Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Anatomy of a friend

I can't think of a better way to begin my 2015 blogging than to honor a person who is so dear to me on the anniversary of the day she left this earth.

For some reason the holidays were especially difficult this year. I found myself missing those who are no longer here with me. Two people immediately come to mind and heart - my beloved Grandma Funai and my best friend, Cathy. It is extremely difficult to grasp the fact that they have been absent from my life for 31 years and 2 years, respectively.

Once in a lifetime if you are lucky...and I mean really lucky...you get to experience a friendship that is pure and accepting of who you are. Cathy wasn't of the "fair weather" variety. She never betrayed or judged me. She never spoke unkind words about me or mocked my weaknesses with others. I thank God he allowed our paths to cross.

Remembering those who have gone before us doesn't have to be dull and melancholy. I wanted to pay tribute to Cathy but not in drab colors. I wanted the papers to be bright and cheerful. Cathy would have wanted it that way. I used the Daily Stories collection by Teresa Collins. I love how Teresa's various collections work so well with each other. I find I gravitate to her collections when I want to make a bright statement.

In this layout I used butterflies to symbolize her departure from pain and suffering. When I think of my dear friend, I see her spirit as being one that's free and soaring above and watching over those she cared for and those who loved her so very much.

I miss you so much my dear sweet Cathy.

Thanks for stopping by,
Debra xo

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

To thine own self be true

Wow. Where has the time gone? I made my last post in June and *poof!* here I am looking at the middle of January, 2015. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

A quick update: In July I decided to just lay low for a bit. While 2014 wasn't the worst year on record for me, it was probably one of the most painful for a variety of reasons. I kept trying to put on a happy face and plod on, but soon realized that I don't play "pretend" that my life is all sunshine and rainbows very well. There is a quote by William Shakespeare that I have lived by for my entire adult life:

This above all: to thine own self be true, 
And it must follow, as the night the day, 
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

While it has always been a dream of mine to master my scrapbooking hobby, I have realized during my hiatus that this is something I'm doing for me. To preserve my memories and photos of those I hold near and dear to my heart. So often I've witnessed so much untruth on so many blogs and Facebook pages. I suppose its human nature to want to portray the most positive image of yourself, but at what cost? There are days when you don't feel like smiling. There are nights when you cry yourself to sleep. And you know what? It's ok.

So here I am, smack dab in the middle of January 2015 and I've made a decision to continue onward and upward. My intention is to blog more this year beginning in February. I'm hoping that the new year will allow more time for me to do what I truly enjoy.

Until I get back in the saddle, here's a picture of me and one of my kitties named Larson. If I am making a lap anywhere in the house, he is sure to find it.

Blessing to you in this new year. May it be your best year yet!

See you soon,
Debra xo

Monday, June 2, 2014

The cat's out of the bag

Anyone who has a cat knows they have a tendancy to get into mischief. My cat Vincent is no exception. He was a feral cat for about a year when he adopted us and showed up at our door. He made himself at home rather quickly and has the sweetest nature about him. I'm constantly amazed that he was in the wild - fending for himself for over a year given his gentle demeanor.

My husband and I were in the den watching TV when we hear a commotion that sounded like the front of the house was caving in. Just about the time I was going to go check it out, Vincent runs with the handle off of a grocery bag around his neck. The poor baby had gotten stuck in a bag and wresteled with the bag until he had ripped part of the bag away. You can imagine how hard we laughed. Even though I knew how badly he wanted that handle from around his neck, I had to run grab my camera first to snap a picture. Immediately I decided that the bag handle would be incorporated into my layout somehow.

I used a sheet of patterned paper called Bookworm from the Chic Tags Happy Place collection. I matted it on a piece of kraft cardstock to mirror the bag. I also used several cards from the new Simple Stories http://simplestories.typepad.com/simple_stories/snp-core-collection.html Cat collection and used a frame from Crate Paper to frame Vincent's photo. Finally, I used a few enamel dots to bring out the colors used in the layout.

I added some letter stickers and some journaling to the bag to help blend it into the layout.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Debra xo

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Feeding the squirrels

Every day I am visited by a whole slew of squirrels. Most people find them annoying and destructive, but I can't help but love all animals. I do find them a bit greedy when there is birdseed to be had. This time of year I usually have a few mama squirrels with their babies and I can't help but marvel at nature and the instinctive nurturing that each parent has for their little ones. Recently, I've spotted a pair of solid white squirrels that have joined the fray. At first I thought they were albinos, but upon closer inspection, they don't have any of the usual traits. Regardless, I love watching them all...brown or white...it doesn't really matter. They are all God's creatures. **This concludes your Mutual of Omaha wildlife lesson for the day** (Those who are old enough to remember this will get the reference).

I used an older line for this layout. The Basic Grey Persimmon collection has been a favorite of mine. I love the blue and orange tones. This line came out around Thanksgiving and has all of the lovely warm colors of fall. I love how it worked with the kraft cardstock to give the layout a very natural and organic feel.
In addition, I brought in some gold washi tape and a blue enamel dot.
Thanks so much for stopping by!


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Love being with you

I love Teresa Collins collections. The colors always work with your photos regardless of the subject matter. For this layout, the majority of the papers are from the Family Stories collection with the base page from the He Said She Said collection. Who doesn't love when collections work so well together?

This photo was taken in San Francisco, so I was thrilled to discover the anchor paper in the collection which was symbolic of our trip by the bay. In addition, the anchor is symbolic of my husband's influence in my life. Sharing the trip with him made the memories all the more special.

The little embellishment cluster adds just enough color and dimension to finish the page off nicely. I matted the sentiment (included on the punch out sheet) with navy blue to pop it a bit.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Debra xo

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Port of Beauty

As mentioned in my last post, I am sharing another layout from Venice. I must say that these photos are some of my favorites from the trip. Upon arrival, visitors are greeted by a beautiful splash of bright colors.

For this layout, I used an older Bo Bunny line called Sophie. I knew this would be the collection I chose almost immediately. The fushia and teal colors work together so well with these photos.
I fussy cut some of the flowers out of the 12x12 papers and used pop dots to create some dimension and visual interest.
I used some Imaginisce hot rocks to add a pop of color to the paper at the top of the layout. I found that they added just the right pop to the border strip that I placed under the photos as well.
In addition, I used a doily die-cut by Sizzix and cut it in half to add a delicate dimension. The banners were chosen to pick up the color combination in the photos. The title is from Jillibean Soup and Amy Tangerine.

I had such a great time creating this layout with all of the bright colors. Never discount your older paper lines. You never know when they might be just the color scheme you are looking for.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Doge's Palace

Hello everyone! After some unforeseen life events, I've been MIA for a while. As we all know, life rarely sticks to the scripts we all so meticulously write. So often, we all reflect on the previous year and can usually sum it up in one word. Well, for me that word was LOSS. 2014 began on shaky ground as well, but I'm happy to say that recovery has begun. So much so that I have even found time to create a few layouts that I hope to share with you in the near future.

We all have "Bucket Lists". Some include daring activities, travel, accomplishments, the list goes on. At the tip top of my list was travel to Italy (Venice to be specific). On our honeymoon in 2007, I was able to cross off this entry with my very best friend. We had such a wonderful time! I find myself reliving so many treasured moments while putting pictures to paper. For me, that is one of the most rewarding aspects of scrapbooking - reliving the experience. I love getting to tell my story!

This is Doge's Palace (The Palazzo Ducale), a very magnificent palace. I used the Find Your Wings and Fly collection from My Minds Eye.

I loved how the colors worked with the lovely buildings and beautiful blue sky:

The embellishment cluster adds just enough color to pull the layout together:
I'll be sharing another layout from Venice soon. Thanks for stopping by!