Friday, May 31, 2013


New Instagram double-page templates from Simply Kelly Designs were just the ticket for showcasing the more than a photo a day InstaGrams I produced while on Edisto Island.  I like how the template has a large photo on one of the pages.  I hope it prints OK, as the resolution of InstaGram photos is not as high.

I combined a bunch of beachy kits to give this very colorful spread.

InstaEdisto photo Edisto-IG_zps5ef5563f.jpg

The first photo on the upper left is one of those pen shells, a huge clam shell that I've never seen before.  It was too delicate to bring one home, but it had the most beautiful iridescence.    The next photo is from under the Edisto Pier at the eastern end of the beach.  The bottom row of sunsets are just so sublime, with the colors punched up by InstaGram filters.
InstaEdisto Right photo Edisto-IG-Right_zps6d867135.jpg

These are the shells that came home with me, as I sorted them out on the porch of the condo.  It was hard to leave any of them behind, so beautiful in their colors and textures.  I especially loved the scallop shells, but could not resist the huge conch piece, although it was broken.  The inside of that conch shell was smooth as glass and beautifully colored, and became a present for Ms AC, a perfect little soap or jewelry dish.
InstaEdisto Left photo Edisto-IG-Left_zps5c6473b4.jpg

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Week 21

In which Dave & Asako visited from Japan, we got new street coating and the hillside mowed in the same week, I continued to investigate nails for eBay, we took the long walk down the hill to eat at the Double Golden chinese restaurant, and I got a new basil plant.

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Edisto Pages Continued

As I was sorting pages for printing this weekend, I decided to definitely do a book for Edisto Island and the surroundings.  It was a great vacation full of great photos, and while it may not have been as grand as some of the stops of our grand tours of Europe, it was certainly just as fun, relaxing and picturesque, and most of all, worthy of capturing as a memory and a milestone.  And it just so happens I just bought another Shutterfly book from Living Social.

I already have two pages of  our first day, two pages of sunsets and two pages of Magnolia Plantation, so I continued chronologically with our first full day at the beach.  Because the book is an 8x11, I am using that format, just modifying the Anna Aspnes templates to fit this size.

Undaunted by the weather, we headed out to the beach, for I am not just a fair-weather beach-goer.  As much as I love the beach on a sunny date, I may perhaps appreciate it even more when stormy weather has whipped up the waves, the sand is blowing, and the beach is mostly deserted, just us and mother nature.  I don’t mind having to wear a sweatshirt and a hood, for I am on the beach.
Sunday, May 5, 2013

I loved the rustic nature of Edisto beach, the dunes, the obvious force of the waves having pushed the sand up over the fences and structures, the grasses, the creatures.  Not a plowed and manicured beach was this island, no, just a natural spot where the sea meets the land, and people built beach houses to enjoy it all.
Beach Day 1a photo Beach-Day-1a_zps3855481b.jpg

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Story of the Delamere Plates

It's Memorial Day Weekend, and there are no big plans.  I like it that way, a chance to catch up on some craftiness.  I spent a lot of time this weekend organizing pictures and digital scrapbook pages that need to be printed, and sending off the print requests to Shutterfly and Persnickety Prints.

Then I realized I don't even have a binder started for 2013!  Must go to JoAnns and get a binder and some page protectors.

Well, right next to JoAnns is Savers.  I didn't plan this very well, since I should bring a donation every time I go to Savers.  After all, it is not hard to get together a bag of something that we no longer want or need.  I didn't think through a donation, but still I went in to take a look, especially since I need a frame for my new 'Girl with the Pearl Earring' print.

I didn't find any frames on this trip, but I found some lovely plates!
Four dinner plates, four lunch plates and two soup bowls, in the Spode Delamere Cranberry pattern.  They were so pretty, they were calling to me.  This was the perfect angel-devil scenario..."you don't need any plates", "but you hate those ugly old Correll things and you can get rid of them".  To make a long story short, I did walk out without them, but a few minutes later, with some encouragement from Mr AC, went back in and bought them.  Came to $28 with tax, a lot to spend at the thrift store, but they are so pretty!

Spode Delamere Cranberry photo IMG_4058_zpsfb1c4016.jpg

When we got home, I decided to see if I could find a couple more bowls on eBay. I didn't find any, so saved a search and tried other sites. Couldn't find any cranberry anywhere, although there were some in brown and blue, also lovely. As a result of my research I found that I had snagged quite a bargain. Replacement costs for what I bought are about $240!

My 'deal' are already being well used for good causes, like lunch of home-made pizza.
Pizza & Plate photo IMG_4061_zps6406d368.jpg

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Butterflies & Blooms & Scraps

On May 7 the Butterflies & Blooms exhibit opened at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. I love having a membership to the Conservatory, especially since I got it for half price from a Living Social deal.  I never tire of looking at and photographing this beautiful building against a gorgeous San Francisco blue sky.  Such a California image!

Conservatory of Flowers May 2013 photo MothersDay2013013_zps4f2590bc.jpg

The butterflies are abundant and fascinating in the back exhibit room, and very cooperative in having their picture taken, although the humidity in the building presents a challenge to the lenses of regular cameras.
I created this page for the "1 Kit 5 or More Ways" at Oscraps, using the beautiful All Scrunched Up kit by the talented Paula Kesselring.

The butterflies here are zebra longwings. 

Scrunched Up Butterflies photo Scrunched-Up-Butterfulies_zps904035eb.jpg

Friday, May 24, 2013

Week 20

Week 20 started off with the best Mothers Day ever.  Well, every Mothers Day is the best mothers day ever, but this one was really special!  I took Caltrain up to San Francisco, where I was met by Ms AC and That Sam I Am.  Only, since it was so crowded with Giants fans, I slipped through the crowd unseen and was out on the street before they saw me.  No problem, we met up, dropped off That Sam I Am (who was at the Giants store buying a present for his mom) and proceeded to:
- see the Girl with the Pearl Earring at the de Young
- see the butterflies at the Conservatory of Flowers
- have a delicious lunch at Park Chow
- walk lots and have fun together

The rest of the week was more urbane but colorful.  That bougainvillaea I bought at the Rockery has exploded in blooms, we put up Betty the Bee, played golf, planned for the street closure, I watched Mr. Selfridge on Masterpiece Classic, and we made another trip to San Francisco on Saturday to drop off the luggage for repair, making a stop at Ocean Beach.

 Week 20 photo Week-20-1_zps9fa90a65.jpg

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Week 20 right photo Week-20-right_zps1fe6a9a4.jpg

Thursday, May 23, 2013

My Recipe for Success

A Blue Bottle Latte from Haight Street Market last Saturday, the start of one of our 10 miles treks around the city. I made this page for the Joanne Brisbois designer spotlight challenge at Oscraps.

The challenge was to document a recipe.  But I don't really have any favorite recipes.  In fact, most recipes bore me, especially if they are too long.  But a simple espresso plus milk, well, soy actually, is probably my favorite recipe.
I also enjoyed a little conversation with a cute little San Franciscan on the advantages of almond milk over soy.  Last weekend I embarassed myself by asking if Park Chow had soy for a cappuccino.  But after being in the South, where we went for an entire week without any sight of a latte or a coffee shop, it seemed a relevant question.  Oh wait, we did encounter several Starbucks while in Charleston, but it was hot there, so Fappuccino was the more applicable drink.

Coffee Recipe photo Coffee-Recipe_zpsc6578a9a.jpg

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

More of Magnolia Plantation

I hope to do several double-page spreads featuring the pictures from Magnolia Plantation, which are going to look very green.  Its amazing how green it looks in places where it rains regularly.

This page is scrapped with new Travel kit from Jen Maddocks Designs.

 Magnolia Plantation 2 photo Magnolia-Plantation-2_zps28c0f32c.jpg

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Magnolia Plantation

Next up on the vacation scrapping list is Magnolia Plantation, where we stopped for a visit on the way to Charleston from Edisto Island.   We wanted to see at least one plantation while in the south, and Magnolia is highly recommended.  Like many of the plantations in this area, it was destroyed in the Civil War, but the foundations remained and the house was rebuilt and the family has been in residence on this property for over 300 years, a long time in American History years.

It was past the azalea blooming season, which would be spectacular, but still the grounds were very pretty, with lots of live oaks dripping with Spanish moss, bridges over dark and brooding ponds, and yes, even an alligator.

We learned that Spanish moss is neither Spanish nor is it moss, but an air plant that looked like the beards on the Spanish conquistadors.

At the entrance to the gardens was this lovely quote from Whittier:
Give fools their gold and knaves their power
Let fortune's bubbles rise and fall,
Who sows a field or trains a flower
or plants a tree, is more than all
Magnolia Plantation Color photo Magnolia-Plantation-Color_zps68231b30.jpg

Sunday, May 19, 2013

More Edisto Sunsets

We experienced at least 3, possibly 4 sunsets, while on the island.  The last night we were there it was a bit cloudy so the show was not as spectacular.  So there must be more than one page to show the Edisto sunsets.

This page I have prepared for my June multi-designer challenge at Oscraps.  The challenge is to use at least 5 designers, the first and last in the O-stash (alphabetically), and 3 or more in between.  The first in my list is Studio 68, since her kits start with '68'.  The last in my list is Vicki Stegall, and in between I used a template from Anna Aspnes, papers and elements from Jen Maddocks, Maya de Groot and Joanne Brisbois.  A beach or summer theme was the common denominator in all of the kits.

Edisto Sunset 2 photo Edisto-Sunset-2_zps7b3739d9.jpg

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Dutch Treasures

In the flurry of getting ready for vacation, I forgot to post this layout I did with My Blue Holland by Maya de Groot Designs. I have such a soft spot in my heart for all things Dutch, like this collection of Delft treasures collected over the years, including my newest tulip vase snagged for a couple of dollars at the Savers thrift store.

  My Dutch Treasures photo My-Ducth-Treasures_zps2de9d966.jpg

But it is rather timely in that twice this month, I discovered another Dutch treasure, affectionately known as "the girl".

Girl with the Pearl photo IMG_3876_zps5f07c951.jpg
She is just so beautiful, this "Girl with the Pearl Earring" by Vermeer,  the painting wonderfully restored, the colors bright and fabulously complementary, the expression so enticing. Of course there are no photos allowed, so these images are from the huge signage outside the De Young museum. 
I had to go not once but twice to see this masterpiece.  And if I get another chance before June 2, I will go yet again.  In fact it was the girl that influenced me to finally join the De Young and Legion of Honor, these wonderful museums that bring incredible treasures to the Bay Area.
Me & the Girl photo P5180035_zps66bcf742.jpg

Monday, May 13, 2013

Painted Ladies

"You already have pictures of these houses".

"Not today I don't.  Not on this day at this time in this season".

Some painted ladies, I think on Belvedere Street, using Jen Maddocks Urban II.  Photos taken on Mother's Day May 12, 2013.

Painted Ladies May photo SF-House-May_zps2bfdc89b.jpg

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Edisto Sunsets

The sunsets were spectacular on Edisto Island.  Since we were staying on the west side of the island, it was a relatively short walk or bike ride to Beach Access 35 or 36  to witness this closing event of the day.  There were a total of I think 39 beach access point, starting with #1 at the eastern end of the island by the pier, and progressing every block or so, a nice public path through the houses, jungle and dunes to get to the beach.  At the end of many of the access points there was a bench, perfect for viewing the sunsets.
Scrapped with A Taste of Summer by Maya de Groot.

Edisto Sunsets photo Edisto-Sunset_zps0e62fb41.jpg

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Week 19

In which we spent the entire week at the beach, on Edisto Island in South Carolina, a jewel of an island and beach.  I loved the pier, the beach, the shells, the sunsets...I loved this island!

Week 19 photo Week-19-1_zpse976d632.jpg

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Week 18

In which the goats came to town to start munching on the Silver Creek grasses, I made a trip to the beloved Sunnyvale Library to pick up copies of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, before our trip to the South, we traveled to NJ and got to experience the cherry blossoms in full bloom, then headed to South Carolina and Edisto Beach, where we shopped all week at the Piggly Wiggly.

Week 18 photo Week-18-1_zps3f3a793a.jpg

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Edisto Island

We took a bit of a chance, not sure what Edisto Island would be like. Well, I am happy to report that I love this little island. Only about 5 miles from end to end, with a beautiful set of beaches that face east, west and south, dunes, southern plantation style architecture, on stilts to avoid the high tides and waves of storms, and an attempt to be somewhat trendy.

There is also plenty of character here, and tons of shells!!

Edisto 2 photo Edisto-2_zpsd969120c.jpg

The pig logo is from the Piggly Wiggly, the lone grocery store on the island.  It had everything one could possibly want, and plenty of pork.
Edisto 1 photo Edisto-1_zpse2385f9a.jpg

Monday, May 6, 2013

Natalie's Art

On Thursday night we attended Natalie's art show at her school, Lacordaire Academy in Montclair. 
 The theme of the show was identity, featuring numerous takes on self-portraits done by the students.

I love how proud and happy she looks, and especially love the black & white self-portrait, which so much shows her personality.  I can't wait for her visit in June.

Natalie Art photo Natalie-Art_zpsb86f2daf.jpg

Sunday, May 5, 2013

NJ Impressions

Just a collection of sights and activities.  Oops, there is a cherry blossom tree, and a dogwood tree, and some cherry blossom petals fallen to the ground among some very healthy dandelions.  So these are old stories, but then there are a couple of new ones.

The woodpecker on the chimney cap, making a racket which reverberated through the house and down into the basement where I was trying to look for things to clean and straighten up.  We thought it might be something amiss with water pipes, but turned out to just be a bird.

Then there was the accomplishment of getting dad's grave site fixed up, so hopefully by the end of the summer there will be grass growing on the newly leveled ground.  This was such a good story, starting with the best intentions to get bags of dirt and grass seed at the nursery, and ending with the cemetery staff taking care of the whole thing for us.

And the final story...the ice-cream truck.  It's not a Good Humor truck as it was in my youth, yet still there is a daily drive-by of an ice-cream truck, playing a silly song to beckon kids to come and buy their after-dinner dessert.

 NJ Impressions photo NJ-Impressions_zpsdc1494a2.jpg

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Not a Cherry, but a Dogwood

I said no more cherry tree pictures, but I didn't make any such promises about the dogwoods.  We don't have dogwood trees here in California, except for an occasional rarity.  There is one in the eBay courtyard, I will have to remember to check it out when next I am there.  But there are tons of dogwoods in NJ, and like the cherry trees, they were at their peak, and so gorgeous!  White, pink and even the deep pink known as red.

Someone wrote that dogwood blossoms look like they are floating on air.

Dogwood photo Dogwood_zps3d14e617.jpg

Friday, May 3, 2013

I Actually Don't Remember

Made for the May theme challenge at Oscraps, which is "I remember".  I actually don't remember the cherry blossom trees, as I have already recounted.  But no matter, now they are there in Halycon Park and they are beautiful.
 Plus we were so fortunate to have such lovely weather, with brilliant blue skies like we have here at home, perfect backdrops for the clusters of pink pom-pom cherry blossoms.

OK, I promise, this is the last of the cherry blossom pages and stories.

I Remember Cherry Trees photo Cherry-Trees-Challenge-5_zps4b4c7494.jpg

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Branch Brook Park

When I was little, it was a special treat to go to Branch Brook Park, especially during cherry blossom season. I am not sure why we didn't go more often, since it was so close to our house, I guess we just didn't have the time or take the time.

My grandma used to go over to the park and pick dandelions, which she would cook or put into the salad. I thought them horrible and would not touch them. I still sorta feel the same way, although I would be willing to try them in a salad.

On our visit this week, the cherry blossoms were considered in their peak, although some trees were already past their blooming.  They were beautiful!  And the weather was fabulous, making for a great and fun visit.

Cherry Blossom Fun photo Cherry-Blossom-Fun_zpsa49fa470.jpg

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May Day

Pretty soon after our long Santa Barbara weekend, we are off on another adventure.

First stop, NJ. We were fortunate to be in time for the cherry blossoms. Not only are they at their peak in Branch Brook Park, but right in font of mom's house in Halycon Park.  I don't know when these trees were planted, but I don't remember them at all from my childhood. Of course, it is very possible these trees are over 30 years old and now in their blooming glory.  Whatever the story, I sure enjoyed seeing them, here in early May, right in front of the house.

Cherry Blossoms photo Cherry-Blossoms-1_zps073f81f9.jpg