Monday, March 29, 2010

Set it Sunday

Take a Second Glantz
Last week's goals:
1) Gym FOUR times. No, I made it three.  My excuse? Hormones. Oh, and having to wait for the garage door repair guy.  But mostly hormones.
2) Real Food - 2 out of 3 meals; limit 2 desserts for week. Check on the meals. No so much on the desserts. Hormones.
3) 1 each Gratitude and Art Journal layouts.  CHECK.
4) Keep working on online classes as time allows.  CHECK.
5) Get some Thickers ordered so I can finish partially done Framework pages for LOM.  CHECK
6) Find some photos and create a layout or two with my Liberty Elements templates. CHECK

This week's goals:
I'll be spending one day traveling to pick up my oldest from college, and it is Easter. Family is off school and work part of the week, so I'm cutting myself some serious slack this week.
1. Gym TWICE.
2. Make healthy choices at meals; go light on desserts.
3. 1 each Gratitude, Art Journal, and Where You Live layouts.
4. Categorize and tag photos from 2008 (I did 2009 and 2010 to date last week!).
5. Unzip all my digi scrap purchases.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Art Journal Layout

This week's prompt was "proverbs" and I chose this one from Lao Tzu.

Credits: Most papers and elements are from Tangie's "Steamer Trunk", "Journal Anthology", and "Parcel 12" kits. Tree is from Alana's "Golden Moments" - all at ScrapbookGraphics.

For All My Bloggy Friends...

If you enjoyed this video simply respond with "I am loved" in the comments.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Evolution of a Scrap Room

My scrap room has been over two years in the making to get to where it is today.  Here's a glimpse at where it came from:

In January of 2008 my room looked like this.  Yikes! All of the cabinets that were ripped out for the kitchen remodel were stacked in the middle of the room. I had big plans to use all of those cabinets to create a fully functional scrap space, but we had no place to put them! (At the time, the garage was full of other remodeling stuff).

I was running a part-time scrapbook consulting business from this room as well, so my desk doubled for business and scrap space - no wonder I never scrapped at home!

The business involved vending at crops and trade shows, which meant having inventory and display stuff - like the gridwall you can see on the far left. This *ahem* "lovely" cabinet from Home Depot housed most of the paper inventory in various boxes and bins. And years of use and abuse meant it was quite literally falling apart.

My family HATED this room and the constant mess.  Did I mention that this happens to be our living room? The first room anyone sees when they walk in the house?  It certainly wasn't pretty, but it was a tax write-off!

I spent most of 2008 slowly phasing out my business and reducing inventory.  The kitchen cabinets were moved out to the garage for painting and I lost use of my parking spot for months. 

Fast forward to January of 2009.  I had officially closed my scrapbooking business and was now using the desk for scrapbooking. I could occasionally find surfaces!  Notice the change in materials on the bulletin board. But don't look under the desk - I still had way too much stuff!  This was the area slated to become base and wall cabinets once everything was painted and ready to go.  The folding tables would be moved out.

I rearranged the room so the hideous cabinet was no longer between the windows - but over on the side wall. It now housed the dregs of my inventory, as well as a lot of equipment like multiple sizzix machines and towers full of dies. I had every intention of ultimately removing the cabinet once the repurposed kitchen cabinets were ready to be put in place.  I did a MAJOR stash reduction and took tons of stuff to sell at a scrapbook yard sale at a crop I attend every January.

Moved the shelving unit into the corner and brought down the glider rocker from the girls' room. This rocker was bought before the birth of my first child and has rocked all my babies over time.  Huge sentimental value factor.  And it is next to a window so it made a good little reading area.  All those empty cropper hopper paper bins? Used to house paper inventory.  I was slowly but surely weeding things out.

Moving around the room from the rocker, I moved my sewing desk into the area between the windows.  (it had been in the corner and quite buried so that it was fairly useless).

And the kitchen cabinets?  Were eventually painted and moved back into the prior dining room (now slated to become an office). It was about this same time that Jay told me he wasn't thrilled with the idea of repurposing the cabinets for my scrap room.  Why?  Well... because the scrap room is actually our living room, he thought it would look odd to have cabinets hung there. And he didn't want to do anything permanent that would affect resale value (although we have no intention to move).  So I went back to the drawing board and the cabinets sat stacked in the "office" for months.

I drew up a new layout, came up with a color scheme, went out and bought fabric to make drapes and bought paint for the room.  I had a concept that I was sooooo ready to put into action!  The idea was that the room colors would be my happy colors (green and blue) but in elegant, soothing shades, and that ultimately it would be more of a "scrap retreat" and be inviting even if it couldn't be a formal living room.

Getting a photo of the paint swatches and fabric to come out even close to actual color was challenging, but I think this is close:

 It is Benjamin Moore paints and the wall color (on the right) is called "Truffle" and reminds me of sand.  The green, which pushes toward olive, appears in the drapes and in numerous accessories throughout the room.  The chocolate brown and very odd shade of blue are just accent colors and appear in the drapery fabric and some of the other fabrics I used.  I bought the paint and the fabric and then it sat.
In August 2009, I bought this bench from Pottery Barn and created my own cushion cover and throw pillows to go on it.  Then bench holds (for the most part) completed scrapbooks and photo albums. (Although most of the ones in the center section are actually empty!).  Ashley loves the window seat we've created, quite obviously, just for her.

By September, I was tired of waiting and threatened to paint the room myself.  Jay is a real stickler about HOW to paint, so he got involved.  First everything got covered so the ceiling could be painted.  BTW - our home is 22 years old and this room still had the original builder's grade eggshell paint.  Yuck.

Never throw away old sheets!

Next up, all the walls were painted in the Truffle color and all the trim was painted bright white. We did the painting with all the furniture pushed into the middle of the room.  We got this far and decided that the 22 year old mauve carpeting just wasn't doing it for us anymore.  So EVERYTHING got hauled out of the room.  The pantry cabinet was put out for bulk trash.  I took multiple van loads of stuff to Good Will.  And I still had scrapbook stuff lining my hallway, covering every open surface in the sunroom, and stacked up in the garage - I lost my parking space - again!

Carpeting was chosen and installed.  This view is looking back toward the front door from inside the room.  The carpet is earth-friendly; made from corn instead of petroleum products and very soft.  I've never had anything this light on the floor before!

Moving back in and putting on the finishing touches has been a slow process.  But here is my room now:

As you walk into the room from the hallway, this is to your left and faces the front of the house.  There is my sewing desk in between the windows which now have hand-made drapes to replace those ugly lace sheers.  Check out the new lamp on the desk! And I finally hung the family portrait that has been framed and waiting since 2007(?).

Moving over to the right you see the window seat and the glider rocker, with another new lamp.  (P.S. Four piece lamp set for $39 at Target!). This is the reading area and my whole family uses it now, usually to sit and chat on the phone or look through albums. I still need to recover the cushions on the rocker to match the room, but not sure that is within my abilities.

The side wall features the bookcase (it's a folding one from Staples that I got on sale for $39.) and my latest purchase - that I've been waiting for since October - an Armoire Desk from Pottery Barn Teen. This was my splurge with the last of the income I'd earned from selling off all my scrapbook biz inventory. 
Here's the pic from  the Pottery Barn website with their depiction of  what it would look like filled with teen girl stuff.  I haven't completely outfitted mine yet, but it will hold my portable printer, xyron machines, Zutter bind-it-all and other not-so-pretty but otherwise necessary scrap stuff.

Sitting atop the Armoire is this basket filled with mini-albums. I pulled out the purple ribbon that was in it and replaced it with one from my stash that had colors that matched the room.

And this letter "C" which was given to me by my friend Krystal as a gift. She had wrapped pink and black ribbons on it. I was able to pull from my stash and come up with ribbons in the room's color palette. Click on the image to see larger. Another project inspired by Shimelle's Something From Nothing class!

Continuing around to the right, there is the opening into the office and then my actual scrapbooking area.  The table is repurposed from our old eat-in kitchen.  The Making Memories Embellishment Center was sitting in a box for two years, just waiting for this project to get done.  Jay calls it a spice rack. I think it's apt. The bulletin board has always been in this same spot. We didn't even take the nails out of the wall when we painted! Planning to paint the wood trim green.  The clip it up sits atop a drawer unit that holds punches, excess adhesives, scissors, and other what-not. The shelving unit has been moved to the little piece of wall next to the hallway and fits perfectly there.  Now all the stuff I regularly scrap with is within easy reach and the messiest bit (the shelves) can't be seen from the hallway when you walk in.  I know you can't see under the table from this photo, but you have my word - there is NOTHING under there! There is actually room for feet when I sit!  The table top isn't usually this clean! :)  But I had to make it presentable to share.  Imagine it wit barely any wood surface showing and you'll have a more accurate picture!

Here's a close up of the spice rack with all my embellies! Okay, actually nowhere near all, but a lot of it!
Close up of the shelving unit. All my cardstock, patterned papers, and photo storage binders across the top row. My category drawers, misc. small albums (most not used yet) and my Library of Memories Albums.  Underneath that, the cases hold various projects either in progress or from classes that I never quite finished. Journaling baskets. Photo boxes - half are empty, half are filled with photos. Need to lose the purple and pink - they don't fit with the color scheme!
And last, but not least, a close up of my clip-it-up clearly showing my obsession with Thickers.  But ladies, most of these packages have been opened and partially used! 
I LOVE my room now. It is light, airy, elegant, soothing colors, not overstuffed with stuff.  I still have a bit more paring down to do but even my family seems pleased with the near-final result.  So if you are ever in my neck of the woods, pop on by and I'll give you the personal tour!

Oh, and those kitchen cabinets?  Two sets of base cabinets ended up in the office.  All the rest (after two years of hemming and hawing and repainting and all) were put out for bulk trash.  I finally got my garage space back right before Christmas.

Set it Sunday (on Monday again...)

Take a Second Glantz

Last week's goals:

1) Gym three times. - check

2) Real Food - 2 out of 3 meals; limit 2 desserts for week. Well, giving up the sugar addiction is proving to be harder than I anticipated. If I am totally honest, I had FOUR desserts for the week (one of them was a 100 cal Skinny Cow bar - does that count?).  So trying again this week.
3) 1 each Gratitude and Art Journal layouts. check
4) Keep working on online classes as time allows. check
5) Get craft room cleaned up and photographed so I can share with you all! Check! After the crop, I spent part of Sunday putting everything away and cleaned up, photos have been taken.  Post will be coming soon!

This week's goals:

1) Gym FOUR times. Yes, I'm upping the ante.  Today I did 1 mile on the elliptical (10 min); 1 mile on the treadmill (18 min) and 2 miles on the bike (12 min) - so 40 minutes of aerobics - yeah me!

2) Real Food - 2 out of 3 meals; limit 2 desserts for week. I WILL do better this week!

3) 1 each Gratitude and Art Journal layouts.

4) Keep working on online classes as time allows.

5) Get some Thickers ordered so I can finish partially done Framework pages for LOM.
6) Find some photos and create a layout or two with my Liberty Elements templates. 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What I Did On My Day At The Crop...

I had a FULL day at the crop.  Here's some of what I did:

First up, I was inspired by both the Tone on Tone and the weaving technique featured in Prompt 4 of Shimelle's Something for Nothing class.  So I spent nearly two hours creating this beauty using ONLY scraps of both cardstock and patterned papers in the cream/beige family. The actual color of this is less yellow than it is showing up on my screen - much more cream/beige.  I have big plans for this background now, but you'll have to wait til I get it done!

created the cover for my "Fitness Journey" album.  I have a serious love for Thickers!  The album is a simple 4x6 one up from Target.

Then I created this page for my fitness journey album.  Also turned my list of 10 into a page.  Thought it was fitting.

decorated the cover of my Weekly Gratitude Album - more Thickers letters! Yum!  This is also a 4x6 one up, from WalMart. I think I paid $3 for it!

Inside cover of my Junque Journal. Using up old Thickers sets and scrap Patterned Paper.

An inside page from my Junque Journal.  Using scrap patterned paper and a bunch of brads and bling from my stash.  I will unashamedly admit that I totally stole the brad frame idea from Mel!
And a double page spread from the Junque Journal using pattern paper scrap circles with brads and bling.  If I keep this up, I may finally have an excuse to buy new brads!  I really adore all the great ideas we are getting from Shimelle's class.
I also did a lot of work on Framework Pages for my Library of Memories albums, but they are all in stages of completion and not quite ready for unveiling.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

We interrupt your regular programming...

Gettin' my scrap on at the Palmer Crop today!  Hopefully will have some project pictures to post by the end of the day!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ten Things - Part Deux

Picking up from yesterday's post, the second half of the essay from March 16th asked the reader to record ten things she loves about her personality.  This part was infinitely easier! I may be in the early stages of learning to love my outer package, but I'm really pretty happy with the person I am on the inside.

Ten things I love about my personality:

1. Optimistic. I actually am an optimist at heart and I try to see the bright side of any thing or situation. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt.  Every day I make a choice to see the JOY in my life. This skill is one that I've only developed in the last three or four years, but one I'm happy to make a part of daily living.    image source

2. Unique. There is really and truly only one of me. That makes me special, right?
3. Green. Yes, I am "green." Not as in E.T. and flying saucers, as in "earth friendly."  I do my part to help the planet. I recycle. I carry reusable grocery bags (much to the embarassment of my teen daughters). I pick up trash when I'm out on walks. We even bought "green" carpet for my craft room (made from corn, not petroleum products!). Because I care.   image source

4. Candid.  Also known as "honest", "blunt", and "tell it like it is." I don't sugar-coat and I try to be real whether it is in talking about myself, giving advice or opinions, or just helping a friend through a tough spot. Some people find that kind of frankness uncomfortable. My friends seem to appreciate it.

5. Intelligent.  My mama didn't raise no dummy. But along with the gift of intelligence, I am also a firm believer in life-long learning. I am the first to admit I do NOT know it all. I'm not afraid to ask questions. There is always more I can learn. And I love to learn. I love to read books, take online classes, constantly expand my knowledge base. Being a blogger in a blogisphere that transverses the globe has been an educational experience - I'm learning culture specific phrases, brands, meals, holidays, and more. Not quite like actual traveling, but in this economy, it's a nice second!

6. Organizational Skills. Although I often feel scatter-brained and would honestly forget my head were it not firmly attached to my shoulders, I really do have good organizational skills. They just get lost occasionally in the frenzied attempt to "do it all."

7. Loyal. With those for whom I am a true friend, my loyalty is boundless. Ask any of them. I'm one of those "move a body" type friends that Brene Brown discussed during the "I Thought It Was Just Me" read-along.

8. Strong Work Ethic. I am a person of my word. When I commit to something I do it. I think this was instilled in me throughout my childhood. My Mom always told me that I needed to be self-sufficient and never rely on a man to take care of me. Not that you can't have that, but you need your own skills to fall back on. It was a good life lesson.

9. Pay it Forward. I know that my life is blessed. And I believe strongly in sharing that and paying it forward. I not only contribute financially, but I volunteer my time and skills when the opportunity presents. I have sewn pillowcases for children with life-threatening illnesses, I walked in the Philadelphia Breast Cancer 3 Day (2008) and raised over $7000 towards finding a cure.  But these are minute compared to the blessings I enjoy on a daily basis. And the Weekly Gratitude project has really brought that home to me in a fun and soul-uplifting way. If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend it! I can hook you up to the website and free digital templates! Just ask!  image source

10. Creative. But you already know that. Honestly, I know that in my soul is an artist looking for any and every outlet I will grant her. My day job stifles creativity (but it pays the bills nicely) so I need the regular outlet of blogging, scrapbooking, sewing, creating, to set her free.   image source

How about you?  Since I know from yesterday's post that my bloggy friends are a tad shy, I won't ask you to list ten personality traits - just give me two or three of the best things about you - tell me why I should be grateful to have you as my bloggy friend! C'mon - here is your perfect chance to brag on yourself - I'm giving you permission - and I WANT to know! Please?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ten Things

I have mentioned previously that I am reading Simple Abundance.

This book is set up as a series of short essays (mostly 1 or 2 pages) and meant to be read one essay per day.  And because I do read it one essay at a time, it is easy to stay engaged - I usually take 5 minutes while I am getting dressed for the day. Then I have all day to ponder what I have read. (disclaimer: I paid for the book myself on Amazon and I get nothing in return for this fine endorsement. Except the satisfaction of knowing that I am passing on a good read to friends.) 

Yesterday's essay focused on learning to accept who we are. It asked the reader to stare at herself in the mirror (actually I think it said "gaze lovingly") and list ten things about her body that she loves.

Say what????

Having just loudly proclaimed to the entire virtual universe that I am NOT defined by my outer appearance, I found this exercise both serendipitously timely and quite difficult.  In fact, it took me a full 24 hours to come up with a list of ten items.

So, in no particular order, ten things I love about my body:

1. My hair. I love the color. I also love that while the individual strands are baby fine, I have a LOT of hair, so it is very thick. I never have to worry about female baldness!

2. My eyes. I love the color which falls into that unable to exactly describe category of "hazel" - blue or green, depending on my mood, depending on what I'm wearing. I love the way my eyes shine when I am happy. 

3. My teeth. Healthy, fairly straight, nice teeth.

4. My earlobes. Yes, I was grasping when I came up with this one. But they are nice earlobes, not too big, not too small, perfect for the type of earrings I like to wear. Don't you agree?

5. My laugh. Okay, not sure that qualifies, but I'm going with it. I like the sound of my laugh - deep and hearty. Nothing fake about me when I laugh.

6. My hands. I have thin hands and long slender fingers.

7. My upper arms are still firm, not saggy. Guess strength training at the gym does help.

8. The shape of my behind.  Laugh if you must. I can take it. But unlike a lot of women pushing 50, my butt is not pancake flat. It is still nicely rounded, thank you very much, and looks halfway decent in yoga pants. And I'll take what I can get! Thank you treadmill. Thank you stationary bike.

9. My feet. I'll grant you that feet are a strange thing. Can you honestly say you ever looked at another woman walking on the beach and thought "Wow, she has really gorgeous feet!"? Yeah, me neither. But as feet go, mine aren't bad. And they put up with a lot of abuse.  So yeah, I love my feet.

10. That I look younger than I really am. Even overweight, I don't look too bad for a woman pushing up on 50.

Amazingly enough after I finally completed this exercise, I found it empowering to know that I CAN name ten things about my body that I like love. And although you'll never find "Smokin' Hot Bod" on my resume, this list is pretty cool. And there is a second part to the exercise that I'll share with you tomorrow.  In the meantime... 
I'm challenging all my bloggy friends out there to do this exercise - post your list of ten things you love about your body in the comments!  C'mon. I double dog dare you.

Weekly Gratitude

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Here Comes The Sun

A solid week of temps in the upper 40's and low 50's finally got all the snow to melt.  That was followed by four straight days of grey skies, gusting winds, and pouring rain.  So today when I woke up to SUNSHINE, it was absolutely glorious!  Today is supposed to reach 60 degrees, which will feel downright balmy. I got these pics of the first signs of Spring:

BLUE skies (oh so much prettier than grey) and buds on the tree in my front yard.

Daffodils starting to emerge.

and then I had this for lunch.  (photo inspired by Mel who posts a food photo daily.)

Weekly Gratitude

The photo is a window seat in my daughters' bedroom, that they never get to sit on because it is always stacked mile high with clothes they haven't bothered to put away!

This is another one of my gratitude layouts where I am trying to find the silver lining in something that I would otherwise not feel any gratitude over.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Set it Sunday

Take a Second Glantz

Let me start by sharing a quote with you (sent to me via email by my gym) that has really struck a chord with me lately:  "If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse." ~ Jim Rohn   This just hits me as being so true when I think about what goals I set and then don't accomplish and how I justify the failure to do something I said I would do. This past week I bought myself a new workout shirt - by Nike - that says "Just Do It" on the front. Now I need to heed the advice I'll be wearing!

Last week's goals:

1) Gym three times. CHECK!
2) Continue eating REAL food. Limit dessert to twice per week.  CHECK!
3) 1 each Gratitude and Art Journal layouts. CHECK!
4) Sew curtains for living room (huge long-term nagging task). CHECK! (This one was a toughie to complete - the actual sewing took no time at all - but the hours spent measuring, ironing, and pinning to get the drapes ready to sew was a complete drag. Had forgotten why I no longer do the home decorating thing!).
5) Keep plugging away at online classes as time allows. CHECK! 

Goals for coming week:
1) Gym three times.
2) Real Food - 2 out of 3 meals; limit 2 desserts for week.
3) 1 each Gratitude and Art Journal layouts.
4) Keep working on online classes as time allows.
5) Get craft room cleaned up and photographed so I can share with you all!