He knocked on the door with a resounding, "Thump! Thump! Thump!"
She opened the door and looked carefully at him, "Yes?"
"I wash windows," he said in a thick Eastern Bloc accent. "You want I wash windows?"
She pointed at the sky, "It looks like a storm's coming."
"No," he said, firmly shaking his head. "Look – the clouds blow over there – away."
She wanted to tell him to come back another day, but there was such earnestness in this man, dressed in casual business attire, as if he was on his way to a fancy office building to program websites. "All right," she said at last. "Go ahead."
"Bro-ahm. You have a small bro-ahm?"
"Say again," she asked. "What is a bro-ahm?"
Using sweeping motions, he replied, "Broooo-ahhhm."
"Oh!" she smiled. "Broom. You want a br-oo-m."
Nodding his head happily, he replied, "Brooooom."
After finding him a broom, she went back to her work. Periodically, she heard the bang of a ladder against the house or the sound of water running as he filled his little blue bucket with water. When she heard him pounding on the door again, she assumed he was finished, but instead he said, "Three windows. Too high." Pointing up the stairs, he continued. "I go up?"
"Okay," she said. "Go up."
About 30 minutes later, he stood at her office door, holding a little invoice pad. He cleared his throat. "I finished. What is address?" Once she gave it to him, he carefully wrote down the information and handed her the bill.
She handed him the cash that she had already prepared.
He smiled. "Next year?"
"Yes, next year," she said, smiling back at him. "I'll see you again next year."
While I don't know his name, I admire his determination to make a living in a new country whose language is not his own. He travels from place to place, working from a car – his city permit dangling from the rear view mirror. His thoroughness and clean-cut appearance demonstrate the pride he has in himself and his work.
He reminds me of my own ancestors, who came to the United States through Ellis Island in search of the American dream. They came, content to scratch out a living in hopes that their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren would have a better life than they previously enjoyed – one filled with as much opportunity as their hard work would provide.
I know their stories, but I don't know his. Next year, I believe I'll ask. "Tell me," I'll say. "Where did you come from? Why did you come? And are you glad you came?"
It's time I met my window washer.
Muse: To be absorbed in one's thoughts; engage in meditation. Not intended to solve the world's problems, another person's problems, or to cover topics completely. One does not have to agree with musings to enjoy them, just as one does not have to be the same as someone else to appreciate who they are.
Would you like to earn a $20 Gift Certificate? Send your own muse to [email protected]. If it is selected for publication in the Scrap Girls newsletter, you'll get to have fun shopping!
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What are Digital Layout Album Templates?
Note: Tutorial created using Photoshop CS3 with Mac OSX
Do you want to learn a secret of creating an entire, cohesive digital scrapbooking album quickly? Today, I'll let you in on one of my little secrets for doing just that... Digital Layout Album Templates! Maybe you're creating a baby book album. Maybe you need to create a Mother's Day gift. Maybe a vacation album waits for you. Digital Layout Album Templates will help you pull your entire album together with ease.
For this tutorial, I have chosen to demonstrate a little mini brag book album that I'm making for my mom for Mother's Day. To make this little book, I'm using ScrapSimple Digital Layout Album Templates – Layered: 3.25x2.375 I.D. Badge Vertical.
I want things to come together quickly, so I'm going to choose just one collection of papers and embellishments to use in my album. By limiting my design options to one collection, I'm saving myself a lot of time that I would normally spend browsing through my stash of digital goodies, pulling this paper or that embellishment, changing my mind and grabbing something else, etc. There's a time and place for taking my time and leisurely assembling a layout. But this is not that time! I need to assemble this brag book quickly and efficiently, and I want to save time (besides, who doesn't like to save a little time now and then?).
I have chosen a beautiful new collection – the April Scrap Girls Club selection – Being With You Collection Biggie. Because I'm using a Digital Layout Album Template collection (with layouts that coordinate in design and style) and the Being With You Collection Biggie (with papers, embellishments, and word art that coordinate with each other), I'm guaranteed to have a finished product that looks great!
If you are using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, you can open the layered PSD files one at a time. If you are using a different software program, you can open the individual PNG files and assemble your layout. Most (if not all) of the digital scrapbooking album templates at Scrap Girls contain 10 different layouts that coordinate with each other.
First, select and open a template. Shown above is the first template in this digital album template set that I've chosen. Next, use clipping masks (Ctrl+G for Photoshop Elements on a PC; Ctrl+Alt+G for Photoshop on a PC; Cmd+Opt+G for Photoshop/Mac), as explained in 1 Scrap Girls ScrapSimple Instructions Handbook (Free ScrapSimple basics eBook), you can easily clip your chosen scrapbook papers and digital photos to the corresponding layers in the template.
This set of album templates has built-in text paths. Locate the text layer in your Layers Palette, and click once on it to activate the text layer. Triple-click on this text layer to select all the placeholder text, and then you can start typing your text in its place.
Here is what the layout looks like after I have clipped all the papers to the various layers.
Another time-saving tip: Leave a handful of preferred papers open in your software program. You can easily just click-and-drag the papers to each layout as you are working on it, and you don't have to go back to your supplies and open them over and over again.
If you apply a drop shadow or some other style to your elements on a layout, you can quickly and easily transfer those same styles to each subsequent layout. To do this, make sure your source layer is active (see the baby blue highlighted layer in the Layers Palette above). The source layer is the one that has the style that you want to copy. Right-click on this layer and select "Copy Layer Style." Then, move to your new document and select the layer in the Layers Palette that you wish to add the layer style to. Right-click on this layer and select "Paste Layer Style." Your drop shadow or other style will automatically be transferred to the new document. This helps with consistency between layouts in the album template set so that they will all look cohesive.
Once you have completed your first layout in the album template set, you will be able to quickly pull the rest of your layouts together fairly easily.
Here are all 10 of my layouts. After printing them out and cropping them, I will place them in plastic I.D. badge holders. (You can find these at your local office supply store or the office supply section of mass merchandisers). Tie them together with a ribbon or another fastener.
Believe it or not, in about an hour, you can complete an entire, coordinated album using ScrapSimple Digital Layout Album Templates! Give it a try the next time you want to create a simple, customized album fast.
I have included several pictures from many of my mom's children, grandchildren, and even her one great-grandchild! I'm sure she will be thrilled to receive it for Mother's Day.
For more ideas on pulling together quick albums, please refer to the eBook, Scrap Girls 2009 Digital Scrap Link Class: Tips and Tricks to Make Quick Albums Fast!
Layout by Cherise Oleson
These last two products are included in this month's Scrap Girls Club offering. Members receive a substantial discount on these club supplies. They are also available elsewhere in the Boutique at regular prices for those individuals who would rather not join a club.
Other Products You May Enjoy...
Article written by Cherise Oleson
Join the ScrapSimple Monthly Club and you can enjoy the newest ScrapSimple looks while saving! (A $13.95 value for $6.99 or less!)
The new ScrapSimple Club contents are released on the 15th day of the month (or the closest business day to the 15th).
With the ScrapSimple Club, you will receive:
- 1 ScrapSimple Paper Template Set
- 1 ScrapSimple Embellishment Template
- 1 Brush Set
- 2 Designer's Choice Item
A commercially licensed version of the ScrapSimple Club is also available here.
April's ScrapSimple Club has been created for you by Durin Eberhart and Shalae Tippetts
But that's not all! ScrapSimple Club members now receive these exclusive, club-only items!
Club Exclusive! Nano Collection
Club Exclusive! Designer's Gift
and two Club Exclusive tutorials!
The Scrap Girls Monthly Club allows you to get all of the newest looks while saving money! It is perfect for anyone who wants beautiful, coordinated digital scrapbooking supplies that are easy to use. You get all the products shown above a $40.59 value, for $9.99 or less! Plus, each month we will help you find new ways to use your club contents to the fullest with this article full of ideas, tips, and projects to get your creativity going!
NEW! Members-Only club content! Now Scrap Girls Club members receive three exclusive, members-only Club products every month! These new products include a JIFFY Easy Page Album - five layered PSD files of your favorite Club layouts designed by the professionals at Scrap Girls just for this Club, one Designer's Gift item - a product chosen by the Club's designer, and a Color Palette which you can use to coordinate your photos and ScrapSimple products with this month's Club to make it an even bigger value!
April's Scrap Girls Club's featured designer is Angie Briggs. Her club will make your digital scrapbooking layouts and altered projects feel like true masterpieces, no matter your subject!
How to Open a File Folder Digitally for Scrapbook Layouts
Note: Tutorial created using PSE 7 with Windows Vista
One of my favorite embellishments included in this month's Scrap Girls Club kit is the file folder in the Assemble Your Own Zoom Pages: Being With You. The embellishment that is included in the set is just the single side of the file folder – the tabbed side. In this tutorial, I'm going to show you how to take that single side and create an open file folder – in other words, a two-page folder that has been laid open flat.
First, create a new document that is 24 inches wide x 12 inches tall at 300 pixels per inch (ppi). Next, open the folder embellishment and bring it into your new document (click-and-drag it onto your new document).
Now it's time to create the second page of your folder! What you have to keep in mind is when you look at an opened file folder, you have the right side that has the tab on it, and on the left side, directly across from the tab, has an indention. Creating that look digitally is very simple.
Once you have your folder open in your workspace, duplicate the folder layer. Make sure the folder embellishment layer is active (highlighted) in your Layers Palette, then go to Layer> Duplicate Layer. Move your folders so you can see both of the layers on your new document. It should look like this:
Then make the folder on your right the active layer by clicking on it in the Layers Palette. Go to Image> Rotate> Flip Layer Horizontally. Now the tabs on each folder are facing each other.
Now, finally, you are going to cut-out your tab. Zoom in on your workspace so you can get a closer look at what you're going to do next. To zoom in, hold down Ctrl and + (plus sign); tap the + key repeatedly until you get as close as you want. Want to zoom back out a little? Simply hold down Ctrl and tap – (minus sign).
Next, select the file on your right-hand side and slide it over so it's right next to the folder on the left. Once the two sides meet, hold down Ctrl key and click on the icon for the folder on the right, you should now see the "marching ants" around this folder.
Now make your bottom folder the active layer, and then press the Delete key on your keyboard. This is going to cut out the shape of the selected folder into the other layer. Next, hold down the Ctrl key and press the letter D on your keyboard to turn off the "marching ants" and separate your folders so they are no longer touching. You should be able to see the cut-out notch.
Now, it's time to simply rotate your layers. We want the flat sides of the folder embellishment to meet. Follow the same process you did earlier on both layers: Image> Rotate> Flip Layer Horizontally.
You now have an open file folder, ready to decorate!
Layout by Angie Briggs
These first two products are included in this month's Scrap Girls Club offering. Members receive a substantial discount on these club supplies. They are also available elsewhere in the Boutique at regular prices for those individuals who would rather not join a club.
Tutorial written by Angie Briggs
We hope this article gives you some ideas to get you scrapping! We'd love to see what you come up with. Post your new layout using the current club selection (either the Scrap Girls Club or the ScrapSimple Club) in our Scrap Girls Club Members' Gallery or the ScrapSimple Club Members' Gallery. Be sure to list all of the Scrap Girls products you used. If your layout is chosen, it will be showcased as a Club Concepts winner in the Newsletter and you will win a $5 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique!
Layout by Amanda Fraijo-Tobin
Designer Freebie by Amanda Fraijo-Tobin coordinates with her Noah Collection
Today's freebie designed by Amanda Fraijo-Tobin
* There is a "free download" button on the details page for each gift. You don't need to put them in your shopping cart unless you are shopping for other items. Also note that if you are slow reading your newsletter, you may find this freebie has already been retired, as the freebies are only available as gifts for about two newsletter cycles.
New Member Chat - Early Edition
Tuesday, April 19th - 1:00PM MT
Faith Journey Chat
Tuesday, April 19th - 6:00PM MT
Join Elisha (elibar) and Lei (Bride) for a Faith Journey Chat on the third Tuesday of each month at 6pm MT. All faiths are welcome! We'll be chatting and scrapping about our individual faith walk and how we also walk together. Watch the Forum for this month's topic of discussion, and if you like, create a layout based on the topic!
Life Moments Chat
Tuesday, April 19th - 7:00PM MT
Join Shannon (tinkerbell11) in the chatroom for a Life Moments Chat on Tuesday, April 19th at 7pm MT. These chats are designed to help you start scrapbooking about yourself. A topic will be posted earlier in the day to get your creative juices flowing!
East Coast High Noon Crop
Wednesday, April 20th - 10:00AM MT
Join April (April Showers) each Wednesday at 10am MT for the East Coast High Noon Crop. All coasts and time zones are welcome! These crops are designed to allow you to work on your own photos and themes simply giving participants a one hour goal and a fun, new challenge each week. On April 20th, we'll do a tag challenge! Create a layout using at least one tag as an embellishment! Create your layout and upload it to the special High Noon Crop Gallery. You'll be amazed what you can get done in just one hour, but there is no High Noon Sheriff timing you! Hope to see you in the chat room!
Ad Inspiration Challenge and Chat
Thursday, April 21st - 1:00PM MT
Join Pat (PBarnes) at 1pm MT for an Ad Inspiration Challenge and Chat. A few hours before the chat, a magazine, newspaper or online ad will be posted on the Forum to use as inspiration for a layout. You can use whatever you want to from the ad - the colors, the shapes, the composition. There are no wrong answers!
NSBR Chat - Early Edition
Thursday, April 21st - 2:00PM MT
What is NSBR? It's a non-scrapbooking related chat! We talk about everything, including some scrapbooking and usually chocolate. It's a great chance to meet new friends, catch up on what everyone is up to, and just relax! If you have a problem, we'll lend an ear or a shoulder to cry on. Have some great news to share? We'd love to celebrate with you. So join Pat (PBarnes) at 2pm MT in the chat room Lobby! Hope to see you there!
Thursday, April 21st - 6:00PM MT
Do you have boxes of heritage photos just waiting to be restored and scrapped? Are there family stories just waiting for you to write down and preserve? Then this is the crop for you! Join April (April Showers) and Shannon (tinkerbell11) at 6pm MT for the Heritage Crop and Chat! We'll help you get motivated to scrap those heritage photos and record your family stories for future generations to enjoy.
April Message Board Game: BINGO!
Join us for an exciting game of Springtime BINGO on the Message Board Forum in April! Pick 25 words from the list provided and send them in an email to [email protected] with a subject line that says "BINGO CARD - your Scrap Girls Message Board username" by Saturday, April 2nd at Midnight MST in order to play in the first round. The first round will begin on Monday, April 4th. If you miss the first round deadline, you can still play! Just send in your BINGO card at any time during the month, and you'll be eligible to begin playing when the next new round starts.
Each day, a member of the Welcoming Committee will call five random words from the BINGO list. Match just 15 of those words to win a BINGO. You must be first to call "BINGO!" in the game thread to win that round. After a winner is called, the boards will be cleared and a new round will begin the following day.
Each winner will receive a $5 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique! We like to see lots of winners, so please remember that each person can only win one round during the month. Have fun!
For complete details, visit the Monthly Message Board Games folder on the Scrap Girls Message Board.
April Monthly Layout Contest: Earth Day was started in the United States in 1970 and it went global in 1990. For April's Monthly Layout Contest, we want you to show us what Earth Day means to you or what you are doing to make our precious world a little greener. Post your layouts in the April Monthly Layout Gallery before Midnight MT on April 30th. Be sure to list your credits in the description or under the EXIF Properties. If your layout is one of the two chosen, you will win a $10 gift certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique!
Club Concepts Layout Contest: Post your new layout using the current club selection (either the Scrap Girls Club or the ScrapSimple Club) in our Scrap Girls Club Members Gallery or the ScrapSimple Club Members' Gallery. Be sure to list all of the Scrap Girls products you used. If your layout is chosen, it will be showcased as a Club Concepts layout winner, and you will win a $5 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique!
Check our message board calendar if you have any questions about what is happening at Scrap Girls. All event times are given in Mountain Time Zone unless otherwise noted. Need help converting time zones? Check out the World Clock - Time Zone Converter. (Use 'USA-Utah-Salt Lake City' as the location for the Mountain time zone.)
Haven't received your prize as a contest winner? Please send an email to [email protected] and we'll get it out to you right away!