Monday, April 30, 2012

The Good, The Bad and Thank God for Loreal...

I know not many people will have noticed, but I've been gone.  After a few horrid days in the RV (that I definitely won't get into), I came to stay with my mom for a while.  Her home is so bright and cheerful, just being here helps.  And let's face it, when you feel terrible, it's great to be with mom - even at 50.  Of course, my mom is not well either and the added burden of caring for my dad is utterly overwhelming on most days.  But at least she doesn't feel the need to take care of me and I do try to help out if I can.  We both just so appreciate the company and she says that it helps just my being here.... I hope so, as I am practically useless except as companion and co-conspirator. 

Of course, just because I've been gone doesn't mean my mind hasn't been at work (my mind reminds me so of a pinball - chaotic but constantly moving).  I thought about making several entries to cover these thoughts, but now that my mind is utterly blank, I think I'll just go with the flow by giving each little thought it's own subtitle. Hmmm.

Scrapbooking is Hard Work...

I know I've said it before, but it just awes me when people think that our passion is just a trivial pursuit.  Little do they know!!!  It's expensive, as we can all attest.  It's important, as a memory keeping and creative outlet.  It's challenging, making those decisions regarding every aspect of each layout. And it can be painful.  Let's face it, most scrapbooking is done hunched over, whether when sitting or standing.  My table is slightly too high so my arms sit almost parallel to my shoulders.  If my chair is properly lifted, I still have to hunch for placement.  Standing is best for perspective, but hunched again.  Maybe hunched isn't the best word, we look down constantly, sometimes for hours and hours.  The only answer is constant movement, sit/stand sit/stand sit/stand - table/counter table/counter table/counter.  What is the best position for scrapping?  Leave me a comment!!

Let me make one other scrapbooking reference that I feel is really worth mentioning.  I really believe that scrapbookers are some of the easiest pleasing people in the world.  There is nothing I love more than to receive supplies or gift cards.  And then there is the sheer ecstasy we feel when we find something we love.  For instance, the other day, my mom and I were wasting time awaiting Gigi's visit with her other grandma.  So we went browsing at Michaels. Lo and Behold!!! I found the Therm0Web Sticky Dots 8.5 x 11 sheets!!!! You know the one that says for diecuts but actually can be used on every embellishment imaginable (love it for ribbon!)!!! I have sent people on expeditions from Pensacola to Tampa looking for this fave!  I was so excited I actually danced a little diddy right there in the aisle.  An employee (I didn't know she saw!) came up to me and just checked out what I had in my hand.  She then says to me, "You know, scrapbookers get so excited.  You can actually hear them ooh and aah while talking on the phone.  Look at you, you just got glue stuff and you're dancing."  I thought that was so funny.  Yes, I guess we do.  Mom says I don't get so excited when I buy shoes; and boy, do I love shoes.


Oh Where, Oh Where Did My OCD Go...

Once upon a time, a long time ago, in a land over the bridge, I was fairly OCD.  Not just the everything in its place kind either.  The hangers in my closet had to match the colors of my bedroom.  That not being enough, they had to be in order blue, green, blue, green, blue, green, etc. as did the plates, bowls, etc. in my kitchen cupboards.  And I brushed my teeth at least 12-25 times a day - to the point where my previously cavityless (?) teeth began to crumble.  However, things were fairly organized - at least to the point where if there was anything I needed it was either here, or here or there - usually it was here.  Granted, there was another part of my life in total chaos beyond my control, but the OCD was definitely a part of my life.  It's not anymore.
At first, I believe it was because that other part of my life finally fell apart that the OCD let go of it's grip.  Strange that the happiest point in my life caused such a strange side effect and that the devastating loss of that happiness caused the 'OCD extreme' to abate.  But I was still "anal" - everything had a place, things were organized, I had order!  Later on, I started to have spells of severe depression during which times the order took a serious backseat.  As my daughter and grandchildren started taking over the house and I was unable to constantly pick up after them or stay on their cases, the order quickly became only a glint.  Then, I moved into the RV.
I still suffer from the OCD part of me that organizes and reorganizes and reorganizes.  Unfortunately, that is the only part that I suffer from.  I wrote previously about looking for my prized possessions for hours one night while scrapbooking during the pretty paper.true stories. weekend.  Well, it only gets worse.  Two days later, I went on a similar journey looking for screen protectors for my phone that were in the dish on my coffee table, then my bookmark GiGi made, the key to my storage unit, the refill for my tape runner, my black Sharpie I always keep in my bag, my antique bird cameo, my favorite ring I wore the other day, my cigarette lighter I had a moment ago.  It's horrible to lose your mind, but I seriously feel that if I could only recapture a little part of my OCD I would get by.   Who could ever know that mental illness can be a blessing??!!


RVs Make You Old...

There are only a few things I don't like about staying with my parents.  Of course, one is that all my stuff is in the RV (not that I feel like doing anything much yet, but I do hate being away from my stuff).  The other is the wonderful light and accessibility to mirrors.  Yep, as much as I complain about the light in the RV, the fact that my mom's house is so utterly light and airy is just about more than I can stand.  You're wondering what the hell, right?  Well, obviously it's because I can look in the mirror and see myself.  Actually see myself.  I'll admit it, my mom and I are vain women.  We are not thin women, we are not particularly attractive women.  But we have always been young-looking women.  It is purely genetics; but it is something that we have always been proud of - and who wouldn't be?  Who wouldn't love to be thought of as your grandchild's parent?  Who wouldn't love to be carded in your 40s? Who wouldn't love that everyone thinks your husband, who is 7 years younger than you, is much older than you?  Who wouldn't love to hear that you look 10 or more years younger than you are? 
We have had the discussion over the past several months how we much we have "aged" in the past 18 months.  Well, we have had a hard few years.  My dad had his 2nd stroke in Jun 2010, my mom had her first heart stent in Oct 2010, my dad had a heart stent in Dec 2010, he broke his hip in Jan 2011, my mom's 2nd stent in Mar 2011, the prognosis of my dad's constant TIAs and peripheral neuropathy (making every step precarious), my dad's deafness and unwillingness to wear his hearing aids, as well as my dad's mental state which is a whole other story in itself (he is very lucid) and my mom's Type 1 Diabetes being out of whack and causing her progressive dementia.  During this time, I became increasingly disabled, I lost my unemployment and have had no income for 18 months while awaiting the Sec Soc Dis hearing.  Also, my daughter has been progressively worse - the lupus causing her Stage 2 kidney disease, with breast cancer and cervical cancer scares - as well as peripheral issues that come with dealing with all that pain from the RA, Lupus and Fibromyalgia.  In the midst of the medical stuff, we have had ongoing issues with each of my grandchildren's fathers - legal & emotional.  In Oct-Nov 2010, my daughter, kids and I moved from our home to our current domicile which has been a very hard transition on all of us, especially the kids.    And I have the subconscious and conscious debate every. single. day. about whether I should be in the RV for the kids or should I move in with my parents to help them.  It's been a rough time for us all.
Now, you may be saying, "Damn, the medical and monetary issues are enough! And surely all that stress has put lines on your faces!"  But I beg to differ!!!!  (Well I'm sure it's my dad making my mom that way, okay!) But I believe it's the RV doing it to me!  It's not the wrinkles making me look old, it's the jowls and the constant "frown" on my face.  It's the fact that the little pouch under my chin now looks like a turkey thingy - that's what I'm talking about!  It's the RV doing this to me.  You see, my RV is dusty - I bet a pound of dust gets into my RV every day and I am constantly dusting & sweeping.  Well, the dust makes you thirsty.  Not just any old beach thirsty either.  It makes you CocaCola thirsty.  And you can't find anything (obviously!).  So I spend an inordinate amount of time sucking CocaCola while looking for things.  And because I'm so paranoid about fire, I don't cook.  I eat yogurt and nuts and granola bars mainly (not because they're healthy but just because I like the way they taste:  I should weigh about 100 lbs!).  So it's not that I've gained weight while I've laid up on my ass in the RV, but I'm definitely not 100lbs either because CocaCola just doesn't love you like that (but I dare say that if I didn't have MS and laid up like this, I would weigh more - because MS just makes you work out weather you consciously move an inch or not).  No it's definitely the RV that's doing it to me.  The RV with it's CocaCola and the stress of not being able to find a damn thing.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
In an effort to make me feel like I look better, I colored my hair today (aha, that's where Loreal comes in) because I have been naturally gray since I was 20 yrs old (and colored my hair that long too).  I had to get that nasty color I did last time - and hated - out and try to get it back to my senior pictures (bwahahahahah).  I'm going to get it cut on Thursday (I've had long hair most of my life and decided 3 days ago while looking in the mirror that I absolutely hate it and will never have it again!).  Then, I'll feel pretty again - especially as long as I stay away from mirrors.  And isnt that what pretty is all about - not what's in the mirror but what we feel might be in the mirror?!!

And the Really Good...

I met with my attorney this past Thursday.  We went over every thing for the hearing in June.  She reassured me over and over that there is nothing to worry about.  So I won't.  I have a prediction of Echo Park paper in my future.  And that is very good news.

So I haven't created doodly-squat lately.  Today is the first time in over a week that I have gotten on the internet!  But GiGi just sent me a lovely picture she took this afternoon in her bedroom - with specific instructions that if I like it, I should scrap it.  I do like it, I do like it very much. 

Now go on, find that photo you like very much.  And scrap it for no other reason than that you can.

Cheerio.

"A woman whose smile is open and whose expression is glad has a kind of beauty no matter what..."  -  Anne Roiphe 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Just a Note...

It's a cloudy, rainy day in the Panhandle of Florida today.  As I was sitting here perusing my email (not reading, that takes too much effort right now), I heard the rain coming.  You ever do that?  You're sitting and you can actually hear it coming... like wind... down the street, through the woods, across the lawn, on the roof.  I'm always awed by that - whether it be wind or rain - the sound of the weather approaching.  I love days like today.  I can hear the birds singing and watch them playing outside my window.  After such a horrible, restless night, I love sitting here in the softness of a cloudy, rainy day.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Bonus!...

Tonight I bring you 4 (YES 4!) layouts of Shimelle's Challenges at Pretty Paper.True Stories.  I know, can you imagine???  Well, honestly, reserve the hoorahs until you see them.  They are not magnificent works of art... but they're not entirely unfortunate either.  I just feel wonderful that in 8 hours I accomplished 4 layouts... a 13-year record!!!!  So, without further delay, here they are in order of Challenge, not completion (that would definitely give away the ones where I didn't think I would make it due to pain and exhaustion):


Challenge #2:  3 or more paper collections



Challenge #4:  Make layout with gray, yellow and one other color



Challenge #5:  Take inspiration from the page provided



Challenge #13: Use the Little Musings printable provided


Okay, Discussion:  Challenge # 2 = My Minds Eye, K&Co, Cosmo Cricket - Yes, these papers are oh, so, old.  But I still love them.   I cut that strip under the photos a little short, but I think it still works... Anyway, I really like this layout once it was finished.
Challenge #4 = I didn't decide what my 3rd color would be until I went in to pull out the gray and yellow - the green was already laying there and when I put the gray and then the yellow on top, I loved it.  And you know what else, this layout is made entirely of solid-colored cardstock:  Gray, yellow, green and white.  The other elements are printables.  But I'm not sure from where, I think the yellow zigzag is from Sbennet.  But I'm just not sure where the rest came from but will try to find out and let you know if you ask.  Anyway, that is a gray chevron under the yellow zigzag (don't know the difference, well to me it all depends on how it looks, hmmm) also a printable.  The use of only cardstock was a necessity because I have no wonderful new papers that I felt would only be suitable with the color requirements.
Challenge #5 = You need to go to Shimelle's blog to see the lovely original page as this is a bizarre page of my own that I would surely not have done without needing to do the inspiration lift.  But you know what, it works.  The colors work because they're fun and fit the feel of the layout perfectly.  The butterflies work because both kids love them and they signify the freedom to be kids & crazy.  And there is no journaling. I like it.
Challenge #13 = Shimelle provided the Little Musings printable journaling cards on her blog and, while they're not in my usual color preference, I used the entire layout to go out on a limb... from the odd size (is that 8.5x11?) in the center to the floating mats behind the photos.  It was entirely a study in play.  And you know what?  I like it just fine.

It is definitely even more challenging with the lack of adhesive to work with - who could have guess a couple of years ago that it would become such a luxury.  But I've been getting by with a little this and a little of olddddd that.  And I'm not sure that if they don't get put into a protector soon that I don't find pieces everywhere - that has already happened a couple of times to the previous few days' layouts as I hang them until I figure out where to put them. 

I would like to make the comment here, that sometimes there is little if any journaling on my layouts - especially the ones that I make just for creating's sake.  I certainly could have used the opportunity of JC & GiGi in their shades to write about their relationship or a certain photo to journal about that holiday/adventure/feeling/event.  But sometimes, it's just good to play with the paper and glue - and in my opinion, it's perfectly fine to let the title and the photo do all the talking for you.

I know I still have a few Challenges to go... and I may or may not get them done by Sunday evening.   These last ones seem pretty much redundant as I use the techniques everyday.  But if I have the stamina, I plan on trying to get them done.  But right now, I'm utterly exhausted and hurt ever-so-much so I'm gonna pack it in.

Oh yes, and the new Glitter Girl Adventure is posted on Shimelle's blog with sketches provided.  That girl never ceases to inspire me.  So, if I can do it, you can do it - be playful and create something.

Cheerio.

"Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it."  - Dee Hock

The Other...

Here is the other page I spoke of last night.  Well, actually, here it is twice.  This was the hardest yet to photograph even with my crappy photo technique and as-good-as-its-gonna-get attitude.  But I posted the best of the 10+ I took because each better shows different aspects... like the silver reflective paper & alphas and one without all that reflection. The first is from my usual spot and (even with the wind effects and that wierd haziness on the top photo) shows the colors better.  The second is from the inside of the RV last night and actually shows the reflective paper better.  And lets face it, decision-making is not always my strong suit these days.






Challenge #7:  Use a pocket or envelop on the page.

Goodness gracious - surely I will learn how to photograph these things soon!!!!!!!!

Navarre Raiders - Maroon, Black, Silver, White, Pirates and cheerleader polka-dots, oh my!  (And by the way, I threw in all those past ticket stubs behind this year's just so I'll know where they are!)

Okay, I have to go repaint my blue toenails now.  Now you go do something equally creative.

Cheerio.

"An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail."  - Edwin Land

Thursday, April 19, 2012

It's Just Hard...

Okay, Shimelle's challenges (pretty paper.true stories.) are fun; but, you know, they're hard!!  And what's really sad is that the finished product doesn't look like it was hard.  It just looks - done!  But that's okay.  It's just the MS making it hard.  I completed two layouts today. One was just difficult because every few minutes I wondered "What the hell am I doing?".   Losing train of thought, track of what I'm doing - losing my mind.  And then there's the worst part of all... Just losing stuff!    So while the 2nd layout was easy (and looks it because I was just tired and had the kids here) and I finally got it to the last detail with plenty of daylight still left, I couldn't finish because I needed my tickets to finish the layout.  I went to get them and.... they're not there!!  Now let's get this straight - I never throw away anything.... Nothing. But I do put things up; and then, I get a brilliant idea, and I put them up again somewhere better. Problem is that if I did it more than 5 minutes ago, I have no clue where my things are - they're in all of those places and none of those places.  Well, as usual, I spent hours searching high and low (over and over) for my prized possessions and they are no where to be found!!!  Prize Possessions.  Lost.  I did finally find them until after dark in a black box on the highest shelf of my closet.  (Of course, I still can't think for the life of me why in the world I would have ever put them there in the first place!)

 Anyway, here is the first one and you'll just have to wait until tomorrow to see the other.



Challenge #10:  2 Photos on a Bold Background

Discussion:  After I finished the page, I wondered if I had interpreted this Challenge correctly.  Maybe it meant bold colors.  But I interpreted it as a bold choice.  A bold pattern.  So regardless of what was meant by the Challenge, this is my interpretation of the instruction.  (Oh, it was windy today, so snapping a picture of the layout was just sooo fun!  You should see all the discards that I had to go through to find something usable!)  This Anna Griffin paper has been in my stash forever, and I would never have thought about using it as background except for this Challenge - and actually it was the first thing I thought of when I read the Challenge.  But what would my subject be?  Well, only these wild and crazy girls could ever work on such a background.  These girls who have been friends since before they were born.  These girls who Skype everyday.  These girls who I never know what to expect - but know it will make me laugh.  It was such a fun layout to scrap - not because of technique, but because of all the things I thought about while I was making it.  And now that I look at it, there are things I would change except for those way-too-stuck Fiskars pop-squares.  But it is what it is... and it will always make me laugh everytime I see it.

Lest I be whining way too much let me tell you why my mind wasn't totally on the scrapbook page I made later this afternoon (you know, the one you can't see yet because it's dark outside but I have to tell you now because I'll totally forget when I post the page tomorrow... oh and well I payed very close attention when I started searching for those tickets!) - GiGi and JC came out to visit me this afternoon. They crack me up and JC is famous for the 1,000 questions still at 11 (and he was tired, you know how that is!). I love it when both or either come to visit.  But then JC left with his mom and it was just GiGi and me. Since her IPod was dead, she used my laptop - opening one tab on whatever she was doing and another one on a music station.  She's sitting here, playing away, with her earplug thing (I hate when I can't remember words!!) plugged into the laptop so all I can hear is GiGi singing away. So while I scrapped, I would frequently just stop to listen. It is the most joyous sound (I have no idea whether she's any good or not)! Who wouldn't just stop and listen? It was glorious!  And let me mention that while GiGi played on the computer, she jumped onto Blogger and said that I had a comment from Cynthia. Dear Cynthia... it made a wonderful moment perfect - thank you.
Now go create something that will make you smile.  Still not to late to do the Challenges at Pretty Papers.True Stories. 

Cheerio.

PS. I want to thank everyone again for such nice comments.  I hope to go everyone's blog tomorrow - it's hard to do more than one thing a day (I haven't read my email in days because of the scrapbooking!).  Also, I am just stupid some days (I wasn't always!!) and forget to hit the "reply" button when I thank you for your comment - but actually comment back (idiot!).  So please excuse me for this and know that I have actually replied but am too thought-challenged to do it correctly. 

"The chief enemy of creativity is "good" sense."  - Pablo Picasso

C'est la Vie...

God is good and so is my wonderful mom!  She bought ink!!!  Of course, I am the family photo printer and the project printer for the kids.  But still!  I have ink!!  But you wanna know what's so funny - I have almost totally run out of adhesive!  No kidding.  I used to have so much that I didn't think it was actually possible to ever run out... but here I am scraping bottom.  Oh well!  C'est la vie!!

Obviously I am feeling some better - not tip-top, but markedly better.  I have actually been able to wear my glasses for the most part of a few days and I can actually scrapbook for about 30-45 minutes at a time.  In celebration of this fact, I have 2 layouts that I completed yesterday for the Shimelle's Scrapbooking Weekend at Pretty Paper.True Stories.  I have also gone back and put the Challenge number on the previous layouts (I don't know what I was thinking before!).


Challenge #1 - Use Jaime Warren's page as inspiration

Challenge #15 - Use a rubbish (ditchable) photo

Okay - discussion:  In the 1st layout, my embellishments' colors looked much pinker in person last night than in the photo here.  I don't hate it, but I am surprised as they look rather red.  I double-checked, they are just dark pink - and that's okay.   On the 2nd layout, even though it looked good when I made the page,  those hearts on the top are just too big.  But as those Fiskars pop squares really mean it when you stick them down, it was just too late by the time I realized it this morning.  Live and learn!  Overall, I rather like them both - especially considering I could never have fixed that 2nd photo and used it!!!

As you can tell, there is no rhyme or reason to the order I am completing the Challenges - it's basically however and whatever hits me at the moment.  Or if my mind can actually wrap itself around the Challenge - which is always the biggest challenge of all because we all know that my mind doesn't work the way it should (or did).  But one thing is for sure, the ink came in the nick of time as I was quickly running out of photos to scrap.

So todays Challenges are threefold - Shimelle's great inspiration, no adhesive, no brain.  This is gonna be fun!!!!!!!!!!  And who knows, I may be back here later - with more!!

Go on - create something! You never know how you're gonna feel tomorrow!

Cheerio.

"The most potent muse of all is our own inner child."  - Stephen Nachmanovitch


 

 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Good News....

First let me say that I while I had no face screaming yesterday, I did absolutely rest all day long.  So today I feel some better.  Not great, but better.  It is what it is.

Second, thanks to all who have left comments as it really means so much to me.  Your kind words go further than you'll ever know.

Third, on to another Challenge from Shimelle's online Scrapbook Weekend at Pretty Paper.True Stories.. This one entailed using the same photo twice; and, well, I had these hanging around from playing with Pixlr (cool, huh? - jump on over!).  It's not much, but it's what I had on-hand in the box.



 
Challenge #12:  Two of the same photos

Don't know why the pic came out so badly (even by my horrible standards), but I guess it's hard to photo glitter paper, and shiny paper and tulle.  Also, what's that blue hair thing going on?  That's certainly not in the original on my layout.  I have to figure out something better!!!

One last thing:  HOORAH!!!! HOORAH!!!! HOORAH!!!! The attorney called today and set a date for my Soc Sec hearing.  Say prayers that this goes through, I just don't know what I'll do if it doesn't!

Cheerio.

"Frugality without creativity is deprivation."  - Amy Dacyczyn




Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Challenges...

Sorry about it taking so long to get this posted as I promised it would be here yesterday, but I was up all night Sunday night with my face and felt horrible in every possible way yesterday - so that was my challenge from yesterday. Today I feel some better - better enough to take the photo, but not well enough to scrap anything.  But I still plan on working on the challenges from Shimelle's online scrap weekend at Pretty Paper.True Stories when I feel up to it.  Obviously I am not doing the Challenges in order.  So here is the next one I have completed; it requires dividing the page into quadrants:


Challenge #14:  Make a page using quadrants

I'm not listing supplies today as I really have no clue, other than the fact that it is all DCWV cardstock & DCWV patterned paper in the top left, and October Afternoon patterned paper everywhere else.  As far as the rest, well they're so old I'm not even bothering.  But I will say that while I did each quadrant separately, I tried to maintain my triangles - the triangle of black in the top 2 two & bottom left and a triangle of kraft in my top right & bottom two.  So even though they were done separately, they weren't completely willy-nilly.

Well, that's really all I feel like saying now.  Hope everyone has an inspired day.

Cheerio.

"Creativity can solve almost any problem.  The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything."  - George Lois

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Panoply...

Well, I have been following Shimelle's weekend crop and it has been fun - in a way.  We all know that I have been suffering in every imaginable way - physically, no ink, no inspiring papers, etc.  So actually I have not participated, but have commented as they are so interesting and, let's face it, I can't help myself.  And it's not been all about layouts, there's been conversation starters as well in the form of "How Do You...".  I must say that even while wallowing in my self-pity, I have completely enjoyed following along.  And then Challenge 11 came along and I couldn't help myself.  I completed the following layout because, well, I had a photo of GiGi hanging here, and I do have some paper that's just sitting there (and has been forever).  Without further delay, here is my layout using two totally opposing patterns as a background:


Challenge #11:  Use 2 contrasting patterns as a background

Now, first of all,  I gotta learn how to photograph my layouts to post on the internet.  It's rather sad actually as I can, 8 out of 10 times, get good photos.  I just can't get the layouts to look worth a darn.  Then, you know I have to go outside to photograph them as there is absolutely no light in the RV.  And, because there's just no where else to do it, I hang them on the shed.  Trust me, they all look better in my album.  (Maybe that's because there's no light in here, hmmm.) 
Let's talk a little about the page - I kind of cheated I think, but not really.  I did use just 2 pages from 1 line of paper (Martha Stewart) for the entire layout.   The embellishment are Colorbok with the exception of the butterflies and the 'perfect' paper (almost forgot about that).  Those are cut from My Minds Eye Lost and Found.  Journaling tag: Prima.  Letters: AC thickers and K&Co.  Punches: Martha Stewart & Fiskars. Pearls: Queen & Co.  Brad: Making Memories. Ink: Tsukineko. Pen: Sharpie (Brown).  Photo by GiGi via IPod. There I think I gave everyone credit where due except that photo program GiGi uses about which I have no clue.
 Back to business:  the reason the layout is not really a cheat, is because I would never have done this for a background paper. I would have used solid cardstock or one paper and then layered on top of it. So I actually did the Challenge.  And I also actually did some scrapbooking!! Even though I've used this same pic more than a couple of times.  It just lends itself to artistic endeavor!
Speaking of which, I asked a question in the comments to Shimelle a few days ago... and she actually emailed me back.  Isn't she the sweetest??!.  Also, Aeryn Kelly-Reitmeyer has visited our little part of blogland and left the nicest comment.  I love it when people take the time to be kind to people they don't know.  It really lifts my heart.
Also, today's post had absolutely nothing to do with it's title. I just like the way it sounds. Panoply. Hmmm.

Well, go on now - get inspired!  Create something!  Feel good!

Cheerio.

P.S.  I'm making a list of the "when it rains it pours" crap going on... I got hot while typing this so now my face hurts; I have no ink; I have no TV; I have no batteries for my camera; I have no way to rectify any of those things.  I think I'll just sit here and wait to see what comes next.  C'est la vie.

"Creativity is a drug I cannot live without."  - Cecil B. DeMille

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I'm in Hell....

I can't really say much tonight.  I can't think straight - well I never think straight - but my karma is just whack.  Not only do I have 3 (yes, 3) printers with no ink, but I have 2 (just 2) TVs that have gone kaput in my little RV.   Just so you understand let me list the electronics in my little travel-trailer... There are 2 (just 2) TVs, 2 computers (a desktop, a laptop) and 3 (yes, 3) printers, 1 cellphone, 2 cameras (p&s in purse, black one in camera bag), 1 surround-sound DVD player,  my Wii, and my boombox (no cord, no batteries).  Now, granted that's not too awfully much but quite a bit considering I can stand in the middle of the floor in front of my sofa and see each end of the RV as well as touch the ceiling and quite nearly spread my arms and touch each side. 
So, here I sit with no ink and no TV.  Actually, the no TV is a HUGE deal.  I am a professed TV addict!  A TV runs 24/7 in my RV.  I turn it down to watch YouTube.  I can't scrapbook without a TV in the room.  I can bearly sit here and type with no TV.  I'm actually about to lose my mind.
And I'm not talking about my cable going out - that's just a nuisance.  I'm talking about both TVs being dead.  That means I can't watch TV nor any of the 100 DVDs that reside with me in my little RV.  What if the world is coming to an end?  How will I know?   Oh my...

Hope your day is better.

Cheerio.

“It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.” - Philip K Dick

Friday, April 13, 2012

Inspiration for Unexpected Places...

Okay.  First let me tell you about this awesome picture that is the new header of my blog  and came from today's BING image (I believe it's royalty free and I did check, but if I'm mistaken please let me know!!!).  It was soooo beautiful and inspiring that I just couldn't resist.  It really made me want to do something creative.
Next, I made me some valances.  No, I made me some banners.  No valances.  No banners.  Yes both.  I made these banners as valances on my sucky windows.  My blinds are shot because of the twisty things that open the windows, but I'm not getting any more right now.  Besides they stay open all day long.  However, they needed a little something.  But what to do???  Well banners are so hot right now in the Scrapbooking world that it was the only real choice.  But what to make them out of???  I've had this Daisy D paper since it came out many moons ago and was going to make a little something something for my kitchen; but alas, that never happened.  So after looking at it, it made the obvious choice as I do have my roosters all over my little kitchen area here that is actually part of the living area!  Furthermore, the colors are perfect with my blue sofa and benches at my table and the plaid pillows I got for $2 at Tuesday Morning and all my red and the multicolors that are also part of my kitchen.  So I cut up those 12x12 sheets into 6x6 sheets and then cut those into triangles.  I punched the holes, used office reinforcers and distress inked around the outside of each triangle.  Then I strung them in an orderly fashion onto clothesline.  They look lovely.


 


I could have made them from 8x8 or even 12x12 but then: a) they would have been a little long for looking out the window 1,000 times a day; and, b) I wouldn't have had enough paper to make banners for all the windows in the living area.   You know,  I don't use banners and bunting on my scrapbook pages except for birthdays, parties, carnivals and sales at the used car lot; so now I feel like there's a party everyday in my RV - that's something right?!
Best of all, I used up that portion of my Daisy D paper.  I still have more, but it's for pix of my brother and me when we were young... I'm still working on that project.  I also have a few more miscellaneous papers made by Daisy D, but I'm sure I will eventually find a place for them - probably mixing them with more modern papers when I get my hands on some.

Finally, I was so inspired by Aeryn Kelly-Reitmeyer that I took out my Crayola Pencils and made a few cards like this:



Not even close or comparable to the spectacular artistry of Aeryn, but I just had to do it... so if you think it sucks, it's Aeryn's fault for inspiring me to color!  You really have to jet over to her blog at  Creative Explosion  and check out her work.  It's amazing... and you too will probably be pulling out your color pencils and shading something because the force will be with you!

Oh and don't forget that the Scrapbooking Weekend at pretty papers.true stories. starts today but you can join anytime! 
Hope you find some inspiration today!  Share!

Cheerio.

"Art isn't about perfection, it's about expression.  The key is simply to love it."  - Charmed

Thursday, April 12, 2012

What's my Deal?...

Well, that's a stupid question, really.  My face hurts.  It's not 'screaming' this morning, though it did all day yesterday and until late into the night.  But I have the residual pain that makes me think it may happen at any time.  And it makes my head foggy - it's not the meds as I'm taking the same as always - it's actually the TN stuff I think.  Also, even as I type this, my fingers are 'numb'.  On top of all this, I really want to make something but a) don't feel like sitting up; b) my fingers aren't working as they should at all; c) I'm actually a bit overwhelmed with all the ideas in my head; d) I'm actually underwhelmed by my serious lack of product - everything from adhesive to new papers to ink; and, e) what's my deal?

So, because I can't scrap, lets talk about the RV a little bit, shall we? A little background:  I worked for 34 years until Christmas 2008 when I was laid off (I later learned that I was chosen because I had bouts of being overly emotional - a symptom of my MS as well as the Manic Depression).  Because of the stress of the lay-off, my MS became worse to the point that I don't know from day-to-day what I will wake up to:  is it going to be a good day where I can actually function almost normally, or am I going to be irrational or in bed for months?!  After about a year, I realized that there would be no way for me to hold down a job - not even online if there was a deadline or requirement of availability.  I applied for Social Security Disability (after all, I've been paying for over 30 years!).  My unemployment ran out last year and I became destitute shortly after.  At that time I moved from a 4-bdr home that I shared with my daughter and grandkids to this little travel-trailer behind a small mobile home they live in which is owned by my mom.  I now live, at age 50, with help from my elderly & disabled parents to pay what medical bills I incur as well as day-to-day expenses. Did I tell you I worked 30+ years and that it has now been almost 2 years since I applied for my Disability?   Can you imagine that never in my wildest nightmare could I ever conceive of living like this?  Is there a doubt as to the depths of my depression and lack of self-esteem?  Well, it is what it is.
The house we moved from not only had 4 bedrooms, but I had a master suite with a walk-in closet and a wall-to-wall closet.  We had a great room with dining area as well as a large kitchen and breakfast nook that was used as my craft room/office. (It should be noted that I have had a craft room in my past 3 houses thus accumulating lots of stuff.)  There was a screened in porch that went all the way across the back of the house accessed by sliding glass doors in every room on that side of the house. with plenty of natural light.  The other 3 bedrooms were all of good size especially for the kids to have friends over.  Also, it was in a great neighborhood with amenities.  None of that holds true anymore.

Back to the RV - well actually it's a travel-trailer, but RV is so much easier to say.  I like the privacy of the RV;  I can lock everyone out and I feel safer than ever (you know, I do have paranoia issues).  But every house that I have lived in the past 20 years, it has been mainly my house... my decor, my space, my rules; however, the RV, while still under my rules, does away with my space and my decor.  RVs have their own decor put in by the factory and changing that decor requires an entire overhaul that I'm just not able to undertake.  Also, there is no wall space; thus, all my photos and art are in storage somewhere (a whole other issue).  The RV came with two "bedrooms" - one fits a queen size mattress (that's all it fits) and the other had 2 sets of bunkbeds separated by a 30" closet.  Well, bless my sweet brother's heart, he tore out the bunkbeds and closet for me leaving me a 6x6 space.  I have created a walk-in closet separated into 2 purposes:  there is wall to wall clothing on one side; the other side is my craft/office storage taken up by L-shaped shelves on the wall with my file cabinet & plastic drawers under the longest part and a bookcase & paper storage on the shorter side.  {Let me reiterate here - I went from a house with craft room/office, walk-in closet, and wall-to-wall closet to this 6x6 storage space.  It's almost impossible to comprehend.}
When I first moved in, I decorated the place as best I could to resemble my real house.  That included a desk in my closet because I really like being surrounded by my supplies.  But, as I am extremely claustrophobic and there was no way to run a TV into the space, I couldn't stand it - the desk was removed and replaced with my lateral files and the bookcase that sits practically covered in the corner.  With no desk and scrap room, regardless of the fact that most of my product was accessible, scrapping took a back burner for a long while.  I would do little projects spread out on my sofa or floor.  And then I realized that as unhappy as I was living in my RV - most of my stuff in storage, destitute, feeling horrible, family ailing, kids upset - I needed to do something that would give me a little peace of mind.  And of course that something was scrapbooking (incredibly, I have found this is only something other scrappers understand!).   So I started moving stuff out of my closet into my living area.  Shelves that once held Disney globes, now hold jars of flowers and buttons and ribbons.  The seats in my eating area are now covered in sticker albums or baskets of stamps and adhesives I'm currently using.  My table is chock full of spinner storage for tools & pens; two tiered baskets of brads and ribbons; little storage shelf of most often used punches, rubons and inkpads; paper cutter; sewing machine; cutting mat; little trays of whatnots; etc.  I have a rolling cart (that I made from a wire shelf unit) that stands next to my table and houses my PC and printers; my spritz "tray"; my genealogy files; and albums I'm currently working on.  So these are my crafty spaces:



While most of this is craft and office supplies, the boxes on the 2nd shelf in the top left photo are all the photos I've been working on the past several months (these are but a few of the photos that we have, the rest are at mom's).  The bins and photo boxes on the bottom shelf of that photo are stamps.  Supplies on the top shelf are all office/school supply related.  The middle top photo shows: top shelf = albums; middle shelf = xyron, sewing, card making, various craft supplies; bottom shelf = cutting & punches.  Middle row:  left pic shows bookcase with inspiration books/mags, excess ribbons & fibers, scrap basket, craft & stamping supplies, & office supplies; middle pic shows paints, brads & embellishments, ribbons; right pic shows paper separated by theme and/or manufacturer & boxes are theme related products i.e., fancy, heritage, christmas as well as a chipboard/metal letters.  Bottom row shows the aspects of where I actually get stuff done.  I'm trying to figure out how I can make it so I can get my office chair in here as sitting in that booth for any time is virtually impossible on my body.  And it seems that no how many times I rearrange everything, it just never seems to work well.  But maybe, someday I'll change it and when it's done it will be perfect!!
Dealing with the RV is an ongoing process.  It's small. It's so small. (My mom can't stand to even sit on the sofa for an hour because she feels so closed in, and she's not even claustrophobic.)  I constantly change what I can in the place where I sleep - changing the color scheme and little arrangements on what wall there is.  I move around the stuff on my CD shelves and the footlocker that serves as a coffeetable.  I have more than my share of books (some of which I put in with the kids books in their mobile home), most are stored in every nook and cranny of the RV so they're not getting ruined in storage.  It's not insulated very well so it's colder than outside on those days (I use a portable heater) and hotter on those days (even with the air-conditioner).
Then there are some things that aren't just annoying, but I absolutely hate. Even though I am hooked into the septic system so there's nothing gross there, I hate having to empty the tank every few days.  I have no hot water because I'm fire paranoid and I hate the huge noisy flame that is required to heat the waterheater so have to shower at the kid's or mom's.  Because it's so small, I hate having the door shut but hate the dustiness that comes of it being open just as much.  I hate that bugs can come in so easily and I watch for them all the time.  I hate that smells stay locked in and am constantly burning candles and using up plug-ins.  I hate that I can't make the bed properly.  I hate that the sinks are soooo small for washing dishes or even brushing my teeth. I hate that there's no good place to put my recycle bins.  I really hate that I have to take my laundry out - I haven't done that in 30 years.  And I absolutely hate that it's one more thing to worry about - that I worry more about fire, hurricanes, storms, etc. because I know that there's little hope of saving anything if something goes wrong.
And there's a few things I love.  I love being able to do what I want when I want. I love that  scrapbooking until the wee hours is perfectly fine.  I love that if I want to read, I can read all night long and sleep all day and no one knows the difference.  I love that I can watch whatever I want on TV whenever I want to and it can stay on all night long.  I love that I can go outside at night if I want to (mostly, not, but can).  I love that I don't have to do anything I don't feel like - washing dishes, making bed, changing out of my pjs.  I love that my stuff is locked up and I don't have to worry about someone borrowing something without my knowledge or reading my private ramblings.  And I absolutely love that I can look out my window upon the 10'x20' wooded area and see 20 different kinds of birds and the occassional white squirrel.
So that's life in my current little spot in the world.  It is what it is.  At least I have a place to sit on my sofa, watch Once Upon A Time, do some scrapbooking & cardmaking, listen to the birds sing & rustle in the leaves, and see my babies everyday.  And that's not so bad.

Cheerio.

"It's amazing to think that the patterns of love run very similar to that of insanity."  - The Matrix

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Fix(es)...

A few days ago I showed you the pages I had made at the State Fair in Tampa and told you I would be adding something to try to make the 2 pages more cohesive.  Then earlier I told  you I would be showing an example of my using cardstock templates in place of photos on layouts.  Well here's both all at one time.  Even though you have seen the State Fair layouts before, I feel it's important to show those again to demonstrate the flow.


(front)

(back)


In order to make the layouts more confluent, I have added a 5x11 page protector (because that's what I have on hand as extras from another album; if you want to purchase a small protector for this use, you will probably want to purchase the 6x12 protector).  On the one side which will face the Elvis page, I added more journaling about my cousin winning the competition and used the blank templates where I will later place photos.  I may add more embellishments at that time, but at least I had something to work with and know in what direction the page will go.  Note that there is more teal on this page making the flow into the next page less stark while maintaining the visual theme of the layout. 
The second layout is finished and faces the Exit 44 page.  I added another photo that I wanted to go with the layout, my tickets to the fair, and the map of where the stage was located.  I didn't want to alter the map in anyway so that we could pull it out and look at it if we chose, so I taped the ribbon around the map to hold the folds and put my epoxy sticker on the outside of the protector.  Also notice that the colors of the tickets and ribbon are slightly brighter making for better flow with the previous page.   Knowing me, I may open it up in about a week and add another embellishment here or there.  But for the most part it is completed except for adding the photos when I get new ink.

So that is how I keep scrapping with no photos and my fix for making two pages more cohesive.  I have to interject a credit here to Shimelle Laine (of course) for her great idea regarding the half page protector between the layouts.  (I told you to visit her blog and videos on YouTube for great ideas, and you'll probably be seeing many more here!)

Hope this helps when you're stuck.  Good Luck.

Cheerio.

"All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no mind, from inner stillness."  - Echhart Tolle

No Ink... Again!!!!

You know what I hate most... running out of ink!  I have 3 (yes, 3) printers in my little RV - a wireless PhotoSmart all-in-one, an OfficeJet all-in-one, and a small 4x6 photo printer.  And when I have ink, I use them all.  I would prefer to use my PhotoSmart to my OfficeJet, but the ink is soooo much more expensive.  But when you are destitute, all ink is too expensive.  So here I am with my 3 (yes, 3) printers all out of ink.  This is not the first time it's happened, I have even made a scrapbook page for my personal 'Living in my RV waiting on the Government' scrapbook about this all too common phenomenon.

Well,  I have once again been reading the blogs (guess who?!!! www.shimelle.com ) and, of course, I have a need to scrapbook.  Of course.  A need.  (Girlfriend will never know what she has incited!!!!).  So what's a girl to do when she needs to scrapbook but can't put her hand on any pix??!!!  Well, there are a couple of ideas I want to share - literally a couple because that's all I can think of today:
 1) Scrap your photos!  Sounds simple doesn't it.  In this time of digital photography that is a serious problem when you're suffering from lack of ink.  But let's face it, we all have those pre-digital photos somewhere in a box being stored for... posterity(?) because everyone has told us not to scrap original photos but to scan-reprint-store.   Well, I have about 25 boxes of these photos and more lurking in places I haven't put my hands on yet.  So I now believe the theory of scanning-reprinting-storing to be the stupidest thing I can think of.  If you have the originals, they are your photos.  And your kids may love them when they get older, but chances are they will love seeing them in your albums with your little notes more.  But the scanning part is a definite yes.  Get a digital record of all those photos so that they will last forever.  Then scrapbook those originals rather than having boxes and boxes of pix taking up room for no apparent reason other than that they are the originals.
2)  Make templates out of white cardstock.  I have a stack of 5x7, 4x6, 3x5, 3x3, 2x3, 2x2, and 1.5x1.5 with the sizes marked on the front that I place where the photo will go.  If I need more of that size, I just cut them out.  Then I use these templates on my layouts.  If there are accents that will overlap you photo, don't glue that part of the accent down, or put a little square of cardstock on the bottom part of your popdot (thanks again Shimelle), so that you can slide your photo in when you get it printed.  If I plan on using a photo corner, I just draw it on the template then paperclip it to the layout to put on when I get my pic.  Make sure you know what photo you will use and write the description as well as the file name on the template.  I've used this method on many layouts and you'd be surprised how well it works.  I will show you an example of a layout using my cardstock templates tomorrow because there's a little more to the page I want to show than just this method.

So no, just because you don't have the photo in your hand doesn't mean you're scrapbooking mojo has to suffer.   Also, another note about using what you have:   As you may have noticed, I don't have the newest paper lines as the only time I get to buy paper is my birthday and Christmas; but that's okay because all of us need to use up that stash that we're saving for the perfect layout while we keep overlooking it in order to use the beautiful new stuff.  Regardless of what you use - original photos or paper templates, that new paper you just got or the stuff that's been sitting there forever - be creative whenever you can.  It's not only too fun, it's therapeutic.

Hope this gives you some ideas.

Cheerio.

P.S.  Shimelle Laine is have a scrapbooking web crop this weekend.  It will be just like being at a live crop but from the comfy of your scrap room with your snacks!  Check it out on her blog (www.shimelle.com).

"All you have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to you." - Gandalf  (JRR Tolkien)

Just a Quick Note...

I woke up at 5:30 this morning - my favorite time of the day.  I used to get up at around 5:30 every morning.  My daughter has Rheumatoid Arthritis & Lupus and has a very hard time with mornings, so I would get up and get the kids off to school.  For the past few months, she has been getting the kids up in the morning... so I sleep in as long as she can do it.  But this morning my face was screaming, it woke me up and here I am.  I'm so tired as I got very little sleep due to my face.  But then there's the reason this is my favorite time of day - the birds.  In the wee hours, as the light starts to break over my little part of the world, the birds come out in force.  And they sing and sing and sing.  It's a virtual choir of Blue Jays, Cardinals, Chickadees, Mockingbirds, Robins, Sparrows and Woodpeckers to name but a few.  They're all here in the few trees around my RV.  I love the gray color that lights the world and the sound of these birds.  It's worth getting up for.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Madness of MS...

Okay all y'all who suffer from the ups and downs and ins and outs of an ongoing ailment/illness, it's time to set the record straight.  It's been a bad month... well, few months.  But the past few weeks have been the worst.  The onset of the TN was in itself a huge flair, but it was only the beginning.  I have talked about the crushing.  But then there's the other physical crap:  I feel like I just need to catch my breath; the girdling pain that goes around the uppermost part of my abdomen; my back hurts from my ribs to my shoulders; burping; fingers are asleep (making it take all day to do these posts); pains in my chest (heart?); tired - not sleepy - just so tired; my memory sucks so bad that some days I have to look at my drivers license to remember how to sign my name.  And what can you say about vertigo?  Then there's the effect of this flair:  overwhelmingly thirsty and smoking more because it makes the pain in my face a little better for a little while (?); because I still hurt and it just seems to get worse and different,  I can't remember if I've taken my meds; stressed even more because I think I'm having a heart attack; depressed even more because I can think of a hundred things I need to be doing but don't feel like it.

(rest)

Now the good news.  I have had all these symptoms before - I can remember that, but I'm not sure if I've ever had them at one time.  When I was admitted to the hospital last year (for a bleeding issue, not necessarily MS related (?)) I actually told the doctor that I was sure I had lung cancer and that maybe we should test to see if it was spreading.  He asked when I had been diagnosed... well, never, I just know.  (Yes, I actually said that).  My admitting doctor came in and did me the service of testing for cancer (I've dealt with him several times with my folks and singing his praises would take 2 posts!).  He came back later and said that all those symptoms are the MS... that I did not have cancer nor an abnormalities with my heart.  Another thing I want to mention - I believe whole-heartedly that fibromyalgia is a qualified illness:  I know many people with it and even doctors say that it's a real ailment.  So I asked Dr K when I was there if I could have fibro since many days I seem to hurt all over.  He explained that no, I don't have fibro, I have MS.  Fibro is ascertained after all other diagnoses are ruled out.  So I have all the symptoms of fibro in addition to the cancer, heart disease, electrical shocks and other manifestations of MS.  It's a grand life we lead!

(nap)

You learn to ignore the subtext and deal with the subject.  You learn to stop thinking you have lung cancer because you have pain around your ribcage.  You learn to discount heart disease because you have muscle spasms around your heart.  You know you can't sit, or stand, or even lay down for more than a few minutes before you have to find another position to see if you can alleviate some of the pain (you can't!). You learn to put all of today's meds in a dish on the bookcase and/or write down when you take them so you don't over take your meds everyday.  You bookmark a thesaurus on your computer because you can't remember any of those words you used everyday a few years ago.  You even learn to smoke a part of a cig at a time so that you're not chainsmoking because of the pain or the meds (non-smokers don't get this reference!) and to line up the pop cans, or drink mix packets, so you can keep up with how much junk you're putting into your body.  I'm saying that we cope.  We try not to climb on top of the roof and scream "Please make this shit stop!!!" even though we want to.  When we can, we scrapbook or read (a chore when the neuropathy affects your eyes) or paint or garden (when weather permits).  We try not to say, "No, I can't cause I just feel so bad." even though it's impossible not to say it sometimes. 

But I wonder, "How will I know?". I can't go to a doctor all the time because of my current financial/social security situation. But even that's irrelevent to the question, "How will I know?".  Because MS externalizes itself with all of these symptoms, what if I do have something else and the symptoms are just blown off as part of the MS by me as well as a doctor?  What if I'm sitting here with the crushing pain and it really is a heart attack (because women's symptoms are different than men)?  What if the pain in my ribcage is actually the start of something bigger?  What if the that tingling/burning feeling in my hands and feet are poor circulation? 

(nap)

I know how lucky I am.  I know that so many people end up in wheelchairs or worse because of this awful disease.  I know that the fact that I can still spend a day going back and forth to this laptop and read what I've written and pick up the pieces for a few minutes is a gift.  I know that I can still have good days when I can do what I love.  I know that I have a wonderful mom who, despite her own illnesses, does whatever she can to help and worries about me (though I wish she wouldn't-it doesn't change anything and it just puts more stress on her).  I know I get to see my grandchildrens faces and hear their laughter.  I know that I do have good days when I can help out those I love.  I know that on many days I can still drive.   I thank God every day for these blessings and more. 

And I know I'm not alone in this.  I get MS magazines (these are free, look at the organizations on the web) and I know so many other people that deal with their own diseases.  But sometimes the loneliness sets in - no matter what you know in your head, sometimes your heart doesn't get the message - and the loneliness stems from the fact that it's so hard to communicate how you feel.  That sometimes saying these things is almost as hard as feeling them.   That communicating how you feel just doesn't come across because it's not just the physical (which is the easiest part to explain) but there is so much mental that goes along with it.  And then there's the fact that none of us want to sound like a whiner or make people uncomfortable or cause them more worry.

(rest)

You probably know someone, if not yourself, that have to deal with their own issues of symptoms/questions/insecurities.  If you are a friend, don't try to get to the brass tacks of how this person feels, just let them know that you're there for them to talk to if they need a sounding board or even just someone to cry on.  If it's you, write it down.  Really.  Writing down how you feel today can make you feel better mentally... it's like a weight is lifted because you've actually told someone  and nothing you write has to make sense (because often it doesn't) as no one has to read it.  It's abpit  the sheer act of 'saying' it.  Another thing is the "Creativity Heals" project that is featured in the CK magazine.  A minibook or project about how you feel and how you deal with your illness.  I'm working on mine (I know I work on a lot of projects, a little ADHD maybe!) and on the days when I can't sit and scrap, I make notes in my journal about the pages I want to put in it.  But I mostly work on this project when I'm feeling bad - it's therapeutic when I want to let out my rage or depression about everything I hate in my life (yours may take another direction, like why you feel blessed even while dealing with the aspects of your illness).  However you want to do it, find a way to express how you feel and you will take some of the burden off your mind regarding whatever it is you're dealing with.

I hope this posts helps in some small way by knowing that you are not alone and taking somethiing away on how to deal with those day-to-day ups and downs and ins and outs.

Cheerio.

"Well that's essentially how I feel about life - full of loneliness and misery and suffering and unhappiness - and it's all over much too quickly."  - Woody Allen

Give Credit where Credit is Due...

I noticed looking at this Blog today that I didn't even mention Shimelle in yesterdays post.  I admit I was tired and not thinking well.  So just a note to give credit where credit is due... those first two pages on yesterdays posts were the pages I had ripped apart and redone as mentioned in the previous post.  And both pages are taken from Shimelle.... I think from the Glitter Girl videos, but not sure (you know I can't remember how to sign my name many days so getting anything exact is almost impossible).  But they were direct copies of Shimelles instruction.  Thank you everyday Shimelle, for being my muse and mentor. 

Cheerio.

"It is not our abilities that show what we truly are, it is our choices."  - Albus Dumbledore (JK Rowlng)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

Well I can't seem to type today (it's taken several attempts to type every single word to include title) and I have had to delete this post and restart a couple of times.  So I am just going to show you some pix of the layouts I worked on the past few days.




This is the 2-page layout I redid from our Tampa trip.  You can see our Wii Avatars in the corner of each of the photos on the first page.  Also, on the top page, you can see where there is a darker block of cardstock in the top right corner.  This is because I had originally written my journaling on the background in that corner but decided I hated it.  I simply measured from behind my accent in the top to just below my border over the photos and cut a new piece of cardstock to place there.  I didn't realize that the colors were different until I looked at the picture I had taken of it before posting it here.  This was due to the fact that, even though the cardstock was the same color by the same manufacturer, it was different dye lots.  While it was a great fix, make sure you have extra cardstock that was bought together to get it done.  Note:  Thank goodness that as long as you're inside looking at my album, you can't tell the difference exists!



This is another 2-page layout about watching our family entertain at the fair on our trip.  But as you can see, the styles and colors are very different even though the cardstock came from the same pack.  However, there is a teal that is in both layouts.  In order to make these layouts to appear more cohesive I have a little trick I'm going to try and I'll show you that once I get it finished. 

I know it may appear obvious, but there are no premade embellishments on any of these pages other than the journaling tags and the letter stickers.  On the last layout there are really no embellishment other than the journaling card in the bottom right corner:  all other accents are paper and stamps, with the stamped 44 having been altered by Glossy Accents.  See, it is possible to make layouts just from your scraps and stash when you don't have anything else on hand or just want to get a different creative mojo going.  But everyone knows that when spring comes around, we gotta pull out the Prima. So...



This is actually a 1-page layout but I wanted to show you that the picture actually sits on a 'card' that can be opened with the secret journaling on both of the interior pages as well as the back page.  In order for the card to look like just a mat when closed and it would close flat, I sewed the card less than 1/8" to the right of the center fold, stopping just short of the top and bottom.  Also, so that you know that the card actually opens (you could put extra pictures there too) I put a small butterfly on the bottom right corner that peeks out when closed.  I should say that I didn't really plan on the three butterflies over the yellow in the title area, but I had stamped on that spot and, as it was slick, it smeared.  Well it was already stuck down so sometimes ya just gotta do what ya gotta do.  I'm still thinking of changing the title, so the letter stickers haven't been pressed down very hard yet, just kind of stuck there.

I know these aren't the best pictures, but I hope you can get some inspiration and ideas.  If you have a question, leave me a comment.

I hope everybody had a great Easter.  I want to thank my mom for a great lunch (and take homes!!)  and everything else she does for us.  Love you Mom.

Cheerio.

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."  - Marcil Proust

Saturday, April 7, 2012

This is Why...

Well I finally had a night and a day when I felt like doing something... anything.  Last night I tore apart a 2-page layout I had finished several weeks ago about our trip to Tampa.  As soon as I had finished it, I hated it.  That ever happen to you? It's fine going along, and then it's done and you feel like, "Wow, what was I thinking?".  So it's been sitting in my album ever since.  It's not even been a case of opening the book and hating it... I actually sit here and think about the fact that I hate it so much and pull out the album and look at it.  Sad.
So I finally just tore it apart.  And I mean ripped it apart as everything was glued down well.  But I salvaged the ribbon.  I salvaged the patterned paper by cutting around it (once I'd removed the pix) and then gently tearing off as much cardstock as possible - thank goodness it was cardstock thickness paper, not the flimsy stuff.  I salvaged the pix, but reprinted them for the new layout, so will give those to GiGi.  Then I started on the new layout using the same patterned paper as well as adding more.  I must say, it came together rather quickly with the new things I've learned lately in mind (good to know that even after 13 years of scrapping, I can still learn a whole new method).  I even got a 3rd page done about my trip based on the same theme.  And now I feel like I have actually accomplished something as not only did I get it done, but I love it so it's really finished.
A sad note... I love to use Sassafrass papers to scrapbook the whimsy - pages about fairs and carnivals, birthdays, funness!  Unfortunately, Sassafrass has stopped making scrapbook papers.  I don't know what I'm going to use now... but I do plan on snatching up as much Sassafrass as possible as soon as I get a chance.

Not only did I get those 3 pages done, but I also started work on my "This Is Why I Scrapbook" project that I found on Shimelle's blog "Pretty Paper..." (listed on the right).  I finished 3 pages of that project as well.  This project I'm doing as an 8x8 minibook so I have scanned the pages I finished today.






The first page is the Cover for my mini-book.  It has some sewing done on it to hold the layers of papers and for some texture. The next 2 pages will make a 2-page layout.  (There will be a title page before this 2-page layout, but I haven't got a picture for that page yet, so it's on hold.)  These 2 pages are done with 4x6 photos on the 8x8 cardstock.  Because the photos take up so much space, I kept the embellishments to a minimum:  using only patterned paper, tags, journaling spots, and the swirly stickers.  The journaling for each of these pages is actually done on 3 x 3 journaling spots that are tucked behind the photos with the little round pull tag showing.  I made those tags by cutting out half circles and gluing them on each side of the tag, with about 3/4 of the tab sticking out to glue together.  Not only does that make this an interactive page, but it solves the problem of trying to find a place for journaling with so little space available. 

I have to admit something... I feel like Wonder Woman tonight.  Getting the 3 12x12 layouts done as well as the 3 pages for my mini-book within 36 hours seems like I have accomplished the impossible.  Even though my face stabbed a few times this afternoon, it's awesome to feel like cutting up some paper and playing with my glue.  Not that I could help myself... sometimes, I just have to scrapbook or make cards; it's like I don't have a choice in the matter.  I have to be creative.  I think that's also what sets off some of my worst depression as it's hard to have this actual need and not have the tools to get it done.  I'm sure that's part of the 'manic', but it's also such a treat to be physically able to do it with the MS not making it impossible to sit or my hands to work long enough to accomplish anything.  

Hope this gives you a little inspiration!  If you feel like you don't like something you've done in the past, don't hesitate to take it apart and do it over.  It will make you feel better and there's nothing wrong with doing it!  You're not saving you're scrapping style of 5 years ago; you're saving the memories and the sentiment in a way that makes you happy and proud.  Also, I know I keep harping on it, but give Shimelle's a blog a look/see and do the This is Why project along with me. (It's an older project so you won't be doing it with the original group; but you can post your layouts in my comments so we can all play together!)  I love all the inspiration I can get, don't you?  And little projects like this are the perfect thing to do just for yourself!

Cheerio.

"Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls." - Joseph Campbell

Friday, April 6, 2012

Candy... yummmmm.

It was late last night when I finished my post, so those of you who thought, "What the hell?", just know that this blog is about how I feel from day-to-day with those ugly little friends MS and Manic-Depression and living in my RV as well as my love affair with all things pictures & paper & glue, oh my!
Today I have run across the true ugliness in my house in the form of pastels.  No not pastel papers but those seriously cute M&Ms that are in my grandmothers candy jar.  While munching on a handful of those ugly cuties, it came into my mind that I will never lose weight.  And contrary to my whole-hearted belief that it's because of the Coca-Cola that I consume all day long, it's because of American Holidays.  Have you ever given a thought to how we celebrate our holidays?  Of course, in my opinion, Easter is the most wicked of them all in the form of our health - how ironic considering what the holiday represents, the most holy event of Christians.  But we have aisles and aisles of chocolate to honor this holiday.  Our family still make baskets for adults as well as the kids (13 & 11, but not outgrowing Easter baskets).  In the process of getting the little goodies for the baskets, there is extra candy bought for our candy jars.  Mine are M&Ms. 
M&Ms are the greatest candy ever invented in my opinion.  The fact that you can pour out a bunch of the little lovelies and eat them one at a time makes it seem as though you're not consuming a lot of candy - even if you eat an entire 1lb. bag.  Even if you pick up 2 or 3, you're still just eating a little candy.  But they are addictive and as with anything addictive, well you know how that works.  What's more, they are so pretty; coming in different little themes for every holiday - pastels for Easter, shades of pink & red for Valentines, greens & reds for Christmas, red white & blue for Independence Day - well you get the picture.  That theming makes them the perfect candy for the candy dish... the one sitting on your coffee table... between you and the TV... within arms reach... which you pass a dozen times a day.
And it's not just the M&Ms, each holiday seems to ensure we gain weight, even though the worst rap goes to that wonderful period between Thanksgiving and New Years.  That's the time we have those huge family meals, eat the most fast food while shopping, go out to parties, and love on stuffing and pie.  But then look at Independence Day and that awesome barbeque with potato salad and baked beans.  Or Valentines with those boxes of chocolate and going out to dinner.  Halloween of course is another candy buster.  But even Memorial Day and Labor Day are usually celebrated with family picnics; and, Fathers Day and Mothers Day with dinners eating whatever we want at wonderful restaurants. 
There are so many studies regarding what an unhealthy country we are with the world's highest percentages of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.  But we are the land of the free and plenty.  And we do believe in celebrating everything from the contributions of workers (Labor Day) to the planting of trees (Arbor Day) to our own craftiness (Scrapbooking Day).  In fact there is probably a holiday for 300 of the 365 days a year (kidding, maybe).  Though not everyone, someone in this country celebrates more than a few of these holidays.  And when we celebrate, it is our national tradition to do so by eating.
Now, what is the point of this post?  Am I on a tirade against the candy companies or holidays or your personal habits?  Not at all!  I love a holiday and try to acknowledge as many as possible - in fact I get a little excited each time I find out about a new one!  Do I think we should change the way we observe holidays?  Absolutely not!  I love my M&Ms even more than the pink & yellow cupcakes on the counter.
No, this post is just an observance about our lives - about something that we rarely if ever think about.  It's a celebration of M&Ms and barbeque and stuffing.  It's an acclaimation of the country we live in and our right to celebrate however we want.  It's happiness and sunshine that we have the ability to buy chocolate bunnies for our kids.
However, I will be happy when Easter is over so that I can get back to eating numerous 100-calorie snacks per day.  Well, until next month when I get to start celebrating May Day's cupcakes, Scrapbooking Day's snacks, Cinco de Mayo's mexican food, Mothers Day's dining out, Memorial Day's picnic and any other holiday that I may find out about in the meantime.

Cheerio!

"Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." - Gordon B Hinckley