Monday, January 25, 2010

After three tries ...

Killer headaches and weird reactions to medications don't usually make for a very productive day of scrapping, but things seemed to go in my favor today!

Well ... after several days of trying to get this layout "right," including three different iterations of it, that is.

For some reason this layout would NOT come together easily at all. I don't know if it was just my brain fritzing or what, but I tried and struggled and struggled and tried, spent hours making a pretty cluster for it, only to realize that the horizonal orientation of the cluster wouldn't really work, so then I spent more hours making a vertical one, which I very nearly chucked until God had mercy on me and I finally made a change or two that made it work. (Thank You, God!!)

I started out with a PageMaps sketch (from July), but it ended up being very different from the sketch. I'll still give 'em credit, though, since I did use a few elements from the sketch, like the bracket mat and the stitching that goes around it.

Oh -- you wanted to actually SEE the page, huh? Silly me ... here it is:

I totally fell in love with the blue and cream background paper I used (I'm turning into my mother!) It's from Jean Daugherty's "Wedding Diary" collection (I got mine at Heritage Scrap, she may also have it at DigiZines Studios). Most of the supplies are from that kit, actually. Here are the others:
Journal tag: Jean Daugherty "The Storytellers" (HS)
Wedding rings (in cluster): Jean Daugherty "Memory Box" (Digizines Studios)
Large rose: Michelle Stone Designs "Romantic Beauties" (Gotta Pixel)
Small ribbons: Lynn Griffin "Serenity" (Heritage Scrap)
Tassel: Joey "Pelemele" (blog)
Heart scatters: Studio Flergs "Pretty Little Things" (Scrapbook Graphics)
various styles from ScrapGirls
Font: Edwardian Script (I'm using it on nearly every heritage page for consistency and for tying things together -- clever of me, no?)

So, don't know what I'll be doing the rest of this evening ... possibly more scrapping, possibly reading, maybe even writing. Just depends on what turns out to be the most fun and least brain-taxing! lol

Hope your day is wonderful!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Precious Ole Cowboy

Before I get into the above-reference cowboy topic, I'm happy to announce that Aidan is back from taking his first SAT test and he feels very good about how he did. He said there was only one math problem he just flat didn't know how to do, and he feels like he "definitely got right" at least 80% of all the questions, although he ran out of time to be able to finish his essay the way he wanted to (he had five minutes left in which to wrap it up, so he had to leave out a lot of what he wanted to say). So we'll see in ... oh, say five years or so ... whether how well he thought he did matches up with reality. (It takes ages to find out your scores on these things) Next try is in March.

So, okay, while Aidan was out taking the SAT and Bjorn was running errands, I sat myself down in front of my computer and did another layout! After the last one I did (which I haven't shown you yet, probably next time), this one came very easily, and I really, really like it.

This is my dad's maternal grandfather, T. C. ("Pa") Richardson. I don't know the horse's name, but I just love the photo. It was given to my dad and his sister by their Aunt Ida (T. C.'s daughter), and the inscription on the back says, "To Danny and Sister -- Christmas December 25, 1939 -- Isn't he a 'precious ole cowboy?' -- Aunt Ida" I think it's odd that Ida referred to my Aunt Barb as "Sister" but maybe that's what they called her back then (I'll have to ask!)

Anyway -- I used a template by PageMaps (Nov. 09), but I liked the background paper so much I didn't want to cover it up with much, so where there were spots for two other, different papers, I decided to just copy the background paper over the template's clipping masks for those two papers, then use a medium drop shadow to make those layers pop a bit. Now, the part of West Texas where Pa Richardson lived at this point does NOT have hills like the ones portrayed on the paper, but I still thought it was nice and "western" without being hokey.

Here are the ingredients:
Rename Layer and Supply Tracker scripts: Christy VanderWall -- Scrap Girls
Label: Dana Zarling -- Vintage Artistry -- Scrapbook Bytes (which I completely altered by using Durin Eberhart's Vintage Paper style -- ScrapGirls)
Fonts: FranciscoLucas Briosa (titles); Angleterre (label)
Template: PageMaps Nov 2009
Paper: Raspberry Road Design -- Frontier Days add-on -- Raspberry Road
Braided straw ribbon: Designs by Crystal -- Wild West -- Scrap it Sassy
Net/mesh; Texas medallion: Jean Daugherty -- Lone Star -- Heritage Scrap
Wheat stalks: Kristin Skjaeringrud (Kristin's Scrap Designs) -- Crisp Air -- Pickleberry Pop
Frame: for some reason I can't for the life of me find this frame in my frames folder! But it doesn't look much like the original because I altered it with the Vintage Paper style, anyway ...

Too much fun! And now I really, really need a snack and a nap! lol

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Week 2 Scripture challenge, and other goodies

Aidan has been sick since Saturday -- nothing serious (I hope!), just a bug, and he's not as sick, but still very tired. I hate that. I really hate it when he's sick, and especially when he doesn't bounce back very quickly. When he has strep he's usually better the day after he begins the antibiotic. But, of course, with a virus you can't have antibios, and it seems to take him longer. Which makes his worry-wort mother very depressed. *SIGH* I know God is taking care of him, but I'm still a mom and I still have worry tendencies (sorry, Lord!). Plus, he has to give his Junior Thesis presentation tomorrow morning, and he's in a play at school on Friday where he has heaps of speaking parts. He missed school today, but insisted on going for rehearsal after school, and he said he made it 1-1/2 times through the play before needing to sit out. He has another LONG rehearsal after school Thursday (the dress rehearsal, to which parents are invited -- they're giving the play for the elementary school kids), then the play twice on Friday, then he's taking his first round of the SAT on Saturday! God really needs to give this kid strength! (And his mother, too!)

Okay, so maybe this week's scripture challenge is very appropriate -- the word this week is "Temptation." And I am SO tempted to worry and fret and all that when Aidan is sick. There are plenty other temptations in my life every day, too, so it's good to be reminded that God will always give us a way out, and that we need to pray to keep up our temptation-sensors, as it were.

So here's my page for this week:

I really like the Bible verse about how God does not tempt us, and that when we are tempted He always provides a way out. But I chose a different verse to highlight on my page because I think it's so important to remember, as I said, that we need to be on our guard against temptation so we'll recognize it when it comes and not just capitulate straight into sin. As far as the layout goes, I kept to my semi-artistic style and also to the 6"x6" size (because it would be ridiculous to change the size, since it's all going to fit into one album). Here are the ingredients:

Gold paper (border pattern): Amanda Thorderson "Christmas Rhapsody" [Digitals]
Red paper w/ stripe: Stacey Mann -- "Morocco Meets Modern" [Digitals]
Pattern overlay: Durin Eberhart -- "Rubber Stamps" paper template [ScrapGirls]
Mask: Joyce DeJong -- "Christmas" kit [Digitals]
Font (scripture): Lettering Delights "Adornment"
Font (title): Birmingham
Supply Tracker script for PSE: Christy VanderWall [ScrapGirls]

So, today I also finished another layout! A two-pager, no less! This was inspired by a challenge at one of the sites from whom I receive a newsletter. I have no idea which site, so I guess I won't be posting this in their gallery!

Anyway, the challenge was to scrap about our obsessions. Immediately New Zealand came to mind. And, since I got this awesome digi-scrapping kit called "Aotearoa: New Zealand" by Michelle Stone from Digital Scrap Cafe. She's a New Zealander, so her kit was, of course, a must-have for me. But since I don't live there, I had to find something else to use her kit for -- and since I WISH I lived there, I thought scrapping about that wish/obsession was a fun idea.

Here is the first page:

And the second:

Everything is from Michelle's kit (LOVE the page of Kiwi slang!! Wonder if she got that from the same website where I got one of my lists of Kiwi slang? It sure looks familiar). Except the lettering for the title and the journaling -- the font for those is Blobfont. Also, I did use a number of styles and actions, and honestly, at the moment I am way too tired to go look through and remember which ones I used. WAY. My deepest apologies if any of them belong to you. I will give you credit in future layouts, I promise! And the photos all came from "teh interwebs" as they say on I Can Has Cheezburger. Since I'm not selling anything or making a profit from using them, I hope the owners of the photos will be nice and not sue me.

If you want to read the journaling, just click on the picture and you'll go to a larger version of it.

Well, everyone has gone to bed, I have to get up early and I'm very tired, so I'm going to toddle off now. I hope everyone has a great rest of the week! (And please pray for Aidan if you wouldn't mind!)


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Maternal great-grandmother

Wow, don't I come up with exciting and imaginative titles! As I've mentioned a few times before, the Title Queen I am not.

Anyway, I spent yesterday and today working on a layout about my mother's mother's mother (heee -- isn't "maternal great-grandmother" easier to visualize?). We have some beautiful photos of her, so I thought it would be fun to make a page using those photos.

First, I hunted for a layout template to use. For some reason now that I've started using those I rarely ever just make a layout up off the top of my head. I guess I figure that someone else has done the balancing work for me, so why not use their experience, expertise and efforts? I never stick 100% to the template anyway -- it's sorta cheating to do that (in my book). So, after going through every template I have, finding one that was okay but wanting more choices, searching online for an hour, then deciding the one I had picked was just fine, I had the template settled on and was ready to go!

This is the template (PageMaps October 2009):

Except that I first had to rearrange the order of the smaller two photos. I wanted the larger photo first, rather than the smaller first as they had it. Once that was done, I set to work making the layout.

So here's the result:

The journaling says:
Nina Maud Reece must have been a very strong woman. She had many hardships in her life to make her that way. Her father was a harsh man, her mother had a nervous breakdown and died in a state hospital. Things were better after she married Wilburn F. Reece, but when two of her children died of diptheria while still very young, she had to become the strong one again. Her husband simply could not handle their deaths and he had a nervous breakdown. Maud, as she was always called, was the one who had to hold the family together, and by the grace of God she succeeded quite well. Eventually Wilburn pulled out of his funk, and they had two more children, one of whom was my grandmother, Dorothy. Maud's father asked her forgiveness in his later years, which she gave even when some of her siblings could not do so.
In the later part of her life, Maud was diagnosed with cancer, first breast,then stomach. She fought the battle bravely, but succumbed on 19 September 1937 at the age of 54 years, a great loss for all who loved her, but a wonderful gain for Heaven.

Personally, I think the journaling is lame, but it's hard to write about a person's life in such a small space! And it was also difficult because I didn't have my mother right next to me retelling her story. I've got a couple of layouts still unfinished because I'm waiting for my mother to feel like reminiscing for me, so I decided I would just write what I knew without her help this time.

The reason the journaling is lame is because the sentences can't tell the story without being expanded upon! "Her father was a harsh man" doesn't really tell that he beat the children regularly. I didn't really want to make that a point, though, since he did repent in later years, after he was rocked to the core by the suicide of his wife in the state hospital. We don't really know the story of why Maud's mother (Laura) had the breakdown -- my mother says she was a clean-freak, probably OCD by today's understanding, and we know that played a part. She was also undoubtedly profoundly angry at her husband's treatment of the children. Her obituary says she had been suicidal before being "convicted of being insane." What a horrible label to have to wear, especially since I doubt highly that she was "insane," but more likely had some mental illness (like OCD) to deal with.

So that must have been incredibly hard on Maud. And then, just when things in life must have been getting better (her husband was a very kind, loving man with a good sense of humor), she lost her second and third children within just weeks of each other from diptheria. One was 2, the other 4. Her husband really fell apart, and she had to hold everything together as well as tending to him, all while her own heart was broken to pieces. Wilburn did recover, as the journaling says, and went on to be a wonderful, caring father and grandfather -- but he could never, ever talk about his two little boys that were lost to diptheria. Nor could he visit their graves. So now we can't find where the little ones were buried, although we know where the family was living at the time (Duffau, Erath County, TX)

And, as also mentioned, Maud developed breast cancer in her 50s, which then developed into stomach cancer. I don't know exactly when. I do know that my grandmother, who was married and had my mother by then (my mother was 5 when "Meemaw" died), spent a great deal of time tending to her while she was sick.

So I couldn't tell the whole story in that journaling block. And I didn't exactly use my best writing skills, but for some reason this was the best I could do. (I promise you my fiction stories are MUCH better written!)

At any rate, I am otherwise very pleased with the layout and I think both my grandmother and her mama would be pleased, too.

Before I forget, here are the "ingredients" I used:
Jean Daugherty -- "Memory Box" [Digizines Studios]
Teri Hanson -- "Magnolia Lane" [Heritage Scrap]
Across top -- Cheryl McCain -- "Hint of Summer" -- recolored [Digizines Studios]
In cluster -- Diana Burton -- "Heritage Helpers" -- recolored, resized [Digitals]
Brown -- Lynn Griffin -- "Southern Porch" -- resized [Heritage Helpers]
Cream -- Cheryl McCain -- "Spring Bonnet" -- recolored, resized [Digizines Studios]
Roses -- Wetfish Designs -- "Dreaming of Paris" -- recolored, used Vintage Photo action
Cameo -- Jean Daugherty -- "Family Roots" -- resized [Digizines Studios]
Swirls/flourishes -- Diana Burton -- "Helianthus" -- probably resized [Digitals]
Oval frame -- Katie Mann -- "Antique Brooch Frames" -- [Digitals]
Journaling book -- Jean Daugherty -- "Memory Box" [Digizines Studios]
Brad -- Dana Zarling -- "Vintage Artistry" -- resized [Scrapbook Bytes]
Tags -- Cheryl McCain -- "Vintage Memoirs" -- recolored, altered (bow removed, used Vintage Photo action) [Digizines Studios]
Fonts -- Edwardian Script; CK "Legacy"
Actions: Ariadna Wiczling -- "Scrap Simple Tools: Actions -- Warped PSE"
Sarah Batdorf -- "Scrap Simple Tools: Actions -- Vintage Photos 6502"
Sarah Batdorf -- "Scrap Simple Tools: Styles -- Basic Shadows 6501"
Page template -- Becky Fleck -- October 2009 PageMaps

Well, this weekend has been pretty boring. Aidan has been under the weather since yesterday, and I had a brief atrial fibrillation episode that unnerved me a few hours ago. It only lasted for about a minute or two, but now I'm worried that I'm going to have a Big Episode like I did 1-1/2 years ago when I ended up having to go to the ER. My cardio doc says I don't really need to worry unless it's gone on for four or five hours, but, um, no -- I'm not going to sit around for that long while my heart is pretending it never heard of the word "rhythm" and is going ninety-miles-a-minute. Two hours is my maximum limit before I head off for the ER! So, anyway, those two things combined have made me a bit depressed this evening. But I do know God is in control, and I can trust Him to be taking care of us.

So, off to start another layout ... after I feed the kitties and decide what to feed the sick one for dinner!

Hope you have a great week!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Poignant Pansy

I started a layout last night of a really cute photo of my mother when she was 8. I think it was a school portrait -- there are two versions, the b/w one I used in this layout, and a tinted one in a slightly different pose.

Since my mother loves pansies, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to use my new "Poignant Pansy" kit by Jean Daugherty of Digizines Studios. So I set to work. I tried using a template, and I hated the result I got -- I liked the template, but it just wasn't working with the papers (it had a bit of a grid feel to it). So I tried a different idea, using a big bracket-square for a background, but, again, it just didn't seem to work, it sorta overwhelmed the photo.

So then I was looking through the Faith Sisters "Made Ya Look Monday" blog for this week, and I found an inspiration. It had a central photo surrounded by all kinds of frufy stuff, very tastefully done, of course. Somehow I knew that would be a much better look for this photo. So I started all over again for a third time ... and, like they say, third time's the charm. Here is the finished product:

Isn't this a sweet picture! Gosh, I love my mom!

All supplies/ingredients/whatever-you-wanna-call-em are from Jean Daugherty's "Poignant Pansy" kit. I did do a little "messing around" with a few items. I extracted the white pansy from her pansy duo, then scaled it much smaller to use as a "scatter" element. I also made a copy and recolored it blue for a little variety, as well as extracting one of the other pansies from the background swag for the same purpose (making little, tiny scatter elements). And I copied a single pearl from the pearl swirl, shrank it and scattered it, too. And now that I think about it, I believe the mat behind the photo is actually a paper from one of Jean's other kits. The font is Calamity Jane.

I have the feeling I will be using this kit many more times, especially in layouts about my mom. I have such a bad habit of sticking with blue-and-white for her (her favorite colors, as I mentioned before), and using pansies, just like I use pink and butterflies for my grandmother, as those were her more notable Favorite Things (Granny also liked birds, especially hummingbirds).

So, even though this didn't take a terribly long time, I really like the look of it!

Today I got a Stampin' Up! mini catalog in the mail, and as I looked through it, I found myself wondering if I would ever take up physical, paper scrapping/stamping again. I hope I do, actually, because I have a ton of stuff up in that craft loft (and my guys worked hard a couple of years ago to fix it up for me). Maybe this summer when I feel better (I always seem to in the summertime.) Of course, it will be HOT up there in the summertime ...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Time Traveling

First, thanks so much to all of you who left such sweet comments about my Scripture page last time. You made me feel very good, and I appreciate you taking the time to say something!

So, I bought a really cool Digi kit from ScrapGirls this weekend, called "Time Traveler," and I couldn't wait to play with it (of course, that's true of most kits I buy, but I don't always get around to them right away). I thought it would be perfect to use to make the cover of the "My Lifetime Story" challenge I'll be doing this year through Faith Sisters. I feel a little guilty that I didn't use any Faith Sisters supplies on it, but, hey, it be what it be. We were supposed to do a photo collage using pictures of ourselves at various stages in life.

So here is the cover page:

I have some of my childhood photos scanned and digitized, and my more recent photos (like from mid 2000s on up), but everything in between is film print, so I had trouble finding much of me beyond high school. I already had the Paris photo scanned, but I had to scan the one of my and my guys last night. It's probably not the best photo ever of all three of us, but I was in a hurry.

So here are the ingredients:
Papers, titles and all elements: "Time Traveler" (Brandy Murry, Kerry Veale, Caroline Kaiser -- ScrapGirls)
Photo Folds template on Senior portrait: (Theresa Kavouras -- ScrapGirls)
Photo Bends PSE action (Jen Caputo -- Scrapbook Graphics)
Scallop frame on Paris photo (recolored): "Serenity" (Lynn Griffith -- Heritage Scrap)
Inked edge on last photo: Mandy Steward (Scrap Simple Tools/styles - "Framed Ink 1801" -- ScrapGirls)
Background Blenders (Brandy Murry -- ScrapGirls) (I used two different background papers and blended them using one of these templates)
Drop Shadows: Sarah Batdorf (Scrap Simple Tools/Styles "Basic Shadows 6501" -- ScrapGirls)
Font: I think it was Birmingham Titling, but I won't swear to it. I used a "stroke" PSE style to outline it in brown so it would be more visible
Scripture: New International Version, from

I've spent some of today finishing up a couple of heritage layouts I still had not done. This means I have several to show you now, but I'll only do one today so I can spread them out:

This is a photo of my mother and two of her cousins Way Back When. My mom is the one on the right. The story goes that her cousins came over one afternoon, and the little girl, Glenda, was frufed out in a sweet little dress with a bow in her hair and patent leather shoes. My mom was in her playclothes, and when she kept hearing everybody going on and on about how cute Glenda was all decked out, Mom got very, very jealous. So when this photo was taken, Mom was fed up, cutting her eyes very spoiledly (is that a word?) at Glenda. It's hilarious! My mom is an only child, and she was always pulling something funny like this. She was notorious for "cutting her eyes" around at people and things that didn't behave the way she thought they should. (I think "cutting one's eyes" is an East Texas phrase ...) I will be quick to point out here that she was mostly a very sweet little girl, she just knew how the world should be run (and, ahem, she still does ;-) ). I'm happy to report that she got over her pout pretty quickly and she and Glenda always did, and still do, love each other very much.

So, I used blue as the basis for the layout because my mom's favorite colors are blue and white.
Page template: PageMaps digital templates
Background paper: "Days Gone By" (Jean Daugherty -- Digizines Studio)
Large-dotted paper: "Memories in Blue" (Cari Lopez -- Heritage Scrap) -- recolored
Bracket: covered in some paper or other ... I did this on the plane going to Phoenix for Christmas, and I think I altered whatever it was, so I can't find it right now.
Ribbon strips: again, I can't find them, and I can't remember
Brads: part of the template, I just recolored them
Flowers: "Blue Willow" (Lynn Griffith -- Heritage Scrap)
Bow: "Have Faith" (Teri Hanson -- Heritage Scrap)
Fonts: No clue at the moment

Wasn't that incredibly helpful? Well, in all honesty I've got sinus pain going on here and I'm not thinking incredibly well (maybe from the 3 Extra-Strength Tylenol?). "We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause."

So, speaking of sinus pain, I'm off to bed to read for awhile then go to sleep. I've been reading a lot of Lynn Austin lately ... right now I'm reading A Woman's Place, but I think my favorites are her Civil War trilogy. She's a fantastic Christian fiction writer, and I highly recommend her books. They have romance in them, but they are NOT romance novels (I despise romance novels). The romance just happens to be part of the story, but the main gist of her stories are how people grow and change over time with hardships, extraordinary world events, etc., going on in their lives. VERY good stuff.

So, gotta run. I hope to be back soon with more of my heritage scrapping stuff!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

I've actually been scrapping ... really, I have!

I just haven't posted anything in awhile. Christmas vaca was crazy ... trip to Arizona, and there we were at two different places (the in-laws' house in the Phx area, and their cabin up on the Mogollon Rim, which is at 7700ft altitude, had 1-1/2 feet or so of snow, and was freakin' cold!), decorating for Christmas, then un-decorating. We had a leak in our washing machine, which is right behind the under-stair storage closet, so we had to drag everything out of this closet (which used to be the closet we had designated as shelter in case a tornado hit, then eventually just became "the tornado closet" because it looked like one had hit it dead on! lol) -- luckily the leak had not gone through the wall -- then we decided we had to go through everything, sort, give away as much as possible (which wasn't really much, mostly just old purses and bags), then put the remainder all back in, with new Sterlite drawer units to help with organization. That took a few days!

Anyway, that's all just to let you know I HAVE EXCUSES -- uh, I mean REASONS -- for not posting anything.

I did some heritage scrapping at the in-laws' (of my family, ironic as that is), but none of those pages are 100% finished. Some of them need journaling, and for some reason it's just not coming.

But I DO have a finished page to show you. I decided I would participate in Patter Cross's 2010 Scripture Challenge this year. The first challenge is to scrap a Scripture or Scriptures that are meaningful to you about HOPE. There are tons of great verses in the Bible about hope, so I had trouble narrowing it down, but decided that this one really fit my life situation the last few years:

This is a 6"x6" digital layout. I know, it doesn't look like "real scrapbooking," but in the digital world you can do different kinds of things than you can do with paper, so I decided to go "artistic".

The photo is one we took when Bjorn and I went to Pt. Reyes in California over the summer while Aidan was at the National Junior Classical League convention in Davis. The waves weren't huge, but I loved the way they were rolling. I love the ocean more than any other of God's "scenic" natural creations, so it's always an appropriate theme for me when I think about God, my faith, etc.

As you know, the last few years have been tough for me physically. And since I tend toward depression anyway, they've definitely been a challenge as far as keeping my focus on Christ, on positive things, on HOPE. So this Psalm is incredibly meaningful for me.

Here are the ingredients for the layout:
Background "paper": Cheryl McCain "June's Cadence" -- DigiZines "The Studio"
Blending mask: Background Blenders -- Brandy Murry, ScrapGirls
Shell brush: Ronnie McCray -- "Clam Brush" -- Scrapbook-Bytes (this one is old, so I'm not sure if she was designing for them when this was made, or what)
Grunge edge overlay: Carrie Stephens -- ScrapGirls
Fonts: Bahia Script SSK; Artistamp Medium
Canvas style: Sarah Batdorf "SSStyles: Vintage Canvas" -- ScrapGirls
Drop shadow style: Sarah Batdorf "SSStyles: Basic Shadows" -- ScrapGirls

I've got two other challenges I'm participating in this year. Both are at Faith Sisters. Hopefully I'll have something to show for those in the next few days.

Hope you all have a wonderful year this year, full of God's blessings, provision, love and guidance!