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29 June 2016

Wonder What’s On My Workdesk

It's been a burst of crafting around here lately, along with a burst of organizing.  Can it be that I have finally struck the right balance?  Or is it just a newfound, and hopefully lasting, attitude that the best way to”purge” craft supplies is by finishing projects!!  And finishing supplies clears room to store other items less densely, which makes them easier to find.

This morning in the studio I noticed a corner of the shade on the skylight over the island had slipped out of its bracket. So I got my trusty step stool out to fix it and when finished I opened it up to the soft morning light.  Then since my camera on sitting on the island, I thought I might share a few pics.

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Here’s the general shot, looking pretty tidy for me, blog planning calendar right in the middle.

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Sitting on the paper trimmer is box of 30 cards I am donating to my sis-in-law’s church to send to their missionary abroad.  I just pulled ones that would fit their specifications from my stash.  This is less than half of what I had on hand.  One of the oldest in the batch is still one my favorites – a simple but stylish card made with Stampin Up supplies from 10 years ago I bet.  I had a whole set of these at one time and this was the last.

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Next up is my scraps bin.  This was emptied this weekend – twice a year I purge the scraps by cutting up 4 x 6 pocket cards or 4 x 5 1/4 card fronts and recycling the rest.  It feels good to start fresh, and if I am scrapping regularly it takes about 6 months to fill this bin.

To the right of that is my July Counterfeit kit. For July, lucky me got to choose the kit we would counterfeit.  If you want other clues as to what is coming up you can check out today’s post at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog. I’ve already done 3 layouts from mine, but now am stuck on how to use the firefly paper.

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Now here’s a shot more recognizable to you.  Here are the remains of my June counterfeit kit and other products that need to be put away.  Sometimes when I pull things out to put in a kit but then decide against it, I don’t get those items put back into stash right away.  Also you’ll see the stacks of 4 x 6 scraps I talked about and the box of baggies – reminding me I need to make just 10 more cards.

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Of course, that will be no problem as there are two card classes waiting to be finished in my basket of pending projects under the desk.  That top one only needs to have the sentiments stamped for the cards to be finished.  Note that the red/green bag there is now half empty so I've been getting stuff done.  That’s all that I will show you today.  Unless you want to see what’s outside my skylight.  I will need to close this again by mid-day as it faces west and the afternoon sun brutally heats up the studio in summertime.

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Hope your WOYWW is great.  I’ll pop around later this week to see.

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27 June 2016

Memorandum Monday–Half a Year Gone

Waving a friendly hello at Sian @FromHighInTheSky and her merry band of Monday bloggers, while I sit here in disbelief that nearly half the year is gone.

The accountant in me wants to tick off a list of accomplishments thus far in 2016.  I want to finish up stuff so that I can move on to the next 6 months, having “closed the books” on the first 183 days.

Here are some projects that fit the bill.  These are layouts from classes I took at Creating Keepsakes back in early April.  I’d show you the class examples except that I’m sure that is not allowed.

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This first one was from a class by Keller’s Creations.  I really like their coloring journal cards.  Did you notice my restraint in adding only yellow.  Their sketch did nothing for me, so I took those nesting circles and did my own thing.  The banners were from a related company called Jilly Girl.   I added the washi tapes by Bee 2 Creative and Gossamer Blue, the buttons by Fancy Pants and the enamel dots from Basic Grey (because I wasn’t in the mood to sew all those buttons.)  It turned out a fun and happy layout, so it’s all good.

By happy accident, I typed "playout" just then and corrected it.  But, on second thought, a playout is exactly what this is.

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Next up was a layout designed by Nicole Harper.  Here I loved the sketch, but I switched out accessories to better fit a holiday photo rather than the everyday type of photo she used.  I used #wish instead of #today, and photo corners on the original old photo.

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The only problem with my substituting and adding more journaling than she is that I lost the effect of the splatter in the bottom right corner.  Oh well, you can see a drip or two there.

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This last layout I thought I would never use – how many pages call for a giraffe die-cut that tall?  As it turns out, I had pictures left from a visit to the St. Louis Zoo where I snapped the art and architecture.  So I was able to the stretch the paper and supplies given for a one page layout to two by cutting the patterned sheet into two and adding some Tim Holtz tickets and 7 Gypsies brads. 
I felt the most accomplishment getting this class page used.  The real secret to getting all these projects done in June was allowing myself, that is limiting myself, to only use photos that were already printed.  But you probably already know that trick.

So what’s new you ask?  I had a revelation that my most fun scrapbooking is not always my best scrapbooking.  I need to guard against perfection at the price of pleasure.  I need to strive less for perfection and embrace the fun of "playouts".

Now I’d better get scrapping; I would not want to start the second half of the year behind schedule.  Speaking of schedule, I have managed to send a Memorandum every Monday (save one) for six months.  It might be time to go to every other Monday, because Memo Mondays are about what’s new, but I am having more and more déjà vu moments while blogging.  So if I don't think it is new, you won't either.  If you don’t see me here next week, don’t fret.  Just think of it as a "new" schedule!

24 June 2016

Memorandum Not On Monday–Yet More Old

This post was drafted so long ago (but the last of the pictures not taken until today).  It was so long ago, that I’d describe its origins as the olden days.  And that ties in perfectly with the subject matter.

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All our hard work at hubby’s aunt’s house was a labor of love for which we needed no reward.  But in addition to our sense of family duty carried out, we have a few tangible remembrances too.

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As we were sorting, my mother-in-law (Aunt’s sister and heir) encouraged us to take anything we could use or would just like to have as keepsakes.  In fact, I had to stop saying that such-and-such was “pretty”, “interesting”, “unique”, “reminded me of this and such” . . . because she would insist I take it home.  Mostly, I did not!

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I love flea markets and antiques.  I do so appreciate old things.  It was fun just to see “stuff” and hear stories that the items brought to mind.  There was so much about my aunt’s early life that I never knew before she died and that is a real shame.

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Still I latched onto a few goodies other than stacks of old pictures and a great many buttons.  Having so much to sort through, I was constantly reminding myself not get attached or my house could start looking like hers.  Are you wondering what made the cut?

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First of all, this set of mixing bowls was a done deal.  You remember me scrapping about the fact that Mom had a set just like them.  Now I do too, and will remember both Aunt and Mom each time I use them.  They will eventually be passed down to my daughter who loves to cook more than me, my mom or our aunt.

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Then there was this glass girl with the basket on her hip.  After washing all Aunt’s cut and pressed glass collection, I wanted a piece to remember her by – and of course, this one suited me because I am a basket gal. Several of those history books behind her came home with hubby.

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Aunt used dresser scarves and table runners on most of her furniture.  In the old, olden days her mother did much entertaining and we have pictures of some such gatherings.  She had a small cabinet full of extra tablecloths and other linens.  But what caught my eye was this linen runner draped across one of the tables in her living room.  I just love the edging on this.  I will use it from time to time on my dining room buffet.

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Aunt also painted, mostly landscapes with barns, but still life florals too.  Hubby particularly liked this little floral piece.  We think it was an early work of hers, perhaps a practice piece, as she did not sign it.  We changed the frame to brighten it up.  Now it hangs over our kitchen desk.

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Well, it is clear that I was in charge of sorting out her kitchen, because this Grandma Moses decorative plate that once hung on the wall next to her kitchen island, now hangs in my laundry room.  This is as close as I will ever get to hanging out the wash.

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On the last day before the auction, I noticed this bean crock was used as a planter for silk flowers stuck high atop a bookcase.  I pulled it down, sneezed repeatedly in the shower of dust and wondered if she still had the lid.  I myself had sorted all the glass and pottery into boxes, so I knew where to look.  As I suspected, no lid.  Since it is in the same style as a Longaberger crock I have in the studio, I decided to adopt it even without its top hat.  It currently holds empty thread spools.

So there you have it, a little treasure trove. I can't swear there isn’t another trinket or two about as well.  I hope Aunt would be pleased that we now cherish these belongings of hers and remember her fondly as we do.

Have a great weekend, I’ll see you Monday with an updated memorandum.

20 June 2016

Memorandum Monday–In With The Old

Hello, Sian @FromHighInTheSky and friends.  This Monday finds me updating you on an old project.

Last Monday afternoon, we finally checked whether or not either set of bookcases were still available at the consignment shop.  I decided upon the contemporary ones with greater capacity for holding books.  My decision was made easier because the other set was gone and this set had hit another price reduction point.

Still, I had a moment of hesitation when hubby queried, “so we’re going to get these today?”  You see, I am a bargain hunter down to my every gene.  I was debating on whether to risk waiting another 2 weeks for the final 15% price drop.  Hubby was rolling his eyes (rightly so) as my internal calculator crunched the numbers.  Then I spotted a huge Like Us On Facebook banner on a back wall.  So I asked if they had a Facebook discount?  The answer was yes, 10% more savings if paying with check or cash.  Yippee skippee, hesitation was history.

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We managed to haul the bookcases one at a time in the back of the Jeep Grand Cherokee with only an inch or two of depth to spare.  We ran them home in two 15 minute trips, unloaded them in the garage, and I cleaned and polished them right away. The next day I tempted our son with lunch at our house so that he could help his Dad carry them up the stairs.  They are quite heavy.  He bit (pun intended), and the following day they were full of books.

This is our mostly mish-mosh selection of books that don’t fit with other themes in the living room or the library next to my studio.  Included are books hubby brought back from his aunt’s.  While he unboxed and shelved, he entered them into our database of books.  That is when I learned something new, noticing a genre that I didn’t recognize:  bildungsroman?

Any idea what kind of books those are?  Well, according to Merriam-Webster:

Bildungsroman is the combination of two German words: Bildung, meaning "education," and Roman, meaning "novel." Fittingly, a "bildungsroman" is a novel that deals with the formative years of the main character - in particular, his or her psychological development and moral education. The bildungsroman usually ends on a positive note with the hero's foolish mistakes and painful disappointments over and a life of usefulness ahead.

Do you want to know what books in our extensive collection fit than genre?
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Lemon Jelly Cake by Madeline Smith
  • Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashears
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

We probably have others that just are not classified as such.  Here’s a link to a comprehensive genre list on Goodreads.  And that is where I saw a sub-genre called: Kunstlerroman .
A subgenre of the Bildungsroman, the Kunstlerroman specifically describes the struggles of the young protagonist in their journey to become an artist.
What a cool list that would be to check out.  I guess these are normally called coming of age books; but golly, aren’t you all feeling smarter already using the German-derived terms! I certainly am.

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There is empty space for more books on that bottom shelf and behind the doors (which are begging for a little embellishment).  As you can see, I added a few pretties, and plan to add framed pictures too. That is, once I’ve sorted them out.  Can you believe I took a bunch of these off the shelves when we redecorated more than 3 years ago and most of them never made it back.  So this week’s project is to update the photos and display them around the house.

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Then, I am going to figure out what to stash on a couple of now vacated shelves next to the studio.
Have you learned something new about books or in a book since we last chatted?  Please do drop us a Monday Memorandum and let us know!

19 June 2016

June Recipe Challenge at The Studio Challenges

Sunkissed Morning – a layout for The Studio Challenges

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Start: With this recipe:

  • Sewing
  • Lace
  • Pink
  • Paint or ink splatters
  • Enamel Dots
  • Kraft colour
  • A star
  • Stenciling
  • Doily
A smart scrapper would pull all those elements together at the start – but no, not me.  I wanted to use the Kelly Purkey free NSD printables with this photo, so I added the rest as I went along.  The only sewing I did was to cross-stitch three Xs.

It was fun to discover what little bits and bobs I could add to fill out the list.  I took my title from the line of Basic Grey die-cuts I was using.

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Style: In order to make the doily and lace ribbon work with my otherwise very modern page, I found the least fussy options I could in my stash.  I used everything on the list, including double-duty enamel "dots" that are star shaped.  I stenciled, edged and splattered with 4 shades of ink.

Stash: Bazzill cardstock, Kelly Purkey cards, SEI doily, Basic Grey Sunkissed die-cuts, We R Memory Keepers 3 x 4 card used for stencil, American Crafts ink, Teresa Collins enamel shapes, Websters Pages alphabets

Why not pop over to the Studio Challenges and see what everyone else concocted with that recipe.