Sep 25, 2010

A Day at the Museum

Kit and Alpha: Daydreamer by Sweet Digi Scraps
RicRac, blue string, and green button: Wonder (retired) by Sweet Digi Scraps
Fonts: American Typewriter and Lainie Day
I took the kids to the museum last weekend. It was a fun day, and a good excuse to get out of the house (and play with my camera). Maggie had been talking about going to the museum in Denver for some time.  She led the way through several exhibits, and John was wide eyed at all the new things to see. It was a tiring trip for me, but I'm glad we did it.  And we'll have to go again, maybe next time Daddy will get to come too!

Sep 23, 2010

Missing Photoshop...Again.

I don't have any new layouts to share today, I just realized it had been a while since I posted anything here. I have been struggling in the last week to find any shred of creativity.  I would spend a half hour staring at a blank canvas in Photoshop, pull in a few papers and photos, and just feel nothing.  So I took last weekend off, and took the kids to the museum in Denver.  We had a blast (well, Maggie and I did. John's still just along for the ride on outings like that).

We got back in to the swing of the week and I was able to put some brag book pages that I volunteered for together before the deadline, and was feeling good. Finally!  And then, I remembered that my 30 day trial of Photoshop CS5 was about to expire. I hadn't intended to go the full 30 days without actually buying it, because I knew I wanted to.  So now I am without PS again while they verify that, yes, my 8 year old IS a student who qualifies me for the student discount pricing.  Hopefully they'll finish that process up tomorrow so I don't lose the whole weekend.

In the meantime, I am working through an A to Z album all about me.  It's through a class taught by Cathy Zielske, who is one of my favorite scrapbookers/bloggers/people I love on the internet but have never met. (I have made quite a few of the last category over the last year.)  At least if I can't photoshop, I can work on the journaling for that album.  I took the same class a year ago but never finished the project.  I could even go into my craft room and pull out the patterned paper that I carefully cut and prepared, only to decide to do the project digitally (my first foray into digi), and then never finish it. This year, I am determined to finish.  Even better, the class comes with templates sized to be able to create a photobook, which is even more fun to share than plain old layouts, IMHO, though maybe that's just because I don't make them very often.  I'll post a few sample pages when I get those finished...I have a couple started, but with no PS, I can't convert them to jpegs to post here.  Technology makes life easier right?  That's what I thought.

Sep 18, 2010

Two Happy Layouts

The blog train post is below this one.  Scroll down one post to find the blog train and freebie bookmarks!

My Lil Sunshine
Kit: Little Miss Sunshine by Sweet Digi Scraps
Extras: Happy Sunshine Wordart Sticker Set by Sweet Digi Scraps (Designs by Danyale)
You Are My Sonshine
Kit: Mister Happy Go Lucky by Sweet Digi Scraps
Extras: Happy Sunshine Wordart Sticker Set by Sweet Digi Scraps (Designs by Danyale)
Sweet Digi Scraps by Liz has two new kits in the shop today.  I had the chance to play with both this week, and love them!  It was perfect that sunshine had a big part in both kits, since I always sing "You are my sunshine" to my kids.  We "changed the spelling" of the title for John, so that Maggie didn't feel like he was taking her song. :)  I think it works.  (And I have a new favorite picture of John...if only I could get pics like this from Maggie too...)

SDS Blog Train!!!

There are all kinds of fantastic goodies today from the Sweet Digi Scraps CT.  We've put together a blog train of quickpages and printable treats from our favorite SDS kits.  Here's the list of blogs to visit today:

Team Blog:
Rachel:***You are here***

For my stop on this train full of goodies, I've created some corner bookmarks with two of my favorite kits. The first two were made with "As We Know It."

The colors were the first things that drew me to this kit.  Then I saw the stitched frame, the arrows, and that cute little pearl bead.  I think this is the first of Liz's kits that I ever bought.  I made this layout of my daughter with it -- one of my favorite recent layouts with her as subject.

The second two are made with "Secret Crush." One of the newer kits by Liz.  Again, I love the teal, this time combined with the pink and black to make a super sweet kit.

My favorite pieces of this one are the butterflies, the lace ribbon, and the leafy doodle.  Cupid is pretty darn cute too.  I made this layout of hubby and I with this kit. It was perfect for the Then and Now effect I was going for with the photos.

Without further ado, here are a couple pictures of the bookmarks all put together.
The bookmarks fold flat, and "hug" the corner of your pages.

Secret Crush Bookmarks (there is a blank on the one on the left for you to add your name, or the name of someone special)
As We Know It Bookmarks


Instructions are included in the download.  Each set of bookmarks is provided in jpeg format for easy printing at home on a standard 8.5x11 printer.  Hope you enjoy them, leave a comment if you download, I'd love to hear feedback!

Thanks for stopping by, and please continue on the SDS Team Favorites Blog Train! There are lots of goodies out there.

Sep 16, 2010

Halfway through September?

What?  I turned around and it's already the middle of September.  Didn't I just send Maggie to her first day of school?  Wasn't this halfway point so far away?  Well anyway, somewhere along the way, real life stepped up and made the days fly by.  But it's time for another Mystery Lift Challenge at My Life and Scrap.  I'm really excited about this set of instructions.  I loved the inspiration layout as soon as I saw it, and can't wait to see what everyone comes up with.

Until then, I'm going to crawl back under the rock that I have apparently been living under to see how quickly the next half month can fly by.  But maybe I'll get some things done while under that little rock. :) And I'll be back on Saturday with a freebie and a blog train from the Sweet Digi Scraps CT.  It's going to be SWEET!!!!!

Sep 15, 2010

Secret Challenge

This week's challenge at Log Your Memory is to scrap about a secret.  It could have been anything -- whether I like secrets, am good at keeping them, secret regrets, secret get the picture.  I decided to scrap this layout because it involves a secret, or the lack thereof, and I think it's a funny story.  I'll let the layout speak for itself, which really means I'll post the journaling below. :)
Shhh...It's a Secret
Kit: Expecting by Isabel Mendez
Fonts: Pea C-Squared and Love Ya Like a Sister

Journaling reads:    
We always talked about being a family of four. But seven years after the birth of our first child, we still hadn’t had any other children.  We had talked about it, but it was never the right time. Finances weren’t good, or I just started a new job, or there was another move on the horizon.  Finally I decided there was never going to be a perfect time, so it was time. We didn’t want added pressure, so didn’t tell anyone we were trying.  Ok, fine, we told a couple friends.

After a year of not-not trying, in the Spring of 2008, I noticed I felt funny in the mornings, and sometimes after eating, and realized I may be pregnant.  I bought a test, and took it one morning before work, without telling Scott what I was doing. Sure enough, long before the three minutes were up, the little stick said “+.” Just to be sure, I took a second test.  Scott was ecstatic.  He was so excited and wanted to call everyone up right away.  Very few people knew we had been trying, so I convinced him to wait a little while to tell people. I also thought we’d call up our parents to let them be the first to know.

I should have known something was up right away when I got home from work. Scott was on the phone with the guys at the bike shop, which wasn’t unusual.  When he got off the phone, he said, “The guys say congrats!”

According to him, he only told two people -- J.R. (a co-worker friend) and “The Shop” as if “The Shop” was a single entity.  So much for that secret!!!

Sep 14, 2010

Everyday Counts

Men @ Work
Kit: Everyday Counts by Sweet Digi Scraps
The new kit by Sweet Digi Scraps is quickly becoming a favorite.  Not only does it contain my favorite colors, but I love that little birdy, and the papers are great.  Add to it one of my favorite photos from my wedding preparations and you have an equation for a favorite layout!  

Journaling reads:
The last thing anyone expected to have to do on the day before my wedding was yardwork. That had all been done days earlier in preparation.  But Mother Nature had something else in mind when she sent the wind storm overnight that brought down a large limb from the tree in the middle of my future mother-in-law’s yard, the place we would be holding the reception the next day. 

Before the rehearsal, Papa, Dad, Joe, and Danny spent most of the day chopping up the branches and picking up leaves so the reception could flow out into the yard if needed. Four generations of men in my family worked together to help get things ready to add another member to our tree. 

I treasure this picture for many reasons. I love seeing the four of them working together. I don’t get to see my nephew often. And it was all done without complaint, without asking, because it was necessary.  It also makes me chuckle that three out of the four men are named Joe, in some form or other, but that’s another story completely. 

Sep 13, 2010

A Fast Weekend

This weekend flew by faster than it should have! Between spending Saturday sick and spending Sunday catching up on things I missed Saturday, I feel like I missed the weekend!  I did get a little bit of scrapping in before I got sick though. The layouts are so unrelated it feels like they need two posts, but I'm going to put them together because the kits I used were both by the same designer. I think that's enough of a connection, don't you?

Henry and Julia
Inspired by the 9/10 Speed Scrap at Gotta Pixel
Kit: Thrifty by Sweet Digi Scraps
Fonts: Lainie Day and Impact

The first one was for Friday night's Speed Scrap at Gotta Pixel.  For some reason I struggled on this one.  Getting the photos and papers into a cohesive block pattern was harder than I imagined, or maybe I was just over thinking it.  Yeah, probably the second. Anyway, these are some pictures I have of my great grandparents.  I love the serious expressions in the wedding photos (the two on the left), and my mom had a painting done with the picture of my great grandma as inspiration.  I love the vintage feel of these papers, and they fit just as well in these photos taken in the 1910s and 20s as they do with the photo of my mom from 1975.

Pumpkin Patch
Photos: Jennifer Johnson
Kit: Falloween by Sweet Digi Scraps
Border: Falloween Borders by Sweet Digi Scraps (Designs by Danyale)
Fonts: Cooper Std, Pea C-Squared, American Typewriter

It's Gotta Grab It time at Gotta Pixel, which means the designers have all used the same color palette to create individual packs of papers and elements.  These are all from Sweet Digi Scraps' "Falloween" part of the GGI, and the photos were taken by my friend, Jen, during a joint-family trip to a pumpkin patch a few years back (three to be exact). I can't believe how much our kids have grown in three short years!

This week will be filled with more scrapbooking, so I'll have more to share.  The creative team for Sweet Digi Scraps is gearing up for a blog train full of freebies from our favorite SDS kits.  The train is set for this coming Saturday, and I've got some great printable bookmarks coming, as well as links to all the other fabulous goodies!

Sep 10, 2010


Template: Captivated Visions, All Stacked Up Template July 2010
Papers: Katie Pertiet, Color Challenge 3-28-2010 (Blue, Grey, Beige); Karen Funk, "All American Mini" (Red)
Paper Swirl: Karen Funk, "All American Mini"
Brushes: Anna Aspnes, Hupster Plume Korners N Edges No 2 and No 6
Flower, leaf, glitter swirl: Sweet Digi Scraps, Daydreamer
Pearl, white flower, button: Sweet Digi Scraps, "As We Know It"
Frame: LivE, Simply Framed
Fonts: American Typewriter, Cracked, and Pea C-squared
Photo: from
Journaling reads: Nine years later, I still cannot looks at the images without emotion. Without images, I can remember what I was doing, wearing, and feeling on the morning of September 11, 2001 shortly after turning on the TV. That is until I look at the images.  When I look at the images, I am transported to that morning, and the day after. It is more than remembering, it is seeing. I was nowhere near New York on that morning. I only knew one or two people who were even anywhere near the city. But watching the images pouring over the news networks, I watched and mourned as if they were my closest friends.  I had to turn the TV off, and avoid all news outlets for some time, so great was my reaction to the images.

When I reflect back on that morning, I remember watching the smoke and flames pour out of the first tower. I remember the horror growing as the second plane careened into the other tower. I felt the shock when the towers fell to the ground. It was unimaginable to me that a tragedy with that magnitude could be happening. I was pregnant with my first child. Things were supposed to be happy, and all I could do was cry. I tried to block it out. I didn’t want to think about it. But I had to. My husband came home from class early that day -- his ROTC commanders had ordered all cadets to change out of their uniforms for fear of other attacks.  No one knew who was behind the attacks, or what other targets would be hit.

By the time the events of 9/11 were over, two planes had crashed into the Towers, both Towers had collapsed, a third plane had hit the Pentagon, and a fourth crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers fought back against the hijackers. A third building at the World Trade Center complex would also collapse later in the day due to damage sustained during the initial crashes and collapses of WTC 1 and 2. It took months to sift through the debris, and after the initial collapses, very few people were successfully rescued.  The destruction was terrible.

In the years since, this country has seen a return to patriotism. If one can find good in the events of 9/11, I would say the events gave the nation a common interest. Suddenly, blood banks had volunteers lining up to give, everyone was a little more willing to help out their neighbors. But with the events also came a cloud of suspicion. Our airports have gotten pickier and pickier about what is or is not allowed. Unattended baggage is seen as a threat. Ideas that are different are seen as bad. September 11 changed my generation forever. We no longer feel detached from world events. Before 9/11 our greatest tragedies had been perpetrated by mechanical failures, nature, or our own countrymen. This was the first event in my lifetime, and since Pearl Harbor in 1945 that an attack of this magnitude had been carried out on our home soil.

As much as this country has changed in nine years, part of me wants to remember the way it was. I can remember that innocence is a characteristic to foster in children, for they will have to grow up far to soon. I can remember that my neighbors are there to help me when I need. I can remember that no matter what, family and friends are the most important thing in life. Some of these things I would have learned without 9/11, but without 9/11, the learning would not have had as much meaning.

Sep 9, 2010

First Day of School (Again) and new layouts

1st/2nd Day
Kit: Cool School from the September Grab Bag by Tempus Fugit
Photo Mask: School Splatter Photo Masks by Tempus Fugit
Font: Pea C-squared

I made this layout for Maggie's first (and second) days of school.  I forgot to take pictures in the morning when she looked all cute for the first day, so I took the photo on the right-hand page instead.  The next morning, she dressed up again and we took "First Day" pictures.  I REALLY like those pencils, and may have to find other reasons to use them.

I also made two more layouts this week.  One (Little Mischief Maker) that was for a new release, and the other for the second of my September designers at My Life and Scrap.

Little Mischief Maker
Kit: Stomp Stomp Stomp by RebeccaB
All Grown Up
Kit: Nondistorted Impersonation by jusme digital
Font: Angelic War

Sep 7, 2010

Little (Frog) Prince

I took these pictures of Johnny a few weeks ago, because I just thought the frog on his bum was so cute.  (And so was the grin he kept flashing me over his shoulder.) Shortly after (or before, I can't remember) I saw this kit from Sweet Digi Scraps, and KNEW I wanted to use the kit with these pictures.  Then, because it's my guest month at Sweet Digi Scraps, I got wind of the new word art and borders to match the kit. At that point, I had no reason to keep pushing back this layout.  I love the fairy tale feel of the kit, which I also used on a layout of Maggie (blogged here).  Such a great bunch of supplies!

Kit: Pass the Peas by Sweet Digi Scraps
Border: Princess and the Pea Borders by Sweet Digi Scraps
Word Art: Princess and the Pea Word Art by Sweet Digi Scraps
Cuteness: All Johnny :)

Sep 5, 2010

First Day of School: Remembered

On the first day of school, we had a lot going on. Maggie started third grade, and as of 8:15 am we weren't sure where her classroom was since we missed the Open House earlier in the week.  She knew she would be in the modular classrooms, but we wanted to make sure we were there early to find the exact classroom, since both third grade teachers are new this year, we couldn't use her knowledge of last year's class locations. On top of that chaos, it was also the first day, for me, that I was not going to work. This layout is really about my feelings about not going back to work for the first time in several years. It was also a great reason to use this kit from Sweet Digi Scraps called Three Rs. I love the colors and the colored pencil effect that several of the elements have. I also used the pre-made borders made to coordinate.  Not having to layer and shadow that whole left border was SO handy!

Kit: Three Rs by Sweet Digi Scraps
Border: Three Rs Border by Sweet Digi Scraps (Designs by Danyale)
Fonts: American Typewriter & Chalkduster
Sorry, Mom...too much text to post the journaling here.  I'll email the text to you if you want!) :)
I still have to make the pages with the pictures I took of Maggie on the first day. (Though those pictures were *really* taken the second day, since I forgot the camera on the first day!)

Sep 4, 2010

Penscrappers Competition

Because there's always a new "toy" on my wish list, I started paying attention when people talk about websites that offer raffles and competitions for neat gadgets that would be useful for scrapping. The Penscrapper's website hosts a contest where contestants use part of a provided kit to create a layout.  Then they collect votes, and the highest vote wins a new pen tablet.  A pen tablet takes the place of a mouse and can do some pretty cool things when scrapping.  The layout below is the one I made for the competition this month, and I'm hoping you'll click on this link and go vote for it (or click on the will take you there too)!  This is the first time I've entered at this website, and once you are looking at my layout, all you have to do is click the "Vote" button.

Kit: Lucrecer Braxton's "Journal Your Life Authentically" kit for the September Penscrapper's Contest

Thanks for all your support!

Sep 1, 2010

Wrapping up August Mystery Lift

August has come to a close, and so has my first challenge at MLAS.  I used this layout to create the instructions for my first mystery lift.  When I saw it, I knew right away that I wanted to lift it, with the same kit, just using different elements.  I also knew I wanted to ask my brother and his fiance if I could borrow a picture from their trip to Maui (seeing as I have never been to Hawaii, and I have plenty of pages of my daughter swimming...).  My soon-to-be-sister-in-law sent me a handful of pictures and I chose to use one for this layout, but think I'll make a second page to make it a two page spread with the other ones...they were all beautiful photos!  (It helps that both subjects are both so photogenic!) Thanks for letting me us your pictures, Courtney!
Courtney & Joe
(Picture courtesy Courtney)
Kit: Hawaiian Honu by Dream Big Designs