Thursday = release day at Design House Digitals and new releases are 30% (I love a sale!). Today that includes Sara Schmutz's Star Spangled kit. The kit contains 24 papers, 2 alphabets, 12 bottle cap elements and 13 tag elements.

I had fun using it to scrap these photos of Dylan playing last August:

The orange title letters are one of the alphabets included in the kit. I used the 'stroke' command in Photoshop to add a 50px white border around the letters. Then added a shadow to help create the look of stickers.

For more inspiration, check out Sara's page here.

Supplies: Simply Tiffany's 52 Thursday Templates No. 13; Sara Schmutz's Star Spangled kit; Myriad Pro font.


Shoot and Edit: Sunrise

A look at the sky this morning just after 7am ...

ISO 100, ss 1/250, f8.0

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A couple weeks ago I stepped out of the room long enough to put something in the kitchen (in our small house the living/dining/kitchen form an 'L' so I was just out of eye sight) and when I returned I found Dylan brushing his cousin's hair. It was so precious. Completely his own idea. He found his brush after I walked away. I was worried what the silence could mean but it was just the two of them having fun. As the pictures show, Lily was all grins and enjoying the attention.

Supplies: Simply Tiffany Studio's 52 Thursday Templates No 17 (photo placement flipped); Miss Mint's New Do kit; Karen Funk's Claire Alpha Collection; Myriad Pro font; CoffeeShop Blog's Vintage action.


first cone

Dylan had his first ice cream cone a couple weeks ago. He was a little confused when Trent handed it to him, but mastered it quickly. He had a happy, messy grin when he finished it. :)

Supplies: Jennifer Valencia's Blueprint template for the DHD June Blueprint Challenge; Sara Schmutz's Sweet Shoppe, Summer Picnic and A B C kits and Back to Basics White Frames; Karla Dudley's Digi Essentials 2 kit; Giddyup Std, Maiandra GD and Pooh fonts.


Shoot and Edit: Father's Day edit

I really liked my SOOC shot this week and kept my edit very simple. Funny thing about it, I realized while writing this post that I pretty much did the exact same edit on another photo of the two of them for the Family theme.

  • Ran Ashley's Nice & Easy action. Adjusted layers to suit.
  • Merged all layers.
  • Ran Vintage action from The CoffeeShop Blog. Adjusted the tint and color layers.
  • Used clone tool to remove sippy cup handle.
  • Cropped image.

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First Swim

One of the downsides to digital scrapping? Sometimes I close Photoshop and forget when I return that I was working on a layout! Case in point, I found this page about Dylan's first time swimming in progress and finally finished it this week.

Supplies: Carina Gardner & Crystal Wilkerson's Oh Boy - The ABCs kit; Karen Funk's One Year Older solid papers; DHD Fall Digi Blog Hop kit (paper 3 by Karla Dudley); Erica Hernandez's Isabella mini kit; Katie Pertiet's Ad Challenge Tabbed Journaler; 2peas Island Style font.


Wordless Wednesday: my 6am

Wordless Wednesday


Chimney Rock

Last fall we were invited to a friend's wedding in the western part of the state. We took advantage of the opportunity and had my mom watch Dylan so we could take a weekend away just the two of us. That Saturday morning we headed to Chimney Rock Park for a little light hiking and sightseeing. It was an absolutely gorgeous fall morning. We couldn't have asked for better weather.

Supplies: Tiffany Tillman's Lefty Righty 9 template; Sara Schmutz's Happy Camper kit, Give Thanks kit and Delight papers; Daily Birdie & Sketch Rockwell fonts.


Father's Day

Love this photo I captured of Trent & Dylan yesterday morning. For Trent's gift, I put together a photobook of the two of them with thank yous (ie, thanks for teaching me how to kick a ball). This was Dylan's first time seeing it too and the excitement shows on his face. :)

ISO 2800, ss 1/60, f5.0

I am so glad they both liked it! I made the book as much for Dylan as Trent. Being a stay-at-home mom, Dylan and I have lots of adventures together and most of his scrapbook pages reflect that. I wanted to be sure to document the times he spends with his dad too.

Here's the card I made for Trent:

Supplies: Sara Schmutz's No 1 Fan kit; Tiffany Tillman's Tears Set 1; Maiandra GD font.

And for those curious, the photobook:

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Shoot and Edit: Bubbles edit

I finally have a completed edit for last week's Shoot and Edit photo. I started on it last week and became frustrated so I shoved it aside. After a clean edit, I wasn't seeing a great deal of change so I decide to experiment for the fun of it. I played around with layers and masks - but was fighting with Photoshop through it all. Just not getting what I wanted. Midway through this week, I realized I had a setting wrong! Somehow I had the brush opacity set low which was causing my frustrations. I don't know how or why it was changed from 100%. Once I figured that out, I went to try again.

  • Ran Ashley's Nice & Easy action. Adjusted layers to suit.
  • Merged all layers.
  • Ran Bitchin B&W action by Totally Rad. Used layer mask to remove wand & bubbles. Then lowered the layer's opacity so the background was muted, but no longer black & white.
  • New adjustment layer - Hue/Saturation. Increased both. Left lightness untouched.
  • Cropped image.

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News & a layout

I was quite excited when I recently learned I was accepted on the Creative Team for Sara Schmutz Designs. As such, Sara sent me her newest digital kit to play with. It's called No 1 Fan and is available starting today at Design House Digital. The baseball themed kit features 16 papers and 25 elements.

I dug around in my archives and found the perfect photos to use with the kit. They were taken two years ago when Trent, my sister & I went to a baseball game to celebrate Trent's 30th birthday. I had it announced on the big screen in the outfield. I wish I had a photo of his face when he saw it - caught him totally off guard. In other words, the perfect surprise. :)

Supplies: Sara Schmutz's No 1 Fan kit; Prestige Elite Std & Impact label fonts.


Tablecloth to Pillow Shams

I've wanted to recover the pillows on our living room sofas for a few years now. I still love the fabric & pattern, but it's a bit dark for this time of year. Plus there are a few pulls in the material. I didn't want to replace them as they are perfectly good pillows. Just needed refreshing.

I looked periodically for store bought shams without finding anything I really loved enough for the price. I did once find fabric I loved to make my own with but even at half off was looking at over $40. I knew I could do better. And I did. Last week shopping with my mom, I found this tablecloth with the perfect colors to coordinate with my living room and I liked the clean simple stripes. Best of all $14 plus tax.

After washing it and accidentally shrinking it (oops!), it turned out to be the perfect amount of fabric. I literally just cut it into 4 pieces. Sewed one hem - the exposed edge is the original hem from the tablecloth. Folded each piece, sewed up the sides, flipped them inside out and I had 4 shams as easy as that. Here are the two (new & old) together on the main sofa:

New striped sham. Old blocked pattern pillow.
Supplies: tablecloth, thread.



Dylan loves bubbles. And, being a toddler, wants to do it all by himself. He wants to dip the wand and blow without help. Sometimes it worked great - other times we had small "disasters" such as dumping out the entire bottle of bubble soap. Then Trent & I found him a wonderful small bubble holder. It's the perfect size for his little hands and doesn't spill. Finally, successful independence in bubble blowing. ;)

Supplies: Simply Tiffany Studio's 52 Thursday Templates No 12; Sara Schmutz's Blustery Sky & Delight papers; Pink Trike Design's Cozy papers; Karen Funk Designs' In Bloom; Jen Allyson's Vanity Fair Cerulean Accessories; Kristen ITC font.


Airplane Birthday Card

I made this card for Trent's birthday last week lifting Soar Card by catheris at Two Peas:

Supplies: Recollections cardstock; We R Memory Keepers, American Crafts & Little Yellow Bicycle patterned papers; Sara Schmutz's Blustery Sky paper pack; Bradley Hand font; Making Memories letter stickers; QuicKutz circle die; rub-on; Micron black pen.


Wordless Wednesday: Sharing

Wordless Wednesday


Elmo & Numbers

I've had fun creating cards and crafting birthday gifts for Dylan's friends. At 2, they are all beginning to have fun little personalities. The latest celebration was this past weekend and I knew there were two things this little guy likes - Elmo and numbers. Elmo is an obsession. ;) And in the last few months I've been so impressed with his number recognition. First I caught him pointing them out so his mom would say the names out loud. Now he tells us what numbers he sees. Those things are what inspired his card and gift.

I combined both for the card using an image I found of Elmo online and resized. Then I made the numbered paper using a digital kit. I resized and recolored the numbers element to work with my design.

Supplies: Stampin' Up cardstock (red); miscellaneous cardstock (white & black); Elmo image found online; Karen Funk's One Year Older elements; Creative Imaginations patterned paper.

For the gift, I made him two sets of felt flash cards following this tutorial on Sew Much Ado blog. Each set is on its own binder ring. He can play with one or both, flip them upside down to play a matching game, etc. As soon as he pulled the cards from the gift bag, he began flipping through them and saying each number aloud. I'm going to take that as "I like it!"  :)

Supplies: various colors of felt & matching threads; grommets; 2" binder rings; template.


Shoot and Edit: Bubbles

Having fun in the backyard playing with bubbles. Found these wands stashed away that we bought years ago from Old Navy. They are perfect for using with a toddler. Just dip and then swing them through the air for lots of bubbles.

ISO 400, ss 1/640, f4.5

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Shoot and Edit: Looking Up edit

Going into my edit, I knew I wanted to crop the photo and lighten it up a bit. I felt like it was a little dull.

I started with a clean edit and then added a vignette following the video tutorial Ashley embedded in her post. Next I ran the Perfect Portrait 3 action from the CoffeeShop blog. I don't use actions a lot and, I confess, the long instructions plus numerous layers this one added intimidated me a bit. Nonetheless, I slowly worked my way through it curious to see the result.

For whatever reason, I did not end up with every layer mentioned in the post. Maybe a compatibility issue with my older version of Photoshop? I skipped directions for the couple of layers I couldn't find, deleted an extra background copy layer and then followed the directions for tweaking most of the remaining layers. I did turn off the "urban grit" layer - I felt like there was enough "grit" in the background of sand. ;)

As time consuming as the edit was, it was worth it - Dylan's face is brighter, his eyes shine and the vignette draws the viewer straight in. (Mouse over to compare.)

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Robot Birthday Card

We're surrounded in birthday fun around here lately with two more celebrations coming up this weekend - Trent's birthday and one of Dylan's playgroup friends. Two weeks ago (and I can't believe I forgot to share this until now!), another playgroup buddy turned 2. Here's the card I made for him:

Supplies: Cosmo Cricket patterned papers; American Crafts ribbon; staple; Pebbles Inc rub-on sentiment.


Shoot and Edit: Looking Up

I took this photo of my son last month during the mamarazzi photography class my friend, Allison, and I took. One of my first manual shots. I love that look of pure happiness on Dylan's face. :)

ISO 400, ss 1/320, f5.3

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