Friday, August 31, 2012

On the first day of Christmas...

"my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree."

I love this song.  Years ago, I did 12 cross stitch ornaments representing the verses of the song although I still can't get all the numbers straight.  Is it 8 maids a milking or 10?  Anyway...

The card was inspired by a new stamp set from Lawn Fawn called "And a Partridge."  I already had this pear stamp from the Cheep Talk set by Stampin' Up! and I certainly had plenty of bird images.  This one is cut on my Cricut using the Straight from the Nest Stamp Set.

The card is for both the color and sketch challenges at Splitcoaststampers this week.  This is the 400th sketch challenge!  We could pick any of the past sketches.  I twisted the elements of SC390 around a bit to make them work with my supplies.

Mary Marsh picked wonderful late summer colors for this week's color challenge - Lucky Limeade, Daffodil Delight and Rich Razzleberry.  Bright summer tones that blend into the deep wine color often associated with fall.  And then I turned them into a Christmas card :-)

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Happy? Baby

Were you a good baby?  Did you cry a lot?  Or do you know?

I was not a good baby.  Apparently I cried most nights keeping my poor mother up rocking me.  My father, wanting to escape the crying infant who had overtaken his peaceful home, went out in the dead of winter and constructed a split rail fence.  I am not kidding. He really did build the fence and I was told all my growing up it was to escape my crying!  The jokes on him though, that fence still needs regular maintenance.

So I was surprised to come across this photo of me looking so happy in my crib.  Maybe it is because it is daytime.  Apparently I wasn't so difficult during the day.  Mother said I outgrew the crying about the time I started walking.  Perhaps I wore myself out during the day and finally slept at night.

For the layout, I wanted to emulate the look of a mobile with the MME doily stickers.  Most of these products including the cute clothespins are from previous month's ArtfulDelight kits.  I've been  mixing kits and now I don't know what came from where.  They are coordinating nicely.

I did photo corners for the photo so the original could be removed.  My mother's handwriting is on the back.

This was the first page on my shelf I shared yesterday.  All the other layouts there have been blogged about before.  I'd forgotten I hadn't posted this one yet.

So I was a difficult baby but I think I was a fairly easy teenager so I guess everything evens out.

Thanks for visiting today!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Scrapbook Page Display Shelf

For years I've been wanting a shelf to display my completed pages for a few days before putting them away.  I had the perfect spot but there were two problems.

One was my laziness.  The shelf would go under a high window that had leaked ages ago.  The window was repaired last spring yet I'd never gotten around to repainting the wall.  I knew this had to be done before a shelf went up.

The next part was that I couldn't find a long enough shelf.  I guess the procrastination comes in here a bit, too.  I had someone who would make the shelf if I got the materials and provided a drawing.  Finally last week, I went shopping for moulding.

I found the perfect thing and was able to do it all myself after I had my husband make one cut of the moulding.  I'm tickled with the result and I have to say a bit high on the accomplishment.  I only painted the damaged part of the wall as it is a cathedral ceiling and you can't tell at all that it wasn't entirely painted.  It pays to save paint chips when you build or remodel.  I've done far more complex projects in my window treatment business but for some reason this little job gave me an extra thrill.  I live such an exciting life :-)

Anyway, here's a video showing the moulding used with a brief description of how to do this if you want an inexpensive shelf for displaying pages.

Watch at YouTube

The moulding is from Lowes Hardware.  It is Primed Radiata Pine Crown Moulding, $15.  I recommend displaying your pages out of direct sunlight.  Paper and stamped ink fades fast if you windows do not have total UV protection.  Even if they do, you can have some fading over time.

Thanks for watching!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Garden Pages with Punched Borders

Garden Girl challenged us to make pages with punched borders.  What more appropriate subject than garden pages!  These are from the Biltmore House.  Actually only the first layout is of the gardens.  The 2nd is more of the grounds and the critters who live there.

For both pages, I used a Sale-a-bration paper pack from Stampin' Up! that went with their Vintage Floral stamp set.  The colors were perfect for the pages.  Mostly I used scallop border punches but handcut the fan border based on the paper design.

For this first layout, I added some flourishes cut with the Cricut.  The two metal tags have been in my stash for at least 5 years.  I remember buying them on a trip to Tennessee at the Scrapbook Superstore in Sieverville.  I have no idea if the store still exists.  I hope so.  They have an awesome sale area.  Anyway, it was about time to move those pretty embellishments out of my stash.

Also for this first layout I used the scroreboard to score some Sahara Sand cardstock and added a Crate Paper die cut to create a column look for the title.  The scoring shows up better in person.

The second page is about some of the current residents of the Biltmore Estate - geese.  Geese are very proprietary and they certainly thought the road belonged to them.  This isn't the first time I've had to yield the right of way to feathered friends at Biltmore.

Rather than die cuts, I stamped flourishes on these pages.

Many brads were used on these layouts but more are on their way from a Peachy Cheap order I did last week. is a deal of the day type site for scrapbooking stuff.  They are getting more and more good stuff on there.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Challenge Card and Roses

Aren't these lovely?  My cousin Jeffrey grew them!  I was delighted when he brought me a bouquet.  There are 7 different varieties by my count.  Currently they are bringing some color and wonderful scent to my dining room.

My card today is based on Rainy's sketch this month on her blog.  There are still a few days left to play for a treat.

I used the new Summer Afternoon hostess set from Stampin' Up! and added some now discontinued In Color designer paper.  I'm a bit rusty on the card challenges.  It took me forever to make my paper choices. Typically I pick paper before doing my coloring but this time went the other way round.   I can always count on those SU! paper pads to come through.

The daisy is cut using the Accent Essentials Cricut cartridge and curled a little with my paper piercer.

Thanks for dropping by today!  I finally shopped for something to display my scrapbook pages.  Now the project begins!  Where did my helper, I mean, husband go...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

He mows...

and mows and mows and mows.  My Dad retired in early 2011.  He was always passionate about mowing his yard but now he mows our yard, too.  It is a big help.  The only challenge is keeping him from mowing when it is wet.  He gets downright depressed when it rains so much he can't get out there on his tractor.  He has been known to mow our grass only 1 hour after the rain stops.

While I know most of the country is under a drought, we've been fortunate to have rain most of the summer.  This keeps him mowing and happy.

Daddy has always mowed some here.  He started cutting the large field on my property years ago.  I asked my Mother if I should hire someone else to do that so I wouldn't take up his time.  He and she ran a business together right beside their home.  "No!" she said.  "It gets him away from the house and shop for awhile."  Years later, when Lenny retired, I knew exactly what she meant.  :-)

For the layout, I did another basketweave.  The last time I did this, I covered up so much of it.  This time I used narrower strips and kept it as more of an anchor in the design.  The main papers are Macho Nacho from Jillibean Soup mixed up with some Basic Grey and MME 6x6 Paper pads.

The scallop sun and other designs are made from Stampin' Up!'s Quintessential Flower stamp.  This coordinates with two scallop punches and several circle punches.  I just used varying shades of yellow inks and cardstock.  To get the yellow flecks, I stamped them on using a dot stamp and yellow paint.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Crop via Skype

This is not my regular craft space.  It is my dining room table covered with several stamp sets, inks and embossing tools.  My husband was out of town and I was having a fun card making session.  Alone?  No, I had a wonderful friend with me - just not actually in the same room or even the same town.

My best friend Karen now lives 4 hours away :-(   It seems though that we talk and even 'see' each other more than ever :-) thanks to the good old telephone and Skype.

I was planning to go for a visit this month; however, some of my aches and pains have returned in unpredictable ways so I decided to wait on the visit.   We had planned to do some crafting together and found a way to do it anyway via Skype.  We both have laptops with built in webcams.  My only catch was my regular crafting table just isn't big enough for all my stuff and a good place to put the computer.  That's why I'm in the dining room.  We positioned the laptops to see each other most of the time but quick tilt of of the lid would put the focus on our techniques.  I even carried the laptop into the kitchen to continue to chat while I fixed lunch.

While there is no substitute for being in the same place together, there are some advantages to sharing your creativity from home:  no packing and you never really forget anything - supplies aren't more than a room away.  It doesn't take a lot of planning to do this either.  You can Skype for an hour or two and then return to other activities you have planned.  Skype is available on regular computers and mobile devices for free.

The cards above are ones I completed after our session using components we did together.  We tried several techniques including the water stamping on Splitcoaststampers shown on the left.

The scalloped design is from the Four Season set from Stampin' Up! - one we both own now.

We had fun and plan to do this again soon.  I also hope to get down there for a visit again before the end of the year.  In the meantime it is nice to have technology on our side.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Our newest resident

Last Thursday was a beautiful day here.  I was feeling good after lunch strolling down to the cantaloupe patch to pick a much anticipated melon.  We have some 'old' melons and 'new' ones.  The old ones are volunteers from last year.  The new ones are those we set out when the volunteers hadn't come up yet.  The new ones look great but are hard and not very sweet.  The old ones have just about stopped bearing.  On Thursday, I'd considered picking the last ripe one but held off one more day just to make it a bit more perfect.

When I got to the patch, here is what I found:

Something had eaten my perfect melon!

This isn't the first time.  Earlier in the season we had several melons nibbled on.  My husband said it was rabbits.  My uncle claimed rats were the culprit.  But I knew what critter had done this.  I'd seen them in the yard and later that afternoon I saw them in my patch - Crows!  To be even further insulted, the crows are only eating from the 'old' ones.  They apparently don't like the new melons either.

So on Saturday, Sally the Scarecrow was born out of necessity.  My husband wanted to name her Mrs. Delacroix.  He may have seen a bit too much Masterpiece Theater.  Anyway, Sally is on the job now so let's hope we get some more melons.

You know this is going to become a scrapbook page eventually.  By then, perhaps I'll know how good Sally is at her job.  Her first full day was a success. I saw a lot of crows on Sunday - in the neighbor's yard.

Hope you have a great day!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Our Day at Biltmore

Ah, the Biltmore House - or the Biltmore Estate as they call it now.  The first time I went to Biltmore in  Asheville, NC - about 80 miles from us - I was in the 4th grade.  You could only tour the 1st and 2nd floors.  I remember what a big deal it was when they opened the basement which contains the indoor pool and bowling alley.  I bet these were a really big deal in the late 1800's when the house was constructed.  Now you can tour rooms on the 3rd and 4th floor as well.  This was the first trip I'd seen the nursery.  It was so beautiful as is everything in the French Chateau style mansion constructed by George Vanderbilt.  The estate is still owned by the family. It was a pleasure to introduce the house to the children and their father.  Jaime had been there as a child.  That is actually why she wanted to go back.


Jaime wanted the children to see places her Dad had taken her & her sister when they came to NC to visit him so Biltmore Estate was definitely on the list. On the drive to Asheville, I told them the landscaped road to the house was my favorite part and we all enjoyed seeing the grounds.  I made sure Dillon & Nai Nai were on the passenger side of the van so they could get a good view of the house as we went through the gates.  Inside the house, Nai Nai wanted to do the audio tour along with her parents. We didn’t think she would stick with it but she did every room often telling them what number they were on.  They learned there are 43 bathrooms & that women had to go through 8 changes of clothes in one day!  No matter how many times I go I always see something new. This time it was the gargoyles.  I never knew they were all different.  We had lunch at the Stable CafĂ©.

For the pages, I used papers from Little Yellow Bicyles' Saturday's collection to pick up on the colors of everyone's clothes.  I added some Sahara Sand cardstock to complement the house.  The border is cut with the Storybook Cricut cartridge and spritzed with lots of Angel's glimmer mist.

I have a few other pages coming along on the estate.  We also went through some of the gardens and the farm.  Taking a city girl to a petting zoo can be quite humorous.  More on that later...

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

By the Numbers

I confess.  I have a Thicker addiction.

Back when I got my Cricut my plan was to cut all my own letters.  Up until then I'd mostly printed my titles from the computer along with the journaling.  I didn't use stickers very much.  Then I discovered Thickers and well, the poor Cricut sits dormant much of the time.  I do use it, just not for alphas.

However there are some Thickers that are as languished as my poor Cricut - the numbers.  I almost never use numbers on a layout other than the date. Typically I keep the date small.  So here is how I've used up a few of those number Thickers for special date based cards.

The top one is for a 30th anniversary.  To get the 'th' I just inked those letters with a marker from a word stamp such as from the word 'the' or 'birthday.'

The floral design is embossed and colored with distress inks and a blender pen.

For this card, I tried a monochromatic color scheme.  The truck is stamped on vellum.  The 'th' in this case are regular stickers from Crate Paper.

I could also see using the numbers to print out the year.

Do you have a special use for all the number Thickers?

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 13, 2012

I love Card Class Night

This layout makes me happy.

I love the subject - our card classes here at my house.  I love the arrangement based on ArtfulDelight's August sketch here.  I love the products.  The two background pages are from my stash and have been passed over many times before finding their perfect home.  Most of the other elements are from ArtfulDelight's August kit.  The papers are Basic Grey Paper Cottage.  There is also some Making Memories ribbon I found at the dollar store and some American Crafts that has also been in my stash awhile.  Love to mix old and new elements.

I took one of the busier papers and cut up the elements - the tea cups and some of the flowers.  This is such a cheap way to add embellishment.  The kit also came with stickers and I mixed in several of those.  Since the subject is our card class, I had to do a little stamping on the layout, too.  The small stamps help connect the different areas.  I kind of smooshed one of them but you can't see it so much when you look at the overall layout.

The rhinestones were my last add and they really make me smile.  They were also in the kit and are the perfect little touch of color and bling.  I don't tend to think of these without a kit to prompt.

Just realized I didn't write in the date on that pink sticker from October Afternoon.  I'll do that before putting it in my album.

Speaking of which, this layout reminds me that I really want to fix a way to display pages in my craft room/guest room.  I'd like to look at them for awhile before tucking away into albums.  Do you display your pages for awhile before putting them away?

Thanks for stopping by today!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Life at 22

I have complained a few times here that there are very few photos of me from childhood.  Well, I was just as bad as I got older.  I didn't take that many photos of my 20's either.  I knew though that I had photos from one period in my 20's and that was around my first wedding.  Now I don't plan to scrapbook the wedding but I hoped when I went back through that old box I'd find something besides wedding photos and I did. These were made at my bridal luncheon thrown by a co-worker.

I didn't want a traditional shower and she wanted to do something for me.  The event was perfect.  The photos also really tell the story of what my life revolved around when I was 22 years old - work, my co-workers, my fiance, my wedding - probably in that order.  (This might have been a clue about how the marriage would go, but it is a lot easier to see that in hindsight.)

I was just finishing my first full year of real work after college and it had been challenging to say the least. I worked in the budgeting department of a large company in our area.  Putting together a budget is not something for a recent college grad to do.  When you are in college, you can still get an "A" if you miss a couple of things on a paper or test.  In my job, everything we prepared went to top management.  It had to be perfect or it was wrong.  There was no in between.  So it was stressful with lots of long hours.  I spent a lot of time with people I found in the photos that accompanied the ones on this page.

I did another page using those photos but decided not to post it.  I'm not sure everyone would appreciate having their 25 year old photos shared. Some people are still with the same company, many moved away and I lost track of them. Going back through these photos and thinking about each person brought back a lot of fun memories.  The guys weren't included in the luncheon but I still remember all of them, too.  We played a lot of practical jokes on one another to lighten the mood, like putting snow in one of my co-workers cubicle overhead bins.  The joke was on us though.  The heat had gone off once again in our old building and the snow wouldn't melt!  We wanted it to drip down on his desk and surprise him. We did a lot of crazy stuff to keep each other sane through the pressure and the work.

I stayed in that job for 2 years and moved on with the company.  It was an invaluable experience in all ways.

For the page, I used a Basic Grey's Sweet Threads for a background matching the pastel colors of my dress.  I wore a lot of pastels in my 20's. The canvas flowers and butterfly are Prima.  They are first stamped and covered with chalk and then some mist.  I added some Stickles to the butterfly to go with the other Prima flowers.

Thanks for accompanying me down memory lane.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend.  I have some long distance stamping planned.  More on that later.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fall Bookmark Card

For card class this month, we did this fall card which holds a bookmark using Pink Paislee's Prairie Hill collection and the Four Seasons hostess stamp set from Stampin' Up!  All of us are readers who have friends who are readers so these are enjoyable cards to make and to give.  Although I have to confess, I haven't given away the last bookmark we made in class!  Sometimes I get so busy making cards, I forget to send them.  :-(

When making a bookmark, I always like to have as few potentially loose edges as possible.  So for this one, I cut all the paper strips longer than the yellow top piece and then folded them under the yellow chevron.  A piece of yellow cardstock covered the back to conceal and protect all those edges.  

For the circle element, we used 3 different inks and pressed the ink pad to the stamp in 3 areas to get a graduation of color.  We didn't worry about the center of the design as we were covering it with a button.

One of my favorite parts of this card is an idea I got from Rainy (Susan) here.

She used these large SU! grommets on her card and I've used them to hold some ribbon over the front so the bookmark won't fall out.

Everyone liked the cards we made.  I think the big hit of the evening was dessert.  I found this recipe in Oprah's magazine for Peaches and Sour Cream Ice Cream.  What I loved was you didn't need an ice cream freezer since we don't have one.  It was very easy to make and I had some fresh local peaches.  I doubled the recipe to be sure I had enough even though it is quite rich.  Ice cream keeps (in theory) so well anyway.

Thanks for stopping by today!  I've got to get back to the kitchen and put away some more of those peaches.  I'm swimming in fruit around here.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Distress Ink Storage

Every time I wanted a distress ink, I always had to dig for it.  I kept them in a drawer stacked in groups of three.  The one I wanted never seemed to be on top.  While I love this product, honestly, it amazes me that they were not designed to fit in some type of holder.  I did a quick Internet search for storage and didn't turn up anything that worked for me.

Finally I remembered I had this old cassette tape holder in the basement.  Until earlier this  year, I had a van that only played cassettes.  I guess you could call that retro or cheap as I keep my vehicles for a really long time :-)  Anyway, now that I'm sort of in the 21st century - I have a CD player (Yippee) but no i-pod plug-in (I don't own one of those either), I really don't need the cassettes and certainly not their pretty holder originally from the Bombay company (circa 1980's).

So here it is performing a far more important task and holding my distress inks and some other ink pads that don't fit into the Stampin' Up! ink holder.

I know most people don't have a Bombay Company cassette tape holder gathering dust in their basements, but I wanted to share as a repurposing project. What have you repurposed for scrapbook and stamping storage?  Where do you keep your distress inks?

Here is a short video of my storage project:

Watch at YouTube

Thanks for visiting today!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Title Page using a Kit

Back to scrapbooking with my title page for our vacation photos.  We do a group shot every year on the last day.  I think it would be fun to put all on one page sometime to show a comparison.  Hopefully the kids are the only ones growing.  :-) For now, I have this year's photo using supplies mostly from the ArtfulDelight August kit.

I also video taped this one.  Typically when I do a video of a scrapbook page, I know exactly - well, almost exactly - what I'm going to do.  In this case I had some ideas but really didn't know for sure as you can tell from the video.  Warning:  I change my mind on minor things a time or two.  I learned that when I do this kind of 'seat of the pants' scrapbooking on video, it will take A LOT of editing to get it down to a reasonable length. I chopped out a lot of the glueing and some of the indecision.

There are two techniques in this - one is the basketweave I used to anchor the photo (at 4 minutes in).  I'm working with a rather bright stripe salvaged from a busy print.  The other technique is getting ink drops when you don't have and don't want to create a mist for a particular color.  (at 7 minutes)

Watch at YouTube

Thanks for stopping by today!  I have another video for Tuesday on organizing my distress inks.  I promise, it is much, much shorter and I didn't even have to do any fierce editing.  Happy day!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Window Card

Happy Friday!  I've been making mostly cards the last few days getting ready for card class next week.  This morning I woke up with an idea of my next layout!  I was in one of those situations where I had so many supplies that went with a particular photo I didn't know where to start.  So after a busy day today perhaps tomorrow I'll get to put these thoughts to work.

The image here is from Stampin' Up!'s "Summer Afternoon" - a new hostess set.  I have been inexplicably saving this.  I never save stuff, so I don't know what I've been thinking.  Summer is winding down and this really needed to see some use before long.  All the images are lovely.  I thought this was the most like a late summer day.  I used the Cricut to create a window card.

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Stamping a Photo Mat

Happy August!   The temps and the calendar sure know it is August.

Last weekend I needed a birthday gift for a relative I really don't know all that well - as far as hobbies and things you might normally use as inspiration for a gift.  He is very close to his parents and I had a photo of them just out in their yard on their 70th wedding anniversary earlier in the year.   So I thought I'd frame it for him.  I purchased a frame for a 4x6 photo that had a plain white mat.  To spice it up a bit, I stamped some leaves in Versamark and embossed with clear powder. I then went over the entire mat with several distress inks.  Before framing, I added the anniversary date  at the bottom.

My photo is only of the mat because my aunt was adamant that I never show the photo to anyone. It was actually a good picture even if she didn't think she was dressed for it :-)  Anyway, I hope her son was exempt from the 'anyone.'

This week, I've been getting some photos cropped and off to the developer so I'll have more things to scrap.  I got in my ArtfulDelight August kit a bit early and it is marvelous!  I'm anxious to do some more scrapbooking but I've let myself run low on photos.

Hope you are having a good week!
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