Monday, May 23, 2011

So it goes....

I am currently in a crafty funk.  I have several projects I want to complete and just haven't started them.  The past few scrapbook layouts have not turned out as I have wanted them to.  I finished them but didn't love them.  I think I just need to clean everything up and hope that it inspires to move onto something else.

I don't have much to share today because I spent all weekend working on a single layout :-( and I don't feel like waiting for photos to upload so I can blog about our tour of Melk Abbey in Austria.  I do want to share photos of my girls because a) I think they are beautiful girls and b) because I don't like posts without photos and c)some of my family members will see these photos and I won't have to email them (except for my brother who does not routinely check his Facebook or my blog...shame on you Josh brother!). 

I am taking Aubrey to get her very first haircut this afternoon.  We had trimmed her bangs a few times but I let them grow out because she was afraid of the hairstylist so we are long overdue to get the rest of it all trimed.  She is looking forward to it and I hope she sits still!

Thanks for stopping by today!  I hope you are having a fabulous Monday!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Vienna Day 2

On our second day in Vienna we went to the Schönbrunn Palace (you can read that post here) and then took the U-bahn to the Museum Quarter.  We had lunch at a local bakery and then grabbed Starbucks before we headed out.  There are several passages in the Museum Quarter and each one was painted differently.  I like how the red pops off the white and the painting is pretty interesting to look at in this particular archway.

After leaving the Museum Quarter we came right upon the Hofburg Palace.  This building is huge and spectacular.  The Hofburg Imperial Apartments, the Hofburg Treasury Tour and the Spanish Riding School, home to the famous Lipizzaner Stallions are all housed within the palace.  Since it was mid-afternoon we missed the chance to see the horses practice but we strolled around the exterior of the building and enjoyed the sun.

JG wanted to ride a ginormous ferris wheel that is in Vienna so we made our way to the amusement park where it was located.  The park had free admission and you only had to pay for the attractions you wanted to ride.  How fantastic is that?  The girls rode ponies for the first time ever and surprisingly both girls loved it.  Lolo is timid and afraid of many things but she was all smiles while riding the pony.  Aubrey was excited from the start. 

Any Amazing Race fans out there?  Did you watch this past season?  If so, then ferris wheel in the photo should look familiar to you.  We were in Vienna before the episode was aired and since we are dorks we thought it was pretty cool to visit a place and then see it on T.V.  This is not the ferris wheel JG rode.  He rode in a bigger, regular car type one and took some aerial photos. 

After this we headed back to our hotel so we could get ready for dinner.  JG talked to the desk clerk and she told us about a fabulous little wine bar right up the street called Bunt.  I had a delicious spicy chicken curry, JG had a steak and the girls had schnitzel.  I need to remember to bring my camera to dinner with us as I would totally share the photos.  Our waiter was very nice and the decor was a bit eclectic and fun.  It was a great way to wrap up our quick, last minute trip to Vienna. 

I hope maybe we can sneak back one more time before we move back to the USA but it is unlikely to happen.  I would love to tour some of the palace museums and maybe even watch the horses.  Our time is running short here and with JG preparing for another deployment =( we lose that much more time.  I am not much of a solo traveler since traveling with the girls alone can be difficult at times. 

Thanks for stopping by today!  I enjoy sharing our photos and experiences with you! 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Vienna Waits for You

Okay, maybe Vienna isn't waiting for you but JG sang this line to a Billy Joel song the entire time we were in Vienna.  We left the house at a decent time and according to the GPS Vienna is just 4.5 hours from our home....however, when you have kids and are limited to just one chain of gas stations in Germany in which you can use a ration card to get gas it tends to add some time to the drive.  A lot of time. 

We arrived at the Hotel Cortina around 4:30 p.m. and checked in.  We grabbed the camera and our jackets before we headed to the U-bahn, which is just a short walk from the hotel, so we could begin our adventures in the city.  We took the subway to Karlsplatz and grabbed a frappuccino from Starbucks before we walked down to St. Stephen's Cathedral.  This beautiful church has an amazing rooftop and gorgeous spires but as our luck would have it it also had an abundance of scaffolding.  At least many famous sites make an effort to disguise the scaffolding by covering it with a photo of what you're missing.

Located right next to the church is the store to one of my most favorite treats of all our travels, the Manner wafer cookies!  The lemon wafers are so delicious and I was excited to visit the store but it was crowded the first night so we went back the next day.  I ended up with a little stash of cookies!

On the same platz (square) we found a group of street performers so we stopped to watch their show.  These guys were pretty amazing...take a look below.  Yeah, that guy was spinning on his head!  

We found this interesting memorial named The Gates of Violence, just a block over from St Stephen's and on the Albertinaplatz, which is in rememberance of all victims of wars and violence.  It was a very interesting piece of art with images on all sides. 

The Albertinaplatz is just a small portion of the Hofburg Palace and this portion is now a museum.  I liked this statue of the gentleman on the horse mostly because I like the oxidation.  I really, really like the way a green dome looks against a blue (or in this case cloudy) sky.  The contrast is usually very stunning and I find myself wanting to take tons of photos. 

By this time it was pretty late so we stopped for dinner and then headed back to the hotel.  My first impression of Vienna was pretty amazing.  Honestly, if given a little more time there, it just might replace Prague as my favorite city!  I loved being there. 

The next day we continued our walking tour and I will share those photos tomorrow.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Slow Day

This weekend was a slow one and honestly my favorite kind (minus the rain we had).  We ran a couple of errands on Saturday and on Sunday I made some cards and a mess on the diningroom table in the process.  Today things are slow, including my internet, and I don't have a post planned.  I have been editing and uploading some photos from April and thought I would share my favorites of JG and the girls from the month.

Lolo on her 3rd Birthday

Aubrey in Bruges, Belgium

JG in Bruges, Belgium

I have photos from Vienna and the Melk Abbey that I am excited to share and will try to get them up on Wednesday.  I hope everyone has a fantastic day and thanks for swinging by today!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

You Are My Sunshine

This photo of Lolo is one of my very favorites of my baby girl.  We had just set up their small pool last summer and she was having such a good time in the water. She paused for just a second to stare at something and I snapped the photo.  The lighting was perfect and her face so sweet. 

I used bits of Echo Park's Summer Days papers left over from the layout I did for Aubrey's album.  I used a May 2011 Page Maps sketch as my starting point.  I stayed pretty true to the sketch and loved the outcome.  I really feel the papers help the photo stand out and I also like the contrast in colors.

I love this easy, quick and fun layout.  I have become a huge fan of Echo Park and they have really been knocking it right out of the park with their releases.  I can't wait to see what they come out with next.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sweet Summer Day Layout

I really liked this weeks sketch from Sketchy Thursdays and I had plenty of time to play along.  I used fun papers and embellishments from Echo Park's Summer Days collection.  The bright colors in the supplies perfectly complimented the photo.  I used the computer to type my journaling, something I haven't done in a while.  I thought about adding some machine stitching along the outer edge but didn't feel like dragging out the machine so I used a pink colored pencil to add a thin border.  To make the sun cardstock sticker pop I put it on white cardstock, trimmed away the access and added some foam squares to the lift it off the page. 

To be honest, sketches and challenges help keep my scrappy mojo going.  I have ton of photos and lots of product in my stash but I over think what I want to do and then end up not getting anything done.  Having a starting point makes things so much easier for me.  I don't stress about the process and I enjoy scrapping again.  While I may not love every single layout I am thankful that I finished a page and can share the story.  Isn't that the reason why most of us scrapbook?  To share the story?  I sometimes lose sight of that but when my girls ask to look at their scrapbooks I love my hobby even more.  Because I know it matters, at least to them.  And that is all that matters to me. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna

Back in early April we planned a list minute trip to Vienna, Austria.  While we were there we learned that there as an Easter Market at Schönbrunn Palace.  It is always fun to see how other countries celebrate holidays so we stopped at the palace to have a look around and it was just a few subway stops away from our hotel.

The palace was beautiful and we were able to wander around the grounds as we wanted.  There were a lot of joggers/runners here but the dirt paths were very wide and could easily accommodate everyone.  The Easter Market was in the front of the grounds and had ton of food booths that smelled so yummy.  JG was interviewed by a local reporter and the girls did not want to have their photo taken.

The back of the palace opened up onto some gardens, a fountain and rows of perfectly aligned trees.  The palace was a summer home of the Habsburgs and they certainly lived extravagantly.

If we would have had a bit more time we would have visited the Imperial Zoo, Europe's oldest, which is right on the palace grounds and possibly joined a tour of the interior of the palace as well.  One could spend a good chunk of their day here but we were only in Vienna for 2 days so we had to hurry on our way but we certainly enjoyed our time at Schönbrunn Palace and the amazing grounds. 



Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sketchy Thursdays 4/28 Sketch

We just returned from vacation and I had a box of scrappy supplies waiting for me.  I was so excited to dig right into them. I loved this weeks Sketchy Thursdays sketch and was excited to pick out some photos to get started.  Club CK is also celebrating National Scrapbooking Day all week and on Monday they had a challenge to scrap three photos taken with your cell phone.  I was inspired to get these cute photos of my girls while we were on a lunch date at Macaroni Grill off my iPod Touch and into my scrapbook.  Two challenges completed with one layout makes me a very happy scrapper!

All the product used on this layout is from Cosmo Cricket's Upcycle line.  I love the colors and the little flower button is adorable.  The only extras that were not from Cosmo Cricket are the staples and the floss I used to thread my buttons. 

Since the iPod Touch doesn't have a great camera I used the Instagram App to add a fun look to the photos.  The app is free and I totally recommend it!  Actually, I am pretty addicted to it.  I take more photos with my iPod since I downloaded the app about a month ago. 

Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Scrapbook on the Road Class Review

We just returned from one week vacation through Belgium, Holland and Germany.  In preparation for our trip I decided to sign up for Ali Edwards' Scrapbook on the Road online workshop and I am so very happy that I did. 

I always struggle with scrapping our trips because we take so many (not trying to brag, so please don't take it that way).  Since we have been stationed in Germany and are only here for a few years we try to travel as much as possible on long weekends and when JG can take leave.  We know that we will not be able to travel so extensively in Europe once we head back to the USA.  Anyways, I read the class description and decided that this may very well be the best way for me to get our vacation photos into a scrapbook.  The idea is similar to Ali's December Daily album as you create the foundation pages before you begin your trip.

First I listened to the keynote video and I was so inspired to finally document our trips as we are traveling and not trying to remember the details and feelings months (or more likely years) later.  I loved Ali's ideas for saving the pieces of memorabilia that is collected along the way and immediately incorporating them into your book.  I have ziplock bags full of bits and pieces of our trips and it is just sitting on the shelf waiting for me to use it and I know I probably never will. 

Second, I began putting together my foundation pages using supplies I had on hand.  I love projects in which I don't have to purchase a single thing!  I was able to put my pages together quickly and loved the creative process.  Ali shares a few techniques and I was excited to give them a go.  I decided I wanted my album to be 6x8 inches and created my cover using pieces of chipboard I had on hand.  Then I cut my pages to fit.

The cover of my scrapbook
The third part comes while you are actually on document your trip and add your bits of memorabilia to your album.  I was hopeful that I would remember actually take the time to document at the end of the day and I found out that I was actually excited to write down my experiences. 
The final step is to add your photos but I haven't had a chance to upload and order our prints yet.  I can't wait to select my favorite pictures and add them into my album. 

The class was $14 and I consider it to be money well spent!  I was on such a roll making foundation pages that I made too many and now have them to add to my next book.  I am looking forward to using this process for all of our future trips and am so relieved to finally get our vacation photos off the computer and into an album.