Wednesday, February 29, 2012

1st Giveaway!!

(In my excitement to write this post, I inadvertently hit publish post without first changing the date.  If you received this via email, so sorry!!  You received the unedited version.  (I usually write posts, set them to publish later and then go back and edit them before the post.  This lets me follow a clearer train of thought.) Here's the more polished version!)

Several weeks ago, I was contacted by Liz and asked if I would like to try My Memories digital scrapbooking software.  My Memories is computer based digital scrapbooking software.  You go to their site and purchase a copy of the software and it downloads the complete program onto your computer.  This means you can create to your heart's content without having to be "attached" to your a wireless network.  (Great for times when you travel and horrors of horrors aren't connected...)

Once you put it on your computer, a virtual workspace opens up and allows you to layer thousands of papers, backgrounds, journaling, and accents such as ribbons, buttons, screw heads, just about anything you can dream of with your digital pictures. Adding pictures couldn't be easier, either.  Simply open My Memories software and iPhoto at the same time and drag and drop.  Easy!  Once you have your creation perfected, then you can print it to a pdf, jpg, or directly to your printer. 
Now, I have a confession, I am a self proclaimed scrapbook nut who has an entire room full of scrapbooking bits and pieces.  I love to cut the paper and stick the pieces down.  I find it cathartic to take a pile of mess and make something beautiful.  So, what exactly was I going to think of digital scrapbooking software???

I can honestly say I love it!!  No more mess, sticky fingers, oops with the glue, glitter or scissors, no frustrations, nothing, just point and click!  Everything you do traditionally with scrapbooking can be done just as easily with My Memories. 

In a short, untrained afternoon, I created a nameplate for my niece's bedroom door and a cute LO for Zach-a-doo & his Tonka truck.  The software is super user friendly and makes creating something precious a breeze.

For the nameplate, I started with the basic background and added a square of burlap, two colors of ric-rac trim and a couple of flowers.  Then I chose the perfect font from all of those on my computer.  My Memories lets me use all of my fonts, not just a few preselected ones.  (Sorry, personal pet peeve when I have the perfect font in my head and I can't use it because it isn't supported on whichever platform I'm working in.  Grrrrr.) 

Tonka Boy went together just as simply with a couple of layered papers and those great screw head accents.  The color matching feature made it super simple to get the perfect shade of brown for the picture border. 

If your software package doesn't have the perfect background or accent piece, cruise their website for thousands, literally, of accents, papers and quick pages (already created pages that just require you to drop in the pics.)  While most of these have a small fee attached, lots of items can be found for free!  Both of my creations above where made using items purchased for free.  My Memories cycles through over 140 different items, ranging from quick pages to background papers and accents.  (For those looking for a deal, they often run sales as well!!  Wahoo!!)

Is anyone else out there wanting to give it a try?  I have a copy of My Memories software to give away to one lucky follower!! (I'd love it if you'd follow Giddings Lane, but it's not necessary to be a winner.)

Head over to their website My Memories and look over all of their items.  Come back and leave a comment letting me know which incredible accent piece caught your eye! 

I'll choose a winner randomly on March 5th!  Good Luck!!

Even if you don't win, but are still interested, head to My Memories and use the promotional code, STMMMS37706, to earn $10 off of the retail price!!  Awesome!! The even better part??  That's not all!!  When you purchase your software with $10 off, you will receive another $10 credit to the My Memories store!!  Score!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

More Glimmers

So when I last left you, it was with a huge delivery of what was supposed to be kitchen cabinets.  I know it was a bit of a mish-mash, but stick with me.

I also know that i get long winded, but I digress and thus make this post longer, sorry!!

I spent hours days weeks months researching cabinets.  I knew I wanted wood and would prefer custom, but could never ever afford them.  Ikea cabinets did catch my interest for a while, but was worried about how the cabinets would wear over the years. 

If you recall, my motto was to do this kitchen once and NEVER EVER again!

I headed to my favorite go-to store for just about everything remodel, Home Depot.  I spent hours wandering through the cabinet displays, opening, closing and dreaming.  I had my basic floor plan for cabinets, but nothing beyond the cabinet doors.  Have you seen all of the cool things that you can have behind those cabinet doors?  But alas, those things cost money.  Lots and lots of money.  So, I put my dreams aside and sat down with a very patient lady to build the kitchen of my budget, if not my dreams.  

We spent a couple of hours using stock cabinets to "build" my kitchen on her computer.  Using their pre-chosen sizes, I chose basic cabinet boxes to make up my kitchen.  From there came the sticker shock.  And a shock it was.  Over twenty thousand dollars!!

Are you kidding me?

Basic cabinets, no bells and whistles??

I came very, very close to tearing up in the middle of home depot.  Not a new thing for me to do, granted, but I was trying to save face.  I've worked hard to make my friends at HD and didn't want them to get embarassed again.  Yeah, issues, I'll add them to my list!  :)

So, back I went to my hot plate and continued to mourn the loss of my kitchen. 

Since I was already spending thousands and thousands beyond my budget, I figured I might as well look into custom cabinets, had nothing to lose right?  Back in the day, the local ag teacher did custom cabinetry on the side.  When he retired, he went to making cabinets full-time.  On a whim I gave him a call. 

On a side note, I love small towns.  Mike, the cabinet guru, doesn't advertise, so you have to know someone who knows someone who has his number.  Love it!!

I called Mike and over a series of very patient meetings, we hammered out a list of cabinets complete with my bells and whistles.  Then came the really fun part, the bill.  Would you believe thousands and thousands less than HD's price for stock??

After working with Mike, we made a special visit to his workshop to see the progress.

Aren't they gorgeous!?!?  Is anyone else as excited as me??  Yeah, I'm guessing no, but that's okay.

The best part of my cabinet install?  Yet another kitchen arrangement?

The odd thing?  That pot of mac and cheese was probably the best tasting pot I'd ever made!  Somehow knowing a real kitchen was coming soon made it all the better.

A short time later - magic!!

So, the upshot was/is I now have custom cabinets in my kitchen!!  Real wood with all the bells and whistles I dreamed of!

more about those later!

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Once upon a time, I dreamed of getting a kitchen.  What seemed like a dream, so far away and completely unreachable, has now become something that is very, very attainable.  If you recall, one of the first things I did lo those many days ago was let my friends and family go at the original kitchen with sledges.  The pictures shown here were actually shot before I owned the home.  (Yeah, I know, I was CRAZY to purchase it in the condition I did, but being sane has never been something I've been accused of!

Nothing, nadda, zip, zilch worked in the kitchen so I didn't feel bad about tearing it down.  The cabinets were also built in place, so they couldn't be taken down and donated.  They were also so soaked with grease, animal urine, and nicotine, no one would want them.  So, for 2 years and 4 months, my kitchen has stayed that way and I have faithfully cooked on a double hot plate, when not mooching food from family. 

You have seen my preparations for a "real" kitchen, plans being drawn up, watching the walls go up, and the lights installed.  In order to even plan for cabinets, I had to know approximately which appliances I wanted to that we could make allowances for them.  I decided that I should follow my words and go with my dream range & hood set.  Add to that the changes in the plans for the kitchen and that translated into wanted to hang a 100 pound vent hood over a pocket door to the laundry room.  (Yeah, so happy I'm working with family as opposed to a true contractor who would have long ago given up on whims convictions.)  Thankfully, the hood is well secured to the wall and if/when you have more time, I'll tell you about it, but not today!

So, after searching what seemed to be most of Texas for the best deal on my combination, I found it at the local appliance store.  Huge shout-out to them!  Yay Buddy's!

Once the hood was here, installation was a breeze!  Ha!  Actually it wasn't bad, and not only because I didn't have to help lift it! 

It had a cleat for hanging and allowed you to get the hood up and in place before securing it to the wall.  So, while it was heavy, the weight didn't have to be supported too long before a break. 

Shortly after the hood was hung, the crown attached and the rest of the walls painted, I received a delivery!