Saturday, December 31, 2011

I'm asking you...

Look at that brush in the top right. Is this not a health code violation?

Friday, December 30, 2011

Flashback Friday - That Old Kitchen

Ever since we've remodeled, I've said I'll take the old shots and take new ones in the same directions. Maybe it will finally get done? But here are two shots from Christmas 2002.

kitchen help is hard to get so I kept him

There is now a bathroom where that window is. Where the old range peeps out is now a wall of cabinets.  I am standing at an adhoc island which is gone to be replaced by a 7'x4' island going in the other direction. Those windows at the back are now a sliding door!  Many changes, much improvement.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thursday 365 Catch Up

Finally got back to the 365 pages. December has been quite a month but all is well that ends well, isn't it.

Only two more layouts and the 2011 album will be done. I'm so glad that I have been able to keep up with it and not have it lingering on into 2012.  There are some pages to do from the New Orleans trip but that's ok. They will just get stuck into the proper section once I do them. They are next on the list!

How's your 365 or 52 or Project life coming along???

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tuesday Tutorial - Jen Caputo

Anthopogie items just seem to inspire so many crafters to say "I could do that!" and then do it! I saw this tutorial of Jen Caputo's and liked it.  I hope you will too! Think Spring!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Take Time for a Laugh

If you haven't seen this old old (old as me!) routine of Abbott and Costello's, here's the video. Then once you've see this, you will be able to imagine Bud and Lou doing a modern day version. Enjoy!

If Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were alive today, their infamous sketch, 'Who's on First?' might have turned out something like this:


ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: Thanks I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer..


COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.

ABBOTT: Your computer?

COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.


COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.

ABBOTT: What about Windows?

COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?

ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?

COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look at the windows?

ABBOTT: Wallpaper.

COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.

ABBOTT: Software for Windows?

COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?

ABBOTT: I just did.

COSTELLO: You just did what?

ABBOTT: Recommend something.

COSTELLO: You recommended something?


COSTELLO: For my office?


COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!

ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.

COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, let's just say I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?


COSTELLO: What word?

ABBOTT: Word in Office.

COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.

ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.

COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?

ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue 'W'.

COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue 'w' if you don't start with some straight answers. What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?

ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.

COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?

ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.

COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?

ABBOTT: One copy.

COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?

ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.

COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?


(A few days later)

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?

ABBOTT: Click on 'START'.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Celebrating Christmas

Today is our family dinner, early so we can all scatter like birds in the wind over the weekend.  So here's an early card for you. Drive safely today!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

From a photo to a layout

Ah yes, you may recall this photo from yesterday. I was in the mood for an artsy page and went on to do this with it.  The majority of the supplies are from Anna Aspnes. 

I hope you have a warm home (or a cool one if your down under) and that your toes are as cozy and warm as your heart!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Let's Make this Texture Tuesday

I have recently come to love textures, not that I'm really good using them but I love them. A fellow scrapper introduced me to the wonderful work of Kim Klassen. I signed up for her newsletter but hanging head in shame...I still have not tried out one of her textures or 'recipes'.

Fortunately, I got one of those nudges from the universe today when I saw somewhere in the blogosphere that Kim has a 12 Days of Textures going on on her blog. The Cafe. High tail it over there to catch up with the amazing textures. You'll see what she has done with them and read her inspiring story.  When the clouds are the darkest, it only means the sun is sure to come back. 

Oh she also has these simple elegant calendars for sale. Yummy, aren't they!

Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice. Time to go within, and remember the Light is coming back!

Monday, December 19, 2011

AAM Monday - Memories, Memories

Going back over the Christmas photos from my past, a lot of memories come back. Some good memories, but mostly feeling the sadness of some of those years. Years where my parents' marriage was not living up to the hopes and dreams they both had had. I never heard from my father about his side of marriage but I often heard my mother's side. I can understand my natural inclination to side with my mother, the only parent I had known during those war years. But today, I look back and feel the sadness and wish it could have been different, not just for me, but for them. 

My father died in 1973 and my mother died in 1981. That's a lot of years to be without parents. I do, however, feel that they are both at peace now and once again sharing the love the brought them together. Today, thinking of them brings me as much joy as it once brought sadness. Feeling those feelings was worth it.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Serendade - How Can You Mend a Broken Heart

Well today my dh is going into his 5th day with a 'fixed' heart.  Modern medicine is amazing!

Hope your Sunday doesn't include any kind of 'broken heart' but if it does, maybe the BeeGees can lift your spirits for a while!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Flashback Friday ...My Transition Kitchen

2003, which seems ages ago, we were in the planning stage of our house renovation. The old stove was gone, and in its place was a new refrigerator.  My dh built me a red counter top for my new cook-top, and while I didn't have a full oven we did have a micro/convection oven on  the opposite wall.  I loved having the new counter space and was able to get myself ready for the next stage...tearing down walls and really renovating. 

Christmas 2003 saw a lot of red, and a nice family visit.  Two good cooks smile for the camera!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hello Thursday

After a week or so of more serious life, it's good to have just an ordinary Thursday. No real worries, nothing urgent, no musts or gottas.  I'm really glad that I planned to make this Christmas super simple, with bare minimal decorations, and no shopping or cooking frenzy.  That was all because of the planned cruise. With my dh's sudden angioplasty and stent,  and the cruise cancelled, all that simplification was very well timed.

Last night, it was nice to be able to say yes, at the last minute, to going out for breakfast with a friend today. Annapolis now has a "Miss Shirley's"  and it was one of our faves up in Baltimore. We  had a nice walk to and from our house, not too cold, and in the sun.  Thank you Mike for treating us to a very nice morning out.

It's good to be back to a more normal life.

Monday, December 12, 2011

AAM Monday Doctors and more Doctors

In the beginning,  the Doctors were all about my dh. He had been having 'shortness of breath'  which the Drs kept calling pain, so he finally gave in and called it 'pain'. The cardiologist sent him for a stress test which indicated some blockage in one of the arteries. So he is scheduled for a procedure to determine the extent of that blockage, if any, on Tuesday, 0:dark a.m.

If minor blockage, he gets the 'diet and exercise' prescription and perhaps a change of meds, and goes home.  If the blockage is medium, he gets a stent in the artery and stays over night. If the blockage is severe, he gets the 'diet and exercise' advice, maybe a change of meds and goes home. Interesting  possibilities, aren't they?

So we were both lamenting the need for a 06:00 arrival at the DC hospital Tuesday, planning to spend the night closer in Monday night and just take it from there. Not as simple as having option A or C done in our local medical center. However our insurance thought otherwise, since option B has to go to the DC hospital, which does make sense. Otherwise, he's on the table, in the twilight sleep and it's an ambulance schlep the 25 miles into DC for that stent.  Sensible but still more to-ing and fro-ing.  I can deal with the big issue but it's the details that bug me.

Apparently they bugged me enough to give me a breath-stopping, near fainting episode Saturday morning. I had a pain across my left hip, continuing rightwards that was as close to the wave of pain that comes with a labor contraction as I've had in ...oh 40+ years.  DH insisted that "I" go to the hospital, and I spent Saturday morning in the ER. Exam, C-T scan, blood work and finally a massive muscle relaxant injection (one good thing about having but fat!), pain killers and home to sleep off the rotten effects of Percocet. Lots of sleep. Today feels a lot better, in fact no pain and just a bit of tightness. Some tightness in that hip is part of arthritis and I just need to do my back exercises. I have neglected them. Shame, shame.

This morning, I have an already-scheduled visit with my Primary Physician.- just the normal 4x a year visit.  That is a real blessing to have had that in place. It's also reminded us just how blessed we are to have health insurance that covers all these unexpected events. Why is it so hard for some people to consider that heath issuance should not be an option, available to only those who can afford it? WWJS? I suspect he'd go back to that whip he used driving the money lenders out of the Temple to make his point. Health care for all - not doable in the US? What have we come to... That should not be an option in 2011, not ever.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Flashback Friday ...Will my Soapstone Crack??

On a bitter, bitter cold day in January 2005, my soapstone slabs arrived for our kitchen renovation. It was below freezing out, and I had some serious worries about the stone cracking from that cold. The men who fabricated (? I'm forgetting the term...) the stone said not to worry. But of course I did. I loved those slabs I'd picked out.

But they were right. The stone didn't crack. The got both slabs in and secured into place and I was one happy woman!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

December Memories

Since we had planned to be in Europe around now, I had decided I wouldn't do a December Daily this year. I would just document the Christmas Market cruise as my December and make it Christmas like as well as a trip documentation. Well that plan went by the wayside with my dh's scheduled heart surgery. Not terribly serious but not what we expected and no trip either. It's good to be safe and that's the main point.

However... looking at people's December Daily pages on line did get me into the mood to do something. But what? I haven't decorated the house very much and don't plan to. We don't send cards, I'm not much of a baker and both of us could do without that kind of temptation. So what should I make???? I finally decided on documenting some old memories. Most of them will have to be mine since I have almost no photos of my dh as a child, and only one or two of even winter. I've started. I'm not sure how many I'll do but it will be more than I've had! Here are my beginnings.

Now we have one of my dh. Different format which I think I will keep for his. He gets the artsy ones! I'll get the more traditional, simpler ones. Those are easier for me to add a longer bit of journaling. It's all about the story here.

Are you doing a December Daily? I'd love to have a link to what you're doing this year if you are. If not, it's never to late to do just something to make this Christmas special.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's What I Like

This is one of my favorite color schemes. I found it the other day, and really it's the basis of my home. I was glad to see someone else had put together what I like. Thank you! What's it called? Classic Chic. Doesn't that sound like me????? 

Oh, btw, Pantone is announcing their 2012 Color on December 8th!

Click myPANTONE to see each colors individual hex and rgb #s.

Monday, December 5, 2011

NYC Wrap Up

Wrapping up the NYC trip pages was kind of sad. I really really enjoyed this trip and doing the pages made me wish I was up there now.  We go a lot of places, but give me a big city most any time and I'm happiest.  London? any day. NYC? ditto ...well except when it's the middle of summer for either of those places or really most any place. It was pretty warm on this trip but mostly end of summer humid. Other than that, there is just so darn much to do and see and eat that I wished I was back. Another time... What's your favorite BIG city??

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday Serenade - Thank you NPR

While I'm doing some scrapping on line I'll often listen to podcasts. NPR's All Songs Considered is one of my favorites since the time is also about right, in addition to the content.  Thank you Bob for playing this song recently.

John, you are missed.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Plans

I'm not really doing a December Daily or a Journal Your Christmas this year. Probably not. Our plans are up in the air so ya never know. Where we'll be, what we're doing. I'll get back to you!

I did get this card from Shimelle and this is how my December is planned.

You know we digi scrappers can't leave well enough alone so I did have to add that little red bird. Maybe not the bluebird of happiness but then I always like red better!

Maybe you'll want to fill in a journal card like this and set your own Christmas mood. Setting the stage helps the play evolve closer to the way you want it, and who doesn't want a calm easy December...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Flashback Friday - Younger & Thinner

Flashback to 1972.  How odd it is that 1972 is so long ago because the 70s seem pretty recent to me.  Galloping old age, as I used to say back IN the 70s. But here's me, in my red pajamas, having a cup of tea in my mother's kitchen. It was just after Christmas and my Nana had just died. Suddenly. Apparently she was feeling 'punk' as she used to say over Christmas and wasn't up for making dinner. That was a big red flag. Finally my parents took her to the hospital and she died on December 28th. She was 76 years old.

When my father called me in England where I was living, I burst into tears. Nana was really more like my mother. She was the one who raised me along with my grandfather during the war years of the mid 40s. My mother worked in Philadelphia, and could only come home on weekends. My father was in the Army in Germany. After that call, I tried to get a flight from the UK to the US, but a major storm had hit the East Coast. The storm moved eastward and airports in England all the way into Germany were closed. When I finally got a flight back home,  I found my mother just overwhelmed with grief. She was sure she hadn't 'done enough'.  It took me many years to see what a strong streak that was in my mother's nature.  But there I am, doing what we always did, even before I moved to England. Sit down and have a cuppa tea.  It didn't make everything right this time, but it helped. It always did.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

New York, yes there's more

More layout from our NYC trip. We loved The Cloisters but it was a warm, muggy day with a good walk from the subway stop. It reminded us of walking out on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state. Every path was marked as 1.7 miles. DH swore that many were longer, and the return seemed even longer since  it was invariably uphill then.

But the walk to the Cloisters only had one uphill part and the reward was an airconditioned building with lots of fantastic art. Just the building would have been enough but with the oh so old pieces

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Not Quite Technique Tuesday

I've been doing lots of other things, and not being so good about blog posts. Mea culpa!

I definitely have been on a roll trying to finish up a lot of scrapping bits before yet another trip. The NYC shots are from back in September and I'm almost done with them now. I've enjoyed doing the pages and had I tried to do them earlier, I know I wouldn't have been ready. For the most part, I've been inspired by Anna Aspnes and am finally getting comfortable with more artsy pages.So there is some Technique Tuesday, but in examples not instructions.

I do like lots of journaling too so it's a balance between art and more traditional photo and journaling. I suspect I will find that middle ground in time or maybe I'll just flip from style to style. There Are NO RULES! Amen to that. So here's what's been going round with me and my computer...

Click to enlarge, and enjoy some of my recent trip!

Sunday, November 27, 2011 cool is this!

That whimsical genius in LA, MaryAnn Moss, had this on her blog yesterday. I was a scrapping fool, lost in the digital world, so I didn't catch it til today. WOW! I think I would have fallen out of the boat!

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Oh no...did I eat too much?

Missed my Flashback Friday so this one is a bit belated. Hope all of you in the US had a great Thanksgiving! We had a restaurant meal to please one vegetarian daughter so there were no leftovers to tempt us later. I believe I will have to cook a turkey next week to make up for that.

But do you think tViolet might be worrying about her delicate frame? The photo is from the Library of Congress collection on Flickr, a great site for vintage images.


I hope the rest of your weekend is fun with some time out to rest before Monday! Enjoy!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Beach Time Glorious Beachtime

I consider one of the best vacation to be one where I can see and hear the ocean...all the time. I don't want to swim, I don't want to sit on the beach, I don't want to 'work on my tan'...I just want to see that endless water, and hear the repetitive ebb and flow and crash of the waves. Sight and sound mixed together in a delight to the senses. 

Sometimes, it just wears you out!

Actually, he has been taking a lot of bicycle rides, and truly deserved a bit of a laydown.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Flashback Friday - November 18, 2011

2006. My dh in Prague savoring a bit to eat at the Christmas Market.  We enjoyed the trip and the Christmas Markets so much we're planning a similar trip soon. We didn't have any snow in 2006 in Prague, Vienna or Budapest.  But it was cold enough to make this woman happy and there was enough good food to make that man happy!  A win-win situation.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday Tutorial - Creating a Blog Header

I used to change my blog header now and then and do more fiddling in html. Then I got busy with other things, and slowly but surely forgot how to do many of the things that I used to know quite well. So after I changed the blog template,  I wanted a new header. What did I want but more importantly, how was I going to do it??? Serendipity.

I spent some time recently just blog hopping, and there I found what I needed. I hadn't been on a search per se but when I spotted 'blogging tips' at the top of Sarah's blog, I knew this was one to share.

There are lots of images and clear instructions from Sarah at Faded Country. I do my images in PSE but the ideas of how to do it are clear enough for any photo editing program you use. Check out her blog too for a lot of very easy to do decorating projects, all in the Faded Country Style. Thanks Sarah!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Flashback Friday - My Moment of Fame

We haven't been to Chicago for a while, and a recent trip we had planned ended up a no-go. It seems that there was a shortage of hotel space due to a/several large conventions. We went to New Orleans instead and had a great time but dh still missed his fall opera.

On a trip in 2006, we had good - meaning not frigid - weather and while walking down Michigan Avenue, I had my moment of fame. I was stopped by a radio interviewer and had a chance to speak about on line dating. I had tried it but was now happily married, for 5 whole years. That gave him a kick to think this old geezer had tried a 'current' and trendy topic, but found her man the old fashioned friend of a friend way. btw, this was the first time I had stopped coloring my hair and went back to red for another 5 years! Now I'm whitish gray again.

btw: I'm 5'7". That man was tall!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday Tutorials - Subway Art

Designer Digitals has had a great selection of videos to help you have even more fun playing with your digital scrapbooking. Subway art is everywhere. If you've thought about making your own, here's  a tutorial to get you going.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Intternational Digital Scrappbook Day

There were sales across the web at various digital design stores. There were some fabulous giveaways and sales of up to 50% off.

Need I say more????????????

Friday, November 4, 2011

Flashback Friday - Occupy...

This photo from the Library of Congress strikes a familiar note as we see "Occupy' demonstrations springing up around the country. I saw the birth of the original 'Occupy Wall Street' when we were in NYC last month.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tuesday Tutorial - Unzipping

This seemed such a simple thing to do on my iMac for a few years til I seemed to have more files that didn't unzip automatically.  While I have to see if this just a tweak that I have to reset on my iMac, I recall hearing Steph of The Digi Files talk about this on The Digi Show podcast.

I'm going to continue to see if I just need to change a setting on my iMac so that I am back to all files unzipping automatically, I'll leave you with this info from Steph. Her favorite progam for batch unzipping is discussed in this short tutorial. btw, for digital supplies or other things I have purchase, I DO save the zips on an ehd (external hard drive). Better to be safe is my motto. I hope this saves someone some time! thank you Steph!

Monday, October 31, 2011

AAM Scrapping Style

For the first 4 or so years of scrapping, I would have called myself a 'clean and simple' scrapper. It's what I liked and what I now realize, I was capable of doing. I didn't like the flowers and ribbons and other 'doo-dads' of a lot of scrappers but I think this goes back to the fact that I was never a paper scrapper. I liked the clean journalism style, withe good design, that I saw from Ali Edwards in my earliest days. I truly learned to scrap with Ali's earliest templates. was laid out for me, and I all had to do was add my photos and some paper. Let me tell you THAT was hard enough for me! I 'got' layers from the git go but getting my photos to the page and then resizing them??? Oh it was agony!

This was my style and yes, food was and still is a major part of my subject matter.  But bit by bit, I saw things I wanted to try. I was never big on embellishments but with a template, I could play with that look.

Most recently I have finally been able to jump in the artsy pool. It's as far from my natural style as can be but with some guidance from Anna Aspnes, and a blending class by Jana Morton,  I think I feel more comfortable with this kind of page now.  It's fun! So finally my more current pages.

Do you find that your scrapping style has changed, evolved over time? if so, in what direction have you moved? I'd love to hear about your evolution.

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