Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve - 7th day of Christmas

Yes, I'm running very late again. So sorry but spending some time with family. Here's the preview to day 7.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

On the 6th day of Christmas, AAOV gave to me

some pretty clips for my layouts. You do know all these 12 Days gifts are for personal use only, don't you? I don't think I remembered to include my TOU but you know how it goes.

Download here:

Reflections On Christmas Just Past

All in all, Christmas 2007 was very pleasant. Christmas Day was spent largely with my husband and son. We slept in a little, had homemade sausage, egg, and cheese muffins for breakfast, then took our time opening gifts.

I'd already received my largest gift from DH/Santa - 9"x12" Wacom Intouos [sp] 2 that arrived not long after Thanksgiving. We had to test it to make sure it was alright. Now I'm having to unload my overburdened hard drives to make room for the software. Really looking forward to playing with it and hope it will help me in creating new kits. Goodies all around to be pleased with. Then time to chill out until dinner.

We enjoyed a simple Chirstmas dinner: glazed spiral cut ham, candied yams, green beans, and yeast rolls. Dessert was also simple: pumpkin pie baked by our friend, Brenda, who joined us this year for dinner, and chocolate cake decorated with Christmas sprinkles. Brenda, who lost her husband Thanksgiving week, managed very well. Jeremy, my son, had to pack up and go back to Richmond after dinner because he was supposed to leave early the next morning for Charlottesville to see his father. My father and his companion had Christmas dinner with her son and family then came by for dessert in time to see Jeremy for a short time.

After everyone packed up and left, DH and I settled in to relax and store up energy to spend with our grandson who came on Friday morning and went home today. At nine, he's still a bundle of energy and very curious about the world. We'd been told he needed clothes more than toys this year and were surprised at how delighted he was with even things like socks! Dh took him bowling and all of us went to a movie - National Treasure.

Today the weather has been gloomy and the house so quiet. We napped to make up for lost sleep. DH watched football and I worked on a new kit.

Hard to believe we're at the end of another year. 2007 brought some changes: health concerns for DH; additional immune system trouble for me; a long lasting (6 mo.) eye injury for my father; surgery for my brother (we hope he'll go home from the hospital in the next couple days); the deaths of 4 people we knew (1 good friend, 3 co-workers); new "job" for me (digital design); new hobby for DH (using CAD program to create digital train layouts).

What will 2008 bring? I'm supposed to start a new program for people with PTSS (post traumatic stress syndrome); my husband celebrates a year of smoking cessation in February and his life insurance premium should decrease; my ex will complete his Masters in Education Administration in the spring; my son should graduate from radiography school in August.

I plan to spend some time this week thinking about goals for 2008 - something sensible and actually achievable. I wonder what sort of plans my friends have for the coming year?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

On the 5th day of Christmas, AAOV gave to me

5 golden adornments:

Sorry to be so late but I have company this weekend. Hope you like these. You can download here:

Friday, December 28, 2007

12 Days of Christmas at Scrapbookersplayground

Sure hope you know about the 12 Days of Christmas give-away going on at Scrapbookersplayground. If you are just learning about it, you can still download the gifts from days 1 & 2. Go to
to read all about it and download your gifts. Each day is posted around 2-3pm eastern time.
I donated the freebie for today - Day 3 and just went in to check it and discovered that the wrong link is coming up. When you click on Day 03 you'll get a zip for Day 01. However, I've reported the error to administration and it will soon be corrected. Here's a preview:

You'll also find a coupon for 50% off my Christmas kit, Happy Holly Days from now until January 6, Ephiphany. Here's a preview of that kit:

Please note: the bows shown above are not in the kit because they came out too blurry. Instead you will receive bows like this:

Sorry about that. Didn't remember to change the preview. You'll notice that the quickpages on day 2 here were made with the above kit.
If you do purchase my kit, I'd love to see what you do with it. And if you send me a photo of your work with the kit along with your e-mail address, I just might send you a little surprise.
Now I'm going to go spend some time with my grandson before fixing dinner. Enjoy your holiday with family and friends.

On the 4th day of Christmas, AAOV gave to me . . .

4 ornaments to adorn your pages. (Special thanks to Cari Lopez and Renderosity artists for designer resources - wreath base, ornament base, and wreath bow).

Download here:
Enjoy and let me know if you like these. Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

On the 2nd day of Christmas, AAOV gave to me . . .

Sorry to be so late but it's been a rough day. My brother is in ICU, and for several hours we were worried about my son, who had not shown up at his father's this morning as planned. He left around 9pm last night to return to Richmond, planned to get some sleep, then head to Charlottesville this morning. Around 3:30 pm his father called, thining he might have stayed over here in Norfolk. Both of us tried reaching him on his cell phone but couldn't get a response. Finally, his father called an old friend in Richmond and sent him to Jeremy's apartment. No answer to the knock on the door and the guy didn't see Jeremy's car. We were frantic to say the least. My fibro was acting up so getting upset was a bad idea. overtired and anxious, I went to bed to rest. About half an hour later, my son called in response to the message on his phone.

It seems he knew of someone who was by herself this holiday and stopped by her apartment to check on her before going home. She insisted he eat with her (he's already had dinner here) so he did. Had something with creamed spinach that didn't agree with him and was up sick all night. When he finally was able to get to sleep, he slept through ringing phone, knocks on the door and all! But thank heaven, he's okay now.

Still haven't gotten word from Florida on my brother, Thom's condition so am just praying there were no complications from the surgery to replace his medication pump in his back.

Now to what you're looking for:
On the 2nd day of Christmas, AAOV gives to you 2 quickpages created with my Christmas kit, Happy Holly Days, (available at Scrapbookersplayground).

Download the zip here:

Hope you like them!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Hello everyone! Sorry I've been a bad blogger recently but I've had computer problems and health issues. Overstressed and lacking time to blog. Anyway, it's Christmas and my son, Jeremy, is home for the holiday and my husband is napping on the sofa so all is right with my world. Below is a layout I did for Blushbutter and Dusty Bear's December Challenge which required using the quotation "Friends and family are the true gifts of Christmas." Jeremy is the best Christmas gift I ever received. The layout shows us on his first Christmas.

So many people think of the 12 Days of Christmas as ending on the 25th but they are actually the days beginning with Christmas day up until Ephiphany (January 6). I'm going to be posting a little seasonal giftie for you each of the 12 days of Christmas, so please check back and download any you like.

The first gift is a quickpage:

Download here:

Many thanks to Emphemeral Victorian for the designer resources used to make the quickpage above. Note: tree is from Dover.


Sunday, December 9, 2007

Layouts Made With 50's Diners by Sandi Scraps

I'm old enough to remember some of the diners that were so popular years ago, many will lots of shiny chrome and flashy neon signs. Here in my hometown, there's a little place downtown that was a hangout for my parents when they were young, a cool place to grab lunch when I was downtown, and still operates today selling excellent barbeque sandwiches, delicious limeades, thick chocolate milkshakes, and icecream on old-fashioned sugar cones made on the premises.

When I saw Sandi's kit, I knew it was perfect for a tribute to a Norfolk tradition - Doumar's.

No background is included in the kit so I roughed out a night sky and parking lot and created a sign to go over the word "Diner."

Dourmar's has been in downtown Norfolk since the 1930's. Within the windows of the "diner" are photos left to right of: their famous barbeque sandwiches, Al Doumar working the ice cream cone machine. (An earlier Doumar invented the sugar waffle cone.), famous Doumar's limeade, behind the doors are waitresses Hilda and June in the 1940's (June is a family friend and my father's companion), waitress at counter with other Doumar brothers.

Above you see the inside of a typical diner of the period from Sandi's kit. I extracted the figures of my parents from some black & white photos from the 50's and colorized them to place them in the diner.

If you've got some 50's photos you need a home for and enjoy the look of 50's Diners you can find it here:

Recent Layouts Using Birth Announcement by Robin Ackler

All of the following layouts were made with Birth Announcement by RObin Ackler of Scrapbookersplayground. You can find this cute kit here:

Here's the outside of a baby shower invitation I made using the Log Cabin template (resized) from Jimstown and Robin's kit.
And here is the inside of the half-fold card. You can see this kit would be great for birth announcements, shower invitations, first birthdays and much more.
Robin thoughtfully included announcement cards for both boys and girls to hold all the pertinent information as you can see in this layout. (Large flower and frame center were cut from some of the papers.)

And if you don't want to use the anouncement card, the bib element can be enlarged to make a great journaling block as seen here.

And yes, if you're thinking you've seen this baby boy before, you are right. I haven't been able to get hold of Ty;er's hospital photo yet so put in his Uncle Jeremy's baby photo to see how it will look when finished.

A Sample From CTYD

If you missed Scrapbookersplayground's Crop 'Til You Drop last night, you missed a lot of fun. There were loads of mini kits - one planned for each hour starting at 7pm and only $2.00 each. During the crop, we tried to guess the kit name from the base kit we bought and additional elements that were given out free during the hour.

I checked in around 10pm and things were going strong. Left around 2am today and still a good number of hearty scrappers on hand. Lots of discount coupons and special offers were given during the crop too.

Here are a few quickpages I scrapped with the hourly kits as we chatted about anything and everything. And if you missed this crop, mark your calendar for January 19th when we're going to do it again!

I believe this one was the 10pm kit and the name is Walk On The Wild Side. (I think these kits will be offered in the store now, so check in if you see something you like. They would be under DDDesigns because Diosa created them.)

Oops, I've got the 12am kit here before the 11pm but that's okay, isn't it? This one is called Upsy Daisey and I guessed the title and won $5.00 in playground credits!

Here we go. This is the 11pm kit below, called Nutty Fudge.

The two above are from the 1am kit and I've forgotten the name. I was getting tired by then.

Hope you enjoyed seeing a sample of what our Crop "til You Drop kits are like. Please join us on January 19th and bring a friend.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Crop 'Til You Drop

Grr! Wanted to tell you about this sooner but have been ill. If you catch this, be sure you check out Scrapbookersplayground's Crop 'Til You Drop tonight at 7:00pm Eastern. Lots of goodies and lots of fun. We'll have designers dropping in throughout the evening and they'll be bringing goodies. Will try to stop by myself if I get to feeling better. Have fun!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

This week's CT layouts

This week I have two more new kits by Carol Burns of Carol's Crafty Corner (found at SBP) and one from Cathie Alessia (also found at SBP).

Here are two layouts created with Carol's "Purple Passion" which can be found here:

Don't you love these delicate filigree ornaments? And such pretty papers!
In the layout below, I filled the banner with white so my letters would show better & also put a white background behind the photo. I wanted that delicate silver frame to show up well.
Carol calls the kit I used, in the three layouts below, "Josephine 2." It's a very interesting and dramatic kit with three shades in the red family. In the first layout, you will see a deep red that manages to be both similar to dark garnet but also close to deepest orange red. I don't know how to describe it better. Using silver frames and accents with garnet and dark gives a very dramatic look, don't you think? Find the kit here:

The layout that follows features the coppery satin background. Again, put black with it and you've got a look that's both vintage and dramatic. I especially love that bubble frame; it's so art deco!

This final layout with "Josephine 2" shows off a lovely black and white paper and the accents in what I'd call a red red. I took the red bubble frame and expanded it to an oval shape to hold this photo of my grandson at 14 months of age.

Next you'll see three layouts with Cathie's "Friendship 2" found here:
As soon as I saw the red, I knew I had to scrap something with my friend, Wanda, in it. Red is her favorite color and this is a fun it I know she'll love. So here below is a layout recalling one of our annual retreats to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Show. The top photo shows me, my friend Sandy (Wanda's younger sister) and Wanda. In photo below that is of my mother and my Aunt Suzy (really Martha but we call her Suzy). This was about the last year Mom was able to go with us.

There are such cute elements to play with in this kit. I had to use the beads; they remind me of all our trips to bead shops and of making jewelry together.

Here's Cathie's kit again. The white paper is blending into my plain background; the paisley to the right side is a border on the paper. There are some beads again and to go with the darling flowers in the kit, I cut flowers from a blue paper to center the vintage photos on.

You've seen this layout before in my brief tribute to Walter. Here the paisleys aren't on the paper but I really like them as a border so added some of the individual paisley forms. The bead wrapped frame really sets off the page, doesn't it?

Next week

Don't know if I'm getting back on Sunday or Monday but when I do, there will be a featured artist of the week article. Next week's artist is Cherrie Webb better known as AfriDigiDiva. Please visit and read about her.

There will be free goodies for you too, I promise.

Free Holiday Printables from Lisa Vollrath

If you've never seen Lisa's countdown to Christmas offerings, you've been missing a good treat. Starting December first, she will post a holiday freebie to download each day until Christmas. Here is her link:

Don't forget to take a look at all the goodies Lisa makes and sells at TenTwoStudios.

Thank you Lisa for your holiday gifts!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Remembering Walter

If you visited on Sunday to read about my featured artist of the week and find a freebie, I disappointed you. Allow me to explain why.

The Sunday before Thanksgiving, our friend, Walter Harris, who had been fighting prostate cancer and complications from diabetes and gout, took a fall at home. He was taken to the emergency room to check for possible broken bones. There were none, but fluid had built up around his heart and in his lungs so he was admitted. Further testing showed that the end was near and on Thanksgiving Day he was moved to hospice care. He died very early on 25 November with his wife at his side.

My husband met him when Walter worked for the local transit authority from which he retired a number of years ago. The Harrises were our friends are well as neighbors. They helped us move into our house, and we often met for meals and chat. Walter was well educated, a former teacher. He had a dry wit and eclectic tastes in reading material - everything from the classics to vampire stories. He rescued abused dogs and often said he found animals more enjoyable than people. It's hard not to imagine picking up the phone to hear his soft spoken mellow tones suggesting we meet for breakfast at "Shonenberger's" as he called Shoney's. His favorite phrase was "Who cares?" delivered in a tone that suggested a deep cynicism but which hid a soft heart.
Walter would be amazed to discover just how many people did care when they heard the news of his demise. He wanted no funeral, no service but later this week friends will gather for a small wake at one of his favorite eateries and lift a glass to his memory. We'll miss him.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A few layouts with me and my family

When my ex-husband and I divorced, we agreed he'd keep the photo albums for our son, who stayed with him to finish his senior year of high school. It seemed reasonable at the time as I was moving back in with my parents until I could find my own place and didn't have a lot of room. I took my son's baby book to keep, only later realizing how few photos it contained. Nearly twenty-five years of my life sort of disappeared. I mention this to explain the layout below.

When I saw Carol Burns' "Coffee Break" I knew I wanted to do something about my grad school days at Virginia Commonwealth University. When the layout was all but complete, I realized I didn't have any photos from that time! However, my ex-husband had just loaned me our old albums to scan so I went searching through them. Had to extract me from a photo around that time and play with VCU symbols to cover over what was missing but I think it turned out pretty well. You can't read the layout very well here but the notepaper reads: Secrets to surviving graduate school:
Always take a cup of coffee with you when you have to teach 8 o'clock classes
For grading papers late at night, have coffee and chocolate ready,; glance through quickly and put the worst on top to do first.
If no one shows up for office hours, take a coffee break with a friend
Keep emergency chocolate in the office (but hide it from your office mate)

I actually prefer tea to coffee but coffee was more readily available on campus. Four days of the week, I'd leave home at 7 am to teach 8am classes, then rush to my own classes, get a couple hours to rush home and see to my son, fix the family dinner, rush back to campus several nights at week for eveing classes, rush home to study and grade student papers often 'til 2am, then back up again. Fridays were a lighter day class wise so I crammed study and research time and chores in then. Friday night I crashed and was allowed to sleep in until 10:30. Looking back it's hard to believe that in my thirties I survived two graduate programs while teaching and managing family responsibilites! I was tough but I sure loved it and really miss teaching.

Here's Carol Burns' "Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend" kit again. The two couples seen below are really the same - me and my husband. The first photo taken when we dated in high school (we graduated in 1969). It's not a very good photo of John who was tall, dark, and handsome. He was 6'4" tall and clearly Italian (first generation It.Amer. on father's side, several generations in SicilianAmer. on mother's side). I was 5'6" tall and incredibly skinny. I weighed just 86 lbs. in this photo (& no, I was not anorexic or anything like that), pale in comparison (English & Irish background). People always commented on the contrast.
The next photo was taken in 1995 when we got back together again. John's still handsome but has put on some weight. I'm not longer skinny but a normal size (pre fibro!). In love again, we were practically sparkling that day at the German Diner.

This is several years after the photo above. We married in 1996 and about a year later his daughter married. Her son, Tyler Reid Caron, was born October 27, 1998 - our first grandchild. This is Tyler's proud Papa holding him when he was 3 days old. I wish I'd taken better photos so you could see John's expression. He loves children and was overjoyed with his grandson. Still is.

This layout, also made with "Serenity" shows a casual pose of my son taken in 1996 along with his graduation photo. This is typical Jeremy with T-shirt and flannel shirt topper.

That's all the family layouts for the moment.

Layouts With Photos From My Parent's Albums

A few months ago, I borrowed my parents' photo albuns from Dad and have been busily scanning them and making layouts off and on.

The first two layouts here were created with AMB Designz' "Beautiful Honey" available at Scrapbookersplayground (SBP):
This one was taken about 1950. In the top right photo is my father; he used to spell his name with "ie" instead of the usual "y" so I've done the same thing in my layouts. He would have been 22 then and was still very skinny. When I was younger and until about age 26, I could not gain weight no matter what I tried. Dad showed me old photos of himself saying he was so thin my grandmother would have to take in the seams of any pants he bought and the back pockets were pretty much touching. Today my son has the same problem and he's nearly 30.
The yound man in the middle of the layout (right side of photo bottom left) is my father's younger brother, my Uncle Bobby who died earlier this year. Don't know who the friend is with him.

More photos from the same time period. I'm guessing 1949 when my parents married or 1950. That's my parents in the left hand photo and their friends. Mary & Leroy Daniels in the right. Because of the corsages, I think these photos were taken at Easter. They were visiting Norfolk's Zoological Garden in downtown. It has a zoo, play area for children, gardens and greenhouse. It would have been a nice place for them to go for a stroll and chat with friends.
Here are some layouts made with Carol Burns' "Golden Splendor." You can find the kit here:
The one below looks like early summer time and I'm approximating that these were taken prior to my parents' marriage because here my parents were accompanied in their visit to the Hague by Mom's older sister, Agnes Nadine Lowe Jarvis (Dean). I think Aunt Dean was in her early 20's at this time & already married. I suppose her husband, Raymond Jarvis was working at this time as there were no photos of him this day. He was a Norfolk policeman. Mom would have been either 15 0r 16 depending on the month. She turned 16 July 30 and married Dad (he was 21) on August 6 of this year.
I thought this was a pretty photo of Mom. Such a sweet expression. I tinted the photo to go with the paper.

The next two layouts contain photos of my parents' local honeymoon. I used J3's "Rose Garden" for these. Find it here:
The papers have a romantic feel and remind me of vintage wallpapers. Being young and not too financially secure, my parents honeymooned in Oceanview in Norfolk. At that time the area was something of a resort with beaches on the Chesapeake Bay, an amusement park with one of the nations tallest roller coasters (then) and nice resort hotels. This was before Virginia Beach and it's resort area was built up. People who lived in downtown Norfolk could ride the trolley car, often driven by my paternal great-grandfather, to Oceanview for a day's swimming or visit to the amusement park. The layout below shows the hotel Mom & Dad stayed in and my father standing in front of a ride at Oceanview.

The one below is a closer view of Dad & one of Mom standing by the sea wall at the park.
Weren't they cute?

Recent Layouts With Kits By Carol Burns

I'm behind in posting layouts here and updating my slideshow. Have just been too busy. Here are some layouts I've done with kits by Carol Burns.

These 2, using vintage photos, were made with "Fudge" which is available at SBP:

Now & Then

Little Beauties
The LO below was created with a new kit called "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend."
Romantic Couple
You'll see another LO with this kit in post with LOs of my family.
Here's another really cute kit by Carol called "Coffee Break." Find it here:

There's another layout too of grad school memories in the post about me and my family.
They All Drink Coffee

The kit I used for the alyouts of Irelans shown below is called "Celtic Knot." Find it here:
Don't you love the blue-green in these papers?

I'll end this post with the Irish prayer. Look for more of Carol's kits soon.