Friday, August 31, 2007

Photoshop Sites and Blogs...

These are especially for Tink, although I'm sure some of the rest of you will have fun browsing through them too. :)

First and foremost we have the Photoshop Killer Tips blog. This site kicks ass. Everyday, a new tutorial is posted. This guy is AWESOME at Photoshop. The tutorials are little 60-second or so movies so it's REALLY easy to follow along and see what to do.


Next we have The Photoshop Blog. This one definitely has good tutorials, but I find the actual blog to be cluttered and hard to navigate. If you sift through all of the advertisements though, you can learn how to do some pretty cool things.


Next is Spraguelab. This blog is mostly geared towards using Photoshop (and Photoshop Elements) to digital scrapbook, but there are a quite a few tutorials that are specifically about doing cool things to photos. And she is FANTASTIC at explaining things so even a first-timer can understand.

And here's the direct link to where all of her tutorials are listed. (She posts a new one every Friday):


Next is the Photoshop Roadmap. Sign up for their newsletter and every day or so, you'll get an email with REALLY cool things you can learn to do in Photoshop (like aging a woman's face in a photo and creating a pancake monster, complete with teeth... LOL!). This site also has a bunch of free brushes, downloads, plug-ins, etc. Good stuff.


I have plenty more, but I can assure you that you will spend hours (or days even) just messing around with these sites, so I'll post the rest later. :)

A few layouts...

I thought I'd post a few layouts since I'm sitting here bored and don't feel like doing anything productive. (Shocker. I know.) And now that I have my new handy dandy Live Writer/Flickr plug-in working, I don't even need to open a browser window to do this. WOOHOO! I love new software!!! LOL!

Anyway, here you go. These are some photos of the girls from when my girlfriend and I took our kids to a local amusement park one day in June. (It's the day I ran into my ex-boyfriend and felt like a complete tool.)

Ice Cream Cones


This second one was done for a challenge over at Jen Wilson Designs. We had to scrap about something that relaxes us. So I scrapped about I could edit photos in Photoshop all day long and not get sick of it. (It's an illness, I know.)

My Photo Retreat


And here's one I just finished up this morning. The other night Hannah spent a good hour doodling on our back patio with some chalk. It was cute. (And it allowed me to kick back and enjoy a few beers while she was busy. LOL!)

Little Artist

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Facebook Anyone?

OK, so if you look over there in my right-hand margin, you'll see a little doohicky thingy for Facebook. ----->

Click it dammit, and sign up. I want more Facebook friends! I suppose you could say it's sort of like My Space in that you set up your profile, etc. But it's WAY cooler! AND you have total control over who sees what. People that I've accepted as "friends" have access to all of my information.... phone number, birthday, real name (heh heh), etc. They can see what I post on my Wall (kind of like a message board that you can post to other people on), etc.

There are a few of you out there who already my friends over there. Damn, do we have a blast. We send each other virtual drinks (I've received more beer and jello shots than one girl should), throw virtual food at each other, send each other "Naughty Gifts" (blue balls anyone?), nominate each other in stupid, ridiculous polls, and generally waste way too much time over there. LOL! Why just a few hours ago, I threw a sheep at Tink. It's all good.

I know some people are freaked out by sites like that and worry about their privacy. But like I said, you have TOTAL control over who sees what. You can set it so the whole damn world sees everything. Or you can set it so that only your accepted friends see stuff. You can set stuff so that no one in the universe sees stuff if you want to.

So go click on that little doohicky thing, sign up for a free account, and then add me as a friend. If I like you, I'll add you back. ;)

Hurry. I need more people to throw farm animals at.

(Editing to add that Mary just sent me a virtual naked blow up doll. That's just wrong.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Future Fashion Designer?

Aug 28 2007 002_edit, originally uploaded by alien0103.

So here's Hannah wearing a typical "Hannah outfit." She decided this morning that she wanted to wear that red dress. But she didn't want it to be a dress -- she wanted it to be a skirt. No problem. She just took the top down and had me clip the dress at her waist using a typical office binder clip. LOL!

Then she put on the pink Hawaiian shirt so she could match the identical one on her doll. (They were Grace and Hannah's shirts 3 years ago when they were younger.) Throw on a pair of Crocs and a bracelet worn as an anklet and we're in business. Sweet.

My Little First Grader

Well, yesterday Grace officially became a first grader. She was a little nervous the night before and that morning. She was excited too, but she kept saying she was a little nervous and that her "stomach was dizzy." LOL!

But she climbed on the bus and when she got home she told me she loved it. Whew! She loves her new teacher, likes the kids in her class, and is THRILLED because although last year the kindergarteners had little tables (4 to a table), this year she has her OWN DESK! Remember how exciting that was when you were a kid?

So here are a few pictures. (And one or two of Hannah when we were waiting for Grace to get home.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Holy shit, it's over!

Summer vacation that is. It's over. Today marks the last day before Grace heads off to 1st grade. Dear god it went fast. When she had her last day of kindergarten in June, I prepared myself for a loooong summer, figuring Grace would be bored out of her skull after two weeks. She did have days of boredom, but for the most part, we always found something to do almost every day. And now it's over. How is that possible?

So yesterday, they spent the day on their waterslide in the backyard (it was like 100+ degrees). And toay, the slide isn't blown up, but they're splashing around, making "potato soup" using upside down Frisbees, water, and little pieces of a cardboard box. I'm sitting on the back porch watching them, smoking a cigarette here and there, and wondering when the hell life started going so fast. When I was a kid, summer seemed to last an eternity. Now I'm adult with kids of my own and it feels like it lasts a day... a week at best. [sigh]

Slow down world... I wanna get off.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Cool Site of the Day...

Go here. Move your mouse around and big colored dots appear under your cursor. Click on any color and the site finds items for sale that match the color you just clicked on. I don't know how beneficial it is, but it sure is cool. LOL!

Etsy is a site to sell and buy handmade items. That part in and of itself is cool. But the whole color matching thing takes it to the next level and really kicks ass.

My Little Rock Star

So yesterday, my parents and I took both girls to the mall school shopping. Well, Hannah was just along for the ride. Grace was the one that needed stuff for school on Monday. It wasn't exactly pleasant since she HATES shopping for clothing and HATES trying stuff on (just like her mom). But we managed to get through it. While there, she begged for a makeover at Libby Lu's. Hannah had one on her birthday, so my mom agreed to let Grace get one yesterday. She was so excited and picked the "Rock Star" makeover. I must say, she looked absolutely adorable!

Here are a few photos. (And I realize her outfit in the second one doesn't exactly match. It's a long story and she didn't wear it out in public, so who am I to judge, right? LOL!)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Site of the Day (8/21/2007);f=3;t=002071


Patriotic? Sure Mom, I can act...

patriotic while you snap a picture of me with a flag behind me. Sure! No problem!

Uh... yeah. Right. [sigh]

So seriously...

Could they possibly look anymore alike if they tried? [shaking head] Freaky.

Don't f--- with the L-------- girls...

Mini_Golf_Aug_16_2007_ 056 copy, originally uploaded by alien0103.

Because they WILL kick your ass and take names. ;)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Coolest Site EVER!!!

Check this out. I created this (free) in about 10 minutes. Go to and check it out. (Turn your sound on.)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I did it!

I finally did it! (And it wasn't even on purpose.) But I managed to capture, in one photo, the personalities of every one of my fellow family members.

First, we have Hannah with her typical "Fuck you," expression. That look that says, "Mom, leave me the hell alone or I'll go medieval on your ass."

Next, we have Grace, picking her nose, not even remotely aware of (or caring) how socially inappropriate it is.

And then there's Steve, in the background, oblivious to it all.


Checking in...

Hey gang. I don't have much in terms of a "real" blog post right now. But I'm sitting here on the couch with the girls watching "Night at the Museum" and thought I'd just check in to letcha know I'm alive and well. We've been busy with lots of little stuff and errands and such. Nothing exciting. At all. LOL!

This week, Grace is all into photography and film making. LOL! I don't know why it started, but it's cool with me. We've been making movies, taking pictures and printing them out, etc. I think next we're going to make a DVD slideshow thing. She asking me the other night if, when she gets bigger, she can send one of her movies into "On the Lot." LOL! She's so freakin' cool. I'm especially loving the photography phase she's going through. More photos to edit and scrap! WOOHOO!

Well gang, the laptop battery is dying. I'll check in later, maybe with some photos. :)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Funny Shit...

These are HILARIOUS!

Stumble Upon Site of the Day:

Kid Pics...

I've had one or two people recently ask me for recent pictures of the girls, so I thought I'd post a few here.

Hannah Swimming at Aunt Joanne's House

The Girls Building "Zoomy the Robot"

Grace Painting Zoomy's Face


Grace in the Back of Steve's Pickup

Hannah Playing in the Dirt


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Well, another pigroast has come and gone. It's always hard to believe how quickly that week goes. It's a good month of preparation every year... make the guest list... make the invitations... print the invitations... address and mail the invitations... order the pig... order the beer... make the shopping lists... etc. Then we wake up that morning, blink, and it's over. Kind of makes me wonder why the hell we do it. LOL!
OK... so I only took a total of like 7 pictures the ENTIRE weekend (because I'm always too busy to think about it), and I'll post one or two here. None of them are that exciting actually. And I'll spare the one of good ol' Porky when he arrived the night before. So much happened those 3 or 4 days that I'm afraid you're going to get a bulleted list. And because my brain is fried today, due to me royally fucking up my computer last night and spending all day researching a fix, it's going to NOT be in chronological order. Deal with it.

** Emily (from one of my Mom internet boards) and her sister, Camille flew in on Thursday. Being the rude hostess that I am, I was on my way home from getting my haircut when they arrived and they sat on my back porch for an hour waiting for me. (Incidentally, I DID tell them to feel free to come inside in the air conditioning, but they declined.)

** Later that night, the three of us headed out to get us some alcohol for the night and we were cornered in the walk-in freezer by a creepy, redneck dude in a NASCAR shirt who heard there were "three hot ladies" in there. He then proceeded to look directly at Emily's chest and call her a "hot mama." Oh my. Welcome to Pennsylvania, Camille. LOL!

** Got buzzed, hung out, and then crashed.

** The three of us (and Grace) ran around the next day to the grocery store, dollar store, liquor store, bank, etc. preparing for the next day. While waiting in line to check out at the grocery store, a scary dude behind us in line started talking to us. What a FREAK! He was overweight, had a big bushy grayish beard and was wearing a shirt that said something like, "If you're hot, take your clothing off," with the name of a local nudist colony under it.

** He told us a bunch of stupid jokes, asked if we wanted to do what his shirt said (since it was 90+ degrees that day), and waited patiently while I checked out with an entire shopping cart of food and he was holding ONE candybar and a coupon to get it for free. (Uh, welcome to Pennsylvania, Camille.)

** While at the dollar store, some old woman with a THICK German accent (?!) saw me buying 10 or 11 silver foil pans (for the pig) and asked if I was preparing for Thanksgiving. Um, lady, it's August. When I mumbled that no, it was for a pig roast, she said something that sounded like, "Oh. I'm going to a pig roast tomorrow too." Shit. I left there worrying that she was coming to ours and assured Emily and Camille that not ALL people in my town are freaks. Like, for real.

** That night, we decided to attempt to make Jello shots (we were all Jello shot making virgins). We had found a recipe for rum & coke ones that used Coke instead of any water.

** Later, we tried them. They were good, but there wasn't even an inkling of Coke taste in 'em.
** Crashed.

** Woke up the morning of the pig roast and kicked it into high gear. There's soooo much to do that day before people start showing up.

** People started arriving and the fun began. Beer, pork, turkeys, potato bacon soup (remind me to post the recipe. It's easy and it fucking ROCKS!), meatballs, pierogies, pasta salad, taco roll thingies, etc.

** Started doing Jello shots. Mmmm...

** Grace spent hours taking "donations" for the homemade french fries my FIL makes while you wait every year.

** She got greedy and started "selling water" too. She made $32.00.

** My parents left with the girls and the real fun (for me) could begin.
** Talked to our friend Jack, the "Snake Dude" (see photo below). He goes out and catches copperheads and rattlesnakes "for fun". He showed us all of his snake bites and told some stories.

** Found out later that when he was leaving, he smacked Camille on the ass as his way of saying goodbye. [shaking head] I SWEAR we're not all like that here. For real.

** Emily got a ride on our neighbor's 4-wheeler at one point. I'm still not sure why, but what the hell, right?
** Jumped out of my skin when another guest retrieved a 5-foot long homemade "cannon" out of his SUV and proceeded to shoot it off, much to the dismay of the neighborhood dogs.

** Decided it was time to start up the Beer Pong table.
** Got stuck with a sucky ass partner and lost the first game. Grrrr...

** Camille volunteered to play even though she'd never played before and she was a total ringer. She sank ball after ball, helping us win about 8 games in a row.

** Laughed when people started singing karaoke (we had a DJ). Some people just shouldn't sing in public.

** Got a ride on the neighbor's 4-wheeler. (Hey, Emily can't have ALL the fun.)

** Got drunk enough to drag Emily up to sing a song. (I NEVER sing karaoke people. Ever.)

** Got stuck singing "Man, I Feel Like a Woman" by Shania Twain. I HATE her and I HATE that song, but an old dude we know insisted on it.

** We didn't do so well. LOL!

** Upon finishing the song, was told by the DJ that "my friend was over in the chair throwing up under his tent." That would be Camille. LMAO! Damn Beer Pong.

** With the aide of Steve, Emily, and I, we managed to get Camille up to the house to crash. We found her 5 minutes later snuggled up under the garbage bag Emily had given her to puke into should the need arise.

** Switched it out with a towel. (I wanted to give her a blanket, but Emily said no. Hey, it's her sister, not mine.)

** Went back down the party for about 15 more minutes before I decided I was just done for the night.

** Heard the homemade cannon go off again on my way up. Nice.

** Stumbled up to the house where I found out my brother had snuck out and left to drive the 45 minutes back to his house instead of crashing here like the plan had been.

** Got accused of not giving a shit by my sister when I mumbled I was going to bed. Hey, I love the guy and I certainly don't want him drinking and driving. But I'm also not his babysitter and if someone is going to be a stupid fucking idiot, there's nothing I can do about it.

** Crashed. Hard.

** Found out the next day that my FIL's girlfriend asked one of our friend's girlfriend when she's due. Um, she's not pregnant. DOH!

** Found out the next day that three of our older dude friends had spent the night in our yard. One on a makeshift mattress using bench cushions, one in a sleeping bag in the grass, and one right on the wooden benches Steve had "built" next to the bon fire. Sweet.

** Spent the day cleaning up, hanging with Emily and Camille before they left, and eating lots of leftovers.

All in all, it was a blast. It was fun having Emily and Camille here and hanging with some chicks is always a nice change of pace for me. But next year, I'm making my own cannon.

Uhhh.... oops?

You guys TOTALLY have to watch this. It's only 30 seconds long, but you'll totally be laughing for the last 20 of it. God bless this girl. God... bless... her.... LMAO!

Monday, August 06, 2007

The new 'do...

Well, on Thursday I went to get my hair chopped off. It was way down past my shoulders and frizzy as all hell before the haircut. I got some highlights and lowlights and got a modified shag cut. I can wear it straighter (like in the first two pics), slightly wavy (like in the second two pictures) or completely curly (which I haven't tried yet, but the hairdresser swears it'll still look fine).

Everyone loves it (myself included). Steve is still freakin' out about how much he likes it, my mom threatened to kick my ass if I ever let it get long again, and my MIL won't stop talking about it.

So what do you think? Good? A mistake? LOL!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Site of the Day

OK. So I have NO time to post a real entry right now. My out-of-state pig roast guests are arriving tomorrow, so this is my LAST day to clean, get things ready, do all of the grocery shopping, etc. It doesn't help that I overslept and so Hannah is now home (and Grace) instead of at daycare where she should be today. [sigh]

Anyway, I just wanted to give you today's STUMBLE UPON SITE OF THE DAY. I've posted mostly artsy type stuff up until now, so today, we're going for just freaky. Enjoy!

Top 15 Strangest Coincidences

Stop the world...

I want to get off! At least, this week I do. OK. So maybe not completely OFF of the world. But I would like to rest for like 2.2 seconds or so. ACK! I HATE the week leading up to the pigroast. HATE IT!

So much to do... So little time...

But Steve managed to construct a fire pit and made some good ol' redneck benches for the occasion this year. So that's cool. But words cannot describe how much stuff there still is to do... and buy... and make and... and... and... Ugh. Let's stop talking about it or I'll have another panic attack or something.

So, I'm going in for a haircut and highlights on Thursday morning. I'm chopping this 'fro off, reclaiming my youth, and splurging a bit to make myself look less like a mom. (Shut up... No one wants to look like a mom. You want to BE a mom. You want to ACT like a mom (at times). But no one wants to LOOK like a typical mom. So it's coming off. The hair is getting whacked, baby!

Shit. I'm tired. And I'm rambling. I truly do think it's time for bed in a big way. Later. :)