Thursday, April 26, 2007

Our Little Puppy Dog

I've always wanted a dog. However, this is quite a roundabout way of getting what you want. Paul has a thing with his socks. He prefers them to any toy. There just must be something yummy about those cottony socks...I guess. I have a ton of pictures of him chewing happily away on his socks, so don't imagine that this was a fluke I happened to catch on camera.

The journaling reads: "You love to chew on your socks! The moment I put a pair on you, you pull them off and they go straight into your mouth. I usually go through at least 3 pairs a day, until I get too tired of finding new socks. Then you go barefoot. Paul Jorgensen, April 19, 2007."

Full Credits HERE

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

You've Come A Long Way, Baby!

Paul has gotten so cute now that he's getting chubby. It makes me so sad to look at pictures of him before we went to the hospital, but I'm so glad that he's getting better. You just want to give him smooches all over!

The journaling reads: At 5 months, you only weighed 9 pounds (1 pound less than at 2 months). After several days in the hospital, we found that you had acid reflux and a milk protein allergy. In just over a month, you've gone from skin and bones to pinchable cheeks. Way to go!

Credits: Corner frames: Corina Nielsen; background: swirls: Weeds and Wildflowers; notepaper and frame: Leah Riordan at Oscraps; border: Cute Kits; baby lettering: Paula Duncan at Sweet Shoppe; stars: Zoe Pearn at Sweet Shoppe; Overlay: Chris Ford at 2 Peas.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Another Easter Layout

Yes, I realize that this is my 4th Easter layout. However, when you have kids as cute as mine, you'll want to take a billion pictures of them as well. The journaling on this one reads: Katie loved dyeing eggs for Easter. Mom stripped her down to her diaper, in keeping with the Jorgensen tradition of dyeing Easter eggs in your underwear. She loved plopping the eggs in the cups of dye. Her very favorite part was putting the stickers on the eggs. Actually, her favorite part was putting the stickers on her stomach. When she ran out of stickers on the sheet, she began stealing the ones she had already put on the eggs. April 8, 2007.

Credits: Love Sprung by Dani Mogstad and Traci Reed. Silver frame by Karla Marano. Flower stamp from "Mary, Mary" kit by 2 Peas. Felt Frames (altered) by Christine Stone. Doodled alpha (altered) by Lilly Pie Designs.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Ashley's Prom

Ashley's prom was last weekend, and she looked gorgeous. I volunteered to create a scrapbook page for her, so here it is. I had to do quite a bit of editing on the photos, but they turned out pretty well, considering the starting condition.

The journaling reads: The professional stylist (who also did hair and makeup for the Miss India Pageant) took 2 hours to do Ashley's hair and makeup. The dress was custom-made by a ladies' tailor. The body of the dress is raw silk; the trim and stole are red organza. The flower embroidery was done entirely by hand. April 14, 2007.

Credits: Used a "Simple Schemes" template. Flower by Sennah. Heart clip by Pillowgirl. Mirror alpha by Paper Moons. Swirl by Christina Renee. Metal alpha from Margie Lundy at Digital Scrapbook Place. Red paper by Sande Krieger at 2 Peas. Black paper from Wish and Wonder kit at Sweet Shoppe. Journaling stamp by Melissa Rose at Oscraps.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Cute Boy

Here's a page I made of Paul wearing his Easter outfit from Grandma Jorgensen. Gotta love Baby Gap. Aren't my boys the cutest?

Credits: 100% Boy kit by Zoe Pearn; string by Sarah Batdorf; photo corner by Gina Cabrera, zigzag stitch by Dani Mogstad

Friday, April 13, 2007

Is This Really Necessary?

The city of Albuquerque is currently being blanketed with radio advertisements for foods stamps. I was astonished the first time I heard these advertisements, and I was even more surprised when one version of the ads failed to mention that there was a income requirement. In the spot that I have heard most frequently, they discuss how a person would be surprised at who would qualify for food stamps. They were right. I am very surprised.

The food stamp program was established during the Great Depression, when it truly was needed. But like so many programs instituted during that time period (think Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, HUD...), the food stamp initiative has doggedly persisted. And like the other programs of that era, it has not only persisted but grown. It is now viewed as "something we ought to take advantage of if we can," instead of the welfare program that it is.

Bureaucrats and lawmakers are worried at the low rate of food stamp usage. However, instead of using this as a signal to scale down the program, they are using tax dollars to advertise it. This is a textbook example of goverment's inability to reduce a bloated bureaucracy once it has been established.

The bureaucrats aren't the only ones to blame. We can also thank our lawmakers for the persistance and the increase of the food stamp program. Here are a few examples:

According to Minnesota Public Radio: Sen. Linda Berglin, DFL-Minneapolis, says the 22-page application form is one reason the program has stagnated. Berglin has introduced a bill this session to trim the application to three pages. Berglin says other obstacles are a monthly reporting requirement and a rule which caps benefits at a low level if recipients don't use the full allocation every month.

And in Iowa: State officials have conducted a campaign to increase the number of Iowans who're getting "food stamps" -- and the U.S. Department of Agriculture is giving Iowa a nearly half-a-million dollar "bonus" for the three-year effort.
Jessica Webster is a member of the St. Paul Legal Services Advocacy project. She wrote a report which estimates that 189,000 state residents are eligible for the food stamp program but are not currently participating. She had this to say: "This is a federal resource that we are not utilizing," she says. "By not capturing this resource we have lost $838 million since year 2000."

I was appalled when I read that statement. The federal government is not a beneficent uncle, longing to distribute money among his citizens. The program is not free. The money to fund the food stamp program and the campaigns promoting it has been forcibly taken from you and from me. If you do not believe that your "contribution" to the program is forcible, see what happens when you don't pay your taxes. Since my money is taken from me against my will, I feel that it ought to at least be spent on valuable services. To use my tax dollars to promote the expansion of an already bloated program to those who probably don't need it is insulting and infuriating.

Part of the American Dream is self-sufficiency. This will be impossible to achieve if we persist in the entitlement attitude that benefits us at the expense of someone else.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Egg Hunt

Katie was a pro at finding eggs on Sunday! I was sure she would need some help, but after her trail run earlier in the week, she knew exactly what to do. I got a bit carried away with the whole egg thing--between hard-boiled eggs and plastic ones, there were about 50 eggs for her to find. Needless to say, Aaron and I wound up collecting about half of them ourselves.

Paul and Katie both looked adorable in their new outfits that Grandma Connie got for them. She ensures that I have the best-dressed kids in Albuquerque. Paul was especially cute in his white and brown Hawaiian outfit. We took about 30 pictures of him in that, so there will be a page coming soon.

This was a lift of Sandra S from the Sweet Shoppe. I loved her layout, so I just adapted the color scheme and kept everything else essentially the same. This was quite a fun page, and I used the clipping mask technique (see tutorial below) a ton!!

Credits: Papers--dots and stripe: Laura Deacetis; floral and plaid: Paula Duncan; pink: Stacey Stehley; tan: Jennifer Barrette. Ribbons and flowers: Paper Moons. Negative Strip: Pillowgirl. Paperclip: Shabby Princess. Swirls: Kate Hadfield. Grass: Christina Renee. "Special" Lettering: Andrea Victoria. Frames: Nancy Comelab

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

GIMP Tutorial: Creating Clipping Masks

The clipping mask feature is a quick way to create effects such as text filled with a photograph.

Clipping masks are commonly used in digital scrapbooking to create pages based on templates. While it’s an extremely easy task in Photoshop, it’s slightly more complicated to do in the GIMP, especially for a new user.

Because there is no "clipping mask" feature in the GIMP, we will use a modified technique to achieve the same effect. There are several ways to do this, but I found that using the "Alpha to Selection" tool was the easiest.

The following is from the GIMP User Manual: "The Alpha to Selection command creates a selection in the image from the active layer's alpha channel, which encodes transparency. Opaque areas are fully selected, transparent areas are unselected, and translucent areas are partially selected. This selection replaces the existing selection. The alpha channel itself is not changed."

While this may seem to be a complicated process, once you understand the steps, it's a fairly easy technique and extremely useful.

This technique will be demonstrated using a template created for digital scrapbook layouts; however, it can be applied to a range of activities.

1. Open the template (most likely a .psd file) in the GIMP.

2. Open your layers dialog: Dialogs-->Layers or F7

3. Select the layer containing the image you want to replace (hereafter called "template layer"). In this example, we'll select paper1.

4. Open as a layer (File-->Open as Layer) the image that contains the pattern that will be replacing the template layer. Move this layer (hereafter called "image layer") directly above the template layer.

5. Right-click on the template layer and select "Alpha to Selection."

6. In the Layers dialog box, select the image layer. Then copy (ctrl+c) and paste (ctrl+v).

7. Make your floating selection (the result of pasting) a new layer by right-clicking on the "Floating Selection" layer in the Layers dialog box and selecting "New Layer" (alternatively, you can simply click the paper icon at the bottom left of the layers dialog box).

8. Move the pasted layer directly over the template layer. Delete the original image layer (i.e. the full-sized image that contained the pattern).

9. Merge the Pasted Layer down into the template layer.

And you're done!

Template by Dumpty; Paper from "Her Day Out" by Sweet Shoppe Designs
Italy image from saulgoode at GIMPTalk

Friday, April 6, 2007


Katie had her first Easter Egg Hunt on Tuesday. Isn't she the cutest?

Credits: Blue paper--Wish and Wonder Kit from Sweet Shoppe; pink letters by Michelle Swadling; green letters (altered) and embroidered flowers by Pillowgirl; egg note and green arrow by Kari Q; egg charm by Lindsay Jane Designs; ricrac by Welli Designs; scalloped ribbon by Rhonna Farrer; paint (altered) and cardboard byMiss Mint; green strip (altered) by Carrie Stephens; grass by Jamie Rousselle; flower by Paper Moons; frame by Lauren Grier, also at Sweet Shoppe