Welcome to Simply Stated!

Thank you so much for stopping by. This blog is something I've set up just for fun -- yours and mine! There are any number of things that may be discussed here from everyday living in the California desert to digital scrapbooking to my favorite books to cardmaking to the art of letter writing to caring for feral cats to movies I like. After you read my bio, you should have a good sense of other topics you may find here. I welcome your comments and hope you return again and again!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Do You Believe in Santa?

"Santa in a Box" by Teresa Kogut, pccrafter.com

The following was submitted by Jodi Tatum to the HugClub Newsletter, pccrafter.com

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid.

I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" she snorted. "Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad! Now, put on your coat, and let's go."

"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars.

That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.

I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, and the people who went to my church. I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker.

He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he didn't have a good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat!

I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood on it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.

"Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down.

"Yes, ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby."

The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it. Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going."

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby. Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes.

That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team. I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Merry Christmas to All!

Following is this year's annual update for those of you who did not receive it by mail.

December 2008

Dear Family & Friends~

As another year comes to a close, I find joy once again in touching base with each of you. I hope you've been blessed with good health and happiness during the year as we have.

Floyd's work on the Pine Tree Windmill project finally began this month. The weather in Jawbone Canyon has not been conducive to long hours out in the elements, but they are making progress nevertheless. This project is the largest U.S. wind farm to date having eighty 340-foot windmills with propeller diameters of 253 feet. We enjoyed vegetables from Floyd's small garden where he also planted a large collection of gorgeous daylilies, cosmos, and other blooms. On his lathe, he crafted many beautiful pens from native and other woods, as well as acrylics.

We were delighted Jacqueline visited this fall. We took her to Death Valley for a day trip. She, Pine, Floyd, and I were on the road by 5:00 a.m. We hiked, admired rocks and land formations, picnicked, snapped photos, played in the sand dunes, and marveled at the national park's amazing beauty until 8:00 p.m. The day before, we took Jacqueline to Lone Pine (also in Inyo County) during their annual Film Festival. We visited the Film Museum which houses exhibits of movies made in the area, especially Westerns shot in the Alabama Hills over the past few decades. Badwater in Death Valley is the U.S.'s lowest point (-282 feet) and Mt. Whitney located near Lone Pine is the contiguous U.S.'s highest point (14,505 feet). Jacqueline moved to Sweden earlier this year as she continues work with the online dictionary -- ordbogen.com.

Those of you who've read my annual letters for years know I always write about Pine's evolving work at Mervyn's. After 16 years, Pine left the company in February. (Just in time, too, because all Mervyn's stores will close by year's end.) She now enjoys helping manage the front office of a small, family-run heating and air conditioning business. Pine is the best cook I know. She is a marvel in the kitchen, and she's never made anything for me that wasn't absolutely scrumptious! She celebrates all the holidays with us, and we're so happy she always makes two or three delicious dishes to share. YUM-O!

I've kept busy during the year with my two favorite papercrafts: scrapbooking and cardmaking. In May, I made digitally created albums for Mother's Day and Pine's birthday. I made lots~n~lotsa cards at workshops, at card club meetings, at Stamp Camps, at Stamp-A-Stack events, and to swap with my CrazyCardMakers Yahoo group and Scrap & Stamp Arts pen pals. I'm so excited to tell you my first card is published in Just Cards!, Winter 2009 issue. In the spring, I rediscovered beading and have enjoyed making earrings, necklaces, and beaded bookmarks. I started a blog just for the fun of it and enjoy writing short pieces about our lives. Check out simplystated4u.blogspot.com if you'd like know what we're up to during the year. In addition to several interpreting assignments throughout the year, I kept busy with volunteer work for La Leche League speaking to parents at the local hospital's birth classes and taking over the treasury for the two local groups.

On the furry front, there are several changes, starting with Sissy's disappearance on June 13th. She was 14 years old, in perfect health, and we believed she'd be with us forever. The night after Thanksgiving, our delightful little Smoky cat bolted out the open back door, and sadly, all evidence points to a fateful meeting with a roving coyote or bobcat. It has been so difficult for us because we adored that little cat and all her happy antics! We took 13-year-old Mollie the Bluetick Hound to the vet a couple of months ago when she slowed way down. We thought we were losing her, but the vet diagnosed diabetes, put her on Vetsulin and a prescription diet, and now she's like a brand new dog. Feral cats come and go, so now, we have four regulars who show up twice a day to eat.

Pine & Jed's Uncle Art died unexpectedly on 2 Dec. It is such a sad loss for our family. At Mark's request, Floyd & I have taken over the care of Art's cat, Julie, an 8-1/2 year old Tortoiseshell who was originally Mark's mother and father's kitty. She's a very sweet, affectionate cat with beautiful black and gold markings and bright yellow eyes.

We hope your holidays are filled with love, peace, and memory-making moments and that the new year is full of promise!

Free Christmas Printables from Lisa Vollrath

If you'd like to have some neat gift tags and other Christmas graphics, copy and paste this URL into a new browser window: http://countdown.tentwostudios.com

Lisa's cool stuff is "linkware" which means you only need to add her link to a group or blog, and you're welcome to download her special holiday collection at no charge.

Fudge, Anyone?

Simple ~ Quick ~ Yummy!Mitzi the Duck graphic from pccrafter.com

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Just Published in Just Cards!

I couldn't wait to share the news that I've had my first card (above) published! Last week, I got a complimentary copy of the Winter 2009 issue of Just Cards!, Volume 12, with a letter to "Dear Contributor" tucked inside. And there on page 25, was my card with accompanying instructions. Wow! This is really cool!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Chocolate Series Blog Candy Winner

Thanks to everyone who posted a comment at "Blog Candy Alert." I took the names and put them randomly into Random.org, then told it to do its thing. I decided the name that appeared at the top of the re-ordered list would be our winner.

And the winner is Donna J who wrote:

"Hi--I think there are thousands who like chocolate..Here are some words from a coaster I have...COFFEE, CHOCOLATE & MEN ARE SO MUCH BETTER WHEN RICH....anyway, my sister gave it to me several years ago as a joke. I enjoy your Blog, and, am so glad I can comment now..."

Donna, please send me your snail mail address privately, and I'll mail out your set of notecards.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Blog Candy Alert

Seems I've been a blogging fool the last few days. That's the advantage of Blogging Without Obligation...I blog when I have something to say.

It's always the right time for Blog Candy, though. This time I'm offering a set of notecards I like to call my Chocolate Series. Pccrafter.com distributed a set of graphics by Beth Yarbrough which included a cool frame that looks like a box of assorted chocolates. It inspired me to research the web for catchy quotes about chocolate (a very renal unfriendly substance which I eat in moderation). I found more than ten cool quotes, but limited the set to ten notecards. Perhaps one day, I'll have to make a sequel! A favorite quote that's included in the set is:
Forget love--I'd rather fall in chocolate!
Leave a comment by clicking on the word COMMENTS, and I'll draw a name from all of those who comment here at the blog. (If you need further info about commenting, read "How-to Post a Comment" in the right column.) Because more and more people are able to post here at the blog with my instructions, I'll only choose Blog Candy winners from those who comment at the blog by 30 Nov 2008.

More Fall Cards

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Fall, Y'all

Just sharing a card made for my good friend, Brigitte. After stamping the scarecrow image with Staz-On Jet Black ink, I colored the image using Prismacolor 4-in-1 markers which are so much fun to work with because the colors blend so easily with one another.

I used Stampin' Up's (SU) inverse corner rounder on the image layer and the blue border behind it then adhered them together. Using SU's Really Rust ink, I stamped fall leaves on the rust-colored Bazzill cardstock. After I wrapped three coordinating Autumn Harvest Sassy Strands from Close to My Heart (CTMH) around the rust cardstock, I popped the framed image layer with foam tape. I took the entire assembled panel and adhered it to a white, textured card.

For a coordinating envelope, I printed out a fall plaid paper pattern from pccrafter.com at 70% color then traced an A2 envelope template onto the back of the paper. After cutting it out and folding the 4 sides, I glued the edges. For a finishing touch on the envelope, I stamped the same leaf stamp used on the rust-colored background (above) along the front bottom of the envelope.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Recommended: Corduroy Mansions

Read a good book lately? Enjoy an eclectic group of characters? Like dry, British humor and laughing your fool head off?

Then, have I got a book for you!

Alexander McCall Smith is writing his first ever online novel Corduroy Mansions exclusively for Telegraph.co.uk. A new chapter will appear each weekday until mid-February 2009. As of this writing, Chapters 1-50 are published.

A friend and fellow cardmaker in Israel suggested this read. I'm a tangible sort of person when it comes to books, scrapbooks, and things like that, so I wasn't sure how I'd like reading a book online. My daughter Pine expressed my feelings perfectly when she said about herself, "I like the feeling of a book in my hands." Even so, I wanted to check out my friend's recommendation.

In practically no time, I'd begun reading the published chapters enthusiastically, wondering what new situations would arise? McCall Smith provides fascinating insight as the characters' lives play out, and his turns of phrase are amazing.

I soon caught up with all the chapters and am now forced to read the rest of the entries day by day! If you think you, too, might like reading this fun book, click here to go to the Corduroy Mansions home page and, Enjoy!

Blog Candy Winner!

Although the previous entry shows no comments, I did receive 4 comments privately. Had I received any "official" comments (at the blog), I would have only chosen a winner from those, but because there were none, the winner was chosen from the private comments. Clear as mud?

And the winner is...Wendy J. in Michigan!! Congratulations, Wendy! Because I already have your snail mail address, I'll be sending your Elvis Collection notecards shortly!

Many have noted that they aren't sure how to post a comment at the blog, so I'm going to go through that now.

As you're reading this, glance down to the bottom of the post. See the where it says: POSTED BY JEANIE AT [the time]? See the word COMMENTS directly to the right of the time?

--Click on the word COMMENTS and a new window appears that says Post a Comment On: Simply Stated.
--Type your comment in the box on the right hand side.
--Next select your identity. Most likely, the only two choices under identity that fit you are either Name/URL or Anonymous.
--Select the radio button, for your identity choice and fill in the appropriate info.
--You are welcome to leave a comment anonymously, but if it's a Blog Candy give-away, it might be hard to give you your gift if you win and I don't know who you are.
--Click on the Orange Button to submit your comment.

I hope this helps!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Blog Candy from Me to One of You

Some of you may be wondering "what's 'blog candy'?" I'm clueless who coined the term, but it's used here, there, and everywhere by different bloggers who have something to give away in exchange for comments on their blogs.

One of the terrific dialysis techs at my clinic (Gordon) occasionally draws a sketch of something in the most unlikely places like the back of another tech's lab coat. One day, I saw Elvis zoom past, riding high on the back of Don's shoulders. I called Don over and said, "I know you throw out those coats at the end of the day, but I want that sketch!" I brought it home, scanned it, then started making cards I call "The Elvis Collection" with Elvis's song titles or lines as the inside sentiments. (All with Gordon's blessing, of course!)

Courtesy of Simply Stated and Gordon Greene, I'll draw one name from all of those who post a comment telling me their favorite color (or colors), and send the winner a box of ten Elvis cards and envelopes. I'll pick the winning name on Thursday, 13 Nov, and let everyone know who the lucky person is! [I told you this blog was just for fun!]

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

200 Miles and Counting

After a late start, long past sunrise now that our early morning temps are running in the mid-fifties, Floyd and I headed out on our 100th trip around our property. We've walked 200 miles in 100 consecutive days since June 16th. Frequently, while we walk, we discuss all the different places we could have walked to by now had we headed in a straight line instead of around and around in circles. ;-D

Friday, September 5, 2008

How 'Bout Them Republicans?

The Republican National Convention ended on a much better note than it started thanks to both Cindy and John McCain who took higher ground than at least two of the speakers on Wednesday night: Fred Thompson and Sarah Palin.

Sarah Palin, Sen. McCain's vice-presidential choice, has dynamic public speaking skills, but I was disappointed in her tendency to puncuate her speech with mean-spirited zingers which I believe are simply uncalled for no matter what the situation. Modeling that type of negative behavior in front of the American people and our children is not helpful. It is that attitude that it's acceptable to treat others without respect or kindness and as lesser than ourselves that leads to bullying in our society.

I could not understand Mrs. Palin's mocking attitude and the audience's hearty agreement--marked by the entire arena bursting into laughter--when she referred to Barack Obama's work as a community organizer. How is that any less important than the work she has done? Community organizing is what people do when they feel they are not being helped by the government that serves them.

Most of this nation's greatest movements and moments of growth can be traced directly to community organizing, also called "grassroots action": Take the Civil Rights movement and women seeking the Vote, just to name a couple.

As I said at the beginning, the McCains reached higher in their speeches and did not use them as opportunities to mock others or label others' accomplishments as less important. For that, I'm grateful.

And now, the race is on.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How 'Bout Them Democrats?

Last night's opening of the Democratic National Convention was a breath of fresh air! I love the positive, upbeat tone each speaker projected and the way they looked to the future, as opposed to re-hashing the past or mudslinging. The overall goal to improve the lives of all Americans, not just a select few, dominated the evening.

Caroline Kennedy's introduction of her Uncle Teddy would have made her father, mother, and brother proud. And Ted Kennedy's powerful speech in support of Barack Obama was especially touching in light of his recent brain surgery and continuing battle with brain cancer. The risk he took to travel from Massachusetts to Denver and deliver his speech were apparently inconsequential to him compared to his commitment to being at the DNC and showing support for his candidate.

My favorite part was Michelle Obama's heartfelt and inspiring speech supporting her husband. Her easy-going, down-to-earth style makes her seem like a woman who might live up the street from me--something I've never felt about any other First Lady or potential First Lady.

I think the DNC is off to a great start!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hand Beaded Earrings, Etc.

Ta-dah! The first pair of earrings I sold (just this week)!
These were custom made for a teen-aged girl after her mom saw
the lime green glass cube pair (shown below) I was wearing.

It's funny how I got back into beading earlier this year. I was at a rubber stamp workshop making cards with a group and complimented the woman sitting next to me on her beautiful jewelry. She graciously thanked me, and then it was the Close to My Heart Consultant who said, "Oh, Kelly makes all her own stuff. When she's not stamping, she's beading." Then Kelly offered, "You can always find me at the bead shop."

BEAD SHOP?? Huh? We have a bead shop in town? (The last one I knew about had closed decades earlier.) I started gathering info about the local bead shop, and then I had to go there and check it out.

The Spirited Bead is a branch of the original shop located in Tehachapi, CA and was established by Karen Lewis (a.k.a. Klew), an amazing artist who makes extraordinary beads, jewelry, and wearable art using polymer clay. To see what I mean, take a peek at her website: http://www.klewexpressions.com/

It turns out, the local bead shop has been around for over four years. Okay, so I'm slow on the uptake, but just think how much money I've saved! Oh, no, that's not right. I spent the money I might have spent on beads on rubber stamps, cardmaking supplies, scrapbooking stuff, and books. (Not to mention a foray into Claire's Accessories in the mall where I picked up a huge number of earrings right before I began making my own.)

Ten or fifteen years ago when I first tried beading, I was feeling my way in the dark. I didn't take any classes or find any books with instructions. This time around, I've taken two hands-on classes at the nearby Spirited Bead as well as found a number of great beadmaking books to refer to.

Here's a photo of my recent creations. I really enjoy making earrings for myself and others. But you can see, I've made a couple of necklaces to coordinate with earrings, and even an anklet (the project from my Basic Beading class, not shown).

The lime green glass cube earrings referred to above are in the bottom right of this photo.

I have to give credit where credit's due: the frame with chicken coop wire which is home for my creations was an idea my older daughter told me about. I passed the word to my hubby, and he made me three!

I use a variety of beads: Swarovski crystals, clear glass, crackle glass, cultured pearls, and wooden, to name a few. I work with colors I like together or drawing from clothing I'm trying to match.

Beading is a soothing activity and is even easier since we bought an Ott lamp for the living room!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Desert Sunrises

Since the end of May or early June, my hubby and I have been up daily before the sun to walk around our property. After we measured the distance of one circuit, we added a seventh lap, which increased the total distance walked to two miles. As of 16 June, we've walked two miles seven days a week. This has turned out to be great exercise with benefits! Being up and out so early means we are able to take in beautiful sunrises every day.

Looking east toward the Argus Range in the background,
mid-July 2008.

Other benefits we've gained by walking daily is a ten pound weight loss for me, over a thirty pound loss for my DH, a general feeling of well being, and a strong sense of accomplishment.

Another eastward shot.

This photo to the west shows
a well known, local landmark, Five Fingers, highlighted by sunlight.

As one season folds into the next, we'll need to adapt our walking schedule accordingly and no doubt we'll walk after the sun has risen to avoid the early morning chill of fall and winter. In the meantime, one of the best things about our walking routine as it is right now is enjoying the glorious desert sunrises!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Our Adventures with Feral Cats

My husband and I have been blessed to have had six cats during our 17 years together. Most came from a feral background. Sissy (below) just recently disappeared after 14 years somewhere in this big old desert. She was at least third generation feral. [Feral cats are those which have been separated from domestication, whether through abandonment, loss, or running away, and become wild. The term also refers to descendants of such cats. Feral kittens may be re-domesticated, to some extent, if handled by humans within their first 5 weeks of life.]

For some unknown reason, Sissy's mother, FluffNugget, became friendly with me toward the end of her pregnancy. She would let me pet her and even pick her up. After FluffNugget birthed her litter of four kittens, we found their location and catnapped them. They lived for several weeks in our spare shower. Four to five times a day, I'd go outdoors and bring FluffNugget into the house depositing her in the shower to nurse her babies. During this time, we also had a lot of play time with the kittens and handled them a lot.

This routine went on for approximately six weeks when, for an equally unknown reason, FluffNugget began to run from me each time I tried to approach her. By the time the kittens were that age, many mama cats would have weaned their litter anyway, so we felt they'd gotten the best start in life.

Pictured here when they were small enough to fit in a garbage basket, clockwise from top Missy, Bubby, Opie, and Sissy.

We were attached to all four kittens by that time, and kept them all. Sissy was soon the lone surviving cat. She was completely re-domesticated and was very affectionate with humans. She virtually made a 180 degree turn-around because she never became friendly with another cat after her litter mates were gone.

Then, along came Buster. Our Bluetick Hound, Mollie (above), was outside one night barking her head off and causing quite a ruckus. My husband went out to see what was up. When he walked back in the house, he was carrying the cutest little five or six week old orange kitten shown below snuggled on my hubby's chest.

We never did find out if Buster was abandoned or from a feral colony. He was a quite character and couldn't be called affectionate although he had his moments. He liked us, as long as we didn't get too close, too often. Above you see can Buster in all his glory lounging in one of his favorite spots under the dining room table. Buster disappeared in June 2007, shortly after his first birthday, which left us both very heartbroken. (Sissy, on the other hand, was quite happy.)

In the early days after Buster's disappearance, my DH spent part of every day outside searching for him thinking maybe he'd gotten himself stuck some place. On one of these outings, he came back with a little cat he mistakenly believed was abandoned in one of his old cars. She was about five weeks old, and we decided to keep her. She had a smoky color so she became "Smoky," also known as Smoky-Dokey and Mocha. Like Buster, she's not conventionally affectionate, but wherever we end up in the house, there's Smoky close by. She prefers not to be picked up or over-petted, but allows it at times. At night time, she snuggles tightly against the back of my legs as I sleep. As long as we follow her cues, we no longer get scratched or bit. (The sooner you figure these things out, the better it is for everyone.)

During another outing on our property, still in search of Buster, my DH discovered two other young kittens where he'd found Smoky. Oops--she was not an abandoned kitten, she'd only been left alone in the nest for awhile. Each time he went back to the nest, he saw more kittens! I told him to quit going out there because I didn't want the litter to keep growing! Final count was a litter of five kittens, not including Smoky. Eventually Smoky's Mama and some of her litter mates disappeared.

MizzSmoky-Dokey loves being in the middle of everything including my stamping projects!

Until last week, we had two of Smoky's sisters (Pretty Girl & Patches) and a stray (Blackie), who we feed morning and night on top of an upright freezer that sits beyond our deck. Each had kittens although Patches' lone baby was born early in the summer heat and was not able to tolerate it. In the past few days, Patches has also disappeared. Pretty Girl once had four kittens all of whom were healthy and feral--just like their mama, they’d run at the sight of us. Then suddenly, only two remain (Mini-Buster 'cuz he's another orange tabby, and Mini-Black&White).

Those two are the "teenaged" kittens of the clowder. We've noticed this week, they're becoming bolder and not taking off as quickly when we approach or inching their way in our direction. They now eat the food we leave out, too.

Blackie's five kittens are approximately six or seven weeks old and she has allowed us to handle them since they were about two or three weeks old. She sticks close by which means we can continue to socialize the kittens, and we hope to eventually find them good homes.

A couple of Blackie's kittens cuddle for a nap.

Kittens will do anything for their Mama's Milk,
even stand on their heads.

In spite of knowing, in general, outside cats do not live as long as indoor cats, desert life is rough on cats, and that these cats have no attachment to us, we find ourselves growing quite attached to The Feral Family that frequents our freezer top and deck. It's hard when any of them disappear.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Faboo Stamping Techniques Class

This past Thursday was the last in a series of four monthly Stamping Technique Classes I signed up for in April. I loved this class. Taught by a local Stampin Up! Demonstrator, we learned 14 techniques a month, totaling 56 by the end of the class.

We received a "blank" book with 56 pages secured with two metal rings. Each page had step-by-step instructions for a technique then half the page was left blank so we could adhere our completed, matted example of said technique. Some of the techniques, I had tried before, but most I hadn't even though I've been stamping for a darn, long time!

It was a blast playing with all the inks and stamps Jessica had organized for us. It was like using a "kit" to practice each technique. Even the cardstock was already cut to size.

Who knew baby wipes or marbles made such a cool background papers? My favorite techniques involved watercoloring, re-inkers, or direct-to-paper methods. My head is all a-whirl with ideas I can use, mostly in my cardmaking.

At the end of the class, we had our, fat, little book all done and in living color. I decided I want to protect the pages by laminating each one. This morning, I made the cover shown here using chipboard, pccrafter.com clipArt, my computer, and printer.

Next, I'll buy bigger rings so the book will lie flat as opposed to its current "triangular" shape. I'm hoping I may need even larger rings in the future because Jessica hinted that there may be more techniques to come! Whoo Hoo! Is it time to sign up yet?

Thanks to Leere' Aldrich for the scrapbook page from her "Seasons Spring" collection at pccrafter.com. Fonts used: Angelina & Advantage. Chipboard: Diecuts with A View's "Brights Chipboard Stack"

Friday, July 11, 2008

Why I Scrapbook

When I first began to keep pictures and momentos in scrapbooks it was simply a way for me to keep things that were important to me. Over the years, I've learned that scrapbooks become a person's legacy and future generations' opportunity to know about their family and where they came from.

I've also learned the process of scrapbooking can be just, plain fun.
I started traditional or paper scrapping when I was a kid. All the supplies I used were highly acidic and the books didn't last.

Almost 20 years ago, I was introduced to the concept of acid-free, lignin-free albums, papers, and adhesives. I've got quite a few traditional scrapbooks in various stages of completion.

Not long ago, I ventured into digital scrapbooking which is by far the simplest way to collect your photos and stories in one place. No physical storage needed. Simply a hard drive and perhaps an external HD, too, to keep track of the myriad digital papers and elements that are readily available (many for free) all over the Web (plus all your photos).

My most recent project was an album I created for my middle daughter who turned 35 at the end of May. It was so much fun gathering together all the photos of her I wanted to use and organizing them into themes or topics for each double page spread. Check out the page below which I made using a Quick Page. I downloaded the template, then popped the photos behind the openings in the layout. Enjoy!

Thanks to Jenna Robertson for her Quick Page, "Generations," which I got from http://www.digitalscrapbookplace.com.