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Shan knits, and does a lot of other stuff too.

Digital scrapbooking resources, take 1


Hello All!  Happpy weekend!  I have every intention of going someplace fun and doing the fun thing they have there, but I realized that I told Kristina that I would give her a web site address or two and I haven’t done so yet, so blog first, party later.

As I’ve gotten into digital scrapbooking I’ve found a few websites that have been enormously helpful to me. Here’s a random list

Stuff: – The digital scrapbooking freebie search engine. Here you can find freebies of all kinds all over the web, rounded up for you in 5-10 easy to navigate pages. Do be aware that if you see a kit pictured the freebie is often not actually the kit, but a quickpage or preview from that kit. – A site with some gorgeous free kits -  Probably my favorite site for purchasing kits. They are paper-style kits, meaning that the kits largely contain the same things that you’d get in a physical paper kit. – I think that you can buy pretty much anything, digital or physical, that you would need for scrapbooking here.

Inspiration: – An online digital scrapbooking magazine style-blog with a great, clean design and simple, real-life hints and inspiration.

The Two Peas in a Bucket Digital Gallery – Just tons and tons of examples and ideas.

Tools: – Incredible site for creating color pallettes for Photoshop. You can choose a color and then have  it make you a pallette based on complimentary colors, monochromatic colors, or shades of that color. You can also upload a photo and have it build you a palette of colors that are in that color.

Here is a page that I made using kuler to get the colors in the photo, so that I could make paper with matching colors:

Okay, I’m off to… the fun. Whatever it might be.

Ummm…. hi?


Hello! It’s me. Thought I stopped blogging? If so you’re obviously new around here. I blog psoradically at best. I keep telling myself that I should do it, but I’ve been so distracted/focused between work, playing DS, and getting a eweb site set up for our new business, that I haven’t even read anyone else’s blog for… a while now.

I keep thinking about changing the address of this blog to shancreates, but I figured that 2 URL changes in as many months might be a pain to follow, so for now the name stays the same.

Fact of the matter is that I’ve hardly knit for a few weeks now. I did finish one LONG project, but more on that after it’s blocked, and maybe dyed. When I started this blog it existed almost exclusively for knitting projects and participating in a community of knit bloggers. And while I would still love to do so, knitting has taken its place among a few other passions lately, each and everyone I feel I couldmaybe devote an entire blog to, were I the kind of blogger that did that kind of thing.

That I, to quote Paul Gross, have the attention span of a gnat, is not news. I’ve been crocheting, knitting, spinning, scrapbooking, making cards, and doing… you know, other stuff, all together. And now, we add to the pile, digital scrapbooking.

I intend to tell you more about that and share some things that have helped me, but it’s well past bedtime and I’ve just remembered that my client is calling in the morning, so I leave you a page I made digitally for your amusement. The photos are from the Japanese Garden in the Montreal Botanical garden. The papers are from Summer Driggs’s Limeade Kit.

Japanese garden in Montreal

Japanese garden in Montreal

Progress report, version March 2009


First of all I have to thank Kristina for her carefully considered and much appreicated response to my last post. I wonder if maybe I haven’t been out thinking myself lately, so I decided to get back to the basics. What I’m up to.

After taking an unintended and largely unconsciously chosen break from knitting for a few weeks, I’ve got a few projects on the needles right now that I find pretty.

First is Girasole.

Girasole on the Road

Girasole on the Road

Giraole is a pattern that can be either a shawl or a blanket, depending on the yarn used, mostly because it’s really a big doily, and doilies, contrary to many people’s understandings, can be quite versatile.

Actually, Girasole is the only today. Turns out I’m missing a batch of photos. So, for now, enjoy Girasole.

Can it really be learned?


There is a Michael McLean song that has a line that has always struck me (hard):

Don’t waste your energy, chasing a destiny, you were not sent here to claim.

So, what on earth does that have to do with the digital scrapbooking I’ve been talking about?

Here’s the thing. I was raised with the assumption that I was not artistically gifted. Well, that is to say that the assumption is that there is no talent in the visual arts in the gene pool. Ask either of my parents and they will both tell you that they can’t draw to save their own lives, and my stick figures look like stick figures riding out an earthquake sometimes.

What I can’t resolve is how much of that is learned, or more to the point, not learned, because we don’t expect to be able to do it, and how much is because we don’t have that piece of the talent puzzle.

The thing is, I really, really want to be good at those things. I want to be able to decorate my home so that it presents the feelings I want to convey. I want to be able to create gorgeous paper crafts that are original and pleasing to the eye. I want to create a company web site that says clearly “Hey! Hire us! We are great in awesomeness!”

is this a reasonable thing to ask, so want to have these talents, or am I basically trying to

As I’ve been trying, in the last few weeks, to devote more and more time to learning Photoshop, building a web site, and digital scrapbooking, I feel more and more frustrated and brain dead. Is this because I’m getting older and I don’t learn as easily? (I don’t think so. Show me a new knitting technique and I’ll have it within 48 hours.) Is this because I am lacking the design gene? Or is it my inner talent-o-meter saying “Hey! You’re supposed to be writing! Stop mucking around with color and photos and go SAY something?”


Is it real or is it digital?


So a few months ago Mike went on a business trip with Jarond. He called me from the airport and among other things he mentioned that Jarond was entertaining himself in the airport doing digital scrapbooking.


There were two things about this that caught my attention. One was that I was only vaguely aware of digital scrapbooking at the time. The other was that Jarond is a boy. Boys don’t scrapbook. Right? At least the ones I know that do are pretty much.. well, gay. (This is, as much as anything, a sign that I need to get out and meet more people.) Jarond has a wife and some kids and stuff, so… stereotype buster. Sweet. I like those.

As Mike mentioned this I could hear Jarond saying something to him which I remember to be some variation of  “She should try it.” I stepped over to the computer and started ‘a searching. Through Mike’s next trip with Jarond I would occasionally as Mike to ask Jarond a question about what he uses to make the pages (Photoshop) and how he prints them (Shutterfly.) And pretty much the whole time Mike was gone I downloaded lots of free papers and embellishments, mostly found through This was fun. No one ever gives me free scrapbooking paper, but there were tons of fun things to play with for free there.

There were a few things that surprised me. While I can appreciate creating shadows on a page to make it look like the pagewas somewhat 3D, but people had things in their kits like sea shells and pine cones and pices of furniture. I haven’t ever (and doubt I ever will) put a whole real seashell or mirror or carousel horse on a physical scrapbooking page, but apparently in digital scrapbooking a lot of people want it to look like they’ve positioned an entire tiny teapot on their page. This was odd to me, but maybe I was thinking a little too much that I wanted digital pages to look like they aren’t.

Another was that people would use only one 3×3 photo on a 12×12 page. This is something I can’t really fathom doing if you are going to print the pages (ever.) One trip to Vegas for the weekend would mean printing 100 pages at at least 2 dollars a page. Little by little I’ve been finding that a lot of those pages are either created to show off a certain design or paper, or they are pictures of people’s kids. Since most of my scrapbooking is travel or everyday life, I want to put everything that we saw at the Maritime museum on the same two pages.

This whole thing started with a bang, but I’m running into some problems which I will tell you about tomorrow.

Oliver Edmund Wayne Bauer


When I moved into my ward there were a few girls who befriended me pretty much instantly. At first I assumed it was because one of them, Liz, felt obligated to introduce me around, but as I got to know the girls a little better I realized that maybe, just maybe, they were talking to me because they wanted to. I met one of them in Relief Society on what I felt was probably a big day for her. Apparently her husband had just told the girls that she was pregnant with her second child.

Sarah has always intrigued me because she wore awesome vintage clothing and in figure and haircut at the time, reminded me of the vintage “bubble cut” Barbie that my mom has. She also intrigued me because she made her apartment, the same floor plan as Mike’s old one, look cool. These apartments, nice as they are, rarely seem to look “cool” to me. She also let me ask her all sorts of questions that really boiled down to “So, why on earth would I want any of those kid things anyway?” and answered with honesty and good humor.

This was the beginning of a baby boom in the ward, a group of many having their first and second children. Sarah was one of the earliest in the group to have her baby, and the only one I dared ask about it, because she seemed to feel really good about the experience. This was astounding to me, because normally when you ask about someone’s labor and delivery it’s a tale of despair, woe, and shouting at one’s spouse.

Time went by and I got to know Sarah and her family a little better. She invited me over to craft, and suggested that we get together a regular craft night group for our ward. I met her husband, Jared, who I had an instant fondness for because he is going to law school, and I come from a legion of lawyers.

Their son George exemplifies one of Mike’s big fears about having kids, that despite coming from completely athletically apathetic parents, the kid loves football, basketball, and probably a few other sports I haven’t seen him play. He’s got seemingly boundless energy and it always good for a hug.

Their youngest son, Oliver, was a gorgeous little boy with eyes that were the combination of the bluest sapphire and a Caribbean ocean. I feel bad because I am generally sort of scared to hold little babies, as I feel that I make them cry, so I never took Oliver when Sarah and I were crafting and let her have both hands free, but truth is I loved looking at the kid. He was always dressed to the nines, and seemed so sweet. He seemed pretty-easy going and when he looked at you his eyes were so gorgeous.

Oliver passed away on Valentine’s Day from complications of a heart defect. He was 8 months old. I’m comforted by our belief that his family will be together again after this life, but my heart is broken for Sarah and Jared. I know that they will be okay, but to lose a child is a horrible painful thing , so if you think of it, please say a prayer for their family.

posted under Friends | 3 Comments »

The last… since when I last blogged


Hello! It's me, Shannon, your occasional blogger friend again. Looking at my blog, I see that certain projects, like the color change, have gone rather badly, and others, like making an actual banner, have gone ignored. I thought I'd give you a brief update of what's going on and make my excuses for not saying more lately at the same time.

So, just after my last entry was the Sundance Film Festival. This probably deserves it's own post, but… well… I was a Production Assistant for TVGuide. This was a good gig, with cool people, despite being a few really, really long days.

After Sundance I got a horrible chest cold. It started as a positively vicious sore throat and then became a solid 10 days of coughing harder than I thought I could. This does not deserve it's own blog post. Just know that if you hear me coughing the residual cough of February, I'm not contagious, just slightly congested.

As the cold finally waned Mike and I went on vacation. That's right, an actual vacation! Not for work! Yay! This totally deserves it's own blog post, so keep an eye out.

Upon coming back from vacation two things happened all at once. I got a Camera Assistant gig, which was really cool because it was the first time that Mike and I have been on set in the same position. And he could help me when I didn't know how to do things. At this same time, after fighting it for 2 weeks, Mike came down with the same cold. And it's been vicious to him.

I have to admit that I've been meaning to blog about a lot of these little things since we got back from San Diego, but i felt sick and busy. I was just about to write something on Valentine's night when I found out that our friends Jared and Sarah's little boy Oliver had passed away. Suddenly everything I had to tell felt a little shallow and dumb. So I felt guilty for a week and then realized that as lame an unimportant as everything I had going on felt, this is what I have going on, so I should lighten up on me a little.

So… hi. I'll try to write more. but we all know how I am, so no promises. But I hope you're all well.

I Hearby Grant You Permission


Hi everybody! Happy New Year!

I trying to finish up the Christmas projects I gave myself permission to not worry about blogging. And then Christmas ended and I decided to give myself permission to not worry about it through the holidays. Then I decided to count everything through January 6, Epiphany, as Christmas, as it is the last day of the 12 days of Christmas. So I gave… you see where this is going. The Christmas tree came down yesterday, so it’s official. It’s not the holidays, except for being the hallowed month of 2 weeks of keeping resolutions, January.

Now, I, realizing that the fire of New Year’s resolutions lasts about 3 days, and then leads to feelings of failure, and going to give myself the rest of the month to try to set some realistic goals and policies. I’d ask for suggestions, but you’re all too nice to be honest with me.

But something has come to mind repeatedly in the last few days. It was cemented talking to a friend who is one of those crafting genius people, like to the extent of making a living with her crafty knowledge. She had mentioned that she felt like she should be scrapbooking, but just wasn’t motivated.

So, here’s the thing. Yes, I could easily buy a lot of what I knit far more cheaply, quickly, and casually, than I knit it. But it makes me happy. I could go to Michael’s and buy coasters for a dollar or I can try to felt them for 6 dollars yarn, two runs of the washing machine, and a good 6 hours between knitting and felting and changing the plan once again.

On the other hand, I have little to no interest in ribbon embroidery, sewing another purse anytime soon, applique, or crocheting toilet paper cozies. I love seeing what other people do, but the idea of doing those things right now makes me twitchy. (I am afraid that the crocheted toilet paper cozy may be becoming a lost art. And does toilet paper really need to be cozier? )

So, in honor of the fact that we are all gloriously different people, and intentionally so, so here it is:

I, Shannon, who assumes this responsibility because no one might have told you this, hearby grant you permission to no longer, or never, as you desire, pursue any craft, art, or hobby, the thought of which doesn’t make you gloriously happy and more excited about life. You do not have to scrapbook, knit, ballroom dance, or fly fish, if you don’t want to, no matter how many of your friends are doing it or how many times you’ve thought “Well.. I probably should…”

Just thought you should know.

Our 2008 Christmas Card


Yes, Virginia


Hi! It's me, Shannon. I knit and stuff. I'd love to stop and tell you what I'm up to. I'd love to tell you about the wonder t-shirt. I'd love to tell you about the thing I knit with the yarn I bought myself for my birthday. I'd love to show you some screen shots of Nintendo programs wishing me a happy birthday. I'd love to tell you about my current gig. Or what craft service means. Or about a few of my Christmas decorations. But I've got work in the morning (YAY!) and I need to say my prayers and go to sleep. I'm sorry, reading public, that I have both not read your blogs for a few days or posted anything very interesting for you to read for a while. I'll just say that I hope that you are all doing well and that I hope that the holiday season is treating you well. If you're going to Liz's tomorrow, and you know who you are, have a great time! I'll try to catch up on all of your blogs soon, I swear.

In the mean time, may I recommend reading Virginia O'Hanlon's letter to the editor? It is one of my very favorite Christmas things.

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