Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Farmers' Daughters

A few weeks ago, my very sweet online scrapbooking friend, Michelle Marks from Newfoundland, sent me a wonderful package of papers and scrapbook goodies.  She also popped in a little gift for BabyOfTheFamily....a wall decor sticker set of owls (because BOF is so in love with owls right now).

That same week, my mom asked me to reprint a photo of herself on the farm as a young girl with her cousin.  Right away I knew that Michelle's papers would be perfect for a pretty heritage layout, so I decided to make a page for my mom with her photo, aptly titled "Farmers' Daughters".
The papers are ATD Momenta. I made a double shadow box frame by cutting two of the papers and layering them with foam squares.

The four corners are punched with a Martha Stewart corner punch.  I wanted to do something special inside the shadow box corners so I added chicken wire chipboard (LOVE IT!) from Dusty Attic, which I purchased from Vicky, who has an Etsy shop. 
I altered the chicken wire by painting it with my Ranger metallic Silver paint dauber.
The tiny white roses are Prima.

I printed my mom's name and her cousin "Sophie and Clara" with a Brush Script font onto a scrap piece of greeny taupe cardstock, then framed it with a Melissa Frances white resin oval ornamental.  The seam binding ribbon is colored with Victorian Velvet TH Distress ink, then misted and crumpled.  (I tied the ribbon into a bow BEFORE I altered it). 

The white doily is an old one I found in my kitchen drawer....gotta love those discoveries!

The brown doily is made from a die that my BFF Sandra lent has VERY intricate details and I cut it with my Big Shot.  The Urban Scrapbook sells an assortment of these lovely doily dies, that are manufactured by Cheery Lynn Designs. This particular die is called "English Tea Party" (DL101). The paper I used for the doily was a happy accident....I wanted to do a trial doily with scrap paper and found this ancient piece of ugly brown canvas patterned paper in my stash.  After I cut the doily, I thought WOW...this actually is pretty and will add some nice contrast layered with the white doily.

I decided to cross-stitch on the page for a couple of adds a homespun element, but also my family is Ukrainian and this type of needlework is one of our traditional handicrafts. In fact, when I was  a teenager, I used to cross-stitch table runners and tablecloths.  [Yep, I was a real party girl!]
The Sew Easy from We R Memory Keepers was very handy to pierce those stitching holes!
I bought the Sew Easy, Wood Veneer paper and Melissa Frances oval frame from Scrap-A-Lot.

The embellishment cluster on the left has a few altered items. The canvas heart from Canvas Corp. is coloured with Victorian Velvet Distress ink and then misted with water.  When dried, I stamped it with a music notes stamp from Hero Arts and Timber Brown Archival ink.
The patterned leaves is a sticker from Websters, the white resin bird is new Prima.
My sweet friend Karen from who lives in Australia sent me that adorable handmade fabric flower...isn't it perfect on this layout? Thanks Kaz!
A closer look....
 The Dusty Attic chipboard flourish is altered with Tim Holtz Walnut Distress Stain and then painted with Clear Distress Crackle Paint.  I lightened it a bit with dabs of Ranger Silver metallic paint.
The scalloped pink photo mat is made with a Fiskars border punch.
One of my favourite elements on this layout is the hanging sign. I used Creative Imaginations Real wood veneer paper.  A wood-grained patterned paper would also work well.
Tim Holtz Ball Chain metal is used to hang the sign from under the shadow box frame.
Those wonderful little alpha stickers are October Afternoon...also sent to me from Michelle :)

To make the sign, I just basically cut a rectangle of wood veneer and then 4 small strips, which I then "mitred" in the corners.  I inked the edges with Chestnut Roan Cat's Eye ChalkBox ink.
I cut the foam squares in half so they were narrow enough under the frame edges.
It does bother me that there is no apostrophe after the word "Farmers"....but I'll just have to let that one go because the title just looks better this! matters more than grammar??

After finishing the page, I placed it into a lovely light pink distressed shadow box frame I bought at Michaels a long time ago.  My mom now has it hanging in her home....and has asked me to make one for Clara too :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011


It’s official.

BoyGenius took his road test. He passed….he has a DRIVER’S LICENSE.

I guess this means he did obey all the stop signs and red lights and shoulder checked and did not speed.

And I do have confidence in his driving because we have been driving together quite a lot lately.  At least, I had confidence until he uttered a fateful line after he found out he passed:

“Now I have the same license as you Mom, so I’m just as good a driver as you.”

Big sigh.

The funny part of this test experience today was that I left him at the local Registry to do the paper work and get his temporary license because I had to rush to the other end of the city to pick up his sister from her day camp.

So he had to WALK home. LOL! Well, I sure thought this was funny, but he didn’t quite see it that way.

Then the worst thing happened….he asked to use my minivan tonight so he can take his girlfriend out for supper to celebrate. Oh. My. Heavens. How could I not anticipate that question and all the emotions that came with it? I was not prepared for the rush of anxiety and fear. Mostly fear.

Some of you have probably gone through all this before, but for me it was an absolutely heart wrenching moment…to hand my keys over to him. GULP.
MY key...mine mine MINE!

So I stood on the driveway as he drove away and did what every scrapbooking mom would do. I grabbed my camera and took photos.

These are the photos that break my heart.

Because not only is he driving away from me….he is officially leaving his childhood behind.
A safer mode of transportation, with his Grandpa steering.

I want my keys back, I want my van back….but most of all, I want my baby boy back.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Visiting Japan...with Creative Imaginations

It seems I'm getting a little carried away with my family anecdotes (and teenage horror stories), so I'm going to make a concerted effort to post more scrapbooking pages.

When I started this blog in June, I was working with the new Creative Imaginations "Sakura Collection" and created a couple of display layouts for my local scrapbook store Scrap-A-Lot.

I was pretty excited about these papers because back in the "olden days" (according to my kids), 1980 to be exact, I travelled to Japan on an exchange with the Lions Club.  All my photos and memorabilia from that 6-week trip are suffering their fate in a humongous magnetic album....yes, the kind where the plastic page cover lifts up and you place your photos on a sticky page background, knowing the contents will disintegrate within 10 years.

Ironically, however, I used a photo from a Scrap-A-Lot friend named Fran, who was also excited about scrapping her trip to Asia....which was much more recent than mine.  So while I was looking at her photos, I found the most lovely pic of cherry blossoms and was inspired to create this page for Fran.

Gosh, it was hard to photograph this shiny gold paper!
I wrote the I'm sure you all did in Grade 8 middle school English class...
The chipboard bird comes from a package of chipboard elements, all in neutral cream and brown...I added some gold metallic paint to coordinate with all the gold on the page.
 I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the package of chipboard...grrrrrr.
Just love working with the Melissa Frances elements...I gilded her white resin pieces.
For the pro scrapbookers out there, you can probably skip this next tutorial, but I thought I'd post LOTS of photos that show how I created this page.  Just because I always like lots of photos when I read a blog.  LOTS.

Here goes...
One of my favourite Martha Stewart border punches of all time...I punched the edges of the heavy gold metallic cardstock.
I gently lifted up the butterflies from the background glitter paper to give them dimension.
The thrifty scrapbooker cuts away the section of her background glitter paper that will be wasted and unseen beneath the gold metallic background paper.  I placed the gold cardstock on top of this pink glitter frame.
Yikes!  Who in their right mind wants to cut out ALL these lovely blossoms?
Not me!  My sweet super fussy cutting friend Kim, the owner of Scrap-A-Lot, cut this paper for me!
I placed these gorgeous floral cuttings on top of the gold cardstock.
I adore these Melissa Frances vintage embellishments!
To gild them (add gold accents), I simply used my metallic gold Ranger paint dauber.  That paint is the best and I use it all the time to add beautiful gold touches to lots of my page could say it's worth its weight in "gold"...hee hee!
Just touch the raised edges of the resin designs.
Here's a closer look of the finished result...
These corners ended up at the bottom of the gold metallic background as page corners.

I used the two floral gilded elements to frame the photo....

To weave the ribbon along the edges of the glitter cardstock mat, I punched holes with my Crop-a-dile...2 holes at about 1 1/2" intervals...and yes, I used a ruler to measure.

Yikes! that Crop-a-dile looks like a monster next to these delicate cherry blossoms...kinda like the Godzilla of scrapbooking tools!
A wide soft sheer pink ribbon worked well to create this effect....
Here is another photo I took of the page outside in the you could see it SHINE!

And now you know all the deep dark secrets behind creating this Cherry Blossoms layout!

Hope you enjoyed looking at LOTS of photos  :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Creative Cropping

For scrapbookers, there are two meanings of the word "crop".

1. A gathering of scrapbookers who enjoy each others' company while designing layouts.

2. Cutting a photo so it looks better.

I will be discussing number 2 and will attempt to explain how to cut your photo to make it more visually pleasing. You can "crop" with Photoshop, a trimmer, or even scissors.

You know there's a story behind this post, and it has to do with a recent mini weekend holiday my hubby and I enjoyed in July. 

We ditched the teenagers (if you're following my blog, you'll know why) and decided to spend a lovely 4 days, Friday to Monday, at our friends' new home on Lake Okanagan. (For my American friends, this is a gorgeous summer destination for lots of Albertans where it's hot hot hot and the drinks are cold cold cold.) Our friends live between Kelowna and Vernon in British Columbia.

Have you ever had a trip and felt it was just the most fabulous and even glamorous vacation experience? And then get home and your photos are disappointing and do nothing to prove that you looked great while you wined and dined?

Let me explain with some "creative cropping" and a couple of pics from our trip...

We had lunch on an amazing restaurant patio with a spectacular view of the vineyard and lake below....
YIKES!  All I can see when I look at this photo is that enormous ARM!!! Did someone inflate it?? The term "blow up doll" comes to mind.

Here's where cropping comes in handy....
The "Arm Liposuction" crop
Hmmmm...but there's a messy table with my camera bag.  Plus, I'm looking a little "top heavy". Let's improve this composition....
The "Breast Reduction" crop
If I want to highlight the dreamy landscape in the background, I could cut my photo like this
No inflatable arm detracting from this beautiful setting in the background
Just to prove that I am not a giantess with massive arms and breasts, here is a nicer photo that is not cropped at all.
In front of Gray Monk Vineyard Restaurant

Let's say your mini vacay did NOT go well.  You were angry with your husband and want to remember the trip without him in it....
The "Divorce" crop
Luckily, I did not have to perform the Divorce Crop because my hubby and I had the most wonderful time all weekend long.

And my final bit of cropping advice....don't overdo it.  Remember your photo might not be perfect but it always tells a story and captures that special moment in time....
Extreme Crop
The smile says it all :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Miss Daisy...Still Crazy

The end is near.  BoyGenius (BG) wants to take his driving road test. GULP.

I do not want him to take this test.  Why?  Here are a few reasons....actually, here are some things he has said while practising his driving with me. [I am NOT making this stuff up]

What you do NOT want to hear when your 16-year-old son is learning to drive:

1.  [Spoken while shoulder checking]..."You know, mom, when I'm shoulder checking, I'm just turning my head around.  I'm not looking at anything."

2.  [After cruising through a 4-way-stop in our neighbourhood WITHOUT stopping]...."Was I supposed to stop there?  My bad."

3.  [His cell phone rings.  Yep, he answers it!!]..."Hello? Sorry, I can't talk right now. I'm driving.  Peace out." [The peace does go out at that  moment as I start yelling at him about answering his phone!]

4. [At a major intersection, we are first in the left turning lane.  The light is RED] ..."Can I go now?"

5. [During one of our many practice sessions] ..."When are you and dad going to buy me a car?" [I pretty much laugh out loud at this one]

6. [After I laugh about him asking for a car]..."There is no point in me practising my driving if you're not buying me a car!"

7. [During an angry silence]..."You know, when I get my own car, you will have no control over me, and you won't know where I am." [Well then.  Now we will DEFINITELY buy him a car.]

8. [After I correct a number of the above mistakes]..."Stop telling me what to do! I know how to drive!!"
I'll stop telling him how to drive when he figures out what this sign means!

The REALLY scary thing?? I know there LOTS more teenage boys out there driving who are just like him!

After I post this blog, I'm going to dye my hair, which has now gone completely grey. 

And then I'm going to slash the tires on my minivan...