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02 May 2016

Memorandum Monday–After the Spring Rains

Okay, that is wishful thinking, isn’t it? Can anyone really expect that April showers won't flow over into May.  Not us, as we have been inundated with rain for the last several days, which has been both good and bad.  We have not had so much that it caused any real problems.  It has mostly coincided with when hubby was either at his mom’s or otherwise occupied so I spent a good deal of time in the studio.  Who even notices how much water drops from the sky when playing with paper and pretties?

I have whipped up 2 single page layouts, 1 double page layout, and one pocket page in the last few days – mostly for assignments so you will have to wait to see them.  And even if they were not for assignments, the bad part of the on, off and on again rains is that there is no good natural light for taking pictures of projects anyway. Believe me, I did try (she moans mixing a little whine in with that water).

Okay, I admit the rain puts a damper on my blogging abilities too, so I will leave you with a single shot that proves rain is a good thing, a very good thing.  My lilac bush out back is loving the rain. I am sure I have told you that I have loved lilacs since I was a child, when we had them in the back yard.

The scent of the bush is so strong that I can smell it half way around the house.  I cracked the kitchen window open on Friday, and enjoyed the fragrance while doing dishes.  Undeniably, that’s a good thing.  There are a couple lilac bushes out front too, but they are younger plants and not quite this full – yet.  Maybe with a little more rain?


Anyway, I’m hoping that the weather is drier this week, and I am out and about doing something new to blog about next Monday.  Here ends my mini-memorandum this Monday.  Why not pop over and see how Sian @FromHighInTheSky and friends are dealing with rainy days and Mondays?

01 May 2016

May 2016 Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to the Counterfeit Kit Challenge reveal blog hop.  If you are popping in from Susan's blog, you already know we are creating brand new kits based on not-so-new inspiration kits by Quirky Kits.

Start: Blog Stuff5 
Style: I had various pieces of several of the collections included there.  I even have that distinctive blue bokeh sheet – but I could not find it.  Of course, I found it shortly after completing my picture taking and blog post drafting.  So you will see it in my other post today.

But my search meant that I looked at lots and lots of product – so today you get the benefit of that extra time spent searching.  Today I will tell you the tale of of Kit One and Kit Two.  How very Cat in the Hat of me, eh?

I really, really enjoy putting counterfeit kits together, so it is not surprising that at first I found JOY.  Based on the first set of papers in the Quirky kit, I kept to the teal, and added in lots of round items to reflect the bokeh shape plus black and white accents.

joy kitjoy kit-001joy kit-002joy kit-003

But my jolly quest for other product that might work wasn’t appeased. My hunting appetite for fabulous product wasn’t quite satiated. I took it in another direction based on the second kit by Quirky kits. And it was then that I found BLISS.

bliss kitbliss kit-001bliss kit-002bliss kit-003

This time I trended more floral, played up the bright spring green and added in lots of gold and glittery bits plus a bit of orange too like the Quirky Kit’s embellishment add-on.

At some point I will combine the kits all into one large box – one very large box. Oh look, I did. Winking smile



  • Kit 1 – JOY

    Papers – Fabric dots by Dear Lizzy, Bokeh hexagons by Heidi Swapp, triangles and wood grain by Teresa Collins, black/white stripe by Heidi Swapp
    Journal Cards – Echo Park
    Silicon Molds – Martha Stewart
    Chipboard – My Mind’s Eye (chalkboard) & Dear Lizzy & Basic Grey
    Stickers – Heidi Swapp & Life Love Paper
    Canvas die-cuts – Simple Stories
    Alphabets – Studio Calico, Prima, American Crafts, Basic Grey
    Flair – Two Peas
    Mini tie tags – Ubrands
    Epoxy – Basic Grey
    Washi tape – Studio Calico
    Ribbon – Felicity Jane
    Buttons – aunt’s button box

  • Kit 2 – BLISS

    Papers – solid blue by Echo Park, bokeh hearts in sky by Webster’s Pages, journal card sheet and text circles by Teresa Collins, floral by Heidi Swapp, ombre print by Webster’s Pages, Triangles by Heidi Swapp, ombre dots by Studio Calico and bold gold dots by Teresa Collins
    Bliss die – Heidi Swapp
    Alphabets – Jillibean Soup and Pretty Little Studio
    Stickers – Bazzill Basics
    Tags – American Crafts
    Mini flash cards – Pretty Little Studio
    Chipboard – Leeza Gibbons
    Die-cuts and matching buttons – Recollections
    Enamel dots – Basic Grey
    Washi tape,  set of 3 - CTMH
    Cork shapes – Fancy Pants
    Ribbon - CTMH
    Stamp – Technique Tuesday
    Gold sequins – Stampin Up
    Epoxy leaves – Studio Calico
    Gems – Prima
    Gold floss – DMC
    Glitter frames – Heidi Swapp
Stops on the Hop: Guest Designer: Jane at a little scrap...

Enjoy the rest of the hop – Clair is the next stop. See you back here soon with joy and bliss filled layouts.

Doubly Delightfully Challenging Layout

Let Our Best Days Begin – a Challenge YOUrself and Scrap It With A Song layout


Start: Well, we are here a few days early this month because we were doubly challenged over at Challenge Yourself.

1.  We had this lovely mood board:

2.  We were joining in over at Scrap It With A Song:


There were two choices of song – I preferred the pop choice:
"Best Day Of My Life" by American Authors

You can check out the lyrics here:

The opening lyrics of the song tie into the mood board perfectly:
I had a dream so big and loud, I jumped so high I touched the clouds,
I stretched my hands out to the sky, we danced . . . .

Style: The lyrics of the song about dancing through the night and having no worries sparked my idea to use a picture of hubby and me dancing at our wedding reception.  I had recently found a print in his aunt’s photos, so I scanned it, cropped it and turned it black and white.

Then I went to the mood board to choose papers.  What struck me more than colors in the mood board were the representations of light – sunshine, especially.  But my picture was set during the evening hours – so I interpreted that light using the bokeh paper from Echo Park – the reverse side just happened to be lines of music.  Sweet scrappy serendipity!

So my colors are deeper than the mood board.  I lightly printed the lyrics out on a piece of white cardstock embossed with flowers (selectively highlighted with colored pencil) and then layered up my photo in the middle.  I used the music paper along the edges.  I took the liberty of changing a few words in the lyrics to better match what I was scrapping – dancing with monsters wouldn’t do - it became dancing with love!!  I also used a line of the lyrics on my journal card.  Epiphanies certainly seem to be represented by light – like the gold elements and gems I employed on this page.

Stash: Cardstock and white velvet ribbon– unknown
Patterned paper – Echo Park Teal Bokeh, 6 x 6 pad from Studio Calico
Tissue paper and bow – Felicity Jane (yes, from the wrappings – in fact I just cut the bow and used it as already tied)
Alphabet – American Crafts Imprint in Gold
Die-cuts punched from Teresa Collins journal cards
Eyelet-style envelope flap – Martha Stewart
Gems – Queen and Company
Font – Saginaw

Now why not hop over to both Challenge Yourself and Scrap It With A Song to see what the other designers have scrapped for this doubly delightful challenge.

27 April 2016

What A Mess On Workdesk Wednesday

I am up early today, and because I don’t want to wake hubby I won’t be starting on my decluttering/organizing project this early – I tend to be noisy – so I will wait.  Instead I decide to bop into the studio.  Obviously the studio is not my decluttering/organizing project – though it should surely be – as this is the best looking shot I could get, even though the studio was spotless before my Creating Conventions trip.


First I have to maneuver past the bag of stuff from the crop 2 1/2 weeks ago,  Can it be that long . . . and I still haven’t finished putting this away. In my defense, it was the only bag left to sort out, but the plan was to actually finish up those classes as I unloaded the bag. Hasn't happened.

Okay, I’ll scootch past the door left open on the right or the paper left sitting on the right, and get to the island.


Where to my right you see the stamp that I hastily used to add a sentiment to a birthday card yesterday for a girlfriend.  Three of us met for lunch, and I wanted to take it with me.  Now where is the stamp set this belongs to, I wonder?


Well, the ink pad is on my left.  Do you think I chose this color ink only because it matched the card?  No silly, I chose it because it was already sitting out . . . still no stamp set case, though.


Aha, there it is over on the desk by the window.  And yes, I chose that particular birthday stamp set because it was already sitting out too - and I don't mean neatly filed on the bookcase end of the island as it should have been.  I suppose I should finish putting all those stickers on those stamps and put it away – along with the rest of that mess – pictures and newspaper clippings from aunt’s house that I needed to dig through for an assignment layout last week (you’ll see it on Sunday). 


Well, if I had just put those bagged kits back into my blue rolling tote from whence they came, this could look so much better.  And surely I could tidy up that much before moving onto my other project.  In the midst of my other project, yesterday I uncovered that Archivers bag and the Thickers that were in it.  I had looked for the bag to take to our crop and bring home goodies in – but couldn’t find it.  Sis-in-law had also looked for hers before the crop and couldn’t find it either, so I didn’t feel so bad.  That was short-lived and I almost didn’t admit to her that mine had long forgotten Thickers inside when it was rediscovered.  Honestly, I told her, I think I must buy Thickers while sleepwalking.

This really isn’t as bad as it looks – most of the big stuff is in bags.  I can have it all spiffed up and still have time to blog it and check out a few other WOYWW desks with Julia and friends before late-night-owl hubby arises. Then it is back to the real decluttering project.

25 April 2016

Memorandum Monday– New Wallpaper and Other Good News

No, not on my walls, but on my computer screen.  After living with a December free downloaded calendar wallpaper for 4 1/2 months, I finally found a new site for updating my wallpaper.  I used to download from Basic Grey and Fancy Pants Designs but those are no longer options.  Fancy Pants still has some fun older downloads of printables for scrapbooking, but they are not doing calendars.  And we know Basic Grey’s sad story.

Here is the site where I found my current wallpaper:

April 2016 - Good Deeds

And in the interest of spurring you on, here are a couple of other options I considered.

This cutie was another contender.


This one was fresh looking:

And let us not forget old standbys like American Greetings:

I perused some other sites as well, but most options were more photorealistic.  I definitely prefer the graphic look – like scrapbook paper – over cute photos of puppies and kitties.  Now you will know where to get a new calendar before next Monday rolls around.

Since I last checked in on Monday, it has been a week of variable speeds here.  I started out strong, wanting to get ahead on several blog-related projects so that I could start a new home-related project, but I ran headlong into obstacles and disappointments.  So I spent the next couple of days frittering away my time without a lot of direction or productivity.  I blame it on spring fever. 

This was the week the dogwoods came out in full bloom, and I slipped into flip flops for the first time.


Then early on rainy Thursday morning, I kicked it into “mission mode” and tackled a bunch of small annoying tasks I had been procrastinating – and that gave me a new sense of momentum, if not motivation.  Daughter ran home for a quick visit on Friday and Saturday.  Sunday was full of scrapping, and I also finished that home project I was talking about - major rearrangement of daughter's closet.  I freed up a lot of space in there which she will promptly fill up when the semester is over in just 2 weeks.

Also on the bright side, I finished this book:  I gave it 3 out of 5 stars.  I liked it – well, the personal story.  Not a fan of self-help advice books, I still hope to read more autobiographies and memoirs.  Her tips were mostly basic business networking principles, most helpful to young people just starting out. And her best tip is to always be open to opportunities that present themselves; she was and it accrued to her benefit.  I was pleased that she appears on screen @ The Five to be authentic to the person she presents in the book - gentile, intelligent, optimistic.


And in other good news, Susan Branch just sent out her spring newsletter.  Always a good read, although I could not recall why she called it Willard, until I clicked upon the thoughtful link she included to that back story.  I will not spoil it for you, you can read for yourself.

Her blog had disappeared from my reader mysteriously, probably on my last changeover, but I was reminded recently and added her back in. If you do not mind long enveloping blog posts, you will love hers.

That is all from me this Monday.  Do pop round to Sian @FromHighInTheSky and friends to see what their good news might be.