Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Last year I participated in an online scrap contest and, while I truly never expected to win, I was stretched to the gills and made what have turned out to be a few of my most favorite pages. Well, the contest is back on. (It's Last Scrapper Standing, Volume 2). A gazillion people sign up and the each week a different challenge is given. Everyone submits their pages and then half are CUT. The same thing continues week by week until there is one - or "the last" scrapper still standing. Cool!

THIS week's challenge (week 1) was to use 8 transparencies on your page. No more. No less. Now, transparencies are really BIG in the scrapping world these days. They're clear elements (hence the name transparency - clever, huh?) that you can do such fun stuff with. The contest sponsors are looking for innovation here.

For my page, I printed all 6 of the photos out on transparencies, and for the 5 little ones that are in slide mounts, I de-saturated the color and they really do look like little slides in real life. They're so cute. I also added a transparent frame to the main photo and then the big word art strip is number 8. I love how it shows under the bigger photo. I put a backing on all the little photos, so they wouldn't appear so blurry (as transparencies do if they're "floating" at all). I LOVE my page. Is it innovative? Well, to be honest, I don't think so... It's been done before, so I may not even make it past this first week. (Last year I got cut after the 3rd week.) But, in the end, I get to KEEP a page I really adore! Gotta love that! :) Oh, and I cut out that whole black flowery-viney thing. Love that. And it's no accident that I just so happened to take my photo on top of a transparent table and next to a transparent candle holder. But that don't count for nothin'! It just amuses me....

Here it is:

And here are a few details:

Like I said, the transparencies photography very blurri-ly. It looks so much better in real life!We'll see how it goes, and I'll certainly report back to my blog one way or the other...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Winter? No, I just happened to pull out a winter photo for this layout - because I wanted to scrap something with this collection of papers and Matthew was wearing a hat that matched!

So, I did this page for 2 reasons (well, besides the fact that I LOVE to scrap!) First, for the Elsie 52 week challenge. This time the challenge was to use a ribbon border and I bordered the photo with some. But also, over at SIStv this week, the design team (aka "fashionistas) were picking only layouts using this collection of papers (called "Sonora H.S.) for their "best of". Their selection of favorite layouts for the week is also known as the "catwalk". (Everything on the site is fashion related as far as names go.) So I wanted to use the collection for a layout and get it in for consideration. And guess what? I MADE the catwalk again!! Woohoo! I made it last week as well (for the 1st time) and so now that's two weeks in a row. (The other layout that got picked was the "I Do" one, below.) This is like getting an academy award on this site. So I'm pretty excited! They like me, they really like me! :)

This is just a shortie because I actually have some work to do! What a concept! I'm off to enjoy this gorgeous day!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A new one:

This is the last layout I made for my online class. I'm using a photo technique I learned on this one, but the whole page is ALL my creation. I love how it turned out. (For any digi scrappers out there, I used Diana Rigdon's ( "Grunge Factor" kit.) One of the big plusses of digi scrapping (besides the fact that it's quicker) is that there's NO MESS to clean up afterwards! Sweet! I'll never give up on my "real paper" scrapping, though.

Well, as I write this, Matthew and Martha are enjoying the gorgeous SW Irish coast view from every window of the cottage they're renting for the week. They arrived at Shannon yesterday a.m. and Matthew, for all his concerns about driving, said it was fine. They've already downed a few Guinesses and sang (American songs) with the locals. So they're off to a great start of what promises to be a trip of their lifetime! I'm just beside myself with excitement for them, which is only more pronounced by the fact that I know just what they're experiencing. It makes me long to get back there my own self!

And our nest is again empty as Dustin is finally actually spending the nights at his new apartment - just 10 minutes from here! :) He was gone over the weekend and we hit WalMart and Sam's and dropped off "a few" goodies for him to find when he got back last night. (We didn't want him to starve!) He still has a phone situation to work out, but he can easily walk to a pay phone or call from work, where he'll be putting in about 40 hours this week - a GOOD thing!

Woke up to 40ish degree temps this morning and a chilly house. But the sun is shining now - it's gorgeous out. Fall is definitely in the air, though I heard it's to warm up again later on in the week. A good frost wouldn't break my heart, though - I'm tired of waking up all congested and sneezing all the hay fever has made a reappearance this season. On the other hand, I hope our flowers hang out long enough for our annual Dancin' on the Deck party this coming Friday. We'll see!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Here are a couple new layouts:

Oh, I just realized they both "star" Matthew! Well, he IS a star, isn't he? Well at least I think so! The top one is a digi that I just did on my own (using a template, but I chose all the papers). The bottom one was the template we used from yesterday (final) online digi class. I just popped in the photo and did the journaling after doing all the other stuff - which everyone else did. What I'm saying is that the 2nd one - though beautiful - isn't unique, like the top one.

I'm definitely going to take the next digi class in the series so I can learn even more. This has been great. And even though I can pop out a digi layout in about an hour, I'm going to try not to start them at 1 a.m. (Geesh)

Speaking of Matthew, he and his lovely wife, Martha (I love saying that) are leaving for IRELAND on Friday! Wow! Can't believe it's here already and I am now officially VERY jealous. I find that I can't allow myself to think about Ireland too much, because then I just get this intense longing to go back. Hopefully, we will realize that next spring!

I think I'm actually feeling a spark of energy today after a week of this nasty cold. Well, at least I'm typing just a little faster... I hate feeling crappy.

On that happy note, I'm off to pour cuppa coffee #2 and get started on some "work"!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Here's a couple new layouts I've done:

This one was for a challenge book I'm working through (the 52 challenges mentioned previously). The idea was to make your focal photo black and white. The journaling around the edges is a prayer for the lovely couple. (In the photo a prayer is being given.)

And this one I did because I was given that "quickpage" in my online digi class. All I had to do was add the photo and my journaling (which, interestingly, I did exactly the same way as the previously laout!). This page took me all of about 20 minutes from start to finish - a real record for me! (The first layout - done in "real" paper - took me about 2 hours - which, actually, is still pretty fast for me.) When I saw the template, I knew right away what I had to use for a picture...

Well, I am still down and out with this nasty cold. Yesterday the coughing phase began (during the Penn State game, which made it very difficult to be my normal overly-excited self). And this morning I woke up with THE most painful cough I've ever had. A couple cups of hot coffee have soothed it some, but, UGH. Crapola city here. No church for me today. I anticipated that and had Chris put the song service together with songs HE could do! At least I still have half a brain...

Off to cough up a lung....

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Well, I'm whipping out the digi layouts now! I can't stop. This one uses a template where all the elements are there and you just choose which papers, fonts, etc. to plug in. These are more photos from our last Sunday at Kellie's pool.

Matthew sent me this link to a blog where he was written up since he played at the guy's store in Sedona this past weekend. I'm such a proud mommy. What I'm SO looking forward to, since I'm beginning to believe that M&M are actually moving back here next summer, is hearing Matthew play around here! I'll be the groupie Mom that annoyingly follows him everywhere. Chris will be the louder, more obnoxious version of same.

Well, I'm feeling crappy today. I have a yucky sore throat (day 2) and just generally feel yuck. I'd love to blow off all the banking I have to do today. But then it will be looming and waiting for me tomorrow... Either way, I'll probably be in front of this computer most of the day!

It's an UNbusy weekend coming up, thankfully. Sounds good to me. Hope yours is great!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

My latest digi page. It captures what may well be the last romp in the pool. We were at Kellie's (Chris's sister) pool on Sunday for a picnic and the weather was gorgeous. As you can see, Chris and Dustin were up to their usual antics. What can we expect, really? I could make a politically incorrect comment about that main photo, but I won't...

Chris and I did our annual Memorial Day Road Trip yesterday, on Labor Day. We started off with a big, greasy breakfast at May's. Mmmmm. (Probably not the best thing to eat just hours before fasting for bloodwork the next a.m.) Then we headed to Rickett's Glen where one of the spectacular falls there is just off the road - Adams Falls. Whew. Amazing and the setting is stunning. Yet only a matter of yards off the road.

From there we headed to the Scranton area to Frances Slocum State Park. Located there are the rocks where Indians, who had kidnapped the young Miss Slocum, took her the first night. I read about this true story in a historical fiction book called The Red Heart by James Alexander Thom. This is just an amazing story - one of the best books I've ever read (as are all his that I've read, my favorite being Follow the River). I highly recommend it. You can get it here.

The rocks were just a short hike in the woods that surround the lake at this beautiful park. It went kind of like this:

Me: We have to go up that hill?
Chris: It looks that way.
Me: I thought they told you this was an "easy" hike.
Chris: That's what they said.
Me: I don't like uphills. This isn't "easy".
Chris: What can I say? I've never been here before.
Me: (grumble, grumble, pant, pant, pant. Stop to grasp for air and keep from fainting...)
Me: (at top of hill) Is (pant, pant) that (gasp, gasp) it (pant, gasp)?
Chris: Yep, there's the sign.
Me: (pant, pant, pant) Okay. Let's go.
Chris: Okay.

(Note to self: start that walking program TOMORROW!)

One of the reasons this story interested me so much was that Frances Slocum's travels (with the Indians) took her through PA and across OH and into IN where she finally settled near Ft. Wayne - just 20 minutes from where I was born. So I was familiar with the terrain and area through which she ventured. I won't give away the end. Read it.

After the park, we headed towards Clarks Summit and played mini golf at a GREAT course. I hate those stupid, boring courses that it took no thought to create. This was NOT one of those. It was very hilly, had lots of steps, waterfalls, "creeks", plantings and each hole was challenging and unique. Way fun. Oh, by the way. I must mention one little factoid. I BEAT CHRIS!! (He GOLFS!) Sa-weeet!

Chris had planned another lookout with a very short walk (he said), but, being that it's a road trip, which means nothing is set in stone and spontanaity rules, (and also that my heart rate was just finally getting back to normal) I suggested heading to the Target complex out of Wilkes Barre which we weren't too far from. Of course, being that we were going to drive through Clarks Summit first, we HAD to stop at Krispy Kreme. (Yeah, those are gonna help the fitness level, not to mention the upcoming bloodwork). We mostly took home what we got there.

So from there we hit Target and managed to quite easily drop a few bucks. We actually bought our first Christmas gift, though. I found a ton of scrapbooking stuff on clearance, big time. Couldn't pass that up!

We concluded our trip by dining at the Outback Steakhouse, since we don't have one near us. We split a blooming onion (and actually didn't even finish it) and then both got steak salads which we also didn't finish. I thought I had done very well trying to get some veggies in there and stopping before I had reached the point of naseatingly full. I guess the hard lesson about lack of fitness was starting to sink in... Oh, and I had to fast beginning at 7 p.m. for the bloodwork in the morning.

All in all, it was a great day. The weather was spectacular, again. Good stuff. I came home and resisted eating my fresh KK donuts. :( Because, you know, the fast, the bloodwork.

So I pryed myself out of bed at the last possible minute this a.m. for the said bloodwork. I was STARVING! Got myself out the door and arrived just in time for my 7:40 a.m. appt. Hey, I wasn't going to waste ANY time being coffee OR food-less. Well, I didn't get called in until 8 a.m. :( I warned the tech that I was a "hard stick" which she was so very unhappy to hear. I've had them try to draw blood from me before at the doc's office - unsuccessfully - and should have used that past experience to influence where to get it drawn this time, but they just moved and I thought maybe that meant the tech had improved as well. Nope. She stuck me once and got nothing. Couldn't even find a vein in the other arm, so tried my hand. Nothing. She took a deep breath, swearing she'd get it this time and plunged in again, digging as she went. OW. As it turns out, she "blew" that vein and called in another tech who also couldn't find anything. Apparently, I am veinless. :( So NOW I have to do the whole fast thing-y again sometime - but up at Williamsport Hospital's lab. Not happy! :( I do have a mammogram scheduled up there next week, but it's not until noon. Well, if I show up in the lab at 8 a.m., it might BE until noon before they get the blood out of me... or else I'll be passed out from starvation.

Don't ask me why, but all this is making me hungry!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Here's the latest REAL paper page I did. It's for yet another challenge I'm doing. This time it's to do all the challenges in this book. The first one was to use a quote and to cut it up into word strips. That's pretty easy, because it's something I like to do anyway. So my page was sort of in celebration (or should I say remembrance) of the "last" day of summer, which I really consider August 31st to be.

Yeah, so, can you believe it's SEPTEMBER? Wow! See? Now doesn't that just seem like fall to you? Even though on my msn home page the forecast for the next four days shows perfect little suns, no clouds, no rain, 80-ish. Dang! That sounds pretty summer-ific to me!

We had a friend (and her family) from Penn College over last night. We did a little hot dog roast. We have been doing a lot of those this summer. I find it ever so enjoyable. Besides the taste of fire roasted hot dogs (not too shabby, if not nutritious) the fire is always so nice and it's just fun sitting around in the semi-dark. We have tiki-torches going and the deck lights are on and then, of course, there's the fire light. It's just a nice atmosphere. And, being as clear as it was, the stars were amazing last night. And we had a barn own join us as well. I looked and looked for him in the trees with a strong flashlight, but to no avail. But it was being very "vocal" so we knew it was there!

I have a little scrapping in my immediate future (i.e. today!) but, first, I must get the song service on powerpoint. So off I go...

Such a beautiful light is streaming through my windows. Must be the light of early autumn!