Ok I had to do it. I was checking out Shutterfly's photobooks and found their character books. My children love Spongebob, but my 2yo is obsessed with him. In February we had a combined birthday party for Alex and Nate - and the theme was Spongebob. So, sucker that I am, I finished and ordered the Spongebob book from Shutterfly. Nate will flip!
The book is all pre-done pages, so it was extremely frustrating to have no flexibility regarding photo size and layout, journaling, etc. I am accustomed to the creative options of Heritage Makers studio online and with Photoshop on my laptop. But I just couldn't resist the themed book. The boys will love it.
And. . . I'm 2/5 of my way through Christmas books! Last year I picked up a cool Christmas eve tradition from Stacy Julian. I bought big round hat boxes from Hobby Lobby, one for each kid, and filled them with new pajamas, slippers, the annual ornament, and a personalized photobook. The kids loved them. If I can resist the desire to show the books to them immediately, these will be perfect for the hat boxes. Now to figure out the other 3 kids . . .
I think I am becoming an Action junkie. Finally figured out how to use them, can't get enough of them. I guess it's sort of like when I first started digi-scrapping and was downloading every free kit I could find. They are fun! I found some free wedding actions at FinesseFX and had fun playing with the photos I shot this weekend. (I was the photographer for Ken's sister's wedding on Saturday, a small but sweet affair). Check out the difference between the original, and the one I applied Karl's "Soft dream" action to!
I've decided to go with a new lens over the Cricut, but have been talked into getting the one with Image Stabilization. It costs significantly more, so I'm looking around for more stuff to sell, lol!
OK so after 8 months of deliberation, I decided to sell my pazzles mini cutter that I bought nearly 2 years ago. The software does not work with Vista, and the company wanted another $130 for new software. I just couldn't stomach the additional cost after the money I shelled out to begin with, so I listed it on e-bay. I got what I was hoping for (plus $1.50 LOL) so now I'm debating how to spend it.
Option #1 Cricut Expression Bundle from AC Moore - includes 4 cartridges and 5 inks. $339 + s/h. I do lots of digi-scrapping, but I still do paper scrapping as well. One of my friends who scraps with me weekly owns nearly all the cartridges - she could leave her machine at home. It's easy to use and fun to play with.
Option #2: Tamron Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto AF 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di LD Aspherical IF Macro Autofocus Lens for Canon EOS. I would get rid of my current Canon Zoom EF 75-300mm 1:4-5.6 III (think I could get $$80-$100 on ebay). $379.95 minus $50 rebate +s/h. I'm not sure how much of an upgrade this would be, other than increased close-range shots without having to change lenses, which certainly would come in handy with an active 2yo.
Nate and I were running errands today and saw this Little Tykes playhouse sitting in front of the Salvation Army. Would you believe it was only $4.99??? We got it home and "built" the house by adding screws, and then cleaned it. Nate thoroughly enjoyed every step, and keeps talking about "my house".
Quick page is a freebie from my girl Krystal Hartley, snag it at her blog. The alpha is also hers. Thanks KH!!
One of the regrets of my life is that I never find time to read. I read voraciously when I was younger, and majored in English in college. In my 20s I began checking out audiobooks from the library and listening to them when I commuted to work or drove on long trips. Last summer I joined Audible.com and began downloading audiobooks to my ipod, and have listened to 15 books since then. The books really help time fly when I'm driving long hours to shows along the East Coast.
I just finished listening to Ken Follett's epic novels, Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. I chose the unabridged versions, which were 40 hours 10 minutes and 45 hours 23 minutes respectively. I was turned on to the first one by Oprah's Book Club - I am finding that I enjoy many of her fiction recommendations. (but after The Secret, I'm avoiding her non-fiction!)
Before that, I listened to A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, having been turned on to the first one through Big Picture Scrapbooking's reading club. I found the insight to Afghan culture fascinating on a number of levels. Given the current political situation, one can only benefit from a deeper perspective of that country's recent history and turbulence. As a woman, I was reminded deeply how fortunate I am to be an American, and to have a wonderful adoring husband. I can't wait for the Afghan author to turn out something new!
My other listens from this year include:
The Gathering by Anne Enright - not so good, I confess it's the only one I never actually finished. I can tell you that it is a rare thing in my life to not finish a book, I get drawn in and even if I don't like it, I must know the end, but this one . . . I think was never going to end. The Accidental by Ali Smith - interesting concept, enjoyed it The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner - as a literary major I admire Faulkner deeply, but this book was entirely too "Joycean" to listen to, stick to reading for this one! The Road by Cormac McCarthy - this sci-fi futuristic book was not at all what I expected from Oprah, but I did enjoy it, thanks to an early enjoyment of sci-fi from my father. He would have loved it. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers - very very good White Oleander by Janet Fitch - I really enjoyed this book, I've never seen the movie, it hit home in a lot of ways A Wedding in December by Anita Shreve - decent book, I've been reading all of Shreve's books, it wasn't my favorite of hers but it was a good listen Body Surfing by Anita Shreve - enjoyed this one more Light on Snow by Anita Shreve - very very good book
Anyways, just thought I'd share one of my favorite new pastimes. I enjoy listening to an audiobook while digi-scrapping, so it really does relate!! If you haven't tried audiobooks, I encourage you to give it a try - it really puts your iPod to work in a wonderful way. But I recommend a shorter one for starters!
Well I'm off to find my next book. Recommendations welcome!
I'm vending this weekend at an SDV in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania with my dear sister-friend Cheri Andrews. We're having a good event, selling lots of Scrapbook Girl, scanning lots of photos through Heritage Makers, and selling off our remaining TLC inventory. (blech)
We have a silent auction table set up with Cheri's product samples she no longer needs, and the proceeds are going to breast cancer research - Cheri is doing the walk. The response from the SDV ladies has been great, and many of them are sponsoring her. I thought I'd send a shout-out to my blog friends in case anyone would like to chip in. Cheri's sister, Deanna, is joining her on the walk, and is part of Cheri's team, so if you'd like to donate to their walk, click here.
Cheri is holding a fundraiser crop in August 16 in Perkasie, PA, and is welcoming product donations for that.
A good friend, LD, began chemo 2 weeks ago. I wish I could join Cheri and Deanna on the walk in honor of my friend, but my flat feet won't hold up to 60 miles. So here I am, hoping to raise money for their walk. Fight on, LD!!