Thursday, January 1, 2015

Welcome 2015!

After a year of ups and downs, there are some things that I'll miss from 2014, but I'm welcoming 2015 with open arms. I didn't stay up last night to watch fireworks or the ball drop in Times Square; got a good night's sleep - I needed it. Today, I've celebrated the New Year by pretty much relaxing. That's what we're supposed to do, right?  Tomorrow's a work day for me (boo!), so I took advantage of some downtime to create a few scrapbook pages, cook a little (crumb cake and a beef roast - both really yummy), watch the Cotton Bowl (and bummed that the hubby decided the Spartans were doing to lose and changed channels ... and they came back to win in the final minutes! #goSpartans), and oh, look, did a load of dishes. Oh yeah, baby, livin' the high life.

New Year's resolutions. Do you have any? I'm like, eh, I set them ... and forget them or don't achieve them ... usually, not even close. This year, four things on my list:

  • Complete a Project Life album, week 1 through 52
  • Go back to school to get my CEBS certification (that Certified Employment Benefits Specialist) - about a 2-year project
  • Relax more, even if I have to schedule time to do so (sad, but true)
  • General health and well-being, i.e., more time for me

Not a long list, but ones that will hit on a few areas of my life. I think I'll print this page and keep it with me - one copy at work, and one copy at my home office/workstation (made with the January collab from the P&Co designers, Winter Wish):
Going to get off the computer for a while and watch some college football - Oregon vs. Florida State. Go Ducks!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Well, let the holiday madness - at work - continue. I was in the office yesterday - Saturday - working on a few things. Yes, it's time out of my weekend, but to be honest, I got quite a bit accomplished. Amazing what you can do when the phone isn't ringing, emails aren't distracting me, or when coworkers don't have questions. There was one other person in the office, but she sits quite a way away, so we really didn't interact much.

Today, Sunday, I'm hoping to watch a little football this afternoon (yay, Redskins for a win yesterday ... finally!) and just chill with the computer and do some scrapping. I've got a bunch of things on my to-do list for designers and such, but I'm still finding time to play for myself. Last month I participated in all of the monthly challenges at Memory Scraps and won their entire Memory Mix collection for the month of December. It's a huge collection! I just finished downloading it, so I've got a ton of things to play with for my own pleasure.  Thanks designers!

Remember that "change" thing I talked about a few days ago. Pixels and Company has gone to a subscription-based plan, but don't panic! There are still kits from the designers and the store, with new releases mid-month. I took a look at Meredith's store and grabbed her Dream A Little Dream kit to create this page about Haddie and her love of sleeping upside-down (the template, which I modified a bit, is in the store, too) --

Over at The Digital Press, they're still working on getting the gallery up and running, but you can see layouts in the forums - threads are started each week. Here's a few things I created recently - the first page for Dawn (Dawn by Design), and the second for Shannon (Scotty Girl Design) --

(a close-up of the tree, so you can see all the detail)

Back to scrappin' I go!  Later :)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Happy Holidays!

Wow, where did the past couple of months go? If you're like me, it seems that we were only just celebrating Halloween last week - and yet, somehow, we've blown past Thanksgiving and Christmas is ... next week!!

<<< mildly panicking >>>

Things have been a total blur these past 6-8 weeks. I had a great time in Utah the first weekend in October ... and the got sick. Like majorly sick. Sure, it's "just" a Fall allergy thing, I kept telling myself. Well, 2+ weeks of self-medicating and I hauled my butt to the doctors office and discovered I had a really bad sinus infection. That would explain the sinus headaches, blocked ears, etc. Duh.  Well, three courses of antibiotics, two rounds of steroids, and eight weeks later and I'm still ill. Boo! The sinus infection has gone, thankfully, but I have no voice. I've never lost my voice, even with the more severe sinus problems ... but this time. Wowza. Now, before you all jump in and say, oh, I bet your hubby is thrilled that you're not talking, he just wants me to get better ... aaaawww. So now it's daily Claritin and Nasonex - and the doc. gave me enough refills on the Nasonex for 12 months ... um, is he trying to tell me something?

Despite feeling like crap, we've decorated the house, the tree is up and presents are underneath it. We even put some wreaths outside. The garland around the front door kept falling down because of rain (the clips kept losing their stickiness), but the lights do look nice. DS is bummed that he won't get a Christmas stocking this year - but at 20 y.o. I had to draw the line somewhere. He shouldn't complain - he's got plenty of other things under the tree. Trust me. Gifts have been sent to the great-nephews and nieces. Some of my overseas family won't be getting gifts until after Christmas. Um. Yeah. My bad. Actually, I don't think they'll mind too much. The dog's at the groomers today, having a spa day for the holidays. Last-minute grocery shopping will be next week and then ... hopefully ... a five-day weekend for some R&R (and scrapping). I'd love some snow, but I don't think that's a possibility - it's still nearly 50F degrees!

With work keeping me busy (year-end stuff and open enrollment ... yay ... not), my scrapping stuff is a nice retreat - okay, escape, from the real world. Just me and the computer. Hopefully the boys don't feel too neglected (LOL), but that's my down-time ... and boy, do I need it. My laptop died this week (RIP, Samsung) - like literally working one day, dead the next; fried motherboard, we suspect ... thankfully I have the big workstation to use. Post-Christmas sales shopping anyone?!

There's been some big changes in my little scrapping world recently with the new subscription offerings at Pixels & Company and new (Meredith Cardall) and returning (Shirley Polk) designers; the opening of The Digital Press (and my new Creative Team assignment with Dawn Farias | Dawn by Design); getting re-acquainted with friends at Memory Scraps (MScraps) - and winning their challenge prize from November ... pretty cool. Sad to hear that My Scrapbook Art will be closing in January :(  Change can be tough, and I hate to see places close, but ultimately, I have to remember that scrapbooking is a business for many, and for some, their sole source of income. Me? I'm lucky to call it a hobby, something that I love to do. Change keeps us on our toes, right?!

To close, here's a little bit of eye-candy ... some of my recent pages from MScraps challenges this month. I'm putting my December Daily pages on my Facebook page, so you can find them on there - I'm taking Discover December with Kelly Sill class at Scrapaneers.

Happy Holidays!

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.