Thursday, May 31, 2012

LOAD31 - 31 Things Day 15

Thanks to all for your support and comments regarding my chores layout.  It is so nice to know that I am not alone in the "teens with clothes on the floor" category!

Today's prompt from 31 Things was "9:15 a.m." and I was really not feeling inspired by it at all.  I thought I might just do something else.  The LOAD prompt was "found photo" meaning to use a photo you didn't take yourself. Since I was driving at 9:15 a.m., I couldn't take a photo.  I sourced this one from the PA Turnpike website. I surprised myself with not only being able to combine these prompts, but actually being happy with the story once it was told!

Chores & Winner!

Dirty clothes in front of the dressers and between the beds, weeks worth of clean clothes (that I washed, dried, and folded) in piles on their window seat and floor. Nothing ever gets put away.  Can't wait for them to outgrow this stage! 

Template is Cathy Zielski, Paper and Elements by Studio Miki

And I obviously completely forgot about the Pass The Book drawing! Ginger was the only one who actually said to put her in the drawing... so Ginger... email your mailing address and I'll get the book sent out to you!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Nourish & Time

 31 Things - Day 11 "Nourish"
Template - Cathy Zielski; Papers & Elements - Studio Flergs "Pretty Petals"
31 Things - Day 12 "Watch"
Template - Cathy Zielski; Paper & Elements - ScrapbookGraphics Collab kit "Time"

Saturday, May 26, 2012

More Layouts

LOAD 22 - 31 Things "YOU" prompt

 LOAD 23 - 31 Things "Work" prompt
 More detail on my work history.
 LOAD 24 - 31 Things "Transportation" Prompt
 LOAD 25 - 31 Things "Purchase" prompt.
 I printed this first as 8.5x11 digi and then cut the pieces apart and backed on black cardstock to make the layout above.  I created the background paper by simply gluing expired coupons all over the cardstock. The hardest part was just allowing myself to glue them down without overthinking placement!

LOAD 26 - The 31 Things prompt for today was "evening" - which just wasn't speaking to me.  This was a layout that has been on my "to scrap" list for awhile.  The template is modified from a Cathy Zielski template. The papers are Krystal Hartley "Sunshine on a Stem" kit.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Enabler Alert!

FREE Photoshop Class at Jessica Sprague!  Click here for details.

Just a Quote for Friday

I know I used this quote last week, but it's been on my mind a lot lately, so here it is again, in another context...

On the front cover of an art journal, altered for the "Your Living Canvas" class with Christy Tomlinson.  Actually, this was a brand new regular journal (lined pages inside) with a faux leather exterior in dark navy blue. I got it free at a legal expo.  It was sitting unused in a drawer for a couple of years.  I wasn't sure how well the paint would take, but I sanded the cover a bit before I painted and the paint adhered flawlessly!

the back cover.  I picked up some great finds at the thrift store last week - including a couple of sheet music books and a book called "Headlines - a collection of historical headlines from the Los Angeles Times" - what a treasure trove of mixed media stuff! And with the half price sale, I got the book for $1.50!

Entire cover opened out.  This is how it was the whole time I was working on it... hence the visual triangle (butterflies in circles) covering the whole spread... which of course makes no sense at all when the book is closed!  I also used a lot of rub-ons sent to me by blog friends when I started in mixed media last year. That was so fun!  Do you recognize anything you sent me???

I made this butterfly embellishment out of modeling paste - one of the new tricks taught in Christy's class this week.

Usually when I am doing mixed media projects, there is a gift recipient in mind. I rarely keep a project for myself. To say that the photos of this project don't do it justice would be an understatement. I LOVE the way this journal turned out.  And I'll be using it for this class to capture my thoughts in art journaling. So excited!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pass The Book & Mail Art

I have "The Writing Life" by Annie Dillard up for grabs from Melissa's Pass The Book - Year Two.  Dillard writes about what it is like to be a writer.
I struggled to finish the book but was glad I did.  The real gem is in the last 16 pages when she describes a stunt air show she watched.  Seriously, true poetry in motion!  If you'd like a chance to read this book, leave a comment. I'll draw a winner on Sunday and mail out Monday.

I'm participating in Ginger's Mail Art Exchange.  In addition to the person I was assigned, I chose three others from the list whom I had never sent Mail Art to.  These are the envelopes I sent out, before addresses were added:
I've heard from two of the four that their art was received, so hopefully by now everyone has it!  Mixed media and envelopes are such a happy pairing!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

More LOAD and 31 Things Layouts

LOAD19 - I did this single page paper layout about my love of "Green Eggs and Ham" when I was little. I found the stickers a couple of years ago and have had this story in mind since then!

31 Things - Day 3.  I've decided that the "31 Things" layouts like this that are all about me and my preferences will be added to a "This is ME" album that I started back in 2009 via a BPC class with Lisa Day, but never quite finished (the album happens to be 6x12, so it's perfect!).

LOAD20 - a quick layout about my love of attending scrapbooking retreats!

LOAD21 - 2 page paper layout documenting a visit with Grandma Andrews and Bob.
They've been sorely under-represented in our "People We Love" album so I feel better having rectified that  lack!

31 Things - Day 4.  This one was hard to write and even harder to decide whether to share. In many ways I actually envy those who can accept the religious beliefs they were taught without question or hesitation or doubt. While some religious doctrine would state otherwise, I believe that it is possible to not participate in an organized religion, but still be a good person with a strong spiritual life.  Hope that makes sense and doesn't offend anyone.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

LOAD Catch-Up

I have been faithfully doing Layout A Day, but haven't been getting all of my layouts posted here.  Here are some you've missed:
LOAD10 - The Hunger Games.  I had to get down the story of how this single book passed through the hands of
ALL FIVE members of our family - definitely a first!
I didn't want to take away from the look of the page, but I had a bit to say, so I hid the journaling behind the photo of the book! :)  The large background photo was sourced from Google Images and printed at 50% opacity.
LOAD7 - the story of Sarah getting glasses when she was just three years old.
LOAD8 - Becca's volatile emotions.  The time stamp difference between the happy photos on the first page
and the pouty, angry, tearful photos on the second page is literally TWO minutes!

LOAD11 - Another layout that has been on my mind for nearly two years - finally done! No heavy journaling
here, this one is just about a girl in love.  At this point they had been dating a year. Now it is over three years.

LOAD18 - my morning routine. And my second page for Ali's "31 Things" class.

While I anticipate that most of my pages for 31 Things will be digi, I was amazed during the first half of LOAD
at how much I was doing in paper pages! Of course, to be fair, I'm using layouts from 5-6 years ago where I already had the base of the pages created as samples for the company I was representing at the time.  But still - feels great to actually USE those paper layouts and I've been very happy with the finished results!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Just a Quote for Friday

"If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies." ~ unknown

These are the butterflies I created for Deb's butterfly project. It is crazy quilting and hand embroidery and beading.  Before I was a scrapbooker, I was a quilter. Crazy quilting was my favorite  kind!  For this project, I used felt as a base, stitched on bits of fabric to cover a rectangle.  I drew the pattern on parchment paper, pinned that to the quilted piece, and machine stitched the butterfly outline, then cut it out.  The embroidery and beading was last , so the back of these pieces are a mess!  Last time I did a piece like this was easily at least 6 or 8 years ago and back then my eyesight was much better. I'm finding now that threading a needle (even with readers) is a major accomplishment!

Thanks for the photos Deb! :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

LOAD17 - 31 Things Day One

I’m really no different than any other girl in this respect. I love jewelry.  But I’m not a dress up kind of girl.  I don’t like fancy clothes and being uncomfortable. And since jewelry tends to go hand-in-hand with dress up, I don’t wear it often. Which is not to say I don’t appreciate it. I do appreciate having a few very nice, very meaningful pieces, as opposed to lots of just “stuff”.

I wear only one set of rings - the most important pieces of jewelry I own. My engagement ring, my wedding band, and my anniversary wrap. When Jay and I were dating, my ring finger was tiny - size 4 1/2. I was into very simple jewelry. Together we chose a very modest solitaire diamond and a simple gold band. Of course, age and lifestyle have changed things. My ring finger is now size 6. I’ve had my rings resized twice.  And still my wedding band is tight, especially when it is humid.  By the time Jay & I had reached our 10th anniversary, my tastes had changed and I wanted a little more bling on my ring finger. But he made me wait until our 15th anniversary to get that wrap!

I usually only wear necklaces for dress up occasions, but I have a few that are very meaningful to me. 
Strand of Pearls - a gift from my mother when I graduated college. 
Black Coral Pendant from our trip to Hawaii in December 2004. The black coral shape represents the waves of the ocean, the pearl and diamonds are the moon and stars over Diamond Head. The gold leaf represents the Hawaiian royalty. This was both my Christmas gift and my souvenir from Hawaii.
Butterfly Pendant purchased by Jay  for my 50th birthday from the Kay “Open Heart” collection. To me it signifies both his love for me and the change in my life as I move into my fifties and continue on my path to  
becoming my best self.
One Little Word Pendant. This necklace has charms for the word I have chosen to represent each year. It is a reminder to me of being my best self. I don’t wear it much and am thinking of turning it into a bracelet.

This is the one place where I indulge my love of color and bling. I own a lot of costume jewelry earrings and like to match my earrings to my outfit. But if I had to give it all up and choose only one pair of earrings, it would be easy - the diamond studs Jay bought me for Christmas one year!  I could happily live with that single pair of earrings.

* Note - scrapbooking, being what it is, has it's limits.  I do have a few other pieces that I need to document. Like the mother's ring that belonged to my Mom which I inherited when she died, the beautiful bracelet Sarah brought me back from her semester abroad, and the Pandora bracelet that my sister filled with charms to tell me how much she loves and appreciates me.  There just wasn't room on this layout for it all.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Another Katie Pertiet template - used this one almost as it came!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Both templates are by Katie Pertiet.

Enabler Alert!

As you all know, I'm an online class junkie.  Right now I've got two classes starting soon that I'm really excited about and wanted to share, just in case any of you lovely women out there would care to join me!

             Your Living Canvas - a mixed media/ life choices workshop.  Christy Tomlinson has partnered with Art McCracken, a life coach, to bring a course that is a combination of mixed media art and thought-provoking journaling exercises to get you thinking about what you really want your life to be.  The course is six weeks and has a full year access to the materials.  Begins May 21st.  It is a little more expensive, but I think it is just what I need right now.  So far I haven't been disappointed with a Christy class.  She delivers a LOT of content for the money.  If she and Art deliver on the "make you think" part of this class (I know they will just from the pre-class exercises we've been doing in our private Facebook group), I anticipate that this class will not only help me navigate the transitional phase of all my girls graduating, but also help me create a life plan for moving forward.  I'm excited to get started!  For complete information or to sign up, click on the Your Living Canvas link.

     31 Things with Ali Edwards.  Begins this Thursday, May 17th!  31 days of prompts for documenting 31 everyday stories with words and photos for just $31!  If, like me, you feel like you don't document enough of the everyday moments... or just never get deep enough into the little things that matter most, this may be the class for you.  Pre-class is set up and my ideas are already percolating.  For more information or to sign up, click the 31 Things link.

Hope to see you in class!!! :)

Monday, May 14, 2012


For today, a quick two pager from photos taken yesterday before the graduation ceremony. Journaling reads:  
Knowing that the day was really about Sarah's Graduation, I had no expectation that anyone would acknowledge Mother's Day. So, I wasn't anticipating anything. But what I got was a nearly perfect day! The sun was shining, the weather was warm. We had a yummy lunch at Applebees. An unexpected card and gifts. No drama. Everyone was getting along. And then an impromptu photo shoot down by the Susquehanna River where I got this wonderful shot of me and my girls!  I am so blessed to have these wonderful young ladies in my life. This Mother's Day exceeded my expectations. 
I'm wearing sunglasses in the photo because I could barely keep my eyes open with them off.  It was about high noon when we were taking these pictures and the sun was super bright.  I'm amazed that we were able to get any decent photos given the time!
I did the base of these layouts several years ago as samples for the company I repped for.  It was nice to finally be able to put some photos with them and have the color scheme work so perfectly! Card is very nicely signed inside by all three girls. And I received a gift card for Michaels (craft store) and a certificate for a manicure! :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Just A Quote for Friday

"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit."  ~Albert Schweitzer

A little more than the quote - I thought I'd share the journaling on this page:

In the world of art - whether it is photography, scrapbooking, art journaling, mixed media, or some other form, one important part of the process is the connections - meeting other people who share your interest and passion - people with whom you can share tips and ideas and who will provide support and encouragement when you share your art. I love the tribe of women I've "collected" on my blog - they keep me working even when I sometimes feel that "not good enough" gremlin sneaking back in and threatening to sideline me. I also love attending crops. It is so much fun to have others asking questions about my work - and being genuinely interested because I'm doing something so different and unexpected.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Week in the Life - LOAD 1-4

This year I participated in "Week in the Life".  But I knew from experience that there is very little that I find interesting to document about my day to day activities.  Maybe because I feel like I SHOULD be including my girls and what they are up to, even though they won't let me photograph them.  But I knew going in that my documentation was likely to be slim, so I decided to keep it really simple and use the "Memory Folder" concept that I am learning about in the class Art of Observation by Heidi Swapp over at BPC.

 This file folder is from Staples. I bought it a couple years ago. I distressed the outside to take down the sheen a bit.

Before the week began, I did the basic assembly of the inside of the folder. Then as each day went by I just paperclipped in whatever I had gathered for the day. I only had a 5.5 x 10 inch canvas for each day, which really limited how much I could fit for a day (good for someone who isn't really into the mundane details.)

 LOAD 1 - My Monday spread. The only day that got two pages... because initially I thought the left page would be a "Week in the Life" title page... then decided that wasn't necessary.

LOAD 2 - Tuesday/Wednesday.  Wednesday was actually a NO photo day! I had intended to get a photo of Tai Chi class but didn't even think to take a camera. And I call myself a scrapbooker???

 LOAD 3 - Thursday/Friday.  Stopped at the grocery store for dried mango and bananas.  $115 later... Love that I documented pizza & movie night. That is my favorite part of the week!

LOAD 4 - Saturday/Sunday.  Having such a small canvas did mean that a few of the items I had saved and some of the photos ended up not making the cut. Still, I feel like this was a great snapshot of a week in my life. Not detailed like most people's, just the highlight.

And this is what the completed folder looks like opened up.  Having done this, I do think the Memory File concept is ingenious and will be using it for future projects!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Storytelling Sunday - the LOAD 5 & 6 edition

I am participating in Layout A Day again during the month of May (LOAD512).  My layout for today (LOAD 6) tells my story for this month's Storytelling Sunday .  

 The story is about one of the best Mother's Day gifts I ever received - a photo collage with pictures of my girls taken by Jay - pictures that I knew nothing about until I received the framed collage.  How he got the girls to cooperate, I don't know.  He got some wonderful photos!  Template by Katie Pertiet.

This is my LOAD5 entry and the photo, from the same photo shoot, is my favorite of the entire group.

The prompt for LOAD5 was to enter our name in ebay and then use whatever came up as inspiration for a layout.  When I put my name into ebay, this is what came up:

Apparently someone else with my name is a published author of a Young Adult novel about a mermaid...  but I digress....

Looking back at that Mother's Day gift 9 years ago, I'm wondering what they'll come up with this year.  My guess is that it'll be a big fat nothing because that is the same day that Sarah graduates from college.  The day is pretty much spoken for.

To read more stories, check out the links at Sian's blog.