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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gratitude

It's a busy season for most of us what with holidays to prepare for. Here at my house all is in chaos. Dear hubby's back is out again, he's frustrated by his disability, barely making it through the work day, and depressed.

I'm trying to remain calm and remember that somehow all is unfolding as it ought even though it feels like things are unraveling. Tuesday started with a bang - literally - as hubby reached inside the fridge to get something and the big plastic canister of coffee hit the floor, spilling out about half. He yelled for me to help as he is not able to bend. This was at about 3:30 a.m. and he was cranky with pain and mean as a bear! While I tried to sweep up the mess, he complained about the waste and how ridiculous it is that there are only two of us here but the fridge was so full he couldn't pull one thing out without a disaster. It was packed because I'd gone to Costco Monday afternoon and had been too exhausted to package up the meats and put in the freezer. I buy meats and canned goods there in bulk so I don't have to shop so often. He was disproportionally upset over the incident and went into the alls wrong with the world mode people tend to get into when over-stressed. Won't go any further with that except to say I was then too upset to sleep once he left for work.

Next I realized that I was getting another outbreak of shingles. Now that's just jolly. Took my anti-viral medication and tried to get some sleep but I had a biopsy done the week before, removing a suddenly suspicious mole on my breast and the area was somewhat inflammed and sore so I couldn't get comfortable. Finally, I got up, brought a cup of coffee back to bed and sat there consciously making an effort to turn these seeemingly bad things around. I realized that it's fortunate that I'm not having much fibro pain right now so I'm better able to help John. And while the mess this morning was inconvenient, we're fortunate because we can afford to buy more coffee; I know some people whose budgets are stretched so thin, such an accident would have been more important. Aren't we lucky I could stock all those groceries that had the fridge filled. As for the shingles, well, I caught it early at just the tingling, itchy point - only one small bump - and I'm lucky to have the anti-viral on hand. When I called my doctor about the biopsy site, I was told to come in that afternoon. It's not infected, just healing slow. It was treated and while that was painful, I came away assured there was no problem and prepared with an ointment and bandages to promote faster healing. And when I got home from the doctor, I got an apology from hubby.

It's far too easy to dwell on what's wrong when a lot is going on and we start feeling overwhelmed. I'm making an effort to stop myself and focus on what is right with my world. Gratitude is a beautiful thing!

During all the hustle and bustle that accompanies the holiday season, I think it would do us all good to make a point everyday of thinking about at least three things we are grateful for. What are you grateful for today?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

New in my shop

Find these products at http://www.digitaldesignersden.com
and http://www.scrappingwhispers.com or http://www.scrapperszone.com



This one exclusive to Digital Designers Den:









Happy Birthday Jeremy!

31 years ago today a miracle arrived in my life, my son, Jeremy Ryan. He's going to a Christmas party in Richmond today and I won't see him until Christmas, but I spoke with him last night and was grateful to hear him sounding relaxed and happy. I consider Jeremy both a birthday wish come true and an early Christmas present - the best one ever.

Bittersweet

At this time of year, memories come hard and fast. They feel more intense. Is that a symptom of seasonal affective disorder as more of us spend longer hours indoors? Or is that during this holiday season we are so often enjoined to be jolly? Maybe it's a little of both, or simply that we tend to hold clearer memories of major events and holidays like Christmas fall into that category?

Wednesday morning I found myself mired down in memories. That is not to say that some weren't pleasant, because many were, but they were bittersweet. Sweet memories of earlier years spent with family and friends. Bittersweet now because some of those people I loved have left this earthly plane to return to God. I can't help but miss them and wonder, what if? Because regrets sometimes follow along on memory's coattails.

And it was much on my mind that a number of my friends were having bouts of the blues right now. The past two weeks has brought news of two deaths and a number of friends are facing serious health issues. I lost my mother to lung cancer about five years ago and it still seems strange to think she won't be here to share the holidays with us. Two friends who are dear to me, sisters, just lost their mother, a woman I often called "Mom" because she reminded me of my mother. They certainly aren't having a jolly holiday season. I understand the process they are going through right now and my heart goes out to them.

Another dear friend, (I've written about her before) called me last week with the results of her most recent MRI. A two time breast cancer survivor, she was diagnosed with lung cancer this time last year. The MRI now shows tumors in her brain and she's begun radiation. She's still fighting for her life but was able to laugh at herself because she was worried about her hair. Her hair was just growing back from the chemotherapy earlier this year, and she had been hopeful that she'd be able to have a nice, if short, hairdo for her daughter's wedding in April. She joked about vanity, trying to ease the sorrow she heard in my voice. And cried because she can't remember enough to be able to put her products in our digital scrap booking store. "Please don't be upset with me for not having my shop complete," she said. We both know the shop is just a symbol of all the things she wants to do, of all the tasks she fears will be left incomplete. And we pray for a miracle.

Another friend, who had survived a major automobile accident some years ago faces the anniversary of the accident with unwanted memories. She suffered a spinal cord injury and was told she'd never walk again. With courage and determination and a lot of hard work, she did walk again, taking as her motto: move fearlessly. When she mentioned feeling blue as she faced this anniversary of an event that radically changed her life, she sounded a little embarrassed, as if it was wrong for her to have the blues. I'd say it's only natural. And I want her to know that I admire her very much. I'm grateful she survived and became stronger for it. I'm grateful for the inspiring example she sets and for her friendship.

I was worried too about another dear lady who was to have a biopsy for suspected breast cancer. The paternal side of her family is like the maternal side of mine, a case for the weak gene theory of cancer with many different types of cancer being found in her relatives and all instances being terminal. However, this story has a happy twist. Her biopsy revealed the mass to be nothing more than a large, fluid filled cyst of common variety. She'll sleep better tonight and so will her friends who have been concerned.

Wednesday was not a good day. My emotions got the better of me. I was weepy and felt out of control. Thursday (the day I wrote this) was a better day. No, I didn't accomplish half of what I wanted to because I hadn't slept well and was tired. But that's okay. Important things were taken care of: I told my husband I loved him, made sure he had a nice dinner even though I had a late afternoon nap. I finished some gifts for my nieces. Mailed off some Christmas cards with letters inside. I enjoyed some memories, recognizing that things change but behind it all is love and we can't ask for more than that.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Decoration of the day

Let the ThingaMaJigMachine make a different clipart decoration for you every day. You can use ThingaMaJigs in ANY design project: scrapbooking, game development, photo albums, web design, etc. Click the info button for Tips...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgving Weekend Sale at Digital Designers Den





We've got all kinds of sales this weekend!
All my stores, D'Ambrosio Arts, are 50% off 11/27-11/30. that's Digital Designers Den, Scrapping Whispers, and ScrappersZone.

At DDD we have these additional sales:
Cari Lopez: 30% 11/24- 11/28
Can Designs 50% 11/26-11/30 (and see her Buy My Store sale!)
Dragons' Lair Designs 30% 11/22-11/30
EAL Designs 25% 11/26 - 11/20
Echo's Scraps 50% 11/26- 11/30
Movefearlessly Designs 15% 11/18 - 11/30
mITSYBELLE 50% 11/26 - 11/30
Trifaith 50% 11/24- 11/30
Vintage Vixens 30% 11/26 - 11/30

Lots of new items in the store, so come by and check us out.
Here are just a few examples:



Friday, October 31, 2008

We're open!

Grand Opening Digital Sesigners Den

Big News! New Store Opening & Gits Too



I haven't blogged in ages because I've been working on a new venture. My partner in Vintage Vixens, Echo, and I have decided to open a new store! A designer friendly site. And we are still looking for a few designers even thought the store will open today.

I'm having some computer trouble so will have to post our grand opening ad later on. Good sales will be going on and there are some gifts throughout the store too so please stop by. More later!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Re: Nightmare at Scraphead freebies

There have been some additions to the blog train because some designers got a late start and we also discovered the first list had some errors. Here is the updated list of blogs for you to check:

Snowraven http://silversnowyraven.blogspot. Com

Michelle Powell http://scrapheadspot.blogspot.com

Renata http://www.serenebyrw.blogspot.com

Creations by Rachael http://www.creationsbyrachael.blogspot.com

By God's design http://digibygodsdesign.biz

Jennifer Wambach http://jennartdesign.blogspot.com/

MoveFearlessly Designs http://movefearlessly.com/blog/

Cathy Joes Designs http://cathyjoeskorner.blogspot.com/

Sherry D http://ambrosiaartsva.blogspot.com/

Cindy Ritter http://cindyritterdigiscrap.blogspot.com/

Tiffani http://totallyrawkindesigns.blogspot.com

Digiheaven http://www.digiheaven.blogspot.com3

2 new kits from Vintage Vixens!

New at Scraphead, Scrapping Whispers, and ScrappersZone are Autumn Essence and a Halloween add-on to Autumn Essence.

Perfect for all your autumn photo occasions, here are twelve backgrounds in the earthy colors of the season. Included for embellishment are 23 elements which include a large acorn and leaf wreath frame, an antique photo frame, 2 large tapestry borders, decorative corners, flowers of the season, darling autumnal figures and more.


Autumn Essence (above) is already in the stores. The Halloween Add-on (below) will be in later today (it's 1:24am here and I'n ready to call it a night).

A new masculine kit



This just went into my D'Ambrosio Arts stores today. I named it Thom after my brother who used to live in jeans and flannel shirts when he lived here in Virginia. (Now in Florida so it's T-shirts and shorts.) Lots of bright plaids, denim, some shirt type prints for backgrounds and office sort of supplies that any guy might use.

Kit is only $3.50 at Scraphead, Scrapping Whispers, and ScrappersZone.

My last day of Nightmare At Scraphead freebies

Hope you are enjoying the Nightmare at Scraphead brag book pages and have been collecting from all our blogs. We'd love to hear what you think. If you let us know you've enjoyed them, we might do more of this sort of thing.

Here's my last page:



Cuta nd paste this link into your browser window to collect it:
http://www.4shared.com/account/file/65184493/fe21e949/DAA_NightmareScraphead_bb3.html

And don't forget to check the other blogs listed in my last Scraphead post.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Nightmare At Scraphead continues - freebie 2



Here is the link & yes, you will need to copy and paste to your browser:
http://www.4shared.com/file/65184442/3c88a792/DAA_NightmareScraphead_bb2.html?dirPwdVerified=4c81dd0f

Don't forget to visit the other blogs and collect more pages!
Snowraven http://silversnowyr aven.blogspot.com

Michelle Powell http://www.kutnkudlyskreations.com/

Renata http://www.serenebyrw.blogspot.com

Creations by Rachael http://www.creationsbyrachael.blogspot.com

By God's design http://digibygodsdesign.biz

Jennifer Wambach http://jennartdesign.blogspot.com/

MoveFearlessly Designs http://movefearlessly.com/blog/

Cathy Joes Designs http://cathyjoeskorner.blogspot.com/

Sherry D http://ambrosiaartsva.blogspot.com/

Cindy Ritter http://cindyritterdigiscrap.blogspot.com/

DigiHeaven (Patricia) http://digiheaven.blogspot.com/
Serenebbyrw http://digiheaven.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Closing Books Shuts Out Ideas

It's banned books week!
“Intellectual freedom can exist only where two essential conditions are met: first, that all individuals have the right to hold any belief on any subject and to convey their ideas in any form they deem appropriate; and second, that society makes an equal commitment to the right of unrestricted access to information and ideas regardless of the communication medium used, the content of the work, and the viewpoints of both the author and receiver of information. Freedom to express oneself through a chosen mode of communication, including the Internet, becomes virtually meaningless if access to that information is not protected. Intellectual freedom implies a circle, and that circle is broken if either freedom of expression or access to ideas is stifled.” (Intellectual Freedom Manual,ALA, 7th edition.)


Consider what you can do to fight censorship and keep books available in libraries. Here are some idea from the American Library Association (ALA):
1) Stay informed. Do you know which books are on the most frequently challenged list? Find out here: http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/oif/bannedbooksweek/challengedbanned/frequentlychallengedbooks.cfm

2) Organize your own Banned Books Read-Out!

3) Get involved in events that discuss freedom to read and issues of censorship.

4) Speak out. Write letters in support of the freedom to read. Post messages on your blog.

5)Exercise your rights! Read a banned book; give one as a gift; join in a discussion group about these books.

From ALA here is a list of the 10 most challenged books for 2007:

1) “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group


2) The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence


3) “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes
Reasons: Sexually Explicit and Offensive Language

4) “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman
Reasons: Religious Viewpoint

5) “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain *
Reasons: Racism

6) “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker *
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language,

7) "TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

8) "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou *
Reasons: Sexually Explicit

9) “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris
Reasons: Sex Education, Sexually Explicit

10) "The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

Off the list this year, are two books by author Toni Morrison. "The Bluest Eye" * and "Beloved," * both challenged for sexual content and offensive language.

I've put asteriks by the ones I've read and I'll add that I found something of value in each of these. In fact, some of them are among my favorite books.

What banned books have you read? Did you feel there was something to be valued in them?

Topic open for discussion.

Nightmare at Scraphead!

It's starting! right now! Carol Burns, DigiHeaven, and SnowRaven created a kit for this event and many of the designers made brag book pages for you to collect. I've made 3 so be sure to come back over the next couple days. Here is the first one:

And you can get it here:
http://www.4shared.com/file/65184279/84fa516b/DAA_NightmareScraphead_bb1.html?dirPwdVerified=4c81dd0f

***Please note: Ann wrote saying this link doesn't work. However, the link does work if you copy and paste it into your browser window. The problem is with Blogger. When I tried using the widget to insert the links, it takes the code but when the message is published, the code disappears! Sorry for the inconvenience but you'll have to copy and paste until I can get this straight.

Be sure to visit these blogs to collect more pages:

Snowraven http://silversnowyraven.blogspot.com

Michelle Powell http://www.kutnkudlyskreations.com/

Renata http://www.serenebyrw.blogspot.com

Creations by Rachael http://www.creationsbyrachael.blogspot.com

By God's design http://digibygodsdesign.biz

Jennifer Wambach http://jennartdesign.blogspot.com/

MoveFearlessly Designs http://movefearlessly.com/blog/

Cathy Joes Designs http://cathyjoeskorner.blogspot.com/

Sherry D http://ambrosiaartsva.blogspot.com/

Cindy Ritter http://cindyritterdigiscrap.blogspot.com/

DigiHeaven (Patricia) http://www.digiheaven. blogspot. com

Monday, September 29, 2008

Layout Contest At Scrapping Whispers _ Freebie!

We're having a contest at Scrapping Whispers. A number of designers are offering freebies on their blogs (see list at SW) from Sept 29th thru Oct 5th. Collect the freebies and create a LO with them. Post your LO to our gallery for a chance to win prizes. Here is my contribution - a somewhat vintage paper pack in soft pinks and blues.




You can download the freebie here:
http://www.4shared.com/file/64989633/bf0484a9/DAA_Softly_paperpack.html?dirPwdVerified=4c81dd0f

(I apologize for the need to copy & paste into your browser window but Blogger just wouldn't cooperate!)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sorry - have been busy. More freebies

This is the rest of my portion of the "Just Say No To Anorexia And Bulemia" mega at Scrapping Whispers. These are png & jpeg files so just right click and save.







Saturday, September 13, 2008

Layouts with Sunshine

Here are a couple layouts I made with Ashalee Wall's new kit, Sunshine.
In the first, that's Innara with a friend.


This one is of my son, Jeremy, in his scrubs. You've seen this photo before? Oh well - proud mother momemnt.



You can find this kit here:
http://ashaleeandsweet.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=60_1&products_id=1212
and it's on sale right now too!

Another freebie

Here's the next piece of my mini. It's jpeg so just right click and save.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Another freebie

Weather is still bouncing around - hurricane season - I'm still headachey. Here's another piece of the kit for you. It's png so just right click and save. Hope to feel better later today so I can show you the latest from Vintage Vixens. Hugs!


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

More freebies

Sorry but the barometric pressure is shifting all around here as there are hurricanes brewing. For me, that means I've had a migraine brewing since yesterday afternoon. Which is why I didn't get freebie posted. have taeken meds os on my way back to bed again. Before that though, here is your freebie for yesterday (it's a png so just right click and save):


Here's todays (this is a jpeg so just right click and save):

Monday, September 8, 2008

Dying to be beautiful . . .

I must apologize. On Friday I promised to give you another freebie each day for 12 days. And then my back pain got severe. So, I'm going to post Saturdays, Sunday's, and todays freebies for you now. These are pngs so just right click and save.





Proud Mother Moment



That's my son,Jeremy, in the scrubs. I'm proud to announce he just passed his exam for licensing and is now officially a radiographer. Now all he needs is a job.

Love you Baby J and know something good is coming your way soon.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Been Doing A Little Reading

Lately my father has been keeping me supplied with Nora Roberts' novels (yes, you read that right - my father lol) and I've mostly been reading them. It's been a case of whatever comes to my hand first. I dont think a morning starts well unless I've read a couple chapters of something.

I'm an eclectic reader, usually reading several books at one time, and generally a mixture of fiction and non-fiction. The last few weeks it's been mostly brain candy as I've got so much going on at the same time. Anyway, after leaving physical therapy one day last week, I stopped into Costco and took a quick peep at the book section before gathering the items I'd actually gone in for. Picked up James Patterson's Cross and I've quickly devoured it over the last couple days.


I'm a fan of his Alex Cross novels and when I read on the blurb that this one had Alex going after the man who murdered his beloved wife, I was sold. In my opinion, Patterson does a great job of creating characters you can care about. Alex Cross is intelligent, warm, caring, a good grandson to Nana Mama (what a wonderful character she is! I can picture her so clearly!), a great but not infalible father to his kids, as loyal a friend as anyone could want, and suffers from some of the same insecurities and anxieties that many of us do. If he were a real person, I'd love to have him for a friend. Hard for me to argue whether or not Patterson, who is "white" does a good job of making Alex convincingly "black" as I'm of English-Irish descent but I believe he does.

Was thinking about how Patterson's chapters are often short. Not what you'd typically think of as chapters. A better description might be episodes, or moments - telling moments, naturally. All I know is it works. He's a master of suspense who keeps the reader wanting more. His brevity works well for him because his prose is honed down so that as in poetry each word weighs more. It's no wonder his novels translate well to the screen because his descriptions are clear and concise. And speaking of film, it was sort of cute that in this novel he has Alex in a DC club where someone tells him a nice antedote about Morgan Freeman. If you don't know, Morgan Freeman has played the Alex Cross character and very well, I might add. So well that now when I read about Alex Cross, it's Morgan Freeman I visualize.

Sadly, I reached the end of the novel today. Tomorrow will have to dig in my stash for something else to read and sometime this week, I'm going back to Costco to pick up Double Cross.

What are you reading lately?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Like ATCs?

If you enjoy making ATCs (artist trading cards if you don't recognize the abbreviation) do take a look at the three ATC challenges I have going this month.

First, at Scraphead, the theme is your favorite movies. I just posted my examples. All of my examples were done in black and white although one of the movies (Romeo and Juliet) was in color. Here's the link:
http://www.scraphead.com/forum/showthread.php?p=6377#post6377
And here are my examples for those who won't go to the link:




At Scrapping Whispers, I'm asking that you make an ATC based on the color swatch Echo and I are using to create our new kit, Poetry Jean which will be in the stores in a day or two. Here's the swatch:

Here's the link:

And here is my example using items from Poetry Jean:

(Please note: fairy is not in the kit.)

And, finally, at ScrappersZone, I'd like to see ATCs based on a favorite character from a novel. Because of the wonderful papers posted for free recently by Adventures In Scrapland, I made my ATC of Alice In Wonderland. I used one of Adventures in Scrapland's lovely papers, and since I first saw Disney's Alice before I read the novel, that's the Alice I focused on. Can't wait to see your favorite characters. Heres' my ATC:

And here's the link to the challenge:
http://scrapperszone.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2771#2771

Sale at Scrapping Whispers! & freebie too


Please see the ad above for details of our weekend sale at Scrapping Whispers. My store, D'Ambrosio Arts and also my store with partner, Echo, called Vintage Vixens are both on sale at 40% off.

In an unexpected move, Echo has decided she will no longer create scrapbooking page kits except those she collaborates on with me under the Vintage Vixens trademark. From now on she is going to focus on creating commercial use products. Lucky me! She's a great partner to make kits with and is very generous about sharing her commercial use products with me.

This month, SW has both a commercial use mega contributed to by 22 designers and a special personal use mega. For the personal use mega, we took on a disturbing social issue - the high (& increasing) incidence of anorexia and bulemia as people - especially young girls - try to make themselves beautiful according to the standards of the fashion industry. Many are literally dying to be beautiful! Our mega is designed to call attention to this issue, with colors chosen from a very disturbing photo of a young woman who is literally starving herself and trying to be fashionable.

Due to personal issues, I was unable to get my contribution in on time so I will be offering a piece a day for 12 days right here. Additionally, this weekend only you can get the PU mega for free at SW. So spread the word, please, and while you are there, take a look around at some of the great bargains being offered.

Here is the preview of my contribution:



And here is the first piece (it's a png file so just right click and save):

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I haven't posted a freebie in a while so . . .

here is a little corrugated cardboard frame for you. It's a png file so just right click and save to disk. Hugs!

New from Vintage Vixens

Npw I always forget to put my photos in here in the reverse order of how I want them but it's late so I'll just muddle through.

The first layout, below, is made with Delicate Petals For Baby Girl, one of our new kits. Special thanks to Cassel for making the white lace flower for me with her script and to Thena Smith (Delightfully Digitial) for permission to use that cute baby face that's in the center. The baby in this layout is me at about 6-9 months old.



The second layout is from the same kit and the baby is again me - just several days old with a head full of black hair! The thin young man is my darling Dad.


Here is the preview of the Luggage Tag Album I made to match the kit. The pages fit Basic Grey's Luggage Tag album.


And this is the preview to the kit, Delicate Petals which you can find at Scraphead, Scrapping Whispers, and Scrapper's Zone. And on sale right now too!


This layout is made with Vintage Vixens' new kit, Beloved. The colors were inspired by Rossetti's painting of the same name.


Here's another layout with the same kit to show a softer look.


This is a preview of the 6" square bragbook which matches the kit:


And here is the preview of the kit, Beloved, available (& on sale) at Scraphead, Scrapping Whipers, and Scrapper'sZone.



Here is a cute album we just completed to match our Baby Boy Dreams kit. It's a Keyplate Album to fit the keyplate album by Basic Grey. Love these hybrid albums!


And here is the preview for Baby Boy Dreams which is on sale at Scraphead, Scrapping Whispers, and Scrapper'sZone.