Friday, December 30, 2011

A Crafting Date

Today, my crafting buddy and CAS designer extraordinaire, Ann Cox, came to the Plato Craft Lab as part of her "gift" from me for Christmas.  It was a great way to spend a rainy day!  Here's what we came up with:

I made about 18 of these for Christmas gift thank you notes for my students.  I love the notebook paper embossing folder I just got at Hobby Lobby (made by The Paper Studio!).  Very quick and I like how they look.

Then came these awesome cards from Ann...

Looking at her bag, we gave ourselves a Valentine/color challenge:

The Bag

Ann's Take

My Take
And while we were crafting, the UPS man brought my scrapbook for my One Little Word project.  I tell ya, Barnes and Noble is FAST!  I just ordered it maybe two days ago.  Got me quite excited.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

And another?

So, I hemmed and I hawed, and I thought, and I thought.  And I decided. And I convinced Scott that if we did this together, it would be awesome.  So, yes, you got it, the Platos will be doing their first "together" scrapbook.  And year-long journey.

Yes, I am doing "One Little Word."  And working on my Master's degree.  And teaching.  And mothering.  Yes, it seems like one more thing on my "plate" (pardon the pun).  Here's how I justify:

  • I am already trying to follow the basic ideas of this.  This is just a matter of documenting.
  • We have both been sluggish and lethargic.  We eat crap and then wonder why we have no energy.  
  • This is monthly.  I can commit myself to getting things down once a month.
  • Scott's journeying with me, and that's huge.  His mere acknowledgement that he will go on this trip for a year makes it more exciting.
  • It's not a weight loss plan.  It's not Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig, or whatever other constrictive programs I have followed.  It gives a nod to what we need to do in life: move more, eat well.  
  • I have followed Cathy's journey on her blog since she began (formerly "Move More, Eat Less").  I love that she has changed the title to "Move More, Eat Well."  The "Eat Less" part was what I knew I needed to do but, psychologically, seemed depriving, which sets me up for failure.  Anyway, she has shared the good right along with the bad; the triumphs and the struggles.  That is all this is.  A place to do so.
  • This is my third class with Cathy through Big Picture Scrapbooking.  She does a fabulous job with them, and it's well worth the registration fee.
  • I am always one step away from packing it in (always, not just now...the edge is always right there).  I need to keep things in the forefront that keep me from doing so.
And there you have it.  A good juggler can throw in a refrigerator and the plates will still stay in the air.  Or so I tell myself.  I will share a bit here and on my "family" blog, so enjoy!  Or ignore! :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

And so it begins...

Our only assignment so far as we wrap up 2011 is to find a word and create our title page.  Sounds pretty simple?  NOT really.

My search for a word began with a Facebook query of my cyber pals.  I kicked around joining this journey with Ali Edwards, but wondered what word would see me through 12 months.  On December 11, I proposed the following question:

I love how it says my question was posted "near Normal."  As in Normal, IL, not the state of mind.  Ha!  Among the responses: thin, baby, balance (2), life, Jesus, happiness, grandbabygirl, hope, priorities, family (2), faith, children, peace, debt-free, redirection, fitness, fresh, tequila, organize, farts, perseverance, don'tsweatthesmallstuff, healthy, grateful, margarita, you can see, I have a wide range of friends with a wide range of sense of humor.  I decided on December 13 that "strength" would be my choice for so, so many reasons.

Upon signing up for the class, the decisions then begin: What color album? Where to buy materials?  What color for the cover art shown above?  Do I follow Ali's recipe or do I stray and make myself more of a perfectionistic nuthead?  

I looked up colors associated with the word strength, and one answer resounded: RED.  Its placement in flags of nations indicates strength.  It's considered a "power" color (although the "power" connotation of strength was not really in the realm of why I chose the word).  Red it was!

So, do I overcomplicate things and recolor the .png file Ali provided, or do I just choose one of the available colors?  Yup, I went with easy...and chose brown.  Uh oh, of the red alpha letter stickers I have, can I write out "strength?"  Even if I have to mix upper and lower case?  Yes, but... not in love with the choices (I have very little red in my stash... not a signature color).  But, JoLynn, you ninny.  You have TONS of stamps!  Ah, yes, Stampin' Up! Whimsical Alphabet Lower stamped in Stampin' Up! Ruby Red.  Perfecto.  Even used the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig to make sure I did not completely screw this up.  Reread "perfectionistic nuthead" above.

So, now, that's ready.  I think I will work on my unfinished "MeTAV" album before I get my first assignment and see what dent I can put in that baby.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

One Little Word

Yup.  I am again embarking on a class from Big Picture Scrapbooking.  This time, I have enrolled in Ali Edwards' "One Little Word" class.  No, I have not finished Me the Abridged Version.  I will get there, I swear.  Even if it is a two-year thing, I'm still me, and I still have lots to say for many letters of the alphabet.

I was intrigued by the idea of One Little Word and the focus it brought me when I kept thinking about it.  So, what's my word, you ask?  I have chosen "strength."

That is all for now.  The announcement is big enough, eh?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Quick and cute

Some SEI patterned paper, a trading card envelope template, my SU! tag punches, some Basic Grey brads, an SU! stamp and marker and...VOILA!  A quick thank you gift card to some fellow teachers who helped me with some grad class activities.  Sorry I can't be more specific with my recipe... I'm a bit tired.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


During the month of November, every day on Facebook, I joined some of my friends in posting something for which I was grateful.  Before it got too far past November, I went back and copied what I posted each day (those who are on Facebook know how quickly these can get gobbled up on your Wall and how much digging you have to do to find a month's worth of posts).  I thought I might make a totally digital layout, and started with the Laying It All  Out mini-kit by Katie Peritet.  My issue?  I love Thickers and various other letter stickers.  When I went to use digital alphabets, I just couldn't.  So, the above layout is hybrid, and I think I may be a hybrid gal.  I altered the layout from a 12 x 12 to 8.5 x 11, as I do not have a 12 x 12 printer.  The letters I used were Amy Tangerine Hello fabric Thickers.  I just love the way they look.  I will say this: I think American Crafts got the memo about their adhesive having longevity problems.  The way they fixed it?  Once that letter is's down.  It was some seriously strong, non-movable adhesive.

Here is the text of my journaling, if you care to read it.  It was pretty tiny for the photo: 

30 Days of Domo Arigato: I begin my month of gratitude for the magic that music is in my life. It reaches me at my lowest and my highest. It motivates me to get to Zumba and shake my boom boom (oh, and stay healthy). Thank you very much-o, Mr. Roboto. | Day 2 of 30: Today I reflect on my family. I feel fortunate that I have the great husband and kids that I have that make me laugh daily. I am also quite thankful for my mother, Bernice Paul, and my siblings and their families without whom I would not be who I am today. | Day 3 of 30: I am thankful for busy-ness. I rarely find myself bored. | Day 4 of 30: I am grateful for the incredible people with whom I have worked over the years. | Day 5 of 30: I am thankful for the friends I see IRL and those who share bits of their lives on FB. I have been blessed with great people in my life. | Day 6 of 30: I am grateful today for my ability to multitask. I need it hourly. | Day 7 of 30: I am grateful to live in a generous country. We just packed 19 flats of boxes for Clare House. It reminded me that I really have nothing to complain about. | Day 8 of 30: Today I am grateful for the people who speak up when they feel something is wrong. It is a hard place to put yourself, but where would we be without them? | Day 9 of 30: I am grateful to be able to cope with anxiety and depression after a 5 year battle. Taking things day by day. | Day 10 of 30: I am thankful for sunshine. Please stay with us today! | Day 11 of 30: I am thankful for every veteran and each of their families for their service and sacrifice to America. | Day 12 of 30: I am thankful for the change of seasons. There's something I love in each one. | Day 13 of 30: I am grateful for the physical ability to complete a 5K. Slow and steady... | Day 14 of 30: I am grateful for my bathtub. It is my oasis. | Day 15 of 30: Today I am grateful for technology. It amazes me how much things have changed in my lifetime alone. | Day 16 of 30: I am grateful for those who teach my children. | Day 17 of 30: I am thankful for the opportunities that my church offers for fellowship with other moms. Talk about an empathetic group! | Day 18 of 30: Sorry to sound cliche, but I am thankful for the Fridays (and faux-Fridays) that fall into each week. | Day 19 of 30: I am thankful for life's simple escapes: movies, reading, TV, Facebook. The real world is so overrated. | Day 20 of 30: I am thankful for my health. | Day 21 of 30: Today I am grateful for being a dual-parent family. Single parents, you have my admiration. I don't know how you do it. | Day 22 of 30: I am thankful that today has finally arrived! Breaking Dawn with my besties! | Day 23 of 30: I am grateful for the kids I teach. Each is unique and brings out something good in me I did not realize I had. I love nine and ten year olds. | Day 24 of 30: I am grateful for moments of relaxation. They feel pretty good and are few and far between. | Day 25 of 30: I am grateful on this day for being able to keep in check with why the holidays exist. | Day 26 of 30: I am grateful that I have "tools" to help with the struggles my children have. Hopelessness is not one of them. | Day 27 of 30:  I am grateful for the excitement of a six year old at Christmastime. | Day 28 of 30: I am thankful for self-restraint. I showed a great deal of it today. | Day 29 of 30: I am grateful for warm clothes and a cozy house. | Day 30 of 30: Today I am grateful for the colleagues who gave me some of their time to help me advance my graduate studies...whether it's answering my survey or engaging with my process tools...Irving staff is awesome. THANK YOU!
Daily Facebook Reflections During November 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

One of My Favorite Sites

Have you been to write. click. scrapbook. ?  This site is one of my favs.  I love when they provide some digi-templates for your use.  For example, they offered this Photoshop template...
and these samples of what to do with it...

They also have some awesome giveaways.  Check it out!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

World Cardmaking Day 2011

A glorious day.  Great weather.  Great food.  The stamping ladies.  And lots of awesome cards prepared by my dealer, Karen.

Some photos:
Ashley and I working on replicating one of Karen's creations
Kate and Julie working on a delightful Christmas card
Ah, the intensity!
Thanks, Ann, for taking these lovely photos!

Saturday, September 24, 2011


I love when things are free.  Every now and then, you can pick up some awesome digi-elements that are free.

I thought I would use this post to share some of the freebies from the past few issues of Scrapbooks Etc.  I really love this magazine, as it is filled with all sorts of crafty goodness.  When I say filled, I mean FILLED.  I always find at least one thing that I want to use when I get an edition of this. I have pared down a lot of my magazines, especially ones that were straying from my own personal style and into shabby chic craziness (not that there's anything wrong with that...just not me).  This is the one subscription I won't let pass.

Freebie #1 Citrus Digital

Endure a few pop ups for subscribing (or take them up on subscribing!) and click for a download of each element.  There are 28 different elements to download, including alphabet brushes, etc.

Fourteen different elements, mostly digi-patterned paper.  Very cute and generously free.

So much easier than back in the day when you had to have a great template and a steady hand for cutting!  All sorts of ways to include multiple pics into a layout.

This is what Scrapbooks Etc. is known for.  Each edition has templates for some really nice paper pieced embellishments for pages.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Scrap Challenge

A new store opened in Bloomington where the former Scrapbook Friend'Z used to be: The Scrapbooking Studio.  Of course, on day 1, it was urgent that I go over and check it out.  I didn't realize anything was going in there until the Facebook post of a fellow scrapper/stamper drew me in.  Lo, and behold, at the same moment, Karen Kelly was thinking the same thoughts...we ended up there at the same time.  As we left, we half-joked that we should challenge ourselves to use what we were buying there today.  Challenge myself I did!

This was a really hard page to take a decent photo of, because it is on embossed vellum.  I bought this vellum AGES ago at a scrapbook store in town (may have been Pocketful of Memories, for the locals).  I just love it.  The photos are from Max the Brave's climbing wall excursion at the Irish Pumpkin Festival this weekend.  I had to stand back and take pics because I think they were close to ejecting me (I crossed the "no parents" line once for fear he was going to smash himself against said wall...needed to leave it to the professionals!).

I used some of my favorite lyrics from the song "The Climb," made popular by Miley Cyrus.  I used the ever so tall Maple Thickers that I had seen on the American Crafts blog hop this weekend.  The lyrics of the refrain I scribed by hand along some of the leaves.  Not sure I am in love with the haphazard nature of how they fell on the page, but maybe that's a tie in to life's haphazard nature. Unplanned, but I am sticking to it.  I backed it with a neutral textured 12 x 12 sheet from SU!...not sure of the color.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Holding on

How I do so love summer.  I didn't always.  The years when summer meant Scott and I were separated for months were filled with counting down the days until we were back together in lovely Central IL.  They were spent sweating my rear off on the city playgrounds and then working at Bon Ton at night.  They were spent with phone calls where we talked about nothing because all we really wanted to do was hang out with each other.  The days before Skype and cell phones and e-mail, when every mile of an 800-mile distance was acutely felt.

Now, I adore summer.  Contrary to popular opinion, it is rare that teachers have "off" over the summer.  First, it is not a paid vacation.  I am not given money for days I am not required to attend.  However, having a schedule that is a bit more flexible is nice.  And I love spending time with my own kids.  Some summers feel wonderfully long,  and others feel horribly short.  This one is somewhere in between.  We have had LOTS of time, ending the year prior to Memorial Day.  During that time, some of my friends and I have helped each other realize that the time we have is a wonderful gift.  We truly need to seize the day.

One of my pals called August 1 "July 32nd", and it stuck with me.  All day today, I kept calling it July 33rd.  A scrapbook page was calling.

I took the photo today at Fairview Pool.  It doesn't look like 100 degrees, does it?  When I printed it and went to trim it, I thought that it looked cool trimmed like a Polaroid.  So, I kept it that way and wrote the date on it like I used to write on the bottom edge of a Polaroid.  The crocheted flowers were a last minute thing.  I felt like something was needed in that space, but there was no more substantial room for words.  Then, I wrote phrases of things I was holding on to, cut them, inked the edges, and adhered.  It really did not take long at all, and I love that I have archived the things I have.  I was hesitant about a patterned paper background, but I think the Cosmo Cricket paper works the idea of summery pool days well.  Now, I can go to sleep.  Maybe.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

InstaLove Free Template

Cathy Zielske, new owner of an iPhone, has recently shown an interest in camera apps (small, happy shriek).  She designed and shared a digi template (for free) specifically designed for pics snapped and edited with Instagram and such.  I made this page in no time flat, thanks to the template.  Fun, fun pics.  I am having a great time snapping them!  Even though this looks stark white, the page is intended as an 8.5 x 11 page.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


A few years ago, Cathy Zielske, after the demise of Simple Scrapbooks (moment of silence...), jumped into the wonderful world of creating digital scrapbooking templates.  I have been what is considered a "hybrid" scrapbooker for several years.  I still love cutting paper and adhering photos and such.  What I have learned, however, about the traditional form of scraopbooking, now that I have had books for a few years:

#1 Pictures printed from my printer, even though it's a photo printer, fade.  I LOVE off-sizes of pictures, so getting the ol' 4 x 6" huge discount processed photos does not mesh with most of my scrapbooking design desires.  I find it limiting.  I believe that I have probably acquired a better printer and better paper over the years, but my earliest self-printed photos are fading.  Sigh.
#2 Embellishments like to come unglued.  Adhesives are not always true to adhering.  Things fall off pages.
#3 Embellishments dislike page protectors (or vice versa?).  Scarpbooks that are bumpy and lumpy do not like to store well.
#4 D-ring scrapbooks, which I love-love-LOVE, are not friends of gravity when they sit on a shelf for a while.  Ever had a binder that just sits on a shelf fora while?  And then you open it and everything's crooked?  Yep.  That's what I mean.
#5 No matter what, my craft storing areas in my house have been merciless.  When it was the basement, it was too humid.  Now it's the loft, and the afternoon sun is brutal.
#6 Traditional scrapbooking always requires lots of room for me to spread out.  I don't always have the time to tidy up after myself.

Enter Designer Digitals,with a HUGE selection of everything digital including designers like Cathy and Ali Edwards.  I would buy a few things, like paper and such, and then still print them out in the end.

A bit ago, I purchased this template after seeing what Cathy did with it.  It was a while ago, and I can't find Cathy's blog posts on it, but as soon as I saw what she created, I bought the template.  I decided that I would  use this to document Max's schooling and perhaps go back and place some of what I can find of Ignatius' schooling in there as well.

So, what do you need to do this digi stuff?  Some sort of photo editing software, such as Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, or, for the budget-consious, Paint.Net (freeware).  You also need a relative comfort level with these or the ability and desire to learn.  Once you know a few simple steps to the programs, you are golden.  No graphic designer degree required...I promise!  Designer Digitals has tutorials, I took a community education class at Heartland Community College, Cathy puts tutorials on her blog, and Jessica Sprague has excellent online classes.

I am still on the fence between digi and traditional.  These few pages were a LOT quicker to produce than would have been so for a traditional scrapbook.  They look great, very clean, very simple, very Cathy.  Some digital elements look JUST like embellishments, such as brads and ribbons, if preferred.  Cathy presented this as a hybrid when she did it.  It could easily be printed for an 8.5 x 11" book if I wanted to go that route.  We shall see.  I have these pages saved as a PDF file.  Please click on the images for a larger view.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The freedom of CAS

Now that it's summer, I allow myself to catch up on my craft blogs.  They allow me to find in fact OTHER blogs to add to my Google Reader.  A few of the crafters I follow participate in the CAS-usal Fridays weekly challenge.  I decided to participate this week, as color blocks is the general category.
 I first laid eyes on the gorgeous card on this blog post from Laurie at Soapbox Creations.  Oh for cute, eh?

It led me to the CAS-ual Fridays site.  This is what happens to me.  I get stuck in this crazy link fest from one site to the next.  It's all in good fun, though!

CAS is an acronym for Clean And Simple.  It's the kind of card that doesn't need its own box for you to mail.  There are very few layers to it, and even less in the area of embellishments like ribbons and such.  Yes, it speaks to me.

As you may know (or as you are about to realize soon enough), tomorrow is Father's Day.  The card I completed for my hubby was one inspired by the CAS-ual Fridays challenge this week.

Serious sticker love going on here, that's for sure.  The blocked stickers are from Stampin' Up!  The word stickers are from K & Company.  I mounted them on kraft cardstock and added my own little handwriting flair on the inside.  I used my handy pen and ruler to make the word "Dad" stand out from the rest.  In about 10 minutes, this card was done.  That was the best part.

I also handed a blank card to my older son.  He usually makes his dad a freehand card.  Drawing is his thing, and Scott loves his creations. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Little Miss Thang

A few friends, and friends of friends, have gotten together to form a group on Facebook that I have entitled "Accountability."  It started with a challenge that I posted as an event during Lent.  I just needed support in my exercise and weight loss endeavors, and thought that others might enjoy a challenge.  When Lent ended, I felt that I still needed that place to go to vent, rejoice, ponder, etc.  Being a group-junkie, I began "Accountability."

We have done a lot of discussing of how we view ourselves on this group, as well as a Facebook Zumba group that I started and rely upon.  The other day, we were talking about body image, and how our brains play tricks on us when we look in a mirror, especially when we have been heavier (for some time) and then we lose weight.  I must say, thank God for my husband.  He points out when he sees physical changes (for the better) in me when I am oblivious to them.

So, I decided someone I know needed that same encouragement.  So, I made her this card:

Isn't she adorable?  I have most definitely underutilized this Bella.  She was happy to see some ink.  I am also starting to enjoy the vertical fold (I guess that's what I will call it) of cards, as opposed to the book fold.  Just something different. 

Size: 4 1/4 x 4 7/8"
Stamps: Tennibella and Little Miss Thang from Stampingbella; Stampin' Up! Just So Sayings
Ink: Adirondack Earthtone Pitch Black; Copics 
Embossing: Sizzix Texturz Friend Plate
Embellishments: Stampin' Up! Felt Flowers and brad

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Ah June

The first few weeks of June are super stuffed with birthdays and anniversaries in my family. Sometimes I am good about cards, other times not so much. Today is Scott's birthday, and whipping him up a card is something I truly enjoy. Alas, in the photo, you cannot tell that I colored in the 4 and the 6.  Here goes:

Size: 4.25 x 5.5"
Stamps: Stampin' Up! Bring on the Cake and Whimsical Words
Cardstock: Stampin' Up: Crmb Cake, Papertrey Ink Plum Pudding, Stampin' Up! So Saffron (or its equivalent); Papertrey Ink White
Ink: Adirondack Earthtone Pitch Black, Stampin' Up! Crushed Curry marker
Embossing: Sizzix Texturz Plate - Weave

Thursday, June 9, 2011

And another....

Just today, Becky Higgins posted yet another lovely iPhone camera app: Camera+.  First of all, the app takes a pretty sweet photo...better than just taking it with the iPhone camera app.  It gives you a 9 x 9 grid in your field of vision, which helps greatly when establishing your focal point (rule of thirds, baby!).  I used what is called FX Effects --> Magic Hour for the photo of Max below to even out the contrast.  This effect had a slider that I could use to determine the degree of the effect.
The best part: for a limited time, the app is 99 cents!  Woot!  Now my Nikon is completely nervous.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Falling in Love with Easy

So, let's discuss how long it would have taken me to find the right Photoshop actions to alter this photo.  How many steps did it really take me?  1.  Uno.  Un.  O-N-E.

Hello, Instagram app for my iPhone. 
Instagram comes with a variety of actions that can make your pictures unique.  This one is called Nashville, and I like it for two reasons.  I love the frame that makes it look like a slide.  I also love that it changes the contrast so that the photo looks older.  Sometimes, vibrant colors are overrated.  What I want this photo to do is capture a memory that is fleeting.  I would not use this action for everything, but for this picture, I think it's perfect.

Another app I love is one I used with this photo.  

It's called PS Express, a mini Photoshop.  I actually purchased the full-blown app rather than just use the free one, so you know this is serious business.  Here's what I love: I can take a cruddy picture on my iPhone: poor light, hand shaking, too much movement, whatevs.  I can crop it, straighten it, rotate it, flip it, alter exposure/saturation/tint/contrast, make it black and white, use actions for sketch, soft focus, sharpening, and reducing noise, and choose effects (more actions) and borders.  All from this "app that could."  Then, when I am done, I can save it to my phone or upload to Facebook/Twitter if I desire.

I used soft focus on this pic of my guys at the park.

My poor Nikon D60 is getting a little jealous.  Every now and then, I pull it out.  But, for the everyday when I cannot lug that sucker around, I love my iPhone and these apps.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer 2011: Day 1

This summer break took its sweet time getting here.  One of my goals is to get back into my craft groove, be it cardmaking, stamping, scrapbooking, whatever.  Why?  Consider Exhibit A: cobwebs from my lamp in my craft room.  Ridiculous.  I hope to evict Charlotte from my home, or at least start collecting some rent from her.

Today's installment was a card for Max's teacher who is having a baby in August.  A parent thought we should throw her a little shower.  Since I have not been crafting in quite some time, my stash of baby cards is at an all-time low.  I initially wanted to create a shape card just using the shape of a onesie.  I got pretty far, until I screwed up the sentiment stamp (grrr).  So, rather than trashing the whole card, I decided to pop half of it up on a yellow background.  She's not sure if she's having a girl or a boy, so I tried to stay neutral, although the scallops scream GIRL!  The binkie and the button were a last minute add-on.  I just felt it needed a little more punch.  She loved it.
On a somewhat related note, I have to give some serious props to my husband.  As much as I tease him about garage sales, he nailed this one.  He got a Sony Cyber-Shot 3.3 megapixel camera with 6x zoom and video (pretty rudimentary, but it'll do) for (wait for it...) $5!  I took the photos above using the close-up macro on this camera.  It's lightweight, easier to drag around than my Nikon D60, and takes better on the go pics than my old Nikon Cool Pix.  It works a LOT like the Sony Mavica (one of which I still have... with the mini CD...but it's QUITE bulky) which I used for some time.  It was like riding a bike. :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Day 1 - Embracing my Signature Style

For Day 1 of Spring Training, we were asked to analyze and consider our signature scrapbooking style.  Here's a Wordle to show my results:
Go to the Ella Publishing Blog to see more about signature style.  It really was a cool process and it helped me find commonalities I did not realize existed.

The most common thing I found is that, as much as I love the control involved in printing my own photos, they fade WAY too quickly.  I was saddened to see the fading on some layouts that were simply a few years old.  I need to embrace a way to get photo lab pictures in custom sizes, which will take a little more forethought than I typically put in to the printing process.  Is it the paper?  The printer ink?  Hmmmmm....

Spring Training of a Different Color

Angie and Wendy at Ella Publishing Co, (one of my favorite sites), have begun Spring Training for scrapbookers!  You can sign up for their Spring Training for a mere $40, and get daily, 20-minute exercises that allow you to hone your craft.  I signed up in an attempt to get my scrapbook juices flowing in time for a summer full of archiving!  Join us!  Check out my super cool gadget to your right--->