Thursday, February 26, 2009

What to Do on a Snowy Day

OK, so DO NOT ~ I repeat DO NOT get used to this. It is the first snowy day in a long time, and a few of the creative juices are flowing. Finding the "lost" photos was the push I need. I have a book to complete by April - in order to make it for my boy upon his college graduation. You designers have been putting out some pretty amazing stuff - and now I am starting to kick it into over drive! ROTFLMSBO!!!!
My first layout is from Vicki's My Blue Valentine. I just love this kit... LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!!!! You can get it here - but I am telling you that you bess say thank you, or I will find you for a good old fashioned hog tying with duct tape - (that is how we do things in Montana!). Yep, I did 2 layouts from this one... and there may be more yet on the horizon. I was not kidding when I said I LOVE it!!!! Man, my baby boy sure was a cutie patooty!!!

The next layout is from a gift from Melanie over at Creekside Cottage Designs. This lady is quite talented. It is her Bring Me a Dream kit, and it can be used so many ways. Few things are a precious as a baby sleeping!!! (or as quiet - man, I just crack myself up some days!!!!) You can pick her kit up here. The same thing applies ~ if you pick it up, remember your manners and say Thank You! Or I will send Miss Vicki from Texas to give you a full on Texas Butt Whooping - and I think that might just be 100 times worse than duct tape... I think you get my point. These designers work very hard, and share with us out of the kindness of their hearts. A simple thank you can go a very long way.

I am off to do a little more playing in Photoshop. Have a great rest of the day, and I promise to do the same!



I've Been Tagged

Yep - 2 posts, in 2 days... What are ya gonna do. I was tagged by Melanie at Creekside Cottage Designs. I don't know too many people out there, so I figure I better jump on it, since 3 of the people I would tag have already been... Since this s pretty specific, I can't really re-tag them - NO POINT.

Here are the rules:

I have to go to My Pictures, go to the 6th folder and then to the 6th picture in the folder. Now I will have you know, that is not as cut and dried as it would seem. I have organized all the photos in my back room... not so true for my computer. I have photos scattered all over the place. I know ~ BAD EILA! So I did the logical thing. I went to my Pictures folder - which is where they are all supposed to be (in a perfect universe)... I chose the 6th and 6th... so here you go... My dad in 1953 - I think he had just finished boot camp (Marine Corps - Semper Fi)

Now I have to tag6 other people - so here you go...


bubbles babbles

Anne of Alamo

Kimmy's Keepsakes

Capt Nancy

Barbara ~ Just Passing Through

Whew! That wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It is a snowy day ... I need more coffee - and I am off to tag some peoples. Have a great day...

Yeah I know, I still have awards to tend to. As MacArthur said in the Philippines - "I shall return".



Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A HUGE Surprise

A good afternoon it is, here in Montana. It's a balmy 40 degrees, and the weather man says there is a fun little snow storm on the way. I can live with it... I know Spring will get here eventually. The cold and snow has given me a chance to sort the photos, scan the photos... and generally reflect on my life and family. I am so blessed.
Several members of the family gave me a huge stash of family photos. They span back to my mother and father's childhoods, as well ours. I finally decided it is time to just get it done! I have scanned over 300 so far, and think I have only about 150 more to do. That does not include the medium format negatives my mom has given me to scan. ARG! But I do it for LOVE... The negs are next on the "hit parade". This is what I SHOULD have been doing today - but it is not.
This is where I am... There are a few people in scrapland that just plain inspire me... on a creative level, spiritual (true) level, and a down to earth level. They are kind, thoughtful, and just - hmmm - looking for the word ~ Oh Yeah - Genuine. I stop by to read their thoughts. Sometimes I treat myself to a gift they have offered... and say a very heartfelt thank you just for being who they are.
I have no excuse - but I have not really given anything back. I don't know if it is being shy - YEAH! NO! or self conscious. Yep that makes more sense. I am talented at that which I care about... but I am nowhere near as talented as so many people I have come across in this little society. I am humbled... I have made a few layouts, and today I decided to take a layout I had made and turn it into a quick page. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!? Yes, I said I have a huge surprise - actually, I should have said SHOCK! I have even uploaded it to 4shared and everything. You see, I really did make an account there way back when. (which I discovered I must sign in at least once in 30 days - oops) It is all good. I have nothing to loose - since I had not put anything in there yet. But I have now. And although I have a lot to learn - it is what it is for now.
I would like to share a little about this QP. It is from Wood Meets Denim by one of my favorite designers Barbara, at Just Passing Through. My guess is you recognized yourself above :o) ~ Before she even released the kit, she made me a birthday card from it. You have no idea how much her thoughtfulness touches me. She is a very strong christian woman - and she is genuine. I respect and appreciate it. She is about to release her latest kit - Grand Canyon. You may want to pop on over and say hello. If you download any of her kits, be absolutely sure you say thank you.
So there you have it. My first gift. I hope you can find a use for it. And do not pass out from shock. Thanks to those who have encouraged me... if only by thoughtful words.
Click the preview to download (I hope LOL!)

Have a great day!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Little Yellowstone Video

I have a gift to share. While I was in school, I had to create a slide show, using the old fashioned projector, white screen, and music. We had a nifty device that could control the blend etc. I had this idea to use this song about buffalo, by Spanky and Our Gang. Do you remember them? They were kind of like the Mamas and Papas (harmonies and sound). They had a hit with Sunday will Never Be the Same? Well anyway, when I was a teenager, my dad had a greatest hist album, and I loved this one song a real lot. All I remembered was that the lyrics said "Where' My Buffalo?" The search was on to figure out the name of the song, and see if I could buy it on CD. I searched and searched, and finally I did a Google for Spanky. I actually found a website, and an email address. I wrote her, and asked the name of the song, and what CD I might find it on. She wrote back that the song was "National Stardom" and happened to be one of her very favorites. She has a deep love of the buffalo. She said it did not exist on any CD, but had her assistant convert it from an old album (VINAL, can you believe it?!) and they sent it to me... with permission to use in my slide show. In exchange, I sent a couple buffalo prints I had kicking around.
I had the music, now I had to get the images. I took a road trip through Yellowstone, to Cooke City and met several friends along the way. I stayed the night, and returned the next day. The only drawback of film is that you can't check the images right away... so a few were not usable, and a few are soft focused. I have been working to recreate the show, and so here you have it. Hope you enjoy.

I must go away now as the hour grows late, and I have to go make tacos for dinner. YUM! I do want to say thank you to those who stop by to read my rantings, and leave little messages of hello - it really means a great deal to me. I have to hop by your places... Promise I will catch up tomorrow - LOL - I hope!



Monday, February 16, 2009

Funny How Things Happen

Whew! Where to begin? I have almost wrapped up the sorting of my photos. What a long strange trip it has been. There was this terrible "glitch" that was just about sending me over the edge... Have you ever put something VERY important away for safe keeping... and forgotten where you put it? You rack your brain and try to figure out your own logic... but it just does not come to you. So you search and search and search - and go back and search the same places again? That is where I have been since I started the massive organization project.
When my son was 18, he asked me if he could have his photo album. He wanted to show a girl some of his photos from when he was a baby. (It is always a girl that gets these problems going LOL!) So, of coarse, I say NO WAY!!!! I decided the nicest thing I could do is to pick out my very favorite photos which represent his childhood ... tape them to white paper, and have color copies made. I even had the 30 page booklet bound for him and everything. (keep in mind - this is 1998 - and technology has not really taken off yet). So now, it is 2009 and I STILLLL have not put the photos back into the photo albums. No, that would have been the sane thing to do. Instead, I had put them in a folder for safe keeping until I got a "round tuit". You guessed it... I have been hunting for the folder. These are my SERIOUSLY favorite photos... and some of them I do not own the negs to. (taken by family - old boyfriends of sisters, ex-souses of sisters etc...)
While getting everything together, I am sure I have seen them in the past couple months, but I just cannot figure out where. I want to make a scrapped photo book for him for graduation... and I cannot find the best of all the photos. ARGGG!!!!!
Fast forward to yesterday. I thought I would give it one more try, before putting out a call to the boy, requesting the booklet I made, so I can at least try to scan the color copies. Still no luck - and I looked EVERYWHERE again... some places twice - again.... So I left a message for Boy... and decided I had done all I could, and let it go.
Then came an odd phone call. It was from a cousin of my mothers - whom she had not seen since she was a very young child. He was working on a family tree, and had heard that I had unearthed some info a few years back. We chatted for awhile. Aparently he had spoken to my sister. He had in his possesion an old photo of my grand father when he was 2. Only a couple of my blog-buddies have been around since my early posts, so you may remember the photo restoration I did for mom...the one that nearly made me crazy - (oh wait... I already am that... LOL)
Bear with me... this is all going somewhere.
Here is the photo as mom sent it to me - for you new friends - It had stuck to the glass, and broken... and pieces were missing...

then I fixed it the best I could. If you notice, my great grandmother's hand is missing... so I gave her one of mine - which originally had a babies finger wrapped around my finger... so I had to cut off my middle finger and fuse it with one of the others... GOTTA LOVE PHOTOSHOP!!!!!!

The the cousin shows up and emails me the actual photo in its undamaged glory!!! Yeah - where was he 2 years ago? I actually feel pretty good, as my great grandmother has the same hands I me in reality (pretty close anyway... LOL) - except I am pretty sure she did not wear dark nail polish back in the day. See for yourself... here it is.

Ok, now I am on a mission to find the family tree stuff. While tearing through a cupboard in my office (which would be a logical place for me to put these papers... Guess what I found! YEP ~ This is me doing the extremely HAPPY dance around my office. I found the lost photos. And no, I have not seen them in 2 years... because I have not been in that cupboard for two years. Correct that - I have been scanning slides from there this week, but I thought all the notebooks and folders in there contained school stuff. OOPS, I seem to have been wrong.

To give you an idea of how priceless these photos are, I made a layout

A picture may be worth a 1,000 words, but TWO pictures can tell the whole story!!!! That is my mom, while she was still getting used to her two grand children. She is an old hand at it now... Those two, my son and niece went from sweet little angels... to three year olds in a span of a couple hours. How lucky we were to have someone tell the story. One page made for the book - only about 40 more to go. (credits: Papers - Melanie - Creekside Cottage Designs - From her Grandma's Parlour Kit Stitching Frames are from Digital Fingers - and the butterflies and paper overlay is from crops2dawn. They are all very talented designers... so check them out.

One last piece of business: I got an award... WOO HOO! Thank you Miss Croppie. I am hoping you don't mind if I slack a little and maybe pass it out in my next post. This one has taken my ALL DAY - sorry it was so long...

I must now get on with my day... I have photos to scan and pages to create. Thank heavens I have until mid April to get 'er done!

Ciao for Naio ~


Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Melanie!!!!

Just wanted to pop in "on the fly" to wish a very Happy Birthday to Melanie (over at Creekside Cottage Designs). She is talented and I enjoy reading her blog. Hop on over and wish her the best of days!!! I made her a card, with a little help from some of my friends... and want to point out that I have decided on a new month. In honor of the fact that she does not care for February - we will, from now on, have a combo of Jan and March (or Jarch) ...just for you sweetie.

OOPS!!!! Almost forgot - Melanies gets credit for this kit - it is from her DSO December color challenge... LOVE the colors!!!!

Have a super~fantastic day!!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Why I Did This Crazy Photo Sort

I now really understand just what a good thing I have done to sort my "bazillions" of pictures. Now if I have an idea that involves a photo I know I have, I go to the box... pick out the section it is in... and I have saved hours.

A friend made this wonderful nature quilt for me to use on the day bed in the cabin LR. The problem is... as much as I love it, it is 2 feet too short. We actually did a trade for it - 8 hours of tutoring on my part for it. So I do not feel bad for returning it. I absolutely love it... but have no place it would really work (I want someone to have it that has a place for it) I have come up with an alternate plan. I am going to design it, create a custom fabric using my own photos... and then pay her to put it together using my specs. Then came the quandary... do I want wildlife images, or scenery - or both. Off to the back room I went. I started with the Cooke City images... before I knew it, I was a scanning maniac! Wanna see some of what I found...
Do you believe in angels? Some can see her, some cannot... this first photo was taken in Billings in 1999. It has always been one of my favorites. I know I have a guardian angel ~ and I know she was on that walk with me that day!
Often, you can find incredible beauty in some pretty broken down things - people too! I loved this winter walk... It was at a time when I lived on the edge of Yellowstone... The next pictures are all from that area. Truth be told, as much as I like "here" I would rather be there!

same day - same general location....

this is the view from our "porch of sorts". It was a big ole spool and a couple chairs on the creek bank. It was where we sip a glass of wine at the end of the day. Or just hang out with coffee and a good book... the sound of the water was so soothing.

Oh yes... another favorite. It was a glorious sunny day... I was on my way home from a walk to a friend's place. I had my camera, and was just having so much fun "pointing and shooting". I spied a moose, and decided to try to catch a snap shot. This was a "cheapo" camera... and the moose was trying very hard to escape my lens... he actually "almost" did. I decided to have a print made for the owner of the cabin (who I had never met). I asked around to find out who they were. One day I spied a truck there in the early spring... so I stopped, knocked, and presented this stranger with my gift. A few days later, I popped into the local Post Office/ convenient store / fly shop... and there was a note inviting me over for a beer creek-side. I went... and The Davis' and I have been GREAT friends for going on 10 years. it is funny how a random act of kindness can turn out so well. I was into RAOK before it was a catch phrase... just because it is just "good" to try to do nice things for others.

This is from the same day I was trying to shoot the moose (NO! Not like Sarah Palin shoots them!!! LOL!) A lens flare can sometimes be such a happy accident. Look up Cooke City on the Internet sometime, just to see a little about the place. There are some "interesting" characters there. So the next photo reminds me of the "Beam Me Up Scotty" thing. We used to joke that alot of folks there (myself EXcluded) probable landed there on that Tractor beam. And... it is a stunning photo.... That was the view from the house I lived in that winter. I do love that little cafe so.

Same place - different season - note the buffalo by the pay phone.

bears in Yellowstone - Momma an couple cubs

A moose North of town

and a buffalo in the drive way.... Never a dull moment.

This next photo is of two "favorite" peaks. They are called Pilot and Index - and they are amazing. I used to love to come "home" from town - these peaks would lead me in. Such a special memory.

And there you have it! This is why I am so glad I sorted things out... Now I can create some fun things and feel good about my life so far....

Have a great day!


Saturday, February 7, 2009

OK - so I lied

It was a small fib. I was heading to sort the photos, but I wanted to get this up for Crops. She wants to go to the zoo. Recently she also posted a layout with elephants. While sorting, I found two photos of me on an elephant, so I made this little layout in her honor. I used Barbara's - Just Passing Through Bear Kit.

I strikes me as amusing that this is the second time that one of my favorite designers has posted a layout which has images that match some that I have been recently coming across. It must be some kind of sign that I am supposed to be getting my images in order. And so I am. And with that, I am seriously out of here.

Have a super~fantastic day!


Just a little note

I just wanted to pop in before I turn off my computer for the weekend... to let you know - the snow in the picture of the cabin... is the same snow that fell December 15th. It will be here until April... maybe even May. It snows - then a little melts - then it snows some more. I love Montana, and this is great for keeping forest fire danger down... but by the end of February, I am ready for Spring... this year, I am ready now! Just thought I would share that with my Southern Sisters - and my Sis in England who is currently HATING the snow!
My thought for the day - "It could always be worse"
Have a fab weekend!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Somebody has been a bad blogger...

The last time I stopped in to say hello, I was heading out to the cabin to tidy up a bit. That is it above, as well as the woodshed, and outhouse. It is close to the house, yet lends to the privacy of our guests.
Here is the before photo (inside):
...and here are a couple after:
living room


There is a bedroom behind me, which you cannot see... LOL - because it is behind me.... I love our retro little red table. It was a find on ebay, which we got surprisingly cheap. You see, it was being sold by someone who lived in the town where my son lives... so we were able to pick it up. Most people who wanted to bid on it chose not to because the shipping was sooooo expensive. So we lucked out and got it for $100.00 AND got to see my son on Mother's Day when we picked it up.
I am trying to wrap up a bunch of work related editing jobs, and have just not had time to pop in to say hello. I am almost finished sorting the photos. I hope to be done by tomorrow. As soon as I finish here, I am going to go back to the work room and try to knock it out.
I think I am getting a little of the "winter blahs"... so bear with me, if I don't show up much for now.
Have a great day everyone!