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24 May 2015

May 2015 Counterfeit Members Blog Hop

Welcome to May 2015’s Counterfeit Members blog hop, where everyone can join in on the monthly challenges and strut their scrappy stuff.  I am the last stop this hop.  The full line-up it is here on the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog, and also down below.

Pretty – A Layout inspired by an {i}NSD challenge on the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog


Start:  I chose one of the {i}NSD challenges that I had proposed – to be inspired by tags.  It didn’t seem right to expect you to take a challenge I wasn’t up for myself.  You see I have included lots in this months Counterfeit Challenge Kit.

 Style: I had already used one fashion tag on a card for the first CKC challenge.  I liked the set so much, and they had been in my stash for such a long time, I was struck with an idea to incorporate 3 on a project.  The striking poses these elegant ladies were making on the reminded me of when I posed for a black/white portrait in my wedding dress. It was something the 20-somethings I ran around with at the time all did.


I cropped a 4 x 6 photo down to tag height and emphasized it with a doily at the bottom and a 4th tag which includes my hidden journaling.  To tie the colors into the background paper I stamped each with a different shade paint and highlighted each stamped doily with a single bit of bling – inked to match the paint.  The top border on the page is the SKU strip which I anchored down with a smushed rosette cluster. A second cluster draws the eye downward to the journal card. A few other touches reminiscent of sewing like stitching, buttons and a fabric rose finish the page “in fine fashion”.

Stash: Patterned Paper – Sassafras
Tags – early Scarlet Lime kit
Stamp – Cocoa Daisy
Paint – Tim Holtz Distress (Squeezed Lemonade, Dried Marigold, Shabby Shutters)
Alphabet – American Crafts
Gems – Queen & Co.
Markers – Copic
Rosettes & Doilies – Studio Calico
Buttons – Stampin’ Up & Jenni Bowlin
Ribbon – Stampin’ Up
Floss & Fiber – Michaels
Stick Pin – Prima

Stops on the hop:
Thanks for coming.  Do consider playing along next month – “pretty” please!

22 May 2015

Fussy-cutting Flowers And Not Fussy-cutting Flowers

Two-gether – A layout celebrating the two of us.


Story: Last month, hubby and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary.  We went out the night before and I did not think to snap a photo.  So I asked our son to snap a quick photo of us after church on the actual day. The idea did not occur to me before husband had changed into his St. Louis Cardinals shirt in anticipation of watching the afternoon baseball game on TV.

Obviously I’m the lucky one in this combo, I’m the one smiling. That’s what I get when I try and divert his attention before a baseball game.  Oh well, I love this guy, anyway!

When I mentioned to him that he wasn’t smiling, he quickly (and he thought, oh so cleverly) replied back that he was smiling with his eyes.  See what I’ve been putting up with?  Oh well, I love this guy.  Anyway.

Style: I wanted to use the large floral Pink Paislee patterned paper from my May Counterfeit kit.  The paper was so intricate that I decided to cut the corner clusters out.  Fussy-cutting is something I don’t do that often, because it is time consuming.  I added a black mat to the photo, and layered with some other papers from the kit.  I chose to run the loose burlap ribbon across the bottom to tie it into the pretty canvas border of roses across the top.  I like the muted tones of most of the papers against the slightly more vibrant yellow of the main sheet, balancing the feel of happy with the softened colors denoting the passage of time.


When I needed just a few more flowers for the page, I chose not to fussy-cut them. Instead, I punched them out and used smaller metal and rhinestone flowers for their centers.  Oh, I see I need to add the date there on the label I added for that purpose.  Better do that before I forget – time has a way of flying by.  Even 30 years can pass in a flash.
Stash: From my May 2015 Counterfeit Kit Challenge Kit – Stepping Back In Time

Patterned papers – Pink Paislee, Sassafras, Graphic 45
Border – Pink Paislee
Burlap ribbon & stick pins – Maya Road
Buttons – Scarlet Lime & Making Memories
Punch – Stampin Up
Ticket and label – Graphic 45
Alphabet – EK Success

19 May 2015

The “System”

A few months ago, I decided that I was never again going to apologize for getting behind on blog reading.  Gibbs has a rule about that!

 gibbs apology

And so I decided to set up a system – a little organization would go a long way.  Gibbs never says anything about organizing, he is all about the doing.  So what are you doing he’d ask without asking.


Before I get down the nitty-gritty details, I will share the two main concepts.  Not rocket science mind you, but worth saying.

1)  Focus on what is meaningful, entertaining or useful.
2)  Dump the rest.

Hmm, that could almost be a Gibbs rule.  What do you think, Gibbs?

mark harmon smiling

First, I deleted many blogs from my reader – but very few of them were written by individuals.  I wanted to concentrate on blogs where I could connect to the writer in a continuing conversation back and forth. In fact I prefer blog reading to forums for just this reason.  In forums (and Facebook to a lesser degree) everyone is talking at the same time to no one in particular.  I know that difference isn’t based in a logical comparison, but it is the reality of my perception.

gibbs stern

Basically anything that was a conglomeration of efforts of many contributors and/or a site solely for promoting product was abandoned.  Likewise, I’ve been unsubscribing from similar type emails.  I disdain the distraction of product temptation – (yeah, right, sure).
Inoreader allows me to sort blogs into folders – I use these:
  1. friends and followers (some from my very first days of blogging),
  2. fakers and forgers (the good kind related to the Counterfeit Kit Club),
  3. storytellers (this is a decidedly English/European group of gals – you know who you are!),
  4. books and reading,
  5. news and current events,
  6. trials/temps.
I have ditched these:  cleaning/organizing, cooking, decorating, kit clubs, paper party (manufacturers blogs), project life (still wavering on this one), and sketches/challenges (although I moved PageMaps to my news feed).  I realized that even perusing this content was time consuming, and ineffective as it rarely led to action on my part.  Besides it quickly ran up the number of unread posts in the my reader to a very discouraging level.  And I still get a taste of these topics on Pinterest.

Also, I do a lot more blog surfing on my Nook where it is darned difficult to comment.  That has imposed a natural limit on how much commenting I do. I still do most of my commenting on the desktop by choosing a folder in my reader and scroll through the blogs scanning and right click on any posts I want to comment on so that they opens in a new window.  But I continue scrolling in the reader (thereby avoiding a back and forth pattern).  When the top header in my browser is full (about 15 open windows), I go to those, read and post my comments.  And I am done for the day.  The next time I come back to read, I start in the next folder.

Generally, the first 3 folders above I usually read on the desktop to make commenting easier.  The last three on my Nook.  In the trials/temps folder, I let 10 posts accumulate on newly discovered blogs before I read them and make a decision to follow them or not.  Now doesn’t that sound like the kind of system an ex-accountant would devise?  Hmmm . . . sounds about right, he’s thinking.


I currently use Inoreader (and pay for the ad-free version), but if any of you are using another reader that could simplify the process even further, I’d love to hear your experience.  This is working better for me now, I am keeping up more easily and more timely.

Now I just need to devise a system for keeping up on writing blog posts!  But after I watch NCIS on CBS (thanks for the pics.)


18 May 2015

Me On Monday–the photo ID edition

Hey there scrapbookers, storytellers, readers, friends and family!  It’s Monday.

It’s rainy and dreary here, just like over the weekend.  It was a just being lazy, baseball watching, Mad Max movie viewing, popcorn munching (even though we had just been lunching, because they were giving it away free), hiking trip researching, online summer job applying (daughter. that is), fingers crossing, errand running, eventually getting around to scrapbooking, church going, late night Dairy Queen running (cancelling out early morning gym going), hanging out and enjoying the four of us being all together kind of weekend.  I want to do it all again next weekend.

I am not yet able to take pictures of the last two layouts I finished this weekend to share with you because of the light, and because I have not uncovered the camera in the midst of chaos in the studio.  When in the world did I become such a messy scrapper.  Destruction and disturbance just short of the Mad Max level, and nearly as pointless, too.  Just two single layouts that I’ve been stewing over all month.  Oh, and another thing.  I dumped over a bottle of white distress paint from Tim Holtz. Déjà vu in a brilliantly white hue!  What is it with me and white liquids?  Thanks to Tim Holtz for making it water based; it cleaned up a whole lot quicker than Mr. Huey’s mist I fumbled last time.  (Who is this Huey guy anyway, I’d like to know!)

Anyway, back on topic.  I thought I would share the last picture of myself that I came across.  It is my identification photo for my public library card.

library card photo

Awful, don’t you think?  Are you wondering, what in the world happened to her bangs – the woman clearly had bangs!   At least I am smiling, but it is hard not to smile in a library. (Right, Sian?)

Thankfully this doesn’t appear on my actual library card, it just comes up at the check-out for the unfortunate librarians to verify that it is me.  No wonder they have installed self check-out stations.  My smiling mug also appears online when I log in to my account, like I did last night to renew videos I had checked out, and download a new audiobook – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

I was decidedly younger then, May 7, 2002, my early SAHM days.  There is probably an adorable precocious kindergartener down at my side, who would have been infinitely more photogenic.    Thank goodness the librarians don’t snap a new photo every time you renew your card, so they have preserved a younger version of me.  I suppose this fits right in with the purpose of libraries to house ancient history in words, and by audio and visual means too.  In my case that includes a really bad photo for ID.

But, the library has nothing on the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.  My drivers’ license photo makes me look like a convicted drug felon (but with bangs).  I have said for the last 5 years that I was going to “lose” my license just so I could get a new photo. But time slips by and I never got around to it.  Next month when I’m within 6 months of my renewal date, I can get a new one.  Maybe then I will share that picture.  Then again, that is about as likely as me not dumping over the new jar of gesso I plan to use soon.

That’s all I have to say, I’m going to finish my spinach dip on pita crackers breakfast and then get on with the chores.  Here’s a wave at Sian and all you other Me-s this Monday.  Why not share of pic and tell us what’s going on with you?  I double dare you to post an official ID photo!! 

15 May 2015

Not nearly finished on Friday

Just thought I’d pop in with a quick update on the to-do list. No, I’m not going to show you the crossed off list, because . . .

The clearing/arranging/uncluttering in anticipation of the church rummage sale morphed into a much bigger project than I anticipated on Monday.

Hubby did manage to take 2 bikes and a two-drawer file cabinet from the garage (with the now fully functioning door) to the sale.  So we’ve freed up some space but not tackled a full reorganization.

From inside came 4 boxes of stuff for the church – 2 newly filled, one of son’s that has been sitting in his old room for 6 months since he moved out, and another I had decluttered back in January.  Are you like me, do you always start decluttering as soon as you put the holiday stuff away?  You probably finish decluttering then as well, don’t you? Me, not so much.  After all, I have son’s old room for sorting out – a work in progress as that is just one corner.


I took two dozen items to the consignment shop, driving right past the dog food place without thinking about it.  The financial paperwork and the ironing each garnered some attention, only half as much as needed. Nothing else on the list was started, although I promise to go buy dog food today!!

Well, S, what in the world have you been doing instead?  Well let me tell you.

An impromptu hike in a nearby state park one afternoon.  We employed more than enough sunscreen but underutilized the bug repellant we took along.  The mosquitos got us pretty good.  We spotted some other little critters too – in person, or by their tracks.


The trail was rated as moderate in difficulty and slightly muddy.  There were only a couple of lengthy steep inclines.  The trails were very well marked – and we were toting a map, in case you were wondering.


It was a very enjoyable afternoon including the drive through Indiana farmland.


Planting the flower pots and flower beds – done mostly by hubby and daughter.

DSC01605 These look so sweet at the start of the season.

As he was planting hubby was surprised that we didn’t have more pots.  Sure enough, after he finished planting, while rearranging the garage, we found a few more buried under the garden hoses. I don’t think it is possible to truly declutter until you move into a different smaller space.  We seem to just be pecking away at the edges.

Anyway, I think there will be a round two of planting.  He already took a few pots over to our son’s house – who has to work while the three of us “play”.

americans season 2

In the evenings, I have opted for a little binge-watching of Season 2 of The Americans.  I picked up the DVD’s from the library, and have the whole of Season 3 recorded from cable – so I’m set through the weekend at least.

I have not read any books, although I have been around the blogs.  I have not scrapped, although I was truly delighted and surprised when daughter asked out of the blue about digital scrapbooking and then about SMASH books. While I offered info on the first – I quickly moved on when I saw she was more interested in the second.  (Really, she was.)  It just so happens that I am able to fix her up with a few goodies.  She knew on her own to search Pinterest for how to “smash”.  Makes a scrapbooking mom proud, don’t you agree?

I had to chuckle when I handed her some acrylic blocks and two small stamp sets perfect for her smash books.  She stated that she didn’t know clear stamps on clear blocks “was a thing”.  I see I’m going to have to foster this process a bit – yippee skippee!!  My sister in law suggested that now we can take her and my niece, who has been doing smash books most of her college career, on a crop weekend with us.  I think that idea is indeed smashing!!