Thursday, January 31, 2013

What I Did At The Crop | Two

Following Miss Smith's blog, like a lot of you, I tried my hand at some journaling cards:

You might recognize one of these from this layout.
I am so enjoying my collection of washi tape!

I also played around with some all occasion card making:

And I made my first round of tracking cards for 2012.  Since these are sized down to fit a 6x8 Sn@p album, it left little space for embellishing compared to last year's 8.5x11 size.
But I'm still LOVING the papers from the K&Co. Que Sera Sera paper pad (which has apparently been around since 2009 and I'm lucky to have found the second pad at Michaels last year).

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What I Did At The Crop | One

So I spent the weekend of January 18th - 20th at a crop retreat in Reading, as I have every January for years on end.  This year I got quite a bit accomplished which I'll share over the next few days.

First up, let's talk about Christmas!  Here's my three page layout about Christmas Greetings sent and received in 2012.

We didn't receive nearly as many photo cards as usual, in fact I believe receipt of cards overall was down and if it weren't for the lovely ones from all my bloggy friends I wouldn't have had much to scrap with at all! At least a few of you will recognize your creations in the center layout.

And then there is this page inspired by my 12 Days of Christmas photography class:

And finally in the 12x12 world, I did a bit of work in Sarah's School of Life, 7th - 12th grade album, most of which I'm sure she wouldn't want me sharing online, so I'll just leave you with this page from her Junior year:
More to come! :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Telling Tales | One

So I enrolled in Telling Tales by Miss Smith... just because I didn't want to be left out!  Here's my first page:

I've been meaning to pull this photo and postcards off my bulletin board for over a year now. Finally done!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. 
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. 
Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Pass It On

I occasionally like to share fun and exciting things I've found in my Internet travels... here is what has been giving me thrills and chills this week:

1.  Artful Digi Scrapping - a FREE online blog series and workshop by Captivated Visions:

I'm never one to argue over free instruction and the pages shown in the Introductory blog post just look so fun!

2.  Have you been following all the great stuff coming out of CHA???  This demo of Tim Holtz' new line of acrylic distress paints for Ranger has me drooling. I've watched the video twice already. Want to send me a little love in the mail??? Any color will do... seriously, one of each would be awesome!  Not sure when these hit stores, but my birthday is in May (hint, hint).

3.  Font Management? Hadn't really thought much about it, but yes, I needed a way to organize my fonts and yes, I wasted a lot of time searching for the right one when I'm digi scrapping. I first saw the solution HERE on Jessica Sprague's blog... a font organizing software! (for those of you with Mac computers, please move on - apparently great software already comes loaded on your machine.  PC users - this is for you!)  Do you have so many fonts that you can never find the one you want?  I had 446 yesterday.  Then I downloaded Nexus Font, available here . It's free (yes, there's that word again), it's a very small program. It took less than two minutes to install. And with about two hours of tagging and uninstalling, today I'm down to 407 fonts, neatly sorted into 14 different categories that I chose. With one click, I can bring up all 31 Script fonts and decide which one will work best for my project, instead of scrolling through all 400+ trying to find the one I'm looking for!  Initially I couldn't find where to create sets... basic instructions to get you started can be found here.

4. I have been on the fence FOREVER about Project Life. Seriously, I love what others have done, but I have been extremely reluctant to commit for myself.  Why?

Number one - I don't scrap chronologically, never have, and I'm really not excited by the prospect of weekly diary style scrapbooking. I don't have little ones at home saying cute and memorable things (snarky teen comments are neither cute nor memorable). My day to day life just isn't that exciting. And one week often looks very much like the last.  In fact, I'm pretty much sold on my Stacy Julian style Library of Memories albums and process.

Number two - I suck at long-term projects. Start strong and then fizzle. It's a character flaw. What can I say? I don't want to start this, lose interest, and then feel like I've failed or I have yet ANOTHER in a long and ever-growing list of unfinished projects.

BUT, I love all those 3x4 journaling cards and products available for Project Life. I love the idea of slipping in memorabilia so easily. The whole concept intrigues me. So how can I play along within the parameters of how I scrap???  Jennifer Wilson of to the rescue!

In this blog post Jennifer talks about how she decided to marry Project Life with Library of Memories. I'm SOLD.  With a tweak.  The album that will house my in-progress Project Life style layouts will just be a temporary holding place. I'll enjoy watching the pages develop and evolve. But every so often when I have a bunch of finished pages, I'll move them into my regular Library of Memories albums. Mixed right in with the 12x12 paper and digi pages.

Now I'm kind of excited to get started! And I have an excuse to buy that Olive Core kit I've been lusting after....

Monday, January 14, 2013

Beyond Layers Challenge

I've been a member of Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers class for all of 2012, but got lost after the first few months and mostly ignored it.  She's offering Beyond Beyond for 2013 (discounted pricing is still valid) and I've decided to re-up and try to go back through some of what I missed in 2012 as well!  Class begins January 23rd if anyone is interested in joining in.

Today she offered us a great tulip photo with a black background and a challenge to play with it.  My results:

My recipe -  To Kim's original photo I added:

KK texture 1301 on overlay at 75%
KK texture paperstained music on color burn at 60%
Pioneer Woman "lovely & ethereal" action
a quote

It was fun to take a few minutes to play - no purpose, it won't likely get used for anything...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2013 - A Year of Daring Greatly

I first spilled the beans here that my One Little Word for 2013 is "DARE" and I'm quite excited to take it on.  I've spent a fair amount of time in the past week pondering my word, drafting a set of intentions, living with them, re-drafting them, then going back and tweaking them a bit more. And I believe I finally have something I can work with for the year!

I Am Daring Greatly
My daring intentions for 2013:
  • DARE to EAT HEALTHY - months of logging meals, counting calories, pushing myself to walk further, etc. only left me frustrated and depressed and resulted in dismal failure in the move more/eat well arena. I'm approaching 2013 differently. I will not be counting calories or setting exercise goals. My entire focus will be on eating REAL food. In January I'm seeking out paleo/primal friendly recipes and preparing a 30 day meal plan to set myself up for success. In February I'll do a Primal Eating trial - cutting all grains from my diet.  
  • DARE to BE ME - in all my perfectly imperfect glory.
  • DARE to MAKE A DIFFERENCE - I haven't decided exactly what yet, but I'll be looking for opportunities to be a kindness rebel and to participate in service projects this year.
  • DARE to SAY YES - to stepping outside of my comfort zone, trying new things, accepting social invitations
  • DARE to ASK for what I need - whether it is help with household chores, hugs, or alone time, I want to start asking for what I need rather than resenting others for not reading my mind and supplying it!
  • DARE to LET GO - of unwanted obligations, clutter, UFO's that no longer have meaning, the need to sign up for every remotely interesting online class that comes down the pike because I'm afraid I'll miss out on something good or feel left out if "everyone else" is taking it!
  • DARE to FINISH what I start - including scrapbooking projects, online classes, craft projects, and household projects
  • DARE to CREATE - permission granted to spend time creatively and play - even before all the work is done!
What are you daring greatly in 2013?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Story Telling Sunday - My Precious

When I was in the 10th grade (15 years old), I came down with a really bad case of pleurisy. I missed ten days of school. It was the only time in my life that I can honestly say the mere act of breathing caused excruciating pain.

At the time, our family of eight (two adults, six kids) lived in a home with only a single bathroom. I spent my two weeks of illness sleeping on the sofa in the living room so I would be closer to the bathroom and wouldn't have to navigate the stairs. Other than my pillow and blanket, my constant companions in the living room were this bear (purchased by my Mom to make me feel better):

and the book Trinity by Leon Uris (all nearly 900 pages of it!). So when I wasn't sleeping (I was on some decent pain meds), I was reading and this little guy (he's only 12" head to toe) kept me company.

Once I was better, he still hung around. A lot. He went with me to college. All four years. He traveled with me again when I moved away from home. He spent a lot of time on or near my bedside. And yes, he's a tad worse for the wear. Believe it or not, he's never had a proper name, just "bear".

Ultimately I grew up, got married, and started sharing a bed with someone who took up, well, a bit more space. Since then, this little guy has been consigned to my hope chest.

I've had several major purges of "stuff" from my home in an effort to reduce the clutter. Purges where I was absolutely brutal and got rid of many things which might have been considered to have sentimental value. When I am in de-clutter mode, I ask myself two questions - "Do I love this?" (not like, LOVE, as in does it make my heart sing?). If I LOVE it, it stays. If I don't love it, I follow up with "Do I use it?" Yes - it stays; No - it goes. Through every de-cluttering rampage, this little guy has survived. I guess he still makes my heart sing.

For more Precious Stories visit Sian's Story Telling Sunday.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Christmas Class and Card

12 days collage Remember back at the beginning of December when I said I was taking a "12 Days of Christmas" photography class?  Well, this collage is my final project, showcasing eight of the twelve techniques taught in class. I'm so happy with the way it turned out! I think I'm going to turn this collage into a scrapbook page! I learned two important things on my camera in the course of this class - how to set the white balance and how to change the focal points. I was hoping for more of those type of specific things - which buttons to push for what effects.  Despite that, I loved the class and I definitely think my photos were a bit better this Christmas! I still have editing to do to get them ready for scrapping and sharing. Guess that will come soon enough.

Christmas postcard
And this is the Christmas postcard that I made. In addition to cards that went to 30 something folks here in the states, I sent 10 postcards to friends in other countries. I hope you all got them! I used a portion of Krystal Hartley's new Mixed Media Mashups #1 as a template to get me started and the papers all came from an older kit by Aja Abney Designs called Christmas Shimmer Patterns for which I can't find a current link.  I had a lot of fun "playing" to put this together.

Enabler Alert!

For anyone who has ever toyed with the idea of joining Layout A Day (LOAD) but hasn't taken the plunge yet... February's LOAD theme is "Scrap Happier."  Each day Lain gives you like a 3 minute video with the day's challenge, which you upload to the Flickr gallery.  It's quick and fun!

All the information for sign-up is here: LOAD213

Use the code FUN at check out to get $10 off!!! (Good through 1/7 only).

Once you are a LOAD alumni, you get emails for discounts off future LOAD sessions.

Hope to see some of you there!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Just A Quote For Friday

Quote 34
All day Blogger has refused to allow me to upload photos.  grrrrr...  I finally added this to photobucket and just inserted the html code on blogger!

In creating this image I played with a couple of Kim Klassen's textures, just for fun!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Take Twelve - December

I'm way late in posting this, but I did participate in Take Twelve during December. In fact, on the 12th I took the day off work to participate in Big Picture Classes 12-12-12 event that was broadcast from Maui. Although I didn't create the album (or even any of the pages... yet) that were showcased during the event, I did watch the live broadcast at the top of each hour.  I used the day to do some creative stuff and to get all my Christmas packages ready to post.

Kira decided to steal the ribbon I was wrapping with and try to make off with it. (In that first photo of Kira, do you see the very bright orange and yellow albums near her feet?  That is what those altered albums looked like to start).  The kitchen counter shows definite evidence that a messy teen lives here. I got some process shots of the mini albums I was making as gifts.  I took screen shots of the chat on BPC and got the calendar/clock shot for 12/12/12 at 12:12:12 p.m. I thought it was so cool! (I know Mel will appreciate this).  I made penne & cheese for dinner (we were out of macaroni noodles) and by the end of the day I had completed my gift albums and had six gift packages ready to mail!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

One Little Word Blog Hop - January 2013

Hello! Happy NEW YEAR!  Welcome to 2013!!!  Are you ready? I am!

Whether you arrived here from Lisa'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! The One Little Word Blog Hop is a monthly hop run by Margie for members of Ali Edwards' One Little Word class over at Big Picture Classes. 

Our December assignment was to complete this sheet closing out our word for the year and reflecting on the facts and feelings surrounding it. I know that "focus" was a good word for me and that I learned a lot about being productive and staying on task.  At the same time, I had some colossal failures at long-term goals, so I'm clearly still a work in progress!

It doesn't really show up on the scan of this sheet, but I used a subtle grungy art journal style background and brown ink around the edges on this ... IRL it really looks much nicer (very artsy), but you'll have to take my word for it... I don't have the time or energy to get a photograph taken and edited!

I am not posting my Tracker sheet for December - I got caught up with the holidays and family and did not keep up with it at all.  But it is a "FOCUS" trick that I fully intend to carry into the new year!

I will be continuing with One Little Word in 2013 and I am so excited about my new word... DARE!  This word came to me repeatedly in early December - in a phone call with my sister, in an email exchange with Deb, in reading I was doing.  And I'm ready to take it on.  Dare to be ME - even with my own family who often don't see the real me (I'm seriously more afraid of their disapproval than anything else in the world).  Dare to try new things. Dare to accept more social invitations.  Dare to take the 30 day Paleo challenge.  Dare to learn more photography skills.  I think DARE will be a good way to bring more fun and enjoyment to everyday life as well as a way to push me outside of my comfort zone from time to time.

Do YOU have a word for 2013?  What is it?  Inquiring minds want to know! 

If you are following the hop, your next stop is Ruth's blog.  The hop goes "live" at 9 a.m. PST, 12:00 EST, so check back later if you arrived too early to catch everyone - it is a short list this month. If you get lost, here's the whole list: