June 28, 2011


simple summer scrapping, as seen on write. click. scrapbook. Using the same general (but somewhat customizable) layout as a basis for scrapbook pages, to simplify the page design part of the process. This is a great idea! why limit it to just summer?? I definitely need to try this, as the page design part of things is one of the parts that slows me up considerably.

June 24, 2011

scrap page, and a HUGE thank you!!

so, this is not the scrapbook page I was working on... the pages I was working on (or trying to, anyway) were from when we went to see Les Miserables for my birthday, and I just could not get them to work. (I was miserable, I guess!) I finally got frustrated with that, set it aside, and printed these photos, which I think I put in a blog post a couple weeks ago, actually. This is one of the beautiful things about not scrapping chronologically; I can work with the photos, topics, and materials that interest me, whenever I feel like it- it's a wonderful thing! Anyway, to the page: I believe this page is the first one that I've used kraft colored cardstock for the base, and I think I really like it! (fyi, kraft is a "popular" or "trendy" background right now in the scrapping world.) It works really well with the vintage-y feel of the patterned paper, and also the colors in the photos. The pattered paper is a couple years old, from a "garage sale" at the scrapbook store; they sold variety packs of papers for such good prices, I couldn't pass it up! I have used some of that variety pack previously, but it's always nice to use things from my "stash" of older materials.

The letter stickers were sort of a bust, and an annoyance, but since I bought them, I'm going to use them. I found them at one of our local Big Lots (a store that gets "lot ends" of things from other stores, and sells the stuff for cheap; they get some good scrapbooking stuff now and then) and grabbed three or four packages of letters in different colors. They were only $1 per pack, and are scratch-and-sniff! (haha! ...remember scratch-and-sniff stickers, from the 80s?? I had to get them partly for that reason.) Anyway- I had to fight with the stickers to remove them from their backing without ripping; it took me forever to get the letters I needed intact; and then, to top it off, after all that they barely stuck to the cardstock! I thought about adding more embellishments, like ribbon, rickrack, or buttons, but couldn't decide where to put them, so I decided not to agonize over that any longer and call it done. The memories are the important thing, not the page design, right? Right. Hopefully this is just the first in a string of successful (and completed!) pages.

So, now to the HUGE THANK YOU!!! to my mother, who, after reading my "Happy Birthday to Richard Scarry" blog post, sent me a package that contained magazines and books, like this one:

Some of the actual Richard Scarry books I remember reading as a child!! Thank you so much, Mom!! This is amazing, that you actually still have these, and thought enough to send them to me! This first pic is a book I remember spending a loooooot of time with; the pages are perforated, and the book included lots of different pictures to color, activities to do, and things to make using the illustrations. Lots of pages are missing, but some are still there, like the one below:

The writing on the side is mine (looks like I was going to give this to my 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Smith) but I don't know if that's really my coloring, there-- the neatness of the coloring doesn't quite match the writing style. Perhaps one of my older sisters helped me with the coloring? Mom?? any thoughts?? :D Here's an inside page of another one of the books... (I didn't get a pic of the cover, apparently, so I don't know the title right at the moment) The story is about a bunny going to the doctor for a checkup; I remember reading this one, too-- I knew just what it was the minute I took it out of the box. (it's so cute; the endpapers are covered with drawings of bandaids!) I just love Richard Scarry's illustrations, and will definitely be spending some time reading through these; and maybe even coloring in a picture or two!! Thank you again, Mom!!

June 18, 2011

then and now--

Then, December 2008... we'd already had the saguaro for about a year here (not sure when exactly we bought it; I could look it up, but the receipt is upstairs). It was 5 ft tall when we bought it, and Tom is 5 ft 8 inches, so it's already grown maybe close to a foot, here? (This saguaro was "rescued" from the desert by the landscaping company, probably from a construction site-- they do that here: saguaro cactus flowers are the state wildflower, and saguaro cactus in the wild are protected, so permits must be obtained before moving or destroying them. Anyway, when we bought it, it was 5 feet tall, but had some "character" due to having been used for target practice- which is also illegal in AZ- at some point in its past.) Below is the Now pic, taken just this morning... Tom hasn't shrunk any, so that means the saguaro has grown quite a lot... we (okay, he) measured it last weekend with the tape measure, and it was 8 1/2 feet tall. !!!!! We had it moved from our first house to this one, and when the landscaping guys saw it, they asked if we watered it: Nope, not since it was planted and got settled in. Apparently, it just likes us!
...now if it would just bloom... which hopefully will be in another couple feet!! (for a few facts: saguaro are native only to the Sonoran Desert, take up to 75 years to develop a side arm, and their growth rate is dependent on the amount of precipitation they get. They can live as long as 200 years, and can get up to 50 feet tall. ...so ours has a ways to go, yet.)

June 17, 2011

...and then this happens!

I had all these scrapbooking plans, right?? I printed my photos; I cleaned off my desk (by moving the crap to the other table... haha!) so I have a 12x12 space to work in; I have my paper trimmer ready to go; I have the layout ideas sketched out; I have my scrapping "mojo" at the ready... and then this happens:

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson: Larson's newest novel about living in Berlin during the first years of Hitler's reign, told from the point of view of two characters: William Dodd (America's first ambassador to Hitler's regime) and Dodd's daughter, Martha. Not a lighthearted summer read, I know, but I've become interested in how the people of Germany got "sucked into" the ideas that Hitler espoused, and how he went from being a failed artist and student to the leader of the Third Reich.

I put my name on the list for this book at the library about a month ago, as soon as I heard about it. When I did, I was probably about 15th out of 25 to 30 (? I don't remember exactly, but the list was long); I figured I had plenty of time to wait for it... but, yesterday, out of the blue, it was ready for me to pick up! So, for the next three weeks I will be immersed in 1930s Berlin... maybe less than that, if it's really good, although I can't stay up reading till 1 or 2 am anymore and still be wide awake for work at 5 am... :D

Then again, this book might be a dud, although I hope not. I really liked the other book by Larson that I read, though, which was The Devil in the White City. It was set during the time of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, and was also two stories entertwined: the story of Daniel Burnham (the architect responsible for building the fair) and H. H. Holmes (a serial killer who killed somewhere between 27 and 200 people during the time of the fair). An odd combination, to be sure-- not light reading at all, but I found it very interesting.

Hopefully I can still sneak a bit of time in between chapters to exercise my scrapping mojo, and I'll definitely let you know how the book is!

June 15, 2011

random photo catch-up post (lots of pics)

I finally did some photo editing from the past couple weeks... here you go! (they're not exactly in order, because Blogger loads them backwards, and I don't feel like dealing with moving them around.)
Prescott is already about 9 months old; where does the time go?!? He's filling out and starting to get his adult coat; I can't wait to see what he looks like when it all grows in! (he looks rather like Sedona in this pic, which is somewhat bittersweet.)

...contentment... oh, to have a life as simple as this!

this is Tom's "look of fear" for how he should tackle this burger... LOL! We had lunch at a local restaurant recently; this burger is Teakwoods' "Touch 'em All" burger, with three kinds of cheese, guacamole, bacon, and two kinds of peppers- he said it was delicious, and it actually made 3 meals altogether.
This is an average level of weekend traffic on the highway out of town. (keep scrolling, and you'll get why I took this shot.)
and this is what you can sometimes see next to the highway, if you're lucky! I love seeing the wild horses; it sort of makes me feel like I'm in "the Old West" when I see things like this.
Prescott and Bisbee, having a heckuva good time... when they really get going, the only thing to do is keep out of their way!
this was taken over Memorial Day weekend, making use of our new fire pit. Smores were made, marshmallows were roasted, cigars were smoked, and a good time was had by all.
Last Sunday we went here (Gammage Auditorium, at ASU... designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, by the way) to see this:
Les Miserables is touring for its 25th anniversary-- Tom and I have both seen it before; I saw it at least 10-15 years ago, and for Tom, it was closer to 20 years ago... they updated the staging for this tour, and of course, the music was wonderful. (I love this musical so much; I have the ultimate soundtrack, and pretty much know the songs word for word.)

altogether it was a pretty nice couple of weeks! And, I'm in the process of cleaning off some desk space in my craft room; once I print some photos (including some of the ones above), I'll be making some scrapbook layouts. (hopefully, that is!)

June 05, 2011

happy birthday to Richard Scarry!!

I love Richard Scarry books; I remember spending lots of time poring over them as a child, looking at every last little detail of the pictures. (and there are tons of details in his artwork, that's for sure!) image borrowed from tonyphilmore2's photostream on flickr.

June 02, 2011

a little spring cleaning... and reading reminiscing

spring cleaning on my blog layout, that is! not big changes, but I added a widget over there, to the right -----> that will hopefully help jog my memory. I've gotten back into reading fiction again recently, and want to track the books I read, so hopefully this widget will help me do it!

I read a LOT when I was little; Mom would take me to the library every Saturday morning, where I'd get an armful of at least 5-10 books. After our weekly trip to the grocery store, we'd go back home where I'd settle into the recliner with my books at my feet, set for an afternoon of paging thru whatever I brought home. I remember that dinosaurs, mythology, and all kinds of science books (insects, butterflies, birds, etc.) were at the top of my list; I probably read close to everything our small Carnegie library had in the children's department, then got an adult card so I could check books out upstairs in the adult section, too.

I read pretty fast-- Tom says that's skimming, not reading, which I kinda agree with-- but I'm always impatient to find out what happens next, and I can't wait to get there-- lol!! This way, I can read a book more than once, and not be bored! (I'm sort of joking about that, but I do have a selection of books I re-read regularly; they're my go-to favorites if there's nothing else around.)

I have been known to stay up pretty late reading, too... I was up till 1 am finishing one of my most recent ones; thank goodness it was a long weekend, so I could sleep in. But, you know how it is-- you get to that "point of no return" where you're too close to the end to want to stop.

the website I found for tracking my books (goodreads.com) looks like it has lots of useful stuff: it can track books you've read, keep track of your books-to-read list, and you can find reader reviews of books, to get recommendations.

Now I just need to remember to update my list! (and go to the library!!)