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 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.  65º, 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 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" 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 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! ☺

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Pffft. Whatever.

You should journal.
Record meaningful thoughts.
Tell your story.

Or not.

I love the sherbet-y colors here.  And this was from a quick trip to Headlands Beach that Molly and I took.  I really like this photo - which sounds all pompous, but I took it on my phone and I couldn't even see the screen when I took it.  So it's not self-congratulatory, it's outright surprise. :P  Anyway, I like the two birds above the picture - a subtle little nod to the fact that it was just Molly and I. 

Okay, usually I can go on and on forever, but alas...not today.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

This happened.

(Twice, actually.)

So back in January I was on the Paperclipping Roundtable.  I thought it was a once in a lifetime experience, and I had snapped a selfie, but I never got around to scrapping it - I think it was a combination of time and pressure - being on PRT was like that rare trip to Disney...just way too WOW to tackle.

At the very end of May, I was asked to be on again! WOOT!  Again I snapped a selfie (far less flattering this time!) and vowed that I would get it documented sooner rather than later.  Today was the sooner:


  • I'm okay with the selfie from January - our apartment is chilly in the winter, and the scarf was there for function not looks, but let's face it: scarves hide a litany of flaws.  The shot in May?  I look sort of hot and gross.  I converted it to black and white which helped, but I decided that I would just as soon hide the second shot.
  • I've been toying with the idea of joining a kit club for a year now and I caved in May.  My first Studio Calico kit arrived this week and hot diggity!  So much fun!  I tried to stick with just items in the kit, but the green stars paper is from my stash.  The #selfie paper is actually the b-side of the same green star paper.  The stickers I used for "happened" are also old(er).  They're Kelly Purkey from Simon Says Stamp and I love them.  The glassine bag isn't part of the kit, but I did buy them as an add on.  I think they're handy and I use them with some regularity.  (These glassine envelopes are new, but I have other sizes in my stash already)
  • I used Studio Calico paper called "Up Hill" as the base.  I suppose at first glance that doesn't make sense.  But I think of the "scrapbook community" and that Paperclipping Roundtable is...idunno...a cross between the local pub and the weekly call in radio show.  Or something. ;)  But there's definitely that sense of community/neighborhood, which makes the paper make more sense.
  • I was surprised that there wasn't a bunch "this happened" choices in the Silhouette store.  I think there was only one, and I wasn't a fan.  However, I was pleased with the word "this" in the "this year" shape.  I figured I could easily do "happened" in either a block letter or in Thickers.  Fun fact: I own exactly ONE package of Thickers.  They look like the font used in Spongebob Squarepants, not exactly the look I was going for here.  But who only owns ONE SET of Thickers??  Well, me.  Because I'm cheap, and the Silhouette saves me oodles of money that way.  (Yes, let's just ignore that I used other letter stickers. :P)

So, like I said - I'm not a fan of the selfie taken in May. So I hid it.  I decided to tuck the journaling in the glassine envelope.  I loved using all the fun, happy colors that came in the Hello, hello kit.  The pictures span seasons, so I didn't feel obligated to gear the colors toward winter, even though that's the season of the picture that shows.  To me, the color scheme is "whatever makes me happy!"

And these are the two inserts.  So many pretty colors!

Okay, that's it for me today! Thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Drive by posting

I have to work early tomorrow morning, so I should really be heading to bed 20 minutes ago, but it's my birthday and my girls are in the kitchen frosting cupcakes. So I'm typing as fast as I can in a race to the creative finish! May the best woman win!  :P

This is from Molly's softball game last week.  The opposing teams pitcher didn't get off to the best start and was throwing balls left and right (quite literally).  I managed to catch the one shot with the ball bouncing just in front of home plate.  Molly was pretty good about not wildly swinging at everything (even balls that were less obvious than that one) and ended up getting walked.  

Kerig listened to the Paperclipping Roundtable last week when I was on.  One of the questions that was asked was "What's your favorite part of the process?" and I talked about that moment just after you have the "a-ha" moment and you have something that grounds you and gives you direction, so you still have lots of little decisions to make, but the big decision is made.  While I was working on this layout he kept asking me "Did you have your a-ha moment yet?" and honestly, it took a while.  But I was scrolling through my Silhouette library and saw the word "Calm" and everything jiggled into place.  While I think "Keep calm..." is way played out right now, I liked the idea of using it since it tied into the idea that Molly was, in fact, remaining calm and doing what she needed to get on base.  (And if you haven't watched the movie Moneyball, you should!)  For this, the color scheme was nice and easy. So it was just a matter of coming up with a title and some decorative space fillers!

For the millionth time I used the stacking technique for the title where I did the bottom layers in a fun color and the top in black.  I should find a new trick pony to ride, but I just love the way this looks!  

You can't see it in this photo, but I used two photo corners that I colored black with a Sharpie.  I talk about this technique in a blog post here, and while it's the world's simplest thing, I love that one package of photo corners has managed to be used so many times without feeling like I'm compromising because of the color.  And I was really pleased when my oldest daughter looked at the layout she specifically pointed them out and said she liked the way they looked.  Oh, la, la! They got a notice by a real live art person.  (Maggie is studying industrial design, which is sort of like if an artist and an engineer had a baby.  One day she'll design some funky lamp or clock or children's toy that you look at and say "ooh, that's cool!")

Okay, this has rambled all over the place!  And for the record, the "best woman" was Molly and Maggie.  The cupcakes were delicious! And now it's way past my bedtime!  Thanks for stopping by!  

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

2:45 a.m.

On Monday I started working at Target.  I work from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. four days a week.  Today was my second day.  My alarm goes off at 2:45, which allows me time for a quick shower, "breakfast," and a leisurely - if not lonely - commute.  I'm surprised at how easy it is to get up at that hour.  I'm sure that once the routine sets in, it will get harder.  But right now when the alarm goes off I have that startled "I'm up, I'M UP!" reaction.  Once at work the time goes by really and wonderfully fast.  I'm part of what's called the "flow team" - and in this case the word team isn't lame lip service.  We walk in together, clock in together, work together, take a break together, and as we finish our individual tasks we find who needs help and dig in.  There's a damn big job that needs to be done, and it only gets accomplished if we all work together.

Now, I'm not going to lie. In a perfect world I'd be at the camera store, being paid to talk about photography and surfing the internet between customers.  But this isn't a perfect world, so I have to work to earn a paycheck now.  And make no mistake about it - what I do at Target is work.  That huge bottle of liquid laundry detergent you buy?  It's heavy, right?  Now, pick up four of those at once. And repeat for 4 hours or so.  Now, not every box is that heavy.  Legos, as it turns out, are like marshmellows - wonderfully light and airy!  But it's hours of bending, lifting, walking, and pulling pallet jacks.  And yet, so far...I really like it.

When I was hired, I was told that it would be for about 25 hours a week, but that it would be easy to get closer to 40 hours.  "Ask and you shall receive" is sort of the motto - if your scheduled 4 hour shift is done and you want more hours, find the boss and ask.  9 times out of 10 they'll put you to work.  Want more hours? Ask to be trained in another area.  "We like initiative."

So today I worked 5½ hours at Target.  I came home, made some chicken salad (for dinner), took a little nappy-poo, did some yoga (Yoga for arthritis/Yoga for the rest of us), then headed off to Pier1.  (I'm a little less likely to wax poetic about that job.  It's not bad at all, but I like to stay busy and I love when everything is super organized and there are no judgement calls.  On those criteria, Target wins. ;) )

So anyway, I made chicken salad.  I've had a hankering.  And the entire time I was at Pier1 all I could think about was coming home, toasting up rolls and chomping into a big ole chicken salad sandwich.  At one point the manager asked if I was off at 6 or 7.  I hesitated for a looooong time, and said "7" with a funny smirk.  Fortunately, the manager lady has a good sense of humor, and said something about me wanting to fudge it.  "Well," I said, "I made this chicken salad and I'm really excited to go home and have dinner."

As luck would have it, it started storming and we got reallllly slow.  I got sent home 20 minutes early.  And while I need every dime I can get, I jumped at the chance.  I stopped on the way home and got a beer and was still home just as my shift would have finished.  Yay!

I am capable of taking better food shots.  However, not when I've been awake for 17 hours and I'm really freaking hungry.  My inner Shrek was screaming "GET INTO M'BELLY!"  So a quickie Instagram shot is all I have to share.  And here's the deal: I'm not a food blogger.  I'm not trying to convince you that you HAVE TO TRY THIS RECIPE!  In fact, after we had finished eating, my picky eater manfriend said "You can make that again.  Don't change the recipe." From this eater, this is a ringing endorsement.  (A ringing endorsement for him, but he prefers foods on the bland side, but I was still happy to hear it.  Good feedback is good feedback.)

Okay, with a nod to the fact that this is mostly for my reference, here's the recipe:

Classic/Basic Chicken Salad
5 cups cooked chicken, shredded
½ cup finely chopped celery
¼+ cup finely diced sweet onions
1 scant teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon lime juice
 2/3 cup mayonnaise

Combine all ingredients.  Chill for a couple of hours.  Enjoy on a hearty roll with cheese and a side of chips.  Made 4 big sandwiches with enough left overs for probably two more.

I enjoyed this.  But then there's a part of me that wonders what some green peppers would do.  Or dill pickle relish.  Or maybe some banana peppers...

Friday, May 30, 2014

Hey kid, underpants, and WELCOME!

First up, if you're visiting from The Paperclipping Roundtable: Welcome! I'm so happy to have you visit! I've dusted, there's cold diet Pepsi in the fridge...feel free to poke around. Stay as long as you'd like.  ;)

If you're curious about the infamous underpants layout, here's a link.  And I'd like to take a minute and say this: I do respect the decision to ask me to modify this.  While I consider this totally acceptable and appropriate, I do understand that everyone has their own boundary and businesses have to think about their brand perception, their core audience and they have to be mindful of not upsetting what has been carefully built.  That said, I like the layout, and I think the story is sort of funny...

Next up: layout share.

On a scale from 1 to 10, I give this about a 4. I suppose it's not awful, but it was going to be so much cooler in my head.  I had rare and really annoying technical difficulties with my my Cameo software. The speech bubbles were going to be print-and-cuts, and the word kid was going to fit perfectly in the bubble.  I don't know if you can tell but not a darn one of them fits properly. And ohmygosh it's driving me crazy. Not crazy enough to cut it a twelfth time.  This was a layout that sat on my desk for over a week because of a busy schedule, and after a while I had to borrow Lain Ehmann's mantra "Done is better than perfect" and glue it all down.

And this is the part where I whine about the lack of royal blue patterned papers (preferably B side prints, just in case any one with that kind of power happens to read this) and how I'd really love non-cheesy, non-juvenile sports-friendly embellishments.

Whew. Had to get that out of my system.

Again.  ;)

And lastly:

I mentioned that I was doing the project on the Paperclipping Roundtable.  I can't say enough good things about it.  But off the top of my head, I can say:
1. Free
2. No pressure
3. Therapeutic
It's like a visual gratitude journal - it's just about recognizing something good every day. And when you're actively looking for good stuff it's funny how much good stuff actually shows up on your door step.

And with that, I have to go.  That softball game took it out of me!  Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Take Two.

Last night I sat down and wrote a big ol' post but when I hit preview there was nothing there.  I hit back and there was nothing there, either. YIKES.  Oh well.  So let's try this again.

I mentioned in my last post that there was a layout I did a couple of weeks ago but never photographed, so let's do that one first:

Molly got her hair cut a month or so ago.  In the past haircuts have been about trimming off the yucky stuff at the bottom but keeping it long and ponytail friendly.  Not this time! While it still has to be ponytail friendly (softball season is almost here, after all!), but this time it was about style. Long layers, side swept bangs and enough product to make the bottom spike-y with a badass punk rock feel.  Molly is going through (what I hope is) a phase - listening to music that no one likes, eye balling Doc Martens and asking for a pierced lip for her birthday -- "It's the only thing I want!"  Yeah, well, it's among the many things you're NOT getting.  So the slightly punk hairdo was the easiest to accommodate option of her "I need to express myself" desires.

I like all the fun colors, and I think that patterned paper is semi-perfect for teenage girls.  They all embrace "peace" and the peace sign.  But I'm old enough to remember the original peace culture.  So it's hard for me to wrap my head around the idea of using "peace" paper (which recalls hippies) on a page where the kid listens to metal and wants to pierce her face.  But if I let go of the 70s connotation....yeah, it's perfect. :P

Can you tell I had just gotten sequins?  There are certain trends that I have a hard time with (I struggle with twine and never quite got ribbon), but flair and sequins?  Those I like!

Next, I've got a couple of layouts from this week.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I think sport pages are very challenging.  And when I finish one that I like, that feels serious and manly and does Ted's effort justice, well, then I'm happy.  And I'm happy.

The title for this actually came from a text I sent him after this game.  I know how he is after his team loses - he's quiet and thoughtful.  It might look grumpy from the outside, but I know he's running game reels of every play that could have gone better.  I respect that reflection, he's not dwelling or wallowing, he's learning.  I love that.  But this game. Wow.  It was a playoff game and both teams were playing very, very well.  He pitched the entire game, which I think is incredible, but even more so when you factor in that he's a freshman on the varsity team.  That's a lot of pressure.  He's up against a lot of talent.  And to hold that team to 3 runs?  That's impressive.  So I sent him a text telling how impressed I was and how with experiences like these he was going to be a beast in his junior and senior years.  Once the pictures were printed I knew what the title should be.

But know what the title will say and how it should look are two entirely different things. My first instinct with titles is always to go to the Silhouette.  Always. So I went to the software, wrote out the word beast and scrolled through my font options.  When I came to the stencil font it clicked: use the Silhouette stencil material and spray mist to create a title that looks stamped on.  The stencil material is easy to use, and I just squirted a couple shots of spray mist into a plastic container and used a cotton ball to dab it on.  I really love the way it turned out - it's masculine and really seems to fit the mood of the layout.

And last:

After my stencil success on the beast layout, I decided to try the stencil material again.  So I used this 6x8 hexagon design, ungrouped it and started deleting hexagons all willy-nilly like.   And I really like the matte medium people are using.  But...I never know what to buy...and then when I see the price my cheap side takes over.  So I McGyver'd it.  I used my Nori paste (which I love and use for my wood veneers) - put a spoonful into a plastic container, spritzed it with powder blue Mr. Huey, gave it a good stir and smooshed it into the stencil with an old gift card.  I couldn't leave well enough alone, so I sprinkled a tiny bit of blue glitter on the design while it was still wet.  I'd love it if some real matte medium would show up on my doorstep, but in the meantime, I'm pleased with my homemade version.

When Molly was a toddler she was always on the move UP.  We'd have to pull her down from precarious positions constantly.  We couldn't turn our back on her for a second.  So she was dubbed Mountain Goat Molly.  Eventually she was re-dubbed Coinslot Molly because she couldn't keep her pants up and we were constantly eyeballing her butt crack.  Hopefully there won't be a "Coinslot Molly" page in our futures. ;)

Anyway, on Mother's Day we went for a walk around downtown Cleveland.  This was a go-to activity back when I was super poor, and this was our first time doing this with Kerig.  We had a great time and found a whole bunch of new places.  This was taken at the Sailors and Soldiers monument.  While the rest of us were walking around looking UP at all the sculptures and reading the plaques, Molly had perched herself up on this ledge.  She was definitely waiting to be photographed.  And she even suggested the title. Sort of.  She seemed to recall that we called her monkey, but that was easily fixed. ;)

So that's it for today! I hope you have a happy  Friday!  Thanks (as always) for stopping by.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

I missed you. Did you miss me??

blah blah blah
student teaching
blah blah blah
so happy to be finished

It's been a great couple of days!  Filled with kids, Kerig, food, Cleveland and scrapbooking.  Since this is a scrapbooking blog, let's talk layouts!

First up:

Pharrell's song "Happy" has been everywhere this Spring.  And regardless of what mood I'm in when the song starts, if I sing (or clap or dance) along, I can't help but be happy by the end of it.  It's genius on in its ability to suggestive sell a mood.  The lyric that gets me is Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof.  I have two thoughts about this: First, I think about 'raising the roof' - a celebration of such magnitude that the roof wasn't just raised, but raised off.  (welcome to the weird way in which my brain works) ;  And Second, I think about a glorious glass ceiling.  Not one that represents oppression, but rather all the glorious comforts of the indoors with all the incredible views of the sky.  You see, whether it's puffy white clouds on a mostly sunny day, or stormy grey clouds or snow or rain - the sky is indeed beautiful.  So I like that lyric.  It's evocative and clever and it makes me happy.  Like a room without a roof.

Okay, that sounds super hokey, but it was lyric that was begging to be used as a title.  So I used it.  The picture is of Kerig and I at a car wash.  We have a weird love of car washes.  They make us...happy.  And a sunny day in March after a long, cold, snowy and gray winter, that also makes a person happy.  

Here's a couple of close ups of the title and the stuff above the photos:

I journaled in my own handwriting.  What?!  I know, right? NUTS.  And I stamped.  And I heat embossed.  And that never happens.  I like all the pops of color, and the smattering of black to keep it grounded.  

Next up:

Have I mentioned that Friday was my last day of student teaching?  ;)  On my way to school I decided to take a quick selfie to commemorate my accomplishment.  I am not above taking selfies, but it's not something I do daily either.  At my age, I don't want or need daily reminders of what I look like.  That said, I really love this picture.  I am - genuinely - happy.  

When I got home and was doing my scan of the internet, I was pleasantly surprised that Kerri Bradford had a great Friday Freebie. There are a hundred ways to take the phrase "Let's just do today" and in this context (for me) it means: let's crush this; let's make today amazing; let's wrap this up with a red ribbon and walk away proud.  

Some details:

Once again, I'm happy with all the great color, the black title that both pops and grounds, and I simply adore that math paper.  I might need a couple more sheets. 

Because I also used it for the cards I made for my cooperating teachers:

Yep.  I like that paper.  That number border is less that a half inch tall.  I am always amazed at my Silhouette!  

Okay, that's it for now, but I realized that I have one more layout to share.  I did it a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday night.  I figured if I didn't take a creativity break I'd explode.  But then I had to hide the evidence, so I forgot to photograph it today. ;)

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Hello! Remember me??

It's been almost exactly a month since my last post.  And very likely it'll be a month again before my next post.  This student teaching thing has been quite an eye opener.  And I'll leave it at that.  I'm a little more than half way through, and I hope one day soon things will sort of go back to normal around here.  For a little bit, at least.

Meanwhile, I've had a couple of layouts up on the Silhouette blog and another one over on Kerri Bradford's blog.  Want to talk about intimidating?  Imagine having a layout sandwiched between Nichol Magouirk and Laura Vegas.  Holy cow - they are both so amazingly talented in ways that I will never hold a candle to. So yes.  Honored. And humbled.  See:

They say comparison is the thief of joy, and if I sit here and compare this to Nichol and Laura, sure, this pales.  But taken on its own, I love how happy this is.  I love the colors and the photos and the random memories of December.  That's a win. Right?? Right!

Next up, a recent trip to the zoo:

I love gray.  I love the way colors pop off it, but it's not as harsh as black or as stark as white. (um: duh. Hello, you can call me Captain Obvious) but the yellow here makes me happy.  And so do the different title treatments.  And I got some of the Silhouette vellum and it's beautifully thick.  It prints wonderfully.  Photo credit: Kerig.  I brought my camera.  Would have been nice if the battery were charged.  After all these years of being the sole photographer, it's really nice to have Kerig and his mad skillz around. 

This is up on the Silhouette blog today and I really like it.  A lot.  And it looks better in real life.  For the background, I used Silhouette stencil to cut out this polka dot lace, then poured a little glue on top of it and used an old gift card to smear the glue into the dots.  I sprinkled it with white glitter and then very patiently waited a full day for it to dry.  (This is HUGE for me.  I have absolutely no restraint when it comes to waiting for things to dry)  I really do love the way it turned out, although, in retrospect I wouldn't use the glue that I used - I would have used Nori paste which is thicker and wouldn't have soaked the paper.  That said, I'm perfectly okay with the imperfection.  The idea was to mimic the bottom picture of the streetlights through the slushy window.  

I'm also very pleased with the title.  (yay me! :P) I had such a lovely evening on this particular night and yet had no pictures.  Well, aside from these two, which really aren't the point.  But hopefully the title and odd pictures will compel you to read the journaling.  And maybe not YOU you, but you, my kids and stuff. I guess.  Oh, and I'm pleased with the shape of the journaling block and the way it looks on that vellum.  That's good stuff!

And now might be a good time to mention that I've officially told Silhouette that I'm not trying out for the next Design Team.  I've had SO MUCH FUN doing this and they are a fun, supportive and generous company.  And I'd LOVE to do it again in heartbeat under different circumstances.  But this school thing: Oy!  And the fact of the matter is, I'm hoping to turn this into a "real" teaching position in the fall.  And if I'm struggling like this now, I can't imagine what it would be like to have my own classroom AND try to have other commitments.  It just seems like a bad idea and horribly unfair.  I will, however, continue to be in love with the company and all their very cool products and share that love here.  

If you're considering trying out: GO FOR IT! It's a wonderful experience for sure!

I hope that you are finding Spring and vice versa.  I know I could do with a few more 50º afternoons and a few less 0º mornings!  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Coming out from under my rock....

(but only briefly!)

It's been a while, right?  This school thing...WOW.  It's been an emoticoaster ride!  Last week was the first FULL week since I've been student teaching.  We've had calamity days for the extreme cold weather (but oddly on the days there's snow up to my kneecaps we've not been cancelled. :P), holidays, and teacher in-service days.  And last week was the first week since winter break ended that we had a full, five day week.  It felt sort of triumphant.

Coincidentally, it was also the first week where I didn't cry after coming home.  I suppose it may seem weak to admit this.  But it's just the truth.  I want this very badly, and I'm pouring everything I have into it.  And there is a HUGE learning curve.  There is so much that goes into teaching - it seems so obvious until it all falls on you. But when things start to jiggle into place, when you say "Can I get an 'a-ha!' if you get it" and get a rousing "a-ha!" in response? Oh my. It feels GOOD.  I want to be better and more consistent, but I'm still learning.

At any rate, I've not been blogging much lately.  I haven't been scrapping much either.  I miss it, but when I finally get a chance to play at my table, I'm really cherishing it.  I thought I'd take a minute to share a couple of the layouts that have been up on the Silhouette blog recently:

Working backwards:

I really love this one.  Mostly because the story just cracks me up.  This was the day that we went to the park and Kerig jumped off the swing, and ended up wiping out (and breaking his cellphone case).  He was fine, and after dusting him off we all shared a laugh.  I wish I had taken a close-up of the journaling on the tag.  It's a series of questions with the answer "key" at the bottom...upside down.  Remember the puzzles in magazines like Highlights and World?  They would do the same thing with their answers.  I think I'm so clever. :P

And before that, there was:

(Things that make me crazy: I failed to size this properly and Photoshop has decided not to open for me.  Again.  It does this periodically, and the only way to "cure" is to reboot. Grrr.)

So anyway: I love Instagram.  I do scrap the pictures that have stories, but not all pictures have enough of a story to warrant scrapping.  Does that make sense?  But they are - ultimately - PART of the story. Part of MY story.  And so I'm wanting to make collage pages. Sort of a month-in-summary page.  I don't feel a big need to journal.  These pictures speak for themselves (at least they speak to me).  You might not get the utensil rack full of sea shells, but I'll know they were given to me by Molly after a trip to the beach in Florida.  "Buy Local" might seem odd, but it was doodled into the frost that had formed on the inside of the front window of the store.  And just after I doodled it, the sun came out and was setting, putting the whole window ablaze with that beautiful golden light.  The month also had lots of snow, my first weeks of student teaching and an amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity: being a guest on the Paperclipping Rountable.  Such a fantastic start to my year.  I hope the layout reflects that: how fun and busy and exciting things were this January.

And lastly:

Probably the least favorite of the three.  I love all the little sentiments, I don't like the execution, color scheme and the over all juvenile quality.  Kerig deserves something more dignified.  But it's fun and sweet and happy and celebrates him in a Valentine-y way.

So that's that.  I hope you're keeping warm and making the most of your February.   There are 28 days til Spring.  Which is positively laughable.  Today we had the warmest day we've had in a month. But while it was 39º it snowed like crazy for about 20 minutes. HOW? Tell me how it snows when it's that warm? CRAZY.  So, 28 days until the calendar says spring...we'll see how long it takes for that thought to catch up to Mother Nature.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Puppy love.

One of the really great things about being on a design team is that you have to scrap.  When you don't feel like it.  When you feel like you don't have time.  When you don't think you have a story to tell. And sometimes when you get finished you think "I'm glad I did that."  

This picture is 7 or 8 years old.  Reba, the dog, had just been adopted by my kids and every time I got down on the floor to play with her she'd go after my hair.  I am a sucker for puppies and I couldn't bring myself to make her stop.  Many a days I headed to work with hair smelling like puppy breath.  The good news is, puppy breath isn't all that offensive.  

Reba has since passed.  Last spring she developed a tumor in her stomach.  I do miss her every day, and it was great to take a minute to celebrate her puppihood.

I want to go on the record with: I really hate shooting layouts.  This is not crooked.  The cardstock is white. The border on the bubbly part is even all the way around.

If you want links to the Silhouette cuts, or read about the (cute) puppy prints, head over to the Silhouette blog for the rest of the story.

Hope you're staying warm!  Only 50 days til Spring! Yee ha!

Monday, January 27, 2014

...and in other news:

I feel like my entire personality has been taken over by student teaching.  It's pretty much all I've been thinking about, so it's pretty much all I've been talking about, too.  However, school has been cancelled for today AND tomorrow due to the "extreme weather" so I've decided that I need to spend time today working on "Caroline" instead of my "Ms. Davis" alter-ego.

First up: Blog post!

Last week I had a layout up on the Silhouette blog that I never shared here, and now seems like a good time to rectify that:

I really like the concept of the two matching pictures (taken three years apart) but I'm not going to sugar coat it: the difference in the tonal qualities really bugs the heck out of me.  Blech.

I really don't have a whole lot to say about the layout, but I did want to mention the rhinestones.  Silhouette sent me their rhinestone setting tool and a variety pack of gems and I'm in love.  First of all, I'm sucker for gadgets, but I'm also a sucker for things that work.  Compared to the tradition gemstone set up with the line of adhesive that needs to be broken and always has an awkward tail, these are AMAZING.  There's no tail.  You put the singular, tailless gem where you want it and apply heat using the setting tool.  It melts the adhesive on the gemback and the gem STAYS PUT.  I put that in caps because with the traditional kind I feel like a week later they're all going to be pooled in the bottom of the page protector, whereas these feel really firmly stuck down.  This is a good thing!

Moving on to other news:

  • I hardly think that 2 denotes a trend, but I seem to have taken up baking.  Last Sunday I made soft pretzels and yesterday I made Parker House rolls.  The pretzels were mainly because I had a weird but incredibly strong hankering for them.  The rolls were mostly because I had two more packets of yeast that need to be used before May.  And, honestly, I think I wanted something to really concentrate on.  I feel like my brain slips back to school every couple of minutes no matter what I'm doing.  But if I'm really focused, I can escape for a little while.  So doing something that's a little out of my comfort zone is a great distraction.  Plus: rolls.  So I guess it's win/win.  And I still have a packet of yeast left to use up.  I wonder what's next?  Maybe more pretzels, because there were amazeballs. (I don't even say amazeballs, that's how amazeballs there were.)

  • I decided that I needed to go on a mini shopping spree to add some teacher clothes to my wardrobe.  LLBean sent an email offering 20% off my entire order, but I couldn't find anything I like.  Which is odd, because I really do like LLBean.  But here's the deal (and I'm talking directly to you, LLBean): as a plus sized woman, I don't want to dress like I've given up.  Or that I bought all my clothes 15 years ago.  Waistlines have moved down, and for good reason.  But the ONLY lower-than-the-natural-waist offering they had was corduroys.  Now, if you're plus sized and look good in corduroys, then God bless you and more power to ya!  But I'm not going to wear pants that not only add volume but also make weird noises when I walk.
Okay, rant over.  At any rate, I took my business to Lands End, where I found a bunch of lower waist options and they were on sale.  Yay! I love a sale!  And yeah...I bought two pairs of pants in colors that I never would have considered had they not been the only option in my size, but seriously, when they arrived I fell in love.  And then there are these lovelies:

Now, I'm considerably taller than the model, so my 27 inch inseam does not (unfortunately) come down that far (oh, the heaven I would be in if they did!) but I LOVE THESE LEGGINGS.  First, I can't believe that I bought leggings: no one needs to see all my lumps and bumps.  But here's the thing: there AREN'T any lumps and bumps to see.  And that's not because my body miraculously changed, it's because the fabric is wonderful: thick and comfy and stretchy and MATTE. None of that icky spandex sheen. Blech.  By the way, I bought that top, too.  I'm not wearing this to school obviously, but it's adorable and I will happily wear it on the weekends.  Probably both days.  ;)
  • Last Monday was President's Day and Kerig and I both had the day off.  For most people I'm sure this sounds like no big deal.  But for the last gazillion years we've both worked retail, so we've rarely had a day off together.  But now that we're both "working" in the schools (in quotes because it's not like it's an actual job.  This is technically a class for me.) we have a weekends-and-holidays-off schedule that jives up.  So anyway, we took advantage of $5 Mondays and saw August: Osage County.  It was more serious than I had expected, but it was a great story.  Meryl Streep always blows me away, and this was no exception.  I can take or leave Julia Roberts, but I must admit that she did a great job here as well.  I love a movie that doesn't tie up every loose end, and Kerig and I had lots to discuss about the characters and what happened next over dinner.  I love that we can watch the same movie and interpret things differently.  I constantly have "Huh, I never thought about it that way" moments when we talk after a good movie.
Okay! Thanks for allowing me this ramble.  I think the rest of the day involves scrapbooking and CAMEO'ing and otherwise not obsessing about graphing systems of linear inequalities and composition of functions.  Yeah. Good luck with that.  Me. Not you.  I'm pretty sure you're not going to be too worried about either of those things... :P

Thanks for stopping by!  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Speed blogging!

I'm downloading a software update and it says I have 25 minutes...oh, wait, 19...oh, wait...27, something like that until it's done. So, I could walk into the kitchen and eat another one of the treats that Aunt Dorothy sent home with us on Sunday - or- I could see if I can squeak in a whole blog post.

Today is my turn up on the Silhouette blog which means I get to get to share here.  I don't love all my pages.  Truth be told, I don't even like a fair amount. :P  But this definitely gets a strong LIKE from me:

As is seems the case about 90% of the time, I end up with these pictures that aren't pre-made embellishment friendly.  In this photo Maggie is playing a game called Headbandz that we got for Christmas.  In the game, you wear a headband and insert a card with a word on it.  Everyone else can see the card, but the wearer can't.  The person wearing the headband then asks a series of yes/no questions to figure out what does the card say.

Is it a person? No.
Is it a place? No.
So it's a thing.
Is it something you wear? No.
Can you buy it at Target? Yes.
Would it cost less than $10? Could be.
Do you find inside a house? Sure.
Is it made of metal? No.
Wood? Could be.

I can't remember all the questions that were asked (and let me tell you, asking yes/no questions is far more challenging than you might think) but she narrowed it down to something very close to a bottle, but WHO THINKS OF A BOTTLE AS BEING MADE OUT OF WOOD? :P

Hence Maggie's adorable, very confused expressions.

And yet, how do you scrap this with conventional embellishments.  Well, as luck would have it, I have a CAMEO. ;)  So I started scrolling through my library, not really sure what I was looking for but hopeful that I'd find something relatively generic.  I figured I'd just have to do a lot of journaling to explain what's going on here.  But when I came across the light bulbs I was thrilled.  Right? Because it the game she's waiting for that A-HA moment when all the yes/no questions result in the right answer.  And I loved the outline style of the bulbs.  And after I found a couple of bulbs to work with I decided to see if there was a bottle that might have a similar vibe to match.  I'm pretty happy with what I found!

So when I started, all I had was the background with all the circles, but I didn't quite no what was going to go on over on the border part.  All things considering, I'm really pleased with how that worked out.

And I was going to talk about the stacked title and show you a quick peak:

but it turns out my download is finished, so I can go back to 'work'. Yay! :)

Thanks for stopping by for a quickie!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Full Cycle

I started this blog a little more than 4 years ago.  I had just moved and I was on the verge of leaving a job that made me miserable.  Even though I wasn't happy with where I was, I was scared of the unknown.

Well, four years (and a couple of months) later, I've recently moved and I'm about to change jobs again.  Unlike four years ago, I feel blessed in my job and my personal life is  fulfilling. So I've come full circle, back where I started, but somehow on a whole new level.  I'm still a little scared about the future, but there's butterflies of excitement in there, too.  It's good.

But my blog isn't really supposed to be about that.  It's supposed to be about scrapbooking, the Silhouette and other crafty goodness.  So without further ado:

I really need to tweak a thing or two about this layout. I'm not satisfied with the word "short" and it's bugging me.  That said, I love that I got this picture out there with that statement.  For a solid year, every time I talked to Ted I would catch him looking at the top of my head.  Hey, buddy, my eyes are down here! (har har har)  He finally passed me up in early 2013, and he's not as fixated on my part anymore.  Somehow it just didn't sink in that he had gotten this much taller than me already.  And "When did I get so short??" was my true gut reaction to seeing this picture.

And in other housekeeping:  I was on The Paperclipping Roundtable this week.  Yeah. That happened.  For real.  Such an incredibly fun experience.

Apparently it was so amazing that it rendered me incapable of writing sentences like a grown up.  The good news is that during the podcast I don't trip over my words and I sound like I have an intelligent opinion.  On the other hand, you could play a drinking came for every time I called Noell "Nicole".  You wouldn't get drunk or anything, but it did happen.  Fortunately it only happened once, and in the pre-show I apologized in advance because I had a feeling I would do it.  Very embarrassing.  But hey, I didn't cuss, so there's that.

That's about it.  Today is my very last day at Dodd Camera.   I start my student teaching stint with an orientation on Tuesday evening and I'll be in the classroom to observe starting Wednesday at 7:45.  Not sure when I'll actually get to take over the classroom, but I'll be sure to mention it here.  I'm working with two cooperating teachers and teaching 2 Algebra II classes and and 3 Algebra I classes.  Yay!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and thanks (as always) for stopping by!