We’re 5 Years OId This Month!

Yeah, well, not me me, but we at JessicaSprague.com! Man, how time flies!

But birthdays are always fun, aren’t they? And they’re especially fun at the Spraground, because we love giving away birthday goodies every year!

This year, the JessicaSprague.com designers have teamed up to bring you a wonderful summer-y collaboration kit, and here’s my part of it:

My mini kit has five 12×12 papers and 5 elements:

  • tied chipboard accent (in plain and pre-shadowed versions)
  • a buttoned and lifted string (pre-shadowed for that oh-so-realistic look)
  • a 12×12 puffy-sticker popsicle border
  • a stapled, paint-swiped frame (in plain, pre-shadowed, and lifted versions)
  • a set of summer and beach label wordart (in plain and pre-shadowed versions)

And if you find that my little kit rocks your boat, you can click on the button below to download the file directly:

If you’ve arrived here first, you’ll want to go to the start of the whole bloghop so you can collect all the goodies along the way.

Click HERE to go to the first stop (none other than our dear Jessica Sprague’s blog!)

And to collect the next part of this fabulous collab kit, click HERE to go to Lori Whitlock’s blog!

Our bloghop will be active all week long till right before midnight of Sunday, June 24th Eastern Standard Time. This means that you and your friends can download our goodies any time this week till right before midnight.

Oh, and because you’re awesome, I know I can count on you to leave a few words as you grab my freebie, right? 😀 (Scroll down and click on the Comments button… don’t be shy! 😉 ).

Don’t forget that as part of our Birthday Week celebrations, we’re also having a 40%-0ff sale this entire week! Click HERE to go to my shop and fill your cart with goodies that you might not be part of your collection yet :).

And here’s a little poster to remind you of all our birthday activities this week:

Thanks for passing by, and don’t forget to grab a cupcake and a balloon on your way out! (((big happy birthday hugs))) to you!

You. Are. Awesome.

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. 🙂

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? 😉

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! 😆 )

(Images are linked to the shop pages to make it easy for you! 😉 )

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! 😉 )

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)  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!

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. 😉

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! 😆 )

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! 😉

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! 😉 ). 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 😉 – 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! 😉 ).

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! 😆 )

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

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? 😆 )

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 to  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! 😀 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! 😀 Thank you soooo much for your patience and for playing with us!

Freebie & CT Call!

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!) 😆 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! 😀 ), 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! 🙂

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

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! 😉

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! 🙂

(((hugs))) and to all a good night! 😉

It’s a New Decade! {Ten Plans for 2010}

Well, hello there! And happy new year!

If it seems I’ve disappeared into thin air these past few months, I am so sorry. 😦 I got abducted by some germ monsters who stole my alien DNA and left human genes in their wake (read: I suddenly needed more than 3 hours of sleep and I actually GOT SICK! ~ bleah ~ The thing is, for people who hardly ever get sick, once they do it’s like having one foot in the grave. I still have a major cough that makes me sound like a great barking watchdog but at least I now have the strength to sit up and work on my compy! So YAY! :D)

Then there was that great tsunami-like wave of activity brought by the holiday season 😉 , which in this part of the world can get seriously crazy. Christmas is the best time of the year for me–a sentiment shared by everybody in this Pacific archipelago, methinks–so traffic on the roads increases a hundredfold, parties and social obligations leave you crossing out every single square on your December calendar all the way till January 1st of the following year, and then there are all those gifts to buy, lists to check, and let’s not forget the most important part of it: preparing yourself internally for the reason for the season (which I will admit is such a struggle to do during this most hectic of months of the year! Luckily it’s the struggle that really counts! 😉 )

Oh and yeah, it didn’t help much that, according to my dear friend Tori, I suffer from this illness affecting my extremities: the kind that makes my right hand shoot up involuntarily whenever I hear the question, “Who wants to volunteer…?” and the same one that makes my left hand slink down under my chair whenever I hear the question, “Are there any objections?” hahaha. Pretty dangerous disease to have around Christmastime when there’s just more stuff to do than there are hours in a day.

This condition gets especially challenging when you’ve got your high school celebrating its 25th anniversary a week into January and you’re completely aware that your right hand feverishly shot up when the question about who could make the slideshow presentation was asked. (Okay, so here’s the confession: I volunteered because I didn’t want to have to sing or dance. HAHAHAHA!)

Seriously though, I have been missing in action (shamefully hanging head down here). And I have so missed sitting with you on my blog porch, my dear friends. And I have missed my Spraground family… and I promise to never stay away this long again!

Speaking of promises…

Have you made any resolutions yet? I do mine on a daily basis (and if you’ve been coming to my blog porch for some iced tea and some nice talkies, you’d know my rationale for this)… but it’s nice to do the whole traditional new-year’s-resolutions thing… *and* blog about it so that there’s pressure to live up to it. 😆

I checked my 2009 Resolutions and realized that I failed at 3 out of 5 but passed 2! Not a great grade to get on a pop quiz, haha. But I believe in walking on the bright side of life, so I’ll be happy with the fact that one of the two I actually got to accomplish was the top one on my list! (Lose 25 pounds I did! YAY! )

Who was it who said “If you don’t succeed, try, try again” ? (It happens to be attributed to several sources… plus did you know that it was originally a maxim used to encourage American children to do their homework? Got that from a google search. Love me some google).

So here we go, my resolutions for 2010 (in which I have absorbed a couple of the unresolved ones of the past year):

1. Discover something new every day. – Learning is a good thing. A very good thing. I love learning something new every day because the excitement of that eureka moment always brings a rush of excitement (and reminds me I’m alive!).

Speaking of learning, I just learned how to use imovie and idvd in a couple of hours the other night! Gotta love that! Did I mention that I volunteered to create the slideshow presentation for the … uh… 25th anniversary of my high school batch (totally dating myself here 😆 )? The only presentations I had ever made in the past were powerpoint presentations (I know, shameful, huh?) but I knew that powerpoint certainly wouldn’t do for this big event (which is coming up in a few days, by the way).

So MacGyver (aka my mac) got a workout and I learned how to use two programs that I never even touched before. And now I have a new saying to add to my collection of  LivE Philosophies: Desperation is the mother of education. (Yes, I was beating a deadline which is what led to me learning the two programs in one evening, hahaha!).

One thing that thrills me even further about this first of my 10 plans for 2010 is that the day’s discovery doesn’t even have to be a big thing! It could be a flower that I never noticed growing in the little pot that was barren for months. It could be a new word. It could be something new that I happen to read about in A.J. Jacob’s “The Know-It-All” (I’m on page 324 in the Ts) that makes me smile.  It could be… geesh, it really could be anything!

Now doesn’t that just make the new year seem even more exciting? 🙂

2. Create weekly. – I love creating. I just take forever to do it. In my wildest fantasies I am like the Energizer Bunny (just keeps going and going and going). But in reality I get so absorbed in the process of creation that I enter a time warp and come out of it with a few new strands of white hair. 😆 So this year, I promise (as I did last year) to be more productive in less time. Promise!

3. Blog at least 3 times a week. – Ooh! This is yet another carryover from last year. I failed miserably this year, I know (picture me shuffling my feet in shame). But hey, the great thing about being alive is being able to begin again! In Latin, we say Nunc coepi: Begin now! Love that philosophy… It’s like your angel whispering in your ear: So you didn’t do so well today? No matter,  you can always begin again. Why yes! I can!

(Ps. I actually considered just saying “Blog weekly.” But hey, dream big and fly high, right? 😉 )

4. Make a layout every week. – I hardly scrapped during the 2nd half of the past year and I have to admit (banging fists on table, tears gushing down my cheeks, dramatic music doing a crescendo in the background): I miss it! I can’t even remember the last layout I made. I think it must have been during our Type+Writer 2 course. (Not counting the 3ft x 9ft poster layout I created for my 7-year-old J’s classroom… a Christmas wall decor that had me photographing and extracting 32 kids and a teacher for 3 straight nights. Phew!)

But creating layouts is one of my deepest passions. It’s how I celebrate moments in life and those I love! So I. Must. Make. A. Layout… every week (crossing fingers here).

5. Do an act of kindness every day. – Why not? Making people happy is one of the few things in life that give a greater ROI than what you put in. You make someone happy and it makes you happy too. Can’t think of too many win-win situations like this one. 😉 Serving others (the ultimate act of kindness) is easy… but to consciously make an effort to do something concrete every single day… now that is the adventure!

6. Take a photo every day. – Okay so I may regret ever writing this down. I attempted to do this last year (though I didn’t turn it into a resolution) and I failed miserably.  The funny thing is I take photos all the time! And lots of them. Just not on a daily basis. I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed on this one– let’s see how it goes.

7. Be grateful for something every day. – It’s easy to think that we all have a general attitude of thankfulness, that resolutions don’t have to be made about this. But to consciously notice and pinpoint in concrete terms what it is that makes our heart sing for that day, every single day, is something that can be easily overlooked. So I promise not just to have a thankful heart throughout the year… but to visualize and verbalize and then celebrate that gratitude. That is the essence of Plan No. 7.

8. Write family once a month. – I grew up in a very close-knit family: seven kids who counted each other as our first and foremost best friends. Today we are kind of scattered across the globe. My sister in Paris and I chat every single day, something that makes me love technology that much more. But the time difference between me and my brother (who is two years older than me) is not so ideal, so that makes it harder to stay in touch. But I miss him a lot. And he is as much a genius at keeping in touch with monthly updates as I am his polar opposite (let’s see now: that makes me effectively a doofus at keeping in touch. Nice.) So I resolve to shed off my doofus costume and get my fingers working at keeping the family ties tied tight! (Say those three last words six times, quickly!)

9. Surprise a friend every month. – I like surprises (nice ones only, please. No lizards, no black furry fat spiders, and certainly, absolutely no cockroaches). When I was a kid, my dad would give me a big box on my birthday, year after year, and there was no way to tell what was inside the box because it was a generic box with its standard shape and its basic dimensions. But when I tore off that wrapper, I knew the inside would be filled with little doodads, a collection of little items that taken altogether made up my birthday gift. I loved the thought of not knowing what was inside till I unwrapped the big ol’ thing.

Today my favorite gifts come one at a time instead of in little collections, and they’re mostly bigger than the little trinkets of the past (and also, usually sport plugs that attach to my computer or my camera, mmm!). But I still love surprises, my most recent one being the that came in the mail all the way from Sweden last Christmas (more on that later because that deserves a post of its own!).

So because I think surprises are wonderful and they bring out such childlike glee, this year I’d like to make a conscious effort to bring that whee-clap-your-hands kind of happiness to a friend once a month. 12 friends, 12 nice surprises, 12 little yelps of glee. Can’t wait to do this!

10. Make a book within the year. – The summer between Fifth and Sixth Grade, my best friend and I sat down for a week or two at the country club veranda and wrote a children’s book. I kept the transcript written in our childish penmanship all these years. Yep, I still have it. It has always been my dream to publish that book and surprise my friend with it. If I actually manage to accomplish this in the next 12 months, I’d have accomplished Resolution No. 9 for one of the 11 months in the horizon while making a childhood dream a reality. So hello, Blurb. I’m going to need to learn how to work with you. (Hey! That could totally help me accomplish Plan No. 1 too!).

NOTE: Resolution Corollary to the Ten Above: I promise not to beat myself on the head and stress out if I don’t manage to accomplish all that’s on my list.

Now let me tell you, it was not easy to think of 10 for this year (I was struggling at no. 5). But 10 was my plan and I can’t flake off on the first plan of the year, right?

Three Things: A Question, a Challenge, a Gift!

So I’d like to ask you: have you thought of your plans for this year? (If you haven’t, here, sit right beside me and have a glass of iced tea while you ponder the matter. If you have actually thought of your plans… oh man, you put me to shame! And if you’ve actually written them down, then make a bit of space for me while I grovel at your feet).

Anyway, here’s the challenge part: Come up with TEN plans for 2010 (that’s right, baby, TEN :D). What do you want to accomplish this year? Doesn’t matter if they’re big or small; they just have to be what YOU want them to be. But here’s the thing: They have to be concrete and measurable. That way, it makes it easier for us to check how we’re doing throughout the year. So instead of saying, “I’m going to be nicer,” try “I’m going to smile every morning at that old man down the street whose pet rooster wakes me up at 4AM every single bloody day”. See? Now that’s a nice and concrete and specific plan! 😆

Next, write them down, all ten of ’em. (Kind of like carving your resolutions in stone, hehe). But seriously, write down those 10 plans for 2010, and if you’re comfortable doing so, maybe you can link me up to your blog or send me an email? I’d love to know what yours are!

And here’s a little gift for you if you do decide to come up with your own list of 10 for 2010:

It’s a .png file in two versions — curled and flat, with and without shadows. You can print out the flat one and write on it with your favorite ink pen… or if you live on the Dark Side like I do, you can open any of the two files on your compy and type in your ten. (Here’s a little tip: if you use a standard font and set it at 14pt, your words will fall perfectly within the notepaper lines 😉 ). Oh! and I’ve made this large enough for you to attach to a layout if you are so inclined. But you can certainly reduce the size if you want to print it out and put it in the little notebook you carry around in your bag. 🙂

You can download the freebie by clicking on the image above. And thank you so much in advance for the love you leave right here on my blog (Go ahead, click on that red Comment button at the bottom of this post; it’ll make me so happy! You know I love reading each and every one of your comments! heehee!).

So that’s it, folks! That’s all I have for today! I’ll see you again real soon, and thank you so much for your patience with my being totally remiss at coming out on this porch swing and sitting a bit with you. HUGE, no, HUMONGOUS hugs to you!

And may your new year be filled with lovely new beginnings!

Last sunrise of 2009, taken on our post-Christmas trip to the mountains. 🙂

Two and Three

Two. Two seconds of “fame” 😆

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

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

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

Two Unpaid Extras (bwahahaha!)

The Master with the Extras (bwahahaha!)

What can I say?

Nothing. Except bwahahahaha. 😆

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

This is Three.

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

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

Here’s what Lynne came up with for you:

Lynnea - Fall Into Fall Collab Freebie - Set 3

Lynnea - Fall Into Fall Collab Freebie - Set 3

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Looking for my DID circle template?

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

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

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

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

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

The Secret Is Out!

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

Latest Scrapped

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

So here’s my latest scrappy thing:

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

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

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

Speaking of free…

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

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

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

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

Set 2 of Fall into Fall Friendship Freebie Collab:

LivEdesigns - Fall into Fall Freebie - Set 2

LivEdesigns - Fall into Fall Freebie - Set 2

Click on the preview above to download the papers.

Then click HERE to download the alpha.

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

Have a very happy day today, my friends! 😀

Where We’re At (and other W’s)

Technorati Tags: digital scrapbooking,freebies,Type+Writer

This is where we’re at right now… in other words, this is what you’ll see in any given room at any time of the day if you walk through our home:

Wall-E & Friends

Wall-E & Friends

In fact, even other toys are transformed into Wall-E Wannabe’s: (Sound byte: “Mom, look! I made my own Wall-e!” )

Wall-E, Version 2

Wall-E, Version 2

(That’s actually a toy that can be transformed into virtually anything, but its basic parts allow you to create dinosaurs and vehicles. Cool toys. We only had Lego when we were kids. hehe)


I’ve been totally wrapped up in work on Type+Writer, our up-and-coming first-ever journaling and typography course on our Spraground! I’m extremely excited to be team-teaching the Type+writer course with the ever fabulous Jessica Sprague!

If you love making layouts but struggle with putting down the words to go with the photos, this course is for you! If you love writing, and journaling on layouts comes easy to you, this course is also for you! If you want to explore new techniques for getting those words onto your layouts with Photoshop’s awesome arsenal of tools, this course is for you! If you’ve taken any of Jessica’s online courses, you’d know that she is the absolute Best at everything she does, and you wouldn’t want to miss this latest course that she’s teaching! (Yep, in other words, you, you, and you… we’d love to have you in our course! 😀 )

So if you haven’t heard about it yet, read all about our Type+Writer course here! Registration will be on September 1st and our first day of class will be on September 8th! Jes and I promise that it’s going to be a fun-filled, very inspiring, creative two weeks that you’ll be spending with us when you decide to sign up for our course! So come, hop, skip, jump, run to the Spraground on September 1st and be counted among the beta Type+writers! 😀

Where Is He?

My sister left a comment asking me where the photo of Jun was on my blog… the one that he loved, the one that he said he’d use for all publications that request a photo of him. Well, sister dear, this is for you 😀 :

The Photography Master

The Photography Master

The Photography Master, Take 2

The Photography Master, Take 2

Wow, It’s About Time!

I’ve been wanting to release a freebie for the longest time… I took a break (a mental breather) and found some time to design a little paper pack for all you sweeties!

These aren’t the usual kind of papers that I normally make, but it’s always nice to push the envelope and explore horizons, right? (To my friend, Veevs, if you’re reading this, I hope I’m not too far off the mark when I say that I think these would be the kind of papers you might want to use! 😆 )

So here is a mini paper pack for all of you: highly saturated and textured, for all those layouts that need an extra punch!

LivEdesigns Wild Grafix Paper Pack

LivEdesigns Wild Grafix Paper Pack

Click on the image to download.

Thank you so much for the love you leave on my blog as you download! I totally love reading your comments! 🙂

Well, that’s all for now, folks! It’s back to the saltmines for me! 😆

Have a happy, scrappy day, my sweeties!

Well, hello there…

…good old friend(s) of mine… (are you singing along with me? :P)

Man, it’s been AGES! I am soo soo sorry for being absent from my porch swing… I’ve gotten a number of emails asking me why I’ve been quiet… I’ve been wanting, panting, hankering to come here and post freebies but ~sigh~ life has just been moving at full-speed ahead!

The kids are out of school, with summer officially here for the past month… and you who have school-age children just know how that means mom is also officially the Boredom Buster and Head Entertainer and Day Planner. It’s a total pleasure and it’s really my first job description (being wife and mom, hehe), so “working”  on the “peak period” of this job has been keeping me busy… 😛

Then of course, there are the fabulous courses at our Spraground! Now that’s what keeps me on my Summer Mom toes! WHAT FUN!

We just finished up with the March run of the Up & Running beginners course… and I love that we have a lot of new Spraground family members who are joining us on the Dark Side! heehee! (And that includes my own sister and her three friends! Whoopeedoo!!! 😆 ) I have to say I looove moderating because nothing beats the pleasure of working with the incredible tandem that Jes and Jared are, and being able to helping others and being part of the incredible A-ha moments! It’s totally awesome to be part of the learning journey of new (and some old) friends, to see them grow in their Photoshop skills, to marvel at their creations and to be privileged to see them enjoy telling their life stories… the joy is just so overwhelming.

Right after wrapping up the U&R course, we began (and are now heading towards the end of the first week) of our beta Digi: In Deep, my dear friend Jessica’s advanced course for digital scrapbooking. I have to say, each day, when that email comes into my inbox, I am floored by the AWESOME activities and lessons that Jessica has planned for us! It is just so FABULOUS, so wonderful, and geez, I could run out of all the superlative adjectives, and still that wouldn’t come up to describing how much I love this course! Wow!

It’s an action-packed course, and I love every minute of it! But it also means that no matter how excited I am to design new stuff for you (got a whole list of things I want to create for you!), it’s going to have to wait a little bit till I’ve gotten hang of my time management. (Yo, that big compound word that really just mean I-would-give-anything-for-more-than-24-hours-in-a-day 🙂 )

We’ve also come up with our Spraground Weekly Challenges, which are open to everyone who’s registered at our Spraground (registering is free; come play with us!) We’ve been seeing a whole load of awesome layouts coming up on our galleries, and, really, nothing beats playing AND learning at the same time!

As if to tease me for my long absence, I open the door to this little place of ours on WordPress, and I am astounded. WHOA. This is totally rocking! A whole new face, beautiful clean colors of cool blues, greys and whites, a totally modern interface… WordPress is ROCKIN! Whoopee!!! 😀

Anyway, today I’ve pushed aside all other pressing matters to sit with you a while… because I’ve been suffering withdrawal symptoms from not having been with you for what feels like forever!!!

I do want you all to know that I have been keeping you in mind and missing our porch conversations for the longest time! So I’m so glad to be with you today!

Layin’ It All Out

Here are some layouts I’ve come up with since the last time I posted:

Jammin’ in My Jammies:

Jammin' in My Jammies


Lisa Whitney – ArtsyFartsyPaper ; Katie Pertiet – StarGazers Flourish; Michelle Coleman – Glow Gold Dust Edge ; Chere Edwards @ digiocd.blogspot.com – Scribbles Alpha


This was done for our Spraground Weekly Challenge Designer Spotlight, where our designer was none other than our fabulous Jessica Sprague! The challenge required us to use nothing else but her Home Away from Home kit, which is fabulous, and the theme “Home”. You can get it Jessica’s fab kit for free on her blog! (Link is on my right sidebar!)



Jessica’s Home Away from Home Kit (papers slightly recolored); FONTS: Zapfhumnst BT, Tagettes

The Magic of a Child

This was done for our Spraground Weekly ColorLift Challenge, where we are required to do a scraplift (this one by heathert at DD) using a particular color scheme. Totally had fun with this one! (Then again, I have fun with each one! 😆 )

The Magic of a Child

Journaling (Quote by Francis Thompson):

Know you what it is to be a child?

It is to be something very different from the man of to-day. It is to have a spirit yet streaming from the waters of baptism; it is to believe in love, to believe in loveliness, to believe in belief; it is to be so little that the elves can reach to whisper in your ear. It is to turn pumpkins into coaches, and mice into horses, lowness into loftiness, and nothing into everything, for each child has its fairy godmother in its own soul.


One of my few top favorite designers, Meredith Fenwick’s AfternoonSerenade Paper & Antique Paper Swirls; Jen Wilson’s ExtraSmudges (recolored) & Variety Alpha; NatashaWhiteley’s DiffusedGlow action (used on background curtain)

Simple Joys

This was done for our Spraground Merry Go Round Challenge, which required us to use photos that were taken in available light:

Simple Joys


everyday you teach me the beauty of simplicity. you reveal to me the treasures that hide within the smallest things. you run free and carefree, the afternoon breeze playfully tussling your soft hair, the crunchy grass embracing and cushioning your little feet, the warm glow of the sun bouncing on your chubby cheeks. you teach me that true happiness doesn’t cost a thing. it’s found in purity and innocence and, yes, simplicity. you need nothing more than empty space to frolic in to have the time of your lives. and i need nothing more than simply being with you for my heart to be filled with pure, unadulterated joy. ah, true happiness at its very best… yep, it really is that simple.


Meredith Fenwick – EasySilence apple paper; TwilightDreaming Butterfly, JapaneseTree; CrazyBeautiful-PaintedFrame (recolored) & Alphabet
Annie Manning/Paint the Moon: Charmes d’Antan – Butterfly (altered) & Butterfly Wings
KimChristensen – Spelling101 Kit: Black Inked Overlay

DID I Say…?

Here are the two layouts we worked on for the first week of DID… Absolutely ROCKIN course!!! 😀

Lesson 1A: Of Friendships & Brotherhood

Of Friendships & Brotherhood


how totally wonderful to see the three of you working together, helping each other. one minute your faces are scrunched up in intense concentration; the next minute your eyes crinkle delightfully as you brust out in silly, boisterous laughter. today you build sandcastles; tomorrow you’ll build even greater things. what i hope remains the same is the spirit of love and friendship that you have for each other as you work and play together. because, my dear sons, more than any tangible thing, you build best when you build bridges of love.


Everything from the DID Course Materials by Katie Pertiet, Jen Wilson, Trish Jones, Linda Gill Billdal, Nancie Rowe Janitz, Mary Ann Wise, Lynn Grieveson. Fonts: Texas Hero, One Fell Swoop, Problem Secretary, English111 Presto BT

Lesson 1B: My Everyday Miracle

We had to create our own layout from scratch, using the techniques we had learned in Lesson 1. Here’s what I came up with:

My Everyday Miracle


Meredith Fenwick-GrungyBaby papers(blended);Cowboy Papers; CrazyBeautiful-stitched eyelets/Paint-the-Moon Annie Manning-TheNaturalsRibbons-LeavesTie&Shadow/ Dani B-BlackFriday Button/Mary Ann Wise-AlaMode Flourish/Fonts: Porcelain, BeautifulES, SandraOh

As you may have noticed, I am very into Meredith Fenwick’s stuff… that’s because she just re-opened her store at ScrapbookGraphics.com and when I went to get her grab bag (among others, hehe) that celebrated her return (man, was that AWESOME!) Mer was soooo generous that I got an additional 50-off coupon to go crazy with in her shoppe again! Woohoo!!! Of course I got all that I could manage to get my itchy digi hands on. hehe.

I asked Mer if I could show you here the items I bought from her SBG shoppe, and she said YES! So… here’s what I’m totally loving right now!

From her Posh Collection:

The Posh Collection

The Posh Collection

The Posh Collection

The Posh Collection

I also got her Everyday Inspiration collection, her Grungy Baby kit, and her Legible Notecards set. They’re all as wonderfully textured and beautiful as the Posh collection you see here!

And since you made it this far…

and because I’ve been gone for so long, I have a little something for you! I’m sharing with you the circle template that I created for our DID Lesson 1B class. It took me a huge amount of time trying to translate what I saw in my mind onto my monitor… but I am so thrilled that I was able to get it done!

This is a very simple template: I have not added strokes to any of the items (because it’s better to add the stroke after you’ve pulled in your papers and photos to clip on), and I’ve left the drop shadows out so that you can have absolute freedom in deciding where your light source is. I’ve also left the entire thing very basic so you can choose which accents you want to add into your own layout. I hope you find some use for this, and thanks for the love you leave right here on my blog! 😀

Here’s what you’re getting (the layout I made with it is above):

LivEdesigns DID It Circle Template

And you can click here to get it!

EDITED on October 14th:

I’ve received word that the old link is no longer valid. I’ve re-uploaded and changed the link upon request… you may now click on the image of the template to get the new link for it! 😉

Now I really need to get back to my work on the DID course… so I hope to see you soon!

Have a great day, my sweeties!!! I promise I’ll do my best not to stay away so long again! 😀


868882_jump.jpgIf you will allow me this one little toot…

I made it! 😀

I made it to the first round of the LDD apprentice program!!! WOOHOO!!! So so so happy!

In the acceptance email that I received from The Dream Team, they informed us that there accepted 40 out of the  “over 130 applicants”… so I am truly glad that I was lucky enough to make it through the first round!

I need to give a huge SHOUT OUT to all my sistahs at the Spraground –and all of YOU who left such kind words of support… I can’t even begin to describe how MUCH you mean to me. You inspire me, my dear friends. Truly. THANK YOU.

The freebies are exclusively available for download at Little Dreamer Designs… so if you’re interested (and I hope you are, fingers crossed!), you can hop on over to Little Dreamer Designs; click on Freebies in the top menu. Scroll down and at the bottom right you’ll see the Quick Jump dropdown menu. Click on the triangle beside it and choose the category Apprentice Round 1 Freebies and click Go. The submitted kits are arranged alphabetically, so if you’re interested in mine, please scroll to the 3rd page and you’ll find it there. 😉

Also, Michelle left a note on the forum that they would love to have you upload any layouts that you’ve created with the apprentice freebies on their gallery, with the added sugar cube of being able to qualify for a $10 coupon to their shoppe, which they will raffle off to those who’ve uploaded their layouts. (They will be giving two $10 coupons for each week that the apprentice program is running).  I would LOVE to see what you create with my kit, if you use it!

To upload your layouts, choose the Apprentice Layout Gallery.

To those of you, my sweet, sweet friends, who have been asking me how the program goes, here’s the way I understand it:

There will be four weeks of challenges, with the first one beginning this week. At the end of the 4-week program, 5 finalists will be chosen by the Dream Team to submit a full-size kit to sell in the shoppe. Each kit sold is equivalent to one vote for the designer. The sales generated by the kits will count for a little over half of the final score of each applicant. The person with the highest score wins the coveted option of selling kits in the LDD shoppe.

Or something like that. 😆

Wish me luck, my sweeties! It’s your support that carries me through!!! 🙂

CREDITS: stock photo from stock.xchng