Thursday, August 31, 2006

tick tock tick tock

lastScrapperStanding 4
Originally uploaded by brungrrl.
Last night I finally got some veg-out time. I watched Project Runway for the first time ever. Normally, it'd be something totally up my alley. But lately I feel a bit removed from fashion. Probably because my cute clothes don't fit any more. Bah! But the effers and all the scrappers on 2 peas are talking about it, so I checked it out.

Heck, I feel removed from popular tv, too. We watch King of Queens during dinner and then it's off to scrappin' for me. Lost and Grey's Anatomy will be starting soon! I'm psyched!

As for all the scrappin... the month of August has been such a journey. Last Scrapper Standing has ruled our household. It has given me an opportunity to show off my skills and build some new skills. Having a challenge where you compete against the others forces you to stretch what you would normally do. I have tricks that I remix from time to time for challenges that arise in my general scrappin... but those weren't going to be nearly artistic enough for the competition.

For the final round, I spent about 10 hours on my layout. Probably more than that considering that I sat on the design for about a day and a half to make sure I had really worked through all the issues. That helped so much. Because when I actually put it to paper, it worked. The little cars and the ferris wheel were the right scale and didn't hang off the edge too much. And all put together, it really looked like a ferris wheel.

Only a couple things really perplexed me. When I first put the ferris wheel together, it looked flat. It didn't have much depth. I could have stacked a piece of cardboard or 2 to get the look, but I think it should have been handled with color. Something about the colors needed to be different to make the wheel pop from the base. Not sure. I'd be open to suggestions on that. (Like shadows in chalk on the background or a heavier black line on one edge?)

The other design flaw was the amount of empty space in the middle. It feels like something is missing. And maybe this goes back to the lack of depth. Maybe I should have added some flashing lights to the spokes. That'd draw the eye to the center. :-)

And John is so cute in his support of this. He joined me on the big comfy chair last night to look through all the entries one by one to see what the competition looked like.

Between Last Scrapper Standing and the 3 crops I've been to since April, I have gotten mad scrapping done this summer. And usually summer is a slow time for that hobby. For now, at least, the creativity is flowing and it feels good!

Ok... well wish me luck on the challenge. Can't wait til they post the results. :-)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


I am so tired. My entry for the final round of last scrapper standing is completed and I am exhausted. John seems to think it's a winner... but then, he did have some input on this one... so what does he know?

Tomorrow I will post it for all the world to see... and judge. Yikes!

Judging scrapping... that's like an oxymoron, isn't it? Like having an opinion that's wrong. Well, let me just say this month has been some of my finest scrapping ever, so whatever happens this challenge has ruled! And I can't wait to apply my new scrappin' fever to other projects. Stay tuned...


Sunday, August 27, 2006

about dare 3.5...

Well it has been a whirlwind since Thursday night, I tell you. I got home from a debacle of a FORK outing and all I could think about was sleep. I had spent the previous evenings readying dare 3 and working hard at work... so I was pooped. I sat down with my laptop thinking I'd just catch up for a few minutes before bed... and not worry about the dare until Friday when it was announced (if I even made it... the competition is getting fierce).

Well, wouldn't you know... they threw us a curveball. Dare 3.5 to weed out a few more people. And this one had a tighter time constraint. It was announced late Thursday evening and due Saturday by midnight. Eeek! I had an ALL DAY crop to attend at Red Letter Journals on Saturday! So this meant I had to post by Saturday morning before we left. So I got my pen and my think-journal and started coming up with a concept.

The challenge was to use a wet medium. I'd used paints before in my scrapbook pages. I could immediately think of a few predictable ways to use paint. But what would help me stand out? I have very limited abilities when it comes to wielding a paint brush. So I thought, keep it simple. But whatever I paint, it needs to make an impact on the page.

My answer to dare 3.5 is posted on Two Peas in a Bucket. I've had that piece of glass for a while. My grandma had given it to me to use for x-acto cutting, but I had a self-healing mat, so I didn't need it. And I had never considered using it for any project. but this could work. It wasn't big enough for me to be elaborate. I was keeping it simple this time. The glass was a bit blueish tinted, so that led me to this photo. I've been wanting to work with this photo for a while. It's one of my favorites from this year. And the quote I had seen at Hobby Lobby and had written it down just that week. Everything just fell into place for this one.

So this morning, the effer gals announced the next challenge to allow us time to get going on it. This afternoon they posted the list of folks moving on. I get so nervous checking the list each time!! My name was there. Let me look again. . . yep, still there. 1 of 27 remaining out of the 480 who started this contest. I've created 4 beautiful scrappin' works of art and learned so much along the way.

So I am off to brainstorm 10 patterned papers on one layout. Wish me luck.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Good news: I made it. 40 of 89 moved on. (Started with 480!)

On to the final round(s) . . .

Oh lordy.
Bad news: There is a challenge #3.5. Must use a wet medium. Well this is gonna get me right at my inner artist, eh?

Worse news: It's due SATURDAY by midnight!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

last scrapper standing 3 :: my favorite things

My entry is ready! It was actually ready last night. Overachiever, huh?!

Not really... I knew tonight was visit-with- baby- Reagan night, so I worked until it was a masterpiece last night.

My mind may not be processing this challenge thing right. Every week I think BIGGER, rather than more creative. It is still creative, it's just very time consuming when you can't say no to all the ideas that flood your mind. And you know what sucks? When you get it done and the PERFECT smaller design of the same info (if not more) pops into your head. Hello?! Where was that idea 5 days ago?! Next time...

So this is about My Favorite Things. Ironically enough, things that happen to be round. The cover shows a pair of earrings, my camera lens, and the emblem from my car. (Obviously, these were the random items that didn't fit in the categories designated for the book. Sometimes the creativity defines itself!)

The book is not really an accordian book, but it does fold out into multiple pages. I considered that 8 pages could be done on 4, front and back. But that wasn't how I wanted it to look. I was actually aiming for miles and miles of circular pages. :-)

And the backs are blank. Which could be a problem, but I really see it as an opportunity for more scrappin'. I can think of some parallel or future themes along the same lines to fill up the back. And of course, I'd stick with the same rules: all circles, no straight lines!

Wish me luck. I now have 24+ hours of anticipation and nail biting...

Friday, August 18, 2006

who rocks the scraps?!

Originally uploaded by brungrrl.

I made the cut this week on Last Scrapper Standing!

This is such the thrill. My goal was to just make it past round one. Well I accomplished that. But wouldn't you know, once I had a taste of it, I really wanted to make it to week 3! Well now I have. We are down to about 89 people from about 400. Looks like I'm top 25%. Go me.

Next week's challenge... circles!

I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Crashing Internet Explorer

Well.... on a technical note... it seems that my blog crashes Internet Explorer. Uhhh.... I don't know what to do. Just one more reason to use Firefox, I guess. :-)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

last scrapper standing #2: Life is a Gift

Whew! Entry submitted just under the wire. The challenge this week was 13 photos on one layout.

I posted it on Two Peas... have a look. This one also took two evenings to complete. I got some good inspiration from all kinds of folks. Funny when you tell people what the next challenge is, they immediately say "hmm", and their eyes roll to the left as their right brain starts churning up ideas. But I was sure glad to have the help on this one... there are just too many directions to go with many photos on a page.

Also, you can click on the link at right to see the other photos of the layout. C'mon, you know you are dying to unwind that string and see what's inside!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

life is a gift

I have a book titled Glimpses of Grace. It is by Madeleine L'Engle. She wrote the much famous children's novel A Wrinkle in Time that I read when I was probably 11 years old. That book was a life-changer for me. It was when I realized a lot of things about life... like that God is everywhere... really everywhere. That he is in science and relationships with other people and in your heartache and your joy. I went on to read more of Madeleine L'Engle's books. Each one was powerful and inspirational to me.

So when I discovered Glimpses of Grace as an adult, I was THRILLED. It's excerpts from both her books for both children and adults that serve as meditations on God and life in general. The book is organized as a reading for each day. It takes 5 minutes to read an entry. But it makes you think and fuels your day.

Today's entry is a father talking to his daughter. He tells her to love life. He says, "You can love it even when you're in anguish." There is something that most people would be afraid to say to each other in the midst of a crisis. But it's true. If you don't love life when it is the worst, how can you appreciate the best of the best times? It's hard to digest when we are in the deepest throws of sorrow and pain that it is something that is good for us. It's hard to understand that the worst heartache you can imagine serves any purpose that is good. But you have to love life and keep faith that there is a reason.

These words were reinforced at church today when our pastor talked about the origins of the hymn "It is well with my soul". The author had lost all his possessions in the Chicago Fire and his 4 daughters had died crossing the Atlantic. But upon feeling the weight of the anguish caused by these events... he wrote a song about eternal hope. He was loving life even in anguish.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Last Scrapper Standing - Dare #1

Dare #1... here is the gist of it:
Journaling. You must create a layout that has all of your journaling on top of your photo. All of it. And it has to be a decent chunk of story...not just a sentence. We want to see you creatively include a sizable story on your photo (or photos). You may add a title, embellishments and whatever you like to the rest of your page, but all the journaling MUST be on your photo.

JOHN: 1+1=us

Shwew. I did it. Only two evenings on this. (Not full evenings, mind you... but my brain did need to rest on the ideas from evening one before pulling it all together.) Don't laugh... I'm slow. It'll get better with practice.

This was not the photo I wanted to use for this dare... but it was among the photos I wanted to scrap, so it's good to have. And the dare provided plenty of inspiration. I'm pleased with how it turned out.

Here is list of stuff included on the page:
  • Paper from Urban Lily
  • Paper from KI Memories
  • Bazzill cardstock
  • Tab from ScrapWorks
  • Stamp from Verses Rubber Stamps
  • Rub-ons from EK Success
  • Rub-ons from Making Memories
  • "Us" sticker from American Crafts
  • Zig Vellum Writer in black
  • Zig Opaque Writer in white
  • Flash cards: vintage school supplies!
There is journaling on the photo. If you don't have a vellum writer and an opaque writer pen, you gotta get them. They ROCK for scrapping. They come in all colors, but a good army of black and white should go a long way. Writing on photos was already my new favorite scrapping technique, so I was really excited that it was the first dare! The journaling reads:

"Since we've been married... I've discovered... You measure in whole inches and ticks. You like lima beans but not peas. You were into model rockets as a kid... and you still are. You cook, clean, AND do laundry. Your love for me never waivers --> (Even when I'm a punk!)"

The tab was a "because it's cute" purchase a few weeks back at a local scrapbook store that is going out of business. (It was also on sale... but look how well it matches... how could I resist?!)

There is also journaling underneath the photo. The hidden words are more personal... so it makes sense that you have to work to get to them. This journaling is on orange cardstock that I distressed. Another favorite technique of mine. Basically... I get to beat the crap out of a piece of perfectly good paper. (Theresa and Jen would so cringe over this.) The inside reads

"We have been married for one year. At times, it seems like WE have always been. Other times it seems like we have so far to go together. Coming home to you is like coming HOME. Our live & relationship fills me with joy and contentment I would never have dreamed possible."

Add some rub-ons, doodle a border, it's good to go. Gluestick it and go. :-)

The lettering I did with a template. Sorry, not sure who made the template... I've had it for ages. I filled in the letters with a design that matches the striped paper and colored it in with colored pencils. (Gosh, I like coloring almost as much as cutting and pasting!!) I love the way these letters turned out. Totally worth the time and effort!

Now, my favorite part. The FLASH CARDS. Jen and Theresa didn't get how I would ever make use of addition flash cards and primer word cards in my scrapbook. Well, how fun is this! (Ok, I admit, I'm not sure what the heck I will do with 6+7, 3+3, etc... but I will be sure to blog about it when I figure it out!) The "us" primer card got cut down so it fit nicely in the sum area on the 1+1 card. It got distressed with chalk and ink so it stands out a bit. Add ribbon, staple, gluestick... title done.

This layout was pretty darn fun. And as soon as I get the photo I need from my mom to do my original idea, I will do it as well... with journaling ON the photo just like the dare. But we'll see if I have time to get that done in the next week while it's fresh in my mind. HOPEFULLY I will make it to week 2 of the dares. I have no illusions of winning the whole thing, but if I can make the first cut, I'll be happy. Wish me luck.

I'll leave you with the words of the stamp I used on this layout (love this stamp... so many people in my life to whom it applies):

Life gives us treasures to discover like the earth, the sky, and beautiful people like you.

Monday, August 07, 2006

happy 31st birthday to me!

happy 31st birthday to me!
Originally uploaded by brungrrl.
I had a most wonderful 31st birthday. We stayed home and didn't do much at all! I got greetings by email, phone, post, and in person. My cousins Katie and Kyle called me... they are so sweet to remember me when I suck and STILL haven't sent their birthday gifts to them!

My wonderful husband was OH so thoughtful and got me a card full of gifts. I got a day of scrappin at a local scrapbook store that should be a ton of fun. How cool for him to get me a whole day to myself! I also get dinner and a new computer accessory I've been jonesing for. (Mom & Dad chipped in bigtime on that also.)

That evening we had some of the gang over for ice cream sundaes. The sundaes were yummy and the company was delightful. Jari showed up with yet another card and FLOWERS from him and Becka.

How lucky is this old lady?! :-)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

top o' the mornin' to you!

We visited the Dublin Irish Festival tonight. It was huge this year! I think we only made it through a quarter of the place. We ended up the night at the Prodigals' show. The Prodigals freakin' rock! The lead singer is hot, hot, hot. No really, John agrees!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

she sells seashells down by the seashore

Just a quick post to show off a shadowbox I made for my Aunt Joan. It is a thank you present for letting us crash with her at the beach in early July.

The shadowbox is from JoAnn. The sticker letters are Basic Grey. The background paper I got at a rubber stamping convention in Akron last spring. It's a great textured paper from August Art Paper. The photos are by me and the sea shells are from Huntington Beach State Park in South Carolina.

The journaling reads, "Just as the shells in their fragmented beauty tell the story of the SEA... so too are our memories of days on the beach." My cousin Jessica wasn't much into picking up shells on the beach. Most of the shells on this stretch of beach are pretty crappy looking and mostly small and broken. But I LOVE seashells... so I was a determined beachcomber. Jessica tried to catch my enthusiasm, but it just wasn't happening. When I got home and cleaned and sorted the shells... I just kept thinking they were as beautiful to me then as they were that day on the beach when I picked them up. And I couldn't help but think that each shell used to be whole and a tiny creature lived there. And the creature probably lived out its natural life in that shell and when it passed away (or was eaten by a larger sea creature), its shell was tossed about by the sea - probably ferociously enough to break it to bits. And then it slowly washed up onto the shore to bask in the sun. That's when I came along "looking for little pretties."

OK... so my point... those clams, crabs, and conches lives had meaning and even though they got eaten (let's just admit that's what happened to them!)... their legacy lives on. The vessel of their lives is now a memento of memories from that vacation. It all has meaning... and even the smallest of creatures can have the most profound impact by doing hardly anything at all but living here on earth.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

scrap fever

Last weekend my sister-in-law Jen went with me to Wooster to my brother and other sister-in-law's house. We attended a weekend crop hosted by Custom Cut-ups of Wooster. Oh my goodness... WHAT a great weekend.

When Jen got to my house we both unwound by talking about our crappy week. With THAT out of the way... we could start filling up on better stuff! We chatted all the way to Wooster. When we got there, Theresa drove us to Lodi to a Scrapbook Outlet. The outlet had a lot of stuff, not really outlet prices though. And of course... we yacked it up all the way there and back.

OH... while we were at the outlet we stopped by the java joint in the food court. The owner gave us 2 drinks and a cinnamon roll for free and suggested we stay a bit and listen to the musician he had brought in. There was a lot of drama surrounding the music. Apparently one of the other food court vendors had complained about the noise and tried to nix the music... but the java guy was persistent in keeping the music. At least, that's what we understood of the story... it was kind of hard to hear him telling it. :-)

For dinner we let my brother join us for pizza in Amish country. Not sure how that works out... but it does! The pizza was awesome. I think the name of the town was Friendsburg. A little farming town. Apparently they have bring your tractor to school day at the local school there... so I hear.

The next morning we got up early. Scrap weekends are like Christmas. I want to go to bed early so I can wake up and it be scrap day already! (Or CRAP day... as I said, mixing the words CROP and SCRAP.... oh well, I'm a dufus.) Theresa knows how I like to start my day with coffee... so we stopped at Tulipan Hungarian Pastry & Coffee Shop in downtown Wooster. Yummers on both pastries and coffee!

We were at the Best Western by 9:30am. The energy was already in motion because most of the scrappers started on Friday evening. Oh yeah! Find our tables and get set up. Our goodie bags ROCKED. There was a Karen Foster kit with paper and elements, several awesome sticker sheets, and a magazine. AND... we got $10 coupons to spend at the store.

The three of us are kind of picky about having our photos sorted and ready to scrap when we get there. So we don't mess around with sorting and organizing at the crop. So... we started scrapping. We share tools, paper, and ideas and help each other out when we get creative block. And we poke plenty of fun at each other. The girls make fun of my glue stick and my non-archival free habits (oops). And we laugh at Jen for being over organized. (Really though... she is a master of organization.)

That afternoon we took a break and went to the store to use our $10 coupons. There was a free gift when you bought so much American Crafts paper and stickers. The gift was WAY tempting... so we all three indulged. The paper is gorgeous... and I have already used most of the free gift... so I guess it was pretty cool, too. The Custom Cut-ups store is VERY cool. They have an extraordinary selection of stuff. And some very cool ideas on display in the store.

Speaking of ideas... the make-n-takes we did at the crop RULED. One was a page about ourselves, complete with a photo. Another was an idea for using multiple papers from the same line on one layout (this was handy Saturday night when my brain was fried). And the coolest one that I haven't finished yet is a fold-out accordian-style book that we made with 2 boards and 3 sheets of cardstock.

I got about 12 pages done all weekend... this is good for me. Sure, sure. Theresa got a whopping 30-some pages done. We had an awesome time. It is so sad to pack up and leave on Sunday. Can't wait for the next one!