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Back in the Zone

18 Aug

After what feels like centuries of not scrapping a layout, I stole a bit of time today to create one for the JessicaSprague.com Weekly Challenges (which I head along with my good friend Linda).  I must say: it feels great to be back in the scrapping zone!

The basic requirement of this week’s challenge, Shades Of… , was to create a monochromatic layout. A monochromatic image or work has shades of limited colors or hues, usually one particular color and all its shades and tints (lighter or darker versions of it). I think monochromatic images hold a particular appeal because in them, light and darkness, highlights and shadows, and color tones (both shades and tints) work together to communicate a particular mood and emotion.

It’s been rainy for the past weeks, and two weeks ago in particular were pretty gloomy, what with the floods caused by “the storm that wasn’t even a storm.” It was on one particular afternoon during that week that my boys at home and I indulged in the perfect comfort food, designed to brighten hearts and tummies with a bit of edible sunshine. The photo that I shot of our mid-afternoon snack (before it got gobbled up) just begged to be the subject of this challenge, and so here’s what I came up with:

Credits:

liv.edesigns Summer Solstice Patterned Paper
liv.edesigns Roundabout Photo Masks & Labels
liv.edesigns Paint Swashes Vol. 1
liv.edesigns Paint Swashes Vol. 4
liv.edesigns Paint It Up Vol.1
Fonts: Peoni Pro, Petita

Speaking of comfort food, what’s yours? (Perhaps I’ll find I have a craving to indulge in yours this afternoon, heehee ;))

May your Saturday be filled with luscious delights too, my dear friends! And now, back to work I go… Over and out!

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Love on a Wonderful Wednesday

9 Feb

Whoa, time flies! It’s the middle of the week already (how did we get here so quickly?)… but it’s wonderful because on Wednesdays, certain stuff goes on sale for half the price! 😉

And what’s on sale in my shop today is perfect for this month’s layouts (and throughout the year too!):

My EZ-PZ Template collection is a fully-layered template in .psd format with various pieces that you can use when you create your other projects and layouts too. Because they’re so easy to use, they’re perfect for preserving those precious moments even when you have just a few minutes left at the end of a hugely-hectic day.

You can use the plain template as it is: it comes complete with clipping masks and adjustable shadows. Just add your photos, your own embellishments, your own background paper, and voila! OR if you want to take it further (we’re all about versatility here 😉 ), use the easy-pieces that come with this template pack!

This one is packed with more than the usual goodies that come with the other templates in the collection! (Yup, this is love indeed! 😉 ). It comes with one large grungy photo mask, one painted grungy photo mat, one torn-paper photo mask, one brown-bag paper, labeled and plain grosgrain ribbons, horizontal and vertical stitches in plain and pre-shadowed versions, one highly-textured 12×12 background paper, optional text paths for journaling and title, and a really cool grungy love sticker in plain, pre-shadowed and lifted (Curled) versions. Phew! That’s a whole load of product there! 🙂

And it’s at half-price this Wednesday till midnight Pacific time! (Click on the image above to grab it from my shop if you want to include it in your stash).

Oh, let’s not forget the delicious eye-candy created by these awesome creative ladies! (They do a terrific job of showing the many different ways you can use the template!)

Here’s a layout by Miki:

Miki’s layout also uses my I Heart Doodles Rub-Ons & Brush Set and my Needs+Wants: Eyelets Galore Vol.1.

Here’s another layout by Jenn M (who changed the orientation of the photo mask to fit her portrait-photo):

Here’s a layout that uses the template in a pretty straightforward way (I’m sneaking this one in, it’s by me, heehee):

Here’s a layout by Meg:

And this one was created by Jana, who did some recoloring to bring out the soft peachy skin of her adorable grandson:

And yes, it totally works for hybrid projects too! Here’s proof, a wonderful hybrid layout done by Camille:

And that’s it for this Wonderful Wednesday, my dear friends! May yours be filled with love!

You’re invited! Be deliciously, deliriously, digitally delighted!

5 Nov

Because today is Digital Scrapbooking Day! And all over the world wide web, there are amazing sales going on, blogtrains running at full speed, and loads of giveaways being handed out, and… well, I just couldn’t resist the temptation to join the celebration and come up with a little goodie to add to your digital stash! 😀

YAY! Freebie Time!

Inspired by my love for grids and large focal photos and by my belief that less is more, here’s what I’ve prepared for you:

HAPPY DIGITAL SCRAPBOOKING DAY, DARLINGS!

ETA: So sorry, link has expired.

Here’s a little layout that I made real quick to show my digi-goodie in use 🙂 :

My Little Piano Man

It’s called Simply Stylish, and it’s purposely designed to be basic and minimalist (yes, less is more indeed!) so that your words and your photos speak out from the silent white space. But if piling on embellishments rocks your boat, then you can definitely add on the goodies from your stash as well! This works really great that way too. 🙂

To download, click RIGHT HERE (ETA: Link has expired) or on the product preview above (the first image, yes; not my piano man :)), and you’ll find yourself in my shop at JessicaSprague.com where you can grab this sweet baby. Make sure you download it before 12 midnight Pacific time, Sunday, because after that the links will be disabled and the Template Pack will move into my shop’s shelves. 🙂

Stroll along the Spraground and get the chance to grab a giveaway!

As with all the shops I’ve been to, you may have to register (if you don’t have an account yet) before you can download but it takes less than a minute and it’s absolutely free!

While you’re there, you might want to have a look around and say hello to the peeps in the forum and check out our Spraground Challenge, which my dear friend Linda is leading this week (she and I take turns managing the challenges, along with our darling Kari, who takes care of hybrid challenges every 4th Friday). Our challenges are open to everyone – newbies, cruisers, and advanced scrappers alike and we would all be so thrilled if you would come and join us! (After all, at JessicaSprague.com, we take our “Grow Your Skills” motto to heart, and you know what they say about practice making perfect, right? At our Spraground, you could safely restate that as “Playing makes perfect” 🙂 ).

Feel right at home as you stroll along: a more friendly, warmer, more welcoming community than this I have never ever found on the web, I tell ya. You can be sure everyone on the Spraground will be running to you with open arms to welcome you into our growing family and to help you out with even the simplest, smallest question (There’s only one rule on the Spraground, and it’s this: There is no such thing as a stupid question. So ask away if you need anything, even directions to the nearest swing that you can sit on, and maybe you’ll find you want to paint your name on it too! 😉 )

But FIRST STOP has to be right on the homepage, where you’ll find the awesome giveaways from me and my designer-sistas at JessicaSprague.com! Here’s my contribution to the giveaway loot:

Grab the chance to win liv.edesigns Click Mini Kit this weekend!

You can click on my Click Mini Kit image above and it will take you right to our JessicaSprague.com Homepage!

I love me some eye-candy, don’t you? Here are some awesome layouts from our creative team ladies using my Click Mini Kit!

Layout by Lauren

Layout by Smitha

Layout by Nicole

Layout by Carol

Layout by Mindy

Layout by Linn

Layout by Meg

Layout by Miki

That’s not all! It’s coupon time!

Oh and wait! There’s more! I have prepared a special DSD coupon for you to use in my shop, if you happen to find anything there that catches your fancy!

CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO USE THE COUPON CODE IN MY SHOP! 🙂

It’s good for the entire Digital Scrapbooking Weekend… and a day 😉 so just make sure you use it between today, Saturday, until right before midnight Pacific time on Monday, November 7th, when it expires.

Be awesome! Be heard!

I would love it, too, if you would take a couple of minutes to leave a comment or a hug (go on, hit that Comment button below, you know you wanna 😆 ). And if you’d love to share with me some suggestions for a particular theme for a kit or element pack that you’d love to see in my shop, I’m totally open to hearing your requests… who knows, perhaps you’ll find it on my shop shelves some time in the future (and if you happen to be the stimulus that made my creative muse dance, then I promise I’ll send you the kit or pack for free! 😉 ).

Voila! And with all these goodies, I wish you a super-duper thrilling Digital Scrapbooking Day weekend! May your arms be filled with goodies and may your digital delights overflow!

Big, warm hugs to you all!

The Product of a Sleepless Night

19 Oct

Sleepless yet productive. Is that even possible?

I used to be able to go sleepless years ago without feeling the brunt of it… at least not immediately. Back in college, I remember a sem when I had, oh, probably 4 or 5 major subjects, all of which required a monstrous amount of research papers to be submitted before the sem ended. I went without sleep for 3 days straight, buoyed by a constant caffeine drip supplied in numerous cups, and though I walked like a zombie on the day of submission, I did get those papers in.

Moving not too far back, about 4 years ago when I started out at JessicaSprague.com, I used to be able to function on 2 hours of sleep (earning the nickname “alien” in the process, since I seemed to be awake and on the boards at all hours). I could sleep for 4 of the 24 hours of each day and still have all the energy to live both real life and virtual life completely.

Ah yes, those were the good ol’ days. But nothing lasts forever, right?

Without warning, age crept up on me and with one sweep of its arm banished the invincible energy of youth. Suddenly I found myself at the mercy of huge yawns and eyelids that wouldn’t stay open without toothpicks to hold them up. Suddenly the siren call of the pillow was louder, drowning out whispered temptations of prowling about online, learning and teaching and creating till the wee hours of the morning. Suddenly “the spirit is willing but the body is weak” was no longer some childhood saying that I could not relate to; it had become reality.

And so now, with the odd exception or two, I find myself crawling into bed when the clock strikes 2 hours past midnight (sometimes, shame on me, even before that, if I’ve had a particularly heavy day).

But, like I said, there is the odd exception or two, when sleepless nights are called for, whether by force of circumstance (deadlines! deadlines!) or by desire (ooh, I just can’t quit pinterest when there’s just so much eye candy tonight!) or by… ahem… school projects of the kids.

That’s right. I did say school project. 😐

My son needed to submit a parent-child project for his Religion class, which required him to make a scrapbook (Ding! ding! Did anyone say scrapbook? Move aside while I do a happy dance! 😆 ). This being the month of October—which for Catholics is the month of special dedication to the practice of praying the Holy Rosary, the kids were required to make a scrapbook on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary, with images and 2 prayers to be written under each image: one from the child and one from the parents.

So my son and I set to work on getting the images the week before, in between reviewing for their exams, and trying to figure out how to word the prayers we would be creating for the project. We searched high and low on the virtual highways, and we hit the motherlode when we found this site, which had the most beautiful images (and multiple ones, too, for each mystery of the Holy Rosary. Squeal!)

That turned out to be a really good thing, because over the weekend, my littlest son got hit by the sickies, which kept him in a very uncomfortable state (and his parents in a very alert, concerned state) while he nursed a 40ºC fever that wouldn’t go down much throughout the next 2 days. So suddenly the plan to complete the project over the weekend turned into a plan to complete the project at the end of the weekend. And that is how I found myself laboring over the final production of the project way into dawn of the day when it was due.

But! As the famous bard says, all’s well that ends well. Thanks to one sleepless night of extracting my kid’s penciled prayers, doing layouts, printing, trimming, and pasting… voila! My son and I were able to submit our joint kid-parent project! Thank heavens!

I just have to insert this aside: I can’t even remember the last time I created a layout (not for lack of desire but purely because of lack of time. Scrapping is many wonderful things plus delightfully therapeutic, but with deadlines to conquer, both virtual and real-life, in my case it’s also often what gets pushed aside first in favor of chasing other speeding trains. I wonder if other designers share this experience?). Well, thanks to my son’s required project, that “scrap-less” equation has been reversed.

30 layouts. One sleepless night. Love it. 😀

So here’s what we came up with:

The cover:

And the back cover:

The title page:

And because the book I was using had more pages than required to house all the mysteries, my son and I decided to include a photo of the Pope praying the rosary (thank you, Google images 🙂 ) and another image of Our Lady with the rosary.

Another extra page housed yet another beautiful quote and then the individual pages of each mystery preceded by a “chapter page.” (Warning: Be prepared to be deluged by quite a number of images :lol:).

Phew! And that’s it!

Just something else I wanted to mention: I was incredibly glad that I stocked up on a couple of these 8×8 white hard-cover blank books (with awesome textured paper) from one of my favorite shops, Muji (minimalist, back-to-the-basics, filled with neutral colors, stocked with a large variety of products from stationery to food to clothes and gadgets… I can spend hours and hours in this place). I think I feel the need to go back and hoard some more stuff! LOL!

Hope you have a wonderful, sleep-filled night, my friends! I’ll see you zzzzzzoon… 😉

Old Photo Restoration & Digital Design

18 Apr

Sometimes it’s fun to have entrees, salads, soups, and appetizers, and other times you’re hungry enough to want to forgo everything and jump right into the main course. Today, we are hungry. 😆

So, right on to the main course of today’s blogpost, which I am so excited to tell you about!

We have three new courses over at the Spraground (otherwise known as jessicasprague.com).

This Old Photo: Restoring Vintage Photos:

First, a class that has rated high on the in-demand list: old photo restoration! Do you have boxes full of old photos stored somewhere (now if I could only remember where…), perhaps in the attic, perhaps in the basement (hopefully free of humidity), and have always wanted to somehow save the lives of those precious mementos of those dear to us (and part of the reason why our hair and skin color are as they are)? Have you looked through them, marveled at them, and then sighed with slight despair upon seeing scratches, old-age stains, perhaps some acid from those nasty magnetic albums rapidly eating away at the dear smile of Great-Grandma carrying 3-year-old Mama?

Fear no more! In a two-week instructor-led class (led by no other than the master guru and one of my dearest friends, Jessica Sprague), you will learn from Jes herself how to restore those vintage snapshots to their former glory! (And considering how we can never go back in time and re-shoot those old photos, this is the next best thing to getting them looking like they did back then!)

Click on the image below to learn more about the class, This Old Photo: Restoring Vintage Shots:

This Old Photo: Restoring Vintage Shots

The class begins on April 26 and ends on May 9. Registration is ongoing! There’s a special price for this beta course (isn’t it great to be among the first to learn? heehee), and if you’re signed up for the email/newsletter, you get a coupon code with extra bucks off! Isn’t that awesome? 🙂

But wait. There’s more goodness!

The Art of Digital Design

Have you ever wanted to learn how to create those awesome digital papers and embellishments? Wondered what goes into the process? Been curious enough to want to dip your toe into the design pool and learn the secrets of creating, packaging, uploading, marketing, and selling digital product? Or maybe you don’t want to really sell your product but want to create your own and maybe keep your options open for the future?

Here’s another of the most in-demand courses doing its debut at the Spraground!

Click on the image below to learn more about this awesome course, The Art of Digital Design:

The Art of Digital Design

This is a 5-week class, led by no other than the fab Jessica Sprague, and it’s perfect for advanced digital scrappers who want to learn about creating and marketing digital product! The class will start on May 24 and runs up to June 28. Stay tuned for future announcements re: when registration will open… or you can click on the image above, then hit the Notify Me button to get the news about class registration once it opens, delivered right to your inbox!

Want to learn how to draw digitally?

Or learn how to tackle that program that’s been sitting on your hard drive for so long because you needed a hand to hold yours and show you the ropes? Or wanted the perfect complement to the process of designing and creating for yourself? In a  follow-up to her fabulous first course, Illustrator 101: Designing for Yourself (in which you learn how to use Adobe Illustrator to create and build your own products, templates, cards, and more), the awesome Carina Gardner is now offering  Illustrator 102: Tips and Tricks of Drawing.

Illustrator 102: Tips & Tricks for Drawing

Carina’s class is self-paced, which means you can register *and* take the course immediately. Learn more all about it by clicking on the image above!

Looking for inspiration?

Seeing the fabulous layouts created by our Spraground Creative Team with my product never fails to both excite and inspire me! Check out the latest eye-candy!

Here are some layouts created with my Swirly Words Elements Pack…

… and my Swirdles pack too:

Can you tell I’ve been loving swirls lately? 😆 { NOTE: Images are linked to the shop, for those who are interested in knowing more 😉 }

I just looove the fresh look and the pretty little girl on this fab layout by Miki:

{ Her papers are also from my Gentle Morn Kit HERE }.

This wonderfully whimsical layout is by Chris:

And yet another one from uber-talented and uber-productive Miki:

Remember my Not Quite White Paper Pack from two posts back? Here’s what Miki made using it (just love the warm home-y feel of this layout):

And because these girls super-inspire me, I decided to create a layout which was inspired by Linda’s Spraground Challenge two weeks ago (We hold our challenges weekly… come join us? It’s open to everyone and free and fun! And you get the chance to win 5 Spragbucks!):

Looking for inspiration? (Part Two, lol)

We just wrapped up our Creative Search 2010, and boy, I have to say, I wish we could take in everyone who applied! The talent in the CT Search Gallery was just overflowing! Have a look here, and see for yourself… I’m pretty willing to bet my two little pinkies that you’ll come away from it totally inspired to take up your mouse, pen and tablet, or Cropadile (whichever your inclination is, :lol:) and start creating layouts left and right!

Check out the CT Search layouts HERE.

And stay tuned for the announcement of the final cut! (Biting your fingernails? I am, too! So exciting!)

Well, gotta get crackin’ on creating more schtuff! See you soon, my dear sweeties!

Beam me up, Scotty! 🙂

Birthday Bash at JessicaSprague.com!

24 Jun

We’re turning 2 years old this month at JessicaSprague.com, and we’re inviting everyone to the PAR-TAY!

Things are buzzing around the Spraground; we’ve got a week-long birthday bash going on! Lots of cookies (as can be expected from the Dark Side, hahaha! 😆 ) and cakes and ice cream, and boy have we got party hats in a big way! Come on over and check it out!

Also just doing a quick post to let you know (but you probably already do! 😉 ) that we have awesome party favors and giveaways!

Birthday FREE COURSE!

First off is Jessica’s uber-awesome, highly-anticipated, new FREE Photo-Editing: Special Effects & Frame-Ups course! (Did I say you get it for free?) Sign up period for this free course is strictly during our birthday week, so if you haven’t yet signed up (and let me tell ya, the response has been H-U-G-E, it is so EXCITING!), come and sign up for it! Registration ends on Sunday, along with our festivities, so you have till now and then to hop on our fun bus!

To sign up, you just need to be a registered member of the Spraground (registration is FREE too!)

Then follow these instructions:

Free Registration for Photo Editing: Frame-ups and Special Effects – Just log in to your account (or create one), then click here and enter the code: FREECLASS062009 to be automatically registered! Then check out the class introduction in your My Classes link in the main menu. Registration is free through June 28, and class begins July 6!

HUGE 20% OFF SITE-WIDE SALE!

It began yesterday, it’s going on right now, and it doesn’t end entil Sunday 11:59PM! We’ve got 20% off everything in our jessicasprague.com store! This includes self-paced classes, templates, products, EVERYTHING!

Plus we’re getting new stuff in the shop throughout the week, so keep checking back for more stuff!

BIRTHDAY GIVEAWAYS!

We’ve got 24-hour birthday freebies that we’re giving away every single day of this Birthday Bash week! You’ll find them up on our Spraground blog homepage, and you can download them from there from 10Am of the release day till 10AM of the next day, when a new freebie comes up and the previous one gets moved to our shop. So I hope you’ll take advantage of those 24 hours when these awesome goodies will be free for you! YAY!

I’m coming in a day late here (partying too hard on the Spraground, hahaha!) so the first freebie has gone up and down, and will now be available in the shop… BUT we’ve got the Day 2 freebie up, and this is why I’m running over to my porch to let you all know! There’s still time to snag it! 😀

Today’s freebie is my first template product in the shop (well, technically, it isn’t in the shop yet as it’s FREE right now, but tomorrow it’ll be moved to the shop shelves 😀 ). It’s also the template we’re using to play with today as we go about doing our Birth-Day 2 / June Create-a-Day:Day 23 challenge!

Here’s what it looks like:

01-LivE-EZPZT01-prevu

And here’s the layout that I created as a sample (featuring my very pretty niece):

w-LivEdesigns_EZPZT2-bea

And you can download it from our blog homepage till 10am tomorrow morning, Eastern Standard Time! After 10am it will go into our shop, and a new freebie will be up for grabs! YAY!

More coming soon, but right now I’ve got cookies waiting for me on the Spraground! Come skip and hop with me to the Spraground?

(((hugs)))

Beam me up, Scotty!

Feeling Creative? Join Us in June!

2 Jun

I’ve been multitasking 😉  in a big way these past few days  (Read: working with more than 10 Firefox tabs open, and we’re not even talking about the other windows I’ve got floating around on my PC monitor space). And I’ve been having the time of my life, because most of the windows and tabs that are open are all related to one thing: the passion for creating and challenges! YAY!

We just finished our first-ever Spragweek Challenge: 7 Days in May at our Spraground, and we had a great number of Spragbabes who showed up to participate in the layout-a-day challenges that we (my friends Janie, Linda, and I) cooked up. Our Challenge Gallery was a virtual eye-candy art exhibit, what with all the great layouts being uploaded by the hour!

And… because wishes do come true on our Spraground, in response to the request of our members to have a month-long daily-layout challenge session, we are holding Create-A-Day in June, where challenges and prompts will be provided every single day for this entire month! And as always, it’s open to everyone! (So if you haven’t joined us yet, consider yourself formally invited… by me! 😆 )

Here’s your invitation:

w-CADflyer

Credits: Painted Edges overlay  by Flergs@ScrapbookGraphics.com).

So hop on the challenge train, and if you’re seeing this after June 1st, it’s totally okay! We have the Challenge Archives for those who want to catch up, and if the thought of going back in time doesn’t appeal to you and you’d rather just jump right  in the middle of things, that’s totally fine too! Whichever day you decide is best,  you can still come and join us at any point (can you tell we just love company? 😆 )

Pssst. Just a little secret: you really may want to be around the Spraground on the week of June 22-27, which is when we celebrate our 2nd birthday! We’ve got loads of treats in store for you, and that includes surprises for those participating in our June Create-A-Day challenges! (Now, isn’t that a great incentive to come join us now? 😉 )

Wait for more exciting stuff coming up in future announcements about our Second Spraground Birthday! 😉

PS. If you need a map to get to the Spraground, click on the swings right up there on the top right and voila! Find yourself in the most magical place in the virtual world! 😉

My MayDay Three

I don’t normally have the time to create layouts along with leading the challenges, but the energy and excitement last week were so infectious that I just couldn’t help myself!  I was able to get layouts done up to Day 3, but couldn’t go further as I had to buckle down to work on the ongoing June challenges.

So here are the ones I made:

Day 1 was a template challenge, with a template made by… me! heehee!

This was the template we used:

folder

And here’s the layout I made:

w-LivE_7DiM-D1

{ Click image for a larger view }

Credits: Lorie Davison @ SBG: Flying Dreams: Background Paper, Moon / LivEdesigns: Layered Template, Grunge Brush / Font: Anivers

Day 2 was a challenge based on my dear friend (and our Spraground mama) Jessica’s Photoshop Friday tutorial on Burning an Image into a Colored Accent Block… with a twist! This one was really challenging for me, as I had no idea how to twist the tutorial! 😆 But hey, that’s what’s great about challenges, right? They stretch your horizons and give you reason to push your skills further and further! (Gotta love that!)

Here’s the layout I made:

w-LivE_7DiM-D2

Credits: Jofia Defoe-The Smell of Summer paper / Ziggle Designs-If Only in My Dreams paper (slightly recolored) / Katie Pertiet-ScriptedOverlay, WateryOverlay, MessedUpOverlays2, FilmedOverlays2, ScriptedType brush, GrungedUpAlpha1 brushes, StitchedChipStrips / Kellie Mize-PaintedLove brushes, PanosFX puzzle action, snf modtype

And Day 3’s challenge was to create a layout about an inanimate treasured object. This one also made me think… I have treasured friends and treasured family… but treasured objects? (I couldn’t do a layout on my computer or my camera because they’re not objects… they’re appendages to my body! hahaha!) So, after thinking and thinking, and at one point staring at my cabinet as I was deep in thought, I had a eureka moment and voila! Thus was born this layout celebrating my love affair with… tadah! My jeans!

w-LivE_7DiM-D3

{ Click image for larger view }

Credits: Natali Design: Swirl / Gunhild: FrayedFabric mask / Jen Wilson: LittleTags-Boys / Katie Pertiet: LilBitTags stitch, SewnStatements tag, WateryOverlay / Anna Aspnes: StitchedbyAnna stitches (recolored), TexturedOverlay / Amanda Rockwell: HomeSweetHome heart / FeiStuff-Pindated pin / Dana Zarling: Timeworn paper & Lynn Grieveson: Barcelona paper (blended) / Fonts: Artistamp & Lights Out

Back to the saltmines

Yep, gotta get off this blogporch swing and start marching back to the saltmines. Lots of work to do (but fun, fun, fun work!) Stay, make yourself at home, have all the iced tea you want, and I’ll see you around in a bit! ((((hugs)))))

Mamma Mia!

23 Oct

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)

CREDITS:

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! 😉

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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! 😀

The Secret Is Out!

11 Oct

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!)

COME JOIN US ON OUR SPRAGROUND! It's FREE! And it's for YOU!

COME JOIN US ON OUR SPRAGROUND! It's FREE! And it's for YOU!

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! 😀

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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