Friday, October 08, 2010

LOAD Day 3 and 4

On the 3rd, I did two layouts . . . with the Treasure layout freshly created, my mind kept wandering to these two photos of the beach that I had on my memo board. I printed it in both color and B&W with the suggestion from an instructor that it would look fabulous in black and white. I have been looking at them for over a year like that, and I still can't decide which I liked better . . . so I decided they both deserve a spot in my albums and I would scrapbook them together. I used that same design from the treasures layout, just different papers.

This second layout, I also did on the 3rd. I loved this photo that I took in a local park and I used PSE 7.0 to write the title using Ali Edwards' free handwriting font. I believe it's available from CK. This one actually addressed the challenge for LOAD that day which was find a photo that really speaks for itself - no words allowed except for the title.

Day 4 was cropping in close to your photos. I thought it was perfect to get some scenic pictures scrapbooked from a trip to Niagara Falls way back in 2004. I love how this one turned out!

Thanks for stopping by and looking! I'm running a tad behind getting my photos posted for Picture Fall. I have to take today's and hopefully I'll be back later with those being posted.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Finding Beauty

Boy I had to look hard for this one. I started with a sago in my front yard because I really didn't want to go out back . . . but I love the sago palms, and so it was hard to really find beauty out of something ugly when I thought they were pretty to begin with . . .

So I moved on to the backyard . . .

The first thing that stuck out to me was the nasty old worn retaining wall and it's paint chipping away.

But I couldn't find a way to make that ugly look very beautiful at all . . . sure, the texture is great but that's about it.

So I started looking at all of our trees . . . and I found these . . .

Yep, definitely amazing when I get a little closer - but oh so nasty from far away. We have a water oak that is on the cusp of dying . . . and these were images from it. The top one was my pick to put into the class gallery. It's actually the underside of a mushroom that was growing out of the trunk, about 2 feet up from the ground. Definitely nasty.

October 2, 2010 - Comfy and LOAD Day 2

Today was a day of sports in our household. My daughter played her last rec soccer game of the season, my youngest son played a soccer game also, and my older son played an awesome football game about an hour away that I didn't get to see. Then started the fun of visiting a few bakeries in town to sample some cupcakes for my daughter's Sweet 16, who apparently has watched WAY too much of that MTV show for her own good . . . because after spending some cash on some super fattening sweet cupcakes (and very yummy mind you), we ended up at the mall shopping for a semiformal. This is another post all on its own and I can't wait to share it with you,

but not tonight . . .

Today's prompt at Picture Fall was comfy and there were three places around my home that I could envision for this prompt . . . where do I like to get comfy. First thought was my bed . . . I often read there, and when I get overwhelmed with my crazy life, it's often my retreat. Here it is, fresh out of laying in it . . . books piled on the nightstand and all. Don't judge the unmade bed - remember I've had knee surgery so I'm laying back here a lot to elevate and ice.

Second thought was my scrapbook room, but then that's all alone and my chair isn't really all that comfy . . . and it's kind of a solitary place with no room for friends or family to join me, so I decided it wasn't all that comfortable after all . . .

So I decided I liked this final choice the most. I have two wingback chairs in our family room against a wall of windows. This one is closest to the fireplace and faces more towards the sofa where the family sits than towards the TV. It's where I often sit to read and enjoy a cup of coffee in the mornings after the kids are off to school, or hang out when family comes to visit. I chose to take the picture tonight, when I most like to sit in the chair while we were hanging out as a family getting ready to watch Florida Gator Football (miserable game, btw, against Alabama. Ugh). Of course, when I'm actually sitting in it, I pull my feet up back and under me and swing the pillow around to the side and cozy in for a convo with the kids and/or hubby.

Since we had been busy today, I knew I was going to be tight with time on my LOAD layout. To make it simple, I searched my favorites tag on Flickr to see what caught my eye in the way of simplicity and decided to lift a layout from Monica. (I hope she doesn't mind too much.) I really just followed the basic design but added my own photo and papers and title. Enjoy!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Amelia Island in Pictures

Quintessential Fall

50 mm f/2.5 1/4000 at ISO 200

50 mm f/1.4 1/8000 sec at ISO 200

50 mm f/1.4 1/640 sec at ISO 200

Same leaf found outside this morning in the middle of our backyard preserve area. I moved it to the grass because I loved the contrast there and the sun was shining outside. All images are SOOC except where I cropped the first one.

It's Day 1 of Picture Fall over at Big Picture Classes. There's still time to join me in a journey to be more aware and inspired by what's around us. It's amazing how you start to look at your world just a little differently. I love getting those inspirational emails in my inbox from Tracey each morning too.

For me, it looks like Fall decided to make it's appearance in Florida just in time. There was a breeze in the air - almost crisp - and a cloudless sky this morning. Football is in full swing. I really hope to keep up with this class this time around and continue sharing images daily here as well as in the classroom. Both in Picture Spring and Picture Summer, life was too crazy and busy. I want to SLOW DOWN and enjoy this October. My knee is also finally feeling better to the point where those photos were actually taken in a squatting position. I can't quite kneel yet, but almost. Every day is a little better. I'm grateful I can't move as fast right now. :)

Let me know if any of you decide to join me so I can look for your work!


I've been pretty productive on one side of my life, at least. I may have not been able to clean house and cook dinner for the last three weeks, but I have been able to get some scrapbooking done!! (YAY!!!)

I was busy the last four weeks in a BPC (formerly BPS) class taught by May Flaum. The goal was to Use Your Stash . . . and I did, but still just minimally. I think I'm going to be taking a break on churning out layouts and really focus on quality over the next few months, as well as organizing my key inspiration and support. My PHOTOS are organized thanks to Stacy Julian, my PRODUCT is organized thanks to Wendy Smedley, and now I'm focusing on getting my stories organized thanks to Karen Grunburg's class Book of Stories (and yep, sorry . . . it's too late to join but I highly recommend it if it's offered again!!). Picture Fall (there's still time to join if you're so inclined) also just started with Tracey Clark of Shutter Sisters and I'm hoping to bring in fall with full appreciation this year.

The class I just finished was Adventures in Scrapbooking: Use Your Stash and there was GREAT infomation shared in the message boards about products that may have been forgotten about or that we just bought too much of. That will be one that I hope to frequently revisit. I also didn't do "every" layout yet and May also provided us with a new sketch every Monday of class . . . so inspiration is there waiting for me when I revisit.

The first week started off with Chipboard as the stash to focus on for May. I took her challenge (but only completed one layout that week) and also focused on chipboard. Here was the layout I created for that one.

Sorry for the crooked picture. The journaling reads: Spending some 1-on-1 time with Nana in St. Augustine after Matthew was born. Summer 2002.

The next layouts I accomplished were about a week or so later. I had my surgery the day I finished the above layout (Wednesday, September 8), and then I was laid up through the weekend and on crutches. A friend and I belong to a monthly layout club through our local scrapbook store and Basic Grey and I was so excited about this paper (Oliver line) and the accompanying directions for the layout, that I came home that night and started working again. It took me a few days to finish since I couldn't sit long, but I'm quite happy with the results!

again sorry for the crooked pictures. These were some favorite shots I had from Matthew's football season last year. Journaling reads: Matthew's 2nd season of football was awesome. Full-time linebacker - (heart)'s hitting hard and even forced a fumble vs. West Augusine!

May had done a layout in one of her handouts about Halloween one year, and I started getting in the Halloween frame of mind. I pulled out some oranges and blacks and some OLD Halloween product stash and created the above layout. Journaling reads: This year Halloween fell on a Saturday . . . the Saturday of Florida-Georgia too . . . so Kristen chose to go to the game and skip Halloween. Lance was the Transformer Bumblebee. Matthew dressed up as Snake Eyes from GIJoe. They loved those costumes and played their parts well.

While I was in my Fall 2009 storage binder, I also found these pumpkin patch photos that I also wanted to scrapbook . . . and so I did! Don't you love it how that can happen. I couldn't believe how LITTLE STASH I had for Halloween. This was some old CTMH paper that I had used on a layout or two from Kristen's 3 or 4 yo Halloween, and I added in one of my Fiskars border punches (Apron Lace I believe). The silouetted pumpkin (I can't believe I did that) is pop-dotted and says, "the boys designed this one," around the edge). Journaling on this one reads: We had an adventure going a full weekend before Halloween to pick out our pumpkin at the OP United Methodist Church. We carved it that evening, but bad weather came and rotted our awesome Jack O'Lantern before we made it to Halloween the next weekend. Only Lances little pumpkin remained uncarved & unrotted. 10/09

On this layout, I moved on to a layout May had in the handouts focusing on the one "odd" photo. I really have a LOT of stories that can be told with just one photo, so I decided to use this one twice (see below). This is of my kids acting completely silly as they always do at the Photo Op at St. Augustine's alligator farm. I used some red paper with the october afternoon pp (diamonds) to help bring out the fun playful feel . . . and didn't focus at all on the trip TO the Alligator Farm, but rather what was going on in our lives RIGHT NOW. My hope is that the kids will instantly remember the month between us selling our old house and looking for and bying our new house when we had to move down the road to a 3rd floor apartment. It was AWFUL. The tag reads: Today - we were all just thankful to be out of the third floor, 3-bedroom apartment and enjoy some family time.

While I was working on that above layout, I realized I still had this one odd photo from the earlier Halloween photos too. While it was from Halloween, I didn't want to focus on that aspect. Rather, I wanted to focus on the character trait that my son showed his family and just one further example of how he does in fact, love his sister. He did this on his own, and I snapped a photo of what was waiting for my daughter when she returned home from the weekend with my parents. If you can't read the note, it reads: To Kristen From Matthew I hope you like this and that image is four baggies full of yummy candy that SHE loves . . . not just junk that he wanted to get rid of. Journaling reads: I love it when I see people being thoughtful to others. I love it even more when it happens to be one of my children to a sibling. This was one time that made my heart sing. Candy is very precious to Matthew, and because Kristen chose to go to the Gator game instead, he gave away some of his. (heart) you Buddy!

This is going back to the design of May's "halloween layout" that I mentioned above when I became inspired to do a few Halloween layouts myself. I didn't use her actual design in that one, but was inspired to when I came across a set of photos with a similar number. This one is also from July 2009 . . . probably the same week or so of the Alligator Farm picture . . . we were most definitely still in our 3rd floor apartment. We visit Sea World a LOT, and so I often don't take pictures of everything anymore, but on this trip, there were a lot more pictures than I though of this one exhibit because the kids loved it so much. It's the Manta Aquarium that goes along with the new Manta rollercoaster, where it's more like hang-gliding than sitting in a seat. The kids have always loved the ocean, so I really shouldn't have been surprised how much they loved this - and it helped that it was cool and air conditioned too! Journaling reads: The Manta was a new roller coaster that opened this past year at Sea World. Kristen is the only one of us who has gotten to ride it, but the boys and I discovered this little gem while we waited . . . and brought her back through. There's an awesome octopus, but the favorites are the guitar fish and standing under the rays as they glide above . . . and of course, acting like goofballs in the aquarium tunnel.

I have SO MUCH inspiration in my class files and in my own head and throughout the internet that I really feel I need to take a break from immersing myself in inspiration and get busy making some layouts - some QUALITY layouts. Ella Publishing had a "Friends" call this past month, and while I considered entering since Ella is a company I wholeheartedly believe in, I just didn't think I had enough quality layouts to send in . . . here's hoping the next time that happens, I'm ready.