I didn’t realize how long it’s been since I last sat on this little porch of mine…

Been very busy lately, trying to juggle real life with completing the last week of LOAD at bigpicturescrapbooking, playing with the challenges of the 2peas photography course, and moderating the January batch of Now We’re Rockin’ with Photoshop (NWR) at jessicasprague.com… so please, please forgive me for being absent, my sweeties! You know I’ve missed you!

I’m here now, and so elated to be, so come sit on the swing beside me and set your glass of iced tea on this table here… and let’s catch up on missed time.

LOAD is Done!

Together with the end of the first month of January, LOAD ended as well. 31 layouts in 31 days… well, almost 31 days (I uploaded my 31st layout at 12:02 of February 1st. But who wants to be technical, right?  😆   ) My only objective in doing the LOAD was to get kick my procrastinating butt in gear and get into the habit of scrapping at least once a week. I was scrapping a layout practically every single day this January (except for those few days when real life didn’t permit it), and that’s a huge accomplishment for me!

What an amazing and super fun ride… thank you, Lain, and thank you, Stacy. What a great start to the new year!

LOAD is also what gave me the push to get this far with my Daily December album! I loooove Jessica’s Daily December template, and I love playing around with it (The only templates I’ve ever used were from Jessica’s courses, and this was one which I simply could not resist!)

Here are the LOADs I was busy with:

Hiding Place

Journaling reads:

a stone’s throw away from my home, i find my other home, where i can run to You in times of joy, sorrow, confusion, elation. You are always there, waiting for me with open arms. You are my first love, who so generously gave me my greatest treasures in life–my husband, my children, my friends. i can never thank You enough; i can only offer to You this humble and contrite heart of mine, seeking to love You more and more each day.


Jessica Sprague Echoes of Asia Kit: paper (blended with Miriam Lima’s paper); Katie Pertiet’s Dirty Web frame; Web frame brush; JournalStamp-grunge; Michelle Coleman’s Grungy Rivet; Capris Flower Brush; LivEdesigns GrungyOverlay2

NOTE: This is one of the chapels that my brother, an architect, designed. I used Jessica’s double-photo effect with one photo Computer Tricks tutorial from CK January (you can find it here; it’s awesome. If you haven’t tried it out yet, do!)

And here are the rest of my Daily December pages that I did for LOAD:


For all the Daily December layouts, I used Jessica’s fabulous Daily December template, together with Katie Pertiet’s grid brush and Michelle Coleman’s topper. You’ll find the additional individual different items I used per layout in the credits under each layout.

The Message of the Manger

Journaling reads:

every christmas, we put up the nativity scene but leave the manger empty till the eve of the 24th, when the Christ Child is gently laid on His humble manger. i hope you always remember the deeper message behind this simple tradition of ours:

our own hearts can be the greatest thrones, but only when we fill them with Christ’s humility and gentle love for everyone around us.


Mindy Terasawa – papers; star patches; flower sticker; Atomic Cupcake; Photoblast EZ Actions

12 Year Old Christmas Gift

Journaling reads:

yo dude, i would really like to know what you did with the little boy i carried in my arms 12 years ago. if you ever meet him again, tell him that i loved him then, but that i love this bigger, sweeter, bolder, funnier version of him even way much more…


DigitalDivaDesigns, Jen Lessinger, MaryAnn Wise, Jessica Bolton, CanDee at CanDesigns – Papers; Sara Carling – leather tag; Amber Clegg – Postage Date Stamp; DanaZarling – Adchallenge Life Is Good Sign

First-Class Mail

Journaling reads:

look at you, honey, so intent on writing your own letter to santa. if doesn’t matter at all if you’re writing on toys; i’m sure santa would be absolutely delighted to receive such novel, first-class mail!


Michelle Coleman – paper and glitters, Miriam Lima – papers

Lyrical Laughter

Journaling reads:

there are few things more heartwarming than seeing the cousins gather around the piano, filling the christmas air with laughter more lyrical than the classical music emanating from their fingers deftly playing on black and white keys.


Leora Sanford’s NoteClips; Petit Moineux’s paper; Stacy Carlson’s heart tags; Heidi Larsen’s swirl; Anna Aspnes’ paper; Michelle Coleman’s ribbon wrap; Jason Gaylor’s brushes


Journaling reads:

twenty-eight years after graduating from high school and the friendships are still holding strong. what better time than christmas to celebrate the gift of solid connections?

ADDITIONAL CREDITS: Paper, doodles, and flowers from Maria Designs

Good Food & Home

Quote by Edith Sitwell:

winter is the time for comfort, for good food & warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand, and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.

ADDITIONAL CREDITS:   AnnaBen @ ScrapbookGraphics – paper, flowers; Miriam Lima – papers

This is my dinner table, all dressed up for Christmas. 🙂 The chair wraps are silk, held together with capiz shells. Love how the chairs look like ladies with shawls! 😆

Must Not Forget…

… this funny tonight.

My 2 older sons, A & R, were teasing me about how my camera has become my appendage. Of course dh could not resist joining in the fray. The downside of being the only female in the family is: when the boys decide to gang up against me, there usually is just me against all the testosterone. 😆

But my 2nd son, ahhh, this boy is such a funny, loving guy (actually they all are, but he’s the one quick to come to my defense all the time. ha! gotta love that! 😆 ). When dh and A were going on and on about how I’m forever whipping out my camera, he said “No, Mom doesn’t take photos when we’re eating…” then he turned to his older brother A and whispered just loud enough for us to catch, “Now who’s going to win the Offspring of the Year award, huh?” and the two boys burst out laughing.

Offspring of the Year award. That’s one for the scrap pages!

(It doesn’t sound so funny now, but trust me, it was hilarious when it happened). 😆

And you thought there was no freebie…

but there is! If you’ve made it this far, you’ll find it right here!

I decided to experiment with making a Valentine card as a freebie, so I hope it’ll come in useful for you and your kids…

Here’s what it looks like:

{ Click on image for larger view }

LivEdesigns BearHug Preview

It’s a .png file, a plopper really–it’s going to be a really quick download 🙂 So in case you’re in a rush, you can just open the file in PSE or in CS3, hold down the CTRL key as you click on the new layer button in your layers palette (on a mac that would be the Command key) so that your new layer comes in under the plopper. Then pull in your photo file, resize it using the transform handles, and voila! Instant Valentine’s card! 😀

Note that I just placed my text on the journaling chipboard tag, but you can put your own journaling text on it in your plopper… I’ve left the tag empty of course 🙂

Oh, and the size of the card is 5″ x 7″ but you can always change the image size to make it smaller or bigger. 😉

You can download the BearHug valentine card plopper here. Thank you for the love you leave on my blog! 🙂

I’ve also decided to make a teeny tiny Bear Hug mini kit which will have the items that you see on the card plus 2 additional papers… just in case you want to make a layout instead of a card. 🙂 I’ll upload it tomorrow (because it’s 4AM now so that means it’s time for Lala Land!).

And that’s all for today, folks! 😀

Humongous hugs to you, my sweeties!!! 😉 And I hope to see you again tomorrow!

12 thoughts on “Whoa!!!

  1. Hugs and Kisses GF!!! I haven’t been able to use a computer very much for the last month but everytime I do, the first two places I head to are our playground and your blog. So nice to see the update today. I so totally know what you mean about a house full of testosterone!!!!! I did at least have my DD but most times she sided with the boys. I wonder sometimes if she really is a girl. I love reading all about your life. You really do live a charmed life GF! I love the valentine plopper and especially loved seeing “you” there. Thank you so much!!!! You always brighten my day! Love ya!


  2. So happy to have you back on the porch swing with me while a I sneak away a minute of time between temperature taking and medicine dosing !! If only the fevers would cooperate with me we’d be back on the mend. Your LOs are amazing. Your plopper adorable! I will never understand how you keep up with the forums, galleries, freebies, chatting, blogging, etc. I try and I try but can never get everything into one day that I want … especially when the kids are sick 😦


  3. Hello darling! You know I loooooved your table LO. It’s beautiful, both the table and the LO.

    I also have to say that £18 really struck me. I just adore the papers you chose and how amazingly well they go with the photos. I love it.

    Those bears are so adorable. Very cute. Hey, have you ever seen the Miranda bears? I had this weird fascination with them a few years back.


  4. Liv;
    Thanks for the nice comment on my blog. I know all to well about how real life gets in the way. So proud of you for finishing LOAD – I will do that too, just as soon as this grant is submitted next week. I will cross my fingers that have a little time to toss some ideas and or designs my way for reCREATE… you know I love your style. Oh. and your Lo A Stones Throw is BEAUTIFUL! XXOO!


  5. Liv I love reading about all your happenings and “offspring of the year” cracked me up!
    Your layouts are all gorgeous and I love seeing your boys on them.

    Thankyou again for the another freebie. You really do need to start a business and sell these things. Maybe I could start a business and have you as the designer LOL.

    Carol 🙂


  6. Liv…it’s nice to have you back on your porch. Humongous hugs to you too! Congrats on completing your LOADs (they are all fabulous). Great valentine freebie, and of course the little girl on the front has the cutest smile (gee…wonder who that could be?)!


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