Monday, October 31, 2011


Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He's gotta pick this one. He's got to. I don't see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one. You can look around and there's not a sign of hypocrisy. Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see.

Linus, "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown"
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Saturday, October 29, 2011

:GIVEAWAY WINNER: My Memories Suite 2.0

Better late than never...I have a winner for my giveaway of a FREE copy of the best digital scrapbooking software on the market!

Please watch your inbox for further details on how to claim your prize!

Read more about all the great features of My Memories Suite here.

Don't despair...if you didn't win. 

GET $10 OFF!!
My Memories Suite already has a great price, but I have a $10.00 OFF coupon code for you to try it for yourself! Simply copy and paste the code STMMMS74998 at checkout to receive you discount.
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

:WORD ART: Always Better to be Wise Quote Freebie...

It ended up being a tie between #2 and #3 on the vote for Alan Alda quotes, so I got to pick my favorite of the two this time...

...and I chose #3.

Hope you enjoy this word art freebie!

Be sure to check out my other word art downloads to make sure you haven't missed any.

If you'd like to make sure that your voice is heard in the quote vote for my next word art freebie, subscribe by email or your favorite reader using the options at the top of the inner right sidebar.
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

:PHOTOS: At the Pumpkin Patch...

LOVE the annual trip to the pumpkin patch!!

Here's a few favorites from our trip from a couple weekends ago...

(click any image for a larger view)

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

:WORD ART: Halloween Word Art Pack

Double, double toil and's a new word art pack release in my MyMemories store just in time for Halloween!

Check out this and all my other word art packs available through MyMemories,Scrapbook Boutique and PrintMaster.

While these designs are in available in several formats for use with any digital software program, if you are looking for an easy and affordable digital scrapbooking software, you should definitely give My Memories Suite a look. It is great for digital scrapbookers of all levels or even traditional scrapbookers that are looking to supplement their paper crafting in order to complete more layouts and/or be able to craft even when away from home and supplies.

My Memories Suite is currently the #1 rated digital scrapbooking software on the market.

Read more about all the great features of My Memories Suite here.

GET $10 OFF!!
My Memories Suite already has a great price, but I have a $10.00 OFF coupon code for you to try it for yourself! Simply copy and paste the code STMMMS74998 at checkout to receive you discount.
:WORD ART: Halloween Word Art PackSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, October 24, 2011

:GIVEAWAY: My Memories Suite 2.0

I've been designing word art pack for My Memories for about 8 months now and it's been a great experience!

While I have continued to create and share my word art freebies with you, I have also loved creating themed word art packs for sale and use with the My Memories Suite 2.0 software (and any other software that supports PNG images).

My Memories Suite 2.0 is currently the #1 rated digital scrapbooking software on the market (according to Top Ten Reviews).

My Memories Suite 2.0 offers an exciting new interface, intuitive features, and a variety of unique designs. For the first time it is being offered via download so users can start scrapbooking immediately!

Here is just a few of the great new features:
  • Drag & drop page elements such as embellishments, backgrounds, and layouts from a convenient sidebar with the Resource Gallery.
  • Have precise control of your page design with Zoom.
  • Position journaling around circular and angled shapes.
  • Create your own word art with effects like bevel & emboss, gradients, warping, and more!
  • Space elements on your page evenly with advanced align function.
  • Search through thousands of embellishments quickly to find the one perfect graphic.
  • Layer multiple background papers—perfect for mats, paper strips, frames, and more.
  • Combine pages from albums with different shapes.
  • Edit your text directly on your page with precision.
  • See your effects on your page as you add and adjust them with intuitive preview.
  • Duplicate and mirror your pages easily.
  • View your page layouts one at a time, or together as double-page spreads.
  • Easily share your album with enhanced photobook, calendar, and card wizards.
  • Add multiple pictures to your layout quickly with FastFill.
  • Burn your creations onto a CD or DVD with better optical device support.
I have one free copy of My Memories Suite 2.0 to give away to one lucky reader!

To enter, simply visit the My Memories store, pick your favorite digital scrapbooking kit in the store. Leave a link in a comment to this post and tell me what you like about it by 5 p.m. on Thursday, October 27th, 2011 and you'll be entered for a chance to win!!

VISIT THE MY MEMORIES STORE HERE will choose and I'll announce the winner on Friday.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

:PHOTOS: Indian Summer...Part II...

Same day, same outfit, different location...

(click any image for a larger view)

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

:REVIEW: Ape House by Sara Gruen

I just finished reading Ape House: A Novel by Sara Gruen a couple weeks ago.

Although I didn't post a complete review, I did list Gruen's Water for Elephants: A Novel as one of my favorite reads of 2009.

Sam, Bonzi, Lola, Mbongo, Jelani, and Makena are no ordinary apes. These bonobos, like others of their species, are capable of reason and carrying on deep relationships—but unlike most bonobos, they also know American Sign Language.

Isabel Duncan, a scientist at the Great Ape Language Lab, doesn’t understand people, but animals she gets—especially the bonobos. Isabel feels more comfortable in their world than she’s ever felt among humans . . . until she meets John Thigpen, a very married reporter who braves the ever-present animal rights protesters outside the lab to see what’s really going on inside.

When an explosion rocks the lab, severely injuring Isabel and “liberating” the apes, John’s human interest piece turns into the story of a lifetime, one he’ll risk his career and his marriage to follow. Then a reality TV show featuring the missing apes debuts under mysterious circumstances, and it immediately becomes the biggest—and unlikeliest—phenomenon in the history of modern media. Millions of fans are glued to their screens watching the apes order greasy take-out, have generous amounts of sex, and sign for Isabel to come get them. Now, to save her family of apes from this parody of human life, Isabel must connect with her own kind, including John, a green-haired vegan, and a retired porn star with her own agenda.

Ape House delivers great entertainment, but it also opens the animal world to us in ways few novels have done, securing Sara Gruen’s place as a master storyteller who allows us to see ourselves as we never have before.

What I thought:
I LOVED Water for Elephants and honestly, was looking forward to reading Ape House. Same should be just as good, if not better, right?

Not right. And now that I've read a few reviews from others, it seems I'm not the only one who was more than a little disappointed. 

I'm sure that Gruen was trying to keep the plot line moving with all her twists and turns, but it all ended up feeling trite and some of the 'coincidences' that she used to connect characters (like a contrived paternity plot that was just silly from the start) were just TOO forced. Nothing seemed to develop naturally.

If the characters weren't totally and completely cliche (the monstrous mother-in-law, the Russian prostitute, the rebellious college intern), they completely whiny and inconsistent - or consistently whiny - like John and his wife, Amanda.

The ONLY parts of the book that I honestly enjoyed featured the bonobos. This is one area where you could tell the author had done her homework. I had not been aware of the Great Ape Trust and the amazing things that are going on there. It's actually not even that far away from where I live (about 5 hours). 

I only wish she would have given the rest of her characters the same attention and took a little more time to make her plot lines a bit more believable.

I have higher hopes for the book I just started...hopefully this one's a winner.


The Kitchen House: A Novel by Kathleen Grissom
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

:QUOTES: Wisdom from Alan Alda...

Here's a few of my favorite quotes from Alan Alda (b. 1936; actor, director, screenwriter), who is best known for his portrayal of Hawkeye Pierce in the TV series M*A*S*H from the 70's.

“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 will be yourself.”

“If you know what you're looking for, that's all you'll get - what's previously known. But when you're open to what's possible, you get something new - that's creativity.”

“Be as smart as you can, but remember that it is always better to be wise than to be smart.”

Vote for your favorite quote and I'll create a word art freebie with the 'winning' quote to share with you sometime next week. In the meantime, check out my other word art downloads.
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

:PRINTABLE: It's Halloween Poem Printable

Halloween is near and I've got another printable for you...print, frame and you've got yourself some instant holiday decor!

Take a moment and check out my other free themed printables.
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Monday, October 17, 2011

:PHOTOS: Indian Summer...Part I...

Where did the summer go??

Luckily, we recently enjoyed a bit of an Indian summer and finally had the opportunity to go out and do a shoot in this outfit...which I've been wanting to take pictures of Kaitlin in ALL summer!

(click any image for a larger view)

Love those boots!

AND that smile!

In almost every shoot, she has to throw in a few of these for good measure! Love my goofy girl!
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Sunday, October 16, 2011

:SALES: 10% OFF at ONLY!

Shop for your favorite scrapbooking supplies at today!

This discount applies to sale and clearance prices, saving you an additional 10% off the lowest-marked price on all items in the Superstore.

Simply enter coupon code octenoff in the coupon field at checkout and 10% will be automatically deducted from all items in your shopping cart.

Hurry - this offer expires at midnight PST!
:SALES: 10% OFF at ONLY!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Friday, October 14, 2011

:FIVE FAVES: by Pattern...Damask...

Classic. Vintage. Elegant.

Damask patterns can be called many things, but whatever you're favorite adjective, you simply can't deny the beauty of damask.

While this pattern first emerged in the Middle Ages, it is still popular today and like so many other popular aspects of design and fashion, has worked it's way right into our scrapbooking products.

Here are my top five patterned papers featuring the pattern from recent releases:

Here's a simple black on kraft...simple elegance at it's best!

Here's a larger-than-life brocade from Hambly. I love the distressed white over pale blue.

This regal purple shade seems perfect for this pattern.

While this soft pink is not a color I would think of in reference to hot cocoa (the title of this paper), I can't help but love the subtle design.

The bold and bright red brocade is perfect for the festive celebrations of the holidays!

Are there other favorite brocade patterns that have recently made it onto your wish list, into your stash, or onto one of your layouts? Links are welcome and encouraged!
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

:REVIEW: Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington

Alice Bliss: A NovelI actually am a bit behind on my book reviews...I have a couple to catch up, so we'll start with Alice Bliss: A Novel by Laura Harrington.

I don't really like breaking down the synopsis of each book, so we'll let Amazon do that part. :-)

Description from Amazon:
When Alice Bliss learns that her father, Matt, is being deployed to Iraq, she's heartbroken. Alice idolizes her father, loves working beside him in their garden, accompanying him on the occasional roofing job, playing baseball. When he ships out, Alice is faced with finding a way to fill the emptiness he has left behind.

Matt will miss seeing his daughter blossom from a tomboy into a full- blown teenager. Alice will learn to drive, join the track team, go to her first dance, and fall in love, all while trying to be strong for her mother, Angie, and take care of her precocious little sister, Ellie. But the smell of Matt is starting to fade from his blue shirt that Alice wears everyday, and the phone calls are never long enough.

Alice Bliss is a profoundly moving coming-of-age novel about love and its many variations--the support of a small town looking after its own; love between an absent father and his daughter; the complicated love between an adolescent girl and her mother; and an exploration of new love with the boy-next- door. These characters' struggles amidst uncertain times echo our own, lending the novel an immediacy and poignancy that is both relevant and real. At once universal and very personal, Alice Bliss is a transforming story about those who are left at home during wartime, and a teenage girl bravely facing the future.

Now, for what I thought:
If I were using a star rating, I think the highest that I could go on this one would be 2.5.

While I greatly empathized with the hardship, and later grief, that this family was going through and realize that this has been and still is a reality for far too many families in our country, there were several character development issues that I couldn't quite get passed.

Not that I am any expert on child behavior, but I couldn't get past the feeling that the author hasn't spent much time around children and/or teenagers. The 8-year-old daugther in the novel, Ellie, was a bit too precocious to be believable. In response to some of words and actions of Alice and other same-age characters, I just found myself furrowing my brow and thinking to myself, "Really?"

Then, there is the mother, Angie. I felt like I was being led (by the author) to empathize with her as well, but couldn't feel anything but a slight disgust for her as this supposedly adult, professional women basically fell apart and completely neglected her children. Not that I don't believe that this can happen...I am very well aware that there are mothers who certainly do neglect their children. However, I didn't feel that the author had  offered enough evidence in Angie's character leading up to the event that made this response believable.

All of this left me wondering if the author was a mother herself, so I did a little research and could not find any reference to her having children anywhere.

I cannot say that I was surprised.


Ape House: A Novel by Sara Gruen
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

:SPONSOR: Masterful Scrapbook Design from Get it Scrapped!

I'm proud to have Get It Scrapped as a sponsor of the AMOM blog and I know that I've reviewed and featured several of the eBook and online class offerings in the past, but I want to tell you about something a little different that they offer as well this month.

Get it Scrapped! also offers a monthly subscription series called Masterful Scrapbook Design.

Debbie's description:
If you’ve found it downright intimidating to look at a blank page and wondered how you’re going to start putting photos, words, and supplies together, you’re not alone. At Masterful Scrapbook Design you learn that designing awesome–even masterful–scrapbook pages is not difficult when experienced designers lay out the terrain and then share proven techniques for navigating that terrain. Every month you’ll study with 4 guest teachers alongside our core teachers. You’ll get a 30+ page “seminar” that kicks off the month and then attend (or listen to recordings of) 4 webinars (one with each teacher), receive 6+ focus lessons, and access 60+ annotated layouts.

Successful page designers break it all down...and you immediately start applying proven design techniques to your own scrapbook pages!

Each and every month, Debbie and other master scrapbooking artists explore a different aspect of our wonderful hobby.

Here's a complete list of topics covered by Masterful Scrapbook Design:
September 2010: Color
October 2010: Layering
November 2010: Details
December 2010: Events
January 2011: Journaling
February 2011: Titles
March 2011: Inspiration
April 2011: Patterned Paper
May 2011: Stash Busting
June 2011: Photos
July 2011: Fast Starts
August 2011: Smorgasbord
September 2011: Design Play

Here are a few of the upcoming topics:
November 2011: Texture & Dimension
December 2011: The Scrapbook Page Canvas
January 2011: Focal Points

Subscription options:
#1 - You can start your subscription with the topic for the current month for only $12.50 per month. The topic for October is "Pages that Record Current Events, News, Trends, Fashions, Fads and More."

#2 - You can start your subscription with the topic for the current month PLUS access to ALL the archived months (currently a $228 value) for only $125 today and $12.50 per month thereafter.

ALSO, if there are only certain archived issues that you wish to have access to, you can order them on an individual basis for only $16 each.

I've been a subscriber for quite some time and can't even begin to tell you how much I have gained from this "course." There is SO MUCH material each month, it is honestly hard to get through it all and certainly an AMAZING value at only $12.50 per month for the subscription. I absolutely LOVE having access to the archived issues as well because I can go back are reference anything I wish as I need it. It's a wonderful program!!

I definitely recommend Masterful Scrapbook Design to anyone who wants to grow and expand their talents within this wonderful hobby of scrapbooking. 

With Masterful Scrapbook Design, you are learning from the masters of the scrapbooking industry such as Lisa Dickinson, Jenni Bowlin, Lain Ehmann, Paula Gilarde, Celeste Smith, Noell Hymann, Katrina Kennedy, and many, many more.

Check out Masterful Scrapbook Design today!!
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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

:WORD ART: Purpose of Life Quote Freebie

Eleanor said it best!

So, here is your word art freebie as promised...hope you enjoy it!

Be sure to check out my other word art downloads to make sure you haven't missed any.

If you'd like to make sure that your voice is heard in the quote vote for my next word art freebie, subscribe by email or your favorite reader using the options at the top of the inner right sidebar.
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Monday, October 10, 2011

:LAYOUT: There's a new sheriff in town

One of the best parts of the pumpkin patch that we visited last year was this little sheriff's office...Kaitlin and her dad took their turns behind bars.

#1 - Use browns and distressed designs to accentuate a rustic theme.

#2 - Overlap an accent photo over an area of white space in another, larger photo. Mat in another color to help it stand out.

#3 - Attach twine (or other trim) with staples.

(click for a larger view)

One of the highlights that we found during our trip to Poppy’s was this little mock Sheriff’s Office. Both Justin and Kaitlin took their turn behind bars, but I think Justin looks a lot more natural in the role!

Cardstock: Bazzill, American Crafts
Patterned Paper: My Mind’s Eye
Letter Stickers: Fancy Pants, Making Memories
Brads: Bazzill
Ink: Colorbox
Staples: office supply
Cord: Unknown
Font: Garamond
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Sunday, October 9, 2011

:LIFE: A new toy...

I disappeared for a few days...

That's what happens when you clumsily spill water on your laptop and fry your motherboard.


I took it in not sure how bad it was, but basically it could very well have cost more to fix than it would be to buy something new (and potentially better).

My Dell served me well...I do wonder how many hours I logged on that thing in the 3 3/4 years I owned it. So, it has been respectfully laid to rest and replaced with this:

HP Dandelion Breeze 15.6″ Pavilion G6-1B59WM Laptop 

Isn't she cute! Actually, my first choice was a very similar model in black and red, but the only one left was the display...didn't really want that.

So, I went with this one instead - which Kaitlin felt was really the right choice from the start anyway :-). After all, it featured shades of her two favorite colors...good thing I like them, too.

Thankfully, my hard drive had been spared, so everything (all my pictures, documents and more) were transferred onto this puppy and now I ready to roll again.
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

:MEMORYWORKS EXPRESS: October 2011 Kit "Haunted"

The newest MemoryWorks Express kit is full of all things October!

Stuffed full of sweet Halloween themed patterned paper, spooky embellishments and all of the thrills and chills of that "Haunted" Holiday.

Check out the inspiring projects created by the MemoryWorks Design Team with this beautiful kit in the October Idea Express featuring exclusive PageMaps sketches!

The October 2011 MemoryWorks Express Kit Contains:

Patterned Paper
{1} 12x12 Haunted - Phantom (Pink Paislee)
{1} 12x12 Apparition - Phantom (Pink Paislee)
{1} 12x12 Enchanted - Glowing (Authentique)
{1} 12x12 Thrill - Glowing (Authentique)
{1} 12x12 Afterglow - Glowing (Authentique)
{1} 12x12 Damask - Haunted Hallows (Teresa Collins)

Solid Cardstock
{1} 12x12 Blackberry Swirl (Bazzill)
{1} 12x 12 Tangerine (Bazzill)
{1} 12x12 Hummingbird (Bazzill)
{1} 12x12 Walnut Cream (Bazzill)
{1} 12x12 Almond Cream (Bazzill)

{1} 8x12 Element Stickers - Haunted Hallows (Teresa Collins)
{1} 6x8 Diction Stickers - Glowing (Authentique)
{1} 4x6 Black Petite Type Square Letter Stickers (Authentique)
{1} 4x6 Cream Petite Type Circle Letter Stickers (Authentique)
{1} 4x7 Hallows Eve Rub-on (Bo Bunny)
{1} Haunted Title Glitter Cut (Fancy Pants)
{1} Scary Swoosh Glitter Cut (Fancy Pants)
{1} 3" Black Crystal Flourish (Zva Creative)
{1} 3x4 Halloween Mini Bingo Card (Jenni Bowlin)
{2} Black Doily Flowers (Jenni Bowlin)
{4} Glazed Brads - Assorted Styles & Sizes (Teresa Collins)
{1} ½ Yard Orange & Black Gingham Ribbon (Creative Impressions)
{1} ½ Yard Orange with Black Dots Ribbon (Creative Impressions)
{1} ½ Yard Black with Black Swirl Organdy (Creative Impressions)

{1} 5.5 x 8.5 Blackberry Swirl (Bazzill)
{1} 5.5 x 8.5 Tangerine (Bazzill)
{1} 5.5 x 8.5 Hummingbird (Bazzill)
{1} 5.5 x 8.5 Walnut Cream (Bazzill)
{1} 5.5 x 8.5 Almond Cream (Bazzill)
{5} 5 3/4 X 4 3/8 Natural Envelopes

ALL FOR ONLY $29.95!! (plus $6.50 S&H)
Due to high demand, it is quite possible that this month's kit is already sold out! If you are interested in subscribing to the MemoryWorks Express Kit Program and guaranteeing you spot for next month, please contact me today for further details!
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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

:QUOTES: The Wisdom of Eleanor Roosevelt...

Eleanor Roosevelt, wife to the 35th President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt, was born on October 11, 1884 and shared here fair share of wisdom with the rest of us.

"Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission."

"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan."

"The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience."

Vote for your favorite quote and I'll create a word art freebie with the 'winning' quote to share with you sometime next week. In the meantime, check out my other word art downloads.
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