Friday, September 28, 2007

Tricks N Treats - Halloween ATCs

Halloween ATCs are fun to make and send to friends. They are also great as party favors. Every year I host a Witches Tea for my neices and when I saw Jay's Tricks N Treats kit, it hit me that I could make Halloween ATCs as party favors. (The girls always have a goodie bag at their place setting at any of our teas.)

These ATCs were made from Tricks N Treats by Alabama Stone Thrower Creations (ASTC). The kit can be found at Tina Williams Designs store here:

After making a few ATCs, I decided I'd like envelopes for them so created a template which I'll share here. I roughly freehanded this in PSE 4.0 and used one of Jay's papers. (It looks much better really; my ink is running out.) When you print the envelope, you want to be sure to size it to 6.5" across and 5.25" down. This allows for a roomy envelope into which you can tuck your ATC, and something else small like stickers, or gum. The template laid flat is below.

To put together, fold in the long sides so that it looks llike this and glue or tape the seam.
Then fold up the bottom flap, and secure with glue or tape, like this:

This is the back view. Tuck in your ATC and treat, fold the flap in and watch the smiles.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Oops! Forgot to provide the link to Serendipity

Here is the link to Serendipity by Cathie (at Scrapbookersplayground):

The latest layouts

I love making digital calendar pages! I'd collected a few templates from Rina Kroes but would forget to check back and when I did, her blog wasn't available. Don't know if she ever finished her series or where to find them. However, dear HilmaRose was also trying to reach Rina about the calendar series and when she got no response, began to develop templates of her own. For September 2008, I used Rina's top template and HilmaRose's bottom template.

My husband's birthday is in September so he stars in this page set. Cathie's Harmony kit had lots of pretty blues (DH's favorite color) to use and even a "saphhire" jewel for the month's birthstone.

You can find Cathie's kit here at Scrapbooker'sPlayground:

Below is an all occasion card created from the same kit using the mosiac template by DorothyCreations.

Citrus Memories by AMB Designz provided the sunny bright papers and elements for this layout featuring vintage images of children enjoying the outdoors.

Here is Citrus Memories again in a layout for a vintage image.

Find Citrus Memories by AMB Designz here at ScrapbookersPlayground:

Recent Layouts

Here's a New Year's card to which a photo can be added. I used Happy New Yerar by Sassy Designs from ScrapbookersPlayground to make this. The streamers and crown were cut from papers using shapes in PSe 4.0.

Here's the link to Sassy's kit:

This layout for photos from a New Year's gig my husband did for the Knights Of Columbus uses the same kit. Streamers for the tag and the musical notes were cut from papers using shapes in PSe 4.0

I had fun cutting papers from Cathie's Serendipity with Christine's Curves to create a water effect. Cathie's hanging frames await development of summer photos of my grandson.

Here is a layout again using Serendipity from Cathie to showcase photos of my step-daughter and grandson taken the summer of 2000.

Weekly writing prompts -- late!

Sorry to be late with these.

* Freewrite: Most people never get there . . .
* Freewrite: I wish I could remember . . .
* I dread . . .
* Things I want to do before I die . . .
* Use the following as the first line of a short story. Remember, you don't have to finish the story; just see what you can start. "I must speak to you."

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Meet A Real SKrapper!

SKrapper Digitals

Sherah of SKrapper Digitals had no problem at all coming up with a name for her digital graphics company. The seventh of nine children, Sherah was born three months premature at a mere three pounds, three ounces. She was so small and fragile, her parents - especially her father - were anxious about her survival. However, the first time Sherah's father gave her a bottle, he was impressed by how forcefully she gulped it down. His tiny daughter demonstrated to him with that simple survival skill that she was going to be, in his terms, a real "scrapper" - someone who would fight hard to do what she wanted to do and would overcome obstacles to meet her goals. Throughout her lifetime, Sherah would hear this numerous times. So when it came time to take a chance on marketing her digital designs, the company had to be Scrapper Digitals. Because her first name begins with "S" and the initial of her married name is "K," Sherah decided to change the spelling of "scrapper" a bit making the name SKrapper Digitals.

This young designer grew up in the suburbs, the daughter of a preacher. When she was younger, she wanted to be an interior designer, but did not follow through on this dream in terms of a career. While she has never had any formal art training, Sherah has always loved to draw and dabble in various arts and crafts. When she was pregnant with her first child, she decided to make a scrapbook for the baby and discovered digital scrapbooking. As soon as she realized she could make her own papers and elements in Photoshop, she was off and running with it. Once a freelance photgrapher, Sherah has been playing with some type of photo-editing software for about eight years.

In May of 2007, Sherah officially made the leap into digital designing using Photoshop 7.0. She describes her style as ecclectic. The beauty she finds in nature is one of the major influences in her work. Her interest in interior design, historical events, and her friends and family provide further inspiration. An optomistic person who loves about every type of arts and crafts, Sherah loves to sing, to laugh, to bring a smile to others. This too is evident in her work as you will see when you visit her blogs:

Currently, her kits are for sale at the following locations: &

When she isn't designing, you will find Sherah, a belliever in happy endings working on a dream with her husband. They have purchased a piece of land that used to be an auto junkyard and are spending their spare time cleaning it up so that one day it can become a "farm/garden/orchard." If it can be done, this talented Skrapper will do it.

What a week & a freebie too

It was a long week - DH's B'day, doctor visits, CT obligations, housework, yada, yada. This week is going to be more productive! Only one doctor appointment, Ct obligations will be up-to-date before I go to bed tonight, the house is a bit tidier, and I'm feeling a little better. That's a good start.

In minutes, I'm going to post my artist-of-the-week - a sweet young designer whose working is very promising. I hope people reading about her will go check out her work and perhaps she'll make a few more sales as more people discover her.

But first, I want to give you all a little something for stopping by. I'm finishing up my Halloween kit, so I thought you might like this vintage Halloween Dresden to add to your spooky layouts.

If you have any problems with the link or any comments, I'd appreciate hearing from you.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

White and BLue and Babies Too

Isn't the expression on this child's face precious? She looks much like my step-daughter did at that age. I'd been wanting to use this image and when I got a chance to create layouts for "Lynn" by J3 Designs (Scrapbookersplayground) the opportunity came. When I saw the pillow in "Lynn," I knew I wanted to put a baby on it. Couldn't find the type of photo I wanted and then I saw this little guy and said, why not? The girl's expression seeemed to go along.

My Baby's Nearly 30! - Lynn by J3 has a sweet blue roses paper that reminded me of a flannel gown my son had as a baby. The blue striped paper looks mature, so they seemed made for a then & now page. Frames are cut from a paper.

Thinking Ahead To St. Patrick's Day

It never hurts to think ahead, does it? I had the opportunity to play with The Luck Of The Irish by Sassy Designz (Scrapbookersplayground) and decided it was time to make my March 2008 calendar pages. This kit, which you can find here:

has a wide variety of papers and embellishments to play with. I couldn't resist creating some St. Patrick's Day postcards too. In the second postcard below, I made a rainbow transparency to add to the card and in the third, I used a vintage image.

Now don't you want to start making your holiday cards for next year?

The late again blogger posts Writing Prompts

Some easy ones for you this time:

* Freewrite from this 10-15 minutes: Birds swallowing crumbs on a wet porch . . .

* Write about gossip or make up gossip about yourself.

The two prompts below might be opening lines for a story or could be used for freewrites.
* The rain must fall . . .

* Until the last moment . . .

* Here's one I wrote: When watching TV (or movie) jot down an interesting line you hear. Use it as an opening line for the beginning of a short story. Or use it to free write for 10-15 minutes.

Please feel free to write in and share your responses to any of the prompts.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Looking For Digital Designs With A Warm Heritage Feel?

Once you discover Tina WIlliams Designs, you may not look further. The on-line digital scrapbooking store with this name is a treasure trove for those wanting papers and elements for their heritage pages. However, don't stop reading if you're not especially interested in heritage or vintage scrapbook materials. If you like whimsical, fantasy, Christian art, or the shabby, grungy look, you will find it here.
I met Tina through Blushbutter's Yahoo group and was impressed immediately by two things: her warmth and willingness to help others and her creative energy. Tina came to my aid when I was just learning Photshop Elements 4.0 and had never used a layered template. I asked the members of Blush's group for help and Tina responded quickly. She not only told me about the tutorials she has on her blog but sent me links to the ones on templates. Not half an hour later, I'd made my first page using a template and felt I'd found a new friend.

You might be wondering what sort of background Tina has in art and design; I know it's something I always think about. It turns out that although she does some sewing and did arts and crafts with her children, Tina has no formal training in art or design. She is self-taught and a quick learner as evidenced by the fact that she made her first digital layout in January of 2004 and less than a month later was designing! When you browse through Tina's designs, you'll quickly see that they are by no means simple or run-of-the-mill. What you will find are well thought out and executed, high quality theme kits where much attention has been paid to detail. For instance, in her very popular Grandma series, Tina provides a wide range of papers, beautiful trims, a number of frames and other basics, and wonderful accent pieces for embellishment such as vintage trunks, home furnishings and personal articles. The combination of these elements makes for warm, intimate feeling heritage pages.

What? You don't feel you're very good at arranging complex layouts? You might want to take one of Tina's classes. She can teach you the basics of layering, cropping photos, adding journaling to your pages, and will have you creating your first album in no time. There are also more advanced classes available through her store. Want to start designing for yourself? Tina has a class for that too and a new line of products for commercial use. As a satisfied customer, I can tell you Tina's products are among the finest I've purchased.

Of course, you don't need to go through Tina's store to learn something from her. Pay her blog a visit:

There you will find a large number of tutorials, some of Tina's layouts, news of her new products and sales,and links to sites she recommends. Very often you will find beautiful gifts Tina has posted for her readers. You don't want to miss those, do you? As a matter of fact, I happen to know that Tina has just posted a lovely freebie for you!

Here's the preview:
Check back often and don't forget to look in the right hand column for the link to her Yahoo group. Join and Tina will give you a free kit! You'll meet a great group of scrappers and soon you'll be involved in some fun projects.

And remember, check back on Tina's blog often. I've just learned that she will soon be launching a couple of new lines - a heritage line called "Great Aunt Edna" and a Faith Based line. Take a look at the recent preview below to get some idea of what her Christian or Faith Based art is like:

Good Morning! I have a freebie for you.

It's morning here in Norfolk - just 1:39am. I think I'm finally going to be able to go to sleep in a minute but first I wanted to set up a freebie for you as I suspect many of you will be up and on-line before I get back out of bed.

Today's freebie is a set of deco flowers based on some vintage stud earring surrounds. (I know there's another word for this but can't think of it.) You'll find sets of 2 in 4 colors. To fill the centers, I've given you 4 different beads that you can mix or match. They show as larger than what you'll need so you can see them better. Just re-size to please yourself.

Download here:

Let me know if you like them, please.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Layouts for Summer Spectacular by Janette Padley

This paper from Summer Spectacular by Janette of Dragon Lair Designs is so pretty, I didn't want to add much - the decorated frame sets off a vintage phots and a simple ribbon and tab are all that's needed.

The beautiful papers of Summer Spectacular by Janette of Dragon Lair Designs were so much fun to play with! I cut and created an envelope from which I could spill her filmstrip frames and made a sheet of notepaper using a piece of paper overlaid with the journaling element. So many possibilities here!

Sure hope my son won't mind that I used the photos he sent me of him and his friend, Sara.

Link to Summer Spectacular by Jannette:

Summer Seranade layouts

I'd collected a number of the 2008 calendar templates by Rina so decided to give it a try. Robin Ackler's Summer Serande See link below) provided a good variety of coordinated papers. I tried hand tinting the vintage image - first time - and think it came out okay. Now I'd like to do pages for the rest of next year!

Billy Went Wading - This striped paper in Summer Seranade by Robin Ackler reminded me of a sunsuit my son had as a little boy, so it seemed perfect as focal paper in a layout for this little guy from the 40's. I used Template etolee by Digiscrap. Font is Korinna.

Link to Summer Serande by Robin Ackler:

Here is some of my recent work using Ivory & Jade Elegance by Terri's Treasures

All 4 of these ATCs were created from Ivory & Jade Elegance by Terri's Treasures at ScrapbookersPlayground. Upper left: vintage image from magazine cover. Upper right: vintage image and snippits of lace. Lower left: vintage image, art deco (gold) lady from Sophisticated Ladies & beads by KatScrapps @ Scrapbookersplayground. Lower right: gold celtic medallion by Celtic Clipart UK & angels from Dover's Celtic Clipart.

Ivory & Jade Elegance by Terri's Treasures of ScrapbookersPlayground was used to create this card based on template#50 byRenaeNicks. Image in frame is public domain from an old give-away calender. Cross on boolmark from Dover's Celtic Clipart

Link to Ivory and Jade Elegance by Terri's Treasures:

I wasn't a good blogger this week. Sorry.

Sometimes things just don't come together and that's how it was this week. Didn't post new writing prompts (although I'm not sure anyone cares anyway), had a glitch with my planned interview, yada, yada.

Here's the plan for the coming week. Sunday, if all goes well, you will find an article about Tina Williams, and a freebie - maybe even two.

I'm going to wait and post writing prompts on Monday. This week I'm also going to post at least one of my responses to a prompt in hopes of getting some of you to do the same.

This week I will be checking in with Barb, Candee, and Sherah re planned interviews.

Will post most recent layouts which include pages, ATCs, and calendar pages.

Will do a message about what I'm reading. Hope some of you will write in to recommend what you're reading too.

Have 3 days where I'll be running to doctor appointments so probably won't be posting those days.

Will try to set up a slide show.

Friday, September 7, 2007

This week's writing prompts

* He found a package of seeds in his coat pocket . . .

* How easy it is to get . . .
Freewrite 10-15 minutes from this.

* In the nighttime heat of . . .

* Freewrite 10 minutes from this prompt: "Go away!"

* This one is for those of you who write stories. Break your story idea down into 3 sentences of 3 words each. This will give you a beginning, middle, and end to help understand the structure. By choosing 3 verbs, you force yourself to consider the 3 parts of the action. Ex.: Cinderella can't go. She goes anyway. Cinderella gets Prince.


I've been tagged!

When I started checking messages lst night, I saw that Chrysti tagged me to tell you 6 quirky things about myself. Since there are so many, this shouldn't be too hard.

1) I'm friends with my ex-husband. Most people find that strange but we've known each other since we were 5 and share a son, so after the initial adversarial behavior when we agreed to divorce, we got back to where we can be friends and really mean it.

2) I have brain damage -- oh stop laughing! I'm serious; I really do. I've got problems with my equilibrium that is not related to inner ear problems. This is coming from damage to my central nervous system - brain stem area- following an MVA. Had been managing it pretty well and even doing a good job of ignoring the looks I get when I'm not compensating well (like when I'm sick or over-tired) and walk into things. Has been worse lately so now in balance training.

3) I'm a night owl (so is my son) and do my best creative work (art or writing) late at night - typically after midnight.

4) I will only eat fresh tomatoes if the gooky seed part is removed. DOn't say that's where the flavor is. It's the mucusy texture that grosses me out.

5) When I write, it's not uncommon for me to start in the middle of things. No, I don't mean the media res thing. Let's say I'm writing a lierary ananlysis. Chances are that the first few paragraphs I write are going to end up being moved to the somewhere in the middle of the text when I revise.

6) When I had an office or cube, I always kept it spotless and neat - everything in its place. At home, I'm a slob. Its not that I don't like clean, orderly houses because I do. But even before I became disabled, housework was low on my priority list. Some of the problem is that I collect . . . well, clutter. Papers and books beside my rocker, various collections of stuff around the computer. I can't pass up stuff for art and have run out of storage space. Ditto with lovely old things. I've never been able to afford the big antiques like furniture but have collections of vintage buttons, teacups, etc., etc. My son has already told me to downsize and make life easier for myself and for him when I'm gone. He's assured me that she who dies with the most books, or fabric, or beads, or paper supplies is not the winner. Darn! thought I had a shot at winning.

Now, who can I tag?
1) Blushbutter
2)Tina Williams
3) Idgie
4) AlabamaStoneThrower
5) Krista
6) Bannerwoman

Okay ladies, tell us something interesting.

Back to blogging

Hmm, I didn't manage to put up the new writing prompts on Sunday and there's no new interview yet. I'll give you the prompts in just a minute. I apologize for there not being any artist news this week. I had planned to interview Candee of Mermaid's Haven but as many of you know, she's been going through a rough spot. Still needs your thoughts and prayers. As soon as she's feeling up to it, we'll get that interview together. Meanwhile, I'm getting in touch with another talented digital artist for this coming Sunday. And soon there will be write ups on artists/merchants whose primary medium is not digital.

At the moment, the migraines have eased off so I've been trying to get some very necessary housework done. I've also managed to put together my first Halloween kit and am working on a freebie for this blog and for HilmaRose's group. I feel awful that when she needed me as co-mod I was stuck in bed sick.

Yesterday, I escaped the house and met two very dear friends in Williamsburg at the quilt store at KingsMill Shoppes. Would you believe? I managed not to buy more fabric! We visited the shops there then and had a nice lunch at the wine and cheese shop. Very hot out though which made it especially tiring for me. From KingsMill we went to the Antique Mall in Lightfoot. That place is so huge, you can get plenty of exercise if you walk down all the aisles. I found a few small things to use in my design work and one book which will also be useful. But the best part of the day was spending time with S & W. S and I went to VCU together and have been friends since 1985. W is her older sister. She lived in Ohio until a few years ago. S brought her along on our annual jaunt to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Show and we hit it off very well. I didn't have sisters when I was growing up - just one brother 8 years younger. Every time I'm with these two women I feel as though God as finally given me the sisters I longed for. It's always a treat to be with them.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Oops! Correcting bad link to freebie

So sorry that I sent you to the 4share sign-up page. Put this up very early this morning so guess I wasn't totally awake.

Let's try this instead:

Discover Alabama Stone Thrower Designs

Have you discovered Alabama Stone Thrower (AST)?? What, you may ask, is an Alabama Stone Thrower? Alabama Stone Thrower Designs is the trade name under which Jay Eliot of Alabama sells her digital designs. Jay tells me the name originated when she started riding with her husband in off-road rallies. He calls his big truck "Stone Thrower" for obvious reasons. When Jay needed a screen anme to communicate on-line with members of the rally group, she dubbed herself Alabama Stone Thrower and the name stuck.

Today she's doing less off-roading and when you see AST mentioned, it is most likely in reference to Jay's charming digital designs. Pretty much a life-long artist/crafter, Jay has been involved in ceramics, candle making, crocheting, embroidery, making glass bead jewelry, painting, sewing, and creating homemade bath & body items. Over the last twenty years, she has been heavily into paper scrapping. The wealth of supplies she accumuated led her into card making, decoupage, and other such crafts. Then Jay discovered digiscrapping.

She describes her digital style as "an eclectic mix of overlays, word art, papers and embellishments filled with touches of whimsy and fantasy." More recently, Jay began to create her own delightful digital scrapbooking papers, elements, and page kits with Paint Shop Pro 9.
Jay says her inspiration for these designs comes from her lovely daughter and her surroundings. You can see these influences in the examples of her artistry which follow. To quote Jay: "There is NO SUCH THING as a bad scrap page! It's not important at how well you can create a page or design a LayOut, it's how well you can recreate and share the memory. " AST designs can help you create the pages you dream of. At the moment they are available exclusively at Tina Williams Designs:

but I suspect in time they'll be available at multiple locations.

If you like the examples shown here, be sure to visit Jay at her blog:

to stay up-to-date on what she's doing. Note that on occassion you may find free samples of her designs. When you visit, please let her know where you heard about her.