Monday, October 25, 2010

Sweet Sixteen

Good Monday Evening! I hope your morning and afternoon were smoother than mine! Rather than bog you down with all that nonsense, how about a couple pretty pages and a little story?

Sound good?

The first page I wanted to share is related to my last post. It was a few days later, but I finally got out and found a good pair of jeans to fit my slightly slimmer body. I used a sketch from Practical Scrappers:

This is what I created:

One of my details was actually inspired by an old post at Practical Scrappers -- to use my stamps. Unfortunately, I never got around to sharing what I made *that* time, but I did enjoy it so much I did it again:

and closer...

The base paper is part of the DCWV Amber Autumn stack (that the rest of the page is made from. The flourishes were cut with a Cricut and the Cindy Loo cartridge. I then inked them with Distress Ink,Victorian Velvet; THEN stamped with Sassafras Lass stamps. The flowers in each corner are Prima; as are the blingy centers.

The dress form was cut using one of the Paris cartridges (I believe Summer In Paris)

That would be my new size. It's not tiny, but it works for me right now. I had wanted to add the word "Sweet" above the sixteen, but have been picky about font. Usually when that happens, it's months before it's added. The digits (both background AND the pretty layer) are from the Cindy Loo cartridge. They are cut from Grunge Paper (it's a love of mine). I inked the base layer with more Victorian Velvet ink; then inked the top layer with Black Soot. I wanted a richer look, so I covered *that* with Black Diamond Stickles. Then I was content.

I realize this is getting lengthy, so I'll save the other page for my next post. That's where the little story will be, too.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Maybe Clocks aren't everything.

It's almost a crying shame. Almost, but since there's too much to be happy about right now, I'll save the tears for another day.

Today, I am officially (by my standards, anyhow) fifty pounds less than I was JUST before the year began. I am one or two pounds shy of being able to say, "Hello, 180's! Where have you been?" Obviously, they took an extended vacation... and so did I. The last time I was 189.x lbs, I had been given the nod by my doctor that I was in fact pregnant with my son over four years ago. I tried to maintain that in the first trimester, knowing that it wasn't necessary to "eat for two" just yet. Morning sickness helped a bit, but the power of carbs to soothe a queasy tummy was stronger than my will power, and then I was a happy carbo camper from then on!... And, since I'm not trying to talk about ALL the weight I gained, I'll get back on my mental track.

Since I did have weight to lose (eventually) I started losing it. Fifty pounds is none-too-shabby. Soon, I'll celebrate by going out and getting a new pair of jeans; one size smaller. I'll even declare that new size to the world, once I've bought them (because I've already prepped the scrap page for my weight loss album)! Yes, I did. It's beautiful, too; just like I feel right now.

Until I go shopping, I've let my mind wander. When was the last time I was *this size*?... It had to be while I was pregnant...Which is why I have NO clothes to slip into until I do go shopping. It's also why I'm perplexed because I was *this size* wearing a specific pair of happy khaki's in my first trimester, but I could swear they are one size smaller still. So, what in hey-diddle-diddle did my body DO while I was pregnant?! If I could weigh this much and fit into smaller clothes...

Did my hips expand? (I know they do that)

Was I more muscle then? (I practically lived at the gym before learning I was pregnant)

.... Both are possible, aren't they? Both are also messing me up! What I haven't said yet, is that I used to be a walking clock. One could set their watches AND historical time lines by my body's actions and sizes. I was always predictable and perfectly mapped out. Now.... Well, in ways life is good and I choose to seek joy and sanity in those ways. However, in ways life is also one magnificent mess and I don't know if I'll ever figure out which way I'm supposed to stand again... much like I can't figure out exactly what size I'm supposed to be, simply by reading a scale. Everything that I just flat out KNEW is being called to question and I can't stand and say that it's all perfectly correct.

So, now, a lot like the clock near the front door, I'm kinda broken and in need of a little help. I don't know exactly where I'll find that help, but I've got a few starters in mind. I've also got a memory of a time when I finally just threw my hands in the air and said, "I give. I don't know it all. Help me to learn more while I take it all one step at a time."

Maybe a few of those first steps should be the most simple... Like out the door and to the mall to find a properly fitting pair of jeans, huh?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Falling For You

Good Friday Afternoon! What a way to start a weekend; and a crazy busy one at that! There are multiple projects being tackled by teams of people, all in the name of Fall Fun and Preparation. Crazy as it gets today, at least we know it will be worth it when the freezing cold days hit and all we want to do is stay inside and snuggle by a fire... with a cup of cocoa, of course.

Speaking of Fall and warm fuzzies and all that preparation jazz, that's pretty much the point of my post today. I had mentioned earlier that I've spent a good amount of time raking leaves in the back yard. I could probably wait until the leaves are three inches deep, and heavy with rain, but why? So, I've been getting in my physical activity... and dragging my son along for a good time. He looks forced, doesn't he?

We absolutely caught a break with Indian Summer! It's a lot easier to go out and play if you're not getting blown around in the process. I loved the bajillion and four photos I took so much that I knew I'd have to put at least a million on paper. But how?! A million is a lot of photos, isn't it? Even in an exaggeration, that's a lot.

In my last post, I mentioned that every now and then, I come across a moment or a source of inspiration that just screams for me to get crafty. I had another one of those moments on Thursday, thanks to a new sketch at Sketches in Thyme

Here is my take:

I was first drawn in by the clean lines and fun pattern. Then... I started looking some more...and finally getting around to my first sips of coffee. The semi-circle at the top grabbed my attention the best. If you look just right, you might be able to see a giant thumb spot for pulling out extra photos from a giant pocket... So that's what I did:

I felt pretty clever. I also enjoyed incorporating the flourishes at the top. This is actually one of the two that I used to mask two previous pages (one being my last post!). It was cut with the Cricut and the Cindy Loo cartridge. Because it was used on two separate pages, it's also covered with two different shades of Glimmer Mist -- Coffee Shop and Red Velvet. I did tear it apart in a couple places to make it work; but I dig the whispy feeling.

The grunge alphas were originally destined for a good sanding and inking once the orange paint dried, but a couple hours later, I really liked them as they were.

The bottom was a sticking point for me. Evidently, I'm on a squirrel kick. Which makes sense, as this is one crazy looking squirrel. Hint: It's actually the leftover schtuff from a package of Tim Holtz Grunge elements. I noticed last year that, once I pulled specific flourishes out, I could recognize odd shapes of trees and squirrels and roosters... I think I even found a magic lamp! Once you paint it up, draw out a few key points and squint your eyes to the side, you can't miss it. But then how to make him pop a little? Evidently, you surround him with Prima flowers, right?

And that's what I have to offer the world today, for now, I must wake zee child so he may supervise those around him. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bl{OH} Joy!

Good afternoon! How's your weather today? After several days of glorious Indian Summer, we're getting wet, cold rain. On the upshot, some of it is actually getting down to the grass for one of the last drinks before winter. I saw to that when I spent two days raking. Granted, it was the same flipping area two days in a row...Because the trees have a sense of humor and like to drop more where I've already raked! Evidently, my son has a sense of humor to, as he decided to run through my piles again and again. Then I made one just for him at the bottom of his slide and life was good. I'll share a picture of that at the bottom, because what I really want to share is something else My Little Wonder did yesterday. Actually, he did about 100 different things, but this one, I got on camera. He discovered...THE LEAF BLOWER!!!!

This was fun for two reasons. He doesn't like machines that make loud noises; but the blower certainly isn't quiet. He learned that he could ruffle my mom's feathers by blowing out her leaf piles...and create a general mess. We have my father to thank for showing him how. Thanks, Dad! Sometimes, I get this compulsion to make a page almost as soon as I take the photos. This was one of those moments. I'm so glad I stumbled upon the latest sketch at Sketches In Thyme. The sketch image is a bit blurry, but I think I was still able to figure it out.

My take on the sketch:

I really had fun with this one. Using the Amber Autumn stack (DCWV), layered the background, then masked flourishes (created with the Cricut and Cindy Loo cartridge). On top, I painted a chipboard circle and added my favorite of the two photos on top to try to draw more attention to it. In the bottom corner, I have used three hand-cut leaves from the same paper stack and a squirrel cut from the Cindy Loo cartridge just for fun.

I do hope to steal more time soon to post detail photos for these. Thank you for stopping by either before or after... or both!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Identity Crisis...or...Woohoo! I get to say I've been published!

Good Monday Afternoon! I thought I'd steal a few minutes from playing with DS to prove that I do check my email and have some personally happy news to share. Oddly, this happy news has a bit of an edge to it. In the process of sharing IT, I have to do something I hadn't realized would ever happen... I know, confusing, huh?

Here's my good news...

There's a fun little site, called Practical Scrappers. They've recently updated their format and posted calls for scrapbook and cards that have quality examples of multiple photos, black/white photos, distressing, specific paper companies, etc. While I've submitted past LO's in a few categories, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they published one of my pages featuring black/white photos in one of their recent blogs. You can actually find it right here! I even get a badge to place on my page. For me, this is pretty cool. This is a first for me; at least to the point of having an "official" badge.

Here's my sticky wicket:

In the process of sending people over to Practical Scrappers, I also reveal some slightly personal information... Like my real name.... First and Last... I understand I'm being silly.

Point the first: There are several in the paper crafting community who have access to even more information than just my name. I've instilled a great deal of trust in them and have not been let down.

Point the second: Hundreds of thousands of paper crafters have used their full names as their blog titles or somewhere on their blog page.

Point the third, I evidently share my name with a very popular scientist who has done loads more to be recognized so it's not like I'll be all over a google search.

Point the fourth, I've posted soo many photos of family -- primarily my own son -- and friends that I should be more concerned for their well being than my own. Soo....

I'm silly.

I'm human.

I'm certainly not hiding from the mob...Nor the FBI.

My name is Anne. Nice to meet ya; a little more than I already have.

And with that, I'm going to post a photo of the layout that they are sharing. Then, I'm going to copy the badge info over to the right. THEN, I'm going to remember that there is another site on which I need to make amends because I do love the people and inspiration there sooo much and I have been away for quite a while *coughPagesInTime, I'm sorrycough*

It's a photo of my great grandfather, on my dad's side. When it was first shown to me, he wasn't pointed out, but I could tell which one I belonged to me. I've seen the same look of "bullpuckies" on a face much closer to my everyday life.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What the Doctor Ordererd....

Good Wednesday evening... At least, that's when I started typing this post. I can't guarantee I'll publish on time, but ya never know.

Oh, and this is not a scrappy post. There are no pages to share down below; just a few photos of my accomplishments and my son.

There were accomplishments today. Backtrack to Monday, I had a physical with my new doctor. Totally blog worthy, huh? I know, but it was a good interaction with her. We talked about eating properly and being more active. This made me love her on the spot. My former doctor never once discussed my weight and lack of healthy living. He always laughed it off when I opened the door to do exactly that.

She, on the other hand, noted my desire to exercise more often, but lack of ability to follow through. So she gave me an oral prescription (and I adored her Indian accent as she did it): Exercise three to four times each week, at least 30 minutes each time. Not earth shattering for me. There was a time in my life when I'd spend 2 or three hours at the gym, three to five days each week. I was spinning. I was stepping. I was lifting. I was yoga-ing. I was awesome. Eventually, I was also exhausted. Then, I was pregnant.

I digress. My point was, I do enjoy exercise. I also have a hard time committing to it now because I'm (to an extent) at the whims of a three year old child. Sometimes I can bribe him with a cup of cocoa once we get home. Sometimes I can't. Some days he wakes up toooooooo early for my liking and I'm in pain and nausea for the rest of the morning. Some days, I'm just in pain and nautious because I'm alive.

Today was a special day. Despite my child's 4 AM wake up call, I got some laundry done. I started cleaning the Living Room (like deep cleaning). Today I showered. Today...I got exercise. I had to do it on the sly, but I got it done, damnit!

Today, I raked leaves!

Did you know that you (or I, because I only tracked it for my current weight) can burn about 180 calories by raking the lawn for 30 minutes? That's not bad! It might not look like much to some, but this is what I accomplished today:

As you can see, my son also accomplished a bit, too. The planets aligned and he was all about "helping" me rake the leaves this afternoon. He was also all about dismantling the pile as he saw fit.

There's another reason I'm pretty proud today. About a year ago (give or take a month) I tried raking leaves. Over the course of three days, I got about half the back yard done...with a lot of breaks to catch my breath and regain my focus. A year ago, I was over 40 lbs heavier. A year ago, as I took one break, I heard an ambulance siren coming closer to my home. I knew it wasn't coming for me, but they way I felt physically...It wouldn't have been out of the question.

So, today I raked. I huffed. I puffed. But I didn't get knocked down

I'm on my way, baby.

I'm on my way. And this is good because the leaves are far from done falling. We are surrounded by a dozen trees that look a lot like this tonight:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Global Knowledge

Good Tuesday Morning! Somehow the planets are aligning this morning for me. My son is not yet awake before 5:30 AM and I remembered to have my laptop in my bedroom.

Why not a blog post?

A few weeks ago, my son and my father had an opportunity to sit and snuggle with each other. It's something zee child doesn't do as often any more because he's finding out more each day that toys are far more intriguing to his curiosity and imagination. He'd rather PLAY with someone than snuggle for hours on end. I can dig that. My dad's back, however, isn't so much a fan anymore. He is 71, after all. My back argues with me, at the tender age of 34, so this doesn't surprise me.

I digress, they got to snuggle...And watch Arthur on TV...and my son asked one of the biggest questions on the planet...To a man who is pretty sure he KNOWS everything on the planet.

"Papa, can you tell me about the world?"

This question warmed my dad's heart. They sat, snuggled, and my dad tried to impart as much as he understood about the world to fit the attention span and understanding of a three-year-old boy. They talked about God and Creation. They talked about love and protection. My dad tried his best to cover it all in about a half hour. I tried to take pictures of it all while he did; then came up with this:

The overall design can be credited to this sketch, which can be found at Let's Scrap.

One of my favorite details about these pages are the little deer embellishments on each page:

Both the shadow and it's image were cut on a Cricut, using the Cindy Loo cartridge at 3". Originally, the deer, squirrel and trees were cut on green paper; then I misted them with Glimmer mist (Coffee Shop) to make them pop more. Still wanting to do something special for the deer, I then covered them with Stickles (Cinnamon). Finally, I added the stitching on the outside. The circle on the left has been raised with foam dots, while the image on the right is being used for some hidden journaling.

The frames are my other favorite detail.

These are chipboard frames (Technique Tuesday) that I've been hanging onto forever. I painted them with Crackle Paint; then stamped them with a string of arrows (Sassafras Lass) to make them more interesting. It was fun and inspired by one of the last challenges at Practical Scrappers.

And now, my son is awake and needs to use the potty. Glad you know that, huh? That reminds me. I'm totally geeked to feel he has mastered enough of potty training that I can finally create a couple pages on that! Yes, I'm *that* mom. I'm doing it to celebrate the milestone AND to hold over his head... As in, "Do it or I'll show your prom date the Potty Training pages!"

Thanks for reading and looking!