Tuesday, August 5, 2014


I know the title of today's blog post might seem a little strange, but I feel like I need to say welcome - or maybe welcome back. Due to a lot of personal and work-related "stuff", things have been really hectic these past few months, but finally I think there's light at the end of the tunnel. Finally. So, without going into too much detail, here's the short 'n' dirty version of what's been happening --

  • DS has been working at McDonalds for a few months now. The summer months have been a little slower, with the hiring of extra people to spread the load and help accommodate vacations and such, but he's enjoying it.

  • DS is also working towards his driving permit. We have the car, so that's added motivation for him. It's a 2007 Pontiac G5 Coupe, blue'ish purple'ish color ... manual transmission. Yup, a stick-shift! It's at the dealership right now getting a few things fixed (which we knew going in to the purchase). Lord help us when he's ready to drive - he wants me to teach him!

  • We had the siding replaced on the house. A two-man crew did everything in less than four days, despite some awful weather. An expensive update to the house, but it so needed it. The old siding was original to the house (we're talking 30+ years), aluminum, no insulation. New stuff has insulation and we got Tyvek wrap on the house. All the old wood trim was wrapped, too. Color combo was something called Country Beige, then white trim work, and I painted the front door Hunter Green (to match the shutters on the front of the house).

  • Vacation! We're getting ready for our first real vacation in two years - can you believe it, two years?! Our last trip away was Labor Day 2013, but that was a quick long-weekend visit with family - fly in, spend a day and a half, fly out.  This upcoming vacation will be almost three weeks. We so need it.

For DH and me, it's pretty much business as usual. No big changes at work or on the home front. (well, gee, that sounds pretty boring, doesn't it? LOL)  DH loves travel things, so he's doing all the prep work for the trip - and I'm happy to let him do it. He's looking at hotels, rental cars, day trips, things we can do, etc.  I found two things to add to our must-do list: hot air ballooning and a speed boat tour (yeah, like zooming around at 100+ mph!  Eeek - cool!).

Scrappy-wise, I've been busy - and that's an understatement! Since my last blog post, I got invited to join another creative team, one for Mye De Leon. I've known Mye in digi circles for a few years now, so was thrilled when she approached me to be on her team. This is one of my first pages using the Piazza Collection (which is from Mye's monthly I Collect Memories kits) --

I have so many other pages to share, but before I go, I wanted to give a big shout out to Tiffany Tillman and the team at Scrapaneers - Happy 1st Birthday!!

There are fun things happening all week and today there's a scraplift challenge hosted by ... me! That's the "fun challenges" part that you see in the graphic above *wink* What was even more fun, I got to sit in and chat with Traci Reed, the very instructor and designer I scraplifted, during one of the new The Digital Coffee Break sessions (pssst, check this out Digital Coffee Break | Free Episode)  There's also discounts on many self-paced classes with the Scrapaneers Birthday Sale, too - and because they are self-paced, you can do them in your own time (well, duh). I've done quite a few of these classes and loved them all. My most recent one wasn't self-paced, but I learned so much. The Art of Photographs, taught by Amanda Taylor (yup, the very same gal from Taylor Made Designs) --

I know, it happened in July - my bad - but keep an eye out for the class to run again ... it was awesome! I've always struggled to make my photos fit for whatever project I was working on, but what I learned in this class was that some photos tend to work better with one technique over another. It was quite an eye-opener. Here's one of my pages from the class --

Okay, I've got work to do (it never seems to stop, which is sad) ... laters!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Busy ... busy ... busy!

Wow, it's been a hectic few weeks. I've been busy trying to keep a secret - well, didn't do very well with it. Okay, so truth be told, I was pretty excited, so I kept dropping hints here and there. What's the news? Heck no, I'm not pregnant! Sheesh.  When I first started digital scrapbooking, I was at Two Peas in a Bucket, most of the time ... and then I moved to Design House Digital ... and now I'm a Pixels and Company. No, I'm not moving again, but a designer that I love - and have met (she's adorbs!) - is coming out of retirement and opening her store at P&Co and I'm on her creative team ...

That's right! Jen's back!  We're doing a lot of things with Instagram, so that's the place to keep tabs on us - new releases, projects from the team, announcements from Jen, etc. I've even launched myself into the world of Smartphones (a Samsung Galaxy 5, thank you very much), and started my own Instagram account - see, click on this Instagram (not much in there, I'll admit, but it's a start LOL)  - there's a link to my account on the main screen here (on the right), too. You can follow Jen @JenAllyson_Digital, and we'd love for you to tag with #jenallysondigital if you're using one of her kits. So excited! :)  Here's a few things I've already done with a soon-to-be-released kit:

Along with getting ready for Jen's launch tomorrow, I had a great opportunity to meet an online scrapping friend, in person. Kym and her family were visiting the DC area from Hawaii and we had a chance to hang out at the National Zoo for the day. Thankfully, after days of on and off rain, we had a clear day and not too hot (but hot enough). Kym and her family were wonderful. I love meeting my online friends. For many of us, we've "known" each other for, literally, years. Seen our kids grown up, cross-country moves, marriages - and divorces :(, and lived vicariously through others while they're on vacation. A little nerve-wracking to meet someone that's both a stranger ... and yet, they're not. I'll be back with more photos from that day soon.
For now, I've got work to do - no, seriously, like IRL work LOL.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Art Journalers - Pay Attention!

So ... I've been toying back and forth with digital art journaling this year. It's a great way to throw all design principles out the window and just ... well, just create! Nobody has to understand the page, so long as it has meaning to me. Absolute freedom to mix 'n' match, to blend, to just have fun. There's a somewhat therapeutic benefit to art journaling, too, being able to express ones feelings. Tough? Yes, but worth the time invested in oneself. (check out my Facebook header - that's part of my art journal for this year with the theme, "Believe You Can Fly")

One thing I love to add in my journaling pages are images of people - some realistic, some not. There's a new class coming up at Scrapaneers that would be awesome to add those finishing touches to my art journal: Art Dolls by Cilena Curtis - click on the picture below for more information.

I'm in!  How about you?!
Great thing about self-paced classes is you'll get access to the class material and can finish up pages weeks or even months later. Um, yeah, I'm doing that right now with Everyday Me with Crystal Livesay - my latest pages - from the section on the "present".  Past - done. Present - done. Now, on to the future!

Back to scrapping I go ... or maybe I'll just hang out on Facebook and play a few rounds of Candy Crush ...

Saturday, May 3, 2014

It's Here - Enjoy!

It's finally here: International Scrapbooking Day!! The day when all scrappers put aside all other duties - parenting, cooking, cleaning (I mean, family members can fend for themselves for a day, right?) - and just hang out, online, grabbing bargains, and chatting with like-minded individuals.  Okay, so we might - just might - be a little obsessed and some (not saying who), just might spend the next 12+ hours with their butt in the chair, scouring sites and forums ... but hey! It's only once a year, right?  Right.

So, where to begin?

I'll be hanging out at Pixels and Company today for pretty much most of the day. The designers and creative team members have gone all-out to offer a bunch of things for your enjoyment, including:

  • a 35% off site-wide sale, May 1 - 4 (yes, it's started already!);
  • discounts on orders - $25 get 40% off, $40 get 45% off, and $50 get 50%;
  • designer blog hop (awesome!) - don't miss out; the blog hop coupon is only valid for one month;
  • return of the Big Payoff contest (four winners); and
  • return of the Dream Cart contest (one winner).

As is always the case, the designers have gone all-out with a fabulous collab kit for the occasion: Bermuda Triangle


Now, the creative team, what are they doing?  We're hosting a games and challenges in the Pixels forums - you can find everything here. I'm hosting the Ultimate Mix 'n' Match challenge - to create a layout using something from every Pixels and Company designer.  That's right - all 20 designers (including the guests)! A few people have already taken on this challenge, and their pages are amazing. Are you game to try?

The Team is doing their own blog hop, too, kicking off iNSD with some freebies for you that coordinate with Bermuda Triangle. Here's who's participating:

Be sure to stop by everyone's blog or Facebook page to grab everything. Click on the image below or the download link to grab my contribution:

Happy iNSD - see ya around scrappy-land!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Sneak Peek - The Reveal

A few days ago, I gave you a sneak peek at my iNSD challenge page. Remember?  Well, the cat is out of the bag, so to speak - my challenge is live at Pixels and Company. Yeah, I know, iNSD isn't officially until tomorrow, but many of us are keen to get a jump start on the weekends' activities.

So what is the challenge I'm hosting? It's called "Ultimate Mix 'n' Match" - you have to create a layout (single or double-page) using at least one item from every Pixels designer, including guests. Templates allowed. Designer fonts allowed, too.  However, no collabs. Hey, come on! It's meant be a challenge!

Curious to see my page? Here's what 3-4 days of work, 20 designers, 28 kits, actions, fonts, etc., and about 175+ layers looks like (double-page layout, followed by the two pages, so you can see the detail):


It was a blast to put together - and is one of my current favorites for the year.

Well, I'm headed back to Pixels for more games - I've got a "What color are you?" layout to do ... and there's a template challenge ... you can find out about our iNSD plans here.  There's even the regular monthly challenges, too. Good thing I'm not working today and have not too much planned for the weekend! LOL

Oh, before I go ... it's not all about iNSD (well, kinda not all). The designers still have there regular releases and I grabbed a few things - cool templates from Simply Tiffany Studio called Superficial, and Snapshots from Scotty Girl Design.