Digital scrap items in the header, layouts and sidebar are by Miss Mint at or Jen Wilson at

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Blogging Break

WHEW! Taking a break from Photoshop for a minute to blog. It's been quite a busy day today! We began working in the bead room this morning (which was interrupted for a couple of hours so I could go get a pedi - Ahhhh!) and then I came home & tackled the rest of the bead room project. We grilled out steaks for dinner and bathed Aiden then put him to sleep. Brian began putting together this massive 25-cubby, wall-sized piece of furniture we bought from Ikea (good luck with that, babe!) while I came in to find new products waiting to be scrapped with. I'm in heaven! There are some pretty trendy hybrids that I can't WAIT to have printed! I think one of the perks of being on the CT, besides seeing everything first, is that it forces you to get your projects done and printed. So I'm scrapping away and will have fun on Monday picking up my prints and completing the projects!

No, the new Valentine kit wasn't one of the things I just got. Sorry. Right now I am scrapping with last year's kit "Love Muffin". If you've never taken a good look at the papers, check 'em out:

Miss Mint is really good about making kits fairly gender neutral. Still, I ADORE the light pink dot paper in this kit. Precious for girl pages I think. The heart print is pretty cool - it has a touch of grunge that makes it just fine for boy pages. The purple-ish maroon paper is neat. The swirly scattering of hearts only runs down the top and left side of the paper. The rest is a solid with a very cool, sanded edge. It has been fun to scrap with!

Alright, enough blogging. Back to scrapping so you guys have some examples to look at when these products debut!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Tips from Tay

So it has come to my attention that photoshop doesn't readily publish enough info about their super-handy shortcut keystrokes. No wonder you guys freak out at how "fast" I can scrap. You're slowing yourselves down by clicking on everything! LOL!

Alright, here are some of my favorite short cuts that should help drop your per-layout time:

Typing this one letter lets you switch tools in an instant - no clicking needed! I'm listing the ones most useful to scrappers:

Z: Zoom Tool (magnifying glass)
Tip: Press and hold Alt while left-clicking to zoom OUT
V: Move Tool (arrow)
T: Text Tool
I: Eye Dropper Tool (for grabbing colors you need)
P: Paint Brush Tool
E: Eraser
W: Magic Wand (stick with star-burst looking thing at the end)

Layers Short Cut Key Strokes:

Bring Forward: Ctrl ] (yes, hold Ctrl and then hit the bracket key as many times as needed)
Send Back: Ctrl [
New Layer Via Copy (or Copy Layer): Ctrl J (this is handy for quickly copying staples!)
Group With Previous: Ctrl G (Ctrl ALT G for CS2 users) - use this for papering templates
New Blank Layer: Ctrl Shift N

Other Handy Short-cuts:

Undo Last Move: Ctrl Alt Z
Select All: Ctrl A
Free Transform: Ctrl T
Show Rulers/Hide Rulers: Ctrl R
Open Document (or scrap item): Ctrl O

I will admit, however, I am still training myself to not go to the menu when I need something. I don't always use the Open Document short cut and I refuse to use the save short cut (Ctrl ALT S) because I have missed one keystroke and accidentally saved over my originals (Ctrl S without the Alt) and had to re-unzip the template set to get the original back.

Hopefully these help! Happy scrapping!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Call From Canada

So guess who I was on the phone with for three hours last night? That's right, Miss Mint herself! She's a hoot! We talked scrap stuff & shop for most of the time and it was quite an enjoyable evening of chatting with someone I feel like I have known for a long time. (I guess e-mail lets more personality show through than I thought!) She's hilarious in person and so creative - I wish I could do half the stuff she does! Would you believe she actually encouraged me to design as well? I would like to. Not the same type of stuff, I think birth announcements & invites is my cup of tea, but I want to make my own bright papers to use on my items and she was beyond encouraging. We tossed around a lot of ideas: things for my website, things for her shop.....we only got off the phone because we used up all the minutes on the calling card! Oh, and in case you were wondering, NO, she didn't tell me her real name. I didn't even ask. Truth be told, I like the mystery and I'll probably still call her Miss Mint, even if she plasters her name all over the site. But Miss Mint, pictures are a MUST some day! It would be nice to put a face with an......alias?!! LOL!

I hope you girls have saved your pennies because now it's time to start hoarding some bucks - the shop is going to be FULL of new items! I don't know how she's coming up with all these things but there are some pretty hot new products debuting, both scrap stuff and hybrid stuff. Sorry we all have to wait a month for them (I do, too) but they'll be worth it!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A Nap To Scrap

Aiden is taking a long nap after the traumatic taking of blood at the doctor's office today. I don't think the finger prick made him as angry as being held down did. Poor baby!

So I have had a chance to come home, straighten up a bit and scrap a layout. I have had this one half-way done for a week but I just didn't know how I wanted the final page to look until I got some ideas from the Peppermint Creative Gallery. Click the image for credits.

Love this picture of him peering over the rock sitting wall! I should enjoy dressing him in nice clothes now because I know he is going to be one of those boys that is always playing in the creek and trying to bring snakes and lizards in the house. He loves the outdoors. I hope he always does. Lucky for him he has Brian for a father! You two are going to have so much fun together.

Because The Grandmas Will Want To Know: Aiden weighed 22 pounds, 2 ounces and was 29.5 inches long at his visit today. That puts him in the 90th percentile for height and 75th percentile for weight. Big boy! Of course, he was a total angel for his very pretty Pediatrician and laughed for her the whole time. Flirt.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A Rainy Tuesday

I love gray, rainy overcast days when there's no place I need to go! There is just something about them that makes me want to stay in where it's warm and dry, house clean and cook a nice dinner. Today I did just that. And I worked out TWICE! Once during Aiden's afternoon nap time and then again this evening. I feel great! Hopefully I sleep great because I have to be up & have us both ready to go earlier than usual. Aiden has a doctor appointment tomorrow for his 9 month shots. Yuck. It's not going to be a pleasant afternoon....

Here is a layout I did this evening. I liked this shot of Aiden's face. He looks kinda moody and distant, like male models are supposed to look! LOL!

The paper is from the Love Muffin Valentine kit from last year, but it's been recolored. (Of course!) I'm gearing up for V-day and really getting excited for the new stuff to hit the shop! I'd also like to do another photo shoot of Aiden but my photographer seems to be swamped with seniors...... AHHHHH! What am I supposed to scrap with?!! I need my pictures!!!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Day Out

Aiden took a long nap this morning, which let me straighten up the house a bit, get ready and then we went to the park and had lunch with friends. It was SO NICE to get out of the house and see the girls after we have all been out of town for so long! The kids have all grown so much, it's amazing how much they change in just a month.

The park was crawling with cuties. Check out these two studs:

This is what I imagine baby boys talk about:

It's so much fun to see our little babies turn in to toddlers right before our eyes! We're going to have to make park days a weekly thing again. Aiden really enjoys the time outdoors...and he naps so well when we get home!

For The Grandmas: Aiden has added to his name to the short list of words he can say. It's an absolute riot to hear him say "Aye dee"! (Luckily Aiden has a name full of vowel sounds that are easy for him to say.) This morning while I was changing his diaper, I was encouraging him by repeating "Can you say Aiden?" After hearing me repeat it several times he looked up and said "Kuh' Sss' Aye dee?" (Can Say Aiden?) That made me laugh out loud! Nine months and he already has a sense of humor!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

It Begins

Content Warning: Breast-feeding talk. Really boring. Just for me to vent. Read it if you want.

We were at dinner last night with a big group of friends and it just suddenly hit me how very excited I am to be done breastfeeding. It has been great for Aiden and I am so glad I did it for him. It has not always been great for me. I still over-produce, leak and the ample fat stores my body seems to find necessary have been a real emotional hurdle. I am very, very thankful I had the opportunity and I don't want to make it sound all bad because I am a little....worried, maybe...about stopping. But I am ready. Beyond ready. (Aiden, thank you so much for making the decision that you like formula now. Your sudden preference for a bottle has made this decision so much easier. I love you, son!)

So here I sit, with cabbage leaves in my bra, sore boobs and dreaming of all the things I will be able to do tomorrow when I'm certain Aiden can go another day without it.

Tara Fontano, who is looking AWESOME thanks to her running program (You go girl! You look fabulous!) gave me some great advice for this week. Even better was her promise that some weight will come off quickly. Can you tell I'm most excited about that part? You have no idea how difficult it is to have your body hold on to so much fat, disappoint your husband and STILL make the decision that is best for your baby, even if it means that you never feel pretty, clothes look terrible on you and it actually, physically hurts to be so large. I am so, so, so proud of myself for making it 9 and a half months! Now I am just hoping that with my good deed done, I can reclaim a more comfortable body size.

I saw this picture in my photo files and I didn't feel like scrapping it but I wanted to post it.

This is Brian and I lounging on the arbor deck at my parent's lake house the day before my brother's wedding in June 2006, about 6 weeks before we got pregnant. My dad took this picture after we had been out on the boat. This was a fun day and Brian and I were so happy. Despite how wind-blown we look, I like this picture. I had graduated college by now, I was working out and at a great, healthy weight and it was only three weeks into the summer and we were already on our second vacation trip! I can't picture life without Aiden but I am envisioning this summer looking something like this and holding lots of family outings for us.
So it begins, after 18 months, I get my body back!