Twist-a-Lift Challenge

Before I get to today’s challenge, I need to announce the winner of my last On Topic challenge. I’ve chosen Carol as the winner because I really, really enjoyed the journaling on her page. It was honest, funny and I can really relate to her message.


Congratulations Carol! Please email me at sherrie [at] pixelgypsydesigns [dot] com to collect your prize! Thanks to both Carol and Cari who played along with my very first challenge here on my blog! Now….on to the NEW challenge!

This time around the challenge prize is being sponsored by my friend Christine, a.k.a List Girl Designs! Since I admire Christine as both a designer and a scrapper, I thought it would be fun to Twist-a-Lift of one her layouts. :D So, your challenge is to lift this layout by Christine, but put your own twist on it. Your twist could be to change the orientation of the layout, flip the journaling to the other side, use one photo instead of two, twist the lift in any way you please, just be sure to put your own personal stamp on the lift.

“I wanna be a cat” by Christine (click image for full size layout & credits)

Deadline: Post a link to your lift in the comments of this post no later than April 6th to be eligible for the prize. Check back on April 7th to see if you’ve won!

Prize: Your product of choice from :)

I look forward to seeing your layouts!

Cool Digi Stuff—So Very Late

So, Cool Digi Stuff is supposed to be posted on Monday, and here it is Wednesday. I apologize for the delay—profusely. Monday morning I decided it was time to finally “Spongebob-ify” Nicholas’s room (which had been on my to-do list for some time), including emptying the room and painting it. Somewhere in the midst of emptying his room (and getting rid of a few other things in this house we didn’t need), I did something horrible to my back. For the remainder of Monday afternoon as I worked painting the room (with the help of the super-hubbins—without him, the room definitely wouldn’t have gotten finished at the slower pace I was reduced to), I felt the pain every time I moved. By the time the painting was finished, I could barely move. There was no way I could sit and blog. Sadly,  going to the bathroom was difficult even. The spasms I was having felt much like the back-labor I experienced when having Madison. Unfortunately, this time I didn’t have a sweet little baby to look forward to and help me look at the positive side of the pain. Yesterday saw an improvement and today as well, but I know I won’t be spending much time here at my desk still because I’m starting to feel more and more uncomfortable as I type. So….on to the Cool Digi Stuff!

Drop Shadow Tutorial from Peppermint
Ok…I’ll admit it (and have admitted it to her)—I have a total scrap-crush on Peppermint. Now she’s gone and posted a tutorial on how she does her drop shadows, pushing her into the realm of total scrap goddess! You can find the tutorial here on her blog. I can’t wait to give her smudge and shadow duplication steps a try!

That’s all I’m going to post for you today. Now I’m apologizing for being late and only sharing one thing with you (but hey…it’s a real quality item!). Have a great St. Pattie’s Day!

10 True Things

A couple of days ago, my friend Christine tagged me with the Honest Scrap award, so here I am to list my 10 truths and pass this on to a few other people. I have to warn you though, I’m not sure I’m what would be considered a horribly interesting person—so you may find yourself snoring loudly by number 5….

  1. I seriously love fairies and my collection encompasses figurines, paperweights, books, calendars, paintings, Christmas ornaments, shirts, pajamas and socks.
  2. I also have a thing for post-it notes. I have all sorts of shapes, colors and sizes—and often find myself unwilling to use my extra cute ones. It’s kind of like burning a pretty candle (yes, I find that hard to do too!).
  3. I play World of Warcraft and am fluent in the lingo. If you know what “5k gs dps lfg for ICC” means, you’re my kind of person!
  4. I have many sets of polyhedron dice and still shop for more even though I haven’t played a tabletop RPG since getting into World of Warcraft.
  5. I am just about the furthest thing you can get from being a neat-freak. If there is visible surface area on my desk it’s most likely because I got fed up with not being able to find my keyboard under all the stuff that finds its way there.
  6. I stay up really late. I’m rarely in bed before 2 a.m. on weeknights and on Fridays & Saturdays, it’s often later. I am a night owl stuck in a morning person’s world.
  7. I consume copious amounts of caffeine (see truth no. 6). From 7 a.m. until about 3 in the afternoon it’s coffee. After that, it’s Mt. Dew until my head hits the pillow. I generally get my daily H20 from my coffee. That counts, right?
  8. I’m totally into True Blood, Entourage, Big Love, Nurse Jackie, Californication & The Tudors. Rome and The Sopranos used to occupy that list as well, until HBO took them off air. *sniff*
  9. Halloween is my absolute. favorite. holiday. ever. Even though I spend months of time and God knows how much money planning our Halloween party (with a ton of help from the Hubbins, of course!), there isn’t enough time or money to plan my dream party. Well, maybe….if we stopped paying the mortgage, feeding & clothing the kids and I stopped doing all of the things I do in a day….but I digress.
  10. I covet my red Swingline stapler. “And I said, I don't care if they lay me off either, because I told, I told Bill that if they move my desk one more time, then, then I'm, I'm quitting, I'm going to quit. And, and I told Don too, because they've moved my desk four times already this year, and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were married, but then, they switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn't bind up as much, and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler and it's not okay because if they take my stapler then I'll set the building on fire...”

Now that I’ve done my part, I’m going to pass this award on to Cari, Carol, Whit, Holly, & Ami!

A Pixel Peek!

I’m just popping in to post a little peek of a fun new kit I made that’s releasing tomorrow. The weather in my corner of the world lately couldn’t be better to work on something like this too! ;) You’ll be able to pick this kit up tomorrow morning (around 10 a.m.) in my shoppe.

Aside from packaging my kit up, I’m trying to find the motivation to do some more work in this office. We’re in the process of sorting through the mountain of stuff that’s been stuffed into the this room over the past couple of years so we can get the walls painted, carpet torn out and floor laid. This office is one of the most used rooms in our house and consequently seems to be a catch-all for all sorts of items from the kids’ toys & games, to books & magazines, to my extra linens—along with the “normal” stuff you’d find in an office. Scott and I are also bad about not sorting through our paperwork in a timely fashion and instead making tidy little piles that eventually turn into not-so-tidy, large piles. So there are lots of papers to go through as well.

I’m feeling a little more motivated than I was a week ago to get this ball rolling though. We spent a few hours doing some sorting and organizing in here yesterday and we also finally got the swatch for the chair fabric and I fell in love. Now I’m nearly salivating for my new, awesome desk chair. That’s helping light a bit of a fire under me. ;) I suppose it seems a bit silly to be excited about a chair, but I can’t help it. Scott’s finally retiring his Aeron chair that he got as a bonus when he was contracted to work on Herman Miller’s website (he noticed, happily, that a good portion of what they built is still being used on the HM site, even though the look has changed). After some debating and deep thought, we decided to go with Herman Miller’s new Embody chair. The Aeron chair has been good to Scott….and can’t be overlooked for it’s durability. He’s had that chair for about 10 years now. It’s survived 4 moves, and has been carried all over the house, bounced off the walls, subjected to Nicholas (who is just mean to furniture), sustained the weight of an adult man and two kids as they climbed all over him at the same time and a million more punishments that I’m sure I’m forgetting. Though all of that, aside from the recline control that finally gave out, the chair has held up well. It was hard for me to discount all of that when we were discussing which chair model to get—but the Embody has some features I just couldn’t ignore (like adjustable seat length—great for a long-legged person like me, a flexible, “spine-like” back, and reviews that touted no specific points of pressure when sitting in the chair), plus I think the chair design is just rockin’ cool.

I think my backside is going to be particularly grateful to me when it’s parked in this new chair. Despite having chronic coccyx (that’s your tailbone, in case you’re wondering) pain for the past 9 years, I’ve never “spoiled” myself enough to spend good money on a desk chair. As a result, I spend my computer time (which is copious, I’ll admit) shifting my weight from one *ahem* butt cheek to another to keep as much weight and pressure off of my tailbone as possible. This means that for about….oh….60% of my day, my back is forced out of alignment into a horribly unnatural position. Though the backaches I get aren’t even a shade of what I feel in my tailbone if I sit "properly", I am kind of worried about what it will do to me down the road. And in all reality, it seemed silly to be a cheapskate about a piece of furniture I spend so much time in. Yes, the price of one chair is about what we paid for the sofa in our living room—but you know what? We hardly ever use that room and I had no problem springing the money for that. So I figure, this time around, my butt deserves it. :p

On Topic Challenge

Welcome to my first challenge posting here on my blog!

When pondering what this first challenge would be, my mind wandered to the fact that I’ve been going through a lot of change in my life lately—change in my business, change in my home (we’re getting ready to remodel our office), and change in my personal priorities, just to name a few. So, I decided that this first challenge would be an “On Topic” challenge and I’d like you to scrap about change in your life. You can scrap (like I did) about the growth of a child, how you or your significant other has changed over the years (physically, mentally or emotionally), a move, a new car, a new job, changes you are trying or hoping to make in your life—the possibilities are endless.

You can scrap with or without photos, with a lot of journaling or just a line or two (or if your title says all you want to say, that’s fine too), and with any supplies you’d like and in any style that suits your fancy. Just make sure that the topic of your page revolves around change.

Here’s my “change” layout documenting how much my daughter has grown and changed in the past 6 years:

[Click here for credits]

Deadline: Link me up to your change layout in the comments of this post no later than March 23rd to be eligible for the prize! (To leave your link, click the post title and leave your comment at the bottom of the page).

Prize: Any alpha pack or single template of your choice from my shoppe here.

I will choose my favorite layout and post the winner’s name when I post the next challenge.

Happy Scrapping!

Cool Digi Stuff

Power Scrapping with Katie the Scrapbook Lady
I don’t often have an over-abundance of time to read digi scrap articles, but I came across Power Scrapping—Digi Style by Katie the Scrapbooking Lady last summer and thought the way Katie approaches tackling several layouts at one time to be very neat. In this article she covers her workflow for creating 3 layouts simultaneously. Check it out. You may find yourself adapting her power scrapping concept to your own scrapping!

Random Alphabet & Random Numbers
Check out these very cool products from Dysfunctional Design for original titles and numbering on your pages (images are lined):

Hope you enjoy this Cool Digi Stuff!

Challenges coming soon!

I know I’ve mentioned before that I have a major goal for getting more pages scrapped. I decided it might be fun to start posting a challenge here on my blog every so often. I will post 2 challenges per month and anyone participating in the challenge will have a week to complete their challenge layout and link me up in the comments to the challenge post. From the submitted links I’ll pick my favorite layout and the winner will get a little prize. What will the prizes be? Who knows? Sometimes it may be a gift code for my store, a special little freebie or a prize donated by one of my designing friends. I will post the prize announcement when I post the challenge, so you know what you have a chance to win while playing along.

Be on the lookout for the first challenge to be posted this coming Wednesday! I hope that you’ll play along with me!

I love new stuff!

A couple of weeks ago the hubbins said to me, out of the blue, “we’re getting you a new computer.” Being that I’d gone without any significant upgrades for quite a while, I officially had the oldest and slowest computer in the house. Yes…my children had newer, faster computers than I did, despite the fact that I spent 40 hours or more a week at mine. (Isn’t that the way of things, though, when you’re a parent? It just feels easier to spend money on your kids than yourself.) Scott ordered the parts that day, and just a couple days later I had myself a new, shiny computer. The only things that weren’t replaced were my monitor and my keyboard (both of which are fairly new anyway).

Then I got the notion that I wanted to go ahead and buy myself something that I’ve been drooling over for a long time, but couldn’t quite bring myself to part with my hard earned design dollars in order to purchase it. I think maybe it was a bit of retail therapy to help with the PGD store closing—I did end up buying it on the 28th after all. Yesterday, this little piece of digital technology arrived at my door:

I give you the Wacom Cintiq. I’ve been using a pen tablet for about 2-3 years now, but this baby is a pen tablet taken to a whole new level. No more looking up at a monitor while my hand draws on my pen tablet. Now I’m drawing directly on the pen tablet. And what’s even better than that? This puppy is small enough to prop in my lap while I’m drawing! Needless to say, I spent the bulk of my free time yesterday playing with this wonderful gadget. I’m also pleased that when not in use as a tablet, the Cintiq can be used as a second display. Handy!

So here I am, in total tech heaven, with a new computer that I finally have everything installed on (that’s always the worst part of getting a new computer—reinstalling all of my ‘must have’ software) and a new tablet to draw and paint on till my heart’s content. I love new stuff!

I’ve never forgotten…

…how much I love to scrap, but with all the hard work at PGD I’d been doing through the past few years I rarely found the time. When I had the time I was too drained creatively to do much of anything in the way of scrapping. I’m seriously enjoying attacking this backlog of photos that keeps growing at an alarming rate, capturing our memories and marveling at what a beautiful family I have.

Wanna see what I’ve scrapped lately? No? Too bad. I’m showing you anyway! ;)

Tea Time:


This is a photo from last summer of Madison and her friend who lives down the street having a little tea party in the front yard. Girls are so cute when they play! I used the awesome Sweet For Certain kit by Dysfunctional Design for the layout. Love this kit!

Sweet Thing:


I might—just might—catch up on that aforementioned backlog of photos if I can stop myself from scrapping the batch that this one was taken in. I seriously love these photos and can’t get enough of scrapping them. And I got the opportunity to work with an adorable collab kit, Cupcake Darling, from Amanda Carlson and Spinky Dink Designs:


And finally, remember that 09 Year-In-Review template from Listgirl Designs I mentioned a few weeks ago? I finally got *my* YIR layout done, and you know I used that terrific template to help me get it done! Rather than fill all the little blocks with photos, I opted for picking a smattering of shots that kind of summed up our year and clipped solid papers to the remainder of the blocks. I love the way it turned out and I’m committed to doing one of these for every year as long as Listgirl keeps making them (because I sure don’t have the patience to create all those layers!)

And in case you want to make one of these YIR layouts yourself, here’s the template that made it all possible for me (again, not even close to enough patience to construct 145+ layers to make something like this myself…):


I have a whole mess of ADSR layouts—but I’m not sure if some of those won’t be candidates for a major re-work after the race is over, so I’m not posting them yet. Seriously, these challenge people keep forcing me to pile the stuff on my pages….what is a white space scrapper to do? Speaking of ADSR…I need to right my bucket list. Here’s to hoping I can think of 50 things that I need/want to do before I die. I dunno….I’m quite content with my life as-is and I can only think of about 10 things I’d be disappointed with myself I didn’t do. Apparently this challenge was not created with someone like me in mind. :p

Well, that’s all from me for now. TTYS!

They were right!

When I first announced the closing of PGD and my intention to “retire” from designing, someone told me that I wouldn’t be able to really peel myself away from designing. If I remember correctly, the basic gist of their message was “no one ever stays away for long.” And just like I tend to do with a new, lose-20-pounds-in-the-blink-of-an-eye-diet, I fell off the wagon before I even technically got on it.

I rationalize my world’s shortest-lived design retirement due to the fact that when you’ve been doing something as long as I’ve been designing, it’s hard to just stop—cold turkey. For four years I have trained myself to design through it all—through creative highs and creative slumps (and I’ve had some major ones to work through!), through being sick, through being dead tired, through times when under enormous life-stress, through good times and bad. How do you just stop doing something that’s come to feel as natural to you as breathing? Yah, you don’t.

So…you can find my new shoppe here. Currently it’s stocked with my favorite products moved from PGD that didn’t get put into retirement (I can retire my products, but I can’t retire myself). I have a template on the way and more things in the near future.

I’ll also be catching up on posting some layouts (lots of scrapping going on around here between ADSR & CT work) and try to get back on track with my Cool Digi Stuff posts. I’ll also try to remember to post about my newest techie toys because I know you’re all just *dying* to hear about those.  heh.