Tuesday, February 28, 2006

An Absolute *Honor*

Imagine my surprise today when I logged onto 2Peas digi message board and found out I was being honored as Digi-Scrapper of the Day! I am so, so stunned! Angedawn just instituted this yesterday and I'm the second to be honored! Everyone has posted such nice and wonderful comments so far. I admire every scrapper on this board...they are such a talented and inspirational group! If you're not familiar with 2Peas, here's the link to the post:

Digi-Scrapper of the Day 2/28

I'm so honored...I cannot express how much I am touched today...I thank you so much Ange and the rest of my fellow digi-peas at 2peas in a Bucket!

*This is the closest I'm ever going to come to an Oscar-like speech, so bear with me*

Just the other day, I found a bunch of my school items from Kindergarten and I had expressed how much I wanted to be an artist...well, today I feel like one...and I thank you!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Life as Usual

We've been back from vacation for almost a week and things are finally getting back to normal. Kelvin is on vacation still with Grandma and Grandpa. Dakota and I are taking advantage of wireless Internet and doing computer stuff in bed. I'm actually backing up my original layouts in psd format to CDs. It's taking FOREVER! Not many actually fit on a disk...I know...I need an external hard drive....but I've spent so much money lately...


I took advantage of the quiet evening with Dakota and the Donald (as in the Apprentice) and settled in for a night of scrapping. I decided today at work I needed to hang layouts in my cubicle...so I scrapped one for each Kelvin and Dakota...my beloved dogs. Why not Andy you say? He already has one prominently displayed.

I scraplifted these from Gina Miller's That Pout layout. Here are my babies...

Credits: kit-Andrew James by Gina Miller at Scrapbook Bytes; fonts-CK Artisan and Impact (title)

Credits: kit-Emily Rae by Gina Miller at Scrapbook Bytes; fonts-CK Artisan and CK Dandy (title)

Aren't they the sweetest pups you've ever seen? I know I'm a proud mama and they and Andy are the main reasons I can deal with my struggle with infertility.

But I don't feel like talking about that now. My mom finally visited my blog today! Hi Mom! She even left a comment. I've been asking her to since I put up the vacation photos...but no mom...or no dad either...Where are you Dad?

Well I'm pretty much finished saving my psd's. Now I want to put my jpeg's on disk. Later!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Weekends are for Scrapping

I think my extreme love of weekends is pretty obvious. I'm usually a pretty chronological scrapbooker, but I've done a few pages of my vacation just to keep it alive. Luckily when I complete my vacation album, I'll have my blog to refer back to.

My first page I did for Gina Miller's subscriber sketch challenge at Scrapbook Bytes. I actually cropped Andy out of the photo of Mickey Mouse and I...it's not like he reads this anyway :)!

(Credits: Birthday Bash kit by Anna Aspnes for Designing with Digital; fonts-Walt Disney Script and StarbabeHMK)

I think it turned out pretty fun!

This next one I did using Becky Higgins' Sept. sketch. Very simple...

Credits: fonts-Stamp Act and Susie's Hand; brushes by Rhonna Farrer

Here's another layout I did recently using Gina's BYOBB kit. I actually entered it in her contest from her blog. She is so sweet....as she made up titles for all the entries and awarded everyone with a kit from her new Weathered and Worn CD.

Credits: Build Your Own Bulletin Board kit by Gina Miller; font-Susie's Hand.

I'm not sure this is a favorite layout of mine, but I did love the play! I was actually obsessed with it and begged to go for our anniversary. Andy bought me the tickets for my birthday. I loved the show so much...I went back with my mom and his mom in November to see the permanent Chicago cast with Ana Gasteyer from SNL.

That's all for now. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sunny, Sunny California Part II

Still believe in magic? I do!

Disneyland...that is one fantastic place!

We went on some unbelievable rides! My favorite?..Hmmmm...I really liked Pirates of the Carribbean. As I mentioned before the detail of the entire park was amazing...but during this ride nothing was over looked! We also went on Indiana Jones (which scared me to death! Well the snake part only), Star Wars, Buzz Lightyear, It's a Small World and the infamous Tea Cups. Andy spun our tea cup a little too fast and he wasn't feeling the best afterward.

During our tea cup ride, the parade went by. We had pretty good seats as it went right by the ride.

View from the parade from our Tea Cup.

My favorite place was Mickey's Toontown! Again the detail...we entered and felt like we stepped into a cartoon. I loved the cartoonish hills in the background. Mickey's house was the obvious first stop, even though he wasn't there at that time. (We had to go back later to meet him)

Lounging in Pluto's bed.

Andy sampling a tasty beverage.

Who said I couldn't do any crafting? Knitting a few at Minnie's house.

Make a wish! (Hmmmm...whadya think I'm wishing for here?)

Just as we were leaving people were crowding Main Street again for another parade. I couldn't miss the parade at night! Yeah, I was that adult...sitting with the kids taking tons of photos and video. I loved every minute!

Cinderella and her prince during the evening parade.

On Sunday we went back to Hollywood were it was a little more busy than on Friday. This time there were gates and security surrounding the Walk of Fame near the Kodak Theater. Me, the ever curious, asked and found out it was to prepare for the Oscars. We went to the Hollywood museum in the Max Factor building that had many artifacts of old time Hollywood and a whole lot of Barbara Streisand.

The highlight of Sunday was sunny Santa Monica. Unfortunatly it was a lot colder than it appeared, especially on the pier. I loved all the dogs...dogs everywhere! Even Barnes and Nobel. It made me miss my babies even more. Look at these gorgeous views...

We returned to snowy, snowy Wisconsin on Monday with some souvenirs, a little sun burn on Andy's head and our memories. I can't wait to begin to scrapbook this trip!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Sunny, Sunny California Part I

Let me start by saying Andy and I are two incredibly lucky people. Why, you ask? Because the day we left for the great sunny state of California, Wisconsin was dumped with 8-14 inches of snow. Dumped! I haven't seen that much snow since I was in high school in the upper peninsula of Michigan! Well, I guess I didn't actually see it in person, rather on the Weather Channel as I slipped my feet into a pair of cute sandals. I mentioned in a previous post about our travel worries, but we ended up driving (well...I slept) to Chicago where our 3 p.m. flight didn't leave until 7 p.m. We got to Chicago about 9:30 a.m. ...so it was a looooong day. I must say there are only so many Cinnamon Dolce Lattes one girl can drink!

Needless to say, once we got to the hotel in Anaheim we headed straight to bed with nothing but sleep on our minds. Friday morning, Andy the ever punctual to my "things-don't-happen-until-I-get-there" attitude, woke up early and began to stress that we weren't going to make it to the taping of Joey on time. May I mention this was 8 a.m. and we didn't have to be at the studio until 3 p.m. I was not worried but went along with it anyway. After breakfast we drove to Hollywood.

Now, if anyone saw the pair of crazy people in a convertible traveling along the 5 with the top down that was us. Before you have me committed, refer to the above paragraphs were I explain "We are from Wisconsin!" Yes, 60 degrees is cold, we do realize that, but it was 14 below in Wisconsin.

Andy driving the convertible in 60 degree weather.

This was my first time in California, but I'm glad others had prepared me for what to expect in Hollywood. Not really the glamorous place emblazoned on the screen of my favorite old movies, but it couldn't help wondering what it was really like back then. We strolled down the walk of fame and stopped at Grauman's Chinese Theatre where I had one goal and one goal only...to put my hands in the handprints of Judy Garland.

A perfect fit!

I LOVE Judy Garland! Some people have told me I look like her. I have been a Wizard of Oz nut since I first saw the movie on TV at the ripe age of two. When I was five I wouldn't answer to anything except Dorothy, much to the dismay of my parents. I would've officially changed my name, but when I wanted Dorothy written on my birthday cake, my mom told me Dorothy's birthday was in July and I would have to wait six months to open my presents. I liked presents more than the name...who wouldn't? LOL!

I dragged Andy into the Wax Museum...mostly because I felt I had to rather than wanted to, but don't tell Andy. It was ok. A lot of the newer statues didn't look at all like the actors. The most realistic...Hugh Hefner! I still think it was really him standing there! Whadya think?

Real or no?

I don't have any pictures of our next California adventure because we were told to leave our cameras and cell phones in the car before we took the shuttle to Warner Brothers to see Joey. It was painful as a scrapbooker, but I sucked it up for the chance to see Matt LeBlanc in person.

It was fascinating to watch a sitcom being filmed from start to finish. As a writer myself, I was particularly interested in the rewriting process when a joke didn't get the right reaction from the audience. The actors were dedicated and even though they were filming a comedy, it was all business between takes. Of course there were hilarious moments when Matt LeBlanc would try to screw up a fellow actor. Adam Goldberg was a guest star (I'm not sure his role has been revealed yet so I won't say who his character is). A very talented group!

It was a long evening though. Taping started at 5 and didn't get done until about 10:30. We stayed the entire time because there aren't too many opportunities for a Wisconsin girl to see a television show taping. The episode we saw was "Joey and the Critic." I don't know when it will air, but maybe you'll hear my laugh if you tune in...I'm pretty sure we'll all hear Andy!

Saturday was for Disneyland...THE most happiest place on earth! This was my first trip to Disney-anything. It was like a lifelong dream coming true! When I was two, I told my parents I was going to marry Mickey Mouse (yes, I had big dreams as a child). They told me I HAD to come home with a photo with Mickey. So Mom, Dad...here you go...sorry Andy had to get in the picture too...but he was just a little jealous...

What else is left after your childhood dreams come true?

I LOVE Disneyland! There is not another place on Earth were I can act like a kid and get away with it. (Other than Disney World, but I haven't been there yet.) I debated over getting my mouse ears right away or waiting until the day was over. After one trip through "It's a Small World" I shucked off any adult worries and declared that I would enjoy myself...I would have fun...yes, I would be a kid again! It was very liberating and I plan to do it more often. (Sorry Andy.)

The detail behind every aspect of the park was incredible! I'm still at awe! There wasn't a single detail left undone. I walked (floated actually) away once again believing in magic and that my dreams will come true...something you tend to forget once you grow up...but I vow to never forget again.

How can a world with a view like this not be filled with magic and hope?

I will write more tomorrow. It's late and I must go to bed.

Monday, February 20, 2006

I'm ba-ack!

I just got back from California a couple hours ago. I had a great time! I'm in LOVE with Disneyland! It truely is a magical place because, despite many warnings from the Weather Channel, it did not rain the entire day. I could've spent my entire vacation just there. We spent the entire Saturday there. On Friday we went down to Hollywood and saw a taping of Joey that afternoon! Matt LeBlanc is as hot in person as on TV, BTW! Then on Sunday, we went back to Hollywood then to Santa Monica. I will write more later, but I'm exhausted. But here is my favorite photo of the trip! (I didn't have a tri-pod so I set the camera on delay and balanced it on Andy's head!)

Disneyland Magic--Happy 50th Anniversary!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

One more day!!!

Tomorrow's the day! Only one drawback....we're supposed to get like 10 inches of snow tomorrow! We fly out at 1:14. I don't want to be stuck here! If we have to, we may just drive to Chicago then catch our flight to California there. Of course driving in 10 inches of snow doesn't sound like a lot of fun either....even in a four-wheel drive Jeep.

I've been doing a bit of scrapping, but don't want to post them because I used the sketches for Becky Higgins One Sketch Many Looks column and submitted them. I love these sketches! I typically scrap two page layouts so they're perfect for me. I love the challenge of trying to get published. I did have a page published in her Creative Sketches 2 book. It was the first time I submitted a digital layout for anything. I was so surprised and happy to get that phone call!

It was a spring page and since we in Wisconsin have snow in the forcast...I'm going to post it here to remember spring (should) be on its way!

Spring in Bloom (published Oct 2005 in Becky Higgins Creative Sketches 2)
Credits: brushes-Rhonna Farrer from ScrapbookBytes.com; fonts-Carpenter, Copperplate and CK Artisan)

Monday, February 13, 2006

My New Desktop

As I mentioned earlier today, I got Gina Miller's Build Your Own Bulletin Board kit from Scrapbook Bytes today. This is the cutest kit! Collage is not my style usually, but it was great "throwing" things on the screen and I think my desktop turned out pretty cute. Whadya think?

Now everyday I can start my computer and stare at the adorable faces of my little family...Andy, Kelvin (the cocker) and Dakota (the lab). I put the photos on the right side because I usually have a lot of icons on the left side of my screen.

Awww...so sweet!

Three more days!!!!

Whoo hoo!!!! In three days, Andy and I will be flying off to California! We're getting some of that snow from the Northeast today...so I'm ready to pick up and go! And! It's not supposed to rain anymore!


I have a problem....

I don't know what I'm going to do without my laptop for four (OMG! 4!!!) days. I've seriously become addicted and I promised Andy I wouldn't bring it with me. I'm hoping the hotel will have a public computer so I can at least check my e-mail so it doesn't take over my life when I come back. What did I ever do without a computer? I mean it wasn't too long ago that I got my first e-mail address in college. I didn't even use the Internet in high school! Now we have two main computers in our house (one of which is my beloved laptop). Then we have an older computer and an ancient (8 year old) laptop that we're turning into a jukebox.

Of course, when I get back I'll have tons of pictures to scrap! Last week while I was printer shopping I found the Epson Story Teller books on clearance at Staples for $7.50 for the 8x10 20 page book. I bought two of them. I really don't like the software that came with it, so I think I'll create my pages in PSE and just format the cover in their software.

I didn't scrap anything yesterday because I was busy cleaning my scrap room which has over grown and run into the hallway! I'm working at clearing out a lot of paper supplies to my mom and SIL. I'm trying to reform my pack-rat ways...so there is a LOT of things going to the trash, recycle bin and Goodwill.

I bought Gina Miller's Build Your Own Bulletin kit today. I've been eyeing it since it came out and I tried to convince myself not to buy it...but I couldn't find any good reason not to so I did. (Does that make any sense?) Anyway, I can't wait to play with it tonight! I understand some are using it to make desktops for their computers and I think that's a great idea. I think I'll get a lot of use out of this!

Well, I'm signing off for now! Happy Monday!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Happy Sunday!

I love Sundays. I love to get up early and drink my coffee and read the paper. I get to spend extra time pouring through the ads. I accidentally let Andy look at the Best Buy ad and now he and Dakota (our lab) are out looking for a 1GB Mp3 player. Oh well.

I had some unexpected cash come my way this week and I bought a new printer. I usually get HPs but this time I bought a Epson RX620. It's an all in one, which I love because I have every thing I need in one place. This particular one has the ability to scan negatives and slides and has a better scanner than my previous all-in-one. I really haven't played with it too much yet, but my mom is going to get me some negatives from my baby pictures. (She's saved everything!)

Andy took me out to dinner last night. We decided to do our Valentine's Day then because I have to go out to lunch for work that day. Besides we're leaving for California on Thursday. We had a really nice evening. We went to this very nice restaurant were we actually had our rehearsal dinner, then we went across the street to the coffee house and had a couple of drinks while listening to live music.

I did some scrapping last night when I got up at 1 a.m. because I couldn't sleep. I did this layout using Gina Miller's sketch from Scrapbook Bytes.

(Credits: Kit-Forever by Rhonna Farrer on the Designing with Digital CD, fonts-Brandywine and Porcelein)

I'm also on Christine Schultz's creative team! I did this layout a while ago, but am just posting her now.

(Credits: Kit-Cinnamon Swirl by Christine Schultz; font-Scriptina (burned into background); photo filter-Virtual Photographer)

This is such a beautiful kit! I love the colors! You can see more of Christine's kits here at Christine Schultz's Store at Digitals. The photo here is of my gorgeous niece! Those eyes! I love this photo I took of her. I had to click it fast before she smiled, but I think I captured her seriousness in this photo.

Well have a happy weekend, everyone!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Illustration Friday--Simple

I was playing with the word warping function in Photoshop Elements and came up with this. I think it qualifies as simple and very appropriate for Valentine's Day. Thanks for looking!

Thursday, February 9, 2006

California Dreamin'

One more week! I feel like a kid with summer vacation just around the corner. Four more full days of work until we leave. Although I checked the 10-day weather report and it's suppose to rain on Friday! At least Saturday in Disneyland will be nice. I've never been to a Disney-anything! This from the girl who claimed at the age of 2 that she would one day marry Mickey Mouse. LOL!

I bought a 512 mb card for my camera so I shouldn't run out of space. (Can you believe I had a 64 mb card until now?) I really don't want to take my laptop with me on vacation. Well, I do, but my husband doesn't want me to. I'm not sure I can handle five days without Internet, but I'm sure I'll find it somewhere. I mean...it's California...my parents even have Internet in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan! LOL!

I know I should be starting to cut back on the coffee again, but I let myself indulge while we were on a break from trying to have a baby. I work in a town without a Starbucks! Thank God, I live in a town with two...one free standing one and one in Target---incredibly dangerous! I've been addicted to Cinnamon Dolce lattes. My usual is a cinnamon cappuccino, though...light on the cinnamon syrup thanks to Weight Watchers. I've really cut back on these since the Senseo. Only one a week. I'm actually saving money...that I turn around and spend on Amazon, Target, SBB, 2Peas or any combination of those.

I'm so excited that RENT is coming out on DVD the 21st.

That's all for now. I have to scrap something tonight.

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

My day got better

Remember my previously mentioned husband? Well he surprised me with dinner. He made a Greek salad, talapia (sp?) and couscous. He's so sweet! I guess it doesn't matter because I always have the sweetest guy here with me always!

Mental Health Day

I was reading this blog entry by Serena and realized this is really what I need. For the past two days I've been so tired and sooo on edge. I'm sitting at work (hiding really) I don't want to talk to anyone or see anyone. I have the goofiest husband, though. He told me to think of Curious George then started to dance around like a monkey...crazy, I know but it made me laugh. My head hurts and I don't feel like I have a creative bone in my body. Then I just found out my in-laws are putting their dog to sleep. He is an old dog and I know it's probably for the better, but damn, I feel like crying.

I'm trying so hard to remember that I'm leaving for a well-needed vacation next week. We're going to LA for a few days...just to get away. We decided to do this after my last IUI (intrauterine insemination) failed to work right before Christmas. (We've been trying to have a baby for almost 3 years.) I can't wait to leave the cold weather of Wisconsin for the happier, warmer, sunnier California. I understand it's in the 80's there.

I hope tomorrow is a better day.

Monday, February 6, 2006

Illustration Friday--Chair

Here's my latest contribution to Illustration Friday. This week's theme was "chair." There is nothing better than a cozy chair. This particular one would look great with our new couch...if my husband wasn't so attached to his blue, leather recliner. Oh well, a girl can dream...

This was created using Corel Painter Essentials 2 and my trusty Wacom Graphire 4 (4x5).

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Happy Weekend!

I just finished this layout of my hubby and I based on Gina Miller's sketch challenge on Scrapbook Bytes. I used Rhonna Farrer's Peas and Harmony kit from 2Peas. I'll use this layout as a title page for our 2004-2005 album. (I'm catching up!!!)

The journaling on this layout is the lyrics for Seasons of Love from the Broadway musical RENT. I've been wanting to use these lyrics forever. I just love this show and this song. I loved the movie also and cannot wait until it comes out on DVD! I love the message behind this show and it's a message I take with me throughout my life.

I challenge everyone to remember what's really important in life and that there's no day but today!