Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Recap

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I had a nice, quiet, food-filled day at home with my husband and my parents.

We got our turkey from a local turkey farm, Gozzi's.  Every year they draw a crowd of spectators with their "decorated" turkeys out front!

 We started off our food fest with these yummy appetizers: turkey and bacon "cupcakes" with tabasco cream cheese frosting and shrimp stuffed mushrooms:

The sideboard in the dining room was all prepped for buffet style eating in advance of the meal, using Patrick's grandmother's china:

Patrick was very proud of his smoked turkey.  (He's smiling despite the fact that my New England Patriots beat his Detroit Lions earlier in the day!)

Don't let the charred outside fool you...inside it was tender and juicy!

Mom and Dad serve themselves with all the fixings!

Garlic mashed potatoes:

Memere's French Canadian meat stuffing:

Roasted carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes:

Green beans:

Cranberry orange relish:

Forgot to take a picture of the pumpkin pie and applecake, but they were delicious!  Guess what we'll be having for dinner tonight?  Yay for leftovers!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Blog Neglect!

It certainly has been challenging to find time to scrapbook and keep this blog updated now that school is in full swing! During the week, it's nearly impossible for me to complete any layouts, since I leave for work at 6 am and don't return home til 6:30 pm.  The downside of a 77 mile commute!!  Thank goodness I only have to do this 8 months out of the year! I have been managing to get one or two layouts done each weekend, but haven't been posting them here. Without further adieu, here are some of my recent creations, inpsired by May Flaum's Use Your Stash Class at Big Picture Classes as well as challenges over at Scrapbook Central on iVillage.

Star Wars Fever: This LO feautres my niece Elena enjoying some new and old Star Wars toys on Christmas Day. I used some newer Echo Park paper and stickers, along with some older buttons & journaling spot.

Emily: For this next one, I pulled out by 2001 storage binder and came across these pictures of my best friend's daughter's birth. Dug deep into my stash of patterned paper here, using some old EK Success papers. Also broke out some Quickutz dies and a border bunch.

Visiting Jimi: I am really happy with how this one turned out! I layered some older coordinating My Mind's Eye paper, Thickers, and grungeboard flourishes that I inked up with distress ink.

Greetings from Camp: Finally, this 2-page spread features my nieces on a camping trip last year. Used some Cosmo Cricket paper that I won at a crop a while back.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Weekend scrapping

I've been enjoying the long weelend here at home.  In between a neighborhood barbecue and back to school prep, I managed to get a few layouts done.

The first one is for a challenge over at Scrapbook Central to create a layout based on this sketch by Janelle Richmond. Here is my take on the sketch:

The photos are of my friend's daughter.  All the paper and embellishments are from My Little Yellow Bicycle, purchased a long time ago and never used! The chipboard letters are also quite old.  So glad I've been inspired to use them up!!

The second layout was inspired by a layout from week one of May Flaum's class over at Big Picture Scrapbooking.  I was inspired by her basic design & photo placement.

The paper, border stickers, and purple letter stickers are by BoBunny. Not that old, but still good to use 'em up! The smaller letter stickers are by Echo Park. For the title treatment, I painted some old plain chipboard with white crackle paint, then inked it up with Tim Holtz distress ink (miled lavender and dusty concord), then added the stickers.

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A few recent layouts

I did manage to make a few layouts in August, I just never got around to posting any of them! Here they are now, for your viewing pleasure!

This first one if of my dogs enjoying a spring day in the field next to our house. The title doesn't pop as much as I thought it would against the busy patterned paper, but I am calling it good enough!

The next three are for my Newcomers Club.  The 2009-2010 album is now complete and I can pass the reigns to the new Historian! Although I completed these before the start of May Flaum's class at Big Picture Scrapbooking, I really dug deep into my stash for some of these!!

Thanks for looking!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Use Your Stash!

I recently signed up for May Flaum's "Use Your Stash" class over at Big Picture Scrapbooking.  It officially started yesterday, and so far I am loving it! There are no set assignments, just lots of inspiration and encouragement to use all that product I've been collecting/hoarding.  I like that May uses 4x6 photos only, with some occasional cropping...I very rarely print out 5x7 or 8x10, and I have lots of 4x6 pics in my storage binders waiting to be scrapped.  I whipped together this LO last night:

The challenge was to use a neutral background, arrange your pictures, and embellish with items from your stash.  I took longer than necessary to select the patterned paper, but I finally settled on some BoBunny paper from last year. I had already used it on another layout, so this one was made from all scraps. I'm also trying to use up my plain chipboard, so I found some really old Making Memories flowers to use, and painted them blue and green to match the patterned paper. Topped them off with some glittery buttons, added my journaling, and I was done! The pictures are of me and some of my students from commencement last May...finished just in time to start the new school year on Tuesday!

In other news, this morning I woke up to find some happy mail in my inbox...I won a free Ella Publishing book over at Celeste Smith's blog! Yay! It should come in handy for making layouts abouy my nieces.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

August? August? Where'd you go?

I can't believe it's September already! I only managed one measly blog post for all of August! Between house guests and weekend getaways and back to school prep, the month flew by!  Here are some of the highlights:

Fresh veggies for dinner:

Minor league baseball games (Connecticut Tigers!):

Parents who dog sit (and the dog that sucks up to them!):


Travers Stake at Saratoga Race Track:

Doggie photo shoots in the backyard:
Phew! What a month! School begins next week, and I will be busy teaching five classes instead of my usual four.  Hopefully I will somehow manage to squeeze in some crafty time on the weekends.  To get my creative juices flowing, I signed up for May Flaum's Use Your Stash class at Big Picture Scrapbooking.  Can't wait for it to begin tomorrow!  

Monday, August 2, 2010

Card Frenzy #1

Yikes, it's been a while since I've posted anything! Although I'm on summer vacation, some recent staff changes in my department have been keeping me busy, as I've had to pick up some new courses for next semester.  This is also the point in the summer where I look at my optimistic to-do list I made at the beginning of the summer and realize I haven't accomplished much! Only one month left to get it all done before classes begin!

I have done a little crafting these past few weeks, primarily cards.  I pulled out a lot of old patterned paper that I knew I wasn't going to use on a scrapbook layout, and decided to put it to good use on a card.  Here are a bunch I made with some old Basic Grey lines. Anyone remember the Blush, Phoebe, and Romani lines? Here they are as cards!

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Farewell, Nilda

This layout was for a Bingo challenge at Scrapbook Central to be inspired by something from Donna Downey's blog.  I was immediately drawn to this canvas heart, especially since I knew I had some year-old sticky-back canvas that I have never used!

Here's what I came up with:

Products used: Bazzill Cardstock, Scenic Route patterned paper, American Crafts Thickers, Claudine Hellmuth sticky back canvas, Making Memories paint, Hero Arts stamps, Clearsnap ink, Pagemaps sketch.

The photos are from my friend and colleague's retirement party.

The canvas accent was initially going to be a diecut flower, but I couldn't get my Big Shot to cut all the way through the canvas (if anyone has any tips, please let me know!) so I cut out the heart by hand instead, stamped it with black dye ink, and dried it with a heat gun. Next I covered it with some watered-down paint, and zapped it with the heat gun.  Last step was just to fray the edges and add some more ink. Here's a close up:  

Thanks for looking!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Library of Memories Community: Weekly Challenge #2

I've been enjoying the new Big Picture Scrapbooking Library of Memories Community. I first took LOM in 2009, and then followed along again as an alum in 2010.  My own system is pretty much in place with storage binders, category drawers, and library albums, but the new community has been keeping me focused and helped me add some of the LOM "extras" like the memorabilia notebook.  I've also enjoyed the weekly challenges.  Here is my take on Weekly Challenge #2 "Browse your Memorabilia Notebook and select something to use on a layout. Locate appropriate photos and use bullet point journaling and lots of blue."
The photos are from a recent trip to Universal Studios in Florida, and I included a ticket stub and some cut-outs from a brochure for the memorabilia.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Library of Memories Community: Weekly Challenge #1

The new Library of Memories Community on Big Picture Scrapbooking kicked off last week.  Stacy Julian started us off with this challenge, in honor of the 4th of July: "Create a Storage Binder layout with red, white and You. Yes, this means there needs to be a photo of you on the page. You can add some blue too -- or any other color you like!"

I flipped through my storage binder of childhood photos and was reminded of an idea I have had for a while to make a layout about my neices and myself all playing on the same rocking horse (at different times of course!).  I've always held off on this  layout because one of the photos I have of my neice, although digital, was sent in a really small format and gets fuzzy when enlarged.  I finally decided just to keep it small, and use an 8 1/2 x 11 sketch from Cathy Zielske's Design Your Life class at BPS. Here is the result:

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fun with Hero Arts and Copics

When I was at the Scrapbook Expo a few months ago, I picked up several Copic Markers, and I have been having fun playing with much so that every time I go to my local scrapbook store (Papercraft Clubhouse) I pick up a few more! I don't really know all that I can do with them yet (although I signed up for a class at the end of the month) but I've been enjoying coloring stamped images with one color, and then using the colorless blending marker to soften it up a bit.

For the first three cards I used a Hero Arts stamp inked up with Memento black ink and stamped onto white cardstock, then colored in with Copics.  I also added some stickles & bling when necessary! :) 

These last cards are blatant lifts of a Jennifer McGuire design (click here to see it!).
 I ended up making seven of these in assembly line fashion, using a Tim Holtz embossing folder from sizzix.

Thanks for looking!