Saturday, July 29, 2006

Day 1 of our Vacation

We've made it to Wisconsin! It's the longest day driving of this trip, we ended the day with 645 miles driven. We could see smoke in the sky from all of the fires in South Dakota. It seemed to be everywhere we looked. Nothing eventful happened today other than our children got along extremely well...all day, for which I give my thanks the Lord for every day miracles. My husband is about to take the kids to the pool for a quick way to tire them out. I'm going to curl up with a good book and just unwind.
Stay tuned for more updates!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Leaving Tomorrow...

We're leaving tomorrow...I can't believe it! I only have a couple more things to get done around here. It's all falling into place, which to me is a miracle! One more thing to cross off the list of things to do...My husband applied and has his international drivers permit/license. I've got the camera packed, battery charger packed and now to shove them all into the backpacks we bought.
I've saved all of the receipts for the items that we have bought so far, so I can do a layout on the cost of leaving for an international vacation...this is going to be a hoot! My idea for a layout is this...The money we save on airline tickets vs. how much we paid for the road trip, should be interesting.
Travel Journal- it's been made and I even have a pocket page adhered to the back cover to hold maps and notes. I've decided upon a book to bring on this journey, seems fitting to bring something British so I chose Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. I have this is paper back which is nice and light weight. I'm even bringing a couple of cross stitch projects to work on. Can you tell that I hate to be bored?
We hemmed and hawed about bringing the lap top, the final decision, yes we're bringing the darn thing. Hopefully we'll be able to get a FREE Internet connection (I hate having to pay). I can tell you all about the places we've visited and such. But in case I am unable to get on line come back and check out my blog after the 10th. Then again since we are flying via a hop we could be home as late as the 13th of August.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

One more day then we leave!

I can not believe that I am down to the wire. One more day then we leave for our trip to Where ever the Air Plane takes us! Today is my daughter Hannah's 11th birthday (Happy Birthday Sweetheart). We spent the day getting things that we were unable to get last night. Sandals for her, a portable DVD player since we are flying on the NO frills airline, LOL! It's amazing how inexpensive those portable DVD players are now days. I'm quite satisfied with the price I paid today and it was a brand name no less. Now for me to test drive this thing to make sure it works before we drag it along on this trip.
The European power converter and plugs was quite the challenge to find. I thought that our base exchange would carry it, bit Noooooooooo .The other great challenge...finding sandals for an 11 year old that are flat! Now I can find them in varying degrees and all with heels, but she wants flat sandals. She's in that in-between stage/size 4 1/5 to 5 and let me tell you that is one hard size to find! Finally I was able to find a pair...her favorite brand too, Lands End. Sears actually had her size and they were 50% off. We got everything that we set out to find and it only took us from 9 am until 3 pm to get it all. Yes it's a fair assumption to say that we are tired!
I'm back to getting the laundry done and clothes picked out for the trip. Later on tonight I will start packing everything up. Tomorrow it's off to the Post Office to stop the mail, drop off the house key with a girlfriend and then on Saturday, Varooooooooom! We're off! We should be back sometime between the 10th and the 13th.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Military Layouts

Most folks that I have met through scrapbooking generally assume that because I am married to a career military man that I have tons of military themed layouts under my belt. Well this may surprise you, I don't, or at least not in a sense that they or you think that I would. I'm not into using camouflage papers (oh heavens no) or store bought embellishments that resemble something military. I try to use actual items from my husbands uniform. It could be his old rank, ribbons or an old name tag. Badges are my favorite, especially Squadron patches, an old name tag from his flight suit or BDU's and the American Flag (I love the reverse flag). I don't care for the pseudo interpretation that some of the scrapbook companies have on the market for military insignia. Here's a news bulletin... the actual U.S. military patches (we're talking about the the real deal here) are less expensive than those embellishments marketed for military themed layouts, I find that rather funny. There are those laser cut flags and military insignia which are awesome! Memories in Uniform put those out, they also have laser cut airplanes that actually do look very close to the real things...I have the B-52 and the B-1 bombers, and am very pleased with how they turned out. They have many more laser cut military themed items for all branches of the US Armed Forces...go check them out! The one from K&Co for the Air Force that has the leather looking jacket with the flight helmet is only if they would make the jacket in a worn brown leather that would be more authentic than the black that they have now.

With all this talk about military layouts, I'm feeling in the mood to scrap something from my ocean of military pictures. But don't you go thinking that I'm going to be doing it up in red white and blue or using a big sticker that says Air could be done in colors that you would be surprised with!

Monday, July 24, 2006's all around us!

What's your biggest motivator? For me, it's Color! Seeing different colors together, harmonizing, blending,'s all about color and it's visual impact!

I was out on our deck having my morning coffee today, as I usually do during the week. When I happened to notice this big ole orange cat crossing the street. It's dark orange colored fur looked so bright against the fresh black asphalt, but once it got across the street it blended in so well with the variegated shades of green, gold and brown grasses of the field. When it stopped, I could barely see it's silhouette. At that moment it didn't look orange at all, it's stippled pattern mimicked the color patterns in the grass. Nature is amazing!

I find myself arranging not only my scrapbooking items such as ribbon, card stock and buttons in a r.o.y.g.b.i.v manner but my dishes and even the clothes hanging in my closet. It makes me smile when I see things arranged in such a happy manner. To open up a door and see a rainbow of color staring you in the face, what can be better? I ask you...what?

For me, be it scrapbooking, stamping, needlework or's all based around color and how one shade all plays off of another. It makes me excited, happy and at peace with the world around me at the same time. Color stimulates my creativity, it makes me feel's a wonderful feeling and such a powerful motivator at the same time!

I have used color throughout my house to create and set different moods. My Scrapbook Nook is painted 2 shades of's a bright cheery color that makes you feel awake and alive! Our bedroom is painted a periwinkle blue. That color is restful and invokes a feeling of peacefulness. The kitchen is a bright green...which to me screams energy. Our dining room is a color called sweetheart rose, it's got this warmth to it...makes me feel cozy and happy. Every room is a different color...all with their own feelings that they invoke when you enter the room. Kind of like how I play with color when creating a scrapbook layout. I invite you to play with color and see how it makes you feel!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Progressive Birthday Party

I was able to pull off the progressive birthday party for my daughter. We started with the girls arriving at 10:30am, opening birthday gifts at 10:45 am and then leaving here by 11 am to go out for lunch. It was funny to see which girls liked vegetables and which ones were total carnivores. We dined at the Mongolian Grill and it was sooooo yummy! After we were done we were off to go to Paint It Yours Pottery. The girls milled around the studio checking out all of the bisque pieces and they all decided on containers. I really got to see the girls personalities come out with this...just watching them paint and the various degrees of attention that they gave to their pieces. In this endeavour even I ended up with a container (mine was a pumpkin). I really look forward to seeing them after they have been fired (I also plan on taking pictures of the pieces for Hannah's scrapbook). Okay off we go to the next part of the progressive birthday party...back to the house to make Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes. This was a serious laugh riot! The girls had a great time making their own desserts. Now for the funny part, as I put the candles in Hanna's cake the candles were falling over...they were melting! Oh my gosh I couldn't stop myself fro laughing! The girls came in and saw this happening and they were all cracking up as well. This is one of those moment that will have to be journaled about. Now we've finished our cake and are off to the last leg of this adventure...swimming! Swim for an hour and a half and the kids are home by 5:15 ish. It was a day to remember, but one filled with fun!

Now for me to upload the pictures from the camera to the computer...these are going to be fun pictures to scrap!

Friday, July 21, 2006

One week and counting down....

Here I am with one week until we leave for our European Vacation, seeing it in print makes me think of Chevy Chase and Beverly Di Angelo and those National Lampoon vacation movies LOL!. We still have a few things left to do for leaving for this trip. We kept thinking that we would be able to do this crazy whirl wind vacation through France and Germany as well as tour England and Scotland...but as of last night we do not think that that will be the case. Since we're flying via the military hop system we may not be able to even get to England or Germany. We've decided to roll the dice and take what ever plane can take us to an overseas destination and make the best of it. Yes it does sound rather hap hazard, but hey when you are flying for free, beggars can not be choosers. As much as I really want to see my friend Susan, chances are that we will not be able to swing it this time around.

Now from a scrapbookers point of view here...this is going to be one heck of an adventure! I plan on taking tons of photo's from everywhere we go! From architecture to flowers and trees to everything tourists take pictures of...including ourselves!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Do you have a Hobby?

Do you have a hobby that you enjoy doing? Obviously I'm into Stamping and Scrapbooking, but what else am I "into" doing? For my "book of Sandie" I've got pages about all sorts of little things like the meaning of my name, some family traditions that I have started with my own family. Yet I yearn to get more into "me" things. For instance I want to be able to show future generations my passion for cooking. I had such a blast taking the Cheesecake Class with a real Pastry Chef last year. It was such an amazing experience! I'm now know in some local circles as the "Cheesecake Lady". I love to bake many varieties of cheesecakes! I'm also into gourmet cooking, Italian being my all time favorite! I plan on joining a Gourmet Cooking group this fall.

Counted Cross Stitching- I learned how to do this my first winter in Maine 1990. I knew how to do embroidery and needlepoint (to some extent) but have never tried counted cross stitching. I took a class at a local craft and hobby store. I was hooked! Then my friend Lori Schiffer showed me some other tricks of the trade and my love of cross stitching was born! I had been stitching off and on for about 10 years when I had met my friend Susan Schuster. Oh my gosh her work was the BEST I had ever seen! We're talking Guild Quality work here folks! Susan is responsible for getting me re-interested in cross stitching. She's such an enabler, oh my gosh she would take me to these wonderful hole in the wall needle work shops. The artwork displayed on the walls was amazing! It made me feel warm inside. These were the things that I wanted to have hanging on the walls of my home. Remember how I said that Susan was an enabler...well she introduced me to hand dyed threads. Lets just say that cross stitching has never been the same for me since that day! Through Susan's help I realized where my stitching passions lay, it was in Samplers! I have a true fascination with them. Susan helped me to get motivated to do more intricate needlework projects and I in return have encouraged and gotten her motivated and excited about trying new and different things in Scrapbooking.

Quilting- I've done a small project here and there. But my true desire and aspiration is to make quilts for all of the beds in my house! I also want to make Christmas quilts for all of us. For a wedding gift to my children I want to be able to present them with a beautiful handmade quilt...from and made by me! I plan on joining the OSC quilting group this fall and to take some classes from the local quilting stores.

Central States Fair

Last night I started organizing the layouts that I'm entering in the Fair. So why do I enter my scrapbook layouts and hand stamped cards in something as small as our the Central States Fair? Well it's certainly NOT about the money (the top dollar amount you can come out with is $50 many how many entries you have). It's because it's fun! I love being part of the crafting community and this is just one more way to be part of that wonderful circle! Not only is the Fair a place to see what others have made, it's to show them what you've made too!
My favorite exhibit hands down is the Quilters Exhibits. Oh my gosh, all of the work that goes into making those beautiful quilts, it's breath taking! I aspire to be a good quilter one day...not great mind you, I'll settle for good :D and leave it at that! Then there's watching the Fashion Show that's put on by the 4-H clubs, that right there IS something to see! It's amazing how these young girls sew these beautiful articles of clothing. These young ladies are so talented, some no older than my daughter Hannah (who will be 11 next week).
Of course there's the oil paintings and water colors, I could only wish that I had that kind of talent. My husbands Grand Mother (Grammy Dorrie as she liked to be called) had that kind of talent. About 5 years ago I was lucky enough to come across over a dozen of Grammy's oil paintings at my in-laws house. Since my in-laws didn't want them (I found out later on that they didn't want them because the paintings were do dirty) they said that I could pick out what I wanted/what I thought I could salvage and throw out the rest. Throw them out...are they crazy? Heck Lucien and I took them all home with us! Through contacting some people in the art world in Williamsburg Virginia I was able to clean the years of accumulated dirt off of those old paintings. If you were to come visit us, you can see them hanging on the walls throughout our home. These paintings are amazing to say the least!
I don't pretend to know how to crochet anything more than scarves to go around your neck. The doilies and table clothes that are on exhibit are extraordinary! The time that goes into making them, to get the shape of the design right, I can tell you right now that I do not have the patience that making something like that, but I can fully appreciate the work!
I plan on taking many pictures while at the Fair and making some great Scrapbook Layouts from them! I think that this may be my last time to be able to participate at the Fair. We will most likely be moving within the next year. So I want to go out with a bang! I've got to get all of my entries ready, finish up journaling on pages, get my tags written up and so forth.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I've recovered from my summer flu bug and am back on track with scrapbooking and other craft projects! Being sick realy put me off my mark for a few days. But I'm back in the saddle again ready to create wonderful memories on paper! Tomorrow is my son Andrew's 14th birthday. Poor kid doesn't know it yet, but his mother has plans to follow him around through out the day taking pictures of him. Hannah's 11th birthday is next week...same thing goes for her as well (I hope she brushes her hair before I start taking photo's :D).

There's just something fun about capturing your child (or anyone for that matter) on film when they are not expecting you to be there. The natural smile photo's are always the hardest ones to get and the best ones to have! I can hardly wait! Heck now to go out and get birthday presents...and make them each their very own special birthday card. I've got plans on making each of my children a mini birthday album...that's going to be fun! My Mother-in-Law will be celebrating a birthday next month (it's the day before our wedding anniversary). I've decided to make her something ultra special...a counted cross stitched picture. I love to do cross stitching but I rarely sit down and do it any more these days. It seems that I'm always being pulled into 20 different directions. But I've cracked open a new package of needles and am warming up on a small sampler before I get started on the big present.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Page Kits

There is something about page kits that I just love, but I didn't always feel this way about page kits. It probably stems from the fact that I am a self proclaimed "picky paper person", I've hesitated in being a member of any page kit club for fear that I would be wasting my money because "what if I didn't like the items in the kit?". I kept forgetting one simple thing...that there is no hard fast rule that says that I have to use all of the items in the kit together in creating a layout, and I want you to keep that in mind too!
The vast number of companies that sell page kits exclusively has exploded on to the scrapbooking scene, and that has made a HUGE impact on how scrapbookers are now buying their scrapbooking supplies. In the past few years alone we've seen many companies come on to the scene and fail and many other have survived...why is this? It's because of the people that go out to events like the CHA (craft and hobby association) that have the scrapbooking manufacturers and their latest and greatest items being highlighted, they go see what's new and fresh. Then there's the fact that these business owners have an "eye" for color and design. But when you strip away the peel and get to the fruit... the plain and simple truth of the matter...they (the business owners) are actually listening to what we (the consumers) want to be buying, nothing more and nothing less.

So now you're thinking, well I still can't get on board with the idea of joining a page kit club because I'm afraid that I won't like most of the printed paper that comes in the kit. Well ya know what...there's a kit company out there there that sells just "card stock, no kidding! And who among is doesn't LOVE to use card stock eh? Just as there are kit companies that sell just eyelets, others that sell just ribbons and fibers. There are companies that sell just card making how cool is that?!! Page kits have gotten so popular, that you can now purchase them at your local scrapbooking and hobby stores, page kits are everywhere! There's something for everyone in the page kit scene!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Travel Journals

We have an extensive 2 week family Europen Vacation (makes me think of National Lampoon) coming up in about... 2 weeks. Wow, I didn't realize that it was so close until my husband was talking to us about it last night at dinner (I have knots in my stomach just from the excitement of it all). And with that in mind, I need to make up another travel journal for this trip. I can hardly wait to experience the events and write them down as they happen or at the end of the day. As you might have guessed it, I am VERY excited about this trip!

I make sure to bring a new little notebook on every vacation we take! Sometimes I cover the front with scrapbook paper and little stamp designs or stickers. I like to keep it small, so I can tuck it into my purse, backpack or camera bag. But they key thing in all of this is...that I write down each day where we had been, the sights we have seen, things that have gone on and so forth. Basically things that I just do not want to miss putting down as journaling with our photo's. Sometimes it'll be the quirky little things that my kids and/or husband have me when I say that these little gems can be quite funny when put into a layout! I have always made a travel journal even before I became a scrapbooker.

You can have check lists for things to pack for the trip (this makes interesting journaling later on)...things you brought but never used or worse yet the things that you wished that you had packed...the ideas are endless! Have a list of places you want to see, excursions or side trips that you want to take. On the front pages of this travel journal, place your contact case the travel journal gets lost or misplaced the nice person who finds it would be able to mail it to you. Have a list of emergency contacts as well, places you will be staying at with names, address and phones numbers. Maybe you need a place to keep passports, make a pocket page and tuck them in there for safe keeping. You can tuck tourist maps, and other memorabilia into the pages of your travel journal. I can already tell that by the end of this vacation I'll be needing one of those trapper keeper binder for our travel journal and all of it's memorabilia, LOL!

Even for little day trips I have a small notebook that I keep with me at all times, you never know when your kids might say something funny or when you want to jot something down about the pictures you have taken.

Note to self...get an extra memory card and battery pack for the camera! I plan on taking a TON of photo's on this trip!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Interview with a Scrapbooker

If you've read any of the scrapbooking magazines or e-zines lately, then chances are that you have read interviews with the various scrapbooking celebrities out there. Well I got this idea about doing this on myself and putting a picture or three of myself working in my Scrapbook Nook. I've gotten the idea of asking myself a series of questions and then answering them. I got these questions from the interview with Tim Holtz and I've added a few more of my own...

What scrapbooking tool could you not do without?

for me the tool I could not do without would be hands down my paper trimmers! My big rotary cutter by Fiskars and my 12 inch and the personal size Cutterpede trimmers by EK Success! I at least one of use these tools every single time I scrap!

What scrapbooking staples could you not do without? For me...hands down cardstock and adhesive!

How many hours a week do you spend scrapbooking? IS this a trick question? It can be anywhere from 5 to 55 hours a week depending upon what I have going on. If I have a scrapbook for hire project, count on it being more in the 55 hour range.

What advice would you give to a beginner scrapbooker? Take classes when ever and where ever you can! You can never learn too much! Also what ever you do, don't start with your wedding photo's, save those until you feel more secure/comfortable in your scrapbooking style. Get yourself a subscription to a magazine such as Simple Scrapbooks and read it cover to cover!

Why do you Scrapbook? First of because it's a wonderful creative outlet for me! Secondly, it has to do with my husband being career military. That means we move quite frequently. On top of that we like to go on trips all over the place. I want to have a means of being able to being able to document the friends that we've made, day trips , vacations and places we've been to/lived at. For us to document our lives for ourselves, our children, and our future ancestors down the road.

How long does it take you to make a page? between 15 to 50 minutes, depending what I'm working on.

What inspires you to scrapbook? I feel it's something inside of me that drives me to create. It's a gift that I truly do feel that was given to me by God. Now add to that the reactions, and smiles from my family and there you have it! That is my driving force to keep scrapbooking!

What are your favorite embellishments? Buttons, brads, eyelets, name plates, ribbon...just to name a few!

What things in your Scrapbook Space make you Happy? Color, seeing a rainbow of color makes me smile! Pictures of my family on the walls just acting goofy and of course my little stuffed toy collection.

Who inspires you to scrapbook? My family. Their reactions to new layouts I've created with pictures of them.

When looking for creative ideas where do you go? or who do you turn to? I'm such a subscriber to scrapbooking magazines. I look through them and feel the inspiration being pumped into my veins! Then there's the Internet, there's such an unending source of ideas out there!

What would you call your scrapbooking style? clean lines, but I do from time to time do some stuff that is not what most would consider clean lines.

What size pages do you make the most? I'm all about 12x12 layouts, but do the mini sized scrapbooks from time to time, such as 6x6 and 8x8.

What color or colors would you consider to be your favorite? When I sit down and really think about it, the one color that comes to mind is GREEN, for me green is the color of life.

Do you have a designated scrapbooking room or space? I do and I have named it The Scrapbook Nook. My husband is so wonderful! He made my dream come to life! He built what I dreamt up for that small space. He in essence me helped me to create a cozy scrapbook nook out of the utility room in our base house here at Ellsworth AFB, SD. I share the space with the water heater and furnace, but they don't complain!

When did you start scrapbooking? I officially started scrapbooking in October 1999 and have never stopped!

What sparked your interest in scrapbooking? It was while meeting/making a new friend and seeing what beautiful scrapbooks she had made for her son. I knew that THIS was the craft for me!

What colors are you drawn to using most in your layouts? Believe it or not it's NOT green, although there tends to be a bit of green in my layouts. I like to use a variety of color, from gem tones, to muted and bright colors too! Rarely do I use pastel colors.

What style and/or brand of albums do you use most often? I use 12x12 post bound albums. I made the switch from strap hinge to post bound back in 2000 and have never looked back! I prefer to use Colorbök and K & Company albums.

There are all sorts of questions to ask. Feel free to add to the list of questions that I've started. I plan on getting started on an interview layout on myself sometime this summer. Some of these topics I have covered/answered in various layouts that I've done this year. I'd love to incorporate your questions too!

I'm Backlogged on Journaling are you?

I've been struggling with the summer cold from hell this week. I was feeling a tad bit under the weather on Sunday. Then Monday rolls around and I am feeling worse but managed to drag myself to a farewell dinner for a good friend (her husband is retiring from the Air Force after 20 some odd years of service). The dinner was charming and our good friend Ginny did a marvelous job at decorating (it looked like a Victorian Garden Party) and the food was out of this world! Ginny is a quilter and she made our friend Liz a quilt that is so beautiful that everyone in attendance of this party would have loved to have owned!

Then on Wednesday if I wasn't feeling bad enough with this horrible summer cold, I cut my left thumb while preparing dinner. I cut myself good! Bled all over the place, called my husband at work to get home because I couldn't make myself look at the cut. Did it while using a really sharp partoku knife it's similar to a santoku but smaller. Now why is it that after such an accident that we tend to re-injure ourselves? I have bumped and whacked that thumb several times. Yesterday while I had the bandage off I smacked my thumb and I bled all over the place and all over the front of the shirt I had on. Now I'm afraid to work on any layouts for fear that I'll bleed all over them.

So even with this summer cold, I've managed to have squeaked out a few layouts. But after my incident with the knife and the repeat of wearing blood on my clothes for the past 2 days, I've decided that today... I really need to concentrate on getting the journaling done for all of the layouts that I've got stacked up. And trust me when I say that I've got a lot of journaling to get done too! Yes one phrase keeps coming to mind when I think of how "backlogged on journaling" I've made myself. So I will perch myself in front of the computer and type away. I need to designate a day where I just sit in front of the computer and finish the journaling for the layouts that I have created during the week, now to figure out which day would work best for me...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

What's on your Scrap Table?

So, what IS on your scrap table these days? What projects do you have going on? Spill the beans, post a reply and let me know! Here's a picture of what I have going on...

It's just one of the many projects that I have in the works. Now for me to finish up the journaling on this 2 page layout.

Using Overlays and Transparencies

Overlays are in essence transparencies but ones that cover the entire 12x12 or 8½x11 page. They are preprinted with words and/or images. They are made by a wide variety of manufacturers and come in many different styles. I like the designing freedom that they pose; you can do almost anything with them. I love to layer the paper underneath of them and add hardware on top of them. The end product is always amazing! Overlays vary in cost, anywhere from $1.99 to $5.00 depending upon the manufacturer, popularity of the particular overlay and of course the region in which you live. Some times you can be lucky enough to get a great overlay in a page kit (especially when they are on sale).

I've been able to get a few of these in the past and love them! The paper on the other hand, well some of it was tre chic and others were rather blah. It's the luck of the draw I suppose and then again it also depends upon ones own personal tastes, likes and dislikes. But don't ever think that you can't make your own overlays! As I said earlier, overlays are in essence transparencies after all. You can purchase a package of transparencies for your home office. Get the type that is right for your kind of printer. I have made these before and it does take a bit of practice as to where to put your poem, quote or design, then end results are well worth it! You can also stamp your images on using a solvent ink such as Staz-On, just be sure to wait for it to dry before attempting to adhere it to your layout.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Using Rub-Ons

I love using rub-ons, they're a great way to enhance a layout or to add in a title or poem. There are so many different brands out on the market today too! So when I was contemplating a layout with a large photo I wanted to add in some words about how I felt while taking that picture. I was at a local scrapbooking store for a sale (with my 10 year old daughter Hannah...she's such an enabler) and we came across all kinds of wonderful rub-on's. This one is from the Diary Collection by EK Success. Oh my gosh it was so perfect for the way I was feeling about the picture and it conveyed the exact sentiment that I would have wanted to get across, and there it was neatly packaged for me to buy and bring home (I used it immediately).

Another layout that I had made recently was still looking a little blah and (to me) it still seemed as if it needed "something". So I'm tooling around in my scrapbook nook and then it hit me...get out those flower rub-on's, they'd be perfect with the background paper in this layout. A little snipping here and there and a rub rub rub and there it was! I felt a lot better about the layout and the rave reviews from my daughter and a couple of friends sealed it for me!

Now I do have to give a giggle when I see ladies buying those nifty rubbing tools priced at $5 to $10. I use my handy dandy sanded down popsickle stick. Why is it sanded down? It's so I won't get any splinters when I'm busy working hard on getting those rub-on's adhered to my layouts! Save those $$ and spend them on something else, like more rub-on's!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

I feel like a kid with a new box of crayons!

I went to bed after 1 am woke up at 4:45 internal clock is a little bit off. I've been tinkering around with a layout then again, when aren't I lately ya know? I had bought a page kit a few months back but never really liked the papers. Actually I bought it for the transparency that was in the kit. So I've been tinkering with it and some papers that I bought 3 years ago. I've always liked these daisy papers and knew that I would use them, but the "right" project never came along until today! I looked at the papers that came with the kit and they just weren't doing it for me ya know. So I started thinking ...this layout is going to be for "My" birthday picture and I was wearing my favorite colors (pink and green) in the picture, I had on this skirt with a daisy like flower print.

Then for the hardware...My choices are/were silver tone or brass tone, no thanks! Soooooo, I got out my versamagic ink pads, they are an opaque chalk pigment ink (love the stuff). Played around with a few different colors until I found just the right ones and then I "colored" my hardware. I just love having inky fingers, don't you? :D Now I'm waiting patiently for my pieces to dry :)
I feel like a kid with a new box of crayons and a BIG new coloring book! So even though I am functioning on very little sleep today (I see a nap in my future later on today :lol: ) I'm feeling quite creative! Now for me to look at some other projects on my list...I think that I'm up to making/creating 22 layouts so far for this month, WOW! And I'm wanting to do even more! I'm not setting any type of number goal, it's not about that at all. It's rather, I want to finish up projects that I have started here and there.

Wow do I have a lot of Pictures to Scrap!

Since I made the complete switch over from 35 mm to digital I have noticed a few things...the first one being that I'm not getting my photo's printed right away, so there's not this huge backlog of projects looking at me. The other is that I tend to take a great deal more photo's than I would have when using my 35 mm camera. I think that the pick and choose what I want to get printed and print them when I'm ready for them feature is becoming more and more appealing to me. When I got my first digital camera in December 2000, my husband was ready for me to switch over right then and there, but I wasn't ready to take that leap. I was still in love with my 35 mm camera and wasn't ready to put it out to pasture quite yet.
One thing that I had stopped doing early in 2002 when getting my 35mm film developed was the buying of the twin or triple pix printing packages. Why was I doing that? Not all of my pictures were going into scrapbooks, not to mention that I wasn't making 3 identical albums at once (sheesh heaven forbid!). Those extra pictures were just that extra...extra money and extra space being taken up in my craft room (where space is at a premium). So now I have these Rubber-Maid photo boxes jam packed with photo's (yes they are organized by month and year), lots of them are twin pix packages. My goal with making layouts from these pictures is to weed out and just toss the duplicate photo's. I have no real need for them, yet there they are, still hanging out in those photo boxes. I think that it's time for me to purge the duplicate photo's.
Recently one of my girlfriends told me that she was so far behind in her scrapbooking that she thought that she would never be caught up. She showed me her 3 small boxes of photo's...I had to hold myself back from laughing out loud. Her 3 small boxes paled in comparison to what I have a backlog of...7 or 8 of those Rubber-Maid photo storage boxes packed to maximum density PLUS all of the digital photo's that I've not had printed yet. I was once caught up with scrapbooking our family pictures, it was June 2000 (I remember it well). Then we put our house up for sale that month (June), moved across country in late September, was is a TLF for 30 whole days and I've never been caught up or up to date since! But is that really the goal? To be totally caught up? I dont know if I want to be caught up...where's the fun in it ya know?

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Using Large Photo's

I can't help but get excited when I have a new layout that is taking shape. To see the colors that seem to make the pictures come to life. I love to use large photo's, I figure one large beautiful picture that gets the point across to the reader/viewer is better than a half dozen redundant photo's. This newest layout of mine is no exception. I started getting into using large photo's a little over 3 years ago. I started with my children's school portraits and went on from there! I know that there are those who see my cutting down 8x10's and 5x7's as some sort of sacrilege, but hey...these are my photo's and I can do anything I want with them! Besides, I had tucked them all away in a folder where no one was seeing them. I only have room for so many picture frames on the walls of this little house, heck that goes for any house! So I might as well get them into an album. This layout you see is made from a photo that was taken by a professional photographer at our squadron's Christmas Formal. I knew that I was not going to put this picture into a frame, not that it's bad or anything but I knew that I would be making a scrapbook layout with it! I love how it turned out, it's just beautiful!

Encouraging Words

My 1994 album is almost completed. Only a couple more layouts to re-work and it's done, Whew! Where the album had this sameness to it before, now it's energetic and alive! The best part about it though has to be the Encouraging Words that I've received from my husband and children about my work. Hannah has her mothers sense of sarcasm (and I love it) and loves to razz me on my old work. Her body language and the way she says things will have you cracking up with side splitting laughter! Andrew I think, just likes to look at the pictures of the places he's been to when he was a toddler. He tells me that he doesn't remember these places but enjoys seeing pictures of himself having a good time (hey isn't that what scrapbooking is about?). My husband (in not so many words) lets me know that he enjoys seeing my art blossom and grow. How amazing it is, that I can take a handful of pictures and create a piece of work that can be enjoyed by so many others.

I think that I chose the 1994 album to re-work because there were some great pictures in there that really needed to be seen in a "better light". The first thing I had to "re-work" was Andrew's birthday pages...then it became a full scale attack on the rest of the album! I have to say that I feel so much better knowing that my kids can now invite their friends to look the scrapbooks and not say...Yeah my Mom made this when she was in her Cave Man Art period, this was during her Renaissance Period (sticker and doodling art) and this is her enlightened Period, LOL! I can picture Hannah saying just that too!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Changing Attitudes

I awoke at 5 am versus 4:30 am (hey that half an hour can make a world of difference)...feeling energized and inspired! I wrote a couple of snail mail letters, I'm drinking a ton of coffee (Swiss Chocolate Almond...YUM!) and am eager to get going on some scrapbooking sketches and layouts. There are times when I'm at such a creative standstill then there are times like these that the ideas seem to flow from me like a bubbling fountain. :D
Yesterday was another amazing scrapbooking kind of day for me! I tinkered a little more with that Edible Art layout. You'll see what I did to it in next weeks issue of Scrap Chat over in All Things Paper On :D
I do re-work my old layouts from my caveman art days...but not all of them. I keep some because I actually like what I did. Some of my sticker art is actually pretty good (even if I do say so myself). But the pages where it appears that I just went Willy Nilly and slapped photo's on without thinking..those are getting reworked. The catch here is that my attitudes and the reasons why I'm reworking those layouts have changed. I've released my's hard for me to say exactly when it happened really, but the anger is gone and I'm glad! I had spent many years being angry at myself, frustrated by my old work and the people who talked me into spending money that I didn't really have at the time. All on something I am now tearing apart. I was seeing it for the longest time at being such a huge waste of time money and resources...but now I can see it for what it really a growing experience. Although I can laugh at myself now (and even joke about how I must have been on hallucinogenic drugs), I wasn't able to do that for the longest time. It's nice to be able to laugh about it now :D

Monday, July 03, 2006

Is your style recognized?

My friends make me smile when they say that they recognize my work right away. I remember the first time I heard that...I was working at Picture to Page in Yorktown VA and Ruth (a fellow scrapbook instructor) said to me..."Oh Sandie, I recognize your work right away" and my reply to my friend Ruth was "What? I have a style? And it's being recognized? When did I get a style?" . I still laugh when I think about this comment. Recently when I had invited the entire 34th Bomb Squadron Spouses group over for 8 weeks of Thursday Scrapbooking Sessions (to complete an album for our combined gift to the departing squadron commander and his wife) I happened to hear some funny comments when some of the ladies were looking through my albums....the best one being "how did she get the paper to look like that? What was it they were commenting on? I was wondering, so I looked to see what they were all gawking at (are ya ready?) It was paper tearing! How comical! None of them could believe that I just "tore" the paper...I had to show them what I did. They could hardly believe their eyes. Just thinking about this makes me smile!So what IS my style you my friend Theresa says" it's Linear", as my friend Susan says "it's Clean Lines" and my words for describing my style (which I agree with both of my friends wholeheartedly) it's Both! I'm all about Clean Lines and focusing on the pictures". It's fair to say that Becky Higgins book "My Creative Companion" along with her other design sketch idea books has had a huge impact on how I look at scrapbooking. I love to work with cardstock and I don't stray into the realm of cutting my pictures into shapes, I prefer to have my pictures cut in either rectangles or squares. Although from time to time I will cut a pictures into circles (but I don't make a habit of it). There are times when I am feeling rather artsy fartsy and I get more elaborate in my layouts. Check out my webshots link located in my links and see what I'm about...

Reworking Old Layouts...

Looking at some of my old layouts just makes me cringe! All I can say is that I must have been on some sort of hallucinogenic drugs to think that they looked good. Some of my older stuff I like and others...I must have been in some crazed state of mind slapping pictures onto those white strap hinge pages, ugh! I'm reworking the album from 1994. There are some terrific pictures from the 2 week vacation my toddler son Andrew and I spent at Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota visiting my husband (who, was TDy here for the summer with the B-1 readiness program). Andrew was not quite 2 years old and he was amazed with everything!

I have to laugh and tell you all about the comment I got recently from my dear friend Theresa (this woman can make me laugh). We were talking about when we got started scrapbooking, how the industry has changed and so forth. She made this comment about the time frame when I got into scrapbooking as calling it the "Stone Ages". Back when the only colored cardstock you could get (I was lucky enough to live near a Michael's Arts and Crafts store) was Red, Orange, Yellow, get the picture. And there were not those wonderful in-between shades we take for granted today, it was the ROYGBIV colors and that was it! Oh not to mention that cardstock only came in 8 1/2 x 11..nice huh?

So there I was, looking at this old album and saying..."Good Grief girlfriend! How on this planet could you think that "THIS" was "Good?" I gave a small chuckle and Yup, you guessed it! I decided to take the plunge and dive into this album. I felt a strong desire to create something new and fresh with the old pictures. I've amazed myself with what I have transformed those old layouts into something new and fresh. The before and after pictures are like night and day to say the least.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

I'm Miffed!

I am seriously miffed with the management of the local Hobby Lobby store! In fact, I'm quite peeved with them at the moment! I'm beside myself with this one, here I am in charge of buying and creating 4 scrapbooks for theOfficers Spouses Club here on base. I set out with my 40% off coupons in hand. I was going to purchase 4 of the beautiful K & Co. Air Force Albums are ya ready...they (the Air Force albums) have been discontinued and will no longer be available at my local Hobby Lobby store. They (the store) will how ever still carry and sell the Army, Navy, Marine and Coast Guard albums. HELLO, there's a major B-1 bomber base about 10 miles from this store...tons of spouses scrapbook out here! There is Camp Rapid but that's a very small National Guard base (no amenities) and it's not all that active. Marines? Navy? Coast Guard? There's no Navy, Marine or Coast Guard bases out here. In my opinion, the management is insane not to mention it's committing marketing suicide! Well I tell ya ladies this latest faux-pah with Hobby Lobby has left a bad taste in my mouth to be sure! I feel as if it's forcing me to shop at the smaller but more expensive local scrapbooking stores. I have a set budget and I want it to go as far as I can possibly stretch it. With this latest dealing with Hobby Lobby, I'll buy my staple items like adhesives and brads from them because they carry the brands that I use there. And lets face it...their 50% off sales can't be beat, not to mention that the other other 2 local scrapbooking stores can't possibly have sales like that and still stay in business. Other than that I'm shopping the little guy first!

If I haven't felt as if I was living in no man's land before when it came to being able to buying what I needed in basic scrapbooking supplies...don't even go there with trying to purchase the latest in scrapbooking supplies, I really do feel like that now!

Making your own Greeting Cards and Stationary

Back in 1994 I was introduced to stamping though the "home party" scene. I bought some stamps, brush markers all kinds of decorative edge scissors and of course a heat tool. I made cards sporadically. The work we did back then is nothing in comparison to what is being made these days. But we all start somewhere right? I recently came across a card that I had made for my son's 3rd birthday (he'll be 14 yrs old this month). I find it amazing to compare my work from back then to now, to see how far I have advanced in my card making techniques and how far the industry has evolved. There's so much more available to us these days, it's all about the consumer...I like that!

It was nearly 3 years ago when I decided to step up to the plate and commit myself to making ALL of the greeting cards that I give out to family and friends. I've not stepped away from that commitment either. From the simple Thank You cards, to Thinking of You, Birthday, Christmas, New Baby and Get Well cards. Now mind you 3 years ago there were only 2 types of cards I did not feel comfortable to make...Wedding and Sympathy cards. Those were areas in which I just didn't feel that a hand made card (of mine at the time) was appropriate. Silly huh? Well after being stationed here just over a year, the position of making the greeting cards for the squadron had opened up. I was asked if I would be interested in the position. "Heck yeah "I said with a smile! It's been a blast ever since! I can create new designs and try new techniques and mail them to people...what could be better than that? OH I know...someone else paying for it, THAT'S what!

My stamp collection has grown since moving here (it would be a lie to say that it hasn't). I've got stamps for just about every occasion. But in all honesty, Floral stamps are my all time weakness, especially the natural looking ones by Fred B Mullett, Hero Arts and Stampin Up (to name a few), then there's the brushstroke ones by Penny Black...those are so wonderful! Fred Mullett's designs are actual rubbings of the real it a fish, flower, sea shell or leaves. I'm in awe of his ideas. Lets face it, I cant get enough of his realistic looking stamps!

Here's a funny story for you to enjoy...When I first was introduced to Penny Black stamps it was through her Brush Stroke Flowers. I was visiting my parents in California and not 3 or 4 miles down the road (in opposite directions) were a stamping store in one town and a scrapbooking store in another...I was in heaven! So I check out the stamping store...let me just say that I could max out any credit card there and be happy! The owner (whose name is Sandy) took me on a tour of the store...oh my gosh it was wonderful! And there were these amazing cards all over the walls some made using these brushstroke floral stamps, needless to say I HAD to have them! I found that place to give me more inspiration that any other stamping store I have ever been in! I came home refreshed and ready to create! So I get back home (Ellsworth AFB, SD) and I tell a few friends about Penny Black stamps, how wonderful they were and so on. Then one friend say to me "Oh, did know that YOU were into Hedgies".My reply "What's a Hedgie"? then she proceeded to show me some of those crazy looking hedgehog stamps. Oh my gosh I about died laughing. I exclaimed "Oh my gosh NO, I am NOT into Hedgies". I was laughing so hard. My friends were looking at me strangely . Now it was time for me to show them what I was talking about. To my surprise they had never seen the brushstroke floral that a hoot or what? Every time I think of that story I can't help but to laugh!

Now I'm always making greetings cards and stationary. I love to use linen paper for my hand writing stationary. One of my favorite things to do is to use Versamark watermark ink and a big stamp say of leaves or flowers, even sea shells and stamp all over the paper. The watermarks from the stamps are incredible! I's such a classy gift to give, and who doesn't enjoy getting stationary? Hmmm?