Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Scrapping sick

No, that's not "sick of scrapping" or even "scrapping about being sick." I've been sick this week, and yet have managed to get several layouts done because I've done them digitally, which I can do from the "sick couch." I did run by Archivers on Friday and get some things to finish up a paper layout, but then felt too bad the next day (and following) to feel like going up and giving it a try. For some reason this paper layout has me STUMPED!! It was a concept I thought would be so easy, but has turned out to be ridiculously stumpifying. Well, if I ever get around to finishing it, I'll let you know more about what was so hard.

But, as I said, in the meantime I've been cranking out heritage layouts like crazy! Of course, it's super easy when the basic framework is all the same and you just have to plug in photos, names and dates. (And connecting bars.) I did have a very hard time dealing with a family who had THIRTEEN children, but finally managed to find a way to tackle it and am happy with how I did it.

Today I also finished up a layout I'd started several days ago about the little country church some of my ancestors built out in West Texas. Originally I was just kinda playing around with clipping masks and blending templates, but I really liked what came out, so tonight I just added the title and journaling, and voila! The layout was done! Here's what it looks like:

Ingredients for this one are simple:
Dark teal blue paper: Lynn Griffin, "Aurora" (Heritage Scrap)
Blending template: Brandy Murry, "Scrap Simple Background Blenders" (ScrapGirls)
Paper template: Durin Eberhart "Rubber Stamps" (ScrapGirls)
Fonts: Edwardian Script; shoot! I can't remember the other one (Foxboro?)
And of course the photo, which I took this summer

I had a dove on it at first, over the "a" in "Chapel," but Bjorn said it looked too much like a wedding brochure that way! lol -- It still kinda looks like a wedding brochure, but I don't care, I like it!

Well, that's about all I have tonight.

Hope you all have a great rest-of-the-week!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cowboy up!

(Before I start ... I lost a subscriber over the weekend. I don't know the reason, but that always worries me -- y'know, wondering what the reason was, if it was that they didn't find my blog "relevant" anymore, whatever. I know that sometimes people get overwhelmed with the number of blogs they've subscribed to -- I've even had to unsubscribe from blogs before for that very reason. But I worried that maybe it was because I'm doing so much digital scrapping and blogging about that instead of paper. So, please, keep in mind that, if you're inspired by anything I do, you can ALWAYS transfer that inspiration to paper! Just remember to please not copy my design EXACTLY; make it your own!)

Now to our not-so-regularly scheduled blogging:

In my treasure trove of family history photos, there are two of the most adorable pictures of my daddy when he was 3 years old on a pony. Clearly, it was one of those "get your picture taken looking like a real cowboy!" things -- he did not have a pony of his own, nor did he own a stetson, as far as he can remember. (He's clear on the pony part.) But the photos are so deliciously cute they absolutely HAD to go in my heritage album!

So here he is, this man who is a distinguished 78 years old now, when he was a very huggable 3 years old:

This is another one of those "God had to give me inspiration to finish it!" layouts, I will confess. I had an idea in my head what I wanted to do, and in the end it morphed considerably from the original idea. But that's okay, because I love the way it turned out!

So here are the ingredients:

Background: Valerie Randall "Buried Treasure" (Scrapgirls)
Bandana: Beth Rimmer "Bootleg Alley" (Digitals)
Sunflowers: Diana Burton "Helianthus" (Digitals)
Dried flower: Kate McLellan "Civil War" (Heritage Scrap)
Wheat stalks: Kristin's Scrap Designs "Crisp Air Sampler" (Pickleberrypop)
Star circles: Aprilthescrapaholic "Chris' Freebies" (Scrap it Sassy blog)
"Wanted" poster: Kathryn Balint "Cowboy Sam" (KB and Friends)
Nails: "Frontier Days Add-on" (Raspberry Road Designs)
"Cowboy Danny" letters: Victorian Rose Designs "Autumn" alpha (Heritage Scrap)
Font: Country Store
Bend Action (photo): Jen Caputo "Jen's Bends" (Scrapbook Graphics)

I spent the weekend rounding up (pun intended) free digiscrapping stuff (and buying some for the above layout). I found one site that was fantastic -- a French designer named Cajoline. She has the most beautiful things, and all free! And then I discovered that everything is 72ppi instead of 300ppi (which is good print quality, and most commercial kits are in 300ppi). After I'd downloaded a ton of them. So, yes, I can resize them (in PSE you can do this without losing too much quality, depending on the difference in ppi), but they won't be as usable as if they had been 300ppi to start with. Bummer that. But, what do I expect for free?

I really, really need to get back into the loft and work on a layout I had started (sorta) up there a few weeks ago. Adorable pictures of my great-niece, so I need to get them scrapped!

Well -- gotta go wake up the kid. He's home today. He was home almost all last week with some mysterious ailment (our PA figured it was probably a virus). He's doing much better today, so he got up, got showered and dressed, I got up to fix breakfast, Bjorn was, astoundingly, already up doing work on the computer. In checking the weather forecast, I discovered that today is Columbus Day. In checking the school website, I discovered there IS NO SCHOOL today! Instead of being mad, we all laughed uproariously about it. Then Bjorn went to work, I went to the couch for a nap, and Aidan ... stayed on the computer. He is now napping away (at 11am), but I need to wake him up so he can do a practice PSAT test. The test is Wednesday, and being sick has really messed up his study time for it. PLEASE pray that he does the best he can possibly do on the test (and makes accurate guesses!) -- it would be so amazingly lovely if he could win a National Merit scholarship!

Catch ya later!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

One nice thing about digital scrapping ...

... is that you can go back days, weeks, months later to fix something if you need/want to. As I was finishing up the fourth of my "Family Tree Branches" layouts last night, I realized that, on the second, third and fourth LOs I had put the child who was my direct ancestor in their birth order, just with a larger picture; as opposed to the first LO where I had my direct ancestor in the middle with a larger pic, even though he was out of order birth-wise. Originally I had planned to do all of them that way, but for some reason I had brain fog and did the rest of them without the ancestor being central.

SO ... I just went into the original of the first LO (the PSD file, since it still has all the layers) and rearranged the children until they were ALL in the right birth order, recopied it to .jpg and went merrily on with life! So simple (especially since I hadn't had it printed yet.) With paper I would have had to either rip the page apart and start over, or just lived with the inconsistency. (Don't worry, I still love paper scrapping!)

I will show you the Paternal side pages for my Tree Branches LOs. The reason I'm going to show you two instead of just one of them is to show you the rather striking difference in a page with only two children vs. one with about a million kids (okay, so it's not that many, but it was crowded and tough to deal with!)

Here is my dad's father's page:

No worries putting this one together! Actually, that's not true -- finding a good balance on the distance between the siblings required some effort. (Not to mention that, again, it took me four days to get an embellishment cluster I could live with!)

Now, here's my dad's mother's page:

Yeah. It took me a large chunk of a day to get this one arranged! (I don't remember when I actually started it -- sometime after lunch -- but it was late last night before I finished, and I didn't even have to do a new cluster!)

Okay, now for the ingredients/credits:
Background paper, all frames, bars and labels, "Paternal" tag and chain: Diana Burton "Heritage Helpers/Recollections" (Digitals)
Red velvet ribbon: Gunhild Storeide from her "Friday Freebies" (via DigiScrapDepot.com)
Lace: Lynn Griffin "Serenity" (Heritage Scrap)
trailing ribbons: Lynn Griffin "Vintage Charm" (Heritage Scrap) (I recolored a light orange-ish ribbon to get the dark red, then lightened that up to get the pinkish one)
flower: Jean Daugherty "The Storytellers" (Heritage Scrap) (recolored)
pocket watch: Michelle Coleman "Vintage Rag Tag" (ScrapGirls)
chain on watch: Miss Tina (individual element from Funky Playground Designs)
Fonts: Edwardian Script, Adobe Caslon Pro

So guess from what purveyor of digi goods I purchased some things today ... STAMPIN' UP!!! They have entered the world of digital scrapping and are now offering some of their designs in digital!! They actually have their own software for digiscrapping now, but since I have plenty of software for that, I just purchased the sets separately. Amazing -- I bought two stamp sets and the entire line of punches (all in digi form) for less than it would have cost me to buy ONE physical stamp set! Unfortunately right now they don't have that many sets I really want digitally (they're mostly -- or maybe all -- digi versions of actual physical stamp sets they sell). Since I'm mainly focusing on the heritage stuff, I need sets that coordinate nicely with the vintage look, and so many of the ones they're selling digitally are too hip or too modern or whatever. Or they're card sentiments, which doesn't work for me because at this stage of the game, I REFUSE to make cards digitally.

Anyway, I do think it's cool that SU is entering the 21st century, and I'm hoping that they'll release some more of the sets I would be interested in soon.

On the personal front (I didn't warn you this was a long post, did I? lol) I went to the pain management doc today and got "diagnostic" shots in my occipital nerves (the ones that go up the back of your head and over from the base of the head). The doc shot 'em with anesthesia to see if it helped with the pain (it did, and I knew it would because I've done this before), so since it did, I am scheduled to have a cryo-cauterization procedure done in about a month, to freeze the daylights out of the offending nerves and see if we can't put an end to what causes 95% of my headaches. I'm not looking forward to the procedure (even though it isn't a big deal), but I am looking forward to being mostly headache free! (Just for the records, yes, the shots did hurt, about like when you're having dentistry done and get anesthesia shots in your gums), but I lived through it!

Next thing we're going to work on is my lower back. But that's another story for another day!

I'm sure I have thousands of more things I could bore you with, but I'll let that do for now. I know you're so disappointed! lol

Have a good 'un, and happy crafting!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A paper layout!

Okay, so I confess I've gone a little "digi-batty" over the last few weeks, but I do have in my possession a recent layout that is PAPER!! (The crowd roars, lol) The other confession is that I've had it done for a couple of weeks, but just hadn't got around to scanning it until a couple of days ago. And then a million other things prevented me from posting it until today. But now, HERE IT IS!! (Ta-da!)

Are these boys not uber adorable!?! These are my twin nephews, Karl and Aksel, who were, obligingly, born on my birthday nearly 5 years ago! I can't believe they're growing up so fast, but then my own son has moved through life like a rocket, so I don't know why I would be surprised.

In all honesty, this is a bit of a "hybrid" layout (traditional with digital elements). The photo block is actually a collage done with a program I BOUGHT (I actually downloaded the free trial, but then as these things often go, I couldn't print out the collage unless I bought the darned thing, so I did, since it wasn't terribly expensive -- it's called Picture Collage Maker from Pearl Mountain Software, and I think it was about $20). This is actually what got me back into digi-scrapping, because the program can be used for digital scrapping and allows you to use digital "papers" as a background even in plain collages (the red in the collage block is a digital paper, and I have no idea of the source). I'm not using it to digi-scrap (using my old trusty Photoshop Elements 4.0 for that), but in looking for papers to use in a different collage that I haven't scrapped yet, I found myself online looking for the "perfect" one and toppled headlong over into the digi-scrapping world again. (Did ANY of that make any sense???)

I don't know the manufacturer of the red background paper with the circles on it. I do know I bought it at Archiver's a year or so ago. The rest of the ingredients are:
Other DP: Little Yellow Bicycle "Zach's Life" -- also the border strips
Arrow punches: Stampin' Up!
Chipboard "2": I think it's Basic Grey, but I could be wrong
"Boy Oh Boy" rubon: SEI "Beatnik Boy"
"x": Cricut cartridge (the name escapes me at the moment)
Brads: random stuff from my stash, probably Making Memories
Cardstock: SU "Very Vanilla"
Vellum quote: DCWV ((I think)

Don't you love how well I keep up with my supplies' manufacturers? lol -- the truth is, I'm just too lazy to go upstairs and verify. And some of them honestly don't have the names on them.

I have also finished another digi-scrapped heritage layout, but I'll wait until later to post that one.

Gotta run -- I need a nap before I head out to the pain management doc this afternoon. I am SO hoping they'll schedule me for an anesthesia nerve block treatment for the occipital nerves in my neck. They've been giving me some really nasty headaches lately!

Ta ta, and have a great [insert day of week on which you're reading this]!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

North or South?

I know, my titles can be so lame sometimes! I just finished a layout (well, last night) featuring one of my great-great-great grandfathers who was in the Civil War (he was a Johnny Reb). He's not one of the ones who was a captain, but we have a photo of him with a group of CW veterans from both sides of the conflict, and I thought it was definitely worthy of scrapping. Especially since I have a digi-scrapping kit called "Civil War"! The kit is by Kate McLellan of Heritage Scrap, and it's pretty cool!

Here is the layout:

Everything is from the Civil War kit except:
Journaling tag -- Heritage Scrap design team
Red frame (around my ancestor in the picture) recolored from gold, journaling frame (with his name on it) also recolored from gold -- Diana Burton (Digitals)
Ribbon clip -- unknown
Velvet strip -- from 12x12 velvet paper by Zstampf Designs
Fraying brushes -- Erica Hite (Scrapgirls)
Fonts -- Edwardian Script, and something I can't recall the name for at the moment

It's a pretty plain page, but I'm not trying to tell J.B.'s whole story on this one. I'll do a separate page for the best of his other photos, and tell a little about him on that.

Gosh, digi-scrapping is beginning to grow on me. In fact, I've been trolling (as in what you do when you fish) sites now for Heritage or Vintage-themed kits and I'm actually PAYING for them, as opposed to mostly snagging freebies. And I've got thousands of dollars' worth of paper/traditional scrapping stuff getting dusty in my craft loft. Ah, well, I guess we go through stages. Maybe I should just sell off all my traditional scrapping stuff and stick with digital ... nah. Not yet, anyway!