Friday, December 28, 2007

Help me choose!

I'm making a gift for my babysitter as a thank you and a good-bye present from us. Our last day at her house will be next Friday. We will miss her terribly. Let me first share with you how we found this wonderful woman:

I had my daughter in a national child care facility. It was nice, the people were nice, etc., however, she was sick ALL the time and I was missing a ton of work. It was way too stressful for all of us. She was 8 months old.

I was looking through the classified ads, and one came up who was looking for 1-2 children. I called her; she was calm, quiet and "motherly" sounding, unlike many of the "flaky" people I had called from other ads. I arranged to meet her. My husband and I sat in her driveway and I prayed, "God, make this obvious, because I can't take much more." We went in, met her, and within 5 minutes, she had told us the reason she moved to the city was because God planned to save her here. That was it. Sold! I didn't even call to check references. The kids have been there now for just over 2 years -- she has been a blessing to us many times over. We will miss her terribly.

So this gift is for her. The little girl in purple is my daughter, the little girl in red is her daughter. They are running ahead of us at the zoo. The words around the edge and on the path are adapted from "An Irish Blessing" -- the one that goes "May the road rise up to meet you..."

My question to you -- which one is your favorite!?!?!?

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Layered Template #41 - 9 Photo

As promised -- but much delayed -- Here is template #41. (link removed) There's ONE left to release. :) Stay tuned!

Layered Template #42 - 11 Photo

Here is the LAST of this series of templates. I really didn't intend to take this long to get them all out to you -- my apologies for that!

I have to say -- I'm itching to get back into scrapping. Painting walls in my house is definitely NOT going to take scrapping's place as my hobby of choice! LOL! My "fun" computer will be joining me at our new home exactly one week from today. Yay! Unfortunately, that means that painting will probably come to a screeching halt -- so perhaps I need to devise a system where I "reward" myself with scrapping time for each room I get painted.

At any rate, I hope you've enjoyed this series of templates. They are the set that were inspired by the screensaver I saw at Cincinnati Children's Hospital when my daughter broke her collar bone -- and that was way back in September! (At least I think that's when it was -- it was SO long ago it seems). She's all healed now, with not even a bump to show where it broke. Resilient little miracles, aren't they? God is good.

So feel free to download this last installment here. (link removed) Once I get my computer back, I'll see what else I can't come up with in the way of templates.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Layered Template #40 - 7 Photo

Here I thought I was being all smart and posting the templates en-masse about a month ago, but not activating the links. Instead, they're still posting on the day that I originally sent them, instead of the day I "went live." So if you understood that garbledy-gook, my apologies for the out-of-order posts! :)
Here is this new template (link removed), which isn't showing up on my computer right now. I'll try to fix it later -- but it "matches" the others in the recent series. :)
Can you tell I'm short on time and taking a little break? :) I don't have time for silly glitches! :)

Layered Template #39 - 6 Photo

I had someone ask me to share with you my family's Christmas card. Sorry it's so late, but here it is. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas; I know we did. Thanks so much for all the private messages you sent me wishing us a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. This digi-community is just so caring, and I feel blessed to be a part of it!

Also, thanks for all the votes on the pages I made for our babysitter. I ended up printing both 2 and 4 to see which looked better in print. I think originally I was leaning toward 2, thinking that the words would be more readable on paper than on screen. I was wrong -- even at an 18 point font, that choice was just too small for reading. And number 4, I ended up taking down the opacity a bit more on the words, so that they're still legible, but not taking too much away from the girls. I'm happy with the printed product -- if I think of it, I'll take a photograph of it before I give it to our sitter.

I've forgotten that I had some more templates to upload! Sorry! And HERE is the latest (link removed)...

Layered Template #38 - 7 Photo

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..... and the gifts are NEARLY done!

I want to give two quick plugs. I used two "new" (to me) printing services this year, and was really quite happy with both of them.

1) -- I used this for printing planners and calendars as gifts for family. Amazingly good price! I printed a paperback book instead of a photobook for the planner, and it cost me just $14.95 (if I remember right) for one (plus shipping). And that was without any discounts! I was very happy with the print and book quality -- the only complaints I have are my own doing (I didn't read the trim specifications -- actually, I did, but decided I didn't care enough to go redo it!)

2) -- I had my Christmas cards printed her. LOVE them! They have a cool feature where they can print the front AND the back of the card -- so the front has our normal greeting on it, and the back has the kids with a little extra blurb. Free envelopes came with the order. My only complaint about them was that the quantities went from 100 to 200, and I needed 150. There was no way to add just 50 more. However, I called their customer service, and they were very helpful and got the order just right. They arrived yesterday, so now I'm off to the PO to buy stamps!

Enough of my plugs -- HERE is the next template! (link removed)

Layered Template #37 - 7 Photo

For Christmas, my husband and his siblings bought an iPod for his parents. It's what they asked for -- fully loaded with songs. Somehow, loading it with songs became my responsibility. We do have an iPod... but we haven't used it in probably a year! I've been fighting with the stupid install/upgrade for about 2 hours now! I'm about to retire and give the job to someone else. I'm feeling very technically challenged today! AND the kids are nearly done with their naps and I need to shower for dinner! LOL!

Anyway, HERE is the template for today. (link removed) I hope you enjoy it! ;)

Layered Template #36 - 7 Photo

So I got home last night.... WONDERFUL to hug my family again.

Since we're moving right after the new year and spending Christmas at my brother's, I decided to forego a Christmas tree this year. I figured the kids were young enough that they wouldn't realize what they're missing.

On the way home from the airport last night, my daughter said to me, "Santa's coming! He's going to bring us a Christmas tree!"

Guess I was wrong... :)

Thought you'd get a kick out of that. And also, HERE is the template. (link removed)

Happy FRIDAY!!!

Layered Template #35 - 7 Photo

Have another template! :) I'm sitting in my hotel room watching Project Runway, and thought it was a good filler!
So today... had the house inspection. One major snaffu, but the seller is taking care of it tomorrow, without even seeing the inspector's report! It's amazing how things fall into place when they're right. We have certainly felt and been aware of God's presence each step of the way in this process. He is good!
Another cute story that I'm SO bummed I missed. Last night my husband had his work Christmas party for the kids. Because I wasn't home, he took our kids. The party was at a roller skating rink. My daughter, age 3, is very cautious and a bit of a chicken. She ASKED to roller skate. Not only did she ask, but she loved it. My husband had to actually make her take them off! She wasn't any good, but that's not the point -- she tried it! :) And of course.... he didn't have a camera. Nor did anyone else. Bummer!
OK, so the template: HERE it is! (link removed)

Layered Template #34 - 7 Photo

Alrighty.... I meant to continue with these a MONTH ago when I made them. Oops! Guess we've got other things on our mind. :)

Anyway, here I am in a hotel far, far away from my family, so I'll do some uploading so you can play with more templates.

Per usual, my templates are done at 300dpi in an 8x8 size. They can easily be resized up to 12x12 if you do it prior to adding photos.

So besides my template, here's the other update: we found a house! It's a perfect "dream" house for us. We're very excited. Now pray that my husband finds a good job.

And now for the template, find it HERE. (link removed) I didn't take the time to add pictures to it for an example, because I didn't bring any photos with me on this trip! Oops!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Answering Some Questions

I get lots of questions in the comments pages that I'm not always so good at answering. Sometimes I try to answer, but there's no email to respond to because of blogger defaults. So, I'm going to take a few quick minutes to answer a couple questions. Feel free to ask more, and I'll answer what/when I can!

From Stay-at-home Mom: I am really anxious to get into digital scrapbooking myself, but I have such a hard time sitting down to get started. Any suggestions? When do you typically work on your digital scrapbooking and how long does it take you per page?

The great thing about digital scrapping is there are no “messy” supplies. It’s as versatile as you can allow it to be. You can spend 5 minutes or 5 hours and the preparation and clean up take the same amount of time. I love that I can just shut my laptop to clean up my mess! That’s essential with two small kids. Sure you can’t “touch” it like you can with paper… but for me personally, I don’t care! I didn’t like touching it! J

I typically do my scrapping after 8pm when the kids go to sleep. Right now, I have very little scrapping time, because of preparing to move. But evenings are when I do it. Or naptimes. A favorite is to bring my computer with me on road trips (while my husband drives, of course), plane trips, or even car service waiting rooms!

The length of time spent on a page varies. Sometimes a LO just flows and goes together quite easily. I’m not very good at the “paper scrap” approach, and therefore those LO’s take me longer. It usually takes me just as long to pick the perfect font as it does to create the LO. I’m a “font snob” – it has to be just right!

I have two pieces of advice:
1) Start a “blog” or a journal of the daily things you want to remember, or you want your kids to know and/or remember. I’m about 4 months behind in my scrapping, but the blog I’ve created with their little stories will jog my memory when it comes to scrapping the pictures associated with that time. For me, journaling is the most important part of scrapbooking (because they are my kids’ baby books) – and the blogs help the journaling to be more timely. Sadly, I’ve already forgotten the stories from a month ago, but the blog helps to jog my memory.
2) Use templates. This isn’t a plug for my design, but they really help you “catch up” – especially with those every day events that need to be documented, but perhaps don’t justify a “super-special” design. Especially as a beginning digi-scrapper, templates help you get a feel for your program and get the designs started. They’re great jumping off points!

From Tom From Georgia: Hope you are moving to a warmer climate, but do not know where you live now.

While I won’t disclose exactly where I live now or where I’m moving to, we’re moving in the southern direction and will be exactly smack dab between my parents (South Dakota) and my husband’s parents (Texas). As it’s snowing today, a warmer climate sounds wonderful! We’ve only lived here (Ohio) for 2 years and have no family here. We’ll miss our friends, certainly, but we’re excited about the change.

From Anonymous: Regarding the video you have on your site. I would like to send it to a friend but I am not that computer savvy. Would I be able to do that?

You know, that's a good question! I have really no idea either!I think you could probably click on the video and go to the site thathosts it. (

In looking at it, I don't think you can email the video, but you cansend her/him the link to it.

Hey.... here's another one:

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Christmas Gifts

I was asked to share my Christmas gifts. As you've seen, I'm doing the calendar/planner. But I'm also continuing a gift that I started last year. I purchased 4x6 Photo Albums that had two holes on each page. Amara, being my oldest, got the "top" slot; Dominic got the "bottom" slot. The opening page holds each of their birth announcements (which I created at 4x6 when they were born). Then each consecutive page has a LO from their first month, second month, third month, etc. Again being older, Amara has more pages than Dominic. However, it's neat to see each child next to the other at the same/similar ages.

So these are the "filler" pages to add to the book which I started last year. I have just been digging out old LOs and "cropping" them down to 4x6 for simplicity sake. Unfortunately, I'm only caught up w/ scrapping through May, so I won't be able to "cheat" on the last ones. I still have a few months (5) to go to get current, but this is what I've got so far.....

Actually.... let me change that. This show includes both what I've got so far this year as well as what I gave them last year (minus the birth announcements).

I'm still here!

Don't worry about me, but thanks for asking about me! :)

I'm just checking in to say hi -- nothing new created though. I'm trying to get Christmas presents done, so designing is on the backburner. Why I feel the need to do homemade gifts at a crazy hectic time like this is beyond me! LOL!

House was listed on the market on Thursday, so we're on the move here. Unfortunately with a slow market, no one has looked at it yet. We do have a "realtor tour" on Tuesday and an open house next weekend.

We're heading to our new city on Thursday through Sunday to look at houses and put in a bid. Every house we've had, we buy in a weekend, and we have every intention of doing that again this time. The speed with which we're moving is a bit stressful, but it's much easier to just push through quickly so we can return to normal just as quickly. (That's, of course, assuming we were normal in the first place!)

The kids are both doing well. They had colds, but they have made it through to the other side for the most part. Amara definitely understands that something is going on, but can't quite wrap her head around what. She's sure that something must be wrong with this house if we're going to buy another one -- so she's decided that this house isn't "long enough!" The minds of children... :) Dominic's just his crazy lovable self.

Amara's big thing is she's really struggling with Mommy being gone. Thankfully, it hasn't been a lot, but enough to throw her sleep schedule off. While I'm gone, she'll wake in the middle of the night. When Jon gets her, it takes her 3 hours to get back to sleep. If she wakes when I'm home, she goes back to sleep in minutes. Routine has been broken. She'll wake up and yell, "Mommy.... I mean, Daddy!" because she realizes I'm gone. She's a resilient kid though, and I know things will be fine on the other end.... but doesn't make going through it any easier.

A friend suggested giving her a picture of me to keep with her at all times -- to show her that "Mommy's always with you." So I'm going to do that this time while we're gone. Hopefully it will work!

And besides that, nothing is new! :) Just keepin' on keepin' on! And really looking forward to Christmas! :)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Versions of Photoshop

I just got home from a day of training and why I was possessed to check my email, I have no idea! I should be hightailing it to catch some precious ZZzzzz's.

However, dear sweet Grambie's email caught my attention. I'm always touched by Grambie's words -- she's such a source of inspiration, strength, encouragement, and prayer. Her emails never fail to light up my day.

Tonight was no exception. This is an excerpt of what she wrote in her comment from Layered Template #33: "To ALL OF US WHO HAVE BENEFITED FROM YOUR DESIGNS, I propose a donation of love from each one of us to help Sarah defray the cost of an newer version, even if it is from Ebay. Many have said that they bought version 7 real cheap, and then later upgraded. She can do the same. But at one time, they would accept the lower grades below 7."

Thank you SO much for thinking of me in such a sweet and generous way -- but I really must clarify! In my Layered Template #33 post, I referenced Photoshop 5.0, which I WAS using to create that template (and a few other templates while I travelled). However, I DO have Photoshop CS2 loaded on my computer. I just use Photoshop 5.0 when I can't travel with my personal computer (because I share it with my husband and don't take both my personal and work computer with me on business trips). Photoshop 5.0 I just have as "barebones" to use on disc with my work computer, because I can't load programs onto it. So while I truly do appreciate your thoughtfulness and generousity, I've got a great version of Photoshop already. If you were next to me, I'd give you a big huge hug! :) I'm so sorry for the confusion! :)

(And yes -- scrapping with just Photoshop 5.0 during my first 6 months of digital scrapping was agonizing! No PNG file usage is nearly debilitating! But it made me a better designer, because while I couldn't use others PNG files or export mine, I could still make elements of my own! And that's how I had to do all my designs when I first started, since I couldn't use anyone else's elements. Probably also why I have a love for paper! It's all I could use at the beginning.)

OK, now that that's cleared up... I'm going to bed! G'night all!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Layered Template #33 - 7 Photo

Alrighty, here's the first of the 10 templates I'm working on. All of these have the same "feel," so could potentially make a really cute set for a book (hint: more Christmas gift ideas).

A few things about each of these to keep in mind:

1) The white grid lines and border are a layer unto themselves -- very easy to remove if you want no grid lines.

2) If you want to have no borders on the edges, just select all layers and expand it so they're off the page.

3) Each template can be rotated, so you can really have 4 different designs. Or flip them for even more "looks" to the design.

As I've mentioned, I'm not really an "elements" scrapper -- I can just never make them work. Also, the Photoshop I'm working with is version 5.0, which doesn't support PNG files -- makes it REALLY hard to scrapbook! And the computer I'm on is definitely not intended to do graphics. In other words, it keeps crashing. So my LO in the example is for example only -- I'm definitely going to spruce it up when I get the chance. That said... if anyone else has examples using this template (or any)... include a link in the comments section, so that I (and everyone else) can see how you used it! Inspiration is a wonderful thing! :) I'd especially love to see how you work papers and elements into these designs.

Download the file HERE. (link removed)
(Let me know if there are problems with the file -- as I mentioned, I'm using an old version of Photoshop.)

Monday, November 12, 2007

An Exciting Update

Well... I'm away from my family this week....
I figured out how to bring Photoshop WITH me without loading it onto my work computer.

And what does that mean for you, you ask?

I don't have any ready tonight, but I will by tomorrow (I hope)! I'd like to do LOs with each one, as I've done in the past.... but I'm just not sure that I'll be able to swing that one. I didn't bring enough photos on my thumb drive (I don't think). Anyway, these are the templates I sketched out back in September. There will be 10 of them. They're all very "color blocked" and could go together to make a really great book.

OK.... and now for news on the home front -- hold on -- vent coming! :)

My daughter, as you know, had her tonsils out on Monday of last week. Monday and Tuesday were both really rough. She did sleep all night Tuesday and Wednesday. Then on Wednesday, she had a reasonably good day with me. On Thursday, I sent her to her babysitter (the sitter has just my kids, so I knew it was OK -- if it was a center, she wouldn't have been ready). She had another good day. Friday, same thing. Each of these days/nights, she took codeine in the morning and evening only, and used regular strength Tylenol during the day.

This weekend: complete 180. Ugh! The doctors warned us that tonsil recovery is a bit of a roller coaster. However, I thought that when she was doing so well early on, that perhaps we wouldn't get the downsliding. You know.... I really don't think tonsil removal is any easier for kiddos. I think the difference is that they don't remember the pain. But my poor girl is miserable and she just doesn't understand why. So instead, she's whiney, crying, clinging, completely annoying -- and I know WHY she's doing it, but it still drives us nuts. It was a miserable and challenging weekend for all of us -- especially since we were trying to do major house-prep.

Add to it the fact that the anesthesia made her nose itch. When her nose itches, she rubs it in her sleep and ends up scratching her face. It has happened many times over during her life. Once she gets a scratch -- she keeps scratching. Soon she's got a nickel sized sore on her face. You got it: that's what she did. Right on the bridge of her nose. It's huge and gross and painful looking.

So this weekend -- both nights she woke at around midnight because her throat hurt and she was coughing. Then on Monday, I had to wake up at 2:45 am to catch my flight out -- she woke at 12:15. Yes, I'm beat tired! I called my husband when I landed to ask how the rest of the night went. She apparently woke at 6am -- 1-2 hours earlier than normal. She has scratched her sore again and blood was literally running into her eyes.

Then the sitter called and said that her daughter has a cold and we can bring the kids if we want to, but we don't have to. Yeah... Jon's a single dad this week and has got to wrap up his programs before we leave, too. For his own sanity, he took the kids. They probably already have been exposed to the cold anyway, since they were there last week.

So I called tonight to check in again. Amara's throat felt a bit better today (thank God for small mercies), but now she has "a boo boo on my bottom." Because her diet has been so weird due to the surgery, she's constipated! So off to the store for children's laxatives.

Can I just tell you how thankful I am for my husband and his hands on approach. He's totally my Rock, and I don't know what I'd do without him. God is too good to me for His gift of my husband. Anyway, obviously keep my daughter in your prayers, but keep my husband in your prayers as well -- he's got a long week ahead of him!

Piggy Back Kit - December

I forgot to link you all to Lisa's kit! I'd ask where my mind went... but I know where it is, and it's not in my head! :)

Lisa did a great kit as an add-on to December's Joy to the World. I was just over at her blog, and she's got a bunch of other wonderful freebies there, too -- all new! Many templates and kits for your pleasure! :)

Give her a big shout of thanks for all her great work!

HERE is the link to Lisa's add on.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

December Kit - Joy to the World

And here it is... the final kit of the Planner series! Whew! That's several months worth of you guys visiting me at my blog, encouraging me, praying for me -- what a wonderful, friendly, uplifting community the digital scrapbooking world is. Thank you to everyone for your support -- it has been a very fun ride!

As you all know, I have accepted a new position within my company, and we will be moving -- probably in January. Our goal is to have the house on the market by Thanksgiving (or at least the end of the month). I will probably be largely absent during the next two months. However, scrapping is my stress relief, and you can bet I'll have plenty of stress!!! But I'll likely just stick to templates for the near future. Who knows... maybe somewhere down the line I'll get the inspiration for another longer project such as this one. In other words, I hope you guys keep checking in, because I'll miss you if you don't! :)

One other reminder -- if you click on the "2008 Planner" link to the left side, you can see ALL the planner templates. Remember that at the beginning there were templates for the planner cover as well as the weekly filler pages.

And without further ado (and because I've got to go clean), HERE (link removed) is the December kit (62+MB). This one is paper rich -- 17 of them! There are 5 that are supposed to look like felt fabric. Then there are some plaid ones (with a sort of fabric texture), some stripes, polka dots, and grunge. Also there are some felt Christmas trees with embroidered ball ornaments. I converted the word art to look like it's embroidered as well (remember the original word art is included in the template). And finally, there are 15 chipboard word tags -- thanks to Atomic Cupcake for her chipboard action.


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Color Scheme December - Joy to the World

Predictable, I know. But here are the December colors. I'm all about the "traditional!" ;)

Layered Template - December 2008 Planner

We're almost there! The last month, the last template, and you may just be able to finish your Christmas gifts before Thanksgiving! Now wouldn't that be nice!?

I have to laugh at mine - these pictures are from LAST year, so I'll need to take some Christmas-y shots here soon, so that the planners aren't 2 years old by next Christmas.

In good news, my daughter slept pretty much all night (woke up at 9:30pm is all). She's doing alright with lower doses of pain meds today, which is great, since I can't get her to take them anyway! Now just to get her eating/drinking some more! Thanks for all your prayers!

And now for the December Template: HERE it is! (link removed)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

November Kit - Thanks be to God

I'm wiped out! Last night was a LONG night -- I ended up sleeping next to my daughter in the hospital bed. It was the only way she didn't wake up panicked. And of course between her outbursts, the hospital beeping, the nurses in and out, and the plastic pillows -- lets just say I didn't get a good night's sleep. She's hanging in there, though she broke my heart this afternoon as we came into our house. Her painkillers were wearing off, and she whimpered to me, "Mommy, I don't want to be a big girl anymore. I don't want to be a princess." According to her standards, those titles require too much pain. I nearly cried, but instead just held her tighter. As we picked up her brother from the sitter, she told me, "Mommy, I not so happy right now," and "I'm not feeling so much." (that's how she says she's not feeling good). Poor kiddo! And of course, she associates eating/drinking with hurting her throat, so it's impossible to make her eat. Add to it that her meds (the pain killers) are nasty tasting, so she cries buckets taking those, too. I've been bribing her with Reeses PB Cups (the mini ones). I know... bad Mommy... but it's literally the only thing she'll eat.


Oh... then add to it that I changed the TCP/IP settings on my computer last night so I could log on to the hospital internet through the ethernet cable. I spent at least 2 hours trying to get it fixed. My ISP said they couldn't help, because it was with the router. I could SEE that the wireless was working and my work laptop was connected, I just couldn't get there. So tonight I was on with the router service tech. The nice woman had a super thick accent and talked impossibly fast. AND my office doesn't have a light in it (don't know why -- never put one there because I only work in it during the day). So I'm operating by computer light trying to read sereal numbers and all that good stuff.

In hindsight, I guess the day is quite funny -- and I hope you guys are giggling and shaking your heads! I know I will one day soon, because it is quite funny. But for now, I'm just worn out!

OK, so on to the good stuff -- or at least I hope it is! Here is November's kit. It's mostly papers, because I'm officially stuck (still) on elements. I did put a few chipboard journal tags (thanks Atomic Cupcake), and I had fun creating a painted look for some leaves and acorns. Also, the word art has a different take on it -- you get the converted, but I also included the original layered PSD (Photoshop) file. The reason for this is that there are so many different color combinations or effects you might want to use on the words, and I can't begin to guess them all. So with the layered file, you can decide for yourself what works best on your layouts.

I'll stop talking now... you can get the kit HERE. (link removed) (59MB)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Piggy Back Kits - October

I almost missed this one! I am so far behind from vacation (300+ emails), and I was tempted to mass delete. I'm so glad I didn't, because I'd have completely missed this fabulous freebie by RCMama. It's only her 2nd freebie, but isn't it wonderful. I just love the swirls and rich textures. My favorite is the super-realistic ribbons. That's a weakness of mine, because I'm absolutely awful at ribbons!

Head over to RCMama's blog HERE to grab her freebie!
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Piggy Back Kits - October

Andrea has given you a beautiful freebie full of papers to coordinate with the October "Bountiful Harvest" kit. She's had a busy month herself, so special thanks to her for sharing her talents with us!

Please head on to Andrea's blog HERE to grab this great set of papers!
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November Color Scheme - Thanks be to God

Here is the color theme for November. I realized a bit late that it's nearly the same as October's was, but hey, that just means you get an extra big fall kit! I hope to have it uploaded (the kit, that is) sometime tomorrow.

Layered Template - November 2008 Planner

Well, she did it! She's a trooper and the surgery went well. Thank you so much for all the prayers. The only time she even asked for food was when she discovered a wayward M&M in the car and when the nurse asked what foods she likes for recovery. Other than that, she didn't ever even mention she was hungry. Amazing! And now she's in recovery watching "Cinderelly" and eating a popsicle. All things considered, she's doing wonderful. Hopefully the coming days will be speedy recovery as well!

And another hurray -- I have an internet connection in the hospital. That means I can upload the November Calendar page! Wohoo! :)

So HERE it is. (link removed) We're almost done with the year!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Quick Check-In

Just wanted to quickly check in and let you know I'm still here!

We took a family vacation from the 26th til today (just got home) -- and it was blissfully full of friends and internet free. So I haven't even checked email yet -- and probably won't be able to until Monday or Tuesday.

I did get a good start on November and December -- so those should be up by week's end. Yes, BOTH of them! Then the travel of a job transfer begins in earnest.

Quick prayer request: My 3 year old is having her tonsils out on Monday at 2:45EST -- lovely time. Try telling a 3 year old she can't eat after 6:15 am! Yeah... that will work well! Anyway.... if I can get wireless at the hospital, I will!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Piggy Back Kits - September

Here's another Add-On from Andrea for September. As her box says, "Check out that texture!" My favorites are the cool swirls in the papers. I always love swirls. :)

You can find the kit over at Andrea's blog, head over HERE.
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The Pumpkin Patch

I don't usually share my personal pictures on this site (outside of the ones on LOs), but I had a request for pictures of th e kids at the Pumpkin Patch. So here's my favorite of the two of them together. Being that we were the last group on the hayride for the day, the pumpkins were pretty picked over (this isn't where they grow, it's where they're placed for us to pick them). Also, we had a horrible drought this summer, so the pumpkins didn't look as good as normal -- lots of brown and green on the normal orange! But the kids still had fun.

Also some crazy good news from my outside world. I got a promotion! The down side is that we'll be moving within the next 2-3 months, so it will be high stress time. I'm definitely planning to finish November and December, but I'm VERY thankful that I'm nearly done with that, because if I were just starting this little project, there's no way I'd be able to finish. On the good side -- it will also mean that MY Christmas presents will be done, so I can focus on the move!

I know what everyone's going to ask: So you're going to uproot your whole family? Won't that be hard? Well.... yes, it always is. But this is our 6th move in our 9.5 years of marriage. Sixth state even! So while we don't enjoy the actual move/planning/stress of it all, it's always very exciting for us! And no, we're not military, believe it or not!

Anyway... that's just a heads up that I may be severely MIA over the next couple months!

And sorry... the other question you'll ask: What do you do? Who do you work for? Not going to answer that one other than to say "sales." :)

Have a wonderful night. I'm off to feed the kidlets. :)
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Monday, October 22, 2007

October Kit - Bountiful Harvest

Thanks to my friends at Digital Simple Scrapbooks (YahooGroup) for the ideas of what to include in a non-Halloween-y Halloween kit! :) I'm working on a couple other things that may turn into an add on of my own -- but for right now they're ugly! (And I don't mean that in a good Halloween way.) LOL!

Included in this kit are 9 papers -- polka dots, textures, candy corn covered. Then there are 22 different "painted" stickers -- corn, apples, pumpkin, candy corn, suckers, packaged candy, hard candy. There are blank stickers as well, if you want to color your own. Also included are 5 varieties of the word art from the template.

OK, funny story and I'll sign off. My kids are going as Dora and Diego for Halloween. I was making Dominic's Diego vest (out of a deconstructed pair of cargo shorts). Since Dominic was already napping, I had Amara try it on to make sure it was constructed right. I told her she could be Dora (she wanted to switch roles). I also told her she could put hers on after her nap. So she just woke up as I type... and guess what she's saying: "I want my Halloween!"

Download Part One HERE. (link removed)
Download Part Two HERE. (link removed)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

October Color Scheme - Bountiful Harvest

Well, I'm going at this kit from a different angle.

It's a Halloween kit, but not a traditional Halloween kit. I personally enjoy Halloween for the "fun" it provides, and choose to look at it that way. However, I also realize that there are many people who choose not to celebrate Halloween, or they have church "Fall Festivals" on Halloween night, or various other Christian celebrations instead of the typical Halloween. So it's with that spirit that I came up with the theme for this kit.

The title is "Bountiful Harvest," which in this case, I was thinking more in lines of "harvest" of candy. And the Bible Verse I've chosen is Psalm 119:103, "How sweet are Your words to my taste." I went to and looked up the word "sweet" -- again, referring to candy, but searching for a Biblical reference to what is truly sweet.

Anyway, I had fun with ideas for this kit. Getting them to paper/computer is a bit of a struggle, but a little challenge is good for a person, right!? :) So I'm pluggin' away, and hopefully I'll have a finished product for you tomorrow. I'm kind of stuck on elements again! LOL!
(Oops -- I wrote this Sunday, but it got stuck in cyber space -- so I'll sit on the kit another day!)

Layered Template - October 2008 Planner

Well.... I got more done today than I intended. I had planned to take the family to the pumpkin patch today, but the kids REALLY needed a nap after church. So we came home and I put them down for naps at about 12:30, hoping they'd be up by 3 and we could leave. They didn't wake up until 3:50! I thought the farm closed at 5pm, but that was just the doors -- the farm was open until 6pm. So we had a fun day at the pumpkin patch. At least the kids and I did. Jon went because I asked him to -- but he hates things like that. In the end, I think he enjoyed himself though, too -- it's always fun to see things through your kids' eyes.

Anyway, as I listened to football today, I got a pretty decent start on October's kit, as well as the template for October 2008. So today, you can grab the planner layered template. Hopefully I'll have a chance to upload the kit tomorrow -- if not tomorrow, by midweek it'll be up!

You can download the template HERE. (link removed)

Piggy Back Kits - August

Oops! I forgot to upload this. Andrea sent it to me back on the 15th, and it totally slipped my mind! Sorry.

So for those of you who haven't already discovered her wonderful add on to the Beach Comber kit, head on over and grab it now!

Andreas Blog is HERE.

Also congratulate her for making the CT for Weeds and Wildflowers! She's super pumped!!!
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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Piggy Back Kit - September

Sue has blessed us again this month with a wonderful add on to the September kit. Looks like a cute alphabet border, some great papers, and terrific bows for you to use!

Thanks so much, Sue, for sharing your talents with us again!

Head over to SUE'S BLOG to get this freebie! :)

Piggy Back Kit - September

Boy, I've been MIA this week -- sorry! The time and commitments got away from me. Today isn't looking much better, but hopefully I'll be able to scrap some tomorrow!

This first Piggy Back Kit comes to you from Lisa Minor, who is always so generous with her freebies. Thank you, Lisa! I just love the scalloped borders and the eyelet/ribbon edge. Looks like a fun and unique alpha is included as well.

Head over to LISA'S BLOG to download her add on to the September kit. And leave her a little love, too!
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Monday, October 15, 2007

September Kit - Train Up a Child

I'm really excited about how this turned out, and I hope you are, too.

This kit has 12 sheets of 12x12 paper (300dpi). There are 8 solids and 4 striped; all heavily textured. Some of the solids really ended up with some cool marbling of other colors in them. I love playing with textures -- it's amazing what different filters can do to a given image.

A fun "designer" challenge for you. I think Hummie is the one who first got me excited about textures. Admittedly, I didn't do much with them initially, but they're essential when designing. Some of the strangest things make the best textures: carpet, stone, brick, rusty old cars, paint, water spots. The possibilities are endless! Anyway, take a photo of some cool texture and make it grayscale, then duplicate the image a couple times and rotate them in various directions so they're all different angles on top of each other. Then play with the layer properties -- I change mine from Overlay, Multiply, Color Burn, Screen -- each layer can have a different property. Then add a color to it. Keep playing with the layer properties, just to see the different amazing patterns that come out -- seemingly from nowhere! It's so much easier than I ever thought it would be!

Anyway... back to the kit...

I've also included 5 realistic pencils (I photographed a pencil and colored them various colors -- so they BETTER look real), 5 colored scissors (ditto on the scissors), 6 rulers (this one I created to scale myself -- 12 inches long, 1 inch wide), and 5 file folder labels. There is one sheet of wrinkled notebook paper, 12 "chalk" words related to learning (check that -- it's 10 words, and that's a mistake on the preview -- guess my mind drew a blank), and 1 word art in 6 colors (as seen in the layered template).


The download is available HERE. (link removed) (43.5 MB)

Unfortunately, October won't be ready until the end of the week at the earliest -- maybe next week (who knows what's in store?!) -- regardless, I've got to travel for work this week, which means Photoshop doesn't get to make the trip with me. I wish.... :)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

September Color Scheme - Train Up A Child

I totally forgot to upload September's colors! OOPS! :) The good news: I'm traveling this week, so those of you designing with me will have time to catch up! Sorry I haven't been posting these til the last minute! I love these bright, primary colors... I hope you'll enjoy them, too.
And a question: What is it about Sunday's?
I think the Devil just needs to leave his barbs in the day. Sunday's are just SO chaotic for the kids, especially my 15 month old son. He takes two 2-hour naps each day: 9:30-11:30 (or so) and 2-4 (or so). Well, guess what time church is? Yep, smack dab in the middle of his morning nap: 10am.
So we get to church, put him in the nursery, where he plays instead of sleeps. No big deal -- he won't sleep in public or being held (neither of our kids will) -- and we know that. However, he often falls asleep on the way HOME from church. Then he won't transfer from car to crib without sleeping -- or if he does, it's a short nap, because he wakes up starving.
Then his nap schedule is all off, because of the oddly timed morning nap, so his afternoon nap also ends up abbreviated.
Of course, that makes him ultra cranky, which means he hits his sister if she even walks close to him. I know... we need to work on his temper/aggression. But that being true, it all stems from getting out of synch on his morning naps. By Sunday nights, we're just frazzled and SO thankful that our kids are good sleepers and go down easily at 7pm -- because we need the rest of the night to relax!
And at the end of the day -- we're so very grateful for our two amazing blessings -- chaos and all. :)

Layered Template - September 2008 Planner

We're almost into the current month (for next year)! Sadly -- I haven't taken even ONE photo yet this month. With Halloween right around the corner, I know I *will* take some, but sheesh -- get on the ball, Mom! :)

September's template got flipped horizontally by me again for my LO. I also rotated the center photo so that it's vertical instead of horizontal. I'm tellin' you -- that's the beauty of templates -- they just give you a good starting point!

You can download this template HERE. (link removed)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

August Kit - Lazy Summer Afternoons

What is it about August? It's always been such a "just there" month for me. Kind of bittersweet actually. I live for the summer, love hot weather -- it just feels so carefree. And August has always signaled "the end" for me. So I really struggled with what to add to the kit. I pictured just lounging back by the pool or lake and taking in the last beautiful days of summer. But I couldn't really come up with any elements that fit that mood, so I went with more "standard" elements instead. In the end -- I probably should change the name of the kit! LOL!

Included in this kit are:
5 bold colorful papers, good for both boys and girls
4 striped papers
3 large polka dot papers -- all polka dots have pretty intense textures, which you can see in a few of them on the preview
Papers are in download one.

Download 2 holds the elements.
12 "glitter" words -- I don't know that they're exactly glitter, but that was the only description I could think of!
5 inked edge tabs (thanks, Atomic Cupcake)
5 chipboard frame clusters -- these range from 3 to 6 photo spaces in 5 different colors
1 Word Art in 5 colors

I hope you enjoy it!

Download the papers HERE. (link removed) (42MB)
Download the elements HERE. (link removed) (13MB)

Friday, October 12, 2007

A note from 4Shared

Well, last night I contacted 4Shared about their suggestive ads. I did get a positive response already this morning from one of their people (see below).

A couple things I'd encourage you to do: (1) Write to 4shared. Let them know that you don't appreciate the ads that their ad agency is including. (2) Download a popup or flash blocker. I didn't even realize there were ads on 4shared, because mine blocked them. Most are free and do a good job. I'm not going to suggest any, because I haven't really studied which are good/bad, which have spyware, etc. But do a bit of looking and get a blocker on your computer. (3) When you see a 4shared suggestive advertisement, take a screen shot, note the site/link, and send it to 4shared.

Here is the message I sent and received from 4shared:

(From 4Shared) Hello,We do not actually manage advertisments on our site, but an advertisement company does. We would be very grateful to you if you send us links to those advertisements and also make a screenshot when you see it next time. Sorry for the inconvenience. We will try to fix the problem as soon as possible.
Thank you.
Best regards,

(My Message) Original message: I have had a few people mention that there are sexually explicit ads included when they download files I'm sharing. I will say that 4shared is better than most, however, I'm disappointed that the "filters" are slipping. One of the files I uploaded was titled "filmstrip" and was blocked, because of the word "strip" -- with that type of censoring (which I was thankful for), I expected more from the censoring of ads. People I've asked have said that they're seeing more and more "questionable" ads on 4shared. I encourage you to keep it clean, as you have done in the past. Thank you. Sarah

Thursday, October 11, 2007

August Color Scheme - Lazy Summer Afternoon

Oh my -- this one is killing me! LOL! I've got the papers complete -- those were fun and fell into place rather easily. The elements though.... oy.... not coming at all! I just spent about 4 hours and have NOTHING to show for my work! I keep saying, "ICK!"

Don't worry... I'll get there... or it will be a paper kit and I'll rely on my friends to fill in the element blanks! LOL!

Layered Template - August 2008 Planner

Happy August! :) I had fun with this word art -- I hope you enjoy it, too. And a little note about the photo of the kiddos -- lets just say I love Photoshop! This is 2 photos compiled together so both kids are on the slide together. It's amazing what you can do with a little photo manipulation! LOL!

I have a serious question for you guys... when you're on either my blog or the 4shared site, do you see ads? Either pop-up or on-site? The reason I ask: a person left a comment at 4shared that essentially said, "I love your kits, but the porn isn't my thing" (she described the image). I'm appalled that somehow someone may see anything even remotely offensive/sexual attached to my site/work. So first off: I apologize! But second -- has anyone else had porn thrown in their face when visiting my site? If so, please let me know further details (where it came from, what kind, etc) -- because I absolutely want to address it with either Blogger or 4shared (or wherever it's coming from). That's appalling to me, and I'm deeply sorry if anyone has seen something they didn't expect to see. I absolutely don't endorse that either!

Anyway... August can be downloaded HERE. (link removed)

Piggy-Back Kit - July

When I came up with "In God We Trust" as a theme for July, I immediately thought Independence Day, America, Red White & Blue -- all those AMERICAN Patriotic things that, for me, automatically go with July. Silly me, just assumed EVERYONE thinks Red White and Blue with July.

Andrea reminded me of the obvious -- People from the USA think RW&B with July -- but the rest of the world doesn't. So my sincere apologies for my American Arrogance. :) Andrea, I know you weren't trying to humble me or anything -- but I appreciate it all the same! :)

Anyway... take a look at Andrea's fabulous add on. What a great way to combine Canadian patriotism with US patriotism. What a fun kit!

Head over to Andrea's blog HERE.
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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Piggy-Back Kit - July

Wow! Lisa is FAST!!! She was actually done before I was. Way to go, lady! :) Look at these great textures and shimmers to the ribbons. I love the word art, too. Great addition to "In God We Trust."

Get your copy HERE.

Also, remember for you DIP users, the calendars are converted over at Lisa's blog, too -- so go grab them! :)
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