Monday, December 29, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I haven't had much time to blog. I had a pretty large order come in a week or so ago. I had to scan 9 images, clean them up... crop etc - then print 3 copies of each. They look great I might add. Then the client wanted me to cut mattes. I have a matte cutter, but have not cut mattes for awhile... and certainly not in that volume. It brought back my college days. We had to matte all our final projects - which was usually 10 to 20 prints. I was a little intimidated when I started yesterday, but amazingly knocked them out in no time. I guess it is more of a challenge when your grade is on the line.Today will be a fairly easy day. We leave in a few days to go house sit for a friend. It worked out so nicely. We weren't going to be able to go see the kids (grand babies) until the 26th, because of dog sitting issues. A friend called me and asked when were going to be in Bozeman for Christmas. It turns out that they want to spend Christmas at Old Faithful Lodge... (Who Doesn't?). They need someone to stay with their dogs. WOO HOO... we get to see the family ON Christmas. We don't have to pay lodging, and we don't have to pay a dog sitter - cuz the boys are going with us. Talk about luck! I will get to do some final shopping on Tuesday in Helena, and Wednesday in Bozeman. I love where we live, but at this time of year, I miss the ability to spontaneously shop. I don't miss it the rest of the year. I had just gotten into the mindset to get things finished, when we got all this snow and deep freeze. It is not a good idea to travel at such times. Hopefully Tuesday will be a decent day to be out on the roads. We have to go @ 250 miles. We'll have to have the extra snow clothes, food, water etc. It is funny how prepared you have to be when you live someplace like this.
OH - I almost forgot - I got an award from Crops - Thanks so much - I want to acknowledge and express my appreciation. Woman, you rock!
Friday, December 12, 2008
This is the official kick off for our winter. We are experiencing 12 degrees (fahrenheit), and going down... and the wind. It snowed last night, so I was happy... now there is a big ole tree across our drive - so maybe NOT so happy. I am not looking forward to clearing it when it is this cold... but as my motto has always been ~ "it is what it is" ... so off we will go.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus. To me, that is something that should be celebrated every day. What I mean is that no matter what your belief is, it is about giving to those less fortunate, and just trying to promote peace and love everyday, in all that you do. The packages and all the things you are "supposed" to do just don't seem to have much of anything to do with the birth of Christ. Serving at a homeless shelter, giving gifts to Toys for Tots, helping those in need - that, to me, is so much more important than filling the wish list of people who already have too much. Do not get me wrong, I do believe in the joy of children when they receive a gift they really want. Augh, I don't know, I just remember a simpler time, as I am sure many people do.
I have been to town twice in the past 2 days, and quite frankly, it just wears me out. I remember how I used to see signs that said "Drive Friendly" when I lived in Texas. I want a big flashy sign to put on my car that says just that. The people in town were just plain crazy. I do have to admit that I did do a pretty impressive job of getting in and out of town on Monday. I had a dentist appointment about 20 miles from where I was shopping. (yes, novocaine and needles were involved, but I survived LOL). I got to Kalispell at 11:00 and had to leave town by 1:30 to make my appointment. I managed to go to the upholstery shop, Walmart, Costco (grabbed lunch at the drive thru) Ace Hardware, The grocery store, and even picked up a Take and Bake pizza on my way out of town. I even got every single thing on my list.
I have about a week before everything has to be finished... guess I should get to it. Hopefully I will have something nice to show at the end of this busy time. Be well all... TTYS
Friday, December 5, 2008
This is my exploding Christmas tree - I was experimenting... LOL - kind of like my head after the holidays!
This last one is nothing special, I just like the sparkly stuff.
I am off to go hang some more decs for the deer. Have a lovely evening, and please try to stay warm.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
While I was looking for photos to use in the above layout, I came across some photos of what winter usually feels like in parts of Montana. The first one is from the Beartooth Highway - leading into Yellowstone Park. It is closed in the winter, but people ski there, and ride snow mobiles. It is one of the most beautiful places I know of.
Speaking of Photoshop... I recently was helping my daughter-in-law get her feet wet with digital scrapbooking. They are her children in the "first snow" layout I did. Anyway, she does not have Photoshop or any photo manipulation software for that matter. I did a google search, and found GIMP. I don't know if anyone is familiar with it, but it is a pretty cool program. I downloaded it to compare it with PS. It has many similar qualities... except that it is free. Free is good... LOL. One thing I really like is that you can open images as a layer. Am I missing something - is that possible in Photoshop? The reason I am even bringing this up... we all know someone who likes to scrapbook - not necessarily "design" but just play with photos and create pages. This would be a great tool for someone just starting out. It also opens png and psd files, which I think is just cool!
We are just starting to get the Christmas decs going. We have the lights on the house - but sill have the 40 foot tree left to wrap in lights... NOT FUN! It is beautiful though, so I suppose it is worth the effort. I just can't for the life of me figure out why we go to so much effort for the deer - who are the only ones who see it... Spoiled wildlife - that's all I've got to say.
I do get excited about Christmas... once the shopping is done. Monday is a trip to the dentist... and I am sure some shopping will be involved. Then, it is onto the cookies. I made magnets last year, now I have to come up with a new idea. Here are the images I used for them. These flowers were all from photos taken on film. I love when film meets digi...
Sorry it has been so long - I will try to be better, but I can promise nothing. LOL! Have a great day!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I found navigation to be strange - so here is the link
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Max is the one with the "flying nun" ears. I am thinking that his ears should have been clipped and pinned as a pup... but since his first owners tossed his litter by a river (only 2 pups survived), I doubt his ears were a consideration. Some people can be so ignorant. But I will just stay out of that chat room for now.
I wish a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates it... I know I am truly blessed and have so much to be thankful for. Have a drumstick for me Crops!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
This quick page is called Modern Vintage, by Kim Smith.
I have a great deal of admiration and respect for all the designers out there. I am humbled by the vast talent!
What I do alot of in Photoshop:
I have a mental block when it comes to how you all create such amazing scrap stuff in Photoshop. I mainly use it for image editing. Below is an example of "The Kiss"... I will show the original first, then the fixed image... can you pick out the differences. It is not a quiz, I promise.
Monday, November 24, 2008
My Photoshop is working, and I am a happy camper. There is still a good bit for me to figure out, but that is part of the fun. What it can do with Camera Raw images is amazing.
The book... Oh, the book. It was very taxing to learn the program in Snapfish, but I mostly prevailed. I was able to get it in on time to get to free book. I did some scrap pages, and I also used some of their tools. I just didn't have the time or mojo to create 20 pages. I will try to post some of the pages in a day or two. I did have an issue. (which thankfully was resolved.) The mother of the bride, who is a friend of mine, came over to check out the final project. We discussed a couple changes, and proceeded to order the book (including a copy for her). Yep, we ordered the book, without making the changes. It was really not a big deal. The big deal came the next day (yesterday) when I was looking at the book one more time. I have a habit of adding an extra "e" to Novemeber ~ see what I mean!? I do it to September as well... (HELLO EILA - SPELL CHECK!) It might have been OK, except it was on the cover of the book.
Thank You Mrs Miles for the guilded leaves - Also Thank You Barbara (Just Passing Through) for the papers - And Linda Walton - Bon Scrappit (aka Bobby's Girlfriend) for the frame. The wedding theme was a "fall" festivity... sunflowers and leaves. It was beautiful, and I liked this page for a cover. This is not meant to be the official wedding album, it was meant to be a fun book with photos of the happy event, and the festivities that followed (my gift to the happy couple). I think we did it justice.
On to the rest of the story... I realized I have made a dreadful mistake. 24 hours had passed since I ordered the book. They cannot stop an order once it has been placed. They do, however have a 110% Satisfaction Guaranteed. (which they had blown out of the gate, so I was going to make this work. I am no quitter. Have I mentioned this before?) I called the 800 number, and stayed on hold for 1 1/2 hours, yes you see that correctly! I have a headset, so I was not stopped from cleaning house, making, and eating lunch - the usual things one does when on hold. Thank goodness, there was no musac, only silence. When the young lady came on the line, I explained the problem. She credited me with another free book, and sent me to a place to get a label (online) to return the bad book when it arrives. I was then able to go back in and reorder it (corrected, of coarse). Whew, a disaster avoided! Snapfish redeemed themselves, although I do not believe I will be using them for books in the future. It is just not user friendly enough for me. There were limitations I found frustrating.
I am going to have to try Inkubook next. They seem more reasonably priced. My project for the winter is to create two family photo books, hubby's and mine. They will make great Christmas gifts, (next year). I am a huge fan of finding the Christmas gifts throughout the year... I have a closet shelf in our guest room filled with my acquisition thus far. We travel to see the grand kids a week or two before Christmas, so I always have to be finished early. I make chocolate covered pretzels, cashews (have to do something with the last little bit of chocolate at the bottom of the double boiler) - and I also make these WONDERFUL peanut butter chocolate cookies. I use Ritz Crackers (reduced fat ~ they are flakier!) and peanut butter (I used to use Reese's PB, but can no longer find it - which is a true bummer, because it was the BEST!) I make a plate full of sandwiches from the crackers and PB, and dip one at a time in chocolate almond bark. I put on a wax paper covered cookie sheet... let them come to room temp... the chocolate hardens, and you have an amazing treat! They are a favorite. My chocolate factory goes through about 20 pounds of almond bark every holiday season... I kid you not!
This is getting a little long, and I have an appointment with the dentist today, so I should sign off... and say thank you to the ladies who have pooped in to say hello.
ARG!!! I almost forgot. I got another award from the lovely Crops. TY TY TY. (Do you like how I associated dentist with you Crops?!)
I know I am a slacker, and I apologize for not acknowledging it sooner. I do appreciate it. I am supposed to pass it on to seven people, but I am not sure if 7 people total read my rantings. I do appreciate the ones who do. I find that it is nice to meet people who are from different places, with similar passions. You all know who you are, and now you can snag this if you want, cuz it it meant for you. I know, I am terrible at passing on those "pass it on to 10 people" emails too. I may forward them, but I delete the "sent it to 10 people" thing. The ones that make me laugh are the ones that say if you send it to all of your friends, and they send it back, it means you have lots of friends... I don't have LOTS of friends, but I so cherish the few I have... does that make sense? I have friends who I have known for over 30 years... it is not quantity, it IS quality. I have met some quality folks in "bloggerville" and I am thankful for that!
Have an amazing day! I will do the same - 15 degrees and sunny this morning... BRRR!
Monday, November 17, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I am headed out to a wedding today. I am going to shoot the event for the bride (my gift). My plan is to develop a book for her as the rest of the gift. I have a free book from Snapfish, if I get it ordered by tomorrow at midnight - so I know what I will be doing tomorrow... post-production. I'll be back in a couple of days, and hopefully will have something of interest to share.
ciao until then...
Monday, November 10, 2008
Hummie (of Hummie's World) posed an interesting question about backing up your files. Where? It got me to thinking how much trouble some scrappers have had with viruses, and crashing systems. I decided to take matters into my own hands. I have 2 external hard drives (which have been known to fail - not mine - but I have heard sad tales of this). I spent yesterday, and today burning all my scrap stuff to DVDs... which wasn't too time consuming, as I only download from a few designers. I also decided to get all my photos backed up to DVD. HOLY TOLEDO!!! I have 97.67 GB of photos on my computer. I decided to move them all to one drive and go from there. I have a few duplicates, but figure I can sort that out later, now that I have them all backed up. I wait for Costco to have a coupon for "buy-one-get-one-free" dvds... so I have plenty. I just do not know what I would do if I crashed. I ask a great deal of my computer, and am surprised it hasn't a million times over. Today, I feel accomplished! Next is the task of deleting the ones I don't want, and filing them in a better order. At least now I am safe, and can get to the rest of it.
I made that Artisan bread last week, and it was quite tasty. I am now trying out the theory that the bread dough can be frozen, so I will report on that later.
It has been rainy for days and days. The mountains just returned... yay. I am off to build a fire and just try to stay warm. Have a great day, and don't forget our Veterans tomorrow. They make our lives so much better!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I had a pretty laid back Birthday. Hubby took me to dinner at our fav local restaurant - the ONLY local restaurant. It was yummy, and we ran into some friends, so I rather enjoyed myself. Thanks for the happy birthday wishes here and in my email. Y'all ROCK! No I have to go see if I can find some Photoshop CS4 in my mailbox...
Funny Story - Hubby ordered the CS4 well in time for my bday - but it had not been released, and shipping was delayed. It obviously was not a secret - but he made the cutest page to wrap as my gift. Do you remember the old game of Concentration (TV show?) Here is his attempt. I thought it was funny. It did take me a minute to figure out how it connected, but I got there.
Time to go do something productive.
Have a great day!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I'm a little boring today. The fire is lit, and I think I am going to wrap up in a blanket and hang out by the fire. Have an awesome evening everyone!
Monday, November 3, 2008
Oh, did I mention? Genius me (who should have probably stayed in bed yesterday too... ) decided wheat flour would be better than white... I used to make bread years ago... that hard stuff where you kneed - punch down - let it rise some more... etc" I knew - back then that you could do as much as 1/2 the wheat flour to the 1/2 white flour - as in 3-ish cups of wheat to 3 1/4-ish cups of white. Now do you think Eileen gave that any thought at all while she was putting the flour into the water instead of a side bowl for accuracy. Oh no, that would make too much sense! Do you think Eileen plugged the words "can I substitute wheat flour for white flour in bread recipes?" into a google search - Oh no... again too logical. Had I done so... this is what I would have found out:
href="http://www.cayneshousewares.com/faq/faq_food_processors.shtml" rel="nofollow">FAQ-Food Processors
Yes. You can substitute up to 50% whole wheat flour for white flour in the bread recipe that is in your food processor instruction book. So, if your recipe calls for 4 cups all-purpose flour, you can use 2 cups whole-wheat flour plus 2 cups all-purpose.
So today I start from scratch, as I am NO QUITTER! Have I mentioned that before? ROFL!!!!
an added note - the bread has been mixed and is on the rise. It is a sunny day in the neighborhood - after buckets of rain yesterday. Mr E and I are headed out to finish up the work. We would have finished Saturday, but half the work crew was down (me).
Tomorrow is election day in the states. So all you Americans get your butts out and vote. It matters! When I wake up on my birthday (Wednesday) I want it to be a happy one - so vote for the "correct" candidate please... and I am not going to tell you who that is in my opinion... I have to laugh... on way too many occasions, we get phone calls from one of the parties asking who we plan to vote for. I know it what they do, but if our votes weren't to be private, why then do we go into the booth and close the curtain, and seal our vote anonymously? Just curious!?
Friday, October 31, 2008
Mrs. Miles, who is one of my favorite reads, has some great bread ideas on her site. I don't need to link to her on this one... just on principle. You can get there from her BLINKIE!!! Anyway, go to her OCT 20th post. She links you to a site with an easy (no knead) artisan bread. "Why is she telling us this" you might ask? Yesterday I went to town. I picked up a pizza stone for this project, an am planning to give it a shot this weekend. If I don't totally embarrass myself with this attempt, I will post photos. We will just have to see how it goes.
They are so cute when they are young
Then... they learn to "talk back"
Does this feel like anything familiar (mom's of teens?)
A moment of peace - ?
AND THEY ARE OFF!!!
And so am I LOL ~ Have a great day!!!
An amendment to the original post:
Carol has pointed out the photo I seem to have left out - so she used her creative talent to finish the story... Thanks for the additional insight!!! ROFL!!!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
We have been busily putting up firewood. The shed is full, but we have a few really big ones left to clean up. Carol, are you jealous? LOL - with 2 stoves, you are going to need serious wood! The above photo is the wood-lot currently. That 3rd row will be full by the end of the day... and a fourth row will be in place by the end of the week. Mr Weatherman says it is going to get bad by Sunday. THANK GOODNESS!!!!! I am not sure my back can do another week of this. Ponderosa Pine and Tamaracks are not kind when it comes to the sheer volume of their branches. So far, we have 2 piles (each over 6'7" - hubby's height). Yes, I helped drag them, and pile them. After the first good snowfall, we are going to have a couple serious "bonfires" going. Get out the s'mores can.... (remind me to get back to that... have some new s'mores ideas I will share later in the post. I am thankful that we do have a wood splitter. Hubby runs it while I play "jenga" with the cut wood. It is so sappy and knotty - so I have to twist and turn pieces just so, in order to make the pile secure... few things are as un-fun as when the pile falls over. YUK! So this is where I have been since - hmmm- what day is this, and when did I last post.... tired back, tired brain! LOL!
And there is Max, he likes to help pick up the sticks... but he is not so gifted at getting them onto the piles... in fact I think I have seen him taking the sticks out of the piles. BAAADDD MAX.
Now a little s'mores FYI. A friend came to visit our cabin this summer. We have a cute little s'mores kit.
Isn't it too cute. Ours looks different, but you get the idea. I Had to try and google this to find it. They show up every now and then at Target. Anyway, we keep ours stocked with the marshmallows, Hershey's Chocolate, and Graham crackers. YUMMMM!!!! Just what I need - NOT. Anyway, my best good friend came to hang with us this summer. Se had a new take on them. CHOCOLATE graham crackers, CHOCOLATE marshmallows... and WHITE CHOCOLATE - or - Cookies and Cream candy bars. Now those were good!
Speaking of "GOOD"
I was watching the CBS EARLY SHOW yesterday (I think - I really do have my days messed up) - Anyway, here is a link to some really YUMMY sounding things to do with Pumpkin.
I am talking "VERY YUM!"
Well, time has come for me to head out to the"wood-lot" Keep a good thought for me. I sure wish my niece, who is a Massage therapist in PA, was here to help me out... Oh well, as they say, "it is what it is".