March 02, 2015

a quick post-and-run!! Calvinball 2015!!

I apologize for the crappy color quality of these photos- they were all taken pretty late at night in my scrap room. Yes, I still do scrap (occasionally), and hopefully I will be scrapping a lot more in the next month or two! I signed up to take part in a fun month-long scrapbooking challenge called Calvinball, on a scrapbooking website. 

Do you remember the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes? (I do, since I grew up in the 1980s... it was one of my favorites). Calvin and his stuffed toy tiger/best friend Hobbes  would play Calvinball, a game where the rules were made up as you go along. This scrapping contest is for the entire month of March, to encourage fun, a bit of smack-talking, and scrapping. The rules change as you go, and you get points for making layouts, cards, posting about Calvinball (one point for me, haha!!), and bonus points for meeting scrapping related challenges- like a page with more than 3 photos, for example, or a page using specific supplies. 

If you'd like more information about Calvinball, you can go to the Get It Scrapped website and read more about it-- click here. Come join in! Anyway, to the layouts-- they were photographed late at night, hence the crappy colors. I did what I could to fix it, but really would like to re-take them sometime. (after Calvinball ends, when I have more time, lol!) 
--click on any of the photos to make them larger--

A layout about my scrapping essentials, which include patterned paper, inspiration, photos and stories, and Diet Dr. Pepper! This page has been partially finished for at least 1 1/2 years, and I never would have finished it without this contest. yay, me!! :D

A page with a pretty nice photo of Ariel, hanging out on 'her spot' on the back of the couch, looking out the window. I always wonder what she's thinking, if anything... watching the birds (does she think she can get them?), or is she just wondering when dinner will be served?

The  embellishment area at the top right- sorry for the glare; that banner is made of plastic. The letter stickers are teeny, and have to be at least 2-3 years old. (yay, me!! for finally using up some of my older supplies!)

This layout showcases photos of our Saguaro cactus's very first flowers!! We wondered how many years it would take; we bought it in 2006 when it was 5 feet tall, and in June 2014, it got its first flowers! (a whole three!) I did the best I could trying to get pictures of them, but the Saguaro is at least 10-11 feet tall, so it was kinda difficult-- I didn't want to fall into the cactus while I was doing it. 
larger photo, left-hand page

larger photo, right-hand page

and with that, I'm off... I want to see if I can sneak in at least a few minutes of scrapping before I head to bed! I'll be back soon, with more photos.

(and sadly, we haven't seen the owls anytime recently... Tom says he's heard them occasionally, so maybe they're still in the neighborhood- I hope so!)

January 18, 2015

our prospective new neighbors are a hoot!! (lol!!)

So in the past few weeks we've heard some new, rather noisy neighbors around our house. They're not around very much; it seems like they're most active in the late afternoon / early evening time-frame, but I've also heard them a number of times very early in the morning-- when it's still dark out, even. I haven't complained about them, though, because really, they're more fascinating than annoying- at least to me, anyway. They sit in the oddest places, too-- we've seen them on the roof of our house, even! I have taken some photos of them, too, when I've been able to catch them in the act-- they stared, but didn't seem to mind it too much.

About now, you're probably wondering why I would do such a thing, think I'm extremely rude, and that we have really strange neighbors, right?? 

Well, you can judge for yourself... here they are:  

hahaha!! Did I have you going at all?? (probably not; I'm no good at jokes or telling stories...) It's a pair of great horned owls!! We started hearing them about a month and a half ago, just once in a while, but couldn't see them. Then, for a few days, they were around every afternoon just as it was getting dark. They would pick a vantage point on the peak or corner of one of the roofs, including ours, and do their hooting back and forth.

At first we only saw the one-- Tom saw it more often than I did, because he usually gets home from work earlier than I do, but I managed to see it/them a couple times, and even get some photos. (they're not the greatest, but hey-- at least it's photo proof that they were there!)

It was really cool to see them, and fascinating to actually watch them do their hooting... they sort of flip up their tail and puff up their chest as they do it, and it was kind of funny to see! Tom actually got a video of one with his tablet computer, I think... I'll have to see if I can edit and post it. (never done that before, so I'm not promising anything.) 

They're quite beautiful birds; very majestic looking. I read a bit about them in my trusty Roger Tory Peterson bird book, just enough to find out that the female is bigger than the male, and that they typically nest in January / February. Perhaps they were scoping out our neighborhood to see if they wanted to move in. (that would be so cool, if they did!!)

Here's a photo of the female (I think) in mid-hoot, two rooftops away from our house. They would talk to each other (and to Tom-- he had to see if he could get them to answer him, and they did) for quite a few minutes at a time, moving around from house to house. A couple times they were both very well hidden in one of the neighbor's trees, and if we hadn't seen them fly into the tree, we wouldn't have been able to see them at all. 

Here he is, right after take-off... blurry, but you can still tell that's what it is (at least I can, anyway, since I know what it is). It's pretty fascinating in an eerie sort of way to see them fly overhead, as well- their wing feathers are designed so they make little-to-know sound as they fly, so as to be better hunters. (A couple times they seemed to swoop kind of low over our heads, too, which was a bit unnerving!)

Unfortunately, we haven't heard them around for about a week or so-- maybe they didn't like our neighborhood after all-- maybe I was too much of a nosy neighbor! Or maybe that means the female is sitting on a nest; I'll be optimistic and hope for that. Either way, it was pretty neat while it lasted! (and it will make a neat scrapbook layout for the photo album.) 

January 16, 2015

hey, I'm still here!! (random pics)

Mom: I do have pics of the great horned owls that we've seen- they're still on my camera; I'll get to them in a day or so!!

sb page (for posting online; I've posted this one on the blog before)

our Christmas ornament tradition continues:
the hand-painted ornament we bought in Hawaii

Prescott and Bisbee opening one of their presents

a small Christmas vignette from my collection: this year
Mom sent me the medium tree and the smaller snowman

December 09, 2014

November 2014- scrapping!!

since work has been so crazy, I haven't had much time, inclination, or creative energy to do any scrapping or crafting. But, I finally did get back into my craft room and finished a layout I started, maybe, nearly, a year (??) ago... and the layout is of a hike we went on 7 years ago! (my scrapping process is definitely not 'timely' by any stretch of the imagination, lol!)

We hiked to the top of Picacho Peak- which is between Casa Grande and Tucson- in April, 2007. Sometime last winter I made the base of the scrapbook pages, but never got around to finishing them up. 

On Black Friday 2013 I bought my Silhouette Cameo electronic cutting machine, but really don't have time to use it very often. I used it for the title, and knew I wanted to use it on this layout for the embellishments, as well. 

Aren't they perfect for this layout?? The Silhouette is an electronic cutting machine that cuts a design you make on your computer... I know it can do plenty of things I will never figure out, but I'm slowly figuring it out. This purchased cut file includes cactus, flowers, and rocks. You can make a design any size you want on the computer, and the Silhouette machine cuts it out! (if you don't screw something up, that is... not that that's ever happened to me, lol!)

I popped up a couple of the pieces with foam tape for dimension, and did some inking on the edges of the rock pieces. 

I had more photos than would fit onto just two pages, so I added two 6x12 pages in the middle to add more photos and journaling. See the squirrel there?? I had to add him into the pages- I could never forget about being bitten when I (stupidly) tried to feed it trail mix!! I did not try to hand-feed it though-- it grabbed my finger when I was trying to set the peanuts down on the ground for it.

Here's a close-up of the barrel cactus embellishment-- the Silhouette cut out the dark green pieces, I glued them to a lighter green background, and added more flowers and rocks.

So, this is my 7-year scrapbook page, lol! Over Thanksgiving weekend, I started printing pictures and designing some more layouts. Once my supervisor gets back from her maternity leave (two more weeks!!) I'll have a little more time and energy to scrapbook... hopefully!