Thursday, January 15, 2015

my new toy

I blame Disney. Ha, no, not really, but my newfound interest in all things craft-y started with Disney.

Scrapbooking started for me as something that my mother-in-law and I could do together, when we would gather together. The Rays would sit and talk, watch sports or some random TV show, and she and I could go scrapbook a little bit, usually just a few pages at a time. We probably spent more time talking then cutting, but it was something we could bond over together. If I remember correctly, it started with our trip to South Dakota. Together, she and I made a book recapping our adventures. We always had a good time together and I got to learn all sorts of things I never knew I didn't know.

And then we went to Disney.

It was always a given that we'd make a scrapbook afterward. She and I tried to work on it. But, now that Lola was older and we had Millie, and we only had a day or two together at most, it was a long, slow process.

Eventually, she was kind enough to send home with me some papers and cutters so I could finish it up.

This was more than a bit daunting. I mean, I can trim photos and tape them to a page, stick on some stickers and call it good. But Jean was the one who made all the colors match and work together. Yes, I was learning (slowly) but she taught me how to not just pick pretty designs but to pick the papers that made the photos pop. And now I was supposed to do that on my own.

(It is a bit like dressing myself. Ha. I can get myself presentable enough most days, but for any kind of special occasion, I need my mommy to steer me into the right direction and put the whole look together.)

So at home, I stared at all of these supplies and, eventually, decided to give it a go.

And that is when things changed. Just working at home, in my own timeframe, in my own space, I kind of let it all go and figured, How badly could I really screw this up? Sure, the colors weren't always perfect, but I was doing it, and the more I did it, the more I liked it.

As life happens, I collected more and more supplies and eventually, sadly, finished that Disney book.

About three seconds later, I decided I was going to embrace this whole scrapbooking thing and go back and do our lives, from the time Ray and I met to present. (I am very far from finished, but I've gotten a good chunk of it started.)

The more I scrapbooked, the more I tried some new things. I tried making a few cards and after spending a little bit more every month on more stickers and letters and embellishments, I somehow managed to convince my husband to buy me a used Cricut Mini, a cutting machine that cuts various letters and shapes, as you purchase the various cartridges or online images. I loved my Mini. I did. But after a while, I got a wee bit frustrated because it wasn't super duper precise. And it wasn't really doing exactly everything I wanted.

Meanwhile, Ray and I decided we should go back to Disney.

And because I'm a dweeb, I almost immediately began planning ways to make more Disney shirts for the girls.

Remember when I did these the first go-round?

Yeah, I wanted to do something like that, but different. And as my ideas got more involved, we began scoping out online sites where you can design and order your own shirts.

But Ray never really pulled the trigger on it, and on Christmas, I learned why. He got me a brand-new Cricut for Christmas (thanks Babe!). The Cricut Explore.

And since then my whole scrapbooking thing has been placed on the sidelines as I discovered the endless possibilities of vinyl and iron-ons. I made a bumper sticker and I made several personalized shirts for the girls, as I learned more about the machine and how to make things come together.

I am far -- very, very far -- from being super good at this or anything (seriously, just Google or pinterest Explore creations and you'll laugh at mine) but I'm having a lot of fun.

This week, I finally felt confident enough to focus on the Disney shirts.

And I could not be happier with how they turned out.

Ray, too, likes them and is happy that I'm happy.

But I'm sure, if he's honest, he'd probably think it would have been a lot cheaper to just order the dang shirts online, haha.

February cannot come soon enough...
- Bethany

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are doing an awesome job!
Great story...boy, the girls have changed in one year!