Monday, July 21, 2014


Dealing with a sore throat today. No fair. Isn't there a law against getting sick in the summertime?

Learning to use clipping masks in Photoshop. 
Believing every word of that. I could use a rainstorm right about now. It's insanely humid and still. Did I mention the sore throat? How can my only comfort -- hot tea -- be making everything worse instead of better? 

Digging my daughter's Instagram pics from Russia, like these:
The graffiti in our neighborhood doesn't say anything as sweet as that above: "Anya, I love you." Most of the scrawls around here translate to "Obviously, I opted not to pursue a college degree." 

Reading the third installment in one of my favorite series ever:
So far, so good! It's engrossing.

Oh. Wow. What's that I hear? Rain? 
Would it be bad for my sore throat if I went outside to dance in the puddles? Just a little? 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I'll Tell You Why I Love Him

It's because when he calls my name,
and I turn, I see that he has donned zombie glasses.
Though this face makes me crack up,
it's also completely irresistible to me.

Love really is strange. I so dig that.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Finding the Words: The Self-Portrait Page

I say it every year, so it's about time for me to say it again: summer scrapping really is the best kind of scrapping. I am all about the flow right now.

A few weeks ago, I splurged on some goodies from Studio Calico, and yesterday, I created this page.
It's been a while since I created a self-portrait layout. I always feel a little awkward creating pages that are focused on me, especially in a world of selfies gone wild, but from time to time, it is important to turn that gaze around and take a look within. I can't just be the scrapbooker-as-spectator. The self isn't static, and thus, periodic "snapshot" layouts should be welcome -- even necessary -- additions to one's albums.
I spilled the random contents of my head here, taking a fragmented approach to the journaling.
What unifies the fragments is that every thought is genuine, emerging from my muddle of a brain, and each one was recorded as it popped into my head.
A stream-of-consciousness technique works wonders on a self-portrait page, especially if you don't consider yourself/your self as a subject about which you can generalize simply or easily.  Plus, it's honest; it's direct. Just spend a few minutes jotting down your thoughts (and even your questions), not worrying about the order or the coherency. You aren't telling a story or writing a summary; you're just sharing a peek at what the journaling card on this page refers to as "the weird and wonderful."

To jump start the journaling, ask yourself questions; it's almost like having an interview with yourself.

What have you noticed lately? What's been bothering you? What have you been back-and-forth about? What made you smile last? What little things have delighted you in a big way? What have you discovered about yourself recently? What's on your mind?

What lies on the other side of these questions deserves to find its way onto a page or two or ten, don't you agree?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Fourth, One Week Later

Just one week ago, we were celebrating the Fourth of July with barbecue, fireworks, and family.  I pulled together a few snapshots from the day and a few of my favorite Crate Paper goodies, and created a layout to document our celebration. 
Rather than stick to a standard red, white, and blue theme, I added a few more colors to the mix. I went with a listing approach for the journaling, compiling a series of moments from the day. When it comes to journaling on holiday layouts, I find that concentrating on specific images and sensory details makes it easier to avoid generalizing or stating the obvious about the holiday. The more specific the details, the more personal the layout. 
More details can be found on the Crate Paper blog. 

Thanks for visiting! 

Monday, July 7, 2014

In Just a Few Days...

I can't believe that in just a few days, Two Peas will close. If you are a pea and you have not yet made arrangements to save the items in your gallery, keep in mind that in the FAQ section of the site, Two Peas has posted that "this content will only be available through July 10, 2014 11:59 p.m. CST."

Since the Garden Girl layouts belong to Two Peas, the design team can't share them in galleries elsewhere. If you were wanting to save any of those, keep that in mind. Mine are saved to my computer, and most have been shared on this blog, but I also have a Pinterest pinboard for them. They've been posted in chronological order.
Gosh, it's crazy to think that I generated all of these projects over the last three years. Being a Garden Girl really was a dream come true for me, and I will always be grateful to Kristina for welcoming me to the team. 

Over the next few days, I'll be going through my bookmarks at Two Peas, to be sure that I have saved the layouts that have inspired me over the years.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


I read. I read books. I have trouble with e-books. I can't seem to form the kind of attachment to them that I have to actual hardcovers and paperbacks.  This is highly inconvenient, I understand, as I do not have enough house to house all of my books and more and more stacks accumulate month after month, but this is less of a discouraging problem and more of a delightful one for me. Just as the cat lady accepts that someday her cats will eat her, so do I accept that someday I will be found crushed under an avalanche of books.

My post this week on the October Afternoon blog offers an 8.5" x 11" sketch as well as a peek at my stacks -- just a glimpse, really, of those on my nightstand. The page offers proof of my bibliophilia.
Appropriately, I used the OA "Public Library" collection.  
I also tried my hand (or my mouse, really) at turning my handwriting into a die-cut file.
I really like how it turned out! In fact, I like it so much that I am happy to share it with anyone who feels the same. You can download the free .studio file right here. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

You Realize What This Means.

It's July 1. Exactly a month from now, my summer vacation will be done.  Just as I was getting used to the aimlessness and the sleeping in and the trips to Starbucks with the dog in tow, I've hit the halfway point of summer and it's like someone just flipped over an hourglass. Time to carpe that summer diem, yo.

I think I did just that with the July kits from JBS Mercantile, making the most of them and losing myself in the sense of "flow" that comes with creating.

This month I worked with the Papercrafting and Antiquarian kits, both of which are very July, don't you think?
My first project makes use of the exclusive flamingo-print paper found in the Papercrafting kit. 

I knew just what to do with it. My mother-in-law is not so much a cat lady as she is a flamingo lady. We are always sending her flamingo-themed items, so of course when her birthday rolled around this year, I had the perfect paper for her card. 
 I've got to give it up to Lisa Dickinson for designing this paper!

The Papercrafting kit, as you have noticed, includes quite a bit of red, white, and blue. I nearly put my hand over my heart as I opened the box when I received the kit.  It would have plain wrong and downright unpatriotic of me to have overlooked a page celebrating Independence Day.
I inked a few Lawn Fawn fireworks stamps with some daubers and repeatedly stamped the image on some cardstock, over which I printed my journaling. 
I so love the months of the year flair that Jenni has been adding to the kits. 
You may notice that dark blue paper peeking out from behind the layers. It's cut from a sheet of oh-my-gosh-I-need-300-more-sheets-of-this blueprint paper from the Antiquarian kit.  I fought the urge to hoard the rest of the paper and gave it a home on this layout: 
If you are fan of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, then you will immediately recognize the quote that I used here. After seeing the movie for the first time back in December, my daughter tweeted, "Mark my words, I'll travel the world." A few months later, she was accepted into a study abroad program, and a few weeks ago, my adventurous girl got on a plane and off she went. The quote from the movie  has been a mantra of hers, and it was the best way to communicate how I felt about her sendoff. 
I dusted off the ol' die-cut machine and coaxed it into cutting cursive letters, which was not easy. For some reason my Cameo has been ripping paper as it cuts, and I'm not quite sure how to address that. Miracle of miracles, the title letters emerged on my third try.  I painted them with some Gold Glitter Glamour Dust paint (from a past JBS kit) and then misted them lightly with Tropicana Teal and Mustard Color Shine mists. 

With my daughter off in foreign lands, I've been spending a lot of time with my other daughter, my fur daughter.  This morning she insisted on an "us-ie." 
She holds the camera like a pro, doesn't she? 

Like any pet of mine, she has a bazillion names. I've taken to calling her "Daughter Beezus" lately.  One of the layouts that I've been working on documents a few of the names to which she answers. 
I had some fun with watercolors here, streaking them across the background. There's also a painted piece among the rectangles that I pulled together on the layout. 
Those gold accents -- bestill my heart. 

I also worked in watercolors on this layout, which is based on a PageMaps sketch. The JBS Mercantile team joined PageMaps as contributing guests this month. 
To create the circle pattern in the background, I used one of the exclusive stamps from the Papercrafting kit and stamped it repeatedly to form a grid. I then filled in the circles with red, yellow, and blue watercolor paint, and then mixed the blue and red to create purple, which I added last. 
I brightened up the kraft-colored letters by swiping various colors of ink daubers over them. 
Every time I look at this page, I crave shave ice. 

The last of my pages from the July gallery uses a mix of papers from the Papercrafting kit and some of the vintage items from the Antiquarian kit. 
The "Good Advice" label was the source of the page concept. It became the title but also the catalyst for the journaling. 
I sure got a lot of mileage out of this polka-dotted vellum! 
Check out the rest of the JBS Mercantile gallery here. 

That's it!  I've been merrily scrapping the summer away, as you can see.  ;)  Carpe scrap, I say.