Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Scrapping withdrawal & Wii Fit

No scrapping goodness yet! I know...I am a slacker. The end of a school year is always busy...trying to finish grading stuff and getting grades ready to be submitted. I am sure I will be even busier next year when I have 150 kids versus the 50 I have now! So, scrapbooking has taken a back seat for now. I have to admit that I feel like I am going through withdrawal. I love to scrap and get very frustrated when I don't have the creative outlet. I hope this weekend brings some free time on my Creative Sunday!

In other news, we just purchased this new toy:

I have not had too much of a chance to work with it because we just got it yesterday and Ryan loves it! I have a feeling that we will be fighting over this game. I will be sure to give my full review once I get started. Tomorrow is looking good because Ryan goes with his Dad...that is, of course, if he does not take it with him! I might have to buy one for myself!

I hope you are all having a good week! Peace!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Marge Simpson!

That's me, I guess. Actually, after reading the description, I don't think being Marge is all that bad.

Take this test!
You are Marge from The Simpsons. You may not share Marge's blue bouffant, but you do share her animated style of mothering. Sometimes the pressures of maintaining a happy home may push you toward the edge, but at the end of the day, you believe in your children wholeheartedly, even when they're being rather, um, spirited.

You encourage your kids' creativity and individuality, whether that means watching them perform the saxophone or helping them raise exotic lizards. You may sometimes say things that sound like old-fashioned parenting clichés, but when it comes down to dealing with domestic disasters, you can be a pretty together, modern mama.

What TV Mom are you?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Take a moment this weekend to say a prayer for all of our soldiers who have died for our freedom and for those who are fighting for our freedom as we speak. We live in a truly great country, and it is only as great as it is because of the sacrifices that have been made throughout history by soldier and Americans. Celebrate this great country and be proud to call it home. I am.

I hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend. The weather has been beautiful here, and we might actually get to swim later on today. Last night, we went to the Drive-Ins to see Indiana Jones. It was good, but the second movie was my favorite by far. Iron Man was one of the best movies that I have seen in ages. I really did not think that it would be for me, but it really blew me right away. I will admit that my original reason for even seeing it was that my boyfriend, Robert Downey, Jr., was in it.

I have had a crush on that man since I was in High School. I was devastated when he was imprisoned on drug charges in the 90's. I am glad that things are going well for him now. His career is booming, and he is now married. I like when a story has a good ending, although he would have been much happier if he married me (LOL)!

I haven't done any scrapping so far this weekend, but I have taken quite a few pictures. That should get my mojo going. Pictures are my greatest inspiration when it comes to scrapbooking. This one is the boys being crazy before the movie started last night.

They really are crazy! With any luck, they might actually smile for a few pictures today! Happy Sunday!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I can't believe that I forgot to post this layout! I was thrilled to be asked by the super talented Kelly Goree to contribute to the May issue of the BasicGrey Newsletter. Of course, I said YES! What made it even more fun was that I got to work with another awesome sketch from Becky Fleck! Becky creates a sketch every month for the BG Newsletter, and several designers create a layout based on it. Here is my contribution:

I have to say that I loved working with this BG line! It is a bit different than my usual colors, but so much fun! BasicGrey was so super generous with their prize for the CK HOF winners this year. We each received an entire set of all of their new lines! I haven't busted any of it out yet. Everything is just packaged so nice and perfectly that I can't bring myself to tear it all open. The other HOF winners and I will be doing some challenges with our new goodies, so keep your eyes open at the CK website. I know that BG will be on that list! Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your evening!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Favorite Products

I often find myself using certain products on my layouts at different times. For example, I will get on a kick where I use brads on every layout. Or buttons, or a certain letter sticker. Right now, in addition to digital brushes, there are a few items that I am really enjoying using.

1. My Silhouette

I know that I have said this several times already, but I just cannot get enough of this baby! I can't believe that I waited so long to get this. It is so easy to cut fonts, dingbats, shapes, and more. I save myself tons of time with this handy tool. I highly recommend it!

2. Kokuyo Adhesive

This stuff just plain rocks. Easy to use, easy to change the refill cartridge, holds very well. Love it! It gets two thumbs up in my book.

3. Stampin' Up Spiral Punch

You have got to love a punch that makes any paper look like it has been torn out of a spiral bound notebook. I find myself reaching for this little punch very often. The best thing about it...the little guide on it that helps you to line it up each time you punch. Cutting a 12 inch border is a piece of cake! It is excellent quality,too...sturdy and easy to hold.

Although I may get on my kicks where I use and even over-use a product, these three items are ones that I have been consistently using since I got them. So, even though change is a good thing...sometimes keeping things the same has its good points!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Creative Sunday!

It was the perfect day to sit down, relax, and scrap a bit. Lots of rain and no sunshine makes it easier to stay indoors and not feel like I am missing something. I pulled out my new Tinkering Ink goodies once again, and I found an awesome Becky Fleck sketch that suited my pictures perfectly. In no time flat, I had a layout done and ready to share.
These pictures of my nieces are about 2 years old. They are from their Senior Prom in 2006. How time flies! I had actually forgotten all about scrapping them until I was backing up my pictures to my external hard drive. I was thrilled to have rediscovered them. Aren't they gorgeous girls? In case you are curious, here is the Becky Fleck sketch that I used.

When it comes to sketches, my translations are pretty literal. I usually stick pretty close to the sketch and then add my own little details. Becky's sketches are so fun to work with, and they make scrapping so easy! I hope you are all enjoying your Sunday. I am still in scrap mode, so I am off! Peace!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Happy Wednesday!

The weather here in PA was Bee-U-tiful today! It's kind of hard to stay in the house on such a nice day, so I did not get any scrapping done like I had planned. I sat down just a few minutes ago to get an idea out of my head and into a PSE sketch, so I thought I would make a quick blog post. Ryan is off with his Dad, and I will be off to bed soon. Hopefully, I will be able to turn my sketch into a layout within the next few days. The other HOF gals and I are working on our first manufacturer challenge, so stay tuned! I won't reveal who the first MFC is, but it is a FUN one! I was browsing my computer for pictures, and I came across this one:

Isn't this cupcake adorable? I know it is May, and Christmas is long gone; but I could not resist sharing this. No, I did not make it...wish I was so talented with icing. It was a gift from my sister, and I had to take a picture of its cuteness! Makes me about you? Enjoy the rest of your evening!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

This is a long one...Drop Shadow Instructions!!

Okay, I have had a few friends ask and a few e-mails from others who asked about how I make my layouts look like they have a shadow. I guess I assume that since I am not a computer genius, most people know what I know. I don't have any big secrets or mad skills when it comes to computers or PSE, but I can navigate enough to make due. I am not sure if this is the easiest way to add a drop shadow or not, but it works for me. And it is easy for me because it is what I know and I am happy with it. I will share here what I do for those of you who had questioned me. For those of you who don't care, you can stop reading now, so you are not bored to death. I use PSE 4 because I am too afraid to upgrade and lose all of my actions. I am sure the process is similar in other versions of PSE. Again, this is what works for me, and I am sure there are easier/better ways. I am an old dog who is happy with my old tricks...LOL!

Adding a Drop Shadow

In PSE, Go under the File Menu; choose New and then Blank File.

For the Height and Width, I usually choose 13 inches for both because I normally scrap 12x12. If you are working with another size layout, you would create your blank page at about 1 inch larger than your layout. For example, an 8.5 x 11 layout would have a canvas of 9.5 width and 12 height. Either way, your Resolution is 300 pixels/inch and your Color Mode is RGB Color.

Under the file menu, choose open to open the scanned image or photographed layout that you want to add to your blank page.

Find your saved file and click open.

Under the Layer Menu, choose Duplicate layer.

In the dialog box, choose Untitled 1 as your document and click ok.

You can close your scan/photograph now and see that it has been copied into your blank document.

Making sure that your image layer is the active layer, use the drop down box under Styles and Effect to choose Layer Styles while the drop down box next to it should say Drop Shadows.

Choose High as your shadow type, and you will see the shadow appear on your image.

I don’t really like the way the shadow looks as it first appears, so I tweak it to my taste. You can change the shadow however you like until you find one that makes you happy. To do so, go under the Layer Menu, choose Layer Style, and then Style Settings.

Another Dialog box will come up. For Lighting Angle, I choose 55 degrees and for Shadow Distance, I choose 85 px. The shadow will move as you adjust these numbers and you can see it before you commit to it. When you are happy, hit ok.

You can resize your image to fill the blank page better by holding down the Shift key while dragging a corner handle. The Shift key keeps the proportions correct.

Once you have resized, hit the Commit button to make the size change.

You can then drag the image so that it is centered in the middle of the page.

Under the Layer Menu, Choose Flatten Image to merge your layers.

If you plan on displaying this on the web, you will need to resize so the file is not so big. Under the Image Menu, choose Resize, and then choose Image Size.

Another Dialog box will come up. Here, I change the width and height to 3 inches. Hit ok.

It will get much smaller on your screen; you can enlarge it by pointing at it with your mouse and scrolling in with the mouse wheel.

Now you just have to save it. Under the File Menu, choose Save As.

Choose the folder where you would like to save it. Give it a name, and save it as a JPEG file. Hit Save.

In the Dialog box that comes up, drag the Quality slider down so that the size is below 500K. I usually use a quality of about 8 or 9. As you move the slider, the size will automatically change. Hit ok.

That’s it. I know it seems like a lot of steps, but it really takes no time at all once you get used to it! Good Luck and feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me with any questions! Also, if you would like me to send these instructions to you in Word format, please leave a comment with your e-mail or e-mail me for that, too!

Have a great night!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mothers Day & Creative Sunday!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful weekend and Mothers Day. We had May Crowning today and then visited my Mom. Ryan then went with his Dad, and I had my peaceful Sunday all to myself. I was thrilled to be able to sit down and create some layouts with my new Tinkering Ink goodies. This one used the Wild Woodland line:

I love the bright colors in this line. I like that many of the papers have matching solid colors on their "B sides." I added some digital brushes here and brads. These are some pictures of Ryan with his glasses on. Isn't he the cutest?

This next layout uses the Noir Blanc line:I adore the black and white scheme almost as much as I enjoy colors! I added red because it is just such a classic look and great for these pictures of Ryan. I used my Sihouette, once again, for the title. I am definately getting my use out of that little machine! I did start a Peek-a-Boo album, but that will take a bit longer to finish. It is turning out great, though, and I can't wait to share it!

It's off to bed now to rest up for another week of school! Have a good one!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Tinkering Ink!

I have some really great and fun news! I was honored last week to have been asked to join the awesome Design Team at Tinkering Ink.

They have such wonderful collections of bold designs and bright colors. I received a generous goodie box from them, and I am currently working on some layouts and projects that I know will turn out awesome! I am thrilled to once again be designing with a few of my old team mates from the Arctic Frog design team...Miss Linda Harrison and Miss Summer Fullerton! Both of them are incredible scrapbookers and designers, and I am thrilled to join them in designing once again!

In addition to these talented ladies, the team also consists of some other wonderfully creative girls: Michelle St. Clair (DT leader), Pam Callaghan, Jillian Deiling, Daniela Dobson, Summer Ford, Dawn Hagewood, Jaime Lynne Lea, Roree Rumph, and Betsy Veldman. I can't wait to get to know these ladies better and get desiging for Ti! Thank you, Paul & Kezia for such a great opportunity!

Stop by the Tinkering Ink blog for some inspiration and eye candy, and keep your eyes open here for some work from me!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Hall of Fame Goodies!

All I can say is WOW! My Hall of Fame goodies arrived today, and I am overwhelmed...3 big boxes! The manufacturers who donated prizes for the contest were more than generous. The list includes BasicGrey, Buttons Galore, Chatterbox, Clearsnap, Cosmo Cricket, CropperWare LLC, Die Cuts With A View, Doodlebug Design, EK Success, Fancy Pants Designs, Little Yellow Bicycle, Luxe Designs, Making Memories, Me and my BIG ideas, QuicKutz, ScraPerfect, Scrappin’ Sports, Sizzix, Three Bugs in a Rug, Tinkering Ink, and 7gypsies.

Believe me when I tell you that I could scrap for years with all of the supplies and never have to shop again. Of course, I won't do that because I love to shop for scrapbooking supplies just as much as I love to scrapbook. I took the above pictures of Ryan surrounded by the goodies. He was just as excited as I was...if not more! He tore through those boxes in record time yelling "I call this!" every time he saw something that he liked, and he liked a lot! Like mother, like son. He loves being crafty! A few of my fellow Hall of Famers took the time to separate all of the goodies by manufacturer and photograph them. You can visit, Suzy's blog here and Linda's blog here to see the details of all of these goodies. They have some wonderful pictures that will blow you right away!

I have to thank CK and all of the manufacturers for their generosity. Look forward to seeing me and this years HOF gals doing challenges with each of these manufacturers goodies. I can't wait to get started!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Mini Book Madness!

I finally had the chance to sit down and finish the little chipboard book that came in the May kit from Scrapbook Deals 4U. It is the cutest little thing, and I decided that I would make a little book for my Mom. After all, Mother's Day is right around the corner. She has become accustomed to receiving handmade gifts from me. Believe me, it is tough to shop for her. She has everything. Plus, I think that handmade gifts are so much more special!

I added a little felt flower for some added color. The gorgeous felt ribbon is glued around the book and ties to keep the book closed. From my stash, I added Mom's name with those awesome American Crafts rub-ons. I adore that font! The "2008" is from some really, really old Autumn Leaves rub-ons. I knew they would come in handy some day...even if it was 4 years (or maybe even more) down the road!

The inside is pretty simple with only photos on each page. I sometimes feel that less in more. I chose some more recent pics of the kids. If I am not mistaken, this is the 3rd "brag book" that Grama Rose is getting. She does, however, have tons of other handmade goodies. One of my most favorite was the wooden block set that I made for her. I made them when I was trying out for the Fancy Pants DT (a year or two ago, maybe). She has them displayed on her window ledge, and I love seeing them every time I walk in her house.

I have to make a set of these babies for myself one day soon. They are so fun to make! Well, off to bed I go. Hope you have a wonderful night!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

First Communion & Creative Sunday

Busy weekend here. Ryan received First Holy Communion on Saturday. He looked so handsome and grown-up in his little suit.
I still can't believe that he is already 8 years old. I was so proud of him in the church. He did a great job of sitting still during the service. Actually, all of the children were very well behaved. We have a wonderful Pastor who really loves the kids. He likes to make things fun for them. Once mass was over, Ryan could not wait to get out of the "monkey suit", as he called it. His jacket and tie were off within minutes!

Today was another fun Creative Sunday. I scrapped some pics of Ryan last year on the the day before school started. Doesn't he look so different?

Look forward to the buzz cut once again this summer. Not that his hair is that long now, but it is just easier to be bald in the heat of the summer months. Believe me, I would do it to myself if I wouldn't look like a crazy woman! Thanks for stopping by and enjoy what is left of your Sunday!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Just a quick post

I just wanted to make a quick post tonight as it has been a few days since my last post. I received some e-mails with some questions, so I thought I would address them here. For those of you who asked about the font that I used in my "In my heart" layout, it is called Synchronous. You can download it for free here. I am a fontaholic, so I have tons of fonts that I have either purchased or got for free. Don't ever hesitate to ask if I use a font that you like. I love to many people have done so for me.

Second, some of you had asked about "welding" words in a script font on the Silhouette. I found a tutorial on how to do it, and I will look for the exact site to share with you. That will have to wait until this weekend, though, because I can't find the site right now. It really is very easy. Some of you mentioned not using your Silhouette that much and wanting to use it more. Fonts for titles are a great way to get more use out of the Silhouette!

Lastly, I do promise to share the mini book that I made from the Scrapbook Deals 4U May kit. I just have not had the time to photograph it. I will definitely be doing that this weekend and sharing it here! Enjoy the rest of your week!