Monday, June 30, 2014

Bahia Honda Rail Bridge

Always picturesque - even with dramatic skies.

 A lovely bike ride around just after sundown.
The foot felt good.
 I paid that sailboat to anchor there.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Zebra Longwing butterflies outside our camper window

I didn't have to move, chase them down -
 all I had to do was basically point and shoot and try to get them in focus.
 Focusing was the hardest part.
Two of them were making me nuts as they couldn't
light and land at the same time.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Rant whilst on a relaxing weekend

As you may, or may not, know I love Aperture a photoshop AP for Mac/Apple that is so easy to use. Yes it is at times distained by professional photographers, but alas, I'm not a professional now and probably never will be due to lack of ambition to aspire to that level.

It was announced this weekend, while I'm relaxing in the keys, Bahia Honda State Park, and have iffy internet that Apple is not going to have anything more to do with Aperture except to allow it to work with Yosemite their new operating system.

I should be used to this, as I loved Microsoft Digital Suite - that left me in the dust when I was a regular PC user. Alas, I'm as heartbroken now as I was then.

However, due to my eldest son's nagging, I have purchased on a monthly basis for a mere $9.99 a month both Lightroom and Photoshop. I've had photoshop prior and even proudly own a Photoshop (name the number) for Dummies book.

It didn't work.


Because I like ease of use. Why would you want to push 29 buttons when ONE will do the same thing. And layers. Do NOT get me started on layers. They are evil.

However, now I have no choice. I hate change unless I initiate it. And I didn't initiate this.

The BIG QUESTION NOW is through the CLOUD my iPhone photos MAGICALLY APPEAR in Aperture without any drama or hoop jumping by me.



Needless to say I'm not relaxed anymore. Yeah Yeah NICK (my favorite eldest son) I've been watching the tutorials. And yes, I might add with a closed mind.

Allow me to explain.

When I jumped into Microsoft Digital and Aperture, yes there was an initial amount of *bad language* when getting to know something new. BUT it was only for a few minutes and then WA-LA magic happened and it was EASY.

When I jumped into Lightroom, SHAZAM! Aggravation from the start. IT WAS NOT EASY FOR ME. And after watching the tutorials, ITS STILL NOT EASY and *bad language* abounds.


I KNOW ME.  I'll never in this lifetime be a professional. I don't aspire to be professional. I want to take GREAT pictures and I want to photoshop them in an easy-to-use application. I'd like to use the application that was designed by the computer I use. (I can't tell you how much I loved Microsoft Digital and soooo missed it when I when to Apple). Until Aperture.

I'm loyal that way
                especially when its easy to use.

So now I'm on a Lightroom/Photoshop journey. Wish me luck. If the air your looking at turns BLUE- Say a prayer as its only me coloring the air trying to learn something new.

Change. Bah!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Another PageRises out of a Lynnmade debacle

Remember this page on this post? Well it  basically chronicled the "I hate this evil stencil" debacle, pointing out that I pretty much create my own debacles. And wasn't I en pointe this week.
I know you were on the edge of your seat in anticipation of the next step in the chroncles of debacles.
I decided that in this case more was better and again, I broke out the watercolors and gesso and began layering on the colors. Amazing what some connectivity can do. I didn't think of doing that at the time because I was annoyed. Really annoyed. And being annoyed really doesn't help the creative process.
 And now I'm seriously annoyed I didn't think of this then.

Therefore, I stepped back.
 Took a breath and a brush.
And wa-la another heritage photo. 
I KNOW! me too.
Studio Calico paper (I really need to get a gig with them), basic grey and cosmo cricket pattern paper some Studio G stamps, and Creative Cafe buttons and chipboard. 
The ribbon was leftover from somewhere and the thickers came in the SC kit.
And office depot tags - I have a ton of them. 

And the adorable little girl is my mom.
She was quite the fashion queen.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Revival of the watercolor pattern paper mess

Remember this disaster? 
Hard not to as I've been whining a lot about it alot lately.

I decided to connect some watercolor dots so it wouldn't look so awkward and dumb. 
I've heard tell you can't screw up watercolors, but I showed them.
And out of the watercolor ashes comes a heritage page.
 I know.
 And dang if heritage doesn't rock the watercolors and gesso.
Would you believe that's me and mom. 
Check out the fashion - it appears that it hasn't changed for
kindergarteners in close to 2 decades. 

I used Original photos - I have them digitally saved if I need to use them again.
And if not. OOPS.

So Studio Calico once again rocks it and their fresh stickers
really do not take anything away from the heritage photos - which
honestly surprises me.
What do you think?
I like being surprised.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Out of a watercolor mess

Such as this one where you can see the outline
of the where the photos were.
I added the watercolors in after the photos were adhered and its
obvious I need to work on this skill.

I flipped the page over and wasn't feeling it even with the washi tape addition. 
At. All.

So I found this basic grey page (from my new warehouse purchasing gig) and the colors
worked perfect actually minus the watercolors. I didn't have to change the matting and found
some really cute wooden buttons that work well. 
 I put the entire page together, and forgot about the journaling, thus
the kraft tags came into play. Sigh.
I'm thinking when its that's hard to create a page I should read a book 
or do something else. 
Magically, I painted the title on TH grundgeboard without a castastrophe AND added
sequins without too many sticking to my fingers, AND found all the
letters I needed for the word "long" in this pile of wooden 
embellishments in a plastic bowl - that made me beg the question of "what was I thinking 
dumping all the wooden things together". 

I have saved the original patterned paper as I have not given up on it. When I'm that annoyed, and scrapbooking really shouldn't be annoying, its best for me to start again.
Stay tuned to see if and how the rejected paper is revived.

After all that and Thursday's debacle,
I know you can't possible fathom how I could break my foot.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Railroad Enthusiasts would love the town of Cass

That is a scenic Railroad State Park.

The little town was soooo cool and just nestled in the mountains of West Virginia.
It was a railroad/logging/paper mill company town that had a:
company store (that is now the museum)
company housing
company mill

The company store/museum was closed when we blew through and some of the shots as you can tell were taken through the window. 
We really Or I DO - need to keep my side of the dashboard cleaned off.
Reflections can be dastardly on a photo.
I also didn't realize that the company houses were occupied. I thought they
were museum pieces but alas people still live there.
Of course the cars on the street might have been a clue but my eyes were
upon all things of yesteryear.

We also heard through the locals at the beautiful campground we stumbled upon
 you can take a scenic ride on one of their many steam engine trains with open air cars
through the gorgeous mountains.
(We didn't do that-scheduling issues).
Its on our list to come back and hang out.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The aftermath of a series of disasters

I hate this stencil and why I continue to use it 
totally baffles me.
It has never worked out from Day 1
 though I might be leaning toward operator error I'm still not convinced it isn't evil.
Oh I spritsed, painted and daubed to no avail on other projects. I basically ended up deep sixing most of them. However, hope springs eternal.

I had this page almost done when I decided that it needed something more.
All due respect to the stupid stencil I laid against the page, it looked like it would fill the void because heaven forbid there be a couple of "blank spots on my page. In hindsight, I should've just stapled the stencil to the page. However, I would've needed two for balance you know. And in checking out the end result,  I thought the page looked really dumb and couldn't figure out how to fix it. 
Being in a really really annoyed mood didn't help.

So I plucked out some bazzil and stamped the brick because I liked that. I then proceeded to drop the newly stamped paper on the floor and rolled over it trying to retrieve it. Once retreived I managed to spill coffee all over it. 
 I really should've called it a day.

But I persevered.
 Because darnit I wanted to make a page and no scrapper worth his/her salt
tosses in the patterned paper.
In deference to all the manmade and natural disasters I had going on, I decided to keep it simple.
And it worked for the most part as I had bir, allowing me to complete the page
without anything untoward rearing its ugly head.
I did add the "celebrate" stamp this morning - erring on the side of caution and waiting
overnight to make sure the bad juju left the building.
I was going to add it to the other side of the long yellow card,
but I didn't want to press my luck. 
bwack bwack. 
Today I shall endeavor to create a page where disasters would not be noticeable.
My foot, is doing pretty good.
I need to learn to walk again - my gait is more like a waffling crab
than a, dare I say it, normal pace. 
Its weird when your brain has you muttering
"walk, walk, walk"
in a cadence.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

'Twas a Banner Day!

Notice anything different??? 

My feet are wearing the same shoes. Woohoo!!! Good news on the footfront. Its healed; yet tender and tired. The caveat is to wear the sneakers until it aches and hurts, then break out the boot. I wore shoes for about 8 hours, moving around, but not bouncing off the rafters. and I'm good with that for a first day. Bonus!!! I don't have to sleep with it on anymore.

And then!!!
My first purchase of Basic Grey Warehouse box.
Its kind of like a grab bag with an attitude.
It wasn't what I thought it would be. 
I was thinking more lines, howevever, its about the
warehouse getting rid of old product to make room for the new.
I'm sure I'll be using quite a bit of this as Basic Grey
has always been my go-to line.
Especially when the mojo tanked.

The package of alphas - are alphas from all the lines and the embellishments
are the same - got stamps, bling, rubons, flowers, and enamels.
Lots of goodies.

The album is adorable - really adorable and I'll probably
dither about doing something with it because its 
really really adorable. LOL!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Printed a tri-photo photo

And say that 3 times fast. 
Instagram photo.
In the print section in Aperture, there is a choice to do 3 photos
in sequence that I thought was cool. 
It kind of gives you a taste of the photos or in my case 
actually focuses on the best part of the photo.
I printed it on 8.5x11 photo paper and trimmed the sides evenly
since one was wonkier than the other.

Yes, Nick I used Aperture because Lightroom is making me crazy.

I wanted a page that was a bit different than what I posted on my blog 
earlier on boondockin' and use some of the landscape
photos that I take in abundance but don't scrap much.
Why? I don't know.

If you've never been to the Great Smokey Mtns - you really need to
put it on your to do list.

October Afternoon is the background paper from my Studio Calico kit
as well as that tree trunk bole. I'm kinda proud how I worked that in.
Scraps of simple stories made it in there.
The alpha is deja view with some quickutz going on.
I used a background stamp that came out kindof lame and
covered most up.
And I made that tag. I KNOW. 
It's the little things.


Monday, June 16, 2014

This is a title + photo that'll make you sing...

In your best Mighty Mouse voice.
Miss Amelia as her alter ego HulkSmash, sortof like
dressed as Capt. America.
She also knows how to rock a faser.
I have really lost track of superheroes and I obviously
need to bone up. This is serious stuff.
When I saw the photo I knew
what my title would be immediately.
You just can't help it. I know I couldn't.
And I couldn't wait to scrap it - and this paper just bounced
into my hand - it was green. 
It made the photo POP.
And then I saw the "life is beautiful" paper and I 
knew I just had to reconcile the green
and black in my head.
I don't know.
It seemed weird which is weird because the coolest
Halloween papers are black and green.
However, I think I used every
green thing I had regardless of shade or tone.
And didn't it work.
Well it worked for me LOL!!! 
And the pops of red - taken from the photo.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Off the rails scrapbooking challenge - Up up & Away

Its a challenge that covers anything that flies.
I chose my hot ballon stamp.
And a mixed media format inspired by Soaphousemama once again.
It just seemed to fit, although when I was working on the page I didn't have any photos 
much less all the putting pix of all grandkids in mind, 
however, it was awesome the way it worked out.
 I chose the colors from a sunset perspective and once completed I decided
that B&W photos was the only way to go.
It was a fun page to do, AND in full disclosure once again,
 this was my second attempt page-the first page
ended up in the garbage.
I did rescue it and have been die cutting shapes out of it.
(We'll see what happens with them).

I used 2 pieces of kraft paper glued together because I didn't have canvas.
The colors are a mix of gesso, paint, and watercolors and alcohol
ink that has been more or less covered 
because that resulted in disaster
in my mind.
The stamp is from inkadinkado and the alphas are Tim Holtz grungeboard
that I've had forever.

Head on over to Off the rails scrappbooking and checkout the team's projects.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Watercolors, stamping, and paint, oh my

And here's Amelia - the wild child. She's sooo funny and serious. We had a great time on the playground, and being basically grounded by the boot , I thought I was pretty fast in getting some photos. Amelia can be loud and demanding. Knows what she wants and goes after. She can be sweet and also talks in a demonic voice. Her personality blows me away.
So this photo was perfect for a page of its own.
Therefore, continuing in the mode of actually pulling together the stuff I used, but NOT telling how I used it - here ya go! I used the watercolors with my watercolor pen - which I love. (Its filled with water with a brush on the end and you just squeeze the water through). I also mixed and mushed the colors around til I got colors I wanted. I KNOW. Surprised me toooo....

I used a charcol color ink to stamp with and then colored in the flowers. I drew the colors from the photo; the pink and teal/blue. The Yellow background just made the photo pop and some pink enamel puffy dots.
I used a sissix die for the branches that I jazzed up with watercolors as well. Yellow washi.
Studio Calico of course.

OH OH and you can barely seeeee but there is pencil doodling above the photo on the left.
I didn't do that.
What I did do was doodle with a pencil on the left toward the bottom and also from the branches down to the flowers in the corner on the right.

Using vellum embellishments & cover ups

Another fun page happening with the granddaughter. 
Although she looks a bit pensive, because after that slide was really
really high, once she slid down that first time,
all systems were go!
She would hop off the bottom, run back to the ladder and
practically knock her brothers aside to climbe back up.
It as very amusing to watch.

Therefore, it had to be a fun page.
Studio Calico to the rescue once again. (I know you're surprised).
Except for the alphas - that is QK Cosmopolitan.
A very fun, bubbly looking alpha.

Back to the vellum - the die cuts are scattered about the page in arrows, a layer 
that is actually a conversation bubble tucked in by the photo, 
the hearts and an @ that I love to use as her initial.
Vellum can be tricky adhering because 
whatever is behind it will show through.
I just used regular dotto repositionable adhesive
because honestly I don't care about it showing and it
proved to be almost transparent in some cases.

In full disclosure - remember the GO arrow stamped I used
on yesterday's page? Well I used it here
where those circles and doily papers cleverly cover them up.
Because I stamped directly onto the page
and I wanted the arrow to go toward the photo
the GO was OG. LOL
Can we say backwards???

OH OH and another booboo was a result in trying to gauge a rubon.
Hello today is a rubon and one of the easiest ones EVER,
which should've been a clue - because there was another that said
"let's do this" that I wanted on the page.
Only I couldn't figure out where.
So I laid it down and it partially stuck as I pulled it up because it was
not where I wanted it to be.
So under the cleverly placed washi tape - because well washi can go anywhere,
is the covered up half-stuck rubon. And just for good measure
I found a strip that said the same thing.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Cowboy Coffee Camping

In gladly keeping with the noise ordinance in boondockin, we decided on not firing up the generator in making our afternoon coffee. Fortunately, I remembered to pack the old time perculator so that just in case we were going to give boondockin' a go or worse yet, the kerig bites the dust, we have backup.

Pardon the blurry photo, but fill the coffee pot with water up to the line.

Add your grinds. We only had drip coffee and not thinking that far ahead, but perk coffee is what you need. 

Assemble your propane burner by adding the base and screwing on the burner. And then fire that baby up.

 Set your coffee pot on the burner and wait for the perculating to commence. 
(OR use the propane stove inside-which we did in the morning).

Oops. Needed to turn it down and then let it perk for 7 minutes - no more/no less. (same for the stove).

Pour and enjoy.

Selfies can be so much fun

And I have the pictures to prove it. Owen, Annie & I had a blast getting this photos. Its fun to watch them try to push the button without have arms, heads or fingers blocking the picture. 

I wanted to do a fun page to show the fun we had. and I had this paper from Studio Calico of course, as well as the stamps from last month, and wondered what to do with it and them. Well Miss Ashli at the Purplemailbox took care of that. Mine was kinda sorta a lift.  I had a more graphic look with a photo strip and 2 3x3's on the side. 
Well.......I couldn't get it to print right and since I've been in a cranky mood since last night, 
I gave it up and did it this way. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Building a cooking campfire

On this camping adventure - it was 2 full weeks together,
we did a lot of camp cooking and we
ate well, very well.
The Mr. is the campfire cook - I just sit back and admire.
First he stuffs the bottom of the stove pipe with paper. Lots of paper.

He then sets it in our volcano grill and pours the charcol in the top.

AD alert......
We stumbled upon this volcano grill at camping world and after much debate snapped it up.
As you can see its very compact and easy to store. It all packs in that bag - ours is square in a 12x12x6 size. You can also use it 3 ways - propane, charcol and wood. We love having choices while camping and when its this easy to use, store and pull out - we use so much we purchased a second one in case they go off the market someday.
Highly recommend this grill.

You then light the paper that's on the bottom of the stove pipe (stove pipe - is separate from the grill).

And wait. And wait.

Until the charcol burns down to the perfect heat. Unless you're really really hungry you may jump the gun. Once the coals are were you want them to be heat wise.

You dump them into the grill. Spread them out. And wait for the fire to wane.

 Add your wonderfully made burgers and watch impatiently as they are grilled to perfection.
We also purchased the induction cooktop (as shown on TV-lol).
Onions, garlic and mushrooms. 
It smells as wonderful as it looks.
Another best.investment.ever. for camping. We (or I should just say the Mr) plug it in outside (weather permitting). 
It heats up fast and steady and is perfect for sauteing veggies, bacon, eggs. 
Also if weather not permitting its good to use inside as well.

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