Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Project Life - Weeks 1 & 2 - Digi Edition

I have been hopping along with all my projects! I can't believe I have taken every single Project 365+1 photo and kept up with Project Life. I do need to catch up with my Twelve workshop, but I did get one layout completed (to be seen later). I even took on another project. I decided to sign up for Jessica Sprague's Photoshop Friday workshops. She has a new project every Friday. I like them because they only take a few minutes to complete.

Week One is really quite simple to complete. I used the templates at Jessica Sprague and Becky Higgins digi kit Clementine. All you really need to do is drop and clip to the appropriate mask. Then add journaling a bit of embellishments from the kit.


Week Two's Project Life has been a lot of fun. I have been taking bits and pieces of what I have been seeing others do and pulling it together to something that I really enjoyed creating. I added a bit more in way of embellishments from other kits. I also added a frame around each of the photos. I think it helps the eye focus more on the photos.

I have been thinking about printing these out as individual pieces and then place in an album that I have from a previous Project Life kit that I never really used. I love the way that others have been using bits of pieces of ephemera (junk/stuff) on their pages with detail on the outside of the pockets. 

Now I just need to get moving on Week 3.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A New Year

It is now a new year with new resolution dedications | endeavors. I am currently working on Project 365+1 (leap year) and Project Life. I figure they both go hand in hand. Last year I attempted both but fell off the wagon due to illness. Now I am healthy (and getting healthier) and will get this goal completed. I have been told a habit is formed in 20 days. I am not three days into it and so far very successful.

One of the main problems I had with taking a photo everyday was coming up with ideas. Late last year I found Katrina Kennedy's Capture Your 365. She comes up with photo prompts for everyday of the year and ideas how to capture them. You can even sign up for her daily email. So no more excuses. I even made up a 'Subway' style watermark for this year.

Day 1 (01:01) - PHOTOGRAPH 2012
a street address | written down | calendar

This was easy. Just snapped a photo of my calendar. It was getting really late in the day when I took this so I altered this photo a bit. The color of the wall was distracting and I removed the color from the photo. It still did not look right so I turned it into a pencil sketch and then worked with the light/white balance.

Day 2 (01:02) - PHOTOGRAPH ring it in
tradition | looking forward | resolutions

This one I had to think about most of the day. I do not like the idea of resolutions but I had promised myself that I was going to take more time this year to get creative. My room is such a mess but I do have a stand set up with all my basic tools. I took this photo to remind me to get back to the basics of creating. I am looking forward to this.

Day 3 (01:03) - PHOTOGRAPH a fresh perspective
a view | an outlook | a fruit or vegetable

I had taken a photo out of my window of all the snow we received yesterday but I was not that thrilled about it. I then started playing with the ISO and f stop on the camera along with the shutter speed and the aperture. I took this photo at dusk using an ISO 1600, f/4, 1/6s, 60 mm. It looks like morning. It was this crisp and bright straight from the camera. I now have a new outlook on the camera. Plus it is a really great photo of Nathan.

I decided to also tie in my daily photos with Project Life. Becky Higgins has come up with an easy way to document your daily life. I have been inspired by this concept for some time but never did anything with it. Last year I won a kit at a local crop and started working on the album. It comes with journaling and title cards along with divided page protectors. I worked on it for about a week. I took out the cards and wrote down something about the photo I took. My problem : I never printed my photos. I am terrible about printing my photos.

The solution to my problem came in an email from Jessica Sprague. Her and Becky Higgins teamed up and developed Project Life into a digital/hybrid scrapbookers dream. All the elements are now available in a digital format along with templates of all the different layout styles. The many different templates will fit my photos best. I do not always take photos that are horizontal (which was a problem last year). I decided to use the Clementine kit after much agonizing over the selection. I also got the Turquoise kit to be used for a different project. So far I have completed the cover page and am working daily on the layout for week 1 (to be posted when completed).

So far I am sticking to the basic format that has been developed but I can see myself adding brushes and more embellishments once I get my format and workflow down. I may just switch everything to an 8 1/2 x 11 format so that I can print these or I may keep them as 12 x 12 and have them bound into a book or printed at the end of the year.

My next project is Stacy Julian's Twelve workshop from Big Picture Classes. It officially starts tomorrow but the set up has been going on for a bit. I just need to get caught up today and get everything ready. The idea of the class is to create twelve layouts a month for twelve months. Sounds crazy I know, but this will keep me on track for my promise to myself to be more creative. More to come soon.

Finally this year I plan to get healthy again. 2011 was a rough year physically and emotionally. I plan to get my health back. Last spring I had a hysterectomy due to endometriosis and adenomyosis. The pain started late in 2010 and kept continuing. To make a long story short, I sat on the couch for nine months and put on about 35 pounds. I also lost a very dear friend to breast cancer in July. I still miss her terribly.

Now I plan to not diet but to get up and move more through walks, cleaning my house and maybe some exercise. A diet is just something to fall of off so I am not going to diet but to eat healthier. A total lifestyle change for me.

I wish you all the best in your endeavors for the new year.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Creative Charms Fall Blog Hop

I hope everyone had a great time hopping from one designer to the next. Now to qualify for the Grand Prize of both the November Kit of the Month and Deal of the Month all you have to do is leave a comment here. Let me know what you saw that was interesting or your favorite designer on the hop.

November Kit of the Month

November Kit of the Month

November Deal of the Month

November Deal of the Month

All winners will be announced on the Creative Charms blog on Tuesday, November 1st and on our Facebook page throughout the weekend.

Have a great day.

Monday, August 8, 2011

My Creative Mojo

Hi Everyone - I was told by a very good friend of mine that I needed to get my creative mojo going again. I have been negleting not only my blog but also my creative outlet. For the past few months I have been recovering from surgery and now I feel that it is time to get back on board.

Chris Hertel (chrispea) was the friend that told me to get my creative butt moving. Recently, she lost her battle with breast cancer and it was a huge shock. She was always a source of creative and personal inspiration. I watched her fight this disease with everything she had, but she was always there for anyone and everyone. She never let this disease get her down and she was always being creative in her job, with her family and with her scrapbooking. So, I am taking her advice and getting my creative mojo going.

I never did finish the class with Jessica Sprague Digi: In Deeper. Taking baby steps back into my creative realm I decided to work on another lesson. This was a lesson on Freestyle with lots of color and embellishments. This is my interpretation of the lesson:

I turned it into a layout about myself. So this is me just out of bed first thing in the morning. No make-up and no contacts. I really love how it turns a photo into a painting. This was a really intense lesson in Photoshop with a lot of layers, but well worth the trouble. I am definately going to be trying this technique again with my teenage boys.

Just a little FYI ... Big Picture Classes is having a FREE Big Idea Festival. There will be 12 days with 12 different instructors. The classes officially will kick off on August 15th. There is even a kit for purchase to go with the projects.

Now that I have gotten some of my mojo flowing, I am ready to start getting dirty. Maybe I will try a hybrid layout next. Remember...baby steps. Thanks Chris for getting me moving again. Love you and miss you.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Creative Charms Farewell Blog Hop Tour

Whew! You finally made it to the end. I really hope you enjoyed all the great projects and entered the giveaways that the designers where hosting. My secret word is: FUN

Did you collect 18 words? I really hope so because if you email me all 18 words in order to midori@creativecharms.com you will be entered to win the Farewell Blog Hop's GRAND PRIZE of both the Kit of the Month and the Deal of the Month for the month of May. This means you will be the very first person to receive them. Just be sure to be a follower of the Creative Charms' blog (http://www.creative-charms.blogspot.com/)

All prizes will be announced on Monday, May 2nd. So if you entered a giveaway at one of the designers blogs be sure to go back on Monday to see if you won.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. : )

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Come On Spring

I cannot believe how fast February flew by. March is finally here and that means SPRING is on it's way! It has been a long and hard winter here in Western PA. Sometimes, it felt like it would never get warm or we would never see the sun. Well, the sun is out, but it is still very cold.

One of the special things about February is it is my son's birthday. This year Jacob turned 13 (I now officially have two teenage boys!) and we had a really great time. He wanted to go to Outback for dinner to get a Blooming Onion (yum). For his birthday he asked everyone for cash and gift certificates. He had a fun time collecting all the money and shopping on Amazon. He just bought a new Kinex for his XBox. I like it when a video games makes them move instead of just sitting around. The great thing is he can play with his friends on-line. So here is a new digi page of his birthday:

This layout was created in Jessica Sprague's latest Digi in Deeper class. I am a bit behind, but slowly but surely catching up. Going to work on my Mouse Paper Scissors class today.

To help celebrate that spring is on it's way, Creative Charms has two new specials this month. Both the Deal of the  Month and the Kit of the month are in great shades of green. These just make me feel happy and light.

March's Kit of the Month is only $14.99 and full of great butterflies, flowers and of course bling. This kit is also being given away on the Creative Charms' blog. Be sure to go and leave a comment on the post Happy March to be entered to win.

The Deal of the Month is $6.99 and is full of fun flowers in a variety of textures and of course more bling.

One last thing. I have found two blogs that are giving away some really great gifts. On TodaysMama they are giving away an iMac and on Ali Edwards blog she is giving away a Canon Rebel XS 10.1 MP Digital SLR! Both giveaways are sponsored by Just Ask. Just Ask is one of the testing companies for BRCA. This is a valuable test to make it possible for women to know if they are carrying a specific gene that causes breast and ovarian cancer. Right now if you like their page, they are giving away up to $25,000 to help women get the test.

I received this test last year because I have a very strong family history of ovarian cancer. I already lost two aunts to the disease and another that is fighting it right now. Luckily, I do not carry the gene but we are unsure if that was the cause of my aunts' cancer. They live in Japan where the test is currently very very expensive and not covered. Here with insurance it was over $500 and that does not include the genetic counseling that is required. So, I take all precautions to live a healthy life, get my annual check ups and do self exams. As my friend Chris says (who is a recent survivor of breast cancer) "Feel your boobies" :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Well, Hello There...

Wow, wasn't that blog hop with K Andrew a ton of fun? I know I had a great time hopping across the country. I also got a lot of new followers (bonus). So, I thought I would start out with an introduction.

Hello, my name is Midori and I am a stay at home mom of two teen age boys. My oldest is 16 and my youngest just turned 13 (we tell him he is only 12.1 - not allowed to become a teen). I am married to my high school sweetheart for over 18 years. We still act like teenagers as we have date night every Friday night. I am a lucky girl (shhh I am not getting older). We also have a great border collie Rocky (named after the blue Power Ranger) who is now 8. We now reside just east of Pittsburgh. I say reside as we are transplants of the beautiful state of Washington via South Carolina.

My Family :)
Now, I know I said I am a stay at home mom and my boys are my first priority but I also teach scrapbooking classes at my local store (Art-Tech Supplies) and any retreats that find their way into the area. I am also the Education Coordinator and E-Commerce Coordinator for Creative Charms. It is a wonderful embellishment company and I am having a ton of fun working with the design teams and running the websites/blogs/facebook accounts.

Now for some scrappy stuff. I am just dying to get back to my scrap table, but have been unable to due to a few health issues that will be resolved soon. Thank goodness for laptops. I have been taking some great digi scrapping classes over at Jessica Sprague's site. Her classes are so great and I have learned a lot. Photoshop has come a long way since I learned how to use it for work waayyy back in 1996. It is a lot easier to use and therefore a lot more fun. Right now I am taking the final class Digi: in Deeper. Here is the latest project:

The goal of this assignment was to work in a "Grungy" style, break up a circle into different mats and also to fill a font using a brush. We also learned how to make our own brushes using a stripe generator. This class is just way too cool.

On Monday, we start a new class Mouse, Paper, Scissors and it is a hybrid class. Just got my goodie box and I am so excited to start sharing the projects with you all.

One more thing. Want to be a guaranteed winner? Go to Creative Charms' Facebook page and "Like" them. Then send a self addressed and stamped (44 cents) business envelope to Creative Charms (PO Box 186; Wexford, PA 15090) and they will send you something blingy back! This is to celebrate the 1,000+ "Like"s on Facebook. Everyone WINS how great is that. Just make sure your envelope is post marked before Saturday, February 19th.

Have a great week!
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