Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I think God was bored today and needed to mess with me. Truly. At least as far as crafting was concerned.

I was very excited, because I finished photographing and preparing photographs for an upcoming online garage sale (stay tuned!)... and let me tell you, it was a purging of this room... I was finally in the scrapbooking groove, and I had time to let the groove take me. Alas, my computer, printer, and scanner all wanted to mess with me.

The layout you see here {four hours later and NOT due to the difficulty of the page itself} is mounted on an 8.5 x 11 sheet of SU! Not Quite Navy. The photos are from Christmas day, when Max first laid eyes on his new train table. I fell in love with the Making Memories Fa La La shimmer alphabet stickers at The Keepsake Element in town (see link on page).

I took Cathy's Sketch #1 from Week 6 (yes, it's Week 12 now), and, as she would say, I "worked it." Her sketch was oriented in portrait, and I rotated it to landscape. I wanted the picture of Max to be the focal point, despite the fact that it is pretty grainy. So, here's to working the sketch!
Week 6 focused on unity. Cathy's sketch dealt with grouping elements together creating a sense on "one-ness." Here, the 4 x 6 photo in the center anchors the other two photos (diagonal from each other) and the two text areas (diagonal from each other). It was hard not to incorporate other elements that I have learned from weeks 7-12, as I HAVE watched the slideshows and videos. I just need to create the pages. With Cathy's clean and simple design elements, it won't be too hard... provided technology is on my side.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Office Gifts

My husband has about 7 people whom he wishes to give holiday gifts to at his office each year. This year, I purchased several Subway gift cards from Ignatius' SCRIP program (percent of profit goes to the school, cost of card remains the same).

Scott, of course, was happy just to hand them a gift card. I wanted to make it a little more in depth, however. My friend, Kim, just returned from Florida where her daughter was married. For favors, her daughter wanted to list the wedding participants and a photo on a label on a water bottle (it was a beach wedding). I hadn't seen that before, and I thought it was adorable.

So, I went with that idea. I printed our message on Avery 2 x 4 labels using Designers (free) font and CK Becky, a free font of Becky Higgins' writing which can be found here. I used a template for an artist's trading card envelope found here. I had purchased a slab of holiday-themed paper from The Paper Studio, and I used some of it that would not be typically me. It a had red and pink grid with pink and white snowflakes. It went well with the Raspberry Ice packet of Crystal Light on the Go I attached to the bottle. I made a tag with SU! Punches Three, my square scallop punch, and SU! Real Red ink. Then, I finished it off with some Offray red grosgrain. Simple, easy, yet Scott was very impressed in the end. Will he ever trust the crafter vision? Time will tell.
Since it seems like a Becky Higgins kind of weekend, I should add that I made her Pretzel Hugs recipe today with Rolos and Hershey Kisses. Yummers. Thanks to Krystal, who made them for Karen's Christmas Crafters Gathering. I am officially addicted.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Gift of Time

Finally, FINALLY, I will have some time to do some crafting. So, stay tuned for further updates.

I thought I would post a shot of this card. I actually bought a Hallmark card {gasp}. This was a set of cards, and I found the sentiment to be hysterical (and so very me). It is sitting on one of my new shelves in my revamped "oasis" of a craft room. Photos will soon follow.

Enjoy the excitement of the season!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I love toying with photography. The problem with being behind the camera, however, is that you are rarely in front of it. (Profound, yes?) Well, last January, Max was infatuated with cameras and would just pick one up and say, "Cheese." I took full advantage of this and tried some self-portraits. Looks like a photobooth, but the series of pictures cracks me up.

This is sketch #3 for Cathy Zielske's focus on space. This was such an easy layout, and it looks so very nice with not a lot of effort. Her idea, again, is that white space is good, not evil. I agree.
Well, with a little luck, maybe I can crank out another layout before I go to bed. Hmmm, what will be next?
Some specs for this layout:
Felt flowers: SU! Felt Fusion Too
Brown brads: Spare parts
Cardstock: Paper Reflections kraft
Fonts: Cartoonist Hand and Later On
Ink: Ice Blue Color Box Chalk

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Still in Week 5 for my Design Your Life class... I'm just a tad "behind," but I am not stressing. It will get done when it gets done.
Anyway, the design concept is space. For this layout, a great deal of space is available. I like the simplicity of the layout. It took very little time to put together. I chose not to go crazy with embellishments because I loved the Fine Flocked Paper in Chocolate by artsy.licious, and I wanted that to be the main texture item. Also, the subject matter is very serious, so the photos and the journaling needed to be prominent on the page with no distractions. The layout is 12 x 12 inches, and the base color is Stampin' Up! More Mustard textured cardstock. Cathy gave us the journaling block to work with. Her sample had four 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 pictures, but I chose three, as my middle photo was very difficult to put in a square crop. I also decided to keep a white margin/border around my photos, where she had no margin. She also filled more of her white space than I chose to.
Interestingly enough, about two months prior to her death, Marita and I had a conversation about the song "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" by Elton John. It had come on when she was in the limo for her brother-in-law's funeral, and she found it to be ironic. It was also the first time she had heard the song, which floored me. Perhaps her last time as well.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Insane Departure

Well, hello. Yes, craft enthusiasts, I have been gone, but not far. I have been... reading. If you are interested in hearing more on that part of my life, click here.

I am getting "behinder and behinder" in my Design Your Life class, but I am still keeping a pace, which is much better than I did before the class. This layout is Cathy's first sketch for the topic of space. I must say, I admire great use of space, and I usually OD on putting stuff where there really can be nothing on a page. For this layout, Cathy suggests the use of wide borders as appealing in design. I think I made mine a little narrower than she intended, but I toyed nonetheless. I used some black Bazill bling... love that stuff. I also distressed some Heidi Swapp chipboard letters for my title. How freaky cool are the red Rain Dots, eh? On a page about a vampire book. EEwww. Neato.

I reclaimed some SEI paper from the Keepsakes line (brooch) from Max, as he seems to attach himself to some of my patterned paper. Bad Mommy. I know. But I love the paper, and I thought it was perfect.

Cathy suggested that we do an "everyday photo essay," using something in our everyday lives. Well, since these stinking Twilight books have been in my EVERYday life, I figured I would go for it. She, too, did a page about the books for last week's sketches, so I had that on the brain. I decided to photograph one of my favorite pages in Eclipse, when Edward "officially" proposes to Bella. I also photographed the type of books that usually occupy my mind, a page from New Moon where the chapter is one word long... November... (trust me, there's good reason for that), and a side shot of Breaking Dawn, all 756 pages, and a clue as to how much I read of it just last night and this afternoon.
I know there's a bit of a glare to my shot... tried to scan, but there were too many words and patterns to try to Photoshop together. Maybe Santa will bring me a 12 x 12 scanner... Anyway, this is an actual photo of my page. Hope it's clear enough. Now, off to read, I mean, bed.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Ode to a Tree

As I drove up to my house this afternoon, I could not get over the tree in my front yard. I have no idea what type of tree it is... guess I should become more alert to that stuff... all I know is, next to the starkness of the day, this tree was a gorgeous site. Beware, the tree is one of the thorniest trees I have ever encountered. I guess it has to be, as it is protecting its bright red fruit.
So, being the good crafter that I am, I ran up and took a picture with my iPhone. And thus, a color inspiration was born! The picture just does not do this tree any justice.
One of the events I missed this week was my sister's wedding anniversary, so this card is for her... ever so belated. She lives in Southern California, and the changing of seasons is not as dramatic as it was on the "Other Coast" where we grew up. So, I'll send her a little fall and some good wishes.
Size: 4.25 x 5.5 inches
Paper: Chocolate, SU! Groovy Guava, SU! Ruby Red
Stamp: Verve Stamps Anniversary Birds
Accessories: SU! Chocolate Chip taffeta ribbon, Spare Parts silk flowers, Making Memories eyelet
Ink: SU! Chocolate Chip

Repeat, repeat the sounding joy!

Oh yes, it is nearing the holidays! However, this entry has nothing to do with them... that song just popped into my head. :)

This is my final sketch assignment on the topic of repetition for Cathy Zielske's Design Your Life class by Big Picture Scrapbooks. Despite my behindedness, I love this class. Cathy has great, simple designs, and she is hysterical in her slide shows and video messages.

This assignment focused on the idea of a minibook. Repetition in a minibook allows for faster completion. I must say, as I look back, I have done quite a few minibooks over the last few years. Many were for gifts, a few were for me. They do give one a sense of immediate satisfaction.

Anyway, back to THIS minibook. The design is completed on 8 x 8 inch kraft paper. We were to choose four coordinating pieces of patterned paper. Well, the American Crafts Metropolitan line was sitting there saying, "Pick me! Pick me!" So I did.

We were given the basic "Gimme 5" outline. Our task was to make a page for each member of the family. What I thought would be a challenge was that they each were to write on their own pages. I was pleasantly surprised that my family really cooperated with this. I think this class has proven the value of good archiving of memories.

We were to write five things about us right now. Of course, I did Max's. The others are purely from the mouths of the men. I love the way it turned out and how easy it was to do. Take a peek and try it out yourself!

Inspiration on a Gray November Day

All the leaves are brown... and the sky is gray... not winter yet... but might as well be today...

The first of today's cards is inspired by the photo of this adorable little lass from the Boden USA website. Today's challenge sent us to this site for some direction. Since I have two boys, it is rare that I get to look for cute girl stuff. If I had a girl, she would have this sweatshirt. Love the colors and the great big dots.

My card is for my nephew whose birthday, surprise, surprise, I missed. Beginning of the month curse! I don't think he'll mind, but it sure does bug me!

I started with just the chocolate circles on Mellow Moss cardstock, but it looked too plain. So, I ended up using three circle punches (1 3/8", 1 1/2", and 1 3/4"), chocolate cardstock, kraft cardstock, and Holiday Thyme DSP. The felt ribbon is from The Paper Company... and it was on clearance! The jumbo eyelets and Hodgepodge Hardware are both Stampin' Up!
In all, I like it. A good, masculine card... with ribbon!
Size: 4.25 x 5.5 inches
Ink: SU! Chocolate Chip and Color Box Chestnut Roan (to ink edges)
Paper: Kraft and chocolate from The Paper Studio, SU! Holiday Thyme, GP white
Stamp: SU! On Your Birthday
Accessories: SU! Hodgepodge Hardware and jumbo brads; The Paper Studio felt ribbon

Thursday, November 6, 2008


For repetition week #2, Cathy Zielske provided us with the following layout. She gave us several color choices for the journaling panel. I chose orange, since I knew that this would be a Halloween layout. Creative, eh?

Once I knew the photos I wanted to use, the 12 x 12 layout rolled very easily. It's so funny that I have scrapbooked this Halloween this quickly. Good to be doing this class!

I was also excited to use my SEI ally's wonderland alphabet stickers, as they were free from SEI at one of their classes at CKC St. Louis. Sigh. I love SEI. I HAD to include Shaggy's favorite interjection on this page, especially with Ignatius' facial expression on the main photo.
Where is the repetition? First, there's the color repetition. Orange and black are repeated frequently. There's also the repetition of the Cloud Nine Rain Dots (in black, no less!!). The striped patterned paper (My Mind's Eye) has a repetitive pattern all its own as well.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Cathy Zielske uses the acronym OPA to represent old product alert. Yes, I did open up the box of 1300 Colorbok Alpha Stax that was donated to me by Jessie a few years back. She only needed a few letters from it, so she let me have the other 1290 of them. Such a good friend!

At the time, I had no Sizzix machine, or anything that would do die cutting, so I was thrilled! They come in a delightful assortment of colors. My collection is called "Funky Holiday."

For this sketch, Cathy gave us a basic template and a great deal of freedom. We were to focus on repetition, as it is the design theme for the week.

I have to say, I love this layout. Love it, love it, love it. Scott and I piled the boys in the car (only one or two, "Where are we going?" whines from the 11 year old) and went for a Sunday drive. I grabbed the camera and off we went.

For a long time, I had somewhat of a "fall disdain" of Illinois. It was so vastly different from where I grew up. It was so flat that I felt like autumn, one of my favorites seasons of the year, was a total wash. Then, last year, we actually drove around and saw some gorgeous colors. I have grown to appreciate the harvesting, maybe because I finally have the right combo of allergy medications. Truly, I have listened to my husband and all that the people in his company deal with during harvest. These agrarians are always at the whim of Mother Nature. There are some things that are within their control... what to plant, how to treat the soil, etc. But most of their livelihood is based on having just enough rain... not too much, not too little. So, in my layout, you might notice some brown corn stalks. In the work world of my husband, this is a very welcome sight.

So, I guess after almost 20 years, I am slowly opening my eyes to what's around me. Still doesn't beat a mountain that's changing colors, but at least now I know it's out there. And you do, too.
Where's the repetition? Well, I tinkered with adding embellishments, but I really felt that they would take away from the photos. I definitely wanted the photos to take the lead. So, the biggest repetition, I think, are the colors of fall. I even dusted the white letters with chalks that I felt best represented the colors of the photos. I repeated the fill color (brown) in the text boxes as well.
I must give inspiration its credit. While thumbing through the November/December edition of Scrapbooks, Etc., on p. 94 I saw a layout by Brenda Hurd. She took some white letters and outlined them with black on the inside (I guess that's inlining?). I thought this was brilliant, and I totally scraplifted her idea. Thanks, Brenda.

Sympathy Inspiration

I used today's Inspiration Challenge to create a sympathy card. We were using the works of Don Li-Leger as our inspiration (one of his works is shown). I was inspired by two things: the color palette is right up my alley on most of the works and I like the block style of many of the pieces. The combination of symmetry and asymmetry throughout the gallery makes it interesting.
I decided to stay simple, as I believe overdone sympathy cards stray from the purpose of sympathy cards. The purpose is to convey your sorrow, not to "wow" anyone with a card. It's not the time. So, I used a simple, asymmetrical block style with some patterned and some craft paper. I inked edges on the patterned paper and inked/distressed edges of the sentiment panel.
I used two products I just bought today at Hobby Lobby's 50% off sale. The paper is Traditions Floral Paisley from The Paper Studio. I LOVE it... and I have a feeling I should have bought more of it. The brads are antique brads from The Paper Studio. I have to say, I was impressed to see how The Paper Studio was really kicking in as a competitor as far as paper and cardstock is concerned. They have a wide variety of styles out, from single sheets to paper packs. The craft paper was leftover from my last scrapbooking adventure, and it was the perfect size, so I took that as a sign.
Size: 4.25 x 5.5 inches
Paper: The Paper Studio Craft and Traditions Floral Paisley
Ink: SU! Always Artichoke, Color Box Chestnut Roan
Brads: The Paper Studio

Friday, October 31, 2008

Vive la Difference!

Bonjour, mes amis! I have worked my behind off to have today free (called "flexing" my hours; also known as "masochism"). I really want to get caught up with my Cathy Zielske class. I have been working on some pages, but I am about two weeks off schedule. So, unrushed, I intend to work this weekend on some of her sketches. If I catch up, fabulous! If not, I am sure I will have some good pages nonetheless.

This sketch is from week 3, the theme of repetition. I chose to highlight my little daredevil bike rider, who not only rides his tryke, but also rides his "big boy bike." Both belonged to his brother, who never successfully rode either one, despite our attempts. Max, however, has picked up the whole bike riding thing as if he were doing it since birth. For those concerned, yes, we have since put a helmet on him. :)

I used repetition in several different ways. First, I used the photos. I tried to pull the blue of the "big boy bike" out through my choice of background paper. I used red in several spots to pull the red of his tryke in. I repeated silver star bards on both 8.5 x 11" pages. And, of course, I repeated images of Max riding. I think from my cardmaking I have become very accustomed to the power of repetition. This page was a fun one. What you cannot see in the photo is that I popped up the picture of Max on his tryke on the right hand page. I wanted to give that pic some special ranking, as it is a favorite of mine.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Now this is more appropriate

I mentioned that I had to do some cardmaking, particularly for my sister, since last night's card didn't really fit. My son says, "Why don't you use stars?", which I thought was brilliant, as she is an engineer who works with satellites.

So, I decided that I would take a peek at the featured stamper's gallery. This week's featured stamper is Kay, codename Speedystamper on SCS. She has a great gallery. I had completed a different card, but it didn't do her original justice, so I decided to work on this one. I am much happier with its result. I honestly thought my mojo was slipping there for a bit. I CASEd her submission for SC182.
I decided that the yellow was important, but I had to downplay it, or it would take over the card. So, I grouped it with black, gray, and white. I LOVE the way these colors work together. I chose a very symmetrical take on the card, while using a couple different shapes. I was excited that I had a circle punch for every layer on the sentiment layer. Woo hoo! I used 1", 1-1/4", 1-3/8", 1-1/2", and 1-3/4". For the image panel, I used a 4-1/4" square base of SU! Basic Gray. I then used a 4-1/16" square layer of black. On it, I placed 8 star squares cut with a 1-1/4" punch. Probably the part of the card I like the most is the sponge daubing of the star color. It gives them a "star-like" glow. Adding a little bling, I used Stickles on the center star. On top of the black ink, the Stickles came out a little green. Interesting.
Size: 4-1/4 x 4-1/4 inches
Stamps: SU! Riveting and Bold Basics
Paper: SU! Basic Gray, SU! Yo Yo Yellow, PTI white, black
Ink: SU! Basic Black and Yo Yo Yellow
Also used: Circle and square punches, dimensionals, Stickles

Thinking Pink

Yes, me...pink...odd...agreed.

The inspiration challenge for today comes from JC Penney, and, quite frankly, I am not liking this card. However, it is done, and it is being posted. Perhaps I will try another later.
I used the colors in the photo for some inspiration. I also kept thinking of SEI's ally's wonderland as I looked at the beddings. Hence, my patterned paper choice. I loved my green Offray wide grosgrain, though I am not sold that it completely matches the cardstock/patterned paper. I went with some eyelets for an extra oomph, but I did not feel the oomph. Maybe I am just sleepy. I was hoping to use this for my sister's birthday, but I may have to try again. It doesn't scream her name or mine.

Size: 4.25 x 5.5 inches
Paper: SU! Gable Green and Barely Banana, SEI ally's wonderland
Punch: SU! tab punch
Ink: SU! Gable Green
Eyelets: SU! Barely Banana
Ribbon: Offray

Friday, October 24, 2008

Real World Color 3

I am a tiny bit behind with my Cathy Zielske class, but not too bad. Tonight, I was able to make this page using her Real World Color combination (shown). Very simple layout... which makes it quick and easy. The colors were great, but my combining of them... eh... I dunno. I am branching out, right? Red and I... we fight all the time. Love the gray, though.

While I was doing this, Max was looking at a scrapbook I started making when we were trying to get him diagnosed. It is a scrapbook where you can record things and play them back. He LOVES it. I am so glad I made it, because now I can see what a difference a year makes. There's a page about his food issues. He sat there tonight pointing (a miracle!) to the photo and saying, "Max is eating." (Miracle #2) If you are reading this, and your child(ren) already does these things and more, count them as huge milestones. It took a great deal for Max to be able to do so at 3 1/2. God has blessed us, truly.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy New Baby

A colleague is about seven months preggers, and a shower is in her near future. This card is from a group of us who pitched in for a gift. I said, of course, I would make a card.

I have to say, I am not a lover of pink, but I love this card. I borrowed the idea of paper piecing her dress from Karen, the published goddess.
Size: 4.25 x 5.5 inches
Stamps: SU! Swell News, SU! Full of Life, SU! For a Friend
Ink: SU! Pretty in Pink, Copics
Ribbon: Sheer Creations

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Transforming the Mantle

I mentioned a few posts back that I might try to "seasonalize" my living room mantle with cards and or framed art. Well, I finally started tonight in bits and pieces. We first took our boys to the nearby pumpkin patch and purchased pumpkins of various sizes. Two small pumpkins are on the mantle. Then, I bought some black plate holders at Michaels, as the black coordinated with the frames on the mantle. I displayed my October mini-scrapbook, which looks very nice there. I just finished this card, which came completely from my mind. I like how it turned out, despite the fact that Max was crawling all over me as I attempted to finish.

I kept thinking of Cathy Zielske's Design Your Life class. Our design focus for the next two weeks is repetition. As I was creating tonight, I tried to be conscious of my use (or lack) of repetition. So, here's my thinking: 1. I repeated the use of the Gelly Roll silver pen. I used it on the Jack-o-Lantern's face and as an outline on the cat on the tag. 2. I repeated the use of orange Rain Dots from Cloud 9 Design on the black scallop. 3. The lines in the patterned paper are repeated. 4. I inked the main card, the patterned paper, and the tag with Basic Black ink.

Not bad. I guess there's more of a design thought in here than I thought.

I never considered myself "whimsical" as far as design went. In fact, before seeing a mass of Cathy's work, I thought I was pretty conservative. However, lately, I seem to be loving the hand-drawn frame. I love the absence of perfection in it. You can notice its use on some of my scrapbooking and cards. I used a thicker line than I anticipated for this card, but I had to battle the stripes in the patterned paper. I needed a bolder line than I usually use.

So there you have it... a Halloween card! Who would have thought?

Size: 4.25 x 5.5 inches
Stamps: SU! Party Punch, Hero Arts Jolly Jack o' Lantern
Ribbon: Offray black grosgrain
Paper: My Mind's Eye Spooked Stripes, PTI White
Ink: SU! Basic Black, silver Gelly Roll, Copics (G24, E31, YR65)

A Christmas Contender!

The Framed Blue Bride Bird Print (shown) was my inspiration from Stef to get my behind in gear and design this year's Christmas card.

I wanted it to be simple, yet elegant. Last year's card had many, many pieces to cut and adhere. I wanted to avoid that this year, and send a meaningful message in a time of uncertainty on so many fronts.

When I bought the SU! set To You and Yours, I was shaking my head at myself. I have so many Christmas stamps and such a small window of time to use them. However, it was the dove that convinced me of its versatility. This could be used for many occasions when I want to wish someone the peace of the Holy Spirit. Yes, I was inspired by God to buy that set... I know... nice try, JoLynn. :)

However, I love the simplicity of this card. As you can see in the close-up, I added some glitter with my Gelly Roll pen. I argued with myself about masking... stamping the swirls with a metallic ink, then stamping the dove with a SU! Basic Gray. The metallic inks, however, take forever to dry and, after saving a few things I had done with them in the past and observing them, I noticed that these inks do not have staying power. The Gelly Roll pens dry almost right away and you get nice, subtle glitter without a big ol' mess. I saved the messier part for the inside sentiment (shown), which will be stamped in white craft ink. It looks great! The last time I used that ink on Night of Navy, I didn't give it time to dry and ruined an entire stack of stamped cards. I salvaged it by only using parts of the stamped images, but I wanted to scream... wait, I DID scream, when I did it.

Of course, I needed a little texture and dimension with this card. I used my new Long Classic Rectangles Nestabilities dies. Of course, I had to search the net AGAIN to remember how to put these through my Cuttlebug. I really need to use them more often! I also used my Scor-Pal for a few more lines to frame the image.

Size: 4.25 x 5.5 inches
Paper: PTI white, SU! Night of Navy
Ink: SU! Basic Gray, SU! white craft ink, silver Gelly Roll pen
Stamps: SU! To You & Yours
Embossing: Nestabilities, Cuttlebug, and Scor-Pal

Friday, October 17, 2008

Real World Color 2

The second installment of a Real World Color assignment comes with a palette that just does not flow with JoLynn's stash of stuff. However, oddly, I found some things that did, indeed, include orange and pink (yeesh). That was a bit of a search. I found the dotted paper within my scraps. Hooray! The stickers were some Stampin Up! stickers, I believe from a Simply Scrappin' set, that worked really well. The title is rub ons from Daisy D's. They went on better than any rub ons I have ever used. They were fantastic, and don't they look cool? Almost as if printed from my PC.

Cathy wanted us to focus this layout on two people we knew. A compare/contrast... I almost found myself doing a Venn diagram... but then... I stopped! Whew! Anyway, I thought maybe I would do Karen and Jessie, but I didn't want to do that without giving them editorial privileges (hee hee), so I decided upon my husband and my older son. Just look at them! So handsome, and so twins separated at birth. I swear... I have pictures... I really am his mother. He looks almost 100% like his dad. Crazy. But lucky him, as I actually think his dad is a pretty good-looking guy. And his dad thinks his looks will make him a total "chick magnet." He's so humble.

Anyway, I also thought this was a good time to use these little Daily Inspiration cards from My Sentiments Exactly! I found them at The Keepsake Element. I was just standing there waiting to pay for my goods, and I saw them in a box on the counter. I knew I could find some use for them in my works.

This is still part of last week's work on asymmetry. One more thing Cathy asked of us was to find asymmetry in the world. I could not resist scanning my haircut from 1986. First, look how blasted thin I was! I think I was doing my Jane Fonda workout that week! Second, how cool was I with my asymmetrical haircut? Yeah. Cool. I know. And a little blurry.

Cards for a Cause

For those, like me, who produce cards at a faster rate than you need them, here is a link to a great outreach from Splitcoaststampers called Cards for a Cause.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Multi-Level Challenge

Level 1 of Challenge: Well, I had a fun time with my scanner and this double-page spread! The fine art of scanning 12 x 12 pages is hard enough. When you have to now make it 24 x 12, oooh eeee! That was a toughie. It's definitely not my scanning skills that will win me big bucks! I tried to take a photo of this, but it just would not take well.

Level 2 of Challenge: "Jumping the gutter" was the hard part of this layout. This means that you actually cut pictures over the, well, "gutter," between the two pages. Not too hard to do, but something that made scanning a total pain. It added a nice effect to the asymmetrical sketch.

Level 3 of Challenge: My photos had to be scanned. Some of them were quite old and/or yellowing and/or browing. (I feel so young...ha ha) I had to actually photograph my picture from my wedding album to get a decent image of this matted 8 x 10.

Level 4 of Challenge: I have been tinkering with ideas of scrapbooking thoughts and images of my father for some time now. Thinking and saying I would do it and actually doing it were two very different things. It was tremendously difficult to work with these pictures. Each has its own meaning. Since my journaling is a little hard to read in the scan, here is a transcript:

This was an incredibly difficult layout for me to do, but one that was 15 years in the making. The fact that I could actually do this and not have a total breakdown shows some growth in my grief. These are photos of my father, who died in 1993 at the age of 65. I was 23 when he passed away… almost 24. He did not think that he would be around for many of the days pictured, particularly to see me graduate from high school or college. However, he lived to experience both. I have been living in regret of the things he has “missed”… the birth and lives of my children, seeing me earn my Master’s and National Board certification, knowing that I teach math and science (among other subjects). I know he has experienced them. It is I who misses him at these events. -10/15/2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Design Your Life - Asymmetry

Ah, yes, asymmetry. This is JoLynn's gig. While I am not ga-ga in love with this page, I am ga-ga in love with the concepts behind it.

Asymmetry involves intentionally not having one side of the layout the same as the other. I always knew there was something good to being a little off, you know?

Anyway, I knew I wanted to do a baby photo page with both of my boys on it. It was a touch one, as the photos I chose didn't exactly fit all of Cathy's measurements for this sketch. However, I still think it's adorable. When I saw her template, with the "you" panel for the journaling, I could not get the Aerosmith song, "Angel," out of my head. I mean, it's how I honestly feel about my children. "You're the reason I live, You're the reason I die, You're the reason I give, When I break down and cry, Don't need no reason why, Baby, baby, baby, You're my angel..." I have been missing their "babyhood" lately.

I kept embellishments simple. The gray, blue combo reminds me of the colors we used to paint Ignatius' nursery 12 years ago. We had a Thomas the Tank Engine theme.

The Thickers ticked me off a bit. Very gummy adhesive that failed to stick very well.

Anyway, it is 12:30 AM, I am tired, but I had to get this layout out of my head. More to come, I hope, tomorrow.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Too much buck, not enough bang

Well, I decided to try Beate's weekend sketch, as I needed a card for our great-nephew Luke's birthday. Her sketch was a very fun one. Unfortunately, I had to use a Peanuts stamp I had just bought which was way too big to be true to the sketch. But I tried, and that says something, right?
Measurement was my issue throughout. I started it last night, Stamp-a-majig in hand, with the intention of having Snoopy and his "bird posse" going in an arc and through the smaller circle. Well, let's just say the stamp did not want to do this as badly as I wanted to make it work. Finally, I just stamped it on white and colored it with Copics and Spicas. I used the clear Spicas for glitter on the hats, balloons, and letters, and I used a blue Spica for the dots on the yellow circle.
The bottom partial circle drove my color choices. I bought it this weekend for half off and Scrapbook Friend'z. I was pretty excited to use it, but I have to say, there's very little left because of how many times I had to cut circles. I used my Cricut, finally, at the 5 inch "real dial size" setting to get a circle with a large enough radius to lay correctly in the layout. For the other circles, I used my Coluzzle template. Now, I must say... what is the allure to the Coluzzle? I have used it again and again, and the little tabs that you have to snip just anger me. What's the point of a template if I am still going to crew it up when I snip it? Anyone else feel that way, or am I missing some "Coluzzle magic?"
In all, I think the card looks very cute. As it's for a little boy, not much on the frills side was necessary. However, it took way too much time for the simple outcome. Live and learn. :)
Size: 4.25 x 5.5 inches
Paper: Bazzill brown, SU! Barely Banana, PTI white, Junkitz Laguna Guy Checkers
Stamp: Stampabilities Snoopy/Happy Birthday
Ink: Adirondack Pitch Black, Copics Y11, C3, BG72, SU! Summer Sun marker, Spicas
Also... dimensionals

Saturday, October 11, 2008

IC149 - Mizue Hirano

Yes, I went completely out of my comfort zone today. We were to gather inspiration from the watercolor works of Mizue Hirano. I know I really should dig more into watercolors, but, the truth is, the abstractness of them is a little intimidating to me. I love to see watercolor done well, but I am usually not the one doing it.

My inspiration piece is shown. Of course it was a chocolate container. I mean, it's me, right? I saw this and basically several stamps and inks came into my mind immediately. That's always good. I tried to stay true to most pf the colors and the basic design. I really like how the sentiment panel turned out. You can't see it too well in the photo, but the white card base is attached to a panel of black cardstock and then that is mounted on a panel of SU! Pretty in Pink. I tried just the black, but it washed almost all the color out of the stamped images.
Size: 4.5 x 5.25 inches
Paper: PTI white, SU! Pretty in Pink, black
Stamps: SU! On Your Birthday, Mixed Bouquet, Enjoy Every Moment, Pick a Petal, Simply Circles
Ribbon: Offray black grosgrain
Ink: SU! Craft White, Lovely Lilac, Regal Rose, Pretty in Pink, and Pumpkin Pie

Friday, October 10, 2008

OCD - The Way for Me

All righty. Tonight, I was bemoaning the fact that I needed "more space" for my materials. I have some black modular cubes. I really would like a couple more. My hubby, of course, asked, "Why don't you just throw some stuff away?" While I didn't fully appreciate his insinuation, reminding him how much the craft saves me in therapy bills, it did make me ponder the use of my cardstock file drawer.

Long ago, I purchased off of Ebay tags for hanging file folders. The tags were for each of the cardstock colors at the time. For a while, I had a file for each color. Tonight, I realized how much space that wasted. So, I reorganized. Yes, it took a long time. But I did find space. I also created a ring using my curly punch of each of the colors I had. Thank goodness for old catalogs, as some of the names for some of the In Colors escaped me. Plus, some of the hues are SO similar. Cranberry Crisp and Bravo Burgundy... hardly a difference.

So the photos are of my finished drawer and ring, and the mess that was on my floor after rearranging the hanging files. Fun! Next... my scraps. But not tonight. That is for another day.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Real World Color I

Well, Cathy picked a great color combination to challenge us. I love this palette, but I have to say I spent a lot of time changing my mind on patterned paper. I knew I wanted to use some, but I kept arguing with myself over what I wanted to use.

I dug in to Ignatius' picture album from his first days, as yesterday's spread was all about King Max. Glad I was medicated. You know, the 3 AM feedings, the diaper changing... that stuff is such a pain. But there are some things about infancy that I just adore and can never get back. May I always remember what it was like to first hold my boys!

Cathy's sketch was for a simple 8.5" x 11" page. I really can't believe how, when I am finally sitting and focusing, I can whip these pages out. I used some of my stickers from Stampin' Up!'s Summer Home Simply Scrappin' kit. The sentiments on the stickers were perfect for this layout.

Baja Breeze is now becoming one of my all-time favorite cardstocks. I also used SU!'s Afternoon Tea patterned paper.

Design Your Life - 8.5" x 11" Symmetry

Here's the next installment for my Design Your Life class. We are still working on symmetry, but this one is a double-page spread using 8.5 x 11" paper rather than 12 x 12" paper. I also attempted to "stitch" this image by scanning both sheets and combining them on a canvas in Photoshop. Yeah, so here's my {stupid} question for Photoshoppers... Why does it say the image size is, say, 8.5 x 11, but when you actually try to mess with it on a canvas, it's truly ginormous? Obviously, I missed something about file size vs. actual size in my class. I have to make it say 3 inches by whatever before I get a manageable image size. If you know how to counsel me on this topic, feel free to comment!

My hubby thought I was a nutcase while I was taking these photos. We were asked to work with something we liked (or in my case, an obsession). Here you go... sugar. The nectar of the gods. I have used it for so many things... comfort, energy, compulsion... I thought it was time that it had its own page. I was humming the Candyman song from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory as I was making the page, so I decided to script as much of the song as I could as a border for the layout. I think it looks cute. Then I used my SU! sweet stamp from So Very as my page title.

Despite the fact that I couldn't line the pages up completely, the scanned image didn't turn out too badly, either.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Design Your Life - Sketch 1

This week, the Design Your Life class is focusing on symmetrical design. I have had this layout in my head. I forced myself to stay up and get it done, as I have another layout yet to complete this week to stay on schedule.

Cathy's sketch was very clean. I had very little problem following through with this, as she always appeals to my need for a sense of order. LOVE the Thickers... "Sprinkles." Perfect for a glitzy boy page.

My text reads: "There should be no doubt in anyone's mind. One person rules the Plato kingdom. His dad might think he is the monarch (or tyrant most days), but honestly, he should know better. The baby of the family reigns! These photos were shot when I got my Stamping Royalty crown. As soon as Max saw it, he knew it was meant for him. I wouldn't have it any other way. Long live King Maximilian (minus the Doritos beard)! 9/12/2008"

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Too much is never enough

I was about to mail my brother's card when I realized that my niece (his daughter) had a birthday at the end of September. Nope, didn't send her a card yet.

This stamp looks so... "her." I really think she will enjoy it. On the inside, I used the SU! On Your Birthday "Happy Birthday" and "(a little late)" sentiments. I am becoming quite proficient at belated cards. Could be a market for me, eh?

This fulfills yet another SCS World Cardmaking Day challenge! This one is the limited supplies challenge. We were to avoid pastels and patterned paper. I love limiting supplies. It forces me to really think about colors, textures, and balance. I wished I had a cute yoga-ish, birthday-ish saying for this stamp. I settled for the sentiment from SU! Full of Life.

Size: 4.25 x 5.5 inches

Paper: (I think) SU! Garden Green, Only Orange, and PTI white

Stamps: SU! Full of Life and On Your Birthday, Stamping Bella yogabella

Embellishments: SU! Felt Fusion flowers, silver brads, Dimensionals

Coloring Media: Adirondack Pitch Black, Copics (Willow, Brick Beige, Skin White, Flesh, Cool Gray), SU! Brilliant Blue

Idiots... and then there's me...

So, it's 1:17 a.m., and some dorks in the neighborhood ring the doorbell. This makes me scratch my head almost as much as cow-tipping. Everyone in my house is asleep, except me. Since I have some lights on, what else could be funnier, I suppose, than to ring our doorbell? I guess the question is, who is the bigger idiot, them or me (for being awake making cards)? Your choice. :) Ah, the midwest... excitement that can't be had anywhere else.

Anyway, I was making a card for a friend... I have been horribly remiss in sending her a card after her husband passed away at the end of August. It's almost embarrassing to send it now, but to not send it at all would be terrible.

So, I used another World Cardmaking Day challenge. This time, we were asked to use the Coldwater Creek catalog as inspiration. Many of the colors of the season were inspiring. So, I just decided to find a happy medium of patterns and colors that would fit. I found in my newer Club SEI mini-kit some papers that were just delicious. The papers are from SEI's Windsor collection. I paired them up with SU! Really Rust and Chocolate Chip, adding some Oriental Trading velvet ribbon and some gold brads I had hanging around. I used a stamp from my SU! Hope for Comfort set. I distressed the panels just a bit to take away some harsh contrast.
Now, off to bed before the din-dong ditchers strike again. :) Ah, to be young and stupid.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Oh, there's more!

Apparently, I am on fire here. Crazy creative juices.

Here is my submission for WCMDFS08. We were to look at the SCS gallery of SherryLC05 for inspiration. INDEED! Lots of good stuff. With featured stampers, I enjoy taking a journey from their beginnings. I CASEd a card that SherryLC05 did a while back (shown), and I put a little '08 twist to it. I tried to incorporate the green, but the blue and white would not let me.

I really, really like how this turned out. It's a belated birthday card for my niece, whose birthday was Friday.

I have no idea where I got the clear tab. I think it was a Bazzill giveaway at something I attended. Anyway, loved that I had it. I inked it with a white Adirondack acrylic dauber. To stamp on it, I colored part of the SU! Define Your Life "wish" definition with my black Bic Mark it. I huffed... I puffed... I stamped. I cleaned it right away, and all survived the experience. I really wanted to use the wish definition, but I wasn't sure how to balance it without having the card become to cluttered.
Size: 4.25 x 5.5 inches
Paper: SU! Baja Breeze and Maine Blueberry DSP
Stamps: SU! Define Your Life
Accessories: Sheer white ribbon and silver brads
Ink: Adirondack white acrylic, black Bic Mark it