Saturday, June 28, 2014

No Scrapping Today.

Big Frown.  It's not that I don't want to, I do.  It's just that it's about 90 degrees in my scrappy place and let's face it, with the MS I cannot be in 90 degree spaces at all.  It's the pain that wraps around my abdomen to my back, the pain in my legs and feet intensify, I become fairly blind, and exhausted.  My eyes are going fast now - the neuropathy I suppose - so please pray I don't go blind; I'd rather stop walking than lose my sight.  This disease is wearing me down, exacerbated by stress and depression.  And the cure for stress and depression - scrapbooking of course.  It's a horrible cycle: need to scrapbook to make the illness better, can't scrapbook because of the illness.  But then, I am so very fortunate.  It could be much much worse.  We endure a lot of pain and illness in this house, but I'm still walking and occasionally driving.  So I thank God every morning that I can get out of bed, for coffee, that my parents are alive, that my kids are okay, there is still a lovely planet for me to live on, and that I can still glue precious photos to pretty paper... seriously, that's the list as I walk from the bed to the bathroom and then outside with my coffee after checking on everyone.  Then often it's back to bed, but life is short so I remember to be grateful.

So here I sit in a dark room on my white comforter (why does white feel cooler even in a dark room?) with the fan blowing on me wishing I could scrapbook.  Instead I'm stalking... stalking blogs, message boards, whatever I can find.  Trying to watch Dr. Who but have to stop so JC can play Xbox - kids, geez.

But surprise, I do have a couple of layouts to share.  This one is of GiGi and her boyfriend.  Unfortunately it didn't get scrapped until a few days after they broke up...ROFL!!!  But she really liked him so he deserves a place in the book.  Besides, the reason she broke up with him is something I want us both to always remember.  It seems that Boyfriend was getting way too possessive: telling her who she could talk to, wanting to erase the contacts on her phone, threatening guys who said they liked her Instagram pix, and then wanting her to check in with him every 45 mins or so.  She handled the rest pretty well, just telling him he needed to back off cause he wasn't her dad; but when the demand for a 'check-in' came up, she had enough.  She told me that she was glad that her family put curfews on her and made her check in several times whenever she wasn't home because it shows we care and so many parents don't seem to at all; but, she's only 15 and not about to let some boy tell her how to live her life or have the same demands her parents have - or worse.  We've instilled that whenever she makes a decision to do things with other friends she should always consider a boyfriend's feelings on the matter (like parties where he doesn't know the people etc) because high school boyfriends are the training grounds for how you want adult relationships to be.  But I have to say that I'm very proud of her attitude in this situation - his possessiveness seemed unhealthy - and believe that this was a seriously good training ground for how she does and doesn't want adult relationships to be.  Anyway, that's the end of that story... I just thought I'd share as you guys get to live so much of her life through my layouts that you're kind of an audience to her growing up.  So here's the layout:

Wow...just thought about that twice - you watching her grow up through my layouts.  And boy has she ever - that little preteen we started out with together has grown up to be a beautiful 5'9" young lady - well I am her Nonna so I can say beautiful.

Anyway, another blurry picture... it's kind of scary because when I pulled it up on my computer it looked perfectly fine.  (When GiGi gets home from her dad's I'm going to try to get her to photograph some of my layouts; at 15 her hand is much steadier and her eye much truer.) But I am really proud of this layout; it's kind of a throwback to the ones I was making before I took my long break.  I'm using the twine, lots of my wood stash, mist and tape - and of course, flair.  I so often forget that I have all this (and what to do with it) so it was great to get a layout going that uses some of this stuff up. And yes, I'm still using those bright papers; I started to do this layout using some DearLizzy, but changed my mind when I thumbed through and found the Heidi Swapp stripe for the background. I'll admit it, I am just kind of stuck on the bright stuff, it's just so cheery that it makes me smile just to cut it.

Then I also made this one this past week for the Shimelle weekend I missed.  I used this sketch:

The background is Echo Park, letters October Afternoon, hearts are Pebbles and I think everything else is Maggie Holmes FleaMarket for Crate Paper.  The reason that it's titled The Harry Potter Bookmark is because I move that bookmark from book to book and that is the text when I Instagram these photos.

Okay that's enough for right now.  I may be blogging two or three times a day, so don't be surprised - getting caught up for all I missed I guess, or preparing for when I go down again.  But bear with me and if you get tired of it, I understand.  Good thing is it will all still be here if you change your mind! LOL.

I've been checking you guys out.  Furry Pig has been busy busy busy.  But I miss Cynthia and her beautiful photographs - where are you????  My reading list has gotten zapped at some point so please leave a comment or email me with your blog address so I can fix that up.

I hope you all are fine and healthy and scrappy.  You know I love you guys.

Stay Safe and Scrap On!

“Dance above the surface of the world. Let your thoughts lift you into creativity that is not hampered by opinion.” - Red Haircrow

Just a Few...

more scrapbook layouts I've been working on (of course in my world nothing is ever finished!).  These are Bella Blvd and Echo Park.  Hope you like them.

And then one from this sketch from Shimelle's weekend:

You can't say I didn't warn you about taking photos of layouts lately. 

Hope you are finding time and energy to do some scrapping too.

Stay Safe and Scrap On.

“The object isn't to make art, it's to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable.”  - Robert Henri

Friday, June 27, 2014

Finding My Style PLUS All Things Summer!

You have joined me for classes, workshops, and long scrappy weekends.  I so appreciate the awesome company - I have been so lucky.  But during all these forums I have continually searched for my own style.  I will be the first to admit that during this journey over the past few years, I have done a fine job of tuning my style to that of my scrappy hero, Shimelle.  And while I thank her for her instruction and inspiration from the bottom of my heart (and yes, still my scrappy hero), I think I have finally come into my own... and thank goodness as it's only taken 15 years.  So a few of the techniques/items that I think make up my style:

  • I love pretty patterned paper! And so I almost always use it as my background.  But I am not one to layer those background papers but rather I like to showcase them: building upon them and letting them have an opportunity to shine through.
  • I love a diversity of embellishments.  But I don't like too many.  I don't feel a necessity to use a lot to make a statement if I use really bold papers. 
  • I believe in the rule of three though often I prefer a single embellishment cluster.
  • Some things recur, especially wood.
  • I love to stick within a single collection.  Now that I say that, I should clarify that it really depends on the line.  For instance, I have a large tray on my desk that has almost all my summer collections' stuff so I can mix all that up for layouts.  But for lines like DL Daydreamer, MH Flea Market, etc. I usually just stick with things from that same collection.
  • I really like using title/journaling cards on layouts.  
  • I'm a plain, old-fashioned scrapbooker.  While I appreciate all the Mixed Media artistics that are around: I've even tried art-journaling to get my feet wet.  But when it comes down to it, I'm just basically a paper and stickers girl.  I'm so okay with that.
Now that being said, I reserve the right to change my style at any point or deviate on any occasion.  There are no hard and fast rules to how one scrapbooks - no right and wrongs - no expectations.  But I have thought about this a bit, especially while watching those scrappy videos.  It was a great revelation, a moment of exhilaration, to discover that while I still love other peoples style and believe they are utterly IT girls, I have my own little style developed - I am my own person, not just a copycat scrapper.  WooHoo!!!

Now, on to more of that style emerging...

In case you don't remember, I LOVE! scrapbooking summer pix.  I think this season presents some of the happiest feeling supplies scrapbooking has to offer.  Last year it was the Fancy Pants What a Wonderful Day and Simple Stories I {heart} Summer.  This year the list is a bit longer:

American Crafts - #Summer
Simple Stories - Good Day Sunshine
Bo Bunny - Lemonade Stand
Bella Blvd (Everything)
Echo Park (whatever works)

These lines are working perfectly together.  And boy am I ever using them up! Not only for summer photos but for so many more of GiGi's layouts.  I can't wait to show you how this year's album is coming together...but not today.  Today I want to show the first of this years that I am contributing to the A Cherry On Top (ACOT) challenge.

See what I mean - all this bright cheeriness makes me feel so much better!

And if you're looking for a spot to 'meet' some nice ladies, get a challenge on or ten (with prizes), play fun games, view a gallery, or purchase a few supplies with discounts, don't forget to check out A Cherry on Top... and tell them I sent ya!

Okay, I hope everyone is well and basking in the rays of sunshiny scrappiness!  Love you guys!

Stay Safe and Scrap On!

“One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.” - Frederich Nietzche

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

End of an Era...

So sorry I haven't been around - yet again - but as usual there has been a lot of bed-time/kid-time/parent-time involved.  I have had moments of scrappiness, but alas getting photos of these layouts is actually harder than creating them.
I hope everyone has received their cards by now (and thanks so much Cynthia for the lovely thank you).  So sorry (yet again) for the delay as there was a total breakdown around our household that involved my having to come home quickly one day and relying on someone else to get the job done. (thank you Ruth for the heads up that prompted my going out to mom's car (which I am never ever in) to find the forgotten packages).
So on to it.  There will be no layouts today as this is a little heads up for those of you who haven't heard the big news... TwoPeasinaBucket is closing.  Now to tell you honestly, I have one and a half regrets about this:
1/2 regret is that I was all pumped to purchase some of the exclusive embellishments come first of the month.
One very BIG regret is that our girl Shimelle works for 2Ps - and they are the sponsor/venue for Glitter Girl.  I am so hoping that Shimelle is okay through all of this, especially with the new little one on board.  I am happy that she has found a designing home with American Crafts (can't wait for that line to come out next month!!!!), but also hope that she maintains control of Glitter Girl so that we may continue to reference past installments as well as continues to bring us more of our sparkly friend in the future.  In the meantime, I really wish she would update her class access so that I can figure out if there's anything I missed and didn't mean to - namely, the one in January!

TwoPeas has been around 15 years and it was the first place I went when I was able to make a major scrapping purchase again after the dark days.  It is also the only place my mom knows to shop for my gifts.  But I must admit that I definitely saw this coming after the first of this year.  It was around February I think that my orders started to take over a week to ship vs the usual 3-day turnaround from order placement to receipt.  Then the customer service 'ticket' was abandoned in lieu of sending emails (and Matt was sooooo awesome about answering any and every question!!!).  Then when I emailed for 3-months straight about a defective Dear Lizzy wood piece that I had received and never ever even once heard back from them - nothing.  (Interjection:  Please see * below) And then just to top all my hate off, no warning... no warning whatsoever.  I was on the site a few days ago looking up if they had those SC hearts back in yet and not a signal.  Then today an email with the news arrives (stamped June 25, 2014 at 1:09 pm) and, whoa!!! the Message Boards are missing.  (Guess they didn't want to see all that booing and hissing!.. or maybe let anyone know what the future held for our video series that we watch on YouTube!) Oh, Oh, Oh... and those 'exclusive' embellies that I had in my cart a week ago - gone!!!!!!!!!!!!! Every lousy flair and coffee cup wood veneer... gone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, though my heart is heavy for our girl Shimelle, it is with a big "GOOD RIDDANCE!" that I say goodbye to Two Peas in a Bucket.  Makes me proud to be a "Cherry".

Now... after I've gotten all that off my chest, let me just say that at the same time I am very sad to see 2Ps leave.  After Archives and Creative Memories, it's just frightening that another one has bitten the dust.  I want to think that the reason is because of divorce or some other more personal reason rather than just low sales in which case I am sorry for those involved.  However, the facts of our poor customer service and the way in which they have 'closed the doors' may say a lot about why sales had diminished if that were the case.  I hope so.  I am terrified that the days may come when I still have an overpowering urge to cut up pretty paper and glue down darling diecuts just to find that there are no more available.

*Oh and as for that interjection:  One more reason that American Crafts remains my favorite all-around company.  They have the most awesome customer service ever.  And while they couldn't fix my bad piece of wood, they made up for my total headache with an entire set of wood veneers from the line of my choice - promptly.  God love Jenna with whom I carried on an email conversation at least 1-2 times per day for over a week and was uber sweet all the time!

Okay, now that I've spouted off, I'll bid you goodbye for today. Let me know if you didn't receive the cards yet as that would just be crazy at this point.  I will be back later showing off some scrappiness as I went to doctor yesterday and received another injection that seems to be allowing me to sit up for a couple of hours a day and I have the best help in with my folks.

I hope everyone is oh so well and scrappy and having a beautiful (and cool if possible) summer.

Stay Safe and Scrap On!

“The inner fire is the most important thing mankind possesses.” - Edith Sodergan