friday at the farmer's market, my new granddaughter, and a freebie!

>> Friday, September 3, 2010

Happy Friday and Happy Labor Day Weekend y'all!  Grab a drink of your choice and come sit with me for a spell ...

Welcome to Friday at the Farmer's Market! Hmm ... might you be wondering where I came up with that title? LOL! Yes, for those of you who may have seen my Twitter and/or Facebook statuses during my stay in Washington, it was influenced by my Saturday trips to the local Farmer's Market in Vancouver with my daughter, her family and friends! And then, our Friday drives up the hill to our local Farmer's Market in Angels Camp, California!

Friday usually finds me winding down from the week and, most likely, it finds you doing the same as we look towards whatever activities we have planned for the upcoming weekend or, perhaps, just a relaxing day at home with our beloved families.

There have been so many occasions where I've run across something while out-and-about in Scrapland (and beyond) that I've wanted to share, so I thought this would be a wonderful opportunity for me to do so.

I hope to bring you features and/or samplings (aka freebies) I find during my venturing out on Friday mornings!

Before I share my Friday Farmer's Market finds, I would love to share a video clip with you that my daughter, Joan just recently emailed to me. And what makes this particular video clip so special? You will see two portraits highlighted by photographer extraordinaire, Erin Tole, of my new granddaughter, Katelyn Rose! *big grin*

Erin came to the house when Baby Kate was just six days old! Erin specializes in newborn photography and as I learned, the younger the better due to babies being much more limber when fresh from the womb, which is why they are able to achieve some of the most incredibly adorable poses I've ever seen from babies!  So reminds me of many a photograph made popular by world-renowned photographer, Anne Geddes!

Erin was recently featured on a local television station out of Portland, OR, KOIN-TV and without further ado, I introduce you to Erin Tole and to my precious new granddaughter, Katelyn Rose. Katelyn was born on July 15th at 7:27 pm, weighing in at 6 pounds, 9 ounces and measuring 19-1/4 inches in height! Yup, a little peanut just like her mommy was! *sigh* P.S. I still owe you snap shots and those shall be forthcoming!

The image of the baby on (or in) the wood stump outdoors (an indoor prop!) followed by the black and white of baby in Daddy's arms are both of Katelyn Rose. The sweet little baby boy seen unveiled during the interview is the son of one of the anchor men at KOIN-TV. How special for him too!

Video courtesy of KOIN TV - Local 6 (Portland, OR):

See Erin's amazing work here: Erin Tole Photography (Portland, OR - Vancouver, WA)

If you would be interested in viewing more images taken of Katelyn Rose by Erin Tole, check out her blog post devoted specifically to the photo shoot at my daughter and son-in-law's home here: Words Cannot Describe 

Well, after leaving the virtual photography booth at the Farmer's Market this morning, I came across another virtual booth offering up an AMAZING digital scrapbooking service by long-time (since 2004) business woman, blogger, hybrid crafter, graphic designer, digital designer (and the list goes on ...) AND owner of Digi Scrap Obssession, Bunny Cates! 

I happened across Bunny's brand new Digital Scrapbooking Business Career Coaching service at DSO, while checking out some VERY cool Jolly Pirate Templates 4 by GS Creations! (Being an incredible deal at only $1.88, I am linking you straight to them here, as I am not sure how long they are on sale for and they might be off-sale by my Monday in the Marketplace post! There are also three additional sets on sale for $2.44, all of which are CU-friendly!)

Ms. Bunny is offering up a jam-packed hour of her time, on a person-to-person basis by way of Skype (worldwide) or telephone (USA only), in which she will answer ANY business related questions that you might have whether you are an established digital designer, store owner or someone contemplating a new business either as a digital designer or store owner and who is in need of some expertise within the field of Digital Scrapbooking.  And, YES, I am going to purchase an hour of her time in the very near future as I begin to progress toward putting my boutique together!  $23.00 (currently 23% off of the regular price of $29.95) is well worth the investment from someone well-established and successful in the Digital Scrapbooking industry, believe me!

I can also give Bunny Cates a personal recommendation!  I was blessed to have had a few one-on-one conversations with her a year ago when I was in the process of joining DSO as a digital designer, but had to back out due to health issues and computer issues at the time.  Nonetheless, Bunny gave me a wealth of important information most people do not possess when first pursuing a business in the digital scrapbooking industry.  I have forgotten a few of those important factors and I look forward to doing business with Bunny to make sure I have a good understanding of the necessary information I need to keep my future store safe online and out of the reach of hackers!  You might think this is not important, but it most definitely is.  I have seen a handful of well-established sites completely incapacitated due to malicious acts of hacking in recent months. There are ways to protect ourselves from this happening y'all and Bunny can help us along without missing a beat!

I would like to interject one more important aspect of having a successful career as a digital scrapbooking designer and/or store owner, and that is adherence to "Industry Standards".  Those close to me know that I have questioned whatever happened to them many times as I began to see many new designers and stores cropping up several years ago that were not following any standards whatsoever. So, how does one stop such madness? Uhm, we can't actually, however, we can become educated as to what is and what is not acceptable in the digital scrapbooking industry and learn to make wise choices as with any other type of product we purchase for ourselves and our families.

 Whether it be purchasing digital designs to scrap our precious memories with or commercial-use items to make our own designs to use or sell, we can prevent a lot of disappointment on our part by educating ourselves as to what is quality product and what is not. This is an area that Bunny ensures DSO stands behind in that each piece submitted by a designer goes through quality assurance (QC) and will not be passed on to you (or me!), the consumer, unless it meets industry standards in numerous areas.

There is nothing more heartbreaking to me then to have spent hours, or more, on a project only to find that an item I am using is missing pixels, blurred, distorted, improperly shadowed or shadowed when it should not be, jagged on the edges, beveled incorrectly and/or light sources coming from multiple directions or contains stray pixels, etc. Some of you may shake your head and think not much of it all, but when you go to print pages or spend extra monies on creating photo books, I assure you, it will show and you will be disappointed!

On behalf of designers and store owners, I will say this, no one is perfect and mistakes are made and you will know those who genuinely care about their customer service in how they respond to your concerns about a particular designer and/or product.  In my honest opinion, a reputable designer/store will have the issue taken care of as quickly as is humanly possible.  That is simply good customer service, which means the world to a consumer and it will keep them coming back.

I would like to thank Bunny personally (you ROCK lady!) for allowing me to feature her new Digital Scrapbooking Business Career Coaching (follow link for details) service on my very first Friday at the Farmer's Market segment and I hope that y'all will join me again on Monday, when I shall debut Monday Morning in the Marketplace, which will focus on my wanderings around Scrapland on Monday mornings as I prepare myself to focus on my week ahead and, if the need be, find some inspiration!  Mondays shall generally focus on new products and sales.  I may even toss a found freebie or two into the mix on occasion!

You all surely deserve a goody for hanging out with me this long! It is an embellished frame to coordinate with my contribution to the Fall Carnival - September Blog Train. Grab it below before leaving!

I hope you are enjoying the Fall Carnival Blog Train and wish you all a safe and fun Labor Day Weekend!

Keep on scrapping and above all, scrap happy! :D

P.S. A sincere thank you to those who have not been afraid to leave comments on my new Disqus commenting widget! As you will find, I have replied to each comment thus far, minus a few new ones which I shall reply to once I hit the publish button on this post!  If you have any questions or comments regarding this post, please leave them beneath this post and I shall reply to each one just as soon as I spot them! Thanks SO much - MWAH!

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