Friday, May 29, 2009

:QUOTES: on CREATIVITY according Alan Alda, Peter Max & Scott Adams

"The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself."

"Don’t worry about mistakes. Making things out of mistakes, that’s creativity."

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."
:QUOTES: on CREATIVITY according Alan Alda, Peter Max & Scott AdamsSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, May 28, 2009

:LIFE: Memorial Day memories...

How was your Memorial Day?

Ours was good...over the past few years, we've started a bit of a tradition that we head out for a picnic with my parents and have been trying to go to a different location each year.

This year, we went to Terrace Park in Sioux Falls, SD. The weather was beautiful and the food was even better!

After lunch, Kaitlin and her Uncle Chris took in a little fishing...

Kaitlin even tried baiting her own hooks...

and proceeded to demonstrate her fishing prowess! (You can read more about my little fisher girl's successes here and here.)

She caught at least 10 of these little guys before we convinced her it was time to take a leisurely walk through the Japanese Gardens that was in the park.

It is a beautiful place! My sister wanted me to take some pictures of her and her hubby...this is one of my favorites...

This is definitely a location that I want to come back to for a photo shoot with Kaitlin sometime in a more appropriate outfit (i.e. minus grass-stained and brown-butt fishing jeans).

However, I did get this pic of her that I like.

It was a tad soft, so I converted it to sepia tone. What do you think? Did I 'save' it??

Then, we did just a little bit of shopping and headed home for the day...all in all a very nice holiday.
:LIFE: Memorial Day memories...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

:MEMORYWORKS EXPRESS: June 2009 Kit - "Sweet Celebrations"

This kit is so mouthwatering; you won't be able to stop at just one! The June 2009 MemoryWorks Express kit lets you celebrate every year of your life...and all the other amazing events in between.

Who said you can't have your cake and eat it too? You'll have a ball creating layouts and projects with this collection of celebration themed products included in this kit!

Dessert anyone?

Patterned Paper
{1} 12x12 Sweet Shoppe - Fruity Twist (Collage Press)
{1} 12x12 Sweet Shoppe - Yum! Twist (Collage Press)
{1} 12x12 Sweet Shoppe - Cupcake Twist (Collage Press)
{1} 12x12 Sweet Shoppe - Crafting Strips (Collage Press)
{1} 12x12 Dollop - Ledge Die Cut (Collage Press)
{1} 12x12 Girl Friday - Sunday (Cosmo Cricket) Solid Cardstock
{1} 12x12 Sugar Cream (Prism)
{1} 12x 12 Vibrant Pink (Prism)
{1} 12x12 Papaya Puree Medium (Prism)
{1} 12x12 Spring Willow Medium (Prism)

{1} 12x12 Sweet Shoppe - Die Cut Rings (Collage Press)
{1} 6x12 Orange Crush Alphabet Stickers (Pink Paisley)
{1} 5x7 Birthday Bingo Card (Jenni Bowlin)
{4} Office Chipboard Buttons - Assorted Sizes (Jenni Bowlin)
{1} Cupcake Bling It (BasicGrey)
{9} Celebrate Chipboard - Assorted Styles (Maya Road)
{2} Brown & Cream -Ticket Sheers - Assorted Styles (Maya Road)
{1} 2x3.5 Canvas Tag - Together (Prima)
{1} 2x3 Canvas Tab - Time (Prima)
{4} Artistry Flowers - Assorted Sizes (Prima)
{1} 12" Brown Grosgrain Ric Rac Ribbon 1" (May Arts)
{1} 18" Pink Checked 3/8" Ribbon (May Arts)
{1} 18" Orange Cream Dot 7/8" Ribbon (May Arts)

Bonus Cards
{1} 5.5x8.5 Sugar Cream (Prism)
{1} 5.5x8.5 Vibrant Pink (Prism)
{1} 5.5x8.5 Papaya Puree Medium (Prism)
{1} 5.5x8.5 Spring Willow Medium (Prism)
{1} 5.5x8.5 Suede Brown Dark (Prism)
{5} 5 3/4x4 3/8 Natural Envelopes

ALL FOR ONLY $29.95!! (plus $6.50 S&H)

Take a look at the amazing projects the MemoryWorks Design Team created using this yummy kit in this month's Idea Express!

If you are interested in this kit or subscribing to the MemoryWorks Express Kit Program, please contact me today for further details!
:MEMORYWORKS EXPRESS: June 2009 Kit - "Sweet Celebrations"SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

:LIFE: My little girl's last day of Kindergarten...

Even though she's nearly seven, it's still hard for me to believe that my little girl finished Kindergarten last Friday.

Already, I am so glad that we decided to start her off with preschool and then Jr. K last year even though she would have technically been old enough to go straight into Kindergarten then.

She's growing up too fast as it is...

On Tuesday, I went in for my usual every-other-Tuesday volunteer hour and stayed a little longer for the special 'A Day in Kindergarten' program that they had planned for the parents.

We got a peek into what their days in Kindergarten looked like...

...practicing their writing skills...

...enjoying a little physical activity in PE...

...acting out their favorite stories...

...enjoying a school lunch...what you don't see is the slice of kiwi because Kaitlin snatched those up before I had a chance to take this picture. My girl likes her fruit!

We were also sure to get the end-of-year photo with her teacher as well. She has commented several times over the past week that she is really going to miss Mrs. Neu.

On Thursday I got to help out again for a little while when the two Kindergarten classes took a field trip to a nearby park.

Kaitlin's hair is notorious for slide static.

I saw her go across the monkey bars without help for the first time and was more than a little nervous about it, but she made it just fine.

It turned out a little on the cool side that day, but that didn't stop any of the kids from enjoying their freezies!

This will be Kaitlin's first year that she will return to the same school in the fall and she is super excited about going back in the fall as a 1st grader to a familiar school and friendly faces!

But for now, she's ready to enjoy her summer and get in lots of pool time!

:LIFE: My little girl's last day of Kindergarten...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, May 25, 2009


“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill,
that we shall pay any price, bear any burden,
meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe
to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

~ John F. Kennedy
:HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY:SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Saturday, May 23, 2009

:LINKS: Some random fun and eye candy...

Here's just a few things I've found on the web recently that I found interesting, useful and/or beautiful:

BasicGrey Bling It:
Usually I know about new favorite products before they even hit the stores, especially for my favorite manufacturers, but somehow BG's new (and amazing) gem series flew under my radar. Available is a variety of shapes and styles, the heart and swirl (shown below) are my favs.

FREE CLASS: help, i don't know where to begin!:
Whether you apply what you learn just to your scrap space or to your entire house, you can't lose with this free class from Aby Garvey (co-author of The Organized & Inspired Scrapbooker). Sign up NOW...the class starts May 26th!

If you like to play around with your photos in PS or PSE, you'll like this blog. She got a lot of great textures, actions and storyboard templates available for download.

FREE Digi Kit - Summer by Lisa Warren:
Have some fun playing with the free kit offered on the Memory Makers website!

Bazzill Matchmaker:
Do you ever have a hard time knowing what color of cardstock really matches your favorite line of patterned paper? Struggle no more! Bazzill has collaborated with the biggest names in the industry to do the matching for us. Check out this great new tool.

An added bonus of this site...I discovered a brand new manufacturer that I think I'm going to have to keep my eye on - Ruby Rock-it. I LOVE the look of the Kindred Spirit line!

How about you? Have you made any online discoveries lately that you've found interesting, useful, and/or beautiful? Please share!!
:LINKS: Some random fun and eye candy...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, May 21, 2009

:LAYOUT: Dancing Queen

I don't mean to overload on the dance layouts, but I happened to get my July/August 2009 issue of Memory Makers in the mail today and this layout I created about Kaitlin's first dance class experience last year was published on page 52 as part of the Reader Idea Gallery.

It's a little bittersweet seeing this layout in print since it was recently announced that Memory Makers would also be ceasing publication after the September/October issue. If you didn't already know this, I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news...

This will be the third scrapbooking magazine that has succumbed to our current economic recession.

Digital Scrapbooking was the first. Although I can't say I miss this publication that much personally, I do understand that it certainly filled a need for the growing digital scrapbooking market.

Simple Scrapbooks was the next and I definitely felt the loss on this one. I love Cathy and Wendy and Angie and Stacy (and all the other Simple staffers)...I have to visit their blogs a bit more often to get my Simple fix.

And now Memory Makers...this one hits even closer to home as I have had the privilege to see my pages in print by this magazine more than any other over the past couple of years, so they hold a special place in my heart for giving me that wonderful opportunity.

I am definitely going to miss MM and will have to take a little more time enjoying the final two issues...

Supplies: Adhesive: Duck; Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned Paper: Basic Grey; Gems: Paper Studio; Ink: Colorbox; Photo Corner Punch: EK Success; Deco Edge Trimmer: Fiskars; Font: Journaling Font
:LAYOUT: Dancing QueenSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

:LAYOUT: tiny dancer

Here's another layout I completed at the crop a week and a half ago.

It's a fitting subject as Kaitlin has her first dance recital this Sunday and I am really looking forward to it. It's far from 'perfect', but still so fun to watch those little girls dance.

Supplies: Cardstock (Bazzill); Patterned Paper (Making Memories, Basic Grey); Rub ons (Fancy Pants); Letter Stickers (Making Memories); Ric Rac (Rusty Pickle); Gems (Paper Studio); Scallop-edged Trimmer (Fiskars); Pen (Zig)

CraftBlips: vote it up!

:LAYOUT: tiny dancerSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, May 18, 2009

:LIFE: Because we are bad parents...

...we allow our child to run in the sprinkler...

...and will continue to let our child joyfully run through the sprinkler on 90 degree days like yesterday...

...despite what our neighbor to the north has to say about it...

...because if this is what bad parenting looks like on the face of a child...

...I like being a 'bad' parent.

Okay, I think I must explain.

We have an older woman that is our neighbor to the north and for some reason, she has decided that she doesn't like us very much...including Kaitlin because she is a 'naughty child' and we are 'bad parents'.

Kaitlin dared to run through the spray (on the sidewalk...not even on her grass) of her automatic sprinklers once and actually yelled at her to "get off her property."

In the six years we've lived in this house, we've had only a handful of conversations with this woman and I've had only one personally. It was soon after we moved in and let's just say I had a cool response to my attempt to 'make friends' with our new neighbor.

Since then, our waves or neighborly 'hellos' have been either ignored or met with an upturned nose.

Usually, we're happy to mainly to let it slide off our backs and move on with our day...

However, Justin has been the unlucky recipient of her 'wrath' on more than one occasion.

One instance was a few winters ago and Justin thought he would try to be nice and shovel her sidewalk and she came out an yelled at him for shoveling the snow from her sidewalk onto her lawn...the nerve!

But most recent incident, and the fuel behind this post, happened last week when Justin was mowing our lawn.

This is usually my job, but since my leg is still healing, Justin has taken it over for now.

Anyway, she felt that Justin came over a few inches onto her lawn and proceeded to yell at him...evidently we mow our lawn too short and it 'looks bad' and of course we are too poor to afford professionals to take care of our lawn like she does.

Then, it was again pointed out that we are bad parents as we allow our child to run through sprinklers.

Justin is also a lazy bum because he hasn't 'bothered' to get a job since losing his job. (Nevermind that it was an involuntary lay-off and that the city we happen to live in currently has the highest unemployment rate in our entire state. There are many things I could call my hubby :-), but lazy is definitely not one of them!)

Despite this, clearly Justin believes that he is 'God's gift to everyone' (he said that a little spit actually came out on that one she was so worked up).

Also, there is a rather large tree in her yard that overhangs onto our yard and she said that if it happens to fall on our garage, her insurance company is not liable. She proceeded to say that she hopes it does.

Who says something like that?!?

The day that this happened, Justin had to call me at work to vent and I don't blame him. He commented that if it had been a man that had talked to him in that way, there probably would have been a little scuffle...but, since she is a women and an elder, he really tried to be respectful.

The whole thing just really aggravates me, but what can I do other than shake my head.

It just really makes me wonder what has happened to this women that has made her so amazingly bitter...


I'm done now...

I'm going to go look at those pictures of Kaitlin in the sprinkler again so that I can smile and move on with my day!
:LIFE: Because we are bad parents...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

:FIVE FAVES: What flips your tassel?

Seems like everyone has a graduation or two on their list of events this time of year and if you've got a special graduate on your list, you've got some awesome options out there for scrapping the occasion!

#1 - Creative Imaginations - Grads Rule Collection - 12 x 12 Cardstock Stickers
I always like the quality of embellishments by Creative Imaginations. They're nice and heavyweight and the designs are wonderful!

#2 - 7 Gypsies Graduation 97% Complete Journal Stickers
A little more colorful than the other options in this particular list of :FIVE FAVES:, but still classy, traditional and highly versatile.

#3 - Reminisce - Graduation Collection - 12 x 12 Die Cut Glitter Sticker - Grad Ribbon
WAY cheaper than buying spools and spools of ribbon and way easier to adhere, these glittered cardstock 'ribbons' would add just the right finishing touch.

#4 - Sandylion - Rub Ons - Graduation
I love my rub ons...

#5 - Carolee's Creations - Adornit - Graduation Collection - 12 x 12 Paper - Graduation A
I love the kraft background on this patterned paper by Carolee's Creations and definitions are always fun. This particular sheet has a certain Karen Russell Narratives flair to it and that's always a plus in my book!

Have you attended any graduations this year (or will you)? If so, what products will you be using to scrap your grad?

:FIVE FAVES: What flips your tassel?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Friday, May 15, 2009

:GIVEAWAY WINNER: Jessica Sprague's Computer Tricks for Scrapbooking 3

Honestly, who wouldn't want a free copy of anything by Jessica Sprague...she's simply awesome, isn't she!?!

I was very happy to be able to give away a copy of Jessica's Computer Tricks for Scrapbooking 3 as a part of this review post and the lucky winner is..............


Congrats, Cindy!! If you love her website, you're sure to love this issue just as much (if not more)!

I will be emailing you shortly to give you the details on how to claim your prize, Cindy, so watch your inbox.

Do you want another chance to be a winner? Don't forget to check out the May 2009 Daily Inspirations contest going on now!
:GIVEAWAY WINNER: Jessica Sprague's Computer Tricks for Scrapbooking 3SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, May 14, 2009

:LAYOUT: Behind the Scenes

This was the first layout I completed at the crop last weekend and I love how it turned out.

I had a lot of favorite behind the scenes shots from Kaitlin's participation in School House Rock Live! at the local children's theatre company a couple months ago so decided to create a collage using Picasa (I've found myself using this technique for several lots-of-photos layouts lately and it's a great way to get a lot of pictures scrapped FAST!!)

I loved how the decorative edged paper by Creative Imaginations not only had a school theme with the look of writing paper, but I also thought the red curves along the top and bottom had kind of a theatrical 'curtain' feel to them and were just perfect for this page.

The glitter letter stickers and the red gems following the curve of the paper add just the right bit of glitz.

Supplies: Cardstock (Bazzill); Patterned Paper (Creative Imaginations); Letter Stickers (Making Memories - red and green); Gems (Paper Studio); Pen (Zig); Ink (Colorbox)
:LAYOUT: Behind the ScenesSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

:CROP:, baby...

The event that I'd been anticipating for months finally arrived last Friday...the crop in Huron.

My sis and I left in the morning and made it there around Noon...just in time for the crop room to open. We registered and as we were leaving the room, Stacy Julian and Wendy Smedley walked!!

I was so star-struck that I couldn't even bring myself to say anything to them and walked right on by.

I must have had a funny look on my face cause my sis asked me what was wrong and I was all, "That was Stacy and Wendy!!"

We went and got all our supplies set up in the crop room and on the way to see if we could check into our room, we ran into them again.

This time, I asked Stacey, "Can I just shake your hand?"

Yeah...embarrassing! :-)

But they were wonderful and gracious and FUNNY...and quickly convinced us that we should sign up for their first class. Not that we didn't want to take it, but had initially decided not to in an attempt to save a little money. However, after talking to them, we knew we would be missing out if we didn't, so we checked into our room and headed to the first session of Wendy & Stacy's class, "Play."

They donned British accents (which has the entire class in fits of laughter at numerous points) and in the intro announced that the class was based on projects in the SS special issue Scrapbook Play, to which I said, "I have a layout in that issue!!" (go here to see it) and they we all, "You're kidding!"

So, they frantically looked it up and continued to read the accompanying editorial in their British accents and it was hilarious.

Then Stacy asked me to sign her copy!!

The class continued and in our packet was a package of Fun Dip. I mentioned that I'd never had it and Stacy said she actually never had either, so we took a pic together. (The picture below is courtesy of Stacy's blog post this past Saturday.)

Stacy and I will forever be bonded by Fun Dip!

After an amazing class, my sister and I headed to the crop room which looked like this:

Lots of croppers, for sure...and even more stuff! I couldn't believe how much some scrappers brought along for the crop!

My sister decided to work exclusively on her wedding album during the crop and this was her first completed page.


On Friday night, Wendy spoke. The slightly more serious of the two scrap celebs, Wendy gave an amazing talk about what scrapbooking is and isn't and really made some insightful points about why this hobby is so important.

There were several points during her speech that she got a little emotional over a photo or a layout she shared and it really made it hit home why our stories are all important and should be preserved and shared.

On Saturday afternoon, we took a break for a photo with Stacy.

Then, on Saturday evening it was Stacy's turn to speak. She talked about several topics, but the main premise of her speech was the rhythmic cycle of creativity and the 5 factors that influence it: time, energy, stimulus, focus, relationships.

It was amazing and applicable in so many ways beyond just scrapbooking. She also mentioned several books throughout her talk and my reading list has just gotten quite a bit longer!

This is Teresa. She is my sister's friend from college and shared a crop table with us. She was also working on her wedding album and created over 20 amazing layouts over the course of the crop!

This is Jodi. She is another of my sister's college friends. She just amazes me...not only does she scrap for herself, but also for other members of her extended family covering things like sporting events and more! I don't know how she does it!

And here's Stacy and Wendy...they scrapped right along with the rest of us.

Our group stayed in the crop room until about 1 a.m. on Friday and 2 a.m. on Saturday, so we were all pretty wiped out by Sunday, but we still managed to get a little scrapping in before the crop room closed.

Overall, the weekend was AMAZING!

If you ever have the chance to take a class Wendy and Stacy or here them speak, don't pass it up! The weekend might have been a little more $$ than I should be spending right now, but I don't regret it for a was totally worth it.

I got about 11 layouts 'done' (I still have to finish computer journaling on a few), but for me, that's a good number and I will definitely be sharing some of them with you here soon!

:CROP:, baby...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

:REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Computer Tricks for Scrapbooking 3 by Jessica Sprague

I loved the first two editions of Jessica Sprague's Computer Tricks for Scrapbooking (reviewed here and here), so when I heard she was doing a third volume, I knew it was a must-have.

Computer Tricks for Scrapbooking 3 follows much the same format as the previous two versions which is wonderful because I always felt that she had a great variety of computer techniques for everyone from the beginner to expert. However, everyone can feel like a pro with Jessica's easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions.

The book is divided into 5 sections and each one has at least one freebie to download and play with.

  • There are 12 techniques featured in this section.
  • A couple of my favorites: adding textures to photos and creating tall vertical photos with a clipping mask.
  • Freebie: downloadable photo mask
#2 - TYPE
  • There are 10 techniques featured in this section.
  • A couple of my favorites: creating a stacked title and creating a title that combines chipboard and a font
  • Freebie: curved text path
  • There are 13 techniques featured in this section.
  • A couple of my favorites: design and create inkjet rubons, create custom punchable embellishments
  • Freebie: hand-drawn circle brush

  • There are 10 techniques featured in this section.
  • A couple of my favorites: create a shaped photo collage, frame a journaling block within a photo
  • Freebies: page template, page pocket template
  • There are 17 projects featured in this section ranging from calendars, framable art, mini calendars, home decor pieces, cards, recipe box and cards - even a custom onesie for your favorite new little one!
  • Freebies: various calendar templates, tag mini album template, inspiration cards, family traditions mini album template
Also included in the book are 4 bonus pages with great information:
  • Cool Sites for Scrapbookers - Includes information on some amazing online resources including 6 online tools to gather and share, 3 tools to design and play, 2 sites to get free stuff (fonts and brushes) as well as a list of Jessica's favorite digital shops.
  • Digital Supplies for Every Scrapbooker - Includes a list of sites for digital supplies such as journaling brushes, swirl/floral brushes, fonts, dingbats, and frames.
  • Organizing Your Digital Supplies - Includes information on free and low-cost options for organization of digital supplies. Jessica also covers her 3 steps to developing an organizational system.
  • Hybrid Workflow - Includes the step-by-step process of uploading your photos from your camera to a finished hybrid scrapbook page.
One of the main differences that I saw in this issue verses the previous editions was that the ALBUMS section seemed to be highly expanded. It might be titled 'albums', but the projects included really went well beyond just albums. There were really some amazing and creative projects included in this section that would be great not only to make for yourself, but also to give as gifts for a variety of occasions. I really hope to be able to give several of them a whirl.

In addition to Jessica's amazing layout examples, there are also seven other very talented contributors including Joanna Bolick, Marcia Beltich, Susan Weinroth, Kelly Purkey, Ingunn Markiewicz, Candice Stringham, and Jennifer Pebbles.

Jessica was kind enough to give me TWO copies of this book to give away. I gave one away in honor of National Scrapbooking Day, so that leaves me one more for one lucky reader.

To enter, leave a comment to this post with the following:

TELL ME: Why do you want this book?

Leave your comment by Thursday, May 14th, 2009, 11:59 PM (CST) in order to be considered to win.

I will announce and contact the random winner via email on Friday.

Visit the Computer Tricks for Scrapbooking 3 page at You can also read more of my reviews for other recommendations.

Computer Tricks for Scrapbooking 2

Month by Month Scrapbooking: A Year of Scrapbook Ideas by Amanda Probst

:REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Computer Tricks for Scrapbooking 3 by Jessica SpragueSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend