Monday, June 25, 2012

Hello Monday

hello rain and cooler temps. a welcome respite from the oppressive heat of last week.

hello crazy busy week. appointments, cleaning, work, cleaning, shopping, cleaning...

hello errands. bank, post office, bakery, grocery store on today's list.

hello waiting rooms. dentist, dermatologist, therapist - an appointment of some sort requiring my presence almost every day this week! at least none of them are mine.

hello soon-to-be-employed daughter? Sarah has an interview in Washington D.C. on Tuesday! So excited for her.

hello OVERWHELM.  still so much to do for the impending graduation party.

hello Your Story Matters.  another class. decide whether to get off the fence and participate or let it go.

hello sad eyes. i know you are still hurting. i hope you find some peace and fun this week.

hello clean house. or at least you will be by Friday!

hello craft room.  i really miss you.  i need to make time to visit this week.

hello extended family.  we'll be seeing so many of you on Saturday.
I am joining Lee and Amy this week with the Hello Monday series.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Just a Quote for Friday +

"You can't start the next chapter in your life if you keep re-reading the last one."  Unknown

Becca and Peter got back together right before Valentine's Day.  They made it through a three year anniversary and Prom.  But Peter broke it off again a week before Becca's graduation.  And two days ago he told her it was really over, he was tired of giving her more chances.  I feel like deja vu.  He has said that before.  We've been here before.  Becca is a weepy mess.   I can't believe this photo was just three weeks ago today.

We've all heard: "Time heals all wounds", "there are plenty of fish in the sea", "you're better off without him", "you need to move on" and all the other platitudes.  I realized yesterday that when you are smack in the thick of things that all those words are absolutely meaningless to the person who is suffering.  True, maybe.  But still meaningless.  Becca recognizes that she needs to move on, but in reality she misses Peter and wants him back.  More than anything.  And I know if he comes back, this cycle will continue.  Anyone with real world experience care to weigh on in what you tell your heart-broken eighteen-year-old when you know a relationship is toxic and needs to end?  Even when you happen to like the boy involved?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

More Layouts

These two layouts are in keeping with the style that I started with 31 Things, but the prompts are ones I'm finishing up from an album I started in 2009 called "This Is Me" based on a BPC class by Lisa Day called "Challenge of Me".  I still have more of these to come in order to finish up this album and right now these are the words that are calling to me, rather than the rest of the prompts on Ali's 31 Things list. But it is all good because although I'm not cranking them out at the crazy rate of one a day, I'm still documenting!  Maybe I'll even finish this three year old project before Summer is out???

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ten Totally Random Things

This is my Ten on the Tenth Post - albeit late.  I've had the idea for this post in the back of my mind for two months now and just couldn't seem to make it happen.  But here it is!

1. June has been flying by in a frenetic fury.  We've already experienced a Prom, we are a week into the latest Becca/Peter break-up drama (outcome yet to be determined), a Graduation , a flurry of medical appointments for various family members, and seriously one of the craziest busy periods of work for me yet! I still haven't had a chance to play with my new toy either. Do you ever have times like this in your life, where you feel like you just can't catch your breath?  So I've been reading everyone's blog posts, but haven't always had time to comment. But I'm there!

2. Would you love to receive daily uplifting emails... love Notes from the Universe?  I get them daily and frequently enough they are so on point to what I need to hear.  It's free and you can sign up HERE.

3.  I'm late in sharing this:
After Deb sent in the crazy-quilt butterfly I'd made for her butterfly project, I felt compelled to finish the Butterfly Canvas I'd started for her before the butterfly project.  And here it is!  You can't see the sides, but there are butterflies there too! And between painted butterflies, stamped butterflies, die-cut butterflies, rub-on butterflies, butterflies cut from thank you cards and gift wrap, and a hand made modeling paste butterfly... well, there are 51 butterflies on the canvas!

4.  I know a lot of you followed my burst of productivity during LOAD last month.  Were you curious about trying it out, but afraid to commit to an entire month?  Lain is offering her one week version, Your Story Matters, at a name your own price special.  Literally, it goes into the shopping cart at $0.00 and you can leave that if you want... or change it to any amount you feel moved to offer.  It starts on June 24th. Click the Your Story Matters link to sign up!

5.  And speaking of FREE classes, Jessica Sprague is offering Photoshop Top 5 free - beginning June 18th, so hurry!

6.  While I'm on a roll with the internet freebies...  Have you always wanted a Gratitude Practice, but had a hard time remembering to write in a journal or think about it each day? I did! Until I stumbled across  They will send you a daily (or up to 4x/day) email or text asking you what you are grateful for at that moment.  Your responses are kept in an online journal and emailed back to you weekly or you can access it at any time.  Again... free or a donation of your choosing.  Click HERE to sign up.  For me, it is helping to keep gratitude front and center in my life.

7. Our next big EVENT here is the Graduation Party on June 30th - family and friends. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed.  If you have any great ideas for food, decorations, or entertainment (think INexpensive or DIY) please do share! Point me to your favorite board on Pinterest or link me up with tutorials and recipes.  I did get the invites out... honestly, pretty darn happy with them!

8.  One thing I love to do when I'm feeling overwhelmed is meditate.  It is a relatively new practice for me (started in February), but I do find it helps keep me calm, focused, and centered.  Yep, FOCUSed. Never saw that one coming when I chose my One Little Word!  If you are interested in trying meditation without spending cash, Susan Piver offers The Open Heart Project.  Again, free. Click HERE to check it out.

9. The last "31 Things" layout I managed to complete. I'm two weeks behind in this course!

10. Have I mentioned lately how grateful I am to have all of you in my life?  Really and truly I am. I love my blog tribe!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Just A Quote for Friday & Take Twelve June

There is a good reason they call these ceremonies "commencement exercises."  Graduation is not the end; it's the beginning.  ~Orrin Hatch
It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.  ~e.e. cummings

Okay, it's two quotes, but seriously, what can I say to these two who have graduated high school and are ready to take on the world?  One thing would be to remind them that this is just the beginning - that they have their whole lives ahead of them. The other would be to encourage them to follow their bliss - to not get bogged down by expectations and materialistic aspirations - to find what truly makes them happy.  I wish someone had given me that advice when I graduated.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Birthday Post

Yes, I know. Post nearly every day for a month and then drop off the face of the planet.  No awards for consistency here.  

Partly I was burned out from keeping up with LOAD.  But I did it! 32 layouts for a total of 45+ pages in one month.  After that period of intensity, I needed a break.  I haven't scrapped in a week and am now a full six days behind in my 31 Things class.  I need to get back in the groove.

Partly it was just that life was busy.  Appointments, work, Becca's Senior Prom (Rachel chose not to attend), a date evening with Jay, oh, and did I mention WORK?  Yes that thing that pays the bills... suddenly got very hectic and was requiring way more of my time and attention than I normally give it. Contracts with "need it yesterday" deadlines, a couple of big projects.  I'm by no means done with it all, but for tonight I'm letting it go.

Partly it's that I've been obsessing over the prep phase of a routine medical procedure I have scheduled for tomorrow morning.  I'm in the midst of that "prep" as I type, so I get distracted, frequently...  Oh well, it will all be over with hopefully by 10 a.m. tomorrow.

Partly it was that I needed time to process...  the one thing I didn't get around to mentioning in my last few blog posts was my birthday.... which was May 29th.  Because that was a work/school day AND I had Tai Chi class in the evening, we celebrated on the 28th.  And let's just say that the 28th brought with it a bit of totally unnecessary teen created drama that definitely threw a wet blanket over the day.  We'll leave it at that.  I think I'm over it.  So, back to my birthday, right???

A few days prior to my birthday, this arrived courtesy of my Mother:

Apparently she had paid attention to my ramblings about really liking bonsai trees when I posted about the Philadelphia Flower Show.  Poor Jay took one look at it and said 'Well, there goes MY idea!'  Yes, he was serious. And disappointed. Guess he was paying attention too!

On the 28th we celebrated my birthday with gifts and cake. We were supposed to go out to dinner as well, but those plans got scrapped. Instead we went out on Friday night while Becca was at Prom.

I was expecting the usual array of new tops from JCPenneys and Kohls and maybe some nice body wash from Bath and Body Works and a gift certificate to Big Picture Classes.  These are the fall backs when the family doesn't have any unique ideas and I always enjoy them, so believe me when I say I would not have been disappointed if that was what I actually opened.  Imagine my surprise and shock when there was not a single one of those things in the packages for me.

Instead I opened this:
I am now the proud owner of a Canon EOS 60D camera with a very pricey Tamron 18-270 "All in One" lens. Plus a couple of filters, a new camera bag, a monopod, and a printer!  I was FLOORED!  

The 60D is an entry level professional DSLR.  I've been secretly longing for one for about three years, but could not justify trading up from my very very OLD Rebel because I hadn't learned all the features yet.  But I couldn't seem to force myself to learn the features because, honestly, I was getting better quality from my little point & shoot - to be expected considering the Rebel was from 2002 and only 6 megapixels, whereas my P&S was only a year old and 14 MP!   Anyway, I am now excited again about the prospect of really learning photography in a big way, but I haven't had any time to play with my new baby yet.  And I have to be careful about saying "my" baby.  Because to be honest, Jay's motives were not entirely altruistic.  He also has an interest in learning photography and he's also interested in the video feature on this camera.  So I have to share. :(  I think I can learn to live with that!

On my actual birthday, this arrived from my sister Deanna:
  Every one of those bits of tissue paper conceals a small gift, hidden inside the big gift.  Gotta love this gal's flair for creative presentation!  The small gifts were some pieces of jewelry she made me and lots of little miscellaneous bits and bobs for mixed media art.  Each of the small items was tucked inside a cubby in this:
 A vintage Coca Cola crate stamped "1972 Chattanooga TN".  In awesome condition!  (And yes, Deb, I totally stole your idea!)
Needless to say, I wasted no time setting it up and loading it up with my craft paint supplies.  If those cubbies were just a smidge bigger I'd have fit in my mists too, but not quite.  I feel like now I have a pre-imposed limit on the amount of craft paint I can own.  No buying more until there is space in the cubbies! (Yes, I consider that a GOOD thing!)

All in all, I'd say it was pretty darn great for turning 51!  Oh... did I mention I got a new camera??? SQUEEEEEEEEEE!

Friday, June 1, 2012

One Little Word Blog Hop - June Edition

Hello! Whether you arrived here from Amanda's Blog as part of the One Little Word Blog Hop, or you are here because you love me and drop by regularly... Welcome! I love visitors! 

As the May assignment for One Little Word, Ali asked us to create a "to do" list.  Where we are now, where we hope to be in a year.  And to pair that with another self-portrait.
I stuck with my monthly chart for the daily items.  And learned the hard way that I'm expecting too much from myself.  Trying to do tagging of photos and digi supplies while keeping up with Layout A Day - not possible! I need to save tagging for times when I'm not focusing on major scrapping!  So I know there are a lot of holes in this chart... but then again, look at all those check marks!

I used Ali's template, painted the edges red for some color (doesn't really look like paint in a scan). In addition to including tagging and LOAD in this list, I included a lot of one-time projects and things I'd been putting off.

Although I didn't complete the entire list, I realize now that it was overly ambitious and I need to be more realistic about what I can accomplish while life is still happening around me.  However, having the list did keep me FOCUSed on the things I wanted to accomplish and I definitely think it is worth using this tool again when I have one off projects that need to be done!

If you are following along for the One Little Word Blog Hop, your next stop is Veronica's Blog. If you get lost or a link is broken, you can come back here or go to Margie's blog to find your way.


Just A Quote For Friday

These Gerbera Daisies are so bright and happy. They make me smile every time I see them.