Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lights! Cameras! Action!

Plain Digital Wrapper is having some fun to help lighten the dismal and dreary extra six weeks of winter that the groundhog decreed were ours. Lots of scrapping and shopping and GRAB BAGS! Come join in the extravaganza!

As promised, I know some of you aren't fond of putting down cold hard cash (cold hard Paypal?) for things you haven't seen. I know I'm not! So I put together these previews of the contents of my grabbag for you:

Hopefully some fun things that you will enjoy using to scrap!

I am also releasing a new page kit today (yes, the muse kicked in, and kicked HARD!) I love this particular combination of colors, and the way the black gives it a fresh and quirky twist:
And Spring It is on sale, too! Just $2.50 through March 3!

It's turning out to be a versatile kit to scrap with, too:Layout by Candy

Layout by Chris
Layout by Dani
Layout by Candy

Be sure to stop by the PDW forums and join in the fun!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

WARNING: Pathetic whininess lies ahead

So, here I sit at my computer, with an outdated blog staring me in the face. Well, it would be, anyway, if I hadn't defiantly clicked on the "new post" link, so I could stare at slightly-less-accusing blank forms rather than ancient posts. And the problem is, the well is dry. Or, the well is whiny, and while that generally doesn't interfere with creativity (in fact, sometimes my creativity is fueled by whininess) lately it has.

And I think I know why. I'm creatively manic/depressive (please, no emails. I know it's a serious disease, and I'm not making fun of it, really, just making a illustrative point). I get into these driven periods where I want to create bigger, better, more passionate, more hilarious.... and then WHAM! my brain is exhausted and I sink into a period of "I don't wanna's" and really just wanting to go read a book. A funny, familiar, comforting book, like Jane Austen or something.

So. What's the point.

LOL, not sure. I just knew I couldn't stare at the Moonbeams and Roses post any longer, and if I got some sympathy in the process, well, I'll take it :) And if the sympathy takes the form of chocolate, well, who am I to order sympathy around.

(I can give you an address where you can send the complaints. I won't, but I CAN)

I would like to point out that in the above paragraphs, spell check has chided me 3 times. One of them was wrong, and I corrected it, and then I deleted it and chose a different word (which I very carefully spelled correctly the first time in order to prevent the glaring and condemning red line). But really, spell check. What is WITH your resistance to contractions???

And now I'm going to go read Sense and Sensibility. Maybe I'll get some.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Moonbeams and Roses...

One of my favorite things about the internet is getting to meet others. Every once in a while, you run across a small group of people with interests similar to yours. This is so satisfying, because up to that point you may have felt like the odd man out, like no one really "gets" you...

And then, every once in a while, you can be so blessed as to run across a very small handful of people with whom you share more than just common interests... sometimes you worry that you might just be sharing the same brain, LOL! So it is with great pleasure that I can participate in one of these special friends' success, and announce that my dear friend Dani now has her very own store at Sunshine Studio Scraps!

And there are certain perks to being friends with designers - I got to be one of the first to get my hands on this awesome kit. I love the feel of it, it's cozy, and textural, and the colors have just the right amount of drama. It's comfortable with a love story, and yet equally at home with guy "stuff."

So drop by Dani's store at Sunshine Studio Scraps and have a look at the rest of her lovely things!
*And here's an added bonus - if you use the code juliesentme you can take 25% off anything in her store!*

As for me, a new goodie comes out in my store tomorrow. It's sort of a fanciful kit, prone to deep thoughts and inner philosophy... or perhaps that's just my imagination working overtime ;) Nonetheless, there are lots of pretties to play with...

Here's a layout I did with it - I was so excited to scrap with it that I started scrapping before I even finished the kit, LOL!

And lastly, an alpha. And because I had so much fun with it, I'm going to share the alpha with you for a day or two :)

Download Alpha HERE.

Friday, February 6, 2009


My dear friend Snap (short for Snapdragon, and an apt sobriquet [albiet the AOL version snipped a consonant or a vowel or two - I don't remember the exact form, just the mental picture of my favorite summer flower] for a warm and adventurous heart, a keen mind, and someone with a deep appreciation for beauty of nature [or human genius] and history) has blessed me with an award. I will admit that I am HORRIBLE about awards. In the first place, they sort of embarrass me. Here I am yammering at length to my computer screen, and an award seems rather grand and out of place for private yammerings. I have a few devoted friends who assuage my vanity with kind comments, a child in foreign climes who misses home and so clings to my every word (allow me my poetic license, kate-uhh - and this is the Korean for yammering - just so you know I love you 한국어 (Korean) n. - 불평, 투덜거림, 수다 v. intr. - 불평을 하다, 야단치다, 지껄여대다 v. tr. - 불평하다, ~이라고 지껄여대다, ~이라고 불평스런 얼굴로 이야기하다 ) - hardly the stuff that awards are made of...

But this one struck a chord with me - it's a "real person" award. Ha ha, I can fit that description pretty painlessly, and it doesn't leave me feeling like an imposter. And I have never told anyone to go eat cake :)

So thank you , Snap. Thank you for deeming me real, and for the award. It is much appreciated, particularly as it comes from you.

The Marie Antoinette,
Real Person, A Real Award

Here are the rules for the award:

1. Put the picture of Marie Antoinette on your blog.
2. Link to the person from whom you received the award.
3. Nominate other blogs that you feel deserve the award.
4. Link to those blogs from your blog.
5. Leave a comment on their blogs to let them know you've shared the award with them

Chris, Dani, Shanners, Candy...

It's all about ME!!!!!

So, I've been doing some reading around the digiworld this week, and I've been doing a lot of extracting. That combination is both heady and dangerous, because it leaves a lot of THINKING time. And one tends to think about what one has been reading and what's going on in one's life. And since I was trying to catch up on my photo a day blog (which I did, neener neener) I've had the whole photo/scrapping/philosophical/artistic expression thing very much on my mind. So now you get to read about it. Ain't life wunnerful? (And just think of the very long chain reaction I am starting - you'll read it and think about it and ponder, and then go off to express your own thoughts on things, and then others will read that and think about it and... well, you get the point).

I guess the whole thing boils down to this. Why am I doing all of this? What possible reason could there be for a grown woman to spend so much time playing with pixels (coloring them, enlarging them, rearranging them, erasing them, LOL, the list goes on). There are all sorts of reasons people SAY they scrap. We even get into arguments over it. There are those that pursue the practical path of "preserving memories." Sure. We do that. There's another angle, the "creating beauty" philosophy. Yeah, we do that, too, or else no one would be interested in buying another kit to scrap with, or learning another technique to make their pages visually interesting and attractive. Then there's the group that uses scrapping as a social event, between vying for plummy CT spots to speed scraps to becoming most popular in the forums. All varied motivations, all of prime importance to the participants in each philosophical sector.

But the thing that strikes me is that despite the differences between these motivations, there is one constant behind each of them that, like it or not, unites us all. No matter what reason we say drives us on to DO this, ultimately it boils down to a single thing.

As another blogger long ago and far away pointed out, scrapping memories is fine, but our children aren't exactly beating down the door for us to preserve their first haircut, or their first free throw, or even the first time they throw up. I would hazard a guess that there are quite a few young men who wish their mother would get the dang camera out of their face and go work on some other vicitim's memories. So unless you are a terrible control freak intent on defying the indifference and forcing them to acknowledge that you are cataloguing their every move, there really isn't a good case to be made that preserving memories is what initially drives you.

As for the creating beauty aspect, well, I like a lot of my layouts, but Michelangelo isn't exactly going to suffer hot competition for space on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, if you catch my drift. This isn't egads! Put it in the Louvre art. So while it's a darned sight better than spraypainting graffitti on your neighbor's new Lexis, not very many people outside of the scrapbooking world are going to truly be transported or edified. Sorry.

The social aspect is undeniable. No matter what drives you, there is a pleasure in rubbing elbows with other women similarly driven (no matter what state of denial they are in regarding their motivations). One cannot deny, however, that there are those for whom creating/preserving/sharing is just a means to an end in order to gain power, prestige, and influence. It's at about this time that Preserving Memories and Creating Beauty like to get kinda snooty and look down their noses a bit from their lofty perch of Sacrifice and Duty. Trouble with that is, that perch is pretty shaky.

Because in the end, we all do this for ourselves.

Maybe Memory Maker wanted to know something about Grandpa's picture from the 30's. It would have been nice to know what he was thinking. Fine. Grab a pencil and jot a note on the back of your photos. 30 seconds, tops. But no. She spends a good hour or more, planning, shopping, creating, rearranging, explaining (because this is Memory Maker - don't skip that journaling!) None of those things are really necessary. Preserving the memory can be done with a photo printer and a pencil. No. She does this because SHE LOVES DOING IT. It's for HER.

Maybe Creating Beauty drew doodles on her homework paper and her friends ooh'd and ah'd about it and made her feel better than her mirror did that morning. I don't know. But if creating beauty were her only motivation she'd probably be painting in oils, and she wouldn't spend an hour and a half finding JUST the right extracted ribbon in her ACDSee stash to cause grown men to fall to their knees with the sheer beauty. No. She gets more from it than beauty. She gets control, she gets to express what she wants to express without any rules other than her own. It's for HER.

And everyone knows that it's nice to be popular, it's nice to be admired, but in the end, there are MUCH easier ways to go about that in much less complicated environments, with a lot less work. Churning out layouts for free to advance someone else's business. Yeah, that's a plan to take over the world ;) Power and Admiration aside, she does it for HER.

So there you have it. We all have our own combination of motivations, we all have our particular interpretations, and we all glean our particular rewards. But don't be fooled, we do it for ourselves. And in a time of economic upheaval, social unrest, and untold stress, you know what I say? Good for US!