Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Un-Birthday

This is not a leap year, so it is merely an un-birthday, but still we will celebrate.  Where have 25 years gone?  No matter, they were by far the 25 happiest years of my life.

Happy Birthday to my baby girl!

Megan Time photo Megan-Time_zps87708e0c.jpg 
Page made for Maya de Groot's March "time" challenge. Products from Maya de Groot's Brocante, Paint 'n' Glitter Clusters Fireworks, Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palletes Blooming Marvelous and Encapsulate.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sunday Best

When faced with an art journaling kit, I am often at a loss as to what to make with it. It's not that I don't like, or can't do, art journaling, I just have too many pictures, and I want just about all my layouts to have pictures in them. So, I try to combine pictures and art journaling.

This is just a silly page, but it makes me smile. The picture is actually really nice and deserves a real layout. I already made it into a magnet and sent it to mom just for fun, and also because Shutterfly was offering a free magnet, and we don't have anything magnetic in our kitchen, and I also put it on the back of Ms ACs birthday card.

I didn't spend a lot of time on extractions, just blurred and blended a bit, and dressed us up in Sunday Best.  It was indeed a Sunday that we stood on the beautiful Carmel City Beach, celebrating my 56th birthday.  I did spend a lot of time warping the hats to fit our heads :-)

And the words...A Sunday well-spent brings a week of content...these are very true!

  photo Sunday-Best_zpsbee4feb5.jpg 

Made with the adorable Miss Felicity by Maya de Groot:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sacre Coeur, an AnnaLift

I think one could play a long time with Photoshop and still not know all the capabilities. When I do explore, with the help of friends and tutorials, it is no wonder this program costs what it does, as it is amazingly powerful. This page started as a pretty dull photo, as it was very cloudy and overcast on this day in 2007 that we visited Paris. Still, Sacre Coeur stands out magnificently. 

The first thing I did was a series of adjustments on the photo...a color adjustment to add some blue to the sky, a curves adjustment to bring out the outline of the building, then a brightness/contrast adjustment to further define the outlines and brighten the colors.

Texture was added via Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palettes, and a canvas frame helped to pop it off the page.  A few more glows, swirls and textures to make this look like a watercolor canvas, and the final touches, name and a few carefully placed birds.

The page will go into my 2007 Provence book, still in its infant stages.

 AnnaLift 0228 Sacre Coeur photo AnnaLift-SacreCoeur_zpsfaa74d03.jpg

Monday, February 25, 2013

Vintage Squared

Another page using Jen Maddocks Vintage Templates and Kit, part of the Designer Spotlight at Oscraps from Feb 22 - March 4 (during which Jen's entire store is 35% off).
Since the templates are called 'Vintage Templates", I thought I should make at least one page with vintage photos.

These are a few of the pictures that got dug out of the basement, in their cigar boxes, when Dad passed away.  I never knew these pictures existed, or if I did, I had certainly forgotten about them.  They are such treasures.

It seems mom and dad really enjoyed the beach.  That's no surprise, as some of my best childhood memories are of the beach.  I love these pics of mom and her friends Flossie, Helen and Blondie.  They look like they are having fun!

Mom Vintage Beach photo Mom-Vintage-JM1_zps5808251f.jpg

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Paris Brocante

Brocante is such a lovely word, though not one we use much in English. In fact it is not even in my Scrabble dictionary. It is so much prettier than the term 'flea market', which translates to 'puces', also not pretty.

'Brocante' is the subject of Maya de Groot's kit for her feature at The Digi Files.

I knew what photo I would use with this kit, and I even found it pretty easily. This is from my March 2009 trip to Paris. There were some wonderful word strips in the kit, which I was able to use to construct the journaling by adding my own fonts and alphas.  Je t'adore!

Paris Brocante photo Paris-Brocante.jpg 

Maya de Groot's Brocante:

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Week 8

In which it rained, it snowed on Mt Hamilton, but then it got warm, and plum blossoms are blooming against the most royal blue California style sky.
I painted my nails like Minnie Mouse, and we celebrated the first birthday of New Leaf market with wine tasting on Friday night, where I took the picture of the beautiful and sweet-smelling stargazer lily,  and the birthday party on Saturday, where we got new mugs.  Do hope they manage to stick around.

Week 8 photo Week-8_zpsdef2d3a8.jpg 
Template is Maya de Groot's Passion for Project 365 and Miss Jasmine kit.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Quick Brown Fox

I first encountered Mr. China Fox on the wall at Anthropologie the weekend before my birthday. We had a little time to kill between picking up Ms AC at the Diridon train station and arriving at Paesano's for dinner, so we went up to Santana Row.

It was almost too hottie overload.  The anthro atmosphere, the anthro smell, the earthy colors, broken china mosaics in shades of blue.  We didn't have too much time, so I grabbed a bad picture and made a note to myself to return.

Return I did, on my birthday.  This time I lingered.  I took a few more pictures.  I took him in, I touched him, I assessed him, I thought about how I would do it differently, probably with no plates left unbroken.  I smiled like a crazy person when people stared.  I looked around for someone with which to discuss him but there were no takers.  I thought about asking for the manager so I could find out more about how he was made...who conceived the idea, who did the work.  I wanted to know everything about him, for I loved him! And I knew someday soon I would scrap him.

And the someday arrived, with the help of the designer spotlight challenge for Jen Maddocks Designs at Oscraps, featuring two free Vintage Templates for use in the challenge.

I was instantly drawn to this template because it has a central photo mask, perfect for Mr. China Fox.  But since I had already processed the picture with Instagram,  it was a square photo and didn't fill the mask, so I just added a color layer in between the photo and mask to fill it.

I added an artsy background paper from Jen Maddocks Vintage Kit, I removed the top layer of the template because it was masking my photo too much, but then added a slice of another paper from Vintage to add to the motion. To extend the mask I added a brush from Vintage Destroyed, then added a tag and elements, also from Vintage and Vintage Alpha.

Then I searched for and found a great fox quote by Antoine de St Exupery and added that in a swirly Chopin Script.

Finally I got the idea for the ultimate fox quote! And the typewriter image reinforced that idea, so I added the typewriter test quote in VT Portable Remington, altering the size and masking the transparency with another paper cutout.

I love this page!

Fox JMT2 photo Fox-JM-T2_zps65d8aca1.jpg 

Freebie Templates available at Jen Maddocks store at Oscraps.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

1 Kit 5 Ways - Portofino II

It was one of those happy accidents.  I wanted to blend this pretty pink heart paper onto my scrapbook page, and wasn't paying attention to where I was slipping it.

It landed between the two photo layers, and created a wonderful effect of pink hearts and flowers blended into the landscape.  I decided to use this idea for an accompanying page of the harbor of Portofino.

I used a watercolor brush against the masked photo to create  the heart shape.  A couple more photos, with the same matting as in the accompanying layout, completed the page in no time.  I love how there is a pink tower draped over the front of that boat.

I do hope I can return to see Portofino again!

Portofino Sketch bcd2 photo Portofino-Sketch-bcd2_zps0b843fa9.jpg

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

1 Kit 5 Ways - Portofino

For the Oscraps blog feature, 1 Kit 5 Ways, I created two pages for my Europe 2005 book (which I now have in hand, and it is SO beautiful!).

We chose the kit Big Hug by Boutique Cute Doll.  What does this have to do with Europe?

BCD Big Hug photo bcd_bighug_kit_zps07db6fd2.jpg

Well, I didn't know until I opened up the pictures.  There were some beautiful pink papers, so I looked for pink pictures.  Not only were the buildings along the coast of Portofino shaded pink, but I was also wearing a pink shirt.  Perfect!

This page uses a technique of superimposing two layers of the same photo, one with a 'find edges' filter, and the other normal, masking both, and selectively brushing away parts of each to reveal the main photo edged by sketches of the photo.

Then I added another photo with traditional matting, a stack of papers, a ribbon and a button.   Tomorrow I'll reveal what happened when I accidentally slipped a paper between the two photo layers.

Portofino Sketch bcd photo Portofino-Sketch-bcd_zpsde823421.jpg

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Urban Color

New Urban Grunge kits from Jen Maddocks designs really made me wish I had some new street art photos...I must make that tour of the Mission some day, but probably need to do it alone, as I am not sure anyone else has the patience to wait while I take hundreds of photos of street art.

But, one of the papers made me think of painted ladies, and I do have recent pictures of painted ladies, from the day we went up to the Conservatory of Flowers in September, and walked all the way over to Shanghai Noodle in the Richmond, and back!

Urban Color photo SF-JM-Urban_zpsb68083a1.jpg

Monday, February 18, 2013

Week 7

In which I found, and turned into lost and found, an awesome wooly head cover on the driving range, I still have tulips from my birthday, we celebrated Valentine's Day, the first daffodils of spring appeared on the hill, and it was WARM!!

 Week 7 photo Week-7-2_zps3bdf7b21.jpg 
Template is Simply Kelly's InstaWeek.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

And on to Aix

Don't worry, there will be more pages featuring the Eiffel Tower from the 2007 trip to France, but this next page happened to have the right colors and mood to be chosen as the subject for an AnnaLift at Oscraps.

This was Aix en Provence, a place where there was nothing to do but relax, walk around and people watch, similar in a way to Verona, but classier in a French way.  We often strive to be in a town on market days, for oh how I love European markets, especially the brocantes with lots of stuff besides the requisite fruit and flowers.  I could stroll these markets for hours.  It is a little more difficult for me to market in France, because I want to touch everything, and touching, while OK in the markets, is just not done as much, or comes with the risk of talking, which is tricky.

Annalift Aix en Provence photo AnnaLift-0221-Aix_zpsddf60d0e.jpg 
Credits: Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palettes Elegance and Blooming Marvelous, plus Doily Edge Overlays No 2 and Warm Glows No 1

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Next Book, Starting with Paris

Today my Europe 2006 book arrived.  I haven't opened it yet, as I save these books for a quiet moment in which I can savor them, or use them to brighten a day.  And today was pretty bright already with beautiful weather, lots of fun craftiness to do, and no work for two days.

But still it is time to start on the next book, the 2007 trip to Provence, which started with...Paris!

This is one of the quickest layouts I have made, starting with a great paper from Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Socialize, a few notions from Dido Designs Love is in the Air, and a couple of frames and glows.  I continue to be enamored with the Jellyka fonts.

Paris Eiffel Tower photo Paris-Eiffel-Tower_zps23228d28.jpg

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Winter Live Oaks

So very California, the live oaks, so very intriguing with their curly branches, especially evident in the winter.  Apparently coast live oaks are evergreen trees, but the ones around here normally shed their leaves in the winter, revealing their wonderful forms.

The live oak in my back yard in Saratoga really impressed dad when he visited when Ms AC was born nearly 25 years ago.  They produce about a million pounds of acorns.  He collected a bag and brought them home to his squirrels.  I'll have to bring him some next time I visit, perhaps I can plant a few...somehow there is a little comic relief in that thought.

The live oaks also impressed Crissy when she visited over 2 years ago.  I was impressed that a young girl from NJ would be impressed with a California tree.

I am daily intrigued with the forms of the live oak, seen here as the subject for an AnnaLift I did several weeks ago.  The subject of the lift was simplicity.  I don't make very many simple scrapbook pages, but perhaps this qualifies.  This particular tree was on Silver Creek Valley Road, down by Silver Creek between home and the Starbucks, where we were walking back from coffee on a Saturday afternoon.

Live Oak Anna Lift photo Live-Oak-Tree_zps95264053.jpg

A little more timely, as I was struggling a bit on the difficult 16th hole on Wednesday, I looked up to the magnificent silhouette of the live oak on 16. Live Oak on 16 photo LiveOakon16_zpsa4d4a4b0.jpg 

 I Instagrammed this as my photo of the day.   Someone commented that it looked like a heart artery map...I like that!
Live Oak on 16 Instagram photo LiveOakon16IG_zpse7421319.jpg

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Other Valentine

This page made at the end of January apparently got lost in the scrapping shuffle, but very appropriate now that Valentine's Day is here!   Made with Jen Maddocks Designs Heart Matters Template and Kit, with Anna Aspnes Doily Edge Overlays No 2.

The picture is from Christmas, me trying on my new New York Yankees hat.
And for anyone who feels that Valentine's Day is a Hallmark-created holiday, well, it just so happens that the legends of Saint Valentinus date back to the Roman Empire, with valentine greeting cards dating back to the middle ages.  I think a day designated to celebrate those we love is a good day!

Hearts Xmas photo Hearts-Xmas.jpg

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hydrangea Love

I remember as a child, getting seed catalogs in the mail at the beginning of the year.  Well, maybe they weren't coming to me, but I would get them, look at them, cut out pictures of my favorite flowers and make collages.  Perhaps they were coming to my grandmother, who was a great gardener, keeping us supplied with fresh vegetables, especially tomatoes, which she would bottle for a year's supply of our Sunday sauces.  I think I remember hanging one of these collages in the hut at the back of the property.  I also remember seeing a rat in that hut one day, but I digress into something unpleasant.

Back to pretty flowers, I still enjoy getting those seed catalogs and looking at the beautiful photos of flowers and vegetables.  We have no garden space to speak of here in Silver Creek, and not enough time to garden, but still  I enjoy the pictures and dream of beautiful flowers in the garden of my mind.

This year, I hope to work on improving the front courtyard.  There is a little space there, the lovely fountains, a warm space protected from the wind and basking in the morning sun, which in summer gets shady pretty early in the day.  This space is designated for three new hydrangea bushes which should arrive in time for planting in my area :-)

Our hydrangea bush in front of the Stern Ave house was our pride and joy.  Did we buy it at Yamagami's?  We must have, although I don't clearly remember.  It grew large and beautiful, and with the help of aluminum sulfate, put out great mopheads of blue blossoms every year.

It was fun to feature that lovely bush in a page with the Hydrangea Pretties kit from Forever Joy.

Hydrangeas photo Hydrangeas_zpsef25dd78.jpg

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I am trying my hand at a little designing.  I always thought some of my vintage feedsacks would make good digital papers, so that's just what I did here, doing some recoloring and adding the dynamic azalea brush.

For the journaling cards, I used a fleur-de-lis overlay from The Graphics Fairy.

This will be available with the Oscraps birthday collab in March.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Week 6

I mustered up the last of my creative energy and powered through the scrapping of Week 6 last night.  I decided to return to Simply Kelly's Instaweek templates this week, and just put the pictures in order.  It was quite a colorful week, with my birthday tulips and quince and apple blossom making a somewhat late appearance.

The picture of the Lone Cypress is from last weekend's trip to Carmel and Monterey, the 'tree work' sign from Monday golf at the Club, and the gnome is one previously unspotted on Morningside Drive from a walk in the neighborhood.

Week 6 photo Week-6_zpsa46da4af.jpg 
Additional credits - Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palettes Blossom, Scholarly, Twizzle, Jen Maddocks Apple Blossoms and Sunday Morning

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Europe 2005 Book - Ordered!

The idea was simple enough...gather up the photos from the trip, plunk them into a Shutterfly book, and get it printed. Mr AC selected the best of the photos for me. But then I started back-scrapping some of these photos and started building the book, and then I found I could hardly leave any of the photos unprinted, the next thing you know, there are 15 scrapbook pages and 285 photos spread across 60 pages. 

Oh and, a cover.  A book has to have a cover.  To make it simple, I chose one of Simply Kelly's Uppercase Alpha templates, similar to the London book.  I chose something significant from each part of the trip - the Eiffel Tower of course, the hall at Versailles, the casino in Monte Carlo, the port of Portofino, the Ponte Vecchio in Florence and the duomo in Milan.  Background papers and elements are from the Oscraps collab Journey, and I found this great alpha by Amanda Wolff in a travel folder in my scrapbook templates.  Of course there were issues with getting the cover to fit, despite making it the size as suggested on the Shutterfly help pages.

Europe 2005 Cover photo Europe-Front-Cover_zpsa84c8006.jpg

 And then of course there was a problem with the groupon. The last one I used for the London book went just fine, but this one would not take. Fortunately Shutterfly has live chat available and the nice person gave me the credit for the book. Phew!

Shutterfly baby photo books are the perfect way to preserve your baby's precious moments.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Be Mine

Be Mine kit from Maya de Groot.  Photo taken in Monterey last weekend.

Be Mine photo Be-Mine-1_zps66c2eec0.jpg

Friday, February 8, 2013

Click Click Click

For a designer challenge at Oscraps sponsored by 'the hidden heart', the challenge was to scrap about your life right now, and well, this is a big part of it...taking pictures and writing about them.
I am not sure exactly when I starting becoming obsessed with pictures, but now, it’s like my brain is a camera, and I am constantly scanning for that shot, something pretty, a color, a texture, contrast... my eyes have become lenses, framing the shots, planning the memories. It’s like I am the camera. And now the rush is on to make sure the best of the captured memories are scrapped, documented, printed. I have become the camera of my own life, measuring time through the click of the lens.
 Me Camera Lift photo Me-Camera-Lift_zps2c5b595f.jpg 
Credits: {our everyday} by The Hidden Heart}, Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palettes Fotographie, Blossom, Everyday, Globe Trotter, font - Pea Marie-Christine

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Versailles Statue

No details remembered, just a picture of a statue in the gardens of Versailles, scrapped with The Hidden Heart's My Everyday Mega kit.  I do remember it was a warm enough day, although I think it had rained and was damp, and we walked a lot.

This kind of scrapbook page very much mimics paper scrapping.  Take a picture, add a few matts and frames, an embellishment or two, and a date.  It's simple and sometimes I like it that way.

Versailles Statue photo Versailles-Status.jpg

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Birthday in Pictures & Color

To be artsy craftsy every day, one needs inspiration.  For inspiration, one needs to get out and about.  And so I decided I needed a mental health day on my birthday to get out, get inspired, and fuel my creative energies.

Yes I just went to Santana Row last Saturday night, where I browsed through Anthropologie, and yes I also spent time in the Anthropologie in Carmel on Sunday, but I don't tire of the colors, the patterns, the aromas, the inspiration!

Like this canvas of painted flowing fibers. Anthro photo IMG_2517_zps5cc0957b.jpg

Or this fox made from broken plates...I actually thought about asking them if they needed someone to make more plate animals for them...I believe I could actually do this better.
 Mosaic Fox photo IMG_2600_zps39e463b1.jpg

Then on to Starbucks for my free birthday drink, make it a grande please, where more inspiration happened in the form of architectural details, like this wall with wooden element, keys, grates, and a huge set of very un-Starbucks-like doors.

Starbucks Santana Row photo IMG_2560_zps9d363243.jpg

Starbucks Santana Row photo IMG_2557_zpsfd4e68bb.jpg Starbucks Santana Row photo IMG_2558_zpsf5572f38.jpg

Starbucks Door photo IMG_2561_zps071a9398.jpg

While sipping my coffee in the brilliant sunshine, I was gazing upon these amazingly colorful psychedelic-like flowers adorning the entrance to something, I think it was a taco place.

Taco Flowers photo IMG_2563_zpseafde68a.jpg

Then out onto the street, where the flower boxes were full of colorful blooms, including sweet-smelling hyacinth and bright-red tulips.
Santana Row Flowers photo IMG_2575_zpse21b73e4.jpg Santana Row Flowers photo IMG_2572_zps1b282f85.jpg Santana Row Flowers photo IMG_2568_zps3d129246.jpg

 I came home to find my very own bouquet of tulips, which adorned the table along with prosecco and Bowtie Aglio for a perfect birthday dinner.
 Birthday Tulips photo IMG_2581_zps7e9d3059.jpg Birthday Dinner photo IMG_2587_zpsbe0e391c.jpg 

Then one final bit of fun and inspiration, a new gnome! What shall I name him, and where should I put him? 
Birthday Gnome photo IMG_2596_zpsa7ff41be.jpg

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

February Challenges - Versailles Floor

I don't remember any details, except this must be Versailles because it was in the Versailles picture folder.  I do remember the legs (Ms AC's, not mine), and the dress, and the shoes (necessary for miles of European walking).

Created for the February copycat challenge at Oscraps.  Hexagons continue to be a hot trendy shape to add to scrap pages, and I like the way the brads make them look like some sort of chemical image.  Piles of digital ephemera accent the page.

Versailles Floor FebCopy photo Versailles-Floor-FebCopy.jpg  
Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palette Find My, Globetrotter, Simplicity, Travel Europe No 1, Joanne Brisbois Vintage Album Collection, 12x12 Overlays Ephemera: Maya De Groot Travelers Treasure Box, All Hallows Eve, Midsummer Night Dreams, Passion for Paper, Jen Maddocks Parchment, Oscraps Collab Journey (brads)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Week 5

In which the weather was pretty nice, so golf was played, sunrises and sunsets were pretty, roses are blooming in the neighborhood (and least those that were not properly winter-pruned), we went wine-tasting at New Leaf with our reusable New Leaf wine glasses, and we started my birthday celebration with dinner at Paesano's.
Template is a modified Maya de Groot Passion for Project 365 Template.
Week 5 photo Week-5_zpsa9e704af.jpg

Sunday, February 3, 2013

February Challenges - Color

I love it when a challenge comes together easily.  For the February Color challenge at Oscraps, we were given a color swatch.

February Color Challenge Swatch photo Image2_zpsf60a67bd.jpg

I like these the best.  I opened up my 2005 Europe folders, and within minutes found the perfect photo.  I like this picture because it is unplanned, natural, yet conveys a lot of what Siena is about...cobbled streets in narrow alleys, bright ceramics featuring lemons and sunflowers spilling out of a shop.  Then there is the wonderful contrada symbols on the light posts and the colored shutters on the brick buildings.

Siena Feb Color 
Credits: Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palette Twizzle, Metro Graffiti, Girl Craze, MultiMedia Flowers 2, ArtPlay Palettes Adventure, Wander. Font is Jellyka Delicious Cake

Saturday, February 2, 2013

February Challenges - Aquarius

The February art journaling challenge is to feature one's zodiac sign in a page.  Aquarius = water, so all I needed to do was find a picture of water from the 2005 Monaco trip and art it up.  I've discovered these fabulous Jellyka fonts at and am using them over and over.  This one is Jellyka Delicious Cake.

I don't remember what specific beach this is in Monaco, but there are not that many, so this is probably Larvotto Beach as seen from the approach of the French border, on that day when we walked from our hotel in France to the Monte Carlo Beach Club to spend Sunday at the beach with the family.  That sounds so elegant, and it was!  An experience I will never forget!  I know the building just inside the "w" is the Jacques Cousteau oceanographic center.

Aquarius C4 Feb 

This challenge was perfectly set up for using Maya de Groot's Paint n Glitter Clusters - Zodiac Signs.   Probably no accident since the challenge is sponsored by Maya's mom.  Hey, I would do the same thing.

Friday, February 1, 2013

February Challenges - Multi-Designer

My February multi-designer challenge at Oscraps is to scrap the traditional theme - OLD, NEW, BORROWED and BLUE!

For SOMETHING OLD, pick something from one of your oldest Oscraps kits/designers. For SOMETHING NEW, pick something from one of your newest Oscraps kits/designers. For SOMETHING BORROWED, borrow an idea from an Oscraps designer kit preview - just browse the store and look for something interesting, like a frame or cluster or even paper grouping. For SOMETHING BLUE, well, that's obvious...there must be something blue on your page.
Since I am now back-scrapping the 2005 trip to Paris, Monaco and Italy, an easy choice for a subject, my favorite, of course, the Eiffel Tower!

Something old is the background papers from Maya de Groot's All About. For something new, I chose elements from my newest kit, Forever Joy's Amour.  For something borrowed, I borrowed the composition from Anna Aspnes 6x6 Artsy Kardz Simplicity.  And for something blue, the flourish from Ashalee Wall's Rhiain .  Also Anna Aspnes ArtPlay Palette Adventure, Special One, Crazy Life, Sweet Christmas (transfers), Maya de Groot's All Hallow's Eve.  Font is Jellyka Saint-Andrew's.

 Eiffel Tower C6Feb