Thursday, September 27, 2007

Swimming and a Window...

Sorry no artwork to share today! I had a day where all my plans went awry for one reason or another. So, I thought I would share some photos I've taken recently. :o)

I took my camera to swim class on Tuesday to try to capture some of the things the girls are doing. I discovered however, that the lighting in the area with the pool is not conducive to taking pictures! I only got a few of Jessica that came out okay. The ones of Amy are all blurry. Part of it was the light, I'm sure, but it is also very humid in the pool area and that may have had something to do with it. Oh well. These couple of Jessica are priceless though. This is the girl who sat on the edge of the pool for the first 20 minutes of her first class this summer. I have watched her gain so much confidence in the few weeks we've been going this fall. I think her expression shows it well.

We are in the middle of getting two new windows installed in our house. Let me say that all but two of the windows are original to the house which was built in 1961. The previous owners had installed some storm windows. Well, this window's storm window, especially the rather large center pane was coming out of its casing. So, for the past few years we haven't touched it for fear the glass would come crashing down. We got a great recommendation for this company and decided to replace this window and an even bigger one in our Great Room (which is a converted two car garage). The guys optimistically told us it would take just a few hours to install both windows. Well, they got here at 3pm yesterday and left at 7pm and only got this window mostly installed. Apparently it took a LOT longer than they anticipated to get this one window out. Then they discovered that the top part of the opening needed to be rebuilt because it wasn't flush. But, here you can see the old window leaving and the new window being installed. I was excited that I would finally get to open the vents...but alas, another problem...the screens they brought were 1 inch too small! So, I can admire the window, but not open the vents unless I want to let all the bugs in. LOL They will be back either tomorrow or Saturday to finish.
Despite the delay (which is typical of anything we have tried to do in terms of improving the house), I am very excited to have these two windows installed. The wait will be worth it. Over time, we will replace the rest of the windows, but the great thing is we can do a few at a time if we want.
Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

More Digi Layouts!

I wanted to post last night, but for some reason I couldn't login to Blogger. I got the dreaded white screen and it didn't matter how many times I tried!

In the meantime, I was able to create a two page spread today, so lots to share!
The first two layouts are created using templates by Terriann Hanks. These have all the grayscale elements and you plug in the papers you want to use. I used a freebie kit from 2Ps called Free Love. It was designed by Rhonna Farrer.

The papers for this layout came from a freebie kit called Juicy Strawberries and it was created by Jessica Sprague.

Now, here is the two page spread I created. No template for this one, I cut all the papers to size. I followed a layout concept called Introduction found in CTMH's newly released book called, Imagine. The papers and embellishments are from a freebie kit called Sweet Sprinkles and I got it from Shabby Princess. The bookplate is something I created following instructions from Digital Designs 2, written by Renee Pearson. The Moments stamp is from Katie Pertiet. I even played with giving the green and pink papers a texture using a filter.

I just realized, after posting this, I never created a title for this layout. Hmmmmm...I might have to fix that!

Thanks for looking! Let me know what you think. I'm still learning, and can use the feedback to help me improve what I am creating.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Thinking of You card and Paper Piggies!

Happy Sunday! Well, Monday for those who subscribe...LOL I'll just bet you are wondering what the heck Paper Piggies are. Just for Erin G. I thought I'd post what I've been up to for the past few days. On Wednesday of last week, one of Jessica's preschool teachers asked if I would mind cutting out some pigs for them. She gave me a pattern and a stack of large white paper. I could fit two pigs on one sheet. I said sure since I don't get the chance to volunteer in the classroom. I think doing some of these types of things at home is a good way to help out. She didn't need them til Monday, so I spent a day or do in my spare time tracing out the piggies. Then this weekend I got to work on cutting them out. I actually overworked my wrist/hand yesterday doing too many and then sponging pieces for a card. I think I cut out 60 in all. So, the first picture is all of them neatly stacked and I spread them out a little so you could see the stack a bit. LOL Today I had just about 15 left to cut and the wrist held out with no problems. :o)

Next up is the card I created this weekend. Those in my Hostess Club, this is what you'll be getting with your order, when it gets delivered (shipping is a bit slow right now, so thanks for your patience). I used the newly released Booking Set, so it's not a set available for purchase. (sorry, but isn't it pretty???) I was inspired by a card I saw on a blog last week. The card I saw was 3 1/2 x 8 and I modified it to be a standard sized card. The colors are Outdoor Denim, Indian Corn Blue and Autumn Terracotta. I got a new large circle scallop punch and was just itching to use it! I also received a really cool punch from my friend Becky. Its two punches in one and from Creative Memories. I used the corner punch part. But you can also punch the full "image" by putting your paper in a different part of the punch. It's very neat! (Thanks again, Becky-I was itching to use this punch too). So I was able to tame my itch in one card.
Anyway, after cutting a bunch of the pigs, my hand was sore from holding the scissors, so I started on this card and ended up sponging all the edges of the pieces. It went fairly quickly, but my wrist/arm really let me know I overdid it last night. I was going to try to work on a digi layout, but I didn't want to press my luck overworking the same hand even more! Thankfully a good night's sleep relieved the discomfort I was feeling.
I have another topic I though I would throw out there. I read Stacy Julian's blog pretty regularly and am oftentimes inspired by what she writes. Well one day last week she asked readers to comment on: "If you could change one thing about scrapbooking (and/or our industry in general) that would allow more people to embrace and enjoy this amazing hobby, what would it be?" She's gotten over 200 comments on that post! I've read quite a few of them and see a few themes repeated. So, I thought I'd just ask what you think! Not that I can make any impact, but I have been thinking about what she wrote since I saw the post, so maybe I can get my mind off of the topic by asking for your thoughts on the subject. :o)
Thanks for reading! I hope you find some time to create today!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Oobleck-Digi Layout & New Blog Banner

No, I haven't forgotten about this blog! I'm still trying to establish some sort of creative routine when the girls are in school. This week was a tad frustrating in that when I was trying to do something creative, I kept getting interrupted by this or that. You know, life getting in the way. But today I told myself I was going to work on some digi stuff. I was going to ignore the phone, the emails, and the laundry that was calling to me. And thankfully, the phone didn't ring, I didn't open my email, and the laundry stayed put.

I first thought about changing my blog banner and did a little surfing to see what I could find that might appeal to me. Well, I found some blog banner templates at They looked interesting and weren't expensive so I decided to get them. I had no problem buying and downloading the templates, but then I had to figure out how to USE one! The directions that came with the download were for Photoshop, not Photoshop Elements. But I revisited a lesson from Jessica's class and figured it out. Then it was a matter of playing with it. I pretty much worked on it the entire time Jess was in school and again for a bit after I picked her up. I used papers from a kit I got as part of my membership at Scrapper's Guide. I get a newsletter each month and in the newsletter is a kit to download as well as tutorials and tips. I've missed a few downloads because I didn't realize what exactly was there. But now I get it and I won't miss anymore! Anyway, the papers I used are from a kit called Fancy Free created by JBinder. You'll have to go to my blog if you are a subscriber to see it. Let me know what you think!

Tonight I decided to look at Jen Caputo's blog and Scrapbook Graphics website for layout templates. We used one of her templates during Jessica's class and she graciously offered us a 20% off coupon on purchases of her work/templates. She has lots of freebies on her blog and this layout uses one of them. The papers are from Shabby Princess and are from the Festival set. (these are freebie downloads!) I had fun putting this together fairly quickly after watching the season premiere of Survivor, China. Yea, I know the colors don't match the colors in the photos and I may end up changing them, but I liked how it came together.

Hopefully this weekend I can get back out into my scraproom and do some paper creating. I'll share if I do! :o)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to share your thoughts. I'd love to hear what you think.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Catch Up Day for my Up & Running with Photoshop Class

I know it's been a few days since I've posted here. I have been busy creating some things, but not posting! First, I needed to make my samples for my Hostess Club, which meets this weekend. Got those done yesterday (will post soon).

Today I decided I wanted to CATCH UP on my Up & Running class that I am taking with Jessica Sprague. This week is already our final week! I'm kind of sad, because I've really enjoyed reading all the emails I've gotten and exploring what Jessica shares with us. But I am excited too because I have been learning SO much! What I have posted are the layouts I was able to complete TODAY! I know not everyone is "into" the digital scrapbook thing, but I hope you will indulge my desire to share with you what I have created. I had SO much fun doing this today.

This first layout is one I had started previous to today's catch up session, but I still had some tasks to finish. This layout is NOT done with a premade template. I put all the elements in myself (with lots of help from Jessica's video tutorial- :o) ) I know you may not be able to read the journaling, but it basically says that we went on a day trip to Golden Valley State Park to see the trout in the pond by the Visitors Center (they are huge), try our hand at fishing in a nearby pond and went on one of the trails to hike a little. Doing this reminded me of the hikes I took with my dad and brothers in the Sierra Mountains. I am thankful I can watch you enjoy the great outdoors like I did when I was a girl.

This next layout was our mid-week assignment for week three and we were given a layout template (like a blueprint) and we added our own choice of papers and pictures. I used a freebie mini kit called SunnyDaze I found on 2Peas. This kit was created by Nancie Rowe Janitz and included papers, tags and some other elements. I just used the papers. I added the journaling using fonts I had on my computer.
This next layout is our Week 4 assignment and we got papers in our course materials. I cropped the papers to fit in the grid, added the alphabets and journaling and then stamped a couple of the flourishes. We were also taught how to create that circular element. Oh and we also changed the color photo to black and white with a little sepia, too.

My final layout is our midweek assignment for week 4. We learned how to create the trapezoid picture block. Then I used papers from a kit Jessica Sprague designed for our class to create our own layout. The flowers in the corner are a part of the orange paper, but I added the the paper in the lower corner as well as that flower you see. I also added all the text you see.
Thank you so much for looking and sharing in my excitement about learning how to scrapbook digitally. I am finding it to be so much fun. I hear Jessica is going to have an intermediate level class and I can't wait to sign up for it and learn more cool things.
I'm also working on organizing all the digital goodies I have been collecting. I took a quick break from that to post here before it got too late. :o)

Friday, September 7, 2007

A Beautiful Birthday Card by Becky!

When I was talking about my birthday last night, I forgot to mention the beautiful birthday card I received from my friend, Becky. She designed it herself and used a technique I showed/told her about on the butterfly. I was so touched that she took the time to create this for me. I wanted to share it with you. Thanks again, Becky! :o)

Jessica didn't have school today, so we ended up going to my scraproom (after a trip to Joann's and the Dollar Tree). I did take the time to clean up a bit and put things away. Back to School time is another "season" where I get the urge to clean up/organize. I guess it must be the "new start" feeling. I felt better clearing out some things and finding a home for some items in a pile that had been steadily building. I'm never "done" in this area, as I am sure many of you will understand. (do I see heads nodding up and down?) But after I straightened up a bit, I started cutting some projects based on an idea that my upline/friend Kay shared when she was out here late last month. She is prepping for Gatherings all at once, so that if someone tells her they'd like to have one, she is ready in advance. I spend far too much time it feels like, prepping right before a Gathering. Anyway, I used my new Fiskars guillotine paper cutter that my dad bought me and I have to admit, Kay was right!!! It does cut down on the amount of time cutting when you can cut several sheets at once! I still need to get used to this cutter, but overall, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I was able to cut in a relatively short amount of time.
I didn't have time to actually complete any project today.
We went to Amy's school for Back To School Night. It felt odd that it was held on a Friday as all my experience with BTS night have been it being held on a Thursday, but it appeared to have a great turnout! We had a hot dog and chips courtesy of the school and then toured Amy's room and chatted a bit with her teacher. She shared her philosophy on teaching in the younger grades and I was pleased to hear about her approach. She's taught kindergarten and second grade, so I feel like she knows where the kids come from and where they need to be by the end of the year. Then we had Amy show us around the school. The school underwent a major construction renovation and I was curious to see it all completed on the inside. It looks nice and she was excited to show us where all her Specials classes (art, music, computer and gym) were held as well as the library. It was nice seeing how excited she was to share with us.
I hope to get out to my scraproom and do some creating this weekend. Tonight I was looking into a new Photo Manager program I bought a few weeks ago and have done nothing with, but I think I am too tired to fully understand it right now. So, I decided to try again when I'm a bit less tired.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Catching Up & a Digi Layout

Whew! I'm back! And feeling better, finally! It took until Tuesday of this week for me to feel a bit more human and for the horrible coughing attacks to subside. I ended up missing a family day trip to Golden Valley State Park on Labor Day due to an awful coughing attack. I didn't want to spend the whole time hacking up a lung while trying to enjoy myself. I think though, it was my cold breaking up. I hate that type of coughing. But Tuesday, I felt better and today I'm almost back to myself. I'm still coughing some, but not as bad as I was.

I took my dad to the airport on Wednesday morning and heaved a sigh that the busyness of the past several weeks is over. We had a nice visit (well, as nice as it could be with me being sick). My dad took us out to eat several times and bought us a couple of dvd movies. He watched the girls a time or two while I ran an errand. He also was so understanding of me not quite being myself while he was here.

I celebrated my birthday last Friday, too! I am now....42! Oh my! LOL Actually, it doesn't bother me. I mentioned to Steve that I might like an mp3 player and asked if he knew anything about them. He didn't and I didn't! But, my upline, Kay told me she downloads motivational speakers/lectures for direct sales and listens on her mp3 player. I thought that sounded like a good idea. So, Steve got me one for my birthday!!! I haven't had a chance yet to really play with it. Steve did download some stuff for my dad to check out how it works. (I think he might be getting one after he gets home next week-he's in Idaho right now visiting my oldest brother for the week). I also mentioned I might like a paper cutter that could cut something like 10 sheets of cardstock at a time. Kay told me it cuts her prep time down dramatically. My dad got me one! :o) And we went to Chili's for dinner. Yummy! I was actually feeling okay on Friday. I got a great b-day card from my friend Kim-Thanks, Sweetie! My girlfriend Kelly sent me a book of poems on long standing friendships (we've known each other since Kindergarten) and a ribbon/butterfly bookmark and a neat dangly for a cell phone or in my case, my new mp3 player. So, it was a nice birthday for the most part!

Okay, I could go on about that, but I don't want to bore anyone to tears. LOL So, I'll talk a bit about was the first day both of my girls had school. Amy's in first grade, so she's gone all day, and Jessica is in preschool and she goes for 2 1/2 hours. I was so excited to have some "me" time!! Well, I dropped Jessica off and came home. Looked at my incredibly messy house and kept walking out to my scrap room. Sat down. Looked at the mess in there and sighed. I wanted to create something, anything, but felt such a strong urge to clean. I mentally shook myself and said NO! You are going to create! But what?? There's SO much I wanted to work on I honestly could NOT decide where to start. Plus it is messy...I'd have to clean a bit before starting anything. I decided to look through my new Imagine book from CTMH for inspiration...that was nice, but that voice in my head said, you really should clean up...grrrrr. I looked at the clock...only a little over an hour left before I had to pick up Jess. Aghhhhhh! Okay, I'm taking that digi sb class with Jessica Sprague. I'm behind because of all the stuff that I've been doing. Okay, I'll go work on a lesson. Yes!! Went back into the house and sat down at the computer and this is the result of my efforts:

The goal of this lesson was to start with a premade layout again, but I added the two pictures (cropping them). I added the journaling in a list form. I learned how to add the check bullets (Yea, I have a lot of them. I may need to edit that list). I added the green circles around the date. I added the letters to spell Amy's name AND changed the color of the letters. Finally I used what is called a brush (stamp) and added the flourish and changed the color of that, too. I finished in time to save it before I had to pick up Jessica. And whew! NO mess to clean up! I love that!

After we picked up Amy, I succumbed to the urge to clean up a bit. So, I feel better about how my house looks for the moment, too.

It's good to be back. :o)