Preparations and Promises

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


  • 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!

46 thoughts on “Preparations and Promises

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! What amazing templates you’ve shared. I found your blog through Jessica Sprague’s website, and you’re my new favorite (in close competition with Jess, of course!). As a new digi scrapper ( I started with the tutorial at the end of her Stories in Hand class), I’m continually amazed at the generosity of this digi scrap community! I look forward to seeing you in the Type+Writer class when I take it later this (oops, next!) year.


  2. I haven’t been by in ages and I’ve CLEARLY been missing out!!! Know I haven’t stayed away for any reason other than I basically took the summer off from blogging (and everything else, for that matter)!! I’m hoping to be back regularly now since you are my *FAVE* sistah and I love you to pieces!!! Can’t wait to download all of the freebies you’ve been cranking out! Are you saving me a spot at the front of the line for Type+Writer? Can’t wait!


  3. hi Liv, i am very interested in digital scrapbooking but i am just curious what do you do with the digital scrapbook designs that you make usually? do you sell them or make them into products? please email me back! thank you!


  4. I have to add one more thing. As I finished writing my last comment, Brogan brought 2 books to me and put his hands up like he wanted me to read them to him. LOL! He was channeling that love of books from your blog. 🙂


  5. That is precisely the reason why I call Barnes and Noble evil. I cannot leave that place without buying something. It is a miracle if I leave with just one book. Jeremy, Brogan, and I all love books so any book store sucks our wallet dry. Just thinking about it makes me want to go there even though I have 5 books on my shelf waiting for me to read them. LOL!

    I am so excited for your class, Liv!! I love hearing little snippets about it.

    Love your picture a day layout. So cute!

    Love you, friend! Squeeze yourself for me, ok? LOL! 🙂


  6. Hi Liv,

    Great blog. I have been trying to reach you about the Scrapbooking Documentary. Jessica Sprague mentioned you’d be great to talk to. What is your email address?



  7. wow Liv, I totally missed the template thing! Thanks so much for these, they are wonderful! I didn’t know you were working on this, this is exciting. Plus your new class…..


  8. Liv – Thanks so much for sharing the templates and your book recommendation. I will have to look for the book next time I am at the bookstore. Always looking for a good read!


  9. Thanks so much Liv, for the wonderful post. You are definitely a gal after my own heart, as the Little House books were my absolute favorite! I have even been to DeSmet (in the winter…just drove through) and toured the house at Rocky Ridge Farm!!!

    I’ve been offline for a week as I broke my right ankle and just today am starting to catch up on my blog reading. Reading your blog is so much like visiting a friend that it puts a smile on my face.

    The class sounds like a winner, too!

    Thank you for sharing all that you share. Ü


  10. I’ll leave love on both !

    Thanks for sharing this and being an inspiration to us all.

    Books – er probably don’t read the serious ones you do lol no wonder my journaling is pants !


  11. I’m a newcomer to the Spraground. I absolutely love your blog and I’m going to have to spend some heavy time here exploring.

    Your photo a day album has really caught my eye and I want to try that for a month. I have downloaded the templates for the layouts, but the link to the cover page template isn’t working. Can you check it out?

    You are incredibly talented and generous. I just can’t wait to explore your site.


  12. I have just found your website. I very much enjoyed your photography and your family photos. You have a beautiful family. I also want to thank you for your generous freebies. Thank you so much.


  13. Great idea for your cover page, I would probably go back and forth identifying where each block came from too!

    Aw, I don’t want to talk about bookstores right now. I have several piles of books from my past forays to the second hand bookshop, piles that I have yet to read!


  14. Thanks for some gorgeous templates Liv! I also loved seeing all your fabulous Chicago pictures up on the spraground. Maybe one year I will be there to meet you!
    Oh- and I will look forward to your class in September- sounds like fun!


  15. I’m so hoping to get into your class. I’ve missed registration for the last 2 class at Jess’. And I really need journaling help.

    I also am a great booklover. I was a children’s librarian for five years, many years ago.

    My family gives me a hard time cause I wan’t leave the house without a book. I tell them I’m superstitious that this will keep my day running smoothly since I have something to do if my day hits a glitch. I really just don’t “fell right” without at least one book nearby. My house is over run with books but I want to keep them all.

    Love your desighns always. This blog post was especially good. thanks for what you do.



  16. That’s how I am in a bookstore ~ so I have to limit myself to going in them 🙂

    I also wanted to say that I’ve only just now been able to spend time reading your blog ~ which is great ~ after you left me love at the beginning of June NWR class. You’re amazing and generous! Thanks so much for sharing your talent 🙂


  17. First of all I can’t WAIT to take your class in September!!! You have a way with words, my friend. Secondly, what an awesome download, once again! You make life so much easier and more enjoyable.


  18. Darn. I’m not the first to post this time. How about I be the first one signed up for your class (hint hint)? 😉

    Me + books = TLF
    Me + Liv = BFF
    U + freebies = AWESOMENESS!

    btw-I love how you have been using the word “heretofore” in your last several posts. You don’t see that one often. 🙂


  19. These are just awesome! Thank you so much. I, too, am a bookstore junkie. But I am often caught by the travel section (so many places to go!) and languages (how little I know) and, of course, kids books. This was almost my Nerdy Little Secret – I love kids books. So happy to have a kid now so I can buy them “for her.”


  20. Books are some of my best friends!!!! I am always in the process of reading a minimum of three books at a time. I have a book by bed that I read at night. I have a book in my car that I read when I stop for lunch or if I’m waiting to pickup my DS. I have a book at my office that I can grab whenever there is some downtime and I’m waiting on a program to load or just taking a break. Those are just the minimum ones. I usually find time to squeeze in one or two more every once in a while. What can I say … I LOVE BOOKS!!!!!! I’ll have to check out your newest find.

    Thanks for the inside page templates. Love them!!!! Love you more!!! You rock my world Liv!!!!


  21. There is nothing like perusing a bookstore shelf by shelf by shelf… and the lucky person i am since I work in one, I get to peruse ALL DAY LONG!! I will have to check out this title!
    I love your album cover and like the idea of letting parts of the photo show!
    Liv,you amaze and inspire us!


  22. Love, love, love the templates for the Photo-A-Day. Although I’m perfectly willing and capable of doing them all from scratch, this generous gift of yours will make it all so much easier! I’m excited to get this project started and completed! You’re the best!!


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