March 23, 2017

tap, tap, tap... is this thing on?? lol!!

so... life in the AZ desert has been on a bit of a hiatus!  Not really-  life's gone on, I just 'got out of the habit' of posting.  But I hope to change that.  Right now, I'm watching some DVR'ed television, and waiting for a giraffe to have a baby!!  (no, really... there's a giraffe in New York state that's pregnant (her name is April), and they have a live cam in her pen, waiting to stream the birth when it happens.  I've been checking in on her a few times a day for the last few weeks, now, I think??  Apparently giraffes are pregnant for a VERY long time, and I guess they don't know exactly what her due date is.  

but, while I wait for that, here's a few photos from last weekend!!  Tom gave me a trail ride for my birthday last May, and we finally got it scheduled last weekend while the weather is beautiful (and cool!)...  it was at an equestrian center on the Indian Reservation about 20 miles away from where we live.

Tom and me, in front of a herd of wild horses that live on the Reservation...
we actually got to walk right up to, and through, that group of horses.
it was so cool!!  

our guide, Brass...  he was really interesting!  The Indians keep
an eye on the horses, and sometimes do capture some
of them to break for riding.

Tom, posing in front of Pima Overlook... a smallish hill made of lava rock.
(I guess this area was volcanic?  I never knew that!)
It was a bit disconcerting, being over all that way up in the air,
with the horses picking their way through loose rocks.
The view from there- even just partway up- was gorgeous, though! 

Our horses were pretty well-behaved, but that's the first
time I'd been on a horse since high school.  While it
was pretty neat, I'm not sure about horseback riding as a pastime...
it definitely used a lot of muscles I never used before!
(and some of them still hurt!!)

October 06, 2015

waaaay old SB layout share: wildflower hike

I have no idea what happened, but this post has been languishing for months in Draft status-- oops! That's embarrassing; I could have sworn I posted it... anyway, here it is, finally:

Way back in March, I went hiking to Picacho Peak State Park (to refresh your memory, the photos are here: Desert Spring Wildflowers) and took at least 200 photos of the scenery, hummingbirds, and wildflowers.
I had so many really beautiful photos that I remember, it was tough to whittle them down to only enough for a two-page layout, but I decided to choose just a few really nice 'long shots' and some individual flower close-ups to make my layout. Below is the entire layout:


Both pages of the 2-page spread. The left-hand page is a traditional
12x12 layout, and the right-hand page is a pocket page protector.

Right-hand page, close-up view.
I didn't do much embellishing at all on the pocket page, because I wanted the focus to be on the flower photos. Pretty subtle patterned papers, just a couple tabs / tags, and two small stamped phrases.

Upper left corner pocket
This pocket contains a layered background cut with my Silhouette cutter; it's a sunburst pattern, although you can't see to much of it here. After I cut it, I think I used it as a stencil for gold spray ink, and liked the way it looked so much afterwards that I ended up using the 'stencil' itself behind this photo.

The left-hand page, a more 'traditional' 12x12 layout
On the left-hand page, I decided to showcase three of the 'scenic landscape' shots I really like. I used the same patterned papers, did a bit of inking and stamped the title, and while it's tough to see in this photo, the papers underneath the photos have the same gold spray ink on as the pocket on the right-hand page.

a third 'companion' page
I also decided to add in the map of the park, showing the area of the park where I took my photos. It's a bit wrinkled, lol, but I did want to keep it! I simply slid it into an 8.5 x 11 page protector, added my parking pass, and a journaling tag.
Seeing these pictures again after a few months makes me want to go hiking!! But considering it's only just barely gotten down below 100F high temps during the day, I think I'll wait a bit, lol!!

September 17, 2015

cards and crafting

now that I know the recipients received their mail, I can show the other cards and craft projects I've made recently!

This card started out because I didn't like that greenish-blue 3x4 inch die-cut piece of paper.  It has die-cut letters on it saying 'the daily grind' which I knew I would NEVER be able to use... I sat there staring at it for a while, when I had the (simple but brilliant, lol) idea to cover it up with patterned paper!  From there, I added more layers of stuff that matched the colors, typed and added the 'hello' and butterfly, stamped the 'xoxo' and tiny hearts onto the Polaroid shaped piece, and glued the entire thing to a card blank. Voila! 

This greeting card also started as a 3x4 scrapbooking card (the orange card with the 'good day sunshine' text on and an open area for journaling). I found the pea and peach die cuts, stamped 'hello' onto a banner, and attached it all to the 3x4 card, popping a couple things up with foam tape. Again, I just attached it to a card blank, and voila! Another completed greeting card! 

Last time I attended the all-day crop at the SB Barn, I made the following project for sending to my parents. (I couldn't post the pictures until I knew they got it, and there was a bit of a post-office snafu, but it finally got there, so I'm safe in posting it now!)  I think I found the idea for this project on Pinterest, made by a blogger who does Tim Holtz grungy-style stamping, but mine didn't end up quite as complicated as the original. (or as grungy, lol!)

I used the SB store's die-cut machine to cut 5 medium-sized
shipping tags from cardstock, and taped the edges together on both
sides with paper tape to make one long accordion folded piece.

Next I decorated the background of each tag with Distress inks and a bit of stamping.
(in the pic above, the purple circles and the orange 'splat' shapes are stamped.)

Then, I found photographs of us, the dogs, cats, and
some of the yard, and added them to the tags along with
a bit of patterned scrapbook paper and typed captions.

the top photo is all the cats enjoying their Christmas present-
kitty treats- out on the patio on Christmas day!

a couple more photos- one of Zola acting wacky,
and one of us taken at our last anniversary brunch.

Here's the entire album, standing up.

another shot of the entire album-- I really like the fact that
you can display the photos by standing the album up, which
you can't necessarily do with a 'regular' photo album. 

This was my first foray into the world of scrapbook 'mini-albums' but it definitely won't be my last.  There are so many interesting (and intricate) ways to make albums with flipping pages, pockets, hidden flaps, pockets, etc. This one was pretty simple, compared to some that I've seen, but I think if I'm careful with my cutting and my math (no easy feat, for me- lol!) that I should have a lot of fun! (and a lot of the album designs out there have 'how-to' Youtube videos, which is very helpful, since you can rewind and replay things, lol!)

September 10, 2015

Labor Day weekend crafting--

I did have a chance to do some scrapping over the Labor Day three day weekend; here's my latest scrapbook layout, using the walk in the woods photos from a couple posts ago. You can either just scroll through and admire the photos (click for larger) or you can read the text, where I explain a bit about my process of making the layout.

I had about half again as many photos printed, but I just couldn't get them arranged the way I wanted, so I had to make some editing decisions-- I took out the ones that were too similar, and a couple that just didn't make my cut from a photo design / color perspective. I decided to feature all the close-up photos on one page, and chose two of the 'regular' photos of the woods to use on the other page. I had originally cropped all of them in rectangles and squares with straight edges, but I ended up not liking how that looked so I got out my old-school circle cutter and my corner rounder. 

I think cutting the raspberry and thistle photos in a circle echoes the shape in the photo, and the rounded edges on the rest of the photos softens the lines and makes it a bit more relaxed or organic feeling. (hopefully? that's what I was going for, anyway, lol.)

Below is the left-hand page:

This page is based on a Scrapbook Generation 1-page sketch, with a few changes. The papers I chose are actually a mix of papers-- some from a Pink Paislee Christmas paper pad (the large polka dot, the green horizontal strip, and the blue zig-zag) and some other papers from my stash. I don't scrap Christmas or winter pages very often, but when I saw that paper pad in the store, I knew most of the patterns would be good for 'regular' pages, too!

The next photo is the right-hand page (sorry for the bit of glare from the upper left photo):

I extended the one-page design across the two-page spread by doing the 'opposite' background paper arrangement on the right-hand page. One other small detail- I decided to ink the edges of all the papers to get rid of the white edges and make them blend a bit more with the darker cardstock background. It was time consuming, but I think it was a good decision.

bottom right embellishment cluster: cork circle, enamel dots,
vellum phrase, decorative brad, pink sticker, and a stamped word.
Once I get all the background papers and photos attached, I start looking for embellishments for the pages. (this post shows a picture of the 12x12 Iris cases that hold all my embellishments- tags, brads, enamel dots, stickers, and all sorts of rhinestones, wood veneer shapes, etc.) Page embellishments are little bits and pieces that (hopefully) lead your eye through the layout and reinforce the shapes and colors on the page and in the photos.  

the title embellishment cluster: more cork, wood veneer
camera, gold brad, layered paper, vellum phrase, a bit of
pink, more enamel dots, and another stamped /cut-out word. 

left-hand embellishment cluster- the same combination of
items: brad, cork, enamel dots, stamped word, stripes, and 
blue, pink (in the brad), and gold,  which I used in each area. 

Choosing embellishments and deciding how to arrange them is a slow process for me, but it's also kind of fun-- looking through my Iris boxes to see what jumps out at me that could be used on the page, and deciding how to arrange the small items to emphasize colors in the photos and on the page. I decided to use pink in the embellishments so the raspberry photo wouldn't look so out-of-place, since otherwise it's the only pink on the page.

Embellishment clusters sort of 'lead' your eye across the layout, too, so I laid them out in a 'visual triangle' arrangement-- since we read from left to right, your eye goes from the lower left up to the title, then across to the right-hand page to the pink in the raspberry photo and down to the lower right-hand corner. (again, that's what I was going for, anyway!) And, even though it took a lot of effort and arranging on my part, the result I was trying for was a loose, collage-style layered look. (I just need to be a bit more decisive to make the process go quicker.)

Oh-- and after all that was on the page?? That was when I decided to add all the gold splatters with Heidi Swapp colorshine spray. I had to cover up the photos and embellishment clusters so I wouldn't get gold splatters all over everything. This is definitely a design decision better done at the beginning, for sure!! 

And now, a switch from scrapbooking to card-making-- which I don't do all that often any more. I made four altogether, but can only show you one right now, since the other ones are on their way to people who I know read my blog, lol!

it's five layers total, not counting the card base (which is not
nearly so bright in real life... my phone camera didn't capture
the color correctly, and I couldn't edit it back to the true color.)
I pulled some tags, die-cuts, and other things from my stash, and started layering things together just to see what worked. 

The butterfly is stapled to the pink tag, and everything else is glued / tucked underneath on the round journaling tag. The glitter on the butterfly wings was supposed to just be polka dots, but-- me and glitter glue? not a good mix-- so after a bit of a glitter glue accident, I had to cover up the evidence by outlining the entire thing. 

I have a slight obsession with tiny alphabet stamps (I only own 5 or 6 sets of them so far, lol!) so I used one of them to stamp the 'hello' on the blue banner. 

I hope the recipient likes it! 

I have a 12-hour SB store crop coming up in October, and at the end of September I'm going to the Scrapbook Expo in Mesa-- I haven't attended one of those in years. I'm taking two classes, as well as attending a 16-hour crop, so I'd better get busy editing and printing photos, and designing layouts! :D