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{ Freebie Time }

by Lee on August 10, 2008

But first, gotta tell you, we got a Wii Fit… oh man I am having soooo much fun on it, makes up ( a little) for not getting an iPhone, not really but I am trying to stay positive… anyway, we are all having so much fun on it, competing for highest points. New games open up the more time you spend on it… can’t recommend it enough. I spent over an hour on it today, even though I had several cyber wines with Jude last night…. but that’s another story….

I have started teaching again, which has been fun, this term we are concentrating on editing photos for layouts and so far the girls are really enjoying the techniques and can see how much their photos can be improved. We’ll probably head back into Digital Scrapbooking in the last half of the term. As always, I have a great bunch of eager students.

This weekend marked then end of the girls’ netball season, so our weekends will be freed up now, just in time as the weather is starting to improve and we can embark on our caravanning again. Looks like our next holiday will be on the Great Ocean Road, which should be nice as we haven’t been down that way before, but we have a caravan park in mind which was recommended to us.

I will post my next Photoshop Tip through the week, I am supposed to be going out soon and since I spent too much time on the Wii, I am running a little (well, a lot) late!

Share the freebie love: If you post a link on your blog to this freebie, you will be getting an extra freebie in return Offer Expired... post a comment here with a link to your blog post and I’ll email you the freebie download details. I made this kit a while back as part of the Digital Scrapbooking Magazines Best and Brightest competition. Enjoy :-)
[download id="5"]

Lastly, you need to check out the Scraps Of Mind blog, I had never visited this blog before, but there is a great deal of fabulous information here, one of my favourites was this article on RSS feeds and how to subscribe using them. Great info indeed, head over and check it out.

I’m sure there was something else that I meant to mention, but it escapes me right now… probably because I am pressed for time… or maybe it’s because I am slightly fuzzy today…

Happy Scrapping :-) http://theblissfulpixel.com/kits/LeeScott_DSMBestnBrightestKit121.zip?digifree

{ 12 comments }

{ Links Links and More Links }

by Lee on August 3, 2008

What is it that happens to my brain when I go to write a blog post? I have all these cool (well, what I think are cool) things to write about, and then bam, I open up my blog and it all goes out of my brain….

So, I think I’ll just ramble on a bit and maybe it will all come flooding back… (come on brain, that was a subliminal hint)…

OK, first, we finally got our hands on a Wii Fit! And it was worth the wait! It is so much fun and best of all it doesn’t feel like you are exercising. Perfect for this cold, cold winter and it is a great work out… I am not a huge fan of kids sitting on console games, but the Wii certainly has changed my thinking, if the kids have to be inside then I don’t mind them playing on the Wii Sport and the Wii Fit, it keeps the moving and having fun at the same time… I have spent nearly two hours on it today, and I am no where near sick of it yet… mind you my co-ordination is not the best on some of the aerobic exercises, but it is amusing LOL

Also, I had a complete change yesterday, I let my hairdresser attack me, I now have dark brown hair and a new blunt hair cut… I must say I don’t mind it at all, but after one wash it is already fading :-(. Julie my lovely hairdresser did warn me this would happen as it is dyed over blonde and will take a couple of times before it really ‘sticks’. I wonder if I’ll have less fun now that I am no longer blonde!
This is just taken by my webcam…sorry it’s pretty scary, no editing, double chin and all…

I was over at the lovely Karen’s Blog today (check it out she is an amazing photography and a beautiful person to boot) and she had this link on her blog, Days With My Father is a beautiful account of a sons love for his elderly father and the challenges that he faces. If you have ever wondered why you you scrap, go to this site. Our memories are precious things, both our memories and the memories we create of the people we scrap about. My favourite photos are the ones of the notes the father writes for himself, some beautifully poignant and wise, some tragically sad as he realises that his 98 year old mind is letting him down. While I cried all through this, the sense of love and hope is strong…. do yourself a favour… thanks Karen. I also love how the site is set out, move to the bottom of each picture to enter the next section… I’d love to know what you think.

This is turning into a bit of a ‘linkfest’ post… I am currently in awe of the art found here and here. Irene Suchocki has an amazing knack for beautiful photo manipulation, I wish I knew exactly how she acheives these effects. It looks like she uses a lensbaby on her camera, but the textures she choses finishes off her art beautifully… she even inspired me to have a go myself… here is my feeble attempt…

AnzacSky2

Obviously it doesn’t compare!

Since I am on a link binge, head on over to PickleBerryPop, they have had a site revamp and I must say it is looking very fresh, mind you I have always thought it looks great, but a change is as good as a holiday. It’s PBP’s 2nd birthday this month, there are lots of freebies and challenges going on at the moment, so head on over and have some fun!

What now? You guessed it, more links LOL…. Are you a digiscrapper? Do you like freebies? Well duh! Don’t we all! Check out both of these great sites. Digifree is run by an Australian, Maria from Sydney, but the free kits listed on the blog are from all over the world, there are some really great freebies there so check it out. Gingerscraps is run by Ginger and is another blog soley dedictaed to finding freebies and posting them all in one easy spot just for you! And me, and them… LOL Check them out and leave some love, they are both great resources…

More… these I found on Aussie Scrapbooking, which is a great link in itself, but they also have great links…man this is getting convoluted, are you confused yet?… I digress…. Aussiedares is a scrapping blog to get you motivated, a new scrapping dare is posted every month, a challenge for you to try something new and different… If you are looking for something to motivate you this might be it… Another blog to inspire scrapping, that was also mentioned at ASB is I Inspire Me, fabulous ideas on how to take inspiration from the every day things around you, plates, cushions, clothes, art, magazines, you name it… there are some great examples of how to use the things you see every day to make you pages…

This link is for the blossoming photographers amongst you, 3 videos on photography, I particularly like the first and last one.

For my last link(s), check out my sidebar, under Blog Food For The Soul, these are the blogs I visit regularly, there is so much talent and inspiration there, but most importantly they are just great people! Enjoy :-)

Here are the winners of the give-away from the last entry….

Kate F (7)

Nic (11)

Holly (3)

Karen (16)

Sheila (15)

Unfortunately Kate is on dial-up and can’t download from home, so she has opted out of the give-away, so I did another draw and

Ness (17) was the lucky girl! I have just found Ness’s blog, head over and check it out, it’s a blog after my own heart LOL I will be following it with intense interest. Thanks for dropping by Ness :-)

Below are screen shots of the draw I just did, just so everyone knows it’s above board!

I’ll get an email out to you all by the end of the week… I have, once again, gone over my monthly download limit so I am now on dial up speed (BLAH!), once I am back on REAL SPEED I will upload to my server and email the link to all the special girls above!

I really hope you enjoyed the links above, let me know if you did. There is so much good stuff out there on the web. If you have anything good to share let me know… because I don’t spend near enough time blog and site hopping! Hear the sarcasm? LOL

Just wanted to wish my good friend Lisa and her husband Richard, good luck on the impending birth of her 4th beautiful child, she is due in less than a week so it could happen any day now… I am thinking of you :-)

And to my friend Megan, who won’t be able to read this as she has just entered the Queensland Police Academy for her training… Good luck Meegs, I hope it’s not too painful!

No Photoshop Tip today, but check back soon, the next entry will have one, or two, or three….

I am off to write my next article for Aussie Scrapbooking, be sure and check it out when you can. Have a great day and leave me some love!

{ 9 comments }

{ Freebie Alert and PS Tip }

by Lee on July 27, 2008

The subscription offer is now closed, if you have subscribed and have not received your CD Calendar subscription gift, please leave a comment here or go to the Contact Me page and I’ll get right onto it! If you haven’t yet subscribed to my blog, don’t despair, there will be ‘subscriber only’ give-aways coming soon.

Here is today’s freebie… 5 lucky commenters, chosen at random, will receive another kit, leave a comment and it could be you!

[download id="4"]

Blue Bayou

This gave me a laugh, I found The Lazy Bloggers Post Generator at AussieBloggers.com.au… what a great idea! I am sure I may find some uses for it, being a blogger and lazy, it’s made for me…

PHOTOSHOP TIP #6, #7 and #8

OK two three short and sweet ones here….

Tip #6 ~ Control>J copies the current layer. Love this one, use it regularly…

Tip #7 ~ Shift>Control>Alt>N Creates a New Layer, bypassing the New Layer Dialogue box, which can be pesky…

Tip #8 ~ or if you want the New Layer dialogue box, just hit Control>Shift>N then you can name the layer, change the blend mode, change the Opacity and change the colour of the layer in the Layers Palette all at the same time, before you even touch the New Layer….

Anything you’d like to see in these tips? Well post a comment and ask!

Have a great day :-)

{ 18 comments }

{ Thematic Photography }

by Lee on July 7, 2008

Here is my latest photo for the Thematic Photography challenge, which this week, is Sky. I braved the cold after work last Thursday and took my girls across the road so they could have a quick play with their netball and so I could get some stormy sky pics, it was FREEZING, I could barely feel my fingers when we got back and spent most of the time with my camera under my coat so it wouldn’t get wet, it started raining just as we got there….

Special thanks to Carmi for running the Thematic Photography challenge. I am really enjoying it.

Here are a few more sky pictures taken over the last 12 months…. this was taken at one of our favourite camping spots at Seaspray.

Again at Seaspray. I really like this one, it looks like a UFO is going to appear through that bright spot LOL.

This was taken at a place called the Railway Reserve, not far from us.

The next two were edited in Photoshop where I obviously bumped up the saturation quite a bit. Again this is Seaspray.

This one makes me sad, this is directly across the road from us, a beautiful view from our bedroom window. Despite the fact we are very close to the CBD in our town we had this wonderful rural outlook, and now all these trees are gone now, it is a disgrace that it was deemed necessary that they be removed. Now we can see the traffic on the other side, not a very nice view considering what we had before… disgusting really. Traralgon City should be ashamed that this was allowed to happen.

Rant over.

Well, I haven’t been updating as much as I wanted to this last few weeks, I have lots of excuses, but none that would stand up in a court of law so I won’t bother. There will be no free download until Tuesday or Wednesday this week as I am back on dial-up speed at the moment as I went over my 10GB limit. I just don’t have the patience to wait 5 hours to upload something! So it will have to wait a few days, sorry!

Just a quick note to say that there has been another Thesis update, which is the design I use on my blog. And WOW, WOW, WOW, is all I can say is, it just gets better and better with more features added each time, but more importantly, an easy to use and customisable theme is made even EASIER to use! I just can’t recommend it enough and the quality of service, when there are questions, is also exceptional. You can read more about the new Thesis update here and all about my experience with it and more about my blog here. Thanks Chris, you are a legend!

Oh we had a HUGE Puerto Rico day on Saturday… 11 decadent hours of playing, eating, champagning and chatting. The children were wonderful, considering they got here at 12.30pm and we finished at 11.30pm… believe it or not we only played 4 games in the 11 hours, Suzy won 2, Clinton won 1 and Jen won 1. I thought we may have put Jen and Clinton off by having such a big day, but nooooo, Clinton called on Sunday morning to say they’d had a great time, but they had both slept badly as they were strategising all night LOL.

Check back soon, I will have another post later today :-)

{ 5 comments }

{ Bad Blogger and a PS tip }

by Lee on June 28, 2008

Forgive me blog, for I have sinned, it has been too long since my last post…. I did want to try and blog 3-4 times a week, but I have been unwell with a few other things happening. I think I am on top of everything now, so I should be back on track…

Hmmm, lots to report, speaking of reports (nice segue, hey), my girls got their school reports this week, and man I could not be more proud of them both. They are bright girls so I expect that their reports are good, but all I really want to know is that they try their hardest, and it appears they both do. I could go on and on, but I won’t bore you, you get the picture…

I have also joined Through The Lens – Digital Photography 101, over at From The Rubber Room. They are a great (big) bunch of ladies and I have had a ball dropping by some of the blogs, some great talent out there too. Here is my first Assignment, which was to take a picture of something you love. Obviously my family is up there at number one, but since Bronte was in the shower and Brian was cooking a lovely Penang Gai (Dry Chicken Curry), Quinn was the guinea pig for the first assignment. I have screen calibration problems, it looked very oversaturated on my screen, so I dropped the saturation slightly and now it looks under-saturated on the web… calibration does my head in!

Quinn web

Wow, what a great response to my Subscription Offer (see sidebar announcement), if you have subscribed to the blog but haven’t received your download link for the CD calendar template, check that your subscription has been verified properly, there are a couple waiting on verification, other than that you should all have your links. I’d love to see some pics of your CD calendar made up and in use, post a link in the comments so I can see.

I have another blog freebie to post, but I am on my way out now so will do it soon, so watch out for that in the next day or two.

I got to see my blog on another computer recently and it was a little skewif (technical term) because of the “highlighted notes”, I am working on the problem and hope to have it fixed soon, sorry if it throws things out a little.

PHOTOSHOP TIP #1 (and #2)

I am sure you all know this one, but I’ll start at the basics… I didn’t know which shortcut to post first, as there are just sooo many that I use every time I open PS, I have never much used shortcuts in programs, but PS has converted me and their usefulness is never ending and makes for a much faster workflow.

BRUSH SIZE

To change brush size on the fly you can use the Left (to make the brush smaller) and Right (to make the bush larger) bracket keys. They sit next to the letter “P” on your keyboard, they are second nature to me now, so make a concerted effort to use them he next time you are using brushes in PS, this will also work, for the healing, clone, history, dodge, burn and other brush tools as well.

BRUSH HARDNESS

And because I can’t resist throwing this one in, you can also change the hardness and softness of your brush as well (this means that your brush can have a blurred or hard edge to it) to use this shortcut just add the Shift key in as well, Shift>[ makes the brush softer and Shift>] makes the brush harder, this is very useful when you are masking or erasing close to edges, to get a cleaner more realistic edge.

I hope you found this useful… leave a comment if you have.

Edited to add: We introduced Clinton and Jennifer to the joys of Puerto Rico tonight. They seemed to pick it up very well and are keen for another game, I had to report that Jen won her first ever game! Go Jen! Also, I have been accused of only reporting my wins, so just for the record, Suzy has won and so has Lincoln and I think Brian is the next highest winner, and I am fairly sure (I will be corrected if I am wrong) I am currently the overall champ. And this is my blog, so I guess I can say what I like! LOL

{ 11 comments }

{ Aussie Scrapbooking }

by Lee on June 14, 2008

My first article has been posted at Aussie Scrapbooking! You can check it out here. If you have any ideas for articles or posts that you would like to see let me know here and I’ll do my very best to accommodate.

Also congratulations to Kate for her new Digiscrapping Design Blog at LazyCow Designs (great name!), head over and check it out, she even has a great freebie there too!

Speaking of Kate, she has some beautiful pictures of one of her daughters dancing on her blog this week, they reminded me of some I took of Quinn earlier in the year, I haven’t posted the layout I did with one of the pictures because I was never sure whether you could tell what it was, (it’s hard to be objective when I took the picture!). Anyway, you be the judge and see for yourself, is it just a blur, or can you see a little girl dancing away?

Twirl Girl

Lastly, I stumbled across these You Suck At Photoshop Video Tutorials on YouTube, at the risk of offending someone, I found these very amusing, and there were a few good tips in there too, if you don’t like, how shall we say, aggressive language, perhaps it’s best not to watch, they are very tongue in cheek, I hope you are not offended. Oh I am worried for you Angela! LOL

I am going to start adding some of my favourite Photoshop/Digiscrapping Tips/Shortcuts to most of my posts (I was going to say all, but don’t want box myself into a corner!), so watch out for more entries. Or better yet, if you have a question let me know :-)

I was supposed to go away with a couple of good friends this weekend for three nights of sloth and relaxation, unfortunately I managed to contract my second case of gastro in the last three weeks, along with Quinn. I still feel miserable and I’m still not over it, so if it doesn’t get better overnight I think I will be off to the doctors in the morning, I am a bit over feeling so queezy and off colour :-(

Also a big hi *waving madly* to some of my past students who I see have joined my mailing list, great to see you guys dropping in, don’t be shy! :-)

Oh and lastly, we spent a night in Melbourne last weekend with some dear friends, we took them to their first Aussie Rules Football match along with some other friends that hadn’t been in years, 6 adults + 6 kids = a great night had by all. And to end a lovely evening we finished it off with another big game of Puerto Rico AND we managed to purchase our own copy! Taught the girls how to play last Monday (Public Holiday), had two games, both of which Bronte won. Thanks to Mandy, Dave, Mallory and Odette for a wonderful weekend.

{ 12 comments }

{ Aussiescrapbooking.com }

by Lee on May 25, 2008

I am very excited to have been asked to become a contributor at AussieScrapbooking.com. My first Introductory Post has been published. This is a great informative site with lots of good information and lovely ladies, head over to check it out.

What I am listening to…

Angus and Julia Stone. Loving this Brother Sister duo, every song is unique check them out here. This is one of their songs Mango Tree, but they are all great, it was hard to pick just one, check out “All Of Me” if you can too….gorgeous.

What I am reading…

The Mortdecai Trilogy by Kyril Bonfiglioli

Certainly it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I am loving it, laugh out loud hilarious, but it may require a certain sense of humour, I don’t consider mine particularly sick, but then who does? I had dog earred several pages to quote here, but really it won’t seem as amusing out of context. As you are reading, imagine a lovable, slightly alcoholic, effeminate English womaniser with a cutting wit, it will give you the right tone. I saw this recommended on First Tuesday Book Club, and I’m glad I bought it. After that I am reading The Confederacy of Dunces, which I am told by Link is one of his favourite books, and he should know, he has a book database and everything!

Did you know you can purchase books from Amazon directly through my website? Check out the link in the navigation menu at the top of the page. And when you think Amazon, come and visit and order through me!

This weekend we had our dear friends Mandy, Dave, Odette and Mallory come and stay, I haven’t been very well at all this week, but it was, as it always is, a delight to see them and spend time with them, I promise to be more fun next time we see you guys! Loved seeing the girls catch up again too. Quinn burst into tears tonight saying how much she misses them and wants them to move back, I so wish they could. We fitted in a few games of Puerto Rico, since we had to give it back, and I am sad to say my 7 game winning streak is well and truly over, in fact I think I came last in two of the games, Dave was the reigning champ, although there was some controversy over his first two wins… but he is so sweet he is forgiven… and I am going to tell John Faine to leave him alone too!

I am thinking the fact that I am unwell contributed to my dismal performance, well that’s my story and I am sticking to it!

Once again, bad timing with my being sick, but we had Quinn’s 11th birthday party (yes, it’s a month late, but I have reasons OK!), anyway, she told me tonight it was the best party she’s ever had (although she did say that last year), I will post some pictures soon of what we organised for the party, I think they all enjoyed it, it was quite fun, headaches and all.

Brian and Bronte went to the footy again today, and saw the mighty Hawks victorious again (just), Bronte received her 3rd (or is it 4th)? football given to her by one of the team members what a lucky girl!

Coming Soon:- I’ve been tagged, watch this space.

{ 5 comments }

{ My Blog – Dissected }

by Lee on May 25, 2008

I have had a few questions regardig my blog and Kate posted a comment asking if I had a list up of the plug-ins etc I am using, I don’t, but thought it would be a good idea to post one. Thanks Kate.

I switched to Wordpress after getting my own domain and I must say after using Blogger for years I found it hard to get my head around initially, but ultimately I think it is so much better than blogger and worth the initial learning curve. Also there is so much help and information out there on Wordpress that it really isn’t hard to find an answer to your inevitable disasters (I speak from experience being prone to disasters of this nature).

Theme:

I tried several different themes to begin with, and there are some great ones out there too, after testing many I settled on Copyblogger by Chris Pearson of Pearsonified, this was an excellent theme and very customizable (is that a word?) using Chris’s custom style sheet. After getting it exactly how I wanted it, I decided I needed more late nights, more challenge, more change for the sake of change (do the words glutton and punishment mean anything to you?). I decided that I wanted a 3 column layout rather than two, why? Just coz, OK. LOL So I decided to get Chris’s Thesis Theme, and shock horror, I paid for the privilege! Yes that’s right I paid. But it’s not because of the theme (although I love it and would have paid for it) it’s for the Thesis Forum that makes it worth the money (by the way, this ISN’T a paid presentation LOL). I knew that Chris’s themes were easy to work with since I had used Copyblogger, so that was a big plus. As I suspected the forum has been very helpful and any questions I have posted have been answered. Also I have learned a lot just reading the questions other people have posted. Chris is constantly updating and improving the theme and once you have paid you have paid for these updates for life, that was the deal maker for me. There is a suggestion area in the forum so if you can think of anything you’d like to see in the theme you can post it too. I think it is worth the money, he posts regular hints and tips on how to use the theme along with updates. The drop caps, blockquotes, alerts and notes in the post below are all part of the theme, they are not plugins.

Plugins:

I have used several plugins so far, I have also installed and then deleted several that I found useless or too hard to use, these are the ones I am using at the moment.

AskApache Password Protect: I installed this just the other day because a friend of mine Gill, who had recently began using wordpress, had her blog hacked, so I did a search and found this.

Buy Me A Beer: I installed this (you can see it in the side bar), and modified it to champagne (I don’t like beer) because very soon, I intend to put some freebies and tutorials up on the site and thought someone may like to buy me a champagne to say thanks! We’ll see how that works out LOL

Featured Content Gallery: Thesis theme came with a random rotation picture box which I replaced with this plug-in, it allows me to feature any content I like which rotates through 5 posts. I think it looks cool, but no-one seems to have noticed it yet, or at least not mentioned it.

Fancy Zoom: This is from the same creator as the plug-in above, and if you click on the I Love Blogging picture left you will see it in action. (It won’t work in any of the posts originally posted at blogger that were migrated here). Actually, I think it only works in Firefox too (see below in Browsers for more info on Firefox).

Instant Upgrade: The first thing I had to do when I started my blog here was upgrade and it was a nightmare, basically I had to delete and start again, I wish I had known about this back then. Makes upgrading smooth and easy, although I do recommend backing up your blog before upgrading (read-on, I have a plug-in for that too!) Just a side note here, before upgrading ALWAYS disable your plug-ins first.

Live Sig: This is how I got my signature at the end of each post. I actually created my own, but you can also use My Live Signature and for a small fee they can even animate it for you. I think this is my favourite plug-in, even though it took me 3 hours to get my sig looking like I wanted it to!

Share This: I settled on this after using Social Bookmarking Reloaded, mainly because I like the cleaner look of just one icon. Also Share This tracks stats/usage of your blog, but I haven’t even looked at that yet.

Subscribe To Comments: This works in the comment field and enables people that comment to subscribe to any more comments that are made. I wondered why you would want this initially, but I have found it handy when someone asks a question, I can reply through the comments to answer them, they get an email seeing my response, it’s also useful for other commenter’s that may be interested in the answers to.

WP-DataBase Backup: This is pretty self explanatory, but very useful, you can download the backup to your computer, to your server or have it emailed to you. You can also do scheduled backups hourly, daily or weekly.

WP Contact Form iii: I have just installed this plugin on my “Contact Me” page, why don’t you test it for me?

Browser:

I thought it was worth a mention to, I have done all my blog fiddling with Firefox in mind, I have found Firefox an excellent browser and although I don’t know much about this stuff, it is supposed to be much more secure than Internet Explorer. It has lots of great features and plugins galore, and like Wordpress there is a mountain of info out there too. Click on the link in my sidebar to download it, I wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t use it. Besides all that I hate the way my blog looks in Internet Explorer, it’s too big and dorky LOL.

CoLT: This Firefox plugin alone makes it worthwhile for any bloggers to switch to Firefox, it copies the link and text into a HTML code for you automatically. It also copies Plaint Text, BB Code and more, I used it for this entire post, and it made life very easy.

I hope you have found this helpful, please leave a comment if you have. I’d love to know what plug-ins and themes you have found useful. Note your favourites in the comments so I can check them out.

II am currently testing some new plugins so check back soon if you want more suggestions. Better yet subscribe to my blog and don’t miss a thing, see sidebar for details.

Signed (with my new sig LOL)

{ 10 comments }

Get smart with the Thesis Theme from DIY Themes.