Archive | 3:19 am

Preparations and Promises

18 Jul

What’s your current state of mind right now?

Mine is one of pure excitement! hee!

I have been working on a class that my dear friend Jessica and I will be teaching on our Spraground come September! (What an honor to be teaching with the digi-godess herself!) It’s called Type+writer, and it’s going to be a class on journaling and typography (Read all about it on the Spraground!)

A few weeks ago, I was browsing through the bookstore and picked up this book:

A Broom of One's Own by Nancy Peacock

A Broom of One's Own by Nancy Peacock

A Broom of One’s Own: Words on Writing, Housecleaning & Life by Nancy Peacock

I wish I could say I bought it knowing that I would definitely find something in it that would inspire me for the upcoming course that I would be team-teaching with Jessica, but the truth is, it just called out to me from the bookshelf, and I am all weak-kneed and soft when it comes to resolve in bookstores. (Can never go in and come out without something in my hands).

When we digiscrap and when we edit our photos, we always talk about workflow. You know, what process do you normally go through when you scrap a layout? When you edit your photos? Well… ever thought about your workflow in a bookstore? 😆 I’d love to know!

Here’s how I go from the shelf to the counter in bookstores.

I naturally seek out the areas that interest me. That would be… uh… probably everything. LOL. I can go from cookbooks (even if I don’t cook–there are great photos in there, and besides, hope springs eternal! 😛 ) to interior design (love looking at house designs and room designs–you never know when you’re going to want to redesign your room or your kids’ rooms, right?) to the business books (for some smart reading) to the children’s books (oooh! lots of deliciousness there, and often deep wisdom disguised in very simple phrases too!) to graphic design/photography/photoshop books and writing/writers’ books and general interest books (these last three are where I spend the largest chunk of time browsing and turning pages).

I used to read fiction once upon a time, I’m sure. In fact, it’s all I read from the time I was a kid up to when I was in college. I don’t know when the shift occured, but lately I’ve had no interest in most fiction books (think I got more than my quota early on? 😀 ) and so it’s the nonfiction ones that have me totally absorbed.

But I digress.

We were talking workflow, right? 😀 As I go to these areas of the bookstore, I pick up a book, my attention called initially by the book’s title and subtitle. First thing I do is turn it over and read the blurb at the back. If the blurb fails to catch me, back to the shelf the book goes and I’m off to get my interest hooked elsewhere. But if the blurb passes my initial test, then I open it to the first page and read the first couple of lines. If I fall in love at that point, the book never makes it out of my hands… it glues itself to my hand and walks up to the counter with me, where the salesclerk goes ding-ding-ding, and a few minutes later I’m a happy woman taking home a new paperback or hardbound friend.

Funny how those first few lines matter. Even funnier, I’ve secretly caught my kids applying the same litmus test to the books they buy (Flip to first page, read first lines, good? Good! Sold!)  😀



So anyway, back to Nancy Peacock’s book. Normally, my cousin (who is a published poet in the US and my childhood constant companion and co-book-lover) will send me her latest recommendations about the best writing books and when this happens, I know exactly what to look for on my trips to the bookstore. But this time, last week, I went on a nice, not-looking-for-anything-specific kind of book shopping spree, and this is what I ended up taking home.

I love it. I don’t get much time in a day to read, what with my never-ending and ever-growing list of to-do’s that are screaming for attention, but once in a while you sit down with a book, and it’s just like having a cup of coffee with a new friend whom you’ve just discovered is such a warm, easygoing, interesting, funny person to be with, and you talk and talk and talk, and the one cup of coffee turns to three while the sun sets in the horizon…

Well, this book was that kind of friend to me. 🙂

And wow, guess what? It has inspired me further with my work on the Type+writer course! How much better does it get, huh?

PS. I discovered with no small amount of joy that the author’s favorite books as a child were the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. That immediately made her my virtual best friend. 😆 Nothing like finding out the books you loved as a child are regarded with as much holy affection by someone else heretofore unknown to you! I always think that’s an awesome thing! (Yeah, I have cheap thrills, hehe) 🙂

So… if you’re in a bookstore, and you like reading a book that absolutely sounds like your best friend telling you stories about her job of cleaning houses while she effortlessly blends in her views about writing which happens to be her other job when she’s not housecleaning, then pick up this book. Not many books compel me to read till the last page without putting it down, but this one has. And it’s not even something that contains incredibly profound, earth-changing truths… it’s just such a joy to read.

Cover Page Done!

Speaking of having tons of stuff to do… I haven’t made a layout in soooo long, I was getting withdrawal symptoms! Not for lack of desire, no… just a total lack of 24 more hours in each day!

But! I finally finished the cover page of my May Photo A Day Album! Whoopeedoo!

Here’s what I created today:

LivE_May Photo-A-Day Album Cover Page

LivE_May Photo-A-Day Album Cover Page

Credits:

  • LivEdesigns-ExtraordinaryDaysAlbum-CoverPageTemplate
  • Meredith Fenwick – The Day Dreams Collection – Wildest Papers_Paper1
  • Katie Pertiet – Black Black Paper Pack_Paper1
  • Kim Christensen – Spelling101-BlackInkedOverlay, RedStampedOverlay
  • Photos by LivE

Oh! By the way, if you downloaded my multiphoto cover page template, don’t forget to save often because there are 31 photo masks in there, and when you pull in your photos, you don’t want to lose the file in case Photoshop struggles with its memory requirements! 😉 (Or merge the photo layer to the mask layer to save memory, if you’re absolutely sure you’re not going to change it later on). I’m just sayin’… 😀

PS. I kept my photos in their original size and let some details of each photo peep out of the squares, just to add interest to the cover page. I love the idea of guessing what each photo is like, and having to get to the inside pages to find out what each one was, and then maybe flipping back to the cover page to match the full photo with the photo part that shows on the cover. Hee!

Maybe it’s related to my love for the World-National Geographic Magazine for Kids, which I had a subscription for back when I was about 8 years old. I loved flipping over to the back cover (what is it with my fascination for back covers? hahaha!) where there were always about 9 detail photos… and the reader had to guess what they actually were (answers were on the inside part of the front page, upside down… bet it was their way of making sure we didn’t cheat by reading them first before we got to the back detail photos! heehee).

And now, with the cover all done and those detail photos peeping out, I’m all excited to work on the inside pages!

Freebie Promised, Freebie Delivered!

And speaking of inside pages… I finally got these ExtraordinaryDays Album inside page single-photo templates zipped, loaded, and ready for sharing!

And just because I love ya, I decided to include separate png files of the swirl and circle cluster accents that I used on the psd files… just in case you want to use them on your other layouts as well! 😉 Note that glass accents are the most difficult to add drop shadows to, because … uh… because glass behaves in a funny way, right? (Try putting a glass of something in the sun and you’ll see what I mean 😀 ).

So, because I really believe in keeping things as simple as possible, I decided to give you the glass accents with drop shadows applied already to them. If you wish to apply your own shadows further, you can… but note that this will make the black glass take on a darker, less transparent shade (and if that’s the look you’re going for, then it’s all good! 😀 )

So here’s what I’m sharing with you today!

LivEdesigns ExtraordinaryDays Album Inside Page Templates & Accents

LivEdesigns ExtraordinaryDays Album Inside Page Templates & Accents

Click here to get the Extraordinary Days Album Inside Page Templates and Glass Accents.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for the love you leave on my blog! (I love the fuzzies you leave on my 4shared account, but the love you leave on my blog will last forever, whereas the fuzzies on 4shared disappear once I unload the files :/ )

Don’t forget to link me up when you create with these as I’d really love to see what you create! 🙂

And… that’s all for now, folks! Have a happy day, my sweeties!

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