Sunday, March 6, 2016

Woof! Woof! or Remember When the Little Dog Came Home

After so many years of being a Labrador-loving family making room for big dogs, 2011 was the year we had Olivia pick out a puppy that would grow up to be her size. Something small enough that she could take walk it, wash it and groom it herself. Her choice was a little white Teddy Bear she named Cooper.

Olivia was so excited to have a dog of her very own, she couldn't wait to introduce him to her friends. They were just an enamored with little Cooper as we all had been. He was so cuddly and easy-going. The title for this page came from using the negative space cut using the Sure Cuts a Lot software. 
 We took Cooper for his first visit to the cabin a few weeks later. We realized quickly that this little guy was terrified of the water. He did not like being on the dock, near the lake, or even close to the hose. Olivia tried to comfort him on the dock in the morning, but he never warmed up to the idea.
 In the end, Cooper needed a bath and it was not a fun experience. He did get a chance to run wild and crazy the way dogs do after a bath in the open yard. This page was one of my favorites because of the mix of the patterned paper, the fun 'grassy' fringe and the VersaMark flowers on the homemade tag.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Scrapbook Saturday or How Could I Possible Get All This Done?

I recently found a whole Saturday to get away with my scrapbooking supplies loaded in my car and head over to my local Archivers for a 12-hour scrap marathon. The despair that comes from walking by the half-finished scrapbook page day after day in my work room became too much for me to handle, so I was forced to take action. It wasn't difficult to convince a couple of friends that this day just had to happen. (So sorry to K. who really paid the price for her scrapbooking obsession and ended up in the emergency room instead the scrapping room. It is a fear that many of us have - outsiders shaking their heads unable to understand how any one person could possibly have that many "craft supplies" in their car. Even though the car was damaged, her supplies were recovered without loss.)

Unpacking my scaled-downed supply pile was great motiviation. I was able to jump right in and start working on my prepped pages. I had spent the last few months selecting pictures, matching papers, ordering the left and right pages, and finding sketches, and now I was going to actually get down to business. It was fantastic!

It was such a great  day. I was able to put together all of my Christmas pictures. I have my new commitment to completing the journaling, and it was a motivator to try my handwriting a little more. I never did break out the Cricut. The lack of electrical outlets in the workroom made it more of a hassle than I needed. Instead, I was able to make use of my letter and sticker stash. Except for the glitter white letters for the "Snow Fun" layout that I had to buy while I was there. Sometimes you just have to give in to the call of the store.

I seemed to have lots of two-page layouts, but it was probably because the holidays seem to generate so many pictures. I did complete a page that is unusual for me: a one-page layout with only one photo - nothing more fun that the Thanksgiving centerpiece.  Besides, there tends to be no really interesting pictures at Thanksgiving in our family - mostly of food.

Thanks to all you who have been visiting - I hope you have been enjoying my layouts and projects. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Winter Slapped Me in the Face or Don't We Fondly Remember Fall?

I am not a real winter fan. I know that living in Minnesota and not finding the natural joy and beauty in the snow, ice and "crisp" fresh air of winter (which lasts from November to April, by the way) will probably be deemed a life mistake in my memoirs someday, but not having real, lasting snow until after Christmas and not seeing the first below zero air temps until the middle of January is A-OK in my book. Waking up this week in the morning darkness (thanks, daylight savings) is bad enough, but having the temperatures at -12 degrees with a chance of warming up to ZERO by the afternoon was a slap in the face from Old Man Winter. So I retreated to my scrapbook table with a cup of hot cocoa, got myself organized, and looked at pictures of warmer days. Memories of the cool and colorful days of autumn help take the sting of serious winter off my face. Remember the pumpkin patch? The corn maze? The giant chicken? The Halloween with out parkas and snowpants? (Wait...giant chicken?)
I dug in and committed to scrapping my way through fall. Here it is--giant chicken and all! I did make a promise to complete the journaling on each page before moving it to my album. There are whole years where the journaling is still blank - no matter what my great plan is, the journaling doesn't get done if I don't add it right away. Take that Old Man! Just wait until I start browsing last year's summer photos -- that will melt the ice cube you have for a heart!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

SVG Files or How My Cricut Needs a Friend

[Stars and Stripes-the title was a great free SVG file that perfectly with this page]

I remember standing in line at the scrapbook expo in the convention center after digging through the bins of die cuts. At the expo the die cut paper piecings were fifty cents to a dollar. They came in various sizes and fit every occasion and holiday. I left with a bag filled with pumpkins, ghosts, bubbles, leaves, fireworks, and strawberries. It was the only way to get those multi-layered of embellishments. Some even came with their own sequins.
[Lemon Slices-the two layered lemon slices seem simple, but this SVG file adds just the right element of monochrome texture]

With the Cricut came the chance to make all of our own letters, and when the cartridges with the various paper piecings came out, I had the same reaction as I did with the fonts - why do I want to spend $40-$80 for a single theme? I usually only wanted one or two of the images. That is why one of my favorite discoveries in the marriage of Cricut and Sure Cuts a Lot is the little extras I can create with the SVG files. [Giant Strawberry-this multi-layered strawberry was a little putzy, but a nice homemade change to the purchased die cuts I have used in the past. It also allowed me to select the shades of red that best fit the page rarher than being stuck with someone else's interpretation of "strawberry red."]

There are so many great SVG files available both free and for purchase online. These pages show some of the free files that I found at They have great packages to purchase and always a few freebies to tryout. They also have helpful video tutorials for those of us using the SCAL with the the layered designs for the first time. The designs are clean and simple.
[Happy Birthday- with so may fall birthdays, I was happy to find a few different titles to choose from.]

Other sites for free SVG files:

  1. SVGCuts (my first find and still my favorite)
  2. Tu J's and a Taco
  3. SVG Shop

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Kickin' It Like a Girl or Why Are There Only Three Types of Karate Paper?

Having the girl start with karate was a great idea. She is building strength, balance, coordination and confidence. We are so proud of her as she progresses through the the belts and competitions.The challenge for me is to create pages that highlight each event in a special and interesting way. Especially difficult is deciding what to do with the official certificates for each belt level. The certificates have no color which helps, but they are 8x11--hogging valuable real estate on a 12x12 page.
I know they are originals, but I cut them up anyway. I am sure that she will resent me for that (and a myriad of other things) when she is an adult, but I think I can take it.

The tournaments are a different challenge. Trying to capture the quick action of the individual form competition without the gold and orange glow of the gym floor coloring the photos vexed me for some time.

(OK, then I figured out the settings on my camera and had it filter it out at the last tournament.) Working with the gold haze and the blurry action, I was forced to be creative. In some I opted for the black and white versions. In others I just went with the blur and pretended I meant to do that.
Looking back over the collection, I feel like I have developed a rhythm in the whole karate theme. Seriously, there really are only three karate patterned papers in the universe, so I am being as selective as I can in using them. I'm always on the lookout for more. Hi-ayah!
Just a quick addition to this post-found a couple of great sites for a few more karate-themed papers and embellishments:

ScrappinStuff (martial arts)