Sunday, November 30, 2008

Impressions of Joy / Believe in the Magic

Impressions of Joy is the newest collection by the Studio Girls at Oh my, it is gorgeous. This is a page I made with it.

The kids love having their pictures taken with Santa Claus. It gives them an opportunity to talk one on one with him and ask him questions. They even found out what Santa’s favorite cookie is. Their joy is priceless.

IO Joy Collection by the Studio Girls at SBG
Nana's Secret Garden Glitter by Flergs
Font: Folks
Playing with Wordart Vol 5 by Natali Designs


Thanksgiving Day at School

Liam wearing a turkey hat he made in class.

Kaylie as a pilgrim.
They had half day of school and brought home their very own table placemats.

Friday, November 28, 2008



Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving/Black Friday Sales at

Now is your time to stop by the shop at Nearly all of the designers have some sort of special going on.

Here is a link to the blog where you can see all of the listed codes.

What are you waiting for, go get those codes and save yourself a bundle!

Meet Alana McCarthy/Building Sand Castles

Alana McCarthy is the newest designer at She is a professional illustrator who works in watercolors and acrylics. If you are a fan of illustrations and watercolors, then keep an eye on her as she will rock your pages. Want to learn more about her and see other pages done with her designs, click HERE.

Here is my page using some of the pprs. and elements shown below.

Liam building sand castles at the beach this past August 2008.
Sand Under My Toes kit by Alana McCarthy at SBG.
Round Alpha: Sandbox Alpha by Phuong Ton at SBG.


Make Your Photo Look Like a Rough Painting

This is the same photograph after I applied several filters. Want to know how I did it? Keep reading for the mini tutorial.

Ok, remember the photo I showed you previously...the one with the blue cast, which I then taught you to fix? Here it is on the bottom, and then I played with some filters to make it look like a rough painting. I kind of like it, but then again, I am not an expert. There are tons of ways to do things in Photoshop, but you have to play around with it to achieve the look you want.
Want to know how I did it? Here are the steps.

I opened the photo, duplicated said photo, selected the duplicated photo layer and ran a filter.

R 15, Threshold 41

Then I ran the watercolor filter
Brush:4 Shadow:3 Texture:1

I also used an underpainting filter
Brush 4, Texture 22, Canvas, Scaling 82%, Relief 5, Top Right
I then faded the underpainting effect to 57%
(Edit>Fade>enter percentage)

(Note: I ran the watecolor filter 2 times on my photo)

And that is all there is to it. I hope you learned something new today. Have fun playing around with filters to get different effects.


Removing a Color Cast

This is my original photo (sotc) - notice the blue color cast on the photo that makes it look so drab.

This is my photo after I removed the color cast. Notice how the colors seem brighter.

This is my final photo. Color cast removed, levels adjusted and unsightly cable wires removed. It hardly looks like the same photo, doesn't it? Here is what I did.
1. Open your photo.
2. Duplicate your photo.
Here are 2 ways to do it: (1) Drag the photo to the CREATE NEW LAYER button
(2) Select layer and press CTRL J
3. On the toolbar, go to IMAGE>ADJUSTMENTS>MATCH COLOR.
If the photo looks too dull, click on the FADE slider until it starts to look good to you.
(I usually try 50 percent)
You can also adjust the COLOR INTENSITY. Play with it until you are happy with it.
4. I then created an CURVES adjustment level layer: IMAGE>ADJUSTMENT>CURVES and selected the first dropper (black adjustment) and then click on an area of the picture that had the blackest color. It automatically darkened it for me. I then clicked on the 3rd dropper (white adjustment) and again, selected an area of the photo that was white and it automatically lightened it for me. The problem is that most times this feature overcompensates by lightening or darkening too much. At this point, I tend to scrap the changes and start over by playing around with the curve anchor points until I am satisfied with the with the brightness and darkness of my photo.
I hope this helps. Have a wonderful day. Kait


Friday, November 21, 2008

Snowflakes All Around

Oh goodness gracious it is cold here in New Jersey. As we were walking out the door this morning, snowflakes were swirling all around. As if on cue, Kaylie and Liam automatically stuck out their tongues trying to land snowflakes. It didn't snow much. It's a good thing too because I had to take Liam to the pediatrician and it would totally stink if I had to drive on snowy, icy roads. Winter is is around the corner!



Friday Freebies

Here's a few templates and samplers I found today.

Digital Freebies has a beautiful fall sampler
Flakey Alpha by Nett
Queen of Angels Add on kit by Scrapmalin
Flergs has a Chrome Alpha on her blog
Template by Red Leaf Scrapping
Fran has a cute template
Karah has a cute sampler from her upcoming Too Excited to Sleep kit
Mandy has a cute Frostee sampler

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Typing Test is Addicting

89 words


Bald Eagle

While on a walk by the lake today, Liam (who is home sick) and I spotted this bald eagle landing on a very tall tree by us. I did the best I could with my rinky dinky camera.

Font: CourierPaper alpha by Phuong Ton @ SBG
It's All About You by Lotta Designs @ SBG
Bee, flowers and swirls from Precious Pack by SussieM @ SBG

Thanks for looking, if you have a chance. Kait


Of Puffer Fishes and Sea Urchins...

When we were discussing Liam's school project we bounced around several ideas...octopus, eels, fishes, but what caught his imagination was a puffer fish we saw on National Geographic. We then remembered that Mrs. Puff, from Spongebob Squarepants, is also a puffer fish, which made up his mind. Liam is very good with concepts but lacks the skills to implement his ideas. The boy can't draw to save his life, but does what he can. If he were asked to write about it, then it would be a totally different scenario. That he can do. Anyway, I thought that the sea urchin was a most original idea and that he should take that project in, but he didn't want to do it. He was just so proud of his sea urchin model that he wanted to keep it at home. Has anyone seen my hairpins? I seem to have lost them all! :)

Liam proudly showing off his SEA URCHIN.


Pajama Day

click to enlarge
#1 is straight out of the camera. #2 shows the photo neutralized. #3 shows a levels adjustment. #4 is the final after a surface blur to soften a tad the skin.

Yesterday was pajamas day at school. The kids were super excited to be able to wear pajamas to school. Here is Kay in her sunshine.clouds.cows pajamas. The top photo is a straight out of the camera shot. See how orange it is. It is that early morning orange look. It is quite lovely, just not on a person. :) The other photo is the processed photo. Notice the neutral skin tone and how the forehead shine is gone.

I never had pajamas day in school or any other fun day, for that matter. Up next is crazy hair day, I think. I have to check the schedule.



Monday, November 17, 2008

Want to Waste Time? Try This Typing Test.

82 words

Typing Test


Friday, November 14, 2008

Autumn - it leaves you breathless
All The Colors of Autumn by SussieM
Sketch Coll. 27 by Jen Caputo
Font: Sv Basic Manual
Paper alpha by Phuong Ton

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mom's Grave Marker

Mom's grave marker came in today. It should be in place by Friday barring rain days. If not, they'll do it next week. At any rate, it will be in before Thanksgiving Day.




I found a few samplers and a couple of tutorials...

Cork Action by Atomic Cupcake
Template by Andrea G/Andrea's Bits, etc.
November Template at GoDigitalScrapping
Template by Misty
Magical string by Peta
Winnipesaukee paper pack by Black Dog Designs

Birgit has a PSP/PS Mask Tutorial
Flergs has a Shadowing/curling Tutorial on her blog
Visual Triangle

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Great Adventure - Back Cover

Back Cover for my Great Adventure Book
Font: HeadlineTwo

It's About Time and Flying Disk Alpha by Lorie Davison @ SBG
Rough to the Touch with Everything In It by Lorie Davison @ SBG


Wonders Never Cease!

I went to the dentist yesterday to have 2 old fillings replaced and on my way back I saw this tree by a field. It had the most vibrant colors - it looked like it was on fire. I had to stop and take a picture.

Gas prices are dropping down considerably. I filled up my car with US$25.00!!! All summer long I was paying $50.00 to fill up my car, so this is a welcomed change.
Also, my diabetes medications are really doing a great job in lowering my glucose levels, so much so that my morning glucose levels in the last 2 days have been within normal range. This month is filled up with follow up appts. to various doctors...I hope I get good news!
Boy, is it cold here in NJ! It is bright, but so windy. My hands and feet are freezing. Anyway, I got to go. Need to start thinking about dinner and also pick up the kids.


Cover Page - Great Adventure 2008

Cover for my Great Adventure Book
Leafy swirl stamp (on upper left side of page) by Trish Jones.It's About Time and Flying Disk It's About Time and Flying Disk Alpha by Lorie Davison @ SBG
Rough to the Touch with Everything In It by Lorie Davison @ SBG


Sunday, Music

On Sunday we took the kids to the mall. We took Liam to the music store to see what instrument he would like to learn to play. He likes to sing and pretends to write music scores. On Sunday, he sat down at the table and "wrote" his masterpiece. He handed me a paper with squiggly music notes and the words to the Itsy Bitsy Spider. :) So cute.
He loves the clarinet, flugel horn and Bass typically found in klezmorim music. This all stems from last summer when we saw the ODESSA KLEZMER BAND playing at the Burlington County Library. At that time, I purchased a cd, which quickly became a favorite. I got to tell you, that we played that cd to death. It was our constant companion on our 14 road trips (yes, 14 trips to the Wild Safari/Great Adventure). The music was quick and happy so I'd drive though the entire trip so entertained that I didn't even mind driving.


Friday, November 7, 2008


Joyful Heart Designs has a wonderfully distressed damask paper pack.
MGL Scraps has a fabulous paper pack on her blog, too.


Aren't these lollipops the most delicious looking pieces of candy you have seen in a while? They are so big and tempting.
On our last day at Great Adventure I bought them for the kids. While the kids were in the rides, I'd have to hold them. Every once in a while I couldn't resist the temptation and would lick one of them. I'd also catch glimpses of people looking at me. I knew they were thinking that I didn't need to be eating 2 lollipops. Oh, the horror!

This layout was done for the We Can Build It Challenge at Scrapbook-Graphics. I used a template by Hillary Heidelberg; didn't use my favorite staple; used a patterned bg. ppr. that I wouldn't normally use; and used a font that I haven't used before.
I must say that I went against my grain today and still like the result. It certainly took me longer than usual to make my page, but well worth the extra time.

On our last day at Great Adventure I bought the kids these oversized lollipops. It took them 2 whole days to eat them.

Worn Overlays by Manuela Zimmerman (Manu)
Little Details Template Set #1 by Hillary Heidelberg
Red Bg. Ppr. from Flittery Sparkles Paper Collection #3 by Lorie Davison
Floral and stripped bg. pprs. from The Bouncing Brownies and Bunnies Papers No. 3 by Lorie Davison

Survivorman Season 3

If you have been coming to my blog for a while, then you'll know of my love affair with LES STROUD, a/k/a SURVIVORMAN.

I love his show. It is very educational. Should I ever become lost, I'll be prepared! LOL Even my kids love the show. We will drop whatever we are doing just to watch him "rough" the elements.

Anyway, the excitement is that Season 3 starts today. I can't wait! Want to see him in action? Click here for a video.

See you later. I am off to take the kids to watch MADAGASCAR 2.

**UPDATE: The movie was cute. The graphics/visuals were stunning. Save your $$ and wait for it to be released on video.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Your Right To Vote

Exercising our right to vote is a special gift. There are many countries in the world that deny its citizens this basic right. The kids had mock elections in school and actually got a chance to vote on a real machine. All day Tuesday, they kept asking when I was going to go cast my vote. We dressed in patriotic colors and off we went to vote. They only allowed one other person in the booth so Liam went in with me, while Kaylie and Emanuel waited for us to return. Kaylie and Liam were rooting for Barack Obama, while Emanuelwas rooting for John McCain. I stayed up late until the election results were posted. Barack Obama won!

Credits: Salvaged Creamy Cardboard ppr. by Rachael Young
Make Your Own Flair! template by Flergs
Heart Strings Alpha by Lorie Davison
Fonts: Honey Script, Impact, Ben Brown and OCRB
Pictures of Obama and McCain from the internet
Playing with WordArt Vol. 4 by Natali Designs
Little Details Template set by Hillary Heidelberg
Font: FOGiggles Small by Fontologie
Red bg. ppr. from Angelic kit by Sussie M

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Toot - Somerset Memories / Oct-Nov2008 Issue

Click to enlarge.

Just a quick note to share with you that my Turtle layout was published in the Oct./Nov. 08 issue of Somerset Memories. I went to Barnes and Nobles today and picked up a copy.


Obama is the nation's 44th President

The U.S. has a new president: Barack Obama.

I hope with all my heart that he will get to work on fixing the economy, provide funding for our schools, reforms the health care system for the uninsured and returns our troops home.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Grant's Zebra

Frames, burlap bg. ppr, book, vintage scrap paper:
Eeky Freaky Collection by Lorie Davison @ SBG
Drifting weathered bg. ppr., leaf borders, autumn tree, and rosehips from Flitting Fall Faerie Coll. by Lorie Davison
It's About Time Alpha and Flying Disk Alpha by Lorie Davison @ SBG
Staple, green leaves branch and envelope from Rough to the Touch collection by Lorie Davison

Zebras are African equids best known for their distinctive white and black stripes. Their stripes come in different patterns unique to each individual. They are generally social animals and can be seen in small harems to large herds. Zebras are generally 8ft long, stand 4-5 ft at the shoulder, and weigh around 660 lbs, although some can grow to more than 900 lbs. In addition to their stripes, zebras have erect, mohawk-like manes. 1232


Sky Ride

This was our last trip to Great Adventure. We finally got a chance to board the cable cars sky rides. The kids were thrilled. Up in the sky, the air was extremely cold so we were shivering. I conquered my fear of heights long enough to take a few photos while up there.

Credits:Modern Template #4 (modified) by Hillary Heilderberg
Be Happy Wordart: Playing with Words 4 by Natali
Impressions of Comfort by the Studio Girls at SBG
Alpha from IOHonour Collection by the Studio Girls at SBG
Pearl String by ON Designs
Font: FG Klara 2130


Monday, November 3, 2008

Queen of Mismatch

Today was Mismatch day at school. You wore a yellow shirt with bright orange flowers and a white/blue/gree patterned skort. Your favorite part was picking the tights. I had recently bought you a pink hose with multiple stripes with red, orange, hot pink, green, white, blue and black colors. Your hair bands were white and blue and your sneakers grey, white and pink. Your final accessory was a pair of hot pink glasses.I would have never let you wear this get up in public, let alone school, but allowed it because it is part of school spirit week and the other kids looked just as crazy.

Sketch Collection 13 by Jen Caputo
Teen dolls: Teen Dolls Doodles by Berna Datema
Flair: Make Your Own Flair by Flergs
Font: SF Old Republic, LD Note Pad
IOHonour Collection by The Studio Girls @ SBG


Missing Mamma

Poem: Missing Mamma by Corky Ferguson
The sun came up this morning;
It wasn't very bright.
My dark mood casts a shadow;
It's hard to see the light.
We all have just one mother
And, now that her life on earth is done,
The emptiness and loss I feel
Make it hard to see the sun.
Tomorrow is a brand new day;
May the pain and sadness lighten.
I will remember all her love,
And then the sky will brighten.
Gone is not forgotten;
Her love reminds behind;
She's traveled in a new direction -
Love knows no space or time.
I will always love her.
She will care for me from above.
She will send me starlight and rainbows
To remind me of her love.
Further journaling can be found at my SBG gallery only.
Impression of Honour by The Studio Girls at SBG
Breakthrough2 template by Helena Jole.
Font: Antique


One Last Hurrah

Photo I took while up in the Sky Way ride.

Synchronized licking of oversized lollipops.

I'm very surprised that I was able to clean up this photo so well. I took it through a plexiglass that was filthy. You can still see some haze around his lower stomach area.

Magic show...joining of the rings

Wags the dog - Wiggles World - Halloween show


Baby Zebra got pretty close to us, but didn't peck us, for a change. :)

Bear...walked right in front of our car! They seem quite docile, but it is always scary to see them approach the car. You never know what they can do.

Red Kangaroo - I was surprised to see them out and about. Usually they are resting in a dark, shaded spot under the trees where I can't take decent shots.

One-eared red Kangaroo just basking in the sun.

No. American Bison

White Rhinoceros

Yes, I did it again. I took the kids on another trip to the wild Safari and Great Adventure. Today was the last day of the season. As usual, we went to the safari first, then the theme park. I was able to get decent close ups of the zebras, rhinos and llamas.

We headed straight to Wiggles World for our funnel cake fix. Liam attacked it like it was the last morsel on earth, while Kaylie happily dusted herself with the powder sugar. Then we caught the Wiggles Halloween Show, followed by "Professor Slither's Creepy Crawlers Show," which featured a Chilean spider, chameleon, Flemish Rabbit, and Coral Corn Snake. We have seen the show 4 times already so there aren't any surprises.
Since it was out last trip, I made it a point of boarding the Sky Way line, which took us from one side of the park to the other. I am afraid of heights so being up high in the sky wasn't all that thrilling for me, but Kaylie and Liam loved it. It was super freezing cold, too. The kids were giggling, while that god awful feeling of fear washed over me. Just thinking about it now, brings it all back...the tingling at the bottom of my feet. That didn't deter me from taking a couple of pictures, though they are not the best. I got to face my fears, right?
We saw a Bengal tiger presentation and bought the biggest, most colorful lollipops ever. The kids went in the swings, rode the train and treehouse. We also went on the enchanted teacups and the carousel before ending the day.
So long 6 Flags Great Adventure. It was a great summer experience for the kids. I have thousands of photos to print and/or scrap. :)



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