Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I Love Texas and MDS

One of the things I love about My Digital Studio is how versatile it is.  I like Chalkboard Art or Subway Art and I am always snapping pictures of great sayings on plaques when I am out shopping.  I don't know how many I have saved in my file just waiting for me to transport them into a digital file and make a print.  Here are a few that I will be working on one of these days!

Well Ashley saw a plaque at Target that she liked and instead of paying for it, she recreated it in MDS and is going to get it frames and hang it in her house.   Something like this would be a great wedding gift for a young couple.

(you have to use the bars on the bottom & side to view the whole thing.)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

More Convention Display Boards

Here are a few more of the display boards from Convention.  You should easily find inspiration here!!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Inspire, Create, Share Convention Display Board

I spent several hours Saturday finally going through my Inspire, Create, Share Convention 2014 pictures and trying to organize them and label them.  Whew - what a job!  But now I can share a few of them since I know what they are.  One of my favorite things is to look at all the cards on the many Display Boards.  This year several demonstrators did their own display boards displaying various cards from their team.  Here are a few of them.  You can click on them to make them larger and see the display cards better.  There are a lot of great ideas on these boards!

Friday, August 15, 2014

MDS Monday - The World of Coca Cola

The MDS Monday design team posts a sketch each Monday and anyone can play along with it.  My sketch was chosen last week and shared on their blog HERE.  I was honored.  I have applied to be on their Design Team and am keeping my fingers crossed!

Here is this week's sketch:

Here is my page based on the sketch above:

Talk about colorful?!!  This page sure qualifies (although that was not a criteria!)  These pictures are from our visit to the World of Coca Cola a couple of years ago.  I matched all the paper and background to the colors in the middle picture.  I used overlays on the two solid papers and the background paper (Hip & Handson and Kaleidescope).  I love using Overlays - it changes up a solid paper and gives it pizazz!!  For my title, I used a text box (font - Bernard MT Condensed in size 64) for "the world of" and did the text in black; then I copied and pasted it in place, changing the color to white.  I put the black on top and just moved it over and up with my arrow keys a couple of times to give the shadow effect.  I also did the same thing with "Coca Cola" except I used the Smitten Alphabet Punch and filled it with Real Red.  This is a skinny alphabet so by copying and pasting and moving it over a little bit, it gives the appearance of being "fatter."  The swirls in the corners are from "For the Grad."  This was a fun page to make.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Paper Craft Crew Challenge 105

Here is my MDS card for this week's Paper Craft Crew Challenge.

This was our sketch:

Paper Craft Crew Card Sketch #105 for August 13, 2014 #stampinup #cardchallenge #papercraftcrew

I decided to make a baby card.  I don't know why - no babies in my future but I thought the stars would work good for a baby.  Most of the elements on the card are from the Nursery Essentials kit.

Speaking of babies, my grandson is definitely not a baby any longer.  He turns 8 today.  It is hard for me to believe that he is already that old!!  We've gone from this:

Creative pregnancy announcement | Such the Spot

to this in a blink of an eye:

Happy Birthday dear Jayce!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

New Weekly Deals

NEW WEEKLY DEALS: - prices good until August 18.

Rosette Bigz Die $32.21

Naturals Cotton Ribbon $5.96 (I love this ribbon - you can stamp on it!)

Envelope Liners Framelits - $20.21

Wildflowers Embossing Folder $5.96
Fancy Fan Embossing Folder $5.96

Petite Purse Die $24.71
Label Petite Curly Punch $9.71


We also have a new Photopolymer Stamp that is great for the cowboys and cowgirls in your life!!

Click HERE to order on-line.

Monday, August 11, 2014

More BrainTips

Here are a few more brain fitness tips:

#8 - The task: Practice throwing and catching a ball up in the air. If you're good at it, take up juggling.
The reason: People who master these kinds of sensory-guided movement activities can hone their brains' visual, tactile and hand-eye coordination responses, with widespread positive impacts for the brain

#9 - The task: Find an activity you like to do by yourself—such as completing a crossword puzzle or knitting—and take it to the next level. See if by concentrating and giving more effort to the activity you can succeed better or more quickly.
The reason: There is limited value in working at a game or exercise that you can perform without paying close attention. It is important to always strive to take it up a notch to a higher and more demanding level, where you re-engage the brain's learning machinery.

#10 - The task: If you're right-handed, use your left hand for daily activities (or vice-versa). Start with brushing your teeth left-handed, and practice until you have perfected it. Then try to build your way up to more complex tasks, such as eating.
The reason: This is an exercise in which you know what you're supposed to achieve, but must do it in a new and demanding learning context. Doing such an activity can drive your brain to make positive changes. Think of millions of neurons learning new tricks as you finally establish better control of that other hand!
#11 - The task: Add fish—especially fatty fish like salmon—to your diet.
The reason: Studies suggest that a diet rich in fish can improve cognitive function. Cold-water fish, like sardines, anchovies, salmon, and trout are the most beneficial. It's important to avoid fish that are high in mercury, like sharks and swordfish, as that can be bad for the brain.
#12 - The task: Brain health is another reason to get on your bicycle, to the swimming pool or wherever else you like to exercise your body.
The reason: New research indicates that exercise has positive benefits for the hippocampus, a brain structure that is important for learning and memory. It can even help your brain create new cells.
#13 - The task: Take a walk on a cobblestone path.
The reason: Scientists believe that walking on uneven surfaces like cobblestones improves the vestibular system of the inner ear, which plays a central role in balance and equilibrium. Cobblestone walking challenges the vestibular system in ways that improve its function, which translates into better balance- the key to preventing serious injuries.
#14 - The task: Get a good night's sleep. If you have trouble falling asleep, make sure your bedroom is quiet and dark, learn some deep relaxation techniques, and avoid alcohol and caffeine after 7 in the evening.
The reason: Scientists believe that our brains consolidate learning and memories during sleep. Studies have shown that people who don't sleep enough have more trouble learning new information, while sleeping well after learning something new helps the brain effectively put that information into long-term memory.

If you want to try some of the brain games, click here for a trial.

Monday night Marianne and I volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House in Charlotte as bingo callers!  We have recently gotten a new lead for Stampin' Up demonstrators at the House so we are hoping to do some more volunteering there.  They do bingo every Monday night and once a month, Stampin' Up demonstrators help the families in the House do cards or craft projects.  We made a few kids happy tonight when they won their bingo game and got to pick a prize.  It did my heart good!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Brain Fitness Tips

I mentioned in an earlier post HERE that I was participating in a research study conducted at Davidson College.  It involves playing cognitive memory games from GamesHQ.

I thought I'd share with you a few Brain Fitness Tips I gathered from their website.

#1 - The task: Add some dark chocolate to your diet.
The reason: When you eat chocolate you activate the systems in your brain that pump dopamine, an important brain chemical. These systems enable learning and memory, and help keep your brain sharp and fit. Chocolate also offers flavanols, brain-boosting antioxidant compounds that are also found in red wine and berries. To get the maximum brain boost from chocolate, look for the darkest chocolate available, with the least added sugar or other ingredients.

#2 - The task: Go on a guided tour of a museum or another site of interest. Pay careful attention to what the guide says. When you get home, try to reconstruct the tour by writing an outline that includes everything you remember.
The reason: Research into brain plasticity (the ability of the brain to change at any age) indicates that memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function (and hinder the rate of decline) of the brain.
#3 - The task: Choose a song with lyrics you enjoy but don't have memorized. Listen to the song as many times as necessary to write down all the lyrics. Then learn to sing along. Once you've mastered one song, move on to another!
The reason: Developing better habits of careful listening will help you in your understanding, thinking and remembering. Reconstructing the song requires close attentional focus and an active memory. When you focus, you release the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, a brain chemical that enables plasticity and vivifies memory.
#4 - The task: If you've ever thought about learning to play an instrument or take up an old one, now is a great time!
The reason: Playing an instrument helps you exercise many interrelated dimensions of brain function, including listening, control of refined movements, and translation of written notes (sight) to music (movement and sound).
#5 - The task: Sit in a place outside your house, such as on a park bench or in a cafĂ©. Stare straight ahead and don't move your eyes. Concentrate on everything you can see without moving your eyes, including in your peripheral vision. When you have finished, write a list of everything you saw. Then try again and see if you can add to your list.
The reason: Scientists have shown that the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is crucial to focus and memory, falls off with memory loss and is almost absent in Alzheimer's patients. This activity should help you reinvigorate the controlled release of acetylcholine in your brain through a useful visual memory task.
#6 - The task: Do a jigsaw puzzle that will be challenging for you—no fewer than 500 pieces.
The reason: Mundane as they may seem, jigsaw puzzles can provide real help for your brain. Completing one requires fine visual judgments about where pieces belong. It entails mentally "rotating" the pieces, manipulating them in your hands, and shifting your attention from the small piece to the "big picture." To top it off, it's rewarding to find the right pieces.
#7 - The task: Set your television volume down a little from where you normally have it set. See if by concentrating you can follow just as successfully as when the volume was higher. As soon as that setting gets easy, turn it down another notch!
The reason: Think of this: You can't get rid of radio static by turning up the volume. Many people raise the volume because their listening has become 'detuned'—a little fuzzy. Matching TV volume to a conversational level can help you catch every word when talking with others.

Stay tuned for more tips tomorrow!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Are You Ready for Some Football?

Hard to believe it is already football season!!  If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that makes me happy!!  Tonight is the first pre-season game for the Panthers and tomorrow for the Steelers.  Not that pre-season means anything but it was nice to see the Patriots LOSE last night to the Redskins!!  The Panthers will be on tv tonight and the Steelers will be tomorrow night - although at midnight!  Not so sure I'll stay up to watch them.  Guess that will give me something to watch on Sunday.

The sketch challenge for MDS Monday was a template that is pre-loaded on MDS.  You have to have just the right pictures for this one.  I was going to use some of my New Zealand pictures but decided to go with these football pictures instead since it is that time of year.

All the elements for this page came from Game On digital stamp.

This was taken last year at the Panthers-Steelers pre-season game.  We play the Panthers again this year in pre-season on August 28 in Pittsburgh.  But then we play them at the Panther stadium in September for the Monday Night Game.  I've got a possible chance to get tickets to this game.  We'll wait and see!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Convention Make & Takes

One of the events I enjoy the most at Convention are the Make & Takes.  I attended a special class one day where we used one the new Watercolor Winter Simply Created Card Kit.  We made several of the cards but did not have time to make all of them.  The kit comes with supplies to make 20 cards (with envelopes).  I am still working on finishing my cards and will share all of them when I am through.  But here are a couple of the cards I completed at Convention.

Some of the elements in the cards (trees and sleigh) were water colored, which is fun.  

We made this box using many of the new items from the Holiday Catalog.  The stamp set is new as well as the box itself, the wood leaf embellishment, the gold feather die cut and the stripped paper.

This journal was created using the Kinda Eclectic stamp set that we were given.