Reminds me of childhood memories


I think this may be the last time that anyone could call me leggy! LOL

The eleventh sketch challenge has been posted at the SCRAP & MUSIC challenge blog! Head over to the site to grab the sketch and play along. This eleventh sketch came with the song “Sweet child o’ mine” by Guns N’ Roses.

Scrap & Music sketch #11

My layout

My maternal grandparents lived in California, and because we lived in Ohio we didn’t get to see them very often. This photo is from their summer of 1979 visit (when I was 12 and Phil 11). My grandma and my Aunt Mary Lou were half sisters, so AML had also driven to our house from Pennsylvania to visit while Grams and Gramps were in town.

This photo, taken out in front of our garage (because that’s scenic), shows from left to right: Mom, me, Aunt Mary Lou, Grandma, Grandpa and Phil. Daddy took the shot, and it looks like they may have been heading somewhere (perhaps to the airport?) because Grams is dressed up a bit more than usual and holding her purse.

So that’s all I can tell you about the surface details of this photo. But there’s a lot more it brings back to me when I inspect it. For instance, it surprises me how much I remember those outfits that Mom, Phil and I wore, as if it wasn’t 34 years ago at all! I specifically recall feeling a little nervous whenever I wore that terry cloth “onesie” because it was strapless. What a terrible idea for a girl who liked to play with the boys! And I have to cringe when I think about how much I loved to get a tan during the summer. And boy did I love to sit in that outdoor rocking chair and read. And I always find myself smiling when I contemplate photos of Gramps because he was an entertainer; he made us laugh a lot.

It’s the magic of photos, isn’t it? A simple picture of people lined up in the driveway with their arms around each other doesn’t look like much to anyone who wasn’t there. But we all know how very much they mean to those of us who were.

Product/technique notes

Once I had decided to use that busy background paper from American Crafts’ “Lucky charm” collection, I rifled through my scrap bin in search of papers that would coordinate that I could use to fill in the sections of my spinner (a freebie shape from Silhouette that I cut on my Cameo). I used papers from American Crafts, Jillibean Soup, Lily Bee Design, Making Memories and My Mind’s Eye. I also designed and cut the title using the Cameo.

The challenge

The challenges on this blog involve following the sketch and using a title on your layout with a line from the provided music. Below I’ve included the video as well as the lyrics for this song:

“Sweet child o’ mine” by Guns N’ Roses
She’s got a smile that it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Where everything was as fresh
As the bright blue sky

Now and then when I see her face
She takes me away to that special place
And if I stare too long
I’d probably break down and cry

Ohh! Ohh! Sweet child o’ mine
Ohh! Ohh! Sweet love of’ mine

She’s got eyes of the bluest skies
As if they thought of rain
I hate to look into those eyes
And see an ounce of pain

Her hair reminds me of a warm safe place
Where as a child I’d hide
And pray for the thunder and the rain
To quietly pass me by

Ohh! Ohh! Sweet child o’ mine
Ohh! Ohh! Sweet love of mine

Ohh! Ohh! Sweet child o’ mine
Ohh! Ohh! Sweet child of mine

Ohh! Ohh! Sweet child o’ mine
Ohh! Ohh! Sweet child o’ mine

Where do we go
Where do we go now
Where do we go
Where do we go
Where do we go now
Where do we go now
Where do we go (sweet child)
Where do we go now
Where do we go now
Where do we go
Where do we go now
Where do we go
Where do we go now
Where do we go
Where do we go now, now, now, now, now, now, now, now
Sweet child
Sweet child o’ mine


My brother, Phil, began his love for photography under the influence of our eighth-grade math teacher, Mr. Moore. As is still his style to this day, the eighth-grade Phil did many months of research (the old-fashioned, pre-Web kind of research) before finally purchasing his first SLR camera. He bought a Pentax ME Super from a company that advertised in the back of Popular Photography magazine, and it came with a 50mm lens and leather case for $234.50 (he remembered that detail when I told him I was working on this layout).

All these years later Phil is still in love with photography, and in fact he now uses it in his work as a documentary storyteller. He has always dazzled me with his knowledge of the mechanics behind it, of which I have remained mostly ignorant. Until very recently, I never even used the manual mode on my SLR. But now, because of his influence I am adjusting aperture, shutter speed and ISO settings and rarely leave manual mode! It’s so freeing, and the quality of my photos is fast improving.

The photo on this layout was taken by Phil’s friend and fellow photography enthusiast, Jim Hutchins, while they were out shooting together one fine day in October 2011. Phil still shoots Pentax, only he has upgraded his main camera from the original ME Super to a digital K-5. He also has a medium format film Pentax 645N, which he is carrying in this photo! Back to the old along with the new.


This layout is based on sketch #189 at

I am also entering this layout in the Creative Scrappers challenge for sketch #189.

So grateful for rain

Celebrate Blogtoberfest with me all month!

Blogtoberfest Day 19

The layout I’m sharing today is based on a sketch provided at sketch challenge site, Sketchy Thursdays. This challenge is open until Saturday, October 22nd, so you can still play along! In addition to following the provided sketch, we had to journal about what we’re thankful for and include at least five leaves on the page (as a photo, patterned paper, stamps, die cuts, etc.).


After 13 months of drought, the rain we had last week was a blessing.

The sketch and the journaling prompt worked together so well for me this time. I immediately thought of how thankful I was for our recent rainstorms. And with that thought in mind, the sketch stopped looking like strips of patterned paper to me and more like raindrops falling down the page. The journaling reads, “I am thankful daily for my family, my love, my health, my God and my home. But after 13 months of drought in Austin, I am particularly grateful for RAIN.”

The background paper I chose represents the parched earth that surrounds us. The patterned paper “raindrops” reflect the colors in the photo of the leaves in the puddle. And a little Glossy Accents on the word RAIN in the title reflects the blessed moisture. We certainly didn’t get enough rain to pull us out of our drought, but we’ll take every drop with gratitude.

The farmer’s market experience

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Blogtoberfest Day 17

I created the layout below based on a sketch provided at the Pencil Lines blog because I wanted to spotlight these beautiful photos I took at our Austin Farmer’s Market this month.


It means a lot to us to support local farmers, especially in light of Texas' drought.

What is it about going to the farmer’s market on a Saturday morning?

  • We have to get up early on the weekend to get the best selection.
  • We have to drive several miles farther than the one-mile trip to our regular grocery store.
  • We have to pay for parking.
  • We have to be satisfied with whatever selection the farmers bring to town that day.
  • And we sometimes have to pay more for our purchases.

So, if it’s such a pain to go to the local farmer’s market, why do so many of us do it?

  • Perhaps because being out early on a Saturday morning feels like you’re really starting your weekend right—getting a jump on your to-do list (if, like me, you live by your lists, even especially on the weekends).
  • Or it’s that driving farther just to buy fresh produce makes it feel like an outing—a fun little jaunt you’re making with your partner or partners in crime, hot coffee in hand and hopes high for what you’ll find at the end of your drive.
  • I’ll admit that it’s more difficult to put a positive spin on having to pay for parking… but what if paying that fee makes you feel good about supporting your city’s economy?
  • And if you’re “stuck” with whatever the farmers bring, you’ll always be eating seasonally! By shopping at the local farmers market, what you get is fresh and ripe. This is a great way to increase your overall health because food that is picked before it has ripened suffers from decreased vitality.
  • You can find a variety of fresh, organic produce at more affordable prices than in a supermarket. Not to mention the fact that even if you’re spending a little more, you’re paying it to a fellow human being who lives and gives locally instead of to some massive agribusiness.
  • Shopping in the fresh morning air and talking to some of the people who grow these fruits and vegetables can really provide you with a deeper connection to and appreciation for your food and the nutrients you derive from them.
  • Last but not least, ripe and seasonal produce and flowers are gorgeous! They’re masterpieces. I’m sorry to say, but food just doesn’t look that good at SuperTarget.

So, if you’ve never been to one, or it’s been a long time since you last visited, I urge you to get thee to a farmer’s market. It’s such a satisfying experience!

Blogtoberfest Day 5

Celebrate Blogtoberfest with me all month!

Mrs. Daquila

Today is World Teachers’ Day, and I want to celebrate the best teacher I’ve ever had—my mom. :-)

Mom has been a teacher since 1963—before she and Daddy were married in 1965—so countless students have called her “Mrs. Daquila” over the years. In those years she has taught students from four to 80 years of age (because she ran the GED program in our hometown of Willoughby for a time).

Mom just loves teaching. And her students and their parents really love her back. She has always received high praise and thanks from parents, and when she sees past students years later, they always tell her how much her classes meant to them.


Mrs. Daquila is a layout devoted to my mom's long and successful teaching career.

I feel so fortunate to have such a loving first teacher in my life. Thank you, Mom. I love you.

So, have you thought about doing a layout about a favorite teacher of yours?