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Friday, July 31, 2009

Cutting, Cutting, Cutting . . .

I've had my Cricut out again and am finally learning how to use some of its features. Right after I got it at Christmas, things got pretty crazy around here, and I haven't used it since. So, when Jana asked if I would cut some things for her classroom, it was the perfect opportunity to get in some practice. She's come with some great ideas for decorating her classroom--fun and inspiring, but in a "cool to middle-schoolers" kind of way. So, this week I cut . . . and cut . . . and cut . . . and then packaged everything up and sent it on its way with Jordan's parents who are on their way to Atlanta for a visit. . . .
and since I had the Cricut out, I thought I might as well try something else.

I bought this new aluminum water bottle at Wal-Mart yesterday for $4!
Nice color, but wouldn't it look better with a pretty design on it?? Using some of the left-over vinyl I had left from this project, I cut out a few small designs and here it is! I like it!
Sunday, July 26, 2009

Set Sail for CCL

After working most of the summer, the perfect get-away for me was to spend a little time with one of my best friends. We spent the weekend at a scrapbook retreat (just one of our many shared interests) and had a GREAT time! Once again, Memory Mania put on a wonderful Camp Crop-A-Lot---I so wish we had a nice scrapbook store like them in Shreveport! Our table consisted of the two of us and Pam & Vanessa, whom we've shared a table with many times before. In addition, this year there were two new ladies, Michelle and Michelle at our table and we enjoyed getting to know them, too. I made bottles of scrapbook goodies to give to everyone as a favor and Valine packaged chocolate in matching colors. Unfortunately, we left them out in the car upon our arrival and all of the chocolate melted---BOO! Valine and I managed to squeeze in time for chips and salsa at Ninfa's--once with Vanessa and Kathy for "therapy" :-) and again with Maegan the next night. And in the middle of it all, I managed to complete 24 new layouts--not bad for a weekend crop!
Saturday, July 25, 2009

Round Robin--My Vehicle Of Choice

Well, here's my vehicle of choice. I don't get to walk nearly as much as I'd like to because my job requires me to drive all over town, but, I've found that my morning walks with K are both great exercise and good "friend therapy" and look forward to us both being back in the same town and the same time so we can get back on schedule. (of course, I actually wear shoes when I'm walking for exercise) :-)
Wednesday, July 22, 2009


After an incredibly busy few days at work this week, I'm headed out of town for a quick vacation. I'm so anxious to get away and spend some time with my bestest buddy, Valine. This weekend, we'll be cropping the nights away at the summer version of Camp Crop-A-Lot! I can't wait. The last time I went, I was so organized, with photos chosen and placed carefully in bags alongside accompanying kits to complete layouts. Not so, this time. I had good intentions, but between the trip to Atlanta and my recent work schedule, I have just run out of time. Looks like I'm going to be throwing a bunch of stuff into a suitcase with the hope of sorting things out better once I arrive in Baton Rouge. After all, lots of good conversation and laughter is guaranteed anytime Valine and I get together. And even if I only complete two layouts, that will be two more than I would have finished if I'd stayed in Shreveport.

So, GOODBYE dirty dishes, piles of laundry and weeds in the flower bed. I'm setting sail on the Cropping Cruise!

Faith, Hope, Love

You may remember a few weeks ago when I posted about the dolls I'd made to send to the orphanage in Nicaragua. Well, Eren made the trip and passed out the dolls to the children at the Casa Bernabe Orphanage. Craft Hope has posted some pictures of the children with their new babies. So sweet! Project #3 is about to leave Jade's house this weekend----booties, hats and blankets headed to the Bhawani, Rourkela & Sooch Village Homes in India with the Miracle Foundation.

Monday, July 20, 2009

DIY Snack

This evening, when I got home about 8:15, my stomach was growling and I was craving popcorn. Anyone that knows me, knows that popcorn is my favorite snack in the whole world. Unfortunately, I remembered that I was completely out of microwave popcorn. I decided to search the cabinet over my pantry just in case there was a bag tucked away back there somewhere. No luck.

However, in the very back,
I rediscovered a jar of regular popcorn hidden away from who knows when. There wasn't much left, but I recalled reading a post from Jerusalem, of My Little Life, about making your own microwave popcorn and decided to try it. I poured the little bit of popcorn left in the jar into a brown lunch bag, sprayed it with a little Canola oil spray and sprinkled a touch of salt before shaking it to mix it up. I folded down the top of and put a piece of tape on to keep it closed. Then, into the microwave it went. I set the timer for 5 minutes, but then listened for the "pops" to slow to stop it (about 2.5 min.).After I took out the bag I made sure to shake it up before opening it to help prevent it from burning.
Mmmmm! I gave it one more spritz of oil and a little bit more salt and both Emmi and I were happy with our yummy, low-fat treat!
Note to self: next grocery trip, buy more regular popping corn.
Sunday, July 19, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday

I haven't had much chance to take photos since I've been home, but I love this picture from last weekend. Jana, Dan and I went to Little Mulberry Park to feed the ducks and take a walk. It was such a pretty day. This mama and her babies were hanging out near the shadows of the reeds.Be sure to check out the Shadow Shots that others have captured this Sunday over here.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
As I mentioned in a previous post, we spent part of the day at the Atlanta Zoo last Saturday. It turned out to be lots of fun---very hot, but fun. The animals were great---here are a few of my favorites.

Among the first animals we saw were the meerkats. While some rested in the shade of their houses, this little guy was perched on top of a log, watching everyone that came by.
The Crowned Crane that was in the Zebra cage was so interesting, but had an injured wing.The lions were all resting out in the sun. . . .. . . and the otters swam and played in the water (I could watch them all day)!
In the Aviary, there were birds of all colors. As we watched them down below, this Pterodactyl-looking thing suddenly came flying up straight towards me. I ducked as he perched with a stick on the railing right beside me. He then flew straight to his nest to finish construction.The red panda was so cute---he looked all cuddly sitting up in a tree.While he definitely isn't cute OR cuddly, this snake caught my eye in the reptile house.This gorilla seemed to be reminding us not to take ourselves too seriously . . .. . .while this kangaroo seemed none too happy about the crowds that were watching him, or maybe it was the heat. Personally, I think his friend had the right idea---kick back and relax!

Photo Editing

I've been taking the free class on Photo Editing over at Jessica Sprague and I'm learning so much. After learning how to do some basic editing to improve the quality of my photos, I'm now learning how to add masks, frames and such. A couple of weeks ago, I didn't even know what these were, but I'm beginning to get the hang of it now. It's really fun! Here are a couple of photos I was playing with today.

In the first one, I added a subtle texture and then text to the picture of Jana jumping at the zoo.

In the next one, I used a texture to mimic a new technique that makes photos look old. Does that make sense?? It's called TTV--Through The Viewfinder--and mimics the look of old photos with the blackened edges. It's kind of cool and I can see how it could be the perfect thing to add to certain photos in a scrapbook layout.

Here's the before . . .
. . . and here's after I transformed it to look like a vintage, color-tinted photo and added the TTV texture and a brush. Fun!
P. S. I just edited my blog header above. I like it for now, but can't figure out how to keep that right edge within the black line frame. Hmmmm. . . .
Thursday, July 16, 2009

Shutter School---Framing

On my recent vacation I found that the Atlanta Zoo was the perfect place to "frame" a few photos naturally. For more suggestions about how to use framing in your photography, check out Shutter School's newest lesson. Here's one of my favorites---a snack peeking through a log in one of the terrariums.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Home Again

There's No Place Like Home, There's No Place Like Home. . .

Last week, I took my brother, Dan to Atlanta for vacation. We filled the week with some sigh
t-seeing, meals with my brothers, daughters and their families, and we spent WAAAYYYY too much time at the airport (I've been composing my letter to Delta in my head over the last couple of days)! Leaving most of family out on the East Coast was really hard for me this time----however, the difficulties of cancelled and postponed flights overshadowed most of the tears that were lingering near. Here are a few shots from the time we all got to share together:
Ice Cream with Jana and Rob at Brusters. . .
The Carlos Museum. . .The CNN Center. . .
Dinner at Jana's house . . .. . . and her flowerbed. . .
Dinner at my brother's house . . .Little Mulberry Park . . .The Atlanta Zoo . . .
The Laser Show at Stone Mountain . . . . . . .and lots of waiting at the airport!!!
Saturday, July 11, 2009

Round Robin---Silence

The theme for this Round Robin Photo Challenge is "Silence". I'm currently out of town visiting family, but caught a couple of "silent" pictures while away. Be sure to check out the work of the other Robins here.

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