Friday, July 31, 2015

July 2015 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt Linky: To Settle or Not?

Each summer, I enter the scavenger hunt with great plans to get amazing photographs of each item, but, as I blogged last month, sometimes you just have to grab what you can when you can because the best laid plans can go astray. So, recently, when I was at the vet with my dog, I snapped this picture of very cute turtles on a switch plate for item #7. I almost posted them recently, but I'm glad I waited because last night at the humane society I met "Thumbelina."
She's a red eared slider turtle and much more what I had in mind when I put the item on the list. So, I'm really happy I didn't "settle" for the switch plate turtles!
Now it's your turn to share a story or post about your scavenger hunt adventures. It can be a new post written for today or a link back to something you've already posted. Do try and go visit a few other hunters and leave a comment with some blog love!
And remember, there's still plenty of time to join the fun and complete the Hunt. Summer does not officially end until Sept. 22!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Scrapbook Friday (on Thursday)

I am very happy to say that, with this layout, I have completed scrapping all my photos from 2014! This year, I am trying to scrap at least four layouts a month and post them on Fridays here on my blog. From here, I'll be moving on to 2013 or some specialty albums. I haven't quite decided. But I'm really happy to be back to scrap booking again!
What? It's not Friday? That's because tomorrow I'll be hosting the end of July linky for the 2015 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt. I hope you'll stop by and link a post of your finds.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

True Change Comes from Within (art journal page)

Made this simple art journal page over the weekend. It features some left-over paper printed during a recent print making class and a Dina Wakley stamp.
I made it thinking about my daughter, who just returned home from having spent a month in Peru. I know the experience will change her, but just realized that the changes may not show up for a while. When I think back on some of the biggest adventures in my life, I realize that they shaped me slowly and over time, rather than right away. I wonder where Peru will eventually take my girl . . . 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Reminder: 2015 July Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt Linky coming Friday!!!

No, it doesn't count as a bouquet of flowers, but it's as close as I've gotten so far! LOL!
Maybe I will treat myself to a nice bouquet this week so that I can photograph before the end of the month. That's when I'll be hosting the July linky for the Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt. Please come back on Friday and link up a post (new or old) about your scavenger hunting adventuress. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Art Journaling: One Print Three Ways

Last Saturday I took an art journaling class with Dina Wakley that focused on print making. One of the techniques we learned featured making a collage-style print plate with book board. I made a scene with a simple house, some journaling lines and a winged heart with the word "yes" on it. I had difficulty with this technique during the class (especially with getting the winged heart to look like anything other than a red blob). Yesterday I revisited the prints I made and my print plate, and I ended up some results I like. First up, I took one of my print "failures" from the class and added some outlining. I then attached it to a background in my big road atlas journal. It's still not a perfect print, but you I think it works on this page.
Next up, I cut the bottom half off of some of my print failures and used the house and journaling lines on another art journal page in my road atlas journal. Again, the pen lines I added do more work than the print, but I think it works, and I can see using this print again.
Finally, my favorite! I added paint to just the house portion of the plate and printed onto some tags. I got a pretty good print and one that I can see myself using over and over again.
Print making really is a great way to create elements for an art journaling page, and, for this technique at least, simple is definitely the way to go!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Scrapbook Friday: Embellishment Issues

I've been working on the last few layouts from 2014 and, as always when I'm in a rush, I think I would be happy with good photographs, nicely matted, placed on pretty paper with a little journaling. But, I also like it when my pages are nicely embellished. It's just that sometimes I struggle to make them all work in concert. I really like how this page turned out. I almost called it done before I added the stickers (photo corners, word, etc.) but I'm glad I dug around to find that little extra something.
But I never really made the embellishments work on this page:
I actually like the left hand page okay, but the stickers on the second page aren't really working for me. I think the floral border might clash too much the style of the stickers. I might go back and put a dark purple card stock border instead. Or I might just call it done. 
Thoughts? Do you ever struggle with embellishments?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Photo Pairs: Shorter/Taller

Several European soccer teams are touring the U.S. playing each other, as well as some of the U.S. teams. As long-time Manchester United fans, we decided to go see Man Utd. play the San Jose Earthquakes. It was a great decision. It was a beautiful, relaxing summer night. Avaya Stadium holds 18,000 people, and there's lots of green space around the stands to wander around, drink beer and grab dinner from food trucks. Henry brought his friend Cole, a great kid we have known forever. As we wandered to our seats, we were shocked to see that another kid from our small town was there with his family, sitting in our same row. Henry has played soccer off-and-on with Nacho since they were six years old. It was a beautiful night for the beautiful game, made all the more wonderful by this pair of pairs!
For more pairs, go check out Helena's blog. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Me on Monday: Art Journaling and Dog Minding

Waving hi to Sian over at From High in the Sky to share a photo of me on Monday and share my weekend adventures. What kind of a weekend was it? 
It was a husband and children travelling weekend, leaving me to take care of the house, dogs and chickens.
It was also a seizing the opportunity the take an art journaling class with Dina Wakley, one of my favorite artists and teachers! I was so thrilled to finally meet her in person, take a class with here and spend some time art journaling!
 The class was a print making class, as well as hints for how to incorporate the prints and print-making techniques into your art journals. The flowers on the second page and the bee crown image on the last page are both prints made from different types of plates. The tags on the top page were made with simple printing off acetate and a craft sheet. I've taken many online classes with Dina, and you can page through the class reviews at this link to find them. All-in-all, it was a great weekend! How was yours?

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Summer Reading and TV

I've been in a lazy mood all week. I think it's partly exhaustion from finishing up teaching my summer class and turning in the first draft of a law review article. I also had a little surgery that took more out of me that I thought it would. (Here's the TMI part: The surgery was to fully remove a mole and surrounding tissue from my side. The dermatologist originally just removed the surface of the mole, but the sample looked irregular in the initial biopsy, so they decided to take it all out. Thankfully, it turned out not to be melanoma and I am fine). So, I've been reading books on my ipad and binge-watching TV. And here are my reviews:
I've read three murder mystery/detective novels, all with literary touches. My favorite was The Secret of Magic by Deborah Johnson. I read it in less than a day! That's really unusual for me, but it really grabbed my attention. It's set in Mississippi in the late 1940's and centers on a New York African American attorney from the NAACP who goes to address racially charged crimes in a small town. Great characters and a great look at race in the post-WWII, pre-Martin Luther King era. It came to my attention because it won the award given by the American Bar Association for best legal novel of 2014. I also really liked Still Life by Louise Penny. It's set in Quebec and is the first in a series of novels about a Chief Inspector. It reminded me a bit of Elizabeth George's detective series (but not as dark) that I used to read and love. I could see myself returning to the Louise Penny series in the future when I want a well-written, light romp; perhaps when I know I'll be on a long plane flight. Finally, I read and liked In the Woods by Tana French. It was interesting and kept my attention but, ultimately, felt disappointing. It's also the first in a series, but I really don't think I would return to the series. It's darker than Still Life and more happens; I think it aspires to more. It certainly gave me more to think about. But in the end, it didn't deliver.
Next summer reads up on my kindle are:
The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
The Unraveling of Mercy Louis by Keija Parssinen
And with a more literary bent:
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini 
The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Christopher Scott
Any one read any of these four? Got any other books to recommend?
I know I watch way too much television, but I tell myself it's okay because I usually watch while doing laundry or other household chores. Some new shows I'm enjoying right now -
Unreal - Great show!!! Dark, twisted looks behind the scenes of a "Bachelor/Bachelorette" - style reality show. 
Humans - I want to be the cool kid who "gets" and loves Mr. Robot, but I just don't get that show. However, I do really like Humans so far - about synthetic humans and the role they play in the future. Only three episodes in so far, but I really enjoy it.

Complications - Because, yeah, Jason O'Mara makes my heart sing. Fell in love with him during the run of the U.S. version of Life on Mars. And I would watch anything with him. But also because it's fast paced and interesting.It's six episodes in and may be running out of material, but I'm hoping it figures itself out. It's from the same producer as Burn Notice.  
And two older shows that I returned to this summer:
Hannibal (loved the first season; still captivated by the second season and hanging in there for the end of season three) and Orphan Black (season 3  got off to a rocky start but ended strong).
Would love to get recommendations for other TV series people like these days (either current or available streaming).

Friday, July 17, 2015

Scrapbook Friday: Back in the Saddle

This year I've pledged to scrap at least four layouts a month and post them on Fridays here on my blog. I did four in early June, but haven't scrapped in over a month! This week I resolved to get back to it. 
I'm closing in on finishing up my 2014 album. And the hardest part of making these new layouts was the organizational part. I had to find my  remaining photos for 2014 and figure out what layouts I had left to do. I created a title page for the start of the album.
And this page of our menagerie will be the final page in the album. I also completed a couple of random pages of Clara in Hollywood (up top).
And Clara in downtown Half Moon Bay. So, that's four for July! But I only have four double layouts left to finish 2014, and I think I'll try to tackle those this weekend. 
Once I'm done with 2014, I might spend some time updating/completing Henry's sports album before tackling 2013 (which will be a big album). I also need to do a photo book for Clara's 2015 track season (although, given her injury, it will be a thin one), and I really want to work with Clara on a photo book for her Peru trip (she's due back next Sunday).
Anyone else finishing up scrapbook projects this summer?

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Mare Island for Seven! (Photo Scavenger Hunt)

I have always said that one of my favorite things about my Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunts is when they provide provide people an opportunity  excuse to take a trip to discover something new. And each year I put some items on the list which will force me to get off my butt and go do something different give me that opportunity. When I put metal bridge on the list, I was planning an excursion to take photos of the Golden Gate Bridge. That still might happen, but last weekend, I found myself in Vallejo with a few extra hours on my hands, and I decided to go see if I could find a spot to take photos of any of the nearby metal bridges. On my way, I found lots of items for the Hunt!
I started at the Visitor's Center where I captured a ticket booth (this is where the tickets for the Ferry is sold) and saw a woman walking her dogs:
They struck me as a very sweet trio; I imagine they have a very special bond between them!
Then it was off to Mare Island, a retired Naval base where I was told I could hike to a good vantage point for taking a photo of the Carquinez Bridge in the nature preserve on the island. I drove to the entry of the Nature Preserve.
And found a rather random tent pitched near the entry! As I walked up the trail, I decided to capture a photo of a body of water:
A sail boat heading up the Napa River. As I got further up the hill, I spotted:
A cell tower in a rather beautiful location! I also found the "Spirit Boat."
It's not on the Scavenger Hunt list, but it's a cool find nonetheless!
Finally, at the top of the hill, I was rewarded with a stunning view of the bridge which is at the top of this post. And here's a more zoomed-in shot:
All-in-all, a terrific day for scavenger hunt photo finding! I think I only have five left, but that includes two of the most difficult (merry-g0-round and ornate door knocker), plus some easy ones, like the traffic signal. How are you doing on the Hunt?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Photo Pairs: Mare Island Beauties

It's been too long since I played along with Helena's "Photo Pairs" meme. Blame it on overwork; blame it on lack of camera time. But last Sunday I took a hike at the Mare Island Nature Preserve in search of a metal bridge for the 2015 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt, and I came across these two beauties. The top one is fennel (I think - it sure smelled like it); the bottom one is an artichoke. They capture the wild beauty of the Preserve. I'll post my finds for the Hunt soon! In the meantime, pop over to Helena's blog and check out the rest of this week's pairs.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Me on Monday

Happy Monday!
What kind of a weekend was it?
It was a celebrating 4th of July weekend with family and friends

Playing board games (wits and wagers; rumiko) and not just to pose for the #4 Someone playing a board game or card game for the 2015 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt

Enjoying BBQ
And shooting off fireworks!
While my boy was off in another city, driving the float for his baseball team in the Vallejo 4th of July parade:
And my girl sent word that she made it to Machu Picchu in Peru:

It was also a taking the dogs for a walk on the hill to capture #16 a panoramic view from up high
And working away on an article and preparing for my final week of class, both of which have kept me from visiting blogs much but have an end in sight!
How was your weekend? Stop on over to Sian's blog From High in the Sky to wave hi.