Friday, April 22, 2011

It's a boy!

On Monday April 18th, God has blessed us with another grandson. Eli Thomas arrived safely, Mom and baby are doing great. I spent some time at my DD's house, helping out where I could. I'm just home again now.

He is just beautiful! We're all a little tired, but so thankful!
I hope to post some pictures soon. Hopefully in some scrapbook pages!


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness Challenge for me: a freebie for you

Our Pastor challenged us to do a Random Act of Kindness this week.

Sometimes we don't even realize how many we do in the natural course of our day, opening doors for people, holding the elevator, letting someone in line in front of us at the grocery store. I guess those are all good and kind things to do, but I believe he wanted us to step it up a bit, and do just a little bit of a bigger RAK.

  • Should we count picking up our uncle from the hospital, and rearranging his furniture, so he can move around the house in his wheelchair? Nope, we would have done that anyway!
  • What about cooking meals for same said uncle? Nope, we would have done that anyway!
  • Or cooking for all the good folks at church on Wednesday, (I think we had at least 70). Nope, we would have done that anyway! 
  • What about taking our grandson to the petting zoo, even though the ground is all soggy, and there weren't any animals there yet? Nope, we would have done that anyway! Sure was fun!!

My DH is a youth leader at our church, they met the challenge by handing out Hershey's kisses to strangers outside of the Canadian Tire store, instead of doing the fun things they love to do as a group.
Funny how some people won't even take a free Hershey's kiss from those eager young people! What's up with that?

I have to admit, I was a bit stumped this week. What to do, what to do!?

I just finished 2 new kits. I decided that all the work I've been putting into designing birth announcements should be put to good use! I gathered up what I'd created, made a few more elements, worked on the psd files, to make them into templates, and made a bunch of papers.

This is a new idea, I put these together specifically to make cards or small projects. The sizing is a bit unusual. I'd love to get some feedback about that! Is it something useful to photographers? Is it too different for the digital scrapbook folks? I guess time and comments will tell!!

Here is the first one I completed, it's available for sale at Etsy. I just love these bright colours! Very springy!

So I guess my RAK isn't really that much of a stretch for me, because I finally decided to give away a brand new kit! I think I'm crazy to give it away, it has a lot of goodies in it.

It will only be free for a limited time, get it soon, it will be listed at Etsy on Monday!

This one is specially designed for the DIYers out there. It's everything you need to put your own 5x7 birth announcement, thank you or promo card together in beautiful soft neutral colours. It's also great for post cards, or brag books!

This kit contains:
  • 12 300 dpi papers, in jpg format, in 5x7 size (take note of the size, it's for small projects!)
  • 24 elements, 300 dpi, in png format, including word art, and 2 photo masks 
  • 2 complete alpha's
  • 1 ready made template, fully layered psd file.
  • colour swatches

Click on the links below the picture to download.

The first one is the kit, it has three folders in it,
1. the Alphas
2. The Elements
3. the Papers
The elements folder has the word art and photo masks in it.

The second link is to download the template.

*by downloading these files, you are agreeing to the Terms of Use

Freebie Expired

Every good and perfect gift is from above! Although not heaven sent, I do hope you enjoy this gift!

Please leave a comment if you download. 
Designers work hard to offer these freebies, it's nice to know it's appreciated!


Happy Scrapping,

Friday, April 15, 2011

Using digital scrapbooking kits to design birth announcements

Our daughter is expecting a baby in about 2 weeks! 
(update: baby Eli Thomas was born on April 18th 2011, and what a cutie he is!
Click here to see him!) 

We are excited to be grandparents for the second time, no doubt about that!

A while ago she asked me to design a birth announcement for her. She wanted one that was gender neutral, and that she could send as an e-card, after her new-born photo shoot. She'll be getting professional photographs done, and they will be perfect for a birth announcement!
I hadn't really thought about designing birth announcements before, but this got me thinking.
It's not that different from designing a scrapbook page layout. The same principals for design apply. However, what's great about a smaller overall size, is it's a little more focused, with fewer embellishments.
It's not necessary to overload the page with elements, for the focal point should be the baby's picture!

I started off by designing one in brown and green.

And then another one. This one more green than brown.

I just love the bright colours in this one, and my DD did too! She chose this one, but not for a birth announcement, but as a promo card for her Etsy shop, Koole Knits.

These I started from scratch, making the "paper", scanning some ribbon, extracting parts from the ribbon, and so one. (except for the "flower", I had that one already)

Then I thought that I should use one of my favourite kits that I designed, "Snow Day" as the starting point. The colours are very appealing to me. I didn't have to use all the "snowy" elements or paper, some of the plain papers would look great. This kit has some fun elements, flowers and a tag I thought could be useful here.

So this is what I came up with.

If you've resisted purchasing themed, or holiday specific digital scrapbooking kits, because you want them to be more useful for everyday projects, there is a way to stretch their usefulness. Many of the elements or papers can be used over and over again in your everyday layouts, or projects.

This fits into the category of "thinking outside the box"!

4 things to look for:

1.   colour: Sometimes I'm attracted to a certain colour palette in a kit. This is a great place to start. It's not necessary to overlook the entire kit because of it's theme, if the colours are appealing to you.

2.    basic elements that can be used for many different layouts, like corners, stitches, buttons, staples. Really, anything in the kit that's not completely specific to a theme or holiday. In my "Snow Day" kit, I have several elements that don't have snow on them, journaling blocks, buttons, stitches, frames. They match the colour scheme, so they can be used in all kinds of layouts, especially if the colours are appealing to you. I used a few of them in designing some of my birth announcements

3.   plain or patterned paper: A lot of digital scrapbooking kits will usually have some solid papers, and patterns that would look great in any project. Depending on the palette you are working with for your own project, adding a complimentary, or analogous colour from another digital scrapbooking kit can look fabulous, and add visual interest.

4.   elements that can add some interest, they don't even have to "match", but just add a punch of colour, or a sense of "hmmm, that's interesting" Using elements in a new way, something that would be out of place normally, but may have a dual meaning to it.

Update: I have created a digital card making kit that has been quite popular.

Use your creativity, I'd love to hear about some of the ways my fellow scrapbookers have used their digital scrapbooking kits in different ways, and for different projects besides a scrapbook!

Thanks for stopping by,
Happy Scrapping!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Feeling Blue

It's been just over a week now.

On Wednesday, March 30, after a very long journey, my cousin and friend went home to her heavenly father. I thought I had cried all my tears for all those years, yet there were still tears left to cry.

She has left behind a beautiful daughter, and the love of her life, her dear husband.

We were the same age, her and I. We did everything together as kids. We loved to shop together as youngsters, and buy "matching outfits" Although I was the oldest by 7 months, she was for the better part of our childhood, a good 6 inches taller than me. So I ended up with the same clothes again as hand me downs!! We liked to call ourselves "the Bobbsey Twins" (I know, I'm old!)

We did everything together...Well, almost. She was so much more adventurous than I was. I was a scaredy cat then, and still am today! She was smart, pretty, athletic. You'd think that would be someone to hate rather than love. But she was also very gracious. She won just about every game we played, but she never made me feel like a loser! She helped me out when I needed it.

It was strange to me, though, when at times she preferred to hang out with my brother building forts, and running around outside, instead of reading or drawing or painting or playing games with me inside the house.

I remember a time when we were climbing rocks "up north", and I got "stuck". I was too scared to continue, and she climbed back, and stood below me, and helped me across. It wasn't at all high, I was probably only 18 inches off the ground, and I was hanging from a tree branch, but I felt like it was a huge mountain. I just had trust that I'd make it across, and with Annette's help, I made it!

My Aunt had saved the banner that hung in her bedroom, with her awards and ribbons on it. It was proudly displayed at the funeral home last weekend!

Annette met her husband while on a vacation in Jamaica. It was love at first sight, for both of them. Only problem was, he lived in Germany! A few months later he came to Canada, and proposed to her, so off she went to Germany. They got married there. She learned the language, got a job, even had a baby there. Her new family there adored her, and loved her as much as we did here in Canada!

At some point, while there, she began having heart trouble. I can't begin to say what that all entailed.
Their little family of three came to Canada, but the heart trouble did not get better. She was waiting for another surgery, to receive an internal defibrillator, when the big heart attack happened. This led to a months long coma, and also resulted in a brain injury.

We now had to get used to a new person. Her struggles with her health continued. Her husband did not leave her side. He took such amazing care of her.

That happened in 1987, when her daughter was very young. And now, after a very long journey, my cousin and friend went home to her heavenly father. I thought I had cried all my tears for all those years, yet there were still tears left to cry.

Please forgive my personal ramblings, it's a little off topic today!

I was in any case, inspired to create a little "add on" to my "add on". If you download, please leave a comment. Feedback is always appreciated!
You can download them both. I am offering them for free. Please enjoy them, and feel free to share your layouts with me! I will post them with your permission.
Contact me at: FigmentGraphics

Here is a layout made with this kit by Tricia: