I caved!

Yes, I did. This beauty is on its way to me in a month or so. It does have to travel over the oceans and continents… but it’s on its way, and that’s a good thing! :mrgreen:

Thank you so much to all who gave glowing reviews about the Bind-it-all… you’ve been dream enablers, and I can’t wait to get my little itchy hands on this beauty!

Oh, what’s a gadget-lover to do while waiting! (heehee)

Do you do a good job of waiting? And if you do, how do you do it? How do you keep yourself from hopping on one foot and then the other while anxiously marking the dates on the calendar till D Day comes?

More to Hop About

Three really exciting things!

First: we have a new challenge at our Spraground. It’s a really exciting one, led by our guest challenge leader, Lindsan. In case you’ve stumbled upon my blog porch by accident, you might want to check out our challenges at the Spraground… we post them weekly on the General Forum Spotlight area, and anyone and everyone can come and join the challenges. (All you have to do is get yourself registered at our Spraground… oh, and did I mention registration is free? 😀 )

Second: there’s a HUGE secret waiting to burst forth on our Spraground… a new course, delish and fun and exciting! Jessica, our Spraground mama, has planned a really cool course and it’s open to all! Yep, that means every single person who wants to indulge in some creative fun! Are you a digi scrapper? Come and join! Are you a paper-scrapper? Come and join! Are you in between digi and paper–are you a hybrid scrapper? Come and join! Not a scrapper at all? COME AND JOIN too! See? It’s a great thing for every single one of you! Come and join us!

The big teaser will be out on October 10th… I hope to see you passing by our Spraground then! (In fact, you can start hanging around now, if you haven’t grabbed a swing or seesaw seat yet. 😀 )

Third: I have a huge secret kit that’s in the works, and it’s awesome! The most awesome part of it? It’s a collab with a very talented, very good friend of mine who’s dipping her toes in the designing waters. Don’t go snooping around, cos I’m not telling! hehehe. That’s part of the excitement! I’m just sayin’ that it’s been really, really exciting working with my good friend on this! So that’s one more thing to look forward to!

The Turtle Comes Out of His Shell

Last Saturday, my 4-year-old son S had his first stage performance. It was a school event dedicated to the mothers, where each of the preschool levels presented a class dance. The whole family  was extremely excited to see S perform, because for the most part of his 4 years of life, he’s been the really silent one, content to whisper or just speak to his mama, papa, and brothers. Lately, dh and I have been thoroughly thrilled since our dear S seems to have unleashed the energy of his tongue overnight, and now he talks so much, he’s practically hoarse (lol. It’s like he just discovered the power of his voice).

So there we were, our entire family in attendance. It’s incredibly hard to coax my eldest son to come to these kinds of events, but even he made it a point to come and watch (sweet!).

You know, working in a school for 17 years and teaming up with the principal for 15 of those years in managing and choreographing the performances of the children (from preschool to high school) teaches one a few things. I’ve learned that preschool children are, at best, iffy when it comes to performance day. Most will perform consistently on the day itself as on practice days. But it’s not surprising to have one child who performs perfectly every practice day, then freezes on the day itself, like a frightened deer caught in the stage spotlights. It’s also not surprising to find the flip side–that’s the child who doesn’t move a single extremity during the practice days, and then, stirred and excited by the lights and audience, magically transforms into the Energizer Bunny on the day itself.

So. I was curious to see which my own flesh and blood would be: the deer or the bunny?

Well. It’s hard to say which one he was. Maybe he was a hybrid. 😛

He froze, that’s for sure. He didn’t move a bit during the class performance… but I’m not sure it’s because he had stage fright (which I have). See, he had this twinkle in his eye, the kind that seems to say, “Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? Me? Dance in front of all these people? What? Are you kidding me? Nooooo way!” Bwahaha.

Here’s photographic evidence:

My little turtle is the one on the rightmost side of the stage. Notice him surveying the audience.

“Are you kidding me? Move? Me? Are you kidding me?”

“Uhm. I don’t think so… I think I’ll pass…”

“Bwahahaha! Look at that! Funny moves! Funny, funny dance moves!”

“Awww shucks. Fine. Fine. I’ll dance. Geez louise. (nervous giggle)”

“Heehee. I still think this is incredibly funny…”

So. At least in the last minute of the performance, he decided to join the dance. To be completely honest, I wasn’t sure if I’d be the anxious mom silently whispering under her breath, “Come on, sweetie, join the dance; let’s see you groove!” or if I’d be the silly mom who just laughs her heart out and says, “Oh well, that’s life! I totally get you, bud!”

You probably know by now what choice I made (hehe… laughter is always the best way out).

So… the other levels had their own performances, and then the finale came. Well, whaddayaknow? My little turtle decided to throw his shell aside and perform with gusto!

The finale wasn’t a dance; it was a song (wonder if that had anything to do with his willingness to perform… though at home he sings and dances with equal wild abandon).

And you know what? Deer or bunny, I loved watching him both ways.

As I sit here trying to remember what song it was, the only thing that comes back to me is that it was a song dedicated to the moms. I guess I was too busy being enthralled by the sight of my little one actually singing with that sincere expression on his face that the whole world went silent and for those 4 minutes or so, there was just this beautiful sight of my son and my motherly pride and affection… nightingales could have been singing or wolves could’ve been howling–all I knew is that I was caught up in the rapture of seeing my little boy’s intensely expressive face!

One more time, this sweetie’s face:

Now, ahem. I think there was someone less than thrilled by the performance…

Heehee. And on this funny note, here I am, signing off for now! 😆

Have a happy, funny, totally thrilling day!

CREDITS: Old Frames by O.N. designs

The Fork in the Road

I have to say that one of the (many) reasons I can talk with my dearest friend Jessica for hours on end (aside from the fact that our chats often involve a bit of drooling over stuff, whether it’s typography images or delish-shoes that call our names) is this:

We can talk about anything under the sun and get each other completely. We talk, and it’s light and it’s deep. It’s funny and it’s heart-rending. We get equal servings of silent bow-your-head thought-provoking moments and boisterous throw-your-head-back silly laughter. Oxymorons, these? Nah. Just a description of the precious connection of friendship.

We had extra servings of all that during the two weeks of our Type+Writer course. And a big bulk of it was filled with awe, wonder, gratitude, and appreciation for all the courage and honesty and heart-baring that our Type+writer students were sharing with us through the amazing stories they were telling on their layouts. (I’m still going through our class gallery savoring every layout that’s there).

So. The Type+Writer journey we took together was awesome beyond words. (hmmm… sounds familiar. Haven’t I mentioned that somewhere before?   😆  ) And as awesome moments go, hearts are moved and brain gears start whirling. Deep desires make themselves felt, and the vision becomes clearer.  I think this has been true for every single one of us who participated in the Type+Writer course: outside, things may look pretty much the same, but inside things are different.

I think this has been true, at one point or another, for you too. Have you ever been at that point in your life? That life-changing, rearranging point? Ever felt excitement and maybe even a bit of trepidation mixed in the salad bowl of your life?

As we all know (especially my dear sis who’s starting to carve a new life in Paris), sometimes changes can be a bit unsettling, maybe even a bit scary. It has a lot to do, I think, with the uncertainty that comes with change. It’s like riding in the same jalopy year after year, and suddenly you’re sitting behind the wheel of a flashy red ferrari. You’re happy, you’re excited, you can’t wait to feel the wind slap against your face as you speed down the road, but at the back of your mind, you’re thinking: Can I really do this? (Absolutely). Will I hit humps on the road? (You might, but if you do, you’ll survive and be better for it). Is this the right thing to do? (Search your heart: if your heart says yes, there’s no other way to go).

My friend Jes has decided to incorporate some changes in the little home she has shared with us, our Spraground. Wonderful changes. Beautiful ones. We’re at a fork in the road, and it’s the same road, it’s the same path, but suddenly we look up and see how beautiful the rays of sunlight are as they filter through the leaves in the trees, and we look down and we see how the path under our feet has pebbles of every size and shape and color. It’s an amazing sight. And we walk together, linking arms like little girls, because we know this is a great road to take.

So here’s one for my dear friend Jes, and for all my sweeties whose lives and loves and hearts I am honored to have been afforded a glimpse of these past two TW weeks, and all my friends from around the world whose lives have touched mine because of this wondrous thing called the internet, and YOU; this one is for you:

Housecleaning… Want… Need

Been doing housecleaning all day… online, that is. 🙂

I received word from some of you sweeties that you couldn’t access the 4shared link for my Extraordinary Days Album Cover Pages, so I checked it out… and yep! It seems that some gremlins have taken over the link because for some reason it’s broken. 😛

I took down that link and re-uploaded the file to give you a new link.

Here, once more, is the link for the cover pages (the inner pages are still on the original post; I checked the link and they work).

Click on the image to download.

LivEdesigns Extraordinary Days Album - Cover Page Templates (Link Renewed)

LivEdesigns Extraordinary Days Album - Cover Page Templates (Link Renewed)

Since I was wading around in my 4shared site, I decided to do some housecleaning, and decided to take down my old freebie links. Yay! You know what that means, right? More space for new freebs!

(If there’s some kit you absolutely love which isn’t available anymore, just leave me a comment and I’ll upload it again for you… 😉 )

And just to make use of all that glorious new space, here’s another paper pack to go with the Whisper Paper Pack 1 which I gave before Type+Writer began.

Click on the image to download.

LivEdesigns Whisper Paper Pack 2

LivEdesigns Whisper Paper Pack 2

Okay then! Back to more creating, while the muse is alive and kicking! 😆

PS. a HUGE heartfelt thank you to all who’ve left me comments and advice about the Bind-It-All… keep ’em coming! 🙂 (I have almost succeeded in transforming this want into a need! 😆  )

Too Awesome for Words

There is no way to put into words what an immensely wonderful experience our recently-concluded Type+writer course has been. Funny how a writing course can leave one speechless… but that is exactly how I’ve been for a good part of the course. Speechless with awe and admiration and amazement at the incredible response from each one who took the Type+Writer ride with Jessica and me!

Every single Spragmate who took the course was incredibly terrific. Our class gallery is filled with precious layouts that tug at the heart, make you laugh, make you smile, make you weep. These are not just photos and words on pages, they’re hearts and souls laid bare on the pages. I am so honored to have been witness to this wonderful journey of heart and soul and photoshopping fingers!

I had the most awesome two weeks of my life working with my dear friend Jessica. Just when you think that she’s so awesome and that she can’t get any better than best, she just ups and surprises you by being even more awesome than the minute before! Gotta say, this lady is one of my most favorite people on earth! What a total gift it was to be able to work hand in hand with her on this course. This is certainly an experience that has carved itself on my heart forever.

To all my darling Spraggirls/Spragguys who’ve left love on the forum and in my inbox: Jessica and I love you guys. We really do. You are just incredibly awesome.

HUGE hugs and squeezes to each of you!

And for those who missed the Type+Writer beta course, stay tuned… I hear it might be coming back early next year! 😉

So now that the course is over (and happy me, I still have a couple of weeks to marvel at each and every layout in our gallery!), I am suffering from withdrawal symptoms… I’ve been getting too much sleep since last night! 😆

Triathlon Update

Just when I thought the Olympics had all but covered the momentum of our excitement, our triathlon photos finally came out in the newspapers last September 9th. Woohoo! Because of the limited space, we each got only one photo of ours published instead of the original bunch that we were told the newspaper originally planned to publish… but hey, who’s complainin’? 😀

Our triathlon photos, published! Woohoo!

Our triathlon photos, published! Woohoo!

And the first paragraph of the article was about us, too! Cool!

Triathlon Writeup

Triathlon Writeup

One of these days, I’ll probably resurrect my Flickr account and upload the triathlon photos I took… I think if I were a triathlete, I’d love to get my hands on any photographic evidence that my body is still a lean, mean machine, eh? 😆

(Can you tell I’ve got time on my hands? 😆 )

I Want

I’m a firm believer in the saying, When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. 😉 (Shopping also keeps me awake and on my toes and totally inspired, so don’t ask me how much digi schtuff I bought in the last couple of weeks… ‘course I’d use any excuse to buy those yummies, right? hehe)

Bad habits are hard to break, so since I’ve been awake with not much to do these past couple of days, I’ve been surfing… Tsk, tsk. This is dangerous stuff, surfing. You see things that you never thought you needed, and suddenly you find yourself chanting (softly at first, then increasing in volume in tempo): I want, I want, I want!

Here’s my latest “I want”:

I want you, Bind-it-all 2.0!

I want you, Bind-it-all 2.0!

I’ve been resisting this for the longest time (and good thing, too, because they just came out with the 2.0 new improved version!). I have my beloved Cropadile, and I’ve been convincing myself that I really don’t need another gadget, since I can punch holes easily through most of the material (and more) that the Bind-It-All can… Sure, those wires are so cool, but surely there must be substitutes for those wires?

However. During one of our chats, I asked my dear friend and guru (and shoe-shopping enabler) Jes what the difference was between the Cropadile and the Bind-It-All (and yes, I kinda figured that the Cropadile is a glorified puncher and eyelet setter, but what a glory it has! 😆 ) and she gave me the link to Zutter’s vid that shows the BIA at work. I must confess I was a bit distracted by the vid (hehehe) but I did feel the rumble of a “want, want, want” chant beginning inside… And of course, it didn’t help in the dissuasion department that Jes herself has a BIA and says it works in the most awesome way!

So. This is the latest gadget(object) of my affection. The only annoying thing is that, since I need to have it shipped it over so many miles, I need to predict what supplies I’ll be needing so that it all comes in one big bulk. (Yum, don’t you love FedEx?).

Sooooo I need some advice from you sweeties. Tell me, do you have a Bind-It-All? Do you love it? Do you find that you buy less scrapbook albums off the shelf and instead spend time indulging in your creative manual labor with this delish machine and the accompanying wires and chipboard covers? And the million-dollar question: what O-wire rings do you use most often? (I can’t decide which ones to get!)

End my misery (by telling me) or enable me (by telling me)… either way, I’d love to hear from you! (And when you do drop me a line, I’d be most grateful for your assistance in turning this I want, I want, I want into I have, I have, I have !

More later…

I’m off to work on some more freebs for you sweeties, so I’ll see you later with more news! Till then, have a happy, scrappy day! 😀

Countdown! 3 More Days…

… till our Type+Writer course begins! Whoooheeee! 😀

I’d like to send out the biggest, warmest cyberhug to everyone who signed up to take this journey with Jes and me! We are totally thrilled to be with you for the coming 14 days!

I’ve still got my nose stuck to the grindstone, working with love, but I just wanted to pass by here and say THANK YOU!

Thank you, too, for all the warm fuzzies that you’ve left here and on my 4shared account. You are all totally awesome!

And because I’m never too busy to fulfill promises, here’s the paper pack (the first of two) that I promised I’d share with you!

LivEdesigns Whisper Paper Pack 1

LivEdesigns Whisper Paper Pack 1

Click on the image to download

Thanks for the love you leave on my blog as you download!

I also promise to come back with more exciting posts; I just need to get all my real life duties done! 😀

Hope you’re all having fun, and I’ll see you around again, soon! 😀

DST September Newsletter Out!

Zooming right onto my blog porch to deliver the news!

The September edition of the Digishoptalk newsletter is out! My friend Kel, who is the newest editor-in-chief of the newsletter, came out with a super-fabulous issue of Firsts! I love the look of the newsletter, love the editorial piece of Kel, love the theme, love the inside look at designers’ first kits redone… in fact, I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a DST newsletter as much as I have this one! AWESOME job, kel!

Oh, and here’s a little whispered tidbit: I have a little article there too, if you’re interested in reading it. 😆 The newsletter is free, but you have to be registered at DST (also free)… if you are one of the few who aren’t yet registered, go run and get yourself counted among the minions! 😆
Here’s a screenshot of the first page of my … uh, rather lengthy but (I hope 😛 ) inspiration-filled… article on Recording Firsts:

First Love Article

DigiShopTalk September Newsletter: First Love Article

And with great apologies for putting this up here a bit late (was totally consumed by working on the Type+Writer course, so my memory bank went pffft for a little while), here’s the freebie with items I created especially for layout that I made for the DST article:

LivEdesigns First Love - DST September Newsletter Freebie

LivEdesigns First Love - DST September Newsletter Freebie

Click on the image to download.

Thank you for the love you leave in my blog as you download! I love reading your comments, and am always grateful that you take the time to leave some warm fuzzies.

One little thing I wanted to point out: please note that the papers in the preview are not included in the freebie download (because in the article I had written that I would release as freebies some of the stuff that I created in making my layout that appeared in the newsletter, and I did not use these papers on my layout). BUT I will be putting these papers–and MORE– as free downloads within the next day or two, so if you want them, be sure to come back and grab them! 😀
All right, my workload is calling my name once again, so it’s back to the saltmines for me! I hope to see you soon again!

Huge hugs to you, my sweeties!