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Monday, February 28, 2011

Photo Edge Tutorial

Happy Monday!!!  I'm sharing another Digi-Tip over at Ideas For Scrapbookers today.  This time it is a tutorial on creating edges for your photographs.  I show you how using an adjustment layer as a clipping mask in Photoshop. I used Photoshop Elements in the screenshots, but this works in the full version as well.  Give it a look here.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Great Trip, but Something is Missing

This past summer was my first summer to be at home with my kids. I really cherished the time.  We got do a lot of fun activities and take several day trips.  One of those trips was a day to explore Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.  I had not been there since I was a kid.  Well, actually I had never been to Ellis Island, because it was not open to the public when I was last in that area.  If you ever have the fortune of having time to make that trip, allow yourself plenty of time. We could have easily spent at least an entire day at Ellis Island.  It is really amazing.  It felt like I was walking through a 3-dimensional life size scrapbook!  I so enjoyed learning the history and reading the quotes and journals from people that immigrated through there and worked there.  It was as if their spirits were taking you on a guided tour.

We caught the ferry from the Jersey side.  So our first stop was Ellis Island, then on to the Status of Liberty.  She is just gorgeous! The park land is an awesome place to enjoy a picnic and the scenery beckons for you to linger and take it all in.  The views of the city and the busy harbor are just breath taking.

I just couldn't help but feeling a profound sense of loss and grief as I gazed on the view of Lower Manhattan.  Even though the Twin Towers are no longer there, I still "see" them. The impact of September 11, 2001 and the many people who lost their lives in the attacks on our country are fresh in my heart.  As I stood there praying for all those people and their families, I was also overcome with a feeling of great pride for the strength of the American Spirit.

My parents took a photo of my brother and I as children when we visited the Statue. In the background the towers were just then under construction. I treasure that photo.  As I took this series of photos, I knew that I would treasure them as well.  I hope my children always will too.  I knew I had to scrap this.... for me and for them!

Digi Kit: Great Escape by WM [squared] Designs
Template: Be Inspired Guest Lynette by WM [squared] Designs

Friday, February 25, 2011

Our Zoo

Yes we have a zoo!  We have really soft hearts when it comes to animals.  We have rescued a number of pets over the years. Currently we have 2 dogs, 3 cats and one bird.  Have you ever considered a rescue pet?  It is an amazing experience. There are so many wonderful animals out there just waiting to find a loving home.  If you are thinking about adding a pet to your family, you should really give rescue/adoption a try.

We had this food theme going with our pet's names. It just sort of happened.  The orange and white cat started it all. The boys thought she looked like peaches and cream, so they named her Kitty Peaches.  We call her Peaches for short.

The two black cats are feral.  We found them abandoned by their mother when they were only about 3 weeks old. I had to hand feed them until they were hold enough to eat on their own.  When the boys saw the first of them (the tuxedo looking cat), my youngest shouted out "let's call him Oreo". His sister became Java as she is mostly black with just a touch of cream!

We then rescued the black lab/pit bull mix.  She was left to wonder the streets of a near by city at only 8 weeks old.  She would have been euthanized by a shelter if we had not rescued her.  She has become a wonderful addition to our family.  Being that she is mostly black and super charged with lots of energy, she was given the creative name of Pepper. Believe me, it is very fitting!

Then our youngest added two birds to the family. A yellow budgie that he named Maize, and a green budgie that he named Jalapeno.  Unfortunately we recently lost Jalapeno.  His beautiful singing is missed, but Maize still has plenty of company.

Just this year we adopted the bull dog from a friend.  Her name is Narnia.  My young cousin keeps asking why we did not name her Salt.... It would go so perfect with her sister Pepper!!!  LOL.  She was already named when we adopted her. Plus, her personality is not salty at all. She is a very special member of our family too.  She has a really great connection with my one son that has autism.  It's amazing to see the two of them interact.

Time to feed the animals... well at least the fur and feathered ones!!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Coffee or Tea Anyone?

 Just a quick card to share with you.  I made this to hold a gift card for a coffee shop.  Inside is another "mug" that is actually a pocket to hold the gift card.
Mmmm... I think I might go make a cup of tea!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The New Team

In case you were wondering.... the new CT team has been announced at ScrapMatters. I'm actually a little late getting it posted.  Sorry for that!

Thanks to everyone that applied. Lots of talent!!!  Congratulations to all the new additions to the team!  I can't tell you how excited I am to remain on the team. Looking forward to more fun and creativity!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Winter Picnic

We finally had some warmer weather the end of last week. The more than 2 feet of snow that seems to have been on the ground all winter long, finally melted away!  Then we had 2 days of sustained 60mph winds!  We actually tried to get out for walks in that.  You had to lean at such an angle into the wind it made walking serious business. Not to mention it just pulled the breath right out of you. It was exhausting!
Today, even though it was back to cooler temps, the sun was shining!  There was a strong breeze, but not the tree-knocking-down powerful winds we had recently. And we were all home at one point, that hasn't happened in a long while!  So we got out for a winter picnic.  We built a fire and roasted hot dogs, hot cocoa, and marshmallows.
When we we were done cooking, putting out the fire was easy. We just used some of the remaining snow.  The boys thought that was really fun to "roast snow".  Maybe that will be the title of the scrapbook page I make about this???!!!  We enjoyed a nice hike together too.

The temperatures are dropping today and they are forecasting snow tonight. Spring however is just around the corner!  Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Quick CT Call for ScrapMatters!

There are a few spots open on both the Digi CT and the Hybrid CT.  This is a one day only call.  Don't miss out, get your email sent today!!! 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New IFS Sketch/Template

Guess what? Over at Ideas For Scrapbookers we have started another new feature. Every other month we will be sharing a new sketch/template as part of our Designer Showcase Wednesday.  I know, I know, we already share lots of sketches and templates with you!  But this one will also include a Contributing Artists reveal with the most awesome inspiration and ideas to help get you creating.
Check it out!  This month I've shared a very basic sketch and you should see the great creations that the other artists shared!  Wow!!!

Here's my creation from this sketch
Now head on over to Ideas For Scrapbookers to check out all the wonderful inspiration!  You can also download the template here, the preview of the sketch is linked for download.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Is there something that you collect?  You know, every where you go you get attracted to these items?  You have a growing collection of them.  I've got a few things that I collect, snowmen, Santa's and coffee mugs.  I'm giving you a glimpse inside my cabinet where some of my mugs hang out.  They wait there patiently for me to come each morning and stare at them.  I get a feel for what type of day it is going to be and then I chose the mug to get the day started. I like to start the day off with coffee or tea.  And the mood of the mug can help get me mentally ready to face the day!

These types of things are what we should really make sure we document.  Do a scrapbook page for your "Book of Me" about your collections.  Wait, you do have a Book of Me, don't you?  You can include a photo of your items, or maybe an actual item depending on what you collect like coins, stamps, cloth, etc.  Or maybe you collect something that could be used to make elements for your page. Are you an avid gardener?  You could use some of your flowers or vegetables to decorate the page. You could make a stamp from some vegetables use them to paint or ink your page.  A dried pressed flower from your prized garden could be preserved as a pretty accent.

Yesterday as I was doing my daily mug selection, I decided it was time to do another page about my collection of mugs.  I couldn't possible fit them all in a photo.  But this conveys the feeling for me. It will be included in my Book of Me.

Now about that Book of Me - did you say you don't have one?  You really should.  I know it's common for us scrapbooker/crafters to be the ones that TAKE all the photos and do all the documenting and preserving of memories. And they mainly tend to involve the others in our lives.  But don't forget to take time to journal and preserve things about yourself too!

**edit:  I realize that you can't read the journaling on the page and wanted to share that with you.
"I have this tiny little minor obsession with coffee mugs.   I love them.  Seriously.  Every where we go, I usually add to my growing collection.  Each of them gives me a certain feeling, sets a mood for me.  It might just remind me of a fun trip, or a great place that we visited, some special time that we had or moment that we shared.  Some have been  special gifts  from others. Many of them are from Disney.  I’ve collected mugs from Disney World as well as Disneyland.  I have a lot of special memories from Disney. Believe it or not, each mug reminds me of it’s own set of special Disney times. This picture is only a few of the mugs that I have.  Two-thirds of one cabinet in the kitchen is filled with mugs. I used to have more.  I lost them years ago. I actually miss some of them.  Every morning I open the cabinet and think about what kind of day it will be. Then I select the mug that will help me get my day started. I use my mugs for both coffee and tea. My most favorite mug of all is the one centered in this photo. The blue mug with the snowman painted on it. My son Kevin made that for me (with some help from his teachers) many years ago. I save that one for the really special days.  Hello, my name is Cathy, and I am addicted to mugs!"

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's and Memories

Happy Valentine's Day!

Since you've probably got more than your share of candy to eat, I thought I'd spare your teeth from further cavities and share some eye candy with you today!  I have two projects to share with you.  This first is a page that I did about my sister.
Sister-love is a really special thing.  When we were growing up, we were "just" sisters.  You know, related, but not really close?  Our age difference and personality differences stood in our way. I admit, I'm the older sister.  Somehow despite all the lousy sibling pranks I played on her, we grew closer over the years. I'm really blessed now to call her not only my sister, but my good friend!  I love this photo of her, it really shows off her fun enchanting personality!

The jounraling on this page reads: "My sister and I are like two very different birds.  She was always the one that knew how to fly. She has courage, a sense for adventure and a willingness to try new things. Her outlook on life is happy and contagious. She adds so much fun to life. Me, I kept a lot closer to the nest. We were just sisters growing up. Age and personality differences  kept us from being close.I may be the older sister, but I learned a a lot by watching her make the most of  life.I’m so glad that we have now become really close friends."

The second project that I am sharing is a year-in-review page of the many wonderful memories from 2010.  I spent nearly two days working on it. It took time to select and process each photo.  There are 132 photos on this one page! Yikes!  And these are but a few of the photos that I took last year! Yeah - I love taking photos.  That's also why I am not in many of the photos!

OK - now you can go dig into those Valentine chocolates and candies!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Spring is not quite here, but I've already started the process of cleaning and de-cluttering.  Today I attacked the piles of magazines.  There are some magazines I like to keep, others I like to browse and then recycle.

I've been guilty of leaving the browse-then-recycle ones laying about on tables and surfaces.  So I created this....... 
Maybe "create" is not the best choice of words.  I altered this.  I've had the magazine holder in the basement holding some old trade magazines.  I got 3 of them at the dollar store for $1.  Yep! $1 at the dollar store - what do you know!

So I prettied it up with some digi papers, ribbon and flowers.  Now I can have it sitting out in the family room and hold all my magazines until I get a chance to read them.

In case you are wondering, here is what it looked like before I altered it.
That's one of our cats, Java.  She was curious about what I was doing and wouldn't leave me alone.

Now back to the rest of the de-cluttering!  It's never-ending!

Digi kit: Vanilla Noir by Quirky Twerp
Ribbon: Michaels
Flowers: Prima, Queen & Co
Gems: Queen & Co.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Meeting Snow White

As the journaling says...... "Living in a house filled with all Princes, I don’t get to meet the Princesses when we visit Disney." You should have seen me when my husband and I were strolling through EPCOT and Snow White set up for a meet and greet.  I was like a little girl so excited!  I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to have my picture taken with her!

TempBlends vol 9 by Jenn Lindsey
Magic is Here kit and clusters by Mye De Leon

Friday, February 4, 2011

You Make My Heart Sing

 Seriously, when I spied the little bird cage in the Je t'aime kit by WM [sqaured] Designs, my heart started to sing!  It's adorable!  I knew I had to create something with it.... and this is what I made.

I designed the card in Photoshop first. Then I printed all the elements individually. I cut everything out. Ran the layers of papers through my sewing machine for a shabby stitched look.

To coat the cage and bird with glitter, I ran them though my Xyron upside down to apply adhesive, then sprinkled them with the glitter.

Small pieces cut from the edge of a double sided adhesive foam squares package made easy work of bending the cage wires out for some dimension. I made a duplicate of the bird and cut a second wing portion out to adhere on the outside of the cage.  Spanish Moss made interesting nest material.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Challenge and a FREEBIE !!!

I'm hosting this month's challenge for Wendy at WM [squared] Designs.  The challenge is to make a Valentine card.  And there is a prize up for grabs to one lucky winner!!!  Come on over to her blog to check out the details!

But that's not all..... as a little Valentine gift for you, I'm sharing a card template for the challenge sample that I created. The preview above is linked for download. Hope you enjoy it!  You don't have to use the template to be in the challenge, you can use any design of your choosing for the challenge.

Happy Groundhogs Day and Valentine's Month!!

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