Saturday, February 25, 2012

Noeteca Brunch

So many wonderful pictures have filled February that I almost forget to scrap my birthday brunch at Noeteca, this the 2nd annual birthday brunch at Noeteca, this year with Sam along to make it four at the table.

The perfect kit to scrap these low-color pictures, called Worn, a collab at Oscraps between One Little Bird and Sahlin Studios. One of the things that attracted me, besides the lovely vintage feel, were the cluster frames. I still cannot do clusters. I thought about taking a class on clusters, but it seemed silly. But still I admire them, and these, being pre-made, were perfect.

Birthday Pics Worn 
Additional credits - Anna Aspnes Numbered Overlays and ArtPlay Palette Barren Sunrise, Jen Maddocks Celebrate

Friday, February 24, 2012

Colorful Week 7

I have to admit to still being in shock at how many scrapbook pages I created in 2011, and how much it cost me to print them all.

But I can't stop myself!
It's fun, it's beautiful, and I know it will be useful someday, for memories, for inspiration, for the joy that comes in reviewing every picture, every week, and creating beautiful art with it all!

Week 7 was no exception, full of the fresh and powerful colors of spring, the love in lovely Valentine's Day roses, the joy of spending time with special people.

Week 7 

I used the same template as Week 6 - Anna Aspnes FotoInspired Template No 6, with ArtPlay Palette Crazy Life.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

And More Sunsets

As I was finishing up this page, I looked out the back window to see yet another spectacular sunset! How I love my view!

Sunset ArtPlay 
Credits - all from Anna Aspnes, done as a "AnnaLift" - ArtPlay Palette Crazy Life, ArtPlay Palette Barren Sunrise, ArtPlay Palette Encapsulate, with Dido Designs, ArtPlay Palette Special One, ArtPlay Palette Ablaze, Personalized Frames No 1, 12x12 Script Tease Learn Overlays 1, Magic Sprinklez No 1, Magic FotoBlenz Album

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

More Plum Blossoms

What can I say, I never tire of them, such a sweet pink color, with their burgundy centers, against a bright blue sky, with the scent of sweetness!   That's the plum blossoms in the spring!

And on our walk the other day, we spotted a pink hyacinth poking out of the ground.  I got down close to not only take a picture, but to drink in the heady perfume.

More spring!  Keep it coming!
A just a few words about this page...it is so much easier than it might look.  The focal photo is an Instagram shot, so the processing was already done.  A couple of frames, and a few more photos blended into the background, some simple word art created from basic fonts, with a little warping of the "S", and a few embellishments.
I love doing this kind of thing, playing with photoshop to make art from my photos.

Plum Blossoms ArtPlay 
Credits: All from Anna Aspnes: ArtPlay Palette Crazy Life, Mini Palette Winter, Personalized Frames No 1, ArtPlay Palette Special One, Magic Sprinklez No 1

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sham Wow

How did 8 weeks of the year go by with no sewing??

Better late than never, I have finally completed the pillow shams for the master bedroom.
They were a challenge, having use more fabric than planned for the drapes and the bed skirt, but I resourcefully pieced them together.

Shams Closeup 

 and love how they look with my vintage yellow quilts, if a bit floppy around the edges. 
Next I will try hanging that blue and yellow log cabin quilt, and I need to cover that lampshade!
Shams

Monday, February 20, 2012

Project 365 2011

The weekly pages were all complete, all that was left to be done was proof them, save them as high res images, make sure nothing was too close to the edge, upload them, arrange them, make a front cover, back cover and spine, and a filler page or two to address any offness in odd-even pages. Mid February, and it is done! I can't wait to see it! 

 
The new way to make a photo album: photo books by Shutterfly.

I agonized over whether to order this during a 40% off sale, wondering if perhaps I should wait for a 50% off sale. At 72 pages, the regular price of the book was a whopping $132. But since I also had a free shipping code, I went ahead and ordered. A day later I noticed I had left out a page :-( But, I will just print that page and add it in, a sign of my humanness.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Week 6 - Happy Birthday!

Before I start week 7, let me talk about Week 6.   An important week, my birthday week!  Wonderful, heartfelt gifts made even more special than just spending time with my favorite AC's.

And, a funny thing happened as I was putting together this page.  I wanted to recolor the paint spats to match the pretty handcrafted "d" that Ms AC made me, but when the color overlay appeared n the page, I knew I had to make the whole page coral!  I love the colors!

Other highlights of the week include the emergence of the plum blossoms, a little later than last year, I think, and the appearance in the yard of two large racoons, who spent the morning following one another around.

Week 6 
Credits: Anna Aspnes FotoInspired Template No 6, Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palette Everyday, Anna Aspnes Everyday Word Transfers, Jen Maddocks Celebrate, Holliewood Whose My Gnome

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Daffodils ala Dido

Another lovely kit from Dido Designs, this one a freebie even, with wonderful yellows, fleur-de-lis and even a tulip, perfect for that first daffodil picture I tool the other day on Arezzo Drive. 

Daffofil Dido Queen

Friday, February 17, 2012

Plum Blossoms ala Dido

Another beautiful new release from Dido Designs at Oscraps called Earth Song, so perfect for my plum blossom pictures.  I am really enamored with this designer, who creates lots of blending elements, but very soft and subtle.  It's hard not to use every element on a page!

The pictures are  from one of the many plum blossom trees on the Silver Creek golf course, these on the 17th hole.  When they are in full bloom and the air is warm, the smell is lovely!  I caught the tiniest scent of it today, and look forward to more.

Plum Blossoms

Here is a preview for this lovely kit, available today at Oscraps.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Painted Trees of Kauai

Back to Kauai, oh how I wish I was, but therein is one of the beauties of scrapping, being able to revisit places and memories.  This memory is about trees.

What came first here, the pictures or the kit?  Well, it is a little of both.

We have a new designer at Oscraps, Dido Designs.  It's been an exciting couple of days as we sponsored a "Guess Who" contest, then announced our new designer, then announced our contest winner.  It's has been great fun transforming the Oscraps blog into a newly vital entity.

But I digress.

Yes, trees...

There are these painted trees, right along the main road into Princeville on the edge of the golf course.  By "painted" I mean painted by Mother Nature.  They are eucalyptus trees whose bark peals to reveal beautiful shades of green, orange, yellow, even burgundy.

Upon googling them I discovered them to be the Rainbow Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus deglupta) or Mindanao Gum tree,  the only species of Eucalyptus tree found in the northern hemisphere (I am not sure what this means, since the San Francisco Bay Area is loaded with eucalyptus trees).

Interestingly enough, all the online references talk about them being in various arboretums and on the Road to Hana on Maui, but no one seems to know about my trees.

But here is a page with a little story about my trees, scrapped with the lovely Little Birdie Told Me kit from Dido Designs.  I picked the dark gold background paper from the kit, then set most every other element on a blending mode to get all the lovely oranges, browns, earthiness.

Painted Trees OLB

Here is a preview for the Little Birdie Told Me kit.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Week 5 and In to February

Not far behind now, I have already scrapped Week 5, January 29 to Feb 4.

In the last several days I have been working on proofing, uploading and creating my 2011 book. Because of the way I spread out the photos of the day while in Europe for the month of June, the book is up to 73 pages!
 I still need covers and some intro and filler pages because I messed up the balance somewhere along the year.
And I desperately need a 50% off sale! But, still I persist with documenting my life, one picture at a time, one week at a time. What can I say, it's fun!

Week 5 was filled with beautiful weather, good food, good friends, words with friends, and one little sad story (only the car was hurt), but hopefully it will have a happy ending.

 Week 5a Week 5b

Week 5a

Week 5b 
Credits: FotoInspired Layout No 5 (turned sideways, FotoInspired Layout No 1 (with just 3 pics), Numbered Overlays No 1, ArtPlay Palette Everyday, ArtPlay Palette Sweet Christmas, P366 Word Art No 1

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Week 4 - Things I Love

I suppose I should have a Valentine's Day post, showing something crafty done specifically for this holiday featuring the color red and other things I love.

But I didn't do anything craftily new this year.

I did find my Tim Holtz Valentine's tags that I made last year, and I love them just as much this year.

Tin Holtz Tags

Tin Holtz Tags

 I had intended to give these away last year but silly me, I couldn't part with them. But I did send one off to a special person this year.

And I was greeted this morning by a lovely bouquet of roses.  I do love flowers!

Roses

And thus I arrive at the page for Week 4, full of things I love...Mr. AC celebrating his birthday, out shopping with Ms. AC, two very special visitors from New York, a book, my golf course, a souvenir from Hawaii, and, OK, I don't love Chinese soul food, I don't even know what Chinese soul food is, but I love the truck!

 Week 4
Credits: Anna Aspnes FotoInspired Layout No 4, plus Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palette Safron Villa, other elements from Jan Maddocks Celebrate and Jen Maddocks The Orient.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Week 3 Color & Story

While still mainly on the subject of Hawaii, here is a weekly page from Week 3, January 15-21, spent primarily on Kauai, except for the last day.   Just look how bright and colorful everything is!  The flowers, the sunsets, the blue skies, so unusually for the north shore of Kauai, the green, which is not at all unusual given the amount of rainfall this island receives.
And note all the smiles!

This page uses Anna Aspnes FotoInspired Layout No 3 (rotated 90 degrees) and Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palette Ablaze.

I love that these FotoInspired Templates come pretty "complete"...truly just add photos and I used a couple of elements just for balance and accent.   That doesn't mean I didn't fuss, just means I didn't have to.  I'm still pretty torn between telling the story and making art.

Week 3 AA

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hanalei Kayaking

I said there would be more of Hanalei kayaking, well, here it is.

As we turned and came back downstream from the bridge, the ever so slight current floated us along at the mildest pace, with nary a ripple on the water, perfect for reflection shots.

I scrapped this page at a speed scrap at Design House Digital.  The instructions said I must use a 3" x 8" photo.  I like the 8" part, but the 3", not so much.  I created a clipping mask that exact size just to see what it did to my selected photo.  Sure enough, it cut it too much for my liking.  Somehow, it came to me instantly to repeat the photo, tuck it behind, and turn down the opacity so I could still see it.  Adding a stroke around the clipping mask helps to emphasize the focal part of the photo.  Someone commented that they liked the use of vellum on the photo...I meant to do that :-)

The title work is from a great alpha called Ephemeral Alpha by Shannon Hegarty at DHD.  I loved how some of the letters have map images, and the bit of contrasting orange.  Then I found a butterfly with a map, and that led me to butterflies.  One doesn't see big butterflies on the Hanalei River, but I like the way they embellish the page.

One hour, one page, and I love it!

hanalei SS 
Additional credits: Dana Zarling Lakeside, Karla Dudley Crush and Essential Brushes, Agnes Biro Yellow Butterfly and Abandoned Office, and Shannon Hegarty's Ephemeral Alpha, plus Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palettes Find My Way 2 and Something Springy

Here are a few more photos of reflections in the calm river waters. Those are hau flowers in the water, which bloom yellow, then turn to red as they fade and fall into the river, all in a day.

Hanalei River

Hanalei River

Hanalei River

Saturday, February 11, 2012

More to Celebrate

We are not "activity" folks when we travel to Hawaii, preferring instead to just hang and hike, eat and drink, wallow in the warmness. 

But we did partake in a little activity this trip, something I have wanted to do for a while, kayaking on the Hanalei River. 

Kayaking Hanalei River

More to come about that. After a somewhat shortened adventure, as it is relatively hard work, and we were due to play golf later in the morning, we just hung around the kayak rental lot, with its series of outbuildings and the Wishing Well Shave Ice truck. 
Hanalei Shave Ice

I came across this lovely bush, I think it is an ohia or mimosa, and got the most clear and beautiful pictures of the large blossoms against the bluest sky! Photo is untouched! 
I've scrapped it here using the pretty pink stuff from Jen Maddocks Celebrate kit, the same one I used for Mr AC's birthday page.

Hanalei Make a Wish  
Additional credits: Jen Maddocks Frame Templates, Jen Maddocks Everyday Garden and Enchanted kits, Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palettes Retro Holiday, Ablaze and Something Springy

Friday, February 10, 2012

Lucky

Yes I am, yes it is.

The adorable new Lucky template from Simply Kelly, perfect for scrapping your luckiness!  This was certainly a lucky story...lucky to have found one another and gotten engaged on Kauai back on June 22, 1996, lucky to be returning to the same island 15 years later, celebrating our 15th anniversary.  Lucky the weather was so wonderful and the island so beautiful.

We are lucky to be us!

Kauai Lucky
Additional credits: Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palette Autumnal, Snow Paperie, Script Tease Learn No 1, Artsy Layered Template No 6 (flares and plumes)
Maya de Groot Artsy Fartsy, All About, An Altered Treat
Melanie Britt Scrabble Freebie

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Celebrate

So many new kits already this year, but there are also so many trips and occasions to scrap about!

Tod's birthday, done here with the new Celebrate kit from Jen Maddocks.  We had a nice quiet and nearly private dinner at the club, followed by a warm pecan tart with ice cream and berries, as delicious as it looks.

Birthday Tod Celebrate

In addition to Celebrate, the page uses Jen Maddocks Frames template, and from Anna Aspnes - ArtPlay Palettes Strawberry Preserve and Festive, Numbered Overlays No 1, Everyday Word Transfers, Anna Sampler No 2

For a more manly page, I selected the golds and grays from the kit, accented with a little red.  I am anxious to also use some of the lovely pinks!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hanalei Sans Color

When staying on the north shore of Kauai, and the question of "where should we go to the beach" comes up, my answer will always be, Hanalei Beach.

Yes we must hike down to Sealodge Beach, and we even hiked down to Anini that day that the bridge was closed because of flooding, and there was also the hike down to Hideaways beach below the Princeville Hotel (did we really do that in flip flops once before?  yikes, that was treacherous!)

But if I want to just sit and stare, it must be Hanalei, at the Hanalei Pavilion.

Here's why...

hanalei Beach Web Challenge 
Credits:Anna Aspnes: Anna Sampler no 2, Magic FotoBlenz Album, Project 2011, ArtPlay Palette Ablaze, ArtPlay Palette Everyday. Lace from Maya de Groot's Artsy Fartsy.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My Best Shot of Princeville

I took a lot of pictures on Kauai, heck, I take a lot of pictures everywhere I go. 

This shot, with the lovely orange hibiscus in he foreground of the beautifully manicured Makai Golf course, with the mountains in the background, and a very clear blue sky, bluer and clearer than one usually sees on the north shore of Kauai, is one of my favorites.

I used this for the copycat challenge at Oscraps, the point of which was to use the provided template to scrap a large picture.  That's my kind of challenge, and my kind of scrapping, with large pictures!

I love the scattered grouping of postcards at the bottom and the diagonal placement of touches of orange.  I love the line at the bottom and the stitching that frames the page and keeps the eye focused on the lovely scene.  Heck, I love this page, as I do all the scrapbook pages I make, featuring photos that bring on lovely memories of people, places and things.  Oh and I get to do art at the same time :-)

Princeville CopyCat 
Credits: Anna Aspnes: ArtPlay Palette Encapsulate, Artsy Blenz Snow Paperie, ArtPlay Palette Sunshine Bouquet, ArtPlay Palette Ablaze, Floral Art No 3 
Maya de Groot: Family is Forever, Art Journal Freebie

Monday, February 6, 2012

Color My O'World

This is a post I wrote for the Oscraps blog today...Happy Birthday to me!

There must be a million and one ways to approach a scrapping color challenge. Today I'd like to share one of my approaches, in the hope that it will spark some creative ideas and fun!

First off, I should say I tend to be very literal in my challenge interpretations. If you give me a set of swatches, I am going to use them! The first thing I do is copy the image with the swatches, like this one from our February color challenge. Since this is a low-resolution web image, before I use any parts of it in my page, I increase the resolution (Ctrl-Alt-I, set Resolution to 300 dpi). 


Next, I think about and choose the pictures to go with the swatches, and a kit that might get me going in the right color direction.

Here is my starting point for the February color challenge open in my CS5 workspace - the inspiration photo, my picture of a mosaic rooster seen in a shop front in Old Koloa Town on Kauai. Anyone who has been to Kauai knows about the roosters! Aren't the colors just perfect? And the paper, from the Oscraps collab Bold. 


Then I extract the swatches to place them on my page. In some cases this is easier than in others, but I am not too worried about being precise, especially since I tend to scrap in a somewhat artsy messy style. Here I have used the lasso tool, with radius set to 0, and made a rough selection around the swatches.


Here I have placed the rooster photo on my background page, and placed the swatches on the page as well (you can of course continue to edit the swatches in the separate document). 


I clean up the swatches using my magic wand tool to select and erase away the background...

Then clean it up further with a soft-edged eraser (about 100-125 pixels, hardness=0, and I alter the size of the eraser with the brackets ([ ]) as needed to get closer to the edges. It's not perfect, but good enough. 

You may have your own ways and expertise regarding extractions. If you have a favorite method, please share it in the comments so we can all learn further!

Now I am ready to go through my O-Stash looking for papers and elements to support my colors and tell my story. If I want to fill any elements along the way, I have my swatches right in place to use with my color picker.

Here is my completed layout. Notice I kept the swatches in place, and used them as an "element", finding other circular elements, like the frame and the bubbles, to go with them. I added some "chicken scratch" to the background in keeping with the theme. I colored the tag using the light pink swatch with my color picker (use the magic wand to select the white part of the tag only, then add a solid color adjustment layer, using the color picker and the swatch).  
Credits: Oscraps Collal Bold Maya de Groot - Midsummer Night's Dream, Home Sweet Home, Prego, All About 
Vicki Stegal - Ransom Alpha 

I hope this has given you some creative ideas and inspiration for working on color challenges. If you make a page for our February color challenge, be sure to add it to our Color Challenge Gallery so we can leave you some colorful love!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

What Colorful Hibiscus

One could almost take them for granted, the colorful hibiscus that grow in Hawaii, as common as the hedgerows.

But for me, it is still hard to pass one by, especially one freshly opened, moist from the morning dew, and untouched by the sun and the insects.

I was particularly struck by the lemon yellow and orange orange varieties.

The oranges in the kit were perfect for the pale orange hibiscus, accented with a touch of pink.

Hibiscus Hello Sun Collab
Additional credits: Anna Aspnes 12x12 Script Tease Learn No 1

Saturday, February 4, 2012

App-Dicted by Maya de Groot

APP-dicted is so fun and clever, a very whimsical kit about iPads and apps from Maya de Groot.

I took two very different approaches with this kit, but I love them both.

First, an art journal page about "The Apps of Life".  I picked those app images that very much represent my day...waking up, turning on the computer, looking at Facebook and twitter over a morning cup of joe, working for $$, making sure to take a picture for my Project 365/366, perhaps ending the day with having a cocktail as I run out of energy .

App Addicted Day
Additional credits: Maya de Groot Art Journaling Freebie, Hoity Toity, Oscraps collab Life, Vicki Stegal Ransom Alpha, Anna Aspnes Magic FotoBlenz Album

Then I remembered this story from Christmas. Mr AC told me that Molly was perhaps feeling left out of not having gotten an electronic pad-like gadget for Christmas, so she made her own. Her clever, dimensional and detailed approach to arts and crafts is impressive, and I loved the story. So I asked Molly's Mom if she could take a few pictures of Molly with her "iPad", and used them to tell this story.

Mollys Ipad
 Additional credits: Maya de Groot Backpackers 2, the perfect purple to match Molly's shirt, plus Family is Forever, Stuck on You, Hoity Toity, P366, Snap and It Must be Love

Such a clever kit enabling such clever ideas and story-telling!  Molly's page also used Maya's new Stretched Alpha.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The 2011 Page Count

It was tine to get my scrapping pages in a bit of order.
For one thing, there is a Super-Bowl Sunday free shipping sale at Persnickety Prints, so it was time to get some pages uploaded for printing.
For another thing, my folder of "Scrapbooks" was getting unwieldy and need a bit of reorganization.
And for a third thing, I wanted to know how many pages I had scrapped in 2011.

The answer is:
  • 239 general scrap page
  • 67 weekly pages
  • 97 pages done for Europe books
      __________________
  • 403 total pages
No, there were not 15 extra weeks in 2011, but for the month of June, I took the approach of separating the photos of the day into the geographical areas of our European vacation, so there 2 pages, for Rome, 2 for Sorrenvto, 2 for Orvieto, 1 for Verona and 1 for Padova/Stresa, 2 for Lauterbrunnen, 1 for Montreux, 1 for Zermatt and 1 for St. Moritz.

Another common annual task, apparently, for scrappers is to pick one's favorite layout.  Not possible.  I have so many favorites for many different reasons.

But 2 layouts done just about a year ago, from pictures taken a year ago this weekend, continue to warm my heart each and every time I look at them, these pages from the pics of my birthday weekend in San Francisco, where the weather was so lovely and the company perfect (including Mr AC taking the photos).

Both of these were done as part of my digital training at Jessica Sprague, so I also love how they show the emergence of both skills and style.

Coit Tower

Lesson 1 North Beach 

The count prediction for 2012? Who knows. So far, 20 and counting!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Project 365 Ala Simply Kelly

There are unlimited choices for documenting a Project 365, a photo a day.  And as I am now preparing to print my 2011 book by reviewing every page, I have no regrets for using so many formats, nor for creating weekly pages in addition to printing all the 4x6 photos AND using many of them in individual scrap pages.  I love them all!

But I also love Simply Kellly's approach in her new Project 365 Template Set 3...get 7 photos on the page, and tell their story.  Done.

But then I also love how one can adapt this concept to one's style, as I did here, by taking one of the photos and blowing it up to form the background, and adding some grunge around the edges.

Week 2 SKD
Additional credits: Anna AspnesProject 366 Word Art 1, ArtPlay Palettes Sophistica, Something Springy and Artsy Blenz Snow Paperie

Two more super cool, original and creative aspects of this Project 365 Template 3 kit:
  • there are multiple orientations for the sets of 7 photos, so if you have a mix of landscape and portrait orientations, you can choose the set that works best for your photos 
  • the aspect ratio of the photo masks is correct! This may sound like a simple point, but I have so many templates which have interesting photo masks of various sizes, but I often feel like I am cutting off parts of my photos, else expanding the masks to fit my photos. Not so with these templates. Digital photos plop right in with no cut off!
Here is the preview for this kit, which I highly recommend if you will be doing weekly layouts for Project 365, although any 7 photos will do!