Sunday, September 23, 2007

Hanging with the Dead People

In the fall of 1997, my brother gave me my very first software program for managing our family history data. I believe it was Family Tree. It came with 12 cd's of databases and a wonderful background on Ellis Island - including the roll logs. I couldn't wait for the weekend to arrive so that I could bury myself in moving my research from paper to digital. Sure enough, I disappeared from view - except to refill the coffee cup now and again. I was lost in the far away times and places of my ancestors. As time went on, I worked hard at honing my research skills and learning how to read between the lines and follow hunches. Each time I uncovered a new lead or verified a major fact, I felt so alive. My children soon coined a phrase that sticks with me still - they called my new pastime, "hanging with the dead people".

It's ten years later and "hanging with the dead people" is now my career choice and the aspect of my life that holds the most sincere value. In a world that seems to have gone mad with change and speed and intangible mania, I still believe that the human story - the rich, colourful legacy of our lives will, in the end hold the true reflection of our success.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Autumn on the Breeze

From the time I was a small child, Autumn has always been my favorite season. It is the season of ease - life slows and the home becomes the center of life once again. The fragrance of cinnamon, apples and bread signal one to sit down with family and friends...break bread, pass some pie and relish the soft light that falls across the earth in late afternoon. It is a season I associate with warmth, relaxation and comfort.

As a young girl, I grew up in my Grandmother's very formal home. Each season the drawers were emptied and clothes washed, pressed and packed away - making room for the new season. There was an aire of excitement that accompanied these rituals. Linens were washed and placed on the line - wrapped in lavender, tied up in ribbons and packed away for the following Spring. In their place, beds were dressed in soft, blanket like flannel and lush down comforters. Overnight my dresser drawers went from being filled with pale blues, soft yellows and white batiste dresses, to harboring the soft velvety feel of corduroy, lush knit sweaters and soft, vibrant flannels.

My life has not had this formality for a great many years. I find myself craving the comfort of those seasonal formalities. There is a sense of expectation that stirs in my soul - as if waiting for something amazing to happen. I realized I missed the changing of the guard, so to speak. Out with the old, in with the new. A cleansing in the most delicate of ways. We don't know that sense of seasonal boundaries is nearly the same as the other, separated only by the amount of fog or range of temperature.

This Autumn I will spend a week driving through Vermont. I want to feel that "thing" again...the crunch of leaves beneath my steps, the chill of an early morning breeze upon my skin and the smell of an apple orchard bursting with fruit. I can't wait. I have my camera, my notebook and a love for all that is crimson and gold. Like the brilliant leaves upon the trees, I know that Winter is near...and I have much to do before she breathes her crystalline breath upon the earth.

I have leaves to share
and colours to bare..
yet still,
as the morning aire
grows chill,
in my heart
it is Autumn still.

Here's to apples right from the tree, cinnamon in hot spiced tea and scarves so soft they touch the soul!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Summer by the Sea

There is nowhere I would rather be than spending Summer by the Sea!

Picture a romantic, quiet cottage by the sea. Framed by ancient, cascading rose vines and edged with a quaint picket fence, gently aged by the salty air. Chatty sea birds sing on the breeze as they swoop over waving sea grass and soft rolling dunes. From the white framed windows one can witness the rise and set of a brilliant August sun over seas of azure blue.

This seaside shabby inspired kit is 130mb and is comprised of enough papers, ribbons and elements to create an entire album. Accent your cherished photographs with soft washed colour, gently aged textures and patterns, and vintage inspired elements of lace, wood and glass.

As a special bonus, a coordinating CD label is included. Just copy the graphic into a CD labeling software and print out on the label paper. Then, back up your files onto the CD and your investment is safeguarded and easily identifiable.

The Summer by the Sea kit contains:

9 Papers
10 Bows
7 Ribbons
10 Tags
7 Buttons
6 Frames
5 Vintage Lace Mats
8 Glass & Jewel Page Pebbles
1 CD Label

This kit is licensed for personal use and small, S40 businesses.


Here is a layout example using this kit:

Vintage Embellishments!

This is the coordinating set of embellishments for the "Vintage" collection.

Antique diamond hat pins, leather page clips, glass pebbles, wood buttons, personalized ribbons and soft, full bows and even a swath or two of lace. This wonderfully eclectic collection of embellishments is designed to coordinate perfectly with the "Vintage" paper pack.

Designed with heritage pages in mind, I think you will find some beautiful options for your family's layouts.

Inside you will find:

9 Buttons - painted, fabric covered and wood
9 Glass pebbles with Heritage word art
3 Page clips in leather and enamel
3 Diamond page clips
3 Diamond Hat Pins
3 Plain Hat Pins in leather and enamel
12 ribbons in velvet solids, scroll embellished grosgrain and scripted grosgrain
6 soft, romantic bows
2 swatches of lace
1 row of stitches

"Vintage" is licensed for limited professional use. Please review the TOU for details. All credit for designer tools is included with the download.

All graphics are high quality 300dpi and will print beautifully.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Vintage Inspiration!

Here is my newest design set. Inspired by a vintage dress I found at a local antique store, I have pulled together sepia, black and cream in a wonderful combination of vintage texture and patterns.

Part of "The Heritage Collection", "Vintage" is a set of 11 backgrounds/papers. As you can see, the aged patina will work well in both the heritage and romantic themes. This collection is licensed for Limited Professional Use and priced affordable for the S40 scrapper.

I am on staff as a designer for Digiscrapdesigner, and this is where you can purchase Vintage, as well as look at some of my other designs.

Below are a couple of layout examples using the papers and the embellishments from the "Vintage" collection:

Additional credits: Frame used in Analise layout is from Scrapgirls. Photo corners used in the Sisters layout are from Mangels Designs.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Independance Day!

Inspired by the history of our Declaration of Independence & Fourth of July holiday, I created this vintage patriotic themed, whimsical kit.

The Fourth of July is truly the crown of summer. From the sweet smoke of BBQ to steaming ears of golden corn, we indulge in fabulous traditions of food, friendship and family. We languish on the warm sands or beneath the cool shade of the trees - anticipating the sunset when the show really begins.

For one spectacular evening an entire nation raises it eyes to velvety skies filled with sparkling, shimmering, exploding light. Perhaps we even feel a small glimmer of the patriotism our fore-fathers felt over 230 years ago as they signed their names to that priceless collaboration.

This kit is all about the patriot in all of us - the colours, the patterns and the theme will work wonderfully to support so many of your summer photos and memories. Independence Day is licensed for both Personal and Limited Professional Use - priced very affordable for the small home based S4O business.

The kit contains:

16 Backgrounds, to include a print of the actual Declaration of Independence and one of the Constitution of the United States.

3 Sculpted Borders
4 Bows
5 Buttons
6 Painted Wood Frames
4 Vintage Fourth of July Postcards, circa 1900
7 Ribbons
18 Tags


Heritage Scrap Designs by Kate McClellan

My Layout Artistry