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!

Of Heads and Hair

I’ve got a splitting headache. I think it might be because I spent the entire day yesterday sorting and fixing my paper file notes (in a sorry attempt to put off working on my LDD application kit, hehe)… and now I know I have no more excuse to procrastinate. 😆

Or it may be because these past two days I’ve been quite worried about my five-year-old son who has a terrible cough (I’ve taken him to the doctor who says that he’s most probably got a really bad viral infection, possibly a relapse from his cold virus that he had a week and a half ago). I really think it’s the shift between warm weather and rain these days. So he’s on antibiotics again, a whole bunch of medications, nebulizing around the clock, and antitussive lozenges thrown in for good measure when the coughing fits get really bad. Each time he coughs, I get really stressed with all the worrying that floods through every cell of my being. Makes me totally want to reach into his throat, pull out the cough germ, and stick it into mine; just so that he wouldn’t have to cough anymore. The other day, after a particularly drawn-out coughing fit, he said “Somebody please take me to heaven!” I think my heart dropped on the floor and broke into a million little pieces. My poor boy. So please, take a minute and say a prayer for him please? That he gets well real soon? Thanks, honeys.

So… yesterday I was looking at myself in the mirror and I saw FIVE strands of white hair staring back at me. Mind you, I didn’t even run my fingers through my hair to search for more. I’d seen enough. Adding to the possible headache culprits: I saw in the mirror not just the five offending white strands of hair, but even worse, looking back at me was a really groovy-looking girl with hair that was threatening to turn into a real 80s mullet. Ugh, ugh, ugh!

So I called my hairdresser and made an impassioned plea for a haircut appointment.

I’m happy to report that after 3 hours spent at my hairdresser this morning, I now look human again. Almost. 😆

Perfect Moment Take Two

So… given that my headache is threatening to take over my entire body, this post won’t be lengthy. I just wanted to share with you this long overdue Part 2 of the Perfect Moment Plopper Parts that I promised I’d give you a few days back.

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LivEdesigns Perfect Moment Plopper Parts (Set3)

What you’re getting today is a grungy textured background paper, a .psd file of the trame with stapled tag (there are just 2 layers in the file: the frame and the photo mask), and a grungy lined journal tag with distressed edges. I decided to give the frame as a .psd file so that it would be easy for you to put the photo behind the frame. Just target the photo mask in your layers palette, pull in your photo (it should come up under the frame layer in your palette), and then do a CTRL-G if you’re using Photoshop Elements, or for any version of PSE or Photoshop CS, hover your mouse on the line that divides the photo and the mask, hold down ALT and when your cursor turns into a snowman-looking icon, click. Voila!

You can download the Perfect Moment Plopper Parts Set 2 here. Thank you to mexikids of stock.xchng for the stock photo of the adorable baby I used for this preview. Thank you’s for the CU-OK items I used can also be found in my TOU! I hope you can find some use for these plopper parts, and thank you in advance for the love you leave in my blog!

Orton Effect

Over at our Spraground playground, my girlfriends and I have been keeping ourselves busy by indulging in weekly challenges (Our official Spraground weekly challenges will begin in March, barely a week from now! WOOHOO!!! If you have ever lurked over at our playground, now is the time to come out and play! 😉 )

This week, we played with the Orton Effect which we took from our playground-mate kimi’s blog (Thank you, kimi!). The Orton Effect was first used by Michael Orton, and it’s a technique of sandwiching two images where one is in focus and the other is out of focus. Originally this was done with actual slide film, where the original (sharp) image was overexposed by two camera stops, and the second (out of focus) image was overexposed by one camera stop. What results from this technique is a wonderful glowing photo. With the amazing Photoshop, we can now do the same thing right on our computers!

I had a pretty difficult time with this challenge, not because the technique is hard to do: on the contrary, it’s unbelievably easy. The difficult part for me was finding the perfect photo to do the technique on (because I found that it fits some photos much better than others… ). Here’s what I finally ended up with:

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LivE The Ungiving Tree


Jesse Edwards’ FallingAllOver paper (recolored) and Michelle Coleman’s GrungyBoy paper & Grungy Edges Overlay; Mindy Terasawa’s Little Explorer Notepaper (altered); Graphics-Illustrations brushes FONTS: Susie’s Hand (background text); RomanSerif

This is a photo I snapped around a month ago while we were on an out-of-town trip. Dh and I were sitting outside on the verandah of our unit when I looked out into the sea of green trees and saw this tree. I immediately thought of Shel Silverstein’s book The Giving Tree… except what popped in my mind was the opposite: The Ungiving Tree. 🙂

Did I ever share…

with you what I excitedly gathered (like one gleefully picks wildflowers in a huge field of flowers) from Annie Manning’s store? Remember the Oscraps Designer Spotlight Challenge that I joined and uhm, had the great luck of winning? Well, here’s what my prize was! (A coupon which allowed me to choose anything from the fabulous designwork of Annie Manning aka Paint the Moon)!  (Oh and did I already say how fabulous Annie is as a person? Totally sweet and adorable! The icing on the cake of my winning this challenge is getting to know her as a friend! Wonderful!!!)

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This is Annie’s Charmes d’Antan Mega Kit:

AM PTM Charmes

Her Chloe’s Treasures Kit:


One of her Funky Flowers sets:


Her Smooth as Silk Ribbons In a Knot:


Her Really Random Ribbons:


and her Vintage Frames and Corners:


If I could buy her whole store, I would’ve (except I wanted to leave some for another shopping trip! Gotta space these things out, ya know? 😉 ) In fact, she has a new kit that I am sooooo lusting after: it’s called Boxed In Set One, and if I really want to push back what I need to be working on right now, I think I might just hop on over there and snag it! 😆 I am so hooked on Annie’s stuff (all that wonderful, delicious texture!) that I can’t stop wanting to make layouts with them! Go check her out at the Oscraps shoppe (link is also under Shop Till I Drop over there on the right side >>>)

Time’s Up!

Well, okay, I know, I’ve dilly-dallied too long. There’s just no more delaying what I really should be doing now; I really must get my mouse pointed in the direction of my design work! 😆

Speaking of my mouse (what’s the plural of a computer mouse: computer mouses? computer mice? And while we’re on that topic, if the plural of mouse is mice, why isn’t the plural of house, hice? Or spouse, spice? Hmmmm. Wait a minute. That could work too. 😆 )

Anyway, speaking of my mouse, mine is driving me crazy! It’s so sticky! Every now and then, I have to keep lifting it from the mousepad for it to move; otherwise the cursor just sits there, unmoving, daring me to shove it into place. What could be the reason for this, would you know? Is it time to replace my dear old mousie? (I love the scroll button, waaaaah!!)

Well then. Enough of my delaying tactics. I really must be off to work. 😆 Thanks for passing by, and do come around again soon! (Sssshhh… I’m working on an alpha freebie for you which I hope to finish soon! 😉  )

(((((hugs))))) , my sweeties!

Die Yet? :D

That’s how I spell diet, which is the latest adventure I embarked on two days ago. 😀 I exchanged my See Food diet with the South Beach diet (which is yet the best diet for me so far, because it actually forces one to take on a healthier lifestyle!)

For one who loooooves eating, this is not an easy journey. Show me anything from entrees to main meals to desserts and snacks: you’ve got me in the palm of your hand. 😆 (It doesn’t help that people in my country will find every single possible excuse to celebrate with food, and that kind of culture is deeply ingrained in my psyche, hehe). But! It’s good to pull up my jeans and strut around without having to unbutton the top of my jeans by the end of the day just because it feels like total freedom to do so. 😆

Is it hard? Yeah. Does temptation abound? Heck, yeah!

But it’s amazing. Because I realized that if I can overcome the temptation to eat what I want to eat (given that eating is not bad at all), then I suppose that strengthens my spirit and trains my resolve, so that it becomes easier to stay on the good path in other aspects that may not be so good, should temptation arise in those, whatever they may be (hmmm, the temptation to be impatient, for instance, or the temptation to scream when the telemarketers make their calls one after another in the span of 5 minutes. 😆 ) It’s sort of a variation of that principle that if you have been faithful in little things, then you can be faithful in bigger things. 😉

Another realization: this is a great exercise in staying cheerful. I mean, it’s great to have a better, healthier, non-junk-filled body… but if you don’t have a smile and a cheery disposition to go with it, then what’s the point right?

And yet another realization: talk about diets is probably boring, so I should stop now. 😆

(Psst! One last: So far… I’ve lost 3 pounds! Woohoo!!)

In one of my first posts for this year, I made a list of resolutions that I was hoping to accomplish this year. With the first month of the year over and the second one beginning, I decided to revisit the list to do a little self-evaluation and see whether I’ve been living up to my… ahem… lofty goals. 😆

To my utter delight, I realized just a few minutes ago, while re-reading them, that I actually have not done a bad job so far! 8)

(When you bite your nails in nervous anticipation waiting for your report card to come, and you realize all the butterflies in your stomach can stop flying around in there cos you’re doing okay after all–isn’t that always a cool thing? 🙂 )

So let’s see:

1. Make a layout a day – did pretty okay with this the whole January, thanks a whole lot to LOAD. (I need to kick myself into scrapping mode this time, with LOAD over… before I fall into my bad scrapping-procrastinating habit again!)

2. Lose 10-20 pounds – ha! We shall see on this one, but at least I’m making some effort towards achieving this in the next few weeks.

3. Give out at least one freebie a week – hmmm. This needs some working on. I promise! 😉

4. Consider having Lasik surgery done – I get an A on this one! Jumped in with both feet, a wish, and a prayer, and now all that’s left to do is go religiously to the post-op appointments for the entire year, and make a layout on this! 😉

5. Clean and organize stuff in our home storage areas – okay, I get a total F on this one. 😳

6. Clean and organize my compy stuff – have been working on this (slaving is more like it). I’m a far way from “done” but baby steps are good, baby! 😆

7. Learn some more, play some more, pray some more – yep, some here and there… after all, I wouldn’t want this particular struggle ever to end (too much fun, learning, playing, and praying!)

8. Stop pushing things to the last minute – okay, if any of you have the secret pill to swallow that makes this achievable, send an entire bottle my way, please! 😆

Awww, shucks!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you my sweet friends, for your warm, warm fuzzies that you left in your comments here, and on our playground message board, and on the 4shared site… THANK YOU!!!

Your sharing in my joy over the Oscraps challenge touches my heart in ways that words cannot express. Wish I could hire Aladdin to take me on a carpet ride to you all so that I could give you enormous hugs!!! But since I can’t do that, give yourselves a kajillion hugs for me, please? 🙂

Thank you. You know I love you, right? 😉

Oh, here’s a HUG!

A bear hug from me! 😀

Here’s the second set of the Bear Hug mini kit…

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LivEdesigns Bear Hug Set2 Preview

This comes with a humongous hug from me to you 🙂 … plus 3 textured papers (2 patterned, 1 solid), a felt-embroidered heart (with gratitude to hawksmont, whose designs and generosity inspire me, I have named this heart HawkHeart 😀 ), and a chipboard journaling tag… Hope you like this set and can find some use for it! You can download it here. Thank you in advance for the love you leave on my blog!!! Loooove having your warm fuzzies right here! 🙂

Funny, again

My 5-year-old J does it again! This guy cracks me up big time.

Yesterday, we were having our usual chats (we talk all the time, have you noticed? Must be the shared love for words, haha)

Suddenly, out of the blue, he says: “Mama, can you please, please, please get me a large meatball?”

Hmmmm. I’m thinking, okay, where did this thought come from? But I say, “Sure, honey, let’s get you that. But for what?”

He says: “We’ll get A (his eldest brother) to tie a string on it, because he’s really tall. Then he can hold it while I punch, punch, punch it, and then I’ll become really strong, and my friends are going to call me lean-mean-muscle-machine, and I can defeat all the bad guys!!!”

I swear, this is the very first time in my whole life that I have ever heard of a meatball being associated with a punching bag. 😆

This excites me!

I was just over at my dear friend Jessica’s blog the other day, where she placed a link to Shutterfly for her own little ABC book that she created for her son Elliott. I loved the ABC-book templates that she created (and that she’s giving away for free!!! FREE!!! Gotta loooove this woman!). Seeing what she did with it for her dear little son totally inspired me even more to create my own for my… wait a minute, I have 5 sons… omg, does this mean I need to create 5 ABC books??? 😆

Go ahead, hop on over to Jes’ blog, and see what a fantabulous book she has created! I’ll bet you all my little fingers and toes that you’ll want to create your own too! 🙂

And if you do (and you know you do 😉 ), here’s what can come in real handy when you start off on that exciting adventure!

Join me! Let’s do the ABC!!! 😆

EDIT: The templates come “free” on Shutterfly (which is where you go if you want to create the ABC book), and then you have the option to order the printed book from Shutterfly (it’s 20% off too for an 8×8 book)! Just wanted to clarify that in case my excited post was misleading… 😉

Word for the Month

Have you thought of yours yet? I’ve figured out mine for this month: JOY.

n. – intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness;  the source or object of such pleasure and satisfaction

v. – to enjoy; to take great pleasure; to fill with ecstatic happiness, pleasure or satisfaction

[ from the French joie, and Latin gaudium, which means to rejoice… which reminds me of a wonderful encyclical I read, called Gaudium et Spes, or Joy and Hope ]

related words: cheer up; gladden; jump for joy; walk on air; delight; pleasure; positive stimulus; excitement; jubilation; high spirits; exuberance

Wow! So much to be joyful about! And those related words make me want to use them as jumping points for lots of everyday ordinary things!

What’s your word for the month?

To my friends in Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee

Are you all okay? I just read in the papers this morning about the twisters that hit last Tuesday evening! Please know that I am praying for your safety and that you are all okay, and I would love it if you could leave a note in my comments here to let me know that you are well and doing fine! Hugs and prayers to you!!!

You Ask, You Get

is what my friend Veevs always tells me. 😆

So… let’s take her motto (which makes a whole lotta sense) and apply it to us, why don’t we?

I have so many ideas swirling in my head for freebies, but I do want to make sure that they’ll be items that you can actually use and will want to use. (Yeah, we have our hard drives filling up, don’t we?, so it’s always good to give what will deserve the space on those sleek and sexy hard drives 😆 )

Would you want…

1. More papers

2. More elements – which ones are your favorite and go-to items?

3. Themed kits – which themes?

4. Templates, Quickpages, Ploppers?

So help me out please: let me know what you want? Would love to hear… go ahead, click on that Comments button and let me know! Thank you in advance!

Okay then… Busy day today, gotta attend to some things related to a trip I’m making in June 😉 — so I must be off for now… but you know I’ll be back soon, right? Thanks for visiting! Have a happy day, my sweeties!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

why, yes, even in my own home, as of last night! 😆

Christmas, my friends, has officially arrived in our home as of December 8th, the feast of the Immaculate Conception. 🙂

It’s a good thing that my dear hubby does not believe in filling every nook and cranny of our humble home with Christmas decor, because it makes my job of decorating that much easier. 😀 Also, it totally helps that I have five sons who can help me put up the Christmas decor (well, okay, four… 😛 )

What I really love is that I now have some real Christmassy photos to use for my Daily December album, which has been up in the air (or more correctly, stuck in my camera’s memory card), instead of the daily-any-month photos that I’ve been taking since December began. 😆 I’ve been trying to decide whether to post the photos here or maybe make a layout and post THAT here (need a push to actually start scrapping those photos, and this might be it! haha)… but while I make up my fickle mind on that issue, here’s something again for you!

(And some nice music by two of my favorite people to keep you entertained as you download 😉 )

This freebie is actually a spin-off from the Winter Shimmer kit, so you might notice that the papers are similar to some in Winter Shimmer, except they’re in more playful, brighter colors (and the striped one is new, and the creamy one has a different texture). This came about because my dear friend Jana loves pink christmases, so I decided to go ahead and make a pink version. The elements on this mini kit are not the same, though, so you might want to snag it as well. 😀

Since this is a mini kit, you’re getting all of it in one download. Aside from the four papers, I’ve made a chipboard arrow with a snowflake accent, a Christmas tree calendar transparency accent, and three silver-bookplate tags with gemstone brads. One of the tags has wordart on it. Thank you’s are in my TOU! And that’s the whole kit, my dears!

Thank you for letting me know that you can still do with more Christmas kits; this one is for you and you and you, and all of you, my sweeties!

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LivEdesigns Jolly HollyDays (Winter Shimmer Spin-off) PReview

Download Jolly HollyDays here. Now much as I’d love to sit on this porch swing with you, I really must go to bed as my fingers are frozen from the cold and it’s almost 5AM in my part of the world. 😀

ETA: Sorry, download link is no longer available.

Love to all, and to all a goodnight! (((((hugs)))))

It’s here!

And I’m so happy! The third set in the Swing Out Sistah kit, my friends!

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LivEdesigns SwingOutSistah Set3

It’s quite a simple set: just two solid papers (Morning Sky-the light blue one and Pigtails-the light pink one), textured with slightly grungy edges, and four circular wordart thingies (thingies because you can use them as frames, or as rubons, or as accents, or whatever you want! You can also put them on top of circular paper and create “stickers” out of them!). All of the items, of course, coordinate with the first two sets of the Swing Out Sistah kit! Download Set 3 here. Zip password is minime 😆 Oh, by the way, the wordart is shown at actual size. The largest is about six inches in diameter… but you can always resize them to make them bigger or smaller! 😉

ETA: Sorry, link is no longer available.

I have to confess that I have to get myself out of my creative lull and start working on at least two layouts that need to be completed this week! So in the meanwhile, have fun playing with these and I’ll be back with more soon! (Perhaps an intermission with a Halloween mini-kit! 😉 )

Playing Outside the Sandbox…

this time… I never thought I would ever make a kit like this, but it was a total joy and I love what I ended up with, if I may say so. hahaha. 😆 Thank you, pooja, for requesting for something, anything, with elephants. It made me extend my horizons and explore areas I wouldn’t have without your request. Hope you like this! 😉

Took a break from working on the Small Project so that I could indulge in creating (always more enjoyable than the “required” stuff…  maybe there’s a rebellious little brat in me that never grew up, you think? 😀 ). What I thought would be a small minikit grew (as usual) beyond the proportions I originally planned.

LivEdesigns TajMajic Mini Kit

This kit is called Taj Majic. 🙂 (Special thanks to Kim Broedelet, Mesokee, escrapper, themiz and just4you at stock.xchnge). There are 5 papers, all textured, in this kit: Forest Skin is a green elephant-skin textured one; Indian Sunrise is a yellow paintbrush-washed solid with faint tinges of orange, Follow Mom is an orange solid with a mom-and-baby-elephants brushed at the bottom; Morning Walk is a teal-and-green paper with a mom and baby elephant following her; and Elephant Block is actually the collection of the papers that I was putting together for the preview (what you see if you take off the tag and the screws and the brads and my own LivEdesigns tag). Here’s how that last paper came into being: My dh passed by, looked at the preview I was preparing on my monitor and said “Wow, that’s so nice!” (yeah, I know, he loves me, doesn’t he? It accounts for his lack of objectivity sometimes, hahaha). So I figured, hey, why not throw it in as a paper as well, in case you want a colorblocked quickpage! Just add your photos and frames and you’re done. Or fade your photos into the papers. Or do with it whatever you want. 😉

Then there are 4 X-screws and 3 brads with elephants on them. I also threw in a tag which I brushed around with the flower brush I made. I had to stop at that point, because if I continued, not only would this have become a mega-kit, I would also be in mega-trouble for not completing my Small Project (whose deadline, by the way, is tomorrow). Oh and I also just received a FedEx package a few seconds ago which contains the latest installment of work that I’m supposed to do for the Big Project. Hmmm. And I thought Hong Kong signalled the last leg of the work. Not. Now THIS is really the last part. After this, there’s just the launch and the event planning to worry about.

But wait, I’ve been babbling instead of giving you the link to the kit! Forgive me! Download the kit here. Zip password is pooja . Hope you all find some use for it! And if I may make a teeny request, do please leave me a note to let me know what you think… or even some love would be appreciated… even just a teeny tiny thanks? 😛

ETA: Sorry, download link is no longer available.

Have fun and see you with the next freebie soon!

Does anyone know…

…where I can buy an additional 24 hours to add to each day? 😆

I suppose you’re sick of hearing how I’ve been swimming frantically, trying to keep my head above the water with all the deadlines that seem to choose exactly the same moment to appear and terrorize those who’ve been too busy having fun playing (yep, that “playing” person would be me… about…hmmm, a month ago? At least, seems that long ago since I had the leisure to play, haha).

Since I really can’t blame you and would even totally understand if you cover your ears/eyes the next time you read “busy” on my blog, here’s a visual instead (haha!):

OF Night

A few tidbits about this photo you’re looking at:

* Don’t look for me there. I was behind the camera, teehee. These are three of the people I was with last Saturday/Sunday. Add me into the mix plus 3 more men, and we totalled 7 owls. We worked on finalizing the editing and layout of the Big Project from 1 pm on Saturday up to… oh, 4 am of Sunday. Do I need to say that at the end of that period, my brain was dead on the floor? That wasn’t the end of it though: my friend in the middle (the fantastic layout artist) and I met the next/same day (Sunday) to do the real final work on the Big Project… from 1 pm to 9 pm. Not bad. At least we didn’t end up working till Monday (well, we did, but at least we could do it in the comfort of our own homes).

* My brain was so dead that Sunday dawn that my friend T (the layout artist) and I spent roughly 15 minutes discussing what time to meet the “next” day–which was actually a few hours away. I bother to mention this only because we realized later on that what we took 15 minutes to discuss could’ve actually been resolved in about 1 minute… had our brains been working better.   😆

* This was taken in front of the building where you will find the studio that we do our work in for the Big Project. If you look closely, you will see on the left side the legs of the building guard, who was raising up the metal gates so we could enter. See, the building closes at 8 pm… so we had to do a bit of charming and cajoling so that we could be allowed to work in the studio till midnight (which extended till after midnight, haha).

* I used John Wright’s Photoblast Pro Sapphire action on the photo… Confession time: I actually wanted to put that photo up here so I would have an excuse to play with the Photoblast actions. They are so much fun! If you’re into playing with your photos, you might want to check out John’s site HERE. I normally enjoy playing with my photos by tweaking them myself, but since a whole lot of my friends were playing around with them, and John offered a GREAT deal (essentially, 50% off on the cost of the whole pack), I … ahem… caved. And I don’t regret it one bit! John is great with his support and service too! He even came to our playground to help us out in case we had any problems with his actions (he must’ve heard all the excited chatter on our MB!). I still like tweaking my own photos, but I love that I have the choice to use John’s actions–all of which are fantastic–when I want to. Mmmmm, I am so enjoying playing with them!

What’s been keeping me company…

as I work late at night and into the morning is this… It’s been wonderful re-discovering this 80s song, and it’s upbeat enough to keep me awake… plus it’s all fall, which is fast coming, if it isn’t already where you, all my dearest friends, are! If you love dogs, or autumn colors, or great visuals, or upbeat 80s music, don’t hold back; go ahead and press that Play button! 😀

I couldn’t resist…

I know that all these deadlines have been falling on my head like one great big rainstorm ( “raindrops” just doesn’t seem to cut it 🙂 )… but I couldn’t stay away from designing some more stuff for you. I intended this to be the last offering in the Pinky Promise kit, but I have to warn you there’s one more coming up. See, proof that I think of you all the time, even when I’m caffeine-crazied… speaking of which, I have a feeling, if you squeeze me hard enough, you’ll be able to get some brew out of me–I feel like a giant coffee bean ready to be percolated, what with all the coffee I’ve been drinking like water! (It helps that we have great coffee right at home, haha).

So here’s Set 5 of Pinky Promise:

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LivEdesigns Pinky Promise Set 5

There’s a grungy textured version of the cleaner paper that I released some time ago (too lazy to check which set it was in, forgive me). Then there’s a paper tag which you can use for journaling in strips, or for dates, titles, whatever… the bigger tag on the preview is the actual size, and the smaller one is for you to see how it looks reduced. You can also enlarge it if you want. It’s about 8 inches long, I think. There’s a pink textured bow, which I attached to the preview with one of the buttons I made. The square buttons on the left side of the preview are shown at their actual size. There are 2 buttons in this set only because I initially made the smaller one… and then I decided to make a bigger one so that you could reduce or enlarge without sacrificing quality… and then, since I already saved both files, I decided to just give them both to you! 😀

A bit of warning about the tag: it comes with the button stuck on it. See, I made the tag with the square accent (before it became a button, haha)… and when I was looking at it, I thought… hmmm, maybe I could use that square accent to “pin” the bow down to the preview. So I pulled it off the tag and put it on the bow… and that’s the story of the birth of the square button. 😀 (Note that the bow doesn’t come with the button attached. Behind the button in the preview is a regular knot in the center of the bow).

All items come without the shadows (those you see in the preview are there for uh, preview purposes only 😀 ). Download Set 5 here. Zip password is wide-awake (don’t forget the dash!).

ETA: Sorry, download link is no longer available.

Oh and one last thing…

I got a few comments about the teddy bear that I used for the preview of Set 4… I am so sorry, I hope I didn’t mislead you into thinking that the teddy bear came with the kit… I do remember writing in my post that I used the bear for preview purposes only (and I think I wrote the credits on the kit preview as well). The bear photo is not mine; it’s by Sarej at the stock xchnge photo site… But since your reception to the bear was so warm, I just might come up with a bear kit in the future!!! 😉

Thank you, Vicky, of DigiScrapDepot for your invitation to advertise my kits on your site… I am honored and I promise to create a teddy bear kit for you soon! 🙂

Well, this is a mighty long post, so I better get going (before you fall asleep on me!)

Back to the salt mines for me! Thanks for passing by; do drop by again soon! Pinky Promise Set 6 is coming in the next few days… and after that, more freebies!!!  😉

I completely forgot…

to eat lunch today. I only remembered at around 7pm, when a dull headache triggered the part of my brain that connects to my stomach. (Voice in my head: Yo, woman, you have not put anything inside your body except cups and cups of that brown liquid that comes from ground beans…)

Sshhh. Don’t tell anyone though. It embarrasses me how something so basic as a basic meal, for crying out loud, can go unnoticed by me. But I have to admit, after 3 consecutive near-sleepless nights, my brain has turned a bit into mush. I’ve been working on editing about 70 articles for a project (deadline: yesterday 😆 )–some of which had to be completely revamped–and tomorrow we meet from 1pm to forever, however long it takes to get the project through its final, final stage… before we send it off on its final leg of the journey. How I wish I could be more specific!!! But I have to be patient and wait… till I can shout it out to you. When I do, you’ll probably get so sick of hearing everything about it (I’m collecting photos to document the whole thing for you too!!! :D)

So anyway, please forgive me. I’ve had less than a tiny sliver of space to work on the freebies I’ve been dying to give you… but I’ve missed you so much that, with 15 articles left to edit, I decided to just say STOP!, take a break and work on getting these freebs up for you. I have been sooooo wanting to give them to you to play with (come to think of it, I have been soooo wanting to play for the longest time! I feel like a little kid with the measles, looking wistfully out a window at all her playmates having fun and wishing the itchies would go away soon so she could join them. :D)

But before anything else, I want to say


thank you for your warm and encouraging reception of my Ripples poem. (Yes, Deb, I’d be honored…). thank you for all the warm fuzzies that keep me all cozy and just so full of overflowing love for all of you. thank you. there should be better words to express what i feel, but Webster and American Heritage have not put them down in their dictionary lists yet, so these are all I have to go with: thank you thank you thank you. Oh, and did I ever say I love you? Have I said it enough? Can I say it again?

Here’s a great big bear hug for all of you, my dearest friends.

Bring it on!!!

And now, what I’ve been wanting to give you for the longest time:

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LivEdesigns Pinky Promise Set4

This 4th set of the Pinky Promise kit has 2 papers, both slightly textured and with inked edges. I used a flower brush that I made myself 😀 on the first one (the paper on the top part of the preview), so it has a slight pattern. The paper on the lower part of the preview is a cousin of one of the papers in the Set 3 freebie, but it has more texture and less grunge. 😀 There’s a paper strip ribbon as well, which is 12 inches long so that you can stretch it across your layout (you can also make it smaller if you wish). I also included a jumbo eyelet–in the preview the biggest one at the bottom is the actual size that you’ll be getting; I just played around with downsizing it to show you how you can play with it by varying the size. 🙂

Here’s the funny thing: while I was playing around with the preview, I thought of turning the eyelet into a frame to show you what else you could do with this jumbo baby, and I thought… hmmm, what if I made this into a frame? So I did, and then I thought: since I’ve made it, why don’t I throw it into the mix as well? So there you have it!!! A bonus round frame included in the latest set of your Pinky Promise kit! Hope you find some use for it! 😀 (Oh, and the drop shadows are, as usual, only for preview purposes, so you can apply any sort of shadow you want). Special thanks to stock.xchnge for the photo I used on my preview.

Download it here. Zip password is freelunch (guess why? 😆 )  Thanks for the love you leave as you download!!! I truly appreciate the time you take to type in a few words!

ETA: Sorry, link is no longer available.

Enjoy, and I’ll be back with more soon!

PS. I just realized… the bottom part of the preview doesn’t have inked edges because I mistakenly placed the top half of the paper instead of the lower half (the one that had the inked edges at the bottom). So the bottom part of the preview actually shows the top part of the paper… but don’t worry because when you get the file, you’ll find that all the edges are inked. (Error on the preview due to lack of sleep. hehe. Excuses, excuses.)

Work hard, play hard!

This is believe: it’s always a good thing to reward yourself with some serious playtime after having spent a lot of energy on solid hard work. So today, in celebration of a week and a day of having slaved away at a million and one things (and in anticipation of the rest of the slaving away I have to do again beginning tomorrow 😆 ), I played hard. And you do know what happens when I play hard, right? I end up with… some goodies for you, my sweeties! Woohoo!!! 😀

I think I’m going crazy with pink now (thank you, Deb, you are responsible for this 😆 ) because I normally create more neutral, perhaps even more boyish stuff (with 5 sons, is it any wonder? 😀 ). But since my darling Deb planted the idea of pink in my head, I’ve been on a roll of thinking pink!!! So here’s more Pinky Promise stuff for you to play with!

This latest set has 2 papers: one is a solid soft pink with inked edges; the other is totally a wild experiment that I did with textures, brushes (including a floral brush I made), and colors. I’m not too sure I like it but I figured it won’t hurt to throw it in with the mix as well. Then there’s a jumbo wooden striped brad which I really like because you can actually use it for anything and everything (as usual, I made it big for greater flexibility). In my preview I used it as backing for a word… I’m thinking you can even line them up and make them form a word using your fonts, sort of like alpha tags? I’m sure you would easily find a million and one uses for this. 😉 Then there’s a grungy two-toned chipboard alpha for you to play with (all this pink and no dirt? Couldn’t resist!).  There are no capital letters in the font I used, but it comes with the basic punctuation on a png file (to be used with the marquee tools and copy-paste commands).

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LivEdesigns Pinky Promise Set 3

Download here. Zip password is thinkpink 🙂 ETA: Sorry, link is no longer available.

More coming soon! Oh, and I’d like to thank all the wonderful scrappers who found my freebies through the search engine who took the time to leave some love: you know who you are. It really matters a lot. (And to my dearest girlfriends who always leave love, you rock, sweeties!!! Love you back! 😛

PS. I should tell you: last night I actually dreamed that I got more requests for particular freebies… now is that a sure sign of design addiction or what??? 😆

Enjoy, and visit soon for more freebs! 😉

There are truly days like these…

when it seems the universe suddenly remembers that you exist, that you’ve had a lot of time to play and have fun, and that it’s about time you started acting like the adult you are with real-life responsibilities. So yup, I’ve been busted. I’ve played around for quite some time (just totally indulging in scrapping and designing) and now I have to roll up my sleeves and get to work.

It’s that time of year when

– the schools call the parents to come pick up the report cards of their kids … and it baffles me, but it seems they like to hold programs and shows around the same period that you’re coming to school to meet the teachers–I can almost imagine them rubbing their hands in glee and saying, well, why don’t we load these wonderful parents with more stuff to do for their kids?

– the photography project I mentioned (it seems as though that was eons ago that I wrote about it) is on its last leg before it jets off into completion mode (woohoo!)

– the quarterly newsletter that I edit is due in a few days (haven’t even glanced a bit at the articles bursting through the envelope)…

– the design project for my sisters’ business is due in about 7 days

– oh, and let’s not forget about the million and one usual duties of a mother and wife

Thank goodness I just finished my first layout for the Stand Up & Scrap challenge! That was a whole lot of fun to do (it was a mixture of nervousness and just plain excitement over having to scrap without procrastinating, something that I kind of suffer from when it comes to creative output. I diddle and daddle and dawdle until everything comes together in one snap, and then it gets done. Sometimes it takes forever to get it done… but when I have a deadline, like we do in Stand Up & Scrap, I’m forced to make forever last a day ) ).

So you will forgive me, please?, if I am panting and huffing my way here today (tonight? to-dawn? heeheehee).

To relax, I’ve been learning a new piece on the piano, Meditation from Thais… beautiful, haunting song… I totally love this piece because it brings me warm memories of my childhood days when my uncle used to play this on the violin with my aunt accompanying him on the piano. Not that we really sat and listened attentively… my cousin and I went on playing our Little House pretend-character games (she was Mary and I was Laura), seemingly oblivious to the wonderful concerto accompanying our play. But it sticks. Years pass, and the melodies that entered your subconscious surface and bring warm fuzzies each and every time. Sigh.

Here’s how it sounds, if you’re curious to know ( this is the violin piece–the piece was originally written for the violin, but I am learning the piano version D )

This made me smile.

I take my 5-year-old son to school to school everyday, and to while away the time in the car, I bring along a notebook where I scribble and doodle and jot down anything that I want to remember (have I mentioned I have a (t)rusty memory???). Well, lately I’ve taken to making lots of swirls and curly things, because I’ve been wanting to incorporate these into freebies for you eventually. My son loves looking at this little notebook (because he also uses it to scribble when he wants to while away his time. hehe). Well, he came upon those swirly doodles one day and asked what they were. I told him they were just doodles. Well, several days after, he asks for my notebook and, pen poised in the air, declares that he’s going to make a drawing for me. Here’s what he made:

Swirly People

I oohed and aahed and said “Wow!!! What’s that?” He said (and this totally had me in awe): “This is a swirly man, mama, for you. Because you make swirly drawings.” (Now, is that a son of a scrapper or what? hahaha).

This will make you smile (I hope!)

Oh and did I mention I’ve been working on designing more freebies for you? Don’t think I’ve forgotten… I’ve just been trying to come up with more “developed” (is that the word? I know it’s not, but it’s 3AM and my wordbank in my brain is failing me at the moment) freebies for you. What I mean is freebies with more variety, more texture, more whatever… just more. ;) More “developed” –insert the more appropriate word here if you find it–freebies also means more labor-intensive design work… so it’s taken me longer to produce these babies… I hope you’ll forgive me for the delay.So without delaying any further, here is the latest (still on the Pinky Promise kit):

{ Click on preview for larger view }

Download it here. The zip password is busybee. Drop shadows are there for preview purposes only. This set contains 2 papers (1 solid, 1 patterned), slightly textured… the blue one has a bit of a grungy look to it. I also included a round tag and 2 beaded pins for you to use in case you want to pin the tag (or photos, or journaling blocks, or whatever you fancy! ) ) on your layout. I’m sure you already know this, but just for the sake of saying it (ehhehe), in case you want to use the pin on other items and give it a realistic look, use your eraser tool to erase the parts that should be hidden under the item you’re pinning down. I included a sample of the pin and tag… and when I had finished it, I thought: hmmm, why don’t I throw that in as well, so that my dearest friends have less work to do with this particular tag and pin? So there it is, in the kit as well! D

ETA: Sorry, link is no longer available.

Let me know what you think, please? Your comments really do help me in my design work… a lot more than you could ever imagine! Thanks in advance, honeys!

Some postcript notes:

pooja, dear, I hear you: let me go try to design something with elephants… it’s going to take some work as the elephants I know how to draw are a bit on the cartoony side :D… but I’ll do my best to come up with something for you!

I discovered the whole Lavender Porch kit (all the freebies) included in the freebie list here. (Although I did have to scroll all the way down to find them… hahahaha). I am always amazed to find my freebies “found” as wordpress is normally not as accessible to freebie finders as blogger is… but hey, I’m happy! Freebies on any freebie finder means more people get to play with my humble gifts! D

Now, off to bed or I won’t be functional tomorrow, and there’s lots more to do… again! Night-y, my friends! Thanks for passing by and do come around again! Soon! ;)