Welcome to my Blog Friday, Nov 21 2008 

I am a freelance writer and fortunate enough to make a living as a professional writer. It’s an amazing gift to be able to do what you love to do and to earn a living doing so.

In addition to writing, I’m addicted to digital scrapbooking. It’s an obsession that consumes my time and my computer memory but the results are fabulous, even if I do say so myself. It’s a fun and creative outlet that requires none of the space and results in none of the mess associated with traditional scrapbooking.

Check out my articles on eHow. Search my name and you’ll be able to read and comment on my articles, I’d love to hear what you think.

My hope is that you’re as fortunate as I.

God Bless
Angela Roe

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Free downloads Thursday, Dec 11 2008 

Ok, so by now you’ve figured out that I’m totally addicted to digi scrapping. While I’m getting more involved in making my own artwork to use in my digi scrapping, there is a multitude of beautiful artwork availalbe for free by others who do design their own kits and quick pages. To access these free downloads, go to your favorite search engine and perform a search for digital scrapbook blogs. You’ll find a wealth of them and nearly all of them share freebies occassionally while some offer freebies on a regular basis. I visit a few on a regular basis. When you visit these blog sites, you’ll see a list of their favorite blogs, which are almost always other digi scrappers, so before you know it, you’ve got a TON of free stuff that’s beautiful! Here is a list of my favorites…

http://twistedscrapper.blogspot.com/
http://blogscrapgirls.blogspot.com/
http://cropandscrapdesigns.com/id3.html

Another terrific way to find free downloads is go visit any or all of the following websites.

http://digifree.blogspot.com/2008/12/freebies-previews-1-of-6-08-dec-la.html
http://www.freedigitalscrapbooking.com/
http://www.shabbyprincess.com/

Nearly all of these sites use Share4 files which check for viruses before you download them, so while it’s always a good practice to install a strong anti-virus program, you’re not going to encounter problems with these downloads.

The other thing I wanted to mention is that these artists spend hours and hours creating kids, alphabets, embellishments and quick pages which are then shared with us for our personal use. Nearly every site asks for some love when you download it, meaning they’d like a quick note. Many times you’ll just see a “thank you” or even “TY” while others you’ll see heart felt personal messages. If you can, please take a few moments to say thank you to the artist whose work you’re pleased with enough to use in your scrapping.

Now, to those artists we love so much…many times I’m unable to leave a comment. When I try, it tells me I must be logged into WordPress when I already am or for some other reason, simply will not allow me to publish my comments. Sometimes, I am swamped and simply don’t take the time to leave even a simple thank you. I’ve read how hurtful that is to those who spend so much time creating the things we need to complete our projects, so I want you all to know that I’m sorry if I didn’t comment, please know that I very much appreciate your efforts. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be downloading your items…please don’t look at the number of people who don’t leave comments, rather look at the number of people so very impressed by your work that chose to download it for their use, that is a very high compliment!

God Bless,
Angela Roe

Christmas ideas for scrappers Friday, Dec 5 2008 

One of the comments I received on my blog was from a gentleman looking for Christmas ideas for his wife who loves to scrapbook. As a scrapper, I’ve heard others who don’t know much about the craft comment on how difficult it is to know what to purchase for those of us who are addicted to the craft. So I thought I’d help out with that.

First of all, no scrapbooker can ever have enough photo albums. We don’t care about size or color or anything like that, we need photo albums. The only criteria is that the pages of the photo albums not be divided into sections. Regardless of the size, we just want the full page available to us for scrapbooking. So a perfect gift is photo albums. You can buy big ones or little ones or a combination of sizes to encourage the addiction in the scrapper in your life.

Another thing we never have enough of is embellishments. That’s a category that can intimidate many but really it’s simple. We don’t know what we need until we have it, so if you’re thinking about a unique gift for your scrapper, fill a box with embellishments. You can do it on the cheap, too, by hitting the discount sections and buying off season stuff for pennies. We don’t care if we get Independence Day stickers in December, we will love it. So grab all the stuff that’s discounted and toss it in a gift bag for a high impact gift on a budget.

One of the things I’m constantly needing are paper cutters. To trim completed pages to size, to trim photos or ribbons, to make cards and envelopes, I’m always needing new paper cutters. Different sizes, different styles, they’ll all be a big hit!

So are you getting the idea? Go to the scrapbooking section of your local craft store and pretty much anything you pick up is going to be a huge hit. We love it all, we want it all and we’ll use it all! So shop happy and have fun.

God Bless,
Angela Roe

Printing digital scrapbook pages Tuesday, Dec 2 2008 

So it may sound like a no-brainer, plug in a color printer, buy some paper and away you go, but when you’re talking about digi scrapping, it’s not quite that simple. For one thing, there are a variety of page sizes involved in digi scrapping, just as there are in traditional scrapping. I prefer 8×8 while one daughter prefers 12×12 and the other prefers traditional 8 1/2×11, so setting up a personal printer can be challenging for those of us who are techno-challenged. For me personally, the cost of the ink is too much for me to pay. I’m no more willing to spend that amount on printing ink than I am on the traditional scrapbook papers and embellishments. My solution? I’m so happy you asked!!

When I save my digi pages, I save them as a PDF file in the highest resolution available…currently thats 300…don’t ask me what 300 means, I have no idea other than it means really pretty pictures when I’m done!

Once I have my pages saved as a PDF file, I set up an account at my local Kinkos/FedEx store. The account is free, so don’t worry about any hidden costs.

So now I have an account at the local printers and my PDF pages on my computer. I can transmit my PDF pages to Kinkos and they print them for me…ah, but at what cost, you ask…are you ready for this? Typically, it’s about $.15 a page…no, that’s not a typo, that’s what it costs. I built a full 8×8 photo album filled with scrapbooked pages for under $20. Now those of you who are familiar with traditional scrapping know that you can’t create a single page for that amount, let alone fill the entire book.

You can jack that price up by using the most expensive paper, but when I decided to try this, I took one PDF file saved on a CD to the store and had them print one copy of the same page on every type of paper they had…I ended up with seven pages. I could tell which paper was which when they were in my hands, but when I put them into the protective pages of the photo album, they were identical. Now I was worried that maybe my tightwad nature was causing me to believe that, so I took the book to several people and asked them to tell me what differenced they saw. No one could tell me what was traditional paper, what was photo paper, what was the most expensive paper…there is literally no visible difference. So I go with the cheapest paper possible. It’s all acid free paper, and it’s protected in the photo album so it works fine for me. Plus, I still have the original PDF file if for some reason it becomes damaged…I can just have a new one printed, no problem.

Now the down side…the down side is that sending the pages to Kinkos online is a time consuming process. I’ve since decided it’s much faster for me personally to save the PDF pages to a CD and take that into Kinkos to have them printed. The results are the same, I just don’t spend as much time sitting in front of the computer while each PDF file is uploaded to Kinkos.

There you have it, a simple and inexpensive way to print your scrapbooking pages so you can use them in a photo album.

My sister-in-law recently looked at one of my photo albums and while she liked it, she did mention that she missed the extra embellishments like stickers and charms that make a traditional scrapbooked page 3-D…so while I personally don’t miss them, it would be a simple matter to make your digi scrapped pages slightly less full and then add the stickers and embellishments to make them 3-D…you’ll still save a fortune from the traditional paper scrapping and it also allows you to change up the page each time you print it.

Ok, time to flip the wash and get some house work done…have fun!

God Bless,
Angela Roe

Digital Scrapbooking Basics Tuesday, Dec 2 2008 

Most of you know I’m an avid digital scrapbooker. I got into digi scrapping because paper scrapping is so expensive and it’s intimidating to me to cut photographs. Once you cut it, it’s cut, you can’t use the undo button to fix it. Plus with digi scrapping, once you have a paper, you can use it a million different times, not just once!

Since I was introduced to digi scrapping by my eldest daughter, I’ve since turned on my youngest daughter and we all enjoy the creations we make. I know it’s gaining in popularity so I thought I’d explain the basics.

First of all, find a digital scrapbooking program you like. Personally, I use Scrapbook Factory Deluxe. It’s perfectly good for my particular needs but I’m sure there are several others that are equally as good. Many are free online through many websites including Pickaboo, Studio-scrap and Scrapbookflair. I’ve no experience with those particular sites, but my understanding is that they’re perfectly good to get you started.

Before you download anything on your computer, make sure you have a fully active anti-virus system running. I’m in no way suggesting the above sites have viruses, but why take chances?

Follow the directions to download the free software program of your choice or install the program you decide to purchase according to their instructions and play with it. Don’t worry about saving your work or making mistakes or creating odd color combos, it doesn’t make any difference. Simply play with the program so you learn how to make different page sizes and how to change papers and add embellishments like ribbons, bows, buttons and frames.

Next, choose a picture from the pictures you have on your computer and then select a background paper from your software. I try to use similar or complimentary colors when I’m designing scrapbook pages. If you have concerns about what colors to choose, use colors that are next to each other on the color wheel to achieve a balanced and calm layout and choose colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel for a vibrant layout.

Play, play, and play some more. It’s the best way to learn. If you love it, save it and if you don’t, delete it, it doesn’t damage the original photograph at all so you can experiment as much as you want.

Enjoy,
God Bless,
Angela Roe

How to add photos to your computer Tuesday, Dec 2 2008 

Lately I was asked to help a friend transfer videos and photos from his digital equipment to his computer and it reminded me that while this is second nature to me, for many, it’s a challenging process so I thought I’d take a moment to explain how to do this.

First of all, look at your equipment. Chances are high that you’re recording your video and your photographs digitally, meaning it’s being held on a memory stick. Flip your video recorder and your digital camera around until you find the location that holds your memory stick. The door will most likely slide back to reveal the memory stick. Push down and immediately release the pressure to eject the memory stick from the camera.

Now, take a look at your computer. If it’s reasonably new, say less than two years old, you probably have a port in which the memory stick goes. A port is just a fancy way of saying an opening in your computer. Look for a skinny port that is the same size as your memory stick. Don’t feel goofy, just gently try to put your memory stick into whatever openings you find without forcing the stick in. Make sure the gold metal strips are facing downward when you do this.

Install the memory stick into your computer and wait. You may get lucky enough that the data pops up automatically. If not, go to your start button on the bottom left of your computer and open that menu…you’re looking for the same menu you use to shut down your computer, that’s the menu you’re looking for.

Look to see if you have a photo program like Windows Photo Gallery. Double click on that to open it up. You should get a pop up window that asks if you want to import data from the memory stick to your computer. Click import.

The program will begin to read the memory stick and it’ll tell you how many images are on the memory stick. It’ll also probably stall at the first image and ask you for a tag…the tag just means do you want to name the photograph. If you do this, it’ll ask you to name each photograph and while that may seem like a good idea, if you have as many images on your memory stick as I typically have on mine, it’s going to take you forever to do that. If you skip it, it’ll just import the images and open them all up in a new window.

Once that is done, you can safely remove your memory stick from the computer and replace it into your camera or your recorder. The images are now on both your computer and your memory stick. If you want to delete the images from your memory stick, I recommend you use the recording device to do that, either your digital camcorder or your camera. Go to your menu and choose delete…then choose delete all to clean your memory stick.

Now, back to your computer. Start at the front of the first picture and hold down the left mouse click. Move your mouse to the end of the last picture, still holding down the mouse click. This will give you a blue image all around your pictures. Put your mouse anywhere in that blue field and right click to get a pop up menu. Choose copy from that menu.

Go back to your start menu, choose “pictures”. Create a folder with today’s date and open that folder. Once inside, right click your mouse and choose paste. Soon you’ll see all of those photos that were encompassed in the blue field copied into the folder with today’s date.

Another option is to take your memory stick to any photo department of any retailer and they can help you transfer the photos from the memory stick to printed format or to a CD that you can take home and play on your computer.

Hope this helps,
God Bless,
Angela Roe

Dec 1 Monday, Dec 1 2008 

Wow, I can’t believe how quickly time is passing by. Not much time for blogging the past few days, Max and Phil both have the flu, we had about three inches of snow over the week end and I was involved with both services at church on Sunday so it’s been super busy.

Phil tried to go to work today but he just called and is coming home. Poor guy feels aweful. Stacy called and Becca still has the flu as well and is going back to see the doctor this afternoon. Becca is not even two yet and she’s been sick for two weeks. Poor baby!!

I got the link for Suite 101 to work and I just finished my profile there. Hopefully I’ll get the time to get some articles up on their sight today or tomorrow. I also need to figure out how to get my scrapbooking on this site, but I think I’ll need Max to teach me how to do that…nothing like a techno teen to help out us old people with programming questions!

Chat with you later,
God Bless,
Angela Roe

TGIF Friday, Nov 28 2008 

Yesterday was Thanksgiving and we spent it with family. Treasa, Gracie and Kiernan came into town on Wed so we went to see Phil’s folks Wed night and we spent yesterday with all of the kids at my folks. It was nice to have everyone gathered together and it’s always fun to see all the kids and the babies. The only thing was when we got home, there were no left overs! I am seriously thinking about getting a small turkey just so I can have left overs in the house.

Today I am NOT one of those spending the day chasing bargains and praying for parking spots. Instead I am doing laundry and applauding my forethought at having all of my shopping done prior to Halloween. It sure takes the stress off of the holidays, I can tell you that.

Still no word from Harlequin. I wonder what the turn around time is for hearing back on an electronic submission…hmmm…

Out of coffee, need to get moving.

God Bless,
Angela Roe

Happy Monday or Thursday Tuesday, Nov 25 2008 

This morning when Sean woke up, he was all excited because he only has school today and tomorrow and then he’s out of school for the holidays. So when he woke up, he was singing and dancing and all excited because today is his Thursday! How cute are kids??

It took awhile but I not only got the approval for the medical outline, but I finished two of the six articles today. I should seriously be working on the third as my deadline for all of them is tomorrow evening, but Heroes just came on and really, you don’t think I’m going to miss Heroes, do you?? Please!

Went to Sean’s school conferences today and he’s doing very well. His reading is above average, his comprehension is off the charts and he doesn’t pay attention in class, is easily distracted and likes to talk to his neighbors. Hmmm…where have I heard that before…oh wait, all of Stacy’s conferences, all of Treasa’s conferences, all of Kym’s conferences, all of Max’s conferences and all of Sean’s previous conferences…knew it sounded familiar!

I have this new hand lotion. I don’t know what it is because when I bought it, I had Becca with me and she ate the label off of the bottle in the shopping cart. That’s what 18 month old babies do when you take them shopping. Once when Kym was teething, she ate the price tag off of a frozen package of pork chops…but I digress…this lotion smells so wonderful, I keep putting my hands to my face just so I can enjoy the fragrance! Weird, I know but then again, I’ve always been weird.

Ok, commercial’s over and Heroes is back on. Talk to you tomorrow.

God Bless,
Angela Roe

It’s Sunday Sunday, Nov 23 2008 

Today we debuted the new drama troop at church called Carpenter’s Workshop. We did several small scenes depicting the way showing thankfulness alters the outcome of every day situations. During the first service, we all did a very good job which surprised us all because rehearsals were very rough. Second service I totally blanked on the second scene and felt like the proverbial deer in the headlights. My words came to me, but it was pretty embarrassing. Anyway, we got through it and I’m glad to have that first appearance in front of the congregation complete and behind me.

Now I have a few hours to read and relax before we go back to church for the youth Thanksgiving dinner. We’ll be eating dinner with our kids and afterward we’re putting together baskets to help some of the less fortunate in our community celebrate the holiday.

Take a look at my work page, I’ve got links to many of my published articles. Now I need to make sure I keep that page current. Even though I’ve got the links completed, I still obviously haven’t figured out how to use my digital scrapbooking to customize my page. Let me know if you have any thoughts or comments to make, I’d love to hear them.

God Bless,
Angela Roe

What a busy Saturday Saturday, Nov 22 2008 

I’m pleasantly surprised at how much I’ve accomplished today. First of all and most importantly I finished the outline for six new articles and sent them to one of my editors for review. The outline was pretty detailed because I found some really good sources that’ll help make the articles comprehensive and informative.

Next was the fish tank. Ten gallons of oddly green water…not fun. We aren’t really sure why the tank began to get so dirty all of the sudden. We were told that if we changed three quarters of the water once a week, it was stay clean but after the first few weeks, that didn’t seem to be the case. I changed half of the tank and the next day it was nasty green again. Phil changed the filter but it didn’t help, either. So today I emptied the entire tank, scrubbed it clean and refilled it. Right now we’re waiting for the water to come up to temperature. Phil also went back to the fish store and bought another sucker fish to help keep it clean. I’m thinking I’m going to change a gallon of water in the tank each day to see if that works.

Once I got the fish tank filled and all the containers that were filled with water to refill the fish tank cleaned up and put away, I bathed the dog. By the time that was done, Dixie, the fish, the kitchen and I were all soaking wet but smelling much better…ok I didn’t smell better at that point, but you get the idea.

Laundry is about half done, it’s snowing outside and I’m enjoying the Christmas tree and a fire in the fireplace. All in all, a good day’s work.

God Bless,
Angela Roe

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