Thursday, January 22, 2015

A New Old Layout

There is little open space to be found on this desktop of mine -- the wooden one and the computer one. Yep, my desk isn't the only part of my workspace that's messy. My desktop is a wreck, too. I tend to keep a lot of my files there, where I can easily access them (in theory), but I often forget to place them into folders, and they build up quickly.

As I was organizing the contents of my desktop recently (for the first time in a year, actually), I came across the image of this never-before-shared layout for Crate Paper, created last February. 
This is my take on the seasonal page. :) 

“Rain, rain, rain: it is the surest sign of a Hawaii winter” --  so goes the first line of the journaling on my layout, which documents a month of rainy days and their impact on our household (dog included). 
For me, winter has nothing to do with snowflakes. My winter palette is a combination of muddy and rain-soaked colors. The "pineapple showers" common to Hawai'i are represented through little bursts of yellow and gold peeking out here and there. 
The layout design is one of my "go to" approaches -- six blocks, clustered together, each of which serves as a home for a photo or a cluster of accents. I have the most fun putting together layouts like this one, adding details as I go along.
To enhance the repetition from block to block, I added stitching to each section, varying the direction and type of stitch to ensure that even while being part of a unified whole, each block would remain distinct from the others. I have most definitely become one of those scrapbookers for whom a page just doesn’t feel complete unless the sewing machine has made its mark somehow. 

I could actually go for some mud puddles right now. Lately, the weather's been rather dry, and the lack of wind means that the vog has been building up. I always feel bad for the tourists who visit the islands when the vog is thick. It lingers in the valleys, obscures the mountains, turns the blue sky a hazy gray brown, and makes allergies and asthma act up something awful. It's downright ugly. I'm hoping that some rainy weather and trade winds come to visit soon. It doesn't feel like winter without them. :) 

Monday, January 19, 2015


Lately I've been...

...binge-watching Frasier. We're on season 7 now, which, if you were ever a fan, you may recall as the one full of big revelations.  I miss intelligent TV -- and Frasier isn't just cerebral, it's also hilarious. A few episodes back, Frasier quoted Dorothy Parker: "Wit has truth in it; wise-cracking is simply calisthenics with words." EXACTLY.

...reading a few chapters of a book, putting it down, picking another up, reading that for a while, and then putting it down. I'm searching for a good book that doesn't leave me embittered or depressed, but that isn't so escapist that it makes me feel lobotomized.  I'm looking forward to starting (and hopefully finishing!) Sarah Addison Allen's First Frost, Vanessa Diffenbaugh's The Language of Flowers, and Marina Warner's Once Upon a Time: A Short History of the Fairy Tale. I just ordered these, and I'm hoping that they're worth the read. Fingers crossed.

...drooling over the February Scraptastic kit peeks. If you just clicked that you link you see what I mean. The sneaks alone make my fingers itch. I can't wait to get my hands on those lovelies! The stamp sets are so cute. Just look:

...proofreading college essays and writing recommendations. Seriously, we should give college-bound seniors (and their devoted teachers) at least two months off from school just to work on applications. I don't know how those kids keep up with the workload from school while writing essay after essay after essay for college apps. 

...listening to (upon my daughter's recommendation -- since she is Boss of the Radio when awake during our drives) songs from The Decemberists, The Avener, Panda Bear, Modest Mouse, Bahamas, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Hozier, The Head and the Heart, Fort Atlantic, Andrew McMahon (and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness), The Tragic Thrills, and more. Z has awesome taste. :) 

...doing laundry. What else are weekends for? The cat appreciates it. 
A few weeks ago, the weather was chilly, and the cat found her way into a pile of towels fresh out of the dryer. Ever since, she's made a beeline straight for the towels whenever we bring in a basket of them.  We did two loads this morning. She was elated. 

Thanks for visiting! Have a great week! 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Note to Self

It's college application season in the U.S., with most deadlines occurring this month. Students are already receiving acceptance letters, and, as evidenced by my Facebook feed, their parents are bursting into tears and doing happy dances and using all caps in status updates and singing the "Hallelujah" chorus.

There must be something wrong with me, because my daughter has received two acceptance notices so far, and I didn't weep or scream. It's not that I'm not happy about the letters -- I really am! While the letters are an affirmation, both of us have been cautious, waiting to see what happens next with financial aid. The real celebrating can't happen until it becomes clear that this college thing can really happen without breaking us. Fingers crossed!

Come what may, 2015 is going to be a year of big ch-ch-changes for our family. What better way to channel the nervous energy that's been building than in the form of a cathartic layout?
Fellow Scraptastic Club DT member Nancy Burke and I challenged ourselves to create layouts that feature the selves we are now, at the beginning of 2015, addressing the selves we will be at the end of 2015. I wrote a "note to self" -- my eventual 2015 self -- in the hopes that she would be able to look back at who and where I am right now and let me know that it is going to be okay.
I know my December self will be revisiting this page, if only for a good laugh, which she will be happy to share with her daughter, who will have just completed her first semester of college.

Monday, January 12, 2015

XOXO 2015

This is the year in which two of my favorite people will finally tie the knot!
I couldn't be happier for my cousin and her love, who took this photo at the beginning of "their year." We are eight months away from the big day, a time period measured and marked on this layout that I created for Elle's Studio using the Hello 2015 and Love You More collections. 

We're all counting down the days until these two make it official. Just think -- in a few months' time, I'll be scrapbooking wedding photos! :) 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Dear CHAnta

Dear CHAnta,

It's the most wonderful time of the year (again) -- CHA time!

I know that some people don't believe in the industry, but this time of year is still special to the true believers. With that said, here are some items from this year's wish list:
Hero Arts: Clearly Kelly stamps
American Crafts/Shimelle: True Stories collection
Bella Blvd: Star Student "International Studies" paper

American Crafts/Dear Lizzy: Fine and Dandy paper clips and papers 

Doodlebug: generally, I avoid cutesy, but I am not made of stone. That carrot paper is adorable, no?  I could see this line as being perfect for making Easter cards and treat bags.
My Mind's Eye: Fancy That and Hello World

Crate Paper Craft Market and Confetti: I'll just take the works. 

That's just for starters.

I've been good this year -- really, not as much hoarding as usual! -- and with these lovelies, I'll be even better.

Thanks, CHAnta. :)

-- Me

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Cookie Love

There's a lot happening at Elle's Studio on this fine Saturday: there's the reveal of the January kit and add-on, AND the first 2015 design team gallery is live. My contribution is all about love, love, cookie love.
Drawing upon the colors and shapes of the cookies in the photos, I incorporated a series of "cookie cutter" shapes in similar colors all over the page, giving a few a little boost with some adhesive dots. 
More details (and a bunch of colorful and creative layouts from the team) can be found at Elle's Studio! 

Thanks for visiting today! 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A True Breakfast

I'm not ashamed to admit it: when visiting Pinterest, if anything remotely resembling a fitness-related pin shows up in my feed, I will unfollow that board immediately.  I don't want to know the secret to creating the perfect thigh gap (although I actually do know the secret -- Photoshop). I don't want to read about 100 exercises to ensure "perfect" abs, since the pursuit of perfection, as far as the human body goes, is futile (and kind of scary, when it becomes obsessive). Gravity and time are formidable forces.

While I can respect the "do not go gentle" attitude, I'm afraid for those people on Facebook who proudly report that they just finished a workout so grueling that they "only threw up twice." What-whaat?

I am the girl who takes occasional walks (but only if I feel like it), who chooses the stairs instead of the elevator (unless the stairwell is sketchy), who tries to eat balanced meals and never counts calories (there are better uses for math), who believes that getting a good night's sleep is the healthiest thing she can do for herself (and for those with whom she comes into contact), and who allows herself to indulge in ice cream for breakfast without feeling guilty (see below).
The Scraptastic "This Must Be the Place" January kit speaks to my frame of mind, offering up some delectable treats in the form of sweet pinks, creamy neutrals, and tasty accents to complement the photo I snapped of a recent breakfast -- vanilla ice cream with blackberry sauce.
I embossed the title letters and stamped the background with berry hues.

I even included a recipe, for posterity (just in case my disregard of the whole "buns of steel" doctrine leads to an early demise).
(Apologies for the typo -- the last line should read "to gobble.")

I highly encourage you to try it. You can always work it off at the gym later...or just let it add to your soft and and lovable parts, like I do.