Saturday, November 7, 2009

BFS Day 5 - Learning From Your Surroundings (Tammy)

BFS Day 4 – Meaning from the Mundane (Tammy)

Today we are supposed to blog about something everyday and make it interesting. I’m of the opinion that almost anything can be turned into an adventure. Recently I was talking to my nephew as I drove him to the airport to report to Air Force Boot Camp. I made the remark that this was going to be such a great adventure and he said that the word “adventure” was overused and he didn’t agree. I informed him that wherever I go and whatever I do I try to make it an adventure. I think that he was rolling his eyes at his crazy aunt but I don’t care. Life is what we make it and I love adventures therefore I have lots of them. Whenever my sister and I are together we have so much fun doing mundane things…hence the name of our blog.

My sister, Jerri Ann, and I were in Paris trying to find the American Express Office (a story for another day) and while getting lost on the Tube we stumbled into an Opera House that was designed by Garnier. It was so beautiful and interesting and the architecture was amazing (of course it was being renovated so we didn’t get to see all of it but what we did see was fabulous) . The important part of this story is that while lost we were able to see parts of Paris that we wouldn’t normally see…and we had a good time along the way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that being in Paris is mundane or boring, at least not for me. I’m just saying that no matter where you are your attitude can make or break the experience.

I haven’t scrapped that excursion yet but I have scrapped our adventure at the hotel in Paris. As we got off the train from London, it was cloudy and raining but we were prepared with our trusty rain coats and umbrellas. We kept joking that we didn’t mind the rain because rain or shine we were in Paris! OK so we were in Paris in November but we were still in Paris. We had a hard time finding our hotel because of course neither of us speak French (and it was raining and getting dark) but we did find a great book store where my sister stocked up on children's books for a friend that was teaching her children French. We also looked through some city maps for our hotel.

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We finally made it to our hotel and thankfully the hotel clerk spoke enough English that we could check in. Since my sister had been to Paris before she warned me that a lot of the old buildings don’t have elevators so when we made our reservations we made sure to find one with an elevator. My sister’s knees were giving her trouble and my Fibromyalgia made it hard for me to carry luggage up too many flights of stairs.

We ask the clerk where the elevator was and she showed us this little closet size elevator at the bottom of a winding staircase. After the clerk leaves, my sister and I look at each other with wide eyes because we can’t believe how small the elevator is. It takes us several tries but we finally get most of the luggage (two suitcases stacked and a messenger bag) in the elevator and then my sister barely squeezes in. She pushes the button and this terrible sound accompanies her as she is carried up to the third (?) floor. To help you get a good visual here, you have to know this about my sister, she has these huge beautiful eyes and when the noise started her eyes went bigger than I had ever seen them. I saw in her eyes a combination of fear and disbelief. I think that she was thinking that the stairs didn’t look so bad after all. In the mean time I carry a smaller bag up a winding staircase and beat the elevator to our floor!

We take our luggage to our room and unpack and collapse for a bit. Finally hunger drives us out of our room and we giggle as we both try to fit into the elevator. I’m not kidding! We both fit in sideways, facing each other (we had definitely encroached on each others personal space) and then one of us had to reach around the other one to push the button to go down. We tried not to giggle too loud, we didn’t want to look and sound totally touristy, but it was so hard not to. The clerk was probably shaking her head and muttering “silly Americans!” If I were her I would have had a good laugh watching us.

Oh yeah, one more thing. Years ago when our grandparents went to Europe they came back with all of these great black and white photos, which was all that was available back then. Since the skies were dark and cloudy and we were in Europe I thought that black and white would be the best way to document our trip – a bit of romance (in my mind anyway). Jerri Ann thought I was crazy for taking so many black and white pictures. OK, so maybe she was annoyed that I had to take color and then black and white of almost everything. So, I made this layout to reflect my view of this experience. I wanted the pictures to look like they could have been taken back in the 50’s or 60’s. I’m thinking of an Audrey Hepburn look. I wish that I had owned PhotoShop Elements back then because I could have saved us both some time and my sister some eye rolling.

As I read back over this blog I realize that this sounds more like a Lucy and Ethel episode than an Audrey Hepburn Film. Oh well, we had fun and now have those memories forever in our minds and now in a scrapbook layout.

BFS Day 3 – Playing Favorites (Tammy)

We are supposed to make a list of five favorites. We can make any kind of list that we want and Shimelle gave us some great ideas and examples. On my personal blog I started to list my blessings on the side bar but I love this idea so I may change it up a bit. So here goes my current Five Favs:

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Links so that you can check them out:
#1: Mel Stampz  Everything she makes is beautiful and so creative.  I get inspired here.
#2: PaperTreyInk Giga Guide Lines - I'm saving up for the trio!

#3: Zion’s Kolob Canyon  If you get the chance you should visit Zion and Kolob.  It is stunning!
#4: Homemade Snickerdoodle Cookies  I just made these and they are so YUMMY!
#5: Blogging for Scrapbookers  This class has been a lot of fun and has some good challenges.  It may make my posts more interesting and readable.  Please don't judge the class on my meager beginnings though.  Thanks Shemelle!

I like to scrapbook in two page layouts so the other half of this layout is a list of why these five things are my current favs.  As I look at my scrapbook page I realize that it is pretty busy and doesn't have a lot of contrast.  I'm going to have to think on this...

BFS Day 2 – Public or Private (Tammy)

I have been blogging in Windows Live Writer, as suggested by one of my classmates and I like it so far until it comes time to publish.  I can preview my content in my blog, I just can't publish.  Arghhhhh!  So I am now going to publish about four blogs in one day.  I keep thinking that maybe it will work but alas it hasn't yet.  If anyone has any good ideas please include them in the comments.  Thanks

The Day 2 prompt for Blogging for Scrapbookers talks about what kind of personal information we should post on our blogs.

There are times when I talk about personal stuff but I try to be careful about information about my home or that of my family, especially my grandchildren. I do post pictures of them because my blog is a way to communicate with my family but I don’t post information that could expose them in any way.

It is sad that we all have to be so careful but since we are aware we can share general information without going into too much detail.

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This layout is about my granddaughter and my son. Madisen looks just like Ryan did when he was a baby. I put descriptive information about her personality but the personal information is on the next page of this layout which will not be posted to the internet (Please let me know if I slip and put personal info on my blog).

One of my favorite places to check out is my son & daughter-in-law’s private blog. I totally understand and respect why it is private. I feel so bad for those who can’t see it though because the written content is so much fun and the photos are adorable. My son and his wife (who does most of the blogging) have such a way with words. They tell cute little stories with words and photos. I love both of their writing styles because it reflects their humor and personalities so well. OK, so I also love all the photos of my grandchildren!

I liked Shimelle’s idea of making a pocket or envelope to put personal information so that it is hidden but since my scrapbook is digital (and my blog is public) I have to put it on another page.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

BFS Day 1 - Blog Intentions - Tammy

Since both my sister (Jerri Ann) and I have signed up for this class I thought that I should label my name so that you can tell who is who.  On this first prompt for the class we are supposed to declare our intentions for our blog.  There are several reasons that I wanted to start this blog.  One reason was to have a place to express myself creatively and to be able to share that experience with my sister and friends.  My sister lived on the other side of the US from me when we started this blog.  She has now moved to the other coast but we are still too far away to craft together.  It is fun that we both share similar passions and it is even cooler that we have different styles.  I love to see what she comes up with, she is soooo talented.  I also have several daughter-in-laws who like to craft (and are so creative) and sharing our passion isn't easy long distance.  This blog helps to bridge that gap. 

Most of my scrapbooking will be digital.  I do love papercrafts, quilting and other crafts but since I am layed up a lot I found it easier to create scrapbook pages on my laptop - it is more accessable and practical for me.

Between my husband and I we have 11 children, their spouses and 16 grandchildren.  There are three seperate families within this group and we are the keepers of most of their childhood pictures.  My goal is to scan and make scrapbooks for each family for Christmas (another good reason to scrapbook digitally).  Scanning pictures and negatives takes far more time than I imagined!  By taking some classes I hope to be more motivated and inspired as I try to reach this goal.

We are supposed to post a picture of our creative space but I didn't want to take a picture of me laying in bed with my laptop on my knees so I took a picture of our desk that I share with my husband and my nephew (for the last 4 months).  Since I have been sick I haven't worked there but as you can see it needs some attention badly.  I finally decided to come clean (or dirty in this case) and post a picture of where I will be creating when I'm better.  For now I'm laying in bed with my laptop. ; )

The thought of working here makes me tired since I will have to clean it first!  Maybe laying in bed with my laptop isn't so bad after all.

Lighting troubles!

I must get some better lighting in my craft room!!!

My gift and card for my swap sister in Australia.

Here are some pictures of the gift box and cards I sent to my swap sister in Australia for UStamp  Holiday 09.

I also included some mini kit kats and reeses peanut butter cups in the box.

Blogging For Scrapbookers

Since I'm still not up and around I have more time to lay in bed and dream of crafting or surf the web for those great ideas.  I came across a class that I can participate in right now called Blogging For Scrapbookers.  So as I learn new things hopefully you will see it reflected in my blogging and the design of this blog.  If you are interested in improving your blogging and blog site just click on the link in the title or the badge at the side (I just learned how to put it there).  I'll let you know more of what the class entails as I go through the course.  It started on Nov. 2nd so I'm only a few days behind and it looks pretty easy to catch up.

UStamp 09 Swap

As part of the UStamp with Dawn and Friends 09 we have the opportunity to participate in a swap with crafters across the world.  When I joined UStamp I didn't realize that it was a Stamp'n Up event so everyone was using SU products.  Everyone has been so welcoming and encouraging but I didn't know if I could be a part of the swap since I didn't have any SU products.

The person who organized the swap, Mirabella, decided that I should swap with her so that I didn't need to use SU products.  Today was the day that we had to mail off our swap item.  We were supposed to make one stamped item, one stamped card and one candy from our country.  Even though I haven't felt very good I made something and barely made the deadline.  I'm still pretty shaky so stamping and gluing are pretty funny to watch. 

I went on Mirabella's blog and found out that she loved being a SU Demonstrator and seems to love helping people.  Her blog is soft purple with butterflies (of course I don't have any butterfly stamps). 

I thought of the words Dream, Create and Inspire so that's what I put on the box that I made for her to store her scrapping supplies in.  Almost everything I did on this container and the card were not really what I planned.  I had to cover up so many places where I messed up or smeared ink  but I think it turned out pretty good considering my shakiness and lack of energy.  I also included an Idaho Truffle for my candy item.  I hope Mirabella likes her items from S. Utah.

Front of the container.  I used floral marbles with permanent marker underneath for the flower centers.

I thought of "Create" because of all the beautiful things she creates.

I thought of "Inspire" because of the teaching that she does.

Top of the container.  I tried to stamp right on the lid but it was concave and the stamp wouldn't go down solid so I had to stamp on paper and glue it over the bad stamping.

I thought of "Dream" because a person can't create or inspire unless they first dream of an idea.  Thanks Mirabella for making me feel so welcome.  In a few days I will receive a gift from Mirabella - how exciting.

I can't wait to see what Jerri Ann sent her swap sister.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Holidays In Hand - Want to join me?

As I was going through some of my favorite crafting blogs I found a free online class (referral from Ali Edwards) called Holidays In Hand.  What interested me was that the class description said, "We'll be making a great project to help you tell your holiday stories both past and present" and it's free.  Having Ali Edwards suggest the class gave it some weight also.  So I decided to sign up and can't wait for it to start.  You don't have to be a Digital Scrapbooker.  It sounds like she caters to both Digital and Hybrid Scrapbookers.  I can't wait to see what happens.  Both Jerri Ann and I have vowed to do more scrapbooking so I figure that this is a good way to start.  Interested in joining me?