Friday, May 30, 2008

Check it out!!!

I just found this awesome post at the Sunshine Studios Forum .... here's what it says:

The following 10 participants of the Ad Challenge were randomly picked as winners of a $5 gift certificate to one of our Sunshine Designer's store!


Sunshine Studios Grand OpeningSo SUNnyGift for a Friend

A quick post

I won't be on much today because I will be going to my daughter's school for Field Day. She's so excited to have Mommy come to her school and hang out with her :)

But I wanted to share a few layouts I did this week. I've actually been pretty productive even though it's been a very busy week. These first two were both done using the Sunshine Studios Collab kit called Walking on Sunshine. It's a HUGE kit! The second one was done for an ad challenge at their forum but I'm not sure if I'm happy with how it looks. I think I took the ad layout in a much more literal sense than some of the entries. Some of them don't even look like the ad at all in my opinion but I guess the whole point is to have fun and use the inspiration to get another page done, right?

And I did Hummie's new Template Challenge too. I love this template! And this awesome "Spring is Coming" kit by Photo Scrappy Mom.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Want some CU Grunge Brushes?

One of the many wonderful things about Hummie at Hummie's World is that all you have to do is ask, actually sometimes you don't even need to ask...just mention it in passing *L*, and she is right there to teach you something new! I mentioned having to find new grunge brushes since I was bored and unhappy with what I have. And next thing you know Hummie is teaching me how to do it myself. Check out the tutorial thread here.

But in the meantime, I'd like to share with you a few of the ones I had fun making this morning. And you can feel free to use them for commercial needs too :) There is even a frame that I played around and made to see if the brushes were "usable"and I threw it in the download for you to enjoy.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Another Challenge Down...and I was tagged :)

Sunshine Studios had another great challenge this week and of course I participated. It was all about using the number 2 in a layout. I had a lot of ideas but since I am still trying to get Lynn's first year done I decided to do this one. It is a totally different direction than I thought I would go originally but sometimes it's nice to set aside your initial reaction and try something new.

your first 2 steps
Flergs' Chocolate Berry Kit
Glitter style behind "2" Flergs Muted Glitter styles
Stitched Flower from Flergs A Mothers Love Freebie
Font HavingWrit and Euphorigenic

Check it out...Sue tagged me. Funny part is...I read that post and never realized it was me she tagged. *L*

So, you want to know 7 random things about me? OK, but I can't promise they will be interesting. *L*

1. I was only 14 years old when I started dating my husband. I have now been with him for more than half of my life already.

2. My wedding anniversary is the same day as our dating anniversary. When we were young we joked that we would get married on 8-5, the day we went on our first date, and that the new millennium was a great year to get married. 8-5 happened to actually BE a Saturday during 2000, so we stuck to the plan we jokingly set when we I was 16.
3. I knew I was pregnant with my son after only 2 weeks of trying. Talk about a LONG pregnancy! My hair was falling out when I washed it and I thought "not already!?" but sure enough...2 lines.
4. My best friend is a guy. Yup, a man. And my husband is totally OK with it. He calls him his stand-in *L* I spend more time with my best friend than with my husband since he works so much and most people have the wrong impression. When my family invites me to parties they often tell me to bring one or both husbands *L* Seriously though, he's the brother I never had. He's a great guy and he is so good to my kids (he is the Godfather for both). There is nothing romantic goin' on there people .... REALLY!
Please excuse our goofy appearance, this was at the end of a very long & very fun wedding :)

5. I have HORRIBLE luck with cakes... here are just a few of the mishaps..

My daughters 2nd birthday cake. They spelled her name wrong and decided that plopping a big ugly shamrock in the middle of it would disguise it. Notice, it's also lopsided!
This one looks awesome right? Except one little thing. The ONLY thing my daughter asked was for her name to be written in her favorite color BLUE! Over and over I had to hear, Mommy my name will be blue right? And I put on the order form in BOLD letters to make all writing blue. Does that look blue to you? What a shame too, it's a beautiful cake. But oh my goodness were there tears!!!!!
This one I cried over! I had a big first birthday BBQ for my son last year with almost 100 people. I ordered a cake decorated with primary colors. THIS is what I got! My daughter could have written it better and that is their idea of decorating!?!?!?! (I tried to jazz it up a little with candles). I went back to the store and got my money back but I still had to feed that to 100 people!
It's hard to tell in the photo but the most recent cake trauma was at my Mom's 50th. The cake was so perfect when I picked it up. I actually researched where I could get a beautiful cake that actually tasted good in the area and found a woman who does it out of her home. I was determined that this would not be another problem cake. It was beautiful....until I handed it over to the restaurant staff! They must have put something down on the box or something. The whole top left was smooshed and the flowers were mashed .... "Happy" didn't really exist anymore. I can't win. I give up. For now on...I make them.
6. I was an art major in high school and college. Somehow I lost that part of me when I became a SAHM. That's why digital scrapping has become so important to me. I got started digital scrapping because I wanted to make my own Myspace profiles (something I only managed's not that easy!) and siggies for CafeMom (a place I haven't been in months now *L*)

7. I sell AVON. I even sell online. HINT HINT. Boy, that was a shameless plug wasn't it? But since I already said it...shipping is typically $3 or even free :)

Phew! I got into that didn't I? Now I have to tag people...Sorry girls...but here ya go.
Julie &

Friday, May 23, 2008

On a roll....

Well, I'm trying to get some therapeutic scrapping time in before next week gets chaotic again and I think it's working. I managed to get 2 more of Hummie's challenges done yesterday and I have 2 in the beginning stages for challenges at Sunshine Studios. I still can't seem to get my butt in gear to finish the elements for the May Designer Challenge but look for it soon.

Here's what I accomplished yesterday. I'll warn you now...I'm on a template kick to keep me movin' along *L* The first is for the underpainting filter challenge. It's a very cool technique, you should check it out.

Template d20 side B -Andrea Gold
Papers from DZines by Teri Hanson -Sugar Kissed
Arrow and stitches from Miss Vivi's - Home Sweet Home
Tag from Flergs Denim Blues Kit
Fonts - Pea Ashley and Tempus Sans ITC

The next I was inspired to do when I went to Kim B's blog yesterday and spotted this freebie template. I thought it was so cute and it went so well with a challenge I remembered Hummie posting. This was a hard picture to scrap for me...I LOVE it too much *L*. It's one of my favorites. I take A LOT of pictures and this one always stands out in my mind as one I cherish. So thank you to Hummie and KimB for the inspiration to scrap it.

Template by KimB of DSO
Scalloped edge template from Ana Mara Designs
Papers and all elements except ribbons from KimB's Old Festive Cheer Add-on kit
Title Font is Porcelain
Tab Fonts are (top to bottom) Pristina, Script MT Bold, Segoe Print, Vladmir Script, Aon Cari Celtic.

Now I'm going off subject for a moment. Why? Because it's my blog and I can, so there *LOL* How AWESOME was it when David Cook won American Idol????? Yup, I cried with him. I think I might be in love. Here's a question the beginning I thought he was kind of ...well, odd looking! *L* How is it that by the end I was drooling? Is it purely a matter of growing a scratchy beard and getting a MUCH better haircut...or is it his personality that made him attractive? Who knows. But if you missed it the other night please check out this video. David Cook Rocks!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Challenges and Texas Toast

Well, I am trying to get my house back together so I haven't had a whole lot of scrapping time. I did, however, manage to get a challenge done at Hummie's that grabbed my attention. She is doing a whole gradient theme at the moment and the latest technique challenge is a simple gradient mask. I would have had a hard time scrapping these pictures but the challenge inspired me to do a layout that I am very happy with. Oh, and by the way ... Hummie is Queen for the Day at DST today so stop in and say hi.

The frame is from Angel Wings N Things - Dirty Boy
The pin is from Heavenly Designs - Paper Bag
The font is Qlassic Bold

I visited Hummie's blog earlier today and she was talking about Texas Toast. Now there was post where this was brought up yesterday. I have to admit ... I thought it was very odd that Texas toast was mentioned in connection with maple syrup. In fact, I was mildly repulsed *LOL* You see, when someone mentions Texas Toast to me I think of this ...
See? I was thinking that Garlic and Maple syrup are not the best combo. From reading Hummie's post it seems that what she calls Texas Toast, I call French Toast *L*. So, Hummie, now I can answer the question posted on your blog...

How do I make my Texas Toast? I take it from the box and throw it in the oven for a few minutes. *L*

As for how I make my French Toast .... I crack a few eggs, a splash of milk, add a generous splash of vanilla extract and a couple shakes of ground cinnamon and then I quickly dip both sides of my bread in it (not too long though...I hate when it stays soggy in the middle) and then I grill it up. If I'm feeling fancy or want to give the kids an extra treat I may sprinkle it with a little confectioners sugar.

So there you go :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

I just needed to scrap.

I needed to unwind and just sit and scrap something. I couldn't even bring myself to do a challenge, I just needed to let something flow. So here is what I came up with. It's another peice of my daughter's first year scrapbook. Every time I think I'm almost done with her first year I find another event I haven't done yet. These pictures are of her on her first Easter with my Grandmother who passed away a few years ago.

Template 4 by Choukette
Papers are by Betsy Tuma - Spring Thing
Tag is by Kristmess (Kristina Messier) - Merry Kristmess Kit
Flower Doodle by Bunny Cates

I also took time tonight to make that BBQ invitation for my Grandmother. I made a few but I keep coming back to this one. It's the first one I made and I think I'm drawn back to it because of it's simplicity. What do you think? Too simple?

Green Paper is from WetFish Designs
Grill and utensils from Chari Class' Doodle Doodles - BBQ
Date Marker and Strip are from Britt-ish Designs
Alpha is from A Work in Progress - Dandelion Dreams

I'm glad it's over.

After months of planning the party is over. And I am SO glad! *L* My Mom was 50 this week, Shhh! Don't tell her I spilled the beans. So we had a pretty big party for her. Somehow all the preparty running around was put on me. So I'm so glad that it went well, but glad that all the stress of making sure it did is over. There were a few problems, isn't there always? I got there at 3:30 lugging a TV to display the slideshow I made, along with camera bags, 2 kids, wet umbrellas, a cake, and various other party paraphernalia, only to be told they booked another party before ours and they hadn't left yet. This right after I found out my husband never loaded all the decorations into the car after he told me he did. So he left me there, standing in the lobby, surrounded by piles of electronics to guard and two kids to chase before they disturbed other people's meals so that he can go home and get all the decorations I was there early to put up. Let me tell you...if the people came out one more time and told me 5 more minutes I was gonna scream! But finally they let us in, unfortunately some guests had already arrived but my family is awesome and everyone grabbed decorations and things were up and running in no time flat. We weren't sure if my Mom had figured it out, but judging by the fact that her hair was just back in a quick ponytail and she was dressed in baggy clothes I doubt she knew *L* The only other thing that went a little wrong was that someone at the restaurant must have either put something on top of the cake in the fridge or held the box wrong and the cake that I had gone out of my way to get from a special bakery was a little smooshed and the writing and some of the flowers were screwed up. I just have bad luck with cakes I guess, it's not the first time. But oh, tasted good. REAL good! *L* And as you'll son especially enjoyed it.

I'll stop yackin' now and show a few of the fun pictures from the party. I even jazzed 'em up a bit for ya. *L*

Seriously folks! You know you wish your Grandma was this cool! *L* She was being smart and making faces at the camera when I told her to smile. She never expected me to actually take the picture. Gotcha. (BTW...the frame is from Christiane Enoy's Dune kit, it's one of my all-time favorite kits and it's still there AND free)

Do you think my son enjoyed the cake? Normally I wouldn't allow this but everyone thought it was the cutest dang thing they had ever seen since every scoop he took he would say "UMMY" really loud. And yup, that will definitely get scrapped *L* (recolored double frame from JenLin's Holiday Hearth Kit)

And here is a picture that was taken of my immediate family. Both of my sisters, myself, my husband, Mom and Dad and both of my kids. It's actually a pretty good picture. In fact, it's one of the few pics of myself I don't hate. (frame from Bunny Cates)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A few challenge layouts and a few new pictures.

Despite feeling a little out of sorts still after my long weekend, I managed to do two challenges in the past few days. The first was one I found at Hummie's World, though it was actually an away challenge from scrapbook-bytes called Creative Ways to use Your Stash. The point of the challenge was to use a photo prong to hold down a fold in a paper or on a photo.

So here is that one...

Photo Prong from Color Line Designs Birthday Collab
Paper and Bracket elements from Amy Teets Sunporch Kit.
Frame is from Ellie's Autumn by Lynn.
Fonts are Snap ITC, Tunga, and Pea Heather.

And I did another challenge at Sunshine Studio Scraps too. That place is just chock full of awesome designers I tell ya. And they are all so friendly! Their 8th Challenge was a font challenge, but with a twist. We weren't assigned a specific font. We all had to use at least two of our favorite fonts in a layout. The point was to maybe introduce people to new fonts they hadn't seen yet. I picked BlackJack which Hummie had done a challenge with and I have been in love with ever since. It's great for titles and journaling both. I also used Pea Alesa, since I love just about ALL of the Pea fonts.

Everything is from the Challenge 7 Freebie Kit Splish Splash from Ellie and Shauna
Fonts are BlackJack and Pea Alesa

And I wanted to share a few more pictures from my weekend. I keep going through them and I just can't stop laughing! So here is a picture of my husband to make you laugh too, you know the poor guy that works 4 jobs and never gets to enjoy himself. He made up for it big time this weekend! Can you tell?
Oh, yeah...that's mine. *LMBO* But to be fair I should post a picture of what I looked like around the same time that night....
Yup, I'm looking a little rough! *L* Talk about droopy eyes! And here is one of my favorite "caught on camera" moments. The groom came back to the table to find one of his best friends in his seat chattin' up his new wife. for a more serious picture and then I'll stop posting. (for now :: HeHe::) Ever have one of those moments that really reminds you what drew you to your husband in the first place? My husband can drive me nuts, but this moment at the wedding reminded me why I love him. Both the bride and groom have lost their Dads. When the wedding party did the first dance one of the bride's uncle's stepped up to dance with the mother of the bride. The mother of the groom was left standing by herself on the side. My husband looked at me and said "That's not right!" and went up and took her hand and danced with her. I just thought it was the sweetest thing and darn it if I didn't cry! But I held off long enough to get a picture *LOL*

Monday, May 12, 2008

I'm back and somewhat recuperated.

I knew I needed some ME time away from the kids but I didn't realize how much. My mom had the kids overnight this weekend while I went to an out of town wedding. I almost didn't go but I am SO glad that I did! I had the greatest time. My husband needed some down time as much or more than I did and it was nice to see him relax too. I took just shy of 500 pictures so I certainly won't post them all but I would love to share some of the highlights with you.

Have you ever seen a man more in love than the groom? How sweet is his face as the bride comes down the aisle. I almost cried with him.

Here is my husband and I outside the beautiful waterfall at the reception.

And here I am by the end of the night with my best friend and his date. Do i look like I had fun? 'Cause I sure did!

Then I got to come home and enjoy Mother's Day with my husband (for once) and my kids. My husband "didn't have time" to get anything (that's another whole post right there isn't it?) but my Mom took my kids to pick out flowers for me. My daughter sure knows what she wants too. She picked out a basket and said I want that one ... but I want those flowers. And I'll be darned if the florist didn't rearrange the whole thing for her. And she did a beautiful job picking! She also made me a bracelet (which is a little snug, but we won't let her in on that).

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Teacher Appreciation Week

Did you know that this week is National Teacher Appreciation Week? Having several teachers in my family I know just how under-appreciated (not to mention underpaid) these important people are. It's not too late to send a little something into school with your child just to say thank you to their teacher. My daughter's school is having a luncheon for the teachers and staff and I volunteered to bake some dessert. As I was baking it I was thinking how I should share the recipe since I have never once taken this one someplace and not been asked for the recipe multiple times.

Does it look yummy? It is! In fact, it's so yummy that as I was cutting them and packing them up for the school....I snitched one (Shhh, don't tell the teachers...they'll never know *L*)'s the recipe. Oh, and did I mention they are SUPER easy too?

Cream Cheese Bars
2 8 oz pckgs cream cheese, softened
1 cp white sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teasp vanilla
2 8 oz pckgs refrigerated crescent rolls
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teasp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350
Lightly grease a 9X13 pan.
In medium bowl, cream together cream cheese and 1 cp sugar until smooth.
Stir in egg yolk and vanilla
Unwrap one package of crescent rolls, and spread in pan pinching seams together lightly.
Pour and spread cream cheese mix over the crescent rolls.
Unwrap next pckg of crescent rolls and spread on top of cream cheese pinching seams together.
Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top.
Bake for 30 - 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top begins to brown.
Cool and cut into bars.

I also have a bunch of layouts I've done recently and keep forgetting to post. I'll just add a few today so you aren't stuck looking at 20 of them all at once *L*

Here is one that I just finished for the Sunshine Girls Challenge.

Background paper and bracket from Flergs Denim Blues Kit.
Black And White alpha from Seebies Freebies
Blue Alpha from Jessies scrap Shak - Baby's First Haircut kit.
Font is Pea Beth

And, thanks to one of Britt from Britt-ish Designs' NSD Challenges, I finally did a Disney layout. I'm afraid to screw them up so they sit there just asking to be scrapped *L*

Her Royal Highness and Who needs a fairy godmother kits by Britt-ish Designs.
Glitter style by Flergs.
Fonts - Pristina and Edwardian Script

Oh, and last, but certainly not least...have you seen the new Designer Color Challenge at Hummie's? I'm working on my new kit, are you? Here's the color palette. Click it to go to the Challenge thread.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Did you make it?

The NSD chat at Hummie's World with ACDSee was lots of fun tonight...did you make it? Lots of freebies were handed out including two people winning full-versions of ACDSee, a subscription to Hummie's wonderful tutorial area, an alpha by Hummie and a unique and wonderful Mother book template by Lori. Oh, yeah ... and this little tidbit by me :) If you missed the chat you can still grab it here .... but just know that you missed out on some great laughs watching tons of girls scramble to win the software.

So here is Lynn's Watermelon Picnic. I named it that because it started out with me just playing around with some watermelon elements and my daughter decided to show some interest. The ants and the picnic "blanket"are all her idea and I was so glad to share the time with her while we worked on it together that what choice did I have but to name it after her?

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