A glorious new world

When I grew up, living out at the countryside, we had two television channels and the second one didn’t even come until 1988. We could listen to one of the four state owned radio stations and sometimes on particular clear days the local station from the nearest big town 20 something kilometers away. There was no Internet available. Cell phones were still so big and expensive that no one I knew had one.

As I sat on the bus on my way to work today, listening to my favorite US radio station I came to realize what a revolution we’ve been through these past 20 years. The fact alone that I’m able to sit in a moving bus and navigate my way around all kinds of international radio stations and still have better quality then the old state stations says a lot about just how far we’ve come.

And on that note I might as well confess it right now – I’m totally addicted to my Iphone. I listen to music, play games, write notes and tape random ideas for later use. I take photos and send my husband photos of the dog while he’s at work. I twitter, facebook and keep up with the latest events at my favorite websites. I call friends and stay in touch via mail and text messages. I even wrote this blog post during breaks at work!

When I grew up I never imagined myself doing any of these things but for the younger generations they’ll never know a world without it. I once read an interview with some guy that argued that in reality all technology was at a standstill. We were only finding new ways to use existing technology. This might be true but what a glorious new world these new ways have created.

It doesn’t take something new to create a revolution, just a different way of looking at something old.

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Keeping warm

My husband keeps telling me that I’m just being foolish. To put on an extra sweater or go for a walk. But there are limits to how many sweaters I can wear and go for a walk every five minutes and nothing else will be done that day. The truth, although he’ll never admit it, is that our house is ice cold these days. We are experiencing seriously bad weather even for the season and the heat isn’t turned up enough.
What can however make me warm is that panic attack I had this morning as I turned on my computer or should I say - tried to turn it on. Nothing happened. Absolutely NOTHING! Can you imagine my panic? I’m still not quite sure what happened but one thing is certain it is in need of good spring cleaning! So much stuff and so little space isn’t the best of combinations. I’ve spend the day getting up to date with my backups and drinking lots of tea to keep me warm and once I’m actually brave enough to agree to do it, I’ll have my computer re-installed.

But the never-ending fear is what if something unexpected happens to my back up in the meantime?

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The morning after

There’s something so incredible sad about the morning after a great evening spend with friends. You spend the day before excited about getting to see your friends, shopping, cleaning, getting dinner ready and walking the dog so he can spend the evening sleeping.
The evening passes faster then you would ever expect it to. You eat, laugh and talk like you’ll never meet again and suddenly you are saying goodbye in the doorway and they’ll leave into the darkness of the night.
And then you wake up the morning after to this sight. I call it the glass graveyard. They stand like lonely monuments in the cold light of the morning only accompanied by the candles that burned out hours ago and tell their stories about another great evening.

It’s only Sunday afternoon and I’m already missing Saturday nights.

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It's more like a series of events...

Blog Prompt: Of the major events that have happened in your lifetime, what do you feel has had the most impact on you and how?

What is a major event? Where does it start and where does it end? What about all those small things that lead up to the so called big event? Don’t they count and who’s to say they don’t have as big a role on the impact as the major event?

I’ll give you an example. Meeting my husband was a major event. One of those you might even call life altering. But to meet my husband I had to call a friend I hadn’t seen in six months. I wouldn’t have called her if it wasn’t because that the guy I fancied at the time had suddenly decided to spend his Saturday evening differently then planned and I needed someone to entertain me. But then again, I wouldn’t have been involved with that guy in any way if I hadn’t sad & drunk said that a guy like him would make a great rebound guy after a failed relationship, to a mutual friend. And I would certainly never have said that if things had gone differently in my old relationship, a relationship that cost me my friendship with the first mentioned friend.

You are beginning to understand where I’m heading, right? I can’t say exactly what step on my way to true love (and it still is after 8 years together) had the most impact on my life. One thing wouldn’t have happened without the other.

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Music that makes me go...

I saw this on another blog and had to do it as well. I'm a huge music lover and truely believes that music can enhance or even alter my mood.

Top 40s at the moment:
That's going to be a Danish song. I can listen to this over and over again the entire day and still feel a little bit in love with the song. It's Rasmus Seebach with Glad igen (Happy again)

Songs that give you spirit when you are down:
I can not hear this and not get a huge smile on my lips. It has such a lovely beat. It's Natalie Imbruglia with Glorious

Faith Hill - The Way You Love Me
It's the song my husband and I danced our first dance (after the traditional wedding walz) to at our wedding.

Don't ask me why but the first song that I think of is Marvin Gaye - Lets get it on

Quickly followed by Justin Timberlake & Ciara with Love Sex Magic

I hate my ex songs:
Sara Bareilles - Gravity
I know the obvious pick would be some angry song but this song reminds me so much of an old ex and reminds me every time why I ended up hating him as much as I did back then...

But in the end Trisha Yearwoods I would have loved you anyway works too. Because at the time of my life it really didn't matter how he treated me. I neeeded him to be able to move on and be ready for the next big love. 'For a moment in time' I loved him.

R&B night....

Bodies with Robbie Williams, because lets face it. No matter how hot the guy is, he is just as excentric! And this number is no exception.

Anything works here. Almost anything but from the more recent british singers I really like Pixie Lott

I started with a Danish song and I'll end with another one. This is 17 year old Basim with the song to his father that has cancer. The song is about his fear of loosing him, he sings that heaven has too many angels and that he needs him here. That time is the best he give him. It is such an adorable song.

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Keeping busy

Suddenly I found myself caught up in the DET contest at DSP and finishing my kits for SNL and totally forgot about coming back here and update. Well where do I begin?
I made it back on the Digital Elite Team at Digital Scrapbook Place and for those of you that don't know it, the DET is the Creative Team for the entire store at DSP. It was a really hard contest this time and as we entered the last round I felt that it would be okay if I didn't make the team. So I was extremely excited when I made the team. So I've been busy scrapping and absolutely love being back and getting to scrap with all kinds of kits.
Here's a few of my layouts so far.

Fresh N New Mega kit by DSP Designers

Tropical Dreams by Heidi Kuester

Toad-ily Inspired Blendable Paper Kit by Kim Liddiard Famous Authors: Oliver Wendell Holmes word art by Tina Chambers

I've even had time to finish my SNL kit for October already. The theme was Teen Grunge and the colors were very bright and funky. I didn't think I'd finish so fast but I actually made this in an afternoon. And I love how it turned out

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It's Marcee's birthday...

Which at DSP means you get 29% off on her products so if you're not already familar with her products this is a great oppertunity to get started. Here are just some of my many favorite Marcee products.

I use her clipping masks all the time and often find new ways of using her word arts over and over again as page fillers. Her kits are full of great papers and elements so realistic that you want to reach out and touch them. I actually look at her products every single time I sit by my computer because I have these 3 layouts hanging on the wall behind my screen.
Several of her products are simply digital must haves so go and find all of her products here and start shopping. Sale Ends Midnight EST
Happy birthday Marcee!

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My Sunshine

Here's my splash of color on a cloudy day. I'm fighting a beginning winter blues at the moment. It's the most beautiful time of the year but it so hard to deal with the darkness. Luckily there's always scrapping to turn to. I'm always more productive during the winter.
Products: (Image is clickable)

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From bad to perfect!

Not all photos turn out well but sometimes the motive is simply too good to ignore. Like a photo I took on a recent trip to the beach with my husband and dog. They were walking out in the water along the beach and I really wanted to use it, so I worked a lot on this layout.

In the end it wasn't as much about using the photo as it was to show the mood/feeling of that particular evening. This is just as much scrapping to me as showing a photo or writing about an event. It is truely small pieces of art that reflects my life.

Products: Main kit: Outer Banks by Tina Chambers Sun reflections: Frog King Forest by Nicole Young Moon & Fog: Nighttime At The Fairy Glen Element Set by Nicole Young Stars and clouds: Forever In Never Never Page Kit by Nicole Young & the blog freebie

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Winner of Trendsetters 2009

I still can't quite believe it but I won the Trendsetters contest at DSP. There were so many great layouts and many I considered being a lot more creative then my entries so I didn't really expect anything. These are the 3 layouts I did during the contest.

The next DET contest started today and I've been considering if I should sign up again for the past month or two. I had hoped that my job situation would have been different by now but nothing has changed and as for designing I still don't live up to my own quality expectations so I've got plenty of time and with a little encouragement I signed up last night. So now the competition is on. Around 70 has signed up for the 10 spots on the team so it'll be interesting to see who makes the team this time.
I'll be taking this one round at the time. We've gotten the first kit which is a really beautiful one and I had my layout done fairly quickly but I'll need to sit on it for a while if for nothing else to make sure that I'm not breaking any of the rules.

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Fairytale QP

It's been a while and all sorts of things has happened in my life. Every morning I've told myself that this was going to be the day where I got the blog updated again but I haven't been all smiles and laughter lately so I figured I might as well not do it.

But today I've got a freebie for you. I'm working on a kit at the moment using a color swatch the DSP designers are using at the moment to make a series of kits that match in colors. (Check out that challenge here) I wanted to give it a try myself after not having done any designing for some time. I suddenly felt very limited that I only had PSE 5.0 to use and thought I might as well give up. But here I am again, not really able to give up entirely.

So enjoy your freebie. Download here

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Do you believe in signs?

I’ve fought it for so long. I really don’t want to believe in signs because for me that means admitting to that there’s more between heaven and earth and it is not for us to totally understand. And I feel the most comfortable when I understand what’s going on around me.

When I turned on the TV this morning, the show ‘The Doctors’ were on and they were talking about how to know if you were having a heart attack. Later as I was reading there was a character in the book that died of heart failure. I should have known that something was up. I had similar experiences when both my grandmother and my father died.

Today Thursday August 6, 2009 my youngest aunt died. My youngest aunt who wasn’t even 50 yet died after having cardiac arrest. She was sitting at the kitchen table and had just finished playing a game with my uncle who was making jokes. They were talking about the trip they were going to make next week. Life was good. And then she just died – totally out of the blue.

And I just don’t understand. I don’t understand how a woman who was sitting in my garden not two weeks ago feeling better then ever could just die.

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Everything we needed...

Blog Prompt: Today is Mutt’s Day. Do you prefer a mutt or a purebred animal? Why?
I wouldn't say I prefer a mutt or a purebred but when we got to the point where we started looking for a dog we both knew what was important was that we got a dog that was happy and healthy and since we had both seen quite a few purebred dogs with health issues we perhaps not knowingly looked for a mutt. Another thing that was important to us was that we wanted to give a dog that really needed a home a place to be. It breaks our hearts to see how some people buy dogs when then are cute puppies and then just give up on them once they've grown into size. A dog is a serious commitment. So we picked up our dog at a shelter or perhaps we should say that the owner picked out the dog for us. We went there with an appointment to meet another dog but once we had talked for a bit with the owner she recommended we met Fido. A cross between a Labrador and a Springer Spaniel. It was love at first sight and we took him home later that same day and have not regretted it a single time since. He is happy and healthy and everything we wanted and didn't know we needed in a dog.
Products: A Gypsy Tale 2 Page Kit by Nicole Young A Gypsy Tale Add On Pack by Nicole Young Gypsy Tale by Nicole Young Just Junky 2 Kit by Nicole Young

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Christmas Planner Draft

Webfrau from DSP has run a challenge this week as part of the Christmas in July celebrations to make a Christmas Planner and since I’m always behind around Christmas especially in the Christmas card department I jumped onboard hoping that I’ll be a bit more prepared this year. Well as it turned out I’m already behind and didn’t get to finish my planner before the week was over. Oh well – I guess December is still what 3 months away? So there’s still time to finish it.

I’ve used a regular A4 binder and divided it into six different categories: Calendar, Christmas cards (including an address index), Gifts, Economy, Recipes and Notes. The notes section is intended for a bit of daily journaling in December which will make the Christmas scrap album so much easier to do once December is over. I’m not completely satisfied with the look of the planner yet but I guess that’s just because I haven’t had time to tweak it as much as I usually do. I’ll be sure to remember to update here once I’ve got it done. Hopefully that’ll happen sometime before Christmas

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A digital must have: Plastic Pockets by Erica Belton

Every now and then I find new products in the digital world that I simply must have. Not because I know what I want to use them for right here and now but I know it’ll be something I’ll use over and over again.
Once I saw Erica Belton's new Plastic Pocket overlays I knew these were going into the category of must haves. Using them is probably the closest I’ll ever get to doing anything hybrid. They look incredible real and are so easy to work with.

She’s made nine different ones (and if you hurry you can get them on sale) and I got them all to make a mini album with photos from a recent trip to the Zoo. The album will practically make it self, be done in no time and look fantastic! I’m so excited about these and only wish that I had thought of them myself.

Get them all right here

I've used kits by Meryl Bartho for the Zoo layouts

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Dreams of Pasta Carbonara

Blog Prompt: Today is National Lasagna Day. Do you like Italian food? What is your favorite Italian dish?
When I was younger I lived just down the street from the best Italian restaurant I’ve ever been to. The atmosphere was always warm and inviting. The food was beyond delicious and the wines superb. Of course the company was always perfect as well. I went there with friends, first dates and various boyfriends over the years. I loved the place so much. When I returned to the town after living elsewhere for a couple of years I was very sad to see that the owners had sold the restaurant and the new cook was no where near the old standard and I never went back again. Somehow I didn’t want the memory of the good old days ruined by lousy food. Today the restaurant is turned into an ice cream bar.

But let’s step back to the food. The amazing Italian food, that got me into the restaurant in the first place. For some reason I always ended up eating the same thing; Pasta Carbonara. The yummiest dish of them all with the pasta, bacon and cream served with just a pinch of chopped parsley. Hmm, I suddenly know what I want to make for dinner tonight.

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A new side of scrapping ...

... at least for me. I'm terrible at getting my layouts printed. I keep telling myself I won't do it until I've finished a year, an special occation, a certain story or whatever it is I'm scrapping. I think that of all the layouts I've made so far I've only had around 1% printed. One of the main reasons for this was that I had to get it done at a store and somehow I felt like I couldn't be bothered getting the files uploaded (I know, it's no excuse!) So not long before my birthday I asked my husband to find a printer for me. Cheap to buy AND cheap to use; which isn't the easiest thing in the world. It wasn't exactly a b-day wish since I didn't want him to spend that much money on it but guess what he did.
Apart from being able to print my layouts now the printer has also opened an entirely different side of scrapping that I had yet to explore. Making cards! And this is my first attempt. Having to cut and fold reminded me why I'd never tried paper scrapping but I'm quite happy with the result.

Products: I've used various products by Nicole Young and Tina Chambers, both Digital Scrapbook Place

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Layout: Go Fish

Christmas in July began yesterday and I already feel like I'm hopelessly behind on the challenges. There are so many at DSP and the ladies there kept busy all day yesterday scrapping and filling up the gallery while I was celebrating my husband's 30th birthday. I woke up this morning feeling just a tiny bit hung over and figured I'd never get anything done today but after a lot of salt and sugar and a good nap I felt better. So this is my first CIJ challenge layout done.
I used Christmas Magic Page Kit by Meryl Bartho which is brand new at the DSP store and so incredible beautiful. I absolutely love all those flowers which might not be so Christmas like but combine it with a bit of glitter and a bit of ivy and you've got the look.

I hope to get to do many more challenges during the week long celebration but I'm short on time this week as well so we'll just have to wait and see.

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I'm so excited...

about how my Nordic Christmas kit turned out. Oh I love all the sparkly bits and the glass ball took me like forever to make but I'm really happy with the way it turned out.
Furthermore I was up the entire night writing which I haven't done in so long. I've felt so uninspired and was at a point where I couldn't even construct a sentence (I still can't in English but that's an entirely different story) And tomorrow is my husbands last day at work before 3 weeks of vacation. So there's plenty to be excited about.

We don't have many plans for the vacation. We are off to Germany on Tuesday for a bit of shopping for the birthday party next weekend and we've talked about taking a few days in our old hometown Aarhus. But apart from that I think we are just going to take each day as it comes. Perhaps catch up on a couple of movies, go to the beach and just relax.

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It's Christmas in July...

... or at least it will be soon at my favorite digital scrapbooking site DSP. There's already so many things planned for the week long celebration starting with a 24 hour chat. I hate to miss the chats and all the fun it usually is to be a part of but that particular day we are having guests all day celebrating my husband's 30th birthday. His birthday was in April but we haven't been able to find a free weekend until now. With me working every other weekend we rarely have a weekend with no plans. I knew when we set the date that it would take the focus away from my b-day which is next week but I had no idea that it would be completely forgotten. I'm not saying I expect gifts but no one has asked me what I want for my b-day. Not even my husband or my mother or my husband's grandmother whom I'm very close with despite that she talked about my birthday just earlier today. It is very, very weird and I can't shake the feeling that they are all up to something or perhaps they have just forgotten it. Time will show I guess.

Okay back to the whole Christmas in July thing. I'm usually very excited about the products the DSP designers make but I have yet to find a Christmas kit there (or anywhere else for that matter) that match my Christmas photos. Most Christmas kits are red, green and dark blue and my home is none of these colors around Christmas (apart from the green tree of course). That's the reason why I still haven't gotten my Christmas layouts from last Christmas done and let's face it - before we know it it's December again and a new set of photos will be taken.

It’ll be photos showing my favorite ornaments in soft blue shades, teal, purple and silver. So with this in mind I’ve started working on a new kit which for now is called Nordic Christmas.

I even listened to Christmas music yesterday as I started to work on it – just to get in the spirit. But I must admit that the kit isn’t the easiest I’ve done yet. Since I’m not traditional in my Christmas decorations I’m having a hard time deciding which things so go in the kit. So in many ways I’m back where I started. I still don’t have that perfect Christmas kit but at least I got one layout done with my Advent decoration (which was my first ever – seems to be the year of many firsts).

So if you have any suggestions for stuff to go in the kit or better yet know of a kit that might be suitable (think modern, soft almost pastel colors and lots of bling) give me a hint. I’ll greatly appreciate it.

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3rd place winner

Playing in the sunset , originally uploaded by Almhoej.

Exciting news to wake up to on another warm day in Denmark. My photo won a 3rd place in a Flickr group voting. The theme for contest was bridges over water. There were some incredible beautiful photos among the entries so I didn't really think I had any chance.

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El Hacienda

I've been super productive so far this week. I've made five layouts already and a kit. It's been a while since I've had so much work done.
It is hot, hot, hot in Denmark at the moment so I started working with a summer color scheme and somehow ended with this mexican theme. Just think about it, sitting there in the shadows, sipping cold margaritas. Beats working in the garden which was my alternative to designing.
For some reason it wasn't too difficult to decide on how to spend the afternoon.

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Statistically Challenged

I love numbers! So when I opened the gallery at DSP today I noticed a bit of statistic that I had to look a bit closer at. Here’s what I found:
  • There are 278,263 photos in the gallery and there has been made 1,454,523 comments which mean that on average every layout should have at least 5 comments.
  • There have been 50,682,339 views which on average means that each layout gets viewed 35 times but only every 7th person comment on the viewed layout.
  • There are 152,425 users which mean that every member on average has two photos in their gallery but the top ten posters counts for more then 5% alone with nearly 16,000 photos in the gallery.
  • 22% of all the photos are in the Challenge galleries which mean that every 5th uploaded photo is for a challenge.
  • 42% of the challenge layouts are in the designer challenge galleries which mean that every 11th photo uploaded is for a designer challenge.
  • Doing challenges is a good thing if you like more comments since layouts for challenges on average gets approx. 7 comments which is two more then the overall average.
  • Our Queen of scrapping Mars is the number one poster in the gallery with 2,249 photos which mean that since she joined in September 2005 she has on average made more then four layouts every week!! Now how many of you can match that? I just did the math on my own gallery and I can barely make an average of 3 every week since I joined in 2006.

I had to use that knowledge for something, so I've started a challenge (since everyone loves a good challenge) at DSP. You can check it out here!

Statistically Challenged

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Can a fairy be bald?

I've spend almost 3 days on the frame. I keep saving it as a png file just to go back and work more on it. I keep finding new things I can adjust and seriously it would have been so much faster if I had just made one flower and then duplicated it but no, I obviously don't know how to keep it simple.
I'm still waiting to find out what the featured element will be for SNL#51 but with just 3 elements 'done' there's plenty of room for more. Have you noticed that I keep avoiding making the actually fairy? I've started it a couple of times. Get an okay face done but then it goes wrong when I try to add hair. Can a fairy be bald?

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SNL51: Fairies?!!? Oh no!

The theme for the July edition of SNL is going to be fairies and today the vote began on the colors and there seems to be a winner already so inspired by the color palette and the theme I've started working on a kit.
I don't make many fantasy layouts myself so I'm expecting to have troubles with the theme. The fairy wings and the stars overlay is just about as far as my imagination will stretch right now. It's probably a good thing I've started early on this one.

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My two new best friends

I'd like you meet my two new best friends. They are called Burn Tool and Dodge Tool. I knew of their exsistence a month ago but I seldom used the burn tool and never the dodge tool. Now I can't imagine how I got by without using them. It's amazing how many details you can 'paint' on a plain flat color, like all the shadows and highlights on these flowers.
Oh and perhaps this is a good time to mention an old best friend, my Wacom Bamboo Fun pen. I almost gave up using it when I first got it, didn't really think I could control it but these days I've totally given up on a regular mouse and use the pen all the time. Another big help in these design attempts.

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Bedtime inspiration

I stared at my computer screen all morning, trying to get something done but felt so unispired. I was seriously beginning to think that all creativity had left me. So I spend the afternoon and evening reading. On my way to bed I just wanted to check my emails and I'm not sure why but I suddenly had an idea and opened my Elements to continue the work on my sea kit. Remember this is a work in progress. I'm sure I can do so much more work on the bridge but right now I'm actually feeling quite happy about it.

And now I really should be going to bed. :)

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It's been a rewarding year

It is that time of the year again. Where we put on our best dresses (and bodies ;)) and go to the Scrappy Awards at DSP. I've been anxiously awaiting this event because for me it celebrates my first true anniversary as a scrapper. Sure I had done some before but it wasn't really until last year when I entered a layout just for the fun of it (although there was nothing fun about the layout) and actually won for Best Journaling.

It wasn't as much the winning part that excited me the most, as it were all the words of encouragements that followed. I had never experienced so many people actually care about what I was doing. Something I had really missed up until that point. Slowly I grew as a scrapper over the summer and much to my own surprise got a place at the world's best creative team, Digital Elite Team, after a tough competition in September.

I confess to crying tears of joy the day I got my first layout inducted to the Hall of Fame. And crying tears of pain after just finishing the layout that was so difficult for me to do. And that has pretty much been the theme of my scrapping this past year. From time to time I've felt strong enough to deal with some of those hard stories I need to get down on paper for future generations to understand my family's history. Stories are supposed to be told not just the good parts but also all those filled with bittersweet memories.

In many ways this has been a year full of life altering decessions and although I'm not proud of all them and I'm certain a few people have felt let down by me, I'm sure that at some point they will feel as the right ones because I do believe that I'm slowly moving towards something that I was meant to do whatever that may be.

So here we are a year later and it is time for the Scrappies once more. This year I'm nominated in four categories and I still feel as surprised as I did last year, not really believing that someone actually like what I make. This is not saying that scrapping is my life, I'm merely saying that scrapping has become a symbol of everything else going on in my life. So this anniversary is truely a milestone and I'm thankful for all the experiences I've had and people I've met this past year and of course I can't help but to think about where I'll be in life a year from now...

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Another kit in the making...

Remember my post from the other day with the photos of the sky I thought would make some great overlays for papers?
Well I was right and I'm slowly working towards another complete kit. It doesn't even have a working title yet but I'm sure the theme of the kit is already pretty obvious.
As much as I like the way the cloudy papers look it is nothing compared to how I feel about the stones/rocks. I love how they turned out.
Bird brush by Obsidian Dawn

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Sweet Moments

I'm almost ashamed to admit this but there are times where I'm almost jealous of the bond between my husband and my dog. They are without a doubt each others best friends and nothing or no one can get between them.

I took these photos one day after my husband had just gotten home from a long day at work and Buller clearly had a lot of things he needed to tell him. I guess it is only fair that they get some quality time alone after all I spend all day alone with Buller.

The Credits:
Gypsy Tale by Nicole Young
Gypsy Tale 2 by Nicole Young (BLOG FREEBIE!)
Maskee Set 2 Large Clipping Masks by Marcee Duggar Clustered Up word art by Tina Chambers
Along these Lines: Happy by Tina Chambers

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The Cutest

Isn't he just the cutest? You can almost tell he is concentrating really hard on the water. Some of our best hours are spend at the beach with our dog. Hopefully the summer will soon return so we can get out there again.
Products: My own stuff

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Bath Time Blues Freebie

Oh wait what is this? Another kit freebie within the same week? That is so unlike me! *lol*

It has been raining all day long and I've been home alone so there was not much else for me to do then to finish this kit. I made the frame and blue paper a long time ago and then got stuck. Now that is done I want you guys to have it so it doesn't just gather dust on my harddrive.

Enjoy and I hate to ask this, but if you download please leave me a message. I so appreciate it.

Download here

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Getting better

I think I'm done with the SNL June kit but like always I need a few days to think about it. But today I wanted to show you this.
One thing is that I seem to have more fun designing, another is that I'm finally able to see myself that I'm improving. I realised it while I was finishing the last element for the kit. Not long ago I would have stopped after making the branch look like the left one, thinking it looked pretty good. Now with a bit more training it looks like the one to the right.
Sure it takes a lot longer but I'm slowly moving towards quality instead of quantity. Slowly, very slowly that is! And perhaps that's what is holding me back the most. I hate being slow at anything and would much rather not do it then. I really need to start focusing more on details. It took me forever to get that skill when it comes to scrapping, hopefully it'll show in my design soon as well.

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How's the weather?

How's the weather?, originally uploaded by Almhoej.

I started taking some photos of the sky today thinking they could make some pretty good overlays for backgrounds but ended up using it as my photo of the day. I've never seen so many different clouds at one time in the sky. It was an incredible sight. It never really rained and although the sun wasn't too visible I can still feel the burn in my face after spending the afternoon outside.

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During these cold rainy days...

it's good to be able to look back at warmer days which were to my dog's delight spend at the beach. Hopefully he'll be able to go for a swim again soon.

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Giggle Boy

For those of you unfamilar with Nicole Young's CAF-E challenge at DSP you really should check it out. Every week (sometimes two weeks) she has a featured kit and gives away a freebie on her blog that coordinates with the featured kit. If you use them you get a third product from her for free that coordinates with the two first. That's like buy one - get two for free. How awesome is that? And her products are always beautiful.

Giggleland Page Kit by Nicole Young & the coordinating blog freebie Giggleland 2

This week's featured kit is a kit I've used before. Her Giggleland is such a delightful little kit for those adorable Summer photos we all have. The above layout is made with both the kit and the blog freebie and the cute little boy is my friends' son Xander.

So hurry over to Nicole's blog and pick up the freebie, buy the kit at DSP and start creating!

Have a great weekend everyone.

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Just one element to go...

I'm almost done with my kit contribution for this months SNL. I've learned so many new things while making this and although this is far from perfect I'm still quite satisfied with the way it is turning out. The theme this month is Butterfly Garden and the focus element is wood. I've definitely focused on wood in all kinds of ways. I'm not 100% satisfied with the bench but I think it is the best I can do with my skills at the moment.
Now I just got to figure out what the last element should be... Any suggestions?

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Peony in bloom

Peony in bloom, originally uploaded by Almhoej.

We had a few days with almost Summer like temperatures but after last weekend we were supposed to get non stop rain. I'm still waiting for the rain. We've had a few showers but not nearly enough considering we are still trying to get the lawn to grow after last winter's digging adventures in both front and backyard.
Hopefully soon we'll see a good combination of rain and sunshine so the garden will be in full bloom before we are having celebrating my husband's 30th birthday later this summer with a garden party.
But until then I can enjoy the sight of my beautiful peony in bloom reflecting the sunlight.

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Timeless freebie

I updated the look of my blog today and inspired by the new color theme I made you a little something. No, it's not a quickpage again. This time I'm going to go and ahead and give you the kit. I hope you'll enjoy using this one and like always - a simple thank you is always greatly appreciated. It's what keeps me trying to design. Who knows one day I might even show up at some store.

Download: Part 1 & Part 2

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Extraordinary Me! Judge Me

I've been running a challenge for some months now at Digital Scrapbook Place called Extraordinary Me! It's focusing on the one person we tend to leave out of our scrapbooks, ourselves naturally. The EM! challenge focuses on our thoughts, hopes, fears and dreams and each month I give a prompt to work with.

The June edition is now up and is called Judge Me! and this month it is for the courageous scrappers because I’m asking you to find out what people’s first impression of you is.

You can find out much more about the challenge here and I hope to see a lot of fabulous layouts since I know the digi scrapping world is full of courageous scrappers.

Here's my own take on the challenge

Products: A look Through the Window Page Kit by Meryl Bartho & A look Through the Window Two Page Kit by Meryl Bartho

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Layout of the Day at DSP- Create Your Own Story

Layout of the Day -- Create Your Own Story

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Busy, busy, busy

I haven't had a chance to update here lately. I've been busy looking for a new job and scrapping. I got a bit overwhelmed with the possible layouts I could make when I returned from London that it put my creativity on hold for a bit. But I think I'm back on track.

Here's a few of my latest layouts

Credits: Cassidee Page Kit Cassidee Back Pack by Marcee Duggar Maskee Set 4 Large Clipping Masks by Marcee Duggar

Basically Black Page Kit by Lauren Bavin Essentially Ebony Page Kit by Lauren Bavin WA: Infinite Imagination Wordart Pack by Nicole Young (Part of the May Club Digital – get it while you can!!) Ribbon and diamond flower: Floral Finery by Lauren Bavin Also available at the Scraps of fun - Flowers CD by DSP Designers or choose the Scraps of fun - Flowers Downloadable version by DSP Designers Frame: Spring Mega kit by DSP Designers Maskee Set 2 Large Clipping Masks by Marcee Duggar

At the same time I've begun working on the kit for the June version of SNL. The voting is still on about the colors but I'm guessing this will win so I wanted to get started while I was running high on inspiration. But it's a slow work. The bench alone took me the longest time to get together.

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Eurovision Extravaganza - Semifinale 2

Okay it's time for my top ten for the last semi finale. I got 6 out of 10 in the first so that wasn't too bad. I had Switzerland and Andorra as my top two and neither of them made it to the final but I wasn't too upset. They both delivered weak vocal performances, Switzerland because he apparently just couldn't sing and Andorra because her voice wasn't up to full speed.

So lets see how many of my top ten for the second semi finale will actually make it. Here it is.

10: Cyprus - Christina Metaxa with Firefly
From Cyprus comes another teenager, 17 y.o. Christina Metaxa with the song Firefly written by her older brother. I’m not totally overwhelmed by her voice. It’s sweet but a bit pitchy at times and she might be 17 but she’s going on 57 with her performance. But I do have hopes for this song. It’s one of those songs that the live performance can make or break. If she really delivers on stage and let the audience feel her sweetness they might be more inclined to vote for her. A bit above average, but still average.
Music: 3/5 Voice: 2/5 Likability: 4/5 Overall score: 3/5

9: Ukraine - Svetlana Loboda with Be my Valentine
From Ukraine comes perhaps the most interesting entry this year. This song will divide the voters in Europe between those who love it and those who hate. There really isn’t any middle ground here. I find it very refreshing and expect an amazing outrages performance.
Music: 4/5 Voice: 3/5 Likability: 4/5 Overall score: 3,67/5

8: Norway - Alexander Rybak with Fairytale
Born in Belarus and grown up in Norway 23 year old Alexander Rybak has the looks of an Eastern European and the charms of a Scandinavian. All over the www people are guessing this will be the winner song of the Eurovision 2009 and although I wouldn’t hold it against our Norwegian friends to win this year I’m just not as excited as the rest of the world. The song, the lyrics and the guy is very likable but it just doesn’t do it for me. I’m not blown away with this performance or the song and am still looking to find an answer to why Europe apparently loves this guy so much.
Music: 3/5 Voice:3/5 Likability: 5/5 Overall score: 3,67/5

7: Hungary - Zoli Ádok with Dance with me
It seems like the second semifinale will be full of hot men (I’m so glad they’ll send this live in Denmark). From Hungary we have Zoli Adok that encourages us to dance with me. And you’ll feel like dancing. It’s a good upbeat number with a good singer. It’s high quality stuff and I’m sure we’ll see an awesome live show from him with some funny twists.
Music:3/5 Voice: 4/5 Likability: 5/5 Overall score: 4/5

6. Albania - Kejsi Tola with Carry Me in Your Dreams
From Albania we’ll see one of the youngest contestants this year. 17 year old Kejsi Tola sings an upbeat number called Carry Me In Your Dreams which is a rather catchy song. Before the 3 minute song is over you’ll be able to sing a long (which is a huge Eurovision factor for me) and yet it doesn’t get boring despite the repeating chorus. It is probably one of the strongest songs this year.
Music: 5/5 Voice: 3/5 Likability: 4/5 Overall score: 4/5

5: Greece - Sakis Rouvas with This is our night
How do I say this right? He’s HOT!!! It’s not always as much about the song as the singer and this Sakis from Greece is really yummy. And it doesn’t hurt of course that he’s got an okay voice and performs with an okay pop song. I expect an awesome live performance from him and that will turn an okay song into something spectacular. Some might remember him from his 2004 Eurovision entry Shake it, a song I still listen to, where he came in third. Maria from A*Teens as some of you might know said on a Swedish programme that she didn't really like how he seems to be so aware of how cute he is. I totally disagree. There's nothing wrong with having confidence when you are performing for millions of viewers across Europe.
Music: 3/5 Voice: 4/5 Likability: 5/5 Overall score: 4/5

4: Denmark - Brinck with Believe Again
I shouldn’t really rate the Danish entry since I’m sure to be a bit biased about it. First of all because it is from Denmark but mostly because it’s Brinck singing the song Believe Again. I’ve loved Brinck since before I even knew his name. He’s got an amazing rough voice full of emotions and the song co-written by Ronan Keating is a good choice for him. But if I have to be critical on anything it would probably be that it’s a song we heard a million times before. There’s not much new about apart from the cute guy singing it. I have some concerns about his live performance not his vocal but his act. I found it a bit boring at the Danish competition and I hope he’s had some dance lessons since then and will get off that chair. Perhaps he should take some lessons from a previous Danish contestant Drama Queen. But it really is a good solid song with an awesome singer so I have faith in him.
Music: 4/5 Voice: 5/5 Likability: 4/5 Overall score: 4,33/5

3: Azerbaijan - Aysel & Arash with Always
From Azerbaijan comes the duo AySel & Arash with the song Always. The song is a now classic mix of traditional rhythms and dance music but what separates them from the rest are the fact that they can actually sing. Especially AySel has a rather good voice and I wish she would have done a bit more singing and a little less hip dancing but she looks great doing both. There’s not much renewing about the song but it works just as it is.
Music: 5/5 Voice: 5/5 Likability: 4/5 Overall score: 4,67/5

2: Estonia - Urban Symphony with Rändajad
Urban Symfony from Estonia is one of the strongest performances this year. Everytime I hear it I get goose bumps and a sudden urge to cry because it is so incredible beautiful. The lead singers voice is an instrument in it self and behind that heavy black bangs lies a beautiful soul you just want to know better. I could listen to this song none stop all day long. Superb, nothing short of superb.
Music: 5/5 Voice: 5/5 Likability: 5/5 Overall score: 5/5

1: Lithuania - Sasha Son with Love
One word: WOW! The song from Lithuania is absolutely fantastic. It’s an awesome singer and the lyrics and melody are so beautiful. It’s a little song of freedom. It’s a little song of hope. It’s little song with a great impact on me. “For the pain that I had for the fame that I got was for what?” Oh my freaking God. The singer Sasha Son has always written the song but he is so much more then a singer/song writer. He is a STAR. But I fear this might not be Eurovision style enough.
Music: 5/5 Voice: 5/5 Likability: 5/5 Overall score: 5/5

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Happy Mother's Day

Here's a little freebie for you.

Download here

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It's a magical world

It's been a while since my last freebie here at the blog so I made you a little something with a kit I'm working on these days. For some reason I just really love bold colors at the moment.
Enjoy and don't forget to leave a little note so I know you've been here :)

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Eurovision Extravaganza - Semifinale 1

Okay my time schedule was totally ruined by life and my daily update has now been delayed for a few days. So here's my top ten list for the first semi finale. These are the ones I want to see make it to the finale.

# 10: Czech Republic - Gipsy.cz with Aven Romale
To be honest I’m a bit bewildered about the Czech entry this year. It’s a bit cabaret meeting wannabe rapper. It has rhythm but if it had been song by Dusty the singing turkey from last years competition I wouldn’t have been a bit surprised. Because it really feels like a joke with the lead singer running around on stage in his superman costume and the Amy Winehouse lookalike on the violin. It’s a bad joke but I can’t help to smile a little. Just a little.
Music: 2/5 Voice: 1/5 Likability: 3/5 Overall score: 2/5

# 9: Iceland - Yohanna with Is it true?
Iceland has impressed me the last couple of years but have done really bad in the competition which just proves that the Eurovision is like X Factor. It isn’t enough to sing well and sing good songs if you don’t have that extra. This years entry Is it true is good. It’s easy listening and don’t require a lot of commitment. The singer is a delight but that extra is missing.
Music: 3/5 Voice: 3/5 Likability: 1/5 Overall score: 2,33/5

# 8: Belarus - Petr Elfimov with Eyes That Never Lie
He looks like something out of the 80s. He performs like someone stuck in the 80s but he also sounds like the 80s which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Petr Elfimov from Belarus delivers a good pop/rock song that definitely would make me turn up the sound to let it fill my living room. Or turn it up so much that I could leave the room and still hear it and not have to look at him. We all know that looks matters. It’s not enough to just have a good song (but then again the Olsen Brothers won in 2000). I don’t think it’s a winner song but I hope he’ll at least get the opportunity to sing in the finals.
Music: 3/5 Voice: 3/5 Likability: 1/5 Overall score: 2,33/5

# 7: Montenegro - Andrea Demirovic with Just Get Out of My Life
From Montenegro comes Andrea Demirovic with the song Just Get Out of My Life which makes me thinks of the good old Abba days. The beat is good, the lyrics catchy and the girl colorful. It’s a true Eurovision classic but perhaps a bit boring in the long run. It takes more these days to write a winner song then the inspiration from former Eurovision hits and this entry ends up pretty average
Music: 3/5 Voice: 3/5 Likability: 3/5 Overall score: 3/5

# 6: Malta - Chiara with What If We
From Malta comes the singer Chiara again (again) with the song What if we? Her song from the 2005 Eurovision, Angel, is one of those I still listen to. She’s has an amazing voice and the lyrics this year is beautiful. She is possibly one the biggest singer the Eurovision has ever seen but Malta seems to have stuck in the late 90s when it comes to making Eurovision songs and I think that will prevent this song to receive the recognition it so truly deserves.
Music: 2/5 Voice: 5/5 Likability: 3/5 Overall score: 3,33/5

#5: Sweden - Malena with La Voix
This is a winning recipe that Sweden has used a lot of times before but for some reason they keep exciting the European audience and I think they will again this year. They are bringing opera to the Eurovision combined with a good dance rhythm and a bunch of lovely boys to look at. If you like big songs, you’ll like this one. I know I do and the more I hear it the more I love it. But is the European audience ready for Malena?
Music: 2/5 Voice: 5/5 Likability: 3/5 Overall score: 3,33/5

#4: Bosnia & Herzegovina - Regina with Bistra Voda
Bosnia & Herzegovina has delivered several decent songs to the Eurovision these past few years and this year is no different. I really like the first 1:15 in the song Bistra Voda but then as the song would benefit greatly from changing pace nothing happens. I hate that in a song when they lead up to something big and then leave me unsatisfied. It kills any love for the song I might have had. When that is said, it is still a pretty good song but it could have been so much better. The lead singer is very likable and their approach to the whole thing is likable as well and that helps them in the overall score.
Music: 3/5 Voice: 3/5 Likability: 5/5 Overall score: 3,67/5

# 3: Armenia - Inga & Anush with Jan Jan
Armenia will be represented this year by Anush and Inga Arshakyan with the song Jan Jan. I’ve heard the song in a couple of different versions. The live and the recorded version and the difference between the two make me wonder just how good singers the two of them are. They have a strong song with a good likable beat that will serve as a translation to all of us who doesn’t understand the lyrics. I really like this song but I’m not convinced that Anush and Inga will be able to really deliver on stage live.
Music: 5/5 Voice: 3/5 Likability: 4/5 Overall score: 4/5

# 2: Andorra - Susanne Georgi with La Teva Decisió
From Andorra comes Susanne Georgi with the song La Teva Decisió (Get A Life). Susanne is from Denmark but has lived in Andorra for the past 13 years. Together with her sister she was the voice behind one of the 90s inescapable hits “Dub I Dub” and just like that song her entry for this Eurovision is one of those annoying little songs that you really want to hate but can’t help to sing to yourself. The song resembles Susanne’s quirky charm and I expect she’ll be able to deliver with great persuasion on the stage at the first semi finale.
Music: 4/5 Voice: 4/5 Likability: 5/5 Overall score: 4,34/5

# 1: Switzerland - Lovebugs with The Highest Heights
Finally a song that ‘wow’ me in the first Semi final. From Switzerland comes Lovebugs with the song The highest heights. There’s no doubt that these guys get their inspiration from some of the biggest bands ever, Coldplay for the more recent ones and Nirvana for an older one. The Nirvana part should be looked for in his voice not just in his look. Good lyrics, good melody, good flow. I love this song.
Music: 5/5 Voice: 5/5 Likability: 4/5 Overall score: 4,67/5

Overall there are some decent entries in the first semi finale but the real treasures are to be found in the second.

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I'm inspired

I'm not sure what exactly happened but I've been so inspired these past few days and have two kits sort of finished. And here I was just about ready to give up entirely on the designing thing.

The first kit is using the color swatch and theme from this months SNL at DSP. There's a group of talented ladies there that each and every month contribuate to a mega kit and I haven't really been good at keeping up with them due to the lack of inspiration but this month I've finished something and in good time as well.

The second one is also inspired by the SNL group. It's to be given away when they celebrate they've been doing this for 50 months. That's 50 megakits. How cool is that? I really like how this turned out and is especially excited about the frames.

So now you tell me. Did my recent discovered inspiration pay off?

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Eurovision day 6 & 7

Life caught up with me and I didn't get to post yesterday so there's double up today.

Semi finale 1:

Now we know where Elvis has been hiding all these years. In Belgium under the name Patrick Ouchène or perhaps he is just a Copycat as his song is called. I’m a bit ambivalent about this song. It’s not bad but it’s not that good either. It gets boring before the first chorus is over and there isn’t any originality about this song. I’m disappointed!
Music: 2/5 Voice: 2/5 Likability: 1/5 Overall score: 1,67/5

I almost find it a shame that Finland isn’t entering this year with another rock number. The dance number Lose Control will surely fade into the background along with the ten other songs that sounds just like this and it will loose the battle due to weak singing performances. A good live performance might save it but it’s too much the same and too much computer and not enough song.
Music: 2/5 Voice: 1/5 Likability: 2/5 Overall score: 1,67/5

Semi finale 2:
Poland is sending the singer, Lidia Kopania, a beautiful young woman with a beautiful song called I don’t wanna leave. But that’s where the beauty ends for me. Poland has been one of those countries that these past years have grown each year with their entry but this year the song is ruined by not so great English. The accent is heavy and I feel confident that the song would have improved so much more if they had stayed true to their own language and simply tell the story with all the emotions Lidia obviously has. When that is said we’ve seen before that performers have had English classes before the big show so there’s hope for this song yet. Slim, but it’s there.
Music: 3/5 Voice: 2/5 Likability: 1/5 Overall score: 2/5

To be honest I’m not sure if the entry from Croatia this year is new or an old rerun from the 70s. At best it sounds like something you enjoy listening to being played by a homeless at a train station but quickly move away from. It is incredible boring and so is the singers. They are both very young and attractive but the whole act and singing abilities are so old fashioned that it drowns in the competition of more hip songs.
Music: 2/5 Voice: 2/5 Likability: 2/5 Overall score: 2/5

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