Monday, February 27, 2006

Happy Birthday to me!

I'm 35 today, and Kate is 14 months.

I got Doug to take some pictures of us when he was home between classes. Fun, huh?

My mom got the Autumn Leaves Designing with Digital book for me. I haven't had a chance to look at the CD yet, but the book is gorgeous. Doug has been waffling between getting me some more RAM for the computer and getting my boots re-soled. We are probably going to Chevy's for dinner, unless other inspiration strikes in the next few minutes.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The news this week

Doug had two days off this week (Monday for President's Day and Tuesday for an inservice day). A relaxing morning at home is a rare thing indeed for Doug these days, since he has a 7:00 class on weekdays, a 8:00 class Saturdays, and meetings at the church starting at 9:00 on Sundays. We enjoyed having him home. We were thinking about driving out to Snoqualmie Falls, but it was cold and raining/snowing, and we seem to have lost Kate's hat (sadness!) so I didn't want to take her out in it.

After many false alarms, Kate is finally cutting teeth. She's handling it well so far. She's been enjoying chewing on frozen peaches.

Kate is talking more! I guess she was concentrating on walking for a while, and now it's time to work on the verbal skills. The other day she was sitting in her high chair happily gobbling up some black beans, and Doug said, "There's not going to be any left for Mama!" Kate pointed at me and grinned and said, "Mama!" Awwww. She's also started imitating animal sounds when we read to her, which is absolutely adorable. (Click Clack Moo is a great favorite these days.)

And on the digital scrapbooking front: I emailed Lisa at Griff's Shortcuts (I designed some lasercut frames for them a few years ago) to ask if I could use some of the designs that I created for them but that they never actually used. She said they've been thinking about offering digital products on their site. So I spent a week putting together some variations of my oak leaf frame, and sent them for her to check out. She liked them a lot. It looks like we might be teaming up again. In the meantime I've been trying to get a handle on the digital community, and make sure I'm not reinventing the wheel unnecessarily.

So, hopefully, I will continue to be busy. I probably won't be blogging very regularly, but will try to post at least once a week.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A digital valentine

I've been working on this for a few days--my first attempt at a digital scrapbooking element.

I made the heart frames in Corel Draw, since I'm more familiar with that program for vector graphics, then moved on to Photoshop. I used the "atomic gold" action from, which is very cool. For the insides I made a basic heart and added lighting effects, then put a gradient map over it and had fun filling the gradient with different colors. The marbling was done with a mask made from difference cloud filters. I made the highlights myself. That part was very tricky--it took a long time to get them looking the way I wanted them.

I found some space on our FTP server to host the .png file for a while, just in case anyone out there would like to use it. The image is 11" long and 300 dpi. To download, right-click here and choose "save target as."

May 5--I took the file down to make room for my Children's Day freebie. Let me know if you'd still like it!

Happy Birthday Doug!

Doug turned 41 yesterday (the 13th). We went out to I Love Bento for dinner, and Kate sat on Doug's lap and stabbed his tofu steak with a chopstick. It was the first time we'd gone out to eat since she's been walking, and it got a little exciting, but we had a good time. The waitress there likes Kate.

Barb's birthday is also the 13th, so we called and sang to her, and then she and Kyle sang to Doug. My family has a tradition of singing "Happy Birthday" as badly as possible. (It started out as a singing-like-the-stork-on-Dumbo tradition and went downhill from there.)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Look, I scrapped!

Baby Madelynn was born on Christmas Day. Her parents are in our ward at church, and Grandma uses Creative Memories albums (8.5"x11"). I got to go over and take pictures (I thanked them for letting me practice on their child) and then I put together these layouts on the computer.

I got the pages printed at mpix and was thrilled with the way they turned out. Mpix doesn't do 8.5x11 prints, though, so I got 10x13 and trimmed them down. I found out afterwards that does have 8.5x11 prints. I'll have to use them next time.

I've been finding it difficult to work on projects with Kate around (like that drawing I did right before Christmas), but I think digital scrapping will be a good outlet for me right now. I don't have to get out any tools or supplies, and I can just leave it up on the computer and work on it a little at a time. Plus all my pictures are digital now, anyway. Sounds like a plan.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Baby Steps

We have a walker! Kate went suddenly from taking four or five steps on her own to toddling full-tilt around the house.

Of course, a girl who's walking needs some shoes! I got her two pairs--these cute little pink sneakers and some pretty Sunday shoes.

Kate hadn't really worn shoes at all (I did put some on her once, just out of curiosity, and she kicked them off) so I wasn't sure how she was going to react, but she got the idea right away. She sees us put on our shoes, and she's old enough now to make the connection. She's very immitative and tries to do what we do, so the shoes were well received. Now she'll bring me her shoes to let me know she wants to go outside.

This is Kate at church the Sunday before last (Jan 29), wearing her new shoes and her dress from the wedding. At that point she was still holding onto things and taking just a few steps at a time. By the next Sunday she was all over the place.

I took these outside yesterday. She's still a bit uncertain on uneven surfaces, but she's enjoying exploring and experiencing. We're excited about spending lots of time outside as the weather gets warmer.

* blink * blink *

Here I am, emerging after being swallowed by my computer. I found a quote on luminous landscape that seemed appropriate: "Digital image processing is still new enough for most people that no matter how much we read, experiment and work at it, there seems to be an endless amount to learn. This is particularly true as regards Photoshop, that invaluable tool yet also bottomless pit of a time sink." So true.

I finally got Barb and Kyle's wedding picture CD mailed off to them, along with the Korean wedding ducks that I completely forgot to take along when we went to Utah.

I did a couple of digital layouts (which I should be posting soon). In checking out digital scrapbooking stuff on line and realizing that there are people out there making and selling kits and elements, I suddenly have an urge to design. It's very very cool. My brain is abuzz.