Friday, May 31, 2013

(Not really) Today

This week I had a customer go on and on about how stupid he thought it was for people to take pictures of themselves in front of places they're visiting.  It was sort of comical, listening to him on his tirade and thinking how just the weekend before I'd taken a picture of Kerig and I in front of the IHOP sign after we had a yummy French Toast dinner.  I'm quite certain he was waiting for the girl at the camera store to agree with him, that people muck-up otherwise pristine vistas.  And in some regards, sure, I get it.  But if you think I'm going to go for a ride on your crazy train? Forget it.

Because apparently having purchased this cutie-McCuteCute Nikon S01 it's going to be all Caroline, all the time.  

After our dinner we went for a walk through the park.  It was perfect weather for a walk - a little bit on the chilly side, but nothing a hoodie couldn't handle.  The sun was out when we weren't in the dense woods of the park.  We had fun playing with our cameras, shooting everything from wildflowers to trashcans.  We even played on the swings, attempting to take selfies with a really blurry background -- I figured that it would be like panning, but sadly, my camera works only in fully automatic, so I couldn't get it to do it. :( I'd like to say we walked for an hour and a half, but the truth of the matter is we meandered for an hour and a half.  And what we lacked in calorie burning, we made up for in just having fun.  (So much so that there are probably at least two more layouts that will come from this batch of pictures.  That's rare for me, but happy=scrappy, right?)

On Monday night I sat down at my scrap table and cut the "Today" strip and circle.  But once it came out of the machine I had no inspiration for what to do with it.  Plus, having sat in the drizzle at Ted's baseball game I was oddly beat.  I left those pieces on my desk, with no real hope of figuring out how to use them. But when I had a couple of minutes yesterday everything seemed to fall into place fairly easily.  I even lucked out with the photo arrangement.  Normally two verticals and one horizontal would cause me great stress, but when I was trimming the wallet-sized photos down and setting them to the side, they ended up piled much like the are in the layout. How often does that happen??

Other things that inspired me:  
This episode of the Paperclipping Roundtable, where the panelists are discussing layering techniques.  There was nothing in particular that caused an epiphany, but it was inspirational nonetheless.  
A Flair for Buttons on Etsy  Um. So Sunday was just a weird day and it apparently required some minor retail therapy.  Enter this etsy site.  That great thing about retail therapy at an etsy site is you get to feel really good about your purchase.  You're supporting a "local" artisan.  In this case "local" is in Iowa, but that's a lot closer than China, which is where most of our mass produced, commercially available items are coming from.  Factor in that they're flipping adorable and it's a total win.  I totally love them and the next time I need to spend $10 to feel better about life I'm totally going to back to her site! :)

Okay, that's about all I have for today.  I'm actually hoping to kick out a page or two this weekend, weather and inspiration permitting.  So hopefully I'll see you soon!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Pintester Movement...get 'er done

I am not what I would call "an early riser." I would, however, call my weekend roommate a very late sleeper.  And in a one bedroom apartment, the person who wakes up at 7:30 or 8 doesn't have many options for entertainment if she wants to continue having a free place to stay on the weekends.  So many a-Sunday morning is spent laying on the couch surfing the web on my phone or Kindle.  Usually there's Facebook (surprisingly slow at that hour), Huffingtonpost (a little more lively), PostSecret and eventually Pinterest.  I usually save Pinterest for last, since I can literally kill many hours at a time there.  One Sunday morning in April I clicked a pin that took me to blog post about knitting a chunky/funky scarf using your arms instead of needles.  I had seen the arm-knit scarf a number of times, but because it was a Sunday and time needed to be killed, I decided to go read the directions.  I know my limitations, and I knew without reading the directions that it was beyond my skill set...but I had time that I needed to kill.  I was expecting to see ridiculously complicated directions couched with minimizing adjectives like "So easy!", "Fast!", "Simple!"...maybe even "A monkey could do it!"  Only it wasn't the actual directions, it was a post on how a woman had tried - and failed miserably - to complete the funky/chunky arm-knit scarf.  And it was so flipping hysterical that I lay on the sofa, muffling my laughter and literally wiping away tears that were streaming into my ears.  I laughed so hard that I bookmarked her site. Followed her on Pinterest. Linked the post to Facebook.  In retrospect, it may not be laugh-until-you-cry funny, but god, it sure hit me that morning.

She calls herself the Pintester.  She isn't afraid of her potty mouth.  She's fun, will try stupid stuff - sure, I pinned the "how to cut a wine bottle with string and fire" but I'm not stupid enough to try it.  She was.  Er, she was daring enough. But if I accidentally light my ex-husband's house on fire, chances are I'd have a lot more explaining to do than your average person.  So anyway, she's doing this thing. It's called the Pintester Movement - you should go check it out.  But if you're super lazy, the idea is this: Get off your lazy ass and actually DO something that you pinned.  Take a picture.  Write about it.  Share the goodness.  Or, potentially, the badness.  Turns out badness probably has a lot more comedic potential...

I signed up for it and then went digging through my pins.  I do DO my pins.  Well, some of them.  But I don't usually blog about them, unless they're scrapbook related.  And I only really have two kinds of pins: scrapbooking and things that will land up on my hips. And ass.  And chin.  Sweet mother of Abraham Lincoln, my chin is going to end with its own zip code.   And of the food pins, a vast majority are 'blonde' - some sort of cheese/noodle, cheese/egg, cheese/potato combination.  I really don't like to cook and I can only be bothered if I'm really going to love it. Turns out those three combinations are the only meal-type foods that I've deemed worthy of spending time in the kitchen for.  I have some sweets pinned, but meh. Cheese is where it's at.  So yeah.  I'm searching through my pins, looking for something that's worth all that effort...and then picked the one that required the least amount of effort.

I chose a bacon and guacamole grilled cheese sandwich from the blog.

Now might be a good time to confess that I've never purchased an avocado.  It's on my to-do list.  But it scares me.  I have an awful track record for buying produce.  I love plums, but I don't buy them.  No matter how soft and tender and juicy they feel in the store, at home they morph into bitter, purple leather balls.  Same deal with peaches - only they're not purple.  In fact, that goes for just about every fruit with the exception of apples, tangerines and bananas.  And I've screwed a couple of those up, too.  So yes. I'm scared of buying avocados.  I don't know what a bad avocado tastes like, and I'd like to keep it that way.

So.  How does one make a bacon and guacamole grilled cheese sandwich without buying an avocado?  Well, as it happens, one passes THREE Chipotles on the ride home from work.  And why would one risk buying an avocado, go to all the work of making guacamole when fantastic guacamole can be had for a mere $1.80.  Yes. I cheated. Don't care.

Why? Why does a rule follower such as myself feel that it's okay to scootch past the spirit of the 'game'?  Because sometimes the ends justify the means.

Meet my end:

And no shit.  This was TASTY.  I'm not even a bacon fan, but there's something about that salty, smoky flavor that really makes the cool, refreshing guacamole sing.  Oh. SO GOOD.

Molly is my only kid who is daring enough to eat guacamole.  So when it was time for a taste test she was the only one who didn't snort at me in that teenager "yeah. right." kinda way.

Go Molly!  I'm really proud of her for being brave enough to try it.  I don't think she L♥♥♥VED it, but she said it was pretty good.

So here it is, the Pin and the Tested:

They win for the prettier picture, but I'm still calling it a damn tasty success!

Nom nom nom.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that I approach every layout about any of my boys with a little bit of apprehension.  The whole scrapbooking industry seems to be skewed towards flowers and hearts and shiny baubles.  None of which really applies when you're doing a layout about your studly 14 year old and his night baseball game.

That said, I'm always extra pleased when I do a layout that doesn't lean on the girly side.  I don't know if it screams "manly" or not, but it's definitely an acceptable "dude layout."

I really like the font for this - I think it's appropriately dude-ish.  It's called Black Out.
The other thing worth mentioning is the weird strip that says "KMA" backwards.  I work in a camera shop and we do movie transfers.  At some point in time one of regulars brought in some very old film stuff that had been her husband's.  That's 8mm movie film that's never been used.  I love the pinhole font.  There's a whole roll of film, but that little bit is the only part that has the cool holes in it.  

I am loving all the free time I have lately.  My house is very clean and I have no homework.  Hello, scrap table! Yay!  

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Whoops, I did it again.

I really wasn't going to do it.  I was going to be a very good girl.  But when the price dropped to $99 I couldn't resist it any more.  So I bought the Nikon S01.  Am I in love? No.  Is it fun? YES.  I figure that there are tons of times that the manfriend and I do things together and I rarely have pictures of the two of us together.  Yes, I could (and have) use my cell phone for such shots, but I hate it AND I'm bad at it.  My phone requires that you hit a specific spot on the screen and I can never quite get it and when I do I manage move the whole camera such that we're not in frame. Boo.  This little puppy can be held completely in the palm of my hand, has a better flash, bigger sensor and better lens.  It takes absolutely crappy pictures inside with low light, but for outside, it'll be nice.  I've never had an issue with my S4's size, so obviously the S01 will be even easier.  ;)

AND, I used it this past Sunday when we went to sign the lease on our apartment.  So incredibly relieved that this monkey is off my back.  I spent countless hours on craigslist looking for places that fit my price range but were also in a neighborhood that I'd feel comfortable living.  I also needed something big enough for 4 or 5 people - Ted and Molly will live with their dad but will hopefully get to spend lots of time with us. Add Maggie in the summertime and we couldn't get anything too cozy.  So finally finding a place that hit the criteria was a true blessing.

So happy, in fact, that there's a layout about it already:

And just because I think it's fun to see where people get their inspiration from, I thought I'd show a couple of things that caught my eye lately that ended up being direct references.

This one is the white on white title and journaling strips.  Granted, my white on white title ended up being a white on yellow on white because there just wasn't enough separation there - the title was totally lost on the cardstock.  It just occured to me that maybe her white on white title was cut from cardstock?  Sure enough, I checked her supply list and she used vellum.  Hmmm.  I'm putting that in my bag of tricks for next time!  I like it!  (Although, I'll be frank: I've had absolutely no luck cutting maybe I'll try it one more time, but don't be surprised if it never makes it to the blog. :P)

Another layout that was a source of inspiration was this one:

I was basically using this for the layout.  Although it's funny how the only thing that really remains is the heavy top and the position of the photos.   I suppose the title placement, as well, but that could get credited to either inspiration layout.

And then there's Wilna.  Wilna Furstenberg is sort of a rock star. Where I am uptight and anal and linear, Wilna says (metaphorically) "Take off your shoes! Feel your toes in the grass!  Smell the flowers!" She's like an "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" commercial - everything oozes love and wheat fields and sun flare.  None of which is who-I-am.  But that doesn't mean I don't want to have a little of her carefree, artsy-fartsiness.  Only, this is what it looks like when I try it:

Those cute little ink drops are not nearly as cute (or carefree or artsy-fartsy) as I was hoping for.  It's like pumpkin cried on my layout.  And they may not be tears. :P Ah well.  I just need more practice at being carefree.  Right?  You can be carefree if you just practice REALLY hard at it. :P :P :P

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Reunited, and it feels so gooood ♫♪♫♫♪

There's a wretched little earworm to start your day. You're welcome.
Just kidding. That's awful. I'm sorry.

But seriously, I *finally* got to scrap yesterday and it was wonderful.  I have lots of weird free time, in that I've always done LOTS of homework at work between customers.  I am the queen of "using my time wisely", and now I don't have anything to do (between customers at work).  I suppose I could dust.  Or reorganize.  But instead, I brought in that scrapbook scrap project.  And I've been watching videos from 2Peasinabucket.  (My coworkers love that, I promise) The combined effect has left me ITCHING to scrap.  And finally all the stars aligned just right yesterday:

The picture is pretty crappy for sure.  But going to the Melt is sort of a rite of passage around here.  The kind of thing that deserves a scrapbook page.  And it is a fun, busy experience with stuff to look at everywhere.  Normally, I find that sort of decor in a restaurant schmaltzy and, at this point, tired.  But somehow when the Melt does it, it gets a pass - lots of Cleveland based artists have their work on the walls, plus old plexiglass from 80s era video games, and signs from old businesses is somehow more fun than the snowshoes tacked on the wall of every Max and Erma's, TGIFridays, etc.

But let's move away from the mini restaurant review that I am highly unqualified to give, and bring it back to the world of scrapbooking.  I said I've been watching videos.  I've also been spending my fair share of time on Pintrest.  This is very much inspired by:

And there's a could of "Adventures of Glitter Girl" videos that probably inspired me as well, but nothing especially specific.  Other than Shimelle saying (paraphrased):"I don't look for embellishments that are theme specific, because there aren't really embellishments made for this.  So I basically match the mood and color of the layout."  That was very liberating for me, since I very frequently get hung up on needing embellishments to be - if not not literally connected to the theme, at least making some sort sense.  Guess what?  That's probably not going to exist for a layout about eating at a grilled cheese place.  But I think ultimately it's fun and colorful - and the same can be said for our trip to the Melt: it was fun and colorful.  And f#ing delicious.

I should also mention that recent Paperclipping Roundtable episodes on organization, hoarding, and patterned paper all contributed to this.  This layout was created entirely from scraps, which were so much easier to flip through after my reorganization efforts, and several guests saying, basically: "paper is easier to admire on a page than in your stash." -- just makes you want to dive in and use the stuff that you have instead of saying it's too precious to use.  (so guilty of that sometimes)

And if I were a guest on Paperclipping Roundtable, I would totally pick FridgeBinz as my pick of the week!

Friday, May 3, 2013

I totally lied.

I said that to a clerk last week when she asked for my phone number and I accidentally gave her my work number.  She laughed, which is good, because I don't normally declare myself a liar.  In my calc class in the fall there was a really adorable 17 year old girl who would occasionally ask a "dumb" question (no, it wasn't actually dumb, but if you're a little disoriented its easy to ask a question and then have that duh! moment) - anyway, she'd ask the "dumb" question, have the "duh" moment and then immediately say "Ha ha! Just kidding!"  I need to learn to say that.

So anyway, last we were here, I said "Check back next week, and I'll have something!"  Without actually looking, I'm not certain, but I may have said "for sure!"  Oops.  I don't have anything.

It was a WEEK.  I'm SO glad it's over, but it was much more hectic and demanding than I thought.  I had visions of walking away from my school work for a couple of hours on Sunday or Tuesday, but that didn't/couldn't happen.

The good news is: I actually have the WHOLE summer off! SOOOO happy about that.  And even in the fall, I'm only taking one class, and it's NOT an independent/directed study, so it's not going to be nearly as challenging.  So the rest of 2013 should be...

Uh. I'm not going to finish that sentence.  That just seems like a recipe for disaster!

At any rate, I am trying to get back in the swing of things.  But it's Friday, so I'm at work then over at the manfriend's until Monday evening.  However, I have a project that I've been thinking about lately.

Have you seen these?

This is part of the Fridge Binz line at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  The first time I saw these I immediately thought "screw the fridge, I want those for my scrap space."  So I kept my eyes peeled for a BBB coupon, and now I have two of these bins, which measure 7.75x13ish.  Up until now, my method for dealing with scraps from my 12x12 patterned paper and cardstock has been to throw them into a 13x15 archival box.  I do go to my scraps first A LOT, but it's sure a pain in the neck to find what I want.

So...enter the Fridge Binz.  I'm cutting my scraps down to 7.5x7.5 or 7.5xWhatever to fit in these.

Here's what my progress looks like today:

I thought I'd need two of these to fit all my scraps, but I can see now that I'll be fine with just using one for my patterned paper scraps -  heck, I may be able to squeeze in my cardstock scraps in there, too.  I'm holding on to the second one that I bought - that'll be perfect for all the 6x6 pads that I've accumulated through the years.  I think I'm going to scrounge for one more coupon and go back for the one that's 4 inches wide - that'll be perfect for the smallest of scraps.  I should just pitch them, but some of these scraps are like gold to me.  The "Mellow" line from Basic Grey? I still use that on my Octoberish pages.  Scenic Route? You can't make me throw that out!  I will hoard those scraps til the bitter end.

Plus, I feel assured that this is a good investment.  If for some reason I hate this method of storing my scraps, I think these will probably work in the fridge just fine. ;)