Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I Digi-scrap! And you can too!

I'm trying to think where to even begin to tell you how you can get in to it! Get ready now to learn more than you ever wanted. lol

The main things you need are a program to use and the actual scrapbook supplies. I use Photoshop Elements 6.0 as my program. You can use an older version of photoshop Elements (you could get it cheaper) and have most of the same features--I started with elements 3.0 on the pc, and then upgraded to 6.0 for my mac. You DON'T need to get the full version of Photoshop (CS2 or CS3). It's way expensive and totally unnecessary.

Then, you just need the supplies! You can find tons and tons of stuff for free. People give stuff away (like samples of their work) all the time. Here are some great sites for finding free digital scrapbooking supplies:
http://ikeagoddess.blogspot.com/ (a great one for finding other sites with freebies all in one place)
http://artisticmusings.typepad.com/artistic_musings/ (every Friday)

My advice is to find some kind of RSS reader (like Google Reader; it's free) and subscribe to the feeds of each of these blogs. Then, you can go through the posts easily and see what freebies are being offered. Also, if you find a freebie you really like, subscribe to the blog it came from so you can look for more stuff by that designer.

I have probably over 100 blogs that I subscribe to. It only takes me a few minutes to go through them and see which ones have freebies. There are other ways to get free stuff too. Some websites will have "challenges" and if you complete the challenge, they give you a free prize (here's an example). Also, there is a forum where people who are giving away free stuff post. Here's the link.

Also, there are special events when people give stuff away. Different stores open all the time and give away free kits. You just kind of have to keep your ear to the ground. :) I'll give you a heads up if I hear of any really good ones.  November 1 this year is "(Inter)National Digital Scrapbooking Day." People are going to be giving away free stuff like CRAZY, and you should be able to find some great deals.

You can also buy the supplies. I haven't spent a whole lot (but you can if you're not careful!). I usually buy when there are huge sales, or if it's something really unique that I can't do without (lol).

Here are some websites that have forums with great advice on scrapping:
Each of those pages also has a "Gallery" where you can look at scrapbook pages other people have made to get ideas for your own.

Finally, here are some tutorials that explain how to use the software:

If you have any questions, I would be really happy to answer them for you. I LOVE digital scrapbooking... it's just like scrapbooking, but without the mess. You can do everything in your program (and more) than you would do online.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Menu Plan Monday ~ August 25

Today is my daddy's birthday!  It's also the second week of graduate school classes for me & Jon.  We've made it so far, but this week we have to start our assistantships on top of classes, so things are going to be getting busier!!

Monday: Honey Mustard Chicken [recipe below], green beans, rice
Tuesday: Late class, so I won't be cooking
Wednesday: Baked breaded tilapia filets, vegetable saute, wild rice
Thursday: Marinated Stove-grilled chicken, rice, green beans
Friday: Marvelous Mini-Meatloaves, skillet potatoes, rolls
Saturday: Hamburger Rolls [recipe below], french fries

This week's recipes:
Honey Mustard Chicken (from Dining on a Dime cookbook)
One whole chicken, cut up
1/3 c. margarine, melted
1/3 c. honey
2 T. prepared mustard
1 t. salt

Arrange chicken in a baking dish (if you leave the skin on, put it skin side up; I usually remove the skin first to make it healthier).  Combine the rest of the ingredients and pour over chicken.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 30 minutes, basting every 15 minutes (until chicken is tender and brown).  You may have to cover with foil if it looks like it's getting too brown before the inside is done.  Pour extra juices over rice.  Serves 4-6.

Hamburger Rolls (adapted from Dining on a Dime cookbook)
Hamburger meat
McCormick's Montreal Steak seasoning
Cheddar Cheese
Roll dough (refrigerated or thawed frozen rolls if you don't have time or want to make from scratch)

Brown hamburger meat; rinse and drain.  Season with McCormick's Montreal steak seasoning.  
Roll out two rolls per person.  Top one roll with a few tablespoons of seasoned meat and cheese.  Cover with another roll and seal edges.  If desired, top with more seasoning/cheese/both.  
Place constructed rolls on a baking sheet lined with foil (for easier clean-up).  Cook according to roll directions + another minute or so.  These are good!  We usually eat one and a half or two each.

I digi-scrap! Uh... what?

One thing I have discovered that I love is digital scrapbooking.  For me, I get *nearly* all the joy of regular scrapbooking, but without all of the mess and expense.  Everything you would use on a paper scrapbook, you can get digitally--buttons, stitches, brads, photo-corners, ribbons... you name it!  The only thing missing for me is the tactile sensation of really touching the creations, but I think the benefits outweigh the costs.  

I've been digi-scrapping since November of last year.  I'll have a post soon about how you, too, can get involved, but for now, I'll leave you with a little sampling of the layouts I've made.  If you would like to see my most complete gallery, you can click on this link.  

Note: When you play the video below, it will open a new window (sorry)!  Just close it to return here.

Click to play Sample Layouts
Create your own photobook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox photobook

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Good morning, blog, how are you?

Hello!  It is Saturday morning, and a good day to start a new blog (if you ask me)!  You probably already know this is you're here, but I'm Grace, a graduate student (hence the blog name), and I live in Oklahoma.  I am studying to be a Marriage and Family Therapist with the eventual goal of working with families of children who have a chronic or terminal illness.  I think.  Ask me again in a year, and we'll see if that plan has stuck.

You may be wondering what you can expect to see here on this blog.  Well, I am too!  I expect it to be a hodge-podge of scrapbooking pages, meal-planning, pictures of our pets, and stories about life in general.  If I find something cool, I'll share it here too.  Also, I try (as much as possible) to participate in the Company Girls activities at Home Sanctuary.  I encourage you to follow along--Rachel Anne is great, and she has wonderful ideas for making your home the kind of sanctuary your family (and you!) deserve.  I'll post a little about that from time to time, too.

So, in sum: This blog is as random as I am, yet cohesive in that it's about me and our little family.

Today, I have to finish reading for classes next week, clean out the refridgerator, go grocery shopping, and cook dinner!  Lofty goals, my friends.  Lofty goals.