Friday, June 29, 2007

Exciting pubs and discovering my style!

As I type this I am listening to the fun music on the new Glitz Designs web-site - Ginger, Erin and Laura really rocked their site - it's fabulous! I look forward to seeing more from Glitz! The link to their new web site has been updated on my page.

It's been a great couple of weeks. I've had a layout picked up by Paper Crafts, and a project picked up by Creating Keepsakes. One would think it would be the other way around - so hey, hats of to turning the tables a bit! (LOL) Brittany Beattie (she is such a sweetie) asked if they could put a template for my project on the Creating Keepsakes web site for November - how cool is that!

On the first day of summer we had monarchs emerge from their crysalis' - what a great start to our summer! Kyle and I spent much of that Thursday afternoon enjoying them. Abby did not want to hold them, but I managed a fab photo of her admiring the butterflies, which is now on my very last Making Memories Masters layout. I am done with my contest entries -woo hoo! I noticed, reviewing my five layouts, some unsual things. First, I have NO pink in my layouts - what's that all about? I love pink! Secondly, my daughter, cute as she is, is not a featured close up on any of my entry layouts - huh? Thirdly, I discovered something about myself - with the help of my friend Susan. It's been obvious for a long time that I love circles in my layouts. Circles give me a sense of unity, make the "world go round", and gives a greater sense of love than say, perhaps a triangle or rectangle. Curves and circles are me. I did not really grasp that until my last layout had no curves. Susan pointed out that it just didn't look like me. Granted, I was keeping the layout simple and clean to go with the theme, but I certainly don't want to lose my identity either! I dotted in a few circles, and walah! I am back in my groove! (LOL)

I took a self-test this past week from a great new book "Discovering your Groove" by Kitty Foster and Wendy McKeehan (want to discover your style - get this book!). The test confirmed that I am an eclectic scrapper, but that,combined with my discovery of "circles is me", I would have to add "well-rounded" in the literal sense of the word to my style. (LOL) Want to get to know your style better - pick up this book! And while you're at it, check out the adorable little girl on page 98. (wink) She really is my gift from God.

Today is BIG! Visit Busy Bee Scrapbooking for a great CROP with a bang!!! The guest design team is hosting a crop - and I will be posting my challenge later this evening. The link to visit and join in is to your right.

ALSO, the new Magistical Memories design team was announced this morning - and Crystle has a fabulous line up of designers to work with the BBQ! Congrats to everyone on the team!
Chipboard is so versatile - it can give your page a rustic, down to earth look, or you can bling and glaze it to create a breathtaking work of art. The latter is how I describe the butterfly on my last MMM page. I had a vision, and the results are even more awesome than I envisioned. That doesn't happen to often, I must say! I can't wait to share it with you, but even better - I hope you get to see it in publication some time down the road. If only Crystle could have seen this butterfly I KNOW she would have wanted me on the team. (LOL)

We're heading to the zoo on this fabulous day - I want to scrap with the great new zoo animals shapes being offered by Magistical Memories. Enjoy your weekend and upcoming Fourth of July holiday. I expect to see red, white and blue layouts, and all that sparkles, rockin' the galleries!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Away with mundane children's portraits!

I love the deals at Kohl's. Abby has a closet full of hand me downs, but once in a while I like to splurge and buy her something new. Splurge, in the most frugal sense of the word. Sundresses were 50% off plus I had a 20% off coupon - racks of cute dresses could be had for $7! I chose one, but Abby had spotted one she wanted, and vetoed my choice. So I made a deal ...I would get the dress she wanted if she let me take pictures of her, without her hands in front of her face which has become the norm - taking after her dad when a camera comes out. She agree, I bought the dress.

Did I mention that I had just received Prima papers for a design team, and while at Kohl's I realized the dress was a perfect match for the papers. One reason I caved so quickly on her dress choice. To make it even more sweet, I attended a wedding shower this past Saturday and potted flowers were being offered as prizes. I brought home a beautiful salmon pink daisy - you guessed it -perfect photo prop!

Sunday I took photos...cooperation lasted about 3 frames. Out of all my shots I really only captured one nice photo with a NATURAL, as opposed to forced smile. Obviously it is the focal point photo in my layout shared above.

Not to let all the "bad" shots go to waste, I creatively cropped a few and used a great Magistical Memories circle border to frame accent photos. I embossed the frame with black powder for a cool effect. I love how black pops off the corals in the Prima papers. I really do need to hang this layout on the wall. Away with the standard issue, boring children's framed portraits. Scrapbooking on the wall is my new thing... and if you want me to do something for you, let's talk! Why hide all those great family photos and memories in a scrapbook, or worse, a box? Get your life out on a wall, and make your home really a part of who you are!


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Monarchs and Summer

What a busy start to our unofficial summer! Even before school was done we were able to find Monarch caterpillars, which means our summer "science lab" or raising Monarchs, charting growth and documenting the process from egg to beautiful butterfly begins much earlier than last year.

As I type this we have two crysalis in the butterfly habitat, and a caterpillar in J formation - preparing to create his/her beautiful green enclosure. We also have on egg - a microscopic tiny white pearl, that should hatch soon. Once hatched the teeny tiny caterpillars will appear as black speck. Some of you asked to see photos so that you might be able to track down some milkweed in your area and enjoy this same type of summer activity with your children. Hopefully the slide show will help. I do warn you, you must make the commitment this involves, as each caterpillar will devour and need a new leaf EVERY DAY! I encouage everyone to plant some milkweed, as the Monarch populations continue to be in decline as developments and "progress" weed out the only plant that a Monarch seeks to lay eggs, and caterpillars eat to begin the cycle of metamorphasis. This slide show will be a permanent fixture on this blog for families to review. Unfortunately my captions did not show up.

Jesse and I began the tag team approach to child care this week -how different! Jes works, comes home, and I hurry down to work to be there at 9 a.m. I leave promptly at 1 p.m., working only posted office hours, and tag team Jesse who returns to work and gets home around 6 p.m. We are home less as a family of 4, but the kids see more of each of us, and we are saving lots of money this summer.

Abby finished swim lessons... and there is a night and day difference between her first session and last. She is thoroughly enjoying the water and actually putting her face in. Kyle's summer will be one of learning... he has checked history books out of the library - he loves history of wars and battles. We also need to order ants for his ant farm...and we have the butterfly thing going. I know of a local site should we wish to care for crawfish this summer as well. Jesse is constructing a level platform for our EasySet pool. I hope in two weeks we are swimming in it - I anticipate many afternoons out in the pool with the kids.

I hope you are all having a wonderful start to your summer as well!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Glitz in the Journey!!!

Wow - I feel like I had a very productive day!! And week as far as that goes! Last Saturday I received my Glitz Design products from Ginger and Laura. I was very excited to get creative with them and managed a half dozen layouts from the 7 sheets of patterned paper and index sized, cool cards. I love the GlitzNetz and wish I had a piece of black right now, to work into one of my Making Memories Masters layouts. I have enough left over patterned paper scraps, and plan to squeak out some thank you cards for the teachers this week - better be getting to that project fast!

The Glitz product arrived last Saturday. I started creating as fast as I could, knowing a DT for this great new company was no doubt in the making. I was hoping in the back of my mind that I could showcase Glitz product well enough to pique their interest in myself as a designer, but alas, the Glitz team of talented designers was announced a few days ago, and time was simply not on my side. But that is okay - I know God puts me where He wants me to be, and He has opened doors of opportunity in recent months that I am very excited about.

I truly came out on top with my Glitz prize package. Not only did I create some layouts I love , I, at very last, added some FUN to my blog! Do you like the music? Or do you find it distracting while you read? Curious about that.

My friend Emine, who won the other prize package, said the Glitz gals checked out her blog. I thought "oh no - mine is SO not interesting!" I write a lot, but it has no pizazz. Today I figured out how to add links, and more are to come no doubt. I was just thrilled to finally do this. The reality of it is that it wasn't all that is simply taking the time to do it. I admit, I have so much fun creating layouts and playing with patterned paper that I have a hard time dragging myself away to do anything related to computer housekeeping. Glad I did it, however! Thanks to Ginger and Laura for the push, even though they know nothing about it! (LOL)

NOW to see if I can show you a slide show of all six of my Glitz layouts. Let's see if this works!

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Friday, June 1, 2007

Helllooo! Anyone there?

Life can put a real kink in your neck, but it is worth it! Yesterday I couldn't turn my neck right or idea why, but put my call into my wonderful chiropractor, Dr. Joe. No one was there, but later was set up with an appointment. Didn't stop me from scrapping though...I had fun working on some more layouts using Glitz papers - turning my neck is really not needed. (LOL)
When I went to my appointment it turned out I haven't seen my chiropractor since February - wow! As I figured, my pelvis and hips were so out of alignment that everything worked its way up to my neck...funny how the spine is in charge of so many things. I was adjusted, went home and iced my neck - which felt GOOD.

I can't help but wonder why insurance companies don't help with payments on maintenance adjustments. I know that if I were adjusted once every 6 weeks that my body would stay pretty well tuned up. Did you know we need tune ups just like a car? We can't operate smoothly without an alignment now and then. We simply can't afford the cost of maintenance, however, so I wait until I am in such bad shape that I have to see Dr. Joe 2-3 times a week for a month or more. Sometimes health insurance makes no sense at all.

I couldn't play badminton with Kyle on the sloped lawn last night (no wonder my hips are out of whack...trying to run on uneven ground is not the best for me!), and I told Abby she could no longer straddle my neck and sit there while we watched a show. As small as she is, the girl insists on "beating" up on mom. I took a pain killer and enjoyed WATCHING Kyle play badminton with his dad. But, then I remembered that the boys had spotted a robin's nest, a chick had hatched, and I wanted a photo.

I grabbed the camera, went out back and with Kyle's help found the nest. The beauty of digital is you can aim the camera above (when you are too short to reach the subject), click, check the LCD screen to see how you did, and take a few more shots until your subject is where you want. I think the results are pretty good, eh? The photo makes me laugh with that wide open beak...yet it also reminds me of God's everyday miracles. The hungry 2 day old robin instinctively opens his beak wide when a branch or leaf moves, expecting that his mama has returned with a yummy morsel of food. Meanwhile, mama chirped in protest at my intrusion. I was quick - three shots and I was out of there. Rather than go through the overgrowth, I decided to walk the ledge of the block wall. Not far off the ground, 18 inches or less (I'm not crazy).

I would have made it, too, if it weren't for a hose that came out of no where, and tripped me up. Down I went - scraped up a thigh and landed hard on the other knee. Blood was minimal, scrapes not too bad...and hopefully the stains will come out of my favorite capris. "Murphy's Law", Dr. Joe said this morning when I told him he would have to start over on my adjustments. Oh well...hopefully by the end of the week my body will be tuned up so I can sleep better at night. I love the photo though - it was worth it.
Maybe insurance companies should invent a camera with a periscope for people, like me, who like to take photos of subjects way over our heads. Hey! what a great idea, huh?