Friday, February 22, 2013

Independence National Historical Park

This is a 2-pager I did last month for a sketch call by Creating Keepsakes.  Even though the layout was not picked up, I really really love how it turned out.  I feel that the sketch was phenomenally well designed, lending itself easily into an easy and good-looking layout.  

There is a spot in the sketch that called for a 4x10 photo. I have a tip to share on what I did with that photo requirement.  
  • Take a regular photo and sized it in Picasa (any photo editing tool would do) to be 4x10, call the photo A.  
  • Size A into two photos:
    • Take the left most part of A and sized it to be 4x6, saved it.  
    • Reverted A back to its original 4x10 size.  
    • Take the right most part of A and sized it to be 4x6.  
    • The two 4x6 photos have some overlap. Have the two 4x6 photos printed and cut them to form the bottom 4x10 photo that you see in this layout.

I realize most people have printers at home and print at will the size they want.  However, there's gotta be at least one other person in this world like me who still has all her photos printed in a store online or somewhere? :)
I am proud to say that I had the kids dressed in red and blue for the express purpose of visiting the patriotic parts of Philadelphia!  Why complicate my scrapbooking life when they can fit immediately into paper collections meant for the U.S. of A? :)  They can wear purple when we go see a Barney show :)

I have been saving this particular collection, American Made, by MME for a couple of years.  Talk about a classic collection that will never go out of style!  I like it!

Winter is still raging on outside!  I dream of summer and vacationing...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Recent Happenings

It's the middle of February and this winter has long outlived its welcome.  However, the days are getting noticeably longer and it's not pitch black when I leave in the morning any more.  

This week, we take time to celebrate this special little lady.  Her father and I did reflect a little on this significant milestone: half-way point till she is out of our house! LOL.  I wonder if we will follow her or will she be a homebody and stay near us?  Due to my own life's circumstances, I wonder about this more than I wonder about some other stuff.  One day at a time, without trepidation, I tell myself.  Changing diapers, potty training were hard stuff, but the teenager years are on the horizon.  She is aware enough to let us know the other day that rough waters are ahead. And since she is a girl, she just might shout "I hate you" to us as a rite of passage!!  Well, I can't wait!  LOL.

Remember my dreadful skiing experience last week end?  I had to resort to scrapbooking to cheer myself up as I put it in a blog post I did for Creating Keepsakes.  Yes, sledding is a much happier experience, one which I would gladly do again soon!  I am noticing that I really like mixing wild colors and papers together.  I do like the result but my goodness there are some crazy colors going on here!

I used a Laina Lamb's Die-namics Story Starters for the strip die-cut.  The title is an assembly from the Silhouette store.  
I hope to be back soon. I received some amazing goodies from Close to My Heart that I am absolutely dying to try!  Maybe by next post I will have a few things to share!  Fingers crossed! 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sledding, Skiing, Snowing, and Snake

In the thick of winter, we are waiting for our own snowmagedon of the month.  Not expecting three feet of snow like the East Coast but it is clipping away heavily right now!

There can be moments of levity and enjoyment in the dead of winter and I have found my limit in terms of winter fun yesterday.  I went skiing for the first and last time in my life.  If it seems drastic to say "last time," let me amend my statement by saying that should I be given the choice of passing another kidney stone or go skiing, I would gladly go skiing again.  The worst part was that I had to miss my favorite group exercise class for it. Every skier who passed by reminded me how I too could have been having fun and burning calories!  In the end, (by "end" I mean, 1/3 way through the course) I had to take them off and drag them all the way back.  The humiliation was both utter and complete!

Let me remind myself of good times in the snow and cold.  I think after today's snow, a sledding event could be in our future soon.  These photos were from last year and I did this page in July using the then just released WRMK's "Down the Boardwalk" collection, summer papers for a winter page!  This was my first project as a CK Dream Team member. We were asked to do a page of using the "scrapalete" theme.  I thought "spinning" would be a good idea even though I've never done it in my life. If I were to guess, I probably wouldn't pronounce against spinning as harshly as I have against skiing!

As seen in Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine. Copyright Creative Crafts Group. Posted with prior permission from the publisher.

Here are a couple of close-up photos of this layout. The spinner is a cut from the Silhouette store.  Wow, there are just so many great ways to make your own fun embellishment with a cutting tool!  I really love it!

The horizontal photo show some of the subtle rubons I used on the layout.  I should mention that I didn't mist this page at all, but the droplets you see are printed on the patterned papers!  I encircled the journaling with another cut from the Silhouette store, only I can't find it for the moment.

Today is also Chinese New Year!  Happy prosperous new year of the Snake!!!  灵蛇出洞吐春意;喜鹊登梅报福音!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


I have an enormous pile of unattractive photos, do you?  There was a time that I scrapped them with unwavering determination, pressing on to complete albums.  While I still print them, they just sit there for years on end!  It would be nice to do more 2-pager and get stuff "done."  I realize this is a hobby without a deadline, a creative outlet that needs no catching-up.  However, I have operated under that mode for several years now and I wouldn't mind to reduce my photo stash and being more "caught up" in my own definition. 

Here's one layout of the four of us shamelessly devouring Philly cheesesteak sandwiches in public at the historic Pat's King of Steaks in Philadelphia.  It was definitely an experience to be had!  I am glad to have had friends to take us there because there was no way we would have found a parking space anywhere close to the establishment, lol.  Honestly, I do not remember the food all that well, but I can say that I've eaten there, the place of origin of Philly cheesesteaks!   The other thing I remember was sitting across from Michael's uncle, talking about how the rest of the U.S. just don't do cheesesteaks right.  It was an experience and destination dining at that! 
Now that I have shocked the world and myself with a mid-week post, it's time to say good night and ask myself this question: Have I hugged a kindergartner today? :)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Making Invitations

For the first time ever, First Born is getting to have a birthday party!  I don't recall what brought it about but I think she asked for a party and we did not recoil from the thought.  I feverishly worked on making invitations so she could bring them to school last Friday, only to find out that it was yet another day off for the kids!  
No doubt, you could suggest that I simply use store bought invitations, but my gosh, with a room full of stuff, how could I resort to something else?  At a minimum, I had to make a simple card (many times) if just to say that this hobby has some use outside of being creative and having fun!  

Yep, I used Birthday Bash, my most beloved and most frequently used cartridge in my collection.  I would like to share a tip with you.  Instead of cutting the beige cheek + ears and the black eyes + nose, I drew them using markers.  It is very difficult to get a really good cut of these small pieces, so I color them in to make life simpler.  This issue is not exclusive to the Cricut machine, cutting a dot is challenging with Cameo as well.  
Now it's time to relax after a very exhausting (as usual) cardio kick this morning.  Tomorrow will be spent at the pool waiting and waiting for First Born to swim her races.  I just might miss most of the Superbowl activities tomorrow!  I still need to figure out who I would like to see win.