A little gift for Mother’s Day…

May 12, 2008

Okay…so I’m a day late, but I had good intentions (that counts for something, right?)! It’s been over a month since I’ve updated the blog and thought it was about time to get started again. I’ve been busy with the wonderful DID class over at Jessica Sprague…and baseball games, lacrosse games, 3 May birthdays (and Mother’s Day), fundraising functions, bridal showers, and so on! It’s all fun stuff and I love every bit of it, but it just takes time. And what better way to get back into the swing of things then with a little freebie gift for you.

Jessica had provided templates and a gorgeous mini-kit to use in the quote challenge for the DID class and this is what I created using the papers and embellishments from her kit. I only added the photos (thanks to Mother Nature for providing the flowers and critters) and found the quotes to use. If you’d like, you can download the 12×12 LO’s (just click on the 4shared link under the LO’s) and then use your paper cutter to divided each page into 4 6×6 squares. The title page (not shown) has 4 seperate covers, in case you’d like to give these as a gift to any Gardener/Nature lovers you may know. I made this for my Mom for Mother’s Day using my awesome new Bind-it-all machine…since she is the ultimate nature lover/gardener!

Enjoy! (and Liv, I know I owe you a posting for my “tag”)!!!

Picture hosted by Pixentral

Picture hosted by Pixentral







Picture hosted by Pixentral

Picture hosted by Pixentral



Aruba, palm trees & a cool PS effect…

April 4, 2008

We just got back from our annual Spring Break trip to Aruba (this was our 6th year) and once again we had a wonderful time. The weather was beautiful…we relaxed, read books, met up with some friends from Canada, and soaked up the sun (wearing our 50 SPF sunscreen, of course)!

This was the first year that I’ve had a digital camera to take on the trip, and I had a blast taking lots of photos. Took pictures of the kids, of the gorgeous sunsets, of the cool iguanas, and of the palm trees swaying in the breeze. When we got home,  and put them on the computer, Taylor got a really neat effect on the palm tree photos by trying different filters on Photoshop.  We thought we’d share the finished product with you, and give you the instructions…they are listed under our examples. 



This effect works best on photos that aren’t too “busy” and have a distinct object in them.  I’m sure there are other ways to achieve this look, but this is how we did it: 

1) Ctrl – L (levels)

2) Make the dark areas of the photo darker and light areas  lighter by moving the slide

3) Ctrl Alt B (convert to black and white)

4) Filter > Adjustments > Threshold (ok)

5) Choose 1 color for the background area and 1 color for the main object of the photo.  Use the paint bucket(K)  to fill the black area with one of the colors and the white area  with another color.

…And that’s it!  Hopefully you’ll have fun playing with your photos…and let us know how they turned out!

I’m feeling blue….

March 8, 2008

…Blue Grotto, that is! That’s the name of our new mini-kit freebie. It’s actually a “reject” from the LDD Apprentice Program. I’m thrilled to say that my dear friend Liv was accepted, and if you look at her amazing Adventure kit you will see why! I can honestly say that I understand why we didn’t make it in, after viewing the 40 first round winners.   I like our papers, but the elements aren’t very inspired or creative.  It was a good learning experience and I hope that we can continue to grow and evolve in our designing.  If you would like to download our papers (and somewhat boring elements)  just click on the 4shared link below the preview!

I’m also feeling “blue” because I took the Color Sense Game (sponsored by Porter Paints) and it seems as if I am a “water bead”.  It’s a seven question on-line quiz that you take to determine your color preferences.  They had a link to this quiz on the Memory-Makers website.  It only takes a minute or two to play and it’s really fun…let me know what color you come out to be! 

Another reason to feel “blue” is if you stop to think about the enormity of world hunger.  The good news is there is an educational & interactive website that helps fight hunger by donating rice to millions of needy people.  The website is called FreeRice.com and it is the brainchild of a computer programmer named John Breen (gotta love those computer geeks)!   It is an on-line vocabulary quiz, and for each word that you get correct, 20 grains of rice are donated through the UN World Food Program.   All you do is just click on the answer that you think best describes the word…it’s as easy as that!  To date over 20 billion grains of rice have been donated (that’s enough to feed almost a million people for a day).  So check the website out…gain some word knowledge…and help others in the process!    



Just thought I’d share

February 28, 2008

…a cool new website with you. It’s called Animoto.com and it makes this really awesome video slideshow! It’s as easy as 1-2-3 to create and it’s free (at least the short clips are free). Check it out and let me know if you make one…I’d love to see it!


Where do you get your inspiration?

February 26, 2008

I find inspiration for layouts from the strangest places. I love looking at color combinations, patterns and texture! It doesn’t matter if it’s from a shower curtain or a fancy napkin or cute stationary or a pretty dress…or in this case a cover from a paperback book! I saw a new book (in the “Clique” series) at the local bookstore and just knew that I had to do a LO using the design & colors from the book jacket. 

Not only did I do a LO based on the cover, but Taylor and I designed a digi-paper and created a plopper from it.   The blue plopper is called Tiffany’s (love that store),  and in case you don’t like blue we made a pink one called Victoria’s.   To download the files just click on the 4shared link under the Victoria’s plopper (it’s not a secret). 

Thanks to Heather for her posting in the Jessica Sprague forum about creating quick pages!  Also thanks to Obsidiandawn.com for the great brush and to Veronica Spriggs for the heart embellishment.  Hope you enjoy using the ploppers! 

So…where does your inspiration come from???




Are you Tigger or Eeyore?

February 20, 2008

 I don’t know if you have ever heard about Dr. Randy Pausch, or watched him speak on Oprah, but if you do anything else today…please try to find 10 minutes  to watch this video and hear his story  (you’ll be glad you did)! If you’ve had a bad day and things aren’t going right…this will definitely put all of that into perspective!  It is funny, educational, and inspirational. Oh, and let me know if you’re Tigger or Eeyore.  (I’m a Tigger!)

“Digi” is my middle name…

February 13, 2008

…well, actually my middle name is Dawn.  (surprise)!!!  My first name is really Barbara, although the only time I’ve been called that was on the first day of school.  The teacher would call the roll and then I’d always have to say, “but I go by my middle name…Dawn”.  I came to dread that moment every year, because I was very quiet/shy and would hate to draw attention to myself.  The reason I use my middle name is because my Mom’s first name is Barbara too (although she never uses it, she is either Bobbie or Be).

Anyway, the reason I’m talking about this is that I’ve been “tagged” by Liv, the Queen of the Spragueland playground.  

These are the rules: You must post the rules before you give your answers.You must list one fact about yourself for each letter of your middle name. Each fact must begin with that letter. If you don’t have a middle name, just use your maiden name. After you’ve been tagged, you need to up-date your blog with your middle name and answers. At the end of your post, you need to tag one person for each letter of your middle name. Be sure to leave them a comment telling them they’ve been tagged and need to read your blog for details.

So, here goes:

“D”: Digi-holic.  The definition (despite the fact that it’s not in the dictionary) is one that  is addicted to digital photography and digital scrapbooking, and can’t get through the day without their daily dose of each.  Whether it’s checking out websites, blogs, buying books or magazines,  taking photos, making LO’s, creating digi-kits, or taking classes…I love it!

“A’: Authentic.  Okay, so I had to go through the dictionary to come up with this one (but I think it works).  The defintion of authentic is genuine, trustworthy and reliable…and that’s pretty much me in a nutshell.

“W’: Wonder.  Every day I am filled with amazement & a sense of wonder about nature and the little things of life.  The sunrises and the sunsets. The beautiful red cardinal that visits our birdfeeder.    The snow covered trees & bushes.  Life is a joy to behold.

“N”:  News, new, and more news.  Whether it’s reading the newspaper in the morning, watching CNN, or  listening to the local talk-radio station…I love to find out what’s happening in the world.

 So there you have it…DAWN defined!  Now I need to get started on the other “tag” that I got from the wonderful Deb P.  But first, I need to tag 4 unsuspecting victims  lucky bloggers to join in the fun.  So tag…you’re it Carol, Chrystal, DonnaS and SusanD

What can Google do for you???

February 5, 2008

I have a confession to make…I love Google!  It’s my go-to search engine, and not a day goes by that I don’t use it at least once.  I’m always finding new things that I can do with it (sort of like with Photoshop) and thought I’d share some of my discoveries with you.   You probably know some of these, but you might pick up one or two cool tips (and please feel free to share any different ones that you use)!

 Did you know….

          To check the weather in a certain city, just type in the word “weather” (leave a space) and then enter the location name/state.  Ex: weather Walnut Creek Ca.

          You can find a street map by just typing the street address and the zip.

          To find  movies that are playing in your area just enter the word “movies”.

          If you want to check on the status of a US flight, simply enter the name of the airline and the flight number.

          To see about airport delays/weather just key in the 3 letter airport code (ex: BWI or LAX).

          If you’re into high finance and want to see what a certain stock is at, type in the stock symbol (ex. DIS for Disney).

          You can also search by number for patents, FedX, UPS or even UPC codes.

I’m afraid that most of these are only applicable to US cities (apologies to my overseas friends), but you could use them to check on the weather in Chicago and then to see if there are any flight delays.  Then, you could use the map feature to find where the movie theatre is…


Some freebies and some tips…

January 22, 2008

Just in case you were wondering…only 3 weeks until Valentine’s Day (so start dropping those hints now to your sweetie)!   To me, Valentine’s Day isn’t just for sweethearts…it’s also a time to tell our friends and family how much they mean to us.  There is a quote that I love that goes “Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave and impossible to forget” and another quote that really defines a good friend… “It’s the friends you can call up at 4am that matter”.   I hope that I’m that kind of friend!

In honor of Valentine’s Day (and my friends) Taylor & I have created a new mini-kit for you!  It’s called “Hugs and Kisses” and we hope you like it.  There will be more to follow, but this first set includes 4 papers, 5 buttons & 1 clip.  Coming soon are more papers, some ribbon & wire word art.  Thanks to Stephanie at ObsidianDawn.com for the heart brushes!  Just click on the 4shared link below to start your downloading fun!

 Now for the Photoshop tips…did you know that to zoom in you can use Ctrl+ and to zoom out you can use the Ctrl-(minus) keys?!!  If you zoom out too much, you can press Ctrl zero(0)  to fit the image back into the screen.  Also, a cool trick to try when you are using the Type Tool and you want to  reposition your text… simply move your cursor away from your words and the cursor will switch to the Move Tool.  After you’ve placed the words in their new position just click back in the text to continue writing.  Give it a try…it’s really pretty neat! 



Tag…I’m it!

January 12, 2008

Thanks to SusanD & Boston Dawn, two of my friends over at Jessica Sprague, I need to put my thinking cap on (hopefully it still fits) and be a little creative!  You see…they “tagged” me today.  I, like Susan, had seen this on other blogs, but never really knew what it entailed.  Well, now I know (LOL)! 

So, this is the way you play this version of tag:

  (1) Link to the person that tagged you & post the rules on your blog   (2) Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog  (3) Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include the links to their blog  (4) Let each person know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. 

Without further ado, here we go…

(1) On my list of things to do in this lifetime are swim with the dolphins & go up in a hot air balloon.

(2) I played on my college tennis team (I didn’t win alot, but I had fun)!  I was also a cheerleader in high school and I can still do a cartwheel…not so sure about a split though, I might not be able to get back up. 

3) I love to read mysteries, which probably stems from  devouring Nancy Drew books when I was younger.

(4) I almost never get my nails done (maybe once a year for a special occasion) And I’ve never had my hair colored…of course that may change when I start seeing a little gray starting to creep in!

(5) When my daughter was born, I arrived at the hospital at 3:30am and she was born 2 hours later (with no epidural, thank you very much)!  Oh, did I mention she was 13 days early.

(6) I didn’t get my ears pierced until I was 21…and, like Boston Dawn, I didn’t get my drivers license until I was in my early 20’s (I guess you could say I was a late bloomer…LOL)

(7) My grandfather (Pop-pop) had flower nicknames for all of his granddaughters.  I was Lilac Girl because I was born in May and my sisters were Tiger Lily & Cala Lily.  My cousins all had flower nicknames too! I had a decorative painter do a backsplash painting of my sisters & I:


Now, for the lucky 7 ladies who I’m tagging…have fun girls!

JanieJulie L,  LaurieLisa (Lexicam)Lisa, Tori….and Jessica (sorry Jess, you really don’t have to play along…just wanted to let you see what your NWRers are up too while we wait for DID)!