Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I have moved!

My scrapbooking is on hold for the time being while I focus on my photography.  Here is a link to my new blog address...hope you will stop by :)


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My Promise to Myself

This is a blog about scrapbooking and photography, yes, but today I am going to go WAAAYYYY off topic and talk about a more personal issue.  Losing weight.  Not that I have been doing much of that lately!  But I need to.

I have been focused on the number on the scale in some way or another my entire life.  Either I was trying  to make it go down with some new diet or exercise regimen, or I was watching it carefully to make sure the weight I had just lost did not sneakily try to come back.  Blame it on my poor metabolism, unhealthy eating habits, poor genes, stress, depression, blah, blah, blah.  But what it comes down to is that I am not healthy.  Period.  So I can accept that as my fate, or I can try to make a change.

Well starting today I decided to take control.  For me, so I feel better.  For my husband, so I can go on hikes with him and stop snoring at night.  And for my daughter, so I can be a positive role model for her and stick around to watch her grow and have babies of her own someday.  These are all the reasons why I quit smoking, which was a pretty difficult task.  So I should be able to handle this, right?!

My inspiration, my aha moment, came from a member of our military base's wight loss support group named Kate.  I don't know Kate, but she posted a photo and called it "a bit of visual motivation."  It looked a bit like this:

Suddenly the fact that I needed to lose weight went from a HUGE INSURMOUNTABLE OBSTACLE to a matter of one marble at a time.  I don't need to lose a hundred pounds.  I need to lose one pound.  Then I get to pick up one shiny, blue marble and go "plink" and put it in the other jar.  

And to make it even less stressful on myself, I chose one small goal...35 pounds.  That is how many marbles are in the first jar.  And win that jar is empty, I get to buy a new lens for my camera!  The new clothes I will need to buy, they are a bonus!  

There is an additional component to my plan involving accountability.   It is a food journal.  I am not on a "diet" and I am not restricting any food group from my life.  But I AM requiring myself to write down every thing that I put in my mouth.  This will make me sllloooowwww down and think twice before I munch.  

So, wish me luck!  And thank you Kate for the inspiration.  I hope I have inspired someone else to make their own jars, and don't forget to reward yourself!  Feel free to leave a comment and share your story.  Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Out of my Comfort Zone...

To grow as an artist it is necessary to experiment, do things that you wouldn't ordinarily do and of course, make mistakes.  Up until recently my photography was limited to photos of my daughter and I wouldn't have DARED call myself an artist.  But now I am taking chances and trying new things.  Sometimes I am happy with the results and I share. Other times, not so much and I chalk it up to another learning experience!

Tonight I went on my first photography meetup.  If you've never heard of meetup you should definitely look it up!  There is a group for every interest in every geographic area.  It is a great way to meet new people, get out and do fun things and (great for military people like me) get to know the area where you live better.  There are 800 members of this photography group and they ALL know more than me.  But they all started right where I am!

We went to Plymouth by the waterfront.  This was only my third time there ever, so everything is still new to me. That is a positive when taking photos; it helps to not be already bored with the scenery!  We were challenged to look at the small details to photograph, but I fond so much of interest that I took over 300 shots!  Here are some of my favorites (click on the images to enlarge):

Sunset behind a rose bush

The waterfront at dusk

The Mayflower II small boat

Brilliant Sunset Colors

Sunlight reflecting off store windows

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Leave me a comment if you have ideas of other places I might have fun with my camera!

Friday, May 25, 2012

On Daddy's Shoulders

My daughter sure is one lucky girl.  My husband treats her like a princess.  Heaven help the man that marries her, because he will have some steep standards to live up to!  I love to watch the two of them together because they bring out the silliness in each other!  He just loves to bop around with her riding on his shoulders, and she lets out the loudest squeals of excitement!  So when I captured these photos at the zoo last weekend I knew I had to do them justice and highlight this special bond!

The focal photo is my favorite picture ever (right now!) so I wanted it to be big.  I didn't want to clutter the layout with a bunch of photos from this day, even though I took 319, because they would have taken away from my very specific purpose of highlighting a relationship.  This is unusual for me as I usually like to pack my layouts as full of photos as I can!  But this picture was one I was proud to capture with my newly learned photography skills:

The layout itself is fairly straightforward.  My color choice was obvious based on the focal picture!  I worked to achieve simplicity yet interest herewith the title treatment (2 styles of chipboard letters and letter stickers), the paper strip and rickrack at the top (my"sky"), and the flower border (formerly white and sprayed with pink ink).  I also had my husband write the journaling because I wanted Grace to hear Daddy's voice in her scrapbooks too.  Here are some detail shots (click to enlarge):

Well I thank you for stopping by today.  I am happy I could share two layouts in one week!!!  Now I am off to shoot some more photos downtown.  I will share if any are good :)  Have a great weekend all!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Who needs Toys? We have socks!

My daughter loves to play with socks.  I have no idea why.  Despite all the toys we have for her, she can often be found crawling down the hall to her bedroom and pulling all the socks out of her basket.  Hey, whatever makes her happy!  One day I thought she looked especially adorable (those overalls get me all the time!) and so I followed her down the hall with the camera.  I sat on her floor for quite a while playing with the settings on my camera while she played with her socks.   And this is the layout that resulted:

This is my first completed layout in a couple of weeks, so I felt a little rusty and it took me longer than usual to make every decision.  But I was thrilled to finally get a chance to scrapbook!

As I mentioned, I was playing with my camera settings on this day and I accidentally started taking Black and White shots.  When I saw this picture of the socks abandoned on the floor when Grace found another plaything I just knew it would make a neat focal picture.  I chose to use the pink color to make it pop off the page and coordinate with the striped socks.  I added some fibers to give the page a tactile element, since we are talking about socks.

The strips at the top and bottom of the page are used to ground the photos and were made using two different widths of ribbon.  I added some buttons to add to the clothing theme.

The title is my favorite part of the layout.  I used my Cricut to cut four tags and used a marker to draw an outline on each.  I used some glittery Thickers letter stickers to spell out the word sock, but used a zero instead of the letter o because it was larger.  I was able to sneak in a photo of Grace in the 0.  I chose brads that coordinated with the colors in the striped socks and finished off the title with tiny type.

And finally, my journaling.  I just had too many fun photos that I wanted to include in this layout and not enough room!  So I turned a photo into a journaling block.
I did so using Microsoft Word.  I cropped and resized the photo, then increased the transparency.  I laid a text box over top and typed my journaling!  Then I printed it on glossy photo paper.  Click on the photo for a closer look.

And that is my latest creation!  I will be back sometime this week, hopefully with another completed layout!  I will leave you with another adorable shot that didn't make it on the layout!  Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The World of Photography

So I said I'd post Wednesday.  I did not.  It seems the Spring has brought with it a never-ending list of things to get done, appointments to go to, and new adventures!  I am not complaining though.  My life is pleasantly full!

To add to the already packed schedule of work, play groups, appointments, cleaning, (sometimes) sleeping and caring for my family I decided to start taking a photography class.  Everything I know about taking pictures is self-taught and involves mostly "pushing the little silver button until you hear a click."  So I am starting from the beginning, Photography 101.  Already I have more questions than I did when I started!

So although I miss scrapbooking and haven't created ANYTHING in two weeks, I am having fun playing with my camera and want to share some of my new photos.

These are some azaleas that grow in front of my house.  They just started to bloom
yesterday and I just love the awesome color combination.  I also got in really close so my foreground is in focus while my background is blurred.

These are called Orange Stars.  I bought them at Stop and Shop, amazingly enough, and when they grew too tall to be inside plants we transplanted them outside.  The color is just so vibrant, which is why I was drawn to them!

Another amazing color combination provided by Mother Nature!  

And of course, the photographer's self-portrait!

I hope you enjoyed looking at some of the photos I've taken while I experiment with my camera and settings!  I will be sharing more as they come!  Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mothers Day Photo Display

I am posting just a quickie post today as I try to finish my massive to-do list in preparation for my first session of a new photography class tonight!  It seems I may take on a bit more than I can actually handle at times (not that any of you other moms know what that's like!)  But I am not happy unless I am CRAZY BUSY!  Always have been!

This weekend I set out to make my mom a photo display for Mothers Day so she could rotate photos of her adorable granddaughter.  This is what I came up with:

It was inspired by a layout I saw on the Little Yellow Bicycle and Petaloo Blog Hop at this link http://artmadewithheart.blogspot.com/.

My layout is made with sticker flowers and fabric flowers with brads in the centers.  I hand cut the tree from textured paper and ran an ink pad along it to bring out the texture.


In order to make the display changeable I used tiny clothespins to hold the 3 different sized photos.  These particular photos are from my Mothers Day picnic on the beach.

And that is it!  Hopefully my mom will treasure the gift I made for her and hang it somewhere to make her smile!  I will be back on Wednesday to share another creation!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Down on the Farm

I think this is the last week I will be able to post Monday through Friday.  I can't create one layout per day to be able to post between taking care of my daughter, house and MASSIVE to-do list and working here and there!  I do have a few more goodies to share from my weekend crop, but beginning next week I will only be posting 2-3 days per week.  It will probably be Monday and Wednesday.  I want to make sure what I DO post is my best work, so I will have more time to devote to crafting that way.  

So what I am sharing today is a fun, happy layout!  We got my daughter this farm toy that she just adores.  She likes to bounce to the music, crawl through the door, and play peek-a-boo with my husband and me.  She loves the toy, but in all honesty I made the layout because I wanted to play with the new farm materials I saw at my favorite scrapbooking store, Right at Home Scrapbooking http://www.rightathome-scrapbooking.com/.

There are some different products here...the yellow wood paper and small letters are Jillibean Soup, the flower print is Doodlebug, and everything else is Kaisercraft.  They layout idea came from the A Cherry on Top blog: http://acotcherrybits.blogspot.com/2011/10/paper-crafting-with-we-r-memory-keepers.html.

I used the same photo placement and title placement on my own layout because it was just so...well, fun!

I put a tiny flower in the center of the three pictures that I made with 2 circles punched out of paper and a button-shaped brad.  

The farm animals were fussy-cut from a sheet of scrapbook paper.  I put them on pop dots to make them stand out from the fence.  This was a pretty simple layout...no fancy stuff here!  But I wanted it to be simple to let the pictures take center stage!  Because the background colors are so light, the red in the photos really draws you in and you can't help but notice silly Grace!

Well thanks for stopping by!  I hope to be back tomorrow with my daughter's birthday mini-book.  I just have to make time to add the journaling!  Have a great afternoon.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Feeling Tropical!

There are many firsts in the life of a mom.  If you are like me you celebrate every first, camera in hand, knowing that it will be the "last time ever she blows her first kiss" or "the last first time she'll ever eat spaghetti on a Tuesday in May!"  OK, I'm not THAT bad, but I do have literally thousands of photos of my daughter's first year.  Some are just sitting, unused, in my photo organization program.  But others just seem to scream "Scrapbook Me!"  The first time my daughter saw and tasted pineapple was one of those. The photos were just too fun to pass up!

Sometimes the background paper just makes the layout.  This one does.  It is just so "1960's-shore-town-tropical-resort-hotel-wallpaper."  I LOVE it!  And the colors couldn't be more perfect since she is wearing a bright pink shirt.

I matted the photos all on bright green Bo Bunny polka dot paper to unify them.  I journaled around the photos because I didn't want to take away from the background paper.

I added three flowers which form a visual triangle leading the eye around the layout.  They match the color of the Bo Bunny paper but match the shape of the flowers in the patterned paper.  The result is a sense of coordination.  The flowers are have a brass brad in the center of each.

I used embossing powder the same color as the brads to stamp this fantastically tropical flower.

The pineapple tag is...a tag from the pineapple!  I saved it because I knew I wanted to scrapbook these photos the day I took them!

And that is my daughter's first encounter with a pineapple!  It was fun when it happened and oh so fun to relive now!  Thanks for stopping by.  See you tomorrow when we'll go "Down on the Farm!"

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spring Pastels

My second favorite layout from my weekend scrap-fest has only one photo--an unusual occurrence for the girl who uploads HUNDREDS of photos per day!  But sometimes a single-photo layout can be especially stunning!  This particular photo was taken in front of the church right before we had my daughter baptized.  I wanted to highlight just what it meant to me with a special layout.

I based this particular layout on another I had seen on Pinterest.  Here is the link  http://stampingwitherica.blogspot.ca/2011/10/mds-blog-hop-gratitudethanksgiving.html  and here is the original layout:

If you read my bog often you will notice that I often use a layout or sketch as a starting point, but that I like to make many changes to make it my own.  My creative license, if you will!  In this case, I liked the placement of the photo, the banners and the words bordering the photo.

I used a neutral as my background but matted the photo on a pretty pink pattern to draw out the color of my daughter's dress.  I inked the photo mat to help it stand out (I pretty much inked EVERYTHING in this layout!)

 I chose colors for the banners and the flowers that were found in the photos like pink, green and blue.  Because I knew I'd be using the patterns in small doses I didn't worry that they'dclash.  Plus, inking the edges helps separate one pattern from the next and allows you to use a polka dot and a stripe together!  I did try out many combinations of papers before finding those that I REALLY liked.  
These flowers add such a delicate touch to the layout, I think.  They were cut on my Sizzix machine using a Die Namics die called Botanical Beauty.  I curled up the petals using a pencil and inked the edges in brown.

The final touch on my layout are the letter stickers.  The pink, brown and green ones are all recent releases from Jillibean Soup.  I chose short words and phrases that described the day.  

And that is all!  Feel free to leave a comment with any questions.  I will be back tomorrow with a fun, tropical layout and later in the week hope to share my daughter's birthday book.  Have a great day!

Monday, May 7, 2012


I am back from a fantastic weekend spent crafting and cropping with some really creative ladies.  I was proud to say that I finished 2 double page layouts, 5 single page layouts, a mini-book about my daughter's birthday and some thank you cards while I was away!  I am sharing my very favorite layout first!

I just loved the way these pictures turned out, especially with the metal chair Grace is sitting on, so I wanted to play around with them.  I narrowed it down to 4 that really show her enjoyment because I had a layout in mind that I had seen on Pinterest.  Here is the link:  http://kellynoel.typepad.com/living_the_dream/2011/08/glee-club-reveal.html.  And here is the layout:

For this layout I used the basic structure as a sketch to inspire my layout.  Mine is a bit more girly I think (!)  

I have this obsession with pink and brown lately, so those are the main colors I chose for the layout.  I like the way the light pink stands out against the dark brown background.  I used the darker pink as an accent to draw your attention to the pink jacket Grace is wearing.  Both are from Bo Bunny.  The striped paper, a recent Bella Blvd release, makes me think of an old time ice cream parlor so I added that in 3 places to make the eye move around the page.

I wanted to see more of the striped pattern so I used the negative from one of the m's I punched with my Sizzix Night and Day font.  The title is short and sweet (haha!)  The ice cream cones were made on the Cricut using the Straight from the Nest cartridge.  I then put some Glossy Accents on the ice cream scoops and glitter on the cherries.

I journaled with a white pen which I also used to draw some stitching around the journaling block.  I pleated the ribbon using liquid glue and lots of patience!

And that is it.  My favorite layout from this weekend which is now displayed in my kitchen!  I will be back tomorrow with another favorite.  I hope you had a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bear Bear Bear

Trying to squeeze in another post this week; I have been crazy busy with the birthday party, house guests, and now I am attempting to pack for an entire scrapbooking weekend away!  It seems that everything happens all at once!

This layout I am sharing today took me a week to finish!  I would devote a couple of minutes to it whenever I had free time, then put it aside when I was busy.  I am the kind of person who hates to have an unfinished project laying around, though, so I'm glad I finally got it done before my weekend away!

The colors were inspired by the bear and the chair ;)  Some of the patterned paper was some older stuff I had but the background paper and the plaid brown are both from the American Crafts Amy Tangerine line.  I cut the coordinating strips of paper in various widths from 1/4 inch to 1 inch.  Then I cut them to different lengths as well.  I inked them all with brown to help them stand out.

The photos are matted on brown card stock and I placed a large brad that reads "I Love You" in the corner.  This brad is one of three embellishments I used to create a visual triangle on my layout.

For the title I used my Sizzix to cut out the words in Playground font.  All letters are lowercase except for the A to give a childlike look.  I adhered them with a glue pen to a banner shape I hand cut.  Then I adhered the banner with pop dots to give it dimension.  I attached a tag that reads Moments with a tiny pink brad.

The buttons are the third of three embellishments and the colors are a perfect match!

Thanks for stopping by!  I will be back Monday (I hope!) with the first of many layouts that I plan on completing on my mini-vacation!  Have a great weekend all!