Saturday, February 28, 2009
My niece Emily and grandnephew Brady met me for lunch on Thursday. Brady is 5 months old now, and obviously the cutest li'l guy on the planet. While Emmie ordered her food, I must have snapped 50 pictures of him, it looks like movie footage when you scroll through all the pictures on iPhoto! Here are a few of the sweetest ones, it was hard to pick just seven! This is world-class speed scrapping, I think I got this done in under an hour. No border either... I must be slipping! But the pictures didn't need another thing.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Well, working full-time has certainly put a crimp in my scrapping, but it hasn't stopped me from using the old Nikon... I stopped along Pacific Coast Highway this morning on my way to work, and snapped this picture of the Malibu Pier. Maybe next week I'll get some better shots. The coast is certainly gorgeous in the morning hours. It makes traffic a bit more bearable.
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 12:02 PM
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Well, I'm working full-time again, at least for awhile. I'm hoping this (or something very much like this) will become permanent, it's just too much fun! I'm currently working for one of my former Mattel colleagues who is in Hong Kong, so I'm project managing a wonderful line of girls toys. It's a bit of a commute- about 50 miles each way in horrid Los Angeles traffic. But it's refreshing to be back in the workaday world, with a real lunch hour (which I am currently enjoying) and my own (temporary) office with 4 walls. The company is called Spin Master Toys, and they are one of the fastest growing smaller toy companies. It seems so strange to walk in here every day without having to check in at a security desk, have a card key, or have my bags searched at the end of the day! The folks here are very nice, creative, and fun! Sorry I can't tell you more about what I'm working on, that's the nature of the secretive toy industry, but you'll see it in toy stores at Christmastime.
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 12:41 PM
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I have decided to participate in Color Combos Galore which is a scrapping website devoted to creating layouts & designs based on a weekly 4-color challenge. Not all of the colors appeal to me, but I can certainly see the advantage of stretching my creativity with an interesting color palette. I was pondering what to do with this week's combination. I had some photos that might have worked with the colors, but honestly- I had either already scrapped photos from those events, or I just couldn't get any enthusiasm for forced scrapping. I happened to look down at the book I was reading, and got the brilliant idea that my book might make a great subject for the challenge. Here it is in all its glory. The fun part was I discovered the line half-tone feature. I think I'll play more with it in the days to come!
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 11:29 PM
Thursday, February 19, 2009
This is the sad fate of one of our favorite places- the formerly lovely Miramar Hotel in Santa Barbara. I recently created a layout about it in its glory, with some photos of Bruce and I staying there in the early 80s. Today the Miramar sits abandoned and condemned- awaiting the wrecking ball. There has been talk of a new buyer, and a new life for the Mirimar, but it is highly doubtful that the cute little blue roofed bungalows will ever be restored. In January I took some photos through the chain-link fences that surround the abandoned site.
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 9:51 PM
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Sometimes the creative process takes its own strange and meandering path. Sometimes the ideas don't come, or they come in ways that we never intended. This is disturbing to some of us creative types. It seems that we ought to be able to sketch, plan, plot and predict our eventual masterpiece. But alas, the creative muse often takes us in directions that our compass doesn't recognize! Actually, since I pretty much live my life by the not-so-small seat of my pants, I love the creative adventure. Sometimes I do plan and sketch my layouts and designs. Sometimes I just let the chips fall where they may, let the die be cast, and all of those other gaming cliches. A few months ago, I was scheduled to write a tutorial for my monthly column at SNR. I couldn't think of a thing. No amazing digital skills lept to my mind, no terrific tutorial sprung out of my imagination. I was stumped. So I decided to just start scrapping. I did have a few photos I thought might make a good layout, I just didn't know where I wanted to go with it. I did have enough forethought to take screen shots as I went along my merry creative path, and by the time I was done, I had a nice little tutorial of the joys of "scrapping as you go", and a decent layout. I think sometimes it's nice to do something a little spontaneous. There are lots of ways to be more relaxed when you create- for me, one way is to just tell myself no one has to see my results! If I don't like it, I can delete it, or hide it, or just leave it in a little cobwebbed file on my hard drive. It's always hard to scrap for a deadline- no matter how great your ideas are. Pressure can be a creative drain or a creative benefit- it depends on you and your own creative processes. As they say, there's joy in the journey. I hope your creative path goes smoothly! Here's the layout:
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 6:26 PM
Monday, February 16, 2009
Saturday was Valentine's Day, as you know, and Bruce and I spent the afternoon in Ojai. I love Ojai...the setting is spectacular. I lovely, green valley nestled in the hills surrounding Ventura and the ocean. It's kind of a touristy-resort town, a bit upscale & trendy. But it's more of an old-folks kind of trendy. No hot clubs or noisy parties. More retirees than twenty-somethings. I love looking in the wonderful Ojai shops- they have a ton of galleries and one-of-a-kind gift shops. Artsy fashions. Used books. Oh, the used books! Ojai has it's famous Bart's Books- a unique open-air bookstore, where you can find junky old books mixed in with rare, first editions and autographed books. They have some bookshelves on the outside of the shop- if you want one of those books after hours, you just chuck your coins in through a slot in the door. It's the ultimate honor system.
We took a ton of pictures, as usual... I created this layout for a color challenge, but plan at least one more layout based on some of the spectacular dusk photos we took.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Once upon a time in a faraway land called Hollywood, the fair illustrator Princess Stefanie lived in her little yellow bungalow cottage with her handsome Prince Bruce, and their 2 little ones. She longed for more clients for her thriving illustration business. She loved to draw cute little bunnies and duckies, and thought perchance her prospective clients might be amused by a cartoonish leporidae character. In the far off year of 1983, this was the handbill she nailed upon each gatepost in hopes of procuring gold and silver for her growing family.
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 7:39 PM
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Here's the layout I made from the green Depression glass photos. I had fun making some letters out of the glass, and some effects. Possibly the little sparkles are a bit much. But that's the fun of digital scrapbooking... you can have fun & not worry too much... there's always the undo button!
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 4:31 PM
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I have been taking some photos of my small collection of green Depression Glass... no great pieces, not worth much. Just a few things that I love to look at. All of these pieces were acquired from family- a covered reamer was my Grandma Clark's- she passed away in 1969. The other pieces belonged to my Mother-in-law, and probably belonged to her Mother. These little dessert dishes have delicate curly edges, and the sweetest cut glass pattern. I don't know what it is about these dishes. I'm sure they evoke a simpler time, when life was hard, but traditions, faith and love held families together.
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 11:17 AM
Saturday, February 7, 2009
I've never intended to turn my blog into a source of freebies, downloads & commerce, but when I created my Vintage Valentine Wrap today, I really wanted to make it available to anyone who wants it. (Personal use only, of course!) This is designed as wrapping paper, but you can use it however you want. Use it full sized at 12x12, or print it out on standard paper for a small gift. If you're like me, you don't have any problem taping together several sheets. Beats paying to have it printed! I have 2 versions- 40s green, and 50s pink. All the vintage valentines are from my personal collection. I've been collecting valentines for many years, and I can't resist the cute graphics. If you would like a copy of this wrap, just email me & I'll send it to you.
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 7:49 PM
Friday, February 6, 2009
Sometimes I have to battle for good ideas. Can you believe it? Usually bright ideas flow through my head like sludge through a gutter. LOL! Ok. I'm sure I have a good idea in here.. you'd think a girl who has a weekly posting called 'Weekly Bright Idea' would actually post an idea weekly. Or at least every 8-10 days. You'd think a girl who makes her living coming up with bright ideas could think of one once in awhile. On demand. With no pressure exerted but her own inflated sense of responsibility.
Ok! I've got it! Here's my weekly bright idea! When you find yourself stumped for inspiration, when your brain is devoid of anything original, creative or even coherent, fill up your bathtub. Put in a capful of your favorite bubbles, light a candle. Lock the door, tell the kids to leave you alone for an hour. I can't guarantee you'll come up with a good idea or two, but at least you will be relaxed, and clean. You can't beat that combination for a bright idea!
I'll see you in awhile, I'm off to take a bath!
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 12:53 PM
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I don't see how people create scrapbook layouts for others. Honestly, it's hard enough for me to do my own family stuff. (I'm not saying it's a bad thing to scrap for others... just not my thing). But the other day, one of my dear friends emailed me a lovely photo of her mother on her wedding day. I got itchy fingers just looking at it- I wanted to try my hand at colorizing it. Soooo before long, I had created a layout with some basic information about the event. Robin was thrilled (I think perhaps a tear or two was shed) and she promptly forwarded the file to her family members. I thought you might enjoy seeing the results. This colorizing project was fairly simple, because the dress was well, white. Not a lot of tricky patterns or colors. I may just have to try this scrapping for others again!
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 7:42 AM
Monday, February 2, 2009
The Happy Couple (aka our son Alec and his beautiful bride Alicia) announced this weekend, that the newest Eskander will arrive in early August! We are so excited to have our second grandchild, and are thrilled that A&A are going to be parents! They both love children, and Alec, our family baby-magnet, is over the moon! Alicia is about 13 weeks along... I don't know how they managed to keep it a secret for so long. (Truth be told, they did tell Annie a few weeks ago. Now THAT'S a mystery how Annie kept her mouth shut!) But all of the grandparents-to-be are excited, and it looks like some major league spoiling is being planned.
Posted by Stefanie Eskander at 7:33 AM