28 July 2006

First "Friday Fiver"

When all of the Digitals designers had their blogs hosted there on the site, Kathy Smith started a posting trend called "Ten on Tuesday", where every Tuesday morning, she would post a subject/question for us, and we would all post our "Top Ten" answers. It was a really fun way to get to know each other, and since our blogs have now moved to other locations, I have been missing it! So, the other day while poking around a few other blogs, I found a site where someone posts the "Friday Fiver" and all of the members of the community posts their answers in their on-line forum. So ... I decided to bring the "Friday Fiver" to my blog as a way to wind down the week! Here is what was posted for today, and my answers:
1. Do you smoke?
Absolutely, positively, not ... aside from the fact that is terribly unhealthy, I am highly allergic to it, and even have trouble when others smoke anywhere near me.
2. Are you more likely to be caught humming, whistling or singing to yourself?
Hmm ... I would have to say none of the above ... I am more likely found to be talking to myself, trying to remember where I left something or what I was just about to do - LOL! I am constantly multi-tasking, and I often over-do it!
3. Have you ever been to New Orleans?
Yes! In February of 1998, I was trying to decide which graduate to attend, and it is common practice (in Chemistry anyway) for the schools to fly out those students who have been accepted to their PhD programs to tour their schools, meet with current graduate students, and speak with professors whose research groups they might join. I was accepted to Tulane in January, and the head of the department insisted I visit towards the end of Mardi Gras so I could get the full New Orleans treatment. It was one of the best places I have ever been ... the people were so friendly, the food was exceptional, and the entertainment was just wonderful!
4. When is the last time you saw the sun rise?
You know, I can't remember for sure! I am a night owl in every sense of the label; I do my best work between 10 pm and 2 am, and then I usually go to bed around 2 or 3 am so I am usually sound asleep when the sun rises. If I had to wager a guess, it would have to be back in December of 2004, when we left FL at 3 am to drive up to CT and RI to spend the holidays with our families.
5. Can you swim?
Yes, and not only do I really enjoy it, but now I find that it helps my back as well. So, there you have it ... my first "Friday Fiver" for you!

And, as it is Friday, I also have my weekly ads to share! I am actually quite proud of how these two came out, because I tried to expand my designing skills a bit by using some new techniques I recently learned in Photoshop. So, first, on Wednesday, I created the ScrapOutsideTheBox Weekly Newsletter Ad using a kit called Night Lights by Trish Richart. This kit was so cute, especially the little dragonflys with the little flight doodles behind them! And for the lettering at the top of the graphic, I experimented with some different lettering styles I downloaded from Al Ward's site, ActionFX where I'm a member. He not only has a lot of great tutorials on his site, but he also allows all of his actions, brushes, styles, etc. all to be used for any commericial purpose as well!
And today I designed the Friday ad for Digitals. Seeing as the stock-photo style of ads have been so well received, we decided that we would try another this week, and I came up with the idea of using a corkboard with. Although it took foever to put together with all of the different graphics that I used, I was so happy that it came out so realistic looking. Thanks for looking, and constructive criticism/feedback on my ads is always welcome!

So for now . . . Happy Scrapping!
~ Jen ~

27 July 2006

Cool in the Pool Goodies

I was so please with how my Cool In The Pool kit (shown in this past Tuesday's post) came out, that I ended up designing several extra pieces to go with the kit. After preparing the crop kit, and the crop posting bonus, I still had a few left over, so I thought that I would share them here with everyone! Please leave a comment if you donwload, and let me know how you like it :)

Click HERE to download the coordinating freebies.

And don't forget, the entire Cool In The Pool kit is on sale for 50% off, today only at ScrapOutsideTheBox, then it will go on sale for it's regular price of $6.00.

So for now . . . Happy Scrapping!
~ Jen ~

25 July 2006

Featured Kit for the FAB 50 @ SOTB This Week!

Elizabeth Lane aka "elane" in the scrap forums, started an event at SOTB that takes place every Thursday, where designers can place new kits or some of their "old favorites" on sale for 50% for the day (hence, FAB 50). Additionally, each week, one designer's kit is the featured kit, and this Thursday it's my new Cool In The Pool kit! So, this Thurday 07/27, this kit will be available @ SOTB for only $3.00, and then it will be back to it's regular price of $6.00. BUT that's only the first part of the FAB 50! Additionally, at 10 PM, EASTERN on Thursdays, there is a FAB 50 crop. While I'm not usually able to hostess evening crops (Jason gets cranky if I'm on the computer in the evenings while he's home - LOL), two of my fellow SOTB designers, Andrea Sampson and Tracy Marie Reed, have graciously agreed to hostess the crop for me. They'll be cropping with this mini kit that I've designed to coordinate with my full Cool In The Pool kit.

Click HERE to download the crop kit before the crop

The password to unzip the kit will be provided at the crop by Andrea and Tracy Marie. Additionally, all scrappers who post a layout in the FAB 50 Crop Gallery (using the crop kit) by Saturday, July 29th @ 12 AM, EASTERN will receive a special posting bonus that coordinates with the crop kit and the full, but cannot be found in either! Further, all scrappers who post a layout in the FAB 50 Crop Gallery (using the crop kit), by Wednesday, August 2nd will have a chance to win my full kit!

I hope everyone can attend Thursday night, and that you all enjoy the crop and the crop kit. Please let me know if you do!

So for now . . . Happy Scrapping!
~ Jen ~

21 July 2006

Finally Friday

TGIF! As the end of the week is always busy for me, I love it when Friday rolls around as I'm sure most everyone does. So, why is the end of the end of the week so busy for me? First, I help create the SOTB Weekly Newsletter each week on Wednesday or Thursday. Part of my job is to enter information into an HTML template, and the other part ... which is actually the fun part ... is to create a JPEG ad announcing all of the new kits in ths store that week. To the left is this week's JPEG image which made me crave chocolate just looking at it - LOL! I used Carmela Bower'sChoco-Loco Kit to design the ad.

The second reason why the end of the week is so busy for me, is I also create a JPEG-style ad for another site that I sell at, Digitals. At Digitals, I alternate between using a kit from a designer and using a stock photo of some sort. This week I did the latter using a stock photo of an open planner. While I was happy with how this one came out(right), I don't think it was quite as cool as the previous week's ad that I did using the whole Got Milk? concept (below).

So, while these ads take up a good chunk of my time each week, and cause the ends of my weeks to be busy, they give me excellent practice with HTML code and basic graphic design principles as well. And, as I said before, they're pretty fun as well! I've also been able to actually build up quite a design portfolio in just a few short months doing these types of ad as well as a few other things here and there. I have a portion of my portfolio up on the which you can see if you click on the link in the right-hand column of this page. I would eventually like to get professional porfolio designing software to use to create a really flashy design portfolio, but that will have to wait until I have some other types of work to show off.

So for now . . . Happy Scrapping & Have a Great Weekend!
~ Jen ~

19 July 2006

Jason's Parachute

One of my husband's favorite things to do is skydive, and he's been an avid skydiver for just about 12 years. Why anyone would want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane and plummet towards the earth at an alarming rate of speed, I will never understand. But, I have grown to accept the fact that it is something that he truly loves, and even if I am scared witless until he is safely back on the ground, I can't possibly try to take that away from him. I will admit, that it is a sport that lends itself to some pretty cool photos for scrapping. This one of him free falling over Flagler airport just north of Daytona Beach, FL still remains one of his favorites even though it was taken quite some time ago by his good friend and then college roommate Corey. While I can't take photos this cool (this chick keeps her feet planted firmly on the ground whenever possible - LOL), I do try to take as many as I can manage whenever I tag along.

A few years ago I began creating a paper scrapbook album for Jason of all of the photos he had from his training, first jump, visits to various drop zones, etc. The one problem, however, always seemed to be trying to find the right colors of paper and any sort of skydiving themed embellishments. When I started digiscrapping, I thought perhaps I would have a bit more luck, and while I wasn't able to track down a skydiving kit, I was happy to find some grungy and brightly colored kits to use to scrap a few more of his photos which you can see at ScrapJazz HERE and HERE. Jason loved both the paper and digital pages I had created, but I still hadn't found a true skydiving kit. At just about this time last summer, I decided that I would just design my own skydiving kit. But, like many other things at that time, it kept having to be put aside while other things were taken care of. But, I never forgot the idea! So last month, as soon as I had the time and energy, I designed Jason's Parachute - now available at Digitals , Digital Freebies , and ScrapOutsideTheBox.

Jason loves the colors and all of the grunginess I used to design the kit, and I can't wait to scrap some of his photos for him! Hopefully, I will be able to make some time soon to do that for him ... after all, the kit was for his photos - LOL! While I was designing the kit, I ended up making several extra background papers, because I really got into the color scheme and all the funky textures and grunging, so I thought I would share two of my favorites here with everyone!

Click HERE to download the backgrounds. And, please let me know if you like them :)

So for now . . . Happy Scrapping or (as Jason would say) Blue Skies!
~ Jen ~

17 July 2006

Daily Download Designer This Week @ ScrapOutsideTheBox

I have some exciting news to share that I thought simply required a blog post! Generally, each month at SOTB a designer volunteers to provide a daily download to a kit that they've created. The designer who used to organize this decided to leave SOTB at the end of June, so two of my fellow SOTB designers Katie Mann and Yvette Sanders have teamed up to do the daily downloads for the month of July, and we are each offering a mini kit that we designed during our assigned week ... and this week is my week :) Over the course of the next seven days, you can visit my Daily Download Thread and collect all of the pieces of this mini kit as well as a special surprise download this Sunday, July 23rd!

And, of course, I couldn't miss an opportunity to share one of my "fur babies" with you all - LOL - so here is a layout of one of our prairie dogs, Penny, that I made using pieces of the daily download kit, Little Bit of Brown, as well as the full coordinating kit that I also designed and called Latte Brown ... yeah, a little corny play on words there but I couldn't resist - LOL ... available in My SOTB Store. Here is a peek at the full kit for all of you that may be interested. It's a bit different from my usual style in the sense that I usually use a combination of colors when designing a kit, but this one just kind of came together using just shades of brown and white ... my thought being that it would make a great kit for scrapping the pets, my hubby and our nephew, Donald - my most frequent scrapping subjects these days!

So for now . . . Happy Scrapping!
~ Jen ~

14 July 2006

I Have a Blog!

Well, it's finally happened . . . and it's only taken, oh, about a year for me to get a blog going so I can keep everyone posted about my "life and scraps" all in one place. I had actually started a small blog back in July of last year at Digitals but despite my good intentions it fell to the wayside, because the Maceyunas household got crazy busy at the end of July and stayed that way until about Christmas. And, as life always seems to want to bring us as much as we can possibly handle, the end of the holidays not only brought us a new year, but I also found myself utterly exhausted and just not feeling well. No - I'm not pregnant! I know, I know - I just disappointed many of you with that, didn't I? I know in particular I disappointed Jason's Mom who has been hinting to (well, okay, harassing) us for the past three years or so that she would like another grandchild as our nephew's almost 11 now. Oh well . . . as my Mom used to say to me sometimes when I was younger, "It's good to want things." LOL! But all kidding aside, we spent the next 5 months or so going to all kinds of doctors to figure out what exactly was wrong with me. Finally, about a month and a half ago, I was diagnosed with a rather rare form of insulin resistance and fibromyalgia. With those diagnoses in hand, I've been able to find some relief with a combination of various medications and a change of diet. So, while I still have my bad days, this past month I have been able to get back to doing some digital designing and scrapping, when I'm not catching up on everything else that has piled itself up the past 6 months - LOL!

So, as I have a few free seconds a day now and don't feel like a completely inhuman anymore, I thought that I would make a concerted effort to start blogging again, but unfortunately the owners at Digitals have had to close down their blog section due to some incredibly rude and nasty spammers who were leaving, how shall we say, not very "family friendly" things on everyone's blogs. Obviously these Yahoos have way more time to spare than I do!

So, I have made myself a new home here at BlogSpot. And, while I may not post every day from here on out, I do plan on posting often either when the spirit moves me and/or whenever I have a new scrapbook layout, kit, or freebie to share with everyone.

So for now . . . Happy Scrapping!
~ Jen ~

Layout designed with "What's Your Sign - Pisces" kit by Katie Mann @ ScrapOutsideTheBox