Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving baking...

Well, whilst there's a lot to be thankful for, we don't really celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia, it's ok by me as we didn't do it much in Québec either. But, with all the talk of pumpkin around, and being I love pumpkin stuff (specially when made with my favourite, the butternut squash!)... I've been indulging myself.
Yeah yeah, some of you will say "indulging?" I thought you were on a wheat free/grain free/blah blah diet.... well, first off I don't consider this a diet, not more than someone being a vegan or vegetarian would say of themselves that they are on a diet.
I've decided, in a quest for a healthier, and albeit a bit smaller, body, to try out the wisdom dished out by Maria Emmerich.

The first time I heard her name, it was from Romy... but I could swear I had been on that site just a few weeks earlier when looking up a recipe for a flourless chocolate torte, but I'll never know which came first (a bit like the chicken and the egg!)...

anyway, suffice it to say that I noticed Maria was using ingredients I was already familiar with... such as natural sugar substitutes (stevia, xylitol, etc), flaxseed, almond flour, and whey protein powder. I won't get into any of those, Maria's Blog is chock full of info!!!

So I looked around, read, looked some more, and read some more, and wow, it seemed pretty good and not too hard to follow. Proof: I've been eating no grains (no wheat, no rice, no oats, etc), and no sugar (well, except for the incidentals that seem to creep in everywhere, like even in Organic Vanilla Extract?!?), and it's working for me. It's a bit hard to not be able to open a packet of rice crackers, or have a quick bowl of cereal, as one has to make that stuff (crackers/cereal/etc) but the main improvement is that my dark circles (usually a sign of gluten intolerance) under my eyes seem to have faded, I sleep better, I think I'm not as grumpy/edgy/stressed though DH would need to confirm that one. I also think my clothes are getting bigger!

Anyway, check out Maria's Blog for more info, but in the meantime, this is in the oven... and I can't wait to taste it!

Photo from Maria Emmerich's Blog, used with permission. Thanks Maria!!

While you are there, check out the other pumpkin recipes she has on hand and be inspired!!!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

I love soap

Those who have been on this blog before know I love making soap. I don't make it often, but when I do, I love that there's Berry where we can go to find information about SOAP!

Anne Marie has entered Bramble Berry into a Fedex competition/contest so they can win a grant...
you can see what she wants to do here:
Fedex Grant Contest

Clicking on the image will take you to Anne Marie's post about this grant. Clicking on the Fedex Grant Contest link will take you where you can vote. I believe you have to be registered with FB to vote...

So vote - daily - from now until 24th November if you can!
I believe Bramble Berry is only a few votes behind another company, so every vote does count!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Good news from

Well, if you look at the post I made a few days ago, I was waiting to hear from about my covers being cut off...
I got a reply today, they are reprinting my books, making it a priority job.
I couldn't be happier.
Now I wait. *grin*

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Printing my first photobooks

I've gotten my very first photobooks printed at

I didn't know what I was doing, which is why I'm posting this, to help others who are printing for the first time. And for me to remember, next time!

The paper quality is great, and the colours in the printing are very nice. Quite accurate! I'm very pleased, but my first look at the book I already noticed something that made me a bit less excited about their arrival...
the covers were trimmed wrongly:

I have emailed them, on Wednesday, and am waiting for a reply from them. I will update when they get back to me.

I was sure to stay well inside their red guidelines, but yet, they managed to cut inside them. a bit of a bummer. Still, I could always way it was artistically done that way, but I know it wasn't. :)

The other disappointment, and this one is completely my fault, is that with 24 pages to a book, I thought the books would be thicker! I do not know why I was expecting the thickness of a 100 page book. I just hadn't really thought about it much. But they are sweet books. Really fun. I wish I was into writing children's books as this is the perfect format!! But that one I got over quite quickly, because it was a very silly expectation!

The one thing that made me wonder "how will I proceed" is that their cutting guides on their template are not square. You are printing a square book but they give you guides, with margins, and they can trim anywhere within those margins but the guide is a rectangle! I wasn't going to stretch my pages, of course not, but I had to think of how they might make a square page fit... I figured they'd trim more on the width and less on the top/bottom.

♦ ♦ ♦
I got the two books, 24 pages, for $9 through one of the Living Social deals. I felt I could afford to just have fun, and come what may. So I tried different ways of dealing with the margin issue, and the square/not-square one too.

On some pages I added a white border as can be seen on the RIGHT page below
and on the LEFT page, I bled to the top and bottom line, and over bled on the left margin a bit, that's how I could fit my square page within their red guide.

This spread looks pretty good in the book.

These two pages are the "centerfold" of the book, Next time I'll keep that in mind and make it a double-page spread there!

This is the page from the template:

The image above links to page on the right in the MScraps gallery. Credits for the page on the left are here

You can see below the poor alignment in the centre of the spread. Despite my doing exactly what their guides suggested for the middle of the page.
That's pretty common throughout both books, most pages are a bit more to the left than they should be, but it's OK, most people wouldn't notice looking at the book. But I notice! :giggle:
This is what I mean:

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For some other pages, where the LO lent itself to that, I decided to stretch my page beyond the guides, so they could be trimmed anywhere and thus avoid a white margin around.
I did lose a bit of details from the very edges of the papers (left page mostly), but I'm happy with the way the page looks.

I extended my LO all the way to the edge of the guide's page on all three sides.

The white you see on either side is just he program's background. So my LO covers their whole template page.

photo links to page on the right for credits, you'll be taken the the MScraps Gallery. For the page on left was made with a kit from the very talented Ruth Melody. I do not believe this kit is available for sale anywhere.

♦ ♦ ♦

For some of the other pages, I just imported the same background paper used, or another paper from the kit used on the page, and stretched my actual LO to the left/right border and let the background paper show on the top and bottom. That's also quite effective.

Doing it this way I ended up with a "fairly" even border on three sides (I placed a white paper under the first page as you could see the other, similarly coloured, page behind, and it made the borders look weird)

♦ ♦ ♦

I reworked the page below to have the cluster at the bottom extend past the original page. It's not perfect, but again I didn't know exactly where they would be trimming. They pretty much trimmed on the bottom red line for this one. I don't mind the way it looks but I feel I could have worked that cluster a bit more so it would have been a bit more off the bottom of the page. I'll know better next time.

The page in the program (clicking on the image will take you to the original page):

and a close up of the bottom cluster, which is not too bad.

♦ ♦ ♦

I think that pretty much sums up the different ways I tried to deal with the rectangular template to make a square page. Next time I'll know a bit better.

All in all, really fun to see one's pages in print!!

Perhaps my little (LONG) rant will help anyone going down that path, know what to expect.

I also suggest you hop on by Elisa's blog to see how she dealt with her books:
she goes into great detail about how she went about making them. I used a slightly different approach. I copied to a folder on my computer, all the images I would consider printing, then into a sub folder, I moved my absolute favourites, and that was about it. I had to remove a few, add a few (same photo used in two layouts for instance, didn't want those in the same book)... and that was about it.

♦ ♦ ♦

Thanks for stopping by and you can join the discussion at Memory Scraps if you feel like it. Or leave a comment below if you have any advice/suggestions, or to link to your photobook post on your blog :) (NO SPAM!)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sometimes you just can't get enough of a good thing

and this is how I feel about this challenge at MScraps. Just so much fun to learn new techniques. I've been doing a bit of that lately and I'm thrilled with the results!
Here's another page for the Typography Challenge at MScraps

This first one made with a fabulous kit (info on the kit below)

the kit is called From Paris with Love, by Fanette Designs. Just gorgeous.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Choooo choooooo it's the MScraps iNSD Blog Train

It's here, the 2012 MScraps iNSD Blog Train and Facebook Hop!!!
The blog train starts at 6PM GMT, so if not all stations are up and running, don't despair, just check back a little later.....

You probably came here from Erica's blog....
I am sure you are having a wonderful time on this journey... what an amazing array of goodies to be picked up along the way!!!

This is what you will end up with, how amazing is THAT???????

I made a template for you. I hope you like it as much as I do...
This is what it looks like:

and you can pick up the template
{it is available in PSD TIF and PNG format all in the one zip}

This is the page I made with our gorgeous blog train "kit", and my template
and if you would like this QP, to put your own photos into, all you have to do is click here!

Thanks so much for stopping by.
If you make anything with the blog train, please come post on the MScraps Gallery or stop by our forum, there's heaps of fun stuff happening this weekend, and lots of opportunities to earn shopping points!!!

Now, to be on your merry way towards the next destination of the Blog Hop, you have two options...
You will go visit Heather, but you can visit her on her blog, or at her Facebook page, the choice is entirely yours....

If you get lost along the way, you can go back to the start of the blog train, where all stops are listed, by going to the MScraps iNSD Central!

Hope you enjoy your journey.....

Thanks for visiting! Bon Voyage!!!!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday MScraps!!!!!!!

MScraps is turning TWO!!!!
So we have prepared a HUGE blog/facebook train with lots of goodies which will land you a gorgeous kit with the theme of Birthdays, but guess what, it doesn't have to be used just for birthdays!!!

this is the kit you'll end up with
Absolutely gorgeous, isn't it??? We have fabulous designers at MScraps! And we love them!!!

We also have a bunch of great party games and lots of prizes to win, I'm hosting the Word Scramble game on Sunday.
Come by our Birthday Bash!!! It goes on all weekend, and you have until the 13th February to finish your pages for our games!!!!!

But ....
I know you are here for the blog train, you undoubtedly came from Erica Zwart's blog. Great goodies so far, eh?

This is what I prepared for you..... a template and a QP.... hope you like them.
Just click on the image or here to download it from Mediafire
(If Mediafire doesn't work for you, here's a 4shared link)

and here's my page with it

Now, head over to another talented designer's blog: Heather T or if you prefer, you can head over to her Facebook Page.

If you have time to leave me a note before the train leaves for the next station, it's always appreciated. :) I hate asking, but the joy it brings is worth your time, trust me! hehehe!!!!!

Thanks so much for stopping by. I'd love to see anything you make with the QP or the template if you do, just come here and tell me about it (my email address is in the TOU as well!)

Cheerio! and enjoy the train....

IF YOU ARE LOST, and you do not know which way to go, come by the MScraps forum, and get the WHOLE LIST of stations on this journey!!!

Happy Trails!!!!!