Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Yet another sketch

Tammy, the owner of Cookin' Up Creations asked me as one of the DT alumni to post a challenge with a sketch and a tutorial today. I jumped at the chance to do it. The tutorial I chose is for the paper rose that was posted earlier this month on my blog. I loved the flower so much that rather than use someone else's sketch, I made my own so I could showcase my flower. Here is the sketch:
I was also asked to make a sample using the sketch. I knew just the pictures that I wanted to use. It was of "the girls" at the New Year's Eve party. They were all dressed wonderfully so I had a picture of them all together. I kept the layout simple to focus on the pics and on the rose. Here it is:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I love sketches

I love sketches - I have found that they are a wonderful boost to my creativity. This sketch is a PageMaps sketch. It is a challenge for a DT application at Scrapbook Express.

Here are my projects 2 layouts and one card
I made this layout first. I got to the point where I just added and added stuff, but it never looked right so I decided to give it another try.
I am much happier with the second layout. The colors are great and I kept much closer to the sketch.
Of the three projects I like the card the best. It, like the first layout, it is not exactly like the sketch, but I think that it is my best work with the sketch.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St.Patrick's Day - really

What is is about? NOT parades or green beer. It is a solemn religious holiday. To properly observe it, spend the day in church, not the local pub.

St. Patrick was born in Scotland (Yes, he is Scottish, NOT Irish.) He was captured and taken to Ireland as a slave. At that time the religion of Ireland was Pagan and Druid. As a slave Patrick (whose whose real name was Maywen Sugat ) learned the language and the ways of his captors. During his captivity, he turned to God in prayer. Eventually he was delivered back home to Scotland. He was then moved to go back to Ireland to spread the gospel of Christ. Just as he used Joseph's sale into slavery for the good of his family, he used Patrick's slavery for the good of the Irish people who oppressed him.

He was able to convert many pagans and unbelievers to Christianity. He eventually became the Bishop of Ireland and set up many Christian churches there. The Catholic church recognized his efforts and made him a saint. It is that man and those acts that are the reason for observing St. Patrick's day. The idea of the day is to celebrate the universal baptization of Ireland. March 17 is the anniversary of his death. The Irish have observed this religious day for thousands of years. Traditionally, families attend church early in the morning.

That is the history of St. Patrick's day. I am not Catholic. I really don't pay much attention to saints of any type but I respect those who do. If you feel led to observe the day - go to your local parish. Pray and meditate - that is what the day is designed for.

However just as I am offended by those who have taken the Christ out of Christmas, I am equally offended by the traditional (at least American) observance of St. Patrick's day. It has NOTHING to do with drinking to excess, parades or beer. It also has noting do do with green. it is the color of Ireland, but NOT the color associated with St. Patrick. That is blue. If you want to observe it do so. If you want to get drunk, you really don't need a special day to do it so leave the saints alone.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March 15 card sketch

This is the sketch for the March 15 card sketch at Scrapbook News and Review:
This is the card I made with the sketch. It was first posted at Cookin' up Creations as their product reveal on 3/7
I served on the DT there. One of the sponsors, Gel-A-Tins, that I had the pleasure to work with was sponsoring the site again. Being that I had the supplies, I was asked if I would like to make a project and this is the result.

The "Happy Birthday" is a stamp, but not theirs. I made the flower using the script letter l. I just stamped the image multiple times rotating a little each time. I really like the way that they"tail" made the cool pattern in the middle. I am going to need to try this again using different letters and fonts and see what I can come up with.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Luddite to the core

I am on several scrapbooking sites and at some point being that we work with pictures, the topic of cameras comes up. I realize that I am WAY behind the technological wave, but I love my film camera.

I have a Canon Rebel 35mm SLR - and LOVE it. I saved up and got it about 5 years ago and have not had a single regret. I wish I could say that I have had the same experience with digital cameras.

I entered the digi world a few years ago. I was sending my kids to camp armed with disposable cameras. I would get the cheapest ones that I could find - about $2 each. When they came home I would develop them and see some decent pictures but also many blurred or pictures of the inside of their backpack or their fingers in front of the lens. After paying for the developing when the summer was over I had handful of usable pictures and an emptier wallet. It was then that I thought that compared to this process that a point and shoot digital camera might not be a bad investment.

The first one I bought was from a friend who had purchased it for her mother, but her mother never used it. It was a Nikon - not top of the line, certainly but not trash either. I don't know if the camera was just old and didn't work right, or if the kids did something to it, but about a year later, it died.

Not wanting to go down the same path with the disposable camera again, I got another point and shoot digi. This time it was a rebuilt Canon. It came with a guarantee and from my favorite camera store so I trusted it. That camera lasted about 2 years before it died.

All in all after paying for the cameras verses the disposable cameras and the developing, I thing I am actually behind financially. If it were only an issue of money I might not be as annoyed, but I simply do not like digital cameras. There is a shutter lag that I just can not get used to. It is very hard for me to get a good digital picture because I am used to pressing the shutter and going. That can't be done with a digi camera.

What I have heard many people say is that you can take many digital pictures and that way *know* that you are going to take at least a few good ones. Over all, I don't think that is the case. People get lazy and don't use good photography habits. They just keep pressing the shutter. Yes, extra stuff can be cropped out etc, but over all, their pictures are not as good as they could be.

I have to pay for every one of my pictures, so I take the time to line up the shot, make sure that there isn't an overflowing trash can in the background, and assure that the lighting is the way I want it. And most of the time, I get it right - the first time. I would guess that on a roll of film with 24 exposures, I might have one or two that I am not happy with. No non-professional digital photographer I know of can boast of around a 90% success rate at getting the pictures that they want.

We are now on our third digital camera - and I HATE this one too. Maybe there will be a day when I no longer have a choice because I will not be able to get my prints made, but until that day, I am going to keep my old fashioned film camera and keep loving it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday - the start of Lent. Lent is the season leading up to the death and resurrection of Christ. And in this "Gotta Have it NOW" world is not observed by many. I am guilty of that as well. This year I have however thought of what will really help me prepare and understand so I am actively observing Lent.

I am not now nor have I ever been Catholic. I believe that Catholics in general are much more observant of Lent that the Protestants (Unless of course it interferes with something that they like more such as drinking green beer on St. Pat's Day). Most I know about what Catholics do or don't do is by a friend, fellow co-worker or student "giving up" something for Lent.

Growing up, this confused me. I never saw how not eating chocolate or drinking pop for 40 days had anything at all to do with the death of Christ. Honestly, I am still a little fuzzy on that. However I was blessed enough to learn from a minister a way that does make sense to me. Although there is noting wrong with the sacrifice of giving something up, I learned to not only give up, but replace.

So this year I looked at what I do when I am not doing anything important. Two things sprung to the front of my mind - Tetris and Facebook. I can make the cut from Tetris simply enough, but as I have some commitments (that is how I communicate with my Angelfood church) I can't completely cut it off. Here is the compromise - Tetris will be cut off and a timer will be used whenever I am on Facebook so I will limit the time there. I am sure that once those distractions are gone, I will have quite a bit of time on my hands. In that time I am committing to not just waste it, but spend that time in prayer, devotions, or Bible reading.

At the end of this season, I will then be really ready to celebrate the resurrection of my Lord - and the lure of technology will not have as strong a pull over my life. In essence, I am taking what doesn't matter and exchanging it for something with eternal rewards. How can I loose?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Distressing Weekend

It has been a very distressing weekend - and I am enjoying every minute of it. As a treat, I purchased some Tim Holtz distress ink and I have been playing with them of late. With each project (and each reviewed tutorial) I think I am getting better at it.

This card was made for a challenge at Cookin' up Creations. The flower in the center is painted with distress ink. The image was stamped with embossing powder. I put some on my craft sheet and added water. I applied the paint to the stamped image with a paint brush. The background was also made with distress ink. I spread it on the craft sheet, spritzed it and then dragged the paper through it. I learned the hard way to stop before I think I should as more than once I just ended up with a mess on the craft sheet and a soggy piece of brown paper.

I used the crumpled distress technique for the background on the stamped portion of this card. I had made a large sheet and used some of it on a layout. This was just a scrap. The real technique I was playing with is I used Perfect Pearls on the wet distress ink. Lesson learned here - for this to work, the background must be COMPLETELY dry. The flowers are stamped in dusty concord and then covered with the iridescent purple pearls.

Of all the experimentation, I think this one came out the best. I was using the Distress Ink, but I was playing more with the layering of stamps than an actual distress technique. But now it is time to go and do some more playing and perfecting of my distress techniques.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Transformed Envelopes

One of these days I am going to have a super idea and make my own video. One of these day, but that day is not today. This is another from the SNR web site that I thought was a great idea. Scroll down and see the little bag I made

I used an old envelope and stamped it with some flourish stamps. I also added some depth by using some distress ink on the background. The medallion in the center was made with Paper Parachute stamps.

Now all I need is a reason to give a gift and someone to give it to(I only give home made gifts/cards to people who appreciate it)

2 step Owl Punch Rose

I wish that I could take credit for this but I can't. I found the link on Scrapbook News and Review and fell in love. I think it is the BEST paper flower I have ever seen. I have not made it yet because I do not have an owl punch but it is beautiful enough that I have to do some experimenting and see if I could use something like a heart or a teardrop. If I ever get it figures out, I will post the results here.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What were they thinking?

I have asked myself that many times about many things so now I am going to put some of these questions in one place:

Who ever came up with the idea of short sleeve sweaters (also in this category are thermal shorts, sleeveless hoodies and other clothing where the style and purpose are opposed)? If it is warm enough to want short sleeves, it is too warm for a sweater. If it is cool enough for a sweater, then I want long sleeves. Whoever thought that this was a good idea?

Why do they make women's shoes that have the top of a pump and the bottom of a tennis shoe? If I want the support of a tennis shoe, then this pump is not going to work. If I want to look dressy, I don't want to have a thick rubber sole on the bottom of my shoe. As far as I am concerned, it is the worst of both options.

I don't only wonder about fashion - what about technology?

Why and CD changers in the trunk of a car? If I want to change the disk, then I need to stop the car, unload the trunk and do it. Not my idea of efficient.

I have trouble with my computer or internet and I call someone to fix it. While I am on hold for hours on end, I hear the recording that if I need assistance I can check out their web site. If I could get to their web site, I wouldn't be sitting on hold listening to their annoying suggestions and insipid muzak.

Along the same lines are instructions for a step by step process that as soon as I do the firs step, I loose the instructions. How am I supposed to complete the steps when ever time I attempt one, I loose then all?

I know that there are so much more, but those were just at the front of my mind today. Maybe I will do some ranting again later.