Monday, December 29, 2008

Over The River ~ And Through The Woods...

To the grand children's house we went. What a road trip we had! It most definitely could have been worse. The trip home had its moments, from blowing and drifting snow - to 48 degrees - to rain, to ice, to snow. Home is such a nice place to be. It was fun seeing the kids on Christmas. We did not tell 3 of our grand children we were coming. They thought we were going to be there the 26th. They were very happy when they opened the door and there we were. Hugs were had all around.
I now have a new computer with a better graphics card, more memory, and loads of hard drive space. Now I just have to get it set up... which means I might be MIA for another week. I just wanted to pop in and say hello... "Hello" ;o).
I do hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. May the New Year bring you all the joy in the world - and can we please throw in some WORLD PEACE for good measure?!
Be Well
I shall return,

Saturday, December 20, 2008

5 Days left

It really is beginning to feel a bit like Christmas. It has been very cold here. Yet I am finally feeling pretty festive. the packages have been sent - most of the goodies have been made... most of the presents are wrapped... and the sun is shining for the first time in about a week. We did not get as much snow as they had been calling for - but this is doable. Hard to believe the temp is zero in these photos. BRRR. We have been keeping the fire going for over a week. Usually, we let it die down during the day... not this week. No way LOL!

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.

I am sure looking forward to seeing our grand children. They are just too cute. I made this layout yesterday. Actually I only used one scrap element (Barbara ~ Just Passing Through) papers from her wood meets denim -which is my fav kit of hers - so far, because she is always coming up with such fun stuff. Anyway, the print is 8 x 22 inches. I had a really beautiful frame stored. It is a gift for our son and DIL. They don't have alot of artwork in their house, so I thought this would be fun for them. Aren't they just the cutest kids you ever saw. I should have been a little more creative... next time. LOL

Have a Merry Merry Christmas all - and to all a good day!


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

Winter is here

The above photos were taken just the other night (at midnight). The moon was almost full, and I was amazed at how bright the meadow was.

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.

The saying goes "be careful what you wish for". Maybe I should not have wished so hard for winter LOL. Actually, this will just be a little inconvenient. We are ready for power outages, in case that is the plan. We have 2 bathtubs full of H2) for flushing - 10 gallons of water for drinking - all the wood we could ever need (with a new row of wood laying in the driveway - ARG!!!) We both have cap lights, and many candles and oil lamps... we are set... although I would prefer the power stay on...

I am going to go address Christmas cards, and make goodies... So have a wondrous day out there in scrapland!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Giving Thanks

I just created a page layout, and I wish to thank Carol for her lovely Christmas kit and add ons - go check her out! She Rocks. I know I need to tweak the page some, but it is a start.
Ciao for now - have to go make some dinner.

Beginning to feel a bit like Christmas

Finally, enough snow to make it at least have the illusion of winter - It is not nearly enough in my opinion, but I will take it. It is such a challenge to get into the Christmas festivities, when there is no snow in Northwest Montana. I truly don't mind decorating for the deer - really I don't... I even have visions of late night gatherings of the squirrels, fox, big cats, deer, and elk. I see them singing Christmas carols around that big ole evergreen. I dream about it, really I do. LOL.

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

A New Layout - and a pic or two

Happy Christmas,

I spent longer than I should have working on a new layout for a friend's birthday. I challenged myself on this one. One of these days, I will try to think out of the box as far as how I balance things. I tried a tutorial that I found on Barbara's (Just Passing Through). I had never heard of an OOB before reading it on her blog. I kept meaning to get back to it. My example is not as stunning as hers, but for a first time out, and in light of the image I wanted to use, I did OK. I'll get on some of my buffalo, coyote, bear, and moose photos, and see if I can't come up with some cool stuff. I'm running several images through my mind as I type. For now... this is the one I had to work with. That is my story, and I am sticking t it!!! LOL. Other credit goes to Lesley at Digikeepsakes. She does amazing work - check her out. The paper belongs to Vicki Parker (AWP). The frames are from Linda at Bon Scrappit. They are all very talented ladies - and I am so grateful for all their hard work. Go check them out, and leave them so love it you snag any of their goodies.

For you Crops... here is a photo from last year... the tree, which grew a couple feet this year. Note the really HUGE trees behind the house (shadows). Hope they never fall on us!

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

Layout using Barbara's Wood Meets Denim

Where oh where has Eilajean been. Busy Busy Busy! I took some time away from the mountain of work on my desk to play with Barbara's Wood Meets Denim kit. Hop on over to her blog to pick it up. Being a Montana girl, I do truly love my blue jeans. I have a feeling there will be much more for me to use this kit for.

Montana Winter is trying to get here... and I surly wish it would. By now we are usually draped in a blanket of white. Not true this year. They keep promising snow, but it always seems to bypass us. I am still hopeful that we will have a white Christmas.

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.

The second is one of my favorite "stop the car" photos. We were driving on US 89 toward Yellowstone. The clouds were amazing, as they were lifting off the mountain. I shot it in Black and White. I processed the film myself in the darkroom. Unfortunately, when the film was in the drying closet, another person opened it without turning it off. My roll was horribly scratched. This is why I truly do love Photoshop.

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!