Monday, May 16, 2011

Summer reading! The adventures begin...

I mentioned to you recently that my son has "taken off" on a reading adventure. In fact, since that post we've read 17 books! So, what's a mom to do to help cut down on costs while encouraging their reading addiction?

First of all, don't forget about your local library. Ours hasn't really posted info about the program yet, but many libraries have teamed up with the community to offer passes to local attractions, discounts for movies, or special events. While browsing, I found out that Wisconsin  has a great looking summer planned, they even have a formal Adult reading plan!

Second several nationwide bookstore chains are gearing up for summer reading as well. I know that Borders/Waldenbooks has a program where the kids can read 10 books, turn in their logs, and choose a book from a select list of titles to take home for FREE! Barnes & Noble has a similar program where kids read 8 books, write a short sentence of who else they would recommend read the title and why, then pick a free title. Half Price Books has you log your time then, at the end of the season if your kids have read more than 600 minutes they get a coupon for $5 off a book purchase.

Chuck E Cheese has downloadable rewards calendars for many different activities ( I mean who wouldn't want to clean their room, be a good listener, or stop picking their nose?). But, they do have one for reading for 15 minutes each night. If they do that every night for 2 weeks, they can take the calendar to Chuck E Cheese for 10 free tokens.

National Amusements (aka Showcase Cinemas) has a Bookworm Wednesday program over the summer. The kids can read a book, write a book report on the downloaded form, then present it to a participating theater (be sure to check the list at the link since not all locations participate) for a free movie on Wednesday morning. The best part? Adults and siblings under 5 (who aren't eligible by age to participate) get into the same movie for free without writing a report, yippee!

Scholastic also has a summer reading program (you knew they had to, LOL!) Kids log their minutes each week, get free digital downloads with certain goals, and then can compete for the Scholastic records and earn points for their schools.

I know some of the fast food places in town usually have summer reading specials as well. I haven't seen details for 2011 yet, but will update as I get more info.

So, how about it? Any tips, tricks, or wonderful programs you'd like to share?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Look what popped up

You gals are great! You've got it, It's a new file I'm finishing up for the store, called Layered Cake Pop-Up Card.

I've made options to make it perfect for a birthday cake (just change the colors to suit your boys or girls) with or without the frosting extras. There's also a way to make it into a beautiful formal wedding cake perfect for invitations or a gorgeous wedding card for the bride and groom.

So, what do you think?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sneak Peek!

I just wanted to share with you a teaser of the most recent file I'm working on...

So, what do YOU think it is? Any guesses? Leave me a comment on this post...

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Circle of life...

As many of you may know, we lived in Alaska for a few years in the service. This next layout was really influenced both by the tribal art of the Natives as well as the circular lifecycle of the Salmon.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Another one done...

Whew, just uploaded another one that I got finished this weekend. Now, some of the ladies with me at the Paperthreads retreat in Baltimore may remember me starting this layout then...but I just finally finished it this weekend. I added the journalling with a white Sakura Souffle pen (love how that puffs up and stays opaque on the black background) and the Brutus the Buckeye paper piecing.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Hero!

Just another share of a layout I got done this weekend. I've had this Bug paper from Paper Studio (HL brand) in my stash for awhile. It was a perfect fit for the primary colors and subject.

Here's a little close-up of the spider he captured and the arrow I (almost) stamped. It's a clear acrylic arrow from Sandy Lion. Problem is, that it was shorter than I wanted. So, I masked off the end, then reinked and moved it over to add a longer piece onto the pointed end. Almost lined up, even with acrylics it's not perfect. Oh well, used a few dots of the white Sakura Souffle pen to fill in where I overlapped the ink.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ah fate, how I love thee!

Sometimes fate has a cruel sense of humor, just sayin'...

I sat down to FINALLY work on some scrapping on National Scrapbooking Day on Saturday with this idea in my head...I really, really needed a piece of white core red cardstock. No matter how hard I looked through my stash, I just couldn't find one. Now, this is probably because a) I don't buy white colored cardstock in general because it cuts horribly on my electronic cutter, b) I tend to use up a lot of red (you know, primary colors for kids, OSU, etc...), c)Hobby Lobby (crafts etc.) cardstock is solid cored, and d) JoAnn's switched to Coredinations instead of DCWV for their individual sheets of cardstock. So, since I can't seem to find a Coredination sheet with white on the inside...just the whitewashed sheets with it on the outside, I had to improvise.

I found a sheet of salmon pink colored white core stock, inked it with some cherry red pigment ink, dried, then cut, crumpled, sanded, distressed my letters and added crackle accents to the top.

Now, that comment about fate and her twisted ways? I was already planning to make the page about daybreak and my daughter's unbelievable ability to beat the sun up every morning, when what did I find digging through my acrylic stamps (which, sadly, have previously been hoarded and not used)? A ROOSTER! Time to ink it up with the same pigment ink, a perfect match (though the reflections don't look like it on these pics).

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope all the mothers out there have a wonderful day! I just wanted to pop on and share a few images that make this mommy's heart warm and fuzzy...

My son offered to brush his sister's hair so she didn't have to stop playing her Leapster game yesterday morning while we were getting up and ready for the day. The funny thing...she was playing her Disney Tangled cartridge, LOL! She never cried or fussed while he did it, which is usually less drama than I have during a hair brushing session. I know, maybe I should sing while I do it...

Then, it was off to the library. My son came home with a prized book borrowed from his 1st grade teacher's private shelf. After he devoured it Friday evening, we were off to see if we could find more books in this wonderful series. We came home Saturday AM with the first 4 books, which he had completed by Saturday evening.

I did have to go back to the library that afternoon (because I forgot to "unlock" the DVD case for the movie I checked out for my daughter), and snuck out another 4 books for my son. Here's the pic from this AM, I couldn't even get him to change from jammies before he was asking if there was more he could read.

Now, if you'd have asked me three months ago...we were fighting to get him to read even 5 pages from his "Book in a bag" that he brought home each week from school. I am so pleased to see the change in his reading attitude recently. So, what books are they that turned my 1st grade reader from, pbbbssst... to YEAH!???

Thankfully there are 40 books in the series, which may get us until summer break starts...then what?

BTW, thanks for the words of encouragement on the last blog post. I certainly feel a "boost".

Friday, May 6, 2011

A strange day

Ever have one of those times when you feel like your mojo has done an Elvis and "left the building"? Mixed your methaphors and ended up with whirled peas? Okay nevermind, back to the question at hand...

What kind of files would you like to see? Any designs you've been searching for but haven't found? Need a digistamp or cutter file? Got any extra mojo you could spare? Leave me a comment and let me know or send me an email! Inspire me!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May the Fourth be with You!

So, have you heard the news??? Today is celebrated as "unofficial" Star Wars Day...get it? May the Fourth be with you? I know, cheesy to say the least!

But, there was actually an official link released earlier last month reporting that today, at 9:00 EST Lucas Arts would be revealing some majorly cool stuff about upcoming Star Wars projects. Of course, when I went to check it out, the site has crashed do to pure hit numbers. Now, supposedly the leaked info is that the entire series will be released as a Blue Ray set in the fall. This is so much more reasonable than the earlier theories that it would all be released as a 3D version. I mean, I know that they computer enhanced all the films when they came out on DVD, so theoretically adding 3D enhancements would not be impossible, but really? KWIM?

Well, since I can't hook you up with official Star Wars geek info, I thought I'd leave you with this cute little Lego Star Wars Video I found that basically summarizes the saga. Enjoy!

Monday, May 2, 2011

It's a typo!

I find typography to be a fascinating thing! What is it about "just a collection of letters and words" that can be so visually appealing? Wiki has a great article about Typography.

"Typography (from the Greek words τύπος(typos) = form and γραφή(graphy) = writing) is the art and technique of arranging type, and sometimes modifying typeglyphs. Type glyphs are modified using a variety of illustration techniques. The arrangement of type involves the selection of typefaces, point size, line length, leading (line spacing), adjusting the spaces between groups of letters (tracking) and adjusting the space between pairs of letters (kerning)."

Plus, it's also a great opportunity to use a wide variety of sweet fonts!

"Choice of font(s) is the primary aspect of text typography—prose fiction, non-fiction, editorial, educational, religious, scientific, spiritual and commercial writing all have differing characteristics and requirements of appropriate typefaces and fonts."

So, where does this all fit into my point for today? Hmm...

"Display typography is a potent element in graphic design, where there is less concern for readability and more potential for using type in an artistic manner. Type is combined with negative space, graphic elements and pictures, forming relationships and dialog between words and images."

I've been working on a project for our family room (now that my oldest son is pretty good at reading). It's my version of the "Family Rules". I tried to pick fonts that emulated the individual rules but that were also artistic (and they had to cut well on my KNK too!) I ended up making a plaque that was 12 by 12 inches and framing it, but it could be put on a large (12 inch or 18 inch) tile too.

Oh yeah, and I didn't take that picture perfectly, either, LOL! I have also decided I need to learn more about my (ancient) version of Photoshop, so after I took the crooked, skewed, angle distorted picture, I figured out how to tranform, compress, and readjust my pic so that the cropped area was actually square, you know, like it was in real life!