Wednesday, December 01, 2010

New Blog Address!

Hey everyone! I have a new blog, so hop on over to and check it out. It has a new focus since my life and hobbies have changed. I'm scrapping again and I've added some new interests and hobbies as well.

I'll shut this one down at the end of the year.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tis the Season.... win stuff! Check out Kayce's blog for a chance to win a cute dress!

She makes really cute, timeless clothing!

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

I stamped because...

...I had to! Mother's Day is coming up and I had no Mother's Day cards! I whipped up two extremely simple cards that I cased from a swap card I received years ago. I won't go into details about the cards I made because it's not my design, but I thought I'd share how and where I store my cards.

My mother loves antiques and furniture, and she passed that love on to me. I bought a secretary for our first home 10 years ago and I have to say that it's one of my favorite pieces in our house. I never really used it though until recently. I finally decided to bring down all of my finished cards and put them in the secretary along with my address book and stamps. I love it! It's a system that really works and my husband uses it too!

As much as I love my little stamp room, it's usually a mess and I'm not very organized in it. When I brought my finished cards down into the living room, it was much easier to pick one out, address it and send it out!

Have you sent any cards out lately?

Monday, May 03, 2010

Things That Make Me Happy


I tend to go overboard most of the time. I get these crazy ideas and projects in mind and then I eventually abandon the project altogether.

My garden is an example of that. I had this crazy idea that I'd turn a corner of the yard from a weedy eyesore to an English perennial garden complete with water feature. Not gonna happen. It so happens that I hate weeding and maintaining such a garden.

I am really good at growing roses though. They are relatively easy plants despite their reputation for being difficult. Roses and I get along quite well actually. Last year I planted several rose bushes in the backyard and they are doing pretty well now. I also have a few tomato plants and I tossed in some delphiniums that I saw at Lowe's last week.

I'll never have that idyllic English perennial garden, but my little rose garden in the back yard makes me happy.
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Thursday, April 01, 2010

My first actions!


I've finally gotten around to playing with my photoshop elements software. Unfortunately, I have windows 7 now and my photoshop elements 6 acts a little erratically. Still, it's good for me to learn, and eventually I'll upgrade to CS5 when it comes out.

On these two shots, I used about three different Pioneer Woman actions for elements. I boosted the color, tried the ephemeral action which I like on the flowers and I used an edge burn action which is the same as vignetting. That gives the photo a darkness around the edge which I currently like.

If you're getting into actions and editing and are a newbie like me, check out Erin makes wonderful videos that are very detailed and helpful. I'm the kind of person who needs to know all of the details when I'm learning something new and her videos are perfect!

I followed her video on how to install the actions and I was up and running in about 15 minutes!

Since I'm still learning about PSE, I used Picassa to make this before and after photo collage. Picassa is my crutch. But, I figure, I'll eventually get better in PSE!

Thanks for stopping by!
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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring is here!


Well, it's finally looking a little bit like spring here. The weather is rainy and warm, the roses are showing signs of growth, and the grass is starting to green up again.

In NC, Spring rushes in with tons of blooming trees, daffodils, and all sorts of colorful displays. Here in TX, there's just a general greening up of the grass, and a few redbuds. I did see one lone dogwood tree yesterday in bloom and it made me so homesick. Dogwoods are my favorite! One thing we do have here is wildflowers. Tons of them! I have seen tons of these little yellow flowers and in our neighborhood there was a small patch in the median on the main road through the hood. Much to my daughter's dismay I dragged her out for this photo shoot. We were lying in the median as the afternoon rush hour traffic whizzed by.

I love this shot. Although my daughter doesn't really appreciate these photos now, I hope that someday she'll look at these and see what I see: a beautiful young girl growing into a beautiful young lady.
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Saturday, March 06, 2010

Congratulations LTC Matson!


My hubby was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel today. My son actually took this photo, thus, the blurry me! I didn't get any photos of the actual ceremony because I was standing up there with him, but someone was there taking pictures. I'm not sure who was taking the pictures, but the whole time, I was watching out of the corner of my eye wondering what settings he was using and cringing everytime his flash went off.

I really ought to get more pictures of my husband and me together. I cherish the photos we do have of us together.

So, if you're like me and never in the photos, hand the camera over the kids or another adult. Even if the photo is less than perfect, you'll cherish it!
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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Update and a photo


Well, after my last frustrated to-do list post, I've managed to get quite a bit done! My daughter and I did paint her furniture, and what a difference it makes! When she was a toddler, I had painted her bedside table and armoire a pale pink and she had faux painted walls with murals, etc in her room. A dreamy garden theme. Well, she hates pink now! So we painted her furniture an eggshell white and it is so calm and clean now. She's even keeping her room clean! Woo hoo! Now, I need to make her bedskirt to bring in a light blue and then we'll paint the walls a pale blue.

As for the picture, let me say that in my family, none of us are that photogenic. We're just not the kind of people who always take great pictures. We all have sensitive eyes, so everytime we go outside for photos, we're all squinting!

When I took this pic I was going for something completely different, but when I loaded the shots onto my computer, this little gem caught my eye. There's no editing on my photos by the way. I'm still learning photography. I'll get to the editing part later this year.

Any stamping or crafting going on around here? Nope. In fact, my craft room has been empty and lonely for weeks. No action up there. I've been itching to do some die cutting. I think I'll go to splitcoast and see if there are any challenges to get me back in the saddle.

Have a great day everyone!
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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010


I tend to be very impatient. I want a lot of things and I want it all right now!

Currently, my wish list includes the following:

1. Complete decorating my daughter's room.
2. Become an amazing photographer.
3. Scrap all of my photos beautifully.
4. Keep my house ready-for-company-clean at all times.
5. Supplement my children's learning at home. (I just purchased some used grammar textbooks)
6. Send out amazing hand-stamped/crafted greeting cards to friends and family for all occasions.
7. Buy a Canon 7D and $900 lens to complete my photography goals.
8. Find money to complete #7.
9. Lose 10 lbs. I really mean it this time!

I'm exhausted and depressed just thinking about this list. So what do I do? Sit on the couch in my pj's blog hopping of course!

Why can't I be one of those people who just wakes up ready to tackle the to-do list with gusto? Why am I always too tired or too busy picking up dog hair and random dirty socks to even begin my wish list?

Well, one excuse I can offer is that we've been preparing for the 20th annual Wax Museum event at Tom Cox Intermediate school. I've heard of these wax museum projects at other schools, but neither of my children had participated in one of this magnitude before. My daughter, Emma chose to be Louisa May Alcott. She did the research, typed up the info on my laptop, made the display board and put together the outfit. We all were a little annoyed at the whole process and none of us here at home really wanted to give up a night at home to go to the wax museum event at school last night.

I'm so glad we rallied and went! Some 140 fifth graders piled into the building and lined the halls in their finest costumes and impressive display boards. We parents paraded down the halls for about an hour and were amazed at the dedication the children showed as they remained museum-still in their characters. We're already plotting what character my son will choose in two years. I'm thinking that a military figure will be a natural choise. Easy costume, too.

Of course, I grabbed my camera and took a few shots. I was limited by the flourescent lighting and drab concrete walls. I really wanted to capture the fact that there were so many dedicated participants, but keep the focus on my daughter. I managed to grab this shot quickly as I followed the herd of parents down the hall. My daughter is trying not to smile.


Back to my wishlist. I don't have any great layouts to show right now, but I did manage to pick up a gallon of paint for my daughter's room.

Let's hope I can rise and shine tomorrow and shed the pj's and get going on that list!
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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Amazing Blog Candy!

I've seen a lot of interesting and fabulous blog prizes, but this one just might be my favorite! Go check it out!

I'm still here working on my photography and organizing my scrap stash.

I'll come back later with a full update!

Friday, January 15, 2010

edited to add...

In an earlier post, I said something that could have been taken as a putdown or snarky. I made a comment about real life pictures vs photos posed in front of railroad tracks or on a couch in a field.

I'm not opposed to or turned off by any particular style of photography. I just feel silly whenever I try to do something artsy like that. I don't feel authentic when I try something different. I feel like I'm trying too hard. So, I prefer to just try to perfect the art of capturing our crazy, normal life here at home.

That being said, here's today's photo:

The kids had fun and they were great sports about me taking lots of photos. The lighting was difficult with it being cloudy one minute and then bright and sunny the next. So, all in all, no great shots, but it sure was fun trying!

I keep reminding myself that it's not the destination, but the journey!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Lighter Side


Last night I was taking some photos to try out different angles, settings, etc. I still have no idea what I'm doing, but I'm having a blast trying!

I just uploaded that batch of photos on my computer and I found this pic. Makes me laugh. I know some people aren't fond of cats, but the expression on our cat, Zeus's face is priceless. He looks annoyed, but he totally loves being played with. He just keeps coming back for more.
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If you're a scrapbooker, then you must have heard of Ali's one little word. I've never chosen a word for myself because I rarely ever stick with anything and I tend to avoid things like this. But, this year, a word just popped in my head and it struck a chord with me.

de·lib·er·ate (di-ˈli-bə-rət) adj.
1. Done with or marked by full consciousness of the nature and effects; intentional.
2. Arising from or marked by careful consideration: a deliberate decision.
3. Unhurried in action, movement, or manner, as if trying to avoid error: moved at a deliberate pace; be aware of.

I tend to fly through life with lots of loosely constructed goals but I really have trouble organizing my actions to meet my goals. For me, the word deliberate means to do everything with a purpose. Not just do what feels right at the moment.

Here's how I plan to implement this word into my life:

1. Write down my goals/projects.
2. Write down actions needed to achieve goals and/or finish projects.
3. Record successes along the way.
4. Enjoy the process or at least praise myself for completing the goals and projects.
5. Involve my family in the process because most of my goals positively affect them.

For example, one of my goals is to decorate my daughter's room. I've been putting it off because it involves a lot of painting. Ugh. Another goal is to improve my photography skills. I'm already taking the class, now I just need to practice!

Ultimately, by making my actions deliberate, I hope to avoid my common pitfalls of procrastinating and avoiding my daily tasks and projects. No more abandoned projects or avoided goals.

I won't even go into how I've been wanting/needing to start exercising more. I'll tackle that later. ugh

What's your word?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

photography class

I've got a list a mile long of things I want to accomplish this year and in my life in general. One of the items on that list was to become a better photographer. In the past, I've always had lots of hobbies and interests, but I rarely took the time to educate myself on any one of those interests. Silly really, but true.

I have a very nice digital SLR with various lenses to go with it. My husband and children grin and bear it when I announce that it's time to take some family photos. I take lots and lots of photos, and rarely get any really GOOD photos. Plenty of happy, decent photos, but nothing spectacular.

A year or two ago, I heard about Karen Russell. ( I was immediately taken by her photographs of her family. They were real photos, not fancy photos taken on a couch in a field or in front of train track, but real photos in and around her house and they all looked fantastic. When I found out that she taught a photography class online, I immediately signed up for the wait list and now I'm in her class!

We're in week two and I'm already enjoying taking photos so much more! I'm more relaxed and I'm just snapping away and I'm starting to get shots that I really like.

I'm going to share a few of my fav's from today. Do not judge me! LOL! Technically, these are not great photos, but I'm so happy to have captured a few moments that I cherish and I didn't have to bribe, yell, curse under my breath or threaten anyone to get these photos.

In my mind, that's a success.

In this first photo, my camera settings are all wrong, but I was just playing around. I got this shot of my son and our dog, Pickles. My son is good with animals. They all seem to love and trust him. I love this picture because it shows Connor's gentle touch and Pickles' totally serious, but loving look.

In the second shot, I changed the settings a bit and got this shot of my daughter, Emma and her cat Zeus. I love this shot because it shows the fun these two have together. I also love the happiness on my daughter's face. She can be a little moody and not at all interested in being photographed, but in a rare moment, she was game to play along.

I hope you'll take the time this year to learn more about something you're interested in. Take a class, or read a book on the subject. Check out Karen's site too. She's a great photographer, and she tells great stories.

More Wedding layouts

Hello again! Here is another wedding layout. Sorry for the glare on the right side of the photo. My mom was packing up her stuff and I wanted to grab a quick photo of her layout before the sun went down.

These photos aren't my fav of the bunch, but it's fun to see the shot of us coming down the aisle, newly married. In the photo on the right I'm casting a sideways glance to someone, and I look a little odd, but my husband looks quite fetching in my opinion. : )

Another reason I am sharing this layout is to show how cute the new Stampin' Up! cut and emboss butterfly sizzlit! Here's a close up picuture.

Love those butterflies!

Again, the supplies used here are mostly Making Memories plus the SU sizzlit. Random ribbon and jewels too.

I'm still cleaning up around here now that my holidays are officially over. I've been either travelling or entertaining since Christmas Day, and I'm finally having some time to myself to clean up and get back to normal.

I'm also ready to really dive into the photog. class I'm taking. I'm totally overwhelmed by it all. I'm also realizing that I'm going to need to update my camera. I've got the old first-generation Canon digital Rebel, and although I'm happy with it, cameras have come a long way since mine was made. I'll warn you in advance that I'll be posting pics of my kids a lot during the next several weeks.

Don't worry, I'll post scrappy pics too!


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Monday, January 11, 2010

So many pictures, so little time...

Well, since it's a new year, I suppose it's a good time to finally scrap those wedding photos. Note: I've been married for almost 12 years! My mom was visiting for a week, so we sat down together and each made an 8x8 album of the big day.

Here's how we tackled this big project:

1. Gather supplies. I have been gathering silver, black, white and all sorts of glittery goodness for this album for a few months now.

2. Gather the photos. We had duplicates of many of the photos and for the rest of the photos we scanned or just divided up photos that were basically the same. Since we had a family member take the photos, we didn't need to worry about getting permission to scan.

3. Make an outline of what photos would go on which page. I'm an outline girl. I always gather my thoughts before I dive into a project like this.

4. Rather than scrap each page starting with page one, we picked the background papers for each page and slid them down in the page protectors with the corresponding photos. We did this because we were sharing supplies and I wanted to make sure that we each got to use the papers we each wanted to use. My mom's and my pages varied slightly.

5. Once each page was planned and started we dove into the fun part of putting the pieces together and embellishing. We didn't finish the whole albums, but it's all downhill from here since the hard work is done. I sent my mom home with her partially finished album and plenty of embellishments to finish her album and I'll finish my album here in the coming weeks.

I am really enjoying the 8x8 size format. I was surprised that I couldn't find as many choices in that size, though. We finally found 8x8 albums and refills at Archivers in Katy, TX. We are using Pioneer post bound albums that are covered in linen with a windown in front for a photo.

The picture above is from my mom's album. Nothing too fancy, just my portrait. On my laptop screen here, I'm noticing that my hair looks really red. It's not. I'm more of a strawberry blond. I guess my photo lightening on Picasa caused that strange coloration.

I'll post more pics over the next few weeks.

Supplies used in the album include:
Making Memories Wedding papers and embellishments. Various other brands of paper, various butterfly punches including the new Stampin' Up emboss and cut butterly (love it!), assorted ribbons, jewels, pearls and much more.

Thanks for stopping by!
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