Friday, April 25, 2008

Emerson's 2nd Birthday!!

My little boy turns 2-years-old today!! I can hardly believe it! Is he that old already??!!! Thom remarked just a few days ago that it seems as if we just brought him home from the hospital. So true.

I was looking at the walls in his bedroom this morning, looking at the pics I have of him in there from his first few weeks of life, and started getting misty-eyed. How tiny he was, how helpless, how much in need to be taken care of. Certainly that's not the same baby who has turned into a little boy overnight and no tells us "No!" and "Em-son do it". Certainly this little boy who now cries "Down!" when I hold him is not the same baby who use to want to be carried next to my bare skin while I paced up and down the floors all night.

Now don't get me wrong...I absolutely adore my little man...of course I do! I love the things he says now that just make me laught right out loud. (After getting an especially irritating knot out of his shoe laces while trying to undress him, Emerson gives me a big smile, claps and says "Yay Mommy! You dood it! Good job." or while standing next to daddy in the kitchen and hearing daddy "break wind" for the first time, Emerson turns to me, waves his hand in front of his face, wrinkles up his nose and says, "Smelly noise!"). He amazes us with his ability to speak so well and clearly, and with the things he just seems to know without us telling him (like "smelly noise"...he knew exactly how to express his thoughts, his observations...and that incident happened when he was only about 18 months or so!). But there's a part of me that does, and probably always will, miss that bitty baby and his dependence on me...on ME!! Maybe it's time for another think?

Before I wax nostalgic anymore, let me get to the real point of this post....a freebie! And because I got caught up last night with baking and decorating cupcakes to bring to daycare today, it's something I had to throw together something pretty quick last night at quarter to 11! maybe that's OK because I happened to pull things (with the exception of the paper-fold flowers) that I created around the time Emerson was first born! They're in shades of orange and blue...2 colors I LOVE to dress him in...and, since Emerson is 2 today, everything y ou'll receive is in the same quantity! 2 solid papers, 2 striped papers, 2 polkadot papers, 2 grosgrain ribbons, 2 ricrac ribbons, 2 buttons, and 2 folded flowers! I hope you enjoy it. Download it here!

(And because I had some pircay issues, I had to remove all my old freebie links. I changed things around a little and will be fixing past posts with new links. So don't worry, if you didn't get them the first time around, they'll be available again soon!)

Please leave my little boy some lovin'! Happy Birthday, Emerson!

And I'll let you know something else, go to Designs In Digital, (see the Interesting Things thread) because Emerson is giving away 2 coupons for his Mommy's products! 22 people will receive 2 coupons for 25% off anything in my store!! And if you hold onto those coupons for a bit, I'll be uploading new things real soon!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My Super-Duper Creative Team!

Hooray! I have a Creative Team!! And they are WAY more efficient than me. LOL

While I've been taking my sweet time announcing them here, they have already scrapped a few layouts using the free mini-kit I sent them, spotted a couple files of mine that had been pirated and made me aware of it, and created a total of 6 layouts from my kits already! Talk about a fantastic group of women I have been lucky enought to find!!

So, without further ado, I'd like to announce the women who are going to make you all want to run out and buy my kits! Andrea (Arizona, United States), Angie (Queensland, Australia), Ann (Arizona, United States), Helen (Bay of Plenty, New Zealand), Lisa (Michigan, United States), Melanie (Texas, United States), Misty (Texas, United States). Apparently, SouthWest U.S. likes Green Elephants! lol

I'll be updating my blog here with links to those CT members who have blogs of their own. And you'll soon ( all know me, maybe not-so soon!) notice both a CT blinky and a Fan Of blinky floating around out there. I'll make sure to post the "Fan Of" blinky here for y'all to snag!) I'll also be posting a link to the Green Elephant Designs CT blog, but in the meantime, you can check it out right here and see what they've been up to!

I also have been lucky enough to find someone who is willing to put together my previews for me! With all 3 stores requiring different previews, and hating to do them in the first place (simply because they take SO long and I have such little time as it is), previews have always been a thorn in my side. Luckily, Michelle enjoys doing them! She herself is a designer, Mellow Butterfly, and you can see her store right here!

With all these talented women on my side, how can I go wrong?!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Piracy Stinks

Just a quickie to let you know what you already know...piracy stinks! I have been lucky so far and haven't had a least not one that I knew about. Until this morning.

While trying to get my new CT going, I uploaded links to a kit into 4shared. That sucker wasn't up for even 10 hours and when I checked it this morning, it had been downloaded 9 times already!! Obviously, someone got it somehow because I only e-mailed the links to one person. These people work fast! There must be a team of them who regularly go through checking for new things that have been uploaded. It makes me sick.

So, if you have files that belong to me, Nicolina, or you've seen them someplace, PLEASE do the right thing and notify me! If you see my kit Black Tie Affair somewhere other than in my stores, PLEASE leave me a message here on my blog.

And if you're the person who stole this from me...just who do you think you are? How would it be if I came over and stole something belonging to you? Something you created, something you spent hours on? You're an ass, and I hope someday you get what you deserve.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Whole Lot of Rambling & Some Exciting Store News!

I really and truly meant to post all this last night. However, Sunday night is Masterpiece Theatre night on PBS and I try to never miss it. I usually work on the computer while I watch, but last night was different. For one thing, Emeerson had gone to a birthday party in the afternoon for his bestest little buddy, Hunter, who turned 2! There were lots of people, a fun jump, dogs, things to ride on, push around and get pulled in...all of them things Emerson is NOT used to (nor is his Mama! I'm one of those people who gets absolutely drained by having to spend any amount of time with a large group of people). And even though Emerson was the one who was playing hard all day (he would NOT get out of the fun jump...even when it was time for Hunter to open presents!), I was just as exhausted as he was (and he didn't get to nap, so he was pooped!) Being outside all day wreaked havoc on my sinuses (due to allergies) and I felt miserable with watery eyes and congestion that made my head feel like a boulder. Here come the meds!! I was still hurting and did NOT feel like sitting in front of a computer screen, so I sat down to start watching Masterpiece Theatre. "My Boy Jack" was on...the story of Rudyard Kipling's son and WWI. Fascinating and very well done, BTW. Towards the middle of it, the meds began to work and my sinuses were clear as clear could be, but I was so enthralled with the show that I couldn't tear myself away. And by the end, I was bawling so hard that my sinuses filled up again! (And I am NOT one to cry, usually, but having Emerson obviously did something to my hormones because there are times now when I cry during diaper commercials!) I completely forgot about the computer. I turned the TV off, got my luch ready for today, and went to bed on the couch (so I could sleep head was pounding was pounding so much that sleeping prone was not even an option!). So, the point of all this rambling is that I'm not getting to posting until this morning!

Now on to some store news! And I have news/info for all of my wonderful "homes" today! First, let's start with an unbelieveable sale....

From now until the 27th, Hot Spot Scraps is having a 1 Euro sale. On what? On the ENTIRE store (OK...with the exception of the Mega Kits)!! Can you believe that? It's unheard of!! You have to hurry over and check it out. There are so many talented designers there. I'd spend a small fortune if I let myself! The last time they had a sale, I snagged a lot of great stuff, but they keep coming out with more and more that I add to my "Must Have" list! Don't miss out on this deal, folks! A sale like this doesn't come by everyday!

And after you buy a bunch of new goodies, you'll need to do some scrapping to justify all your purchases! Did I tell you that I'm one of the challenge hosts over at Designs In Digital? Go check out the challenges! They're loads of fun. The challenges I host are the Monthly Color Challenge (I give you a color swatch and some kit suggestions that match the swatch and you scrap something fabulous!); the Bi-Monthly Photo Challenge (twice a month I give you a photographay theme and you use the theme to come up with photos for your page); the Weekly Scraplift Challenge (I provide a link to a member's gallery, you go search for some inspiration and voila! you have the basis for a page); and the Weekly Font Challenge (for all you font junkies out there! I find a font and all you need to do is incorporate it somehow on your LO). Janie hosts the Bi-Monthly What's My Theme Challenge (she provides a theme--right now it's scanned items--you use it for your LO, and you can even discuss the theme in the forum thread) and Kirsty hosts the Monthly Sketch Challenge (where you get a template for free and all you need to do is scrap a page using it). The prize system is a little different...all you need to do is complete 3 challenges for the ENTIRE month, post your links in the appropriate thread, and you get a free kit from the month's featured designer! It's a great deal and a super easy way to add some really fab kits to your stash! Head on over and check it out!

Lastly, keep your eyes open for an exclusive kit I'll be adding to my store at Bits 2 Kits! You won't be able to get it anywhere else! I'll be going through my contribution to the March Mega Kit along with the bonus freebie I offered to anyone who e-mailed me the special code (provided in my TOU when you purchased the kit ) and choosing papers and elements (and a complete alpha!) to create an entirely new kit! The color theme is so pretty and perfect for Spring that I'm calling the kit Oh So Springy. But'll ONLY be able to find it at Bits 2 Kits! I'll post, of course, once it's in the store. So check back soon!

That's all the news for now. But I'll give you a hint for an upcoming post....I've e-mailed invitations to a few of the gals who applied to my CT call! I've heard back from 3 (out of 8) and I'll be announcing them soon!! I am SO excited and the gals I chose all do awesome work. I can't wait to get to know them better and to see what they'll be able to do with my lil' ol' kits! Oh gosh, this means I need to do a CT blinky...and that will get my butt in gear for finally doing a "Fan Of" blinky as well! Have to start brainstorming.....

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bits 2 Kits April Mega Kit

Ladies and gentleman, I am so sorry that I am a forgetful person who is super-behind in her posting! Can you remember way back to the beginning of the month? Well, I can't! And apparently I couldn't remember that a new month was even STARTING because I completely forgot to post previews for the Bits2Kits April Mega Kit!

It's bad enough that I was having...well, let's just call them "issues" my personal life, but I really neglected my posting in my stores and the responsibilities I have with them as far as helping advertise and whatnot. I feel bad about it, but I guess "real" life often interferes with what we'd rather be doing. So, without further ado, and with many apologies to Sarah and the terrific designing crew at Bits2Kits, I give you....dum-da-dee-dum...the Bits2Kits April Mega Kit! Pick it up here!! It's a HUGE download! You get SO MUCH for your money. It's truly a fantastic deal!

And I can tell you something, boys and girls, the designers at Bits2Kits just can't be beat. They are not only talented, but also extremely friendly, supportive, and more generous than I can even say! I'm honored to be among them.

Tune back later today or tomorrow for other news that I really should have posted at the beginning of the month as well! (I promise that I'll try harder to be more timely with this stuff, o ye faithful blog readers! Look...I've already gotten better about posting more regularly!)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Black Tie Affair QP Freebie

I did it! I finally managed to get a new kit into my stores! Woo-hoo! I'll let you in on a secret...I was a little preoccupied with the Amazing Digi Scrap Race...shhh. Put that on top of health, family and work issues (which I'm just NOT going into!) and it was almost a lethal combination for my poor fledgling designer career! I'm ready to get back on track, though, with tons of ideas written down (or I'm liable to forget them!) and lots of creative energy!

To celebrate my new kit, Black Tie Affair, I'm giving you some QPs I made with it. If you like them, and I hope you do, please head over to one of my fabulous stores and pick it up! I'll let you in on another's on sale until next Thursday at Bits2Kits! And all my goodies are on sale every Friday at Designs In Digital for their Friday Frenzy sale! Here's a preview of the QPs:

There's 4 total and you can download them here and here.

Don't forget to leave me some lovin' and let me know what you think of the new kit! Here's a peak at the full kit (scroll down to see previews of separate packs, which are also in my stores).

And don't forget to check back later for an announcement about my new CT and for some exciting sales news!

Happy scrapping!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My Very First CT Call!!

I've finally realized that I need a Creative Team! I really should have known better right from the start because I have such precious little computer time as it is that there was NO WAY I'd be able to do everything on my own! C'mon, Nicole! Try to be a little realistic about this! With only 2 to 3-1/2 hours per day (depending on how tired I want to be the following day!) to do ALL my computer duties, which includes designing, advertising (which I've done practically NOTHING with so far!), my own CT layouts (for DF), posting to forums, freebie assignments, collab kits, "research", not to mention trying to scrap my personal pages and return personal e-mail....well, you can imagine how much I would appreciate a Creative Team helping me out a little!

So, if you read this blog, or were directed here by one of my CT call ads, here's the scoop. Requirements would be at least 2 layouts completed from each kit/alpha, paper or element pack that you're assigned or choose posted to at least 4 different online galleries (one of which would be DST for sure). I'm not a very prolific designer--at least I won't be until I figure myself out and find my designer's legs so to speak!--so the work shouldn't be too difficult! This is perfect for those of you who want to be on a CT, but don't have a lot of time on your hands either. The demands definitely will not be great (except maybe at the start when I would like a bunch of stuff done to start getting it out there!) I'd also love for my CT to do quality checks, offer suggestions for improvement, point out problems, give ideas for new products, etc. I'd also love to have someone do my previews for me. All 3 of my stores require different preview formats and it eats up A LOT of my time, as you can well imagine!

So what do you get out of this? Well, you'll get the kits that you work with for free, of course! And I'll give out store coupons that can be used for any of my stuff you don't use. I also plan to offer Thank You freebies from time to time that won't be issued in my stores. I would also love to form a deal with another designer (who has yet to be approached or even found, truth be told!) where their CT gets coupons to my products and my CT gets coupons to theirs! How cool would that be?

So, a little about the gal you would be working for....I already told you that I have very little time to design, so I don't have a lot of stuff out there right now. That's not to say that I don't have a billion ideas written down! I just don't have a lot of time to create them, unfortunately! I don't think I have a "style" yet, I'm still too new to really find my digi niche. I try hard to come up with new ideas while still trying to provide trendy items. I have a fabulous sense of humor (if I do say so myself!), I'm lots of fun, very easy-going, and I don't make a lot of demands!

So, please help out a newbie! Short of getting on my knees and begging, I don't know what else to say. Don't make me look pathetic and needy! (even if it IS kinda how I feel in regards to trying to sell my products!) Send me an e-mail to greenelephantdesigns @ yahoo dot com with a little about yourself, a link to your most up-to-date online gallery, along with any CTs you're currently on. I look forward to hearing from lots of you. I'm going to start by carrying this to April 19th to see what kind of response I get by then. All e-mails will be responded to!

Thanks everyone!

Monday, April 7, 2008

New Kit Coming Soon!

Wondering what I've been up to? Well, I found my desigining mojo--briefly--but enough to finish an entire kit, complete with alpha, in only 2 days! OK...the alpha took another day, but that's still REALLY good for me! Since then, my mojo has been a little down due to family and work issues, but I feel it stirring deep inside, ready to awaken and send me into another designing frenzy, so I'm going to try to complete all the collaboration kits, freebie obligations, sales flyers, donation kits, CT assignments, etc that I have lurking around so I can get to work on the billion and one design ideas I have finally gotten written down on paper (before I forget them) and get those puppies into my stores!

Back to the issue at hand! I'm really proud of this kit, which I'm naming Black Tie Affair...not only because I was able to finish it so quickly and still produce what I think, at least, is beautiful work, but also because I have created something simple yet elegant, sophisticated yet fun. It was a blast to create, and I was really challenged trying to stick to a black and white color scheme and still produce something interesting that really "works". You know what I mean??

I'll be selling it as a complete kit, a paper pack, an element pack and an alpha pack. With the complete kit, you'll receive 2 solid papers, 10 patterned papers (all with a light satiny texture), 2 glittery border overlays, 2 glitter swirls, a bookplate, 2 half-knot bows, 2 full bows, 3 cufflink brads, 1 closed envelope, 2 pieces to make an open envelope, 1 invitation with a cut-out design, 1 eyelet, 3 flowers, 1 oval frame, 1 square wrapped frame, 2 decorative journaling tags, 1 silver key, 4 photo corners, 2 prongs, 2 wide ribbons, 1 thin ribbon, 1 ribbon wrap, a complete alpha with upper and lowercase, numerals and some symbols! Wow! I think that's everything.

Here are some previews. First the Complete Kit:

Here's the Alpha Pack:
And now for the Element Pack:

And lastly, the Paper Pack:

I'll post again once I get it into my stores. I hope to finish the previews and get it uploaded this week. Please check back so you know when t go buy it! LOL And here's a little insider info just because you're kind enough to read my blog...I already have plans for a companion kit to this! It's one that can stand alone--like BLack Tie Affair--or it can be combined with this to create countless beautiful pages. More on that later (as I actually get something other than IDEAS down for you to see!).

Thanks y'all and good night!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Challenges #11 & #12

Well, I'm posting the last two layouts for the Amazing Digi Scrap Race. I can't believe it's over already! It went very quickly. Part of me is gald because I can now focus on other things (designing and something I almost forgot about--my "real" life! I need to get back on a regular schedule), but part of me is sad too. It will feel as if I'm forgetting to do something! LOL Anyway, here's #11:

The only requirement was to use wings. This is a pic of my granmother as a babe. Cute, huh?

#12 was for both partners. Since my partner was unable to complete her layouts and was disqualified, I had to find another. Luckily, one came to my rescue. One of us had to provide pic(s) and journaling and the other did the layout. So, I did the journaling and found a pic (the theme was "A Great Moment In My Life") and sent it to my new partner (whose name is also Tanya!) and she did the page. Here's the result:

The journaling reads: Meeting my future husband was the catalyst for a major accomplishment in my life--growing up! Before Thomas, I was stuck in a life of parties. I had no direction, no goals. Relationship after relationship was with the wrong man, the wrong friends. Most of my friends wanted to do nothing more than drink and party. My boyfriends were either losers, users, beaters or cheaters. Meeting Thom changed all that. He didn't put up with my temper tantrums, my attempts at picking fights. He told me that when I was feeling adult enough to talk, I would know where to find him. He taught me how to control my temper and deal with our problems in a calm and collected manner. He explained that my low self-esteem was what was unattractive--not me. He taught me how to find my self-worth. He was an example of someone who could do for himself and didn't need to rely on others for a good time. He showed me that I could stand on my own two feet. He taught me the meaning of trust--a hard lesson for me to learn.Meeting Thomas brought me direction, it set me moving forward. At the same time, it brought me stability, a safe haven. Meeting Thomas was the cornerstone of my change from an immature youth to a promising young woman!

Well, that's all folks! The next post should be back to designing! (And maybe a little freebie, if I can get my act together!)