This is a layout I did for Cottage Scrapbooks’ Freestyle Challenge this month. The significance, here, is that this is my very first submission to a game, much less to this site. The challenge is to use a blank white background, then, decorate with color in the elements, pix, etc. Since there is so much color in the photo of my son, Nick, fishing at the beach on the Gulf of Mexico, I thought I would use this pic as my “burst of color”. I had previously “sliced” the picture into 10 different pieces, so, it was not a hard layout to do, at all. I wanted to keep it simple to accentuate the colors in the photo.


One Amazing Lady

When I first started delving into digital scrapbooking, one name stood out among the vast collection of talented folks who design these downloadable masterpieces – Stella. When I saw that Stella was starting a brand new site, I joined on in the beginning in hopes of learning from these talented folks – particularly, Stella. I haven’t been disappointed.

Stella still has other sites. She is involved with design for still other sites, as well. She just did an ezine article, a tutorial, for Al’s website, http://www.actionfx.com/alarticles.html. Al is a highly respected contributor to the graphics community, I gather. I just found out about him, but, I gleaned this much already.

Not only does Stella have her fingers in a mess of pies, they are real treats! She has a style that is just pleasing with great taste in color coordinating. She can also reaspond to every post on the forum and keep abreast of everyone and everything. This is what I see. Lordy knows what I don’t see. I don’t know how she does it. When her new site first opened, she was real sick and in the process of moving. Yet, she found the will and the time to come online and spread her kindness and good spirit, along with her designs.

I had decided to post, one day, in the blog that comes with the membership on her site, Cottage Scrapbooks.I wrote about how hard I had found scrapbook layout designs. I have always been artistic and just didn’t really see how scrappin’ was going to satisfy my longing to create graphic design. Me, just one person, venting about my own little inner-turmoil. I have a bunch of family photos and I wanted to learn design. I thought this was a no-brainer. But, the photos weren’t that good and the designers did such a good job, already, on their layouts. I couldn’t see how I could contribute anything resourceful.

At some point, since I wrote that blog, Stella read it and commented. I just found it today as I didn’t have my notification set to alert me when a comment was posted. What she wrote, to me, is so inspiring. I include it here.

Yup, you’re good!
I’m feeling better today, thank goddess!

I’m with you in the learning process ~ we take from others what we glean as necessary to add to our cache of experience in order to grow from that. It’s how a baby learns about life, it’s how we learn as adults. In the big, wild, wide world of digiscrapping, I am so in awe of many designers’ talents and I wish I ‘could create like them’ but …. then I realise that my creative ability allows me to do things that are completely different from their own. Though I may have been inspired by them, I simply have to create my kits/items my own way.

I want so much for everyone who comes to this site to find a friendly, open community where they are not only welcome, but also encouraged to take the freebies, use them and learn how to make their own. It’s the inspiration for the creative process that they can find here, not just some forums and a gallery.

Thank you for such a beautiful, detailed blog entry… I will borrow some of your wisdom, perhaps, and start blogging on a more regular basis. Now that we are settled into our new house-sit for a few months, now that my cold is finally waving bye-bye… I will take the time to do so.

I want for you to see your collection of photos as an art exhibit, a special, different, unique art exhibit…these photos that are yours contain images only *you* saw… let them speak or whisper or sing or demonstrate…whatever you want them to, on your pages that you lovingly create for them.

Please post them for us.
I would be honoured if you did…

I’m touched, not just that she found time to mentor me, but, that she did. I am so blessed to know this lady. She is such an inspiration!

Thank You, Stella!

Grunge Faerie

This is the latest piece in my studies. Here, I attempted to do an autumn scene, but, without the usual reds, oranges and browns. I used nature’s elements, throughout, as Fall is all about nature and her transformations.

The background drawing is a “Grunge Fairy” card, depicting a raw, earthy fairy, looking rather forlorn. I used CS3 and created the remainder of the work with brushes and other CS3 tools – shadows, saturation, etc. Using the brushes as my ‘medium’, I tweeked it, took away from it, then, added some more, to wind up with the image, above.

An Experiment in Macro Photography

Currently, I am trying to work photography in with the design study. It is fairly new to my repertoire. In fact, I shoot lousy snapshots. I’ve taken several online courses and am still learning and practicing.

Yesterday, I went outside with my camera and took some shots of some of the plants in my own yard. Actually, I was trying different settings for a comparison/education. By taking multiple shots with the various settings, I can see more clearly how the each apply. I love it! Very fun, too!

The following are just a few of the many photos I took:

Pinecone Lily

Bottlebrush Flower

Ti Plant


Aside from forgetting to remove the date on the fern, I was intrigued. I have a lot of room for improvement. But, what I did, afterwards, was to go to a photo enhancing site and “tweek” several of the photos. That turned out some “interesting” images.

This is the Bottlebrush Flower with a setting of “Blackbody”.

It was a beautiful day out. I learned quite a bit yesterday. And, I got some pretty pictures, as well. I really need a better camera, though.