Thursday, March 19, 2015

Two days in a row

I'm actually posting two days in a row. Trying to push through my stubbornness. I wonder sometimes what I will write, so I don't. Not good, right? Yet there are lots of things that go through my mind. Today, though, I got my mini kit for the Studio color challenge uploaded. That means a freebie for you. But first, oh, yes, there's a "but first." LOL. Thanks to all those who took part in the poll. That information is helpful to me. I'm actually glad that most who replied don't usually but bundles. I'm not much of a bundle maker. I do like to do quick pages, and clusters, but not much else. I've been working on two more kits for my Everyday Life series. Take a look at my previous post to learn about more about the series.

We're nearly through with winter, at least where I live in the south. Warmer weather is finally prevailing. I'll soon be releasing a hot new kit for hot weather, one of the first that will also be have a set of quick pages, sold separately. I love the colors. I've even got a little teaser for you. I'll release it next week at Etsy.

I know, you're really here for the freebie. I didn't take too much of your time with that little spiel. Diane, of ABDesigns who runs the color challenge called it Joyful, but I chose a slightly different name. Her palette and name kept the music, Ode to Joy, going through my brain, so that's what I named my kit.
Download here or click on preview

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Good morning out there. I've been telling myself I have to blog, I have to blog. Feelings aside, I have to blog. It's not like I'm sick or such, it's just that I don't often feel that I have something to say unless I am posting a freebie or such. Well, there is a freebie coming, but not in this post. Actually, I've been busy with a new volunteer position at church and haven't even spent much time designing. Though, I do go through spells of little mojo to designs, then I'll get in a flurry of activity and do several kits in a few days. I just need to time their release better.

I've also been working on my bags and purses sporadically. I made my daughter a bag for her crochet for Christmas. I drew up a pattern, made it with lots of pockets and compartments especially for crochet supplies. She loves it. I have gotten one made to post in my other Etsy store, Bags by Linda Renee (which I have on vacation at the moment), with more cut out to sew, including a bag especially for knitters. In my Studio Linda Renee shop, I've released a few new kits plus a set of templates. I'm not a big template maker; it seems that there are so many already, but when I got started on these, I liked them and made a whole set. The templates are CU, PU, and S4H.

I have started a new series called Everyday Life. Isn't that what most of our scrapped pages are about? Our everyday lives? Just released today is Everyday Life: Masculine and Everyday Life: Feminine.

Everyday Life: Masculine is geared toward the working man. He's a normal guy. He goes to work and works hard. It may be manual labor like construction or it might be in an office but when he is home, he can relax. He can pull on his old plaid shirt, his baseball cap, and work in the yard. He can tinker under the hood of the car. He might enjoy recreation like riding a bike or some sports activity. It's his everyday life. Everyday Life: Masculine has 12 papers, one mesh overlay, 63 unique elements to record the activities of the men in your life. With it's leather jacket, plaids, and outdoor gear, it especially good for the hands on type of guy.

Everyday Life: Feminine is really feminine, celebrating the woman who likes being a lady, at least some of the time. Everyday Life is about the ordinary, often the mundane, but even in the normal everyday life women are feminine. The want to be pretty and attractive. They like pretty things, and even if its inexpensive, the will have something lovely to look at. This kit celebrates the everyday life and women with it's shades of pink, minty greens contrasted with brown. This kit is also good for Mother's Day, and other holidays and celebrations of and for the mothers/daughters/sisters in your life. 15 papers and 50 unique elements.

I've had a few people at Etsy ask me if they can use my kits or a specific kit to make cards, etc. Unfortunately, I'm had to say now, because of the cu items I use. Because CU terms are all over the place, it is quite maddening at times to sort them all out. I already have a separate folder for the no freebies CU, but it looks like I may need to break it down further into those who allow CU for S4H. That way, I can know whose items I can use to make kits that others can use in their small business. It's just too bad the designers can't all get on the same page.

All the kits in this post are S4H and the templates are CU as well.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Get Bugged!

With the real thing—the kind that fly and buzz and crawl. The latest Pixel Scrapper blog train is about pets. You'll find all kinds of kits related to the animal kingdom as you take the train ride through digiland. Since I chose bugs, I call my little offering Bug Safari. Hope you enjoy.

Download Bug Safari

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Paris to NY blog train

I'm making this short today. I'm a bit under the weather but want to get this scheduled so you'll be able to download. While you're downloading, please take the poll to help me know what you like in a kit and if you prefer kits to bundles. Thanks.

Download here or here.

Here is the list of the other participants.
KapiScrap & Art
Winsor Digi-Designs
EmJay Scraps
Crafty Scraps
Touched by a Butterfly
Caroline B.
Sugarbutt Designs
Honeysuckle Lane Designs
Studio Linda Renee
Shuckclod's Stuff
Monkey's Musings

Monday, February 2, 2015

New and Improved Now at Etsy!

Better Than Ever! Not just doing what the advertisers do. It really is new and improved. A new kit, that is. Well and old kit made new. Silver Moon has always been one of my favorite kits, and I just can't retire it completely, so I looked it over carefully, removed some items I no longer cared for, reworked some that needed it, slightly changed the color palette, and added new papers and elements. Oh, the moon is still there. A lot of new stars joined the kit. So it really is new and improved. LOL. You can find it at Etsy now.

As most of you know I am a long time fan of the Studio color challenge. I got a mini done in a hurry this time. I mean, it's only the second day of February and I actually have a kit done. Hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Start of a new month, just maybe…

Maybe I can get out of low gear and start moving a little faster. I think I even the tortoise and the hare would both beat me as slow as I've been in January. I actually finished several kits to upload to my store, but I've been dragging, so I haven't released them. Not much of an excuse is it? I did get the freebie for Pixel Scrapper blog train done and uploaded. I've even got one more completed for the Paris to NY BT later this month. In between, I'm going to release some of my new goodies. As for the EU vat thingy, it seems that Etsy has realized that they do have the responsibility to collect the tax and send it. My store is open for business and will remain open. I just need to become a better business person. I've hired people in the past to help promote my kits, but it never worked out. They got my money and I got mostly nothing. So I won't go that route anymore. But I am still thinking about a creative team. My requirements would be quite simple, at least compared to some of the CT calls I've read in the last several months. All I want are two layouts for each new kit and posted in 2-3 open galleries. [Open galleries allow links back to the store where the kit is selling.] No blog work, no FB work, no making freebies. There is just one thing that I am strict about. If you accept a kit to make LOs and don't do them, no more kits. I understand if an emergency comes up. But an emergency every month won't fly. Unfortunately, such rules are necessary because such things happen. Does that sound like a CT call? I guess it is. Very informal I know. Anyone interested can either leave a comment below, or email me at hillssuper at gmail dot com. If you should use the email addy I have listed on the sidebar, I will get that too.

 I've been wondering about something. When I first started in this business years ago, no one had heard of a bundle. Now it seems to the the thing to do. I haven't been making bundles, and I don't buy bundles. Personally if I want clusters, I'll make them from what's in the kit. Same for QP, and such. When I  make scatters or borders, I include them as part of the kit. So I thought I would put up a poll to see what most scrappers really want in a kit or if they prefer bundles. Actually, I'm putting up two polls. Please let my know what you like by taking a few seconds to ckeck what boxes you want. It will help me know more of what you like. Thanks.

Anyway, on to the freebie you came for.

Download at mediafire

Download from Copy

Download at 4shared

4shared has recently started giving very long wait times to those who use adblocker. So if you choose to download from them and your browser is set to block ads, expect a very long wait.Turning off adblocker could allow stuff on your computer you don't want there. This will probably be the last time I use 4shared.

You can find the complete list of blog train participants at Pixel Scrapper.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

My Etsy Store Reopened

I gave a lot of thought to what I should do about my store and whether I should reopen it. I finally decided to reopen it, but placed a notice on the page asking those in the EU to contact me first before buying. I've read all the comments that have been left on my posts and I so appreciate each of them, especially those with a little insight into the problem. In doing a bit of searching, I have discovered just one other digiscrap store who is aware of the VAT and making some kind of provision. I'm wondering if other store owners are just in the dark about the whole thing, are playing dumb if they do know, ignoring it, or quietly working to set things up. I have to wonder, frankly, how one nation can force another nation to collect tax from the first nation's citizens when they purchase in another country and pay that tax to the home country. It doesn't even have a ring of legality to it, at least not to my unlearned-in-the-law ears. I would imagine this is one of those things that could wind up in the courts. But part of the problem is that merchants who sell digital products are very often small vendors and merchants like myself. I do wonder what places like Amazon, Ebay, and itunes is doing though. It may be that they actually have a presence in the EU countries. I know that Ebay does.

Somehow I doubt that there will be a huge backlash against it in places like the USA. Globalism is the order of the day. When there is such a push for all manner of globalized entities such as a world court, it seems that the voices of the majority will not be heard above the roar of the few who want to see the world come under a global government. No, I'm not a conspiracy theorist, though they abound on the internet. I really don't need to go searching for their theories. I have long believed Bible prophecy. As they lyrics of a gospel song says, God said it, and I believe it, and that's good enough for me. The Bible tells of a time when men would try to bring the whole world together under a single power. It will appear to be succeeding, but it will fail. It won't last long. When Jesus was on earth, He told us in His word, that He would return to earth to claim His children. Now I know that many don't believe that, or they think that if it ever happens, it will be far into the future. Others don't believe there is a God or if there is, that He is far removed from this earth and it's peoples.

There are many in the world who are doing all kinds of acts and works to appease their god, whatever that god may be. Only the Christian has a God who has died and risen again, who has promised to return and take His people to a better land. He is not a God to fear, but a God of love.  We don't have to do anything to make the Creator God love us. He made us, He died to save us from out sins, and He will come back.

I was raised a Christian, but there came a time when I turned my back on it. I chose to walk away. There seemed to be everything going wrong in my life and I wanted nothing more to do with the church, with God, with anything religious. It took several years for me to come to a place where I realized that I was not any happier, any more peaceful, or less stressed by turning away from God. The day I answered God's call to my heart to return to Him, was a day when I could finally lay down the mental and emotional load of pain and care I had been carrying. I finally realized He alone had the answers I needed. Did it require something from me? Yes, my surrender to His will. That's where many people stumble. Give up my life to someone else to control? No Way, is what many say. I tried to control my own life, but I did a miserable job of it. Things went out my control very quickly, and all I could do was wallow in the rapids. It wasn't fun.

After giving my life back into God's control, my life didn't become all roses and perfume. Far from it. I still have problems, I still have stress, I still have to deal with all that life throws at me. The difference is, that I don't have to carry it all alone, trying to make the right choices. I go to God in prayer. He carries the burdens. I know it sounds so trite, but I really don't know another way to say it. There is a peace that comes from talking to this Friend that I have not seen face to face. But I know He is there and he listens. I have seen and experienced many times when He has solved a problem where I could not see any way clear; there seemed to be no answer. He has provided needs when there was no earthly way that I could see to fulfill it. Others may call me what they want, but I know whom I have believed, and I know that He is able to keep everything I've committed to Him and guide me day by day.

This problem with the VAT and the EU I'm letting Him worry about. I'm trying to keep up with the information, but from Etsy, info is a scarce as hen's teeth. I found more information in the comments to a blog post on Constance Cumby's blog. One of the commenters posted several links to articles and information about the VAT. If Etsy finally puts a tool in place that allows us to choose what countries we will sell to, I will probably have to cease selling to EU customers. How awful. The only thing I can do is offer freebies that anyone from anywhere can download. I plan to do that. I'll be doing several blog trains and color challenges during January and February.

I really liked the color palette I used for the Pixel Scrapper blog train freebie this month. In fact I like it so much that I made a full size kit and January Snow Storm is now available in my store.