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, June 29, 2012

My Containter Garden

My friend Kate asked me to show some photos of my patio so she could see the whole thing.  Although I'm very proud of my garden, I also believe it is probably very underwhelming to the seasoned gardeners out there.  But I tell myself everyone has to start somewhere, and this is my start.

Here's a copy with the plants named, to the best of my ability.

That blue planter on legs is actually a sand and water table.  Miller graciously gave me half of it to plant in.  And he as sand in the other half.

I'm probably guilty of over crowing things.  I just don't have the experience to know how big things will grow.  Plants usually come with some guidelines, but when I buy a six pack of plants, and they say to space a foot apart ... but my planter is only 2 feet long at the most ... well, then I just shove them all in.

Also, I should probably not plant things like radishes and green onions, which will be pulled out of the ground, next to other plants that I want to be more permanent.  Ah well, it's all part of my learning process.

My favorite right now is the shrub verbena.  They have these multi-flower heads that start with little folded up pillows that gradually pop open into a bulb of little flowers.  One of the hanging planters actually has one (with purple flowers), but right now it doesn't have any flowers on it.  The yellow planter on the ground has a shrub verbena with bright yellow flowers, and one of the brown planters has a shrub verbena with flowers that start out yellow and then mature into a bright peach color.

I forbade myself to buy any more plants, so hopefully I can now sit back and enjoy as everything grows bigger and better.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Little bit of digi news

I have two little bits of news.  Little in the larger scheme of things, but kinda big for me.  First off, I entered a layout in the California State Fair again, and I placed!  I got second place for this layout:

I'm really excited to get 2nd place.  I was hoping for 3rd, having picked a layout that I thought the judges would like (based on the winning entries from last year).  I'll get a big ribbon, and I have a couple complimentary tickets and parking pass for the fair, as well as winning a little money - enough to compensate for the entry fee and printing the layout, so that's really nice.  My layout will be on display at the fair, July 12-29.

My other news is that I've landed a guest spot on The LilyPad creative team for the month of November.  Last summer I won a guest spot there by completing their monthly challenges, and it was a really fun month.  I'm excited to have the chance to participate in their store/forum again.  This was the "layout" I submitted with my application to show off my creativity.  It looks like a lot of work, but I actually recycled photos and extracted paper spiders from other layouts.  The little "drama" that I wrote out was new, though.
Love+Grace charity collab, Whole Wide World Alpha by Rachel Young, Free Spirit Alpha by CD Muckosky;
Talk to Me Labels and Hi Hello Patterns by Miss Tiina;
That's all the news.  Now The Goddess is scheduled for an "airplane adventure" with The King. I don't think the spiders are coming along, thank goodness. So, I must depart. Bye!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Could I have a green thumb?

I've still been scrapping away, although I haven't posted here in several weeks. And I'm still working on my little patio garden.  Apparently, gardening is addictive.  I've got it really bad.  I can't go anywhere without looking at plants and wanting to buy them.  Yesterday I planted the last of the plants I've bought, and told myself, "No more!"  I can play with my seeds, but no more buying plants.

Right now I'm playing with some grass seeds.  I put cat crass/oat seeds in some hanging planters, I have some wheat grass that I'm going to use to fill in some areas of my herb planters.   And I have some blue fescue  that I read is a decent option for indoors.  I really want some more indoor plants, so I hope this grass works out.

There is so much to learn about gardening.  I have trouble even with the terms "annual" and "perennial."  It's the word annual that throws me.  Annual ... yearly ... oh, it must come back each year.  That's how I want to think.  But I think I have to go more along the lines of: Annual ... once per year ... oh, it just grows once. 

So much to learn, and I have learned a little.  One of the plants I started from seed (I think it was from a seed pack called Butterfly Flower/Swamp Milkweed) was starting to get yellow spots.  I did a little reading, and decided to try some fertilizer on it.  I did, and after a week or two the yellow spots started to go away! Boy, was I proud after that.  I have now fertilized all of my pots and planters and plan to keep doing that once per month.

Here are some pictures from my little patio garden.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A post full of layouts

Here is a slew of layouts I've made in the last month or so.

This layout was just for fun with a cute picture of Miller.  He was playing in his little sandbox on the patio.  I was playing around with my camera.

These were a bunch of pictures I took when we watched the eclipse.  The scientist built a little apparatus for us to use called a pinhole camera. He used an old packing tube and an Honest Kids box ... and black t-shirts wrapped around to help block out light.

This was one of those layouts where I had a cute picture, but no particular story to go with it.  But then later on Miller said something really cute and it worked perfectly with the older picture.  He loves our cat Bob.

Another just-for-fun layout with cute pictures.

I found a tiny little spider in a tiny little web, nestled in the plants on the patio.  I was trying to get a really good, clear picture of the tiny spider, unsuccessfully by the way.  Later I thought the photo was a nice little slice of life ... because I'm always out looking at the plants on my patio ... it's hot now so I can use the clothesline ... and Miller walking around with the bare minimum of clothing. All that is a pretty good summary of my life the last few weeks.

A two pager for Miller's 5th birthday.

I was so pleased with these photos on the swing which I took at my mom's group Easter egg hunt and picnic.  I have tried so many times to take pictures of Miller swinging on a swing set and they are always blurry, or he's out of the frame or just plain awful.   I was just ecstatic with these photos. Not only did I get some great pictures of Miller being silly, but James got included too, with the angle I was at.

This was a colorful post.  I've really been drawn to colorful kits lately.  That's all for now.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Camera Shopping

I mentioned at the end of my last post that I've decided to buy a new camera.  So, I thought I would share which ones I'm considering.  First, here's what I want out of a camera:
  • Something small-ish and easy and fun to use
  • Interchangeable lenses
  • Good in low light (indoors)

I've decided to go with the new mirror-less interchangeable lens cameras.  I think that is where the technology is heading.

The Sony Alpha NEX-7 is at the top of my list right now.

This is my first choice right now based on positive reviews I read here, here and here.  But I'm looking forward to visiting a camera store to see if I can play around with one a little.  It will take me some time to save up the money, so I'm not in a real hurry.

The NEX-7 isn't my first choice in the outward appearance of the camera body ... I was really hoping to find something cute and retro like the Fujifilm X-Pro1

or even the Fujifilm FinePix X100, my favorite for its looks

This last one does NOT have interchangeable lenses, though.  I was seriously considering it after reading this recommendation.  However, the scientist sternly advised against it, because he thinks what I'll ultimately have the most fun with is the lenses and stuff. (These FujiFilm cameras are a bit more pricey too).

The camera I have right now is the Canon PowerShot SX 20 IS.  It has a zoom lens.  And compared to other compact cameras, it seems to give some decent control over the settings in Manual Mode.  From the reading I've done, other point and shoots with manual modes do not give you as much settings control as this one does.

I have not been overly happy with the photos I've taken with this camera and have not been taking a lot of pictures in the last several months.  (Miller is probably happy about that.)  But over the last few weeks, I've experimented with it a little more, even with the manual focus, and was happy with some shots I got.  I've had this idea that to get the blurry backgrounds you have to have the low aperture values, like 2 or less.  But the other day I was trying it out at the 50mm and 100mm focal lengths and got some pretty decent pictures with somewhat blurry backgrounds and foregrounds, with an aperture value around 5.  So, I'm optimistic that while I save up for my new camera, I can continue to learn from my old one. That's good, right? After all, the best camera is the one you have right now.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Patio Garden

I've felt so carefree lately. I got my article submitted for the May issue of the Artisan Notebook and my guest CT spot at Secret Stash designs has ended. There are no more deadlines looming. So how have I been spending my time? Gardening. Just a small container garden on our patio.  I love it.  We've got lettuce and some herbs, strawberries planted in half of Miller's sand table, and the wildflower sprouts are starting to poke through the soil. We caught some ladybugs at the park and brought them home - they ate up all the aphids! We even put up a hummingbird feeder, and on Sunday we saw a hummingbird take a drink!

Here is a layout all about my little garden.
Mix and Match Templates I by Scrapping with Liz; Spring Chase by Kaye Winiecki;
Dear Mom by Valorie Wibbens; Life365 Celebrating Color Alphas, Hodge Podge 15 and Paint It 2 and Vintage
Bling by Gina Marie Huff; Straight Line Stitched White No. 2 by Anna Aspnes;

This was a list layout I made for the Artisan Notebook. I don't believe I've ever scrapped a list before, so I thought I would try something new. I love how it turned out.
List Templates by Scrapping with Liz; The Everyday Papers and Dear Mom by Valorie Wibbens; The Way
We Were(n’t) volume 5 by Allison Pennington; Every{DAY} Life, and Sweet & Simple Life Kits #4 and #7
by Gina Marie Huff Designer Single flowers by Wendy Page; Machine Stitching by Julie Bullock;
My Project Volume 3 by Captivated Visions

I mentioned my Mad Men obsession recently, didn't I? I don't have cable, but luckily one of the other preschool moms does ... so we're getting an extra special Mom's Night Out every week to watch Mad Men! Here is a page about the show, my take on some of the characters.
Social Templates by Scrapping with Liz; Photobooth by Paislee Press; Euphoria by creashens;
Everyday Essentials Papers by Gina Marie Huff; Images from AMC site mostly

This next layout is one that I've been thinking about for months. Miller is really into anatomy, inspired from some of the books we have, shown in photographs in this layout. I wish I had better photos of his skin inked up with muscles, bones and organs. The first time we did it I took a lot of care and really made them look great.  After the second and third times ... well, I rushed it a little and they didn't look as good.  That was when we took these photos.
Mix and Match Doubles 1 by Scrapping with Liz; Love + Grace charity collab kit; A Fresh Start by Karen Funk; Sweet & Simple Life #3 and Life 365 Hodge Podges 5 and 13 by Gina Marie Huff
On another note, I've recently decided to buy a camera.  It will take me a while to save up the $$, like a year.  I have a monthly scrapping budget which I spend on digi kits.  Now I'm saving that money instead for my new camera ... but iNSD is just a couple weeks away. I hope I can be strong.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Handmade Bird Nest Necklaces

I recently got several fellow preschool moms together to make some bird nest necklaces to give to the teachers, as a show of appreciation for all the work they do.  I got the idea from a tutorial by Sarah Ortega. Would you like to see the necklaces we made?  They were easy and fun to make.

I was even able to make a couple for myself, and here was my favorite.  I put it on a chain I already had.  After finishing it, I wore it for several days straight.  I just couldn't be parted from it.  And I felt like a million bucks wearing it.  I felt like a one-of-a-kind, just like my necklace.

I think I want to go put it on right now.  I love this necklace. 

This post was inspired by Modern June: Project Love Thyself and represents a chance at winning $50 to her shop.  Woo Hoo! Here's hoping I'll be the lucky one:)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Retiring producs at Weeds & Wildflowers

I've been blessed to be on the creative team at Weeds & Wildflowers since the fall of 2009.  It was my very first creative team, so of course it holds a special place in my heart.  Gina, Pat and Heidi are retiring a TON of stuff over there ... from the looks of it, they are basically retiring everything that was released prior to 2010.  And that includes the amazing Life365 collection (from 2009), which goes back to my first digital scrapbooking project, and what basically got me into the habit of uploading pages online and buying products and .... well, the beginning of this addiction.

The retiring products are in the $1 DEALS category of the store.  I just wanted to point out a couple of products that have been absolute favorites of mine, that you might want to grab.

First, this amazing set of painted alphas.  The detail in these is amazing.  They have variations to the color (as if your paint brush had picked up some stray paint on your palette), and the texture of the brush work makes them so realistic.  And they come in a clean version and a faded/distressed version.  It's 18 high quality alphas for $1!!

And the other product I wanted to share was this set of cardstock.  It was my first set of cardstock, and taking a peek in my cardstock folder ... I now have about 20 sets.  What can I say -  I dig solid colored and textured paper.  I've probably used the solid white cardstock in this set by Gina in at least 20 layouts.

If you're craving color like I am right now, go check out the Life365 stuff - the pics above show the color palette.  ALL of it is on sale for $1 each and will be retired some time soon. I can't explain how excited I was to see all of the Life365 products as $1 DEALS ... I got butterflies and wanted to buy it all ... but then I remembered that I actually have all of them already ... which was almost a let down.  I did say addiction, right?

Monday, March 5, 2012

A little catching up???

I've been in a creative slump.  Well, it feels like that.  I've been scrapping, but I still have the 2011 books hanging over my head.  I haven't finished them, so if I contemplate scrapping new stuff, apprehension builds up inside.  I wish I could just put those those albums aside and not worry about them for a while.

It's not just scrapbooking that is overwhelming right now.  Simply getting the dishes done every night has been a losing battle.  I've managed to get caught up a few times, but that only lasts for a portion of a day ... until the next dinner basically.

Maybe part of my problems is that the other preschool moms got me hooked on these TV shows called Mad Men and Downton Abbey.  And I signed myself up for a free Netflix trial so I can watch them all.  So that has taken up some of my time.  It's actually the first time I've really watched television (other than Curious George and Sesame Street) in the last four years.  It's been a nice change of pace!

Since I haven't posted here on the blog recently, I never announced that I landed a guest CT spot with Secret Stash Designs.  I'm one month in now, and I get to stay for the rest of March.  That has been fun.  It was nice to actually get accepted to a call.  My confidence was so bolstered that I also applied to the Captivated Visions guest call, but that one resulted in rejection.  Oh well.  I have long coveted the CT spots all around me in digi land, but I have to admit that I do not scrap well under a deadline.  I like to have more breathing room to fiddle and get things just how I like them.  The guest spots that I have had are really more suited to me.  My permanent teams are fabulous because on none of them do I have any monthly quota of layouts that I must deliver.  While some people might say, "I'm on 7 teams and have to create 20+ layouts per month," I get to say, "I'm on a few teams, but I don't have to create any layouts at all if I'm not feeling it."  So my creativity can take a hike and not get me in trouble, and I can stay up 'til midnight and watch multiple episodes of Mad Men every day.

Here are some of my favorite layouts from the last month or so.  Several are 2-pagers, like this first one.  I's probably my most favorite right now.  I just love all the layering and mix of photo sizes.

These pictures date back to May - hey, this is proof I'm getting caught up on 2011, right?!  This was a play date with my mom's group that I actually organized and hosted.

And this one documents our Elf on the Shelf, which I only knew about because other digi scrappers clued me.

Ah, here are some 2012 pics.  I got Miller to make some faces for me.  Do you like his mad face (the third from the left)?  It's only a slight exaggeration of his actual mad face. Don't his teeth look sharp?

Well, I think that's it for now. If I can get Miller ready for bed quickly, I can probably fit in two episodes of Mad Men ... or I could get the dishes done ... hmmmm, which will it be?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Rumble - last vote!

It's the final phase of the competition - Round 4 is complete, and the final voting is taking place.  Our last challenge was the word "four," to be interpreted in any way we wanted.  We created a four-leaf clover design and we used the four words that the clover leaves represent:  love, faith, luck and hope.
This was my part:
Recyclables IV by Scrapping with Liz; Lullaby Lane by SuzyQ Scraps; The Sun Will Come by SuzyQ Scraps
Serendipity Add On by SuzyQ Scraps; Farmyard Fun by SuzyQ Scraps; My Project Vol. 3 by Captivated Visions

In all of our entries, we strove for each layout to feel whole and complete by itself, as well as contributing to a combined image.  Our composite images were made simply from tiling the individual layouts side by side.  We did not have any "finishing touches" added on top to make the combined image seamless.  I have thoroughly enjoyed this competition and getting to know my teammates better.  I'm sad that I won't be going to Digiscrap*Apalooza to see them all in person.  The rest of my team will be there, and I know they will have a great time.

Please vote for our effort here - we're the SupercalafragaLIZtics.  We'd really appreciate it.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


The SupercalafragaLIZtics have submitted our third round entry to Rumble in the Orchard.  Our challenge was to interview our team leader (Liz of Scrapping with Liz).  We asked our questions, she answered, and we "blogged" our layouts.

Blogwear Templates I and Simple & Sweet Album Templates II by Scrapping with Liz
Love in Bloom, Beauty In The World & Walking on Sunshine by Tracie Stroud
Fonts: Traveling Typewriter, SNF Journaling Bold, Georgia, Darcy Baldwin's Sissy
This was a fun challenge, and we got to know Liz a little better.  We'd really appreciate your vote!
Vote Here

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Yin Yang

Yep, "Yin Yang"  - that was the second challenge for Rumble in the Orchard.  Just those words, for us to interpret in any way we wanted.  And, of course, all four teammates' layouts had to come together in some fashion.  Here is our entry. (click image for a larger view)

We went with a renewal/seasons theme from the Yin Yang prompt.  I think it's even better than our first entry.  Here is each one individually.

By Kimberley
By Jenn
Simple and Sweet Album Templates by Scrapping with Liz; Well Documented Kit and Paper Pack, My Project Vol 3,
I Should Have Told You by Captivated Visions; Beauty In The World by Tracie Stroud;  leaves photo by
Horia Varlan, mushroom photo by Fokko Muller; Lyrics from Every Season by Nichole Nordeman
By Tracy

And the Round 2 polls are now OPEN!  We'd really appreciate your vote.  Polls open until 1/31/2012.

Friday, January 20, 2012


I'm in a memory keeping rut right now.  I'm in some kind of panicked standstill, wanting to finish my books for 2011, but feeling fatigued, and with a blurb coupon code that expires at the end of the month.  I have been scrapping but feel so unsatisfied that I haven't uploaded most of them.

Except for this ...
Cut Out Alpha Templates by Scrapping with Liz;
My Project Vol 3, Year in Review and Trashed Cardstock by Captivated Visions; 
Despite my scrapping slump, I am participating in the Scrap Orchard Creative Team Rumble competition.  I'm on Scrapping with Liz's team with Jenn, Tracy and Kimberley.  We're called the SupercalafragaLIZtics.  The first challenge was called The Sum of Its Parts, and instructed each member to create a layout featuring one word that best describes her, and all of the four layouts had to come together to make something bigger.  Here is our team effort:

You can help us win the competition by voting for the SupercalafragaLIZtics here at this poll.  The poll will stay open for a day or two longer.  There will be three more rounds to go through as well.  I hope we win!

I have more news, too.  I've been accepted on another creative team - ETC by Danyale.  I discovered her when I was on the site team at The Digichick, and I love her warm and inviting designs.  I've used several for my Project: Love, Me pages.  In my scrapping slump I haven't been able to make many pages yet for Danyale, but here is one that worries over the weather and documents my current infatuation with digital plastic pocket protectors at the same time.

my heArt and Flea Market Finds by Etc. by Danyale; The Daily Details, Around the World, & Emporium
Digichick Collabs; Snapshots by Karen Lewis; Thrifty Finds Alpha by Mari Koegelenberg;
Stormy Skies by Robyn Meierotto

Here's hoping for some kind of breakthrough that will get all my pages scrapped and uploaded to Blurb by the 31st ... or maybe I should hope for another coupon code that expires at the end of February ... or March.