Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pepper Ants in my belly!!!!

Today immediately after work, my cell phone rang and I assumed it was my husband encouraging me to rush home so that he could get to work. I missed the call because my supervisor was letting me snag a few more cut-out cookies to take home to my kids. I returned his call on my way out the door so that he would know I was on my way. But, that isn't why he called.

He explained that Chase was hysterical ... as in screaming hysterically, and he had to call me. He explained what happened. He made macaroni and cheese for supper. As has been done for several months (at least) now, he and the older two kids have started referring to the topping as "ants" ... a/k/a PEPPER. My husband always shakes pepper on top of macaroni and cheese (if you can't guess, this is NOT my thing, hee hee.). Well, today ... Chase decided to FREAK OUT at the idea of ANTS being on his macaroni and cheese! His brother said something about it, and Chase started crying! He nearly puked from how upset he was that there were "ants in [his] belly!!" He cried and he cried, and he started punching his belly. Poor thing! He was still holding his belly and crying when I got home. Tyler had made him a whole separate batch of macaroni and cheese WITHOUT "ants" on top, and he still wouldn't touch them. He was eating peanut butter toast when I got home.

He was fine while we were in the store (we went shopping tonight too), but he's back to holding his belly again now that we're home. I don't think he's even aware of it. He says his belly hurts every once in a while though. I did explain to him before we went to the store that they were being silly, and it was just pepper. I sprinkled some in my hands and showed him what it was. He seemed to understand because now he's saying the pepper hurts his belly. LOL.

Maybe he really is sick ... or maybe it's just the "ants." ;)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Shameless (almost) plug ...

If you know me, you know I'm a wanna-be photographer. I take decent pictures, and great pictures on occasion. I have a chance to win (and so do you) a copy of LIGHTROOM ... an awesome program any photographer would love.

All I have to do to get a chance is to tell you about it here on my blog! So, here is my shameless plug. ;)

Read HERE at www.mckmama.com to see how you can get entered too! :)


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Oh Martha Marta!!

For the month of December, I had the pleasure of working with Marta Van Eck's designs, which really helped me to flex my fantasy muscles (hee hee) and create some scrap-art.

I chose to play with her Christmas Carol packs. She has an Element Pack, a Patterned Papers Pack, and a Scene Papers Pack (and she is currently having a sale).

I don't feel particularly skilled at making fantasy pages. I am, in fact, intimidated by them in general. I decided to try my hand at a scene layout, and did an extraction to do so. The magnetic lasso tool is my usual stand-by for extractions, but I really wanted to use a masking tool in case I made mistakes. I don't know the "usual" way to make a mask, so I "snuck" my mask by using the "Smart Brush Tool" set to "Brighten" for the background, and then selecting the inverse (I think) to select my mask. I somehow ended up applying it as a clipping mask type of deal. Not sure I if I could recreate it if I tried, but if you know an easier way to make a mask in PSE, please let me know. LOL.

Anyway, when you make a mask, you can add to or take away from the mask without destroying your picture. I'm sure there is a better way to explain this, but anyway, that is what I did. Eventually I got the mask to work and I made this:

It looks like I worked really hard, doesn't it? But, honestly, it was super easy to make. The hardest part was the extraction!!! The scene paper I chose had the tree and fireplace already set for me. I added the ornaments, and the wreath on the wall. I added a few presents by the tree (there were already a few), a rocking horse, the filled vase, the chair and pillow and I was done! (Well, I added shadowing too.) I am not saying I'm a pro, but my layout looks like I knew what I was doing, doesn't it? It was really easy! So, if you can pull off an extraction, I'd definitely give this a shot. Marta made it too easy for me! :)

I made a second page using the elements and her patterned paper pack. It comes with 18 papers! They are all really beautiful and unique. I made this layout using one of my favorite photos of Chase when he was a baby. I've scrapped 3 layouts using this photo, but this one is probably my favorite ... (I LOVE BLUE!).

So, Martha Marta ... thank you for stretching me to think outside the box and make these two beautiful pages! (or at least I think they rock!)


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Blizzard

On December 9, 2009 we had a blizzard. And I had to go to work in it. Yuck. I went out to let the dog out, and took a couple pictures and a video ... and realized a little too late that I'd forgotten to attach Lexi to her runner. Oops! Here are the pictures I took, and the video! I do swear a little at the very end when I realize Lexi is gone and trample off to get her. Thank goodness the snow slowed her down. She's gotten away a couple other times where I've had to chase her a couple of blocks! She doesn't do it because she hates us ... it's because she wants to smell everything and lay claim to the neighborhood by marking her scent ... but it is SO frustrating when you're the one chasing her!!!

Anyway ... blizzard 2009:

Lexi in snow that is really deep for her! She was NOT impressed and wanted to go right back inside ... at first!

My tall next door neighbor next to the very large snow drift in front of his garage. We had one like this too. It was too large for my husband to start the snow plow right there, if I remember what he said correctly. :)

And last but not least ... the video capturing all the snow (and wind) and my stupidity:

Lessons learned:
1.Don't ever forget to attach your pup to the runner, or have a fenced in back yard! (ours used to be, but a section is down for the winter).

2. Do not get plowed out by the above mentioned wonderful neighbor and then take your time inside (seriously, was not that long that I was inside) and let the snow plow go by and block your driveway back up again so that you end up 30 minutes late for work because you have to dig out again!

3. When there is a blizzard like THIS one ... call in to work, for crying out loud! I should have just gone back to bed! :-p

What a chance!!! A computer giveaway!

BlogHer and MckMama are working together to give away an HP Touchsmart computer! You can read all about it here so that you can enter too ... and I am posting about the contest here for another chance to win for myself!

I can't even imagine how nice it would be to try out some brand new technology. I could truly use an upgrade! A 30 GB Hard drive is a drop in the bucket for a digital scrapbooker, lol. And maybe I could actually get into designing myself if I had a better computer ... the possibilities are endless.

And so ... won't you please check it out? But don't enter, please ... I want to win! LOL!!! :)


Sunday, December 6, 2009

And it's December

Just like that, December is here, and Christmas is going to be here way before I am ready. I have my dad's present, though! I am pretty proud of how it turned out too. Still working on my parents, my husband and the kids. DH keeps shooting down my ideas for the kids. Originally I wanted to get a Wii for us all and call it good, and months ago he was fine with that, but he's changed his mind. I guess it's just not meant to be. Seriously considering calling the family Y membership a present for me and DH and telling him to skip anything else, though. We both need it, and I can get it taken out of my paychecks to save us a bit on the monthly dues.

Anyway, Christmas is on my mind. I've scrapped several wintry/Christmas-y pages recently:

(Deck the Halls by Sarah Meyer - look for it at Digitals)

(Winter Days by Connie Prince - look for it at Gotta Pixel and Elemental Scraps)

(Deck the Halls by Connie Prince - available at Gotta Pixel and Elemental Scraps)

(Deck the Halls by Connie Prince - available at Gotta Pixel and Elemental Scraps)

(Hey Santa by Connie Prince - available at Gotta Pixel and Elemental Scraps)

I have also gotten to play with some pieces by Dustybear as a part of the Site Creative Team. I saw these pieces and went digging for boy or baby boy pictures that I had not scrapped yet. I wanted to find some with references to space, and was sure I could find some but found these adorable baby photos that screamed to be scrapped instead:

Kit: Spacey Papers, and Spacey Elements 2 by Dustybear

Both are from when Chase was little -- 4 months old and about 5.5 months old. I think these pieces really brought out his blue eyes, and gave that dreamy sleepy-land look I was looking for. Don't you agree? I used Traci Reed's "Basically Gorgeous" photo actions that work in PSE to spice up these pictures. I use her actions a lot, and they usually turn out fabulously (depends on how good the picture was to begin with, of course). There aren't a lot of options for using in PSE, you know!

It was really fun to look back through my pictures of the children even just a couple of years ago. I know they are growing and changing, but somehow since they are doing it before my eyes ... I am not seeing it, if you know what I mean. So, looking back at these pictures I see the baby face that has been going away, and the individual characters that are developing in my children. It really is a fascinating thing, and makes me appreciate my hobby that much more, because it leads me on these trips into my past a little more often than your average person, I'd be willing to bet.

Enough rambling ... it's 10 o'clock! I need to get to bed. Have a great week everyone,