Category Archives: Musings

ACDSee Organization Challenge V 20

So. Many (many, many) years ago, I was a new scrapper and a new ACDses Photo Manager user. After a computer crash in November 2046, I realized that my old (very, very old)  version of Photo Manager wasn’t really working out anymore.I upgraded from Version 12 (ouch) to V 20. A good scrap friend of mine also recently upgraded to V. 20 and was asking me some questions about how I tagged things. I really had to dig in my head to find answers on how to start out again, and didn’t have much luck. ButI I did remember that I had a weekly Organizational Challenge so I dug around my computer to find the files. Much easier than searching my brain, and thankfully, I had it all on my Google Drive.

I am going to post these challenges again, with the updates for the newest version.

Organizational Challenge: Week One

Before I start, I want to make a disclaimer that what I am describing here is only my way of doing things. There may be other and/or easier ways to do this. If you know of such a way, by all means, share it with us! The other point I cannot stress enough is back up your database often. I tend to back my database up every time I spend more than just a few minutes of tagging. So feel free to explore with this program, but make sure you backup, just in case things get funky on you.

What I want to do first is to make sure my database is backed up and optimized.Click on Tools.> Back Up Database. If this is your first time backing up your Database you will need to create a new backup. If not, select Update an Existing Back Up. I usually keep about 5-6 of my most recent backups, just in case one of them gets corrupted.

TIP: Either take a look at the location of the backup, take a screen shot, or write down the location. We’ll need this information in a later post.

After you are backed up, we are going to optimize your database. This will help Photo Manager run more smoothly and quickly.To optimize your Database: Tools>Database> Optimize Darabase

Once we have this completed, we need to think about how we organize. We need to come up with a consistent way to to do this. Consistency is the key to organization, in real life, parenting, housekeeping and yes, in digi-scrapping. I find it hard to stay consistent on occasion but I really notice a huge difference when I stay focused and keep a good routine.

The first part of this is to start with your Categories.  First, any categories you start with can be edited, deleted, combined, or new ones can be added. The amazing thing with ACDSee  is that you can really customize it to make it work best for you. I would bet that out of 100 ACDSee users, no two set-ups would be exactly alike. And that brings me to my second point; Feel free to make this program “yours.” Perhaps you know you’ll never use plaid paper (too many years in Catholic school perhaps *wink* ). Then there is no need to have a category or subcategory for Plaid Paper. On the other hand, perhaps you are a Doodle-A-Holic. You have doodle hearts, doodle borders, doodle swirls, fancy doodles, kid doodles– you get the picture. (I see some of you smiling – you can relate, right!?) . In that case you might like to break doodles down into subcategories.

TIP: In my experience, it is better to start with the basic categories at the start and create subcategories later on, as you see the need for them. I find that too many options, starting out, can get overwhelming.

The last thing I want to cover before we get busy tagging is to come up with a consistent routine (There that word again! LOL) for downloading, unzipping, tagging and moving new files. We all know it, we love to get new digital goodies and in our excitement to see what we got, we have zip files scattered all over our hard drive(s). ACDSee is wonderful because you can Extract right in the program. In V. 20, you can Right Click on a zip file and then Extract to Folder (Alt-A), choose your Destination, and it will unzip right there.You can select multiple zip folders to open at once which is a neat time saver.

TIP: I recommend only unzipping a few folders at a time. Every once in a while, a designer doesn’t pack the individual files into a “inner” folder and if you have too many loose files, it can get crazy trying to round them all up. Think of a 3 year old birthday party, after the cake….

Back to the routine of this- yes, it makes tagging so much easier if you know where all of your files are. What I have done is set up a folder _To Be Tagged. The underscore puts the folder near the top of my “tree.” When I download a file, I put it in this folder *every time.* And that zip will stay there until I can get around to unzipping it. When I am ready to unzip and tag, I select the zip file (Ctrl-Click to select multiple files), then click on Extract to Folder.

Make sure that your _To Be Tagged Folder is selected. Click OK.

After my files are extracted, I move my Zip file into a sub folder, called appropriately “Zips.” (I am so creative!) I like to hang onto my zips for a while, to make sure there were no corrupted files or I don’t accidentally delete something. Then I have unzipped files in its own folder, all ready to be tagged.

TIP: This is important! Once you tag your files, you should only move them within Photo Manager. If you move files outside of Photo Manager, you will lose the information tagged to that file.

OK- we could go on and on about how to best tag and organize your files, but if I tell you all that now, you won’t come back and read this next week

Week One Tasks:

  1. Back Up and Optimize Database.
  2. Decide what procedure you want to use for unzipping and tagging your digital files. Set that up.
  3. Spend 15 minutes a day unzipping and tagging files.







Inspired by Type Challenge – January 2016 at Oscraps

siblings 2015

After reading Rita’s tutorial on her blog,  I knew that I had to give this challenge a try. I started out with a Template for the placement of my photo and elements. The template had circles as the clipping masks for the photos, but I deleted them and used a square photo and frame.

To work on the word art, I used the Font “Autumn Chant” for the title, which had some nice swirling on the capital letters. I took one of the Ligatures and placed it over the swirl on the bottom the “S,” lining them up as closely as possible. I took a small hard brush (3px) and brushed  pixels in the gaps between the text and the ligature. I then rasterized the type and merged the layers. I erased any extra pixels from the ligature.
For the swirl on the bottom of the paper, I used the same grey paper as my background and clipped it to it.

Everything by Blue Flower Art

Kit: Letters From Far Away
Doodles: Ligatures
Template: Circle of Friends

Battle For The Net

If you woke up tomorrow, and your internet looked like this, what would you do? Imagine all your favorite websites taking forever to load, while you get annoying notifications from your ISP suggesting you switch to one of their approved “Fast Lane” sites.Think about what we would lose: all the weird, alternative, interesting, and enlightening stuff that makes the Internet so much cooler than mainstream Cable TV. What if the only news sites you could reliably connect to were the ones that had deals with companies like Comcast and Verizon?On September 10th, just a few days before the FCC’s comment deadline, public interest organizations are issuing an open, international call for websites and internet users to unite for an “Internet Slowdown” to show the world what the web would be like if Team Cable gets their way and trashes net neutrality. Net neutrality is hard to explain, so our hope is that this action will help SHOW the world what’s really at stake if we lose the open Internet.If you’ve got a website, blog or tumblr, get the code to join the #InternetSlowdown here: else, here’s a quick list of things you can do to help spread the word about the slowdown: Get creative! Don’t let us tell you what to do. See you on the net September 10th!

via Battle For The Net.


I have gotten a few messages and requests for an update on how my family is doing with Lyme. I have updates my About Me page is anyone is interested.


Dusting, no– Scraping– the dirt off of this Blog.

I guess it is about time. Its only been, oh way too many months to count since the last time I posted. In some ways a lot has changed, in others. Yeah. Not so much.

The family is still fighting the Lyme fight. Except when I posted last, I had one of the 4 of us doing ok. Since then, Caitlyn has had a total relapse.  Scott is holding his own, symptom-wise but his having  some issues with high HHV6 and Lyme titers, which means that his immune system is still struggling. I have been (finally) diagnosed with Babesia, so now I don’t feel so left out. The rest of the family has it and now I get to join the Babs-Club.  Like I wanted to be in that one as much as I want to be in the Lymie Club. *eye roll*

But, it is what it is and as I say, I am a Lyme Warrior, not by choice but because I have no choice . The kids and I are doing our Lyme Warrior Bit on May 10th as part of the Worldwide Lyme Disease Protest.

I am looking forward to getting out there and helping the Lyme Community to be seen and heard. (Ya got that CDC????? IDSA??????)

Aside from Lyme being the core of my life, I am still a scrapping-fiend. It is my SANITY!!!! Oscraps has been my life-line and Therapy Session for a long long time. And I added in a new site to hang out at– MScraps. Both sites have some awesome  sales coming up for iNSD this weekend. Mscraps is also having a Blog Hop that is seriously huge and one of the stops is here!. (its is also a big reason I wanted to get this blog cleaned up a bit. Have to get ready for company!)

Life is hectic in May for me so I can’t promise that this blog is going to published as much as I would like, but this is a start. If I do nothing else, I would like to update the Lyme Journey as I have gotten a lot of comments to do so.

Hope that all of you are great and thanks for ignoring the dust-mice! xoxo

Bzz-ing about Olay


Over the summer, I was selected as BzzAgent to test out Cover Girl and Olay Foundation and Pressed Powder. I am reluctantly admitting to myself that I am getting older. I guess having two kids in High School will do it to ya. Nothing can make you feel much older than the eye rolls and comments of Mo-ooom (said with teen angst and exasperation). To all of you moms of babies who think you’ll never be more tired than you are now– just wait. LOL

Anyway, back to Olay! My skin is getting a bit saggier and I definitely have dark bags under my eyes. I was thrilled to be chosen for this trial. Unfortunately, my skin still likes to behave like a teenager even though it looks more “vintage,” shall we say. CoverGirl and Olay foundation felt really great on my skin, soft and smooth. But it made me break out. And if there is anything unjust- its being as old as I am and still breaking out like a teen. Who needs that??
The coverage of the make-up was at a good level, and it didn’t get cake-y at all. If anything, it didn’t last as long as I would have liked, perhaps because my skin tends to be on the oily side, especially during humid NJ weather.

I loved the powder, however. It finished off my make-up with a soft look. It didn’t settle in any creases at all. It felt amazing and I loved wearing it alone on the days where I just wanted a bit of coverage, and didn’t want to use the foundation.

I have to honestly say that I didn’t notice any difference in my overall skin tone after using this combination for month. I really wish I did!


It’s so dusty in here!

Yikes! What the heck happened to this blog?  I am not sure if it looks shriveled up and dead, covered in mold, or hidden among dust mice. But here I am, and here it is- ready to get cleaned up, and perhaps even used again.

I know that I get lazy at times, and stop writing, but this is the worst I have been in a while. Maybe  now that the kids are back to school, and the September Birthday’s are over, I’ll have a bit of extra time to strat writing again. Just don’t let  me look at the calender and see how many more days until Christmas because then I might get all hyperventilate-ily and stop blogging again. Let me at least get a few new entries done first. 🙂

So off I go, looking for something to talk/write about!