Friday, November 30, 2012

London Calling

I am somewhat haunted by something I read recently about making sure your pictures are printed for posterity.  Storage media and technology change rapidly, and if not printed or otherwise transferred, pictures could be lost on an unreadable hard drive somewhere.

And so I really want to go back and print the pictures from our major vacations, starting with London.  I don't need to scrap every page, but do need to select the photos, edit many of them, especially those taken in London against that gray sky, and upload them for printing.  A bit of a daunting task.  But, the longest journey starts with a single step.

I did create 4 pages with Maya de Groot's Cheerio kit.  When I started going through the photos, of course the big stuff jumped out, but I decided to focus on a detail, something very British and very London and very neat and tidy, perfect rows of house numbers.  No silliness like '10335' or '5250', these are simple numbers, starting from 1, going into the 40s.  And no skipping.  There is something very satisfying about it.

London Numbers 
Credits: Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palettes English Rose, Ablaze, Maya de Groot Cheerio.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Vintage Christmas 3

My favorite of all three vintage Christmas pictures and layouts, I can hardly believe this is me, so sleepy I can't keep my eyes open, or perhaps it was a reaction to the flash, both are very likely.  I remember the doll well, and in fact believe I still have her somewhere.  The bunny I don't remember.  The footed sleeper, worn over the pajamas, was a staple of my childhood.  There's the giant rotary phone again.  I wonder whatever happened to those tables.  There was this metal grid on the sides that I liked looking through and poking things through.  It's funny the little things one remembers.

Vintage Christmas 3

Another part of the Jen Maddocks O Christmas Tree release are torn pages, which made a perfect backdrop for my page.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Vintage Christmas 2

The next in my series of vintage Christmas photos with Jen Maddocks O Christmas Tree.  
Not only do I love the pictures, but seeing all the vintage items in them.  Only then they were not vintage items, they were current items :-)

Check out that TV, and the telephone!  I clearly remember the telephone, a giant black console with a rotary dial.  I even remember the phone number, Humbold 4-6626.  I don't remember any such thing as area codes.  I used to love to play with the rotary, sticking my little fingers in the holes, rotating it, then listening to the sound of it rotating back.

It also looks like we had a real Christmas tree.  There is a vague memory of Dad pulling up the steep driveway with a tree tied to the top of the big black Chrysler.  In later years we changed to an artificial silver tree (which I loved, and oh the 4-color bulb projector thing that made it change colors...I could watch it for hours on end) under the belief that we were allergic to real trees, which did in fact appear to have some basis in reality. Mom still has that manger set.  I remember we would put a tissue over baby Jesus until Christmas day, when it could be removed to celebrate his birth.

Vintage Christmas 2

In addition to the wonderful papers and elements, this set of kits includes the most amazing 'glos', which do in fact make the pages glo! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Vintage Christmas 1

The last time I was in NJ, I poked around the basement, and found another photo album tucked in the back of a pantry shelf.  In it were a treasure-trove of photos from the 50s and 60s.  Some are still pretty hard to look at without tears coming to my eyes, but others just make me smile.

Vintage Christmas 

All new "O Christmas Tree'" products from Jen Maddocks at Oscraps.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Fall 2012 Book

It's only 8:20 PM, and the book is done and ordered. Forty-seven pages of scraping layouts plus additional photos that represent the fall of 2012. Fabulous deals at Shutterfly today enabled me to save over $70, paying only $38. As usual, can't wait to see it, hope I caught all the typos. 

Shutterfly photo books are the new way to preserve your memories. Create your own today.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Week 47

In which I finished a Gryffindor scarf, worked on burlap runners, made French toast from homemade bread, enjoyed the beautiful weather, and we celebrated Thanksgiving.

 Week 47 
Credits - Ann Aspnes FotoInspired Layout No 44, ArtPlay Palette Socialize, Boutique Cute Doll HandMade, Jen Maddocks Venerable

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Runner-ing Around

I've had the fabric for about 2 years, maybe 3.  It was purchased at the beginning of the burlap craze, which may or may not be over, I am not sure, isolated as I am in La La Land, aka Silver Creek.  Shortly after buying the French over-printed burlap fabric at JoAnns, we moved.  Then I saw a really cute runner arrangement of random doilies, which I liked and have used on the dining room table for several years.  But it was time to get out the burlap.

I googled and read through several tutorials on making runners, and compiled this set of tips:
  • I prewashed the fabirc, by hand, fluffed it in the dryer, and steam pressed the heck out of it.  This softened it a bit.
  • I decided on my width, then pulled out a thread/fiber along the width to provide a straight cutting line.
  • I decided not to hem, as I don't think the hems would lie flat enough, no matter how much they were steamed.
  • I pulled fibers off the ends to make strings, then tied them in knots for nice ending tassels.
  • I zig-zag stitched along the long edges to prevent unintentional fraying.
  • I did a lot of this work outside, so all the flying burlap fibers stayed out there.
I love the result, simple burlap runners for my dining room table and living room pillar base. 
Runner 1 Runner 2

Friday, November 23, 2012

MS AC & the Cowgirl Phase

We just had our entry painted.  In order to finish the entry, we needed to bleed into the living room.  In order to paint the column bases in the living room, we needed to move the antique wooden filing cabinet.  In order to move this very heavy antique filing cabinet, we needed to empty the drawers, and that is how I came across Ms AC's cowgirl picture and art.

I thought they would be nice in a page together, and perfect since there is currently a challenge by Anna Aspnes at Oscraps to scrap children's art.

Neither of the items are dated, unfortunately.  There should be a law that all printed photos must be dated.  But we think the picture must be pre-school, maybe 1992 or so.  And I would date the artwork from our house in Sunnyvale, which would have been early 1990s as well. 
Megan Cowgirl
All products from Anna Aspnes at Oscraps: Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palettes Sweet Christmas, Sophistica, Red White Blue and English Rose, Twiggy 1, Magic Sprinlklez 1. WoodShop Alpha, Buttons and Hearts

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful for...My View

Might seem like a silly thing to be thankful for, but it means so much to me, every day, to be able to look out on something beautiful.

Fall View 
Credits: Jen Maddocks Brush With Winter Masks plus Jen Maddocks Everyday Moments Collab

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


No, not the movie, the time of day when the sun is setting.  I love this picture I took of the setting sun through the canary island palm at the clubhouse, made all the prettier with lots of goodies from Jen Maddocks Designs.

Credits: Jen Maddocks Owl Magic Glos, Spring Tales, All Of My Love, Artisan Favorite Templates 2 and Then & Now, Tagged Alpha

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Week 46

Full of sunshine, rainbows, crafts and fantasy.

Week 46

Monday, November 19, 2012

Secret Words with Friends

Secret Indulgences by Jen Maddocks is mostly about coffee and chocolate.  I do like coffee and chocolate, but probably spend more time on Words with Friends.


What are your Secret Indulgences?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Story of the Gnomes

There are new gnomes in my garden.

Gnomes in Garden 9

Last Christmas, 2011, we spent some time in NJ after a visit to Disney World.  Somehow, I knew, well, always thought perhaps, that any Christmas could be Dad's last.  He didn't look very good, was not very strong, and just was not himself.  But one thing he always liked to talk about was his wood work.  He would cut figures out of wood and paint them, and he loved doing it.

As we talked he discovered I liked gnomes, and he told me he had made a bunch of wooden gnome figures.  I wanted to see them, but they were in the back shed, and it was too cold.  He was not going out much in those days.

Fast forward to August of 2012, and dad was gone.  The sadness still grips my heart.  He left many unfinished projects on his desk in the basement.  According to mom he had not done much wood work towards the end, his mobility and breathing being too difficult.
As You Left It

In the afternoon before his funeral, we went out to the back shed.  There lining the shelves were paper grocery bags, full of wooden figures, each labeled with the contents.  We easily found the gnomes, all eight of them.  Mom of course said I could have the gnomes, and Mr. AC kindly carried them back in his suitcase.

They needed a little work.  The bases were not painted, one of them did not have a base, and one base was a bit broken from a misplaced screw.  It took me a while to get to all this, but finally, all bases were fixed and painted, a coat of polyurethane to protect against the elements, and they were set out to dry in the sun.

Gnomes on Table 1

They now have a new home in my back yard.  They of course needed names.  I decided to name them after dad, starting with the first letters of his name. There is Finley with his flowerpot, Ringbetter leaning against his mushroom for a smoke.
Gnomes in Garden 1

Ampford has his clippers ready to trim the verge, and  Netwingle is equipped to dig in the garden.
Gnomes in Garden 3

Koindexter is a small gnome with a surprised expression.
Gnomes in Garden 4

Vinchester is taking a snooze in his wheel barrow.
Gnomes in Garden 6

Dandlebob was named for his weed-pulling activity,
Gnomes in Garden 2

and Jokenjester for the endless jokes endured by all who knew him.
Gnomes in Garden 7 

When I returned to NJ in October, I found a stamp on dad's desk. I was surprised the gnomes were not stamped and signed as his previous work had been. But I took care of that, stamping, naming and dating each one. 
Gnomes in Garden 10 Gnomes in Garden 11

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Owl Magic

A new owl awaited me when I returned from my NJ trip.  I call him Hootie, duh.

A new kit and template from Jen Maddocks, Owl Magic, prompted me to take Hootie outside for a photo shoot.

Owls Right

Owls Left

Friday, November 16, 2012

Snow Day (in NJ)

Right in the wake of Sandy came the first snow of the season.  The text that accompanied this photo was "just what we needed".   It is, however, pretty to look at, scrapped here with a pretty kit, Shabby Frost from Forever Joy Designs, available at Oscraps.
  Snow Day

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Making a Splash

Every morning at 9 am, the pool filter comes on to circulate the water between the pool and the spa. The water runs along the faux-stream from the higher spa down to the lower pool, leaving about a half inch of water in the stream.  Well, the birds in the area think this is just grand, fresh moving water for drinking and bathing!

It's not unusual to have 20-30 birds at a time...see them all on the fence in the picture...then they will take turns flying down to the stream for a drink or a bath, and flitting about between the stream, the roof, the fence and the rose-of-sharon tree.  What's funny is that they are different birds, finches and sparrows and bluebirds all at once.   Sometimes there will even be a half-dozen or so crows, though not at all at the same times as the little birds.

The perfect kit for capturing this...Little Birdie Told Me notions set from Dido Designs, available at Oscraps.

Birdie Splash

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thanksgiving Card

I thought this would make a cute Thanksgiving card, showing mom how the gnomes are all done and in their places in the back yard. 

Blurred Edge 5x7 folded card
Shutterfly offers custom St. Patrick's Day cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Week 45

In which I voted, President Obama was re-elected, snow fell in New Jersey, but at home the weather is cool but gorgeously sunny and bright!

  Week 45

Monday, November 12, 2012

Week 44

In which a little rain fell, but the glorious colorful fall continues, and Ms AC dressed up as Mr. Smee.

Week 44
Anna Aspnes FotoInspired Layout, Maya de Groot Home Sweet Home mushrooms.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans Day

I don’t know much about these tiny, dark and blurry pictures found in the cigar boxes, but it looks like you are in uniform, so I am thinking these are from your time in the army. What I do know is that your service in World War II was recognized . One of the most moving moments at the funeral, your casket draped in the American flag, was the playing of taps and the presentation of the flag by members of the military. I wish I had pictures, but I will remember it well.
Happy Veterans Day, Dad.
Photos from August 30, 2012

Veterans Day 
Credits: Anna Aspnes Artsy Layered Template No 62, Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palettes Red White Blue, Poppy, Crazy Life (background)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Week 43

In which I spent the last few days in New Jersey, before heading back home and spending a wonderful day in San Francisco discovering Barbary Lane.
I colored this page golden as we probably say goodbye to fall.

 Week 43

Friday, November 9, 2012

Last of the Leaves?

One more leafy layout, because they are just so pretty!  These are a few more pictures from New Jersey, taken on the street where the Post Office is, funny I don't know the name of that street, it might be Washington Street.  These bushes were lining the parking lot.  A parking lot that I am pretty sure you are not allowed to park in.  Oh wait, I think I did park there once.   People did look at me funny for taking pictures of bushes.  But I am used to that.

 Credits - Jen Maddocks Everyday Moments collab with Tracy Martin

Thursday, November 8, 2012

P365 Catchup - Week 42

In which I spent the week in Jew Jersey, first waiting hours in the rain for my shuttle to arrive, finally getting a picture of the Halycon Park sign, which was not there when we played kick ball at that end of the park back in the 60s, the stressful trip to the Probate Court, which turned out to be so easy I could kick everyone who put this off and made me stress over it and do it myself, then images from mom's house - the tree createure in the yard, I bet Dad really liked that, the portrait of Megan from when she was about 2 or 3 hanging in the bedroom, the pond in the morning light.

Week 42

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

P365 Catchup - Week 41

In which the pumpkin light covers appeared, a little rain started falling, a little nip in the air was chased away by lighting the fireplace, the roses are still blooming, and french toast was made.

 Week 41

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

Election Day

Monday, November 5, 2012

More Leaves and a Castle

Looking back, this will be my 'leaf period', but as mentioned, the colors are just so vibrant and exciting, and different colors and shades from what I am used to here at home, where we tend to see more yellow and some red, but not this violent orange.

This is the Baptist church on the corner of Bloomfield and Broad.  I don't recall ever thinking it looked like a castle, how could I have missed this?  It was not lost on me as I took my long refreshing walks, away from the phone calls and the paper work and the sadness that still shrouds my heart.

Scrapped with one of the wonderful Artisan Favorite Templates 2 from Jen Maddocks.

Leaf Swirls 
All from Jen Maddocks - Artisan Favorite Templates 2, Blink, Light in the Trees, Enchanted, Give Me Space

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Violent Leaves

When I see the colors of these leaves, and the contrast with the complementary blue sky, "violent" is the term that comes to mind...they are violently colored! The first two photot from the bottom left are untouched...this is the color as I saw it through my camera. The third photo on the top right has an Instagram filter so the colors are enhanced. Scenes like this were a highlight of my October stint in New Jersey to help mom. Walks to Bloomfield Center, walks in Montclair, marveling at the violent and vibrant colors.

 Violent Leaves 
Credits: Oscraps collab kits Comfort and Cozy, Leaf Frames by Vicky Stegal.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

DSD at Oscraps

It's Digital Scrapbooking Day at Oscraps and all over the digiscrap community.  There are more activities than you can shake a mouse at!  It's almost overwhelming, but I had time to prepare in advance.

There is an awesome kit available at Oscraps, free for participating in a scavenger hunt and finding the clues and the pieces.  There is so much goodness in this kit!  I have only begun to scratch the surface.

Here are a couple of layouts done with the Comfort Collab. Both are from pictures taken in NJ.  This first picture was taken of the pond.  The flower was very unusual, not a color expected of a water lily.  I wondered it is was just a cut flower thrown onto the pond, but it looked so natural and beautiful.

Comfort Lily

This next one depicts the entrance to Mt Olivet cemetary in Bloomfield, where I went several times to visit Dad.  The weather was beautiful and I love the peace and quiet of the cemetary.  Yes, I found comfort there.

Comfort Cemetary

Friday, November 2, 2012

Techniques Challenge

The next challenge I tackled at Oscraps was the use of the minimum filter.  I've never used this before, in fact, didn't know it existed, buried behind Filter > Other Filters.  Through a combination of filters and blending modes, a sketch effect is created, which can then be brushed back with color.  Works great on architecture, such as here in this picture of the Bloomfield College Westminster Arts building.

Bloomfield College

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Communications Challenge

It's the first of the month, time for the Oscraps challenges.

First up, a challenge to scrap a picture about communications.  Easy!

iPhone 5 
Credits: Maya de Groot Paint 'n' Glitter Clusters [Contrast], Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palette Girl Craze, and FotoBlenz Album No 17, Jen Maddocks This Way Masks