To be entered here, like and share this post on Facebook,
then leave a comment with your name and where you’re are from here on the blog.
Winners will be announced on Thursday.
Note: I know there’s been problems leaving comments here with that silly Captcha thing–making you question your math skills and all. Shees. Thank you so much for those that have emailed me your birthday wishes! I’m trying a new Captcha today, so I’m hoping it will help. Please email if there are still problems though.
Now, for todays’s party favor…just a cute little cupcake for ya. Some sweets for my sweets. :)
Wow! I cannot believe I’ve had this little ol’ business for five years now! I’m always in a state of constant gratitude that I get to do what I do and…the icing on the cake (notice what I did there)…is that I get to do it with all of you! You have been a tremendous support with your kind words and funny comments. I am seriously humbled by your enthusiasm and support for the things I create and my crazy teaching.
I’ve grown a lot in five years…both where I’m at business-wise as well as what I get to create. Styles have also changed up a bit in five years.
Who remembers my very first kit?
This was my first try at seeing if creating–and selling–cuttable images was something that I really could pursue. My first month I made $500 and I thought, ‘Wow. This could really work.’
And when I put up my August This+That kit last week, I thought about the fact that I’ve had them for almost five years now too! I started with THIS Halloween kit almost five years ago. I can’t believe I’ve been switching out my tray that long!
Time seriously flies! And a lot can happen in five years.
In five years I’ve had three different types of ‘stores’ (soon to be four, wink wink). In five years I’ve had two different blogs.
In five years I began teaching online classes.
In five years I created my first set of stamps.
In five years I created three Project Life kits and Photo Layovers.
In five years I’ve connected and made friends with people from all over the world: Vietnam, Iceland, Canada, UK, Australia, South Africa, Norway, the Middle East…the list goes on and on…what an amazing world we live in!
I can’t even imagine what the next five years will bring. Thank you all for making these past five years so amazing!
So speaking of stamps, there are two brand new stamp sets for you today!
And because we are in birthday mode…
They are on sale through Wednesday for 10% off!
They do have a tendency to sell quickly, so pick yours up today if you’re impatient like me. :)
And now what’s a birthday party without a party favor?
A little piece of cake just for you!
Download this image for free today only.
This is no longer available as a freebie, but you can find it in the store on Thursday.
And I can’t help but say, but wait there’s more! What birthday party would it be if we didn’t have a sale?!
Save 20% on downloads and classes.
No coupon needed. Exclude stamps, The History Project, the Designer Edition and gift cards.
We have three amazing days to celebrate,
so you don’t want to miss a day!
It’s no secret that I love being outdoors. I may not always get to be outdoors, but if I can sit up in the mountains with the swaying trees and the sound of the birds or by an ocean listening to the waves as them come crashing to shore…then I’m a happy camper.
I thought this phrase was so appropriate for this time of year. Whether you get a trip up the canyon, head to the beach, or just enjoy time sitting in your backyard and appreciate the nature there…it’s all connected. We are all connected.
And of course I had to use it in digital form on a trip to the mountains. Duh.
And did you realize this is the very last day of July? School is just around the corner for many people. How about yourself? Ready to do a little class-ing yourself? Sign up for The History Project today because it’s the last day to save $5! (Class starts August 24. Enrollment ends August 31.)
I promise, this is one project you and your family will always treasure. Get those memories out of your head and onto paper now.
My son enjoys spending money–or enjoys dreaming of what he’s going to spend money on. (It’s true Zach, and you know it.) He’s always got some ‘cool thing’ that he wants to buy and it changes frequently.
We’ll be talking about one thing one day–like a fly rod he wants or that he wants to take a trip somewhere, and the next day he comes home with a lens.
This just happened at the beginning of the year.
Of course, with this particular purchase, I was quite intrigued. Canon released a new lens in November of the pancake variety. And just like the name, you can imagine what the lens looks like.
And I have to say, it’s a pretty nifty little lens for the price. (Note: This is not a lens you can use on a full-frame camera, like the 5D.)
I tried to convince him he should let me take it when we did our cross-country trip in March, but he wasn’t having any of that. I wish I would have just bought myself one then. It would have been awesome for places like the cemetery in New Orleans.
I’ve been struggling wanting to take my big mama camera (Canon 7D) around with me because it gets heavy and cumbersome. Love the camera, but it’s not very convenient. I’ve hauled it with me in a bag on many occasions and taking it in and out–most often with my 28-135 IS lens attached–and gets awkward…and heavy.
Need a little visual to see what I’m talking about?
Hello! Do you see what I mean? Granted, I lose all zooming capability and the image stabilizer, but with that small of a lens, don’t really need the IS. And with the megapixel of the 7D? I can always zoom in using Photoshop if I need to and probably be fine. Not only that, this is a fixed lens, meaning, I can set my aperture and it will stay…and I love being able to maintain the aperture I want.
I’ve been eying the Fuji x100s camera for like a couple years. I really want it. Light weight. Cool as heck looking. Love the retro. And a 23mm f/2 lens. Perfect for city, landscape and just everyday shooting. They are actually on the x100T now…that’s how long I’ve been wanting it. ;)
I still really want the Fuji, but with a cost of $1299 for the most recent model, it’s not so in the budget. Perhaps if I sold my 7D….
But at $149, I finally bought my own lens so I can have pancakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, whether at home or on vacation.
Here’s a few sample shots I took at about–or just over–a foot away.
Settings: f/11, ISO 800
Settings: f/5.6, ISO 800
Settings: f/2.8, ISO 800
The one downside to it is that it does vignette a little when you get down to 2.8, as you can see by this photo. Seems that if you shoot with a little higher f-stop number, then it doesn’t vignette quite as much.
Zach’s been using his quite a bit these past few months and loving it.
I’m excited to give it a real test drive on some upcoming travel myself.
We live in the wonderful world of car-sharing. Jordan works from 10-2, so I just let her take my car unless I need to go somewhere…like a couple weeks ago when I had to go to the dentist to get a new crown. Fun times…not.
But when I do get to drive in my car, it’s the one time I listen to the radio or Jordan puts on her Spotify music, which is sometimes the same as what I listen to on my iTunes and sometimes not.
As we neared her place of employment, the Imagine Dragons song, ‘I’m On Top Of The World’ song came on. It was such a happy little diddy and the more I thought about the phrase, the more I knew it needed to be a Friday Freebie–especially with it being all summer like, ya know? Since last week it was all about Christmas, here is the ‘world’ for you.
(the pieces do come separately too)
And if this doesn’t make you feel like you’re on top of the world,
here’s a little Imagine Dragons to help you fly.
Oh, and a little side note here…the next song I heard on the radio after she left was ‘Best Of Both Worlds’ by Van Halen. I felt a little theme going on.
Our official Christmas In July week is over, but there is one more thing I wanted to add as a part of the celebration. One of the best Christmas presents you can give to the ones you love…
And The History Project can help you with that. So by popular demand, we’re opening up a fall session!
While this has always been an online class, I have personally taught the class, in particular, to the ladies in my church at the beginning of the year. (Which is why I made the video above.) Recently, I’ve heard from a few of them about how much they loved the class, and it’s not necessarily because of me…although, what’s not to love? ;)
They’d taken on personal history projects before, but they were difficult to tackle because they were trying to write in chronological order.
Our brains don’t work like that. One memory can spark another that happened ten years later. And when the memories come, you need to write them down–even if they aren’t fully written, because as fast as that memory comes into your brain, it can leave…and sometimes, never to return. I like the organic approach of just letting the memories come.
They were amazed at how much easier it was to document all their sweet stories for their posterity when they threw out the ‘chronological rule book’. And hearing that gives me great joy. You want it to be easy. You want the memories to flow and act upon them as they come.
This class isn’t your typical journaling-type book with a question and blank lines. It goes more in-depth than that. Lots of questions to get your mind thinking. There are also writing tips as well as ideas on gathering information. So much good stuff.
It’s not meant to be a ‘scrapbook’ either. The focus is specifically on journaling. It’s about getting the stories out of your head and onto paper in the most efficient way possible. If you want to add a photo to illustrate your point and perhaps some foo-foo, by all means, do it. But let the stories flow first, then foo-foo after. I like mixing a little foo-foo in myself, but I type everything first.
In previous years, the class went a whole year. But this year it’s been revamped into a 12-week format, which will go a little more ‘fast and furious’, so to speak, particularly in the first month. I felt that the 52 weeks seemed to get to crazy for most people–myself included–and it would get put on the back burner. If we keep it in the forefront of our minds, the memories come so much easier.
And with it being 12 weeks, you’ll be done by the first half of November…plenty of time to get it done for family Christmas gifts. What a treat that will be!
If you can take 30 minutes out of your day before the kids get up or a couple hours on Sunday–whatever it takes–to sit and ponder the memories that will begin stirring and just start typing them out at least (I’m faster typing than writing), you will be amazed at where your mind goes and what memories will come up.
It’s so worth it. I can’t even express just how much it’s worth it.
And just like in the years past, you are more than welcome to work on this with your immediate family members in your home. It’s also fun to get your siblings and parents working on it too. I’ve heard from sisters that live in different parts of the country working on their history and then they call each other and share their memories. Sometimes they match up…and sometimes they don’t! It’s crazy how we remember things. Pretty funny.
A ‘book group’ would also be a great idea. Gather friends, talk about the prompts and one thought spurs another one so fast! You might need some kind of recording device so you can remember all those fun nuggets. Because I’ve done this before and it goes fast…the memories just start flying!
So there ya have it! There’s no time like the present to write about your past.
For all the details about this class, check out THIS lovely page.
Spread the word about the class, because registration is only for a limited time. Do it with your family and friends. It’s a great project to help you reminisce and reconnect with those that grew up with you!
Class starts August 24. Enroll through August 31. Save $5 if purchased by July 31.
I have a confession. I am not so good in the recording department. I always have good intentions. In fact, I even started this project last Christmas season. But as per usual, the craziness of the time got in the way. My kids are also older now (three, 20-25) and so that ‘magic’ part of it isn’t really a part of our Christmas in the child-like sense.
I’ve also not necessarily been one to record the whole month of December. Doing December Daily sounds like a grand idea at the time, but as usual, life is just so crazy. Well, in 2013, when my daughter was getting ready to leave for Jacksonville on December 18 to serve an LDS mission, I made an effort to document more. I love that I did that. (Now I just need to get it in an album.)
In 2014, much of December was spent dealing with the aftermath of a tragedy that occurred at Thanksgiving with some close family friends and our involvement with that. To say it did not feel like the Christmas season is putting it mildly. Christmas seemed rather trivial. I don’t think I got any kind of decorations up until about the middle of the month when the kids finally put up their own Christmas tree. I think I finally put up a couple other items found in one box and that was it.
But as Christmas grew closer, so did we. Even though I had much to do for work, I chose not to during that time and we spent quality family time together–watching movies, doing puzzles, making great food, and having a truly white Christmas thanks to an awesome snow storm. It’s not often we get snow like that. Sometimes we have some snow and sometimes there’s none. So the fact that it snowed so much that evening and into Christmas…it made it magical. One of my favorite moments of that holiday–besides doing a puzzle with my girls, was playing Mexican Train with Zach at the kitchen table. Our Christmas dinner contributions were cooking in the oven and we played many games and watched the snow fall.
I say that was the worst Christmas and the best Christmas we’ve had. I think the bad time is what made the good times so much sweeter. It was all about family for us and it was just what we needed.
As I pulled out this project once again and looked at the photos, I was amazed at how many emotions came to surface again. I can’t tell you just how grateful I was that I made the effort–even during that tragic time–to document our Christmas.
It means the world to me that we have that.
And now, on this final Christmas In July day, here are my pages for 2014…in an album….all finished. Yay!
On this page I create a 6×8 page (rectangle), typed my text where I wanted it, and placed the Winter Tree temporarily so I could size it. Once I knew what I wanted, I moved the tree to the side, printed the page and trimmed it to size. Then I cut one tree from a scrap of vinyl and three more on white cardstock–all at the same time on the same mat. Then I just glued them all together to create that ‘golden chipboard’ look.
The one nice things about the gold vinyl is that it conveniently looks like gold vinyl from both sides. Sweet! And to create the snowflake page, again, draw a 6×8 rectangle. place the snowflake, type your text, move the snowflake off, print on cardstock, cut the snowflake, and adhere it in place. Embellish with other sparkly bits and title.
I’m all about keeping things simple. One thing I did to make things quick was to cut out the Merry Little Words and have them on hand. I also used a lot of the Hello December and changed the color on the Christmas card.
The other thing that worked for me was the fact that I didn’t worry about documenting December on a daily basis, but rather was just sure to record all the moments that occurred. I plan on doing this for more Decembers and keep them in this album. Now I need to get 2013 done. :)
And now, the video you’ve all been waiting for ;), a video that shows how to use vinyl from start to finish using your Silhouette.
Wow! We’ve had such an incredible week with our creative team, haven’t we? So many wonderful ideas to help you get ahead of the game on your Christmas happenings. Well, we still have a couple days left in our Christmas In July event and a little more to share.
Take a look at these gorgeous tags and treat bag ideas using the brand new Believe and Holiday Magic stamps from our lovely Naomi!
Those tags…adorable. And the mint and snowflakes? divine.
Here Naomi used the stamps as the coffee cup designs,
and then used a simple tab punch that I had to cut the lids!
Oh my heck! That’s an awesome idea!
That is one beautiful treat bag! So elegant.
These stamps are so versatile. Not only have I had fun playing with them, but I’ve loooooved seeing what my creative team has done with them this week.
When you guys out there make something with these new stamps (or any of them, really) and share it social media, be sure to tag me so I can see your beautiful creations too!
They are on sale through tomorrow, so be sure to pick yours up today if you haven’t gotten them yet. Get yourself ahead of the fall and Christmas frenzy. With the way time has been flying, it’ll be here before you know it and you’ll have another holiday full of good intentions. ;)