summer in the life

Edited to Add 7.01.2010   I have heard that the link to my Etsy shop isn't working on Ali's blog. Click here to check out the goodies in the store. 

If you're here because you read my guest post on Ali Edwards' blog featuring my Summer in the Life mini album project...

W E L C O M E!

If you haven't yet been to Ali Edwards' blog yet, click here to read about how our family will be documenting our Summer. You won't want to miss reading the

series as there are some wonderfully talented contributors sharing their own Summer memory-keeping plans.

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to share how I plan to gather the tidbits of our Summer. Everything from photos, movie tickets, drawings, thoughts and memorabilia will be a part of  the  Wright Family Summer in the Life mini-album. 

And it all started with these tabs I designed and which can be downloaded for free by clicking on the free downloads tab in the menu bar located beneath my blog header.

Here at our house, we've been busy enjoying doing, well, absolutely nothing.  Hmmm...I should probably rephrase that, shouldn't I? Gordon has been working while the kids and I are at home all day taking it easy. Yes, that's a more accurate statement of the situation. No schedules for 2 months is just so nice.

You've already seen a few pages on Ali's blog, but let me show you a few more pages I've completed for our Summer in the Life mini. At this point, there aren't any plans for us to go away during our break, but that doesn't mean we're not having fun, enjoying adventures and creating memories. We're just going about our normal Summer routines while making sure to document the adventures along the way.

DaDa did get to relax in the pool on Father's Day, even though he cooked all three meals that day.

Yeah, we do a lot of swimming. Nana and Papa live just up the driveway, so we have their pool to splash in and a Nana that gives free swimming lessons. This page documents all that and shows Zach teaching Isabella how to dive. She and Victoria are already jumping from the diving board!

Little did I know when I took the top photo during a walk on the driveway to see all the wildflowers in bloom that it would be the last photo with Isabella's two front teeth. That very same evening before dinner, she lost her first front tooth and the next day she lost her last front tooth! Victoria started calling her "toothless wonder." And I'm doing a layout {coming soon} about the funny story Isabella told us about her tooth fairy experience. It. Is. Funny.

The left page tells the story about the sign that, when spotted by the girls, elicits high-pitched screams of "SQUIGGLY SIGN" every single time we drive by. Zach always hopes that they'll miss it, but they usually don't. The photo on the right shows Zach with three school buddies. The tall boy in green has been a friend since the 2nd grade and the high school Valedictorian. All are headed to college, with the boy in the red shorts going to West Point. All they all contributed to Zach's graduation albumI didn't expect that they would participate since guys, especially high school guys, don't normally like to share their feelings. I was impressed.

We're lucky enough to have a lake {well a lake, a creek, a pond and a swimming pool} on our property, so Gordon takes the kids fishing while I photograph them, and the fish, and bugs, and wildflowers and generally just try to get out of fishing. I have caught a fish in this lake and there's a photo to prove it. Wanna see?

   Okay, so it's an old photo from 2008. Can I help it that I like photography more than fishing?

There, my update on our Summer in the {Wright} Life is complete. For now. I'm sure you noticed there aren't many embellishments to the pages. I didn't want to feel like I had to make each page a masterpiece, so I didn't. I am more interested in the stories these photos will tell. So, go kick off your sandals, sit out in the shade and do an art project with your kids, with a friend or even by yourself!

Come back for more updates throughout the Summer. If you'd like a free download of the 4 tabs I designed for the mini-album, go here for play, laugh, splash and go here for chill.

{ play laugh splash chill }

Hope you enjoy making your very own Summer in the Life mini-album as much as we are. Leave me a link in the comments so that I can see how you've documented your Stories of Summer.

So, thanks for staying until the end. I appreciate you looking at my album. And, I hope to see you back again soon.

Do you know Ella?

That is, Ella Publishing.

You really must go visit and then sign up for their free newsletter. You get the insider scoop on new products, projects and upcoming e-books. And speaking of e-books, those are books in an electronic format that you download to your computer. You can keep them on your hard drive or print them out, which is what I prefer. There's just something about holding paper in my hands. I love it. Guess that's why I'm not a full-on digital scrapper.

The gals at Ella will even share with you cute and inventive ways to store your e-books if you decide to print them. Just look at the left sidebar while you're on the e-books page! And while you're on the e-books page, be sure to download their FREE Super Sampler. It contains 34 tips, ideas and insights. What a bargain.

And I also wanted to share this...I am one of Liz's Loves over at Ella today. How cool is that? This little album started out as one of those brag books we all used to carry with photos of our newborns. Remember them? I took out the plastic sleeves on each side and used the right side to slip this three section mini journal that I made with my Bind-it-All. On the left side, I slip in coupons.

Here's a pic, but go over to the Ella blog to read the story and see the rest of the projects featured.

Didn't you just adore those other {Liz's Loves} for June? I found them to be so inspiring. I'm especially drawn to the "favorites" sprocket-shaped mini album by Nathalie...I guess because it's for a boy and it's harder to find masculine-inspired ideas and products.

why we do it

Today, Elizabeth Dillow and Marie Taylor, sisters and team members, share with us their last installment of the many ways to share Family Histories.

I especially loved, and teared up while reading the posts Terry made on her daughter's blog. And may I suggest that you take the time to open the download by Amy Sorenson, it's a must read. Both of these links are near the end of the post.

Along with all the other insightful ideas presented this week, today just proved to me that I am so glad that I finally took that step into scrapbooking. It makes me happy that I take the time to gather and tell the stories of  the "everyday" our family lives every day.

A mini-album I made for my Mom {we all just call her Oma now, it's easier that way} is already a treasure. I included a smorgasbord of "Oma" memories to that point and journaled to go along with each photo. 

Our youngest no longer makes her infamous monster faces, our middle is much more sophisticated in her portraiture and the oldest probably wouldn't want to draw a picture of Oma anymore. So, see, a chapter in our family history has been forever captured. 

I'll share a few here:

Kids sure do grown up fast, don't they?


Can you believe it?

I sent in a few photos to the sei blog of a project I had completed using sei products and they surprised me with an e-mail sometime later saying that my journal was going to be featured! Ya-hoo!

I still have this displayed on a shelf in my sCrap room and continue to add favorite songs, moments and things as they arise.

To make the flower shown in the second photo, punch a square from your favorite paper. Then on two opposite corners, use your corner rounder. Place an embellishment in the middle space to cute it up. I used a pop dot to give it dimension.

For the cover, I used the notebook spiral punch from Stampin' Up, which was the perfect width to cover the advertising on the black plastic cover of this index card journal. How awesome is that?

me & him

I don't have many layouts with just the two of us. Partly because I began "our" album much later than the kids' albums and mostly because it is rare for there to be a photo of just the two of us. I used the flower stems as lines for my journaling and am so happy that it's kind of hidden and doesn't distract from the overall design.

On my TO DO list {more on this project later} this year is to have more photos of us. I'm not really concerned about the quality or the composition, since any photo is better than no photo. At least I think so.

This photo happens to have been taken with my husband's Blackberry on our awesome 4-day trip to Charleston to celebrate my 46th birthday. Our first time away together {alone} since our honeymoon 12 years ago! So, you are probably wondering, why a photo with a camera phone on a photo-worthy trip such as this? Because the darn error 99 kept taunting me on my Canon 40D. It's now fixed, but most of the photos from the trip are from my iPhone or his Blackberry. Ugh!

I will share the trip journal I made to document our time alone together. Soon.

i'm lovin it

I saw this on the Colorbok blog a few days ago and just love the happy-ness about it! {I know I misspelled happiness, but it seems happier with the "y" in it!} It's designed to use on your iPhone or Droid. Go here for your free wallpaper download and to check out the other designs.

I am so in love with coffee these days that the little coffee cup just caught my eye. And the lime green, eucalyptus and teal all used together with coral. I really need to do a layout with this as inspiration! Gotta love it!

it was only yesterday

Or, maybe now that it's all done it just seems like that. Yeah, that's what it is. Definitely. And don't think that all those Social Studies and Science fair projects that I'll have to do 2 more times with the girls isn't on my mind. I bet their projects will be more spectacular now that I have all these scrapbooking supplies, though. Watch out competitors!

                         album: Target + shape rub-ons: foof-a-la + letter rub-ons: American Crafts + pen: Sharpie

This Graduation album had me going crazy for a while. I wanted it to be a surprise for my son and I think I succeeded. Looking for the photos, scanning and printing them and putting it all together proved a little challenging...I had to stop and dry my tears and blow my nose quite often. I cannot even believe he'll be a college freshman in two months!

Stacy Julian gave a shout out about these albums on her blog and I love that they didn't have the journaling spot on the sides like most 2-up 4x6 albums do. I wouldn't normally have chosen this color for my boy, but I already had it and when you take a peek at the papers I used, I think it works. Plus his high school colors were baby blue and red and it all tied in nicely.

From Pre-School to High School in just a blink. My son graduated with, and is still friends with, the daughter of the lady standing on the right in the photo above.

I had to include the reverse side of this photo so that Zach could see what his Aunt had written...awww. The photo was taken at my Aunt's house in Munich, Germany.

Zach volunteered at his old elementary school in the After School program. We were told that the kids adored him {probably because he played games on the playground with them} and that because of his tutoring in reading, two Kindergarten kids would be graduated to the first grade rather than having to repeat. I still get choked up thinking that his contributions helped them to learn and grow.

There are a lot of pages in this album, filled with advice and memories from former teachers, friends and family. Look how my little man has grown! I'll share this last page with you, too.

The end of the album, but just the beginning of an amazing future. His plan is Pre-Health Professions {Anesthesiology}, so he'll be in school for quite some time!

If you think these free downloadable journaling cards are just what you need, go to In addition to designing, she is an amazing photographer and crafter. You must take a few moments to visit her, I think you'll be glad you did.

happy anniversary

My husband and I celebrated 12 years of friendship and love this month. And, instead of making a card for my husband, I created this little mini book. I know, you're shocked, right? You would never guess that Monika would make a mini-album would you? Ha...I {heart} mini's.

The Original Alphabet of our Love

watermark will not appear on your cover when purchased

Alphabet Book for Daddy, Mom and all the Grands - this can be personalized, too!

Use the coupon code ALPHABET for 15% discount on any purchase over $30.00.
Previous orders not eligible.  |  Code must be entered at checkout.

Each letter of the alphabet in this charming and colorful mini journal is typed in a different font and different color. I used my own handwriting for the explanation of what each letter of the alphabet stood for in this gift to my husband, I felt that it added a personal touch to a very heartfelt gift. 

Don't like your own handwriting? Other options would be to use your alphabet stamps or letter stickers. You could even type it out, print it and trim it in word strips and add it to your page.

On Father's Day, one of my photos was featured on It's a photo I took of one of my favorite flowers, a peony. I was so happy to have caught the rain droplets still on the petals after a light rain. My peonies always seem to droop to the ground after a rain, so I was so very lucky that this one was upright. My other favorite flower is the hydrangea, but those photos are for another day.

Grateful Quote {Proust} with Peony |

If you love beautiful photography and inspiring words, you must visit each Sunday to see what the amazing designers see through their viewfinders!

...hurray for winning!

The page above is based on a template Cathy Zielske shared in Simple Scrapbooks magazine and I downloaded it for free. I can't tell you how many times I have used this template in different ways. I'll have to do a post showing just pages with this particular template so you can see how many different ways you can use one "sketch" and they each have their own personalities. The adorable baby boy is my now 18-year old son. I scrapped this page in March when I went to visit my BFF of 33 years in Nashville {since 8th grade} who introduced me to scrapbooking in the first place. Hi Patty, you're the BEST!

Here I punched circles out of the circle patterned paper and added coordinating paper behind the circles I had punched. The journaling chronicles my son's dislike of tummy time as a baby and how I made him endure it anyway because that's what the books said. You know, first time Mom who followed the rules. Hmmph. Now he spends way too much time on his tummy sleeping in until his sisters finally run into his room to wake him up!

father's day gift

Our Mod Podge'd tile coaster project is dry! We worked on these yesterday while the DaDa was at work, and before we left to see Toy Story 3. I was afraid it would be a fiasco with the tissue paper squares, but it actually turned out to be a great project for our 4- and 6-year old daughters. Today the girls designed their gift tags (one each for DaDa and one each for Papa) and then tied on the baker's twine. Ta-Da...project complete. I doubt that Gordon or Papa will actually use these coasters, they'll be afraid to damage the masterpieces their girls have created.

house rules

I have seen so many variations of the {house rules} concept on the world wide web lately, that I decided to create one for our family. It was featured on recently, but thought that I would share this little gem here, too!

I used Pages {for Mac} to create this canvas, which I then printed on our awesome Epson R1900 printer on Velvet Fine Art Paper. One day, while my son and I were sitting in the living room, he was reading the house rules poster and said, "Hey, Mom, they have some of the same rules we do!" He knows that I like to read blogs and visit Etsy shops, so he thought that I had purchased this art. Made me laugh that he thought someone else had the same rules we do and made me feel good that he thought that this homemade art was good enough to have been purchased!

It's over at and once you leave a comment you might be the winner of some very cute Sassafras paper from the Sweet Marmalade line!

So open up a new tab, click on the link to make your comment, and then please be sure to come back here. But, while you're there be sure to feast your eyes on the other lovely projects from our talented team.

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to oooh and aaaah and create with the whole line and chose a few of my favorites papers.

For this kitchen art, I had planned on actually cross-stitching, but was afraid that I would mess up that pretty dishtowel inspired paper. So, I cheated and used this font. Funny story, my oldest daughter asked me in a very questioning voice, "So, if we go to Texas Roadhouse (her fave place to eat), we always have to kiss the cook?" "No, Sweetie, just if Mommy or DaDa cook," I assured her!

Yes, that's me with my #1 Sweetie! One day you might figure out that I call each of the other four people living in this house, Sweetie. I used a heart punch behind the fussy cut heart to make it stand out even more than it did with just the pop dot. I really like this paper, too. I still have the little square from where I cut and I am keeping it away from the girls. I want to do a layout with it, titled, you guessed it, "Lucky in Love."

For these next projects, I challenged myself to see just how many items I could make with just ONE SHEET OF PATTERNED PAPER! I surprised myself with what I was able to create. And, now my son's girlfriend is all ready to decorate her dorm room.

There are three thumbtacks for the bulletin board, two magnets made from glass pebbles, one glass pebble/sterling silver/glass bead necklace, one magnetic clip, one hot/cold beverage container, one altered notepad, one notepad made with the Bind-It-All, one luggage tag for her shower caddy, a keychain, an embellished letter "T" and one photo brag book! Whew, that's a lot of stuff.

all about him

Some time last year, we had gone for a ride back through the 'holler (how's that for a Southern drawl from a former city girl?) and decided to go for a little hike before it was time to head home for nap time. {Don't we all know how fresh air makes nappy time all that much longer!} Of course I had my camera. And of course I took some photos of these 3 walking along the old Jeep trail.

Usually the group of three {buttons} would be for our 3 kiddos, but this time it's for the DaDa and his girls. He gives them so much more than just the gift of time. We're lucky to have him.