Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Acceptance

Today is Pink Shirt Day in support of anti bullying. I'm a member of the Peanut's PAC and was so excited to hear about this project last year. The Peanut is in one of the younger classes at her school and was not a part of the video but as a member of the school's community I am so very proud of this project. Teaching our children to accept differences with an open heart is really high up on our lists of how we want to raise them.  The stories of children ending their lives due to bullying, breaks my heart. Today I'm wearing pink to take a stand against bullying. Are you in?



Tuesday, February 28, 2012

While We're Waiting

My Grand Nephew is in surgery right now, they postponed the procedure by a little over an hour which was a little stressful for my niece I'm sure and we are waiting to hear how things are going now.

While we're waiting I thought I'd update the giveaway. There have been lots of new entries over the last few days and I've included one more entry option to the list. For an extra 4 more entries, blog about the giveaway and the special promo code. I've added a few more days onto the giveaway deadline to make up for the super slow start, which means that all the people who have already entered get even more chances to win!

Once we hear about how the surgery has gone I'll update here as well. We are thinking good strong thoughts for the little guy we know he's going to come out OK



Friday, February 24, 2012

And Just Like That

My Memories Software background and embellishments with
a vintage frog illustration, makes a great mixed
media collage, once I add in some hand sewn detailing
My Niece gave birth to her first child way back in the fall (and can I just say that makes me feel really old? To dial that back I'll also add that my niece is in her very, very early twenties).

My grand nephew (and here we are with me feeling really old all over again) is an adorable little fellow who we have just found out has some pretty big medical problems looming over his head. He's headed in for surgery this coming Tuesday, to drain some of the fluid that has accumulated on his brain and also for a large battery of tests to find out what he's got and what he's going to face over the next little while. We are praying for him and his Mamma and Daddy that things are not as bad as they could be.

So with his surgery on Tuesday his baptism has been jumped up from Easter weekend to tomorrow.  While I don't follow the same religious path that my Niece and her family do, I certainly respect their beliefs and we will be there to share in the celebration. Because a Baptism is a pretty big deal for Catholics I've put on my creativity cap in order to get a proper gift together and once again My Memories Suite helped me out.

A few years ago I posted my first tutorial about embellishing paper collage images with hand stitching.  I made use of My Memories Software to put together a cute fairytale image and printed the final product out onto some pearlescent ink jet paper. While the image above isn't the final collage (the actual collage piece will be kept under wraps until it's been gifted) it's a little similar and would be stunning framed in a nursery, I could also add big decorative letter Dd's for a fun alphabet card.... hmmmm I'm thinking I may have a new project idea here, End of year Teacher's gift here we come. If you haven't entered my giveaway for your chance at the My memories Software you can find the review and giveaway here, or if you can't wait click the My memories button in the sidebar and use the promo code STMMMS25295 to get $10 off.

So anyway, back to the nephew. We are sending thoughts of health and healing his way, if you have time to send some too, I would be very grateful.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It's A Date

Early Evening in Downtown Vancouver makes
a beautiful January calendar image
Still on a My Memories creativity binge. I whipped up this calendar page in about ten minutes; including interruptions in the form of the Bean playing with the toilet.  I haven't added some of the personal things I'd like to have on my calendar yet like the Bean's Birthday, the dates of the moon phases and highlights to remember inside the February mini at the top of the page but you get the idea.

If you missed my post reviewing the My Memories Software you can view it here.

If you'd like a chance to enter to win your own copy (worth $39.97 USD) follow the instructions in the widget. If you are having trouble seeing the widget please leave a comment on this post so I can fix any problems.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Thousand Words: I'm losing my voice edition

I'm fighting off Mastitis and Laryngitis but I wanted to share this:



minuscule moss on tiny pebbles on a
neighbors cement gate post
On the giveaway front: I was wondering if I could ask a favour of my readers. The page views on the giveaway review post are up but entries are at a big zero.

I've checked out the post on my computer, on my iphone and on the husband's laptop and the rafflecopter widget seems to be working fine from these devices but your input would help. Usually a giveaway here has at least some entries made on the first day of the post but no entries after three days makes me wonder if there's something more going on. The software up for grabs really is fantastic and I'd love to be able to give one of my readers a copy for them to get creative with. If there's a technical glitch I'd love to know so that I can restart the giveaway without the widget and gather entries the old fashioned way. If you've got time and can hop over to the post and let me know if there are any glitches that I haven't been able to see?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

That Even Doesn't Exist!

was said to me in the disdainful tones only a five year old can produce (because it still comes off as adorable and you just want to squeeze her instead of have a stroke inducing fit of rage over the disrespect) after I told her that helping with her sister was the reason she'd won the Big Sister of the Year Award.

Truly, I've been amazed over the course of the last year and a few weeks at how simply wonderful the peanut is with the Bean. She helps keep her occupied when I'm changing poopy diapers with only a trace amount of nausea at the stench, she keeps an eye on her to make sure she's not getting into things that aren't bean Authorized bits and Pieces. And she plays with her. Without being asked. Add to that that I have not once seen her do anything on purpose to make the Bean cry and you see where I'm coming from.

Yes we've had a few episodes of acting out and playing for attention in all the wrong ways but we've also weeded out the whys and the wherefores and done our best to give her some Peanut only time with apologies for forgetting to do so when we've had to. But in the grand scheme of things I am so pleased with how blessed we are with the girls.

So back to the Big Sister of the Year Award; I laughed and smiled and told her she'd have to come and tell me she was all wrong about that when she got her certificate awarding her with the coveted prize of Best Big Sister of the Year. Still there was disdain!

I was told that when she didn't get a certificate I would see that the award just didn't exist.


Challenge Accepted:


My Memories Scrapbooking Software comes in Handy again! In about 5 minutes  I had the above certificate done and printed. She totally called me on the fact that I made the award myself but she also took my word for it, that the award exists based on the certificate. I love this age. Added bonus, I got my own Best Mommy of the Year Award later in the afternoon. glitter and crayon on the back of the school notice that we'll be scheduling a meeting with a speech therapist for the Peanut within the next few months. I did mention that I love this age right?


If you're interested in the Software I used to make the certificate visit my review/giveaway post here! there's plenty of time to enter!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!



As I promised yesterday when I posted my review and the details for the My Memories Suite Giveaway here's one of the fun idea's I've used the software for so far. I printed these hearts and strung them up to make a love-a-thon banner which is hanging in the doorway between the kitchen and the living room. Right where I can watch them twist and turn in the air currents that travel our house. Usually I don't make a big deal out of V-day, the husband usually brings me a flower of some sort but I don't expect it and wouldn't be sad if he forgot. This year the Peanut is doing her first Valentines Day celebrations at school so I'm wanting to get in on the action a little bit too. The My Memories Suite worked perfect. I used the Heart shape included in the program and filled the shape with some of the digital papers included in the software as well as a few of the packs I've picked up on the site. Then I added some word art conversation heart sayings. These could also be cut out and delivered into the valentines mailbox of the ones you love the most too. 

Don't forget to enter the giveaway here! or use the link in the sidebar with the $10 off promocode and buy a copy today. 

Oh yeah, in case you haven't heard it yet; "Happy Valentines Day"

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Memories Giveaway Glitches: Fixed

It seems that my first try Rafflecopter run for a giveaway is a little glitchy. I'm not able to see the widget when I go live which is grr frustrating. I'll be taking down the giveaway post for the time being until I can figure out how to make it work. Rest assured I will be grrrring in frustration until it's all fixed or an alternate way to enter can be set in place. I'm so sorry about this, my only consolation is that the giveaway lasts until the end of the month so a little problem to start off with shouldn't hurt too much, except perhaps my pride.... I've done some trouble shooting, I think it's fixed but please let me know if the widgeet isn't showing up for you and I'lltry to fix it again

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My Memories


It seems that I'm at the point in my blogging travels that I'm being approached to test out products and tell you what I think of them. The upside? I get the chance to try out some new things and share what I think and what I've cooked up with the product with you.

Another upside?  This time around I get the chance to offer you a special deal on what I've tried out. And yet another upside? I also get to give you the chance to win something too.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Using an 8.5 x 11 sheet of card stock one of the beautiful free
paper packs from My Memories; a memorial card for my
Grandma's service coming up this May
My Memories a Digital Scrapbooking Company got in touch with me last month about reviewing their Digital Scrap booking Software. I received a copy of the My Memories Suite software in exchange for sharing the product with you, all my thoughts on the product are my own and have not been directed by My Memories. Just to be clear, I tend to look for the positive in everything I try out so unless something is absolutely terrible, completely unworkable I'll focus on the good, include the not so great and welcome you to share your experiences with me.

I'll be honest here, I'm not a scrapbook artist, so digital scrap booking software isn't something that I have ever thought about using.  I am however, a creative person and I have been known to pop into a scrap booking shop to look at papers for use in some of my projects and in some of my art works. There are some pretty amazing papers out there that just scream to be used in a hand bound book or to make birthday banners or pinwheels... I am an artist and a crafty kind of gal so the idea of being able to use Digital Scrapbooking Software for projects that aren't scrapbook pages; like photo books, or calendars was really exciting to me, not least because I've found myself with a new computer that won't recognize the versions of Photoshop and InDesign I had been using for the last few years on some of these types of projects.

Rather than checking things out beforehand (reading instructions, watching YouTube videos etc) I started blind with My Memories Suite just to see how intuitive it is to work through. And despite old Photoshop habits tripping me up here and there, I can happily say that it is very simple and easy to use, so easy that I'm pretty sure I could sit my computer challenged Mom or the Peanut in front of it and have them putting together pages in no time flat. 

The desktop is set up so that your tools are in more than one place, in palettes along the side, as icons along the top and inside the drop down menus as well, so no matter which way you like to work or where you are most comfortable looking for your tools and applications you're covered. 

If you don't like to start a new program blind, you can also make use of the abundant support My Memories  offers. For help and links to video tutorials on their YouTube channel you can visit their blog and online forums (which also gives access to a community of creative people to share ideas; a super bonus as far as I'm concerned since I'm a big believer that creativity breeds more of the same. Being able to share ideas, give and receive help from people in a community is so invaluable.) Product support at My Memories is awesome, My Memories has a blog that contains a wealth of how-to and tutorials to get you started as well as inspiration for your own projects. 

My Memories Suite includes a good selection of paper backgrounds, embellishments and options to get you started within the scrapbooking software. If you want  more (and you're probably going to want more), there is a fantastic selection of great digital packs ranging in price from $9.99 to free that can help you fill up your tool box. If you are looking for some specific designs and themes you can easily search the site for kits that will get you going on specific projects.  Browsing through I noticed a fantastic dinosaur kit Diggin' For Dinosaurs that would have been absolutely fantastic for the Peanut's birthday party crafts two years ago.


Using the papers and options available
with the My Memories Suite to create a
colourful and very personalized calendar
Getting a page together was as simple as dragging and dropping elements and photographs where I wanted them. My Memories Suite allows you to adjust the size, angle and placement of text, photographs and design elements for your projects. I was able to make custom designs from scratch as well as using the templates provided.  I was able to mix and match custom pages with template pages while I was testing out the software.  Because everything is customizable, even a template is going to be a one of a kind creation when you are done with it. I like to think about templates as a jumping off point and a shortcut to get where you're heading faster.

And then there are My Memories Suite Calendar capabilities! I can't tell you how many times I've put off creating calendars that use my own photographs and artwork because the idea of creating the actual month to month grid was too time consuming. The calendar feature in the software takes all that measuring and layout out of the equation, you can choose calendars with boxes or without and resize the grid to fit the whole page or a small part of the page and change the layout, font and colour so that each page in your calendar is either unique or exactly the same. Then we come to the personalization options that can be added to a calendar: Birthdays and anniversaries pop to mind right away written in just like the stat holidays are in the calendar you buy each year. If phases of the moon or other zodiac dates are high on your list to keep track of (Mercury Retrograde, Saturn rising into Virgo anyone?) these can be added too! And those special school dates? Plays, Pro-D's, hot lunches can now be right on your calendar too.  


As far as keeping everything organized for your projects, My Memories Suite collects everything that you use from the papers, embellishments to your artwork in a file folder so it's all at your fingertips. One more little job that gets taken care of. Putting all that stuff together where it's easy to find has been one of those little jobs that often gets unfinished now that I've got my hands full of the Peanut and Bean
So there are a lot of pluses with My Memories Digital Software:
  • Super Support on the My Memories Website, Blog and YouTube Channel 
  • Great Selection of Digital Papers, Embellishments and Wort Art to get you started within the software
  • A huge assortment of additional papers and embellishments available for purchase for free and up 
  • My Memories Digital Scrapbooking Software
  • It's super easy to use
  • Keeps your project organized for you
  • There are so many options and possibilities


Of course with all the good stuff I've listed there are bound to be some negatives and I did experience a few things that I haven't taken the time to look for help with on the blog or in the forums (this is where the great program support comes in handy). There is an option when you are starting a project using a template to choose all the photographs you wish to use up front and have them dropped in at the beginning. Each time I tried to use this option while playing with the Software My computer froze up. This obviously could be a computer issue and not a software issue at all. In the end I was able to work around it and go forward with the projects I was working on;  so these issues aren't enough of a problem for a negative review. I'll also look into finding out the best way to use that option as I go along using the My Memories Blog and YouTube tutorials.


I'm just getting started exploring some of the other options that the My Memories Suite offers, like online albums that are interactive or feature music or narration (perfect for some personalized screen time activities for the Peanut). For now, ideas for projects like  a photo book of this blog's  A Thousand Words, a digital recipe book featuring some of the recipes I've collected and use most often, or a bedtime book for the Peanut and the Bean using some digital collage art are percolating. There's even an option for photo books that can be professionally printed in the software which means I could have a bound copy of one of those items to put on the shelf.

 
There are practically no limits to what I'd like to do and could do with My Memories Suite. The bonus here is that I'm brimming with creative energy and if there's one thing I like a lot; it is to be excited about creating.  

Now here's where you get to share in the excitement. My Memories is offering you a special $10 discount code to use in their online store to purchase the My Memories Suite. just click the My Memories banner below and cut and paste the Promocode: STMMMS25295 into the form when you're prompted to receive your discount. $10 off is a super deal!


   



And if that wasn't a big enough reason to be excited about the My Memories Digital Scrapbooking Software how about a chance to win a copy of the My Memories Suite? (If the rafflecopter widget isn't showing for you to enter refresh the page)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Thousand Words

School Penguin edition:


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Something Fun in the Works

We're busy acclimatizing to the new Household order around here so things are a little behind here as we all get settled into schedules. I do have a good sized blog post in the works i the form of a product review which is also translated into a special deal for you if you're into that kind of thing.

I've been getting back into a creative head space working in a sketchbook, photographing and getting a new line of ornaments for PeanutButterPie on the go.

I'm hoping to get the review post up by this weekend.



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