Tag Archives: paper pack

One-Buck Wednesday

21 Sep

When my kids were little, they had this nursery song that went:

Wednesday, today is Wednesday
Wednesday, Wednesday, what a happy day!

And so it is! Wednesday and a happy day, indeed! If you’re not familiar with One-Buck Wednesdays yet, it’s the day of the week (yes, that would be every week) when the designers at JessicaSprague.com put a product (or two or three) on sale for a song! Well, actually, it’s a buck but wouldn’t that kind of glorious sale make you sing? 😉

There are an amazing number of products on sale this Wednesday, and in my shop, you’ll find my En Route {Traveling In Style} Paper Pack – Solids on sale!

En Route (Traveling in Style} Solid Paper Pack

Here’s both a full view of the papers and a closer look at the details. (I just love texture on paper and strive to create papers that are realistic enough for you to want to reach out and touch them 🙂 )

En Route Solid Papers - Full View and Details

I created these papers with a travel theme primarily in mind, but I love versatility in digital products, so these would work perfectly with any and all memories that you hold dear to your heart. And just in case you need a bit more of a nudge to convince you that you’re getting a steal with this (shameless promotion, I know… forgive me! :lol:), here are some absolutely awesome layouts created by the even more awesome JessicaSprague.com Creative Team members (I just loooove these girls!)

Miki's Layout

Kelly's Layout

Joan's Layout

Miki's Layout

Chrissy's Layout

Kelly's Layout

Miki's Layout

Shell's Double-Page Layout

Carol's Layout

Chrissy's Layout

*Sigh* I just love seeing all these precious moments documented for posterity; it always wraps me up in warm fuzzies. 🙂

Hope you take a look at this paper pack if you have the time today! (Psst. The image above is clickable… it will bring you to my product page in a jiffy! :))

Now off to cook some dinner… but I’ll be back soon! xox

Celebrating the Chaos

9 Nov

Ever tried climbing the walls lately? I think the past weeks have made me an expert.

But I like to call it celebrating the chaos. It sounds so much nicer than freaking out does, doesn’t it? 😆


It’s been a very demanding 3-4 weeks, what with three of my babies sick with pneumonia. Endless trips to the doctor, nebulizing round the clock, too many meds to keep count of… (yep, I totally needed to create an Excel file to keep track of what to give whom when, and here’s proof):

meds1

Ahem… it’s also proof of how awful and messy my chicken-scratch penmanship is… so thank goodness for Photoshop Blur! 😆

So I’m so sorry, my friends, if I’ve been missing in action lately. I’ve been missing you too! But you know what happens when real life takes you by the collar, right? You stop whatever it is you’re playing with and you come running. (Ha! Lots of climbing and running, wish it had effects on my body! ROFL).

But I’m back! My boys are on the mend (for good, with no more relapses, I hope!), thanks to all the prayers of all my wonderful friends worldwide. Like I always say, how can heaven not listen when there are pleas from all ends of the earth? 😉

A friend of mine told me something the other day. She said, God’s weakness is in prayer and our strength is in prayer.

I think that’s totally beautiful. God grows all soft when we pray to Him, and we on the other hand gather strength from Him when we pray.

Awesome.

So. I’ve been trying to get back into the swing of things… and I know that I owe you the last set of my friend Lynne’s and my Fall Into Fall freebie collab!

I also know that DSD has come and gone and I totally missed giving out DSD gifts (awwww 😦 ) and to make it up to you, I’ve come up with not one but TWO final parts for the Fall Into Fall freebie! (About time too, as the seasons are quickly changing and Christmas lights are starting to blink all around! 😆 )

So here we go: Fall Into Fall Set 4, the Paper Pack!

folder

These papers coordinate perfectly with the other papers from the previous Fall Into Fall sets. There’s one patterned paper here, and the rest are solids–all highly-textured and grunged a bit. I hope you like them!

Click on the image to download. And thank you so much for the love you leave on my blog!

Now I’m off to bundle up the rest of the elements so I can get them up here too! (PS. Lynne has three more awesome elements to share with you!)

I’ll be back soon, so don’t forget to come back for the elements in this last set of the Fall into Fall Collab freebie!

Have a happy day, my sweeties! 😀

The Secret Is Out!

11 Oct

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Latest Scrapped

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

So here’s my latest scrappy thing:

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

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

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

Speaking of free…

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

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

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

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

Set 2 of Fall into Fall Friendship Freebie Collab:

LivEdesigns - Fall into Fall Freebie - Set 2

LivEdesigns - Fall into Fall Freebie - Set 2

Click on the preview above to download the papers.

Then click HERE to download the alpha.

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

Have a very happy day today, my friends! 😀

It’s here! It’s here!

4 Oct

Finally, it’s here!

After spending the last few days and nights (and dawns) working on this project in secret, I am incredibly excited to share with you the very first collab kit that I have ever made with a friend!

But first, a bit about her: my friend Lynne is a Spraground sis and one of the sweetest, kindest people I have ever known. I have loved watching her grow and experiment and play with Photoshop from our very first days on the Spraground, and I love how she just takes an idea and runs with it. Lynne is such a natural at playing with Photoshop. But even with all these great qualities, what I love best of all about her is her gentle humility and selfless generosity. In this day and age where these are rare commodities, finding them in one person is truly a treasure.

Here are Lynne and me when we were kids (we still are, in a way–we love playing with Photoshop! 😆 )

Aaaand here’s the first part of our collab kit, Fall Into Fall:

Our first set contains five highly-textured papers in yummy autumn colors and eight real nature elements (3 flowers, 1 flower with stem, 2 autumn leaves, 2 wood leaves) which you can arrange together to form clusters, if you wish.

Click HERE to download the papers.

NOTE: If you’ve tried unsuccessfully to download the papers in the past few days, that’s because the original link gave up 😆 I’ve reuploaded and changed the link, so you can go ahead and download again now (thanks dj for letting me know! )

Click HERE to download the elements.

Thank you for the love you leave (for Lynne too!) in my blog and in the 4shared links. I’m sure Lynne would love to get warm fuzzies from you as well (and these days, she’s sitting on my blog porch with me so your warm fuzzies will sit nice and comfy in her arms!).

More than anything else, this kit we’ve been working on is a celebration of friendship! So come with us and celebrate friendship–yours, ours, and the ties that bind us all over the world! (And maybe share your story of a friendship you’ve formed on a playground too! 😉 )

Oh, and PS. if you’ll notice, this is Set 1… that can only mean that there must be more coming, right? So hang on and check back soon–we’ll have more fall goodies for you to (hopefully) fall in love with!

Have a happy day, my dear friends!

CREDITS: Katie Pertiet – Stacked Vintage Frames 2, Tailed Journalers

Countdown! 3 More Days…

5 Sep

… till our Type+Writer course begins! Whoooheeee! 😀

I’d like to send out the biggest, warmest cyberhug to everyone who signed up to take this journey with Jes and me! We are totally thrilled to be with you for the coming 14 days!

I’ve still got my nose stuck to the grindstone, working with love, but I just wanted to pass by here and say THANK YOU!

Thank you, too, for all the warm fuzzies that you’ve left here and on my 4shared account. You are all totally awesome!

And because I’m never too busy to fulfill promises, here’s the paper pack (the first of two) that I promised I’d share with you!

LivEdesigns Whisper Paper Pack 1

LivEdesigns Whisper Paper Pack 1

Click on the image to download

Thanks for the love you leave on my blog as you download!

I also promise to come back with more exciting posts; I just need to get all my real life duties done! 😀

Hope you’re all having fun, and I’ll see you around again, soon! 😀

Where We’re At (and other W’s)

25 Aug
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)

Work

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!

I’ve been working on the…

6 Jun

… railroad, all the live long day… 😆

Do any of you remember that preschool song?

It’s been a super-fabulously EXCITING couple of days, staying up round the clock and working, working, working, and waiting, waiting, waiting… for the FIRST BIRTHDAY of our beloved Spraground!!! 😀

Our Spraground, aka jessicasprague.com, just turned one year old on June 4th, and we’re having a week-long celebration (or likely longer, since we all have a tendency to party at all times over there! 😆 )! The site is new, with a MARVELOUS new look created by the awesome Jessica-and-Jared tandem, and lots of new things to celebrate! All of the great things, and then some more!!!

Jes is so wonderful: we now have MORE awesome courses offered right on our Spraground, so if you’ve happened to stumble onto my blog porch and haven’t visited our beloved Spraground, do come and join our celebration!

THE Candice Stringham will be offering a fabulous Photography course for beginners!

The expert on all things Shoebox and Mac, my friend Molly Schneider, will be offering a Shoebox class for digital organization… (Last month my sister was just sighing over the dearth of resources and support for Shoebox use, and I had told her “Go look for Molly because she’s awesome and she’ll be able to help you out!”… It’s truly amazing how you make a silent wish and then Jessica hears and makes it magically come true!).

Heidi Vanyo, of DigiScrapInfo fame (she and sister Connie are the ACDSee experts), will continue teaching the ACDSee course.

Then there are other self-paced courses and more instructor-led courses coming up (including one on journaling and typography which Jes and I will be team-teaching on… this is totally EXCITING for me, and have I said what an incredible honor it is to be teaming up with the VERY BEST instructor??? WOOOHOOOO!!! 😀 )

Our site is totally THE place to be, so if you haven’t registered and checked it out, and you have even just a tiny teeny weeny interest in digi-scrapping, run, run, run to jessicasprague.com!!!

An Exclusive Freebie

I’ve been working hard on a Spraground Exclusive Freebie for the past days… and am so happy to say that the first part is complete and uploaded on our Spraground! You have to be logged in to get it, so do sign up… not only for the freebie, but even more for the phenomenal learning going on in that awesome site, and for the fabulous friendships you’re surely going to develop as soon as you join our Spraground family!

Here’s the first part of the exclusive freebie (Note: Since this freebie is exclusive to the Spraground, having been created in celebration of our First Birthday, there won’t be any links to it on my blog. The links are on jessicasprague.com! )

Exclusive Spraground Birthday Celebration Freebie

 

There are 8 highly-textured papers in this first part of the freebie! Totally had fun creating these!

If you’re not yet playing with us on our Spraground, here’s hoping you come over and join us! There are enough swings and slides! 😆

Oops!

It’s again 5AM and here I am still sitting at my compy. I guess that means I should be going, huh? 😆

Have a happy day, sweeties!!!

Back to Life…

14 Mar

… as I knew it before the past two weeks. But much better. Much, much better now.

By now you’re all probably aware (unless you haven’t been to the Spraground) that I’m out of the apprentice program. I won’t say much about it except that I believe everything happens for a good reason, and when you do your best and still what you worked on slips through your fingers, it can only mean that there’s an even better opportunity out there, waiting in the wings.

And so there is. 😉

I’ve gotten so much more than I ever could’ve had I gone farther than the second week. And what I have received is worth infinitely more than anything in the world. I have been overwhelmed again and again by the overflowing love, affection, loyalty, and support of my sistahs on my playground… and when you have that, how can you not feel that you have won so much more? I do. I have treasures beyond compare, and they have names. I play with them everyday on the playground. They are my friends. They are my family. I may not have had the opportunity (yet) to hug them in person… but they know that I’ve sent a kajillion hugs over the oceans and clouds, a kajillion hugs for each one of them.

I am so blessed. So happy. So contented.

And THIS, this is the life I have wanted. I went on this adventure and learned a lot. But my most important gains were not in the area of design. They were in the book called Life. I have never, ever waivered in my devotion to my home-away-from-home aka Spraground. And I was not happy being away from my friends there, which was what happened while I was working on my entry kits.

This is probably where I have to say that I am still and always will be grateful for the opportunity I was given by Little Dreamer Designs. I am not bitter nor sad nor angry about the elimination because I know that I gave my best and I made decisions that I thought of thoroughly. I could’ve opted to make really simple designs and thus ensure that I could go on to the next round, but I chose to be experimental and to push my limits, and to not take the easy way out for me. I made judgment calls, and those judgment calls were part of what got me eliminated… but it’s fine! Because I made those judgment calls myself! They were my decisions. And I stand by them. So I’m happy! 😀

And because I know I’ve been true to myself, there is nothing that I can possibly be bitter about. Besides bitterness only zaps energy, and that’s never a good thing. I truly believe, too, that we get what we give out, so I only want to give out good vibes. Good juju is good. 😆

And really, if you have the Spraground sistahs in your corner, how can anything go wrong? How can anyone be sad? The only tears I’ve shed are those that have quietly rolled down my cheeks as I’ve read messages of love, support, and affection from the girlies (and guy-ie :D) who mean the world to me.

A very very good friend of mine–one of the most awesome people I have ever met–sent me an email with this quote, right after I had told her that I had been eliminated. This email of hers was what brought to my eyes the very first tears–I cannot even begin to describe how she totally touched my heart. I want to share the quote part of it with you here:

Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knowcking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that hHe is building quite a different house from the one you thought of–throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Beautiful quote. Beautiful email. Beautiful person.

And beautiful messages and beautiful cards from beautiful people! (And I mean beauty of the heart!) ~ God is so good. He has blessed me with so many gifts. You. My friends. Precious, precious gifts.

So now I’m back, and I’m extremely glad to be right where I belong, surrounded by all your beautiful hearts. Ahhh. Always so good to be back home.

Soooo… thank you, thank you all for all the affection and the support (and the really funny things you were saying: you really made me laugh! And I loved that too!)

And the Creative Muse Plods On! 😀

And because I love creating, here is what my muse has come up with for you. (There’s more bursting to come out, inspired by all of you whom I love more than I can ever express in words… so expect a whole lot of freebie gifts coming up for you soon!)

I promised the paper I used for the preview of the ElementaLove kit, but I didn’t want to give just one piece, so I created more stuff… My creative muse is still in that experimental mode, so I have a torn and curled rough paper border, four grungy & textured papers (three solids and one patterned), a grungy photomask (pull in your photo onto the layer above it, hover your mouse on the dividing line between the photo layer and the mask layer till you see a snowman-looking icon, then click and you have your clipping mask!), a fabric mat with built-in buttons to attach it to your layout (can be used for journaling or as a photo mat), and a simple ribbon strip.

PS. The arrow on the photo mask in the preview is only there to show that it’s the mask I used with my photo… 😀

Here’s what the additional stuff looks like:

{Click on image for larger view}

w-livedesigns_elementaloveaddon-preview.jpg

And here’s where you can snag the ElementaLove Add-on Kit!

Okay, I’ve got to do some rounds on the galleries to leave love, because I’ve been away for so long and I am just soooo excited to see all the masterpieces my friends at the Spraground have come up with!!!

I’ll see you soon! Have a great day, my sweeties! ((((((((hugs))))))))

Doobie Doobie Doodle

19 Feb

I’ve been busy… doodling. 😆

For some reason I’ve been hooked for the past few days on doodling… of course, this is my way of further procrastinating on getting my application kit for the LDD program completed (uh… actually, not completed… started is what I should say. I haven’t done a single thing and the deadline is 10 days away. hahaha!)

Not that doodling has been the only thing that’s been keeping me busy… there’s so much more under wraps, stuff to attend to, real life to live, layouts to complete, yadda yadda yadda…

So instead of me boring you with all that, let me give you the freebie for today! ( I realize I made a resolution to give out at least one freebie a week, and I know last week kind of passed me by without my accomplishing that goal… so here’s the second freebie for this week to make up for that missing one 🙂 ).

These are the parts of the Perfect Moment Plopper Kit… I figured you might want to use the individual elements on other layouts, so why not throw it all into a folder and give it to you with a huge ribbon and an even bigger hug? 😉

Here’s what you’ll be downloading today:

{ Click on image for larger view }

LivEdesigns PerfectMoment Parts-1 Preview

The glitter border is actually 12×12, but I resized it for the preview so you could get a fuller view of the paper without the border blocking it. Also in this set you’ll find the pinned bow with heart charm and the torn paper mat… none of these have drop shadows so that you can apply the layer styles according to your wishes.

You can download the Perfect Moment Plopper Parts – Set1 here.

I’ll be back tomorrow with the second and last set of the Perfect Moment mini kit: more of the items I used plus a surprise item included. 😉

Hope you can find some use for this, and thank you in advance for the love you leave right here on my blog! 😀

Have a happy day, my sweeties! (And it’s back to the drawing board for me!) (((((hugs))))

WOOHOO!!! Happy, happy day!!!

6 Feb

Remember the more-than-140-merged-layers layout I posted a while back, the one I had absolute fun working on, and was totally absorbed in for close to 24 hours? It was an adventure in thinking outside the box for me, and I really, really had the time of my life with it (felt very close to oil painting, which I haven’t done in more than a year… except with this layout, there were no brushes to clean after, no lingering smell of linseed oil or turpentine, no mess to clean up… perfect! Or… maybe it’s safe to say, I’m just hopelessly, digitally addicted. 😆 )

Anyway, did I say that that layout was the answer to a designer spotlight challenge featuring the Nature Glow kit of Annie Manning (aka Paint the Moon) at Oscraps?

The funny thing is, the only 2 challenges I have ever joined are ones that my girlfriends over at jessicasprague.com mention on the threads and rally about joining. I always welcome a chance to play with my friends; it’s like someone says “Come, let’s go on a trip to Disneyland and ride the scariest rides!” Who could resist grabbing the chance to have fun with friends, right? And Lisa–who normally handles our PSF challenges every Friday (except now she’s on multiple creative teams so the rest of us have taken over coming up with challenges… but I digress)–had included the Oscraps challenge as her PSF challenge for the week.

So anyway, I was checking the threads a week after to see who had won (always nice to know, so we can leave some love and congratulatory whoops), but there was no word on the discussion threads. After a while, I got totally caught up with the NWR course moderation, the LOAD challenges, and the 2peas photography course–not to mention real life (ha!)–that I stopped checking.

My friend Veevs would ask me periodically, “So who won?” Then I would remember to check, and I would tell her “no mention on the threads yet.” Finally, she got tired of waiting and told me she would email them to find out. Okay, so originally she pushed me to email them, but I am a shy guy (really! I am!  >heehee<  ), so my dear friend, total go-getter, sent an email.

This morning, as is my usual routine, I opened my inbox, and first thing I see is Veevs’ email to me telling me OMG OMG OMG YOU WON!!!!

I almost fell off my chair!

So I went to the link she had in her email, and realized that there was a private message for me waiting in my inbox at Oscraps from Annie herself (a totally sweet email!!!), and okay, here is where I confess to my duhhhh-ness that I never did think of checking in there. ( I was totally not expecting to win. There were MANY great great layouts submitted for the challenge on the Oscraps gallery, and among my favorites were those made by my girlfriends over at the playground!  Have I mentioned that I never dare to think I could win in any challenge that I join? Well, this was no exception.)

OScraps Email

But, dang, it feels good. Yeah, it does. 😀 😀 😀

And you know what’s even better? Knowing that all my friends over at our playground were so happy for me. Now THAT really matters big-time to me. I love my JS family, I really do!

A brief aside: I remember when I was 9 years old, I told my dad I wanted to join a drawing challenge for Sanrio (the Japanese company that makes Hello Kitty, Little Twinstars–which was my personal favorite back then, Melody, and those other cutesy totally-Japanese characters). What we had to do was imagine what kind of birthday party the Little Twinstars would have, draw it, and submit the drawing. The winner would receive a personalized certificate with a handwritten note from the Twinstars’ designer (big thing then), as well as a full year’s subscription to the English version of the Sanrio newsletter/magazine and some other stuff that I can’t remember.

My dad was iffy about my joining, and told me, “Fine, if you really want to join, go ahead. But please do not expect to win, because there are many joining that contest, and if you set up yourself wanting to win, and you lose, you just might be really disappointed.” I found that funny because even then, I never considered the possibility that I would win. I just wanted to draw! 😆

Long story made short: I did join. I submitted my drawing, which had a swimming pool (something I had always wanted to have in my backyard as a kid, but which we of course didn’t have) and everything else around it. Then I promptly forgot about it.

There was a party where we could buy Sanrio stuff while waiting for the announcement of the winners (great marketing ploy! haha!), and here’s the totally unexpected addition to my take-home goodie bag from the party!

Twinstars Certificate

And if you want to a general idea of the birthday pool (totally pixelly, hahaha!) here it is:

My Entry

I have no idea why I won. Till now. Maybe the passion that went into doing it pulled all the good vibes? 😆

Who knows, but I loooved getting the Strawberry Magazine in the mail with its Japanese postmark every month! 😛 Just as I loved getting the surprise email from Veevs and Annie this morning!

Funny Nights

My five year old son, J, is the funniest thing on earth. He cracks me up about 24 times each day. Maybe it’s because he talks a lot, and he verbalizes whatever’s on his mind; you know what they say: “kids say the darndest things”.

Well, yesterday evening, while we were chatting, he told me,

“Mom, you know, I really like my friends. We pretend we’re Zoids or Power Rangers.” (pause) “We play rough games, and it’s lots of fun!”

Me: “That sounds like fun, alright!”

He: (another pause) “We don’t play with girls. They don’t like playing rough games.” (and this, in a sing-songy voice): “All they want to do is study and study and study… and play with dolls. Ugh!”

😆

Got me thinking: amazing how the difference between boys and girls is apparent even at such an early age?

And there’s more:

He: “But you know, my friend M (a girl classmate of his), she’s coooooool.”

Me: “Yeah? Why is that?”

He: “Cos she likes pretending she’s a Power Ranger too! She can play our games! She joins us!”

Aha. A typical boy’s buddy, she. Yup, those girls are precious. And in my limited experience, sometimes it’s precisely that total lack of self-consciousness and ability to relate with boys’ interests that gets them these girls the best boys. 😛

And yet another precious nugget:

Tonight, J tells me he wants to be a policeman when he grows up, “so I can fight the bad guys.”

He then launches into a whole description of what a bad guy is:

“He steals apples, Mom!!! Steals them! And he fools people! He says ‘Hey, paint this wall and I’ll give you candy.’ So the guy paints the wall, but after, the bad guy doesn’t ever give him the candy he promised. He lies! He lies, Mom!!!” (This description comes complete with wide-open eyes and look of disbelief and shock on his face).

Then he says “I’m going to need partners. Do you know who my partners are going to be?” and of course he gives the names of his two best buddies. He then goes into many details about how they’re going to punch and apply ninja moves on the bad guy (insert kapow, baboom, ching, and all other sound effects you can think of in place of the verbs… sample: “I’m going to kapow him, and then R’s going to kaching him…”)

He pauses long enough for me to say, “But honey, can you please consider another job, perhaps a safer one, where I don’t have to worry whether someone will hurt you while you’re fighting them?”

To which he replies, “Oh no, Mom, don’t worry, I’m not going to get hurt. My friends and I are gonna practice our moves.” (a thoughtful pause) “And we’re going to get M as a partner too!”

M is another girl classmate–not the “cool” one mentioned above–whom my son is less than fond of, because he says she’s a goody-goody. HAHAHA!!! So this girl classmate and my son are often at odds with each other; for some reason I can’t understand, they have a knack for getting on each other’s nerves.

So I am totally surprised when he tells me he’s getting her to join his posse.

I say, “Wow! How fun! You’re going to make M your partner too! Great!”

And he says without missing a beat, “Yeah, cos you know why? She’s really good at nagging! So she’s going to nag nag nag the bad guy and he’ll get defeated that way!”

😆 ROFLOL!!!

(Trivia time: nagging is taboo in our house. My sons are so used to hearing me say, “I only say it once, okay?” And I don’t normally result to throwing threats when things don’t get done, but when I do, my threat is always, “Do you want me to turn into a nagger?” A very effective threat, too! 😉 Ah, boys! )

Freebie, Long Delayed

Now one thing that HAS been nagging at me is my long-delayed freeb!!! I am soo soo sorry for the delay in uploading the promised “companion kit” to the Valentine card plopper I gave a few days ago…

I wanted to upload it sooner, but I also wanted to add a few more items that were not part of the card plopper. Unfortunately, I was not happy with how they were coming out. So I tweaked and tweaked and played and played, and finally I came up with something that I felt you might be happy with. So… I hope you are! 😀

Here’s Set 1 (of 2 sets) of the Bear Hug mini-kit:

{ Click on image for larger view }

LivEdesigns Bear Hug Mini-Kit Set 1

Doing this freeb had me venturing outside my “design” box once more. Probably fitting, as Adventure was my word of the month for January… (which reminds me, have you decided on our Word of the Month for February??? I need to think about mine!). So this mini-kit is totally a result of playing around with my usual design styles. 😕 I hope you like it, but do tell me (gently now, softly, kindly) if you don’t like it, okay? 😆

What you’ll be downloading HERE is 3 textured papers, one that’s tame, another one that’s a bit on the wild side (done especially with Veevs in mind), and another one that has a grungy flower print on it. (Gratitude for the designers whose commercial use items I used in coming up with some of the items overflows in my TOU 🙂 ). There’s also the bear sticker (pretty large, about 8″–feel free to resize it according to your needs!), and a stitched wordart…

Just a few notes about the stitched wordart: on the card plopper, and in the download, you’ll find the quote is one straight line. In case you want to break it up into phrases (as seen on the preview), you can just cut and paste it as you wish (CTRL-X and CTRL-V), depending on how you intend to use it on your layout. Also, I don’t recommend that you apply drop shadows to it, because it already comes with its own drop-shadow and bevelling so that it mimics being sewn right onto your paper. Having said that, you are absolutely free to apply drop shadows if that’s what rocks your boat! 😀

Alright, I still have TONS of stuff to attend to (won’t bore you with the details, haha!) but I really wanted to put up this long-delayed freebie.

Thanks for the love you leave here, and have a very happy day/noon/night!!! Catch you later!

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