I’m Published & Magickal Birthday Celebration

First thing this morning, I checked my e-mail and noticed I had become a member to the “Fuel Brand Networks”.  Since I don’t have a membership, it dawned on me – this might be because of my article that I wrote for the “Fuel Your Creativity” website, one of the Fuel Brands’ networks. ( If you click the link to FYC, go to the upper right-hand side to their menu bar and click on Fuel Brand Networks, you will see all of the various platforms in which they are involved.)  So, I logged in and WALLAH, there it/I was!  
“5 Tips to Study By” was posted this morning.  This is the first time an article of mine has been posted on a website, much less one of the caliber of the Fuel Brand Network.  I had posted a comment to a discussion we were having on “Learning vs. Being Taught”.  Rob Bowen contacted me about writing the piece.  That was a week ago.  Now, I am ‘published’!!  (I always wanted to say that) 
I should send a link to Dr. O’Connell.  LOL  I found a local newspaper article about her.  She is the co-author of “Choice and Change: The Psychology of Personal Growth and Interpersonal Relationships”, Prentice Hall 2005.

Kudos, Dr. O’Connell!!

If you are wondering how this fits in with design, well, Rob explains this in the intro to the article.  We all go through our lives learning things.  Right now, I am in the midst of learning Photoshop.  Applying the principles that I learned from this class has been my saving grace.  I may not use all of them, but, a few stay with me, daily.  As soon as I find a “dependable‘ and good Photoshop course online, I’ll apply all that I need.
Incidentally, the other folks who also signed up for the free 6-month course are screaming “bait and switch” over on their forum.  I don’t know that these people could teach a cat to squat by the time this mess is over.  They just were not prepared.

So, I am working on a couple of things.  When they are ready, I’ll post them here.  I had to take a few days to recuperate after the chat we had over at Magickal Scraps forum on Friday evening.  Every time we have a chat, we never get any scrapping done.  We talk about all the ‘girl’ things and R-rated things we can’t talk about on the public forum.  It was hilarious, as usual.  But, I am always left with sore tummy muscles from laughing so much.  I’m sure that Snowy, Kyra, Edna, Nana, Marianna, and Crystal all experienced this, as well.  
One of the things that is coming up is Magickal Scraps First Birthday.  They are a year old now!  There is going to be quite a celebration!  The ladies have been working hard on a cool theme, “Just Magickal“.  Wait until you see the kit they made for the shop!  OMG!  Birthday!  Magick!  What more could we want?! There will be a sale to mark this milestone, as well as, all kinds of free downloads.  We’re also doing a BLOG TRAIN.  I am working on my part, now, since I was asked to contribute to this happy celebration.  The Blog Train comes this weekend.  So, look for us!
 Until later, CIAOU!
Su

                                                                                                                                                                                           
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Free 6-Month Photoshop Course a No-Go

In case anyone is interested, you didn’t miss anything with the “Free 6-Month Photoshop Class”.  Or, I should say, you missed everything!  The people who offered this course over-registered too many people.  For a class with a limit of 1000, my Thursdays have been spent trying to get logged in first.  Taking a chance that my slot was still available, I had to make repeated attempts to log in, only to not succeed.  I’m sure as hell glad I didn’t put out good money.  They would be giving me a refund, this afternoon!  This class was to be on “Masks”.  It was full, though, so, whatever!

I’m so let down.  I really want to take a good Photoshop course so I can learn more about the program.  Now, I need to start over in my search for another course.  Hopefully, I can find one that isn’t going to be hit-or-miss with logging in each week.  It just boggles the mind that these people can treat folks like this.  It’s WRONG!  They offered a course, I entered into an agreement to take it, and they didn’t keep their end of the ‘bargain’!  Bad business! 
Anyone know of a good Photoshop course?
Su(Sorry, but, this has ruined my day)

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Freebie, Mabon & Fuel

As I type this, it is the early dawn of Mabon. In case there is any question as to what Mabon is all about, I feel that this layout from Snowraven at Magickal Scraps, exhibits the spirit of this day.

Isn’t that beautiful!? Isn’t our earth magnificent! For an overview of Mabon that best explains the day, go to About.com. Personally, I am grateful for the sun which is coming up, right now. I thank goodness for having enough food to take care of my family and myself. As we settle in for another Florida winter, all eyes are on the Gators. For both, I am so blessed. Not nearly as blessed , though, as having a loving family, some cherished friends, online and off, and my health.

There’s another cool thing about this time of the year. Some believe that the veil between heaven and earth is at it’s thinnest. Halloween, or All Saints Day, has roots in the beliefs that the dead return to visit. The costume concept derived from people wearing masks to hide from the evil spirits that can cross over during this time, as well. Being such a believer in the paranormal, I look forward to, hopefully, receiving some sort of contact or sign. My father has been weighing on my thoughts, here, lately.

Holy Moly!! I almost forgot! I am so excited! I commented on a design website I frequent and was contacted to write an article on the subject. “FuelYourCreativity.com” has some interesting articles on working in the design field. On one, we were pondering whether it was better to learn or to be taught. I mentioned some good learning ‘habits’ I gleaned from a college professor of mine. This is what they requested from me – an article on these habits. I’ve written the piece and will submit it today. Just as soon as it comes out, I’ll post the link here. My professor had paid quite a bit of attention to details that work very well in learning any new material. They were something I learned in my first semester in college and I carry them with me, still.

While I am on the subject, FYC has about cornered the internet market in design sites. Have you seen what they are doing now? They just released a new site, “FuelYourBlogging.com“. Check it out. I am curious to see if they will be of some help with these Blogger blogs. But, more than that, there’s Fuel Your Photography, FYCoding, FYIllustration, or FYWriting, just to name a few. At FYC, click on the “FUEL BRAND NETWORK” item in the uppermost menu bar, at the far right. There is a list of all their ventures.

Speaking of learning, the 6-Month Photoshop course is working out fairly well. So far, I have had about 10 “ah-ha!” moments. LOL For all the times I have tweeked an image in PS, I just learned about the settings. This week we’re going to cover “masks”. It helps that I have a basic working knowledge of the program, already. Feels like we’re speaking the same language, at least.

Last, but, not least, I had been working on a new kit for a Yahoo group that I belong to, Casual Scrapping Group. The topic, as it was a challenge, was ‘late summer’ and we were given a color palette.


Since this time of the year, for me, is a time to celebrate the harvest, so to speak, I celebrate the bounty, so splendidly produced for us by nature. I give thanks for all we have, no matter how minute. What I did was to celebrate some of the less glamorous elements of nature. I will leave it to your imagination. That is, until you go download the kit from the Casual Scrapping Blog. I named it, “Celebrate Nature”.

Here is a preview:

Thank you for your interest. I enjoy the comments, too. Thank you!

Have a great day!

Su

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My Sword and New Collaboration Freebie

Have you ever heard, “the pen is mightier than the sword”? Well, this blog(pen) is going to be my sword, tonight. I am not a happy camper. There is an online shop in which I just tried to do business with that, not only ignored my requests for my ‘paid for’ product, but, turned around a blamed the designer for their lack of responding to my e-mails. Yeah! I haven’t heard of any problem like this with any of the shops around the web. I visit quite a few and have never ran into any problems, much less, having one of them show a complete lack of responsibility. In fact, it borders almost on theft, as they collected the money and never responded to my e-mails when I could not download it.

On Wednesday, I learned of a half-price sale at Digital Designer’s Den on Karen Stimson’s Cutwork Embroidery Action. I have been wanting this one. If you have ever used one of Karen’s actions, they are the finest there are out there. You get her quality craftsmanship, which is always tested for perfection, then, first rate customer ‘service’, if you should have questions. She is very personable in that way.

So, I Z-O-O-M-E-D over to DDD to buy this action. LOL The order was processed and went through my PayPal account and was cleared. Upon returning back to my DDD account, I couldn’t find the download. I searched everywhere. I thought maybe it was one that they would e-mail to me, so, I waited for several hours. When I didn’t find the download, I contacted the store through their “Contact” feature on the site. I asked that they let me know how to go about downloading this action.

The next day, I still hadn’t heard anything from this store. I returned to look, just in case the download had been made available. Not! So, I sent another contact e-mail. I was still polite, at this point. Late that night, it occurred to me that Karen might know how to contact the store owner since she sells in that store. I sent her an e-mail, letting her know what had happened and that I needed to get in touch with the store owner.

Dear, sweet, Karen. She sent me the action, right away, then promised to look in to the situation at the store, herself. She found things in quite a bit of disarray, shall we say. Karen was surprised and rather alarmed, to say the least. But, when she finally heard from the store owner, it was the final straw. They blamed her for the problem, including them not responding to my e-mails. I still can’t believe this is happening! If, for the sake of argument, the store owner didn’t get my e-mails, they would have learned of it from Karen and could have contacted me, then. But, they haven’t. What ever happened to giving a person what they paid for, people? What were they going to do? Just keep my money and blow me off? I don’t know and I can’t say because they haven’t the time, I guess, to contact me. This is pitiful! I finally sent an e-mail for them to remove my account from their records. No need keeping something that will never be used again, eh?

I don’t normally sound off, publicly, like this. It’s just that my few dollars that I spent over at this store was a big deal to me. I have built up my designer resources a little at a time, picking up an action here, a brush, or two, there, some backgrounds over there, all on an extremely limited budget. It isn’t right to not give a person what they have paid for. But, it is inexcusable to not respond to a customer’s reasonable requests! Karen did a good thing, trying to help me and get to the bottom of it. They did her wrong! ‘You live, you learn’, as Karen put it to me earlier. Bless her heart!

There’s one more bit of bull that I feel I should address here. If you use RapidShare, be aware that the folks who download from you are penalized by 2 minutes. This is the message that I get – repeatedly.

We regret that currently we have no available slots for free users. Unfortunately you will have to wait 2 minutes, this will allow us to continue to provide our service to our Premium users. Afterwards it will be checked again if you can access the file. If you do not want to wait that long, become Premium member

Maybe it’s the rebel in me, but, I WILL NOT BE COERCED IN THIS MANNER. I won’t stick around. I did that a few times, earlier today, and I have yet to download the file. I keep getting this message. I just want to forewarn anyone who uses RapidShare for their scrapbooking downloads, I will not wait around for naught. I don’t know about other folks, but, I don’t have the leisure of time. You might want to contact RapidShare, yourself, or use another file service. I totally understand the Premium membership being their priority. It is just that these people are the only ones doing this. Why should I pay for their service when I may only use it once every couple of weeks? There are too many other sites available. I don’t know if any one else is having this problem, yet, but, it is rather dumb, in my opinion. They’re spiting themselves.

Now, for some REALLY BIG news!


I have some really good news to tell about. I have joined up with the girls at Poser4U, Michelle and Linda, to help promote scrapbooking kits with Posers included. They make the cutest little beauties, from imps to sirens. Now, with the Posers in the scrapbooking kit, the kit is suitable for a lot more, like tags, greetings cards, whatever you may wish. It gives them more personality, too! LOL

Here is a brand new kit, “Raspberry Lemonade”. Click on the image to go to the download (“Scrap Kits” link is at the bottom-left.) .


Aren’t they pretty? They go so well with the design of this kit. (Shhh… There are more Posers included.)

Go check out Poser4U. Scroll down to the bottom on the left-hand side to go to the page where they have the kits with the download links. They are downloaded from 4Shared. Some of the kits are new to this blog; some are the very same, only, now featuring the addition of the Posers. I had made some stuff before I started blogging it, so, there is some ‘new’ material, along with the Poser adds. I sure hope you will have a look. When you do, please take a minute to sign the ‘Guest Book’ over there. I would appreciate that and I know Michelle and Linda would, too. As of this posting, there are seven(7) kits up for downloading.

Soon, we will be putting up a Halloween kit for you. Be sure to watch for it.

Thank you for your time and interest.

Su

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HOPE

(Note: I started this post on the 5th of September, last Saturday. It took me a bit to finish, but, here it is.)

So, it’s Saturday afternoon. It’s sunny, here, in Florida, but, not hot. Today is a bit different. My daughter and I both noticed that we can smell fall in the air. We can hear it, too. It’s a long-ways-off sound from distant trucks and other urban noise. It may have something to do with the Florida Gators, our hometown football team, opening their season tonight. There’s always a bit of a buzz around this town on game days. I love being a fan, especially, since the Gators have a spot for the SEC Championship award slotted on their office wall – permanently. LOL They’ve won back-to-back titles AND the basketball championship, all at, or around, the same time. We’re spoiled! LOL

See! Even the “big guy” upstairs gets in to the act on game day! LOL


I do believe that my last surgical procedure was in vain. What I thought was going to be a much-needed reprieve from pain, for a little while, is just not to be. Doc doubled my med dose – duh-oh! LOL And, he is sending me to a specialist this week. I don’t know what will happen. I haven’t cried so much in years. I am not that old. Yet, I can’t do anything! What is troubling me the most is that it feels like my body “speed” dropped down to ‘turtle mode’, or something. I couldn’t hurry if I had to! I don’t know what it is. It’s like each and every movement I make, I have to gauge myself so much more that it takes me forever to do anything. What is up with that!?? I can understand people slow down, but, this has come about in the past couple of months.

I guess what is really bothering me is that I thought I had accepted my turn in life. I have spent plenty of time on my spirituality and coming to know myself. Every step of the way has been pure bliss. Things flowed so smoothly for me for such a long time. Then, this back trouble stirred up again. I had been managing to get by with very few medications. Instead, I have learned meditation, relaxation, anything and everything I could, in order to carry on with my life in as much comfort as possible. I had accepted my plight and that I may, one day, lose my ability to get around as well.

I don’t know what happened. I’m sure not handling it very well, here, lately.

UPDATE:
Since I started this post, I paid my visit to the new doc. This dude thinks there is something else going on besides those chards. He seems to think the place between my hip bone and my tail bone, the sacro-iliac, has issues. This is the area:


This is the FIRST time a doctor has zeroed in on the spot that has caused me so much pain! He knew right where to press on my backside. I’ve had neurological tests and every ‘scan’ there is. They have been hitting close to the area and easing some of the discomfort. But, never has the exact spot been identified. Praise be to Dr. Tom! NOW, maybe we can get somewhere. I hope.

When I get so bogged under with pain, I tend to be forgetful. Who wouldn’t? The main thing I forgot, this trip, was to cope. My ways of coping are, generally, meeting life head-on. No sense in hiding from it – it will find you. I normally shield myself from any negativity and I’m quite good at it. It just got the best of me, this time. I owe a multitude of THANKS to my friend, Snowraven, and the other good ladies at MagickalScraps. Snowy reminded me that there is always ‘hope’. I never really thought about it before, but, having hope takes me out of the moment in which
I feel stuck. Like a dose of ‘good medicine’, hope can take the futility out of a situation like nothing else. It is so simple, why has it been so elusive? LOL So, THANKS be to Snowy AND Pandora.

Finally, I have a kit to share. I did this one for the September Colour Challenge at MagickalScraps. Rather than giving us a colour palette, Snowy asked that we choose our own colours, but, one each of the four primary colours, red, blue, green and red, and one brown. The colours could be light or pastelle, or dark. Then, we were to use the colour palette in a kit with a late summer theme. First, a little ‘back story’ on my inspiration for this kit.

This time of the year, late summer, reminds me of summer afternoons, in the country, as a young hippie chick. LOL The old farmhouse we would hang out at was a friend’s family’s, but, they used it only occasionally. So, we took up residence, almost, every summer. As the days wore on, we sought respite from the sweltering Florida heat. The Santa Fe river was only a mile away. We’d load up in the van and go for cool swims in the springs, there, on the river, known as Rum Island. (Years ago, a hidden island, inset from springs area was a hide out for rum being brought up the network of inland rivers from the Gulf of Mexico.) Once in a while we would go over to the beach and camp out in the dunes. Somebody always had a guitar, there was usually plenty of ‘herbals’ and I had my bottle of Strawberry Farm. LOL We were never at a loss for something to do to cool off. A watermelon was just a hop over the fence. I miss those days.

Without further adieu, “Late Summer at the Farm”.
(Click on each image to go to 4Shared for that download)

Elements

Papers
Thank you for your interest!

Have a hearty and rewarding Mabon.



Su

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