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Friday, April 11, 2014

This Week's Read 4/11

I actually read a book this week, people.  Things have been so chaotic around here with my cataclysmic month of disease....reading just hasn't happened.  But this week, I read a book!  Only one, since I'm throwing my sister's baby shower tomorrow (and with our cataclysmic month of disease, I was not on top of my game and have had to prepare everything in the space of one week!), but hopefully next week I'll be back to my normal reading habits!  (P.S. stay tuned for a post about the shower!)
Anyway!  The book!

Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund
I am a sucker for historical fiction with some romance, so when I saw this on the new arrivals display at our local library, I grabbed it.  And I REALLY enjoyed it.  Set in 1763 in Massachusetts, it follows a young woman and an young lawyer.  At the end of the book, I discovered it was loosely based on John and Abigail Adams courtship.  There isn't a lot recorded about that time in their lives, but the author took what there was and then made up the rest.  I've always been interested in that period of history, and especially in Abigail Adams, so it was fun to read the afterword (including what really happened and what she made up to fill in the blank spaces).  I liked this book so well, it's going on my Paperback Swap request wishlist!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

It's been awhile, hasn't it?

If I hadn't already scheduled posts, there would have been nothing the last few weeks!  Man, it's been a rough month + in our house.  Can I just tell you?  In the last five or six weeks:
I had a 3 day sore throat/runny nose thing.
Then a week of really horrible insomnia.
Then my son and my baby got sick with a cold.
Then my husband and I got the cold.
And I didn't get better. Discovered I had a sinus infection.
Found out my baby had a double ear infection.
Husband's sore throat came back with a vengeance, and the nurse at his work told him his throat is covered in blisters.
Then on Sunday baby threw up repeatedly for about 5 hours and then couldn't eat for another day.
And then I broke out in hives, a reaction to one of my sinus infection meds.
Next, my daughter went through the whole throw up routine.
And yesterday, I went through the throw up routine.

Today I'm feeling better and so far am keeping my breakfast down!  Anyway, I'm really really REALLY hoping and praying this is the last of it.  March was definitely a lost cause for productivity.  Here's to April being better!

The one thing I did manage to do is some digiscrappin'....so I thought I'd post some of my latest layouts.

Template by Marie Stone
Kit: A Da-Doodly Love (retired) by Etc. by Danyale
Font: Smithy XT
 Template: Kimeric Kreations
Kit: Favorite Moments (retired) by Etc by Danyale
 Template: Rainy Dayz Designs
Kit: Let Me Call You Sweetheart (retired) by Stolen Moments
 Template: Etc by Danyale
Kit: An Innocent Heart charity collab
 Template: Cornelia Designs (retired designer)
Template: Akizo Designs (basically just for the scalloped frame)
Fonts: Only by Request (with Mommyish Acrylic Style), Penelope Anne, MTF You Are

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Digiscrap Tuesday Tip: Light Direction for Shadows

Okay guys, now that you have an idea how to get a layout going, this is EXTREMELY important.  Light source and shadows.  Let me show you an example of the importance of shadows:
No shadows
With shadows!  So much better!
Shadows make a huge difference in creating depth for realistic layouts.  They are a MUST.  I kid you not.  A MUST!!!  AND it is extremely important that every drop shadow cast in the same direction.  This is a great run-down on light sources from Karah Fredricks of The Lily-Pad.  Take a look, and hopefully that helps you understand what I mean.  Next week, I'll be back with some info on creating those shadows.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Digiscrap Tuesday Tip: Design Tips for Layouts

I have something super helpful for you today!  This comes from Suzy Q Scraps (you can find her shop at Scrapbookgraphics).  She put together an eye-pleasing graphic of 10 design tips for visually pleasing layouts, and then goes on to explain each point and shows examples.  Find it here.
Remember to pin from her and not from me!!!

Okay, so again, I must admit that I rarely scrap without a template (kinda lazy, plus then half the creative work is done for me...really helpful if I've having a block of sorts!), so the first few steps of this are taken care of for me (as long as I'm using a quality template, that is).  But the next few are always a concern.  It can be daunting, especially when you are first starting, to look at all those tips.  It still kinda is, and I've been doing digi 6 years and paper scrapbooking for 8 years before that!  I liked Suzy's tip at the end: pick one at a time and focus on understanding and mastering that, and move on.  Remember, the most important thing here is that you are recording your story, those moments that make up a life.  Don't worry about doing everything perfectly.  Just try to improve a little here and a little there, and over time, you will grow as a digiscrapper.

I'll be back with your next tip on Tuesday.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Latest Baby Shoes

I just can't get enough of these.  I was actually pondering opening a shop to sell them, but I frankly don't have the time right now.  Something about the whole three children ages 6 and under.....  :)

Anyway.  Here's the latest, all made from free patterns:
These darlings just might be my current favorite.  They were made from a free pattern found here, but adapted quite a bit.  Fabric from JoAnn, buttons from my stash.

Everyone needs a pair of Mary Janes!  Free pattern found here.  Adapted in that I did not make a velcro strap; I just used fold over elastic instead.  More comfy and more likely to stay on!  Fabric from JoAnn, fold over elastic from The Ribbon Retreat.

And an old favorite, the faux Robeez pattern, found here.  Thin grey leather from Brettuns Village, lining and yo-yo fabric from JoAnn.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Digiscrap Tuesday Tip: Working with Layers

Okay, folks, this is a long time coming.  I know.  I'm sorry.  I just haven't had the time to put together tutorials myself, so what I'm going to do is every Tuesday spotlight helpful tutorials I've found.  These will all be tutorials using Photoshop Elements (or Photoshop), because I frankly think it is the only way to go!  And if you are going to pin, PLEASE PIN FROM THE ORIGINAL SOURCE AND NOT FROM ME.

This is a great resource!  A free online class from Steph of the Daily Digi.  So great.  She has a supply list so you know exactly what you need and provides you with the other digital supplies for the layout.  Highly recommend starting here.

Another option is a tutorial from the great Ali Edwards.  In this video, she shows how to use a layered template in Photoshop (written step by step instructions can be found here).  She offers a free template (link found below the template photo) to use as she shows you step-by-step.

This is a terrific place to start.  You don't always have to use templates to scrap (though I almost always do!), but this video will give you an understanding of how layers work, so you can create your own layouts in the future.

I'll be back next week with another tip!

Here's the first post if you missed it.

Friday, March 14, 2014

This Week's Reads 3/14

Guess what, guys.  It's my birthday.  Yep.  It's today.  Somehow it seems to get less and less exciting every year.  Are you curious?  I'll indulge your curiosity.  31.  No turning back now, eh?  Most definitely in my 30's.  But that is an entirely different topic for another day.

So reading!  I read a lot this week.  I had sick kids who wanted Mommy with them at all times (like 2-3 foot radius...seriously), so I read in the interim moments between fetching snacks and pillows and tissues, etc.  Nothing too deep.  I did NOT have the brain power for that this week.  So lots of entertaining romances!  Here's a few:

You know those light romances that are a fun read, you're entertained, you finish, and then you never think of them again?  This was NOT one of them.  This is a love story that stays with you.  I loved this one.  It's complex and truly moving.  You should read it.  Really.  (The Kindle version is only $3.99!)

Taste Test by Kelly Fiore
Meh.  It was a Kindle Daily Deal, and it was about food.  So I bought it.  Wish I hadn't.  It's Young Adult fiction, and that definitely showed.  Lots of drama.  But hey, if that's your cuppa tea......

Hailey's Comments by Kristy Tate
This was a Kindle freebie, and despite its unfortunate cover, I really enjoyed it!  Part romance, part mystery.  Set on an island in Puget Sound, which appeals to me as I was born in Seattle.  A fun read.  And not totally forgettable, though not in the same league as Running Barefoot.

Affiliate links, y'all!

Friday, March 7, 2014

This Week's Reads 3/7

Let me just tell you, I am exhausted.  I've spent the week removing the dirt from my old garden box (a big long one, 25 x 2 feet), raking through it by hand to remove all the weeds and grass roots that grew in when I basically abandoned it two years ago (I blame pregnancy and a newborn), and digging out the sod where my new garden boxes are going (two 4 X 6 foot boxes.  Same square footage, better configuration for my yard).  I still need to built a rough sieve from chicken wire and the wood from the old box to sift the dirt through as I fill the boxes up.  Lots of work.  Moral of the story:  don't let your garden boxes get horrifyingly overgrown.
ANY-way, my point is I didn't have a lot of reading time again this week.  Only one book to report on.

This House is Haunted by John Boyne
You know those books that upon reading the last page and closing, you said "Wow," out loud?  (Or maybe I just do that.)  This was one of those.  Spoiler alert: it's about a haunting.  ;)  It started out sounding a little Jane Eyre-ish...a governess heading off, almost on a whim, to an unknown and mysterious place.  The similarity mostly ended there however.  I really enjoyed this.  Captivating.  So interesting it may cause you to ignore your children.  And the ending!  Wow.  :)  Worth reading!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Things have sure been busy around here...

I've been a little negligent in my blogging.  But that's because I've been diving headfirst into digiscrap again.  I love it so.  I'm even dabbling with designing again, so hopefully I'll have another freebie kit for you at the end of the month.  In the meantime, here are some of my most recent layouts:

Friday, February 28, 2014

Top Reads of All Time - February

Let's just pretend, yet again, that this post went up on Friday like it was supposed to!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Sorry for the haters out there, but I loved this series.  I got into it a little late in the game...borrowed my little brother's books whenever I was home from college.  Loved it then, love it now.  Classic.

The Anatomist's Wife by Anna Lee Huber
The first of another terrific series.  SO good.  Mysterious and historical and a little bit romantic.  J'adore.

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
This is such a lovely book.  I like to read at the the beginning of the summer, just to prep myself to enjoy everything about the season...and to try to do it with the wonder of a kid.

Affiliate links, y'all!

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