Did some scrapping and we have one tournament down, one to go!!!

Author: MiniBullyMom aka Laura B. // Category: , ,
I did manage to do a little scrapping this last week in between work, hockey practice and working on genealogy. Played around with a photo of my niece that I snapped of her the night we had our family photos taken. I used a great ATC kit designed by Tangie Baxter and SherrieJD called Curious Adventures. If you look close you will see that I had a little fun with the butterfly's. I was invited to join SherrieJD's Creative Team a couple weeks ago. She does some real great ATC kits. I haven't explored the whole "Altered Art" style since I quit rubber stamping a couple years ago but I really like her designs. So I haven taken her up on her offer, joined her team and am going to start exploring some altered imaging techniques digitally. Her designs are available at ScrapOrchard.
Well...hockey season is almost over!! We played at a tournament in Bremerton...we didn't win but the kids had a blast anyways. People think it's weird that when it comes to hockey you can lose a game yet still call it a good game. Our coaches have consistently approached each game as a learning experience. Three out of the last five seasons we lost more games than we have won. When the kids were younger their coaches made a point of finding three positives from every game and that is what they would focus on afterwards. Now that the kids are in high school they find those positives on their own and still focus on them instead of beating themselves up over it. Our second game on Saturday was the best hockey the kids played all weekend. All the games from this tournament were streamed live on the internet. Anyone could listen to the audio play-by-play live for free or for $5 you could also watch the game online. The company doing the broadcast offered a CD of the game for $10 w/o the play-by-play or for $25 you could get a DVD with all the play-by-play. We are going to pick up a copy of the game to send to Mikes family in Indiana.
I managed to get a halfway decent photo of the kids in yesterdays game. It is so hard shooting action shots through the "glass" at the rink. Alex is on the right while Christina is the short one watching from the bench. Jeff who does the timeclock at our Jr. A games happened to be one of the linesmen during this game. The guy in the red helmet is one of our star players this year. He is actually an exchange student from Hong Kong. We really enjoyed having him play with our team and the kids will miss him next year. He is heading to Minnesota for the next three years where he will be in hockey heaven.
A bunch of players on one of the teams (not the most respectful nor well loved teams locally) caused some chaos at their hotel on Saturday horsing around in the elevator (boys will be boys I suppose) jumping up and down. Somehow they managed to trigger some earthquake sensor doing that which caused the elevator to lock up while they were in it. Their coach had to call the hotel manager, who in turn had to call 911 to get the fire dept to come reset the elevator sensor to get it moving again. We put in a request to have "Love in the Elevator" played during their game but alas it was denied by the management as they felt it was in poor taste which in retrospect it would have been.

Only three weeks left of hockey for us!!

Author: MiniBullyMom aka Laura B. // Category: ,
Actually we have four practices and two tournaments left before we leave the regular season behind. This weekend we are "off" then we travel 45 miles to Bremerton for a tournament. The first weekend of April is our "Daffodil Tournament" which we host and for the first time in years it's the same weekend as the Daffodil Grand Floral Parade and the Spring Fair out at the fairgrounds.
I haven't mentioned to our kids that they may miss riding the tow truck in the parade this year. Our best friend (our kids "uncle") has worked for a local towing company for over 30 years. The company enters one of their trucks in the parade every year. Occasionally he drives the combination tow truck/bus Incident Response Vehicle in the parade and we have ridden along with them tossing daffodils out to kids along the parade route. During years that we are watching from the sidelines he pretends to "run us down" where we are sitting. His family is with him in the truck and we all think it's funny because who ever happens to be sitting next to us (we pick a certain spot to watch the parade from) thinks the truck is outta control and runs from it while we sit there and enjoy the "show". Their kids all love waving at their Aunt Laura and Uncle Mike and hollering at us from the truck.
Well..it's another genealogy weekend for me. I'm still taking advantage of my free month long membership at ancestry.com and downloading images left and right. I found the passport application collection the other night and some of the applications actually have photos attached to them. As a result I have a good photo of a couple relatives that I didnt' have before. Today I'm attacking the Canadian/US Border Crossing records. There is a huge chunk of Garbett's and Garbutt's that lived in Michigan that went back and forth between the two countries. I gather information on all of the Garbett's and Garbutt's that I come across because there arent' alot of us but somewhere along the line we are all tied together.

Ohhh,Ohhh, Ohhh...I ran across another St.Paddys Blog Train!!

Author: MiniBullyMom aka Laura B. // Category: ,

While visiting a couple of the blogs for the St. Patrick's Day Twisted Convoy I ran across a link to another one. This one is the Lucky Blog Train and there are over 70 stops on it. This blog train has both tagger and full-sized kits. The full sized kits are worth wading through the tagger ones. I finally learned what the difference is between the two kits so I figured I'd warn you ahead of time. I think my EHD is going to go into overdrive with this one. I'll be busy half the evening and probably half of tomorrow evening now. Hope you enjoy it because I know I am enjoying what I have seen of it so far and I've been to a dozen train stops!

St. Patricks Day Twisted Convoy

Author: MiniBullyMom aka Laura B. // Category: ,

May your day be touched by a bit o'Irish luck,
brightened by a song in your heart,
and warmed by the smiles of people you love!

Today the St.Patrick's Day Convoy heads out with the help of 22 other leprechauns! I took a quick peek this morning to see what freebies that the designers were offering. I immediately though of how lucky anyone who takes advantage of this convoy will be.

Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers -
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours -
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too -
And a host of friends that never ends,
Each day your whole life through!

One of the designers has incorporated glasses of Guinness Stout into a background paper.
So head out and gather some free "digi-gold" today!


Irish blessings are great inspiration for scrapbook pages check out the blessings here at
Island Ireland
which is a great internet guide to art, culture and environment. Both of the Irish Blessings I quoted today were found here!

A busy weekend with a Sunday morning suprise!

Author: MiniBullyMom aka Laura B. // Category: , ,
Well I have been camped out on the laptop all weekend taking advantage of my free 30 day Ancestry.com membership. I had to upgrade my FamilyTreeMaker (FTM) program last week when I found out that FTM Version 10 wasn't Vista compatible. Hmm...go figure a program that is almost 10 years old not being compatible. Soooo...off to amazon.com I went and in the end I decided that the $39 it cost me to get the latest version (basic one) was a small price to pay considering I've only spent a total of $15 when I first bought the program almost 10 years ago and the very first FTM program I had was one that my dad bought 15 years ago but never used. The upside of the $39 is the 30 days I have to download as much census information I can. I have made good use of it and got my money's worth out of it.
In years past ancestry.com has offered free memberships for 2 weeks and I've taken the opportunity and at one point I even had a paid membership for about 6 months. So I'm familiar with what they offer. This time around I've focused on getting every bit of US Census Data I can on the Garbett's (any Garbett whether they are related to me or not) to augment the data I already have. I'm also going to go start downloading info on my Renfrow and McDaniel's this next week and hopefully be able to start working on tearing down a couple of roadblocks I've had for years.
I've been able to download census images and ships passenger lists. I am excited about incorporating a couple of them into scrapbook pages. I have an idea that I'm going to play around with where I "magnify" the actual family names on the image as part of the layout itself. I may have come across the work of a fellow researcher whom if I can get the "tie-in" to my tree established to theirs has some wonderful photos. Not that I don't have alot of photos already nor access to them .... I suppose when you are a scrapbooker you could never have enough photos!!!
Oh and on to the suprise!! We woke up this morning to a couple inches of snow...I know for most people this isn't suprising but for Western Washington in March it is suprising. Here is a photo of my backyard (yes it's a little neglected at the moment) looking out of my kitchen sink window.

So I decided that I'd better turn on the tv to see the weather forecast and I'm glad I did because apparently it's supposed to get pretty windy this afternoon. Although I'm glad we don't live near the Hood Canal (not that I wouldn't love living there) because they are supposed to get about 5 inches of it this afternoon. There is a chance of lowland snow tonight again which really shouldn't affect work tomorrow morning since we don't have patients all week-the boss is in Florida. No hockey practice until Tuesday night so that won't be affected at all either-not that it ever does because hockey doesnt' stop for snow in this neck of the woods or any neck now that I think about it.

I visited a real cool blog this morning it was very refreshing because the blog owner is documenting her journey to get a grip on her family's debt. She has decided to blog about it (Life in the Debt Lane) and I love her style, her candor and why she is doing it. This past month I started talking to my DH about the very same thing and how we need to create a plan to eliminate it. We don't have a problem with how much we have to pay and we are both lucky in the sense that our jobs are pretty safe from the recession. But I'm just tired of not having a savings or emergency fund. I have a 401k and I freely admit that the only reason it gets contributed to regularly is because it comes out of my check before I even get it. Twice in our life we have paid it all off and closed accounts but three years later I find we have went right back to our old habits. We will charge this or that not really realizing that we are paying out the nose for it in the end. Two weeks ago I took the first step of pulling my credit cards out of their spots in my wallet so that they weren't easily accessible. I haven't used them since even though they technically are still in my purse (seperate section). I am now going to take the next step and go stash then in our safe so that all temptation is removed. I went and removed them from my paypal account so I can't "cheat" that way and since the only card number I have memorized is my debit card it means that I'll be taking right from the checking account if I use it. Although I don't know if I'm ready for going "cash" only for all my purchases. I am determined for us to not "charge" any bit of our summer garage roofing project. Of course it means that we will do less camping this summer but that is okay because we have our whole life to enjoy camping.

Three more layouts from the Think Pink Charity Collab Kit

Author: MiniBullyMom aka Laura B. // Category: , , ,

I completed another three layouts from this kit. I decided to post a different preview image of it today. This one focuses on the ribbon and trim that is included with the kit. The paper preview gives you a better idea of the diversity of papers in it.

The next couple of nights are going to be pretty busy so I'm not sure I'll have time to work on anymore until this weekend. I have a board meeting tomorrow night (I'm the Secretary for our youth hockey association). I'll be finishing up the minutes on Thursday night so Friday will be here before I know it. Our association is hosting the State Squirt Festival this weekend so I'll probably pop in at the rink to see how that is going. The kids don't have games this weekend but we do have two more tournaments to play in.

This layout has a completely different feel from all the others that I've created from the kit and
I've only played with about a third of the kit.
Our office attends one Orthodontic Meeting each year. He pretty much lets us pick between the AAO (American Association of Orthodontics) or the PCSO (Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists). We have picked the PCSO meeting the past two years. In 2007 it was in Monterey, CA and we had fun shopping in Cannery Row and took a daytrip up to San Francisco. Up there we rode the cable cars, visited Alcatraz and shopped in Chinatown. This is the first photo I have taken the time to scrap from the trip.

This last year we went to Palm Springs and the three of us (Jodi, Lee and myself) zipped over to Disneyland and California Adventure for the day. This year the meeting is in Phoenix and we really haven't planned our "side trip" per se. My only request is that we take in a Coyotes game...provided they are playing at home that weekend we are in town.

I had fun playing with the flowers and string element with this layout. I actually created the border by using the element twice on each side. It turned out to be the perfect "paper" for showcasing my niece in her kimono. She participated in a Japanese Immersion program from Kindergarten thru 7th grade. She is one smart cookie and the program challenged her in a great way. I honestly believe that if she had been in a "traditional" school she would have been bored to death.

This last one is a photo of Velvet again but was probably taken when she was in 2nd or 3rd grade.

As I said before...it's absolutely amazing how many ways this kit can be used. It's definitely worth every dollar that you donate for it.

Teenagers and their "disposable incomes".

Author: MiniBullyMom aka Laura B. // Category:
Well my youngest got his first job and first paycheck. He was so excited to come home and show it to us. He has more disposable income than anyone in the family. We have talked about putting half of it into his savings each payday. We are hoping that the job will be incentive enough for him to get his act together with his grades. So I supposed in a round about way it could be considered getting paid to get good grades.
It should be interesting to see what he does with his money over the next couple months. He wants to buy new speakers for the truck that I drive because when he gets his license it will be his truck. He already put a new stereo in it with his christmas money.
He resisted the temptation to buy a subwoofer at Best Buy last night. Instead he stuck with purchasing the video game for his xBox that he went there for originally. I'm sure that part of the reason that he didn't get to cave to the temptation was that I told him that I wasnt' going to wait around for him to look around the car stereo dept. The big question is...did he take his money with him to school today and if so....did he spend any and on what.

Think Pink - A charity collab kit I've fallen in love with!!!

Author: MiniBullyMom aka Laura B. // Category: , ,
Omigosh, this kit is absolutely wonderful. When I first saw it I thought hmm..it's got purples in there...I could use it for some Relay for Life photos I've accumulated over the last four years. So I went ahead and got it. Most people shy away from charity kits because they aren't sure if their "donation" is really going there but they have created a way to donate directly to the charity then forward a copy of your "email reciept" and then you get a coupon code to get the kit for free. But if you prefer to just purchase the kit directly through the store the donation will get made and you can get the kit immediately. So far I've done five layouts using it and not a single one is a Relay for Life one!

For the first layout I used a series of photos taken of my aunt back in the 50's and 60's. I interconnected a circle frame to create the "cluster" then added the buttons to complete the whole circular feel.

Rachael of Creations by Rachael contributed all the elements/papers to the kit that I've used in these first three layouts. The second one is a photo of my Great Aunt Ruth, her daughter, grand daughter and great grand daughter.

The third in this series has a completely different feel which shows how versatile the kit actually is.

For the fourth layout I decided to play with the contribution from "Late Night Scraps". I had fun with some photos of my newest niece. This was the first grandchild that my brother has been able to see of his three grandchildren. The other two live here on the westcoast while he is on the eastcoast. Because it was a low resolution photo and a bit blurry I decided to play with the effects that are stock with PSE7. I used a dry brush effect and extracted the rest of the hospital room that was in the background. I also played with the "cookie cutter" tool for the first time and created butterflies and tufts of grass.

For the final layout last night stuck with the brown/pink and new niece theme I created this last layout. Since I was trying to stick with using only items contributed to the kit by Late Night Scraps I used the brown paper with the Live, Laugh, Love border as a mat paper and frame and used her hospital card as an element.

Well, I completed a total of six layouts in less than 24 hours. That is probably a record for me! I've got a couple more in mind for this layout that I'll be working on this week.

The challenge and art of clustering

Author: MiniBullyMom aka Laura B. // Category: , , ,
Okay...clusters of photos are easy for me. Yet there is a clustering technique that I'm finding very challenging even after several tries. I really admire those layouts that have a cluster of flowers, leaves, ephemra, ribbon and such but I'm having a hard time with mastering it. I'm pretty sure it's a style that you can't just take a class called "The Principles of Clustering Elements" at your favorite digiscrapping site. But it seems to be one of those techniques that just come with practice or study of layouts where someone used it and it caught your eye. I've posted simple credits but due to the volume of designers and items used I'm not including actual links. I've attempted it a couple of times. Once was basically a premade cluster from that I added a couple of elements to.
Credits: End of Summer Kit by Melissa Daniel and Neverland Scraps
Photo Frame: Iced Mocha Divine Digital Feb 2008 Collab Kit
Bracket Mats & Grey Mat: DivineDigital Birthday Kit
Burgundy Mat: I Just Love Her Kit by Royanna Fritschman from DivineDigital.com
Alpha: Antique Alpha by LBCreations from JustForTheScrapOfIt.com
Font: Pea Olson from KevinAndAmanda.com

My second attempt was an ADSR 4 Challenge where we had to scraplift a layout that inspired us. I found a layout that had clustering and didn't copy it per se but used it as a guideline. So even though I created the cluster by myself I used another layout as a guide. Here is the link to the original layout . Here is my version:
Digital Kit:Feeling Lucky designed by Royanna Fritschmann
Word Art:Express Yourself designed by Ronna Penner
Star Swirls:Some Gave All designed by Heather Manning
Circle Stitching:O So Thankful designed by Anita Steriou
Stitched Flower Border:Road Less Traveled designed by Theresa Hernandez

On Sunday I created one where I used a background paper that had a "cluster" as part of it already. I "enlarged" the cluster and "expanded upon it" so to speak. Although I used a ton of elements in making it I really don't consider it an original quite yet because the background paper was my inspiration and guide.
Background Paper, Flower Clusters, Frame:designed by Eirene_07 for the Digital Scrapbook Day 08 Treasure Hunt
Matting Papers: Boys Rule designed by Melissa Daniels
Envelope, Yellow Ribbon Curl and Angel Stamp: Imagination Collab Kit from Digitals
items designed by Tallula Moon, Kathryn Estry, Beth Rimmer
Gold Charm: The Vintage Gypsy designed by Stacey Crossley
Blue Clock Brad: Angel by Royanna Fritschmann
Notebook Paper: Simplement Maryse designed by Maryse Vincent
Heart Charm:designed by Bel Vidotti Scraps for the Twisted Convoy Valentine Convoy
Raindrops: designed by Booland Scraps for the Christmas Around The World 2008 Kit
Victorian Bookmark: from TwistedPapers.com

So the next step in my journey to master "clustered layouts" will be doing one completely from scratch. But I think I'll continue "practicing" like I have been. After all.....practice makes perfect!