I'm alive :)

I am - I really am! Just took a few weeks off, unintentionally! Be back with more Monday. Have a great weekend!


A day for us all

Happy Mother's Day ...

... and special hugs to all my friends who want to be mothers so badly.


I did a header!

Hey all! When you get a chance stop by Songbirdtiff - my frugal friend. And I say "frugal" in the nicest way and I know she loves it!

I've been doing my own headers since I started this blog. At first they were just pictures I cropped to size and added my title and description. After I got Photoshop Elements (and after I actually learned how to use it) I started getting a little more creative. I redid my entire blog about a month ago using my new found (and very new) knowledge about digiscrapping. I am basically learning as I go.

Tiffany over at Songbirdtiff wanted to redo her blog - make it more simple and asked me about headers (after my ridiculously long post about digiscrapping). I said "what are you looking for" and she emailed me a pic that she liked. It was the silouette of two birds on a branch.

I searched through my digiscrap files (looking of course at the terms of use!) and found some elements that I thought would work and put together a rough draft of a header for her. I was thinking she could at least get an idea of what it would look like and we could play around for while.

She loved it - almost exactly as it was! She asked me to change the background color and add a border - easy schmeasy. We emailed each other back and forth for a day and she posted it up this morning.

The best part for me was that I taught myself how to do something new (yay!) and I got a chance to work with overlays - which I had never used before. An overlay is a grayscale pattern picture. You overlay it over any color background and it gives the background depth. I used a fabric overlay on her header - so it looks like the background is a piece of fabric rather than just a flat color. Subtle but effective.

So take a visit over to Tiffany's blog - which is full of bargains and ideas to live life in a much simpler (yet not less exciting!) way.


Yaya Face

I like to blog. I like to read blogs. And I do ... a lot. Usually when the girls nap I am on this computer (if I am not napping myself)!

One of my favorite blog to read is Yaya Stuff - and I must have told the girls one day that I was reading Yaya. Maddie giggled, said "Yaya?" and made the cutest little face, which I affectionately called her Yaya Face.

Now I make her do it all the time! She squishes her little face up all crinkly-like. I love it! I had her pose for a few shots this morning. Enjoy!



Giveaway over at The Lettered Cottage!

I saw this giveaway for a burlap table runner through my buddy, Katy's, blog: Fun with the Baker Five. But it's not her giveaway!

I am so glad I saw it though, because the actual purveyor of said giveaway, The Lettered Cottage, is on it's way to being one of my favorite blogs! It is a blog full of beautiful, clean, affordable design ideas. Now that my living room is a tabula rasa, this site, run by Layla (and she says in her profile "yes, for the song") is perfect for me.

Taking it just one more level, Layla did not make this runner. It is made by a woman named Grace, who runs an etsy shop called Coastline. Grace uses burlap in the most beautiful ways imaginable.

So stop by Layla's blog, The Lettered Cottage, to enter this giveaway: http://theletteredcottage.blogspot.com/2009/05/coastline-contest.html

... and also visit Grace's etsy shop to take a peek around: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=7044601

Good luck!


A-Z on Mondays: N, O, P, and Q!

Oh geesh - I am a bad blogger. I need to catch up on my "A-Z on Mondays" posts - sorry, Jen!!!

So let's gooooooooooooooooo .... :)

N is for New Header! Is that a cheat? But it's true - just check out the top of my page and you can see it!

O is for Organic Oranges! Andy's boss owns an organic orange grove in Florida - which means we get a nice pick of whatever he has in season. The girls love all things orange - and they loved these oranges, too ... (Katie is in the top picture and Maddie in the other three)

P is for Poppy! Andy's dad, who Katie and Maddie call Poppy, is hysterical with the girls. He will do anything to make them smile and laugh - and he gets rewarded with giggles everytime. Remember the Boppies from my "B" post? Well ... I like to call this composition "Boppy Poppy" ...

(Don't hate me, Dad!)

And finally ...

Q is for Quote. Here are two of my favorite quotes that my little girls have ever said ...

From Maddie ... about 6 months ago ... with a small little forlorn look on her face ... "I'm scared of afraid." Oh, it just about broke my heart. "Why are you afraid, honey?" Then she looks at me like I'm nuts: "I'm not afraid!" And cracks up.

From Katie ... last summer ... out of the blue one day when we we're looking out into the backyard ... squinting her eyes and tilting her head to the side with a smile on her face ... "Oh, look at that bunny. Oh, he's soooo cute!" She had never said anything like that before - something that was her own original thought about something else. Up until that point she (and Maddie for that matter) would agree with us, repeat us, say simple things. It was amazing to see her put two sentences like that together. We made her say it OVER AND OVER all summer long!

Have a great Monday everyone ... and for more "A-Z on Mondays" visit Jen over at Unglazed!


New Header is Up (and Digiscrapping 101)

It hit me that it was MAY yesterday! What the heck happened to April? It went by in such a blur between the girls turning three, Easter, and lots of events. Andy and I look at our calendar and shudder - a free weekend is nowhere to be seen.

So I had to get down to business and get up a new header! I kept with the same kit that I used last time, but since it is not a huge kit I didn't have a lot of embellishments to choose from. In the digiscrap world there are lots of (necessary) rules. These rules are called "terms of use."

Some designers give you carte-blanche with their work. Some don't. Kits cost anywhere from $1-$8, and some higher. The higher costing ones are usually huge. Also, almost every designer does regular "freebies" - which help them gain new paying customers.

All of them allow their designs to be used for personal use - meaning your own scrapbooks or gifts you make for others. If a kit is deemed "Personal Use Only" you can't use any of their designs in a way that would make you money. Also, many of these personal kits don't allow you to use their designs on your blog - whether or not you make money off your blog.

A good portion of designers classify their kits as "S4H or S4O Friendly." S4H=Scrap for Hire, and S4O=Scrap for Others. This means you can use their kits in projects you make money off of. (Dangling preposition.) Some have limits of how many of any one item you can make, like 500 cards. Beyond that you would have to purchase another license from them. Also, if a designer doesn't have their kit in this category, you can usually contact them and they will sell you a separate license to use it that way. I have done this - and every single one has been super cool about it! (Some didn't even charge me - they just wanted to know who was doing it.)

For both of those cases above, you can't use any of these designs in a kit you create. If you want to become a designer of digiscrap kits - you can't recolor one of their papers or embellishments and pass it off as your own.

Finally, there is another category called "Commercial Use." This is the most open of the categories. These designs can be altered by you in any way at all and you can include them in your kits that you design. These are usually in patterns, ribbons, buttons, etc. in grayscale and when you add color to them you get really nice depth. It's not uncommon to see the same exact element in a ton of kits - like a basic fence. But each designer recolors it, gives it texture, adds flowers, etc. - and they all come off looking completely different.

Who patrols this whole world? Basically no one. It is mostly on the honor system. Who would know if I made 1000 cards using a kit for "personal use" and tried selling them at a local craft show? Probably no one. But once you see how much time and effort these designers put intot their creations there is no way any self-respecting digiscrapper would! There are sites created to deter Digital Privacy - which is good for beginner digiscrappers to read about.

If you want to look at digiscrap kits, just for fun, my favorite shop is Elemental Scraps.

So ... back to my header. :) I have an Excel spreadsheet where I list (by name and designer) every kit I have. Right now I have over 120. I keep track of who allows their kits to be used for profit, on blogs, etc. I loved the "Little Lady" kit I am using now - and it fit into the "can use for blog" category! Yay! It is a smaller kit, though, so because I didn't have a lot to choose from, I ended up throwing together the header in about 15 minutes. I think I am going to go back and fix it up - the oval pictures on the sides are NOT even with each other and it's driving me nuts!

Once summer hits I think I will change the color scheme. Something bright.

Here are some recent pages I made ... enjoy!


Somewhere pigs are flying, hell is freezing over, and "that'll be the day" is here

I did yard work.

I finally tore out the dead mums that have been in our front yard since last year. Yes - LAST YEAR. I am not a gardener in any sense of the word. And Mr. Andy Man has enough to take care of with mowing the lawns and such that I never pushed him to do it.

Part of the reason is that I extremely dislike bugs. ((shudder)) And I extremely dislike the heat. But today was such a beautiful day and I wanted the girls to be outside. We had to go to Lowe's to buy Andy a week-wacker and I saw gardening gloves. I threw them in the cart and made the decision that today was going to be the day! Those mums - really dead sticks at this point - were coming out!

It went pretty quickly and I discovered that a nice pair of thick gloves brings my bug tolerance way up. I was even picking out worms for the girls to observe.

While I was working Mr. Andy Man set up the hose and let the girls play with it for a while.

He is taking them for a walk around the neighborhood in the wagon right now. It is a beautiful Saturday. Hope you all are enjoying yours.


Vote for Maddie and Katie!!

I've been gone again! Aaah!

Actually, not much has been going on here lately - Katie is sick, poor thing. She started with a runny nose - then a cough - now she sounds like Kathleen Turner. (Love it!) (Bad mommy!)

I do have some exciting news, though. A picture of Katie and Maddie was chosen as a finalist (Top 20) in "The Cutest Multiples Photo Contest" over at Multiples ... and More! Please take a sec to drop by and vote - they are number 6. Here is the picture I submitted ....

You can vote once until May 6th - and then once again after May 6th. If they make it to the Top 10 then the voting starts up again. Thanks so much!

In other news, Maddie is doing so well in school. She gets on the bus with no problem at all - which is such a relief to me. I don't know if I could have handled it if she was crying everyday. I get a note from her teacher almost everyday in her "Communication Notebook" (love it!) that tells me what she is doing in school and HOW she is doing. Apparently the word "no" was used by her quite often that first week!

We are almost done painting the base molding and we started putting some of the furniture back into place. Andy went nuts with those sticky felt pads on the bottom of everything. Now the chairs sliiiiide so nicely across the dining room floor. I want to get a big area rug for the living room so the girls can play without me holding my breath the whole time. Still no living room furniture in our future ... but I don't mind.

I am holding a garage sale here for my multiples club on May 9th and we are sooooo excited to clear some of the (still good) junk out of this place.

Thanks for voting for the girls!!! Spread the word!!!

So - have a great weekend everyone! And vote!!! :)