Thursday, October 18, 2007

Monterey Bay

I'm on vacation, on an 8-week sailing cruise. Our first stop (after leaving Alameda, CA) is Monterey Bay, after a 24-hour (yes, overnight) sail. We left rain in Alameda and found gorgeous sunshine in Monterey. Here is the title page for the Monterey section of my travel album.
More posts as I'm able to find wireless internet!
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Tuesday, October 9, 2007


I learned something new today; something I've wanted to learn for a long time, and it's SO cool! I learned how to use a PhotoShop brush, and add effects to it, to create a Sparkle effect for this photo of my future daughter-in-law's engagement ring. Thanks to Steve Patterson at for the free tutorial!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Baby Blake, and my Newsletter Goof-up

My niece, Seana, and her boyfriend, Randy, had a baby boy this past June. Seana sent me some digital photos of little Blake and I totally fell in love with one in particular. I enlarged it to almost fill a 12x12 canvas, then I made digital copies of various parts of the photo, like his little fingers and nose, resized them, and placed them at the bottom, in a row. I love how it turned out. And can you believe it? My inspiration for the layout came from an ad in a magazine.

Having a digital scrapbook layout come out just the way I imagine it in my mind, and almost effortlessly, is a great feeling. Starting up and running a small business these days is incredibly rewarding, too, but also incredibly exhausting. Every day I have more to learn and, typical of my personality type which is to just jump into things with great excitement & enthusiasm but without a lot of thought or preparation, I personally learn a LOT from experience (also known as making mistakes)! I was all proud of myself because I had managed to get my newsletter for October out by the 5th of the month (last month I didn't get it out until the 9th) but then yesterday I was talking to my friend, Susan, on the phone, who is on my mailing list, and I asked her if she got it and she said she hadn't. Huh??? I had tested it and everything.....! Well, as it turns out, after I tested it by sending it to myself and checking to make sure the links worked and it looked good, I was ready to send it out "for real" and what did I do? Somehow I sent it -- again -- to my test distribution list, which only has 2 addresses on it -- both mine! ARGH. I hadn't bothered to check to make sure it went to the correct number of addresses......just goes to show....ya gotta double-check everything. As I told Susan, "no wonder big companies have entire ITS departments....!" My dream is that someday I will be able to afford to pay someone else to handle stuff like that and I can concentrate on creating gorgeous layouts.

On the bright side, it was a good thing I found out that the newsletter hadn't gone out so I could quickly re-send it, and to the correct distribution list this time. Yet another mistake that I won't make again. I'm pretty good at not repeating things like that. It's probably the total humiliation that I feel when I do something so stupid!

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Friday, October 5, 2007

October News

I'm a little slow these days getting everything done. My newsletter for October isn't even written yet, let alone sent out! But I did get the new calendar page done, and the template freebie, so be sure to visit my website to download them. I created the calendar page while I was visiting my mom in Simi Valley, CA., and then I just made the template yesterday, and got both uploaded to I've included directions on using both, so I hope you enjoy my freebies! I noticed this a.m. that a couple of people have already downloaded the calendar page so some of you must have been waiting anxiously, and I apologize for the delay!

The Nature Lover's template (pictured below) is based on a layout I did for my veterinarian, Dr. Brisbin. You can see his entire album on my website; just click on the "slideshows" link at the top of the homepage. The calendar pages have been so much fun to create that I'm thinking of creating an entire year's worth for 2008 and offering it on my website. Of course, it may not happen by January with everything else that is going on.

Many of you know, if you read my other blog (, that my husband and I are heading out on an 8 week sailing cruise on the 17th of this month. So, needless to say, we are running around like crazy trying to get ready. Adding to the "fun" is my hubby's bout with strep throat, and me having pulled a muscle in my back 2 days ago. PLUS, our oldest son and his fiancee have planned a BBQ in southern california for their parents and grand-parents to meet and get to know each other. That's on the 14th which means a drive down there and back, using up 3 to 4 days of our preparation time.

All of these things are making is difficult for me to really concentrate on my little biz, and it's marketing needs. And, since we'll be gone and my internet time will be much more limited, I am going to have to defer any new work until I return. It's frustrating, yet it couldn't happen at a better time since, at the moment, I don't have any new work! I am mainly working on marketing ideas/strategies, creating the freebies & newsletters, updating blogs, as well as fine-tuning my website. There are bells and whistles I'd love to add to it (a counter, for one) but all these things take time and, in some cases, learning new stuff.

While we are on our trip I will be doing a LOT of layout work, using my own photos. It would be a good time, too, to work on the 2008 calendar. I'd also love to create lots more templates that I could offer individually and at a really good price. Internet access will be sporadic at best, so most of what I will work on will have to be offline. But keep watching this blog for updates, and visit my website often, too. I'll be updating both as I am able. And, as always, e-me anytime and for any reason; I love hearing from you!

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