Thursday, September 30, 2010

fall inspiration

As fall peaks through and swings back to summer all in the same day sometimes... these are the things inspiring me right now.

Whimsical, handmade parties for children...

A digital scrapbooking kit with vintage colors, textures, and photographic elements...

End of summer getaways. Some familar, some new, filled with sunshine and cool breezes...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


We spent a long weekend in Florida. It was hot in Ohio when we left on Thursday. It was hot the whole time we were in Florida.

We spent every day cherishing the vanishing summer lifestyle. We splashed at the beach, the pool, the water park. We wore flip flops and sleeveless shirts. We ate ice cream outside. We had a picnic.

It was raining and 59 degrees when we got back.  Good-bye summer.

Last photo shot on expired 100 speed film.  A fun little experiment with grainy, imperfect, beautiful results.  Sometimes you just gotta mix things up, you know?

Sunday, September 19, 2010


We volunteer with the youth at church.

JT sometimes comes with us. It makes for interesting adventures for a toddler.

Tonight got a little bit messy.

Can you imagine... when he graduates from high school, he'll have been with the youth program for 18 years?

He better learn to enjoy getting messy.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

the next phase

Originally uploaded by brungrrl
Did I mention my boy started preschool a few weeks ago? We hit it hard.

Tears on day 2, day 3, night 3, day 4, day 5, weekend, Sunday night, etc. I cried, too. I mean, what kind of parent sends their kid to SCHOOL?! The horror. I must have lost my mind. He doesn't know anyone... it's too much fun... there's too much structure. Oh wait, those are good things. And I'M the parent.

Then he caught the first illness. The fever hit the exact moment John boarded a plane to work out of town for a bit. Home 2 and a half days. John came home, we had a lovely long weekend. And no sooner than all was normal, the illness took ME down.

JT is doing better with school this week. No tears and he may have made a few friends. There are also little signs that he is paying attention and learning a few things, too!

Tonight we met up with his buddies Sammy & Bradley for a playdate. They hugged and squealed and jumped up and down... a most happy reunion. Good friends are a treasure.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

signs of fall

Have you noticed the little signs that fall is coming?

My favorite season has passed. I'm not sure why summer is my favorite season still. It doesn't hold the same meaning that it used to. I have to go to work instead of lounging about reading books. I get to do laundry at night instead of catching fireflies. And I rarely go around barefoot on the blacktop or splash in puddles. But still, I'm a SUMMER girl.

I never understand why people love fall. It's the harbinger of winter, the dreaded season. It's unpredictable: will the leaves have good color? will it rain every weekend? will it be ice cold for Halloween?

But oh! When fall is good, it is GOOD. Easy, breezy weather. Crunchy leaves. The smell of change in the air... I can get into the possibilities.

So we've started to notice that fall is coming to our home. In order to embrace the spirit of the season, I embraced a pumpkin spice latte and some pumpkin butter on Labor Day weekend. And I took a few leaf pictures, even though they were still mostly green. It's the little things that keep one's spirits up, you know?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

April 12

Last week was the 12th once again. I took my pictures and finished the layout. It doesn't happen in an instant, that's for sure... I spent small amounts of time a couple evenings last week and over the weekend editing the pictures and making the layout. Sometimes that's all I can get... a couple minutes here and a couple minutes there. But I LIKE scrapbooking and pictures. So it's actually a rewarding, rejuvenating way to spend a few minutes of my day.

I get asked a lot, "how do you have TIME to do all that?" Well, there's not much time. And with John out of town last week, there was really no time. I just started the week with the intention that my evening priorities after JT went to bed were one load of laundry each day and to finish this layout.

Apr 12 2010, pg 1

So JT and I spent some evening time with friends, played outside a lot, ate dinner, talked about everything, and watched Charlotte's Web. And I spent my "me time" before my bedtime doing three loads of laundry and scrapbooking this one simple day in the history of our lives.

Apr 12 2010, pg 2

The template I'm using for my 12 on the 12th project is from Ali Edwards' Yesterday Today class. It works out really well with plenty of spaces to put photos, paper, words, embellishments and still have lots of room for journaling. My emphasis this year is definitely on telling the stories about how we spend our days. The butterflies are from Vera Lim Designs.

Last year on this day, we celebrated Easter. And hung out with my parents. And I also used a butterfly for a page accent:

April 12 of 12

I love looking back and seeing how much has changed. Look at JT sitting in his high chair. Now he's almost too big for the booster seat.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

week in the life

Originally uploaded by brungrrl
We're still going with a week in our life. I think I took about 6 pictures today. It doesn't take many, really.

This is the first picture I took this week on Monday morning taking JT to the sitter's. Not a bad start to the week or the project.

I'm writing my journaling, but all the finishing will have to happen next week.

Monday, April 19, 2010

document our week

[ Ali Edwards ] : 168 Hours : Welcome To A Week In The Life

It's a busy week. We're documenting it.


Sometimes there is more to the waterfall...

than the waterfall itself...

Hayden Falls on April 1...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

digital vintage

I might have mentioned my fondness for Flickr Commons. Recently I noticed that the local Upper Arlington Public Library is now participating, too. Score!!

One of their images is a map of Franklin County with no known copyright restrictions. It's so interesting to me that our neighborhood and the surrounding area used to be owned by a couple families (I think they had horse farms here). And their names are familiar because present-day elementary schools and roads are named after these families.

I have loved maps forever. I probably took more geography classes in college than a business major really needs to. Incorporating maps into my scrapbook pages is a way to capture a sense of place and history. Here's a digital scrap layout I made of our little family using the map as the background paper:

On this layout, I used a small portion of the map as one of the squares in this template. I also included a bit of a scanned newspaper ad from 1944 - saved by my Grandma. There is also a bit of a canceled check signed by my Grandma's father. The check was written for oats! I paired these little bits of JT's heritage with pictures of him that I reworked this past week.

Now I'll just need to print it out and figure out if there is room for another page in his baby album.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Inspiring me this week...

For the photos and the story being told by two sisters in two different cities, three hundred miles apart.

Notebook Doodles, for the handwriting, photos, sentiments. And she has some crazy good taste in nail polish. I don't even wear nail polish and it makes me want to paint my nails every time she recommends a color.

Lisa Congdon's Collection a Day, 2010. It's uncanny the things she posts that I know I have stashed away somewhere. I could find an assortment of maps, corks, bottlecaps, flash cards, sea shells, vintage photos, paper dolls, and myriad other things in my basement for sure. But don't her collections look so pretty in the pictures?

Now for some weekend... yes!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

editing old photos

Sometimes browsing and re-editing photos doesn't have to be with photos that are very old. Let's suppose, for instance, that I've learned quite a bit about taking and editing photos since JT was 6 months old: January 9, 2008.

So I would likely not take these hideous photos any more:

Ok, so I probably still take photos that are just this awful in color and background choices. But let's be clear, he was an awfully cute baby. And now that he's not a baby any more, I want to preserve and cherish as many images of those chubby cheeks as I can.

In the past two years, I've taken and edited quite a lot of photos. And I now know a few more tricks for making ugly photos work for me. At the moment, black and white images are my favorites.

When I started working with Lightroom, one of the books I read suggested keeping original files for this very reason. If you edit a photo you take today, keep the original file preserved. Save your changes in a file with a different name. Lightroom and even iPhoto will also help you do this. These pictures from my archive happened to be preserved as originals and modified images within iPhoto.

Let's think of it as a memory saved.

Monday, April 12, 2010

funky fresh

This past February, when the snow was piled high and the temperature was dipping LOW.... Becka, Jessica, and I headed to the Short North for a little photo session.

It was not a season for gallivanting around town coatless... NOR for sitting on ice-covered benches. But she did. And looking gorgeous all the while.

Jessica was just shy of 18 when we took these. I cannot believe that my friend's daughter is going to graduate from high school very soon. I could cry my eyes out remembering how young she was when I first met her. Time flies!

This girl is beautiful inside and out. Caring and compassionate, stylish, smiles and laughter... it's what she has always been about. We took pictures of innumerable outfit changes, her glasses to show her smart side, and with a magazine to show her fun side. Here, we've captured one of her greater talents: immense Friends trivia knowledge. Just ask her anything and she can name the episode and the full quote!

Look out college... this girl is on her way... Much love, Jessica!

Friday, April 09, 2010


My brother and sister-in-law AND my parents are building new homes this year. It means they show up with siding, countertop, and flooring samples everywhere we go.

We've lived in our 1987-built home for 5 years now. When we moved in I chose paint colors, furniture, and accessories for every room. In some rooms, I even hung pictures on the walls.

Now, thanks to a better understanding of incandescent light and its affect on my photos, I want walls that are NOT yellow. Imagine taking pictures all the long, cold, dark winter with natural-looking skin tones. Oh, Bungalow Gold, we had a good run, but I'm over you!

Roman Shades for the living room

Repainting is not on my radar, nor in the budget any time soon. But a girl can dream right? Here's what's inspiring my future paint choices.

A light and bright bathroom with a teency bit of color:

A bright, but modest kitchen with glorious light. I have the windows... now for the white and little details like tile backsplash and chandelier.

More white and light. And a table with mismatched chairs. This image comes from a book called Simply Scandinavian. I could devour the entire book, I'm sure. I'll keep checking for it at my library.

If you need further inspiration, look to Design Sponge. It's a great round-up of beautiful and modern living.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

goodbye snow

What. A. Winter. That was a crazy amount of snow! To commemorate the season, I made a page with some pictures and the words we used to describe the mass quantities of white flakes. You know, like SNOMG, snowmageddon, and snowpocalypse! Were there other other catastrophic descriptors for the winter wonderland that I missed?

This layout is really simple. A block of 4 nearly square photos, letters cut with my sister-in-law's Cricut, rubons, and hand lettering. Nothing fancy, just had to get it out of my head and onto cardstock. Die-cut cardstock with a scallop edge to be specific.

I paired the layout with 4x6 photos of more snowy adventures. I also included a journal block to write a few more of my thoughts. The journal card is an overlay from Designer Digitals, Title + Journal Photo Overlays No. 01 by Ali Edwards. I like printing out a handful of these at a time to fill in a quick story among several photos.

And now... I'm ready to move onto spring!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Easter re-cap

The bunny came by bright and early on Sunday morning and left a nest in the backyard. It was a little bigger this year, because it was for Maddy, too. But it contained all the usual things: clothes, books, toys, and of course, CANDY.

JT wasn't too sure about going out to the nest because he was "chilly." The mention of candy was enough to lure him outside anyway. We warmed up afterwards with Aunt Becka's homemade cinnamon rolls. Mmm, mmm.

After breakfast, I reached another Mommy Milestone. I forced my kid to wear a tie and sweater vest for a holiday. I also had to wet his hair down to keep it tamed for church. Coaxed by a few jelly beans, he eventually wore the whole outfit most of the day. Yay!

Bill, Theresa, and Maddy were looking darling on this sun-shining day. Can you believe Bill picked out Maddy's Easter dress? Excellent choice. She looked so sweet and classy in her green dress and white sweater.

After church, Aunt Memaw and Uncle Papa joined us for Easter dinner. We had "Vermonte" Cristo sandwiches (made with VT white cheddar cheese & syrup), 7 layer salad, and Nana's deviled eggs.

After lunch we played and took more pictures. As challenging as it is to get JT to sit still, we were able to trick him into sitting near Maddy for a picture. Unfortunately for her, our attempts to engage him meant that she got Easter grass on her head or was otherwise knocked over by her cousin.
But I think she doesn't really mind all the attention so much...

Monday, April 05, 2010

family time

The fam showed up on Saturday and we headed to the zoo.

Maddy experienced the zoo for the first time.

JT saw all his favorite things like snakes, penguins, and the aquarium. His favorite part is watching the diver feed the fish.

The adults were so inspired by the aquarium, we went out to dinner at a hibachi grill for some yummy seafood.

Back at home, we let the kids stay up way late playing trucks with Nana.

Friday, April 02, 2010

spring arrives!

Inspiring me today, as we approach Easter weekend. Flickr favorites, click for sources:

Flowery edgers for digital scrapbook layouts:

Perseverence (photo by me):

Easter morning excitement:

E.B. wuz here.

And amazing love:

Jesus at the window