Capturing ‘Your Squad’

In this day and age of selfies, a great many more photos can be–and are–taken of ourselves. Yay! I think the tweens+teens utilize this feature much more than us adults (haha), but I love that more and more are finding themselves in front of the camera because they can.

I love that it helps us to document life more regularly. But what do we do with all these photos?

Well, take a look at what Laura has done with all the children she tends to….her squad.

 

 

[ Designs |  Storyboard #1 / Weathered Door [all] / Borderlines #1 (flower border). Stamps | One Fine Day ]

 

This is so wonderful that she’s captured all these little people with herself! They grow up so fast! And for her, they come and go. What a great way to remember them all! I also adore her color choices and the mix of flower mediums!

Here’s what Laura has to say:

I was scrolling thru my Instagram photos the other day, and came across a photo of myself with several of my daycare kids. I had written something about how I ever had a “squad”, these little people would be my squad. I’ve been better about getting in the photos with the kids here and there, and I knew that some of those photos would make a great layout.

I used a template from Kerri’s Storyboard #1 kit to collage my photos together. I left one space in the template empty, knowing that I wanted to add either my title or my journaling there instead of another photo. I simply trimmed a piece of cardstock to fit over that area on the template once it was printed and adhered it in place.

I used the Weathered Door [all] kit to create my title, die cutting it from blue patterned paper, and completed the title with a few alpha stickers and Kerri’s One Fine Day stamps. I also wanted to add a little something along the left side of my photo collage, so I die cut a flower border from the Borderlines #1 kit, and tucked it under the edge of the collage.

 
Perfect all around!

April 11th, 2017|cuttables, photo templates|0 Comments

Traveler’s Pack: Paradise

Once upon a time there was a little girl who was taking a trip across the big blue ocean to the beautiful island of Kauai. She knew she wanted to write her stories of the trip and needed the prefect accessories to accommodate such stories of travels and adventure, and Traveler’s Pack: Paradise was born.

 

The kit comes with seven cover papers sized the same as a Midori cover, which is 8.75″ x 8.25″. Of course you can size as needed. You can also use them as paper in the book as well as what they were intended for…covers.

This kit also has two sheets of a variety of printables. All easily trimmed by hand or paper trimmer. The files come in JPG and PDF files.

This theme is perfect for a beach getaway of many kinds!

Here’s a little peek at the goodies in this kit, many of which can be used for themes other than beach too.

All these items are easily trimmed using scissors or paper cutter. I do like cutting them before hand but leaving some elements in tact, like the word strips and alphabets–less to keep track of.

This set also works marvelously with the Beach Vibes stamp set (shown above)!

My intent was to use all this on the trip…took it with me and everything. Alas, my health wasn’t up to par while I was there plus I was having too much fun to take the time to document this way. But now that I’m home and my health is slowly getting back to normal, I can’t wait to put this album together!

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For printing, I use an Epson Photo Stylus 1400 printer with Epson Premium Presentation Matte Paper. To read more tips about the Traveler’s Pack line, please check out this post.

Beach Vibes

I’ve been feelin’ the beach vibes for a about a month now and have been living them all week long on Kauai. So is it any wonder that there had to be a new beach-themed set of stamps for this month?

 

Say aloha to Beach Vibes! All these tropical cuties are perfect for all sorts of beach occasions. My favorites? Gotta love the pineapple, right? And those beach umbrellas? Oh my!

And through April 2 you can save 10% on the digital or physical stamps.

And now I’m off to watch the sunset on the beach, so aloha!

March 31st, 2017|digital shapes, stamps, travel, travelers notebook|3 Comments

Aloha!

Greetings from Kauai!

I know it’s been a bit quiet here in KBS land, but that’s because I’m off the mainland visiting the beautiful island of Kauai with my dad and stepmom and their granddaughter.

Enjoying a bit of island breeze and beautiful sunrises while the other adults in my family tend to the animals back at home. Sorry kids. ;)

There’s some fun stuff a-comin’ that I can’t wait to show you…very soon!

March 29th, 2017|travel|2 Comments

Death and Taxes

 

As I was laying in bed and finishing Survivor last night (ohhh Malcom!), all I could think of was how my day felt like the phrase, death and taxes.

I’m not dying any time soon (or so I hope), but as I shared on social media yesterday, I had quite an episode when having some blood drawn for tests. I think I scared the poor nurse to death as she went to get me some water because I wasn’t feeling well and she came back to find me kneeling with my head on my hands on the floor, doing my best not to pass out. She was so sweet and kind as she grabbed a coke and then ran to the cafeteria for a piece of bacon and a couple potatoes. Weird that they don’t have juice on hand there.

Many factors came into play for that moment to happen. I couldn’t eat that morning for one of the blood tests and I am most likely anemic. Wrap all that up into the fact that needles are not my favorite thing and voila. You get me on the floor hoping to keep control of myself.

I actually haven’t been feeling well for a couple weeks due to ‘prolonged + excessive’ womanly issues for the past month. When you’re pretty much a clock-work kind of gal and all this happens, all you want to do is get things to stop. It got to the point where I actually made a womanly doctor’s appointment.

And you have to know, this girl never goes to the doctor. The last time I had a checkup was after the birth of my last child 22+ years ago. It takes a lot for me to even take pain medication. And with the exception of an occasional cold and a hernia, I’m a pretty healthy gal.

So for me to actually admit that I need an appointment is kind of a big deal. ;)

And luckily all the stars aligned for me so that I could do a real exam and not just a consult. I figured that if I didn’t get it done now then who knew when I would actually get in there again. It would probably be another 23 years.

Yeah. It’s like that.

So of course it involves blood work to make sure that every aspect of my body is fine. And again, I figured I might as well do the other set of blood work for cholesterol, diabetes…all the stuff outside the realm of the main womanly issues, like thyroid. If I’m gonna be there, I might as well do it all, right?

And that is where yesterday all comes into play. Taking four vials of blood from this already weak gal? I felt like death.

That kind of thing takes a lot out of a gal. The only problem was, it was time for the tax man that afternoon and I still had work to do. So I sat in my chair and just slowly chipped away at the figures. I managed to sneak in a little nap–in the chair–as I could see that I was pretty close. Figured I could wrap it up after a few winks. I was just so tired after the blood draw. And when you don’t feel well, all you want to do is sleep and hide yourself in the comfort of your bed.

I thought about canceling, but in the end I was just like, buck up kid…just get ‘er done.

I did have my daughter drive me there though as a precaution. (Dan was working.)

And for the first time in I don’t know how many years, we actually get a small (teeny tiny) refund! That is the silver lining to my business not being in business the last quarter. Not that I ever want to find myself there again, mind you. :)

The happiest of news followed by pjs and climbing into bed for the rest of the evening. More happiness. I’d been waiting all day.

So I’m wondering, am I the only that avoids going to the doctor? My husband and I both never go. I feel like if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But we’re both in our 50s now. I’m sure we should be more attentive to our health.

What do you do?

 

March 23rd, 2017|everyday|14 Comments

Keeping a Daily Journal

The way I keep a journal now as opposed to a teenager is like night and day. I don’t feel the need to go into detail with every bit of my day like I did as a teen. Oh the angst and drama of it all. ;)

For almost two years I have regularly written little snippets about each day in my ‘journal’. It is a little slice of who I am. My great grandfather and great grandmother did it and it is a true treasure and a ‘slice of life’ as to what they did each day, or what the weather was like, or you name it. That’s what I want to leave behind more than anything. I wish I would have done it sooner.

Today, we have Marcy showing us her daily writings. She has a system. She keeps it simple. She gets it done.

 

 

[ Stamps | Escape (adventurous spirit) / Time Again (weekdays) / Yesterday (one for the books) ]

 

I love this so much. When you take out the need for a bunch of fluff–not that there’s anything wrong with that :) –your mind is free to focus on what really matters: the words and a couple photos. It’s more a visual journal than a scrapbook in today’s modern use of the term.

Perfection.

March 21st, 2017|travelers notebook|Comments Off on Keeping a Daily Journal

Friday Freebie | Lucky Us

 

It’s been a long time since we’ve had a Friday Freebie and with today being St. Patrick’s Day and all? Lucky us…it’s the perfect time for one!

Three sweet little 3×4 card choices. Use them as a card in Project Life or trim them square and add them to your planner or traveler’s notebook.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

March 17th, 2017|freebies|8 Comments

Photographing the Littles

Recently my dear friend Lisa Bearnson asked if I’d take pictures of her 11-month old niece, who hadn’t really had any ‘professional’ photos taken of her as of yet. Now, I am by no means a ‘professional’, but I can do okay. I know enough to get by, but in the photo world, I believe I’d still be considered an amateur. And it’s been years since I’ve photographed a child this age. Whew! It’s a workout!

So today, I thought I might share a few tips I used get some photos of this cutie.

 

Gotta keep up.

This is the biggest tip. These little tykes move fast! And you need to be ready in both might and mind…and by mind, I mean how you’re shooting. While I was in a lit area, it wasn’t lit enough to freeze the movements of this fast little one. I prefer just shooting in Aperture mode these days and let the camera do its own configuration of shutter speed and ISO. On my Fuji X-T10, I can set a minimum and maximum ISO so that the camera has a range with which to stay in. But in this case, I did set my ISO to 2000. I didn’t want to take any chances. Many cameras these days can have a higher ISO without getting grainy. Sweet.

Additionally, I set my Aperture to f/2.8. The lower the number with the f-stop, the faster your picture takes as well as it lets in more light. But with that comes a trade off. If you shoot wide open like that, you’ll get the nice blurry backgrounds, but then with an enclosed setting and fast-moving subject, you may end up focusing on an elbow rather than the eyes. At first I set my focus area to the full frame, which basically lets the camera pick what to focus on within that whole space.  But when I took this photo below, I needed to switch to a specific middle-range of focus points–one that I could move and pick the area. The first photos I’d taken kept focusing on her elbow, so I had to switch to a narrow focus area that I could move around and pick the area that I needed. Using that 2.8 and shooting this close doesn’t allow you much leeway with what comes into focus.

 

Get down on their level.

One thing you need to do, is go with their flow. If they get down on the floor, you get down with them. You can get some sweet shots like this above by laying on the floor with them. She was winding down with energy and having some fun just laying on the floor with me and watching me….while I watched her. ;)

 

Perfection is in the imperfection

Candid shots always have the best energy…the best personality. And no person can do this better than a young child. You have to expect the unexpected and just roll with it. You can’t get a one-year old to sit still for longer than two seconds.

You may not always get the perfect framing, but you can crop it later. Sometimes it’s better to stand back and allow the child the freedom of the frame instead of you worrying about getting a perfect ‘straight of the camera’ shot.

In this example above, there was much of the wood cabinets and much of the carpet because I’d taken it vertically. Cropping to a square eliminated many of the distractions so that we could focus just on that cute little stink.

 

Take 100 photos to get 10 good ones.

I probably took 150 photos in that one hour time frame and got maybe 15 photos that I think were really darling. Blurry. Moving. Out of frame. You name it. They are there.

 

I loved the previous photo as a full shot, but also thought it would be amazing to zoom in on her face and her little hand…and change it to black and white for just sweet simplicity of her expression and hand gesture. Tiny little things that you want to remember.

 

Photograph the ordinary.

It was time to eat. You don’t hold up a hungry baby for the sake of a photo. Lisa had propped her up on this brown+tan pillow. Since she was wearing a tan and pink sweater with a black+white polkadot bow, the colors worked better…when not in color. I love the textures and patterns in shades of grey. And again, using the focus points allowed me to get her face rather than the end of her bottle.

 

Take your time.

I think that you have to find the balance of moving quickly, but still taking your time. Get to know your camera’s main settings. Practice with them so you can be quicker at accessing them–know how to quickly change your focus points. You have a short window with a child. They’ll stay entertained only for so long before they want to move on to something else and you miss that ‘one shot’. Knowing what might work ahead of time will help, but then again, you still need to be able to go with the flow…and the munchkin…because…they are always on the go.  ;)

Editing.

I actually did very little editing on these photos. I mostly just lightened them. I like the naturalness of it all. I think the subject and conditions with which I was shooting warranted only a little lightening. The sparkle–catchlight–in her eyes is all her own.

If you guys have any additional pointers, please share them! I don’t expect to make photographing littles a regular gig…until I’m a grandma, that is. ;)

 

March 15th, 2017|photography|3 Comments

Moab. A Grand Adventure….In One Day.

A couple weeks ago I was getting quite stir crazy. Lots of gloomy weather about with hints of a spring day here and there. Just enough to get you excited only to be dashed with a blizzard the next day. And we’d already had a very gloomy January and February and this sun-deprived girl was getting a little anxious.

Dan and I had been talking of going to Moab, Utah (three hours from here) for some time. We’d celebrated our 29th anniversary last month and thought this would be a fun getaway. We were waiting for a warmer couple of days, watching the weather closely when….he got another job. He works in the tv/movie industry with set design and the nice days we were talking of going during that week had just been re-prioritized for work.

Ugh.

I was so disappointed.

Until…

I had this idea of doing a day trip and gathered Jordan + my BFF Kristy Banks (Kass and Lisa Bearnson couldn’t come so spontaneously) and we ventured early the next day down to Moab to hike around, eat some good food and talk talk talk.

Yes, we left before dawn. And as Kristy drove through the canyons along the way and the sun began to rise in our eyes, she jokingly said, “Oh! Is this what morning looks like? This is what sunrise looks like?”

We saw Balanced Rock, hiked  up around The Windows and Double Arch, did the small hike up to the second view point for Delicate Arch (which was still far away) and then my favorite–because it was rather a surprise–Sand Dune Arch. We’d actually planned on going over to Broken Arch and saw the trail for Sand Dune Arch first. It went between slabs of rock until you got into an open area and there was an arch forming in there. Even thought it seemed protected, the winds and the rain had begun to form this arch. I loved it!

It’s places like this that truly give you the  sense of how small you are in this big amazing world of ours.

 

Kristy’s hubs and his BFF thought we were crazy to do this! But the day was absolutely delightful! It didn’t even seem like we’d driven three hours. We talked the whole way and didn’t even have music on! It was a perfect day. Because it was the middle of the week and still early spring, it felt like we had much of the park to ourselves. The scenery was beautiful, the food at The Spoke was amazing, the conversations were plenty and all our souls were rejuvenated. Who could ask for a better day?

I believe our next day trip shall be to Capitol Reef. It’s a half hour closer. ;)

And now, rather than post a bunch of photos, I’ll leave you with a little video I made in iMovie on my phone of that day. Everything is better with music, eh? (Song: Raven+The Wolves by Rogue Valley from the Walter Mitty soundtrack….love.)

March 13th, 2017|travel|7 Comments

Send A Card Today

If there’s one thing that spring brings, it’s color and freshness. My mind and soul actually crave it. I mean, how can you blame a gal after a few months of dull and grey. You want those pops of color again–inside your home, what you’re wearing, outside everywhere you look…and even in your mailbox.

How lovely would it be to receive a card like one of these from Miss Nichol!

[ Designs | Borderlines #3.  Stamps | Fresh Air / For You ]

 

It’s like a lovely breeze just drifted through your home if you opened one of these!

Here’s what Nichol has to say:

Clean and simple cards are a snap with just a few sentiments, several ink colors, and die cut borders! I stamped the greetings on 3” x 5 1/2” wide strips of smooth white cardstock using black Ink and the MISTI stamp positioner tool (so I could stamp the same greetings one on top of another perfectly for a bold, black design)! Florals were stamped in an array of springtime colors all over the backgrounds and then each strip was adhered to a standard A2 sized card base and finished with die cut borders to compliment the design colors.

Wow!

Aren’t they simply gorgeous? And I adooore the little ‘bobbles’ on the first card! That touch of dimension is awesome! And I would never have thought to stamp that funky branch upside down as if they were hanging. gasp! 

And the colors? love.

These are truly amazing Nichol!

Be sure to check out Nichol’s video tutorial on her blog HERE.

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And now, this rounds out the amazing sharing during our Spring Fling week. Tomorrow is your last chance to save 40% on spring designs, like the scalloped border Nichol used here on her cards or the Fresh Air digital stamps. (Spend $5+ to save, use code SPRING at checkout.)

It’s been a wonderful week full of creativity from these amazing women that share their beautiful creations here.

I love them dearly.

March 11th, 2017|cards, stamps|Comments Off on Send A Card Today