Friday, May 30, 2014

Thank You

My birthday was, as anticipated, very low key. Which is fine with me. I'm happy with the way it all played out. And I have so many Thank You's to offer up!

Thank you to Helena and Miriam for the Happy Mail! Loved all the bits and pieces which will be appearing in my journal soon!

Thank you to the 29 family members, friends, and colleagues who took a moment of their day to wish me a Happy Birthday on my Facebook page!

Thank you to daughters Rachel and Becca and my "Dad" for the Happy Birthday text messages,  Melissa for the Happy Birthday email, and Melissa and Sian for the Happy Birthday comments on my blog post.

Thank you to my sister Deanna, daughter Sarah, and co-worker Dennis for the Happy Birthday phone calls. Dennis serenaded me while I was driving down the turnpike! He tried to be anonymous and disguise his voice, but I knew it was him from his phone number. Too funny!

Thank you to daughter Rachel for cleaning the house for my birthday. So nice to come home from work to a clean kitchen counter and vacuuming done!

Thank you to family members (you all know who you are) who provided me with a fun assortment of gifts - which I'll have to blog about later when I can get photos and have more time to do it justice.

And finally, Thank you for the fun dinner out at TGI Fridays and the photos from Becca which I turned into this last night:

The bulk of this was a freebie cluster created from Kimeric's Hydrangea Blossom kit.  Every time she puts out a new kit (weekly), she posts freebies from it for her newsletter subscribers and blog readers. If you want some absolutely gorgeous digi freebies, check out her blog!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

More Scrapbooking Shares

Today is my birthday. And at the time this posts, I'll be on my way to the office. For several meetings. Just another work day. Yes, it is going to be pretty low key.  Becca tells me that birthdays really don't matter after you are 21. I wonder if she'll change her mind next year? (She turns 21 this September).  I'm grateful for another birthday. I'm hoping that today will surprise me and turn out to be more than just another day at the office. We'll see...

Several new layouts - I think these all speak for themselves!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Year Of Kindness - Challenge Week 21

Monday was a holiday. Yesterday I was swamped with stuff for work and absolute "must" get crossed off the list kind of things. I apologize for being late with this week's post. But the good news is, the challenge is super simple. Say "thank you". Something I suspect most of you already do on a regular basis. I'm just adding it as a kindness challenge so that we have a week (or at least a few days) of being more aware of saying thank you.  Say 'thank you' to the store clerk who rings you up. Say 'thank you' to the waitress who brings your meal. Say 'thank you' to your family for being there to support you and love you. Acknowledge the people in your life with a moment of gratitude.

I want to say thank you to each and every one of you who stops by to read my posts, who play along with my kindness challenges, who have been my blog friends and my "tribe" for so long. Having you along for the ride truly enriches my life. So, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Scrapbooking Shares

 Word Art from 52 Inspirations. Old stuff. :)

 Still considering what journaling I want to add to this...

 Tiffany Tillman template, Vicki Stegall word art. This one took forever to put together, but I love it!

I knew I had to tell the story of this photo. Rachel is in the bright purple swim suit. Sarah is right behind her. Becca is way in the background in red. All the lovely yummy bits came from a Sweet Shoppe Designs Collaboration Kit called "Bohemian Beauty".  These colors were a joy to play with.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Scrapbooking Shares

 Yes, more of Melissa! This is a Miki Ferkul Quick Page, but I did add the journaling block at the top and had to do a little fancy work with Photoshop Elements to blend it it with that ribbon. The colors and layout of the page seemed perfect for the photos and just reminds me of Melissa's sunshiny personality! I wonder what my family will think when a print out of this finally makes it into the albums???

 This is a Studio Rosey Posey blended template, used totally as is, with a photo from 2005. I may go back and add journaling to the bottom and a date to that heart tag. Although it is certainly okay just as is.

 This layout began with a prompt to use a song that defined a period in your life. I started with Studio Rosey Posey Blended Template #14. With a lot of changes, resizing, and adding some elements from Krystal Hartley's "Butterflies Are Free" kit. Although it wasn't an easy story to tell, I'm so happy to have it recorded and this layout will probably end up being my favorite from LOAD514.

Began with a creative team challenge to use Krystal Hartley's new "Putting on My Happy Face" kit and trying my hardest to keep the layout "manly" while using a lot of girly elements. Did I succeed?  No template here, created this one totally from scratch.

The LOAD prompt for this layout was "Boob Tube" - what did you watch on television when you were young? I sourced the television show photos online and then found the great stacked television template from Katie Pertiet. I chose plaids from my stash of digi papers that went with the times and the photo of me at 11 years old rocking orange and navy plaid pants, with the old television in the background. I had FUN putting this one together!

I think the song/tv show prompts are fantastic story starters for scrapbooking. I know I personally have several other songs in mind that defined specific periods in my life and I'm actually considering creating a "Soundtrack of My Life" album with a layout about each song that had special meaning for me. I've even considered the idea of making it into a monthly meme for the second half of 2014. Would anyone be interested in playing along?

So if you had to choose a song - or a television show - that defined a time in your life, what would it be and why?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Year of Kindness - Challenge Week 20

The funny thing about Kindness is that the more you give, the more you get. People learn to be kind by example and by sharing. So my challenge to you this week is to SHARE a story of Kindness. Something you witnessed or read about or heard about that really moved you. Blog about it and leave a link here. Or share it via social media - on your facebook, twitter or instagram account. Or just tell us about it in the comments below. Tell a friend, tell your family, whisper it down the lane... Just PASS IT ON!

My share for this challenge is this video that came across my Facebook feed today (I knew there was a reason I was late getting this posted!), from a local friend who doesn't follow my blog or travel in the same circles as my blog friends. So hopefully this one will be new to you. Just fair warning, if you are prone to being emotional have some tissues handy. This one literally had me bawling:

"A Flash Mob for Amy!" from cnoellsch on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Scrapbooking Shares

More from LOAD514:

A Simple Moment in April that I took notes for, but never got written up for Alexa's meme.

One more addition in my collection of Storytelling Sunday layouts - thanks to Sian!

A late entry for the "Soundtrack of My Life" prompt using the free kit "Just A Note" from Krystal Hartley:

Using a QuickPage from Kimeric "By The Sea" kit:

And finally, a QuickPage from Miki Ferkul's "Glorious" kit.

The last two I did NONE of the design work. A "QuickPage" is created by the designer so that all you do is drop in your photo and add journaling. I am very grateful to have QuickPages available on days during the LOAD challenge when I simply don't have the time, energy, motivation, and/or scrapping mojo to do something original from scratch.  In both cases I *may go back later and add a journaling tag with a bit more of a story or thoughts on the layout.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

One Little Word - May

I'm continuing on my journey with Kindness this year.  Have you checked out my Year of Kindness Project  yet?

Ali's assignment for May was to create artsy cards with reflections on the statement "I Am"

Keeping in mind that I'm working in a Smash Book and don't have quite the real estate of an 8.5x11 page protector with nine slots for cards (what most of the One Little Word students are working with), this is what I came up with:

 Colored modeling paste through a stencil and gelatos for the background of the page, modeling paste through a stencil added in bits to the Project Life cards and then colored with gelatos.
Love those folding project life cards for this page!  I've also been thinking about printing off some of my kindness quote photographs and adding to the book.   

How is your One Little Word working in your life this year?

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Year of Kindness - Challenge Week 19

This week's challenge is to FORGIVE SOMEONE. Whether it is for a big hurt that you've been holding onto for a long time or something small and trivial that just irritates you. That driver that just cut you off in traffic? Forgive him and wish him well. Let go. Move on.  Someone you live with left their clothes on the floor again, failed to rinse their dirty dishes, forgot to take out the trash, broke your favorite mug...? Forgive them and wish them well. Let go. Move on.  A good friend betrayed a confidence and left you hurt, embarrassed, and distrustful? Forgive her and wish her well. It doesn't mean you have to trust her or even resume the relationship. But let go. Move on.

I chose this as a challenge for this week because I recently needed to let go of a hurt I had been unconsciously nurturing for awhile. Not healthy. And as soon as I became aware of it, I knew I needed to deal with it.

I made a ritual of forgiveness - writing down the name and the hurt that I was forgiving on a piece of paper and then burning it. Letting go of the regrets, watching as the pain I had been holding onto wafted away on a sliver of smoke, seeing the entire memory reduced to nothing but a bit of ash, forgiving myself in the process. It was a situation that I had no power to change, but one that I could finally let go. It was a healing moment.

Forgive someone. You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Scrapbooking Shares

I am participating in Lain Ehmann's "Layout A Day" again this month. So I have some scrapbooking to share!

 Inspired by Ali Edwards' "Hello Story" class at Big Picture Classes.

Getting my postcards from Kat Sloma's "Liberate Your Art" onto pages.
 I made the digital layout on the left in February. Made the companion page on the right to hold cards from Rachel and Becca from last year. Finding paper elements to match the digital ones was an interesting exercise.

 Hybrid layout! I used my web images from LOAD214 and printed them to an 8.5x11 photo paper and trimmed off the excess. The rest is a paper layout.

Documenting my final "Precious" from December of 2013. Glad to have this finally scrapbooked!
Documenting my "Precious" from November 2013. I am so thankful to have fully participated in Sian's Storytelling Sunday monthly meme as I have a lot of really interesting things documented. Still a few to translate into scrapbook layouts, which gives me ready fodder for the LOAD challenges!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Zoom In Zoom Out - Kwanzan Cherry

Our Kwanzan Cherry tree is in bloom - the last flowering tree to bloom in the Spring around here. Once this tree blooms, everything becomes fully leafed out in a matter of about a week. Pretty soon there will be green completely surrounding my sun room - love it!

 All those fluffy pink flowers - so pretty!

 Getting a little artsy with the curling branches framing the neighbor's little shed. I think this one is crying out for adding some texture, but I don't have time right now.

delicate petals against rough bark - yum. And the blue/pink mottled bokeh in the background was a happy accident!

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Year of Kindness - Challenge Week 18

Last week I challenged you all to abandon some art. I heard from several of you who were involved in a special quilt project (I was invited to participate at the very last moment, turned a quilt square around and in the mail same day, never took a picture!). I also heard from Rinda who actually did a public art abandonment and blogged about it here.  Way to go Rinda!

I decided to take myself up on my challenge. I painted rocks. Turns out to be harder than I thought. I had polished rocks purchased at Michaels - next time I'll try rocks picked up at the park, complete with rough texture to give the paint something to stick to.  After a base coat, I wrote affirmations on the rocks with a white pen. At which point I discovered that the rocks I had chosen (mostly the size of a dime to maybe a quarter) were too small to write on comfortably. I persevered and ended up with this little collection:

(shown significantly larger than life!).

I decided that for now I needed the reminder and kept the "just play" one for myself.

I put the rest in my pocket and headed to work on Thursday morning. I dropped one on the bench outside my building. After my work meeting, I met up with Melissa who was in Pennsylvania for the weekend. I met her and Robbie at the King of Prussia Mall. Dropped a rock on a pillar outside the mall, a second on a bench inside the mall. After lunch, we drove around Valley Forge National Park. I dropped one at the Visitor's Center gift shop while Melissa and Robbie were buying books. And I dropped the final one on a bench near Washington's Headquarters. That last one was found immediately and snatched up.  I hope the rest of them found good homes.

Having done the rock drop, yes, I'm ready to try it again. I'm also mulling over some ideas for tag art or small canvases....  It felt good to know that I had hopefully made someone's day or at least made them smile for a minute.

And now for this week's challenge...


Inspired by this video that came across my Facebook Feed and really touched my heart. Please take five minutes to watch it:

The whole point is to be kind - to ourselves and others- by LIVING our lives in the moment, instead of having our noses constantly stuck in front of a screen. Yes, I get the irony that the video began on YouTube and is going viral via the very social media it is trying to get us to step away from. Yes, I get that I couldn't be sharing it with you without my blog or my facebook page. But the message is still valid and worth the reminder.

So Look Up! I'm here, smiling and waving and saying hello! (Ironically from the very screen you need to look up from). Now turn off your computer and go live for a bit!