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Monday, February 8, 2010


Happy new week, everyone!  I didn't make it back to post a Friday Freebie, so I'll make up for it today!  I've almost decided it's impossible for me to stick to any posting schedule regardless of how I'd love to be that organized.  Too many real life things keep jumping up in my face.  I've just learned that my sweet almost 82 year old Mom has scheduled herself for an aortic valve replacement surgery on the 17th, and that's right around the corner!  Yikes!  My folks are in WV, my only brother is in AZ, and I'm 8 hrs. away from them here at the beach.  I will be traveling north to be there for her surgery, of course, and will be staying as long as necessary afterwards to help take care of her and do for my Dad while she is recovering.  My bro will be there for her surgery also, and will probably be able to hang out for one week as he is a teacher with a classroom full of ROTC students that he cannot leave alone too long.  I am busy making preparations for this trip and extended stay which will be quite a change for me in weather conditions alone.  They are currently under a seige of snowfall due to total around 30 inches by the middle of this week.  I haven't done snow for over 15 years!  Not sure I even have the clothes to put on myself anymore for that type of weather!  Yikes!  We don't own a 4WD anymore either!  I've just used the last of my resources to get a small laptop to take with me for sanity, but I'm not sure I'll be able to catch an internet signal up there in the "sticks", but I will explore the how-to's after I'm there awhile.  Just know that if I'm not able to post for a month, that's why.  The laptop will enable me to load my programs and keep designing in any spare time I can squeeze into the busy schedule up there.  So I figured that will save my sanity.  We don't realize how accustomed to our daily conveniences we are until something like this pops up to remove them from you.  I will take my yarns, knitting needles, crochet hooks, several thick good books I've been wanting to read and the laptop.  That should be a fairly good survival kit for me.  I'll probably be very busy anyway nursing my Mom and running her house while she is down.  My folks are not your typical elderly.  They have their full mentation, stay very active, and keep up their 2-acre property without help.  My brother has always called my Mom by a loving nickname he gave her years ago, "The Rock".  She has been the dynamic center around which all else happens for as long as I can recall.  She hits the floor running in the morings, is a night-owl like me, does an amazing job at keeping everybody highly motivated, and has withstood many a storm in her own life but remains unscathed and staunch in her faith.  Hence, my brother's nickname for her.

At any rate, I hope you will miss me a little if I'm not here with you for awhile.  If that happens, I will look forward to my own return, and I hope you will also.

Today, I'm giving you a Valentine I made just for you!  I've named it "Circle Of Love" and it's another photo mat/clipping mask.  I'm so hung up on making these things, I just can't stop!  This idea popped into my head, so here it is:

Here is my own layout and one way to use this mask.  I simply clipped a paper to it and sat my photo on top of it, feather blending the photo edges to fade them from being so sharp.  I  used a photo of one of my favorite subjects (LOL) and just cropped a circle of his face from the picture.

The two papers used and the left corner flourish are from a collaboration kit named "Where The Heart Is" by Grandma's Templates and Scraps N Pieces, the measuring tape element and alpha letters are from kit "Sew Chic" by Tricia Curtis Designs found at GDS.  The font at the top is Angelic War from DaFont.  I went ahead and turned this layout into a Quick Page for you also entitled "Unmeasured Love", so grab it below if you like it.


Lastly for today, I'm adding another project to the "Mason Jar" for your consideration.  It's another crocheted bath/kitchen rag with the ruffled top, this one in pleasing color combinations of camel gold background and variegated topper in sage, cream, mauve tones.  These are 100% cotton, machine wash/dry and can be used as pot holders, hot pads, kitchen rag, or personal bath rags for self or guests.  They make especially wonderful items to place in a gift basket you are making for someone.  If you've never used one of these, treat yourself to one.  Folks who have tried them always come back for more for themselves and for gifts.  They are soft, wear well, last forever, and are so fluffy coming out of the dryer.  Here's the preview:
Item:  CR_#02
Price:  $8.00 (+$2.50 S/H)

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That's all I have for the moment.  Have a great week, and I hope you are somebody's special Valentine!  Remember to stop in often and see what I have for you.  I  had a reader comment just recently that she liked my music.  I haven't reloaded that player for a long time, but if the music bothers you while you visit here, simply scroll to the bottom of my screen and turn the player off.  You are in charge of the player while here.  Hope I make it back soon!  Happy Scrapping!


Thursday, February 4, 2010


Yes, I feel like issuing an "APB" for two gorgeous silk plant hangers that I made myself early this past August; for they came up missing off my front porch during the wee hours of one dark night this week already!  I'm telling you, I am not the luckiest person this side of the Rockies!  Take a look at one of them in this photo below and you'll see why I'm so sick in the pit of my stomach!

Now, I realize we aren't supposed to be materialistic while here on earth, and I really try to make a concerted effort to avoid that.  However, I have a real problem with blatent theivery!!  I had purchased these two simplistic silk hanging baskets a very long time ago at my local Home Depot where I found them decorating the kitchen cabinet section.  They hung as they were for many years on my front porch devoid of any colorful blossoms.  In the south the sun tends to reek havoc on the plastic veins of silk florals within a couple of years.  When I looked at them this past summer looking fairly raggedy, I decided to take them down and rework them with new fresh silks.  I spent what I consider a good deal of time at my local Wal Mart shopping and deciding what silk pieces and stems to put together for a new look that may coordinate with my "smurf blue" townhouse with its burgundy front door.  (Ugh, not the easiest color combo to try to blend something with!)  I'm a modified hippie and a long time professional knotter (macrame artist), and I had made the loopy variegated cord hangers for the original two wicker type basket containers to liven them up in the beginning.  These hangers were complete with covered brass rings at the top and matching wooden beads, the cord being a nice variegation of tan, darker brown fleck, and "country blue".  I can remember scooting around on my kitchen floor making a big mess doing the make-over on these two baskets as my Angel Daughter laughed as she watched me perform one of mini crafting miracles I'm famous for in my family.  It definitely was a "Janytime" moment, hence, moments such as these are why they dubbed me that nickname.  Each spring I've had little birds make their nest and raise their young out of these baskets, never minding us coming and going all the time through the front door so closeby.  I don't do things like these baskets to be showy, I do them to make myself smile when I go in and out of my own door and can see something pretty that I've made.  It just makes ME feel good, right on site (sight too), each and every time I pass.  Well, they are both gone, just as if they had disappeared into thin air.  My DH and I noticed their absence immediately as we left the house for lunch.  For a few minutes I was hopeful that they had just blown off their hooks during the strong wind and rain storm we had sustained a night prior.  I walked over my neighborhood looking for them in the corners of other porches and shrub lines but all to no avail.  I even thought if it were just due to somebody's mean streak, perhaps I would find them in one of the three dumpsters in the neighborhood, so I went dumpster diving also to no avail while my DH pleaded with me to just "let it go".  I tried to reason it out why someone would take such a thing.  Did they need to steal to resell it for food for their family?  If so, they had poor judgement due to the fact that other things on display on my front porch were worth far more money, such as the wrought iron sunshine, the copper kokopeli's, and an iron sculpture of two frogs sharing a park bench; all of which I now feel like I need to put away in my attic!  I know we are to turn the other cheek and forgive, so I will try.  It's just another one of those spurs under my saddle!!  However, if in my future travels locally I should spy them hanging on someone else's front porch, no telling what I will do then!!!

Speaking of attics, that's what I worked on all day today.  I cleaned my attic, complete with a good vacumming!  My BFF and I have vowed this is the year we will minimize our lives and excess "stuff", but she is well known for out-working me in this department.  I am a natural pack-rat by birthrights, so it's extremely difficult for my Gemini mind to decide what things I can toss out and truly live without.  However, I do feel good about getting the attic in better shape and clean.  At least that's a good starting point to this year's minimizing project!  Yeah for me!

I was roaming around through digi-shop forums and happened upon the Supreme Team IX contest going on at GDS.  Deadline for entry was Tuesday night, Feb 2nd.  I just happened to be there, so I signed up to participate in the contest with the rest of 180 contestants!  Whew!  That's a lot of folks!  Out of that number only 12 will be selected to be a part of the site's CT team for a 4-month term.  We are only in the first round of competition, and there will be a total of 4 rounds with eliminations each week.  The kit provided us for the first round was "Sew Chic" by Tricia Curtis Designs, and we each had to make a layout from it using nothing extra other than the kit and whatever capabilities are inside our scrapping software programs.  Here's what I did with it:

It's a beautiful kit loaded with gorgeous papers and a huge amount of elements and a beautiful alpha.  The colors are soft and muted, sort of my type of grunge.  I immediately saw photos of my own fiber art crafting wrapped up into this kit somehow, so this is the page I came up with.  Everyone's layout is being uploaded to the gallery at GDS under the heading of  "Supreme Team IX Contest Gallery, Round 1".  The competition is stiff, going to be too many great ones.  I don't expect to make it past the first round, but it's fun to try anyway.  You always make new friends hanging out in the shop forums! 

Well, that's all I have to harp about tonight, peeps!  I hope to be back sometime tomorrow with a "FRIDAY FREEBIE" for you all, so stop back by!  Bless You, and Happy Scrapping!


Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I'm running so far behind where I'd like to be.  It's been a long harrowing week full of all kinds of things I didn't have in my plans, but I'm going to post this before midnight and then just make some edits to it to keep adding!  Ah-ha!  Cheating to meet my own mental deadline, so how does that grab ya!  Oh well, sometimes we all work under the gun, and I am my own worst enemy about deadlines.  I hate missing my own mental deadlines.

First, I want to show you a layout a sweet lady from Australia sent me using the photo mat freebie I provided several posts ago.  I think it's beautiful, and the journaling under the photo is a long beautiful poem about Australia.  I may post the poem here later if I can figure out how to copy and insert it.  But here is the layout so you can see how beautifully she used the mask.

I'm just so honored that "haveachat/Bev" was kind enough to send this to me to show you all.  Now I've actually experienced the thrill of getting to see how someone has used one of my design creations!  It's a natural high, for sure!  It feeds our creativity and makes us want to make more things!  Thanks so much, Bev.  I have a feeling we are going to be super great cyber friends!

Now, I'm off to get the rest of this post packaged up and ready, and I'll be back after midnight (haha) to insert the rest of this!  My form of cheating my own brain!  Back later!

I'm back . . . oh, that didn't take long!  Right!  I've concluded that making previews, packaging, zipping and uploading definitely are my stumbling blocks in all this.  Designing is easy!

Here is this week's MASON JAR PROJECT:  One of my readers suggested making clipping masks with state names, so I'm giving that a whirl (maybe coming at you in alphabetical order) and will put these in the "Mason Jar".  Please refer to the labels on the right side of my blog and read up on "The Mason Jar Story" if you are not familiar with my project and what it is for.  I hope to bring you a nice variety of items in the "Jar", and any digi-scraps found in the jar will surely be kept most affordable for you.  So, with that said, I present for your consideration, my photomat, "ALASKA".  Here is the preview:

ITEM NAME:  SBS_Alaska_PhotoMat
PRICE:  $0.35

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You can pay with Paypal or any credit card, and you do not have to have a Paypal account to do this.  Within 24 hours of payment, you will receive an email from me with a 4Shared link to download your purchase.  It's that simple!  Please be sure to include your email to me in the text space provided above the "Buy Now" button.  Thanks for your consideration.  (I'm an "oldie", so I like the sound of 35-cents, I can remember back when lots of things were only that price, like a movie ticket!)

Next up are two FREEBIES!  (Yes, I said "2"!!)  I'm feeling generous and spurred on by love of the clipping masks and your number of downloads on them!  So here's another sort of seasonal one for you!  This time "FROSTY".  Maybe you can think of a creative way to even use this mat for a summer photo (I can, like my grandchildren eating snowcones in the heat of summer!).  Always take time to think outside-the-box in all things creative.  Here's the preview:


Lastly for tonight, since another whole week has quickly passed, it's Template Tuesday again!  This one was a delight for me to design, and I have a million (not quite, but close) variations on it which I may throw at you eventually.  The zip is complete with a psd file, a tiff file, and all png files saved, so hopefully many of you using various scrapping software programs will be able to use my templates.  This is #03 from me, and here's the preview:


In conclusion, I must share with you just a hint of how my week went.  We had a bad wind/rain storm with gale-force gusts throughout one night which took off numerous shingles from our place and several of our good neighbors.  My DH volunteered to make all the repairs (he's a good guy).  I stepped outdoors the morning after the storm to a circle of landscaped area to view my own roof damage, and, low and behold, I stepped right on top of a small fire-ant hill.  I was only there no more than 5-10 seconds at most with socks and shoes on, mind you!  Nevertheless, the damage I suffered in that length of time from the fire-ants was hideous!  The bites or stings, whatever, were too many to count and by the time I felt the first one, it was too late to prevent the number that I received in total.  OUCH!!!  I even had on long slacks, but it made no difference.  If you could have seen me dancing across the pavement to my front porch, hopping, swatting and ripping my clothes off all the way you would still be sore in the tummy from the laughing!!  I was half-naked coming back in my own front door, stood in my kitchen on tile and peeled off the rest of my bottom half clothing.  Let me just advise that the uppermost fire-ant sting in that short length of time was too close to the Crown Jewel for comfort!!  I took 50 mg. of Benadryl even though I'm not allergic to these devils just because of the number that had wounded me.  When the wounds progressed from the stinging stage to the itching stage, I applied an anti-itch stick called "After-Bite" which I keep here for my grandchildren.  I'm sure it contains a combination of alcohol and/or ammonia and something, and it helps a great deal.   - - - You folks in the North don't have to deal with these critters; they are definitely a terror of the sandy South, and winter temperatures are not frigid enough here to stomp them out!  I simply forgot that for 5-10 seconds while I was looking up at my roof instead of down at the ground first!!!   I must say though, that after the Benadryl dose, I didn't get much else done for a good 24 hour period.  I tried to continue my day but dropped everything I touched, so I finally gave up and took to my Lazy-Boy and slept it off.

Lastly, this past Friday my hard drive decided to crash in the middle of some major work I was trying to accomplish!!  Oh yes, the event we all dread but can't seem to prevent at some point in time.  Are you ever psychic enough to feel it getting near???  I am, but not well enough.  Haven't learned to pinpoint the exact day yet, but I've got the month down pretty well.  It took three solid days, but I was able to get my system back up and running without losing any files this time!  Yeah!!  I've judiciously surmised that I caused this HD crash myself, it was not due to HD mechanical failure this time.  I had been moving large quantities of files, copying large quantities to other locations, dumping the recycle bin repeatedly and was unaware that my last scheduled defrag was for the night that we had the above mentioned storm that knocked our electric out for 6-8 hrs. during the night.  Consequently that defrag never happened, and I believe my HD was overly fragmented and just went down.  I was close to having the HD about 20 gigs from being full when I decided to do all this monumental work, which causes resources to be on the low side I'm so sure.  Anywho, I was able to use the windows recovery system to finally get to that HD and do a complete backup to a different external drive to save it, then did a system restore to an earlier date of only a few days.  After intense tweaking, I think I've got things pretty much as they were before the crash.  Plus, I went one step further and added a secondary internal hard drive of 1 terabyte for more storage space.  I work also with three external drives, one is an eBook type of 250 gig and the other two are 500 gig pocket bay drives (they are so nifty and small).  The last piece of advice I will pass on to those interested is CARBONITE!  If you value your precious photos and files as I do, please visit http://www.carbonite.com/ and read up on their online backup service.  They offer a free two-week trial of the program, then it's a subscription annually if you want to use it.  I've got it, and it's flawless, easy, and awesome and will give you the "peace of mind" you have been searching for.  I found this tip in a newsletter from Ro at Scrap Girls.  She is of the opinion, as I am, that everything mechanical will fail eventually, even our external drives.  Disks can become scratched over time rendering them unreadable.  Think about it.  Carbonite offers unlimited storage space, encryption of your files twice before they copy them into storage, you can download any of your files at any time, and they even offer remote access in case you need to download files away from home, such as when you travel.  Very cool.  It's a small program that runs in the background while you're connected to the internet, pauses if you use your internet, and resumes if you become idle on the net.  You can let it do its thing automatically, or you can hand select which files, folders, drives, etc. you want backed up.  I'm very impressed with it and have personally been searching a long time for this kind of peace of mind.  It comes highly recommended if you read up on it, and all for just a little over the price of a carton of cigarettes these days!!  Check it out and let me know what you think.

Okay, sorry, I've managed to talk your eyes out again!  My intent is to keep these posts short, but it never happens.  I promise to practice more on that one!  In the meantime, HAPPY SCRAPPING!