Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Babies, depression, my hoard and a bit of Shimelle

I am not offering excuses for my extended leave of absence.  But needless to say, 01 September came and went as did October and most of November.  Many things have happened in our household since that last post, but nothing too dramatic or out-of-the-ordinary.  I will say that I'm so happy to see you on #Instagram!!! It's been especially fun following in the adventures of @hikercynthia as she tours state parks along the east coast and into the midwest; and sharing in sightseeing with @furrypig while she was on vacation and on the coast of my obsessed-over UK as well as being a bit envious of the wine and cake.
I did finally get my scrap area moved into my dad's office as well as a place to lay my head and watch TV.  This actually started a downward-spiral of my mood; and, honestly, that unexpected catalyst to my bi-polar issues had a great deal to do my inability to get anything done.  While the room is bright and Hairy Pawter loves it, it definitely is not ideal for a loner with privacy priorities (mom has always said that I am the most private person she knows) and wishes only to be left alone.  Let's face it, I rather enjoy the fact that I can hole up in an RV or even a room and not see anyone for a few days/weeks - especially when I'm not feeling up-to-par or am trying to get into my own little world of scrappiness.  Well, guess what?! This room is right next to the front door, across the foyer from the kitchen, very open close to the living room... and it has no doors!!! It seems that not only do I get to hear every conversation in the house, but also that no one has a qualm about randomly (and frequently) stopping in the doorway to engage me - regardless of what I'm doing or how I feel.  I really, really hate this.  It has not only kicked in my depression but has caused me to feel some animosity toward everyone... especially in view of the fact that they often 'don't feel good' and retire behind the closed door of their respective rooms, but I am not allowed to have the luxury of feeling unwell.  If this sounds like whining, it is.  But as a caregiver I feel that I have no option but endure the situation, which not only causes me more grief, but also guilt over these horrid emotions.  My motto has always been 'it is what it is' but these days that comes with 'heavy sigh' and sometimes tears.  
Anyway, I have occasionally scrapped throughout the past few months (and used a BUNCH of AC Shimelle).  In addition to those layouts, I have also been working on some Simple Stories Snap albums for GiGi that I am entitling 'High School Chronicles' with one for each summer and each school year from 2013-2017.  These are great for all those photos she takes during the day or at school events that are not going into her 'annual album' (which is already full without Oct-Dec!) or are an expansion of those events.  Getting the photos printed in various sizes takes a little more work, but not really as I have found that developers often warp photos into their standard printing sizes (i.e., a square photo is 'made to fit' a 4x5.5" paper) so I have taken to editting them all onto 4x6 layers in PhotoShop before sending them anywhere to be printed in any case.
One of the things I have scrapbooked over the past couple of months are some baby photos of my brother and my daughter.  While I really enjoy scrapping baby photos and especially want to get them all done, the layouts of my daughter put me into a rather dismal funk after a bit - so much so that my depression deepened, I wasn't sleeping well and my MS flaired.  You see, there are long stories about how we really try to do what's very best for our children - especially as single parents - made even more complicated when our children are diagnosed with chronic illnesses.  These photos brought a serious case of the 'if only's' and I had to stop scrapping those for a while.  Maybe that is very much a part of my 'scraperapy'... not to just keep the depression, anxiety and stress at bay, but to make me think about the stories that have created the life we are living.  I know that when I scrap photos of my grandparents, there is a bit of melancholy in the process; and so it goes that there would be the tinges of regret and what-ifs when scrapping photos of Starr.  Therefore, I am putting those photos back in the box...maybe I will pull them out and do a few at a time - or maybe I will find a time and place that I can be alone and work on them. But right now, I cannot continue to do more as long as I have to 'function as normal'.
Well, here they are - some of those baby layouts - created with both hoarded supplies as well as new ones. One thing, I do always add a least one star to each of my daughter's's her name, it's her thing. Also, I always use original photos once I've scanned them.  (These layout photos are exceptionally bad, I know.  I really can't tell you why they're so fuzzy; maybe a slight tremor or just bad eyesight. But I've taken them four times and each is as bad as the last..if I quit I will never blog again and truly I miss it.  I'm asking Santa for a tripod just for this purpose so maybe the new year will bring lovely layouts - keep your fingers crossed!).

A little Shimelle on a cardstock background with both Shimelle and Dear Lizzy dies to accompany the Maggie Holmes, October Afternoon and Studio Calico embellishments & HS ColorShine.

These are almost all hoarded supplies - with the exception of the Dear Lizzy dies and journaling card. The fabric and glitter papers are both DCWV.

Shimelle, Maggie Holmes & ColorShine working great with 'years & years' old embossed cardstock, vellum and chipboard letters. (wish I could find more of this embossed cardstock!!).

More Shimelle!  The glitter paper is Pebbles HomeMade, the 'ribbon' diecut is Maggie Holmes and the stars are SC with some ColorShine in Blush.  These DL Fox Thickers are my all time faves and I think I have them in every color available...the font is perfect!

And as we know, it's awesome for boys too!!!  And I am in love with all the shades ColorShine is available in.... they're perfect!!!!!

These layouts make me snicker...that stiped strip of paper being on both is just plain bizarre.  I created these layouts at two totally different times possibly weeks apart and wasn't aware that both had those strips until I took the photos today.

While these layouts will be spread among two albums, I'm sure I could fill up a complete album with Shimelle and never have two layouts the same. So many other lines have embellishments, etc. that coordinate with these papers that I never run out of possibilities; but my faves are all Maggie Holmes and Pebbles HomeMade.  And there are so many more layouts to come... remember: there are at least 5 other on-going albums to fill!!!  Oh, and the fact that a new collection is most probably on the way to be debuted at CHA! Can I hear a great big WOOOOHOOOO?!!! 
Unfortunately, to be quite honest, I haven't fallen in love with anything else lately - actually in a long time.  Other than the summer lines (due to all the beach photos), for everyday scrapping things have become hit or miss.  While I didn't like DL PDP, I loved DL Daydreamer.  Loved the first two MH lines, but not so much Styleboard. (Embellishments are always the exception to this, the embellishments I usually just love.)  So I have become much more cautious with my purchasing power, buying a 6x6 pad to preview before jumping head-first into the entire paper collection.  That being said, I have found quite a few of the new MH Open Book to love, and quite a few to ignore...but all the embellishments are spot-on in my book. And I keep looking at DL Serendipity but can't quite commit yet...I'm sure it's just a matter of time.

Well, as it's taken me about 7 hours to write this little blurb, I'm closing it out now.  I hope to do this again tomorrow with more exceptionally bad layout photos...we'll see.  I hope each of you is wallowing in scrappiness! I hope to actually get online tonight or tomorrow (computers been in shop, and then I really can't blog and then go blog-hopping all in the same day).  I miss you all! But again, am so happy with seeing you in action on #instagram!  

Stay Safe and Scrap On!

“Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” - walt disney


  1. loving the honesty in your blogging today.... I always appreciate folk talking about the low points in life as well as the makes me feel better about stuff going on with me and helps to remind me we all have 'stuff' going on! I haven't felt able to blog since September when my dad passed away,,,but I will get back to it eventually....I have also enjoyed seeing your pics on instagram and I love all your LOs!! If you ever fancy seeing more scrappy stuff I do most of my stuff is on UKS and I am furrypig on there....anyone can join and it is a great site for inspiration though it takes a bit of getting used to! Pop over if you get a chance! Look forward to seeing more of your pages xxx

    1. I am soooo very sorry to hear about your dad. It's almost always one of the worst things to endure - we love our parents our whole lives and the loss leaves such a hole in our life. You know that whenever you decide you feel like getting back to blogging, we will still be here. That's the wonderful thing about blonds (blog friends), you can ignore us all you want and we'll wait for you.
      I have a login for UKS that I created forever ago (I think) because I was going to take a workshop. If I'm right, that is one wacky site to navigate. But I am determined and will be getting there soon.
      Take care of yourself, lady... oh, and drink more wine and eat more yumminess for me!
      big bear hugs!

  2. I ditto what furrypig said...I appreciate your honesty and at the same time I'm so sorry you are in this spot right now. One day you will look back at this time and marvel at the strength you had that got you through it all.

    I love your pages too. You rock that Shimelle line big time! And a big WOOO HOOO back at ya for CHA!!