A goodie for you

I had a little time this weekend to create a couple of templates. I thought I would share with you.

Here is the template:

image

The embellishment is from Creative Memoires’ Digital Freebies page. Have you downloaded any of theirs? Some of them are really nice. I especially like the flourishes that you can find there.

And here is the page I created with the template:

image

The paper and snowflakes are from Jen Allyson’s blog.

If you haven’t checked out her new digital scrapbooking store, you should. Design House Digital, it’s called. There is some beautiful stuff out there. I go browsing and I just want it all!

So, here is the template, if you’d like to download it to play with. (it’s for StoryBook Creator 3.0)

I’d love to see what you do with the page!  Post a picture of your layout!

Sleep, Glorious Sleep

One of my favorite things about the holidays is not having to get up early – well, except for Christmas morning when the kids come bounding into the room at some ungodly hour, bouncing off the walls and onto the bed, insisting that we get up! get up! Santa’s come! get up!

Other than that exception, it is SO NICE to be able to sleep late.  This year, especially, since I have not been feeling that well.  Generally speaking, though, I am part bear and love to hibernate in the winter (heck, I love to sleep year round!).   

There is nothing nicer than nestling down in the warm, soft covers knowing that you don’t have to go anywhere or do anything until you want to.  The days leading up to Christmas are certainly not that way, but those precious days after Christmas are my favorites. Lazing around with only the things you want to being the things you have to do.  Chores can wait, cooking? who is cooking? leftovers, baby.  But the bestest part is the napping and sleeping in.

When the girls were smaller, they didn’t sleep past 6 AM or so.  Actually, until last year, that was the case. However, now they are sleeping (gasp!) until 7:30 or 8:00 (isn’t it sad that I am excited and consider that sleeping “late?”). And the best part is that their dad usually gets up with them (part of why he is my SuperMan) and lets me sleep even later.  (sigh)

I’m not looking forward to getting up at 5AM next week, but I’m sure enjoying my lazy days this week.

Bra

Coming out of the Haze

There is nothing quite like being sick during the holidays. After all the cooking, cleaning, baking, preparations and anticipation, my body simply decided it was done.  Quit. Finis. Full Stop. 

Thank goodness I have a very understanding, loving, and compassionate family.  SuperMan did most of the cooking (including our delicious Christmas Day dinner) and general taking care of things.  The girls were so well behaved (for the most part) and just played with their new toys and patted me on the arm as they went by.  Me? I spent most of Friday and Saturday either on the sofa or in my recliner in a snot-induced haze. Gross imagery, I know, but true.

I am finally starting to feel a little more like myself, although I think a trip to the doctor is still not out of the running. 

However, yesterday, SuperMan took the girls for an afternoon outing with friends. They went to see the new Alvin & the Chipmunks movie – The Squeaquel (I love that play on words!).  They had a great time and then MB went to spend the night at a friend’s house. They were supposed to be staying here, but we decided there were too many germs in our house so they moved the party.

While they were gone, I thought I would do a little reading or scrapbooking. Turned out, I got to do both.  I am reading Dan Brown’s new book: The Lost Symbol.  It is very engaging and from about page 50, I was hooked.  I have been carrying the book around under my arm everywhere I go in the house this weekend (from the couch to the recliner… from the recliner to the couch :-)  and reading every second I can.  Basically, it’s similar to the other Dan Brown books although this time it’s not focused on the Catholic Church – it’s about the Masons.  Pretty interesting.

Anyway, I also sat down to do some digital scrapbooking (my scrap table is covered in Christmas paper right now and I didn’t feel up to cleaning it off) only to find out that the new “patch” of the StoryBook Creator software I’d installed had completely erased all the links to my content.  Argh! So, I spent close to two hours re-linking all the files.  While this probably was a good thing in the long run (it cleaned up my mis-mashed linking I had before) it was SO not how I wanted to spend my afternoon of silence and solitude! 

Once I finished that chore, I was determined to get some scrapbooking done.  I managed to finish the album I’m making for my brother (shh, it’s a secret!) and did a little work on the one for my mom.  Then, I started on some pages on my family album.  Here are a few I did:

CoverPage2009 This will be the cover page of our 2009 album.  Do you get the reference?
I love the simplicity of the design –
and the fact that I managed to fit 12 pictures from the year on one page!

 

Halloween I think this one speaks for itself concerning the topic.
All of the elements are freebies (including the paper) that I found online in October.

Here are larger pictures of the pages:

HalloweenLeft

HalloweenRight

 

FieldDay I have been wanting to do something special with MB’s field day pictures. I think this turned out pretty well.
I used one of the free CM templates (Great Escapes) and doctored it a bit to make it less ‘travel’ oriented and more sports oriented.

Here are larger pictures of the pages:

FieldDayLeft

FieldDayRight

I don’t know if I will have time today to do more scrapbooking, but I am hoping to. Next on my list of things I want to scrap are Ang’s graduation pictures, our trip to the pumpkin patch, and the Girl Scout hike the girls took in November.  I am really enjoying not constraining myself to crop chronologically… although I am a wee bit concerned I may miss a few pictures here and there. But heck, when you take close to 200 a month some months, you are bound to miss one or two, right?

What have you been up to?

Creative Memories Tip: Saving Page Template in StoryBook Creator Plus

I am so excited.  Creative Memories posted on their blog today about how to save individual .page files as templates so that you can share page templates with people.  If you have downloaded any of my recent template posts, you know it was not just a single file to download. 

With this new information, it should mean easier creation of template files.  Which is good for me, but even better for you!  That means I'll be posting more templates here in the future for you to use with StoryBook Creator Plus! (yay!)

Here's a template for you – just because I'm so happy about the new process! (just click on the link to download)

Templates - Page 011

And, here is a page I made with the template:

Family Album 2009 - Page 010

Note: The text boxes are in the template, they just don't show up on the JPG of the template for some reason.

Also, if you want the top right photo to have a rounded corner like mine does, you will need to flatten the image once you drop your photo in the frame. Then you can round the corners.

I must give credit for the inspiration, though, to Cathy Zielske's template on Designer Digitals. I love the clean lines she has in her designs! So, if you are not a StoryBook Creator Plus user, but you like this design, go get her template!

Oh, and if you like the paper and embellishments, it's all from DigiChick – Brown Eyed Girl.

Puppy Love

I’m finding more and more inspiration for scrapbook pages in reading online blogs and looking at websites selling pre-made digital templates.  Because I’m not using PhotoShop, most of those templates are not much use to me. It is easier to make my own in StoryBook Creator than to figure out how to re-layer the many files that are sent with a downloaded template. (I’ve tried it on a few freebies and decided it was way more trouble than it’s worth)

What I have been doing, though, is much like what we do when we’re scrapbooking traditionally. (and I use this technique for both digital and traditional pages)  I simply “eyeball” the page and make my own version using rough estimates on what sizes the pictures are and where the embellishments are placed.  This challenge has been fun and I have been enjoying seeing if I can reproduce what I see online with some relative semblance of accuracy.

Here’s an example:  I saw this layout from Designer Digitals:

LT707240And decided to create this layout:

PuppyLove - Page 019You will notice I took some creative license with my design.  I didn’t add the dotted/stitched border.  I added an additional embellishment.  I had planned to put a background in there once I was finished, but then I decided I liked the clean look of the white page, so I left it.

I’ve been thinking about doing a page on Sydney for a while, and have been waiting for the right inspiration to hit.  Well, one look at that layout and I was ready to go.

Inspiration can come from many places.  You can be inspired by a picture, by an advertisement, by colors, fabrics, sunrises, etc.  The trick is to be open to the muse and either act on it right away or write your ideas down so that you can act later.

These Hands

These Hands - Page 018

These Hands…


Are Strong and Tough
Yet Gentle and Loving
Work Hard and Rough
and Caress so Softly
Represent Making a Living
and Safety and Security
These Hands are Tough
… Yet Fragile.
We love these hands.

Sunday Scrapping

Hi, everyone,

My Sunday Scrapbooking post is up at The Lady’s site. Please check it out and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Lois

You’re not behind…

Happy Sunday!

I’m recovering from a 3 week-long headache and way too much activity this weekend.

So while you’re waitin’ on the next column here, check out my latest guest post here: The Lady at Home.

I’ll be back tomorrow. Promise.

Scrapbook Layout Inspiration

Happy Tuesday, y’all…

It’s raining here. Nasty, wet and cold.  My youngest is at home with me – she has the sniffles. We are snuggled up in the house and I’m trying really hard to remember that I work full-time and stay focused on work.  What I really want to do is grab a blanket or two, light a fire, make some hot tea, and snuggle by the fire with my little Doodlebug.  Maybe that will come in just a little bit.  Must get a few more things done.

I thought today I would share a layout idea that has inspired me.  I found it over at Ella Publishing Company’s website. They have a neat new eZine that has some pretty awesome ideas in it. I’m finding great inspiration for layouts, color schemes, you name it.  One thing I’ve learned over the  years  is to always be on the lookout for things that catch my eye.  Once I find them, I either take a picture, save it on my PC, or put it in a folder I have of scrapbooking ideas.

Here’s my folder –

IMG_3222

I just rip pages out of magazines and save them here. When I sit down to scrapbook and need a little inspiration or help getting the creative juices flowing, I just rummage around in the pile of ideas. That is usually a good way to get me started.

I used to subscribe to tons of scrapbook magazines.  Now, not so many.  I have found that I can get the same inspiration from looking at blogs and other scrapbook related websites (like Ella’s) to find (free) ideas.  So, I have started an electronic version of my idea “folder” as well.  This is a little simpler – it’s just a PowerPoint file that I copy/paste images into whenever I see an idea that inspires me.

ideafile

Here are some places for you to consider as you search for ideas for yourself:

  • Designer Digitals – they have challenges that are awesome. If you are a digital scrapbooker, the downloads that come with the challenges are pretty awesome, too.  If you are traditional, consider getting the downloads anyway. You can always print them on your own cardstock or re-create the layout, etc. on your own.  The ladies at DD are really talented and I always find a few things I want to try over there.
  • Ali Edwards – always has awesome ideas.  Check her blog out (if you haven’t already) – it is well worth the visit.
  • Cathy Zielske – I love her no-nonsense style of scrapbooking. Clean lines, lots of whitespace and capturing the essence of a story.

Okay, enough rambling…. Here’s the original layout that inspired me:

Here’s my version:

my take

And, here’s a bonus for you – a link to a template you can use in StoryBook Creator + (3.0) if you are using that for your digital scrapbooking. (as soon as I get Photoshop Elements, I’ll include those, too. Not in the budget yet, though)

Send me your pages! I’d love to see what you do with the idea!

More of Me: The Abridged Version

Ok, so I found some time yesterday to do a little journaling in my Me: The Abridged Version book.  I also realized while I was working that I wanted more vibrant pages for the album.  The color scheme I had chosen was a little muted.  So, I’m amping things up a bit now.

Here’s a sample of a page I’ve completed.

MeTAV-1

I’m still considering removing the craft paper background and just doing it on white.  But I’m not sure yet.  (do you have an opinion?)

MeTAV-3

I’m finding this is actually pretty fun.  It’s an interesting change to write about myself – my thoughts, stories, etc. – as opposed to writing about my kids.  Being the centerpiece of the story instead of the background character who is chronicling the kids’ stories.  You should try it.

And, it’s interesting to me that my girls are very interested in reading the pages as I finish. And they want to know about me!  How cool is that?  As moms I think we get lost sometimes in just being “mom” and forget to be ourselves.  This project is reminding me of the need to focus on me some – focus on my story – and focus on things that make me happy. (like scrapbooking!)

MeTAV-2

I challenge you – do a page about yourself.  Pick a topic – list your five favorite movies or books, tell a story from your childhood, whatever gets your creative juices flowing.  And, remember, the picture is optional. It’s the story that counts.