I need toothpicks

because they flutter and
they fall
halfway before they jerk back open again
these lids
that not even two cups of caffeine
black, no sugar, no creamer
can keep up

it would be a terrible waste
of daylight
an embarrassing insult
to the tick and tock of the clock
and a delicious but costly indulgence
one i can hardly afford
if i should rest my head a while

and allow these droopy lids some respite

when the boy is watching cartoon network
and might need me to check out how cool
that exploding banana is
when his brothers are about to arrive home
with the day’s load of homework
and oh there’s the appointment for the three of them
in a little bit
with the eye doctor

the eye doctor!

maybe i should ask him
for some magic tricks
or at the very least, a couple of toothpicks
to do the job
of keeping these eyelids


o      p     e    n.


While gallivanting about the net’s highways and byways, I happened to stumble on this post on Muted Palette, which then led me to this post on The Extraordinary Ordinary (hello, i love that someone else puts those two words together!), both of  which called out to the sleepy writing-muse in me. I figured it was time she woke up. So here’s my first Just Write post. (Seriously. Like I needed more things on my plate, right? haha.)

Thanks for suffering through this indulgence of mine. Care to join me and Just Write? 😉 HERE is how it works. 

Simple is always good.

Forgive me for being MIA … life has been pretty much a blur this past week (Can you spell hectic?).

But it’s all good. Because at the end of the day, the simple fact remains: a busy life and an exponentially-growing To-Do list might be overwhelming sometimes, but no one can deny it’s great proof of how wonderful it is to be alive and kicking. 😉

So fitting, then, that the  Wordpress Photo of the Week Challenge was: SIMPLE.

Here’s my take on it:

And just to add to the fun: here’s an old and awesome song from more than a decade ago:

Have a simply awesome day, my fabulous friends!

More In Store Monday

Happy Monday!

I am really excited about my first product for 2012, out in the shop today, because it’s something that I’ve long wanted to do. Years ago, I used to paint with oils and canvas, and I loved it! Loved the mixing of paints on the palette, loved the feel of the brush sweeping across the canvas, loved even the smears of paint on my old battered jeans (and all over the easel as well). The clean-up afterwards, the washing of brushes – not so much. 😆

I haven’t painted in years, though, because painting takes hours and somehow life just got too busy (and I definitely didn’t have much time to spare for cleaning up after, what with having to chase after my 5 boys).

So I guess it doesn’t come as a surprise to know that I’ve long wanted to be able to bring the world of paints and canvas to the digital realm – to get the same texture, the same look, but without the mess and the lengthy clean-up after. And that’s how this pack of ten deliciously-blended and highly-textured painted canvas papers was born:

Here’s another “full-sized” view of them:

Did I mention that this baby is on sale for 25% off this Monday till midnight Eastern Standard Time? Whee!

P.S. If you’re into the art journaling craze going on, this could serve you well too! (I am and I am taking the Digital Art Journaling class of my dear friend Jessica, which includes a delicious mega-200-piece kit by Nancy Rowe-Janitz (another super-friendly lady whom I had the honor to meet at the first Digital Scrapbooking Event at Utah a couple of years back). The class is out-of-this-world awesome and incredibly inspiring, and I wish there were 200 hours in a day so I can get to work on creating my art journal layouts! (Soon, soon, soon! Hope springs eternal! haha!)

Eye-Candy Time!

And of course, what would Mondays be without some delicious eye-candy from the ever-awesome JessicaSprague.com Creative Team ladies?

Here’s a lovely layout by Miki (all that attention to details is amazing):

* Miki also used these liv.edesigns products on this layout: Mask Me Photo Masks, Windsong Kit, I Sing for Spring Kit, Softly Gently Patterned Paper Pack, Scribbled Words Rub-ons  & Brush Set, and Needs + Wants: Stitchies Vol. 2.

My dear friend Lisa created this wonderfully sweet layout. (Love the subtle effect of  layering)!

* Lisa also used these other products of mine on her layout: Whispers of Spring Paper Pack and some of the goodies I gave as freebies for our Spraground Challenges. 🙂

Lorrie made this layout to honor her beautiful mother (I am always deeply touched by layouts that honor one’s parents):

* Lorrie also used my Scribbled Words Rub-ons and Brush Set and Paint Swashes Vol. 1 to create her layout above.

And this majestic layout was created by Nancy (I think it truly displays the beauty of nature’s canvas!):

Aren’t the creations of these ladies just amazing works of art? Love them. Love our JessicaSprague.com Creative Team members even more! 🙂

And now it’s your turn:

 What place have you been to that has made you sigh in rapture over the beauty of nature? Do you have a photo of it? Feel most welcome to link me up in the comments so I can ooh and aah too!

PS. Have you signed up?

I just sent my first newsletter out with a special subscriber-only coupon for my shop, good till the end of March. If you haven’t signed up yet, go for it! (The “Sign Up for My Newsletter” button is right over there on my sidebar – go ahead and hit it! :D)

And have a wonderful day!

WoW – Wonderful Wednesday!

Just passing by real quick because it’s Wednesday and it’s a wonderful one, and because I didn’t want today to pass by without reminding you that (breathe, breathe, pant, pant) …

this pack of paint-swished paper is on sale for half its regular price!

My Paint Play-Swishes paper pack has 7 highly-textured paintbrush-swished 12×12 solid papers in delicious, juicy colors, and all are guaranteed to bring a bright splash of color to your creations. Here’s another look at them:

And here are some amazingly awesome layouts created by the marvelous ladies on the JessicaSprague.com Creative Team!

Layout by Jana

Layout by Carol

Layout by Meg

Layout by Lisa

Layout by Amy

PS. Some of these layouts use the coordinating paper pack, Paint Play – Splats, which are liberally sprinkled with paint splatters. (That one’s not on sale today, though. 🙂 ).

Ooh now aren’t those WONDERFUL layouts just stunning works of art? Love me my CT girls!

If you don’t have this in your stash yet and you want to grab it while it’s half-priced (good till midnight Eastern Standard Time), click on the product images above or click HERE, and have yourself some WOnderful Wednesday shopping therapy!


And the decision is… Launch!

I’d been thinking about it for the past couple of days.

Today I thought for about 30 minutes more, then finally made a decision. One that can be summed up in three words:

Why not?


(After all, what harm can it do to add one more thing to add to an already-full plate, if it’s guaranteed to be both fun and a stimulus for greater growth and development? 😉 )

And with those three words, I now launch myself (bad pun intended, ha!) into WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge.

The theme for this week, in case it isn’t obvious yet 😆 , is Launch. Here’s my take on it:

Wordpress Photo A Week Challenge - 52.01

May you launch into this day with loads of love and laughter!

12 – 4 – 2012

Twelve for twenty-twelve.

Twelve plans for the new year.

Do you have plans? Resolutions? Dreams you want to turn into reality this year? Why don’t we share? I’ll tell you yours and you tell me mine, and that way we can keep a friendly eye on each other (perhaps even whisper a gentle reminder in each other’s ear in case either of us comes in danger of flaking off on one or two). Sounds good?

I’ll start. Here are my 12 for 2012:

1. Prioritize prayer.

Too often, too many things fill up the day, like different ties clamped onto my body pulling me in this and that direction… and all of these things I have to do every single day matter not one bit, and all of those points on the To-Do List will not be as successful as they could be, if I don’t stop to spend some time in conversation with Him who gave me my life. This fact is not easy to remember, especially on the busiest of days: I know that by experience. It is a struggle. But a sweet one, and one that I want to apply all my energy to, because He comes first, after all.

2. Send a newsletter every month.

Just because I love ya and would love to keep in touch with you more often. And maybe pester you in your inbox. 😆

Nah, seriously. I would love to be able to share more, and I see my newsletter as a way of achieving that goal… with the side benefit of staying in touch with updates that might not find themselves into a blogpost. Also, I love learning a new thing everyday, so it was a total thrill to learn how to create sign-up forms and set up a whole newsletter system! Took me more than 24 hours — close to 48, actually — to set the whole thing up, but it was an awesome experience learning it!

And so do check out the right sidebar, right over there –> and DO sign up! You know you want to… 😉

Or if you visit my Facebook page HERE, you’ll find it on the left sidebar too.

Now why would you want me popping into your inbox? Uhm… cos you love me? 😆 Seriously, though, I’m planning to hop by perhaps once a month (unless there are more delish things to share after I’ve sent the monthly newsletter). I’m really excited about this, because not only do I get to bore you with my random thoughts (mwahaha), but I also now have the perfect way to share more goodies with you!

Here’s what you can expect from my newsletters (in case you find yourself wondering “Should I or shouldn’t I?”) – the latest news on the homefront (think: be the first to find out about sales and freebies and events!), my newest creations and products, news about classes (exciting ones that I would highly recommend as well any classes that I might be coming up with this year 😉 ), perhaps a few samples of my photographic adventures, quite possibly some random thoughts, and while we’re at it, why not throw in some special subscriber coupons and freebies as well? *Squeal!*

3. Release freebies through my Facebook page.

Remember that Facebook page I talked about? Well, I’m presently working on setting up the systems that will allow me to give exclusive freebies to liv.edesigns Facebook fans (or, in Facebook lingo, those that “Like” my page).

The work that I’ve been doing on this behind the scenes constitutes part of all the Geekifying-Liv Adventures that I’ve been enjoying since the new year started. (If you sign up for the newsletter, you’ll be among the first to know, too, if and when the freebies are out on my Facebook page! How’s that for incentive? >tee hee<)

4. Put up a new product in my shop every week.

I sometimes suspect that I have Designers ADHD – and no, there’s no such thing in real life 😆 . I just invented it as an excuse for all the half-finished projects that I have in my work folders on my computer. Plus all my projects-to-be that are still sketches in multiple notebooks and boxes and artwork that needs to find its way onto my scanner… that kind of thing. Sooo I need to actually get them off the physical (or mental) plane and onto the digital drawing board and then into my shop. Every week. For all the 52 weeks of this year.

Keeping my fingers crossed (and toes… and eyes thrown in, for good measure) that I make it! 😉

 5. Create one layout every month.

I looked back on the layouts I created for 2011 and discovered that these weren’t even enough to complete an album (whereas I could easily fill 16 pages of an album with one of Jessica’s three-week classes in the past). Maybe part of it is taking more photos (I completed Project 365, yay!), maybe part of it is having my three youngest kids in school (and therefore I’m a driver-mama in the mornings and tutoring-mama in the afternoons till evenings), maybe part of it is taking on parent-projects from the said schools, and maybe part of it is growing old and losing the ability to exist on 3-hours of sleep night after night on a regular basis. 😆

But I do feel the need to scrap more, even if it needs to be a “quickie” kind of thing. Just because there are all these stories that need to be told, not just in photos, not just in words, but in a pretty triple combination of words+photos+art.

 6. CreART.

By this I mean I want to stretch my boundaries, artwise. Learn something new. Get my hands dirty with paint and glue and stuff. (Or find a way to do it digitally! ;)). Experiment with something, even if it’s just sewing paper or painting a frame or putting together a miniature chair.

Another thing I really want to get into: create an Art Journal. (More on that soon! ;))

7. Do Project 365+

Last year was my first attempt to take a photo a day for each day of the year. And I am so thrilled to say that I actually did it!

This year, I’m attempting to do it again because it’s a fab way to document life as it happens (even if you may not have the time to scrap a page about it, at least you’ve frozen the moment in a photo that you can always go back to). Also, since practice makes perfect, I truly believe it does wonders in helping one constantly develop one’s photographic skills. And beyond that, the biggest reason why I love Project 365, is this: it forces you to look at everyday, ordinary moments and see the beauty, the miracle, the joyful wonder that might not immediately be visible on the surface.

(I am also considering trying my hand at the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, where you choose a photo to interpret their theme for the week. Read more about it HERE).

 8. Use my Bind-It-All.

I confess. I’ve had this for hmmm, three years? And I’ve never used it. Geesh. I can be hopeless that way.

So this year, I plan to actually use it instead of looking at it on my shelf and promising “One day, BIA, you and I are going to be good friends.” That day must come this year. 🙂

9. Maintain serenity.

In the midst of attempting to put all these plans into action, I would like to be peaceful. Calm. Serene… whether the day is just like any other day or the world is spinning madly and I’m doing all I can to hold tight.

A very wise person once said “Be like the duck: all calm on the surface but paddling like hell under the water.”

Yep, I want to be a duck. I mean, not literally, but… you know what I mean. 🙂 (And somehow I’m pretty sure that if I stick to Plan #1, I won’t have much trouble sticking to this one 🙂 ).

10. Send a family newsletter at least bimonthly.

Because life today is such that we find that the people we love very dearly and the folks we grew up with are living in different areas all over the world. And life can get so busy that sometimes months pass without any of us managing to sit down and trade news and hugs with family and our closest of friends. So this year I want to consciously make time for that. Time to remind my brother and sister and aunt and uncle, who all happen to live in different parts of the globe, all oceans away from me, that I miss them and I love them and I think they’re precious.

11. Blog three times a week.

Because I love you! And I love spending time with you on my blogporch!

‘Nuff said. 🙂

12. Cook something special once a month. Or maybe cook up a new class.

Who knows what surprises the year holds in store, right? Wink wink.

Phew! Whattalist! Thank you for reading through that! And as your reward for sticking it out till the end, I have some super-fab news for you! Do you love templates? If you do, you’re in luck, honey!

Fifty Free Templates

… are yours for the taking! Fifty of them. I’ve got to be kidding, right? Nope. Fifty free awesome templates from the JessicaSprague.com Admin and Creative Team are just waiting for you to grab them, if you don’t have them yet.

Just in case you’re not a regular on our Spraground (in which case I would say to you, Aww, come on! You’re missing half of your life by not joining us there! ), these 50 templates were given out as freebies over the course of more-or-less fifty “Template Tuesdays” in 2011.

The last Template Tuesday was done on the 26th of December last year (sounds so far off, can you believe that’s just 2 weeks ago?) and guess who made the last of templates? 😉

Here’s Template Tuesday #50, by yours truly…

… and if you click on the image above, it will bring you to the page where you can download it (along with #49 which was created by our Creative Team Member, my friend Chrissy Guido).

You can use the template any way you want to (for your personal use, of course) since it’s a layered file (you can move things around if you wish, clip more than 1 photo to the masks, etc)… and as a special bonus I threw in a 12×12 textured background paper ;). Sweet!

Here’s what I created with my template:

To download the rest of the Template Tuesdays, you can read my dear friend Kari’s instructions and get the links on the page where you grab my template…

Or you can download the latest templates HERE (Templates Nos. 28 to 48)

and HERE (Templates Nos. 21-27)

and the earlier templates HERE (Templates Nos. 1-26) .

(So sorry for having to give you all these separate links, but they ended up in separate areas since these were first given on our Digi Lovely Blog and then moved to our homepage blog at JessicaSprague.com).

And if the prospect of getting FIFTY FREE templates isn’t enough to make you squeal, here’s a little more interesting info: if you download these templates and create with them, and then upload those creations in our Template Tuesday Gallery HERE, you get not only a kajillion awesome layouts created by YOU (plus get those marvelous photos and memories documented, finally! 😉 ), but if you upload 10 layouts created with 10 different templates from the Template Tuesday collection, you also get the chance to win a $5-coupon to use at our JessicaSprague.com shop (so you can buy those yummies you’ve had your eye on for the past weeks).

Seriously, does that not just ROCK? (I have to insert here that I totally {heart} the JessicaSprague.com Admin and Designers and Creative Team! I’m pretty sure you will too, and when you see the awesome templates they’ve created you’ll love them even more!).

Here’s the only catch: Since Template Tuesday has been around all of 2011 (the last one ran last Dec. 26th), you only have till the end of this month (January 2012) to download those template babies as well as to upload your layouts with them to be eligible for the coupon. And if you end up being so busy these days that you can’t create 10 layouts, then you can still hoard those amazin’ templates and create with them later on! Just don’t forget to grab them before the end of this month, okay? 🙂

Voila! All good things must come to an end (you still awake? :lol:) so now it’s time for my little Tell-Me Bunny’s last postscript:

Okay, your turn: What are your plans for 2012?

But wait! Before you hit that comment button and tell me what your plans are (are we embarking on some journeys that are the same? I’m excited to know!), don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter.

And… that’s it, folks! See you real soon!


Happy Twenty-Twelve (and Wonderful Wednesday News)!

Hey hey hey, ho ho ho, happy new year, my dear friends!

Remember last year I promised to be back with surprises? Well, since Twenty-Twelve began 4 days ago, I have been working hard on the initial setting up of all that good schtuff planned for you–stuff that will unfold  throughout the next 366 days of this new year. I am so excited! 😀 So I hope you’ll take the time to come around and sit on my blogporch throughout the year so you don’t miss out on goodies!

In fact, why don’t we start it right now? 😉

What a Wonderful Wednesday!

Beginning 2012, we will be having Wonderful Wednesdays at the “awesome-est” place in the world, JessicaSprague.com! Every Wednesday, we’ll be giving out super-special deals for you to grab within 24 hours. Is that wonderful or is that wonderful?

To begin the first Wonderful Wednesday, I have put up not just one but two of my favorite products for you to grab at 50%-off if you don’t have them yet! (And yes, I realize this is coming a bit late in the day 😕 , but you do have until 12:00 midnight – so give or take about 4 hours more?)

First off, we have my EZ-PZ Template #07 – I {Heart} MoMA at 50%-off:

(Click on the image below to get to this half-priced baby!)

PS. My EZ-PZ template collection come with all that you need to create a page in a jiffy – and all those little extras can be used for other pages that you make in the future too (we’re talking background papers, masks, embellishments, type paths, that sorta thing, cos I love packing my products with stuff that will make you smile 😉 ).

And secondly, I’ve put this wonderful stamped date brush and rub-on set from my liv.edesigns Needs + Wants Collection. At 50%-off too, here’s It’s a Date!

With days, months, and years from 2000 to 2012, in both rub-ons and brushes (.png format and .abr format), this is definitely a must-have that you’ll reach for again and again! And at 50%-off, that’s a total steal! 😉 (Click on the image above if you want to grab it for your stash).

Oh, and if you’d like to check out the rest of the Wonderful Wednesday items that my amazingly-talented co-designers at JessicaSprague.com are offering this Wednesday, click on the image below.

Now let me not take any more of your time so you can go check out these goodies! Say, aren’t great deals such an awesome way to start the new year? 😀

Happy 2012, dear friends! Enjoy!