Monday, August 29, 2011

Case Study Challenge #54

Have I been so darn busy in the last four months that I've not had time for the Case Study Challenge?  Indeed I have!

Imagine my surprise when I find out that this week's challenge is "no restrictions and no given inspiration."  It's signature style . . . to do what you love most and pull out your favorite supplies and make something that says YOU!! 

I'm a mish-mosh.  My style depends on the day.  People say that I'm "linear."  But I like die cuts and stamps and mixing them together.  I like paints, markers, stickles, and anything that gives dimension.  I like ribbon and ink . . . and things that unfortunately take time to dry!  And I also like to use up what I have. 

So for this card I used all those things I love!  I started with Bazzill cardstock base and some Bo Bunny Dot paper.  I used a Cottage Cutz die and a My Creative Time Stamp.  I embellished my die cuts and stamp with stickles, markers, and some crystal lacquer for the candy corn.  Add a little bit of ribbon . . . and some time to dry!

Lots of time to dry!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Scrapping Cottage Challenge #4

Unable to sleep as I listen to the crazy wind outside . . . leftover remnants of Hurricane Irene.  So why not work on another challenge (while I still have electricity! 

I absolutely LOVE the Cottage Cutz Scalloped Doily.  What I especially love is the open space in the middle, as it's perfect for a stamped image, sentiment or both. 

I love navy and yellow together, so I decided to use some leftover scraps from a previous card for this sketch design.  I pulled in some navy cardstock for my card base, and cream cardstock for my doily and one border (as well as the inside of the card). 

My original design had all the holes poked from the doily, but I preferred the look with the pieces still intact, so I cut another doily.  It gives it a certain tone on tone elegance rather than having the bright yellow and dark blue showing through.  

I used the "Grow March 2011" stamp set from Pink by Design Stamps.  Love that it has outline and fill stamps! 

A simple, fun design. 

Mojo Monday 205 - Sketch Challenge

While I spent most of my weekend watching coverage of the hurricane, I did manage to get a little creativity to flow . . . enough to tackle the Mojo Monday challenge!

In typical fashion, I pulled some coordinating pattern paper and cardstock from my bin.  I used a scallop punch and snowflake punch for my borders . . . some twine, some ribbon, and button and a stamp from My Creative Time (love that stamp!).

Looking forward and hoping to have the time to jump into next week's challenge as well!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

He's Speaking My Language!

Nothing papercrafty today!  Just a story . . . 

Did you read my post . . . "Sometimes I Quote Movies."  It was last week, I believe.  And people who know me well know that sometimes I do quote movies.  I quote them a lot!  Random quotes from movies just spring from my vocabulary.  It is true. 

The same cannot be said for my husband.  The man cannot remember what I said to him last night, let alone what came from a movie.  I think he is annoyed when I quote movies to him. 

So isn't this an interesting and shocking scenario.  My husband (let's call him Rick, because that's is name, and sometimes I pronounce it "wreck") is a bit of a combination of hoarder man and OCD boy.  He can stress out about the nerdiest stuff in the world, but other things that are right in his face . . . nothing.  And when you explain these vast differences . . . he does get a bit quizzical, but it likely won't change him.  

Here is the situation . . . Hurricane Irene forecasts are coming fast and furious.  And I come home talking about it, because I work for an insurance company.  It's all around me.  So I'm a little stressed about being pulled from my regular work to go work at our company's catastrophe center.  I'm feverishly trying to get my "work life" in order.  I come home to "Wreck" the other night.  He mentions a generator and how we should have one to keep our fairly new sump pump running when we lose power.  Our basement is going to flood.  I hear him, but I somehow hear, "blah, blah, blah" between all the important parts. 

I mock him.  You won't be able to find a generator unless you go right now.  In a flash, he is gone.  I can't help but wonder how this man who is too tired to do a thing every night of the week has suddenly mustered up the energy to go shopping for generators.  He returns with stories of his evening.  He bought one . . . but then talked with a man in a parking lot (as men often do at the Home Depot) and then he ran to another store (under advisement from parking lot man) to buy a second generator that is cheaper and has more power than the first.  With "more power" generator in his possession, he goes back to Home Depot and returns the first.  

Seriously?  All in one night.  Is this the same man who is usually asleep in front of the television by now?  

O.K., so generator comes home.  He talks about it all excited.  It will power the sump pump and refrigerator.  Really?  No air conditioning?  I'm moving into my car when we lose the power.  He is obviously disappointed in my lack of enthusiasm. 

So then comes the on-line research mode where suddenly this man becomes an expert on generators.  He could now teach a class on it, I think.  

He spends Thursday night out buying supplies to hook up his generator (two nights in a row of an awake state).  

Friday morning comes the fun part.  Let me just say . . . after nearly 30 years of marriage this man should know one thing about me.  I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON.  Do not wake me with happy news.  Do not wake me with sad news. And most importantly, do not wake me in Henny Penny (Chicken Little) fashion and tell me the sky is falling.  

This man has never learned.  Friday morning while I'm trying to sleep, it's the constant, constant panic mode boy known as "Wreck" who is coming in and out of my morning dreams.  He is listing all the things that have to be done before we lose power.  He is telling me what he expects of me.  Between ramblings, I am just trying to sleep.  By the time I do fully wake up, I'm madder than a mosquito at a mannequin factory and he is gone.  I shower, get dressed, cool down from my anger, and then I call him at work, and I tear into that boy.  

Seriously folks . . . I do not mind helping.  I'm a worker.  But it's all in the delivery!  You come at me with your "Chicken Little" attitude, and I'm running the other way.  Our conversation on the phone lasted about ten minutes, and nine minutes was me yelling.  He had possession of the other minute, and I was two winded and angry to know what he said.  But I know that I said I wanted a detailed list of what he wanted me to do sent via e-mail to me at work. 

So a few hours later I send a quick e-mail in the afternoon and I say, "Where is my list?  Do we need batteries or water?  I can go out and buy them."  

His typed response . . . which speaks to the "hoarder" in him . . . 

            If you knew how many batteries I had, you would have me committed. 

My thought . . . I have news for you.  I would have you committed even without the battery information.  

But here is the funny part.  He goes into a rant about everything he is going to do, and then he talks again about his generator (he is so proud).  This is what he says . . .

      Looking through the manual, I think the generator will run the sump pump, refrigerator, fan and fluorescent light or two.  

      We could run the coffee maker or microwave when the sump pump is turned off, or unplug the refrigerator.  

Here is where it gets really good for me . . . 

Wait for it . . . 

      Remember the Apollo 13 movie.  "It's all about sequencing the devices that draw power." or something like that.  

That single line was the ice-breaker to the fight.  Whether he knew it or not, he was speaking my language.  A movie quote for the queen of movie quoting!  (I'm sure he does not know . . . he does not read my blog.)

He's still a wreck!  He's still a battery hoarder.  He's still a nerd.  But the "fight" fizzled out.  I don't think anyone won. 

What's scary . . . I've already moved on to the next one.  He does not know this.  He is clueless.  Woman remember everything.  We drag up crap from five . . . eight . . . twelve . . . seventeen years ago to use as ammo in an argument.  

Now that I know he can go to three stores shopping, and actually think and reason with money (when he has told me in the past that he is just SO TIRED at night) . . . now that I know that he can go shopping two nights in a row . . . now that I know he can spend a third night in an awake state hooking up a generator . . . I have ammunition for why he should get off the couch and fix a few things around this place.  

My line is ready when he's not moving off his spot on the couch on a Wednesday night in the not too distant future . . . "Uh, hon . . . pretend there's a hurricane in the forecast." 

And there the argument will begin!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Play Date Cafe Challenge #95

I came across this great challenge site last week:  The Play Date Cafe Challenge (PDCC).  What is super cool is that their challenge is all about color.  You just follow the color combination . . . and you're allowed to make whatever you want. I was super excited to play along last week,  but I just ran out of time.  So I made a point to go back again this week, and fell in love with the colors that were up for this week's challenge.  Check out the photo they've given for inspiration:

Those colors just made me want to get creative!  Aren't they awesome.  So I made a little card using some cardstock and pattern paper in the neighborhood of dark navy.  I just happened to recall having some scraps of pattern paper with a typewriter that I thought might be in the right color scheme.  I was able to dig it up, and then add tissue paper, seam binding and some flowers and stamping. 

One unique thing that I did on this one was to notch the front of my card, and add some paper on the inside of the card as an accent.  I just used a regular circle punch and measured to be sure I put my notches equally down from the top on each side.  I used the cut piece from one side as a guide for the second side so I wouldn't go too deep or not deep enough.  It was perfect!  It's a great way to tie ribbon so it holds, and I plan to use this technique again, as I love the look! 

My stamp came from Skipping Stones Design . . . it's actually called "Cancer Schmancer".  I found it recently while floating through some blogs, and I just knew I had to have it.  I was really touched by the sentiments after watching my brother battle and eventually lose his battle with cancer.  As much as I'd like to sweep it under the rug, I thought it would be nice to make some cards to encourage folks to Kick Cancer's Booty!  The set has a little bit of spunk and humor . . . and spunk and humor is needed when battling.  I didn't use the spunk and humor pieces for this card, so watch for them down the road. 

 I carried my color theme into the inside of the card as well.  Remember too that when you open the card, the ribbon is on the top part of the inside (tied around that notch).  So you get that splash of color on the inside as well.  

Love, love this challenge!  Can't wait to see next week's color scheme and play along. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sometimes I Quote Movies

One of my very favorite movies (and yes, I have many) is "When Harry Met Sally."  In many ways, and yet not at all, it reminds me of my relationship with my husband.  I know it sounds odd.  How can a movie remind you, but yet not remind you?  Because the situation was different.

I met my husband in a diner . . . we spent a lot of time at the diner.  I just recently dug up pictures of me working at the diner, and I made a scrapbook layout using The Company Kit.  While I had not gotten around to telling my story (the journal block is missing from the photo below), I will definitely plan to tell the story of meeting my future husband at this diner . . . and never having to serve coffee again!  

My "diner days" at A.C. Petersen Farms in Simsbury, Connecticut.

When I think of Harry and Sally, they were friends before anything else.  And I think they annoyed each other more than anything else.  I met my husband when I was sixteen.  He was that annoying customer that would not leave the restaurant in a timely manner.  I also ran into him at Great Pond State Forest one day, much like Harry and Sally ran into each other at the airport.  Like Harry and Sally, we had many an annoying conversation. 

What was the same . . . many scenes in restaurants.  There was the famous "I'll Have What She's Having" line which is classic.  Did I ever fake "such a thing" in a diner?  Absolutely not.  So it's a little the same, but different.  And if you are confused about what I'm talking about here, WATCH THIS MOVIE. 

Sally Albright's famous ordering of food . . . "I'd like the pie heated and I don't want the ice cream on top, I want it on the side, and I'd like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it, if not then no ice cream just whipped cream but only if it's real; if it's out of the can then nothing."  . . . reminds me of my restaurant days, although I was the one taking those orders.  My husband would say that it reminds him of me.  I am a bit picky.  Like Sally, I just want it how I want it.  

Did Rick and Debbie drive from Chicago to New York after college?  Well, no.  But we've driven many places to see hockey games and we've had many an annoying conversation in a vehicle (much like Harry and Sally).  Did my husband ever attempt to spit seeds out the window of the car, and later realize that the window was up as the seeds hit the glass?  Well, no.  But I could totally see him doing it!  CLASSIC!

Harry Burns . . . "I had that dream again where I'm making love, and the Olympic judges are watching. I'd nailed the compulsories, so this is it, the finals. I got a 9.8 from the Canadians, a perfect 10 from the Americans, and my mother, disguised as an East German judge, gave me a 5.6. Must have been the dismount."  Hmmm . . . I've never had that dream, but I can certainly relate to poor Harry, seeking mom's approval.

One of my favorite, favorite exchanges . . . 

Sally Albright: Well, if you must know, it was because he was very jealous, and I had these days of the week underpants.
Harry Burns: Ehhhh. I'm sorry. I need the judges ruling on this. "Days of the weeks underpants"?
Sally Albright: Yes. They had the days of the week on them, and I thought they were sort of funny. And then one day Sheldon says to me, "You never wear Sunday." It was all suspicious. Where was Sunday? Where had I left Sunday? And I told him, and he didn't believe me.
Harry Burns: What?
Sally Albright: They don't make Sunday.
Harry Burns: Why not?
Sally Albright: Because of God.

I love Harry's "game show buzzer Ehhhhh!"  But I was wicked jealous of Sally's days of the week underpants because I had friends growing up who had them.  Talk about an organized way of figuring out which pair to wear on which day.  You would not have to decide between the tighty whitey pair, or the other tighty whitey pair.  Although in all likelihood . . . I'd definitely mess it up.  I'd be wearing Wednesday on Monday, Tuesday on Friday.  The universe would shift!  

And a line I used before I was forty . . . "And, I'm gonna be forty."  To which Harry interjected and said something to the effect of "In eight years?"

"But it's there. It's just sitting there, like some big dead end."

I'm fifty now.  I remember when that line seemed appropriate.  Now it makes me feel wicked old. 

What's the point of my rambling?

There is no point.  Just like there is no point to . . . "Repeat after me . . . Waiter . . . there is too much pepper on my paprikash . . . but I would be proud to partake of your pecan pie . . . pecaaaaan piiiiiie!"

Yep . . . no point at all.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Peachy Keen Sketch Challenge #57

I had way too much creative fun with the Peachy Kenn Sketch Challenge!  With my scraps of paper from a past layout in hand, I got to work.  Here is the sketch . . .

And here is my design!  Check out my tissue box (which makes me extremely proud).  It is popped, and it has a little tissue coming from it!  Super, super cute!  I want to mass product hundreds and just surround myself with them. 

My tissue box up close and personal . . . 

I do so love a challenge!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Denami Designs Mini Cards Blog Hop

I'm excited once again to be a part of Denami Designs Blog Hop, as I love their stamps (especially those little chickies).  You should have arrived here from Tina's blog.  

If you are looking to start at the beginning of the hop, you can click here to get to the Denami Designs Blog where the fun and creativity begins.  It is also link you can click if you get lost along the way.  You have until 11:59 p.m. PST August 15th to leave comments on the blogs to be eligible for prizes.  They are giving away three $20 gift certificates to their website.  

Big decisions on my project for mini-cards.  I had just gotten the Thanksgiving Chickies stamp set a few weeks back, and those little chicks were chirping away at me.   When I pulled them out . . . well, let's just say that birds of a feather flock together.  They brought their friends with them:  Pilgrim Chickies and  Pumpkin Chickies.  I had so much fun with these little stamps!  

I created six mini-cards.  I plan to use them to spread some Fall cheer and will probably punch one corner and tie with curling ribbon onto a loaf of pumpkin bread or some Fall treat or treasure (maybe on a pumpkin).  You could also use these for Thanksgiving Place Cards for your dining table.  

I used . . . 

  • Brown Bazzill cardstock but into 3" x 6" pieces and scored for 3" x 3" cards
  • Pattern Paper (double-sided) from Reminisce's new Fall line, cut into 2 3/4" squares
  • Bo Bunny Dark Orange Dot paper (punched into circles and scallops)
  • Cream Bazzill cardstock for stamping
  • Small Scallop Circle Punch
  • Medium Circle Punch
  • Olive Green Ribbon
  • Twinkling H2O Paints from Creative Imaginations
  • Stazon Black Ink

My designs were stamped in Black Stazon Ink, and then I used Twinkling H2O's to paint my chicks!  They've got a bit of a sparkle to them that you don't really see in the photos . . . but if you have used Twinkling H2O's, you know the sheen I'm talking about.  It is awesome! I punched my designs using a small scallop circle punch, and then adhered to a larger circle punch (cut from the Bo Bunny Dot Paper).  

Each card is a little different . . . I altered backgrounds, altered the stamps used, and altered where my "Give Thanks" sentiment was placed.  

I can't wait to put my little gift cards to use!  

Your next stop on the hop is the creative Larissa . . . who likely has something fabulous to inspire you!  

Don't forget to leave your comments to be eligible for the prizes, and I welcome you to become a follower of my blog as well.  Hope you were inspired to put your DeNami Design stamps into action!  

Keep creating!  

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Way Too Cool Indeed

I did say I would share more of my layouts and projects using "The Company Kit" . . . didn't I?  This kit has been cathartic for me . . . because it is just perfect for my memories of older years.  I picked it up from my local scrapbook store (New England Scrapbook Company).  It totally has me moving on my old photos. 

Here is a blurry current day photo of my 110/120 orange photos from the 70's. Some might ask, "Why did you post this blurry photo of your layout, and not a clearer picture?"  

Whether I post a clear picture or not . . . the photo is what it is.  It is a photo of a layout that tells a story about my past.  Whether this photo is blurry or clear, the story does not change.   

The same can be said for my faded 70's photos.  They may be hideous, but the story they tell is not hideous.  It is a crazy story about a 16 year old girl who was forced to move from Michigan to Connecticut in her junior year of high school.  She left behind a house that she loved because it had three floors.  She left behind a younger sister in a group home.  She left many great friends.  She left behind a close-knit neighborhood.  Upon arriving in Connecticut, she moved to what seemed like "Little House in the Big Woods" in comparison to her Michigan home.  She wondered when she would get to see her sister again.  She had to try to make new friends with people who had already formed friendships and had little room for someone to fit in.  

What's a girl to do?  

This girl went and got a job and saved some money.  She made friends with someone who gave her a chance.  She spent some time at that person's house, where there were horses.  She wanted to buy a horse of her own, but was told "No!"  Said girl . . . who shall remain nameless . . . hangs out a bit and gets to know the ropes about this "horse thing."  She finds a horse that is for sale and she buys it on her own and makes arrangements to board monthly at the friend's house.  She does not tell her parents until after the deal is done.  Parents arrive that night and are introduced to large roan mare.  They are a bit quiet about the whole thing.    

Said girl rides into the "big woods" of Great Pond State Forest on her roan mare (named Roanie).  She takes photos of her horse with her 110 camera.  Photos go into a box and become faded and orange.  She makes a scrapbook layout thirty-four years later in spite of the faded photos.  


Because the memories of a girl surviving change in such a strong and positive way are just way too cool not to memorialize.

Way too cool indeed!  

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Check out the 5 & Dime

I remember the term "5 & Dime" store, although when I was growing up in the 60's, there wasn't much that you could get for a nickel or a dime, except penny candy (that wasn't a penny). 

What a thrill this month to be able to design pages with the New England Scrapbook Company Kit, full of October Afternoon 5 & Dime paper and embellishments, along with coordinating ribbons and Bazzill Cardstock.  This paper is great for present day photos, but it was screaming for me to use my old photos, and that's exactly what I did.  I followed my instincts on this one. 

I seriously have been holding back on the old photos for three reasons . . . 
  1. We had limited photos back then.  You didn't take a lot of photos, because you had to pay for film and development.  You didn't know in advance if your shots came out.  There were no two-inch screens that gave you an idea that all was well.  When you would have them developed and you would anxiously open the envelope, it was like a crap shoot!  You either one the prize . . . or you were seriously disappointed (usually a little bit of both).  
  2. I had a lot of those awkward polaroid's with the white edges or the nearly one-inch bottom borders.  Some of them are super thick.  They seem to be different sizes.  You can't really cut them down because they could crack (and some have cracked and are peeling).  
  3. I had the 110 and 126 photos.  If you have those photos, you know exactly where I'm going with this.  They were the biggest photography disaster ever (in my opinion).  Sure they were beautiful at one time, but now they are faded and orange.  There is little to no color at all under the orange haze. 
So I had a little heart to heart with myself.  Those photos are not going to change; they are what they are.  So I might as well bite the bullet and do something with them.  

My favorite layout of all is this fabulous one of my sister, Tammy, who passed away two years ago.  I am biased.  I believe she was the most beautiful little sister . . . she had beautiful sparkling eyes!  She was a special needs child who never walked or talked.  I would have given the world to have a sister who could run and jump and play.  But growing up with her was full of lessons learned . . . about patience, acceptance, tolerance of others' ignorance, and gratitude for the hand that life deals you.  

In the coming days I will share some of my other layouts using this beautiful and awesome kit!  It really is the perfect compliment to my "mish-mosh" of photos.   

You know what . . .it is all part of our history.  Life isn't perfect, nor are our memories and photos.  A little lesson learned from the 110 and 126 film era . . . 

Sometimes life is a little faded, like our memories.
Thankfully, life is not all orange-y.  

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

It Stinks!

You know what stinks?

When you're creative time gets usurped by your nine to five job!  HAPPY to be employed full-time (don't get me wrong) . . . but when it really starts to eat into the time that feeds your soul, then you start to feel kind of "gunky."

Listen, it's not that organizing training for insurance adjusters and figuring out the ins and outs of a learning management system doesn't feed my soul just a bit (because it SO does), but those are side dishes for my soul.  It's not the main course, and it's definitely not dessert!

I made a little something from my leftover scraps.  And my skunk does not stink.  Isn't it scent-sational?  Those little bits and pieces of leftover layouts can go a long way toward making a cute little card.  The die cuts are all Quickutz from my stash . . . market tag, skunk, watering can and flowers (although the stems were just hand cut).  The grass was made using decorative edge scissors (rarely pull those puppies out).