Sophie (Counterfeit Kit- March 2011)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Today I finished installing a new build of software in the customer's lab ahead of a test event that starts tomorrow.
This afternoon I finally caught up with my hairstylist, the adorable miss Laura, and got a long overdue haircut and decided on a whim to get it colored, too (just a shade darker brown that it normally is).
Tonight I went back to work to prepare for the software board meeting tomorrow and left the office shortly before 9:30 pm. Ouch!

Tonight I also have a layout (that I made over the weekend) to share with you featuring my adorbs nieceling, miss Sophie Clare!


I snapped this photo of her last October when we had my Dad's little birthday celebration- she's grown so much in the months since then!

This page was scraplifted right off the KI Memories blog (I believe it was by Jennifer Johner, who I have a serious scrap crush on). And all the supplies? They came straight out of my March Counterfeit Kits!!


Isn't that little cloud the cutest? I'm having a serious thing for little cloud shapes lately. Good thing, I guess, since it seems to be a hot trend in scrapbooking right now! Oh, and I'm also totally in love with all that gorgeous ruffled ribbon!


I wanted to end with a quick note about comments. I totally love, appreciate, and read every comment that is left on my blog. I always intend to go back and reply to them, but when I have crazy days/weeks/months at work (see the beginning paragraph or many other similar passages on my blog for the last few months) I just don't always have the time I want to devote to it. So, please know that your comments are valued, and don't be surprised if you get a reply from me six months after you leave one when I finally have time to breathe again!! :)

Project 12: February 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


February was quite the month! I went from tropical Aruba to freezing Boston in the space of 5 days (although I had to stay in the cold much longer than on the beach), worked way too many hours, and managed to come home with a sinus infection.

project 12 february 2011.jpg

But, looking at my Project 12 layout for last month, I'm pretty happy with the positive spin I put on it. I chose a photo of my favorite day in Aruba, my headshot for Scrapbook Update, and a picture of a few flowers that we were able to plant at the end of the month when the weather at home finally warmed up.



The bright colors and butterflies make it look so cheerful!! I made this layout using supplies from my Counterfeit Kit for February- it was so easy just to spread the kit out and choose items from a more limited selection, and everything was already coordinated!



I'm totally loving Project 12 and can't wait to start on March's layout!

Counterfeit Kit Blog Hop: March 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011


My apologies to anyone who came here for the blog hop earlier this morning- I completely forgot to schedule this post last night!!

Hi, and welcome to the Counterfeit Kit challenge blog hop for March of 2011!! I'm so excited that you stopped by! If you happened upon this stop in the hop first, you might want to go back to the main Counterfeit Kit page and start from the beginning.

Our challenge this month was to scraplift ourselves, which for me is a challenge in and of itself since I always seem to be using sketches or scraplifting someone else!! For this layout, I chose to go back to a sketch that I'd used on a layout previously and try it with a completely different theme.

Smithsonian Natural History.jpg

These photos are from my trip to DC in April of 2009. Darren and I went for the Cherry Blossom Festival, but I think we both ended up falling in love with the Smithsonian Natural History Museum while we were there.



Scrapping from my kits (you can see the ones I created here) was an absolute blast this month. I know I've said it before on previous posts, but Counterfeit Kit is one of the best scrapbooking ideas ever!


Is that actual stamping on one of my layouts?!?!?!? Why yes, yes, it is!! It seems that including stamps in the kits has actually helped me to use them!


Thank you for visiting!! Please be sure to stop by Kim's lovely blog next to see what she's created this month!

It Made Me Grin...

Sunday, March 27, 2011 listen to this week's Paperclipping Roundtable on Friday night. I always, always, always love the show, but getting another mention on it made me unreasonably happy (and was so awesome after such a crummy week at work). You should, of course, listen to the whole thing, but Nancy's mention of my joining Scrapbook Update is at 72:50.

Anyway, just a quick, slightly self-serving little blurb to end my weekend. :)

Geek Girl: Star Wars Sweets, Mush, and More

Saturday, March 26, 2011

After an afternoon of scrapping (with episodes of Burn Notice playing in the background), I feel a profound need to geek out for a bit before bed. Seems like the perfect time to share a pile of links that I've amassed over the last few weeks!

First up, a few videos, such as this one featuring selections from the Star Wars score played on dueling pianos. My opinion? Brilliant!

If you've ever wondered what The Princess Bride would have been had lightsabers been included, then this video is for you.

For the video game geeks (Hi, J!!), here's a trailer for the recently released Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars.

And, finally, remember the world's cutest Star Wars commercial that debuted during the Super Bowl? Here's a great outtakes reel from the production!!

For those than want something more crafty than a video, check out this adorbs Ewok dog costume! How long do you think that thing actually stayed on?

Or you could try building your own AT-AT from recycled computer parts.

The more artsy among us (okay, so all geeks in general) will appreciate this awesome collection of non-US Star Wars posters. Thanks to Lain Ehmann for sending the link along!

I promised you mush, and here it is- in the form of a short story by Timothy Zahn, resurrected and posted on the official site for Valentine's Day.

And, finally, let's wrap this one up with a selection of yummy Star Wars Sweets!

R2-D2 Swamp Cake.

Some awesome cookies (click through to see even more goodies).

And more cookies.

Until next time, geek out, peeps!

Friday Favorites- March 25, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

One of my absolute favorite parts of putting together these Friday Favorites posts is creating the roundup collage each week. Even though I've already picked out all the projects, it's still a surprise to me to see what they look like when they're all combined together in a neat little grid.

Okay, so it's also that I have a thing for neat little grids. :)

This week was more than slightly horrific at work (imagine two groups of people arguing with each other, using you as a proxy, and both angry about the way you're handling it), and even though I was supposed to be off today I ended up at the office putting out more fires. As a result, I didn't get nearly as much scrappy playtime today as I would have liked, but I've managed to clear my schedule tomorrow of everything except TRX (the gym helps maintain my sanity) and a lunch appointment at Panera. The rest of the day will be purely fun!

Here are just a few things that are fueling my desire to make stuff this weekend:

From left to right:
  • These beautiful travel embellishments from Evalicious are probably my absolute favorite pick this week. Lately I simply adore anything travel related! (The possibility of making tiny embellishments like these is also why I always keep every little scrap of paper that I could possibly punch a shape out of.)
  • Susan Weinroth has a tutorial for creating some fantastic felt food! I'm going to have to try to make some of this for my little nieceling.
  • Natasha at Moments of Tranquility shares a post about how she customized a desk for her scrapbooking workspace, including some great tips for keeping often-used tools close at hand.
  • Learn to make your own pleated ribbon at Making Memories.
  • Elsie Flannigan shares a list of her favorite iPhone photo apps. If you're like me and your "Photography" folder on your phone is completely full, you'll love this post!
  • Kirsty Smith has a great guest post on Shimelle Laine's blog. If you like the Polaroid look, you'll love her "fauxlaroid" ideas!
  • I am so in love with this page by Marcy Penner. I adore the way she printed her photo directly onto white cardstock, and I hear my cherry blossom photos screaming at me to do the same!
  • Learn a cute trick for making pennant banners using a large scallop punch at Seriously Brains.
  • Dina Wakely has a post at Get It Scrapped on starting your scrapbook pages with paint. She has some great ideas for paint-o-phobes like me!
Have a scrappy weekend!

In Which I Reveal A Blogging Trick (And a Layout)

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Okay, it's time for me to 'fess up- sometimes I'm a lazy blogger. Sometimes life gets in the way, sometimes I have a longer to-do list than time to-do it in, and sometimes I just plain ol' don't feel like editing new photos to post.

So, what's an OCD "must post every day" kind of girl to do about that? My favorite solution is to keep a "stash" (if you will) of recently scrapped layouts ready to share. When I've got a stack of new pages and I'm in an editing mood, I'll photograph them all then edit and prep the photos for the blog. Then they wait until they're needed- maybe for a night like this (tonight my excuse is that we went out to dinner and I've been painting the hall closet since I got back home)- and then instead of not posting I share some scrappy goodness.

A Feisty Kitty and Some Flowers.jpg

These photos are from 2000- just some fun shots of my Mom and I along with some gorgeous roses from her garden and my cat at the time, Sprite (who has since passed on). 

I often have trouble scrapbooking with paper like the pattern above- I'm just never sure where to position things around all that pattern!! Here I cut out the big bunches of flowers to use in the corners, then used the "B" side of the paper across the bottom of the layout.


Another good thing about posts like these? The space between the photos is an excellent spot for me to ramble on about something inane that happens to pop randomly into my head. My random thought for tonight is about letter stickers. For the page above I had to cut an outline of the "e" from my sticker sheet because I was out of real "e"s. I think that all letter sticker sets should come with an extra sheet of nothing but "e"s and "s"s. Or maybe I should just start using my Cricut for titles more often.


I've become addicted to using buttons (these particular ones are from Papertrey) on my pages- a little habit I picked up from May Flaum (this is another layout based on her class material from Creative Retreat at Big Picture). It's just one of the little ways that my scrapping has become "Flaum"ified. ("Flaum"esque? "Flaum"iferous?) And if you're wondering why all my pages seem to be based on her classes lately, it's because I scrapped this batch in Boston in my hotel room, and most of the supplies I took with me were for Creative Retreat.


Another favorite embellishment? Little printed cardstock bits like this piece from K and Company. I've got lots of these in multi-colored piles that I really need to sort into my color bins.


This lazy blogger is going to take her tired self to bed now. I need to get up early and put a second coat of paint in the closet so Darren can hang up all the organizers before he leaves to go camping with the kids from church!

I Have An Addiction

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


If you were to look around Research Park or the university campus near my house at sunrise or sunset on a spring morning, you'd see the usual stuff- families out walking, joggers, people driving too and from work...

And a crazy girl out taking photos of trees.


That crazy girl would be me. Hi, my name is Melissa, and I'm addicted to cherry blossoms.


This is the time of the year when I'm up before dawn (okay, so I do that anyway to go to the gym), chasing the "good light" in the photographer's golden hour that only happens during two short periods of each day.


I'll take literally hundreds of photos in the fleeting week or two that these lovely trees are blooming.


And then I'll edit some of them mercilessly, pulling out every trick available to me in Lightroom (with the help of Totally Rad Presets- love them!). Some will end up looking normal, and some will get the vintage treatment. A few might even get printed. :)


I spend the whole of the month of February looking forward to this time, but I'm never sad when it's gone because summer is close on its heels.

Scrapbook Update: Pantone's Color Forecast For Fall 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pantone's color forecast for Fall 2011 is out!

Want to see how it might influence trends the scrapbooking industry? Head on over to Scrapbook Update, where I've got an article detailing the whole scoop. See you there! :)

Layout: Hello, Spring!

Monday, March 21, 2011


Sunshine, temperatures in the mid-70's, and my car going topless most days..I think it's safe to say that spring has finally arrived!!! In just a few more weeks a huge variety of flora will start blooming again (the cherry blossoms are already hard at it!), and I'll be taking tons more photos like the ones on this layout.


I can't say it enough- I love May Flaum's classes at Big Picture. This is another page I based on some of her course material, and I'm totally in love with it!


This is probably my favorite way to embellish- little clusters of flowers, buttons, bling, and whatever other little bits I care to add.



Patterned Paper: Making Memories, The Girls' Paperie
Flowers: Prima
Pearls: Basic Grey
Buttons: Papertrey Ink
Letter Stickers: Pink Paislee (white), American Crafts (Pink)
Decorative Tape: Making Memories

February 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Oh, February. You're the reason that I'm behind on my photo roundups. Somehow you were completely sucked away from me by a trip to Boston and a sinus infection. You kinda sucked, except for the Aruba part.

But, still, here you are...

This photo makes it look like all I did was hike, scrap, and eat for the entire month...oh, wait, that was pretty much it!! Well, almost...
  • Aruba. Aruba, I love you
  • IKEA in Orlando after Aruba. IKEA, I love you, too, but not as much as I love Aruba
  • A huge order from Stop and Scrap finally arrived. I tend to pre-order for a month or two, and then I get it all in one big box
  • More snow in Huntsville?!??
  • More scrappy goodness on clearance
  • A two week trip to Boston
  • Eating out a lot during the two week trip to Boston
  • Scrapping in my hotel room during the two week trip to Boston
  • Snow during my two week trip to Boston
  • Leaving Boston after two weeks with a sinus infection
  • Taking my Scrapbook Update headshot photo, sinus infection notwithstanding (this is one of only a few shots out of 90 in which I don't look stoned)
  • Making some cool shamrock art for the house for St. Patrick's Day
 Hopefully March's roundup will be a bit more timely. :)

January 2011

I'm really, really behind on posting my monthly photo roundups this year, but tonight I plan on getting right back on track, starting with January!

January was such a full month! Some of the highlights:
::sigh:: I miss Aruba dearly.

Hello, Beastie!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

There have been a couple of changes in the scrap room this week that I'm really excited about!!

Really, it's all a matter of basic math. You see, this...


...minus the white 21" iMac, plus this...

March 14, 2011

...equals photo editing (and future digi scrapping) heaven!


Yup!! I've upgraded to a 27" iMac (and he's so heavy that I've named him Beastie)!!! It's the current generation, but I picked it up used on Craigslist and got a great deal (the guy I bought it from has only had it since October). And, yes, you're reading the clock right- I did indeed take that photo at 1:15 am. I had serious sinus crud going on and couldn't sleep, so I decided that I'd at least be useful.

I'm still working on what to do about the server keyboard (the server is sitting off to the side, out of the picture). I used to use a KVM to switch between computers, but there's no way I'm giving up that awesome little wireless keyboard (Darren's first question was "where's the rest of it?") or magic mouse now!! Since the server runs Windows the new peripherals won't work with it, so I still have to keep the other set around.

I did manage to solve another wiring issue, though! I used to have two 6-port power strips under my desk, but both were full with only 3-4 things plugged in because so many of my devices use wall-wart style plugs that took up more than one spot. Enter this little guy:


This has to be the best configuration for a power strip ever! I was able to consolidate the contents of both my old strips onto this new one with room to spare. Love it!!

The best think about my new toy? The screen!! It's huge and bright- perfect for all the photo editing I seem to be doing these days. It's great for blogging, too. Mom snapped this photo of my adorbs nieceling Sophie and I last weekend (I picked up the computer near their house while I was visiting). There was plenty of room on the screen to stream a movie from Netflix for Sophie while I blogged away in another window.


And I've totally put my icons in rainbow order in the dock, thanks to this post on Elise Blaha's blog.


The arrangement totally appeals to my OCD side. :)
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