Saturday, April 30, 2011

End of April

All of these pictures were taken on a Saturday walk along Country Club Drive just 2 weeks ago. We had gone to the club for some exercise, and since I don't like exercising in smelly weight rooms, I left early for the trek home. What a delight it was to find so many wonderful fresh blooming things along the way!

And so, adieu April, and let's on to May!

April Template 19

Friday, April 29, 2011

Jen Maddocks Basic Essentials Templates 2

Here's that yummy color scheme again, turquoise and purplish pink, more of my lovely backyard roses on Jen Maddocks's From My Canvas Papers, in her Basic Essentials Templates 2.  It also uses Jen's Facebook Freebie, Under the Umbrella kit and Grandma's Quilt blog train freebie.

I love these roses!

Roses Jen Maddocks Template

Thursday, April 28, 2011

While on the Subject of Paris...

After doing several Parisian layouts using Maya de Groot's Ooh La La kit, I managed a speed scrap this week at Scrap Matters.

The first instruction was, "Choose a layout in the gallery to lift". I had already "favorited" several layouts using Amy Stoffel's Madeline kit.  I choose to lift this one, made by "Nietis". I love everything about it, but especially the clustering which I do not know how to do.

The next instruction was to use "1 more or 1 less photo(s)". Well, that was easy, since there were 0 photos, my layout would have 1.

- add flowers (easy, already done in the original)
- add staples or stitching
- frame something other than a photo
- add a scatter (also already done in the original)
- title, date and shadow

And here it is

Paris Speed Scrap 329

I pretty much replicated the clustering, pretty easy to do since I had all the elements from the Madeline kit. I choose to put the banner up top so I had room to frame an Eiffel Tower in the corner.

And I just LOVE what I did with the picture. One of my alltime best and favorite pictures. The story has already been told, probably too many times. We were walking back from the American Library in the 7th arrondisement. As we passed through the Champ de Mars, where we hadn't been for a few days, I noticed the cherry blossom trees had burst forth into bloom, silhouetted against la tour. Gasp!! Oh, I have to get a picture. "Go ahead", she said, "but hurry up!". And so I ran. I ran like I was a child again, full of the promise of springtime in paris. And I snapped this picture, among a few others, that I will treasure for life!

The lovely mask is by Butterflies and Bluebells. Many of the wonderfully kind comments noted the top of the Eiffel Tower extending outside the photo. This is relatively easy to do. The original photo was actually cut off mid way up the tower. But I had another photo of the upper portion. I simply placed this behind the original photo and set the blending mode to pin light, which caused the blue sky of the picture to blend with the blue of the background paper. The opacity is then set down to about 65%. Very cool effect, very easy to do! Another technique I used was to mask the photo onto the "City of Light" title.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ooh La La

As if I didn't like Maya de Groot's work well enough already, she has gone ahead and designed a Parisian kit! Well, I was in on the "ooh", and sunk with the "la la".

Took me no time at all to find a few pics from March of 2009 to use with her Ooh La La kit and her Template Set #5, along with Maya's All About kit.
How well I remember that sunny day in March of 2009.  We went to see the opening of the Andy Warhol exhibit at Le Grand Palais, and on the way back stopped for a few photo ops on the Pont Alexandre.   The sky was so blue it was hard to keep one's eyes open.
It was two years ago this week and I remember it better than yesterday.  That's the beauty of pictures, memories and wonderful places!

Paris Pont Ooh La La

Then I noticed this cute little frilly frame in the kit and realized it would be perfect with a close-up shot of the lacy iron work of La Tour Eiffel! This one uses Ooh La La again, with Maya's Template Set #4.
This was a pictures from our January 2009 visit.  There were a lot of gray skies in the cold of Paris in January, but they were magical nonetheless!

Eiffel Tower Ooh La La

No, I never tire of La Tour, Paris, or pictures of Paris. With each one I remember, I sigh, and I long for a return trip. Even if I don't make it, I will always have (pictures of) Paris!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More "From My Canvas" & Roses

Those sweet little rose bushes out back are the gem of the back yard. They're that old-fashioned kind of rose with the lovely scent that is "roses". With TLC and fertilizer, they are rewarding us with tons of blooms, even able to pick some for inside enjoyment.
April 21 Cut Roses

And so they are the subject of many a layout, in my current favorite color combo, turquoise and pink.  I love this shot of the rose bush with the fence giving line and perspective, the ever-present weather vane adding height, the faux-rocks providing some grounding color.  I must remember to get down on the ground more often for a different perspective.  Intentionally, that is, not by falling.

The picture-on-canvas effect was a happy accident...not even sure how I did it.  I wanted to introduce a watercolor effect for the photo, so I found a torn watercolor paper from my Jessica Sprague Digi In Deeper class.  Built a mask behind the photo and did some brush work, then somehow, through a combination of hiding and clipping, I ended up with just the tears showing, and liked it, especially in combination with the light-gray-shadowed Edgy papers.

Nature's Canvas

Border from Jen Maddocks Venerable, lovely jeweled drops from Jen Maddocks Under the Umbrella.
Previews of From My Canvas papers and Edgy by Jen Maddocks Designs, found at Digital Dandelions.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Artsy Craftsy Easter

It rained in the morning, on Easter! On a late Easter Sunday, it rained! A little rain, and still a little sick, made it a quiet day, but brunch was warm and yummy, and there was enough sun and warm temperatures for a walk in the late afternoon, where the highlight was standing under those cherry trees on the Arezzo corner...

Easter Collage
Template and elements are Anna Aspnes Artsy Layered Template #10 and Easter Egg freebie, plus Anna's Something Springy papers and brushes.  Big egg shape is from Hummie's World.

. . .and there was a little time in the morning to sew up another pillow to tie the set together. I am loving the way the Lakehouse ticking stripe looks in my family room, adding a little zing to the country French look.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Crafty Saturday

Since I am still not well enough to play golf and do too much cleaning, I got to be extra crafty yesterday.  Not a bad trade-off, especially considering the weather continues to be kaka-ish (not a meteorologically correct term, but descriptive nonetheless).

A couple of weeks ago I embroidered some Christmas stocking cuffs for Tracey, and since the embroidery unit was all set up and doesn't get much use, I thought I would use it for something on a pillow.  Not sure what to embroider, I thought, why not "Paris"?

For the front I used Lakehouse ticking in red, white and gold, with the gold dots set off nicely by the Christopher Lowell gold trim that I found in the bargain bin at JoAnn's for $1/yard.  On the back is the red-on-gold rooster fabric seen in the other rooster pillow.  Since I recovered an old pillow, the total cost was just a couple of dollars, and I am pleased with it.

"Crafty" was also the theme of this layout done with the Jessica Sprague Tuesday Template #12. We know I am not a fan of tiny pictures on a 12" layout, but in this case, pictures sent via instant message are more about the occurrences than the photography, so not altogether inappropriate.  It was fun to find all the doilies and buttons and trim to load up the rest of the page.

TT12 Crafty
Kitschy Digitals Granny's Attic and Granny's Sewing Basket, and the Grandma's Quilt Blog Train, featuring work by Girl Boy Girl, Jenasis Design, Sprouting Seeds Studio, Stacey's Scraps and Jen Maddocks Designs. Font is Claudia Jean.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

From My Canvas Flora

Well, the "my" as in "From My Canvas" is Jen Maddocks Designs, who created these wonderful artsy canvas papers, perfect for collage-like work.  Here I combined the papers with several pictures from a walk around the neighborhood last week.  Since I wanted something abstract, I also use Jen's Quilt Templates.  I love the surreal effect of the oversized but correctly colored leaves scattered throughout, and love the misty look of the word art.  One of my favorite things about this layout is the "date" and work "walk", as I like how it seems they are an extension of the paint splats on the canvas.  Simple use of the eye dropper tool, simple pleasures :-)
Oh and I must get back out today for more pictures of that cherry tree down the street, as the blooming has progressed and it is dramatic!

Morning Walk JMD Canvas

Previews of From My Canvas papers and Quilt Templates 2, found at Digital Dandelions.

Friday, April 22, 2011

"Edgy" Sunset

It was last August that I created Suburbanity, a layout of the sun setting on the eastern hills, with the addition of photos of the lions from our front fountain, and just a few grungy elements.

Sunset Scrapbook Page

This same layout adorns the back cover of my Summer 2010 Shutterfly book.  It remains one of my favorites.  It used an awesome overlay called Urban Grunge by Jen Maddocks.  I think this was the first of Jen's digital products that I purchased.  Here it is 8 months later and I am on the creative team for Jen, continuing to be inspired by her wonderful new creations as well as my old favorites.  Isn't that a great story?  It is for me :-)

A more recent sunset, this one from just last week, featured in this "Edgy" sunset layout, once again using Urban Grunge, along with the new release, Edgy, those wonderful scalloped curves that create so much flow and energy.  Just a little brushwork, some sparkles and word art, and done.

Sunset Edgy

Previews of Edgy and Urban Grunge, which can be found at Digital Dandelions.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Home Sweet Home - Part 3 & Finale

If I spread out these Home Sweet Home layouts too much more, I am going to forget about them, and not have room and time to post all the other wonderful stuff that is being released by the wonderfully creative ladies for which I am a Creative Team member.

And so, without further ado, here are several more layouts done with Maya de Groot's Home Sweet Home kit, as part of her spotlight week at Oscraps.

First, or third (see Home Sweet Home Part 1 and Part 2), and probably my favorite. On a walk last week, I took the extra block around Arezzo Way, and came upon these gnomes-on-a-stick. The mushrooms on which they sit are solar-powered lights. I must make a point to walk by some time in the dark (although it was not clear that they would get much solar power under the tree, but still, they were cute!).  I am most proud of the hand-made banner I created for this layout.
And how clever of Maya to include the "@" sign in her alpha.
TT 12 Gnomes at Home
Everything from Maya de Groot Designs - Home Sweet Home, Home Sweet Home Add On, Primavera, and Midsummer Night's Dreams. The template is Template Tuesday #11 from Jessica Sprague.

The next two layouts were inspired by what I was seeing in Maya's spotlight gallery...lots of kitties and treehouses.  So I dug up a picture of Moe in the bird bath at Stern Avenue.  I miss Moe, and do hope he is doing well since we left.  He was a source of constant entertainment!
Moe in Oct 09 HSH
Credits - Maya de Groot Designs Home Sweet Home and Home Sweet Home Add On plus Midsummer Night's Dream  and Template Set 5.

Treehouses reminded me of Megan's apartment at Rhode Island Street, and uses some of the same pictures I used in her 2010 calendar.  I used some creative brush work here, once again having to refer to my notes from my Digi in Deeper class.
Treehouse Home Sweer Home

Credits - Made with Maya's Home Sweet Home and Prego.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Simply Kelly's 4-Photo Template

It's a good thing I have a backlog of layouts and pictures to post, because I have been sick in bed for 2 days.  Finally I am able to sit up long enough to get some work fun done. Work will have to wait until I can think a little more clearly.

Working with Simply Kelly's templates is, well, simple. Just plop in some photos and papers and use the provided text path!

Since it was Brady's birthday recently, I thought I would feature him in this layout. I have yet to meet Brady, but I understand he is quite the good dog!  He certainly is cute!

Brady Birthday SKD 4 Photo

Layout uses Simply Kelly's 4-Photo Template and Celebrate Kit, plus the word bubble from Simply Kelly's Talk to Me kit.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Home Sweet Home - Part 2

The glittery rainbow in Maya's new Home Sweet Home kit reminded me of the multitude of rainbow photos I have from this past rainy season (and many more from previous years).  This year's, and last year's, are the best because of this perch atop the hill!

Rainbow MDG HSH

Template is Anna Aspnes' Artsy Layered Template No. 19.
In addition to Home Sweet home, I used Maya's Midsummer Night's Dream.
Here are the two kits primarily used in the layout, and note the Add On Kit is a FREEBIE!

Next up, yes, there are more Home Sweet Home layouts!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Home Sweet Home - Part 1

Home Sweet Home is a new digital scrapbooking kit by Maya de Groot Designs.  This was an easy kit for me to work with, 'cause I love my home sweet home (most of the time), and have lots of pictures and ideas for this theme.

Maya is also the spotlight artist at Oscraps this week, so there are lots of Home Sweet Home layouts being showcased, giving me even more ideas (but not more time).

The first layout I did features that same old shot that I often take of the front of the house.  I can't ever get the whole house in the picture, but this was enough to set it up in a fantasy-whinsical way which matches the mood of the kit.  I love the brick extension of the wall, the faux-chimney with pictures of flowers inside, and the funky elements.  I hand drew the tree and the tulips by freehand cutting out of digital papers from the kit.  Very fun!

Home House 1

Here are the two kits primarily used in the layout, and note the Add On Kit is a FREEBIE!

Next up, more Home Sweet Home layouts!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Apple Blossoms, Peter Rabbit & Pottery Barn

Another layout with Jen Maddocks Apple Blossom, combined with Anna Aspnes Artsy Layered Template No 19 and Anna's Easter egg freebie art.

Last Saturday Megan and I made a stop at the Pottery Barn kids at Valley Fair.  Regrettably, I didn't get a picture.   But I've decided that on days that I don't take a real picture, I can substitute an image that represents something from the day.  So when searching through images from the Pottery Barn kids site, I came across this flag with holes in it for heads.  We know how much I love taking pictures with head-holes!  I know they really just look like heads pasted behind a picture of a head-hole flag, but hey, they make me happy :-)

Another fun thing I did here was find some Peter Rabbit images and place them in the layout. I love how they look.  And I used my egg-like brush to add some color and line along the sides.  Another new accomplishment was the creation of the custom text path to wander among the elements at the bottom.  Easy-peasy!  Oh and warped text.  I am totally in to warping right now.

Easter Poster

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Apple Blossoms & Easter Bunnies

The soft spring colors in Jen Maddock's Apple Blossom kit seemed perfect for use with Easter Pictures (or quilt idea for another day!).  Thought I would use it with this funny picture of Molly, Lily and the Easter Bunny.  Apparently Lily was perfectly fine going to the Easter Bunny and sitting in his lap, but she would not smile.  Apparently nor would the Easter Bunny.  This is so perfectly Lily.
Molly Lily Easter

Also uses Jen Maddocks Under the Umbrella for the cool grass and egg-like raindrops hanging from the tree button.

Brushes are from Jessica Sprague.  The cute white bunny is a custom shape. Just select and draw...I like that!  And the drops along the top and sides are a brush I created from a custom shape.  I wanted eggs, but couldn't find eggs quickly enough, so I went with raindrop-like shapes to add some clutter to the page.

Apple Blossom.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Apple Blossoms are White

The apple blossoms are one of the first flora to bloom in January and February, and how surprised I was to find we actually have an apple blossom tree, right in the front corner, somewhat hidden behind another tree of unknown provenance. And so lots of apple blossom pictures were taken and scrapped earlier in the year. But, always room for more!

Apple Blossom is a beautiful new digital paper and element release from Jen Maddocks Designs. Being literal me, I had to go back to my apple blossom photos, perhaps using a few I didn't use before, but anyway in a whole new way.

This layout uses Jen's Crop Circles 2 in addition to the papers and elements from Apple Blossom.  The kit also included some glitter styles.  I know I learned how to use styles in one of my classes, but couldn't remember how.  All it took was a quick google search, 'how to use styles in photoshop' and voila, info received, learned, and used - note the cool glitter circle outlines which echo the colors in the branch brushes...yummy details!

Apple Blossoms JMD
Additional credits - the wonderful branch brush which I've used over and over is from Jen Allyson's Vanity Fair, and the adorable ribbon bee is from Joey Lynn Designs Garden Lover.  Yes, I placed a ribbon bee on the photo, but there was a bee in that photo, just not very clear.

A look at the lovely previews for Apple Blossom

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Roses are Red

Roses are red, violets are blue,
I love scrapping, and gardening too.
(What a dork!)

Created with Jen Maddocks Crop Circles and my new Madeline kit, plus lots of other goodies.  These are the first roses on the little bush out front, responding to the rain, the warmer weather, and probably in response to the recent dose of fertilizer.

Roses Crop Circles 2
There were a lot of things we had to include in this speed scrap at Scrap Matters:
4 papers, 4 unique flowers, duplicated 3 times each, 3 scatters, 3 ribbons or bows, word art strips, 3 lines of stitching, 3 buttons, 4 more elements, date, journal and title. Phew! 
The idea, I believe, was to create "clusters" with all those elements. But clustering just doesn't come naturally to me. I had the same problem with painting. It was always hard for me to overlap elements. I wonder why??

Additional credits:
Template is Crop Circles 2 by Jen Maddocks, Papers are Madeline by Any Stoffel, flares and elements are Anna Aspnes Magic FotoBlenz and Artplay Palette, elements - Miss Miss Bitten, Kat Design, Ninie. Buttons and ribbons - Any Stoffel Madeline, word strips Dede Smith Blessings, stitching - Maya de Groot Prego, Soval Designs Bead Scatter

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Color, A Blueprint Challenge

Another April challenge from Design House Digital, this one a blueprint challenge, in which the template is basically provided, and I get to fill in the spaces with photos and paper, and then some!  My first "and then some", is almost always to increase the size of the photos.  I just don't do small photos.  The next order of business was to create an awesome background, for I also don't really do white space, preferring a much busier and blended look.  Several papers are blended with enlargements of my photos to create the background.  For the papers, I stayed simple...basic color papers overlaid with blended textures.

Color April Blueprint

Background papers are Mary Ann Wise Spring Blossoms overlaid with my photos. Side papers are from Katie Pertiet, overlaid with Evergreen papers by Jopke Designs. Bottom strips are just colored and overlaid with Jopke Designs Evergreen papers.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lupines, Another Scraplift

Scraplifting is kind of like using quilt patterns.  Use the basic design, apply one's own "fabric" choices, in this case the fabrics being the photos, digital papers, elements and brushes.

This scraplift layout of the lupines that I found on the top of Toulon Hill was done for a scraplift challenge at Design House Digital.  I pulled a lot from the original layout - 2 photos, the matting, journal, tag, embellishments and brushes.  I love the colors, the light on the flowers of the photos, coming from the setting sun.  If you look carefully in the back photo, you can see the railing of the Arezzo/Toulon water tower.

Lupines Scraplift

Papers and most elements from Jopke Designs Evergreen collection, with a Robyn Meierotto tag, Jen Allyson Vanity Fair Aubergine papers. Brushes from Laurie Ann Wildflower Brushes and Pixelbooking French Girl Bleu (the dots). Oh and the cute deer is from Audrey Neal's Whimsey Animals.