28 October 2009

10 Star Wars Features for the Motorola Droid

Here's a playful look from PC Magazine on how to make Verizon's new Android handset the best phone in the galaxy. Click here or on the image to read the whole article. I liked the ideas of the "Pocket Chewbacca" combination GPS navigator/laser crossbow and the "Holographic Video Calling."

May the Force be with you!

19 September 2009

Arrr Matey! It be International Talk Like A Pirate Day an' here be some treasure fer ye!

My pirate name is:

Calico Charity Bonney

Often indecisive, you can't even choose a favorite color. You're apt to follow wherever the wind blows you, just like Calico Jack Rackham, your namesake. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate's life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
part of the fidius.org network
Here be some booty fer yer ship - er, computer -
free TLAP wallpaper. I dug up 2 sizes so you can outfit any size ship.
There be no date on it so ye can re-use it every year!

Click here or click the image above.

17 September 2009

I'm having a "Going on an Extended Vacation" sale!

Don't despair...I'm not quitting, just taking a much needed break. I'm taking a vacation from designing to work on a few personal projects. But, before I go, and for the first time ever, you can buy my entire store!

For just $25 you'll get over $230 worth of products! And, everything is scrap for others (S4O) friendly - no extra charge!

The sale runs from September 16-30 - Take only what you want or take it all!

After you purchase my store, I'll send you a special coupon code and you will have until October 15th to complete your downloads. After that everything will be removed from the servers!

Here's an general overview of what you'll get...

5 sets of 5x7 Album Templates, 3 fun Alphabets, 3 sets of 4x6 Brag
Book Album Templates, 3 sets of Quick Page Albums, 4 Scottish Clan Packs, 7 Element sets, 7 Full Kits, 6 Mini Kits, 5 Kit Add-ons, 9 Holiday Ornaments, 4 Memory Purse Quick Page inserts, and 3 sets of Semi-PreMade Pages templates!

Please visit my blog and my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/catriona.macgregor) now and then to check for updates. Feel free to e-mail me any time, too. I will continue to take special requests.

As a famous California governor once said, "I'll be back."

11 July 2009

Peace, Love, and Happiness: a new alphabet pack in the shop!

It's about time I had a new product...I'm such a slacker...LOL!
So here it is: That 70s Kit - Suede Fringe Alphabet.

This groovy alphabet and number set is decorated with embroidered flowers and leaves and even contains a farout fringy bracket. It's perfect for all your retro photos or your 'Back to the 70s' parties! It also works well for those 1960s Woodstock-style layouts.

On sale now for only $2!

23 June 2009

Going to Dinner and the Theater

We're going to experience Goran Bregovic and His Wedding and Funeral Orchestra tonight with our Montenegrin friends.

"Roots in the Balkans where he stems from, head in the 21st Century which he fully inhabits, Goran Bregovic's music marries sounds of a gypsy brass band with traditional Bulgarian polyphonies, those of an electric guitar and traditional percussion with a curious rock accent all against a background of a bedeviled string orchestra and deep sonorities of a male choir, creating music that our soul recognizes instinctively and the body greets with an irresistible urge to dance."

According to our friends, he rocks the house and there will be dancing in the aisles!

Before that, we're going to spend some time at Pike Place Market and have a lovely seafood dinner down there.

Best of all - it's a sunny, Seattle day today!

31 May 2009

Welcome Mari!

May was an eventful month for our family...

A new granddaughter...

a vacation...

and a nasty virus (I'm better now!).

05 May 2009

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Since I'm very calorie conscious these days...down 13 pounds so far!...I often have to skip cocktail time. However, I found this "guilt-free margarita" recipe just in time for summer! One regular margarita can contain up to 250 calories (or more if you add some yummy amaretto or grand mariner...sigh!).

Here's the lower calorie (105) and low carb (2g*) recipe to try:
  • 6 ounces of diet lemon-lime soda
  • 1.5 ounces of tequila
  • 1/2 tsp. powdered sugar-free lemonade (or try another flavor)
  • 1/4 tsp orange extract (optional - but good!)
  • 1 ounce of lime juice*
Mix all the ingredients together and pour over crushed ice in a margarita glass. OLE!

*Carbs: 2g using bottled lime juice or 2.5g for fresh lime juice

01 May 2009

Seattle Beer Week is coming!

drink local beerThe first ever Seattle Beer Week is scheduled for the 7th through the 17th of May - a ten day week! It will highlight the best of what Seattle and the Northwest beer community has to offer - from the numerous award winning breweries and world class pubs to a community of beer lovers like no other. Seattle Beer Week is 10 days of bubbly fun at over 100 different events all around the greater Seattle area. The schedule is filled with brewer dinners, mini-beer festivals, and special limited edition brews made just for the event.

The kick off event is May 7th from 5-7 pm at Pike Brewing in the lower level of Pike Place Market. They will release a never seen or tasted before Double IPA as the inaugural commemorative brew.

But wait! There's more!

You know the night can't possibly end at 7 pm...that's inconceivable! (Vizzini, The Princess Bride) Both before and after the kick off there are numerous places to enjoy a tasty beverage or three.
  • The Pub at Pipers Creek is featuring a Boulder Beer Happy Hour with a release of the new India Brown Anniversary Ale (4-6 pm)
  • Beveridge Place Pub is featuring a full night of Cask beer
  • Bottleworks is having an Iron Horse Brewing tasting.
  • The Park Pub is holding a Boulder Beer Brewers night (just in case you missed the one at Pipers Creek) featuring great beers, swag, and the release of the new India Brown Anniversary Ale (7-10 pm)
For more information, here's a great calendar of events and here's the official Seattle Beer Week web site.


Hooray, hooray, it's the first of May!

It's also the first day of Beltane...a Celtic quarter day and the start of
the Celtic summer season. Summer? Good grief...Spring has only just
begun and in some places they're still getting snow! Celebrate by
placing a May Day bouquet of flowers on your door (or a friend's door
as a special surprise!) and light a Beltane bonfire outdoors (or in your
fireplace) tonight. If you're in the city, you may want to just light a

Beltane is also a fertility festival. If you're in the mood, you just might
want to snuggle up with your sweetie by that nice romantic blaze
...who knows what might happen!

Last night, 30 April, the Beltane Society held their annual Fire Festival
on Calton Hill in Edinburgh, Scotland. It's a "spectacular revival of the
ancient Celtic fertility festival in the heart of the Scottish capital;" a
"unique and wild procession of fire, drumming, and revelry." If you
were fortunate and got to attend, tell us all about it and send a link
to your photos!

24 April 2009

What {Pantone} Color Are You?

Colorstrology will match your birthday with a
Pantone color and a fun personality profile.

Mine is a warm cocoa color called Aragon
(oooh - LOTR flash!): Pantone 17-1532.
I'm a "sharp witted communicator."
How right on is that!?!

The web site also has an e-card feature to
send your friends a colorful note on their
birthday or whenever.

What's your color?

22 April 2009

Make a difference on Earth Day and everyday (and a freebie!)

Earth Day is celebrated annually on 22 April but that doesn't mean it's the only day we should focus on the protection of our environment. Here are five simple actions you can take at work and at home throughout the year.

You’ve got the power. Turn off your computer monitor, lights, and other electronic equipment when you’re not using them. Make sure that you turn on any energy-saving features.

Take part in a ride of passage. Instead of driving, start or join a carpool, or walk, bike or use mass transportation instead. By leaving your car at home twice a week, you could cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1,500 pounds (680 kilograms) per year.

I’ll drink to that. Recycle beverage containers such as paper cups, aluminum cans, and plastic soda bottles. Instead of paper or foam cups, use a reusable mug, glass, or water bottle.

Think before you ink. Print as a necessity, not as a convenience. If you must print a document or an e-mail, use two-sided (duplex) printing to save paper. Check your printer's manual or help files to learn how to print on both sides.

Lend a hand. Participate in an Earth Day event at work or in your community. Find one near you here.

Got kids? Get them involved, too. Here's a web site with information and activites geared to kids of all ages. It's never too early to teach our kids about the environment.

Remember, YOU can make a difference and not just on Earth Day — but on every day of every year. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) web site for more information.

Challenge: Make a scrapbook page or two to show what you and your family are doing to protect Mother Earth. To get you started, here's a yummy freebie to use on your Earth Day layouts or greeting cards. Click on the image to download it.

06 April 2009

Happy Tartan Day! [and a freebie!]

Are you wearing your tartan? I am!

In the United States and Canada, Tartan Day is held on 6 April, the anniversary of the date on which the Declaration of Arbroath was created in 1320. The city of New York celebrates with a Tartan Week.

Today is the 11th anniversary of the official proclamation of 6 April as National Tartan Day. It's really an International holiday as it's celebrated in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and, of course, Scotland. To learn more about it, click here.

To help you celebrate the day, and because it's so close to Easter this year, here's a free Saltire egg for you! (By the way...the quote on the preview is from the Declaration of Arbroath.) Click on the image below to download it.

Send your friends to this blog so they can get their own copy.

Slainte! {Gaelic for Cheers!}

03 April 2009

Good Karma Friday: Fisher Houses

The US Army has a program similar to Ronald McDonald House called Fisher House. They are comfortable, temporary homes filled with warm, caring people who help families endure the stresses associated with a loved one's serious medical condition. Family members of an active duty or retired service member who is being treated at the nearby military hospital pay only $10.00* per night to stay in a Fisher House. In some locations, outpatients may also stay in the house. The typical stay is about 10 days but guest can stay as long as necessary...even up to a year if their military loved one needs extensive treatment.

Fisher House™ Foundation and the Fisher House™ program depends on public donations to continue its important work; the Army provides no financial support. The funding for the operations and maintenance of Army Fisher Houses comes primarily from two sources: the small service charge ($10 per family-night) and your charitable contributions.

Here's your Good Karma Friday opportunities...

Donate Money!

Donated money is used to improve facilities, provide amenities for the guests, celebrate holidays, and enhance the range of services provided.
  • You can make a donation to benefit all the Army Fisher Houses by sending a check to the program's main office. Click here for the address.
  • You can send a check directly to a specific Fisher House.
    Note: Donations made to a specific Army Fisher House are spent on that house.
Donate Frequent Flier Miles!

The nonprofit Fisher House Foundation administers the "Hero Miles" program for the Department of Defense. Through this program, frequent flyer members of designated airlines can donate their miles to the Fisher House Foundation who provides free airline tickets to military men and women and their families who are undergoing treatment at a military or VA medical center as a result of their service in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Donate Time!

Fisher Houses depend on volunteers like you! All volunteering is done at the local level, and not through the Fisher House Foundation in Rockville, MD. Contact the manager of a Fisher House near you either by telephone or e-mail. The manager will let you know what they need help with.

27 March 2009

Good Karma Friday - Random Acts of Kindness Day: Sunday 29 March

Sunday, 29 March, is a "Random Acts of Kindness Day" brought to you by the Karma Experiment group on Facebook. You are cordially invited to make a conscious effort to make a difference in someone else's life...'pay it forward'...anywhere you are on the planet.

Random acts of kindness (RAK) result in significant benefits, both physical and mental, for those who perform them and those that receive them.

RAKTo take part, all you have to do is one (or more) random act of kindness at anytime during the day. You can do your RAK anonymously or tell us about it by leaving a comment here.

Together, we CAN be that change and makes an impact in everyone's lives.

Visit the
Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.

17 March 2009

Gypsy Sailors heading for the South Seas

My good friend Marilyn, and her hubby Russ, recently put everything in storage, rented out their house, and took off sailing away to the South Pacific and tropical beaches...on a five year or so journey to wherever the trade winds blow them.

In days of yore, communication would be the odd letter or post card. Today, we can e-mail through the short wave radio and track their journey online through a marvelous site called ShipTrak. Every once in a while, Marilyn gets to a port with wifi or an internet-capable library and uploads stories and photos to their blog. In this way, we get to travel with them virtually.

I love technology...thank you , Internet! Now, if only we could get smell-a-vision invented...

13 March 2009

Good Karma Friday: The Road Home Charity CD

I am a big fan of the Scottish band Runrig. If you haven't heard their rendition of Loch Lomond...OMG! Click on the video below from their concert at Loch Lomond in 1991. You won't be disappointed! While cruising their web site the other day I came across a note about a charity CD that they and other Scottish musicians (mostly based in Skye) put together to benefit the Highland Hospice in Inverness. Artists include: Peatbog Faeries, Donnie (Munro), Blair Douglas, Arthur Cormack, and Dochas. Runrig close the album with "And the Accordions Played." Read the article here: http://www.runrig.co.uk/news.html#Roadhome

Why not support a great service and enjoy some unique Scottish music - order yours today. I did!

10 March 2009

Product Review: New Seasons® Digital Scrapbooking Kits

Publications International, Ltd. started in the traditional scrapbooking game with archival quality traditional scrapbooking kits that included a booklet of 16 pre-printed 12x12 papers, a sheet of stickers, and a sheet of perforated diecuts. Recently, they've entered the digital scrapbooking arena with their New Seasons® line of themed digital kits, called Digital Album – Simple 1-2-3™, that include specialized software and post-bound albums. It's perfect introduction to the world of digital scrapbooking as well as a simple solution for those with very little time and a lot of photos to get out of the camera and into albums. Best of all, it's only $14.95.

The new digital scrapbooking kits feature a fabric or suede covered 12.65"x9" post-bound album with 10 page protectors that fit 11"x8.5" horizontal pages. The software comes with 24 pre-designed quick pages as well as 16 additional background papers and over 50 tags, ribbons, word art titles, and other assorted matching elements to created your own digital layouts.

The software is PC compatible (sorry Mac) and uses only the designs built into it so you cannot add images from other sources. It also features a variety of ways you can share your creations: print on your own printer, save as a graphic (jpg format) to upload to a photo sharing site or gallery, put it on a CD to print at a retail store or online photo processing site, send in an e-mail, or even save as an HTML file to post online.

The pages can be printed on any standard color printer, but the prints may have a white border anywhere from 1/4" to 1/2" on all sides. Do a test page before you print them all. Most photo-quality printers have a setting to print your pages from edge-to-edge (called a full bleed). Choose that option in the printer preferences for a more professional look. For best results, use the paper and ink suggested by the manufacturer.

The Publications International, Ltd. web site has no individual kit descriptions, however, there is a short demo video and a downloadable PDF flyer with more information. They don't list the Baby theme but I found it (and the other kits) at a local discount super-store in their craft/sewing department. I'm giving it to my tradtional scrapping daughter-in-law at her baby shower to bring her over to the 'digital side' .... bwahhaahaaa!

Available themes: Baby, Wedding, Travel, Traditional Memories, Modern Memories

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Publications International, Ltd. and did not get anything from this company to write this review. I bought both the Travel and Baby themed kits myself. However, if any of them read this review...I won't turn down any 'gifts' they may want to send...hint hint! ;-)

Consumer Service:
Publications International, Ltd.
Attn: Consumer Service
7373 N. Cicero Ave.
Lincolnwood, IL 60712
800-595-8484 (phone)

Warranty Registration and Claims:
Publications International, Ltd.
Attn: Warranty
820 N. Orleans #301
Chicago, IL 60610
800-454-9006 (phone)

Corporate Office:
Publications International, Ltd.
7373 N. Cicero Ave.
Lincolnwood, IL 60712
847-676-3470 (phone)
847-676-3671 (fax)

20 February 2009

Good Karma Friday: Victorian (Australia) Bushfire Appeal

The 2009 Victorian Bushfire Fund was launched by Australian Premier John Brumby in partnership with the Red Cross and the Australian government. It will assist individuals and communities affected by the recent, and still continuing, devastating bushfires in Victoria, Australia.

Over 30 Australian and international digi designers have come together to create a charity kit called "Spirit of Summer" with 100% of the proceeds going directly to either the Australian Red Cross or the Salvation Army. You donate to one or both of them, send a copy of your receipt to Carolyn at Scrap-n-Tag, and she will send you a coupon code to download the mega kit. If you donate $10 or more you also get a matching quickpage album. Of course I wanted it all, so I donated over $10! ;-) You should, too!

Click the image below to go to the Scrap-n-Tag store and read more about it.

But wait! There's more!
If you also send me a copy of your donation I will send you a coupon to download my mini kit "Firestorm" created during the devastating fires that roared through San Diego in October 2007. This mini kit isn't just for those who have experienced a house fire or forest fire, it's also for layouts of a "Fire Sale," or someone you think is "Hot Stuff," a "Five Alarm Chili" meal, or even a "Firefighter" in your family! Hey ladies, how about those crazy "hot flashes?" LOL! The kit includes: 4 hot papers, 1 flaming overlay, 1 burning mat, 5 word art titles, 10 numbers, and 1 rogue flame.


19 February 2009

Play the Google Search Game

Here's a fun time waster you can share with your friends and family. It's sort of like the popular fill-in-the-blank travel game, Mad-Libs. Some of the answers you find online may be a bit risque, so you'll have to be your own "appropriateness police" if you want to share it with your kids.

In the Google Search bar, add your name and the additional word or words (remember to include the quotation marks) and click 'search' or press 'enter.' Make sure to use the featured text from the first link that comes up...otherwise it's cheating!!!

1) "[your name] needs"
2) "[your name] looks like"
3) "[your name] says"
4) "[your name] wants"
5) "[your name] does"
6) "[your name] hates"
7) "[your name] asks"
8) "[your name] likes"
9) "[your name] eats"
10) "[your name] wears"
11) "[your name] was arrested for"
12) "[your name] loves"

Here's my answers:

1) Catriona needs to lend me her boobs.
2) Catriona looks like she is flying.
3) Catriona says "It's a fair question."
4) Catriona wants Daisy healed.
5) Catriona does not have any public playlists.
6) Catriona hates the alcoholic former good-time girl who was the antithesis of the good mother.
7) Catriona asks Dave if he could write her a reference she could show to future employers.
8) Catriona likes that Mathew Wilder song I have on my iPod.
9) Catriona eats up her breakfast.
10) Catriona wears a special uniform hat.
11) Catriona was arrested for treason.
12) Catriona loves braids.

07 February 2009

Ard Choille! Remembering Glen Fruin: 7 February 1602

The Rout of Glen Fruin
Sir Walter Scott

Auld Scotia's page inhuman turn
And read if man was made to murn,
See reivers hang and witches burn and clans proscribed,
See treachery the faithful spurn and justice bribed.

Twa Gregarach on an evil day
Hungered, a mountain sheep did slay;
The Clan Colquhoun made muckle play and vengeance sware
Ere noon-tide upon Luss dool-brae they breathed nae mair.

Frae Stronachlacher to Glen Strae
The fiery cross went nicht and day
To muster Gregarach's wild array frae cot and clachan;
At dawn or mist had left the brae they quat the bracken.

The reek gaed up frae roof and stack
What they found white they left it black,
The claymores clang, the muskets crack, in this wild hership
There's neither hoose, nor kirk, alack, for rest or worship.

Buchanan, Graham, and Colquhoun
Gaed to the King to crave his boon
To gaither horse and foot richt soon to quell Macgruther
To slaughter man and bairn and loon and stain the heather.

Or lang baith armoured knichts and foot
Are banded up frae miles aboot
And rowed I orra tartan cloot frae green to yellow,
And ilka roque frae Ayr to Bute here has his fellow.

Clan Gregor's chief ne'er grat nor swore
But loupit bareserk to the door
While beltin on his guid claymore and bull-hide targe
Syne doon the wild Fruin's craggy shore he led the charge.

Noo what a scene o' wild turmoil
The Gregarach's blood was on the boil
And ilka time they screamed "Ard Choille" slashed a het haggis;
Wi' little thoucht e'en for the spoil louped rocks and craggies.

It's thoucht a deed maist sinister
Was wroucht upon a minister
Wha soucht the smell of sin astir and cam to view
The slaughterin o' Alastair and a' his crew.

Agin the wild Clan Gregor gents
It seems the clerical comments
Upon these bellicose events were ower severe
Macintauch stopped a' arguments; breath, too, I fear.

King Jamie Saxt got up a greet
He drooled and slavered to his feet
And bade them send a burning peat to roose Argyll;
Syne clapt upon his royal seat near chokt wi' bile.

A fearsome weird maun Gregor dree
To hang on ilka gallows tree
Nae meat nor drink but cauld snaw-bree and Campbell's hounds;
Nae succour in extremity frae plaque or wounds.

Nae name, nae land, nae folk, nae grace,
But what they seek at graceless face,
Buried like beasts beyond a trace or help o' kirk;
Between them and a savage race a pointless dirk.

But outlawry's a t wa-edged blade,
Ane law is lost, anither's made;
Ilka outrage Clan Gregor paid in measure full,
Life for a life and head for head, their golden rule.

Intrigued? Read more: http://www.clangregor.org/macgregor/article-glenfruin.html

28 January 2009

Shutterfly is giving you an 8x8 present for your Valentines

Please, please take advantage of this great deal! I made this "Year in Review" book in 2007 and was very impressed with the quality.
2007 YIR
This offer doesn't expire until the end of next month, so you have plenty of time to get your photos together and make a free book. I made a book in 2007 and was very impressed with the quality.

Shutterfly has some pre-designed theme pages so all you have to do is plop your photos into the spaces and then type out some text. But, if you're into 'digital scrapbooking' and want to customizeyour pages, you can do that, too. They have free templates on the web site that you can use in Photoshop or your favorite photo editing software to help you make sure your custom pages fit correctly when they're printed.

The coupon includes a custom photo bookcover, too, which is always a nice touch. if your book turns out to be more than the included 20 pages, you just have to pay for the extra pages. Click on the advertisement below for a larger view.

Happy scrapping!

24 January 2009

Project 365 (2009) - Week Three Complete

15. too tired to take anything but a picture of my pillow.
16. lynn joins the ranks of the beaver sisters
17. a rustic christmas angel that will stay up all year long
18. jessi’s son merlyn’s 1st birthday cake
19. monday me: left hand
20. the capitol building looks like a fancy cake on inauguration day
21. attack cats

I'm using my Full Moon Crazy kit for all of this month's layouts.
It's currently on sale for only $2!

To see more of my 2009 Project 365 layouts, visit my special Project 365 Lifestyle blog.

23 January 2009

Good Karma Friday: Eco-friendly printing ideas

We all want to do our part to save resources by being conscientious about wasting paper and ink to print e-mails ("I just have to show this funny joke to the guys and gals at work!") and documents and such, but sometimes you really do need a hard copy to hold in your hands. Next time you find yourself in that situation, and it doesn't matter what font you use, try Ecofont from Sprang. It will make you feel a wee bit better about revving up the printer...and it's free!

ecofontEcofont (based on Verdana) is designed to use up to 20% less ink - which is also good for your printer supply budget, too. How does it do this? The tiny 'dot' pattern is actually blank spaces where ink doesn't print.

To make you feel even better, use recycled paper in your printer as often as possible. You can find it at your local office supply store or by searching on "recycled paper" in your favorite browser. Another good source is Conservatree with information for professional and individual paper buyers, how to choose the right paper, papermaking instructions, tips on reducing waste, and much more. I also found recycled paper information in the Eco-Mall with a list of sites for printers, artists, and companies that make paper out of alternative things (even elephant poo - no kidding!).

By the way, I don't recommend using any of your own handmade paper - it's generally a bit too thick!

20 January 2009

On this historic day...you get an Inauguration Day Freebie!

Many of us around the world are creating scrapbook pages about this historic day. Here's a free word art title to help commemorate it. Click on the image to download it.

Please send your friends to this blog to get their own copy. They may learn something here that they didn't know before!

16 January 2009

Good Karma Friday: Donate 44 cans or $44 to a food bank near you

Good Karma Fridayyes we canIn honor of the inauguration of the 44th president of the US this next Tuesday, the Family Works Food Bank in Seattle has started a special food drive. They are asking you to collect $44 or 44 cans of food to donate between now and the inauguration. If you are not in the area and would like to donate cash, they have a link on their web site. If you have local food bank, donate to them instead.

Like many other food banks, Family Works Food Bank has seen a dramatic increase in need in recent months. With so many more people in need, they also needed more donors. That's when a bolt of inspiration came from President-elect Barack Obama. Mr. Obama is calling for more community service along with his motto, "Yes we can." That's the motto of Family Work's inauguration food drive.

YES we can pull together,
YES we can work together,
YES we can build a strong community together.

Remember - donate to your local food bank often. There are people in need all year long, not just at the holidays.

11 January 2009

Living the Project 365 Lifestyle

Introducing a special dedicated blog just for my Project 365 layouts, photo ideas, and motivating tips: The Project 365 Lifestyle. Join me on a continuing year long journey. Visit often!

05 January 2009

Project 365 heats up in 2009 - it's everywhere!

Caution - this is a bit long because there are so many ideas for getting started that will help you right now!

Last year, participating in Project 365 was popular, but this year it's everywhere you look - worldwide!! I've heard of at least five digi shops that are hosting, challenges, numerous Facebook groups you can join, a paper scrapping kit by Becky Higgins (that has sold out already!), and I'm sure there are many more folks out there who are participating in their own ways. Some participants on Facebook and are going to post their photos and layouts in their personal photo albums. Invite your family and friends to play along with you...it's fun to take photos together! Don't forget to have the kids play along - it would be amazing to see the year from child's point of view.

I just can't say enough about this project and highly encourage you to join in. By 'join in" I don't mean you have to JOIN a group if you don't want to. I did it all on my own last year and really enjoyed it. It sure was an easy way to create a comprehensive album about our everyday life that will be fun to look back on for my whole family - after all, they were mostly involved, too! I'll still make special albums about events or vacations but I think this will be the way I create my annual family album from now on.

Feel free to start your project 365 anytime - a few of you already have - and don't be afraid to start late. January 1 isn't the only good date to start...lots of other countries and nations have their new year starting on a different date. And, if you want to do a pregnancy theme, you'll definitely be starting on an alternate date!

Are you a teacher? Do a shortened version with your class and document the school year, a semester, or a quarter. At the end of the designated time period, choose a different weekly layout from each pupil and have an art show...so many possibilities.

Since I am such an advocate for documenting life this way, I decided to host Project 365 in the Plain Digital Wrapper challenge forum and give away the weekly templates, featuring 7 photos per page, that I created for my 2008 album...all totally FREE. I created all 52 of them (and a cover) to document my photos because I was too lazy to upload a photo to my blog every day - LOL! My 2008 photos are not all placed into the templates yet - I'm up to week 34.

I have also created a Project 365 with Plain Digital Wrapper (PDW) group on Facebook where anyone can join and post photos and comments.

If you're hesitant or aren't ready for such a commitment, why not start out doing a photo a week? Once you get in the habit of taking your camera everywhere you go (even to the grocery store) you'll find it's actually pretty easy. And with all the free templates out there - including mine - putting it all together is a snap!

My 2008 Project 365 was about our everyday life and interesting things I observed. One day I took a picture of an oil spot in a parking lot on a rainy day just because it had a cool rainbow effect! Since everyday life is pretty eclectic (mine is anyway), I decided to NOT have a particular theme except for making the background the same for facing pages. However, if you need to have a theme or a theme helps you get inspired, why not do a week for each family member and pet, a week or two for a vacation or trip, 365 days in the garden, 365 days of recipes (for all you foodies out there), add in a photo of you or a family member once a week (very fun to look back on at the end and in the years to come!), or if you have a DSLR camera, play with the settings and document what you used for your photo.

Secret tip: I actually had a few uninspired days last year where I just couldn't find anything to take a picture of or I just plain forgot. To fill in those days I took extra shots of the garden, scenery, indoor closeups, etc. It's not really cheating because I did take the photo - it's being 'creative' in finding an easy solution! ;-)

I'll be posting more tips and storage and printing ideas as the year goes along. I'll also be giving out extras (papers and elements) from time to time. But, with 7 photos on a page there isn't much room! Besides, I know you already have a bunch of digi stuff in your collection - here's a chance to use some of it!

02 January 2009

Good Karma Friday - Show your Wikilove

Like many of you, I use Wikipedia almost every day and now Wikipedia needs help to keep it free of charge and free of advertising - a thing near and dear to all our hearts! The job of the Wikimedia Foundation is to provide easy access to information for people all over the world. As a non-profit, it is dependent on our help to do that. Donations directly support some of the most popular collaboratively-edited reference projects in the world, including Wikipedia, one of the world's top ten most popular websites and the largest encyclopedia ever compiled in human history.

Our donations will help in several ways: helping to cover the increasing cost of managing global traffic to one of the most popular websites on the Internet, helping to improve the software that runs Wikipedia, and recruiting new volunteers and building strategic partnerships with institutions of culture and learning.

Be aware that there a minimum donation of $30. The donation processing has certain fees and processing costs attached and the minimum donation covers those costs as well as allowing the donation to get where the donor wants it most: to support free and open global knowledge.

Here's a Q&A web page that talks about the foundation and how it spends the donations.

01 January 2009

Homecoming 2009 - Let me tell you that I love you...

I don't know if you can see
The changes that have come over me
In these last few days I've been afraid
That I might drift away
So I've been telling old stories, singing songs
That make me think about where I came from
And that's the reason why I seem
So far away today
Oh, but let me tell you that I love you
That I think about you all the time
Caledonia you're calling me
And now I'm going home.
~ 'Caledonia' by Dougie MacLean

The year-long festival kicks off on the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns birth, 25 January 2009, and runs until St. Andrew's Day, 30 November 2009. The events center around five main themes - Robert Burns, whisky, golf, great Scottish minds and innovations, and Scotland's culture and heritage. A few of the scheduled events are:
  • January - a celebration of the songs of Robert Burns at the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow
  • May - a month of whisky with distillers across the country opening up their doors
  • July - the biggest Clan gathering in 200 years in Edinburgh
  • November - a celebration of Scottish music throughout the country
Get details, plan your trip, and more on the Homecoming 2009 web site: http://www.homecomingscotland.com

New Digital Celt designs coming in 2009

In addition to miscellaneous yet-to-be-imagined digital and hybrid products, I am definitely planning to create the following fabulous goodies!

A special Homecoming 2009 digital scrapbooking kit including a convenient matching 20 page "Semi-Premade Pages - template with a twist" album to get those memories scrapped and printed to share with your family and create a lasting legacy.

A Homecoming Heritage Add-on Pack featuring family heritage/genealogy quick pages will also be available in early 2009. Customize your album and add your family tartan and Clan badge to your pages with a Clan Pack.

Don't see yours? New Clan Packs will be added frequently...and you can always send in a special request.

A Celtic Child collaboration kit with my online designer friend Belanna, is in the planning and development stages so I'm not sure what it will contain, but you can bet it's gonna be great!