Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Every New Beginning...

So this is (semi) new and exciting:


I went to the doctor for my first arm follow up in the beginning of August and asked him if I should be concerned that my left wrist hurts (especially when I go like "that") and he pressed, prodded, twisted and bent.  And sent me for an MRI.  Great. So last Thursday I had my MRI and today I went in for the results.  Turns out I have a "grade 2 sprain" (no surgery required, but torn ligaments) and a ganglion cyst that's just large enough and positioned in just the right way that it really hurts when I go like "this."  So, I'm splinted for the next two weeks all the time and the next month at work.  Because yeah...my coworkers already think I'm a big baby...  Oh well.  Bigger ganglion cysts require surgery, but mine is small enough that he hopes immobilization and anti-inflammatory patches will bring it down and ease the pain.

That was some walk. :(

So, it's really weird typing with this thing on, so if you see odd typos...blame it on the splint. ;)

BUT, this is what I really wanted to share:



Maggie left for RIT last Saturday and the night before Kerig was generous enough to take us out to dinner.  (Thanks, Kerig! )  As we were headed out I had him take a picture of us together.  The next day I printed it out, and gathered a whole bunch of papers and embellishments, thinking I would scrapbook the next day.  Except I was tired, and frankly, a little too blue.  So the pile sat around for another week, and then I finally scrapped it.

And I even made a video:



And despite talking for 12 full minutes I still have stuff to say!  

  1. The title comes from a Semisonic song called "Closing Time."  I'm sure you've heard it, it starts "Closing time. You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here."  In it, there's a line that says "every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."  Which is both optimistic and bittersweet at the same time.  And heaven knows, when it comes to Maggie heading back to school, I am nothing if not "optimistic and bittersweet."  As I look at the picture of the two of us, I'm so excited for her! She's getting her first new apartment, she's headed into her junior year and she's learning SO much!  I know that her future is so bright!  But I also know this: the summer has ended for her and she's going away.  I'll be lucky if she comes home for Thanksgiving for a couple of days and a couple of weeks at Christmastime.  Next summer she'll most likely have an internship.  While it makes me sad that she probably won't come home at all, these internships are a big part of RIT's draw - they get these kids in the doors of major companies, getting them exposure, practical experience and connections within the industry they're persuing.  Optimistic. Bittersweet.  Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.
  2. If you chose not to watch the video, you might assume that the layout has no journalling.  In fact, the entire back side of the layout talks about that stuff ^^, as well as all the stuff that Maggie accomplished this summer. 
  3. I'm not loving this layout.  The more I look at it, the less it bothers me, but it will never be a favorite  The big ampersand seems a little forced, and not in keeping with the way I usually do things.  It makes me a little uncomfortable, even.  And I really hate the way the title looks.  I love the idea of the title.  A lot.  But the actual execution leaves a lot to be desired.  I think I have a strong preference for titles that are cut from cardstock.  And the word "beginning" is just ridiculously long.  In order for it to be the right width, it ends up being shorter than I'd like.  I wanted to emphasize the word "beginning" but it just sort of ends up being blah and even a little hard to read.  
I wonder if anyone else feels this way: The more special the photo, the harder it is to do it justice in making the layout.  I just had higher hopes for this photo.  I think that just means that I need to hunt down a great square frame, so I can put this photo on display in my home.  

And send her a copy, too, so she doesn't forget her dear ol' mom.

I promise this wasn't all some schemed up pitch to lead into this, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that I'm trying to raise money to buy her a computer that can handle the software she needs.  I've had a doozy of a summer, and you can read more about why I'm humbly asking for your help at my GoFundMe page.

As always, thanks for stopping by! 


Monday, August 25, 2014

Process Video Set Up

Today I made a layout and video taped it.  I'll edit the video later - tomorrow and Tuesday as time permits.  But while I had everything set up I thought I'd snap a few pictures of my set up.

I've been watching process videos for better than a year now, I think they're fun and I gain so much from watching them.  Sometimes I'm inspired by the actual layout, but sometimes I see better ways of doing things, or organizing, or I get a glimpse into the decision process that goes into another's layout.  It made me want to share, too!  But I couldn't figure out the logistics, and there's very little information out there.  I was plagued with questions.

  • How do you get the camera perfectly parallel to the work surface?
  • Can you video tape upside down and flip the video right side up?
  • How do you deal with the lighting?
  • How do you add narration?
I have a feeling that a vast majority of process-video-makers use a tripod.  And I have a tripod, and it even has "shoulder" and "arm" that allow me to shoot straight down.  Perfect for shooting parallel to the work surface, only the thing weights a ton.  And while that's obviously an exaggeration, it is far too heavy for my work surface.  

Kerig has seen me watch these videos for a while now, and when I mentioned that I'd make them, too, if I could figure out the tripod issue, he started brainstorming about ways to get the job done. Cheap.   Free.  (This discussion took place when I was out of work with my broken arm. There was no way I could justify spending money on this.)  We talked for a while and we realized that we had the answer all along:


This is called a copy stand, and in the pre-digital dinosaur days, before all-in-one printers that cost less than a decent pair of shoes, if you wanted something copied, you had it photocopied.  Like, an actual photo.  A copy stand was used, it has marking on the platform to line up your artwork or documents, and then there's the post and arm.  There are two cranks that let you raise on lower the camera, and slide it along the arm to position the camera closer-to or further-from the post.  In its traditional set up, that arm would extend over the platform.

And that's how it was set up in my original process videos, but as you can see, the platform is an inch or so off the table.  The platform is plenty big enough for the actual layout, but it made it awkward to use the trimmer and set things down around the layout.  I asked Kerig if we could take the arm off and mount it backwards so I could just use my regular mat instead of the platform.  Turns out, you can!  

This isn't where I usually scrapbook (my usual desk is talked about here.) so when I get prepared to do one of these videos I try to anticipate everything I'll need.  Much of that gets piled on the platform so it's closer.  Handy, eh?

In the upper left hand photo, you can see the self healing mat that I use.  I used some yellow washi tape to mark off a square to corral my layout in.  I found out after the first video was done that I didn't know how easy it was to work out of frame.  With the tape down, I have a reminder that if I'm not working in the box, no one is seeing what I'm doing.  Has that been a magic cure all?  No! But I feel like I'm getting better. :)

I sold cameras for 12 years, and I know a little bit about photography, but what I know about video you can fit in a thimble. With room left over for a goldfish.  One of the things that I do know, though, is that you can't get your camera to close focus  if you've got the lens zoomed out at all.  Of course, knowing something and remembering it are two different things. It took me until the third video to realize it and lower the camera on the post instead of relying on the zoom to get it framed up the way I wanted.  

So that's my set up.  Copy stands can be found at B&H and Adorama new, and ebay both new and used.  I'd look on craigslist, and even put up an ISO post - a lot of old school photographers had them, and wouldn't necessarily think to list them.  

As for my other big concerns:

Can you flip the video? Yes, absolutely!  I'm just using Windows Live Movie Maker, and it came on my computer, but I'll bet it can be downloaded for free if you don't have it.  The program is pretty easy to figure out and once the clip is loaded into the software you can easy rotate it 90, 180, or 270 degrees.  It also easily allows you to speed up the video to 2,4, 8 times the speed and even allows you to slow it down.  If played back at regular speed, the sound ambient sound when you work is heard (so you can narrate while you work...or else it's going to pick up the t.v. and all the conversations happening.).  If you speed it up, no sound plays at all.

How do you add narration?  I use "Sound Recorder" which also came with my computer.  I had no idea what program I had, so I used the search box in the start menu and searched on "record" and it came up.  Once the video is all flipped and sped up I watch it once or twice so I know how it's going to go.  I have a Turtle Beach headset, the kind gamers use. (I'm not a gamer though... I needed them for online classes)  I start my recording software and then quickly start the video and record my narration.  I don't care about sound or noise when I'm making the video, but I'll set the furnace so I know it won't go on and turn off any fans and other noise makers.  And honestly, I don't usually get it where I want it to be the first time around.  Once I'm happy with the narration, I save it somewhere where I can find it, and in Windows Live Movie Maker I click "add music".  It prompts me to find the music I want to use, so I just find the narration I just saved.  

What about lighting? I don't really have any sage words of wisdom for this one.  My table is very tall, and there's a nearby ceiling fan with 3 60 watt bulbs and it seems to provide plenty of light, and my camera seems to do a great job of adjusting its white balance.  When I first turn the camera on, there's a yellow cast, but within a second or two it adjusts and my white is white. (yay!)   

So that's my set up!  By far the biggest hurdle was getting the camera mounted, and after that was solved, everything fell into place.  I am NOT an expert! Heck, I've only got 4 videos up.  But like I said, I had a hard time getting any answers, so I thought I'd share what I'd figured out so far.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask.  What I can answer, I will!  


Also: GoFundMe  ☺

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 22, 2014

An Update...

Hello friends of all kinds!  Happy to see you again!  I just wanted to do a quick update on the state of my GoFundMe campaign.  Things have been hectic around here lately.  Maggie left for school last Saturday, so of course there was a whirlwind of activity surrounding that.  I'm back to work full time and Kerig just went back to work at St. B's, serving and protecting a great group of kids.  So it feels like the campaign took a backseat.  But things are settling in finally and it needs a shot in the arm.

Firstly, there's been some behind-the-scenes work going on!  Today I was able to lower the goal to $1000!  Kerig generously gave me a lens to sell to put towards the fund.  Yay Kerig! So that gave a big boost!  I did a senior portrait session and put that towards my goal as well.  And I just got a twice a week tutoring job, so I'm putting that money towards this as well.  So we're rolling right along!

But we're still (as of today) $800 shy of where I'm hoping to be.

The Linkie Level
So I've added a reward level.  Now, not to brag, but this little blog does get a decent amount of traffic.  I mean, you're here, right? ;)  So that's one...  But seriously, in the last year I'm averaging about 2000 unique page views a month, and with the addition of process videos being posted, that seems to be on the rise. So I've decided to leverage that viewership towards my goal.  I'm not CathyZ or AliE, sure, and I'm not even sure how well blog advertising works, BUT:

For a one-time donation of $50 to my GoFundMe campaign  I will put up a Linkie on the sidebar of my blog and leave it there until December 31, 2015.  2015 - that's SIXTEEN months of link-back for a donation to what I think is a really excellent cause.  

Think about it.  Every time someone clicks thru from Pintrest to look at a Valentine project, an organizational idea, layout or even the occasional recipe, your Linkie will be right there.  Until the goal is reached the GoFundMe will be at the top, with the Linkies just under that.  Once the goal is reached the Linkies will be at the very top.  I don't anticipate dozens of $50 donations (although I do think that $50 for 16 months is a pretty sweet deal) but in the interest of fairness, any donations greater than $50 will be at the top.

My blog has never been a business for me, and as such I'm sure there are questions that I haven't thought of and kinks that might need to be worked out.  You can ask me in the comments or feel free to email me at cnd3167atyahoo.

And no post is ever complete without some kind of image.

charcoal piece by Maggie Davis
Maggie is now studying Industrial Design at RIT, so she's not doing the same kind of straight-up art that she did in high school.  (and I love her decision to stay with something that she loves, but having the sense to tweak it into something that she'll be able to support herself with...yay, for practicality!)  But in high school there was lots and lots of drawing.  She often gravitated to images of strong females.

This one is of my grandmother, from a photo taken in the 1930's.  And she was one strong woman.  She worked as a nurse, owned a farmette (and could therefore milk a cow and kill a chicken...and then fry it up in a pan), she was a mother of six, ran a boarding house during the depression, and in her retirement drove from Baltimore to San Francisco 3 times all by herself!

Maggie did a fantastic job of making an old, small, cracked and faded snapshot into a gorgeous piece of art that really captures the essence of who Grace Noble was.

Please consider a donation (of any size) to the GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a new computer and software to help Maggie take her skills to the next level.  Your generosity will help form another generation of strong women.



Monday, August 11, 2014

He ain't heavy...

Well, I just finished my first full week of work since the break, and I'm plum tuckered out!  But as it turns out, I can veg out, put my arm on ice and edit a process video.

...and drink a beer.  It's not really Saturday night if there's not a beer. ;)

I issued a challenge on the Paperclipping forums to be inspired by a song.  I may well be the only person who does it, but that's okay.  I like challenges.  I like a deadline and some parameters, so even if ends up just being a personal challenge, that's okay.

I took a picture of Ted and his (future, I suppose) step-brother last week.  It was picture day for the football team, and the parents were invited to take pictures on the field after the team picture was finished.  While I was thinking about where to position Ted, Ricky came out of no where and jumped into Ted's arms.  I managed to snap a coupe of pictures of the two of them before Ted put him down.


There's a process video here, if you're interest in the whole, big story.

The word "brother" is from the Silhouette store. "Heavy" is done in impact, and the grey letter stickers are from Kelly Purkey at SimonSaysStamp.com.


There was a fair amount of journaling for this picture, which is printed at 4x4.  The title is pretty big and longer that I usually do, which really limited my space.  So I used the Silhouette software to create print-and-cuts - my journaling (the print part) on tags (the cut part).  Normally I go the lazy route, where I cut tags, journal in Word and then try to tape the tag (or other shape) to a sheet of printer paper and hope it prints in the right place.  Oddly, the "lazy way" is probably a lot harder than doing it the print-n-cut way.

So that's pretty much that for the layout.  There's LOTS more that I ramble about in the video, but I've already been sort of redundant...

☺☺☺

I wanted to prod you one more time to take a look at the "No Scrapbook Police" blog series that recently wrapped up.  The last post was made by our hostess, Cara Vincens.   Her beautiful post debunks the myth of being caught up.  Is there such a thing?  Not really, but she's got some good quotes to support her thoughts...AND a really cute baby.  Seriously, it's worth looking just for the little boy named Cederic.  So adorable.

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And lastly:


(circa 2008)

She hates this picture.  But hello?  Those braids?  Love.

Please check out the GoFundMe site and consider a small donation.  Or a big one.  I'm okay with either. ;)

Thank you so much for stopping by!  I hope you're enjoying your summer!


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Set it free, baby!

Hello scrappy friends!  Today is my BIG DAY in this amazing blog series:


I started scrapbooking in 1998 and back in the old days, the scrapbook police were pretty heavy handed.  Rules were everywhere and while no wrists were ever actually slapped, the threat was palpable.   

Things have definitely calmed down, but there still an underlying sense of “shoulds” that exist.  And they’re good guidelines, I suppose, but I’m here to say: This is a hobby, and you SHOULD do what makes you happy.  For me, that’s the only hard and fast “should” to live by.

Like so many of us, I got started when I had young children.  I had shoeboxes of photos and 2 children with a third on the way.  I saw a friend’s scrapbook and knew instantly that I wanted in!  I followed the rules vigilantly for a long time.  Everything was acid free.  I’m not even sure I know what lignin is anymore, but I know there isn’t any of that bad stuff in my earliest albums! I set out to record our history and document their every stage in their growing up years.

But something happened along the way: I started scrapping more for me than for them.

HUH?  Yup. I now scrapbook for me.  Because somewhere along the way I decided that I really enjoyed the process of scrapbooking.  I felt it was my responsibility to document those formative years, those things that they might forget otherwise.  But they’re older now.  Capable of keeping a journal, a blog, or *gasp* their very own scrapbooks.  Now that they’re older, I feel free to  do things differently:

I scrapbook the stories that I want to tell, and I don’t feel obligated to document every occasion.  For example: I rarely even take pictures on Christmas morning.  The scrapbooker in me says that I should, but I’d rather live that time uninterrupted. 

We're off to a great start, right?
Bear with me...it gets better.

 I embrace my sense of humor, and while I try to keep it PG-13 (ish), I don’t edit myself too much. I want my personality to show, more than I want the world to think I’m perfect.


Sometimes I scrapbook the cruddy things in life. I don’t scrapbook every cruddy thing, mind you, but if I feel like I want or need to, I don’t shy away from it.  That said, I don’t always display these layouts.  More often than not, these layouts get slid between others in the page protectors.  For me, the creation of the layout is therapeutic, but I don’t necessarily want to revisit it.  Of course, not all cruddy things are so serious that you can’t have a little fun with it:


  
I use the products that *I* want to use.  There are some trends that I can’t wait to jump into, and others I’m happy to wave at as they pass by.    Also, if a page about my Mr. ends up with a little pink on it, well, so be it.



 I scrapbook about me, and I do so unapologetically.  Guess what? I matter, too!  And if there’s one thing I hope everyone reading takes away, it’s this point: YOU belong in your albums, too.  (Feel free to check out the explanation on this layout to get the full version of this philosophy)  If you’re used to scrapbooking about your family, this may feel awkward at first, but you probably wouldn’t hesitate to make a page about your children or your spouse…so why not you??


And if you're uncomfortable with this, think of it as gift to those you leave behind.  Image the period after you go, and your children or spouse or friends or siblings going through your albums.  Imagine how much those layouts about you will mean to them.  All those people you love and scrapbook about?? They love you, too.  

So that's my thinking.  I'd be lying if I said I don't take my family into consideration when I scrap.  I do.  But I do it for me.  This isn't a burden, it's a gift...my hobby, my therapy, my happy place.

Want some more scrapbook liberation??  Be sure to visit the other stops on the "Set Your Scrapbooking Free" express!

August 4 - Paige Evans
A Scrapbooking page SHOULD always have a story and lots of journaling

August 5 - Ashli Oliver
Scrapbook pages SHOULD be fast and simple to just get them done
August 6 - Jen Gallacher
Scrapbook pages SHOULD look perfect
August 7 - Melissa Shanhun
Digital scrapbook pages should look as much like a paper page as possible 
August 8 - Ashley Calder
Scrapbooking SHOULD be done *this* way  
August 9 - Caroline Davis
A Scrapbooker SHOULD scrapbook FOR her family
August 10 - Lisa Harris
Scrapbooking SHOULD be a legacy for the scrapbooker's family
August 11 - Connie Hanks
A scrapbooker SHOULD follow the trends and be aware of what others think of her pages
A Scrapbooker SHOULD scrapbook chronologically
August 13 - Nancy Gaines
Scrapbooking SHOULD be 12x12 traditional paper pages
August 14 - Cara Vincens
A scrapbooker SHOULD always be caught up


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You know what those hearts mean.  Time to talk about my daughter again! 



This is Maggie, her younger sister Molly and I after Maggie's graduation in 2012.  She's getting ready to head into her junior year at RIT (the Rochester Institute of Technology) where she's pursuing a BFA in industrial design.  

Maggie is laser focused on her goals.  She earned a $25,000 annual scholarship, has student loans and a grant to cover the massive $45,000 tuition.  She earned straight A's last year and worked two jobs on campus.  This summer she's been working full time to earn money to cover her gas and food.  She found an apartment off campus with some roommates to shave $3000 off the costs.  

But there's one tiny detail.  Maggie needs a new computer.  The work that she does is all on the Adobe Creative Suite - InDesign, Illustrator, PhotoShop, etc.  The computer she has now chokes on Word, let alone even PhotoShop Elements.  And here's the hitch: Mom (me) has had a rough year financially.  I'll let you poke around the blog for the story, it's all there.  And unfortunately I just can't make a new computer happen for her.  

So I'm asking you to consider donating a couple dollars to a GoFundMe account that I set up.  Under better circumstances, I wouldn't dream of asking for help.  But I am not in better circumstances.  And I hate that my situation might affect any of my children, much less the one who's at that critical moment in her life.  It's this education and her passion that will prevent her from ever being where I am now.    

"Many hands make light work."  (John Heywood)

Please consider.

Thank you!

And thank you for stopping by!  I hope you'll visit again soon, and feel free to check out my newly created YouTube channel.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Seeing Red

I went back to the doctor this week and my lift restrictions were modified.  I still have to be very careful, I can't life for hours on end, and I can't lift anything very heavy, but I can lift.  I took my doctor's note into work, a little scared that I'd be turned away until I got the all clear.  Turns out my boss was very happy to see me and was super accommodating.  He got me all set up and I actually had my first day back the next day.

I was so happy and relieved.  After I talked to my boss I had to talk to the HR lady.  On the walk from A to B I actually started to tear up.  It's been a financially scary summer, and we're not out of the woods, but it feels better to be here rather than there.  Ya know??

So happy and relieved, in fact, that when I got home I set to working on a layout.  I only got the pictures printed and a title cut, but the ball was rolling.  The title - Seeing Red - usually refers to being angry.  This time, I mean it literally.  If you work at Target, you see red.  All. Day. Long.  :)


I like the way it turned out.  It's not frilly, but then again, neither is unloading trucks at Target.

Edited to add: If you like process videos, the video for this layout is up on YouTube.  

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Are you following along with the "Set Scrapbooking Free" series?  If not, you really should.  Today's stop is at Ashley Calder's place.  She's debunking the myth that there's a certain right way to scrapbook.  That can't be true, can it??  Go check out what Ashley has to say to be sure. ;)

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Do you listen to NPR?  I do!  I love RadioLab, Market Place, This American Life, Queue with ...oh heck, I'm not even going to try to spell that guys name!, as well as some of our local shows that keep in me in touch with all of Cleveland's and Ohio's concerns. 

Twice a year they ask me for money.  I like the content of the station, so when I can give, I do.  I've given as little as $10.  It's what I had, and it helped get them to their goal. 

I will not come to you twice a year like clockwork.
I cannot offer you a handcrank radio, or a mug, or a tote.
There is no 800 number for you to call.
There are no operators standing by.

But I am asking.  Please consider visiting the GoFundMe page and donating a little something to help a smart, driven, hard working girl get the one back to school item that's way out of mom's league. 

If you like the content here...
If you've got a soft spot for education...
If you there's a little bit of Girl Power in you...
If your own kids have past the back-to-school phase...

Please consider.

Okay then!  Happy Friday thank you so much for stopping by! 

Caroline

p.s.  That blog series??  I may be up next...so stop by again soon. ;)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Back to School

We still have about a week and a half before everyone in our clan heads back to their respective schools.  It's going to be awfully quiet around here when that happens!  But the buzz is in the air.  You know how that goes...  So when I flipped through my album this morning, this seemed like an appropriate layout to share:


I've been walking down memory lane - in a scrapbooking industry kinda way - a lot lately.  Even though it doesn't really affect me, I think the Studio Calico/Big Picture merger, especially on the heals of 2Peas closing has probably been a big reason.  Then on last week's episode of the Roundtable there were a whole lot of bygone products and companies (and a font!) that were mentioned.

This layout is from either late 2000 or early 2001.  Does anyone remember the company Keeping Memories Alive?  They had tons of tone on tone prints, and I had made a huge order of their paper.  That's all their patterned paper here.  Yes, matching blue, green, yellow AND red.  All m'bases covered!  Usually I don't like primary colors all grouped together, but there's something about the quaintness of that paper that makes it forgivable. :P  Does anyone recognize the letter stickers in the subtitle?  I had to re-adhere 5 letters before taking the picture.  Oops.

The other thing from this layout that makes me all nostalgic is the letter templates for the title.  They were from Pebbles in my Pocket.  And I *loved* Pebbles in my Pocket.  I credit them for helping me find my style.  They had a magazine that made Creating Keepsake look like...blech.  At the time, CK was still showing pages with sticker sneeze on white backgrounds with silhouetted photos.  Meanwhile, Pebbles in my Pocket was showing pages on black backgrounds (*gasp*!!) with full square photos and fun, colorful titles cut from their templates. It seemed somehow very sophisticated in comparison, but still very fun. They made and sold the templates and had their own cardstock that was - in its time - luxurious: thick, rich, beautiful...everything you want in a ... cardstock.  ;)

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Hey!  Are you a digital scrapbooker, or thinking about going that route?  Then you should take a trip over to Melissa Shanhun's blog.  She's debunking the myth that digital scrapbook pages should be made to look like traditional scrapbook pages.  She's got some amazing techniques to share!  Good stuff!

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Do you listen to NPR?  I do!  I love RadioLab, Market Place, This American Life, Queue with ...oh heck, I'm not even going to try to spell that guys name!, as well as some of our local shows that keep in me in touch with all of Cleveland's and Ohio's concerns.

Twice a year they ask me for money.  I like the content of the station, so when I can give, I do.  I've given as little as $10.  It's what I had, and it helped get them to their goal.

I will not come to you twice a year like clockwork.
I cannot offer you a handcrank radio, or a mug, or a tote.
There is no 800 number for you to call.
There are no operators standing by.

But I am asking.  Please consider visiting the GoFundMe page and donating a little something to help a smart, driven, hard working girl get the one back to school item that's way out of mom's league.

If you like the content here...
If you've got a soft spot for education...
If you there's a little bit of Girl Power in you...
If your own kids have past the back-to-school phase...

Please consider.

Thank you for stopping by this Thursday!  And seriously - do you remember KMA?  What manufacturer to you miss most?  Let me know, I'd love to read your comments! 




Monday, August 4, 2014

It's a party up in here!

Okay, not really, but I've got tons to share today!

First, we've begun our journey to rid the world of scrapbook police! First stop: Paige Evans!  Go here. Now. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Just go.

That was a risky move on my part.  Because that layout is GORGEOUS and there's a huge chance that you'll get sucked into her black hole of creativity, never to return.  Seriously, the page she shares is amazing and inspiring.  And so is the message.

Second:
As I write, there is a SECOND (holy cow!) process video uploading to YouTube!  Yay!  Did you subscribe to my channel?  22 of you have, and that's about 21 more than I expected!  Anyway, if you haven't, you should!  ;)

Here's a look at the layout that's going up:


The video is about 13 minutes long.  Grab a beer or coffee (time of day dependent...I suppose. :P)  and give it a watch.

And lastly, I have a (VERY) humble plea.  My oldest daughter is heading back to school in a couple of weeks and is in dire need of new computer.  She is working her tail off this summer to earn the money to cover her living expenses - her food, gas, utilities for the year.  She works two jobs on campus.  She brought home straight A's this year.  In short, she's pretty amazing.  Her mother, on the other hand, is a bit of a deadbeat.  No! I'm just kidding!  I've been going to school for the last four years to get certified to teach high school math.  In January I quit my full time job to do my student teaching.  When my student teaching ended, I got two part time jobs and things were tight, but we were scrapping by.  Then I fell and broke my arm and I've been out of work for going on 4 weeks.  Most of my savings went toward covering my living expenses while I did my student teaching.  The rest is dwindling fast while I have no income.  Meanwhile, we're ramping up to back to school and I know she needs that computer.  Torn about how to help her, I decided to see if I could raise some money by starting a GoFundMe campaign.  This is not how I'd prefer to do things, but I'll happily swallow my pride if it means I can help my daughter.  I've been divorced for 8 years now, and I still find myself scrambling.  My biggest wish for her is that she never finds herself in this position. Her education (and this computer) will ensure that she never does.

Please consider making a donation....even a little one.  $5 or $10...it all adds up.

You have have my gratitude for even thinking about it.  And if you decide that you'd like to help, or if you'd like to read more about why this computer is important to her, more information can be found here: Maggie's GoFundMe.

And just because you need to know who you'd be helping:


Maggie is the big eye'd kid in the middle.  Eating cotton candy.  (circa 2011)

THANK YOU for stopping by!  I hope you checked out the video and enjoyed it!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

What? There's NO Scrapbook Police?

WHAT?!

Just a quickie today!  Tomorrow starts a really cool 11 day journey into rediscovering the FUN side of scrapbooking.  We're going to debunk all the myths about scrapbooking.  You know all those things you SHOULD do?

Turns out, a lot of them are actually optional.

For more info, check out Cara Vincens's blog: C'est la Vie (ours anyway).  She's the mastermind behind all this liberation.  Plus her blog is amazing - a really unique format that's really worth a look-see!

More tomorrow!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

I made a process video!

I love watching process videos.  If you're not a die hard scrapbooker, you may not be familiar with the term - it refers to videos wherein a scrapbooker records herself scrapbooking.  Usually the video is sped up and narrated, and the creator talks about her mindset, products and techniques used.  I love seeing how other people work and hearing the thought process behind decisions.  I'm always inspired and I frequently learn new things.

Needless to say, I've wanted to make one for a long time.  Oh, to be a cool kid!  But there's a lot of stuff to figure out.  How do you mount a camera? How the hey how you edit videos? Or add the narration??  It was all overwhelming, so I didn't do it.  Until I said something to Kerig, who became a dog with a bone until we ironed out enough details to at least make me try it.

Here's the layout that I made:



And here's the link to the video: Holla for Challah

Some notes:

I used SketchBook Pro - an app on my Kindle - to write the word Challah.  I then saved it as a .jpg file, imported it into the Silhouette software, traced it, did a little offset to fatten it up for easier cutting and cut it out.  I'm tickled with how it turned out.

I used Bebas Neue for the word "HOLLA" - and it's cut from Amy Tangerine's Plus One paper "Counterpart" I mention the My Mind's Eye alpha stickers - I used it for the word "for" but I failed to turn my camera back on, and it's also where I got the "Amazed by you" and "in love" stickers.

Okay, that's about it! Go watch the video! :D

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Three Wishes

Looking through my old layouts has really helped me understand why the Silhouette was destined to be my best mechanical friend:



This layout is from 2003 and looks like it's been through the ringer.  But that title...  Even back in the day, the title was the thing for me.  If I was feeling lazy, I'd print something out on the computer, but most of the time I'd find an appropriate font, get it sized the way I wanted and print a mirrored version on the back side of my cardstock and cut it out with an Exact-o knife and micro-tip scissors.

Molly just turned 14 and I just shared the layout about her making her cake, so this seemed appropriate to go along with that.  She was such a beautiful little girl.  Blond hair, chubby cheeks, big brown eyes...  And dear lord, was she feisty!  Well, some things haven't changed.

I'm going to put the journaling here because it's really hard to read, even on the layout itself.  At least this way if it continues to fade I'll have a record of it.

Three wishes, one for each candle on your cake.  Health: I want you to be strong and healthy, both physically and mentally...eat healthy, exercise, get lots of rest.  Be confident in who you are. Trust your judgement. Know who to trust in life (hint: Mom and Dad! We always have your best interest at heart!) Happiness: I want you to know joy on a daily basis.  Some days will be hard, but even in the toughest times there is pleasure if you remember to open your eyes and heart to let it in.  Laughter: Let humor be your safety net. Take yourself seriously, always try to be the best you can be, but don't forget to laugh often.  Find humor in everything you can, including yourself! If you can manage to laugh , health and happiness won't ever be far off!

Thanks for stopping by!  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Taste the Rainbow

Molly turned 14 earlier this month.  Specifically, five days after I broke my arm. Lucky her.  (#sarcasm) She'll just have to wait to get beat at putt-putt golf.

Instead, we had a DIY b-day celebration.  I picked up some Duff's Tie-Dye Cake Mix from Target and crossed my fingers that little Miss Moody, er, wow, did I say that outloud?? Yikes. I crossed my fingers that little Miss Molly would find the idea of making her own cake acceptable.  Luckily, she did.  Plus, her sister Maggie hung around to help (thank goodness...I was in my very helpless days back then).  But Maggie's presence always helps Molly's mood.  (I feel like that's one m-word away from being a killer tongue-twister)

They set to work in the kitchen, I curled up on the sofa with an ice pack and Kerig took over photographer duties.  God bless him, because if there's food being made, he's there to document the shit out of that occasion!

The cake prep involved no less than 12 small bowls for tinted cake mix, 200 hand strokes of the batter, and 13 readings of the directions.  I was bracing for a hot mess and had to remind myself that even brown Easter eggs make tasty egg salad.  And let's face it: chocolate cake is brown, and no one has a beef with that, right?

Guess who was wrong?



The cake actually turned out very cool looking!  There was probably 4 times as much frosting on there than I would have preferred, but it was apparently necessary for the overall design aesthetic.  Or something like that.

I wanted the layout to convey the same joyful exuberance that the cake did - lots of colors and sprinkles everywhere.  Had I thought about it at the time, actual sugar might have been used.


I used tons of Bella Blvd papers from their Scattered Sprinkles, Summer Squeeze and Classic Calendars line.  The font for "rainbow" is called Blackout and I've gotten a lot of use out of it.  (See: here  & here)  The font comes the way you see here - with the blocks already cut out around the letters.  I've used the letters themselves as well as the negative space frame, like here.  I love it.  I used my old standby SNF Lollihop  for the word taste.  Truth be told, I don't love it here.  The word taste should be - well, I don't want to say smaller...I think I want to say "less bold".  It's just so visually large, but honestly, I did the title towards the end and I was just plain and simple running out of steam at that point. I did cut it out with a rainbow of cardstock colors for underneath, but you had to be viewing at just the right angle and have perfect close up vision to see it.  Lord knows, that detail is lost to me, but my daughter swears she can see it.  Either way, the word is too big, but I give myself a sold B for the effort.

I also used a very old Heidi Swapp mask and some new(ish) Heidi Swapp color shine sprays to break up the starkness of the plain white background.  I was on the fence about how it came out, but on the finish page, the actual design gets lost (probably a good thing) and you're just left with some blobs of color...and that's okay.

This layout has EIGHT photos on it.  Holy cow.  That's a lot.  And I haven't done a two page spread in years and years.  it was weird, trying to remember how to work all of this.  But I like so many of the photos and I had a hard enough time working it down to just these few, so I'm really glad I came up with a way to squeeze them all on.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 25, 2014

This Year...

So I mentioned being a part of the community at Paperclipping. I love it there!  It's so nice to have a little home on the internet to talk about scrapbooking.  I also mentioned in the Christmas in July that we're doing some challenges...and that I love me a challenge!

So this is for another challenge.  It's a sketch challenge with a twist: it's supposed to be about us.  Here's what I came up with:



and it's based on this sketch:



I had to adapt the sketch to make it 8.5x11 friendly, which means I just lopped off the the space on the right side and moved the thought bubbles into where the circles are.

I chose to drop the journaling into a glassine envelope behind the pictures.  I used a library card, ran it though the printer so the top says "quite the adventure" and then hand journalled the bullet points of the year.  Frankly, I didn't want to cover up the math paper, which may be my favorite paper, ever, of all time.

I found this to be hard one for me. I knew that I wanted to use these pictures, but when I printed them I realized they were really dark...the kind of dark that meant I had to chose my papers wisely.  It also rained on Wednesday, which usually I love, but it really sucked the life out of me.  But in the end, even though it seemed to take 3 times as long as it should have, I'm okay with the end result.  :)

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Throw Back Thursday: Are you ready for some football??

Ted just had football camp last week, and you know football season is fixin' to start!  Last year Ted played JV, which meant that his games were on Saturday mornings.  Which means I only got to see two games. :(  (BUT, they were two really great games!)  This year it looks like he's playing varsity, so I'm looking forward to seeing him play a lot more!  (I'll need to do a Kickstarter campaign just so I can afford to see his games though. :P)

So when I was flipping through my album this morning this layout seemed timely for my TBT Layout:


I *love* the "Oh snap!" part of this!  First, I made this layout in 2007, back when "Oh, snap!" was something people actually said.  Second, I knew that Ted played center back in the day, but I had no idea what a center did.  Yes. I am this clueless.  When it finally occurred to me that he was the one to snap the ball every play it was like a million watt bulb turned on for me!  And -- yay! -- that position is nice and easy to take pictures of!  No messiness - no pesky defensive players in the way...just a nice straight shot and there he is!

This year Ted is a vying for the starting quarterback position.  I still don't know that much about football, but I know what a quarterback does, and I know that starting any position on the varsity team in 10th grade is pretty darn good.  I have my fingers crossed for a good season!  But man...I miss the days of watching 9 year olds play...it was so much less scary!

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you're ramping up for a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Christmas in July

About this time last year I floated the idea of making one Christmas tree ornament every week for the rest of the year.  The idea quickly sank.  I barely tolerate Christmas at Christmas time, the idea of voluntarily taking on that kind of project was ridiculous on my part.  Laughable, in fact. Ha ha ha ha. I'm still laughing.

And yet, here I am, in July, sharing a Christmas tree ornament:



I'm mentioned my love of the Paperclipping Roundtable.  When 2Peas announced they were closing they scrambled and created a message forum to fill in the void that was created. While I was never really an active participant at 2Peas, I am really enjoying this new community that's forming at Paperclipping.

One of the things that's come up is challenges.  And I do love me a challenge!  I think it's so fun to work within some restriction, have a deadline, think outside of your box.  Love it.  And this one was to do some Christmas in July - finish a December Daily album (psssh. I never started one of those, so that was out!), work on some cards (oops.  this is an area that I'm terrible about.  Every year I vow that I'll send cards...and then they never get done), and the last option was do anything Christmasy - a project, ornament, a layout, etc.  Okay, now we're talking!

I'd like to say that I whipped the Santa ornament out in a matter of minutes, but it took almost two hours.  Just riffling through my scraps to find appropriate papers took an hour. :P  But once they were picked it was fun and straightforward.

And in the interest of full disclosure, Santa was not my first attempt at this challenge.  Last night I spent far too much time working on this:


The whole thing is just dreadful, but the lump that the brad creates to the left of the nose is just terrible.  It looks like maybe he has an infection of some sort.  Poor, sad, short armed reindeer. :P

And with that, Officer Taylor is home.  Time to think about food! Later! Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, July 21, 2014

A walk to remember

I have a confession to make: I really dislike Nicholas Sparks' stuff.  I could expand on this, but this is a scrapbooking blog and you didn't come here to have me blast your favorite author for his simplistic style and cheap antics meant to both minimize your current relationships and make you cry: blech.

So it pains me that the title that got stuck in my head for this layout happens to coincide with the name of one of his books.  But here's the thing: I went on a walk on a very beautiful day and broke my elbow. It seems that "a walk to remember" sums it up pretty tidily.


I had a couple of good reasons for taking this particular walk.
1.) It was a perfectly gorgeous day.  65ยบ, sunny, breezy, blue skies. Beautiful
2.) I had just been to the doctor the day before about an arthritis related issue.  The doctor had given me an NSAID, and everything was feeling pretty good.  I know from experience that keeping everything moving really helps.
3.) The day before I had driven past Charlotte's ice cream shop (shown in the left picture in the layout), and there was a sign out front that said "New! Johnny Football Sundae!"  and I wanted a picture of it.  "Johnny Football" refers to Johnny Manziel - the Browns big draft pick this year.  I try to follow football, but mostly I fail.  But I'm always amused at things like this.  Ironically, the very next day the sign was changed to "New! King James Sundae!" after the announcement that LeBron was coming back.  Fickle, fickle Charlotte. :P

At any rate, I left for my walk at 8:45 in the morning and when I got to the ice cream shop it was closed (duh, I knew it would be) but the sign wasn't out. Drats! I hadn't thought about that.  So, I snapped a couple of pictures (because it was so darned colorful! And I had the place to myself. ;)) and headed home.  And, I swear that I wasn't looking at my phone when I tripped.

I based the layout on a pagemaps sketch:


Aside from not doing the banners across the top and modifying the title placement a little, I followed the sketch pretty faithfully.  It's been eons since I used a sketch - it was kind of nice.

And now...I'm going to whine.

Turn away. It's not too late.

You're still here??  I warned you.

My arm hurts.  This shouldn't be a surprise. And I suppose I'm not that surprised.  But even without the extra weight of a cast or splint, my arm feels heavy.  And I don't have a cast or splint on to limit my motion, and I'm pretty good about taking it easy, but I forget.  Today I washed my hands and went to flick the water off my hands.  I learned on day 1 that this was not something I couldn't do. But I had to relearn that today (day 11).  I'm surprised daily by the things I can't do.  Yesterday I learned that I can shuffle cards, but I can't deal them.  The doctor told me that I can drive.  Today I learned that maybe I can drive, but driving for an hour straight might not be the best idea.

I know I'm whining.  This could be SO MUCH WORSE. I know this.  I get to wash my hands (you have no idea how gross those fingers sticking out of cast get.  So, so very gross).  I GET TO TAKE A SHOWER! And without wrapping my arm in a garbage bag!  And having done that I know how incredibly grateful I am for this.

But when he sent me home with no cast, I think that was part of me that thought "it's not really broken." And I thought that if it wasn't really broken, then it would be fine really quickly.

Apparently it really is broken and it might heal quickly...but it's not healed yet.

And after all that, I wanted to say that I appreciate all the well wishing comments - I agree! I hope I feel better, soon, too! :)

Take care, keep an eye on those sidewalk cracks, and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Have a nice trip, see you next fall!

Do you remember the semi-cruel things that we used to say to each other as kids?  I worked with a girl who used to say "Smooth move, Ex-Lax" every time anyone did anything klutzy.  She was lovely.

So it's been a quite a month in these parts.  I went from being overwhelmed with two jobs, to one job...to no job.  Well, not really on that last part, but...  I broke my elbow last Thursday and I can't lift until I get clearance - so at least until my next x-ray on August 5th.  The weird upside is: when I went to the orthopedic doctor on Monday he told me I didn't have to wear anything (cast/splint) on my arm.  Well, at night, I have to wrap it up...which I love - I feel like I'm putting on my security blanket.  Because Lord knows, with nothing on it during the day I manage to "oopsie" 30 times a day.  (Turns out, I don't need it in a cast, and I know not to lift, but if I rotate it ever so slightly beyond where it wants to go and I see stars.  Twirling, sparkly, stunningly painful stars.)

One of the upsides of dating a guy who's handy with a camera is that if he takes you to the ER, he's probably going to snap a few pictures while you're there.

One of the upsides of being a scrapbooker is that I'll probably make a layout of said photos:


So I broke my elbow on a walk on my day off.  I tripped over a crack in the sidewalk and went flying.  I landed on my hands, but the impact caused my ulna to break up by my elbow. The story is sort of funny (I think) and includes elements like flying cell phones, school buses and a broken ego...on top of skinned knees and other boo-boos.  On the walk home after it happened I kept thinking "Have a nice trip, see you next fall." and "Exercise kills"...as well as a couple of other choice phrases.  :P



It looks like there's no journaling whatsoever, but in fact the back side of the layout is nothing but the story.  Normally you'd put two layouts in a page protector, back to back.  I decided that this was a story that was too big for a small space and not something I wanted to hide, per se.  So I'm happy with just sliding this in the protector and letting the story show on the other side.

The day this happened, we came home from the hospital to find a package waiting.  I was expecting a small canvas bag from Lands End so I didn't think much of it.  When I finally got around to opening it I was surprised to find that it was an order from 2Peas.  When they announced they were closing I decided to pull the trigger on my basket - which had a handful of fun/happy/bright papers - most of which were Bella Blvd.  I wasn't expecting the package for a week or so.  So I was excited (so many pretty colors!) and gobsmacked at the timing.  It was surely some karmic joke at my expense: Here, have some time off of work, new supplies...AND ONLY YOUR LEFT HAND...HA HA HA HA.

So when the splint came off I was totally ready to PLAY.

Okay, that's it for now.  Thank you for stopping by!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Another Thursday, another throwback layout

I love this photo.  Technically, it's a dud.  In fact, I had it enlarged and mounted and when the lab got the negative they called to verify that I wanted it. It's blurry, they said.  Surely you must want the frame to the left or right of it, they said.  Yep.  It's blurry.  Nope, I didn't write the wrong frame number.  That's the one I want.

It hangs in my home now, and I still love it.  



This layout is so incredibly simple.  I used an Exact-o knife to cut the red frame.  I printed my title and journaling on vellum, and used the Exact-o to cut it into wonky chunks.  The only other "design element" was using pops of red in the journaling.  

Why this one? Why now?

Well, I'm not really sure.  I flipped through an album and there were a couple of layouts that I could have used, but when I got to this one, I stopped flipping.  Molly's 14th birthday was yesterday, and of course birthdays always make you aware of the passage of time.  Molly's only two in this photo.  They ALL are so young here.  And so perfectly them. The journaling - which is too long to transcribe - talks about how there's so much commotion (yep) but also how wonderful having siblings is because they all know your journey and understand you so thoroughly. 

(Oops.  I just realized that this photo is slightly different than the one I have hanging here.  In the enlargement, Molly's head is showing.  But it's still blurry. :P)

Alright.  I'll have a current layout up tomorrow.  It's been quite a week around these parts.  Stay tuned. ;)

As always: Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Throw Back Thursday: Layout style

The other day I was looking for a layout.  As it turns out, I don't have it...one of the casualties of divorce. :P  ANYway, I flipped through 5 or 6 albums in my search.  And I'm struck by how many layouts I still like.  So until I get bored (which is likely to happen sooner rather than later) I've decided to share a new, OLD layout on Thursdays.

First up:



How lucky am I that on Ted's first day of school he did a beeline for a computer in front of a big window?  I swear that I didn't steer him there.

I made this layout in 2004.  TWO THOUSAND FOUR, y'all!  TEN YEARS AGO! And look at Ted!  The pictures are actually from 2003, when Ted was only 5.  He's getting his driver's license in a couple of months. *sob*  I love my big kids, but I'd give my right leg to relive a day with each of my kids when they were 4 or 5.

Things I like about this layout: I didn't do anything special with the cork, per se, but I like that's just a casual element of the page.  I have never been a big stamper (honestly, I'm not very good at it, and I'm scared of the expense), but I like the white stamped circles.



And I really like my use of the old index print.  Remember those?  Back in the film days you'd get the index print with the tiny, unhelpful thumbnail prints.  I don't know about everywhere, but where I got my stuff done you actually had to pay a dollar extra for it, so I'm glad that I was able to (just this once) put that bck to good use.  And just look at Molly!  That sweet blonde bob, and her perfectly round cheeks! *swoon*

Ok! So that's it for my first installment of TBT:LS! I Hope to have a current day layout to share soon, but I don't can't say when.  Cuz I'm unpredictable like that. :P

Monday, July 7, 2014

DTW and Scraptastic

Have I mentioned that I signed up for Scraptastic's Kit Club?  I did.  I also signed up for Studio Calico.  This was back when I was finishing up my student teaching and I felt the need to reward myself.  Also, I thought I was returning to my job at the camera store.  So yeah, I've since cancelled the Scraptastic kit.

In the meantime, I did get a couple of kits.  I dreamed wistfully of these kits, but alas, for the most part I've just been "eh" about them.  And while that may sound mean, I merely mean that they're not "me."  I drooled about these kits based on what other scrappers did with them, but once in my hands I realized that they aren't quite at home there (in my hands).

And then the Summer Nights kit came and first I was like "What?"  And then I was like "Huh?"  I was expecting to not really like it, but the photos of the kit didn't really do it justice.  Plus, the packet of embellishments from Simple Stories was just yummy.


Let's see.  The blue border was actually cut out and laid on top of the white sheet of cardstock, so there's a very thin white border around the whole layout.  And that grey bit of ickiness at the top? That's the matboard that I rest the layout on for photographing it.  It's not supposed to be there and it's going to drive me nuts. :(

The pictures are from a walk I took around downtown Willoughby, which the locals refer to as DTW.  DTW is only 2 blocks long, but it's chock full'o bars, restaurants, galleries, antique shops and boutiques...all of which are closed on Sundays.  Which makes it the perfect day to pull out the camera and go for a walk. ;)  In the fall we did a ghost walk, and we were taken off the beaten path to hear stories.  I've been wanting to go back to some of the spots, and that's what I did one Sunday in early June.  I did it by myself, which makes the photos somehow less layout-worthy...  Does that even make sense?  I didn't take this walk with my family or boyfriend, and therefore it doesn't rate a scrapbook page?  Hmmm.  Oh well.  I made a page anyway. :P

Thanks for stopping by! ☺