Saturday, January 31, 2009

14 Days of Valentine's kit

Hello everyone! As I was creating my Valentine's kit, I thought a lot about my parents and their relationship. My mom unexpectedly passed away just over 2 years ago. One thing that I was so grateful to have learned from her was how important it is to stay newlyweds. She and my dad had been happily married for over 35 years. And it was all the little things that kept them happy. They would write Post-It love notes to each other and hide them in places throughout the house. I remember every time my dad was on his way home from work, my mom would go to her room and spray perfume on and reapply lipstick. They went on weekly dates. They were in so much love.

One of her favorite holidays was Valentine's because she LOVED romance! She started a tradition called the "14 Days of Valentine's". (She snagged it from the 12 Days of Christmas). So starting on February 1st, all the way through to the 14th she would do little things for my dad each day. It might be a little candybar. Sometimes a simple back massage. I remember one year that one of the days she went and smooched lipstick kisses all over the windows of his car. It didn't take long for my dad to figure out that this should be reciprocated. So after that first year, they did the 14 Days of Valentine's each year of their marriage.

(I snagged this from my sister's blog)

My parents had 5 kids. Four of us are married, and we all carry on the tradition of the 14 Days of Valentine's in our own marriages.

So that is why this kit is called "14 Days of Valentine's," because when I think of Valentine's Day, I have never thought of just the one day. It has always been the 14 days leading up to it. I hope you enjoy this kit, and maybe start your own 14 Days of Valentine's tradition! (Oh, and sorry this isn't a "traditional" Valentine's kit. There are no hearts, and the colors are not just the reds and pinks. I felt like throwing in some other colors and go more with the rose theme.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Baby Bree Update

I have had quite a few of you ask about how Baby Bree is doing. (And for those of you who don't know about Baby Bree and want to, you can click here to read). This is from my friend Kari's post that she left just a couple of days ago:

Today we got the news that Bree’s cancer continues to be in her bone marrow. 75% of the cancer (in the bone marrow) was “killed” by the chemo but there still is a fight to be fought. There is 25% left to get rid of. Needless to say, I was disappointed because I really thought it would be cleared out of her bone marrow, that the docs would have said that she was clean of the cancer and that we could proceed with discussing surgery to remove her tumor and be rid of this whole process… but that’s not the case. It’s a little discouraging because after the doctors saw how much the tumor in her abdomen shrunk he was very optimistic it would be gone in her bone marrow. She will have to go through 4 more rounds of chemotherapy to kill off the rest of the cancer in her bone marrow, which will also continue to shrink the tumor in her abdomen. Since she will need more chemo anyway removing the rest of the tumor by surgery won’t be necessary at this time. In the beginning they expected to do 8 rounds and possible radiation treatments. But, when we discovered the news that her tumor had shrunk more than what was expected we really believed her bone marrow could be clean of this cancer. We wished we could be on our way to recovery ahead of schedule…instead we are just on track and will continue her protocol as expected. We are happy that she is on the road to recovery at any rate. :)

I hope I don’t seem ungrateful for all that we’ve been blessed with thus far. It is a HUGE blessing that her tumor has shrunk so much and so much of the cancer has died, I do just feel disappointed and a little heart broken that my baby will have to go through 3 more months of chemotherapy. 3 more months of hospital stays, antibiotics, blood tests, weekly doctor visits, blood transfusions, etc. I feel like the last 3 months have dragged on and they feel so long…like the time passed by so slowly. I want to have the strength to endure the next 3 months. I NEED to have the strength to endure it. I NEED to be strong for her.

Anyhow, that’s the update today. We are hoping to start her 5th round of chemo on Friday. It should be another 3-day treatment, s
o we get to watch the Super Bowl in the hospital☺. We’ve enjoyed our time at home being together as a family. Bree’s so happy at home. I’ve enjoyed doing the mundane Mommy chores and now its time to face the music and endure the next chapter of this journey. I want to say thanks for all the comments left here. It makes our family feel so loved, the many sweet things that are said buoy me up and help keep me going….however, I’m not as great as you all think I am… ha ha.

Here we are before her tests last Thursday. Bree loves to pose for the camera!
After her procedures and still smiling!

It is so sad for me to read this because Kari is truly one of the most optimistic people that I know. This is the first time that I have ever heard her feel sad or disappointed. And yet, she still tries to be happy about things.

For those who are wanting to send donations again (a few of you have contacted me about this), then please feel free to make a donation for her family using my donation link on the side of my blog. Also, if you do make a donation for them, please send me an email saying it is for them, so that I don't think the donation is for me. Thank you for your interest.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Courage kit

As you know from the post below, the color scheme #1 was the winner. With this kit there were many requests for a boy kit. And many people suggested that these colors would be good for camouflage. So here is the equation that I got out of it:

Color scheme 1 + boy kit + camo papers = Courage kit

This was a challenge for me because 1) I am a girl, and 2) 3 out of my 4 kids are girls, so naturally it's easier for me to create more girl kits. But still, I had a great time creating a more boy-themed kit.

And I learned a new way to make camouflage paper! Here is a link to the tutorial.

I decided to name the kit "Courage" because that is the main word that comes to mind when I think about those people serving in the military. It takes courage to train. It takes courage to serve. It takes courage to leave your family behind. And for those families left behind, it takes courage to let your son or daughter, your husband or wife, your brother or sister, your father or mother, go. Entering the world of the unknown takes courage.

I am thankful for those serving in the military for your bravery, your courage and your love for our country and for our freedom. I hope you enjoy this kit.

Click here to download the free "Courage" kit:
Courage kit: part 1
Courage kit: part 2
Courage kit: part 3

Monday, January 19, 2009

And the winner is.....along with some answers to your questions....

Thank you everyone for voting. It looks like my next kit will be a boy kit with the colors of number 1 with a total of 69 votes (thank you Jessica for submitting them).
Second place was only 6 votes behind and that was color scheme number 6 for a birthday kit (thank you Moe for submitting those).

So here is my plan: Create a boy kit using the winning colors, then create a Valentine's kit, and then create a birthday kit with the second place colors. The other colors I will hold onto for inspiration for future kits.

Now, to answer some questions that people have been emailing me lately:

1) What program do you use to create your kits? Adobe Photoshop CS2

2) How do you create your papers? This is a tough question to answer because there are SO MANY things involved. I would like to start teaching little tutorials on my blog in the future, but not right now. However, in the meantime the things that I use most are brushes (I actually have a picture of a fence that I've created into a brush and that is what I use most often to create the "grunge look" as an overlay), and I use the burn tool a lot. So, if you can find tutorials on how to do that, then those are kind of my finishing touches. And most of my papers just sort of evolve...I have no clue when I begin what they will look like when I end. I know this doesn't answer questions very well, but once I'm able to start doing some tutorials, hopefully I'll be able to answer it better!

3) Can you tell us how you did your new blog background? I have one answer for you. Her name is Jeanette from Easy Custom Blogs and she has a great website that will teach you how to do it. She was so kind to work with my and help me sort out some kinks that had gotten in my way before I discovered her. Here's the link with her instructions.

Oh, and this is a big thank you to all of you who have given me blog awards. I don't have the time in my life right now to go and reply or pass the award on to others, but I sincerely appreciate it. It really does brighten my day!

You'll hear from me soon!

Summer Driggs

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Let's get down to business!

Thank you everyone for your ideas for my next kit! It was so fun for me to see things that I would have never thought of and be like, "Ooh, I like that!"

I had quite a few requests for actual themes as well. So these were my favorites, and I am placing under the themes that I think they would work with. Leave a post and let me know which number is your favorite, and the majority will rule! (I will save the runners up for future kits when I am needing more inspiration.)

A boy kit:




A birthday kit:



Citrus colors:




Just because I liked these:




Thanks again! I'll accepts votes until this next Sunday the 18th.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Color Choice Contest!

Okay, so I am in the mood to get started on a new kit, however, I cannot think of a color scheme. (I know Valentine's is just around the corner, but I wanted to be working on something before then).

So, I am interested to know what you are interested in! Anyone who wants to, I want you to go to this website and choose 3 colors that you would like to see as a combination in a kit. I need to know the name/codes of the colors. I will accept people's ideas until Tuesday the 13th. I will choose my top favorites, and then I will let YOU vote for which one is your favorite. The one with the most votes will be the colors that I use to create my next kit! (Hopefully this makes sense).

Click here to go to the website.

(Or you can tell me something like, "I like the brown, lime green and turquoise combination.") But it would be helpful to have the exact code/name.

Let's get our creative juices flowing!