June 27, 2012

Hybrid Chore Cards & More

I've been wanting to have a more organized way of keeping track of my kids' chores. They have chores they do, but I feel like I'm constantly reminding them of what they have to do and then I forget sometimes what I've already told them to do. It was time for a much-needed adjustment to our chores.

So, being a digital scrapbooker, I decided I should use some of my digital scrapbooking supplies to make some kind of chore organizational system.

I had these Journal Cards from Tracie Stroud and I thought they would work perfectly for using as chore cards.

I brought them into photoshop and typed in different chores on the cards and rewards on some of the others. Then I put the cards on 8.5x11size pages in photoshop, saved them as .jpgs and printed them out on my home computer.

Then I put my daughter to work cutting them out for me. ;) Besides, she actually likes cutting, unlike myself, who prefers cutting with my keyboard.

Then I laminated them all and now I have handy dandy chore cards that I can give my kids every morning. What I've been doing is giving them each a couple of cards in the morning and by the end of the day, they have to have them done.

I also made these scorecards to keep track of when they complete a chore. For each chore completed they get to fill in a circle with a dry erase marker. When their cards are full they get to randomly pick a reward card. So far it's given them great motivation for filling up their cards and I'm getting a lot of work done around the house!

Here is a list of  chores just to give you some ideas (keep in mind these are for a 9, 7 & 5 year old):
- Breakfast Helper
- Lunch Helper
- Dinner Helper
- Empty Dishwasher
- Laundry: put laundry away
- Laundry: help switch out laundry and fold it
- Laundry: gather and sort laundry
- Surprise Chore (I left this one blank, for those chores that only need to be done every once in a while)
- Vacuum: Upstairs Carpet
- Vacuum: Downstairs
- Vacuum: Upstairs Wood Floor
- Dusting: All Bedrooms
- Dusting: Dining Room and Living Room
- Dusting: Downstairs
- Care for Lucy: Check her food and litter box.
- Mom's Bathroom
- Girl's Bathrooms
- Downstairs Bathroom
- Morning Chores: Get Dressed, Make Bed, Empty Trash Can, Brush Teeth, Brush Hair (I printed out 3 of these cards - they get this one every morning)

Here is a list of the rewards I made up:
- 20 minutes of extra play time before school
- get to choose your own lunch
- skip a chore of your choice (except morning chore)
- $1 to spend at the dollar store
- get to choose movie/show to watch
- paint your nails
- stay up 30 minutes later with mommy and daddy
- $1 to spend on candy at gymnastics
- $1 to spend on the movie of your choice from the library (with my approval, of course!)
- 1 board game of your choice with mommy or daddy (we've already used this one and it was a big hit!)
- bake/make a treat of your choice
- $1 for your bank

Now, another project!

While I was at it I decided to get my school stuff organized for next fall too. This is what I do in the summer: I get all organized because I have no time the rest of the year to do these kinds of projects! 

I took this kit from Tracie Stroud to help myself get all ready for the 2012-2013 school year.

I took the chalkboard in the kit and took the alpha to 'write' the girls' names on it. Then I printed them out on my home printer and taped them onto individual plastic containers. Each of the girls gets a box and they will have the school work they have to get done for that day in it (along with other supplies they might need - pencils, scissors, glue, etc...). Last year my 9 and 7-year-old carried their school work all around the house in different rooms to complete it. I thought this would be an easy way for them to carry their schoolwork around and be able to keep track of it all. They were continually losing things. Coincidence? I think not! Now there will be no more excuses.

Then I used those journal cards & kit again and typed up a list of the different subjects the girls are working on. I'm going to stick these in each of the boxes so that I can keep track of what they are doing and what they need to get done every week.

And then since I had these cards all organized with our list of schoolwork I thought I should scrapbook them. Won't it be fun to look back and see what we did during this school year?

Using Capture Life: Journal Cards from Tracie Stroud
and Making the Grade from Tracie Stroud

I hope that gives you a little inspiration to use your digital scrapbooking products for organizational projects. It makes it so much more fun.


June 20, 2012

Adoption Update!

I've been waiting and waiting and waiting to share an adoption update with you all....110 days to be exact!  We received a referral for a little girl back in February, but I didn't share anything with you all because we had to wait for our all-important letter of approval from China. Well, on Monday we got it! It was a happy day and I'm still just so excited and can't believe we'll be traveling in less than 3 months (hopefully) to bring her home!

Now that we have our LOA I can tell you all about her and show you some pictures, but I'm not just going to show you pictures, I'm going to show you some digital scrapbook pages I made about her. :) I made these pages back in February right after we got our referral. So you can imagine how badly I've been wanting to share these with you!

Are you ready?
Here she is Lydia Jie! She'll be two in August.
We love her with all our heart!

Using Secreat Stash's Extraordinary Bundle
and Everyday Moments.
Template soon to be released in my store.

Title: Our First Glimpse of You
Journaling: Mommy, Daddy, and your sisters all stood around the computer as I opened the email with your pictures. Mommy and Daddy hugged and cried, and your sisters instantly called you their little sister.

Using Secreat Stash's Extraordinary Bundle
and Everyday Moments and Days Like This Journal Cards.
Template soon to be released in my store.

Journaling is about the different things our girls said about their little sister.

Card 1:
When Ashlyn saw your pictures for the first time she asked, "Can we buy her some girl clothes?"

Card 2:
When Emmie saw you she instantly said, "I love her so much!"

Card 3:
When Kyla saw your picture she said, "Awwww, she is sooooo cute!"

If you knew our girls you could picture each one of them saying these very things! So typical of who they are and the way they express themselves.

I'll keep you updated on what's going on. I even have a few more pages to show you but not yet. I have to wait for a release of a certain special project. ;)

Thank you all so much for your support. Just reading the comments from my original adoption blog post really lifted my spirits and made me realize what great customers and supporters I have!

June 13, 2012

How to Make a Blended Mask

I've had a few of you ask me how I make the blended masks that I've been known to put on my digital scrapbook templates. It's actually quite simple, no big secrets here! This tutorial is for a very basic mask but even the very basic mask can look pretty cool!

I used Photoshop CS3 but from what I hear it's all the same steps for elements users.
So without further ado...

Here's what the finished mask looks like since you can't see it all that great in the video.

Using a paper from Captivated Visions Pretty Little Poppy Kit.

I hope this will help you make your own blended masks to customize your digital scrapbook pages even more! If you have any question just post them here and I'll try to help!

June 6, 2012

My Very First "Scrapbook"

My mom was going through some old pictures and such and she came across a little "scrapbook" that I made of a vacation that we took when I was twelve years old. I made it in the form of a story with pictures and words. I had a blast looking through it. It was funny to look through it and see and read what I thought about our vacation. The best part though, was when my 9 year old daughter picked it up and looked through it. She read every word I wrote and looked at all the pictures more than once. She even picked up on a few of my grammar and spelling errors!

I even typed it out (on a typewriter!)...does that qualify as digital scrapbooking?

Isn't this what scrapbooking is about? Preserving our memories, not only for ourselves, but for the next generation.

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