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.

Friday, December 23, 2011

New year, new things

Happy New Year (almost)!  I'm really looking forward to this year and anticipating lots of changes.  The scientist has applied to faculty positions all across the country.  We could be moving this summer or fall ... or we could be staying where we are.  I'm really, really hoping we will move to Oregon.

I hope that all of you have had a great Christmas season and will have a new year full of new things.  I have a little bit of news about a new thing for me.  I was offered a chance to be a monthly contributor to the Artisan Notebook, and I've accepted.  I'm a writer now!  I have "an editor." I've written my first article, and it will appear in the January issue, which will be available in the next couple of days.  The Artisan Notebook is a wonderful magazine about digital scrapbooking with great articles, tutorials and inspiration.  I'm really happy to be a part of it.

Here are some of the layouts I've recently finished.  These first couple of double pagers represent our anual portraits with the cousins (mine and my brother's and sister's children) on Thanksgiving weekend.  It's always a stressful experience, but in previous years we at least had quite a few good photos in a variety of shots.  Not this year.  Miller refused to wear the clothes I'd picked out, and he would not take any pictures by himself.  In most of the pictures he was either crying or making one of his fake smiles.  I don't even know if I want to do it again next year.

Simple and Sweet Album Templates by Scrapping with Liz; Joyful Christmas by Vera Lim; Hugs & Kisses Alpha,
Sweet & Simple Life #3 and #5 by Gina Marie Huff; Bohemian Spirit by Captivated Visions; Photos by Sears

Double Temps Mini Set 2 by Scrapping with Liz; Joyful Christmas and Christmas Magic by Vera Lim
Sweet & Simple Life #4 and #12 by Gina Marie Huff; Photos by Sears

And here are some Project: Love, Me pages. This first was a catch-up page from November on the topic iGive.

Ianthine Templates by Scrapping with Liz; Forever Autumn Paper Pack by Allison Pennington; So Grateful by
Sahlin Studio and Sugarplum Paperie; Sunny, Autumn Sunset Handmade Flowers, Country Fair Picnic, Everday
and a few freebies by Sahlin Studio; Make a Wish by Sahlin Studio and Valorie Wibbens; HoHoHo by Miss Tiina

And here are my December pages in the theme iRejoice.  There was one additional prompt on how depression fits into my life, but I'd already discussed that in previous layouts and just didn't feel like delving into that right now, so I skipped that one.
Comfort & Joy Collection by Sugarplum Paperie; Garland Mini V2 Templates by Amy Martin
Glitter Paper by Two Shutter Sisters; HoHoHo by Miss Tiina

Comfort & Joy Collection by Sugarplum Paperie; Traditional Temps II by Scrapping with Liz
Dreaming of Spring by Captivated Visions and Studio Flergs; HoHoHo by Miss Tiina

Comfort & Joy Collection by Sugarplum Paperie; FreeTemplate by Amy Martin
Sweet & Simple Life #4 by Gina Marie Huff; HoHoHo by Miss Tiina

I do have more layouts finished but wanted to at least get these shared now.  Over the next month I'll be filling in the gaps on Project: Love, Me, and I've started a few additional pages to include  - something a little controversial maybe.  I haven't decided yet if I'll post them online.  I'll also be going back through my photos and see if there are any more "old" things that need to get scrapped for the year.  I hope to have all that done by the end of January so I can have it all printed. 

Here's to a productive January.  Cheers!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lilypad - BYOC graph

First off, I wanted to point out that my blog looks a little different now, if you hadn't noticed.  I've changed the header, and I've added some pages in the menu.  The pages display several of my "large" scrapbook projects that have been completed or are in progress.  I still have to add more layouts to the Project: Love Me page, but the other three are all current.

I have been shopping at The Lilypad lately, and at the beginning of each month they have their Build Your Own Collab event. The December one is happening right now. The pricing of the BYOC products is on a Buy More, Save More sliding system. I've always wanted to know ... if I had a budget of X dollars, could I actually load my card with "extra" items, bringing my total higher but also getting me into the next higher discount bracket so that in the end I still stuck to my budget of X dollars, just with more items to show for it? Does that make sense?

Well, I finally did the math. All of the BYOC is at a baseline price of 20% off for the weekend, and the spending levels are based on this baseline percentage off. The language of "Spend $25, get ..." means "spend $25 at the 20% off discounted price," and the rest are the same.

Spend ThisTotal Discount
$25 ($31.25 full price) 35%
$35 ($43.75 full price) 40%
$45 ($56.25 full price) 45%
$55 ($68.75 full price) 50%

Here is a graphical representation.

Along the bottom of the graph is the total value of products as you add them to your cart (the full non-discounted price). The vertical axis represents the price you actually pay. The dashed red line shows a target budget of $35.  If I had a budget of $35 ... I could load $63.64 (full value price) into my cart and spend $35 (%45 off).  Or, I could load $70 and spend only $35 (50% off). The exciting parts of the graph are the downward steps (at the discount thresholds), where if you add an additional item to your cart, your total price goes down.

I know you're all probably familiar with the concept of buy more, spend more, but I thought it might be fun to actually work it out with real numbers.  If you have a budget in mind, you can refer to the chart to see how the Buy More, Save More feature is maximizing your budget.

Here are some layouts I've finished recently. Miller has a favorite friend at our daily picnic outing with preschool friends.  And she favors him too.  It's so sweet.
Double Temps - Mini Set 2 by Scrapping with Liz; Dreaming of Spring by Captivated Visions and Flergs
Just the Way You Are by Secret Stash; Cardstock Stash by SuzyQ; Vintage Vogue Elements by Sahlin Studio

Here are two more Nero Wolfe Quotes. I think they speak for themselves.
Spring Sprocket Cardstock by Gina Miller; Color Swatch Templates by Sahlin Studio (modified);
Nostalgia by Paislee Press and creashens
Simple & Sweet Albums Temps by Scrapping with Liz; Country Road by Secret Stash; Delight by DeCrow Designs
Life365 Collection by Gina Marie Huff; CU flowers by Wendy Page; Nostalgia by Paislee Press and creashens

And here are two Project: Love, Me pages on the November theme of Giving. I really hope to finish up both the November and December prompts by the end of the year. I'm a little behind, but not terribly. I'm really excited to get this project printed as soon as I can.

Simple and Sweet Album Templates by Scrapping with Liz The Family you Choose and Well Documented by 
Captivated Visions Thankful Mini by Digital Design Essentials; Life365 Hodge Podge 7 by Gina Marie Huff
HoHoHo by Miss Tiina
Simple and Sweet Album Templates by Scrapping with Liz; Bohemian Spirit, My Project V3, My Project Year in
Review, I Should Have Told You and Well Documented by Captivated Visions
Art and Soul Freebie by Sahlin Studio; HoHoHo by Miss Tiina

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Yay! New Nero Wolfe pages

Happy Thanksgiving! I love this time of year, as I think so many of us do. I love spending time with family, I love the weather, I love the hot cocoa. It's all good; it's the tops! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend.

I'm so happy to say that I've completed some more Nero Wolfe quote pages, and now that I have a few done and can begin to see how this project will come together, I'm even more excited about it. I've made three new pages, re-worked the first page in 8x8 format, and I have several more great quotes in the queue. Although I'd love to focus more energy on this project short term, I think I will probably turn back to my Project: Love, Me book so that will be ready to print as soon as possible.

Here are my four Nero Wolfe quote pages so far:
The Sunday Edition and Wishing Jar by Paislee Press; Nostalgia by Paislee Press and
Creashens; Quote by Rex Stout
Scraplift of Harvest by mom2da3ks; Pumpernickel Papers & Dear Mom by Valorie Wibbens
One Fine Day by Valorie Wibbens and Amy Wolff; Trademark by One Little Bird and
Lauren Reid; Nostalgia by Paislee Press and creashens; quote by Rex Stout

Recyclables 5 by Scrapping with Liz; Everyday Essentials Papers and Sweet & Simple
Life #4 by Gina Marie Huff Thankful Mini by Digital Design Essentials;
CU flowers by Wendy Page; Nostalgia by Paislee Press and creashens; quote by Rex Stout

Sweater Weather by One Little Bird; Epic by One Little Bird, Paislee Press and Biograffiti
Midwinter's Flight Templates by Amy Martin; quote by Rex Stout

I like that button I put on the last one because the sewing of buttons seems to be something very important to Archie. 

I've actually taken a little bit of liberty with some of the quotes. For instance if Wolfe said, "Mr. Goodwin, it is our good fortune that ... " I left off the "Mr. Goodwin" part.  I don't think it takes away from the quote, and makes it more presentable for my project.  I can see that I'm going to have so much fun with this book.  I've been thinking about this idea of scrapping Nero Wolfe quotes for quite a while, and I'm so glad I've finally started.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Productivity returns

As the end of the year approaches, I become more aware of the the photos and memories from the past several months that have not been scrapped yet - ones that got set aside for a while.  I don't want to have a rush come January because I'm anxious to have my book printed.

After a bit of a dry spell, I've now been on a scrapping spree!  Maybe DSD got me back, or maybe it's just the natural ebb and flow of creativity. I've even done a couple multi-photo pages which are always hard for me.  I'm really pleased with that.  I've been doing a few challenges too.  Here's what I've got ...

These are some photos from a local pumpkin patch/farm.  Every year they have little baby kittens, chickens, pigs, ducks, rabbits (and more) for us to hold and pet.  The kitties have always been Miller's favorite.  He really likes cats, I guess because we have a cat (Bob).

Scraplift of Perfect Autumn Day by Liahra; Photobooth and Chasing Fireflies by Paislee Press; Nostalgia by 
Paislee Press and creashens; Sweater Weather by One Little Bird; Granny's Sewing Basket by Kitschy Digitals
Bold Brushwork by Misty Cato; Photo action by My Four Hens

This one was for a challenge about a secret. Earlier in the year Miller went through a spell during which he refused to take baths.  The funny thing was, if you did manage to get him into a bath, he'd stay in there for hours.  Anyway, most of the time, when I asked if he would take a bath he would say, "No."  I'm not really a disciplinarian, and taking a bath is not all that essential in my book (unless he started stinking).  He very easily went three weeks without a bath, possibly a whole month ... but let's just say three weeks because that makes me sound a little more normal.

Daffodil by Zinnias & Swallowtails; Plaid Addict 3 by Rachel Young; Sunshine and Daffodils by Sahlin Studio
Make a Wish by Valorie Wibbens and Sahlin Studio

On of the moms in my mom's group graciously invited the group to her family's pumpkin patch and maze (it was called a milo maze, not a corn maze).  The entire group of 5 moms and about 7 kids, including our host and designer of the maze, got lost in there.  And she even had a map on her phone!  It was a little crazy, but a very special memory.  The maze felt huge from the inside, but the next day, as I drove by it on the freeway, I looked over and from that vantage point, the maze looked tiny!

Chopped Paper Templates by Scrapping with Liz; Kicking up the Leaves and Sweet & Simple Life #11,  #6,  #5
and  Everyday Essential Papers by Gina Marie Huff; Fresh Blooms by Kitschy Digitals;
Vintage Vogue Elements by Sahlin Studio

This two-pager has photos from the same trip to the barn as in the first layout above.  This was also an outing with the mom's group, and this layout has pics of the kids having fun together.

Simple & Sweet Album Templates by Scrapping with Liz;  Pumpernickel, Dear Mom, and The Everyday Papers
by Valorie Wibbens; Elements from Sunny, Country Fair Picnic and Sunshine and Daffodils by Sahlin Studio
Sewing Table by Gina Miller Designs; Leaves from Sweet September by Sugarplum Paperie and Fruitloop Sally;
Photo actions by My Four Hens

Here is a new Project: Love, Me page about the best gift ever. I think I would have had a hard time with this prompt, except that the scientist, entirely of his own accord, had recently mentioned that my cast iron soup pot was the best Christmas gift I ever got.  I'm inclined to agree with him.  I'm pleased with the photograph I took of it too.  I had to do some photoshopping to "extend" my kitchen counter in both the foreground and the background, and I liked how it turned out.

Challenge Freebie Template by Amy Martin; Froggy's Cardstock by Gina Miller
So Grateful by Sahlin Studio and Sugarplum Paperie; Stitches by Anna Aspnes

I was hoping to have more layouts soon, but it looks like I'll have other work on my plate for the next few weeks.  Thanks for stopping by, and please come again.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Progress on Nero Wolfe project

In one respect, I haven't made any progress on my Nero Wolfe project: I haven't made any new layouts. But in another regard, I've made huge progress: I got the books out of the outside storage closet. This was a major undertaking because the closet is just about packed to the top with bins of stuff. The books, of course, were at the very bottom of the left-hand stack. Which meant that I had to completely remove the center stack to even get to the one on the left. I had been procrastinating because I've had some trouble with my back.  Some of those bins are really heavy.

But now the task is done, and I'm nearing the end of the first book, Fer-de-lance. I've even recorded a quote for the project. In this first book, Wolfe seems a bit more ... arrogant ... than he does in later books, so I'm optimistic that I might get quite a few good quotes early on. I took a picture of all my books. They're in no special order here. After getting them all out of the closet I just spread them out. There is actually one missing in this picture; it was one of two that had not been in the outside storage and was still sitting on the desk. (I was able to read those two books while waiting on the rest, but unfortunately I found no quotes that stood out to me.)

According to my list, there are only seven of the books that I do not own.  And four of those I've read by checking out of the library.  To think there are three books that I've never read yet!  What a treat it will be when I find them.

I've decided to compose this project in 8x8 format, since I will mostly be scrapping just a simple quote on each page.  If I decide to print these in their own book, that will probably keep the cost down significantly.

Now I'll leave you with my most recent layouts.  This first one was for a challenge at One Story Down (which was to use the journaling prompt "I'm thankful for ..." ).  No big story behind this one, just a cute photo of a fake smile.  The grand prize of this challenge is a one year subscription to The Digi Files.  I could not pass that up, and I'm feeling lucky after winning two random draws on DSD.

Ful Papers and Moon & Back by creashens
Sweet & Simple Life Kits #2, #4, #11, Life365 Hodge Podge 15 and Cute Lil' Patterns by Gina Marie Huff

Lately when Miller doesn't want to do something that I tell him to do, he'll cross his arms across his chest and scream, "I won't!"  I didn't happen to have a picture of the arms across the chest, so I tried to find a decent substitute.  I have to admit I'm a little proud that he says, "I won't," instead of just, "No!"  It seems much more certain and confident.

Bliss by Creashens; Handmade Paper Flowers: Autumn Sunset and Vintage Vogue Elements by Sahlin Studio
Bold Brushwork by Misty Cato; Cute Lil Patterns and Everyday Life #4 by Gina Marie Huff
Chatterbox no. 1 by Taylor Made

So, can you tell I'm kinda into paint smears and splatters right now?  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 7, 2011

My Digital Scrapbooking Day Wrap Up

I did some shopping and hosted my Name That Template game over at Scrap Orchard, which was really fun. I think it's fun to see what people buy, especially when they buy something that happened to catch your eye as well. I didn't actually spend all of my money, but decided: why not save the rest for Black Friday?!  It's only a few weeks away, and there will probably be some good sales.  Here is what I did buy (the last two are actually freebies I got from random draws at Scrap Orchard.):

Sweater Weather by One Little Bird
Composition by One Little Bird
Photobooth by Paislee Press
Chasing Fireflies by Paislee Press
Epic by OLB, PP, Biograffiti
Moon & Back by creashens
Moire #1 papers by creashens

Full Papers by creashens

Heart & Home by Audrey Neal
Spook Alley by AnnaBV
Serenity by Happy Scrap Girl

I hope you had a fun Digital Scrapbooking Day too. And sorry, but I just can't figure this text wrapping stuff out.

Friday, November 4, 2011

DSD tomorrow! Freebie!

Digital Scrapbooking Day is tomorrow, but all the fun stuff has started already.  I've already done some shopping - have spent a little over half of my budget, and am now trying to figure out how to spend the rest.  It's so funny - I minimized my shopping carts on a few designers, so that I'd have a little more to spend on other stores ... but now that I've actually spent some money, and still have some more to spend, I'm sitting here wondering where to spend it.  I guess my craving has been satisfied a little.

Just to prove it's not ALL about the sales, here are a couple of other things I've got going tomorrow.  In the morning I'll be hosting a little game in the Scrap Orchard Forum for Scrapping with Liz.  I think it will be really fun - a little scavenger hunt thing.

I also made up a little freebie, and it's being given away over on the Weeds & Wildflowers blog.  Here's what it looks like:

Well, that's it for now.  Gotta go see about some shops.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Looking forward to DSD!

I'm looking forward to Digital Scrapbook Day next weekend.  For me it's all about the sales.  I usually have some intention of participating in activities, but it's always too overwhelming.  I can't decide or commit, plus I'm always trying to whittle down my shopping carts to what I can actually afford, and it takes time to make decisions like that.  I've tried to save up a little money so I can kinda go hog wild buying everything I want.  Been filling up my wishlists at a few stores. I will have more money to spend this time than ever before, but I wonder just how good it will feel?  It might not live up to my expectation.

I will also be hosting a game with prizes over at Scrap Orchard for Scrapping with Liz.  I'll post the ad here once it is finalized.

Other than that, I don't really have anything new to say.  Just some new layouts.  Oh, I did apply for a creative team but didn't get it.  I guess I should be used to that by now, but it's always disappointing.

I've been trying to scrap some of the photos I've taken in the last few months, getting "caught up" so to say, although I never really like to think that I'm "behind."  It is a hobby, after all.

This layout started out being about a piece of paper I found on my kitchen floor, with some words that Miller had written at preschool.  And it turned into this - just some cute pics.
Nostalgia by Paislee Press and Creashens; Time Capsule by One Little Bird;
XOXO by Gina Marie Huff and Simply You, Simply Me

These are pictures of Miller waiting outside the door to the preschool building on the first day.  He looked so nervous, but now preschool is his favorite thing.
Trademark by Lauren Reid & One Little Bird; Time Capsule by One Little
Bird; Storyteller by One Little Bird & Paislee Pres

I think this was the first year we've actually carved pumpkins since Miller was born!  He refused to touch the inside parts of the pumpkins.  I made a Spider-Man face jack-o-lantern, and the scientist did the big black widow (in the center of the small photo).
Stitching Fall and Spooky Stitches by Valorie Wibbens; Insta-frames by
Audacious Designs; Retro Ornate Frames by Paula Kesselring;
Photo action by My Four Hens

And a couple Project: Love, Me pages.  The first prompt was to write about something that you cherished but lost, or something that you should have cherished but didn't.
Midwinter's Flight templates by Amy Martin; Snapshots by Karen Lewis
Designz; Sweet & Simple #10 by Gina Marie Huff; HoHoHo by Miss Tiina

And this was about how we can teach others to cherish the things that are important.
Midwinter's Flight templates by Amy Martin; Snapshots by Karen Lewis
Designz; Sweet & Simple #10 and Everyday Life Kit by Gina Marie Huff;
HoHoHo by Miss Tiina

Thanks for stopping by my little blog.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My very own spider skirt, finally

A few days ago I blogged about becoming a Halloween party animal.  This is my first step.  Many years ago, probably before Miller was born (maybe even before I was married!), I saw a great idea for Halloween fashion in the Martha Stewart catalog.  I ripped out the page and put it in my Craft Idea Binder.  Here's the page from my binder.  I refer to the really cool spider skirt.

I think about that skirt every Halloween, and I have finally taken action.  I picked up supplies a few weeks back and have been sewing the last couple of days.  Want to see?

Did you notice the seam across the front - it runs right above the spider?  I made a terrible mistake of assuming my 60-inch tape measure was one yard long (my logic being that everything is measured in yards, so naturally my tape measure must be one yard long).  I grossly underestimated the amount of fabric I would need.  But resourceful as I am, I was able to piece together the fabric to create a panel big enough for the back of the skirt ... which accidentally ended up being the front.  But I thought the seam was so cute anyway, I'm glad it worked out that way.  I will wear a simple black shirt with my skirt, just like in the catalog.  I'll take Miller trick-or-treating in style this year.

As far as the details of the project ... I used an A-line skirt I already had as the "pattern" and just added length to it.  The spider web is thin black rick rack.  The spider body is craft felt.  The eyes are Swarovski crystals.  I don't know if it is washable with all that black trim, but since it will only be worn for a couple of hours each year, I'm not too worried.

This was the first time I have used my sewing machine in five years, but overall the project went smoothly, despite the shortage of fabric.  A needle may or may not have been broken, but I had a great time creating my skirt ... the spider skirt that I have daydreamed about for years.  It may not be an actual Halloween costume, but it's good enough for this party animal.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Nero Wolfe Scrapbook Project

I'm a big fan of the Nero Wolfe mysteries by Rex Stout.  I first learned of them several years ago through the A&E television series that ran from 2001 - 2003.  It was an amazing show and such a disappointment when they cancelled it.  Nero Wolfe, and Archie too for that matter, deliver some pretty amazing quotes at times, and I've thought about scrapbooking some of my favorites for a long time.

Just the other day, the scientist read me a Nero Wolfe quote he saw on Slashdot: "Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the misfortunes of their wealth."  That's a pretty good one.  One of my favorites is in the layout below and comes from the story Door to Death: "Women don't require motives that are comprehensible by intellectual processes."

So, there I was reminded of all the amazing Nero Wolfe quotes that I've read.  I'm not reading anything else right now so I might as well get out my Nero Wolfe books and re-read them again.  And then I saw a post on Audacious Designs about a scrapbooking project inspired by reading.  Here is my project:  I'll read the books, write down all my favorite quotes, and do a layout for each one.  That's all of the plan I have right now.  I may print them in their own album or maybe include them as a "chapter" in my 2012 album.  I'll have to see how many I do.  I'm sure it will take many months before I get through all the books.  Most of the quotes will be from Nero, but I'll include great ones from any of the characters.  Maybe I'll try to aim for 52 quotes.

Here's my first one.  I chose yellow, of course, because it is Nero Wolfe's favorite color.  And he grows orchids, so the flowers are representative of that.  And the overall elegant feel just reminds me of Wolfe, based on impressions from the A&E series. I like the idea of using the "and i quote" word-art on every page, as a way of tying them all together.

The Sunday Edition and Wishing Jar by Paislee Press; Nostalgia by Paislee
Press and Creashens; Quote by Nero Wolfe/Rex Stout from Door to Death

I'm hoping to get those books out of the storage closet soon.  I know I'll enjoy reading them, and what can be better than scrapping about something you enjoy?  I'm looking forward to this project!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Halloween Kits!

I've never been into themed scrapbooking kits.  I prefer the all-purpose embellisments like flowers and ribbons and buttons.  I don't really use themed illustrations in my layouts.  But I've always had a controlled love of Halloween kits.  I've been listening to The Digi Show, and a couple weeks ago one of the ladies said she really loves Halloween kits and seems to collect them more than anything else.  Well, to show you just how susceptible I am to suggestion, I have not been able to get Halloween kits out of my mind since.  And there are new ones popping up every week in the stores.  My love is no longer controlled.

Halloween is just so fun.  And it can be scary, which is also fun.  Being the boring person that I am, I've never been much of a partier.  But I remember the next door neighbors we had growing up loved Halloween.  They had six kids, and every year they carved about 20 pumpkins, which were all lit up along the covered walk to the front door.  Some of the pumpkins were huge.  They amazed me.  I thought it was so cool.  And their parents dressed up too.  I think they might have had Halloween parties, but those were more for the adults.

Now that I have a kid, I begin to see the value in partying.  And Halloween seems like a great place to start partying.  Probably not this year, but maybe next.  And I'm sure all the Halloween scrapbooking kits that I will amass in the next year will help with all my party planning and crafting.  Here are a couple kits that I've bought, and a couple that I wish I could buy.

October 31st by Valorie Wibbens
Spooky Cute by Scrap Orchard designers
Happy Halloween!! by Designs by Anita
Treats by Wendy Page

And here is a Project: Love, Me page that I completed the other night.  It's about Mom coming home.
Flea Market Finds by ETC by Danyale; Woodgrain Stamp Set by Karen
Lewis Designz; This Moment Elements by Sahlin Studio; Watercolor Splats 1
by mle Card; Sprinkles V.4 by Valorie Wibbens; HoHoHo by Miss Tiina