The Evolution of the Photo Blocks

I wanted to create something for an auction and saw some cute photo blocks in a magazine. I thought they were perfect, bringing together my love of scrapbooking, photography and writing … the writing in that I intend to take them to a convention to place in the silent auction.

Crafts for Malice 105Since Henery Press has a cute chick as their logo, I wanted to incorporate chicks on the photo block. My first version had these little guys standing at attention on the sides. Well, after a day of these little bright-colored chicks sitting on my desk and staring at me, I knew I needed a different plan. These chicks were making me a little nervous with their little round eyes on me. All the time.

I also wanted a little more decorating. First step was removing the chicks and returning them to their box where the rest of the gang of chicks resided. (Now I have to figure out what to do with the gang.) I pulled out ribbon and other embellishments and experimented.

I liked how a ribbon border on the top gave the project a more finished look so I added it. Of course, I had to try out about six different ribbons before I found the one that worked for each block. Because as crafters know, being the perfect ribbon for one block doesn’t make “you/ribbon” perfect for the next block. The papers and the color of the top of the block were different combinations so each block had to have a little fashion show done. After taking a look at some other blocks, I knew I also needed an embellishment on the front. The blocks just looked a little too “naked” for me.

I pulled out my jar of fabric flowers, layered a few pieces and attached them with a brad. After that, I glued the flower onto the block. The top still needed something (and not the wide-eyed chicks). Fortunately, I couldn’t make up my mind when shopping so I bought another style of birds. After taking a poll on Facebook, I decided on adding ribbons and charms to the wire photo holder.

Photo Block pics 008Snow and crafts 025

Decorating for Christmas

November has been a busy month with NaNoWriMo (won’t make the goal), marketing two books, Thanksgiving preparation, banquets and gathering supplies for Christmas craft projects and shopping for gifts. In a few short days, December will be upon us and I’m excited. I love seeing all the decorations for the holidays and am starting the process of decorating our home. I’m not into decorating for Easter, spring, summer, Halloween, or fall but I love to get the house all dressed up in its Christmas finery. This year, I even bought some holiday themed sheets to go on my bed.

I love the lights, inside and outside, our two trees (one snowpeople and nutcracker themed, the other hodge-podge) and my nativity collection. My two favorite new items is my Mickey Mouse Carousel blow-up for the front yard and the Fisher Price Little People Nativity. I’ve been trying for years to find that particular nativity and finally was able to get one this year.

We’re a little behind schedule as the house is usually completed the day after Thanksgiving but with other projects and events happening, my decorating time got pushed back a little. We’re also trying this year a less chaotic and stress-inducing approach for turning the house into a Christmas wonderland. My husband is bringing down a box or two at a time and once those items are arranged, the empty storage boxes go back up into the attic and another one (or two depending on the size of the container) comes down to sort through then arrange into a magnificent Christmas display. It does take a little while because I add to our collection every year and it seems to be outgrowing our house. With everything I’ve found (some I forgot I had), I might be able to decorate our house and also my daughter’s house. I do feel a little bad for the decorations that will have to go back up into the attic unused this year.

 But not this awesome reindeer my daughter made (who’s now a junior in high school) when she was in the third grade. It will always have a spot of honor on the television cabinet. I love it! How can a person not be filled with Christmas and holiday cheer looking at that smiling face?

For those items heading back into the attic, there is hope for their inclusion in next year’s display as I’m planning on including two additional rooms to the decorating schedule … the craft/kids’ computer room and my office. I’ll have an ‘official’ office rather than a large closet converted into an office. As my oldest is married and moved out, I’ll be ‘taking over’ her room and that will give me another space to decorate and a large closet to store items in. I’m thinking 3 trees next year. I’ve already jotted down a few items I need to look for during the after-Christmas sale so I can outfit an entire room with little cost. Though, it might cost a little more as I’m thinking of going with a Disney Holiday theme for that room.

Hail Storm

For the last few days, I’ve been wanting to take some photos of our garden as the next batch of flowers had bloomed. The colors were magnificent and I couldn’t wait to go out and play with my camera but I kept putting it off. Other needed to-do list items kept pushing it back and I wanted to wait for the right lighting and the rain kept putting a damper on my plans. It helped the flowers grow and might have attributed to their intense color but so good to take out an expensive camera.

But now the photo opportunity is gone as a hail storm yesterday evening took out the flower garden. I’m looking on the bright side which is the fact that the only damage was to the garden. The poor stems were almost pressed to the ground by the falling rocks of ice. Our driveway looked like it was covered in snow.

Dabbling in photography

Yesterday, I decided to take a break from editing and play around with my camera. A lot of flowers had started to bloom from all the rain we received the last two weeks so I wanted to see if any really caught my eye. Right outside the back door, I stopped some tulips. I didn’t know I had tulips there. One of them caught my eye. The color was so vibrant. And the stem grew in a question mark shape. Intriguing. As it was almost on the ground, I cut it (to be used later in an arrangement) and took some photos to practice ‘close’ photography techniques.

First Flowers of Spring

I knew they were coming. The stems started to rise from the ground. I smelled the pollen in the air. Soon, we’d have flowers blooming in our yard … unless another surprise snowstorm arrived. Thankfully, Sunday only brought a dusting and the plants survived. Today, I went and ventured around the house to get a few shots. I can’t wait until the  rhododendron and the other flowers make their way out. I use my camera more in the spring then in the winter. Something about the bright colors draw my eye and speak to me of hope and renewal.

           

The photo shot went well until the bee decided that it was through being the victim of a paparazzi and zoomed at my head. So I packed up the camera and went back inside.

I’m Dreaming of a White March?

The groundhog did say that spring was coming … didn’t he?

This was the view from my front door this afternoon. We had a surprise snowfall on Sunday but no accumulation and I thought that was the end for the season.  Not so. When my husband first told me it was snowing this morning, I thought he was teasing me because I had plans today and he knows I hate driving in the snow. Good things the plans were flexible and not necessary trips.

Today, I stayed home and decided to use the time to learn some new skills. Like how to download pictures to my new computer. A super easy process since my new computer has a slot in the front to put the memory card in. Then the computer finds the correct program and starts downloading. Magical!

It was kind of amusing to get a call from my teenager this afternoon that tennis practice was cancelled because of snow. Not something that you hear everyday.