Monday, March 31, 2014

A Year of Kindness - Challenge Week 13 & a blog giveaway

So what did you do this past week to lend a helping hand? I had a couple of opportunities to hold a door open and returned a grocery cart left in the parking lot (by choosing to use that one on my trip in). And (from prior challenges) also found myself spending a lot of time just LISTENING and filled out a couple of surveys regarding repair work and purchases. Funny how quickly these things can become habits! But I feel like my attempts at adding more kindness to my day are truly starting to be integrated into everything I say and do.  How about you? Is this challenge helping keep kindness at the forefront of your mind?

This week's challenge is likely to give me a better idea of just how many people are actually reading these weekly posts.... The kindness challenge for this week is in the Pay It Forward category. The specific challenge - pass on a book you have finished and do not need to keep for your personal collection. Whether you give the book to a friend, have a drawing on your blog, donate it to your local library, hospital, nursing home or shelter, or to one of the many charities that accept books, passing on the gift of learning is a beautiful kindness!  Click HERE for a site with a list of places (including international) that would love your gently used books.

To kick off the Pay A Book Forward campaign, I have three books that I have read (twice each), enjoyed, and decided I don't need for my permanent collection.  If you are interested in one of these books, please leave a comment with the title that catches your interest.  I'll draw and announce winners on next week's Kindness Challenge Post.  All three of these books are PACKED with gorgeous images!

This first title has mixed media projects (not just canvases) from six different artists, half of them male. If you are interested in the masculine side of mixed media or looking for ideas for projects for that guy in your life, you may find some inspiration here:

Painted Pages is all from artist Sarah Ahearn Bellemare.  While I'm personally not a fan of her particular style as shown in this book (and all the best painty pages are at the end), the text (her ideas about supplies, warm-up activities, journaling, etc.) is a very good read.

Taking Flight by Kelly Rae Roberts has beautiful images and lots of great food for thought. The text describes Kelly Rae's personal journey into an artistic life, includes thoughts and inspiration from contributing artists, and gives you a great peek into Kelly Rae's techniques. 

Remember, to be in the drawing for one of these books, just leave me a comment with the title that catches your interest!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Zoom In Zoom Out Mixed Media

I made a canvas panel (8x10) for my sister Deanna:

 Her "One Little Word" for this year is "Let Go" and I wanted to give her something that would encourage her in this practice. Lots of embedded messages.  And a totally vintagy, shabby chic look.

Linking up with Helena's Zoom In Zoom Out meme.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

One Little Word

The assignment for March was to create a vision board or dream board about our word and what we wanted to invite into our lives. I decided to go digi with mine...

This layout features elements from 22 different digital artists. I can't wait to see it in print!

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Year of Kindness - Challenge Week 12

I hope you have all found ways to Let Your Light Shine and recognize just how AWESOME you are! The linky is still open until the end of the month, so you still have time to blog about your own Light and add it to the post here.  

This week's challenge is to Lend A Helping Hand. And by this I mean, while you are out and about, look for an opportunity to be of service.  Can you hold a door for someone carrying packages? Can you help someone get all their packages to their car? Can you pick up the toy/pacifier/bottle that the toddler in the shopping cart dropped, unknown to the mother?

When I think of lending a helping hand, I'm reminded of all the insurance company ads about the power a simple act of kindness can have. Those ads have been captured together in this inspiring video which might give you more ideas about how you can lend a helping hand:

As a firm believer in the concept of paying it forward, I hope your acts of lending a helping hand this week will inspire others to do the same.  Imagine the ripple we can create!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Kindness Challenge Week 11 Layout

I didn't want to post a challenge and then leave you all hanging, wondering what a layout would possibly look like. It just took me longer to get to than I anticipated. I took the design directly from the Week Two lesson of Scrapbooking Outside the Pocket.  I actually wrote down on paper ten things I love about my body  and ten things about my personality. I chose five to highlight in the layout:

The entire background is created with 3x4 pocket cards from Sn@p Studios.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Zoom In Zoom Out in Nashville

As you all know, I recently took a trip to Nashville and met up with my sister Deanna for a few days of hanging out and girl talk. I left behind ground still covered with snow and ice and arrived to weather in the 60's. A taste of Spring. It was heavenly.
Zooming Out. Spring hadn't really happened yet in Nashville either, so a lot of the world was still brown. But it was sunny and warm. We walked some of the trails at Bells Bend Nature Center and stopped for a rest at this little pond. Saw a gorgeous blue heron in flight, but he didn't come back around so we could get his photo.

Zooming In. I love the reflection of the trees on the water.
 We also spent some time walking around the Gaylord Opryland Resort Center. Their arboretums are gorgeous!
We met up with Barbara and she took us on a driving tour of Nashville, pointing out the various sights in the City - which was as close as we got to anything "touristy".  Barbara was a fun and gracious guide and I really felt like I'd gotten both a taste of and a feel for Nashville when we were done. Barbara is the fourth blog friend that I've met in real life. And I'll bet none of you will be at all surprised when I say that every one of them has been kind and fun and gracious - not an axe murderer in the lot!

My sister Deanna - she has the best smile and beautiful eyes. And oh my - that gorgeous red hair! When she straightens it (it is naturally curly) it reaches down to the small of her back.

We basically just hung out. We spent a lot of time shopping. You can't see her new Dan Post cowboy boots with the beautiful purple swallowtail butterflies and teal flourishes - if I were a cowboy boot wearing kind of gal, I would truly covet those boots! I think Deanna has a bit of cowgirl in her soul - her perfect world involves being on the back of a horse.

We watched Walking Dead on Sunday night and talked about our chances for survival in a post-apocalyptic world. We don't figure either of us would last very long. Deanna has nursing skills that would sought after. But honestly, who needs a lawyer in a zombie infested world? I asked Deanna that and she says lawyers would be used for target practice. Nice.
The condo we rented was right on the river. We caught this gorgeous sunset on our last night in Nashville. And I came back home to snow, still on the ground.

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Year of Kindness - Challenge Week 11

I hope you all found an opportunity in the past week to just LISTEN. Deanna and I took turns just listening to each other as we caught up - we talk on the phone a LOT, so it can be surprising that we still have that much to say when we get together, but we clearly do! Hanging out with your best girlfriend and just chatting about anything, everything, and nothing at all is a really fun and healing thing to do. If you haven't had a girls night out in awhile, maybe you need to get one on your schedule soon!

This week I am turning the kindness back on ourselves. I'll revisit being kind to ourselves frequently this year. I feel strongly that being kind to ourselves is really necessary to enable us to be kind to others. So, this week I am asking you to be kind to yourself by LETTING YOUR LIGHT SHINE. But how?

This week's challenge is inspired by the March 16th essay in Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach, which I am reading again this year. In the March 16th essay, Breathnach asks "What do you like about yourself?" And then she challenges the reader to discover ten things you absolutely love about your body and ten things you love about your personality and record them in your gratitude journal. She says to keep going back to the mirror and really looking until you can find twenty things to love about yourself.

I'm challenging you specifically this week to do this exercise and then blog about your answers. Maybe even create a scrapbook page about it! You don't have to reveal it all. I know for me that it would be easy to tell you that I love the color of my hair and I love the way my eyes sparkle when I'm happy. But to get much further about my body might find me in uncomfortable territory for sharing. My personality? I love that I'm a devoted mother and have tried in my life to always put family first. I love that I'm creative and able to make beautiful things. I love that I am a believer in life-long learning and truly enjoy learning new things. I could go on, but I don't want your list to be overly influenced by my thoughts, so I'll leave you with those examples to go and create your own lists.

In a bit of cosmic synchronicity, this video appeared in my email this morning:

Be Your Own Light Meditation from Wild Divine on Vimeo.

It was this quote that really resonated with me:

So go - discover what you love about yourself. Celebrate it. Blog about it. Create a scrapbook page about it. LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE. Then come back here and share your light via a link to your blog post.
I'll leave the link open until the end of the month to give you all time to play along!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Not Your Damsel

 Krystal Hartley's newest kit "Not Your Damsel" is available now at Sweet Shoppe Designs on sale 20% off regular price.
Here's what I created with it!

Monday, March 10, 2014

A Year of Kindness - Challenge Week 10

By the time you see this post, I'll be in Nashville, hanging out with my sister Deanna. A trip that is long overdue given that we haven't seen each other in nearly two years and she is my best friend on the entire planet! I'm so excited and can't wait!

So how many phone calls did you end up making? I spent a fair amount of time on the phone with Sarah before she boarded her plane for South Africa. I can't believe she is so far away!  And I have been on the phone a lot with Deanna in the past couple of days with last minute questions and preparations for the trip. And yet, we have almost nothing planned. We are winging the entire thing!
The challenge for this week is to simply LISTEN. Be kind to someone just by listening. You don't need to try to fix them or their problems. You don't need to solve anything. Just listen.  Let me know how it goes!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Scrapbooking Shares #4

My final post of layouts created during Layout A Day in February:

A quick simple layout using a template by Studio Rosey Posey and a digi paper by Studio Miki and a current photograph lifted from Facebook!

 Another Studio Miki quick page. I plan to add some private journaling about future dreams behind this layout.

 Here's another photo I've had sitting around forever and decided to get onto a layout during LOAD. My co-workers in 2006 at Project Management Boot Camp. The orange paper at top pulls out from behind the photo to reveal a little about the event and identify all the people in the photo.

 The prompt for this layout required rolling a die to determine the order in which we would approach the layout.  I got "paper - embellish - photo - design - title - story".  I used the prompt to do this design team layout using Krystal Hartley's brand new FADED kit (and it is absolutely gorgeous)!  You can get four full kits including this one at ScrapStacks this month for just $5 total.

Another "precious" story converted to a layout.

The prompt for this final layout was to do something emulating a style that is not your own. I chose a layout by a fellow LOADster and copied both her subject matter (though we don't watch any of the same television shows) and her basic design.  This clearly isn't my normal style but I'm very happy with the finished result!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Scrapbooking Shares #3

Here's my third week of Layout A Day entries:

It is true - Becca lives for her music. She accidentally left her iPod home this past weekend. Thank goodness her Dad is heading up to see her next weekend!  The prompt was to reuse a photo you have already scrapped. I do that all the time! This is the I Heart Music Kit by Re Kneipp at O'Scraps.   He is a very young designer and was having a sale to raise money for college books. I picked up a couple of great kits!

Most of this layout is pulled from the Half of Me Kit by Re Kneipp. I think the prompt was product first and I allowed this kit to inspire the layout.

The prompt was to use the same design as a prior layout but change it up. I simply flipped this as a mirror image of the one I did of Rachel.

The prompt was to scrapbook the "hard" or less-than-perfect stuff. This story was a particularly hard one to get down on paper. I've been meaning to do it for a long time. I'm glad it is finally done!

Prompt was a layout with no words. This quickpage that was a Facebook freebie from Studio Rosey Posey seemed perfect for this photo.

The prompt was to use a quote as inspiration for a layout. I took the quote straight from the digi kit. I think I'm in love with this layout. Probably because I'm in love with Kimeric's kits - check her out at The Digi Chick.

The prompt was to scrap something other than 12x12. No problem! Perfect excuse to get this layout done for Jay's birthday album. It's 8x8.

Monday, March 3, 2014

A Year of Kindness - Challenge Week 9

So did you get to leave some positive feedback anywhere last week? I reviewed a pair of boots that I fell in love with (purchased from Maryland Square) after I had worn them a couple of times so I could be honest about the fit and feel. It felt empowering to know that my thoughts might influence a future potential purchaser. But since I'm not really into consumerism all that much, I also reviewed a few books on GoodReads. I'd like to say all my reviews were positive, but to be honest, one was just neutral. We can't love all of it!
image source: Google Images

Do you remember this AT&T ad campaign from the early 80's?  It was totally sappy, but probably effective in getting folks to pick up the phone and call a loved one. And that is just what I want you to do this week - reach out and touch someone. Pick up the phone and dial the number of a friend or family member that you haven't talked to in a while. Just to say howdy and catch up. You might just make their day!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

One Little Word - February

This year I am taking One Little Word with Ali Edwards via her website. There is a great facebook group and you can sign up at any time during the year to get access. My word is KIND. The February Assignment was in two parts. First was to create action cards for the year. Ali suggested 12. I chose to do six for now and will re-visit this prompt on my own in the second half of the year and create six new cards.

Although Ali provided card templates, I chose to get creative. I used 3x4 project life grid cards. I did a lot of painting, misting, and stamping on both the cards and the background pages of my Smash Album (it was all die and VERY busy and distracting). I had fun with this one and loved the opportunity to use my Washi tape too!

The second part of the assignment was to create "reflections" cards for each month of the year.  Rather than posting these visibly on the page, I created pockets for each month's card to slip into. This way I can share the page but keep my journaling private if I choose.  I put these pockets on the last four pages of the Smash Album
At some point I will probably go back and decorate the pockets.

Inside each pocket is one of the Project Life foldable cards (these are from the Olive Edition). This gives me plenty of room to journal my reflections of the month that has just passed.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Scrapbooking Shares #2

 another "Precious" post converted to a layout!

 The beginnings of a "heritage" album. I made the template myself. I think it still needs some tweaking.

 The prompt for this day was to journal with incomplete sentences. Remembered this template from CZ's Clean and Simple Class.

I think this prompt was to use "embellishments" that you didn't buy at a scrapbooking store. Travel ephemera is an easy substitute!