Tag Archives: digital scrapbooking freebies

You. Are. Awesome.

21 Jun

Truly, you are.

Thank you so much for partying with us and joining us on our first-ever birthday bloghop bonanza! Thank you for taking the time to hit the Comment button and leave some love. Thank you for coming a while and sitting on my blog porch… and I hope you know that you’re always welcome and I’ve saved your little spot for you with a cup of hot cocoa or a tall glass of iced tea anytime you feel like passing by for a chat or two. πŸ™‚

In case your bus / train / cab got a wee bit delayed and you’re coming in just now, and you’re feeling sad that the bloghop party’s over, don’tcha worry my friend! Most, if not all, of the You Are Awesome mini kits that belong to this wonderful mega collaborative kit are going to resurface in our shop today! And pssst! Here’s a bit of good news… today (Monday the 21st) is also the last day of our storewide sale, so you have the chance to grab these already low-priced bloghop mini kits at a further 20-off discount! Now how’s that for some cheering-up news? πŸ˜‰

Here are the mini-kits that will be in the shop today!

You Are Awesome by Linda (In the Making Design)

You Are Awesome by Kari (iKari Designs)

You Are Awesome by Nisa (Splendid Fiins)

You Are Awesome by Jan (The Queen of Quirk)


and You Are Awesome by Liv (Liv.Edesigns) … (wait. that would be me! πŸ˜† )

(Images are linked to the shop pages to make it easy for you! πŸ˜‰ )

And here’s a fabulous layout created by the uber-talented CT member Miki, right on time for Fathers’ Day yesterday!

Party (Freebie) Hangover!

And just because everyone knows what it’s like to have a bit of party hang-over, here’s another wee freebie for you!

Click on the image above to download (and thank you in advance for the love you leave! It just thrills me to hear from you in the Comments section! πŸ˜‰ )

It coordinates with this larger pack of huge Summerific labels, also available at my shop. (Image is linked to the shop page)

And here area couple of layouts created with them by our uber-fave and uber-fab JessicaSprague.com Creative Team!

by Miki

by Jenn

Keep Updated!

In case you’d like to keep updated with my blog (and … ahem… give me another awesome reason to come out and play on my porch more often) — you can click on the RSS icon over there on the top right side (yep, that would be the little green icon right below “Keep me updated”, or subscribe via your email inbox (right under the RSS icon)Β  and get notified each time a new post comes out.

Now if anyone knows a way to spread my arms around the entire world so they can reach over to you and give you a GREAT BIG SQUEEZE, let me know! Because I sure would like to give you the most humongous hug ever! Again, many thanks, and see you soon!

33 Freebies to Celebrate 3 Years!

19 Jun

I love birthdays! I love goodie bags! And I love that my favorite playground / Spraground in the entire world is turning three years old this month!

Man, it seems like just yesterday when we beta girls crashed Jessica’s site for her first-ever Photoshop class (Up & Running). I stayed awake for close to 24 hours just to sign up for a course that was probably intended for 20 students–but quickly grew to about 200 (or was it 2000?) in the first five minutes that the registration gates were thrown open. And now, we’re a family of… guess. It’s way beyond 2000, that’s for suuuure. πŸ˜‰

Three years after, (3 x 365) days filled with overflowing creative passion and tight friendships formed around the world, and here we are! For me, the journey has progressed to courses that I am honored to co-teach with Jes (Type+Writer 1 and Type+Writer 2), a growing chest of digital design work that I am thrilled to be able to sell at the best shop (with the best team of designers and the most awesome Creative Team), and an ever-growing family of the most awesome Spraground fellas ever!

Thank you, Jes and Jared, for creating this home for all of us. Thank you, my awesome Spraground family, for being so caring, so amazing, so absolutely awesome! And thank you, YOU who are reading this, for coming to my little blog-porch today and sitting a while. You are awesome.

And no, I have not run out of adjectives that begin with A… the repetitive use of the word “awesome” is intentional, meant to lead you to…

(drum roll)

THIRTY-THREE awesome FREEBIES to celebrate three years of jessicasprague.com magic… and to celebrate you, because YOU ARE AWESOME!

(Yes, I am screaming! And yes, I am jumping up and down! And yes, I am handing out birthday trumpets and throwing confetti and popping the caps off cases and cases of… you guessed it! Diet Mt. Dew! πŸ˜† )

And they’re all yours to collect from 10PM (EDT) tonight all the way till 10PM (EDT) Sunday! Just because we like celebrations that last an entire weekend! πŸ˜‰

Here’s how the game goes!

See? We love you so much that we decided it wasn’t enough to just give you 33 birthday goodie bags this weekend! There’s more! We’ve included a little quote strip in each of our bloghop freebies (so make sure you unzip those goodies right away! πŸ˜‰ ). Collect them all as you unzip each freebie from each of our 33 blogs.

Then, as you struggle to hold all your goodies in both arms at the end of your bloghoppin’ bonanza, take those 33 quote strips, play around with them, and arrange them in the correct order. When they spell out the quote that reflects our fondest wish for you, type it out in an email… then seal it with a kiss and send it to tori@jessicasprague.com. This AWESOME friend of yours and mine – and an amazing Spraground admin officer who just *loves* support tickets πŸ˜‰ – will gather all the correctly-arranged quotes and include them in a raffle for some really amazing prizes! So don’t forget to grab your chance at winning too! (Just make sure you send them in before 10PM Eastern on Sunday! πŸ˜‰ ).

And now, in case you’re shifting weight from left foot to right, thinking “Right. Now let’s get on to the freebie, girl!” … I hear ya!

Here’s my goodie bag waiting to jump into your arms!

Click on the image to download my part of the mega collab You Are Awesome kit!

If you happened to arrive right here on my blog porch first thing this evening, you’ll need to know that you’ve landed at the second blog out of 33. You’ll want to go to the beginning of the bloghop to make sure you didn’t miss a single one of the 33 freebies… so head on over to the Blog of all Blogs that belongs to the Queen of Digi-Skill-Growing and the Diva of Photoshop Fridays and one of my very best friends!

Click on the image below to go to Jessica’s Sprague Lab!

When you’re done a-grabbin’, hop on over to the next blog, which belongs to… my dear, dear cereal-lovin’ friend and super-talented designer-mate, Nisa Fiin!

Click on the image below to go to Nisa’s blog (feel absolutely free to click your heels too! πŸ˜† )

Remember to keep hoppin’ till you get all 33! And if you need to rest, you’ve got till Sunday to hop around! πŸ˜‰

Oh, and if you could take a minute to leave some love on my blog, that would be… AWESOME! (Did you expect another adjective, maybe? πŸ˜† )

Now, after you’ve unzipped all the goodies, you’ll probably be dying to start playing with them! Have I got the perfect excuse for you toΒ  tear the wrappers off your birthday gifties from us and play with them: come join our challenges, going on at the same time, right on our General Forum area! Click on the image below to get to the Spraground!

Happy Hoppin’ my dear sweet friends! πŸ˜€ And thank you for the love you leave on all our blogs! ❀

ETA: If you have difficulty downloading (the download links should work for macs and pc’s alike :D), the likely cause would be kinks from simultaneous multiple downloading, so please try the links again… and remember you have till sunday 10pm EST to grab the freebies! πŸ˜€ Thank you soooo much for your patience and for playing with us!

Grab a free class! Challenge yourself! And grab more freebies!

17 Jun

Have you ever looked through the card aisle at the bookstore or stationery department and thought, “Nope, nope, that doesn’t quite capture what I want to say…” Or perhaps, with a wistfulΒ  sigh, whispered to yourself, “Mmmm… I think I could do that, if I only knew how…”

Well, let me tell ya, YOU CAN capture exactly what you want to say on a card, and you CAN make your own cards, and best of all, your cards will come with a lot of love and not a lot of cost! Too good to be true?Β  Blink your eyes, pinch yourself, and let’s see… yes! You’re still here, and yes, it’s true!

If you haven’t registered yet, come to jessicasprague.com and get your name on that ever-growing list of avid learners! Because you get in for FREE (yep, that’s right! Spell it with me, F-R-E-E!) if you register yourself between now and the 28th of June, which is when the class goes live!

Read more about Jessica’s newest and latest (and did we say, FREE?) class, Computer Tricks for Cards!

Click on the image below to get to our homepage where you can learn more about how to grab this free class!

Birthday Bonanza Times Two … This Week!

We’re celebrating three years of awesome-ness at jessicasprague.com this month of June, and here’s what’s happening this week!

Challenge Yourself!

We’re having not one, not two, but THREE back-to-back 24-hour daily challenges (cos we love the number 3 this year! πŸ˜‰ ), where you get to tickle your creative instincts, grow your skills, and make new friends (or play with old ones!).

Beginning Friday at 10AM Eastern, check out our General Forum Spotlight Area for the first challenge, to be led (for the first time!) by our Creative Team member Chrissy! You’ll have 24 hours to do the challenge (digi, paper, or hybrid scrapping at its best!) and by 10AM Eastern the next day, my challenge goes up! Then on Sunday, as my 24-hour challenge ends, Linda’s 24-hour challenge begins!

What an awesome way to get three layouts (or more) done in an entire weekend, right? And that’s not all! We’ve got prizes to give out via a random.org raffle to all those who participate in our challenge!

If you’re a challenge veteran at the Spraground, this is for you! If you’ve lurked and read about the challenges but never got the guts to actually participate in one, this is for you! And if you’ve never ever participated in a challenge before, well, then, this one is for you too! And because our Spraground is full of love, we want you there, whether you’re a beginner, an intermediate, or an advanced scrapper!

Click on the image below to find yourself in the General Forum … remember, it starts on Friday morning at 10AM EST!

And FREEBIES GALORE!

Who doesn’t love a freebie, huh? We all do! And best of all, we love giving them out at the Spraground to celebrate our third birthday! Goodie bags galore! A major goodie BOX is more like it, filled with AWESOME (wink, wink) goodness for you to play with the entire week… and forever (we like “forever” at jessicasprague.com… take any of our courses, and you have them–tadah!–forever! πŸ˜‰ )!

The designers of the jessicasprague.com and the creative team members have teamed up to produce a mega, super, awesome bloghop bonanza for the entire world! Our bloghop begins on Friday, 10pm Eastern and ends on Sunday at 10pm Eastern!

We’ll have a special add-on game while you grab the freebies, and I’ll tell you more about how it all works on Friday! So be sure to come back here (set your alarm clocks, ink it in your calendar!)

For now, I’ll leave you with this little teaser:

Don’t forget… I’ll see you right here on Friday morning, 10AM Eastern for the challenges, and 10PM Eastern for the birthday bloghop… and we’re going to PART-AY the weekend away! WOOOOOT! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

Another Challenge & Two Freebies!

1 May

Hey hey hey! Have you made best friends with your credit cards today and gone digi-shopping? We’ve got a store-wide sale, with all designers’ products offered at 15% off in celebration of {inter}National Scrapbooking Day!

One of the best things about shopping digi is the urge to use those goodies right away! And we have the perfect answer for that need, because we’ve got a second awesome challenge going on at our General Forum Spotlight Area right now! It began at 10:00pm EDT yesterday and is continuing till 10:00pm tonight, so hurry over and play with us!

Click on the image below to fly straight to our General Forum!

Then don’t forget to hop on over to the HOMEPAGE! My dearest friend Kari (the hybrid goddess of the Spraground) and I are the featured designers for the day, and we’ve got freebies waiting for you to grab them!

Here’s mine:

And here’s another one, just cos I love ya! πŸ˜€

Images are linked to our homepage where you can simply click on them and download immediately begins! But do leave your mark and hit the Comments button because Kari and I would love to hear from you!

So hurry and grab them now because they’ll only be up for 24 hours… like Cinderella, by the time the clock strikes 12 midnight, these little babies are going to get sent straight to the shop where they’ll be at full price.

Have fun, my dear friends, and Happy {inter}National Scrapbooking Day!

Freebie & CT Call!

4 Apr

It’s been a while! (A long, long while!)

Let’s see what excuses I have up my sleeve for my total slacking off on my 2010 Plans (see no. 3 here… then again, maybe don’t “see” it. LOL i’ve got a lot of slacking off to be embarrassed about!) πŸ˜† In my defense, though, I’ve been on-and-off sick for about a month. There, doesn’t that just constitute the best reason for being remiss at showing up on my blog porch here?

Seriously, I am so sorry for being absent. I *have* been sick (we just packed up the fam and spent 4 days in the mountains to give the germfest here at home a break, and to get some fresh clean mountain air into our lungs). And before that (probably part of the reason for the lowered resistance), I was busy tutoring the kiddos for their final exams (yes! school is out! summer is in! wheeee!!!) and coming up with a surprise audio-visual program (aka movie consisting of about 100 layouts) for my 4th son S’s graduation from preschool!

But life has continued to go on (ain’t it wonderful! πŸ˜€ ), and so I have the most wonderfully exciting news to share with you!

We. Are. Having. A. CT. Call!!!

WAHOO! Do you like preserving your memories on layouts? Do you love creating layouts? Do you love working with my designs (hehehe)? Come and join the CT call at THE Place to Be, jessicasprague.com!

Click on the image for all the information you need! You can do it! Read all about it and come join the fun! I would LOVE to see what you come up with!

Introducing Miki, our fab new CT member!

Speaking of the Spraground Creative Team, have you met Miki? She’s one of the most awesome layout artists I’ve ever met (and an even more awesome lady, let me tell ya!). I am so proud that she is on our present Spraground CT!

Check out Miki’s latest layouts:

Miki used my Square 1: No. 1 {Dream Big} product, which you can find HERE on jessicasprague.com! I just LOVE how she used the entire mini kit!

Another wonderful layout created by Miki:

She used my I Sing for Spring Kit and my Squiggle Borders, both available only at jessicasprague.com! Love, love, love how Miki incorporated those precious keepsake drawings on her layout!

And here’s another of Miki’s precious layouts:

Miki used my I Sing for Spring kit for this too, as well as my latest product in the shop, Paper Swirlies ! I love how Miki’s choice of paper mimics the waves splashing on the beach! And the swirlies do a great imitation of the waves on the beach too!

WONDERFUL WORK, Miki! You totally rock!

Freebie Time!

This is actually an add-on for one of my latest paper packs, Not Quite White (available, as always, at the most AWESOME shop in the universe, at jessicasprague.com!)

Here’s my Not Quite White Paper Pack (available only at jessicasprague.com):

And here’s a closer look at the paper details:

{ Images are linked to the product page in the shop.}

And here’s your coordinating freebie, folks! πŸ™‚

Click on the preview to download the freebie. πŸ™‚ And thanks in advance for the love you leave on my blog as you download! πŸ™‚

Alrighty! That’s all for today! Gotta jump into bed so that I can wake up bright and early and try to catch the Easter Bunny as it hides some eggs in our home! πŸ˜‰

Have a wonderful evening, and I HOPE to see your layouts in our CT-Call gallery soon! (Remember, the call ends on April 15th, so do rush and get your mojo-motors revving!)

And I PROMISE I’ll be back bright and early (uh, more like noontime) tomorrow to bring you more news and sit with you and serve you some iced tea/cafe mocha, whichever is your drink of preference! πŸ™‚

(((hugs))) and to all a good night! πŸ˜‰

Happy Day!

5 Sep

Some days just turn out to be serendipitously happy ones, for no particular reason except that … it’s a happy day! πŸ˜€

Am celebrating it with this song!

And this!

And this!

And this!

Dance with me? πŸ˜†

Today’s Funny

As my son J and I were riding home from school today, he was (as usual) telling me about his day in school. Our discussion revolved around a classmate who probably had a bad day and ended up dealing a few punches and a kick to my son. (Ah, boys!)

So naturally, mama took the opportunity to talk about the importance of using words, not hands or feet, to express oneself.

Me: Maybe you can tell your friend to use words next time he’s upset. Only babies use their hands and feet because they don’t have words to express themselves. Grown-ups use words.

J: I know, Mama! I used words today! (said proudly)

Me: Really?

J: Yes. Someone told me “Hey, you, poopy-head!” So I said, “Hey… you! Back at you… poopies!”

ROFL. I think this kind of boy-talk I can tolerate. πŸ˜†

Today’s Freebie!

And because it’s a happy day for me, and happiness is meant to be shared, here’s a freebie for you! πŸ˜€

This large (approximately 6×8 inches) grungy frame brush can easily be resized if you need a smaller frame. It comes in .abr format and .png format (so if you use a program other than Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, you can still use the frame! Yay!)

LivEdesigns-FreebieMini06-img

Preview Stock Photo Credit: Ayla87 at stock.xchng

{ Click on image to download. Please see Terms of Use included in zip file. πŸ™‚ }

Here’s how I used my frame on one of our class projects done for my dear friend Jessica’s awesome Photo-Editing 2 course at jessicasprague.com!

PhotoEd2-proj1-w

Spraground Shoppe: My Newest Baby

I’ve got a new product up in our shoppe! YAY! πŸ˜€

LivEdesigns Storyboard Album Template Pack

(Image is linked to the Spraground Shoppe. Click on it and find yourself in our awesome Spraground candy store! :D)

My Storyboard Album Template Pack will help you create your own album with a graphic, storyboard look in a jiffy! It comes with twenty-one 12×12 layered templates (in .psd format), including a title page (with optional text path included), filler template pages which work well if you use them side by side in order (or you can also jumble them up and mix and match them), and a special template page for the last page of your album. I’ve included text boxes and text paths which you can use as is, or you can also opt to replace these with your own.

Because the Storyboard Album Template Pack is done in graphic style, you can use it for virtually any album theme you want! Use clipping masks in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements to clip your own papers and photos of choice. You can choose to use all the masks for photos, or if you’d rather clip patterned paper on some of the masks, that’s totally fine too! Add a bunch of your embellishments if that’s the look you want, or use just a few if you prefer the clean and simple, minimalist look. Don’t you just love all the freedom you have at your fingertips? πŸ˜‰

Best of all, you can use it again and again for as many albums as you wish to make! πŸ˜€

And… that’s it for today, folks! It’s back to the drawing board to create more stuff for you!

Have a wonderful day, my sweeties! (((hugs)))

Free Photo-Editing Class, Fun Find & Freebie!

15 Jun

Oooh, I just love posts like this!

First things first: have you heard of the latest fabulous free class that’s coming to you real soon?

FREE FABULOUS PHOTO-EDITING COURSE!

PhotoEd2450ad

In the follow-up class to her hugely popular first Photo-Editing course, Jessica Sprague (and I’m proud to call her my friend! :D) brings more photo fun to you with her new and FREE Photo-Editing: Frame-Ups & Special Effects course!

The two-week instructor-led class begins on July 6th, with all the awesome stuff that come only with JessicaSprague.com courses! (Daily emails, a very friendly forum, screencast videos, a class private gallery, lots of love, and more!). Be sure you don’t forget to sign up and register (did I already say FREE?) for the course when you come around to our Spraground on the week of June 22-28. We’ll be celebrating our second Spraground birthday on this week, and let me tell ya, we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to make sure that you’ll have an awesome time celebrating with us (how does “amazing giveaways and exciting announcements” sound to you? πŸ˜‰ )

What will you need to take this course? Just Photoshop or Photoshop Elements (no experience necessary, and if you don’t happen to have Photoshop/Photoshop Elements, all you need to do is click on the image above, and you’ll zip right to our homepage where you’ll find a link to a free trial download of the program! Awesome, isn’t it? )

So mark your calendars, set your date alarms, and I hope to see you at the Registration line in about a week! YAY!

NOTE: Click on the image to learn more about the course!

FUN FIND

So I was moseying down netland and guess what I found?

PhotoFunia-22eb1d4-liv

Bwahahaha. That’s about the closest I’ll ever get to finding my photo on a wall. πŸ˜†

There is an amazing variety of stuff you can put your face (or your friends’ faces) on at PhotoFunia.com, from walls to magazine covers to coins and t-shirts and museum gallery frames. You can even have some cool guy spray-paint your face on a wall filled with graffiti. πŸ˜†

PhotoFunia-2192b42-graf

(Snort!) Try it and watch time fly while you play. πŸ˜†

AND FINALLY…

I have a new pack up at our shoppe at JessicaSprague.com…

T-Stickies:100% is the first in a series of textured stickers (thus, the T in T-stickies πŸ˜‰ ). This one is a set of 30 glossy, slightly-crumpled, textured stickers in five colors. The 100% labels are separate from the words so that you can mix and match them to your delight! πŸ™‚

LivE-Tstickies100-img

* Click on image to go to the shoppe *

And because you know I love ya, here’s a little freebie from the pack (this one is curled, pre-shadowed, and pre-matched so that all you have to do is pull it onto your layout and voila! πŸ˜‰ )

LivEdesigns-FM05-100Treasured-img

* Click on the image to download, and thanks for the love you leave on my blog as you snag this freebie!

And that’s all the F’s we’ve got for today, folks! πŸ˜†

Have a wonderful day! I’m off to bed! ((((hugs))))

Greetings from the Chicken Coop!

21 Feb

Wow! It’s been a looong time, hasn’t it? I’ve been missing you!

Forgive the absence and the total failure to live up to Resolution No. 5! Tsk tsk. But real life happens, right?Β  So in real life, I’ve been running around pretty much like a headless chicken (refer to blog title πŸ˜€ ) attending to one million and one things all crying out my name at the same time.

Uhm. In retrospect, I think I’ve been much more of a duck (“calm on the surface but paddling like the dickens underneath”).Β  There’s a funny part of me that hopes that being calm and collected on the outside will somehow seep into the inside by osmosis. hehe.

So. Lots of reasons why I hope you’ll forgive the long absence, but I won’t bore you with all the details. In a nutshell, this is what kept me away from my porch these past weeks:

  • dealing with medical emergencies ( one of which was major and took me out of the home for an entire week)
  • starting a crash course in Nutrition and Cooking Duty to answer the diet and lifestyle changes required by the medical emergencies (see above). Uhm. I have to confess: when God was distributing kitchen talents, I was way over on the opposite side, lined up in the Digital Addiction area πŸ˜†
  • working on the construction of a new annex to our home and remodelling of the existing one
  • helping the younger kids with their school work for this last stretch before summer (blissful summer!) comes
  • attending to the graduation needs of the two older ones (including graduation balls, graduation practices, and all those major class activities that seem to get scrunched up in the last few months of the school year)
  • writing my usual column for our community newsletter (and editing the whole thing too)
  • and…(I’ve saved the best part for last)…
  • working with Jes on our new shoppe. That’s right! We now have our very own little shoppe on the Spraground! Woohoo! πŸ˜€ (more on this below)

Extreme Makeover, Home Edition: The Kitchen

Did I mention that our home has been undergoing a major makeover since late December? We added an annex to our home (when you have five boys, you realize you need *lots* of space) and what that translates to is, basically, building a house all over again. Or at least it feels pretty much like it. Repainting, acquiring more furniture (luckily, we have access to a carpenter who can translate my designs into wood so we don’t really have to buy too many ready-made pieces of furniture), sorting through accumulated junk and trying to decide what goes and what stays (and having to deal with “No! We can’t throw that away!” from all corners of the home), ripping out flooring material and … you get the picture. πŸ™„

The good news is, with the additional space, dh and I get to have our own workroom. I’m still trying to decide which shelves and cabinets to move from our bedroom to the workroom over there (separation anxiety from my scrappin’ goodies, hehe).Β  Funnily, the kids refuse to get their own bedrooms (which is one of the main reasons we added the annex); they prefer to sleep together in their own shared bedrooms.Β  What this means is we get to have a guest bedroom (you’re all invited to come over for a sleepover! YAY!) and another bedroom turned into a playroom for the kiddos (which serves as a second guestroom if needed so come over and bring your entire fam!) πŸ˜† . Oh! It also means I finally get my own veranda, which I’ve turned into our art nook! The kids’ art table is now there, and my oil paints and canvases and my easel and palette and paintbrushes and…

And then, there’s the kitchen. Which is being made over. Which, in this state, pretty much represents what the rest of the house looks like while it’s undergoing plastic surgery:

kitchen

A bit of a side story: We had wooden floors here, which we ended up removing because we realized on Year 2 that wooden floors and kitchen spills don’t mix well. Now that we’re doing major work on the house, dh and I decided to replace the flooring with the more friendly Italian tiles. So he brought home 5 large square tiles for me and the kids to choose from: there was one amazing tile that had a wood pattern very much like our old kitchen’s wooden floor–very tempting, except that it had a slight pink-orange tint to it that disturbed me (heehee). There were 3 wonderful textured tiles of the warm-color family, the kind that make you think of Tuscany… and these seemed the perfect ones to choose from. But then there was this lone Zorro. The black italian textured tile. Very sleek. Very cool.

Hubby and I looked at each other and had the requisite “should we do black, knowing that dark colors make areas look smaller?” conversation. But then he said:

“Look at our black granite counters. And all that stainless steel…”

I thought of the black tiles. And the silver. And the black. And then the flashing marquee: Totally Sleek. Gorgeous. Yum.

So. Black it will be. πŸ˜‰

And now, moving on from the kitchen, let’s go to…

The Little Shop on the Block

I love little towns. I love the concept of having everything within walking distance. I love the thought of walking on late afternoons and passing by the butcher, waving at the baker, nodding at the corner grocer, smiling at the florist… I love the completeness of small towns where you can get everything within walking distance and where every corner oozes with warmth and sense of family.

If the Spraground were a tangible place, this is exactly how I imagine it to be. There’s the hotdog man in his rolling stall with the children around him; there’s the flowershop with tulips and carnations and chrysanthemums in full bloom; there’s the playground right smack in the center where everyone gravitates, and … oooh! in the corner! Look at that! It’s a little new shoppe!

πŸ˜€

If you’ve been around to my uber-amazing friend Jessica’s blog or to our wonderful Spraground homepage, you probably already know that we have our very own little shoppe on our Spraground! Woohoo! If you haven’t heard about it, come, run skip and jump right over HERE and consider yourself our very special guest!

Jes and I have been so excited working on sharing our creations with our uber-loved friends! For the record, I will state (again) how awesome a friend Jes is, and how grateful I am to her, and how awed I am by her uncanny ability to pluck a dream of mine from the sky, a dream I didn’t even know I had, and put it in my hands. What a girl. A-W-E-S-O-M-E.

And of course, nothing could come out from the most awesome digi goddess than the best stuff, right? Have you seen Jessica’s templates? They’re all to-die for! These templates are the most amazing, most wonderful things to work with because not only do we get to use Jessica’s stellar designs but… listen to this… her templates aren’t just templates, they’re Templates PLUS!

What this means is when you get Jessica’s templates, what you’re getting is really much much more than just a template. You get a lot of goodies as well that come with it. Goodies that you can use over and over again on different layouts! How awesome is that?Β  So buying a template from Jes is like getting a template and a host of element packs as well, all with the mark of excellence of Jessica’s great design and creativity and genius! Does it get any better than that? πŸ˜‰

Here’s a preview of one of her awesome single-page templates:

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When you open up this template, you’ll see that you get not only the template design but every part that you see on the template, including the circle embellishment, the frame, and the torn paper effect! Now that’s a huge PLUS, right?

And here’s an example of one of her terrific double-page templates:

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Yummy! Don’t you just love this?

Oh, and have I mentioned that Jes included a tutorial on her blog last week, together with a free template and video tutorial on how to use them? Her blog tutorial tells you how to take the items from the template and separate them into their own files so that you can find them easily and use them later on your layouts without having to go find them in your templates? Awesome, isn’t it?

Candice, photographer *and* creative woman extraordinaire, is also selling projects at the shoppe. Have you seen her Valentine Garland? It’s awesome!

And little old me… I create kits and all the other bits and pieces. πŸ˜†

Here’s the latest kit that I’ve got up in the shoppe:

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My absolute favorite thing to make is papers… so I’ve got a coordinating paper pack that goes with the kit (papers in this pack are different from the ones that come with the kit):

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And here’s the latest bit-and-piece I’ve uploaded:

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One of the things I love about this country I live in is the fact that textures abound everywhere! I can step out of my front door and find literally hundreds of texture sources! (This, by the way, is how I justify to my DH the need to bring my camera with me everywhere I go. heehee πŸ˜† )

And because you know I love ya…

Here’s a freebie for you!

This one is a complement of the textures pack that I have in the shoppe.Β  What you’ll get here are three photo texture plates, ready to use because they’re sized at approximately 5.5 x 7.5 inches. All you need to do is pull the texture plate onto a layer above your photo and then play with its blending modes and opacity levels. Try duplicating the texture, combining different textures, applying different blending modes, etc etc etc. The thing about textures is that they’re great toys to play with, and there are absolutely no limits to the amount of playing you can do with them!

Here are some examples of the freebies at work:

(You can click on the images if you want a closer look)

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CREDITS: photo by bjearwicke @ stock.xchng

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CREDITS: photo by lusi @ stock.xchng

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CREDITS: photo by jaquesi @ stock.xchng

Do you want to play with textures too? Here ya go!

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Click on the image to download.

Thanks for the love you leave on my blog as you download… and if you haven’t paid a visit to our shop yet, do drop by and have a look around, and pass by the general forum as well and say hello!

Phew! That’s all for today, folks! More updates tomorrow! Gotta get back to the saltmines! πŸ™‚

((((hugs)))) to you!

PS. Want free tuition to a really awesome photo-editing course?

Head on over to my dear friend Jessica’s blog and find out how you can win! πŸ˜‰

Hello 2009!

4 Jan

Happy New Year to one and all!

And forgive me for being absent for such a long time! In my part of the world, the Christmas season is the biggest feast/festival/fiesta (as the Christmas carols playing on the airwaves as early as September would prove), and the number of parties and reunions and out-of-town trips increase tenfold! So yeah, I was pretty much buried under piles of Christmas lists, then Christmas wrappers and tape, then Christmas parties and reunions–and along with that, Christmas food (which is now safely tucked away in my stomach, thank you very much, BURP!)… and whatever time left over that I’ve been able to grab,Β  I’ve spent working on a “couple” of things that have to remain a secret right now but which I’ll definitely share with you come mid-January πŸ˜‰

So… for the meantime, I thought I’d share with you some photographic evidence that I have not been lying around doing nothing but filling my mouth with holiday goodies (uh… more like moving around doing a lot while filling my mouth with holiday goodies, heehee!) πŸ˜†

Wrapping Fury

Quick, answer this question: How many Christmas gifts did you wrap? You know? Well, I salute you! I bow to you! Because I can never count the total number of gifts I wrap each year; all I know is that if I seem to disappear for a few weeks during the holiday season, all anyone needs to do is wade through mounds of wrapper and tape and boxes and voila! You’ll find me buried under them, trying to work my way up. πŸ˜›

This year, I *did* attempt to count the gifts I wrapped…Β  at least the ones for my sons’ teachers. I have to confess, though, that I lost count somewhere between 25 and 40. Multiply 4 kids in 4 different levels in 3 different schools, with a different teacher for each subject, then add the teacher aides and security guards, and you have… how many? See what I mean? πŸ˜†

So here’s the photo of this year’s bunch of teachers’ gifts:

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And because gifts need a home… in comes the tree! πŸ˜€

The Tree Boys

One of the really great things about having five boys is that you eventually get to the point where you can assign certain duties to them, such as putting up the tree! πŸ˜€ Every year, we put up the tree on the weekend of December 8th (Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which also means that most schools give the kids the day off… so in our home, that means the kids have the entire day to hang out and put up the Christmas decorations!)

This year we deliberately kept the home decor simple, since we had men working on the annex that we’re attaching to our home (read: breaking down the wall to connect another unit and completely remodeling said unit). The work isn’t done yet, and I think it’s safe to say it’ll take us about 3-6 months to really fix up the unit (we’re changing all the bathrooms, installing blinds in all the rooms, putting in new furniture, etc. etc. etc.–you get the picture. πŸ™‚ ).

So anyway, that explains why the Main Thing this year was our tree!

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There are few things that beat the joy of watching one’s kids help each other trim a tree, don’t you think?

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My eldest helping my youngest… mmmmm! What a lovely thing to watch! πŸ™‚

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S gets a helping hand from R:

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And my little J gets help from his nanny πŸ˜€

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We have a tradition of getting each child something of his own to hang on the tree each year. Then when they are old enough to have homes of their own, they’ll have a “starter kit” of their very own decorations to hang on their own Christmas tree, gathered from their very first Christmas from the time they were born.

But there’s one item hanging on the tree that has my name on it: this one! (Gotta love my Starbucks coffee! πŸ˜€ )

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So it’s a 16 year old tree, and it’s not 10 feet tall, but it’s been with us from the birth of our eldest son and we love it. πŸ™‚

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The View from the 41st

On my side of the world, the holiday season gives everyone the best excuse to party. It’s a wonderful time because you get to meet up with people you hardly see the rest of the year. Relatives from around the world fly back home to be with family. Office people turn into party animals in a 180ΒΊ transformation that puts the pumpkin-coach metamorphosis in Cinderella to shame. πŸ™‚

My hubby’s office party was held in the 41st floor of a hotel, and as always, I brought along my Nikon D90 with me. His office Christmas parties are always themed, and the different divisions come up with a program of sorts where they compete against each other to win the prize for the best presentation. ‘Course I’d never pass up the chance to take advantage of the photo-ops! πŸ˜€

A couple of photos of that evening:

The theme this year was Asia; this was the winning team’s presentation:

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Awards were given for best costume of the night… these ladies were the nominees:

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(I think Asian costumes are so exotic! πŸ˜€ )

So anyway, when the party was over, I looked out of the floor to ceiling windows down at the city below and decided the view would make a GREAT shot! DH saw me fiddling with my camera (no tripod in tow), and teased me: “There is no way you’re going to get a clear photo of the street from this distance without a tripod and with the complete lack of lights.”

Well. Have I said that deep down inside, I have this little rebellious streak that surfaces when one presents me with a challenge that sounds more like a dare? πŸ˜† So of course, I took a photo of the street from above. Here it is:

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Don’t you just love those Christmas trees made of lights? πŸ™‚

Project 365?

Are you doing this? Project 365, as I understand it (correctly, I hope? πŸ˜› ) involves taking a photo every single day of the year (hence the 365). This was started some years back–the first time I heard about it was on the photojojo blog, with photos being uploaded to flickr. As all good things go, the interest in this project spread, and now some of my Spraground sistas have decided to join this project (boy, do I envy their energy and their ability to do this! I so wish I could, except that I’m also absolutely sure that I’d fail by the first week!)

I love taking photos and I joke that my Nikon is surgically attached to my body, but I’m not sure about whether I’d be able to keep up taking a photo every single day. Now if it were a weekly thing…

So I’m wondering: am I the only one who isn’t brave enough to take on this challenge? πŸ˜† All this wondering led me to more thinking: what other options are there for people like me, who may not be able to keep up with the daily photo-vitamin requirement?

If I am fearful of my ability to tackle a daily thing, what about a weekly thing instead? Documenting a few days a week for 52 weeks in the year… that’s 52 layouts… hmmm! Tempting! *eyebrows going up and down*

What if weekly is still too daunting? What about a monthly thing? Documenting the highlights of each month for 12 months in a year… that’s 12 layouts… certainly do-able! *eyebrows going up and down faster*

Heehee. So you know where all of this is leading to, right? What can I create to share with everyone who wants to play with their cameras, whether on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis?

Yep! Here it comes! A freebie, finally! (A small one, but one that comes with a lot of affection anyway!)

Here’s a photo tag which you can use to write down the date when the photo was taken and a few notes to record the special moment captured. I’ve included two versions of the tag: one flat and one curled.

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Click on the image above to download. Thank you for the love you leave on my blog as you download πŸ™‚

I’ll be back soon, but for now I need to jump into bed because the sun is about to rise!

Happy New Year (((((hugs))))) to you, my sweeties!

Resurfacing…

17 Nov

… after being buried under tons of paperscrapping tools and paper and eyelets and chipboard and more paper!

We are having the grandest time at my friend Jessica’s Stories in Hand course ( and I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re in it too! πŸ˜† )! It’s so incredibly awesome to see so much creativity and so much storytelling coming together in one Spraground from all ends of the world! The course gallery is filled with wonderful works of art and the forums are overflowing with great reminiscing, and–best of all–friendships are in the process of developing or strengthening on the Spraground!

I am in a bit of a euphoric state (hehe) because I’ve finally finished my Stories in Hand binder, which houses the amazing system that Jes has designed for gathering and telling stories. Part of the happiness comes from finally, finally, finally getting to use all these tools in my scrapping drawers and shelves that have heretofore been referred to only as The Hoard. πŸ˜† Can you spell g.u.i.l.t.-f.r.e.e.? I used to bite my knuckles every time someone mentions “paperscrapping materials” because I know I have a ton of unused stuff. Not anymore! YEAH! πŸ˜›

Before I put up the evidence of hands at work at more than a keyboard, here’s a little story:

When the course started, dh came home to a room filled with papers, eyelets, punchers, glue sticks and glue rollers, a brayer and a Cropadile… and said, “What is going on? What is all this?”

See, he’s used to coming home and seeing me create on my beloved Wilson compy. I don’t think he has ever seen me get messy (or mess up our room) with paperscrapping stuff.

So I answered him, with a quick glance up from punching tabs with my corner puncher, “Oh, just Jessica’s new course that we’re having on the Spraground…”

Well. I have to say, my hubby is one amazing man. Since that fateful day, he comes home and doesn’t ask about the metal ruler and the cutter and the strips of paper lying about. In fact, he accepts them as the most natural thing in the world. πŸ˜†

So. Here’s what he had to put up with while I wasn’t done with the binder:

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(And nope, I’m not showing you what our floor looked like. This is embarrassing enough! hahaha!)

And here’s the final product:

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The binder on the left is what contains the meat of the system and the little notebook on the right plays a supporting role. πŸ™‚

Here are the front and back views of the binder:

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Psst. Let’s pretend you don’t see that the stitching is crooked, okay? πŸ˜‰

And here’s what the binder looks like inside! Open sesame! πŸ˜€

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(I made the envelope and quote strips to go behind the three main sections–Roots, Family, and Self–because I wanted an excuse to use raffia. πŸ˜† Just kidding… I love quotes and often I’ll find one and scribble it on a piece of paper… and when the time comes that I need it, more often than not, I’ll forget where that little piece of paper is. So I thought, hey, why not make some little strips that look nicer than those hastily-torn scraps and have them all in this neat little binder, so I never have to look for them again? Hence the quote envelopes and strips were born. πŸ™‚ )

Here’s a closer look at the prompts (color-coded according to the tab they fall under–Red for Roots, Green for Family, Blue for Self)… and the inside prompt-pages that contain Jessica’s Stories in Hand magic!

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The Family tab page, front and back:

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And the Self page, which I renamed “Me” πŸ˜€ :

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A few more pages from inside, including some additions I made to personalize the pages:

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(I cut little slits where the photo corner diagonals are, and then printed each photo on regular photo paper. Then I inserted it into the slits. This way, if I ever feel the need to change the photos, I can easily slip these existing ones out and re-insert the updated photos in the slits. πŸ˜€ )

And the little jotter, of course!

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And now that the binder and the notebook are all ready, let the story-gathering and story-telling begin! YAY!

On other fronts…

Thank you sooo much for all your kind wishes and your precious prayers during the rough month of sickies that my three kids were going through. I think it’s pretty safe to say they’ve finally scaled the walls and are now on the way to getting much better.

Before these past few weeks, I used to think that pneumonia was something someone got if they didn’t take care of a cough or a cold, or if you let a wet t-shirt dry on your back (yep, that’s totally unscientific, and Amy, Shell, and my other awesome doctor-friends, don’t you worry–I’m aware these are probably old wives’ tales that my nanny told me when I was a kid πŸ˜› ). Well, this whole bout with the double-whammy pneumonia of my three babes began with a cough on the first day, a fever on the next, and by the 3rd day when I was at the pedia, it was pneumonia. (Sound byte from me to doctor: “In two days? Two days and it’s pneumonia? Pneumonia?”

It’s a good thing my kids’ pedia did not stick her face up mine and say, “Read my lips: P.N.E.U.M.O.N.I.A.” πŸ˜†

And I call it a double-whammy, because after 10 days, they did get well. But then in the evening of that very same day that the pedia announced that they were clear (they were feverless, after all), my youngest suddenly had high fever, and we were in the boxing ring for Round Two! *sigh* I think I’ve made friends for life with the salesgirl at the drugstore, from the sheer amount of medicines I bought and trips I made to her little medicine kingdom. πŸ™‚

So I’ve taken that Excel file and dumped it in the trashcan (with relish! Aah! The end of all those medications! The kids are well!) and now this is the only thing that will remain on my bathroom counter for the next few days:

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Halloween Hangover

So… since the kids were on medical “house arrest” during Halloween, they unfortunately didn’t get to go trick-or-treating. But they’re great kids–they watched the other kids go trick-or-treating from their bedroom window, clapped their hands as the parade and band marched around the streets, and… more than a week after, transformed themselves into…

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PS. Yes, those are Spiderman figures they’re holding, and yes, they were watching a Spiderman vid. πŸ™‚

I have *not* forgotten…

…the last set of my friend Lynne’s and my Fall into Fall freebie collab! Here, finally, are the elements that go with Set 4 (and coordinate with the first three sets that we released).

Because this is the last set of elements, we’ve filled it up with loads of stuff!

Here’s what you’ll find in the Fall Into Fall Set 4 Elements pack:

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Fall into Fall Elements - Set 4

What is in this pack: 17 realistic elements (18 if you count the glass frame which comes in shadowed and no-shadows versions).

Click HERE to download the freebie! And thank you for the love you leave in my blog as you download. πŸ™‚
Alrighty! Now on to the other stuff that fills my to-do list! Will be back soon, I promise!

In the meantime, huge (((((((hugs))))))) to you, my sweeties!

Wait! One last thing! πŸ˜€

PS. I just discovered a little button on my dashboard that says “Poll”… hmmm. So I wanted to play around with it and try it out. Will you join me?

See, on this Stories in Hand venture, I discovered that I enjoy scrapping with real stuff and playing around with my hands (I used to do a lot of crafty stuff in my former life, after all πŸ˜› ) but I’ve also discovered that I really am a digital girl at heart. I love hybrid because there are just some things that can’t be done in digi (say, have tabs that really stick out of pages, or have real holes where eyelets have been pushed through the cardstock), but then I really, really love brushes and layers and the magic that is possible in digi… plus I really like definitely love that Delete key! πŸ˜†

So… let’s try out PollDaddy and you tell me: are you a paperlovin’ scrapper, a digiscrapper hopelessly hooked to the Dark Side, or are you right there in the middle-hybrid?

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