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 http://www.biblegateway.com/ 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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July Mini Kit - In God We Trust

I have to admit: this kit amused me. I kept going back to create more paper -- and each one ended up with more stars! So rather than continuing to repeat myself, I called it quits and went for quality over quantity! LOL! However, I hope you'll find this kit to be very fun and versatile.

7 papers - 2 are solid, 3 are stars, and 2 are stars and stripes
3 journal blocks - 2 are chipboard, one is paper
1 gemstone flag (approx 6x4 inches)
5 felt stars
5 embroidered stars
(these stars can be mixed and matched together if you want to stitch them to your paper for a kinda cool effect)
3 pieces of Patriotic Word Art (not previewed -- it's a surprise!)
1 Biblical Word Art -- seen in my sample planner page for July

And that's it.

Just as a heads up -- Lisa has already sent me her preview for her contribution to the July kit! I'll post it tomorrow -- I think you'll be very pleased! Lisa is one of the ladies who inspired me to do some freebies (Hummie's the other one). And Andrea has teased ME with her ideas for the July kit, but I haven't seen them yet. She assured me I'd be surprised -- so now I'm excited! :)

Anyway, download my July kit HERE (link removed)-- it's a 42.5MB file.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Layered Template - July 2008 Planner

Yes... I'm putting up a Cubbies LO right after they lost.... Nobody go rubbing that in now, OK? :)

Here is the layered template for July. You can see from my LO how easily "edited" it can be. I've had a few people email me and say, "I changed it a bit from the template; I hope that's OK." I answer with a resounding YES!!!! Feel absolutely free to change the templates for your LO (just not for redistribution as templates). That's the beauty of templates and sketches. They're jumping off points -- they get you started and save immense amounts of time for you to create your OWN masterpiece. I'm absolutely tickled when someone shares a link to a LO using my template -- and it's completely unrecognizable to me! Way to go!!!

So HERE (link removed) is the link for today's template.... to tweak or not-tweak... that is the question! ;)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Piggy-Back Kit - June

Andrea was busy this month! Look at all these alphas she's pulled together. And there are some really fabulous papers here, too. She also had a request from someone to "transform" some of my word art into metals, gels, etc. I have given her the express permission to do this (since I didn't feel like doing it myself and she's better at it!), so also look for the word art collections avaliable on her blog! :)

HERE is the link to Andrea's blog.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Piggy Back Kits - June

Lady Sue has blessed us all with a beautiful add on to the June "Beach Comber" kit. My original kit is pretty sadly lacking in elements, and Susan has made up for that with some great ribbons, buttons, and some more papers as well. I'm sure you'll be as happy as I am to add this to your collection! THANK YOU, SUE!!!

I think she and I may be working at the same time in uploading onto blogger. I was just there and the download wasn't yet up -- but check out her blog HERE, and soon the links will be available.


July Color Scheme - In God We Trust

Alright, I had to go somewhat "Red, White, and Blue," but I didn't want to be completely predictable, either. Yet... I probably still am! Oh well. I like the colors, so I don't care! I haven't made the kit yet, but I'm guessing you'll see stars there as well... predictable! But it's JULY -- that's what you're supposed to see! :)
I hope you're having an enjoyable weekend. It's 90 degrees here, which it totally NOT typical October weather. Would you believe that my husband proposed to me 10 years ago on October 13 -- in the middle of a blizzard! Granted, that was in South Dakota, and I'm miles from there now. But I'm still more surprised by 90 degree October weather than I would be surprised by an October blizzard. Since I prefer hot weather to cool though -- you won't hear me complaining! :)

Thank You!

I have had this on my heart, so indulge me, please. :)

This past week, I put in over 15 hours of windshield time. It was an exhausting week, and I'm happy to be home. I have an iPod, which I thought I would use a lot, especially as I travel. It sits, dusty, on a shelf. I'm addicted to Talk Radio. So for these 15 hours, I channel surfed and listened to as much Talk Radio as I could. Some I agreed with, others I did not -- but it kept my mind stimulated.

This week, both Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham had interviews with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas regarding his new book, "My Grandfather's Son." Laura Ingraham's interview especially was captivating. He is her former boss, so she knows him on a different level than most people do. I can't recommend the book, as I've never read it.... but I hope to. Judging from the interview, it provides a world view, perspective, and set of values not seen much anymore in today's society. (I think you can listen to 1/2 hour of her interview here.)

One of the things Justice Thomas mentioned was "The Litany of Humility," which I'd never heard of, but it piqued my interest. So I looked it up. And I'll post it below in just a second. But first I want to thank you all.

When I started out on this freebie stuff, I told you I didn't care if you left comments. I still do feel that way, as I still do "create" simply because I enjoy it. However, I'm so grateful for all the wonderful comments I've received, and for all the layouts you've shared with me. There are so many wonderful people out there, and I've so enjoyed reading your comments, advice, and encouragement. Some of you consistently send me little messages that really just make my day.

I apologize for not writing back to everyone. I would love to take time with each one of you to read, write, and get to know you. Unfortunately, time simply slips away, and I know I've neglected responding to many. I still have them all, and I hope to get some responses out soon. So my apologies if you feel neglected by my non-response! That's certainly not my intent.

I also want to single out one person who has made my day over and over and over again. Grambie graced me with her presence at the very beginning, sending me the most beautiful, heartfelt notes of encouragement, faith, and love. Many times I've wanted to email her to thank her, but there's no response email in the blogger comments. And that's OK -- certainly I appreciate everyone's privacy, as I'm the same way! But Grambie, I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. You always make me smile and have just the right, beautiful words for me. You are often in my thoughts and prayers, and I just want you to know that.

Now back to the "Litany of Humility." I hope you enjoy reading this as well. Some of these I feel I've got under control, others I definitely need to keep in prayer. But it is certainly something I should keep at the forefront. It is something that Justice Thomas apparently keeps top of mind and has passed on to others. Don't you wish all public officials would do the same? Below are the words:

Litany of Humility
Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930),Secretary of State for Pope Saint Pius X

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved...
From the desire of being extolled ...
From the desire of being honored ...
From the desire of being praised ...
From the desire of being preferred to others...
From the desire of being consulted ...
From the desire of being approved ...
From the fear of being humiliated ...
From the fear of being despised...
From the fear of suffering rebukes ...
From the fear of being calumniated ...
From the fear of being forgotten ...
From the fear of being ridiculed ...
From the fear of being wronged ...
From the fear of being suspected ...

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I ...
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease ...
That others may be chosen and I set aside ...
That others may be praised and I unnoticed ...
That others may be preferred to me in everything...
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I may become as holy as I should…

Friday, October 5, 2007

June Kit - Beach Comber

Happy Friday night, and welcome to the weekend! YAY!!! I wish I had a beach to enjoy this weekend... but a beautiful warm fall day will have to suffice.

Instead, you can create a beach with this kit. Included are 13 papers in various shades of "water" and "sand." I also included pictures of my seashells, extracted and made into PNG files. I knew a "fish" bathroom would come in handy one day! :) The word art you saw on the calendar template is also included in 6 different colors.

I think that's it. Enjoy your weekend! :)

Grab the kit HERE. (link removed) (46MB)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Layered Template - June 2008 Planner

Tomorrow's Friday... tomorrow's Friday!!! Hear me singing!? :) What a long week. I'm so ready for the weekend.

Alrighty... here's today's template. I hope you enjoy it! We're halfway through the year now! WOW! Bit of news: I'm only done with calendar templates through July. That means I better get crankin! :)

A little tidbit about this word art.... Well, first... All the word art I tried to match the "theme" of the verse with the "theme" of the month. So I went for the whole summer thing with this one. Then the other thing: when I created it, it was one block. I had to split it to fit the template. SO... that means that you can really do it either way to make it work for you.

ENJOY! And download it HERE. (link removed)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

June Color Scheme - Beach Comber

This is literally all I have time for tonight. Got home late... went straight to Bible Study... tucked the kids in... printed a map for tomorrow. I can't complain... tomorrow my "work" consists of a round of golf with my customers. But it's a 3 hour drive first. Never have I not wanted to golf so badly. I want to stay home and sleep and play with my computer. But that time will come soon enough......

In the meantime, here are the colors for the June kit. Hopefully I'll have the template up on Thursday, the kit up on Friday.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Piggy-Back Kits - Spring Garden

*** Oops! Lisa reminded me ever so kindly that she works in DIP, not PSP. Who's the DIP now? Sorry for the confusion! She's got DIP templates on her blog. ***

Lisa has been a digi-friend of mine for a while now, and I'm so happy to have her join me on the May "Spring Garden" kit. I forgot to mention... she's converting these calendar templates to PSP DIP for those of you unable to use the Photoshop files. Please go take advantage of this if you are a PSP DIP user! When I started doing templates, I gave her the "go ahead" to convert all my templates for you. So there's a bunch of mine over there, plus an absolute TON of her own stuff! :) Go leave her some love.

LISA'S BLOG is here -- go get this add on, PSP DIP templates, and other wonderful kits as well.

Piggy Back Kits - Spring Garden

I feel so blessed to have Andrea join me on all these kits. It has been so much fun to go on this journey with a new friend and get to meet her a bit through her designs. I hope all of you are enjoying our impromptu partnership as well! :)

Head on over to ANDREA'S BLOG to get her May "Spring Garden" kit.