Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Morning Glories

Last week after visiting the lab at Good Samaritan, I stopped at the Starbucks across the street from the hospital.  This Starbucks is always busy and the lot in front always full.  There is a parking lot of sorts in the back, but it's just a dusty unpaved lot.  But along the fence separating the dusty lot from the backs of the buildings were beautiful morning glories draping over the fence.

Here they are presented in one of Maya de Groot's Double Dippers templates, with her lovely and artsy new Backpacker Papers as background.
Morning Glories
Additional credits - Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palette Find My Way.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A DIY Table Tale

Once upon a time there was this little table in the master bathroom.  It was cute, and oh so useful, catching my jammies on the way into the shower, but needed a little something.

Table Before 1 Table Before 2
Along came some inspiration (from BHG)! I am currently in love with turquoise, and loved this combination with white and browns.
Turquoise Inspiration
This is the same color Megan used to repaint her desk, so I didn't even have to buy paint. Step 1 was to add some molding strips to form a frame. We found these in the garage and hand cut them with a miter box. Then I primed and painted. Cost so far...$0.
Next I added leftover glass tiles from the remodel of the floor. Still no cost! Photobucket
Grout (also leftover from the floor) and replace!  And the boring little table is now a mosaic color punch in the room!  Total cost - $0, total time, about a week, since I had to wait for primer and paint to dry in between steps.
Table After 2

Table After 1
I am pleased with the project and anxious to add more turquoise elements to the room!

Monday, August 29, 2011

From Capri to Anacapri

Those who never get past Capri's Blue Grotto and touristy center to the other side of the island are missing the true gem of Capri island, the second town of Anacapri.  Less crowded, less touristy, more beautiful!

This is just a start.  Like other areas of the Amalfi Coast and Capri town, lemons, ceramics and bougainvillea dominate, but in Anacapri they dominate a more real landscape.

Anacapri 1

Anacapri 2
Credits - Anna Aspnes Project 2011 templates (modified), Jen Maddocks Forest Blues paper, Maya de Groot's Double Dippers templates (modified).

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ensa-Scrapping Caprese Style

Visiting Capri is an easy daytrip from Sorrento, catching the speed ship at Marina Piccola and zipping over in a cool and comfortable 20 minutes, in a jetboat with airplane seats and lots of them, dumping tourists onto the tiny island.  But it is a pretty place and definitely worth the visit.

The very first thing one does in Capri is catch a funicular and zip up to the top of the hill, from which one sees the following views.
Capri 1 

Like other towns on the Amalfi Coast, the Caprese landscape is dominated by ceramics and lemons and punctuated with bright flowers.   I loved seeing a staircase faced with lemon ceramic tiles and an entryway full of fruit and flowers bidding welcome.
Oh and always like watching the Italian men hanging out...what a nice place to hang out! Capri 2
Credits - Anna Aspnes Project 2011 Template #9, Jen Maddocks Designs Parchment papers and frames.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Final Amalfi Scraps

Our last stop on the Amalfi Coast tour was in Amalfi Town itself.  Again, not enough time to savor it all and really get to know this town.  Perhaps another time we will spend more days in this beautiful and relaxing land of lemons, ceramics, Moorish architecture, and not much to do besides savor it all.

Amalfi Town 2

Amalfi Town 1
Credits - Anna Aspnes Artsy Layered Template No. 12, Descriptives Word Transfers and ArtPlay Palette Saffron Villa.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Revelling in Ravello Memories

Next stop on the Amalfi Coast scrapping tour is Ravello, the town high up in the terraced hills above the coast.  Rafaelle was definitive in the location for our lunch on the tour, and now we know why.  Not only is it probably one of the only good restaurants for lunch in this tiny town, but it was good, and the view, sublime!  
I wonder how many people eat Caprese salads without ever thinking of their origin in this region where Capri is not far away (and soon to be scrap-visited!).  It was delicious!  And the homemade pasta, perfect!  How is it that Italians have perfected al dente?  Washed down with local wine of course, and plenty of water to stay hydrated in this Mediterranean climate, and the piece de resistance, the delizia al limone, kind of a lemon cream puff (and next time we have to take pictures before we start hacking into it!).  It was a perfect lunch, which unfortunately left too little time for this lovely town, worthy of further exploration!

Ravello Left

And Oh, the ceramics! Never have I seen such beautiful ceramics. Rafaelle took us to a ceramics factory where I was sorely tempted to plop down E500 for a hand-painted Vesuvian clay ceramic table or bistro set. Of course, no pictures allowed at the factory, but the Ristorante Garden had one of these tables in their airy lobby.
Ravello Right
Both of these layouts were stared with Jen Maddocks Basic Essential Templates 3, with background papers from Jen Maddocks new Blink and Damask, which have become the go-to papers for quick and effortless artsy layouts.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Week of Happy Places

I started to scrap Week 33, August 14th to 20th, using Anna Aspnes Magic FotoBlenz Album.  It had the word "happy" on it, and after placing the photos, I decided to leave that word, and supplement it with the word "places".  That pretty much sums up the week, with my yard, my view, my golf course, and a couple of new discoveries, the gelato shop at Oakridge and the Theater in the Woods in Woodside, where we went to see a fun and "moving" performance of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (one literally hikes between scenes in the Woodside forest.).
(By the way, that very cool font is called The Maple Origins).

Week 33 Left
Additional credits - Jen Maddocks Blink and Damask.

There was one more picture from the week that just woudn't go on the page, so even though this is totally going to throw off my odd-even page design, I made a separate page for my photo of the day from August 18th, from the Capture Your 365 prompt, my favorite flower. 

Week 33 Right
This page uses Anna Aspnes Artsy Template #13 with papers from Jen Maddocks Blink and Damask, and additional elements from Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palettes English Rose and Saffron Villa.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Continuing to Continue Along the Amalfi Coast

What can I say, I have way more pictures than I am scrapping, and what I am scrapping is way more than will fit on a page, or even a double page.  I often see, and admire, layouts with lots of pictutres on them.  But I don't seem to be able to do it.  I want my pics large.

But I did squeeze a few onto this spread, which is covering the drive along the Amalfi Coast between Positano and Ravello, where we had lunch, bringing the current Amalfi Coast page count up to 6, which with Sorrento makes 12, but who's counting?
Amalfi 5 Amalfi 6

I started this layout with Anna Aspnes Project 2011 Template #8, just reducing the number of photos a bit so I could make them all a little larger.  There is not much else added, just background papers, from Jen Maddocks Blink and Damask.
Amalfi 5

I've been playing a lot with blending modes on these Sorrento and Amalfi layouts, and really like what can happen when the sea or sky blends into a background.  OK, on to Ravello!
Amalfi 6

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Continuing Along the Amalfi Coast

Our first major stop along the Amalfi Coast, other than the stops at every bend for a Kodak moment photo, was in the colorful town of Positano.

John Steinbeck published an essay about Positano in Harper's Bazaar in May, 1953: 
"Positano bites deep", Steinbeck wrote. "It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone."

Oh how true, and so it continues to beckon for a more lingering visit, which I hope is in our future.
Meanwhile, pictures keep the dream place alive.

Positano Left

Positano Right

Credits: Templates are an adaptation of Anna Aspnes Project 2011 Template #8, backgrounds are from Jen Maddocks Blink, Forest Blues and Damask, and Maya de Groot's Snap.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Jen Maddocks Helps with Sorrento

After I finished scrapping the 29 pages of Rome, I was at a bit of a loss as to how I would approach Sorrento.  Of course I started by copying the pictures I wanted to use.  But what style, templates, papers would I use?

Jen Maddocks to the rescue!  Jen has a bunch of new products releasing today and they completely kickstarted my Sorrento scrapping! This first page uses a background from Blink, a kit featuring a set of beautiful artsy backgrounds.  The frames and elements are from Jen's kits Parchment, Tell Your Story and Sunday Morning.
Sorrento Blink

The facing page uses a template from Basic Essential Templates 3, background from her new Forest Blues paper kit, plus papers from her new Damask kit.Additional elements are from Parchment, Tell Your Story and Sunday Morning.  I loved finding those super perfect ornate frames which fit so well around the blocks of the template, framing the pictures of the tiles and bougainvillea, supplemented with papers in the alternate blocks.
Sorrento BET3

I was now on a roll! Another Blink background made for this lovely collage of some of the more intimate pictures from Sorrento, a view of Marina Grande from the sea level, and a little shrine tucked into a back alley of the town.  Carrying elements like the frames and the brads from previous kits, this layout also adds some elements from Jen's kits Grandma's Quilt and Everyday Garden.
Sorrecto Blink 2

For the facing page, Jen's Frames Templates, an all-time favorite, were perfect for a few of my favorite pictures, that evening when the sun was setting and casting a glow on the town, making for the most beautiful light.
Sorrento Blink 3

This left me with just some odds and ends photos that didn't necessarily tell a complete story, but learning from Anna Aspnes' Project 2011, it's OK to collect miscellaneous images into a set of pages, the story being that these are miscellaneous images from a special time and place. I used templates from Anna Aspnes Project 2011 in these layout, but to tie them to the rest of the Sorrento pages, I carried over a few of the frames and elements, and these also use backgrounds from Jen's Forest Blues and Blink kits.
Sorrento 5a

Sorrento 5b

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Scrapping the Amalfi Coast

After Rome, we moved further south, where it was warmer and brighter, and so my scrapbook pages of this area seem to have a lot more color in them, nice after the 29 pages of earth-toned Rome.

I started with Sorrento, scrapping it in 8 pages, but am saving those to show tomorrow.  After Sorrento, it was on to the Amalfi Coast.  I selected a little over 40 pictures, and the first 10 or so are now in pages.

The pages use Maya de Groot's Double Dippers template as a start, with her Sail Away papers as background.  I added elements from Anna Aspnes Something Springy and ArtPlay Palette Find My Way.  It was a challenge to tie the two pages together.  The circular ring helps (hmmm, kinda love tha way that looks!), but I used some of the red papers on the blue page and vice versa, added a purple bougainvilla picture on the left side to balance all the bougainvilla on the right, and added a touch of mustard, taken from the picture of the mosaic of Positano, to highlight the spread.

Amalfi Coast 1 Amalfi Coast 2
I tried not to sweat the details on these layouts, but have to admit, they just didn't seem done to me until I added the staples, the anchor and fleur-de-lis brush, and the buttons and brads.
Amalfi Coast 1
To add to the tie-in elements, I repeated the button and brad on this page, repeated the staples, and added another brush to tap on just a little more mustard yellow.
Amalfi Coast 2

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Twelfth Night on the 20th Day

What an interesting treat we had today, invited to a performance of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night at the Theater in the Woods up in the Skyline area.  It was by far the most unique performance I have ever been to, set deeply in the redwood forest, with the scenes tucked into different areas, requiring us to hike between scenes.

Pictures of the performers were not allowed, but this is the setting, starting down to the sets..
(and I chose this first picture as my photo of the day)Twelfth Night ! 
amidsdst the trees dripping with moss and mist Twelfth Night 2 
with a redwood canopy above us.. 
Twelfth Night 3 
moss covered rocks tumbling down to a babbling brook ...
Twelfth Night 4 
with little stages and sets tucked into nature Twelfth Night 5

Friday, August 19, 2011

August 365 - 19. My Favorite Dessert

I'm not a big dessert eater.  Not that I don't like dessert.  My favorite sweet, my sweet weakness...cookies.  Oreos, Pepperidge Farm cookies like Chocolate Chunk, Milanos, Mint Milanos, iced oatmeal, Nilla Wafers, Gingersnaps, and the ultimate cookie treat, macarons.  But, with the reality that cookies bring, I actually don't eat them very much.

Switch the scene to Italy, and it seems dessert is a necessity, and it is usually . .  GELATO!  
The first time we went to Italy, Megan and Tod got gelato nearly every night, and I declined.  I was still in my "I really can't eat anything additional disciplined days".  The next time, I thought I would give it a try.  I had read that it is actually lower in fat than frozen yogurt.  Well, that first try was a slippery slope, at the bottom of which is me, on our 3rd or 4th trip to Italy, having gelato every night.  Some nights, after having lunched sumptuously, I actually had gelato for dinner.

And so when we returned to San Jose at the end of our June trip, we missed gelato.  A little research and we found there is a gelato joint at Oakridge in San Jose, called La Crema d'Italia.

La Crema d'Italia 
And it's not bad. If nothing else, they do the splendid job of displaying their gelato in that colorful, hard-to-resist Italian-style, complete with flavor-indicating props. Gelato in San Jose

Thursday, August 18, 2011

August 365 - 18. My Favorite Flowers

I took a slight break from using the Capture Your 365 prompts for the last several days, because I had so many other things to take pictures of and show, but today's prompt was "my favorite flowers", a prompt I couldn't resist, and am so thrilled to have captured the morning sprinkling drops on the roses in the backyard.

I am not sure which is my favorite picture.  I love the fuller drops on this rose . . .
Rose 1
but if you look carefully at this one, there are the tiniest droplets along the edges of the petals!
Rose 2

And yes, the bunny rabbits still love to eat the rose petals.  As the flowers fade, I gather the petals and put them just on the other side of the fence so they can enjoy them without being tempted by the fresh petals on the bushes.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The View

Never tire of it, and I particularly like this picture because I didn't even realize I was in it.  This is the view from the 18th fairway, late in the afternoon, with some lovely clouds in the background.  This is one of the main reasons I play golf.

18th Hole

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Week 32 in Review

Another week, another bunch of fun photos, many of them featuring favorites as prompted by Capture Your 365, like my favorite shoes, my favorite childhood toy, my favorite summer vegetables, my favorite game, my favorite walk (NOT), my favorite place.  All in all, a very positive and powerful group of images, for focusing on favorites is a good thing!.

Week 32 

Template is Anna Aspnes Magic FotoBlenz Album, with papers and elements from Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palettes Barren Sunrise, English Rose, Saffron Villa.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Rome was not Scrapped in a Day

Rome was not scrapped in a day, nor a week, nor even a month, for here it is mid-August, about 6 weeks after our return, and finally, I have scrapped Rome! 

Who knows how long it will take to finish the rest of the trip, but I at least feel like I have a good handle on Rome, where we spent the longest time. 

I had to make a lot of choices. I had already chosen and scrapped the 5 photos of the day from when we were in Rome. And I had already uploaded a set of pictures that I thought would most interest family and friends. But I wanted to go deeper, capture more details, convey more of what was special, why it was special, and my as-close-as-possible to real-time observations. 

I started by going through my picture folders, which are organized by date. (Note to self: must remember to change the date on the digital camera when traveling 9 time zones away!). I copied the pictures I wanted into desktop folders. It was just too hard to look at hundreds of photos at a time and try to decide how to scrap them. Much easier to work with 5-10 photos at a time. 

Then there was the question of design and templates for the pages. I decided to stick with a few that I love. Since I was working with products from Anna Aspnes' Project 2011, I used a lot of those templates as starting points. Jen Maddocks Frame Templates are also some of my favorite masks and frames, so they figure prominently in the pages. For the Trevi Fountain pages, I started with my POTD layout, which uses Maya de Groot's Double Dippers templates.

The pictures are the dominate feature in many of the layouts, so not much was required in the way of paper backgrounds nor embellishments. But I did use a few choice papers from Far Far Hill to give a vintage, old world feeling, which perfectly picked up the earth-tone colors that are Rome.  Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palettes (Barren Sunrise, Find My Way, Saffron Villa) and Travel Word Art and Jen Maddocks Venerable kits also provided elements and embellishments.

One more little trick that was extremely helpful.  When I got to the subject of St. Peter's Basilica, there were 34 pictures that were the minimum.  It's an impressive and photogenic place!  I uploaded these 34 pictures to a Shutterfly album then generated a Simple Path book.  I am always impressed with how Shutterfly Simple Path groups and arranges photos, so I used this as a guide for how to group and arrange my 34 photos, although I did it in 8 pages instead of 20.

So Rome has now been scrapped in 29 pages.  This slideshow doesn't seem to want to play in order, which is a bit frustrating to me because the order of the pages is very important.  The next decision will be when and how to print these pages.  I can't wait to see them in print!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

August 365 - 14 - A Favorite Place to Sit

A couple of weeks ago we made a quick stop at Bed, Bath & Beyond to pick up some things for Megan.  I spotted these lounge chairs, but we didn't really have time to check them out...can't remember if we were rushing to dinner or a movie.

But the next day, on the way back from San Francisco, we stopped and picked up two of the chairs, and they are perfect for the back yard.  They match the dining set nicely, and they are comfy!

It makes for a nice break in the middle of the day, to walk out in the warm back yard and take a little rest in the lounge chairs. Yesterday, Megan enjoyed the chairs for a while, the San Jose sun being a welcome change from the cold summer of San Francisco.  When the Brunos were visiting, Lucrezia and Andrea gravitated to the lounge chairs and took up residence there, basking in the warm sun that reminded them of naples.  Here, at the end of 18 holes of golf....where is my mojito??  
Hmmm, maybe I'll even try morning coffee in these chairs some day.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

August 365 - 13. My Favorite Clothes

Nothing is better than being in shorts and a T-shirt.  No specifics, just shorts and a T-short.  Sure, I like to dress up, and love wearing skirts and T-shirts, but when I am home, and it is warm, and I can be comfortable in shorts and a T-shirt, life is good.

Shorts & T-shirt
Sailor-front striped shorts from Anthropologie, basic V-neck T-shirt from Forever 21.

Friday, August 12, 2011

August 365 - 12. My Favorite Walk

It's interesting how my favorites overlap.  My favorite shoes are in my favorite color, and my favorite color is the color of my favorite vegetable, and my favorite place is my favorite place outside, and my favorite place outside shows my favorite time of day.  OK, point made.
So in thinking about my favorite walk, I thought it would be on the golf course, already featured as my favorite game...another overlap.
So instead I will feature my LEAST FAVORITE WALK. Yup, I have a walk that I dread.
Hill 1
The first time we walked up this hill, from the 7th to the 8th hole, I thought, well, it will get easier. But it never does. Never...gets...any...easier.  In fact, when it's over 80 degrees out, as it is most every day in the summer, it
There are some pretty things along the way to distract me. Hill 2 
And now that I have a full complement of clubs to carry and must use the cart, I can no longer take the shorter path up the stairs. Which may be good, because... Hill 3 
... there are 200 of them.
Hill 4 
The only good part about this walk is that eventually we reach the top and it is over, until the next time.
Hill 5