Sunday, September 30, 2012

LSNED - week three

I'm still striving to read and enjoy the prompts in Shimelle's Learn Something New Every Day class. (See my Week One lessons here and Week Two lessons here.) While I haven't been able to read the prompts each day, I am making my way through them and comparing them with my activities and lessons for each day and sharing my thoughts/lessons in weekly round-up posts. Some days my lesson is directly related to Shimelle's prompt and other days it takes a totally different course.

15th - Shimelle declared it the second New Skill Saturday of the month and discussed how it is often cathartic to start with a clean table when learning something new. While I didn't have any crafty time this Saturday, I was able to stop by a local scrapbook store that is (unfortunately!) going out of business and pick up quite a few new dimensional embellishments. I was also reminded of the lesson that I like to clean up after every layout so I start each new project with a clean space.

16th - Shimelle encouraged us to think about how our relaxation time on Sunday differs from the rest of the week. This particular Sunday for me was extremely busy as I arrived at church early and stayed a little later as we are promoting our upcoming ladies' retreat. I rushed home to gulp down a hamburger and change clothes before heading to a friend's house to set up for the baby shower I helped coordinate for our pastor's wife, which turned out to be a great success and I was reminded that I truly enjoy organizing events despite how tired I might be when the clean up is all over. Here's a look at the diaper cake I made as a gift and the baseball themed decorations we used for the shower.

17th - Shimelle encouraged us to try memory tracking to think about one thing that used to be a significant part of our lives but is no longer part of our daily routine. My thoughts actually turned to the fact that something that is not a routine has been encroaching on my life this year - jury duty. I have received three jury duty summons this year and have had to report twice. I spent 7 1/2 hours today going through the selection process before finding out I had not been chosen for the week long trial (YIPPEE). I came home and just needed to do something fun, so I completed a mini-album from the little advice cards we had ladies fill out at the baby shower the day before. This activity reminded me that is therapeutic to do something creative after a stressful day.

18th - Shimelle encouraged us to think about simplicity in our lives and in our page designs. My day was filled with errands, but in the middle of that I hosted my monthly book club and was reminded that it is so enjoyable to sit down and discuss a book with others who have read it.

19th - Shimelle encouraged us to change up our routine and reminded us of the quote "if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got." While I like the idea of trying new things, this prompt reminds me of the fact that I like routine.

20th - Shimelle encouraged us to think about our signature color or signature elements of our personal style. It will come as no surprise to many of you that yellow is my favorite color, it makes me happy and has been my favorite color as long as I can remember!

21st -  Shimelle encouraged us to think about those days that need a do-over, those days that just need to be left in the past (or recorded in a journal for future contemplation) and the day started over tomorrow. Today was a little bit of a catch up day for me and I was reminded that I should schedule catch up days on occasion in case there are things I need to do-over.

I'm hoping to complete the final week's prompts and lessons in the next day or so. How did you do this year with LSNED?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pun'kin's Visit 2007

One of Sian's layouts has been turned into a sketch for the Sketchbook365 October challenge. If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, then you know that I enjoy sketches. I pulled a couple of photos from my niece's visit back in 2007 and set to work.

I knew I would have to modify the sketch because I wanted to include this note that Pun'kin wrote along with her drawing of me standing (upside down it seems) on the sidewalk watching her ride her bike.

I then added some square punched photos and small square embellishment blocks with several bits & pieces in each block.

The final step was adding the corner banner and title block.

This was a fun sketch to work with - I especially enjoyed creating the small embellishment clusters. Thanks Sian for the inspiration!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Change in 2007

A few weeks ago, I went through the remaining photos in my 2007 storage binder and made a list of layouts I want to complete with them. I knew I wanted to do a layout about the 6 weeks of transition when we moved from East Texas back to the DFW area. I had several photos I wanted to use of the move, the old house, and the new house, but I also knew it would take a good bit of journaling to tell the story. After reading Tammy's post about journaling cards, I knew exactly how to make it all work together.

After several interviews in February (in person, on the phone, via Skype), Robbie was offered a job in Dallas beginning in mid-March. We began immediately packing and staging the house in Hudson to sell. We put the house on the market on a Thursday and headed to Dallas on Saturday to look for a new home over spring break. On Sunday we made an offer and signed a contract on the house in Allen. On Tuesday we received a full price offer on the house in Hudson! Robbie finished out his final week at his old job while I graded papers and continued packing after returning home on Wednesday. The following Wednesday we headed to Nashville and returned home on Sunday with just enough time for us to drive from Houston to Hudson and then Robbie headed to Dallas to begin his new job.

I was still teaching 2 classes and working the ABC job in East Texas, but I drove back up to Dallas the following Thursday evening, and we closed on the Allen house on March 30. We cleaned on the house and hired painters to do all the ceilings before I headed back home. I taught my classes on Monday, finished my last day at ABC Tuesday, and Wednesday Daddy and I moved a U-Haul load of stuff to Allen. Daddy built a base for our new shed and helped us paint the front room before we headed back to Hudson. Robbie and I loaded up the Expedition on April 7 in the midst of an Easter weekend snowfall (in East Texas!!). We were in Allen for Easter Sunday and enjoyed lunch at Texas Land & Cattle. Monday I headed back to East Texas early to teach my classes. The mover arrived on Wednesday morning to load the truck in Hudson. (one vase was broken that day!)

Thursday the movers unloaded at our new home in Allen and I began unpacking. Robbie took Friday off and we drove back to say goodbye to our little happy home as we closed on it on April 13. I had to drive back four more times to finish the semester at SFA, but by mid-May we were well on our way to being unpacked and settled in our new home.

Thanks Tammy for the inspiration to get this story recorded!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

LSNED - week two

I'm back with week two of Shimelle's Learn Something New Every Day class. (See my Week One lessons here.) This year I am following along with Shimelle's prompts and will be sharing my thoughts and what I've learned each day here in a weekly round-up post. Some days my lesson is directly related to Shimelle's prompt and other days it takes a totally different course.

8th - Shimelle declared that Saturdays for the rest of the month of September would be New Skill Saturday and encouraged us to learn a new skill. The only new skill I learned on this particular Saturday is how to participate in an online chat (in the Dimensional Details workshop) with classmates who are in the same room (at the 2nd unofficial BPC Texas Get-Together). Honestly, it takes a lot of concentration to keep it all together considering the amount of online commenting, in person commenting, and volumes of laughter going on at the same time! So, my lesson for the day is that online chats and live commentary are great fun together.

9th - Shimelle encouraged us to think about lessons we've learned through listening, whether it be lessons we learned from our parents or listening to family stories or phrases you heard so often you learned them. I spent the day driving home from the BPC Get-Together, and then Robbie and I caught up on all the little details of our days apart that we couldn't fit into the numerous short phone calls, and I was reminded that it's always feels good to come home!

10th - Shimelle encouraged us to make a list of ten things we had learned from (a topic or person of our choice) and share it as part of the monthly Ten Things link up on her blog. I have been reading the prompts several days (or a week!) later this month as I strive to keep up with all the busyness in my life, so I actually posted ten photos of a great stamping store on my blog that day. However, Shimelle encouraged us to think about our reaction to creating lists. I already know I am a list maker - I love lists: to-do lists, books read list, layouts completed lists, etc, etc. My lesson for this Monday at home after several days away with friends who cropped well into the night was a reminder that I require more than four or five hours of sleep a night.

11th - Shimelle encouraged us to look back at our photos and pick a few favorites to help us analyze our photography habits. Robbie has always enjoyed photography, and with the anniversary of 9-11, I was reminded of a photo he took that week back in 2001. He propped up a photo he had taken in 1987 from the Staten Island Ferry of the World Trade Center and placed one of his Superman statues in front of it. Today's lesson is - We will always remember!

12th - Shimelle encouraged us to think about the lessons that make perfect sense to us even if they sound like a mystery to everyone else. All I can think to say to that is SAIDOK.

13th - Shimelle's topic for today was all about lessons learned the hard way and/or negative memories. She also discussed how we often leave these less than happy events/lessons out of our scrapbooks and that's perfectly ok. Over the past year or so, I've been trying to record some of the lessons I've learned as I look back over my life, things I wished I'd understood earlier in life or done differently - you can see an example here and here. My lesson for today is that it's never too late to apply the lessons we learn.

14th - Shimelle encouraged us to think about what we can learn by looking at the change of seasons. This time of year always means back to school to me, even if I haven't been in school or taught on that schedule for the past five years! However, I am currently writing curriculum for an upcoming ladies' retreat at our church and as I was doubting my abilities I received a phone call that reminded me of my lesson for the day - when God gives me a message to teach, He will confirm it in a multitude of ways. [If you want to see what the retreat is all about, click here to watch the promo video one of the youth at our church helped me put together.]

Another great week of prompts and lessons, even if I am a little behind in recording them. Are any of these lessons ones that you've learned or needed a reminder of recently?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dad at WADC

Do you ever get so excited about a new layout that you just have to share it right away? I've been scrapping quite a bit this month and have lots of layouts to share with you, but this one just couldn't wait any longer. And, of course, a great layout is the perfect topic for my 600th blog post!

I had a double page sketch (from the Double Take workshop) that I wanted to use, and I was searching for photos in my storage binders. I wasn't really finding what I was looking for until I decided to just use one side of the sketch to create a one page layout.

I found three photos of Robbie's dad as a young man working as a radio announcer that I knew would be perfect for the sketch. I even had a business card of Dad's from that time! It's one of those pre-printed ones that someone then added Dad's name in with a typewriter.

I set to work trying to find the perfect papers. I found a great floral print for the background, and then Robbie commented that I should try to pull out the radio theme with my embellishments. I was racking my brain for what I had in my stash that would help with the radio theme when I remembered the stack of 45s I've been saving as potential pages for a mini-album. I was able to use that in place of the journaling block in the sketch.

I love the way this layout turned out! This photo doesn't really do it justice as it has such neat dimension and texture. The photos are attached to the black mats with photo corners, and the mats are popped up off the page with pop dots. I created a scalloped embellishment for the center of the record and even have a strip of musical notes washi tape (barely visible) running across the bottom of the photos.
Thanks for stopping by today so I could share this layout that just couldn't wait any longer!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Composition for Collage

Last month I took Claudine Hellmuth's Composition for Collage workshop at BPC. The workshop was four weeks long and focused on a different composition structure each week.

I really wasn't sure what to expect from the workshop, but I knew that it would be something totally new and outside my comfort zone. I don't consider myself an artist and have not delved much into collage, so I just decided to go in with an open mind and have fun.
The first thing I decided was that I didn't want to create large collages because I wasn't really sure what I was going to do with them once they were completed, and I didn't want to use up all my "good" supplies either. I had an old box of 4" x 11" manila flash cards that I decided to use as the base for my collages. 

Week One of the workshop was about Asymmetrical structures. I started with an arctic print that was part of a place card I had saved. I added buttons in the opposite corner, then drew lines on the background. I wasn't thrilled with the look, so I colored in the background, added two dimensional stickers to the arctic scene and a twisted thread to tie the two sections together.

In Week Two, we learned about the Horizon structure - creating a horizon within your collage. I cut some items from an old National Geographic magazine for this collage, then once again added some lines to the background. I also included some wooden strips (from my parent's old window blinds) and a round wooden embellishment from my stash.

We moved on to creating Vignettes in Week Three of the workshop. By this time, I knew I probably wouldn't like a plain background, so I started with a stamped background. I added pieces cut from the old National Geographic magazine as well as another wooden strip and an old photo slide to create my vignette.

Week Four was all about the Grid structure. In all honesty, this is my least favorite of the collages I created. I had recently moved some papers from hanging file folders to drawers, so I had a pile of labels on my table and I threw them together in a grid format just for fun.
Then since I had those flash cards out and had completed the class, I decided to create one more collage on my own. This is my favorite of the bunch! I used old book pages to cover the background, then added an image of stacked books that I had cut from a current magazine. I knew I had to include a stamped image from my new books stamps and the yellow letters finished it off.
I'm still not exactly sure what I'm going to do with these collages. I can see using the Read collage and maybe the Astronaut one as part of a layout. For now, they are stacked on a shelf in my craft room. Do you create collages? What do you do with your completed collages or how do you use them?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cruise Things

One of the things I enjoyed on our cruise was the new pair of Vibram Five Fingers that Robbie had given me for a Christmas gift. I've seen these shoes several times over the past few years and knew I would enjoy them since I often wear toe socks. So, of course, it was fitting to include a page about them for our cruise album.

 As you know, cruises are usually paid for in advance and are "all-inclusive." That is unless you want to drink something besides water, tea, juice or coffee. Y'all know I want my Coca-Cola, so that was the one extra that we knew ahead of time we would pay for on board.
I don't want anyone to be confused by the white can - this is definitely the Real Thing, not one of those diet varieties. It totally makes me laugh thinking about how this white holiday can was probably the second biggest marketing mistake Coca-Cola has made in its 126 year history. Do you remember what the number one mistake was?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Shimelle's Starting Point - take two

I had so much fun with Shimelle's latest Starting Point that I decided to use it again with a totally different color scheme. This time I pulled papers from my pink drawer.

Then once again I thumbed through my storage binders to find a photo and ended up with this layout.
I had fun adding in a few additional layers and then a variety of embellishments, and I like the fact that this is a totally different look than my original layout with this Starting Point.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Reflections Captured

Some of you may remember the reflections photos from our cruise - photos where we captured the reflection of one or both of us in a mirror, window, sunglasses, etc. I was disappointed when I looked back through all the photos from our cruise and couldn't find one photo of me reflected in Robbie's sunglasses (although there were several of him reflected in mine). We finally decided it was probably because Robbie is taller than me and that angle doesn't make for good reflections.

On our trip to Taos this summer, Robbie once again captured his reflection in my sunglasses - this time while we were on the chair lift at the Taos Ski Valley.

I also discovered that I had (unknowingly) finally captured my own reflection in his sunglasses. Can you see me there?

I love making these little discoveries when I'm processing photos and deciding which ones to print for scrapbooking. Have you discovered any treasures in your photos lately?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Childhood Friends

It's been a while since I've used one of Shimelle's Starting Points as the basis for a layout, so I decided to try the new one posted this week. I almost always choose my photos first, then pull papers for my layouts, which is what I've typically done even when using a Starting Point. However, this time I simply pulled out  my green papers (because it looked like the tallest stack!) and chose papers to create this background. [Not sure why the background insists on looking blue in the photos!]

Then I thumbed through my storage binders to find a photo and ended up with this completed layout.

Journaling reads: During Jeff's visit to Texas, we spent Sunday afternoon at Buchanan's Antiques and Collectibles Market in Lewisville. Robbie and Jeff enjoyed hunting for toys together (and goofing off a little, too).

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Addicted to Washi Tape

At the 2nd unofficial BPC Texas Get-Together earlier this month, I discovered a new love and instantly became addicted. Now, in all honesty, I already owned a few rolls of washi tape and have used it on a few layouts. However, I hadn't really decided that it could be used on EVERY layout until one of my BPC friends (Amy H) put her rolls of washi tape on the sharing table at the retreat.

The sharing table was a wonderful place - filled with items that each of us brought to share. There were ribbons and candy dots and border punches and buttons and other tools to use to add the perfect touch to each layout. But I only had eyes for the washi tape as you can see in these three layouts I created for our 10th anniversary cruise album.

Did you spot the washi tape in each one? Such a wonderful subtle addition to each layout. In fact, I was having so much fun that when Jane was wondering what to add to her layout to give it that finished look, I "helpfully" suggested several strips of washi tape as an anchor for her photos & title! And when LeAnne went down the hall to the kitchen to find something for lunch, I added a bunch of pieces of washi tape around the edges of the photos in her layout!

I completed twelve layouts during the weekend, and I'll be sharing more of them with you in the next few days - be sure to watch for the washi tape! Have you discovered how much fun it is to use? If so, what's your favorite way to use it?

Friday, September 14, 2012

#1, #5, #8 & I'm Done!!

Here's my final installment for Rinda's Photo Scavenger Hunt. With these last three items, I have found all 21 items on this year's list!

It's funny to me that the last item I photographed was actually the first one on the list: #1 - A Pier. I was on the lookout this week, and as I was sitting in the doctor's office for a routine checkup, I looked up and found my pier right there in the examining room!

I captured this photograph for #5 - A Train earlier in the summer on a road trip to Tioga. We were just getting out of the car to head into Clark's Outpost for some great BBQ when I heard a train whistle and grabbed my camera for a quick shot as this train sped past across the street.

I've had a photo for #8 - A Statue of An Angel since our trip to New Mexico in July, but I had dismissed it at the time hoping to find a more "angelic" example. However, this is probably a more accurate angel as it depicts a Biblical scene entitled Expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

I did it - I found all 21 items!!! I have truly enjoyed how this scavenger hunt list has made me more aware of my surroundings and caused me to take photographs I would not normally capture. Thanks Rinda for hosting this fun summertime event - I'm already looking forward to next year!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

LSNED - week one

It's September and that means back to school time for some and Shimelle's Learn Something New Every Day class for others. This year I am following along with Shimelle's prompts and will be sharing my thoughts and what I've learned each day here in a weekly round-up post. Some days my lesson is directly related to Shimelle's prompt and other days it takes a totally different course.

1st - Shimelle encouraged us to complete this thought: My name is Melissa and today is the first of September 2012. The last big adventure of my life would probably be . . . the sleigh ride out onto the frozen Bow River for my wedding! Robbie and I were almost frozen when it was over, but that event changed my life and filled me with happiness as we became man and wife.

My lesson/reminder for the day involved one of the other great adventures in my life - scrapbooking to preserve our memories and tell our story. When my friend Michelle quickly accepted my invitation to come over and scrap, I was reminded that it is fun to share this hobby with others.

2nd - Shimelle encouraged us to think about the teachers in our lives and what they've taught us. I've recorded some of the lessons I've learned from various "teachers" in blog posts here, here and here. In my Storytelling Sunday post this month, I shared the story of my friend Josey, which helps me remember to appreciate and reciprocate real friendship.

3rd - Shimelle encouraged us to write down one or more things we would like to move forward with in life. An unexpected phone call that evening reminded me that things can change (in this case for the better)in our lives and relationships at any time. My lesson for the day -  never stop praying for reconciliation with family members, something I would definitely like to move forward with in my life.

4th - Shimelle encouraged us to consider what home feels like, wherever that may be. For me, I feel "at home" in many places, but there's truly nothing like being at home with Robbie. My lesson for the day was a reminder that sometimes when I'm frazzled and overwhelmed, it helps to take a little time to just sit and craft with a friend. (Crafty Tuesdays have started at Ellyn's Place!)

5th - Shimelle encouraged us to think about whether we are planners or if we are more spontaneous. I am definitely a planner! My lesson for the day was a reminder that I can accomplish a lot by just doing the next thing on the list (pack clothes, pay bills, make goodie bags, pack scrapping supplies) & by letting some things go (exercise, grocery shopping, creating page kits).

6th - Shimelle's prompt was all about gratitude, and I was reminded that I have so much to be grateful for every day. I was extremely thankful to find our postal carrier several blocks from the house, and I appreciated her willingness to pull my mail out of order so I could take a package with me as I headed out of town. And even though I told him it was OK to skip it this time, I was thrilled and grateful to find a beautiful bouquet of flowers (& a generous gift certificate) from Robbie waiting for me when I arrived for the 2nd unofficial BPC Texas Get-Together.

7th - Shimelle encouraged us to think about all the "in between time" we have in our day - the time we spend waiting or getting from one place to the next. As it turned out, my lesson for the day involved planning and time - no matter how carefully you plan, someone will always show up at the scrapbooking retreat right after you've left for lunch and someone else will lock her keys in the truck.

 How about you - are you following along with LSNED? What have you learned this September?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

#2, #6, #20 & #21 & Cheri - Corsicana, Texas

When I first announced plans for the 2nd unofficial BPC Texas Get-Together, I had no idea it would lead to me meeting one of my blog friends (Cheri of Scrap Dreams) and finding a few more items for Rinda's Photo Scavenger Hunt, but that's exactly what happened this past weekend in Corsicana, Texas, where I met up with 11 other BPC students for a 4-day crop at Scrappin' Goodtime.

I was excited that Cheri was flying in from Pennsylvania for the crop, but since she was also visiting and bringing her mother with her, I didn't know if we would have much time to get to know each other. I needn't have worried as it turned out that Cheri and I ended up sharing a room, where we lay awake like school girls who have known each other forever and talked until the wee hours of the morning. Not only did I enjoy visiting with Cheri, but her scrapping is even more artistic in person than what it appears on her blog. She created the most fabulous memory file project (which I didn't get a photo of) and has a real talent for choosing embellishments for her pages (as you'll see evidenced in her upcoming monthly checklists).

As an added bonus, we were able to do some scavenger hunting together! Cheri was on the lookout for a horse (which I'm sure she will be sharing soon), and I found four more items to share with you today.

First up was #2 - A Clothesline. In the neighborhood (and city) where I live, everyone has wooden fences, so if there was a clothesline anywhere I probably wouldn't be able to see it (although I think they might be against the homeowner's association rules!). However, I was sure I would find one in Corsicana, so after lunch on Saturday we took a drive (to the wrong side of the tracks, as Cheri says) to find one. Actually, Corsicana is crisscrossed with railroad tracks, so we were on all sides of the tracks throughout our drive.

 There were actually six of us in the car during this scavenger hunt drive, and as we crossed an intersection in downtown someone said, "There's your flag to symbolize the nation." I made a U-turn and was delighted with this flag painted on a garage door to fulfill the requirements for #21 - Me Standing With Something That Symbolizes Your Nation. (It may have been the frequent U-turns that caused Cheri to say I was "a touch rowdy" in her recent post about out meeting.)

[This photo also reminds me of the patriotism that spread throughout our country 11 years ago today. May we never forget those who were unjustly murdered and those who freely gave their lives to save others that day! God Bless America - land of the free, home of the brave!]

Later in the day, Cheri and I were able to sneak away for a walk around the surrounding neighborhood, which was filled with large old trees - surely I could find #20 - A Swing Hanging From A Tree. I was beginning to think that all the residents were not fully utilizing the potential of these great trees when Cheri said, "There's your swing."

We also found quite a few historical landmarks, but my favorite for #6 - A Historical Landmark was this old city jail that a couple of our fellow croppers had discovered on their walk earlier in the day.

Cheri, I'm so glad you were able to make the trip to Texas to visit your mom to meet me and scrapbook with the BPC group scavenger hunt with me! Let's do it again real soon!