Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cooking Sunday: Tortilla Chips

I know what you are thinking..hasn't she shown us a picture of nachos before? Is she obsessed with nachos? The answer to that question is, yes I am. Very obsessed..but really I am showing this picture because not only did I make nachos, I also made the tortilla chips!  Lately, I've been (trying) to put myself on a strict budget since I recently booked a trip to London and Paris in October (yay).  I've been trying to not waste any food, not purchase lunches, not go to Michael' get the picture.  I bought tortillas last week because I wanted to make burittos, but the problem is that I only ever use 2 tortillas, and then end up throwing the rest out.  This time, I cut them up, brushed with oil and salt and baked them in the oven.  They were delicious..and probably healthier than tostitos.

I cleaned my entire apartment today, including organizing my scrapbook supplies.  I needed to throw out scraps of paper that I save and stickers/embellishments I know I'll never use (like stickers that say "school photo" on them).  This sounds like it's against my new philosophy of saving money by not wasting things but it's not. Getting rid of these items, allows me to only have items I know I'll use...that way I don't needlessly buy extra supplies.  I also do not have that much space in my apartment.

Finally, I also cut off a lot of my hair on Friday.  I desperately needed a haircut. Originally I was just going to get the dead ends cut off, and my angle/layers touched up but then I figured, I don't want to pay for another haircut for a while so..why not. My hair grows ridiculously fast anyway. I went to a salon across the street from me, a $25 haircut.  It's just below my shoulders now (it was halfway down my back).  I miss my long hair, but it's much more comfortable in this summer heat.
Anyway, that's what's been going on this week.  Hopefully I'll have the creative juices flowing this week.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Speed Scrapping

I'm on such a roll with scrapbooking. I might actually catch up to present day. I've never been caught up, hence the reason many of my scrapbooks end up unfinished. I hate the word hence. I don't know why I just used it.  I also hate the word "digress" as in "but I digress". Ugh. It makes me want to slap someone when I read it.

I took the picture of my page tonight with my old camera. It was a lot easier. It's strange holding the old camera after playing with the new one.  It seems so tiny. I remember when I bought it I thought it was so big, but it's not. It's a little baby. I still love it though...mostly because it's a lot easier to use than the fancy one. I need more practice with the fancy one..a LOT more.

Anyway, here is today's page.  In person it is more aqua, but the combination of the beige/yellow paper and the beige/yellow lighting in my apartment off set the aqua color. I tried to photoshop it back to normal but it's still not as nice as it is in person.

I'm trying this new thing where I actually name my it goes: Patterned Paper - Kathy Griffith's Scrap pad, cardstock, glue dots, Jolee's Boutique flowers

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Quick Page and Lifetime Movies

Tonight I scrapbooked while watching a Lifetime movie, Magic Beyond Words: The JK Rowling Story. I never read the Harry Potter books, although I do intend to one day. I saw 3 of the movies, and not in any kind of order. I just really enjoy a good rags to riches the lifetime movie Homeless to Harvard, which was good until the end when you find out the girl dropped out of Harvard.  I think on an update story she went back a few years later and finished, but still you can't do a whole movie and then have the girl not even finish Harvard.  That movie has nothing to do with this one though.  I just really enjoyed the story and thought I'd share.

I did a simple scrapbook page tonight. I didn't want to stay up too late again. I was exhaused all day today.  I need to get better at taking pictures of my work though because right now they all turn out slightly crooked. I think I need to use my other camera. I'm still not so good with the super fancy one.  You can't see it from hte picture, but the circles actually pop out from the page becaues I used pop up dots. Another treasure found in my closet.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Night Filled with Scrapbooking

Buying those scrapbook magazines last week was a really good investment. I've been very inspired the last few days. I'm even up way past my bedtime (keep in my mind, my bedtime is about 10pm) to finish pages and update this blog.  I care about my reader(s).  Scrapbooking is also a good distraction from other things going on in my life. I don't want to talk about it here. This blog is not for sadness.

I've been trying to use extra scrap paper and materials I never use.  Tonight I discovered a pile of glue dots that I must've bought in one of my Michael's blackouts. I've never used glue dots before but since I ran out of my favorite glue (and we all know how I feel about my glue) I needed an alternative.  They are actually kind of cool.  I like the page I did tonight, although as usual I do think it could've used more. I'm getting better I feel though.  Scrapping on 12x12 is definitely helping.  Sorry about the crooked photos...

Obviously another two page layout.  I actually work in production at an internet based company and I still can't figure out why blogger won't let me put these pictures side by side. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Page Redo

Even though I'm melting in my apartment right now, I still found time to scrapbook.  I set the fan up on my coffee table, directly in front of my face.  I didn't get air conditioning in my apartment. People at work freak out when I tell them this, as if I told them I decided not to get electricity in my apartment. It's really not a big deal. The fan makes a huge difference. Today's only bad because we are going through a brutal heat wave. There's no breeze outside.  Tomorrow I'm going to retreat to my parent's house for the weekend.

Anyway, once I made the decision to go 12x12, I also decided I want to redo some old pages.  I want the 12x12 album to be devoted to the first year in my new apartment.  The first pages I decided to redo are my birthday layout. I was really disappointed in my first birthday layout because I thought the colors i used were dull and then I made a flower border as a cop out because I measured the pictures wrong as usual.

If you dont remember, here is the original layout:
It's not bad, it's just not my favorite.  I'm not sure why I used the beige background.  I think it was to give the page an antique feel.  It didn't work very well. 

Anyway, I decided to go with a brighter background color.  I also was able to add a few more pictures.  Oh I also solved my scanner too small problem, in a crazy way.  I taped the pictures to my closet door, set my camera up on a tripod and took pictures of the layouts. 

I tried putting the layouts side by side but blogger likes to make my life use your imagination. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mark Twain Scraps

Mark TwainI'm thoroughly uninspired these days. In one of my little slumps..which is OK. It happens to everyone, especially when work starts to get frustrating and all i want to do when I get home is lounge. I splurged on a few scrapbooking magazines today to get me back in the swing of things, however, I don't know how much work I'm going to get done this week.

In trying to find inspiration, I found an interesting fact...Mark Twain was an avid scrapbooker.  Now, even though I barely remember the book Huckleberry Finn, I do feel somewhat close to Mark Twain because my great grandma and grandpa were two of Mark Twain's servants.  Unfortunately my grandma thought that the original copies of all Mark Twain's books were completely useless and there went my future millions.  Sigh.

Anyway, Mark Twain was so into scrapbooking that he devoted every Sunday to updating his scraps. He also invented a "self pasting" scrapbook because he got frustrated with constantly having to glue everything down.  The scrapbook featured pages with thin strips of glue already there to make scrapbooking quick and easy. I learned a lot of this information from PBS, another thing I feel particularly close to but only because I have absolutely love The Antiques Roadshow. If I had those Mark Twain books I could've totally been on the show. Double sigh.

Mark Twain's Patent Self-Pasting Scrap Book (patented 1873)
(images courtesy of the Bancroft Library)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Scrapbooks? No Salsa...

I was going to scrapbook tonight but instead I watched a cheesy family channel movie and made some salsa. It was way easier than choosing color combinations and getting depressed that my layouts looked sparse.  Although I admit it is a little strange to make salsa for absolutely no reason at 9:30pm.  Not as strange as setting up a tripod in my kitchen to take a picture of it....then realizing my counter is taller than my tripod.  That's why you have my weird picture above that looks like the salsa is slowly falling from the sky.  I want to eat that salsa right now but I'm going to save it for my lunch tomorrow. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

oops there goes my scanner...

Tonight I made my first 12x12 page.  I was as always slightly disappointed in it...I was more disappointed when I realized my scanner is not 12x12.  I tried taking pictures of the layouts but they never seemed right. I'm going to do some research about this.  Sorry to disappoint tonight. Hopefully tomorrow there will be some proof of my scrapbooking!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Remember that Picture I Printed...

Remember that picture I printed on fabric a few weeks ago?  I finally decided to put it in a layout tonight. A simple uncluttered layout.....still working on those Germany pictures you know.

I've also made an executive decision.  I've been scrapbooking agaisnt the norm on 8.5 x 11 paper since I first started at age 15(ish). The reason was simply that I knew nothing about scrapbooking and I had some colored computer paper to work with.  I kept buying the same size paper until I amassed the extensive color collection I own today.  Now that I read the scrapping blogs and read all the books/magazines, I know that the norm is 12x12 pages.  They provide symmetry and more importantly space. I've tried "scraplifting" a few 12x12 page and translating to 8.5x11 but it never works out.  They end up squashed or I inevitably need to eliminate some pictures to fit the page.  So, my executive decision is to start scrapping on 12x12 paper.  I'm going to go to Michael's this weekend to buy a new album in the right size. Of course, if you are observant you've noticed that all my layouts recently are on 8.5/11 but that's ok.  It'll be a combination album...a symbol of my transition from kid scrapbooker to big girl scrapbooker.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Germany Never Ends

I almost gave into laziness tonight being that it is quite warm out and sitting with the fan directly in front of my face seemed like the best option. But I find the best way to cure laziness is to just start doing things. Once I got up and printed out pictures, the scrapping just kept flowing.

Still working on those Germany pictures.  I did absolutely no planning for this page. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not.  I had a slight picture of what I wanted in my head but of course it did not turn out that way.  I'm not sure how I feel about this page actually. I'm my own worst critic..constantly disappointed in my own work.  My layouts are always slightly crooked and just feel generally unfinished. I also don't do much embellishing aside from paper layering and an occasional sticker. I'm such a downer this week! What is wrong with me?

Anyway, disappointments aside, I'm not going to redo it so it's worth posting here for everyone to see.  I definitely like my layouts better when I plan ahead of time. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Nasty Sunburns and Photography Disappointments

That subject line perfectly describes my weekend. It was a nice long weekend..sort of a July 4th redo since I was so sick last weekend. I took off Monday to really enjoy it to the fullest.  Spent the entire day on the beach...roasted toasted and burnt to a crisp. Sunburns don't bother me so much anymore except for the constant fear of skin cancer (I check every inch of my skin every day as if overnight a giant mole will pop up somewhere).  The only bad part is that I got super burnt on my stomach...and I tend to sleep on my stomach, so that was painful.

Anyway, my God daughter's christening was also this weekend and I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to use my new fancy camera.  The only problem is that I think my pictures would look exactly the same if I used my drunk camera (i.e. the tiny red camera I've had for years I use only when out in bars).  I don't know why I bother getting an expensive camera. The only good aspect I can see right now is that there's no delay between shots. I don't know, maybe I'm just being impatient. I know I need to learn all the functions but I find it frustrating.   I'm going to practice more and try to be more patient...or maybe I should just stick to shooting flowers...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Accomplishments Feel Good

The other night, as I previously wrote about, I started making friendship bracelets.  When I first started, thinking I could totally remember things from when I was 8 years old, I jumped right into the hardest pattern in my book (the book is also from when I was 8).  The result looked like a 2 year old's arts & crafts project.  Actually, a 2 year old is probably more skilled.  I was so frustrated I almost just gave up on the entire endeavor.  It's what I'm used to doing. As soon as I can't figure out something, that's it. I blame the pattern, I blame my stupidity, I waste embroidery floss, the whole deal. 

Tonight, I changed that behavior.  Instead of getting frustrated by the pattern, I relearned all the knots and the confusing symbols in the book and slowly worked through it step by step.  The top of my bracelet came out a little janky but as I went on the pattern began to look exactly like the book.  I was so excited.8 year old me would be so proud.  Unfortunately, one bad habit still stuck with me...I never finished the bracelet. It took 2 hours to get halfway and by that time my back was killing me from hunching over my coffee table. Perhaps I'll finish it tomorrow..or not. In this case finishing does not matter to me, the fact that I was able to learn the pattern after messing up so many times is what's important.

Time to rest my weary excited that it's Friday already tomorrow! Another trip to my parents this weekend, maybe another venture into crafts from the past? We'll see.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Killing Gnats and Making Friend...ship bracelets

Strep throat found me last week and put me out of commission for a few days.  I went home to my parents house and left a giant pile of dishes in the sink because I was too sick to stand up and wash them.  Unfortunately I came back to a big gnat infestation in my kitchen.  I'm obsessed with killing them now.  I washed and disinfected the garbage can, the floor and the counter tops. I put out a bowl of vinager to catch them but so far only one stupid fly flew into the vinager.  The others are just mocking me.  This will drive me crazy all week.

Anyway, did you know friendship bracelets are making a comeback? Some of the friendship bracelets are selling at department stores for $100-400 dollars! It's crazy! I brought back my embroidery floss I left at my parents house and decided to try to make the bracelets again.  It took a few tries to get the knots down...I was a little rusty but eventually I got back in the groove. I made a reverse band in some patriotic colors. It was difficult to get a picture of it because i don't have a macro lens on my camera but here's my attempt at pictures of the bracelets:

I wish the pictures of the close up of the pattern came out but my camera would not focus that close.  Now that I've mastered the simple patterns, I'm going to try (once again) the advanced patterns. I've tried several times without much luck. 20th time's a charm?