Sunday, March 31, 2013

USP #7: Molly

Do you realize that we are one quarter the way through 2013 already??  Our weather has been monotonous at best, and rather January-like for the last three months, so it's hard to believe.  Maybe if spring weather would arrive in north east Ohio it would finally sink in that it's April already. All this means that I'm one quarter the way through the Ugly Sketch 1-15 Project.  I'm having so much fun with it.

And here's the April 1st entry:

I really like this one.  First, I absolutely love this picture of Molly.  So much so that I've been really paralyzed about scrapping it.  Does that happen to anyone else?  Those pictures that are just so ***** (insert: beautiful, special, one-of-kind, emotionally charged, etc) that everytime you go to scrap them you ***** (hit a creative wall/choke/make a really underwhelming layout) - and 9 times out of 10 I just give up and walk away. It's for that reason that I'm extra pleased with this.  Second, ...who needs a second with a first like that??

I've done a pretty good job at keeping my scrapbook shopping in check, but there have been a couple of things that been too big a temptation.  These little birds and this shamrock die from Ellen Hutson are a good example of said temptation. I know it seems silly that I buy these dies, when I can do the exact same thing on the Cameo, but (LOOKOUT: MASSIVE JUSTIFICATION AHEAD) I find that dies are a lovely way to use up scraps.  Yeah. That's the ticket! Scrap useage!

That's only half true.  The whole truth is: wafer thin dies are a great way to use scraps and I'm ever so slightly addicted to buying them because I think they're so flipping adorable I can't stop myself, they hop into my shopping cart and enter my mastercard number practically all by themselves.  Tricky bastards, they are.

Oh! And remember this? I mentioned that I had just used SNF Lollihop, and that's the font that I cut "Molly" from.  I really dig it.  And I'm really certain I got it for free somewhere along the way...I think I'm just too cheap to shell out for a font...even $4.  However, I'm now going to use the heck out of it because now I know it has a $4 street value. ☺

That about wraps up my blathering for the April 1st entry.  Which means now it's time to reveal (LOL, that word is a little drama-laden for this application) the sketch that I'll be working on for April 15th:

There she is. She looks a little square here.  However, I'm still gonna be an 8.5x11 scrapper.  I just need to work on drawing rectangles. :P  The little window-y thingy is for four Instagram shots. For once, I actually do have pictures in mind.  And can I just say? Dear Instagram, I ♥ you.  You make scrapbooking so much more fun for me.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lost in the Shuffle

I scrolled down through the blog a couple of days ago and saw a sneak peek of two layouts that never got posted.  They were originally created for Cord Scrapbook Studio, but I don't think they ever got posted.

I had been given the Enchanted line from Authentique.  It's meant to be a Halloween line, but I thought that it had a sort of rock'n'roll edge.  So I decided to use it on this layout about Maggie and I going to see Mike Doughty at the Beachland Ballroom.  The layout is loosely based on Page Maps sketch:

I said loosely. And I meant it.
Here's the other layout that I made that never got used:

This is using the Pink Paisley "Portfolio" line.  And it's based on the Page Map sketch:

That's a little less "loose."

I loved the day that Kerig and I took a ride on the choo choo.  Truth be told, the train ride was a little bit of a let down, but walking around taking pictures - and even taking pictures ON the train was fun.  The volunteer conductor kept giving me looks, but when we talked he was more trying to figure out my gear.  Fair enough.

Alrighty then.  Not much to add there.  I'm actually staying in Mentor this weekend.  I have a metric shit ton of homework to do, but I hope to sneak in an hour or two of fun time.  I still have my USP to photograph, and thay'll be up on Monday for sure.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you and yours have a Happy Easter or a lovely Passover.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Total Copy Cat

Wow.  There's a throwback.  When was the last time you thought of the phrase "copy cat."  It's been a while for me, but there it is.

At any rate...  One of the things that catches my eye on Pinterest (aside from colorful alcoholic drinks and incredibly rich food)(and I don't even really drink alcohol...) is font compilations. And every time I see one that I like, my decision to repin is based on its Silhouetteworthiness.  Stop looking at me like that.  Like I'm the first blogger to make up a word. Puh-lease.

So I decided to make my own. :)  And these are 100% Silhouetteworthy.

1. gentle redhead
2. mouth breather
3. SNF Lollihop (Oops.  This one is actually $4.  That's pretty close to free, right??)
4. Chickabiddies
5. LaurenScript
6. Bebas Neue
7. Flowerchild
8. Heartbreaker
9. Intrepid
10. CluffHmkBold

So, a couple of notes. Most of these are super easy for the Silhouette, they're generally thick enough to work with easily.  Intrepid is the thinnest, and I use that  for negative space, like in a tag.  Chickabiddies is just a dingbat font, but they're such cute faces.  I don't know why, but the girl I used in the poster is my mathgrrrl alter-ego. I just used the SNF Lollihop today.  I love it.  It welded together really well after a little scootching around.  Did you know that you can ungroup a word and move around each individual letter? You can, and that's VERY useful to know!

And: Impact.  I use Impact. A. Lot. And I don't care that it's obvious.  I didn't put it on the list because it's obvious, but it's not just's classic.

Last note: The link for Bebas Neue?  Has the word 'penultimate' - which is one of my most favorite words.  Don't look at me like that.  Like I'm the first blogger to admit to having favorite words. AND, it has "The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak" which is the most awesometastic quote that my mother used on me two weeks before sending me off to an all girls college school, imploring me not to be a lesbian.  (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) Thanks, Mom.

So that's that! Thanks for stopping by!  I'll have an USP up on the's already done and everything...I just need to photograph it.  Hope to see you then.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Hi. My fingers are inky.

Hi. It's nice to see you.  :)

So a couple of weeks ago I was creeping around Pinterest and came across a "I figured out how to cut my own handwriting on my Cameo" pin.  Now, I've done that the hard way - write something with a sharpie, scan it in, go into photoshop and bump up the contrast, blah blah blah.  So I thought I had figured it alllllll out. And then a couple of days later I actually READ the pinner's post (doh!) and they were using their iPad.  Huh. Well.  I don't have one of those and I ain't gettin' one of those! Harumph. I got a little pissy, I'll admit.  

But then I was all like "So?  That doesn't mean there isn't a way for me to do it, too!" I mean, that lady figured out what worked for her, I just needed to figure out what works for me.  So I poked around the Google Play store and found Sketchpad Pro for Tablets, which works on my Kindle Fire.  I'm not going to say that the program is free (it's not: $4.99) or super intuitive, but it's manageable on both fronts.  I've been practicing getting the hang of writing and doodling with my stylus and yesterday I doodled the über creative hi talk bubble you see above.  I know. Don't hate. The genius, it just comes to me.  

Oh shut up.  I know it's basic, and verging on overdone. And I could have saved $4.00 and purchased something similar from the Silhouette store.  But that's not the point. I'm making this stuff my bi....uh, I'm really mastering the technology.  That's the ticket!  

And I do have a real sense of accomplishment, because it's not quite as easy as I thought it was.  There's a little cleaning up to be done, so manipulation of edit points.  And it is rough.  But I like that. 

So yeah. Anyway.  Big deal.  I doodled something and cut it out.  Now what?  Well, I have that kid who probably wouldn't mind some mail, right?  So I made a card:

It's...uh...messy. And there's no real purpose to any of the stuff on there.  And I don't care. :)  And since it'll have a $20 bill in there, neither will she.  

Thanks for stopping by!  See you soon!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Ugly Sketch 1-15: Skyline Chili

Welcome to the 6th installment of what has become my own personal sanity project.  After a fairly relaxing start to the year - from an obligation/school standpoint at least - things have begun to ramp up a bit.  I'm taking an abstract algebra class as an independent study - not the easiest stuff to wrap my brain around, but so far I haven't been overwhelmed at the amount of work to do for it.  This past week I started my last education class (Methods of Teaching Pk-12) as an 8 week online class.  As is always the case, the condensed nature of online classes makes the pace hectic, at best.  But it's a cool class and I'm learning a lot that I'll be able to put to use, so I'm really happy to be doing the work.

This project has made more tuned into the first and fifteenth of the month - I can feel them approaching and I keep the sketch in mind on my commute and in the shower - those precious moments where I get to chose my thoughts.  So I had a vague notion that I was going to do a layout about Skyline chili, but I got sick and was in high gear for school.  Next thing I know it's the 14th and I'm wondering if I can make it happen.  

Obviously, I squeezed it in:

I had an Archiver's coupon and dragged Kerig into the store last Saturday.  I had a wee little shopping spree. Like, the Hambly transparency paper, the patterned 6x6 paper, all the Studio Calico wood veneers (omg, my biggest weakness these days), some of the washi tape and the brads.  Hey, at least I used the stuff.  I'm pretty good at buying stuff and deciding that it's so special that I have to save it for something really important.  I have not yet determined what constitues "important" in paper crafting.  

I was also a semi-bed girl and bought some dies at SimonSaysStamp.  These little, teeny, tiny little hearts said they really wanted to live with me.  And so did the sentiment strips.  And in the name of full disclosure, so did these little text bubbles (but I didn't use these here).  

Old and new here - that manila name/year thing is old - I have no idea where it came from.  But that metal "k"? Holy cow.  That's circa 2003 or 2004 from when Making Memories pushed embellishments into high gear. 

So there she is.  Yay me.  I'm not Monday morning quarterbacking this one. I like it. 

Here's the sketch that I'll be using for April 1st:

You know, if you ever feel like playing along, I'd love to have you and see what you do.  Leave a link in the comments.  It would make me super happy. :)

Thanks for stopping by!  Have an awesome St. Patrick's Day! 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Call me...maybe

subtitled: my dalliances with crack.

I slept way more than usual on Sunday.  Apparently, I stored up some extra energy that needed to be expelled. Today.

Ian had truck problems yesterday, and he asked me to take him to work this morning.  At 6:30. Whew.  I'm not a big fan of the 6:30.  When I got home I laid in bed and scrolled through Pinterest until my left hand fell asleep.  I got up, showered and went to Sam's Club.  $300 later, I came home, put everything away, started on the laundry and made some egg salad.  I had some lunch, made a little decoration for my cell phone case and then did my taxes.  When it came time to print my copies I decided the time had come to hook up my new wireless laser printer. [Can I just tell you? I don't know why I waited so long! We print a ton of stuff for school, most of it black and white, and yet I'm shelling out tons of money on color ink cartridges.  What a racket that is!  So long, Epson, I'll hit you up when I need color prints, till then pfffft!]  More laundry, more printer installation (the kid's computer), more food prep, more laundry, dinner, took Ted to his speed and agility workout, helped Molly with her homework, goofed off, picked Ted up, stopped at Dairy Queen for buy-one-get-one-for-99¢ Blizzards, came home and...PLAYED.

While I was poking around on Pinterest this morning I started searching for Silhouette boards to follow.  There were a bunch of tutorials for using the trace tool.  I know how to use it, I just haven't ever felt the urge to. But it got me thinking: what am I missing? What amazing things are there that I'm not tracing?? I decided to type "png" into the google machine and click on the images tab. Lots of stuff came up but nothing that really screamed "TRACE ME!"  Well, not until I got to the android dude.  He screamed "TRACE ME! LOVE ME!" because he is, indeed, perfectly traceable and perfectly lovable.  And you know what? He'd make a cool "call me" card.  So I made a little speech bubble and voilà:

I'll send it to Maggie.  Of course "kids these days" don't bother checking their mailboxes, so she'll get it sometime in May.  :P

I'm starting to feel it though.  I think it's time to veg out to a little Watch What Happens Live and then head to bed.  Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Ugly Sketch 1-15:5 Happy March!

March isn't my favorite month, but any month that features the beginning of spring, has a holiday centered around drinking beer and features the color green prominently is a-ok by me.  I live in Cleveland, so I don't kid myself that we're done with snow or that spring will show up anywhere other than on the calendar. But, you know, we'll baby step our way away from the worst, most scary part of the year and soon enough we'll find ourselves inching our way towards the best, most lovely months of the year.  So: Hello, March! I'm happy to see you!

But on to the bidness at hand, yo.

Remember this?
This was my launching off point for my layout this time around.  And here's what it ended up being:

Once again, I'm looking at the jpg version a couple days after completing the layout having a total "Monday morning quarterback" moment - I wish I had done this, this and this differently.  I suppose I wouldn't change that much, but I would definitely bulk up the layering at the top of the zig-zag strip more.  And I think that was my original intent.  I must have seen something shiny and forgotten to add those extra two layers that I had in my mind.  Oh well.

I used to be a better journaler.  I didn't understand why people had such a hard time with it.  These same people who said "I can't journal" would sit next to you and tell you all about their pictures, pointing, getting animated, clearly excited by the stories they had to tell about them.  And yet here I am, with crappy, surface-y journaling.  But if you sat next to me on the sofa, I'd probably start his curiosity about my cameras, but I would probably mention how much it means to me that this kid comes and sits with me for 15 or 20 minutes at time, telling me about his day, asking questions, telling me about what happened in history or what the coach said at speed and agility, or asks me about my day...or even just hangs out quietly.  At the end of the day, when I've thrown in the towel on studying, when the kitchen is cleaned up and the laundry is folded, I'll head up into my bedroom, put my feet up, poke around the internet and put on whichever Real Housewives show is on that night.  Bedtime for Ted and Molly is at 9 o'clock (still - why they don't protest this, I don't know...), and somewhere around 8:40 Ted will come in and flop on my bed so that he can see my computer and the t.v. and make fun of the Housewives (fair enough) or talk to me about whatever I'm looking at.  I think it's cool that Ted likes to tinker - and frankly I should do a page on all the things he's fixed around here, or how I know he'll be a great dad and his yard will always be impeccable - but to me, the story that I want to tell, that maybe I'm afraid of jinxing (hell, I'm tearing up just writing about it here) is how much I love this kid and how much his daily visits are the highlight of my days.

And there's one other thing.

Those hands. Ted is 14.  He shaves. He's taller than I am.  He lifts weights and has muscles.  His body is turning into a man's, and it's strange and awesome to see.  But those hands - they still look like a boy's hands.  There's something still round and soft and childlike about them.  And I don't know why, but that makes me tear up a little, too.  I just want to pop the plastic off the front of the clock and put my finger on the second hand to make it stop.  Now.  Right now.  This is where I want to stop time and just have these kids, like this, right now, forever.  This is a good place.  And those pudgy little fingers are the reminder.  They are the last vestige of his childhood.

Ok.  I have to move on.  Seriously, I'm at work, bawling about Ted's fat fingers and how he's growing up.  I must look like a psycho nut job to my boss.  :P

And here's the sketch for next time:

Once again, I don't have pictures or a theme/topic in mind, although I suppose my sub conscience is suggesting this be some kind of lovey-dovey relationship kind of page.  We'll see.

Thanks for stopping by.  It should be interesting how the next couple of weeks pan out - I start another class on Thursday so I'm assuming my work load is going to quadruple. :P  But come hell or high water, I'll have a layout up on the 15th.  I like this forced break too much back-burner it, even (especially) when I'm busy.

See you soon(ish)!