Friday, December 31, 2010

Good Wishes for 2011

Last fall I found a nice vintage postcard to wish you all a Happy New Year. I sometimes browse antique malls for old postcards and found this one in Missouri. It went to a family in Wisconsin a long time ago. The greeting is just as apt today.
Designer Credits: Bohemian August by Miss Crow's Magickal Emporium

Thursday, December 30, 2010

80th Birthday

My sister had a lovely 80th birthday party on Sunday though her birthday wasn't until Tuesday. One of the collections of photos on display included an early picture of us and our brother. His son got a nice picture of the three of us again. This time my sister got to be the little one as she was sitting down. I think by looking closely you can see we still have a bit of the same look now as then. Amazing how time does fly!
Designer Credits: Shabby Chic Rooms, Part 3 by Retro Designs
fonts: harrison, HansHand

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Morning

We had another lovely and gift-filled Christmas morning this year. We get to feel just like little kids opening all the goodies. The penquin is a collectible box (very ingenious) containing a tiny igloo charm. It was a gift to me from Dick. He received a handsome blue pot from his brother for that wonderful hibiscus he sent back with us last fall. For dinner we had a roast beast (rib roast) that couldn't be beat. Our once a year indulgence. The next day we went to my sister's 80th birthday party. I'll have to get back with pictures from that.
Designer credits: The Day After Christmas by Golden Sun Designs
fonts: Liberty BT, Bahamas

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Icy Lakeshore Makes Fancy Designs

Saturday we were looking for birds, but lots of people were along Lake Erie to take photographs. Well, of course, I did that too. It looked quite impressive and imagining the weather that created it was pretty impressive as well.
Designer Credits:
-template (including mask): Template challenge by Armina @ pickleberrypop 
-background paper: ptitesouris - Feerie de Noel, Part 2
-star overlay: Sekada - Feerie de Noel, Part 2
-feather, ribbon: Soval - Eros
-flower: Lady Papillon - Spicy Winter
fonts: Davida Bd BT, Mufferaw, Kristen ITC

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Poinsettia Display

The city greenhouse has a spectacular display of poinsettias every year. I love to see them and always want to photograph poinsettias looking lush, lovely and festive. The grounds around the greenhouse are one of our afternoon stops on the Christmas Bird Count where we are especially looking for mockingbirds. We also like to pop into the building for their heated rest rooms. This year I also made a brief stop to see the flowers, but had to wait for my lens to clear up from the fog it immediately developed coming into the humid warmth from the icy outdoors.
Designer Credits: Credits:
kit Time Began In a Garden by Retro Designs
fonts: Classic, Boopee, Planet Benson 2

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Bird Count Today

Today was our Christmas Bird Count, one of the biggest birding days for us. We cover Lake View Cemetery in the morning and various places in the afternoon. It was sunny, a bit like the photo from last week. There was snow cover and ponds frozen, streams partly frozen. We started at 7:30 when it was light, but sunrise wasn't until 7:48. It was about 14 F. with SSW winds creating a wind chill of only 2 F. We do dress warmly, so were never too cold, or at least not for long. It did warm up, but only to about 30.

We didn't see a lot of birds and missed some goodies we saw earlier in the month, but we did have our special Merlin though only in the late afternoon. We are just a small part of the whole group covering our count circle, so it will be interesting to see the overall result.
Designer Credits: kit Spicy Winter by Lady Papillon
fonts: Girls are Weird, Scriptina, Tempus Sans ITC

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Let it Snow: Holiday Concert

Dick is one of the guitar players in the group playing guitar and uekele. This year their holiday concert came after the monthly potluck, but everything was set up in advance. They have a good time and the audience gets to sing along. This is the only time I really get to hear him play.
Designer Credits:
Creations by Tinamarie: Winter Escape
fonts: French Script MT, Erie

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Still Cold but less snowing - Plus Holiday Lights LO

So far not so many schools are listed to close on Tuesday, so we'll see. There doesn't seem to be snow falling now and it isn't even blowing around quite so much. It is only 15 F though, so not too nice out there.

I got a freebie template with circle cuts last month and finally found a photo I wanted to use in it. The lights are from mid-October when there were lots of colorful leaves. The lights were orange for Halloween. Now the tree is bare as you could see in a post last week but it does have white lights for Christmas now. Still pretty, but I wish it were warm again!
Designer Credits:
-Circle Cut Template by kym
-dotted paper, stitched design, birds: Deb Ammerman - Early Bird
-top paper, plant elements: Thaliris - Romantic Story
fonts: Kunstler Script, DomCasual BT

Monday, December 13, 2010

More Snow and the schools closed

Yesterday the temperatures dropped and it started to snow. It is still snowing though we don't have that great an accumulation but the blowing keeps it covering roads and drives. We are currently down to 16 F. The local schools closed today and just about everywhere around us. That also means our community center and the part of it that is the Senior Activity Center is also closed. Dick was looking forward to their last guitar session before the holidays and his computer room tutoring every Monday, but had to stay home. Of course he was very happy not having to go out in this weather. Are we SURE it is still the first half of December?

There was a previous attempt at the textured photo challenge that I didn't post. I like the look of the finished layout that looks a bit like a piece of old tapestry. The photo doesn't really come out well though, the robins in it rather obscured. But the colors are nice and I feel like having it to look at here on the blog. There was snow on the ground the day I took the picture, but only lightly and not visible up in the tree.
Designer Credits: 
-Fei-fei's Stuff: Crazy Beautiful
-dark paper: Fei-fei's Stuff - Something Pop
fonts: iNked God, Kastler, Corbel

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Break in the Snow and Remembering Warmer Days

Yesterday we dug out my sister's car that needed to get an e-check so she could renew its license plates. Though there was a lot of snow, it was a bright sunny day. Today is mostly gray, but above freezing! They are just waiting to hit us with more snow on Sunday and then give us very cold temperatures. I think winter started in way too fierce and early!

Meanwhile, there is a challenge this month to use either an action or texture on a photo. Since I use Paint Shop Pro, that pretty much leaves me with the choice of texture. I tried one but didn't like the result. But I did find a photo that had a very dull background (cut grass) and used a photo of leaves as the texture over it. It was so nice working with these black-eyed susans and remembering warm days. The photo is actually from October 18th when I was photographing Halloween displays, so sort of late for these summery blooms. I used one copy of texture photo with lighten blend at 52% opacity topped with another copy in overlay blend at 30% opacity. The dark centers of the flowers were erased from both texture layers. The photo sure got more interesting.
You can see the change that the texture approach made in these original photos:

Designer Credits: kit by Ashalee Wall: Fresh Start, fonts: Ahnberg, Kristen ITC

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

So much snow!

For several days we missed significant snow while areas nearby got lots. Today we got snow and snow and more snow. The photo is of the neighbor's dogwood tree that acts as one of my signposts of the seasons. For our holiday greeting, be sure you've seen this post.
Designer Credits:
Kitty Design: Shimmer
fonts: Hans Hand, Humanst521 BT

Yesterday I was delighted to get another super fortune in my fortune cookie. But Dick said, "Yeah, they got mine wrong too." At least it got me to dig out the previous one about artistic talent that I kept because it was so neat.
Designer Credits:
Deb Ammerman: kit Early Bird
fortune cookie photo: stock photo
fonts: Bravo, Calligraph421 BT

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

ATC - Holiday Greetings

Deb posted a layout from the past and I looked up the kit used in it for her. Lori Staton's Dec. 2008 Color Challenge Kit was the one. I realized that while I had used the Starter Kit, I had not gotten to the Reward with its rich blues and greens. I decided to use them for an artist's trading card (ATC) to wish everyone happy holidays. My husband's photo was perfect for it I think. I hope you will enjoy it!
Designer Credits:
-blue and green papers, snowflakes, gem, snow dots: Lori Staton - Dec. 2008 Color Challenge Reward
-2 stars: Mary Ridgeway - Catch a Falling Star
font: Angel Tears
photo of Blue Grosbeak (his summer plumage, not winter...) by my DH

Monday, December 6, 2010

ATC - The Wild Wood

Deb Ammerman created a Christmas ATC (Artist's Trading Card) today. They are usually cards 2.5 by 3.5 inches created to share. You can read more about them here: [link] We did many of them at Deco-Pages and it was nice to see a new one from Deb. I want to do one for the holiday in return. Before I got to that though, I was drawn to the edge of the Wild Wood wherein dwell some of the characters in Kenneth Grahame's Wind in the Willows. My sister bought me a copy of that book long before I could read it so that she could read it to me. I have always loved it too. I hope you will enjoy a little reminiscence of it.

Designer Credits:
Edge of Wood: bird and tree by Miss vivi, rest by Jill creation
fonts: Celtic Hand, Switzerland Narrow

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Faces of a Family: Lyle

Another challenge this month is to be web-inspired by a design chosen from an Internet image. This month's was a series of pictures arranged in a 6 x 6 grid of squares. I think everyone will interpret it pretty loosely. I have a mask of a grid-like design that is 5 x 5 boxes. For some reason it inspired me to use it as a showcase for pictures of my ancestors and relatives in the Lyle family. I did a montage of some of them before, but have more now. When I saw the photo of a cousin of my great great grandfather I was amazed at their similarity. It seems there is a lot of family resemblance.
To identify everyone I've done a numbered diagram. I've focused on my great great grandfather, Isaac Lyle, and will list everyone in the layout and their relationship to him.

1. Isaac Lyle (1830-1911)
2. Samuel C. Lyle (1801-1886) - his father
3. Emmet Lyle (1860-1938) - his son
4. Oliver Guy Lyle (1886-1957) - his grandson
5. Hannah Jane (Lyle) McKnight (1835-1918) - his sister
6. Charles Wesley Lyle (1859-1932) - his first cousin, son of William
7. Martha (Lysle) Figley (1843-1899) - his first cousin, daugher of Francis Wayne
8. Wilson H. Lyle (1843-1918) - his first cousin, son of James
9. Joseph J. Bedell (1871-1944) - nephew of cousin Martha, #7
10. William Lenox McKnight (1868-1944) - his nephew, son of Hannah Jane, #5
11. Dana Oliver Lyle (1878-1957) - his nephew, son of Boyd Lyle
12. Biddle Elmont Lyle (1873-1946) - his nephew, son of his brother Samuel
13. Rhoda S. (Lyle) Darst (1869-1936) - his niece, sister of Biddle, #12
14. Cora R. (Lyle) Wright (1874-1943) - his niece, sister of Rhoda, #13

The family history can be seen at this link.
Designer Credits:
-mask, green paper, elements: ZuzannaH Designs - Let Love Be Your Energy
-blue paper: ZuzannaH Designs - Blue Meadow (free sampler)
fonts: Woodcutted Caps Black, Ziggy Zoe, Boopee, Celtic Hand

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Whimsical Curiosities

When I took and scrapped a photo a day (or more!) in 2008 it sure seemed like I had taken pictures of absolutely everything in and around the house. When a challenge appeared this month to take photos within 10 meters (a little under 33 feet) I looked up and saw the glass-fronted cabinets filled with glassware, china, and other household things among which lurk a variety of curious creatures and objects. Many of them were gifts from our friends who share our warped sense of humor. I'm delighted with one photo in particular which I've scrapped.

Designer Credits:
Kitty Designs: Shimmer
fonts: Davida Bd BT, English111 Adagio BT, Fujiyama2

Friday, December 3, 2010

Long Ago at Niagara Falls

Another challenge this month was to scraplift a layout from Elisa's gallery (EHStudios). I did my version with an old family photo of my father, brother and sister at Niagara Falls.
The first time my parents took me to Niagara Falls we continued from there west across the Niagara Frontier crossing back from Canada to the U.S. near Port Huron. We went along the St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair and made a memorable stop at Greenfield Village, an historic reenactment village near Detroit, Michigan. I wonder if this earlier trip might have been in March of 1940. That would have been my parents' 10th anniversary of their eloping to Ripley, New York. Even if it wasn't quite then, it must have brought back those memories when they traveled the same route part of the way to Niagara Falls.
Designer Credits: 
-scraplift of EHStudio: Something Wonderful
-gray paper, flower, swirl: ZuzanaH Designs - Let Love Be Your Energy
-floral paper (yellow, desaturated): Lydia Designs - Happy to Be Me
-background paper: Fei-fei's Stuff - Party On Blog Train
-brown paper (gold, desaturated): Lydia Designs - Party On
-striped and dotted papers: One Little Bird - Party On
-blue paper: Fei-fei's Stuff - Cool Bliss
-snowflake cut from blue paper
fonts: Girls are Weird, Staccato222 BT

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Raven at the Grand Canyon

The December challenges are out and I did my first with a photo from the Grand Canyon from our trip there in 2007. The design is based on a template in a copycat challenge. The subject is a Common Raven that welcomed us to a parking area along the canyon drive. There were ravens at several locations, all apparently attuned to food that might be obtained from the tourists. It was a fun thing to see them!
I did a lot of layouts from our May 2007 trip including one on the ravens, but that one used Dick's photos while this came from my little camera.
Designer Credits:
-template: December Copycat Challenge based on LO by 1girl1boy
-gray paper, black paper: TaylorMade Designs - Solid and Understated
-leaves, overlay, brown paper, green dotted paper: TaylorMade Designs - Fallen Sun
-orange paper: TaylorMade Designs - Awakening
-brad: Scarlet Heels - Awakening
fonts: Mufferaw, Kings of Pacifica, Amienne

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

November 2010 Review (Project 12)

At Deco-Pages Jennifer Rassi started us on a Project 12 for the year and I've done a two-page spread for each month this year. I'm not about to quit with only two months left, so here is my review of November, a much quieter month than October. Don't forget to click on the image to see it in a larger format.
You can see the individual pages and even read the text by clicking on them below.

Yesterday's newspaper was interested in the fact that our official measurement of snow (and all the local weather data) has no measurable snow since March 25th. They did acknowledge that places other than the airport had snow in November though. We'll see if the white stuff outside our house today made it into the gauges there! As I said in the November pages, I'm not ready for winter or the holidays!
Designer Credits:
Retro Designs: Heart of Gold plus
-month/year plate by Jennifer Rassi
-alpha by Becky Casey from Aug. 2006 Color Challenge
fonts: Cottage, Comic Sans MS, Switzerland Narrow, baby dont worry bout it!