Blog Event: 100th Papier Creatif Post~

Hi Fellow Bloggers & Friends!


I've reached my 100th Post @ Papier Creatif!!! 

100 Posts later, what a fun ride!  Blogging has impacted my life & daily life on so many levels.  Inspiration is at the touch of my finger tips.  I can peer into the lives of so many sweet people who are like-minded.  Each of you are blessed with unique talents & a warm human spirit.  It is here that we can let our human spirit shine by gestures of kindness, sharing & creating together.  We reach out to others here in a way that we can't with our non-Blogger friends & family. 

There's a fun comradery & support between Bloggers.  When I began blogging, I had gone through a rocky point in my life.  When there is serious illness, your mind & soul turn inward to evaluate life.  Blogging has allowed me to do that - as a way of letting my children & family know how important and loved they are, I began scrapbooking again.  It kind of went like this ...

  • Eye Surgery for Basal Cell Carcinoma {I am cancer free now with a 99% cure rate!}
  • Blog for Scrapbooking
  • Then started doing some altered art
  • Then started photographing my kids sporting events with my new camera
  • Then put together a slide show presentation {learned Power Point ...}, with music I might add
  • Which forced me to learn a little about Photoshop CS3 {time consuming & slow!}
  • Which introduced me to Jessica Sprague, when I wrote her to ask for advice about the slide show
  • Which then introduced me to her classes on digital photography editing - Frames Class
  • Which then introduced me to even more of her digital scrapbooking classes - Beautiful Evidence
  • Which then propelled me into thinking that I really need to hone my photography/camera skills
  • Then, offered to help my daughter's friend engagement photos & album
It all starts somewhere ... and it just goes to show you that Bloggers aren't *just* computer-addicted people with nothing better to do.  If anything, I do much more than I ever have in my life.  And it's also more outward expressions of care, love & support.  {But in reality, yes, I'm totally addicted to my computer.  And I love it!}  Blogging has definitely increased my thirst for knowledge & has expanded my love of the arts.

I saw *DOOCE* on a talk show or something and heard her talk about blogging.  That's when I was introduced to the whole concept.  Prior to it, I thought blogging was something that Irish or Scottish people did and didn't have a concrete idea of what it really was ... some kind of writing I thought - like a newspaper writer or newspaper critic online.  Who knew!  I thought she was funny & candid about her life.  I understood her nature to be compelled to share her life outwardly with others.  She's made blogging her career & is successful at it.

It's no surprise to me that I Blog. My parents & siblings don't really understand it, but even in high school, I read a journal entry from my diary to my classmates as a homework assignment.  I wrote songs off & on throughout my life. Recording many, I put together a CD composed of 11 songs.  Piano, drum machine, Marty's guitar on a few, my lyrics, my singing ... Amateur but an expression of self & soul.  And a few that I feel *could be* commercial.  A few that haven't been recorded or mixed onto a CD that need to.  Writing, art, poetry, music is all a function of design.  Creating a story, a room, a song, a poem, a scrapbook page, an altered art piece or a beautiful photo - all take *COMPOSITION* & *DESIGN*.  I dream, I review, preview, redo, rethink, revise until whatever it is Falls Into Place ... and a little piece of my heart is recreated.

I've often said that I'm good at a lot of things but not excellent at one thing!  And funny that last night, Jacqueline, who is studying Plato said that in order for a person to be successful, they must only have one job in life.  Oh!  So THAT'S the problem, 1st of all I wanna do too much, have too many interests & passions, plus I'm a working Mom.  Which explains the pile of laundry ...

So true, I will agree that there are times that I feel pulled in a lot of different directions.  I turn to blogging, digital scrapbooking, art & music, as an escape.  There I can hone in on *ONE THING*, relax, create & share with all of you.  Hopefully, to inspire you or cheer you or for you to know that I am here.  Here as a kindred spirit & friend, who understands that although we are all at different stages of life & life experience but we are all a part of *The Big Picture*.

To celebrate my 100th Post & as a thanks to you all for your inspiration, I will retouch one of your favorite digital photos.  Be one of the first 3 to comment!


Digiscrap: Bridge Embrace~

Hi Everyone,

Editing this digital photo was an interesting process today.  It was cropped not once, not twice, not thrice but four times until a quasi-professional & more romanctic appeal was squeezed & tilted out of it!  To illustrate this, I'm including the original photo, edited sepia version & scrapbook layout.  I loved heightening, enhancing or maybe the best word to describe this would be, communicating the love that our love birds *feel* for eachother.  Visually, I find editing digital photos is kinda like elaborating the words in a paragraph.  They may mean the same thing, but to impact the reader or viewer {or in this case my enamored desire to live vicariously through a couple in the stage of young love!} you have to find their center, the sentiment, the emotion, the compassion, the mood.......

The sepia tone created that moody quality I was looking for & it's simplistic color makes their emotion more prominent.  No bright tones to distract the eye, we are drawn in to their caress & tenderness.  Cropping is also a little art in itself.  What I tried to do was to define a line from the bridge moving across the photo and towards them vs. angles all over the place in the original photo.  To me, it "almost" has a movie quality about it.  Do you think?

If you are still reading this, you must really love me .... ;)

But really!  There are amazing things that you can do with your photographs with the Photo Editors you already have on your PCs.  Do not be timid!  Select a favorite photo, copy it first, then play around with the options.  You'll be amazed at what a little tweaking can do!  Here's proof in the pudding!  {Did I really type that?}

I've been living in Texas for a while now, huh?

Hope you are having a creative, expressive & enjoyable week!



Digital Photography: Forest Archway~

Here are two versions of the Forest Arch portrait.  The tones were amped up for the top version & for the bottom, I used a few textured layers and added a color overlay.  I also cloned out sky spots in the trees to give the photo a dreamier feel - a canopy of leaf & limb with the glow of the arbor ahead, signifing their new life together - in peace - and harmony ... The way it should be ... forever and always ... AMEN!~



Digiscrap: Fishin' For Love~

I do believe they've caught themselves some *LOVE*!

Another page for their Engagement Album ...~




Digiscrap: Bridge, Ring, Boots & Jeans~

Another Engagement Album layout for our two love birds!

The layout totally captures the focal point of the ring & holding hands with the *Beautiful Life* stamp.  Additionally, another background pattern has been introduced which looks quilted & with a soft pattern.  This background will be incorporated with their *Bridge Fishin'* series.

I think this 3-panel swirly frame is great! You can do all kinds of things with it: spliting a photo, like I did this one; fading from one corner to the other with one of one photo, merging two photos together or 3 individually.

Hope your weekend was fun or that you are on your way to an awesome week!



Digital Photography: Engagement Photo Corner Crops~

These edited photographs turned out great but I had to crop them differently and the size isn't the same ... so dilemma.  Off to the Jessica Sprague form to ask the forum how to get these to print/resize the same! 

The *Bride To Be* looked beautiful & *Groom To Be* smiled so cute!

I've got a lotta editing to do to get the album finished.  I wish I was faster at Photoshop!!!




Digiscrap: Fountain & Brick Backdrop V.2 & V.3~

Final!  Version 3 is the winner, I think!  I felt like I needed to add some red to pull the brick colors out.  And the 1st version was a background copy of the cover - which needs to be uniquely different & more bold.  So!  Back at it - I've gotta run out to find an engagement album for the scrapbook layouts, as well as for the individual photos.

Version 2 of this layout seems softer to me ... 

I think the flourishes on top & bottom frame the piece out in denim blue.  And harlequin, well, I absolutely love that pattern.  On a larger photo, you can see the water dancing!

Got lots to do this weekend!



Digiscrap: Fountain & Brick Backdrop~

This photo took some time to edit; it was very dark & the levels needed a lot of adjusting.  I also heightened the blue sunset sky to brighten it up a bit.  Overall, I really liked this photo, the pose & background.  Even with all the lighting issues, it was too cute to pass by!

More to come this weekend - time is ticking!

Hope you all are enjoying your weekend.




Digiscrap - Bridge Portrait~

Here's the portrait style page I promised.  This layout for the engagement album was kept a touch more simple to focus in on the couple.

Lovely ...

They are a beautiful couple!

In some of the photos you can see that Autumn is on the way. The weather has been perfect this week.  Nice & cool.  Counting down until their wedding!

Check back with me this weekend for more layouts!  This project is well on its way!



Digiscrap: Special Delivery Bridge Kisses~

Today, the Bridge Kiss photos were edited to deepen tones & edges.  I love using these effects on my photos to give the color a wonderful boost & rich look.  This background setting of the couple is actually a series of 4 but for layout purposes two were used.  I feel the photos should be as large as possible for their engagement album. 

I'll work on an 8x10 portrait page tomorrow to tie in with this vignette.

Hope you all are having a very *creative* & *lovely* day!




Digiscrap: Destiny's Sweet Song~

I gotta say, this little project has exceeded my own expectations!  The inspiration for this was the photos previously posted.  Take a look to see the before & after effects from Photoshop.

After applying a few new techniques I learned at Jessica Sprague on converting photos to B&W, then to Sepia, adding her little grungy mask & workin' a little digital scrapbook magic, this is the result!

Now, what I intend to do with these is two-fold.  First of all, these two romantic montages will be pinned to their reception photo easel, as the centerpieces.  Then, lots of other engagement photos will be added around them.

Secondly, these two pages will be the covers to their digital engagement photo album! {shhhhhhh!}

The back cover turned out really cute!  Remember the photo of the boots in the previous post?  It was the *Bride To Be's* idea to shoot some photos of just their boots!  So, I knew I needed to do something special with the image.  I think it's perfect for the backside & don't you know everyone is gonna be turning it over just to check it out!  I hope they like it!  They are so deserving ...  She & my daughter have become such great friends. And friendship is a such wonderful blessing in life.

I wrote a little prose on the back which reads:

Destiny's Sweet Song
Beckons Us to Dance
O'er the Bridge of Life
Bound by Love Eternal

Anything creative makes my day! Doesn't it, you? So relaxing & when it's something sentimental like this, it warms you up inside!

Naturally, I had to throw the Love & Bridge theme in there!



Digiscrap - Boot Scootin Boogie~

Here are a few digital photos I edited for *The Engagement* project I'm working on - really, really cute & the one of them dancing on the bridge is pretty wonderful!  I love how the sunlight is cascading through.  And photographing shoes & feet is very popular these days!  Look how cool the boots look with the following photos.
After Our Sweet *Bride To Be* selected photos she liked & wanted, we talked about ideas for displaying their engagement photographs at the reception.  All of a sudden, I got this idea to use my wrought iron, scrolly easel & muslin boards! 

These are used when working with fabrics & trims to pin-up on during the design phase of bedding, home textiles & custom window treatments.  So, for purposes of the reception, I need to figure out how to pin their engagement photos all over it in a cool sorta way.  I cannot wait to get the pictures all printed out & laid out on the board.  Perhaps figure out a unique/hip way to embellish it!  This will be a great conversational piece for guests!  But I'm running out of time, so we'll see ... I'm thinking maybe jewelry chains swagging across and the photos clipped to it ... Or, maybe some tassels & cording ... Or, just simply use pearl tipped pins to attach them!

Tomorrow, I'll figure out a cute way to lay these out with photo frames or maybe embellishment with photoshop brushes.  Primarily, I want things to be consistent & capture all those special moments & feelings of love!
Check back with me!



Digiscrap: Engagement Collage~

Love is in the air!

I had the honor of photographing my daughter's best friend & fiance Sunday afternoon! we were able to capture some amazing photographs of the happy couple. They are both so excited about their upcoming wedding! Doesn't this collage say it all?

Accompanied by 3 of her closest friends, the entourage rallied behind the bride-to-be toting cameras, tripod, fishing poles, ladder, wardrobe & oil blotters! {scroll down}

Here's Jacq as Back-up Photographer. Her job was to capture the angles I didn't & to look for technical issues, such as shadowing & over-exposure. Oh! And also to climb into large trees & hike across creek embankments for the perfect shot!

Here's Lacey, Technical Assistant. Her job was to provide technical equipment support, such as lens changes.

Here is Andrea, Make-up Artist. {See oil blotter.} Her job was to re-roll hair fallen from Texas humidity & well, blot.

Cody grabbed the ladder & fishing poles from us! Such the Gentleman! We are off to take bridge photos nearby!

More to come!

I cannot wait to find some cool digital photo wedding ideas!




Fall Fusion Tablescape~

Hi Everyone!

Hope you are having a fabulous week! I've been busy working on my Autumn table and finally finished it this afternoon. I've posted the whole story & photos on Tres Joli Home. So, when you get a chance, pop over and take a look!

It's still raining here in the Dallas area! Some sunshine & cool weather would be perfect!

GiGi says hi! She's sitting on my lap!




InSights: Running In Place~

Remember when you'd go to gym class & the PE teacher would make you run in place? And you weren't getting anywhere, feeling uncomfortable & thought, "Why are we doing this??? I have better things to do!" I have been so busy with life lately. Going through the motions and not finishing the creative projects I envisioned. Typically, I'm 1-2-3 Finished!

However, I will say that I'm getting there, slowly but surely . . .

My parents came into town this weekend for Dallas market. The trends I saw were handmade, chunky jewelry - sterling silver with vintage photos of Hollywood bombshells & divas, crowns, floral, fleur-de-lis (of course!) and retro-50s images. This handmade jewelry used to be seen primarily in small boutiques but now it's popularity has made it's way to retailers. Etsy is filled with jewelry artisans that sell their handmade items by the piece. I believe the recession has forced us into acknowledging the beauty & soul of art from the heart! Many users of Etsy take the handmade pledge and only buy handmade gifts! I've actually been considering this. Check out her blog and take a look at her wonderful pieces.

The other line that caught my eye had an all-out Mexican motif of colorful, bold multi-pattern fabric ruffled across a pillow! Then, they had made these very cool chunky, wooden accessories & furniture in the same vivid colors to tie it all altogether! It was HIP, FUN, CHEERFUL!

I had hoped to pull together an Autumn dinner for my parents but didn't quite make it! I am putting together an Autumn tablescape to post on Tres Joli Home this week. The deal is, well, one daughter moved in, one daughter moved out. So boxes are piled up from one camera view for the table. The family room - need I say more - the family has been hanging out in there, so that has to be tidied & perfected! The dining room still has hints of Spring left over. The kitchen is always in some stage of disarray throughout the day. And I had to move the kitchen table for the photo shoot because I was using it as an island (focal point).

  • So, Problem #1 <--- have to finish cleaning and organizing all this (half-way done) ...

  • Problem #2 My computer has been out and I just picked it up. I wanted to do some simple place cards. But not so simple because I have to think about how I am going to design them. So, I've spent literally hours trying to find ideas & come up with something that will look easy, but believe me, it isn't. The easiest looking things are the HARDEST to me!

  • Problem #3 I was going to use a very bold patterned fabric. Rethought it. Now, believe I need to photograph it without 1st. Then, with to see which looks better! I don't want the tulle to look too light but don't want the fabric to overwhelm. So, dilemma ...

  • Problem #4 The chandelier ... I do believe I'll have to dress it up and may do that in the middle of photographing the table simply and then, more decoratively with fabric tablecloth and chandelier.

  • Problem #5 Computer slowed down photographing. Have to transfer all my kids photos to the PC after it crashed. So, my memory cards are full.

  • Problem #6 Wine glasses. I don't believe my antique coral-toned wine glasses are Autumn enough for the table. But I did find a flute I like and need to go get more. So, I had been looking around for those & found some at Pier I - very pretty!

  • Problem #7 I keep thinking about those little, stinkin' place cards!!! I want them to look CUTE! I am Papier Creatif, afterall! ;)

  • Problem #8 On top of finalizing the tablescape which is lookin' *DELISH*, I've also been planning an Autumn menu. That means I have to figure out what's in the cupboard and what's NOT! That means I'm gonna havta think some more. Then, havta go grocery shopping ... I'd rather decorate than grocery shop!

  • Problem #9 I have to cook the meal, position for photography and keep guests at bay long enough to photograph without it all getting cold or shriveling up! Hmmm ... time for photography classes.

Do you realize what photographers go thru? I've developed a deeper respect. Just looking thru the lens and viewing photos for editing, I see every little flaw, every speck of dirt, fingerprint or paint chip! I can see whether draperies are stacked back exactly. Whether or not something is perfectly scaled or not. So, this renaissance of photographic couture is REALLY GETTING TO ME!

  • Problem #10 I worry that once the tablescape is complete, whether it's all going to look as pretty in the picture as it does in person. And I'm figuring out ways to photograph it -- like with light bouncing off the ceiling ... another thing to add to the list since I've never done it. And let's see, oh yes, a ladder to take photos over the top of the table. And what about all those settings on my camera that I don't know about!?!?!

These are JUST the TOP 10 ... But! I am so very happy & excited that Autumn is quickly approaching! And this is always the way it is for me around the holidays. Details-details-details ... the gratification comes when everyone is filling up on good food, spirits & festive ambiance! That's the purpose of my plight - to provide beautiful memories & a lovely place to gather during my favorite time of the year. AUTUMN!!!

So, check in soon and, hopefully, I'll be finished up in a few days!!




InSights: PC Follies ~

My PC finally gave out, well, I gave up trying to make things run smoothly again. Looks like, I may have a virus or two or three, who knows! Don't you think that the US should get some stiff legislation & penalties going to get this under better control? If you think about it, at least in my life, I really started using the PC over the last 15 years or so. And as usual, the government lags behind the social wave & cannot seem to keep up with technology and the laws that should be wrapped tightly around it. Technology can't even keep up with itself! I'm typing this on the house PC vs. my office PC. I prefer my office PC, it's got a built-in TV and all my awesome programs that keep my life and hobbies ticking along. But someone messed it up.

IMO, it's as if someone walked into my home and trashed my computer. Now, typically, wouldn't there be a police report for property damages? Is there some way that we could report these problems online? Should IBM and Apple have this capability built-in since they are the ones who started us all down this bitter-sweet path? There hasta be ways to track these *bugs*! And where IS the protection here? Why aren't our firewalls working? Why are programs that are put on our PCs so vulnerable? I don't want Herbie-Hacker or Mihn from China messin' with my computer, thank you!

It's a nice little biz for "Geeks" {no disrespect, my bro is a techie}, isn't it? AND ALSO the technical support teams for lots of our pricey programs that they charge hourly to install and *fix*. Simply because you know and I know, they could make these programs install with our eyes closed. They go behind our backs and do what they want anyway. But they make it just technical enough that the average girl or guy has to call-in for $35/hour help. Can someone PLEASE *FIX THIS?!!!*

So, coupled with the problem of international hackers that the US government can't get to... Wow ... Can we make an AMERICA NET? Instead of being on a WORLD WIDE WEB? I personally don't need to always be privy to the WWW. I just want my little American programs to run efficiently! And the staff in India is polite enough, but I have better things to do with my time than spend 4-6 cumulative hours getting an accounting program installed! I'm a decorator not a programmer!

But you know what, the dude at *Geek Whatev* said I knew more than the average person walking in. That's because I am cheap! I want to understand it so I can fix it myself. So, I spend hours poking around looking at what programs are running and how much memory. As well as, finding where my Documents & Settings were hidden by a Hack, oh let me correct that, ...hack... They don't deserve capitalization. But guess what invisible man, I found my files! Yes, you tried creating about 2 other users and mixed up my stuff. Nice try ... I should tell your mother. What's her number? I wonder if she'd visit you in jail?

Additionally, I don't want to have to constantly upgrade programs that are working just fine on my PC because *technology has changed and now so-n-so company doesn't support the older version*. I've had to do this THREE TIMES with one particular software company. They FORCE US into spending more money on their latest versions. Kinda greedy, ain't it? And they are beginning to turn out their updates annually. How nice. No wonder Americans are having a hard time saving money. Partly due to the fact that everything we purchase has to be tossed out in 1-5 years. That includes PCs, printers, televisions, radios, CD players, IPODs, toasters, microwaves, lawn mowers, dishwashers & dryers, blow dryers, eyelash curlers, vacuums ... Hey? Do you know how many vacuums I've purchased over the course of a 25 year marriage??? Like ... 10! Do you know how many vacuums my parents had while I lived in their home for 18 years??? 2! What's happened to *QUALITY*? Where's the beef?! And why are they grinding beef into a worm-like substance instead of grinding it the old-fashioned way? It's kinda gross lookin' and additionally, it tastes like cardboard!

{Deep breath ...} Back to the topic ... There needs to be a layer of some sort created, as well as like a Global Internet License Plate! And a method of easily tracking back to these *haters* who are crashing our fun, our efficiency, and our personal lives. I remember a soccer mom who always used to yell out, "Christine! Make yourself a problem!" That's right. Our computers should have built-in, highly complex & VERY SECRET capability to protect individual programs by *making it a big time problem for anyone to interfere with it's functioning*. Multi-layer. And it should be TOP SECRET at all software firms! Do you know how many photos I lost? A bunch - thankfully, I had an external drive. That's right, I out-smarted the virus. BUT ... the time I've spent dealing with this is way out there and it's just not fair! I have much better things to do with my time.

Does the government realize how many man hours are lost on a daily basis from small business to the Fortune 500s? Surely they do! It's millions of dollars, billions???, out of their pockets, as well as ours. Time to step it up boys ... Bill Gates? What do you have to say about all this? Has he ever spoken about this problem? And some of the operating systems that are being put out there by these guys ... look at all the patches that they have to constantly put together because the OS wasn't designed properly in the 1st place. Why? They want to rush and put the latest version out there to generate more sales. Oh ... this is *faster*. Oh ... this is *safer*. Oh ... you have to update your drivers too! Oh ... your virus program is only good for a year, you have to renew it! *Safer* my A**.

Oh!? Really? I am so tired of it! Don't get me wrong. I love my computer - like an old friend. However, there needs to be some serious effort up front into getting these programs they fling at us working properly and efficiently BEFORE they put them out on the shelf! Furthermore, I cannot stand for ALL THESE PROGRAMS to be running in the background, cutting into my PCs speed and putting through constant updates for their less-than-adequately-programmed-programs! Half the time, no... MORE than half the time, I don't know what in the heck is being updated! Maybe I don't want the update! Maybe I don't want them to check out my cookies! But they know we don't have time to read the fine print because we are all too busy running multiple virus scans and security programs that don't work, as well as trying to figure out how to make things ACTUALLY FUNCTION CORRECTLY! Loading and reloading programs,etc. So, we sign off on stuff that we have no idea about! BECAUSE WE ARE TIRED! It's like closing our eyes and picking a card. But the deck is stacked with jokers.

I want to know EXACTLY what .exe files, etc. that are being put on my PC, legally OR illegally, the purpose and, most importantly to ALWAYS have the option of updating or not. Every time. AND I don't want someone to have the capability of sneaking in through my cable or wireless system, turning my computer on remotely to put their dang updates and *stuff* on MY COMPUTER. Got that, guys? MY COMPUTER NOT YOUR COMPUTER. Heck, a lot of the updates screw up people's computers even more than the original bad operating system. They *ADD* to our computers, what they want and when they want. Where's the Consumer Protection Act surrounding this juicy little topic?

I'm sure I've lost most of you by now on this post. But guys? We gotta say something to the Feds about this problem. It's HUGE! While I was standing in line at the computer repair company {huge national chain} in suburbia, within 30 minutes 6 people walked in to either pick-up or drop-off their PCs. Now, if we were in line at the police station, do you think we'd all get some attention for this grossly ignored problem? You bet! Because they'd be tired of us all complaining. But *they* don't have to deal with it because it happens invisibly. And we are opening our pocketbooks likes lemmings - "Oh thank you so much for fixing my computer!" Like it was our fault???? Yet, this is absolutely NO DIFFERENT than someone walking into your home and smashing your computer, or tele, or favorite vase!

*Oh! You need to get Anti-virus ... if you don't have it, it's your fault.*

Hmmm ... *You need to get an alarm system ... if you don't have one, it's your fault you were vandalized and burglarized.* I don't buy it. They are fleecing all of us.

Does anyone know of any efforts going on nationally and internationally to make this situation better? Send me the link! Send me a petition to sign! I AM THERE!

I gotta tell Lilly about this ... she'll know what to do .... It's gonna take girls to fix this problem anyway.




Digiscrap: Beautiful Evidence IV~

Hi Everyone!

*Beautiful Evidence* Day 4!

Still catching up on classes and they take time but I learn a little sumthin-sumthin' from each layout. This was one of my favorite Valenetine's Day cards I made earlier this year!

The *magic lasso* comes in handy when you want to copy a portion of a photo or paper to layer on top or use in another area. Here, I copied the big flower on top of itself so that it would lay on top of the Valentine's Day card. Then, to add color & break up the monotony of the ribbon, I copied a portion of the flower as well as it's stem in the upper corner over the brown striped ribbon. It's soft, romantic, old-fashioned ... ahhh ... ~

Hope you are having a *super-fantastic* day! Don't be shy & feel free to leave me a comment or point me in the direction of your blog!!! I LUV BLOGGIN'!



Digiscrap: Beautiful Evidence III~

Hi Everyone!

Hope you are having a really *fab* day! Thanks for peeking in on the latest Jessica Sprague layout that I'm working on.

Assignment 3: *Beautiful Evidence*

I didn't put a ton of effort into this to save time & catch up ... but what I liked was the surprise in finding a few photos that jazzed up photo strip with whimsy! Namely, my niece, Jenna, playing piano - I cropped the photo to just show the piano's keyboard & her hand dawning a red, boa-feather-lined cuff -- and our little Poco with static-frenzied ears! {Poco is NOT photoshopped! LOL! True story!}

Isn't the heart emblem totally GREAT & fun!?

kay, back to workin' on the next layout!




Digiscrap: Beautiful Evidence I~

Hi Everyone! How are you all doing?

Thanks for popping by to see me!

This particular layout is the cover for a 22-page 12x12 album. I've used older photographs in these & definitely need to start taking more! I decided to make the cover kind of dreamy by editing photos into a soft, sepia tone. I took the sunflower photo at one of Mason's golf tournaments {most of you know that I don't get out much! Where else would I have taken this photo? Don't you think a trip to the Mediterranean is in order?} I thought it was really cool, how it branched up into the sky. And those angular linear marks across the sky are actually clouds, not texture! Naturally, I am drawn to that antiquey kind of look & wanted it to look kinda artsy, although I have a long way to go with my photography! I thought it turned out great!

I like the photo of Mason sitting in front of a truck parked on the golf course. It had that old-fashioned appeal & is pretty cool, even though he's smirking a bit! He's a perfectionist like his mother! Even shots that I think are great, he'll criticize, slam the club down & march off the tee box! Then, he shoots par - go figure???

The photo of Jessica is terrific. I love how the wind caught tendrils of her hair & swept it across her face. The texture of the pampus grass gives the photo a timeless appeal. And for her & Marty, their stringed instruments are at hand. They are so similar in how they perform - no fear, just the love of the music they are creating.

The photo of Jacqueline is from a recent photo shoot. I hope to do some beautiful layouts of her with these pictures. And I want to do individual photo shoots of all my kids now - not at their sporting or musical events, but just being themselves in the sunshine.

The upcoming layouts are pre-designed digital templates from Jessica Sprague. She has a wonderful class going on that I signed-up for called *Beautiful Evidence*. This girl has heart; I like that! Her introduction to the course reads, "Your life is beautiful. All around you, right now, where you sit, is evidence. Proof of you and your life, evidence that you live, and think, and guess what? It's beautiful. Even if it's laundry or dishes or your job, or your kid, or your pet, it's YOURS, and it's wonderful. It's your precious, only-get-to-do-it-once-so-you-better-make-the-most-of-it life, and I can't wait to help you scrap it."

What I find so intriguing about life, is how the smallest gesture or thought can turn into something bigger. I started this blog as *Papier Creatif*, a scrapbook & paper craft blog to post projects and journal about my life. Digital Scrapbooking was not something I had ever thought of doing. So, as I journeyed the Internet looking for traditional scrapbooking ideas and groups to join, digital scrapbooking was all over the place! And although I admired many of the projects posted, paper still drew me in.

Then, I randomly found Jessica Sprague while working on Mason's golf team slide show presentation. After his coach had asked me to put this together for them, I began looking for ideas of simple layouts. I had purchased Photoshop CS3 for a website that I wanted to put together for my business {which I've never completed! -- it's way more technical than I could have imagined}, but the blog was simple. It took me hours upon hours to finish one basic layout for Mason. Quite an accomplishment considering I knew nothing about digital scrapbooking OR Photoshop CS3! I got stuck. My file was HUGE and I was worried that the computer would bog down and crash in the middle of the presentation, so I looked for answers. That's when I found Jessica Sprague.

Jessica had a wonderful blog called Sprague Lab. I had found many technical links about sizing files but they didn't speak my language. Jessica did. I searched her blog and found a post about converting .pdf files to smaller .jpg files. And further more, how to even resize them for web devices. Step-by-step. She is so concise, clear & crisp that is was easy to go through the process of resizing my projects.

She has a very upbeat, quirky personality. People are drawn to her because she makes it all seem so simple! She shares information with her highly female audience and they appreciate her. Her classes are at class pace or your own pace. So, I can work on projects whenever it's convenient for me. And the classes are always available to you once you've paid, so often I refer back to segments when I get stuck. "How did I do that before???"

You can tell that she cares about her life, her *followers* or I suppose you could call us *her passe*, *fans* or *JS addicts*. She provides so many women a wonderful way to express themselves, their lives & get to the source of what makes their hearts warm! She's opened up my mind to creative ways to document important moments of my family's life; which has also become a great hobby, an opportunity to learn, share & grow personally. She's encouraged me to learn more about photography, which I hope to do next & can't wait. It's FUN STUFF. Come on, how often does a 47-year old chick get to learn something new? Plus, I love the computer. I always have. Ever since my days of working corporate, I enjoyed walking into my office with a warm cup of coffee and revving up the ol' computer.

*JS* has a fresh style & warm way of using elements in digital scrapbooking. Her style is different from mine. She seems more modern, while I'm a little more, well, I was gonna say vintage, but I don't feel I'm quite *there* yet. But I do like classic, antiquey styles of scrapbooking! What the commonality is, is the emotional value she puts on her life & her work & her quest for knowledge, learning & sharing. And now, I really enjoy digital scrapbooking - maybe even more than paper! {confession}

I remember when I first started staying home with the kids. It was a huge adjustment for me. I felt very alone & overwhelmed with motherhood. I went through post-partum for months before anyone recognized it. Additionally, something was missing... I can't remember the specific reason for it, but we purchased a home computer. It was like finding an old friend! I paid my bills on it, wrote letters, and journaled. Now, it's purpose has ever expanded & become an even more important part of my life.

I love my family, my computer & Jessica Sprague! ;)