Monday, March 30, 2009

Six by sixes, and an Easter card

Ha! Bet you thought you would get to see all three of those today! Well, no. Because I have to have things to show you when I'm NOT being creative, right? But I did manage to accomplish these things in the last several days, so at least I'm not just vegging in front of the computer ALL day long!

So today we'll start with a 6"x6" Favorite Photos page.

Even though you can't see Aidan's face, can you see why this is one of my favorite photos? Typical boy pose, digging around at the ocean's edge, big ol' plaid shirt on, cool hat, clunky shoes ... when you consider that my son is a TOTAL geek, these "typical" boy pictures are kinda priceless! Not that I'm the least bit ashamed of his geekiness, because I'm actually very proud of it. But it's fun to see these "all boy" pictures, since he's certainly that! He's just not a "jock" boy. (Geeks break far fewer bones in childhood!)

Anyway, this was taken on Whidbey Island in Washington State, which is where my parents lived when they were first married. My dad was in the Navy and based at the Naval station in Oak Harbor. My oldest brother was born here, and what was really cool was that we were there in Oak Harbor on his birthday! We called him from there and he was totally surprised and very pleased we'd thought of him. He'd had no idea we were going. We went because Bjorn had a business trip to Seattle, and back in those days the company he worked for sometimes paid for the wife to go along, so we paid for Aidan and took a mini-vacation to see my parents' old stomping grounds. It was a very special vacation for me. I had so much fun calling my mother every half hour and comparing notes!

Speaking of Aidan, thanks to all of you who prayed for him and his classmates and sponsors/teachers to have a safe trip over the weekend. He arrived back at school safely at 1:00 in the morning Sunday, and was so excited about it he talked all the way home. He placed third in state in the Decathlon test (basically a general-knowledge test about ancient Rome and the Latin language) and the Advanced Latin Grammar test. Plus, the Open Certamen team he was on placed first! So he was pretty psyched! Although being on the "Open" team doesn't mean they go on to Nationals, his teacher still wants to take his high school group along with the middle-school group (who actually did win first in state with the "regular," qualifying-type Certamen team) to the National Convention this summer. Aidan and his bunch can still take the tests, you don't have to qualify for those. So we may be going to Sacramento for vacation this summer! (Yes, we are going along on this one. I'm not ready to let my child fly on a plane without me yet -- I know the teachers and other sponsors would take good care of him, and he's a very responsible kid, but ever since 9/11 and the teacher and kid (or kids) who were going to some kind of national competition were killed on one of the hijacked planes, I just have this weirdness about him flying without one of us (and preferably with ME).

Still spending time digging around in my family roots. Now I'm trying to find the burial sites of two little boys who would have been my mother's uncles. They died of diptheria within just a few weeks (I think) of each other before my grandmother (their sister) was born, and my great-grandfather had a nervous breakdown over it. He moved the family to a different town in a different county and never could go back to visit their graves. So as a result, where they're buried is now lost to us. And I really would like to find their final earthly resting place so I can go there someday and pay my respects and those of my mother and grandmother (even though Granny is with them in Heaven now!) I found the death date of one of the boys, who was two years old when he died, but I can't find the other one in the Texas Death Index at all, and it should be there, same year. So someone must have either mis-transcribed the name when they made up the list, or else it got lost somehow. I'm determined to get to the bottom of it!

Well, it's getting late, and I've got things to do. I'm going to a friend's house to scrap tomorrow, and I am taking WAAAAAAAAY too much stuff, but I find that I have no idea how to pack for a crop -- I don't know which pictures I'll want to scrap ahead of time out of the stack I've picked to take; I don't know what papers I'll want; I might want some of my new punches; I'm not even going to begin to think about taking stamps, that would be TOO much; not taking any ribbon or markers; am taking some embellies, but not nearly enough to be comfortable! lol; and I decided this time to take my Cricut, which is exceedingly heavy and requires that I take the cartridges and the cutting mats (thank goodness I remembered those!), and etc., etc., etc. What I'm taking tons of is paper. ALL my K&Co pads, of which there are many. Most of my "boy" papers. ALL of my Club Scrap paper, because it is the most awesomely heavy cardstock and great for layout bases. And several small pads. I am a crazy woman. I hope Elizabeth doesn't mind me "moving in" to her craft room!!

So, off I go to tie up the day's loose ends and get ready for bed. I hope everyone has a wonderful day, whatever day you read this!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Going back in time

Well, I meant to get back to y'all yesterday, but just didn't quite manage to find blogging time, so here I am today. First, the layout:

When we lived in Colorado, our townhouse was directly behind the house of a very sweet, wonderful couple who befriended us and became sort-of our fill-in parents/grandparents in a way, Connie and Andy O (our houses were on the same lot, shared the same address, just had different "unit" letters, like apartments would have). When Aidan was born, Connie crocheted him a blanket that became THE "Blankie", which was loved to absolute death (we still have the remnants). On Aidan's first easter (and the next one, too), they had an Easter egg hunt for their grandkids, and invited Aidan to join them, making their little side garden into Aidan's very own hunting ground. I think Aidan got more from picking at grass and looking at Connie's flowers than "hunting" eggs, but it was a lot of fun. (The hat he's wearing, BTW, became his "signature" toddler hat.)

CS: Stampin' Up!
DP: Autumn Leaves
Ribbon: Stampin' Up!
Buttons: SU; unknown
Diecuts: Cricut "Home Decor" cartridge
Alpha: Cricut "George & Basic Shapes"
Punches: SU; Fiskars; EKSuccess
Date stamp: The Angel Company
Inks & markers: SU

The "grass" at the bottom was made with various elements from the "Home Decor" cartridge, cut up and stuck to double-sided adhesive on the back of the green scalloped bit, which took some time to do. (Why doesn't "A Walk in My Garden" have a grass border shape??? I mean, gardens do have grass sometimes!)

Aidan is going on a school trip to Dallas tomorrow (Friday), so I would definitely appreciate prayers of traveling safety, as well as just general safety for him and his fellow-travelers. They'll be getting in very late Saturday night. No, we're not going with him. Yes, this makes me nervous. Yes, I'm a helicopter mom.

Hey, remember last time how I made the joke about the (it is .net) team, how if they showed up in your neighborhood you knew it was time to take cover? Well, yesterday afternoon we had some storms blow up in our neck of the woods, and I checked their tracker, and sure enough, they were just northwest of here where there was a tornado warning! I had to laugh at the irony. Fortunately, the worst part of the storm went north of us -- people up in northwest Austin got serious hail, some as large as baseball size! -- but I still made sure the tornado closet was cleared for if Aidan and I and the kitties needed to get in it! (Bjorn was at the chiropractor at the time.) There was a tornado sighted up near Llano, but it was never confirmed. Don't know if the guys got any good video of rotation or anything.

Well, I went to the allergy doc today to get the scoop on my blood test results (remember the nine vials I had drawn a few weeks ago?). Everything looked mostly okay, or within normal ranges, except for my pneumococcal antibodies, which were somewhat low. Apparently this includes strep as well, and these are some of the most common bacteria floating around. SO -- I got a pneumonia shot! (Ouch!) I'm to be tested again on just that one thing in four weeks, and if my antibodies have gone up, then we're all good there. Supposedly this will help with the frequency of my sinus infections (and hopefully eradicate them entirely, please God!)

So, that's the scoop for now. I did do a 6"x6" "Favorite Photos" page today, but haven't scanned it yet. I'll do that tomorrow. I started another one, we'll see how that goes. I've been kinda blah on scrapping the last few days -- gotta pull out of that quick!! I remembered the other day that I still have a couple of months on my membership, so decided I'd better get back to work on my family history stuff before it expires. memberships are not cheap. Maybe I can get it renewed for Mother's Day ...

Happy Friday, and a good weekend to all. (I will be missing my boy, and praying for him to pwn all the other kids in the Latin competitions!)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A colorful change!

Okay, after the last post, I figure y'all deserve something on a much more colorful scale! And not quite so austere, either.

So I give you: A Slice of My Life -- March 12, 2009

This layout is based on the "A Slice of My Life" quiz from a scrapbook idea book I got a year or so ago. I just answered the questions and printed them out, found an acceptable, relatively recent picture of myself (I think it was in December), then stuck them together in a layout, going ... shall we say, a little wild with the embellies! It started out innocently enough with a few buttons. Then I had to add the felt flowers I'd recently bought. Well, then I needed some ribbon to delineate the questions from the title block, and of course more felt flowers and buttons. Then the bottom part of the questions section looked kinda blank with nothing outlining it, thus the brad party. And a bit of ric-rac to separate me from the date section. And the stamped flowers on the question bit needed some 3-D centers. Yeah. I got a little crazy, used up some stash there! But it was fun, and I actually like the way it turned out. It screams "I am a girl in a household full of guys and I don't get to scrap girl stuff very much!!!" Either that or, "This woman needs serious therapy!!!" lol

So, let's see if I can remember the ingredients, since I forgot to write them on the back:
DP: K&Co; Basic Grey (go figure)
CS: Gina K Designs (white); SU (tiny bit of Pacific Point -- the punched bit with the pink ribbon on it)
Stamps: SU; and I forgot who made the alphas ... I'll have to look that up
Die-cut alpha: Cricut "George & Basic Shapes"
Punches: SU; Fiskars
Buttons: SU; Basic Grey; Heidi Swapp; misc from fabric store
Brads: Making Memories; Queen & Company (along with the little flowers); misc
Ribbon & Ric-rac: SU
Felt flowers: dang, I can't remember. I got them at Archivers in the $1.99 Hot Spot section
Swirl template: Don't remember that either.
Acrylic paint: Making Memories
Fonts: no clue

The journaling/questions aren't cut off at the top in Real Life. My stitching program just does that. You can click on the photo to see it larger if you really want to know about my life on March 12, 2009!

I finished a layout of Aidan's first Easter this morning, and have actually scanned it, so will have that next time. And I made my hubby an anniversary card this afternoon. It's our 18th wedding anniversary today! That's a lot of time to put up with each other ;-) -- and I'm very glad we've stuck it out this far, and I know we'll make it to the "death do us part" thing, or til Jesus comes back. (And, no, "til death do us part" doesn't include murder! lol)

I actually signed up for Twitter today -- I can't believe I did that, but one of the teams on Storm Chasers (the tornado-chasers show that comes on the Discovery Channel in October every year) has a website called (or is it .net?), and they've started sending out e-mail notices when they're out on the hunt, now that tornado season has started. You can track on their site where they are, and they even have live video feeds when they're out on the trail. Anyway, I thought it'd be cool to get tweets from them while they're out, if they remember to tweet while they're chasing. I'm just doing it via e-mail. I don't have a cheap texting plan. Tomorrow they're going to be basing out of San Angelo, which is a couple hundred miles or so west of here. Apparently we have a slight chance for severe weather tomorrow, and I guess they think there might be some action down Texas way. Yay. (Not.) Anyway, I figure if you get a tweet or e-mail from these guys and they're in your direct neck of the woods -- time to start rounding up the family and the cats and head for the tornado closet! (San Angelo is not direct enough, but I'll be keeping an eye on my e-mail tomorrow!)

At the moment I'm ambivalent about tornado season this year. I mean, normally I'm sorta freaking out about the whole concept by now. Not that I want a tornado to hit my house, or neighborhood, or Aidan's school or Bjorn's workplace, or anywhere that we happen to be! But usually when I see the green circle with "SLIGHT" in the middle of it on the National Weather Service severe storms outlook page, I start getting this nagging thing in the back of my brain, which, of course, increases exponentially when the circle is red and says "MODERATE". Maybe it's just because it's early in the season. Maybe it's because I've watched so many storm chaser shows. Maybe I'm just beginning to trust God more? I don't know. Today I am not freaking over the possibility of severe weather in our area tomorrow. Tomorrow may be a different story entirely. My brain is not predictable these days. (Not that it ever has been!)

Okay, gotta run do some other things. I'd love to stay and chat, but, hey -- I'm sure you're SO sorry I can't keep typing away! ;-)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hello again! Whew, what a week ...

In Memoriam:

Dorothy Campbell (Granny)
Sept. 9, 1912 - March 22, 2008
She went to be with her Lord and Savior one year ago today. Boy, do we miss her! But she wouldn't want to come back to this earth if we dragged her by the ankles! Not when she gets to spend every day with Jesus!

This has just been a rough week! Not sick, although there was a two-day mini-sinus-migraine involved at one point. More just a little, um ... strife, I guess you'd call it, on the home front. Things are better now, but the first part of the week was pretty much h-e-double-hockey-sticks (or for those of you who are Newsboys fans, "the place where they don't serve breakfast"). Terrible, terrible pit of depression. Followed by okay-ness. But I didn't feel much like scrapping. Then the headache, when I wanted terribly to scrap and couldn't. Then on Friday, Aidan had a friend over and we had pizza, and I ate it. Which I'm not supposed to do because I'm allergic to wheat. It makes me tired and kinda "brain-swell" grumpy (I mean, it does, literally, swell the brain a teensy bit, and that's just irritating!). So I didn't scrap then, either. So, yeah, bleah on the scrapping this week! And then thinking about Granny dying a year ago (I hate thinking about her last day, there in the hospital ...) And it was a kinda bleah Spring Break, too. Aidan and I both want another week to do "right" this time.

However, on the spiritual front, things are waaaaaaaay better. Probably because of having to work through the ick at the beginning of the week. On Friday I made a playlist on Windows Media Player of worship songs, so yesterday I had that playing in the house, and it was AMAZING what a difference it made in the general atmosphere of things, as well as in my heart and spirit. Very, very awesome.

I did actually do a digi layout early in the week. It fit my frame of mind, conveniently, but it was also for the SHINE Faithbooking project. This week's theme (starting tomorrow) is "Struggles and Scars". So here's one of the pages:

I'm putting the whole layout (there are two pages) on my Foggy Specs blog -- somehow it seems more appropriate there.

That picture of me is about 20 years old, BTW. A self-portrait taken at the elementary school I went to growing up. I had just broken up from an emotionally abusive relationship and was having to pretty much rebuild my life. Not a happy time in my life. But God was there in it with me, all the way, and He got me through it. I don't see how I could've made it any other way.

Okay, it's late and I have one more blog to post on, so I've gotta finish this up!

I do have another paper LO that I finished earlier this week, but keep forgetting to scan! Tomorrow!! (I hope!)

Blessings for a great week!

Friday, March 13, 2009

A "quick" card

Um hmmm -- this is what I believe the Kiwis would call a "Tui moment" ("yeah, right"). Y'all know me. "Quick" card? Not even. Ever.

No exception here. But I did get it finished FINALLY, and have it posted now on Paper Craft Planet for the SHINE challenge for the week, so WHEW!

I decided we'd do "Praise" as the theme this week, and I like this verse a lot, so there ya go.

CS: Stampin' Up!
Watercolor paper (unkn source)
DP (unkn source)
Stamps: SU; Above the Mark; Verve; Eureka
Inks: SU "Taken With Teal"; Versamark Watermark
EP: "Stampin' Stuff" clear
Cuttlebug music embossing folder
Fiskars "Threading Water" punch
Technique: Technique Junkies "Background Smoosh Resist"

I'm not THRILLED with this card, but it's okay. It didn't turn out anything like I had imagined it would, but, hey, some days are like that. I had wanted to use some felt flowers on it, but by the time I got the bird, the embossed music and the verse on there, it was just too much. So I'll just save the flowers for something else!

I was naughty and went to Archivers today even though I had vowed I wouldn't spend another penny on scrapping supplies this week. My frugality pledge seems to have flown partway out the window. So I'm trying to bring it back, but I failed utterly today. Hey, I had a 30% off coupon that expired on the 15th, and I knew I wouldn't be back up that way again before then, so I had to use it, right? I mean, Archivers is the only place where I feel like I'm wasting something important if I don't use their coupons there (at least the ones that are pertinent to me), since they don't really have "sales". Michaels -- eh, if I miss a week, no biggie. But Archivers is ONCE A MONTH, so if I waste a coupon, that's a WASTE, KWIM?

What did I buy with it? A 12x12 pack of Basic Grey's Marrakesh paper. I really like it (except for the elephant paper -- guess I could use that for a little boy page), but at $20 for a pack, I don't really like to get the whole thing without a coupon of some kind. I also bought a few sheets of individual-sheet paper (other stuff, not the BG), the felt flowers and some adhesive refill.

So can somebody explain to me why I keep buying paper??? I have TONS of the stuff. But they keep coming out with this gorgeous/awesome/hip-cool stuff that I "have" to have! It's an addiction, like buying stamps was when I was making cards (I have managed to curb that addiction now that I'm scrapping again -- so many of the stamps just don't work for scrapping, or they're too small or something). Now the thing is paper, and, granted, paper is cheaper if you look at it piece-by-piece, but it's so easy to go in and pop off $40 for a handful of paper without even trying! (I didn't do that today, BTW, but I have in the past.) I mean, it ain't just paper anymore, KWIM? There's double-sided paper, and there's shaped paper, and there's flocked/glittered/slick-embossed paper, and there's laser-cut lace paper and laser-cut felt overlays and fancy-edged paper and shimmer paper and metallic paper and ... first thing you know you've spent your kid's first year of college tuition on stinkin' SCRAPBOOK PAPER! Is it because it touches the little girl in all of us, the paper-doll buying, coloring-book using little girls who drooled over Barbie clothes and were so heavily marketed to about fashion that even if we're not "into" fashion now (so we say), we have to have the latest scrapbook stuff? And I'm not talkin' because it's the latest, but because it is APPEALING! Heck, I should just use the stuff as wallpaper if I love it this much! Otherwise it gets cut up, stuck behind photos and journaling and stamping and whatever else and stuck in a scrapbook album to be looked at once every six months or so. Or worse yet, slapped into a file with other Gotta Have It scrapbook paper and left there for ten years until I'm searching through for something else and go, "Oh, wow -- remember when that [insert trend here] thing was all the rage and I just fell in love and had to have it? Ewwwww -- what was I thinking? THAT stuff goes in the give-away pile!" lol (Never! Never! Not my Basic Grey and my K&Co, and all the other pretties ...)

Okay, it's late and I am really getting tired. I got my baby RAV4 back today! I'm so happy! Except that I do have to take it back on Monday to get the "TOYOTA" decal put on the tire cover. Somehow they ran out of time to do that before I got it at closing time today.

And it's Spring Break next week!! Wooooo hooooo! I would LOVE to be going to New Zealand, or lots of other places, but since we're homebodies (as usual), I'm going to enjoy sleeping in and goofing off and riding my kid about spending too much time on the computer when he needs to be working on his Bible class project and his Physics one. Okay, not so much that last part (about nagging Aidan). I will be doing a lot of that, I'm sure, but I won't be enjoying it.

Happy weekend to everyone!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Scrapbooking whirlwind!

Wow -- I've been a scrappin' whirlwind lately! I figure I've already done more layouts in 2009 than I did in all of 2008, and it's only the second week of March! Unfortunately, I was too busy and then too tired today to do much, but I did get some journaling typed and started the process of picking paper and a photo or two for an "About Me" page. I found a Simple Scrapbooks special edition magazine-book I'd bought a year or two ago that's all about quizzes and questions you can ask yourself and others for scrapbook starters or entire LOs, so I picked one and went with it. Hopefully I can finish it tomorrow.

But tonight I have a couple of recently finished LOs to show you. The first is that other 6"x6" I was going to show last time but realized I hadn't scanned:

This photo was taken three years ago on a school field trip. Aidan had had his iPod for about five months. He might have been listening to music on it (at that point it would've been contemporary Christian -- he hadn't discovered Japanese anything yet), but more than likely he was listening to excerpts from Monty Python's "Holy Grail" movie. He had just discovered them, although Bjorn and I had been quoting bits forever. (No, I didn't journal that on the LO -- I should have, though. Maybe I'll make it a "hidden journaling" thing on the back)

Papers: Basic Grey; DCWV
Letter Stickers: Basic Grey
Corner Punch: EK Success
Journaling Marker: Creative Memories (? - I borrowed it from my friend Elizabeth)
and as I put on the back ...
Boy by God

And now I have the big LO I was working on yesterday and the day before. I will show you the whole thing together first. And you will be gracious enough NOT to point out to me (or to snicker over there behind your computer screen) the rather glaring continuity mistake there is in where the middle strip of striped paper is placed in relation to the one on the other page. Which is accentuated by the Apricot ribbon. I am usually SOOOOO picky about those things, but I was clearly thinking about something else (like getting the vertical edges on the striped paper and the base paper aligned) and not lining up the pages together. *SIGH*

Now the separate pages:

So this LO started out as a sort-of "Aidan on the Beach in San Diego" deal, but by the time I got finished laying it out, it had morphed into a "looking over the horizon" thing and the whole metaphor for the Horizon of Life just hijacked my layout and ran away with it. But the truth is, I had taken all those pictures of him last Thanksgiving week on the beach in San Diego because it suddenly hit me as I was watching him walk around and draw in the sand and all that, that this kid that I love with every fibre of my being, every ounce of my essence, won't be my "kid" forever. In fact, the next time we go out to San Diego for T'giving (assuming we stick to our every-other-year routine), he'll be a senior and truly looking AT that Horizon of Life, getting ready to head out into the Big Adventure of Real Life. It almost ruined my whole trip, but I realized that this is just the way it has to be. In our society, in our times, kids grow up and leave home and lead their lives away from their parents. Sometimes "away" might be in the house next door, sometimes it's across the globe. Almost always there's a period of separation in there when they go off to college or go off to "find themselves." So how can I expect my kid to be any different? He WANTS to grow up and leave home. He WANTS to go "off" to college (although right now it's looking like UT, which is just downtown -- yay!!), and he WANTS to live his own life. And what's more, God has ordained this from the beginning. Aidan has a purpose in God's scheme. God has a design for Aidan's life, and it most likely doesn't include living at home for the rest of his life and being a Mama's Boy. Which is a good thing, because I don't want him to do that. I want Aidan to have the life he's supposed to have.

I'm just not quite ready for that yet!

Thus the journaling (you can click on the picture to see it larger). And, yes, I shed a tear or two when I wrote it. But I'm so glad to know that this kid IS in God's hands, that I CAN trust my wonderful Heavenly Father to look after him as he goes Out There on his own, into his life. I don't see how non-Christians do it. I'm so thankful for the power of prayer!

Okay, so enough philosophizing and Mom-izing and whatever. Here are the ingredients:

DP: CTMH, K&Co, Karen Foster Design
Chipboard Letters: Marcella by K
EP: "Stampin' Stuff" (Mark Enterprises)
Cricut alpha: "Jasmine"
Stamps: Crazy Mountain Stamps; The Angel Company
Compass Rose Digital Element: Buried Treasure Collection (
Ribbon: Stampin' Up!
Inks: SU; Ranger Industries Distress
Chipboard circle: Blockheads Stamps

I just realized to my horror that I forgot to make the card sample for the SHINE challenge that's supposed to start tomorrow! I did make some cards at a stamping get-together this morning, but none of them seemed to fit with what I want the theme to be, so I was planning on making a different card this afternoon, but I FORGOT! Geez. Okay, so I'll go apologize at PCP and do it tomorrow.

And I am utterly exhausted from the busy day, so I am off to bed! It rained all night last night, and even though it didn't rain during the day today, it's supposed to rain a lot tonight. It's raining right now, so I hope it'll keep doing it!


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Featured Artist! and stuff

Oh, wow -- a lot to say and a short time to type it in (because I'm tired and I wanna go to bed!)

First -- check THIS out. I was one of the "Made Ya Look Monday" featured artists this week at Faith Sisters, for my "Voice of the Sea" layout!!! Is that amazing or what? I mean, I haven't been digi-scrapping all that long, and it was a "standout layout"! Very kewl. And, as always "Soli deo gloria." (Check out the "About Me" to see what that means.) I'm supposed to have a "Featured Artist" blinkie, but as of this typing, I haven't figured out how to "snag" it and post it on Blogger yet.

Second thing: It's cold and it's pouring rain! I'm THRILLED about the rain. The cold, not so much, but as long as it's raining, I can live with it. I hope it rains like this all the way through Friday (as they're predicting). It didn't rain much during the day today, but has started up a lot this evening. YES!!! Even thundered once. Scared the cats to death!

Third thing: Here are the most recent "quickie" 6"x6" layouts for my "Favorite Photos" album ...

This is Aidan at Torrey Pines Beach in San Diego when we were there at Thanksgiving. Obviously I love this picture, it being in my Favorite Photos album, but there's just something kinda ... fun about it. It doesn't actually look 100% like Aidan -- there's some Hayden Christenson (sp?) in there, I think. (You know, Anakin Skywalker, but let's don't go the Darth Vader route, okay?) Anyway, it's just there because I like it!

DP: K&Co, Basic Grey, Unknown (the mat)
Sand dollar paper ribbon: K&Co (I hate that it ended up looking like lace ...)
Corner punch: EK Success
Stamp: Heart & Soul Rubber Stamps
Ink: Ranger Distress, SU
Brads: Oriental Trading Co.,
Marker: Sharpie

... and then this one (please don't say "Darth Vader!" when you see it! lol)

I think actually he may have been scowling because I was taking a lot of pictures of him that day. And the sun was bright. But this is also his "determined" look, so I chose to go with that on the journaling! (Hey, artist's prerogative and all that.) The ugly blotch in the bottom right-hand corner isn't there in real life, it's just where I blurred out some personal information.

DP: Basic Grey "Marakkesh" (however the heck you spell that)
Marker: Zig
Brads: Making Memories
Punch: EK Success

I just realized that I haven't yet scanned the third one, so you'll have to wait until yet another post to see it. Apologies!

Fourth thing: One of my Stampin' Up! Friends friends called me yesterday and informed me that Peter Furler, lead singer of the Newsboys, is retiring as concert frontman! (Read about it here if you're interested.) It's a very strange sitch, if you ask me (and a lot of other current fans -- remember, I'm a past fan). He's going to stick around to write songs and produce albums -- like there'll be any more -- but they've tapped Michael Tait, formerly of DCTalk to be the lead singer for their concerts.

This. Is. Wrong.

The Newsboys have a particular, certain sound, in large part from the actual music, as played by the instrumentalists, a great deal because of the songwriting and uniqueness of their songs, but also majorly because they are (or at least started out as) an AUSSIE band. Yes, they have Americans in the band. Yes, Phil is a Kiwi (I started to say "was" because he's a past member, but he's actually still a Kiwi, last time I checked). But Peter sings with a freakin' Aussie accent. And Michael Tait does. not. So if they're gonna keep this up, they need to graciously retire the "Newsboys" name, call themselves something else and go from there. Because "Newsboys" this ain't.

Nothing against Michael Tait. I loved DCTalk, and Mike's a great guy, wonderful singer (definitely not Aussie) But he is not and can never be a Newsboy. Sorry, Mike, but this just doesn't work.

Of course, have I asked about GOD'S will? No. But, I mean, c'mon, God! Michael Tait? No Peter?

For me the band carked it when Phil left. I mean, in my heart the epitaph reads "Newsboys -- 1987 or so through Dec. 31, 2006". But the band did go on and, much to my chagrin and major disagreement, made another album and had a bunch of concerts. I just don't see how they're gonna pull this one off. (For one thing, Pete is supposedly going to still sing lead on albums ... WTH?)

So, yes, this is weird and disturbing. Not that it affects me. As I said, for me the Newsboys died when Phil left and I've had no interest in any new songs, albums or concerts since. But I have to admit that I do have a very strong opinion about this latest move. And now I'm glad that Phil left before Pete did, because if Phil was still in the band and Michael Tait was the lead singer ... I would want to go to the concerts because of Phil, but without Pete it wouldn't be the same. His leaving, even with Phil there, would pretty much kill the Newsboys, too.

Of course, some people say, as Christians we shouldn't be "into" the personalities, we should just enjoy the music, we should be into it for its message (this was on the message boards at Um ... look, if you're a huge music fan, and if the band is amazingly good and has a specific, unique sound (as does Newsboys), then the personalities are what MAKE then band, and you don't go changing them 'round without changing something about the flavor of the band. When Jodi Davis left as guitarist, they never really did find a perfect replacement. Paul Colman did a decent job, but no one could replace Jodi (who is back, now, BTW -- another weird development -- since Paul decided to go back to his solo career). When John James left early on (after the first album Phil was on), that changed the sound a bit, but Peter was really the head of the band, anyway. They survived that just fine (at least IMHO.) But you can't make major personnel changes like they're doing now and expect the sound and "feel" of the band to remain the same. It was true when Phil left (especially with the "feel"), and now with Pete no longer the lead singer ... Nope. I don't see this flying. I could be very wrong, but it just seems too fundamentally wrong, like John Lennon leaving the Beatles and them replacing him with Harry Belafonte. (I love Harry Belafonte, BTW.)

Oh, well. As long as Phil keeps putting out great solo albums, I will be fine. (Now. It took me two years to get to this point!)

Alright, it's late, I have things to do tomorrow (another club/class at my SU Demo's house), and I'm worn out. So ... thanks for putting up with my Newsboys rant (if you actually did). I'll be back later with more layouts -- I did get another 2-page 12"x12" finished tonight, as well.

Blessings ...

Monday, March 09, 2009

Part two of my "black" art period

Okay, so yesterday as I was finishing my two scrapbook layouts, I became vividly aware of the fact that both layouts use black as a base color. Although nothing I did today involved black at all, I'm calling those two layouts my "black" period (you know how famous artists often had specific "periods" where they were doing certain things). Yes, it was short-lived, but you never know when it may surface again. Black is a good base color!

So today I'm going to show you my faithbooking layout that is the sample for this week's topic in the SHINE group at Paper Craft Planet. I decided we would scrap about the Names of God this week. (Gee, Stace, could you have please picked something bigger? Cause, like, this one won't be enough of a challenge. -- Tui moment (yeah, right)) (I discovered the Kiwi phrase "tui moment" at a Kiwi scrapper's blog this weekend. I hope I'm using it right. If you're a Kiwi and you read this, please correct me if I'm wrong!)

Anyway, it is a rather large, awe-inspiring topic, since the Bible has many, many different names for God (if you read Hebrew or Greek). Fortunately there are a number of wonderful websites with the scoop on His various names. It's really awesome to be able to focus on those names and what they mean (like Jehovah-jireh means "Provider", so you can think about all the ways He has provided for you). One of the sites had a 30-day devotional based on His names, and several years ago I did a Kay Arthur Bible study that was all about His names, and it was fantastic.

So, anyway, my challenge was rather vague -- just to scrap about the names of God in any way that seemed to fit you. I gave the group a couple of website resources, and of course they can always google "Names of God" (with the quotes). So here's what I did with the assignment:

Left side:

Right side

God's biggest name is that He calls Himself "I AM" signifying that He is eternal, from time immemorial forward forever. So that's the significance of the "I AM" on both pages. If you want to read the strips you can click on that page image to see a larger image (that's true of the other page, as well).

There's also hidden journaling behind the list of names at the bottom of the right side. I had to hide it because I ran out of room, and even then it's more vague than I would like it to be. Here's what it says:
At some time in my life -- and at all times in my life -- God the Father and God the Son have been (and are) all these things to me: Creator (I see that in [my son]); Preserver; Mighty & Strong against the enemy who tries each day to destroy me; My Banner as He goes to war against that enemy; He has always provided for me and my family; I have seen His healing hand so many times -- physically, mentally, spiritually; He has definitely been my Peace in the many, many storms of life. And He is my Savior, both as God the Father and as "Yeshua" -- Jesus -- the One who has set me free from the law of sin and death. Praise His Holy Name -- all of them!

I picked this paper (the black with red swirly flowers) because -- well, it was cool and kinda awesome. Also, the red reminded me of the blood of Jesus. And I thought doing red letters against black would really stand out. So now you know. ;-)

Ingredients are:
DP: BoBunny "Le Jardin Poppy"
CS: GinaK Designs white; Paper Company text-weight (gold)
Stamps: Stempleglede "Grunge Collection"; SU monograms; Kiwi-Impressionz (crackle -- kissing tech, can't see it too well)
Ink: SU Real Red classic
Big Bracket on left side: Katy Pertiet "Old Alpha" brush set
Cricut cartridges: Base Camp; Jasmine
Brads: Making Memories; unknown source
Krylon gold webbing spray (on large "I AM" letters)

I think that's all.

So today I spent a little time in the loft. Finished a 6"x6" that I had started at my friend's house, and then did another 6"x6" (both are for my "Favorite Photos" album). You'll have to wait to see those another time because 1) I left one of them at my mother's house and haven't scanned it yet, and 2) you've already seen a layout today!

I had major fog-of-brain today and almost forgot I was supposed to take my car to the body shop up near Aidan's school today to get the rear-ending damage fixed. They had called on Thursday (or Wednesday) and set it up, and I was laying on the couch not in the best of shape, so I didn't get right up and write it down. So, as I was driving down to Michaels to check out the albums and punches they had on sale, I saw a car with a window decal from my son's school on it, and I thought that was kinda interesting since the school is so far from where we live (this was in our neck of the woods). Then I thought about my license plate holder which is one of those you buy at Target or someplace and it has interchangeable letters so you can make your own plate holder. I had made one with my son's school name and mascot name on it because when I first got my car I didn't want anything on the windows. And now it's very faded and I have a window decal for the school, so I was thinking that once I got the back of the car fix I'd just have the body shop guys throw the holder away, and all of a sudden I went HOLY COW! I was supposed to take the car in today! And it's, like 1:30 in the afternoon. So I went into panic mode (as I am wont to do) and called Bjorn to see if the other guy's insurance had called us yet about a rental car (which they had not). And I got all antsy about needing to get the car up there!

But did I turn right around and go up to the collision place? No -- I still went to Michaels (although I rushed my trip)! Am I a diehard scrapper/stamper or what! lol

Anyway, got the car turned in and went next door to rent a car and they couldn't rent me one without a credit card. I don't have a credit card. I have only debit cards. This is for the safety of our budget and our marriage. The couldn't take a debit card unless I brought with it a paycheck stub and the stub of a utility bill. I'm fifteen freakin' miles from home with no way to get ANYWHERE, and I can't rent a car. Of course, I could call my poor elderly father to come get me, but I didn't want to have to do that. So the guy and I go round and round for awhile, and I finally call Bjorn, who ends up having to drive from his work, which is also about fifteen miles or so away from the school, just so he can use his credit card to get me a friggin' car! He is a saint (my husband) no matter what else I may say about him. So now I am driving a Chevy Impala instead of my RAV4 -- and what a change! It's weird. I'm too low to the ground. I hit my knee on the steering column getting out of it at the grocery store. There are no restraints in the trunk to keep the groceries from rolling around (and it is a spacious trunk!).

However, it is more roomy than my baby RAV. And it's kinda cool looking. So I can do it for a few days. But I definitely want my RAV4 back!!

Okay, it's bedtime around here. The hubster has already toddled off, the kid is making noises in that direction, and the cats are demanding to be fed. Come to think of it, I need a snack, too!

Hope y'all have a great day whatever day it is you read this!
Various fonts on names list

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The loft has seen my face!

And all the other parts of me. And I have PAPER scrapped! Oh, YES!! Real ink on my fingers, real scissors and hand cramps! Pop dots for 3-Dness! Actual Real Live Brads! And even webbing spray for texture! *Deep sigh of contentment* Digital has its place, but there ain't NUTHIN' like the Real Deal, fellow babies. NUTHIN'.

I did go to the allergy doc on Friday, as I had mentioned in Thursday's post. He didn't check for fungus, but he DID want to have my immune system checked. Let's just say that after that little procedure I believe in vampires. I think my doc has a secret contract with the lab down there. They drew nine vials of blood out of me. You read that right. NINE. Now, no, they weren't all the large size. Some were quite small. But still ... NINE. They'll be sending some to the Mayo Clinic, some to Johns Hopkins, some to the Centers for Disease Control ... I don't know whether I feel like a lab rat or a celebrity! Or if I should panic? Nah, I won't do that. My history is that there is NEVER anything "wrong" with me. Which is really a good thing, but it would be nice to have an ANSWER now and again.

Okay, on to the scrapping, which is why you came here. I won't show you both layouts today (mwuhahahaha), but I'll show you one of the others I had started at my friend's house week before last and only just now got around to finishing. Partly because I had to wait for the other set of fancy giant photo corners to come in (I only had one and had to order the other), and the other was because of the lovely sinuses. (Should Peter Jackson do a movie called that? I mean, he did do one called "The Lovely Bones" -- I think it was him. I haven't seen it.)

Anyway, here's the LO. It's two pages, but I will post one after the other, since it really doesn't matter that they be viewed together. Heck, maybe I'll post the "together" view afterward. Please keep in mind that occasionally my freebie page-stitching program does a Weird Thing, which it did in this case and made the Right Page (the second one) come out looking a bit skewed. I promise you it isn't this way In Real Life (Elizabeth, you can attest to that!), but I was too lazy to re-scan and re-stitch it, since I was doing four pages in that round:

Left page:

Right side

This was many moons ago when I was a)young and b)thin. I got to spend a semester in London (actually met my husband there!), and the week before we settled in to live there, those of us who wanted to and who paid the extra $$ went on a "mini-tour" of Europe. It was very "mini" -- one day in Brussels (basically an overnight and a few hours the next day), two days in Amsterdam, and three in Paris. I'm not complaining! It was awesome for a rather sheltered girl from the tumbleweed fields of West Texas. So this LO is the beginning of the Paris bit. Man, I wish I could look that good again! Alas, one husband, one child and twenty years later ... yeah, probably not. But at least I have it to look back upon.

Here's the LO with both pages together, BTW (nearly forgot):

And here are the deets on the ingredients:
DP: Paper House Productions; Basic Grey
CS: GinaK Designs; SU: Paper Company
Corners: Heidi Swapp
Pearls: Hero Arts; K&Co.
Punch: EKSuccess
Journaling Marker: Zig
Brushes on photo: Decorative Alpha; KM-Paris; something swirly (I tried several and didn't note which one I settled on -- my bad!)
Stamp: The Angel Company
Ink: SU Whisper White craft
Chalk: Pebbles shimmer chalks (white)

We are supposed to have a Rollercoaster Weather week coming up. AKA a "Typical Texas Weather" week. Starting out in the 80s F, and then by midweek we will be plummeting to a high of around 50F. So, okay, this has been our winter. And it's weird and I'm tired of it. For WINTER we should be in the 60s and 70s with occasional bouts of 40s and 50s. And now that it's spring here we should have 70s and 80s with the occasional drop into the 60s until about April, then the 60s are usually gone. And I KNOW I shouldn't be whining because when it's 105F, I'm gonna be wishing for much cooler. But not 51. I was ready to put away the winter clothes (not the long jeans -- I hate giving those up). I was ready to shift the air vents from the heater configuration to the A/C config (we have a two-story house, so how we do the vents varies depending on the season). Okay, yeah, I'm whining, but still. Around 50? Not even. I do hope we get the rain they're promising, though. We are officially in an "Extreme Drought", worst since 1917, so we are definitely, definitely needing any raindrops we can get!

Alright, that's enough for today. I gotta post over in the Foggy Specs blog, then gotta get to bed. This Daylight Savings Time shift thing has not been an easy shift! (And I won't get started on that -- we didn't have to do it in Arizona and it was wonderful!)

Blessings for a wonderful week!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

A virtual scrapbook page

...because I am still on the sinus infection rollercoaster, and haven't felt up to doing anything that requires much effort all week. I am going to the allergy doc tomorrow to see what the heck is up. His nurse prac or whatever said it could involve fungus, since I've been taking so many antibiotics. Isn't that a lovely thought? Aren't you glad I shared?

So yesterday I finally gave in and made a digi-page. But it's not "in place of" a paper page. I decided that if I'm going to do the occasional digi-page, it should be something that probably wouldn't include a family-type photo, or at least not one that I intend to scrap paper-ally. I thought the "about me" type pages could be digital, if I wanted to do a digital thing. Or, as I have already done, some of the faithbooking. Really, I think digi-scrapping looks pretty cool (and you can get TONS of free kits and stuff, so it's actually cheaper), but once you get your page actually printed out, it's just 2-D, no matter how skilled you are at making it look 3-D. It's flat. And somehow that just bugs the crud out of me.

So, anyway, here's the page I finished last night:

As you may know, I LOVE the ocean ... actually, that's a huge understatement. And it's just SO WRONG that I don't live where I can go walk on a beautiful sandy beach every day of my life! Ah, well -- I do love Central Texas. Except for the allergies, and the fact that it's not New Zealand.

Here are the digital elements credits. Oh, and the photo -- it's not mine. It's one I pulled off the internet awhile back. It's -- surprise, surprise -- someplace in New Zealand. I wish I had put the photographer's name in the file name but I didn't. My apologies to him, whoever he is.

Paper: "Beach Glass" kit, Ginger Scraps designs (ScrapStreet site)
Cords: "A Touch of Japan" kit, Michelle Batton, designer (Faith Sisters site)
Glass dots: "Spontaneous Delight" kit, Carrie Stephens, designer (Shabby Princess site)
Journaling tag: "The Promise Collection", (designer unknown) (Shabby Princess)
Sand dollar: "Maritime" kit, Ronnie McCray, designer (unknown site)
Distressing on photo: Photoshop Dry Media Brushes
Alpha letters: "Shabby Mommy" kit (recolored); designer unknown (Shabby Princess site)
Fonts: Font Garden "Jayne" (journaling); Freebooter (Scripture); BahiaScript SSK (title)

Some of the kits I pulled from are new, some are a couple of years old (from my first toe-dabble in the digi-scrapping world), so that's why some of the credits are missing.

Anyway, it was fun, but my shoulders are sore (I don't have the best posture at the computer, especially when I'm hanging on the couch), and ... yeah, no great tactile experience. Still, I really like the way it turned out! And it is one I'll have printed, eventually.

Okay -- not much else to report, except that Spring has sprung here in Central Texas -- low 80s F, wind, lots of sunshine and lots of trees are blooming (we have several Mountain Laurels that are bloomed out and, while the scent of the blooms would be lovely in moderation, at this strength they just about knock you out!). Hang on, all you who are stuck in winter -- Spring will come! (Wanna borrow some?)