Wednesday, July 30, 2008

:PRODUCTS: Like Christmas in a box...

I received my first box of goodies from a MemoryWorks home party with the 2008 catalog recently and boy, does it just make me all tingly opened up a box like this! It's like Christmas in a box!

What you see here just skimmed the very surface of what was inside. Stickers and chipboard and patterned paper packs, oh my!

My backdoor neighbor hosted a party last night and has earned herself at least $40 in free product so far (we're still waiting on a couple outside orders), so I'll have another box like this coming next week.

Then, I have another home party being hosted by a co-worker of mine next week, so I'll be getting another box the week after that, too...I'm not sure my heart can take it!

The only downside is that I have to give most of it the people who actually paid for it! :-)

Of course, I always order a little something for myself, but somehow after seeing the awesome stuff everyone else ordered my wishlist keeps getting longer instead of shorter.

Funny how that works...

:PRODUCTS: Like Christmas in a box...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

:MOVIE: The Bucket List

We watched The Bucket List the other night and boy was that a great movie! If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it.

I pretty much always like anything that Morgan Freeman is in, but Jack Nicholson...not so much. So, I wasn't sure how this one would play out, but it was really a wonderful movie.

This story of two unlikely friends brought together by their terminal illnesses really gets a person thinking.

What would be on your bucket list? It's got me thinking about what would be on mine and I might just have to start writing it down.

It's never too early, right?

:MOVIE: The Bucket ListSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, July 28, 2008

:LIFE: She was surprised...

I was too busy to post this weekend.

I wasn't feeling the best on Friday and was praying that I wasn't coming down with anything because Saturday was my sister's SURPRISE Bachelorette Party.

Her friend Mel and I had been planning for months and her friends Teresa and Sarah also helped out with some decorations and games...she's got some great friends. We planned an overnight extravaganza in Sioux Falls and had a blast.

Mel lured her to the hotel where we were staying thinking that she was going to a party for someone else and as soon as she walked in the door, we showered her with a bachelorette sash, bride-to-be tiara, leis and, of course, some alcohol! :-)

We had some pizza and then headed out on the town. Mel and I were the designated DD's for the night so we had to drink light, but none of the girls got too out of control (which impressed me for a bunch of 20-somethings)...except for my sister! But it was her party after all, so I guess that was the point - and she had the seven of us to keep an eye on her so all was well.

It was a LATE night for me - probably 3:30 a.m. or so before I actually got to sleep, but it was a good time. In the end, I think everyone had a great time and I'm so glad that we were actually able to surprise my sister. Pretty much everyone knew what was going on except her.

Once I got home early yesterday afternoon, I spent the majority of the day getting ready for our rummage this coming weekend. I got a lot of stuff organized and priced, but still have a bit to do and this week is a little crazy. I'll get it all done somehow.

:LIFE: She was surprised...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Friday, July 25, 2008

:LIFE: Feeling a little tired...

This is what my next month looks like...

- a rummage (possible two since we're considering leaving everything up for a second run the following weekend depending on how things go)

- a performance by Kaitlin's theatre class

- my sister's bachelorette party (of which I'm helping to plan)

- 2 MemoryWorks home parties (and subsequent scrapbooking product orders to deliver)

- a family reunion

- dance rehearsals for Kaitlin

- the annual celebration called Riverboat Days in my town for which I am helping with a 5K run/walk, Kaitlin is in the parade and will also be performing with her dance group

- my sister's bridal shower (of which I'm helping to plan...just finished and sent off 63 invitations yesterday)

- Kaitlin starts Kindergarten

- dentist appointments for both Kaitlin and Justin (finally...I want to be there to see what the dentist has to say and make sure Justin doesn't try to put things off any longer)

...all naturally within the month of the year that is always the busiest for me at work. We have just four weeks before the semester starts and I still have much to help students complete...some that haven't even inquired yet. Many of my adult learners, bless their hearts, tend to wait until the last minute.

Although this is stuff that makes life interesting and I'm generally looking forward to, I can't help but feeling just a little bit tired thinking about it all. :-)

How is your August shaping up...a crazy fairwell to summer or a relaxing retreat?
:LIFE: Feeling a little tired...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

:QUOTES: Creativity according to Fromm, Shaw, & Seuss

"Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties."
"Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and, at last, you create what you will."
"Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!"
:QUOTES: Creativity according to Fromm, Shaw, & SeussSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

:LAYOUT: Wishes for my Daughter

This layout was actually one that I had entered as part of my submission for the Memory Makers Master '08 contest. I wasn't at all surprised that I didn't get a Masters call, but it is still great to see one of my submissions in print.

This one was on page 103 of the MM Scrapbook Idea Gallery 2008.

CardstockBazzill, DCWV
Patterned Paper – Basic Grey
Ribbon – Offray
Gems – Bead Party
Transparency – Office Supply
Fonts – Ariel, Beautiful

~ I wish for you to always see the beauty in nature. ~ I wish for you to forever find joy in dancing and to someday find a partner who makes you feel as though you’re the only couple on the floor. ~ I wish that good fortune and reasonable caution work together to keep you safe in a violent world. ~ I wish that someday you discover a calling for which you are so passionate that it is impossible to tell where work and life cross over. ~ I wish that just once you fall in love so hard with the wrong person that the ride is worth the fall. ~ I wish that despite that fall, you find a wonderful man to marry with a great sense of humor, who adores you and will help you to learn the meaning of true and lasting love. ~ I wish for you to enjoy good health. ~ I wish for you to spend your life in the company of great music, good books and loyal friends. ~ I wish for you to know the value of a dollar. ~ I wish for you to never let material possessions take precedence over the people you love. ~ I wish for you to find a community of faith in which you feel at home. ~ I wish for you to discover it’s more important to be purposeful than happy, and more important to be happy than rich. ~ I wish for you to have at least one child, so you can forgive me my mistakes as a mother just a little bit easier. ~ I wish for you to always have the strength to do what is right, even when it is not the easy road to follow. ~ I wish that you continue to regard flavorful food (in moderation) as one of the great pleasures of life, but to never have to worry about your weight. ~ I wish for you to have many wonderful adventures involving passports, cross-country trips and once-in-a-lifetime sights. ~ I wish for you to hold onto your independent spirit and generous heart. ~ I wish that you always know you can count on your parents` unconditional love, even when we drive you mind-numbingly crazy. ~ I wish you peace and bliss. ~

Comments & Techniques:
I used the rule of thirds to place emphasis on the photo of the eyes and a scripted type and varying shades of blue to highlight key words and phrases. The gems separate each wish and also add a touch of sparkle to the page.
:LAYOUT: Wishes for my DaughterSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, July 20, 2008

:REVIEW: Computer Tricks for Scrapbooking 2 by Jessica Sprague

I loved Jessica's first edition of Computer Tricks for Scrapbookers (you can read my review of it and see an example of what I did with one of her tutorials here), so was certainly excited when I heard she was coming out with a second volume.

Was Computer Tricks for Scrapbooking 2 going to disappoint??

Well, let me tell you what it's got.

The book is divided into 5 chapters and each one if full of great techniques.

Chapter One - Photographs

*Includes 6 techniques with layout examples as well as a 3-page photo editing workshop outlining 10 essential skills and a 4-page reference section outlining Jessica's personal work flow for processing photos.
*This sections covers basics such as converting a photo to B&W to advanced techniques such as how to create a photo overlay from patterned paper.
Chapter Two - Type

*Includes 13 techniques as well as a reference page w/ Q&A's on fonts.
*This section covers basics such as creating reverse type (white text on a color background) to advanced techniques such as creating a title that blends into elements of a photo - an extremely cool technique!
Chapter Three - Embellishments & Brushes

*Includes 15 techniques as well as a reference page with Q&A's on brushes.
*This section covers basics such as printing a brush photo frame on background cardstock to advanced techniques such as extracting an element from digital patterned paper to use as an accent on a layout.
Chapter Four - Design
*Includes 12 techniques.
*This sections covers basics such as creating a journaling block that's the same width as your photo block to advanced techniques such as creating a shaped photo block with a clipping mask.
Chapter Five - Albums

*Includes 7 techniques.
*This section covers basics such as creating a layout with a digital template to advanced techniques such as creating an entire 8 1/2 x 11 album based on a grid.
I have always been a huge fan of Jessica's scrapping style, but she also included the work of 7 other talented scrap artists in her book including Candice Greenway, Greta Hammond, Jill Godon, Joanna Bolick, Noel Culbertson, Pam Callaghan, and Stephanie Vetne.

There is also a reference section that takes an indepth look at printing options and quick tricks for Photoshop Elements.

Some idea books show you a plethora of amazing techniques, but then leave you high and dry as how to actually perform those techniques. NOT Jessica! With each technique comes detailed, step-by-step instructions that even a novice in PSE could follow!


??? I am always curious and open to hearing the opinions of others. If you own or have read this book, please feel free to share your opinion of it in the comments below.

Visit the Computer Tricks for Scrapbooking 2 page at You can also read more of my reviews for other recommendations.

Upcoming Review:
Photo Freedom by Stacy Julian
:REVIEW: Computer Tricks for Scrapbooking 2 by Jessica SpragueSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Saturday, July 19, 2008

:LIFE: What a crazy week...

This has been a crazy week! Work as usual and something going on every night except Tuesday.

On Monday, Kaitlin had dance and story time at the library.

On Wednesday, dance again.

On Thursday, Kaitlin and I went to Sioux City with Lynn and Mom to do some shopping for Lynn's wedding and went out to eat at The Olive Garden. Hmmmm... It was a late night, though.

Yesterday, I had the day off from work, but spent a good part of the day working on an article for the August issue of the WeScrap newsletter. This time I covered 10 tips for photographing children, so stay tuned. I'll be posting that here as well as soon as the newsletter goes live.

Last night, I had my first hostess party for the new MemoryWorks catalog and that went well. There really are some great products in this catalog! I have two more already scheduled for the few weeks and am really looking forward to those as well.

Today, we had about an hour round trip so that I go get fitted for my bridesmaid dress and Justin could get measured for his tux.

On the way home, we saw some signs for a yard sale so we left the highway and ended up on some gravel back roads.

We never found the sale, but Justin thought it was a perfect time to give our 6-year-old some driving lessons. He ran the pedals and she controlled the steering wheel...with LOTS of guidance. Good thing he never got above 10 miles per hour!!

When we got back, I got some much-needed grocery shopping done and then we headed over to my sister's house for a barbecue with Kristi, Steve and the boys. It was a nice visit.

We just got home and I'm ready to call it a night!

Hope to get back to more regular posting this week.
:LIFE: What a crazy week...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

:PRODUCTS: MORE Summer 2008 CHA Sneak Peaks

Two more interesting collections in We R Memory Keepers White Out line.

These are my favorite of the new Fancy Pants collections - All Fall and Daily Grind.

Not always a lover of Daisy D's papers; however, ALWAYS of lover of their rub ons. BEAUTIFUL!

Making Memories
...making more beautiful papers. I just can't get enough of their die-cut stuff lately. This is their Falala collection.

Some VERY interesting colors and designs from Bo Bunny...I'm really liking the white on one side and the black on the other.

Another new line from Webster's Pages...

:PRODUCTS: MORE Summer 2008 CHA Sneak PeaksSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

:PHOTOGRAPHY: Fireworks - Part II

Here's part two of my favorite fireworks shots from the 4th. Hope you like them!

:PHOTOGRAPHY: Fireworks - Part IISocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, July 13, 2008

:LIFE: Coolin' off...

Kaitlin and I walked to the kiddie pool last night so she could do a little swimming.

She gets to go swimming a couple days a week during JFK and she really is getting quite the little tan.

I love these pics of her dumping water over herself.

:LIFE: Coolin' off...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Saturday, July 12, 2008

CHALLENGE: My July WeScrap Challenge

Here's the July challenge that I posted yesterday at WeScrap! Hope you're inspired...or challenged...

This one's a little different. I almost called it an ad challenge, but that's not really what it is. This is the title page for an article in an issue of Martha Stewert Living a few months back and I was immediately struck by it.

I loved the colors. I loved the layout. I loved the division of the letters.

Your challenge is somewhat open-ended, but I'd like you to use this article title page as inspiration for a layout.

Perhaps you're most inspired by the colors and use them in your layout. Perhaps your most inspired by the title treatment itself and decide to use a similar design for the title on your page. Perhaps you're most inspired by the design and convert each letter of the word summer into a photo to create a photo block.

However you're inspired, I can't wait to see what you create!!

Be sure to link your page creations in the forum by the end of the month.

CHALLENGE: My July WeScrap ChallengeSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Friday, July 11, 2008

:PRODUCTS: Summer 2008 CHA Sneak Peaks

Sneak peaks are popping up in greater frequency lately with the Summer 2008 CHA convention only a week away.

Here are a few of the sneaks that I've seen and REALLY like (as in they will be on my wish lists as soon as they are in stores!)

I just never get tired of Karen Russell's Narratives lines. They are just so beautiful! Here's the new papers for her Bloom line and, of course, there are all kinds of goodies to go along with these stunning papers:

I had never even heard of Webster's Pages until recently when I saw a layout that had some really beautiful papers and the credits listed it. So, I looked it up online and it seems their exclusive designer (at least for now) is Terri Conrad.

I've been wanting to do a little mini-album of some of my favorite (and easy) recipes and this new Bon Appetit line by Teresa Collins might be just the ticket!!

I'm really into date, calendar and generally time related products lately and this new Luxe line looks interesting!

I just recently ordered my first Little Yellow Bicycle products and they are beautiful!! I'm likely the look of the new Love Letters line also.

Dream Street Papers, another favorite, is releasing NINE new collections although they've only revealed a few so far. As of now, this one's my favorite:

I never purchased any Urban Lily before, but this sneak peak has me thinking I may just have too experiment with their new lines:

Last but not least, a favorite new company from the Winter 2008 CHA release was certainly Pink Paislee and they didn't disappoint me with their two new lines, Pop Fashion and Vintage Moon!

Super cute stuff and will be keeping my eye out for more peaks.

If you've seen other sneak peaks of items you just have to have, I'd love to hear from you!!
:PRODUCTS: Summer 2008 CHA Sneak PeaksSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, July 10, 2008

:LIFE: Life sometimes lands you in the emergency room...

Yesterday evening I had plans of taking Kaitlin to her dance class and then to the last performance of the circus here in town. A nice evening, no?

I was on my way to pick up Kaitlin after work and Justin calls.

Justin: "Are you coming home?"

Me: "Yes."

Justin: "Are you coming home right now?"

At this point, I heard the pain in his voice.

Me: "What's wrong?"

Justin: "I don't know, but I'm in pain and I need you to take me to the clinic."

Me: "I'll be there as soon as I can."

First of all, Justin hates doctors, clinics, hospitals and just about anything else you can associate with injuries or illnesses so for him to actually ask me to take him to the clinic, I knew that this 'pain' had to be serious.

I quickly got Kaitlin signed out, in the car and rushed home.

Justin was lying on the bed, wheezing. He said he had pain in his chest with every breath, was having a hard time breathing and his arms were going numb. The pain had started two hours earlier and had gotten progressively worse.

Okay...I asked him if we should be going to the emergency room and he said, no - just the clinic.

We went to the clinic for convenient care hours and it was obvious that we were going to be waiting awhile.

I filled out the sign-in paperwork and all the while his breathing was getting more and more labored.

Justin: I think we need to go.

Me: Okay...

And off we went to the emergency room.

Seconds after we arrived, they determined he was hyperventilating...NEVER would have guessed that's what he was doing. Weird! That's actually what was causing the numbness, dizziness and so forth.

It took quite a while, but they finally got him back to breathing normally, but the pain in his chest/lung area (which had started it all to begin with) was still pretty severe and so they did some blood tests and took an x-ray and determined that he most likely is suffering from pleurisy.

Basically, the thin layers of tissue that surround his lungs and rib cage are inflamed and are rubbing against each other which is causing the sharp pain every time he breaths in and out. When he coughs or sneezes, it pretty much doubles him over.

So, they gave him some antibiotics to fight whatever bacterial infection that brought this on in the first place and some good drugs to help keep the pain under control.

By this time, Kaitlin had missed her dance class completely and it would have been too late to go to the circus and Justin kept apologizing for ruining the evening. She had the sweetest and most sincere response: "It's no big deal, Dad. I just want you to be okay."


Once he was looped-up on his pain meds, he kept thanking me for taking him and apologizing for the inevitable bill that will ensue from this little adventure.

Although I'm certainly not looking forward to the bill, I would certainly rather have gone to the ER and found out it was something less serious than we feared than not go and needed to.

The doctor did say that sometimes pleurisy can get worse before getting better, but we're hoping for the best.
:LIFE: Life sometimes lands you in the emergency room...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Here's the first of the four layouts published in the recent Memory Makers Scrapbook Idea Gallery 2008 issue on page 33.

Although I like all four layouts chosen, this one is my favorite.

Cardstock: Bazzill
Patterned Paper: Creative Imaginations
Rub ons: Basic Grey
Font: Georgia, Susie’s Hand
Paint: Apple Barrell
Staples: Office Supply
Square Punch, Corner Rounder: Marvy

Kaitlin’s spirit inspires me each and every day! Her smiles are precious and her laugh is contagious. She finds wonder in the ordinary and believes in the fanciful side of life. I am so proud that she seems to be growing into an insightful young girl that thinks of others and not just of herself. She is so conscious of others’ feelings, that she won’t choose favorites...not even in jest...she loves everyone in her family and she is very much adored in return.

Comments & Techniques:
This layout troubled me at first because I could see it in my mind, but had a difficult time bringing it to reality as it is not really my ‘usual’ style. I was inspired to create the journaling within an outlined letter (a jumbo monogram) after seeing a Moen ad recently that had a similar treatment to the ‘M’. I edged the ‘K’ with teal paint to help it stand out further against the white background and the ‘v’ of the ‘K’ directs the eye to my daughter mouth open in joy and laughter. The black rub ons create a visual triangle. The layout edge is the decorative edge on the teal paper (the black is the background on which I took the photo).

:LAYOUT: 'K'SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

:LIFE: First dance class...

Kaitlin has wanted to take dance for a long time, but it can just get so expensive.

When I saw that one of the studios was offering 8-session course this summer at a reduced price, I figured now was my chance to give her a taste.

Hmmm...not sure 8-sessions is going to be enough for her! :-)
:LIFE: First dance class...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, July 6, 2008

:PHOTOGRAPHY: Fireworks - Part I

Here are some of my favorite fireworks shots from the 4th!! Some pretty neat keepers!!

:PHOTOGRAPHY: Fireworks - Part ISocialTwist Tell-a-Friend