Scrapping at Mom and Dad's

Saturday, August 30, 2008

It's been one trip after another these last couple of weeks! I spent part of last week at Mom and Dad's and got some scrapping in. Then, I was supposed to go back to Pearlington, MS for more hurricane reconstruction, but God and Hurricane Gustav had other plans. The residents of Pearlington have evacuated to Huntsville. And I'm in Colorado Springs...when the Pearlington trip was changed, I moved up my work travel plans for next week. Whew!!!

Now that I've finished rambling about all my comings and goings, here are the pages I made last week.

I thought I'd scrapped all of the photos that Dad and I took on a photography walk last fall, but I found these under some paper on my scrapping table. I just love the fall colors.

Speaking of travel to Colorado Springs, here are a couple of pages of the things I do when I'm here (besides work...a lot). First up are some photos from a crop at Archiver's (I went there today and picked up some really cool Making Memories Halloween paper and Ali Edwards' book Life Artist).

This page is of my absolute favorite hotel in the Springs (I've been here enough, I can call it that now :) ).

I also finished up these pictures of Stormy when he was a little kitten.

And these last pages are of Mom and Dad's yard and gardens from this May. I love these pictures of Dad on the mower, and Mom's flowers are just beautiful.

A little scrapping...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I actually got a little scrapping time in today and finished this two-page layout while watching Stargate: SG-1. I so miss that show!!

I need to load up my car now so I can drive to Mom and Dad's after church tomorrow, so I probably won't get any more scrapbooking done tonight. BUT Mom asked me to bring my Bind It All to play with- so fun! I'm looking forward to that.

My dream job DOES exist!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I couldn't believe it when I read this- I couldn't believe that this job actually exists. I don't remember who I was talking to- I think it was at work- but I remember saying that a job helping edit Star Wars novels and keeping track of the continuity would be the perfect thing for me. I've read pretty much all of them (most of them twice, several of them more than that), and know far more about that universe than I probably should.

Leland Chee of Lucasfilm is the incredibly lucky guy who actually has this job...and he uses a Mac to do it. I think I'm feeling instead of me babbling on, I'll give you a couple of excerpts from the article...

To Star Wars fans, Chee is the Keeper of the Holocron, arguably the leading expert on everything that happened a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. His official title is continuity database administrator for the Lucas Licensing arm of Lucasfilm—which means Chee keeps meticulous track of not just the six live-action movies but also cartoons, TV specials, scores of videogames and reference books, and hundreds of novels and comics.

So Chee spends three-quarters of his typical workday consulting or updating the Holocron. He also approves packaging designs, scans novels for errors, and creates Talmudic charts and documents addressing such issues as which Jedi were still alive during the Clone Wars and how long it takes a spaceship to get from Dagobah, where Yoda trained Luke Skywalker, to Luke's homeworld of Tatooine. The Keeper of the Holocron takes this very seriously: "Someone has to be able to say, 'Luke Skywalker would not have that color of lightsaber.'"

Here's a link to the entire Wired Magazine article about this guy and his amazingly cool job.

CPS 78- Find Joy

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Here's my card for the CPS Sketch this week. I'm still loving these Berry Sweet papers. :-)

Sketch This 62- Little Kitty in a Big World

Here's my take on the Sketch This sketch this week. I hope Debbi doesn't mind, because I pretty much just copied her layout- black stitching and all. I just loved her page!

These photos are of one of my cats- Stormy. He was only a couple of months old when I took these. He's 6 and half now!

While I had everything out, I did this page, as well, using the same paper line.

And now I need to go clean off my desk. Somewhere in the middle of the process it looked like this...

It looks even worse now.

2 Sketches 4 U Card

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Here is my card using the 2 Sketches 4 You sketch this week. I'd been dying to use these papers on something, and I started a layout tonight (will hopefully post that tomorrow) and had a bunch of scraps left over that I used on this card. All the paper is from K&Company's "Berry Sweet" line.

Issue #7 of Photography BB Magazine Available for Download

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Speaking of paperless...

The folks over at PhotographyBB have released issue #7 of their free online magazine, available in PDF format. I could say so many great things about their publication, but these quotes from their latest post say it all

Our magazine started out as a small project aimed at helping DSLR beginners to improve their techniques and to learn more about digital SLR photography. However, our journey up to our current seventh issue had seen us become one of the top digital photography resources for beginners.

By way of download in either PDF or ZIP formats, PhotographyBB continues its trend through the future of free downloadable magazine distribution. In a completely ad-free format, each issue contains informative and educational tutorials for amateur and intermediate level photographers.

And this is exciting!

We just launched an ongoing photography challenge, in which the top 3 winners will have their images published in the magazine every month.

Head on over and check them out!

Taking the Paperless Plunge

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

If you don't know this about me already, I love toys. Especially techy toys. Things with power buttons and little blinking lights are the best. But I also love to have a relatively uncluttered home. So I found a new toy that can also help with the decluttering- the Fujitsu ScanSnap S510. I have great plans for this new toy- like scanning in mounds of magazine pages and filing cabinets full of receipts and other things that come from running a home business.

I thought about getting the Mac only version, but after reading this article about being able to use the scanner on Mac or Windows, I went with the Windows version. Besides, my iMac and MacBook both run Windows in a VMWare shell, so I should have no problem using the Windows drivers.

The magazines are probably the worst part of my paper clutter. I love decorating and scrapbooking magazines, but I did a very bad thing and let them all pile up in my library. They were unusable as they were, so I did two things. First, I cut my number subscriptions down to four. It will be down to two after the end of this year when I don't renew two of them. Second, I went through all of those magazines (while watching my Stargate: Atlantis DVDs) and pulled out just the items I wanted and sorted them into categories. My original idea was to file the pages in binders, like the ones shown in this ScrapScene post, especially the inspiration binders show here and here. But it slowly dawned on my that I'd probably have close to a dozen binders of stuff (mind you, the stack of decorating magazines alone was taller than I am, and the scrapbooking magazines were about 2/3 that high)- that's less than I had originally, but still a lot of stuff.

So, along with scanning in the normal paper files, I'm also going to scan all those magazine pages in as PDFs and store them digitally- pretty much the ultimate in terms of saving space. And, with my online Carbonite backup, it should all be safe and secure in the event of a massive computer failure.

I'll update after the new baby arrives and I have time to play with it.

CPS 77 Card

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Here's my card for the CPS Sketch this week. I can't believe I got the card done on the same day the sketch was posted!

It looked a little crowded if I used three flowers down the side, so I let the chipboard sentiment fill in that third slot.

Paper is Basic Grey (Phoebe), chipboard is from K&Company, flowers are from Prima, and the ribbon is American Crafts.

Sketch This! 61 Layout

Here is my layout for the Sketch This! challenge this week. Such a fun sketch! I had no idea what to do with all the cardstock stickers that came in this package of paper from Sassafras Lass, but when I found a bunch of page pebbles in my stash I knew the stickers would make a great backing for them.

The photos is from a hiking trip last fall in Aiken Canyon near Colorado Springs.

I also did this page with the same photos and paper while I had everything out.

Poetic Artistry Sketch, Week #48

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I can't believe I'm actually getting entries into these sketch challenges before they're over...that's just unheard of for me!

This is my card for Poetic Artistry's Mojo Monday sketch.

The paper is Daisy D's, the lower trim is from Doodlebug, and the flower is Prima. I think that the little metal sentiment was one of JoAnn's own line, and the ribbon is most likely American Crafts, though I don't really remember.

Sketch This 60

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I found time to play along over at the Sketch This blog this week. This page actually came together really quickly- it's one of many photos I took last fall while Dad and I were out walking and photographing.

Aussie Cheese Fries in Tennessee

I'll just start by saying that if you've never had Aussie Cheese Fries from Outback, you should make plans to go and try them. Like, tonight. But there are times I just want the fries and not the entire steak/salad/general Outback experience. So I've been experimenting on how to make them at home and decided to share what I've learned here, Pioneer Woman style.

First up is the cast of ingredients- nothing fancy, just a bunch of stuff from Target. You'll need:
  • a bag of frozen french fries- plain old cheap ones are just fine. I don't recommend steak fries or crinkly cut, though, because they're a little too thick for this dish.
  • bacon to taste - I used about 3/4 of a pound in this batch.
  • colby jack cheese- I recommend getting a block and shredding it yourself instead of buying a bag of pre-shredded. The pre-shred stuff tends to be a lot drier than if you do it yourself, so it doesn't melt as well.
  • ranch dressing- if you can get peppercorn ranch, that's great, but you'll still want to add more pepper
  • peppercorns in a grinder- no ground black pepper here!

Once the ingredients are assembled, it's time to cook the fries. Just follow the directions on the package, except you may want to cook them just a touch longer than suggested. They should be dry and firm to the touch- mushy fries just do not work in this recipe.

While the fries are cooking, get the bacon started, as well. I cook mine on my George Foreman grill. If you haven't cooked bacon on one of these, you don't know what you're missing- like grease splatters. Okay, maybe you do know what you're missing...

It'll take a few shifts to get all the bacon cooked, but you can just let it go while you do something else. Like shred the cheese...

This is the grating blade for my salad shooter. I don't think I've ever actually shot a salad out of it, but it's awesome for grating cheese quickly.

Just look at that luscious pile of cheese...

The bacon and fries should pretty much be done at the same time (depending on how many sets of bacon you had to cook- bigger grills can of course hold more). Once the bacon cools, chop it into small (but not tiny) bits.

Spread a layer of fries in the bottom of a deep Pyrex dish. You'll want to use about a third of your fries for this- we'll be doing this in layers.

Then add a layer of cheese...

And finally some bacon.

Don't add the rest of the layers yet. Instead, place the dish in the oven for a few minutes after creating each layer- just long enough to melt the cheese like so.

I used to just pile it all in the dish and bake it together, but then the cheese in the middle didn't melt as fast as the cheese on the top, which would eventually get all brown and dry. This way is much better.

Once the cheese on the first layer has melted, repeat adding the fries, cheese, and bacon and then baking for the second and third layer. Once finished, the dish should look something like this:

Can't you just feel your arteries clogging just looking at that photo?

While that's cooling off, it's time to prepare the dressing. Nothing tricky here- just grind a bunch of peppercorn into the ranch dressing. The more peppercorn, the merrier.

Just a warning- you have to eat these fries with a fork!

Excuse me while I make a quick aside....Hey, Dad!! Check out my bokeh!!!

Yummm...time for me to go eat!

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