Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Still secret ...

... so if you're a family member, go away now! ;-)

Here's the November page for my in-laws' 2010 calendar that I'm digi-scrapping. I LOVE this page. It's a beautiful photo of my sister-in-law, with a beautiful kit, and it just all worked together so well!

Most of the elements used are from Jean Daugherty's "Autumn Sonata" kit, found at Digizines Studio. Whatever bits I didn't use from that kit are from other Jean Daugherty kits (also found at Heritage Scrap), except for the violin (no idea where that came from ... another designer who didn't put their name on their file!); the alphabet is Glass Alpha, and I can't find the designer name (really, I would go look it all up in my PSE catalog, but it takes ages to load up PSE in the catalog mode ...)

I did a lot of resizing and some recoloring (the alpha, for example). I warped the green ribbons so they wouldn't be straight, and I created the music note buttons by using a button from a different kit, adding the notes and using an "embed" style to make them look, well, embedded. On the photo of Tasha, I used both a softening style and an inked photo style to give it a bit of "shabbiness" to go along with the vintage/shabby look of the other elements. I believe all of the styles were from ScrapGirls. Oh, and the template I used was from PageMaps. They have layered digital templates now, based on their paper templates, which I think is totally cool, even if they are $6.95/mo.

So, I really love the look of this page! This is more my style than anything else, I think.

I must be fairly serious about this digi-scrapping thing, since I just spent nearly $100 (birthday money) on a Wacom Bamboo graphics pad & electronic pen, which contains a copy of the next-to-newest version of Photoshop Elements. The newest version just came out, I believe, so this is what was already bundled with the Bamboo "Pen and Touch". It's too complicated to explain why I think I need this gadget, especially to my dear readers who don't do digi, so just trust that it was necessary, okay? ;-)

Well, the husband is finally home for the night, I'm exhausted, and so I think I will end this post now. Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying Christmas preparations!


Monday, November 30, 2009

It's a secret ...

If you are in my family, please move on to something else and don't read this blog post. Unless you want Christmas ruined.

Okay, I've been working on a Christmas present for some of my family members, and hadn't wanted to post in case someone I'm related to decided to read my blog on a whim. (Not that I think any of them actually read it regularly, lol). Now that I have warned them off, the rest of you can see what I've been up to.

Still digital. Yes.

I decided to make calendars for my parents, in-laws, and other various closely related types. I thought, hey, it's homemade, always a plus (well, for most of us), it shouldn't be terribly expensive, and it'll be FUN!!

Scratch that "won't be terribly expensive" thing. I thought, hey, I make "calendar topper pages" and find a place that will put them on a calendar and print them out, no worries. Um, yeah. Except that the FIRST one I did was all in 12x12, and for the life of me I can't find anyone who does 12x12 calendars. So I will have to tack on a 6-inch calendar at the bottom of each page and have someplace like Office Max print them out and bind the whole thing. Probably expensive. So that's my mom and dad's gift.

Getting smart after making theirs 12x12, I made my in-laws' 11x8-1/2. I should say, I'm MAKING my in-laws' ... it's still a work in progress.

Here is a page from the in-laws' calendar:

Almost everything is by Jean Daugherty (of both Heritage Scrap and Digizines Studios), and most from her "Revolutionary War" kit. The red background paper is by Atomic Cupcake.

In this case, there were no family birthdays during this month, so I resized some papers and ephemera from the Rev War kit and put in the place where the photos would normally go. Oh, I suppose I didn't explain that I used a page template (same as a scrapbook sketch only better) for the layout design. This particular one is a freebie by SimplyScraps Designs, from the GottaPixel November blog train. In digi, you can place your photo, paper, element, whatever over the corresponding space in the template, "clip" it to the template piece (i.e., a photo piece or a ribbon piece) and it will conform to the size and shape of that piece. You don't HAVE to use every piece on a template, or even keep everything in the same place. It just makes it a lot easier when you're in a hurry and don't want to have to plan everything out. (On this one, since I needed an 11x8-1/2 size, I resized the template to fit, then moved the entire photo cluster bit off to the side so George Washington would show.) It's NOT the same as a QuickPage, which is basically a layout that's all prepared and all you do is add photos. That is TOTAL cheating in my book!

I don't like the way the "July" tag ended up looking on the page, so I may change it.

Here's a sample from my parents' calendar, with birthday people included:

Again, almost everything here is from Jean Daugherty, in this case from her "Seaside" kit. There are some paper strips and ribbons behind the photos that are from other people, but I hope they -- and you -- will forgive me if I don't remember off the top of my head who they were and I really, really don't feel up to hunting them down on PSE's organizer. (I'm sick again.) Also again, I used a template. The designer's initials are EAM, and it was a freebie -- that's all I know.

My dad and my son both have August birthdays, so they're featured on the calendar top. Don't you love Jean's papers? That whole beach scene behind the photos and elements is a background paper! Gorgeous.

Since my parents are Christians, I decided to use Bible verses for each month; for my in-laws I'm just using various quotes.

Aside from the printing costs, these are still NOT cheap calendars. So often I have in my head exactly what I want for a page, and if I don't already have that exact thing, I have to go hunting for it. Sometimes I score Freebies, but often I'll end up having to buy a kit, or a style or action (ways of manipulating photos or elements without having to know how to make it work myself!). Yeah, so lots of money invested in these things.

Well, that's it for now. I'll try to post a few more later on. I want to get these finished so I can get back to heritage scrapping!

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving (those of you from the States).

BTW, I'm no longer taking the Medicine From Hell, so at least I'm not severely depressed anymore. Just sick. :(

Monday, November 16, 2009

Is it live? Or is it Memorex?

Or is it ACTUAL PAPER!!!??!!!

I would make you guess, but chances are you'd get it right. It is, indeed, an Actual Paper layout! One I worked on for weeks before getting it the way I liked it. Okay, I worked on it one day, then a couple of weeks later worked on it again, then a few weeks later finished it. I got digitally sidetracked, AND it was a bit of an "outside of the box" deal. Plus I didn't use a page sketch, which, in this case, made it infinitely harder.

Anyway, this is my adorable grand-niece Rachael. She was visiting her Aunt Kenni this summer and they went to see "G-Force" in 3D. Now, I had taken Rachael to see it the week before, and mean old fogey that I am, I made her turn her glasses back in. Looks like Aunty Kenni was much nicer than me! lol Anyway, I think these photos were taken outside the movie theater. I snagged 'em from Kenni's facebook page.

This new medicine I'm trying to take is making my brain buzzy at the moment (not a good thing), but I think I can remember most of the ingredients for this:
heart paper, "fabulous" title: DCWV "Rockstar" paper pack
"Dare to be Fabulous" stamp: Stampin' Up!
Everything else is stuff I got at Archivers, with little to no clue as to the manufacturer. Except that the crystals might be Basic Grey Bling.
Technique used on the "Dare to be ..." label: Technique Junkies "Cling and Scrunch"
I used a Valentine's Day mini-cupcake holder thingy for the red center of the flower (used a punch)
Pink brackets cut using a QuicKutz die in my Cuttlebug
Butterfly cut using the same paper that the "Fabulous" was on, using my Cricut "Home Something-or-other" cartridge

I may have been calling that cartridge the wrong name. I'm calling it Home Decor, but it may be a different name. They have another cartridge out that shares a very similar name, and I get confused. Mine's the older one.

So, I keep wavering about whether or not to just sell all my paper scrapping stuff now that I'm doing digi, but then I look at this page and think how cool it is that it's 3D, and I just can't do it. I know I'll do more paper stuff, so those of you who thought you might benefit from a sale of my stash -- sorry, cupcakes!

Okay, gotta run get some lunch before I pass out. Hope you have a great week!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Texas Proud

Now, that's not a surprising title for me, is it? lol

Here's the other digital scrapbook page I've made so far using Jean Daugherty's "Lone Star" kit. It's honoring my great-great grandfather on my dad's dad's side. He was a Texas Ranger (law enforcement, not the baseball team) for only a few months in the late 1800s, but in the 1920s he started the "Ex-Texas Rangers Association" for, obviously, ex-Texas Rangers, and it was quite a popular group. Sadly, the association eventually died out, and I think they have something else in its place today. But it went strong at least up until "Major" Green's death in the early 1930s. His title of Major was honorary, given him for forming the ETRA.

The journaling is actually the historical marker, which is next to his grave in Colorado City, TX. It puts things waaaaaay more succinctly than I ever could! lol (I see you nodding your head!) You can see the image larger if you click on it.

Everything is from Jean's "Lone Star" kit, except the frame and the photo mat, which are from Kate McLellan's "Civil War" kit, both of which can be found at Heritage Scrap. Jean's kit can also be found at DigiZines Studio. Her "papers" are so lovely I don't want to cover them up!

Hopefully today I'll get my latest paper scrapbook page scanned so I can show you. I really like the way it turned out. I've been using page templates on some of my digi-scrap pages (like sketches, only you can actually "clip" your photos, papers, etc. to shapes and they'll become that shape -- far less "trimming" and trying to deal with fitting things together), and it's helped me sort-of step outside the usual box I often stick to. I'm still not real cool on this white-space thing, but if the papers are as detailed and gorgeous as Jean's, it's good to have it. Anyway, so this latest paper page is a little out-of-the-box for me, and I think it turned out well! I'll try to have that ready next time.

Medical update: I can't tell yet whether the new narcolepsy med is working. Of course, it's the "beginner's" dose, and I will be titre-ing up over the course of the next week or so. Tonight I start a slightly higher dose. It's also been hard to tell what's going on because I have another sinus infection, and those make me feel rotten. But I'm on an antibiotic, and this morning feel MUCH better than I did yesterday morning, when I was ready to chuck it all. So, we'll just have to wait and see. I either have narcolepsy or I don't, so the med will either work or it won't. Life is full of having to be patient, which I am SO not good at! (My brain does seem to be a little more clear than usual -- which is awesome!)

Whatever is going on with me, God is good, He is in control, and I'm just counting on Him to be doing what's best. It's not really a change from the last post, but I'm able to feel that more now. Yesterday was kind-of a rough day, and when I was getting ready to shut things down for the night, I ran across the card my mother had given me for my spiritual birthday on the 8th. The front says, "Sunshiny day, grace-filled, joy-filled, love-filled day -- 'Jesus right beside you' kind of day." Well, it wasn't exactly all those first things, but I realized it had definitely been a "Jesus right beside you" kind of day. He pulled me through it, as only He can do. Boy do I love Him for that!

Hope you have a "Jesus right beside you" kind of day, too! Every day!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Gone to Texas

So ... I've actually been scrapping lately. A lot. But I can't show the stuff I'm doing because it may end up being Christmas presents, and just in case anyone who would be a recipient reads my blog, that wouldn't be good, KWIM?

I will, however, show you one of my two (so far) Texas history layouts. Jean Daugherty of Heritage Scrap (and DigiZines Studios, now, too) made me a Texas history kit when I put in a request in the HS forums. I may have told you already, but I'm going to tell you again because I don't remember what I said. Anyway, it is a GORGEOUS kit, and I only hope I can do it justice!

This is the first one I did. It's about my 5-greats grandfather who was one of the original settlers in Texas with Stephen F. Austin. (Those folks are now called the "Old Three Hundred.") There is so much to tell about Alexander Hodge, hard to just get it down on one scrapbook page, but I think I managed to condense it fairly well. Of course, there are no photos of him, and I don't even know if there were ever any paintings/drawings. We certainly don't have them if they exist. So it was a bit tough to figure out how to do a page that was all about the journaling without it just being boring. Here's what I came up with:

Gorgeous stuff (Jean's, not so much mine). I think pretty much everything is from her kit, which I purchased from Heritage Scrap, but it's on the DigiZines site, too. I'll show you the other layout next time.

Now I just need a kit about the U.S. Navy so I can scrap my dad's Navy years ...

Anyone want to hear about the medical front in my life? Well, if not, you're probably done with the post now. If so ...

I went to a sleep doc last week who thinks I may have narcolepsy, never mind that I don't suddenly and "accidentally" fall asleep during the day, and I don't have the cataplexy that a lot of narcoleptics have (something about sudden emotional stuff making you go weak, like laughter or anger). Trust me, I laugh enough to know I don't have that aspect. But he said that I have a LOT of the other symptoms, like a "fractured sleep architecture" and messed-up REM cycles. My utter, total exhaustion during the day is a pretty good sign, too, although there are heaps of disorders and illnesses that can cause that.

Anyway, because of that, rather than make me go back to the sleep lab to do the daytime test, he's just going to go ahead and try me out on some medicine. You take it at night, and it's supposed to help you have deeper, more restful sleep. Downside is you have to wake up three hours after the first dose to take the second. Also, it makes you SO sleepy that it can be disorienting if you have to get up in the middle of the night for anything. And it can make you very woozy if you have to get up. No driving for six hours after the last dose. It's very high in salt, so I'll have to really watch my blood pressure. For the first couple of weeks it can cause headaches and nausea. And if I don't have narcolepsy, it won't do anything other than just make me feel weird (i.e., it won't make me feel more rested in the mornings). Also, it's a "regulated" medicine. Which totally freaks me out. I have to keep it hidden away, if anyone steals it from my home I have to let the police know, etc. Did I mention I'm freaking out?

I have my first try with it tonight. I'm afraid I'll stop breathing or something. Or I'll get really sick. Or I'll have one of the "rare" nasty side effects. Or, worst of all, that it won't work.

Something has to work. If this doesn't, or if I can't take it, I really don't know what I'll do. I am DESPERATE to feel better, to stop having so many stupid illnesses, to be able to function like other people. Right now there is no way I could hold down a job. Fortunately I'm able to take care of my family, but mainly because they aren't here during the day, so I can rest (which is why digi-scrapping is such a good thing -- I haven't felt up to paper scrapping). I've had so many tests, all of which come out negative (which is a good thing, but leaves me with no answers). My doc figured I had sleep apnea, which is why I did the sleep test, but I don't.

Another thing is, I am so SICK of the weird, complicated, exhausting dreams I have all night! This is part of the messed up REM thing. Normally people go into non-REM when they first fall asleep and don't hit the first REM stage until about 1-1/2 hours later. Not me. I go straight into REM sleep and spend more than my fair share of the night there. A couple of nights ago I had this really stressful one involving tornadoes. Last night I dreamed about Phil Joel, skateboards and the girl Aidan likes. Among a lot of other things. I used to like dreaming, but not any more. If I never remembered another dream I would be ecstatic. I always feel like when I lay down I just close my eyes and go into an alternate universe, where I do all kinds of stuff all night long, and come back to my normal universe when the alarm goes off in the morning. Really. Really. Exhausting.

So, there, my long tale of woe. I hope I still have any readers and/or friends left after that. Sometimes it's just hard to hold back the need to talk about it. I spend so much time trying to mask it, paint over it, push through it, minimize it that I feel really uncomfortable when I let it all spill out. My mom doesn't mind me complaining, but everyone else in my family does.

Now, life is not all bad. I realize I have a ton of things to be thankful for, and I truly am grateful for them! And I have God to help me get through each day. But I'm ready for a positive change now, and really, really afraid there will never be one. I'm only 46. I shouldn't feel like I'm 86.

So, enough of my whining. I promise next time not to spill all over you. Unless the medicine proves a problem ... ;-)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Huntin' Punkins

Okay, I've been lax in posting, but I have been scrapping a lot lately. Digi-scrapping, that is. I have a paper layout almost finished, but need to find some kind of alpha things to finish it up. In the meantime, I've been continuing to celebrate my heritage in the digi-scrap world.

BUT ... I took a break from heritage stuff a couple of days ago to scrap my super-adorable nephew. His mama had taken him out to a pumpkin patch and posted the pics to facebook, and they were SO cute that I snagged 'em and did a layout with some of them. Unfortunately, Facebook's resolution for photos isn't the greatest, but it was all I had to work with. I need his mama to e-mail me the "originals".

Anyway, here it is:

I used a page template (like a scrap map, only layered for digi use) by SammyD/Scrappin' Digi Kreations as the guide.
Here are the rest of the ingredients:
Background paper: Moani designs "Colours of Fall" (blog)
Other papers: Farrah's Creations "Fall Freebie" (which, oddly enough wasn't free, I had to pay $1 for it, so I guess it had once been free)
Alpha and buttons are from Farrah's Creations "Shabby" kit (blog)
Overlay (the red edge on the background paper): unknown (another designer who doesn't put their initials/name on their files)
Autumn cluster: Diana Burton (I think it's her "Autumn Equinox" kit) (Designer Digitals)
Olive rick rack: Diana Burton "Members Only" (her newsletter)
Cream floral ribbon: Lynn Griffin "Southern Porch" (Heritage Scrap)
Green stitching: Kathryn Balint (K and Friends)
White stitching: I honestly have no idea -- there are so many "straight white stitching" elements in so many kits and they all look alike

I think that's everything. I find it odd that, when I post my digi layouts on digi sites, the people who comment are always amazed at "how well [I] combined kits," as if combining kits is somehow a wild and crazy idea, somewhat unorthodox idea. I mean, I'd love to be able to stay within one kit, but no one kit is the be-all and end-all and often the idea I have in my head requires something that kit doesn't provide. Maybe it's the mentality of a paper scrapper -- you just buy stuff you like and then combine stuff to make your layout.

Anyway, no real biggie, I just thought it was weird.

I have several heritage layouts to show off, but I will save those for another day. Hope you enjoyed this one. And Happy Holidays! (Can you believe we are now into the "holiday season"? AAAAAAAAA!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Scrapping sick

No, that's not "sick of scrapping" or even "scrapping about being sick." I've been sick this week, and yet have managed to get several layouts done because I've done them digitally, which I can do from the "sick couch." I did run by Archivers on Friday and get some things to finish up a paper layout, but then felt too bad the next day (and following) to feel like going up and giving it a try. For some reason this paper layout has me STUMPED!! It was a concept I thought would be so easy, but has turned out to be ridiculously stumpifying. Well, if I ever get around to finishing it, I'll let you know more about what was so hard.

But, as I said, in the meantime I've been cranking out heritage layouts like crazy! Of course, it's super easy when the basic framework is all the same and you just have to plug in photos, names and dates. (And connecting bars.) I did have a very hard time dealing with a family who had THIRTEEN children, but finally managed to find a way to tackle it and am happy with how I did it.

Today I also finished up a layout I'd started several days ago about the little country church some of my ancestors built out in West Texas. Originally I was just kinda playing around with clipping masks and blending templates, but I really liked what came out, so tonight I just added the title and journaling, and voila! The layout was done! Here's what it looks like:

Ingredients for this one are simple:
Dark teal blue paper: Lynn Griffin, "Aurora" (Heritage Scrap)
Blending template: Brandy Murry, "Scrap Simple Background Blenders" (ScrapGirls)
Paper template: Durin Eberhart "Rubber Stamps" (ScrapGirls)
Fonts: Edwardian Script; shoot! I can't remember the other one (Foxboro?)
And of course the photo, which I took this summer

I had a dove on it at first, over the "a" in "Chapel," but Bjorn said it looked too much like a wedding brochure that way! lol -- It still kinda looks like a wedding brochure, but I don't care, I like it!

Well, that's about all I have tonight.

Hope you all have a great rest-of-the-week!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cowboy up!

(Before I start ... I lost a subscriber over the weekend. I don't know the reason, but that always worries me -- y'know, wondering what the reason was, if it was that they didn't find my blog "relevant" anymore, whatever. I know that sometimes people get overwhelmed with the number of blogs they've subscribed to -- I've even had to unsubscribe from blogs before for that very reason. But I worried that maybe it was because I'm doing so much digital scrapping and blogging about that instead of paper. So, please, keep in mind that, if you're inspired by anything I do, you can ALWAYS transfer that inspiration to paper! Just remember to please not copy my design EXACTLY; make it your own!)

Now to our not-so-regularly scheduled blogging:

In my treasure trove of family history photos, there are two of the most adorable pictures of my daddy when he was 3 years old on a pony. Clearly, it was one of those "get your picture taken looking like a real cowboy!" things -- he did not have a pony of his own, nor did he own a stetson, as far as he can remember. (He's clear on the pony part.) But the photos are so deliciously cute they absolutely HAD to go in my heritage album!

So here he is, this man who is a distinguished 78 years old now, when he was a very huggable 3 years old:

This is another one of those "God had to give me inspiration to finish it!" layouts, I will confess. I had an idea in my head what I wanted to do, and in the end it morphed considerably from the original idea. But that's okay, because I love the way it turned out!

So here are the ingredients:

Background: Valerie Randall "Buried Treasure" (Scrapgirls)
Bandana: Beth Rimmer "Bootleg Alley" (Digitals)
Sunflowers: Diana Burton "Helianthus" (Digitals)
Dried flower: Kate McLellan "Civil War" (Heritage Scrap)
Wheat stalks: Kristin's Scrap Designs "Crisp Air Sampler" (Pickleberrypop)
Star circles: Aprilthescrapaholic "Chris' Freebies" (Scrap it Sassy blog)
"Wanted" poster: Kathryn Balint "Cowboy Sam" (KB and Friends)
Nails: "Frontier Days Add-on" (Raspberry Road Designs)
"Cowboy Danny" letters: Victorian Rose Designs "Autumn" alpha (Heritage Scrap)
Font: Country Store
Bend Action (photo): Jen Caputo "Jen's Bends" (Scrapbook Graphics)

I spent the weekend rounding up (pun intended) free digiscrapping stuff (and buying some for the above layout). I found one site that was fantastic -- a French designer named Cajoline. She has the most beautiful things, and all free! And then I discovered that everything is 72ppi instead of 300ppi (which is good print quality, and most commercial kits are in 300ppi). After I'd downloaded a ton of them. So, yes, I can resize them (in PSE you can do this without losing too much quality, depending on the difference in ppi), but they won't be as usable as if they had been 300ppi to start with. Bummer that. But, what do I expect for free?

I really, really need to get back into the loft and work on a layout I had started (sorta) up there a few weeks ago. Adorable pictures of my great-niece, so I need to get them scrapped!

Well -- gotta go wake up the kid. He's home today. He was home almost all last week with some mysterious ailment (our PA figured it was probably a virus). He's doing much better today, so he got up, got showered and dressed, I got up to fix breakfast, Bjorn was, astoundingly, already up doing work on the computer. In checking the weather forecast, I discovered that today is Columbus Day. In checking the school website, I discovered there IS NO SCHOOL today! Instead of being mad, we all laughed uproariously about it. Then Bjorn went to work, I went to the couch for a nap, and Aidan ... stayed on the computer. He is now napping away (at 11am), but I need to wake him up so he can do a practice PSAT test. The test is Wednesday, and being sick has really messed up his study time for it. PLEASE pray that he does the best he can possibly do on the test (and makes accurate guesses!) -- it would be so amazingly lovely if he could win a National Merit scholarship!

Catch ya later!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

One nice thing about digital scrapping ...

... is that you can go back days, weeks, months later to fix something if you need/want to. As I was finishing up the fourth of my "Family Tree Branches" layouts last night, I realized that, on the second, third and fourth LOs I had put the child who was my direct ancestor in their birth order, just with a larger picture; as opposed to the first LO where I had my direct ancestor in the middle with a larger pic, even though he was out of order birth-wise. Originally I had planned to do all of them that way, but for some reason I had brain fog and did the rest of them without the ancestor being central.

SO ... I just went into the original of the first LO (the PSD file, since it still has all the layers) and rearranged the children until they were ALL in the right birth order, recopied it to .jpg and went merrily on with life! So simple (especially since I hadn't had it printed yet.) With paper I would have had to either rip the page apart and start over, or just lived with the inconsistency. (Don't worry, I still love paper scrapping!)

I will show you the Paternal side pages for my Tree Branches LOs. The reason I'm going to show you two instead of just one of them is to show you the rather striking difference in a page with only two children vs. one with about a million kids (okay, so it's not that many, but it was crowded and tough to deal with!)

Here is my dad's father's page:

No worries putting this one together! Actually, that's not true -- finding a good balance on the distance between the siblings required some effort. (Not to mention that, again, it took me four days to get an embellishment cluster I could live with!)

Now, here's my dad's mother's page:

Yeah. It took me a large chunk of a day to get this one arranged! (I don't remember when I actually started it -- sometime after lunch -- but it was late last night before I finished, and I didn't even have to do a new cluster!)

Okay, now for the ingredients/credits:
Background paper, all frames, bars and labels, "Paternal" tag and chain: Diana Burton "Heritage Helpers/Recollections" (Digitals)
Red velvet ribbon: Gunhild Storeide from her "Friday Freebies" (via DigiScrapDepot.com)
Lace: Lynn Griffin "Serenity" (Heritage Scrap)
trailing ribbons: Lynn Griffin "Vintage Charm" (Heritage Scrap) (I recolored a light orange-ish ribbon to get the dark red, then lightened that up to get the pinkish one)
flower: Jean Daugherty "The Storytellers" (Heritage Scrap) (recolored)
pocket watch: Michelle Coleman "Vintage Rag Tag" (ScrapGirls)
chain on watch: Miss Tina (individual element from Funky Playground Designs)
Fonts: Edwardian Script, Adobe Caslon Pro

So guess from what purveyor of digi goods I purchased some things today ... STAMPIN' UP!!! They have entered the world of digital scrapping and are now offering some of their designs in digital!! They actually have their own software for digiscrapping now, but since I have plenty of software for that, I just purchased the sets separately. Amazing -- I bought two stamp sets and the entire line of punches (all in digi form) for less than it would have cost me to buy ONE physical stamp set! Unfortunately right now they don't have that many sets I really want digitally (they're mostly -- or maybe all -- digi versions of actual physical stamp sets they sell). Since I'm mainly focusing on the heritage stuff, I need sets that coordinate nicely with the vintage look, and so many of the ones they're selling digitally are too hip or too modern or whatever. Or they're card sentiments, which doesn't work for me because at this stage of the game, I REFUSE to make cards digitally.

Anyway, I do think it's cool that SU is entering the 21st century, and I'm hoping that they'll release some more of the sets I would be interested in soon.

On the personal front (I didn't warn you this was a long post, did I? lol) I went to the pain management doc today and got "diagnostic" shots in my occipital nerves (the ones that go up the back of your head and over from the base of the head). The doc shot 'em with anesthesia to see if it helped with the pain (it did, and I knew it would because I've done this before), so since it did, I am scheduled to have a cryo-cauterization procedure done in about a month, to freeze the daylights out of the offending nerves and see if we can't put an end to what causes 95% of my headaches. I'm not looking forward to the procedure (even though it isn't a big deal), but I am looking forward to being mostly headache free! (Just for the records, yes, the shots did hurt, about like when you're having dentistry done and get anesthesia shots in your gums), but I lived through it!

Next thing we're going to work on is my lower back. But that's another story for another day!

I'm sure I have thousands of more things I could bore you with, but I'll let that do for now. I know you're so disappointed! lol

Have a good 'un, and happy crafting!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A paper layout!

Okay, so I confess I've gone a little "digi-batty" over the last few weeks, but I do have in my possession a recent layout that is PAPER!! (The crowd roars, lol) The other confession is that I've had it done for a couple of weeks, but just hadn't got around to scanning it until a couple of days ago. And then a million other things prevented me from posting it until today. But now, HERE IT IS!! (Ta-da!)

Are these boys not uber adorable!?! These are my twin nephews, Karl and Aksel, who were, obligingly, born on my birthday nearly 5 years ago! I can't believe they're growing up so fast, but then my own son has moved through life like a rocket, so I don't know why I would be surprised.

In all honesty, this is a bit of a "hybrid" layout (traditional with digital elements). The photo block is actually a collage done with a program I BOUGHT (I actually downloaded the free trial, but then as these things often go, I couldn't print out the collage unless I bought the darned thing, so I did, since it wasn't terribly expensive -- it's called Picture Collage Maker from Pearl Mountain Software, and I think it was about $20). This is actually what got me back into digi-scrapping, because the program can be used for digital scrapping and allows you to use digital "papers" as a background even in plain collages (the red in the collage block is a digital paper, and I have no idea of the source). I'm not using it to digi-scrap (using my old trusty Photoshop Elements 4.0 for that), but in looking for papers to use in a different collage that I haven't scrapped yet, I found myself online looking for the "perfect" one and toppled headlong over into the digi-scrapping world again. (Did ANY of that make any sense???)

I don't know the manufacturer of the red background paper with the circles on it. I do know I bought it at Archiver's a year or so ago. The rest of the ingredients are:
Other DP: Little Yellow Bicycle "Zach's Life" -- also the border strips
Arrow punches: Stampin' Up!
Chipboard "2": I think it's Basic Grey, but I could be wrong
"Boy Oh Boy" rubon: SEI "Beatnik Boy"
"x": Cricut cartridge (the name escapes me at the moment)
Brads: random stuff from my stash, probably Making Memories
Cardstock: SU "Very Vanilla"
Vellum quote: DCWV ((I think)

Don't you love how well I keep up with my supplies' manufacturers? lol -- the truth is, I'm just too lazy to go upstairs and verify. And some of them honestly don't have the names on them.

I have also finished another digi-scrapped heritage layout, but I'll wait until later to post that one.

Gotta run -- I need a nap before I head out to the pain management doc this afternoon. I am SO hoping they'll schedule me for an anesthesia nerve block treatment for the occipital nerves in my neck. They've been giving me some really nasty headaches lately!

Ta ta, and have a great [insert day of week on which you're reading this]!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

North or South?

I know, my titles can be so lame sometimes! I just finished a layout (well, last night) featuring one of my great-great-great grandfathers who was in the Civil War (he was a Johnny Reb). He's not one of the ones who was a captain, but we have a photo of him with a group of CW veterans from both sides of the conflict, and I thought it was definitely worthy of scrapping. Especially since I have a digi-scrapping kit called "Civil War"! The kit is by Kate McLellan of Heritage Scrap, and it's pretty cool!

Here is the layout:

Everything is from the Civil War kit except:
Journaling tag -- Heritage Scrap design team
Red frame (around my ancestor in the picture) recolored from gold, journaling frame (with his name on it) also recolored from gold -- Diana Burton (Digitals)
Ribbon clip -- unknown
Velvet strip -- from 12x12 velvet paper by Zstampf Designs
Fraying brushes -- Erica Hite (Scrapgirls)
Fonts -- Edwardian Script, and something I can't recall the name for at the moment

It's a pretty plain page, but I'm not trying to tell J.B.'s whole story on this one. I'll do a separate page for the best of his other photos, and tell a little about him on that.

Gosh, digi-scrapping is beginning to grow on me. In fact, I've been trolling (as in what you do when you fish) sites now for Heritage or Vintage-themed kits and I'm actually PAYING for them, as opposed to mostly snagging freebies. And I've got thousands of dollars' worth of paper/traditional scrapping stuff getting dusty in my craft loft. Ah, well, I guess we go through stages. Maybe I should just sell off all my traditional scrapping stuff and stick with digital ... nah. Not yet, anyway!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tree branches

Well, I finally finished my first "branch" page for my Family Heritage album. I sort-of randomly chose my mother's maternal grandparents for the first page. It doesn't really matter what order I go in, as most of the pages will be "stand-alone," so I could go do my parents' page or my great-great-paternal grandparents', whichever I'm in the mood for. They layouts will be basically the same -- all the maternal side ones will have the same look as this page. I'll change up the paternal side pages a little bit -- put a cluster on the upper-right-hand corner instead, and make it a little different than the "maternal" cluster. I might even choose different paper, or colorize this one to make it a tad different. I'll also probably have an entirely different look to the page for my parents.

Anyway, here is the page:

Again, it's all digi-scrapped. I used a lot of items by Diana Burton, especially her "Heritage Helpers" set. Here's the breakdown on ingredients:

All frames and bars, plus the tag frames, the "Maternal" tag and chain, the background behind the baby silhouette and the lace ribbon are from Diana Burton's "Heritage Helpers" kit (Digitals)
Bow -- Diana Burton "Helianthus" (Digitals)
Paper -- Lynn Griffin "Autumn in Paris" (Heritage Scrap)
Ribbon -- Lynn Griffin "Vintage Charm" (Heritage Scrap)
Stickpin -- Lynn Griffin "Aurora" (Heritage Scrap)
Key -- Kate McLellan "Civil War" (Heritage Scrap)
Ribbon on key (barely visible) -- Kathryn Balint "Dear Grandma Rose" (KB and Friends)
Baby silhouette -- Jesse Edwards "Silhouettes Brushes and Stamps" (Designer Digitals)
Fonts -- Edwardian Script ITC; and I don't remember which straight font I used :(

When I purchased the Heritage Helpers kit, I was an idiot and didn't order the whole combo kit that included all the papers, otherwise I would have more than likely used one from that kit. (For some reason the papers weren't offered by themselves.) However, I really do like the paper from Lynn Griffin, so it wasn't quite the end of the world.

Designing this page was a difficult, long process. First, it took me eons to pick the paper. I tried all kinds of things, even tried to stamp a large tree on velvet-looking paper to sort-of mimic the Heritage Helpers paper that I didn't get. It just didn't look all that great. I tried several others, then finally settled on the Lynn Griffin "Autumn in Paris" paper, and now I think it was absolutely the right choice. then it took me two days to design the ribbon cluster. I must have had four different iterations of the cluster, most of which just got too busy. I finally erased the whole thing and just started over, and I'm much happier with this one!

After that it was mostly just the task of finding photos, resizing frames, cutting the photos to fit the frames, attaching the bars and getting the nametags done. The nametags took a little while because I added a background (just opened a blank page, colored it with the paint fill and applied a texture), plus I also had to resize the tags to fit, which involved some cutting and pasting. Then I did all the type, and finally, FINALLY -- voila! A finished page!

Another reason it took so long is because I decided to sign up with Mozy.com for backup service, and it's been backing up all my chosen files for a couple of days, thus rendering PSE pretty slow.

Hope you enjoy looking, and maybe get some inspiration for your own heritage layouts. Remember -- you can copy this look on paper as well as doing it digi, so no excuses! ;-)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

More heritage stuff

Well, for some reason right now digi-scrapping has become my scrap method of choice -- NOT surpassing my love of paper/traditional, no way, but for right now I'm kinda "into" this heritage scrapping thing, and I think most of it's going to end up being digital.

So here's the next one:

These three darling girls are my dad's mother (in the middle) and two of her sisters. I just love these photos! (Of course, I just love about all of the really old photos we have.) Makes me wish I could have known them all when they were young. I did know my dad's Aunt Kate (the girl on the left), but not well. She didn't pass away until I was ten, but for some reason I just don't remember much about her.

Anyway, I have decided definitely to do a Heritage scrapbook (well, I'd always wanted to do one), and I'm forming in my little mind the way to do it. I think I'll have a big Family Tree at the beginning (probably paper scrapped, since I have some good paper, etc., from Ancestry.com via K&Co, and you know how I love that company!), then smaller "branches" for each grouping (parents and children) on other pages, with personal pages (like this one) in between. It will be a major project, but I'm up for it. I just hope I don't do what I often do and "burn out" in the middle. To keep from doing that I'm going to plan on doing paper scrapping of other subjects, too, along the way.

Digital layout kits are like candy -- it's hard to stop (in this case collecting them). I've got some great ones for vintage-type and ancestry-type stuff, so I definitely need to make use of them!

I wish I had more photos of my Civil War soldier ancestors. I've got a great Civil War kit (did I already mention that last time? Hey -- I'm sick today so I have an excuse for being Not Of Brain).

Here are my ingredients: (Some are from REALLY OLD kits, and some have been recolored to fit my color scheme)
Oval frame: from "Shells and Angels" kit by BannerWoman
Rectangular frame: from "Civil War" kit by Kate McClellan (Heritage Scrap)
Title alpha: "Civil War" alpha, Kate McClellan (Heritage Scrap)
Bow: from "Seventies Stylin'" kit by Raspberry Road Designs
Lace: from "Natural Selection" kit by Diana Burton (Digitals)
Stick pin: from "Serenity" kit by Lynn Griffin (Heritage Scrap)
Wooden tags: unfortunately, I can't find any information on these
Pearls: from "20s Chic" kit by J Baechtold (ScrapDish)
Lace ribbon: from "Gift of Faith" by Dahlia Co. (Faith Sisters)
Flowers: from "Autumn in Paris" by Lynn Griffin (Heritage Scrap)
Background: unknown

You know, it would help a lot if digital designers would include their initials and some indication of the kit in their filenames. Yes, I have the digital stuff all categorized and tagged in PSE, but I have over 14,500 files in there, so I'm not going to go hunt it down through there. I spent over an hour trying to find the names of designers, kits and stores/websites for these elements, so I'm not going to spend any more looking for the ones that have no clue as to where they belong in their filenames. (Note to self: Write the filenames down as you go instead of having to look everything up at the end!)

Whew! So I hope you enjoyed this page. There will be more to come!

Monday, September 14, 2009

A tribute

So I was bored and surfing the digital scrapbooking sites over the weekend, snagged some freebies, even bought a couple of things, then thought -- "Wait a minute, why am I DOING this? I rarely ever digi-scrap!" And I decided maybe I'd better put some of my huge stash of digi-scrapping stuff to good use, especially since I'd actually shelled out money for some of this stuff.

So I thought -- heritage photos. I have a ton of those now and maybe rather than printing them out and paper scrapping them, I could do some in digital. Of course, this is a struggle for me, because I want to FEEL the 3-Dness of the stuff on my page, not just have it LOOK 3-D. But I broke down and did a page anyway, and I am very pleased with how it turned out!

This is my grandmother (Mom's mother) when she was 16. It's my favorite photo of her, and I wanted to do something really special to set it off. And here's what I came up with:

My grandmother was the very epitome of the Proverbs 31 Woman. If you don't know what I'm talking about, here's a link to the chapter. Start with verse 10. And keep in mind, this passage isn't something women HAVE to be, it's something to aspire to. I think my Granny did a very good job of reaching that aspiration, just by being herself. I really miss her. I was thinking today about when she was in the rehab "home" a few weeks before she died, about her struggling to walk between the parallel bars. She was a super courageous lady. Thinking about it makes my heart hurt, though, so I have to kinda slam the door on those thoughts.

Granny loved pink, roses, butterflies and hummingbirds. I couldn't figure out how to add hummingbirds without it just getting overboard, but I think she would have liked this layout a lot, although she would have disagreed with my declaration that she was a Proverbs 31 Woman!

Anyway, here are the "ingredients":
Brads: Michelle Underwood "Chocolate Soup" kit
"31": Amy Teets "Sunporch" alpha
Bkgd paper: Atomic Cupcake "Divine Damask"
DP: Raspberry Road Designs "Seventies Stylin'"
Bible verse: Eyelet's Scraps Designs "Scripture Pack 1"
Flowers: Paula Yagisawa (Dreamer Paula) "Sunday Morning"
Buds: Dyp Designs "Eastermania"
Butterflies: Ana Flor "Silk Butterflys [sic]"
Frame: Diana Burton "Heritage Helpers"
Ribbon: ScrapStreet "New Orleans Valentine"
Raffia: Thao Cosgrove "Raffia Embellishments"
"Proverbs" letters: Zee Helmick "Vintage Buttons" alpha
Font: Lettering Delights "Wedding"

As you can see, I'm no more a "one-kit" girl with digi-scrapping than I am in "real life" scrapping, lol!

So, I'm working on a paper-scrapped layout about my twin nephews. At the moment I don't like how it's turning out, but I'll go up and play with it some tomorrow and see if I can't figure out what's bothering me and fix it.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Good times

So I finished another layout!! That's two "biggies" and two "little uns" in a week, so far! (I think ... when did I finish the other one? My brain fails me.)

I've been home with a "broken" husband this week. He hurt his back somehow -- doesn't know exactly how or when -- and it gave out totally on Sunday evening. It's been getting a little better each day, but he's still having a lot of pain when he moves too much (adjusting position on the couch, bending, etc.) I don't know what's up -- I wish he would go to his chiropractor for it, but he doesn't want to. When I was rubbing his back today I found a little lump next to his lower spine a few inches above the pelvis. I know he's had a couple of "fatty deposit" lumps in his back, but this felt larger. So I hope it's nothing to worry about. I don't want to worry him, but I do think he should get it checked out.

Anyway, that's DEFINITELY NOT the "good times" I was referring to in my title. No, that has to do with my layout. As I was going through my "Favorite Photos" stack the other day, I ran across these three photos of me when I went overseas to spend a semester in London in 1988. So, rather than making separate 6"x6" pages of each one, I decided just to do a big 12"x12" LO with all three.

After I'd been working on it a little while, I really did not like what was happening on the page. So I decided to leave it overnight, and fortunately the next day I had fresh inspiration (pretty cool what a little "Help, God! I'm creativity challenged today!" prayer will do!). My only "complaint" about it now is that it looks like it should be a Christmas page! lol

Ingredients (if I can remember them):
Background paper: Club Scrap
Other DP: I honestly can't remember -- (it's one of those cases of individual sheets out of context and with the brand name already cut off or not on it)
Chipboard letters: Stampin' Up! ("t"); Basic Grey (all others)
Acrylic paint; clear nail polish with golden glitter in it (on the letters)
Pearls: Basic Grey
Rhinestones: something I bought at M's today
Watch face: no idea -- I've had it lurking around for years
Punch: Fiskars "Apron Lace"
Cricut cartridges: original "Home Decor" (flowers); "George & Basic Shapes" (brackets)

I think that's it. If you're dying to know about any of the "no idea" papers, I could try to find out who makes them, but some of them were kinda old, so no promises that I could find them. The red glittery paper came from Archivers last Christmas.

I made a couple of collages recently with a new collage-maker program (like I don't already have enough image-messing-about-with programs!). It was a "free download" that turned out to be a trial version, and you couldn't save or print anything without a watermark unless you bought the full version. And, of course, I didn't know this until AFTER I'd already spent ages making a collage and liking and deciding to print it. So I gave in and spent the $30 on it. Kinda a "rook", as one of my brothers used to call being gypped or scammed. But, it seems like good software, so hopefully I'll find a lot of uses for it. Anyway, I now have three collages to play with scrapping-wise, and I also have a "filmstrip" sort of thing I did in Photoshop a few weeks ago of my great-niece. That will definitely be fun to play with.

Well, it's getting late and I need to think about getting to bed. Please pray for Bjorn, if you think of it. And pray for me, too -- it totally disrupts your routine to have your husband hanging around the house all day! lol

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Wow -- I did it again!

Scrapped, I mean. Last night I started a 6"x6" layout for my "Favorite Photos" album -- basically I picked out paper, cut it and adhered the photo to it. Today I finished it up, then later went up into the loft again and made yet ANOTHER 6"x6" layout! These are so fun, although I will admit that sometimes it's daunting to come up with something creative for a page where the photo takes up most of it (most of my photos are 4"x6"). I've tried using Page Maps "Mini Maps" sketches -- they're for 8"x8" layouts, but you can reduce the size for 6"x6". Trouble is, a lot of those use more than one photo, and on a 6"x6" that can be less than satisfactory (because the photos have to be so small). Of course, it's not always true -- wallet sized photos do work okay as long as the subject is large.

So, anyway, here are the layouts:

Is not this photo the most adorable ever?!? This is my dear son thirteen years ago when he was three years old and serving as the Ring Bearer for Bjorn's brother's wedding. I honestly don't remember this moment at all, and wonder if someone else took the photo. I was a bridesmaid (matron?), and Bjorn was the Best Man, so we had my dad fly out to be Aidan's "chaperone." He may have taken the photo. Anyway, it was at this beautiful sort-of B&B/Wedding venue out in desert near Tucson, and it was just a very gorgeous, wonderful day! So here Aidan is expressing his "joy of life" as only a uninhibited three-year-old can do!

Bo-Bunny DP; Sparkly paper I got at Archiver's for Christmas last year, cut using the original Cricut "Home Decor" cart; a red glitter pen; "Freebooter" font, Verve flourish stamp with SU ink; HP printable cardstock; Nestabilities oval cutter, done with a Cuttlebug

Here's the other:

This is my mother and her great-granddaughter Rachael when Rach was somewhere in the 2-3 yr. old range (don't you love her ponytails!). This was about 2004.

Bazzill textured shimmer paper; an old kit from TAC (DP); small photo corners by K&Co; Large photo corner punch by EK Success; rhinestones from K&Co; rub-on from Stampin' Up!; Cricut original "Home Decor" cart

SO much fun! I'm glad I'm scrapping again and loving it. Unfortunately, I don't seem to be able to keep two things going at once, so my family history stuff is suffering, but I did that all summer, so it's okay.

Be back soon with more goodies! Until then -- have a good 'un!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I have resumed scrapping!!

Yay! Can you believe it? I actually got up into the craft loft yesterday and started a 2-page layout, then finished it today! I think we should call tomorrow a world-wide holiday and no one have to work or go to school!!

After around three months of total lack of inspiration, I hauled myself upstairs yesterday and said, hey, I'm just gonna look through some of the photos I had pulled before my hiatus and see if anything hits me. Well, I had pulled 11 photos of my sister-in-law Liv from my categorized boxes, and I thought, know what? It would be fun to do a girly page -- any paper I want, no "theme" other than girly, choices wide open. So first I picked a sketch to work off of (a Page Maps sketch from many moons ago), then I chose papers accordingly. I had to fiddle with the sketch layout a little since the sketch used 7 photos and I had 11, but I managed to come up with a satisfactory adjustment. Then I just went with it!

So here is the layout. You can click on it to see it larger.

So let's see if I can remember the ingredients:
Cardstock: Basic Grey; Stampin' Up!
Designer Paper: DoodleBug Designs (I think)
Flowers: D'know, something I picked up at Archiver's
Ribbon: the zigzag pink is SU; the brown under it I don't know
Cricut cartridge: Jasmine (y'all think I need to invest in some more Cricut alphas? lol)
Buttons: not sure, I think they're K&Co, but don't quote me on that
Journaling chipboard: Another something I picked up at Archiver's, in the "Hot Spot"

That's all, I think. Liv, I hope you like it!

I'm certainly glad I'm not a Stampin' Up! demonstrator these days. Seems like they just got informed they can't mention ANY product other than Stampin' Up! on their blogs, whether personal or business. So if they make a card, say, and use products in addition to the SU stuff, they're not allowed to give credit for the other products. Nor are they allowed to link to other pages that have non-SU products on them. I just think that's wrong. If they're so worried about their bottom line, they need to come up with new stuff and better marketing, NOT clamp down on their demos. Sounds like a lot of people are quitting as a result of this.

Anyway, no such restrictions on me, so I will continue to do whatever I darn well please with my blog!

Hopefully I'll be back in another couple of days with a new layout to show off. Until then, have a great week!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

OMG! OMG! ("G" being "gosh") ...

I actually got up into the craft loft tonight and FINISHED A PROJECT!! Not only that, I also personalized a card I had already made to use for my Mother's birthday tomorrow.

Maybe I should have warned you. Try not to hyperventilate. Nice, deeeeeep cleansing breaths ... lol

Well, I have been TOTALLY unmotivated, as you well know, to do anything remotely crafty for the last few months. Even for Mother's Day I just sorta whipped something out that involved no stamping whatsoever. (Well, except for the sentiments -- it was a double pocket card with tags.) Poor Bjorn and my dad had to just get store bought cards. Yes, I humbled myself and got STORE BOUGHT. I was so ashamed!

But I knew I couldn't let Mom's birthday pass without a home-made card. Regardless of how super sweet my Mom is, I know she would feel cheated with just a store-bought. Okay, maybe she'd still love me, but she deserves better. (Bjorn and Daddy do, too, but you know how it is with dads ... they have lower expectations, lol.) But I have been SO TIRED the last few days, and it's been SO FREAKIN' HOT that, even with the A/C on, it's still too warm in the loft.

Nevertheless, I trudged up there tonight to make Mom a card. And as I was putting away the small stack of things I've ordered, bought, etc. over the last few months and haven't used yet, I came across a little bag. It contained a Stampin' Up! Definitely Decorative (or whatever) catalog, my receipt from my demo's Open House a couple of weeks ago ... and TWO cards I'd made at the Open House!! Joy of joys!! All I needed to do was personalize one of them and Mom's card would be made! So here is the one I chose ... the personalization is the sentiment:

Everything is Stampin' Up!, but I couldn't tell you the name of the image set we used, since I don't own it and the catalog is waaaaaay over in the other room. The blue is one of the new In Color colors. I'm not up on the names of them this year. Eventually I will be, but not at the moment. I only ordered two of the six new In Color pads from Kathy because I just can't afford to do all six at once, like I did last year. I wanted to get paper and markers, too (MARKERS, mates! in the In Color colors!!), but decided to buy a stamp set instead, so I'll have to make the investment in all that stuff little-by-little.

While I was up there, I decided to finish the layout I started in, like, May or something. It has been staring me in the face all these weeks, so it was time to finish it off and move on!

Here it is:

I'm honestly too tired to try to remember all the supplies I used. I know there was SU cardstock and K&Co designer paper. I used the Cricut "Home Decor" cartridge (the old one, not the new one that has come out with the same name) and a couple of font cartridges. I used an EK Success border punch. I don't remember what company the flowers are by, and as for the glassy looking brads in the small flowers, those were something I received as blog candy. Can't remember the buttons' manufacturer ... Foof-a-la, maybe? I do know the ink and stamp I used (on the smaller flowers) was SU.

Anyway ... yes, I am a silly goon where my nieces and nephews are concerned. I was that way with my own kid when he was little. Heck, I'm that way with just about any little kid! They think it's fun, and that makes me happy.

It also makes me wildly happy that I SCRAPPED!!! It was FUN!! I hope to be doing it again!! Wooooooooot!!

*AHEM* Anyway, hopefully I'll have more fun stuff to show off in the NEAR future! But for now, I'm just happy I did this much!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Please Stand By ...

This is an alert to let you know that I am experience a temporary creativity malfunction and will be back on the air as soon as the problem is fixed. I apologize for any inconvenience, despair and inner turmoil this may have caused/be causing.

Please stand by, as the malfunction is expected to be corrected shortly.

(Please, God.)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Way cool old photos

So, I just feel like blogging even though I haven't been in the loft (other than to put things in it) for what feels like eons.

I have a nasty migraine tonight. Bjorn's parents are coming tomorrow. Somehow the combination figures. The migraine is hormone-related, so it has nothing to do with stress. Since we started with the housekeeping service, that stress has blissfully been relieved. Sure, we still had things to do to get things ready for them, but none of that running around like a madwoman, barking orders at everybody for two days straight and nearly killing myself to get the house mother-in-law ready.

But I marvel at the consistency with which I have some kind of health issue whenever I'm around them. I actually called my mother this morning and said, "Please pray that I don't end up having to go to the hospital while they're here!!" It has become a joke (that I don't like) about my hospital visits that seem to happen around them. Only two out of three, though! As far as ambulances are concerned, anyway. Yeesh.

I've been spending (way too much) time lately doing the genealogy thing. I've gotten to the point where there's really just not a whole lot more I can do online, but I keep trying. And it's frustrating. But since I've hit the black hole of lack-of-scrap-inspiration, I don't know what else to spend my time on. I have managed to find some good stuff by sheer perseverance, but I really wish I could just get in the car and drive to some of these places and get the records I want from the courthouses, etc. Of course, I could just drive to downtown Austin and go to the General Land Office, the library, and the other records-holding places down there for a start, and I don't even do that. I am so lazy!! The thing is, so many of my more recent ancestors were right here in Texas, and some of them in counties not so far from mine, so it would be a nice little day trip for some, a couple of days for the others (I was gonna say weekend, but the courthouses aren't open on weekends). A couple are pretty far off in West Texas.

My folks have given me some of their old photos to scan, with the intention that I will eventually get all of them digitized. I find I really enjoy scanning the old-old ones, but the newer ones (1940s and 1950s) don't have as much "cool factor" to them, because they're so much more recent. And because there are jillions of those and I don't think I'll ever get through with them, and this is just the tip of the iceberg!

I love the old photos, though. Take a look at some of them:

Remember my grandmother who passed away last year? That's her on the right, in about 1913 or so. The other two babies are her cousins. I love this picture, because it floors me that my incredibly capable, wise grandmother was ever a baby! lol

And this is her in 1929 when she was a teenager. Quite the flapper queen! (Well, a wannabe -- she was way too much of a good girl to be a REAL flapper!)

The dude (and I mean that in the old sense of the word) on the right with the banjo is my grandfather, who later married her. He was ten years older than she was! Boy, do I love them!!!

This is my daddy when he was three years old. Li'l Texas cowboy dude! Hee!

And my dad's mother (in the middle) with two of her sisters when she was five years old. Aren't they cute in those old-timey clothes?

I guess I can save SOME photos for another time (don't worry, there are plenty of them!)

It's interesting to find out about your ancestors. We were totally on the WRONG side of both the Irish issue (we were the usurping protestants), and of the Civil War (Confederates all). But at least we got it right in the Revolutionary War (colonials, rebels, whatever you wanna call us, we were fighting for independence), and we done good by Texas!! I think the Texas thing just makes up for all the wrong stuff. That whole Texas heritage is really the part I'm most proud of.

I ran across the fragmented memoirs of my (I think) 4-greats grandmother as I was leafing through the family history notebook I'd put together a couple of years ago. There is some amazing stuff in there! I'll have to post some of that at a future time. She was a little girl of 12 when the whole Alamo/Goliad/San Jacinto stuff (Texas won her independence at the Battle of San Jacinto) was being played out, and she knew several of the people who were instrumental in the whole birth of Texas. She even watched the Battle of San Jacinto with her family from a thicket! But that's a story for another day.

I really have to go now -- can't keep this up with the headache I've got. On to bed (where I get to lay down in a dark, quiet room with no distractions and REALLY think about how much it hurts!), and then tomorrow Bjorn's parents arrive!

Have a wonderful, safe Memorial Day weekend if you're here in the United States. And all the rest of you, have a wonderful safe weekend, too!

Remembering the Alamo ;-)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Explanation ... apology ... whatever

Okay, I feel like I owe my readers an explanation or apology or something for not being faithful lately. So, I apologize, and here's my (probably lame) explanation:

1) I am in serious Craft Slump mode. At the moment I'm not the least bit interested in setting foot in my craft loft. It's not so much a loss of mojo as a loss of interest. I actually found myself thinking the other day that I might just sell all that scrapbooking stuff and go back to sticking photos in albums, or maybe just have everything printed out in Kodak/Snapfish/whatever photo books (this was after doing one for my MIL for Mother's Day). It's SO easy, it looks so cool, and ... I don't know. I'm just not "there" with paper crafting right now. I hope this is just a phase!

2) I have been spending (way too much) time doing family research. It's like an addiction, it kinda feeds into my collector's mentality. I'm collecting ancestors! lol No, really what I'm trying to do is collect information about my ancestors. All I can get. I don't know if it's sad and pathetic to do that or if it's a valuable family service. Yesterday I received an obituary I had ordered for my grandmother's maternal grandmother. She had committed suicide after being sent to what we would now call a "state hospital," but what back then was lovingly and tactfully called a Hospital for the Insane. In this very tasteful and loving tribute to her, they talked about her going bonkers (not using that term, of course), about her being "convicted" of being insane, and then proceeded to give details of how she had hung herself in her "cell". It was horrible and depressing and I really wish I hadn't read it! I wasn't aware that having emotional problems was a crime. And based on what my mother told me about her (the g-g-g grandmother's) situation, her husband drove her to it. What made her "insane" was that she was suicidal in the first place. (And probably OCD -- her husband beat their children, which was often considered "normal" in those days, but not to her!) So they ship her off to a "Hospital for the Insane" where she sank into even more despair and hung herself. Apparently her husband spent the rest of his life trying to apologize and make amends to his children for his behavior and her death. Some forgave him, some didn't. So ... among all the wonderful stories of loving, adored farmers, ministers, store-owners, etc., comes this one. Is it something I want to preserve? I'm certainly not going to let Aidan know about it ... he doesn't need that "legacy" hanging over his head if he ever gets that depressed. Thorns among the roses, I guess.

I'm not even sure why I told YOU this, except that I'm a writer and I have a penchant for the dramatic.

Anyway, in addition to info gathering, I've been photo scanning (the old family photos). That in itself is going to take awhile.

So ... I haven't gone away, but I'm kinda on a crafting "sabbatical" -- unintended, but there ya go. I did make my mother's Mother's Day card (haven't scanned it). I've also got an unfinished layout on the craft desk waiting to be completed. And I did a digi layout for the SHINE group, but I'm going to have to tweak it a bit before I post it here.

I'm also going to close out the SHINE group, or transfer ownership to someone else. It was going along fine for awhile, but I can't get any participation at all now. I don't know where everyone has gone, or why, and I know people get busy, but I think my challenges/projects are good and worth pursuing, so I'm not sure what's up. I don't want to keep putting time and effort into it if no one else is going to participate but me, so ... it's time to move on. Someone also started a Christian paper crafting social network (very much like Paper Craft Planet, only Christian-focused), which may have drained off some of my participation. So, I'll just point people there and go on with life.

Okay, that's all for now. I promise I'll be back, just maybe not as frequently as I have been. And then I'll get through this phase and I'll be back as regularly as ever. That's just how I (and other ADHD people) function.

Grace and peace until next time!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

No liability ...

I just want y'all to know that I hold no liability if you fall out of your chair and injure yourself to see that I have actually blogged again! And I can't believe it's only been two weeks since my last post. It feels like at least a month.

I FINALLY got a scrapbook page done. A ... page. Of course, I'm working on another one now, so that makes me feel a little better. But here, without wasting too much of your time, is the finished one:

This is the epitome of my husband, right here in these photos. He cannot just go somewhere and relax. He's always got to be thinking, doing, learning, fidgeting. We were at the beach in San Diego over Thanksgiving and went out to just relax, go for a stroll, etc. He sees a weathered board. Now, a lot of people would ignore the weathered board. Some people would think it was interesting as a sort-of "flotsam" sort of thing. But my husband looks at the weathered board and the waves washing over it and thinks: SCIENCE!! So he picks up the weathered board and sticks it vertically into the sand so he can watch -- no, STUDY -- the physics of the waves as they swirl around the board. And not just in one place. He has to try it out in different places along the beach, in different flows of water.

So, am I making fun of him? Absolutely not! Although this personality trait drives me crazy sometimes, I think it's pretty neat. It's one of the reasons I married him, actually. He never can stop learning. "Education" is all around Bjorn, all the time. It's amazing. Just like him.

Wow, that journaling was better than what I put on the page! Maybe I'll print it out and put it on the back or something ...

So, let's see if I can remember the ingredients (it took me two weeks to finish this ... not constant working, but one day to put the papers together, stick the photos on and do the journaling, another day to print out the title and adhere it, and a third day to do the twine thing and the writing around the edge. Spread out over two weeks):
Paper -- K&Co; little scrap of SU for the journaling
Teal twine -- Club Scrap
Hemp twine -- some hardware store or other
Lacing brads -- no clue. I took them out of the packaging, poured them into a little drawer and that was the end of any credit to the company.
Marker -- SU

Yeah, so why that took two weeks ...?
Well, I've been hangin' with the ancestors, chasing tornadoes vicariously through the more-exciting lives of other people, having migraines, dealing with weird hormones, nursing a sick kid (no, not swine flu, this was before all that), going to the kid's play two days in a row -- they were TOTALLY AWESOME, BTW, and, well, I don't know what else. Just doing whatever. I had a scrapping mojo crisis, to be honest, and not only did I not want to get into the craft loft, I had a horrible "purpose crisis" and lost the plot of scrapbooking for a few days, like, why do I do this, it doesn't make sense, it's pointless, etc. Thank God (literally) I got over that!

Great news -- Bjorn finally has allowed me to get housecleaning service!!!! Had the housecleaners for the first time almost two weeks ago, it was expensive (because the first time they charge by the hour), but it was so AMAZING to have the house clean again! I felt like royalty! And even though Bjorn had to take a 20% pay cut at work (all the exec-level employees did, and the rest had to take a 10% cut), he's still allowing me to keep the service, at least for now. We have all been doing a fantastic job of keeping things nice, so when the housecleaners come back on Monday, they won't have to work so hard and maybe can get to a couple of things they didn't manage to do last time (minor stuff). Oh, the bliss! And it has actually made me want to do some of the stuff I used to hate, like putting away clean clothes (instead of just folding them and letting them pile up on the dryer), folding towels (okay, I confess I make the guys do that), keeping the kitchen clean (as in, no one will want to call the health department), etc. It's just amazing. I am so blessed. Thank You, Lord!!

We really do need the service, because I'm having major sacro-iliac joint problems in my lower back, which make it very hard to do certain things (like mop), and Bjorn, poor guy, was just diagnosed with degenerative disks in his neck, and bone spurs that are growing toward the INSIDE of his vertebrae, which is not a good thing. So he can't do a whole lot of physical stuff, either. Please pray for him. He's really upset about the diagnosis -- but he hasn't seen a neurologist or spine doc yet, just his chiro, so we don't know really what the prognosis is. He may be jumping wildly to conclusions about the degenerating quality of his life.

Well, Aidan is ready for bed, so I need to go. I hope to have another LO and blog entry for you soon ... until then, it's tornadoes (by proxy -- I don't want any near here!) and ancestors.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

One week later ...

Sorry I haven't been posting lately! Don't know if I've been busy or lazy, but the result is the same, so I apologize.

Got caught up in virtual storm chasing (via TornadoVideos.net) and genealogy and who knows what all else, so I haven't been incredibly busy in the loft, but I do have a few more things to show off. Here are the last of the Easter pages:

Ingredients for both are pretty much the same -- We R Memory Keepers and K&Co papers, plus some misc. stuff. On the Easter '97 one, I was over at Elizabeth's house and had only one sheet of the WRMK DP, but needed both sides at once! So I cut out the yellow-gridded rectangle and flipped it over to put where I needed it, but there were some gaps that showed between it and the striped bits, so I had to get creative, since I wasn't at home and didn't have all my usual "stuff". I had taken my Cricut over there, so I cut out a bunch of caterpillars to put across the top (so, yeah, they don't have anything to do with Easter, but you do find them in yards), and I had my SU spiral punch along, so I did that one for a border across the bottom. I didn't manage to finish the page at Elizabeth's, though, so when I worked on it again at home, I found some SU green wide grosgrain ribbon that worked great down the vertical gap. Then I just cut out the letters and numbers with my Cricut, added a few extra touches, and it was done! (Love this simple scrapping philosophy!)

For some odd reason we don't have any egg hunt pictures from '98 or '99, so the next (and last) set was from 2000. I used the same line of papers, to keep things tied together. At first I thought the layout ended up TOO simple, but I grew to like it. I was going off a Page Maps sketch (gosh, I love Page Maps!), and they had flowers where I put the buttons. Being a boy page, I didn't want to use flowers (I know some people do, but I just can't go there), and I tried all kinds of things there -- big brads (don't try to use rub-ons on Making Memories' colored brads, they don't take), smaller brads in larger numbers ... finally settled on the buttons. I wanted some texture, so I think they served the purpose. I also really like the "stitched" border punch I got the other day from EK Success. It's not too girly or frufy for boy layouts, and I like the embossed stitching effect.

Here was my layout for the Faithbooking project week before last:

I meant to post this on Good Friday, but the day got away from me. It's digi-scrapped. I found it was actually a bit difficult to do this layout -- I had to really slow down and meditate for awhile on what the Cross really means, not just to me, but to mankind in general. I get so jaded to the story, having heard it all my life, but it is absolutely the most important, amazing love story ever! That Jesus would willingly go to the cross to die for my sins ... because He loves me! (He loves each and every one of us that much.) Blows me out of the water.

So, anyway, that gets me caught up on my scrapbooking. I still have a couple of cards to show, but I'll save that for another day (soon!).

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Another Easter page!

Yes! The fun never ends! Here is the page for Aidan's 3rd Easter, which, by now, was in Arizona. Where it's, like 102 degrees in April already. (How did I ever survive that place???)

Wasn't he gosh-darn cute? Again, I ask, why do they grow up so fast? And yet, I love the age he is now, too. (Mostly) Except back then I could pick him up and cuddle him and he didn't mind, and I didn't have college and him leaving home looming on the horizon. Then it was kindergarten that was looming. Boy, I didn't know how good I had it! (Actually, I think I did.)

DP: We Are Memory Keepers (or is that "We R Memory Keepers?"); K&Co.
CS: not sure -- poss. Club Scrap or SU
Punches: Fiskars (edge); EKSuccess (photo corners)
Journaling pen: I think it's Zig (would be the same as the SU black journaler)
Cricut cartridges: Base Camp (with "Charm" function on), Jasmine

Simple page, but I like the way it turned out. I think as busy as the paper and the photos were, any more embellies than I had would have just been too much.

I got a new Cricut cartridge today -- "Life's a Beach"!! I've been wanting it since I heard it was coming out, and I finally took the plunge (no pun intended) and ordered it last week. Tons of beach/ocean/nautical images, a sort of "tiki" font, even a whole set of beach-oriented titles! I'm thinking I'm gonna love this. I hope I'll use it alot. I thought I would use "A Walk in My Garden" a lot, but I've hardly cracked it open. I'll probably use that one more when I do more "girly" pages (about me, Mom, nieces, etc.)

Hey, speaking of the subject of my Easter layout (Aidan), he got home from school yesterday and announced (well, his dad did, who had picked him up) that he'd gotten a perfect score on the National Latin Exam! This makes two years in a row! Aidan claims he should have been given a "harder" test (i.e., a level harder), but I think he was just being humble. Anyway, only a tiny percentage of the kids who take this test nationwide (like 5% or fewer) get a perfect score, so I'm pretty proud of him! And this will definitely look good on that college-app resume (especially for someone who's going to major in linguistics!)

Ack! There's that "college" word again! ;-)

Well, my aunt is still in town, and we're invited over to dinner again (lovin' this free food!), so I'd better get going. I've only got one more finished Aidan Easter page to show you (until I make more, mwuhahahahaha), so I need to get up into the loft and get to scrappin' again!

Have a good 'un!

Monday, April 06, 2009

More Easter stuff ...

Connected to a couple more old friends on a social networking site today. It's so cool to do that! These are people I haven't seen in what seems like a thousand years, and now they all have families and some of their kids are in COLLEGE ... how did we all get this old? ;-)

Okay, I have another Easter LO for today. This one is about Aidan's 2nd Easter, when we still lived in Colorado.

This is one of the layouts I made at my friend Elizabeth's house last Tuesday. Now, Connie and Andy are two people I would really love to catch up with again, but they don't live in this house anymore, or even in this town, so I've lost touch with them. I tried finding them on the social networking site, but no luck.

Pretty much the same materials as the "First Easter" one, I think. The green color isn't really that gross -- for some reason I couldn't get it to scan properly, nor could I tweak it to make it look right. I promise it's MUCH more pleasantly colored than this!

Anyway, it's been Easter-theme focus around here scrapbooking-wise lately. I have two other Aidan-oriented Easter layouts (and at least one more to do -- there are a couple of years missing from the batch of pictures, so I want to see if I can find any from those years), plus I did a faithbooking page about the Cross for the SHINE group at Paper Craft Planet. That one I digi-scrapped. Somehow most of the faithbooking ones seem more suited to digi-scrapping, for me. Don't know why.

I honestly don't have much to say tonight. I'm tired and have a teensy headache. My aunt is visiting at my folks' house and it's been fun to hang out over there and just have a three-way girl-gabfest between her, my mom and me.

OH! I do have something to brag about, though: Aidan aced the National Latin Exam again this year (perfect score)! That's two in a row now! He claims it was an easier level than he should have had, but I don't know how true that is, and anyway, he still could've screwed something up! He says next year's will undoubtedly be harder. I told him next year he will have had another whole year's worth of Latin studying under his belt. Anyway, it's a pretty big deal (this is a nationwide exam), and it will definitely look good on his college-app resume!

Okay, I've run out of things to talk about (gasp! I can see you wanting to check my temperature right now!), so I'll just leave it at this. Hope you have a great [insert time of day, day of week here]!