Sunday, November 30, 2014

November Gratitude and TrueScrap Discount Ending

Reminder:  TrueScrap 6 Individual classes discount price of $9.99 US per class ends tonight!  Find out more here.

How was your Thanksgiving?

I had a really nice Thanksgiving week.  Now for me that is quite remarkable because I admit I'm a Thanksgiving Scrooge.

Turkey is not my favorite and I just plain don't like stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, and pumpkin pie.  You can imagine how I feel about cooking all that for only 3 other people.  So this year I cooked ham, sweet potatoes (the one traditional item I do like) and pumpkin pie for my husband who loves it.  I had plenty of chocolate ice cream in the freezer so I survived the holiday just find :-)

The other reason I'm a Scrooge at Thanksgiving is that something always goes wrong in November.  And plenty did this year but the week of Thanksgiving ran smoothly and I enjoyed myself a lot.

My parents joined us for lunch and seemed to really like the meal.  I got all my Christmas decorations up by Wednesday afternoon.  I even vacuumed and put the boxes back upstairs!  We helped my parents rake leaves getting that task completed before the holiday also.  I had my first experience using a blower.  If my aunt was watching us out her kitchen window, I'm sure she had a chuckle or two at my efforts although I did get the hang of it.

I do love decorating for Christmas, I like the baking, cardmaking and sharing, and just the general feel of Christmas.

So I have several things to be grateful for this week including:

My mother starting me on decorating my garlands.  It was her idea to put a garland up the stairway years ago and she bought a lot of my ornaments at after Christmas sales.  She is not a shy shopper and has been known to climb up on displays to get the ornaments she wants.  I've added to the collection and still love my garlands.  I finally gave in and went to a small artificial tree rather than a large real one.

My family for being flexible in what they eat for Thanksgiving (since I'm the only one who cooks, they don't have a lot of choice but still...)

My first Etsy sale!

Electric leaf blowers and mowers that pick up leaves.  I remember as a teenager having to rake and haul and we did the work in a quarter of the time with the right equipment.  The 50 year old trees at my parents house produce a lot of leaves!

My husband who is the most easy going person in the world taking everything in stride.

With just a hectic month, I haven't always noted my gratitudes but I do find myself counting my blessings more even if I don't write them down.  So for that I'm also grateful to November.

Reminder:  TrueScrap 6 Individual classes discount price of $9.99 US per class ends tonight!  Find out more here.

Friday, November 28, 2014

From Pins to a Page

Isn't Pinterest a wonderful thing?  I still don't really know how they make money but I know I love having a place to organize my links online.  Are there ads?  I haven't noticed.

Recipes, mixed media inspiration, and other scrapbooker's pages are some of my favorite things to pin.  I'm good at referring to the recipes and the mixed media but many of my other boards get added to but not really used.

That is why I took Kelli Crowe's Saw This, Made That class from True Scrap 6. The individual classes are on sale this weekend.  Check them out here or with the link at the end of this post.

Kelli shares how she uses pinboards for inspiration for scrapbook pages.  She shows 10 layouts with several techniques along the way.  She inspired me to create the layout above from this pinboard I'd done months maybe a year ago for some challenge on Two Peas or some other reason.  I can't remember but I'm glad I did. I love the images I just didn't quite know what to do with them

When I created the board I was drawn to brighter colors (still am) and the rainbow effect.  So I used this idea for the watercolor flowers on my pages.

The flowers are cut on the Silhouette after coloring the paper and letting it dry thoroughly.  I used the coverstock setting with blade depth of 7 and only a single cut, not the double cut it defaults to.  I recommend a very sticky mat for this as that watercolor paper wanted to start crawling on my last piece.

Here is the process video at YouTube:

If you want to catch Kelli's class or any of the other great instructors in True Scrap 6, the classes are $9.99 through November 30.  (Regular price is $14.99)  There is also a code on this link to purchase them all for a lower price.  True Scrap 6 Individual Classes link

Today I'm grateful to have mailed off a canvas from my first Etsy sale.  Yeah!  Can't wait to make more.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

True Scrap Classes Available

The individual classes from October's True Scrap event are on sale now.

And through November 30, they a great discount at $9.99 each. (regular $14.99)

Classes from Nichol Magourik, Jennifer Gallacher, and many more.  I love the individual classes because I can buy just what I want and watch the class replay whenever I like.

You've got lots of scrapping stuff.  Learn more ways to use it from these talented ladies.

Click here for more info...

Hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving.  And a big thanks from me to those who have purchased my classes and who watch and comment on my videos!

Monday, November 24, 2014

My Everyday Circus (video)

Normally, I never use preprinted title pages.  I'm more of a B side scrapper.  This paper from Fancy Pants has a really pretty red circle pattern B side; however, I couldn't resist the actual title.  It is especially true of a layout about dealing with one of the many invaders of our bird feeder - a small opossum.  The little critter lodged itself in the feeder at night last March and refused to move until daylight.  Finally my husband put wire around the feeder in the late afternoon and removed in the mornings until the opossum got the "no vacancy" message.

So few creatures seem to understand that a bird feeder is for birds.  Don't even get me started on the squirrels.

I trimmed the A side paper down some to save a bit of that red for other projects and used the homey plaid for the background with the middle cut out of course :-)

Some Washi dresses up this tag with a squirrel - I doubt anyone makes a opossum embellishment.

Here's the video at YouTube:  (this has been reloaded to get all the audio)

Thanks for visiting today!  If you are traveling this week for the US Thanksgiving holiday, I hope you will be safe and enjoy your time with family and friends.  Today I am thankful for my kitty Jasper who keeps us entertained - and mouse free!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Pre-Thanksgiving Sale!

One thing I am thankful for this week is great television. I've enjoyed all my favorite shows this week. I'm particularly addicted to the Thursday night lineup on ABC. One thing I'm sad about though is that several of my shows are taking a break until after the new year.

With TV slowing down, it is a great time to catch up on on-line classes.  I have a treat for you...

All of my classes are 20% off through Monday at 5:00 p.m. ET!

Check out the class page for info on Creative Cardstock, Two Page Terrific and Scrapbooking with Stencils and to register.

Hope to see you in class!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sale coming! Have you heard?

In the November newsletter that went out yesterday, I announced a pre-Thankgiving sale.  All of my classes will be 20% off!  I'll send out an e-mail in a couple of days to give you the exact sale dates.  Be sure you are signed up for the newsletter or check back here on the blog this weekend.

Also today, I have a little story that expresses a gratitude this month.  See this blue crock?  It originally came from the All Healing Springs hotel.  All Healing Springs was a popular summer resort in the early 20th century here in my area.  The hotel burned decades ago.  I thought it had burned before my parents were old enough to remember but I was wrong.  I was treated this week to a little memory of my mothers from when she was a teenager.  This is very rare and I'm grateful something good came out of the challenges this month.

The day after my uncle died, my mother called and told us her washing machine was leaking. Water was coming out all over the utility room floor and she didn't know how to turn it off. Daddy has been under the weather and couldn't help her.  We raced up there.  Her water controls are behind the washer in such a way that it has to be moved to turn the water off.  Fortunately my husband was home and could move the washer and do this for us.

He spent 2 hours trying to fix the washer and figured out the problem but by then she had decided she would replace it altogether. So later in the day, DH went to see some clients while Mother, Daddy and I shopped for a new washer. On the way home, she asked if I was coming up to help her get everything out of the utility room.  Daddy reminded us the washer was still between the cabinet and the wall making the room impassable. So I said, we would have to wait until my husband could get home, right the machine and move it.

Did my mother listen to that?  Well, she listened, she said she agreed but you can imagine what happened. She was determined to clean up her utility room.  I'd also noticed some precariously leaning shelves when we were out there and told her we needed to secure those to the wall.

About an hour and half after we got home from the appliance store, she called and I couldn't tell if she was laughing or crying. I'm still not sure.  I literally dropped the phone on the floor and raced up there.  The shelves had turned over on her.  She was sitting in the living room unhurt, thankfully.  The same can not be said for the utility room, particularly the carpet. When the shelves came down so did a open gallon of Windex followed by an open box of Tide.  To say it was a mess is an understatement.  So I finally persuaded her to stay outside while I held the shelves with one hand and handed her stuff with the other.

We got everything cleared and over the next few days, new carpet and a new washer were installed.  I brought home a few things she had stored there including this crock that she said was valuable.  Mother isn't a blue person so I really didn't know why she had it at all.

One evening they were here at my house and I asked where the crock came from.  She told me she bought it at the estate sale for a house at All Healing Springs.  She also told me about going to the hotel when she was a teenager for dinners sponsored by political parties.  The Republicans had chicken at their dinners and the Democrats ate fish.  Apparently this was a longstanding tradition.  She talked about the family that owned the hotel and she and Daddy recalled the movie theater the hoteliers owned in town.  She told about going to matinees there during the war. This led to other reminiscing.

I'm grateful for this because my parents seldom talk about their lives as teenagers and young adults.  They married a little older than was the custom at the time so their single years are ones I've always been curious about.

So the little blue crock is at my house.  I don't know anything about its history but because of it, I know a bit more about my parents.

Don't forget to check back this weekend for more info on the pre-Thanksgiving sale!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Golden Age

Gold and lots of it are part of this page.  This is the third and final page using this sketch:

This time I did some flipping and photo size changing.  Most of the embellishments are with the circle element which is a stenciled design in gel medium tinted with Perfect Pearls in heirloom gold. For more on using stencils, check out the Scrapbooking with Stencils class where we use all kinds of mediums and techniques on our pages.

I'm having a lot of fun with flowers lately both on canvases and on scrapbook pages.  These are from Wild Orchid Crafts shipped from England. The quality, price, and customer service are great.

Here is the process video at YouTube:

If you aren't already a newsletter subscriber, sign up on the sidebar. The free newsletter goes out Wednesday or Thursday of this week and contains an exclusive video and a little special holiday cheer :-)

My gratitude for today is my aunt Betty, my godmother.  We had a nice chat on the phone last night about caring for parents and it helped.

Hope you have a great day!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Announcing Lovely Layers Art...

my new Etsy shop.

I've shared some of my mixed media canvases on the blog but not nearly all of them.  I have several for sale on my new Etsy shop called Lovely Layers Art.  I hope you will stop by for a visit.

All of my canvases like my scrapbook pages  are built in layers.  On the canvases, I love adding layers of book paper, designer paper, paint, modeling paste, lace, buttons, flowers and whatever else works to create the design.

The layers give the canvases dimension.  You see more each time you look at them. It is a lot like people and life. We are made up of all the things that have happened to us, the decisions we made, and all the people who have influenced us.  We are all layered and it is in exploring those layers that make people especially interesting.

Some of the canvases have photo frames where you can add your own photos to capture a favorite memory in a beautiful space.  These make great gifts.

Some canvases like 'the Four Seasons' below are purely decorative.  Others like the one on top have an inspiring quote.

I hope you will find exploring the layers of my art pieces at Lovely Layers Art interesting as well.

Thanks for stopping by.  Oh, and the November newsletter will be coming out this week so be sure to sign up on the side bar if you haven't already.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Turf War - process video

Continuing on using this sketch, I have a story about my cat and a bird.  Depending on whether you are a cat person or a birder, this story may be one of triumph or tragedy.

Jasper is a ground kitty.  Mice and baby bunnies are in fear of him and as well they should be.  However, he does not like heights.  The most he will climb is onto a table in front of the kitchen window to signal to us he wants to be fed - cat food only, no table food.  I've never even seen him on the porch railings.  He hangs out on the floor mostly.

Most summers I have a bird that wants to build a nest in my hanging baskets.  This hasn't been a problem - not for the cat.  I find it annoying, but the cat is definitely not going to get anywhere near a hanging basket so no issue.  This year though we had a bird that wanted something else.  We are not sure what.  He or she didn't seem interested in any of the plants.  The bird kept picking at the cat, flying in as close as possible.  Jasper ignored it. Eventually it dive bombed him, zooming in to pluck at the cat's fur.  That was just too far.

We knew how this was going to end.  Sooner or later that bird just would not be fast enough.  Sure enough, one evening I walked up on the porch and there was a patch of blood and a gray and white feather sticking to it.

We never saw another bird on the porch all summer.

The photos are one of him chattering at the bird and one of the bird squawking though he is hard to see.

For the page, I did some flipping to get the sketch to work with the way I needed to orient my photos.  I also extended the journaling block to add a little subtitle.

Here is the video at YouTube:

If you have an outdoor kitty, I'm sure you have been through this before.  It can be a cruel world in the animal kingdom but mostly they live in peace.  As a coincidence, I repainted my feeder yesterday and filled it for the first time this season this morning.  The birds found it within the hour.  As long as they stay off the porch, we have no worries.

To catch up with my gratitudes...yesterday I was thankful for the walk we got to take on the last warm day for a long while.  Today I'm thankful for the technology we enjoy every day.

Check back next week for the last of the layouts using this sketch.  If you like using sketches multiple ways, check out the Scrapinar available on the blog's sidebar - Sketchbook Secrets.  Lots of new layouts and ideas.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Easy Holiday Card (Video)

I completed all of my holiday cards last month, or so I thought.

Then I signed up for a card swap with a group of wonderful ladies so I figured I'd better get busy making some more cards.  This is a low pressure swap.  You can even use store bought cards.  I have so many supplies, I can certainly make some more.  So I'm reaching back into older stamp sets to see what I can do with them.

This card is similar to others I've made and meets one of my main objectives this season - only one postage stamp per mailing.  I was shocked when I bought my last book of stamps and it was nearly $10!  I knew they had gone up but it still surprised me. Anyway, these with just one layer of cardstock and no trim shouldn't take any extra postage.

The card uses Stampin' Up's Lovely as a Tree set.  You could use any single tree stamp.  The green ink must be permanent though so the white puffy fabric paint won't mix with the ink and give you green snow - ick.

Here's the process video:

Thanks for stopping by today.  I'm grateful to all of you who read my blog and comment on my videos!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Thankful for Family

I'm an only child but I have a big extended family.  My father was one of 7 children.  We aren't close in that we keep in touch day to day, but we are there for each other when tough times happen.  Everyone turns up for funerals which unfortunately we gathered for on Sunday.

In April I shared this layout of my uncle Fred.  He was my aunt's (my Dad oldest sister's) husband for 72 years.  He passed away last week just a few weeks after his 99th birthday.

So I'm thankful for the privilege of knowing Fred and having him as my neighbor for the last 25 years.  His smile always made the day brighter.

And I'm grateful knowing I can count on my family.

Thanks for visiting today.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Grateful for...

Fall color.  I took this photo late yesterday when we returned from our chilly walk.  The light was just perfect on some trees at the edge of the woods.  In our part of the state, the leaves are at their peak in early November.

Today, I'm grateful to have had an outing with my husband.  It was mostly shopping and lunch out.  We didn't do anything really special but it felt great to be out of the house for awhile enjoying such a beautiful day.  Plus, hubby suggested we go to Hobby Lobby!  I'm lucky that he likes going there and can browse as long as I do. First I had taken him to Academy Sports and Outdoors as I was look for and found a jacket. He had never been there and was impressed with their fishing gear selection.

So we are off for another walk.  Maybe I'll wear my new jacket. Oh, who am I kidding?  Of course I will. I'm definitely not someone to buy something and put it away for months.

Hope you have a great Saturday!  What are you grateful for today?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Fall card and Thanks

Nothing has quite gone as planned this week so I'm behind on posting my gratitudes.  When life is hectic, it makes me particularly thankful for the simple things I've been looking forward to.  One of those was the CMA (Country Music Association) awards last night.  The CMA's is a great show full of music; the awards almost seem like an afterthought.  I'm always amazed by the staging. I enjoyed 3 hours of uninterrupted music and TV.

Today I'm thankful for my pharmacist.  She found a discount coupon for me last month and chased it down again this month.  It took the copay from $50 to $4! I would have never known about this so I'm delighted.  One of the benefits of a small town are independent stores like my pharmacy with the same people who get to know you and go out of their way to help out.

I'm also sharing a card made with the Autumn Splendor set from Raisin Boat.  I had to fix a minor 'oops.'  At one point I got a bit of brown ink on the right side of the background after I had stamped the greeting.  So I used a heavy coat of brown ink around the edges and it all blended together.

I hope you are having a good week!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Election Day and New Sketch and Video

Election Day is finally here!  I've always been thankful for the right to vote.  People all over the world are still fighting often literally for that right.  It is something we should never take for granted.

Something I can add to that in recent years is the availability of information on candidates. While I know you certainly can't believe everything you read online, there are many sources for info and that really helps for a lot of the offices.  And now onto my project for today.

Earlier in the year, I used one sketch multiple ways.  I'm doing that popular series again.  For the first layout, I have photo of this little darling using Echo Park's Everyday collection.  Such pretty colors and patterns are paired with both mulberry paper flowers from Prima and some cut on the Silhouette.

Here is the process video at YouTube:

And here is the sketch:

If you like sketches and want more tips for using them different ways, check out the Scrapinar I did in June.  It is available for a low purchase price here -

Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope you got a chance to vote.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Thankful30 - the hydrangea bloomed!

Looking at this photo, you might wonder if it is spring or fall.  Actually I took the photo for precisely that quandary on a layout.  While our hydrangea bushes will have an occasional late bloom, what makes this year unique is these are their only blooms - in October.

We had a late frost that bit back everyone's hydrangeas so I was delighted to enjoy a month of beautiful blue blooms this fall.  They make such a pretty mix with the orange maple, don't they?

So this will eventually end up on a layout, it seemed the perfect time to share it and add to one the many things I'm grateful for - having lovely flowers in my yard for at least 7 months per year.

Which months for which flowers may vary.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

An extra hour - Thankful30

What did you do with your extra hour today?  Most of the US went off Daylight Savings Time and 'fell back' one hour giving us a little extra time for the weekend.

I used my extra hour to backup my computer and do some organizing.  Boring, I know, but necessary.  I am looking for a good way to keep to-do lists on my computer.  I tried a Windows app but it was very limiting so I'm now trying One Note.  I experimented with Microsoft One Note that came with Office a few years ago but didn't do a lot with it.  While I keep to-do lists written down there are many benefits to having them electronic so they roll along as the days go and repetitive tasks don't have to be rewritten.

I know a lot of people would like Daylight Savings to last all year but I welcome the time change.  It is so hard for me to get up and moving before daylight particularly as I work from home.

So I'm thankful today for that extra hour.  The rest of my hours will be filled with crafting, I hope, and maybe doing a few things on those lists.

Hope you have a lovely Sunday.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

All Saints Day and starting Thankful30

Happy November!  With Thanksgiving later this month, November is an excellent time to remember all we have to be thankful for.  I know I often get caught up in what's wrong and don't focus enough on what's right or in today's case, who was right.

November 1 is All Saint's Day.  Being raised Lutheran, we commemorated this day on the first Sunday in November.  Everyone who had passed away in the previous year was recognized.

To me it is a day to reflect on those who were special in my life.  Last fall, I journaled about 5 important people from my life.  I reread the entry last night and remembered so many wonderful things about these special people - some family and some friends.  One person I have not written about much is my maternal grandmother - Maw Maw.

My Aunt Margie, Maw Maw, My Mother and Me in the late 1970's

I didn't appreciate Maw Maw that much growing up.  Honestly, I took her for granted.  My dad's mother was my fun grandmother.  Mother's mother was a homemaker who started caring for others when she was about 10 years old and her own mother died leaving her several siblings to raise.   Maw Maw was a great cook; she made the best biscuits.  She took care of me often on the weekends when I loved to stay at their house.  I just never understood her as a child or young adult.  She didn't know much about the modern world.  People always think it is funny that she would not let me drink Cheerwine because she thought it was alcohol.  (Cheerwine is a popular cherry soda in our area.)

The thing I most could not understand about my grandmother was how she worried so much.  It didn't seem to me as a child there was anything to worry about.  Boy, those were the days! I'm a worrier now and now I understand her so much better.  I also have come to appreciate a lot of her wisdom.  She may not have ever watched television (really, she refused to look at it) or have traveled but she certainly knew a lot about people, growing things, quilting and kindness.

So today I'm grateful that I had Maw Maw in my life until I was 22.  I'm thankful she loved me.
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