Happy Valentine’s Day to my dearest love and to all who celebrate this holiday.

Product/technique notes

All the Simple Stories “Hugs & Kisses” products I used to create this Valentine’s Day layout came from the Back Porch Memories January kit (thank you to BPM for allowing me to be a part of their design team for the next couple of months!). I followed this PageMaps sketch and used a Silhouette cut file for my title.

Tennis begins with love


My brother took this photo of me and Mom just after we'd finished a morning of tennis in July 1983.

This is a photo that brings back great memories for me of playing tennis with my mom and brother. There was a nice set of courts next to the city pool, and we often rode our bikes over to play. Sometimes just Phil and I went, and sometimes Mom joined us. When we were younger than I was in this photo (high school), Phil and I took lessons for a few summers. They were taught by a very patient man named Bill Ungar; such a nice guy.

Matt and I have tried to play tennis together, but here in Texas it’s just so hot that it’s not quite as fun as I remember from my youth in Ohio!

Product/technique notes

Just about everything on this page comes from the Simple Stories “I heart summer” collection. I designed and cut the title with the Silhouette.

Good help is hard to find


Oliver, sensing that the work at hand is both urgent and important, gets right on it.

Oliver, like most cats, loves to curl up on the newest at least semi-horizontal addition to his environment. So when Matt set up our computers on the dining room table one evening to rebuild them, Ollie found one of the keyboards irresistible. Thankfully, Matt called me into the room to see it, and I snapped these photos.

Product/technique notes

I followed this sketch from the Creative Scrappers Birthday Bash and used papers from Simple Stories’ “24/Seven” collection. The embellishments are from BasicGrey, October Afternoon, Panda Eight, and Studio Calico. I created the title on my Silhouette and added some hand stitching on the diagonal seam.
Creative Scrappers sketch I used

Note: I’m submitting this to the Paper Issues “Prints Charming Beautiful Papers” link party.

M*A*S*H 1984


In the scene in the bottom photo I am interviewing Hawkeye Pierce to determine if he's of sound mind.

In our sophomore and junior years in high school, Phil and I were in the drama club—and loved it! 1984 was our junior year, and we put on a production of M*A*S*H. Phil was cast as Major Frank Burns. Among other ensemble roles I was the psychologist who assesses Captain Hawkeye Pierce. And our friend Chris Lisi played Hawkeye.

What great memories I have from this time. I loved going to practices, bonding with the other students in the cast and having a legitimate reason to be a ham.

In the bottom photo, though it’s a bit hard to see, Hawkeye and I are center stage going through my interview so I can determine whether he is “mentally unbalanced,” as he claims to be. The funny story behind this scene is that one night while practicing it, Chris—who was a real cut-up—started messing around with me because I was in a bad mood (don’t remember the reason, and really, what teenage girl needs one?). There was a point in the scene where he is supposed to try to convince me that he’s a bit crazy by chasing me around the trunk that we’re sitting on. Well, halfway through my run I turned around and saw Chris pretending to grab at me. ;-) I was in no mood, so I slapped his face! Wow, I honestly don’t think I’ve ever slapped anyone’s face before or since. It got weird.

I immediately felt bad about it, but our director, Mr. Geiss, loved it! He directed me to add it to the scene. Umm, slap Chris Lisi a few times each night in practice and then on stage in front of an audience on show nights? Yes sir! Of course, Chris loved it too. Anything to make the scene get a bigger laugh was A-OK by him.

So he chased, and I ran and slapped . . . for another month or so of practices. Yes, it was therapeutic. I remember telling him that I was going to wear brass knuckles during the real performance, and he dared me to do it. What a funny git.

But the best part of this story is the ending. On the night of our performance, when it was time to do this scene, everything went as it should. I shrieked and jumped up to start running circles around the trunk. Chris/Hawkeye gave chase. Then I turned to administer “the slap” and it sounded like a clap of THUNDER. It was awesome. I must have cupped my hand more than usual because I had never gotten sound out of Chris’ face like that before. The audience gasped, then laughed. Even the look of surprise on Chris’ face was genuine. Now that’s good theater.

Product/technique notes

I used the Paper Bakery sketch below as inspiration for my page, and most of the products are from Simple Stories’ “24/SEVEN” collection.
Paper Bakery sketch 17

Another turning point


My family kidnapped me on my 21st birthday and took me out for a wonderful celebration at the Firestone Inn.

The tenth sketch challenge, which I’m proud to have designed, has been posted at the SCRAP & MUSIC challenge blog! Head over to the site to grab the sketch and play along. This tenth sketch came with the song “Time of your life” by Green Day.

Scrap & Music sketch #10

My layout

When considering this song as inspiration for a layout, I found my title in the very first line, “Another turning point.” To go along with the idea of turning points I pulled out a photo of my family helping me celebrate my 21st birthday on November 24, 1987.

That was a good day! Fortunately, although Phil and I were attending college at Ohio University four hours away, we were able to be home for my birthday because of the Thanksgiving holiday (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love having a Thanksgiving birth date.). Knowing how much I love surprises, my parents had the evening all planned out and wouldn’t tell me a thing about it. Mom had even put together a special outfit for me to wear for our celebration—from the blouse, to the skirt that she had sewn without my knowing (and fit perfectly), to the shoes!

Everyone dressed up and got in the car, and Dad drove us to the neatest place for a special dinner. It was called the Firestone Inn. I don’t know whether it’s still in business because I haven’t found any mention of it online, but it was so lovely. We had a great dinner, and Dad allowed me to order wine with mine for the first time. :-)

Product/technique notes

I had a great time combining a variety of new and old products from a number of manufacturers on this layout. The background paper is from the current BasicGrey “Carte Postale” collection, and it sets the color palette for the whole thing. The other patterns are from older American Crafts, Crate Paper, Fancy Pants, K&Company, My Mind’s Eye and Simple Stories collections. I designed and cut the title using the Silhouette 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:

“Time of your life” by Green Day
Another turning point
a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist
directs you where to go
So make the best of this test
and don’t ask why
It’s not a question
but a lesson learned in time

It’s something unpredictable
but in the end it’s right
I hope you had the time of your life

So take the photographs
and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf
of good health and good time
Tattoos of memories
and dead skin on trial
For what it’s worth
it was worth all the while

It’s something unpredictable
but in the end it’s right
I hope you had the time of your life [X3]