Wednesday, May 31, 2006

My latest kit

I'm really happy with the way this one turned out. I finally figured out how to do realistic looking metal. This chrome actually looks real when printed! Yay me LOL.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

This week....

Busy week this one....

Yesterday we introduced a new designer on Oscraps - Maggie Lamarre. Here's a preview of her lovely spring kit.
Maggie's kit is available for Free for your personal use at, of course.

Today, we went to Don's funeral. It was actually a very nice ceremony. Raina got up and gave a very moving and heartfelt talk about her dad. She talked about how she had no regrets with her daddy because she knew for certain that he loved her and was proud of her. There was never a doubt about it because he not only told her but he showed her, with the gleam in his eye, the joy in his face, and the warmth in his hugs. There was never anything left unsaid. Raina also talked about how he lived his life with love and abundant laughter. Don's laughter was mentioned over and over throughout the day and I think that is such a great testimony to the kind of man he was.

Alyx's last day of kindergarten is tomorrow. We've got Super Kid's day at the school and then we are leaving straight for Texas so he can spend some time with his grandparents and family down there.

Don't know what we will be doing, but Anthony and I will be doing something together. It will be nice to have some alone time.

We are going on a date :) X-Men is coming out, so while its not the most romantic date, its gonna be a fun one and something we both want to see!

That's all I can think of for now....

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The death of a dear, dear man...

Several of you have expressed concern regarding my cryptic post on Wednesday. I'm so sorry to have worried you all so. It's been a rough week with the unfortunate climax on Wednesday night. I was trying to get to quickly get the info out there that I wouldn't have the time, energy, or motivation to get something uploaded. I guess I wasn't thinking too clearly. So, now, I'll try to tell the story...

My dear friend, Raina's father died on Wednesday night. This is sad enough, in and of itself, but the truth is, it is so much worse than that. As some of you know, Raina lives in Florida and she was just here a few weeks ago visiting her mother in the hospital. Raina's mom, Sandy, has been in ICU for almost two months now. Two weeks ago, Raina got the call that it was time to come back as Sandy was in trouble, so thankfully, Raina was in town and able to be here when her father died.

Sandy is a diabetic who hasn't always taken the best of care of herself or her body so she was in fairly poor health to begin with. She had lost part of her foot to diabetic complications and was undergoing wound care for that. In January, she started complaining of terrible pain in her neck. She was taken to the emergency room on two different occassions because the pain was so bad that Don, Raina's father, could not get her into the car, she had to be taken by ambulance. Each time she was released with some vague statement about arthritic episode. Don kept on the doctor's until finally one of them agreed to admit Sandy to the hospital for some other reason so they could hopefully figure out was wrong. Finally, a neurologist was called in and thought her condition looked like meningitus. They ran some different tests and found she had a staph infection, apparently from the wound debrisment of her foot.

As it turns out, the staph infection had settled in Sandy's neck and had been eating away at the muscles and tissues in her neck, including her spinal column. Her neck started collapsing on itself so they did emergency surgery to insert a metal rod to stabilize and fuse her spinal cord and a trachiotomy for the respirator. A few days later, she was fitted with a metal halo to prevent her from moving her head until it had a chance to heal. Sandy was partially paralized from the neck down - she had no movement ability but could still feel everything. She could not talk because of the trachiotomy and respirator. She had no way of getting the nurses attention when she was in pain or hot or cold...

Don was her savior. He spent all day, every day at the hospital being her "nurses call button". She could make a small, kissy noise when she needed his attention and then he would read her lips to find out what she needed and could let the nurses know. The ICU staff fell in love with Don and were amazed by his dedication and grace under pressure. He never forgot to be kind and thoughtful to those around him - he brought them donuts and cookies almost every day. He never failed to have a smile and a kind word for everyone, even when his own world was crumbling further each day. For two months, Don spent almost every day in the hospital with Sandy, only leaving when visiting hours would end. Only one shift did Don miss during all that time. His van had broken down and he needed to repair it, so I spent the morning shift playing call button while he had a mechanic friend helping him. It was tough to see Sandy like that and tougher yet to read her lips, but the toughest part was how hard it was to leave her and her just wanting Don to be there. He was her rock, her safety net.

So, fast forward to Saturday night. Every Saturday for years, our group of friends has gone to dinner at a local Thai restaurant. Raina and John, her husband, and their son, Ian had come to Thai food to see all their old friends. They had driven her dad's van and he had taken his motorcycle to go back up to the hospital for evening visiting hours. He probably would have driven his bike anyway since it was nice weather and gas prices being what they are. He rode it quite frequently because of the long drive to the hospital anyway. On his way home around 8 pm, an illegal alien lost control of his truck on the highway causing a 7 car pileup. Don was in the middle of the accident. He saw the beginning of the accident and had time to lay his bike down rather than hitting head on. If he hadn't, he probably would have been killed instantly. Instead, he suffered a shattered pelvis, foot, ankle and wrist on one side. He was alert and doing OK considering his age and injuries. The only problem was he was worried what Sandy would do because he would be in the hospital himself for three months recovering from the pelvic reconstruction.

Raina got to spend Sunday with him, talking and going over details of what she needed to do to help out while he was going to be in the hospital. She had just gotten home when she realized she had forgotten to get his pin number for his debit card so she could pay his bills, etc. When she got back to the hospital, she walked into his room to find a team of people working on him. He was being intebated because a clot had apparently been knocked loose from the impact and had settled into his lungs. The next morning they did surgery to install a filter in his main artery leading to his brain to try to prevent any further damage. He was kept in a medically induced coma because they had placed him on a "rocker bed" to keep his blood flowing in such a way that no clots would move to his vital organs. Circumstances were such that he was just unable to recover from it. Raina and her half brother, Brian, got the call that he was going and were able to be at the hospital when he passed Wednesday evening.

I just spoke with both Raina and Brian to get their permission to post their story and the scrapbook page I made for Don. They both said they would be honored to share his memory this way. Sandy hadn't been told the severity of Don's accident yet based on her doctor's recommendation. They wanted to make sure they had a new feeding tube in place so they could administer anti-anxiety/depression meds in such a way that the original feeding tube would not allow. That is now in place and so, today they are going to tell her. Please keep them all in your prayers and thoughts, its sure to be a rough day.

I've decided to use my page for Don as my week three entry in the ultimate digiscrapper contest. I had already done two other pages this week to decide between, but this page means so much to me and has been such a healing experience to create that I want to share it with as many people as possible. Raina and Brian both agreed that Don would think that was pretty neat. Due to contest rules, I can't post the page anywhere but the contest gallery, so if you would like to see it, click here.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

No new kits this week for oScraps

I'm sorry, there will be no new kits posted this week to oScraps. We have experienced some tragedies this week and I can't even think about putting the final touches on kits. Hopefully, will have some posted next week.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

a little torn, a lot happy

I just posted my "week 2" entry for the Ultimate DigiScrapper Contest. You may see it


The assignment is an all about me page of how we see ourselves. Now, I typically only scrap AAM layouts with my glamour queen pics but thought I would go for the face I show to the world 50% of the time for this one. This picture was taken yesterday and was exactly how I looked when I decided to do it. I admit, the rest of the pic is staged to fit the idea of the page. I don't normally sit on the floor of my laundry room and rarely let my son sit on the dryer LOL! I also normally design on 2 desktop pc's and not the laptop, but hubby just set it up so I can now so I won't be chained to my desk anymore! He's the greatest!

Monday, May 08, 2006

WooWoo! Made it through!

Well, I made the first cut in the Ultimate DigiScrapper Contest. This weeks challenge is an all about me page. I think I can handle that ;)

Friday, May 05, 2006

Wow I'm a little behind!

Sorry I haven't posted here in a bit. I've been busy. I've been sick. I've been... blah, blah, blah...

Here are the highlights from the last week:

Lucrecer Braxton
made her debut as an Original Designer. The response to her first kit has been outstanding!!! People love her work. Just between you and me, I knew they would!!!

Here's a peak at Lucrecer's CRUSHED kit. You may download it at of course!

The Ultimate DigiScrapper Contest
I entered the Ultimate DigiScrapper contest. Not that I really think I have any chance of winning - let alone actually finishing the layouts. I thought it would be a good motivator to me to actually do some scrapbooking. I've been so hyperfocused on designing for oScraps and maintaining the site, trying to learn more PHP so I can add new content to the site that I just haven't had time to actually do any scrapbooking.

We can't post our layouts anywhere else until after the contest is over, so you'll have to click here to see it. You can also see a sneak peak of one of my upcoming kits - HippyHot or HippyToile {I haven't decided on the name yet} there since that is what I used for the layout.