Friday, May 31, 2013

Just A Quote For Friday - the Challenge

When Deb posted this Challenge, I just had to say yes. I mean, heck, the challenge was directed at me after all!  I went with the feeling that I got from Deb's post about the umbrella - about how she & Doug share a drink and their day under this umbrella...

The image includes some basic photoshop editing, a RadLab clarifying action, and Kim Klassen's  "Magic Edges" texture to screen out the edges and "Edward" texture to warm up the color.  Text inspired by The Hollies "Bus Stop".

ETA:  When I was creating this, I really wanted to add some bokeh, but I didn't have anything in my stash that would work. Today on Jessica Sprague's site, Nancy Rowe Janitz had this bokeh overlay set on sale which was exactly what I wanted! So here is version 2:

So what's the verdict?  Better with? or without?

Monday, May 27, 2013


I'm taking part in the "Get Organized Wizard" 21 Day Simplify Your Life challenge. One of the tasks was to delete/delegate household chores. Since my cleaning is already down to bare bones and no delegating to be done... I assigned each of my weekly chores to a specific day to try to streamline the process. I wanted to get it into a format that I could post on my bulletin board and see every day.  So far, I haven't followed this precisely but I have been doing stuff daily rather than saving it all for the weekend! 
Credits: Kristin Cronin-Barrow "A Mom's Work" kit

Totally for fun. Sarah took these photos on her phone. It took all three of us to demolish that dessert, but I thought it was funny that Jay looked so ready to dig in! 
Credit: ScrapOrchard Page Stackers March 2013 Newsletter free'bee

Silly as it may seem, this picture/story has been on my "to scrap" list for awhile. It's a slice of MY everyday life that I wanted to document.
Credits: ScrapOrchard Feb 2013 Page Stacker free'bee; Splendid Finns Office Paper; Cinzia Everyday Life stamp; Kristin Cronin-Barrow "A Little Kindness" frame.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Clean & Simple - 7 & 8

 Last week Cathy gave us a "no journaling" layout and taught us some tips on creating our own title block. I finally learned how to use a "guide" in PSE. Definitely some new skills coming out of this class!
This week's class also had us creating our own title (with some very close work on lining things up) and our own text box.  Doing this stuff from scratch really makes me appreciate templates even more!!

Monday, May 20, 2013


 Documenting the Philadelphia Cherry Blossom Festival - Project Life style.

 Same day as the Cherry Blossom Festival - went to WXPN Music Film Festival. After the movie, got to hear Lisa Fischer and Darlene Love each sing a song live!  After the festival I started (still don't know why) receiving Rolling Stone magazine... and in the first issue was an article about the very documentary I had gone to see!
Spent Friday night and Saturday at a fundraiser crop for ALS. I FINALLY got Sarah's first year baby album done!!!!  33 pages! Most are super simple - this is an example of one of the better pages I did. Most are just white background, photos, and text.
 Yesterday's page - with Krystal Hartley's newest release Painted Love.  This kit is a lot of fun!
Today's page.  Super simple - scrapping a photo from 2003(?) - need to check on that date so I can add it.  For my "People We Love" album.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Get Artsy #3

Week 3 technique was playing with modeling paste. I used a doily stencil with a very thin layer of paste scraped across the doily with an old credit card.  I originally had a bunch more words to put on but it started feeling crowded so I eliminated some.  Do you think this layout could have handled more word strips?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Clean & Simple #6

Week 6 was an 8.5x11 layout featuring a then/now story.  I did it and was happy with it.  Then I looked at other layouts in the gallery and got some ideas from fellow classmates...

And changed it up to a 12x12 just by adding more paper and borders.  The heart borders are from Krystal Hartley's newest release - Basically Edgy #6.  The papers are from a very old blog train freebie kit by Bohemian Art and I couldn't find that designer online now.

Which version should I print for our album???

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


 These are my LOAD layouts (in no particular order) that are for neither the Clean & Simple nor the Get Artsy classes.  First up - Liberate Your Art.  I pulled the art work from Kat's site to create the Title block.  All of the postcards are attached with Washi tape and can be flipped up to see the other side.

 Last night's layout. Used a digi QuickPage freebie from Sweet Shoppe Designs because I needed something fast and easy. Recolored the QP to match Becca's shirt and added the journaling block - other than that, I can't take credit for the fun & funky playfulness of this layout.

 Photo from the late 70's - my Dad played in a band. Used an old pre-made paper layout from my Top Line Creations consultant days.  My "Dad" (step-father and no where near old enough to actually be my father) is the one on the far left. Those outfits were red or white satin.

Finally documented our kitchen remodel in this two page layout.  Remodel was done in 2007 and it is almost hard now to imagine the way it was "before".

 LOVE our open concept space!

 Another paper page - a layout I started years ago (probably in 2001) has finally been finished!

 Another old photo - from the 1990's... and another pre-made paper layout from my Top Line Creations days.  Really working on using up some old stash during this LOAD challenge. Can you spot me in this group photo?

One of my absolute favorites so far from this LOAD session - a story that has been on my list to document for quite awhile.  Using Jady Day Studio's "A Wizarding World" kit which I snagged during the iNSD sale (been on my wish list for awhile) which was just perfect for creating this magical layout.

And finally the age-old mystery of the never clean scrap space...

As you can see, I've got a good mix this month of paper and digi, old stuff and new stuff.  I really LOVE the challenge of creating a layout every day! I never seem to run out of stories to tell or everyday life to document.

Monday, May 13, 2013

More Clean & Simple

Having already used the Week Four assignment for a layout about the relationship between Jay & Sarah, I decided I needed to do this one just about Sarah

and this one just about Jay.  Isn't it amazing how different you can make the same template look?

And then for Week 5 I decided to skip the template Cathy Zielski had created, but used elements from it to create my layout for the assignment which was to document a typical day in the life of...

Well, I chose me... but not a typical day at all - I chose iNSD! :)

And yes, this is a real Project Life plastic page protector and hybrid layout!
And did I mention that I'm also doing LOAD this month???  Of course, all three of these layouts have met LOAD requirements as well.  And I'll be back another day to share what else I've been up to for LOAD!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Liberate Your Art - Blog Hop

Kat's Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap provides a way for artists from around the world to get their art seen by new people and to share it with the world.

What I sent:
I chose this photo because I loved the contrast between the softness of the pink flowers and the rugged texture of the bark  and I was a bit enamored with the bokeh in the background.  I wrote an inspirational quote on the back, but I honestly can't remember what it was! In fact, I couldn't even remember what image I had sent until I watched Kat's video of this year's art!  So many beautiful images there. Go check it out!

What I received:
Aren't they gorgeous? I'm planning a scrapbook page with these.  The ones that I could identify (either from their postcard or their blog/website) came from Canada, New Jersey, and California... and of course Oregon!  I couldn't figure out the other two which kind of made me sad. :(

The hop runs for three days and the links are below! Enjoy!

ETA:  With a little more sleuthing I was able to find the artists of the other two cards - both from California and was able to leave a little love on the sites of every one of the artists from whom I received cards. Sadly, I haven't heard from a single person who got my cards - I quickly scrolled through 57 blogs (everyone who had linked to the hop by the time I'm writing this) and not one of them had one of my cards. I would LOVE to know where they ended up, so if you got one of mine, please leave me a comment and let me know where it landed! Thanks!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Get Artsy

Seriously, I can't keep up with my life anymore! I have so much to share but have had precious little time to get anything posted here to my blog. I'm here today trying to remedy that at least a little!

I'm taking the Get Artsy class by Mou Saha over at Big Picture Classes.  This class combines two of my favorite things - scrapbooking and mixed media techniques. Up til now I've kept these two hobbies separate, so I thought I'd give this class a try to see how I felt about mixing it up.

Week 1:
Week one we were to use a gessoed background with gelatos (a stick form of watercolor) to create a background. I didn't have the gelatos yet, so I used my Neocolor Watercolor crayons.  After the color is applied you can use a stencil and a baby wipe to remove color to create a reverse resist (see those little butterflies just above the photo?). I didn't get exactly the look I was going for because I didn't have enough stencils on hand to do what I wanted. But I was still very pleased with the final result.

Week 2:
This layout was a result of my Studio purge/memorabilia review last month.  I came across a "love letter" I had written to my twins when they were toddlers. I excerpted the portion that was just to Rachel for this layout.

Week two had us using gel medium for collage (lower right corner of the white canvas) and for a resist technique with watercolors (chevron upper left corner).  I learned that gel medium works so much better for collage than mod podge and dries without the stickiness that has been causing so many of my art journal pages to stick together. Good thing to know!  This layout (because of drying time between layers) took all day.

I'm rapidly learning that I don't really like mixing mixed media with scrapbooking.  Although I love the results of these two layouts, this is definitely too fussy and time-consuming for scrapbook pages (let's face it, I LOVE Digi!) and because I still want to tell a story with words and photos I'm finding that you really have to PLAN placement of elements to make a balanced layout. Doing mixed media just for fun doesn't have those kind of constraints and I can just go with the flow more.

I still intend to finish out the class and participate in all the exercises, but I'm happy to have learned that after this, I'll likely be keeping these separate.

I've also learned that I'm rapidly running out of my butterfly stash! Oh no! So to all my bloggy friends here's a heads up... my birthday is May 29th... and I'm almost out of butterflies...  Seriously, just kidding.  Sort of. ;-)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Story Telling Sunday - My Precious 5

Otherwise known as how "A Serious Case of Scrapper's Guilt" led to the discovery of my precious. 

So I told you here about how I had spent much of the month of April sorting and purging in my Studio, and more specifically trying to corral and organize a lot of memorabilia.  You were all suitably impressed with the progress I had made in pulling together piles, boxes, bags, and envelopes of  "stuff" to come up with a single organized file box of photos, memorabilia, and art work from the first five years of life for each of my daughters. And I certainly appreciated the pat on the back, needed it in fact, because...

This is a photo of my memorabilia organization system (excluding the bit I just created as described above):
The box holds 12x12 hanging file folders and is eleven inches deep.  Believe me when I tell you that is room for a LOT of memorabilia!

At one time I had three of these boxes FULL. One and a half of the boxes contained a folder each for grades K through 12 times three girls - yes, 39 folders of school photos and memorabilia.  The rest were vacations and miscellaneous topics (weddings, newspaper clippings, scrapbooking events, etc.).  And I was very proud of the fact that I not only diligently collected and appropriately stored all this STUFF, but that I actually used it in my scrapbooking!  In fact, two full boxes worth have been moved into albums. Now admittedly, not all of the girls' school stuff has actually been scrapped, but it is in the albums ready to go when I have time to assemble pages.

So, as I was saying, I was busy cleaning and purging in my studio when I found a shopping bag FULL TO THE BRIM with memorabilia.  It included Rachel and Becca's third grade school photos (which I had thought perhaps we didn't purchase when I couldn't find them in their school folders). It included a handful of miscellaneous stuff. But most of all, it included all of the brochures, ticket stubs, and stuff from our 2002 trip to Orlando when we visited Discovery Cove, Sea World, Universal Studios, and Kennedy Space Center.  Do you see how thick that Orlando folder is now? (Rivaled only by Hawaii which I've avoided scrapping because I'm stuck in perfection mode where that one is concerned). And I was overcome with Scrapper's Guilt. Guilt that I hadn't ever properly filed these items. Guilt that since it wasn't properly filed, it obviously wasn't scrapped either! Ten years later and apparently that trip was never properly documented. Guilt that my girls' third grade photos almost never made it into their school albums!  And now I'm wondering what else I might have tucked away somewhere that I've completely forgotten about...

Among the stuff crammed into that bag was this:
A pin from our 2003 Cruise to Nassau, The Bahamas aboard Carnival's cruise ship "The Fascination" which I had earned for our family while I was a consultant for the now-defunct scrapbooking company "Scrap in a Snap".  And that pin brought me to...

My pin vest:
A now mostly forgotten treasure that lives in the far back of my closet.

I started collecting pins in the late 90's I think. I have the same vest (in child size) for each of my girls. The pins represent places we've been, things we've done, organizations to which we've belonged.  Accordingly, no two vests have all the same pins.  And much like Sian's scouting badges each and every pin on this vest has a story behind it.  Pin collecting went out of vogue for our family when the girls hit their teens.  We don't have pins for our trip to Hawaii (shame on me). I'm hoping years from now my girls will pull those vests out of their respective closets and be glad that they have a record (besides the scrapbooks) of so many memories from their young lives.  As for me, now that I've rediscovered this treasure, I think I need to start collecting pins again!

For more Precious Stories visit Sian's Story Telling Sunday.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

One Little Word Blog Hop - May

Whether you arrived here from Mrs. Wookie's Blog as part of the One Little Word Blog Hop, or you are here because you love me and drop by regularly... Welcome! I love visitors! The One Little Word Blog Hop is a monthly hop run by Lee for members of Ali Edwards' One Little Word class over at Big Picture Classes. The hop goes live on Friday at 6:00 a.m.  You can always check back later if someone's post isn't live yet.

The April Assignment for One Little Word was to capture our word in photos:

I did manage to capture these dares in photo form.  I'm still eating Paleo and doing well with it. I've spent time scrapbooking and I went on a girls day out with my friend Rachel and caught the Cherry Blossom festival in Philadelphia.  So yes, I am living my word!  But a lot of my "daring" intentions (letting go, ask, make a difference) can be hard to capture in a tangible way, even though a lot of it has been happening lately.

My major "dare" for April was to clean/purge my Studio, including sorting through years and years of accumulated memorabilia.  That is in the "Dare to Finish" category.  And, just under the wire, I finished today!

I already had the girls' grade school through high school memorabilia sorted and into albums - the pages aren't all done, there is a lot of "stuff" in page protectors - but the bones are all there for those projects. Where I was hurting was all the stuff that had been pulled from their magnetic page baby albums and stuffed into boxes, bags, and envelopes.  I had literally...

  • three 12x12 album boxes;
  • three shirt size gift boxes;
  • one 13x13x7 box; and
  • numerous 8.5x11 size envelopes
crammed full of photos, birthday cards, invitations, daycare art work, their baby books and more.  It is now all loosely sorted into a single file folder box.  And looking at this, it is abundantly clear to me that it is going to be difficult, at best, to fit their first five years into a single album each.  But at least it is organized for when I am ready!

I dealt with a lot of other memorabilia which I'll talk more about in another post, another day!

To close out April, here's my tracker:
Looks like a pretty good month to me! (More to check off for the 30th, but hey, had to take the photo to prepare the post!

If you are following along on the Hop, your next stop is Lisa's blog.

And here is the whole list just in case you get lost: