Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It's Been a Long Week...

...a really long week.  Last Thursday evening my mother suffered a stroke.  The days since then have passed by very slowly as we've been waiting and watching her progress day by day.  She is slowly but steadily on the road to recovery but it will be a long road to travel until she's ready to go home again.

I am so glad to be living here in Alberta now so that I can do my part to help in all of this as Jen and Rob also deal with the very sad loss of Rob's father - a man who I'd only met a few times but who was obviously very kind and loving, had a great sense of humour and was well-loved by his family.

It's been a long week.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Just One Sketch - Assignment #6

I'm back again with the latest layout I've done for Miss Smith's Just One Sketch class.  This time the goal was to keep things simple, paring down the elements of our sketch and using minimal embellishments so that the focus of the page becomes the photo itself.  This was easy for me as I tend to be a minimalist scrapbooker anyway, although maybe not THIS minimal.

I added some machine stitching through the title and the paper strip at the bottom of the page to give a hint of texture and kept the paint splattering to a minimum.  Keeping things this simple meant that I had the layout done in record time but I don't think I'd make many pages like this. It seems too bare - even for me.

I used the upside-down version of the Creative Scrappers sketch I chose for the class, placing the photo even further in the top corner.

It's Family Day here in Alberta today.  We had a light dusting of snow yesterday so everything looks white and clean.  The sun is shining brightly and it's fairly warm - a perfect day for everyone who's going outside for activities.  We took advantage of it and went for a good walk this morning and Jen and Rob are coming over this afternoon to play Aggravation - our way of celebrating family today. 
Until next time...
Susan :-)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Just One Sketch - Assignment #5

I'm back again today with my latest assignment from Miss Smith's "Just One Sketch" class.  The challenge this time - to invert our colours.  In other words, instead of reaching for those same colours which are our favourites and which we're always drawn to, try to use what we wouldn't normally choose. 

As I tend to go for pale backgrounds and muted paper tones, I figured that using black cardstock and primary colours would certainly qualify as being the opposite of that.  I had been wanting to try a black background anyway, since I'd seen it done in Shimelle's "Pretty Paper Party" class so this was the perfect opportunity.  But what photo to use?  I automatically associate nighttime with the colour black so felt that I needed a picture that somehow related to night.  As luck would have it, I took a photo at Christmas that fit the bill perfectly.

Perhaps a little bit of a story introduction is needed before showing you the finished page.  Neither of Jen's daughters is ever very enthusiastic about having their photo taken, but Diane in particular will do whatever she can to hide herself when she sees a camera come out.  After having Christmas dinner at Jen's, we were all sitting in the living room talking.  I realized that nobody had taken any photos throughout the day so decided to grab my camera and snap a few candid shots before the evening was over.

As soon as I pointed the camera in Diane's direction, she grabbed the throw blanket which her parents had given her as a gift, and put it over her head.  I laughed and continued to take photos of everyone else.  Days later when I was reviewing the photos on my computer I noticed that in the darkness of the windows you could clearly see my reflection snapping a shot and beside me was the ghostly white figure of Diane!  I found it so amusing that it made me laugh out loud.  I had hoped that it would show up more clearly in the printed photo but you have to really know where to look to see her, hence the yellow arrow on my page.  It still makes me chuckle when I look at the photo and I'm happy to have been able to capture the story so I'll remember it.

Below you can see the reflection of myself and the "ghost".  Such a funny girl, she is!

I have to thank Jen for the scraps of MME's On The Bright Side which she gave me this past week.  They were just what I needed for this layout.  I swear I could create pages my entire lifetime with the leftovers she tosses my way! ;-)

This time around I decided to use a mirror image of the original Creative Scrappers sketch that I chose for the class.  I also changed the position of the title, moving it to the top of the page, as I wanted it to be an introduction to the photo.

Miss Smith's class has been so inspiring to me.  This layout is totally different from what I normally do - the black background, bright primary colours, journaling in white - but it's proof that we can create something that's not our usual style, and still love it, all the while expanding our scrapbooking horizons.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Just One Sketch - Assignment #4

Yes, I totally skipped over assignment #3!  I swear I never did stuff like that in real school.  ;-)  But in this case, the assignment involved mirror image and possibly doing two pages for which I had no ideas at all so I decided not to do it and just move onto the next one.

The fourth prompt is all about colour or more specifically using just one colour to create a monochromatic layout.  I knew right away that I had the perfect photo to use - a picture of a slice of cherry pie that I baked last summer using cherries from the tree in our tiny backyard.  I got busy pulling out red and cream papers and even found one with a cherry print.

I used the sketch in its original orientation and this time included the circle element because it reminded me of a pie.  I added some hand-stitching for texture and couldn't resist using those cherry brads which Jen had given me a couple of years ago.  Finally they found the perfect home!

Once again, here's the Creative Scrappers sketch I chose to use for the class:

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Just One Sketch - Assignment #2

I spent yesterday afternoon down in my scrapping room and finished my second layout for Miss Smith's Just One Sketch class.   The idea this time around was to rotate the sketch to achieve a different look.

I really had fun working on this page and used some of those fun papers from the American Crafts Amy Tangerine line.  I pulled out my sewing machine to add some stitching and I'm finally enjoying the randomness of the paint splattering process.  I discovered that an eye-dropper works well if you want to add some bigger splotches of paint here and there.

If I ever figure out where the "good" light is in this house I will be a happy camper.  After several attempts in various spots, I finally just had to prop it up on the shelf in my kitchen.  This just might end up being my new way to photograph scrapbook pages.

This is the Creative Scrappers sketch which I'm using for the class, rotated 180 degrees.  I opted out of adding the embellishment cluster in the corner of the page. I like the way my photo is framed by three small clusters and felt that the paint spatters at the bottom looked fine on their own just as is.

This class has been a very good motivator for me to get some scrapbooking done.  Now if I could just motivate myself to re-organize all my albums like I should be doing, I could start putting some of my pages where they belong!

I hope to be back very soon with my next assignment from the class.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Project 365 - Week 14

Yes, I have made a little bit more progress on this project from 2010!  As part of my effort to accomplish certain things this year by setting small, doable goals, I have set aside two days each month for working on Project 365.  This past Monday was one of those days and I finished the two pages for Week 14.  These pages do tend to go together quickly since I am limited to using only flat embellishments so there's none of my usual agonizing over product selection.

Jen gave me the leftovers from the Basic Grey Oxford paper pack that she recently won from BG, and these papers were a great match for my photos.

Here are the pages I put together.  The large banner strip that runs across the bottom of the pages does actually line up properly but my photography and collaging skills really do leave something to be desired!

I used my two new Fiskars cloud punches for the first time. I have drooled over these punches for so long!   I couldn't find them locally and had trouble justifying the cost of buying them online and paying full price for them plus a hefty shipping fee. Recently my mother was given a small inheritance from a relative overseas and she generously shared a portion of it with myself, my sister and my brother. This seemed like the perfect time to buy myself a gift of the cloud punches and not worry about the cost of them since this was unexpected money. Thanks, Mom! I am so happy to have them and I know they will get much use.

I used this fun sketch from Sketch Savvy:

Until next time...
Susan :-)