Friday, May 23, 2008

Memorial Day Sale

Now's the time to save on papers, embellishments and more! Now thru Monday May 26th you can save on great products in the store.

Click Here to see what's on sale. Quantities are limited so be sure to shop early and save!

Memorial Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. Here's a great tribute I found on YouTube for our brave military and those that paid the highest price for our freedom.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

We're Having a Contest!

The contest was actually suppose to be held in April, but with the problems we've had with the gallery, we decided to extend the contest into May.

We really need to get some more Sports Layouts in Our Gallery, so in order to get everyone motivated we decided to hold a contest. For the month of April, all you need to do is upload your layout and include a list of products used. Each week we will pick a winner from the layouts uploaded that week.

The weekly winner will become a "Featured Designer" on our blog and we will highlight your layout along with a small bio of you. For winning the weekly contest you will receive 15% off any order you place in Our Store and we will also mail you additional products for you to make another project. You get to keep the project, all we want is pictures of the project to show on the website.

On May 26th we will pick a Grand Prize Winner who will receive a $30 Gift Certificate to use in the Store!

Tell all your friends to come check out the blog! So now get those Sports Layouts uploaded!

Now onto the Rules:

  1. This MUST be YOUR OWN Work! Do not submit someone else's work. By submitting your projects you give us the express permission for our to post your project on our website & blog.
  2. Go to Our Gallery to uploaded your projects.
  3. You can enter as many times as you wish, we just ask that you don't duplicate your projects each week. Any duplicate projects will be deleted from the Gallery and disqualified.
  4. It can be any type of project. Layouts, Altered Items, Cards, etc. The only requirement is that it is Sports-related.
  5. All entries are due by Friday of each week at 12:00 am central time. The winner will be notified by email and asked for a short Bio and any other info they want included in their "Featured Designer" blog post. "Featured Designers" will have their projects highlighted on our blog on Sundays. Winners will receive their free products in the mail within a week of winning. Your 15% discount in our Store must be used within 6 months.
  6. The free products we mail to you will be products of our choice. You MUST send me a picture of the
    completed layout, project, etc within 2 weeks.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Jocks Behaving Exceptionally

When I read this article it brought tears to my eyes. In this day and age, so many are concerned about WINNING that they tend to forget that in the end it's "just a game". As a coach, and a parent, I would hope that my children and players who react in the same way. My thoughts are that it not all about the winning, it's about sportsmanship!

They Touched ’Em All
Blake Wolfe

If Hollywood ever runs out of ideas for tearjerker sports movies, all they have to do is read the sports wire for stories like this to come along.

Last month, Central Washington University’s women’s softball team hosted Western Oregon. At stake was a bid to the NCAA Division II playoffs. In the second inning, Western had two runners on base when 5-foot-2-inch senior right fielder Sara Tucholsky came to the plate. A career .153 hitter (.088 this season), Sara did something she’d never done in four years: smacked a pitch over the wall.

As the team whooped it up and high-fived the runners ahead of her, Western’s coach Pam Knox looked around. "Where’s Sara?" She was lying in a heap near first base.

In her excitement, Sara had missed the bag. As she darted back to touch it, her knee popped. In agony, she could barely move, let alone run. For a home run to count, a player must touch all the bases with no assistance from the team. "Our first-base coach was telling me ’I can’t touch you or you’ll be out,’" Sara told The Oregonian. "’I can’t help you.’"

The umpires told Knox if she put in a pinch runner, Sara would be awarded a single and two RBIs. "It was her only home run in four years. She’s going to kill me if we sub and take it away," Knox said. "I didn’t know what to do."

Then a voice behind her said, "Excuse me, would it be okay if we carried her around?" It was senior Mallory Holtman from Central. The umps said nothing in the rule book prohibited the opposition from helping her. Holtman and a teammate picked Sara up in a fireman’s carry and walked her around the bases, pausing at each one so she could touch the bag.

The stadium was in tears. The entire Western Oregon team was sobbing. Coaches were crying. At home plate, the two Central girls passed Sara into the arms of her teammates, and the crowd gave them a standing ovation.

"We’re never bigger than the game," Knox said afterward. "We forget that because as coaches, we’re always trying to get to the top. But I will never, ever forget this moment. It’s changed me. And I’m sure it’s changed my players."

Sara will accompany the team in its bid for an NCAA berth. Holtman intends to get a graduate degree in sports administration. Her dream is to become a coach.

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Friday, May 2, 2008

National Scrapbooking Day

In honor of National Scrapbook Day we're having a SALE! From Friday May 2nd thru Sunday May 4th take 10% off all orders over $25 (includes Clearance items) AND earn Double Reward Points! Use coupon code NSD at checkout.

To learn more about our Customer Reward Program Click Here.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May is National Photo Month

I always seem to have such a hard time photographing my kids in sports. The outdoor sports held during the day aren't quite so hard to capture good pictures, but the nighttime games and the indoor games are the worst!

If I zoom in close, there's too much blur (even if I have the camera on the sports setting). Low light and lack of windows make it hard to photograph the indoor sports! Almost all of the indoor pictures I take of the kids playing sports have too much noise and are grainy.

So in order to try and get better pictures of my kids playing sports, I started searching the internet for answers and following the tips that I found, and you know what? My pictures are so much better. Granted their not Professional Sports Photographer Quality, but then again I'm no professional.

So here are a few tips that I've saved over the years. I'm not sure where I got these from, they were in my camera notes file (a file I keep on my computer and add interesting things that I find on the internet). Hope they can help you!

  • Shoot establishing shots of the school marquee, the scoreboard, overall shots of the arena, field, etc.
  • Shoot non-action shots that tell the story. Shoot the team during time outs, the coaches whiteboard, the lineup card, the manager’s bag, water bottles, a pile of discarded towels, etc. Those are the shots that round out the story and give it depth.
  • Shoot cheerleader and crowd shots. Concentrate on capturing close-up reaction shots that ooze emotion. Anguish, joy, triumph, tragedy, etc.
  • Shoot a shot of the scoreboard at halftime and the final score. Always.
  • Turn off your built in flash. You will never fill the field or arena with that tiny flash. It will just suck your batteries and slow you down waiting for it to recycle.
  • Get close to the action. Be on the sidelines. Move with the team up and down the field. (The baseline is the best place for basketball.)
  • Anticipate the action. Study the plays the team runs and anticipate what they will do. Most high school level teams have a limited repertoire that repeats often.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Hold the camera firmly with your left hand against the bones of your face. Make a three point
    connection, hand and two points on your face.
  • Get your left elbow pressed firmly into your chest. The idea is to form a stable platform for the
  • Squeeze the shutter, don’t jab at it.
  • Use the highest ISO possible with the body you are using.
  • Use an Image Stabilization (IS) (Canon) or Vibration Reduction (VR) (Nikon) or similar technology lens/body
  • Use the fastest lenses you can possibly afford, i.e. F2.8
  • Shoot in Time Value (TV) Shutter Priority mode to eliminate camera shake
  • Use a shutter speed fast enough to prevent camera shake with the lens you are using, probably 1/80
    or 1/125. This requires some experimentation.

And last, but not least, here are some great websites for sports photo tips!

Digital Sports Photography Tips

Sports Photography Tips

Sports Photography

Sports Photography Tips

Sport Photos: a how-to and tip guide from

Speed, Action, and Sports Photography Tips - PictureCorrect Techniques

May 3rd is National Scrapbooking Day! Be sure to check back on our site Friday morning to see what our specials are!