Thursday, January 27, 2011

The kindness of strangers

I woke up to this:

(That's my fence under there, barely peeking through!)

Yes, more snow. 16 more inches to be exact.  According to the news reports, January 2011 has been the snowiest month ever here in Connecticut.  And our season snowfall total is already 60 inches, and we have several more months of winter yet.  It is pretty, but all this snow is taking a toll on my mental health!  I was glad I didn't have to drive to school today, but I was already thinking about how it's only the first week of the semester, and now I'm already behind. I definitely wasn't looking forward to shoveling it all...where are we going to put it?

We finally ventured out to shovel late in the morning, and I started thinking about a friend who is recovering from some major surgery, who would love to be able to get outside and walk around for a bit, even if there is 3 feet of snow on the ground.  I realized I should be thankful my husband and I are healthy enough that we can get out there and do the necessary physical work. Thankful that I'm not stranded at home by myself with two young children while my husband is stuck out of town on business, like another friend of mine. Thankful that I have two rambunctious dogs who aren't fazed by snow one bit.

(They are perched on top of our fence! 
Poor Radar always gets snowballs matted into his fur, but he doesn't seem to mind!)

Maybe all that positive thinking paid off? After an hour and a half, we had dug out the cars enough that we'd be able to get them out of the driveway.  Around this time, the man that had been plowing some of our neighbors' driveways came by and asked us if we'd like him to push back the rest of our snow.  Umm, YES, PLEASE!  He had a huge backhoe, and with just a few passes he was able to clear our whole driveway.

We offered to pay him, but he refused, saying he lived in the neighborhood and didn't mind doing it.

So now I am also thankful for the kindness of strangers!  I think some homemade baked goods are in his future!

Friday, January 21, 2011

December Daily: Days 6-10

Welcome back to another installment of my December Daily album!  I relied heavily on Ali Edwards' design, and used her layered templates and overlays for most pages. I finished these pages over a week ago, but finally got around to editing them in Photoshop Elements.

For some of the days, especially typical work days, I really didn't have much to write about so I included various Christmas cards we received throughout the month.  I found this to be a good way to display those photo cards we receive every year, but never know what to do with at the end of the month!

For my earlier pages, please click here and here

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I love January!

I love January.  Sure, I could do without the two feet of snow outside my door, but at least classes are out of session for another week, so I have nowhere I need to be most days and I've got more free time than usual to play in my scraproom.  Over the past week I've been finishing up my December Daily album, and working on a few random layouts.

"Catch a Wave" is of my friend's daughter on our annual trip to Block Island (a small island off the coast of Rhode Island). (Supplies: Echo Park paper and stickers, BoBunny paper; based on a PageMpas sketch)

This next one, "In Synch", is of my sweet cats, Neko & Aja. (Supplies: Basic Grey papers and stickers, Making Memories journaling spot, American Crafts foam embellishments; based on a Sketch Support sketch)

The last one, "Old Soul", is of my Golden Retriever, Radar (Supplies: SEI papers, Basic Grey chipboard letters)

Hmm, my chocolate lab is probably feeling left out now.  Guess I better make another layout!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


This is what I woke up to this morning!

A huge Nor'Easter dumped 24 inches of snow on us overnight and throughout the morning. It wouldn't be so bad, except we still had snow on the ground from two smaller storms last weekend. I decided to go back inside and play with Photoshop Elements and order a huge batch of pictures from Shutterfly!

By 1 pm the snow had slowed down, so we ventured outside to dig out.

I was able to crack the back door open just enough to retrieve our extra shovel!

The dogs had fun romping through the snow while we shoveled.

The mailman made it through to hand-deliver our mail...I think our mailbox may remain buried for a while! Maybe we can teach Radar to retrieve it?

A few final scenic shots:

Happy Winter!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Welcome back! Here is the next installment of my December Daily album.  For each day, I went with a two-page spread. I generally used Ali Edwards's layered templates on the left, and her overlays on the right, with a transparency in between.  I printed out all the overlays in advance on white cardstock, and usually used these as a space for my handwritten journaling, perhaps a picture or a scrap of patterned paper. The left hand side was usually for photos, although for days when I didn't have photos, I found it was a good place to put ephemera or some of my favorite cards that I received. Without further adieu, here are days 1-5:

Thanks for looking! Come on back tomorrow for days 6-10!

Monday, January 10, 2011

December Daily: Covers and Title Page

This year I decided to attempt to keep a December Daily album.  I had never done one before, and it was a bit of a ridiculous task to contemplate, since December is one of my busiest months (I'm a college professor, so December is spent creating and grading lots of final exams and papers).  But Ali Edwards made it look so simple and appealing, I decided to give it a try.  When all was said and done, I only completed 4 or 5 actual pages during December.  However, I took lots of photos and jotted down notes about daily events and happenings, so that when I *did* get some free time (i.e., my winter break from school, going on now!) I could put it together.  Right now I'm about half way finished.

I followed Ali's design fairly closely...I made a 6x8 album, with a two page spread for each day, and I relied heavily on her 2010 6x8 layered templates and overlays from Designer Digitals.

For the cover, I cut a piece of chipboard to 6x8 and covered it with Gesso.  I used some old KI Memories lace paper as a mask and sprayed with glimmer mist and used that for the inside cover.  I took the lace paper and adhered it to the other side of the chipboard for the outside cover. Colored Ali's December freebie with red stickles, and added it and a few die cut embellishments.  Done!

Here's the inside. Between each two-page spread, I included a transparency. I believe this one was from Fancy Pants.

I put a photo strip of a few favorite pictures on the title page (also a freebie from Ali):

Here's a close-up of the title page:

Thanks for looking! Coming soon, Days 1-5!