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25 July 2016

Memorandum – A Month of Mondays

Well, it has been a month of Mondays since I sat down and typed a Memorandum for “distribution” to Sian @FromHighInTheSky and all our bloggy pals.  There’s been much new in July.

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Our 4th of July was pretty much rained out. Local fireworks were postponed and we missed the rescheduled session.  So I don’t have a single snapshot of fireworks this year.  We did find a few old firecrackers from last year and set those off for lots of noise and gunpowder smell, but no fancy light show.

Speaking of lights, those new fixtures we talked about now light up. Daughter, son and I all helped hubby, hoping to get them installed late one lovely Saturday afternoon, before darkness or rain dashed our plan.  We (okay, hubby) has been doing quite a bit of fixing up around the outside of the house this summer.  Next up is that dreaded middle ground – the garage!  We (okay, hubby) has decided it will wait to the spring – there is still lots of decluttering to do inside.

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De-cluttering we did, here is hubby's car filled with stuff for the church's youth group rummage sale this coming weekend.  A good portion of this came from daughter's room, as she reorganized totally of her own accord.

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Daughter’s car (named Emma Equinox) has been letting her down.  Emma, 2008 model year and 110,000 miles old, was chalking up ailments, including glitch-ridden electronics and a driver’s side door that would not open from the inside to let the driver out.  Given initial estimates of the cost to fix said ailments plus upcoming recommended maintenance costs compared to the blue book value of Emma (excluding sentimental value, of course), we were forced to exchange Emma for a younger model – 2013 model year, yet to be named.  College girl likes her new ride; and we like the renewed peace of mind that a reliable ride brings!

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I finished REFRESH at Simple Scrapper. Not a member long, my best takeaway thus far was “getting permission” to let go of certain things.  Hence, I’ve taken my long-neglected Cricut Expression off my work desk.  I put it away to make more room for a stamping station on the right.  Did you notice that I use napkin holders at my desk to hold both my stamp cleaning pads and my cutting pads for the Sizzix Big Shot?  Sizzix just came out with a pricey little add-on to do the same thing. (Click picture to go there.)

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Here’s a snap of the last bit of crafting with bits from my July Counterfeit Kit – one of my most productive kits on record.

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As you already know, one weekend we visited mom-in-law in Central Illinois. After having visited that small town for more than 30 years, hubby realized I had never seen the local showcase house – an 1889 Italianate mansion originally named Maplewood.  It was built by a doctor and 3 generations of his family lived there through the years – the last occupant, a grandson, was also a doctor.

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We were not supposed to take photos inside, but the docent knew hubby’s family well, and allowed me to as long as I didn’t post room pictures on Facebook.  I told him I’d be posting pretty details like these on my scrapbooking blog. To think that a house that contains so much craftsmanship was built in less than a year with none of the advanced woodworking tools we have today – that’s mind-blowing to me.

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So there’s the memo.  With only 2 weeks until college girl goes back to campus, I am not sure if I will “see you” next Monday, or another month will pass by.  In the meantime, I will be looking out for your Monday Memos – do type one up for us, won’t you?

23 July 2016

Snaps–On the Trail #1

We started a new adventure the first Sunday afternoon in July.  Even though it was not a sunny day, so not ideal for photography, we headed out among the cornstalks towering over our heads – tracing the country roads – tracking down barns.  Barns with quilt blocks – in Gibson County, just north of us - more than 200 on the trail. (Rinda, see the map!) I drove, hubby snapped, doing whatever it took to see over the corn.

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The highlight of our first trek was meeting Jean, whose family has owned their farm for more than 100 years. She came out to greet us as we snapped pictures of her barn quilt square.  Hers is a Hoosier Homestead farm that’s been in her family more than 100 years – she has a sign tacked up on her shed saying so.

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She lives alone, but not to worry: her nearest 3 neighbors – her 3 sons.  That’s how it is on family farms.  She has a lovely backyard where she sits and remembers, missing her husband. She says local photographers often use it for photo shoots. Beyond her backyard, cornfields extends for miles all the way to the highway.  She has 8 friends to keep her company – here’s one of those fellas.

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She shared a souvenir with me, and we snapped a second photo for Rinda’s 2016 Summertime Photo Scavenger hunt in her front yard.

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Her quilt square is titled Checked Popcorn. I forgot to ask her if she quilts or why she decided to join the barn quilt square tour in the first place, perhaps for the Sunday afternoon company it brings.

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Then hubby heard his phone buzz;  a tornado warning had been issued.  We bid goodbye to Jean and skedaddled on our way, thinking it would be safe to make one last picture stop, only because it was at a nearby church.

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Sometimes, the most interesting views of the barns didn’t include the quilt blocks. We are looking forward to our next day out in the sunshine (we hope).

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22 July 2016

Visiting with Mary & You

On one of my Visits With Mary, she had a little Q & A that makes for a nice quick blog post.
 
1. What time did you get up this morning?
5:30, and that is my normal time.
 
2. Diamonds or pearls?
Both.  Normally I would choose diamonds, but I just inherited my husband’s aunt’s string of pearls.  Then last week, hubby helped me pick out a pair of pearl earrings to match.  The dainty earrings are one pearl each, topped with a diminutive diamond hung on a French wire.  Love them.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
Gosh, I really had to think on this - The Martian.

4. What is your favorite T.V. show?
NCIS, although I also enjoy Masterpiece Mystery on PBS.
 
5. What do you usually have for breakfast?
2 pancakes with butter and syrup.  This a.m. college girl made chocolate chip pancakes, so I had two of those with whipped cream.  Yum!
 
6. What is your middle name?
I never liked my middle name, it started with an “e” and when I got married I switched it to my maiden name which starts with an “a”. (So yes, my initials used to be SEA!)
 
7. Favorite cuisine?
French cooking – small portion, rich sauces. My second choice which follows quite closely is  Italian cooking – large portions, spicy sauces with tiramasu for dessert.
 
8. What foods do you dislike?
There aren’t too many edible items that I don’t like, but snow peas come to mind as something I would push to the side of the plate.
 
9. What is your favorite chip flavor?
Grippos brand barbeque – they load the seasoning on extra thick, although now that I am trying to be good – Sun Chips Harvest Cheddar aren’t too bad.

10. What is your favorite CD at the moment?
I recently hunted down a couple of older George Strait albums – Carrying Your Love With Me (1997) and Pure Strait –a compilation (1998).  I like that there always seem to be some lesser known gems on each album.  I still need to find several of his older albums and pick up his newest one: Cold Beer Conversation.  That sounds just right for summer doesn’t it.

And there’s no better way to end this post that with a snap shared from his website:

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Feel free to answer a question or two in the comments or in your own blog post - Mary won't mind.

20 July 2016

Partaking of Pretty Papers

Well, over the weekend I got to hang out with my #1 crafting pal, my sister-in-law.  We were both visiting mom-in-law with our hubbies, and after lunch on Saturday, she dragged me, kicking and screaming here.  (Well, was that kicking and screaming, or jumping and squealing?)

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Daisy Lane Scrapbooking in Mattoon, IL,  biggest local scrapbook store that I have ever been in. 

(Pssst, sis-in-law – you could totally make a layout about this place and use that tall giraffe die-cut we got at our Creating Keepsakes workshop!!)

I should have taken pictures of the inside, but didn’t because I had been there once before when I did snap some, which now I can’t find.  Anyway, take my word, it is  “UUUUGE!”  They not only have current lines, but they have room to hold onto older lines as well, which makes it a great place to pick up another sheet of old favorites. Here’s what I came home with – half of this was 50% off.

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A couple of close-ups of the goodies:

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And here are things I am keeping in mind for later (how much later, you’d have to ask the jumping and squealing girl?).

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Carta Bella’s Old World Travel line

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Kaisercraft’s Wanderlust Line

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Echo Park’s Party Time line – they had me at the music paper and with those gear/burst type shapes.

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Julie Nutting’s Belle Vie line for PhotoPlay.  I am really loving everything PhotoPlay does. Daisy Lane does lots and lots of sample pages too.  And there were other ideas I picked up.

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The Scrabble letters reminded me of the current Counterfeit Kit Challenge to be inspired by crosswords.  The simple idea of glitter on adhesive could be a real layout pick-me-upper.

After we got back to mom-in-law’s, we spent 45 minutes pouring over what sis-in-law called her impulse buy – Papercraft’s Card Sketch book found on the clearance rack (alas there was only one).  This is filled with fabulous ideas – here’s a snap of my favorite card inside.

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You know, scrapbooking sharing over the Internet is fun, but it pales in comparison to shopping at a store with another scrapbooker.  Even looking at examples is so much more fun with a running commentary between the two of us.

Well, I had better get off the computer and finish up lots of chores so I can eventually play with pretty paper.

17 July 2016

Summery Layout Prompt @ The Studio Challenges

Summer Light Show – a layout for The Studio Challenges

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Start: The prompt over at The Studio Challenges was to create a summery layout.  I told you earlier this month that I had been stewing over this Little Yellow Bicycle paper with the fireflies.  When I spotted the June 15, 2106 Stuck?! Sketch by Laura Whitaker, which allowed me to tuck a row of photos in between the preprinted elements of this paper, I went for it. Drawing a parallel between the subject of the photos and the elements of the paper gave me my title.


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Style: I used tiny photos of fireworks from last year, and matted them with some Studio Calico white patterned paper with tiny gold lines.  I used the faint preprinted sunspot as the perfect place for a fireworks burst sticker, topped with a gem.  I added my title at the bottom, and embellished one of the mason jars by outlining it and sticking a Bella Blvd flag and a pin from my pincushion in a star diecut through the top of the jar.

Stash: My July 2016 Counterfeit Kit Challenge kit, of course!