Saturday, February 21, 2009

A New Name

This blog is officially being renamed, by order of the Simper family council, to be:

"Enjoying Life's Simper Moments"

Content will still be added primarily by Stephanie, as her loving counterpart will have no part in letting other people know his business, and will still feature on a regular basis, Lulu and Bedelia, as they are the most enjoyable of the Simper moments.

Hope you will continue to read and enjoy our "Simper Moments".

Scrapping with Photoshop Elements

I've had an interest in digital scrapbooking for a long time now, liking the idea of clean and easy scrapbooking and journal keeping. Since having kids I have enjoyed doing my journal via pictures and captions, so scrapbooking was totally for me. However, children also prevented me from getting out my box of papers and pens and cutters because it became more of a game of keep away than actual scrapbooking.

For a while, I was testing the waters of digital scrapbooking using my husbands Windows/PC computer and using a free software online called ScrabookFlair. It was free to download and had lots of free papers and embellishments. Dallan was constantly telling me that I could do way better using photoshop, but during that time I was content playing with stuff that already exisisted and told me what to do. So ScrapbookFlair worked. Here are a couple of good examples of what I was able to create with downloads from ScrapbookFlair:


This page I used in our family album f0r 2007, and printed an 8 X 10 book through WinkFlash, 100 page project costing $20.

This page I was created while working on a project for my Grandma, using old photos from her childhood.

During the project for my Grandma, I believe I overwhelmed my computer's memory and the computer died mid-project. Luckily all my information was retrievable, a benefit of having a computer savvy husband, but the computer was beyond repair. So then we came back to conversations about Photoshop Elements being the right software for me. This led to conversations about new computers and eventually led us to the Apple store where I bought a Mac, and Photoshop Elements.

I thought I'd for sure be able to finish my project now, no problem! Open up Elements and I had NO CLUE how anything worked. It looked nothing like the photoshop I remember playing with back in the 90's. So again, I felt stuck. Just last month I came across a website, The Scrapper's Guide, created by Linda Sattgast which claimed to have all the answers I was looking for. Even Photoshop Elements was promoting this woman and her tutorial videos to learn Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. It seemed for a week, everywhere I turned I was running into her name with rave reviews. So I went ahead and bought her software to "Learn Digital Scrapbooking." I just finished the lessons this week, and let me tell you, I'll add to those rave reviews! This was exactly what I needed, it was clear and concise and she breaks the lessons up into little sections, so when I'm playing around with Elements and run into a snag, I can look up a particular video an instantly find the answers I'm looking for.

Long story short, my first official experiment with Elements on my own was the Header used on this blog. I played with it for a couple hours last night trying out the things that I learned. I also played around with a Quick Album from The Scrapper's Guide website to learn some techniques. Here is one of the pages from the album I created using their "Rule My World" kit:



Anyway, lots of fun! I highly recommend Linda's software and resources to anyone who is serious about scrapbook or design using Photoshop. I'm excited to see what I'll create next!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Moody Mom

What do you do when your 3 year old has begun to pray that you won't get mad at them anymore? And what do you do when you're nearing the end of the day and your 3 year old says, looking you right in the eyes, "mom, you need to have more good days." It makes me feel like a terrible mother, is what it does! I know I'm not (at least not all the time), but boy the guilt is being layered on pretty thick with this one.

Every day feels new with my 3 year old, because I've never had a 3 year old before! She's my first, so everything we do is a first. Sometimes that newness is exciting and I love to see her create and invent and tell the most amazing stories, but other days I simply feel overwhelmed by the newness of everything with her. She's growing and learning SO fast, and her understanding of things grows as well. How do I keep up? How do other moms do everything from housecleaning to individual time with multiple children and how ON EARTH do other mom's not yell and kick and scream to be heard?! Are your children just better listeners than mine, are you just experts in patience and I have yet to acquire any?

The other day I had a wonderful conversation with my own mother which led to some wonderful words of wisdom and thus followed a few very positive days with my daughter. Then the weekend hit, routine went out the window and I am back to square one, yelling, kicking and screaming my way into control. It's REALLY not working. I know there are mom's out there who are more experienced than I am and are just waiting to share their wisdom with me so I can be the nice and organized and fun mom, rather than the disorganized, mean mom that yells a lot.

Ugh. Here's praying for a better day tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Monkeys

The Five Little Monkeys.
Reading: Lucy
Background noise: Big Sister
video