Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Finding a Repurpose

You know those cute little Project Life kits from Studio Calico and their little boxes that are just too cute to toss? I wasn't quite sure what to use them for until I found a video, by Julie Campbell, to alter those boxes in creative ways. Every year, I create a different version of an Advent Calendar for my daughter and I to enjoy. The Activities are usually a mixture of acts of kindness, our family traditions (such as watching a Christmas movie she has never seen), other fun holiday activities and a couple of craft projects. This year, I decided to hang some Advent tags on thick Bakers Twine, held by clothespins. It doubles as a great Christmas garland. This is where the altered Project Life Box comes in: I put her advent surprise inside the box. Whatever is inside, has to do with the activity that is written on the tab she pulls for that day. Today, The box contained stationery, a mailing stamp, and a red and green pen. The Advent activity is: Write a letter to someone far away. 

Here's how my box turned out:

You can watch the video below if you're interested in re purposing one of your own Studio Calico Project Life boxes. You can use it for other things too. It would make an awesome personalized gift box, a first aid kit (as shown in the video), etc.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Finding Myself

Okay so I didn't literally "find myself." I mean, I found my Project Life layouts in the December Issue of Creating Keepsakes at a local store. They already sent me a copy in the mail, but it was pretty cool spotting them on the shelves! Awesomesauce. I love that the magazine is sharing how easy it really can be to document the special occasions with the Project Life system.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


It has become a tradition to celebrate Halloween with our close friends. My duty is dessert and drinks. I made the same dessert I make every year. My Ghosts in the Graveyard Dessert (THANK YOU, PINTEREST!) I can't bring myself to try making anything new because the kids get so excited when they see it! I decorated it a little differently this time around. No ghosts, but lots of chocolate bones sticking out of the "dirt".  I didn't have black icing for the tombstones, but the kids didn't seem to notice (only I cared that I had to use blue!) This year, I got a "YES! You made it again!" from one of this kids. That made my heart smile. After dinner, we trick-or-treat (and walk off our dinner). When the kids have hit every street in the neighborhood, we head back to headquarters, where some serious negotiations and candy trading take place while we all eat our dessert (Can we say sugar over load?)

This year, my daughter and her friends decided to be The Avengers. I LOVED THE IDEA. Out of all the years they've spent Halloween together, they have never worn costumes with a common theme. AND Imagine my excitement when I found an app that can put our superheros into comic mode. It's called Halftone. I also used PicFrame to put them all in a collage (Notice it looks like the Project Life Design A Page layout), which I will probably order in a 12x12 from Persnickety Prints. Their photos turn out great, they've never disappointed, and they have speedy delivery! 

It makes me kind of sad to think that this may be the last year my daughter wants to trick-or-treat. Next year will be her last pre-teen year, so I'm hoping I can get one more year out of her. If not, well, then at least we went out with a BLAM!

Happy Halloween and welcome, November!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Watercolor Layout

Had some fun with watercolors and mists a couple nights ago. It's fun to see what you can create with a little color on a blank slate. Click here to see my instaprocess.

Supplies: Watercolors (Michael's- Artist Loft), Studio Calico Project Life Stamp Set, wood veneer cameras and star stickers (from their Project Life monthly Kits), Hero Arts stamp set (Glow Girl), Amy Tangerine wood veneer tags (Hopscotch), Elle's Studio Lil' Snippet labels (You & Me), Mister Huey's color mists (Lemonade).

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Weeks....Oh, Did I lose track?

Forgive me for going MIA since June.  No excuses. Let's just catch up, with a promise from me that I will be more faithful to my blog...

I'll start by sharing the most memorable moments from July to the current (Oh, boy.)

I turned 33 in July. I spent the day with my best friend and our girls in total relaxation. Since Joey had to work, we met up later that night for dinner.

 I also went to not one, but TWO New Kids On The Block concerts with my cousins, who were equally obsessed with them since we were little. I must say, they still have it. You know...the right stuff (pun intended).

 My wedding layouts were featured on a craft show in the UK. As I watched the show, I squealed when my pages showed up and told my husband and my daughter that I could listen to British accents all day long.

My daughter was injured during one of her soccer tournaments. She is out for the year to heal. Big, huge, bummer for the Barba family. She was devastated, but we explained to her that it could have been worse and she is still very blessed. The adjustment is bittersweet.

Here's an upside: August found us available for more quality time with family. She enjoyed her first hand at Pottery. Keilani also Started the 6th Grade, which is considered Junior High at her school. She had to start the year off with crutches, which she found frustrating at times, but handled it like a trooper!

In September, I was hired on the spot as a Scrap booking Instructor for my local Michael's! So excited. I can't wait to have Project Life Classes! Everyone needs Project Life in their life!

We said goodbye to our old car, A.k.a. "Green Hoopty" that we've had for years. It finally gave out for good. A brand new car has taken its place and we can exhale because we have a new, safe, and reliable vehicle!  (As you can tell, my mother was relieved also!)

And here we are, in October. My family participated in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in honor of my Auntie Ciony, who passed away in last year, in September. I made pins for all of us to wear.

We also visited the Getty Villa in Malibu. Besides the exhibits and activities in the Family Forum, the scenery alone was beautiful. The trip is recommended.

So that's a gist of what has happened since I turned 33.

Do I feel older? No.


I believe we are all caught up. Now to KEEP UP.

I will.

Happy Fall!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

WEEK 20 & 21

May and June have been so busy! Volunteering at the school End-of-the-year festivities take up my days, soccer practice takes up our evenings (now 4-5 days a week with tournaments on the weekends), and now summer is upon us. Will it calm down? Nope. But what can I say? We're blessed to even be present, enjoying every moment.

Layout time! This week, I used the Jade Edition.

Week 20: Packed with end-of-year festivities, choir performances, soccer and family time. 

Week 21: Last glimpse of a typical 5th Grade morning, dropping my little girl off at school. I doubt I'll get the sweet goodbye wave when I drop her off in Junior High. Celebrated my Mother-in-law's 60th birthday with a surprise party. Best part of the week? My nephew, Isaiah was born. What a blessing!

I have a different album for Keilani's school years and I wanted her to document some things she can remember when she looks at back it. I wrote prompts at the top of Project Life 4x6 Grid cards and let her have at it, journaling any way she wants to. I'm pretty giddy with what she gave back to me to place into the album. Two of the 3x4 prompt cards are from the Project Life Childhood Mini Kit (sports and this is what a weekend typically looks like). The other ones are from K & Company Smash pads. She was so excited when I let her use my Amy Tangerine Slick Writers. She loves those bright colors!

A layout from her Childhood/School Years album. 5th Grade Olympics. I thought the occasion called for these cute Olympic-themed printables I found on Pinterest. This photo doesn't show my journaling "5th Grade Olympics" title on the title card (took this photo before I got those completed).

Speaking of her love of bright colors, she was on a mission to find some! Here's a shot of her excitement in finding the Neon Sharpies she was searching for to add to her collection. She is all about art journaling. I love it! 

Here are some pages from her art journal. 

Found a way to store my Washi Tape. This seriously works well for me. I tried storing it in one of my pretty jars. Looked great, but I always had to dump everything out in order to get to what I wanted and not every roll was visible. Same thing with cute little bins and other things I tried. Becky Higgins Organizational Trays work perfectly! It's not in perfect rows or color coordinated, but I can place it anywhere in my craft cart and I can search and grab with ease without dumping them all over my craft table just to get to the one I need. If you don't already have them from you Core Kits, Amazon sells the trays individually.

 I also have grown pretty tired of searching from pretty bowls of wood veneer, where my wood veneers were all mixed together. Plus, the bowls didn't fit well in my craft cart anymore. My solution? I purchased a sowing thread box and organized them like you see below. Sigh....organizational Bliss.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Family Vacation 2012 (Yes, I said 2012)

We went on our first family vacation in June, last year. We went to Kentucky for my cousin's wedding and headed to Florida afterward to take Keilani to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando. She has waited so long to experience it; almost as long as she has been waiting for Mommy to finally finish putting those memories in a book so she can enjoy looking through them!

I finally did, last week.

While we were shopping in the Wizarding World, I purchased a cute Harry Potter themed luggage tag album. It measured 4x6, held 102 photos, and boy, did I fill it up! I didn't think I forgot that I even had that many photos! I thought I would have to remove some of the pockets. The finished product is pretty chunky.

If I put the Marauder's Map in one of the pockets, it would be a pain to take it out every time we wanted to see it, so I adhered it to the inside cover for easy access. I wasn't sure if my small Zots would be strong enough on the material but it worked great!

Here is a peek inside. 

I bought Harry Potter theme scrapbooking paper and embellishments for the album. Nothing fancy, every page is simple. The photos alone were very decorative. The Paper just gave it a little more pop. 

You can't tell unless you look VERY closely, but I spelled Myrtle's name wrong. I cut a matching piece from the same paper I cut to make the journaling card, stuck it on top of the mistake and wrote her name correctly.'ll do.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Week 15 and 16

I can't believe it's already May! Sharing my weeks 15 and 16, along with a little project I made for my cousin's baby shower. My nephew is due in June and I'm over-the-moon excited!

I decided to document these photos with no embellishments. Purely Project Life. Although I like to dress it up once in a while, the simplicity and crisp clean look makes me smile. Can you believe I got all this done in about 20 minutes? And that's only because I had to think of what I wanted to write on my journaling cards. Ahh, the beauty of Project Life. You have saved me so much time and I always get the same beautiful result on my layout, as I would with embellishments.

I love happening upon photos that have space for me to add my favorite quote. They add more to the story of my photo and my daughter will end up with a collection of great quotes to read when she needs some inspiration. I use my iPhone photo apps to add the text. Some of my favorite photo apps (for adding text to a photo) are: Phonto, TitleFx, Typic, Phoster, and the newest addition to my app collection (introduced to me by my daughter) is PicLab.

In Week 16, I added an extra layout for my cousin's baby shower. I was going to TRY to have all of 2013 in ONE ALBUM. Doubtful. At the rate I'm going with all of our life events, I can just hear my Magic 8 Ball saying: Ask again Later.

My favorite things about the Baby Shower
1.  The adorable jungle- themed dessert table my cousin, Shelley (the mommy-to-be's sister) made. 
2.  The Onesie Table:  Guests got to make their own onesie for the baby by tracing + cutting templates with a fabric piece of their choice. Then my daughter iron it on for them. She was in charge of the station to make sure the iron was being used properly by the kiddos; probably by the adults as well!
3.  The "Pin The Uterus" Game. Everyone wrote their name on a "sperm" cut out. After everyone was done placing them on the Uterus, The Mommy-to-be was blind folded to pin her "egg" (cutout) onto the Uterus. Closest sperm won! That's the first time I've even seen that game at a baby shower. 

I used the Project Life Mini Album to make a guest book. The guests could pick any journaling card to write well wishes or parental advice on and slip it right back into the pocket for the parents-to-be to enjoy reading later. I also placed photos from their pregnancy photo shoot in random spots throughout the album, so guests could enjoy looking at those while they write on their journaling cards. 

I must give credit to my husband for this adorable idea. He thought of it at the VERY last minute; Like 10-minutes-away-from-the-party-kind-of-last-minute (hence, the makeshift sign). He knows the Daddy-to-be is a huge football fan. He bought the baby his first football for all of the men to sign as they came in. Everyone loved it and the women ended up signing it too.

Well that's about it for April. Hello, May! Bring it.

Tips + Tricks From The Creative Team

Hi there!

Here is a video that Becky Higgins put together of our creative team, sharing tips + photo ideas, as well as their favorite layouts with you in honor of National Scrapbooking Day (this Saturday May 4th). There are some great ideas in the video. I hope you find these ideas helpful and add them to your way of documenting for Projec Life!

Click here to check it out! 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Project Life Debuts on HSN!

I hope you marked your calendars because this is a pretty BIG DEAL. Project Life will be appearing on HSN all throughout the day on Monday, March 25th. They are introducing Core Kits and bundling them up with coordinating goodies at an awesome low price. This is the perfect opportunity for everyone to hop on the Project Life train and grab one for yourself, one for a friend, and {heck, why not!?} another one for yourself! Check it all out in detail on Becky Higgins' Blog Be sure to tune in because another edition will be introduced also. If you're on the fence about starting a Project Life of your own, Monday would be the perfect time to decide. I know you all have pictures, sitting around waiting, to be shown off the way they deserve to be displayed.

I was given such a fun opportunity to create sample pages using the JADE EDITION (shown above) to be featured on HSN! I took a trip down memory lane and used photos from my childhood as well as photos from every day life. This kit is so versatile! Here's a peek sans journaling so you can see how beautiful all of the cards look together in plenty of different color combinations:

While title cards are most commonly used to label the the week you are in currently, I used it as more of a "time period" title card, like I did for my "The Toddler Years" layout {below, which I labeled later.} You want your childhood memories to be displayed beautifully even though most of the pictures from back then (wow, did I just say "back then"?) are not very good quality. I was able to do that with Project Life. All of the paper (Title cards, journaling/filler cards) just added that simple, yet beautiful pop that old pictures need without any heavy embellishing taking focus away from the precious photos. I had so much fun journaling about the specific things I remembered from these photos and jotting down the stories I remember my mother telling me about some photos as well.  

Using the Jade Edition to document Everyday Life was great because of the color palette! I was able to mix and match the title/journaling/filler cards and my layouts looked like they belonged to the same album, while every page still looked different. It gave a lot of variety to my layouts. I did a little embellishing with the every day life photos to show the versatility of the Jade Edition. The possibilities really are endless!

Project Life is like a great pair of jeans. You can dress it up {with lots of embellishing} or dress it down {using only the cards in the kit}, and either way it ends up looking beautiful! I myself love embellishing here and there, but the simplicity of slipping in my photos and journaling is what I gravitate toward the most because it's quick, simple, clean, not cluttered, and beautiful! I leave the more detailed embellishing for when I do my 12x12 layouts. 

And that's all folks! Tune in on March 25th to see all the goodness Project Life has to offer and you'll also see all the beautiful layouts from other members on my creative team. My goodness, these ladies are talented.