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Archive for September, 2009

It’s been a while.

I realize I haven’t been around for a while…busy with home and family and I am taking 2 new digi classes that I love.  Jessica Sprague is having her Type+Writer class now where it is journal driven and cool type techniques.  At Renee Pearsons site I am taking a brush class by Tiffany Tillman…very cool and I am learning more wonderful things from her.  I have taken a brush class at JSprague and I say you can never have to much knowledge.

We just had our Fall Festival here in Liberty this past weekend and I didn’t go.  I just wasn’t interested this year because they have been changing it so much that it isn’t much fun anymore.  No art booths on the square (they moved them a block or two away)  and any non-profit booths had to take the less desireable locations off the square because of the fees they were charging.  Just a bunch of people trying to make money and not think of the bigger picture…attracting lots of people…volume business…more money.

My grandkids are wonderful and growing like weeds everyday.  With all of them in school now I can really see how much they are growing in knowledge, skills, and just plain cuteness!

Here are a couple of tags I made in Tiffany’s class:  the blue one are supplies from MColeman and the red one are supplies from Summer Driggs and Little Bird Designs.

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Free Write Assignment 1

I’m not sure what to write about because its been so long since I’ve done it.  In fact, I threw away what I had written previously because it was garbage once I re-read it years later.  How is it that something written so long ago can ring false on so many levels.  So out with the old and in with the new.  I am always up for a new learning experience and so I have embraced digital scrapbooking with a vengence and also by way of it…photography.  I had no clue just how awful my picture taking skills truely were until I took Jessica Spragues Photo Editing classes.  It was on eye opening experience to sit down with pictures I had taken and to run the steps to edit them into something passable.  Too many steps to count so I asked my hubby for the use of the DSLR, the Pentax, my nemisis.  I had bought that camera with good intentions of learning how to use it, convinced that just by picking it up my pictures were going to be automatic masterpieces….boy was I wrong.  I was so intimidated by that camera and so afraid I was going to break it that I gave it to the hubby to use and bought myself a Kodak 10.2 megapixel point and shoot in Pink!  My pictures were okay but I couldn’t get a decent picture inside to save my life.

Enter photo editing.  I borrowed the Pentax and decided I would teach myself photography.  I had missed Candices class…I know I missed one great opportunity, so I was determined to learn on my own.  I was up late at night about 11:45 in the evening online with the Pentax support people.  I couldn’t find the manual so I got online to get my two questions answered….How to turn off the autoflash and how to get a new copy of the manual.  I was happy I got the answers, the flash is off and I have to print the manual from their website…Yuck!  I printed it four days later and ran out of ink in the process.  The next step in this adventure was to take pictures around town.  I took the pentax and my point and shoot with every intention of using my card to record photos on but in my process I forgot to read how to find the SD slot on the pentax.  No worries, I just used  hubbys.  I drove downtown to a quaint little shopping area with five stores that you won’t find anywhere else, a needlework/quilt shop, antique shop, bead shop, a French bistro, and a barrel shop.  In the driveway between shops is an employee entrance that is the most beautiful I have ever seen.  The ivory door with sidelights is flanked by two windows with window boxes packed with chartreuse sweet potato vines and purple verbena.  It was a sight I decided to shoot that day along with several doorways and flower arrangements on the streets of Liberty.  Just down a ways from the window boxes was a huge barrel filled to overflowing with the chartreuse vines, yellow petunias, pink flowers and a cana for height.  From there I drove to the square and proceeded to take pictures in as many spots as I could.  Flowers and grindstones and doorways were the theme of the day.

List from free write

a. 1 eye opening experience
b. edit in 25 steps or less
c. 2 questions so late at night
d. 4 days to convince myself to print manual
e. 9 days later find the manual packed away under the bed
f. 5 stores with amazing curb appeal
g. 8 Spragmates who in the kindest way possible gave great CC …”ya need a lot of work kiddo”.

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It has been a busy week around here and we have managed to get quite a few things done.  The last 2 days the hubs and I have switched rooms and pulled up carpet in the rooms and hallway.  Yucky carpet that had been down since God was a boy!  I am so glad to get it up and expose the hardwoods.  I have also been trying to take some good pictures and have had a devil of a time with no manual.  I printed the one off of the Pentax website but wouldn’t you know it, not much more than a week passed and I found the manual.  It was in the stuff under my bed, the stuff we moved these past couple of days.  So now hopefully it will be on to better pictures.  I will post some of them in progress in layouts as I go.  I have some I have taken of my adventure photographing downtown Liberty.  And I am doing a new Class at JessicaSprague.com called Type+Write 1 & 2 and am really excited about it.  I am also taking a class at ReneePearson.com from Tiffany Tillman that is a brush class.  I already watched the videos for this today and it is a real extensive class that will be a compliment to the brush taken at Jessicas site. So now I will post the pics from the photo shoot and I will also be posting my assignments in these new classes.  Have a great day!

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Grandparents Day

Happy Grandparents Day!!!  My hubby John and I were guests of our granddaughter Lily for breakfast at her school. It was yummy but the best part was sharing time with Lily.  We are lucky in that her paternal grandparents shared the day with us and we had a great time. I love that little stinker.  Luckily I got to spend the first years of her life caring for her while Mom and Dad work.  Until she went to preschool, I was responsible for her care and loved every minute of it.  This girl is spooky smart and we wonder where she gets her information and how she retains it all.  Sitting up at 4 months, crawling and pulling herself up at 5 months and learning to walk at 7 months should have told us just how smart and amazing that she is turning out to be.  I love you Lilybug!

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Fun time digi-scrapping


I have been busy this weekend digi-scrapping, the hobby that has me now in its clutches. It’s not so bad being “on the darkside” of the hobby that I love. In fact it is making me itch to get scrapping with paper and glue and scissors. I have been spending a lot of time at JessicaSprague.com and now a new site has opened up for business and that is http://www.ReneePearson.com . Just what I need another site to intice me into digi-scrapping and learning about Photoshop, digi-scrapping and another brush class that I really want to sign up for. Apparently you CAN teach an old dog new tricks because I am really excited about all of the classes out there online to enhance my crafting ablilties. Here is a layout of my blog using elements from angelica e designs, and KPertiet papers. I love the whimsey of the embellishments and have downloaded several of her freebies from her blog. What a wonderful sharing community we have.

My photography efforts are leaving me pulling my hair out. It isn’t until I get the pictures downloaded and brought up in photoshop that I see how very bad they really are. I shouldn’t have to edit so much and is the reason I am trying to teach myself how to take better photos. I went around town snapping a few of my favorite spots and sights. I am waiting on fall and the turning of the leaves for some magical pictures.

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You would think I would learn to put the eggs out of a childs reach after the first incident. It was getting close to easter and I had done the weekly shopping making sure I picked up the extra eggs for the Easter Bunny to color. The small town we lived in had 2 grocery stores but of course there was no competition just price fixing so the expense was a little higher than we normally paid. I picked up 6 dozen eggs along with the rest of the groceries and had the bag boy load them in the car.

Hamilton is a tiny town located in N.W. Missouri, just a bump in the road, a blurb on the map, but the boyhood home of J.C. Penney, as everyone will tell you again, and again, and again on and on and on. So do you get the picture. We lived in a 2 story prarie style home (not quite as grand as others you have seen) complete with wonderful woodwork and beveled glass in the front door and built-in bookcases. In the foyer was a built in seat that doubled as the cold air return. Well just as I finished unloading all the bags into the house and had them set on the seat, nature called and I had to run upstairs to answer the call. I grabbed the Enquirer because I knew I would be more than a few moments. After taking care of business, I started downstairs and stopped on the landing as I spied my middle daughter taking her turn at “Bowling for Dollars” with the last of the 6 dozen eggs. The floor in front of the door, where they were bowling, was a mass of shells, yolks and the wiggliest slimiest egg whites that has ever been my misfortune to come across. Do you know how had it is to get that gunk up off of tile……..? Yuck! After putting away the remainder of the refrigerated food, I loaded the car with kids and went to the store to buy more eggs. So instead of Hy-Klas, we went to IGA so that no one would question what happened to the eggs I had bought only 20min. before.

Now if I could end my tale there it would be great but having 3 children at the time the stories build and continue. Not more than 5 months later my youngest daughter decided to get up early and to do something really nice for her mommy, who slept like the dead (in other words like a brick). She went to our kitchen and got a skillet, brought it into the living room and proceeded to place it in the middle of the room on the (then fashionable) harvest gold shag carpet. She then went back to the kitchen and got a dozen eggs and brought them to the other side of the room by the loveseats that had wood arms. There she set up her kitchen and cracked the eggs on the arm of the loveseat and carried the remainder to the skillet in the middle of the room.

As I finally rolled over and decided to get up from bed, one of her sisters came in and said that the littlest was making me breakfast. Of course I thought she meant cereal and was horrified as I once again hit the landing and could see what she was doing. All I remember was yelling STOP! and in one fell swoop was down the stairs grabbing her chubby little hand in one of my own while grabbing for the phone to call Hy-Klas. The poor clerk thought I was crazy as I screamed into the phone, “quick have someone deliver the steam clean machine, I have egg on my carpet”. So I have no moral to this story…….just a hard fast rule…….children are not allowed in any way shape or form around my eggs lest I end up with egg on my face.

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Hot and sweaty, hands all muddy from digging at the edge of the creek, my brother Steve and the other neighborhood kids would look for crawdads “for dinner.” Thank goodness it was a pretend dinner…..blech! The creek wound its way around the vacant lots that measured a good 250 acres and was the center of our world as children. Standing in all its glory right next to the creek was the hollow tree, complete with steps nailed up on the inside and a platform up in the branches where we could survey all that surrounded us. This is where we escaped to everyday in the summer and as often as we could during the rest of the seasons. As a matter of fact we were there daily because of the “trail” that we had blazed as a shortcut to school. I know it doesn’t happen much now a days but we would walk to school (and yes it was a mile) and back using this trail right past the hollow tree. It was the heart of our adventures…..pirates, cowboy and indian, tarzan and jane or any number of scenerios that we could come up with in our fertile imaginations. Standing on the platform we could survey the hills that were mountains to us. We named them cowboy mountain and indian mountain and played the conquering heros on many occasions.

Not far from this wonderland for kids was also a heavy burdensome reality. Living at the other end of the 250 acres in a rundown ramshackle house that was directly across the street from the Methodist church I attended was a family of 8 kids and the mother and father, so poverty stricken it was hurtful to watch even to my young heart. They never joined us in our games, in fact I think I compartmentalized them into another area altogether, and never socialized with them.

In my young life all that was important was the escape and peace that the woods and the hollow tree brought to me. I could be there for hours and often was, whiling away the days, daydreaming or reading or planning what my life could be. Maybe that is why I am so drawn to trees……….hoping one might be hollow.

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