in Scotland - with a two month old baby.  We were quite adventurous in those early days.

The main accents used are washi tape, stickers and I even embossed some of the Amy Tangerine stamps for a pop of gold. I like the look of the title going across the card and into the picture as it adds continuity to the layout.

Isn't this picture of The Baby on the motorbike the cutest? I loved him in that red polka dot sleepsuit (even if it was a girls one - handed down from a friend!) Certain outfits make you really nostalgic for the early days.

I also experimented with a see through pocket and used a heart doilie as this worked well on both sides of the pocket - as you can see below.

For the other side I used some Blush cards - this is such a cute line with all the hearts and fake washi tape. I love the colour palette too and a lot of the phrases work well if you cut them out and use them as accents.

I adore the glitter peg and the Studio Calico stamps on the maybe card.

                So there you have it - you can mix and match 
           your stash to create   a really personal layout to you.

25 Mar 2014

Homemade Mother's Day Gift Tutorial

So my previous post may have led you to believe that I am all about the presents, but I am bringing you this post to prove that the best things in life are free. In fact I think one of my mom's favourite gifts was the year I was uni when I secretly came home really late on the Saturday night and left a note on the doorstep telling her to check in my room. And there I was still in bed. Probably still asleep. We were able to go to church together and then I made her my specialty risotto and she loved this more than anything. Or so she said! 

So I had a pile of Project Life Blush cards (which are currently 25% off at Hobby Craft, all you UK crafters), some stamps, an ink pad, wood veneers and washi tape and I started creating.

On each card I stamped one of the things that I love about her and then embellished it. Some of them I decorated with photos of her grandson and also me when I was younger.

I then made a hole in the corner of each card with a hole punch (mine was a mini star punch) and tied them together with bakers twine to make a cute little booklet.

  This would be an ideal project to make with younger family members.
In fact I am making it with some teenage girls on Thursday night.
Along with some cupcakes or cookies - I haven't decided yet! 
Anyone have a good recipe?

21 Mar 2014

Friday Finds: Mother's Day Wishlist

So I keep getting emails reminding me about Mother's Day offering deals on flowers or canvas' and I started to think about what to get for my mom. Then it hit me this year I will be a mum and so I will (hopefully) be getting a present from The Baby The Belgian. 

To be fair he does owe me one as I never got a 'pushing present' like some of my mummy friends did. I also didn't get the Valentines card he kept promising me and had to settle for a message on a whiteboard. Tacky. So here is my wish list - now if only he read my blog!

1) Amy Tangerine's Plus One Project Life kit - this could be a tricky one as it seems to be out of stock just about everywhere in the UK.

 2) Dear Lizzie's Daydream Project Life kit - again sold out in most UK retailers. Why do we always want what we can't have?

3) One day we will find our dream house in our budget (sigh - could be a blog post coming on this soon) and I want one of everything below for our lounge. I especially love the polka dot cushion and the 'do what you love' print.

4) My blogging friend Rachel introduced me to the joys of Pandora and on perusing their website I have fallen in love with this pendant. It would go with everything and add the wow factor to any outfit.

5) Pepperberry Dandelion Jersey Dress - the picture does not do it justice as it is a bit small and goes pixelated when I try to make it bigger. It is in their sale and would be perfect for when I start back at work.

What is on your wish list?

20 Mar 2014

The nappy changing saga...

So apart from his first nappy changing experience (which was clearly traumatic) I have always been rather smug about the fact that The Baby is mostly angelic when it comes to changing his nappy.

However, since he started having lots of tummy time and then crawling he seems to have become allergic to lying on his back. This poses a problem:

a) In the bath - plenty of face planting
b) At baby sensory - lots of laps of the room and 'mouth to mouth' with the baby sensory doll instead of looking adoringly at me as I sing and sign to him
c) When changing his nappy - he is constantly rolling over onto his tummy - or worse crawling off. Not pleasant when it is a dirty nappy.

Methods I have found to distract him (which have worked with varying success) :-

  • His favourite toy for him to grab - like his flashing, baby sensory ball
  • A Disney song playing on the laptop - he likes Aladdin (thanks for this Nancy!)
  • Daddy pulling faces at him
  • One of us holding him down (not his favourite, but necessary sometimes)
  • His own pack of wet wipes to play with
  • Singing to him 
  • Also turning it into a game is fun and when I wipe him with a wet wipe or apply nappy cream I always say, "cold, cold, cold" in a funny voice and it seems to make him laugh.

Have you seen the great new range of baby products from Zinplex? I was sent a box to play with and we love them round here (The Baby is very keen on the box they came in!) They are doing great deals on them over at Wauwaaa  - your one stop shop for baby products, baby advice and blog posts from mummy's just like you. At first I wasn't keen on the name as 'bum' was always a rude word in our house growing up. But combined with the cute cartoons and simple packaging it adds an element of fun. 

Information on the company:

Zinplex products have shown amazing results in skin care, general health and fitness. The Idea of Zinplex was born in 1985 as a result of several leading articles describing the essential benefits and uses for the unique combination of Zinc supplementation.

They are especially good if your baby has sensitive skin. Our baby has responded well to it and so far we have avoided the dreaded nappy rash. The spray (which I have never seen before on the market) had a nice scent and was especially useful with those weaning nappies - which don't always smell of roses let me tell you.  So head on over to check out the amazing deals.

Any tips on changing a little wriggler?

17 Mar 2014

Pocket Pages: Back to school style

We have a new back to school tradition where daddy (who was the only one going back to school) chose the activity and where to eat. We went to The Deep in Hull and ate at Cocktails and Burgers and so this is that week in September documented.

I used some Simple Stories journalling cards that my mum picked up in a sale and also some Becky Higgins Midnight cards as these fitted well with the monochrome colour scheme. I also used bits from the menu to embellish the photos. I love it when I actually manage to use some of the bits and bobs I pick up when we are out and about. Another thing I love about Project Life.

                      What is your back to school tradition?

14 Mar 2014

Project Life with Kraft

I did a swap with an instagram friends of mine who was struggling to make Kraft work for her. I was always attracted to the bright colours and geometric patterns but could not justify buying another core kit so instead I am swapping plenty of Blush and Jade for other collections to get some variety.

I know that some crafters find Kraft trickier to co-ordinate with other sets because it has a creamy base colour and the others are white, however it all works so well together that I didn't find this an issue. I am still scrapping my back catalogue and so this layout is all The Baby's first visit to my parents house in Shropshire last August.

I love the diamond patterned card and felt all it needed to set it off was a wood veneer star. I also love those vellum letter stickers and used them to do a little title for the card. Also the xoxo washi tape from Studio Calico? Hello!

You may wonder who that is dressed like a girl? Well its my little boy! My older sister volunteered to do the night feeds and so I happily accepted. Turns out he needed a whole outfit change and they didn't want to wake me so mom went and checked her stash and it was full of girls clothes just 'in case' The Baby had been a girl! It was a funny sight to wake up to! The 'let me explain' card worked very well as a journalling prompt to go with the photo.

This is the other side of the double spread. I was able to use the backs of a lot of the cards. I often find that most of the cards are vertical and can struggle with page protectors like this one that have a lot of horizontal spreads - but Kraft had enough to use.

Most of the embellishments are from my Studio Calico kit. I love all the little bits and pieces and feel very tempted to sign up for the Freckled Fawn kit but think that The Belgian would hit the roof as he was demanding to know what Studio Calico was when we got our last bank statement! We have compromised that I will sell the bits of the kit that I don't use or want, so if you want to pick up an ebay bargain the Sugar Rush kit is going here. I am also selling partial kits of Project Life cards - all supplementing my measly maternity pay!

My week has involved visiting a nursery, lots of park time, fish and chips and lots of debating about houses.
We are off to Leeds museum today - lets hope its interactive enough for the Little Wriggler!
What are your plans for the weekend?

12 Mar 2014

Musings on Motherhood: My Baby is Seven Months Old!

For some reason seven months seems so old. Closer to one than to newborn. Yikes. 

This month has seen Ellis hit many big milestones. It has been a great month for him, but one of the hardest months for us as parents as months and months of sleep deprivation catches up on us and teething troubles means that he can be crying for hours at night. We're not used to this as he was never much a crier as a baby.

So a few days after his six month milestone he was off. I mentioned in the previous post that he has assumed crawling position so I guess it was only ever a matter of time. Sunday 2nd of February (this will help me remember at a later date!) I was putting my 'face on' for church and he was suddenly beside me. It took The Belgian to explain to me that he just crawled across the room. He looked incredibly pleased with himself and has spent the rest of the month perfecting his technique from a shuffle to full on bottom-in-the-air making serious speeds crawl. Now he is into EVERYTHING and makes a dash for cables, the remote control, my mobile phone, paper, boxes and it all goes straight into his mouth. Friends have said this is called the eyes-in-the-back-of your-head phase. 

However, always the overachiever, Ellis was not satisfied with just crawling and a week later I was sat checking emails on my laptop on the sofa when first two hands appeared clutching the edge and then a little face looking incredibly smug. He now pulls himself up to standing on any available surface or object - the toy box, chairs, his high chair, his baby walker, the pram, his car seat and the most dangerous of all the drawer on the television cabinet. If you leave the lounge door open he enjoys making a dash for freedom and if I pop into the kitchen and leave him for a minute he often crawls through to join me. I know that he is really advanced and strong for his age and this makes me the envy of a lot of the mums at baby groups, but its also very tiring and often ends in tears and bumps on the head. It has also led to sleep regression where he is wanting to practice his new skills at like two in the morning and we can hear his head hitting the headboard as he attempts to crawl round his cot!

He has become more vocal this month and loves babbling away to himself in the morning. Sometimes it sounds like he says words and so we try to chat back to him to encourage it. He had a week of shrieking too, which was a bit embarrassing in public, but he was just experimenting and seemed pretty impressed with the noises he could make.

He continues to be a real charmer and whilst we have been house hunting he has been charming all of the home owners and they always offer to look after him whilst we view their house. He has a million watt smile - my mom says he smiles and then some - and it just melts everyone and you can't fail to smile. Unless you are the grumpy man on the train to Glasgow, in which case you clearly can ignore it. Grump! He has a really sunny disposition and this makes the broken nights sleep and frustrating crying episodes easier to deal with. I think he will be a really cofident young man as he loves meeting new people and at baby sensory crawls around as though he owns the place.

As mentioned above we took our first solo train ride to Glasgow. Four hours on the train was LONG with a wriggly baby who just wants to crawl and lets just say the baby changing facilities were non-existent so that was fun. He is very adaptable thought and everyone commented how good he was on the journey. Of course he was charming them all with his big grin. 

The reason for our train journey? To visit his cute, little cousin Ella. So he also gained a cousin this month - his first one - very exciting. She is so tiny and I really cannot remember Ellis being that small - even though she was only a few ounces lighter than him. Plus she sleeps all the time and I cannot remember this phase with my little reluctant napper! Ellis was quite sweet with her and wanted to stroke her hair and test out all of her toys for her. They proved quite durable so this is good news!

Another first this month has been solids. At first he loved his purees but since we started baby led weaning its been more about chewing on and exploring the feel and texture of his food than actually digesting it. His current favourites are pear, petit filous, toast, Ella's Kitchen purees (especially the red one), sweet potatoe and omlette. We have enjoyed seeing his reactions to certain foods - he is a bit like me his face gives it all away in just one 'look.'  

  Life gets so busy and it feels now like he has always been with us. I have felt stretched at times this month as we had car problems, we've been house hunting and sorting out a mortgage which has meant lots of forms and getting hold of lots of elusive documents, we were trying to sleep train Ellis and that turned into one big nightmare and as maternity pay dwindles trying to cope on a much smaller budget than before (lots of bargain bin diving at Asda!) 

I don't want to forget these precious moments though and know how blessed we are to have such a lively and charasmatic young boy. We can always sleep later...

Linking up with lovely Jane out at Ethan's Escapades for the milestones linky

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