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, September 14, 2014


From Wikipedia:  A falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both. Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern food, usually served in a pita, which acts as a pocket, or wrapped in a flatbread known as lafa; "falafel" also frequently refers to a wrapped sandwich that is prepared in this way.

Several weeks ago, the scientist talked the other two of us into trying a nearby falafel stand. We'd driven by it many times and saw that it was always very busy. It was obviously a local favorite.

I ate my first falafel and thought that it was ok. I could eat it again, but I would probably never actually request it myself.

And then about a week later I thought of the word falafel, and found myself craving one. Even though I hadn't really liked it. We went again to the falafel stand, and my second falafel was even better than the first one. I loved it! The bread was so soft and fresh. The "meat balls," as Miller calls them, were so scrumptious. The chopped pickle and cabbage were just a little bit tangy and delicious.

I now frequently find myself experiencing the falafel effect: I think the word falafel and then can't get it out of my mind.

I type these words at 9:30 am,  and I know that the falafel stand opens at 11. I will be there.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Money and Speech

I haven't blogged about it in a while, but I have been supporting the MayDay PAC in its effort to end the corrupting influence of money in politics.

Republicans, like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, say that to limit political spending is to limit our free speech. I do actually see, and agree with, some of that reasoning - why shouldn't I (or any other person) be able to spend my money freely in the political realm, as a way to support my opinions, values, and beliefs? I get the idealism there.

However, from where I stand, I truly feel that MY free speech, and the free speech of the majority of people in this country, is completely drowned out by all the dollar bills that speak on behalf of a small wealthy minority.

So, Republican leaders out there, I have a question for you. How am I supposed to look at the current situation and FEEL: my vote no longer matters, and yet TELL MYSELF: I'm OK with that?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Jane Eyre Times Four

I recently got lured back to Netflix with their offer to take another free month trial. I found that they have several Jane Eyre movies available in their streaming service. Miller and I watched three of them over the course of a week while the scientist was away. By now, I'm sure Miller wishes he'd never heard of Mr. Rochester.

I originally discovered Jane Eyre through the PBS Masterpiece version that I'll post at the end of this list. I read the book back when Miller was a baby, and I enjoyed it. Jane had a lot of bad things happen to her, and she was often treated unfairly. But she always remained a kind and forgiving person, and she never compromised her morals. She never came across to me as a very religious person, and yet she always conducted herself in a very Godly manner. I've always thought that she simply saw the value in doing things God's way, from a logical analysis of it. I find that refreshing.

This was the first Netflix Jane Eyre I watched:

It was made in 1996 and is 116 minutes long. I didn't particularly like this one. It was unmemorable. In fact, I abandoned it about 3/4 through. Later, though, I went back and watched the end.  This Jane was a bit too un-animated for my taste, and Mr. Rochester was a bit too mean and rude. I felt their affection for each other was not believable. And there were some serious plot changes that really bothered me, particularly in the third section of the story. They completely changed the Saint John character and wove him in to the story in a different way. Dumb!

This was the second Netflix Jane Eyre I watched:
It was made in 2011 and is 121 minutes long. Again, this Jane seems to go through life in some kind of comatose state showing little emotion. I don't like that. Her falling in love with Mr. Rochester just wasn't believable. However, I did enjoy some of the conversations between the two of them. This Mr. Rochester was again very rude, but you definitely get a sense of him being intrigued by Jane, if not actually loving her. Again, they changed the Saint John part of the story. That seems to be a commonality in shorter enactments of the story: to leave out large sections of the third part. The ending of this movie was absurdly abrupt (WHAT? That's the end??), with no sense of how their lives play out.

Here was the third Netflix Jane Eyre I watched.

This one was from 1983 and is a series with 11 half-hour episodes. I definitely prefer the series or mini series format, as they can include much more of the story and stay more faithful to the text. This Jane Eyre was a lot more lively than the previous two. I liked that, but it seemed to go a little too far - she was downright bubbly at times. This version would be my second favorite, although it did seem long. And I also have to say it felt very dated.

And finally, my favorite version of Jane Eyre, which I also recently watched again, but not on Netflix:

This one is a 2-part mini series from 2006. It is about 4 hours long. This one is pretty faithful to the book and includes much of the third part of the story. Mr. Rochester is severe but also endearing. Jane is reserved but shows emotion. Their developing love is believable. I really love this version. It is my favorite, and I have watched it many times, and I will watch it many more times I'm sure.

It was really interesting to watch so many versions back to back - to see the things they had in common and which things were different. I am reading the book again right now. I'm almost to the wedding. I like the book because it is told in first person, so you have a sense that eventually everything is going to work out for Jane.

This might sound like a strange comparison, but I've always thought that Sookie Stackhouse was a modern (if urban fantastical) version of Jane Eyre. They were both orphans, both different from their peers and often treated unkindly. Yet both were good people who always did what they thought was right, even knowing that doing so would cause them pain and trouble. And in the end they are both rewarded in the lives they lead. Just what I like in a good read.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Same Template Used Twice In One Day!

When a template is awesome, you can use it multiple times in one day and still feel like each page is a unique and inspired creation. Let me prove that to you.

A family outing to the coast. We went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium again to see the cephalopod exhibit. A cephalopod is an animal with its "head region" and its "foot region" directly attached to each other.
Project Care by Valorie Wibbens; Autumn Frost and This Carefree Day by Sahlin Studio
Bold Double Templates 2 by Scrapping with Liz; Glitter Paper by Two Shutter Sisters

And we explored the tide pools, climbed big rocks, stacked small rocks, ate fish and watched the sun go down.
Hoppy by Valorie Wibbens; Sweet Storytelling and Life's a Beach AddOn by Sahlin Studio
Bold Double Templates 2 by Scrapping with Liz; Wired Alpha by creashens


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sometimes I Don't Like Nature

When we first moved into our new home, I didn't have a hummingbird feeder, but I did still have my old seed feeder and some birdseed. Here are some of the birds I saw. There were finches (just like at our old home), and a new-to-me bird I call "the black headed bird" (I think it might be a Dark-eyed Junco). There was one more dirty brown bird that was very shy and hopped along the ground. I never got a picture of that one.

After a few days I discovered (to my delight, initially) that squirrels like birdseed too. I even put out seed in a dish so the squirrels could easily get to it (as if they need any help!).

And then ... after a few days ... I discovered that squirrels poop everywhere, and apparently they poop constantly, because how else could you explain all the poops all over my porch?? Squirrels will also bite/tear holes into any closed bags of birdseed that you happen to leave outside, even if it is sealed and has never been opened and is on a high shelf. So, I no longer like squirrels. I am still debating if I want to put the bird seed out again.

Some of the squirrels here are black. I was quite taken aback the first time I saw one, but I guess they are a normal variant. They are mischievous looking things. And perhaps a little bit evil.

This is the tree squirrel that I'm used to seeing: the gray/brown ones. They are cuter, in my opinion, and they never pooped on my old porch and I had bird seed out there for months at a time.

Down with black squirrels!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Camping Mood Board

The Lilypad does a fun game during their big promotions: people can submit mood boards/color palettes for a future Build Your Own Collab collection. It's really fun. They usually let you submit 3. But it is hard work putting one of these together. I usually make one that I put some effort into, and then slap together two more, or just grab color swatches already available.

Last time around I made a camping mood board. In honor of Labor Day, and the fact that the scientist and I procrastinated too long to score ourselves a camping reservation for the holiday, I share with you my Camping Mood Board from the last TLP mood board challenge. I grabbed all the pictures from the web, but they represent things you can see in our favorite place to camp: the coastal redwoods of northern California.

I did not win the mood board challenge, but I'm still quite fond of this board anyway. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Under Water

Earlier in the summer I made a spontaneous new camera purchase. I have been wanting a waterproof camera for the last couple years. When I saw Costco had one with a discount I went right out and got it. Actually, my local Costco was sold out (so bummed was I!), but it was still available online (Yay!). I got the Fujifilm FinePix XP70 in orange. Miller picked the color.

It is so fun! It was probably the most fun I had with a camera right out of the box. It has some fun photo effects filters, like fish eye and miniature (tilt-shift effect), but I've only played with those a little. Miller and I have had a blast taking under water pictures and pictures of splashing into the water. I even figured out how to upload the photos to my iPad over the camera's Wi-fi signal. Major technology leap for me there.

Here are some scrapbook pages I made with photos taken with this camera.
Long Blocks Templates by Scrapping with Liz; Summerific Papers and Elements,
Hei Hei Elements, Button It, Punchfetti No. 5, and Juan Carlos and Fifi by creashens

And a series of pages from one of our days at the lake.
Sweet Summer Basics by Laurie Ann; Sun Kissed by Stolen Moments; Sizzling Summer by Little Butterfly
Wings; Free to Be by Valorie Wibbens; Glitter Papers by Two Shutter Sisters; Season Templates
and Daily Life Templates 7 by Scrapping with Liz

Sweet Summer Basics by Laurie Ann; Sun Kissed by Stolen Moments; Belvedere by Pink Reptile Designs
July Template by Amy Martin; Glitter Papers by Two Shutter Sisters; Bare Necessities Frames 1 by creashens
Fun Fold Overlays by Scrapping with Liz

Sun Kissed by Stolen Moments; Free to Be by Valorie Wibbens; Seeing Clearly Alpha (brackets) by Etc. by
Danyale; Daily Life Templates 7 by Scrapping with Liz

Sun Kissed by Stolen Moments; Free to Be by Valorie Wibbens; Seeing Clearly Alpha (brackets) by Etc. by
Danyale; Daily Life Templates 7 by Scrapping with Liz

Sweet Summer Basics by Laurie Ann; Belvedere by Pink Reptile Designs; Free to Be by Valorie Wibbens;
One of a Kind by Little Butterfly Wings; Glitter Papers by Two Shutter Sisters; Daily Life Templates 3
by Scrapping with Liz

I love my little water proof camera! Thanks for stopping by.