Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Pharmacy Tradition

A former school teacher, my grandmother raised her kids then went back to school to become a pharmacist so that she could help out in her husband's drugstore. In 1945 she graduated from Loyola University with that second degree. A scanned and reprinted photo was used for this page, celebrating her graduation.


Here are a couple of closeups:

A big circle punch came in handy when creating the page's quilt-inspired decoration. Circles whose edges are folded inward are what make the cathedral window design.

As a footnote to the story, my grandmother was such a wonderful student that she was asked to teach at the school, and did so, eventually teaching her own daughter, my mom. At the time, a photo of the two of them was staged for the school's newspaper. I scrapped it a few years ago:

Now we actually have three generations of pharmacists in the family, as my brother is also a registered pharmacist. I wonder if any of his kids will take to the profession?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Two Hearts

I have two layouts to share today, and they each have a few things in common with the other. For one, they are both created with Scraptastic's February kit, Everyday Is Like Sunday. Secondly, they each feature a large heart as an embellishment. And finally, the photos on both pages are of my mom, with two of my sisters in one, and with three of her grandkids in another. Here is the first page:


A sweet color combo was created with papers from the kit. A gallon of  pink combined with a quart of cool turquoise and a pint of yellow, are placed on a clean background of white.  And yes, I've actually followed a design principle, the gallon, quart, pint principle! I also left white space on the page, really white "white space", without feeling like I should fill it up. Instead, I filled up a little vellum baggie and placed it behind the photo. Using a small manilla coin envelope as a guide, I was able to make my own little envelope and fill it with colorful confetti punched from leftover paper scraps:

A tear strip from an Elle's Studio paper is the source of all of those little horizontal word banners:

The large heart, cut from a sheet of the patterned paper, was outlined with baker's twine to give it nice dimension:

And now on to the second page and my second heart embellishment. This one is pieced from the kit's patterned paper scraps, meant to resemble a quilt. Pen stitching everywhere gives continuity to the elements:

It was quite fun creating with pink for a change! That's what I love about kits...they stretch my creativity and keep my pages looking fresh and different. As usual, this Scraptastic kit had plenty of the latest and greatest to inspire me!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mardi Gras 2013

It was supposed to be a washout according to the weatherman, and I think the crowds were down because of their predictions. But the foul weather didn't materialize and Mardi Gras Day in New Orleans ended up being pretty darn nice, if but a bit overcast. Below are few of my favorite snaps:

Remember those replacement referees? They headed down to New Orleans hoping to work the Super Bowl.
Now that our "daily" newspaper is only printed three days a week, it's become the Some-Times Picayune!
New Orleans has its very own color palette, for example, K&B purple.
This family wins hands down for ingenuity. Their bead-dog costumes had to take weeks to put together. So cute!
The Rex floats are always stunning in design.
Kilts and bagpipes.
Another beautiful float in the Rex parade.
Emily and Kevin during a break in the parade.
A tree whose limbs are draped in beads makes a pretty backdrop for our photo.
And what do you do with all those beads after Mardi Gras is over? Here's an idea! A bead mosaic. Just gather up your colorful strands, decide on a design, cut them apart, and start gluing. Sounds easy enough, huh? Don't be fooled.

I helped Laura create this one as an assignment for one of her occupational therapy classes, and now I know why people sell these things for $75, $100, and up. Whew...it was hard and tedious work cutting and arranging all those little beads!

And yet, I want to do another one for myself...a gigantic mosaic for our family room...something really unique. Any ideas?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Party In The Streets!

Yes, it is that time of year, the carnival season. Since tomorrow is Mardi Gras, I thought I'd share a page that I made using Scraptastic Club's February Kit, Everyday Is Like Sunday. This page holds a few pictures from two of my favorite parades during the carnival season a few years ago. Every year we try to attend these two, Thoth on the Sunday before Mardi Gras and Rex on "Fat Tuesday" itself. I love it when the weather cooperates!

I finally had to try my hand at making paper feathers. FUN!

Making your own feathers is quite easy! One feather shape was cut from patterned paper and a second from vellum. Next I adhered a length of thin wire to the center of each feather, using Glossy Accents. After running a thin bead down the center of each shape, I pressed the wire into the adhesive and held it down until the glue began to dry. When completely dry, I cut slits along both sides of the wire, angled inward. Be careful not to get too close to the center or you might accidentally clip the wire! Finally, the completed feathers were inked to define their spine and edges. And there you have it...perfect accents for my Mardi Gras page. (Note the feathers in my photos. The horseback riding  duke and Indian both had headdresses made of feathers.)

Mardi Gras in New Orleans is the best. As long as you avoid the touristy areas of downtown and the French Quarter, the atmosphere is very relaxed and the entertainment family-oriented. It's the greatest free show on earth, and we get to experience it every year! Now I've got to go gather up our peanuts and chips, ice down some soft drinks and pack chairs in the car, then we'll be ready to hit the streets in the morning for the last day of parades. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Muddy Mississippi

Although I've lived all my life near the Mississippi River, I doubt I've ever actually felt the water. We've walked on the levee, crossed bridges from one bank to the next hundreds of times, but I've never thought about touching it. This summer, after a day playing tourist in the French Quarter of New Orleans with my mom, sisters, and some of our kids, we walked over to the river and spent a few minutes watching the ship traffic. The three little cousins were determined to do more. After carefully picking their way down the rocks, one of the three leaned over and dipped a hand in the water. The second one followed suit. And the third. Mission accomplished.

The graphic paper of Fancy Pants' Be You collection had the perfect phrases for my page. "Live In The Moment" Check. "Laugh Often" Check. "Be Silly" Check. "Always Try New Things." Check, check, and check. And hey, I certainly tried out a new graphic style for this page!

Check out the exclusive Ormulu flair that was created for this month's Scraptastic Club kit, Everyday Is Like Sunday. I love, love, love it!

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Measure of Fun

The day after I sent in an application to attend a Fair Trade workshop in Seattle, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 2013 schedule came out. And wouldn't you know, some of the best entertainment will be while I'm out of town. Saturday-Billy Joel. Sunday-Dave Matthews Band! So now I wait to see if I am chosen for the all expense paid training, knowing that it's all good either way. Besides, the next weekend will be Maroon 5 and Fleetwood Mac. That will do!

Below is a photo from a previous Jazz Fest, on one of the festival's weekdays. The crowds are smaller and food lines shorter...but still great music and eats...and a good time spent with my sisters and our mom.


 A small coin sticker was slipped inside a flattened bottle cap:

The larger "coins" were punched from patterned paper, adhered to circles of chipboard, and topped with enamel dots like below:

I love when collections have papers that can be made into embellishments like this. Echo Park does it quite often.