Thursday, March 29, 2012

gratuitous cute dog picture

(seen here with Great Grandma Dora's door stop)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Project Life: Week 11

This week documents taking Captain and Caprica to get their nails did, ai/ay week at school, reading Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, watching a Survivor first with Corey, and a day of working on report cards.

I tried another kind of font this week from the old handwriting book. This week was mostly done while visiting with my friend Angi, who has started her own "Year in the Life." She travels a lot for work so she has really good ephemera and photos!

Here is Nerd Nest's Week 11.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Salton Sea

This month at ARTastic the challenge is to use "Chinamen's Beach" by Ken Done as inspiration.

As an additional challenge you are to include palm trees, a photo taken at the beach, and 2-3 beach embellishments.

I almost made another pair of pages from our trip to Rosie's Dog Beach but I felt like changing things up and wanted to use some pictures from my family's trip to Salton Sea when I was a child. I was going to do a 9 photo layout on one page but I really wanted to tell the story of one of my first memories which is from that day.

The patterned paper guided me into doing more of a collage style. I typed and printed my story onto pink paper, cut it into strips, and added a little blue ink. I added white brads and a seashell sticker to the crown to give it an ocean princess feeling, as well as button brads to the boy's suit, a clothing tag with a palm tree, and an epoxy sand sticker.

I chose to cover the boy's eyes since my story is about not being watched.

Here's the story if you care to read it:
One of my earliest memories is of this day -- the day I almost drowned.

I saw a man dive head first into Salton Sea and watched him swim away effortlessly. I wanted to do that too.

Everyone's mission seemed to be to keep me away from the water that day, so I waited until they were distracted from organizing the coolers and lunches. I jumped in like the man. I remember the dissonant sound of the water...tasting salt water...popping above the water and seeing my family back on the beach, still distracted. I only remember feeling calm.

I can't remember anything else but my mom says they had to give me CPR. Is this why I struggled with a fear of swimming in deep water for so many years?

Friday, March 23, 2012


This month Child's Play Challenges asks us to create a project inspired by dominoes.

Just so happens I wanted to make a day about the greatest game, Survivor, in my Project Life book. I decided to use the dominoes to record the date (29th) and my journaling.

I made my dominoes out of white cardstock that I cut to 2"x1". I used my corner rounder and a black marker to add the details. Just thought you should know that tournament dominoes are 2.5"x1.5" in case you are going to make your own and demand accuracy.

Also if you go to the Survivor website they have a photo gallery for each episode. It's easy to save a photo and print it out. Now I have a memento from our favorite t.v. show.

Here it is in Week 10 of Project Life:

This week also documents a cute quote about skunks at school (It could fart and then it could stink), Fran Lebowitz night, Dr. Seuss's birthday celebration at school, the journaling about my Grammy cd purchase from last week (first time doing a 2-sided day), and our weekend with my fabulous sister-in-law.

I just wanted to add that I love having the ability to write on my photos, especially for this Project. I suggest using American Crafts Slick Writer with a fine point for really precise lines. It was so much fun making a talk bubble for Fran Lebowitz to incorporate one of her quotes from the night.

Here is Nerd Nest's Week 10.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Project Life: Week 9

This week documents o_e week at school, tattling to our HOA about our neighbor's flood light lighting up our backyard like a stadium, my book club discussing A Wrinkle in Time and War Horse at Papago Brewery, dinner at The Fry Bread House with Corey, Oscar Night, and my traditional purchase of the Grammy Nominees CD even though I don't watch the Grammys.

The Grammy cd always comes with a fancy paper cover over the cd case which always seemed wasteful to me so I was happy to find a use for it this year. Oscar Night is from the newspaper.

Here is Nerd Nest's Week 9.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Top Ten Books on my Spring To-Be-Read list

The Avid Reader's Musings and Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf shared their lists so I thought I should too. I actually made this list last week in my book journal to get my reading organized. They are in the order I'm going to try to read them.

1. The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket (currently reading)

2. Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman (I actually just need to finish this one. It's one of Corey's favorites.)

3. The Green Mile parts 4-6 by Stephen King (I'm rereading these books with a Stephen King group on LibraryThing. I read parts 1-3 earlier this year)

4. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson (another group on LibraryThing is hosting Mystery March. I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in December)

5. Desperation by Stephen King (the Stephen King group is reading this in March)

6. Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi (my book club is reading this next)

7. Any Place I Hang My Hat by Susan Isaacs (I can use this for my ABC Challenge and as my "romance" story for my Eclectic Reader Challenge)

8. No Rest for the Witches by MaryJanice Davidson (I can use this for my ABC Challenge and my Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge)

9. Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale by Lynda Rutledge (Early Reviewer)

10. Columbine by Dave Cullen (another anniversary coming up, I think it will be interesting to revisit this tragedy now that I'm a teacher)

This meme is being hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

P.S. The spring time reading photo came from red lips and ice cream.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy 1st Day of Spring!

I just got my hair did. Fresh start for a new season!

P.S. Misty is from Julia Wolkenstein.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Ikea Bookcases

Child's Play Challenges is challenging us this month to use this classic toy as inspiration:

The tool box made me think of the Home Improvement scrapbook I have started with 1 page completed. Time to make page 2! One of the first things we did after we bought our house is put up bookcases. Our realtor paid for them as a closing gift which is why her business card is included.

The Practical Householder embellishment is a reprint of an old magazine cover made into a greeting card. I bought it a few years ago to use in this scrapbook and it went well with this challenge because it has all kinds of tools on it.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Avett Brothers

This week's challenge at Scrapping the Music is to use the song "Leather and Lace" by Stevie Nicks and Don Henley as inspiration. That made me think of this guy:

from The Avett Brothers concert I went to that still hasn't been scrapbooked.

My friend and I thought he was probably a super awesome guy based on his Stevie Nicks shirt, but decided the guy with the Sunburn shirt was probably not cool. These are the things we ponder at concerts.

The rock and roll hand sticker was actually supposed to be a Guitar Hero decal.
The picture at the bottom is of my hand sanitizer. When the concert was over I discovered I had danced so hard my mini-backpack came unzipped and the contents were on the ground all around me. I wish I had taken a picture of my birth control instead but I didn't think of it soon enough.

Then I started work on the left page of my layout. I started putting my pictures down in my typical rectangular fashion (too much Frank Lloyd Wright on the brain) when I looked at my patterned paper and remembered the challenge at Scrapjacked which is to use this layout by Nicole Samuels as inspiration:

Circles! So much better this way.

I have had the same circle template since I first started scrapbooking. I've used it so many times through the years and was happy to bust it out and use it again. I even cut my ticket into circles since it was just a computer print out.

Notice my fancy Avett banner? That came from this photo I took at the sales booth:

I simply had the photo printed and cut out the banner with scissors. 9 cent embellishment. Crafty, yes?

All together now:

Rad concert!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

P.S. Shiver Me Shamrocks came from Zazzle.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

I just discovered a new website called Child's Play Challenges. When I saw one of this month's challenges is to use The Very Hungry Caterpillar as inspiration I heard Nerd Nest say, "Finish that abandoned project!"

This scrapbook page about a field trip to the library has been almost completely done for a few years. In case you can't tell the Caterpillar is made from punched circles. All I had to do to finish was add the eyes, nose, feet, and antennae to the Caterpillar, and journal. It did not take me very long to complete it. Why did I wait so long?!

I also want to point out that this story is actually inaccurate. **SPOILER ALERT** It says the Caterpillar goes into a cocoon but any first grade teacher worth her salt knows that butterfly caterpillars use a chrysalis. 1 point for Public Education.

I put buttons over my kids pictures temporarily to protect them from internet predators. Although if there are people with button fetishes I have not done a very good job.

Thank you Nerd Nest and Child's Play Challenges for helping me finish my 8th abandoned project this year!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Taliesin West

Inspired by the lecture at the museum and Nerd Nest's challenge to finish an abandoned project, today I finished my scrapbook pages from our trip to Taliesin West last April.
These pages have been done for almost a year except for the journaling and title:

The book I read about The Pauson House is cool because you get to read the correspondence between Frank Lloyd Wright and Rose Pauson. I wanted to use that idea in my pages since that book brought Rood and I together, so I printed the online conversation between us coordinating our meet up to get tickets.

I made these 2 pages completely today. Photographs were not allowed in most rooms so I supplemented my scrapbook pages with pictures from the brochure and post cards.

I covered our phone numbers with a pencil so all of my blog super fans don't overwhelm me with phone calls.

I only added hand-stamped photo corners as embellishments. I was trying to keep my pages really steam lined, a la Frank Lloyd Wright.

Now I have finished 7 abandoned/never started projects. Thank you Nerd Nest!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Last night I got in trouble at the museum.

I went with my friend Alana to see the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit and listen to a lecture about how he was inspired by Japanese art. During the lecture we learned that not only did the museum have Mr. Wright's blue prints and sketches on display, but they also had some of the Japanese art he collected. We ran into my friend Rood from LibraryThing who gave me tickets to Taliesin West last year. After chatting we looked at the textiles and screens from Mr. Wright's collection together. Pretty cool. Some of the textiles were from the 17th century.

Rood left and Alana and I went back to finish looking at the blue prints and Broadacre City, FLW's futuristic city design which would alleviate traffic issues. As we were leaving I saw this sign and had to get a picture:

I just thought the wording was funny. I guess you can't call it a rest area because we associate that with something else.

Anyway, I thought taking a picture of something that was not part of the exhibit would be ok but I was still accosted by a woman working there. She was mildly placated when I apologized and showed her the pictures, which obviously weren't of any of Mr. Wright's designs.

My grandma told me once she set off an alarm at a museum leaning in too close to a painting to look at the brush strokes. I guess I take after her with my unintentional museum mischief.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

My book club read this in January so I decided it was time to write my review. I've taken awhile to write this because it's the kind of book that stays with you after you're done.

This story defines family and brotherhood while shining a light on Ethiopian health care issues. It begins with a nun dying during child birth in Ethiopia. Immediate blasphemy got me hooked into the story. She has 2 boys, Shiva and Marion, who are conjoined at the head but separated at birth. Their dad, a surgeon, runs away in grief leaving the twins in the care of the hospital's gynecologist.

I was fascinated with the way the author developed the many characters throughout the story, especially the way in which the boys become men without a jarring shift in voice. I could recommend it for the writing made me cry twice and gasp out loud.

This story counts as Literary Fiction for my Eclectic Reader Challenge!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Project Life: Week 8

This week highlights a phone call with my mother-in-law, the 48 hour film festival Corey helped with, cleaning house to prepare for a family visit (while Corey was doing lighting for the film festival), our Pet Walk, grading papers on President's Day, and another pack walk.

I used junk mail for the day I cleaned house and just traced another arrow with my light box so I could add journaling. I also used a Hamilton Collection advertisement for a teacup chihuahua on pack walk day and stamped with paint over it. I busted out my handwriting book again for paper grading day.

Here is Nerd Nest's Week 8.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Project Life: Week 7

This "week" only chronicles 4 days, since I used 2 spaces on Valentine's Day (the school half and the Corey half), and 1 space for a cute title I got from Hallmark junk mail.

You see Valentine's Eve (treat bag stuffing), a photo of a mountain of junk food on a student's desk after our Valentine's party with journaling on a Valentine a student gave me, an insert from the box of candy Corey got me with journaling about our night together (I was sick!), Play-Doh spelling (one student went 3-D for the first time), and a night Corey surprised me by leaving dinner in the fridge. He's a keeper!

Here is Nerd Nest's Week 7.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Project Life: Week 6

This week highlights a knitting night with Audrey, a pack walk, a super cute student dressed up with my Officer Buckle and Gloria costume, a mouse that we freed from the recycle bin at school, refurbishing my doll house, and the book sale I went to with Alana.

I used a lot of Smash Stickies this week. They go with so many things! I had a fabulous time using my stamps for pack walk #7. Most I had never used! The red paper with the star punched out was a scrap I saved. I put graph paper behind it to fill in the negative space. (I also used the graph paper on mouse day and dollhouse day.) Lots of fun to put together and a reminder of things to try in my scrapbook!

I also used my colored pencils a lot this week, on pack walk day and to color the owl from the book sale brochure. I forget sometimes how nice it is to sit and color.

Here is Nerd Nest's Week 6.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Last night I saw Fran Lebowitz!

After watching Public Speaking on HBO I was so excited when I found out Fran Lebowitz was going to be in town! Luckily my dear friend Angi said she would go see her with me because Fran was AWESOME! There was a short interview to kick off the evening, and then she said, "I will now answer your questions in an entertaining way." Questions From the Audience Time was the majority of the show, and was also the best part. Some of my favorite entertaining things she said I wrote down.

Regarding Rick Santorum: It's clear to me that he must have home schooled himself.

Regarding corporations as people: Most people I know are not people. How could corporations be people?

Regarding shopping: I hate to shop because when I go other people are there.

Regarding reading: I'm, like, this slut of literature.

Angi's favorite was when Fran was asked, What is America's greatest asset? and she said, The Constitution.

After we had our fill of laughing our asses off with a room full of liberals I decided I should see if her book was for sale. Because I don't have enough books. Not only was it for sale, but she was already out there signing them! Sweet!

Even though I handed my camera to some hired hand to take my picture with Fran, I kind of forgot he was going to take a picture, leading to my hastily posed photo. I think her expression is the best.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Project Life: Week 5

This week documents spelling i_e words (wish you could see the picture because one of my students did an awesome photo bomb on this one!), Stellaluna wearing her life preserver for the first and only time, dinner with my friend Stephanie at Pita Jungle, a cute picture of Corey & Captain, the Superbowl (clipped from the newspaper), and some sweet things Corey did for me (best husband ever).

Although I'm not a Smash Booker I did buy their little Stickies when I started this project. I love using them because they're quick, easy, and don't take up a lot of room. I used "makes me happy" on dinner with a friend day, and "Too Good...TO BE TRUE" on the photo of my guys.

Here is Nerd Nest's Week 5.