Friday, November 25, 2011

Italia Week Day Four: Florence

Happy Thanksgiving! Ok…I know technically this post is a day late…but if you have a chance to dance with your husband in Italy vs. working on a blog post…what would you choose?

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Thanksgiving this year was different, no turkey

…just flaming beef at the "I tre pini” restaurant.  Live Italian music, singing, dancing unlimited wine, food and fun.

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We spent the first part of our day in the city of Florence (Firenze in Italy) and it was beautiful!

DSC_0084 copyBrunelleschi’s Dome in the Duomo was simply awe-inspiring.

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The statue of David, the tombs of Michaelengelo, Galieo, Machiavelli and the “Doors of Paradise.”

Then we took a trip to a local leather store, where the demonstrated various leather techniques. Did you know Florence it known for it’s gold and leather crafts? While they tried pretty hard to sell us on items I was asked to be their “model” for the store which was fun,

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how many girls can say they modeled clothes in Italy?

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Some of the tombs in the Santa Croce were so poignant and tragic, simply beautiful.


Happy Thanksgiving from Italy!

- Katie

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Italia Week Day 3

The clock is ticking…only a few more hours until Mr. C. begin our trip to Italy! If you missed day one and the start of the Italia art journal tutorial please check it out here, and if you want to catch up on the second part of the tutorial and our trip itinerary with links to great places in Italy click here.
I have to say that while packing today I was really surprised,

did you know that it is only 50 degrees farenheit in Venice at the moment?

I think the cold may put a damper on all the cute outfits I wanted to bring, or it may just be time to break out the leggings!
Packing is so tedious…though I have to say with all the travel I am getting much better at it, but seriously…does anyone like to pack? I often find that it does give me an excuse to create lists…I love lists.

Love Lists – Hate Packing

Must have list for Italy:
Art Journal
Washi Tape (to tape in all of my fun finds!)
Colored pencils
Kindle…did I put my Kindle on the list? I cannot forget this!
Nikon Camera + Extra Lens + Battery Charger (can you believe I forgot my charger on one of our last trips?)
Cute dresses!
Ok…now that I am done whining about my packing it’s time for the next tutorial steps!
Step 5: I used the coptic book binding to attach all of my pages together as shown below.
Step 6: Cut two pieces of dark brown felt approximately 10” x 6 1/2”. Line each piece up together and adhere a fabRips 2 1/2” x 7 1/4” folding the extra on each end over onto the other side. Then stich the fold lines.
Step 7: Stitch around the entire outside of the two pieces of felt to hold the edges I place. Stitch close to the edge on the long sides, and about 1/2” from the short edges, use your best judgment with your own book. Then trim the short ends with your pinking shears. Finally stitch down each side of the fabRips and every 1/4” across as shown in the photo below. This creates a nice effect and helps the cover flex more.
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Step 8: Cut two lengths of your favorite ribbons and side the art journal into the cover, then wrap and tie the ribbons. This will protect the art journal on your adventures!
Step 9: Your Done!
Please come back tomorrow to read about our fabulous adventures in Florence…now it is back to packing… *sigh*.
- Katie

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Italia Week Day Two

Today is the second day of our Italia Week here at the Life Adventures of Mrs. C. If you missed Day One, then go check it out here to read the first part of my Italia art journal tutorial!


Day two of this week featured more planning, and art journaling fun. I took the time to go over our itinerary and research places that I am really looking forward to visiting! Here is our Thanksgiving in Italy itinerary:

November 23rd – All aboard for Italy!

November 24th – Arrive in Florence, I am looking forward to seeing the statue of David, the dome of St. Mary with Brunelleschi’s cupola and the masterpiece that Michelangelo called the, “Porta Dell Paradiso.”

November 25th – Venice baby! I am so excited I cannot wait to ride in a gondola, which I was corrected this morning by a friend in my pronunciation. Gondola, as we say it in the states is used to refer to the ski gondola’s…the correct pronunciation is gondooola with a long o (thus the extra o vowels in my written form to remind me). I should find lot’s of fun things here for my art journal.

November 26th – Verona, home of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. On this day I think a love letter might find it’s way into my art journal… When I am finished with my romantic musings then we are off to visit the amphitheater.

Then we head home! A short, but sweet trip to the land of Italia and the perfect start to my art journal.

So on to the next steps in the Italia Week Art Journal…If you missed the first part of the tutorial yesterday, remember that you can find it here.

Step 3: Once you have stitched, scribbled and painted on your Italy panels you want to cut them each into pages that measure 4 1/4” x 5 3/4”. I ended with approximately 24 panels of Italian cities.


Step 4: I used fabRips by Studio Calico to bid my pages together. Each fabRips strip is cut 1” x 5 3/4”. I carefully attached two pages together using the tape to hold them together, one page face up and one page face down. Be careful when applying the tape to leave a small break between the two pages to ensure you can close the pages later. See the picture below as a guide.


Step 5: ??? will share with you first thing tomorrow on Italia Week Day 3!


- Katie

Monday, November 21, 2011

Italia Week Day One

This week is Italia week! Mr.C. and I are prepping for our adventure this week by researching places we will see, packing items and creating my latest art journal for the trip!

The paper for this album was purchased in Budapest at a little store called Papirbolt earlier this year. It came on a large roll, wonderfully wrapped…until customs crushed it…well it actually became lost on their imaging machine, you know the conveyor belts where you place your carry-on luggage? *sigh* but no worries, it is all part of the memories right?

To start my “Italia” art journal I cut the large sheet into pieces for each city. My plan is one city per page, and one page of art journaling per city.

Step 1: To start with, I adhered my journal pages onto cardstock and then stitched around the edges with clay brown thread.


Step 2: I then used my faber-castell mixed media supplies to color, scribble and alter the edges.


Step 3: ??? Cannot wait to share with you tomorrow!

By the way, remember my missed Berlin adventure that I shared on Friday? Mr. C. and I did find a fabulous adventure we headed into Downtown Stuttgart Germany to watch them set up for the large market while watching ice skaters and enjoying gluhwein at the small Winterbaum market. It was such a wonderful time.


Another great part of our downtown Stuttgart adventure? I found that in Germany department stores like Macys…have yarn sections. Have I mentioned I really like living here?


- Katie

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Studio Calico Layout Fun!

This week has been long, but brightened with the fun of my new kit from Studio Calico, “Handmade!” Check out these fun layouts.

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“Uncle,” this picture was taken on our recent visit to the States. It was the first time that Mr. C. saw his nephew, the day he became an Uncle. They were so cute together in their Detroit Tigers gear!


I love documenting everyday life. These pictures were taken in downtown Stuttgart, Germany outside of our favorite Doener place, “Beykebab.” Doener’s (in German there is no e next to the o) are a form of Turkish food which has been altered to a German friendly, delightful pita filled with meat, cabbage, lettuce, cream sauce, onions and other goodies depending on the location. I don’t know how I am going to be able to go without them when I move back to the States some day!

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What would scrapbooking be without documenting the Elimination 2011 project? For the background of this project I used masking and various colors of mists to create the pattern. I love using mists!

I think I am addicted to my sewing machine lately. I love the look it gives.

Do you have plans for the weekend? Mr. C. and I were taking a trip to Berlin but just found out it was cancelled! Now it is time to plan again because no matter what we do this weekend, I am looking forward to an adventure!

- Katie

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Remembering Pain


“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

- Charles Dickens

Often when we document things, Birthdays, Christmas and wonderful vacations…

we often only document those things that society tells us are happy…this can be a mistake.

Those darker adventures in life are often pushed to the cobwebs of our consciousness brought out occasionally, but rarely embraced. What we forget is that while the good things in life make us happy and loved…

it is the dark adventures that define us, the often sad things that if we let them bring beauty, change and wealth to the world.

The dark days when getting out of bed seems to be an impossible task, when the grief overwhelms us and we feel like we are flying through life the wind whipping in our ears and yet we don’t seem to see any of it…just a blur…hoping that for a few blissful moments we can forget the pain.

These are the times that teach us caring, empathy, perseverance and patience. Sometimes these lessons take years to learn.

I spent a number of my years living perhaps one my greatest adventures. Injured in highschool I spent the next seven years of life in and out of a wheel-chair, on disability leave and trying various procedures to diagnose what might be wrong and facing a possible life of chronic pain. I am not sure what is harder, knowing what illness you have or going through years of tests and still not knowing.

Chronic pain is so difficult.

It is like being a child and the feeling that the monster in your closet is so strong you shiver in fear, you know it is real! Then, your parent arrives opens the closet door to find nothing and admonishes you for your fantasies. As the door closes, you are once again left alone knowing that the monster is there, and deep down knowing that your parents came in the room already believing that your monster was simply in your imagination.


I often think of this period of my life as possibly my greatest adventure because while it was painful, hard and at times seemed hopeless it shaped me as a person.

It made me stronger, increased my understanding of others and made me look at the world around me in different colors and emotions then I would have known if I had not been injured.

I find now, even years later I am still discovering things about myself that I learned during that period in my life and documented them in this layout.

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While pain never really goes away, and I still struggle with the remnants of that period of my life both physically and emotionally I cannot regret it.

This dark adventure has brought so much more beauty and love to my life then I would have ever thought possible during the darkest of days.

If you are struggling with your own pain at the moment know that I am thinking of you, hoping for you and praying that you will also find the beauty in some your life’s deepest, darkest adventures.


- Katie

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Buttons…Buttons and More Buttons!

Elimination 2011 is going great! I cannot wait to post the pictures of my new art space. By the words new I mean cleared of all the junk and clutter that was my creative arch-nemesis.

One thing I have learned going through boxes of items is that I have a lot, did I just say a lot of arts and crafts items? I think moving overseas has helped inflate my number of items because I now order in bulk to save on shipping and trips to the States involve buying massive amounts of stock that is either not available or much more expensive here in Germany. Such as these buttons:

I was so excited to buy them, bags of buttons for only $1.59. Then I had to find a place for them and organize them by color. Needless to say it made me question my buying enthusiasm!

I am now off to finish sewing my new curtains. If you are just now joining the blog please check out the Elimination 2011 post here: Elimination 2011 and remember to follow if you like what you read!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Mini-Album

Time flies by when you are having fun! Isn’t that what they say? Last month we celebrated Mr. C.’s birthday and had a great time. Our initial plans had to be cancelled due to an accident on the stairs of our new home. Instead of our awaited dinner on the town I hobbled to a birthday dinner much closer to home with the help of this amazing gym sock to match my dinner dress (plus cover the bandages!).

Do you think I will start a new trend?

Dinner, though a second choice location was fabulous and I was able to give Mr. C. a mini-book that captured memories from his 30th birthday celebration at our old house.

I used the Teresa Collins, “Celebrate” mini-album kit with a lot of changes to achieve the perfect look. I really like the Teresa Collins mini-album kits because in addition to wonderful ideas, there are plenty of extra papers, and accessories to go in whatever creative direction you choose.

For my book, in addition to the bracket pages I used scraps and extra paper (included within the kit) to create pages of various sizes and types to create depth in the book. You can see the diversity in pages by looking at the good times page shown below and the smaller bracket page shown above.

Instead of using the included ring binding, I used my zutter to create the spiral bound binding. Why? The zutter is great option to bind your mini-album if you plan on including birthday cards received at the party!

I included journaling that describes the events leading up to the party because this is important when capturing party memories.Showing these details reminds you of the excitement, craziness and joy of planning a party for the people you love and is a large part of the party memories, don’t forget them!

Mr. C. loved the book, and we finished opening the gifts with fresh, hot apple fritters. Sometimes in life we find that the second-choice life adventures become the best life adventures, like our lovely birthday dinner.

Hot & Fresh Apple Fritters!

- Katie

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