Saturday, August 25, 2012

Are you a Warrior?

Well, I Survived Warrior Dash...

...and loved almost every minute of it!  Warrior Dash claims it's "the craziest frickin' day of your life!"  Pretty darn close to it!  It is "3.2 Hellish Miles" up Windham Mountain, New York.  I am much more familiar with skiing down those runs rather than running up them.  Every half hour 600 runners (YES! SIX-HUNDRED) take off, through the flaming gates and up the mountain.  The Warrior Dash folks set up 14 obstacles at this Windham race.    
Check out the little "Battleground" photos at

You'll notice a theme of crawling, barbed wire, mud, climbing, mud and barbed wire!
Our group of seven had bright neon orange shirts.  No problem spotting each other!  My group pretty much left me in the dust (a.k.a. mud) right from the beginning.  That first 1 1/2 miles was pretty much up hill.  I quickly got
tired and, along with most everyone else, ended up walking up.  Even that was quite strenuous! Jim was a sweetheart and stayed with me.   :)  There were a few that were able to run it.  Maybe next year ~ I'll have to do more mountain training!

Even so, I did ALL of these obstacles!  Actually, there was no Capsized
Catamaran as the pond was too low.  Instead, we had to trudge through thigh high water and MUD!  I think some people lost their sneakers in the mud.  I was really worried about the walls we had to climb, but I had no problem with them at all.  All the running and weight training definitely helped in that respect.  I think I found the jump over the fire (Warrior Roast) the most intimidating.

My official time was 1:39:30.15.  Not too great, but no matter.  And that included a lot of waiting time in there for several of the obstacles.
I got my sister Barbara to take lots and lots of photos of everyone.  Having those bright shirts really helped!  I took a disposable waterproof camera along with me and tucked it in my clothes when doing the obstacles.  There were professional photographers ( at several locations along the course.  Some excellent shots from them!

If interested, photos (taken by my sister Barbara and myself) are at

Several days before the race I made up some scrapbook pages where I could just plug in a photo once I had one.  So here, you can just see how easy digital scrapbooking makes it to produce multiple pages quickly.  Once you have a basic template, just move the photos you want into the layout. 
Here's a few examples:

[using Scrapgirls papers and elements]

Diane and Jim at the finish line
Kelly at the finish line

 [using Creative Victorian Designs "Inner Storm"]
Bill enters the Mud

Jim on the Great Warrior Wall

[using Scrapgirls papers and elements]
Colleen the Warrior

Warriors Eric, Bill and Marc

[using Creative Victorian Design "Inner Fire"]
Jim leaps over the Warrior Roast

Kelly does a Dive Roll over the Warrior Roast

These last two weren't exact photo replacements, but I still had a basic template to use, so it was very quick to rotate and alter slightly.  I made some up for everyone and was able to print them and provide everyone with digital files.  Love Digital!!

Warrior Diane

Monday, August 6, 2012

Pre- Warrior Dash

Sometimes, you don't have to have photos on your Scrapbook page.  That's a very difficult concept for me.  However, I don't have any pictures of the Warrior Dash  - it hasn't happened yet ;)
Here is a page with just journaling and a few elements.  Since this race is going to be a dirty, grungy type of race up a Mountain (Windham Mountain...where I usually ski DOWN!) and over obstacles, I chose a grungy paper, and grungy, scratchy type overlay.  I made a copy of the Warrior Dash image and made it into a "sticker".

We are in the Sunday, August 12, 11:30am time slot.  Approx. 600 runners start out every half hour!  Insane!!   I will NOT be running with a camera.  I'm hoping my sister, Barbara, will get some good photos so I can create a page or two.  Stay tuned for more pages and race results!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Heat

It has been SOOoooo HOT!  But, then, it IS summer, so it's supposed to be
hot. I can't say I'm a big fan of humidity, though.  Every time I move, I feel like a need to take a cool shower.  Unfortunately, we have no central air.  We have ceiling fans, window fans, table top fans, an attic fan and an A/C unit in one bedroom and our family room.  The family room only cools down slightly (it's a fairly large room), so I tend to just stand in front of the unit.  Thank heaven for the one in the bedroom, we can get a good night's sleep at least! 

I have been trying to go kayaking these last couple of weeks.  It's been too hot, though.  You would think it's cooler on the water, but not so much.  Sometimes there is a slight breeze, but generally there is NO shade on the lake or rivers.  By 9am, it's hot already and too late to go out .  We'll try again when it cools down to the 80's!  At least the kayaks are now "de-spider-fied".  Definitely need to get a cap so we don't have to deal with the spider stress every year! (Although, I'm sure the neighbors will miss my yearly spider dance in the back yard!  Haha!)
Here is a scrapbook page I did from a kayak excursion my daughter and I did two years ago on the Rondout.  It was a nice trip to the Lighthouse and the Hudson River, then back. 
With traditional scrapbooking, I used to like to tear vellum paper and
layer them on top of each other, tucking photos between layers.  I have a ScrapGirls Photoshop Elements action that performs paper tears, so gave it a try digitally.  I was happy with the outcome.

Stay cool everyone and enjoy the summer.  Winter will be here before you know it!  :)   


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Bunny's Basket

Bunny is a handful!  I have to wait until he's sleeping before I can get on the computer.  Before, he would just bite my feet. Now, he can jump up onto my chair and he tries to lick my chin while I type.  He is very slowly starting to learn the word "NO!", just not quite fast enough for me!  It seems every minute of the day that he is awake it's PLAYTIME!!

With the weather getting to be a bit nicer (although somewhat rainy lately), I've been able to get out on my bike.  I am so lucky to be 5 minutes from the Walkway over the Hudson and the Hudson Valley Rail Trail.  Just LOVE that path!  I am also only about 15 minutes from the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, and 20 from the Dutchess Rail Trail.  Life is good!! :)

I didn't want to leave Bunny home alone while I was out riding, so started a search for a basket to attach to the bike that he could sit in.  I found quite a few online.  Most did not have very good ratings when dogs were over 10lbs.  Bunny is now 5 months and is nearly 12 lbs.  I then came upon  The basket looked nice and I decided to take a chance.  I'm so glad I did!!  It's an EXCELLENT basket, very high quality, sturdy and so very easy to attach/detach from the bike's handlebars.  Most of all, Bunny LOVES it! 

We've been out several times now.  Each time, he creates quite a sensation.  The children we pass by usually point and yell "Look, a doggy in a basket!".  With adults I get either the Wizard of Oz tune, dum de dum de dum dum, dum de dum de dum dum...  or someone will pipe up with "I'll get you my pretty!"  Haha!   There are also a lot of comments about how Bunny has "a dog's life" and gets to ride comfortably in a basket.  

Here's a scrap layout I did where I was trying to create a cluster with an assortment of digital embellishments.  These digital elements are from Creative Victorian Designs.

Here's another page.  I cut him out and tried to do more journaling than I usually do.  The paper has a crinkled look so I made the text look like it bends with the paper.  Love these ScrapGirls actions and styles for PSE! 
Can you tell Bunny just got groomed?  We are so next-door neighbor has a Dog Grooming business!  YES!  
"Tails A Wagging Dog Grooming".  Joanne did a terrific job (don't know how she got him to be still!).  

Have fun everyone!  Summer is nearly here!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


It's Easter!  How I used to LOVE seeing that basket first thing Easter Sunday!  Marshmallow PEEPS (Yes!), jelly beans, malted milk ball robin's eggs, oh and Cadbury Eggs, and don't forget that big chocolate Rabbit!  That bunny chocolate is the best!  Don't we all eat the ears first? Haha!

Fast forward 30 years, and it's MY children that hop out of bed to find
their baskets first thing Easter Sunday morning.  And they are still filled with the same goodies as they were "back in the day".  They used to love the little Easter egg hunts we had - outdoors when we lived in Tampa, FL, and indoors up here in New York when the weather didn't cooperate.  It was always a challenge finding hiding places indoors!

This year it just won't be the same.  :(  
Kyle is visiting friends for a week or so in Asheville, NC.  Kelly has a track meet the day before Easter and won't be able to come home from college.  We won't be going out to visit with family as Jim is "on call" all weekend.  It will just be the two of us, celebrating a very quiet Easter. 

Here's a scrapbook page I did a year or so ago.  I was learning how to use the opacity option.  I cropped myself out of the original photo, enlarged it and changed the opacity to about 30 percent so it blended better into the page.  I just loved this particular kit from Scrap Girls.

The photo is from Easter 1967.  Me, Mom and Dad, the twins, Barbara
and Beverly, and Craig.  All in our new clothes, and of course, the Easter bonnets!

We may not have all the goodies we've enjoyed in past years, or family to spend the day with, but...we still certainly celebrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our savior! 

Easter Blessings,

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Puppy Kisses

We've got a new addition!  Bunny, our baby Norwich Terrier.  What a
I had a dog growing up, and Jim had several, but since we've been married (29 years), we've only had cats.  But our kitties passed on several years ago and I still really miss them.  We've been talking for some time about having a dog this time.  As much as we love large dogs (I'd love a Retriever or even a Newfoundland!), with us both working, we thought maybe something a bit smaller. 
After some searching, Jim found the Norwich Terriers.  And, then I did some searching and found a breeder in New York about two hours north of us.  There was one little pup still available in their last litter, born on January 16.
Jim wanted to name a puppy "Bunny".  Too funny!  The only pup available
was a male, but he's still "Bunny"!!  Kind of like "A boy named Sue",
He cried and barked and put up a fuss for the first 30 mins or so of the ride home, but then settled down.  He's been out a few times since and is starting to get used to the carrier and the car. 

The day before he came home was spent trying to get ready.  PETCO was soooo overwhelming!  Rather than a hard case or wire crate, we got a wire pen for him.  Although he'd rather hang out with us, he does like his pen.  Plenty of room for his carrier, potty patch, food/water and toys.
He's sleeping the whole night.  Probably because he plays so hard!  I know I'm getting my exercise running around with him and playing tug of war with toys!  He loves his little stuffed ferret.  Oh, and our sneakers.  We're working on breaking that habit.

Now I've got something new to Scrapbook!!!  So, my first BUNNY page.
I used a Scrap Girls template and added the photos.  I did a bit more journaling than I usually do.  The slight brick texture on the background paper was done with a digital brush.  I found a clip and a tag from my stash of elements.  To make it look more realistic, the clip and tag are shadowed to give them depth.
I layered the tag on top of the clip, then erased a small portion to make it look like the tag is hanging from the clip.  Same thing with the clip and the frame.  I placed the clip on top of the frame and then erased a small portion of the top of the clip to make it look like it was hanging from it.  Make sense?

I'm sure there will be more Bunny to come!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March Birthday

Kyle's birthday is Sunday.  I absolutely cannot believe I am old enough to have a 24 year old son!  Haha, I still have vivid memories of that pregnancy and delivery.  He came 5 weeks early, so when the contractions started, I wasn't quite sure if that's what they truly were.  Jim and I had only gone to 2 Lamaze classes.  After a quick call to the Dr. it was off to the hospital during the early morning rush hour traffic.  No worries, the contractions were still about 5 minutes apart. :)   Once there...he was born just over an hour later.  Very time for drugs.  He was so tiny, 5lbs 11oz.  Beautiful reddish blonde fuzzy hair and gorgeous blue eyes.
When he was still very young, I decided I did not want years and years of bad pictures.  I had my Canon Ae-1 and took a photography class.  One of the best things I ever did!  Of course, now most photography is digital and that's much easier.  And, it's so easy to just select "AUTO" and start shooting.  I have to force myself to choose "MANUAL" and work with aperture and shutter speed.  Well worth the effort, though! 
Here's one page I did from photos when the kids were a bit younger.  We were all at the Capital District Scottish Games near Albany, NY.  An annual favorite!   Here I was learning how to color paper templates and use metal styles.

Love the red in this one!  Kyle is with Reese Roper from the band "Five Iron Frenzy", a big favorite back then!
And here is a preview of the cover of a book I am in the process of doing for him with a mix of photos and scrapbook pages.  My Mom took Kyle to England as a graduation gift and I'm just now working with all the photos. Here's another double layout.  No seam in this one like I had in my wedding layout.  I have been working with using photo masking to get the photos in the block letters, and have learned how to get a dimensional look on the letters - more fun techniques!

I suspect this book will take quite some time to finish!

Happy Spring everyone!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

March 19, 1983 - "I Do!"

It's almost 29 years ago Jim and I were married.  My how time flies - it seems like a lifetime ago!
We met March 16, 1981, had our first official date the next day, St. Patrick's Day, at the White House in Fishkill, NY, and were married two years later in Tampa, FL.  So much has been packed into all these years: fun with family, wild times with friends, vacations, work, business trips, KIDS!, moving, pets, schools, sports, Church.  Lots of ups and downs, fun times, ick times ~ marriage!
I was looking through photos of our wedding.  The Album is falling apart and the pictures have some damage.  I got a new album for the pictures, so hopefully there won't be too much more deterioration.  I did scan them all and fixed them up a bit in PSE7.  Then, of course, had do some scrap pages of them! 

Love the look of the folded corner and the chain coming out of the flowers!  The chain was done using a dynamic brush and then an overlay of gold tone was added.  I also like the PSE style that lets me make the photo look like
a dimensional plaque.
These next three are some "Easy Pages", meaning I did not assemble all the paper layers, fonts and elements.  These are from "Love Honor and Cherish" by Scrap Girls designer Brandy Murry.  I just added the photos...
Marie Liberatore, Jim, Diane, Leo Ladaga


This last one is a double page scrapbook page.  I did a left side and a right side and tried to erase the center seam.  I don't think I have it quite right and will need to keep practicing.
L-R: Earl and Kris Medeiros, Shari Hugo, Gretchen Schimmel, Alan and Charleen Don, Jim and Diane, Pam Turner, Beverly (Turner) Nuermberger, Bob Turner, Phyllis and Harry Heyworth

Just love looking at pictures from "back in the day"!   Brings back so many wonderful memories and feelings.



Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Loving the Weather, Good and Bad

"...oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful..."
It's SNOWING!!  And, luckily, today is my day off!  I work part time now, 4 days a week, with Wednesdays off (usually).  So, I get to watch the snow today and sit in front of a nice fire and enjoy a mint hot chocolate!
In one of my earlier scrapbook pages, I made the entire photo my scrap page - very eye catching.  Then added a few small embellishments.  It's a very simple page and still one of my favorites.  I DO love the SNOW!

Continuing on a weather theme...
It's hard to believe it was just six months ago, that Hurricane Irene hit here.  Actually, she was downgraded to a Tropical Storm by the time she reached the Mid-Hudson valley, but the damage caused was still devastating!  The
day after, I took a walk around and got some photos.  It was nice to chat with neighbors who were also out to see the aftermath.  I put together a page and included a large circle shape to offset the pictures, using it for a title and some journaling.  With the journaling, you really get to tell the story of the pictures and what else was happening behind them.  A nice keepsake to look back on.

Snow, rain... as much as I enjoy them, it will be nice to see those glorious warm, sunny days of summer arrive!  Stay warm and safe everyone!


Monday, February 20, 2012

A Surprise Visit

Don't you love surprises?!  At the last minute, Jim and I decided we could, in fact, make a trip upstate to see our daughter Kelly compete in a Track meet at Cornell University.  I had no time to make the usual Chocolate Chip cookies and shop for strawberries, track meet staples, but as least I could make a PB&J, and bring up some Gatorade (and raisin bread and a little toy stuffed "red dragon" - Go Cortland Red Dragons!!).

We made it to Cornell's beautiful campus and to Barton Hall's indoor track in plenty of time.  This winter, the weather has been quite cooperative!  Kelly was warming up for the Pole Vault, so I got one of her friends (and suite mate), Sarah, to bring the bag of over to her.  Poor Kelly was quite confused.  You see, Sarah's Mom brings goodies to each meet for Sarah, and has included Kelly, since we're a bit too far to make it to each meet.  So Kelly thought this was from Sarah's Mom, especially since she had NO idea we were there!  HAHA!  She was finally convinced we were here and looked up to find us waving like maniacs in the bleachers! FUN!

She did a great job, too!  I guess having Mom and Dad there added to the incentive to do well.  She had a PR (personal record) of 3.30m, or 10'10"!  Now, depending on where your son or daughter is in their pole vaulting career, you could say a jump of 10'10" is great or just OK.  To us, this is unbelievable!  You see, Kelly never picked up a pole until the last couple of weeks of Indoor Track last year.  Our high school does not compete in that event.  It did always look interesting to her, so when she arrived at college (as a Long Jump special talent at State University of New York (SUNY) Cortland) last January, she asked the coaching staff if she could give it try.  
I think they're glad she asked :)

I've done only a couple of scrapbook pages on this, but I'm sure there will be more to come.  The first one was of the Cortland Men and Women's 2011 Pole Vault team.  Kelly was the only woman pole vaulter during last year's spring season, so it's just her and the guys.  It was a very close knit group.  This page was thrown together very quickly.  I brought my laptop with me and spent some time scrapping in my hotel room after the meet.  I found the Cortland logos online and used those on the page.  I purchased an "action" from my favorite site,, to make the one photo look like several multiple photos.  (Kelly is front row to the right.)

This second page shows some photos of her making her previous PR jump of 10'8".  The digital papers used were also from the Scrap Girls site, as was the "tear action" to give the look of torn paper.  It makes it look more like a traditional scrapbook page, rather than digital. 

I love how this last page particularly gives me more of a record than just writing on the back of a photo!  But, more on journaling at a later time...

Bye for now.  Hope fun surprises await you all!

Friday, February 10, 2012

NY Giants - Superbowl XLVI Champs

Superbowl is over.  That makes some folks happy (the hype is over!) and some folks just plain lost with no football to look forward to.  I enjoy football, but I'm not an avid fan.  We lived in Tampa, Florida, for ten years back in the '80's.  We had season tickets on the 40 yard line, up in the nosebleed section.  Got to see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers up close,
sort of.  That was lots of FUN!
(Oh, and remember the USFL??!!!  We got to see the Tampa Bay Bandits.  And Burt Reynolds, a part owner of the team, and Lonnie Anderson.  Our seats were just under the press box that they were in!)

We've stuck by the Bucs all these many years.  The year they beat the Philadelphia Eagles and then went on to beat the Raiders and WIN the Superbowl, well, it was just amazing!  So, I really am happy for all the New York Giants fans.  CONGRATULATIONS!!

We do enjoy sports and so a lot of my scrapbook pages have a sports theme.  Biking, skiing, kayaking, High School and College sports, like Soccer, Track and Field, Gymnastics, Swimming, to name a few!  Haha!!!  I'll probably end up sharing quite a few of them!  But for now, I was thinking football and a scrapbook page I did that showed a technique that I really like.  I saw this, I'll call it "Frame pop-out" technique, on the Scrapgirls site and spent some time trying to duplicate it.  It works really well with photos that show some type of action.  Check out this football scrapbook page where Josh is shown outside of the photo's frame.  A fun technique and very eye-catching!

And, again, CONGRATULATIONS to the New York GIANTS and their many, many fans!

'til next time,

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I can Ski!

Wednesday is typically my day off.  I was hoping for a lazy day, but it wasn't to be.  I had my final Dr. appointment.  It took a chunk out of my day, but worth it to find out I'm just fine -  no more pneumonia!  I was told to rest, and rest I did.  I pretty much felt like I was decomposing.  Now it is time to get back to being active!

This time of the year, active means hitting the ski slopes.  There is definitely a lack of snow this year.  The ski areas in the Catskills say they have plenty, though.  Last year, my first day out I was able to get in 11 runs, from top to bottom.  This year, still being a bit winded from the pneumonia, I suspect I may only get 2 or 3 in.  We'll see...

In March 2009 we had a wonderful family vacation, skiing in Lake Tahoe.  Much to our delight, we arrived in the middle of a snow storm in the Sierra Nevadas and experienced almost 4 FEET of snow.  Skiing was phenomenal!!!  My new Nikon D60 got a great workout.  Yes, I ski with my camera.  We still had a professional shot taken at Heavenly Valley ski resort.  We rarely have one of the four of us together, so I treasure this one.

Because I do love the winter, one of the first digital scrap book kits I purchased from Scrap Girls was "Flake Flurry".  It had some lovely digital paper, elements and word art in cool blue tones.  So, as soon as we got home, I put together a very simple layout.  I didn't use any "techniques".  I just put a grungy frame around the main photo and a border separating the three photos I took at the bottom.  Then a few snowflake elements to add interest.  I was surprised at how quickly it came together.
I hope you all are enjoying your winter so far!

SkiChic,  Diane

Sunday, January 22, 2012

First Blog Post

After waiting for many years, I've decided to finally take the plunge and create a blog.  I think it may be more for
myself, to document what and how I create, but I hope you will enjoy it, too.

About me ~ I grew up in Wappingers Falls, NY.  75 miles north of "the city", New York City, that is, and 75 miles south of Albany, our state capital.  I did live in Tampa, FL, for 10 years.  Married Jim and had two children down there.  We moved back up to Ulster County in the Mid-Hudson Valley where I get to cross the Hudson River daily.
We've been married 29 years this March.  Our son is 23, living at home and our daughter is 19, away at college pursuing a degree in Physical Education.

I think I truly got started "crafting" back in 1992.  I saw a demo using rubber stamps, embossing powders and a heat tool.  I was hooked!  Of course, I was going to save $$ by creating my own cards and tags for the kids.  HA! I needed all the latest and greatest!  I'm sure there are some of you nodding along.  You've been there, too :)
To help supplement this, I submitted stamped items to Rubber Stamp companies and magazines.  Probably at least of third, or more, of the stamps and stamping products I have were the result of winning a contest!
I have been published in industry magazines, VampStampNews, Stamper's Sampler and Rubber Stamper.
I still do some rubber stamping, but over the years branched into some other areas.  I have enjoyed making books, particularly the "star book".  Using mixed media on a canvas always makes me feel like such an Artist.
Most of those have been gifts to friends and family.  I love making jewelry, both stringing and more delicate bead stitching. 

However, my Passion (capital "P") is Digital Scrapbooking.  I like all things digital/technical, so I'm a perfect fit for this.  Jim gave me Photoshop Elements V7 as a Christmas gift in 2009.  I purchased an e-book from and I was off and running.  No more glue, scissors, hard to fix mistakes with photos and paper.  Digital is so forgiving!
And, let me say, Scrap Girls has been a truly wonderful experience!  Such a great group of talented scrapbookers and very supportive.

So, what does a digital scrapbook page look like?  I'll share my first attempt at one. 

Certainly nothing elaborate, but I was so thrilled!  I worked hard to get the shading right to make the tags look like they were 3-D and layered on top.  That shading is a Snap, now!  I'll share more of my pages as we go along.  Thanks for looking!  I'd enjoy reading any comments you might have, too!