Thursday, August 30, 2007

I did it my own self! Here's the 1st digi page I did on my own - since taking this online course, that is:

(Scrap Night -Credits: pp - whitie tighties, Amy Teets; 12x12 overlay - Leora Sanford; flourish stamp - Michelle Coleman,; Stamp - Stamped Moments by KPertiet,; Tags - Noir Blanc by Tinkering Ink; Alphabet, Photo Frame - Jessica Sprague; Funky Flowers by JDesai at Dancing Lines)

I'm pretty happy with the way the page turned out. (For some reason, the pics look odd, but irl, they're fine.) But, I'm so totally happy with the way this online course is going. I'm learning SO much. And I decided to go ahead and download the free trial of PSE 5.0, so I'll be purchasing that, too, I suppose.

It's so still out. I mean, not a breeze, barely a sound. Summer is winding down. It's been a strange summer in a way. I've been totally happy being the boss of my own self and of my own time. I can't get over it. But you'd think that with not doing Fresh Air anymore and having the summer off (A.W., that is, i.e. after wedding) that we'd be lolling around at every beach and forest and grassy expanse, etc. Nope. In fact, we haven't been to World's End once this summer, as Chris pointed out the other day. We've just barely been swimming a few times. Not that it hasn't been hot enough... We did have our wonderful week up in Blackwell and also the family reunion (also in Blackwell), at least we did that. I think Chris has just had a ton of reviews to work on and I've been content as a little bee in my scrap room (or on the computer) and haven't bugged him to go anywhere! It's okay, but as summer is coming to an end, I find I'm not really ready to give it up just yet. Gotta make time for sure to squeeze out a few more summer activities. We have a few planned.

Tomorrow we're having a friend from my work at the college over - and her family - and we're going to have a hot dog roast. And we were planning to take the canoe out on Sunday afternoon, but now Chris's sister is having a get-together, and she does have a pool. And since we didn't do our annual Memorial Day Road Trip (again, the wedding) we're going to do a substitute Labor Day Road Trip. To HECK with gas prices, I say! We will be heading out to who knows where and capturing the last little bit of summer goodness.

Made reservations yesterday to go to Mom's for Thanksgiving. I figured since we were going to AZ for Christmas and both Chris and I haven't been to Mom's (together) this year, we would head out that way. She should be recovered pretty well from her shoulder surgery by then and it should be more of a "social" visit and less of a "nursing" visit. Hopefully! :)

Today is banking day. I guess I've put it off long enough. So off I go to drown myself in financial foo-fa-la for a few hours....

Monday, August 27, 2007

Here's another beautiful layout that I did as a result of the online digi scrapping class I'm taking. And another:

They are pretty gorgeous, aren't they? (If I do say so my own self!) Well, I can say so because, people, I'm only sticking photos and some journaling in these. The designs - the GORgeous designs - are already done by the very talented Jessica Sprague her own self!

But, I'm learning a LOT about Photoshop Elements (3). I mean, really a lot. Today, I pretty much spent the afternoon organizing all my digital elements onto that program. And I think it will be ever so much easier to see what I have and actually USE it (much as in real paper scrapping).

Chris and Dustin spent THE DAY golfing. They're just back (45 min. ago) and it's 6:30 p.m. Yep, that's a lot of golfing! Well, never fear! Someone around here DID do some actual housework around here today - if laundry counts as real housework. That person would be, of course, moi. I still have my journal page to work on this evening, so, back to finishing up my organizing!

This all equals a GREAT day for me! :)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Dustin babysat little Eva yesterday. (Dustin is dating a friends' daughter, who has a 3 year old - and we have known and loved them both from the time they were babies!) I do believe this was the first time Dustin was in charge of little Eva by himself for the whole day. I think it's really good experience for him since he's serious about this relationship. And I didn't want to "bail" him (not that he wanted us to, either), by taking over myself. So I just did my thing yesterday while he did his. Of course, Eva would come running in for hugs and cuddles from time to time and to see what Chris or I were doing or to show us something. But, other than that, it was ALL Dustin. And I have to say, he did just a marvelous job. I didn't detect even an iota of impatience or weariness. We decided to eat dinner out with (other) friends at one of our favorite little trashy restaurants (in a great country location), so before we left I thought perhaps I ought to impart just a little motherly wisdom by suggesting that Dustin change her and perhaps feed her a little something so she wouldn't be starving and cranky when we got there. Well, the boy had already done both things! *sigh* I'm so proud!

As it turns out, Eva fell asleep in the car and was cranky when we arrived anyway. But Dustin pretty much held her the whole time - when Chris wasn't taking her for a walk. She did great. Here's a pic of her enjoying her fries:

And, to change the subject completely, here's the latest layout I did.
The photo is from a couple falls ago when we were biking with the Delaney's (the very friends we ate dinner with last night). The layout is definitely not my normal style, but I wanted to play with the papers and play I did. It's wild, but it was fun! And that's part of the fun of scrapbooking; experimenting with your style and going out of your comfort zone from time to time to try new artistic avenues!

Well, after a week of absence, the sun is back out today. No more damp, dreary, CHILLY weather. In fact, there's a heat advisory out today - it's 90-something and VERY humid. Ugh. I hate this kind of weather more than any. And we were supposed to try out the new canoe on the river today. Sitting out in the sun, amplified by the reflection of the water, and to be working (as in rowing) does NOT appeal to me right now. Dustin and Chris and Gary can go, but I'm going to hunker down in my relatively cool house and do other things today... I mean, there's even a heat advisory out. I have validation. I can't breathe in this weather. Did I mention the heat advisory?

That's all my whining for now. I'm off to do some inside "work". :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I started my online PSE digi scrapping class yesterday. Here's what I made:

That's Martha's mom, Katy, on the page there. I love that photo of her, looking so pensive. (If you click on the photo of the page, you'll get it bigger and can then read the journaling.) Anyway, the class was awesome. I only dropped in the photo and added a few other elements.The page was pretty much already set up. (Doesn't Katy's outfit match perfectly?) :)

I've always been one to "trial and error" my way through software. I actually find that I learn a lot that way. Reading manuals is something I only rarely do - and then, only as a last resort. But Photoshop Elements has really been a challenge. You can't just figure stuff out, you really kind of have to know what you're doing. Yeah, I've gotten some manuals for PSE, but, as I said!

So it was great to find this class. It's very straightforward and full of little extra tips. Of course, you can use PSE for enhancing and editing photos, but since this class is given by a scrapbooker - a digital scrapbooker - it was right up my alley! I've done a wee tad of digi scrapping already, but I want to learn how to do the stuff necessary to produce some of the blow-you-away digi-scrapped pages I've seen. Stuff that just can't be done with paper scrapping.

The class is four weeks, so there will be much more to learn. And then a more in-depth class will be available after that...

I'm off to work on a page for my "mom's album" (inspiring pages I'm sending to my mom on a regular basis that she can then add to an album I've already given her...) I have a doctor's appointment (nothing special) this afternoon, at which time I'll mail all the layouts I've finished for the SIS Circle Journal I'm in. Can't wait to get all the pages for my own book back in the mail!


Monday, August 20, 2007

This is the cover I did for the new online journaling challenge site, This is Me. (Hence, the name of the journal!) :) I love how it turned out and I'm looking forward to checking out the first challenge, which I'll do in just a minute.

It's a quiet morning here. Chris and Dustin are out golfing. They may be back soon, though, because it's also raining. (Chris says it doesn't rain on the golf course. Heh.) I love the rain, though. It's gentle. We need it. It means we don't have to water. And when I hear about the drought and heat conditions down south. Ugh. Yes. I LOVE the rain and the fact that I have been wearing a long-sleeved shirt for the past three days. (Haven't given up on the flip-flops yet, though!)

Anyway, I do love it when I have the house all to myself. No. No parties. No loud music. I don't know, it's just meditative for me. No pressures (not that there are any with people home...) I have an online class to do and my first journal page to do and I love that I can just think without interruption and play my music if I want - or play nothing. My choices.

So off I go to dig in to the rest of the day!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I attended my first-ever scrapbook "crop" - here at my house! I have forever been wanting to have some of the teens from church (and anyone else interested) over to make these cute little matchbook mini's that BasicGrey puts out. I've done several and they're so fun and cute and easy to do. They come in a punch-out kit that consists of two double-sided sheets, so, like I said - EASY!

So, here are a few that attended (there were 7 of us all together):

And here's what we were making:

Mine is a Christmas theme, but the others' were much more "girly" (you can see the papers under my little book) - great for "friends", "family", etc. I brought out a bunch of my goodies to share, put on some tunes, set out the m&m's and we totally trashed the table and had a blast!

I've never had a desire to attend a crop before because 1) I work very slowly and 2) I want to have access to all my "stuff". So, having this at my house solved both of those issues. We had so much fun that everyone wants to come back and finish their books, so we'll do that in September.

I signed up for an online digital scrapbooking class here, not so much because I want to do digital scrapbooking, I do, but it's mostly because I want to learn better how to use Photoshop Elements. It's the OPPOSITE of Picasa (free from Google) as far as user-friendly and learning curve goes. Very complicated. Obviously, you can do way, way more with PSE than you can with Picasa. I've done a few digi layouts and I would like to learn how to really do the intricate ones. So that starts on Monday and I'm excited about that.

And, I signed up for a "me" (it's always all about me, isn't it?) scrappy-journal challenge that will give prompts/challenges twice a week. It's called This Is Me Journal Challenge. I really enjoy journaling, but sometimes (just like as on this blog), I just don't know what to talk about, Also, I want to challenge myself to work faster and to not obsess so much about my pages. While this isn't a scrapbook, per se (i.e. no pictures are really needed), I still tend to just THINK way too much and take too long!

I finished my circle journal pages for SIS and I'm going to scan/photograph them all this weekend and them send them all away on Monday. They're actually due on the 25th, but I don't want to be late. I'm sending all the pages to the organizer of the journal, who will take everyone's pages that she's received, sort them by the owner of the respective journal and then mail said pages to the rightful owner. In other words, when she gets all the pages from everyone that have been done for my own journal, she'll pack 'em up and send 'em to me.

So, I have to say, it will be sad to part with some of the layouts I've done. At least I will have an electronic version, but, I did put my heart into each one and I'm really happy with what I did, so I'm kind of attached to them. Some were really a blessing to do. I'm sure I'll post those on here for "all" to see...

It's a spectacular day out there in Muncy, PA today. The humidity is gone, my ankles are back to their normal size and it's so "cool" out, that the windows have been shut this a.m. But I think it's warming up now, so I'm off to fling 'em open, put on some tunes and scrap the cover of my journal! Happy weekend!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

So, we stopped at our favorite local farmstand yesterday to buy some fresh sweet corn. And here's what we found:

Not a soul in site, all the goodies done up in bags with prices posted and the cash box. Full of money. In plain sight.

I LOVE it! I love that I live in a place where, not only do you not have to lock your doors at night, but we rarely do at all. Really, only when we go on vacation or out of town for more than overnight. And we leave the keys IN the car - at home, anyway. Yeah, it's a small town. Okay, there's not that much to do around here. But that's okay - I'm a "type Z" personality, anyway. I like the slow pace. I like that no matter where you go, you're bound to know somebody. I like the fact that there's never any bad traffic. Heck, there's never any traffic at all! (Actually, I LOVE that little fact of life!)

So, does it disturb me that I must leave my hard-earned - okay, Chris's hard earned - money out in plain sight - stuck under a rock just beggin for someone to steal it? No - because I'm so happy that I live in a place where you can trust most people. And, for heaven's sake, if someone comes by to buy tomatoes or corn or peppers and feels it necessary to take an extra quarter or two - or the whole dang thing - then let 'em have it. I'm willing to donate to their destitute situation - or their hunger for an ice cream cone down the road - whatever. It's all for the good of living in the wonderful little town that I do...What I get to take away is the happy truth that I still live in a world where you can use the honor system!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

We had a lovely time in Blackwell at the family reunion. THIS is what we mostly did:

It was perfect swimming weather pretty much the whole time and this is just the greatest swimming hole. They are all on top of this huge rock that lies just under the surface. It's surrounded by a very deep creek bed. The water was super comfy, not too cold. Many of us (including moi) went snorkeling. Some jumped off the cliff, as seen here:

That's Dustin in mid jump. But almost everyone was in the water at some point. And when we weren't doing that, we were hanging out on the deck, painting rocks, riding bikes up into the canyon, reading, playing lawn games, or the family favorite, eating. It did end up raining Monday morning, but that just made it slightly easier to pack everything up and leave as planned.

It seemed a little more low-key this year. There were some people missing, most noteably, of course, was dad. I guess, also, with the kids being another year older, they weren't quite as noisy, wild, etc. So, it was nice. But - last night in my own bed - oh yeah, baby.

And we have now acquired the MOST ungodly hot, humid weather. UGH! When we came home yesterday, we opened up the house a bit because it was a little stuffy and actually cooler outside. But in the time it took to go see "Hairspray" (LOVED it), this super-oppresive humidity rolled in. Dang! So the house is again closed up for the day to try to keep it OUT!

Dustin has now moved back home, temporarily anyway. He had his last night of work at Russell's last night and today starts work at a restaurant in Hughesville. He's secured an apartment in H-ville, but can't get in until September 1st, so he'll be camping out here until then. That will be nice. And it will be SO great having him 10 minutes away as opposed to 50 minutes! (Especially as he doesn't yet have a vehicle!)

Now we only have to get M&M back to this area...and, unbelievably, it appears that they will be making that move next summer! I'm starting to allow myself to believe it a little bit. They, too, will be living with us for a time. I can't express in words how fantabulous this will be. Both boys together again AND right near US! WOOOOHOOOO! Ahem. I'm just trying to restrain the emotions until it's actually happening.

I've been away from my scrap room (and my circle journal projects) for 4 days now and I hear it calling my name....I still have 4 layouts to complete and have mailed by the 25th. Time is closing in. I'm off.

Friday, August 03, 2007

I've been creating! I can't stop! I don't want to stop!

I've noticed an interesting trend, too, which you can see in these last two layouts that I did. Well, it's interesting to ME anyway! I've been leaving scraps of papers and elements from the previous layout on my scrap table when I start the next project (because they're coming so fast - for me) and those pieces/elements are influencing, or making their way into, anyway, the next layout to come. For a while it was a green thing. Now I'm on a pink/orange thing. Notice the same alpha-letters in both layouts.

Tomorrow we head back up to Blackwell for our, probably, last Barlow family reunion. Dad B. always treated the fam to this and, now that he's gone, the sibs are using estate money to fund one last reunion. Now, it's not like we don't see each other often - we do. But not everyone all at once. And...even this time, not EVERYone is coming. The especially noteable person not in attendance will be, of course, Dad himself. We'll miss him...

It's supposed to be stinkin' HOT, too (as it is now...) which, up there, is EXCELLENT news! I'm gonna just keep my swim suit on and be ready to jump in that creek at any given moment because it cools you off for hours afterwards. Can't wait for that.

And Chris and I have another "coffee moment" planned one morning. We'll pack our bikes with coffee and nylon folding chairs and ride up into the canyon, find a nice place to look out and then sit down and enjoy a lovely cuppa joe. Wonderful way to welcome in the morning - which we will have to do EARLY to beat the heat!

I predict several trips to the Cedar Run G.S. for ice cream as well... I'm not bringing much to do - basically reading and photo taking. That's about all the heat will allow for me energy-wise (when not helping in the kitchen, etc.).

It's late. I'm mostly packed, but have a few things to get together in the morning so I think I'll actually hit the hay!

Ah, Dustin has arrived. Chris went down to pick him up after his work. Let the reunioning begin!