Thursday, December 24, 2009

Since this is a personal item, I decided to post these pictures in my "thoughts" blog. On December 5, Hanna had her first slumber party and she had a lot of fun as well as her guests. I scrapped some of the photos and ended up with two really good ones.

I used papers and elements from my Feminine kit for this one. Here is the second one:

I am thinking this really tells the story of the slumber party best. I didn't make the photo collage but simply selected a layer and pasted a photo into the selection. I added papers and elements from the Dawn kit for this one. Thanks for looking!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

For the very first time, I had to use "System Restore" on my computer and, behold, it worked! I was doing some "file management" (actually just looking around to see what I could delete safely) and, by accident, moved some crucial Windows file. I immediately got an error message with an offer to "fix" it. I just kept getting the "retry" button so I had a feeling things were not good. I continued to read email, surf the internet, etc., then decided to open Paint Shop Pro 9. I got some weird error message and no program. I have had some problems lately with PSP9 so thought it had finally died on me. I then tried to open PSPX2 with no success. I got the same error message.

So, I thought I'd better run System Restore since I KNEW I had done something bad. It was so simple to use! I just clicked on System Restore under the System Accessories and a dialog box popped up asking me what date to go back to. Since all was well yesterday, I clicked on that day. After about 15 seconds, my computer rebooted and started back up. Absolutely no problems! I think this is the first time I have ever had something work so well in Windows! By the way, I use Windows XP Pro. I hate to think what headaches I would have had if I had just shut down first.

Thanks for reading! Oh, I am reading, by the way, True Blue by David Baldacci. Wow, what a great, suspenseful book it is. I am a big fan of his anyway but from the first page, it is riveting. I recommend it!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Update on the Ten-Day Give...well, I enjoyed it! The Bible is right when it says, "it is more blessed to give than receive" - there is a joy in giving that can't be explained unless you do it. A few years ago, I was able to give a car to a friend and I just can't tell you how wonderful that made me feel! I have to admit that I forgot about the giving thing and ended up have to "double up" on some days but that still worked out for me.
One the things I gave was a copy of An Echo of Bone by Diana Gabaldon to my daughter. She is the one who got me reading the Outlander series years ago. I was hesitant to read it because the time period that the book (book one of the series) took place is really not my favorite time period (early 18 century) but once I got into the book, I was hooked. Now I can hardly wait until the next volume comes out! Let me tell you, these are "volumes" too - most books are at least 1000 pages but very worth the reading. Basically, the story line is that Clare in 1945 manages to slip back into time and meets Jamie Fraser, a Scottish soldier. Clare is married but falls madly in love with Jamie. The rest of the series is the story of their unending love with lots of other characters that I have come to feel are family or at least good friends. I got my daughter an autographed copy of the newest novel that came out September 22. She picked it up tonight and is so excited to read it! We agreed that neither of us would start before the other. :) Yes, I got a copy too but just an "everyday" one. I can hardly wait to read this newest novel. I'll let you know when I start it.
Bye for now!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hey, everybody, I have joined a group through Christian Personal Finance called the "Ten-Day Give". Starting on October 1 (that is next week), we will give to others "something" every day. It doesn't have to be could be time, or clothing or items in your home, etc.

I encourage you to join me in this effort and let's all find out the joy of giving. It really is better than receiving.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I finally got a chance to do something fun with Hanna's and Joshua's school pictures. The sad thing is that I won't be able to get it printed so will have to be satisfied to put it in my digital scrapbook. The photos are considered to have copyright privileges. How do I know this? Last year I created one for the kids and took it to Walgreen's to have it printed. They refused because of the copyright issues. I don't blame them; I just didn't think about it when I asked them to print it.

Their photos this year are great! What do you think of my layout here?

Thanks for looking.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I just finished Danielle Steel's novel, The Dating Game. I must say that I was disappointed at the ending portion of the book. It seems as if she rushed the telling of the two most important things to happen to the heroine. I don't want to give away anything so won't go into detail. I usually can figure out what Ms. Steel will do with her heroines, at least to some extent, but this one didn't go the way her normal romance novels do.

The other thing that surprised and saddened me is that she felt she had to be politically correct and have a homosexual relationship as part of her heroine's relationships. Not that the heroine was involved with another woman but people she met. The relationship was portrayed as a committed one so that was good but, sadly, not the behavior of most that I have seen. A dear friend of mine was suicidal when her partner decided to leave her for another woman. It took her years to recover from it. That happens way too much in both homosexual AND heterosexual relationships today. Our culture seems to abhor commitment, loyalty and fidelity.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I decided to make this a bit more than a tutorial blog since it has been months since I posted one (April). There are other things I am interested in and that I do that I'd like to post about now and then. Please see on the right the little picture for Paperback Swap. It is a GREAT place to swap books and there is no fee to belong. Basically, you put at least 10 books on your "bookshelf" and then you get two credits. The credits enable you to pick books from other members' bookshelves. You pick a book and the team notifies that member and even lets you know when the book has been mailed. When someone chooses one of your books, you get that book ready to mail (they even provide a mailer of sorts...more about that in a sec). Paperback Swap has an arrangement with a company whereby you can even buy the postage for the book! You do have to put some money on account for the postage, of course, and you can pay by credit card or PayPal. I have been a member since 2007 and it is just a great way to get books, save money and meet new friends.

The other thing that I recently started there was taking part in the forums. There is a ton of information on the service works but also posts about all sorts of things. People are really nice there too. I don't know about you but some of the forums I belong to? The members are really nasty, crude and use ugly language so I rarely, if ever, post anything there. Of course, that is NOT true of the scrap designer forums! If you love to read like I do, you'll love Paperback Swap.

I have read 58 books so far this year and right now I am reading Creme de Cocoa by JoAnna Carl. It is actually three of her books in one. It is a cozy mystery series and the book contains the first three in the series. It is advertised as a "chocoholic mystery" because the protagonist, Lee, works for her aunt who owns and operates a gourmet chocolate candy store. The description of the different candies makes my mouth water! But besides that, they are good books to read....I like Lee, so far, except for her annoying habit of getting her words twisted around. Ms. Carl could cut back on that a bit. :)

Be sure and check my TEA Party blog and see my photos from our local event. That's all for now!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Plate Tutorial for You!

This is a tutorial using the free plate template referred by my scrap blog at Digital Art by Steph. Unzip the plate file to a location you will remember. Open the plate psp file in Paint Shop Pro, duplicate it and close the original.

Note the screen shot below. The little hand is pointing a light gray circle. This is the vector circle you will use to get your text to go around the plate. The layer marked as text you will use for whatever text you want to appear on the plate. The text layer is highlighted (again see screen shot below).

Find a cursive font that you like. Depending on the font and phrase I wanted to use, I set the size of the text anywhere from 125 to 175. You may have to adjust the kerning of your text to make sure the letters don't run together. I had to set mine anywhere from 5 to 25 depending on the font. Use the background color and close off the foreground color. I picked my background color to complement the color I was going to make the plate. For example if I chose pink, the background color I used for the text would be a dark pink.

Once you have your font all set up, take your mouse and point it to the light gray circle. Once the cursor changes to an A with a half circle under it, click and type in your text in the box that pops up. If you want the beginning of your text to start at a different place, place your mouse on the center of the box (see screen shot below). Mouse your in the direction you want the text to move and you can see your text move.

After applying text and making sure you like its placement, convert to raster layer. Select all then float the text layer, add a new raster layer. Apply cutout of 4, 4, 80, 5 color black. Do not de-select!

Apply a drop shadow of 2, 1, 100, 2 color white.

De-select text, move your cutout/shadow layer below text. If the white is too visible to your liking, turn down opacity of cutout/shadow layer (this is entirely your discretion). Delete the vector circle layer. Turn off the plate layer and merge visible the two layers. If you want to add a graphic, tube, etc. to the middle of the plate, open your graphic or tube, copy and paste to the plate. Turn down the opacity of the layer in order for the plate to appear more realistic.

To colorize your plate, pick a color from your graphic or tube as your background color. With the Color dropper, click on the plate for your foreground color. Go to Adjust, Color Balance, click on Manual Color Correction. See screen shot. Tick the Manual Target Color radio button. Right-click on the top color and pick your gray in the foreground color box. Right-click on the bottom color and pick the color in the background color box. You will see the plate change color. If the color isn't quite right, you can adjust the gray either darker or lighter until you are satisfied. This information on the colorizing in this manner I learned from Shawna. Please see her blog at Scrap Stuff With PSP Tutorials .

Merge visible all the layers. Select All, Float the Selection (so the plate is selected), then de-float the selection. Now apply Xero Porcelain at 50, 47, 144 and leave rest of settings alone.

Below is a screen shot of my finished plate greatly re-sized.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I have a new tut in the making but wanted to tell you about a couple of things on my other blogs. First, I am trying to start a "freebie of the day" on my scrap blog. Be sure and check my Digital Art by Steph blog every day or sign up for Feedblitz to get notifications of new posts.

Second, I have another blog now called DAS Tea Party. This is a blog where I write about current events and how I feel about them. As you may be aware, on April 15, there were over 3000 tea parties all over the U.S. that got little to no media attention and was seriously and deliberately minimized. Estimates are that a million people showed up to quietly protest the government that is taxing us and refusing to listen to us. This isn't limited to the present administration as may have been reported by the mainstream media but really started with the previous administration since 9/11.

Take a look at both my blogs and let me know what you think!