Hi.

Welcome to my blog! I write, and take photos, and use Photoshop every day. I love learning and surprises and my sweet family and being a transplanted southerner.

Haps.

Sometimes you just need to lay low. This weekend was one of those times.

I’m back, and feeling better. Back to whatever passes for normal around here.  :)

 I was the June guest designer over at Scrapologie.com. I’ve been a subscriber to Ranjini’s kits for several months now, and I LOVE them. The June kit is one was no different - and even happily incorporated my favorite colors to work with: blue, green, pink, and brown. Yay!

Here’s are the layouts I made with the June kit:

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And as a little side note to this: That Queen & Co. die-cut felt border is awesome. I will eventually own this stuff in every color, I think. So fuzzy. So flowery. So fun. :)

Another Photographer In the House! 

We bought Rowen her very own Kid-Tough Digital Camera, and she has had an awesome time taking photos with it. I’ll upload some of her pics. The camera is cool because it’s ultra resilient, and has a double-eye viewfinder. The pictures aren’t huge - good enough for an okay 3x5 or a good wallet, but she has been having a total blast using it.

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Rowen_camera2.jpg 

The best part of this is seeing what she sees. She’s taken pictures of her blankets, her toys, her traditional Sunday afternoon outing to Red Hat, her brother, and us. So cool. (And look who else insists on wearing her Crocs with everything?)

Digital Class 

So excited about week 2 of Up & Running with Photoshop over at JessicaSprague.com! We’re learning brushes, cutting and stroking selections, cropping, all kinds of cool stuff. The next session will be in August, if you’re interested in jumping in to digi and learning a little about it. :)

New (Old) Music

I had an interesting experience late last week - I was building an iTunes playlist of some of my favorite ‘Mellow” songs, and suddenly remembered a song I’ve been searching for, sung by Helen Schneyer. I heard it on a replay of an episode of a Prairie Home Companion in late July of 2005. I know it was then because I remember distinctly sitting in the parking lot of the Burlington Coat Factory, totally moved by the deep and powerful and emotional voice of this woman. It was a rebroadcast of her visit to APHC from twelve years earlier, and they were playing it as a memorial to her - she passed away in July of 2005.

Well, this was the first time I had ever heard of Helen Schneyer. But I was so moved by her rendition of Lonesome Robin, that I copied the link from the APHC recording to my desktop and played it rather incessantly, unable to find another recording of it.

Here’s the link to that song (it’ll launch directly in a RealAudio player):

Lonesome Robin, sung by Helen Schneyer

See if you can figure out who Robin is. ;) The words to this song are so beautiful. So sad. Can you picture Helen standing in her living room, tears streaming down her face, as she sang this song? Awesome.

I was able to locate, through a TON of Google searches, a teeny little independent store selling an album with her singing this song.  Beautiful. Haunting. Why is slow, sad folk music JUST the right thing sometimes? There are a couple other songs on this album that I’m really glad I have. Old gospel sung by this powerful, old female voice.

Art of Innovation, and (of course) How it Relates to Scrapbooking 

I spent some time over at Guy Kawasaki’s web site today, and listented to his Art of Innovation presentation (it’s an hour long, so grab some popcorn and a cold drink if you are gonna watch it through). It is SO cool. Such cool stuff in there to think about for anyone who is involved in … anything. :D

My favorite of his ten points: Innovators are motivated by a very pure concept, which is to make meaning - to improve people’s lives. To change the world. I love it. :) He uses an example of the Nike Women’s Aerobics ad that says:

“A woman is often measured by the things she cannot control. She is measured by the way her body curves or does not curve, by where she is flat or straight or round. She is measured by 36-24-36 and inches and ages and numbers. By all the outside things that don’t ever add up to who she is on the inside.

And so if a woman is to be measured, let her be measured by the things she can control. By who she is and who she is trying to become. Because as every woman knows, measurements are only statistics, and statistics lie.” 

His counter-point to this is another approach that Nike could have taken:

The VP of marketing at Nike says to his prospective customer:

“Do you have $100?”

Customer: “Yes.”

“Well, if you give me $100, I will give you two pieces of cotton, leather, and rubber, manufactured under somewhat suspect conditions in the Far East.”

The point is that by approaching business (or life) with the intent to make meaning - to make people’s lives more creative, innovative, satisfactory, or satisfying, you get your message across MUCH better, you stand for something larger, and people can become passionate about your product.

Well, naturally everything in my life has to come back to scrapbooking at some point, right? ;)

I talk a LOT about the WHY of scrapbooking, and what it does to change your life. Beyond the paper and pixels and Photoshop, more than ribbon and chipboard and die cuts, it’s about stories. It’s about telling your stories, telling the stories of the people you love, making a record that will last into the generations. It’s also about having a great time. And a large part of it, for me anyway, is about tasting life twice (remember that quote from Anais Nin? We write to taste life twice. Once in the moment and once in retrospection). I remember when I look through my photos, the day I was married. The day my children were born. And smaller stuff, too. I’m just nerdy enough to take pictures of great food I made (cause who knows when THAT is going to happen again), and of wonderful flowers, and of my kids drawing with sidewalk chalk. That is my good life, happening in ordinary moments.

Our product - our pages - is about who we are, and who we are trying to become. About remembering how GREAT our life experience is, and how deeply we love what we love, and how much we wish to celebrate good things.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with hoarding a little ribbon and patterned paper, either. ;)

Happy Tuesday. 

Seeing What She Sees

Photoshop Friday 2007 #24!