Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Guru for Christmas

Like my new look??
I'm not a savvy when it comes to blog bling and style. Most of the time, you'll find me with my nose pressed against the Blogger window, wide-eyed at all the beeeyoooteeeeful blogs out there and sighing in wonderment. Let's face it - this blog o' mine has been looking a tad neglected for quite some time now.
I have always been in awe of my friend Cheryl's blog Capturing a Moment in Time. There's always some new background and banner to ooh and aah over - the perfect backdrop to the amazing creations this lady makes. Heck, even if I didn't worship her talent, I'd check this blog just to see what cute dress she put on it that morning.
So last week, I dropped her a note over at MSW and basically begged shamelessly for some help. In typical Cheryl style, she began typing out instructions for the blog impaired but finally just PM'd me her phone number and we set a time to talk.
I don't know many of those fancy computer acronyms for things. For instance, it wasn't all that long ago that Annie had to tell me what LMBO stood for. But I do know that IRL means friends "in real life." Those are the folks you can put your arm around; the ones who will walk over and dope slap you when you need it. Like my "real life," I've been blessed to have found some really WONDERFUL people at Scrappy Jo's and My Sketch World - people who have become as dear to me as any of my friends I can walk over and hug. Since I've only gotten to know them through writing and posting, though, I will call them IMC. That stands for "in my computer," that happy little world where a whole nuther set of people who are dear to me live. (Please feel free to use IMC - just leave a quarter under your saucer.)
Till this morning, I've only met one IMC pal IRL - Jennie from MSW invited me to her house because she had some goodies to donate to Calling All Cards for Breast Cancer. I cannot tell you how askeered I was to meet her. What if I snorted when I laughed? What if I belched? What if I got nervous and blurted out something stupid?? Well, of course none of those things happened. Jennie and her sweetie pie daughter, Miss Ellie, were such fun and we had one terrific visit.
Still. . . . I was a tad nervous as I dialed Cheryl's number this morning. But sure enough, a sweet voice answered my call - just perfect for the Cheryl I had in my mind. In short order, she walked me through tidying up my blog, made me feel secure enough to try Picasa and told me that her vast storehouse of computer wisdom is completely self taught.
Awed again.
We talked about her grandkids and shoes and the fact that everyone needed a guru. I hope that was an offer because when it comes to this blog stuff, I need all the help I can get.
So armed with that warm pat on the back, I played around with backgrounds and Picasa and gave ol' Scrapinator a holiday makeover after we hung up. I even figured out how to upload the picture I took of some Christmas candles and use them as a banner.
Before a knock at my front door cut short our telephone conversation, though, Cheryl and I agreed that 2010 was going to be the year we'd get in our cars and meet somewhere. And by golly, I'm considering that to be my first resolution for the next year.
So here's a big ((((HUG)))) and a heartfelt thank you to Cheryl for helping me give a snappy, festive look to Scrapinator.
And I've come up with another new acronym you can feel free to borrow: CIAS. That stands for Cheryl is a sweetheart.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December Design Team Creations

Woke up this morning and eeek! there was the first day of December staring me in the eye. Where in the heck did that come from?!? I'm pretty sure yesterday was July 4th and I was complaining about about the humidity.
I made good use of my post-surgical time off to work on some Christmas goodies as part of the design teams at Scrappy Jo's and My Sketch World. Sigh. I feel fortunate every single day that I get to be a part of these amazing websites and hang out with such cool, creative ladies.
I got to work on Lucy's December sketch over at MSW. Around this time of the year, my cardmaking mojo can always use a shot in the arm. And for me, nothing gives me inspiration like one of Lucy's terrific card sketches. I knew what I wanted to do with this sketch the moment I saw it - see what I mean about inspiration??? There were, however, a couple of technical hurdles to overcome. The first is cutting a nice, clean circle without a diecut machine or anything. The trick to that is lots of cussing. The second issue was what material to use to actually make a snowglobe. AOK solved that problem by cutting me a piece of window film which worked beautifully. Tucked a few punched snowflakes inside and voila! a snowglobe Christmas card. I even made myself use that piece of SEI paper I couldn't bear to part with last season!
Jo's pack o' December Creative Team goodies perked me right up - talk about that Christmas feeling! One of the things she sent me was goodies from Kaiser Craft's Dear Santa line. For some reason, this year I am drawn to holiday papers that break from the traditional red/white/green color scheme. So what fun I had with this "Pony" paper. Jo also sent along some of American Crafts "Merrymint" ribbon - so velvety and yummy. The photo I used is of the town square here in Painesville. I shot this just after dawn one morning when all was peaceful and calm so I played the title off the headline on the paper itself.
Jo also sent me some of BoBunny's gorgeous Snowy Serenade line. The designers at BoBunny never cease to surprise and astound me. I used the "Winter Night" pattern to make a distinctly non-Christmassy card. But who doesn't like to receive a nice thank you note after the holidays?? Actually, I'm in love with the frosty beauty of this entire BoBunny line and had a ton of ideas for each of the papers Jo sent me.
If I were you, I'd hop over to Scrappy Jo's and order some Bo Bunny and Kaiser Craft since both are on sale now. While you're there, check out all the terrific stuff the other Creative Team creations using these papers!
You should also check out what the rest of My Sketch World's Card Design Divas did with Lucy's card sketch, as well as her December layout sketch. Pretty amazing stuff!
As for me, I'm hoping Santa is a right scrappy old elf. That way, everyone can find some scrappy goodness under their tree!