Friday, December 17, 2010

Give Thanks

Ever since my husband and I began hosting Thanksgiving,  I have just been in love with this holiday.  I enjoy the relaxing day with family while the turkey cooks.  The house gets warm, we have lots of fun, and then we top it off with a very filling meal.  It's always a great time to just hang out inside and stay toasty.

And I love how all those feelings come back to me when I set out to scrapbook the day!  When I paper scrapbook, I always plan out two page spreads together.  I lay them physically next to eachother and make sure the design on both pages is complimentary.  However, when I went digital, I left this concept behind.  Sure I still think about doing coordinating pages but I don't often ensure cohesive design between the two.  It can be difficult to navigate such a large layout in Photoshop but I think the result can really be worth it with the right design.  So, I sorted through my pictures from Thanksgiving and decided to try the two-page again.  I'm happy I did, as I think it's a nice page the compliments some of the better photos from the day.

Gobble, gobble!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Oh Joy of all Joys!!

Today is a great day!  For on this day I have recieved and loaded Adobe Creative Suite 5 onto my computer, or CS5!  I will now retire from Photoshop Elements 7.0 and move onto the real deal.  It's a pretty exciting day.  And that's not all!  I now have a slew of awesome Adobe products, like Illustrator.  I took a course in Illustrator a few weeks ago and it was hard but I want to keep learning.

Today I opened up Photoshop, and, well, it is a bit different but I'm sure after a bit more time I will get the hang of it and be on my way to enjoying all the cool new features I now have.  I know, how nerdy, but I'm pretty happy. :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


A few weeks back I wanted to try my hand (er, mouse) at putting together a small digital kit of my own.  After a few finishing touches, here it is!  I call it Love To Love and there are 10 papers and 18 embellishments included in it.  I thought it came out alright for a first attempt and I hope that others can enjoy it too.  Here is a preview of the kit:
To download the kit, please click here to visit 4shared.  Please let me know your comments!  And if you use this kit to make a scrapbook page, I'd love to see it!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A mini album

This past weekend I was very excited to start a new digital scrapbooking class at called Digi in Deep.  It's a more advanced class that will focus on layout and design.  Should be fun!  After completing the lessons, there was a creative challenge to complete a mini album out of quotations.  No pictures.  Futhermore, you needed to stick to the papers and embellishments that were included in the kit provided.  Ok, something a little different for me.  Well, it turned about to be a lot of fun.  I decided to pick a theme for my quotes - hope.  After an internet search I was ready to begin and here is how it turned out.  Each "page" of the pictures is really four pages of the mini book.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Chipboard Christmas Memories Album

Over the last week my husband and I have been very busy painting and reorganizing a few rooms in our home.  Feels great to have the spaces all cleaned out and organized!  I was able to sneak in one additional project - a chipboard album.  I've never done one before but all the pictures I've seen make them look so cute.  With Christmas parties approaching I am bored with the traditional hostess gifts so I thought this would make a great one.  I found some interesting and glittery papers, some cute embellishments, and I was off.  Here are the pictures of how it turned out:

Along the right side of the album is the word "JOLLY" and each page has little jounal tags tucked behind the photo space so that memories or people pictured can be remembered.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Digital Templates

As I've been searching through the web I have noticed that there are a lot of digital templates out there!  Then I got to thinking, I really could make my own so that I'd have better inspiration for making pages.  Thinking about making a template and then filling it in with papers and embellishments has actually helped me to scrap faster and be more creative.  I'm really enjoying it too!

It got me thinking about a template I had for paper scrapping many years back.  You basically cut up one inch squares and then pasted it all back down.  It was a long process, as you can imagine.  However, I did make some great pages - my favorite being one where I used pictures of the 4th of July fireworks to make one really big display from all the picture parts.  Anyhow, this all got me to thinking that I could do this digitally so I took an hour or two and made a mosaic template of my own.  Then I found some fall pics and made the following page for a color swatch challenge.  The elements are from K Teague's November kit.  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Photo Fun

In my recent scrapbook flurry I haven't spent too much time digging through my photos and finding fun ways to edit them so today I spent a little time doing that.  I had a few photos from a trip we took to visit our friends at the end of October.  It was fun to revisit that trip and the beautiful fall day we had to spend together.  I tried various techniques on the photos and was really pleased to end up with many that I felt turned out very good!  Of course, scrapbook inspiration was born!

(sorry, don't want to show their faces, but hopefully you can still see how these fun pics got me thinking scrapbook!)

I've actually been working on my very own digital kit and this is a small preview of some of the goodies I made myself.  It was my first attempt at it and I think it came together pretty well.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Blog Hop!!!

What an exciting day today will be!  The recent graduates of Jessica Sprague's "The Art of Digital Design" are hosting a blog hop with FREEBIES!!  Hop from blog to blog collecting a massive collab kit called "Christmas Treasures."  I hope to take this class one day so I am VERY excited to see the creations and to see some new blogs!  It all starts at:

I know what I will be doing today!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Starting backwards

Over the many years that I have been scrapbooking I have taken several different approaches to getting pages done.  Most times I start with a specific event, find the best pictures, and then develop a theme around those pictures.  Sometimes that works out great, but other times I leaves me wanting more - wanting those cute pages I see others design.

Well, that is one reason I love digital!  I can start a page both ways and see which one I love.  Lately, I've been trying to challenge my layouts so I've started with some of my digital kits and just focused on making several different layouts from them.  It's been a great way to get more creative and every so often I think, hey, those pictures would look really cute in there.  And that's how I came up with the page below.  I was working with a kit by Michelle Coleman and really liked the layout I had.  So I searched through some pictures I had not yet scrapped and found a few that I think worked from a fun Friday summer night we had just hanging out and celebrating a friend's birthday.  Just an impromtu sort of day that can be so relaxing!  (Sorry about hiding some of the photos, but I don't want to put everyone's face out on the internet) :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Feels like summer...

Well, maybe not.  But it is a VERY nice fall day here today!  I was looking back through some of the pages I've already completed for my 2010 scrapbook.  I like to re-visit them and see if I have new ideas to add when I came across this page.  It's from the summer so it's a great day to post it!

We had a fun time at the minature golf course this year and I had a fun time putting this page together too.  For the background, I used a picture I had taken that day of the course and just put a brush effect over it so it was more subdued.  I then extraced from other pictures so I'd have two players on the course.  I loved the way it turned out.  Add in some journaling, a nice close up of the bunch, and ta-da!  Page done.  I like how it combines a nice portrait with some action shots.  By extracting the subjects, I didn't have to mess around with any distractions in the backgrounds of the actual pictures.  Therefore, the whole thing is more coheasive.  In general, I really love using Photoshop to remove distracting backgrounds.  It makes my pages come together a lot better so I can CREATE the focal point rather than having the eye get caught on some off color distraction in a photo.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Happy BELATED Digital Scrapbooking Day!

Ah, yes, this past weekend was the celebration of Digital Scrapbooking Day! There seems to be a day for just about everything now, but this is one I enjoyed finding out about.  However, due to some home renovations I was not able to do anything digital over the weekend.  Too bad for me.  But I am looking forward to some more this week!

I got started tonight by finishing up our Christmas cards.  I had a lot of fun making several designs.  I wanted to have a more fun with it than my husband did, but we eventually agreed on a design together and it is now officially off to the printer!  Here's a peak at the front of the card.

Happy BELATED digiscrap day!
Credits: StarLight Designs(hats & Window), CelineDesigns (stars), Storybook dreams (wood), Renee Pearson (crackle), DSE (metal border), Seni (lamp) Choubinette Designs (red leaf hearts)

Monday, November 1, 2010

what I believe

As the photo taker and scrapbooker in the family, I'm often not the subject of either.  So it's rare to find a good picture of myself but even more rare to find an entire page devoted to ME in my scrapbooks!  So, I decided to do a little focus on me and came up with the idea to document the things I believe.  Looking at the finished piece, it seems more appropriate to call it a collage.  I used A LOT of blending modes to get this one done.  I still feel like I may make a few tweeks but I'm going to post it anyhow.  (Kit "encourage yourself" by Lucrecer Braxton and brushes by Renee Pearson)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Committment: Scrapping in the moment

Generally, my scrapbooks tend to be of specific events - birthdays, vacations, or holidays - but one of the changes I want to make is to spend more time documenting the every day things that happen.  I want to document who we are and what is going on in our lives around these moments in time.  To do this, I must follow through with two things.  First, I must be committed to doing this and staying on top of it so I don't lose any important details that I may want to remember.  Second, I have to bring my camera!  The second is by and large the biggest reason I don't have pages devoted to the normal things in life. 

One creative idea I wish to embark upon in 2011 is to do pages that make me stop during the year and focus on the "right now".  Hopefully I will remeber to do this, but as of right now the plan is to devote a page to each family member in the beginning, middle, and end of the year to focus on what our thoughts are at that time.  I have yet to come up with a template of questions as this idea is still sprouting but I'm getting excited about it.  On that note, I thought it was high time that I put at least some of this idea into practice!  So, since our pup just turned one year, I thought I would take the time to devote a page to him and what he is like RIGHT NOW.  :)
Page elements are from Jessica Sprague kit "You & Me".

Friday, October 22, 2010

Final Collage Work

Well, I *think* it is finished...that's kinda the thing that's both good and bad about working digitally.  You can forever change things!  I've been spending a lot of time trying to get the background colors just right. I wanted a pinky-peachy blend of colors.  I think this is what I like, but time will only tell.  Well, here it is to enjoy.  Overall, it was a great exercise and I think I'll keep trying it out.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fun with Fonts!

This week I've really been having fun finding new fonts to use in my pages.  Some of the websites that I have loved visiting are and  They have so many fonts that you could spend a long time there and be SO tempted to download them all so I guess it's good that I'm just looking for a specific page.   Here's my latest page, with a new font!

All the materials are from Jessica Sprague's class 'Now we're Rockin'' for digital scrapbooking.  In that class I learned how to make the great sticker appearance that you see on the letters in "training" here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More time to scrapbook!

Well, with the house clean and many other to-do's completed, I've had a bunch of time to scrapbook today!  Well, guess it's not all due to my hard's mostly due to the pup waking us up at 4:20!  I was able to do several household tasks and create an entire scrapbook page before breakfast.  Well, time well spent I guess.  I'm excited about today's pages - using a theme of "birthday" and "this makes me happy."  So fun to have a theme to scrapbook to.  I've never really done that before.  Generally, I just take pictures of events and scrapbook those specific events, but there really is so much more that can be done.  Sometimes a theme makes you look a little differently at your pictures.

 Well, "birthday" is not a hard theme but it was great timing since I had yet to scrap pictures from Matt's birthday this year.  I learned how to make this circle with cutouts for photos too!  I tried to do this with another shape but PSE was not cooperating with me!  I know it will work later, so hopefully I can post another layout using something a little different another time.  I didn't have any really great pictures from the event so a collage like this was somewhat helpful since you don't need to show a lot of background.
The other theme of "this makes me happy" was a perfect way for me to scrap about my favorite time of year - fall!  (Early fall to be specific - where the sun still shines and warms you)  Anyhow, this was great inspiration for a random Sunday afternoon walk we took around town on a nice day. (Elements from 'When Autumn Comes' by Fannette Design, Papers from 'Autumn' by Galiscrap)
I'm having so much fun!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Today Challenge

I was challenged to make a simple layout in under 30 minutes under the heading "today."  Well, it took only about 25 minutes and that even included time to stop the pup in the picture from chewing a blanket, chewing a rug, and licking the floor in real life!  I'll call this a success! (Papers and Elements from "Sunporch" by Amy Teets)

Back to Scrapping!

I've been consumed lately by my collage work and while I'm still working on my final piece for the class, I decided that I needed to do some good ole' digital scrapbooking!  Via a tutorial on, I put together the following page using materials provided there.  After all that collage, I felt I needed someone to guide me into getting it done.  So happy I did!  I've been waiting to make a page from this evening in September.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Another collage

Today I finished another collage for the class I am taking and I think it turned out pretty well.  I had a lot of fun making this background a few weeks back.  I basically started with a blue - a robins egg blue to be specific.  I bet you wouldn't think that now.  I blended that background with a photo of my linen curtains...ah, I thought that looked pretty neat.  Then I added some brushes by Anna Aspnes and ta da!  Here is my background.
The next weeks assignment was to make it into a mini collage so I added a few pictures and wording and here it is!
I call it "Live in the Moment."  The idea behind it was to put a young girl imaging what she would be like as a young woman and an older woman reminissing about what it would be like to be young again with a reminder to that beautiful, young woman to "live in the moment."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Collage Fun

I'm currently taking a digital collage class at and it is great fun.  Needless to say I've been working with blending modes and filter effects.  It is simply amazing as to how carried away you can get and how very different the end result can be even when you start with the same items.

This class has taught me many new tricks and has challenged my creativity.  For example, in Photoshop you can change the color of the shadow you apply to your objects.  Generally, I simply apply the desired effect but haven't spent much time thinking about changing the color of it!

I'm posting my first mini collage that I just completed for the class.  The papers and butterfly are curtesy of the Anna Aspnes kit we received with the class.  You'll see I even changed the shadow of the little girl in the bottom corner to purple!  Overall, not bad for my first attempt at collage.  I call it, "Dream in Color."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Using a Clipping Mask.

So, not really a "trick" but just a more simple way of getting something done.  I'd previously learned how to take a shape and change it to a new pattern via this long process involving the magic wand tool and a series of steps and layers, and are you still with me?  Yes, neither was I.  I've always had to open that book back up. 
But today, today I learned of "Ctrl-G" and I'm never going back.  It's so simple!  And so fun!
The basic instructions are:
1. Draw shape on open file.
2. Create new layer to put the color via Paint bucket or to Place the patterned paper you want the image to be filled with.
3. Use Ctrl-G, and ta-da!

Now how simple and very fun is that!  Then it hit me - I can use that to cut my photos into shapes which is how I finally learned to use a photo mask in PSE.  Now I'm not just limited to the crop shapes menu (although the one above is on that menu).  Here's a very fast example of some shapes and a picture that is masked.  This may be simple to those more experienced but wow, did this just open some doors for me.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My very first post!

Growing up, I always enjoyed doing creative and crafty things!  Although it's never been more than a hobby, I have always needed a creative outlet.  As an adult, I've mostly been into scrapbooking and this is truly my first love.  I LOVE documenting through pictures, words, and images.  Althought I truly enjoy paper crafts, I've recently began scrapbooking digitally and it is so awesome.  The creative potential is unlimited!  But I'll try my hand at most anything. 

In order to keep track of my projects and get feedback on them, I've decided to start up this blog and use it to do just that.  My hope is to connect with other crafty people and to try out some new things!  And maybe even inspire someone else to get crafty.

And FYI...this is my first blog and I've tried to make it look pretty but I have to admit this is all new to me so I'm sure it will continue to change in appearance as I learn more. ;)