Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Why I Scrapbook

Awhile ago I did a post about How I Scrapbook and so I thought I would do another post, but about Why I Scrapbook.

The short answer: I need to.

I need a creative outlet. I need a way to express myself. A way to be who I want to be. A way to remember who I am, where I came from, and where I want to go.

It reminds me of my priorities in my life: my family, my friends and the memories we all make together--all of which is anchored in the Gospel. It keeps me grounded.

I've always been a science geek. I like to think I have a pretty logical/practical mind. Even though numbers don't always make sense to me, Biology does. It's what I studied in school. I love it. It facinates me. To me Biology is creative. It's a science that deals with creation. My very favorite class was Cellular and Molecular Biology-all about how cells are created and how they function. So facinating to me. But it's definitely technical and exact. And I can only handle so much of that.

Sometimes my Left Brain gets all dominant and then my Right Brain rebels and goes all crazy until I create something. Usually it turns out to be a scrapbook page. I think I'd go crazy if I didn't have some kind of outlet. Everyday I talk to people that don't and they do go crazy. Seriously. This makes me grateful for scrapbooking.

Scrapbooking is not necessarily "practical" (shock I know!). It takes a lot of time and energy, and sometimes money, spent on something that usually just sits on a shelf in a binder and nobody looks at it. I'm okay with that. Though, it would be nice if someone would look at it once in awhile. Validation is always nice, but it's not necessary to me. I give myself lots of validation. hahaha. Oh, wait, not validation, I give myself justification. Whatever. :)

But my scrapbooks are important peices of my personal history, and some day my family's history. I'm not good at keeping a journal, but I can take pictures and document the things I do. Besides, pictures are so much funner! And I love presenting the fun pictures in a fun way. As my family will attest, I've often said about a lot of things, "It's all about the presentation."

How I got started...

When I was about 14 I got really sick and missed a lot of school. About the same time, my mom got me a pack of "pretty" paper (scrapbook paper was cheesy and awful back then). I had gotten a free sample of scrapbooking paper in the mail and begged my mom to get it for me. I had always loved art, paper, and sissors and I KNEW I needed that scrapbooking paper. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. And I used every little scrap of it I could.

Some time later, probably to keep me busy while I was home from school, Mom got me a small pack of paper and a little kit for my birthday so I could start my first scrapbook. I still have that old 8.5"x11" 3 ring binder, cheesy Lisa Frank stickers and all.

From then on it was all down hill. Any extra money I had I spent on Mrs. Grossmans stickers and construction paper. I glued and cut and stickered to my heart's content. As I got older, I began to refine the process a bit and use better quality supplies. But I still glue and cut and sticker the heck out of my pages. And sometimes (ok, a lot of times) I still add some flair by using glitter glue!

And yep, Mom--this is all your fault. :) Thanks for getting me addicted, um, started.

An Evolution (or was it a Revolution?)

When I graduated from college I decided that I wanted to upgrade from 8.5x11" Binders to 12x12" binders. With this change came a whole new world of possibilites! I could cram so many more pictures on a page! And I learned that I don't have to cram 50 pictures on a page. Sometimes one picture from an event is all you need to capture the feeling of it. I allowed myself to explore more of the art of scrapbooking, in addition to the "preserving history" part of it.

I began creating themed scrapbooks for friends using "expensive" embellishments--meaning I bought them instead of making them. My sister and I created our childhood scrapbook for Mom--my first completed 12x12 scrapbook. And it is massive.

Then I discovered online forums and Brands. I joined groups online and began looking at other people's layouts for inspiration.

My first "fancy" scrapbook was when I made my Disneyland scrapbook. I went all out and began buying all sorts of Disney scrapbook papers and embellishments--months before we even went. It was terrible. ;) And then for months afterwards, I scrapped the trip. Again, that book is massive.

Then I discovered my local scrapbook store, Green Tangerines. It's lovely. It feeds my creative soul. It's pretty expensive so I don't buy too much there, but I love going in and seeing what they have and how I can recreate it using what I have already. Then, last year, I heard they were hiring. I got a job there. And then I got on the Design Team. And then I got fun, expensive, scrappy goodness for free.

I'm in heaven.

All in all, I love the feeling of creating something from nothing. I love being free from whatever problems are bouncing around in my head and solely focusing on the beautiful paper and pictures in front of me. It's exhilarating. It's relaxing. It's fun. It stretches me. And the finished project is a part of me. I love it. :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Third Time's the Charm......Right?

I got a new calling today. A lovely calling. One that I'm pretty sure I can do. This is the third time I've had this calling.

Relief Society 1st Counselor (over Education).

I think Heavenly Father is trying to tell me something....I need to be a better, more effective teacher, or at least something like that.

Right before this, I was a Relief Society teacher. I'll miss that calling. I loved it. I love teaching in Church. I always feel that I get so much more out of it. And it's way less intimdating to me than giving a talk. Probably because I get feedback (or lack thereof) and I can better gauge the class.

At least in the Presidency I'll still get to teach every few months. I'll just miss teaching every month. Though, I do get to teach in April, on Easter! Yay!

What's cool about my new calling is the other members of the Presidency. Teela transferred into our ward last Sunday from her family ward. And was immediately extended the call to be the Relief Society President. Our current President, my friend Trulie (hi!) is "graduating" from the ward because she is turning 31 soon and so leaving the ward. And Amy is the 2nd councilor. I like her. She's always so happy and cheerful. :) And I'm excited to find out who the secretary is going to be.

Poor Teela, she had no idea what she was walking into when she came to our ward...mwuahahaha! :) Just kidding. We're awesome.

Can you imagine?! "Hey! Welcome to the Ward! We're glad to meet you. Wanna be the new Relief Society President?" Talk about serious inspiration on the Bishop's side. That'd take a whole lotta faith on her end too! I don't know that I'd be okay with being the President in a ward that I had JUST COME IN TO! I would have laughed and then ran away screaming, vowing to NEVER go back to a Single's Ward. Well, maybe.

But because Teela is apparently super awesome and has, like, loads of faith, she accepted and I got called to be her first councilor. That's what I get for being nice and introducing myself to the "new girl." :) Don't worry, I'm super excited about it. The ward is really different than last time when I was in the presidency. It'll be a whole new world, er, experience. (Can you tell I just busted into song, in my head? And now I need)

I'm so excited to get started. :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March Design Team Layouts

Here are the layouts I've put together using the materials in my DT kit I got this month. I love how these pages turned out. :)

This first one I love because it's one of my favorite pictures of my sisters and I.

This page has pictures of my two favorite groups of friends. The girls were my roommates my Junior year and half of them I lived with again my Senior year. The guys were our FHE "brothers" my senior year. I'm still good friends with all of my "party people." Part of the "challenge" for this kit was to use a transparency sheet covered in potty people signs. I made them into a banner.

Rachel is such a character already. The journaling talks about how her "relaxed" face is quite an angry one and we all know where that comes from...her momma! I love how the page is all sweet and lovely and then has Rachel's grumpy faces all over it. Awesome. :)
I was starting to struggle with which pictures to use for pages, but then I found these buried on my computer and realized I had never scrapped my first birthday adventure--My trip to Seattle for my friend, Lisa's Wedding Reception. It was such a blast! The journaling talks about all the awesome things we did when we played in Seattle. 

I thought it would be fun to do a "then and now" layout. I was going to use different pictures from a different family, but then I couldn't find my pictures, so I used these. The first picture is when Steven, Cait, and I were very little, in 1988. Then I found a fun picture of the 5 of us from 2008. 20 years is a long time and I love how our family has grown even since 2008.

This layout is dedicated to my BFFs from my childhood: Monica and Lauren. I love them. The piece of rick-rack ribbon above Monica's head is a pull for some hidden journaling that talks about some of my favorite memories with these girls.

These are my layouts. I really like how they turned out. Its funny how when I see pictures of layouts online I gravitate towards the really complicated and super detailed layouts. But when I sit down to scrapbook, I always come back to very simple layouts without a lot of embellisments. Apparently that's how I roll. And I'm okay with it. :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Weekend Recap

This weekend was fun. And busy. And embarrassing. And good.

Friday night I stayed up late working on projects for my sister's upcoming wedding reception and trying to finish up my Design Team layouts so I could finish stuff for the reception. I did one layout and got closer to finishing a project.

Saturday I slept in (yay!) and then went to my mom's BFF's house, where we're having the reception open house. I was there for a couple of hours while we planned and plotted and chatted. It was quite delightful. :) And I got some good ideas in my head.

One problem is that the weather is quite unpredictable right now and so it's hard to plan two receptions. Indoor and outdoor. Let's all pray for outdoor, okay? That would make my life much, much easier. :)

I ran an errand and then realized what time it was. It was 2:50pm and I was supposed to be at a wedding at 3:00pm. Eek! Fortunately the wedding was a couple of minutes away from my house and so I had time (about 30 seconds) to stop by my house and change. I did, and then headed to the ceremony. It was small and sweet. It was fun to see some friends that I don't get to see nearly enough and play catch up.

Then, a couple of hours later, I got a sort of panicked call from Alyssa saying that it was prom that night and that there was a corsage emergency! She needed me to come make another corsage for her friend Codie and they needed it before the boys came over in 45 minutes. Conveniently, I was available. I ran back to my house and grabbed my floral tape and went to their house. The girls were so pretty! I busted out a corsage and all was right in the world.

The boys came and we chatted until the girls were ready. They are funny guys. Then Michelle "convinced" me to stick around to help with the formal dinner that Kevin was serving the two couples. Dinner was so delicious! And Kevin was super cute! I loved it. He got all dressed up to play waiter. And then he got all sweet and was talking about how beautiful his sister is and how sad he's going to be when she goes away to college in two years. [insert collective "awwwww, so cute"!!] Tender. For being 12 years old, he is a genuinely, sweet, young man. I'm so proud. :)
Kevin, age 12 and Alyssa, Age 16
Alyssa found the boutineer to be particularly tricky to put on. :)

Super Cute shoes Lys!

Blake, Austin, Alyssa, and Codie
After the kids left for the dance, and since I was in Lincoln, I paid a visit to my favorite niece. She is sooo cute!


Sunday was when I got embarrassed.

I realized that our Stake High Counsel Rep, who visits our ward most weeks, was actually my orthodontist when I was a kid.

This is embarrassing because he remembered who I was, and who my brother was, but never once did I realize who he was. And I've "known" him for almost a year!

In my defense though, I was much shorter at the time and he seemed much taller. And it has been almost 15 years. I'm lame, I know.

Most Sundays, Brother Holt comes up and says hi and asks me how I'm doing and how my family is, how my brother's doing. And I respond appropriately, always wondering how this guy knows me. I just chalked it up to him magnifying his calling by knowing everyone and everything about them in the ward. I respected him for it. Thought it was a bit odd, but cool, nonetheless.

Turns out that he actually does know me and my family.

I realized this during Sunday School yesterday when someone said something about him being an orthodontist and being in Africa for the next 6 weeks to teach people about their teeth (he's awesome to remember his patients 10 YEARS LATER, and volunteer his time in Africa to better the world).

Best Orthodontist Award!

Anyway, so I realized why he has looked so familiar all this time. It was like my worlds collided. Have you ever had a moment when all the pieces fell into place? It seemed like all these things and thoughts I've had came crashing together at the same time. Everything swirled in my brain all together.

I had this flash of conversations my mom and I had multiple times years ago when I had braces, trying to figure out if our orthodontist was LDS or not.

Turns out he is! Question answered (13 years later)!

I'm making this seem much weirder and creepier than it was. Forgive me.

Moral of the story is that I'm going to have to tell him that I really DO know who he is, and that I do appreciate him remembering me after all these years and then apologize for not remembering who he was. Is it weird that I feel bad about just now realizing this?

When I called my brother to wish him Happy Birthday yesterday (he's 26! Eek!) and told him my story, he didn't seem quite so shocked as I was. But then, he's not prone to odd hysterics over nothing.

I think he just laughed at me. There you go Steven, my birthday present to you: Something ELSE to mock me about. Just what you always wanted. I'm so kind to you, little brother.

Okay, this post is horrendously long so I stopped rambling, but there you have it. That is what I experienced this weekend. :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The {Almost} Newlywed Game!

A couple of weeks ago, I said that Caitlin and I were working on this AWESOME "little" project. Now that Erin and Jim have gotten it, and opened it up, I can share it here. (I have to give credit where it's due...this is completely Caitlin's idea. So clever!)

Our sister, Erin, is getting married in a few (gasp!) weeks and we're not able to be at the wedding [insert tears]. And Erin isn't having a bridal shower [insert more tears, sad faces, and gasps]. And when Erin and Jim come here for their open house, they have nowhere to stay. (What newlywed wants to sleep on someone's couch?! Talk about AWKWARD!)

Well, we couldn't handle that and so Cait came up with the most BRILLIANT idea! Cait suggested that as our wedding present to Erin and Jim, we pitch in to get them a hotel for the weekend they are here.

Great Idea!

But then, because it's how we roll, we took it about 54.3 steps further. ;)

We made a game show/event out of it.

Now P.E.R.F.E.C.T.I.O.N.!!

We created "The {Almost} Newlywed Game!"

We decided that there would be three big prizes at the end: one for the couple (the hotel confirmation paper), one for Erin (a little sumthin' sumthin'), and one for Jim (a bowtie, a t-shirt, and Batman underwear!).

It basically is a treasure hunt/"choose your own adventure" style game/activity.

Because we weren't there to help them with the game, Cait and I created a book to help them along their journey.

Here is the Cover:

The next page has general instructions on how to play and a spinning wheel.(We thought it was hilarious to include a "Terms & Conditions" section in really small print. We took this from the NBC site and modified it only a little so it was geared towards the wedding. :)) The wheel has 5 sections: Door 1, Door 2, Door 3, Lose a Turn, Try Again, and Bankrupt. Lose a Turn, Try Again, & Bankrupt don't do anything, but we thought it was funny.

Each door takes them on a path that makes them do funny things and cute couple things before they move on to the next activity/prize.
This is the list of activities that we came up with:
  • Collect $3.30 in change from shopping center parking lots (They are getting married on 3/30/12) and then buy something with it.
  • Write a love letter to the other to read on their wedding day.
  • Write down their goals as a couple, things they love about each other, etc. Seal the page and open it on first anniversary.
  • Each keep a journal of letters to each other for the first year and then exchange them on their first anniversary.
  • Each have to sing a love song to the other where there is an audience. (hahaha!)
  • Kiss while eating pop rocks.
  • Play card game, "Would You Rather...?".
  • Walk a mile while holding hands.
  • ABC photo scavenger hunt, with objects representing something about their relationship.
  • Watch "The Proposal" and whenever Margaret is bossy, one has to yell "I love you!" and the other has say a cheesy pick up line.
  • Pass gas in front of each other.
  • Do 2 small acts of service for a stranger.
  • Complete the balloon puzzle (The balloon puzzle tells them to open up a box).
 I then put together the book. Pages 6-17 look mostly like this:

The best part about the book is that I didn't buy anything for it, except the comb for the binding. I used scraps that I already had on hand. Unfortunately, I didn't really put a dent in my scrap paper pile.

Here are the last few pages:
*This is them being excited about their prizes.Ha ha ha ha!*

We put the big prizes in boxes, wrapped them up, and labeled them Box A, B, & C.

Then for each challenge that they have to do, there is a paperbag that they have to open that has the materials they need to complete the challenge, and/or a small prize. The numbers on the bags are all numbers that *should* have significance to the happy couple. :) And if they can figure them out, they'll get a small bonus prize--a cute photo album to keep the pictures from their game show party! :) Mwuahahaha!
On top of the boxes and bags, we put a large envelope that had the book in it.

I also made Erin's bouquet as a surprise (she wasn't going to have one of those either!) and Jim's boutieneer, so I put those on top of the envelope. Then Cait wrapped it up and shipped it out!
All in all it was really fun to put it all together. It is remotely possible that Cait and I had more fun planning and plotting and preparing than the happy couple did in doing the activities.

If I'm given permission, I'll see about posting the response we got from Erin and Jim. ;) But suffice it to say, they loved it!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Facebook Conversation

[insert pretty piano music]

Join me as we follow a *typical* conversation that my siblings and I had on facebook last night, in response to a picture that Caitlin posted.

This is the picture, in which Caitlin had tagged her siblings and Mom... A graham cracker sandwich with buttercream icing in the middle (a traditional, and scrumptious, treat in our family).

(delicious looking, no?)
And here is the conversation:

Me: "Wow, I've never looked so tasty!"
Cait: "I know. I'd have tagged myself but I'm sure I'm prettier. ;)"
Cait: (About a minute later): "Than a graham cracker. (I'd sound less self centered if I'd finish my sentences before I post them:)"
Me: "Hahahahahahaha! I think it was Freudian Slip!!!"
Me: "I think you said exactly what you meant. Lol!!"
Cait: "Maybe, maybe not. You'll never know"
Steven: "Um sorry but we grew up with you...we do know."
Me: "lol steven"
Cait: "Be nice"
Me: "You started it ;)"
Steven: "I love you.....;-P"
Erin: "Bahahahahaha I love you guys"

Seriously, I love my family. We are soooo hilarious! And apparently quite honest. :)

Oh, and Happy Pi Day! A fabulous holiday celebrated by the Bryson's.

[cue pretty piano music fading away]

And scene!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Girls "Night"

Earlier this week, Caitlin, Rachel, and I helped Alyssa get ready for her Prom this weekend. She wanted to make a boutineer for her date and asked me to help. I enlisted Cait and Rachel to come and drive Alyssa around. Because I'm awesome like that. :)

We had a great time at the store and Caitlin was such a great help hilariously pointing out all the gigantic flowers that WOULDN'T work. It was quite entertaining.

We eventually found some pretty, hot pink flowers with some little white flowers for accents.

We got back to my house and I helped Alyssa put together the boutineer and then I made a little hair clip for her to match. Cait and Rachel sat and watched Bones and offered unhelpful advice to entertain us. :) Yes, even Rachel, although hers was a bit more on the passing gas sort of advice...

Alyssa and Rachel watching Bones. So cute. I love Rachel's smirk. :)

Lys is going to prom on Saturday. She is so excited and I'm sure she'll be beautiful. After all, she is wearing a black gown with hot pink, orange, and green shoes. So Awesome.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Playing Quidditch

Yep, it's true. Caitlin and I played Quidditch yesterday. I stopped by a thrift store yesterday and found this:

I almost didn't buy it, after all, it was a whole $2. But then the laugh Cait would get out of it would be worth it.

As fans of all things Harry Potter, Caitlin and I thought this game was hilarious. And for being at a thrift store, I was pleasently surprised to find out that there were no missing peices.

It took us awhile to understand the game, and how to play, but once we turned the game board over, it made a lot more sense. :) The point is to have your seeker find the snitch first. Go figure.

We set up, and Cait called Gryffindor. Bah. That left me with Slytherin. Boo.

Cait went first and moved her characters around. Her Catcher caught the first Quaffle.

Then she moved her Seeker (Harry) to an open spot and flipped over the tile. It was the Golden Snitch! On the first move! I didn't even get to roll the dice!

I called a foul since she had put the tiles on the board. I really don't think she cheated, but to be sure, we played again. Then Nick got home from his campout and we got distracted and bored. So we stopped playing. Nick did love the catapult you use to shoot the Quaffle through the hoops. Cait and I shot a couple of times, but never got it through.

So all in all, Gryffindor beat Slytherin 150-0. And we were entertained. :)

I feel a re-match coming on....

Thursday, March 8, 2012

An Enchanting New Store

I discovered a new store a couple of days ago. Charming Charlie at the Fountains.

Oh my goodness. It.Is.Amazing!

I put myself in charge of getting Erin her wedding jewlery for the big day. I wanted something simple and sparkily to match her dress. I heard about this store and checked it out. The jewlery is beautiful and the prices were even more fabulous!

The store is a lot bigger than I expected. And there were so many things I wanted. They had beautiful jewlery, fabulous purses/clutches, and awesome shoes.

Here are a few pictures I snapped while I was looking around.

 I have no idea who would wear the next two items. Maybe I would if I worked in Vegas...hmmm...

These feathers were over 6 inches! yeah,
 Cute Clutch!

This necklace caught my eye, but then I decided that the chain was too heavy and Erin said it was too much. (I was emailing her pictures of it with my phone--LOVE!)

This is the necklace that I ended up getting. It's simple, sparkily and I think it will look lovely on Erin. It will need to be shortened quite a bit, but I think that will be easy enough to do. 

 Here's a close up:
Erin got my email about this necklace and said she loved it. Hopefully it goes well with her dress! :)

On my way home, the moon rose and was huge! That big bright spot is the moon rising over my street. It was quite beautiful. A lovely way to end my day.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Angry Face

Rachel is only 2 months old, but she has perfected the angry face. It's no wonder why, if you know her momma. ;) Caitlin freely admits Rachel gets her attitude from her mommy. It's pretty funny. She's actually a happy baby, but she does make some impressive angry faces, especially if she is sleeping.

For example:

Yep, that's a (clean) diaper on her head.

Obviously she gets it from her momma.

We're all so proud. :)