Of Random Monuments by Random Roadsides

Last year, I went into travel nursing for a bit and somehow I ended up in a small town in the northern part of Nebraska. My husband and I drove there from San Antonio and he helped me get settled where I was going to be staying. Eventually he had to fly back to San Antonio. We were on our way to the Omaha airport and we drove by this monument by the river close to the airport. We really weren’t sure what the monument was for but there was a nice park around it so we decided to stop by and hang out while waiting for my husband’s flight (we arrived in Omaha about an hour too early). We took turns taking each other’s photo. It was about the early part of summer or late spring then but it still felt a bit chilly.

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I used mostly patterned papers from my Bo Bunny pile. I’m still working on using up my older supplies. I haven’t been making OTT pages as often lately so it was an interesting and inspiring challenge. I broke out my sewing machine and did some stitches on the top and bottom doilies and on the patterned papers as well. I had some chipboard pieces I also wanted to use up.

I stopped by Blick and picked this up one day:

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Love how these gelatos are so versatile. You can use it dry, or use a water brush and use it like watercolor (orange doilies), or you can even shave off a pile of it, pop it into a spritzer bottle, add water, and use as a mist (bigger green doily). I mixed these guys with some Pearlex powder to give it some sheen and painted the chipboard pieces with it.

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Close up shots of the page:

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I also used up some swirly bling from my old stash. I still have a long way to go to use up these papers, but with some mixed media ideas I might get into artsy pages again even if it’s just for a while. It was a refreshing break from my usual style and I enjoyed making the glittery mess.

A Study in Pink (and black, and glitter…)

Continuing on to my quest towards organizing my mess of a craft table, I bought these boxes from Scrapbook.com with my monthly haul.

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I whipped out my trusty Dymo Labeler and grouped together my patterned papers and cardstock, my thickers, alphabet stickers, specialty papers, and towards the end I even had 1 more box left and decided to use it as my “use it or lose it” box. I still have remnants of patterned papers from years ago that I have felt like I have outgrown. Before I started shopping at Two Peas on a regular basis I would go to my LSS and purchase paper pads. There wasn’t much variety, mostly it was K&Co and store brand papers. I bought a whole bunch of K&Co papers years ago when a went through a distressed paper and prima flowers and lace phase. I still do an occasional romantic-ish page now and then so I’m able to work my way through my remaining stash. The rest got shipped off to my niece to use on her school projects and cards and such.

I also used to receive packs of Bo Bunny collections every month, complete with sticker sheet, embellishments, journaling cards, layered stickers, and occasionally a set of coordinating acrylic stamps. I still do love them but matching them to my current pattern paper supply is a bit challenging, especially the Enchanted collection. It’s black and white patterns with lots of swirls and cherubs and glitter, a bit OTT next to my American Crafts and Studio Calico, and Basic Grey and such. The only logical way would be to use them with my cardstock. I saw a video from Glitter Girl about monochromatic layouts. She had different shades of pink paired with black and white. Although she used chalkboard themed patterns and elements to pair with the monochrome pink, I decided to try it using the Enchanted collection and maybe some pieces from my scrap paper pile.

 

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I used some American Crafts thickers and Mini Market alphas for the title, some stickers from my various sticker books, and some left over patterned paper and cut outs(also by AC). I guess it’s not looking so bad for a first try. Maybe with a bit of practice I might just finally get it right.

I also dove into my Bo Bunny Alora collection pack. The patterns are a bit bold but the colors are brighter and easier to pair with my other supplies. I had some 6×6 pads and 12×12 sheets from AC’s Dear Lizzy Neapolitan, and the Summer collection, a card from Project Life, and used the gems from the Bo Bunny collection pack.

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I still have quite a few (a lot!!!) of my old papers that I need to either use or put in the purge pile and send off to some other happy home. Hopefully I can find some project I can use them on other than my scrapbook pages. Although with the holidays coming I just might be able to use up some of them for some happy mail days.

P.S. Yes, I am a Sherlock fan

There’s Always Room for More Glitter

I love shiny things! What girl doesn’t? I love the glitter, I love the sheen. A little dollop of glitter glue, a few gems here, and a well placed piece of gold trim there and you can go from drab to fab just like that. Scrapbook Circle’s September kit had so much shinies I was grinning from ear to ear when I received my pizza box in the mail. This one is based on their September sketch challenge.

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I used some Heidi Swapp color shine mist in gold on the background, a tag from Amy Tangerine and AC Thickers, and the rest is from the Here + There, and Hello There kits. I played with the decorative stitching on my sewing machine and used a straight stitch to border my page.

The photo is actually a year old which shows you just how behind I am on scrapbooking. I do not ever aim to be caught up, though. Not ever! Running out of memories to scrapbook would be kind of sad because that would mean I don’t go out more and have a life. The photo was taken in Westport, a small beachside town in WA, and that, my dear friends, is the Pacific Ocean. It was September ( or early October, I think) and it was cold! We didn’t even dare to go swimming but we had fun just walking down the beach and back. Our real intent was to find a way to take my then newly bought FJ for a run down the beach but since it was our first time going there, we didn’t know where the path to the beach was. We went back again, eventually, a few more times and even tried (and failed miserably) to dig for razor clams. We still have the gear so we do plan to go back again soon once clam season starts in full swing.

Next adventure: cooking razor clams.

Decluttering Project

For those that have been following my recent blog posts, you will remember I have finally taken a stab at reorganizing my craft area. I’ve also decided to try again and post more regularly or at least more often again. It’s a bit of a challenge if you have your day job, committees at said day job, family commitments, a burgeoning collection of hobbies, and many other things going on in life. Also, I found that I have inadvertently allowed myself to be designated as the responsible person in my family. Unfortunately, I have a nasty habit of forgetting things and letting things slide. This blog is living proof of that habit. I just kind of stopped posting for a while and next thing, I realize that it has been two years. So, in the spirit of keeping myself on track and getting things done, I decided to go back to the old ways and made myself a planner/ organizer.

And you would say “but isn’t there an app for that?”, and that would totally make sense. I have a smartphone that has a calendar, downloadable apps for one thing and another, I’ve even tried keeping a Cozi family calendar once. Although having the calendar on my phone is quite helpful in reminding me which days I work, what time the meetings are and where to go, and an app for making to do lists and shopping lists and such are useful as well, it just doesn’t feel the same to me. I feel I am able to think more logically and plan better when I am able to write things down. I still like being able to look things up on my phone or computer but the ability to write it down on paper really helps my brain remember things and make it feel more real somehow.

I found this on Pinterest a few years back and thought it would be a good copycat idea. I also found some sites that have free downloadable pages that you can resize to a full 8 1/2 x 11 or a half page ( 5 1/2 x 8 1/2). I also found this little binder I have kept throughout the years.

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Not quite a big fan of the purple so I painted it with gesso while I was trying to decide how to bedazzle it.

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I didn’t want to make it look too eye-catching since I might be whipping it out in public once in a while and I really prefer not to be silently judged by  people around me when I do that. I found some pretty papers that are a bit low-key. I used some mod podge to glue it to the binder, and painted a layer over the whole thing afterwards to make the paper stronger and keep it from being torn when I am carrying it around in my bag.

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The mod podge gives the whole binder a sort of leathery texture which is perfect for the patterns on the paper.

I downloaded and printed out the planner pages, used my 3-hole puncher for the binder holes, and stuck some post-it notes in the pocket, and some of these tab thingies for flagging important things in the binder. I cut a piece of velcro in half, stuck one half onto the binder with some permanent glue dots, and stuck the other portion onto a pen. That way, I always have one accessible and I would have a spot to keep it.

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Here’s a closer look at the tabbed sections (which need a bit more work) and the different planner pages.

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I used a weekly type schedule planner, a weekly meal planner, and a weekly blog planner as well. The “projects” planner page was made a while back using excel to plan the boxes. There is also a section towards the very back for notes like websites or whatever else.

The link for the planner pages are from here. They are mostly PDF’s that can be resized to fit whichever size you make your organizer to be.

Hopefully, this little guy can help me stay organized and on track in the days ahead. It’s still a work in progress so eventually, some pages may be revised depending on what’s needed. Now, if only organizing the rest of the house were that easy.

Sibling Revelry

There are as many benefits as there are consequences to growing up with an older brother like mine. I hesitate to admit it but sometimes the benefits somehow outweigh the consequences, sometimes in ways that seem sort of wrong. Take for instance my ability to elicit a response from a very sedated patient with a slight squeeze or a pinch of the leg or arm without causing the slightest bruise. Growing up with an older brother helped me learn just where it will hurt the most. Handy knowledge to have if said brother likes to play wrestling matches or tickle fights with a seemingly puny-looking little sister.
Truth be told, my brother and I are pretty typical as far as growing up together goes. We have our ups and downs. Throughout the years I have learned his ways and adjusted myself to his personality. Not many people know when it’s ok to be around him and when to start running for the hills. I seem to be one of the very few people that do. Knowing what annoys him and when not to do it can also spell the difference between a potential all-out 30-minute war to a whole day of mindless entertainment, for me anyway.

So in the spirit of Sibling Revelry, I present you these:

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And as with all sibling relationships, be it a sister or a brother, one does have to admit there are plenty of good moments shared. I remember quite a few I shared with my brother throughout the years. I remember laughing together like two fools all night at random things on TV which would drive our parents crazy, our hearty, incessant giggles and guffaws drowning out the sounds from the tv show. I also remember exploring the backyard on the property where our Uncle’s house was (which back then was a great big no no). We would climb the trees, gather fruit, and just run around looking for adventure. I recall my brother and I discovering a litter of kittens in the crawlspace under our house, my brother giving them funny names like ganja and chronic (I found out later in life what they meant).

He was (and still is) one of my teachers in life as well. He taught me how to play chess, poker, and black jack. He also taught me that putting ketchup in pancit almost makes it taste like spaghetti, and the right amount of cheese goes perfect mixed into a bowl of ramen noodles. I have learned from him that if it’s too good to be true, it most usually is, and cartoons are closer to real life than you think.

So growing up with a big brother isn’t really as bad as I used to think it was. Looking back now with a different perspective, I can see that despite how much I deny it, my brother was (and still is) a big part of what I am now… whether I like it or not.

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