Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Time To Take In The Plants!

Geesh, I had just put them back out after a couple of weeks inside. But here we go again, with a freeze warning...sleet and freezing rain expected, possibly a few flakes. Flakes? Oh I wish! Snow is such a rarity around here. The last time it snowed, I ran outside and took a picture of the dusting. 

Below is a colorful page that I created for Winter Week on the American Crafts blog:

Sparkly snowflake stickers embellish the page, added to polka dots and tags:

A second page featured on the American Crafts blog includes a quote (found on Pinterest) that expresses my true feelings about cold weather:

Time to fly south little birdie!

And take me with you! It's still January, but I am SO ready for spring.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Let's Roll

It happens every December. While I am preparing the house for the holidays, shopping for presents, and celebrating with family, my photos are piling up! Then when the seasonal madness subsides, I find myself a bit overwhelmed. Returning to my scrap desk, I need a way to roll through some pages. That's when I return to some favorite all-purpose designs, such as the one used below. Scraptastic's Baby It's Cold Outside kit and add-on make it a breeze. 

A simple grid is defined by stitched lines surrounding punched squares of patterned paper. A title, a banner, and a bit of ephemera (ticket stubs) finish off this simple page. Done. Not every page needs to be complicated! Now back to that pile of pictures...

Do you have a favorite go-to design?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Annual Christmas Pic

The kids have learned to tolerate it...the annual Christmas "photo shoot". It only takes a few minutes, but you'd think we were subjecting them to excruciating torture. All they have to do is stand there and smile, while my sisters and I snap away, hoping to get at least one photo where everyone has their eyes open. We do a photo of each family, and then gather up the cousins for one big group shot. As the kids get older, land jobs, move away, and even have families of their own, it's not so easy to have everyone in the same place at the same time. Last year was pretty successful, with all but my youngest sister's child present. 13 out of 14 is not too shabby!

The layout above was based on a sketch by Becky Fleck, and can be seen with the January PageMaps. Each member of the Scraptastic Design Team was given a different sketch to interpret and use with our kits. Here is the sketch on which I based my page:

A few changes were made and I had my page all laid out. Three photos were reduced to one, my title moved to the doily, and the tag/banner became a major design element. Here's a closeup:

I love all the gold embossed accents in Scraptastic's Home for the Holidays kit. The gold doily and gold vellum die-cuts were some of my favorites, along with the wood veneers.

Do you get many opportunities to take pictures of your extended family? I'm lucky in that most of us live in the New Orleans area. It becomes pretty special when the "outliers" return to spend Christmas with us! :)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I got a J.O.B.!

After 14 years as a stay-at-home mom, I ventured out and got a job. Yes, a J.O.B. It's not full time. I can hardly even call it part time! It's just perfect. I create my own hours, do the work when it fits my schedule, and get a little extra dough each month. Oh yeah...it will come in handy when Kevin begins his orthodontic treatment this month!

So that's what's been going on with me. Although the work itself is not extremely time consuming, the training was a bit intense, involving four days, five nights in Chicago. CHICAGO! In January! The week after that infamous polar vortex! Needless to say, I spent two weeks getting ready...buying long undergarments, gloves, a hat...things that I never have a need for in south Louisiana. Try finding a long coat in January. Not going to happen. I guess they are already making way for the swim suits. Macy's had a few leftovers along a short wall at the back of the store. Even Burlington COAT Factory had only rack after empty rack. So I had to do with what I already owned, a less than ideal situation.

Luckily, the weather cooperated, the polar vortex spun its way north, and temps were manageable. Here are a couple of pictures. The first is from the plane as we were about to land, downtown Chicago in the background:

and another through the window of the hotel shuttle, just a pretty snow covered neighborhood:

Sigh. That's all I saw of Chicago. One day, when the weather is warm, I'll have to go back and play tourist.

About that job: Sorry to be so mysterious about what I do, but it's kind of proprietary information that I cannot share, since it involves quality assurance assessments. Anyway, I think I'm going to like it. :)