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, November 16, 2014


The Fuji apple has been my go-to apple for years. The skin varies from green to red, and they can be lopsided, but they are usually always nice and crisp and sweet. I find it to be an apple that you can count on. It is in stores all year long.

Fuji Apple

Sometimes I like a Pink Lady. They are tart and light, and dry if that makes sense, but I can't always find them. They often look a little bumpy and uneven. My store did not have any today, so I've go no picture for you.

Last week, my grocery store had two types of apples on sale: Honeycrisp and Envy. I decided I'd be adventurous and try both.

I quickly located the Honeycrisps in the large apple display, but did not see the Envy. I asked the grocer where they were. He proceeded to tell me that the Honeycrisp is the best apple. A big knife magically appeared, and with two flicks of his wrist he had cut a slice of apple for me to try. I tried it, and it was nice.

Honeycrisp Apple

I said, "I usually buy Fuji apples." You should have seen the sneer on his face! This man clearly had a low opinion of the Fujis, my go-to apple! I was about to buy the Honeycrisps, and pass on the Envys, when the grocer asked me if I still wanted to try an Envy. I almost said, "No," but then I thought about it: I already knew that the two of us have very different opinions of Fuji apples. Maybe I would like the Envy despite his abhorrence of it.

Another two flicks of the wrist and I had a huge (the Envy apples were very large) piece of Envy apple to eat.

Envy Apple

I tasted. I liked. I liked it a lot. I liked it better than the Honeycrisp! It was crisp, it was sweet. "It's nice," I said. The grocer was dumbfounded and walked away.

The End.

Actually, that's not the end because I LOVE the Envy apple. It is my new favorite, and I'm going to keep buying it as long as it is available. Or until I get a bad one. The Envy apple even has its own web site. They are grown in the northwest U.S., my favorite part of the world (yeah, it's the only part of the world I know).

If you see the Envy apple in your store, give it a try. I'm glad I did. Maybe it will be your new favorite too.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Goodbye, Liz (the lizard)

I'm sure you've figured out by now that I was not the Cropped champion. Nope, it was not to be. After a little recuperation, I'm back to scrapping, though.

The current obsession is lizards. Several poor little lizards have been caught by Miller and the scientist. And one named Liz was held in captivity for a couple of weeks. He was a cute little western fence lizard. I'm sure he is happy to be back in the wild fending for himself and blazing trails. Or rather, beefing up and finding a place to hibernate.

Climbing Trees and Falling Leaves by Etc. by Danyale; Autumn Watercolor Nature Papers by Dawn Inskip
Kriss Kross Stitched Overlays No. 2 by Anna Aspnes; Sahlin Studio Sept. '14 Template

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 3, 2014

DSD 2014 - What I Bought

I've noticed some trends in the digital scrapbooking "holidays" (Digital Scrapbook Day and National Scrapbook Day) sales. I don't see designers releasing as many products as they used to. I saw a lot of designers who only released one new product, just like a regular week. As a customer, I guess that is a little disappointing, but I think I can understand as well. DSD came the day after Halloween this year, so I'm sure that made things more stressful.

What I have been seeing more frequently are pick-your-own bundle offers - like pick 5 products for $10. Those are really fun, especially when it works out to grabbing several kits for just $1 or $2 each. Sometimes the designers even give you a while to make your selection, so you might have the option of grabbing some of their future releases, depending on the deadline.

Since some of my favorite designers seemed to be taking it easy this holiday, I decided to use DSD as a chance to try out some new-to-me designers. I have seen Dawn Inskip products being advertised/promoted at some of the digi sites, and I picked up some of her things:

Red Ivy's kits have been catching my eye the last several months. I bought her new kit, and I participated in her Scavenger Hunt to get the Add-On.

And then I decided to buy some stitches from Anna Aspnes. I have a few similar sets of hers already, but after seeing some fun stitching in layouts recently, I wanted some more.

I picked up the blog-train collections from The LilyPad, Pixels and Company, and the Digi Scrap Parade.

I didn't do any scrapping on DSD, but I did finish up a couple of Shutterfly books for Christmas presents. I had other responsibilities over the weekend, so I didn't get to relax as much as I would have liked. But it was still a fun "holiday." Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cropped Round 5

Yes! I made it to the fifth and final round. There are10 finalists, and only one will be crowned the champion. Yikes. In the last three rounds, statistically, any contestant was more likely to move on than to be cropped, but not this time!!

Here is the prompt: "Round Five is Dessert, and we think it's the perfect way to finish off a great meal, and our contest. This week's challenge is to go all out... Make your "dessert" layout luxe, rich, decadent, sugary sweet, and over the top. Whether that's through your subject, your journaling, your embellishments, your techniques, or all of the above, now is the time to go all-out. Don't forget to include the 4 Mystery Basket Ingredients."

And here is my entry:

Cropped Round 5 Mystery Basket, Cardstock Essentials 3 and Life Story April Glitter + Gloss by Karla Dudley;
Punchfetti No. 1 and No. 5, Twinkles No. 1, Brushies No. 2, Oscar Alpha, iLove Alpha, Hei Hei kit, Head Over
Heels Kit, and Torn Bits 4 by creashens; Gold Foil Text Styles by Mommyish

This one was quite a challenge for me, because of the whole blank canvas/wanting to use a template thing. Once I came up with my idea, I searched and searched for a template at P&Co, but just couldn't find one that seemed perfect for my idea.

I started with a split-page design with one photo on the left and one photo on the right, but I just couldn't get the text to fill in the middle in a way that worked. So I grouped those clusters up and just started moving them around, and I finally decided that placing them toward the middle worked best.

I think I've got the dessert idea covered from a few different angles. I love the story here and how it spans across the years. My journaling refers to a piece of paper that I've saved for about 15 years - a true scrap! I like how that harks back to the more historic roots of scrapbooking, before it was a commercial industry. Part of the message is a little bitter-sweet, with the mother's dilemma, but my son's response ("Mommy, I'll always come back.") keeps it on the sweet side.

And I think I've created a decadent page. All that glitter and sparkle reminds me of sugar, and I think the use of the confetti is a bit "over the top" by using so many of them. Plus, the punchfetti is laid over the top of the photo for a more literal translation. And the bright white background makes me thing of white butter cream frosting.

Some of the mystery basket items I've used in a more straightforward manner, and some I used a little more creatively, by working them into the glitter and gold.

To be honest, even though making a page a week for five weeks straight is "a lot" for me, I'm kind of sad for the contest to end. The winner will be announced soon. Wish me luck?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cropped Round 4

I made it to Round 4! So I've made it further than last year, yay! Here is the 4th challenge:

"Round Four is Entrée, and many would say this is the most important part of your meal... It's where you get your sustenance, and most of the time, the rest of the courses are planned out just to complement it. So, in the world of Cropped!, that can only mean one thing: JOURNALING! Whatever your subject, we want you to tell us all about it, in all it's glory."

And, of course, to use the mystery basket.

I went with something lighthearted, and my journaling is fantasy based, just for fun. I "discovered" Star Trek in the last couple of years with the new movies. Netflix has the first three seasons from the '60s in their streaming service, and we've been watching that as a family. I had the idea for this page stored away in my "Things to Scrap" folder. I even had a photo collage already picked out.

This is my favorite of the four pages I've made so far. One of the things I like about it its minimal use of scrapping supplies. Besides the four mystery basket ingredients, there is only a single additional paper used for the background. Technically, there is one additional thing - the gold foil effect, but that only changed the look of things, it didn't add any pieces.

I applied a radial blur filter to the starry background paper to give that sense of fast motion, similar to the effect on the TV show. I also applied some kind of warping or pinching (I don't remember exactly what I did) on the brocade overlay. I think it nicely reinforces the "warp" idea, also taken from the show. I applied an angle gradient to its layer mask, which I thought had a retro modern feel.

Normally, when I use full justification on text, I use the "Justify last left" setting. With that setting,  the last line of the paragraph is left alone. On a whim, I tried the "Justify all" setting which caused the words to be spaced out to fill the line. I thought it actually looked good and again contributed to that feeling of movement.

There are great pages in the Cropped gallery. I really hope I make it through to the next round. I feel better about this one than I did last week, but you just never know. It is kind of "out there." Here's hoping.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cropped Round 3

I hung in there another round. If I remember correctly, Round 3 was where I got cropped last year, so .... well, we'll see.

Here is the prompt:  "Round Three is Seafood, and similar to last year, this one is open to a little bit of interpretation. For this round, get creative in showing us what you "see". Whether it's a layout about something you see every day, or where you see yourself in ten years, we can't wait to see it, and we want you to be creative in the way you show us! This is also the one round where photography will be heavily judged." And of course, to include the mystery basket items:

I gotta say, this mystery basket was really intimidating. But I basically made the page I wanted, and then figured out how to add the pieces into the page. In the end, it wasn't that bad, and I think that if we all managed to handle this basket, we can handle whatever else they throw at us (if we make it to the next round).  Here is my page:

Zephyr Templates and Solid Papers by Karla Dudley; Autumn Days by Amanda Yi;
Be Kit by creashens; Round 3 Mystery Basket

Going into this, I had two different ideas for a page. My other idea involved a funny octopus video that Miller found online. I thought there were lots of ways that fit in with the prompt, and I even wanted to put in a QR code for the video. It's a page I've been wanting to make for a while, but I had always envisioned using a beautiful creative commons photo of an octopus. Although the Cropped rules did not say you couldn't use a stock photo, I felt it was a little poor form for this particular challenge.

I did, though, try to build my octopus page anyway, but I was getting nowhere with it. So I switched over to the hummingbird idea. I do see hummingbirds every day, and I try to photograph them, as you know if you read my blog. So I still think this is a great page for the challenge, even if the octopus one would have been better.

Anyway, I've got my fingers crossed!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Overlay Tutorial

I made this layout last week with one of the pictures of Miller's Halloween costume in progress. I wrote a tutorial about it called Mini Multi Overlay Tutorial over at the Scrapping with Liz Blog. Head on over there if you want to know all about it.

Punkin Papers and Elements by creashens; Multi Mini Templates by Scrapping with Liz

Thanks for stopping by.