Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fruit Tree

Will this be the tree that produces fruit for us?  It's been 20 years and my husband who normally has a green thumb just can't grow fruit.

It isn't all his fault.  It's really too cold here for peaches.  Every other year they get frost bit.  If they survive the cold, they have to fend off the Japenese beetles and the squirrels.

Still he is trying and this was his latest effort - another plum tree for cross pollination.  I captured it as a page because it was the first gardening thing he was allowed to do following a long winter and spring of medical challenges.  He is doing much better now.

For the page, I used a large tree stamp and some mists.  The papers are an older collection from Fancy Pants.

Check out the video at YouTube:

Here's the sketch:

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Working with Small Photos

I'm not a Facebook fan.  There are so many things I don't like about it, I can't even tell you.

Facebook, however, is not the only platform out there that encourages uploading of small photos to share electronically.  Sharing online is a great idea to a degree.  The problem becomes when we rely solely on these methods of capturing and sharing photos.  Where will these pictures be in 5 years, 10 years or longer?  Actually I can't find anything online from 5 weeks ago most of the time.

These photos are usually very small files.  This is great for displaying on a screen but lousy for printing.  And printed photos are truly the only way you will keep your photos long term.  Websites will come and go or at least change.  Electronic storage becomes dated.  My last computer couldn't read the CD's made on the one before it.

A hard copy of your photos last and that is where we scrapbookers have the advantage.  I'm not advocating only printing images and not having electronic backups.  I think we need to do both but I think we need to be sure we print important photos at a good size for viewing.  The challenge becomes when the sources of your photos only share the tiny little files from on-line.

I was delighted to get these pictures of the little guy's first fishing trip in my inbox until I downloaded them and saw how small they were.  They had been shared on Facebook. I printed them at 300 dpi, you can go as low as 200 and usually be OK but I couldn't print anything decent at 4x6 inches.  So I did print one of them larger but used a semi-transparent version of it for the journaling and title area.  You can't see how pixelated it is that way.

The video shares how to do that in Photoshop Elements.  If you don't have that software, the video picks up about 8 1/2 minutes in with the rest of the layout including the cute little fish cut on the Silhouette and then dressed up with some markers.

Watch at YouTube

Here's the sketch.

So that is my rant for the day - have electronic backups but do print out favorite photos at a good resolution.  Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Before and After Bedroom update and Art

Have you ever noticed how passive-aggressive even the most agreeable husband can be about decorating?

My husband has joked about the floral fabrics in our bedroom for years.  Of course I asked him in 2002 before selecting the floral chintz fabric with matching stripe, but do you think I got an honest opinion?  No, he waited until it was all done to start joking that it was too feminine. He claimed he really did like it but I guess I'll never know for sure.   This valance is actually really beautiful though you can't tell much in this old photo.  (I hunted everywhere for my good old photos and can't find them.  I know I have digital copies in off-site storage fortunately.)

It was a very pretty room for a long time but then it became more and more dated.  Toward the last years of my 16 year window treatment business which I closed in 2013, everything had gotten very simple.  Simple, simple, simple was all I was hearing from clients.  Fabrics were luxurious in texture but had little variation in colors.  Finding more than two colors in one fabric was rare.  It took me awhile to embrace this look for myself.  Clearly I'm a 'more is better' girl when it comes to fabric.

What I wanted for our bedroom this time around was a semi-neutral palette that I could use as a backdrop for art, quilts, pillows and accessories.  I'm not looking to buy more accessories just to swap some things around in the house.  I wanted a more modern look but almost all my accessories are antiques.  So I've mixed styles here.  The draperies are more midcentury look, the bed is more current and the antique furniture and accessories start in the late 1800's.

What works for me the most is that it is orderly and fairly easy to keep that way.  I have this embarrassing photo taken just before I de-chintzed the room by removing all the old window treatments and bedding.  Things had clearly gotten out of hand.  The qulited bedspread and pillow shams weren't even on the bed anymore at that point.

I made new window treatments early in the year using the ivory and gold fabrics my mother and I selected.  These are blackout lined per my husband's request (see, if you tell me what you want, you want you might get it :-)  I'm so glad I made them when I did as they were a wonderful help this winter as he recovered from some surgeries.

With everything that was going on, I didn't work on the new bedding until the last month.  The bedspread is from Steinmart and was exactly what I was looking for - a soft gray stateen quilted in a pattern I could turn in any direction.  It is a king size even though we have a queen bed because the ready-made bedding industry has never learned how to measure a bed or realized that mattresses are now more than 6" deep! I can turn this sideways and have enough drop off each side to cover the mattress.  It is even reversible with the same fabric on the inside.

I found the bedskirt fabric at a discount fabric store and did a tailored style rather than ruffles this go round.  It's just a neutral that is easy to work with.  The pillows were actually the biggest investment of the bedding as the luxurious fabrics were not cheap.  I kept them simple knife edge without even any cording.  My clients would be shocked at the lack of cording, buttons or flanges.  Simple, simple, simple.

Really the pillows are to compliment the art piece.

I've had this planned for months.  The planning though was more in my mind in vague theory about how it would work. Reality was a little harder to achieve.  the blocks are from a thrift shop that takes in materials you can use in arts and crafts.  These started as finish samples for the furniture industry.  I bought dozens and dozens of them for a dime and quarter each.  I coated them with gesso and then started adding color.

The first weekend I really started to pull this idea together I thought it was a loss.  So much of a loss that I dashed off to Michaels on Memorial Day to get some large canvases on sale and just come up with something else.  In that process though I had an idea that might work with the little squares.  I'd been going for some sort of circular pattern over a cluster of squares but I didn't have enough continuity of color.  The squares just didn't work together.

In this version I went with a rainbow color scheme and I swear I didn't start out to arch this like a rainbow but that is what happened when I started putting them together.  They are hot glued to some strips of wood on the back.  Each square has lots of layers of paint, stenciling, some book paper, and gel medium.

I had to lay it all out on the dining room table to glue it together and other than burning my right index finger (ouch!) it went smoothly after a rocky start.

The only thing left in the room to update is my dressing table still skirted in the striped chintz.  I'm still thinking on that one and it can certainly wait a few months.

The update was very inexpensive.  The drapery fabrics were the most costly and were a Christmas gift from my mother, bless her.  The bedding and art piece materials all cost under $200.

Thanks for touring our new room.  So far I haven't heard any complaints from the other side of the bed :-)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Pockets and Stamp Classes

I'm not a Project Lifer.  I appreciate the concept; it just isn't my style.  I've done a few pocket pages in my albums and they are very handy for some subjects.  However, I'm just not going to use the pocket pages in my stash if I hold onto them for complete layouts.

In this video, I share a way to use your pocket pages for creating a little photo booklet for a regular scrapbook page.  I have not created the full page layout yet.  That is coming along.

Watch at YouTube

ALSO... if you have stamps and want some new ideas for them, you might like the True Stamp classes.  I did not take any of these this year but have done them in the past.  The ladies at Raisin Boat are particular favorites of mine.

Classes are now on sale individually or as a bundle.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Back to Eden

Continuing along using some of my scrapbooking stash, I did this page that is more about the future than the past.  We go to Hilton Head Island each year sometimes spring, sometimes early fall.  This year we couldn't make it there in the spring so it will have to be later in the year.

For the page, I used some of those Prima wood ATC cards in a 2x2 grid.  These cards are approximately 3" x 4" so you could make the same arrangement with Project Life cards.

I also got to use some flair and a lot of these cute Maya Road raw chipboard letters.  I just didn't like the packaging as it made it really hard to know what letters I had already used.  So I used up a bunch of them and painted them with watercolors.

Video at YouTube:

Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Hard Times Dance

A few months ago, Dillon had his first real date for a school dance.  It was called a 'hard times' dance and all I really know is they were supposed to wear old clothes.  The girl seemed to have gotten into the spirit of things but Dillon's clothes don't look that old to me.  However, he is at an age where he outgrows everything so maybe nothing in his closet is that old.

For the page, I'm using some of the things I picked out to use from my stash this summer. One thing I especially wanted to use were the neutral 6x6 papers from The Pier's paper pad.  They seemed to really fit the theme of the page.  I also made a little dent in the raw chipboard letters.

Here's the video at YouTube:

And here is the sketch:

Thanks for stopping by today!
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