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Glittered Pinecones | 26/52 Projects

Glitter Pinecones | The Nerd Nest 1

I wanted a little holiday festivity around here, but I’m not ready to drag up the tubs of decorations from the basement until we buy a tree this weekend. So I went for a quick craft project instead: glittered pinecones!

This project, like many projects around here, was the answer to the question What can I do with what I have?

My grandpa had just brought us a big bag of pinecones from his girlfriends’ house and I love the way they look displayed in a big bowl. I’ve seen fake pinecone decorations doused in glitter. Why not jazz up the real thing?

Glitter Pinecones | The Nerd Nest 2

I grabbed some Mod Podge, a foam brush, coarse glitter, and a bunch of pinecones.

Glitter Pinecones | The Nerd Nest 3

Jonas and I covered our table with a trash bag and started painting on the Mod Podge. We painted from the top downward so only the tips would be covered. This is easier to do than trying to get glue into all of the nooks and crannies of a pinecone and mimics the look of snow on them.

Glitter Pinecones | The Nerd Nest 4

We shook glitter onto the glue over aluminum foil, so it was easy to return the excess glitter into the jar.

Glitter Pinecones | The Nerd Nest 5

Glitter Pinecones | The Nerd Nest 6

We glittered half of our pinecones gold and half silver, then laid them out to dry. (Though we set aside a few for Eliza to make.)

Glitter Pinecones | The Nerd Nest 7

Glitter Pinecones | The Nerd Nest 8

They look gorgeous in real life even though the photos make them look a little blobby. It is so hard to photograph glitter! It is lovely to watch the light dance on the glitter and they’ve definitely gotten me in the mood to get some twinkle going on in here.

Downside: doing this project with Jonas means I may never get all of the glitter off of the floor. C’est la vie.


This year it’s my goal to complete 52 projects. Projects can be art, crafts, home improvement, tech, gardening, or whatever else my brain ventures into. The point is to MAKE. This is project 26 of 52! Check out the other projects: 1 : Script Art / 2: Striped Scarf / 3: Pillow Covers / 4: Eliza’s Doctor Who Valentines / 5: DIY Periodic Table Mirrors / 6: Band Pin Display / 7: French Monuments with Eliza’s Class / 8: Crystal Nail String Art / 9: Adventures in Dye / 10: Spring Poems / 11: Getting the Garden Going / 12: Le Petite Prince Painting / 13: DIY Cleaning Supplies / 14: Picking Up the Violin Again / 15: Shaving Cream Marbling / 16: Water Marbling / 17: Watercolor Crayon Resisting / 18: Doctor Who Guess Who / 19: Spray Painting My Way to a Fancier Porch / 20: Project Life Stop Motion / 21: The Great Lego Reorganization / 22: Pikachu Costume / 23: Blossom Costume / 24: Rorschach Test-esque Paintings / 25: Hand Turkeys.

2014 Holiday Album | November 23-29

Holiday Album from a Vintage Book | The Nerd Nest

This year I’m participating in my version of Ali Edwards’s December Daily project. Like last year, I started before December so I could document Thanksgiving too.

I batched my first week of pages all at once and kept them very simple with 4 inch wide photos (on per page), wood numbers backed in white cardstock for each day, a white cardstock mat when needed, and spots for journaling.

Holiday Album from a Vintage Book | The Nerd Nest - Title Page

I wanted my title page to give a little hint as to the purpose of the album, so I included the holiday range that the book will cover.

Tip: When right-justifying your title, start at the end of the word and work your way left. I have to write the word down on a scratch piece of paper (or, if I’m not sure on spelling, on my phone) first so I don’t misspell it going backwards.

Holiday Album from a Vintage Book | The Nerd Nest - Nov 23

I started with the 23rd, because my extended family had an early dinner together for Thanksgiving (though we didn’t have Thanksgiving food). I wrote about how happy I was to see my family, but how it also made me sad that our get-togethers are no longer at my great-grandpa’s. It doesn’t feel the same.

The red and green background papers were a bit too Christmasy, so I added the November card and used neutral paper to try to move the feel of the pages into autumn.

Holiday Album from a Vintage Book | The Nerd Nest - Nov 24 and 25

The 24th and 25th are just everyday stories about the kids: Jonas and I going on a photo scavenger hunt for his ABC book and Eliza and I painting away.

I added part of a journaling card on the left because the background paper was busy, but wrote right on the cardstock on the right.

Holiday Album from a Vintage Book | The Nerd Nest - Nov 26 and 27

For the 26th, I documented making hand turkeys with my sister and niece Ava. I’ll include one Ava’s hand turkeys into my Project Life album.

The 27th was Thanksgiving and I was having trouble deciding on how to document it (we went THREE places). I decided to leave the story of all of the Thanksgivings to my PL album and chose one of my favorite little stories from the day, about the kids and their cousin working together to figure out how to get a log into their treehouse at Poppy’s.

Holiday Album from a Vintage Book | The Nerd Nest - Nov 28 and 29

The 28th was Thanksgiving #5. The story: my dad and I watching the Star Wars VII trailer and discussing it at length. (My love of nerd culture comes from this side of the family. I also spent a long time talking to my Uncle Brad about comics and fantasy novels.)

The 29th was a randomly gorgeous day, and Jake and I took full advantage and walked miles to lunch and a movie.

Holiday Album from a Vintage Book | The Nerd Nest - November

I’m working on just picking one story and one photo per day and not over thinking it. They happen to be all people stories so far, but as I start getting more in the holiday mood for Christmas, I’ll probably be including more about stuff and traditions.

Supplies: Freckled Fawn wood numbers, Very Merry Embellishment Kit, and enamel star stickers // Elle’s Studio Sycamore Lane Memories paper and blank labels // Studio Calico kits // Project Life pens.

If you are stuck documenting the holidays, get Daily Doc: Holiday Edition by Alexandra Rae Design and myself. This digital workbook has 40 prompts to get you thinking about the details of your holidays that you may take for granted. You can use the prompts daily or as needed! They are also great as filler if you are doing a daily project and forget to document a day. It’s on sale for only $4.99 through December 18th.

Rorschach Test-esque Paint Technique | 24/52 Projects

Rorschach Test-esque Paint Technique - The Nerd Nest  1

I love when Eliza comes home from art class at school armed with a new technique she can’t wait to teach me. Last week, she showed me how to make Rorschach Test / inkblot looking things with paint.

Rorschach Test-esque Paint Technique - The Nerd Nest  2

All you do is fold a piece of paper (we used heavy cardstock), add blobs of paint in alternating colors in the crease, then re-fold the paper again. The paint is trapped in the paper, and you spread it from the crease outward with a flat device or your hand. Open the paper back up for a surprise design!

Rorschach Test-esque Paint Technique - The Nerd Nest  4

The results are pretty cool. I love techniques like this. You never know quite what you’re going to get, but you get better at controlling aspects of your outcome with practice. I started with complementary colors, but moved to primary colors so that the overlapping parts would be more pleasing.

Rorschach Test-esque Paint Technique - The Nerd Nest  3

The above try was my favorite from the bunch. I think it looks like a bug-like alien. I can see The Silence in there too (fellow Whovians, you know what I’m talkin’ about). Don’t use that to psychoanalyze me: the Rorschach Test is basically pseudoscience, even though it’s still used.

Rorschach Test-esque Paint Technique - The Nerd Nest  5

Eliza made some pretty darn cool pieces too. Also, obviously her art teacher rocks.

Rorschach Test-esque Paint Technique - The Nerd Nest  6

Jonas painted along and did his own thing. He’s going through his dark phase. Hah! I love it.

Have you learned any fun new techniques lately?


This year it’s my goal to complete 52 projects. Projects can be art, crafts, home improvement, tech, gardening, or whatever else my brain ventures into. The point is to MAKE. This is project 24 of 52! Check out the other projects: 1 : Script Art / 2: Striped Scarf / 3: Pillow Covers / 4: Eliza’s Doctor Who Valentines / 5: DIY Periodic Table Mirrors / 6: Band Pin Display / 7: French Monuments with Eliza’s Class / 8: Crystal Nail String Art / 9: Adventures in Dye / 10: Spring Poems / 11: Getting the Garden Going / 12: Le Petite Prince Painting / 13: DIY Cleaning Supplies / 14: Picking Up the Violin Again / 15: Shaving Cream Marbling / 16: Water Marbling / 17: Watercolor Crayon Resisting / 18: Doctor Who Guess Who / 19: Spray Painting My Way to a Fancier Porch / 20: Project Life Stop Motion / 21: The Great Lego Reorganization / 22: Pikachu Costume / 23: Blossom Costume / 25: Hand Turkeys.

December Challenge | Get Nostalgic

Get Nostolgic | December Nerd Nest Challenge 2

Welcome to the monthly Nerd Nest Memory Keeping Challenge!

This month, your challenge is to get nostalgic.

A lot of us get caught up in documenting what’s going on currently in December, especially those of us participating in Ali Edward’s December Daily. However, the holidays and traditions can bring up strong memories of the past. Now’s the perfect time to record them while they are currently fresh!

Even if you don’t celebrate any holidays in December, nostalgia can still be on your side. Pay attention to memories that places, things, food, and smells bring back to you.

Get Nostolgic | December Nerd Nest Challenge 1

For my first take on the challenge, I documented a Christmas morning scavenger hunt my dad and step-mom set up for my little brother and I. As Jake and I plan a Christmas morning scavenger hunt for our kids this year, I remembered that Christmas and was inspired to scrapbook about it.

There were clues, s’mores ingredients and other things I can’t remember at each clue stop, and a poster or something at the end announcing a camping trip we would get to take. I’m fuzzy on the details, but I remember the feelings.

I’m not sure which year the scavenger hunt happened, so I just chose a picture of my brother and I on Christmas morning from around that time. I don’t have very much scrapbooked from this age, so I also included some things about how Christmases in general went when I was a teenager: the anticipation in the morning while we had to wait for our parents to be ready for us to come out of the room, my joy despite the grouchy teenager-ness for the camera, and the routine of Christmas Eve / morning at Dad’s, then going to Mom’s still in pajamas for Christmas morning take two.

Get Nostolgic | December Nerd Nest Challenge 3

Tip: When you are journaling about the past, include a date both for the story and when you are documenting (I dated the photo and the words). This will help explain the perspective you have now and any memory mistakes you might make. This will also help the page make a bit more sense in the context of an album.

Get Nostolgic | December Nerd Nest Challenge 5

I also made another layout for this challenge, this time inspired by the season rather than the upcoming holiday. Ice and snow inevitably lead to telling the story of the time Jake broke his leg while we were dating in high school. This story comes up in conversations every year. Jake took me home after a date and we started having a snowball fight. He was running from me and slipped on black ice and broke his fibula. This was especially sucky because he’d just finished conditioning for wrestling season and wasn’t able to wrestle his senior year. He was also stuck on towel duty at work for a long time (we were lifeguards).

The photo is pretty horrible: it is blurry, low quality from a point and shoot digital camera, and has some water damage. I don’t have very many pictures from these years, so I don’t care that the photo isn’t great. I’m thankful to work with what I’ve got: a photo of Jake on towel duty. In a Santa hat. Awesome.

Get Nostolgic | December Nerd Nest Challenge 6

Tip: Instead of writing the journaling all together in a block, I wanted to give the visual impression of falling snow. The background paper and silver snowflakes are loud and clear on that theme, but including descending strips of washi tape, which grounds lines of journaling, gives the impression of snow too!

Get Nostolgic | December Nerd Nest Challenge 7

Supplies: December Oh Deer Me kit // Basic Grey Aurora Andromeda and Leo Minor // Elle’s Studio Good Cheer Holiday Quilt paper, Joy and Peace paper, and Countdown paper // Prima Vintage Pink ink // Brilliance Dew Drop Platinum Planet metallic ink and Starlight Silver metallic ink // Becky Higgins Project Life journaling pens.

What stories does your nostalgia bring up? Share your take with a link in the comments below! You can also use the hashtag #NerdNestChallenge on social media.


I’ll be adding takes I find to the Nerd Nest Challenges Pinboard! Share your links to past challenges too so I can add them.


Today is for…

Today is for | The Nerd Nest

Lots of painting.

The beginning of Eliza’s Thanksgiving break.

Hanging out with my sister and baby niece.

Making cranberry sauce and pumpkin snickerdoodles.

Adding a few more letters to Jonas’s ABC scavenger hunt book.

Possibly getting out of pajamas and going outside, as the temp is supposed to get out of the 30s for a bit. A walk to the coffee shop sounds good.

Loads of laundry.

Filming video for a year long pocket scrapbooking class! You’re going to love it.

Working on outlines and sharpening ideas.

Knitting and watching Sherlock with Jake in the evening.

Writing an essay just for me about social deviance, because I can’t turn off the sociology.

Reading Toni Morrison.

Standing in what I’m sure will be a long line at the grocery store, because I totally waited until the last minute to buy the things we’re supposed to bring to our many Thanksgiving dinners.

This exercise is a great way to document your right now. Make sure to share a link if you write what YOUR today is for too.

Project Life 2014 | September 7-13

Project Life 2014 | September 7-13 | The Nerd Nest 1

I love documenting my life with weekly Project Life spreads! At the end of each month, I batch edit and order the previous month’s photos and then work on spreads in batches. Today I’m sharing a spread from early September.

Click on the photos for a larger view.

Project Life 2014 | September 7-13 | The Nerd Nest 2

I really love this spread, and I think it’s mostly because of the stars spread out over several cards. I love when visual elements can pull a spread together, so I’ll have to pick up more packs of like embellishments and die cuts to try out this technique more often!

Project Life 2014 | September 7-13 | The Nerd Nest 3

Going on here: Going to the circus thanks to Paul, dinner + Apple Store date, Jonas serenading me, kids’ slumber party at their friends’, cleaning out the pantry closet, going to my neighborhood art fair, lunch with Jake at work, another IKEA visit (with face painting!), spray painting the porch, Lego Reorganization.

Project Life 2014 | September 7-13 | The Nerd Nest 4

I loved this photo of Eliza from the first day of fall soccer games and was impressed with how good it looks large format (it’s an iPhone photo). I used this photo as sort of a title and added more support photos and journaling to the back of the insert.

Project Life 2014 | September 7-13 | The Nerd Nest 5

Project Life 2014 | September 7-13 | The Nerd Nest 6

I try to keep insert layouts very simple, as they are also competing visually with the rest of the spread. I kept to a similar color scheme to the rest of the spread, using the more neutral colors for the patterned papers. This way I didn’t have to worry about finding a close match to the greens and blues. A few small embellishments brought the greens in nicely!

Project Life 2014 | September 7-13 | The Nerd Nest 7

Going on here: Dropping off Paul at the airport, Eliza’s main chore (emptying the dishwasher), Jonas’s rad style, coffee + doughnuts, Eliza learning to program, and E being goofy dancing and singing in the street with me.

Project Life 2014 | September 7-13 | The Nerd Nest 8

Selected Supplies: Oh Deer Me July kit and May kit by Freckled Fawn / Studio Calico The Underground PL kit, Poet Society PL kit, King’s Cross kit, Walden Paper pad / Amy Tangerine Stitched Applique paper / Kaisercraft Hello Today Present paper / Project Life Lovely mini kit, journaling pens, Design A page protector, Design U page protector from this variety pack, 8.5 x 11 page protector, and Project Life corner rounder.

For all posts tagged Project Life, click here.

Project Life is a memory keeping concept created by Becky Higgins.

Harry Potter Group Re-Read-Along | #HPDec

Harry Potter Group Re-Read-Along

Almost every year, I re-read the Harry Potter series. I’ve been taking it up less often in recent years, because I’ve been reading books aloud off and on to Eliza. But because I’m sure that project will take a few more years yet, I’m excited to re-read all of the books again this year! And this time I’m not doing it alone.

Amy had the idea for a big Harry Potter group re-read along! (That’s her graphic up there.) Of course, our group of friends jumped on that idea: Kam, Kristin T., Kristin A., and Allie are in too. (Audio books totally count.)

Kristin A. was going to take a break from Novel Tea Book Club in December, but instead it’s now home base for the read along! I think it’s going to be so fun to have an opportunity to revel in fandom next month.

Harry Potter Re-Read-Along

I’m getting a head start because Eliza is helping me read the first book in French! (Remember when I tried to do that last year? It’s going much better with Eliza’s assistance.)

Are you in?

2014 Holiday Album Base

Old Book Holiday Album | The Nerd Nest 1

Since 2009, I’ve participated in Ali Edwards’s December Daily project. This year, like last year, I’m starting before December so I can document Thanksgiving too. I’m actually starting tomorrow, since my extended family is having an early Thanksgiving get-together!

For my album this year, I decided to use a minibook made from a vintage book I made years ago. I had originally intended to sell it in the Etsy shop I had at the time, but I held onto it because I loved it so much. My 2009 album is my favorite aesthetically, so I’m excited to get back into an old style and make another vintage book mini!

Old Book Holiday Album | The Nerd Nest 2

Old Book Holiday Album | The Nerd Nest 3

Old Book Holiday Album | The Nerd Nest 4

Old Book Holiday Album | The Nerd Nest 5

IOld Book Holiday Album | The Nerd Nest 6

Old Book Holiday Album | The Nerd Nest 7

Old Book Holiday Album | The Nerd Nest 8

The yellows, greens, blues, and reds in this album will work for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, so it’s a perfect fit! I’ll be keeping pretty minimal on the pages, but I’m using my stash and the Freckled Fawn Very Merry Embellishment Kit along the way.

If you’re wondering how I made the album, stay tuned. Rebook, a video-based class full of techniques for making mini books out of old books, is on the way!

Make sure you are following me on Instagram for more frequent album updates! And if you are interested in taking Rebook, sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know when registration opens.

My 2013 Holiday Album | Video

Holiday Album 2013 | Megan Anderson

Since 2009, I’ve participated in Ali Edwards’s December Daily project. Each year, before I decide how I’m going to go about the project, I look back at my old albums to see what worked for me and what didn’t.

Here’s a little video flip through my 2013 album so you can see what it looks like all together:

title page // November 24 // November 25 // November 26-28 // November 29-30 // December 1 // December 2 // December 3 // December 4 // December 5-7 // December 8-9 // December 10-12 // December 13-14 // December 15-16 // December 17-24 // wrap up

Holiday Album 2013 | The Nerd Nest

I loved that I started a bit before Thanksgiving with this album (which is why I’m calling it a holiday album vs. December Daily) and I’ll be repeating that this year. I’m starting Sunday!

I also tend to like the end product the best when I’m not using all holiday themed products. I’m shopping my stash this year too, with a few bits from the Very Merry Embellishment kit from Freckled Fawn.

And while I had a lot of fun with the mix of pocket pages and traditional pages in the mini album, I’m ready for a non-pocket project this year.

I’m excited to share my plan with you tomorrow!

If you want to see what my other December Daily albums have been like, you can see the rest of them in these posts:

Christmas in July | December Daily 2012 by Megan Anderson

December Daily 2012

December Daily 2011

December Daily 2011

December Daily 2012 | Front Cover

December Daily 2010

December Daily 2009 | Cover

December Daily 2009

Do you participate in December Daily? What works for you?

Better Together | Scrapbook Layout

Better Together | The Nerd Nest

I ended up making sort of a crazy amount of stuff for my first month on the Freckled Fawn creative team with the November Oh Deer Me kit, and this layout is probably my favorite from the lot. I’ve been getting the Oh Deer Me kit since early last year and I’ve used them a lot over that time, but being on the team is motivating for me to actually execute those ideas I get from the kits right away!

As soon as I saw the “always better when we are together” oval flair in the kit, I knew immediately that I’d make a page about a date Jake and I went on in September. Because of the Jack Johnson song, that phrase gets me sappy and romantic immediately.

I use the term date loosely–we basically call any outing we take together sans kids a date. But that’s us: we just like spending time together without a fuss. This time, Jake dragged me out of the house because working all day on a weekend was stressing me out (the kids were at their grandparents’). We walked to get a latte at our neighborhood coffee shop, then took a long walk and moseyed around until we had lunch at a restaurant we hadn’t yet been to.

Click photos for a larger view.

Better Together - Circles | The Nerd Nest

I snapped a few photos along the way of what the walk looks like. I love getting in these scenery shots from time to time, because businesses and little details change. To add these little photos to the layout, I printed them at 2×2 in a 4×6 collage and used a 1 3/4” circle punch on each photo.

In addition to the main journaling about our date, I wrote a little ring of journaling around each circle to describe the small photos.

As for those star paper clips: I wasn’t sure about them. I really liked the colors with the layout, but didn’t know if they cluttered up the relatively simple design too much. I laid them on the page, walked away for awhile, and came back to make a decision. Sometimes you just need fresh eyes. I decided to stick with them and attached them by cutting little slits in the page. I also taped over the clips on the back of the layout with washi tape, because I hate when extra bits on the back of a layout get caught when you are slipping them in and out of page protectors.

Better Together - Close Up | The Nerd Nest

My MO for larger embellishments like this is to generally give them their own place centered in a square of a grid (as I did with the house in this layout), but I wanted to do something different this time. I thought of the large letters beginning paragraphs in old storybooks, and I thought that using the flair the same way and indenting the first few lines of journaling would be cute.

I also framed the journaling with scalloped wood veneer, which I pressed into an ink pad to change its color. The color came out darker than I’d have liked, but I’m finding that happens consistently with dye inks (I prefer chalk and pigment ink for vivid colors).

Overall, there’s a lot going on here, but it still feels cohesive. And I’m glad to celebrate where we live and whom I love.

How do you document dates?

Supplies: November Oh Deer Me kit by Freckled Fawn / Studio Calico Purple Rain ink and white cardstock / Project Life journaling pens.