Sunday, May 30, 2010


I just made this post on Get in the Car which is my sister blog which documents a lot of our trips. I had to think what has kept me busy over the last year since I have done a lot of scrapping. Perhaps not as much as a lot of folk who have growing families they document, but a lot for me.

I looked back on the past year and thought this was the year of digital classes! They did seem to suddenly appear all over the place with the closure of many of the scrap magazines. I do miss Simple Scrapbooks the most because as I scrapped I found that 'simple' was certainly more my style. I'm not a big embellisher and realized that the use of the doo-dads of scrap-booking was what held me up the most.

But as the magazines bit the dust, a lot of the great designers turned to on-line classes. What a great opportunity for us! and I hope a good benefit for the designers who no longer had to travel so much to teach their particular skills. I've taken classes with Anna Aspnes, Ali Edwards, Cathy Zielske, Debbie Hodge, Pattie Knox and Dina Wakely. In earlier years, I'd taken some with Renee Pearson and Jessica Sprague. (Don't ask why I'm not better...the teacher can only do so much for you! The rest is native skill and practice.)

I am reminded a lot about the classes I've taken because I finally had to say NO. No more. Get caught up with a lot of other projects that have been hanging about. Then Shutterfly had another sale, and I said...ok, get two of those half done books finished and ordered! One got done last night, and I know I can get the final 5 or 6 pages done on another before Shutterfly's June 10th deadline for this sale.

I will admit I did order another class bundle to do at my own pace and in my own time. Get it Scrapped has Dina Wakely's Art Journaling classes on sale WITH downloadable videos until June 4th. I had already taken the first one and really liked having someone show me HOW to do the gesso bits etc but I started with a very small - 3"x4" - book that is taking me forEVAH to finish because drying pages take t...i..m..e. Next art journal will be much much larger and I will start with pages that "I" put together. That way a lot of the prep work can be done. I didn't think I would go in this direction but the Creative Spirit has a mind of its own.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Flashback Friday

My dil asked if we had any old photos of her husband when he was a child. As his own mother should have most of those, this is the only one I have. It was scanned from a collection album my dh's sister had. All we could tell was that it was a school shot from the 70s. That boy with the reddish hair now has a Ph.D. in Mathematics. For those of you who read here often, this is Bekah's father as a child.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Twas our anniversary..

There were other words written on it after printing...just for him.

Instead of having the noon bell strike, we went out to lunch at 1pm!

Monday, May 24, 2010

AAM and Boulder

This Monday's All About Me is a reminder of the nice time I had out in Boulder, CO. I think this was my 4th or 5th trip out there, including the one when we were married. This time it was shorter because I wanted to make it a 'small suitcase' trip which also involved going down to Mesa AZ. That meant almost two climate zones!

We have always stayed at a Residence Inn or something similar which has more than a room. DH usually does some work and I can have my tea in the room before I go down to the more than adequate breakfast.

I love seeing the Flatirons at sunset, especially as I'm having a good dinner!

This time when we arrived, however, the news was not good. This happened just before we arrived and only about 3 blocks away. So sad to read about a person going to such extremes over money. A reminder that 'the love of money is the root of all evil'.

While my dh goes to his conference (which was the reason for our trip), I can usually have the car and do some more exploring of Boulder or the surrounding area. One trip I drove up to Cheyenne WY but that was a full day! This time I just took myself back to a favorite bakery, Breadworks, before driving west.

The weather had been threatening on and off, and while thunderstorms were predicted, I wanted to see some snow. We had seen the 14teeners covered with snow but with a storm predicted, I settled on Nederland, a short but curvy 16 mile drive. When I stopped along the drive to see the rushing Boulder Creek, it looked ominous back in Boulder.

The falls was closed but the water looked gorgeous.

Just outside of Nederland, I stopped when I saw the snow. During the time I sat in the car and ate my leftovers from the prior night's Vietnamese dinner, the clouds came down and covered the mountains. I had had a bit of sleet on the way up so I figured it would be a quick visit, and not a drive deeper into the Rockies. A stop at the Blue Owl Bookstore and a good cuppa tea is a must-do in Nederland for me.

This also helped make up my mind. I had a sweater on but didn't feel like seeing that temperature gauge drop any further!

Better to go back to Boulder and embellish dh's suitcase. I had promised to do this several trips ago, so I had gone to Hobby Lobby earlier and bought puffy paint to do so. It's always fun to do a bit of craftwork on a trip!

Well that's a typical day ALL ABOUT ME when I'm in Boulder. Of course once dh gets done with his work, it often looks like this. Another reason we like the Residence and wifi for two!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Flashback Friday

Christmas party in the early 90s. Elizabeth and Tracey together meant serious double trouble.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

To the mountain

Amidst the trustafarians and spiritual seekers of Boulder, I wander and wonder...

"If we cannot be happy in spite of our difficulties, what good is our spiritual practice?"
Maha Ghosananda

Monday, May 17, 2010

AAM and rhubarb

I was asked recently by a fellow blogger if I had any recipes for rhubarb.

No, I don't though I do like rhubarb. We seldom see it in the stores here, and I've never thought of growing it. I believe our climate is too warm, too humid, too soon to be good for growing this ruby beauty. Now Maine, I bet that's the kind of place to harvest your own. Why does Maine come to mind? Well it's close to Quebec, and Quebec is the first place I ever at rhubarb. However, I didn't think I was eating rhubarb...

Between my junior and senior year of high school, I was an exchange student in Quebec City. Our nuns had convents there and they tried to give us chances to speak the foreign language we were studying. I was studying French because I had all the intentions in the world of attending Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. (That was not to be but that's another story.) I felt privileged to have been chosen as the first exchange student to Quebec.

I spent the summer with the Dion family and was made welcome and felt at home...mostly. My French which was fluent in the US needed a good boost when I had few English speakers about. Quebec teenage slang was a whole new world. Food also had some quirks. I found that the milk seemed to have a slightly blue tint. I wondered for a while about that until I saw that it was powdered skim milk made at night. Ok, one mystery solved. The beloved Tourtiere was pretty heavy going for me in the summer and I never learned to love it but I ate it.

One night at dinner, the dessert was one I wasn't sure I could stomach. However, seeing as how I planned to be a Foreign Service officer, I knew that accepting local customs and food would be a part of my future life. I gulped and forged on.

Was this a celery upside down cake? I tried not to gag, and watched everyone else dig in. Time to bite the bullet or rather celery and take a forkful. I did and was amazed to find it was sweet! Did the Canadians sugar their celery??? I think the look on my face was strange enough to cause my host-sister Danielle to ask what was going on. Back and forth in English and French I finally made it clear to my only-French speaking host parents that I had thought it was celery!! NO, cherie, it was rhubarb!!

It was only years later that I learned that rhubarb does not always stay red when cooked, tho I suspect that is also dependent on the variety.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ah Laura...

"But I also know that, you know, when couples are committed to each other and love each other, that they ought to have I think the same sort of rights that everyone has."

If only you could have spoken out more strongly on this while you were First Lady.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

you know how they say in London...

"Mind the gap."

I waffled a lot about buying a t-shirt with that saying on it, and in the end was just to harried in the Transport Gift Shop to do it. The bottom line is that I am also frugal, or perhaps cheap. I didn't buy the shirt. I thought a lot about it, but I didn't

But this I could do...

originally seen here

Friday, May 14, 2010

Flashback Friday

Dick and Mike build me a new deck...early in 2000? The crepe myrtle behind them is now twice the size and most of the bamboo is gone.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

And the money flows

We just signed a contract for new, insulated windows to replace some of our 100 year old beauties. Ah they have character, but boy are they energy inefficient! We waffled for about 5 years as to whether we would do a major change to the entrance, and of course all I could think of was $$$ beams. Right now I think that the slight addition we have considered is not to be unless we find that it can be done for a reasonable cost. Just not this year. However the windows and refinishing of the front are another step in the renovation of our house.

It's a good thing that we got this yesterday...

This is our first tax refund in 9 years of marriage. We went wild with excitement!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Week in the Life How To

Now that Week in the Life is all written, saved, printed and uploaded here for you to see, I thought I would share some of the ways that make it easier for me to do a project like this. Most of this method I solidified with Anna Aspnes Album Magic Class .

First of all, I decide HOW I'm going to do it. I tend to prefer the Ali Edwards/ Cathy Zielske school of simple scrap booking. I think of it as photo journalism with few embellishments. Sometimes I can be heavy on the journaling and other times, heavier on just the photos. I am also not one who works really hard at getting the best shot and then spending a lot of time tweaking that photo. I don't have or aspire to a DSLR. I have a Nikon point and shoot that I have just about abandoned and use my iPhone most of the time. "The best camera is the one you have with you."

WITL2010. Ok, I decided to go with Ali's new templates, which were a bit of a splurge since I do have supplies I could have used, mainly because they were 8.5x11. Thank you Cathy Z. for asking Ali to do these! I saw that the tags were gray on the main page but didn't glam onto the idea that the gray could be changed so I went with that. Ok, so template chosen, gray as the basic color, which only left me a background paper(s) to pick. Since I decided to do the digital version of the baseball card sheet, I picked some spring colors, because it was…well, spring! And we did have great flowers blooming that week. I knew that would only show on the background of the baseball card pages so I kept that one simple since the page would already be busy with that many photos. I decided to also stick with Ali's Avenir font and just do a curvy handwriting on the photos since I didn't want to do a lot of journaling this year.

With supplies at the ready, I created a desktop folder called…wait for this…WITL. I usually do a PSE page with a graphic so I don't have a desktop full of those boring blue folders. Often, I'll use an avatar sized photo of the designer as the folder cover.

Then, in that folder I made sub-folders for each day of the week. Here I also started out making a cover folder .jpg to distinguish one from the other but my enthusiasm petered out. (I will go back and complete this because I can use the days of the week .jpgs for other projects.) I kept Ali's digital files in that folder also. This way all my 'supplies' would be in a desktop folder just as if it were a paper one. Keep it organized and tidy, and it makes the creative part a lot easier.

Each day I tried to get a clock or specific morning shot, as well as a final bedtime shot to help delineate a.m. and p.m . As I said, I took the pictures with my iPhone and each day uploaded them into iPhoto. I saved each day as an event with my usual system of year, month, day as the event title, e.g. 10 04 25. Some days I immediately uploaded the pics to Flickr to share with the WITL group. Other days, well… I knew I needed 9 photos for each half of the day but of course usually took more in the a.m. when more seems to happen.

When I was ready to start the pages for each day, I looked at my pics and decided which one I wanted to use as the large photo for 1st of my 3 daily pages. When using a template, I, first of all, did a Save As, saving it with my initials in front of the designer's name. Oh yeah, I have overwritten a file in the past. Ugh. Here is a web-sized final showing how I renamed the template at the start. I also added a.m or p.m. to make it easier to upload in the order I wanted.
Then is when I picked a patterned paper to go with the photo and the brushes that I wanted to use also. I had picked out some general word art brushes in advance and most of those fit. btw, I use Brush Pilot to view my multitude of brushes. (Seriously, pay the $15. It is so worth it.) When it was time to select photos, I went to the iPhoto folder of the day that I was working on and just dragged the photos I wanted down into PSE. I only worked on the am or pm so I didn't have a lot of photos down in the project bin. If I had had many more photos I would have made my selections IN iPhoto rather than down in PSE. After I used each photo, I closed it. I have also learned to SAVE after each step. That CMD-S is almost always a habit.

Once I made my first baseball sheet page, adding Katie Pertiet's drop shadows to each card, I saved the am and pm pages without the photos. I then used these as my half done templates each day, adding background paper, photos, and changing the day-title, and the wording over the photos. Having the fonts in place speeded it up a good bit. Once in a while of course I forgot to change the day-title, and would be down to the final stage before uploading when I would see that I had to go back to the .psd file and fix it. As much as I gripe about Adobe, what would life be without CMD-Z?

A couple other bits that I really find useful are actions I bought from ScrapGirls. Sadly I no longer see them for sale, but I have an action that changes the name of the layer to the product name, one that makes a list of the supplies you have used, and one that saves the .psd to .jpegs of sizes you determine. I usually have a high resolution .jpeg to print and one that is sized for the web. That save soooo many mouse strokes and old fingers!

Finally, once I had the large .jpeg and the smaller web-sized ones of each day's 3 pages, I uploaded them to the various sites where I post. This is when you want to do them in reverse order, e.g. p.m, then a.m. then main. Then they will show up in the correct order! Because all the large .jpegs were marked with a 2550 (pixel) size by the Scrap Girls action, I was able to pull those files easily and put them in the final upload folder. That went to ScrapbookPictures. com . The results?
They're here!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

WITL Sunday April 25

This is the final installment in the actual album I made for Week in the Life 2010. Next week I'm going to give some of the tips that work for me in doing a project like this.

Ali Edwards (see below) has wonderful explanations of how she has done this album over the years. You can also look at her finished book and read her feelings about the process and how it worked for her this year.

* WITL= Week in the Life, in this case Ali Edwards' WITL 2010.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

WITL Saturday April 24

Winding down the upload of these. Did I mention I have the prints back and am ready to finalize the album? AND I have a new album that I found On Sale to use. It is so wonderful when this all falls into place.

* WITL= Week in the Life, in this case Ali Edwards' WITL 2010.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Flashback Friday

These are my husband's parents in the very late 1930s. I can judge that because his sister Evelyn is 10 years older than he is and he was born in 1939. Is Mama pregnant there and using Evelyn to be modest? Is it Easter Sunday since everyone is so dressed up?

I also have no idea where this was taken but as they lived in Washington DC, and didn't travel far to my knowledge, I suspect it may be along the Potomac River. Great Falls?

As with so many vintage pictures there are so many unanswered questions. One thing I do know is that the extreme head tilting is something my husband does too! I always wonder what it's like to see the world so skewed so often?!?

Thursday, May 6, 2010 Maegan

Balmain Slashed Army T-Shirt DIY

This is such a clever idea for those who are into army style clothing. There are videos in addition to the step by step photo process. Of course it might help if you look like Maegan. Maybe the shirt will do that for us?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Not worth the wait (yes it was!)

So far I have been greatly under-impressed with this book.

I put this book on hold twice before and wasn't in the country when the book came into the library. I should have taken that as a sign. Pretentious navel-gazing is fine for the young and narcissistic but I really don't want to read about it. It is my understanding that a plot actually develops mid-book.

I shall forge on but I am very glad that it is only my tax money that paid for this book (library copy) and not my current disposable $$s.

10.05.07 / POSTSCRIPT: I came back to this book and got past the early part and ended up loving the story. I will also say that I still think the beginning part was overdone. We get that both the main characters are pretentious snobs. Let's move on, and the author did. I finished it up today, laying on the couch on a balmy afternoon and relishing the tale. Read it if you haven't, but know there is some slog at the beginning.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

WITL Friday April 23

Some cleanup in the garden, and finalizing the house. Thinking of what else to bake, got me going on doing a bit of tidying in the dessert folder. Post layout note - I should have spent more time in the garden, since that's where the party guests all stayed. :( Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

(click photo to enlarge and read)

* WITL= Week in the Life, in this case Ali Edwards' WITL 2010.

Monday, May 3, 2010

AAM Monday

All About Me & Friendship

AnnaBanana, my dear soulmate friend. Anne is ten years younger than I am but has often been ahead of me on so many life issues that I think we level out. She and I went through so many things together in her 30s and my 40s. We laughed and cried and learned so much about friendship. She was the first friend who called me on some of my crap. She was also able to tell me how much I hurt her with some of my words and still love me because I was unaware of their effect. We both agreed that if one of us had been the opposite sex we might have married. A same sex partnership didn't float our boats.

When she moved away to California 15 years ago, it broke my heart. My daughter said, But Mama, you’ll always be friends. You love each other !

Ah Anne, it was so good to catch up with you on a couple of CA trips. We've both gone our own ways a lot since you moved and for a time couldn't really 'see' the other's life and lifestyle. We gave it time though. Now when we get together, we can come back to the central point and share the joy we find in the women we've become. Sometime friendship just needs space.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

WITL Thursday April 22

Thursday I had a lot of time to myself as my dh went on a spiritual retreat. While there was a good deal of house prep for a party, there was also a lot of no-stopping-for-dinner time while I read. Some days, tortilla chips are enough.

(click photo to enlarge and read)

* WITL= Week in the Life, in this case Ali Edwards' WITL 2010.

Blog Archive

Popular Posts