Sunday, December 30, 2007

So Proud of Herself...

So, here we are, a few hours into Christmas, when what do I find all over the floor? The stuffing from Sophie's dog toy. Is there not a dog toy that she can't destroy? Do they make these toys flimsy on purpose to keep them in business? I have yet to find a toy that she can't destroy. Jaws of steel I tell you.



Isn't she cute tho? It's like she's saying "Look ma, I killed it. Aren't you proud of me?" LOL!


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas & A Spiderman Drawing

Christmas is here... I'm cooking some halupki's (stuffed cabbage), I've got the ham in the oven, kids are watching a movie, hubby is baking Paska bread in the neighbors oven... yet another time that double ovens would come in handy. I just need to peel the potatoes.

We had a lovely morning. The kids are happy, the dogs are happy, even the grown ups are happy.

My DS wanted to share this picture with the world wide web. He wanted everyone to be able to google his drawing of spiderman.



By the way, my son is 9. Pretty darn good, huh? And, this was out of his head. He is crazy good. Since both DH and I are graphic designers and artists, we were wondering if our kids would get this talent, and yep, they did. I don't know if I'm happy about this or not... starving artists and all! LOL! A doctor or lawyer would be nice... as long as they're happy and healthy, it doesn't really matter what career path they choose.

Have a peaceful day.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas EVE


I love these little Steinbach Christmas ornaments. They're so cute. Steinback is the German company that makes the big nut crackers. Too cute. I usually pick up one each Christmas. I need to get a baker one for my DH, he's always baking bread.

It's Christmas Eve, and DH is downstairs putting together the "big" present for the kids. I'm finally getting a little excited. I'm trying to put the bad stuff behind me and just be with my kids and hubby.

We decided that after church this evening, we'll get some hot cocoa and jump in the car and check out the lights. I still need to do some present wrapping. Time is flying by, and here I am blogging!

My son wanted a guitar, and it finally came today! Delivered by Santa wearing a brown uniform and driving a big brown van! LOL! Bet you didn't know that's what Santa wears nowadays!

Here's the brown box! No peeking inside yet!!


I also won a RAK from Liz Ness! I was very excited. Look!

And, here are all the goodies I won! Wow, can't wait to get those stamps!!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

12 Days till Christmas

OMG! It's coming fast! I feel so not ready. I've got to get client gifts, send out the Christmas cards that we picked up from the printer, send some other gifts... put up the tree! My DH is supposed to be doing that now, then when the kids come home they can decorate it.

My mom is coming by to bake some cookies today with me. I'm kind of glad she couldn't get chemo on Monday, or she'd be in bed right now. So, we can spend some time together and make some cookies. She has to go on the 17th, then she'll sleep for a week. I hope by Christmas she'll be able to eat.

So, does the CKMB rock or what? I just love those girls. Everyone is super nice and helpful. I joined the secret Santa and mailed mine out Monday. I sure hope she likes it, whoever you are. ;) I sent her the Starbucks card, but have no idea whether she received it or not. It's not like she can PM me to thank me, seeing that I signed it Secret Santa.

Michelle, Shelle's 2 Girls, sent me a great package yesterday. She's so nice. What a sweetie.

Here's what she sent:

That's my messy computer desk in the background.

Here's the Christmas card that I made to send out to some of the girls on CKMB:


I need to make 2 more. I actually made them while my mom was at the cancer center getting an IV drip. It took 2 hours for her IV, so I made 6 cards and we chatted. I was working on an incredibly small table, but, I managed. The 2 little guys beside us were quite impressed. LOL! And the nurses kept oooing and ahhhing... if they only knew how easy it is to slap together! Once you figure out the design, it's pretty easy. I used my Silhouette to cut out the J & Y. The snowflake is from Marcella from Target, I think that's K&Company brand. But, the most fun, was using Stickles. Now I know what everyone has been raving about. They look like bling! Check it out, here's a close up:


Well, I'd better do some work, so I can bake some yummy cookies later!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

16 Days Till Christmas

I guess this will be my unofficial countdown to Christmas. I've been getting ready, doing a little bit every day. Yesterday my mom came over with her recipe for nutrolls. We make these every year for Christmas. We also make apricot rolls. Some people make poppyseed, but, they don't sound too good to me. I'd probably like them now that I'm older if I'd give them a try.

Here's the long process of making nut rolls. Step one, make dough, it's sort of like bread dough. This is the dough after it has risen:



We then grind walnuts, put it in a big pot with butter, honey, milk and sugar and cook until thickened, and it looks like this:


Then you roll it out, spread filling and roll into "logs"


This is how they turned out... and we tasted one yesterday, it was pretty good!

Friday, December 7, 2007

18 Days Until Christmas....

Are you ready?

I'm not! But, it will all come together, it always does. I think that we will decorate this weekend, or at least put up the tree. I have lots of projects I want to do, as well. I have the letters J-O-Y that I'd like to put pretty paper on and embellish for my mantel. Plus, I need to make 10 Christmas cards. Also mail out my stuff for my Secret Santa.

Speaking of Secret Santa, here's what I've sent her so far:


So, if she visits my blog, which I doubt, because no one does, but she will know who sent it.

Also, I've been making Thank You cards for all the people who have helped my mom out during her sickness. My mom was diagnosed with stomach cancer in September. It's not the kind of cancer you want, not that you want any kind. Unfortunately, it is fatal and there is no cure. However, we are taking it day by day, and she's receiving treatments, that will hopefully extend her life. She's only 61.

Here's one of the cards, along with a close up of the details of embossing:


Friday, November 23, 2007

New Babies

My very good friend, Theresa, had her babies yesterday on Thanksgiving. Wow, what a great day, what a wonderful thing to be thankful for. Incidentally, her first son was also born on Thanksgiving, 16 years ago. Yep, at age 40 she gave birth to two girls, number 6 & 7 in her family. Wow, I can't imagine having all those people in my house, but, somehow she makes it work. She has a great husband, who helps a lot.

So, I made this card for her. I can’t wait to go visit her and see the babies. I already know what they’ll look like, because all her babies are carbon copies of each other. Aside from her son, the rest are all girls, six girls. That’s a lot of pink. ;)



Used the Silhouette to cut out the brackets that I made with the font Bembo in Adobe Illustrator on the Mac.


Close up of the Heidi Swapp Bling right above the "AND A".

And, a close up of the Rhonna Farrer stamp I picked up at Target. Gotta love Target.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Lucky lately!

I've been pretty lucky lately. My layout got picked over at Creating Keepsakes for "Pick of the Day", or POTD as we MBers like to call it. That was sooo cool. Such a nice surprise, because I had had such a rotten day. It was on November 2, just click here to take a peek.

Then, I won a book from CK for the Happy Hour. Can't wait to get it. I picked Ali Edwards book A Designers Eye. I want to get Life Artist, too, but it's on sale on Amazon, and I emailed the link to my hubby and told him that is what I want for Christmas. He can't complain, it's under $20.

And then, on a whim, I did a RAK from giggles45 and WON! It was an entire set of Studio G Christmas stamps! So generous of her. I must make her a Thank You card.

Here's the RAK I won:

And, here's the card I did using one of the stamps:

And, here's a close up of the circle tag. I stamped it then used black embossing powder with sparkles. That was fun to do. First time I broke out my new heat gun that I bought in September.

I've also been on a major shopping spree.... oh my! I've spent way too much money on scrapping supplies. I'm trying to justify all this by saying to myself that I do have 10 years of scrapping to catch up on! ;)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Edward Scissorhands & A Greek Goddess

Yep, that's what my kids were for Halloween. Here are the picts to prove it! That had a great time, and got tons and tons of candy. The weather was great, too! Much different than today, 6 days later and about 30°! It's official, winter is here.





Monday, October 15, 2007

Ali Inspired

Ali Edwards, from Creating Keepsakes magazine, is always taking such cool pictures of her house and surroundings... something I don't normally do. I love my house, so I thought I'd take a couple of pictures that I normally wouldn't take. Like below, of this lamp. It's in my dining room, and I love my dining room, especially at night. I turn these lights on (there are 2 one on each side of the buffet), and it just gives a nice warm glow when you walk in the door. So, here's my Ali inspired picture. Maybe I'll take some more and make a little book about our home.


Monday, October 8, 2007

What I did on my summer vacation!

We went to Amish Country for vacation. Lancaster, Pennsylvania. We live on the other side of PA, near Pittsburgh.

It sure is beautiful there. We got lost and couldn't find the inn where we were staying, so we got to see a lot of the country side. And, a special thanks to Shelle's 2 Girls for helping me find the AC Moore! The most important visit of my trip!! (Just kidding!)

The first day we ate at this great Amish food restaurant. It was really, really good. Then we let the kids pet and feed some farm animals. We're not from the city, and you can walk behind my house and pet cows if you want, and it's pretty normal to see a horse galloping up our street, but, my kids still enjoyed petting the goat "kids".

The inn is fantastic, and totally reasonably priced. We had free breakfast at the inn every morning in the Bistro and it was great. They had everything, eggs, bacon, sausage, cereals. It was really good. The kids really enjoyed the pool, and spent a lot of time in there. What's funny is that this place was less expensive than staying at a Holiday inn, and way, way better.

We also visited an Amish farmhouse. They are allowed to use gas, so there was a gas powered kitchen aid mixer, which I thought was just hilarious. It must make a ton of noise. They also had a washing machine hooked up to gas. So, they're not as backward as you would think. They do talk funny tho. They speak Pennsylvania Dutch, which is a dialect of German.

There are other parts of the trip that weren't that great, like the part when our Expedition's starter died at Sonic... I'm trying to slowly erase that part from my memory. My husband thought I should have taken pictures of our truck being put up on the flat bed and then scrapping about it. Uh, don't think so!

I took so many photos, that I put them in a slide show (see below). I highly recommend visiting Lanacaster and the Inn if you are ever out that way.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Turning 40-OMG!

Well, today is my birthday. I'm 40, 40 years old. 40! Just saying it is weird. I don't feel 40, I don't think I look 40... and I certainly don't act 40! I'm pretty silly. Oh well, it's all what you feel inside I guess.

So, looking back, what have I accomplished in the past 40 (wow, 40) years? Well, let's see, did the normal growing up going to school thing. Then, went to art school where I met my hubby. Had a crush on him, but he had a girl friend, so we were just friends for a while, from like 1987 until 1990. He'd send me flowers for no reason, and notes. But then we went to a concert together, and instead of friends, it felt like a date. And, that was that. Moved in got married, got a house, had 2 kids and opened a business.

Wow, there you go, the past 20 years of my life in 2 sentences! I guess my obit will be short! Just a couple of more sentences, a mere blip on the radar.



Sunday, September 9, 2007

How do you scrapbook?

I just posted to this question over at CKMB. And, I find it very interesting that there are so many ways to go about doing a scrapbook page. I always begin with a sketch. It's just been pounded into me in design school, and I think it is the best way. So many times thru the years I would get a new graphic designer (I was a creative director for an agency, now I own my own), and they would try to do a brochure, and it would just be horrible. They would throw a couple of photos on a page, with the title and logo and wonder why it looked bad. So, I had to teach them what they're $50,000 worth of schooling did not. And that was, do THUMBNAILS.

Thumbnails are little sketches (not literally the size of your thumbnail, lol) of what you want your finished product to be. Every single scrapbook page I do I do a thumbnail for. The end result may be a little different from the initial sketch, but, it gave me a foundation to work from.

Think of it this way.... if you were going to build a house, would you just go to Lowes or Homedepot, buy all the stuff you need to build a house then just start building it? Of course not. You would do a sketch first, then the detailed drawings, the architectural plans and then the renderings... then you'd build the house.

I think the same principal can apply to scrapbooking. You know what pictures you have to work with. You know the papers and embellishments. Now you can do your sketch and while doing that, note the things that you want to use. Jot down title ideas and your journaling. I love to do this. It's something I can do while in the living room watching TV with the family. I can plan out some pages, with a scrap magazine in hand and my sketchbook.

I had a teacher in design school who would make us just do sketches. All the time, for a month that is all we would do. As soon as we would walk into his classroom he would say, "Put 'em up." Meaning we had to tape our sketches to the wall. If you didn't have your sketches done, I think he made you sit in the hall. (how 3rd grade, this was college!) Then we'd walk around the room and look at everyones sketches. It was fascinating how many ideas people could come up for just one assignment.

I really hated this teacher. He is the one that told me I'd never be a graphic designer. That I didn't get the graphic part. Now I look back and would like to thank him. He pushed me to become what I am today, and I think I'm pretty darn good, if I do say so myself, LOL!

So, here's a picture of a page in my sketchbook. My map, my "architectural" plan to follow to build my scrap pages.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Color Quiz

Here's another one... I'm just sooo into these. http://www.colorquiz.com/ Here's what mine says:

Your Existing Situation

Acts calmly, with the minimum of upset, in order to handle existing relationships. Likes to feel relaxed and at ease with her associates and those close to him.

Your Stress Sources

Wants to overcome a feeling of emptiness and to bridge the gap which she feels separates herself from others. Anxious to experience life in all its aspects, to explore all its possibilities, and to live it to the fullest. She therefore resents any restriction or limitation being imposed on her and insists on being free and unhampered.

Your Restrained Characteristics

Wants to broaden her fields of activity and insists that her hopes and ideas are realistic. Distressed by the fear that she may be prevented from doing what she wants; needs both peaceful conditions and quiet reassurance to restore her confidence.

Your Desired Objective

Wants to make a favorable impression and be rewarded as a special personality. Is therefore constantly on the watch to see whether she is succeeding in this and how others are reacting to her. this makes her feel that she is in control. Uses tactics cleverly in order to obtain influence and special recognition. Susceptible to the esthetic or original.

Your Actual Problem

Seeks to avoid criticism and to prevent restriction of her freedom to act, and to decide for herself by the exercise of great personal charm in her dealings with others.

Your Actual Problem #2

Has a fear that she might be prevented from achieving the things she wants. This leads her to employ great personal charm in her dealings with others, hoping that this will make it easier for her to reach her objectives.

Apparently, I'm empty and manipulative?!


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Colorgenics

I found this site on journeyfans blog. A fellow CKMBer. It's pretty interesting. Here's the site addy:
http://www.paulgoldinresearch.com/cg/index.htm

And here's my profile. Very interesting, although some of it I don't agree with:
You are longing for some love and affection at this time - not that you have been deprived of tender loving care - but there are times when everyone needs to try something new or to go 'somewhere' else to perhaps experience that little extra 'understanding'.

You are a leader in every sense of the word. You know where you are going and you know what you need to do in order to get there. You exercise an inherent initiative in overcoming obstacles and difficulties. You either hold, or wish to achieve, a position of authority by means of which full control can be exerted over events.

You are a dreamer and you seek perfection in any relationship that you may establish. Some of your ideas and standards are over the top so it may be a good idea to review your perception of life and accept people for what they are - not for what you would like them to be.

You are being unduly influenced by the situation that is all around you. You do not like the feeling of loneliness and whatever it is that seems to separate you from others. You know that life can be wonderful and you are anxious to experience life in all its aspects, to live it to the full. You therefore resent any restriction or limitations that are being imposed on you and you insist on going it alone.

You don't like conflict and you endeavor to avoid criticism. You want to do your own thing and to be able to decide what is right for you. You have considerable personable charm - and this is used with considerable effect on those that keep your company.


Check it out... you might find out something about you that you didn't know.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Steps for Circle Text

I know that a lot of scrappers have trouble wrapping text around a path in Photoshop. It's pretty easy to do. You draw a circle path with the ellipse tool, then using your text tool, you type around it. The problem is, when it gets to the bottom of the circle your type is upside down. Ever wonder how the Starbucks logo was created? How they got the word coffee to be right side up? Well, here you go, I've got a tutorial for you.

1. The first step is to draw the type path with the ellipse tool.


2. Here's the circle.

3. Make sure you are in your paths palette. (not layers)



4. Highlight your path by using the pen tool. And select the bottom point of the circle. See how the bottom point is filled in and the others are hollow. That means it is selected. (To select while in the pen tool, hold down your command key - the key next to space bar - and your pen tool will turn into the arrowhead/pointer. I'm on a mac, so it's the command key. On PC's try the control key.)


5. Now, delete that point. It should look like this.


6. Now, go under edit > transform path > rotate 180°.



7. Next, again, go under edit > transform path > flip horizontal.




8. Now, the path will be upside down and flipped. (make sure your path is still selected) Take your text tool, (have your text chosen for center, if not, we can do that later) and click on the path with your text tool right next to the center point. (if you do it right on the point, it will jump to the upper left of the half circle.)
Now, type your text.


9. Your text will be above your path. To fix this, you will go to your text palette, select baseline shift and adjust it. I used 48 point text on 36 leading, and need to baseline shift -30. All baseline shifts will/should be negative (unless you have some wonky leading). Also, add a space after the last letter. This will help center your text, since in step 8, we had to start our text a little off center. If your type is not centered, you can center it at this time.


10. Here's what it looks like after you adjust the baseline shift.
11. And, here's what it could look like if you have type on top. The type on top will need to be on a new path. And a new layer. You will not need to do any of the steps past 2. You will just need to draw the circle and put your type on it. (yes, I purposely spelled it starBOOKS)




I know this isn't a "professional" tutorial, but hopefully it will help someone. And, I have no idea if it will work in Photoshop Elements or not.

Chris

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

School's Back In

Well, it was the second day of school, and so far so good. Oh, except that my son snapped his glasses in half, and we had to run to the mall last night to Lens Crafters to get a new pair. And, we paid cash, because it ends up being less expensive, since we had a coupon from our neighbor eye doctor - Dr. Marc.

So, that drama over, what happens today? My daughter throws her bionator in the trash after eating lunch in the cafeteria today. What is a bionator you ask? Why it is a $800 mouth piece to make your bottom jaw grow correctly, so you don't end up looking like Mrs. Kravitz (remember Samantha Stevens nosy neighbor on Bewitched? Ya, she's the one, no chin.)

Well, luckily, she has been wearing it for a year, and the dentist said it's done all it can. However, we're not letting her off the hook that easily! Nope, she's now got to get perfect grades, and totally impress us for the rest of the year.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

How do people do it?

How do people do it? How do they keep their house clean? How do they pay their bills on time? How do they do their laundry? How do they work? When do they find the time to do all this and find time to SCRAP?

I know, some people would say, clean first, scrap later... but they don't understand. I have to. If I don't I'd be very unhappy, and if I'm unhappy, nobody's happy in my house!

Seriously.

So, here it is, 11:40 pm and I'm doing up some dishes because I can't stand when I come down in the morning and there are dishes in my sink. I cannot make coffee in the morning if there are dishes in my sink.

Sometimes, I wish I was an insomniac, then I could get a ton of stuff done. But, sleep I must.

And, scrap I must. So, until I'm rich enough to hire a maid, then I guess I'll just have to try to juggle life with scrapping.

So, here's what I did today to make me (and everyone!) happy. It was a challenge over at Creating Keepsakes to scrap an Ali Edwards layout. Here it is:

Thursday, August 2, 2007

August Already!

The summer has just flown by. We haven't even gone on vacation yet. Now, my son has started football practice.... gese, I forgot about that. I was planning on getting away for a few days after the kids were done with summer camp. (Summer camp is really a day camp from 10 - 3, they mostly throw water balloons at each other all day! LOL!)

So, we'll see.

Here's a couple of picks from the weekend crop at the Creating Keepsakes message board. We had a fun Cyber Crop. Lots of Challenges and classes. It was fun. I've never cropped so much in one weekend.

Here are the results:

This was my challenge of to scraplift from a magazine ad:



And this was a home challenge, where you needed to start with "Here is...":



And here is my perogie page. This is my favorite so far:




This challenge was the embellishment challenge. I totally scraplifted this from Elsie Flannigans book on page 33. LUV IT!



And this was the Black Paper Challenge, where you had to use black card stock, 2 circles bigger than 3", swirls and writing on the photo. Fun stuff:





I did a few others, but I like how these turned out the best. The other stuff was just tags and a card.

There was one more challenge I still want to do, and that was painting on a layout. So, when I get done with all my work (which there is a lot of) I can do that.