today’s topics:  sneak peak | friday freebie | warning

(see what I mean about a.d.d.?)

Wow. I certainly have had an interesting week. I think with the stress of everything going on, it’s causing a focusing problem. lol  I’m flitting from one project to another, trying to work on it all or work on things while I’m in the mood for it–or while I’m inspired or on a roll for it.

the sneak peak

This little bout of ADD has caused me to not be able to focus on creating the next This & That kit in my normal manner. I am all over the place–I just can’t decide on things. lol Therefore, since it’s all still a work in progress, rather sharing some complete squares, I thought I’d share some of the fun elements of the kit. At least you’ll get the flav-ah.

love the lace design. and love the subway art. two of my faves.

This kit is more spring related with a hint of Easter. I debated over making it a full-on Easter kit, but thought mixing Easter-type elements into a Spring theme would be more universal. Sometimes Easter happens in March. And this year, Easter is the last week of April. So since it’s all over the place (as it appears I am too), I thought this route would be more fun. :)

The color scheme was totally inspired by a Pier 1 Imports flyer that came in the mail!

Loooved the aqua, green and yellow combination.


The kit will be up later next week.

the friday freebie

With all the photo mask stuff going on, I thought that having a photo mask Friday Freebie might help those of you who are on the fence about trying these out. :)

This one freebie can do either of these 4×6 photo choices.

When you pull up the file, it looks like this below. Look at the Layers palette and you’ll see three layers: Solid Mask, Distressed Mask and Title.

Decide which look you want–distressed or plain–and click the “eye” of the layer on the one that you don’t want. For my example, I’m going to use the Distressed Mask, so you can see that I clicked on the “eye” next to Solid Mask, thereby “hiding” that particular mask. I’ve also brought in the photo that I want to use.

Just like the other masks, move your photo just above the layer that you want, hover your mouse over the line between the two layers that you are going to mask, press the Alt key (see the “bumble bee”), then click your mouse, so that it now looks like this.

(For more details on using Masks, refer to THIS POST.)

The “love this” title is on its own layer and can be removed as well.

It’s also set to an Opacity of 75% for a different look, but you can control that as well by changing the Opacity at the top the Layers palette.

This would be cool for a blog post or for digital scrapping.

While you can save it as a JPG or PNG, saving it as  PNG will keep the background with a transparent look. If you save it as a JPG, it will save it with a white background.

I saved my examples as PNGs.

So there ya go. Give this freebie a whirl and see just how easy–AND FUN–it is to use a mask. These are Photoshop files that can be used in Photoshop, PS Elements, and Corel (I believe).

You can download this mask for free HERE.

Have fun with it! :)

the warning

I debated posting about this story, but then thought, “I have a voice. Maybe this will help someone else. I should tell people.” Because I had never heard of this.

We had a very scary incident this week. My in-laws were an inch away from being scammed out of a great deal of money. And when I say “an inch”, I mean, they had actually wired the money but were able to get it back almost immediately after sending it. Beyond lucky.

The somewhat short version of this story is someone called them, claiming to be Zach (who had a cold), and told them that he was in jail. “The mission president” had allowed “Zach” to attend the funeral of a Canadian companion’s family, who had been killed in a horrible car accident. A ride to lunch with a couple of the guys, a speeding incident, and finding marijuana in the car had led “Zach” to jail. Even though he was innocent, the very kind “sheriff” told them bail money was still needed to get him out.

“Zach” asked them not to tell us because he didn’t want to get in trouble, so they weren’t allowed to tell anyone. Well, of course if we had heard this story we would have totally known otherwise for many various reasons.

They had wired the money and she called me once for something else and then within five minutes called back to see if I’d heard from Zach that day. How lucky was it that it was an emailing day and we’d just started emailings–and he was quite late in emailing too.

She realized that she’d been scammed. She called and had the money wire cancelled immediately.

Now, this woman is incredibly intelligent. All she could think was, “I never thought it would happen to me.”

Apparently this scam is common among grandparents of college students. After talking with the mission president (the real one), he said he hadn’t really heard about it happening with missionaries though, but after passing the incident along to the higher ups in the church, they informed him that this happens 2-3 times a week!

The crazy thing is, these people knew “enough” about missionaries and I don’t know if they guessed that Zach had had a Canadian mission companion or knew he had. But my in-laws knew he had. It all sounded so convincing. And how did they know that they had a missionary grandson?

On top of that, they called the following morning at 6 a.m. asking if they were going to send the money! They didn’t give up!

Dan says, “There should be a special place in hell for these people.”

We’ve had lots of questions, ‘what if’s, and ‘how did they know’s.

So I just want everyone who hears this story to pass it along to someone else and tell them to pass it along. 


I want to do my part and get the word on this scam out to everyone so that it will happen less and less and discourage these scam artists. Especially tell the grandparents who have older grandchildren in college or on a mission. Because like I say, my incredibly intelligent mother-in-law never thought it would happen to her.

And I just want to add that as I was typing all this up, Zach’s mission president allowed him to call home this morning and we got to talk for about 15 minutes. So that was just a super fun surprise! I haven’t heard his voice since Christmas. We’re officially at “less than three weeks” now for him to come home.

Can’t wait. :)

Have a wonderful weekend!