My Products - New to Old


Sara Amarie Is the Coolest!

A little while ago, I discovered Sara Amarie's designs (she's a designer at Sweet Shoppe). Now I'm absolutely in love with them. Imagine my surprise when I saw a private message from her on Sunday, inviting me to be part of her creative team. No freaking way! I was so, so, so excited. I even declined another position on a different team so I could join hers. (Wish I had time for 2 full-time teams, but just can't do it right now.) Wahoo!!! I'm on a CT ... and not just any CT ... Sara Amarie's CT! How does a gal get so lucky? I'm so thrilled to be on Sara's team and help promote her work. Her products are a dream to work with, and I'm already having so much fun.

(Don't know what a CT is? Well, basically, members of a creative team create LOs or hybrid projects with the designer's products and then post them to several different galleries to promote the designer. Perk for the designer = lots of marketing. Perk for the team member = access to the designer's products.)

Here's a LO with one of her recent products, called Live Outloud, that I'm sure I'll be using a lot:

Just love how the colors POP against the black background.

Here's a LO with Cari's Evening, which was just released this weekend:



After a few slow days, I had another good day. Yes!

I am a huge fan of cheesecake. Yummy, yummy, yummy. A couple months ago I tried a recipe at Kraft Foods called Apple Pecan Cheesecake. It was delicious! I served it at a family dinner, and even those who traditionally don't like baked cheesecakes loved this one. Today I tried one called Oreo Chocolate Cream Cheesecake. Also very yummy, but not quite as good as a recipe I found years ago (maybe by Nestle?) called Chocolate Velvet Pie. Still, I look forward to enjoying it for the next few days.

Misty Cato (a totally awesome designer who sells at Sweet Shoppe) featured me on her blog today (near the bottom of her entry). I was totally flattered. My layout was inspired by a paper LO called Wanted by Severine D, which I saw on Simple Scrapbooks Magazine's web site.

Yesterday evening we went to a cookout at the church to celebrate Pioneer Day. The whole community was invited. The food was fabulous--Dutch oven potatoes, fried chicken, and a potluck of salads and desserts. Yummy!


Good Days and Slow Days

Whew! Life got crazy so fast! I've struggled a lot the last few months, but I'm finally getting some help and things are looking up. Yesterday I felt more like myself than I have in...a long time. It was fabulous! I accomplished so much.

I was reading a book the other day and some advice really hit me: instead of looking at life as good days and bad days, think of life in terms of good days and slow days. Hmm. Now that's an interesting perspective. I like it. Rather than being frustrated because it's a "bad" day, I can cut myself some slack and acknowledge that I'm having a "slow" day.

I'm behind on my "From Our Blog to Yours" let's get caught up, since the baby's napping.

My favorite birthday year...hmm. I think I'd have to say when I turned 14. I thought it was cool that I was turning 14 on the 14th. And I was in 8th grade, which had been the best year in school so far. And my birthday was on a Thursday, which at the time happened to be my favorite day of the week. I don't know...I guess 14 was just a good year for me. Not too many responsibilities yet...not much expected of me. That's about all I remember, off the top of my head. (An old journal indicates that it was a good day. One of the gifts I received was a thesaurus, which I still have and consult frequently, as I enjoy writing.)

Summer job as a teenager...for 2 (maybe 3) summers I sold corn for our neighbors, an aging man and his spirited wife. They were the cutest old folks. And Rawl had the best corn around. I rotated shifts with my sister and another gal in our neighborhood. We were busy from mid-July until school started. I was shy, so it was difficult for me to approach customers to see if they needed help. On especially hot days, it was nice when we ran out of corn early in the day, even if it meant fewer hours, and hence, less money. Some mornings we'd have to arrive early and box up a ton of corn for Lagoon's orders. We had to be very particular about the size of the ears of corn for those orders. The best days were always payday. Gloria always paid us in cash. Yes, those were wonderful afternoons, sitting in the shade of the carport, listening to Gloria get after Rawl for tracking mud into the house, trying not to laugh at the sly twinkle in Rawl's eyes.


Photo ShaZAM

I learned a cool new trick for photo editing in Photoshop (from Jessica Sprague: click here for tutorial). The original pic was really dark. Here's how it turned out:

Look at those eyes! Love how this "fixed" my poor shot. I'll be adding this trick to some others I've learned. (If you want to learn some more, check out TaylorMade Designs' tutorials here and here, and the "Drab to Fab" article here.)

I did a LO (layout) of my nephew this week for the "Christmas in July" challenge on Tangie Baxter's Creative Team blog. And guess what? I won the $10 GC! WAHOO! I just LOVE participating in challenges. It really boosts my creativity (and every once in a while, I win a prize--what could be better?).

Last night I let Caleb play Starcraft with the guys for a couple of hours. (I would have played too, but didn't have anyone to watch Caden.) So Caleb's letting me have a couple of hours tonight to scrap. There's a Chickie Chat at TheDigiChick at 8 pm (MDT)--I am so there! Amanda Heimann (one of my favorite designers) is hosting!


Favorite Vacation Spot

We moved to Utah when I was 11, and soon after we started a tradition of visiting one of the many national and state parks every Easter break. I think that's why these BEAUTIFUL national (and state) parks have become my favorite vacation spots.
And I really want to go see them all again--Arches, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Escalante. I'm so glad I married someone who loves them too.

Hiking is one of my favorite things to do in national parks. (And now that I'm into digi-scrapping, I can't wait to snap lots of pics.) I also like going on scenic drives and learning about the wildlife.

I would have loved to go this summer, but with gas prices what they are...I don't really like the heat anyway. Maybe we can sacrifice a bit and go this fall? That would be cool--I've never been in the fall (well, maybe we went to Escalante in the fall once). Caden's only 8 months old, but he loves being outside, so I think he would like going. It's just whether or not we want to camp with him for several days, lol. The longest we've stayed camping with him is 2 nights. I'm not sure I'd want to camp with him longer than that.

Hmm...might have to have a chat with Caleb tonight, see if we can plan in a trip for September or October. I know he'd rather wait until Caden's a bit older and can appreciate it...but I don't want to wait 4 or 5 years until we start having some fun in this family. We've got to start the traditions now, right?



So technically the mail came yesterday, after I had already blogged, so I decided to save this post until today. To some it may seem strange to be excited that the mail came. But out here in the middle of nowhere, our mail only gets delivered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. And since Friday was a holiday, I hadn't seen mail since last Wednesday. In today's world of technology, it's not often that I'm looking for something interesting to arrive in the mail. This week is different. My digi scrap magazine should be coming (thanks Jen for the subscription--been loving it!) and the class schedule for BYU Education week should be arriving too. Sadly, they didn't arrive yesterday. But guess what did? My sis-in-law's invites!!!

Yep, that's right. My sis-in-law asked me to design her wedding invite, and I said yes. I was soooo scared to open that box. I mean, the invite looked okay on my computer, but what if it turned out dreadfully horrible in real life. What was I worried about? Of course they were gorgeous! We printed them on metallic paper (thank you for putting it on sale, Scrapbook Pictures!) and they just SHINE! WOW! Here's the invite in its not-so-metallic-but-still-beautiful glory:

Not too bad, if I do say so myself. Actually, it was a really good experience. I learned SO much about Photoshop and design...really, really good. But it's kinda stressful making somebody else's wedding invite. What if they don't like it? What if I totally screw up? And on and on. My sis-in-law is an artist, which was somewhat intimidating. But I enjoyed working with her on this project because she was so SPECIFIC about what she wanted, and she wasn't afraid to tell me what she really thought about things. And learned what questions to ask. So overall, it was a really good experience. And I'd probably be willing to do another one--for family only, at this point. No way am I good enough to get paid for it. And I'm not sure I'd want that kind of stress, lol.



I'm featured in the member spotlight today, over at The Digi Chick's blog. Check it out!

More digi scrap stuff: I did a LO on Friday for the Neapolitan challenge at Sweet Shoppe Designs (which also fulfilled the red, white, and blue requirements for Friday's color challenge on SSD's blog). A gal named Rose at SSD really liked it and asked if she could post it on her blog. Click here to visit her blog.

Caden totally loved the fireworks Friday night. The first couple "booms" made him jump, but as soon as he figured out where they were coming from, he settled down and enjoyed the show. What a cutie!

And in other happy, random news: I won 2 gift certificates at The Digi Chick for participating in their challenges last month. Wahoo! This month's prize is $150 in gift certificates...think I have a chance? May as well try, right?


Fireworks predict creativity?

My husband's younger brother and sister are in The Sound of America choir, which will be going on tour in Europe in just a few days. Because they wouldn't be here for the 4th, we decided to light off a few small fireworks last night. I thought the bright, flashing lights and the high-pitched whistles would bother Caden (8 months old), but he was FASCINATED by them. I guess we'll see how he handles the big show tomorrow night.

Speaking of fireworks, I took this little quiz online. (It was for a challenge at Sweet Shoppe Designs. Every Thursday, they do this little challenge called "From Our Blog to Yours." Since I have a blog now, I can participate and earn some Sweet Reward points!)

This week (in honor of Independence Day) we were encouraged to take The Fireworks Test. It was really simple and somewhat silly. But here's what my fireworks say about me:

What These Fireworks Say About You

You are chaotic, inspired, and very creative.

You're so creative, people don't really recognize your creativity.

What's expressive for you sometimes looks like a mess.

But you don't really care... you enjoy making your messes!

Ha, ha! Yes, I'm a cluttered, somewhat scattered person. I wouldn't say I'm chaotic or inspired. And I don't know that I believe my "mess" is expressing my creativity. But who knows? Maybe I don't even recognize my creativity. Click on the link if you want to take the test yourself. Pretty goofy. (BTW, I edited the HTML to fix the little typo in the header for my "test" results.)


Crazy Sexy Cancer

So last night my mom-in-law invited me and dh to watch an Oprah she recorded. (Sorry, don't know how old it is.) I guess the topic was about people with cancer, and how they were coping and living with life. Mom really wanted us to hear what a professor with pancreatic cancer had said in a farewell speech to his students, but I was more touched by the first gal, Kris Carr.

She has Stage IV cancer in her liver (and now lungs too I guess). There is no Stage V. I guess she's made a movie, and also written a book. But anyway, I thought her attitude was so amazing. She says that yes, she may die of cancer, but we're all going to die. But have we all truly lived? She says that her cancer has taught her how to live. I can't remember the exact wording, but something she said really spoke to me: We're all waiting for someone to give us permission to live, but it's never going to happen.

Wow! I feel so inspired by her example. Am I truly living? Am I living my dreams? What am I waiting for? It's time to LIVE, not just exist.