Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday gratitude post

Still crazy, although slightly less stressful this week. More snap in the air. The urge to drink cocoa and huddle under afghans is growing!

  1. creative time
  2. yummy food at my parents
  3. excellent British TV (obtained in slightly sneaky ways)

  1. remembering I have an electric heater in the garage!
  2. being woken by a cat when I forget to set my alarm
  3. chocolate

  1. my flannel comforter
  2. sitcoms that make me laugh
  3. yummy apples from a local farm

  1. donuts
  2. being able to do a little retail therapy
  3. problem solving as a team.

  1. seeing ridiculous and wonderful things on my morning walk to work
  2. positive interactions during my desk shift
  3. having handy leftovers for dinner

  1. a bagel and cream cheese
  2. people watching time while taking myself out for dinner
  3. couch time ... followed by an early bedtime!

  1. sleeping in
  2. cute new clothes
  3. cuddly toys to hug during stressful tv shows

Friday, September 28, 2012

road trip layout

Last week I got to take a little work road trip with some colleagues. And so of course I had to create a scrapbook page about it!

I love making pocket pages for trip memorabilia, and this time I decided to turn it on its side and tuck the papers in that way. They won't be as accessible as the pages where you can access the pocket from the top of the page protector, but I was okay with that in this instance

Totally happy with the bits of embellishment. The admit one/flower cluster in the lower left was the favorite one I made in last weekend's embellishment play session and so I'd kept it to use one one of my layouts. In combination with the 'hello my name is' die cut I'm really happy with it.

The red/white arrows were a last minute addition as the text print paper was looking a bit bare but I think they play well with the red 'look here' arrow that just happened to be on a sticker sheet I was using.

The whole layout is loosely based on this sketch from Jen Gallacher's Stretch Your Sketch class.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

something from (almost) nothing...

Had time to play over the weekend like I had hoped, and came up with 6 (plus a few more) clustered embellishments that I then turned into a set of cards. I like to give them away as presents. And they're so much fun to do. Plus they help clean out my scrap basket and my random box of embellishments. I have a few more blue ones started so hopefully more play time soon!

The card blanks are 5x7 (the tan cardstock) and the decorated part of the card is built on pieces of 4x6 plain white and off-white cardstock. I built the embellishments, and then found some scraps in my scrap basket to put behind them. Then some gluing and stitching and voila! Cards!

And, I have a whole bunch of mostly useless letter sticker sheets, but I tried to eke out wording from them. 

The stitching on the background layer is not planned at all except as a way to attach the scrapbook paper to the 4x6 base. The more I turn my brain off during this step the more I like the finished product. 

I leave the thread ends loosely trimmed on purpose. I'm usually going for a sort of shabby chic vibe, and I like that a handmade card looks handmade.

I think this one's my favorite. I've been holding onto that round vellum clock  piece for many years. Way too long, but it works here I think.

I tried to ombre the white foam letters with pink ink. But this pink ink pad is such a pale pink that you really can't see it at all.  But its a technique I want to keep playing with.

the embellishment on this card (the orange floral bit) was an ancient embellishment I had kicking around for YEARS and it was time to do something with it. So off it goes on a card. I want to do this way more often, and get the scraps on a card where they're useful and not just cluttering up my scraproom!!

The 4x6 cards are attached to the card blank with double sided tape. I often sew them on, but I did so much stitching on them already that it felt like too much in this particular instance. 

So off these cards will go to a friend who I'm seeing for a birthday dinner next week. I'll wrap them up with their envelopes and some ribbon and tissue and hopefully they'll be well received, and be super useful. 

Something from very nearly nothing. I love that. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

weekly gratitude post

Another super busy week at work, and another one coming up. But lots of good things to celebrate despite the crazyness...

  1. clean clothes
  2. family time
  3. being able to subvert technology to my will

  1. sick time when I need it
  2. treats in the mail
  3. the joy of a cheese and pickle sandwich

  1. morning coffee
  2. the comfort of scrambled eggs and hot buttered toast
  3. a night's sleep with no nightmares

  1. the smiles a crisp morning walk to work brings
  2. cardigans
  3. scrapbook lessons delivered over the internet from London

  1. apple turnovers
  2. not having unanswerable questions on my reference desk shift
  3. wonderful weather

  1. road trip!
  2. friendly library folks
  3. crawling into a cosy bed at the end of a long day

  1. watching TV with friends
  2. hugs
  3. naps

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Friends, I have a little problem. I'm addicted to Shimelle's scrapbooking videos! I watched yesterday's Glitter Girl episode on embellishment clusters twice yesterday!

But it did inspire me to go home and make a layout with said embellishment clusters. Actually I think there's maybe one too many clusters on this layout. The one at the top near the journaling is a lot and maybe the page would be cleaner without it. But it does help to point out the start of the journaling so it's okay. And frankly once you make these kinds of clusters its ... well ... addicting. I have a ton of scraps on my work table right now. I really want to get in there this weekend and make a bunch of embellishment clusters and cards out of them. Even aside from perking up scrapbook layouts there's an awesome way to use up the little bits that are taking over my table!!

So, the layout. I took this picture on my way to my car at the end of a long hard work day. I love taking pictures of my feet, and when the word STORM caught my eye, it seemed a perfect capturing of my day. So it relates to a layout about how busy I am at work lately, even if not in the most obvious way.

There might have been a better organization for the page in order to keep the squirrel and tie it into the embellishment clusters, but it was tough to do that and cover up the little hedgehog on that's underneath the bottom left cluster of embellisments, so I just went with it.

I love the combination of the glittery die cut mixed up with some Studio Calico die cuts and some junk off my work table. Ten layers in an embellishment ... Yikes! But I think it works.

I realized later this needs a little peek of green to tie it back to the main cluster. Maybe I'll go back and pop a green butterfly onto that brown circle.

Crazy Busy all right. Both the page and the subject of the page! But I like it. And I love making embellishment clusters. Now to find that time in my work room!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

weekly gratitude post

The recurring theme this week seems to include painkillers, sleep, and comfort TV. Sounds about right for a long hard work week!

  1. opportunities for enrichment at work
  2. cozy jersey sheets
  3. glittery nail polish
  4. leftovers
  5. me time at the movies
  6. kitty cuddles
  7. team work
  8. pain killers
  9. frozen coffee from the libraries cafe
  10. awesome co-workers
  11. comfortable shoes
  12. laughing at wonderful mostly mindless television
  13. painkillers
  14. snuggling under warm covers
  15. 12 hours sleep, more or less
  16. friends who call and say "love you"
  17. the end of the work week
  18. British tv
  19. time to scrapbook
  20. time to cook tasty things
  21. bed-time stories to listen to
I don't do a lot of double page spreads. And mostly I only do one or maybe two photos on a layout. But today I did a double page spread with 7 4x6 photos. And I'm pretty happy with how it came out, even if its not a very happy subject.

I ended up distress inking the edges of my photos, which is something I never even considered before, but while I like my white borders it just looked too white and crisp for the story I was telling. So I gave it a go, and I'm pretty happy with the look.

I'd be even happier with this look if my letter sticker sheet had had two more e's. :)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Recently, through the wonders of technology, I was able to see a taped, live performance of a show currently running in London. The National Theatre Live program is amazing. This was only my second one and I'm sold. I now want to see everything they produce. And a trip to my local Performing Arts Center is a whole lot cheaper than a trip to London!

The stage version of the book "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" was wonderful! The staging was so clever, and the performances were so strong! For my scrapbook I nicked a bunch of pictures off the internet and popped them in one of those 3 pockets on each side 6x12 divided page protectors. Then for my main page I came up with this:

One of my favorite things to make is pocket pages like this as I tend to like to keep a bunch of memorabilia, and by making the whole page a pocket I can tuck things into it and keep everything together. In this case there are two pockets. A big pocket behind the blue constellation paper which holds the program page and a menu from the place I ate dinner, and a small pocket behind the 4x6 picture where I tucked the ticket stub.

After that its a really simple page. Papers by (I think) October Afternoon, the tabbed bit behind the picture is from Heidi Swapp, and the embellishments are various bits from my Studio Calico kits.

I might have gone a little nutso with those veneer stars, but I love them :))

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Last Saturday night yet another beautiful old building in my town burnt. I was up half the night or more watching smoke and flames out my bedroom window. It took upwards of six hours and 9 fire companies to fight this fire. The most obvious damage is to a building which housed one of the town's two dive bars. Also damaged in the fire was the (for the past few years empty and for sale) theater next door where I spent four happy years doing 40 shows back to back. And we did a lot of drinking in that dive bar in those four years! And the courthouse annex on the other side of the bar sustained some damage but it was light enough that they opened for business Monday morning. The only good news about all this is that everyone got out okay. There were apartments above the bar, and all the residents are being take care of at the moment.

So, on my way out to the store for groceries tonight, I swung downtown and snapped a few pictures of the old girl. It's heartbreaking. Town still smells like charred wood. I don't know what the future holds for these buildings. We've had a lot of these fires, and rarely is there the money to rebuild.

But the thought that keeps going through my head is this:

Memories, at least, can never go up in smoke. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

cat naps

(this is what happens when you pile a comforter on a chair. someone takes over!)

Meet my contrary cat Jinx. He was a rescue from a litter a friend found in her backyard. He's very bitey! But last night just as I was about to go to bed, he did something he hasn't done in ages. He jumped up on me and curled up in my arms. And then he went to sleep while I held him for the next half hour. An unexpected moment at the end of the day. Hope they were sweet dreams there Jinxy!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

weekly 20 + 1

I want to try and celebrate the good things in my life, so here's a list of 21 things that made me happy this week:
  1. a hike in the woods with my Dad.
  2. time to relax.
  3. not having to cook today.
  4. friends that treat me like family.
  5. vacation days.
  6. Fudgesicles.
  7. being asked to help a friend.
  8. workouts that make me feel good about moving more every day.
  9. fresh strawberries.
  10. that first sip of coffee in the morning.
  11. time in my craft room.
  12. the kindness of far-flung friends who provide support.
  13. a new challenge at work.
  14. walking across campus and getting lots of quality people watching time.
  15. the technology and a venue that allows me to see amazing shows currently running in London here in the middle of Pennsylvania.
  16. today's 30 cent discount on gas.
  17. the awesome pairing of cheese and apples.
  18. Friday night naps.
  19. time with my camera and my scrapbook
  20. a friend to watch television with.
  21. memories of good times, which can't go up in smoke and flame.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

a saturday scrapbook page

Today's scrapbook adventure was inspired by something I read on a blog this week, and this wonderful picture I snapped as I was leaving the library yesterday. I love macro shots for giving a photo focal point and blurring the background a bit!

The other thing I like to do when I'm mixing letter stickers is to make the text that's different into a message that can be read on its own. So if just the green sparkly letters catch someone's eye, "Make Life Big" is a one message. If you take the time to read the whole phrase, then you'll see the whole quote, "It's the little things that make life big." It can help to make longer titles easier to process I think. 

Otherwise a pretty simple page. I'm really trying to do pages that focus the eye on the picture, although in this case the title was probably just as important, so I've been keeping my backgrounds simpler (or trying to anyway).

Friday, September 7, 2012

I'm still feeling my way with this space, trying to figure out how to work it into my life as a regular thing, thinking about the kinds of things I want to share and talk about, wondering what might be interesting. But I thought I might start with a self-portrait. This is from last March, but it just happens to be on the computer I'm at right now. So why not?!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Posting got away from me over the holiday weekend ... much like exercising, and eating sensibly! But I've got thoughts scrabbling around in my head so I ought to do something with them.

I am feeling a pull to start (or re-start depending on how you look at it) doing morning pages. Except actually doing them first thing in the morning. I've never been able to pull this off because I am emphatically NOT a morning person. But I somehow think that if I'm going to keep up this blogging thing, I'm going to need fodder for what to talk about. That's been a big part of my failure to keep blogging in the past. But if I have a couple pages of thoughts down on paper first thing then maybe I can grab on to stuff to talk about.

I mean, my life is just not that exciting. But what was that phrase I saw this morning ... "It's the little moments that make life big." I'm working on believing that. I mean, I've been doing Project Life for two years. Little snippets of my daily life are worth remembering and documenting!

So we'll see. I am not often all that coherent when I wake up so I'm not sure how that writing first thing in the morning would work. The one other time I tried it, it was NOT a success. But its all about change around here lately, so maybe its something to try. Or at least its a good thing to think about.

If nothing else, there is value in sitting down in front of a piece of paper and thinking about what I want this blog space to be. That. I can do.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

a new adventure...

I keep starting and abandoning blogs, but here's another attempt at getting one going. Since Shimelle's Learn Something New Every Day class starts today I thought it might be a good spark to at least get something written every day!

Our day one homework is the following:

My name is _______ and today is the first of September 2012. The last big adventure of my life would probably be... Finish that thought. What do you define as your last big adventure? Do that, and we’ll carry on very, very soon.  

My name is Stephanie and today is the first of September 2012. The last big adventure of my life would probably be...

...probably be our recent trip to Johnstown, but it could equally be performing in our radio shows, one of my very occasional trips to NYC, dressing up and doing a show in the park ... almost anything really.