Mamma Mia!

Here I go again… (hehe)

I loved the movie (didn’t get to see the play)… Loved Meryl Streep, great actress that she is, and incredibly funny too (I totally get her humor in choosing to do this movie to embarrass her kids, bwahaha). And maybe Pierce Brosnan doesn’t make me swoon when he sings, but he doesn’t need to because he makes me swoon even without opening his mouth to say a word. 😆

So anyway, inspired by Mamma Mia and the Spraground Weekly Challenge last week on scrapping travel photos, I decided to pull out the 11-year-old old photos of our trip to Santorini, Greece (yep, back in them good ol’ days when long hair didn’t drive me crazy yet and I had the bravado to wear mini skirts 😛 ) and finally scrap them!

What was supposed to be a single page layout turned into a double-whammy.

Here’s what I came up with:

The Beauty of Santorini

The Beauty of Santorini

(You can click on the image to enlarge it if you wish)


AnnaAspnes-TornNTatteredTemplates; KatiePertiet-MyCountry & SpotDots3 Papers; TailedJournalers; LooselyLabeled tag (recolored); DigitalDates stamp; LedgerPieces2 Flourishes; NancieRoweJanitz-ChalkedOverlay; Diogenes & TraditionalSansXLight Fonts

And because you know I love to share, here’s the template for the double-pager for you!

LivEdesigns Santorini Double-Page Layered Template

LivEdesigns Santorini Double-Page Layered Template

Click on the image to download the 24×12 layered template (this is huge!)

Now if you’re more comfortable doing the pages on their own as two 12×12 layouts, you may want to download the double-pager as two separate sides (the left side and the right side). I’ve gone ahead and created that for you as well, just to make things easier (yep, I’m all for easy!) 😆

LivEdesigns-Santorini Double-Page Layered Template-12x12 times 2

LivEdesigns-Santorini Double-Page Layered Template-12x12 times 2

So click on the image above if you want to download the two 12×12 layered templates that make up the left and right sides of the double-pager.

Both downloads come to you as layered .psd files.

Have You Joined the Bandwagon Yet?

Everyone and everyone has joined the Stories in Hand bandwagon at our Spraground! Have you signed up? If you have, yipee-doo! You’re probably busy getting your supplies for this great event ready!

If you haven’t signed up yet, whoa! What are you waiting for? Come and join the par-tay! 😀 Sign-up is till November 8th, and I did mention the whole course is free, right? With loads of surprises! So come on, hit this image below (or the one on my sidebar) and go straight to the sign-up area! I promise you, you’re going to be in good GREAT company! 😉


Stories in Hand - SIGN UP NOW! (if you haven

Update on the final set of Fall Into Fall Freebie:

This one is coming soon. I know, it’s trudging along way more slowly than I would have liked, but I’ve been busy caring for my three sick kids (bad colds gave way to pneumonia… so I have turned my home into a mini hospital with three poor little patients… would appreciate a little prayer sent to Heaven for them! Thanks in advance!)

Have a happy, scrappy day! 😀

Life on these islands…

… is funny. It’s great almost all of the time; sometimes it gets poopy (really now, what country has things going great for it all of the time?). But mostly it’s funny. The people are funny.

That’s one thing I love about these beautiful 7000 plus islands. The people have such a great sense of humor. There is a saying we have which, loosely translated, means, “Everything can be solved if it is communicated properly.” (hmm. Somehow the English version loses much of the flavor of the native language, but it’ll have to do). Anyway, the point is: part of that communication, no matter how serious, is always offset with the lightness of humor. I think it’s the belief that if you can laugh about it, it can’t be *that* bad yet. Something can still be done. There’s hope.

Yep, this same sense of humor is what we ride on in the best of times, and it’s what carries us through the worst of times.

And many times, it’s apparent everywhere you look.

Case in point:

Remember this character? (He’s been around since the early 1900s apparently):

Felix the Cat

Felix the Cat

Now, check out the name of this barber shop, as featured in one of our biggest dailies:

How funny is that? (I’ll bet the barber’s name is truly Felix, too!… Wonder if he’s both barber and manicurist?) 😆

A Freebie, Sweetie!

It’s freebie time! Time to reveal what this was all about:

It’s a layered template for you! 😀 Here’s the full view:

LivEdesigns-Time of Year Template

LivEdesigns-Time of Year Template

Click on the preview to download.

The template comes with a curved text path, and you can absolutely change up the hanging strings and the bottom accents with stuff from your digistash so that it fits your taste. 😉

Here’s the layout I made with it:

LivE - Time of Year (Christmas Layout)

LivE - Time of Year (Christmas Layout)

(Yeah, I know, it’s a Christmas page… what can I say? Gotta get those Christmas photos scrapped before new ones come flooding in, in about 3 months! 😛 )

CREDITS: (all from

  • Meredith Fenwick: Crazy Beautiful-paper; Antique Paper Swirls (recolored)
  • Natali Designs: Christmas Needful Papers-paper
  • Studio Flergs: Denim Blues Strap; AptD Screw & Glitter; Rough & Timple Gemstone & Staple
  • Traci Sims: Flourish Date Stamps

Update on the Fall Into Fall Freebie

Yep, the last set is still being worked on, but check back in a few and we’ll have it for you! 😉 (Hey, that rhymes. Bahaha!)

Have a happy day, my sweeties!

Two and Three

Two. Two seconds of “fame” 😆

I got a text message from my dear bro-in-law Jun this morning:

And because I’m basically an obedient person (hehe), I did. Well, guess what I found?

My first (and only) two minutes of  Youtube “fame.” ROFL!

Two Unpaid Extras (bwahahaha!)

The Master with the Extras (bwahahaha!)

What can I say?

Nothing. Except bwahahahaha. 😆

(Well, I have nothing to say about me. But lots of good things to say about Jun! But… that’s for another post on another day. 😉 )

This is Three.

Set 3 of my friend Lynne’s and my collab freebie, Fall Into Fall.

This set contains ALL the hard work of Lynne. The last download was my work; this download today is Lynne’s. Wooohooo!

Here’s what Lynne came up with for you:

Lynnea - Fall Into Fall Collab Freebie - Set 3

Lynnea - Fall Into Fall Collab Freebie - Set 3

What this set contains: three 12×12 papers made by Lynne, one leaf stamp in .abr and .png format made by Lynne, and eight real nature elements also made by Lynne. Yep, my friends, this is all Lynne’s goodness and hard work! I’m so proud of her!

As usual, we’ve divided the set into two downloads to make it easier for you.

Click on the image above to download the eight real nature elements.

Click here to download Lynne’s papers and the leaf brush/stamp.

On Lynne’s behalf, thank you so much for the love you leave for her at my 4shared account and on my blog as you download! 🙂

PS. There should be one more set coming up before the Fall Into Fall kit officially closes. 😉


Oh, and a friendly reminder, for those who may not scroll down to my post a few days ago 😉

Come join us! The course has all of the Spraground goodness for FREE!

Come join us! The course has all of the Spraground goodness for FREE!

Sign-up day is October 20th (that’s barely a week away, yay!). Come and join us! We’d love to have you on our Spraground!

Looking for my DID circle template?

Got a message asking me to fix the download link for the circle template that I released some time ago…

I have no idea why sometimes the links at 4shared go awry and say “link is no longer valid” (Does anyone know what causes this? Is it connected to number of downloads? All I know is that I’ve experienced this same strange thing sometimes when I try to download freebs from other blogs… so if you know why, I’d love to hear it! 🙂 .

Anyway, just letting you know that I’ve re-uploaded and changed the link in the original post. It’s working now, Deanna! Do let me know if you’ve managed to snag it! 🙂

Oh and one last thing… I have a new freebie coming up soon… (it’s not related to Fall Into Fall, but you can use it with the kit–how’s that for a clue? heehee). Here’s a sneak preview of what I have in store for you…

Alrighty! With that, I now go back to playing with Photoshop! Have a happy day, my sweeties! 😀

Are you the invisible (wo)man?

Have you ever felt invisible?

I am in the middle of a hefty load of work, but I just had to stop and run to share this with all of you, my dearest blog porch friends, because it is incredibly awesome. My sister passed it on to us, her three other sisters (and we don’t normally pass emails on)–and I’m glad she took this exception because it is just an incredible read.

I don’t know where this email originated, but in case she (her name is Charlotte) comes across this humble blog post of mine, here’s what I have to say to her: Know, my friend, that you have reached a million souls–and even if it was just one soul instead of a million, your message is so powerful that it would’ve been, and it is, all worth it. Thank you from one such soul.

So here I am, passing it on to you 🙂 :

Invisible Mom

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I’m thinking, ‘Can’t you see I’m on the phone?’

Obviously not; no one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I’m invisible. The invisible Mom.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being. I’m a clock to ask, ‘What time is it?’ I’m a TV Guide to answer, ‘What number is the Disney Channel?’ I’m a car to order, ‘Pick me up right around 5:30 , please.’

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude – but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She’s going, she’s going, she’s gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, ‘I brought you this.’

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription: ‘To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.’

In the days ahead I would read – no, devour – the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, ‘Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof?

No one will ever see it.’ And the workman replied, ‘Because God sees everything.’

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, ‘I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, is  too small for me to notice and smile over.

You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become.’

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, ‘My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand-bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.’ That would mean I’d built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, ‘You’re gonna love it there.’

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Great Job, MOM!!!!!

The Will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect.

Share this with all the Invisible Moms you know… I just did.

Remember: I don’t write these words of wisdom, I just pass them on down the line.


The Secret Is Out!

It’s October 10th, friends, and you know what that means! Sneak peeks have been unveiled, the story has been handed over 😉 , and now it can be told to all the world!

Over at our Spraground, we’re having a huge, big, major course party, and you’re all invited! (Yes, that’s you, you, you, you, and you! And you too!)



I have a feeling you’re going to be seeing this wonderful reminder quite often on my blog! (hehe) Don’t you just love how the words form a heart in the hands? That’s how awesome our stories are… the stories of our lives are the stories of our hearts… and we can do nothing less than make sure they get told, somehow. And that’s exactly what Jes is going to do with this course! She’s going to take us by the hand and give us some fab, fab ways of making sure that our stories get told… by us!

Find out more about it on the Spraground! (The image above is a link… Click on it and it will take you to our Spraground homepage where you’ll find the awesome Why’s, When’s, and How’s of this latest super-goodie!)

Oh, and don’t forget to grab the course updates via Jessica’s blog too!

And oh (again), did I mention that this is FREE? And that there’s no limit on registration? And that registration will begin on October 20th? And that it’s open to ALL! Photographers, scrappers, non-scrappers, young and old, with children and grandchildren and without, as Jes says: as long as you have stories to tell (and who doesn’t?) this is for YOU.

So please join us as we party on for a week! We’ve polished the swings and slides and we’ve put up extra lemonade and cookie stands just for you! I hope to see you and your friends over there! (Yeah, in the spirit of “the more, the merrier”…let’s spread the word, folks!) 😆

Latest Scrapped

Over at Oscraps, Shaui of Feistuff Designs is featured as the designer in the spotlight. The challenge she gave (as well as the awesome freebies she shared with us so we have all we need to complete the challenge) grabbed me by my collar and didn’t let me go till I produced a layout! hehe

So here’s my latest scrappy thing:

I wanted to keep it really simple and make it look like an artist’s palette. So major restraint used with supplies. LOL. This was absolutely fun! I loved creating the little paint-daubs on the left. (For once, it felt great to be “mixing” paint without having to go through the clean-up after and the washing of my brushes–I think that might have been the part I least liked about oil painting, which I really should start up again one of these days… but I digress 😀 ).

If you want to join the challenge, head on over to Oscraps and get your layout uploaded! You have till October 12th to join.

CREDITS: Everything by FeiStuff, plus Nancie Rowe Janitz’s Inked Overlay. Font is AvantGarde.

Speaking of free…

Here’s the next set of our Fall into Fall freebie collab kit! Everything in Set 2 was made by me… keep looking out for Set 3 which will carry more of Lynne’s great stuff!

What you’ll be getting here is five more of the highly-textured 12×12 papers (you might have noticed by now that my favorite thing to create is papers! At least for now, haha!) plus a complete alphabet (with uppercase and lowercase letters) along with numbers and some of the symbols we use most often when we create pages. Since the items are highly textured, the downloading may take a wee bit more time.  So I’ve taken the liberty of separating the paper set from the chipboard alpha set. That way, hopefully, it’s not going to take as long downloading them in two separate sets as it would’ve in one single zip.

Oh, and if you can take the time, please do leave me a note and a link in the comments section of my blog (right here. Press that button, you know you want to! 😆 ) in case you’ve used the goodies on a layout or project! It totally thrills me to see your great work! (And if you give me permission, I’ll hang your creations on the walls of my little blog too! 🙂 )

Thank you also for the warm fuzzies you leave on my blog as you download 😉

Set 2 of Fall into Fall Friendship Freebie Collab:

LivEdesigns - Fall into Fall Freebie - Set 2

LivEdesigns - Fall into Fall Freebie - Set 2

Click on the preview above to download the papers.

Then click HERE to download the alpha.

Okay, now I really must go to bed… I’ve been nodding off here and there for the past hour or so.

Have a very happy day today, my friends! 😀

The Countdown

Two days to go! Two days to go till the big announcement, and already there’s a guessing game going on right on Jessica’s blog! Have you gone to log in your guess yet? Go and be counted! 😀

And just to give you another “sneakie peekie” 😉 here’s a little peep at what fabulosity Jes has planned for the big announcement on October 10th!

Don’t forget to pass by our Spraground and join the par-tay of people waiting for the big surprise! 😀

Back tomorrow with a freebie! 😀

It’s here! It’s here!

Finally, it’s here!

After spending the last few days and nights (and dawns) working on this project in secret, I am incredibly excited to share with you the very first collab kit that I have ever made with a friend!

But first, a bit about her: my friend Lynne is a Spraground sis and one of the sweetest, kindest people I have ever known. I have loved watching her grow and experiment and play with Photoshop from our very first days on the Spraground, and I love how she just takes an idea and runs with it. Lynne is such a natural at playing with Photoshop. But even with all these great qualities, what I love best of all about her is her gentle humility and selfless generosity. In this day and age where these are rare commodities, finding them in one person is truly a treasure.

Here are Lynne and me when we were kids (we still are, in a way–we love playing with Photoshop! 😆 )

Aaaand here’s the first part of our collab kit, Fall Into Fall:

Our first set contains five highly-textured papers in yummy autumn colors and eight real nature elements (3 flowers, 1 flower with stem, 2 autumn leaves, 2 wood leaves) which you can arrange together to form clusters, if you wish.

Click HERE to download the papers.

NOTE: If you’ve tried unsuccessfully to download the papers in the past few days, that’s because the original link gave up 😆 I’ve reuploaded and changed the link, so you can go ahead and download again now (thanks dj for letting me know! )

Click HERE to download the elements.

Thank you for the love you leave (for Lynne too!) in my blog and in the 4shared links. I’m sure Lynne would love to get warm fuzzies from you as well (and these days, she’s sitting on my blog porch with me so your warm fuzzies will sit nice and comfy in her arms!).

More than anything else, this kit we’ve been working on is a celebration of friendship! So come with us and celebrate friendship–yours, ours, and the ties that bind us all over the world! (And maybe share your story of a friendship you’ve formed on a playground too! 😉 )

Oh, and PS. if you’ll notice, this is Set 1… that can only mean that there must be more coming, right? So hang on and check back soon–we’ll have more fall goodies for you to (hopefully) fall in love with!

Have a happy day, my dear friends!

CREDITS: Katie Pertiet – Stacked Vintage Frames 2, Tailed Journalers

Something strange happened…

…to me yesterday.

While chatting with my sister (and multi-tasking by doing retail therapy in Jen Wilson’s shoppe), my F key on keyboard just stopped functioning! Can you imagine that? “I’m going to look _or a _un thing to do _or now. Have a _ine day!”

No matter what I did, and believe me, I tried it all: pressing down on it gently and slowly, pressing it forcefully repeatedly, turning my keyboard upside down, cleaning my keyboard, turning off my compy and letting it rest, unplugging the keyboard and connecting it to the front port,… nada.

Good thing my husband had a new keyboard waiting for him to connect to his compy. Good thing that keyboard is an exact replica of mine, so I didn’t have to bother with installing drivers all over again. Good thing my hubby loves me enough to let me use it first and to order another one for him. 😆

So that’s the keyboard I’m using now. Oh, and of course my favorite part of the keyboard got transferred along with it (and yep, it comes in real handy at certain times):

PS. I googled my keyboard, and apparently, quite a number of people around the world have also had certain keys go wonky on them without explanation. As of now, they–and I–haven’t found any fix for it, other than just replacing the keyboard altogether. How’s that for having a new keyboard every now and then, huh? 😆 (I’d much rather have one grow old with me, though). 😉