You’ll shoot your eye out

You'llShootYourEyeOut_Daquila-Pardo

Does this photo make you think of Ralphie from “A Christmas Story” (1983)?

Yeah, me too.

Ralphie: I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle!
Mrs. Parker: No, you’ll shoot your eye out.

This photo was taken on Christmas morning circa 1971. My husband, at about the age of four, is the one gloriously outfitted in his new cowboy gear from Santa Claus. I really don’t have a clue what his younger brother, Nate, is doing. LOL!

I dare ya not to hear this title in the sing-song voices of the characters from the movie. I double-DOG-dare ya.

Product/technique notes

I followed the Creative Scrappers sketch below for this page because I really liked the idea that my patterned paper areas would look a lot like presents. The papers are from Pink Paislee’s “Snow Village” 6×6 pad. The colors and vintage feel of this line matched so well with that photo! And the puffy stickers are from SEI. I designed the title and cut it on the Cameo, and the pine branches are part of a Silhouette cut file.
Creative Scrappers 283

Nailed it!

NailedIt_Daquila-Pardo

Have you seen the hilarious images online that show a perfect Martha-Stewartesque project alongside someone else’s wonky attempt to recreate it, labeled with just the words “Nailed it?”

lambNailedIt

Today’s layout tells my own “nailed it” story.

It was the Thanksgiving of 1994—our first since moving to Chapel Hill, NC—and my 28th birthday. Mom and Dad were hosting the holiday, which included Aunt Mary Lou and Earl from Pennsylvania in addition to our family of four. Just days before turkey day Mom had the brilliant idea of holding a pie-baking contest between Phil and me, which was a clever way of getting out of baking the desserts herself. ;-)

The gauntlet had been thrown down. Tensions were high as the two of us went to work looking up recipes and making shopping lists for our entries in the contest. Phil decided to go with the always popular (and a bit too obvious, in my opinion) pumpkin pie, while I fearlessly chose to try a new-to-me recipe for peach chiffon pie. I felt confident but nervous.

Aunt Mary Lou and Earl arrived. Everyone was excitedly catching up and in the good spirits of the holiday. Phil had already baked his contest pie, and it was my turn.

Now, those of you who only know me online won’t really understand unless I tell you just how much I like to talk. I am a TALKER. So while I was putting together the all-important pie crust, Aunt Mary Lou parked herself just to the end of the counter where I was working, and we talked. A lot.

I suspect that chemists don’t chat while they’re mixing chemicals, but that’s just a hunch born of my experience on that fateful Thanksgiving Day. At the very least I can conclude that were I a chemist, I should keep my mouth shut while measuring ingredients for my experiments. Are you picking up what I’m putting down here?

I put my crust in to bake and began the task of mixing the silky, sweet, peachy filling—which would be added to the crust and then baked again. At the appointed time I checked on my crust, but I was surprised to find that it hadn’t browned. At all. So I gave it a little more time. But extra time and high temperatures had no effect on the color of my crust. I finally shrugged off this bump in the road, took the pale crust out of the oven, added the filling and popped it back in for its second round of baking.

My confidence at taking home the blue ribbon remained unshaken at this point.

Fast forward to the end of the day’s feast. To a bit of fanfare Mom brought out the ballots and explained to the judges the categories upon which they should score the entries (appearance 10%, filling & crust 40% and overall flavor 50%). Phil and I were asked to cut and serve our pies after the judges had been given the opportunity to rate the appearance of each. Once everyone at the table had been served, the room quieted for the first bites.

My nerves did not allow me to take a taste right away; I was more interested in watching for the reactions of the judges. So I didn’t immediately understand why the room remained eerily quiet as they all chewed. Earl’s face reddened noticeably. Mom and Dad shot questioning glances at each other. Phil choked and spat out his mouthful. And Spenser the schnauzer hid under the couch after willingly taking the bit of crust Earl had offered him. But it was Aunt Mary Lou who finally broke the silence by blurting an expletive. And then pandemonium reigned. Everyone gagged and gasped and shouted over each other. They laughed. And laughed some more. I was crestfallen but finally took a tiny bite of my own pie. Oh myyy.

I had obviously switched the measurements for the salt with the sugar. The extra salt had kept the crust from browning on the first baking. And then it leached up into the peach chiffon filling during the second baking. What a fiasco—but a very funny one.

Of course, Phil won the contest. Whatever. He can have the blue ribbon. Because I have the honor of being the reason for one of the funniest family stories we have. To this day we still refer to that year as our Salt Pie Thanksgiving.

NAILED IT!

Product/technique notes

I followed sketch 281 from Creative Scrappers and mainly used products from October Afternoon’s “Apple Cider” line. I created my title using the Silhouette and used several stickers from the Carta Bella “Homemade with Love” kit.
Creative Scrappers 281

The key to great holiday decorating: The perfect centerpiece

PerfectCenterpiece_Daquila-Pardo

For a three-legged cat, Jake certainly knows how to get where he wants to go. In this case, I guess he wanted to be in the middle of my fall decorations!

He really is the cutest pumpkin ever, isn’t he?

I decided to scrap this photo during the week of Thanksgiving because it reminds me of how thankful we are for our pets. They love to be with us. They’re such good companions. They make us laugh. And they keep us from focusing too much on ourselves.

They’re our babies, and I’m ever so grateful to have them in our lives.

Product/technique notes

Most of the products I used on this were from Echo Park’s “Reflections: Fall” collection, with the addition of a few pieces of paper from way back in the day. That butter-colored pumpkin paper is an oldie from Paper Salon. I followed the inspiration of this November sketch from Stuck Sketches:
StuckNovember15

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

Silhouette tutorial: How to add crochet to the edge of page elements

Our17th_Daquila-Pardo

To add the lovely crocheted detail around the circles on this page about our 17th anniversary, I turned to my Sihouette Cameo.

I wanted to create a really special look for this photo of us on our 17th anniversary, so I decided to crochet around the edges of all the circles. Crazy, I know! But it’s really not that hard, and I just love the soft, feminine look. I thought a tutorial would be helpful to any of you who want to try this on your own layout.

The tutorial

For me, it almost always starts with a sketch. In this case I chose to use this circle-filled Paper Camellia sketch. If you want to base the shapes you will crochet upon a sketch then you need to start by placing the sketch image in the Silhouette design software:

Step 1: Open sketch in software

Step 1: Go to File :: Open :: Folder holding your sketch :: Open sketch. Size the image to fit the 12×12 Cameo mat in the Silhouette software.

Start drawing the shape(s) to be crocheted:

Step 2: Draw the shape

Step 2: Use the ellipse tool to draw a circle and adjust it to match the size of the circle on the sketch.

Copy/paste the first shape and reduce it:

Step 3: Make a second smaller shape

Step 3: Select the circle and CTRL + C to copy then CTRL + F to paste on top of the first circle. Use the scale tool to reduce the top circle by 0.25 inches.

Turn to the rhinestone tool to create holes around the edge of the shape:

Step 4: Use the rhinestone tool

Step 4: Step 4: Rhinestone tool settings: Rhinestone Effect = Edge; Rhinestone Size = 6ss; Rhinestone Spacing = 0.112

Cut out the shape(s) and crochet!

Step 5: Cut and crochet

Step 5: Follow these steps for each of the shapes you want to crochet around. Cut on your paper of choice and crochet using crochet thread and a size 7/1.65 mm hook.

Product/technique notes

The patterned paper I used is from Crate Paper’s “Close Knit” 6×6 paper pad. I also used my Silhouette to design and cut my title.

I really hope you will try this technique on a page of your own (and that it’s fun for you)! If you do, will you leave a comment with a link to your page because I would LOVE to see it.