Sunday, May 31, 2009

I'm scrapping it

The pictures that is. I decided to take a break from pretending to be a designer and do a few layouts. I browsed through some galleries for inspiration and then came up with a couple that aren't too bad.
I showed you the picture of my grandparents the other day but not in a LO.

Had to do one with these pictures I took yesterday.

You might remember this one, but now it's finished so here it is again.

For anyone that likes my freebies, stay tuned. Even though I'm taking a break from trying to come up with kits and such, everything I use in my layouts, I make myself. So while I'm working on improving my scrapping style, I may be able to put together a couple good freebies too.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Could I take just a minute of your time?

I need some opinions on whether or not I should make some changes here. I've noticed I really haven't been getting many downloads on my freebies lately, so I've been feeling like my stuff must really stink. Anyway I asked for opinions in some of my cafe mom groups. I only got one answer but it was suggested that I should create a second blog for all the chit chat I do and just keep this one for the freebies. Her thoughts were that people would prefer not to have to sift through everything to get to what they came here for, which is only the freebie. So, if you could take just a minute to add your opinion in the poll at the right I would really appreciate it. If you want to leave me your thoughts in a comment I would appreciate it even more. Good or bad, I want to know what my readers think.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Slightly toasted

That's exactly how I feel right now. It was such a beautiful weekend that I took full advantage of it and spent time outside. The sun was wonderful and I have the red skin to prove it. It was all worth it though. It was so great to have a 3 day weekend and spend it doing something besides laying around the house being lazy and trying to make excuses for why I wasn't getting anything accomplished.
This weekend we worked on getting the pool cleaned up. The water was so disgusting. I've had green pools before but this year it was red. Everyone kept asking if we had a dead body in Here's Wade and Duke working on scooping out the last of the red sea.

This project started Friday night after we got home from work. We started draining it then and it wasn't completely empty until Sunday morning. By 11:00 a.m. we had it all cleaned and ready to start filling. We just refill it with the hose. So we stuck the hose in the pool and headed out to Conneaut Lake Park. This weekend they were having what they call Doo Wop days. They had a few bands throughout the weekend and Sunday they had a DJ there. They also had a volleyball tournament on the beach and a car cruise in. I got some pictures of the cars Wade was drooling Here's a couple of them.

Last but not least a little freebie for you. I did another quick page.

Go ahead and grab the freebie HERE

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Happy Memorial Day

Just a quick post to wish you all a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. I actually can't believe I'm still up. For some reason I had my alarm set and it went off at 4:15 this morning. Not having to go to work made it easy for me to jump right out of bed instead of going back to sleep. Now it's getting close to midnight and I'm still wide awake.
Oh yeah, I said quick post didn't I?
Tonight I have a couple things to share with you.
First a before and after picture of an edit I did. This was a not so impressive picture I took this afternoon while I was out on the deck and feeling a little bored.

I really liked the way the edit turned out. Looked really artsy to me. I may not know a lot about art, but I know what I like.

Here's my cheapo flip flops. I mostly only wear these around the yard and pool. I did this edit for a challenge. I thought it looked pretty cool.

Finally a freebie for you. Another quick page that I threw together for you.
Grab the download HERE

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Gotta Love a 3 day weekend

Nothing lifts the spirits like a three day weekend. It gives you a feeling of freedom and breaking away from that day to day, humdrum, routine. To add to the pot, the sun has been shining, the temperature has been climbing and the PT has been working it's wonders.
I was out in the back yard last night and noticed that my white iris are blooming. I grabbed the camera and snapped a couple pictures.

I can't help myself, I have to play with the Here you have a white iris in kaleidoscope.

Put the k-scope into pse, do a little magic, plop in the original picture and this is what you get.

I subscribe to the scrap girls newsletter. Yesterday's edition had a tutorial in it to create a CD mini album. I liked the layouts so much that I decided to try my own to see what I could come up with. Once I finished with the circle, I decided to put it into a 12 x 12 layout. I used an absolutely adorable free PU kit from Shabby Princess for the layout. The kit is called Happy Go Lucky. I also added a grunge overlay from Digital Fingers by Louise Williams

Naturally, while I was making this I was also thinking of all you wonderful people who stop by my blog. I put together a template for the circle layout. It's a 6" circle, but can be re sized to whatever fits your needs. I included one psd, one png and then all the separate pieces as well in png format.
Just as a quick tip, if you like the look of justified text, like I did in the layout, it's really easy to do. Simply select your text tool and drag out a box for your text. Type in your text then press CTRL + Shift + J. This works in Photoshop elements, I'm not sure if it would work in other programs or not.
You can see another example of the layout in this preview. For that one I used one of my own kits that I've been working on, but not getting very far with. If you would like the template you can download it HERE
That's it for today, hope everyone enjoys the long holiday weekend.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What a wonderful surprise

Yesterday I received an email from my cousin Joyce with the subject line "is this you". My first thought was that it would have a picture of an orangutan or something like that and a caption that read "I noticed a slight resemblance" What a fantastic surprise it was when I opened it up and saw this picture.

That is indeed me standing in the back. This was taken eons ago at my uncle's farm. Those are two of my other cousins, Joanna and Rosie. The horse is buttercup. I remember it like it was just yesterday. I used to love to go visit my aunt and uncle. It turns out that my cousin Rosie has been posting old pictures on facebook, so I went and checked it out. I had to snag the next one when I saw it.

This is my grandma and grandpa Surovick. I have very few memories of my grandfather, he died when I was quite young. I do remember my grandmother though, we called her Baba. She didn't speak any english at all. Her and my grandfather were from Poland. I can remember going to visit and her and my father would be conversing and I had no idea what they were talking about. It sure made my head turn though when in the middle of all their talk I heard "Annie". It just didn't seem fair that I had no idea what was being said but that something was being said about I have plans to turn this picture into a scrapbook page for sure.

My daughter stopped over with her new boyfriend the other day. My camera was sitting on the counter and Adam picked it up and started snapping pictures. First Amanda said to me "Adam really likes your camera mom" then she looked at him and said "You know she's going to play with these" My daughter does speak the truth. Of course I'm going to play with them. In fact, there is a law that states "Any pictures in Ann's possession MUST BE PLAYED WITH" So here is what I did to the picture I took of them. I really liked it. I don't know if Amanda will or not but she's gotta like it better than the flower fairy

I was visiting the other day and downloaded some of their free effects. I know how to do the out of bounds edit but I rarely do it because it's so tedious to me. Panos has a free effect or action, whatever you want to call it that does a lot of the work for you. This is a quick one I did just to try it out. I did this in under 10 minutes. I have several of their other effects too. You should try it out if you haven't already. I may have told you about this site before, but it's worth mentioning again.

Finally, remember I posted the free template that my sister had on her blog? Well I did a layout with it.
I used a kit that I got from shabby princess. It's called spontaneous delight and is designed by Carrie Stephens. The word art is by Robyn Gough at clikchic. I finished the layout and just for the fun of it I ran one of Graffi's actions on it. It's called old romance, and I love the vintage look it gives the layout. I liked them both and couldn't bear to part with either one of them.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Or that could also be yeah Jody. She left me a comment on my last blog post saying that she hoped my next freebie was a calendar template. If you remember the layout that I'm working on for the month of May, you may have noticed the calendar on it. Well that's today's freebie. I'm so happy that I didn't disappoint you Jody.
I've included the psd and a png file so anyone can use it. With the psd file there is a white layer that can be used if you want, then the black outlines are in 3 different sizes (5, 10 and 15 pixels) You can choose which you like the best. The days of the week are on their own separate layer. The only thing I didn't include was the month and year but that should be easy enough for you to add. Just type out your text and enlarge it to the size you want.

You can get the download by clicking HERE

Bunches of stuff

I have so much to share with you today. By the time you leave here you'll feel like it was your birthday or Christmas OK so maybe not but I really do have a lot to share.
First up is the mushroom kaleidoscope that I was going to show you yesterday before I had the problems uploading these pictures. I don't know what was going on but every time I tried to upload these 2 I got an error message. They worked today though.
This is the picture of a mushroom, that I took last year, that became the base for my kaleidoscope.

These are the 4 different kaleidoscopes that I made. The bottom right is my favorite.

This comes from my sister's blog. She has a template freebie up for grabs. Hop on over to While you're there check out some of her stuff. She's so darn talented and creative it makes me

I have a couple of websites that I want to tell you about too. The first one comes from I signed up for their free newsletter and they have some of the coolest ideas. I really liked the one called Project 1976 -making a photo history of the year you were born. The link to get to that page is I thought about doing this for each of my kids.
The other website that I want to share is You can create any size wall poster from any size images and best of all it's TOTALLY FREE! While you're there browse through their gallery and check out some of the cool ideas. I'm definitely going to give this one a try. It's 3 easy steps to a way cool, one of a kind, wall poster. First you upload your picture, then choose how many pieces you want it to be and then download your image (PDF format).

Next up is my freebie for the day. I made another quick page yesterday that I wanted to share with you. I can't remember where I saw it (brain dead) but I was browsing around and saw a page that was set up similar to this with the 3 pictures running across the page. I set out to come up with something of my own and it developed into this. The background paper was made with one of my kaleidoscope patterns, and then I gave it an aged sort of look.
You'll find the download for the quick page right HERE

The last thing I have to show you today is a project that I started this morning. Again I got the idea while I was surfing the internet yesterday and I can't remember where I saw this one I really should learn to write these things down or bookmark them. For the month of May, I'm going to take my favorite picture of the day and put it into the calendar. I may not have a photo for each day of the month. As you can see, I've already missed several days. I think, that several pictures scattered throughout the calendar would look better than filling the whole thing. A picture for each day might be a little too over powering. Anyway, if you like my layout so far, come back tomorrow (Tuesday at the because something in this layout is going to be my next freebie. I have my PT appointment tomorrow after work so depending on how much time I have when I get home I may not get around to posting again until Tuesday.
Remember, stop back. I'm looking forward to our next get together right here.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Finds, Fun and Freebies

The first freebie I'm going to tell you about isn't mine. If you use photoshop elements, you should check out the graffishop you can get a free sampler action pack there as well as a few other little freebies. With the sampler pack you get 5 actions, enlarge 110%, sketch, soft black and white, weaver and old romance. You'll also find other goodies available for sale on the site. I used old romance on this picture after I did all the other editing to it that I wanted.

Here is a black and white with color that I did for a challenge on cafe mom. This was a picture I took at the zoo last summer.

Here's another picture I took last summer. I know it's not very So why am I showing it to you then?

Because pictures like this one are so much fun to play around with in Dazzling Reflections. I think I'm totally addicted to kaleidoscopes. I've discovered that I can make some really interesting seamless patterns from them too. They may be a little too busy for some people's taste, but I like them. The top two are kaleidoscopes I made and the bottom two are the results of patterns and a lot of playing around with filters and such. I think they make for some very interesting art work.

I also had some mushroom kaleidoscopes that I was going to share with you but for some reason it wouldn't let me upload the pictures.

Lastly today is the freebie that I have for you. You get two quick pages in png format.

You can download them right HERE
I have another quick page ready to give you for tomorrow. So come back then to get that one. Have a great weekend and hopefully you have sunny skies where you are.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Terrific Tuesday

Today is a terrific Tuesday. Why? It's a long story, so if you aren't up for it you can scroll through. If you want to know then stick around. Decades ago, when I was around maybe ten or so, I was diagnosed with scoliosis. Being the young, stupid brat that I was, I refused to be fitted for a back brace. There was a girl in my class who had one and it was huge, ugly and looked so uncomfortable, and so I went untreated. Fast forward to today (You thought I was going to make you listen to 30 some years worth of whining didn't you? So, today, here I am 40 some years old (ok so closer to 50 but 47 is still 40 and suffering for my refusal to wear a brace. Now, I can't say for sure that the brace would have made any difference but it's too late to find out and I guess I'll just never know. Back pain is simply a way of life for me. Some days it's not so bad and some days it hurts to stand up, it just all depends on what kind of day I've had. My job certainly doesn't help matters but quitting is not an option that I want to consider. You may remember me talking about an appointment I had a few weeks ago. You remember the one where I lost my prescription sunglasses? Yeah, that one. That was for a few tests I had done because my doctor thought that a lump I had next to my ribs may be caused by a hernia. All my tests came back perfectly clear (the girl doing my sonogram said that my insides take a lovely The doctors office sent me to a physical therapist for an evaluation. Turns out that the lump is from a deep muscle thing, most likely caused by the curve in my spine. Because of the way my back curves, the muscles on one side have stretched while the ones on the other side have contracted. By now you are probably wondering what all that has to do with why today is terrific. Well, I've been going to PT for a couple of weeks now, and doing the exercises that they have given me and today my back feels pretty darn good. The discomfort that I was feeling from the lump next to my ribs has decreased and I'm just feeling all around energetic and terrific right now. So terrific that I feel like sharing some stuff with you.
This is a picture of a tree that I took on Saturday when Wade and I went to Seneca NY. This was actually in Warren, Pa. We took a drive around Kinzu and took in some of the lovely scenery around there.

OK so what's so special about the tree? But I did make a kaleidoscope out of it and this is what it turned into. I thought it looked pretty cool.

Then I played around with it in pse and made it into this

When I got done with that I was feeling so terrific that I thought I would throw together a little mini kit for you as a Ann's feeling terrific gift. You get 2 papers, 1 ribbon/border, 1 rick rack, 1 frame, 1 kaleidoscope, 1 moon with star, 1 star and 1 quick page.

Hope you like it. You can get the download HERE If you managed to get this far, and whether you take the little gift or not, I would LOVE to hear your comments. Just let me know someone is out there

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

I hope that all of you moms out there are having a wonderful mother's day. My daughter took me to lunch at TGI Fridays today and then we went shopping at Walmart. She bought me a really yummy looking chocolate cupcake. I'll probably gain 10 pounds from eating it but it'll be worth every bite. My son gave me a photo album. Now I need to start printing out some of my pictures so I can fill it up.

Courtesy of my kaleidoscope craze, I have a little mother's day gift for you. You get one quick page, one paper and one frame.

You can get the download HERE

Friday, May 8, 2009

Do you mind if I moon you

Here I am again with my moon obsession. I took this one last night. I've been keeping my eye out every night and as soon as I spot it I run for the camera. I was really excited when I saw how this one turned out. This is ALMOST straight off the camera. I did crop it and adjust the levels slightly. The original had more of an orangish yellow cast to the moon but that's the only difference.
My other obsession, with the kaleidoscopes, led me to a freebie for you. I made some patterns out of a few of them. Some of them may be a little bit on the wild side but if you layer them on a colored background and play with some blending modes you might find something you like. I've been noticing that I haven't been getting too many downloads on my freebies. I thought about just giving it up because maybe my stuff is a little too odd ball for most people. I changed my mind though since I enjoy doing it so much and who knows, there may be some other odd balls out there just like

So if anyone wants to try these out, help yourself, you can find them right HERE
This includes one PAT file and 10 12 x 12 png files so that anyone who can't use the PAT can still take advantage of it.
Just in case I don't post again over the weekend, I just want to wish all you moms and HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Just some stuff

Just a bunch of different stuff to share with you tonight.
To show how slow I am at getting around to doing anything with some of my pictures, these were from a car show we stumbled on last May. Yep, these pictures have been sitting around for a year now. We were driving home and spotted this car show and since Wade is a huge fan of classic cars, we pulled over to take a look. As luck would have it, I had my camera with me.

One of my cafe mom groups posted a tutorial for adding rain to your pictures. Along with the tutorial was a challenge, so this is the one that I did.

This was for another challenge in one of my groups. This was a picture I took in a cemetery. Duke and I took a walk through the cemetery the one day. I could not believe all the famous names we spotted. There was Shakespeare, McBeth and George Burns. And for those who believe in religious signs, There was a headstone that read Keep and right next to it was a headstone with the name Church on it. This statue was, as the picture says, a memorial to all the fallen heroes

Another challenge picture. This one was to turn a picture into an oil painting.

Here's a picture I got out on the back deck last weekend. I was chasing a bunch of bumble bees around trying to get a shot but they just wouldn't stay still long enough. This guy perched on my railing long enough for me to get a few good ones.

Then my latest obsession with Dazzling reflections turned the above picture into several different kaleidoscopes.

Finally a picture I threw together using the kaleidoscopes and the original picture.
So that's it for this evening. Hope everyone has a great Friday.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

This, that and the other thing

Just a little bit of this, that and the other thing today.
I'm discovering right at this moment that there are sometimes two ways of doing things. Did you know that instead of using the backspace key when you make a typing error you can also use the delete key? It takes a little more effort but it works just as well. Why would I want to do it that way? Well I don't really WANT to. It's more out of necessity. Apparently my keyboard did not appreciate the cup of coffee that I gave it this morning and now it's getting it's revenge on me. Every time I hit the backspace key I get a number five. I can't even type that number because instead it shows as b5. It's also playing funny games with the control key as well as a few of the other numbers. Thankfully, I can still use most of the keys to type. A trip to the electronics department at Walmart may be in order.
The last few days I've been playing around with Dazzling Reflections quite a bit. Every now and then they offer a free template to go with the program. Just the other day I got their free tulip template and made this.

Then using the kaleidoscope I made this layout.

and then this one. So tell me what you think of the zipper effect that I did? I really hope you like it because I'm offering it as a freebie today. Along with the freebie there is also a tutorial to show you how I made this layout.

So here is what you get. This is just the template that I made and used to do the layout.

You can get this freebie by clicking HERE
Now if you want to know how I used it keep reading because next is my tutorial.
First of all open the zipped template.

Next you will want to add a patterned paper. You can do this by either opening it up in a seperate document and then dragging it up into your canvas or by going to file > place. Now you want to hit control + G to link the two layers and clip the paper to the template.
Next play around with the different blending modes until you get a look you like. I used soft light in my example.

Before merging the two layers, on the top layer (patterned paper) I erased the part over the zipper pull because I really didn't like the way it looked, and I just wanted the gray zipper pull to show.
Once you are happy with the way it looks you can merge the two layers

Next you will want to add a drop shadow. The red arrow indicates the choice for shadow that I used. When you are happy with the way your drop shadow looks you can simplify the layer.

Now you are going to add another paper or solid colored layer and move it below the zipped layer. Here I chose a color from the kaleidoscope and then added texture to it.

Now add a picture. Do any editing you want to the picture now. I simply added a stroke outline to this one in white. I also added a drop shadow to the picture before going any further. Make sure that you have your picture between the other two layers. Position the picture where you want it. Now to load the selection of the picture, while holding down the control key, click on the picture in the layer palette. You'll see the marching ants around your picture. In the screen shot below I have a red arrow pointing to where you should click to make the selection.

Make sure you are on the top zipped layer and erase where you want your picture to show.
And that's it. From here add any other elements you want to complete your layout.
Related Posts with Thumbnails