Monday, 28 June 2010

New products in store, Tricolor

Today I have two new products live in my shop at JessicaSprague.com. I think at least some of you Americans will love this one as it's just in time for your big day on Sunday. Even if you happen to live elsewhere, I think there will be some great stuff in there for you as well. :)

The first product is a paper pack caller Tricolor (heh)
Tricolor
(Click on the image to go directly to the product)

The other product is a matching elements pack
Tricolor
(Click on the image to go directly to the product)

The paper pack includes 12 papers with a vintage red, white, and blue theme. Some of the papers have a traditional stars pattern, but I also made sure to include some non themed beautiful patterns as well as some solids.

The elements pack carries the vintage feel through and contains 25 items: 2 starry rubons (in colour and white), 2 wordart, 3 stitched flagtags (one of which is without drop shadow), 1 journaling card, 2 paper flowers, 10 numbered round tags (0-9) and 1 round tag with a star, 1 stacked paper cutout, 2 .png rubons, and 1 brush set with four brushes.

I have to admit, I am in love with the look of this stuff! I've had this urge to print everything out and cover my house with it all week. Hee!

Now, I also want to share with you some gorgeous stuff that our fabulous creative team have done with the kits.

Erica made this wonderful page






















Jenn did this beautiful page






















And Chrissy did this lovely page























Amazing stuff, eh? I love our creative team!

Sunday, 27 June 2010

On camera bags

Like any other camera happy woman I have been quite unhappy for the longest time about the über fugly camera bags on the regular camera/photography market. In the last couple of years a bunch of sites have popped up selling really awesome camera bags that actually look like handbags. Now that is a concept I like.

The first one I came upon a few years back was jill-e.
Their medium bag in chocolate suede was really the first bag I had seen that looked nice as well as was practical.
(Image from Jill-e)

I couldn't afford the price tag it came with though and decided to try to make it work with regular bags for a while. My friend Anneli helped me make an insert, and I tried picking apart an old regular camera bags, using the removable padding in my several different handbags. While it kept the camera safe it certainly wasn't user friendly as everything kept moving around in there.

Then I found Kelly Moore, and their red croc pattern bag. Oh swoon!






















(Image from Kelly Moore)

I really love the dark red of this one. But spending that amount of money on a red bag ... hm, no, even for me that would be very irresponsible.

After that I saw Epiphanie and, seriously, their bags are off the charts cool. I love their Lola bag. Sadly, when I was searching they only offered it in red. And even though it called to me, the same logic still applied for red bags. (However, they now offer it in black as well)

OK, so now I really was hooked on finding the perfect camera bag. I kept searching and came upon *emera. Oh my. Not only is the bag totally stylish, it can also hold a laptop. Man, that is perfect for when I travel for work. I wouldn't have to bring two bags or feel forced to leave the camera at home.






















(Image from *emera)

Unfortunately the bag is currently out of stock. I sent an inquiry when the bag would be available again, and was told mid May. If you are interested in the bag you should contact them to see when it will back in stock. I think this is the bag that Ali Edwards uses.

After this I was a little bummed and kind of gave up on finding the perfect bag  for a while. But the idea of being able to keep both a laptop and a camera in the same bag stayed with me. While browsing in an electronics store I saw a funky bag from Golla that I quite liked. It's not stylish like any of the previous bags, but it's cool. It's called Grit, which I guess explains the style pretty well, lol.

So I bought it. It was cheap compared to all the above bags. It holds, and this I can say from experience, one 17" laptop with charger and chord, one Nikon D80 camera with 18-135mm lens, one make up bag, two mobile phones, one large wallet, one hard cover for my glasses, one key chain, and one scarf. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Now, I am very happy with the Golla bag. But I still wanted something more stylish as the Golla is very casual. And if I'm not carrying a laptop it's pretty big to lug around.  So I decided that I needed another bag.

Hey, I'm a woman, right? Right!

But after having already spent money on one camera bag, I knew I couldn't justify getting any of the above bags. But fear not my friends. A woman will always find a way when it comes to shopping.

Enter Jo Totes. I found this site just the other week and instantly fell in love with the adorable ruffles of the Rose bag.






















(Image from Jo Totes)

And guess what? Yesterday I ordered it! Woohoo! It should be here in a few weeks.

So that is my story for you on choosing a camera bag. If you are in the market for one, do check out these fabulous places. If anyone has any tips to share about other places that I haven't mentioned here, then please, do share! Even if I have no business what so ever getting any more bags any time soon, I love to window shop, and I think perhaps it would be helpful for other readers as well. :)

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Aaaand we're back!

Woohoo, my photos are back up. I took the plunge and accepted Photobucket's hand in hosting marriage, lol.

So yay, now I can post my P52 photos that I have been holding off on for, wow, five weeks now. Ghasp! Way to keep up with the weeks, Linda!

#20, 2010
This was the week of our trip to Italy. How could I not choose a pic from the Michael Bublé show? :D I like this one because he is featured so many times. There can never be too much Michael for my taste!


#21, 2010
This week I went on a trip with work to the north of Sweden and we had the opportunity to take a raft trip down a beautiful river. The weather was perfect, just warm enough to be out in a t-shirt, sunny and no wind. It was perfectly still and quiet there on the river. I took this right before we set out.


#22, 2010
In October I planted some allium bulbs, only half expecting anything to come of it - I am a terrible gardner. But they all came up, and they are all gorgeous. I am so chuffed. I was out in the garden and saw that there were lots of bees and bugs flying around and so I rushed in to get my camera to capture one.


#23, 2010
We only just started to have good enough weather to sit outside and have dinner after work. This one was a grilled chicken burger with feta dressing and a glass of good chardonnay. Yum!


#24, 2010
Mmmm, summer. Does this picture need any more introduction?


#25,2010
Yesterday was Midsummer's Eve and we clebrated as always with my husband's family with good food and lots of laughs. It's a tradition I don't want to miss! Here's everyone toasting during dinner.


And just for kicks, here's what I ate, aside from the obligatory strawberries of course. :) New potatoes and pickled hering is a must. The salmon and boiled eggs are a plus. Sour creme and chives are important too. Delish!


OK, so a lot of food in this group of photos. What can I say? I love food, lol!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

The P52 post that wasn't

This post was going to be devoted to Project52. I had four weekly photos to share. They were beautiful too. But then I went and participated in a highly successful bloghop the other day (thank you sooooo much everyone for participating, it was a blast) and the amount of visits here made the bandwith on my Photobucket account max out. Bwah! Who knew? Not I. Not that they had a limit. Not that I would ever be in danger of surpassing it!

So if you are new to this blog, and there are just a bunch of ugly little squares where my colourful and glossy photos should be, I am terribly sorry! I am currently looking into going pro - on Photobucket that is - but I am usure if I want to make that commitment ... It feels awfully big. Like getting married almost ... Not that I have had any other (again, online photo storage that is) for years and years but I do admit to eyeing other potentials from time to time. I have to say, Flickr is and has been since the beginning very tempting. I have just been too settled, and quite frankly lazy lol, to move everything over.

So, what I really wanted to say was "I'm sorry, but no photos today".

I can, however, link to a layout I scrapped for one of the Birthday Challenges over at JessicaSprague.com this past weekend.

The challenge was to use the quote

"Everything you can imagine is real"

by Pablo Picasso. I created the wordart as a freebie for the challenge and also asked everyone to use a colour in the green colour family and use circles in the LO. Here's my own take on that challenge.
Imagine LO
(Click on the image to go to the gallery and see more layouts for the challenge)

I used papers and the pearl buttons from my Make a Splash kit and one of the templates in the It's a start 2 set.

It's been ages since I scrapped last. Mostly when I sit at the computer, and I admit that happens quite a lot lol, it's to work on my designs. To just play and put something together was so freeing. I loved how  much I enjoyed working on it and accomplished I felt when I had finished the layout. I really must do some more scrapping!

OK, so Friday is a big holiday around these parts of the world and I will be off celebrating Midsummer's Eve all day. So if you don't hear back from me in a couple of days, you know what I'm up to. Hee! I promise I will work on those photos too.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

The first ever jessicasprague.com birthday bloghop - with freebies galore!

Welcome to the celebration of the year! That's right, this weekend we are going all out and partying til the sun goes up (and down, and up, and down again) to celebrate that JessicaSprague.com turns 3. Woohoo!

And what better way to celebrate a birthday than with a bombastic and bootilicious bloghop (ok, so rhyming isn't my forte exactly, lol)? Right, I can't think of anything either.

First, if you came to me directly, please go and see the birthday queen herself, Jessica Sprague first, so that you can participate in the whole bloghop. I assure you, you do not want to miss any part of it.

OK, so here are the rules to abide by:

Easy peasy right? You just go from blog to blog to blog  ... to blog and so on ... yeah, there are 33 of us participating, which means 33 pieces of awesomeness! :D Once you have all the downloads, unzip them and find all the little quote strips we have included in our files. Put them together into a full quote. Email Tori to have a chance at the prize at the end of the rainbow.

So what does my contribution look like then? And how to get it? Here you go! Click on the image below and the kit is yours. Sorry the bloghop has ended. Please check my shop as of next week, where you will be able to purchase the kit.
Photobucket


Now, to continue the party, go and see my girl Danielle Thompson of Kitschy Digitals. She's got a great mini kit for you as well.

Also, remember that we have lots of other goodies going on:
*The store wide sale (all digital products and all current self paced classes) of 20% off is still going on.
*Registration is going on for the forthcoming FREE class "Computer Tricks for Cards".
*The birthday challenges are going on all weekend in the forum - the first challenge is live now!

Have a wonderful birthday weekend everyone!

Monday, 14 June 2010

Brand new release today - Make a Splash

Last post from me today, I promise! I just wanted to tell you about my brand new kit. It's one paper pack and one elements pack all devoted to summer. I am in love with cool, breezy, summery colours and have been wanting to create something with them for a while. The outcome is this new kit.

Make a Splash Paper Pack
Make a Splash
(click the image to go to the product)

This paper pack contains cool and breezy papers in colours inspired by a day at the beach on a beautiful summer's day. There are twelve 12x12 papers in the pack; four patterned papers, four solid papers, and four background papers with a beautiful subtle pattern. All the papers are beautifully textured and grungy.

Make a Splash Elements Pack
Make a Splash
(click the image to go to the product)

This elements pack includes beautiful items that are designed to coordinate with the Make a Splash Paper Pack but will also work perfectly on their own or with other products.


The pack contains 27 items: Three round paper tags, three square paper tags, four metal rimmed pearl buttons, two journaling cards in different sizes, two masks to use as frames or journaling cards, three wordart stickers, six glassy accent words, one glitter sticker, two water splash .abr brushes, two water splash .pngs. *Not all items are show in the preview image.

Here are beautiful pages by the always so awesome CT girls.
Miki Kreuger made this page






















Chrissy made this page






















Kelly made this page

This one is made by Michelle Seizys

Monica Lifferth did this page






















Kimberly Hammond made this page






















I think I might be the luckiest designer on the planet, these girls are so talented and they turn my stuff into beautiful works of art! Heart!

Ok, so remember that all the digi products at jessicasprague.com are still on birthday sale. So if you like any of the stuff I have posted today, and you don't have it already, then this is the perfect time to pick it up.

Oh, and as a last small treat, the frame that Kim used in her layout above will be part of this week's OBW. :D Stay tuned for that!

New digi scrap products

I think it's been way waaaay too long since I posted something about my digi stuff. So I thought I'd share a little. I've been a busy little bee as of late and put up quite a lot of stuff in my shop.

The Budoir Solids Paper Pack
Budoir Solids
(click image to go to the product)

This large paper pack of colourful solid papers coordinates perfectly with the Classic Budoir Paper Pack. There are 18 12x12 papers in an array of beautiful colours in the pack. All the papers are highly textured.

Miki Kreuger made this layout with these papers:























Here's a page by Michelle Seizys






















The 7 Days in May Template
7 Days in May
(click on image to go to the product)

This was originally a freebie for the seven days of challenges Liv and I did on the Spraground in may. It's a 12x12 fully-layered .psd template with room for up to seven photos. There is ample journaling space for you to tell your story and by adding papers and embellishments of your own choice the possibilities are endless.

Joan Samuels did this page






















Jenn McCambe did this page























and here is a page by Michelle Seizys






















Glassy Alpha
Glassy Alpha
(click image to go to product)

This set includes one uppercase and one lower case full alpha a-z, numbers 0-9, as well as punctuation that all look like beautiful pieces of glass. Also included in this product is a teal version of each alpha set. All the sets feature a beautiful drop shadow.

Life Is Good Template and QP
Life is Good
(click image to go to product)

This is a 12x12 fully-layered .psd template that is designed to showcase up to three photos and to let you tell the story behind them. The template is elegant and sleek in design and very versatile as there is ample room for your personal touches.

As a bonus there is also a 12x12 .png Quick Page included featuring beautiful cool papers and grungy paper frames.

Use the Quick Page to create a beautiful layout in a matter of minutes – just add your photos - or use the template to customize the look to your own needs.

Reeta Treat did this page






















Heather Prins did this page






















And Kelly did this one






















Alright, I think I need to break this post up, it's getting out of control, lol!
Thank you everyone for your sweet comments on my photos from the trip. In reality, it was totally and completely all due to the goregous places we saw, and probably not so much my abilities, lol. But thank you anyway.

Juls, you asked about my process? Do I get perfect shots in camera? Do I edit? Do I use actions?
LOL, no I do not always take perfect shots. Far from it. But I do think I've got enough knowledge to know how to get a good enough exposure and how to compose a  decent shot. If I shoot in RAW, which I admit to not always doing - yes really, well then it's a no brainer, I have to edit. If I shoot in JPEG I will most likely, unless the exposure is way off for some reason, only add some extra contrast and then sharpen. If I am lazy and don't want to do it on my own I'll use an action from Totally Rad called Boutwell Magic Glasses which does just that, add contrast and sharpen.

But teach? LOL, nah, I don't feel I am proficient enough to tell others what to do. I know it instinctively when I have the camera transfixed to my face but I will leave the teaching to the pros, lol. After helping out in the forum for Candice Stringham's classes at jessicasprague.com I can surely say that I got nothing on the pros, lol. Candice rocks!

Tammy, on the camera in the arena business, let me just say that I got some great smuggling moves. :) No, really, I just had it in my bag under a scarf. Ha! We walked right up to the arena. They took our tickets and in we went. No problem at all, right? Wrong.

About half an hour before the concert was about to start a bunch of big lads walked down each lane and placed themselves on little stools, facing the crowd. If they saw someone with a camera bigger than an inch they flew up from their seat, ran over, and screamed that if the camera wasn't put away they would confiscate it.

OK, so I don't remember enough Italian to know that they actually said confiscate, but I did pick up that they told people to put the camera away. I was right at the end of our row so there would be no way in hell that I could pick the camera up and once again I started to despair. But husband to the rescue! He did so well with hiding the camera and still getting shots during almost every song. So I am one happy girl. :D

Thanks again for your compliments my friends.

The flyer post

Yeah, this post will truly live up to its name. I've got some exciting news to share with you guys, and all in the shape of flyers.

We love flyers at jessicasprague.com. We make them as often as we can. No joke either. Going to the shops for some milk? Make a flyer! Changing the channel on the telly? Make a flyer! Sipping the coke zero? You got it - make a flyer!

LOL

Yeah joke. But we do like to proclaim our news to the world, and what better way than to use a pretty flyer that can go on blogs, or FB, or the in every mailbox on your street.

So you know I told you about the upcoming FREE class with Jessica? Yeah, here's more info:
Card class
(Click on the image to go to the class page)

Now, next weekend is when you do not want to be away from your computer. For two reasons. The first?
Birthday challenges

Ya, über fun challenges are being planned for next weekend. It'll be hosted by me, my fellow designer Liv Esteban, and one of our CT girls, Chrissy. You don't want to miss!

The second?


Can you believe it? I can hardly contain myself, I am so excited about this massive collab by all the designers and CT members of jessicasprague.com. If you only attend one digi related event this year, this is it guys.

See you there (and here, hee!) guys!

Monday, 7 June 2010

Birthday sale at jessicasprague.com

Oh yes my dears, starting today we are having a store wide sale over at JessicaSprague.com to celebrate the site having its third birthday this month. The sale will be running until June 21st and it's 20% off everything!

Head straight over to our shop and stock up on your favourite products right now!
Birthday

Just click the image to go directly to the shop.

And the celebrations don't stop there my friends. Oh no! We have plenty good stuff up our sleeves. :D Jess is offering a new free class starting June 28th. Don't miss registration for it June 14-28 over at JessicaSprague.com. Also, stay put for more fun and games throughout the month. Hee!

Italian trip (and some hotness thrown in at the end too)

Alright, my friends, be prepared for an onslaught!
We took so many pictures that we would be sitting here for days if I were to post all of them so I will definitely spare you that. :D But going to Italy means it's difficult to not get gorgeous shots. I thought I'd share just a few and some of the delicious food we had while there.

The trip started with beautiful views out the plane window.
Photobucket

Photobucket

Inter played Bayern Munchen in the champions league final the very Saturday we were in Milano. Even though the game was played in Madrid the whole town was full of fans. At 9.30 am we were in town to look for football jerseys and they had already assembled at piazza duomo, singing and dancing. The flags were everywhere.
Photobucket

The hunt for jerseys took us out to the football arena San Siro. It's such a cool building, it looks like something from out of space.
Photobucket

We went to Verona, as that was where the Michael Bublé concert was to take place that night. The old part of Verona, centro storico, is absolutely gorgeous. The old buildings are well preserved.
Photobucket

Photobucket

The Verona Arena is right smack in the centre of town and it's a beautiful piece of architechture.
Photobucket

Photobucket

There was a food market on the square in front of the arena and every stand had something delicious to offer, from cheese, to pastry, to olives, to sausages, to ham, to olive oil, to veggies. I wanted to get one of everything but alas that was not possible.
Photobucket

Photobucket

We saw la casa della Giulietta (Juliet's house), which was such a tourist trap. in the passage to the courtyard people had filled the walls with notes.
Photobucket

Photobucket

Here we are taking a break at a restaurant.
Photobucket

Photobucket

I'll come back to Saturday evening in a moment, but first some shots from Sunday.

We had lunch at a place in the countryside outside of Milano, a small family farm, and the food was a-maz-ing!
First there was antipasto; prosciutto and salsiccia, baked aubergine and homemade cheese, pickled chicken, some kind of variation of lasagna (just pesto between the pasta).
Photobucket

Then there was asparagus risotto. I believe the best risotto I've ever had.
Photobucket

Then there was a dish that I can't remember what it was called, but it was like an oven baked thick pancake. Very tasty.
Photobucket

After that we were served rosemary chicken and thin slices of roast beef with gravy and baked potatoes. Gorgeous.
Photobucket

After that they served three types of cheese (which I seem to have missed to upload) and the whole thing was finished off with vanilla gelato. Heaven!
Photobucket

Everyone were seated in large rooms. Because it was Sunday afternoon the place was brimming with large Italian families. I feel so lucky that we had the chance to experience this, so far removed from anything touristy.
Photobucket

The farm and its settings were beautiful and we took some time to check out some of the animals before we headed back to the city.
Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

In the evening we headed out for a bar and enjoyed delish cocktails and snacks (wich could be described as dinner as well, it was that abundant) at aperitivo.
Photobucket

Photobucket

The bar backed up to some beautiful surroundings from ancient times. I find it wonderful that people actually spend time at and around places like these, as part of their home, and that it's not treated as a museum piece.
Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

OK, so that hotness I was talking about? Yeah. :D
Oh be still my heart!
Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Here I am enjoying the show. Charming with the chewing gum there, Linda! Sheesh!
Photobucket

Michael performed at Verona Arena, shown in the pics above, and it was the perfect place for a show. We had great tickets and thoroughly enjoyed every minute. I can remember sending a text message to my sister that my life was complete, hahaha! And then, Inter won the Champions league that night as well so things could not have been better.