Sunday, February 28, 2010

A New Week

Today is Sunday. Hurray! A brand new week full of promise and possibilities awaits. A chance to start over. After last week, I am very grateful that a week is only seven days long and that if you survive those seven days, you get a fresh new week to work with.

Yes, last week was one of THOSE weeks. What can I attribute it to? It was crazy busy at work ~ and anyone who has ever held a job outside the home knows what that can be like. Even though it snowed, yes again (ugh), and my girls had two more snow days at home, and I didn't actually have to drive into the office (ah, the advantages of working from home!), I actually felt like I never left work the entire week! I ate, breathed, slept contract and article review of the most tedious sort - even after dinner, in front of the television, I was reading stuff I really didn't want to have to read. And then there was that feeling that I was just "off my game" - a feeling that lasted all blessed week. And there are other reasons that fall into the category of TMI.  Let's just say, I'm glad last week is over.  I'm glad February is all but over. I'm looking forward to March and a new week and new possibilities.

Take a Second GlantzSet it Sunday:

If I'm to be honest, I'm embarassed to say that I did not meet a single one of my goals for last week.  I got frustrated, started craving chocolate and salty snacks, ate what I wanted, made it the gym only once, and did zero scrapbooking of any kind. No photo purging, no layouts, nothing. I can honestly say that I missed the creativity and I'm suffering from withdrawal. But I didn't miss the gym and I didn't miss eating right. Maybe I needed a week off?  I don't know. But I'm not planning on making a habit out of weeks like last week.  So here's my goals - once again - for this coming week:

1) Gym three times.
2) Eat REAL food - at least 2 meals/day
3) 15 minutes per day sorting/purging image folders for Tues, Weds, & Fri (the days I am not in the office).
4) 1 each Gratitude and Art Journal layouts.
5) Keep up with Design Your Life Assignments
6) Make that dreaded phone call - Tuesday morning
7) Tackle one nagging task- check! I did all the piled up filing of paid bills today (3 months worth). My kitchen desk is clean!!!  I also input all of last year's goodwill donations into "It's Deductible" for the taxes. It is a small thing, but a huge step forward in being able to do our taxes and feels great to have it done.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Unplugged - Catching Up

I spent all day Saturday at a crop. Then I spent Sunday "unplugged." I never even turned the computer on, so I didn't check e-mail, didn't check Google Reader or Facebook, nothing. My Sunday started off well enough - I got up, had breakfast, got a shower, stripped & remade the bed, vacuumed, cleaned the downstairs bathroom, ran three loads of laundry, went grocery shopping. Then the most incredible bone-numbing fatigue hit and I just felt like I was no longer "on my game." And nothing else got done.

Unfortunately being gone all day Saturday and giving up on laundry by 2:00 in the afternoon on Sunday meant that I still had another seven loads of laundry to go. So guess what I have been doing today? Yes, laundry! Five loads through the wash, two more to go. Ugh.

It seems I also have a TON of catching up to do with my dear readers, so here goes:

1. Set It Sunday:      Take a Second Glantz

Share:  Last Week's List was...

1) Eat only REAL foods (not processed packaged stuff) at least 2 meals per day - all week. - check!
2) Make it to the gym 3 times this week. If the impending bad weather makes that impossible, then get on the treadmill at home. Check!  gym twice, treadmill on Friday.  Lovin' my iPod.

3) Spend at least 15 minutes a day purging/sorting image folders for Library of Memories. I managed this Mon - Weds and then not the remainder of the week.  Thursday I had to work and I was just too tired when I got home.  Friday I spent the day with DH.  Saturday crop.  Sunday - see above. 

4) Create at least one Art Journal layout and one Gratitude layout this week. Check - actually did TWO of each!

5) Get to Design Your Life assignments if/when time allows. Check!

Set It:   Goals for the coming week:

1) Gym three times.  Since I already blew today and have to work on Thursday, that means Tues, Wed, Fri
2) Eat REAL food - at least 2 meals/day
3) 15 minutes day sorting/purging image folders
4) 1 each Gratitude and Art Journal layouts
5) Keep up with Design Your Life Assignments
6) Tackle one nagging task (a phone call I don't want to make).

Yes, I know ... these goals are identical to last week!  But they are good goals and quite honestly, it was only knowing that I had posted them here and was going to have to be accountable to all of you that kept me in check last week.  So if holding myself accountable to my blog readers is what is going to get this stuff done, then so be it!

2. Art Journal Layouts:

This one is largely a reminder to myself that if I really want to do something, there is no excuse not to.  Background is Tangie Baxter "Medieval Faire" Kit; Yoda courtesy of Google images.

This one was really just for fun because I was enjoying my creative time at the crop on Saturday.  Background paper is Tangie Baxter's Fantasy Solids; elements are from Tangie's "Steamer Trunk" from the Art Journal Caravan; Flerg's "Estranged" kit; and Songbird Avenue "Port Au Prince" kit.

3.  My first blog award!  The wonderful Cheryl gave me this beautiful blogger award...

I was actually kind of blushing when I read the nice things Cheryl had written about me.  So according to the rules, I have to:

1. Thank the person who nominated you for the award (see above).
2. Copy and paste the award on your blog (also see above).
3. Link to the person who nominated you for the award (again, see above).
4. Share seven interesting things about yourself.
5. Nominate your own seven Beautiful Bloggers.

O.K. - seven interesting things about me....
1. My day job is corporate attorney.  But really that's just my cover ~ in truth I'm an artist at heart and from 2001-2008 I ran my own business (on the side) selling scrapbooking supplies and a scrapbooking clothing line that I designed.  Now that I'm out of the biz, it is really nice to scrapbook for PLEASURE again!
2.  I was actually a second-born child, but was raised (since age 3) as the first-born in a family of 7 kids.  I have all the natural tendencies of a first-born child.
3.  I love music, but I can't carry a tune in a bucket.  So I sing to the radio when I'm alone in the car.
4.  I was always the last picked for any team sport in Jr. High gym class.  Unfortunately, deservedly so.  I am a natural born klutz.
5.  I shared a love for the Harry Potter series with my oldest daughter, Sarah, from the time it first came out.  We've recently followed that up with the Twilight series.  Now we need another compelling series to share...
6.  I've never had a broken bone.  Amazing considering #4.
7.  I am seriously addicted to online classes.  But you all knew that already, didn't you???
Enough of me.  Let me tell you about some of the bloggers I've discovered that I really think are worth checking out and fully deserving of the Beautiful Blogger award:
1.  First, I'd like to pass the award right back to Cheryl at Take a Second Glantz.  Her posts range from funny to touching to thought-provoking.  And she's the one who started the whole "Set It Sunday" thing!
2.  Stacy Julian.  She is real, honest, touching, and creative.  I've met her in person a few times and she's the closest thing I have to a scrapbooking "idol".  Her way of scrapbooking (and looking at scrapbooking) has literally changed my life.
3.  Sian at High in the Sky - whose blog posts about the Small One, the Tall One, and the Accountant really keep life in perspective.  And Sian is sooooo good about leaving me comments!
4.  Stacey at Havoc and Mayhem - her stories of home life (especially the stove incident) often have me in stitches.  Havoc and Mayhem are the blog names of her two boys - just the title gives you an idea of what to expect!  She also has a unique method for measuring snowfall.
5. Mel at I Speak Melsh - Mel has been regaling us lately with her punny sense of humor as she attempts to win (or at least make a good showing) in a contest being held by Shimelle.  Her attempts to garner votes have kept me giggling for days now.  So hop over here and vote for Mel!  I also enjoy her weekly Wordles.
6.  Amy at Over at Our Place - Amy posts beautiful photos of her family - especially her daughter who has the most incredible blue eyes ever!  Amy has a quiet sense of humor in her posts that just makes her stories interesting to read.
7. Kai at Enjoy the Ride Today - Kai is another one who posts interesting tidbits about everyday life with a sense of humor and we got to watch her rebuild her scraproom day by day!
I didn't want to fill the award list with scrapbook celebs, but I have to say that my must-visit blogs also include Cathy Zielski, Ali Edwards, and Kolette Hall.  There are others, but these are the musts.
Okay, you must feel very caught up by now and I need to get back to the laundry!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Gratitude Journal

Today I actually started printing out my gratitude layouts and putting them into a little album I bought.  Once I started the process, I realized that I really needed a cover page:

Credits:  Background Paper - Haiti Collab Kit at Designer Digitals; Word Art - sorry, I can't remember - but it was a download, I did not create this.

Credits: Patterned paper from Port Au Prince kit at Songbird Avenue
I have the joy of being at an all day crop today with my friend Rachel, so these layouts were just created here. Now off to do some Art Journal work!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Roses Are NOT Always Red

Click on Image to View Larger
Credits:  Template - Cathy Z. Design Your Life class, Week 6 Sketch 2, resized to 12 x 12; patterned papers are from Songbird Avenue's "Port Au Prince" kit.  The kit is a HUGE collection of digi goodness for only $8 with proceeds going to relief in Haiti.

Goosebump Worthy

For your listening pleasure:

I've listened to this multiple times over the past two days and it gives me goosebumps every time. K.D. Lang sang this at the Olympic Opening Ceremonies (which I did not watch). Apparently numerous artists have done this as a cover from Leonard Cohen's original composition. I listened to several of them, but like K.D. Lang's voice best.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Last Week's Blizzard

I was busy deleting photos from my digital library (working on my Library of Memories class).  I decided to take a look at my most recent photos, so dutifully uploaded them from my camera.  When I actually saw the photos, I just HAD to stop and make a layout!

Click on image to view larger

click on image to view larger

Credits:  Template is Cathy Zielski "Design Your Life" class, Week 3, Sketch 2.  I added the 12 x 12 background to an 8.5 x 11 template and flipped the template for the second page.  All papers and elements are LivE Designs "Winter Breeze Kit" sold at

Even though the top right picture caught the glare of the windows (taken from inside) I love how the colors of the sunrise are peeking through the trees.  I couldn't get that same angle when I reached the camera outside to take a shot.  It is now almost a week later and a lot of that snow is STILL sitting on my deck!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Thank You and Set it Sunday (on Monday)

Just wanted to say "Thank You" to those of you who left a comment on Friday's post.  Although I was frustrated, the layout really was some "tongue in cheek" dark humor and it is really wonderful to see that you all "get me" - even when I'm not in a sunshine and roses frame of mind.  So thank you so much for allowing me to keep it real.

And now, a day late... Set it Sunday
Take a Second Glantz
This was my list of goals for last week:

1) Actually DO this week's assignment for Library of Memories - Done!  I reviewed my past layouts and created my "least common layout."  I've read Week 2 and listened to all the audio/video presentations.
2) Catch up on Design Your Life class assignments. Sort Of.  I got all past stuff printed out, and used one week's sketch for the layout mentioned above.  I am not, however, caught up.
3) START my Pen Tablet class. NOT done. :(  I got as far as getting the Wacom Tablet out of the box.  When I realized how short the USB cord was and that I could not actually hook the thing up to my computer in its current state, I stalled.  But hey, getting the thing OUT OF THE BOX is progress - right?
4) Finish getting all my software reinstalled on my desktop  - DONE.  For now, anyway.  I got ACDSee installed finally.  Also discovered all the fonts I had downloaded and added were gone, so reinstalled those.  Recreated my email signature.  Reinstalled Adobe Reader - can't live without that!  I'm sure as my computer use continues, I'll discover more that needs to be added/reinstalled (like my HP PictureMate drivers) but I'm doing those as the need arises.  For now, I'm functional!

This week I'm trying to both be more realistic about how much time I have available to me and shift my focus slightly.  Here's my goals:

1) Eat only REAL foods (not processed packaged stuff) at least 2 meals per day - all week.
2) Make it to the gym 3 times this week.  If the impending bad weather makes that impossible, then get on the treadmill at home.
3) Spend at least 15 minutes a day purging/sorting image folders for Library of Memories.
4) Create at least one Art Journal layout and one Gratitude layout this week.
5) Get to Design Your Life assignments if/when time allows.

And the Pen Tablet class???  First I have to figure out a work-around for setting the tablet up.  And honestly, I just don't have time for that right now. 

Friday, February 12, 2010

Art Journal Layout

I hope this won't offend anyone - it is the latest page created for my Art Journal.  Put together after a particularly trying day with DD(s)16 (*ahem* yes - sometimes "double trouble is apt).  I think cabin fever set in and the result was extreme belligerence.  And my reaction to it?  See for yourself:

I was just expressing some evil thoughts.  I think I got it out of my system.  The twosome remain unharmed. :)

Credits:  elements from Tangie Baxter "Art Journal Parcel 3" and Flergs "Into The Twilight" kits.  Fonts are Bleeding Cowboys and CK Ali's Hand.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Two Classes; One Layout

It is always nice when one piece of work can count toward two tasks! Right now I am enrolled in Library of Memories at Big Picture Scrapbooking, which just started last week.  Our goal in the first week was to catalogue our older layouts to determine our "least common" layout.  And it made me sad to discover that layouts of people I love outside of my immediate family is what I am most lacking.  So the assignment is to create one of your least common layouts. 

At the same time, I am trying to catch up with Design Your Life (also at BPS).  So I grabbed Cathy Z.'s template from Week 2 - a study in assymetrical balance to use for my least common layout.  Final result:

Click on photo to view larger.

I am somewhat embarrassed that it is five years after the event and I am finally getting around to scrapbooking pictures from Krystal's wedding!

Credits:  Template: Cathy Zielski, Design Your Life Class; Papers: all Jessica Sprague "Beautiful Evidence"; title font - Scriptina; journaling font - Arial.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

On Writing, Body Snatching, and Set It Sunday

In my daily sojourn through Google Reader (my blog reading is part of my "me" time, bringing me inspiration, laughter, silliness, and pause) I came across this very thought-provoking post by Cheryl about what it means to be a writer.  Go ahead and click over.  It's a good read.  I'll still be here when you get back. 

Back already?  Cheryl's post got me to thinking about why I blog to begin with.  And why I miss it so much when I'm away for any length of time.  And why I mourn when I lose readers (per the numbers posted on Google Reader).  My blogging, much like my scrapbooking, is largely personal and done for me.  I often use blogging to process my thoughts and feelings about what is happening in my life and the world around me and try to make sense of it all.  It's a way to sort through the mess to get down to the nitty gritty of what makes me ME.  What makes me tick. What makes me happy. What makes me sad.  Where do I find my own bliss. 

But if all I'm doing is sorting through my own physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual baggage, then why blog?  Why put it out there for the world to see?  Because it is a way to connect.  Because I want to be heard.  Because I know that my wonderful readers can empathize and share in whatever I'm going through at the moment.  And even though I know on an intellectual level that I'm not alone on this crazy ride called life, getting that validation from a comment that says "I know just what you mean" or "hey that's funny" or even just a simple little ":)" to say "I was here" can make a bad day better, a good day great.  That is the power of being a writer whose voice is being heard.  Blogging (and scrapbooking now that I think about it) is a way of leaving behind some proof that I was here.  That I came, I saw, I conquered.  That I mattered.  That I made a difference somehow.

And all of that leads me to sharing the melancholy that I'm feeling today.  Today I'm celebrating being the mother of teenagers and all that it entails:
Credits:  Template - Karen Grunberg; Paper - Jessica Sprague "Strawberry Lemonade" kit.

I'm also mourning the loss of my sweet little girls.  The ones who cheerfully cleaned their room, were eager to please, who loved learning, who loved spending time with family.  It wasn't all that long ago that spending time with them was an absolute pleasure.  I miss those girls and I wonder where they went and who these creatures are that took their place?  You wouldn't know it just to look at them, but the aliens now inhabiting my sweet little girls' more grown-up bodies are lazy, sloppy, demanding, rude, irritable, surly, belligerent, mouthy, ungrateful little wretches.  They derive joy from sleeping late, watching drivel on t.v.,  texting with the boyfriend, making fun of their parents' collective lack of fashion sense, listening to music played very loudly, and demanding to be fed.  They are seemingly unable to amuse themselves any longer (I think their attention spans have shrunk since toddlerhood).  I'm hanging in there, hoping that the aliens head back to the mother ship shortly and return my sweet daughters to me.  What do you think my odds are?

Well, that's enough of my woeful tale of the invasion of the body snatchers.  I now return you to your regular programming.... up next:
In addition to her very thoughtful post on writing, Cheryl has begun a regular post called "Set It Sunday".  I'll refer you back there to see what it is all about.  I've decided to play along.  So here are my Intentions for this coming week:

1) Actually DO this week's assignment for Library of Memories - that is a time-intensive commitment, but I'm determined!
2) Catch up on Design Your Life class assignments.  Not necessarily doing every layout, but at least enough of them to bring me current with the class.
3) START my Pen Tablet class.  Unfortunately this one got underway while I was travelling on business and I am now woefully behind.
4) Finish getting all my software reinstalled on my desktop (it was gone for a week being overhauled).  I've started - PSE7 is functional again.  But ACDSee is giving me an error message that my license number is invalid.  Ugh.  Support email has been submitted.

Obviously this list is totally for me.  My family could care less if I ever accomplish a single thing on this list.  But within this list is my creative time - my bliss.  Wish me luck. :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Pumping Iron, Self Sabotage, and Saving Grace

It's been a busy few weeks - first preparing for a Board of Directors meeting at work (we only have them three or four times a year and preparing presentations can get stressful), then travelling to a three day conference in Phoenix.  Now I'm home and trying to get back into the normal routine.  Back into my groove.  But I'm feeling overwhelmed with the amount of catching up I need to do - both at home and at work.  Which sounds like it could be the theme of where this post is going, but it's not, as you may have guessed from my witty post title. The overwhelm of catching up I can deal with.  That is just background story to where I am headed. 

Image Source.  The stress of my scale I cannot deal with.  It is not being kind to me.  Okay, honestly what did I expect?  After two weeks of being "too busy" to get to the gym, of provided meals at meetings and conferences, many of which included cocktails... and desserts... which I do not seem to possess the willpower to pass on (seriously can you happily pass on chewy chocolate chip cookies, key lime pie, molten chocolate lava cake with icecream...????), and sitting on my ample behind in meetings all day, what DID I expect?  I got on the scale this morning and it registered a whopping 179.  There, I said it out loud.  Even if I could only bring myself to whisper it.  It is not the highest number I've ever seen, but it certainly isn't a happy number.  So I had a serious heart-to-heart with myself.  "Self," I said, "enough is enough.  Things have got to change around here.  No more excuses."  Now that is tall order for the queen of excuses.  You see, I will use just about any excuse I can to avoid the gym.  Cramps are good to get me out of 3 or 4 days a month.  Bad weather can knock out several more.  Then there is too much work to do, or just being too damn tired.  Well, that about covers the whole month, right? 

At the beginning of this year, I set an intention of losing one pound per month.  It's a very modest number and to most people, would seem quite doable.  In my 30's it was doable and then some.  In fact, I could have easily quadrupled that goal and achieved it.  But in addition to a wealth of excuses to avoid the gym, I'm also dealing with being 48 years old. And all that means with respect to slowing metabolism. And screwed up hormones. Honestly, it is not a fair fight. Since turning 40, my body is resistant to dropping weight and I know (yes, from experience) just how this will go.  The first few pounds will be easy, relatively speaking.  But then I will hit 175 and there the scale will stop.  It won't matter if I spend every day at the gym and practically starve myself.  That is where it will stay.  The low carb diet won't work for me because too much protein causes me to develop kidney stones.  If you have ever had the pleasure, you know that just isn't any fun.  In fact, it has landed me in the hospital twice.  I'm not up for a third time.  And I'm taking it easy at the gym because, heck, I just got past two months of treatment and physical therapy for herniated discs and I don't want to go there again either!  So you'll understand if I am feeling a tad less than optimistic, although I am determined to get moving and stop with the excuses.

Today started off well enough.  Having made up my mind that no excuses would be accepted, I did, in fact, get myself to the gym.  I did twenty minutes on the treadmill (1 mile) which caused some twinges down my left leg, but no back pain.  I did the weight training machines on the circuit that I can safely do without further injuring my back.  Yep, pumping iron.  You go girl.  I did some back exercises from therapy and some stretching.  It was a good workout.  I finished just about noon.  Hopped in the car and headed to the grocery store.  We're supposed to get a foot of snow tonight so I needed to get bread, milk, etc.  But on the way to the store I discovered I was HUNGRY.  So hungry, in fact, that I was shaking.  You know that feeling, right?  Yeah, the dreaded treadmill will do that to you.  So I drove myself straight to McDonalds and ordered a double cheeseburger and small fries.  I know, I know...self-sabotage at it's best.  My only saving grace was that I did not order a coke to go with it.  I had some water left from my workout. 

All I can say for myself at this point is, well, tomorrow is another day.  And ultimately, the damn scale will not prevail.  I will.  So instead of beating myself up, I'll leave you with my most recent layout from Design Your Life Class:

Credits:  Papers from Carrie Stephens "Spontaneous Delight" kit; Swirl from Jessica Sprague.

The point of this lesson was to leave "white space" - something which I am not particularly good at.  White space doesn't have to be white, the teal background without elements counts as white space.  I still need to try one of those layouts where it is all white space with just a cluster of elements in one corner.... some day.....      

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Weekly Gratitude

credits:  Template for both layouts is by Karen Grunberg and can be downloaded from the Weekly Gratitude blog.  Paper for the Friends layout is from Bohemian Art's Blog Train Freebie kit.  Paper for the Day of Giving layout is from Carrie Stephen's Spontaneous Delight kit.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Old photos finally getting scrapped thanks to the Design Your Life class.  No need to find something nice to say about these layouts  - just sharing what I've gotten done lately.  If you do drop by, just leave me a smile so I know you've been here!