Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Scrappy * Persistence

Still diligently working on finishing up my 2011 album. It's not my favorite and I'm trying to finish it just so that I can get it off my desk for good and shove it into a closet. I know, I know. Life is short and I shouldn't be scrapping things that I don't really want to scrap but I'm just too darn stubborn and anal to let it sit around unfinished. Since I'm not all that wild about it, it's been a good place to experiment. Some experiments turn out good, others make me want to bang my head on my desk. This layout falls in the later category.

I really loved this layout by Ashli Oliver for Shimelle.com. So different from what I normally do and a good opportunity to really put my stamps to use. Ashli makes it looks so easy! Look at those pretty soft watercolors! This layout will come together in no time, right? Wrong.


First attempt. Ehhh... too dark. I was using black ink and it's just too jarring and bold against the white background.

 

Second attempt. Tried it with grey ink. Much better but still not really loving it. Stamping twice before re-inking gave it a much softer look but it still was too much. Too many different designs jumbled together.

 

Third attempt. Oh now this is just ridiculous. I didn't realize that I still had the safety pin stamp stuck to the same side of the block as the heart. Starting over!

 

Fourth attempt!! I reduced the number of designs and liked it much better. Enough to add the watercolor and then my photo and proceeded to write the story. And then mess it up royally. Now, I have such rubbish handwriting that almost all my pages have at least one or two words scratched out. But this was too much. GAHHHH! Definitely hating myself by this time. Why oh why did I ever try this??

 

FIFTH ATTEMPT! Complete! I de-cluttered even more by using only five stamp designs. The simple circles got it to that easygoing place I was looking for.  And I liked that it looked like bubbles (I may have been a bit delirious by this time). I didn't have a simple circle stamp so I had to take a stamp that had a circle with a word in it and put a tiny bit of tape over the word. Ink it up, remove the tape and stamp a neat empty circle. Now repeat that 12 times.

While I don't love the fact that it took me so many tries to get this right, I do realize that I learned something with each attempt. Every page showed me something that I could change to improve the design. But goodness, there must be an easier way. 

Thank you Ashli and Shimelle for the inspiration!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Scrappy * Project Life - July Part 2

Woo it's been a busy couple of months. Weddings galore but now they're done and I can catch up on life before the holidays come charging in. Speaking of life, here's part 2 of my July Project Life.

 

Bunnies and food... yup.



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Eats * Posto


Posto is a warm, welcoming pizzeria in Somerville. I had heard good things about this place so my Mr. and I called up our Cambridge buddies C + A for a Friday night dinner. It getting chillier here in Boston but Friday was a perfect day so we sat outside to take advantage of the late summer night. Scroll through the photos to watch the sun set on our meal!


First off, burrata with wood roasted peaches, prosciutto and rosemary honey. I thought peaches and burrata would be an unusual combination but it's so good! So many textures and flavors! The sweet, juicy peaches were delicious with the cool, creamy burrata which was sprinkled with a tiny bit of sea salt.


Arancini with spinach, mushrooms and spicy sweet and sour tomato sauce. I will always say yes to arancini. Served piping hot and wonderfully crisp, there was one for each of us which was excellent because I don't think any of us were up for sharing.


Our first pizza! Wait, what? We didn't order this but it came to us by mistake. Our super friendly server cheerfully apologized and told us to go ahead and enjoy it while they whipped up our order. This was the fiorentina, a white pizza with shiitake, white trumpet, crimini, fontina and spinach. Don't mind if we do!


Here we go. The soppressata with spicy pork salumi, mozzarella, Tuscan pepper, oregano, arugula, and parmesan.


And the margherita with mozzarella, olive oil, basil, and sea salt. So simple but oh so good. All the pizzas were really delicious. I'm a huge fan of their dough. So fluffy and full of flavor. A fitting base for all the yummy toppings. I loved it so much that I stole my Mr's crusts. A good pizza dough can make such a huge difference. My only wish was that the margherita had just a few more basil leaves on it. We divided each pizza into fours and one piece just had a corner of basil on it.


Grilled ribeye with rosemary gold potatoes and Tuscan kale. I'm not a steak eater but even I thought this was a beautiful piece of steak. Juicy and cooked perfectly medium rare.


Cavatelli with ricotta, baby heirloom tomatoes, arugula, garlic and evoo. I was surprised at how hearty and filling this pasta was. The cavatelli had a gnocchi-like texture that went well with the lightness of the rest of the dish.

I would definitely come back. The service is great and we felt so comfortable and happy. I'm so glad that we went with friends so that we could try more dishes. Without the extra, unplanned pizza, we had ordered the perfect amount of food for our group. We saw a good number of larger parties in the dining room. Big tables, warm wood interior and low, cozy lighting. It just feels so homey.

Posto
187 Elm St (Davis Square)
Somerville, MA 02144

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Notes * 3 Years Ago Today...


I married my best friend, the love of my life, my artiechokie.

Photo by Gina & Tony Photographers, the sweetest, most genuine, happiest photographers on earth.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Scrappy * One Design, Two Layouts

Still working through my 2011 photos. I'm a lazy scrapper so I reuse designs a lot. Once in awhile, I'll work in batches, making a couple of layouts using the same design but with different supplies. I don't mind having repeats in my album and it speeds up the process! Keep it simple folks, keep it simple.




Studio Calico Atlantic papers and stickers, Heidi Swapp polaroid frame, American Crafts gold embossing powder (Ooo I love this stuff).





Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm papers, Lily Bee Design letter stickers

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Scrappy * An Unintentional Two Page Spread

So close to finishing up my 2011 albums! These photos are from our trip to SF. The photos are darker and have an urban feel to them so I paired them with some Crate Paper Storyteller paper from the 6x6 pad. I also pulled in some My Minds Eye enamel dots, Crate Paper The Pier stickers, and a couple of journaling tags from Basic Grey Hello. This wasn't meant to be a two page spread but using different papers from the same collection definitely created a coordinated feel and a shared personality. Love when that happens!





I love the giant black ink splatters. I used black acrylic paint thinned with a tiny bit of water which made the black really nice and opaque. It looks as if it had dripped out of an inkwell which is exactly what I wanted.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Makes * Bridal Kit

My best friend got married in June and had the prettiest wedding I've ever seen. I felt like I was standing in a Style Me Pretty post. I'm one of those "be prepared for everything" kind of person so I made her a little day-of kit. I found a floral make up bag at Forever 21 and crammed in as much as I could. It ended up holding a lot! Here's what I included:

Tissues
Cotton swabs
Deoderant
Hand wipes
Make remover wipes
Mints
Pantyliners
Tampons
Nail file
Fashion tape
Stain remover pen
Chapstick
Dental floss
Oil blotting sheets
Super glue
First-aid kit
Sewing kit
Hair pins


Making the first-aid kit saved a lot of space in the bag and allowed me to decide what to include. Allergy medicine is a must for outdoor farm weddings. And of course Band-Aids for strappy shoe abused feet.


I also made the sewing kit. I had originally purchased one but realized that I could make one that didn't include tons of unnecessary stuff. Plus, I learned the hard way that the thread in those little pre-made sewing kits are awful. I cut a little card, made notches along the side and then wound good quality thread around the card. The needles slipped into the little slits in the card and the buttons (Don't we all have a million of these rolling around our house?) are held in place with a little double sided tape. Don't forget a handful of safety pins in a variety of sizes! These are all things I had on hand in my sewing supplies. Easy! And it all fit nicely into this tiny envelope.


Other suggestions that didn't make it into this kit were scissors, nail clippers, eye drops, hairspray and a small mirror. Take a stroll through the travel aisle at the drugstore or visit the make up section at Forever 21 for ideas. Is there anything else that you'd include in a day-of kit?