Thursday, July 31, 2008

And the....tomato...stands alone

I tell you, our poor tomatoes have had a rough go of it this year. Between the pesky squirrel who nearly felled both plants a few weeks after we planted them and the blossom end rot that seems to have taken over the Roma plant, we just can't win for losing!

This is the lone product of our plants this year so far, bless its little heart. I wish I could say that its determination paid off, but it was pretty mealy. At least it made for a purty picture. ;)

FS Book of Me challenge

Until this month's Book of Me challenge over at Feeling Scrappy, I had never done a page like this one before: something totally about ME. So it is a bit of a funny feeling I have as I post this, fearing that everyone probably will think I'm a raging narcissist. ;) The journaling here was highly entertaining to come up with, since it focuses on something I have more than my fair share of: QUIRKS!! This project was well timed, since it came about right at my 27th birthday. It will be fun to look back on in a few years to see who I "was" at this point in time!

This is another page where I let Elements do a lot of the work for me. I journaled and did a portion of the title work directly onto the photo using the program. For the embellies, I used a combo of ready-made 3D stickers and hand-cut flowers from some patterned paper I just bought during our recent trip to Roswell (thanks, Aunt Jo, for the birthday money!). I mounted a few of the cut-outs to the page using pop dots for added interest. On the title lettering, I heat embossed the top and bottom edges of the letters.

I am a foodie with a soft spot for fast food
I am an outstanding conversationalist in my sleep
I am a stickler when it comes to a clean kitchen
I am a slacker when it comes to a clean car
I am the type to research every purchase
I am an unabashed grammar snob
I am horrible at being idle
I am lost without a list
I am a mother
I am a wife
I am...

Thanks, as always, for taking the time to look at my work!


Charlotte LOVES her "nanas" more than any other food. For breakfast, lunch, dinner or any time in between, that's our go-to food. That word was a part of her vocabulary even before "mama"...little stinker. ;) I took this series of photos during breakfast last week, and I knew immediately that I needed to do a page with at least one of them. And here it is!

[Journaling: You love your "nanas" so much, that word emerged in your vocabulary even before "mama." There's no doubting you'd eat them for every meal given the opportunity! 7/08 ~ 11.5 months.]

I really had fun with the embellishments here. I made the metal flower and heart embellies with craft wire and glass beads, and then I did some chipboard work with the other flowers with acrylic painting and paper covering. And, per my current obsession, I had to throw some hand stitching in, too. :) I've been really giving my Elements software a workout lately, playing with journaling and title work directly on my photos. The white space of Charlotte's high chair tray was perfect here for the title.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Why do I scrap?

The kids are growing up so quickly. Where do the days go, the weeks, the months? Charlotte will be a year old in just a couple of weeks, and yet I feel that it was just yesterday that Matt and I left for the hospital in the wee hours of that steamy August morning, venturing out to meet our new little girl and introduce our son to his baby sister. My goodness - it feels as though we were just heading to the hospital on that snowy December morning to meet our Jackson, just after my water had broken as Matt was walking out the door for a business trip! The memories are so sweet, but I have to say that as time continues to march on, the distance of them really does sting a little. But it is this hobby - the process of documenting these stories through pictures and paper, with love's creativity - that gives me the assurance that the tender threads that tie me to these precious moments will never be broken!

And on that (sappy!) note, a couple of my new pages. I will be honest: I am so pleased with both of these. I feel like I'm settling into a groove when it comes to my own particular style, although no matter how hard I try I can't find a word for it? I keep thinking of the word "organic," because every single page I've done lately seems to have a life of its own!

Thanks so much for taking a peek. I always love for you to stop in and say howdy. :)

From dough to "whoa!"

So how's that for a cheesy title? ;)

We've gotten into making bread lately, and this was what was on the table for supper last night. We are loving our new bread machine and our new oven!


A few culinary signs of summer from our garden. Our tomato plants are loaded with fruit on the verge of being ready for picking, and our herbs are going absolutely bananas. The highlight? BASIL! We dream about it during the cold months, with visions of Caprese salad and pesto dancing through our heads. Ours has never looked as beautiful as it does this year, presumably from the abundance of rain we've had. And Matt tells me I have a black thumb - well, fooey on him! :)

It rained yesterday afternoon well over an inch in under a half hour, which explains the mud spatters on the sides of the pots. And check out the ferns in the background. The one at top left if mine, and the rest are Donnell's that I am "fern sitting" until she gets done with summer school. Aren't they fabulous?

Supper time!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Thanks, Jen!

Arte Y Pico Award - Premio Arte Y Pico

Thanks so much to Jen for giving me the Arte y Pico Award! This award recognizes a blog's creativity and overall contribution to the blogger community. I have the honor of selecting the recipients for the next award! And although I was asked to pick five, I'm picking six. So there. :)

1) Capturing Moments

2) Scrappin' Daisy

3) Feeling Scrappy

4) It's a Wonderful Life

5) Scraps of My Life

6) The Scrappy Side of Life

Once you've been selected, please follow these guidelines and pay it forward:

1) Choose 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award based on creativity, design, interesting material, and overall contribution to the blogger community, regardless of the language.

2) Post the name of the author and a link to his or her blog so everyone can view it.

3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given him or her the award.

4) The award winner and the presenter should post the link of the "Arte y Pico" blog, so everyone will know the origin of the award.

5) Please post these rules!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

State of Mind

Just a new layout for your Tuesday enjoyment. :) This is based on a sketch from Sketchabilities. They have some very innovative sketches going on, and my friend Megan is on the DT over there. You really should check it out! The technique for the semi-circle/arrow here is actually something straight from the Positively Paper class over at Feeling Scrappy. The class kicked off yesterday, and I'm already finding myself inspired to get some pages done! I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but I decided to try out some masking in the background of this layout using some random letter stickers I have in my arsenal (and who doesn't have their fair share of those puppies lying around?). I think my neglected chalks about died from the shock of finally being put to use again! I hand-cut the Arkansas frame around the pic on the right, and I used the perimeter of the page for journaling about all of the ways Jack has amazed us with his knowledge of the 50 states. Thanks for looking, as always!

Another fashion show!

I tell you, Mom is on a roll! She is now so hooked on making Charlotte clothes, she went and bought herself a new fancy-schmancy sewing machine. And the outfits she is making just keep getting cuter! The latest package arrived today, and here is what Charlotte had to model for us this evening. The Incredible Hulk - or is that Jack?? - even decided to jump in for a shot. There are tons of pictures here, because I just couldn't manage to whittle them down. And the quality isn't great, but this is testament to the fact that it is no small feat to manage a still shot of either kiddo lately!

(Thanks also to Mom for the coordinating bows she picked up for Charlotte while she was here during the baptism. I am in LOVE with putting a bow in those curls!!)

This, my friends, is the look this little one gets on her face the moment that Daddy walks in the door from work. I am so happy to have captured it on camera, even in big brother's piggies are in the picture. :)

And what is the only accessory this ensemble is lacking? Look in her little hand! A CAR!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

July Member of the Month!

Guess who's the July Member of the Month over at Feeling Scrappy? Check it out!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Out with the with the new!

Anyone who has ever been to our house can attest to that fact that our kitchen range has been in dire need of being replaced since the very day we moved in over three years ago. To say that it was a bit outdated is almost laughable in how much that understates things! The timer didn't work. One of the burners (our only large one) was completely shot, and the others were well on their way in that direction. The oven was the size of a postage stamp. And, well, it was just plain ugly. And yet, we managed to cook some stellar meals with the old workhorse. We learned to adjust the heat on the main burner 1/1000th of a turn to change the heat setting from scarcely cooking to nuclear. When the temperature in our kitchen rose 10 degrees any time the oven was in operation (the insulation was totally shot - tons of fun with two curious kiddos), we would throw open a window or two or step out for some fresh air, even in the dead of winter. The photos of Jack's first Thanksgiving show him red-faced and sweating profusely as we all ate our meal in the sauna that was our kitchen after the oven had churned out a pan of dressing and pies galore. We'll just say it was an exercise in building character. :)

When we bought the house, our first major project was going to be to replace the range. We couldn't figure out why such an easy fix would've been neglected by the previous owners. I mean, how hard is it to take out a range and install a new one? (Let me restate: how hard is it for a professional, NON-Bell to do so?) The answer is pretty doggone difficult when the range is an oddball size, and none of the standard 30-inch models will fit in its stead. The only outright replacement was manufactured by a single company (GE), and it was nearly a carbon copy of the old range, only with a bit of an updated facade and a price tag of nearly $1500. No thanks! We had quotes done as to the cost of having the cabinets retrofitted to accommodate a standard range, and when we discovered the labor alone would be $1000, "easy" project priority #1 was officially tabled.

That is, until Uncle Sam decided to give us a rebate check, and we opted to do as any responsible citizen would and SPEND it. (Hey - that's what it was there for...seriously!) Through a partnership that Matt's company has with Maytag, we got an outstanding deal on a smooth-top, double-oven range (just about half of MSRP!), and our realtor set us up with a contractor to do the work for us. And the rest is history! I took some pictures as the process was underway. It was quite the undertaking, but the difference is incredible, don't you think? The entire complexion of the kitchen has changed!

I'm keeping busy!

I really have been keeping busy when it comes to scrapping, claiming some time in the (late!!) evenings to be productive. I've finished three pages in the last three days, which is really something for a slowpoke like myself. :) Here's what I've been up to. The first two here are for challenges at Feeling Scrappy, and the Advent Tree page is another from my ever-diminishing pile of Christmas photos. I think I have two more layouts to finish, and I'll be DONE with holiday pics!!

By the way, a whole new month of challenges is just beginning over at Feeling Scrappy. If you haven't already, you really should check them out. I can say without any hesitation that it is those challenges that keep me scrapping regularly! And it's almost like Christmas when the first of the month rolls around and you get to see what's on tap next. :)