Wednesday, August 29, 2007


I didn't use templates for a long time. I was using FxFoto to scrap and it didn't support templates for a long time. It just started having that ability a few months ago. This happened around the same time that I started learning to use Photoshop elements. I like the way templates work in elements a lot better than FxFoto. When I first started learning to use templates, I collected every template I could find. I have since found that a lot of them are hard to use or I never like they way they look with papers in them, no matter how many times I change out the papers. To me, templates are suppose to make scrapbooking easier, but sometimes I spent more time changing around the papers to find something I liked. I could have done a LO from scratch faster than that. I have found 3 template designers that I love though.
The first designer I like is Andrea Gold. Her templates are so pretty. They have a lot of detail to them. The LO below is made with one of Andrea's templates. The photo is of my children and their cousins from New York. They came down to visit in July. Andrea frequently gives away her templates on her blog. She has them available in both rectangle and square formats. I love that because then I dont have to resize it or make an 8x8 LO and have the top and bottom of the printed page plain white. Andrea also sells them in her store at Go Digital Scrapbooking . A lot of her stuff is on clearance right now.
The next designer I love is Ruby Hammer. Her templates are funky and fun. She has done a template with every letter of the alphabet. I am going to be making an alphabet book for my neice and nephew for Christmas using her alphabet templates. The LO below was made using her "X" template. I couldn't think of something starting with "X" to scrap about, so I had to be inventive in how I used the x. You can also easily take the letters out of the template and use it that way. Ruby usually gives away a new freebie every Tuesday. This LO is of Rachael at her dance demo in May.
The 3rd template designer I love is Tracy Drane. I had one of Tracy's templates before Make it Scrappy opened. Since the grand opening, I have been able to collect a lot more of her templates. Tracy's templates are very original. I also love that they use most of the page. I hate LOs with one little picture in the corner and the rest of the page practically blank. One of the templates that I really likes was her "LIFE" template. It is a 2 page LO set up to look like a game board. Tracy sponsers a template challenge at Make it Scrappy and I have loved participating in those challenges. She makes it easy by having such great templates. You can get her templates on her blog or at Make it Scrappy in the Links and Download section. This LO is of our dog Bruce. He is an Akita/Lab mix. He is a 100 pound baby!!
Now, I don't want you to think that I use templates a lot. I probably only use a template for 1 out of every 15-20 LOs, if that much. I have done more template LO since I joined Make it Scrappy than I ever did before. I would much rather do a LO on my own but sometimes it is fun to use a template. I have gotten some good LO ideas from various templates.

Monday, August 27, 2007


I love challenges. When I first started digiscrapping, I hated them though. I was doing good just to get my LO done without trying to do a LO with someone elses requirements. Now, they make me think outside my comfort zone. It has helped me develop as a scrapper. I would describe my scrapping style as very clean and organized. I need all the help I can get in getting away from that. I always see these LO in galleries that have tons of stuff on it and those LO overwhelm me. I will never be a scrapper like that. There is too much on the page for my liking and it distracts from the photo for me. I want the photo to be the main focus in my LO. I do want my LO to have a little bit of what some of those full LO have though and that is where the challenges come in.
The 2 LO below were done for challenges at Snap and Scrap. The first one is for a sketch challenge. In this LO, I would have never thought of using papers as patches for my background. The original sketch had a flower where the stamp is on my LO. Since this LO focused on my son, I chose to change out the flower for something not so feminine. I chose this title because Rachael made him pose this way in the bottom photo. He wasn't really pouting. He can fake it really well though.
This LO is from a color challenge at Snap and Scrap. The challenge was to use primary colors in a LO. The thing I like about this LO the most was what I did with the picture. There was a lot of green in the original picture. It just didn't look right with the red, yellow and blue LO. I took the picture and changed it to black and white, but I still didn't like the way it looked. I messed around with the tints in photoshop. I tinted this photo red. I love the way it turned out. Because I turned the picture B&W first, the red in the photo is not overwhelming. I have used the red tint in other photos and didn't like it. In those photos, I went straight for the red tint and it turned out very red.
Speaking of photoshopping photos, how many of you always adjust your photos? I read several comments on a photo challenge at Make it Scrappy about how some woman alter every photo they scrap. The challenge there was to make a LO with a photo and then a close up of the same item but you couldn't adjust the photo at all except cropping it. Most of the comments were about how they didn't think they could do a LO without altering a photo. I alter very few of my photos before I scrap them. I may crop them if I have excess background or I may do something to the edge so it isnt' just a square edge. I don't adjust the colors or apply filters to my photos at all. This is one of the areas I would like to explore a little more. The area I would like to work on the most is titles and journaling. My LO always have such boring titles. It usually is just a name, or the event or something like that. I can never think of catchy titles. I also have very boring journaling on my LO. It is usually just the basics of where, when, who in the LO. If anyone knows any great tips for journaling and titles, I am up for suggestions.

Friday, August 24, 2007

My Heritage LO

Here is my heritage LO. I made this with my Grandma's Button Box kit. The paper and the frames are part of the add on. The ribbon is in the original kit. This is my in-laws. These pictures were taken when they were still dating. They were married in the Salt Lake City Temple on September 9, 1967. My FIL passed away last year from complications of a heart cath. My MIL has been going through a lot of health problems due to cancer. I love her so much and it is so hard to see her in pain and struggling. She is the stongest woman I know and she is such an example to me. When ever I start to feel angry because of my health problems or I am feeling sorry for myself, I just think about here. I have never heard her feel sorry for herself. She has felt frustrated with the problems she is having and that is understandable. She doesn't let anything slow her down. She is an amazing woman. If you are reading this Mom (MIL), I love you so much.

DSD and an add-on

I made an add on for my Grandma's Button box kit. I got some great actions from Atomic Cupcake that allowed me to do some of the things I wanted to do originally but didn't know how to do. I think the frames look a lot more inline with the buttons now. I also did some new papers. I have only done them in 12x12. The overlay I used for them didn't look right in the rectangle format. I am going to work on some new background papers in rectangle form. It will have to wait until I get off some of this pain medications though. I can scrap, but I am finding designing frustrating with my head so cloudy.

Read here to join the party.
There is a National Digital Scrapbooking day now. There is a tailgate party being sponsered by Hummie . I hope I have it all set up right this time. I still need to do a heritage LO with the kit above and I will get to that today and post it as soon as it is done. We need to thank Susan White for organizing this. I also want to thank Susan for introducing me to the online scrapbooking comunity. I have been digiscrapping for a few years, but I was using one of those Halmark programs that really limits you to the papers and elements they put in there. I started looking into things that allowed me more freedom and I discovered FxFoto. I have been using it for the past 18 months. I just started using PSE 5 when I wanted to start designing since I don't think you can design in FxFoto. I have been reading Susan's blog since I started FxFoto and have followed some of her links to different blogs. She also introduced me to DST earlier this year and things have just taken off since then. For anyone that is finding Photoshop too overwhelming, I would highly recommend FxFoto. It is so easy to use and their customer service is amazing. I have send emails about problems I was having and I usually got an answer back within 24 hours. They have even put out an update of the program in response to a problem I was having. You can find FxFoto here . I really hadn't intended for this post to be a commercial for FxFoto, but it just evolved into that.
I hope you all enjoy my add on. I am submitting this and the original kit to Snap and Scrap as my designer application.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'm home

I am finally home from the hospital. I was suppose to go home yesterday but I was in horrible pain so I stayed so I could get IV pain medication. I felt so much better this morning. I missed being home with my kids, I missed my husband and I missed scrapbooking. Since I have to lay low for the next few days, I will get to do more scrapbooking and more designing.

I am going to be applying for the design team over at Snap and Scrap. I have 3 kits ready to send them. I have been on Landi's CT for the past few months and I have found everyone over there wonderful. Go check them out at . They have a great collaborative kit that they give out as a daily download. They have some great talent over there and I love their style.

Here is a LO I did when I got home from the hospital today. I have missed scrapbooking a lot. I scrap when I get stressed out. Needless to say, I was pretty stressed out this week and I couldn't scrap.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Surgery is done

I had my surgery this morning. My pancreatic enzymes were totally normal this morning so my pancreas is healed now and they could take out my gall bladder. If there is any part of this post that doesn't make sense, blame it on the Dilaudid. I am on a Dilaudid PCA to keep the pain under control. Normally, pain isn't too horrible for gallbladder surgery, but I have problems with chronic pain anyway so he was concerned that I would have pain issues. I'm glad he thought of that because I have had a lot of pain today. It is mostly in my shoulder and chest and not at the incisions. The surgery was laproscopically, so I have 3 tiny incisions. They are pretty bruised but otherwise they don't look bad. He used glue instead of stiches or staples. I'm glad because then they don't itch. If all goes well tongiht, then I get to go home tomorrow.

Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers from everyone. It really means a lot to me.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Time bomb

The doctor wasn't kidding when he said I was a walking time bomb. Last night, that time bomb went off. We grilled some hamburgers for dinner last night. About 2 hours later, I knew it was a mistake to eat them as I was having a lot of pain. It just got worse and worse until I couldn't take the pain any more. We got to the ER a little after midnight. They gave me some drugs pretty fast, but they did almost nothing to help the pain. Apparently, I was trying to pass one of the stones and it caused my pancreas to become inflamed. I was admitted to the hospital this morning. I will have surgery as soon as my pancreas is healed. They are going to draw lab every morning to monitor my pancreatic enzymes. Until they normalize, I can't even eat or drink. I hope they normalize soon so I can get this surgery over with and start eating again.

Friday, August 17, 2007


I am going to have to have surgery to remove my gallbladder. I asked the doctor if there was a way I could try to shrink the stones and avoid surgery. He told me that they take a long time to shrink (sometimes as long as 2-3 years) and that I will be a time bomb until that happens. He said I am lucky that I haven't had emergency surgery yet. Because of my other health problems, he is going to keep my in the hospital overnight to watch me carefully for complications. He also wants to be able to manage my pain more since I have chronic pain issues anyway. My surgery is scheduled for the 28th of this month. I am so ready to be healthy again.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Weight Watchers

I am really struggling with my weight loss efforts lately. I have been doing Weight Watchers for a little over a year now. My goal was to lost 50 pounds by my 1 year anniversary. I came 10 pounds short. Since March, I have been gaining and losing the same 3-4 pounds. Part of it is stress eating because of all the health problems I have been having. Part of it is medication. I take Lyrica for chronic pain and it's number one side effect is weight gain. I have been told that I am doing better than most people because my weight has been stable. I looked through my weigh-in card last week and my plateau perfectly coinsides with starting the Lyrica. I spoke with my doctor about th is and we are going to cut my Lyrica dose in half to see if that helps with the weight loss but still keeps the pain under control. My part now is that I need to be journaling better. I got frustrated with my plateau and stopped journaling everyday. I was talking with one of the women at WW today and she envited me to email my journal to her every night for an added degree of accountability. I think this will help a lot (thanks Lynn). I know that when I journal, I stay on program so much better. I still have 90 pounds to lose, so I can't give up. I made this layout to remind me of how far I have come and that I can do this. I know that 40 pounds is nothing to scoff at and I am proud of my accomplishment. I know I can do this and I will do this.

Monday, August 13, 2007

A LO with Patricia's Summer Fun

Here is the LO I did with the kit made just for me. I was in the backyard with DH while he was cooking on the grill. Jeremy and Rachael came out to sit with me. I asked Stan to take a picture of the 3 of us. Do you think they would cooperate? NO WAY. Jeremy had to be silly, and Rachael had to bring out her teenage attitude. You can tell in the picutres that she is saying "Get this over with". She gets really tired of having her picture taken sometimes. For a while, I had her palm in the middle of half of the pictures I took of her. She has since learned that it only makes me try for more pictures, so she has quite putting her hand up. I do get to see her attitude show through though. I guess I shouldn't complain too much about her attitude though. It doesn't show up very often. It is amazing considering she will be 15 in 2 months. Jeremy is a 5 year old little boy who just can't help but be silly.

My very own kit.

Aimee Suarez has made a kit especially for me. Isn't that cool?!? I told her what colors I wanted and the kind of kit I wanted and this is what she came up with. I love it. It can be found here at Studio Style Designs. I will be making my first LO with this soon. I have had to finish cleaning up my hard drive first. I finally got all of my kits moved to the external hard drive. I also got some of my files cleaned up. I got rid of a bunch of kits I never used. Some of them I had for 2 years and had never used. I figured if I hadn't used it by now, I never would.

Friday, August 10, 2007

What next?

I know you should never ask that, but that is exactly how I feel. Yesterday, I went to the eye doctor and I have optic neuritis again. Optic neuritis is an inflammed optic nerve. I have other neurological problems and my neuro can't figure out what is wrong. It is so frustrating. The vision in my right is blurry. It isn't as noticable when I am looking with both eyes as my left eye is fine. I do see a little bit of a haze at the lower right hand corner of my visual field though.

Today, I got a call from my PCP and I have gallstones. I have been having stomach pain after I eat fatty foods for a few months now. I try to eat a low fat diet so I don't have pain a lot. I mentioned it to her last week and she sent me for an ultrasound. I now have to go see a surgeon. She doesn't want me to have surgery if I can at all avoid it. She feels my body has gone through too much lately and surgery might cause me more problems. I agree with her and don't want to have surgery. She wants a surgeon to make the determination as to if it is OK to wait. I have an appointment next Friday so we will see what he says.

Thanks for everyones wonderful comments about my new kit. I am glad it is bringing back so many good memories for everyone.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Grandma's Button Box

I have completed my second freebie. It is called Grandma's Button Box. My kids were given a button box by their great grandma. I had friends come over and see them playing with the buttons from there. Most of my friends commented that they remember their grandma having a big button box like that and they had loved to play with the buttons in there. That is how I came up with the idea for this kit. I played around with some of the elements a little more this time. I liked the photo frames I made. I made them a little more complex than I did with the first kit. I made more ribbon this time too. I found a tutorial on making beads, including pearls, so I tried that. I don't think they look anything like pearls. I got the color right, but not the shape. I used the sphere filter, but they don't resemble a sphere at all. If anyone knows of a good tutorial on making beads, please let me know. I obviously need to work on beads a litle more. I like the way my buckle turned out but I wish I could have figured out how to give it more of a distressed metal appearance, like an oxidized metal.

Here is a LO I did with this kit. It is a very simple LO because it is a very simple picture. I don't like my LO to overpower my pictures. My husband thought it was funny that I didn't do a LO with my other kit. He asked me if that means I didn't like it. I told him that of coarse I liked it, I just got involved in making LO for my CT and trying to get the kit on my blog. It never even occured to me to do a LO using my kit. I decided I should be sure to make one this time.

Once again, I have made both square and rectangle papers, so take your pick. They are the same papers, but different shapes.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Thanks everyone

There has been such a wonderful response to my new kit. I want to thank everyone for downloading my kit and for the compliments you have left me. I have started on my next kit. It is called Grandma's Button Box. I should have it done in the next week. I have learned how to do some more elements. I made my own buckle last night. It was a lot of fun.

Now for some CT news. First of all, Landi LeRoux from Snap and Scrap has a new kit called Office Party. I love the elements in this kit. They are fun to use and are very versitile. The colors in the papers are soft and beautiful. Check it out at .

Here is a LO I did with Landi's kit. I also used Ruby's "X" template for this LO. I LOVE her templates.

Kim Cameron has 2 new kits in her store at Make it Scrappy. First, we have Baby Bumblebee. The papers are beautiful and fun at the same time. I love the honey comb alphas in this kit. They can be easily arranged for a really cool title for your LO. I made a really cute Lo of Jeremy with this kit that I will post on here later.

Lastly, Kim Cameron has her Forest Floor kit in her store. I haven't had a chance to make a LO with this yet, but I am excited to make one. I just haven't found the right photo for it yet. The colors are really pretty and the elements are beautiful.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

My first freebie!!!

Here is my first freebie. I am still learning a lot about designing so I hope it isn't too simple. I focused on my papers this time. It was a lot of fun to make and I am enjoying the learning process. I, myself, am a rectangle scrapper, so I made some rectangle papers. I realize that I am the exception though so I also made square papers. Here are the links. Leave some love if you download.

square papers
rectangle papers

I will welcome any constructive comments any of you have for me. I hope you enjoy the kit.