Thursday, March 26, 2015

Welcome Folk and Fiskafriend Blog Hoppers

The Power of Community Blog Hop

Sorry for the repost. Blogger did not let me edit the prior post, so I deleted and have re-posted.
Hi, everyone! I love my first on-line community of friends and wanted to participate in the Fiskafriends Blog Hop to celebrate our friendship. Although the initial community has ended, a new Facebook community has started "Fiskafriends". This is a private group open to any numbered Fiskateer.
As for my personal story, you may already know that I am one of the hosts of The Digiscrap Geek podcast. Listen here at iTunes.
Some of you also know I'm a disabled retired physician, an avid photographer and scrapbooker and an artist.
I am happy to have you visit me today.
One person who comments on my blog (and leaves an e-mail address or Facebook link or twitter link, so I am able to easily contact you) will be entered in a prize for a 3 month subscription to Get It Scrapped. This prize is separate from the equally fantastic blog hop grand prizes. Get It Scrapped is an on-line community with terrific classes in page design. Paper, hybrid and digi scrappers are all welcome at the GIS site. I'm privileged to be on the creative team there.
I hope you'll take some time to review my blog posts at Karen's Corner of the Web. I have some of my photography, art and scrapbook pages featured here.
I designed two cards for you today. Now, I do not do a lot of cards. Cards have small real estatwhich constrains my love of lots of patterned paper and layered embellishments. Still, I do some and I try to follow Lisa Dickinson's adage for color, pattern, texture, shine, even in a small space. That's one of the many treasures of design information you'll find at Get It Scrapped.
Cards are the perfect way to use little pieces that may have been sitting in your stash forever. Standard letter size cardstock 8.5 in x 11 is easily divided in half to 4.25 x 11 and folded makes a nice A2 standard size card. Envelopes are easy to find. Odd sizes are fun, too. Lots of companies make good boards or templates for designing custom envelopes for your cards.
My pink Easter card is A2 and my turquoise card is 5 x 7 inches.
A white piece of cardstock is very useful when using material that is colorful and hard to stamp. Stamp your sentiment message on the white cardstock and fasten it in the card. It helps if you are prone to making mistakes with your stamping, as I often do. It also helps to use a stamp that is intentionally messy as this alpha stamp from Ki.
Some tips I have include using foam dimensional adhesive when attaching die cuts or chipboard pieces to your card for a little more textural interest. Don't be afraid to mix different lines of materials, just look for similar colors. Lace and ribbon are simple ways to add soft texture to your piece. I like stitching with thread, when I have the time. Don't forget to look at ways that items can be modified. My Easter eggs were actually a balloon dimensional sticker that I cut up.
Do share your card designs if you'd like with a link in the comments.

Don't forget to join the Fiskafriends Blog Hop at Start there, if you wish to be eligible for the sponsor prizes. You do not have to be a Fiskafriend to visit the blogs and comment on our bloggers' pages. The hop is open to everyone. International visitors are welcome. A variety of projects and blog pages are featured as our First Fiskafriends Anniversary Theme is Anything Goes! The blog hop begins on March 27th at 6PM (PDT) and will end on March 29th at 11:59 PM PDT. The full contest rules and blog hop list will be revealed on the blog on March 27th. 

The Power of Community, Fiskafriends Blog Hop,
Jean Bullock, #8889,
Susan Slomski, #6150, 
Cindy deRosier, #4113,
Tifany DeGough, #5942, 
Cheryl Waters, #002,
Jean Marmo, #7358,
Teresa Godines #6857
Michelle O'Driscoll #7586
Nancy Carroll  #11488
Maya Oren-Dahan #351
Amy Martin Jones #8546
Karen Poirier-Brode #2858
Tanya Napier #5407
Pamela Haskin #8040
Stasia Sloma #9314
Tracy Moloney #6773
Kim Chenez #5612

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Photography portfolio Spring 2015

Photography class is done for this semester. I wish I'd learned more about photography when younger, though. Getting into interesting angles is not something this body of mine enjoys. Joe acts as my grip to carry my tripod and fetch things while I'm on location sometimes. He and I are both really cognizant of Paul Estabrook quoting "Photography is a huge waste of time."  Waiting for the perfect light for the library photo involved a lot of boredom and mosquito bites. The photo, the sunset and the frog chorus we heard were pretty cool. I do not think I'd have liked the film processing very much then. I do like Adobe Photoshop.
I struggled a bit with these photos. Fortunately, my family, the local skate park as well as the awesome scenery around here got me what I needed. I ended up liking these photos even though I found a number of assignments took me outside of my comfort zone. I think my style definitely indicates a scrapbook slant. I think you'll see a slightly photojournalistic approach apparent in my collection.
It's definitely not a professional level of photography but I can see improvement in my photos. All it takes is some practice and study to get better. I know it works for my other art and scrapbooking. As one learns, the processes get more automatic and the next step is easier to reach.
I am waiting to see what feedback I get in class on Monday.
I'd love my readers' feedback, too.
All photos are © Karen Poirier-Brode 2014.

intro slide uses Amanda Yi Designs TheDarndestThings alpha and the fonts: Pastiche Brush and Traveling Typewriter

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Love U by Karen Poirier-Brode | Supplies: Kit is from The Digi Files 72, a collab, LoveLivesHere. Journal card – Becky Higgins, Project Life, Cherry Ed; shadow styles – mommyish and One Little Bird; glitter style – mommyish, fonts – Garamond, Avenir

Do check out the blog at Get It Scrapped with great information on scrapping with clusters. I used a paper page from Nic Howard as my inspiration for my digi page.
I put this together around Valentine's Day so finding a kit about love was easy. I had a lot of fun making an alpha into a puffy sticker. There's a lot going on but the photo still takes center stage.

I had a lot of fun participating last weekend in a crop with my We Want to Scrap buddies at our LSS in Dixon, CA, It's All About the Scrapbook. At Get It Scrapped we are having an on-line crop on Saturday. Join us and hear about the Calvinball scrap game and have fun scrapbooking with us. Go to the forum and the post with a link to the webinar should be up on Saturday. Starts at 10am eastern time. (7am Pacific)

Hope you are all following the podcast at The Digiscrap Geek. It's a lot of fun. Our guests are the best. I love the other co-hosts, too. We'd love to have you listen. We love comments on the blog, too.

Spring is just around the corner. Looking forward to the more consistent warm weather, Hope the rains continue here in the west, though.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


 It's been a while. Life just comes in torrents, at times. Doctor appointments, classes, friends all add up but while a busy life, I am not complaining.
Actually, had a procedure that has reduced my pain some and now, at least temporarily, I can increase my activity a bit. Maybe I can lose a bit more weight. I've kept off the big weight loss but still want to lose more. I recognize why I've not made more progress - too many calories in and not enough out. I'm anticipating a knee replacement the end of May so have that goal to achieve more. Less weight and more active now will help with my recovery. Then, when fall comes, I'll hope to be healed and have even more mobility.

PCO Dialogue digi kit, font Avenir

Digi Kit: The Sahlin Studio Shine Bright TDF72, Font: Charlemagne Standard Bold, Mommyish Glitter Silver Style and extra shadow styles, Yin Template 413 TDF 69

I do keep scrapbooking though not nearly as much as I'd like to do. Thank goodness for team assignments at Get It Scrapped, I get those pages done. The community gallery is welcome to all. Be sure to leave at least one comment on other pages for every layout you post. We are all about community there.
Scrap productivity may go up as I'm planning to attend a crop with scrappy friends soon at my LSS, It's All About the Scrapbook. March is also the month for a productivity challenge at Get It Scrapped. We play a wacky game called "Calvinball". Just like the games at the wonderful historic comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes, the rules change. The main rule is that there are no negative points. There is no prize, just one's own creative spurt, and we acknowledge that Celeste will win but Doris, and maybe some others, will give her a run for the money. Totally free and welcome to all. Do join us for this crazy adventure!
My goal, as always with the blog is two posts a month. I do sometimes post more but like to keep the stress down and the goal reasonable.
There's always a lot to do. Going to visit a couple of my granddaughters and attend a hockey game, too, soon. Trying to take a number of photos with my new camera. I've wanted a full frame camera for a while but the size and expense of those has been intimidating. I've been paying attention to the favorable comments about the Canon 6D with the 24-105mm IS STM lens. I took the plunge when the shutter on my Canon EOS xSi needed a repair and I love it. I did get the Rebel fixed but it will be a back up. The new camera is not much heavier than my Rebel (chosen for lightness because of my neck issues) and the pictures it takes are wonderful. Since it's still me taking the photos, and they look so much better, it has to be the camera! I do shoot in manual but the auto features on this camera would make anyone look like a pro, I'm sure. I'm so tempted to learn all the auto modes but really want to improve my camera skills in general; so, I'm going to wait on exploring those.
I'll try to post a few of my faves in the near future. I'm learning a bit more about editing, too.
Do be sure to join us at The Digiscrap Geek Podcast each week. It's not just digital scrapbooking, though we do talk geek, often. We have a lot of fun. Our guests are wonderful, too. Do leave us comments at the DSG blog. We love to hear from you!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Scrapbook Pages

 I've been making a few scrapbook pages recently and decided that I've not been spending as much time at my hobby as I'd like. Truthfully, once I get creating art, it's hard to get into my crafts. Not from too much creative energy but more of "What a mess!". Lots of stuff needed in creating. I know, "Isn't that why you digi scrap a lot?"
It doesn't create a mess anyone can see but it does mean a bit of searching and organizing. That's one reason I'm becoming more of a digi kit scrapper.
I'm going to post a few of my recent pages here. Be sure to check out Debbie Hodge's Get It Scrapped
where this heritage page is shown with several other examples of scrapping heritage photos with contemporary product.

Paper: Pink Paislee Switchboard, Studio Calico Lemon Lush, Teresa Collins Something Wonderful, Pocket Card: Studio Calico, Flower: Prima Flowers Coffee Break, Paper clip: Freckled Fawn, Stamp: Freckled Fawn/Hero Arts Sept 2014, Alpha: AC Thickers, Small alphas, glitter stickers, wood veneer banner, puffy sticker, paper clip, clear doodle stickers all Freckled Fawn (from kits Jan 2015, Dec 2014, Nov 2014, Sept 2014)

Some other layouts done recently:

Kim Watson Template from GIS files, Just Jaime Storyteller Sept and October 2014, styles and brushes Mommyish, Karla Dudley and Just Jaimee, font - Garamond

Mommyish Best Summer Ever, Im So Fancy;  TMartin Missing You, One Little Bird Crazy for You; PCO Focus, Click, Repeat, Karla Dudley Rad Bundle, Just Jaimee/Mommyish Year In Review; CD Muckosky Bootiful Night, My own designs (gingham, blue cardstock) Fonts: Oswald Book, Avenir Medium, Adobe Garamond Bold,  treed machine stitched sampler, pco dream, dde backyard splash

Jbarette's Perfect Fit, styles Mommyish, template by Amy Kingsford - MSD 11-2013 Sketch Inspired by Kelly Noel

Scrapbook Coach_Sprawl01_Template, Amanda Yi_TheDarndestThings, Studio Calico_Jan_FarFarAway, Mommyish_Shadow Styles -BohemianTypewriter, PasticheBrush

Check out the Scrapbook Coach videos at Get It Scrapped. I get a lot of inspiration there. The "You Love Football" page layout was inspired by a class there and the template/sketches for many of the layouts in the classes are available free for members at Get It Scrapped.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Fast as a Speeding Bullet

I took over 500 images yesterday. At the end I turned the camera to auto and shot snapshots until my battery died. I tried to get great photos but realized I would need a lot more physical abilities and energy to keep up with a 2 year old. For now, I will refer to that lovable bundle of boyish energy as "the ricocheting bullet". I'm thinking maybe landscape photography is more my speed?
I have half a mind to just do a photo collage of all the great back of the head images I got in my efforts. I may really try it, just for fun. it would make a great scrapbook page.
I do love my little photo subject in so many ways and looking back at these photos makes me smile. One makes me laugh out loud. It's not the technical best but it's my favorite memory.
He been running around and choosing the plastic eggs filled with treats that his Mom had scattered on the grassy area near the picnic tables. He grew bored with that and ran over to check the geese by the pond. He then pointed to a curb-like area where the path moved to a different level, ran over and sat down with his hands in his lap. He leaned forward and started honking at the geese. It was a precious moment. Just a moment. For next thing you know, he was up and running with a stick he'd found slashing at plants and stopping and digging in the dirt.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

These turned out well

I think the room scene turned out best, though Eve is a fun piece. Definitely, that room scene is one of my favorite pieces from 2015. The wine bottle has a touch of Picasso inspiration and the setting is inspired by a Van Gogh room. That tile and my Dia de los Meurtos shrine, that I've posted before, are keepers. I like some of the drawings I've posted before, too. The egg still-life drawing and my fantasy landscape are two pieces I've had framed. You'll see that I have framed these ceramic pieces. I designed them with that in mind as it protects the edges. Maybe, I could some day do a whole series of tiles and set them in a wall. Wait, I will not fall into the trap of declaring a goal and not following through. I'll rephrase that to Maybe, I "might"...
Funny how I did not think I'd like ceramics. Too heavy for my arthritis. I just wanted to get the class behind me, in the event that I someday wanted credit for all my art time, like an AA degree. I did not realize how helpful everyone would be, nor how relaxing working with clay could be. 
Also, I've actually underestimated how teachable art skills really are. Sure, it helps to have talent, and we have Michelangelo and Picasso and all the other greats whose work we love.  Art is just so much more than great works. One can learn and build on skills and get great satisfaction from creating. I like arts and crafts but the discipline of fine arts oddly seems to be more free. I does surprise me that I actually really like some of the things I've created. I see in class how much my classmates and I have progressed. That is one of the fun pats of class, to see a teacher's reaction to work. Diane Richey-Ward is retiring and it's a shame for students, though wonderful for her. She gets so excited when she sees a student "get it". I'm sure I'll bask for weeks over her "That's a killer piece, Karen!" when she saw my contour drawing this past week. I hate that it's so early in the semester. It will be a let down if I don't get that response again. Just kidding, Diane! It is my second class with her and I know I'm getting better at drawing, I'm sure she'll note that. She's an excellent and encouraging teacher and loves to celebrate her student's successes. The thing is, I did learn something and I expect to learn more. My art will not make it to the Louvre, nor even grace all my kids' walls. It does not matter, even if its eventual fate is the trash bin. Ceramics is one medium, though, that has taught me the most. It's uncertainty and fragility, and yet its enduring permanence, has reinforced valuable lessons about art and life. Uncertainty, fragility, enjoying the moment, not knowing the outcome, joy in imperfection and meeting challenges, as my wonderful teacher, Linda Gelfman, says "Why not? Go for it." So many life lessons exist in approaching a lump of clay.
Not that fine art will lead me to give up playing with paper or to stop scrapbooking. A fun card, an interesting approach to story telling, a "hot-mess" art journal page all are fun for me, too. They are certainly more affordable. Though, with my stash of scrapbooking supplies that could be debatable; however, those supplies did help when I tried my hand at collage last year. That reminds me that I've yet to post my "Joys of Childhood" collage piece. That was a a great deal of work that I'm quite happy with. It's is a bit of a tribute to Joseph Cornell and Claudine Hellmuth. I know you are wondering about that combination. It was fun. Once I get some good photos of it, I'll post them.  A teaser, LOL!
Hope you are all having a wonderful day. I'm going to celebrate an adorable 2 year old's birthday this weekend. I'm so looking forward to seeing him. We are so fortunate to have some little ones in our family right now. I was going to go the the Crocker reception tonight to mark the start of the Toulouse -Lautrec exhibit; but, I fear it will be somewhat of a crush! The show will be here, in Sacramento,  a while and  the important thing is going to see it.
To art and life's joys! Talk with you again, later.