An Eagle-Eye Perspective
Several days ago, I became addicted to eagles. Not just any eagles, but Decorah Eagles. There is a nesting pair of Bald Eagles in Decorah, Iowa, about an hour and a half from my home. They are international stars with their own website (www.ustream.tv/decoraheagles) which has gone viral. As I was watching, I started to think some random thoughts about eagles and life in general.
This beautiful pair will raise their brood in a giant nest about 80 feet off the ground. They have been together since 2007 because eagles mate for life and can live up to about 30 years in the wild. This nest was built about 2007 after their previous nest fell to the ground after a strong wind broke one of the tree branches it was on. Believe me when I say you don’t want to be under a falling eagle nest. Their nests are 5-6 feet across and weigh about 1.5 tons!
Waiting for something to happen takes a lot of patience. (Thank you, comfy chair!) I was amazed by the very gentle and tender movements both parents made in caring for their three eggs. They were slow and deliberate as they used sharp talons and beaks to gently roll their eggs to form a tight triangle. I wonder how they know when it’s time to turn the eggs? Settling back onto the nest to cover the eggs, they rocked back and forth, to the side, making sure the eggs are completely covered by their large bodies. Once the eagle is settled in, they use the loose grasses in the nest to tuck in around themselves to be certain there are no gaps to let in the chilly northeast Iowa winds.
I thought of my children and grandchildren and how carefully we wrapped them and placed them just so in their cribs when they were tiny. Who could have ever guessed a bird, especially a bird of prey, could ever show that tenderness and gentleness to a mere egg? It wasn’t just the female, but the male as well, taking such tender care with the eggs.
On April 1, a tiny hole appeared on one egg. The eagles were the lead story on the news! As the hole grew bigger, we were able to catch glimpses of a tiny beak with a special egg tooth as it chipped away at its leathery prison. I’ve heard the metaphor of life being like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon or a bird breaking free of its egg, but this time I was actually feeling it. The struggles this baby had to make served to strengthen it for the outside world. Without the struggle, it would not have been able to survive. At 3:00 a.m., I gave up and went to bed. But I thought about this as I went through the day, waiting and occasionally watching. Finally, eaglet #1 emerged unseen by cameras on April 2. By April 3, eaglet #2 had entered the world. As I watched it being fed, I was amazed at the change in the strength of eaglet #1 after only one day! Little #2 was still flopping around. They both looked a little like monster dust bunnies with beaks and eyes at this point. The third egg hatched on April 6. (Want to see the hatchings? The website has a link to the highlights of each egg hatching.)
A few of the random thoughts I’ve had while watching:
- It is very peaceful to sit and watch, meditating on nature… even if it's in front of a computer.
- We can learn things, not only about nature, but about ourselves by watching nature.
- Everything is a miracle.
- I wonder what eagles think about while they sit on a nest.
- If we hadn't stopped using the pesticide DDT, we probably wouldn't have this opportunity. (And I'm old enough to remember just how deadly that stuff was.)
- What we are doing is helping, but what else can we do to help save more species from extinction?
- It would be a real shame if we had lost the Bald Eagle (or any eagle, for that matter).
- Why does Earth need eagles? Answer: Why does Earth need us?
- Why am I not taking pictures of my computer screen?! (Now I am, so watch for layouts.)
- If birds are this gentle with their young, and some dinosaurs are said to have been built more like birds than lizards and reptiles, does that mean dinosaurs took care of their young and nurtured them in a similar way?
- I see a lot more eagles now than I did 10 years ago.
- I love to watch eagles fly!
Bald Eagles are the national bird for the United States. Perhaps it is the symbolism of this bird that makes it so special to me. They are magnificent birds and so beautiful to watch. I could admire this majestic bird and sit like a crazy woman and watch for hours, no matter what. My camera battery is recharged, and I'm going to take more pictures!
Live life large and have a great day!
Ann (a.k.a. Grannie Annie)
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!
Tagging in Picasa
When I first noticed we were going to do a tutorial on tagging in Picasa, I jumped at the chance to offer to write it. In the eight years that I've been digitally scrapbooking, I've never used a tagging program. I've always wanted to, but never found the time to sit down and learn it. So I thought, what better motivation to learn the basic how-to than having to write a tutorial on it?
After I got Picasa installed, and it had brought in all my images that were on my desktop, it was time to start tagging.
The first thing you need to do is choose the folder you want to start tagging in. Once you choose the folder, you will find its contents will open on the screen.
Click on an item that you want to tag and then hold down the Ctrl key and press T. You will see this box on the right-hand side.
Up at the top, you will see a box. Type in your tag there, then hit the plus (+) sign. As you do this, you will see your tags show up in the larger white box. Now, down at the bottom is something called QuickTags. This is basically a spot where you can store commonly used tags. To access this, click on the little orange starburst icon (see it circled above).
When you do this, a box will come up that looks like this.
Here there are several spots for you to type quick tags. Once you have filled in all the spots you'd like, then click OK. Then when you are tagging your items, you can just click on the quick tags instead of typing in the word.
Once you have all your items tagged, you can quickly pull them up by using the Search bar in the upper right-hand corner. Below you will see that I put in the term Damask, and Picasa will pull anything that has been tagged with that term.
I hope this has taught you the basics of tagging in Picasa. I know I have so much more to learn about that program, as I hear it does wonderful things. But first, I'll spend some time tagging my supplies.
Technology Saturday is a weekly column focusing on all sorts of gear, gadgets, and software from the digital scrapbooking world. Stay tuned each week as Becca Hauck, Scrap Girls Newsletter Woman, brings you software reviews, organizing tips, printing and scanning techniques, and much more!
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!
What Customers Are Saying…
We love to hear from our customers… just because. You are why we do what we do! Here's what you've been saying lately…
God bless you and everyone at Scrap Girls. It's like a little download of heaven to me!
I knew I had backed up all my purchases that were on my PC and couldn't wait to use my new iMac for my photos. Well, Iphoto crashed, and they have to rebuild it, and also all my purchases disappeared. Solution? Call Angie at Scrap Girls. She has been wonderful about helping me restore the purchases that I especially wanted. Don't ever doubt the help you can get from Scrap Girls members and the Scrap Girls team. Thank you to everyone.
The inspirational and informative Scrap Girls Newsletter is something I look forward to each day. That newsletter has got to take an immense amount of effort and time to keep it at the quality that we see almost every day! When I see a new product featured in the newsletter, I usually check it out in the Boutique. I have a special folder for the priceless tips in the newsletters. I also have a special folder for my favorite layouts from the newsletter and the Gallery so that when my creativity is nonexistent, I can look at those for inspiration.
I just wanted to get back to you and tell you how much I love your website and the products you offer. I am extremely pleased with everything I have purchased. I really appreciate the time and effort you put into keeping us happy scrappers!
I'd just like you to know that I am very happy with everything about Scrap Girls. The quality and range of your scrapbooking products is excellent, and I have never had any complaint.
I love your newsletters. You are so open in sharing your experiences of life that you make me feel like I am a friend.
The whole Scrap Girls experience is so friendly, and everyone so helpful that I can't think of any other business which beats it.
Keep up the excellent work. Best wishes to you and your team.
The Scrap Girls website is what made me take the plunge into digital. (I had never even used photo editing program for paper scrapping.) And 99% of what I have learned has been through the guidance of Scrap Girls. I have been so thrilled with the products and customer service. You all do a wonderful job.
The newsletters are great. Ro's muse about how she started Scrap Girls is one of my favorites, as my family is in a bit of the same predicament—in the middle of changing careers, stressed about everything, trying to make it all work out. It's nice to know that someone else has been through it—and survived!
Good service seems so hard to find. I was so surprised the first time I emailed a question—then received a response from Angie within hours! I even called once and she talked me through my problem. A real live person! Who actually helped me!
I am really enjoying the switch to digital. I have done paper scrapping off-and-on for years. But with two boys, a part-time job, Cub Scouts, volunteering at the school… Well, you have kids so you know how it is. Paper scrapping just got to be kind of hard, lugging everything out, and so on. So now I am trying to teach myself Photoshop Elements and am really enjoying it. I feel like I have purchased enough from Scrap Girls, and now I need to actually do some pages! So I made an altered CD album for Grandparent's Day!
Weekly Layout Winners
Layout by Jane in N.Z
Layout by no_idea
Want to see your layouts make an appearance in the Scrap Girls newsletter?
Simply post your digital or paper layouts that use Scrap Girls products in our online Gallery, and if we choose your layout to be featured in the newsletter, you'll win a prize! To be considered, don't forget to list the Scrap Girls products that you used in your layout.
Congratulations to this week's selectees. Please email [email protected] to receive your gift!
Want to see past winners of the Weekly Layout Contest? Visit the Weekly Layout Winners gallery on our message board here!
April's ScrapSimple Club Concepts Layout Winner
Layout by luckyladybug
These first TWO products are included in this month's ScrapSimple 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.
Congratulations, luckyladybug!! We loved your layout so much we had to share it with everybody! luckyladybug receives a $5 Gift Certificate for her layout using March's ScrapSimple Club! Congratulations!
Congratulations to this Club's winner. Please email [email protected] to get your gift!
Want to see past winners of the ScrapSimple Club Concepts contest? Visit the ScrapSimple Club Concept's Winners Gallery on our Message Board here!
Layout by Julie White
Designer Freebie by Julie White coordinates with her Irish Blessing Collection Mini
Today's freebie designed by Julie White
* 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.
Recipe Swap Chat
Saturday, May 14th - 7:00PM MT
Join Carla (CRS) and Lei (Bride) at 7pm MT in the chat room for our Monthly Recipe Swap Chat. Please check the message board the Thursday before the chat for this month's theme and the swap details!
Quote Challenge Crop
Monday, May 16th - 7:00PM MT
Come join Pat (PBarnes) for the Quote Challenge Crop at 7pm MT. Including a quote on your layout can be a touching and meaningful addition, especially if you use the quote to create your own word art. Here's how it will work. Early on Monday, Pat will post a thread on the Chat section of the board giving you a quote that you may use to make your own word art. It's not hard, and she will have a layout with a Word Art example in the gallery. Then we'll meet in the chat room to have fun, chat, and create our Word Art layout! Everyone can participate and create a layout, even if you can't make the chat. Hope to see you there!
New Member Chat - Early Edition
Tuesday, May 17th - 1:00PM MT
Faith Journey Chat
Tuesday, May 17th - 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 message board for this month's topic of discussion, and if you like - create a layout based on the topic!
Life Moments Chat
Tuesday, May 17th - 7:00PM MT
Join Lei (Bride) for the May installment of Life Moments chat. Our topic will be Outdoor Fun! With the weather finally turning nicer here in Michigan, my hubby and I are chomping at the bit to get our camping gear out and start planning some trips. So I thought it would be fun to scrap "Outdoor Fun!" Does your family love to camp, go to the beach or lake, hike, fish or have big family barbecues? Whatever your idea of "outdoor fun," let's scrap about it!!
May Message Board Game: Spotlight on the Boutique!
Each day during May (with the exceptions of Sundays), a member of the Welcoming Committee will post a layout in the official game thread. The layout will correspond with a product in the Scrap Girls Boutique and will be either the only layout or directly to the right of the product image on the product details page. A spotlight circle will show a portion of the layout you are to search for. If the layout is not identified by the following morning, a second spotlight circle will be added to the layout. This will be repeated until the product is identified.
To participate, search the Boutique for the layout and post a link to the product page in the official game thread. One guess per member per day. The winner will be drawn from all members who correctly identify a product throughout the month. The winner will receive a $10 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique!
For complete details, visit the Monthly Message Board Games folder on the Scrap Girls Message Board.
May Monthly Layout Contest: What's blooming in your yard, garden, or neighborhood right now? For those in the northern hemisphere, it would be spring flowers. For those in the southern hemisphere, it would be flowers of the fall variety. For May's layout contest, show us what's blooming in your neck of the woods or show us photos of your favorite flowers. Post your layouts in the May Monthly Layout Gallery before Midnight MT on May 31st. 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!