Welcome. This blog is my little home on the web. It's mostly about my favorite hobby, digital scrapbooking. You might also find some recipes, home decor projects, or parenting woes. But mostly digital scrapbooking.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

New Layouts

Just a 2-pager to share today. There was a big sleep over during spring break. It was a lot of fun, even if people didn't get a lot of sleep.

Watercolor Journalers 2, Rumpus Kit, Rumpus Woodgrain Papers, Rumpus Solids, Juan Carlos and Fifi Kit
by creashens; Simple and Sweet Album Templates 3 by Scrapping with Liz

Watercolor Journalers 2, Rumpus Kit, Rumpus Woodgrain Papers, Rumpus Solids, Clearly Alpha, Neon Love
Alpha, and Juan Carlos and Fifi Kit by creashens
Simple and Sweet Album Templates 3 by Scrapping with Liz

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 2, 2014

iNSD Blog Hop

I'm participating in a little Blog Hop with some of the other Weeds and Wildflowers creative team members to celebrate interNational Scrapbook Day. I made a little set of frames for you. Click the image below (or the text link) to download.


Head over to Weeds and Wildflowers for a list of all the blogs participating in the hop.
The next step is Jessica's blog.
(it may take a little time before all blog hop posts are up)

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

New Layouts

Here are some layouts I have to share with you. I took this picture of the black bee at a park near our home. There were two tress with these flowers and for several days the black bees were there. The flowers and the bees are gone now. I just love those big fuzzy bees ... but they are hard to photograph!
Before Kit, Stitches and Flairs; and Torn Bits 4 by creashens

This is a picture Miller drew at school. I believe his teacher stepped the class through the instructions of how to draw it. I think it is so cute!
Hope Collection by Gina Marie Huff

An outing with friends.
Simple and Sweet Album Templates 3 by Scrapping with Liz; Hope Collection by Gina Marie Huff

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Photo Book Comparisons

I ordered another little Shutterfly book. I used a coupon for a free book from my Ikea Family membership. The content of the book is the same as one of the little 6x6 inch ArtsCow books I recently shared. I wanted another copy to give to my niece.

I thought it would be fun to compare some of the different books I have - sizes, print quality, and format options.

First, here is the new book I got - 8x8 inch book from Shutterfly book on the left, next to the similar 6x6 inch book from ArtsCow on the right.

The ArtsCow cover printed a bit darker than the Shutterfly cover. Here is another look at that.

The back covers show a huge difference. In the Shutterfly book, the dark paper has been lightened substantially. I've seen this before in another Shutterfly book with a dark cover. I think their software is applying some kind of correction to the back cover.

Here is a comparison of different sized books: 12x12 vs. 8x8 vs. 6x6.

After seeing them all together, I've decided that 6x6 is just too small. I know some people think 12x12 is too large, but it is still my favorite. But for smaller gift books, I think I will stick to 8x8 in the future.

Here are some more size comparisons. It is interesting to compare the 12x12 and the 6x6. Although the length and width of a 6x6 are half that of a 12x12, the area is one quarter the size.

And here is the same size comparison for the 8x8.

In my post about my little ArtsCow books, I mentioned that the printing was a bit red. It was most noticeable in the skin tone in photographs and in this page with a gray background. Here are some comparisons to show that. Shutterfly vs. ArtsCow:

 Shutterfly vs. Blurb: (this photograph was taken on a different day with different lighting conditions)

But here are all three together. Blurb vs. Shutterfly vs. ArtsCow:

To my eye, the overall color quality of the Blurb book and the Shutterfly book are very similar. The Shutterfly printing is a tad bit darker (very slight). And you can see the red tone to the ArtsCow printing - the gray background looks pink, my son's skin tone is redder than it should be, and my niece's dress looks pink instead of purple.

Finally, I wanted to compare the spine. Both the Shutterfly and the ArtsCow books have spine areas with a very large overlap onto the front and back covers.

In the ArtsCow software I could simply type in my spine text. For Shutterfly I had to make an image to drop in. As you can see, my spine text on the Shutterfly book ended up being too big. I also chose a brown spine on the Shutterfly book to try to blend in with the dark brown background paper.

In comparison, the Blurb book spine area only wraps onto the cover about 1-2 mm. I really like this. If I remember correctly, in Bookify (Blur's online book creation software) the spine is simply typed in. Which is what I like - it's easier to just type something in than to actually design a spine.

One final thing:  my Shutterfly books have a strong unpleasant smell that I have not noticed with Blurb or with ArtsCow. It does dissipate, though, so that's good. (I am particularly sensitive to smells.)

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Solution for Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know a lot of people (although the scientist isn't one of them) who like soft chocolate chip cookies. I like them soft. My brother and sister like them soft. I know because they always undercook their cookies. While I will eat raw cookie dough in a heartbeat, I don't like half-cooked chocolate chip cookies.

My solution:  always eat your chocolate chip cookies fresh baked and still warm off the tray! It's the best way, in my opinion. You can have a soft cookie that is actually all the way cooked and has a nice crunchy edge.

I have been using this recipe lately (with modifications): Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookies by Averie Cooks.

My modifications:
  • I use salted butter, and I also add the optional salt in the recipe.
  • I use about 1 and a half cups of chocolate chips (no other chocolate chunks).
  • I use the 2 cups of all purpose flour that she mentions, as an alternative to the mix of all purpose flour and bread flour.
  • And the biggest modification: I make regular sized cookies (my scoop is 1 and a half tablespoons in volume) and I cook them for about 14 minutes to achieve a nice browning on the edges.
And I eat them when they are still warm.

I do refrigerate my pre-made dough balls as she recommends. From my experience with this recipe, I suspect that if you cooked them straight away they would spread out a lot. If I cook my first batch several hours after preparing the dough it will still spread a little. But if cooked the next day (and subsequent days) they hold their shape really well.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

No Taxation Without Representation

Today is Tax Day, and to stand up against the corruption of money in politics, I take a phrase from Federalist Paper 57: "not the rich more than the poor."

There has been a lot of discussion about the recent Supreme Court ruling in the McCutcheon case, and the previous Citizens United case. I actually see the judges' point that spending your money on politics is part of free speech. I agree with that. However, what about the bigger picture?

This is what I see as the bigger picture: when it comes to politics in the U.S., money is becoming the only relevant language through which to make your voice heard. And if you don't speak that language (if you don't have a large chunk of money to throw around) then you have no voice.

Every choice has a cost. Thanks to the Supreme Court, we've chosen to uphold the right to free speech through money for the ultra rich. And the cost of that choice: all the rest of us no longer matter.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Scrapbook Layouts to Share

I've been scrapping away.

This layout just has some cute pictures. There is nothing too important about it, but I love how it turned out. It has a much more flat look than I usually do.
Sup? Kit, Protectors Set 3, Wire Number Essentials, Cardstock Essentials 3,
and Mobile Ready Font Resolute 2 by Karla Dudley

This one has a similar photo to one of the ones above, with that cute tooth gap. I love how the word-art turned out here on those white paper pieces.
In Love Templates by Scrapping with Liz
Love Collection, Simple Squares 31, and Everyday Essential Cardstock by Gina Marie Huff

The seventh birthday party. For something like this with a lot of pictures, I was tempted to do a double page. But in the end I just fell in love with this template, and I love how it turned out.
And Many More Templates and Scatters, and Big Doodled Alpha and Numbers by Scrapping with Liz
Celebration & Many More Mini Bundle by Etc. by Danyale

And one more. Another one with the gappy teeth, but with a bit of journaling this time to record a bit of the ordeal the baby teeth have been.
Love Collection and Everyday Essential Cardstock by Gina Marie Huff
Recyclables 29 By Scrapping with Liz

Thanks for stopping by!