Monday, April 27, 2009

A Productive Weekend

Helen Hancock introduced me to a while ago. It's a digital scrapping site (Blog, Shop, Forum, Gallery... and more). I popped in there 'now and then' but never really got involved. This weekend I jumped in and entered "a challenge" and posted my work in their gallery. I was totally hooked!! It's a good thing that Boyd does the cooking at this house or we would have starved.

The CHALLENGE was to make a digital layout using Sue Cummings Week 16 materials from her '52 Inspirations' kits... the word was"EXTRAORDINARY"!! So I created a layout and then another and then... well, you get it! Busy, busy, busy as Eloise would say.
(All materials used were by Sue Cummings... for further details check my gallery at

1. Boydo at a fantastic ice cream parlor in Phoenix AZ... 'Mary Coyles'. 2. Wendy at her Kentucky Derby Wedding Shower last Spring.
3. My first encounter with a dog in 1944.

4. Kristin running the Oshkosh Marathon in rain and sleet... but still a smile!

5. Wendy and Kristin with best friend Jennifer after the wedding ceremony... crashing for a moment. Love this photo!

I'm planning to post on my blog each Monday. So look for me here on that day. I'm planning on following a format of Art, Books, Movies, and Happenings each week. Today I wandered away from my plans as I wanted to share my new relationship with O'SCRAPS. I know I've found a new home there. YUMMERS!!
Love to you all!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Magnificant Monday

This is my most recent layout. I'm 20 months old and on a "see-saw" which later became known as a "teeter-totter". My mom always sang the little rhyme, "See-saw, Margery Daw..." as she pushed the see saw up and down for me. The song is actually an old English Nursery Rhyme with political meaning as did so many of the rhymes we learned. This was a fun layout to create as I love the work of the designer (Sausan). Stop by to see her work... so fun and whimsical!

Credits: All paper and elements from 'Holy Hoot Cute' kit designed by (from

I bought an inexpensive acrylic frame to put my most recent layout in so that I can stand it on my desk. Usually they get mounted on cardstock and placed in in album so quickly that I never really have a chance to look at the layout, critique it for strengths and weaknesses and just plain enjoy it. Problem solved! (My layouts are all 8 x 8 inches)

I'm currently reading The Cellist Of Sarajevo and enjoying each page. It is a fast read and a real page turner as I embrace each character and their survival.
From Publishers Weekly: Canadian Galloway (Ascension) delivers a tense and haunting novel following four people trying to survive war-torn Sarajevo. After a mortar attack kills 22 people waiting in line to buy bread, an unnamed cellist vows to play at the point of impact for 22 days. Meanwhile, Arrow, a young woman sniper, picks off soldiers; Kenan makes a dangerous trek to get water for his family; and Dragan, who sent his wife and son out of the city at the start of the war, works at a bakery and trades bread in exchange for shelter. Arrow's assigned to protect the cellist, but when she's eventually ordered to commit a different kind of killing, she must decide who she is and why she kills. Dragan believes he can protect himself through isolation, but that changes when he runs into a friend of his wife's attempting to cross a street targeted by snipers. Kenan is repeatedly challenged by his fear and a cantankerous neighbor. All the while, the cellist continues to play. With wonderfully drawn characters and a stripped-down narrative, Galloway brings to life a distant conflict.
Last year I read Pretty Birds and had my first encounter with life in Sarajevo. I loved the book and read it twice. It gives one such an understanding of what it is like to live in a war-torn country.
Young women served as snipers for both Bosnian and Serbian forces during the siege of Sarajevo; Simon, a prize-winning correspondent and NPR Weekend Edition host, interviewed one of them and has masterfully imagined her life. The book begins with half-Muslim Irena, 17, perched on a rooftop, wearing a black ski mask, sighting down a rifle. Simon then flashes back to the spring of 1992, when Irena, her parents and her parrot, Pretty Bird, must flee their home on the mostly Serb side of the city. When they make it (barely) to her grandmother's apartment, they find her slain on the staircase. Simon's account of the family's refugee life—sans water, electricity and supplies, they eat snail-and-grass soup—is full of brilliant details ranging from the comic to the heartbreaking. When a former assistant principal spots Irena, once a high school basketball star, he offers her a job that quickly has her recruited, indoctrinated and trained in deception and weaponry. That's when the action really begins to move along. Pretty Bird is released for mercy's sake, flies to his old home and is caught by Amela—a Christian and Irena's former classmate and teammate—who concocts a devious and difficult plan to return him to her friend. A deeply felt, boldly told story and clean, forceful prose distinguish this striking first novel.

We are movie nuts! We watch at least one each evening that we're home. I thought that I'd share... on a regular basis... the good, well-done movies. We are currently watching a BBC miniseries (2 discs) that we are really enjoying. We get most of our movies from Netflix and sometimes from our local video store.
Stephen Collins is an ambitious politician. Cal McAffrey is a well-respected investigative journalist and Stephen's ex-campaign manager. En route to work one morning, Stephen's research assistant mysteriously falls to her death on the London Underground. It's not long before revelations of their affair hit the headlines. Meanwhile a suspected teenage drug dealer is found shot dead. These (apparently unconnected) events expose a dangerous habit within modern government of dancing too closely with the corporate devil. Friendships are tested and lives are put on the line as an intricate web of lies unfolds.

That's it for today... Make it a good one!
Love to all,

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Layouts, Books, and a Movie.

It's so relaxing creating a layout. Time flies! But, you do have a product at the end that makes the time worthwhile. I now have stacks of layouts and need to spread them out on the dining table and put them in order and get them in the albums that await them. I have them all mounted on contrasting cardstock. Credits: Paper and elements by Kitty Chen, Kitty Designs, from; Birthday cake and 'Let's Party' sticker by Erica Hite, "Make A Wish" from
Boyd bought me this huge solid chocolate Easter Rabbit. I ate the ears and the rest is just sitting there... waiting for one of us to have a craving. When you live in Green Bay WI, you just have to taste Seroogy's chocolates now and then.

Credits: Paper from, "Easter Paper 1"; Frame by Chelly Designs at, "April Showers Bring May Flowers"; Blue gingham paper and egg from "Hoppy Easter Kit", designer unknown; White rabbit by Kitty Chen, Kitty Designs, "Jungle Animals" from

I watched this movie a few nights ago and really liked it. It's so well done. I was afraid to watch it as I was certain it would be a sad movie. I made it through the movie without a tear but afterwards... it sat in me like molten lead... for days. The ending is STARTLING!! I really was interested in watching the everyday life of a high-ranking Nazi's family... what they were and weren't aware of as far as the Jewish people.
I often read an author from beginning to end. This is my current read... couldn't put it down last night. I love reading about other cultures. I've read all of the author's books and I would suggest starting with 'Women of the Silk'.

From Library Journal: A work of historical fiction, Tsukiyama's latest novel contains several strong female characters. Set during the onset of the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong in 1940, it first introduces readers to sisters Joan and Emma Lew, ages 14 and nine. The girls, with their servant Foon and their mother's first cousin, Auntie Go, all live "privileged" lives together in Hong Kong until they decide to flee from the imposing Japanese and emigrate to Macao, leaving their father behind to watch the family home. At the war's end, the family returns to Hong Kong with the intention of rebuilding and reclaiming their lives. Culminating in the year 1965, this novel follows its characters through 15 years of growth, maturity, and self-discovery.

Other books by Tsukiyama...

I hope you'll give one a try.
Good reads with a taste of the history of the time.
Make it a great week!
I'm off to work on my Digital Scrapping class... and then organize my closets with Spring clothes.
Love to all,

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

This and That

Today the surgeon took out the tube that went into his heart
that his antibiotics were hooked up to for the last 2 months.
The infection is gone and he can start swimming again. YEA!!
I have my honey back again!

Easter Sunday seemed to arrive so quickly this year. This is
a good week to watch Mel Gibson's movie, "The Passion" again.
It portrays it all so well.
And then there's the FUN part of Easter... dying eggs, our
Easter Tree, cut-out cookies and CHOCOLATE!!
Check out the Easter goodies sale at
These adorable nests filled with truffle-like eggs are on sale.
How cute to have one at each person's table setting.

And you can make cookies OR you can buy these on sale also.

In my world of Digital Scrapbooking, I have just started my 4th class from It's the advanced class and the last scrapping
class available. I learned so many new techniques in the first hour.
Below is a layout (nothing to do with my class) that I made with the
earliest photo I have of my Mom. Her mother died when she was 5
years old and the courts took her away from her father who worked
on a Norwegian fishing boat. She was raised in 13 foster homes
and never had her picture taken. This was the first. The last foster
parents and her church helped her through Nurse's Training at
Brooklyn Hospital, NY.

Have a wonderful Easter celebration!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

More Memories

I haven't posted for ages because I'm over-my-head in projects.
I've been learning lots of new Photoshop techniques and
making lots of layouts. I haven't posted any of my recent work
because I gave up (for now) trying to record the 'credits'. I use
soooo many different designers and buy so many different kits
that it's easier to just create them and stick them in an album.

I made this layout this morning so I'd have something to post and
I kept track of the designers... gritting my teeth the whole time.

Credits: Paper, "Crazy Bean" by feistuff; Tree, leaves, and stripes by "Kicking Up the Leaves" from Weeds and
Wildflower Designs; Pumpkin, "Pick of the Patch" from Raspberry Road Designs.

I spent Saturday at my friend Chris's house showing her how to use Photoshop

Elements 7. She caught on so quickly and made some wonderful layouts of her

3 boys. So much fun to work together... we both learned a lot!



The dear UPS man was just here... Spring bedding has arrived.

YEA!! It took forever! Now... must hunt for the right sheets.

Also... we saw the movie "Taken" yesterday at the theater.

Really good action movie. Kept us interested all the way to the end.