February 26, 2012

my scrapping style evolution-

I've been scrapping for at least 8-10 years (I don't really know for sure), and my style has evolved and changed over the years... it's pretty interesting to look at the difference from some of my older pages to more current ones! 
I started out using Creative Memories strap-hinge albums, and scrapping my pages in the 'Creative Memories' style... little or no patterned paper, white backgrounds, lots of stickers as embellishments, and borders / blocks for embellishing and journaling. 
Don't get me wrong; I'm glad I took the photos and scrapped them... but looking at them now, I don't really think there's much 'design sense' on these pages; they're just blocks of photos, etc. placed sort of randomly on the page. On the page above, I used letter templates to make my titles; I traced the letters and numbers individually, then colored them in with marker- talk about time-consuming!
Like so many scrappers of that era, I also cut some of my photos into shapes- luckily, I usually stuck with ovals or circles, rather than going crazy with stars or other shapes, like some scrappers did! And of course, every photo had to be matted (another 'talk about time consuming' thing). I did use patterned paper sometimes, as you can see above. I vaguely remember the scrapbook store I used to shop at, back in Illinois-- all the paper was separated by theme (baby, travel, birthday, etc) and the growing trend was to use themed paper that matched your photos. 
I also got into a new trend in page layout design in the early 2000's, with color blocking templates. (I think I even still have some of these templates, although I don't know why I kept them, since I haven't used them since at least 2005!) I do like how this particular layout turned out, actually, but color blocking like this required a lot of photo cropping and measuring (which I'm not all that good at). 
I went all out on this page and made an origami bird to go with the theme of this layout, which was a visit to a Japanese garden with my parents. (although you'd never know that, since I didn't leave any blocks on the page to include journaling!) The origami bird gives a tiny bit of dimension to the page, but my pages were mostly flat when I first started scrapping.
Here's a page I did last year-- it's sort of like the color blocking layout above, although it's much more loose and collage-ish in style, and even includes dimensional things such as ribbon, brads, and charms. I think the fact that I do art journaling has influenced my scrapbooking style; it's not quite so rigid any more. (in addition, this series of pages documents an art retreat I attended last year, so I wanted to emphasize that quality in the page design.) 

I also stopped using the 'strap-hinge' style album, since it was pretty rigid in terms of the page order- you had to glue the papers right to the pages, and couldn't rearrange them once they were in there. This was way to restrictive for me since I now like to scrap 'what I want, when I want' and not feel 'forced' to scrap what was next in order chronologically. I switched to 3-ring binder style albums so I can slip the pages into page protectors and re-arrange them however I want them.
I think the fact that I now take digital photos has also influenced my scrapping style- before, I somehow felt I 'had' to use all the photos I took since I paid good money for the film and for developing them. (Or at least to use a lot more of them than I do now, anyway!) 

Now, I take so many digital photos, I couldn't ever hope to scrap them all-- this has been helpful, actually, because now I can pick out the few (or the one) that best captures the feeling, mood, or event, instead of trying to cram all of them onto the pages just because I took them. On the page above, I actually used a photocopy of my own artwork as the background paper, and tried to capture the colorful, chaotic feel of the photos with the papers and colors I chose.
I also scrap things other than 'events' like birthdays, holidays, or special events... the photo above is one page of a layout I did that with photos of graffiti I took on a day out last summer in downtown Phoenix. I wanted to echo the graffiti-feel of the photos with the page layout, in the ink splatters and the gray / cement colored paper I chose. This layout was done for no other reason than to showcase the photos, and try a few new techniques.
While I don't love some of the details on this layout (I fussed with it longer than I should have), I think I did the photos justice with the layout I made, I learned some new techniques that I like, and found some that I don't like so much. And it taught me a lesson that sometimes, I should just 'leave well enough alone' with my art. But it also showed me that I can get over my sense of perfection and that 'not-perfect' is perfectly fine.
I still do 'event-based' layouts if the photos call for it; the 2 pages above are from a trip we took to Las Vegas in September 2009. I just scrapped these pages a month ago, actually-- yay!! for scrapping out of order, and for only scrapping the photos I feel capture the moment the best. I'm also putting my opinion and feelings onto the pages more than I used to (they're my scrapbooks, after all!) so these pages record my feelings about Las Vegas, not just the where-what-who-when type of things. 

I can see a change in my scrapping style over the years, although I don't think I really have a 'signature thing' that defines my style-- I still do color blocked layouts sometimes; I sometimes still do who-what-where-when journaling; I still use page borders and stickers occasionally... I may even cut a photo into a shape now and then, although I'm not exactly sure about that one! 

Thanks for taking a walk down my scrapbooking 'Memory Lane' with me; has anyone else's scrapping style changed over time? I'd love to hear about it!

I've started a second blog!

I've started a second blog for posts about more random things- pieces of my various collections, photos I think are interesting, and other random things that I can't think of yet... I've wanted to showcase some of them for a while, but thought it might be better to have them there, rather than 'cluttering' up this blog, if you don't want to see them.

Check it out here at my new blog: vintage & stuff...

hope to see you there!  :-)

February 22, 2012


I ran a couple errands today at lunch (well, tried to, anyway) but ran into a few obstacles. This was one of them:
 a roadblock and a detour, on my way to the library. So much for returning the overdue books! (no, not really-- the detour was only a block or so out of the way. And I only had one overdue book.)

 This pic shows the actual reason for the roadblock- tonight's Republican Presidential debate was being held at the local Performing Arts Center, and they were setting up for it. (I gotta say, that was kind of surreal to think about, that a nationally-televised political event was being held just a few blocks away from where I work!) After making my way past the trafficade and dropping my books in the bookdrop, I headed for here:

 Another sort of surreal place- I believe this is the only typewriter store in the entire Valley area. Even just reading the name, "Mesa Typewriter Exchange," seems so odd... With the prevalence of so many mega-huge, big-box stores that sell everything from tube socks to an oil change in the same place, it's almost refreshing to find a place that specializes in such a niche product.

 I need a new ribbon for the typewriter I picked up at the estate sale a few weeks ago... the black ink is getting pretty faint and the red ribbon won't type at all... they certainly should have it here! Along with alot of other cool typewriters and stuff to look at, by what I can see from outside. Aren't the typewriters in the window cool? I can't wait to see what all they have inside!

 But, then, I saw this. Another obstacle!! Oh, well; I'll have to go back. (Tomorrow, after the debate is over. And after work, so I can look as long as I want-- I hope the owner doesn't mind my taking pictures!)

February 20, 2012

just wanted to share my latest obsession...

okay, so I'm a little late to the party- the cocktail party, that is! :D

I finally started watching the AMC Television show Mad Men on DVD, and so far I've worked my way through all of Season One and am partway into Season Two. (10 hours of it- plus some extra features- were last week, while Tom was out of town- LOL!!) I need to get caught up, since the next season is starting in March!!  And I really need to know what happens next! I can't believe I waited this long to start watching it, actually... it's such a well-written show, the characters are very complex, and it's about an era of history that I find  fascinating. (and, I really, really love their clothes!!)

February 19, 2012

ooooh!! cue the Twilight Zone theme music...

okay, maybe it's not worthy of Twilight Zone music, but still, it was cool. Saturday night Tom and I were enjoying a fire in our backyard firepit... the usual, cigar, conversation, stargazing and watching for satellites (we saw three!). But then, we saw these:

(click on the picture to make it larger; then, you might see the dots of light the arrows are pointing at)

 what the heck?!? my camera is just a little point-and-shoot, so please excuse the majorly poor photo quality. Both lights were reddish orange, and moved extremely slowly across the sky. No blinking, so we knew they weren't planes. 

 they did waver and fade a bit as they moved, which may indicate that they were turning-- 
as we watched them, the lower one seemed to overtake the higher one and get in front of it before they both faded from view.

I doubt they were alien spacecraft-- or if they were, they apparently didn't want anything to do with us! It was probably just some sort of 'space debris' coming into our atmosphere. It was still cool to see, whatever it was! (although I did an internet search today, and no one seems to have mentioned it. So perhaps the aliens paid them off to keep it quiet?? LOL!!)

February 12, 2012

22nd Annual World Championship Hoop Dance Competition (post 1)

I took over 200 photos on Saturday (it would have been more, but I forgot to charge my camera battery!), so I have lots more than one post's worth of photos from the Hoop Dance competition and the Heard Museum. 
I'd say we saw about half the day's line-up of dancers, and we also saw two of the touring exhibits inside the museum- 'Native American Bolo Ties' and 'More than Child's Play: Native American Dolls.' (I just wish I had remembered to charge my camera!!)

(fyi, you can click on any of the photos to make them larger, to see more of the details.)

 a pile of colorful hoops waits their turn in the competition ring.
 some of the youngest entrants enjoying the Grand Entry parade.

 all the dancers take part in the opening dance.

 color and pattern everywhere.

 a member of the next generation of dancers 
listens to the Opening Prayer with his parents.

 this dancer is getting a little help from her Dad 
during the 'tiny tots' round of dancers.

This young competitor is getting ready to kick the hoop 
up with his foot so he can pick it up. 

He's quite skilled with the hoops, already! 

He was quite a showman, and definitely got the crowd involved in his performance. (one of the judges is off the the left with his arms crossed, watching the performance with eagle eyes.) 
This is such a unique sport: artistic and athletic, colorful, 
and full of cultural traditions and symbolism.  

I hope you're enjoying the photos so far; I'll be back with more!

February 10, 2012


just a few random pictures (and thoughts) 
for your viewing pleasure:

I love this dog!! (I love all our pets, but 
this look gets me every time.) 

Tomorrow we will be going to see some of this:
at the Heard Museum in Phoenix. (these pics were taken the 
previous time we went, a couple years ago) 

I wonder if this little guy will be performing again?? Hopefully he'll enjoy himself a little more this time...  :)

The artistry and intricacy of what these dancers can do with such a simple thing as a hoop is just amazing! 

Tom and I are enjoying this show, now that it's finally 
back on the air.  Timothy Olyphant, mobsters, complicated family relationships and criminal activity... what more could you want?? :D

^^^ this cat (Ariel) 
is lucky she has nine lives! She has already jumped/fallen from the upstairs hallway overlook once (approx. 10 foot drop), and yesterday she took a header (purposefully, we think) from the upstairs hallway down into the stairwell (almost the full 2 story height). Thankfully she doesn't seem to be concussed (although sometimes it's hard to tell, with her... just kidding; she's fine- but exasperating!)

February 07, 2012

a couple 'real' scrapbook pages!

and now, for a few 'real' scrapbook pages, to go along with my latest Project Life layouts! I want to keep up with Project Life to have a slice of our 'day-to-day' along with random things, but I still do like a well-designed (or not, lol!) 12x12 scrapbook layout. I finally decided to scrap photos of a Labor Day weekend trip we took to Las Vegas in 2009.

I decided to include a couple 'on-the-road' pictures as sort of a 'title page' for this section of layouts-- This was my first view of Joshua trees; they remind me of something out of a Dr. Seuss book! The picture of Tom was taken right over the state line into Nevada; I was sort of amazed to see the poker machines right in the gas station, but I guess when gambling is legal, everyone has to take the opportunity to get some $$ out of it.

this is a close-up of the upper right corner; the stickers are October Afternoon's Boarding Pass line of papers; it's full of really cute travel-themed things. I'm not really 'good at' that whole 'layered embellishment' thing that's popular right now, so this is about as layered as I get on my pages.

this is a picture of the entire 2-page spread. I got the background papers and stickers (Las Vegas themed) at a scrapbook store we stopped at on our way into town... yes, of course I planned that, haha!! The scrapbook store was our first stop, actually; I found out where it was before we left, and we planned our route accordingly. (Tom was pretty nice to accommodate that, for sure!) And since then, these papers and stickers have been knocking around in my craft room, so it feels good to finally use them, before they got lost forever (in the abyss).

the left-hand side: Since this paper is one of those 'photo' designs, I didn't want to cover up too much of the famous 'Welcome to Las Vegas' sign (besides which, I didn't get a good picture of it, myself). This page is a couple pictures of 'people we met' including a couple impersonators on the street, and Tom getting to meet Corey and Chumlee at the Gold & Silver Pawn shop (which was pretty cool, by the way!). It also includes a photo I took of the street pretty late at night, still filled to the brim with cars and people. 

the right-hand side: again, it's a pre-printed themed paper, so I didn't do much embellishing. This page includes selected photos of things on the strip; my take on Las Vegas was that it was crowded, noisy, dirty, and pretty much 'all for show' so that's what my layout reflects. The photos are all 'fake' things: a fake volcano, fake Paris, fake New York city, etc. If we go back to Las Vegas again, I think it will be to see a show or to see more of the city / area than just the strip... neither of us gamble, and neither of us like large crowds, so spending time in and around the casinos on the strip is kind of pointless.

This layout is one of several I plan on doing to showcase some of our favorite Christmas ornaments. Both Tom and I have a collection of ornaments from before we met, and since we've gotten together, we've started buying ornaments when we go on trips. It's a really nice way to remember the trip when we're decorating the tree. This layout is based on a Scrapbook Generations Sketches for Scrapbooking sketch that I modified slightly to accommodate larger photos. At first I didn't really like the gold paper I used, but after adding the stars, I do like the way it turned out.

A closer look at the left-hand page-- the stars were cut on the Cricut electronic cutting machine; I don't have one of these machines yet, but the Scrapbook Cottage has one, and my fellow scrappers had quite a selection of cartridges with them for the weekend. They were nice enough to let me borrow them to cut whatever I wanted. The star design is from a military-themed cartridge of shapes; in addition to soldiers and planes, the cartridge included some really nice stars, badges, fireworks, etc. 

An even closer look at the page- the journaling strips I included on this page. I hauled my typewriter with me to the cottage for the weekend, and I actually used it a lot for journaling! Since I write kind of big, I really like being able to include more text, and the 'coolness factor' of the vintage typewriter hasn't worn off yet... lol!

February 03, 2012

project life- the first 2 weeks of January

okay, so I'm getting a bit behind in putting together my Project Life pages, already. But, I need to keep it do-able for me, so if working on them a couple weeks at a time is what it takes to keep up, then that's okay with me. I can't stress about "every Sunday afternoon at 2 pm, I need to do my PL pages" or anything like that, because that is precisely the sort of thing that would make me quit this project. Whew! I'm glad I got that off my chest! That said, here's another two Project Life spreads; not the best photos, but it took me at least 3 times to get decent photos of them, so I finally quit trying. 

This is the entire 2-page spread for Jan 2-8.  The week included a trip to the movies, a trip to an estate sale (where I found a vintage electric typewriter!! score!!), and photos from a lunch-break trip to the library (along with a photo of my lunch, LOL!), and a photo of one of our favorite dinners, Mexican Spaghetti (yum!). 

a close-up of the right-hand page. The upper left photo is two 3x4 photos collaged together and printed as one 4x6 photo; I added the piece of velvet ribbon (attached with my Tiny Attacher- love that thing!) to separate the photos a bit. I used a few random pieces of scrapbook paper, a manila shipping tag, etc. in addition to pre-printed pieces from the Project Life kit.

This is a closeup of the journaling space above the typewriter photo- it's nothing fancy; I just wanted to save the piece of paper that was the first thing I typed with the typewriter. I stapled the scrap of paper to a tan piece of cardstock. (and what I typed on that piece of paper is true; it IS difficult to type without a delete key- lol!!)

I didn't have 'stuff' to fill up all the spaces, so I added in a quote, stamped on cardstock, with a couple pieces of scrapbook paper decorating the edges. It reads "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you might miss something."  Fitting, I thought- plus, it's from Ferris Bueller's Day Off, which is one of my favorite 1980s movies.

This is Jan 9 - Jan 15th... random photos, including a few I posted here already (my haircut, the sad-looking flattened angel food cake, and the 10 lb box of oatmeal). The week also included a trip to Walmart (thankfully, a big grocery trip like that is only necessary once every few weeks), a Dr's appointment for me (I attached the business card to the outside of the page protector), and an estate sale on the weekend (photos posted here previously).

This is a closer look at the left-hand page for that week; I finally started using some of the label stickers included with the Project Life kit (the arrow above, and a clear day-of-the-week sticker on the laundry photo), and I really like the way they look. The bottom left photo is a picture I snapped of a gorgeous sunrise I saw on my way to work; the bottom right side is a story Tom told me about something that happened one afternoon before I got home... Tom was flying his model helicopter in our back yard, got it up too high to control, the wind caught it, and it drifted over the wall and through the neighbors' yard onto the next block!! He found it, thank goodness (lodged up in a tree one street over), but the story was so funny I didn't want to forget it. A design mention: I didn't like the decoration on the journaling card I typed that story on, so I cut up another decorated card (the green and gold design) and used it as a border. I added an extra detail with mini rick-rack (stapled on with the tiny attacher).

random pet photos

Just some random animal shots from the last couple days:
Ariel watching something outside-- they just wish the could open the door by themselves!

Ariel  'flops' on the floor when we come into the house, looking for a belly-skritch

Krista is always smiling!! (she doesn't know she's going to the vet to get a shot, lol!)

Krista posing with Nano (one of the cats who lives at the vet's office)