Thursday, November 27, 2008

Let Our Troops Know We Care

As we sit down to eat our Thanksgiving meal, let us remember the men and women that don't have that comfort of family, now and throughout the holiday season. It only takes a second to let them know we appreciate what a sacrifice they all make for our freedom. It is so little to ask... Freedom isn't free... and so many have paid the ultimate price. Look for ways, beyond this to make the holidays better for them.

I found navigation to be strange - so here is the link

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Gift for Crops - (3rd day in a row!)

I am dedicating this mornings post to Miss Carol (Crops2Dawn Creations). If you have not gone to meet the woman, you should. She is awesome... and fun. She has been at battle (figure of speech) with her sisters over the Thanksgiving Dinner. they decided this year to have clams... CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT?

Needless to say, Carol was not thrilled with this concept. Check out her blog, and go back a few posts to get the story. You can also find all the elements and papers used in this layout on her site. Take a cruise down the page to the bottom. She has some absolutely STUNNING fall images.

So, in honor of your quest for a turkey on your table, I present you this layout.

We do get wild turkeys in the yard. The boys love to stare at them though the the bedroom window. Morgan even chased one a year or so ago. I did not know that Turkeys could fly. Yep, they can. LOL.

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

TWO in one day?!

Wow! I was visiting some of my favorite blogs. Apparently as I was having my "snapfish" psychotic break... I missed Barbara Lee's Birthday! This makes me feel pretty terrible, especially since she made me the most BEAUTIFUL card - (by the way Barbara, where did you get that kit - I really like it). I used one of her wonderful kits to make her an "I am a NUKLHEAD" card. I sure hope you had a great day! Barbara gets credit for the kits - Go check out her work, she is awesome... a southern girl with a western flare, and a very kind heart. If you decide to download her work, remember your manners, and leave her some love! Hmmm where have I heard that before?!


Note To Self....

Good Morning. This is my reason for a "note to self". I often find myself driving to or from town, thinking to myself "Self - I sure wish I had my camera". Swan Lake is simply beautiful at sunset, and do you think I have a photo of it. NO, of coarse not! I suppose I have a paranoia of leaving my camera in my vehicle while shopping. I guess that is from too many years in the city. Also, in my own defense, it is really cold here, and cold temps are not good for the camera. The reason I mention this is the photo above. I took this last Saturday (Nov 15) when I was returning from the wedding. I had stopped at the top of the drive to pick up the newspaper. It was that time of day when the sun, setting over the Mission Mountains, was bouncing it's light off the Swan Mountain range to the east. As you can see, the golden larch have been replaced by snow on the peaks. I just wish we had some in the valleys too.

Now, on to the business of a couple of layout pages:

Leaf paper care of Amy Sumrall from her Fall Splendor part of the blog party. I just love this paper! I actually double layered this , rotated the top layer 180 degrees, and erased the bottom half to give it a full circle of leaves. It was perfect for their wedding setting. You will see this paper again, as I used it in 3 layouts.

This is a QP created by Linda Walton (Bon Scrappit). Check her out if you have not already. She is very creative, and talented.
Wordart by Vanessa Fellows - hers is an interesting site, worth a look. Lots of tuts, freebies, and everyday life stuff. Paper ~ Amy Sumrall ~ I meant it when I said I liked it!

This quick page is called Modern Vintage, by
Kim Smith.

I created the best friends image, the frames are Linda Walton's and the paper, of coarse... Amy Sumrall.

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.

Have a great day!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hello there, from Eilajean, the very bad BLOGGER!

Good morning Scrapland! I have been missing in action, and am now returning to sanity. Above are a few morning visitors from a few days ago. This photo was taken from my living room window. What you cannot see, or hear... is the whining and carrying on of two black dogs. They get so excited when the elk show up. I have to admit, so do I. I just don't run through the house like they do - from window to window. The deer don't phase them, but these ladies are quite another story.

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

Home Alone

Have any or all ever seen Home Alone? Remember Macauley Culkin? There is the scene when he screams. Classic movie moment... that is me. I will resurface soon... ARGGG! Snapfish is the pits - I recommend it to no one!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Success At Last

Is it Saturday already? Whew - where on earth did the time go. I (the one who is not a quitter-LOL) have been fighting with my computer. I won! After the whole Photoshop fiasco, I decided to download the trial. (while I wait for my son to deliver mine). When I first got the Photoshop, I had loaded the trial while waiting for the disposition of my case with Adobe. I used it twice, and it just quit working. I would open it, it would come up - an close immediately. So, I removed it from my computer. (or so I thought!). Long story short - the new Photoshop program, like AOL, always leaves a part of itself behind. After six days I was finally able to get the entire thing off my computer - reload - and we are back in business - YAY. There is a bit of a learning curve, but it is definitely faster. It will be fun to get to work on it... later.

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

The Best Laid Plans

Woo Hoo! The Photoshop arrived. Boo Hoo... I can't use it. I checked to see if I could upgrade from CS, which they said I could... and I COULD, if I had the"stand alone" version ~ which they failed to mention. But do not feel sad for me. I have another plan... Since my son is a college student, for a few more months, I am just going to have him buy it for me at the student price (the STAND LONE) version - which will actually cost me less than the upgrade cost at full price. Adobe has agreed to refund my money - they are destroying my serial number, so it can't be used. Again - fine by me. It is useless to me anyway. I did get to play with it for a few minutes before it became inactive (using it as a trial version). It has some cool attributes for editing images. They did take away the contact sheet and the picture package, which I actually use. So, now I am in a quandary. I can always leave my CS on the computer for those two things or just have the "boy" get me the CS3... which I can upgrade later - perhaps on CS8 or something - because, I will have the STAND ALONE version... LOL!!!!

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

First Snow

We did not get the snow we were expecting - which is fine by me. I did receive a photo of three of our grand kids having some fun with the first snow of the year. The date was actually in October... but anytime is a good time to build a snowman - grass and all! I used Vicki AWP's Merry Mistletoe kit, which is available at Scrap 'N Art in the November/December issue... it is worth taking a moment to register. There are loads of interesting tips, ideas and the occasional kit. Check it out!

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.

Typical engineer!!!

Time to go do something productive.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Houston - We Have Lift off!

My photo is not the usual work of art... but the bread sure was quite tasty ~ thank you very much! I feel quite accomplished! I did add a bit of Rosemary to the dough (in the liquid before ever adding the flour). It added a subtle taste that I quite like. We did have the virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping. It was a lovely compliment to our steaks. I am glad I gave it the second try. It was well worth it. Thank you Mrs. Miles for sharing!

I am so relieved that we have finally finished with the wood. It brings my heart such joy, as well as my back. LOL! They are calling for snow tonight, so it is none to soon. Snow, I am not sure if I am ready for snow, but I guess when you live in Northwest Montana, it is inevitable. On thing for certain, we will stay warm.

Yesterday, I took a stroll down to the neighbors place with the dogs. Max is quite the "crazy dog" when he gets on a mad run! Fortunately he has never run into me. I am thinking he could do some serious damage. Today I played around and made a layout. I used Barbara's (Just Passing Through) Autumn Leaves papers and frames, Olivia Dorazio created the guilded leaves, and the font I used is Guttenburg MF. Max is in the front (duh!) and Morgan is bringing up the rear.

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

The Great Bread Adventure

Here is where we stand on the "great bread adventure" ~ Saturday was out of the question as I had a reaction to my flu shot. I found myself in bed the entire day. I am much better now. Yesterday, I realized I had no yeast, so I made plans to go to the Mercantile to get it (well before noon). As I was preparing to head out, I got a phone call from a friend who needed my help locating a file on her computer. Two hours later, I was able to get to the store. I returned home pulled out the ingredients, and mixed the H2O with the yeast and Kosher salt (yes - have Kosher salt for Christmas Prime Rib). I also broke up some Rosemary to have inside the bread. Ready for the flour... Silly Eileen, "YOU KNOW you should measure things out on the side just in case ~ "Ring Ring" your niece calls and has questions about her company logo and gift certificates you are helping her create... too late, flour is in water, was that the 2nd half cup or the 4th - equaling two cups? Oh I don't know, let's just split the difference!"

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:
Can I substitute whole-wheat flour in an all white flour bread recipe?

href="" 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.

The real bummer is that I planned dinner around this bread. I made Spaghetti sauce, mine to be served on spaghetti squash - hubby's on linguine... a lovely salad and so hoped to have this amazing bread for the garlic bread.

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!?

Have a happy one everyone, I am off to play in the woods.