Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mute Swans Make a Pretty Picture

The photo of Mute Swans came out really well. They were at the hot water outflow from a power plant. In the winter we often see a few of these big birds in these spots. These swans are really European birds but being so pretty are widely kept in ponds and lakes. They do escape and various parts of the U.S. have wild populations now. Most of the ones we see probably come from a Michigan population, but some do nest in Ohio. Native swan species are called Tundra and Trumpeter Swans.

We had a lovely respite from winter, ice and snow, but Monday night we got a lot of freezing rain and snow. Everything was coated in ice and then we had sunshine. Hard on the plants and animals, but beautiful to behold. I got some pictures of that that I plan to share. Thursday night it started snowing and blowing and we have what seems like about a foot of snow. We didn't leave the house yesterday. Finally about 10:00 last night they plowed our driveway. Today we were out and about. They say it will reach 50F on Monday, but we'll see.

Are those of you in the U.S. enjoying the Friday night showings of "Who Do You Think You Are?"

Hope you enjoy the Mute Swans!
Designer Credits:
-background paper, leaves, white flower: With All My Love by Lady Papillon
-patterned paper, brown flower, beads, frame: Faded Memories by Bellisae Designs
fonts: Angel Tears, Boopee

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bird Nest from Last Year

The weather is doing its split personality thing now. We had a typical March day when I photographed all the flowers in bloom. That was Friday. Saturday was not so warm, but we had a Common Grackle show up in the pines in the yard behind us, our early spring signal. Sunday afternoon there was an opportunity to spend time in a nature preserve that is not open to the public except for special events at the moment. We had a very pleasant time there with the temperature a little above freezing, no strong wind and no precipitation. Soon after however it started to snow then turned to freezing rain. Now everything is coated in ice for the President's Day holiday. Typical spring I guess! Just grateful for the nice days.
Designer Credits: Red like Love, Black as Hope by Laurence Designs
font (date): EnviroD
text handwritten and scanned

Friday, February 18, 2011

First Flowers Make It Look Like Spring

We were outside a bit today enjoying the absence of snow (well, except bits where it was piled up) and some sun. It is windy and in the 50s very like a day in March. We heard a House Finch singing and saw the House Sparrows continuing their interest in a bird house. Then I realized there was a crocus in bloom next door! Turns out more were open in the grass too. They sure weren't visible two days ago. With that I thought to go down the street where a neighbor has winter aconite. It was in bloom along with a few snowdrops. What a wonderful feeling to have things look so much like spring! We know it won't last, but this is the first real break we've had since the end of November.
Designer Credits: Faded Memories by Bellisae
fonts: Snell Blk BT, Boopee

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Icicles Thoughts

Our snow is going away very slowly and we went looking to see what was newly uncovered today. We found some tender shoots of daffodils and an iris but we also saw the remains of some large icicles that had fallen into our backyard. They would have been very scary when they fell! Certainly gave us something to think about and I had to take some pictures of them.
Designer Credits: Golden Memories and Heart of Gold, both by Retro Designs
fonts: James Fajardo, Davida Bold BT, Corbel

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Remembering the decade past for a new Digi Dare

This week's Digi Dare, #215 calls for top-10 type lists for the decade 2000-2010 (though that is really 11 years, so I kept mine to 2000-2009). The details include having a big title and using doodles. At first I was at a loss to remember what we did in the earlier of those years. I decided to only go with the positive as sad things were well represented and I didn't feel like listing them. I did pick one thing for each year for my list. Some are much more significant than others, but each is a pleasure to note. The design did not require photos and I didn't use any. It turned out to be a fun task the way I did it. As for calling that decade the "aughts," Dick and I both remember older generations referring to years like 1904 as "aught four." It certainly sounded a LONG time ago and very quaint. Somehow we never thought about facing the dates 100 years later nor thought about what we would call them. Well, for this layout at least, I'm calling them the "aughts." When you see my memories, I'm sure you'll be thinking of your own. (And don't forget to click on the image to see it larger and maybe be able to read the list.)
Designer Credits:
-papers: Toi Mon Coeur by Hakia D.
-hummingbird: Like Home by Fei-fei's Stuff
-tree, flourish under dates: Family Ties by Fei-fei's Stuff
-blue designs: Graffiti by Fei-fei's Stuff
-spirals: Stamp My Heart by Kitty Designs
fonts: Baveuse, Classic, CountdownD, Arial Narrow

Monday, February 14, 2011


The Valentine Freebie hearts from Retro Designs inspired me to put together a Valentine for Dick. Now that we have a color printer again, I even printed it out on 4 x 6 photo paper. Hope he'll like it when he sees it in the morning!
Designer Credits:
-kit: For the Pleasure to Offer by Manue Designs
-bow and rub on: You & Me by Bellisae
-red paper (blended): Playlist by Biograffiti
-word art: Valentine Freebie by Retro Designs
font: Mufferaw

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Quote Challenges

There have been two types of quote challenges at Oscraps. Running through today has been the designer challenge for which I did the Desolation Row page. I've added another with a quote from a recent book that I think could be an inspiration to anyone, but that I especially like as a genealogist. Running for the whole month is a challenge to use a specific quote and as it is about kisses the challenge also calls for a kiss photo. I don't much like the quote and kiss photos usually even less, but I still managed to come up with a nice page. First the one I really like quoting 90+ Diana Athill from Somewhere Towards the End.
Designer Credits:
-background paper, leaves: Stuck on You by Maya de Groot
-other papers, stitching: Believe by Biograffiti
-frame, quotes: conversation piece no. 1, elements by paislee press & one little bird
fonts: Boopee, Brisk

And next a page I like, but not the quote. The picture is of one of my great nieces and her nephew.
Designer Credits: Stuck on You by Maya de Groot
fonts: Harlow Solid Italic, Bahamas, Koala

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bamboo in the Neighborhood

I don't really think our little volunteer is bamboo and Dick is sure it isn't, but since we don't know what it is, I can still dream it has migrated from the neighbors. Meanwhile, we are down to 10F and still doing OK. This morning we know it was down to at least 4F and the pipes didn't freeze, so that was nice. My sister is suffering on her return from four sunny weeks in California with this severe cold. We are looking forward to warmer days predicted, but imagine there will be a lot of water as it melts. Tulsa had another five inches of snow and negative temperatures, but nearby places had much more snow and extremely low temps. They may reach the 60s next week though. It sure has been rough there. Spring is still a fantasy but we are eager for its arrival.
This bamboo page was done from an ad inspiration. Anything green in the snow seems a good thing!
Designer Credits: The Gift by Fei-fei's Stuff
fonts: Baveuse, Blue Highway

Thursday, February 10, 2011

January 2011 Review (Project 12 again)

I wasn't sure I'd keep up with the monthly pages again in 2011, but I've managed to put together a double page spread for January despite its having been somewhat of a lost month for me with the weather and, especially, a nasty cold. Here is the text from the page:

I don't know if January 2011 is better depicted with drifts of snow or heaps of used tissues from my cold. Either way I think of mounds of white, snow and ice. Actually we began the year with a few warmer days and we got out birding. Soon I wasn't going anywhere I didn't have to, even missing genealogy meetings in mid month. We saw my sister off to California for a little winter respite on the 11th driving in more snow than was really comfortable. One day we saw that our hibiscus was infested with little critters that turned out to be whiteflies. We tried a silly sounding trick that actually worked - spreading Vicks or Vaseline on bright orange cardboard and shooing them into flight when they went to the goo and stuck there. We had a treat when Elaine learned her Christmas present to us had never arrived and instead she sent us some yummy German-style goodies. On the 29th we went to dinner with new friends to share photos of Mexico with them and another couple. We baked a lemon cake like the one my father-in-law had for his birthdays. It was good and everyone enjoyed it. The evening was delightful, so nice to be with people with such similar interests! As our hosts are also artists, I made a collage card to send with our thanks and appreciation. One different photo here shows an old wedding dress in the window of a cleaners. It is next to the audiologist to whom I take my sister and it always intrigues me.
 Remember to click on the images to see them larger. Here are the pages separately:
Designer Credits:

-kit: The Gift by Fei-fei’s Stuff
-date tag: itty bitty dates no. 7 by Biograffiti
-white alpha: First Street by Miss Crow’s Magickal Emporium
fonts: Mufferaw (text), Lithograph, baby don’t worry bout it (tag)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Photo from a sunny winter day

I've missed getting posts in here for a few days now. Saturday I was busy with genealogy meeting and class and we have some other things happening and then, last night, I started on another eight weeks of the collage journaling class that I find so stimulating. Love actually getting sticky fingers with hands on work. Have two really nice classmates too.

Friday we had a second consecutive sunny day and we ran over to my sister's to check on her house. You may previously have seen photos of the birch tree in her front yard, but this time I got Dick to stand still by it so I could get a photo with it as background for a photography challenge. I really like the result! And right this minute we have more sunshine though it likely won't last long. My sister is coming back from California shortly and we'll be off to the airport to meet her.

Designer Credits: The Gift by Fei-fei's Stuff
fonts: Neuropol, Mufferaw

Another challenge is a copycat or template challenge. Once again I've got to contend with tiny photos, but I just had to use butterfly pictures to cheer me up in this seeminly endless winter. I chose two shots of Zebra Swallowtails, elegant butterflies that don't quite make it to where we live, so these were in southern Ohio on two days in late June of 2009. I always feel excited to see them, but finding that little group coming to a bit of roadside water was totally enchanting. Click on the image to see it a bit larger.

Designer Credits: Happy to be Me by Lydia Designs
fonts: Davida Bd BT, Bank Gothic Md BT, Ellianarelle's Path

Thursday, February 3, 2011

After the Snow Storm

It was bright and sunny today, but we have ice dams in the gutters and water was dripping into a window well, so winter is still having its way with us. It did look nice but was rather icy. Still, we got nothing compared to many other places. Today's photo is in a very simple layout, but I like that plain look for the impact of the photo. I am really pleased with the comments on my Desolation Row page! Thank you for the encouraging words.
Designer Credits: Family Ties by Fei-fei's Stuff
fonts: Sybil Green, Mufferaw

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New Challenges, one in red and white

February is a new month with new challenges. I've got two layouts to share on this snowy Groundhogs Day. We had a few more inches of snow Monday night but not too much during the day. Then last night we got freezing rain and in the wee hours we got up to about 35F and the icicles were dripping. This afternoon we've started to get swirling snow, but they don't predict we'll get a large accumulation. Not like Tulsa where Jim has over a foot of snow and lots of drifting, the city nearly at a standstill.

So, on to something bright and cheery! The Oscraps color challenge this month is to use only red and white (with accent of 1 or 2 colors allowed) and NO PHOTO! Wow, that took some thinking, but what else than a bird for me to scrap about?
Designer Credits:
-template (with stitching): Four Play No. 1 by Biograffiti
-red paper, patterned papers, wings (lightened): My Playlist by Biograffiti
-white paper, heart doodle, bling: Shimmer by Kitty Designs
-bird (recolored): Stamp My Heart by Kitty Designs
fonts: Stereofidelic, PTBarnum BT

Oscraps has a new designer spotlight now on Paislee Press & One Little Bird. There are freebies and a challenge to scrap quotes. Check it out HERE. Most of the layouts are quoting cute kid sayings and some inspirational quotes, but I've gone off and done one of our favorite Bob Dylan lines.
Designer Credits:
-template: Conversation piece no. 3 by paislee press and one little bird
-background paper (blended), stitched element: Winter Escape by Tinamarie
-other blended paper, brown paper: The Gift by Fei-fei's Stuff
-clipped paper: Fresh Start by Ashalee Wall
fonts: Boopee, Huxtable, BlacklightD