Saturday, February 23, 2008

Digital Scrapbooking

I have my patterned paper, card-stock, stickers, embellishments, and tools to create scrapbook pages on my dedicated scrap table. These tangible supplies are fun, but technology has made its way into scrapbooking just like almost every other aspect of our lives.

Last fall I bought a CD-Rom Scrapbooking Kit to help me start digital scrapbooking. Digital scrapbooking is all done on a computer with a photo editing program such as Photoshop Elements. All the paper and embellishments I use on my traditional pages seem to have a digital version. I made one page last fall with the step-by-step instructions, but since then I have been mostly frustrated with Photoshop Elements. With John's help, I have been able to get over that hurdle. I finished two more digital layouts today.

One of the great things about digital scrapbooking is all the free kits and tutorials on the web. Here are three good links I have been using:
Scrap Girls
Free Digital Scrapbooking
Jessica Sprague

The next test will be to have the layouts printed in a 12x12 size to go in my scrapbooks. Scrapbook Pictures seems to have the best deal so far, and I am curious to see how these look in print. My plan is to do a mix of traditional, hybrid (both paper and digital elements), and digital scrapping.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Happy retreat day! Twice a year we have a retreat for my office, which is a great opportunity for team building and a lot of fun.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I listened to an entire audiobook today while cleaning out our filing cabinet. (It was 3.7 hours.) The book was Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. My overall response is WOW! I have listened to podcasts of his radio show for a few weeks now but did not get all of people yelling "I'm debt free." I borrowed the audiobook from my library and really got into it today. It has concrete steps and straightforward advice. I highly recommend it but know that it will not be easy to follow his "baby steps." He calls them baby steps, but they really do require a big change. I've gotten excited about other books, such as You on a Diet. The books help me make some changes in my life, but once the excitement wears off, it is hard to keep up with the changes. Will this book be different?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

ipod update

Patience is a virtue.

Eager to begin my high school career, I took World History I in summer school before my ninth grade year. I do not remember the name of the teacher, but he was a young guy right out of college. One of his friends gave a speech where he said "Patience is a virtue", and then just stood in front of the class. For some reason I remember this story, but I do not remember how it related to my class.

Anyway, I found my ipod. I looked in my carry on bag one more time. It paid off to be patient instead of going shopping for a new one.

Added Note: Thanks to Beth's good memory, I now know that the summer school teacher was Mr. Grafflin.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Oh ipod, where are you? I am sorry that I wanted a new colorful ipod nano displayed at the Apple store. I did not mean to lose you. Please turn up soon!

(I need to stop wishing for new things. I wanted a new dryer and then my old one died. This could get expensive!)

Sunday, February 10, 2008


The Dash

by Linda Ellis
I read of a man who stood to speak

At the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the dates on her tombstone

From the beginning to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth

And spoke of the following date with tears,

But he said what mattered most of all

Was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time

That she spent alive on earth

And now only those who loved her

Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,

The cars, the house, the cash,

What matters is how we live and love

And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard;

Are there things you'd like to change?

For you never know how much time is left

That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough

To consider what's true and real

And always try to understand

The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger

And show appreciation more

And love the people in our lives

Like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect

And more often wear a smile,

Remembering that this special dash

Might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read

With your life's actions to rehash

Would you be proud of the things they say

About how you spent your dash?
© 1996 Linda Ellis

I have this poem up on my bulletin board at work, but I had forgotten about it until recently. (A presenter handed out laminated copies at a conference I attended years ago.) There was discussion about reading this poem at my grandpa's funeral, but we already had plenty of great stories to share during the service. On Friday, I paused for a moment in my workday to read the poem. Usually I am so wrapped in the things that I am not doing, that I forget about the things I am doing. I worry that I am not exercising enough or cleaning my house enough, but nobody else is going to remember these parts of my life. People don't base eulogies on how clean your house was or how organized your files are or if you exercised thirty minutes everyday. It is about how you treat the people in your life; that is what is important.


I am not 100% sure who I will vote for in the Texas primary on March 4, but this election is turning out to be more interesting than I expected. A friend forwarded me the link to this video, which I love. It is so refreshing to see a positive message out there during an election. Here is the full speech.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Maybe Frida was thinking, "Next time you go on a trip, take me with you"!

Or maybe Frida just likes to sit in and on our stuff.


Did you notice the new banner at the top of the page? I designed it in Photoshop Elements! It is pretty basic, but I have to start somewhere. I want to design some new banners for the website at work, so I am playing here first.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Family Stories

I heard so many family stories over the last few days. Many I had heard before, but I learned so new things about my family:

It was 1929 and my great-grandmother, Christina, was a 25 year-old widow with three young children. She was advised to give up her children for adoption but refused. My grandpa was only five years old when his father, Wilson, died. My great-grandmother raised her children through the Great Depression. She did not have an extension education, but she used her skills, such as sewing, to survive those lean years.

My grandpa worked for Standard Register for 41 years before his retirement as a machinist and manager in their engineering department. As a kid, I just knew that he had a lot of machines in his basement. On my last few visits with Grandpa, I could still hear in his voice how much he loved his work. Early in his career, he learned from another machinist from Dayton, Charlie Taylor, who built the first aircraft engine for the Wright Brothers. (How cool is that?!)

My grandparents divorced in the mid-sixties, when is certainly was not the norm for parents to divorce and the father to have custody of five children. (My oldest uncle was over 18 and in the Navy.) My grandfather dated Joan for seven years before they got married. I never knew why they dated so long. They both had children at home and realized that it was not best to blend the families. My grandpa waited until my aunt (the youngest) was out of high school before they got married. To me, Grandpa and Ma Joan were my grandparents. I knew that they were happy together, but I never realized that she was the love of his life. Now they are back together, 17 years after she passed away.


A while ago I read a "challenge” to blog about what I want my (future) children to learn. (Scrapbookers seem to like “challenges” to help us to create or write something new or to get us out of a rut.) I thought it was a neat challenge, but I did not sit down to write an entry.

Listening to family stories over the last few days has made me realize how much I have learned from my family. It will be so hard not to have my grandpa with us anymore, but I also realized that my family has given me what I will need to know as a parent. Here are the lessons I hope to pass along to my children someday:

Unconditional Love: No one is perfect, and we will all make mistakes. Love your family unconditionally.

Make Your Own Way: I know that my children will be their own unique individuals. I want them to be able to develop their own talents and be their own people.

Find The Love of your Life: I am not necessarily a big believer in soul mates, but who you choose as a partner is so important. That person should be the love of your life.

Keep Going Through the Rough Times: Life will present you with challenges. The important thing is to do your best and keep going.

Love to Learn: To truly be a life long learner, you have to fall in love with learning.

Work Hard: Hard work will pay off in the long run. Find work that you can be engaged in.

Find Hobbies You Enjoy: While working hard is important; it is also important to enjoy your time outside of work.

It is really about the Journey, not just the Destination: Sometimes we are in too much of a rush to get to a destination. The real value is often in the journey.

200 Glue Dots

I arrived in Ohio on Wednesday afternoon to prepare for my grandpa's visitation on Thursday and funeral on Friday. In the late afternoon on Wednesday my mom and I went to my aunt's house to help her with the pictures. My grandpa was an avid photographer, so there are boxes and boxes of pictures and slides. There are pictures from Europe during World War II, my grandpa and grandma before they were married, my mom and her siblings as children, my grandpa and step-grandma on their many travels, hunting trips, fishing trips, and my cousins, brother, and me.

My 17-year-old cousin has really developed his talents as a photographer and film maker. He made a picture slide show set to music to be shown at the visitation. I helped select meaningful photos to attach to foam boards for display. This was where my scrapbooking knowledge came in handy. We needed a safe, removable adhesive to use on vintage photos. After using over 200 glue dots, the foam boards were complete.

This was a cathartic process for us. Looking through the old pictures brought out some stories that I never heard about my family. We were able to cry together and keep working through the grieving process.