Saturday, April 30, 2011

"Sunny Daffodils" Blog Train

Woo-hoo!  I finally made the Stuff to Scrap Blog Train on time!  The sunny spring weather is making us all happy about brighter skies, sunshine, and beautiful flowers.  (And those who are not having sunny spring weather right now can look at these kits and dream about it!)  Here's Sunny Daffodils!  Click on image to download.  PU/S4H/S4O.


**** FLOWERS 4, 5, & 10 HAVE BEEN REPAIRED ****

Hop on board and visit all the other train stops, and you can have a whole garden full of bright yellow daffodils!

If you just came from Growing Pains Scrapped, then your next stop is Just For Fun Designs.

Sprouting Seeds Studio
Scraps by Andrea
Growing Pains Scrapped
Note-able Scraps
Just For Fun Designs
Flower Pot Designs
scraphannah
Sweet Maple
A Fish Design
Long's Life & Loki
Farrah Smith Designs
JMC Designs
AmyDane Designs
Christins Creations
CutieFruity
The Scrappy Kat
Saphira's Scrapdesign
The Queen of All Wild Things Scraps
Scrappin Serenity
Designs by Snowlady
Memories by Digital Design
Queen Bee Scraps
Let Me Scrapbook!
Lindsey's Digital Scrapbook
Brenian Designs
Always Be Neighbors Designs
Sweet Creations
Seal Scraps
Flower Scraps
Scraps N Pieces
Scrappin Ninnie
Purple Bokeh

Happy Scrapping!  :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Homeschool Product Review - "The Curiosity Files: Quicksand"

I have been wanting to try The Curiosity Files series, with Professor Ana Lyze, for quite some time, so I was excited when I received the "Quicksand" unit from The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew to sample.  If my kids and I were rating the unit on a 5-star scale, we would enthusiastically give it 5 stars!



The Curiosity Files are published by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  These downloadable PDF files are designed to spark students' interest in science by studying "outlandish oddities."  While the main emphasis is science, the unit study includes a Scripture section, a math section, writing, spelling, vocabulary, copywork, a geography section, music, and ideas for further reading and internet study on the topic.  There is also a section with "Curiosity Snippets," mini-book activities that could easily be used to make a lapbook.  I personally use unit studies as supplements, and since I have fairly comprehensive music, math, and writing curriculums, I skipped some of those sections.  The unit study is, however, complete enough to be used as a week-long program covering all subjects.  It works well as a complete unit or as a supplement.

The "Quicksand" unit study works well for teaching various ages and learning styles together.  I have a 7th-grader, a 5th-grader, a 2nd-grader, and a kindergartner.  While the kindergartner was somewhat bored during the reading portion and had no understanding of phrases like "non-Newtonian liquids," he absolutely loved the hands-on portion.  The copywork, some of the music portion, and some of the geography portion are also appropriate for him.  The older children, however, can dig into the more difficult assignments and the further research.  I believe there is enough challenge in this unit study to interest even high school students.  My middle school student certainly enjoyed it and learned a lot of information.  The study includes material for visual learners, auditory learners, and hands-on learners, so there was something for everyone.

I must admit that I am generally a person, being a book-learner myself, that will skip over labs and hands-on work.  If a science lab involves much preparation, materials that I do not have on hand or cannot easily obtain from a grocery store, or just seems too time-consuming, I am just as happy to find someone doing it on a YouTube video and let my kids watch it or read about it in the textbook.  I have had to overcome this tendency, because my boys especially are extreme hands-on learners.  If you share my propensity to skip labs, DO NOT SKIP these hands-on activities!  We actually made a substance similar to quicksand in this unit.  It required household products that I had on hand and only about 5 minutes to set up.  What was much more time-consuming was trying to get my kids to put it away!  As they sank toy after toy in the "quicksand," accompanied by gales of laughter, we reviewed the science lesson, the vocabulary words, how to safely get out of quicksand, etc.  This was definitely a worthwhile activity, and my children are begging me to replace their current science curriculum with more Curiosity Files!


The only drawback that I found, although it is true of many homeschool curriculums and would be a plus for many people, was that the Scriptures given were all in the KJV.  This is somewhat difficult when you are working with younger children, but easily remedied, as we simply pulled out our NIVs and read the Scripture verses from there.

The "Quicksand" unit is available at The Old Schoolhouse Store for $6.95.  Click here to go to the store.  There are several specific The Curiosity Files units on sale for $1 right now, or you may purchase a 9-pack bundle for $46 (click here).  I believe this is an excellent value for what you receive.  The "Quicksand" unit included 84 pages of useful information and great pictures.  I will certainly be purchasing more of these files.  Contact The Old Schoolhouse Store at PO Box 8426, Gray, TN 37615.  Phone: 1-888-718-HOME.  Or go to http://www.theoldschoolhousestore.com/.  



Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this product for the purpose of review.  No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

"Sunday Morning" - A Freebie from Sprouting Seeds Studio!

This morning we have another lovely FREE kit from the Sprouting Seeds Studio blog.  "Sunday Morning" is filled with soft, pastel greens and creams and pretty swirl patterns.  I can use it for everything from my Easter Sunday pictures to pictures of my kids' choir!


You can download this freebie directly from Sprouting Seeds Studio's blog.  Click preview below.


And here is a QP for your own lovely Sunday pictures!  Click image to download.  P/U only.


Happy Scrapping!  :)

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this kit for the purpose of making a LO and review.  No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

More in the Gallery at ScrapDelicious

Today I am featuring another one of Sprouting Seeds Studio's kits at ScrapDelicious!  This one is called "Out West," and it is a delightful kit for scrapping your little cowboy or cowgirl.  Take a different turn and use it for a scrapbook of your vacation "out west."  It's very versatile.  With our love for Disney, of course, I had to use it for my Woody & Jessie pics!  :)


Pick this great kit up at ScrapDelicious today!  (Image is linked to Shoppe.)  Also, don't forget the coordinating add-on with bandana papers!


Here's a QP for your "Cowboy" picks!


Happy Scrapping, Pardner!  :)

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this kit for the purpose of making a LO and review.  No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Gallery at ScrapDelicious!

Check out my new gallery at ScrapDelicious!!


Sprouting Seeds Studio is now selling at ScrapDelicious.  Scroll down a few posts to find their "Tasty Treat," "Digging Dirt" for only $2 this week!  

Today I would like to feature the kit "Ladybug Garden."  I just love these little ladybugs and doodled flowers!  Such a springy kit for scrapping pictures from beautiful spring days like today, when we have enjoyed much of the afternoon outdoors in the sunshine!  Images are linked to the shop.




And click below image to download your QP!  PU only.


Happy Scrapping!  :)

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this kit for the purpose of making a LO and review.  No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

I had planned to put up some fun post with Easter scrapping or crafts, but I have had sick kids this week and all my plans have been changed.  Regardless, it is a beautiful Easter Sunday morning and I look forward to worshipping and enjoying the day with my family.  The tomb is empty!  He is risen!!

Happy Resurrection Day!

Friday, April 22, 2011

"Coffee & Cupcakes" at Sprouting Seeds Studio and a Freebie!

Sprouting Seeds Studio has been busy this morning!  Well, that's all right by me.  On a Friday morning, I could definitely use some extra Coffee & Cupcakes!  Here's the Freebie you can pick up from Sprouting Seeds Studio (click on image):


My friends say I have a few too many coffee cups, but we've gotten rid of at least half of them.  Here's all we have left!



I know everyone's got a coffee story.  Pick up your QP from 4shared and get scrappin'!  Click on image below.  PU only.


Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this kit for the purpose of making a LO and review.  No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.

The Winter Colors at Sprouting Seeds Studio and a Freebie!

I missed a few of the winter colors of free paper packs coming out at Sprouting Seeds Studio, but I'm happy to report that everyone in my house is feeling better, and I'm all caught up on downloading my freebies so I can get scrapping again!  I put sheets together from The Winter Greys, The Winter Blues, and The Winter Purples. Since the patterns in all these paper packs match, they compliment each other perfectly when you put them together.


Sprouting Seeds Studio has completed the series of 27 free, commercial-use paper packs, so if you didn't get all of them, hurry over and pick them all up to complete your collection.  You should be ready for any project!  While you are there, check out the new kits as well!  Here are the last three paper packs, the winter colors.  Click on each image to go download from Sprouting Seeds Studio.




Click on below image to download your free Quickpage from 4shared. PU/S4H/S4O.



"Digging Dirt" Kit by Sprouting Seeds Studio

It's FRIDAY (please don't start singing the song - my 12-year-old sings it until it is stuck in my head permanently!)  We have exciting news from Sprouting Seeds Studio today:
"We are so excited to have a $2 Tasty Treat available for the next week over at ScrapDelicious! You are probably asking yourself, what is a Tasty Treat? That is a great question and here is the answer. A Tasty Treat is a Kit that is priced at just $2 for 1 week. If you also complete the designer's challenge, you will receive a Free Gift! 

"We chose to release our Digging Dirt Kit, since we are having a fantastic Spring Season and are busy planting flowers and putting in our gardens. If you purchase this Kit and complete our Challenge, you will receive for FREE, our Digging Dirt Add On Kit. 

"Needing some Ideas and Inspiration on how this Kit may be used?  Look no further, as the Creative Team Artists have all sorts of ideas for you!

Designed By Sprouting Seeds Studio

Designed By Sprouting Seeds Studio

Designed By CT Artist Deb Reynolds

Designed By CT Artist Deb Reynolds

Designed By CT Artist Stacy Robbins

Designed By CT Artist LilDove Creations

Designed By CT Artist Note-able Scraps

Designed By CT Artist Note-able Scraps

And here is my QP for you from this fabulous kit!  Click on image to download.  PU only.


Happy Scrapping!  :)

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this kit for the purpose of making a LO and review.  No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sprouting Seeds Studio Freebies!

Oh, dear, I have sick kids and am in the middle of standardized testing this week and don't have time to play with these lovely papers, but jump over to Sprouting Seeds Studio and download these goodies!  Click on Previews.

Winter Blues:


Google Friends 100:


Happy Scrapping!  :)



Monday, April 18, 2011

Facebook Freebie and a QP here!

Oops!  I forgot to check Facebook over the weekend for the freebie from Sprouting Seeds Studio!  Earth Day is April 22nd, so take some pictures of your kids recycling, picking up trash, or planting a tree to help take care of this beautiful earth that God gave us, and scrap them with Sprouting's Facebook-Only Freebie!  Click image to visit the Facebook page and download:


OK, so now that I've given my speech, I will note that not very many of the CT members actually scrapped anything about Earth Day.  Perhaps we'll remember to take pictures of it this year and have them for the future.  The kit looked like natural water and beach shots to me, so here's my LO with the Kings Pointer at the US Merchant Marine Academy.


Click image below to download the QP from 4shared.  PU only.


Happy Earth Day!  :)


Sunday, April 17, 2011

"The Autumn Browns" at Sprouting Seeds Studio and some FREE Doodles!

Sprouting Seeds Studio just posted the last of the "Autumn" papers collection:  "The Autumn Browns."  Here's what they said about them.  "As we wrap up the Autumn colors in this paper series, every time we look at this paper pack we 1) Get hungry for chocolate and 2) It reminds us of that spectacular brown polka dot dress that Julia Roberts wore in the movie Pretty Woman! "  


Ha, ha!  I love this!  In college one of my friends bought a brown polka-dotted dress like the one in Pretty Woman, and then she bought several in other colors.  She loved those dresses!   So in honor of my dear friend Kristy, here are a "Pretty Woman" dress and hat for your scrapbook pages!

When you just can't find quite what you want for page elements, you can always doodle.  In PSE8, I doodled the dress and hat on Paper 1 from the collection, then cut them out and saved them in PNG form.  I used my Bamboo tablet, which is probably currently my favorite toy, even though I'm not much of an artist.  You can, however, select the "pencil" from the toolbar in PSE8 and draw with your mouse.  After you doodle your object, double-click on the Layer name on the right-hand side, where it is called a "background," and click OK to change it to a transparent layer.  Use your "magic wand" to select and delete all the area around the doodled object, crop, and "Save As" a PNG file.  I chose a 175-pt brush stroke for my "pencil" to write "Pretty" and "Beautiful" in solid black on a transparent layer, and selected them with my "magic wand" tool.  I then placed Paper 1 above that layer and chose "Create Clipping Mask" from the drop-down layer menu to cut the words out of the polka-dot paper.  Hint:  If you run the letters in your word art together, it will be easier to select them as one whole shape to create your clipping mask, rather than having to clip each letter individually.

Here are the elements.  Click on image to download from 4shared.  PU/S4H/S4O.


Distracting myself this way is not working, though.  I still want chocolate, too!

Click on image below to go download "The Autumn Browns" collection from Sprouting Seeds Studio.


Happy Scrapping!  :)

"The Autumn Golds" at Sprouting Seeds Studio and a Freebie!

Sprouting Seeds Studio is spoiling us with a free download every couple of days!  Today's is "The Autumn Golds," the next installment in the "Autumn" seasonal papers series.  I love these rich autumn colors!  If you are looking for ways to use your stashes of papers, check back through my blog for ideas with Sprouting Seeds' Papers.  With the "Golds," I decided to use an overlay.  Overlays give you almost unlimited possibilities for solid color papers.  Here is Paper 5 from this collection with a freebie overlay that Sprouting Seeds Studio released last May!  I opened Paper 5 in PSE8, then placed the overlay in a second layer at 35% opacity and saved as a new paper.  Click image below to download the resulting paper.  PU/S4H/S4O.


Click below to download the new freebie collection, "The Autumn Golds," from Sprouting Seeds Studio.


And if you like the overlay used above, or if you'd like to experiment with some free CU overlays, you can still download them from Sprouting Seeds Studio!  Click below:


Happy Scrapping!  :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

"The Autumn Reds" at Sprouting Seeds Studio and a Freebie!

Sprouting Seeds Studio is beginning the Autumn collection of papers with "The Autumn Reds."  I must admit, as beautiful as spring is and as much as I enjoyed the kids' Easter Egg Hunt this morning, Autumn is my favorite time of year!  I can use these papers to go back and scrap some pictures I've gotten behind on.

Back in the old days when I started paper-scrapping (around 1999) and didn't have much money for patterned papers, I would buy big packs of solid papers and cardstocks when they were on sale, and then I would use stencils and rubber stamps to dress them up.  Rubber stamps are fabulous toys for any age!!  This is a good way to dress up digital papers for the same effect.  Here I used a leaf brush in PSE8 to "stamp" Paper 5 from the collection for a nice autumn page.  Click on the image to download.  PU/S4H/S4O.


Then click on this image below to go to Sprouting Seeds Studio and pick up the whole freebie pack!


Happy Scrapping!  :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

CT Artist Call at Sprouting Seeds Studio

Sprouting Seeds Studio is having a CT Call!  Click image below to go to their website.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"The Summer Blues" at Sprouting Seeds Studio - Alpha Freebie!

"The Summer Blues" are ready to download from Sprouting Seeds Studio.  Perfect for all your summer pool party and other water pictures!

The other day, we used the Type Mask tool in PSE8 to make wordart from the papers.  You can also cut out individual letters and save the entire alpha for use on future LOs.  Click preview below to download The Summer Blues Alpha Capitals.  PU/S4H/S4O.


I condensed "Paper 1" from the kit so that my polka dots would be smaller and closer together on my letters.  If anyone would like the lowercase alpha and numbers & symbols, please leave me a comment and I will make them.

Click image below to go to Sprouting Seeds Studio and download "The Summer Blues." Also check out this post (click here) about Sprouting Seeds Studio's exciting news: they are now selling at ScrapDelicious!  :)


Happy Scrapping!

"The Summer Purples" at Sprouting Seeds Studio Freebie!

Sprouting Seeds Studio released "The Summer Purples" (yesterday, actually - I'm running a bit behind!)  This shade makes me want to grab a grape popsicle and cool off in the warm April weather we've been having!  Next in our exploration of "what to do with all these papers?" is FRAMES!!!  You can easily use these fantastic coordinating papers to make a gallery full of frames.  A frame can be as easy as drawing a box to put your paper in, and then cutting a box out of the center of that for your picture.  Many photo/scrapbooking programs have even more options.  I used PSE8:

1) Use the cookie cutter option to cut the frame of your choosing out of the background paper.  (Make sure you have a transparent background.)
2) Trim your image to the area right around the frame.
3) Play with the various effects available in PSE8, such as the "Simple Embossing" effect under Edit>Effects on the right hand side of the work area.
4) Save as a PNG element.

You can use the frames on slightly contrasting paper so they show up well, or on the same paper for a nice, embossed effect.  Here, I designed a paper from the background design of the photo itself.


Here is the embossed look:


After you click the image below to go pick up your free "Summer Purples" set of papers from Sprouting Seeds Studio, come back for freebies at the bottom of the post!


Click below to download 5 frames, 2 quickpages, and 2 extra papers (one in the different shade of purple) derived from "The Summer Purples" collection.  PU/S4H/S4O.



Happy Scrapping!  :)