Sunday, March 28, 2010

Birthday celebration at Designer Digitals

We are going to be 5 years old on April 1st. It feels funny saying "we", but I am part of it now :) sometimes I still have to pinch myself, it's hard to believe I am part of this cool place :) anyway, there are some special things on sale and of course sales going on, so go and check it out. We just put all the new stuff in the store and here Katie is designing more already. She did this cute template and I just had to use it today

I didn't change much about the format, just added another paper layer. This is TG last year, when we first got her, she was so cute!!! She still is actually, the nicest cat ever and so soft. We all love putting her close to our face, she is softer than a fur coat!

this is the monthly calendar page I make to be inserted in my 365 book after the end of the month. I like the look and sometimes I have photos I didn't pick for the 365 pages but I still like.

Yesterday Michael had this cute expression and I had to make a page about it

I hope you can read the journaling, the guys sticking up for each other, it's so cute and funny.

I had seen these labels in a Paperwishes catalogue and I just had to try and make the same thing digitally. I like how it came out, so springy and easterly (I think I just made up a new word).

Nothing like a little challenge to myself. It's just something different. Sometimes I look in the gallery and the pages all start to look alike and I get tired of the same old thing :)
We have this contest going on right now. People are supposed to make a birthday card to DD and the best one can win a 50$ GC for the store. Pretty cool huh? There are some awesome cards popping up already, really cool stuff!
Tonight I skipped choir practice. It just seems that every Sunday night, my dinner is really late. We didn't eat until almost 7 and that's when practice starts. It'll be okay though, I know all the songs and practice can be boring.... It's going to be a busy week with Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil and Sunday.... I think we are singing almost every day and then the Easter Bunny still has to come Saturday night.... like I said, it's going to be busy. It's always such fun on Easter morning though, the kids really enjoy the hunt for eggs! I have to make sure to put on my speedlight, so I can get some decent pictures, it's always so drab and dark around here. It's been raining and raining and cold..... hope for the end of the week though, it's supposed to get warmer and sunny!!!
Okay, I think we are going to say the rosary in a few minutes and then we are planning to watch New Moon, which we just bought. Gabby and I saw it already, we are trying to get Rachel to watch it, she really isn't interested though. That's okay, it would just be nice to see it all together. 
Rachel spent the day in Altoona yesterday, they had Diversity. She wasn't too thrilled about it, she thought it was quite boring. 
Okay, gotta go, see you soon!

Friday, March 26, 2010

New bag

I just received my new Epiphanie camera bag this morning and let me tell you, it's awesome. Just the right size, the right weight, perfect look, lots of room for other stuff... I am so thrilled. I have the JillE and it's really nice, but way too big. Look at my new darling

It's expensive, but there isn't that much out there that could function as a purse/camera bag without looking manly or cheap. So... I am a happy camper!
I received an email from a lady at Kodak who wants to do a feature about me being published. How cool is that!!! I'll let you know more later on, but she was very sweet!

I feel like I don't have kids anymore. They never come home before 4 PM anymore, with that play practice they have every single day. Some days they have to stay until 4.30.  Then of course we have piano and Karate, so a lot of evenings are busy too. I can't wait for summer break (who would have ever thought I would say that)
I have been working through that photoshop magazine some more, boy, they have some fun stuff in there. There is a tutorial on how to make a person look like a creature from Avatar. Who knows, maybe I will try it just for fun. Gabrielle would look really good in blue :) Anyway, there was another tutorial I liked

Isn't that reflection just too cool? I had to do the tut step by step, I could have never figured that one out by myself.
Talking about Photoshop, you have to watch this video, it's awesome. Now, I have no idea how he does this stuff, but man, he is good!!! Anything is possible in Photoshop :)

I did another page yesterday, the flowers are poking their little heads out of the ground and I just couldn't resist the first crocus

I must be on an orange kick these last few days, there is this cool kit in the store (well, not yet, this weekend) and it just grabbed my attention I guess.

Here is a picture of the crocus before I used the preset

and here are a couple more pictures
I always liked that view of the bridge, I didn't have my larger zoom with me. I'll have to do it again some day.
Gabrielle reading the introduction at Mass this morning. She was really good, poised and perfectly spoken. These kids grow up doing these things and it's not a big deal to them. I would be so nervous, it would be sad to watch :)

Well, it's time to pick the kids up from school. I haven't even decided what to make for dinner yet, let alone started cooking... oh boy, and tonight is piano night.... help!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Having fun with Photoshop

well, I finally sent in a subscription to Photoshop and got my magazine yesterday. It has a few tutorials and one of them was to create these lightbeams behind writing. Here is the page I made with it

the light didn't exactly come out the way the said but I made it work anyway. I sent them an email asking for help but haven't heard back yet. There is one step where you are supposed to use the radial filter and for them it created light beam, for me they were more boxy looking. It still came out okay. I did the extractions with the extract filter, that was really fun. Michael loves it, he was smiling and asked me how I did it. Where to start...:)

Today the sun came out again and I was able to take some pictures outside. There are little green things coming up everywhere and I put on my 90mm lens to get some shots

The top one is a tiny little weed growing between my cement slabs and the bottom is a tiny moss plant.

Sunday we were over at Helen's and Gabrielle brought TG over to show Missy. Here is a picture of the two of them

She is so unbelievably soft and cute, I just love that cat :)
Okay, let me get the pages out of the way

The top one is done with pictures taken at Fr. Sylvan's. I will make a few more pages from that day
The bottom one is my sister and I. I made this for the Heritage challenge at DD. We were supposed to use a picture we would like to know more about. I just put a little spin on it and changed it a little. It actually made it to GSO (Gallery Standouts) today. Yeah!

That's all I have done, but it's only been a couple of days. I need to start printing my pages. I prepaid for hundreds of them when they had the sales on, so now I have them all uploaded and just have to order them. I got ringbooks for all the kids and a large one for the family. It will be nice to get them so we can all look at them.
I went to the dentist yesterday and he filed my crown down. It's way better, I can chew on it now, but it still is not perfect. I can still feel hard stuff, but I think I will just live with it and not worry about it.
What do you all think about the Healthcare passage? I have been really depressed about it, I think it's going to be really bad for all of us... I try not to do politics too much, but this is really a biggy!
Well, that's it for tonight. Thanks for visiting my blog Katie, I hope you'll be coming back often :)

Monday, March 22, 2010


I received a Scrapbooking Memory magazine from Australia the other day with my page published... it was a happy moment, I had totally forgotten about it :) It sure feels nice to have a page in a magazine, I just wish it was here in the States :) Oh well.... I scanned the page in, because I had to remove the page from my galleries...
I hope you will be able to blow it up, it's the top right one...

Saturday was a gorgeous day, actually the last few days have all been gorgeous, warm and sunny, all the snow is gone, I love it. We went to spend the afternoon at Fr. Sylvan's and I took my camera along, one never knows :) His grounds are so pretty and peaceful, I got some nice shots of the house and the pond, it was fun. The kids got to run around a bit after we visited, so they had a good time. Then we stopped and had some dinner at this hicks place (that's what Rachel called it), and had some really good food! It goes to show that you should never judge a book by it's cover, right? We also stopped to look at a couple of llamas, Gabrielle just finished a report on them and she was thrilled! Of course she kept warning us to keep an eye on their ears, that if they turned back we would be better off to remove ourselves, so we wouldn't get spat on :)

Here are some more pictures from the place

Then just when we were getting into the car, these hawks (?) started cruising above us and I had to rip my camera out again, change my lens to my telephoto and somehow get some halfway decent settings. It was still a little far away, but the closest I have ever gotten to one, so I was thrilled! I think my family thinks I am insane....

Not much went on last week, just the same daily running around with lessons and play practice for the kids every day. This week they are scheduled with their Iowa testing all day long, so they will be tired when they get home.
I have to call the dentist to take a look at my new crown, I can't chew on the darn thing... just another thing to take care of, it's really tiring to run all the time, from appointment to appointment and in between their are always forms to fill out for school or otherwise....I guess things could be worse :) Good thing I have my scrapbooking, that is such a release for me....which of course leads me to my latest pages...

Again, I am a week behind with my 365 pages, but I will tackle last week's soon. That Miracle page is from Fr. Sylvan's grounds, that little creek just meandered through the field and the gurgling sound was so peaceful (if you ignored the kids' squeals). It really is such a quiet and holy place, I love being there.
Well gang, that's it for today, it's been a whole week and nothing much to show for it. We must be leading such a boring life :) I am just glad the weather was nicer and the kids got to spend some time at the park with their friends. That is becoming such a hangout place for them. Better than the Mall...and closer too.
Have a good day everybody!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Formal has finally arrived

After having to postpone it two times, a local school finally held their formal for 6 - 8 graders of all catholic schools in the area. The girls had been looking forward to this for weeks, new dresses, worrying about the hair, the whole spiel. They looked adorable when all was said and done

Gabrielle had her friend to go with and they had a good time, lots of line dancing and just chatting with friends, mostly the boys from their class
Rachel did not have a good time at all, poor thing, sounds like her friends didn't really hang out with her that much, the whole thing was boring and I wound up picking her up after about 2 hours. I felt so bad that she didn't have a better experience, especially since I made her clean her room in order to be able to go and that alone took her days! I guess at least one good thing came out of it then... :) It's amazing how fiercely protective a mother feels about her children, I am pretty angry at some of those girls, especially the ones who proclaim to be her friend only to disappear at the first chance for something better. I suppose those things build character and make them stronger, I just wish I could take all the pain away...don't we all!

The snow around here is pretty much gone, it's really amazing how fast that happened. It's warmer outside and I saw the first buds poking out of the ground. I love it! The robins are hopping around in the yard and the birds are chirping in the morning, oh glorious spring. Ok, here are a couple of pages

those last two are supposed to go together, the pictures are from the last pancake breakfast at Church we went to. They had those pretty silk flower pots on the tables and it just made me feel so springy :)
The page above that is another photo from the formal, she was getting ready to go and had her coat on and it just reminded me of a local christian rock band. I had seen their photo on a billboard and it had this grungy look to it, I loved it. So of course I had to try it. I found a preset on my Lightroom that gave me the effect on the photo, Lynn's worn edges and voila! That was a fun one to do.
At Creating Keepsake one of my pages was nominated for Reader's Choice, which means that people can vote for which page they would like to be published in a future issue. I think this is my 4th time, but I never get picked. Here is the link if you would like to vote (and you can go back and vote as many times as you like, which I think is kind of dumb) The link takes you directly to the survey, just click on it and vote (for me of course :)) It's the page I did a couple of weeks ago about Helen and going out to eat with her. I think if she knew she might wind up in a magazine, she would die :) Or maybe not....
I am filling out school papers left and right, time to sign the kids up for next year, which of course means Gabrielle going to Highschool. Nice to get it all done. It seems as though there is always something to read, fill out or pay for when it comes to school, I am looking forward to summer, when I don't have to hear anything else about it for a while. I never thought I would feel that way.
Okay, time to do some paperwork. Have a wonderful Monday everybody and I hope you all set your clocks forward....

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Where is that rain?

we were supposed to get it yesterday and today and it has been another gorgeous day instead. Not that I am complaining, I am loving it. I went in the yard today and took a picture of a living plant since I don't know how long. It's a nice change from shooting icicles all the time.
Yesterday I went out to lunch, it's been a long time since I did that. I met a couple of girls from Karate at Applebee's. We had a great time, it was so good to see everybody and catch up and just BS. I had this enormous glass of Green Apple Sangria, man was that good :) I took a few pictures, but the girls were very picky about what they liked. Am I glad I am not doing this for a living, people are hard to please :)
Aren't they just the cutest?

these girls look sweet but they could seriously kick your behind :)
There is one nice thing about the kids doing the school play, I don't have to pick them up until 4 pm because of practice which gives me a lot of free time.
We had karate in the evening, there were so many kids, it wasn't even funny. He is planning on going back to 2 kids classes, we'll see how that is going to work out. I told him that there is no way I can stay up there for 3 hours, which I would have to if Michael would be in the first class. I am so not doing that. He already said that worst comes to worst he will put him in adult class and Michael is actually excited about that. We changed the way we are teaching the younger ones, different and hopefully easier requirements in the long run, but for now it was utter confusion. They had no idea what we were doing with them.
Today was nice, like I said I took some pictures outside
I didn't touch this one at all
this is moss growing on a rock, I used my 90 mm for these shots :)

I know this one is blurry, even after using unsharp masks on it, but I really like the reflection in the drop. I am going to try again. Macro photography is really hard. Being so close you have to be totally steady which I wasn't. Even if my legs were steady (I was crouching), my hands were shaky for crying out loud. Then there was wind and the little branches kept moving and moving, that much for sharp shots. Fun though
I made this page out of the one shot

this one is from the walk the other day, I have to make a matching side with all the other photos I took

Isn't it funny? It's at a neighbor's, not my kind of decorations, but it was so cute how they were popping back out of the snow. That's probably why he didn't put them away, he couldn't find them! :)

Well, I better get back to making pages, I still have to do last week's 365 page or I will be further behind again...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Glorious sunshine

for the last few days, I love it! I feel like I am waking up :) I hope it will last a few more days, so that all that snow has a chance to melt, good riddance! Gabi and I went for a walk day before yesterday, it had been a long time since we made the round around the park (which is about the only place you can walk here, we need to find someplace new, I am running out of things to photograph :)) It was still cold, but oh, so pleasant to be basking in the sun
Saturday we went to see our friends in Altoona, went to Sam's to spend a ton of money on next to nothing and then went out to dinner with them and another couple of friends. We had such a great time, Gabrielle was laughing so hard, sitting next to Mark and listening to his stories, I think her sides were hurting. I haven't laughed this much in a long time, it really felt great! I just love their St. Bernard, that dog loves me and comes running and slobbering all over me every time she sees me. It sure feels great to be loved :)
At DD things have been a little quiet this past week, I think everybody is still in shock over Bonnie's passing and tribute pages are popping up every day in the gallery. I don't remember if I mentioned that we are making a book, or I should say Katie is. All the pages in a book for her son. I think he will enjoy that.
Here is the one I did

I never had the chance to meet her in person, but I really felt like I lost a friend that day...

then I continued with my playground pictures

I am in the process of putting all my pages into folders either for the kids or for the family and I have a tough time deciding how to do this. Do I put all the pages in 2? I would like to have these in my album too, but the cost of printing 100s of pages is prohibitive. I guess I can always reprint them eventually. Man is that a lot of work, I mean, I am going back to 2008. I prepaid for something like 400 pages at Scrapping Simply but I don't think that will be enough. Here I thought I was buying for the future, but I will have to shell out some more money.

This was just a silly page about the weather. It was the first day we saw some blue sky and I thought I woke up in a different country that day.

That picture was taken the day Gabi and I went for the walk and I looked at it later and started thinking how the vastness and the glorious sunshine fills you with hope and trust and ultimately that is what leads us to our faith. That's how that page came to be...
And lastly I just finished my latest 365 page, pretty much the same as the others, just different pictures. It takes forever to come up with some cute embellishments for the pages though

I really need something else to take pictures of than my cat, don't you think? :)

Gabrielle just signed up for Volleyball at the highschool. I am afraid she is biting off more than she can chew. They want her to be at practice every single day or she won't be allowed to play. I asked her how she was thinking of accomplishing that with Karate, piano, play practice at school, homework and dinner. We'll see. She might not be able to stay in it. She went last night for the first time and told me in how poor condition she is. Good thing I don't have to do this, I'd be dead on the floor if she can't do it, as fit as she is.
I have to get her application for school filled out. I can't even believe my baby is going to Highschool this year, too depressing. Of course she is all excited and rightfully so.
Well, I have to practice piano, my lesson is today and I have not had a good week to do anything with it, just putting it off every day...
Talk to you all soon, have a wonderful day and I hope you have as much sunshine as we do today

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A really sad day

Our DD community lost one of the CT members today and we are all in shock. Bonnie (bjwtville) was such a wonderful lady. I never met her IRL, but through her gallery and through her postings  I feel like I got to know her. She was a gracious lady, who went through a period of sadness and then found love again. She has been really happy this last year and I am so glad for her. Here is a link to her gallery if you want to take a peek. It seems that everything is moving in slow motion at the site today....

On a more cheerful note, DH's secretary got good news today. She had a suspicious lump which turned out to be just calcifications. I am so grateful for that bit of good news on this awful day.

Sammy (the love bird) seems to be doing much better. He actually stepped on my finger today and came downstairs with me. I got my kisses, but he didn't attempt to fly (for which I am grateful, because of the cats) I am so relieved, I can't believe how attached  I am to that little bugger.
Today the sun came out, what a glorious sight. I think it's supposed to warm up a little these next few days, maybe we'll be able to see some grass soon :) The thaw better start out slowly, we won't know where to go with all the water....
I did a couple of pages since the other day

Just an ordinary Sunday story, but I like to keep those ordinary memories

this one is from this fall, we had a cold but really pleasant day and the kids wanted to go to the playground. As you can see, I don't scrap in any particular order, I do it according to how I am feeling that day and what's available in the new items section. Our designers sure keep us busy with all the new stuff they come out with every single week :)
Oh yeah, I got a new lens the other day, the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8. Wow, that thing weighs a ton, you can tell it's really good glass. Great fast focus and cool shots. I am getting a real collection of lenses, but those you pretty much keep forever (until the next great one comes out, that you can't live without, right?)
I stil have to finish one page for Debbie's class, I skipped lesson #11, I really want to do it yet! Then I have to work on a page about Bonnie. Each CT member is going to make one I think and then we will have a book made for her family. Everybody was really fond of her, it's such a loss for the site. It amazes  me how close we all have become....
Well, time to go, I need to check in on all your blogs :)
Please pray for Bonnie and her family!

Never say Never!

Well, here I am creating my very own blog! I was always very sure I would never get into this blogging "thing", but here I am. I hope you will enjoy finding out a little about my not so interesting life!