Apr 30, 2007

Kathy Moore -Designer Technique (Layer Masks)

I am excited to introduce to you today our Designer for the Designer Technique, Kathy Moore. Kathy is sharing with us today an actual technique used in making papers (as compared to a technique for layouts). This is wonderful! Using layer masks opens up whole new worlds for those creating papers.

Kathy Moore was one of the first designers I met online when I was learning this hobby. She spent a while with me privately in a chat room teaching me the Control J method. Wow! Did it open up whole new worlds for me! I feel it was the turning point in my learning Photoshop Elements and scrapping. So I owe a lot of thanks to Kathy! Oh, thanks Kathy!

This is what I love about the digiworld; that being people helping people so that they can help more people. Kathy taught me and I taught many others -- and who have they taught? It is a big loving domino effect. From Kathy's writing, you can see that Kim Christensen taught her about layer masks, and now Kathy is teaching whoever reads this blog. Feeling warm and fuzzie yet?

I have a lot of kits on my harddrive, but I must say that all of Kathy's kits have a uniqueness of her own style which I have trouble putting words to. Much of her style really suits those who scrap paper-like style layouts. She has quality elements. I know she loves to use the staple element too! Here are a few layouts in this post that I did with her kits.

One of her best sellers is a kit called "Forever Boy" which I have used over and over. I do not see it in her store, but maybe she will get it up sometimes soon.

She has two beautiful children and you can see them in her gallery here.

Kathy was the first owner of Digiscrapdivas. However, sometime last year she made a very hard decision to get out of designing and sold the store. How delighted I was a few weeks back when I read that she was once again designing. You can find Kathy's store here a Scrapbookgraphics.

Be sure to look below for a coupon to use for 20% off in Kathy's store!

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I'm going to talk about a very powerful feature of Photoshop called Layer Masks. When I first learned about them, I didn't really understand their purpose and you may not at first, either. But if you'll stick with me, I think by the end you'll see how wonderful they are.

I started with a paper of mine with no alterations.


















I added a layer and filled with white, then added a layer mask.




















You add the mask by clicking on the icon at the bottom of the layer palette that looks like a gray rectangle with a white circle in it.

















You should see that your foreground and background colors change to white and black respectively. These are really the only colors you should use on a layer mask. You will also see that after you add the layer mask, there's a new square beside your layer icon. That is your mask.














Now, select that icon and grab a big round brush. Switch your foreground and background colors so that the foreground color is black. Now, with the layer mask icon selected in the layers palette, draw a stroke with your brush. You will see the white of the layer disappear, revealing the paper underneath.














So you're saying, um, couldn't I have just used the eraser and done the same thing? Well, yes. But here's the cool part. Say you erase too much. You have to undo, undo, undo, undo and sometimes you even come to a point where you can't undo anymore. With a layer mask, you simply switch back to white and brush back over what you want to show up again. Perhaps these examples will help a bit more. The first is the same paper again, but with an overlay on it.











I don't want the overlay to be that heavy so I add a layer mask, grab a grungy brush, change my foreground color to black and brush over the areas that I want to lighten up. Now I have this.



















But wait...I think that's too light. Let's bring some of it back. Change back to white, brush over the areas you want to bring back and they come back. Now, does that make more sense?














Once you get the hang of layer masks, you'll find lots of uses for them. If you ever extract, they're a fabulous tool because if you get too close and erase something you didn't mean to, you have to rely on that undo tool...but if you use a layer mask, you can just grab the white color and bring it back. Oh, and one more thing. When you're finished with a layer mask and want to apply it so that it's permanent and only what is showing is actually on the layer, just right click on the layer mask icon and hit apply layer mask. Voila, you'll see the mask disappear and your layer exactly the same, but will be ready for styles or anything else you need to do to it.

I have to give some credit to Kim Christensen for teaching me about layer masks in the first place...thanks, Kim!

The paper you see in this tutorial is from one of my favorite kits, Boathouse, which is available in Studio Kathy at Scrapbook Graphics.

Use coupon code DT_Hummie to get 20% off your entire order between now and May 10th in my store.

Layouts with Kathy Moore's Kits

I thought I would share just a few layouts from my early scrapbooking years when I used Kathy's kits so that you may see the quality of her products as she is the Designer for the Designer Technique this week. I can see my scrapping skills are much better now!

This layout uses her farm kit.




The ribbon and the "word" paper on this simple layout were made by Kathy.




Here is the same paper and one other paper that are Kathy's in this layout. As you can see, most of my layouts use very few elements. That is my scrapping style. I really require very few kits to scrap.

photos removed

Apr 29, 2007

Exploding Spring

On Friday I noticed my yard was exploding Spring and took some photos, but have not had an opportunity to do my gardening journaling for my readers yet. I went for over 2 weeks with not much new blooming and now everything is blooming and the weather is perfect and I am delighting.

Last night I spent the evening under the canapy with the lights and my laptop. I so love spending time outdoors in my garden! I learned something new. Well, I knew it, I just did not realize the impact.

Bugs are attracted to light. Yep. I knew that! However, did you know they also like laptop light and come swooshing right into the screen and smack themselves out? Oh, and the heat from the screen dries them quickly making them difficult to remove.

Why is it that something so enjoyable always comes with such pain? For instance, that favorite food is good why? Because anything that tastes really good is really bad for your body. Right? Are you with me on this?

My vinca vines are blooming those cute little delicate purpose flowers. I love the verigation of the leaves on these vines.














This thing is blooming again. It blooms faithfully every year. I have no idea what it is except that it is a bulb I planted long ago. it stands on top of a very tall single stem. If you know what it is, please tell me!















I have a lot of surprise lillies in both the front and back yard. As gardeners know, just like other perennials, these things must die back on their own and as they do so, the nutrients are drawn back into the bulbs. They are different than other perennials in that they bloom after they die back the same season, not before. For instance, the daffodils bloom first and then die back and do not bloom again until the next season. The surprise lillies produce greenery first that dies back now and then do not bloom until July. I do not like the way they lay all over everything and so soon I will need to get out there and bind them with rubberbands as I do every year.





Some of you may remember a year ago our squirrel problems. It appears they just won't give up until they have de-stuffed the entire swing cushion! We have now dubbed it the "squirrel swing."




I did a layout last year about my Lilly of the Valley and they are blooming now. They remind me of my Grandma as she had them along the side of her house.






My Iris are blooming now too. It is fun to watch them as they respond to sunlight. Those in the sun always bloom first and then I watch them progressively bloom down the line as it gets more shady in the beds. I have a ton of these and they were at our home when we moved in, although I have replanted and spread them.













As in my last garden post, I have to fight these helicopters from the Maple trees every year. They have made the walkway look horrible. I did sweep them Friday night, but now I have to work on getting them out of the beds. The boys got them out of the gutters on Saturday. They were mowed over in the yard on Friday too, but it will take another mowing to really get them good.











I was pleasantly surprised to see my Clematis blooming, especially after I had so rudely disjointed it from the wooden fence thing it was on. That thing had gotten so ugly. The Clematis can just grow on the regular fence if it wants to, and although it was a low bloom, it still bloomed and showed me it had life in it.

So, this Clematis is the same Clematis that refused to die when Abbie was a pup and continually dug it up and then survived the move from one box to another. I just wants to live.







My azaleas took a really hard hit a few weeks ago when we had about 4 or 5 days of nightly freeze. This lonely bush only has two blooms and it looks to me like the other blooms are dead. I hope the greenery still comes out and it is still alive. The one in the backyard looks the same.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my garden journal! If you blog about your flowers, let me know so I can come read.

Answering Comments

With so many more of the comments here containing questions, I am feeling a need to begin answering them in posts.

First, thank you to Lillian and Sherry for informing me of the two broken links. I have fixed them!

Danielle asked me if I like digital scrapbooking better than paper scrapbooking and I would have to say "yes!" I only barely got started into paper scrapbooking and was struggling with it as I do not feel I am a very artistic person. To visualize a page as I go to purchase papers or even put them together from a folder of paper loot was very hard for me. However, to be able to just stick papers and elements and photos on a digital page and move them around until they look right, or change their colors using sliders until they look right, makes me artistic!

Of course, there is the factor of cost. In paper scrapbooking, a paper can only be glued down once. In digital scrapbooking, a paper can be used over and over and over again, even recoloring it. Digital scrapbooking can be very cost effective if you learn from the beginning to constrain yourself. It is very easy to begin saying "oh, it is only $5, I can get that." However, a bunch of $5 can easily add up and sneak up on you.


I have had several ladies ask me how to get started in digital scrapbooking. I kind of shook my head and then laughed. These ladies must be just like me in that they read quickly and then move on. I encourage newcomers to this hobby to check out my website. The links to my website are at the top of my blog. The website is dedicated to helping people get started in digital scrapbooking. Start on the tutorials page with Lesson 1 and move through them to learn everything you need to know to get started. There are important links hidden in some of the lessons, as well as plenty of links to shops on the links page.

To Pooh who commented that sometimes she does not like my work and does not know what to leave. I know you have a heart for loving and giving back to others. You are such a good person as can be seen by your posts. I also know, and have written that I do know, that not all my scrapping creations are great and useable. I do not feel artistic and do not feel I have the gifts of a designer. I feel God has gifted me with teaching. So I am trying to use those gifts by writing tutorials. My comments regarding paypal were for my tutorials, not my scrapping freebies.

I did cry immediately upon posting that post about paypal. Seriously, I did. I got really depressed too -- for the rest of the day yesterday. Everyone tells me I should get paid for all my time and, yes, that seems right. However, for some reason I am sad when I think about that. When I focus on just giving everything freely, I feel much happier. I have this battle going on inside of me. I wonder what God is trying to tell me.

I thank from the bottom of my heart the two ladies who gave me a $10 and a $5 donation yesterday. They are my first! I have decided it best to share when I receive donations. I know when I visit other blogs I often wonder how much they have received. Really, if they have gotten nothing for their time, I would want to donate. However, if they are "making a killing" off of that button, why would I want to donate? I know, that seems wrong, but surely many of you have thought that way, right? I think that if I am open, it will make me feel better.

I have decided I am going to save any donations I get until I get enough to buy the newest version of PSE5. I really have no desire to have it as I like PSE3 just fine. However, I do need to be able to help others in teaching them and should be familiar with it. Having screen shots of it in my tutorials would be helpful to my readers too.

Sue asked me why she is getting a request for a password when she clicks on some of my layouts. She stated she would like to download them. I keep most of my personal layouts under password protected folders for internet safety reasons. However, all of the free digital scrapbooking elements are available without passwords. If you are Sue as in one of my real life best freinds, e-mail me and I'll give you the password again. If you are a new to me Sue from the internet, I am sorry, I cannot give you the password.

Presidential Candidates Use MySpace

I had posted some time ago about presidential candidates using the internet to get voters more this election. Now I am seeing it once again, only on an organized level. Did you know all of the candidates have a myspace page? With lots of "friends."

Check it out!

This certainly will be a history making election with their use of the tool called "the internet."

There is even going to be online debates for the 2008 election!

New Drinking System

I have had these photos of our new drinking system ready to share with my readers for quite some time, maybe even months. I just can never find the time to post all I want to blab about. However, my Bible reading this morning inspired me and, so, here they are! Aren't they refreshing looking?

My original intention to blabber about these water bottles was to share how times change. I am actually dumbfounded at myself. Having bottles of water in my fridge is something I would have never EVER done before. I've often thought to myself in years past how I could never do something so wrong.

1. First, it costs so much more money and is such a waste of money. Really, there is water right from the tap and ice cubes in the freezer. Or put a pitcher of water in the fridge to keep it cold, right?

2. Second, it is not good for the environment to be using these plastics so much more. Of course, we do recycle them, but I am sure that even that is bad for the environment in some ways as it probably uses energy unnecessarily or creates pollutants in the process of reprocessing.

So, something I would previously NEVER do, we are now doing. Why did I give in and change my values? I just love this Bible verse and have shared it on my blog before, but it explains me so often.

Romans 7:15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

1 - again. We used to always keep a pitcher of tea and koolaid in the fridge. I was alway frustrated because I would always find them empty as it was just too difficult for my men to remix them and put them back in the fridge. Life with four men! Sigh!

Now, however, that they are older, they just do not even seem to be drinking anything out of the pitchers (they prefer glasses of milk) and I end up throwing the contents out because they go bad. So, I discovered that there are a huge variety of these flavor packets now available in the stores. They even have vitamins and other good stuff in some of them.

So, I wanted to try them and, lo and behold, they actually got drank! Does it not seem silly to be throwing away the contents of a "system" that is right, rather than utilizing a "system" that works that is wrong? I gave in and we now keep the bottles stocked in the fridge and a basket of packets on the table.





2 - again. Also, as a way of justify how I feel about doing what is wrong, I have discovered that Nestle has changed their bottles. The bottle on the left is much harder and stiffer and will not bend when touched. Their newer bottles are very flimsy and easily cave in when touched. They must be using less plastic in them. So maybe we are not hurting the environment as much? Yeah right.

Please comment and tell me that you are like me in that your values change over time?

Onto the inspired point of my post. I was reading my Good News magazine this morning (do not bother to google for it, they do not have a website and really need to get one), one of my favorite magazines. It's a Lutheran (LCMS) thing. The magazine directed me to read the parable of the pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18.

9To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about[a] himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'

13"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'

14"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."


Now, the real point of this parable is that we are all not deserving of God's grace. Both men did not deserve God's forgiveness, but the first went to God to talk about himself and how he was better than everyone else with a lot of pride and confidence that he was already righteous. The second man humbled himself and asked for forgiveness. The second man went home justified.

But what struck me was where the first man prayed "God, I am not like other men" and I wondered, do I ever do this? So, I reflected. Of course, I run to God and complain to Him when "other men" offend me. God wants us to do that. He wants to hear our pains and help us through them. But do I ever come to God as if I am better than others when I complain about others? Certainly not. I do not believe I ever do. Or do I?

So, I reflected again. I needed to observe some of my particular prayers as a specific example to see if I ever do this. What came to mind? Those stupid water bottles! (Henceforth my inspiration to get this posted.)

As always, my men are a source of constant surprises. Now, rather than finding empty pitchers in the fridge, I am finding half empty water bottles about the house that "no one" put there. (Yes, we do have that unseen person in our house with the name of "not me.") In addition, I find surprises of colorful powders smeared on the table or counter when someone misses the bottle when pouring in a packet and thinks that rubbing the spill with the hand to make it less visible is the best way to clean it up.

I do not believe I pray as the first man and look down on my men when I complain to God about them. However, do I make the effort to look at them as forgiven when I pray? Probably not. I need to do that more. Of course, God has already forgiven them for the little surprises they leave me (Eph 1:7). The problem is, I have not. Which leads me back to remembering that in my complaining, I should be asking God to help me forgive others, not to change them.

There! I've done babbled again. Anyone read all the way down here? If so, leave me a comment as I would love to know your thoughts!

I'm a Top Momma!

I'm a Top Mommma!

I am not sure what I did, but I got an e-mail that says:

You are now on the front page of TopMomma.com!!!! Time is of the essence, so make sure that you tell all your friends and readers ASAP to get the most clicks possible!

So, I was given this url in the e-mail to and I guess I'm supposed to tell you all to click on it to keep me on the front page as long as possible.

So, just click here! Pretty please!


See this screen shot? I'm not only on the front page, but I'm the very first spot! Ike! What did I do to get there? I signed up here about a month ago and never went back. I do not understand what is going on, but it is exciting!




So, I just put a button in my side bar. If you would take a moment each time you visit to click it, it might keep me on the front page! Have I told you how much I love my readers?

Apr 28, 2007

Cloud Filter Tutorial (for making papers) and freebies

I have written a new tutorial which I am hopeful will benefit many learning to designer. The Cloud Filter Tutorial will help you learn how to begin to utilize this filter to make digital scrapbooking papers and backgrounds.

In making this tutorial, I created 20 free background papers for you to download. You can find them in this folder.

If you are new, please read the download instructions carefully or you may not get the full size paper.

I do understand that this may not be a quick download, but it does allow me to leave all of my freebies up forever so that future visistors may always find them.

I would also like to mention that I have a new button in the sidebar to make donations through paypal. It has been up a few weeks now and I have had no donations.

I debated whether or not to announce it on the blog here. Whenever I see one on another site, it always seems to generate a negative feeling. So I put it up and put it lower on the page.

I do not want my visitors to think I am only here to make money (as many blogs are). Hopefully after years of contributing to the digi-community, my readers know my goals better. It has been a constant struggle for me as to whether to give freely or charge. I always seem happier giving freely.

However, after once again spending about 10 hours writing and publishing this tutorial, as I have with many of my others, I cannot help but wish that I could make a little bit of money for all of my time spent on all of these tutorials.

Therefore, if you do feel led to make a donation, I would certainly appreciate your heartfelt thanks.

I do know not everyone is finacially able (such as myself often) to be able to contribute and I do not want to limit the tutorials and do want to offer them to everyone.

I do not like those verify boxes!

I must say, I do not like those boxes where I have to verify to keep spam away. I especially do not like them when I have to try 5 times to get it right as it is just not worth the frustration to make my warm fuzzie-post.

Then there are some that make me do math and put the result in the box. Good thing my fingers still work well as my calculator. Who wants to think when they are relaxing on the internet on a Saturday morning away from work.

I also do not like it when a comment is to be approved and I miss the sentence saying it is that way (because I close the box too fast) and wonder if I closed the box before I did the verify or not as I cannot see my message yet.

Now, this has happened to me several times before and I could not resist capturing this screenprint and sharing the irony. Look, the verify box spammed me! I had to type in an interesting word just to be able to post! I've had more interesting words than "sex u 5 g"uys, I will have to watch for them and share again.

Tootle-oot today!

Apr 27, 2007

Name Meaning

I saw this on another blog and had to try it out.
I thought about putting it in my sidebar, but I've got enough stuff there now, so here it is in a post.

Do you think it is accurate?

What Hummie Means

H is for Heavenly

U is for Upbeat

M is for Magical

M is for Mysterious

I is for Intense

E is for Energetic


Apr 26, 2007

Thinking Blogger Awards


This meme is everywhere! It is amazing how it has exploded. Okay, maybe it is more like a maze of dominoes. Can you imagine trying to reconstruct this crazy maze of paths around the bloggersphere? Iker Yoldas started this meme on the blog post here.

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RULES

The participation rules are simple:
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn't fit your blog).

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WHO NOMINATED ME

I was first nominated for this award by Tina Williams last night. Here is what Tina said about me:

...because she is very supportive, creative and her blog is packed full of interesting tid bits of information!

Less than a day later, Lillie Ammann nominated me again! Here is what Lilli said about me:

...Even though I’m not a scrapbooker, her blog makes me think about and appreciate my blessings. She introduced me to faithbooking, a concept new to me.

So, although I would like more time to think about who to choose, I thought I had better hurry and get this posted before someone else tagged me! I do believe we are only allowed to be tagged once.

Thank you ladies for choosing me! I am honored and all warm and fuzzie!

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MY 5 NOMINATIONS

In no particular order, without further a-do, please allow me to present the following awards!

1. Speartoons is a Christian cartoon writer. I have been a member of his mailing list for a long time and was happy when he created a blog with his cartoons. I have watched his skills in relating his cartoons to daily life grow by leaps and bounds. His life application cartoons really make me think and analyze!

2. Sandy is a fellow LCMS'er that I met online through our common interest in digital scrapbooking. Her husband writes for one of my favorite magazines called "Good News." I enjoy her sharing her faith and life on her blog as her thoughts on faith always seem to be parallel to mine, only she says it way better than I would ever do.

3. Scrapgeek is an amazingly interesting lady as she works hard to find interesting things to share on the internet for digital scrapbooking, including new tutorials around the internet, as well as other resources. Oh, yeah, I ran into her when my sitemeter began showing hits from her! That's right, when I write a tutorial, she helps me share it with others. It really helps me to fulfill the purpose of my writings; that being to just bless others.

4. Mrs. Miles is super amazing in the amount of interesting things she finds to share on a daily post! She shares a digital freebie, to internet fun finds, to God's word, to personal rambling, and handy tips, and much more -- all on a daily basis! There is ALWAYS something for everyone on her blog. How does she do it? How does she find so many things of interest every day? I am in awe.

5. Wanda gets my award for the most profound thinking blog. Some of the things she shares really take me a while to digest before I finally 'get' it, but I enjoy the brain exercise!

Goodness, I had to many I wanted to include! I feel bad for leaving people out!

National Youth Gathering - Florida

Jill asked in my shout-out box where the boys were going in Florida this summer. The two youngest will be attending the LCMS National Youth Gathering from July 28 through August 1 in Orlando. This is an (almost) once in a life time opportunity as it only occurs every three years and you can only attend in the ages 15 through 19 (or as a limited adult chaperone).

Initially, this year's gathering was to be held in New Orleans, but due to Katrina, it was moved. Very few cities have the facilities for such an event. You can read more about that here. If my memory serves me correctly, three years ago when my older son attended, there were approximately 42,000 participants. Wow! Uh? It is quite an impressive, memorable event. It is also quite an impressive fund raising event. We need $2,000 more for our group. Donations accepted! [giggle] ..button in sidebar!

*photos from the 2004 gathering post-website to show enormity of event.

They gave 42,000 orange backpacks they gave to each person! It was a sea of orange everywhere! Looks like fun!

Today's Lesson - Round Things

Lesson for today ...

... Never take an orange to work and throw it in the passenger seat. Round things WILL roll all over the van.

<---yeah, that's a photo of the fruit bin I keep in my fridge, right next to the 5 gallons of milk that get drank each week by growing teen sons.

Apr 25, 2007

What a blessed day!

I wish every day could be such a great day! Oh, the warm fuzzies were abounding today!

First, early in the morning, I arose to read this comment by Leslie Hasenkamp here on my blog.


"Hummie I was inspired by you a little bit. I am working on a little church kit. :) I love how open and how much you scrap for your faith.. I think that is great!! :) I love that you are a dedicated person to your blogging and helping others. :) So I am making a small little kit in honor of you and your willingness to help others. I have to say I started out by reading all your tutorials.. and LOVED how GREAT they were and easy to understand. I printed out EVERY ONE OF THEM too so I could do things without having to change my windows. :) I am soooo Happy to have found your site and to have "BOYS" in common with you:) This kit will be a freebie on my site soon.. and I just wanted you to know that YOU were the one that inspired me to make this.. You were the one that has been so dedicated to helping others that this kit is a THANK You to YOU!!! :) Hugs and Squeezes... Hopefully will be fully done with the kit tomorrow.. and get it on my blog:) Leslie "

Well! That alone made my day! ...and at the beginning of the day to-boot!..I could enjoy that feeling all day long! Oh, the anticipation was there too! What would she have for me?

Then upon arriving at work someone had brought in Krispy Kreme donuts. At this point, I was still clueless that today was "Administrative Professionals Day"..giggle...that would be Secretary's Day.

Next, my boss comes in all happy and smiley and, well, could the day get any better? Oh yeah! Before long this huge tray of sweets were delivered! Those chocolate covered strawberries were delectable!

Next, I was invited upstairs for a "mystery." Oh, what beautiful flowers our bosses gave each of us! They will be beautiful on my desk for the rest of the week too! Can you tell what great bosses we have?

Could the day get any better?


Oh yeah! In the early evening Leslie had posted this heartwarming post about 'lil 'ol me! And she shared a kit in my honor. Really, you must scoot on over there and read it and download the kit. It is a .rar file, but if you downloaded that tool to unzip in my post earlier this week, it will unzip it quickly for you!

I really wanted to make something with the kit and surprise Leslie tonight, but it is just way too late already. We had a long meeting at church as we are still $2,000 away from our goal for sending our youth to Florida this summer for the National Youth Gathering. My time tonight was limited.

Could the day get any better?

Oh yeah!

Over on Leslie's blog, directly before I prepared this post, I read Grambie's comment! "Thanks again for Church Days & the many other goodies you have given us. Love to read your blog & the wonderful & caring words you have for others. I also met Hummie a short while ago & really enjoyed her emails, etc., until the site was changed. I was so glad when I found her link again. Her belief is strong & its radiates to other without the bearing of a jealot but of a beautiful person who has been blessed & wants to share. It is reasonable that the 2 of you would bond spiritually & within the digital-scrapping blog community. So nice to visit. "

This may be a good time to ask God "why?" Generally I refuse to ask Him "why" as a personal policy, but I feel like asking Him, "Hey, why have you been so good to me today!" You are an awesome God!

It is midnight now and time for me to get some rest to start another day. May all your days be as blessed as mine was today.





Apr 24, 2007

7 Guy Mats (Freebies)


I read today that Atomic Cupcake is raising her monthly rates, but that if you sign up for the automatic monthly renewal, you can get locked in at the old rate. I have long wanted some of her actions since she went to her Clubs and they were not available individually any more. I love her actions! I finally gave in and purchased the Automic Club. I chose not to do the Cupcake Club too, but I KNOW it is a great deal too. Hurry on over before the end of the month!

I had to play with my new toys (giggle) and made these 7 guy mats in doing so using the metal paper freebie from my previous post.

You can download them in this folder. Be sure to read the instructions to get the original large size folder. I realize Fotki may be new to some of you, but it allows me to keep everything available at all times...a big plus for newcomers!

I REALLY appreciated all the comments with the last freebie. I do believe that is the most warm fuzzies for a download I have received. It means a lot to me to read your warm fuzzies.

A special thanks to Atomic Cupcake! Have fun!

Tabs Tutorial (Photoshop Elements)

I finally got up a new tutorial! Whoo hoo! I have had these graphics done for a while, but needed self-motivation to finalize it.

This tutorial is the first to come in the designer series. I continue to have more and more requests to write designing tutorials. Click here to go to the tutorial.

Potatoes are my Enemy



Potatoes are my enemy! Yep. That's right. It is hard for me to say "no" to any food containing a potatoe. I can walk right by all those cakes and cookies and sweet things with no problem, but potatoes just call out my name! They are my enemy -- working against me on my weight.

I found a new favorite chip! They are Pringles Select. I already love the taste of Pringles, but these are better because they are small bite-sized crunchy pieces loaded with bursting Parmesean flavor. The bag seemed small for the price, but it really is deceiving.

Go grab a bag for yourself! (psst...that's my enemy talking to you too!)



Apr 23, 2007

Behind on Scrapping

I am SO behind on scrapping. I keep getting distracted by other things, like writing tutorials and playing with designing...and genealogy. I made a layout tonight and I am excited! This is from last September. I used my metal background freebie from yesterday's post. I hope this inspires others who do boy/guy layouts. That's part of what scrapping is all about - - inspiring each other.


Photos removed


Apr 22, 2007

Metal Papers - 4 Freebies



Yep, still trying to make cool stuff for guy/boy layouts!

Here are 4 metal papers.

You can find them in this folder.

Click here! HEY! I know Fotki is a new system for many of you, but please remember it allows me to keep my freebies available to everyone FOREVER! Yep, all of them (take a cruise and find all the others there)! Take the time to read the download instructions and it will be easier for you next time. Look for the link to "original" sized photos.

Instructions to download are in a link on the sidebar. Also, please share if you make a layout with these! I would love to see it and I will also share it on my blog if it is okay with you.

I plan on making more of these! Whoo hoo!



Fun Finds

SCRAPBOOKING FINDS

I am excited about this site that scrapgeek referred through Hannah called "Scrap The Boys." There is some great inspiration there!

Fonts 500 is a great place to see the top 500 fonts on the internet and to be able to download them without the hassle of popups.

Part 1 and Part 2 are great videos with photograph tips by Rick Sammon. I love these! Learn how "dead center is deadly."

UnzipThemAll is a program to unzip multiple files at one time. I downloaded this and tested it out and, wow!, it works great. It sure did make unzipping all of those freebies I had snatched since last summer easy. (yeah, I know, I've had the freebies way to long to not have them unzipped yet!)

Of course, scrappers may want to use proper English in journaling so that our future grandchildren will know that we were well educationed, right? Wanda found found this Open Directory for Writers and it is a great resource!

SuTree claims to be a "knowledge community" of learning videos (tutorials). Check it out! Search for "Photoshop" or other favorite programs. There are many topics of interest. 5min.com is another place with a variety of videos. Of course, Instructables has been around for a while; try searching there.

Al Wards from Action FX has to pages of tutorials for using Photoshop here and here. I have not viewed these to see if any are application to Photoshop Elements yet, but maybe they can be translated.

Many scrappers use Slide.com to put slideshows of layouts on their blogs (like in my sidebar). Slide.com has added new features to make it more of a social network.

TECHY FINDS

In Pictures has great tutorials with screen shots for all the typical office programs and more. I was very interested in the one for building websites. They indicate more tutorials are to come, including those for Photoshop!

FUN FINDS

Who is sick? Sick? Report it. Want to know who else is sick in your area and the trends, put in your zip code. I never dreamed of such a site! Wow! You can even receive outbreak alerts for your area by e-mail. There is even a forum for each area (state).

8hands is a cool new tool to bring together several of the social networks into an IM type interface to track all sites at once. Hopefully, they will add some more promintent sites to make this a comprehensive tool. This reminds me of the Trillian concept for IM's which is awesome. Tabber also seems to be a similar concept. I am guessing these will start popping up everywhere until one of them becomes the popular one to use.

GENEALOGY

Pipl is another one of those "really scary" sites that searches the internet for you and provide detailed information of individuals. Go ahead and test it with your own name.

Family Search.com (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints site) has revamped its website and, in addition, is in the process of digitizing ALL of their records. 2.3 million microfilm records will be scanned in and available on the site. What an amazing project! I remember having to go to our local center and ordering microfilm and thereafter paying to print out the pages. This will be a great benefit to many! The project is call "scanstone."

Familylink.com is a new social networking site for genealogy. These things are popping up everywhere! What next!?

Whitepages.com has a new feature which lists names by popularity and can also filter names by location, including a map. This is very useful for tracking down areas where the name is popular in order to find someone. It even gives the most searched for names.

Search your surname in Google Books. I was surprised at the genealogy information I arrived upon.

What a Great Weekend!

I had a great weekend with some great youth! Go OAFC! I am physically tired, but recharged inside!

Goodness, what a windy ride on the way home. It pushed the van everywhere and it was difficult to drive.

When I arrived home, I was surprised to see our lawn covered with helicopters. They have been trying to fall for weeks now, but this wind sure did do them in! The front and back yard looks like this small sample. Now I have a ton of clean-up to do.

Nothing much new has been happening with my flowers for the past weeks. I need to figure out what blooms during this time period and plant it. The only blooming in my yard has been my Wild Sweet William. I have been observing as I drive around town and I have not seen anything else in other yards either, so maybe there is nothing more that blooms at this time.

I hope you had a blessed weekend! Have a great week.


Apr 19, 2007

Faithbooking Sites

I have been enjoying my new venture into faithbooking. What is faithbooking? It is a spin on scrapbooking. It can be as simple as sharing your faith in your journaling and by Bible verses in the layouts you already create, to making a whole scrapbook about your faith.

I do try to include my faith in my regular layouts. However, I also have three separate books going now. I have chosen not to print out these separate books, but to keep them in the electronic form just to pass down to generations to come and to share on the web with folks.

I have my Garden Book which includes faith analogies in nature.

I have a prayer journal book.

Also, I have a separate book in which the themes of my layouts are specifically about my faith in theme (hymn, church, etc.)

There is plenty of inspiration on the internet to inspire layouts that would fall into my last book. I have been completing these challenges.

Here are some other sites I found.

Faithfully Yours This is a site I think I will visit again for inspiration. There is also a forum and a gallery, as well as an ezine.

Bella Online - Wonderful challenges to inspire your pages.

Creative Memories on Faithbooking - Many resources and ideas.

Scrapbookers Bubble Bath Faithbooking Inspiration - A great blog full of inspiration!

ImageEvent - A gallery with some layouts to inspire you.

Walking with Wisdom - a site about faithbooking.

All Things Scrapbooking - a few articles on faithbooking.

Digitals challenge - some inspiration for pages.

Faithbooking Blog- associated with a shop.

If you faithbook, please share your layouts in a comment.

Amanda Stevens -Designer Technique- Texture, Layering, & Clusters

Today I introduce to you Amanda Stevens as our Designer Technique contributor. I am only this week meeting Amanda myself and taking a peak at her designs. She is a mother of twins and must be very busy!

I understand Amanda is repackaging many of her kits (do to her good friend Kristy leaving designing) and will be getting them back into the store soon, but you can see previews of some of them on her blog. I also understand that NDIS was hacked and lost much of their site and they are recovering, so check back soon!

You can find Amanda's shop here and her blog here. She also has some kits with Theresa here. Here is her DST gallery.

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My favorite style right now, is layering, clusters and lots of texture!! I see this has carried over from scrapbooking, to my designing. I love the look of lots of textures, and many layers.

To get more texture here is what I do.


















Take your layer (paper, etc.), and make a duplicate. On the duplicate, texture it (in PaintShop Pro, go to Effects-Texture Effects- Texture). I use the Striation and Canvas Simple a lot. I put my depth at 5-10 (depending on the color, and the look I am going for). Once it is textured, I lower the opacity to about 50%. This gives the look of “one paper” with a light texture. This gives the feeling of a “real” paper, and it makes you want to run your hands over the depth and feel of the paper.

After I have my texture, I make sure and gather lots of embellishments to layer under and over my picture. I usually keep a small part of “white space” where there is nothing.


Here is one of my favorites from mine and Theresa Hernandez’s Natural Pairs kit~ Flingin’ a Little Spring at NDSB.






Here is another one of my favorites, again using our Flingin’ a Little Spring kit.

















I like to give the feeling of a paper page, made with many layers; and I think to accomplish that one of the most important things is to ask yourself “If I turn this page upside down, is my picture going to fall off? Or do I have everything attached with something?” My good friend Kristy taught me that when I first started scrapping.

Here are some samples of clusters, or layering in my design style





My latest favorite kit of mine, besides Flingin’ a Little Spring is called “Believe”. A song inspired this kit, and I think it turned out great!! Have a peek!

Apr 18, 2007

10 Free Blue (guy) Digiscrapping Papers

I was all motivated to write a tutorial and then "someone" [wink] caught me on IM and we chatted and the next thing I knew, I was de-motivated. I feel as if I am getting nothing done lately.

So, instead, I played again. I feel my weakest skill in designing is with textures, so I made 10 blue (cause I have guys) papers with textures. Feel free to recolor them.

You can find them in this folder. They begin with "hummietextured" in the title. See the link in the sidebar for download instructions.

There are actually a few I like, which is rare. Usually I do not like the things I make! Here's a preview of one of them.




Survivor: China

Wow...what news! It appears that the 14th edition of Survivor will be filmed in China. I am now wondering, based on the last part of the article, what sort of scene they might want to cut. Any ideas?

P.S. Thanks Nina!

Fox on Demand

For those readers that have been following my writings for a while. I am continually amazed at how more and more television is on the internet. I wonder where this world is headed.

Here is another one I will share with you called Fox on Demand. You have to install a program which is a little scary at first as we do not want to install things from unfamiliar sites. I took the risk and everything seems smooth still!

Have fun!

P.S. Thanks Andrea [wink]

Apr 17, 2007

Blacksburg Blogs

I found tonight two blogs that may be of interest to you if you are looking for something more personal to read about the tragedy.

Planet Blacksburg
Andrew Mager

Can you believe there is a Wiki on it already?

Faithbooking - Strength



I hope that by my sharing my faithbooking it is inspiring others to do the same. If you do any faithbooking, please share with me. I would like to see your layouts.

I saw this book by Joyce Meyer last night and it just spoke to me and I had to get it. I never thought of my need to have approval as an addiction. I have always thought of it as just low self-esteem. I do always want to please everyone, but often cannot even please myself.

I am anxious to read the book, but hope that time will allow. I always have good intentions on reading, but then fail.

I also recalled how I used to enjoy Joyce's television program. I set it up to tivo and I hope it works tomorrow. It comes on at 5:30 a.m.! Joyce Meyer has a church in St. Louis County, but travels to make presentations everywhere. She has a wonderful magazine too. You can find it on her website, as well as listen to her online.

Tina had a great challenge on her blog that went right along with the book, so I decided to do another faithbooking layout. Her challenge was to make a page about my strength. My first thought was that my strength comes from God. Then I found this wonderful Bible verse in Joyce's book and was able to babble and expand on the topic. Journaling is always rewarding as I tend to learn more about myself as I write.

Everything on this page is with Tina's "A Walk" kit.




Journaling

God has given me a strong personality that is a challenge to keep tame. God has gifted me with strong convictions which are sometimes a blessing and sometimes a pain. God has gifted me with a strong immune system that keeps me healthy. God has given me a strong will.

On the other hand, God has put on my shoulders a weak self-esteem. I am
always looking for approval from others. I always want to please everyone. I am never good enough for my own expectations.

These opposite traits often clash. On the outside I appear strong and on the inside I am very weak.

I must remember that God directs my steps and my life, not me. God is what makes me strong when I am weak.

People often do not like my strong personality, which only in turn makes me weak again inside. I must remember that God has a purpose for making me the way I am. I must let Him direct my ways to meet His purposes.

Happy Birthday Abbie Rae

Happy Birthday to my Abbie Rae, a/k/a Baby Rae, a/k/a Abigail Rachel, a/k/a Fuzzy Terd Maker! I cannot believe she is 10 years old already! Time sure does fly. I used a bunch of freebies I received along the way from Tina Williams, including the EZ Template.
Photo removed.

New York to Paris - Getting Wet!


Wanna see something funny?

Going from NYC to Paris, Google Style


--Go to Google.com
--Click on Maps.
--Click on Get Directions.
--From New York, New York
--To Paris, France.
--And read line # 23.


Thank you Lisa Joy

I wanted to take a moment to than Lisa Joy for giving back to me! She used my custom shadows tutorial to make this layout. Isn't is wonderful? I think she did a great work! See her credits here.




Apr 16, 2007

Virginia Tech

Oh my! My prayers are with all the families and friends and students. I am in awe. The worst shooting in U.S. history.

....and even more....God's timing.

I have had those photos in my last post to write about for a while now. Why did I post them today?

....the message I wrote and reminder therein is rather fitting at this moment.

....God's timing.

Be Prepared

Are you like me? Are you always thinking about what you would do in the case of emergencies such as fires, tornadoes, and earthquakes? What about if a bad guy came into your work? Do you know what actions you would take so that you can take quick action? Maybe I am crazy for doing so, but I do.

I work on the third floor of our building and walk up the stairwell to the fourth floor at least ten times a day, it seems. Between the two floors in the stairwell is an earthquake kit and a fire escape ladder.

This ladder gives me a chuckle every time I see it. This 2 story ladder is going to be my "life saver when seconds count" from the 4th story. Maybe I chuckle now, but maybe it will save my life some day and I will not be chuckling anymore.

So, let's say the fire is below me and I cannot go down the steps, so I have to go up. This is the sign I encounter. It tells me I cannot get to the roof and must go down.

Are you chuckling yet? Okay, right, this should not be a laughing matter, but it is kind of funny, isn't it?

I guess I could hope that there is no fire on the north stairs, huh?


So, I go up to the 4th floor where I would be stuck. This is a view out one of the windows. Fortunately, there is a rooftop below at the 1st floor level. So, IF I could break the window (aren't some windows mean to be unbreakable?), I could use the 2 story ladder to get me down to the 2nd floor, jump 1 story to the roof top, and then jump 1 more story to the ground.

Do you think I could make it? I think so. I may have a broken leg or arm, but I would be down to safety.

This ladder also serves as a daily reminder to me to be prepared in other ways. I am not one to initiate a conversation regarding my faith usually (although I do blog about it and it comes out in my natural conversations). I guess what I am saying is that I do not go around like a Jesus Freak trying to convert people. However, I am always ready to share it if someone asks me.

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1 Peter 3:15


In addition, I am reminded that I should always personally be ready for the Lord. Just like a fire, earthquake, or tornado, the Lord will come in an instant, or I could die unexpectedly.

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. Matthew 24:42