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27 April 2016

What A Mess On Workdesk Wednesday

I am up early today, and because I don’t want to wake hubby I won’t be starting on my decluttering/organizing project this early – I tend to be noisy – so I will wait.  Instead I decide to bop into the studio.  Obviously the studio is not my decluttering/organizing project – though it should surely be – as this is the best looking shot I could get, even though the studio was spotless before my Creating Conventions trip.


First I have to maneuver past the bag of stuff from the crop 2 1/2 weeks ago,  Can it be that long . . . and I still haven’t finished putting this away. In my defense, it was the only bag left to sort out, but the plan was to actually finish up those classes as I unloaded the bag. Hasn't happened.

Okay, I’ll scootch past the door left open on the right or the paper left sitting on the right, and get to the island.


Where to my right you see the stamp that I hastily used to add a sentiment to a birthday card yesterday for a girlfriend.  Three of us met for lunch, and I wanted to take it with me.  Now where is the stamp set this belongs to, I wonder?


Well, the ink pad is on my left.  Do you think I chose this color ink only because it matched the card?  No silly, I chose it because it was already sitting out . . . still no stamp set case, though.


Aha, there it is over on the desk by the window.  And yes, I chose that particular birthday stamp set because it was already sitting out too - and I don't mean neatly filed on the bookcase end of the island as it should have been.  I suppose I should finish putting all those stickers on those stamps and put it away – along with the rest of that mess – pictures and newspaper clippings from aunt’s house that I needed to dig through for an assignment layout last week (you’ll see it on Sunday). 


Well, if I had just put those bagged kits back into my blue rolling tote from whence they came, this could look so much better.  And surely I could tidy up that much before moving onto my other project.  In the midst of my other project, yesterday I uncovered that Archivers bag and the Thickers that were in it.  I had looked for the bag to take to our crop and bring home goodies in – but couldn’t find it.  Sis-in-law had also looked for hers before the crop and couldn’t find it either, so I didn’t feel so bad.  That was short-lived and I almost didn’t admit to her that mine had long forgotten Thickers inside when it was rediscovered.  Honestly, I told her, I think I must buy Thickers while sleepwalking.

This really isn’t as bad as it looks – most of the big stuff is in bags.  I can have it all spiffed up and still have time to blog it and check out a few other WOYWW desks with Julia and friends before late-night-owl hubby arises. Then it is back to the real decluttering project.

25 April 2016

Memorandum Monday– New Wallpaper and Other Good News

No, not on my walls, but on my computer screen.  After living with a December free downloaded calendar wallpaper for 4 1/2 months, I finally found a new site for updating my wallpaper.  I used to download from Basic Grey and Fancy Pants Designs but those are no longer options.  Fancy Pants still has some fun older downloads of printables for scrapbooking, but they are not doing calendars.  And we know Basic Grey’s sad story.

Here is the site where I found my current wallpaper:

April 2016 - Good Deeds

And in the interest of spurring you on, here are a couple of other options I considered.

This cutie was another contender.


This one was fresh looking:

And let us not forget old standbys like American Greetings:

I perused some other sites as well, but most options were more photorealistic.  I definitely prefer the graphic look – like scrapbook paper – over cute photos of puppies and kitties.  Now you will know where to get a new calendar before next Monday rolls around.

Since I last checked in on Monday, it has been a week of variable speeds here.  I started out strong, wanting to get ahead on several blog-related projects so that I could start a new home-related project, but I ran headlong into obstacles and disappointments.  So I spent the next couple of days frittering away my time without a lot of direction or productivity.  I blame it on spring fever. 

This was the week the dogwoods came out in full bloom, and I slipped into flip flops for the first time.


Then early on rainy Thursday morning, I kicked it into “mission mode” and tackled a bunch of small annoying tasks I had been procrastinating – and that gave me a new sense of momentum, if not motivation.  Daughter ran home for a quick visit on Friday and Saturday.  Sunday was full of scrapping, and I also finished that home project I was talking about - major rearrangement of daughter's closet.  I freed up a lot of space in there which she will promptly fill up when the semester is over in just 2 weeks.

Also on the bright side, I finished this book:  I gave it 3 out of 5 stars.  I liked it – well, the personal story.  Not a fan of self-help advice books, I still hope to read more autobiographies and memoirs.  Her tips were mostly basic business networking principles, most helpful to young people just starting out. And her best tip is to always be open to opportunities that present themselves; she was and it accrued to her benefit.  I was pleased that she appears on screen @ The Five to be authentic to the person she presents in the book - gentile, intelligent, optimistic.


And in other good news, Susan Branch just sent out her spring newsletter.  Always a good read, although I could not recall why she called it Willard, until I clicked upon the thoughtful link she included to that back story.  I will not spoil it for you, you can read for yourself.

Her blog had disappeared from my reader mysteriously, probably on my last changeover, but I was reminded recently and added her back in. If you do not mind long enveloping blog posts, you will love hers.

That is all from me this Monday.  Do pop round to Sian @FromHighInTheSky and friends to see what their good news might be.

24 April 2016

White With One Challenge

Awakening – a layout for The Studio Challenges


Start: The current challenge over at The Studio Challenges:  make a layout using white and one other color.  Sounds easy for some, but not for me.

Style: I decided that I wanted to use blue as my one color.  Why, because there are more shades of blue than any other color in the spectrum, and I like choices (especially when they have already been limited).  I picked  some pictures of our pretty weeping cherry tree full of blooms last spring.  Alas, I missed snapping it this spring in full array.

Then I went to some of my oldest products.  I had taken many of these to the crop a couple weeks ago, and instead of putting everything away when I got home I purposely chose some items I was determined to use up, like the Stampin Up 6 x 6 paper pad with tone on tone patterns in Bashful Blue.   Those white textured flowers are also from SU; I tucked three in a visual triangle.  The one up top was perforated around the center and so I accented that with stitching.  The addition of a chipboard cloud in a turquoise blue transforms it to the sun.

Other newer products include the tiled blue washi tape, fresh from the crop.  The colors were a little too bold, so I layered a white dotted tape over the top, to tie in better with the two shades of blue on my page. In fact, I’ll be serving up new washi on lots of layouts in the near future.


The decision I debated the longest was on the title.  I auditioned many blue alphabets, silver and gold ones too.  I went with the pop of the black; the shock of it wakes up the reader.  I took the time to cover the colorful dots of the little butterfly in black before setting him upon his perch.

Stash: Wood grain cardstock – unknown from stash
Patterned paper, textured flowers, punched flower – Stampin Up
Doily – Studio Calico
Chipboard – Bella Blvd.
Washi tape – Eyelet Outlet (tile), Becky Higgins (white dot), CTMH (solid skinny)
Acrylic alphabet – The Paper Studio
Buttons – Aunt’s button box
Journal Font – Sarah Dunn Hand

I think the trick to a limited color scheme and using old product is the same.  You have to do interesting things with texture and dimension.  For example, my choice of the wood grain paper and the flower doily reflect nature.  I used lots of layering in the flowers and even popped up the little photos.  Attention to detail helps my pages looked finished even with limited color and pattern.

Why not hop over to The Studio Challenges and see which colors the other team members paired with white for this challenge.

18 April 2016

Memorandum Monday–The One With Too Many Contacts

No, I’m not talking about Sian @FromHighInTheSky and all you Memo Mondayers!  I am talking about these:


The middle of last week I had my annual optometry appointment to get my contacts prescription renewed.  I was told my eyes look good – for my age!  Really, did he have to add ”for my age.” Well, that’s just the way things are now, aren’t they.

While I like a doctor that is very informative and explanatory, I was wishing he wasn’t when he got to the third thing on the list that was happening to my eyes.  Again, all completely normal – for my age.  In fact, he shared a funny anecdote about how one of them affected him a few years ago.

But, really, now – funny story notwithstanding -- did he not realize that while all that information made his professional rating soar – it was pulling down his likability rating at an exponentially faster rate.  Honestly, he didn’t even buffer the news with a statement like “you have the prettiest eyes suffering with presbyopia (blurred near vision) that I’ve seen ages.”  Hmm. . . that would not be professional, I suppose . . . . but I could have used a boost to my vanity.  I am not that old, after all.

Anyway, I have mono-vision contacts – meaning one for distance and one for reading.  He tweaked both and warned me that it could take a few days to adjust.  He suggested changing the type of contact solution I used too and provided me with a couple samples. Because I was leaving for the scrapbook crop that weekend, I didn’t wear my new contacts on the trip as my last weekend crop was affected by another contact incident. I did not want to risk a repeat cutting into my happy scrappy time.

So I started wearing the new ones on Tuesday.  I could immediately tell they helped with distance when driving, and with text on our big screen TV 15 feet away in the family room, and my up-close reading of books or my tablet.  But . . .

they were doing weird things when I was on the computer. That distance is about another foot farther than when reading my tablet.  And things weren’t quite in focus.  So I decided to try and figure out if it was his tweaking of my close-up or distance contact that was causing the distortion.

On my bathroom vanity, you see my old set of contacts, a case for a hybrid set of old and new contacts, and my empty new contact case.  I played at mixing old with new, and my unofficial little experiment proved that he had indeed tweaked both.  He had done so in tandem with one another – so substituting old instead of new, did not help in any combination.  The best vision, in almost all worlds, was with my new contacts.

Satisfied with that conclusion, I have been wearing the new set exclusively this weekend, and I can report that they are fabulous for scrapbooking!  So it’s all good.

I will call today to order my 6 month supply, because yesterday, in the den, I rearranged my desk, and moved the d*** computer 6 inches closer!!  I guess if it weren’t for my age, I would have figured that out without the experiment. (he he hee hee)


Now, I’m off of blogging and onto paperwork that has been stacking up since before my crop.  And  maybe a little musing about the good old days in my 20’s -- the last time I was told I had pretty eyes.  (Yep, it was just one young fella’s harmless pick-up line!)

Have a great week!

15 April 2016

Scrap Weekend Wrap-Up of Layouts, Cards, Other Goodies

This year at the Creating Keepsakes event, we decided to crop in our room instead of attending the paid crop in the group setting.  Overall, this worked out well for us and I think we will do it again.

I had packed up lots of old supplies – including some themed supplies for swimming and fishing.  The oldest of these dated back to 2001, but paired with newer supplies, I think you might not be able to tell the difference.


First, a picture of my daughter on a brownie field trip to the local pool (using a Ready, Sketch, Go! sketch.) Ooops, looks like there a stray paper sliver there.


Then 5 layouts scrapping the last of my hubby’s 2013 Canada fishing trip.


This last one is my favorite.  Each year there is a favorite photo of mine that isn’t about the fishing but about the place.  I started with another sketch from the Ready, Sketch, Go Class, and was thrilled that I had this background paper that really looks like water – I think it is Bo Bunny, very heavy with almost a light plastic-feeling finish to it.


That’s 6 layouts in total.  Sis-in-law bettered me by at least double that, in part because she wasn’t so exhausted after the first day of classes that she fell asleep at 7 p.m. Yes, I did.  The second night I had much better stamina.  In fact I can honestly say:


Well, once in a while, anyway.  We also did a little cropping on Sunday morning.


First, on the right are the leftovers from the swimming layout – mostly stickers from a Stampin Up Simply Scrapping page kit called Pina Colada – circa 2007.  I like these 3 x 3 cards for leaving tips for hotel housekeeping - going through them quickly means we've been traveling often these days.


Then on the left a few cards from the duplicate die-cuts and paper off-cuts of a Heidi Swapp line – these had been stored in the same paper folder so I think they date back about the same time.  I still have a sheet or two of the paper and a few die-cuts left.


Here’s a quick snap of the freebies:

The Stampin Up stuff is from my sweet sis-in-law Trenna; the Melissa Francis tags were a door prize in her class, and the remaining items were free with our registration.  We like that tape runner a lot, it puts down a smooth and complete line of adhesive as a roller, and you can stamp it to get a square sized bit too.  Yes, that stamp thing really worked well.

And now some of the purchases I made:

My first stop was the local scrapbooking store booth, where they had 40% marked off of everything, and I admit most of this is purely impulse buys, although the Basic Grey and Jillibean Soup go with lines I knew I had – because, believe it or not, I had a list of things I was looking for.


Then  I stood in line for 45 minutes over a lunch break because I wanted blue washi tape, although I was not adverse to picking up more colors and patterns.  I was sucked into purchasing the brads and dots while waiting, waiting, and waiting in line.


Next stop was the Paper Loft booth, where I picked up a few pieces to go with a class kit and their entire spring collection called In Full Bloom.  I am a big fan of the Made In The USA paper, and the colors in this line match up with an older line of theirs.  20% off to anyone who took a Paper Loft class.



We missed being able to visit the Nicole Petersen booth and one other booth this year.  We heard that they were not showing in the Midwest, but were going to Anaheim instead.  So we didn’t get our usual fix of My Mind’s Eye and Jillibean Soup.  Basic Grey was also not there.  We found a new booth stocked up with all things American Crafts.  So I picked up some Pebbles Cottage Living line to go with 2 papers I had at home, plus some Heidi stickers.  By now you have seen, I’m pretty high on Heidi. (I even snuck one onto a fishing layout!!)


And last but not least was the Creating Keepsakes booth, where Thickers were 5 for the price of 4, plus you got $5 off every $20 spent.  In past years, I’ve also gotten their past class kits, but this year I figured I had enough to work on.


I also picked up their exclusive to the convention stamp set which was used in one of my classes.


And, of course, I have a bag full of class materials too.  I’ll show you those as I finish them up.
Wowza, I need to be scrapping past my bedtime on a regular basis.