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Monday, December 28, 2009

Our Christmas 2009

Here is my first 2009 Christmas layout using Katie Pertiet items ( Everything is made by her except the green thread, ribbon, the letter C and green metal clip.
I never thought I would post photos and/ or layouts with photos of myself in them while I am not wearing makeup. My family did not take ANY pictures of me while I did have make up on so this is all there is!
We had a great time! Keeping this post short and sweet because I am off to make more pages. It is 1:53 pm in Sacramento, California. My daughters and I are still in our pajamas! This is the FIRST day of 2009 I have been able to spend a day alone with them AND lay around in pj's! What are you doing today?

( sort of looks like my hubby is holding a box of Tampax!!! oh no! those are his movies!)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Favorite Shots This Holiday Season (And I am Not Talkin' Tequila)

Why are 95% of my photos never seen by anyone else besides myself? Here are my favorites which represent things in my life, my home and my heart this holiday season.

The bottom of our tree is lacking ornaments because our dog has happy tail! His tail can launch an ornament several feet across the room at dangerous speeds. Here is that dog below:

The special effects are necessary because this was shot in black & white and it had bad shadows. I just love the angle though. My dog is my favorite subject to shoot photos of!

My best friend sent me the most interesting present (among other great items). I have never experienced a pomegrante before now. They are delicious! I already love POM Brand these are top on my list, minus a few 'points' for the mess factor. Looks like blood, yuck.

Same effect on a photo of my daughter. The original photo had terrible shadows, so badly that I could not see her face. Now, I can at least see her facial features. I love the way the lights from the tree appear to twinkle.

Said dog and said daughter on Christmas morning. This very chilly morning, the dog was 'thrown' out in the cold so he would not be sitting on top of us with our presents on the floor during festivies. He was shivering and very cold. Here he is with the saddest eyes ever. Zeus' eyes say more than any words could have said, even if he was able to talk. This is the first, and so far, the last time I have seen such sorrow from my lil' boy. Priceless!

Christmas morning, I had big tears in MY eyes. Tears of joy, that is once I saw the turquoise Tiffany box I unwrapped from my husband. The photo is not very clear, but it is the first one taken of my wonderful gift. This is the gift I wanted to buy for my matron-of-honor (but could not afford in June for my wedding thank you present. I was also wishing for it myself yet my hubby did not know which one I wanted). Gerry did well this year!!! Thanks, Baby!

This is the view I had of my sleepy loved ones on Christmas morning once most of the gifts were unwrapped. I am truly blessed. I count my blessings daily. Some days, I count more than others but only because I sometimes do not realize just how fortunate I really am. Count your blessings, count your abilities, and don't count your money!
Speaking of blessings and abilities, I cannot wait until I can apply my digital scrapbooking skills to my holiday photos. Beginning January 4th, the Faith Sisters 'My Lifetime Story' Challenge Project begins.
To let you in on a secret, I have five (5) weeks of projects completed since I am on the Creative Team. This challenge requires us to look within and collect facts about ourselves primarily and our family heritage.

  Please visit and look for the My Life Time Story information if you are interested in logging your past, your ancestors information and leave a legacy for future generations of your family.

I am surprisingly happy with the way mine is turning out. I wish that I could show you my favorite page now, but I have to keep it under wraps, only releasing the layouts (LO) the week of the project/ topics. My mom has provided me with some family information. She also typed up her memories of the day I was born. How can I explain how precious reading these words were.

They are now a part of a layout about me and the day I was born! I will be posting it here towards the end of January. Please check back to watch for it. AND check Faith Sisters if you do not decide to join me. (Not advertising, just proud and would love for you to see what I have been doing!)
Wait til you see the LO I made about my sister Lisa!! (One assignment of the project is a LO about siblings).

Anyhow, what else have I been up to? This is my other daughter, Anika and I eating at Sonic after our visit to the snow a few weeks ago. We had a great time sledding and throwing snow balls! Gerald and Jasmine had a blast as well. The hot chocolate we took in the old thermos was still hot and heated up our cold bodies at the end of the freeze fest. (Plus the simple watercolor effect from good ol' Photoshop Elements.)

This post originally ended here. However,  my husband's birthday took place within the last month and is considered part of our holiday season. I decided to share more photos with you. Now, just 90% of my photo collect will go forever unseen!

I am loving two details in this picture, the smoke from the candles and the curly ribbon in Jasmine's hair.

(Notice how this pic is not very clear compared to some of the others? This 5 mega pixel camera broke two weeks ago. We had to purchase a new one which is 12 mega pixels....just another blessing. I would be so bored without a camera. This is our first Christmas as a married couple too. Having photos are especially important to us. This is also only my second Christmas as an adult with my sister!)

Speaking of marriage, here are my in-laws partying it up for Gerry's 36th (okay, truth is, we were not real crazy since it was a school and work night.)

Wait until my new Mom and Dad find out they may be making their WWW debut via my blog. Or maybe, unknown to Gerry and myself, they are already on the internet?!

 Are you on the internet someplace? Do you have a blog? Post a link to your photo galleries, blogs, or other kid friendly internet articles in the comments section so I can see what you are up to.

Last but not least, can we agree that the holidays do hold a little bit of magic? We fully believe in Santa and the magic of Christmas around here. How about you?

Here are the top photos of my little believers which were taken in 2009. They are both wearing the magic scarf too....we share this scarf I bought at the Gap years before I knew of their existence. Everytime one of us wears it, we get so many compliments. What do you think of it?
(photo with old camera just before I broke it...5 mega pixels just wasn't cutting it anymore anyways)

I am wishing you a safe, healthy and happy new year for 2010. Let's hope we have energy all year long, including energy to un-decorate our homes and pack up the ornaments!

Question: Do you take time to review your holiday photos BEFORE you take down your decorations?

*Tip: I view my photos case of damage, bad lighting, etc. If I HAVE to, I am not ashamed to admit that I occasionally re-enact special times/ holidays/ events so they are documented in a photo. Photos help us recall memories years and years down the road, as strange and "fake" as it may sound now. Many people practice this 'cheating'..mainly all of us crazy about scrapbooking!

Take care and see you in 2010!

Betty Holland

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Mind's Tangent - Graham Cracker Houses

In my last post, I shared my excitement about Design House Digital. This led my brain, which most of the time I cannot control, to thoughts of the lovely graham cracker house my daughter brought home from a Christmas party this weekend. She made the house (similar to gingerbread houses but smaller)  while with her grandparents. Of all candies, it included Junior Mints! It was not easy to break them off of the roof of her little home. Junior Mints are soft and squishy and we ended up licking smear of mint off of our hands!

Anika did not bring home a candied project treat. Since she sort of takes after her father, she probably ate the whole thing in the car on the way home from the party! My mind continues to was so cute, and simple....houses made from graham crackers which were easier to create, no baking and small enough to actually eat without throwing most of it away.

I am a semi- domestic goddess without the skills to bake sweets. I can finally have my little Christmas house and eat it too! A project with the kids that I will like to eat, won't have to bake and will not take up a lot of space! Graham crackers houses!!!

(Post photo of Jasmine's house here later when I take one!)

Photo courtesy of

Here are two photos of gingerbread houses, and not made from graham crackers, that are inspiring. I have no idea who made these or how. I just found this on the web for our viewing pleasure!

Photo property of

Have fun!

Design House Digital FREEBIE

Hello! If you haven't heard already, two of my favorite designers have their own project in the works. Carina Gardner and Jen Allyson have a blog set up to introduce their up and coming digital designers who will be offering their digital goodies through Design House Digital January 2010!

This new digital environment is a chance for an exciting, fresh and new outlook on the digital world! These designers have Bachelor's degrees, one has a Master's in Design so HELLO!!! I am ready to be mentored!

This is their current blog, just some crumbs to get us through til the actual website opens in a couple of short weeks!

They are currently giving away a free digital kit to anyone who signs up on their mailing list:

Design House Digital Website and Free Kit information!!!! "CLICK ME"

This will be added to my "Top Things To Look Forward To in The New Year" list!!!
Congratulations and thanks in advance to Jen Allyson and Carina Gardner for preparing this website just for us digi lovers.

(Note: I do not create or promote for these two designers or their projects/ products. Just a fan.)

Good Digital News

Please see my layout of Jasmine below, using the Oh Christmas kit. My layout was featured today on Faith Sisters 'Made Ya Look Monday' gallery picks!

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Name That Starts With The Letter B

Guess what? I made the creative team for Stacy! This is very exciting for me because Stacy is a new designer. She is/ was on many successful creative teams herself, so I feel that experience, and having a similar style to the types of papers and embellishments I like, will make her a great designer to work for. AND she just mentioned that her next project is a SHABBY CHIC kit. Holy smokes! Are you serious? My favorite style of scrapbooking....sanding, ripping, tearing, inking....I love it all. 

I am going to paste a portion of her blog article below regarding the CT. I do hope you visit her blog to read the remaining information.

 Acronym of the day = CT. This stands for creative team.

Read the information below, then tell me...Can you figure out why I am glad that my first name begins with the letter B?

NEW CT! by Stacy's Back Door Designs

I am so excited about having my first CT. I can't believe that I have come this far. I have an exciting group of ladies and I look forward to seeing more of their amazing work.

Here is a little bit more about them and a sample of their work:

Betty: Betty’s favorite thing to do is make tacos for her family, then sit down with some TV trays and watch a movie in front of a warm fire on a cold evening. Betty enjoys the beach, shopping, swimming, hiking, friends, family, digital scrapbooking and spending time browsing scrapbook forums. Betty has worked on a paper scrapbooking design team for seven years, managed a scrapbook store (Gotta Crop, Lodi, CA) and taught many scrapbooking classes (Gotta Crop Scrapbooking Getaways). Betty, who was just recently married, lives in Sacramento, California in the United States with her husband and their two school aged daughters. Betty believes that life is what you make it and that you should never stop searching for opportunities to improve yourself and the quality of your life!

***Please click below to visit Stacy's blog and meet the rest of the team.***
The layout above was made using the Oh Christmas Tree kit
Check out the Kit and Stacy's Back Door Designs store! Click Here!

By the way, this picture of Jasmine was taken last Tuesday after her school's holiday program. The kindergarten through third graders have a singing concert each year at Christmas time. Since Anika is in third grade this year and Jasmine is in second, this means they will not be in the same performance next year! I can double my entertainment dollar and will have two different shows to attend. More photo ops! More layouts to create. I am very proud of  Anika and Jasmine. Creating a layout of Anika, and recording a memorable Christmas moment, is on my To Do list. What is on your To Do list today? Since it is holiday season, you may have a To Do list longer than there are hours in your day. Prioritize and stay organized! 

It's nap time for now. I am feeling a little under the weather this morning!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Great Gift & Stacy's Backdoor Designs & Creative Team Call Announcement Friday

Why am I always the last to know? I just found out there are some great freebies waiting for you at Stacy's Back Door Designs blog!  Two days ago, I just missed this freebie...papers! I was a big paper hoarder and now I am a digital paper hoarder.

Everyday, Stacy has a free holiday present for you. The offers are only available for one dayveach! Check out the freebie today and every day so you do not miss out!

Click here to see all of the Holiday Freebies!

I applied for the Stacy's Backdoor Designs creative team because her kits, designs and vision are very much my style and taste. Check out her blog tomorrow to see if I make the Creative Team. I visited her blog today to find that I have missed many, many, many of these freebies. Don't miss out on any more of them!

I want to wish all of you a safe, happy and productive weekend before Christmas!!! We all have errands, stress, and things to do, but let's keep it in perspective....our happiness, health and family are the most important things to take care of this weekend and always!

I will be blogging often this week. Stay Tuned!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Janky Hole In My Heart

The buzzing, clanking and popping noises instantly opened a tiny hole in my heart. I dropped my camera on Sunday in the snow! I guess dropping it while taking close ups of my daughters rosey red, cold cheeks was not a very good idea since it was snowing. My hands were smaller than my gloves so I could not tell for sure if I had a great grip or not. Snow was gathering on the outside of my gloves too making them slippery!

As of Friday, December 18, or whenever my new toy arrives, I will continue creating memories, one pixel at a time.

I ordered a new camera, thanks to Dell financing. (Kodak Z950) I in NO way like to charge things or use credit. However, what on Earth would I do with out a camera on Christmas...this may very well be the last year our 7 & 8 year-olds even believe in Santa!
I have been fighting back against rumors my kids have heard at school for 3 y ears now. Without going into detail, I have gone extra measures this year to give them some things that may feed their beliefs.

I believe!  Do your kids still believe? When did they 'decide not to believe'? I just remember feeling so janky when I found out at age eight (8). What a jip!!! I could go on and on.....

P.S. Janky is my new word! (See Urban Dictionary, def. #5

Thursday, December 10, 2009

1st Parkway- NYC Layout

I realized that I have been so busy mostly blogging my creative team work, that I have not had much time to post my own work strickly for personal use! Everyone knows my love of big cities including NYC and San Francisco. I found the perfect kit. Here is a layout I created with some photos from NYC. I have so many more, plus SF pics I just cannot wait until I have free time this coming holiday to digiscrap for myself!

Get the goods! 1st Parkway kit by Pressed Petals, Ink Happy Edges by Happy scrap Girl Designs, fonts Cry Kitt and Poplar Std by Kevin And Amanda.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Happy Holidays from Our Creative Team by Aline Armani

One of my creative team teammates, Aline Armani surprised us with this Happy Holidays page! She posted it on all of the galleries we normally post our layouts (work) on to. I was pleasantly surprised at how cordial and fun all of the ladies are that are in the group along with designer Elyane Araujo. Many of the team members speak Portuguese, one is from Australia and one additional member speaks English as well. (Many of the others have English as their second language)some.

I am one of the 'International Girls'. It's very cute.  We use Yahoo Groups which auto translates the emails from Portuguese to English. I get a kick out of some of the translations because they do not always make sense! Attempting to read between the lines, along with some clarification from Elyane, I do just fine with this group based out of Rio de Janiero, Brazil. I am glad I joined the Creative Team for Elyane Araujo Designs! Happy Holidays everybody!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Clause Kit By BooLand Designs

Hello, I am fortunate enough to have been tasked with creating two layouts with another BooLand Designs kit called Clause. It was my pleasure to work with these great kits!

Here is the kit itself!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Peace On Earth Layout(s)

I loved the little scarf the doggie daycare put on our dog last year after his bath. These photos were spontaneously taken after we picked up Zeus and brought him home from a bath the month of December 2008. It was this moment that I realized how much he enjoys having his photo taken! Check out all of his fabulous poses. Zeus is my sweetheart!

click the link above to visit the store!

Please Vote For Me!

My layout, titled Honor, which is about my Matron of Honor Lesley Brown, has been nominated for a contest. The voting ends 12/8/09 and you can only vote once from one computer! Please visit this link below, then scroll down until you see my layout then vote for me (if you agree that it is the best)!

Kit is called Relax by Summer Driggs. This was a freebie kit!

Deck The Halls and Welcome Winter!

It's time to decorate. My blog is being dressed up for Christmas! After a little bit of trouble creating my new Christmas header, I decided to relax and work on a new kit by BooLand called Winter Whispers. The designer allowed me to temporarily work with two of her kits. This is the first layout I have created for her. The Winter Whispers kit has so many winter white elements and blue papers! There are tons of gorgeous elements including icicles, white ribbon, and nature inspired items. Too bad I could not use everything in the kit in order to show you everything. This is the first kit I have used (or viewed) from BooLand. When I received it, I was eager to check out the goods. When I opened and began browsing the elements and papers, it felt as though I had opened up a treasure chest! A great alpha was included also, but I am in love with my fonts, as usual. The layout has a nice cool feeling with the cool tones but I wanted to balance the large photo on the page by using the title in red. Hope you like it. The photo was take from the mountains at Heavenly, Lake Tahoe. The girls were able to sled for two hours at the snow park at the top of Heavenly Ski Resort in March of 2008. We had a blast!

Everything in the kit is from BooLand Winter Whispers, except the red circle elements from the Jackpot kit by Britt-ish Designs, font is Freeze! by

Click the link above to visit BooLand Design. Currently, she has a great freebie listed to help us welcome Winter!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Splash Kit by Elyane Araujo Designs Helps Me Document Two Great Memories

This kit is currently only $1.99!  Regular price  $6.99. All kits are this price for a limited time.

Season Greetings Full Kit Freebie!

This layout was created in 15 minutes today with this Freebie kit!

Would you like an adorable winter kit for free? This free kit is one stop on the Freebie Blog train. Check out this kit by Elyane Araujo Designs and download it free. PLUS there are over 10 more designers included at the link below.

Join the Blog Train!  After you download Season Greetings, you can follow the additional links offered at the link above, to visit other designers blogs for additional free kits! Most of these talented folks are international designers. Elyane is from Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Designers reside in other countries such as France and Australia too. These are quality items.....very beautiful snowy papers! Awesome....the main blog train begins here:

In my opinion, the Season Greeting kit is the best and has the most items! I am not just saying that because I am on her design team either! I only comment and express my personal opinions. **I am not paid or asked to advertise or announce this freebie or blog train. Just sharing some good deals!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Creative Team for Faith Sisters- "My Lifetime Story" Announcement <-------Click here to view my Bio Page. I need a new photo though!
I made the team! In addition to desigining for Elyane Araujo, I have joined Faith Sisters to design layouts for this year's 2010 My Lifetime Story Challenge. This is a year round project encouraging YOU to create a book all about yourself. What a great keepsake for your family and children. If you are the type of person who does not want to create one about yourself, you can create the book for your mother and present it at the end of the year for Christmas. Each week, instructions of encouragement, and layout samples (by the Creative Team) will be provided to guide you along. I hope you will join us. It is my pleasure to join this talented group of people.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Creative Team for Elyane Araujo Designs

Hello! How was your Thanksgiving? I have plenty to be thankful for this year. I have good news and bad news. The bad news first is that my oven door is broken and we cannot cook. It is my pleasure to announce the good news. I joined the Creative Team for Elyane Araujo Designs. Now, the bad news is not such a big deal because I will be busy working / playing instead of having time to cook anyways! Elyane is a talented digital designer from Brazil. Her kits have the most amazing embellishments and papers in them, including some hand drawn art she has created.

From the outside of her kit (the marketing photo) I could not even tell there were SO many great things inside. I am not used to getting so many things in just one kit! I hope you will be part of  my journey with this Creative Team work. Everyone month I will be creating two layouts for each kit I work with. I am working with two kits a month, so you will see two posts total each month with my creative designs for Elyane.

Here is my first layout using the Sunset Fall kit.  You may click on one of the three links under the layout to see it blown up on a Gallery.This is a good way to see the staples around the journaling!

FREEBIES! Great, hand drawn art for your pages or school projects.
These can be used in a layout with scanned copies of your child's school work too.