Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy New Year

I will not be around for a few days, so I wanted to send out a special wish that your New Year is filled with joy, happiness and love. Hope to see you around in 2012!!

The snowflake image is from FredSheSaid.

If you are heading to a party for New Years Eve here are two of my favorite dip recipes.

Spinach Dip (pampered chef)

1 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed/drained
1 cup mayonnaise
1 1/4 cup sour cream
1 8 oz. can water chestnuts, drained chopped
1 1.4 oz. package Knorr vegetable soup mix
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Mix all ingredients. To serve hot, spread on little bread slices and place in 375 oven for 10 minutes. or serve cold with crackers or bread slices.

Chicken Spread 

8 oz. cream cheese
small onion, finely chopped
small can 4.25 oz canned chicken
1 T. mayonnaise
1 T. soy sauce

Blend all ingredients together with a hand mixer until creamy. Serve with crackers.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Holiday Time = Creative Time

I hope everyone had a Merry and Joyful Holiday. My boys have been filling their time building Legos and eating as many cookies as they can.  It's been lots of fun!  I know I haven't been on my blog much but that will be changing.  I've been busy with some projects around the house and I'm hoping to be able to show them to you in a few weeks when the project is finished.  I've also been busy working on some assignments for the classes I signed up for next year.  I'm hoping I didn't bite off more then I can chew, but I'm really motivated and looking forward to the classes.

One thing that I haven't done in a long, long time was to do a scrapbook challenge. I've been busy organizing my supplies and when I get into my cleaning mode, I don't do much creating. I really needed to do something fun and creative so what better way then a challenge from Scrap the Boys.  The challenge was to use 1 or 2 photos on a Christmas themed layout using Green, Red, White and Blue.

I actually had a kit by Dianne Rigdon Designs called Be Merry that used those four colors. The template was from Ali Edwards.

Enjoy the last few days of 2011.  What are your plans for ringing in the new year?  Do you do something quiet or head out to a big party?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

School Update

Happy Xmas Eve!

This has been the first day in weeks that I haven't been baking, shopping, wrapping, making, cooking, etc... You know the feeling. It's time to relax and enjoy the season.

Since I had some down time I thought it was time to post something on my blog that I've been absent from since earlier in the month.  I finished my first semester back at school and loved every minute of it. The last few weeks were stressful, trying to get all my final project ready, but I really love this program.

I took three classes: Intro to Photography, Fundamentals of Design and Intro to Photoshop.

Our last assignment in Photography was a model shot. We had to compile a Model Comp card. We only had 5 minutes with the model in the first outfit and then only 3 minutes in the second.  The third outfit we only had one minute but the last outfit we could only take 3 photos but had as much time as we wanted. You really had to have a good item what you wanted so you could move the lights and pose the model in the time allowed. Here is the Comp Card I did:

Our final project for this class was a slide show of our best pictures showing our range of style. I would share the slideshow but I have no idea on how to add a Lightroom Slideshow to blogger. Sorry!

My Photoshop class was amazing. Our final two projects pushed us to use the skills we learned in class to create something of our own. I was excited when we were told we had to design our own movie poster. We could pick any movie that has been out in the last 10 years. We needed to find good quality images and make it look like something Hollywood would use. Anyone that knows me knows I did a Harry Potter movie poster. I had so much fun with this and I plan on getting it printed and hanging it in our basement.

Then our final project was to combine two images into one and make it look like it's always been that way.  So I did a snake whose body turns into an orange peel.

My boys really liked this assignment they were asking me to combine all kinds of things, not realizing how much time it took me to do this one picture. 

My third class, Fundamentals of Design was my messy class. We used pencils and paint for all our projects. I haven't taken any photos of the final matted items, but maybe some day I'll get around to showing them. I did learn so many of the rules of design and how they work together to create something amazing.

I'm just hoping I remember all the wonderful things I learned this semester.  Next semester I decided to only take two classes, three was too much.  I will be learning Fundamentals of Illustration and Digital Illustration. 

I will be back after the holiday, so until then, have a safe and Happy Christmas! Thank you for being a part of my life through this blog.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ten on 10

Ten favorite holiday movies:

  1. It's a Wonderful Life  
  2. A Christmas Story
  3. A Christmas Carol
  4. Elf
  5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  6. Miracle on 34th Street
  7. The Santa Clause
  8. Scrooged
  9. The Year without a Santa Clause
  10. All the other cartoon classics (Frosty, Rudolph, Drummer Boy)
What's on your must see list every year?

This post is part of Shimelle's month blog challenge.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Plan for the New Year

Do you have a plan for the New Year?  Are there classes or projects that you are signing up for?  I've been trying to decide which classes/projects I'm going to jump into, but it's really hard!  I want to do them all.  Everything looks so cool and fresh and exciting.  I'm trying to be good and not over commit but here is what I'm doing so far:

Over at Big Picture I've signed up for

Twelve - Stacy Julian

Big Picture Classes

This class was a jump for me. I wasn't sure about the commitment, but I love Stacy's classes.  They are always worth the money and you get so much more than you release from them. I'm going to do my best to keep up with this class, but I'm a little worried.

One Little Word 2012 - Ali Edwards

I really enjoyed the 2011 version of this class. I struggled a little at the end to keep motivated but because of the blog hop I was in, I keep going and have a wonderful journey documented. I still don't know what my word will be, but I'm looking forward to exploring it.

Round Up Your Memories - Katie Nelson

I've been doing Katie's round up for a few months now and really enjoy them. I'm taking the class to get more ideas on gather my information and using them in my books.

Classes I'm thinking about:

Finding Your Photo Flow over at Digi Scraps 101. 

I'm taking Kayla's free lightroom digi organization class and I'm loving it. I'm really curious to see how she organizes here photos and keeps them organized. She is going to look at all types of software, not just lightroom, so this might help me decide which software will work best for me in the long run.

The Art of Poster Design and Digi-In Deep over at Jessica Sprague.

It's been a while since I took anything over at Jessica's site. I've loved the classes I took in the past and I think it's time to learn some more Photoshop skills.

Project Life - Becky Higgins
This would be a huge jump for me. I love seeing everyone's projects but it's a big, big commitment. I'm not sure if I'm ready for it yet. She also has a class coming to Big Picture called Project Real Life that I might look into.

I also have my college course I have to keep up, so I can not forget about those.  What classes/projects are you really looking forward to doing in the new year?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Family x12 Blog Hop

Happy December!! I'm glad you had a few minutes in your busy holiday schedule to stop by.  If you been following along with the blog hop you just came from Melissa's blog - don't you just love her blog!! If your not familiar with this blog hop, the idea is to get a family portrait each month. Now it doesn't have to be a formal portrait, it just has to be a photo with everyone in your family included.

This month I'm a little embarrassed by my photo.  I was suppose to get a nice picture of all of us after our Thanksgiving dinner.  The problem was I forgot my tri-pod and my kids were too cold to wait for mom to figure something out.  So the photo I have is us at the restaurant we had dinner at.  The photo is blurry, only one child is looking at the camera, my husband and I are in the mirror and you can not really see me because I have the camera in front of my face, but we are all there!!

Oh well, they can not all be masterpieces. :) Even thought this is not the best picture, I still really like it. This was the first time we had Thanksgiving dinner out.  I usually cook, but my siblings either had other plans or don't live here anymore.  It seemed like a lot of effort to cook a huge meal when in reality only my husband and I would eat most of it. The meal at the restaurant was wonderful and who knows maybe this will be our new tradition.

If you haven't stopped by the other blog hop participates please stop in and say hello.  It's a small group so it won't take you long.  Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful holiday season.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Monthly Recap...

It's that time again.... Here's what I've been up to.

1. What books and/or magazines did I read this month?

Oxygen & Clean Eating - my usually monthly magazines
Irish Dreams – Nora Roberts

2. What movies, television shows, plays, etc. Did I watch this month?

Breaking Dawn

3. What fun things did I do with my family and/or friends?

Coached my sons Lego Robotics Team. Competition was so much fun and it was amazing to see what these kids come up with for their projects.

Had lunch with my good friend Laura.  Went to Pottery Barn with her after for some shopping.

Went furniture shopping for our living room remodel.

Went out to dinner with my friends from High School. Always a wonderful time.

Went to Keuse and Muir on Main for Thanksgiving dinner.

4. What gifts did I give and/or recieve?

Bought many gifts but did not give them yet.
5. What special or unusual purchases did I make?
New Sump Pump – not expected. Lucky we caught the problem before there was too much water in the basement.
Wall Units for our living room remodel.
New windows for first floor of house.
6. What illness or health concerns did I have?

Logan had his annual check up at the heart doctor. He still has the hole in his heart, but it hasn’t changed in size.  So we will come back again next year to get it checked again.
7. What were my accomplishments this month?

Registered for next semesters classes.
Organizing my digi supplies in LightRoom.  Imported everything and tagged by kit and designer.

8. What disappointments this month?

Haven’t had the time to workout like I would like to.
9. How did I do on my goals for the month?

Did great on goals. Almost done with Xmas shopping.  Just need to get DH gift and my mom something. But the boys are done.
I also took a photo of the boys on Thanksgiving that I will use in our Christmas Cards.
10.  Anything else noteworthy to include?

Had teacher conferences with the boys teachers. They are all doing great.
William football team tied for first place. William started basketball.
Kyle was in his first piano recital.  Kyle started gymnastics.
Logan started violin lessons.

Goals for next month:

Mail out Xmas cards.
Finish my classes with a bang!!
Order furniture and pick our carpeting for living room
Enjoy the holiday season
This idea is from Katie the Scrapbook lady.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

One Little Word Blog Hop

It's hard to believe it's December.  This is the 11 OLW Blog Hop and I'm happy to say I've stuck with it and did all the assignments.  Yippeee!!! I'm so glad that you have stopped by to see what I've been up to.  If you would like to see the other months check this out.

This months prompt was to do some writing using some "I" statements.  My scan came up very yellow, they are slightly more to the orange side then the bright yellow.

If you stopped by from Jill's blog and would like to continue on, your next stop is over at Nikki's.  If you would like to start at the beginning of the blog just click on Margie's blog link below.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you again soon.

Julie Ann
Monica B