Friday, January 30, 2009

Layouts Get Larger ...

Just letting you all know that I am beginning to link the layouts shown on my blog to larger versions in my DigiShopTalk gallery. Any time you want to get a little bit closer look at one of my layouts, just click on the image and you'll be taken to that layout in the gallery!

Serenity Of My Garden LO

Just finished a great LO for another PixelGypsyDesigns challenge. If you haven't checked out their site, it's well worth the visit. They have great digital products, awesome prices (especially on Wednesdays!!), and the gals on there are the friendliest I've met online! And if you are into challenges, they are giving away the STORE each month of 2009 to whomever gets the most points playing along in their challenges! It's a ton of fun!

(Seriously, I am not really doing an ad for PGD, I just really like the site and would love to see you all join in!)

Here's my LO ~ The Serenity Of My Garden

I so enjoy the peaceful serenity of my little pond amid my flower & herb garden.


Fresh Green Solid paper, branch, & hangers by Sherrie Piegdon from Mari's Rustic Lane kit at PGD
Brown paper & foliage by Abish Allen from My Garden kit at PGD
Border Stitch by Ami Collofello from Old Fashioned Charm kit at PGD
Lt. Sage Solid paper by Sherrie Piegdon from Serene Papers at PGD

Papers & alphas by SJTowers from Cinnamon Spice kit at
Green Tape & alpha from Harvest Spice at
Alpha by KristinCB from April kit at
Alpha by zpearn from Sweet Shoppe All I Want kit at
Alpha by mel_h from Down By The Lily Pond kit at
Lily pad, white yarrow, white lily by Cari D. Cruse at

Font: CK Ali's Writing

It's Almost Here!!

I'm so excited about the Lifting Hopes Collab Kit that's coming out the 1st of February! It is the first Collab Kit I've taken part in, and it's also a charity kit to benefit the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias. Once I read about EDs on LadyVDzine's blog, I just had to take part in this special fundraiser.

This kit will be available at, and is stuffed with awesome papers & embellies in the colors you see in the sampler below. As soon as it is available, I will share a link and a preview of my part of the collab kit - so check back soon!

Lifting Hopes Charity Collab Kit

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happiness Is Laughter LO

Just completed my latest LO for this month's PGD Challenges. It's all about what defines "Happiness". Laughing with my sons and husband is one of my greatest joys, so that is what I've scrapped.



  • Papers from Old Fashioned Charm Paper Pack by Ami Collofello
  • Paper from My Garden Paper Pack by Abish Allen
    Stitched Frame & Stitch Holes from Just Stitches Element Pack by Amanda Carlson
  • Alpha from Mari's Rustic Lane Element Pack by Sherrie Piegdon
  • Tag from My Garden Element Pack by Abish Allen
  • Staple & Paper Clip from Old Fashioned Charm Element Pack by Ami Collofello

From Other:

Fonts: Eight Fifteen, Lima Bean, Oh {Photo} Shoot!

New Blogger Award

I've just created a new award for folks I know who have started new blogs! The first recipient of this award is Janie at Janie is just diving into digi-scrapping, and her first posted LO is great! Stop by to see her and tell her I sent ya! ;)

Problems Posting Comments Here?

I've had some guests tell me they are having trouble posting comments on my blog due to the word verification feature not showing up. If you've had this problem, please drop me an email (see link in side column) so I can be aware how widespread the problem is and so I can let know. Thanks a bunch!

My First Awards :D

What a fun way to start the day! I found out that wonderful gal, Cheryl, (a fellow Navy mom!) has sent me some awards! Here they are:

Amazing Artist Award

Scrapping Star Award

Triple Awards

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

LO ~ What Inspires My Life

Another PGD Challenge LO today - I really, really loved doing this one. It gave me an opportunity to journal about what is most important and inspiring in my life. Also, I got to use colors I LOVE ... no more 70s colors! :D


What inspires my life.....

My God
He is breath to me.
He is the beat of my heart,
the pulse of my soul.
When all else in life falls away,
He holds me in His everlasting arms.
When all else in me fails
and I haven't the strength
to rise off the floor,
it is in His strength & Spirit I still stand.

My Husband & Best Friend
In his arms
is my favorite place to be.
His voice resonates
in my soul,
it is a soothing comfort to me.
We are one,
body and soul.

My Sons
Their hugs
and "I love you's"
make my heart sing.
I am proud of who they are
and who they are becoming.
I pray for them continually.

My Family
My mother and my brothers,
and their families,
are so very dear to me.
It is a blessing
and a comfort
to know
I can count on them,
and whatever life may bring,
they will always have my back.

Colors & Textures
I drink in
the colors and textures
all around me.
Both natural and
I love to absorb
the depth found in colors,
and the tactile feel
of textures.

All around me
God's Creation
amazes and astounds me.
I marvel in the intricacies
of a wildflower or a tiny bird,
and thrill at the
beauty of a sunset,
and the power of a mighty moose,
and the majesty of a craggy mountain,
and the beauty of the four Seasons.

I live my life savoring
each and every moment,
both great and small,
and all that those
moments encompass
INSPIRES who I am.

All from

  • Papers from Mari's Rustic Lane Papers by Sherrie Piegdon
  • Border Stitch from Old Fashion Charm Elements by Ami Collofello
  • Clothesline, Burlap Scrap, Window Frame, & Rusty Hinge from Mari's Rustic Lane Elements by Sherrie Piegdon

Fonts: Turtle Club, Teacher's Pet

Monday, January 19, 2009

My 70s Show

Alrighty, I wasn't sure I was going to post this here, but it has gotten such a response in the gallery at Pixel Gypsy Designs that I've decided to just let you all see it! lol

This LO was for another PGD challenge, and asked me to "scrap outside the box" - meaning, scrap in a style I would never normally scrap. So I decided to scrap "70s style," since that is an era I enjoyed while it lasted, but from which I truly have no desire to resurrect styles or colors. So here's my LO, complete with scanned photos of me and my little brother, Dale, sipping on our Sip-Along-Sue & Sip-Along-Sam cups! :D


  • Ribbons, Hanger & Chickenwire fencing from Mari's Rustic Lane Elements by Sherrie Piegdon at
  • Papers from Art Nation Blossom kit by Emily Powers from Memory Makers magazine
  • Orange Paper from Fire Earth kit by A Work in Progress at
    Alpha from Refresh kit at
  • Flowing Stars Brush in PSE Default Brushes
  • Saturday, January 17, 2009

    A January Sunset on Moose Trail Acres

    Didn't I just say yesterday, in a LO, how I always love our view?? :D And then last night God served up a dazzling winter sunset in brilliant shades of red and orange and pink. Here is a small taste of the beauty I got to enjoy out our front door last night!

    Friday, January 16, 2009

    Challenge LO Includes A Bit of Winter Blues Kit

    My latest LO was done as part of a challenge of - this time using a provided template. I hadn't worked from a full LO template before, and really enjoyed this challenge. You can see in the LO where I used the plaid paper from my Winter Blues kit (click HERE to see the downloads for this freebie kit).


    Layout includes:

    Thursday, January 15, 2009

    FIVE Bald Eagles

    Yep. FIVE. It was a good drive to town. Just south of Colburn on highway 95, heading into town today, I was excited to see a beautiful bald eagle flying past us along the west side of the road. I was doubly excited when I noticed a SECOND bald eagle flying just a bit behind the first. A few seconds more and I spotted an eagle perched in a tall, bare cottonwood tree along the same side of the road. I was thrilled! Then I immediately saw there was another one, number FOUR, perched in another cottonwood even closer to the highway. By the time I saw the FIFTH bald eagle perched in a tree just a little further from the others, I was ecstatic! FIVE, I told my husband, Jim (who was at the wheel and not privileged to the amazing site out my passenger window). FIVE! I had called out each one as I spotted them, so I am sure my voice climbed a notch or two in volume by the fifth one. It was awesome. Five bald eagles in ONE day, in ONE drive to town, in ONE mile of highway. What a treat!!

    Since I didn't manage to get a photo of these eagles, I will share a photo from two years ago when we made an early spring visit to the wildlife refuge north of here in Bonners Ferry.

    Wednesday, January 14, 2009

    Another "And We Are PROUD" LO

    Well I liked the "And We Are PROUD - Navy" LO of our youngest son so much, that I just had to come up with a similar themed LO for our oldest son. So I tried the "journaling first" style again, and I am surprised to say I really like doing it that way!

    Here's the LO:

    Here is the journaling text:

    You decided one spring day
    To give college a try.
    You had been out of high school
    two years at the time,
    working full time.
    When you made
    your decision,
    we worked to gather
    all that we would need -
    as a homeschooler,
    there were extra steps to take.
    We gathered your transcript.
    Boy, was I glad
    we had used a good program
    for keeping records.
    We gathered the
    letters of recommendation.
    Our friend, Walter,
    the retired professor,
    was glad to write
    a letter,
    and glad to offer other help.
    We reviewed
    a few subjects.
    We prayed.
    When you tested
    at the U of I campus,
    and called shortly afterwards
    to tell me you scored so high
    they accepted you immediately,
    we REJOICED!
    Our first son,
    our first homeschooler,
    our first to go to college.
    That first year
    we prayed, we worried.
    Not about your grades -
    they were great.
    But you were supporting yourself,
    and that was tough.
    You made it through,
    and your second year -
    at NIC -
    was a breeze.
    You have two more years
    at U of I.
    But in May 2008,
    at NIC, we saw
    our first COLLEGE GRAD!
    And we are PROUD!


    Layout includes:

    • Paperclip & Fram from Ami Collofello's Old-Fashioned Charm Element Pack at
    • String Hanger from {IntoThe}Twilight by Sherrie Piegdon at
    • fonts: TXTAnnesia, Will&Grace, Weltron Urban
    • Paper from Berrylicious and Wild Flowers kits by A Work in Progress -

    Today's Challenge LO - And We Are PROUD

    Did another layout for a Pixel Gypsy challenge. The requirement here was to journal *first.* That was a little tough, but once I had my subject chosen, the words did some "proud mama" tears! :D

    Here's my LO:

    Here's the text:

    We've known since you were a tiny boy that
    the military held a strong draw for you.
    You wore your little camo outfit
    (a gift from Uncle Dale) *constantly*.
    We knew your ever-growing patriotism,
    something you felt deep in your gut
    and displayed openly,
    would make you a prime candidate
    to serve our country.
    You come from a family
    of patriotic folk,
    many of whom have served
    our country's military.
    Dad in the Navy.
    Uncle Dale & Uncle Bryan in the Marines.
    Grandpa Jim in the Air Force.
    Great Grandpa & Grandma Cutter in the Marines -
    Great Grandpa Cutter who survived the Baton Death March.
    And many others.
    Even before you made your decision,
    we watched you stand tall with pride
    and respect
    in the presence of
    military personnel
    the flag.
    You took on a Marine sergeant
    last summer
    in a pushup contest
    to win
    a red-white-and-blue
    soccer ball.
    It wasn't really the ball
    you wanted,
    but the opportunity
    to prove yourself.
    You got the ball.
    And the respect of us all.
    Your confidence
    to challenge the sergeant,
    your diligence
    in the contest,
    your grin
    all made me choke
    with pride.
    Now you are almost 21.
    You have made your decision.
    You thought long and hard,
    and considered carefully
    all branches, all options.
    You chose
    The United States Navy.
    And we are PROUD!


    Layout includes:

    • Stitched border & paperclips from Ami Collofello's Old-Fashioned Charm Element Pack at
    • Paper from Elise Hansen's Good Tidings kit at
    • fonts: CKEvolution, JumpStart, LDPunchOut, TXTAnnesia, CKConstitution
    • Paper from Shabby Christmas by A Work in Progress -

    And Now For The Alpha!

    Yes, folks, it is time for the Winter Blues Alpha. Check out the Winter Blues LO I've created so you can see the Alpha in use:

    - Download Winter Blues Alpha HERE -

    REMINDER: Please, be sure to always read & abide by my terms of use, included as a text file with every download. Also, please leave a note on my blog so I know folks are enjoying my designs - that way I'll know to keep 'em coming! Thank you!

    Tuesday, January 13, 2009

    My Latest Layout: love petals

    I decided to get in on a scrap challenge on the Pixel Gypsy Designs site today, and I was excited to see a challenge calling for a photo with spot color! Of course, I grabbed my Flower Basket photo I used in my eHow tutorial and made a monochromatic layout with that. I love how it turned out!

    The flower basket photo is one I took at my brother, Jesse's, wedding last summer.

    Items used:

    • Papers - from Vinegar & Brown Paper kit and The Great Outdoors kit by Vicki
    • Photo overlay - from Artisian Frames by Sherri Piegdon at
    • Font - Crazy Milkjug Girl
    • Daisy Doodle & Photo - by ME! :)


    Monday, January 12, 2009

    Winter Blues Elements

    And now it is time for those fun fun fun elements for my Winter Blues kit! yay! If you've missed the other parts of this kit so far, be sure to look back through my blog to get the QP wallpapers and the kit papers. Then coming up on Wednesday you can come get the Winter Blues Alpha!

    So with no further ado ... I bring you the Winter Blues Elements:

    - Download HERE -

    REMINDER: Please, be sure to always read & abide by my terms of use, included as a text file with every download. Also, please leave a note on my blog so I know folks are enjoying my designs - that way I'll know to keep 'em coming! Thank you!

    Tutorial: Organizing Those Digital Photos

    Just finishing up an article for titled, "How To Get Those Digital Photos Organized!" It's a quick and fairly simple method of organizing all those digital photos into chronological albums where everyone in the family can find them easily. I hope you'll take a moment to look over the article:

    How To Get Those Digital Photos Organized!

    To really speed things up, and get a jump on this year's photos, I am offering a free download of a folder set already dated for 2009. This small download can be saved and these folders can easily be renamed for any calendar year.

    - Download HERE -

    REMINDER: Please, be sure to always read & abide by my terms of use, included as a text file with every download. Also, please leave a note on my blog so I know folks are enjoying my designs - that way I'll know to keep 'em coming! Thank you!

    Sunday, January 11, 2009

    Cari Creates! ~ Craft Corner Blog

    [Note: How many times can one use a form of the root word "blog" in a single blog post?? LOL]

    I thought I'd add my old blog entries to this blog for those who would like to read a little further back in my blogging.  It doesn't appear that I can actually import my old blog, so I will add links to those old entries - each by its original date, each a direct link to that entry on my old blog. Just check my "Blog Archive" in the side column to find links to older posts - or click on "old blog" in the Categories section!

    Happy reading!

    Saturday, January 10, 2009

    2009 Digi Calendars - Free For You & CU, too!

    First, I hope you all are enjoying the Winter Blues papers. The elements will be available on Monday, so be sure to check in! Now on to the new calendars...

    I spent so much time earlier this week searching the internet for something I thought would be plentiful and easy to find: digi calendars to use in my kits. Well, after hours of fruitless searching, I decided I'd have to make my own. Now that I have completed the entire 12-month set for 2009, I want to share them with my site visitors. I've made two simple black-and-white calendars for each month - one with capital letters in the headings and one with lower case. Simple and sweet! The calendars are transparent PNG files in black text. These can be used directly on your digital scrapbook layouts, and I am also allowing limited commercial use for designers who want to use them in their own elements for kits and in S4O.

    - Download the calendars HERE -

    REMINDER: Please, be sure to always read & abide by my terms of use, included as a text file with every download. Also, please leave a note on my blog so I know folks are enjoying my designs - that way I'll know to keep 'em coming! Thank you!


    Friday, January 9, 2009

    Ahhhh.....the Winter Blues Papers!

    Had a wonderful time today playing an interestingly "modern" version of Monopoly with hubby and sons - the "debit card" version. It was a kick! No paper money, just PLASTIC. Too funny! If you haven't seen this version, it has a little calculator-type machine that you slide your card into for adding or deducting money. The squares on the board include places like Times Square, Fenton Park, DISNEY WORLD, Cell Phone Service, Internet Service, and so on. Had a great time, and I *almost* won! lol

    So you've come for the papers in the Winter Blues kit??? They are ready for your scrapping pleasure - just download them HERE.


    REMINDER: Please, be sure to always read & abide by my terms of use, included as a text file with every download. Also, please leave a note on my blog so I know folks are enjoying my designs - that way I'll know to keep 'em coming! Thank you!

    Wednesday, January 7, 2009

    Winter Blues ~ A New Digital Kit!!

    I am *so* excited about my newest digital kit, and I am giving it away to my blog/site visitors! Today I'll share the kit preview for Winter Blues, and I'll give you a special add-on to download. Yes, I know that sharing the add-on first is totally out of order, but it's a desktop wallpaper for January, and I want to get it to you right away! The wallpaper will come in two sizes - standard and widescreen. It will also be available with & without a photograph so that you can choose to add your own photo, if desired, using photo-editing software. The included photo was taken right here on Moose Trail Acres earlier this week.

    The desktop wallpapers are jpg files, and I kept the file size very reasonable.

    Be sure to check back tomorrow and get the papers for Winter Blues!

    REMINDER: Please, be sure to always read & abide by my terms of use, included as a text file with every download. Also, please leave a note on my blog so I know folks are enjoying my designs - that way I'll know to keep 'em coming! Thank you!

    Winter Blues Preview

    Here is a sample of the desktop wallpaper without a photo:

    And with a photo:

    - Download STANDARD desktop wallpaper HERE -

    - Download WIDESCREEN desktop wallpaper HERE -

    Tuesday, January 6, 2009

    More Winter-Inspired Genius

    I told you that genius ideas flow from minds that are given plenty of time for pondering whilst their bodies shovel snow and collapse, then shovel and collapse some more. Just check out this great "educational" bit over on Cis's blog:

    Surviving Northern Idaho Winters 101

    Seeing Ads: "Snow For Sale" & My Brain is Ticking!

    Yep. Snow For Sale. You heard it here. I saw it there. That is, there on the Big Piney Woods Cats' Blog - Three beautiful cats write that blog, and they are no pigeons! I'll share with you here what I posted as a comment on their blog after I read their ad selling snow:

    Love your "Snow For Sale" ad. Wish I'd thought of it. My one fat cat would type if he could, but his fat paws just mash all the keys. :D So he says to tell you kitties you're some real bright cookies. He also wonders if we couldn't market our own snow and compete with you -- says we could call ours "organic" snow. That should generate a lot of sales! LOL

    Isn't it true?? I can see it now... ads on eBay, orders coming in like mad. Hey, I bet if I shaped the *organic* snow into little snowballs, snowmen, and other shapes, I could even sell it on Etsy - I mean, they'd be handmade!!

    Ahh, the genius ideas that our minds come up with when given sufficient time couped up indoors after wearying hours of shovelling. We should give our brains more opportunities to shine like this!

    Here it is, my Organic Snow Doll, handmade in North Idaho, prepared to take Etsy and eBay by storm! :D

    Of course, I could do variations on the buttons, add a little yarn hair, the possibilities are endless! :D

    Snow Diving ... They Make Snorkels For This?

    Yesterday our house full of young adults finally needed a break from being indoors, and headed out to attempt some snow-diving-football-passing-fun! I followed along with camera in hand and started off taking some short videos of each person attempting to catch a football pass while simultaneously launching themselves into a snowbank alongside our driveway. The results, of course, were hilarious. I then switched to taking regular photos, and have a few of those to share here. Ben, Heather, and my son, Justin, all got completely covered in snow, had to shake snow out of shirts, pants, and collars, and had an absolute blast! There was laughter aplenty for all of us! After "mastering" the football pass, they all lined up on one side of the driveway and then launched themselves, simultaneously, into the snowbank. There were multiple attempts on this as they worked on perfecting their form as well as their camera faces. :D

    Justin climbs out of the snowbank with football in hand!

    Ben & Justin dust off some snow while Heather giggles and our dog, Sipsy, tries to get in on the fun.

    Justin stretches to catch a flying pass as he dives into the snowbank!

    Ben catches a pass and is coming in for a landing!

    Heather proudly displays her catch as she attempts to extract herself from the snowbank!

    Heather, Ben, and my son, Justin, prepare to dive...

    They launch...

    And it's a successful dive! Each receives high marks for style!

    Monday, January 5, 2009

    Another Heavy Winter ... But Not A Heavy Heart!

    We received 8 more inches of snow overnight. Yesterday morning it was 5 more. On Saturday morning it was MINUS 11 degrees. On Friday we awoke to 3 inches of snow, and the two days before that each gave us 5 inches more. You can imagine that things are getting a bit deep around here - and I don't just mean the conversation! ;)

    Like most everyone in our area, I have been shovelling and shovelling and shovelling. Occasionally I take a break from the shovelling and I fill the woodbox...again. Oh, and I do take breaks to lean on my shovel, hold my face to the sun (when it bursts forth and ignites the glistening snow in brilliant light), and simply enjoy the fantastic beauty of this place. God is good. (Even when my back aches!)

    So we are, indeed, having another heavy winter. Last year's heavy winter had me convinced that this year would be easier. Not so far. Yet as tiring, back-breaking, and sometimes overwhelming as it can be, my heart is not heavy. There is just too much beauty to be enjoyed. I drink it in every moment I can. Then there are bonus days like yesterday. First, my son's friends from college are up for the weekend, and the young lady in the group, Heather, decided she wanted to join me in a "workout" - so we bundled up,grabbed the shovels, and headed out to dig out my poor mailbox. (I was tired of not getting my mail - the plow truck always seems to come *after* I shovel and *before* the mail lady. *sigh*) So we dug in. We laughed. We gabbed. That was bonus #1. Bonuses #2 & #3 were the folks who stopped to say hello, to ask if we were for hire--with a wink and a grin--and just to share in the beauty of the day. One of those was Marianne Love and her very beautiful mom. It was my first time meeting this local celebrity/author, and it was a truly enjoyable encounter. She chatted with me and Heather for quite a while, telling us of the beauty they were seeing along their wintry drive through the countryside. Heather was a bit amazed at the friendliness of folks around here, and I was blessed to have such a fantastic time whilst doing an otherwise unpleasant chore.

    After Heather and I finished, we stood back and admired our work at having the mailbox completely dug out. We flexed our muscles and bragged about our brawn, then headed towards the house. I shared with her my "therapeutic" treatment for sore after-shoveling muscles: lay on your back in the snow, let your back and shoulders feel the cold press through your coat, and enjoy the view of the winter sky and the snowy treetops.

    With muscles properly "iced," we finally headed in for hot cups of cocoa and tea. I popped on the internet to look up Marianne, and found her blog: Slight Detour. She shares some beautiful photographs on there--including one of a horse and sleigh that she encountered just minutes after leaving me and Heather behind. Wish he'd made it as far as our place, but at least we get to see the picture - thanks Marianne!

    From here on Moose Trail Acres, I've a couple photos today - it was tough choosing which ones to post, so I will be adding more soon!

    Thursday, January 1, 2009

    Happy New Year 2009!

    On this very first day of 2009, I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!  I am excited about the upcoming year as I have plans for some wonderful digital designs and some really great tutorials as well. I look forward to sharing some great freebies--both digital designs and papercraft projects--in the coming days and weeks. For now, I thought I'd share a photo of the wintery scene outside our window on this New Year's Day.


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