Some Interesting Tax Facts

For Americans, this time of year means taxes. I haven’t done mine yet and  I really, really need to.  So as I try to inspire myself to get these done this week, I bring you some interesting tax facts for this weeks the UN-digi.   Enjoy…and then get those taxes done!

  • The Gettysburg address is 269 words, the Declaration of Independence is 1,337 words, and the Holy Bible is only 773,000 words.  However, the tax law has grown from 11,400 words in 1913 to over 7 million words today
  • The IRS sends out 8 billion pages of forms and instructions each year. Laid end to end, they would stretch 28 times around the earth.
  • Nearly 300,000 trees are cut down yearly to produce the paper for all the IRS forms and instructions.
  • The Articles of Confederation, adopted in 1781, did not have a nationwide tax system. Instead, it relied on donations from the states. This did not work.
  • In 1916 Congress deleted the word “lawful” before the word “income” making illegal income taxable.
  • The Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 brought the top tax bracket down to 50%. Previously, it had been as high as 94%.
  • April 15 is officially tax day, but it is also: Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday, the day Abraham Lincoln died, the day General Electric was incorporated, the day the Titanic sank and the day that McDonald’s served its first hamburger.
  • Residents of Hawaii pay more state taxes a person than those of any other state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, followed by, in order, Wyoming, Connecticut, Minnesota and Delaware. Those who pay the least a person are Alabama, New Hampshire, Colorado, South Dakota and Texas.

If you want some interesting UK tax facts, see THIS site

And just for your information, all electronic filing is free this year.  See article HERE.

And if you made $30,000 or less OR were active military in 2008 with an AGI of $56,000 or less OR quality for the Earned Income Credit, you can prepare and eFile your federal tax returns for free.  See HERE.

P.S.  Make sure you check out Designer Digitals quarterly sale.  Everything is 30% off.  I don’t shop there very often due to paypal not being an easy option, but I do plan to grab a few things this weekend.

The Invisible Mom

the-undigi1

You might have read this before.  You might have read it a lot.  But, it is worth reading again. And again.  Every day I have to remind myself that what I do as a mother can not be checked off a to do list. Even though on most day it LOOKS like I did nothing all day long…the results will be seen some day.

For those of you who are mothers, this is for you.  For those of you aren’t (yet), read this so that 1) you won’t be surprised one day when you are a mom that you feel like no one sees you and 2) so that you can grasp how moms feel on an every day basis.  Reach out to a mom.  See how you can help. Tell her she is doing a good job…make her feel like the long hours, diaper changing, face washing, toy playing, book reading, hair brushing, question answering, booger picking, and fight refereeing is all worth it. If you can’t do that, don’t worry.  Just don’t ask her what she does all day.

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This is long, but worth reading and saving for a rainy day – you know, those days when you doubt if all the work you put into being a great mom is ever going to be noticed. The days where you think, “Oh, I used to be brilliant and cute and I used to look really good in jeans!” Save it for that day. Or if you’re having that day today, get your hankie out before you read on…

This is to all moms – and moms to be ———

“Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical, and expecting more than others think is possible”

I’M INVISIBLE

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I’m thinking, ‘Can’t you see I’m on the phone?’ Obviously not; no one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I’m invisible. The invisible Mom.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being. I’m a clock to ask, ‘What time is it?’ I’m a satellite guide to answer, ‘What number is the Disney Channel?’ I’m a car to order, ‘Right around 5:30, please.’

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude – but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She’s going, she’s going, she’s gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, ‘I brought you this.’ It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription:

‘To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.’

In the days ahead I would read – no, devour – the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, ‘Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.’ And the workman replied, ‘Because God sees.’

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, ‘I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become.’

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, ‘My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.’ That would mean I’d built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, ‘You’re gonna love it there.’

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

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That’s it for today. Nothing more to say.  Enjoy your Sunday and know that what you are doing matters.

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Living with Less

the-undigi1
A few years ago I flew to Florida to visit my grandmother. As I spent the weekend in her home, I was overwhelmed by a sense of peace that I felt. My spirit was calm, I could breath deeply, and I had a content smile on my face for what seemed like no reason. I don’t feel like that often and so I was curious as to the reason.

On the day I was leaving I was sitting in her living room looking around.  I looked out the large window, glanced at her few pieces of tasteful furniture, and smiled when I looked at a few pieces of artwork I remembered from when I was a little girl.  And then it hit me.  I knew why I felt such a sense of peace.

My grandmother lived simply, but beautifully.  As I quickly scanned the room, excited to find the source of peace, I was shocked to see that the sense of calm I felt was coming from all the things she didn’t have.  There were no piles of clutter.  There were no extra pieces of furniture.  No TV was in sight. There were not books piled high or framed pictures hanging on every available piece of wall space.  And I felt total peace.

Ever since that weekend I have been striving to live MORE with LESS.  I am far, far from my goal and I am not very good at resisting the “more stuff” mentality, but I have made some improvements and I hope to make more.  I am very aware of how clutter affects my spirit and my sense of calm.  I know now that just because I like something doesn’t mean I need to buy it.  I know that if I am not using it, I don’t need it. I know how to make due with what I have and I know how to throw away things I am not using.  Our external environment affects our internal environment — when our outside world is in chaos, our inside world will be too.  And I really, really, want to live at peace, both inside and out.

For this weeks The UN-digi I want to show you a few sites/articles I have found on living simply, dealing with the clutter, and on embracing frugality.  I am hoping I can work harder to implement some of these things in my life so that I can spend my time enjoying relationships rather than things and spending time with those I love rather than spending it trying to manage (and pay for!) all the junk.

How about you?

100 Reasons to Get Rid of it
Small Notebook
HouseMade
How to Declutter
On Simplicity
One Bag Nation
Laurel Plum Online
72 Ways to Simplify Your Life
Fly Lady — Declutter in 15 minutes a day
The Story of Stuff

And, for us digi gals, THIS article dealing with digital clutter is worth a read.  Or ten.

No matter how simply we live, I think most of us could take a quick look around and see all the the stuff we have that we don’t need.  We can see the piles, the clutter, the excess. Do yourself a favor — start taking small steps to get rid of it and see how you feel.  Pick one small project to tackle today.  Choose one thing you could do differently that will help your family.  Cut out one small luxury that is part of your normal spending routine but adds up over time.  Do something small. Do something today.

janet_sig16

For the Love of Chocolate

I never used to be a chocolate person, or really a sweets person for that matter.  I enjoyed a candy bar now and then and chocolate chip cookies made me swoon, but I have never really craved chocolate.  Until now.  I fully blame my fourth baby for forever changing my taste buds and cravings.  Sweets are now a necessity for me.  Most meals don’t seem “complete” until after I have at least a taste of chocolate. Brownies and chocolate chips cookies disappear at alarming speeds and I am constantly looking for treats that will satisfy my cravings.

chocolate

So, for today’s the UN-digi, I want to give you some great chocolate recipes and treats.  Most of these are great for Valentine’s Day or just any day.  It is good to have a list of things to choose from when the chocolate cravings hit. And homemade goodies can always look like we are trying to be sweet to the people we love when really, we just can’t wait to take a bite 🙂

Here are a few of our personal family favorites:

chocolatehearts

Chocolate Hearts:  I tried these sometime last week.  We can’t get Reeses Peanut butter cups where I live and so my peanut butter and chocolate cravings are in full force.  I found some heart shaped ice cube trays and figured I could just make my own peanut butter cups.  They turned out great!

There is no real recipe, but this is what I did.  I first sprayed the ice cube trays with cooking spray so that the hearts would come out.  Then, I melted down some chocolate in a double boiler (milk chocolate chips or almond bark would work well).  I added a bit to the bottom of each cup.  Be sure not to put too much in because they will be hard to bite into. I took a spoon and smeared some chocolate up the sides of each cup.  I then put these in the freezer while I mixed the peanut butter.

I mixed in 1/3 cup powdered sugar with 1 cup of creamy peanut butter and then chilled. Then I added the PB mixture to each of the cups, filling almost to the top. I pressed it down to make it as flat as possible.  I then topped each cup with more melted chocolate and chilled. When cold, I just turned the trays over and gave them a good tap and out they came.  YUMMY!

borwnie-balls

Another favorite of ours is BROWNIE BALLS. This is a recipe adapted from the original which I heard about on this thread at DST a few years ago.  After trying the cake balls once, I adapted the recipe and made BROWNIE BALLS! They are quite similar but I like the richness of the brownies more than the cake. PLUS, they are super easy and the kids LOVE to help with them! As you can see from the photo above, sprinkling stuff on is my daughter’s favorite part!

Bake up a batch of brownies.  When they are cool, smoosh ‘em up, leaving out the crispy edges.  Mix in 1/3 can chocolate frosting (about 1/2 cup) and then roll into one inch balls.  Dip in melted chocolate (white or dark) and place on waxed paper. Sprinkle with colored sugar, decorator sprinkles, or  mini chocolate chips. I have also used peanut butter instead of frosting which I LOVE.

CHOCOLATE CHIP OAT SNACKIN’ CAKE
(I think this is supposed to be a cake but we like to eat it for breakfast 🙂

CAKE:

1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
3 egg whites
1 cup milk
2 1/4 cups oats (quick or regular)
2 cups chocolate chips (regular or mini)
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt

GLAZE:
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp milk

  • Heat oven to 350F. Spray 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
  • Mix brown sugar, butter, and egg whites.  Stir in milk.
  • Mix in flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips.
  • Spread in pan
  • Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and center feels firm when lightly touched.  Do not over bake.
  • While cooking, mix all glaze ingredients together
  • When the cake is done, immediately spread glaze over the warm cake.

PEANUT BUTTER ICE CREAM PIE

CRUST:
1 1/2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted

PIE
1 liter vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup peanut butter

Chocolate Syrup
Peanut Butter cups

  • Mix together the cookie crumbs, butter, and sugar.  Press firmly into a 9 inch pie plate.
  • Let ice cream soften on counter for 10-15 minutes.
  • Mix in peanut butter.
  • Spread ice cream over crust
  • Crumble peanut butter cups and sprinkle in top
  • Freeze until firm.
  • Drizzle with chocolate syrup before serving.

Here are some other fun recipes you can try:

Fudge Brownie Pie
Chocolate Strawberry Cake Squares
Chocolate French Toast
Homemade Girl Scout Cookies:

If you want a really cool chocolate gift idea, check this out!  You can personalize a box of chocolates with a photo (or layout!) What a great gift for a chocolate loving person!

And, if you just want to laugh about some chocolate, don’t miss the CAKE WRECK blog “When professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong.”  The first time I saw this site I literally laughed for HOURS reading through the cake disasters and witty commentary.

Hope you have a yummy, chocolaty Sunday (or Sundae if you would prefer 😉 )

janet_sig16

P.S. Jana Grunberg and Jennier Brogran: I have tried to contact you via email about your winnings from the DIGI FILES giveaway, but your emails bounced. Please contact me janet[AT]thedailydigi[DOT]com before Wednesday.  If I don’t hear from you I will have to pick some new winners.  I really want you to get your prizes!

We Must Be Happy People

the-undigi1

I was all set to post today about Valentine’s crafts you can do with your kids (or with your hubby, friends, or puppy :). My kids absolutely LOVE to make crafts and there are a lot of really fun and simple things you can do.  I think later today we will pull out the glue and scissors and paints and lovey up our house.

However, as I was pulling together some links for you I came across an article from Yes! Magazine that I thought was very interesting.  It is called 10 THINGS SCIENCE SAYS WILL MAKE YOU HAPPY. I was intrigued as I read through the list, often nodding my head in agreement as I looked at my own life and times when I really, truly “felt” happy.  Now I won’t get into the differences of “joy” versus “happiness” here. Suffice it to say that the happiness we are referring to here is the feeling of being happy.

happiness_poster11x17

You should definitely check out the whole article and read through the ten items. It was good to be reminded that things like exercise and not focusing on money can seriously enhance our happiness.  However, what I want to look closer at today is the number one thing listed:

4810things_1

As scrapbookers (I know, I know, ssshhh…this isn’t supposed to be about digi…it isn’t, really, it is about happiness!) we must be some of the happiest people around!  I mean, isn’t this what scrapbooking is really all about??  Savoring the everyday moments, moments that are “normally hurried through.”  When we scrapbook, when we take photos, when we stop to think about how those photos make us feel, we are SAVORING the everyday and in the process, becoming happier people.

I know that in the last four years my level of “happiness” has gone way, way up.  I know there are other things involved in this — personal changes I have made, watching my family grow from two kids to four kids, learning more about who I am and what I do best — but I also KNOW that scrapbooking has a lot to do with this. As I look through my albums, as I view photos of my family and friends, I can’t help but stop and realize how truly blessed I am. When I look through the 17 photos I have taken so far  for my photo a day project, I smile thinking of those 17 “everyday” or otherwise “would have missed” moments forever recorded. And yes, I feel happy.

I encourage you to take some time today to read through the other nine items and look at your own life and how those things fit in.  You can download a full size 11×17 pdf file of the poster.  I think I may cut out a few of the ones  I need to be reminded of most often (like exercising!) and frame them and put them in a place I can always see them. Think about what you can do TODAY to bring a little happiness into your life.

And if you have time left over and still want to do some Valentine’s crafts, here are some great ideas:

ms_suckerflowers

Heart and Lillipop flowers from Martha Stewart

 

front-heart-pencil-topper-040

Heart Pencil Toppers

350x262_puffy-heart1_rdax_65

Puffy Heart

clothespinfasterners_ms

Clothes Pin Fasteners

Or try these:

Valentine Candy Dish

Recycled Egg Carton Heart

Pop Up Cards

Heart Stitched Card

Handprint Wall Hanging

and MORE

 

Hope that everyone has a very HAPPY Sunday!

janet_sig16

 

 

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I Need My Coffee

the-undigi1I’ll admit it.  I am a little obsessed with my coffee.  I started drinking coffee when I was eight (yes, shock and horror) and I can’t really remember a day without it.  Well, unless you count those blessed months of morning sickness but since those involved lots of trips to the porcelain throne and carrying around plastic bags, we won’t talk about those days. Maybe if I had been chic enough to carry THESE around, I might be willing to discuss it.  Anyway, back to the topic at hand:  COFFEE.  I love it. I need it.  And I need something to put it in.

coffeecups

My love for coffee cups almost competes my love for coffee itself.  For years I have had a large collection of coffee cups.  It used to be out-of-control HUGE but over the last few years I have given a lot of them away and become much more discriminating.  I mean really, how many coffee cups can ONE person need? (Well, make that two since after nine years of marriage I finally got my husband enjoying a daily cup.  Or two).  I love seeing all my cups — they are reminders of places I have been, holidays I have celebrated, and even people I love.  It is so fun to wake up in the morning and choose my mug.  Will it be the pretty and happy ones from Starbucks?  Will it be one of our “city” mugs representing a place we have lived?  Will it be the ones that are just the perfect size?  It’s a fun decision that I get to make every day.

So, if you like coffee mugs, keep reading! For today’s the UN-digi I want to show you some really cool coffee cups you can find. There are thousands upon thousands of choices out there, so I tried to come up with some of the more unique, humorous, or inspiring ones.  They would all make great gifts or additions to your own collection.  And if anyone wants to send a package to me in Indonesia, you will now know what I like 🙂


I AM NOT A PAPER CUP

The first up is this really cool I  AM NOT A PAPER CUP mug from PerpetualKid.com

pk_notpapercup1

Love coffee? Love Earth? Perfect! Our “I Am Not A Paper Cup” Cup is the coolest thing since sliced bread. Be nice to the environment while slurping your morning mojo.

The silicon lid helps keep your beverage hot or cold longer while helping to prevent spills while running laps in your cube farm. Two layers of porcelain are separated by a hollow cavity that acts as a perfect insulator for hot or cold drinks!

Say goodbye to Styrofoam forever!

Don’t listen to what Kermit used to say… It is easy being green! It’s Eco-friendly, reusable and dishwasher safe.

 


2 CARAT CUP

The next mug is also from PerpetualKid.  It is appropriately named the 2 CARAT CUP. I LOVE this and think it would make such a cool gift.  The mug even comes in a cool over-sized jewelry box!

pk_2caratup

 

Here’s a great way to start the day – a graceful porcelain mug that adorns you with a sparkling “diamond” ring when you pick it up. Resistance is futile! But wait, here’s the BEST part – we’ve packed the 2 Carat Cup in an elegant over-size jewelry box, so when you present it as a gift, all you see is the ring!
A great mug, a terrific gift, a charming social expression – this one’s got it all. White porcelain with gold or silver colored glaze and Swarovski rhinestone, individually boxed.

 

 


DIY HEART MUG

If Valentine’s Day is already on your mind then you should definitely check out the DIY HEART MUG. You can write the perfect love note that your sweetie can read every day!

diy-heart-mug

Do-It-Yourself Heart Mug is a great way to say “I love you”! Great for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, or just because. Ships with a black Pebeo pen so you can personalize the mug.
The revolutionary pen works just like a marker. Wash off mistakes with a damp sponge. Once the markings are dry, fire your mug in any conventional oven at 300 degrees for 35 minutes. It’s permanent, dishwasher, microwave and food safe! Instructions included.

 


COFFEE CHECKLIST CHALKBOARD MUG

If you are particular about how you like you coffee, then maybe the COFFEE CHECKLIST CHALKBOARD MUG is the choice for you! I can see having a whole collection of these and letting guests “fill them out” before you get their coffee!

wickedcoolstuff_coffee-checklist1

A great gift for coffee addicts! This black coffee mug has a chalkboard style write-on surface – pre printed with a checklist… Black? Sugar? Cream? Cream? Sugar?
Comes with a box of chalk to get you started.

 

 


DO STUPID THINGS FASTER

This one just makes me laugh. I can’t tell you the number of stupid things I have done or said in the mornings when I haven’t had my coffee.

wickedcoolstuff_drinkcoffee

“Drink Coffee. Do stupid things faster with more energy” Just the right mug for a caffeine addicted co-worker!
This ceramic mug features vintage advertising artwork with a attitude-filled slogan! Holds 12 ounces.

 


REASONS TO LOVE YOU

Whenever my husband tells me he loves me, I always ask him why he loves me.  Somehow having a reason to love me makes those three little words mean much more. So, if he just got me this mug then maybe I wouldn’t have to ask why.

pm_75reasonsmug

We have 75 reasons to say what you really think of your special someone!
Such as…they are kind, funny, sexy, charming, brilliant, intriguing, tantalizing, and a whole lot more!
Our unique design starts on the front of the coffee mug, custom personalized with their first name in bright red, boldly contrasting against the black and white text.
It then features a full wrap around the back of the mug to find a ruby red heart with your first name charmingly nestled inside.

* Standard size White Ceramic Coffee Mug holds 10 ozs., dishwasher & microwave safe.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day, birthdays, or just to say You’re Terrific!

 

 

 


LIFE IS GOOD

Some of my favorite mugs are my inspirational ones….the ones that just make me stop and think and smile.  I would love to add this beauty to my collection.

lifeisgood-mug

Life is good! Use this mug as a gentle reminder each morning when you drink your coffee or tea to take a minute to say a silent prayer of thanks for all the goodness in your life and to count your blessings. The hand painted, ceramic mug is microwave and dishwasher safe. Written inside the mug, a little below the rim, are the words ”Life is good… enjoy the little things.”

 

 


WORK WITH ME PEOPLE

If humor is more you style then check out THIS bright colored and fun mug.

wrap_workwithme

Bring some humor into your office space with our Work with Me People Mug. This mug features vibrant colors and reads, “Work with Me People”. Dishwasher and microwave safe.

 

 


PICK YOUR NOSE

Now this last one isn’t technically a coffee mug but I just couldn’t resist showing you THESE.  Aren’t they FUN? I can see them livening up any party or family gathering!

pk_pickyournose_cups

Who knows how to liven up a party? YOU do! Each of these photo- realistic paper cups comes emblazoned with a new nose. When you tip your head to take a drink – voila – you get an instant nose job, and a chuckle from the crowd.

Remember, never turn your nose up at a good laugh! There are 24 12-oz. cups in each pack, evenly divided between male and female proboscises (errr, noses).

 

 

 

You can check out even more fun mugs with the HUGE selection at CafePress. Or, if you just want to be inspired with cool ways to photograph your mug collection, check out THIS Flickr pool!

 

 

Enjoy your cup of coffee today!

 

janet_sig13

 

P.S.  Check out our SPONSOR page for some really cool info!

 

 

The UN-digi

the-undigiFor most people, Sunday is a day of rest.  Whether you put on your nicest clothes and head to church or sleep in and then snuggle up in bed with a newspaper and a second cup of coffee, Sundays are always a bit different.  They are the day we let the rest of our lives sit on hold for a while and we try to set aside the stresses of work, school, and the to-do list.  Yep, a day of rest once a week is a good thing!

Here at TDD, Sundays will be a day of rest too.  Not resting from posting, but rather, a day of rest from all things digi.  Instead, we will bring you the UN-digi.  This is our chance to show you really cool places and products that have absolutely nothing to do with digital scrapbooking (but which you are sure to love!) There is a great big world out there filled with really, really cool things.  We want to show you a bit of it.

So check back here every Sunday for the UN-digi…where you can find cool things that you and your family will love.

__________

This Sunday, we have two really cool websites for you to check out.

1. A few weeks ago I was reading on Lanne’s blog and learned about this site.  Oh my goodness…it is SO cool!  According to the description from their blog, Polyvore.comlets you mix and match images from anywhere on the web, to create outfits, interior designs, or any kind of collage.”

Basically, it lets you grab images from all over the web and mix and match them onto a collage so you can see what they would look like together.  Decorating your new bedroom? Create a set with all the furniture, bedding, and artwork you love.  Trying to find the perfect outfit for a night on the town? Find images from your favorite clothing stores and see if they go together as well as you think they do.  It will also save the link to the items you put together so you can find them again later!

I do have to warn you though…the site does have some certain addictive qualities .   I guess it is a good thing that the to-do list is on hold for the day 😉

2. The second great site I want to show you is BRIGHT OCTOBER.  This site was created by a couple who wanted more for their child than cartoon character toys and other plastic junk.  They wanted to find toys that encouraged imaginative play and motor skill development.  What resulted is an amazing site full of colorful and unique toys that any child is sure to cherish.

I had a hard time picking my favorites since there is just so much to look at!  But here you go…

DOLLS BUGGY

dollbuggy

TOOL SET

toolset

And all the wooden cars and vehicles from WOODY CLICK

woodentoys

I love that you can shop by age of child, price, brand, or type of toy.  They have a huge selection of quality wooden toys as well as organic toys and even handmade toys.  Parents, if you have been looking for something new for your kids, this is the place to go.

Hope you enjoyed this Sunday’s edition of the TDD.  Check back next Sunday for more things that are totally UN-digi!

janet_sig6

___

P.S.  One of our readers (and a friend of mine!), Whitney created an action based off of yestereday’s vignette tutorial.  Whitney is a great photographer and amazing scrapper! This action allows you to set the area of selection to the size you want (really cool!) When the action completes, adjust the opacity of the vignette layer and then merge! You can download it HERE.

Actions can be great time savers and if you perform the same steps over and over again in your workflow, they are a real blessing.  Just be careful that you don’t depend on actions — no one action will fit every situation.  By learning the process behind the action, you will learn your program better and be more equipped to deal with each individual photo and its unique characteristics.

If you don’t know how to install actions, check out the information HERE.  There is even a cool downloadable .pdf file that has instructions for PC and MAC users of Photoshop 7+ and Photoshop Elements 3+.  Print them out and never be lost trying to install an action again!