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, 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.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Scrapbooks for Christmas Part 2

I'm back with Miller's second Christmas scrapbook. I also wanted to say a few more words about printing with Shutterfly.

I really like how the Shutterfly shopping cart works. Specifically, their cart lets you combine offers! For instance, I had a coupon code for a free 20-page book. I made my book with 28 pages, so I had to pay the extra $8 for those pages. But they were running a 40% summer sale (I believe it was with a Coupon Code), so I got 40% off of those additional 8 pages. The cart accepted multiple Coupon Codes. I like carts like that. (There are some restrictions, though.  I think I tried to apply a free shipping code once, and it didn't let me do that with the other coupon I had.)

Another time they were running a 25% sale (no Coupon Code required). Again, I got the 25% discount on the extra pages, on top of the free book.

Also, I like how the credit card field was formatted - putting in the dashes between each 4 digits. It makes it really easy to double check that you entered your number correctly. For some reason, I'm always worried I will put the number in wrong.

Now, back to that book I made for Miller. For the cover I chose one of the layouts I made for The Lilypad Month of Challenges. The challenge was to make a photo summary of the year, so it makes a perfect cover.

An unimaginative, and yet quite adequate, title on the spine. Brought to you by Bob the cat.

And here are some of my favorite pages.

The back cover. This was another layout from the Month of Challenges. The page was about my most favorite picture I took all year long, so that made a great page to put on the back.

At this moment, I'm not planning to make Miller any more scrapbooks for Christmas. But maybe some for the grandparents. If I do, I'll be sure to share them. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

We Love Nature

We love nature around here.  Besides the hummingbirds, lizards are the current obsession (not mine, just Miller's).  He loves to catch them. Fence lizards (aka blue belly lizards) are his favorite.
My Kind of Day by Little Butterfly Wings; My Mistake Alpha by Just Jaimee; About Us by Paislee Press
Well, Hello by Valorie Wibbens; Froggy's Cardstock by Gina Miller; Maching Stitching by Jullie Bullock
May Facebook Template by Scrapping with Liz; Reptilian by mle Card

What other nature do we love? Hummingbirds, of course. This one is a bit blurry, but I like how just a couple of the feathers are showing up red. The scientist said that it was because the lighting angles for those particular feathers were just right, but I also wonder if the feathers actually change form as the bird matures. Maybe this bird is in the process of getting his adult feathers.

Yesterday I got a few more pictures showing off a bit of that feather iridescence. The feathers around the throat almost look more like scales than feathers.

This last one isn't so great, but you get a flash of red over the whole throat.

I haven't taken many pictures of bugs lately, but I did get these of a bee on my cone flowers (my new favorite plant, by the way).

As I continue to take pictures, I have found that sometimes, amazingly, I choose my old Canon PowerShot SX20 camera. There was a time when I thought that camera was a total piece of junk. But now I find that there are certain situations when it works better for me than my nice Sony. And I can take better pictures now with my Canon than I used to, even though I mostly use my Sony. I guess I must be learning how to be a better photographer.

If you like insect photography, I recommend http://www.alexanderwild.com/ I somehow stumbled across his photography a while back. Here are some of his bee pictures (some with cone flowers too).





Maybe someday I'll take pictures as good as these. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Scrapbooks for Christmas

About this time of year I start thinking about Christmas presents. I love to get started early. I've been turning to 8x8 inch photo books more and more for family presents. And I usually take advantage of any coupon deals that I come across. I recently received a free book coupon for Shutterfly when I was shopping at Safeway, and I also took advantage of a Groupon for a $10 Shutterfly book.

Miller really enjoyed looking at some of the small books I made last year for people, so this year I've decided to have some printed especially for him. This Christmas he will receive two books for the years 2012 and 2013, containing a collection of layouts that I think he will really enjoy. I chose layouts that focused on holidays, his activities, our little family outings, and time spent with his cousins.

Here is the front cover, on which I placed a layout I had made that year. This was a simple layout with a couple of cute pictures. The original page had a date and the words "silly smiles"on it. I went into my layered file, took those words out and put "2012" on instead. It was a quick way to make a suitable cover and an opportunity to include another layout into the book.

A simple title for the spine.

Here are some of my favorite pages from the book.

For the back cover, I chose to place another layout from the year. This layout honors a very special game that was played all year long and which began Miller's obsession with mushrooms. It seemed a good choice as a kind of "summary" page for the back cover - and a way to get one more page in.
As I hinted at the beginning of this post, this book was an 8x8 inch hardcover book from Shutterfly. I assembled the book with their online tool, and I have to say that I am quite pleased with that online tool. It has pre-made page layouts for placing your images, but you can actually modify them if you choose.

For instance, I chose to place a single image on every page. They have a layout with a single square photo, but it has borders that are quite wide all the way around. So I went in and made the image spot a bit bigger. I basically enlarged the image right up to their "safe" guides. As I stretched the image box larger, blue lines magically appeared. I interpreted those lines as the safe guides for the trimming of the pages. Unfortunately I had to make the same modification to every single page, so that was a bit of a pain.

But I really liked that customization. In my most recent experience with the Blurb online tool called Bookify, I found myself frustrated at times by their pre-made layout choices, and no option for tweaking them. The more I use Shutterfly, the more I like it.

I'll share Miller's other Christmas book next week. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cute Songs

At the end of the year picnic back in June, Miller's class sang some really cute songs for the parents. I tried to search the lyrics online, but I couldn't find anything. Maybe his teacher wrote the songs. They were so cute, I had to include them in my pages.

This page was about the end of the year picnic and about friends. I included the song lyrics on the left side.
Where Ever Elements and Papers, and I Would Buttons 1 by creashens
Hoppy by Valorie Wibbens; Daily Life Templates 8 by Scrapping with Liz

I wanted this page to be about the song, but I also found some park pictures from back in January that I decided to add to it.
Turn It Up Papers by Kaye Winiecki; Foodie Elements by One Little Bird; Autumn Frost by Sahlin Studio
Hello Gorgeous Papers by Mari Keogelenberger; Clean and Simple Templates by Scrapping with Liz
Glitter Paper by Two Shutter Sisters

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Super Moon

Here is my picture of the super moon last night. I fiddled a little in Photoshop to bring out some of the details.

I'm excited to take Katrina Kennedy's Your Life Captured Through the Lens class again. Last summer I only got half way through the class, although I downloaded all of the materials. She has offered past students a chance to take it again for free, and it is the last time she is doing the course, so I figure I'll take advantage of the opportunity. Thanks, Katrina!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Still In Love with Hummingbirds

I haven't blogged in a while. Why? Because the scientist got a job. A real job. A really good real job. Because of the job, we've moved, so I have been busy with that instead of blogging.

And then before the scientist got his really good real job, he was searching for a job. And that was a long process, and it was discouraging for a while. So I got kinda depressed and didn't feel like blogging. Didn't feel like gardening. Let my plants all die.

But now I'm back. And I've got some new plants on our new porch. I actually even have some old plants on my new porch because that alyssum that I enjoyed planting last year was pretty hardy and even though it died, it dropped seeds that later started to grow when we had a little rain.

But this post is about hummingbirds. As soon as we moved into our new city I noticed hummingbirds flying everywhere. Something familiar! We got a new hummingbird feeder and hung it on the porch. With the feeder so high under the roof, it is fairly shaded, so at first I had trouble getting much of that feather iridescence in my pictures. You can see a little green in this picture.

Here are a couple where you can just barely see some color on their throats. You have to have the lighting just right to achieve this, and I've seldom been able to do it.

After a few days I noticed that one particular bird was standing watch over the feeder and chasing off all the other birds. He perches in a tree about 40 feet away and literally stands guard. It was pretty ridiculous for a couple of days as it seemed like the "owner" of the feeder wasn't even getting a chance to use it himself, and he must have been expending a lot of energy chasing off all the other birds. I couldn't even take pictures, except for a few chance shots like this.

In this picture it even looks like the "owner" bumped into the hanging alyssum planter as he chased off his competition. I really don't get it, there is more than enough nectar in there for them all to share.

I previously read that if you have a nasty bird who won't share, the solution is to simply put out another feeder. He won't be able to guard both, so he'll give up and share. We've had our second feeder out for 2 days, and today the birds started to notice it. I think it helped that the hanging feeder was getting dry, but I will refill it tomorrow. I've place the new feeder lower down and more in the sun, and I was able to get these pictures, where you can see the green in the feathers.

Miller and I have tried to sit out there to get really close views of the birds, but with inconsistent success. Most of the pictures above were taken through a window. But I'm hoping to get my stealth on and get some even better pictures soon.

I've been scrapbooking, too, and I've ordered some more little photo books, so I'll be back soon with more things to share. Thanks for stopping by!