Three of my many blessings

ThreeBlessings_Daquila-Pardo

My Mind’s Eye has issued a challenge to create a page about gratitude, and I am certainly grateful for these three women.

Friends are such a blessing.

I met these women when I became an officer in the Ladies’ Club at church last year. Luanne, Debbie and Janet are just the nicest, most loving people, and I’m happy to count them as friends.

Product/technique notes

I created this page using products from the My Mind’s Eye “Indie Chic,” “Quite Contrary,” “Now and Then: Dorothy,” “Follow Your Heart” and “Vintage Nostalgia” collections. I created the title work on my Silhouette and followed this sketch from Paper Issues.
PaperIssuesNovemberSketch

You may have the universe if I may have Italy

You may have the universe if I may have Italy

I am proud to be guest designing this month for Back Porch Memories, and this layout features part of their November kit and photos of my grandparents from 1967.

My paternal grandmother was a first-generation American born to Italian parents, and my grandfather (her second husband) was born in Italy. So it was a very big deal when, in August 1967, they took a long-awaited trip to Italy together. They saw Italy, but more importantly they reconnected with family they hadn’t seen in many years. Papa was separated from his brother when they were young boys—one sent to America and the other to France—and this was to be their only reunion.

I took my title from a quote attributed to Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi, who was responsible for many of the greatest operas of the 19th century, including Il trovatore, La traviata, Un ballo in maschera, Don Carlos, Aida and Otello.

Product/technique notes

The November Back Porch Memories kit includes papers from Imaginisce’s “Perfect Vacation” line, which worked so well with these vintage 1960s photos of my grandparents leaving on their big adventure. Every part of this layout is from the BPM kit, plus I cut the title on my Silhouette.

Thanks to Back Porch Memories for having me as a guest designer!

A perfect autumn day

PerfectAutumnDay2_Daquila-Pardo

In my opinion, there’s no better way to celebrate and appreciate the wonder of the fall season than to be out in nature.

In Austin, Texas, there are often whole autumn seasons that are rather colorless. We don’t have a lot of the types of trees that change color in a bold way. Add to that the fact that many of our summers are too dry to offer the right conditions for great color change in the ones that can.

But we are fortunate to be only a few hours from Lost Maples State Natural Area, where there is a combination of steep limestone canyons, springs, plateau grasslands, wooded slopes and clear streams. It features a large, isolated stand of uncommon Uvalde bigtooth maple, whose fall foliage can be spectacular.

Each fall I track the fall foliage reports offered on the park’s website, and Matt and I try to make the trip (thought it doesn’t always happen, as it is about three hours’ drive). The photos on this layout are from November 2013. It was a perfect day to go on the strenuous five-mile hike to see the colors and take photos. What a great way to get out of town and revel in the beauty of nature!

Product/technique notes

The background paper is from the Fancy Pants “Happy-Go-Lucky” collection, and the other patterns are from October Afternoon’s “Apple Cider.” I embellished with stickers from Echo Park’s “Reflections Fall” and “Fall Fever” collections and added some hand stitching to bring out the turquoise in the patterns.

Halloween masquerade

HalloweenMasquerade_Daquila-Pardo

My brother and I co-hosted a Halloween party in our junior year (1983) for some of our school friends. I handmade masks for everyone to choose from, and as I look back on that now I have to admit they were good sports for playing along with my idea!

The whole family worked together to deck out the yard and the basement with a spooky motif; we pulled out all the stops. Daddy even climbed up into the maple tree in our front yard so he could scare our guests as they arrived. Thinking of that makes me so happy because it was a little out of the ordinary for my mild-mannered father and means to me that he really wanted it to be fun for us.

And yes, we even bobbed for apples.

Product/technique notes

I followed the October 15th Stuck Sketches sketch (with an added photo) for this layout, and I’m entering it their challenge. I also used Teresa Collins’ Halloween collection from last year, “Masquerade Party.”
October152014StuckSketch

Student of the month

StudentOfTheMonth_Daquila-Pardo

This is a story from first grade that holds great significance for me. And it starts with a special announcement over the loudspeaker from the school principal.

Mom says I arrived home from first grade on this day in 1974, and with a gleeful smile demanded, “Guess who you’re talking to.” She played along and asked. So I flung open my coat to reveal the badge pinned to my dress and proudly stated, “The Student of the Month, that’s who!” I wore that pin to school on my uniform every day that month.

So that was a big day for me. It still is, obviously. I learned early to enjoy doing my work well and that when and if I am complimented for it, it makes me feel spectacular. It doesn’t take much to make a kid feel special…and clearly some words of praise can last a lifetime.

Product/technique notes

I created this layout based on the following sketch from Stuck Sketches and am entering it in their October contest. I had such a difficult time finding papers that went well with this vintage photo. I mean, the couch was brown and light blue, the framed art had browns and oranges in it and my dress was either deep navy or purple. Ugh! I finally came upon these papers from quite deep in my stash, an old collection by TPC Studio called “School Days.” I think they’re just perfect. The banner is from BasicGrey, the ribbon is by American Crafts and I designed the title on my Silhouette Cameo.

I also added some crochet stitches along the edge of the circle because the collar of my dress in this photo is crocheted. If you didn’t see it before, here’s a tutorial on how to add crochet to the edge of page elements.

October12014StuckSketch