newly released

I've added a few reworked kits to my shop as well as a new frame set. These files come as PSDs with a frame layer and a mask layer for the photo inset.

I also have a freebie for you. This was a paper single I released at Two Peas a few years ago (and was apparently featured in a Martha Stewart Weddings roundup having to do with lace? I never actually saw it but I was told it was there ;) You can grab this one here.

I'm working on a couple of downloadable 2014 calendars that are BIG, meant to be drawn/written on (kids' colorable version as well!) and meant to be printed cheaply at Staples/Office Depot/etc and should have that up soon (when is too soon for a calendar?)

And finally, since I've updated the shop with a few things, I thought it would be fun to do a last minute Christmas in July promo...use XMASINJULY between now and the end of the month  (expires July 31st at midnight...unless you sneak in and use it before I wake up and deactivate it on the first) when you check out with a $5 minimum purchase and get 20% off your order!


the things that come out of this girl's mouth...

Just the teensiest bit of background - (because I was taught you don't talk about money, politics or religion...a good rule of thumb in my opinion!) we don't go to church unless someone is getting married. Carlos and I have different beliefs but we have never disagreed over how we raise our children in this respect. Our kids know what our individual beliefs are and they know we respect each other's beliefs as well as of those we know. They see it demonstrated by our words and actions. Many (most) of our family are church goers and the kids have gone with their grandparents to church on occasion. My parents (dad + step-mom, mom + step-dad) always ask first if it's OK to take them and it's never been an issue with us - we want them to make their own decision about what they choose to believe.

A couple of weeks ago, Izzy spent the night with my mom and step-dad and went to church with them. A few days ago she said, verbatim:

"Mom, let me tell you the truth about God. He didn't have pants or shoes and people hated him. They hung him up and then there was a miracle. And that's the truth about God."

So if you were ever curious about what a five year old might take away from an infrequent church trip, there you have it.


ain't no party...

A few days ago when I made Izzy's birthday layout, I was thinking that an "ain't no party" project life card was a MUST. So I made one to share :) Grab it here if you'd like it (single png file includes color version shown as well as a black text version that you can recolor - enjoy!)
(why tupperware? no idea...I drew a blank and it was the first thing that popped into my head. also, I'm a dork.)
Wondering how to use a multiple image png file in PSE? Look here. How about using images in Word? Here's your answer!


VSCO presets: a cheat sheet

One of the fantastic students in the Phone Photography course at Big Picture asked about which VSCO presets were best for different types of photos. There is a description of each set in-app but I remember seeing a Hipstamatic cheat sheet a couple of years ago that I absolutely loved so I thought I'd put one together for this app as well just so I could quickly see a comparison of how the different effects work on different types of shots at a glance. I'll still probably turn to my tried and true method of simply playing with the different effects until I find one I'm happy with but this is a good guideline for when I'm in a hurry.

I did a comparison of a few different shots...one indoor still life type of a shot, an outdoor portrait, a sky photo and a more dramatic silhouette type shot. The VSCO descriptions for each are included as well as my original shot (which I only cropped and adjusted for exposure prior to applying the VSCO effects. (These images do get bigger if you want to click and save.)

I noticed after I had already started that VSCO has added a (free) skin tone set so those aren't included here...I'd say the application for that set is pretty self-explanatory though.


five years of Izzy

And just like that, whoosh, five years flew by. Five years seems so big. I'll admit to tearing up as I pulled some photos from the archives...5 favorite moments from the past five years of Izzy birthday parties.

Can you see her confidence growing? Amazing.

KITS: tile alpha | dude | stamp press life | ready set go
I created a set of six 6x4" geometric templates for photos and blocks of color (you can see one of them above.) Use them for layouts, cards or project life. Grab them here and enjoy!


birthday party edition

Yesterday we celebrated my very-nearly-five year old girl at our house with family and friends. (It seriously seems like yesterday that I was shocked and awed by my oldest turning "one whole hand" and now my baby is?!? Can't deal.) I took only a few phone shots of the festivities (sigh, that's the norm these days) but did snap a couple of shots of the pre-party set up.

As the years go on, our parties get lower key. No one really notices and I know my stress level has dropped considerably. Not to say that I wasn't up into the wee hours of the morning finishing up favor bags but overall, much less planning and much, MUCH less during-party stress. As usual, my ambition outweighed my time/resources but as time passes, I'm learning to let go, get the necessities done and be happy with whatever details I manage to pull off.

Izzy wanted a Detroit Tigers party (that's my girl!) so orange, blue and white with a dose of Olde English (this is the only occasion that font is appropriate...tradition, people!) were a must.

As were hot dogs, lemonade, baseball cupcakes and icees.

The gift bags had monogrammed pennants that I made from the aforementioned font cut from self adhesive felt. Inside were Cracker Jack, popcorn, baseball cards and parts poppers. I really wanted Cracker Jack in a box and Big League Chew but my tour of the city and five separate stores was fruitless. If I'd have been on top of my game I could have ordered these and these from Amazon ahead of time!

Some of the Tigers even stopped by (*wink, wink) on their way to the game yesterday to autograph the tablecloth (thank you google images for providing me the tools to search out signatures to forge...it's a good cause, promise!) I printed the signatures, laid them on the table (just a roll of kraft paper cut to size,) traced them really hard so that there would be an impression left in the kraft and then traced with a sharpie. I think I did six in total.

Those nasty looking hot dogs are vegetarian. I never liked hot dogs even before we were vegetarian but the rest of my family did...they all think Smart Dogs are a reasonably acceptable replacement though I don't make them too often. I felt so naughty buying real beef hot dogs for all of our guests!

There was much paper ripping (those are my two sisters-in-law in the background. Both sporting baby bellies and matching royal blue).

And an adorable nephew who would really like you all to know that he is THIS many now (as of a few days ago.)

And Jake, in happier times, before he was knocked out by a tennis ball line drive to his eye (seriously, it knocked him on his butt. There was crying and an ice pack but he's fine now...just a tiny bruise!)

And it wouldn't be a party if Izzy weren't hamming it up.

And maybe Carlos too.

And even my sweet mom.

And finally, a little Squinkie action to wind down after everyone had gone home. A good, if bittersweet day.


pom love

My brother and sister-in-law are expecting a baby boy in about a month so a couple of weeks ago, my mom and I hosted a baby shower for my sister-in-law. It was handcrafted pretty much top to bottom - a lot of thought and effort (and pinterest browsing - thanks again, pinterest, for shared private boards!) went into the event but I neglected to really take any photos at all (ridiculous memory keeper that I am.)

One of the items we created to decorate was a pom pom garland based on this one. OK fine, it was an exact copy. The colors were perfect and I could match up everyone of them to inexpensive Red Heart that would hold up well. We'd seen a few pom pom rugs around and decided that since the nursery theme includes lots of bright colors, re-purposing the garland into a rug would be perfect.

We kind of winged it but I love how it turned out. When we made the pom poms, we kept the strings long for tying to the garland so when we disassembled, we already had the means to put the rug together. We used latch hook backing, figured out the best spacing for the size poms we had, marked the backing and tied them on in a diagonal pattern. We used one skein each of the colors shown and ended up with 3 or 4 leftovers - really just the right amount for a rug that is a perfect size. After we trimmed the long ends, we dabbed each knot with some fray check and once dry, used a hot glue gun to attach an equally sized piece of felt to the back (to protect the knots from too much contact and make it look a bit more finished.)

I really think a black and white chevron pom rug would be AWESOME. I have nowhere to put it though so for now...on the back burner.

I have to mention this etsy shop too. We bought 50 succulent cuttings to use as favors and they came quickly with great directions and looked so healthy. I definitely recommend them if you're in the market - I'm sure I'll be ordering again from them in the future.


I clearly haven't had much to say lately and that's OK. I'm done with the days of apologizing for my absence (because, really, no one cares. And this is mostly for me anyway, right?)

We're been busy with summer and a baby shower I helped host a couple of weeks ago. We're in the midst of doing some major work around the house and Izzy's birthday is coming up this weekend (FIVE. don't even get me started.)

I've been craving some creative time though so I grabbed a couple of $1 kits from Pixels & Co. and put this together. And it was fun! Maybe what I needed to get me going on the last half of my May project. Maybe.

KITS: Dude | Stamp Press Life | Destination: Flight Path | font


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