All summer Long my best friend Laurie and I have been saying we need to get together with our girls who have been good friends forever as well... but you know how it goes. Laurie has to travel lots for her job, all our girls have summer jobs, we have family vacations, the list goes on, well we are finally getting together right before the Lexi, Stephie and ALyssa all head off to college for the fall semester. As you can tell by the photo we are minus Stephie who was in California, so of course as tradition dictates we had to do a photo with "flat Stephie" to be sure she was in at least one group shot!( We are going to see her next week in person!) Our happy group met up at Z tejas in Tempe, for a wonder couple hours of dinner , and laughter as well as serious debate over the current results of "So You Think You Can Dance", we are all VERY serious fans. We also had fun exchanging birthday gifts since all the girls birthday's as well as mine fall in the summer months. As usual Laurie gave me the perfect birthday gift! I just have to share since many of the people who read my blog are scrapbookers I think you may be interested! Laurie gave me a 10+ Journal, it is the coolest thing! It is a journal that allows you to write a small amount of journaling each day of the year and on each page it has space for ten years of entries so when your journal is done you will have 10 years of journaling snippets for every day of the year... so cool. Here are a couple pictures. I am excited to start using it. She also gave me one other really cute little goodie it is a little necklace with a camera on it... how fun it is this? Laurie and I have a history of loving anything that is "trial sized" this little necklace is so darn cute, i know i will be wearing it soon. We got Lexi and Stephie some adorable necklaces from the Dogeared Jewels company, can't show which one since steph hasn't got her's yet check out their website.... I want to buy everything! The Stamas Family spoiled Alyssa with jewelry and clothing from Urban Outfitters which made her very happy... I think she will be wearing her new goodies by the end of the day! The only thing missing in the evening was a photo of Laurie and I, don't know how we managed to not take one of us!!
This afternoon I had the opportunity to help Alyssa and her friends Kaitlyn and Jenna make some pillows to decorate the dorm rooms that they will be moving into in a few short weeks. Alyssa and Jenna will be rooming together up at NAU in an apartment style dorm this year and are excited to have a small living room in their apartment, they resourcefully found and purchased an inexpensive futon couch on Craigslist last week with a nice black cover that fits with their coler scheme. Today we were creating bright colored throw pillows to put on their couch. Kaitlyn will be attending ASU and was also creating some fun pillows for the cool futon couch she also bought on Craigslist, zebra print and bright pink were her color choices. The girls did the cutting and pinning and I did the machine sewing. We all took turns sewing the stuffing openings closed. The girls did a great job. Sequined fabric on Kaitlyn's pillows was not making it through the sewing maching well so we even had a little hand sewing going on at the end, which was pretty funny. It has been quite awhile since I have sat around sewing with a group of girls it was really fun to just sit and gab and sew, I am so glad they included me in their afternoon. Listeing to all the things they will having going on when they return to school makes me remember how much fun college was. It is so hard to believe it has been over thirty years since I was in their shoes seems like yesterday sometimes.
Today I had the pleasure of being a guest on the Arizona Midday Show ! My scrapbooking theme for this segment was fun ways to scrapbook your summer. I highlighted techniques using ephemera from your summer activities as a way to make the projects fun and memorable for your kids to participate in as well. The two little frames shown here commemorate a trip to Hawaii earlier this summer as well as a favorite trip to Legoland a few years back that my son took. Creating a decorative frame is a fun and easy way to get your child involved in scrapbooking summer memories that doesn't always involve making a scrapbook page! To create the Lego frame Lego bricks were glued to a wooden frame from the dollar store using Aileene's Tacky Glue, I like this glue because it dries firm, quick and clear! The Hawaiian frame was created using another dollar store frame, some colorful brads that I snipped the legs off and the flowers from a Hawaiian Lei we got on our trip. I also used Tacky glue to adhere all the items to the frames, total production time for each frame was 30 minutes,( then another hour to allow for complete glue drying). Definitely a fun and kid-friendly project... seashells work great for this too! Speaking of seashells, sometimes it is fun to make a bumpy lumpy layout that you can frame! Alyssa had her 19th birthday at the beach this year so I created a little photo frame around her favorite birthday photo using some little beach shells from the beach. If you don't have any shells most craft stores sell shells very inexpensively in different sizes in small bags. To create the photo frame on the layout I first mounted the photo on heavy chipboard leaving about a 1/4" free edge all the way around, then used tacky glue once more to glue the shells down. I let this frame dry over night before adhering it to the layout. I used two-sided tape to adhere to the layout since it was a little heavier than my normal page elements.Using ephemera from your summer activities can be really fun on your scrapbooking projects, consider saving menues, programs, tickets,placemats anything you can copy on to paper or use as paper on your project! This summer Michael was in his first production with Actors Youth Theatre we cut up pieces of the program showing the production title as well as his actor bio to add to this quick and easy layout. Projects like this are once more easy for your children to create because by using the emphemera from the activity or the event you already have you layout embellishments ready to go, you just have to add pictures! I used this same technique to scrapbook Alyssa's birthday dinner in Carlsbad, California. We loved the Italian restaurant we ate at that night so I printed out a copy of the restaurants menu and insignia onto some parchment paper use as my embellishments All I had to do was add some journaling and photos and the layout was complete. Consider using the colorful placemat from your child's favorite restaurant in the same way! One of my favorite project ideas I shared on the show today was a quick Postcard mini book idea for adults and kids alike. When I am on vacation I always buy postcards but I rarely send them out! I buy them because I love the colorful photos of the places I am visiting. I great way to put those postcards to use is in a quick and simple mini book. Most postcards are either 4"x 6 or 6" x 8", I chose to create a simple ring binding on the side of mine using hinge rings available at most office supply stores. I punched holes and bound my book and added a few extra cardstock pages of the same dimension. Next I printed my favorite photos from this summer's beach vacation and glued them on the back of the postcards and onto the cardstock pages. All that was left to do was a some journaling on the backs of the postcards and cardstock pages. I embellished the front of the book with a label from my Dymo label make and some ribbon with a metal rimmed tag!
It was hard to leave the beach after a week of perfect weather, family togetherness, indulgent reading and DVD viewing pretty much total relaxation. Every day the view outside our beach house was similar to this sunshine, clear skies, good waves! I am already looking forward to the next beach trip. Here are a few more photo favs from the end of the week.
Michael and Alyssa had fun playing smash ball on the beach, Michael also spent more time in the water than any one else this week becoming quite the accomplished boogie boarder.I ventured into the water a few times but spent most of my time on the beach reading, people watching and doing a little walking. Mike got more exercise in than any of us, he brought along his mountain bike and went on quite a few nice rides in the early morning in the Carlsbad/Oceanside area. I did manage to read two more books this week that I really enjoyed. The Longest Trip Home, by John Grogan was a memoir that I truly enjoyed. I could really relate because the author grew up in the same part of Michigan that I did, and I really enjoyed reading about some the familiar landmarks of my childhood. John Grogan shares with humor what it was like to grow up in a devoutly Catholic family, and even though I am not Catholic I knew many families and kids in my neighborhood who where just like his. I really loved this book and it definitely made me a little teary eyed at the end, I would highly reccomend it. My final book of the week was Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlen, it kept my attention and was a good beach read but I would have to say it was my least favorite book of the week. I liked the storyline, the relationship between two sisters with very different lives and how thy cope with stress and tragedy but it was a little obvious and contrived for me. Since coming home I have started on a literature classic I have been meaning to read for quite some time The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, I am about a third of the way through and totally loving it! I will share a review after I am finished. One of our final celebrations on vacation was Alyssa's 19th birthday, we went out to dinner at a nice Italian restaurant in Carlsbad, opened gifts and had really bad cake we bought at the grocery store! It was fun and now our girl is 19 and ready to start her sophmore year of college in just a few short weeks.
One of my favorite activities when going to the beaching is assembling a big stack of books to read. While at home I rarely have time to sit and literally read ALL day, while at the beach that is my primary activity. I have made a good dent in the books I have brought. The first book finished I would highly recommend, The Art of Racing in the Rain. I was a bit skeptical of reading another dog book but this one was super good. The story of Denny, ( the dog's owner) is told by Enzo the dog. I was hooked from the first page. It was a quick read that I couldn't put down, I laughed and definited cried. The ending was a bit predictable but I loved it just the same... go get this one! Next up was Pride and Predjudice and Zombies , I had picked this up many times and almost bought it, I was curious having read the Jane Austin original many years ago. I took the plunge and bought it at Target to read at the beach.I must admit it was alittle silly but it kept my attention and was definitely way different than most of what I read. I think die- hard Jane Austen fans my not care for it too much. Next on deck starting tomorrow is The Longest Trip Home. Both my hubby and my best friend loved this book by John Grogran and I am a big fan of Marley and Me so I am looking forward to this memoir of his youth! I will offer more book reviews as I work through my stack of books.
No better time to return to blogging than when on vacation right? We are enjoying the sand and sun of Oceanside, California. We really loved this particular beach house last year and were fortunate it was available during a week we were all free this year. I love this photo of ALyssa and Michael, when no one else is around they actually hang out together which is nice. The weather is wonderful and predicted to stay that way for the duration of our stay. So far I have eaten lots of food I have sworn off for the last couple months, had a couple margaritas and read two good books. I am looking forward to much more of the same.