Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Yay, Albrechts!

I'm happy to announce that the Albrechts are finally joining the blogging world! However, Becca's position is a bit unique. She has a rather interesting job in the justice system, which tends to put her in a vulnerable spot. So, to protect the identities of the innocent, she has decided to make her blog available by invitation only.

I have agreed to help Becca with her blog, so you may see a few posts authored by me. Actually, I have been the sole author thus far...but that should change, shortly! Lol. I've already sent invitations to view her blog, which you may have received by now. If not, double-check your junk mail to make sure the invitation wasn't sent there. If you have not received an email invitation, it's probably because I don't have your email address (or maybe it's simply a hint...lol, just kidding!). Anyway, shoot me an email (rachaelsheedy at gmail.com), and I will add you to the "cool people" list. :)

Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Scrappy Crap

So, to pick up where I left off the other day...my little photo book is coming along! I'm actually making progress, which is rather awesome if you ask me. So, I thought I'd share the latest:
 pg11 copy
credits: template by Kellie Mize; background pp, accent pp by Katie Pertiet; fonts Susie's Hand, & Orange .
pg12 copy
credits: background pp, photo frame by Anna Aspnes; accent paper by Gina Cabrera; word art by Ronna Farrer; fonts Susie's Hand, & Orange .
pg13 copy
credits: template by Katie Pertiet; background pp & overlay by Anna Aspnes; accent paper by Gina Cabrera; word art by Ronna Farrer.
pg14 copy
credits: template by Kellie Mize; background pp by Anna Aspnes; fonts Susie's Hand, & Orange .
pg15 copy
credits: template freebie by Kellie Mize; background pp by Anna Aspnes; fonts Susie's Hand, & Orange .
pg16 copy
credits: template by Kellie Mize; background pp by Shabby Princess; fonts Susie's Hand, & Orange .
pg17 copy
credits: template by Jen Caputo; background pp by Shabby Princess; photo corners by Gina Cabrera; font Susie's Hand.
pg18 copy
credits: template by Katie Pertiet; background pp by Gina Cabrera; overlay by Anna Aspnes; fonts Susie's Hand, & Orange .
pg19 copy
credits: template by Katie Pertiet; background pp, alpha by Gina Cabrera; overlay by Ronna Farrer; date stamp by Kellie Mize; font Susie's Hand.
pg20 copy
credits: template by Jen Caputo; background pp by Shabby Princess; accent pp by Mindy Teresawa; overlay by Anna Aspnes; font Susie's Hand.
pg21 copy
credits: template by Kellie Mize; background pp by Shabby Princess; overlay by Anna Aspnes; fonts Susie's Hand, & Orange .
pg22 copy
credits: template by Kellie Mize; background pp by Katie Pertiet; overlay by Diane Miller; font: Orange .
pg23 copy
credits: template, background pp, alpha, date stamp, postmark stamp & cardboard by Katie Pertiet; accent pp by Gina Cabrera; overlay by Vera Lim; font Susie's Hand.

Yay! I can't wait until I have the finished project in-hand! Of course, I still have a few pages, as well as the cover, to do. But I'm getting there! :)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Escape Hatch

Yay for holiday weekends! Hunter and I don't have to work on Monday, so we got the heck out of dodge. We headed for the happiest destination ever: Henrieville! Clean air, no traffic and plenty of trails. Oh, and Sandy & Gary, of course! I have the cutest parents.

We took the trucks out four-wheeling in true back-country style. Which, of course, involved tons of mud! Check it out:
lifty2 002
lifty2 004
lifty 020
lifty 010
lifty 001

The scenery is so gorgeous here. Just in case you don't believe me...here's some proof:
lifty2 001
lifty 016
lifty 009
It's been the perfect weekend, because the weather has been so nice. It's actually warm enough to play outside! Or at least, it was earlier today...and yesterday. I love it. Now, why can't we do this for a living??

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Cabin Fever

Now that the holidays are over, I'm ready for spring. I think winter should end right after Christmas; no sense dragging it out any longer. I'm not a fan of the cold, so of course it makes it that much harder for Hunter to get me to go outside. I feel bad, but not bad enough to change my ways...

Truth be told, it's really too cold to play outside. Unless you are skiing or participating in some sort of winter sport, you'll freeze to death. And if you want to take your RC cars outside to stretch their legs? Ya right...your car will freeze to death with you. So Hunter, like me, has turned to his building projects to combat his case of cabin fever. His latest build is rather lovely, if you ask me:
fighter buggy 011
fighter buggy 008
fighter buggy 013
fighter buggy 005
I think the paint job looks awesome. Hunter decided to take a different approach, and did his own custom style when he built and painted this guy. It turned out very nicely. And the best part is that yesterday was warm enough, Hunter was actually able to take it out for a spin! Yay!

I'm definitely missing our 'nature walks', and can't wait until the warm weather returns and the walking can resume! (Shhh....don't tell Hunter I said that!)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Welcome to My Life...

Last year after Hunter and I returned from our first trip to Ruidoso, I decided to start documenting our road trips by making a photo book for each one. Unfortunately, I was already about 5 books behind. I had made some photo books using pics from our rides, but nothing that included journaling or a true account of the journey. So. Let's see, that was in August...fast forward to January and guess what, I had three pages done. Thing is, we took another epic road trip in September, and then Essie had her baby and we had family in town all the time and I just couldn't find the time to work on it! I know, excuses excuses. Well, Monica has inspired me, and I'm determined to finish this book once and for all. Here are the pages I have finished so far (including the three I already had done):
pg1 copy
credits: template freebie by Kellie Mize; pp by Meredith Fenwick; fonts Susie's Hand, Orange & BlackJack.
pg2 copy
credits: template freebie by Kellie Mize; pp by Nancie Rowe Janitz; swirls by Ida; fonts Susie's Hand, Orange & CK Typewriter.
pg3 copy
credits: template by Shandy Vogt; pp & photo frames by Nancie Rowe Janitz; overlay by Anna Aspnes; fonts Susie's Hand, Edwardian Script, & Segoe UI.
pg4 copy
credits: paper by Amy Wolff & Amy Martin; photo frame, stitching & watercolor brush by Katie Pertiet, flower by Mindy Terasawa; word art by Ronna Farrer.
pg5 copy
credits: template by Kellie Mize; paper by Iara Gomes-Baer (scrapbookgraphics.com, but I can't find it anymore); paper by Amy Wolff & Amy Martin; fonts Susie's Hand, Orange & BlackJack.
pg6 copy
credits: template by Kellie Mize; paper by Michelle Coleman; paper by Gina Cabrera; fonts Susie's Hand, & Orange .
pg7 copy
credits: template by Kellie Mize; paper by Michelle Coleman; paper by Gina Cabrera; fonts Susie's Hand, & Orange .
pg8 copy
credits: template by Two Sisters Designs (part of InVogue collab kit/no longer available); papers by Mindy Terasawa; font Orange.
pg9 copy
credits: template by Kellie Mize; papers by Mindy Terasawa; font Susie's Hand.
pg10 copy
credits: template by Kellie Mize; background pp, accent pp by Katie Pertiet; fonts Susie's Hand, & Orange .

So, I've done about seven pages this week. You have no idea what an accomplishment this is for me...it takes me hours to do one page. I'm not even kidding, I'll spend two hours trying to decide on the perfect font. If I'm trying to recreate a cute layout I saw in a magazine, it could take several days as I try to track down the exact supplies. It's ridiculous; I get way too caught up in the details. And before you start thinking I know what I'm doing, I need to tell you...it's all about the templates. I absolutely cannot design a page myself, so I rely very heavily on templates. Especially the templates by Kellie Mize at DesignerDigitals.com. I love her templates.

I love the digital realm because I screw stuff up way too often. The problem with traditional scrapbooking is that there is no undo button! When you cut your paper too short, you're screwed. If you have crappy handwriting, there is no hope. And it's too bad because I love the look of traditional scrapbooking. So, I think I've found a happy medium. There is some stuff that I do completely digital...as in, any kind of album. It is so much easier for me to make digital pages and have Shutterfly print it for me. I'm all about easy. However, I love to make mini-books, and for those I tend to use a hybrid method. I may design the page backgrounds in photoshop & print them out, then adhere them to chipboard pages. I love the dimension the traditional scrapbook elements add to the books; it makes them so much more fun to look at and hold.

So anyway, this is pretty much what I do all day. I go to work, where I spend the entire day looking at a computer, and then I come home and do the exact same thing. The only difference is the stuff on the screen! Poor Hunter, he sure married a nerd.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Project: Complete (well, kind of...)

To follow up with this post, I have finally finished the project! Woohoo! Of course, it's not totally finished because I started making one for Essie & her cute family. So I'm waiting for the prints to arrive, before I can continue with her version. In the meantime, however, here's a look at the finished products:
DSC04575
I had a lot of 'white space' around the top & bottom of the photos so I decided to add some chipboard flourishes. I painted and embossed them, then attached them to the foam board. Here's a bit of a closer look:
DSC04570
And here's a shot of the Sheedy version:
DSC04576
It's kinda tricky taking pics of these projects, because it's late and there's just not enough light. But when the sun is barely up when you leave for work, and already setting when you come home, there's not much you can do about it! Anyhoo, for Essie's version I decided to mix it up a bit. Here's the prints I designed (with the assistance of Jessica Sprague and iStockPhoto) for her wall decoration:
mess wall decoration
wall decoration mess pg2 copy
mess wall decoration pg3
This project has been pretty fun. I've never done anything like it before, so it has been interesting. And fortunately, I have my cute husband to help me with the technical stuff...like aligning the photos on the foam board. That was rather tricky, and I was really worried about screwing it up! Thanks to Hunter, it turned out great.

So, yay. Now on to the next project. :)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Calendar Conundrum

So, the comments on my last post have prompted a follow-up post. I mentioned the cool deal Qoop had on their poster-sized calendar, but unfortunately it looks like they are no longer on sale. The price isn't bad though, in my opinion. The Shutterfly and Kodak Gallery calendars are $20 for 8.5 x 11" calendars, and they aren't printed on linen paper. So, to get the larger sized calendar for only $5 more...can't complain about that!

Anyhoo, you'd think that would be all I have to say about calendars...but it isn't. I have a bit of a dilemma that I have yet to resolve, so I'm hoping someone has an idea or suggestion for me! A year ago, I decided to make a calendar for my mama using my digi-scrap supplies, and print it at kinko's or something. Well, that turned out to be really expensive! I took the digital files to kinko's to have them printed & bound, and discovered it would be over $70 for two calendars! I can't remember the exact price, but it seemed awfully steep. I ended up printing the pages for my mom's calendar at home...which didn't really save any money b/c I used an entire color cartridge which costs $30 by itself. Ugh. So...I printed my calendar at work, ha ha! I still ended up taking them to Kinko's to be bound. And it bugs me cuz of course the pages aren't double-sided like they would have been if I had ordered a Shutterfly calendar.

So, why don't I use the Shutterfly services, and stop whining about it? Well, just for fun, take a look at some of my pages. They're nothing special, but they might give you an idea why I don't want to use the various websites' templates:
jan photos
january grid
feb photos
feb grid
march photos
march grid
april photos
april grid
may photos
may grid
Anyway, you get the idea. Notice how the calendar grid matches the photo page? Ya, turns out I can't find anyone who will print the calendar and allow me to use my own date pages. I emailed the customer service dept at both Shutterfly & Kodak, thinking they might be willing to work with me, but that was a bust. I then proceeded to scour the internet, checking every site that offered calendar services to see if I could customize the grid page. I discovered there are a lot of websites that offer calendar services...but they all have preset date pages. Every last one of them! It makes no sense to me. Surely there are other people in the same situation, who have designed their own calendars, want full control of their date pages, and need to have these calendars printed?! (And don't want to use a printing service because the calendar pages won't be double-sided...).

So, unless someone has the answer of joy and wonderfulness, I'll probably end up printing them myself again. Most likely at work...lolol. Then I'll probably mount the pages on cardstock to sort of 'deal with' the single sided photo paper issue.

Whew. Who knew a calendar could cause so much hullabaloo? LOL. Unfortunately, when you are a geek and your entire life revolves around your job, your husband and your projects (most of which involve the computer), there really isn't much hope. But hey, it works for me...at least, most of the time!