Sunday, February 25, 2007

Catching up

Where do the days go? It's all a big blur.

Kaylee is mostly better. Just a bit sniffly and the occasional cough. We've been giving her Claratin, which seems to help.

The magician did arrive as scheduled this time. He was a bit of an odd duck as far as lecturing magicians go - just didn't seem to fit the personality, much more "nervous". But he was nice enough, and the lecture went fine.

Matthew had his annual check-up on Tuesday. Everything's fine.

I tried to do some designing the last couple of weeks but nothing came out the way I envisioned, and the one thing that was turning out kind of cool would have taken me a full week per element.

So I took a break from designing and have been working on cataloging my downloaded kits and such, so that maybe I can actually get some use out of them. I've made a small dent. Picked up a few more things while I was at it - about half of IOD's stuff at Scrap Artist on their retirement sale, and Meredith Fenwick and Kim Christensen's His & Her Collections (also being retired). The retired kit thing breaks my "no spending" resolve every time. :b Also got Katie Pertiet's Curled Journal Spots 3, which were on sale for 25¢. Can't beat that price.

We had some beautiful weather last week, so Kaylee and I hit the park a few times. Kaylee likes to rub it in Matthew's face when he gets home from school that we went without him. Sigh.

Matthew went on his first ever sleepover Friday night to a friend's house from his class. Matthew was over the moon excited and was ready to go with his jacket and backpack on for an hour before they arrived to pick him up. They did the pizza and video games thing, and then Saturday morning they went on a 5K fun run. We haven't done that sort of thing, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but got the impression from what the kid's parents said that they would all stay together. From Matthew's version of events, he and his friend got lost and had to ask directions to get back to the course, and the friend's mom was nowhere around. If his version is accurate (possibly she was watching them, since she was behind them), that's so not cool. Regardless, we will not be letting him do anything like that without us again. Matthew didn't like the race part anyway, so I don't think that will be too much of an issue.

The weather turned nasty again this weekend. A little rain, and tons of incredibly strong wind. It blew open our shed and blew a picket off our fence – not that it would take too terribly much since the fence is not in very good shape, but still. You could just hear it howling all day yesterday. It seems to have died back down today though.

Guess that's it for now. Have been staying up way too late. Off to bed now. G'night!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Weekend stuff

Kaylee is sick. Not horribly sick, just your average kid cold-with-fever sort of thing. She woke up with a cough on Wednesday and didn't eat her breakfast that morning – very unlike her. When I picked her up from school and asked her how her Valentine's Day party was, which she had been totally looking forward to for two weeks, she responded that it was boring and she had just wanted to go to sleep. Normally, she's begging me to go places after school, but she just wanted to "go home and rest". Then when we got home, she started crying saying it was too bright in there. She was finally satisfied when I closed all the blinds, turned off all the lights, and had her put on her sunglasses. And it was an overcast day to begin with. She then cuddled up on the couch and zonked out. When she finally let me take her temp that night, she had a fever. Not sure exactly how high, since I couldn't find our "good" thermometer. So she stayed home yesterday and today. She's perked up considerably, but is still running a low grade fever and is barking like a seal. Poor kiddo. Seems like she's sick every time I turn around. The joys of being in school. We went through this with Matthew at a much younger age. Hopefully, she won't have too tough of a time with it next year.

The magician who was supposed to come last weekend ended up postponing until this weekend (car trouble). So then he was supposed to arrive today, go to a magic collectors' meeting tonight with Mark, a magic auction tomorrow, and then do the lecture on Sunday. He was supposed to be here at 4:30 this afternoon. At 5:00, Mark called to see how close he was. Apparently the guy was tired from the tour and had decided to rest up where he was instead of driving down today. Fine, but, uhm, heard of a phone? Oh, well. He's now (supposedly) coming down tomorrow evening. I knocked myself out getting the house ready today. At least that's all done. Hopefully I can keep the kids from destroying it tomorrow.

The RAKScraps newsletter came out tonight, as well as the first pieces of the mega kit. This month the admin add-on proceeds, instead of going to RAKScraps, are going to benefit the National Arthritis Foundation. The kit is beautiful, as always. Pick it up and help contribute to a very worthy cause while getting some great new goodies to scrap with.

I finally got forced to go to the new Blogger tonight. My blog template is slightly wonky now. Hopefully, I'll be able to get it fixed up without too much trouble, but I don't know if I'm up to looking at it tonight. Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Dental report. More cardboard.

Matthew's dental appointment went just fine. It took a little doing, but the tooth came out with no complaints from a happily mildly sedated Matthew. The drugs did make him quite tired though, so he didn't have too much trouble complying with the dentist's orders to be a couch potato the rest of the day (something the receptionist had neglected to mention when I called and asked prior to the appointment LOL). He was also ordered to eat ice cream right after the appointment, so he got the rare treat of a chocolate milkshake at 10am. :)

I whittled away a bit more of my cardboard stash this week and came up with...

This started out to be a much smaller set for the Dollar Bin, but once I got started, I just couldn't stop! LOL

I guess that's it for now. I should go clean or something. We've got a guest magician coming in again this weekend, and the house is in need of some serious attention. :b

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I scrapped! More Valium.

I've barely scrapped at all since I left the sponsor team last summer. I've gotten terribly rusty. Not that I was ever fast to begin with, but it's amazing how hard it is to get anything to flow after being out of it so long. Anyway, so we had a very nice day yesterday, and I took Kaylee to the park and brought along my new DSLR. I'm not really comfortable with it yet, and I picked a really hard subject to get in focus (or even in frame for that matter), even in auto mode, but I did get a few decent shots, so I put together a layout. I've tweaked and played and fiddled with this since yesterday afternoon. Well, ok, yesterday afternoon was basic assembly; today was tweak & fiddle day, and now I just need to call it done. :p

Papers - Carrie Stephens (Baby Cakes) • • Ribbons, belt - Carrie Stephens (Celebrate Everyday) • • Cardboard curl - Kim Jensen (Cardboard Bits - Sproingy) • • Doodles - Lisa Whitney (A Beautiful Mess) • • Staples - Melany Violette • • Tags (altered) - Gina Cabrera • • Strings - Lianne Carper (All Wrapped Up) • • Inked edges - Atomic Cupcake • • Curl shadow created in Eye Candy, hand edited • • Photo bend done manually • • Fonts - Angelina, 4990810

I actually hadn't started out to use anything of mine in it (other than the subject LOL), but I just thought the cardboard curl would be perfect there. And I know bends are trendy right now, but I hadn't planned to do one of those either. Then I needed something else with a little dimension to balance out the curl. I just wanted a slight bend, and that's the part of it I'm still not quite sure about. I'm going to try to keep my mitts off it now though. I do have a version with a stronger bend in it, so I may change my mind in the morning, but there it is for now. :)

So, you may remember me having to give Kaylee Valium for a dental appointment last year (2 fillings). Well, now it's Matthew's turn. He's got a baby tooth that just will not come out no matter how much he tries to wiggle it, and the permanent tooth is almost 100% grown in right behind it. So we gave him the first dose tonight, and he gets the second one in the morning before the appointment. He had a few super-silly moments this evening, but he gets that way sometimes anyway when he's too wound up, so hard to pin in on the drug. Hopefully, all will go smoothly. He's not allowed to go to school, since he has to be closely watched and could have dizzy spells, but depending on how he's feeling afterward, we may take advantage of the day off to go get him some new shoes and clothes and maybe be-bop around a bit. Kaylee had a meltdown after she had her cavities filled, so we'll just have to see how Matthew does.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

I'm officially a Photoshop geek & new product!

I feel like January rushed by on fast-forward while I was strolling along at a leisurely pace. I was not ready to get to the end yet! I like things less busy, since it seems like I can make time slow down closer to my pace. I never seem to accomplish nearly a month's worth of stuff in that amount of time.

The most exciting thing I did this last month (other than going to Chuck E. Cheese for Matthew's party, of course LOL) was fly down to Austin for a one-day Photoshop seminar taught by Bert Monroy. I decided to join NAPP this year and was browsing around their site. I saw the seminar and jokingly mentioned to Mark that I should go. Next thing I knew he was booking me a hotel and plane ticket and arranging to work from home so he could watch the kids! Not sure if he was being incredibly supportive or just really anxious to get rid of me for a couple of days. ;)

It felt very strange to fly again. I flew an average of about 2-3 times a month for 4 years for work, and it got to be completely routine. But the last time I flew was actually a vacation in the summer of 2001, so the routineness had worn off. And I didn't even think about all the more "recent" security measures. So strange to see everyone taking off their shoes for the security screenings. Anyway, I went down the night before the seminar, and an old friend from work picked me up at the airport and took me to dinner. I hadn't seen him since we were down there on vacation in 2004. It was great to catch up on our families and the people we had kept in touch with from work.

The seminar was very cool. I guess I'm more advanced than I thought, because I already knew a lot of what was covered, but there was some new stuff too, and just watching Bert Monroy work was well worth the trip. Totally amazing. If you ever used to watch Tech TV's Screen Savers you probably saw him. I've been a huge fan of his ever since the first time I saw him on there. All his work is done 100% from scratch in Photoshop, Illustrator, or other similar software - no photographs, no scans, etc. The level of detail is amazing. He opened up several of the original files for us and zoomed in on individual little things that no one would ever notice in a print or any other public version, but all those little things come together to really sell the images. I thought I was detail obsessed, but this guy leaves me in the dust. Have I used the word amazing yet? I explained it to Mark as being the way he feels about watching a really incredible magician perform, and from the look on his face I knew I'd chosen the perfect analogy. Photoshop World 2008 here I come. :) (No time or budget to do it this year.)

So, abruptly changing the subject since I can't think of a good segue, I have new product out. Mark has been teasing me about all the cardboard and such that I've been hoarding to use for my designs. It started when I broke down all the boxes that our new bed came in back in October and put them in the garage instead of tossing them…

(Hang on… gotta reboot. My tablet now thinks it's a mouse, and it's driving me insane. If anyone else has this problem and knows how to correct without rebooting, please let me know.)

(Ok, I'm back. :-p)

So anyway, I have a very large stash of cardboard accumulated now, and I decided to go ahead and do something with it, so I started playing. After peeling the backing paper off a very large section of heavy-duty corrugated cardboard, I noticed that the paper tended to curl up on it's own. Cool! And so, I created…

And then I got to thinking about how you couldn't put something like that in a real scrapbook, and so…

And then I went with something a little more standard and did some shapes. They're really big, so you could use them to mat photos or even use some of them as a base for a whole page. And the grade of cardboard I used for most of them is a larger wave/crinkle/whatever-you-call-that, so you could scale them down if you wanted to and still have great detail.

Look for more in this series in the future… I've barely made a dent in my cardboard stash! LOL