To All the Mothers Out There


To all the mothers out there: HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY. What a special day — a day to be honored for all the hard (and often unnoticed) work that you do…the physical, emotional, mental, educational, and spiritual. Being a mother is a high calling. Let’s not take it lightly. Remember, you may be invisible but you are building something far more amazing that can ever be imagined.

To all those who aren’t mothers yet, but want to be someday: Start now to prepare yourself. Motherhood is the most rewarding — but also the most demanding — job you will ever do. Take time now, while you can, to get yourself ready in all of the ways mentioned above. The more you do before, the more you will be ready to take on the role of “Mom”.

To all those who aren’t mother’s yet but who are trying to become one: I know this time can be hard. It took us three years and losing three babies before I ever got to experience being a mom on Mother’s Day. Be patient. Rest. Relax. Pray. Take care of your heart and your health and let others be there to support you. Read THIS.

To Mothers of preschoolers: Hold on tight. This ride can be tough (I know, I am in the middle of it!) These little people need us for everything. They whine, they cry, they can’t figure out that potty. They wake up when they should be sleeping and sleep when they should be awake. They take that last little nerve we have dangling from a thread and bounce on it. But they also make us laugh till we cry, they think we are the world, they love cuddles and kisses and snuggles. They really mean it when they say “You are the best mom in the world!” We are their everything. Treasure this time. Don’t wish it away. Soak it up and let their laughter and smiles and silly questions light up your life.

To Mothers of older children: You might have to loosen that grip a little. These little people aren’t so little anymore and they need that delicate balance of parental support and safe independence. Watch in wonder as they explore their world and that of those around them. Don’t be afraid to lead them, to set the example, to show them how to make right choices. Use the time now to prepare them for what is to come. They still need you desperately.

To Mothers of teenagers: I’m not there yet, but I remember being a teenager. As much as they say they don’t need you anymore, they so desperately do. Be there for them. Be that source of consistency in their lives when everything around them seems to change daily. Love them, support them, gently guide them. They need to know you believe in them and that you think they can do anything. Help them make wise choices and don’t be afraid to let them fall. They’ll make dumb choices at times but they need to know that you still love them anyway. They will remember these years. Make it worth remembering!

To Mother’s of grown children: Congratulations! You took a child from being a 7lb squalling infant to a mature adult. You worked, cried, laughed, prayed, dreamed, hoped, listened, feared, cooked, cleaned, and loved. They are on their own now. But no matter what, when they are sick, know that more than anything they still want their mother 🙂 Continue to be a support for them. Love them. Call them. Send them something “just because.” They are grown, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t need you.

To Grandmother’s: Wow…you have watched your own child bring life into this world. What an amazing circle of life we have. As you watch your child(ren) raise their own kids, know that you had something to do with this. Love your children. Support them. Even if you don’t agree with how they are parenting, love them anyway. Be a support. Try to remember what it was like and remember what you would have wanted from your own mother. Love those grandkids. Enjoy life as a grandmother. You will be a light in that grandchild’s life.

To all the Mother’s: HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY. May you have a wonderful, blessed, hope and laughter filled day. For a great video, check out this free screening (today only, I think) on Nooma’s Facebook Page: HERE.


P.S. Credits for image: Papers and button by Shabby Princess (Blossom Collection). Alpha by Cd Muckosky (Free Spirit Alpha).

Caught My Eye

Happy weekend to everyone! I know I am super excited for a few days of family and fun. Also hoping to sneak some scrapping in there too — and here are some things that have caught my eye around the digi world. There is just so much talent…I don’t really know where to start! So I will just jump in and show you some great things — some new, some not so new. All of them really cool. All images are clickable. Happy scrapping!













He Must Have Been Reading My Mind


I love Gmail. I really, really love it. And once Steph helped me figure out how to get ALL of my email accounts (okay, well up to 5) to come into ONE inbox, I was even more in love. Threaded conversations, great filters, and NO spam in my inbox make me think it is just the best. I also use iGoogle (my Firefox homepage) which gives me a quick all in once glance at email, blog reader, time, weather, to do list, verse for the day, and calendar. I adore Gmail chat, am learning about Google Calendar, and basically think everone needs to know how cool it is. When I love something, I want others to love it too. Remember my Firefox post?

A number of times Steph and I have mentioned (over Gmail chat, of course) that we should do a post on how cool Gmail is. And what comes into my inbox today? THIS. Yep, that Zen guy has done it again. He read my mind and has already written about how cool Gmail is. So rather than me writing it, let’s just see what he has to say. I learned a LOT from this and can’t wait to try some new things. Maybe I will actually start getting into Twitter. Maybe.

These days there are a proliferation of digital tools we use for productivity, for time management, for communication, for social networking, for keeping track of our lives, online and off.

It can be a nightmare to keep track of it all, and frankly, it’s a bit unproductive to keep switching between a dozen different tools.

Enter Gmail, my favorite solution for just about anything. OK, maybe not for things like solving marital problems or spending time with my kids, but … give it time. 🙂

It’s already pretty clear that Gmail is the best tool for email, and integrations with calendar and chat have made it the go-to place for much of our information. But Gmail Gadgets have allowed us to bring the rest of the pieces of the puzzle together. Now we can do just about everying in one place – Gmail.
Here’s how:

1. Email
: Gmail is how email should be done. With great filters, you can keep your inbox fairly clean. With keyboard shortcuts, you can get through the inbox in minutes. With labels and archiving, you don’t spend time filing. With threaded conversations, your email stays organized. There are dozens of smart little innovations, from automatic contacts to a “send and archive” button and much more. If you’re not using Gmail for email yet, you should strongly consider a change.

2. To-do
: Gmail only recently added a Tasks feature, something most of us have been wanting for a long time. It’s just about the simplest to-do list there is. You add a task. You check it off. You can re-order them. That’s about it. But it’s incredibly useful, because here’s the trick: you’re zooming through your inbox, and when you find an email that requires an action … you add it to the task list in Gmail. Then you archive the email, instead of leaving it in your inbox. Result: clear inbox! Cool feature: you can turn an email into a task, which means the task is linked to the email, and you can easily open the email by clicking on the task. Enable Gmail Tasks by going to Labs (in the upper right corner of Gmail). For Remember the Milk users, there’s also an RTM gadget of course.

3. Calendar
. Google’s Calendar (Gcal) is hands down the fastest, easiest and best calendar I’ve used (and yes, I’ve tried iCal, Outlook, 30 Boxes and Sunbird). It just works exactly like you’d want it to work. And now it’s in Gmail’s sidebar, so you can see your events at a glance while in Gmail, and even add tasks quickly without having to go to the calendar. Also cool: Gcal, like Google Docs and Gmail (see below) now has an offline mode, so you don’t have to worry about being connected to the Internet. Enable the GCal gadget in Gmail by going to Labs.

4. Docs
. Are you still using a desktop word processing or spreadsheet app? Consider switching to Google Docs & Spreadsheets, which I use exclusively now. It’s online (with offline access now), it’s simple, it opens the usual formats, and it’s so much better for collaboration. Seriously — no more emailing different versions to people. Best yet, no need to sync docs between computers or carry them around on a USB flash drive. And now, with the Docs gadget in Gmail, you can open your docs from within Gmail, making it even more of a one-stop center for all your productivity and information needs. Enable the Google Docs gadget in Gmail by going to Labs (in the upper right corner of Gmail).

5. Twitter
. A lot of people are finding Twitter to be an incredible place to connect with others, to find great things to read, to keep in touch with what’s happening now. But keeping your Twitter app open all the time can be unproductive. Enter Twitter Gadget, which takes seconds to install into Gmail and lets you have the most important functions of Twitter right within your all-in-one productivity center — you can see your Twitter stream, replies, direct messages, and favorites, and send out Tweets quickly. Granted, it’s not as nice and fully-functional as other great Twitter apps (Tweetdeck comes to mind), but it does the job quickly and painlessly.

. Want to look up a site you bookmarked earlier? I’ve been using the delicious gadget for Gmail, and it works pretty much as you’d expect — you can see a list of your most recent bookmarks in the Gmail sidebar. You can even see the most popular bookmarks on delicious right now, which is cool. Having your bookmarks right within Gmail is a nice feature that brings together a lot of your online life.

7. Text, voice and video chat
. I use the Gmail chat for all my chat needs (which are fairly minimal), because I can do it from within Gmail. And now you can use Gmail chat for video and voice — I’ve done it, and it’s super simple and works great. With these additions, Gmail takes care of all my communication needs.

8. Social media
. What about other social media you might use, such as Facebook, MySpace or Friendfeed? Put them right in Gmail with the Facebook, MySpace and FriendfeedDigg and Flickr. gadgets. There are even gadgets for

9. RSS feeds
. I think Google Reader is the best RSS reader for its speed and simplicity. However, while you used to be able to add Google Reader to Gmail using a Greasemonkey script, with the newer version of Gmail that script became unusable. So what I do now is add Google Reader to my Firefox sidebar, so I can easily check my RSS feeds while in my all-in-one Gmail productivity center (only works in Firefox afaik).

10. Managing your gadgets
. As you can tell, this is a lot of gadgets to add to Gmail. You can end up with a ton of gadgets running down the left side of Gmail’s window. I recommend, if you have a fairly wide monitor, that you move the labels and chat boxes to the right side. Also, you can minimize any of the gadgets with a click (there’s a minimize button at the top of each gadget), to keep things manageable. Finally, get rid of gadgets you don’t use very often, to simplify things.

11. Offline Gmail
. One of the problems people use to have with Gmail is that it’s online — meaning that if you can’t connect to the Internet (if you’re on the road, on an airplane, or your connection goes down), you can’t use Gmail. Well, that’s now changed with Gmail’s offline mode — you can read, compose and organize messages while offline, which is nice.

Most Important Tip
Finally, now that you’ve set up Gmail to do everything you need it to, here’s the most important tip for staying productive: don’t keep it open all the time.

Ideally, schedule certain times to use Gmail and the other gadgets you have set up — maybe 2-3 times during the day. Or close it when you’re ready to work on an important task, and then open it when you’re done with the task, but only for 10 minutes. Find what works for you, but set your limits and stick to them!

Article written by Leo Babauta. Used with permission.



P.S. The freebies for two of these weeks posts (Creashen’s SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT and the JUST FOR FUN madlibs posts have had new links added.

The Long and Winding…Path? Part 1

Paths can be a very fun way to play with text in a layout, but they seem to intimidate most scrappers! Once you try them though, I promise you will be addicted!! The title on the layout below was created with a text path from Natali Designs that I brought into my layout.


Supplies: Papers and flower are by KristinCB from The Digi Files 4, Stitching is by Syrine, charm by Zoe Pern, font by Stephanie2

For more complex paths, I will often use purchased paths, but for more simple shapes, I always make my own. As always I have some really GREAT tutorials that are easy to understand (I hope) and will help you create your own paths to add text to. The tutorial for PSCS from Kim at CGEssentials is one of the best I have seen and she also simply explains how invert the flow of the text (the flow of the text in the above layout is inverted). Inverting the flow also helps if you want the top of the text to curve on the inside of a shape such as a circle, instead of the bottom flowing on the outside. Here is a break-down of the tutorials by software:

Photoshop CS

Paint Shop Pro

ACDSee (scroll down to Text on a Path)

If you are using PSE (or if you are wanting something really quick) you can buy text paths already made. PSE doesn’t have a path function, but you can drag and drop pre-made text paths on your layout and then just change the text! Here are some that I found around digi world…

This first set includes the path I used on the layout above.





These paths by Wendy work in PSP too!



Just For Fun


Do you remember Mad Libs? You know, those funny fill-in-the-blank things we did as kids? I used to love them! My friends and I would entertain ourselves with them for hours! They are hysterical. So, just for fun, I created a little one for you…it’s all about scrapping! If you aren’t familiar with them, don’t worry. Here is what you do:

Copy and paste the following list into a new document. At each prompting, type in a word that fits with the prompt. Do this for all 27 words. When we are done, we will plug those words into a story for a funny, don’t-take-life-too-seriously, great start to your day! Okay, here we go!

1. feeling/emotion
2. adjective
3. feeling/emotion
4. feeling/emotion
5. feeling/emotion
6. adjective
7. name of designer
8. adjective
9. frequency of activity (never, always, etc)
10. verb
11. verb
12. name of designer
13. verb
14. verb
15. verb
16. verb
17. amount
18. number
19. number
20. time frame
21. noun
22. -ing verb
23. personality trait
24. verb
25. time frame
26. term of resignation (oh well, too bad, etc)
27. feeling/emotion


Okay, got it? Make sure you have something for each of the prompts! Now you can plug your words into the following story.

I just _____1_______ scrapping. I think it is ______2_____. When I do it, I feel ______3_____, ______4_____, and ______5_____. Life is ______6_____ when I do it.

My favorite designer is ______7_____. Her designs are just so ______8_____. ______9_____ I see them I just have to ______10_____ them right away.

Just recently I have started to ______11_____ ______12_____. Her work just ______13_____ me. When I ______14_____ it, it makes me want to ______15_____. I ______16_____ I could be like her!

Even though those two are my favorites, I tend to buy ______17_____ of other stuff too. Right now I think I have about ______18_____ kits not even unzipped. I don’t like to admit it, but I usually spend about $______19_____ a ______20_____ on kits! I should probably be buying ______21_____ instead, but I just can’t stop ______22_____ them all!

My friends and family think I am _____23_____ for how much I scrap. I know they are right, but I ______24_____ it too much to stop. Maybe ______25_____ they will be able to understand. If not, ______26_____. I am a scrapper and ______27_____ of it.


And here is a little freebie to scrap your silly start to the day 🙂




P.S. Send me a copy of your story (doesn’t have to be scrapped) to and I will post some of them! Can’t wait to read them!


Spot Lit Wall

WOO HOO!  I am so excited to have the sponsor spotlights back!  After an almost three week hiatus, I am just itching to introduce you to another fabulous designer.  And today you will NOT be disssapointed!  THE DAILY DIGI is thrilled to spotlight the designer CREASHENS!  Her work is just incredible…as I have been putting this post together I have just been in awe of everything I have seen.  Beautiful colors, flowing designs, and a rockin’ creative team.  Yup…this is going to be a good one.  But before we get to all that, let’s see what she created just for this months THE DIGI FILES.

creashens_sprung_previewIsn’t this absolutely, drop-dead, jaw-on-the-floor gorgeous?  I LOVE it.  It was one of those kits that I loved right away when I saw it but when I opened it, I just couldn’t believe it.  She has PACKED this thing full.  And what I really love about it is that it is one of those kits where everything is there — she has so much variety of color and element choices that I didn’t have to spend a lot of time looking for stuff to go with it.  She also has a number of pre-layered elements for the time-challenged like me!  I was able to put this page together in about 10 minutes!  And you know what…I adore it and am going to print it on a canvas and give it to my mom for Mother’s Day!


You can get this kit, and a bunch of other amazing designs, right HERE for just $5.00

If you want to see  25 of ABSOLUTELY STUNNING LAYOUTS using this kit, just check out what her creative team did HERE.  This is, hands-down, one of the most amazing CT’s I have ever seen!



Name:  Shen Guthrie (my design name is CREASHENS)

Stores: Catscrap and Two Little Pixels


About: My name is Shen Guthrie. I grew up in the small town of Alhambra in Los Angeles county. Since graduating college 12 years ago, I’ve been working as a full-time corporate graphic designer. I now currently reside in Orange County, California with my husband of almost six years and our 2 1/2 year old daughter who is the subject of most all my layouts.


I started designing because it just felt natural. When I was just a scrapper, I would try to be creative with the products I would buy… Cutting things apart, mixing different things, blending different papers… Creating new things to use. Born into a family of various mixed media artists, and after becoming a graphic designer, I just knew I was meant to be an artist of some sort, even though I always thought and wanted to be a teacher.


‘ve been designing digital scrapbook products since May of 2008, but as a graphic designer for over 15 years now.


Definitely both! I have to be and have both! I can’t imagine doing one without the other now. Although since becoming a designer, I’ve had less time to scrap. Scrapping is still my ultimate therapy pill. If I’m in a designing funk, I scrap. I can scrap my heart out and never be sick of it. I can’t say the same about designing, because at times, I can get burnt out.


(You can see all of her 2009 layouts right HERE)


Considering I get about 6 hours of sleep on the weekdays (with a full-time job) and maybe 7 on the weekends, I’d say 25 -30 hours.


I would have to say Sprung, the kit being featured here this month.


I would have to say it’s a toss-up between my more recent Swell Set No. 2, Uptown kit, Pure Paper Pack, and my debut kit, Natural Wonders.






1. my family

2. rainy days

3. foreign flicks

4. Audrey Hepburn

5. Italy

6. photography

7. flip flops

8. jeans (especially fresh out of the dryer)

9. Charlie & Lola cartoons

10. creating/designing/drawing


1. people who toss ashes and cigs out their car window

2. loud chewing

3. telemarketers

4. corporate bureaucracy

5. my nearsighted vision

5. birds crapping on my car

6. reptiles and worms

7. ironing

8. when Photoshop crashes

9. bills


Now let’s take a peek into her store…there is so much yummy goodness in there!  All images are clickable.







Isn’t it all just incredible??

And now…because the readers of THE DAILY DIGI asked for it, here are a bunch of layouts created with her CREASHENS! The layouts use a variety of her gorgeous designs. To see even more, check out the MOSTLY CREASHENS gallery over at Catscrap!











Thank you, Shen, SO MUCH for being with us this month!  Your art is truly inspirational!

As a THANK YOU to our readers, Shen has this great quick page for us!


Download HERE


The Best of Both Worlds


I’m indecisive. That is especially true when scrapping. And that is why I love digital…I get to change my mind as often as I would like. I can try papers, take them off, put them back, and so on. I can try my photos in color and then in black and white — just to see what I like best. In the time I create a layout the papers, elements, and photos have usually changed many times. And I am okay with that.

With traditional scrapping and crafts, it’s not that simple! I remember when I was asked to create a paper page for Creating Keepsakes 4 product Challenge. I said yes, thinking, “How hard can it be?” Well I soon found out! I just sat there, staring at the materials in front of me, scared to cut anything since I couldn’t put it back together again. And then I had an idea — I scanned in all the materials I was supposed to use and designed my page in Photoshop. I could cut, uncut, move things around, change my photos, and make sure it was just the way I wanted it. Afterwards, I did my best to recreate the page with all the “real” products. It took a while, but I was able to stay true to my indecisive self without ruining all the products (they send just ONE of everything you need!)

Since that time, I have approached paper and/or hybrid projects in much the same way. By designing the project digitally first, I can be sure of how it will turn out without wasting lots of time and materials.

Here is an example:


I created this set of invitations for my son’s birthday. I knew the materials I wanted to use but was once again afraid of my indecisiveness. So, I created it digitally first.

I knew I wanted a square card and I was sure that I wanted to use CD Muckosky’s Birthday Booya elements. I created a 6×6 page in PSE and then started playing. I tried different elements out and rearranged a bunch of times. I resized according to what I would need and even added shadows to get an idea of what it would look like (I knew I was going to use double sided foam tape).

invitefront(front of invite)

inviteinside(inside of invite)

Once I was happy with how it looked, I dragged the resized elements onto a new document so that they would be ready for printing.


I then cut everything out, added them to my 6×6 card, hand wrote the message inside, and I was DONE. It was so easy and there was no un-gluing or re-cutting necessary! It was truly the best of both worlds!




Go ahead, give it a try!


Fun Finds


I hope you are all recovering from your digi shopping yesterday and are now enjoying SCRAPPING with it!  While you are busy downloading you can check out some fun finds from around the web!


THIS Etsy seller has the most DARLING stuff!  I LOVE it!


A cool recipe for Mason Jar Cupcakes is on THIS blog


THIS site has the listed Canon Instant Rebates…effective May 3- July 11, 2009


I love the downloadable coloring pages from THIS site.  Our family has bought (and colored) quite a few of them!


THIS site has the most amazing ..and FREE…downloadable paper projects


THIS blog has some great resources and great articles.  HERE is one about gearing up for summer


This website has lots of really cool ideas, too, like their DAILY TIPS.


If you want to try a bit of sewing this summer but aren’t really sure about how to go about it, THIS Etsy seller is your answer!  She sells sewing kits with PRE-CUT fabric with finsihed edges, full instructions, and ALL OF THE MATERIALS YOU NEED (elastic, thread, etc).  How cool is THAT?

Happy DA{i}NSD

(day after international scrapbooking day 🙂 )


Oh Happy Day!


Today is a big day for all of us scrappers — {inter}NATIONAL SCRAPBOOKING DAY! If you ask me, it is a pretty cool holiday! A whole day to celebrate what we love so much! It is an especially special day for me because my digi-versary is always this same weekend! Four years ago this weekend I created my first digital scrapbook page. And since then…wow…my life has changed so much! Scrapping has brought SO much into my life. I have met some of the most amazing people (both on- and offline), had some of the coolest experiences, and found an outlet for my creativity that brings so much happiness. That day, four years ago, started a journey that would forever change who I am!

In honor of this special day, I want to challenge you. I know many of you will be “out” all day shopping all over the digi world and that’s great — I love a good sale too! However, I want to challenge you to make today more than just about shopping. I want to challenge you to create a page that celebrates this craft/hobby you love so much. If scrapbooking is a way to remember the big parts of our life, then for many of us, we need to be scrapping about scrapping! We need to be creating pages that talk about how we got started, what we love about it, and the people we have met through it. Scrapping is such a big part of my life that I can’t not scrap about it!

I’ve done a few pages over the years to celebrate scrapping. This first one I did on my one year anniversary and it talks about how I found out about digital scrapping and where the journey had already taken me:


And I did this one a few months later to talk about how scrapping had changed me (it was my first published page, too!)


And here is one of my favorite pages (made about two years ago) that talks about why I scrapbook. I titled it, “To Those Who Have Gone Before


And here I am today…four years into this, running my own website, still loving scrapping just as much as I did in the beginning. Truly, the love I feel for this hobby has never weakened! In order to celebrate my 4th anniversary, I decided to create a new page. I wanted to create something that shared how I was feeling about scrapping as well as an example of where I am style-wise.


This was my challenge to myself:

  • Start with no real plan for how the page will turn out
  • Start opening papers and elements that are “me” — that I use a lot and/or are representative of my digi life
  • Create a page that talks about how I am feeling right now about scrapping
  • Keep the design consistent with my current style

I loved having a page that is very “me” right now. I started by just opening stuff I use all the time — Gina Cabrera’s kraft paper, staples by Shabby Princess, Amber Clegg’s date stamp, Syrin’s stitching, templates (these are by Emily Merritt), papers are by THE DIGI DARE TEAM (currently my only team) and are from the current DIGI FILES (a huge part of my life right now!) I kept with my “perfectly imperfect” style and stayed true to my minimal use of elements and my overuse of stitching 🙂 And having CD’s wordart on there just tops the cake — she is my true scrapping and inspirational idol. I could stare at her work forever. And the picture of my family — well, they are the ones that make me want to scrap. They inspire me, they fill me with laughs, tears, and stories, and they support me in all I do — both scrapping because I love it and scrapping for my “work.” This page is totally me.


So now it’s your turn! Scrap about scrapping. You can start with my challenge or you can start somewhere else. Just take some time this {i}NSD and create a layout about this hobby you love. When you are done, give us a link in the comments before Monday and we’ll send a goodie your way!

And if you need some thing to get you started, the two Stephanies and I created this fun doodle/brush/template set for you!

Happy {i}NSD from THE DAILY DIGI!

s2_jp_tdd_nsd_freebie_preview600Download HERE


P.S. If you can’t help but do some shopping this weekend — check out THIS list of sales 🙂