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29 September 2016

Brightening Up Black And White Photos

In this previous post, I told you I had a single sheet of bright floral paper from My Mind’s Eye’s Collectable collection.  I did not have photos in mind for it, so I set it aside in the studio for more than a week.

Then I was looking for paper to go with this old black and white photo of my Mom.  You may have seen it in my Instagram feed.  (Need I remind you about my Instagram feed now that I am actually using my Instagram feed.  Consider yourself reminded – there’s a link in the left sidebar of the blog to it as well as to the Snaps and Snippets Facebook page which I actually use from time to time too.)


I tried various vintage lines like Echo Park’s Victoria Gardens and SEI’s Vintage Noteworthy collection.  But for some reason the photo did not seem to work with those soft color palettes – they looked dull and boring and not fitting for a photo that I just love.  Then I spotted that beautiful bright paper leftover from that class kit.  I decided to give it a try.

The only concession I made to leading into the picture with softer shades was using the grey swirling strip right behind her.  In a way, it echoes the road in the picture and adds to the story.  Good enough I thought.  The rest of the page then came together quickly, that is – until I hit the title.

Again I tried a grey font and a soft cream one, but they lacked pop.  So I decided not to waiver on my bold decision and found a red alphabet in a slightly old-fashioned kind of font.


I am guessing Mom would have been about 18 - 20 when this picture was taken, after high school.  And the song that was the theme of my high school class came to mind – “Do You Know Where You’re Going To?” by Diana Ross.  I decided to use a line I remembered, or thought I remembered.  As it turns out this is not an actual line of the original song, it was one in an adapted version my high school class used.  I like the connection between the two generations.  If Mom were still alive, this is certainly a question I would pose to her.  How did the life she imagined in her youth compare to the one she lived later on?

Not wanting to waste a single bit of that gorgeous MME paper, I whipped up these two cards.


Anybody else remember their high school graduation theme song?  And the accurate lyrics as well?

27 September 2016

Two Classes of Two Page Layouts–Not My Own Designs

But hey, those are adorable pictures of my son, for whom I can claim at least half design credit, right?  These are more pages from Creating Keepsakes classes – last year’s I think.


Sorry the pictures are a little wonky, believe it or not everything on these pages is straight, I am just using my phone for blog pictures these hurried days and it seems to shoot flat pages as if they are concave, or is that convex -- well, not straight and flat!

Don’t you just love the vividness of colors that Jillibean Soup uses on their papers?  If I ever need to buy paper again, I must see what their newer lines are!  Yes, right there, did you catch that – I admitted I have too much paper.  So go ahead, tell my hubby, snitch if you must.  But the insiders all know that he’d rather I buy paper than furniture – because I don’t make him move my paper around!  So there’s that.

Here’s another two-pager from that same class on clustering:


Can you tell I have been making progress on sorting old photos.  It is a two-pass process.  I tend not to toss many the first time around, and then go back and see if I can sort into groups by theme or time period or common colors.  The second pass sees a lot more pruning.  Yes, I have occasionally capitulated and wanted to pull photos out of the discard pile, but my sis-in-law is working on printed up her digital photos and fighting the same fight.  She is keeping me on track by reminding me that “the more photos you have the more you have to scrap” and “if you’ve already scrapped the best photos out of that bunch, why exactly are you now holding onto the ones you did not think were good enough then.”  It’s mostly working.

I have also made the decision that I am not going to scan these old photos (well, with rare exceptions) to correct for color or enlarge.  I am intent on just cropping them, scrapping them and honing my skills at strategically placing embellishments to hide things that in a perfect world my photo-editing assistant would have photo-shopped out while I was out shopping for more paper (but not for more furniture)!

Here’s one more two pager from a class the year before last using MME’s Collectable line:


And a single from the same class - there was misting on this page and it really warped everything:


Note that the class pages mostly used the geometric shapes and pattern papers which work well with pictures of boys.  Now what am I to do with a single sheet of the pretty bright floral I have remaining.  Stay tuned.

25 September 2016

Watercolours @ The Studio Challenges


Start: The second challenge of September over at The Studio Challenges is to use watercolours.  I immediately thought of this paper, it is the reverse of a sheet of Acorn Avenue by Crate Paper.

Style: In keeping with the soft effect that watercolours possess, I decided to layer a very subtle washi tape, a muted stripe 4 x 6 card, and a dotted transparency under my photo. A simple bow and a gathering of wood items and buttons form a cluster at the corner. The little yellow flower picks up the yellow directly from the photo, but the other colors are complementary.  I added see through epoxy dots like dew drops and a sprinkling of mist.  (When the misting was a little too bold, I used more washi tape to soften it.)

Stash: Patterned paper – Crate Paper, Card, transparency, stickers – My Mind’s Eye,  Alphabet – Sassafras Lass, Epoxy droplets – Kaisercraft, Washi tape – Little B, remainder from stash.

24 September 2016

September Counterfeit Kit Challenge Member Hop

Welcome to September’s member blog hop. We have a great line-up of projects for you today – including all these stops on the hop.

Today I am showcasing the cards I made to finish off a few more paper scraps and chipboard items from my kit. Washi tape gave a handy assist as well.  Aren’t these fun?

20160825_161536-00220160825_161536-001 coolestcard-001

September’s Peachy Keen kit has been a favorite kit of mine, and I am very satisfied with the amount of production I achieved.  Not all kits are like that.  In fact, inside information tells me that the very different style of October’s might be a very fun, and perhaps challenging, change of pace.  I cannot wait.   (And literally, I did not have to – love being on the team, having the inside scoop and getting things done early!)

So there’s my bit for the hop, do enjoy the other stops.

23 September 2016

Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt 2016

And here you have my snaps and snippets:

1. A "wild heart" - naturally occurring – in my front yard.


2. A footprint or pawprint – a dog having tracked through rain puddles at the Naperville park.

Photo Sep 04, 3 17 35 PM

3. A skeleton, bone or x-ray – the first two from Papersource in Naperville, and the last from Anderson’s bookstore.  A little lame, I know.

20160903_14391520160903_144128Photo Sep 03, 4 14 59 PM

4. A book or magazine read during 2016 – Me, not so much with reading books this summer, but I did finish this audiobook in less than 24 hours on the day it came out – Sep. 20.  5 stars.


I did catch up on lots of my magazines.


5. A porch or deck – there is a porch on this historic mansion in my hubby’s home town, and an observation deck on the local visitors center in Evansville.

Photo Jul 31, 9 11 46 AM-001

6. A camper (caravan) – The last lone camper left at the 4-H fairgrounds days after the county fair ended.

Photo Aug 05, 10 15 48 AM

7. A family gathering – Me, college girl, my niece and sis-in-law on Labor Day weekend. 


My family out on a Pokemon hunt at our riverfront.


8. A drawing, art project, artistic photograph, scrapbook page, greeting card, or art journal page created by you. – A gazebo at our local park on the riverfront, that I snapped, edited in the Prisma app that my son told showed me, and scrapped too.


9. Someone playing with, in, or around water. – College girl for the “mandatory” fountain shot, I won’t comment on how much playing in the water she was planning just seconds before the click.


10. A bicycle – a decorative one, which I did not ride, from our barn quilt hunting adventures.


11. Fresh produce – a produce stand on First Avenue that I pass when running errands, it was the end of the summer, so they were preparing for fall.


12. A window – I snapped dozens of windows this summer, like this cool rooftop bar and parking garage, both in downtown Naperville.

Photo Sep 03, 4 30 50 PM

13. The moon – I would prefer to show you the moon snapped through the skylight in our bathroom early one morning this week, but my camera battery was dead.  Here’s my substitute from IKEA.  Others may have gotten both the moons and the stars, but did they get flowers in the sky too?


14. A buffet of food – okay, don’t judge. (Because, orange slices do count as food!)

Photo Jul 20, 5 04 21 PM

15. A team logo – a souvenir baseball from the semi-pro team we went to see on Labor Day and a local college student playing Pokemon at the Riverfront under an umbrella sporting that logo.


16. A map showing a trip taken during the time period – the barn quilt trail.


17. Twins – at the Naperville Final Fling of Summer Festival on Labor Day weekend.


18. A supermarket cart, basket or trolley full of groceries – this was my quarterly run to Target to pick up household staples like TP and PT, and just a couple of grocery items.


19. A seasonal cocktail or beverage – it’s called a Negroni, yum. We had them several times.

Photo Jun 12, 6 49 55 PM-001

20. Someone laughing – didn’t get this one, although this photo does capture a range of expressions. 
Winking smile

And this one makes me laugh!


21. A photograph of you with a newspaper or calendar page from the time period covered in the Hunt, snapped it right before finishing this post.


alternative 1: a lighthouse – how about a light house. Sis-in-law and I both would love to own this cute bungalow with its bright white trim in downtown Naperville.  Its pointed gables make it look much taller than it is. Alas, it costs about 3 times what our both houses cost combined.


alternative 2: a baby (human or animal) – I have plenty of pictures of babies from family gatherings this summer, but privacy concerns gave me pause to post them.  So you’ll have to smile at this little one.  Dukie will always be spoiled like a baby at my house.


I think these shots comprise a nice summary of our summer both at home and away.  Thanks to Rinda @Gallorganico for once again putting together a great list.