I’ve Moved!

I’m consolidating some of my locations on the WWW and I’ll no longer be updating this blog. Please visit: http://www.ThePixelGypsy.com for all my latest ramblings and updates.

See you there!

Scrapping, Hair & Halloween?

Whenever I scrap more than 1 layout in a month, I feel like I should throw myself some sort of party. I’m continually amazed at how many layouts some of my digi-scrapping friends churn out in a month's time, and know that the measly 3 or 4 that get me all excited and feeling accomplished look paltry in comparison—but hey, that’s the way it works for me. I have 3 creative mojo modes: design-mojo, scrap-mojo and something-else-mojo (the latter meaning that I’m pouring my creativity into something completely non-scrap related). So yes, I feel a personal sense of pride when I’ve experienced more than one round of scrap-mojo in the span of a month. This month I’ve managed to scrap…

…an old picture of Madison (her hair is SO short! I forgot that it was ever that short) with a kit from my girl Amanda, called "Like Totally" that fit that crazy, funky outfit my little diva is sporting

…a few recent pictures of Madison that just blow me away every time I look at them because I can’t believe how grown up she looks, using some products from Dysfunctional Design

…and one last recent photo of Madison in a rare moment where she was unaware of the camera (those are always my favorites), using the collab that I did with Dysfunctional Design (which is pretty damn gorgeous, if I do say so myself!)

A little over a week ago, I went into a salon and got a major hair overhaul. When I went in my hair was about 6” shy of being waist length, and was dark, dark brown. I came out with a short cut (the longest hair on my head is now my bangs) and a color that is much, much closer to my natural golden blonde (ultimately I want it quite a bit lighter still, but I have to take that in phases, despite my impatience).  Because I babied the heck out of my hair with the exception of the repeated coloring, I was able to donate the length to Locks of Love. I felt a certain measure of pride when the stylist told me that I could donate it because it was in such good condition. I hadn’t had a haircut since 2006 aside from my own time spent playing search and destroy for split ends (yes, I actually did sit and pick through my hair looking for splits and clipping them off one by one). I used sulfate-free shampoo, did protein packs twice a month and rarely ever dried my hair with a blow drier or heat styled it. It’s hard work taking good care of long hair, but I was happy to be able to donate it because I didn’t think I’d be able to due to the repeated coloring. And let me just say that I’m tickled to death with how quick washing/drying/styling my hair is now! I’m going to save a bundle in shampoo and conditioner too! ;)  Alas I’ve yet to get any good pictures of my new, short hair. There’s a reason why 99% of the time I’m behind the camera rather than in front of it. I’m just more comfortable that way. ;)

Finally, we’re in full swing with Halloween planning and prep in the Piegdon household. Yes, you read that right. I said Halloween. For those of you who don’t know, we throw a large, pretty involved Halloween party each year for the big “kids.” We started hosting the party in 2006 and each year we’ve started the planning process earlier and earlier. Both Scott and I feel a certain drive (and dare I say, expectation?) to make the party bigger and better than the year before and that takes time and a LOT of planning. We started getting down to business last week and as of tonight we have the party theme chosen, the invitations designed, some niggling concerns from last year addressed with new ways of doing a couple things, our party favor gift packs planned (we’re now in the process of finding affordable vendors for a few of the more niche items), and some new features planned. No costumes for us have been officially chosen, which weirds me out a bit because usually, I know very early on what the winning choice is. This year’s decision isn’t as easy as years past. We’ll soon be having serious decor discussions and I need to try to find a couple of the recipes that went over well from last year because my party files seem to have gotten lost in my computer move. :(  I wish I could be less cryptic about the specific details of what we’ve decided on, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise for those who attend the party and may be reading this. I promise I will blog a post-party rundown though, as I’m really excited about some of the things we have going on and really want to share. :)

Well, that’s all for me tonight. I feel the need to crawl under the covers and warm up. I managed to get myself a decent sunburn during my walk today and the AC feels twice as cold as it normally does (which means I’m feeling the deepfreeze over here!).

Catching Up

Normally when I haven’t blogged in a while it’s because I don’t have much to say or nothing new has been going on and I figure who wants to hear about the same old stuff all the time. I haven’t blogged lately because we’ve been doing a lot and I’m trying really hard to take my extra time and do fun stuff like fit in more reading time or relax and play a game with the kiddos or hubby.

Now that we’ve finished up the office and are slowly really getting everything that belongs back in the room, we’re moving on to other projects. Before I mention those, I figured I’d post the after pictures of the office and the bathroom that’s off of our office.

Here are two shots of the bathroom, which was originally supposed to be dark gray, but the paint had much more of a blue tone to it, so we kind of changed gears half way through and went with it. Luckily, the brown flooring we chose worked perfectly. I love this bathroom now!



I’d taken some pictures after we got the office furniture assembled, but before the chairs were delivered (good riddance to our old chairs!). I love that our desks are side-by-side now (the room is really narrow and we used to sit with our backs to each other) and that we have a shared workspace created by the two returns that are backed up to one another. I seriously dig the new track lighting too.



Our new chairs are Herman-Miller Embody chairs and are seriously the most comfortable desk chairs I’ve ever sat in. Scott’s old chair was an Aeron (also by Herman-Miller) and that was nice, but nothing in comparison to the Embody. We also got a side chair for when we have someone over in the office (usually one of Scott’s friends) that is covered in the same fabric as our chairs. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo that really shows the true, gorgeous mulberry color of the fabric. :( Note the cool, spine-looking frame of the back of the chair. I think it makes for a really interesting look, even from the back.




Now we’ve moved on to getting some new stuff for the family room, including replacing our widescreen LCD tv with the projector and motorized screen that Scott’s been wanting for—well, pretty much as long as I’ve known him. The current seating in that room is horribly uncomfortable—to the point where we never watch tv in there anymore because my butt literally goes numb when I sit for longer than 15 minutes—so we’re getting a new sectional sofa to go with the projector. We had to install some room darkening blinds on the 5 windows in the room because the thin weave curtains I had up just weren’t cutting it. I was happy that we were able to have the blinds cut down to fit inside the window casing and I was able to put the curtains back up. If you’re ever in the market for some room darkening blinds, I recommend the cellular shades made by Levolor. We were able to have them cut to fit at Lowe’s for no extra charge, they were super easy to install and they make the room completely dark during the day time.

In between the completion of the office and deciding we were getting some new toys for the family room, I painted our full bath downstairs, got an étagère for over the toilet, new shower curtain, painted the frame on the existing mirror over the vanity and did some overall organizing. There are a couple things I need to get for the walls in there and that room will finally be totally complete after being only what I would consider half-done since we moved in—four years ago. :p

In the family room there will be no painting or flooring changes, thank goodness! I still love the red and brown that’s on the walls and when we moved in there was already a really nice, large ceramic tile on the floor, so aside from putting the new furniture in and having the video components installed, that room just needs to be majorly organized since it ended up as the catch-all while we were clearing out the office.

After that, I’m moving on to the living room. :D  I have a definite plan for that room, I just haven’t really started putting the pieces together yet. While I’m at it, I’m going to give the hallway between the living/dining/kitchen and family/bedroom/office areas a badly needed coat of paint and finally get some of the family photos up on the walls there. I’m sure I’ll round out the kitchen with some fresh paint too, but I’m not really thinking that far ahead yet. I’m kind of on a redecorating kick and the hubby isn’t putting up any complaints so I’m taking him up on it. ;)

Write On Challenge & Latest Challenge Winner!

Happy hump day friends! Before I get to the new challenge for today, let’s take a look at the winning layout from the last 1-2-3 Challenge. Congratulations to Melissa, who wins any kit of her choice from my shoppe!

Melissa, to claim your prize, browse thru the kits HERE and then send me an email (sherrie [at] pixelgypsydesigns [dot] com) letting me know which kit you’d like!

Now on to our next challenge! It’s a Write On Challenge, which means there is some journaling involved, but have no fear. Even those of you who aren’t so hip to lots of journaling on your pages are going to find this one easy-peasy!

I myself am not a prolific journaler. Every once in a while I’ll include a short paragraph, but I’m not a scrapper who gets into lengthy writing on her pages. One way I really like to incorporate text that has meaning to me on a page is via lists. They’re virtually painless to write and they do a great job of providing the snapshot of info on the subject of the layout.

For this Write On Challenge, I want you to create a favorites list of some kind. In my layout, I documented my son’s list of favorites for this month (because you know it changes often!). You can follow my lead, or you can create a favorites of the year list, favorites of all time, favorite foods, favorite music, favorite…anything! The sky is the limit on how you choose to form and focus your list—it just has to be there. There are also no rules on how many items you have to include on your list. Be as short or lengthy as you please. :)

Prize: One winner will receive their choice of any one element pack from my shoppe.

Deadline: Please link me up to your layout challenge layout in the comments of this post no later than Tuesday, May 4th.

I can’t wait to see your list!

Spring Cleaning Layout

I got to busy scrapping with the new Spring Cleaning kit from Dysfunctional Design (that’s my girl Ami) yesterday. It’s not often that I do a layout without any photos, but I’m quite happy with how this one turned out:

Here’s the fab kit I used for it (it’s 20% off today—woot!)

What’s rather ironic about this layout is that it seems that I’ve been doing a LOT of cleaning over the past month. With the office re-decorating, we had to empty the room and that meant sorting and cleaning through one of the most oft-used rooms in the house (let me tell you, 4 years worth of stuff piles up while you’re not looking). I’m trying really hard to get better about my organizational systems so I can have a fairly neat house without a ton of effort. Madison’s even getting on the bandwagon, purging some of the toys that she never plays with in order to help her keep better order of the ones she does play with. I was very proud of how much she removed from her room yesterday. If she’s anything like I was when I was a kid, it was hard to pick and choose which to keep and which were going to go.

The weather is gorgeous here today. You know it’s getting to be summery weather when I have to literally push the dog outside. :p  He’s already starting to blow his coat, so it shouldn’t be quite *this* miserable for him too much longer. He has a lot of winter fur to get rid of. He should really stop being lazy about that task. ;)

Anyhoo….hope everyone is having such a beautiful, sunshiny day!

Cool Digi Stuff & More!

Happy Monday all! This weekend was the wrap up of spring break in our corner of the world and I know Nicholas and I are happy to have our routine back. Madison wasn’t ready to go back to school, but she perked up last night when I pointed out how close summer vacation really is now. She’s such an easy kid to cheer up—we just have to help her re-frame her perspective once in a while. ;)

I know I haven’t been too regular on posting Cool Digi Stuff the past Mondays, but with the {near} completion of our office, the kidlets’ return to school and my improved health I’m ready to get back at it. In fact, today I’m pointing you toward some freebies that are going to keep on giving for a while! (Does that make up for a less than stellar posting record?)

In case you’re not aware, Little Dreamer Designs is running their apprentice program again and it just started. That means for the coming weeks you’re going to have the opportunity to download the great freebies these designers create as they move through the competition. The Round 1 freebies can be found HERE. Don’t wait around to download though, because I believe they’re available only for a limited time. Then keep checking back HERE for subsequent freebies from future rounds as the competition tightens!

It’s time for another Pixel Peek from me too! I have a new kit hitting my shoppe on Wednesday—here’s a little peek:

Oh, and hey—don’t forget about the 1-2-3 Challenge going on right now here on my blog. You still have until next Tuesday to whip up an awesome layout for yourself following the challenge rules and I’ll be picking a winner who will receive a free kit of their choice from my shoppe. Check it out if you haven’t already!

Until next time…happy scrapping!

1-2-3 Challenge!

I’m back with your challenge for the next two weeks, and this one is a 1-2-3 Challenge. That means I’ll be giving you 3 steps to follow when creating your layout. You’re not restricted to only the three steps (meaning you can add more to your layout), but you must include the steps to be eligible to win the prize.

Challenge Steps:

  1. Use a stitched border on your page.
  2. Use a combination of 1 alpha and 1 font for your page title.
  3. Use a stamp of some sort on your page.

Here is my layout example (click for full-sized image):

Prize: One winner will receive a kit of their choosing from my shoppe.

Deadline: Link me up to your completed layout in the comment section of this post no later than Tuesday, April 20th in order to be eligible for the prize.

I look forward to seeing your layouts!