Thursday, September 27, 2012

35 Years

Now I can check off another technique on my try-it-myself list. It looked easy enough. Punch squares, cut in half, and arrange to form chevron design. Sounds pretty easy too. But it wasn't that simple. I forgot to take into account those pesky little stripes of the plaid pattern and how difficult they are to match up. So they're a little off. Ooops.

But they do make a fine page element, stretched across the top like that, drawing their colors from those in the picture below it.

With the chevron design taking up most of the page, and the photo 2/3rds of the rest, I had only a tiny spot left to work in my title, a bit of journaling, and grouping of embellishments. I tucked in the bingo cards to sort of frame the cluster, and bring in some more color, then used pop-dots to give dimension to my flat sticker and fussy-cut flowers.  It turned out pretty nice with my simple title overlapping the journaling card.

35 could that be?! I was a child bride. Must have been, right?!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Working Backwards

When beginning a scrapbook page, I might first choose a photo and find papers that work. Or I might want to use a certain kit or collection, and sort through my photos for one that will coordinate with the already chosen supplies. But I've never done it this way before: I chose the TECHNIQUE first!

I pinned a wonderful mixed media piece of art many months ago, and it became the inspiration for what I hope will become a wonderful scrapbook page. Then, I played with my Photoshop Elements and Sure Cuts A Lot software to develop a cut file for me to use. A quatrefoil sort of background was my goal. Here's the peek at what I've put together:

And here's the problem: I love this so much that I don't want to ruin it with a photo! Crazy, isn't it?!

So now my mission is to find something that will work with the already finished base to my page. Oh boy...

Friday, September 14, 2012

An Eventful Day

I have a page to share, one which features Scraptastic's September Noted kit and a pretty picture of my middle son's fraternity house. You can skip ahead to the layout and closeups...or read the backstory below. It was an eventful day, the day that photo was taken.

A week before classes began at the University of Alabama, we delivered Chris to his new abode, the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity house. From the outside, it looked so very elegant. Ha! Inside was quite a different story. Actually, the fraternity had switched houses this summer, and there was still a lot of renovation work going on. Nice new showers had been installed upstairs but the kitchen was still a work in progress. Classes would begin in a week and the workmen had not finished. We were even more surprised when we saw what was to be Chris' room for the next two semesters. Tommy thought it resembled a jail cell, with four cinder block walls and a sandy cement floor. Uh-oh. We piled all his stuff in one corner, where it would remain until he could rustle up a broom and dustpan and clean up! He'd need carpet or some kind of flooring. His bed was still on order. The desk and bookcase had to be put together. Whew! Quite a lot of work still needed to be done to make this place a home. 

But we couldn't dally.

We had to get back home.
While we were driving up to Tuscaloosa with Chris, Brendan was back home navigating the world of doctors, lab tests, cat scans and insurance forms. We were being constantly updated by phone. The pain he had during the night (he assumed it was something simple like a UTI or kidney stone) was determined to be appendicitis. The doctor would operate tomorrow. TOMORROW?! As I know it, an abscessed appendix needs removal ASAP, before it gets worse and bursts. So we called a surgeon friend of ours who questioned the wait as well. Thankfully he took over the case, and scheduled surgery right away. We were crossing the Mississippi/Louisiana state line when Bobby called to say he was beginning the operation. It would take about 45 minutes. 

We drove straight to the hospital, and sure enough, they had just finished up. Everything had gone well.

(A couple of days later, Chris had installed a wood-look laminate tile floor in his room, and Brendan was resting comfortably at home.)

Here's my page, with the deceptively elegant facade of the Delta Sigma Phi house. A month later, with the renovations complete, the common rooms newly furnished, and Chris' room set up, it should now look less like Animal House. I'll definitely need pictures.

Punching a border, the triangular scraps caught my eye and ended up as confetti on my page:

I love how these wood veneer pieces help to tell my story:

There's a bit of misting, inking, and stamping going on here:

Patterned papers are Studio Calico, bits and pieces are Elle's Studio, and flags are October Afternoon. Almost everything on this page comes from the Scraptastic September kit, Noted. Exceptions are the car veneer and number strips which were in Scraptastic's September kit, Just Beachy, and the foam letters from American Crafts.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Just Beachy

Good morning! Today I have two pages created from the Just Beachy kit from Scraptastic. These photos have me feeling nostalgic and really missing the white sand beaches, that soothing sound of the ocean, and the relaxing days of our summer vacation.

First up is a picture of my son coming in from a few hours on the waves. His tropical flavored swim suit and bright yellow board accentuate the colorful papers and vice versa.


I began my layout with a big yellow sun-like circle, off-set to one side of the page. I then layered a few more colors and patterns, working in a strip of that awesome sailboat paper. A dark blue awning stripe hangs beneath the boats, with randomly sized scallops cut by hand. The blue sideways banner, divided by my photo, becomes the perfect place for my title, with "Surf's Up" cut from patterned paper, and letter stickers making up the rest.  Here too I find a place to layer some of the fun stickers from the kit.

A little banner was made to drape across the top of my layout, but before adhering it to the page, I had one more thing to do. Using a star punch, small circle punch, and regular hole punch, I made confetti from my paper scraps, scattered them about, and adhered them to the page in an arc from top left to bottom right. I might have gone a little overboard, but I do like the celebratory feel it gives to the page.

My second layout is somewhat subdued, using the more muted papers and accents, those that compliment the soft colors of my photo. Two rectangles of patterned paper, criss-crossed on the white cardstock background make up the base of my page.

I enjoyed tucking all the little bit and pieces from the kit behind and around my photo: a tab here, a flag there, a big sun and checklist.

A trio of yellow triangles draws the eye to the real starfish in Kevin's hands. I handcut a simple starfish from paper to decorate my title. The Scraptastic negative cut "beach" card worked well as a title block, with the smaller letter stickers making up the first word.

Their sails painted white, two of the little wooden boats from the kit found their place on a blue sea sticker. Aren't they adorable?!

Hope you enjoyed these two pages from September's Just Beachy kit. I'll be back later this month to inspire you with two more layouts from Scraptastic's current kits.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


With the B sides of Echo Park's Paradise Beach collection papers splayed out on my desk, I recognized a virtual rainbow of richness. The deep colors of the collection, and the fact that I had captured a beautiful rainbow over the beach this summer, inspired me to recreate this color spectrum on my scrapbook page! After arranging the colorful strips of patterned paper, I filled in the left side with corresponding tidbits of color-bingo cards, stickers, die-cuts, fussy-cuts, ticket stubs, labels, chipboard, and more.

Placing this box of color slightly to the top of the page gave me extra room along the bottom for a title. But oh...what to do now? I tried EVERYTHING in my stash. I even used a rainbow assortment of distress inks on white foam Thickers. But they looked too washed out for my brightly colored page. I was down to my last idea and it was this: Why not use the same premise for my title letters? It would certainly match if I used the SAME papers to back a negative cut that's what I did.  Here's a closeup:


And here's the finished page:

It was fun choosing and arranging my colorful accents:


I just LOVE colorful scrapbook pages, and this one is a fave!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hurricane Isaac

We thought we were prepared for this hurricane. We thought it couldn't possibly do too much harm. It was only a Cat 1 we assured ourselves as we decided to shelter in place, riding out the storm at home, instead of evacuating. We had boarded up the back windows and stocked up on non-perishable food, water, and batteries. We'd be fine! And then Isaac decided to take his time, stall over the area, pound us with wind and rain, and move ever so slowly away.

It was 4:00PM on Tuesday when the lights went out. I was editing photos on the computer and dinner was cooking in the crockpot. Obviously I never thought we'd lose power so soon. The storm wasn't supposed to hit until the wee hours of the morning. But the wind had picked up and caused a wire to come out of the fuse on the pole outside our house. 7 families were now without power. This number would increase exponentially through the night until most of the metropolitan area of New Orleans was in the dark. Over 600,000 households would lose power in south Louisiana.

Here's what initially caused our outage:

We finished cooking dinner on the burner of our propane-fueled BBQ pit, then tried to entertain ourselves with games by candlelight. Here we are playing Chicken Foot dominoes, one of Kevin's favorites. It was going to be a long, long night.

Since the wind was blowing at the back of the house, we realized we could sit out on the front porch and be sheltered from the rain. We stood outside most of the night listening to Isaac's howling and watching transformers blow, their eerie blue-green sparks lighting up the distant skies. Every once in a while, the sound of the raging winds would scare me in, but a little later, I'd be back outside. Like watching a train wreck, I couldn't look away. Besides, there was nothing else to do in the dark, hot house but listen to the battery-powered radio give blow by blows of what I could witness myself.
We just had to wait out the storm.

Just before dawn, we could see one of our neighbors in the next block waving a flashlight around. A minute later, he was in his car shining headlights on his house. In the half-light of early morn, we could just make out what was concerning him. The huge oak tree in front of his house had toppled over.

A couple of days later, he would be standing outside watching a crew with a crane remove the tree from his roof.

Meanwhile, we had other worries. The rain was forecast to be several more inches and the streets were already flooding.

Although it continued to rain, we were never in a true deluge, and the water in the street went down after Brendan went outside with a rake to clear the storm drains of the branches and leaves that had fallen during the night.

From the back porch, we see that another neighbor's tree had split, but the branch just grazed the house.

Down the block however, a huge oak had crashed through the second story of another home causing significant damage. Only the horses seem unaffected.

Isaac's wind had certainly wreaked havoc. Most of the city was now in the dark and a dusk to dawn curfew was in place. Intersections were particularly dangerous.

And thus began our 123 hours without power.