This past week, I participated in the Scrap School Summit 2022 event spearheaded by Allie Scraps. Someone had mentioned the event in the Simple Scrapper community, and I signed up on a whim because I’ve been really wanting to learn more about art journaling and mixed media. It hit me at just the right time—I was feeling like I was in a slump, and I was surprised at how much the presentations resonated with me!!

I think that having a defined structure in which I tried absolutely new things was exactly what I needed right now. Since I just did the free registration, the urgency to watch within the timeframe kept me going. The combination of being in the Boot (mostly sitting during the day) and starting to have a better handle on my daily schedule now that my children are back to school allowed me to take the time to participate this week.

I took a lot of notes and I hope that I’ll be able to try a few more things from the summit in the next few days, and it will be very interesting to see how this impacts my scrapbooking!


I decided to do a series of blog posts about the projects I created.

First up is a paint+collage art journal page inspired by the presentation by Ivana. Her video was the first presentation I watched, Iand I hadn’t even gotten partway through before I just HAD to get out my own supplies and start! Her presentation was in the style of a tutorial explaining some basic color theory and design rules. It was straightforward for me to follow along to finish, and I love the outcome!

This was all it took for me to be absolutely hooked, and I knew I had to keep watching these presentations! It was a great start to an amazing week of inspiration.

acrylic paint
foil doily
flower die cut
word sticker
negative space from an old set of heart stickers used as a stencil

Garden 2022: August

At the beginning of August, my broccoli and cauliflower sprouts were getting big enough that I thought they needed an “upgrade” from their yogurt cups to some larger containers.

broccoli and cauliflower in yogurt cups before transplanting to larger containers

I decided to try out making newspaper pots (as found in Plant Grow Harvest Repeat by Meg Cowden <–aff link). I got some full sheets of newspaper from a neighbor and folded up six to try. It was fun to fold them, and I think they are a nice size. I might try them again in the future as I start seeds!

broccoli and cauliflower after transplanting into newspaper pots on August 3, 2022

After transplanting they went back under the grow lights for a few more weeks.

broccoli and cauliflower under the grow lights, August 3, 2022

At the end of the month, I started “hardening off” these seedlings to prep them for planting out in the garden… but instead of getting them ready for cooler temperatures, I wanted to prevent them from being shocked by the hot weather and sun! I started them under our deck umbrella the first day, and then I gradually increased their time in the sun.

Starting to harden off the broccoli and cauliflower, August 30, 2022

Meanwhile, the outdoor garden continued to flourish.

The asters bloomed! It was so interesting to watch them progress to full bloom. The petals start almost white and clenched like a fist, and then gradually the unfurled petals reveal the color of the flower.

pink aster bud, August 10, 2022
purple aster starting to bloom, August 10, 2022
pink aster mid-bloom, August 10, 2022
pink and purple asters on either end of my garden, August 15, 2022
bright pink asters, August 15, 2022

Somewhere or other, I read or heard that asters should be pruned back at some point before they bud to encourage fuller growth and more blooms. However, I heard this information far too late for this season! I am hoping to plant them again for next year, so I’ll need to remember to read more about that for the future!

The marigolds continued to bloom and the plants grew into huge bushes!

marigold blooms, August 10, 2022
marigold bushes! August 15, 2022

I need to remember to plant them into bigger containers next year. They were definitely too crowded in the low, long planters I used, and they ended up being top-heavy (more on that in September’s post). I really should plant just one per container. It would make them easier to move around the plot, as well.

I let my oregano and mint go to flower, since I wasn’t really using them as much in my cooking.

mint flowers
oregano flowers

I don’t have photos of the parsley and basil, but you can be sure I was using them! Parsley is probably my favorite herb, and I probably used it at least once per day! I love being able to step outside and clip some stalks to cut into my meals.

In preparation for cooler weather (whenever it comes! August was HOT HOT HOT!), I planted some peas on August 6 that I’d saved from my Mammoth Melting Sugar Pea plants in the spring.

Mammoth Melting Sugar Peas ready to plant, August 6, 2022

Since the container in the spring seemed small for one plant, I chose a longer planter for fall. I was excited to use some of my first batch of compost from my tumbler! I think it was ready, so I took it out and used it under the layer of soil from the smaller pea container.

using part of my first batch of compost under my fall pea planting! August 6, 2022

By August 11 (five days later), all three peas had sprouted! I am delighted that my seed-saving was successful! The peas grew fast. I’ve positioned them at the shadiest end of the garden so that they can have as much relief from the heat as possible.

We watched eagerly throughout the month to see the watermelon grow…

Jubilee watermelon plant, August 10, 2022

…but it didn’t grow quite as much as I hoped/expected! I was hoping that it would be ready before school started, but I don’t think it’s ready yet… Check back in September!

I was delighted that fertilizing + some vigorous pruning (learned from The Rusted Garden on Instagram) seemed to encourage the Beit Alpha cucumber vine to start producing again. I also learned about the possibility of succession-planting cucumbers, so I want to give that a try next year.

harvesting a Beit Alpha cucumber, August 12, 2022

I was also excited to see peppers forming on the plants I grew from seeds saved from Costco peppers! They were a complete experiment, and so I’m looking forward to seeing what the fruit is like (the original peppers were probably hybrids, so I definitely have no idea what to expect!).

Costco experimental peppers, August 27, 2022

My Most Beautiful sweet peppers continued to grow– I was impressed with the amount of fruit on the plants! I harvested a few while they were still green because I needed them for some recipes, but for the most part, I am waiting for them to turn red (I assume!) to harvest. The fruit is thin-walled and tastes good! They are much bigger and irregularly shaped than I was expecting!

“Most Beautiful” sweet peppers on the plant, August 24, 2022

We went on vacation in August, and I experimented with an idea I heard on a Joe Gardener podcast– I punched a few tiny holes (with a thumbtack) in the bottom of a milk jug so that it would slowly drain into the pot– leaving the cap on as suggested so that the water wouldn’t drip too quickly. I forgot to take an “after” photo– but it didn’t work that well! I should have left a little more ventilation at the top. Water did drip out, but eventually, such a vacuum was created inside the jug that it just crumpled on itself! There was still an inch or two of water at the bottom, even after a week!

milk jug drip irrigation experiment

The harvests were the biggest of the season this month– both in overall volume, but also because I set some personal records!

First: I think this is the largest tomato I have ever grown in one of my gardens:

Marmande tomato, August 9, 2022
quite possibly my biggest tomato that I’ve ever grown (so far…)

And I had a huge harvest of Sungold tomatoes:

biggest one-day harvest of Sungold tomatoes for the season, August 30, 2022

And an enormous harvest of purple cherry tomatoes! I’m surprised at how late this bumper crop came, but I am definitely not complaining!

look at all those purple cherry tomatoes waiting to be harvested! August 30, 2022
biggest one-day harvest of purple cherry tomatoes this season! August 30, 2022
purple cherry and Sungold tomatoes harvested August 30, 2022

In addition to the “records,” I just love seeing the variety of colors and textures!

harvest, August 2
harvest, August 4, 2022
harvest, August 9, 2022
harvest, August 10, 2022
harvest, August 15, 2022
harvest, August 24, 2022 (after a big prune following vacation)
harvest, August 30, 2022

We enjoyed the bounty, too! My daughter was on a mission to cook and bake as many recipes as she could from her personal cookbook library, and as often as possible, we used garden produce.

caprese pasta with chicken, August 4, 2022

I was so excited to finally get to make fresh salsa with tomatoes and a jalapeño from my own garden!

fresh salsa with tomatoes and jalapeño from the garden

And of course, we indulged in caprese as often as possible. The perfect summer lunch accompaniment.

caprese with garden-grown Brad’s Atomic Grape tomatoes and basil

I discovered this big toad in my garden one morning while I was weeding! I thought he was a rock, and then he moved– it was quite startling, I think both for me and him! I was glad to see him there the next day, too, so he must not have been too frightened.

toad, August 6, 2022

Three weeks later, I found him dug into my primrose pot!

toad, August 27, 2022

I made a better effort to get some photos of myself in the garden this month (my daughter helped me!) and this is one of my favorites:

Last but not least, how about some comparison views of the whole garden throughout the month:

The garden flourished this month, and I was out almost every day working to keep it pruned, tidy, and healthy.

Stay tuned for the September update!

This post originally appeared on the Disney Creative Co. blog on September 17, 2022.

I’ve discovered that color challenges are a fun way to mix up the palettes of my projects! My layouts usually start with photos, from which I draw color inspiration, but I really enjoy using pre-made palettes to add some unexpected combinations or accent colors!

That is exactly the case with this pocket layout. On our last day at WDW in 2016, we had a quiet morning before our flight home in the afternoon. We walked the beautiful path from Wilderness Lodge to the Tri-Circle-D Ranch and had a look around. My photos from our walk featured a lot of forest green and brown, and so those were my starting colors. I also looked at the layout that would face it so that I could choose colors (and even papers) that might loosely tie them together for continuity in the album– in this case cream, as well as the brown woodgrain paper. However, since the stories are completely separate and occurred on different days, I didn’t want them to completely coordinate!

Knowing that I definitely wanted to include dark green, brown, and cream, I looked through the past DCC Color of Magic palettes and decided to use this one from October 2021:

Here is the whole layout:

As you can see, I featured the forest green, brown, and cream as I’d originally intended, but I added a light blue as an accent color, completely inspired by the palette!

I like to add little clusters of embellishments to my pockets, especially when I’ve printed my photos smaller than the pocket size. There were lots of opportunities to sprinkle Scraps & Ink Crafts bits and pieces!

Starting with the title block, I centered a large padded appliqué (adorned with a cute plaid bow!) over a die-cut circle and the title lettering. Because this padded appliqué is so dimensional, I decided to adhere it to the outside of my pocket!

That die-cut circle was a theme I carried through all my pockets. I cut rings and circles from the same light blue paper (inspired by the color palette) and used them to anchor the embellishment clusters.

While the top left pocket has a tiny little cluster, I created larger embellishment clusters in the 4×6 pockets by layering tiny scraps of patterned paper, a die cut ring, and a journaling label, topped off with a Mickey facet.

I couldn’t resist using this rich coppery brown glitter appliqué with the photo of my children greeting one of the horses!

The bottom left pocket is slightly different (although I kept some of the same elements for continuity!) because it tells the tiny story of our Mickey Bar treats after our walk. I die cut a Mouse Tag to hold my journaling, and I couldn’t resist using this adorable silicone Mickey Bar embellishment as the final touch!

Scraps & Ink CraftsMouse Circles cutting dieMouse Tag cutting dieFacets; Bits and Pieces bows; Padded Appliques (Falling for You, Precious Metals); Flexible Silicone embellishment
patterned paper: Shimelle Starshine “Hubble,” Shimelle Never Grow Up “Live Outdoors” 
cardstock: The Paper Studio white smooth, scrap aqua
alphas: American Crafts Thickers “Happy” (gold glitter, Maggie Holmes)
embellishments: Making Memories woven labels, My Mind’s Eye I Believe decorative brads,
other: Project Life Baby Edition journaling card, Silhouette Cameo 3 (print-and-cut labels), Scotch ATG adhesive, Spectrum Noir ArtLiner .005, date stamp, black ink

Note: I was provided products from Scraps & Ink Crafts at no cost as a member of the Disney Creative Co. design team.

This post originally appeared on the Disney Creative Co. blog on September 6, 2022.

For this month’s Technique Tuesday, I’ve created a layout with misting!

I actually don’t own a lot of mists, and I haven’t done a lot of misting, other than occasional splattering droplets here and there, so before I even started my layout or decided what story I was going to tell, I got out my art journal and just played a bit with the mists I have. As I played and saw the textures that I was getting, an idea started forming for the layout I could make.

I loved the way the gold and pewter mists looked together, and the neutral palette reminded me of these photos of my not-even-two-year-old son enjoying the slide in the Boneyard playground in Animal Kingdom. I decided to play with the texture and color scheme to give the impression of sand or dust like you might find at an archeological or paleontological site.

Because I knew this layout would feature misting, I actually created my paper layers without attaching them to the background. Once I knew about where everything would end up on my page, I used a pencil to mark where the corners would be and lifted off the cluster of photos, papers, and embellishments to do my misting.

My big tip for this post would be to create your background separately– and I got to experience exactly why as I made this layout. I created a background that I liked, started to adhere my photo cluster, and then decided I should add more misting. I masked off my photos, etc., and then when I spritzed, it went everywhere I didn’t want it to go! The background just ended up looking blobby in all the wrong places. Ack! But although I was annoyed, it was easy to lift off the photo cluster and start over. In the meantime, I had another idea to add to my misting layers!

First, I lightly spritzed my gold and pewter mists in an approximate diagonal from top left to bottom right. Then, using a scrap of cardstock cut with the Mouse Background die, I did a heavier mist of pewter through the mouse-shaped openings for a subtle pattern. I finished off the background with some bolder gold splatters. In the photo below, you can see what my background paper looked like, and if you look closely, you might be able to spot my pencil markings for the corners of my paper layers!

Once I’d (re!)made my background, I was ready to add my layers and photos on top of it. I made a vertical strip with my photos and tucked a journaling card behind it. I used a sticker for a simple title, and layered embellishments around it, including a Tree of Life cut from plain white cardstock. I liked the laciness it added, softening the rectangles elsewhere on the layout. Under the tree, I added a strip of animal print washi to give a bit of a grounding line.

I continued the line of washi to peek out from the left side of my photo strip, and I built another tiny embellishment cluster there, including a wood veneer Mickey.

To balance the weight of the photo+journaling layers, I tore an uneven strip of patterned paper and added it to the top left corner of my layout. I added a tiny cluster here, too! In the photo below, you can also see a closeup of the Mickey pattern made by misting through the Mouse Background die cut.

It was an adventure for me to use this misting technique, and I hope that it will inspire you to give it a try as well!

Scraps & Ink CraftsMouse Background cutting die, Tree of Life cutting die, Wooden PiecesWashi (Animal Kingdom 1)
patterned paper: Shimelle Starshine “Hubble;” Pink Paislee Pen Pals 12×12 paper pad
cardstock: American Crafts white textured
title sticker: Echo Park Beautiful Life cardstock stickers
mists: Heidi Swapp Color Shine gold, Tsukineko Shimmer Spritz pewter

enamel stars: Shimelle Field Trip enamel stickers
wood veneer: Elle’s Studio Magical Memories Wood Veneer Confetti

other: Project Life Baby Edition journaling card, date stamp, Scotch ATG adhesive, PPA Matte adhesive, Spectrum Noir ArtLiner .005, craft foam

Note: I was provided products from Scraps & Ink Crafts at no cost as a member of the Disney Creative Co. design team.

The Disney Creative Co. stash challenge for August is to use patterned papers in a “repeating shapes” design. As I flipped through my 2016 Disney album to choose a project to create for this challenge, I came across this pocket page page where I planned to showcase two PhotoPass pictures of my husband and me with the EPCOT sphere. There isn’t a lot of story to go with this (we just stopped because the photographer was there, and we wanted pictures!), so the whole left side of the pocket page was available to showcase a design.

As I contemplated what sort of paper pattern to create, I had the idea to represent the surface of the EPCOT sphere. I did a Google image search for “geometric triangle pattern” and found a black-on-white version of the look of the geodesic surface of the sphere. I screenshot a portion of it and pulled it into the Silhouette Studio software, where I traced it and simplified one triangle piece. I repeated the triangle piece and cut it from three different patterned papers: one each of a light, medium, and dark value.

I referenced a more 3-D style image of the geodesic surface in order to place the different colored triangles along the top edge of the diagonal stripe.

I decided I wanted more than the one strip, and I wanted to layer it over some of the stripes in the background patterned paper. Instead of applying them directly to the paper, I glued the pieces to a scrap of cream cardstock that was a good match to the background and adhered that in place.

Due to the angle of the corner, I couldn’t continue the geodesic pattern in the other direction, so I filled in the space at the top with another strip of the grey patterned washi, and I added a die cut “World Mouse” backed with more of the cream colored paper.

I decided to use a fairly simple title for this page, and I lined up my glitter alphas along the diagonal stripe of washi.

In my top photo, there was a random person walking through the background, and since he was pretty obvious, I wanted to cover him up. I tried a whole bunch of things before realizing that I could continue a strip of stripes, and as a bonus, it brings the page together more cohesively. I accented my tiny journaling label with more washi and of course a facet!

Scraps & Ink CraftsWorld Mouse cutting die, Facets (tropical), Washi (EPCOT)
patterned paper: Shimelle Starshine “Ranger,” ” Voyager,” “Galileo;” My Mind’s Eye

shimmer cardstock: Core’dinations Navy Pearl
alphas: American Crafts Thickers Fitzgerald
other: cream cardstock, print-and-cut label via Silhouette Cameo 3, Spectrum Noir Artliner 0.05, US ArtQuest PPA Matte, Scotch ATG

Note: I was provided products from Scraps & Ink Crafts at no cost as a member of the Disney Creative Co. design team.

I had two 6″x12″ pocket layouts left to finish up the February section of my 2019 everyday life album. For some reason, I was really putting these off, and they were just taking up space on a side table in my craft studio! So when I felt a glimmer of motivation to work on them the other day, I jumped right in!

It’s been a while since I started the February section, but when I did, I put together a stash kit of items I wanted to use up, and I continued with the dregs of that kit for these two inserts. The remaining pieces of the kit had been sliding around my table with these unfinished inserts. Because there were so few large scraps left, I worked on both inserts side by side (even though they aren’t next to each other in the album) to make sure I used those paper pieces efficiently and had enough to fill the remaining pockets!

Because the idea was to use my stash kit up, I used the stickers generously, adding some foam behind some of them to add some extra dimension.

The letter sticker sheet still has tons of letters on it (it will go back into my alpha storage after this), so I made titles in a couple of places with them.

I wanted to incorporate ephemera from the game in the game night insert, and this had been stumping me. I ended up deciding to add the code wheel piece on the outside of the page protector. Not only does it add texture, but you can still spin the layers!

I’d also saved the final stats page of the game booklet, so I added a tab so that it can be pulled out from behind the top photo.

I was pleased to find a spot for the very last of this “ancient” pack of brad embellishments from Making Memories!

In the end, I think I did a pretty good job using up my stash kit! Here are the leftovers:

Probably my favorite attraction of our entire 2016 trip was the Kilimanjaro Safari in Animal Kingdom. And probably my favorite part of the safari was getting to see the zebras up close!! **

I created this layout with the August 2022 sketch from Disney Creative Co., swapping one of the photos for a patterned paper block+journaling tag.

The film strip cutting die is one of my absolute favorites from the Scraps & Ink Crafts store, and here I used it to cut black and white pieces to use as both vertical and horizontal pieces. I didn’t want to go too crazy with the black-and-white color scheme, but I definitely still wanted to give a nod to the iconic zebra colors!

I loved adding the border of leaves cut with my Cameo! All of these pieces were actually cut long ago for other projects (one of them from 2010!); whenever I cut versatile shapes like leaves, I keep my extra bits and pieces in a few small boxes with my embellishment collection. I have little clusters of leaves on several other Animal Kingdom pages in this section of my albums, so it was a great opportunity to add continuity, even though this layout can stand on its own.

The horizontal film strips underline the title, and I added a feature embellishment cluster of two mouse pieces from Scraps & Ink– a zebra-printed acrylic and a wooden Minnie. Of course, I added some more leafy pieces underneath (once I start making botanical clusters, it’s hard to stop!).

Scraps & Ink CraftsFilm Strip cutting dieWooden PiecesAcrylic Embellishment

patterned paper: Shimelle Starshine “Hubble;” Shimelle Never Grow Up “Past Bedtime,” “Make a Wish;” various scraps
wood veneer: Studio Calico cameras
enamel dots: The Paper Studio
alphas: American Crafts Thickers/Amy Tangerine Hello
cut files: Kerri Bradford Studio Tropical Leaves #0512, Silhouette Leaf #1033, #1034, and #1035
other: small shipping tag, white cardstock, Spectrum Noir Artliner 0.05, date stamp, craft foam, Scotch ATG

Note: I was provided products from Scraps & Ink Crafts at no cost as a member of the Disney Creative Co. design team.

** Zebra have been a favorite animal of mine ever since I did a research project about them in elementary school. I even interviewed a zoo keeper over the phone! Here’s 9-year-old me preparing pictures for my slide show(!!) report.

I’d planted Jubilee and Sugar Baby watermelon seeds in June, and all month long, I was hoping that one of them would grow. Just before we left for travel at the end of June, one of the Jubilee seeds finally popped up (I’d all but given up!), so I quickly filled my big plastic bin with soil and transplanted it from the tiny yogurt cup where I’d started it. I wanted it to be in a larger volume of soil so it wouldn’t dry out so easily! When we came home, I was surprised to see two watermelon seedlings growing in the bin (the other seed sprouted and grew like gangbusters while we were away!). I clipped off one of them, because I don’t think my bin was big enough to support two huge watermelon vines!

one Jubilee watermelon seedling, July 1, 2022

It had been a while since I’d done maintenance on my tomato plants, so I also spent time in the morning (before it got too hot!) pruning and tying my tomatoes to their stakes.

after pruning, July 1, 2022
tomato plants after pruning, July 1, 2022

The cucumbers started the month happily climbing the trellises at the end of the garden.

lemon cucumbers (left two pots) and Beit Alpha cucumbers (right pot), July 1, 2022

…and there were baby tomatoes forming on all five varieties!

Roma tomatoes, July 1, 2022
Sungold tomatoes, July 1, 2022
Brad’s Atomic Grape tomatoes, July 1, 2022
Marmande tomatoes, July 1, 2022
purple cherry tomatoes, July 1, 2022

It was exciting to see the other plants starting to fruit. In the case of my cucumbers, I was delighted to see so many Beit Alpha cucumbers growing. They are smaller fruits than I expected, so I will likely go back to a larger variety next year. The lemon cucumber vines had tons of flowers, but I didn’t see female flowers until later in the month.

Beit Alpha cucumbers, July 6, 2022
two Beit Alpha cucumbers, July 17, 2022

The jalapeño plant had lots of flowers and peppers forming, and I harvested my first one on July 15!

jalapeño plant, July 12, 2022

I’ve never had much success with peppers, so this summer, I’m hoping to change that! When blossoms started growing on my sweet pepper plants, I was delighted– I was particularly looking forward to seeing what these peppers are like. The neighbor who gave me the seedlings told me the variety was “Most Beautiful,” but despite a number of internet searches, I haven’t been able to find information about them.

sweet pepper flowers, July 12, 2022

Oh, deer. I didn’t think the deer would be tempted by the prickly cucumber vines. But apparently, they are still tasty enough to eat. The deer don’t come into my garden, as far as I can tell, but they’ve been nibbling at the edges. In particular, my cucumbers and asters have been chomped. Lesson learned: next time, I won’t have my cucumbers near the outer border. It’s so frustrating that nothing is safe.

cucumber vines chomped outside the fence. July 11, 2022

In response, I did a bit of rearranging to protect some of my plants from the deer. I gathered almost all my herbs closer to the garden entrance (but put the more tender ones further away from the perimeter) and moved the flowers away from the perimeter on the other end of the garden.

rearranged herbs and flowers, etc.; July 15, 2022

I also set up a small secondary trellis to start training my cucumbers to the inside, rather than along the string fence/main trellises. It’s something we had on hand (leftover from the previous homeowner; it’s just been living in our garage all these years), so it’s not the strongest or best option, but I wanted to make a change as immediately as possible.

small secondary trellis to start training my cucumbers away from the fence, July 15, 2022

The pea plant ended its life partway through the month. I moved it to the shadiest end of the garden to make room for the watermelon, but as it got hotter, the plant faded– but it was to be expected! We got a few pods here and there after the first harvest in June, and I really enjoyed their flavor! I deliberately left some pods on the plant as it died back so that I could save seeds to plant again for the fall!

some of the dried pea pods from which I saved the seeds for fall (and next spring) planting! July 11, 2022

I finally spotted some female lemon cucumber flowers around July 15, and I harvested my first one on July 20. The variety is named after the shape/color of the fruit, not its taste. We really, really like the flavor! It is a mild cucumber with no bitterness. We like it better than the Beit Alpha cucumbers (but we definitely enjoy all the cucumbers growing in our garden this year!

first lemon cucumber!

After that first one, the lemon cucumber vines started fruiting all over! I’ve pretty successfully trained the plants away from the outer edges of the garden. I spotted a groundhog INSIDE the garden on the morning of July 28, chowing down on the lemon cucumber vines. ::sigh:: Hopefully this isn’t the start of Groundhog War II. I think eventually I will need an actual fence.

We also started harvesting tomatoes this month!! The first harvest was two Sungolds…

two Sungold tomatoes– first tomato harvest! July 21, 2022

After those two delicious fruits, we started getting at least a handful every other day or so! We also got a few purple cherry tomatoes, but I’ve noticed that the plants aren’t quite as wild as they were last year. I’m not sure what is causing the difference (I started this year’s plants from seeds saved from last summer’s harvest). The Sungolds are wild and vigorous, so perhaps it’s good that both these small varieties aren’t going crazy!

pretty harvest: lemon cucumber, jalapeno, sungold tomatoes, purple cherry tomatoes

I also started harvesting Brad’s Atomic Grape tomatoes. Last year, I noted how easily they split, so I’m deliberately picking them a bit early so that they don’t split on the vine. They ripen the rest of the way on my counter and are so delicious!

Let’s take a moment and talk about how fast this watermelon vine is growing!

Jubilee watermelon, July 15, 2022
Jubilee watermelon, July 22, 2022
Jubilee watermelon, July 31, 2022

It got unruly pretty quickly, so I did trim off one of the pieces of vine that was heading over toward my tomatoes. I’d love to set up some sort of trellis for it, but I’m going to wait and see how it all works out this year to decide whether I should invest in putting one together.

I kept a close watch for flowers, and I spotted the first male flower on July 22, and there were lots more following that one. I didn’t see a female flower until the 28th–

female Jubilee watermelon flower, July 28, 2022
baby Jubilee watermelon, July 31, 2022

(I’m writing this post in the first half of August, and boy, it has grown so much more already!!)

One of the few (first?) photos I have of myself with a wide view of the garden! Goal for August: get some good photos of me in the garden!!

Here’s a side-by-side(-ish) comparison of the garden throughout July:

This month, I continued to level up my garden game–indoors!!

I started some broccoli and cauliflower seeds, and I quickly realized that there is definitely not enough sunlight coming through my back window, especially this time of year. I purchased a set of four grow lights and created the beginning of a grow light setup in the basement! For now, it’s a tiny shelf using just two light strips (this is less than 2′ tall), but I’ll be on the lookout for some more shelving so that by next spring at the latest, I can add the two more light bars that came in the set I purchased. I also purchased an outlet timer so that I don’t have to remember to turn them on in the morning and off in the evening. Another thing that I will need to consider is whether heating pads will be necessary for seed starting for next spring– it’s pretty cold in my basement!

cauliflower and broccoli sprouts in yogurt cups under my new grow lights, July 9, 2022
a bit of perspective to show how small the shelving is for my grow lights! Definitely looking for a more permanent setup… July 9, 2022

And finally, some pretty blooms on my flowers throughout the month:

snapdragon, July 1, 2022
marigold, July 1, 2022
Gerbera daisies, July 17, 2022
snapdragons, July 31, 2022

The Disney Creative Co. August color palette has a fun tropical flavor! I decided that it was the perfect time to complete the pocket page that precedes my Pangani Trail pages in my 2016 Disney album.

The pockets in the left column tell small stories about what we did first after arriving in Animal Kingdom– the amazing Festival of the Lion King show!

This is where I pulled in the yellows and reds from the color palette using the detail cut camera and a facet Mickey pieces, as well as some tiny phrase stickers.

I used the geometric print down the center column as a transition into the introduction to the Pangani Trail photos. That pattern had all the colors of the palette in it!

Since this page faces the first side of the Pangani animal photos pocket pages, I made some similar embellishment clusters using a film strip die cut, leaves cut with my Cameo, and a wooden Minnie piece so that it all ties together!

Scraps & Ink CraftsFilm Strip cutting dieFacets, Wooden PiecesWashi (Animal Kingdom IAnimal Kingdom 2)
patterned paper: Shimelle Field Trip “Signs of Life,”
“Seek Knowledge;” Shimelle Never Grow Up “Live Outdoors,” “Make a Wish;” Shimelle Starshine “Pathfinder;” Echo Park Beautiful Life “Borders;” various scraps from stash
cardstock: The Paper Studio white smooth, various scraps from stash
alphas: Echo Park Beautiful Life alpha stickers
stickers: Shimelle #stickerbook, Starshine cardstock stickers, Sparkle City sticker folder

cut files: Kerri Bradford Studio Tropical Leaves #0512, Silhouette Leaf #1033, #1034, and #1035
other: labels via Silhouette Studio print-and-cut with Cameo 3; journaling font = Georgia, Scotch ATG adhesive, PPA Matte adhesive, Spectrum Noir ArtLiner .005, craft foam

Note: I was provided products from Scraps & Ink Crafts at no cost as a member of the Disney Creative Co. design team.

My husband typically has every-other Friday off from work, and when both of our children started attending school in fall 2019, we were excited to have “Date Fridays” together, just the two of us! We made a list of ideas from mundane to wild… and even though there were a lot of Fridays that didn’t work out the way we hoped, we made the most of the ones we had.

This layout is in the style of a “seasonal summary” a la Simple Scrapper, and I wanted to fit six different dates onto a two-page spread. It’s been a while since I made a two-pager, and I was feeling a bit intimidated by the design. I decided to use a trick I’ve found helpful recently, and I started by working out my design in Silhouette Studio.

I chose the photos that I wanted to represent each of the dates, and I decided that the selfie would be the largest photo in each cluster. In order to fit everything onto this spread, that meant the selfies were 3″x4″ and the supporting photos were either 2″x3″ or 2″ square.

I printed these photos at home, which isn’t my preferred method because the color is never quite right. I made it work for this project, though. Once I had everything printed, I used my digital draft to arrange the photos and then started building my clusters.
I had originally thought I would use patterned paper, but in the end, I used paper doilies to back each grouping.

I added die cut embellishments from a single pack, tucking them behind or layering them on top of the photos. I made sure to have a small spot for the date as well as a little bit of journaling for each Friday.

I considered adding an additional journaling spot to explain the Date Friday concept even more, but instead, I decided on an extra-long subtitle made from tiny letter tiles– I think it does the job!

As a final touch, I added two little cloud die cuts in an empty spot on the right side, as well as white paint splatters under each cluster. I like how subtle they are on the warm neutral background.

I am so pleased with how this layout came about. I went from feeling like I was going down the wrong track to ending up with one of my recent favorite projects!

left side
right side

cardstock: Craftsmith neutrals paper pad
die cuts: Creative Memories “Happy Album” embellishments
alphas: Close to my Heart white alphabet foam stickers, American Crafts Thickers “Daiquiri” white, Webster’s Pages These are the Days “Little Letter Stickers”
other: doilies, labels via Silhouette Studio print-and-cut with Cameo 3, Scotch ATG adhesive, PPA Matte adhesive, Spectrum Noir ArtLiner .005, craft foam