My Virtual Sanity

Have you ever felt the need to share your thoughts with virtual strangers just so you can pretend that you have adult conversations during the day? Well, that's what I'm about to do. Be prepaired for my life as a stay at home, obsessive knitter, and my attempts to stay connected with the rest of the world.

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Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Friday, May 05, 2006


Well, it's been a long time since I've posted. I've been sick the last few days with strep. Ick! and haven't had the energy or motivation to do much of anything. I have a confession, though. I have a scrapbook. It's last entry was over 5 years ago, before I had children, or was even pregnant. I had great plans to make a scrapbook for Alex's baby book. It never got past the hospital stage and he's now 4 1/2 years old. My dear friend Kat made threw me a baby shower for Brendan. She gave me a memory box and a photo album. This wasn't a scrapbook, it was just one of the old fashioned magnetic type photo albums. You know, the kind that all of the pictures of OUR families are in from when WE were kids? I think my failure as a scrapbooker is due in part to my lack of finances (let's admit it Scrapbooking is probably more expensive than knitting...) and lack of kid free space. Yes the goal is to plaster those cute little smiles all over pages of scrap books, but you don't actually want any of them present when you pull out all those scrapbooking supplies. Lots of little pieces of paper, stamps, punches, scissors, pens, markers, and if your fancy hot embossing tool thingies and razor sharp cutters. These are not kid friendly tools! So, once Alex was old enough to move around my scrapbook went on a sabbatical. Since that day all pictures have lived on the computer or have been dutifully filed in my "scrapbooking box" This box has not been opened except to add more stuff to it.

Not long ago during my LONG FFXI career, my linkshell had a website. We had a forum and talked to each other, shared cool websites, planned our in game events, etc. At the bottom of our forum posts there was a space for a signature picture. A member of our linkshell, Arkangel, made beautiful signature pictures in photoshop. He charged 100k in game dollars to make them. He justified this because it took a lot of time and effort to make them and this was time he was not in game to make money. In FFXI money was everything. I'm sorry to say that I spent more time making virtual money than I have making REAL money in probably close to 3 years. You can even buy this virtual money (called Gil) for real money on the internet. It is severely frowned upon, and people get more worked up about "gil sellers" in game than they probably do about any real life issues. This all sounds really silly unless you play these games and get sucked into the addiction. Anyway, I couldn't justify playing for 16 hours, or whatever it would have taken to make 100k gil for a pretty picture of my character to put on our website, so I made one. I got a copy of photoshop from my brother and started playing around with it. It was FUN! I had a program that let my pick a character model type from the game, watch it do all of the moves (run, jump, weapon skill, cast magic, etc) and dress it up in any of the game clothes or armor. Did you ever play with paper dolls as a kid? Ha! Well this is virtual paper dolls, but now they move! Here is the very first signature I ever made:

I made 3 signatures that first day. One for me, and one for each of my 2 oldest in game friends. Guy and Wite (Yes, my name was much cooler than theirs). After I made a few of these signatures for my friends, more people in the linkshell started asking me for signatures. I enjoyed doing them. There came a time where I spent more time making signatures in photoshop than I did actually playing the game. I have over 50 of these burned to a disk.

Here is the signature that I used for myself. Yes, I made it all. Yes, I made the exploding planet. Yes, my character Birgette was a red headed I, personally think I got much better at these things as I went along. I even learned how to do animations, which apparently I can't upload to blogger. Click here to see carbuncle.

So, I have developed these photoshop skills, and if you look at the signatures, they do, in fact look a lot like mini scrapbooks... so I decided if I can't pull out all the scissors and the glue, I can still fill my photo albums. I searched the internet for scrapbook page ideas, and made this this morning. I printed it out an put it in the first page of that magnetic type photo album that my friend gave me. Voila! Instant scrap book. Isn't technology wonderful?


Blogger Calamar said...

That's cool! You need to take your poor friend Cal under your wing for a spell and teach him the wonders of photoshop...

Is that standard on windows XP, office, or is it something that you have to go out and buy?

I hope that you feel better soon! Cheers!

11:14 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

No, it's a really expensive program that you need to buy... unfortunately

11:48 AM  

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