Saturday, November 30, 2019

Coffe Break Card
An afternoon of holiday shopping deserves a coffee break. I chose to use Lil Coffee Bean Doll 19 Besties Digi Stamp for this CS card.

I colored this delightful image with Copic Markers and mounted it on a matted white base card.

 Check the following links for more wonderful images:


Thursday, November 28, 2019

A Whimsical Birthday Gift

Back in 2007, my son Ian married his lovely wife Lyuba. That's when I became an honorary grandma to Lyuba's little sister Katya. It was truly an honor to be her grandparents. My husband and I participate in many aspects of her life. We celebrate her birthday each year and went to her dance recitals and competitions. We picked her up at school and even took her to Disney World.

At Disney World, Katya was a pleasure, as always. We stood on a very long line at the castle to meet the Disney Princesses. While on the line Katya made friends with the children also waiting. Finally we entered a large hall and at each corner were Princesses waiting to meet the very anxious children. Katya couldn't believe her eyes and said, "Wow I really get to meet them all!" It was so worth waiting on that line! That year those same ladies decorated Katya's bedroom.

Katya is all grown up now and in her first year of college.
Katya a high school grade!
 Each year I have made a special gift for her birthday.

This year I wanted to use my Cinch Binding System and looked at ways to incorporate the memory of the Disney Princesses.
I found a youtube tutorial by Lolly Geter at using Little Golden Books to make notebooks.
I bought the Disney book "Tangled," which reminded me of Katya and our trip to Disney World. Here are a few of the pages in this altered book.

I hope this whimsical notebook brings back fond memories and will hold the new memories she is making.
 Katya loved the book!


Monday, November 18, 2019

Oh, the Places You'll Go! An Anniversary Journal

It all started when I got the Heidi Swapp Cinch Binding System for Christmas last year.

First I designed my own paper doll and scenic books. Then I saw how much fun it was to turn old or in some cases new Little Golden Books into notebooks or journals to use as gifts. I went crazy looking for those adorable books! After making one for my husband, Sandy's, birthday using a Jackie Robinson, Little Golden Book, my son Ian, had a great idea!

He and his lovely wife had moved their family into a new home. They were trying to keep expenses down. Ian asked if I could use the book, that their wedding vows were taken from "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" to make an anniversary journal. He would print out and embellish the book with pictures and mementos from their life together.

How could a mom refuse! I ordered the book and my husband cut the binding off and the creating began. The anniversary journal includes:

The story is throughout the numerous pages.
3 Envelopes
3 Card stock pockets
4 Graph papers
4 Lined papers
9 card stock pages
14 Mats for 4x6" photos
Assorted paper clips
No, it wasn't as easy as those Little Golden Book journals...but it did finally come together. I know they will enjoy putting their own ideas into the book and keeping it as their collection of mementos grows!

By the way, my daughter in law loved the book!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Coffee Beans or Peppermints, a Holiday Card!
Here's my latest holiday card. I had some fun turning coffee into a peppermint flavored hot chocolate! The digital image I used Lil Coffee Bean My Besties Doll 2 Besties Digi Stamp, which is also from the Coffee Bean Besties Digital Coloring Book. There are 25 images and are in both Jpeg and PDF formats.

I printed two copies of my chosen image: one on card stock and one on Copic Marker paper. I Colored most of the image on the Copic paper, leaving the cup out. I cut the arm and cup from the card stock and colored the arm. I used the cup to trace onto printed paper and cut that out. I cut out the Copic Marker paper image and adhered the print cup and arm on top. Following that I cut 2 mats and layered them onto a basic white card. I adhered the image holding the cup onto the mats and embellished the cup with a fine line Micron pen.

 Check the following links for more wonderful images:


Saturday, November 9, 2019

In Honor of Veteran's Day!

I would like to share with you the two men I know and the experiences they had during WWII. This story was written sometime ago and some of it was printed in a national magazine.Here it is, the whole story!
Two Views of World War II
 by Carla Brooke

For just about as far back as I can remember the camera has always been an important element in any events occurring in my family.  Whether it be my first steps or simply a beautiful panoramic view, my father recorded it for all the world to see and admire.
Before I came along dad had plenty of resources for his camera work, for he was stationed in New Delhi, India, as an Army radioman during World War II.  He was considered quite a shutterbug around his base, always on the look out for that great photograph.  While looking dad acquired a good deal of knowledge of the area and was assigned to drive high-ranking officials throughout the provinces.  Many shots taken on these trips later became award-winning photographs in the years following the war.

I recently discovered that my father was not only a wonderfully talented photographer, but a skilled writer as well.  The evidence of this is in the original copy of a story he wrote while on board a ship returning from World war II and illustrated with his own black and white pictures of the soldiers returning home after 33 days at sea.
Here is the original story by my father, Jack Gutstein.

I and about 700 other G.I.’s, were passing our thirty-third day at sea.  Our ship, The General Bliss, was now steaming serenely through peaceful waters, heading for San Francisco.  The Far East was now but an unpleasant memory.  The dangerous passage through the mine-infested Makassar Straits had become a mere passing incident, as was our stop-over in Guam.  Perhaps, there still lingered some impressions of the havoc wrought by war on Manila and Manila Bay; Corregidor, and Bataan, where the marauding Huks hunted, and were hunted, in those far-off green hills.  Gone were those frustrating hours spent in seeking calmer waters so that an appendectomy might be performed upon one of us.  Fragments of the resentment we felt for the poor chow and the bilge in the water lockers were fast melting in the warmth of the sun.

An air of expectancy, an electrical tension seemed to have charged the atmosphere around us.  The hubbub of voices dwindled slowly into silence.  It was a profound silence, but it spoke volumes as faces turned to look upward toward the crow’s nest.  Feet shuffled, someone coughed, a bell sounded somewhere.  Then the silence closed in again.  Only the gentle lapping of the swells along the sides of the ship punctuated the silence.

Then, land ahead!  The cry crackled and whipped throughout the ship.  It was picked up, relayed and relayed again.  Land ahead!  It traveled from prow to stern and amidship faster than here I can possibly tell about it.
Seven hundred G.I.’s then tore away all restraint.  As if ordered by some prearranged command, we started to climb.  Up and over the forbidden top decks we went.  Over the bridge and into the rigging climbed an eager brown horde.  In minutes every high point of vantage held its’ quota of men.  Again faces turned in unison, this time to peer intently toward the eastern horizon toward land, toward home.

Callously, I brought my camera to bear upon some of the faces around me.  The first face I focused upon disturbed me.  With the second, I found myself lowering the camera gently to my side.  Guiltily I looked about me!  I felt as though I were a trespasser.  As though I were violating the innermost privacy of each of the men I chanced to scrutinize.  On these faces were painted pictures of joy such as I have never before witnessed.  All about me moistened eyes told the story.  Here, campaign-hardened veterans, from the fetid, stinking jungles of Burma, the desert of India and other black holes of the orient, were standing unmasked for all to see.
Gingerly I changed position.  Eagerly, I let my eyes strain forward, my being filled with an explosive mixture of emotions.  Spontaneously, I joined in the wild cheering when we sighted the Golden Gate Bridge.  We were home.

Photography isn’t just limited to my side of the family.  My father-in-law, Anthony Brooke Sr., who caught the camera bug from his father, Arthur Brooke (a photographer in World War I), was born in Los Angeles, but grew to his mid-teens on a farm owned by his grandparents in England.  His parents, British subjects, were separated.  The farm is where young Tony became “fascinated by motion pictures and always wanted to be a cameraman,” he told me.

In 1938 my father-in-law rejoined his mother in New York and in 1943 married Marjorie Sugerman.  By the time my husband Anthony Brooke Jr. was born the following year, Tony was in a foxhole in Normandy.  He had been drafted in 1943, just when film director George Stevens began assembling the Special Coverage Unit of the U.S. Army Signal Corps.  As part of  “the Stevens Unit” or “the Hollywood Irregulars,” Tony became part of the small camera teams who moved from army to army covering the major events of the war.   Tony’s unit was based in London and “assigned like any news team.”  On D-Day he recalled, “the roar of thousands of planes overhead, bound for French targets.”

He started shooting the Canadian units at Gold Beach in Normandy, who met with little resistance, compared with the fierce fighting on Omaha Beach.  From there he was on his way to Paris with Gen. George Patton.  Once there he had incurred Patton’s wrath, when Tony replaced a carbine he carried with a pearl-handled pistol.  Patton, a stickler for rules, spotted the pistol and glared at Tony.

On the way to Germany, Tony shot a documentary on the second battle of Dunkirk, where German troops had breached the sea wall, surrounding themselves with water.  Czech troops fighting in the Allied cause surrounded the Germans and Tony filmed the siege until the Germans surrendered.  For this Tony won the Czechoslovakian Medal of Merit.  He went on to film the horror of the Nazi concentration camps and his final assignment was covering the Potsdam Conference, where President Truman, British Prime Minister Churchill and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin were deciding the shape of the post war world.

My father-in-law Tony Brooke won a Bronze Star for having “moved forward with advanced elements of United States troops in order to obtain more spectacular photographic coverage.”  He also got a commendation from Gen. Eisenhower as a member of the Special Motion Picture Coverage Unit.

Back in the States Tony became a union member which won him work as a skilled cameraman.  He worked for many years shooting television commercials and also helped to shoot several major motion pictures, before retiring to Las Cruces, New Mexico.

My husband Anthony Brooke Jr., who was stationed in Alaska during the Vietnam War, is a retired motion picture cameraman, who also shot many, many commercials and movies, now takes pleasure in digital still photography.  Sandy’s photographs have found their way into many newspapers, magazines and several art shows.  Photography continues to be a major focus in my family.