Simple Things {June 12}

by Melissa on June 12, 2011

I had the opportunity to visit my niece in Memphis this week, and I couldn’t get packed fast enough.

I love this girl. She’s the sweetest person you’ll ever meet and absolutely gorgeous, too. She’s didn’t want me taking bump pics but I had to get at least one.

Join me in celebrating the Simple Things with Rebecca Cooper. I’m linking up here:



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Simple Things {June 5}

by Melissa on June 5, 2011

I love flowers (what woman doesn’t?), and right now I have this large calla lily that I got for Mother’s Day sitting in the window in my office. It grows these incredibly long-stemmed blooms that just beg to have their pictures taken when the sun shines on them in the morning. So earlier this week I indulged a few blooms and happily snapped their pictures.

It’s the least I could do for them, since they make me smile everyday.


Join us in the simple things challenge each Sunday where we document what makes us happy each week. Visit Rebecca Cooper’s blog to find out how.




Simple Things {May 29}

by Melissa on May 29, 2011

My daughter loves to dance. I love to watch her dance, and I love that she loves something so much. She goes after what she wants with such intensity, it makes me happy.

I wish I had the courage to have followed my passion at such a young age. But I’m learning from her and going after what makes me happy now.

Join Rebecca Cooper and me in celebrating the Simple Things. Visit her blog to see how you can play along.


Simple Things {Summer Edition}

by Melissa on May 22, 2011

Wow, it’s been awhile since I posted here. I’ve been so busy with other projects and life in general. But I miss my photo/scrap blog.

I’ve been trying to take lots of pictures but my favorite model isn’t always cooperative. It’s easier when she has a friend along. Friday evening I got lucky. I guess they were feeling generous since they had just finished up there last day of school for the year.


There is nothing so sweet as the first hours of summer vacation with nothing but lazy, sunny days ahead of you.




The Ties That Bind

by Melissa on February 4, 2011

I was browsing the beautiful photos over at and came across some pics of the most precious baby. To take the photos, Lisa (Jones) had lain the baby in her great-grandmother’s chair, a family heirloom passed down through the generations.

I love this idea of using “props” in your photography to connect the generations of your family. And I realized I had been doing this for years.

When my oldest daughter had her Senior portraits done, she wore my mom’s class ring on her right hand and my class ring on her left. I thought that was the coolest thing! My mom graduated high school in 1957 and my daughter graduated in 2007, exactly 50 years later.

And it’s not just “things” that connect us. We all go through common experiences throughout our lives and the photos documenting them can connect us to others.

For instance, we all get our Senior portraits taken, so I created a LO for my daughter’s graduation album using the Senior portraits of my mom, me, and my daughter. (I wish I had included journaling about how we each experienced this event.)

Hopefully, years from now, my daughter will appreciate the page, and feel connected to me and her grandmother. And realize that, yes, we were 17 once, too!

And of course, I’ve used hand-me-down clothing to connect.

A funny story about that.

When my youngest daughter was about four, I sent a roll of film off to get developed (remember the “film” days?), along with another roll that I had found in a drawer.

I had no idea what was on the second roll or how old it was. I wasn’t sure if the pictures would be any good but I sent the roll off anyway.

Imagine my shock when I got back both rolls with these pictures! The current roll had pictures of my youngest playing dress-up (on the right), and the other roll had pictures of my oldest daughter (on the left) at the same age, wearing the same dress! The picture had been taken over six years before!

This was one of the first instances where I realized our photography can capture the every-day things that connect generations, how we do the same things but do them differently. And how we are similar to those (like our parents) who we think we have nothing in common with.

I now look for those commonalities, those ties to the past and the future. Makes me feel kind of immortal. *wink*


More Cheer Pages

by Melissa on February 2, 2011

I haven’t been keeping up on my daughter’s cheer album despite the easy-to-use, and oh-so-easy-to-keep-up-to-date-on-scrapping-your-pictures templates from Cathy Zielske.

But I did manage to get a few more games scrapped this past weekend. And let me tell you, I’m still amazed at how quickly I can scrap an entire event. It took me only 30-40 minutes to put these pages together.

And that’s from start to finish—-reviewing the 50-75 photos and choosing about 15 to use, opening them in PSE along with the templates, editing the photos if necessary (and let me tell you, it’s necessary when using pictures shot in a gym!) and deciding where to place them in the templates, then adding any text, elements, textures,



You know, if I tried, I could have her album up-to-date by the end of cheer season in one month. If I tried, that is.


Art Journal {Nearly} Every Day

by Melissa on February 1, 2011

I started a new art journal page/project at the end of last week. I’m still playing around with my watercolor pencils and loving them. And I love my flower stamps so I thought I would play around with those.

The page is not nearly done. I think I want to add some kind of texture to the background as well as…well, I don’t know what else right now. I just know I want to add more. I got some apples over the weekend, and they came in this cool yellow mesh bag. My daughter must have thought it was cool, too, since she was wearing it like a hat for about an hour. Silly girl! But I think I’ll use it to stamp some background pattern on the page. What do you think?

A new month of Art Journal Every Day is starting. Come join in!

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Simple Things {Monday Edition}

by Melissa on January 31, 2011

I know I’m a day late, but I didn’t take my picture for yesterday until nearly midnight. I spent the evening making bread dough, then letting it rise and rest, then baking. It’s a really simple process and the resulting yeasty smell and warm bread aroma is worth waiting for. And trust me, there’s a lot of waiting!


Art Journal {Nearly} Every Day

by Melissa on January 26, 2011

I finally got to try out my daughter’s sock method of blending oil pastels. I started a new art journal “page ” (I use that term loosely since my projects aren’t in an actual journal. I grab whatever I want to create on at the time. Some may think it’s wrong, but it’s right for me. It works.) but this time I’m using some watercolor paper with the oil pastels.

I love quotes and have wanted to play around with using them in my art journal, so I decided that’s where I was starting this time. Quotes also let me focus on art tools and techniques instead of worrying about “the vision.” I’m not certain what I mean by that so I’ll just leave it at that.

One of my favorite quotes is:

She who risks gets to drink champagne.

~Russian proverb

So I sketched a glass of champagne on my paper and filled in the background with a golden yellow. Then…I got out the sock! It blended very easily and changed those ugly crayon marks to a beautiful soft tone.

Then I remembered I wanted to try blending some colors together. Since I had already covered the page in yellow, I grabbed a shade of green that appealed to me and colored right over the top of the yellow. It blended beautifully. To finish for the day I added some Stickles bubbles.

I’ll let those dry and add the words tomorrow.


Art Lessons from My Daughter

by Melissa on January 24, 2011

I’m drawn to the vivid colors I see in so many art journals. I want to recreate that, but I don’t know how. I heard a couple of artists mention water soluble oil pastels so I thought I would check them out. I bought a cheap set at the local craft store and commenced creating.

Remember my long-necked girl? Well, I used oil pastels for the background and the left side of her hair. But when I used my water pen (another suggestion from one of the artists I stalk) on it, nothing happened.

I thought maybe I hadn’t gotten water soluble oil pastels, so I went back to the store and bought a different brand that specifically stated they could be blended with water.

They didn’t work either. Dang it!

But then my beautiful and creatively artistic daughter said she never blends them with water…she uses a sock. Huh?

She took pity on me and demonstrated her technique:

First, she drew a beautiful rainbow feather.

Then she grabbed her favorite art sock and started rubbing.

I couldn’t believe how nicely the colors began blending together! (And I was more than a little excited about the possibility of having a use for all those stray socks on top of the dryer.)

I couldn’t wait to try out the technique on the long-necked girl. But alas, it still didn’t work. Because the paper I drew her on was glossy, the oil pastels rubbed right off. That’s okay, because I’ve got plenty of paper with which to experiment and ten minutes set aside tomorrow morning to play.

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