Sunday, May 20, 2018

DBTL: Operation Dignity

It is our military men and women who protect and defend our way of life.
They are the ones who are among the first to help in a disaster situation.
Some of them give their very lives to fight for the ideals we as a country believe in.

And when they return to civilian life, some of them need a little extra help themselves.

That is when it's our turn to say "Thank you" and support them through organizations like Operation Dignity, which provides assistance for homeless veterans and their families. While this particular organization is local to one county in California, you can check to see if there are similar groups near you through which you can help.

In the meantime, the Digi Blog Train List designers have put together a nice collection for you this month.

You can pick up each of the parts from their various blogs and the DBTL FB page:

Dreamn4Ever Designs
Moore Blessings Digital Design
Nellie Bell's Unique Boutique
Dea’s Design
Shuckclod’s Stuff
Ostrea Designs
DigiJen Scraps <-- You Are Here
DBTL FB Page(click bonus)

And now, for my part. When trying to come up with ideas for words this month, all I could really think of is that they have done so much for us, the least we can do is be kind to them.

For those in the US, have a great Memorial Day Weekend coming up...for the rest of you, I'll see you back here next month!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

SDBT: Celebrate Seniors!

It's time to celebrate seniors!

No...not those seniors. Not the ones finally breaking free from high school or college.

THESE seniors - the ones of a certain age, maybe with gray hair (or maybe no hair at all!), maybe with grandkids or maybe on their own! Some may still be the picture of geriatric health, while some may have several chronic issues to deal with. Some may have retired into the lap of luxury, while others may barely be scraping by on government assistance.

But no matter how life has treated them or which road they traveled, all seniors have wisdom to share, stories to tell and love to give.

When asked to think about "seniors" for this blog train, the target age was 55 and over. Now, I just barely fit into that category, having turned 55 only a few months ago. My hair is not gray (thanks to what my sweet cousin calls "hair therapy"). Other than serious arthritis in my knees and a few extra pounds, I'm amazingly healthy. I'm still working a job I enjoy, and I'm an actively involved grandma to our only grandchild.

It's this last part that really is the joy of my life - my one-and-only (and probably going to stay that way, according to his mom) grandson. So I'm celebrating seniors by celebrating the special bond between grands.

You can celebrate seniors with all our designers by visiting their blogs to pick up their freebies:

Promethean Concepts
Songbird Scraps Designs
Skinni’s Scraps and Stuff
Nellie Bell
DigiScrap Angelhaze
DigiJen Scraps
LEA Art Designs
Moore Blessings Digital Design

And you can pick up my "grand" word art at the download link below:

Enjoy your May and I'll see you back here next month for our June theme - Commotion in the Ocean!

Monday, April 9, 2018

SDBT: Pet-astic!

As I write this, my feline furboy is on the couch behind my head, kneading the fuzzy blanket that I keep thrown across the back of the couch, purring, sometimes chirping at me.

In other words, he's being a good boy.

Five minutes from now could be a completely different story. And I'm sure that tonight, after my husband goes to bed, King Richard will start his nightly routine of scratching at the doors to get out, then trying to knock things off of shelves or off of the kitchen counter to let me know his displeasure at life in general. And I'll fuss at him, and threaten to take him back to the shelter (even though I've had him for five years now). And then when it's time to go to bed, he'll curl up next to my head, I'll lay my hand on him to feel him purring, and all will be forgiven.

And tomorrow it will start all over again.

Yes, we love our pets, whether they have fur, fins or feathers...or scales.

The designers of the Scrap Designers Blog Train know this, so this month's theme is "Pet-astic!" This month, we were given no specific palette to work with, but simply went with the colors that naturally occur in our non-human children.

Be sure to visit all of these designers to pull together an awesome pet-themed collection:

And to give a special touch to your layouts created with the kits and papers from the other designers, use some of the word art available here:

Have fun doing layouts about your pets...and be sure to scroll down for another blog post and some other freebies (and sales!) just because I'm a fan girl. 😉

DJS: Big Top Fun

All I can think of is...

Ladies and Gents, 

this is the moment you've waited for!

From the moment I first stepped into the theater last December to see "The Greatest Showman" - and had to fight with myself to NOT turn around and go right back in for a 2nd showing - I've been waiting for this day.

April 10th - DVD/Blu-Ray Release Day here in the US.

It has been a very long time since I had a movie grab me the way this one has. And I have NEVER paid to see a movie 9...or was it 10?...I lost count...times at the theater. 

(featuring: "Big Top Bundle" by Kate Hadfield Designs)

Despite the complaints about historical accuracy or just what kind of person the real PT Barnum was, this movie is full of messages about living your dreams, being proud of who you are, and accepting others who are different from you. 

I could go on and on about the "dream" aspect of it, including the fact that it was a dream project for star Hugh Jackman, taking nearly a decade from start to screen....or the fact that this little movie musical should have folded by mid-January based on its opening weekend box office totals when it didn't even make back 1/10 of its production cost, but instead has been in movie theaters for 15 weeks, made back 5 times its cost, spawned a sing-along version, and - at least locally - has finally been pulled from the theater less than a week before its disk release. 

(featuring: "School of Wizardry" by Magical Scraps Galore)

But mostly, it's the music that has grabbed people. I had to wait a month because Amazon had the CD on back order. The soundtrack has been at the top of the album charts since early January and is already projected to be the biggest selling US album of 2018. It tied (or maybe beat?) the record set by Adele's "21" at the top of the charts in the UK. The anthemic "This Is Me" won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Oscar.

And it's the best **** CD to blast and sing to as you drive along the interstate.

So yeah...I'm a bit obsessed with it - so obsessed that I felt compelled to create some word art reflecting some of the key messages of the music.

(featuring: "Courage" by MagsGraphics)

What's more, I've pulled some of my designer friends into the fun. These three lovely ladies all have circus-themed kits available and have offered to create sales of them so you can match the "Big Top Fun" word art to their designs. Please check out:

"At the Circus" by MagsGraphics
30% off through April 23rd

"Big Top" by Kate Hadfield Designs
30% off through April 15th
Bundle (includes "Animal Antics")
    Papers    Alpha    Doodles   

"Come One, Come All" by Magical Scraps Galore
40% off using coupon code through July 15th
CODE: MSG_C1CA-40off

And NOW...FINALLY...the promised word art:

Thanks for letting me rave about my passion movie. And if you haven't seen it yet, really, you MUST go get a copy of it as soon as you can.

(You know what? Since the sales are already live, I'm going to post this a day early. I just can't wait!)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

DBTL: ADD/ADHD Awareness

When my daughter was in middle school and high school, she would frustrate me to no end with the way she never seemed able to just settle down and get her homework done.

No, she had to be in her room, with the music on, a book in her lap, her phone in her hand texting her friends, and then a song would come on and she'd be singing, and two hours later she might have gotten 30 minutes worth of work done.

At the time we kidded her about being a spacy blonde.

Then she got to college and was struggling with a full-time classload. A family friend offered to tutor her. This friend will always be one of our guardian angels, because she was the one who recognized the signs of what was really going on and encouraged my daughter to go see the doctor.

Within five minutes with the doctor, my daughter had met so many of the criteria on the checklist that she was diagnosed as ADD/OCD/Anxiety with a touch of Depression. Among the medications she started, she was put on Ritalin. Within the first couple days, she made a comment to me that finally clued me in on what it was like in her brain:

"I feel like I'm only having one conversation with myself instead of eight."

Since then, I have tried to be more patient, and I have been learning more about Attention Deficit Disorder, and now her behaviors make so much more sense to me. They're still frustrating at times, but at least I understand WHY they happen.

So I was glad when this month's awareness theme focused on ADD/ADHD. If you want to find out more about what it's like to live with these disorders, you can read about it here.

As usual, the Digi Blog Train List designers have put together a great collection of items for you. You can collect their kits at:

And now for my offering:

As usual, I tried to find some bits with a little humor and some that can promote some understanding. I hope you are able to use them to scrap about your own struggles with ADD/ADHD or those of someone you love.

See you back here April 10th for the Scrap Designers Blog Train - the theme will be "Pet-astic!"  (Plus I'm planning a surprise based on my own fandom interest.) ;)

Friday, March 9, 2018

SDBT: The Sounds of Music

Hello, and welcome to March!

When I was in 2nd grade, I started taking piano lessons. As the years went on, I not only played for myself, but I also played for the junior high and high school choirs, dabbled in music arranging for a ladies quartet, and now sometimes fill in for the our church choir director when she has to miss a rehearsal. Music has been such an important outlet for me - it is my worship language, and my mom used to say she could tell when I was upset about something because I would practice my piano lessons extra long...and extra loud.

Even if you never had a music lesson or sang a note in your life, you can't escape music. It's on the radio. It's in the background of the TV shows we watch and the movies we go see. Some poets even say there is music in the sound of a baby's laugh or a running creek.

"The Sounds of Music" are such an intrinsic part of life, and I'm thrilled that it was chosen as this month's theme for the Scrap Designers Blog Train. Our designers have come up with some fantastic, bright-colored freebies for you. Feel free to hop around and see what each has to offer:

And here is my contribution for this month. I found so many good quotes about music, it was hard to narrow it down! But ultimately, it seemed that these might be the meaningful to the most people.

(If you have trouble with the download, please let me know. The link didn't process quite like I expected, so I don't know if that's just a new thing or if it's a problem.) 

Remember to keep a song in your heart, and I'll see you back here around March 20th for the next Digi Blog Train List Awareness train! This month is ADD & ADHD Awareness.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

DBTL: Teen Pregnancy Awareness

A 17-year-old unmarried girl becomes pregnant by her first boyfriend. She is sent to live with an older, married sister in another town. The child is born. The nurse doesn't know the baby is supposed to be adopted, so the baby is brought to the mother...but only for a few moments until the nurse swoops back in, says, "You're not supposed to see the baby," and takes the child from the mother's arms. The baby, through private adoption, is places with a couple who has long wanted a child of their own, but who has become too old to be considered by most adoption agencies.

A 16-year-old unmarried girl becomes pregnant by her first boyfriend. However, times are different. This girl is kept at home. She has the baby at 17, early in her senior year of high school. Her parents help with the baby so she is able to finish high school. She doesn't marry the father, and she stays a single mom, raising the child with the help of her parents and a network of friends. She also attends college, first getting an associate's degree, then a bachelor's degree.

As it happens, I thought I might have to skip this month's blog train because my husband and I were going to be on vacation just before it went "live." But when it was announced that Teen Pregnancy Awareness was the topic of the month, I had to do something. You see, the baby in 1956 was the husband I just went on vacation with, and the mother and baby in 2006 were my daughter and grandson. And I was the one who suggested that we devote a blog train to this topic.

So yeah, you can find all the numbers and statistics at websites like the CDC's page on teen pregnancy. But they don't tell the story of the strength it takes to hand your newborn off to someone else, or to keep the child and raise him or her. They don't tell how many people it takes, or the sacrifice it takes. They don't explain how important it is for family and friends to circle around today's young mom and help her achieve her own goals as well as provide a stable life for her child. They don't tell you how crucial it is to remind a young mom - whether she has chosen adoption or parenthood - that she is not a failure, but that she still has all the potential she had a year ago, and she can still do anything she wants to do...even though it may take a little longer.

Our designers have put together a nice collection for Teen Pregnancy Awareness. Be sure to stop by and pick up the goodies from all of the following blogs:

KJD Designs
Shuckclod's Stuff
Dea's Designs
Five Little Loves

Dreamn4ever Designs
DigiJen Scraps   <-- you are here
Designs by Cocotounette
Obviously, this topic  hits close to home. As a result, I found it difficult to be too casual, flippant or cutesy with this month's word art. It is, for the most part, meant to be straightforward and encouraging, while at the same time acknowledging the difficulty of being a young mom. I hope you can find something here you can use.

If you have stumbled upon this blog and find yourself with a teen pregnancy in your life, I would be more than willing to chat with you about it. Sometimes, the best shoulder belongs to someone who has traveled a road ahead of you. You can message me here or through Facebook under DigiJen Scraps.

Otherwise, I hope to see you back here on March 10th when the Scrap Designers Blog Train launches with "The Sounds of Music."