Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hot hot HOT

I keep scrappin' away...mostly digital but I did make these cards yesterday for Ben's preschool teachers...last day of school for him...These came from the PaperCrafts book, Card A Day, which I purchased in January hoping to make at least a card a week from scraps after cropping, but it didn't work out that way...I picked up the book because the card designs were simple & beautiful (although a lot of them involve sewing...see my Mother's Day cards, also from this book) and I kept saying, "hey! I have that paper!" In fact, the design for these used exactly the Cosmo Cricket paper (handwriting sampler) that I used here. And I knew I saved all those dang pieces of leftover scalloped pieces for something! LOL --The actual card design with a half-circle slot for closing it is from a card I made in a Stampin' Up card club I used to go to each month. A fun and unexpected design...I've been trying to make more of these top-fold styles.

Jessica Sprague has been running Photoshop Friday classes for about a month now; they are regularly $3.99 but on Dollar Wednesdays you can get them for...wait for it...a dollar (didn't see that coming, did you?) In fact, this week's lesson is still a dollar, through Friday 5/28 at midnight. The LO above was done with materials from Lesson #2: Custom Shape Masks. I used a book shape instead of the sun shape she used in her LO sample, and I love how it turned out! The paper is from Nisa Fiin's Splendid Fiin (rhymes with "beans") Sweet Pea papers. I put a Katie Pertiet edge (Letterbox Overlays #2, I believe) around it to rough it up a bit...certainly nothing involving my son is going to be neat & clean! Haha. Finally, here was a LO I did for a 5 year anniversary contest over at Scrap Artist. They were picking 5 winners (DT spots for a month each -- with free access in their store for the month) so I thought I'd have a chance*, plus I liked the "5" theme, and went with my five favorite rummage/junk/antique finds. All of your materials had to be from Scrap Artist; I had quite the wish list going so I went with their incredible Studio Remnants kit...organized by color, so you know it sucked me in. It helped that they were having a store-wide sale (35% off pretty much everything), but my wish list is still pretty big over there...

I'm a little lost when it comes to sharing projects...haven't yet found a gallery to replace good ole SIStv (although it is still up and I'm not sure if J.J. is actually shutting it down, or just not doing webisodes anymore). Especially in the world of digital scrapping, if you don't use their product, you aren't supposed to upload to their galleries. I've also had work disappear from galleries after a period of time, even after following the rules (DigiCrea, I'm looking at you...oh! and also Jessica Sprague's site, which is quite all-inclusive when it comes to posting projects using products that aren't necessarily from her shop).

I'm guessing that is to save server space; I can only imagine how much is on SIStv's servers after 3 years of photo uploads. But it seems pretty cold in this online world, to put up work only to have it deleted after a month or two. If anyone has suggestions, I'd love to hear them. For now I'll just keep updating to my blog.

*yeah, I didn't. Have a chance ;)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Spring Has Sprung

I seem to be getting out of doors every day. School wrap-up events are happening fast and furious; Tess participated in her Patriotic Concert this past week and I attended my last (sniff) Creative Play class and last MOPS meeting, both with Ben. He will be a big bad 4 year-old preschooler next fall, and I'm moving my time and talents to the cooperative preschool he will be attending.

I've come to realize I can only take on ONE volunteer activity at a time and keep my sanity; for the last 2 years it's been as Publicity Leader for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). My steering team duties ended this year, and I'm looking forward to getting to know local moms through work with the co-op next year. The MOPS moms, while a FANTASTIC bunch of ladies, are sadly in a different school district, so while it's been a beneficial program for *my* mental health, there's not been a lasting connection made for my kids. I'm hoping that working with the co-op will help me get to know more moms in my town.

I'm "virtually" attending Marit's amazing Creative Art Journey class, but I haven't done any pages for it yet; I'm hoping that will change this weekend!

I have been scrapbooking digitally lately...again, the fastest and easiest way for me to scrap on the go, but I need some paint and glue on my fingers, STAT!

Supplies: Farmer's Market paper and tag, Sandy Kreiger for 2peas (freebie). Template and border courtesy of Jessica Sprague [dot] com...she has some fantastic tutorials called "Photoshop Fridays" -- buy them for $1 on Wednesdays, and watch the video tutorial after downloading the materials...easy & informational! Fonts: Antsy Pants and Pea Jack and Jill.

One of my new spring/summer activities is volunteering as a "Dirty Virgin" at a community garden in my MOPS village. So far the work has not been hard, but we've only done some seed planting; the watering needed has been taken care of for the most part by heavy rains. The only requirement for becoming a DV was that you not have any experience in gardening; I let E start our garden last year (disaster! I've done more for it this year, thanks in part to my DV work).

The food we grow will be served at a one-day-a-week local food harvest, called "Yellow Door" (the private home it is held at has a bright yellow front door). I have been to breakfast there on occasion and the food is amazing -- all of it grown within a 60-mile radius, including the beef, flour, and dairy! It can be done!

I would love to do more canning and hope to harvest enough from the 4 tomato plants in our backyard garden to put up a good crop. Last year was a terrible year for tomatoes...not enough warm nights...hopefully this year we will do better. I did buy cages for our tomatoes, as last year (ahem), hubs left our plants to fall over on the ground, thus most of the fruit rotted away uselessly. I tried helping him set up the garden this year and he is QUITE crabby about it...I think he is planning on me taking it over completely...grr...not my plan but if I want to eat food I've grown, I guess I'll have to.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

I had some time to myself (!) this morning, when my energy was high ( and I shut myself in my scrap room to make cards for my mom as well as my MIL. Pretty much everything is Studio Calico, except for some flowers and ribbon from my collections.

The top one was for my mom, the bottom one for my MIL. Both designs are from a terrific book by Paper Crafts, A Card a Day, which I picked up in January hoping to jump-start my card making. Alas, these are the first and so far only cards I have made, but I am REALLY happy with them. Especially the sewing; I'm always worried that my cheapy Kenmore machine will start smoking whenever I sew on cardstock, but it held up well (a heavy-duty canvas needle helps).

Such a great day...I posted on facebook that some of my favorite things today were sleeping in, Egor making the coffee, emptying the dishwasher, and putting the kids to bed tonight; seeing family (at my SIL's), her mom's (Josephine's) tiramisu and espresso (Best! Italian! Cooking! Ever!), my new mini yellow rose, a tealight holder and adorable butterfly picture from Ben, and a VERY creative clay sculpture ("the nursery monster") by Tess.

Hope you had a blessed and peaceful Mother's Day, whether or not you are a mother, and wherever your mother may be. I always remember my dear friend Terri, whose mother passed away August 23, glad she had a chance to meet baby Tess and wish she had more time on this earth. Jan, you are missed and still treasured today and always.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Great Lakes Mega Meet -- video!

Okay, let's see how this goes...sorry for the length, I wanted to get it uploaded tonight.

Please don't laugh at how I say "album"...I try not to honk like a Midwesterner when I say it (and I blame years of reading Mitch Albom's sports column in the Detroit Free Press for my pronounciation of the word! Dang him.)

Also, I apologize if I mispronounce "Copic" (markers). Let me know if I'm saying it right.

Man, I had fun today!!

Monday, May 3, 2010


Thank God It's May! :)
I realise I haven't been taking a lot of pictures lately, so when it started to rain while the kids were playing outside, I grabbed my camera. I thought one of them would be crying at getting wet (Ben is just as likely to get as emotional as Tess right now), but they were both out there dancing away in the downpour!
I had a baby shower this past weekend, and at our Friday night crop I threw together what I've come to call my 4-Hour Year in the Life New Parent's Scrapbook. One two-page LO (8x8) for each month, with instructions to take a photo each month next to a favorite stuffed animal or toy to chart baby's growth (Dad sometimes takes this over, and loves it). Oh, and a 2-pager at the start for hospital/family & friends photos, and a 2-pager Happy Birthday LO at the back. Easy-peasy and the mom-to-be always loves and appreciates it. I try not to worry about whether or not it actually gets used, since they take so little time to put together.
I just signed up for Marit's Creative Art Journey class, which starts May 7th. I love history, and never took an art history class, so this is perfect for me. I haven't decided yet whether I will do it digitally (since I just finished Digital Techniques for Art Journaling over at GIS) or on paper, or a mix of both. There will be multiple prompts for each lesson, so I can take my choice and decide from there.
I still need to catch up on A Year in the Life of an Art Journal prompts (I'm working on February 28th, I believe..."Silence," featuring inchies) but that is definitely paper, something to get me in my "studio" (feels funny calling it that, but that's what it is!) once a week or so.
The Color Room has grown to over 1,000 members, and with a new prompt every week, I haven't been able to keep up at all. The CT seems to like LOTS of layering and frou-frou LOs, not my style at all, although I see that in last week's winners there were at least two more simple, clean LOs (more my style). This week's combo seems very "fall/autumn" to me. I'll have to dig through my photos and see if I can come up with anything...
Very sad that SIStv will be no more as of May 15th. I ended up there thanks to PrairieWillow, via 2peas (again, never my favorite place to post) and stayed because the attitude was so friendly and positive. Some folks in the scrapping world (now-defunct ScrapSmack, I'm looking at you) found it fake, but after meeting so many real "SIStahs" in Franklin last June, I can attest that -- while you can't completely avoid Drama when it comes to a group of creative women -- the majority of gals I met I have stayed in touch with and found great long-distance friendships with.
Scrap in Style TV, you will be missed.