Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fingerless mitts and other obsessions

Leaf-patterned fingerless mitts...pattern at Ravelry
Made in Plymouth Stone Cotton
Sooooo....yeah. Got back into knitting big time this summer, slightly before and during Ravelympics the Ravellry Games (whatever). No, I have not made any more quilt squares, although the box is back on my dining room table, ready to get itself together sometime in the new year. I still need to finish my Ravellry Games project, a Union Jack done in intarsia (never done intarsia before, that was the point of choosing this project...even if I didn't medal). Tess is eagerly awaiting the new cushion for her bedroom. Given my gauge issues (I knit loose...REALLY loose), however, this may become more of a wall hanging.
As a matter of fact, I was drinking tea while working on this.
I choose the Union Jack in honor of the summer Olympics, and because I've wanted to try intarsia for a while...I do, after all, have a rather large stash of Rowan Summer Tweed that is supposed to be a intarsia. Not that I really *love* intarsia (also the point of this try intarsia on a small scale), but what else could I do with the wild mix of Kaffe Fassett-ordered colors for this blanket? That would be a hell of a lot of washcloths.

The one thing a Union Jack flag has going for it? Uneven diagonal lines. Yes, those are supposed to look crooked like that. Thank you, United Kingdom. This design allowed me to drink and knit (not always with the greatest results, naturally) and do duplicate stitch later to cover my mistakes. Fourteen rows to go...! I want to finish this in 2012.

Scrapbooking? What's that? I am still working on 2011 photos (I printed out 300+ for Scrap Camp last year, after all, and only got through about 50). I am doggedly sticking to my chronological plan, but haven't taken my Fridays for myself in a while, so I haven't made much of a dent in those this year. I didn't attend Scrap Camp in 2012 because I sacrificed my crafts budget to pay off new, desperately needed bifocals and bifocal sunglasses. One more (interest free) payment to go...I have expensive tastes.

My only resolution for 2012 was to learn crochet. I finally did that this summer, with a real live teacher, at my friend Kelly's house. I picked up the Tunisian Crochet class at Craftsy and am working on finishing the sampler's an enjoyable alternative once you know crochet basics. Can't wait to work on the class shawl -- it's gorgeous. other resolution was to stop playing Zynga games on Facebook. I gave it up January 1st and haven't been back. I'm pretty sure that's how I was able to pick up my first intarsia project, and learn crochet.

My new obsessions this year (not craft-related, although I made them craft-related!) were the movie Avengers (and the villain, Loki), finishing season 2 of Downton Abbey (almost there!), and BBC Sherlock. In fact, I spend most of my time over at the 221b group on Ravelry, and have a swap to finish up in the new year.
Amigurumi Loki...hanging with his mermaid friend (found her at the AQS show in August)
The benefits of learning crochet!
Where will 2013 take you?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Happy/Not Happy

I'm happy to report that my laptop is back in operation (after being operated on, much like me). My "T" key is still sticking (amongst other my space bar...really, space bar?!) but I can now access those photos that were stuck on my hard drive when hubs took apart the laptop. He has a Ph.D in electrical engineering, but I still had my fingers crossed...
Surprise! Not a scrapbooking layout. Nope, I finally found a quilt pattern that will make great use of my HUGE collection of 1930s reproduction fabrics (a favorite of mine, I've been "collecting" them for years, and Mom added from her own collection after she made a stunning applique quilt with some).

Michelle, one of my Friday night crop regulars, is always lamenting the end of (yet another) scrapbooking magazine while quilting magazines flourish like mosquitoes around a pond. I think we are down to one scrapping magazine (CK), while the new (!) Quilty recently caught my eye. Despite being connected to Fons & Porter (Quilty founder Mary Fons is, obviously, related), I bought the first issue in hopes it was more beginner-friendly and modern, rather than complicated with old-fashioned piecework like F&P (yes, this from a collector of 1930s repros. Irony -- dig it).

Before my laptop meltdown (adapter issues...the battery is not charging, and still isn't, despite E's excellent engineering...apparently this is a common issue with Dell laptops), I had put together eight 6" blocks. Each one features a solid and a 1930s print. The solids are from a 1930s collection from Keepsake Quilting. I purchased a sampler of quarter-yards back when I found a Dresden Plate quilt at an antiques market, looking for a good solid for the back of the unfinished antique quilt. Now I get to use the solids in my squares, along with my collection of prints. Fun!
Psst...that one down front is an "actual" 1930s print, not a repro. Mom got a collection from my Aunt Brenda when she was down in Franklin, TN visiting her, and gave them all to me to do something with. I'm delighted to sneak a few into this quilt!

The kids are at day camp this week, so amid the laundry, housecleaning, grocery shopping, etc. ETC. I hope to sew a few more squares. The lap quilt-size they feature takes 39 blocks, so I have some serious straight-line sewing to do.

Paper: Club Scrap (ancient!) and Studio Calico. Letter stickers: Memories Complete and October Afternoon. Journaling card, Elle Studios via Jessica Sprague (digital file print-out). Ribbon: Making Memories
 Now back to some regularly scheduled programming...scrapbook layouts! Hmm...seems I am a Jekyll & Hyde scrapper...I love throwing simple LOs like the one above together, with minimal embellishments, then I drink my elixir, turn around, and make something more arty-farty like this:
Paper: Pemberly (and antique music sheet) by Kerrie Lynn (SIStv). Letter stickers: Doodlebug, October Afternoon, Studio Calico. Patterned tape: 7 Gypsies. Journal spots: Jenni Bowlin, October Afternoon. Brads: Colorbok. Maya Mist in metallic blue. Vintage ribbon.
 ...and I love them both! Hipstamatic and  Instagram prints just beg for the mixed media look, don't you think?
We just got back from a trip to Washington, D.C. (hot, HOT, cRaZy HoT, as we were forewarned!) which was a delight. I should have brought better walking shoes, though. The last day (Tuesday) I missed going back to Air & Space because my legs refused to go any further. I sat at the carousel in front of the Smithsonian castle and slowly melted instead of taking the walk. Funny, I did not have any knitting or reading material with me. It was most relaxing to just sit & veg.
My favorite "horse" -- a dragon, of course.
If you've read this far, you might have noticed the new look on my blog. I am not happy with it. I spent a day working on a header to go with my old style, and in the process I lost the old background and the link that lead me to the site that hosted it. I must do some searching now to find that style site again, and find out WHY I could not upload my header. Does anyone know what happened to the Minima template for Blogger? I have a feeling when I find the style site, they will have a link to that old template. Maybe Blogger was having a bad day for uploading image files (NOTHING would load that day...which is how my old background got deleted...somehow...) If you know of a good site for Blogger template tutorials, hook me up. I need a re-design, BAD, and I can do it myself with a little help. Thanks!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Orpheum Bell at The Ark, Ann Arbor, June 23, 2012
Survived my surgery just fine, but recovery is slow. I overdid last night; we had a babysitter lined up and I had purchased concert tickets for us to enjoy (E's birthday gift), but E was worried it would be too much for me. He even suggested he could scalp (!) the tickets outside the venue, which is when I took action and said I'd hang in there for the show.

The band is fronted by a friend of his, another Russian expat, although this one came to the States when he was about 9. You can hear the music they play at their website, Orpheum Bell. I'd describe it as The Civil Wars with 3 times the members, fronted by Tom Waits, and heavily caffeinated ;) Several of the members played more than one instrument, and those varied wildly - from violin to banjo to spoons, accordion to harp to trumpet - we laughed every time someone brought out a new instrument to was comical, but awesome.
More Than A Puddle
Studio Calico bg paper and journaling label,
various pp from My Mind's Eye and Echo Park
Hambly rub-on, Tim Holtz filmstrip, old transparency
MM glitter letter stickers
Back to my usual programming ;) This page is a recent favorite of mine. It was a challenge in one of Ali Edward's books (this one, I think...I have them all), using triangles of patterned paper to mimic a quilt. I didn't notice the large rectangle I created through the middle of the layout until I glued everything down and stood back. Pretty cool, huh? This page records a flood of water over a nearby road that was the deepest I'd ever seen. I used Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's rain stencil to tie some of the papers together.

Easter Sunday, all supplies by Authentique, Blissful collection
I had these Authentique papers pulled for another LO, only to realize they were not at. all. what I was looking for. They worked perfectly with Easter Sunday photos from inside our church. All of the embellishments are Authentique, as well. From a sketch in Memory Maker's Quick and Easy Scrapbook Pages.
Easter Bubbles - Basic Grey Plumeria papers
This is straight-up Becky Higgins sketch work. My friend Kelly, whose house I scrap at every other Friday or so, has the Best of Becky Higgins' Sketches, and I borrowed it while there. She couldn't believe how much it was selling for on Amazon - I had heard upwards of $200, but the most recent listing shows $54.50 for a used copy, $95 for new (!!!). I don't really regret not buying this when it first came out (I was too busy collecting Ali Edwards' books) as it's taken me a while to "allow" myself to play with BH sketches - they seem to need more advance planning (photo sizes, placement, etc.) and I'm more of a spur of the moment, play with 4" x 6" photos kind of scrapper.

It's taken me a long time to allow myself to *crop* photos, but these had plenty of empty space (grass, mostly) that gave me the freedom to cut many of them down to the 3" x 4" size the sketch showed. Overall, I'm happy with this - although I have the opposite problem of my Good Friday LO...*no* "extra notes, LOL. Well, I finished this near midnight at Kelly's, and decided "done is better than perfect." Oh, and I got to use the Plumeria papers I bought recently. Using recent purchases always makes me happy :)

One last photo - my Kool Aid dyed yarn. I've decided to name this colorway "Morning Glory," because it reminds me of the ones that grow near my front porch.
I'm pretty sure 110 yards will make me a French press cover - this is not the pattern I'm using; mine is from a UK magazine, uses sport weight yarn like what I dyed, and features a little lip for the spout. Adorable! You'll just have to wait until I have a finished project photo to show you.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Yarn and DIY

I have been in a bit of a DIY mood lately, starting with cleaning out the garage to make room for bikes -- Tess started riding a friend's bike after a sleepover, and E went the next weekend to get her one (via Craigslist). We have a wooden bench by our inside door in the garage that had piled up over a 2-year period with junk emptied out from the car, most of which turned out to be pure garbage. Took some old riding cars down to basement storage (Ben hasn't ridden on them since his friend across the street moved away) :( and lined up my bike, Tess's, and Ben's in a sort of fashion that lets us get by and into the house. Which is, you know, useful.

This sad freebie table was next to the bench, and also piled with junk. I picked it up curbside and meant to paint it a while ago...clearly that did not happen. Until now!
Curbside freebie. Score!

First, I washed it up with TSP, then sanded it, then rubbed in a bit of Murphy's Oil Soap (man, I love the smell of that stuff. E, however, does not. Also, paint makes him wheeze. Thus...*I*get to pick the colors).
Krylon's Ivy Green
Before I could spray paint it, I had to apply a coat of Kilz primer (the dirt was still showing through the green, even after cleaning & sanding). Waited for that to dry and went to town with the green! I have to work on my spray painting skills...there are a lot of drips down the sides. The top is nice and smooth, though. Right now it's in my dining room, holding plants. Next up? A metal, tiered plant holder I picked up curbside around the same time (different curb). This one is going to take a bit more time & elbow grease:

Steel wool: check. Rustoleum: check. Now...what color?
Piles of cashmere goodness. Mmm...
Went thrifting after a doctor's appointment (no surgery, not yet...couple more weeks...just a consultation) and scored a men's XL (!) cashmere (!!) sweater for $2.50. Despite warnings online to practice unraveling a *bulky* sweater first, I went to town on the seams of this with my surgical seam ripper (see below) and worked hard to find a good long thread to pull.
Finally using the surgical seam ripper I bought at a sewing show 15 years ago!
So far I have many small balls of crinkly cashmere "yarn ramen" that I have to connect together and rinse (sweater has that old-man/thrift store smell, despite the dry cleaning tag still on, I need to relax those crinkles). I'm hoping I can spit-join the pieces to get decent yardage. Even after finding a good thread for the back of the sweater, the yarn is fine enough (and I wasa bit too eager with the seam ripper!) that every once in a while it would break. I have a lot of small yardage to join up.

Another craft that has been intriguing me lately is dyeing my own yarn. I have 2 skeins of Knit Pick's Bare yarn in sport weight that I bought years ago up north (Alpena) at a yarn shop. They had taken off the tags and marked it as their own (!) and I was disappointed to discover (later) she was selling yarn this way. I really thought the skeins were from her own sheep (the store owner had her own sheep, and certainly marketed the KP yarn as if it were her own). I had the store wind the skeins into center-pull balls, but then put them away for a while.

I rolled out roughly 100+ yards this way:
Turns out the banisters upstairs are a bit more than a yard apart. Handy! 

I found several online tutorials for Kool-Aid dyeing (this one has awesome color combos) and unsweetened (important!) Kool-Aid, 5/$1 (see? cheap) and went to town this morning.
Solar dyeing...with Kool-Aid

We'll see how this looks later. I mixed 3 packets of Ice Blue Raspberry (I hear it's a weak color, and I wanted a good medium blue) and threw in half of a dissolved Grape packet to deepen the blue a bit. The Lemon Lime makes a good, bright green, so I just used one packet of that to 8 oz. warm water.

Hoping the blue dye wasn't too hot when I added it to the yarn! Don't want a half-felted skein.

I didn't like the way the yarn was laying in the jars, so I switched the green a blue to plastic ziplocks...the jar in the middle has a bit of yarn in pure Grape (purple). We'll see later how the yarn soaks up and blends the different dyes. Should be interesting! Next up: pink and orange, one of my favorite color combos.

I am all about the crafts & DIY this summer...Our first project, once both kids are done with school, is to sort & clean up their rooms and hold a garage sale later this summer. Ben has a hard time letting go of things, but I'm hoping if I set it up as a friendly competition between the kids (they keep the money from selling their own things...which means some serious organizing and tagging before our sale), it might help Ben let go of a few toys. He's informed me several times he is "done" with Cars stuff (sniff!)...a full 2 years ahead of when Tess told me she was done with princesses and the colors pink and purple. Sigh. They grow up so fast...

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Keep Calm and Carry Yarn

Mitred squares and a Treasure Book
 Despite the fact that I have to knit a wee gifty for a Creative Escape friend (wink, wink, Michele!), I continue to carry this with me and am still obsessively knitting on it whenever I am presented with a delay (soccer game, kung fu lesson, stop light...j/k on that last one!) I have been trying to start a pair of wristlets to match my Amelia Earhart cap, but picked a pattern that has repeatedly flummoxed me (good Lord, how DO you spell that?!). I thought the third try would be the charm, but alas...I'm on the FIFTH. Guess what gets picked up when I set it aside? Yup, mitred squares. Ahh...

More than halfway through my mini skein stash. My fellow knit-nighters and swappers were generous, I have enough of each to repeat colors, and enough of my own stash to add in, but I need another swap SOON to feed my yarn variety appetite.
Library pocket for I.D. tags
The other project that has eaten up some creative time is this traveling journal, for an art journal swap. Goodness, I hope this one comes back to me (filled with arty goodness, no less). I have been burned in more circle journal/scrapbook page/basic swaps than I care to count (not knitters...never knitters...a responsible bunch!). This swap came about through a mixed media Yahoo list that I am on. The moderator asked the swap organizer to take it offline, because she does not want to be responsible for swaps. Can't blame her. There are only 6 of us all together, though, so that should keep it speedy.

My journal is a small gift book that I covered with gesso (originally a Christmas book, it had a deep red cover and bright green pages) outside and in, then spray inked the cover and used a bit of heavy-duty embossing powder recently purchased at Mega Meet. Should be easy to mail, even as it gets heavy with art.

Had terrific fun this weekend (briefly) with dd, attending the World Steam Expo in Dearborn, MI. My friend Sal was a vendor (and High Tea sponsor). It was so much fun (and so inspiring) to see all the costumes and characters. I purchased some books (from Sal, who runs Off The Beaten Path Books -- a steampunk-themed store) and trinkets...steampunk is a DIY-based movement, as well as a literary-based one, so I was more interested in things I could use to develop my own character-in-progress. I've never been much of a Con attendee, but the spirit and camaraderie of the steampunk world is a very intriguing one for me. Read Scott Westerfeld's young adult steampunk series, starting with Leviathan, and see if you don't get hooked yourself...also Kady Cross's Harlequin Teen (I know, right?!) series, starting with The Girl In The Steel Corset. Fun reads. No vampires! Hallelujah.

In the next week I am having more medical procedures than I've had in a looong time, so you might not hear from me in a while (no surprise there, right? business as usual, LOL). Nothing serious -- an overdue followup to my mammograms and ultra sounds from 2 years ago, and a new twist...apparently my gall bladder is more trouble than it's worth. That will be done as a laproscopic surgery, so I'll be in an out in a day. If you have any experience with gall bladder disease, please let me know what to expect, especially in dietary restrictions. I already miss cheese, ice cream, and cream in my coffee. At least I haven't been kicked off the caffeine wagon! That would be the end of life as I know it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Truly obsessive knitting

Mitred squares...finally figured out!
It wasn't until I was at soccer practice tonight tonight that I realized I NEED knitting. I've never really been a social mom, and although this soccer club is more relaxed than most (which is why we joined it), I still have trouble making small talk with other soccer parents. I'm so glad I have knitting, and I have found the perfect take-along project.

I've been considering the Beekeeper's Quilt, but wanted to see how hard hexipuffs (yes, that's a word!) were to make before committing to the pattern. I found 2 free hexipuff patterns, and had a hell of a time with both of them. 

Eventually in my wanderings around Ravelry I found a (free) pattern explaining a triangular mitred square wrap, and gave that a try. These were wildly popular about a year ago (I'm behind in the knitting world as well as socially!), but the hexipuffs had more recently caught my attention. Having given up on those, I went back to the pattern that originally caught my eye. I wasn't completely sold on the stuffing-and-sewing together aspect of the hexipuffs after all.

Mitred squares have you picking up edges of already-completed squares, and so the only sewing is end weaving. I'm sold, and after making the above sample (I think it's going to be a tiny pillow for my daughter's dolls), I figured out where to pick up and where to cast on to get the diagonals going the same way.

I have a lovely bag of mini-skeins, as they are called, from my knit night group. I brought in my own sock yarn and eagerly wrapped 30-45 yard minis to trade. I started my 2.5 inch square wrap this morning, and I'm on square #4 (of who-knows-how-many squares, as I'm doing mine smaller than what is pictured in the pattern). I started wrist warmers to match my recently finished Amelia Earhart cap, but those have been set aside in my unending curiosity to see what mini skein comes next out of my collection and into my wrap!
Made of very soft City Tweed from Knit Picks...I have a whole skein left for wrist-warmers

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Let the wild rumpus start!

Ears on, crown felted, bobby pins in the points...
Yay! It's done. Almost. I need to add feathers to the back...still trying to figure that out. I purchased beautiful pheasant feathers from Solkat, and she included lagniappe (bonus) feathers, but the quills are quite delicate and I'm debating whether to sew (with fine, fine thread) or glue them in. Happy to take suggestions in the comments.
I wanted to try a fishtail braid, so I needed 4 strands of yarn. I seamed up the crown shoelace style with 2 strands of yarn (giving me the 4 I needed), figuring early on that the easiest way to accomplish this was with 2 tapestry needles going at the same time.

fishtail braid...feathers ready
I added some leftover oatmeal yarn from the hat for contrast in the braid. There is a wonderful tutorial here (I need visuals) on the fishtail braid. Tess just had her hair cut, not short, but shoulder-length, so that it grows out better over the summer. Hopefully by the time she goes back to school she will have length enough for one of these. So pretty!
October Afternoon "Go Fly A Kite: Ice Cream" bg paper
Good Friday, 2011. Yes, a bit cheery for Good Friday, but our kids' service is during the day, and involves coloring eggs (handed out at our church's Easter breakfast), a craft (I was in charge last year, and had them make a "He Is Risen" banner, a photo of which I cut out for the upper right here), storytime (the Good Friday story is never an easy one; we keep it simple and use Resurrection Eggs to illustrate the story), and an egg hunt. Last year we had about 8 kids and over 300 eggs...everyone went home happy and well-sugared, LOL.

I used pink Glimmer Mist on the Pink Paislee architectural elements (same set I used on my Palm Sunday LO) and a leftover scalloped oval that didn't work with that layout, but worked fine here. I have loving hoarded this paper (from a long-ago Studio Calico kit) and it felt good to finally use it. I embossed egg-shaped stamps on glossy cs and put them over folded yellow flowers for my visual triangle. Overall, though, this LO feels like it deserves that famous Salieri quote from the movie Amadeus: "Too many notes." Ah, well, done is better than perfect, in my book. 
"Too many notes!"
Shut UP, Salieri!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Don't be impressed....

No, this is not Palm Sunday 2012 (actually, I was *really* bad, and did not go to church on Palm Sunday at. all. this year), but 2011. Paper and stickers are from Webster's Pages, their Garden Gala line. I bought three WP lines from Your Scrapbook Supply last fall, and I wanted to be sure and USE them. This green was perfect for my page, and the red accents in the line went lovely with Ben's red coat. The blues are an additional bonus for this boy page ;) 
I added a number of touches with embellishments from other lines. The oval holding the title is both a punch (inner oval) and embossing folder (outer oval) from Stampin Up. I bought a scallop oval punch from Mary, a fellow scrapper who had a garage sale last spring. I picked up that punch for just $1 (!) and it's one of my "new" faves, especially with the Stampin Up acquisitions.

The chipboard clouds are from Studio Calico. The architectural circle is from Pink Paislee -- I spritzed it with Glimmer Mist in Mustard Seed (oh, serendipity! and on a church layout...haha). I spritzed the crocheted flower (another Stampin Up product...originally a bright white) and bit of lace next to the title oval with more of the same.

I have been a steady subscriber at Masterful Scrapbook Design (nearly) since its inception, and the April seminar was called Artful Embellishment. Oddly enough, I did not go over the materials until *after* I did this layout...but I followed some of the "rules" they outline, so *something* is sinking in from previous lessons.

I have also been knitting like mad, and spending lots of time at Ravelry. I'm MichiganDenise over there, if you would like to say hello! I've been obsessed with finishing Tiny Owl's Wear the Wild Things Are hat (almost done with it!) and the Hogwart's Express shawlette (my first), as well as making my first Teeny Tiny Mochi Mochi -- a little gnome! I've nicknamed him my Gnomie.
Peace out, gnomies!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Easter Sunday...2012! Shocker.

I have Fridays to myself now ( breaks messed with me for quite a while...) and this is the first Friday I set out to get some scrapping done. Once Lil Guy is home, it is hard for me to concentrate in my scrap room (lovely as it is), so I set aside today to wrap up one layout and hopefully work on some more.
Easter Sunday 2012
What's special about this one, not only is the event recent, but I went on a shopping expedition (I need all day, it's a fair bit of travel now, sadly) to Scrappy Chic and Archiver's Novi *last* Friday with the express purpose of picking up some pieces from Basic Grey's Konnichiwa and Plumeria lines. I was hoping to find October Afternoon's 9-5 collection, too, but alas. They are as slow in shipping as reported.

My Hawaii mini album is done. It is ridiculously large for  "mini." I had to get 2" rings to make it manageable. I will share some photos soon...time to get back to 2011.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ms. Mojo's Visiting...

Just getting my mojo back. Still haven't finished my Hawaii mini-album, but I'm close. For some reason, scrapbooking seems to go so. sloooow. lately. It just seems to take me HOURS to finish one layout. My biggest delay is searching through paper scraps. I have no desire for new paper; I have SO MUCH already, it's crazy. Time to de-stash, but not while Mojo's visiting. Gotta put my head down and see where this latest burst of energy takes me.
This is from April 2011 (!) Yes, I'm waaay behind on last year. And yes, I MUST scrapbook chronologically (sometimes). I had 300+ photos printed for Scrap Camp back in October, and I've barely made a dent in them.

I wanted to use chevrons on this page, because Ben was hopping all over the place in these photos. I had to take a strip of diagonally striped paper and turn the middle one upside down (at the top) to make chevrons. The chevrons on the photo mat were just part of the paper (both papers from old SIStv collections, circa 2009. See? I *DO* hang on to those scraps! LOL). The black polka-dotted tape is new, from the Smash collection. Flowers are American Crafts. Title letters are from Pink Paislee, bought at the SIStv retreat I attended in Tennessee in 2009. This is why I could never be on a design team...I have to sit on stuff for YEARS before I use it! ;)
Oh yay! A Hawaii layout. Now, this could be submitted for the Graphics 45 design team, because everything on it is from their Tropical Travelogue collection. When I got back from Hawaii, a local scrapbook wholesaler had this up for sale, and I HAD to have it. Obviously. 

We rented a car for our last two days on Oahu, and the first day we had it, we drove around the island up to the North Shore. The waves were too active to see any sea turtles :( but we sat for a while and watched the powerful surf. They fully deserved full-on 5"x7" photos, and I used a sketch (HIGHLY modified) from Get it Scrapped. #73, I think...from their 30 Greatest Hits download, I believe.

Now that my youngest is in school full-time on Fridays (!!) I will be going to scrap tomorrow starting at 12 NOON. omg. I have 4 page "kits" ready with photos, sketches, and paper/embellishments, so hopefully I will have more (at least ONE, please God...I need to speed up my process!) to share this weekend.

Finally, yes, my community suffered some tornado devastation this past week...luckily, no one was seriously harmed or killed, due to the fair warning we had, the time the tornado occurred (5:15p), and the fact that mid-westerners reallyDO take tornado warnings seriously, and TAKE COVER when told. 

Tess had a school event last night and I took this photo of the post-it note boards (TWO of them) full of notes both positive and negative (kids sharing their fears), and it reminded me again what an amazing community I live in.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Taking time...

The last few mornings (while kids are in school) I have been taking time to work on crafty stuff. Since last week, though, crafty time has meant...working on their Valentines.

After last year's surplus of paper, store-bought Valentines ended up all over my house (stickers included), I decided this year I'd make them, using up some scrappy supplies in the process. Last year I bought (but didn't have a chance to use) this cool iPod candy bar wrapper for Tess. We hosted supper club at our house just prior to Valentines, and making dinner for 38 people preempted making cool Valentines. Not this year!

Just prior to February, I wrapped up a 6-month Stamp Club commitment with my Stampin' Up demonstrator (and fellow church mom), Angie. I made sure to order their Sizzix milk carton die, which, although tiny (those iPod wrappers are around regular-sized Hershey bars, for comparison), held an AMAZING amount of Jelly Bellies. Getting Ben to sign all the little cards was agonizing, but went quickly once I promised him any leftover jellies. I had to get a second (!) 2-pound bag (!!), so I wasn't sure there would be any leftovers, but made sure he had a handful for all his hard work.

Now to get back to work on my Hawaii mini-album, and the North Shore waves layout I started at home Friday night, with Graphic 45's Tropical Travelogue line (love!). That won't be too soon, as the kids have a 4-day weekend coming up, but I will try to get those finished up SOON.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Scrapping (and blogging) again

It's been so long since I've (a) dealt with Blogger and (2) used Photoshop Elements, that I'm overwhelmed by changes. So this is the new dashboard? (sorry, you can't see that, can you?'s...clean!) And I had to uninstall my "Inspiration Browser" (I didn't even know I had such a thing in PSE) and re-install the new one, then "launch" it from within PSE? (took me a minute..."Tips and Tricks," THERE it is!)

All this to show you two quite ancient layouts that I've FINALLY got around to finishing. Yes, 2010. Ancient. Right?
November 2010. I thought I had saved this turkey decoration, but couldn't find it in the disaster area that is our basement storage room (even shelving didn't help) to mine it for "things Tess was thankful for," so I simply zoomed in on the photo and found 2 things that were readable on the feathers: her family, and Silly Bandz (wow, how ancient is that?!) LOL
I thought I had written down the name of the baby reindeer the kids visited at our local I had to find the date of the photo in my files (12/20/10), then *find* my 2010 diary, look up the entry, only to find...umm, no, I did not write it down (I think it was idea why...or why it matters). I sat down yesterday and finished the journaling without it. Imagine that! I still had room on my journaling card. Huh.

Now I am off to discover why Networked Blogs is not updating my Facebook page with these entries (there's another new one just under this one...try not to faint in amazement that I updated). But maybe that's all resolved now. Otherwise, you may get here by a self-serving link to my timeline. Hey, me updating this blog (and *scrapbooking!*) is NEWS.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Travel With Me - 2012 Sketchbook Project

Front coverCoverFront pagesMichigan state mottoAfrican proverbPersian proverb
Ernest Hemingway quoteFiji proverbFrench proverbRussian proverbJapanese proverbMahatma Ghandi quote
Irish proverbHungarian proverbPolish proverbThe ? pageNear the SeaChinese proverb
Back pagesfront of artist cardback of artist card

After posting this FOUR times to my old PPS blog, I finally figured out where to change my Blogger URL in Flickr. I now have a Pro Account again, and hope to be sharing more from Flickr this way. Whew!

Anyway, this is what I have been working on since returning from our holiday vacation. Now it is winging its way to Brooklyn, just under the January 31st deadline. Yay!

Spending today working on our Hawaii mini-album...hope to share that with you soon!