Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A bit of self...

As this year comes to an end, I've realized that I let myself get knocked off track with my goal to improve my health this year. In 2010 I lost 50lbs, and wanted to continue that trend this year. Unfortunately, I didn't. BUT I didn't gain it all back either, just 10lbs.

I need to get back on track.

In order to do that, I joined a group of ladies online who are trying to do the same thing. We all have different goals. My goal is to continue to lose weight, and keep myself moving.

As part of this group, we were all encouraged to share our starting "stats" and a photo if we wanted to. I was really petrified about taking that picture. In a brief moment of courage, I had Hubby take a picture of me wearing nothing but my sports bra and walking pants. I figured I might as well do it!

Of course, I hate the picture, but I shared it with the group. The ladies there are all wonderful and supportive. I didn't die from embarrassment. I'm still here.

I decided to take that picture, and turn it in to something that I LIKED. A little photoshop, some elements and papers from Tangie Baxter, and voila! A self portrait ATC. I call it "Cut It Out"

 The picture I took wasn't the best, and my face was half lit and partially cut off. So I grabbed a face shot from another image and worked it in to this one. I used the 'cutout' filter for everything because I liked the look of it. The elements that I used are all from a few different kits by Tangie Baxter, mostly from her Dia de los Muertos kits. I chose those because my birthday is on Nov 2nd, which is Dia de los Muertos. I'm not Mexican, but I love the thought behind that holiday. The skirt came from a clip art pack that I downloaded some time ago, and I can't remember where I found it.

I'd like to turn this in to a series of ATCs. Each one done at a different point in my journey to health. Sounds like a plan to me!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

December's Turquoise

In my other creative pursuits I'm a beader/Jewelry Artist. One of the things I love most about making jewelry is using all of the amazing stones that come out of the dirt beneath our feet. I was excited when I discovered Aimee Harrison Design Studio's Birthstone Kits! Each month has its own birthstone themed mini kit. I was instantly in love!

December's birthstone is Turquoise. I created these two LO's with the December's Turquoise Kit! The first one features my lovely niece Kelsey Mae. The second one features a vintage photo that I scrounged from somewhere online, I can't remember exactly where. Oops!

 The font used on this LO is Old Typewriter from DaFont

I know I will find myself coming back to this kit. This particular spectrum of blues speak to me like no other. It's icy, or bright, or deep....so versatile!

I hope you're all staying warm this month and gearing up for the holidays!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Brighten Up!

With the recent rains and cooler weather here, things were starting to look a bit drab outside my window. So, I decided to play with a kit that was nice and bright. The kit I used is called Funky Friends from Ruby Lane Designs over at The Digital Scrapbooking Studio. It's bright, and, well, funky!

Of course, I had to use a picture of one of my best funky friends and her beautiful daughter!

And another LO using a photo of my adorable niece. She's such a cutie!

With Thanksgiving then Kiddo's 14th birthday having just passed, I'm in recovery mode here. Gotta take it easy so I don't over do it and end up making myself have a flare. I did a couple of layouts with the theme of thanks. For me, I'm thankful that I know some of the most amazing and beautiful women. They inspire me in so many ways.

For these two LOs I used the November Mega Kit - Give Thanks. I really liked the "non traditional" colors used in this kit. Lots of purples and warm oranges. It's a beautiful combo, and it suits my beautiful friends perfectly!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Now it's on to Winter and all of it's Holidays!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Honoring our Heroes

These two layouts were created using the Hero of the Day Bundle from Aimee Harrison Design Studios over at The Digital Scrapbooking Studio. The gentleman in the photos is my long time friend Jaymie's Grandfather. He was a Navy Veteran who served in WWII. I was lucky enough to have met him on several occasions, and I can say that he was a mischievous as he looks! This is just my little way of honoring him for Veteran's Day.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happiness is...

Every day I like to take a minute and think about what is making me happy that day. Some days it's a huge important thing, other days it's something simple, like the smell of clean sheets.

For the past couple of days, I've been thinking about two of my best girlfriends. They live in Ohio (where I'm from) and have both had babies in the past couple of years. I'm thankful that I have been able to get back there to see them...though it feels like it's not nearly enough. Digiscrapping is my way of thinking about them, and keeping them as an active part of my life. When I miss them particularly bad I go on a Digiscrap binge!

Both of these LOs feature pictures of their newest little ones. The kit I used is called Happiness and it's from Paper Caper Designs over at the Digital Scrapbooking Studio. 

Aren't they the sweetest? Katie (in the top photo) is Jen's first child, and Alexander (in the bottom photo) is Renita's fourth. My friends make beautiful babies, don't they?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November Beauty

I don't know how many times I can say that this time of the year really is my favorite. Is anyone counting?? November 2nd was my 37th birthday, then on Nov 8th one of my best girlfriends, Ashley, had her birthday.

I met Ashley when I went to a bead store in San Juan Bautista, she and her mother were the owners. She had such an infectious laugh that I ended up spending a lot of time there. We became fast friends. That was about  years ago or so. Almost a year ago she decided to close the bead shop and move up closer to San Francisco with her boyfriend. We used to be able to have some great hangout time around my bead table here at home. But now, the distance and her work schedule make that difficult. When we do get together, we have such a great time! She's one of the sweetest women I have ever met, and I'm so happy to have her in my life.

Both of these layouts were created using the kit November's Topaz by Aimee Harrison Design Studio. The kit really captures the glow of November's birthstone. Warm golden yellow and bronze with hints of brown and cream. It's available over at the Digital Scrapbooking Studio

Ashley's smile really lights things up. She has a way of making the air around her just glow with sweetness!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Autumn Blessings

I have to say...I miss Autumn in Southern Ohio. The trees...the leaves...the final harvest in the fields...and the Autumn rains. I can smell it just typing those words. On, bonfires, I can't forget those. That crackle, the woodsmoke, and watching the embers glow after the fire dies down. There's nothing like it, at least not in this part of California.

Being so Autumn sick, I've been immersing  myself in Autumn creativeness. It's one way to shake the blues!

Both of these pages were created with the kit Autumn Blessings, a collaboration between Linda Cumberland and Julie Cohen from The Digital Scrapbooking Studio

I hope you're all enjoying Autumn!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Things I Grow

When my mom moved in to our place, she started a plant collection on our patio. She has always had a green thumb, and having all of the plants out there made me so happy. When she moved to her new place, she took a lot of the plants with her, and left some with me. I was a bit worried. In the past, my thumbs have not proven to be very green.

Apparently, my thumbs are getting a bit more green these days. Here's a bit of what's growing on my patio at the moment.

 African Cape Daisy. I pruned this plant back to just stumps a couple of months ago. The leaves are growing back beautifully, and just this one flower popped up in all of the new growth.
 This flower and the one below it are on the same plant, and unknown succulent. The hummingbirds love it!

 Yellow and orange chrysanthemum

 Alaska Nasturtium. One of the most beautiful blooms I've ever seen on a nasturtium.

 My big red geranium that was gifted to me by my friend and previous neighbor Kristi. It's full of flowers this Fall!
 I have a squirrel who hunts my succulents by my front door and eats them. She dug this one up and ate the roots, then started on the leaves! I replanted it just to see what it would do, then relocated it to the patio. The squirrel seems to stay off of the patio, probably because of the cats.
 Another mystery succulent that is currently in bloom. These flowers smell so sweet! The hummingbirds also love this one.
 I don't know the name of this plant either. It's another one that I recently cut back because it was getting too big! When it was all huge and crazy I decided to name her Tina, in honor of Tina Turner and her crazy hair!
 Last but not least. These little things appeared in the same planter as the African Cape Daisy. At first they were masses of these teeeeeeeny tiny little "balls". I figured it was some kind of fungus ( I may have been over watering the plant) and dug up as much of them as I could. I thought that was all they were going to do. That was about two months ago. Today, I went out and saw these sprouting. Turns out, they are Yellow Houseplant Mushrooms. Not safe to eat, but as long as you leave them alone they are neat to watch grow! I'm looking forward to checking them out tomorrow!

I guess it's official. I have a green thumb now. I really enjoy tending to these plants and watching them grow on my patio. There's also several frogs living out there...but I'll save that for another time.

Have a safe weekend!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Productive Weekend!

Here it is Sunday evening and things are winding down. Not much excitement here this weekend, but lots of productive digi scrapping. After these last two, it's time to close the laptop and take a couple days to get caught up on my jewelry work!

The kit I'm featuring today is Autumn Fairytale from Laura's Digi World.

I have to admit, after I chose this kit....I was a bit intimidated by it! I have no idea WHY, but I was. It's full of beautiful Fall colors and amazing photo realistic elements with a dash of magic and whimsy. 

My first offering with this magical kit features the Venus of Willendorf. I have a lifelong fascination with Goddesses and their depiction throughout time and across various cultures. The Venus is one of the oldest depictions of the female form, and her meaning is still a mystery...but to me, she represents woman in her role as a bearer of life and creator of home. 

 My second creation also used a bit of magical inspiration. This time I started with a stock photo from MizzD Stock over at Deviant Art and just went from there. Since the kit is called Autumn Fairytale...I went with a fairy! 

Now I'm off to play with beads! I hope everyone has a great Monday. :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fall Goodies at The Studio

As of a couple of weeks ago I am now a member of the Creative Team over at The Digital Scrapbooking Studio. Part of my duties as a CT member is to create with new products from designers at The Studio. With Fall being in full sing now, both of the kits I am featuring today are Fall themed. :)

First off, I created a couple of layouts with the beautiful Autumn Grove Bundle from Digilicious Designs. The subtle colors of this kit really spoke to me. It has a very vintage feel to it, but in a modern kind of way. Does that make sense?? Anyway. First off is my niece Milora and one of my favorite pictures of her.

Isn't she a cutie? Her mom (my sister in law) made her little outfit for her. I thought it was perfect for the modern vintage feel of the kit. Up next, one of my best girlfriends and her little boy. He's now two years old, and I've been holding on to these photos for a while now. They're just so precious.

I think the kit worked perfectly for a more masculine theme as well. This yummy brown paper really pulled me in. It's so simple, but the color is just divine!   

Up next, a really fun and funky kit, Autumnal from Ruby Lane Designs. I'm a huge fan of the rich jewel tones in this kit, they remind me of autumn in southern Ohio. Ruby Lane will be a guest designer over at The Studio in November, so check back for links to her beautiful creations! 

Another page featuring the lovely Milora! That smile is infectious, isn't it?

This LO features a vintage picture of Maude Fealey. She was an actress in early silent films and also in "talkies", she starred in nearly every movie directed by Cecil B. DeMille. On top of that she had a somewhat successful career as a playwright and stage actress. Her beauty is, to me, quite captivating. 


So, what are you working on for Fall?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

How is a girl to choose??

Really? Which one of these amazing Halloween kits from Microferk Designs should I get? Should I go for the beautiful All Hallows Eve kit with its deep blues and blacks and a great cauldron and broom?

Or do I go for the bright orange and green of the Hallowtide kit that has that great triskeleon charm, a glowing moon, and those oh so orange pumpkins?

I mean, seriously, how am I supposed to choose between them?? Which one would YOU choose?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

12 years ago I made a huge move in my life. I got on a plane and flew to California to meet the man I had spent the previous 4 weeks chatting with online and talking to on the phone. September 27th, 1999 is when I landed here. My flight was uneventful and rather empty so I stretched out on the three seats in my row and napped through the flight. I landed at the San Francisco airport, and as I walked up the concourse towards the security gates, I saw him standing there waiting for me and suddenly something flashed in to my mind, "I'm going to marry this man."

I stopped for a second, trying to figure out why something that ridiculous would pop in to my head. I never thought I would get married. Not once as a child did I imagine my dream wedding or play dress up bride. I had planned on being an old lady driving a wildly painted school bus with my cats and my art as my companion. Never had I imagined myself married.

I was scheduled to be here for a little over a week. We spent that week talking about our deepest life stories and sharing our histories with one another. There was a lot of laughing. There were many tears. The love had already grown strong between us. The time came when I needed to start packing to return home. We were so sad at the thought of being so far apart. Him in California, me back in Ohio. As we talked, we both blurted out that we should just get married. I don't remember the exact words, but the same ones fell out of my mouth as they fell out of his.

So. I stayed. For the next week we plotted and schemed how we would get married. We thought about going to Vegas and getting married in one of those silly wedding chapels by an Elvis impersonator, but that was a long drive. Instead, after Andy was finished with work on Friday, Octiber 8th, we packed a bag, hopped in the car and headed to South Lake Tahoe. The following day we were wed by the Justice of the Peace in his chambers at the courthouse.

From the time we "met" online to the time we met in person it was 4 weeks. From the time we met in person to the time we got married was 13 days. From then to now has been 12 of the best years of my life.

This was one of my first digiscrap pages, and I didn't keep a note of what I used to create it. I do know that some of the papers and elements are from Laitha and others are from Christina Renee

So, there you have it. A little about me to start off my new digital art blog! I hope everyone is enjoying their Autumn!