Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Template Tuesday #12

I know it doesn't tell any big, important story, but I really do love this layout I made for LOAD514.  It doesn't even have a picture of anybody, but I had a lot of fun doing the rainbow effect on the background paper.  

I didn't have any CU brush strokes to share with you, but if you have brush strokes in your stash, you can use the colors in this template as a guide to recolor your brush strokes to get the watercolor rainbow effect.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Template Tuesday #11

This layout is a mix of old and new products, but I think they all went really well with these photos of Michaela.  This memory always makes me smile!

Here's a template you can use to get the look in digi.

I hope you use it and come back to share your work with me!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Template Tuesday #10

I love this layout about the day Michaela met Nana.  It's pretty simple, but has lots of techniques going on.
The background is stenciled on patterned paper with a Heidi Swapp stencil.  The title is multiple copies of cardstock cut with the Silhouette, layered, and covered in glossy accents so it looks like enamel in person.  If you're not into all those fussy details, you can get the same look with this template:

I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Template Tuesday #9

Today's Tuesday template is lots of fun and puts the photo on center stage.

The template was based on this layout about Lilah.  It's probably in my top five favorite layouts this year.

I hope you have fun with this template, and come back to the comments to show me what you've done with it!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Template Tuesday #8

This layout was created from one of my Spring 3 Scrappy Boys kits.  I was inspired by all the busy colors of the background paper that reminded me of all the crazy outfits I wore as a child.

I felt like I needed to tone down the ticket paper a little bit, and I did so with a layer of gesso in the center.  If you like this layout, you can make a digital version with this template:

I hope you enjoy!  Come back and share your work with me. I'd love to see it!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Template Tuesday #7

Today's Tuesday Template is simple but I think it's a good one nonetheless.

It's based on this layout I did about Alfred. 

I don't know about you, but it's really hard for me to get pages about my husband done.  It's not that I don't find him interesting (I did marry him after all), but it sometimes seems strange to write about another adult--like I'm talking behind his back. But when I walked into the guest room at his sisters' house and saw this pile next to his side of the bed, it was something I just had to capture.  If he really needs that many books for a week, maybe he needs a Kindle!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Template Tuesday #6

If you have never been to Epcot, I would HIGHLY recommend it, and if you can make it during one of their festivals, then so much the better.  We were there this Spring during the Flower and Garden Festival.  In each of the World's Pavilions, there were little snack sized treats that incorporated ingredients grown on the property.

As you can see, we partook in as much as we could!  I used the layout above as the basis for this Tuesday's template.

Feel free to use it and come back and share your layout with me! Post a link in the comments.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Template Tuesday #5

Happy Tuesday!  Here's a fun and simple 2 photo template for you for today!

This template was another one based on a paper layout using a kit from 3 Scrappy Boys. I made the enamel dots myself using purler beads that I melted in the oven. You can make your own too! Here is a tutorial.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Template Tuesday #4

Today, I'm sharing another new template with you.  It was based on this layout I made using the 3 Scrappy Boys March Add On Kit.  The kit was so full of little embellishments that I found myself trying to use as many as I could on the page.  I love the energy of the page that I ended up with.

Feel free to download and use the template. Come back and link to the layout you make with the in the comments, I'd love to give it some love!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Template Tuesday #3

This week's template was based on a layout I did for 3 Scrappy Boys.  I loved the end result of the layout, but I wasn't a big fan of all the fussy cutting required to get the effect.

You can get the same design effect with none of the fussy cutting work.  If you want it to look like the circles are all part of the same patterned paper, clip your papers to each circle, clear all the layer styles for all the circles then merge all the circle layers.

I wasn't particularly careful about fussy cutting the circle pattern because I don't really like fussy cutting (have I mentioned that once or twice?), but if that's a look you like, you can get that too.  After you have merged the circle layers (don't forget to clear the layer styles first), hold down control (command on Mac) and click on the thumbnail image of the circles layer in the layers pallette.

You should get the marching ants around the layer.  Create a new layer below the circles layer by holding down control while the layer is selected and pressing the new layer button.

Under the "Select" drop down menu, choose "Modify," and then "Expand."  I would start with 40 px or so, but continue to expand until all the space between the circles is included in the selection (alternately, you could use the selection brush wit the "Add to Selection" option to fill in the spaces between the circles).

Next, fill your selection using the paint bucket tool. Now you have a clipping mask to add a background paper  like the grid you see in the paper layout.

Whether you modify it, or use it just as it is, I hope you enjoy the template and link back to your projects in the comments section!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Template Tuesday #2

Look at me!  Two weeks in a row of templates to give away.  Most of these templates are based on designs from my paper scrapbooking.  I use much more varied designs in my paper scrapping, because it feels like less work to glue down an embellishment that to find it in a digi kit, open the file, and add it to my layout.  Converting my paper layouts to digi templates gives me some new configurations to use in  digi that are my own designs (and therefore more my style) and gives me something to share with you.

This is another template based on a scrapbook page I made about our big family trip to see my sister-in-law and her husband and go to Disney World.

We got to see the new Festival of Fantasy parade and the girls really loved the whole thing--especially Minnie and Mickey waving right at them!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

May & June Round Up and a New Series: Template Tuesday

I know I'm not the first one to think about having a Template Tuesday series on her blog, but I'm thinking if I start a few series, it might be easier to be more regular about posting.  When I started this blog, I was doing a lot of digi scrapbooking.  Over the last few months, I've realized that I'm much more of a binge digi scrapper, while I paper scrap more consistently.  For my Template Tuesday series, I'm taking the designs from my paper layouts and converting them to layered digi templates.

The first template is based on this layout about Lilah's "funny face" pose.

I love those little Studio Calico wood veneers, and there are so many of them in the pack that they're totally worth the price.

You can download the template here: MyRainbowCoalition Template #53

It's also the first day of the month, so it's time to do a round up again.  Once again, I've missed a month, so this will be another combined roundup.  I'm using the roundup tool from Katie Nelson

1. What did I watch, read, and listen to during May and June?
I'm all caught up with Game of Thrones, and I'm so sad that the season is over.  I've been kind of doubling up on Game of Thrones (both watching the show and listening to the books).  At this point, I've listened to all the books so much that I often randomly choose one of the 5 books at a random point and just start listening.  I know that a lot of people might find that a bit disorienting, but for me, it's like listening to a granparent's life stories: you've heard most of them before, so once you have recognized it, you can settle in and it feels like home...well at least that's how I feel.

I'm also listening to the Enchanted, Inc series.  It's really silly, far fetched, and shamelessly ROM-COM, but with everything else that's been going on in life these days, it's nice to be able to retreat to something ridiculous and insignificant.

2. What fun things did I do with friends and family?

The girls and I went to the Zoo in May with my friend Stacy and her son on the 24th.  We had a really great time, and it was fun to watch her teenager struggle to deal with my toddlers going completely GaGa for him.  He might have felt slightly tortured, but he was somewhat consoled by being able to have lots of desserts that day.

The girls and I went to Disney world while we were in Florida, and had an absolutely fabulous time!  Since the trip was so last minute, we used some air miles to get a hotel closer to the parks (partly because we didn't want to just show up on my sister-in-law's doorstep: we decided to go the day before we got there).  We did the entire 14 hour drive in one day, and went right into Magic Kingdom (yeah, I know, I'm insane) because I lucked into fastpasses to meet Ana and Elsa, but we had to be able to make it there for that time.  Both girls were totally excited.  After two nights at the hotel, we stayed with Crystal for a day before we headed down to Miami to see the rest of the family for the weekend. The "real" reason for the trip was that I was picking up the last of my aunt's belongings for her from her apartment.  I have a Mazda5, and I have to say that I HIGHLY recommend that car to anyone who wants to be able to haul a lot of people and/or things without going the Minivan or SUV route. I really should talk about that car more on here some day....Oh, how I love it!

3. What milestones, holidays, or special events did we celebrate in May and June?

I had a fun crop night at Scrapbooks Plus in Chantilly, VA for NSD.  They had a great goodie bag.  I really do love that store.  It's so nice.  I've been there several times since I found out about it even though it's an hour away.  I'm so sad that it's closing (and don't even get me started about 2peas).

The whole family went to the Black Hog (a local BBQ chain) for Mother's Day/my aunt Jane's birthday. There were 10 people at the table with us all there!  Alfred, the girls, and I made paper flower bouquets for all the other Moms and the Birthday girl, and I made my chocolate cake with white chocolate peppermint ganache and dark chocolate ganache between the layers (the Mother's day cake) and our family's traditional birthday cake (devil's food with caramel icing) for Jane's birthday cake.

We decided at the very last minute to go to Florida (without Alfred: sorry he had to work) the week of Father's day, so the day before we left (June 9) we had an impromptu father's day celebration: a pizza picnic in front of the TV and gave him his present: a handmade photo book of my favorite shots from the last year.  That seems to be becoming his traditional gift (the third year in a row)

We spent father's day with Alfred's mother's side of the family, with good food, lots of talking, laughing, and showing off my babies.

4. What progress have I made towards my goals in May and June?

I completed another LOAD: 31 layouts in 31 days.

I finished my application to teach high school in the district where I live, as well as my Maryland certification application.

That's pretty much it.  I've mostly been busy with unexpected things for the last couple of months.

5. What were the good, bad and unusual things that happened in May and June?

In short: Jane.  We've known for a long time that she was sick, and needed a new liver because of a genetically caused cirrhosis, but in between hospitalizations, she was able to do lots of things.  She wasn't even on the transplant list because her condition wasn't bad enough. All of that changed over the last couple of months.   She spent most of May and all of June in the hospital.   The degeneration of the liver caused her to be confused and disoriented, so we've tried to have someone from the family with her at all times when it was possible.

The day that I left for Florida, we thought that she was getting ready to go to Rehab as soon as we found a facility that would work for her, but before she could go, her kidneys shut down. That was both a curse and a blessing, because it meant that her MELD score, which determines your position in line on the transplant list, was actually high enough that she might be able to get a liver relatively soon. I was gone for 9 days, and in that time, she went from well enough to leave the hospital to sick enough that she was at the top of the transplant list, and on June 20 she got her new liver!  We are grateful for the donor's gift that saved her life.  There is a long, hard road of recovery for her, but I'm so happy to be able to be there to support her, in whatever limited ways I can.

6. What were the everyday routines in May and June?

I couldn't describe any part of life as routine right now. I feel like I've won a battle if the kids are fed and the dishes are washed. I don't even remember what my house looked like when it was clean and not under construction.

That's it!  LOL. I hope your life is less stressful than mine, and you're getting plenty of scrappy play time!

Remember that 3 Scrappy Boys is having a subscriber drive this month.  They have some great incentives.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

What's killing the sea stars?

This is my favorite animal.
There are a ton of reasons that I love Riftia pachyptila, most of which have to do with their unique biochemistry and physiology that allows them to live on the bottom of the ocean near, even on top of, hydrothermal vents. They aren't the only weird creatures that I love, I have a soft spot in my heart for any animal without a backbone, so you can imagine how my heart sunk when I pulled this issue of Science out of my mailbox.
There is an epidemic affecting sea stars on the west coast, starting with the most vulnerable deep water species, but affecting those in intertidal areas as well.  This condition causes white lesions to form on the animal, the tube feet die, and in later stages the arms start to break off. Several large aquariums on the coast have seen their star populations decimated, as the unknown disease causing agent enters their tanks that are fed by ocean water.

Scientists at universities around the country are using genetic testing to try to identify the pathogen (suspected to be either a virus or a bacteria), by comparing the bacteria present in healthy and sick animals.  Scientists are starting with bacteria because methodology for testing for bacteria is far less costly than that for viruses.

When we were at Olympic National Park in Washington state, we saw the starfish as thick as they are in the picture above.  We lost count of all the stars, anemones, and other invertebrates we saw while we were picking our way through the tide pools.  It's my sincerest hope that scientists will be able to identify and stop this pathogen in time to save this fascinating family of keystone predators.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Round Up: March & April 2014

I've been trying to do monthly round ups this year a-la Katie the Scrapbook Lady,  clearly I didn't get around to finishing March, so I figured I'd do March and April together.  Better late than never...right?

Lets start with March

What have I watched, read, or listened to?

This is the kind of thing that gets lost when you don't do your round up right away, but I'm an audiobook junkie and we had a road trip, so I picked up
Wildwood & Faerie Wars from the library. I usually go with YA books for car rides because they're usually pretty safe for the kids to hear.  You never know what books aimed at grownups will get into.  I liked them both, but Faerie Wars got into a little bit more risque material that I would have liked for the car ride.

What fun things did I do with friends and family?

Road trip!  The whole family got to spend a week with Crystal and Cliff in Orlando.  We went to Disney World and Alfred and I even got a whole day to ourselves at Epcot and Magic Kingdom

What milestones, holidays, or special events did we celebrate?

Casey, Alyssa, Brooke and Jordan all have birthdays in March, so we did lots of celebrating.  Poor Casey lives on the other side of the country, so he had to settle for a card and a phone call, but Alyssa got dinner, cake, and cookies at Mom's house.  The twins had a birthday party at a local skating rink.  It was a ton of fun.  I hadn't been to a roller rink in 19 years, so I was pretty proud of myself for not falling down.  Lilah LOVED skating.  I definitely need to take her to do that again soon. I made the girls' birthday cakes.

How am I doing on my goals?
House? Still under construction
Teaching?  Going well, students improving
Potty Training? Don't ask
Weight? Down (but not as much as I'd like)

Did anything good, bad, or unusual happen?
I babysat Loraine's nieces so she and her sister could go out for St. Patrick's Day.  It was the first time I've babysat kids not related to me or outside of my own home.  Let's just say they took advantage...but not too much

What was our everyday routine like?
Things haven't been very routine around here in a while.  I really want my house back!

And now April

What have I watched, read, or listened to?
The entire run of Game of Thrones (I wish he'd hurry up and write the next book already)
More Murder, She Wrote (I still like that meddling old lady's voice to drift off to sleep to)
I've been catching up on my podcasts again.  I got behind

  • The Digi Show: I was so sad to hear that the show is ending.  I'm going to miss it so much
  • Paperclipping Round Table: love all the scrabook chat
  • The Moth Podcast
  • Backstory
  • The Daily Digi Digest
  • Freakonomics Radio Podcast
  • PRI's The World Podcast
  • The Splendid Table
  • This American Life
  • Radiolab
  • Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me
Can you tell that I really love my NPR?

What fun things did I do with friends and family?

It's finally starting to warm up a little, so I've been able to get outside and do some yard work done.  Last year I couldn't keep up with it, so we hired a service, but this year I'm going to get back to doing it myself.  I use a push mower, and I figured it was worth it to buy myself a grass catcher for it so I don't have to rake up the clippings.  I haven't used it yet.  We'll see how it works.  I also trimmed back our rose bushes.  It always boggles my mind how much those things grow every year, so every year I cut them back a little more and a little more.  Alfred said that the poor things looked like they'd been bombarded.  With any luck they won't get out of control.

What milestones, holidays, or special events did we celebrate?

We celebrated Easter this month.  Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling too well, so it was a bit of an understated affair.  We did manage to get to church, have an Easter egg hunt, open baskets, and have a family dinner at Grandma's house, but I had long naps between activities.  Thank goodness that Alfred watched all the girls (ours and the twins!)

How am I doing on my goals?
House?  Still in progress...no end in sight.
Weight? Down 10 lbs. (Thanks Fitbit)
Teaching?  The semester is over, final grades are turned in, and I'm ready to start looking towards the future.
Potty training?  Better, but still in pull ups.  I know that I should bite the bullet and just switch to regular underpants, but I hate cleaning up all the accidents and I can barely keep up with the laundry as it is.

Did anything good, bad, or unusual happen?

I did a guest design spot for Susan K. Weckesser, Inc.  that was a lot of fun.  Her products were just beautiful.

What was our everyday routine like?

The kitchen is finally done enough that we spend a lot of our day in there.  We have breakfast, clean up, and watch the world go by out the window until naptime.  Then all bets are off, and there is no routine for the rest of the day.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Counterfeit Kit: Happiness

It's May!  MAY! Can you believe that?  I'm having a little trouble with the fact that the year is going by so fast, myself. May means another LOAD is here, so I'm back to putting together a counterfeit kit (because I'm going to go through a massive amount of product this month).

Paper Camellia is being featured on the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog this month. I'm counterfeiting their Everyday Life Kit.

It's the same lines as the other featured kits, but I just liked how they were arranged in the pocket pages kit.  Here is mine; I'm calling it Happiness (because of that journaling card, of course).

Saturday, April 19, 2014

3 Scrappy Boys Spring Crop

NSD is coming up, and at 3 Scrappy Boys, we're celebrating a little early.  There are tips and challenges in the forum,  a ton of inspiration in the gallery, and most of the store is 30% off!  My favorite challenges so far have been: (1) to make a layout using whatever you have on your desk right now,
                                                      Sample Layout By Heather
 (2) to scrap some photos that you've been avoiding,
Sample Layout by Heather

 and (3) to mix old and new product on a layout.
Sample Layout by Nicole

Monday, April 7, 2014

Guest Designing for Susan K. Weckesser, Inc.!

I'm so excited to announce that I'm guest designing for the month of April at My Sweet Earth, one of the blogs at Susan K. Weckesser, Inc. I came home from my last trip to Florida to a box full of goodies.  It was all I could do to get this haul video filmed before I started cutting.

As you can see, the colors and artwork in Susan's products are just beautiful.  I can't wait for you to see what I've done with them.  I'll have posts at My Sweet Earth on April 12th and 17th, and I'll have one more project to to share here later in the month showcasing how Susan K. Weckesser's products coordinate with other products from my stash.

Monday, March 10, 2014

LOAD 214: Mythbusters...or not

This year, the theme of the February Load was Mythbusters.  Lain gave a prompt every day about something that people think is a rule of scrapbooking, and we tried to break it.  I did finish a layout everyday, but I can't say that I busted many myths.  We were out of town for a whole week, and it was really hard just to keep up much less try to stay on the prompt.

Here are all the layouts from last month's LOAD that I haven't already shared.