Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pause

I find it creates a conflict inside us. We don't know when to stop and how to get out of our hectic schedule, on the other hand: aren't we trying to stop the time and our kids from growing up by documenting the moments of our lives that matter?

Pause. A new kit by Scrap Originals @ Two Peas in a Bucket.


and my pages using this kit: Pause Right Here and Savor This moment








Sunday, August 29, 2010

Playing with some photos

Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris

In the View


a photo of an old, dead tree at Craters of the Moon National Monument, August 2010
I was inspired by creations of a local photographer - Judith Monroe - and her Tree Stories 



credits:
Adriana Wiczling: Paper Texture Set
Anna Aspnes: Artplay Pallete Winter - brush; ScriptTease Summer Frames - frame;
Autumnal 2 - corner brush; Magnificent - leaf
Gypsy Couture: Subtle Shift - overlay
Heather T.: Lena - frame, page overlay
Grunge Brushes - brush
Katie Pertiet: Basic Branches - brush
Shadowhouse Creations: overlay Sign of Aging

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Forest Dreams at The Dichichick

New kit by Heather T. I just love those leaves!! The pictures are linked for credits.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bracket Frames by Scrap Originals

My page, The Pout, using a new kit Bracket Frames at Two Peas in a Bucket:

credits here.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Incredible Yellowstone

It was a very long trip (drive) from California to Wyoming. Yellowstone NP, Grand Teton NP, Craters of the Moon NPreserve, Crater Lake NP, Lassen NP - all in 7 days.
We hiked, we swam, we were freezing... all totally worth it, especially Yellowstone is magnificent with all the pools and geysers and holes.

We had several "closed encounters" with wildlife:
 - a coyote sniffing my husbands head from the outside of our tent
 - a black bear - 5 yards from me
 - a bison eating by the road - 3 yards, and some others also pretty close
 - moose - 7 yards from us ....this was the most funny story:  my DH was so concentrated on taking a photo of a tiny flower and he totally missed those huge towering things - their antlers or rather big shovels -  sticking out of some green undergrowth almost next to him. They didn't move, just kept looking at us...

The bear was a somewhat scary experience because first, he ignored other people around watching him and suddenly decided to cross the road and for a moment it looked like he was running towards me and my son, wheew!!

Next time I'll try to book a lodge in advance...
Photos here.

Masked 3 at The Digichick

Heather has a new set of photomasks

and here is what I've done with them ( between doing piles of laundry and cleaning the car). My Boy grew up way too quickly! Jakub and little me on the photo:

Grunge Frames 1

Another kit from Heather at Mscraps. Beautiful, grungy masks with a board-like base.


 and my page, Spunky:
My niece Emma, 5. The round frame corresponds perfectly with the tunnel she is hiding in. I just love the colors on the photo!
credits here.

Lightroom and me

Ok, as a scrapbooking addict, you need a lot of pictures to choose from. I'm learning photography under guidance of my very critical husband and I love it! Taking photos, not the criticism!!  :-)
Recently, I purchased Adobe Lightroom 3. I've been playing with the photos and various presets, as you might notice on my layouts. I just CAN'T get enough of presets!!

grill of a classic car, photo taken on Hot August Nights in Reno, NV


a grass field in Lake County, CA

Design by Heather T. CT!

I'm so excited I was selected for Heather's team! She is a wonderful person and her kits so soft and dreamy!
Here are two pages I did with her products:

Memories of the Summer, the photo was taken on a sailboat we rented on British Virgin Islands. When approaching a marina you radio in, starting with repeating the name of your boat 3 times. Imagine us, breaking our tongues with: "Sacagawea, Sacagawea, Sacagawea...."!
credits at Two Peas.

Precious You, again my DD at her Great-grandma's house.

credits here.

More layouts

Just a couple of pages I had done before leaving on the Yellowstone trip.

Again, I guessed somewhat the closest Suzie's page at her challenge at Mscraps, I think I can read her mind... :-)
Contentment:

Jakub playing contently, like I used to.
credits here.

Little Wild Heart ( my too-smart-for-her-age niece Emma on the picture)


The View, from the top of Eiffel Tower, my girl posing for me, she is really good at it  :-)

credits here.

and one from Designer Digitals, Best Moments, and Barbora again...

credits

Monday, August 9, 2010

Discovering Corsica

It sure has certain advantages to have a second home in Europe where we go every year to see the families and friends and where our son Jakub is in a high school. It's always an opportunity to explore new places because everything is quite close - relatively speaking. This time, in June 2010, we chose the beautiful island of Corsica as the destination and it was decided to drive some 3000 km from Prague through Italy ( see my post about our Tuscany trip), around the island and back.
On the way, I learned a lot about the rich history of the island. Corsica was a subject to many invasions and occupations by Greeks, Romans, small Italian kingdoms of Pisa and Genoa, and France. Still, the people didn't loose their sense of pride and honor and lived by vendetta, a social code which required to kill for the tiniest act of dishonor.


The most famous Corsican, Napoleon Bonaparte, almost completely denied his origin and as a young French officer lead a military intervention that sealed the acquisition of the island for the French Empire. That suppressed the Corsican fight for independence for centuries. Around this time, the famous Maure's Head was adopted as a symbol of the resistance.
Nevertheless, the separatist movement didn't die out and, after a couple of decades of riots and occasional bombings between 1960 and 1990, when Corsicans felt forgotten by the French government, the island was granted a greater autonomy, in 2000.
The great Napoleon was later forgiven and today, he is like a favorite homeboy. The house where he was born in Ajaccio is now a small museum where I spent over two hours, while my husband was sipping one espresso after another.


There are two official languages, French and Corsu which is derived from ancient Tuscan dialect and it is related to Italian. The people are very nice, love their land and certainly don't want it overdeveloped, with monster hotels and tons of tourists. They are very proud of their heritage and history. They also claim that Christopher Columbus was born here, in the town of Calvi. At that time, Corsica belonged to the kingdom of Genoa which is generally believed to be his birthplace. Anyway, the origins of Columbus are murky at best, some sources say he never was  an Italian, go figure.




Corsica has everything: long beaches, history, lovely architecture, natural wonders, food, etc. It is the greenest island in Mediterranean. Some of the mountain peaks were covered by snow but it was hot by the coast and the water felt really warm.  We hiked a couple of times,  to the pristine glacier lake Mel, around "Needles" of Bavella and Gorges de Spelunca - the views and landscapes were spectacular! After hikes or just laying on the beach or long drives, there couldn't be anything better than stuffing ourselves with local specialities. And there were plenty!
Especially when ordering food, my husband was completely in my power, not knowing a word in French. Later, he started to use me as an errand girl: "Go ask this...go ask that"!!!!  grrrr!





Corsican cuisine is a mix of  French and Italian goodies. The traditional meals we enjoyed were various stews: veal or sanglier ( wild boar, which roams freely and is abundant everywhere ) and the fish soup. We loved the interesting combinations of smelly sheep cheese with fig jam or various Corsican cured meats - similar to prosciutto ... and my husband's favorite: chestnut liquor. The very last day we packed our small convertible with about 8 pounds of meat, 5 pounds of sheep cheese and 20 bottles which included some French wines and Italian Grappa. I was amazed how well we used the trunk and the space behind our seats, considering that the car was already full at the beginning of our trip!
Even now, we are still working on shedding those extra pounds.

Back in Italy, we stopped by Lago di Como ( remember the Ocean's Twelve movie?) and we savored an amazing cappuccino at the same café we stopped at 4 years ago. I can testify that their quality did not decline.
For our journey back, DH planned to drive through Passo dello Stelvio, the second highest paved pass in Alp mountains. It's a favorite drive for many - whether two or four wheels - even from far away. We drove through this beautiful place before but this time we were sort of taken back by piles of snow on both sides of the road. Imagine: around us people in winter jackets and we, top of the convertible down, cooling off our sun tanned skin!

My dear husband immensely enjoyed driving around the island. After all those switchbacks in Corsica, the tires of our little Honda S2000 were gone to the thread - metal mesh, to be exact, especially after Stelvio. Somewhere between Germany and Austria, the worst had happened as anticipated and we had to empty our beautifully packed trunk to get the spare tire out. There was no room for our baggage together with the 18" wheel back there, so the suitcase was placed in the top of the trunk, me holding it with a belt. In this slow, impeding manner, we drove back on the highway in the rain, with the top still down for about 30 km until I had enough. Luckily, we called for a help in advance and our Jakub drove from Prague, in a middle of the night with a set of extra tire, to save us. Isn't it great to have big kids with their own driving license?

Still, it was an amazing trip and I know I will be coming back.
Say: "Corsica" and I will be packed in 5 minutes!

More photos in my Picasa web album.