Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Documenting The Everyday - Week 30

The week 30 challenge was to document Smash Style.

I started with this beautiful textured background:

And then proceeded to almost completely obliterate it with the stuff of everyday life!
No tips-in, pockets, or add-ons this week. Just a simple two page spread.  It felt liberating not have to write something every day, but just to layer on some little piece of my life from that day. Seeing this page done, I think I want to work on lettering and making those little notations more interesting to read. I could also add a bit more texture on top of all of this "stuff"... hmmm....

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Texture Tuesday - Pretty in Pink

It's been awhile since I played along with Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday.  Today felt like a good day to play just a bit!  I used Kim's "Follow" texture on hard light at 25% and selectively removed the texture from some of the flowers.  To see what others have done, click on the link above.

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Year of Kindness - Challenge Week 30

Last week's challenge was to Practice Compassion. In my blog post, I focused on the concept of compassion for others. On the concept of not judging in situations and circumstances where you may not have all the facts or know the entire story. Read here for a great article on how compassion is the secret to happiness and good health.

This week I want to turn that concept inward. This week's challenge is to Be Compassionate With Yourself.  Because honestly, care and love toward other human beings starts with care and love toward yourself.

Being compassionate with yourself means not judging yourself any more than you would judge another.

Being compassionate with yourself means cutting yourself some slack when life gets overwhelming.

Being compassionate with yourself means doing something that you know makes you happy when you are feeling blue.

And sometimes being compassionate with yourself means acknowledging that you are ENOUGH.

So the next time that mean girl voice is whispering in your ear that you are not good enough, not pretty enough, not thin enough, not smart enough, not creative enough, or not fill-in-the-blank enough, march yourself to a mirror, look yourself right in the eye and say "I am uniquely AWESOME." Because you are!

I saw the words "Uniquely Awesome" painted on a mirror in a shop in Ocean City two weekends ago and thought that was such a wonderful idea. I looked at myself in that mirror and said to myself "Why Yes, I am. Thank you very much."  I know it sounds silly, but when you hear that voice, and I know that YOU know the one I mean... JUST DO IT! Just march to the nearest mirror and say "I am uniquely AWESOME."  Then give yourself a big smile. You deserve it.

If you want others to be happy
Image Source.   That Dalia Lama sure was a smart dude, eh?

Make sure to leave me a comment telling me that you did it! No, not that it... The look-in-the-mirror-and- say-I-am-uniquely-awesome it!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Phone Photography

I am taking the new Phone Photography class at Big Picture Classes. I took the one last summer before I even had an iPhone.

Lesson One was on Light - finding the light.  I took this photo of the sun just peeking through the heavy cloud cover at the shore.  Do you see what I see???

Lesson Two was on Motion. And here is my attempt to stop the sea gulls in mid flight:

While I think these photos capture the essence of the lesson, I'm frustrated. EVERY photo I take with my iPhone is blurry. I keep reading how these phone cameras are supposed to be able to produce such great pictures. So how does one get CLARITY in an iPhone photo???  Any tips will be gratefully received!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Scavenger Hunt - 2

Last weekend I had the pleasure of spending a day at Ocean City. I left behind the laundry, the grocery shopping, the projects, and gifted myself with a day away - accomplishing nothing but renewing my soul. Ocean City is a great place for people watching and the chilly, windy weather did not keep the masses off the beach. If you want to find #8 "A tattoo on a person" this is definitely the place to do it!

This guy was not even the most decorated I saw on the beach, but he was the easiest to get stealth photography of!  He has a cloth-draped cross on his left arm, a day of the dead skeleton and something else on his right arm, a lion on his chest...
and the word "STRENGTH" tattooed across his shoulders.  Kind of makes you wonder what it is he needs strength for...

Here's #21 - a photo of me with something representing the season (flip flops, painted toes, a beach towel). And just in case anyone should think this is cheating because all you can see is my feet...

Here's one of all of me except my feet!  And the "something representing the season" are the daylilies - full bloom = full on Summer!  You can also tell that I'm wearing shorts!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Documenting The Every Day - Week 29

DLP Challenge - journal your wishes
SOC Challenge - Raspberry, Tangerine & Lemon

First off, I LOVE this citrus inspired color scheme! It was fun to work with.  I used a thank you card that I received from Karen as part of the art work because it went so beautifully with the theme. I had to trim it down just a tad to fit and I added the word "give" to acknowledge that I want to be grateful for all the things I already have before I start wishing for more!

When you open the flap, my "wishes" are revealed:
1) Make a living as an artist.
2) Live near the ocean (right now we are 2 hours from the shore, I'd like to be 10 minutes or so! Maybe even ocean view!)
3) Have a fully functional home office with REAL furniture.

Obviously #3 is shorter term and more easily realized, but someday I hope it is all three!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Year of Kindness - Challenge Week 29

I hope you all enjoyed a week of ENOUGH!

The challenge for this week is to PRACTICE COMPASSION. Compassion means recognizing the suffering or pain of another and desiring to alleviate it or aid in some manner. Compassion seems to come naturally for some, while it is a skill that has to be learned and practiced by others.  And all of us move between exercising compassion and judging - it is a normal human reaction to what we see in front of us.

Have you ever had a situation like this - you are at a department store and you see a very plus sized woman wearing spandex pants and a crop top? Do you judge? Or do you feel compassion for her, wondering what in her life has compelled her to dress in a fashion that is so clearly unflattering to her figure? Or you are walking a city street and see a man in dirty tattered clothing sitting on the sidewalk begging for change... do you judge? Is your immediate thought "he should get a real job"?  Or do you feel compassion and wonder what circumstances in his life brought him to such a sorry state? Were you taught growing up to not give the homeless money because they will just spend it on alcohol or drugs?

"Our need to judge continuously clouds our need to love unconditionally. Drop judgment and replace it with compassion. Nobody needs your judgment but everyone could do with a little compassion."  Cherie Roe Dirksen

This week I'm challenging you to notice every time you find yourself judging another person in any fashion. And if you catch yourself, try to replace that feeling of judgment with compassion. Can you find one thing about that woman to compliment her on (a pretty smile, a nice purse...)?  Can you offer that homeless man a cup of coffee or a word of encouragement?  Stop judging. Assume the best, not the worst. Reach out to your fellow humans and practice compassion.

image source:

Zoom In Zoom Out

I've missed a long shot of the ZIZO train. I've taken some photos with the meme in mind here and there, but never seem to get to the point of posting them! Here's a couple of photos taken yesterday in my front yard:

 Yes, our daylilies are in full bloom. Which means it is full-blown SUMMER here!

I'm linking up with this week's version of Helena's Zoom In Zoom Out. I have really missed playing along!

And don't forget, you still have a week to get your Life Tunes 2 post linked up!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Documenting The Everyday - Week 28

DLP challenge - add a small photo
SOC challenge - red, royal blue, a pop of light blue

In my overly literal mind, this color scheme would have worked so much better for last week with Independence Day. But I mad it work for me anyway and went with a real collage style presentation. The "normal" photo is clipped from a magazine and just seemed to fit my mood for the week.  You can't tell from the photo, but the numbers are sparkly holographic stickers from a very old set of sticker letters. So glad to have a perfect use for them! This journal is definitely helping with some stash busting!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Life Tunes 2

It is July 15th and that means it is time for the second installment of Life Tunes!  This month's suggested topic is your favorite or most meaningful spiritual song. Here is my layout:

Now it's YOUR turn to share a spiritual song that you love or that has special meaning in your life.  You can create a layout, write a blog post, or share a link to a YouTube video. The linky will remain open until the end of the month, so you have plenty of time to join in!

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Year Of Kindness - Challenge Week 28

Isn't it interesting that so many of us will admit to struggling with patience? Whether it is with others or with our own selves, slowing down and appreciating all the abundance can really help!  Thanks for all your comments last week!

This week I was inspired by a story I came across via a Kindspring email.  You can read the original story here.
So this week I am WISHING YOU ENOUGH. And challenging you to spend the week wishing others "enough".

"I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish enough "Hello's" to get you through the final "Good-bye." (quoting from the story linked above).

Friday, July 11, 2014

Scrapbook Shares

Two layouts in two days! After nothing in over a month!

 Krystal Hartley's new kit "Beat The Heat" is a delight of red, yellow, orange, pinks, and tans. And was perfect for these photos of the family jet-skiing at Key West.

and "Once Upon A Dream" is a softer kit with blues, purples, grey and yellow. Definitely got me in the mood to play. You can find both kits at Sweet Shoppe Designs on sale now!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Documenting The Everyday - week 27

DLP challenge - add a crossword
SOC challenge - pink and apple green

I added my crosswords each day throughout the week, with a word that represented that day. Great use of some old sticker letters that I happen to have about 8 sheets of. Now I will have to get creative if I need anymore e's, t's, n's etc.  The "tip in" for the week is the back side of my full month of July calendar (which I just printed from Outlook).

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Coming Soon - Life Tunes 2!

Last month in Life Tunes we considered our favorite "Summer Love" songs. I know many of you wanted to play along, but maybe just forgot... or ran out of time... or couldn't think of what song it would be... if you still want to do a Summer Love post, go for it! I'll visit! :)

This month my suggested theme is your favorite spiritually uplifting song. It can be a hymn, a christmas carol, or even a pop tune that touches your soul. I know when a song really touches me deep down, I have a very visceral and physical reaction. I get goose bumps all over and my scalp tingles. Call me weird if you want, I'm okay with it. A well sung version of Amazing Grace at the right moment will do it for me. This month I'll be creating a layout about this song, which gives me goosebumps every time I hear it:


I've heard numerous versions. I like K.D. Lang's the best. Of course, you are free to share about ANY song that is personally meaningful to you. Come back on the 15th to link up your blog post or scrapbook layout.

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Year of Kindness - Challenge Week 27

I cannot tell you how happy it made my heart to have so many of you post that you already utilize reusable bags for shopping and that your communities support the effort! I suppose this is one of my personal missions in life - to cut down on the amount of plastic waste we dump in our oceans and landfills. And to know that all of my blog friends are doing their part just makes me so proud!

I've always known I had a wonderful group of ladies who frequent my blog - and every week you've been proving me right and raising yourselves even higher in my estimation. Thanks for being the fabulous women you all are! (Men too... if there are any out there that actually read this.)

Usually when I decide on a challenge for any given week, it is because I read something that inspired me - or it is simply some reminder that I need for myself for the week.  This week it is the latter.  This week's challenge is to PRACTICE PATIENCE. 

I'm not even going to interpret, explain, or offer examples this week. Because I believe that we will each have very different areas in our lives where a little patience would go a long way - and it is up to each of us to discover when and where we need to pause and take a breath.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Documenting the Everyday

I've tried folks. Really, I have. But the truth is that my heart is just not in it.

"Not in WHAT?" you may ask...

My heart is not in the Project Life trend.

I admire the awesome spreads of industry experts and blog friends who have managed to capture a week or a month at a time in a beautiful one or two page pocket scrapbooking style spread. In fact, I drool over them and wish I were dedicated enough to be like them. And I'm a total sucker for all those 3x4 and 4x6 cards! I've spent more than I care to admit on both paper and digital project life materials! But when I sit down to try to create with this system, gathering photos, memorabilia, and trying to put it together cohesively into predefined pockets - it just feels like work to me. There is no JOY in it for me.

I've made peace with the idea that I'll never be a Project Lifer. I'm okay with it. In fact, I'm more than okay with it - because I stumbled upon a different kind of project that allows me to document the everyday in a way that is FUN for me and brings JOY to my heart.  Enter the Documented Life Project at Art to the 5th Academy. It's a moleskine weekly planner meets art journal meets project life with endless possibilities. Each week the Admins post a challenge to add to your DLP planner - just for fun!

In the past three weeks, I've combined the DLP weekly challenges with the Summer of Color color challenges to create my pages.

DLP Week 24 challenge: Use book paper
SOC Week 1 colors: yellow and aqua with a splash of hot pink

DLP Week 25 challenge: cover your flap in hearts
SOC Week 2 colors: coral and teal with a splash of white
 Since I was in Key West for most of these two weeks, the planner became a repository of bits of stuff from the trip, including pieces from my flight boarding passes and bits from travel brochures. The envelope pocket contains a large fold-out map of Key West. I cut up the bag from the "Life is Good" store where I bought my Key West souvenir (a t-shirt that does NOT say "Key West" on it!) to add to the flap page. The individual "pages" are attached to the original planner with washi tape which allows them to be folded into the planner.
This is probably the most intricate any week will be for me.

DLP Week 26 challenge: Add your favorite bible verse or quote from a book.
SOC Week 3 colors: lavender, grey, and a pop of plum
This is probably as simple as any week will be for me - no flaps or pockets, no receipts or memorabilia from the week - just a pretty art journal page and notes about what happened in my week.

Eventually I'll get comfortable enough with this system to incorporate photos too. And more detailed art journal style pages. For now I'm just feeling my way into it. And loving every bit of it!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Lessons in Mad Clustering Skills

Once upon a time I admired Karen's Mad Clustering Skills and wished that I was able to attend one of Karen's scrapbooking classes that she teaches at her crops each month. For my birthday, Karen made my wish come true by mailing me an entire class kit and instructions!  Usually when I have a class kit, I spend a lot of time and effort "making it my own" ... but Karen's legendary clustering skills honestly had me just a bit intimidated (I can do this in digi, but for some reason it doesn't translate for me when using actual 3D paper products!)... so I followed the instructions VERY closely...

 This is leaps and bounds from my typical paper style. If you compare to Karen's layout at the link above, you'll see I really stuck with the game plan for the most part. I'm thrilled to pieces with the finished product! Thank you so much Karen for the class in the mail! LOVED IT!!!