Saturday, June 24, 2006

A Little Bit More on Digital Scrapbooking

A FREE online mini-course! I am in the process of checking it out now, but it looks so fun and I am so excited, I just had to share it! And don't forget that Digital Scrapbooking Place has TONS of FREE tutorials!! I had not looked at the tutorials in a while, so it was neat to see NEW STUFF since the last time I was there (almost a year ago). They even havea beginners section in the tutorials.

Anyone doing the digital scrapbooking?? Let me know! I would LOVE to see YOUR gallery!! (Have I convinced you yet Lori?!? )

Cool things you can do with digital scrapbooking!

But first, some answers to scrapbooking questions. IF you want the cool ideas, scan down this blog entry.

I use Adobe Photoshop CS2 (just recently upgraded from version 7).

How to organize everything? I first unzip everything. Then I take the preview image and make that the image of my folder. It helps a little to be able to see what is inside the folder. When I want something I use SPOTLIGHT (a program that searches through all my files).

So for the little Ducky Butt layout, I wanted some ducks. I searched using spotlight for "duck" and I only had two. Both showed up at fairly good sized images (so I was able to see a small version of what they looked like before opening it). That is the GREAT thing about Spotlight, it shows images that are about the size of the thumbnail images I show on the right hand side of my blog of my newest additions to my scrapbook. When I want a background, but not sure what color I want, I search for "BG" which is short for background and most designers will name their background files BG. T hen I scan through all the thumbnail images until I find one that matches the picture(s) I want to scrap. Then I open the folder of that kit and use that kit to do my layout.

Sometimes I want something that doesn't belong to the kit (like a ducky or a brad or something). Then I just search for the word of whatever I am looking for (like "brad" for example). Then I find the brad in the thumbnail images that would look best with the kit I am using.

Don't forget to give credit in your layout comments for each thing you used (where you got your word art, your background, your elements, etc.). I create a font layer in my program where I list all of that and just keep it hidden. That way it is kept with the file and I don't have to try to remember where I got everything from.

Anyways, onto the fun!

OK, now for some COOL THINGS you can do with digital scrapbooking!
Some of these have a cost, and some don't, but ALL are COOL!!

Scrapbook in a Box

CD Album (great for kids and a GREAT way to use up all those free AOL CD's you get in the mail!)

Personalized Desk calanders (or checkbook covers or those $2 purse calanders you get from Walmart)

You might have seen these matchbooks, but you can customize it to your liking, print, cut and glue!

Make a key chain with layouts! Just resize your larger ones to a smaller size, laminate, and put on keychain!

Or better yet, for Grandma, or even yourself, make this cute little brag braclet!

Make bookmarks for each individual child with layouts you have done OF them!

Put your layouts on a magnet for your fridge or grandma's!

For the man in everyon'e life, a little brag book is just the thing!

And what better way to personalize those DVD home movies than a DVD case cover and DVD cover?!?!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

What Is In A Kiss?

I just cannot stop kissing the baby. The girls can't stop kissing him either.

But each time I kiss him, I can tell he has no idea what a kiss is or the meaning behind it. There is no smile (like he is starting to smile back at us when we smile at him). There is no recognition in his eyes that he feels loved.

And yet I know (from the fact that my girls LOVE to kiss him and to kiss me and Daddy), that by kissing him now, he will come to know the love behind it.

And that is not to say that I have stopped kissing them now that they are older. My 6yr may not get quite as many kisses as she did when she was a baby, but she gets a plethora of them for sure!!

I am not quite sure why a kiss shows so much love. I am just glad it does because I love kissing my children!!

Also, my dear freind Brenda has broken her foot. She has 8 children and cannot "stay off it for three weeks" as the doctors have told her to. Please take a visit over to her blog and say a prayer for her. THANKS!

Monday, June 19, 2006

A Scrapping We Will Go

Lori, yes I laminate at home. My husband bought a laminator a while back at Joann's for 50% off. SO we only paid $70 instead of $140. You can bind at home too, but I have not bought a biinder yet. I actually got the idea for doing this from my friend Brenda. She prints out her magazines and laminates the front and back covers and then binds them. She bought the binder at SAM's I believe. It is a spiral binding.

Her magazines looked so nice. She also does this with small little booklets. Helps them to hold up longer. She said she also does this with her children's school work for the year. WHAT A GREAT IDEA! (Brenda - you have so many great ideas that you should share on your blog with us all! I am sure there are a hundred more I have never thought of yet or heard you speak of yet! :D )

SO more about Digital Scrapbooking. Firstly, I just printed out my newest layout (Little Prince - link on right hand). The kit is made wit hte freebie "Simplicity" that you can get rom DSP. The little "beloved" charm looks 3-D! It looks so real! Like real metal!! AMAZING! But as you pointed out Lori, you can COMBINE digital and paper scrapping!!

I made a layout for the sonogram of our son. I did not have a scanner to scan in the pictures, so I made the whole layout on the computer, printed it out and put the picture of the sonogram where it belonged.

You can also embelish your layouts with REAL embellishments. Use real stickers. Or real ribbon. Or real metal elements. That would give it the feel and look of real. Lots of people combine the two. (Sorry Lori, you were not the first to think about it, but KUDOS for thinking about it at all!) :D

Another nice thing about digital scrapbooking is you only have to buy one kit and can do a whole album. When I did my Grand Canyon scrapbook, I had never heard of digital scrapbooking. In fact, all our pictures were prints (although we did buy a CD with the pictures on them). It cost a fortune to buy the same sheet 25 times, plus all the stickers, etc. With digital scrapbooking, I could have bought one kit and made 25 pages!!

AS for kits, it is like walking into a scrapbook store that has put together papers and elements and ribbons and all that match and go perfectly together. Here is an example:

I am not sure if you are not a member of DSP if you can click on the image above or not.

This freebie kit comes with three papers, 3 ribbons (one in a bow, one straight and long and one curled one), a staple, screws, 2 tags and more.

This really is as easy as it sounds. NO html required! Just a photo editing program (like Adobe Photoshop) (btw - there are free ones out there, but you are limited with what you are able to do), pictures, and creativity.

You also will want to grab up all those freebies too! There are kits (like above), and ploppers and so much more. Ploppers are a GREAT way to get started because all you have to do it load the .png file for the plopper into your photo editing software, add a picture, and you are done! The plopper has all the papers and elements already placed on it. Here is an example of a plopper:

The pictures are the only thing added! Everything else (the little red brads over the picture, the papers, the "fun" buttons) is all there and waiting for pictures! You don't have to think about design principles because everything is already placed for you. You just need to resize your pictures to fit in the alloted space.

As for me, the creativity and learning HOW to use the program were the hurdles I had to overcome. The more pages I created, the better I became at using the program (there ARE free tutorials at DSP that were of a GREAT help to me in getting started). There is also a class you can take (pay for) at DSP that will help you to better learn how to use your program. The class are good, and the attention you get to help you is invaluable. I have not taken the class because everytime I want to learn how to do something, I just ask my husband (it is like having a live-in instructor!). But I have take nthe class on making your layouts POP and was VERY pleased.

I also joined in a LOT of the challenges. With each challenge I have joined, I have grown in my creativity and knowledge of what makes a good layout. I started out with the monthly sketch contest, and am currently working on the DET Boot Camp Challenge. Both are free to join, you don't have to purchase a kit to participate, and you get lots of CC (contructive criticism) on how to improve. Of course you get TONS of encouragement too. Everyone there is SO NICE!

Holding On

What is your first instinct when you are scared? Mine is to usually run away and hide. Maybe that is because I have a knowledge of good and evil (Adam and Eve hid too, remember?).

I was looking at my son just now. Something really scared him and the first thing he did was reach out his arms and HOLD ONTO me. TIGHT! He is only one month old, and yet his first reaction is to hold on. I wonder when we lose that.

My other children (6yr, 4yr and 3yr) all run and hide now. Maybe they learned that from me.

But I started thinking. When I am scared, I try to run away. Maybe I should try holding on. Holding onto Jesus. And holding on tight.

And I wonder if in some sense we always try to hold onto something when we are scared. It worries me that if I don't train my children to hold onto Jesus now, that when they get older and reach out to hold onto somehting when they are scared, they might just grab a hold of the wrong thing. Evil is always seeking a way to pull us away from Him. Just some thoughts.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

You Can't Go Wrong...

There are very few people who I trust when they recommend a book to me. Most of the time, the book is fluff (or "milk") in order to have a wider reading audience and not to offend anyone. I like books that are meaty and really challenge me in my walk with the Lord.

Enter OreoSouza.

Her latest recommendation is a book I have thought about ordering for my husband (we just had our first son). I have ordered other books she has recommended and have not been steered wrong since! Be sure to look through past entries in her blog for other book recommendations.

And while I have not seen any book recommendations on Brenda's blog, she too is one that I highly trust. I am so thankful to live close enough to be able to borrow a few of them, but most of them I am just gonna HAVE to buy so I have my own copy!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Answering YOUR Questions About Digi Scrapping

WOW! I am so glad to see there is such an interest!!

Hip - I laughed so loud at how proud your ButterBean was to "unstick" all those pages! LOL!! I never even thought of that as just one more benefit to digital scrapbooking!

Paper scrapbooking used to overwhelm me too. I am not sure why digiscrapping relaxes me! Maybe because it is I don't have to try so hard. Especially with all the free kits out there you don't have to worry about getting colors to look good together. Everything that comes together goes together! And there are a LOT of sketches out there (that show you how to place pictures). That is something I am just not good at.

I love being able to resize a picture (something you cannot do without paying for it when you are doing paper scrapping). If you look at my online scrapbook you can see that I rarely use a picture in the size that it normally prints (4x6).

I also like how little time it takes to do a layout now. I can can get several digital layouts done in the time it used to take me to do one.

As I said before, my layouts look 100 times better digital than they ever did on paper. Of course it did take a little while to get there. My first attempts looked pretty much like my paper ones did - AWFUL! But I so wanted to scrap so I would have a memory to pass on with the picture. I look at my moms and grandmother's pictures and even they don't remember who or where about 90% of the pictures.

Another thing I like about digiscrapping is that when I get an idea, I can make a template on the computer and then just plop in the photos. It takes a whole lot less time to crop an image on the computer than to crop one in real life. AND it comes out PERFECT everytime on the computer! LOL! I could never crop perfectly for the life of me! Even with the cutter! AND I can cut into several different shapes WITHOUT having to purchase a hundred different shape cutters!

As for the FEEL, if you were to rub your hands over it, it would feel just like paper. BUT as for the LOOK, there are times I catch myself rubbing my fingers over the ribbon in a layout because it looks 3-D!!
This is an example of a layout that I often do that to:

Click on picture for larger image.

That was made with a freebie kit I got from DSP. It may not look 3-D on the computer, but printed out, those ribbons look like they have texture and feel to them!!

I am not sure it is creating little web pages or little computer pages. It is all one big image made up of little images (pictures that I have taken, papers that someone has made, alphas that someone has made, etc.). All the pages really do look like layouts you would see in a magazine.

One of the great things about digital scrapbooking is you can do a digital layout (something you cannot do with paper). The image above is considered a paper layout. The image below is considered a digital layout:

Click on picture for a larger image.

I do print out my pages. I scrap in 12x12in but because I print my own, I print them out at 8x8. You can also buy a printer that prints 12x12 or send them off to Kinko's or Costco. I did not think I would like the 8x8in size, but I DO!! It is so cute! And it doesn't distract from the page at all. I buy 8x8in albums from JoAnn's and Hobby Lobby when they are having their 50% off sales. I have printed out all of my layouts, and my girls frequently look through them. The smaller 8x8in also is great for smaller hands!

I have even printed out the layouts in 4x4in (that is the great thing about digital scrapbooking, is you can shrink your layout down) and given them to the girls to play with as they wish. You can laminate them and punch a hole in them and put them on a lanyard for them to wear around their neck!

One other great thing about doing your layouts digitally is that you can put them all into a slideshow, add some music and burn it onto a CD or DVD! Makes a GREAT gift!

Well, I hope I answered all your questions. I will be HAPPY to answer any more. As you can tell, this is one of my favorite subjects!

Be sure to check out my online gallery to see samples of what can be done. And while there, take a look around at what others are doing. You will be amazed at what people are doing!! My layouts pale in comparission to most!

Oh yeah, one more thing. When you sign up for membership (FREE) at DSP, you get a free kit. Be sure to sign up for their newsletter. Their newsletter has freebies that you can ONLY GET through the newsletter.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Family Drawing Time

I have been really into crafts lately (trying to find some great things to do for training my daughters to be keepers at home). I came across a GREAT idea of a family drawing time!

I don't know why I never thought of this. I mean, I have always heard of family reading time. And recently I have wanted to start giving the children paper and crayons to color what they are learning/hearing while we are reading (partly so I know that they are listening, and partly to get them in the habit of listening, and partly so that I have some proof for the state of schooling).

How cool is THIS? Backyard camping!!

WOW!! I came across this link for The Great American Backyard Campout! WHAT a fun and easy way to do the camp thing. There are tons of great ideas for backyard camping. I always thought you had to go to the state park to do real camping, but this site helps you have just as much fun in your own back yard! (Which is GREAT for the new momma who does not want to go camping with the new baby and can sleep inside with him and not have to worry about a crying baby upsetting the wonderful nature of the outdoors for others who are camping).

I Forgot!

It amazes me how often my kids "forget" a rule. Everytime I catch them doing something or being somewhere they are not supposed to, I hear the whiny "BUT I FORGOT!"

I recently started being consistant with consequences for actions. Even the little ones that I used to let go or think it was no big deal. How many times I have ____ God's word by thinking "it is no big deal if I do this, it is just a small thing." There are no "little" things to God. His world is full of laws. Black and white. And each time I break one, no matter how small (that little white lie I told to make someone feel better) quenchs the Spirit just a little bit more and more. And because there seems to be no immediate consequences, it becomes easier and easier to "forget" those laws.

So now each and every break of the "laws" that hubby and I have set up (like remembering to close the screen door when going in or outside) have a consequence. Leave the door open, and you must stay inside. I just told them this, and they have come in and out sevreal times, and AMAZING! They remembered to close the screen door!

I cannot wait to apply this to other areas of discipline.

Space is Dark

We had received free tickets to the Museum so Saturday we were off! It was about an hours drive to get there, and we had no idea the parking would be so horrid! But thankfully, God provided a parking space (and in the shade too!!!). We exchanged our vouchers for tickets and walked into the first exhibit - space. There was a simulation of Mars going on (woman in space suit and everything). We sat down and heard her talk for about 2 minutes when the power went out in the entire building!

The space suit was cool because you could see the little lights coming from the space suit to light up wherever she looked. We sat there and just waited for about 5 minutes until we were told to leave the area.

Then we waited in the hall with hundreds of others for about 10 minutes. Then we were told to evacuate the building. That took about 30 minutes (even though we were only 2 minutes from the door). While trying to get out the fire alarms went off. People did start moving a little faster, but not much. So we finally get outside, and 7 fire trucks arrive! WOW!

So they are telling everyone to come back a different day - get your tickets stamped and don't even bother waiting around because who knows when the power will be back on. So we get into our car and have to wait 20 minutes before someone FINALLY lets us out. Rather than waiting in that line, we head the oppostie direction and get out of the parking lot in only 5 minutes (compared to who knows how long it would have taken had we gone the direction everyone else was).

So we goto McDonald's (they have Pirates of The Carribean toys and I just HAD to get my Johnny Depp doll!!) and while there my husband asks the girls what they learned today. He expected an answer having to do with fire trucks or something. EE (4yr) replied "Space is dark." Yep. Space is dark honey.

Monday, June 12, 2006

The Right Perspective

SO we are trying really hard to clean up and get the house ready to sell (more on that later), and I want to make sure that all the games and puzzles have all their pieces. I had asked my oldest to put together one of the puzzles and she did and left it out on the table so that as we found pieces we would be able to see that it went with that puzzle.

My 3yr old woke up from her nap and came downstairs while we were cleaning. She proudly handed the puzzle box to me with the puzzle all cleaned up! LOL!

Now, the old me would have said "Oh sweetie! We needed that puzzle out, why did you clean it up?!" But how that would have wounded her spirit! Instead, I said "Oh sweetie, what a great job cleaning up and I didn't even have to ask you to! HIGH FIVE!" (high five's are our way of saying "great job.") She got the biggest grin. And I know that I am encouraging her to clean up.

I read today on one of my new favorite blogs about habits. I love what Lori said about how little "chores" can become habits (like putting things away when we are done with them, wiping the kitchen counter after dinner, etc.). I highly encourage you to read her blog and the links from her page. WELL worth it!

And I encourage you (as the Lord has been growing me and showing me lately) to get a good perspective on things. Remember to look at the positive in the situation! You might just be encouraging a lifelong habit (like seeing something that needs cleaning up and cleaning it up instead of just stepping over it!). LOL!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Digital Scrapbooking

As most of you prolly already know, I am an avid digital scrapbooker! I used to do the paper style, but it was SO EXPENSIVE! And because I did not have a lot of money to spend on stickers and ribbons and paper (OH MY!), my layouts just did not look good.

But with DIGITAL scrapbooking, not only are there TONS of freebies out there, but the kits are really cheap (only $3.99 for papers and ribbons and elements and such). Then you get to REUSE THE KIT! You don't have to worry about buying stickers only for one sticker and having the clutter of keeping all those other stickers just because you paid for them.

You also don't have to worry about leaving everything out because you are in the middle of a layout. You don't have to worry about the kids messing with your papers or worse SCISSORS!

My digital layouts look 100 times better than my paper ever did. Mostly because I have not had to spend a lot of money to make it look that way. And what is great (besides saving a TON of money) is that when it comes to my daughters moving out and wanting some of the pages from my scrapbook, I can just print them out their own copy! So each child can have their own book, with their own pictures AND if a picture has all of them in it, I can print out a copy for each child to put in their own book. My girls LOVE looking through my scrapbook! For Christmas, I am giving each child their own scrapbook with their own pictures! I will print out more layouts for them as I make them and if it gets torn up, NO WORRIES! I can always print out another copy!!

I recently came across this GREAT free link for podcasts on how to digiscrap!

Out of all the places out there that you can subscribe to that are free (as a place to post your layouts, learn about how to make layouts, and get lots of freebies), I must admit that Digital Scrapbook Place is my favorite. WHY? First of all, I notice that there are a LOT of Christians there. They have a faithbook challenge and you can find a LOT of layouts with scripture in them. Secondly, they are all so nice and friendly. VERY quick to respond with an answer and encouragement. Not only that, but they have a TON of FREE tutorials to get you started. They have a "Step-It-Up" gallery where you can post your layout and ask for help on how to make it look better.

Your gallery is free, AND you can set up a PRIVATE album (for FREE), and you can create other albums (for FREE). So much free stuff here it is not even funny! LOL!!

If you join DSP, please do let them know lvg4him referred you. And PLEASE LET ME KNOW your username. Post it here for others to see. The neat thing about DSP is you have your OWN LINK to your gallery. It is your . So be sure to share your LINK to your gallery!! So my gallery is:

You can see it and the updates by clicking on the PICTURES link on the right hand side of my blog.

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Picture Time

OK. So my good friend over at Renaissance has posted some pictures of her CUTE son in the cutest outfit. So you know I gotta share one of mine.

Clean Home

How to clean your home in 19 minutes!

What a fun idea!

What a GREAT idea!

So my daughter has been so enjoying the books that I have been making her. But she discovered something a while back that I forgot to share until I was remembered of it watching a video my husband made for me of a recent homeschool speech.

My daughter had taken a realyl cheap photo album (like the ones you can find at Goodwill for $1). It held 20 4x6 photos. She created a picture and put one in each slot. Then she told a story with the pictures! She had made her own picture book.

The speaker (Judith Allee) suggested that you write on one page what they dictate to you. And to not only have a cover, but an "About the Author" page. What a NEAT idea! She would give the created books to Grandparents as gifts. What a great idea!! And what a fun way to see the children and how the grow (with each About the Author page.

Friday, June 2, 2006

Spelling Bee Musings and Homeschool finds!

So, who else never thought that a spelling bee could be so addictive?!?! I tuned in and could not stop watching!! I got so nervous. And then when the network did NOT put up the spelling (so I could make sure that they were spelling it correctly) I got so upset! LOL!! And that sweet girl who spelling the word correctly, was told she spelt it wrong, and then got a second chance because the judges realized that they had the word spelling incorrectly on their sheet? AMAZING!

But I must admit, I was really hoping that sweet little girl from Canada would win. She was ALWAYS SMILING! Did you notice that? The girl who won - I never saw her smile until she won. I know it was most likely nerves, but I liked the fact that even while nervous, the little Canadian girl kept smiling.

So today they had a HUGE used curriculum sale at a local church. (Can you believe I got Pre-Math-It, Math-It, Math-It Advanced, Winston Grammer, Winstom Grammer Advanced) all for $65!! What a blessing!! The lady (and her husband) were so sweet (and so generous)!! I will be going through all my finds and writting up reviews (for those who are interested).