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.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I love my book club

My mom's group has a book club. We've been going for over a year now. For a while it was down to just 2 or 3 people, but we're back up again. It's the first book club I've ever been in, so I don't know how they usually go. I'm actually the "book club organizer" for our group, and this is how our club works:
  • Each month a different mom hosts the meeting - sometimes at her home or maybe at a coffee shop or at Borders Books Store.
  • The host mom gets to pick 3 or 4 books of her choice for our next month.  She brings a summary, or the actual books if she has them, and we all get to vote on which one we'll read.
  • Our meetings last about 2 hours, and we probably spend the first hour waiting for everyone to show up and just general chit chat.  So maybe our meetings are as much social as serious discussion of the book.
  • Our only real rules are the books need to be under 400 pages, and not pick anything too heavily political or religious, although I think that second rule is a bit too wimpy.  I think we could handle it.  And we've actually picked several books longer than 400 pages, we just made sure everyone was ok with it, and we gave extra time.
My favorite part of the meetings is getting to see our new book choices.  I get so excited.  And I love picking out books for us to read.  I have hosted the book club twice, but it's been over a year since I've done it. We have so many new moms in our group, so I've given them the first choice if they want to host.  I constantly have a list running in my head of what books I'll pick when it's my turn next.

One of the things I'm so proud of is that we've read all different kinds of books:  classic and contemporary fiction, non-fiction, even a cookbook.  Well, what I really want to do is list out all the books we've read, so maybe I should just get to it.

Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund and Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien were the books chosen from my two times hosting.

I actually did not read the cook book because I could never get it at the library, and I did not want to actually purchase it.  At that meeting there were three of us, and we each brought a cooked dish from the book. (one of the other girls looked up one of the recipes for me).  Now that I've started using the library again, I have a hard time just going out and buying books, since I can just check them out for free.  Sometimes the library has proven problematic for everyone to get a chance to read the book, though.

Some of the books I have in mind for when I host again are ...
  • One of the Nero Wolfe mysteries by Rex Stout (I'll have to go through my collection and pick one)
  • The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine M.D. (she also has The Male Brain)
  • One of the Disc World novels by Terry Pratchett
  • What Would the Founders Say? by Larry Schweikart
  • My Dearest Friend: Letters of Abigail and John Adams edited by Margaret A. Hogan
Our next meeting will probably be in late July, when we will discuss The Help and vote on new books.  Maybe the time after that, I'll get to host again....I hope so! 

Mommy woes and New Layouts - June 30, 2011

Today Miller has to get blood drawn. Back around 2009 he had low iron and low vitamin D - apparently because I was such a bad mom and was so dedicated to breast milk. Because breast milk is so poor in nutrients compared to formula. Ok, that's probably not the real reason, I'm just being sarcastic. He had his 4 year check up recently, and his doctor really wants to get the iron and vitamin D checked again because of his history.

We've got him caught up on all of the vaccines this past year too. The poor guy has been poked so many times in the last year. He HATES going to the doctor, even if it's just to accompany me for my appointment. We went in a few weeks back for an appointment, and they couldn't even count his heart rate it was pounding so fast - that's how distressed he was.

So I'm sitting here worried. I actually want to get his iron checked because I'm somewhat hopeful that it will be normal, and we can put this whole thing behind us. But if it is low, I know how I will blame myself. Well, there's nothing I can do for the next hour anyway.

Here are a couple layouts I've done in the last week.  This first one is with the Digichick July collab.  The kit reminded me of the movie Casablanca, so I thought I'd do a layout about that.  I've "kind of" seen this movie once - "kind of" because I fell asleep.  But I'm willing to give it another shot. 

Around the World Collab by DigiChick Designers
This next one is just some cute pics of Miller.  We have little "games" we play over and over until I can't take it any more.  In this game he gets himself wrapped up in the bed sheet and I say, "Oh, I wonder what this mound is?  I'll take it home."  And then when I get it home, a spider (him) comes out of it and I scream, until I realize that the spider is actually friendly.  Repeat.
Stylish Cardstock and Soak it In by Pixel Gypsy;
Paint Swatch Templates by Sahlin Studio

I hope you all have a great weekend. I'm looking forward to the BBQ and swimming with family. I'm NOT looking forward to the 104+ degree weather, though, so hopefully the fun will keep my mind off of it.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Costco 20x30 Print Review and New Layouts - June 24, 2011

Hello, everyone who reads my blog.  I'm happy you're out there!

I had a largish rectangular frame laying around the house, and since I'm gradually "decorating" Miller's new apartment, I thought I could make him something.  The frame opening (from the front) is 9 1/16 x 29 7/8 inches.  I remembered that Costco can do 20x30 prints in about an hour, and they're very inexpensive - about $10.  So I decided to give it a go.

I wanted to create an image with his name and use my scrapbooking supplies to add in all kinds of things that he likes - pirates, bugs, robots, super heroes, buses and fire trucks.  Here is my creation (click to see larger):
Me Hearties Collab by Scrap Orchard Designers; Funky Basic Cardstock
by Gina Marie Huff; Meep Bob Beep and Buggalicious by Kristin Aagard
Vehicle Doodles by Kate Hadfield; Super Pop by Designs by Dani

I actually worked in Photoshop with a 9.5 x 30 inch canvas (the back opening of the frame was 9.5 inches wide).  When it was complete, I enlarged the canvas to 20x30, with my image roughly centered.  So, about 2/3 of my 20x30 print was actually white.  Here's a small version of what I uploaded to Costco.  (the thin black border is just to highlight the actual edges of the image):

I trimmed it by hand to fit the frame. Here's how it looks in his room:

Now, do you notice anything about the print in the frame? Something not quite right? The white bands on the left and right edges? That's because the 20x30 print did not actually measure 20x30 inches. It is a little smaller - it only measures 29 11/16 inches in length. So I have little white gaps at the ends.  I wasn't too happy about that.

But other than that the print is great. The colors are bright and bold. I think the 20x30 prints are made with a different process than the 12x12 prints that Costco does. The 12x12 prints that I have received in the past have the "Fujicolor Crystal Archive" marking on the back, whereas this 20x30 print had no markings on the back of the paper. And being that the print was only $10, it leads me to believe that this is an ink printed image, not the chemical image printing of the photographic prints. But color and image quality wise, I can't tell the difference. If it had been exactly 30 inches, I would have absolutely no complaints.  In fact, I really can't say enough how bright and beautiful the image itself is.

Well, that's that: Costco 20x30 print is beautiful, but just a tad smaller than 20x30. I didn't actually measure the 20 inch side. I had already cut it up.

Here are some other things I've made in the last week or so.

Another self portrait page for my Project: Love, Me album.
Blessed by Litabells Designs; Stylish Stocks Paper Pack by Pixel Gypsy

And some T-shirts for Miller with iron-on transfers. He won't wear the Heart Breaker shirt because he doesn't like the idea of someone getting his or her heart broken. He actually cried when I told him what the shirt said. I tried to explain the alternate meaning of "heart breaker," but he just didn't get it.
Rocker Bye Baby by Viva Artistry and Lilacs in Bloom
Stars from Inked Up by Laura Banasiak

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

CT news and New Layouts - June 18, 2011

CT news??  Yep, Nicole at The DigiChick asked me if I'd like to come back as a permanent team member!  That night I asked the scientist, "Guess what email I got today?"  He said, "You were asked to be on a CT?"  He was even supportive of it, so I've accepted!  Yay!

And here are the layouts I've been working on ...

This one was just some cute pics of the little guy in one of his many dress-up costumes.
Paint Swatch Templates, Grunge and Make a Wish freebies, Season of Giving
by Sahlin Studio; Stitchy Doodle Trim by Valorie Wibbens

This one was also just a cute pic. He was tired after an active day, although I can no longer remember what we did that day. I wrote a little poem for the journaling.
Stitched Frames and Weeds & Wildflowers by Valorie Wibbens; Watercolor
Papers by Sahlin Studio, Summer Minimilist Papers by Fruitloop Sally

This next one was fun. I saw a lady at Costco squeezing hand sanitizer onto her table before eating lunch. And so I scrapped about my dislike of hand sanitizer.
My Hero by Kaye Winiecki and Juliana Kneipp; Some papers from Play by
Sahlin Studio and DeCrow Designs; Watercolor Papers by Sahlin Studio
Background paper from Boys Only by Jazzmin

And some Project: Love, Me pages
Simple Square Templates by Scrapping with Liz; The Joy of Life by
Captivated Visions; Cardstock from HoHoHo by Miss Tiina

June 2010 Template freebie by Polly & Rufus; The Joy of Life by
Captivated Visions; Cardstock from HoHoHo by Miss Tiina

Saturday, June 11, 2011

New Layouts - June 11, 2011

We're still getting used to our bedroom rearrangement.  Miller sleeps part of the night in his room (he starts out there) but usually comes into our room around 1am to 3 am.  Then the scientist goes and sleeps the rest of the night in Miller's bed.  It is hard for me ... I like being able to listen and hear that he is breathing.  I honestly don't know how parents can have their little babies sleep in cribs.  I'm actually afraid of cribs - I've heard too many stories about babies getting themselves wedged into tight areas and suffocating.  I think the scientist tires of hearing "Did you check on him? Was he breathing?"

I haven't scrapped Miller's new apartment yet, mostly because I'm working on a digi-project picture to hang, and I want to have that finished.  I'd also like to get some decent curtains to hang, but I have a feeling that might take me a while.  But, I have been scrapping.  I'm trying out the challenges at The Lily Pad for June, so some of the following layouts were prompted by those.

I like minimalism in my scrapping, and this next one is maybe a bit extreme, but I love the layout.  It uses ONE paper and ONE element - does that even count as scrapbooking??  We've had a little break in building train tracks, thanks to Imaginext, but I found this pic from a few months ago.  I love the tracks passing several times across the view, and the little guy in the back in his usual attire.

An Ordinary Day add-on freebie
and Fancy Schmancy Frame add-on freebie by Valorie Wibbens

This one is just a cute pic, couldn't think of any journaling to add.
Focus on the Photo Template by Scrapping with Liz; Boys Only by Jazzmin
Kraft paper from Play by Sahlin Studio and DeCrow Designs

And this next one is just another everyday type memory - but I was able to throw in some thoughts about the struggles of getting a photo out of him.
Split Paper Masks by Scrapping with Liz; He and Everyday You by DeCrow
Designs; Retro Ornate Frames by Paula Kesselring; Life 365 Frame It 2
by Gina Marie Huff; Sweet & Simple Life 3 by Gina Marie Huff

This next one has some pics from a favorite local park.
Summer Minimalist by Fruitloop Sally; Plaid Addict 3 by Rachel Young;
Paint Swatch Templates by Sahlin Studio

And another everyday photo.  I often feel somewhat unsatisfied when I create a layout that just decorates a photo.  It feels lacking if there is no story to tell.  In this photo, Miller was just looking through a book that he pulled down from the shelf.  I think it was a "how the world works" kind of book.  Some of the pictures were of planets.  But there wasn't really a story here - he was just looking at a book.  And why did I take the photo?  Because the visual of the open book on the floor with the pages rising out from the spine was interesting to me.  But I was happy to give it a more personal meaning through the word "sciencer," which Miller uses for "scientist."
Scrap lift of: mister fox by keela; Boys Only by Jazzmin; So Grateful by Sahlin
Studio & Sugarplum Paperie; Play by Sahlin Studio & DeCrow Designs

And some Project: Love, Me pages.  Creativity is the topic for June.
Everyday Life #3 by Cinzia Designs and Gina Marie Huff; Cardstock from
HoHoHo by Miss Tiina; May Project Scrap Template by Shabby Princess
Cardstock from HoHoHo by Miss Tiina
Everyday Life #3 by Cinzia Designs and Gina Marie Huff

This last one is a "bonus" page for Project: Love, Me.  Unless, perhaps, if it fits into a later week's prompt - then I will insert it there.  Cherries and avocados and artichokes are probably my three favorite foods, and it occurred to me that I have a few things to say about artichokes, so I scrapped them.
So Grateful by Sahlin Studio & Sugarplum Paperie; Watercolor Papers by
Sahlin Studio; Freebie elements from Sahlin Studio; Summer Minimalist by
Fruitloop Sally; Template by Amy Martin; Worn Photo Overlay 3 by
Something Blue Studios; Paper from HoHoHo by Miss Tiina, Focus on the
Photo Templates by Scrapping with Liz; photo by elspethbriscoe