Monday, July 30, 2012

Flip It!

Along with my many other Design Team duties @ Let's Scrap, I also must post a challenge during my term.  My challenge was posted on Friday.  For any of you readers who aren't members @ Let's Scrap, "why the Sam Hill, not?"  (wink. wink.)  Here it is:

Flip It!
This challenge is designed to get you to think outside the box. There are 164 wonderful sketches posted on Let's Scrap, but did you know that one sketch can be used many different ways? Other than as originally published? By my quick math and all of the ways a layout can be rotated, the 164 layouts easily become over 1,900 options! Boggles the mind, doesn't it?

For this challenge, you can use any LS sketch designed for a scrapbook layout. No card sketches are allowed. You must take the sketch and either flip it (think mirror image) or rotate it. If you decide to do a two-page layout, both sides of the sketch must be flipped or rotated!

Here is the original sketch I used:

Originally published:  1-4-12
I rotated both sides 90 degrees and then swapped the right with the left and here's my new, revised sketch:

And, here is my take on it:

Bill gets Buzzed!
Note: I did move the border on the right hand page to
the middle as I thought it looked like a natural spot for it.
Of course, this technique is not limited to the sketches on Let's would work with any sketch or design ever invented.  Ever.

I "challenge" you to give it a try.  C' know you want to!

If you'd like to participate in the draw at Let's Scrap, here are the "official" rules:
Here are the rules:
  1. Create a single or double layout using a Let’s Scrap Sketch (no cards).
  2. After determining which LS sketch you will use, either rotate it or flip it. It cannot be used as originally published.
  3. You have 2 weeks to complete this challenge. All layouts must be uploaded to the gallery no later than August 10, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. (per the clock on the main page).
  4. This challenge cannot be combined with any other challenge, contest, or used for the weekly main page sketch layout contest/draw.
  5. Your layout must be NEW for this challenge!
  6. Be sure to tag your layout correctly: challenge141 (all one word), followed by a comma, a space, and the sketch number you used. My tag will read: challenge141, 1-4-12.
  7. When you upload your layout, please make sure to note how you changed the layout orientation from the original.
I will be offering a small random prize to one lucky winner that participates in this challenge (only on the Let's Scrap website).

Good luck and happy scrappin’

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Key West - Part One

Yep.  It's true.  We drove to Key West from Fort Lauderdale smack dab in the middle of July!  You might think we are a bit insane, but I assure you...we are not!  It was lovely.  The drive down Highway 1 was great. The scenery and views of the ocean along the way seemed like we were in a foreign country and we were still in the US!

It's not that far in miles, but it took hours to get there. This trip has been on my Bucket List for quite some time, and I WANTED to drive it.  Unless you fly into Key West, there is no other way to get there. The trip is worth the four or five hours of slow driving; there's so much to see along the way. The highway and the seven mile bridge have been in many movies.  Bill was just dying to see the part that got blown up in the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, True Lies!

We stopped only once to stretch our legs and talk to the local fishermen. I had to have a picture just before we got on the bridge. Each little island (Key) was more fabulous than the last! The water is a beautiful teal color. After about 4 hours +/-, we finally crossed the last bridge into Key West.  Hooray, that was a long drive and my butt hurt! 

I couldn't wait to see my Uncle.  It was an emotional reunion.  Don't really know why.  I was so darn happy to see him and actually be standing in his driveway.  Good lord, what took me so long to get down here?

After our reunion I settled down, we went to return the rental car.  Someone told us that we wouldn't need a car once we arrived, plus it is much cheaper more fun to rent another mode of transportation.  Key West is truly a small island, "but big enough to get lost!"  There are lots of options:  bicycles, scooters, and many odd-looking little vehicles (think golf cart only bigger with no doors), some pedal powered, some with a motor, and some even with a driver so you can just sit back and enjoy the scenery.   Oh, and the good 'ole flip flops work just fine too.  And, when they are worn out, rent a pedi-cab!

We rented a Tandem.  They were hard to find.  I only wish we
had gotten it sooner.  It was so darn fun!
We got a short, free, Uncle Gary tour and lay of the land.  There is soooo much to do and see in Key West!! Parts of the island have a carnival-like atmosphere! Music, music, drinking, drinking and  people, people!! No wonder Hemingway was inspired here and President Truman loved visiting so much he deemed a home The Little White House!  A rich history...
Hemingway's House.  He lived here for 10 years.  His Royal
typewriter still sits in his study.  Geez, I'm just sure I
would be inspired to write a novel here.

The Little White House.
The Winter House for President Harry S. Truman.
And I can't forget to mention the wildlife!  Lizards & iguanas are everywhere, but what surprised me most were the chickens! Roosters, hens, chicks...everywhere, in trees, streets, patios, gardens, alleyways...

We had a great time in Key West, there's wonderful little restaurants, tons of shops, and fun bars drinking establishments. "Southernmost" was fun.  Southernmost tip of the US, Southernmost House, Southernmost Hotel, etc. No sense wasting that name, eh? Famous Duval Street, Mallory Square, the lighthouse, and the Key West waterfront are all very entertaining places to visit.
Actually standing closer to Cuba
than Miami!
The Lighthouse
One more interesting fact.  US Highway 1 starts in Maine at the Canadian border and meanders 2,390 miles down the east coast.  It ends in Key West. Mile Marker 0 represents the end of the line, the furthest point south you can get from the lower 48 continental states, and still be on US soil.  Yes, it really is just a mile marker sign, just like the thousand of others I've passed and don't seem to notice.  It's just way cooler than any other mile marker sign (and one of the most stolen coveted).

My most favorite part?  Uncle Gary.

My dad's little bro.
(Pay no attention to the "frizz head")
I loved it and I'm so going back.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ha! Seems they want to keep me!

Guess what?  I've been been selected for a second term on the Design Team at Let's Scrap.  Can I get some applause?

My first term is ending July 31.  It's been a fast four months!  I've met so many new found friends,  managed to stay on top of my assignments and meet deadlines (well, I did miss one), and get a lot of scrapbooking done!

The team consists of sixteen members.  I sure will miss the fabulous ladies that are leaving as they have inspired me in so many ways these past four months. No matter where we call home, no matter what our native language is, and no matter what our subject matter may be, we are all really just the same.  Memory Keepers.  I thank you and I'll see you around at Let's Scrap.

I'm just sure the next Design Team will be awesome!  Eight of us are staying and there are eight brand new members that will surely provide some major inspiration over the next four months!

My new term starts August 1.  Come back and visit me then to see my "winning" application.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

7-25-12 Sketch

Good Wednesday morning scrappers!  Here's today's sketch @ Let's Scrap:

And, here is my take on it:

Oh...I know...kinda hokey!!  But seriously, the graduation ceremony from puppy training class is a!  Really.  There's a test and everything.  Gracie wore a mortarboard and got a "real" diploma.  I'm sure I'm supposed to have a really good dog now.  Right?

Here are the "technical" notes for the layout:

1.  The chevrons are all made by punching a 1" square and then cutting the square in half on the diagonal to create a triangle. The triangles are then layered for a faux chevron.  You can mimic the chevron look with any paper.  I was able to use up some scrap stash.  Both the graduation papers and the pet prints were scraps.

2.  I downloaded the Petsmart logo from the internet.  Printed it on white cardstock and backed it with blue cardstock.

3.  The "U" (for University) and the Graduation Day title were cut using my Silhouette.  The "U" is mounted on pop dots.

4.  The blue zig zag borders were cut using Fiskars scallop scissors.

5.  I used the same blue cardstock everywhere for consistency.

4.  The black stars at the bottom are the negative space from a star punch and adhered one-by-one.

5.  The edges of the complete 12 x 12 layouts were inked with black ink.

As always, you have until midnight on July 31 to get your layout posted and to be eligible for the weekly drawing.  If you need some help with the chevrons, click here.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Fresh Tomato & Basil Pasta

Oh, how I love the summer harvest!  Going to the Farmer's Market ranks as a favorite Saturday morning activity for me.  I want everything!  We go home with loads of fresh veggies and fruit (way more than two people can eat...that's for sure!).

We went to the Flea Market last Saturday looking for some junk treasure that I could pick up and refinish.  (I am dying to become a successful DIYer.) While we didn't score any fantastic new furniture, we did bring home bags of fresh veggies.  Note to self: the Flea Market isn't the place for used "stuff" anymore...gotta go elsewhere.
Nothing better than a freshly grown tomato!
From the Flea Market no less!
So, armed with fresh beefstake tomatoes and the proliferation of fresh basil growing in my container garden, I really wanted to make a favorite summer dish.  Trouble is...I couldn't find my recipe!
Many years ago, a friend gave me the best recipe for a similar pasta dish.  Guess what?  We both lost the recipe!  In the last two weeks I have been seeing them everywhere...all just a slightly bit different.  I altered the recipe and here's what we enjoyed:


12 oz linquine
3 large quartered beefstake tomatoes @ room temperature
1/2 C fresh chopped basil
2 T olive oil
2 clove garlic
Salt and Pepper
Feta Cheese

1.  Cook the linquine according to the package directions.  Drain the pasta and return to the pot.
2.  Meanwhile, in a food processor, puree two of the tomatoes, oil, garlic, salt & pepper (to taste).
3.  Finely dice the remaining tomato.
4.  Toss the pasta with the pureed tomatoes, the chopped tomato, and half the basil.
5.  Sprinkle with the feta cheese and the remaining basil just before serving.  

The recipe said to puree all three tomatoes, but I wanted some tasty fresh chunks.
The recipe also called for freshly ground parmesean or romano cheeses.  I didn't have any.  Hence, the Feta.

It was absolutely divine!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I'm 13 lbs lighter!

Ah...not really, but I sure seem lighter all of the sudden!  It's really 13 inches.

See, I have been growing (and growing) my hair for quite some time.  I got the notion that I would grow it and donate it to Locks of Love probably sometime in 2007 right after I was sure that I wasn't going to lose it from any kind of cancer treatment.  I learned of the organization from my Oncologist.  It seemed to me the very least I could do to help my little sisters. 

Trouble took a long time to grow!  Locks of Love will only accept a minimum donation of 10".  So, I made a new goal.  I would cut it on my 50th birthday.  Ha!  That came and went.  I didn't think I had the required length and I wasn't brave enough to go super short.

So, I waited.

And it grew.

I waited.

And it grew.

And grew.

I've been contemplating the cut for some time.  Just about everyone I asked to weigh in had a differing opinion.  Bill was in the "anti-cutting" group.  In fact, he was the Chairman of the group.  He did not want me to cut it!  Why do men insist they only like women with long hair?

Yesterday was the day!  I made my appointment and started looking for hairstyles that I might be able to wear.  I never thought that an old lady like me should be wearing long hair anyway.  And, it has been hot!  Hot!

Why is it that on the day you cut your hair you have a good-hair day?  Why do you all of the sudden get out-of-the-blue comments about how pretty your hair looks?

I had been so nervous all day...and kinda excited.  But, more nervous.  I can only imagine how I would've handled the hair loss due to cancer. 

So...13 inches off and I've got a new do! I've been playing with the ponytails since they were lopped off.  It seems hard to part with the hair, but I know it will help the children. The envelope is postmarked and ready to go.

My hair hasn't been this short since 1987.  Now, you can see my neck and lookie there...I've got the old-lady gobbler neck! 

Goodbye hair.  I wonder if I will miss the one-hour "doing-my-hair" sessions?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

7-11-12 Sketch

It's Wednesday!  That means a new sketch and new inspiration for you scrapbookers over @ Let's Scrap.

And, here is my take on the sketch:
Taken from our 2010 trip to Amsterdam.
Yes...there are still photos needing a home!

Printing a large format picture is always such a great visual in your scrapbooks.  When turning page after page in your scrapbooks, it is such a nice surprise when you turn the next page and find a huge photo!  I confess that I do not do that enough.  I regularly crop 4" x 6" photos into smaller images (and often just start a page with smaller photos), but upsizing?  Hardly ever.

Here are some "up close" detail shots:
Can you see the glitter?  It really sparkles.

Love to add a few "bumps" to the page to give it some real texture.  I used "pop up" glue dots to add the dimension to the cardstock stickers.

Other Products used:
  • All papers & coordinating cardstock stickers are from Authentique:  Genuine Collection
  • Pearls are from My Minds Eye:  Lost and Found
  • Ribbon unknown (attached with Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher)
  • Blue glittered alpha from American Crafts Thickers
  • Small navy alpha from Colorbok
Thanks for looking.  Now go and print your own 8 1/2" x 11" photo and get cracking.  You'll love the result.  Trust me.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Colorado is burning up! I know...that is a very broad statement, but it sure seems that way to me even though it really is a small portion of the state.

As a Colorado native and a girl who absolutely loves the mountains, these fires are devastating!  As a little girl, my family spent many a Sunday either driving to the mountains or picnicking and enjoying the outdoors.  As a teen, I practically grew up in a camper.  I've seen many a lake, hiked many a trail, camped in many a campground and caught many a fish.  I've been to all of the famous Colorado landmarks and have traveled (or four-wheeled) to the well-kept secret spots (for natives only).  I have visited every tourist spot in the state; yet still when asked what I want to do this weekend, my answer is ..."go to the mountains."  It always is.

Gone are some of our most beautiful, scenic vistas, cute little towns, and some very popular tourist traps.   This one was a favorite.  When my mom was alive, visiting the Flying W Ranch was an annual event.

Now it looks like this:
So darn sad!
This is the creature we blame for the destruction.

Rocky Mountain Pine Beetle

The beetles have been slowly destroying our forests for the past few years.  That alone has been heartbreaking!  Prior to the fires, some of our most beloved camp spots had no trees left.

Which brings me to the trees.  The TREES!  One hundred years or older.  Gone.  The trees will not regenerate in my kids' lifetime.  I will miss the trees the most.

The Waldo Canyon Fire erupted on Saturday, June 23 (and is still
burning on the eastern edge of Colorado Springs).
Over 30,000 people were evacuated and it destroyed 350 homes.
Some people are still on mandatory evacuation.
Entire neighborhoods (minus one or two homes)
were decimated.

The High Park Fire was officially 100% contained on Saturday.
It has been burning since June 9
and has burned more than 87,000+ acres and 259 homes west of Fort Collins.
It continues to smolder and will for weeks until we get rain.

The Flagstaff fire (just 1.5 miles from Boulder)
started last week and has burned 300 acres. 

Two Saturdays ago, while on the golf course @
Copper Mountain, we spotted the Treasure fire
burning just outside of the historic town of Leadville.

The Pine Ridge Fire is the newest.  It started last Wednesday
and has already burned over 13,000 acres (just east of
Grand Junction).  This fire is large and running fast.  It
threatens closure of our major east/west I-70 highway.

The Poudre Canyon (High Park Fire), Manitou Springs (Waldo Canyon fire), and Boulder (Flagstaff fire) are three of our most treasured spaces. Poudre Canyon is known for it's meandering Poudre river (great fishing and camping) and is one of our states most scenic drives.  And to the south of Denver, Highway 24 runs through the majestic town of Manitou Springs.  It is the gateway to several large Colorado tourist spots, and until today, Highway 24 has been closed. Only local traffic is being let through.

The Flagstaff fire is the closest to home and burning just 11 miles from work.  Normally, my office has the most beautiful view of Boulder and Longs Peak.  Lately, I cannot even see the mountains.  There is smoke & haze daily.  Sometimes we smell the smoke in our office.  It is so surreal to know the mountains are still there...we just can't see them.

Just up the street from our office is our local Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport.  The helicopters and slurry bombers fly overhead starting at sun up.  It is a highway in the sky directly over our office building.  They are loud, but we know they are so helpful.  We could not even hope to fight these blazes without support from the air.

There are 11 active fires burning...when will it stop?  Please pray for Colorado.