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Customizing Easy Pages
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Don't forget to check out the Retirement Sale section of the Boutique. Items in this section are always on sale for 30% off. The items you will find during any particular month will be discontinued permanently on the 5th of the following month. So if you see something you like, grab it while you can!
OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOU
Customer Muses: Would you like to share your own Life Muse with our readers? To have your own essay considered for publication as a muse in the column for our special Saturday newsletter, send your essay to [email protected]. If your essay is selected, you will receive a $20 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique.
Way Cool Scrap Girl: We are so excited to have all of you meet some of the amazing people that have become Scrap Girls! If you would like to be spotlighted and win a $25 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique, send the following items to [email protected]:
Suggest a Challenge, Win a Prize! Have a great idea for a Gallery layout challenge? Submit it to [email protected]. If your challenge idea is chosen, you will win a prize! Friday will be Customer Challenge Day, so keep an eye out on the Message Board calendar. It will be fun to see what YOU come up with for us to do!
Scrap Girls is giving away birthday gifts to our Message Board members!
Of course, it is a surprise what you will get because birthday presents are always surprises! But you will like it for sure because most people like money.... Anyway, make sure your Message Board email address is current and that you have the correct date entered into your profile to participate.
Some of you know that I have Fibromyalgia. I was diagnosed with it in 1988. Today, I thought I'd share with you what Fibromyalgia is, what the symptoms are, and what it's like to have this chronic condition because even if you never get it yourself, chances are you will eventually know someone who has it. Take my word for it, it will be very helpful if you understand what a Fibromyalgia sufferer experiences because Fibromyalgia patients need extra love and support from time to time.
Common symptoms of Fibromyalgia include:
Chronic muscle pain, spasms, weakness, or leg cramps (My pain feels just like the aches someone gets when they are coming down with the flu. Sometimes, this makes it hard for me to tell if I am getting the flu or a cold or if my Fibro is acting up.)
Fatigue and lack of energy
Sleep difficulties or disorders requiring medication
Stiffness, particularly in the morning (Some mornings, I feel like an 18-wheeler has run over me.)
Difficulty remembering, concentrating, and performing simple mental tasks
Balance problems (I fall down and bump into things a lot.)
Sensitivity to one or more of the following: odors, noise, bright lights, medications, and certain foods
Anxiety and/or depression
Numbness or tingling
Increased urinary urgency or frequency
Reduced tolerance for exercise (A Fibro patient must start exercising very slowly and increase the length of exercise sessions gradually. If they overdo it, they will have a flare and be set back to the beginning. The irony is that exercise can be helpful for Fibromyalgia patients – if they do it right.)
Itchy/burning/painful skin (When I'm having a Fibro flare, I often say that even air passing over my skin hurts. It's sometimes difficult to find comfortable clothing to wear during these periods.)
Tenderness in certain points on the body (Doctors always test these tender points to find out if you have Fibromyalgia or not. You can find out more about these tender points here.)
You can read more about the symptoms of Fibromyalgia on the Internet because there are lots of great resources available.
When I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, many doctors were of the opinion that it was all in my head. One doctor went as far as to make a notation in my medical records that I was a hypochondriac. The next doctor sent me to a therapist for a personality profile so that I would have proof that I am not one. He said, "I don't ever want another doctor to say that you are making this up."
That sort of thing doesn't happen often anymore because most doctors are fully aware that Fibromyalgia is a real condition. This has made it easier for Fibromyalgia patients to get help when they need it.
One of my least favorite symptoms of Fibromyalgia is brain fog (or Fibro Fog). It always accompanies severe fatigue. Imagine a cloud sitting over your head, making it hard to see where you going. Brain fog is similar only that it makes it very hard to think deeply about anything. You can think, only it takes a lot more effort because your brain feels tired all the time.
As much as I wish there was a shortcut out of a Fibro flare, my experience is that the only way through it is to rest and do the best I can in the meantime. Eventually it lifts, but while the flare is hovering about, it is hard to do much more than keep up with the most important things of life. New projects requiring deep thinking simply have to wait because I can't do them or I'll get worse.
I can pretty much anticipate that I'll have a Fibro flare after some large life event that accompanies stress – good stress or bad stress. Surgeries always are precursors to a Fibro flare. My body has to repair itself from the surgery and then it has repair itself from the Fibro flare. The larger the effect the surgery has on my body, the longer the Fibro flare lasts.
Because I have Fibromyalgia, it is often difficult for my doctors and me to know if I am experiencing a Fibro flare or if some other physical ailment is behind my symptoms because so many of the Fibromyalgia symptoms accompany other illnesses. When you have Fibromyalgia, your Fibro often becomes the catch-all excuse for everything that comes along. Because I hate having doctors tell me that my symptoms are just my Fibromyalgia acting up (I find it embarrassing), I am slower than I probably should be about going to a doctor when I don't feel good.
My theory is: Wait a bit. It will go away. It always does. Unless it doesn't. Then go to the doctor and cross my fingers that I'm not going to be embarrassed that the new symptom is just my Fibromyalgia giving me fits.
When I was young, I was very healthy and had lots of energy. I played lots of musical instruments and did live theatre. I cooked, baked, sewed, and enjoyed lots of crafts. It was hard for people to keep up with me because I was a whirlwind of activity.
Now, my energy comes and goes. Because I never know when it will come and go, I have to limit my commitments. Instead of fighting my Fibromyalgia (and pretending that I don't have it), I have learned that I simply have to accept my current reality, which is: I have a chronic illness that requires careful management. Going with the flow helps me feel better than pushing against it. It's been a humbling experience for me.
Now, when I have long periods of high energy, I'm very grateful and enjoy every moment of every day. I try to accomplish as much as I can – without overdoing it, of course - because I know that eventually, I'll have a period of time when I can't do as much.
When I have periods of low energy, aches, pains, and Fibro fog, I do my best to be patient until the flare lifts. I try not to get depressed and dwell on what I used to be like before, because all that accomplishes is that I feel sorry for myself.
Perhaps the hardest thing about having Fibromyalgia is that when I am experiencing a Fibro flare, I worry if people are unhappy with me because I can't do what I did before. I worry that they think I've become lazy and uninterested. I get so, so, so tired of telling people that I don't feel good, so I try not to say much about what I'm going through, unless circumstances require that I share how I'm feeling.
I know it's a prideful thing, but I simply hate it when I have to ask for help because I enjoy being the one who does the helping. Actually, it's pretty hard for me to ask for help – even when I really need it. Thankfully, my family is terrific at stepping up and helping me whenever they see I'm struggling, without me having to say much. They make sure that I'm fed and don't put pressure on me to do more than I'm able. (My husband is simply the kindest man on the planet!)
When I feel good, I am bustling about, excited with new ideas, and am trying new things. I am chatty and enthusiastic. When I don't feel good, I have to necessarily conserve my energy, and so I limit my activities to the necessary with the hope that I will shorten my downtime.
If you know someone with Fibromyalgia, look for signs that they need a little help and support. They'll be very grateful to you, because sometimes Fibro patients have to live with the effects of their illness and judgment and criticism from some people in their lives who think they are exaggerating how badly they feel. When a Fibro patient feels loved and accepted, it means the world to them.
If you have Fibromyalgia, know that I'm there with you in spirit. I get it because I live it. May God give you the strength and comfort you need each and every day.
P.S. If this essay is rambling, please forgive me. I am writing it through the Fog! :-)
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!
Join the Scrap Girls Monthly Club and you can have fun with the newest traditional digital and printable scrapbooking looks while saving! (A $40.87 value for $9.99 or less!)
The Scrap Girls Club contents are released on the 1st day of the month (or the closest business day to the 1st).
With the Scrap Girls Club, you will receive:
February's Scrap Girls Club designed for you by Kim Meeder
Layout by Kim Meeder
using February's Scrap Girls Club
Layout by Kim Meeder
using February's Scrap Girls Club
Layout by Kim Meeder
using February's Scrap Girls Club
How to Customize an Easy Page
Tutorial created using Photoshop CS5 with Windows 7
In this tutorial, you will be learning just how quickly you can customize an Easy Page. These ready-to-assemble digital scrapbooking products are great and allow you to easily and effortlessly create personalized layouts.
Simply slip your photos under the transparent photo windows, add some journaling or word art and additional embellishments to create a distinctive and unique layout, and just like that you are done! I've decided to use Easy Page Pro: Happy Hearts Love to demonstrate just how quick and easy it is to use these wonderful pages.
Start by choosing one of the PNG files and opening it using your photo editing software. I am going to open the file CRO_EasyPagePro_HappyHearts_85X11_2. I really like this 8.5x11-inch size page.
Now that your file is open, you can insert your photo behind the transparent box. Click on the photo and while holding down the mouse, drag the photo over to the document and then release the mouse. You want the photo to show through the transparent window, so move the photo layer behind the Easy Page layer by dragging the photo layer down. Or you can use the drop-down menu to select Layer> Arrange> Send to Back.
To resize your photo to fit in the window, go to Edit> Transform> Scale and hold down the Shift key while dragging the corners to keep the proportions the same.
And now I just want to add a few personal touches with some word art and embellishments from the Happy Hearts Collection Mini.
In three easy steps you have created a customized, unique page. It was quick, inexpensive, and best of all, tons of fun!
Article written by Cindy Rohrbough
Learn to make digital scrapbooking layouts and more! – Scrapbook Software Secrets Revealed
Ready to learn advanced techniques? – MORE Scrapbook Software Secrets Revealed
Today's freebie designed by Laura Louie
* 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.
East Coast High Noon Crop
Wednesday, February 29th - 10:00AM MST
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 February 29th, we'll have a "Change it Up Challenge." Reverse a template, rotate a frame, change the color of an embellishment or paper - it is up to you! 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!
Speed Scrap Crop
Wednesday, February 29th - 6:00PM MST
It's time for some Speed! Join Shannon (tinkerbell11) at 6pm MT for the Speed Scrap Crop! She will give you six tasks, spread out over an hour. Then, you will have an hour to get it finished and posted in the Forum Gallery!
Creative Cards Chat
Tuesday, March 6th - 6:00PM MST
Do you use your digital supplies to make cards? Do you want to? Instead of going to the store every time you need a card, you can save money and have fun making cards with your digi-stash! Make a note of any cards you might need for the upcoming month and join Theresa (tiza126) for the once-a-month Card Chat on the first Tuesday of each month at 6pm MT. This month, we'll be using Assemble Your Own Cards: Greeting Cards - Keep In Touch to make cards with a nice springtime feel. Can't wait to see you there!
February's Message Board Game: Posting Contest!
February is Posting Contest time on the Scrap Girls Forums! You can win a Scrap Girls Gift Certificate by simply being chatty in the Scrap Girls Forums and Gallery. This contest will run from February 1st when we post the thread until 11:59pm MT on February 29th.
To enter the Scrap Girls Forum Posting Contest, you MUST reply in the Posting Contest Thread with your CURRENT post count. Your post count is the number under your avatar that shows when you post. (NOTE: The number found on your profile is a number which is calculated differently.) During the month, post your fingers off! At Midnight on February 29th, we will calculate your post count based on the numbers posted in the game thread.
For complete details, visit the Monthly Message Board Games folder on the Scrap Girls Forum.
February Monthly Layout Contest: This February we have a Leap Year Day. For this month's contest, we want you to scrap about what makes you "Leap for Joy." Let us know in your journaling why you leap for joy. Post your layouts in the February Monthly Layout Gallery before Midnight MST on February 29th. Be sure to list your layout's product credits in the description or under the EXIF Properties. Two layouts will be selected to 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!
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