Sunday, December 7, 2008

FREEBIE: Christmas Cards

Did you think I had fallen off the face of the earth? :) No fear, I am here. I appreciate those of you have reached out in concern to ask about me. It has been quite a crazy year! I really can't complain, because it has been a GOOD year. I just haven't had any time to myself to do any hobbies. And what little time I did have, I'll admit, I was selfish and created for myself, but didn't get to the freebies.

The background, for those who don't know. In January we moved. In my real job, I'm a sales rep. In the past, I've always had an office in my home, because I was the only one of me in a given region. Well, the move we took in January put me in an office instead of home based. So now I've got a 20 minute commute each morning and evening, which isn't too horrible. But... what it really means working out of an office is that I've got basically 2-3 hours each night to play with the kids, cook dinner, and keep the house reasonable. I'll admit, I struggle to keep the house reasonable, and we've eaten a LOT more processed food than I would like to (and my waistline is paying the price for that). I definitely LOVE my job, LOVE my company, and have no desire to change either of those... but hopefully the next move/position will put me back in a home-based office! We shall see what He has in store for us.

Anyway, so I just finished up and ordered my Christmas cards for this year. And I thought I'd wish you all a Merry Christmas by sharing with you some of the cards I've used in years past. The top 3 versions are the actual cards I sent out. The collage is how I've tweaked them for you. Because the '07 and '08 cards used someone else's papers, I obviously couldn't share them with you like that.

This is our Christmas card for 2006. My son was 6 months old and my daughter was 28 months old. She needed to be bribed with a sucker to smile, which I Photoshopped out in that center photo! These photos were taken at the top of our stairs with a white bedsheet draped over the railing. I used Virtual Photographer to "glow" them a bit. I also bolded the "Christ" in Christmas, as a subtle reminder of just why we're celebrating. There are 4 PNG files available in the download: black, green, red, and red/green polka dot. I have taken the year out, so you won't be stuck in 2006.

This is the card we used last year. I couldn't seem to get a good photo of all of us at the same time, so I used a picture of each of us throughout the year. Again, I made "Christ" slightly larger to give it some emphasis on the card. The verse I chose is, "May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace." I provided for you a PNG file as well as a layered template so you can choose your own background. I obviously took our names and year off of there. The font I used is Arriere Garde, which is a free download.

And this is the card I ordered for this year. I used Vista Print to print them. I got 250 cards for under $50!!! And that's with envelopes, too. AND they print on the back in B&W for free, so we added our address and contact info on the back. They printed our cards last year too, and they did a really great job. I did get the idea for the love, joy, peace, and the verse from someone who I saw on Two Peas a few years ago (it's been in my inspiration folder ever since). However, I couldn't find it again to give proper credit. If anyone recognizes the theme and can tell me who did it, I'd love to give her thanks for inspiring this years card. Hers is a 4x6 and includes another greeting/verse, so is different, but the theme idea came from her. Anyway... I've provided you with 3 PNG files for this card -- one with a black background, white background, or red background.

You can download all of these HERE.

Enjoy the cards, and have a blessed Christmas!

Monday, September 15, 2008

"Hold On To Jesus" Lyrics

I'm sorry I haven't had scrapping time to get some more freebies posted. I know that lyrics don't replace that, but I do hope they provide you some inspiration.

I discovered this song, by Erin O'Donnell, about a year and a half ago when I was working on putting all my layouts to video. It so beautifully puts to words and music the prayer I have for my kids. I heard it again on the radio this morning as I drove my kids do Day Care, and I actually had to choke back tears. I just love it! If you have a chance to listen to it, please do. (Here's a sample.)

"Hold On To Jesus" by Erin O'Donnell

You're a little piece of heaven
You're a golden ray of light
And I wish I could protect you
From the worries of this life
But if there's one thing I could tell you
It's no matter what you do
Hold to Jesus; He's holding on to you

The world will try to tell you
That might is more than right
That beauty's on the outside
And being good's a losing fight
But remember what I've told you
Because the world will make you choose
Hold to Jesus; He's holding on to you

Hold on to Jesus
Cling to His love
Rest deep in His mercy
Whenever things get rough
Don't lose sight of His goodness
And don't ever doubt this truth
That when you hold on to Jesus
He's holding on to you

Hear me dear Jesus
Rock this little one to sleep
Keep her close when she's scared
And give her grace when she is weak
I know she'll stumble
But I know she'll make it through
If you hold on to her
Just like You said You'd do
Hold her Jesus
And she'll hold on tight to You

Give your kids an extra hug for me. I'll give mine some extra squeezes, too. They're precious miracles from God, and I'm sure you feel the same way I do -- completely humbled by the blessings and gifts that they are.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

One Life to Love

As I was driving into work this morning, a song touched my heart. I always listen to the lyrics to see if scrapbook inspiration can be taken from, and this song this morning definitely would fit the bill. The song is called "One Life to Love" by 33 Miles (from their One Life CD). The chorus is the part that I think would be a great addition to a scrapbook page:

"You only get just one time around,
you only get one shot at this
One chance to find out the
one thing that you don’t wanna miss
One day when it’s all said and done
I hope you see that it was enough
This one ride, one try, one life to love."
~ "One Life to Love" - 33 Miles

An important lesson to remember -- we do only have one life to LIVE and one life to LOVE -- so make each moment count.

HERE are the full lyrics for anyone interested.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Follow This Blog

So I was reading Hummie's Blog today, which actually explains this a LOT better than I'm about to....

Anyway, she introduced me to this cool new feature called "Follow This Blog" -- so I decided to try and add it to my page. If you like to visit my site and come back from time to time, please consider adding yourself to the "Come Scrap With Me" link on the left hand side. I'm just curious what the little gadget does and how it looks in action. I promise I won't put you on a SPAM list or anything like that! :)

ABC Book Template

I'm just moving this to an actual post rather than having it permanently stuck to the top of my website.

In a previous post I mentioned that I was doing an ABC book using animals and bible verses as a fundraiser for our local homeless center. I've made TWO template books: one with the animals listed, one without the animals listed. They are designed to print full-bleed at 6x9 (300dpi) -- I used to print these.To get these templates, click on the DONATE link on my left hand side panel. Donate $5 and put in the memo, "ABC Book, please." Easy as that!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

2009 Calendar - Layered Templates - Limited Time Only

Well, I thought I'd work on another fundraiser for the Homeless Center. My goal would be to have people be able to add their own photos to this, but I haven't quite figured out how to do that yet! Perhaps if I just simplify a couple of the pages....

Anyway, for a couple days, I'll have this calendar available for free. Then it will move to the donation basis, similar to some of my other designs.

Here is an example of how I've done the month of January. The "spirals" are in there just to illustrate what they'll look like together -- they're actually two different pages.

Included in the download are 24 different 8.5x11 files (actually 8.75x11.25 for printers' trim margins). They're created at 300dpi. I created them using 's dimentions and trim requirements. My intention for my personal calendars is to have them spiral bound using lulu. Certainly you could choose other methods. Each page also has a Bible verse on it along the bottom of the frame. The "outline" is done in two layers, so if you choose to remove the Bible verses, you can fill in the holes left where the words were.

For a limited time only, you can download the layered templates (sorry, link removed). The templates are now available for a donation of $5 or more using the link on the left.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Layered Template #43: 2 Pager, 11 Photo

I just realized I had a 2-page template waiting to be uploaded! It's been sitting in a folder for about 3 weeks just waiting. Oops! You can tell how busy it's been at our house this summer!

Let's see... other things going on (other than being nuts busy).

I finished my family's 2007 scrapbook album! Now to wait for a coupon for printing it. I filled up all 100 allowed pages at Shutterfly! Definitely can't afford to pay for it until there's a sale!

I also just finished an "ABC: Jesus Loves Me" 6x9 book for a fundraiser for the Homeless Center. I put A-Z animals and A-Z bible verses together into this little booklet. I got news today that it has shipped (the first sample) -- so we'll see how it looks!

The other project I'm in the midst of is making a book out of the blog I have about my kids. Since February 2007, I've been trying to document all the silly things they say and do during our daily life. So I'm basically "writing a book" with a picture here or there to fill the space. I know that blogs won't be around forever, but hopefully the Blog Book will be around for the next generations. It's been a fun trip down memory lane. Also some of the quickest/easiest scrapping I've ever done, because I can just cut/paste!

Alright, that's it for me. I got sucked into "Project Runway" and am up much later than I intended as a result. But it's nearly over, so definitely time for bed!

HERE is today's template download link.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Little Vacation - but I'm back!

I've been M.I.A. lately... sorry!

Actually... no I'm not! I took the kids to my parents' house (see photo above), left them there, then spent a week at meetings (Mon-Wed), then in Chicago with my husband to celebrate our 10th Anniversary.

It was a wonderful weekend away -- wish we could do it more often! I certainly missed the kids a TON (it was the longest they've been away from both of us at the same time). But spending alone time with my husband was a blessing.

We were able to take in Cirque de Soleil, a Cubs game (go, Cubs, go...), and "Wicked" while we were there. In some ways too short, in other ways, it's good to be home.

However, now I've got a backlog of work to do... so we'll see when we can catch up on some scrapping! :)
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Monday, June 23, 2008

Play Ball Title Word Art

OK, this is a test to see if this will actually work. I've "emailed" this small PNG file to my blogger account. I'm hoping that you can click on the title link and download it from here, rather than having to go to 4shared.

So test it out... does it work for you?

Click on the image, then when the "Play Ball" comes up in a new screen, right click on it and choose "Save As" -- it should come up to save as a PNG file.

Let me know how it worked! 4Shared is great for big files, but kind of annoying (in many ways) for the small ones.

So about this little piece of word art. I needed a title for a LO of my kids playing catch (I'll have to find/share that one, too). I wanted to make a "baseball" looking word art of the words "Play Ball", but I wasn't really sure how to do that. Then the lightening bolt (er...ball) hit me in the head...

The picture above is made of a close-up photo of an actual baseball. I just positioned the letters over the strings so that it would vary a bit for each letter. So when you look at the letters up close, you can see the real strings, the leather texture, as well as the holes and accompanying cracks in the leather of each individual stitch. I thought it turned out pretty cool.

This particular set of word DOES have a drop shadow. Since I layered them on top of each other, I thought it needed something to create some differentiation in the letters. I hope you aren't too annoyed by the shadows (note: I don't typically add shadows to elements/word art, because that does usually annoy me).

I feel an alpha coming on....


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Layered Template #42 (back on numerical track)

Well... it was inevitable... last night my daughter showed signs of blisters on her hands, feet, and mouth. Great. Our Thurs/Friday trip to a family wedding next week may end up being out of the question. Even if they're better, we may be too shot to make the 9+ hour drive!

Anyone want to babysit on Tuesday/Wednesday? Both my husband and I have work commitments we really shouldn't get out of. I want my Mommy! This is when it's really rough to be new to an area... no support system in place!

But.... scrapping continues to provide a good outlet! :) So, you guys benefit as well.

In this LO, each stamped frame, each photo, and each word in the title is a separate layer. So there are a LOT of layers. But it also allows you to put a LOT of pictures on the page. This is another instance where I didn't want to leave out these pictures, but none of them were wonderful in and of themself.

With the title -- yes, it says "I love Maryland" -- but each word is its separate layer, so you can delete "Maryland" and add your own word. The font that I used is called "Digs My Hart" and is free at various places. To get the sticker effect, I selected the text, then expanded my selection by 5 pixels. I moved that selection to its own layer and filled it with white.

So enough of my mini tutorial -- not my forte! ;) Instead, I'll share the link for the template. Go find 17 photos to fill it! HERE is the link.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Layered Template #35 (really should be 44)

OK, here's another template that got misnumbered and I don't feel like going in to change it -- so there are officially two #35 layouts.

This template actually started as a "What in the world am I going to do with all these pictures that are just too cute not to include, but don't really warrant a page of their own?" thought -- yes, I think in complete run-on sentences! I was surprised and happy with the outcome of what I thought would certainly be a boring LO.

D-man's orange shirt probably helped to bring some excitement....

Anyway, a couple friends hinted that they'd like for this to be a template. Easy enough. So HERE it is! Enjoy!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Layered Templates 33 & 34: 7 Photo

***Added June 20: Oops! You caught me! These should actually be templates 42 and 43. I noticed that last night, but Jody noticed it, too. I was hoping no one would! :) I had created 33-41 on a different computer and didn't save them on this one. So when I was titling them, I just went with the most recent. It didn't "feel" right to me, but I didn't see others.... so in a sleep deprived state, I went with it. So these two and one other (coming soon) will be duplicate numbers. I won't care if you won't care! But I'm sorry if it caused confusion. I just gave away how spacey I actually am! :) ***

You know... why is it that the only scrapping time I get is when one of the kids is sick!? It's D-man's turn. Lucky guy got Hand/Foot/Mouth from one of his day care friends. I was called to get him yesterday, and because there's nothing to do for it but let it run its course, we're stuck at home until it's out of his system. So I'm getting some good scrapping in!

Thankfully he appears to have a mild case of it. He has one teeny blister on each palm, and his left foot has 5 pea-sized blisters, but his right foot is clear. I can't see any in his mouth, but the day care director thought she could. He's drooling like a fool though -- his shirt is literally drenched from neck to waist within half an hour of dressing him. Yuck! He doesn't seem to be in pain or bothered by it, so that's a good thing! Now lets hope we can contain it to JUST him.

So anyway... here are two LOs I did recently, which I created templates for. They're essentially the same, which is why I grouped them. One is just made to house a horizontal primary photo, the other is designed for a vertical primary photo.

I hope you enjoy it! You can find them HERE.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Wedding Album: Last 4 Pages

It's done! And as of yesterday, we're officially at 10 years!

Get the last 4 pages HERE.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Wedding Album: 4 More Templates

We're nearing the end!

Why is it that the weeks are so busy that I can't upload the freebies for you all? The days just slip away so quickly.

These 4 templates include word art on them -- two pages of which you haven't already received in the word art freebies. I hope to get them added to a word art only download, but for right now, grab the word art via the templates!

You can get these 4 pages HERE.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Digital Scrapping with Non-Digital Photos

I had a question regarding how I used my non-digital photos to create my wedding book. I thought perhaps others may be curious as well, so here's my response.

I tried scanning old photos a couple years ago with an album I did for my Grandparents. But I really thought the scanned images came back grainy and low quality -- not to mention it took FOREVER to do!

I discovered then that photographing them with my digital camera worked much better. So when I want to "scan" non-digital pictures in, here's what I do:

1) Find a window in my house with a nice sunbeam coming in
2) Set the photograph in that sunbeam -- perfect indirect light
3) Turn off my camera's flash
4) Turn on my camera's macro setting
5) Snap away

I usually take a few photos of it, because sometimes it doesn't focus quite right. But if you're good with your manual settings (I'm not), you may be able to correct that yourself.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Wedding Album: The Wedding Party Templates

Getting these uploaded is proving to be more challenging than creating them! I will say that I'm DONE with my book! That's good news for you, because it means you'll get all the pages! :)

I think I've decided not to put "through the years" pages on there... mostly because I don't know that I can find the pictures in time to take advantage of Shutterfly's Father's Day sale. What I was GOING to do is put one picture per year on a total of 3 pages, then our 10 year Anniversary picture on a fourth page. If I can find pictures of each year, I may still do it.... but I'm not sure. I'll get my husband's input, too!

So anyway, I've got a full day, so without further ado, HERE is the link.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pictures, Paper Detail, and an Update

I hope you were all able to enjoy a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. We feel blessed to be "only" 10 hours from family (we've typically been 17+. So we took a trip "down south" to visit my husband's family for the long weekend. You can see how much my kids and their cousins LOVED the time with each other. These guys are going to be thick as thieves if given the opportunity. And you can also see how much Grandma loves her Grandkids, too. The kidsare oldest age 5, middle age 4 (as of a couple days ago). Then mine are 3 (4 in September), and 1 (2 in June). There's another Granddaughter missing -- she's 1. So in a month, the Grandkids will be 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1! What fun! If you don't recognize them, my little kidlets are the curly blonde and the littlest boy. My daughter and the older boy are 3 months apart.

I wanted to answer a question that I had from a couple of you regarding my background paper from the wedding album. It's actually a freebie paper from Michelle Coleman's "Frosted" kit, found here. It's not that color in the kit -- I added a black background and changed the blending layer from Michelle's kit to get that effect.

How many of you have laptops? I absolutely love mine -- it allowed me to get DONE with my wedding album (I think). I do want to go back in and add some word art to some of the more "plain" pages. But the skeleton of the book is complete. YAY! Now I have to get them converted to templates, previews, and then upload them. Be patient -- I've got a busy week! :) But they ARE coming.

A question for you: I'm debating having photos from each of the 10 years of our marriage to "close" the book. What do you think? I don't know if this should be a strictly wedding album (which it is now), or a "this was then" and "this is now" type look at our marriage. I guess first I should see if I can find 10 years worth of pictures that are good enough for scrapping! :)
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wedding Album: 6 Family Templates

So.... you know all that "time" I had earlier this week to work on my Wedding Album. Well, I got it, and I worked on it late into the night. But then I didn't get any more "time" to actually upload it! So the result is that you get 6 templates in one today.

I know these pages are pretty "plain" with no elements or extra stuff. I really was going for the "clean and classic" look, which I hope you'll find appealing as you use them. I just wish I had more candid wedding shots that would be fun to play with as background. All of our wedding shots are SO traditional. But... even if they aren't the kind of pictures I'd like to have TODAY, they were what we chose THEN. And they're full of wonderful memories, precious family and friends -- some of whom are no longer with us.

As my husband so "lovingly" told his parents (he was joking, of course), "I guess she finally thinks our wedding was important enough to scrap." He was joking in his statement, meant to give me a hard time that I wasn't placing enough significance on it -- but in reality, I think it also indicates that he's really pleased that I'm doing so. Of course, that makes me happy! :) Sometimes I know he resents my hobby, because I can tend to shut out the rest of the world (i.e. him) as I'm focused on it. And I know that I really need to be careful about that and cut back sometimes. So it really makes me happy when I know he's pleased with a particular page or project.

Anyway... enough rambling... HERE are the downloads. ;)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Wedding Album: The Groom Word Art

I had some fun with this one. It may seem "frilly" for masculine LOs, but remember that it's supposed to "match" the rest of the word art and the rest of the album!

My husband and kids are asleep -- allergies are hurting them! And my heart goes out to them, but I'm also happy to have a couple guilt-free hours of scrapping time! So... hopefully by the end of the night I'll have my family's page done in the album. And if things go smoothly, maybe even my husband's family page!

Cross your fingers!

And if you can click with crossed fingers, the word art download is HERE.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wedding Album: Word Art

Here are the first two pieces (pages?) of word art I've created for the Wedding Album. I tried to do all the same two fonts that I was and will be using in the album page. My thoughts were that I needed to keep the same fonts for the consistent feel. The fonts used are Porcelain (free at and Century Gothic.

For now, I'm just going to do Bible verses for each page. If I can't think of verses, I'll solicit quote ideas later!

The "Our Wedding" Word Art can be downloaded in PNG file HERE. There are 3 Bible Verses included -- the long one I split into two parts for if you want to put it above and below a picture (and I couldn't make it flow nicely if it was one big block of word art).

The "Bride" Word Art can be downloaded in PNG file HERE. There are 5 different Bible Verse included with this one.

Wedding Album: Answering Questions

A couple questions came to me last night via the comments....

1) The font I've used in the frames is called Porcelain, and it's a free download at (LOVE that site!)

2) I will be continuing to make my own wedding album pages and sharing them with you as templates -- so you can see how I'm using them! I think my comment about not having all the pages in my own album may have led you to believe I'm not going to continue.... but I am!

Let's see... my next pages will probably be: Our parents together, my family, my husband's family, and then I'll move on to the wedding party.

I think I'm "full" for the week though, so I may not get to them until this weekend.

Be on the look out for some word art! That's easier to do a quick freebie on than a whole page!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wedding Album: Page Frames

Well, you guys sure came up with some great ideas for the wedding album pages! I tried to use all my ideas, all your ideas, then brainstorm some more, and I've come up with a list of 65 different pages for the wedding album!

This download has a total of 131 PNG files. There are 65 different pages, and I've done a "right" page and a "left" page. Then I also did a "blank" page for if there's a page title I didn't include. I just know that my wedding will never have all the "things" in it than many other weddings do -- for instance, I had no flower girl or ring bearer. I couldn't even find a picture of me BY MYSELF! In other words -- no getting ready pictures! Not even a good picture of "the dress." So... I hope that these page frames will help you to make a cohesive book, even if I don't provide EXACTLY the page you need!

You can get the PNG files HERE. They're all squared up for an 8x8 page.

Changing Things Up...

Alright... as you all know, I do freebies because I like to, and because I have NO desire to do this on a "for pay" basis. Background story:

In college, I went to school on a choir scholarship. My whole life, I loved music, loved to sing, play piano, listen -- music was my stress relief, my hobby, my enjoyment, my relaxation.

Because I was on scholarship, music basically became my "job" -- I had to do 2 hours of choir rehearsal a day, weekly lessons which obviously required daily practice, yada, yada, yada. In short... I dropped my scholarship my Senior year because I was absolutely burnt out. I hated singing, hated playing piano, hated everything about music.

To this day, though I own a piano, it hasn't been played in a couple years. I was on our church's praise team for about a year -- but that was almost 3 years ago (2 moves ago!). While I do enjoy music again, it's no longer a stress relief, a love, a relaxation... all those things that made it wonderful.

As a summary... my experience with getting paid to do something you love, for me anyway, results in resenting and potentially hating the thing that brings you stress relief and enjoyment. It was a costly but valuable lesson -- and a mistake that I don't want to make for myself with digital scrapping and design.

So... where am I going with all this rambling? As soon as I finish this post, I'm going to go in and remove the links to all the template freebies. I still have all the templates on my computer, so they're still available, just no longer as free downloads.

Why this change?

Well... my husband recently took a job as Executive Director of a non-profit agency. I mentioned it a few posts back. This agency is 100% donor funded -- including his salary! Now obviously, he didn't get into the non-profit world for the money, but being able to feed the family is a nice thing! So.... moving forward, I'll originally offer the kits as freebies, but then convert them to a "for donation" basis. So if you give $1 or more to my husband's organization, I'll give you the link to the kit.

We'll try that for a while and see how it works.... :)

For those of you interested in finding out more, THIS is the organization to which 100% of the donations would go.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Wedding Album Templates - First 3 Pages

********** DIP Users -- Please note. I didn't store the PNG file correctly, so for right now, the DIP file doesn't work. Only the PSD file is currently working. I'll see if I can't figure it out shortly and will let you know when it's fixed. Sorry for the inconvenience!**********

Well... I've had time to play... but I haven't had time to upload! So you're getting 3 for 1 today. I'm really disappointed with the quality of my wedding photos, the lack of digital, and the glaring absense of candid shots. So I'm trying to do "Photoshop Magic" so that I can get the "feel" of the book I want without the type or quality of photos I need to achieve that. So I guess from that regard, I'm glad I waited 10 years to do my wedding album!

Anyway... here are the first 3 pages...

For those of you using DIP, I've included PNG's as well (I hope I did it right). I've designed these specifically to fit into Shutterfly's 8x8 Photo Book. If you haven't used their Photo Book services, I highly recommend them -- they turn out absolutely FABULOUS!

The link is HERE:

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Wedding Album Cover

I told you the bug has bit me! I had to come home, figure out where in the world we packed our wedding photos (bingo! Glad my husband pays attention to these things -- he told me right where to look), then start scrapping.

I can't really do a template for you on this one though.... I can, however, tell you how I did it.

1) Select a cool background (if you'd like) -- this one is from Michelle Coleman's "Frosted" kit

2) Write your last name in a nice font -- I chose "Porcelain" (I believe it's a free download at

3) Write your first names just below it in the same font (or a different one) -- add the date below that.

OK... you're saying, "Duh, Sarah -- that was the easy part!" OK, OK, OK... I know. :)

So for the photo -- find a cool photo that you like.

4) Play with the levels, blur, or easier yet, run a "Virtual Photographer" filter over the photo to get a "dreamy" sort of feel to it. Virtual Photographer is a fabulous free download program that really helps "fix" a lot of less-than-perfect photos. It works especially well when you're working with older photos, scanned in photos, etc. It fixes a world of problems... much better than I can do myself.

5) This one was cool of my husband and I, but the background was pretty busy, so doesn't work well in a normal frame -- it looks much better when we're cut out and "blurred". So I took a fuzzy eraser brush (because I wanted soft edges) and erased around our silhouettes.

And that's it.... really easy peasey, but it's my favorite kind of look for a LO. It took me longer to figure out where to place the words than it did to create the LO!

I'm still thinking on template ideas and the order of the pages.... so stay tuned. As I finish pages of my book, you'll get templates for yours....
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Wedding Album Template?

Alright... with wedding season upon us, I'm getting the "bug" to start designing a wedding album template. It's motivated by selfish thoughts: I want to do a gift for a friend of mine getting married in August, and I also will be celebrating my 10th anniversary and would love to "relive" the day by propperly scrapping it. If only Digital Cameras were the norm back in 1998....

So anyway.... if I were designing YOUR wedding album (which ultimately could be the truth if you wish to DL the freebies), what would be the "must haves for pages?

Here's what I'm thinking are the Must Haves:
*The Bride
*The Groom
*Brides Family (Parents, Grandparents, Extended)
*Grooms Family (Parents, Grandparents, Extended)
*Flower Girl
*Ring Bearer
*The Flowers
*The Vows
*The Rings
*Unity Candle
*The Kiss
*Introducing Mr. & Mrs.
*The "Getaway" Car / Just Married
*The Cake
*Back Cover Page

These are the nice to haves (but not essential):
How We Met
Engagement Photos
Rehearsal Dinner
The Church / Location
Personal Attendants
Other Honored Guests
Father Giving Away Daughter
Cutting the Cake
First Dance
Toasts / Champagne

Anything missing? And how about verses, quotes, scripture that you'd love to see in a wedding kit album? I'm all ears!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

So... the Update...

Sorry I didn't take the time to actually write anything with my last post! I wanted to get the kit loaded onto the forum, but didn't have time (or hands) to type out our update.

The short version, as I eluded to: "God is Good!" And life at our house can settle down and define a new normal.

The long version: Last week was AMAZING.

On Monday, our relocation company accepted the "fix it" invoices and officially bought our house It took 2.5 months longer than it should have due to the extensive "fix its" required -- totally unanticipated and not in our budget, either from the amount of work required or the extra months of mortgage required. I'm so thankful that we've been faithful in our investing and that we took much of Dave Ramsey's advice to heart, because truly that made it possible to really not freak out with the stress. Also, my annual bonus and a higher than normal tax refund fell into this time frame... by the grace of God, we stayed in the black, despite the fact that our output during the last three months was significantly less than our input.

Then on Wednesday, my husband was offered the position as Executive Director of a Homeless Center. This center isn't a homeless "shelter" as one would normally define it. Rather, it's a facility/organization that provides the wraparound services and fills the "gap" -- providing computer training, GED, and other life skills necessary to help the homeless population get their life back on track. Having previously worked with troubled kids (i.e. potentially on the road to homelessness), this is a total shift in the population he has worked with in the past.

This truly is the biggest "Praise God" and evidence of how He puts people, places, and experiences in your way to prepare you for what is to come. In our last home, I had two back to back Ladies Bible Studies was really the message to "wait on God" and to "give God control." I won't reiterate myself, but THIS POST details the whole thing. Suffice it to say that it really was an exercise in trust and faith, and God has again proven himself faithful.

Not only was my husband offered the job, but they came with an offer significantly higher than we anticipated. And they also are providing flex time (they don't have budget for tuition reimbursement) so that he can go back and work on his Doctorate -- and the college literally across the street from the facility has the Doc program he'd like to pursue. So the doors that are being opened simply by our willingness (though terrified in doing so) to hand over control are just absolutely blowing us away.

His first day was yesterday. We feel like we can figure out our new life in our new state and really begin to breathe again and enjoy life again.

Strangely enough, my husband getting a job also means that I should be able to start scrapping and/or designing again. With 2 kids and a full time job, I'm not exactly sure what exactly that time will look like... but hopefully it will also begin to define itself.

Anyway, so that's the whole story. As I said, "God is good!"

By the way, thanks to so many of you who have sent in little messages in response to my original update regarding giving God control. I had so many people say, "I really needed to hear that today," or something similar. That's really just another testimony to how God really puts people in place to get His message across when someone needs it most. Can I say again, "God is good!"

Thanks so much for all the support and encouragement you have offered along this little journey! They have uplifted me many times.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Soggy Rain - Mini Kit

Hummie inspired me to create a little mini kit -- perhaps that will make the rain go away!

Download my soggy creation HERE.

This is the thread that inspired me.

I owe an update, but I'm one handed typing right now (holding my son) -- so I'll have to get back to you. Just know that God is good!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I Finally Had Time to Scrap!!!



Oh, how good it feels!

I haven't scrapped since December. I missed it SO much, but I just haven't had time with the move and everything. Well, my husband's parents have been here all week, so my husband is working on his motorcycle with his Dad, his Mom is sewing, the kids are sleeping -- which means I'm scrapping! Sure, there are many other things I COULD be doing, but scrapping just sounded so inviting.

I didn't do any designing -- this was a purely selfish scrapping day for me. OK, so a scrapping hour. But I'll take it!

Since I scrap chronologically and refuse to go out of order unless I get the "perfect" photo that just needs my immediate attention, these photos are from last June when we visited my parents. My son especially doesn't even look the same anymore! How time flies. Quick note: My son's page is a complete scraplift of "Carver" at 2Peas (aka Veronica Ponce). I just love her work!

Anyway, no freebies and nothing to report... just wanted to check in with a couple LOs of my wonderful kidlets. Hope you're all well. Have a blessed Easter weekend.
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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Calendar: June Revisited

Boy, I wish it really were June! :)

I had a few people this week ask me to reupload June, because the link wasn't working right. No idea what happened to it, but I deleted the old file and put in this new one. Here is the fixed file. (link removed)

Sorry to my faithful friends -- but this isn't a NEW link/template -- just the old one fixed. I WISH I had time to scrap, but I'm still not there yet.

OK, for those of you who asked for life updates....

Here's my newest revelation. We lived in our last home/state for 2.5 years. We didn't really like it there all that much. The people were wonderful, but it just never felt like "home" to us and was really a challenging 2.5 years for us for many reasons. We felt like God led us there, but never really understood why.

As we were preparing to leave, I felt that the reason why He had us move there was because during those 2.5 years, I was very conscious of His presence in the daily things. You know how you can look back over your life and see His fingerprints on it, but you can't always see them when you're "in the moment?" Well... in our last home, despite the challenges, I could always see His fingerprints in the moment. There were so many immediate answers to prayer; both mine and those of friends around me who blessed me with sharing it. So that's why I thought He moved us there -- so we could be witness to and of His constant presence.

But now I think that was only part of it.

We've now been in our new home for about 2.5 months. My husband has been here 5.5 weeks. During that time, he's probably put out 100 resumes. He really has had ZERO calls back. He was offered a position back in December in his field (he works w/ troubled kids). However, the pay was ridiculously low (i.e. couldn't pay the bills), and the position was one he could have done in his sleep (though he would have enjoyed it). He turned them down and it has been quiet ever since.

It has been a frustrating time for both of us... my husband not understanding why no one is calling, and me not quite knowing how to respond, offer hope, help without annoying, etc. God gave my husband a VERY strong provider gene, and I know that's a gift from God -- one that He will be faithful to fulfill. But when?

And that's what I realized tonight that I learned at our last home: to trust God for His perfection, His timing, and His plan. If we try to control things in our own time, will, and comfort zone, we'll get things done... but they'll be good, not great. However, if we wait for God, we have limitless possibilities.

So about a week ago, my husband went to a staffing agency, which really wasn't the direction he wanted to go. One of the places he went was doing pro-bono HR work for a non-profit homeless shelter. They're looking to hire an Executive Director/CEO. Within his field, that would have been his next step, but this is a whole different non-profit realm than he's ever been in. Is this the challenge, the "greatness" that God wants to use Jon to do His work? He had a casual interview today to see if he was still interested after hearing their spiel. Then he'll be called in later for an official interview.

Who knows if it's what God has in store... what I do know is that in our old home, almost every Women's study I did dealt with waiting on God's timing. Not taking control into our own hands -- in doing so, we close the door on God's greatness. I'm proud of my husband for being patient even in the face of doubt and frustration. This move has been the most stressful one to date (it's our 6th state in 9.5 years of marriage). It's the move that has us saying, "This is it -- we're not moving again." Yet... if God moves us... we'll listen and obey.

Anyway... that's a WHOLE lot more than the June you asked for! :) Blessings to you all...

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Checking in with a photo

Sorry, no freebies today, as I haven't had time to actually scrap. We've been SO busy! But here's an update.

My husband joined us in our new house a week ago Friday -- drove through some crazy snow storms to get here, but he made it safely (if not stressed!). We were all SO happy to have him here.

Our furniture was delivered on Tuesday of this week... in the middle of a rain/hail storm. It was the day of all the tornadoes in TN, AR, MO -- we were far enough removed from it that all we got was heavy rain and a small burst of hail. No damage, no injuries for us. We haven't unpacked it all (or even close), but so far, so good.

This is a picture of my husband and kids taken this afternoon. We had some decent, sunny weather, so we went down to the dock. My daughter is using the stick "to catch a whopper." With no line and no bait, she didn't... :)

I really do hope to get back to scrapping again soon... but things have to calm down a LOT before I'll have a chance. I did design a friend's wedding invitations last week for her, and also did a "spoof" slide (Power Point) for a co-worker for next weeks' team meeting presentation. But I havn't had time for any "me" stuff at all. One of these days.... :)
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Friday, January 25, 2008

All Out of Order

To simplify things for myself, I created the last 10 templates back in November (?), uploaded them all to 4shared, then posted them as drafts to blogger. I did all of this on December 11. I thought that the date reflected on the website would CHANGE to the date that I launched them live.

It didn't. Oops!

So as an FYI.... I JUST uploaded Template #42 (9:52am CST on Friday, January 25), and I upladed Template #41 on Wednesday night, January 23.

So go grab them! :)

Happy Scrapping!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Just Checking In...

Hi everyone -

I've had several "how are you" and "just checking to see if you're ok" messages lately... so I should probably drop a quick note to say both "Thanks" and "I'm ok!" :)

The kids and I have been "roughing it" in an empty house for 2.5 weeks now. The closing of our house went very smoothly and we really LOVE our new home. It hasn't been updated since it was built in 1982, so I've been in deconstruction mode: tearing down wallpaper, putting up paint, etc.

Our old home is still on the market for the rest of January, at which point my company is offering a buy out. My husband is wrapping up his job there and will join us down here at the end of next week. He was here over the long weekend, which split the 4 week stint in half. It was wonderful to have him down here -- even though we're still all on airmattresses with no other furniture!

It has been interesting trying to cook meals for 3 with no bowls, pans, pots, knives, etc. I have an electric skillet, a microwave, and a can opener.... and that's about it! We lived with a dorm-refrigerator and no washer/drying for 1.5 weeks, until our newly purchased appliances arrived. The other stuff I'm really unwilling to buy, simply because what we have is perfectly fine -- it's just not here yet! Furniture and all other household goods are delivered February 4-5.

The kids are doing well and are adjusting as expected to their new daycare. My daughter was in "corporate" daycare for 2.5 months when she was really small, but other than that, neither have been in the corporate setting. We were so blessed to have an in-home care giver who watched only our kids and her own daughter. But not having that down here, we opted instead to put them in the corporate setting. Their teachers are wonderful -- but mass kids are still mass kids, and after a week there, we ALL got sick and are fighting terrible colds. Even I feel like my head may explode from the sinus pressure. It's pretty miserable. That meant that they both missed time from day care, which is my biggest gripe about the corporate setting -- you pay for a full week, even if you're only there a day. And without a support system in place yet, sick days get VERY stressful. I had a couple of "breaking point" days last week. But we got through them all, and this week is better.

The job itself is going well. I really enjoy my new team, office, responsibilities, etc. I still love my company. :)

All in all, life is good. Hectic, but good. I don't have my "design" computer down here -- I left it at our old home, so that my husband had some mode of communication and relaxation in the evenings. It's also so that I would actually get some work done down here! So far, all 3 main bedrooms have been painted, as well as the accent wall of the living room. There are a lot more to do -- but I'm really limited to about 2-3 hours each night (which I don't always take, because cleaning up paint is such a pain), and late nights on the weekends while the kids are asleep.

Anyway, thanks for checking in on me. Now that I'm logged into blogger, I realize I've got a few more templates that are just "hung" waiting for me to release. So check below -- because I uploaded them back in December, and for some reason, they still release with that date order. If I remember, I'll get the rest of them launched this week!

Hugs all around...