Welcome to my coffee shop in the cyber neighborhood!





Welcome to my cyber neighborhood coffee shop! Grab a mug of your favorite beverage and a cozy chair to read and comment a bit. Be sure to try a piece of black forest cake or tiramisu. Try both; cyber-cake is calorie free!

Contact Nani at
chroniclesofnani@gmail.com

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Photoblog Wednesday

Bellevue, Ohio

I haven't had a gratuitous train for Photoblog Wednesday in a while. David and I took a train holiday last Thursday.

This was shot outside the Mad River and Nickel Plate train zoo in Bellevue, Ohio on April 21, 2011.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Leftovers Are Good Things



My Blue Heaven was not a winning alpha in The Studio’s Spring Fling Designer Challenge last week. Then again, I joined this challenge because I hadn’t done any design work in a while and I had the itch. There were some really nice alphas and I’m not feeling competitive at all. There are great paper sets with matching elements and alphas available for free at Digital Scrapbooking Studio right now. The theme is weddings, but a lot of them don’t have to be used for weddings when you scrap with them.

This week’s challenge in the Spring Fling Designer Challenge is “the extras.” I did the work on my extras most of the day yesterday. I read the challenge, closed the window and went to work. I was done before that show on MLB Network that I talked about in the Mug Shot. Then I was ready to upload and I checked ack at the challenge in the forum. The extras were to be a set or quick pages, clusters, word art…NOT a set with all of them! OH NO!!!

So, it was back to the drawing board, or Photoshop clipboard anyway. I decided to go with the quick page and add to that to make a set. That’s the set that is in the preview on top of today’s blog. I chose to leave the original quick page as the only one I used any of the new elements on. Today’s freebie will let you know which page that is!

Here is the embellished frame, journal mat and word art that accompanied that quick page:


Click on the preview to go to the download
There’s no password on this one.

I hope you enjoy My Blue Heaven and the extras I made to complement it in this contest.

Monday Mug Shot

I hope everyone had a nice Sunday. In our house, we observed Easter Sunday, which includes me biting the ears first off my chocolate bunny! David and I trade candy gifts for Easter, nurturing the inner children in our home. I picked up the plastic bunny with Ferrero Rochers in it in an after Easter sale last year. Rochers are one of David’s favorites and the plastic bunnies make an expensive candy even more expensive! Buying the bunny after Easter was a savings, even though the only box left had a crack in it. We saved that box and for this year I did a little “work” on the front, using the cardboard from the bottom to cover the top, added some tulips and a few PG-13 comments and filled the bunny with Rochers, Lindt truffles, Cadbury mini cream eggs and jelly beans. It was a nice presentation.

We watched MLB’s 20 Greatest Games on MLB Network before moving to ESPN to join the Reds game. It was greatest game #4, Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS between the Braves and Pirates with Andy VanSlyke, Sid Bream and Mark Lemke joining in for their first-account recollections of the game. It was a very cool show and it prompted my choice for today's mug!



This mug is not a “special mug,” in that it’s not a tourist souvenir or a special gift that was bought for me or even something I bought to commemorate something. I bought this mug at Big Lots, a mile away from home, when I lived in Michigan. I was shopping with Mom and she pointed it out to me, knowing full and well I’d spend the $1.50 to have it.

Why wouldn’t I spend it? I was working a decent job at the time and still living at home. Okay, honestly, my Dad had always said that I could stay there until I got married. Mom added the “or for good if you want and don’t bother getting married.” That’s the traditional Italian way and I don’t regret that I never had to put a $1.50 mug down because of its value in toilet paper. It’s one of those cool mugs with a spinning baseball that you can flick with your thumb while you’re holding it and it’s a BASEBALL MUG! I might have tried to conserve TP for it if I’d had to.

It’s a combination of this mug and last night’s show that brought back a fun but sweet memory. All of my fond memories of my Mom are sweet treasures. I watched that Game 7 in our living room with Mom. She wore her Pirates t-shirt and I was chanting at the TV with a tomahawk chop. Dad, a true sports homer, wasn’t interested in the baseball post season that year because the Tigers weren’t in it and he could have the Red Wings and the TV in the other room all to himself. Okay, I don’t remember if there was a Red Wings game that night, but it was usually the Wings or the Western Channel when he was in the room he claimed as his man-cave.

When David and I were watching last night, I swear the memory of my Mom’s voice was so clear, I could almost hear it when Orlando Merced was tagged out at home in the top of the 8th inning, “We’d better not need that run!” As much as Mom loved her Pirates, she’d had a season-long dislike for Merced because of some botched plays in the beginning of the season.

Well, in the bottom of the ninth Mom got to officially blame it all on Merced when Francisco Cabrera hit the single that drove in David Justice to tie the game and then Sid Bream, in dramatic play-at-the-plate fashion, to win it. My team, not Mom’s, was going to the World Series.

It never was a mean-spirited game when Mom and I were on rival sides, but if the Reds or Braves were playing the Cubs or Pirates, it was on! After that Game 7, Mom bought the coffee when we went out the next night.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Wedding Planning

No, it’s not what you think! I’m not planning anything. My single friends are still single, many blissfully single, and the Niecii are unquestionably too young. In fact Tori is wrapped up in prom planning, which in her world is involved enough that she may be a few extra years away from wanting to plan a wedding! No, the wedding planning right now is at The Studio!

Digital Scrapbooking Studio is in the midst of its Spring Fling, which includes a designer contest. It’s not a involved contest that ends in a store for the winners, like the annual anniversary contest. It’s a for fun designer contest at a slower pace with store certificates available for weekly winners. The theme for the designer contest is Weddings. Each contestant selects a color palette for their wedding kit that they work with throughout the month and you can join the contest at any time. The first week was paper packs, the second elements and this week is The Alpha! I joined this week using the palette I used for the kit I did after my own wedding day, er, elopement day, My Blue Heaven.


And here is the complementing alpha:


Click the alpha preview to go to its page at The Studio and get the link for downloading. I know that sounds like a surfing expedition , but it’s to get a freebie, ya know?

The alpha has a decorated and undecorated upper case and numbers set, plus the lower case and 10 punctuation marks. To sweeten the deal a bit, make sure you read the TOU! The gallery page at The Studio suggests you read it too, but it doesn’t tell you why. I’m telling the readers at The Chronicles of Nani why! In the TOU, it tells you what you need to do to get the complementing kit for free too! Since My Blue Heaven is a kit I’ve sold, I won’t just put the links on my blog for it. That would be unfair to people who bough it. But 2-1/2 years after the store closed, I consider it my “close out” to offer it for free with very small efforts, like the one described in the TOU.

I don’t know what the next challenge will be,. Maybe quick pages or clusters or something like that. There is a complementing journal element from Journal Camp Week 3 last year. Right now, since I’ve been a little slower with blogging and freebies with school and everything else going on, freebies from all of last year are still available. I don’t need to free up space at 4-Shared, so there isn’t any rush to delete any older freebies. I’m planning on leaving all the Journal Camp freebies up anyway, since I still believe, and probably always will, that journaling is an important and essential part of scrapbooking and if the tutorial and freebies will help anyone else with adding it to their scrapbooking, it will always make me feel good that I helped!

So that’s it for this blog entry. I’m going to try to get a break in my school work today to do a mug shot, but it may be “decaf,” after 6, which is when I go decaf! Get to the Studio and get the free alpha of My Blue Heaven, and any of the other wedding-inspired freebies there and if you want My Blue Heaven for free, by all means read the TOU with the alpha!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Photoblog Wednesday

“Take your mail and move on, nothing to see here!”


The bossy gander is a new pet at our post office?

Nah! Just protecting his family!

This was taken Monday. We think the goose must have picked the nice spot in the landscape as a nest over the weekend when there weren’t so many people there. Her hubby is doing a good job of making sure nobody messes with his lady or their eggs!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Space Between Classes

My favorites so far - the stripey crocuses

I’m with Edna this morning. Today’s blog at Miss Edna’s Place is titled “One Just Can't Have Too Many Flowers!” So true! As much as I groan when I have to walk or go out right now, I do because, well, slow as the doctors may be, I refuse to give up and I always smile when I see the flowers! Mine are really starting to look nice and we have 2 neighbors that are home and garden enthusiasts that are always the first lawns to green up too! Ours starts to green after the first lawn treatment of the year. It’s not a competition, we all add beauty in our own ways, but with all the crocuses I have now, our house is always the first on the street to announce spring!

I’m uploading my assignments for Imaging class for this week. Having that done, I have no distractions to tackle the XML test. One test, 200 points, 3 problems! There’s too much going on right now. If I thought there’d be such a delay with the whole back issue, I’d have only taken one class. Recuperating in residential physical therapy would have given me much more school time than running around for all these extra tests and appointments. But, if I’d only taken one class, it would have been XML. So, I’d be stressed and distracted with the class I’m struggling with and I wouldn’t have gotten the latest and greatest Photoshop until fall. I like CS5! I think of it as my reward for dealing with everything else!

The XML exam is due Sunday afternoon. I like to have everything for school done on Saturday. I’ve always been that way. If I set my own deadline before the actual deadline, even if something comes up, I’m on time. That gives me 2-1/2 days to take the test with the only distractions being eating, normal stretch breaks and baseball.

The Reds are on at 12:35 for an afternoon game. I’m so “pinch-me” happy so far! The Reds are 5-0, wow, what a start! I was telling David last night that I know they won’t go 173-0…161 regular season games, 3 Division Series and 4 each for the National League Championship and the World Series. That would be crazy, but it would be cool, huh? Nah, in reality, it would be fun, but boring by September. It’s still fun to come out the gate winning. That’s something I haven’t had with one of my teams in a while.

What I’d really like to see right now, with another Reds win because I’m not tired of those at all yet, is a first Red Sox win! I have some dear friends and the man with whom I share a last name and address that are Red Sox fans. Boy, on paper, they have the talent to do better. I don’t know how Yankees fans do it, expecting to win all the time, but I’ve been there with the Reds, Tigers and even the Braes in the 80’s, cheering for a team that just couldn’t pull a win out of a hat with a rabbit and a wand. (Okay, that sounded better in my head than it does in type, but it’s silly enough to be worth publishing!) The thing is, it’s so early in the season, that the Red Sox have plenty of time to fix the start and go on to…lose to the Reds in October! --big innocent smile-- But, I’m still cheering for the Tigers in the AL, as I have done since 1968, when I discovered the wonders of baseball. That’s the Mom dances with toddler, BASEBALL GOOD story. But if it can’t be the Tigers, although it certainly can be right now, the Red Sox are choice number 2 – it was in my wedding vows!

Okay, my imaging assignments are done uploading and having everything turned in for the week for that class, it’s time for exam 2 in XML. Wish me well, wish the Reds and Tigers well and for Heaven’s sake, wish the Red Sox well today! I’ll try to stop by again later in between test problems.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, Baggle!


No foolin’! April 1 is Baggle’s birthday! Our boy is 15 years old. There will be “cake” for the three of them to celebrate tonight.

Dad's Lap Cat

Happy Birthday, Baggle Buddy!