Christmas blizzard


Phil and Mom were stranded in NYC for Christmas because of the blizzard.

Do you remember the blizzard that hit the northeast in 2010 just one day after Christmas? My mom and brother sure do because they were stranded in NYC for seven days. The Blizzard of 2010 dumped between 18 and 24 inches of snow with wind gusts up to 60 mph.

Flights were cancelled as the storm came to town, and Mom and Phil’s annual holiday trip was extended from three nights to seven. The snow was more than just gorgeous, it also allowed them to make up for the time they had lost while Mom was ill during the first part of their trip. They made the most of the situation and had a wonderful snowy time!

Product/technique notes

All my photos are 3×4, which made it easy to create this grid design. I used my Cameo to cut the trees, snowflakes and “Christmas” for the title. The beautiful white glittered letters that spell out “blizzard” are Thickers, of course. I used a 2007 Christmas collection by My Mind’s Eye called “Festive.” I love using older products when the colors/designs go so well with my photos; it’s like they were MFEO. ;-) I’d call this a shop-your-stash page, wouldn’t you?

Homecoming 1984


I went to the dance with Mike Lisi, and my brother took Jill Berlin.

A lot of my Facebook friends have children in high school, so I’ve seen my fair share of homecoming photos being posted lately. You know, shots of their high schooler with his/her date and friends and parents in front of the family room fireplace.

Exactly like we did before our homecoming dance in the fall of 1984! Not a lot changes over the years, does it? OK, maybe the fashions have changed a lot. ;-)

Our dates came to our house for a photo session before we headed to the school gym for the event. My boyfriend, Mike, came home from his freshman year at Miami University to take me to the dance. And Phil took our friend, Jill. The whole thing was very exciting.

My journaling reads: “Homecoming in our senior year was a big event for me. Because my friend, Tatjana, was both Student Council president and homecoming queen, last-minute dance preparations were left to me as VP. Then there was the fun of choosing my dress and having Mike return from college to take me to the dance. We had such a lovely evening!”

Warrior Dash 2012


I created the Warrior Dash title and Viking helmet on my Silhouette.

Back in March Matt participated in his first obstacle/mud run, the Warrior Dash. It was a beautiful day, and we gathered with thousands of others in Splendora, Texas, for a 3.21-mile run peppered with 12 obstacles. While Matt did the hard work, I stood on the sidelines and shot photos of him with a telephoto lens.

I asked Matt to write the journaling for this one, and here’s what he said:
“Warrior Dash started out as a curiosity for me. Jeff, our personal trainer at the time, told us about two obstacle races he planned on running: Warrior Dash and Tough Mudder. It sounded interesting to me. A year later, I decided to fulfill a lifelong desire to be a runner. After training for several months, I decided to sign up for the Tough Mudder but couldn’t participate because of an injury. A few months later I signed up for the Warrior Dash. I started training for it fairly seriously by running a lot more. I felt pretty confident about the running portion of Warrior Dash, and in the end I did OK. My training for my next event, The Spartan Race in May, is much more serious and involves more strength-building exercises. These races are a blast, and I will probably do them all multiple times.”

I was fortunate to have had a beautiful day for capturing photos of the event. Of all the great shots I took, my favorite is the one of muddy, smiling Matt right after the race (in the upper right corner of the layout). Doesn’t he look happy? That’s the sign of a day well spent.

For the title treatment on this page I decided to create a Viking-style helmet (like in the Warrior Dash logo) on my Silhouette. And I’m making this cut file (in .studio format) available to anyone who thinks they could also use it (click on the image below to begin the download). If you download this file, I would love it if you’d leave me a comment to let me know.
A Silhouette cut file for you to download

My Take Twelve February layout

Back in December when Ella Publishing was promoting their Take Twelve project, I decided to participate. I don’t do a Project Life album, so I thought this might be a good alternative. You take photos on the 12th of each month in 2012, and then do a layout with the 12 best.

There’s a Take Twelve layout challenge hosted by Ella Publishing each month, but I didn’t get mine done in time for the deadline. I seem to be taking baby steps on this project. I completely missed taking the photos on January 12th, so the fact that I took my photos on February 12th and created a layout is a big improvement. Maybe in March I’ll be able to finish my layout in time to enter the contest!


I'm a little late getting into the Take Twelve challenge with Ella Publishing, but I only missed January, so no worries.

Here is the journaling that explains my 12 photos:
Sunday, February 12, 2012:
We went to 11:30 Mass and then stayed to have breakfast tacos made by the Men’s Club. When we left church we were met with an icy rain, which always makes us giddy because it’s so rare in Texas. We took a photo of the progress that’s being made on construction of our new church before heading to the gym for a vigorous workout. Then we ran some errands—to HEB for a few groceries and to Redbox to return our movie from the night before (Conan—not too good). By the time we returned home, it was snowing lightly! I had to grab a shot of the snow in Matt’s hair. We spent the rest of the day doing housework and laundry before making a simple dinner and settling in front of the fire (with Oliver in his favorite spot) to watch the next installment of Downton Abbey (so good). Our nightly feral visitor, Wilson, showed up for a healthy meal before heading off to find a warm place to hole up for the night. It was just a normal, lovely Sunday spent together.

I used some older American Crafts papers that have a Valentine’s Day theme to them and followed two-page sketch #20 from the Sketch Support site.

Austin Gorilla Run

Why would more than a thousand people get up way early on a Saturday morning, pull on gorilla costumes and meet in downtown Austin? To raise money for the highly endangered mountain gorillas of Africa, that’s why!

Now that Matt is running and looking for 5K events to participate in, we are learning about cool events in and around Austin like the Gorilla Run. Registration for this race includes a gorilla suit to make the event and its fundraising efforts more visible.

According to the Austin Gorilla Run site, “Proceeds from the race directly benefit Ugandans, Rwandans and citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo in veterinary educational training, with the end goal of protecting the highly endangered Mountain Gorillas in Africa. In 1987 there were only 248 mountain gorillas alive in the world, but through the veterinary and conservation efforts of the MGCF, the population has nearly tripled to 720.”

It was such a cold morning! But the reason for the event and the many funny and creative costumes that people wore over their gorilla suits made waiting a little easier and a lot more entertaining. Matt ran a great race (only his second so far), and he had a great time.


Matt and a few thousand others donned a gorilla suits and ran a 5k to raise money for mountain gorillas.

I created this title treatment as my only embellishment on this layout.


This is a close-up shot of the title treatment I created in the Silhouette software.

The photo of Matt on the far right of the right-hand page is courtesy of Austin Outdoor Photography.