Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

I wasn't going to go out on Black Friday, but.... there was such a great deal at Target, I had to grab it. It's one of those video game chairs. $44!! Normally $79. Had to get it. It's for my son's birthday... December 19. Monday is my hubby's birthday. He wanted one of those things to play his iPod in the car, so I got that. I gave it to him as soon as I came home since we'll be riding in the car tomorrow to my in-laws, I figured we could use it and listen to Christmas music on the way.

Since I was out... I stopped at Joanne's with a 50% off coupon in hand... which, I didn't need because this was on sale:
While at Jo's the embossing folders were 40% off, so, what good is a Cuttlebug without embossing folders? (I innocently rationalize). I picked up 2... almost got 4, but, I'll hold off. I got snowflakes and swiss dots.

I'm working on my DT stuff for Scrap 'n Supply Shack. Gorgeous, gorgeous paper. This is my favorite kit so far. Basic Grey yumminess, Making Memories and Little Yellow Bicycle. Lovely kit. Please check them out if you're looking for a new kit club. They're running a contest, too now thru Dec. 31 called "Tell A Friend". The person that signs up the most friends, wins. If you'd like to sign up, just tell 'em that Chris invited you.

I'm going to use this little cutie in a layout...
It's ME! Heehee. I got these old pictures out, and I showed my daughter, my goodness, she looked like me when I was little.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I'm now looking forward to Christmas... parties (going to one on Saturday already), decorating, and having family from Virginia spend Christmas Day with us.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My First FREEBIE

Early Christmas present for you. I just designed these fun labels/journaling spots for both digi and traditional scrapping.

If you are a digital scrapper, choose the PNG file.

If you are a paper scrapper, choose the PDF file.

Here's a preview of the goodies:

Click to enlarge.

If you use these, just give me a credit.
Thanks.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

FREE Stuff

I thought that would get your attention!

Nothing free today... but I wanted to throw this out there... if I were to provide you with FREE stuff - ie: journaling blocks, cute little illustrations, some swirls.... in both a pdf format for you to print from your computer for paper scrappers and also a png format for those of you who digi scrap, would you be interested?

I have some stuff I already designed and used on my own pages, and thought with this economy, why not share a bit.

Just let me know if you are interested. If I get a good response, I'll do it. If no one is interested, I won't bother.

And, since totally text laden posts are boring, here's a layout I did for Stacey at AMR to celebrate her 1 Year Anniversary. I don't think she comes to my blog, so I think it's safe to post this:


Couple close ups:


So, please, please let me know if you are interested and if I get a good response, I'll start getting some stuff ready. Here's a little sampling of what I'm talking about:

If there is another format you might need for cutting out stuff with SCAL or your other digital cutters, let me know and I'll try to accommodate.

ETA - it will be for traditional scrappers, too. I'll make a pdf, you can print it and cut out the pictures/journaling blocks with a craft knife, and adhere to your LO. That's what I do!

Have a good week!! Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Digi & Some Randomness...


I did this digi layout for National Digital Scrapbooking Day November 1, 2008. I hadn't done a digi in forever. It was fun to mess around with it. I think if my stuff was more organized, maybe I could find what I'm looking for faster. Right now, I just use Adobe Bridge to look thru my thousands of downloads, and it's quite time consuming.

I started the Jessica Sprague "Stories in Hand" class. I'm sure you know if you're taking it as well, that the last 2 days were mostly printing things out. Today is day 3, and I haven't looked at the assignment yet. I had an extremely busy day with 2 meetings. One at 9 am... that was with 2 different departments at a local university where the Pittsburgh Steelers train for summer camp. ;) It was a great meeting. I walked out with a few job assignments, so I'm a happy camper.

The other meeting was actually a parent teacher conference. That was pretty awesome as well. Went over my sons report card, and he got ALL A's! (proud mama here!!)

In between I had a conference call and worked... very busy... I seriously need to scrap.

I started Weight Watchers. Went to my first meeting Monday. For the past 3 days I have been doing really well. I hope to drop 4 or 5 pounds by next Monday. Cross your fingers. I seriously have been eating poorly and it was catching up with me. When I was in my 20's and weighed in at a whopping 114, I thought I'd always be a stick. Yeah, right... that doesn't happen. I've also been working out a bit on the treadmill. I'm hoping to drop 30 pounds.

And, last, but not least, is our silly dog Sophie, waiting patiently for me to finish my cappuccino so she can lick the remaining foam in the cup. Everyone loves a dog picture right? Our local Starbucks has a memo board where people post pictures of their doggies drinking Starbucks. I figured I'd snap a shot of Sophie and add her into the mix. (Dog people are weird like that I guess!)


Well, that was my week. I hope to get to play with some paper over the weekend...it's a fun stress reliever. I'm happy to be busy at work, though, so many bad things happening around us. It's good to see somethings are looking up.

Have a happy day.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Dodging & Burning Tutorial

Ever take a really great photo, except for the part that is either too dark, or blown out... like this:


This is my friend Cassie's photo of her son. I'm sure a lot of beach photos turn out like this because of the sun. Cassie ran some actions on this to spruce up the color, but wasn't happy with the harsh shadow cast on his shirt. Cassie had asked if anyone had any ideas for fixing this. Some had suggested using the clone tool, which technically could work, but might take forever and a day.

There is an under used tool in photoshop called the “dodge and burn” tool. Works great for over exposed and blown out areas.

When I took photography back in art school BC (before computers), when you wanted to dodge and burn a photo, you did it the old fashioned way while you were "burning" the photo into the photopaper. You would insert your negative into the enlarger, turn the light on, figure out the placement and the size you want to print (any cropping happened here as well). You would then turn the light off, place your piece of photopaper in the holder, turn the light on and expose your negative to the paper. The light would "burn" the image into the paper. If you saw any areas that were too dark, you would hold your hand over the paper to block the light or “dodge” it, or cover up areas and let the light be exposed more to “burn” and make other areas darker.

The dodge and burn tool in photoshop simulates this.

Using the photo above, I found it easier to dodge rather than burn. The burn was making things too dark. Select your dodge tool:


Select a rather large brush size:

You may also want to play with the exposure a bit:
Now, just take the tool, hover over the area where you want to dodge, and click. That's it, it's that simple. Just click and adjust the tools as you go. You may need to make the brush slightly larger or smaller.

Here is the end result... pretty nifty, eh?

Here's a side by side comparison.

This took me about 5 minutes. If you spend a little more time, you could retain the detail in the shirt.

Just wanted to mention that I have a new blog header.... isn't it cute? My hubby drew the owl and trees, and I placed it all together in illustrator. I have one all ready to go for winter, too. I'm a happy girl!!

Have a happy weekend!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween Fun & Scrap n' Supply Shack Layouts

I hope everyone had a nice Halloween, if you celebrate it. We love the dressing up, parties and free candy part! We decorated our house a bit, and played spooky music. One little boy came slowly up our walk, looking quite apprehensive. When he finally got to where I sat with the big bowl of candy, he looked at me and asked, "Is your house haunted?"... I had to laugh. I told him no, it's just a house. He took the candy, thanked me, and slowly made his escape, looking over his shoulder until he was safely back with his dad. I miss those cute 4 year old days. (sigh)... now I have this to deal with:
Emma insisted on being a ghost in a sheet, even though we tried to tell her it would not be fun to walk around like that with the sheet slipping down over her head...

Here she is about half an hour later, with her friends that she caught up with... need I say more? Mom is always right. (she's the one with the camo hat.)

Ethan was the Joker, the Heath Ledger joker, not the cartoon one. Don't ya just love the vest I made out of a green t-shirt and sharpie?


I helped with his Halloween party at school. They have a parade where they walk around the school twice and parents and grandparents can come and see them all decked out. It's nice.

Here are my layouts using the November kit from Scrap n' Supply Shack.

This one is called Norway... and it's the Norway at Epcot.


This is my dad with his sisters in May of 1957. He was 15 in this photo. I thought these SEI Windsor papers provided in the kit had a real vintage feel to them.


These photos were taken at my dad's house on his birthday a few weeks ago. Gorgeous day. The kids were playing in the leaves, gathering them up into a pile and tossing them. I discovered my camera can take multiple photos quickly... it's under a menu called "drive". We've had this camera for almost 2 years, and I just discovered this. It will also bracket photos for me... taking photos one f-stop above and below. Pretty cool.


Everything on this layout is from the kit, except the Heidi Swapp mask. Debbie wants me to do a tutorial on the mask for the Scrap n' Supply Shack blog. Once I get that ready, I'll let you know when it's posted. That will be a fun project.

Here is the card I did. Really simple, and would work great for a guy card.


Have a great Sunday!