Sunday, March 30, 2008

Scrappin' Sunday!

I wish that I could say that I got a lot of scrapping done today, but I did manage to complete one layout. And that is enough to make me smile! I guess that is par for the course when one has school work, homework, shopping, and housework to do. I do have ideas rumbling around in my head for another layout, so I may actually get one started/done tomorrow! Two in one week--dang, I am hot! LOL!

Anyway, without further delay, here is today's creation:

And, yes, it is a layout about coffee mugs, or tea mugs, in my case. I just love buying new mugs. They are so fun. I photographed a few of my favorites for this layout. Pretty odd to see this type of layout from me since the kids are my usual subject, but I am trying to break out of the box and scrap more things that have to do with me. I used another Becky Fleck sketch for this one. I have been so inspired as I make my way through her book. So, how was your weekend? Do share...I'd love to hear!


Saturday, March 29, 2008

20 years younger & 40 pounds lighter!

I went for dinner tonight with three of my friends from High School. One of them was my "best" friend, know the one who I had the best friend (half of a heart) necklace with. It was really nice. Of course, it seemed like it was too short, but I guess that is what happens when you have kids and husbands. We talked and laughed about "back in the old days." It was so fun. I really enjoyed the time out, and I hope we can make it a monthly ritual. It really gets hard, though, when everyone has different schedules.

When I got home, I was compelled to drag out the old pictures. Many of them have been cropped and cut into odd shapes. I had them "scrapped" in old magnetic albums. I used all kinds of newspaper and magazines clippings to decorate the pages. Those albums were stored in a cardboard box in my basement for ages. Two years ago, they were hit by a flood when I had a leak in my basement. I managed to salvage most of the pictures even though the albums themselves were destroyed. Now, they are in plastic bags, held together with rubber bands in chronological order waiting for my life to slow down so I can do something with them. I am guessing that may be in about 10 years when Ryan graduates High School...LOL!

So, I scanned two of them to add here. I wish I had before and after shots, but I don't have any recent pictures of us to show.

These were both taken during our Senior year, so technically it was a little less than 20 years ago..and I might be a little more than 40 pounds heavier...but you get the point. I am definitely taking my camera with me next month when we get together...I feel a "then & now" layout coming on!

Hope you are enjoying your weekend! Peace!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring Cleaning, Diecut Machines,Cute little critter, and Books in the Mail!

One thing that I have gotten into the habit of doing is cleaning my computer once a month. I started this after I lost a good amount of pictures when my last computer took a nose dive. I went out and got myself an external hard drive to store back up copies of important stuff, i.e. pictures, fonts, layouts. During the course of a month, I save pics, scan layouts and collect fonts (I am a true font-a-holic.) So, in order to keep my computer "clean" and to protect my valuable data, I do this cleaning. I organize the folders on my computer, delete unwanted stuff and then copy the valuable info to the the external hard drive. I highly recommend something like this to everyone. Whether you back up on DVDs, another drive, a network, or even the something so you don't end up losing everything OR having to pay a huge amount of $$ to have data/files retrieved. So that's my public service announcement for the day!

On a scrappy note, I came across this layout that I had done a little while back for the BHG Scrapbooks, Etc. Make It Yours call. I created 3 layouts for the call, and this is the one that they did not pick up:

My favorite thing about this page is the part of my title that I hand-cut (remember). I keep telling myself that I am going to invest in one of those Electronic Die cut machines that allow you to cut out any font from your computer, but I just never follow through. I really question if it is an investment that I need to make. I do not know much about which machine does what, but I do know that they are not cheap. So, I keep putting it off and cutting with the handy dandy exacto knife. So, if anyone has any recommendations on Electronic Die cut machines, please feel free to let me know...I could use all of the help I could get!

Another recent fun find was this little critter in my house:

I'd like to think that she is a sign of spring, but I kind of know otherwise. It seems that many of these little ladies happen to find refuge from the winter cold in my house. I never kill them, of course, but they can sometimes be a bit annoying. I find myself catching and moving the annoying ones (those flying around the light in my scraproom, for example) to more secluded places in my home. Nonetheless, I think that I am going to take this one as a sign of better weather to come!

And last, but by no means least, I received my shipping notice today from Amazon that my copies of the PageMaps book are on their way to me. You might ask why I am waiting for copies since I just received my contributors copy from Ms. Fleck. Well, I have to be honest and tell you that I have barely allowed anyone to look through that copy of the book. I know, I am crazy! But, I do NOT want a whole bunch of hand touching and turning the pages in it. You see, Becky signed that copy for me. It is my original. The one I will keep forever, and I will NOT take the chance that something might happen to it. So, friends and family have been waiting on pins and needles for their chance to "dig in!" They will arrive next week...then I can show it off to EVERYONE!

That's it from good ol' PA! Peace Out!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

In Front of the Camera

I am not very often in front of the camera. I am the family photographer. I take my camera almost everywhere we go. Now, this does not mean that I actually know what I am doing...because I really don't. Of course, I happen to know the most out of any of my family members, so the job fell to me. Handing the camera to someone else usually ends up with blurry, off-center, or extremely under/overexposed shots. I may not know that much, but I can compose a shot and at least get some focus. All of this pretty much adds up to no pictures of me. I want more than anything to get in front of the camera more, and that means passing the camera to someone else and hoping they can get at least one good shot. I happen to have gotten lucky on Easter when I passed the camera to my niece, Brittany. She somehow managed to get a decent shot of Ryan and I.

So, it may not be the perfect picture, but that really doesn't matter. All that matters is that Ryan will have pictures of him and his mom, and what can be more important than that?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Last Day of Easter Break =(

Yes, I am sad that our break has to come to an end. Not because I do not like my job (because I do LOVE my job), but because it means that I can't sleep in anymore. It will be back to getting up at 5:00 a.m. tomorrow. That's what the "frowny" face is all about.

On a brighter note, I got to scrap today! Woot Woot! Not a lot of scrapping, but enough to feel satisfied (for now.) I absolutely HAD to scrap my boy with the PageMaps book before I started working on anything else. So here it is:
Nothing too fancy. Sometimes, simplicity just says enough. Plus, I wanted the pictures to take center stage. And, of course, I HAD to use a PageMaps sketch. I wouldn't have it any other way. I used one of the sketches from Becky's March Sketches:

I have been dabbling a bit with digital brushes. It's fun to print them onto paper. Here I used Anna Aspnes Hipster Plumes, Katie Pertiet's This and That Brushes, and Shabby Princess' Shabby Stitches. Fun stuff!

I am going to sit down and unload my Easter pics from the camera tonight. Hopefully, I got some good ones. Indoor photography is tough for me. We'll see! Enjoy your day!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter....

From our family to yours:

We are busy playing Wii Playground tonight. More pics and a layout share tomorrow. Hope you had a blessed and joyous holiday!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

In the words of Becky Fleck: "It's In Da House!"

I remember reading that on the PageMaps website when Becky received the first copy of her book. It just stuck in my head. So, today, when the mailman dropped by my house, I thought the same thing: It's In Da House! Before I even cracked the book open, the first thing that I did was take a picture of my "Cover Boy" with his first cover shot:

How many 8 years olds get to say that they were on the cover of a book? One day, his kids will look at this book and say, "Hey, that's my Dad!" I have to say Thank You to Becky for not only asking me to contribute to this endeavor, but for choosing my boy to grace her cover. I'm sure it was an artistic decision, and for some reason, my layout fit what she needed for her cover; but she could have chosen any one of the gorgeous works of art from inside...and it just turned out to be mine. I sure am proud.

I cannot wait to sit down and relax with this book. I took a minute to browse through it, and I have to tell you that the art in this book is fabulous. In addition to Becky and myself, the other contributors were: Marla Kress, Mindy Bush, Tiffany Tillman, and Judi VanValkinburgh. There were also several Friends of PageMaps whose work appear: Shawna Martinez, Dawn Inskip, Kim Kesti, Sheredian Vickers, Vicki Harvey, Patti Milazzo, Becky Heisler, Connie Petertonjes, and Amy Goldstein. You certainly cannot dispute the talent of all of these women!

And one more thing...I can assure you that you will not only enjoy the layouts in the PageMaps book, but you will love reading what Becky has wrote about each of them. She is funny and entertaining. This is NOT your ordinary idea book, for sure! You NEED to get this will NOT be disappointed!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Good Weekend

Yes, we had a very nice weekend. Saturday, I spent the day with Ryan. We went shopping, played video games, and visited my parents. It was nice and relaxing. Today, I was able to get some scrapping in. Like I said before, I usually start my layouts by creating a sketch and an actual layout from that sketch in PSE. Sometimes, though, I don't feel the mojo, so I turn to the tried and true sketches of my super creative friend, Becky Fleck. As many of you may know, she creates the most beautiful sketches for her site PageMaps. If you have not been there, you really should check it out. Not to mention her soon-to-be-released book, Scrapbook PageMaps:Sketches for Creative Layouts, which will be a big hit! So, I chose one of her latest sketches to work with today:

And here is what I came up with:

A few pictures of my boy from the last day of summer vacation. Isn't he a doll? And some of my new Fancy Pants goodies. I love their new "About A Boy" Collection and, of course, some of that felt I got the other day!

Speaking of Fancy Pants, I was thrilled to have won a contest on their blog. I entered my layout from this post and won! WOOT WOOT! You can check all the awesome winners out on the Fancy Pants blog. How exciting!

So, that was my weekend in a nutshell. Pretty good, I'd say! How was yours?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Okay, I did it----------------->

Look a little below to the right, and you will see me. Yes, it's me. Several of my friends have pointed out to me that I don't have a picture of me on my blog. So, I figured they were right, so I bit the bullet and added a picture. I'm not often in front of the camera because I don't think I photograph very well, but I did have this pic from December. Happy now, girls???

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A MUST read!

I seriously hope that she does mind me doing this, but if you have a few minutes to spare, you absolutely MUST stop by my friend Shawna's blog. She is one of the funniest, most down-to earth gals I have ever met (or not met, since we have never actually met in person.) I "met" Shawna a few years back when we were both on the Memory Creators design team. I knew that I liked her from day one. This girl can make you spit soda through your nose...LOL!
She writes from the heart, and her way with words is simply incredible (especially the 4-letter ones)...LOL! And in my book, there is nothing like a perfectly placed 4-letter word to spice up a sentence.

For those of you who have ever watched Spongebob, I believe Patrick referred to these as "sentence enhancers." And I quote, "That's one of those sentence enhancers. You use it when you wanna talk fancy."

Seriously, though, Shawna just has such a way to tell a story that makes you want to keep reading. She is just "real." She stopped by my blog, and I am so glad that she did. Since Memory Creators closed shop, I have lost touch with so many great gals. I followed the links and ended up at her blog...what a blessing. If you haven't noticed, I have added her blog link on the right (another thing that I hope she doesn't mind). I certainly do not want to miss a word of what she has to say (not even a 4-letter one!) If you happen to read this, Shayna Lou....I love ya to bits!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I think I know what the problem is.

What problem, you ask? Well, I know that I just scrapped the other day, but I have to honestly say that I have not been feeling it. I just have not been feeling all that creative. I feel "blah" like I have lost my enthusiasm. Don't get me wrong...I LOVE scrappy supplies. The truth is that I could "collect" them until the cows come home. However, I have come to realize one's not the supplies that fuel my fire. It's the pictures. I am motivated by pictures. And I have to be honest and say that I have been a huge slacker in the picture-taking department. I guess being busy with school and University, I had to put some things on the back burner. Fun outings have been one of them. Hence, I have not paid much attention to my camera. So, I am going to make a promise to myself that I am going to pull that camera out and get clicking. Can't scrap without pics, ya know!

And speaking of pictures, I have been collecting the weekly photo tutorials from Two Peas. They are on week 10, and I have not even started yet. I am NOT a fabulous photographer, and I have TONS to learn, so I was going to join in on this fun to improve my skills. But, of course, that did not happen. Fortunately, I have each week saved, and I am going to challenge myself to start reading and learning. After all, what is life without goals?

And since I do not like to make a post without a picture of some sort, here is one of my Mom and Ryan (with his super-cheesy grin)...why, oh why, can't he just smile nice? This one was from the one day I did drag my camera Mom's 60th birthday. Can you believe she is 60? She looks great to me! Shhh...don't tell her that I told here age...she'll kill me! Peace Out!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Feels good.............

Okay, I don't know what you all were thinking about when you read my title...but I'm talking about scrapbooking...dirty minds!

I'm talking about getting some time to sit down and scrap today...woo hoo! Feels like it has been forever. I still have a little work to do for my University class, but I put it on the back burner to do something FUN! So, I used some of my new goodies from my last post to create this layout of my sweet niece, Emily. She is my poser. Since Ryan has pretty much had it with me following him around with my camera, I have turned to following Miss Em. She never complains and actually LOVES getting her picture taken. Maybe it is a girl thing? This particular picture is from her kindergarten graduation :

Love the Fancy Pants felt soooo much, and I also got to use one of their adorable little stick pins (upper right hand corner.) My scrappy package also contained some patterned papers from Dream Street Papers. It's the blue background here in my it! Now I am off to clean up my mess and maybe watch some T.V., which does not happen very often! Have a good one!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Fancy Pants

No, I did not go clothes shopping. I was referring to the Scrapbooking company, Fancy Pants Designs. My good friend, Stayce, inquired as to what kind of scrappy goodness I received in the mail, so this is my reply. Over the past year, I have taken a liking to their stuff. It's not like I did not like it before because I did. But, I think that my style is evolving a bit. I have been moving away from more graphic papers toward more subtle designs. That could be because my favorite manufacturer, Arctic Frog, closed their doors at the end of 2007. I designed for Alannah and AF for about a year. Loved their stuff. It was just so "me." Sidenote here: I also met a lot of wonderful girls while on the DT there. Lots of talent and just so sweet. I do miss being on that DT. Anyway, I have not been able to find a manufacturer that creates graphic papers like Alannah did. In the meantime, I began using some Fancy Pants papers that I received as part of a "goodie box." I really enjoyed working with their stuff, and have since began buying it. Not only do I enjoy their papers, but they have some great embellishments, too. Like these:

Which, by the way, were a part of my scrappy package. I cannot wait to get using these. They are wonderful! As soon as I opened the box, I tore these babies right out. I love the feel of them. So soft! And they are cut so nice and are so easily removed from the sheet. I do not like to wish my life away because it is short enough the way it is, but I cannot wait for Sunday to come so I can scrap!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I have not forgotten my blog.

When I started my blog up again, I told myself that I was going to blog everyday. That, however, is just not possible. First, I don't always have something to say each and everyday. That may be hard to believe for those people who know me, but it is true. And some days are simply more uneventful than others. Second, real life has a funny way of getting in the way of things that I consider to be "fun." It just so happens that this week is "progress report" week at school. I have been spending my free time at home getting my reports ready to mail out to parents. I am happy to report that I am done, and they will be mailed tomorrow.

The good news is that I did get my scrappy package in the mail yesterday. I have a sketch all ready to go, and I can't wait to get scrapping. A little side note here for those of you who scrap. Before I actually create a paper layout, I create a digital version. I know it sounds like twice the work, but it really is not. What it does for me is it gives me the chance to "perfect" my layout before I even touch a scrapping supply. I can see where I want things to go, move them around as needed, try different embellishments, test different fonts, and experiment with colors, etc. By the time I pull out the patterned paper and print the pics, I am more than half done. The rest is cake.

So, even though I have not even touched an adhesive, I am actually half done with a layout. I think I might actually have a chance to scrap that is what I call fun!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Non-scrappy weekend=(

So, I had it all planned out that I would scrap this weekend. I had my new punch, and I was just waiting for some scrappy goodness to be delivered by the UPS man. Unfortunately, Saturday's mail did not bring my package. I waited and waited and hoped and hoped, but nothing. So, I spent my Saturday with these two adorable faces:

I can't complain because it was a nice day. They played so well together, and they had fun. That's what matters. Then, I spent today finishing up all of the homework for one of my University classes that I am taking. In all, it was a productive weekend, just not scrappy production. So, I will once again stalk the UPS man tomorrow and hope my package arrives. Just something to look forward to!