Magical Beautiful Tempting Tuesday

Those of you who are part of the Mouse Paper Scissors Holidays course will already know how amazing the Watercolor Texture Kit, by EveryTuesday is. This kit allows you to unleash your creativity, as you add bright, colorful textures to your pieces. In the Mouse Paper Scissor course, we used this kit to add a nice autumn flavor to a piece.

 

Imagine the delight you could add to any seasonal project, or Digiscapbook! 

 

Love this? You are going to love:

Tempting Tuesday!

Sometimes, it's the font itself that draws me in, and sometimes it's the added details, like today's Tempting Tuesday's pack! Who doesn't want to be complemented first thing in the morning? 

The BlueShift pack combines the playful drawl of a handwritten look, with a stylish display and has me tempted to play today! Totally charming, amazing and spirited, I feel inspired to create fun displays to show it off! 

The pack includes:

Bright colorful and whimsical! 

And a touch of handcrafted as well!

Click any photos to be whisked away to the site, and come be tempted along with me!

I went to vote today, and I didn't get to.

I was disenfranchised today, and I'm all burned up about it. Voter laws that differ state-to-state are ridiculous, and here is my story. 

The Backstory

I ended up not being able to vote because I had no idea that voting laws were so completely different from state to state.

So we've lived in North Carolina for awhile. I didn't vote in the last general election (boo to me, I know), so I wanted to vote in this one, because I think A LOT rides on the outcome of this. I've only voted in Idaho and Minnesota, BOTH of which have same-day registration on election day. See here on this list from Huffpost, which I only found just now when I was searching for the WTF. Honestly, I had no idea that anywhere else was any different, because why would I? Two states the same, pattern established. To top it off, amidst worries that black voters had been told they couldn't vote, I even heard Pres. Obama's ad telling North Carolinians that we can register to vote and vote on the same day. So, I thought, I'm all set. Not totally sure if I'm registered, but I have my ID and I know where my polling place is and when it closes, and I'll be there to vote on November 8. Go me!

So I Showed Up at the Poll Just Now...

And I wasn't in the book with all the registered voters.

That didn't surprise me very much. But I clutched my ID and went to the "Help" station, where they did a search (on a database somewhere? no idea?) and they still didn't find me. Okay, so not registered. I still didn't think that was a very big deal, because I've done that before, right? See above.

I begin to hand over my ID to the really sweet lady who was helping me (and who was starting a provisional ballot for me, which I still don't know what that is), and a Very Stern Woman with "Chief Judge" on her badge comes over and says nope. In fact, she said "If you aren't registered you can't vote today."

WHAT?

And I have to take a minute to go, what? Really? I really cannot cast a vote. Really? So I pull out my big ammunition and say BUT I heard that ad with President Obama that said I could. And she said, "You could have registered and voted on the same day, but only until November 5 when early voting ended." And she starts to walk away.

"Early voting, what's that - wait, so I can't vote at all? I mean I seriously can't? But I want to!"

Yep. Totally told her I wanted to. Like that made a difference between me and everyone else in the room, who also clearly wanted to

But the answer, it turns out, is that I couldn't vote today. I was turned away from casting my vote tonight, because you can't register and vote the same day here. Well, You COULD do, but only if you went somewhere and did that before November 5. And there are other states in which there IS no early voting (both of the other states I've voted in), and still others where you can vote early and still vote and register on the same day. So I COULD have voted for the President of the United States, but only if I still lived in Minnesota, or in Idaho. 

And that right there, the fact that my rights to vote for the highest office in the nation actually vary depending on the state I live in, just doesn't seem right.

And you know what, maybe I hit the perfect voter storm because ID and MN are the same, and NC is completely different with regard to voting laws. In BOTH Idaho and Minnesota, I would have been just fine. In fact, in Minnesota I brought only my gas bill and I was just fine.

But Today I Could Not Cast My Vote.

Clearly Pres. Obama left the whole "you have to do this sometime before the actual day when you think you are supposed to do this," out of his commercial that I half-listened to a week or so ago. I probably heard the words "early voting" cast around while I was listening to NPR in my car while I went to get milk and bread. But why should I care about early voting? I care that I'm almost out of gas. That we don't have milk or bread in the house. I care that my kids have clothes to wear to school that are mostly clean and hole-free. I only have so much bandwidth for caring about things, and I can't research what I don't know I don't know.

I spend a really big proportion of my time online - connected within a few clicks to everything (I thought) that matters most. So maybe it's mostly shock that something that was SO OBVIOUS to everyone there at the polling place. How was I supposed to have known I had to? I was on my way to buy milk and bread.

And couple that with the fact that the NC voter laws changed just two years ago, and have been challenged in the Supreme Court, I can't be the only one confused and/or angry that I've been disenfranchised through no fault of my own. Check out this from a year ago via Huffpost.

And it's the idea that I surely can't be the ONLY ONE who didn't register before a magically made-up date beforehand that has me so worked up, I guess. Everyone there seemed all surprised at the possibility that anyone wouldn't already have known all along.

Yep. It's Partly My Responsibility

ALTHOUGH ONLY PARTLY.

Of course, probably a lot of people who will read this will say, "Well, you should have known, and if you didn't know you should have researched." And I say I absolutely should have. In a race where my vote counts probably more than it ever has, I should have paid better attention. As a Citizen of 'Merica I have a responsibility to research voting. To a certain extent, I did - I know where to vote and what day voting is, and even knew when the poll closed so I'd get there in time. Brought my ID, although took a chance and didn't bring my gas bill.

And then AT the poll I learned something that I didn't know I didn't know, that I maybe should have known, that if I had researched I could have known, that everyone at the polling place certainly thought I should have known, which I didn't know because based on my previous experiences in other states, I wouldn't have HAD to know. You know?

I guess the question would be what defines "avid research," right? And you know, as I've reviewed it in my mind, most people probably would have heard something about it by living their daily lives, right? But if I don't work with other locals (I don't), and I don't watch TV (I don't), and I don't read the web sites of any local news organizations (I don't), and I don't get a North Carolina newspaper (I don't), and I'm not on any political-type email lists (I'm not), I wouldn't even have a way to know. Does that make me a minority?

The Biggest Question of All

Why are voter laws for federal elections different in every state?

So why in the ever-living HECK are the rules for voting in a FEDERAL ELECTION so different from state to state? I move, and suddenly boom. Unless I am part of some specific stream of information (which I am clearly not a part of), I can't vote. My right has been taken from me through no fault of my own. And how can it surprise so many people that I didn't know? That's what the fight over the NC voter laws was about, and which party was trying to steal votes from whom, when it SHOULD have been about the fact that confusing state voting laws are responsible for disenfranchising anyone who moves states and doesn't do a lot of research. Because, they shrug, "People just ought to know." That was the attitude at my polling place, anyway. 

For elections that affect the whole nation, the United States needs ONE set of federal-level voter laws. Frankly, I'm astonished that this isn't already the case here in 'Merica. I think it's fine if a state wants to choose its own methods for electing governor or statewide offices, although I don't see why ANY voter laws, except those at the most local levels of government, can't be the same no matter where you live. We move around a lot in this country. Much more often than we did even a generation ago.

If you have some insight in this, some history or precedent or backstory that will help enlighten me, I'll be right here, ok? I really would love to know. Meantime, I'll be watching the election results and wishing my vote counted. 

-JS

Tempting Tuesday

This Tuesday sees me totally drooling over this Giant Bundle of fonts - 56 of them in fact! Oh, and I just purchased it... because this is Enabling Tuesday. Or Tempting. Whatever. Featuring 12 top-selling products by Hustle Supply Co., this Giant Bundle will give your awesome projects that added touch. Some of the fonts are very masculine, which is great for adding to our naturally girlie repertoires. This set seriously has it all. Oh, and it's $29. Sometimes designers group together one or two of their best stuff, and then fill the bundle with so-so. But I'm excited to use ALL the fonts here. 

One of the struggles that all designers have is pairing fonts together. There isn't really a recipe, only a few guidelines, and they can be vague at the best, and downright misleading at their worst. The fonts here will make it really easy to pair, which is why I got the whole shebang. 

Pairing Sans + Sans: Hard to do.

Several of the fonts actually have different types within the same font. Enter Cast Iron:

Cast iron, from hustle supply co.

Cast iron, from hustle supply co.

This has your essential tall-n-skinny, designed a bit blockier for that industrial feel. But it also has shorter letters a little heaver-weight, but with that same squared-off feel. They're designed to be set together and look great. Check out his Cast Iron sample, filled with delight. And go over to his web site to get the FREE condensed version of Cast Iron.

Perfectly Pre-Paired: Easy

And of course there are fonts that just pair together perfectly, and he has done a bunch of the work with the mini-bundles inside. Like Gibson + Hochstadt:

gibson + hochstadt from hustle supply co.

gibson + hochstadt from hustle supply co.

Whiskey, Hustle Script, and Greenstone sealed the deal for me. And there are a lot of others! Love! And I LOVE it when designers make AWESOME samples of their work. The magpie in me loves looking at (and buying) all the shinies! 

Here's the link to the bundle from Hustle Supply. Tempted. Enabled. Done.

-JS

Like this Giant Bundle, you'll love these!

Tempting Tuesdays: Brush Fonts!

Hi y'all!

Welcome to our new series, Tempting Tuesdays, where I will post and write about all the new products out there that are enticing me!

Let's spend today being tempted with awesome, beautiful and perfectly crafty collections. The new Bonjour set is out on Creative Market, and it's perfect for those watercolor themes we all might have going on. The bold brush fonts look handmade and will be the perfect addition to those projects that use ink or watercolor designs. Plus, as an added bonus, this Bonjour pack contains watercolor splatter brushes, styles in watercolor, foils and inks! Click to find out more, and have a great time dreaming about all the projects we can design!

You love this? You're gonna love these too:

Time is Running Out!

Midnight tomorrow (November 1, 2016)  is your last chance to sign up and recieve your Mouse Scissor Paper: Holiday kit. The kits are in the warehouse ready to ship out. Don't miss out, sign up today at www.JessicaSprague.com!

Photoshop Friday : Dress Up A Title with Layered Text

Hey there! I'm excited to bring back some Photoshop Friday fun! Below you'll find a helpful video that will show you how to dress up a title with layered text. You can do this in a variety of ways by playing with brushes, shadows, and outlines.

In addition to the video tutorial, you will receive a layered PSD template to make your own digital layout and you will receive a PDF instruction sheet. Not only do these PDFs have all of the video instructions in written format, but they also are full of gorgeous layouts from our Creative Team. They will show you how to take the technique you learned and apply it to a different layout for a whole new look. How cool is that?!

Here is a look at my layout and a sneak peak of the template that you will be working with today

Step 1: Downloads


4. Click here to download the PDF. Make sure that you have the most current version of Adobe Reader found here.

 

Step 2: Video Tutorial

Here you can watch the video tutorial. It was filmed in Photoshop Elements, but it works the same in Photoshop CS3/CS4/CS5.

Step 3: Complete & Share

Create your layout with the Photoshop Friday template and customize it with your own pictures and digi supplies. When you are done, tag us or share it on my Facebook page, Pinterest it and let the world see the beauty you've created! I would love to see your creations!

So Long Summer!

I had a great summer. It was flipping hot. This was August 13, coming back out to my car in a parking lot somewhere. 

Aside from the heat, which honestly is expected here (it is North Carolina, after all, and they don't make too much of a secret that it's HOT in the summertime), we had some great experiences. To recap:

  • I sent my parents on an LDS mission to Kobe, Japan. (really, I participated from afar)
  • Rowen finished 6th grade with flying colors & good friends. Being 12 is really, really hard.
  • I spent 6 days in the woods with my kid at Girls' camp. Sweaty. Oh, so sweaty. I actually don't think I've ever sweated that much during one 7-day stretch. But totally disconnected from modern life & convenience, living in tents, hiking, tubing, swimming, rock climbing, the works. I loved it, and so did she. Best quote, said during the grueling 2.5 mile hike up the mountain to Hanging Rock, NC? "Heavenly Father made this view just for you, hoping that you'd go up and see it. So let's go." 
  • We went to the Oregon coast for a week (and then had 2 weeks at home without kids! yeah!) Drove to sights along the coast, dined on the most amazing Belgian waffles at the Chalet in Newport, OR, and ate lunch at a GREAT biker bar-turned Vietnamese restaurant with Jared's extended family - including his 94-year-old Grandma. Now that is a memorable sentence, right there. Break it down. ;)
  • We spent the 4th of July in Jacksonville, FL with my soul sister (aka Sister-in-Law) and their 9 kids, plus grandparents. 
  • After 1 1/2 years of homeschool (from mid 4th through all of 5th grade), I sent Elliott to 6th grade at public school, along with Rowen, who was entering 7th. They started school the end of July. This one has caused a lot of stress and worry for me over the past several months - to enroll, not to enroll? Would he be ready? It's mid-september now, and things are going really, really well.
  • Celebrated my 41st birthday the end of August. Rowen baked me a red velvet cake with buttercream frosting from scratch, and I got breakfast in bed!
  • I volunteered to help out with spirit wear this year at the kids' school. I have been designing the t-shirts, which we'll sell at our gear drive in October. I've done t-shirts for my own events in the past - both for Capoeira and for Spraguefest, and I've decided I REALLY like making t-shirts
  • I'm in the works making another shirt for the Triangle Survivors of Suicide annual walk to raise awareness. I volunteered after being asked by my counselor and her husband - he lost an adult son to suicide, and formed the local chapter. I'll show you that design when it's finalized. 

Next Post! -JS