Archive | May, 2008

Photo Phun!

23 May

Wow! Thanks to everyone who left such great love in my blog and on my 4shared site; I am sooo glad that you liked the template (more of those coming soon!).

I just realized that I am sooo behind in posting my May Photo-A-Day exploits, so why don’t we sit on this porch swing, grab a cold drink, and just let the breeze play with our hair as we sit back and have a most relaxing chat? Sounds good? 🙂

Oh, and while we’re at it, maybe let’s add some music… my dear friend Linda just introduced me to this guy (who doesn’t even know she and I exist, hehe), and I looked him up on youtube and totally fell in love with this song.

A bit of an aside: since my 2 older teen sons are into music (who of their age isn’t? 😛 ), I asked them if they’d heard of Jason Mraz, thinking “Wow! They’re going to find me so cool, that I know contemporary music!”

The response? “Oh yeah mom, that song has been around for some time.”

So much for being cool. 😆

So… here we go! Maestro, play your music! (And you, dear friend, press that play button). hehehe

And now for some Photo Phun 😀

May05 ~ Do Flowers Have Faces?

May05 PAD

I couldn’t help but think Madame Florabell when I saw this on a walk around our garden grounds… Is it just me who sees the eyes and the green nose and the tuft of yellow-fuschia hair, and her ruffly collar? heehee. Sometimes nature can have such a sense of humor!

(PS. I am utterly hopeless at identifying flowers by name! All I know is that these ones are so common around here, they even grew by the side of our childhood home… and when we were kids, we’d pick them all the time! 😀 )

May06 ~ A Very Casual Love Affair

May06 PAD

What can I say? I’m a jeans-and-sneakers kind of girl, true and through! Gotta love them (try running after 5 sons in skirts and heels and you’ll understand why I live in jeans and sneakers~ROFL!)

Intermission:

Here’s a layout I did with the extra takes of the day. 😆

PSF Storyboard

Could these shoes count me in as a hybrid scrapper? 😆

CREDITS:

MeredithFenwick-WildSide-DarkGrey paper (combined with KatiePertiet’s BlackBlack-Paper); AntiquePaperSwirls; AntiqueBits Postcard / Pieces of Me Sentimental Kit – Staple, Transparent Tape
JenWilson-ExtraSmudges
NancieRoweJanitz-ChalkedOverlay1
AmberClegg-PostageStamps
FONTS: SxTalk69; Mom’sTypewriter

The storyboard was created using Jessica’s Photoshop Friday Tutorial. Very easy, very fun to use!

May07 ~ Urban Tears

May07 PAD

Urban tears = rain in the city. Ever since I was a little kid, I always thought raindrops looked like teardrops. Shot this from inside my car on my way home from another one of the daily trips I had been making to the hospital for my kids. We were on top of the bridge as I shot this, so the background is actually the tops of the buildings as we passed.

May08 ~ Iron Man Rules!

May08 PAD

I was going to use the photo untouched, but my two older teen sons saw me playing around with it using the WOW Watercolor and Linework Filter, and begged me to upload this instead. They said it fits the theme… and because *sometimes* my sons rule me, I let them have their way this time. hehe. (Guess the Comic Generation knows whereof they speak! LOL).

May09 ~ Ma, Look!

May09 PAD

Took this photo of my son’s hand pointing to a wooden thingie on our home grounds while he was on his (most probably) hundredth “Ma, look!”… I don’t remember seeing whatever it was he saw there (an ant?) but when the photo came out, I decided to play a bit with it, and added a little sprite! 😉 Totally played with this! 😀

And okay, so the photo is real but I added the lights and the glow, and used Stephanie Baker-Thomas’ faery figure. 🙂

May10 ~ aaaH2Ooooh

May10 PAD

Pure relief, and the best refreshing drink on a hot and humid day; and possibly the best elixir to take when you’re about to climb the walls because your internet router is dead and you can’t get to your favorite Spraground in the world. heh. 😛

Took this glass of water in my dining room… switched off all the lights except the corner lights and one on the right side. 🙂

And okay, so there are more photos to upload, but before you doze off to sleep, I’m going to save you some energy and upload those at another time! hehehe 😆

Photo Phun Means Phreebie Phun!

And since you’ve been such wonderful friends, patiently looking at my photo exploits, here’s a little something for you! 😀

My sister, who has just completed the previous Up & Running course of Jessica a couple of months ago (and promptly GOT HOOKED, mwahahahaha), wanted to create a layout but only had 2 photos to use on it. What a dilemma, huh? I normally like using photos in groups of odd numbers (say 1 focal photo and 3 little ones)… I don’t think I’ve ever used just 2 photos on a layout.

But her dilemma got me thinking: What IF there were truly just two photos snapped? Then what?

Make a template for 2 photos! 😆

So I made her a template with two choices for the title area: One with a straight honest-to-goodness regular title, and another with a curved title path that leads into one of the photo masks.

And here’s the layout she came up with (I am so proud of this work of hers! So wonderful!)

Template Sample LO cnb

CREDITS:

AAspnes’ Web Challenge Brushes 18May, MZimmermann’s Breeze of Elegance Paper, MZ’s Timeless Journey Paper (recolored), MFenwick’s Warm Heart Paper 6 (journal spot), MZ’s Lifetime Moments Lock & Tag and Bundled Lock & Key Elements, JBolton’s Pastiche Screw, MFenwick’s Fall Fiesta Rhinestone Circle. Fonts: Lucida Blockletter and Century Gothic.

And here is what the templates look like:

You can get this template, which has a straight, no-nonsense title 😛 by clicking on the template preview. 😉

2Photo Template with Straight Title

And if you prefer a curved title path, you can get this template here (also by clicking on the preview) 😉

2 Photo Template with Curved Title Path

Both templates are psd files with clipping masks included. All you have to do is clip your photos and papers on to them, add whatever accents you want to, and voila!

Happy Scrapping, my dear friends! Oh, and thanks for the love you leave in my blog!

And… have a LOVELY day! I’ll see you again soon!

Freebie Fun!

21 May

Just a quick one, as I’ve been through a whirlwind 2 weeks of real life and digi life and everything in between…

Just wanted to leave a quick gift for everyone who passes by my porch (and there’s iced tea and cookies and freshly brewed coffee too over here too! 😀 ).

Thank you for all the prayers and all the kind words that you’ve left in my comments. Your friendship is so precious to me, your words such a balm. You are totally awesome. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I am about 7 layouts delayed… 4 for our April challenges (was too busy wrapping up the previous run of the Up&Running course, and then attending to our Digi: In Deep course that followed on its heels 🙂 ) and 3 layouts for the templates that I created for our Digi: In Deep creative challenges.

I hit two birds with one stone by combining this week’s Spraground Weekly Challenge-Designer Spotlight with my template-layout requirement (yay!) plus I got to restore and scrap with old photos. So yay, this was a great case of getting many things on my to-do list checked at one go! 🙂

The designer we spotlighted on our Spraground this week was Anna Aspnes from DesignerDigitals, who–like every single designer in that fab shoppe–has the most amazing work and best of all, they are ultra-generous with their freebies! This past Sunday she gave out the most WONDERFUL plume freebies! So that’s what we played with for our challenge!

Here’s what I made:

DIDIt-03 Template

CREDITS:

LivEdesigns DIDIt-03 Template; Anna Aspnes – DD 18MayFreebie Plumes; MeredithFenwick-AfternoonSerenadePapers ; GrungyBabyPapers; WarmHeartAlpha; DawnWilson-BlackFridayTab;
Fonts: BeautifulES; BabelSans; Times&Times; subway photo from statravel.co.nw; AtomicCupcake & Wow actions

And here’s the template that I used:

It comes with the drop shadows to make the three blocks look dimensional (but you can always disable the shadows), and you can use it either as a 3-photo template with journaling spaces; or a 6-photo template.

Hope you find some use for it! You can snag the template HERE, and thanks for the love you leave on my blog as you download it!

Well, gotta rush back to the one million one things I need to attend to.

Oh, and PS. Just a little request for prayers:

1. for my dear, precious friend Lisa who has just lost her husband and best friend (we are all grieving with her and we keep her in our thoughts and prayers, and would love to have you join us in lifting our prayers to Heaven); and

2. for my special intentions (which have to do with V-day… will let you know all about that soon!)

Thank you so much in advance, and do visit again soon!

(((((((((hugs)))))))))

That Dreaded White Screen

12 May

ETA: I typed this in yesterday but am only getting it posted today… Read on and you’ll understand why… 😉

I’ve been staring at it for close to 48 hours now. I click on Internet on my computer, and normally I get my msn homepage from which I launch into my wonderful day of work and play. Sometimes, when the net connections are iffy, I get a white screen with that message below (trying to connect…) and I know if it takes about 5 seconds, there’s definitely something wonky going on.


Well. Let’s just say I’ve stared at that white screen for so often this week, I almost feel it’s a wall I can climb.


I need a new router. I need it soon. Like yesterday. Or I’m seriously going to need to be committed. Haha.


I feel so bad that I can’t get to the Up & Runners on the forums and the galleries. Jes, hang on! I’ll be there as soon as I can fly on the internet waves!


Making the Most of It

So… what to do when I can’t get to my Up & Running friends, my Spraground family, and my one-million virtual field trips? I do what I should’ve done way way back. Start cleaning up my compy’s guts. Start trying to make sense of the kajillion gigabytes of digistash I’ve accumulated over the past year and a half. And maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll actually get to organize some of them in ACDSee. Maybe.


So here I am, in between stifling sighs and the urge to scream in frustration, in between constantly clicking on the Internet button and hoping and praying I’ll get more than a five-minute connection before it disappears into the virtual black hole again…


Catharsis

So while fixing my files in my compy, guess what shows on HBO? StepMom, that movie that stars Susan Sarandon, Julia Roberts, and Ed Harris. That movie that is sooo real, where the line that separates the “bad guy” from the “good guy” is so blurred that it’s totally believable. (I love that. I mean, is there really a bad guy through and through, who has not a sliver of goodness in him? I doubt it. And for that matter, is there really a good, good person who has not a sliver of weakness in him? Doubt that too. So this is so real. You don’t know who to hate because you can totally identify with the characters, so in the end you end up loving them all.)


I don’t know if it’s because the past week has been particularly stressful, having to deal with daily (I kid you not; DAILY, as in every single day) trips to the hospital for my kids… mostly for vaccines but the one that worried me a lot was my little baby whom we were afraid would need surgery for 2 masses that started to grow… and Saturday morning, when we saw our pediatric surgeon, he declared immediately that there would be no need for surgery; that the masses were due to hyperactive glands; that they would resolve themselves in time. I had a bum stomach the entire week waiting for that appointment with the doctor to push through, and that very same day that I found out my little one was free (and I’m absolutely positive that it’s all due to the prayers of my Spraground family and my friends in real life), the stomach issues disappeared. Stress.


(So thank you, thank you, my dearest Spraground family, for all your kind thoughts and prayers).


So. I don’t know if it was that stressful week. Or the fact that I missed the Up & Runners’ chat that Jes and I had scheduled for this morning (not for lack of trying to connect). Or the fact that I can’t get to my virtual workplace even if I want to. Or the fact that I’m again way behind with visiting with you on my blog porch. Or the fact that I lost my mom when I was a kid and had a stepmom whom I loved dearly (and lost too eventually). Or the fact that I’ve been trying to be valiantly cheerful while wanting to kick this dumb router for being so unresponsive (and let me tell you, the support of my DSL service provider did not have a solution for me… in fact, I think the guy knew even less than my hubby, who called them to get them to fix it for us).


But. The fact is… I cried. Buckets. Pails. Pools. Heaves and sobs. I totally sobbed my heart out . So my eyes look terrible and I look almost as ashen as Susan Sarandon did towards the end of her days as her movie character.


But you know what? I needed that cry. Strange. But it felt good after.


And so here I am, typing my blog entry into Word, waiting for that magic moment when I’ll be able to connect to the net… at least long enough to get this post up on my blog.


(((hugs))) to you and do know that I’ve been missing you!


I’ll be back soon for another post! I have my router fixed (thanks to my always-knight-in-shining-armor, resident compy geek hubby)… so I am alive again!!! WOOHOO!!! 😀

Come on feel the noise…

5 May

…girls, rock your boys… we’re going wild, wild, wild… wild, wild, wild…!!!! 😆

I totally went wild over the weekend at the digiscrapping shoppes; did you, too??? OMG. The joy, the absolute joy, of finally being able to grab those items you’d been longing for, at the best prices too! YAY for (Inter)National Scrapbooking Day!!!

I went crazy at three places: ScrapbookGraphics (where one of my absolute favorite designers, Meredith Fenwick, has her shoppe), DesignerDigitals (yeah, DD rocks!!!), and ScrapArtist. Where did you go, and how crazy did you get? 😉

Now I’m totally stoked to begin working on my backlogged work for the Digi:In Deep course that we just finished last week at the Spraground. I still owe 3 templates and 3 layouts… and I also owe 4 layouts for our Spraground challenges. And I’m dying to create new stuff for you too!!! So look out for that this coming week! 😀

May Photo-A-Day

The fun never ends on our Spraground. Jessica is soooo awesome at keeping us all entertained!

If you haven’t yet checked out her blog, you should run there right now, believe me! Her latest Photoshop Friday tutorial is wonderful! (And if you haven’t signed up for her blog newsletter yet, carpe diem!!! 😀 )

Jes has also begun a challenge for May, for everyone! Called Photo-a-Day in May, we just take a photo a day –uhm, you absolutely guessed that, didn’t you? heehee–for each day in May. Then we post our photos on the special gallery that Jes created just for this challenge… and everyone comes to look at your photos and leave love on them! It’s a great Spraground we play in! (So if you’re just stumbling upon my little blog porch today and you’re interested in joining, please do feel most welcome!!! You need to be registered on the Spraground in order to post your photo on our special Photo-A-Day gallery, but no worries!–registration is free! And if you just want to look around… well, you’re welcome too! You’ll be awed my the masterpieces my Spraground sistahs have been hanging on the walls of the Photo-a-Day gallery… and in all the other galleries, too, for that matter! )

So here are my photos that I took for the first four days of May.

01 May – Breakfast Sunshine

Breakfast Sunshine

Description: Took a photo of my breakfast to bring a taste (pun!) of my country to our galleries, haha! This is called suman sa latik. Suman is glutinous rice cake, wrapped and steamed in banana leaves, and latik is a kind of sweet sauce made from freshly squeezed coconut milk and sugar. Taken with sweet, juicy mangoes, this is virtual breakfast heaven!

02 May – Poetry in Bloom
Breakfast Sunshine

Description: went walking around our homegrounds with 2 of my sons, looking for some photo-ops, and saw this beautiful flower (one among many) gently moving in the breeze… sometimes little things like this make you stop and catch your breath and remind you that God writes poetry with his Creation. Sigh. What beauty and perfection. 🙂

 03May – Symphony in Ebony & IvorySymphony in Ebony & Ivory

This is a pretty straightforward photo, but one that carries meaning for me. I grew up in a home where the piano played a great big role: I still remember my mom playing for us, and even much later on, when our mom had gone, my brothers and sisters and i would continue to spend many nights gathered round the piano singing and bonding with each other. I knew I would only find my home complete if I had a piano in it; so when dh and I moved to our present home, I spent all my life-savings-as-a-single-woman on this beloved piano (with additional help from dh 😛 ). Hubby and I both grew up with pianos in our homes, so it amuses and delights me to know our sons cannot imagine a home without a piano as well. (And yes, we do play music on it all the time!)
04May – That LookThat Look
Bright eyes shining with purity and innocence, an expression brimming over with earnestness and trust: this is the look I see on my son’s face each time he talks with me (which is like, uhm, the entire day 🙂 ). The eyes of a child: what a precious thing to behold!

CREDITS: I used Mike Brewer’s Frame Action to frame my photos. I take my photos in RAW format, so I definitely do some tweaking to them, most specifically in terms of White Balance and Curves. Other than that, the photos I take are pretty much how they are at the click of the shutter. 🙂

PS. I’m also attaching the gallery descriptions for the photos.
 
 

 

Okay! I guess that’s all for today, folks! Need to get some backlogged layouts done… Will be back again soon, so I hope to sit with you in a couple of days! Have a great day, my friends! (((hugs))))

Coming Up for Air…

2 May

Whoa!!! It’s been sooo long since we last sat on this porch swing together! I hope you haven’t forgotten the path that leads here? (If you have, I’ll send you a map immediately! 😀 )

So… I finally DID. Did DID. heehee. We just wrapped up DID (Digi: In Deep), the advanced course for digital scrapbookers at our Spraground, taught by my dear friend, Jessica Sprague, in a way that only she, the divine digi-godess can! It was a marvelous, exciting ride with signposts all the way saying “Full Speed Ahead!” (And yes, I was the one among many friends running after the speeding train with mouse, tablet, and keyboard in hand 😆 WOW! What a ride!!! And as usual, all of us DID’ers are eagerly awaiting the next courses! ).

(This, you realize, is my very subtle excuse for being absent from this dear blog porch of mine). But I’m back!!! Even if I still have some backlogged DID work to do, I just couldn’t stay away much longer 😛 There is sooo much to catch up on, so I promise you I’m going to be hanging around this porch pretty much. 😉

My Very First (Completed) Mini-Album

Probably one of my happiest DID moments was being able to actually COMPLETE from scratch my very first mini-album. Woohoo!!! This was one of the projects that Jes gave us to do, and I was so excited that I jumped in from the first week with templates of my own for the pages I did, using Jessica’s first four templates as jump-off inspiration points. I’ll post each page here daily, but wanted to show you (heehee, like a proud mama) my very first themed-album baby. (So I’ve completed albums, but never a themed one. Remember my Daily December album from last year? I have the photos, but I’ve completed the layouts only till December 24th. I know, I know… hopeless = me. hahaha!)

So last night found me on my compy-cum-work desk, with cutting board, cutter, cutting mat, metal ruler, and glue dots in hand, happily working on the album. Another victory for me was dipping into my hoarded stash of paper scrapping goodies (accumulated over the years and never used) and discovering the perfect 6×6 Provo Craft album whose cover coordinated perfectly with the color scheme I used for my pages! (I sooo love these serendipitous moments! :mrgreen:

A little confession: I only had A4 matt photo paper available, so (revealing a dash of cheapo tendencies here, hee!) I resized my layouts before printing them so that I reduced them to 5.25×5.25 inches… and therefore, I was able to print out two layouts per A4 page. Woohoo! Nothing like maximizing materials! 😀 Then, of course, I had to find cardstock to mat my layouts on, and in one of my scrapping drawers, I discovered the perfect shade of brown/tan thick cardstock! Another Woohoo moment!!!

(And then, of course, there was the thrill of thinking to myself, as I held the glue dots, the cutting board, the cutter and cutting mat, and the metal ruler in my hands, “hmmm. Now could it actually be said that I’m doing hybrid?” heeheehee. What a thrill. (I should explain: I was always curious about doing hybrid, but never felt confident enough to jump into actual HANDiwork, know what I mean? hehe)

So enough of my babbling and onto the photos! 😀

 Here’s the front cover:

Breathings of my Heart Album

Here’s the first page:

Wordsworth Quote on Front PageThe quote on the cover page explains the title of my quote book.

It’s a quote from William Wordsworth:

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”

🙂

 

 

And here are a few sample pages:

CREDITS:

ProvoCraft 6×6 Album; Kraft Cardstock (I can’t even remember whose product this was, because it’s been soooo long in “hoard-dom”–lol!) AND

All papers from Meredith Fenwick’s Cowboy Baby kit; Katie Pertiet’s LetterBox Overlay, Heart Sticker, Staple Pair; Jan Crowley’s Beautiful Evidence Overlays; All templates by me (inspired by Jessica Sprague); Fonts: Porcelain, ProblemSecretary

Cool, huh? If you’ve made a mini album of your own, or if you’re one of my DID-mates who has printed her album as well, do link me up in the comments! I’d love to see what you made of your project! 😀 Isn’t Jes’ project just soooo cool? 😀

Tagged!

I was tagged by my friend and SpragueSistah Tina a few weeks back, in the middle of DID, and (how totally embarrassing!) I’m only getting around to doing my part of the tag! Sorry, Tina! But here it is, finally! 😀

ALL are invited to join in The Links MeMe fun!
PLEASE just follow the rules!
Lara’s Place is the meme originator. (an active link is appreciated)

Just copy paste THIS and everything below up until my Five links:
I thought it would be cool to have a meme where we post links. We can post up to five. Then we tell five more people to share their links. If we all share who tagged us, our links are sure to be seen!
They can be business links, favorite sites, affiliate links, whatever you want…

There are Five Rules:
1. MUST be clean. No R rated sites.
2. Only FIVE links.
3. MUST tell 5 people.
4. A link back to the person who tagged you
5.

My Five Links:

  1. jessicasprague.com – Now, was there any doubt that this would be the very first link I’d list? heehee. This is my virtual home, my second home, my home away from home! I love our Spraground! This is where I discovered my passion for all things digital. Jes is more than the very best teacher and the digital godess, she is a wonderful, compassionate, generous, amazing person, and an awesome friend as well! And you could double that, times two, because Jared is just as awesome as she!
  2. DesignerDigitals – The very best digital shoppe in my opinion. Katie Pertiet and her team seriously rock with their designs, and they are also ultra-generous!
  3. MeredithFenwick at Scrapbook-Graphics.com – Absolutely GREAT designs by a wonderful person! Not only is Mer a great designer, she’s also a fabulous and generous friend! My CC gets into serious action when I see Meredith’s designs! 😆
  4. DigiFree – The first blog freebie search engine that I go to… and I never leave empty-handed. 😆
  5. MarthaStewart.com – I just love the colors of the MarthaStewart magazine, love the great photos, love the clean and simple look. So when my creative muse needs a little push, this is where I go. Just looking at the bedsheets or the garden stuff or whatever is in there gets my mojo flowing. 😀

Ha!!! NOW, I get to tag my poor friends! heehee

My Five Tagged Friends:

I am tagging my dearest friends because I love them! 😀 heehee

  • Veevs – because I promised her everytime someone tags me, I’d tag her in turn (stop groaning, veevs! get to your blog now! 😆 )
  • Lisa – because this is my way of getting her to post on her blog again 😉
  • Joscie – because she tagged me and then it turns out she tagged me invisibly (hahaha!)… so here’s me tagging you, my dear friend! 😆
  • Dawn – because she also needs to post on her blog again! haha! 😉
  • Kel – because she’s so talented, her card was featured on the SBG blog, and we at the Spraground are all proud of her! 😉

Can I tag more? 😆 just kidding.

Tired

Okay, so I need to go to sleep now as it’s almost sunrise… but I am contented as a cat stretching in the sun since I’ve finally sat on my porch with you, my dearest friends!

I’ll be back tomorrow with more, I promise… for now I need to snore! 😆 Have a great day/night! ((((hugs))))

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