Friday, March 27, 2009

Getting a Handle on the Past

I have actually been a busy girl. I have been working on a book for my son - that I hope to have by graduation... I am building it in Creative Memories (Story Book Creator). It gives me a chance to layout the pages in the order I choose... and rearrange as I choose. It is somewhat user friendly. I bought the software because I can save the pages as jpegs that way, and have printed however I choose. I can also bring in other embellishments, as well as save some of theirs to use with different page templates. They have a million different book page packages, and you can select from premade pages... which I do, then tweak them to fit my mood LOL.

My plan is to make a book about his family Generational info and photos where they exist... in a photo album type of layout... I have posted the great grand parents - I still have to make a page involving great great - and a couple great great great that I have. That is for another day. I am making the pages as they come to mind - then I will rearrange them as need be. Here are 4 of the most recent pages... I have a few more to do of my father ... This could end up being a pretty big undertaking, but I want it to be something he treasures, and passes on to his children. It has to be powerful - and artistic. For the purpose of the post, I have blurred the names and details of birth dates.... it is the Internet after all.

All were done using the Story Book packages except one which is below - with proper credit for the embellishments I used.

Credit on the stitched frames goes to Miss Vicki in Texas from her March Color Kit You can pick it up here - she has several posts related to it, and it is a very cool kit - Be sure to leave some love if you pick it up.

I was on a bit of a roll yesterday - and decided to go for a lunch with hubby. When we got home, a nap sounded much better than working on the computer. After I awoke refreshed, I decided to hunt out some negatives I have had in my mind to scan. Thankfully my negatives have always been in better order than my photos. Here are a few Yellowstone images, scanned from B&W film. They are from 2001 - 2003. The coyote has a tracking collar. Actually, a good number of animals in Montana have tracking collars, so that FWP can get a handle on travel... especially the Grizzly Bear.

Here you go - I played with the coyote one - 3 photos of the same coyote.

A Bull Elk in Mammoth Hot Springs (with is harum) Yellowstone National Park

Bison in the middle of the road is nothing unusual. This is the Lamar Valley - Yellowstone

This is the route we would take to go to town for supplies. Put Yellowstone on your list of places to go if you have not already!

Originally, that was all I really had to say. But.... I went to the kitchen after I had started this. When I looked out the window, I saw 3 elk in the meadow out back... then another one came out of the woods, and another, and another, and before you know it, there were 13. I had to take some photos... so here you go - and this time, Mrs Miles, it is LITERALLY my back yard. LOL.

Yes, there is still snow - and more on the way for Saturday - YIPPEE SKIPPEE!!!! Guess it could be worse, I could be dealing with a melt that is too quick, or tornadoes. My prayers go out to folks in Mississippi, and North Dakota.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Snow on the Ground ~ Elk in the Yard

Yep, it is another stellar day in Montana! I will warn you, these are not the greatest photos - it was barely light out... and I had not, I repeat HAD NOT had any coffee. But.... here they are just the same. LOL.

Max and Morgan ALWAYS get excited when they see the elk in the yard

I must admit ~ we do too...

This lovely lady spent some time trying to get to the moss higher up

...and got a snowy face for her trouble

They are fairly skittish, so they do not hang around long. The dogs create quite a ruckus. Morgan has a moan that sounds very much like the moo of a cow... and Max has this high pitch whine that sounds a bit like a squealing pig... so when they get excitable - it is a regular barn yard. They run from window to window to get a better look. It is really quite comical.

After the excitement was "over" - or so I thought... I got a cup of badly needed coffee, we took the dogs out back to do their business. The next thing we know, Max is slinking around the side of the house. I look through the house (We can see thru from back to front) - and there goes Max on a dead run to where the elk have gone. I got through the house and whistled - which always gets him to put the brakes on. Today was no exception. Puppy KNEW he was in big trouble. He doesn't even have to be told, in situations like this. He went straight to his bed - tail between his legs... He is a hoot. He has never chased the elk before. He has the deer, and now does know better. I guess he thought he would give it a try - test the boundaries. He now understands after 10 minutes on the "naughty bed" LOL.

Speaking of Max - Have you ever seen what happens when you cross a dog with a frog... you get a DROG. This is how Max lays in front of the fire. Actually it is his most common sprawl. He is quite limber. He even sits up that way, as in raising his upper body - with his legs still behind him. I am working on getting a photo of that, but just like a little kid - it is hard to get him to sit still when the camera comes out.

On a separate note, I have one of those, DID YOU KNOW things to share.

Keyboard Shortcuts:

Awhile back, I was trying to help a friend learn Photoshop. I was searching around at some different tutorials, when I came across a guy who was talking about keyboard shortcuts. I had always blow them off... I used ctrl+z to go back and ctrl+d to deselect, but didn't bother much beyond that. As I watched this video, I realized just how much help it is to the work flow. For example: ctrl+J will either make a duplicate layer, OR do layer via copy (if you just want to do a layer of a selection.) Crazy stuff like that. They are fun to play with and even helpful once you get into the habit of using some of them, as they do apply in other areas of computing. But I won't go into that, because my MAIN point in all of this are the TOOL PALETTE SHORTCUTS... those are the ones that I slapped myself on the forehead for... ("I never knew that!!" WOW MOMENT!!!) OK, so this may not be very exciting to anyone but me... but on the off chance that this is new info to anyone, I am putting it out there.

When Working on an image, there are SINGLE letter (no ctrl+ necessary) keys that will change the tool you are using. For example, if you are moving along, and want to zoom into a spot you press the Z key - and you are now using the zoom tool - want to zero in on a specific spot and need the hand tool to move it around - H and you are now using the hand... Now you are ready to do a little healing? No, can't use the H, it is the hand... LOL - for whatever reason - the healing tool is J. The photo below shows what they are, and is linked to the tutorial that has this. There are several other tutorials as well. Hope this is useful to someone - if so... my job here is done :o). It was a total WOW moment for me. It only took a little getting used to, (making it a habit) since it made so much sense, and made things so easy. You can right click the tools, or run your curser over them to see what the assigned letter shortcut is (FYI).

***OH NO... I almost forgot another really useful one that I use ALL the time - ctrl+0 (the number) is to fit the image to te screen.... (sorry added this later...)

I wasn't so talkative in my last post... guess I found a voice today...

Going to go play a little...

May your day be sunny and bright!!!!


Monday, March 23, 2009

Springing Into Spring... I hope...

Good Afternoon...

OK, so I am quit hopeful that Spring may, at least, be on its way to Montana. Man, it was one evil cold shot we got - so unacceptable for March. I am happy to report that "Spring One" (as my oldest GD calls it) brought with it a sunny weekend, and our first robin sighting. Doing the "spring bird dance" around the yard....

I did go to town, and boy did that help to lift the spirits. I guess I have just had cabin fever, and I don't always recognize it until it is too late.

Barbara over at Just Passing Through has recently created a kit called Sherbert. Pop on over to grab it here ~ and remember, it is very bad Karma to not say than you... Well, as luck would have it, I made a couple quick pages with the kit, and they are my gift ~ my way of saying thank you for all the free stuff I have received. I hope to become more proficient, and perhaps more productive... but for now, I hope you enjoy these.

*a side credit* I used the Mickey font from 1001 free fonts. there are some fun ones there.....

I guess I am not super talkative today, so I will say so long... I hope the sun is shining on you where ever you might be.


PS - I know there is a way to get the previews to open by clickingon them - but cannot figure out how - suggestions would be appreciated....

Monday, March 16, 2009

Where Does The Time Go?!

I am a little surprised that I have not posted since the 5th. I guess I must have gotten busy? Or maybe just a little cabin fever? Dunno... but I am here now. It has been so unbelievably cold here. Sub zeros are tolerable in January - December even - we have come to expect and accept it... almost hope for it in terms of killing those evil little Mountain Pine Beetles. By March, we are pretty over tat... and would appreciate if Mother Nature would be too. OK, so I am finished whining.

Melanie at Creekside Cottage Designs posted a new (a couple weeks) kit called Heritage. You can pick it up here, and please remember your manners - say thanks, although I know my readers are all pretty polite. I made a couple similar, but different layouts using the same basic elements. I am a balance freak in a sense. Since I am making a book for my boy... which I really need to get rocking on... I feel it is good to start somewhere near the beginning. I am trying to get "facing each other" pages to coexist peacefully. These layouts are of my grandparents, his great grandparents. My grand father Johnny passed away when he was only 39. He was truly the love of my Grandma Ronnie's life. She never remarried. She spent most of her adult life taking care of my mom, and then taking care of a Catholic Priest, who had been bedridden from a stroke for 12 years. She was a good woman. She passed away 8 years ago, and I truly miss her. I do know she is back by Johnny's side, so it makes it alright.

The second one is of my father's parents... The oldest grandchild (my uncle's son) could not say grandma and grandpa when he was first starting to talk... he said "Moe and Boppie" and thus that is what they became to ALL the grandchildren. What a simple time that was. With our grandchildren there seems to be so much confusion. Our oldest grand daughter calls hubby Papa, which makes his daughter (hubby's daughter) angry because they had reserved that title for her husband's father. OK, so stay with me here. Her daughter did not come along for another year after he had been deemed Papa. So now he is grandpa to one and Papa to the others... silly, and petty, I know. I just think it gets a little complex. My sis decided she would be G-Ma to her grandson... and it stuck - sort of - she is G G since that was easier for him when he was little... it works though. I guess to me, it is the names that your grandchildren give you that are the ones that matter.

Moe and Boppie were special to me. I was their grand daughter and god daughter. I was the only child out of 26 grand kids that was both. We had a special relationship throughout my childhood. I miss them as well. Boppie left us when I was in the 4th Grade. Moe stayed until 1985... I was so blessed that she was able to meet my son.

So there you have it, the start of the story for Bosco's Book (oh, do not tell him I called him that LOL). It has been a long road, but I have finished scanning all the family photos (@700 in all) plus all of the lost photos- that I found YAY! That was a couple hundred more. The massive photo sort is also complete. OK, I guess I know where I have been. Give me a little credit, I have stopped in to say hello to some of you. I just wasn't feel terribly inspired to post.

So here is a photo of what organized pics look like...

Oh yes, and for the fun of it, this is what 10 days of wood looks like. Hubby built this rack, so we can fill this and then pull wood from the garage to fill the inside wood box - which he also made. I am sure glad he got the table saw! The garage wood rack is so cool because it folds down into itself for easy storage when we aren't using it. It pays to marry an engineer. LOL Personally, I will be happy when we are no longer in need of the wood stove... (SUMMER anyone?!)

I am pleased I was able to pass on info regarding screen shots. I thought I was the only one who had trouble with them. It completely blows my mind how simple it actually is. I had looked it up originally on google - and there found that the screen shots went to the clipboard, which I had to jump through some hoops to find... and when I got Vista, Ihad to hunt for it again. But Vista left it out... OHHH do not get me started on Vista. (or The Company That Bill Built!!!!) Vista + Me = BAD THING!!! I have a wireless mouse and keyboard. It is a Microsoft - so you figure it would jive with Microsoft products. NOT!!! Apparently, my screen saver does not work because of the mouse.. and this just started with Vista. They know about it, and have known for quite some time - but do you think they would make a fix... NOOOO! I have been hunting down what to do. I did finally get my Hibernate to work, but it almost took an act of Congress. You see, as user me - I have Administrator privileges... but am not really the Administrator. The Admin is hiding somewhere in my puter... and I am on a mission to unhide her (me)... every time I go to do anything I have to get permission FROM ME!!!!! Now what kind of craziness is this. It does not help the whole concept of WORK FLOW! ARGGG!!!

Gee aren't you glad I showed up all sunshine and smiles?! Tomorrow I will go to town and hopefully return refreshed. I am thinking I really have to shake this cabin fever. Hawaii is sure sounding good! I have air miles.... hmmmm, do ya think hubby would go for it...

Have a great one... I am out of here!

ciao for naio,


Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Visual of My World

OK, so you can see our yard... and our neighbors who are just below - although we cannot see their place... and they are only there a couple months each year... Yep - that is our "town" Not much here... I put a pic of Missoula in at the same zoom to show just how much of nothing is here...

The Griz Corridor shows the two mountain ranges that the Griz have been tracked passing back and forth between them... yes, we live in the middle of it. LOL.

These Satellite images are a little outdated... they should be mostly WHITE... since it is snowing again today - LOL.

I am feeling somewhat pleased with myself. I am not one to read manuals often... but I finally learned something from a trial and error attempt. I am intrigued with screen shots. They have always seemed a little daunting. My key issue was getting them to a jpeg. I never could figure out the clipboard, or find it for that matter. I knew if I did a ctrl+PrtScn I could take a literal photo of my screen... but where did it go? Then hubby told me I could do the PrtScn thing and open WORD and paste it there. But that still did not give me a "Photo" - and WORD confuses me a little too. I use it, but do not get overly complex with it. (KEEP IT SIMPLE - my motto). SO I had this revelation... What if I paste it in a new Photoshop Image? Hmmm - I wonder if that will work... Guess What!!!!

It even SAYS clipboard in the description. One thing I did was change the resolution to 300... and though it changes from clipboard to "custom" you just click OK - then the blank page shows up - Go to Edit > Paste ... and Yippee Skippee - there is your screen at a somewhat decent resolution... then you can downsize it to whatever res you need for web work. Now, you all probably KNOW this already, but I am feeling awfully pleased with myself for figuring it out. I even checked it in PS CS... and it works.

I just wanted to get this post up... and now I am off to finish my coffee, and my day.

Bear Hugs all around!


Wednesday, March 4, 2009


This is my Grand Canyon layout - I made it using the (appropriately named) Grand Canyon kit from Barbara ~ Just Passing Through. You can pick it up here. She does some pretty amazing work... Please remember to leave her some love. She is a very busy woman, who takes that extra time to give us some pretty lovely kits. Your thank you will mean a lot!

I am not extra chatty today. It looks to be a beautiful day. They say tomorrow an Arctic cold front will descend upon us... zeros for several days... and snow. Ummm Could you folks in Canada find a way to send that stuff back to Alaska and Russia please... LOL.


We seem to have had a large critter visit out porch last night... it marked the BBQ about 18 inches up - and is making the dogs bonkers... I hope it is not a coyote, wolf, or mountain lion marking its turf... and stalking our dogs. No, I don't like that idea at all! It has more of a cat smell - if you catch my "drift"... and they scare me the most.


So that is all the excitement in my world. I think today is a "shut down the computer - make some chili, clean some house..." day. Be well...
catch ya later

Monday, March 2, 2009

K.I.S. - Keeping It Simple

Good Morning Blogger Buddies!
And a loverly morning it is! I heard geese when I was out with the dawgs. Do you know what that means? SWEET SPRING! Yes, we still have a ton of snow on the ground - the same snow that has been here since DECEMBER... but there is HOPE! Of coarse, as we all know, there is always HOPE.
I had quite a weekend. I got my new computer for Christmas... and since setting it up - I have had some conflicts. I am thinking it was from pulling my XP settings over from the old PC. I have been dreading fixing it, but I knew I had to. Actually, more than anything, I have dreaded calling support. Saturday, I bit the bullet and did it. I moved all my pics, and documents to the external hard drive and I took the computer back to the factory settings. Then I got back to the task of reloading all my programs. It was going pretty smoothly, until I tried to load my scanner software. No matter what I did, I just could not get it to recognize the drivers. I tried to go to Epson and get their drivers... still not working. FOUR HOURS, I worked on this. (I did take a break and make some chocolate chip oatmeal cookies w/ Reece's chips thrown in... yum!)
Cookies were the distraction I needed. I restored my system back to the point where I had started trying to get the scanner loaded. I found that when taking Vista back to the beginning, it creates a file called C:Windows.old. That file was 25 gig of useless space. I did a Google search (what did we do before google?) LOL!!! I found a suggestion to do a disc cleanup - which I did... and now my scanner is happy. I still have about 50 photos left to scan (I have done 900 already). I really need my flatbed! There you have it... the saga of my day yesterday. I have avoided electronics for years, but in the last 7 or 8, I find I have grown to LOVE all the tech stuff out there, even though I fry way too many brain cells trying to figure things out ~ Eila don't need to read no stinking manuals! I should, but I learn hands on - even though I should take notes, so I don't have to keep relearning the same thing. WOW, now there is a pretty propound thought.
I believe we have several things to learn in our time here on earth - life lessons. I believe God tosses them at us, and what we choose to gain from them will determine whether he feels the need to toss them back at us again. I was so happy to turn 30 (40 - not so much). But I embraced "thirty". The twenties were my longest period in life. I encountered huge lessons (gifts from God) but did not always pay attention so well. It wasn't until I had the revelation that I had already learned this... and learned to just walkaway from bad situations. Each time I feel a lesson coming on, I pause and ask myself if I have already learned this one or not. If I have, I know what t do... I wish I was as good with the computer! I am working on it though... NOTE TO SELF ~ take better notes.
Over all this week had been a pain "technically". On Monday - a week ago - the DVR crashed! It took about 10 movies and 40 programs with it. We don't watch a ton of TV, but we have the shows we like so while we have the ability to record 2 shows while watching a previous recording - it resolves many conflicts. I don't like commercials. I like being able to pause live TV - and I really need to be able to REWIND, in case I did not understand something that has been said. I love my electronic toys. Well, being as we live in the middle of nowhere, we had to wait until Friday for our new one to get here... I am a happy girl once again - we did hook it up ourselves. Me, patting myself on the back... LOL!
Oh yeah, the reason for the post... I have another quickpage to go with the last one. I think it is nice to have 2 pages side by side in the book - that compliment each other. I made two similar, but different ones. I could not decide which to give you - so I decided to give you both, and let you decide which you like better. I like them both - for different attributes... although one is decidedly my favorite. As I told you in the previous post... these are from Barbara's Wood Meets Denim kit - at Just Passing Through - you can get it here. It is an older kit from back in December. Stop over and see Barbara - she is a lovely person, as I am sure I have said before. Also, she is in the process of sharing her Grand Canyon kit. She does wonderful things with colors. You can get the kit at her place ~ here. And please, remember to say thank you, if you snag any of her kits. A thank you goes a very LONG way! (and it is rude not to).
Try not to be too impressed, but I actually zipped the folder - put in a preview, and a TOU - although I need to work on that... I just want credit to go where it is supposed to - not me silly - to Barbara. She is the designer ~ without whom, these would not exist!
Click on whichever preview you would like to download - that will take you to 4Shared... see, I am trying to keep it fairly simple!!!

On that note, I am out of here!!!!


Have a fantabulous day!!!!