Thursday, July 31, 2008

Endless Summer Freebie! (and some more photos)

I shared a page earlier this week using the July Songbird Avenue kit - do you know about Songbird Avenue? They introduce a new kit each month to benefit a specific charity. I love it when I am scrappin' for a cause!

The July kit (Endless Summer - preview above) is by one of my favorite designers, Dani Mogstad, along with Jan Crowley and Meredith Fenwick - and Dani is offering up an extra FREEBIE! HOW COOL IS THAT??? To get the freebie (pictured below), check in at the Songbird Avenue blog - I love these chipboard words! SO FUN! And today is the last day to grab the Endless Summer kit too - Happy Shopping! I can't wait to see what's in store for August!

And last, (but not least!) here are a few more photos from my session with sweet baby Abigail...

It's *almost* the weekend! YAY! Have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sweet Bella and Abby...

Yesterday I had the chance to practice my photography on these sweet girls! Thanks, Sara, for sharing them with me! I was very pleased with how it went...(DARE I SAY that many of these were properly exposed! YAY!)

Here are some faves of Miss Isabella...I love this lolly - SO FUN!

Next up - Miss Abigail...this baby just makes me SMILE! She's at that super fun age with LOTS of smiles! I am already plotting my next visit with these darling girls!

I'll have more to share later in the week - Have a WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Maddie at 10...

Just a quick post today and then I have a bajillion things to do!

I *still* cannot believe that my baby is TEN! How'd that happen??? I guess we are in the dreaded "tween" years now, lol. Only a few short years until the teen craziness ensues, aaaack!

I wanted a page to chronicle this milestone, and to tell a little bit about what's happening in Mad's life right now...

Page Credits: Endless Summer kit from Songbird Avenue; frame and recipe/journal card by ksharonk from 2LittlePixels, Scallop edge by Jen Caputo from ScrapbookGraphics, Love Ya Like a Sister font.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Shamu - Believe Show

If you are visiting Sea World, the new Shamu "Believe" show is a MUST! (I think this show was brand new in 2006?) I am in such awe of the killer whale - because of their size of course, but they also manage to be so graceful and fluid. It's incredible to see what these Sea World trainers can accomplish with them. They are obviously very smart creatures!

I was really pleased with the pictures I was able to get during the show, (I have a 12x zoom on my point & shoot camera, so I could zoom in really close!) so I felt that Shamu needed his (or is it her?) own page from our 2008 Florida trip.

Have a Fabulous Weekend!

Page Credits: Be Amused kit by Sara Amarie from SweetShoppeDesigns, photo frame collage by ksharonk from 2LittlePixels; Love Ya Like a Sister font

Friday, July 25, 2008

Time for tea?


Ahhh...I love my doggie! She really puts up with me, heh heh. A lot of days, when I want to try something with the camera, she is the only one around!

Can't you see how enthralled with photography she is?


This photo is *really* about the GIANT TEACUP (but shhhh...don't tell the doggie!) - I am a member of a children's photography forum (ilovephotography or ILP for short) and these giant teacups have been all the rage for quite awhile now. It's actually a PLANTER from good ol' WallyWorld (Wal-Mart) and it's HUGE. And I finally snagged one this week! YAY!

MOST PEOPLE put darling chubby babies in them, but I am short on babies at my house, so I grabbed my "baby" for a photo op, lol. BUT SOON, I hope to put my friend Sara's darling chubby baby A in this teacup and snap some BRILLIANT PORTRAITS. YAY!

(Sara - my pup would like a word with you, lol. I think a nice peanut butter biscuit and a belly rub would smooth this over!)

Have a FABULOUS FRIDAY people!

Monday, July 21, 2008

A willing subject...

Now - ordinarily, I get "grumble, grumble" and rolling eyeballs when I pull out the camera, lol. BUT, lately I've been getting some cooperation! YAY! I guess they are getting used to me and my camera practice, lol. I am constantly picking up different tips here and there, and I usually want to test them out right away. A lot of times, it's just me and the dog, - so I'm always happy when there is a son or daughter nearby to practice on!

This is the same photo I shared last week in the Before and After post. And I finally figured out what happened with it - I had the camera set to CWB (custom white balance) from the last time I had used the camera, which was entirely different lighting circumstances - so that is why it came out so dark! SO MANY THINGS to remember with photography! I look forward to the day when it will all be second nature! But thank goodness for photshop magic, to save my mistakes, haha!

Page Credits: Psycho Magnet kit and glitter styles from Studio Flergs at Scrapbook Graphics; Love Ya Like a Sister font, from daFont.

ALSO! Do you see my fresh new blog banner? I love this kit by Dani Mogstad over at SweetShoppeDesigns! Here's a preview of the entire kit...SO CUTE! I adore those darling little postage stamps! (Image is linked)

Pssstttt...And right now they have a HUGE COLLAB available FOR FREE if you spend $10. If you spend $20, you get a matching mini accordian album. Happy shoppin'! Have a MARVELOUS MONDAY!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Why am I up so early on a Saturday???

UGH! Don't you hate it when you can sleep in, but you wake up anyway???

Just a quickie post today, as I have a to-do list a MILE LONG! BLAH! But I was a real slacker this week on the household chores...

This page came together pretty fast. I was flipping thru an old issue of Simple Scrapbooks, and saw a similar paper layout. I loved the paper strips - a great way to use up your scraps! Well...I don't have any scraps, since I haven't paper scrapped in about a hundred years, lol. And with digi scrappin, THERE ARE NO SCRAPS! That is what I love about it - NO MUSS, NO FUSS, NO CLEAN UP! And all my pattern papers are intact, even though I use them over and over.

With photoshop - you can easily just "cut out" some strips and then "drag" each one over to your layout. I, of course, was cutting each one individually, until I realized I only needed ONE from each sheet, and then I could COPY that layer to a NEW LAYER. DUH!

I am loving this shabby color combo too - this kit is the Gold Membership kit for July over at DigiShopTalk - Summer Cottage by Shabby Princess. It's an exclusive, just for members, but I went ahead and joined, since I love all the designers that are coming up too - I'm sure the free kits will be FABULOUS! Here's a preview of the Summer Cottage kit:

Have a great Saturday!

Page Credits: Summer Cottage kit by Shabby Princess (from DST); Lucida Bright font

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sweet baby Noah...

This is my nephew Noah - isn't he a cutie??? In June, we spent a weekend at Grandma's and I took the opportunity to have a "mini portrait session" with Noah, and big sister Brianna (will share more another day). I will never get tired of playing with my camera - I learn something new every day! (And that's good, because I have a TON to learn, lol)

I was *determined* to scrap with this new kit called Bounce from The Shabby Shoppe - I *love* all her stuff! This is the "boy" kit that coordinates with the Twirl collection/girl kit (I used Twirl in my blog banner) but I think it would work for both boys and girls. I love the bright colors - so fun and summery! I adore the little stickers that are included (had to stop myself from using them ALL, haha). If you read my post from yesterday, THIS was the kit I was trying to make work with the picture of Mad and her friend with their faces painted - I just love the bright red! So for this page, I actually worked BACKWARDS, and picked a PHOTO to match a specific kit I wanted to scrap with, lol. It worked out so well that I think I'll continue on with that method!


Page Credits: Bounce kit from Shabby Princess; ZigZag stitches from Melissa Bennett; Photo frame and notepaper from ksharonk at 2 little pixels; Traveling Typewriter font;

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I was POWERLESS to resist...

I simply *had* to scrap this image!


I haven't scrapped in awhile, so, while this page is pretty simple, it took about 3 hours, LOL! Because I had to find *just the right* kit to use, so I got all distracted looking thru my entire collection of digi supplies! I was determined to use something with RED in it - but in the end, I couldn't make it work with one pink t-shirt and one red t-shirt. GRRRRR!

So I went neutral - with this rich chocolate brown (mmm CHOCOLATE!) and some khaki and peach flowers, and just a tiny hint of spring green.

I think it works!

My inspiration is from THIS POST from ksharonk. She is one of my favorite digi designers - I love her clean style - the focus is on the photos! I liked how she used one photo, and scaled it to be the entire width of the page.

Page Credits: Inspiration -ksharonk; Paper and elements from For You freebie collab; stitching from Bounce kit from Shabby Princess; Traveling Typewriter font;

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Before and After...

WHOA! It's been a long time since I BLOGGED! Aaaack! It's been a fun (and busy) summer so far! I'm still plugging away with my camera and photoshop! I guess I got out of the habit of blogging - hopefully I can get back into the swing of things!

Today - I'm sharing a few Before/After photos. I'm attending a retreat in August, and will be teaching a beginning photoshop class with a basis on improving your snapshots. This is right up my alley - as I could play in photoshop FOREVER! Seriously. FOR.EVER. So I have been polishing my skills, and I definitely see some improvement. And since my quest for perfect exposure is taking longer than I thought...(*eyeroll*) I have a NEED for these PS skills, lol.

This first snap, my son looks a bit "warm" to me. I'm playing with my camera set to "Neutral" for the picture style, and then tweaked the neutral settings a bit, per a suggestion I read in a photography forum. Not sure I like how warm this came out. BUT it was a great image to play with in PS! Fixing color casts and color issues can be difficult, so it's a great skill to have, if you have an image you want to save. This image is straight out of camera (SOOC) and only sized/sharpened for web...

And HERE is my fix! My son no longer looks like an OOMPA LOOMPA! YAY! My "snapshotty" image is now a WOW, with just a few tweaks in PS!

MEOW! My daughter and her friend were at "Music in the Park" last night, and had their faces painted. Of course I had to grab the camera! I actually like this SOOC version, it's just a little dark (underexposed - GRRRR!) and could use a bit more contrast and color "pop"...again, this SOOC image is only sized/sharpened for web...

For my fix, I brightened it up a bit, added some contrast and adjusted the color balance, and then ran a color pop action. (I used Pioneer Woman's "Boost" action from her free action set).

Let me know what you think!