Friday, December 30, 2005

Another Digital Layout

I finished another digital layout tonight. This is the first one I've done in the 8.5X11 format right from the start. I haven't gotten my printer yet, so I haven't printed it, but I hope to get it in the next few days. These pictures are from Christmas morning. I used kits from Digital Scrapbook Place for this layout.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Scrapbook page sizes

I made a big decision yesterday. I have been making paper scrapbooks for several years now, and I almost always use a 12X12 page size. I really like this size, and I'm used to it. So when I started digital scrapping, I created my pages in the 12X12 format there as well. Of course, I don't have a wide format printer, so I thought that I would print them at 8X8, since there are some really nice scrapbooks available in that size. I even test printed an early layout (draft print on plain paper) just to see what it would look like at that size, and it wasn't too bad. The pictures were a little smaller than I'm used to, but you could see them clearly enough.

Well, I figured out yesterday that I could redesign most of my digital layouts to 8.5X11, which would mean that everything would be just a little bit bigger than on the 8X8 size. The first layout I redesigned was the one that I had test printed at 8X8, and it really does look better at 8.5X11. I've been wanting a new photo printer that prints borderless prints anyway, so I'm going to get that and then print my layouts at home (since I haven't printed any of my layouts yet other than the 2 test prints).

The wide format printers are still quite a bit more expensive, and so is the paper for them. And the paper isn't 12X12, it's 13X19, so there would be some waste and trimming involved.

Seems like such an obvious solution, I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner - one of those "DUH" moments!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

New camera!!

My husband surprised me this morning with a new Canon Digital Rebel XT! I am so excited - I've only taken 3 pictures with it so far, but I can already tell I'm going to LOVE it!! So here is one of those 3 pictures - it is my precious kitty (his name is Lucky).

Thursday, December 22, 2005


I wrote my letter to Olympus a few weeks ago. In yesterday's mail, I received 2 envelopes from them. The first one was a check for all of the shipping that I had spent to send the camera back to them all 3 times, so that was good. The second one was a letter of apology, along with a 2 year extended warranty. I certainly hope that I won't need to use the warranty again after my last experience. They stated in the letter that the extended warranty also gives me a free cleaning and check up, but I won't be using that. I won't be sending the camera back to them unless there is something really serious wrong with it, but at least they tried to make the situation right.

So I don't feel quite as negative towards them as I did before. And they actually have 2 service centers, so if I ever do need to send it in again, I will try the other one. But I'm still hoping for a digital SLR camera. Someday soon I hope - I really want the Canon Digital Rebel, because we have a film Canon Rebel with 3 lenses that would fit the digital. If I get that, I don't think I'll ever shoot film again.

Friday, December 16, 2005


I took this photo in front of our house the other morning.

Christmas Ornaments

I made this digital scrapbook page about my ornaments for a challenge on Digital Scrapbook Place. The journaling reads, "I love my ornaments. Most of them are hand made, although not all of them by me. I have been making ornaments ever since [my son] was a baby, and I make or buy a few new ones every year. When [my son] was a child, he hated the fact that our ornaments didn’t look like all of his friends’ ornaments, but he appreciates them much more now. In fact, I gave him and [son's girlfriend] many ornaments last year, and it was interesting to see which ones they chose. These are 2 of my personal favorites, both of which I made."

I used several kits that I received as freebies from Digital Scrapbook Place to create this layout:
Background paper - Christmas Add-ons by Bethy
Photo mats - Christmas Textures kit by Karen Bowers
Word art (That which is loved is beautiful) - Christmas Textures kit by Karen Bowers
Text background - Airplane kit by Bethy
Ribbons and Bow - Addon5 by Elizabeth

Monday, December 12, 2005

Another word art assignment

I completed another assignment for my word art class over the weekend. This is another photo provided by the instructor (isn't it a beauty?), and I found the quote and added it to the photo. I love doing the word art - it can add so much to a photo! And the best thing about it is it isn't hard at all!

The quote reads, "It is almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream." (author unknown)

Christmas cards

I usually try to stamp at least some of my Christmas cards each year, but I have totally not gotten around to doing it this year. So yesterday I decided to try to do a digital card instead. My husband is a bird watcher and also likes to take digital photos of birds, so I looked through all his recent bird shots and settled on this one. I then added word art and a background to it, and this is what I came up with.

I usually print my own pictures, but I decided to check out different printing services for this one. Several offer free prints on your first order, so I uploaded the file to 3 different services, giving me 35 free prints (I will have to pay a couple of dollars shipping on one of them, but that's all). I picked up my first order today, and I was very disappointed to find that, even though I had made sure that my upload was exactly 4X6, part of the borders were cut off, and more was cut off on the top and bottom than on the sides. When I asked the clerk why this happened and if I needed to do something special when I uploaded the photo, she said she didn't know, they weren't trained on uploading. I will just need to trim these a little bit so that the borders are the same all the way around - and I'll have to cut off the black line that outlines the card. I'll be very interested to see how the other prints come out.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Word Art Class Homework

The class I'm taking this month is Word Art. This photo was provided by the class instructor, Tina Chambers. I did not take this photo (although I wish I had - it is so beautiful!). But I added the quote, which reads, "There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly," by R. Buckminster Fuller.

Another circle journal entry completed

I had a really rough time finishing this today. I started out by deciding to make a card for a contest. I spent a long time getting it exactly right, then when I was looking up the name of one of the stamp sets I had used, I realized that it was discontinued, meaning I couldn't enter the card in this particular contest.

So then I went on to work on the circle journal. I completed one of the pages, only to realize that I'd made it too big. I guess I hadn't measured the page size. I had thought it was 6" square, but it was actually 5 1/2" square.

So I started all over. Decided that the snowman I had used on the 6" page was too big for the 5 1/2" page. Made a few other smaller mistakes, but finally got the two pages done. The theme for this journal is "this and that," meaning I could do pretty much anything I wanted in this. So I decided on snowflakes and snowmen, since it has been so cold the past few days, and we even had a few flakes a couple of days ago.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Christmas Stocking

Here is the Christmas Stocking I made for my son's girlfriend. I pieced it and quilted it on my new sewing machine. Several of the applique blocks came from the same book that had the pattern for the stocking, but the paint palette and the camera I did from clip art. I am especially proud of how they turned out. This was quite fast to make, since the appliques are all done with a heavy fusible that can't be stitched through. And the extra details like the bell on Santa's hat and the buttons and bow on the gingerbread man are glued on. Many of the key fabrics are the same as the ones that I used to make the rest of ours 9 years ago. It's amazing that I still had so many of the fabrics still in my stash!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Another digital layout

I finished another digital layout tonight. I did this one for a challenge at Digital Scrapbook Place, which is where I've also been taking a lot of classes. The challenge was to use at least 4 of 8 colors provided and at least 1 floral brush among 6 provided; I used 5 of the colors and 1 floral brush element (the 3 flowers along the lower left of the layout). I created the background, the ribbon, and the brad myself.

Monday, November 28, 2005


Our digital camera is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow. It better be repaired correctly this time! Once it is, I plan on writing a very detailed letter to the company. I don't think I've ever written this kind of letter before, but I'm still mad about this whole ordeal, and I want Olympus to know it! I'm not sure what I expect by writing to them - I probably need to figure that out before I write the letter. But this has been some of the worst customer service I've experienced in a long time. And the company should know!

I hope to be able to start posting pictures of some of my quilting projects sometime tomorrow!

ABC Atc Swap

Another ATC Swap - this one is ABC's. There are 26 participants, each one chooses a letter and makes 26 atcs using that letter. I chose "C" because I wanted cats on mine. When all swapped out, each participant ends up with a set of the whole alphabet.

Here is my completed atc. Kind of cute I think.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Design Team Work

I am on the Design Team for Our Stamping Studio. What this means is that each month, we have a sponsor (usually a rubber stamp company) who provides us with free product. We then create artwork with the sponsor's products and promote the sponsor for the month. At the end of the month, we provide the sponsor with our samples or scans (whichever the sponsor prefers). It has been a really great program for both the sponsors and the Design Team, and I love doing it. So here are a few of the things that I created for this month's sponsor, Silver Fox Stamps.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Christmas Stocking

I finished another quilting project today - this one is a Christmas stocking for my son's girlfriend. It matches the rest of my family's stockings as closely as I could get it to match - I found many of the same fabrics in my stash (which is amazing, considering I made the other stockings 9 years ago!). The stockings have patches with applique on them. All of them have a santa for one of the applique patches, and then they have other Christmas-type images (tree, present, ornament, gingerbread man, etc.). Then each one is also personalized in some way - for hers, I added a paint palette and a camera, since those are things she likes to do. It turned out really cute - and as soon as I get my camera back, I'll post a picture of it!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Ornament ATC

I am in a local group that swaps ATC’s. We meet twice a month and generally swap once a month. This month’s theme is ornaments (as in, an atc that can be used as an ornament). Here is the one I completed for the current swap. The green tree is a metal charm, and the circle is actually punched out of the atc, so the white you see is from my scanner.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Vision of Women ATC

I finished this for today for a swap on Our Stamping Studio. After stamping the lady, I colored her with Walnut Ink Tintz from Fiber Scraps and also with Distress Ink from Ranger. Then I collaged some papers around her and added lace and a fancy brad. I also stitched around the edges with my sewing machine. One will also be sent in to Technique Junkies for their current contest.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Circle Journal

I am in a circle journal swap on Our Stamping Studio. This is basically the same thing as a deco swap. There are 11 of us participating in this one, and we have a month to work in each journal, which means it will be almost a year from start to finish. Our journal had to be mailed out by April 15, so it has been going around for a long time now. I only have 3 more journals to work in, and then I get my own back! This one has been much better about staying on schedule than the other one (Asian Deco) I'm in.

I finished my pages today in the journal I have now. This was a very thought-provoking theme for me - Treasures. Our instructions were to fill the pages of the book with what we treasure - whatever is most important in our life. We could include photos if we wanted to, journaling if we wished, or an artistic expression of what means the most to us. I spent a lot of time just thinking about the theme before I did any work in the journal - it was a great chance to really think about all of my treasures. I did a 2-page spread, and tucked some journaling into a pocket. I really enjoyed this one once I got started.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

My Own Asian Deco

And here is the cover of my own Deco. I'm anxious to get it back and see all the wonderful artwork created by the other members of the group! This group has been running behind schedule though, so I don't know when I'll get it back. I really hope I don't have to wait TOO long.

Asian Deco Swap Completed

These are the other two deco pages I've completed. As you can tell, I really like my geisha and kimono rubber stamps. The kimono is an outline that I stamped on Japanese paper; I stamped the geisha on vellum and colored her kimono on the back.

Asian Deco Swap Continued

Here are two more Deco pages I've done for the same swap. Since each person made her own book, each book is a different size and shape. The most original book in my opinion had pages in the shape of fan blades (the left picture).

Asian Deco Swap

I've already mentioned that I love participating in swaps. This one is called a Deco: each participant makes a book that she sends to the next person in the group. Each person in the group creates artwork in each person's book, and when each book has been around to each person in the group, it is returned to the person who made the book. Decos usually have a theme, and the theme for this one is Asian Art. Here are a couple of pages that I completed in other artists' books. The one on the right was the last one for me to work in - I hope to get mine back soon.

Camera Woes

Well, my digital camera arrived home on Monday, just as scheduled. I opened the box and looked at the packing slip first. I noticed that it referred to the first problem I'd sent it in for, not the second, and it also stated "no problem found." WHAT?? So I put the battery and the memory card in it, turned it on, checked it, and NO, they DID NOT fix the problem. I can not believe this!

Here is the story - sometime in September, the lens stopped retracting into the camera when you turned the camera off. I sent it in for repairs - which meant having Mail Boxes Etc. double box it so that insurance would cover it if it was damaged in shipping. They repaired it and returned it (but we were without it for about 3 weeks). The day it came back, I loaded the battery and memory card back into it, checked it to be sure the lens retracted like it was supposed to (it did), and put it away.

A couple of days later I tried to take a picture with it. This model has a button on the back that lets you switch back and forth between using the LCD monitor on the back of the camera and the viewfinder (when one is on, the other is off). When I turned the camera on, the LCD monitor was on. I pressed the button to use the viewfinder, the monitor went off, but the viewfinder didn't come on. I pressed the button again, the monitor came back on. Every time I pressed the button, the monitor either went on or off, but the viewfinder never came on. So I called the company. I had to send it back (of course). They told me that since it was a "REDO" (their word), they would reimburse the shipping. They gave me a service order number and told me to include copies of all the paperwork. I did that.

When I called them Monday, the guy I talked to tried to blame me for calling it a "REDO." It seems they "thought" I was sending it back to redo the lens, and since the lens worked, there was "no problem found." Of course, if they had READ what I wrote on the form they required me to send them, they would have known I was sending it in for the viewfinder and not the lens. Needless to say, I am still pretty steamed about it.

The guys at Mail Boxes Etc. are getting to know me pretty well now - they gave me a "frequent shipper" card and even stamped it 3 times (since I hadn't had the card for the other 2 shipments).

All of this rant is just to say that I have a number of quilting projects that I would like to post, but I can't until I get the camera back in working order. But I can still share some paper projects - at least my scanner works!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Latest Layout

And here is the one I finished yesterday. This was the third lesson for my second class on using brushes in Photoshop Elements. I'm still behind - I have one more lesson to finish for this class, and then a new class that started on November 1st. These photos are of my husband and me searching for letterboxes in Colorado.

Two More Digital Layouts

Here is a layout I completed a couple of months ago. This is the first layout I completed for the first class I took in Intro to Photoshop Elements. The pictures are of my husband fishing in one of our favorite vacation spots in Colorado.

And this is the second one I completed in the same class. Most of the digital scrapping that I've seen tries to recreate the look of the more traditional paper scrapping, but this one is strictly a graphic style layout. While I probably wouldn't do a lot of layouts like this, I really like the way this one turned out, and I certainly learned a lot doing it. These are more photos of my husband fishing, but these were taken in HIS favorite spot - the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Spring Quilt

I finished my spring quilt today. I so want to take a picture of it to post, but my digital camera is in for repairs (for the second time!). I do know that it has been shipped back to me, scheduled to arrive on Monday. So at least I can take a picture of it then. I'm loving my new sewing machine though!

I've fallen behind on my online classes for digital scrapbooking with Photoshop Elements - I fell behind when I went to Houston and haven't caught up yet. But I worked on it last night and did finish a layout. I'm not completely happy with it, but I may post it anyway.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Aurora 440 QE

Well, I did it! Yesterday I bought the Bernina Aurora 440 QE (stands for Quilter's Edition). With stitch regulator! I love it already, and all I've done so far is sew 3 strips together to test my 1/4" seam allowance. But it was perfect on the first try! Sometimes you really have to work at getting that 1/4" seam allowance right, but I had no problem whatsoever. Then I played a little bit with the stitch regulator. It will take a little bit of practice, but not much - it's already pretty easy. I'm really excited to actually start using it (just need to find the time).

Saturday, October 29, 2005


I had 3 cards published in this month's Vamp Stamp News magazine. It is so exciting to see my work in print. And Vamp Stamp News is a really interesting Rubber Stamp magazine. It is a one-woman operation, not your slick glossy full color magazine like so many others, but still very well put together with a lot of good solid information. I really enjoy the magazine, so it is quite a thrill that I've been published there several times. Here is a link to the website: The extra fun thing is that if you're published, you get a free copy of the magazine. And since I've been published in 6 out of the previous 9 months, I haven't even bought a subscription. If I ever get tired of submitting my work, I will definitely buy that subscription, but until then, I just buy it at the nearest rubber stamp store (about 65 miles away) whenever I'm not published. I've even had my work on the cover a few times.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Quilt Market

I returned home yesterday after spending a few days at the Houston Quilt Market. It was quite an experience! I have been to Quilt Festival once before, but this was different; Quilt Market is before Festival, and it is the wholesale market for quilt shops. Since my friends and I are teachers at our local quilt shop, the owners offered us the chance to attend market. It was a lot of fun, but many of the vendors weren't selling directly from their booths; they were taking orders to be filled after market. And the minimums in many of the booths were too high for individuals. But we still found things to buy; just no fabric and very few books.

My biggest purchase at market was probably paints and supplies for painting on fabric - really cool stuff and I can't wait to play with it. But the biggest expense of market for me is going to be the fact that I've decided I really want a new sewing machine. I was able to sew on a Bernina Aurora 440 QE with Stitch Regulator. What a nice machine! The stitch regulator will allow me to do free motion quilting and keep my stitches even.

It was MUCH less crowded at market than it is at festival (you could actually get into the booths and see what was for sale). The quilt show was up and almost empty of people, so you could really see the quilts. While I enjoyed the whole experience, and I'm really glad that I had the chance to go this time, I doubt if I will want to go again.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Embroidery Trunk Show

I went to a trunk show of machine embroidery designs today - spent way too much money! It's so hard not to buy designs when you see them beautifully stitched out. This is a designer from South Africa and I already have a few of her designs. Now I have more! I went with my two sewing buddies, and we all bought designs. I actually spent less money than either of them (which is not unusual these days). Of course, she offered some specials for the trunk show only, so I only bought designs with special pricing. I figured I could always buy others off the website later. Here are links to the designs I bought:

Now I have to find the time to embroider them! I'm going to search for some good blanks to embroider onto. The cutwork designs will be great on linen table runners and/or napkin corners.

Thursday, these same friends and I are going to Houston for Quilt Market, so I'm sure my spending spree isn't finished yet!!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Artist Trading Cards

I mentioned earlier that I love participating in swaps. Well, probably my favorite swaps are of Artist Trading Cards, or ATCs. These cards are 2.5" by 3.5" in size (the same size as sports trading cards), and can be done in any technique that an artist chooses. They are only traded, never sold. Other than that, and the size, there are really no rules for ATCs. There are a lot of internet groups for trading; this is how I do most of my trades. It works like this - one person (the host) decides on a theme (for example, dragonflies). The host then posts information about the swap (things like due dates, number of atcs to send, address, whether to send a self addressed stamped envelope, etc.). Interested participants email the host to sign up. Participants send their completed cards to the host by the due date, who then swaps them out to all participants. It is a great way to get a little piece of artwork from a wide variety of artists on a theme of interest to you. Here is one of my favorite atcs that I made recently - the theme was dragonflies.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Autumn Quilt

Here is the quilt that I have hanging right now. This one's actually my favorite, maybe because fall is my favorite time of year (and because there is a cat sleeping on a quilt in this one).

Quilting for Winter

After writing my post last night about my spring quilt that I finished yesterday, I decided to find out whether the Winter embroidery designs were available yet, and they are! Not only that, but I am going to Houston next weekend for quilt market, and Cactus Punch (the digitizer for the embroidery designs) is a vendor there. So I'm hoping that I can buy the design pack in Houston next week. Maybe I'll get this series finished before the end of the year!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Quilting for Spring

I sewed with friends today. There are three of us who get together about once a week to sew - we rotate houses. We are all fortunate enough to have large enough sewing studios to accommodate the three of us. Anyway, I finished quilting a little embroidered quilt called "Welcome Spring." I had started it last winter/early spring, with the hope that I could actually hang it this past spring, but I didn't get it quilted in time. Once I missed the opportunity, I put it aside. So this morning, as I was deciding what to work on today, I noticed this spring quilt. I decided that it would be a good project to do today - then it will actually be done in time for next spring. This is one of a series of seasonal quilts that I have completed - autumn, summer, and now spring. I will do winter as soon as the company that makes the embroidery designs makes the winter set (soon I hope). The quilt appropriate for the season hangs in my entry way. The other reason I wanted to finish this one is that I am helping another friend teach a beginning quilting class through our local city art center, and I want to demo how to put on the binding. I will need a quilt that is ready to bind in order to do the demo, so all I have left to do now is attach the hanging sleeve and label (and find my binding fabric!). I will post a picture of it when I finish binding it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Calendar Swap

I am participating in a calendar swap on Our Stamping Studio. Participants choose a month (mine is January) and make 12 copies of a calendar page for that month. They send their completed pages to the swap hostess, who will then send 1 of each month to each participant, so we each end up with a complete calendar. I worked on my page today. I finished one page for my prototype, so now I just need to complete 11 more just like it. I love participating in swaps - I receive art from several different artists and share my own art with others. It also gives me a direction for my art, which helps me to create. Here is the page I completed today.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Another digital layout

Here is another layout I completed last week. This photo was taken north of Durango, Colorado. My husband and I started a hobby called "Letterboxing" which is a combination of art and a treasure hunt in a scenic location. Basically, someone hides a box containing a rubber stamp and a journal and then publishes clues to find it. We would probably not have taken this drive and hike if we hadn't been looking for letterboxes here - but it was such a beautiful place that we were very glad we found the spot. For more information on this hobby, visit this website:

Back to School - sort of

I've been taking online classes to learn how to use Photoshop Elements to do digital scrapbooking. I have learned so much in these classes, and I'm getting some digital layouts done in the process. This is my latest one that I just finished today. The photo was taken in Colorado this past summer on a drive north of Crested Butte.

Trying this out

I've been wanting a place where I could post pictures of my work and include some details about it as well. So I've decided to join the rest of the world and create this blog. I expect to use it mostly for sharing pictures, but I imagine I'll share comments too. This may replace other personal web pages I've tried creating in the past, as well as some photo-hosting services I've tried. We'll see anyway.