Thursday, December 06, 2007

Just As I Suspected...

The Design Team was chosen and as expected I didn't make the cut. I told Melanie when she made me promise to do this that this particular company was looking for the big names in scrapping. Everyone on their current DT are either published or on several other DT's and I knew once I looked at their current team that my chances were slim to none to even be considered. But a promise was a promise so I did it to fulfill my promise to Mel and I'm perfectly content to just continue scrapping for myself and enjoying my hobby without all the deadlines and special projects of Design Teams. I thought I would still go ahead and post my layouts for you all to see. I tried to concentrate more on highlighting their stamps and not flowering the layouts with a lot of fluff that takes away from the stamping. When I looked at the ones that won, I saw that they were drawn more to the fluff layouts with a subtle stamp here or there. I was thinking more along the lines of marketing their stamps and they were looking for the major technique layouts. My friends keep telling me that they like my layouts and think I should submit because my style is more "everyone's style" where the majority of the average scrappers out there would prefer to see in mags so they feel it's doable. I've argued with them for years that my style is not what they want. They want showy and over the top type of layouts. Mine are just too basic and average to even be considered. Nonetheless, I submitted to show them my point and now they know.
I did three layouts for the submission and one extra one for a challenge where you had to show how you can use a continuous stamped image. Since I needed three I did one layout on each of my kids. I told Mel that I'd be done with my Christmas card and gifts by now if I hadn't spent my month working on this but she said, at least you got four layouts done. I guess that's one way to look at it. I figure if it caused me to use my ever growing stash of stamps then it was a good thing. Of course I would have mixed in other stamps along with these if I were doing it for myself so they aren't totally the way I would have done them if I were doing them myself. It gave me an excuse to buy some new stamps though so any excuse to get something extra this time of year works for me. Hope you like the layouts. If I share them here then at least I'll feel like they were seen by someone and go a little air time for the effort I put into them. I was pleased with them and they are true to my style and I told myself although I know how to scrap like the magazines, I would be true to my style and not try to be something I'm not. I've never seen a point to the one photo layouts or the layouts that are so full of embellishments that you don't see the pictures. So although these layouts are semi my style, I would have more writing on them to tell the story because that is the most important thing to me. For this project though I just had to showcase stamps and that's what I did. It was a big stretch for me to do the one picture layout of Amber but that particular picture was a stand alone picture. Since I did it on white paper, another stretch for me, it really didn't show up on the email. There is a sewn one inch margin around the outer edge and you can really only see the sew line when it is displayed on a white background. Hopefully it will show up better on my blue blog background. So here they are, the losing layouts from the DT application. I liked them so that's all that matters in the long run.

Monday, November 26, 2007

So Much to Do, So Little Time!

I guess we all feel this way this time of year. Now that Thanksgiving is over and my DT application is submitted I'm looking at the list of things I need to get done in the next month and I'm thinking I need to make a plan or I'll never get it all accomplished. Today was grocery shopping day and tomorrow I desperately need to clean house. I can then begin to concentrate on all my projects. Last year I made photo calendars for both girls and they loved them so I thought I'd make them again this year. I need a day to sort photos to go on those and then a week or so on each one. I also have our annual calendar to complete but I usually end up just get January and February complete and then do the rest as I find time in January. Then there's the Christmas cards. I made homemade cards last year and plan to do the same again this year. I also do a newsletter to go in the cards each year. I've purchased the paper and envelopes for that and hopefully will get that started by the weekend. Each year all the women from church plan a party at someone's house for a gift exchange for which we are to bring a homemade gift. I'm considering doing a planner for my homemade gift and use my zutter to bind it all together. Hopefully I can find some pre-made pages I can print off and put together in a book. If not I'll be working overtime on the computer composing my own pages for this. It's getting harder each year to buy for the kids. They are at the point now where they have their own jobs and buy things when they want them. So, trying to find a unique gift to surprise them with is getting tough. I keep looking at the sales papers and hoping that something will hit me as the perfect gift for one of them but I'm drawing a blank so far. Usually there is one "big" item they request but this year they don't even know what they want. This santa job isn't easy. I'm off to the gym now to work off the stress and formulate a plan.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Wish Me Luck

I've just sent in my first submission for a design team. My friend, Melanie, made me do it. She's been telling me for two years that I need to submit to magazines and when I told her about this Design Team opening she made me promise to send something. I've spent the past month working on the layouts for the November 26 deadline. It was a nice challenge for me to use some of my new stamp sets with the objective of showcasing as many different stamps as possible. I have now fulfilled my promise to Melanie. Nicky and Diane have also been urging me to submit layouts too so hopefully this will make them happy as well.
We had a great Thanksgiving. We went to a friends' house with several other families and had a big meal together. I think this is my first year not cooking (other than our move in day to our new home in England on Thanksgiving 2000). I've cooked every year since I got married. I really enjoyed having a break. I just had to make pies this year. I took two pumpkin and two chocolate cream pies for the meal. The weather finally turned cold this week and we have a fire in the fireplace tonight. We got a few inches of snow on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.
Now that my DT application is in, I need to get busy on Christmas presents (calendars) and Christmas cards. It's time to write my yearly newsletter. I guess next week we will put up the Christmas decorations. Wow, this year sure has flown by.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and family. We will be spending our day with some friends and this will be the first year in a long time that I have not cooked on Thanksgiving. I've just finished making my homemade pumpkin pies and chocolate cream pies (for Hannah). We are really missing Amber this year. It's not the same without the whole gang here. She is spending her week with my niece in Georgia. I'll have to eat some pie for her.

Here are a few more layouts for my scrapping friends who come and check to see my latest work.
This is a page about my daughter Hannah. I had done a similar page about Amber when she turned 17 for one of my classes and I didn't want Hannah to think that I love Amber more than her. I always worry about something happening to me and the kids counting up my layouts and finding I have done more of one child than another. I try to keep things equal for them. The title for this was done with my cricut. The cartridge was opposites attract. The journaling blocks are from my new favorite stamps called "See D's" stamps by Inque Boutique. I love them because the come already cut out for you. You just pull them apart from the plastic they were cut from. They come with a mat for stamping and restickable adhesive one them for mounting on blocks, and my favorite thing is that they have the design printed on the back of them so that when you are stamping you can line them up easily. I've always liked clear stamps because you can see where you're stamping but they lose their cling and stain very easily. I've always preferred the rubber stamps because of the detail that they allow. So these stamps give me all the things I want in a stamp set without having to buy anything extra. They even have their own CD cases to store them in. The best thing yet is that they are priced lower than most stamps so I can go crazy buying more. These particular stamps are fun because they look like an old notebook page. I stamped the words on them with a new alphabet stamp set that I got from a Japanese vendor at a local trade show. Wish I would have bought a few of his other fonts now because I love these stamps as well. What can I say, I'm a stampaholic. I keep bugging the local scrapbook stores to get more of these See D's stamps. I saw a nice selection of them when I took my daughter to Fla for college and had to limit my purchases because of time constraints. I was thrilled when they started getting them here. They are now calling me when they get new ones in so I can check them out first since they know I'm so excited about them.
This is a simple page. One of the simplest I've ever done actually. My daughter took this picture of herself last spring from college and I loved the picture. It called to me for an enlarged one photo page. Then I was called to come and work in the store for a few days and they had just received these transparency overlays by Fancy Pants (I believe) and it said "Bloom where you are planted" and I said...."This is what I need for that picture. So I picked out a background paper, put the picture in the center and popped the overlay on top and I was done but it all just seemed to go together perfectly. I almost felt guilty for doing something so easy but nothing else was needed to complete the page.
One of our cats, Gizmo, got sick over the summer and had to spend almost a week at the vets. He is Hannah's kitty and they are best friends. He follows her everywhere and loves to jump in her lap and give her hugs whenever she sits down. He got depressed while at the vets and I told them it was because he is such a "people" kitty and needed his family. We went and spent an evening with him and the top picture of the small photos is of him hugging Hannah when he finally got to see her. I saw the idea for this page from the crafttvweekly webisode by Tricia Morris from Club Scrap. It's a waterfall page and you pull the tab at the bottom and it flips up the other pictures so you can see them all. I had fun putting this page together when I was attending a Club Scrap weekend retreat and Tricia came to the crop and checked it for me. I borrowed the quote stamp from one of the girls attending the crop who was sharing her Club Scrap stamps.
Here's how the page looks when the tab is pulled to flip up the other photos. The quote stamp reads "To be loved is to live forever in someone's heart." Stamped on each of the flip up pictures is "Best Friends from the start". They have such a unique relationship that it needed to be documented. She was pretty sad when he was at the vets for so long and we were all missing him that week. We also have his sister who is Amber's kitty and she is much smaller and keeps to herself more than he does. She loves music though and follows Russ through the house anytime he starts whistling. It's funny to watch how he can call her inside just by whistling and can get her to come and sit in his lap if he whistles.
This page is a scraplifted page from my UK friend, Anne Perry. Several of my friends work for the British magazine "Scrapbook Inspirations" and I grab a copy of the magazine whenever I'm in the bookstore just so I can see some of their latest work. One similar to this was published in the magazine by Anne and I loved it and couldn't wait to use the idea. I made the page for the store for one of the crops. It was funny to see all the complaints about having to sew on a page. Once they did it though they were so happy with their pages. Thanks Anne for the page idea. You always inspire me with your work. It's so much fun to pick up that magazine and see so many of my British friends' faces all through it. Who knew I was hanging out with all the up and coming stars of the British scrapping world. (For those of you that don't know, I lived in England for four years and Germany for 1 year as the scrapbooking craze was beginning there and I watched it bloom into quite a booming industry. I had many weekend crops with the pioneers of the scrapping craze in the UK and I've learned a lot from many of them as our styles evolved together). That's all for tonight. I need to get some sleep for the big holiday meal tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

More Pages to Share

This is a page from my "Book of Me". I wanted to use my flexible ruler and try out some waves. The journaling was all done on computer so the page went together fairly quickly. Was a little tricky getting the curves the way I wanted them. The title is done with "thickers" letter stickers. Was fun to do a simpler page for once. Helped me get out of a scrapper's block phase. The journaling lists some of the things I've learned in my life so far. Oprah always asks guests on her show. "what do you know for sure" so I wanted to use that theme for this page. It took me several days of thinking to come up with my list of points for the page but I'm happy with the results.
This is another page that was done for the store. We had just gotten in the mica glitters and they wanted me to do something with them. I cut letters out of the double sided sticker paper with my big shot and peeled off the top. Then I rubbed the glitter on the letters. I used my CM curvy cutter to cut out the picture tops so that they flowed across the page. For the flower centers I put a dot of diamond glaze and then sprinkled glitter on it and let it dry. My kids and their friends love playing with their cameras and I've gotten some of the best "funny face" shots of each of them. They make me smile to see them having fun.

These are two of the fall pages I did for a class in my home. They completed four fall pages in the evening. I'm trying to get them comfortable with stamping. They always complain when they are doing the pages but then love the results at the end.
The same group of ladies also requested a winter/holiday class so this is one of the pages I created for this class. I used the Heidi Swap masks to do the title. I made them do a little sewing on this one. We also used my label maker and fed strips of vellum through it to do the journaling strips. It gave it a softer snowy kind of look. The paper is Basic Grey. The lower photo is mounted on a file folder mat that was cut from the coluzzle template. I used the Heidi Swap date stamp to stamp the date on the tab. The pictures are from our Christmas trip to Scotland in 2003. The kids and Russ all got into a snowball fight.

Another page from the winter class. They wanted to use some of their Christmas prints on a page so I tried to use several different patterned papers to help them learn to use patterned papers. On the background cardstock I had them us a background crackle stamp to give it a little design to. The Holiday part of the title is stamped with my Penny Black stamps. The rest of the title was cut from sizzix dies. The file folder at the bottom contains some of our favorite holiday recipes with a stamp on each recipe card. I wanted to show them how to preserve some of their favorite recipes right on their pages for future generations. I used the notch punch from Basic Grey to make a notch to hold the file folder closed so the recipes didn't fall out.
This is the third page from the holiday class. They had been asking for pages where they could fit more photos on the page. I resized a bunch of our holiday photos into 2 x 2 size and circled them around the page. I printed the title strips on the computer for each of the students and then gave them chipboard letters to trace for the word "home". There are brads in the corners of the title. On the second page, I made the larger photo mat hinged so that I could type journaling behind the picture. I wanted to show them how to still fit journaling on a page that has a lot of pictures on it. I fit 21 pictures on the page total. They were thrilled to have a page that they could use a larger chunk of their holiday photos on and summarize the year's festivities.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pages of Life in General

This is a page I did for the store I worked at for one of their crops. My two girls became good friends once they grew up and I wanted to record that special bond they have in my books so that they can look back and remember. They are both hams for the camera and I have a lot of pictures of them that they've taken themselves holding the camera at arms length. They like to try different faces and just have fun playing with the camera which makes me happy because it gives me plenty of scrapable pictures. This page uses a combination of stamping and quickutz. The stamps used in the journaling strips is by Penny Black and one of my tried and true faves. The stamps on the bottom and in the title circle are Rhonna Farrer stamps by Autumn Leaves. The quickutz fonts are metro mini and Abigail ( I think). Flowers are made with a punch and then strips of paper for stems and strips tied in knots for the leaves. Stamps for the names/year are Image Tree lower case and numbers. (another well loved set of stamps).
This is another page done for the store for a crop. These are done to give the customers ideas and to show them how to use tools and items in the store. I used letter stickers to make a mask and inked around them and then pulled them off for the title. I used a distressing blade to rough up the edges around the title. I put a pocket behind the middle picture on the bottom for journaling and showed my son's sunburned face after the day of hiking with no sunscreen. I sewed on the journaling strips with general information about the climb and how long it took. As you've seen in so many of my pages, I love to stamp with my alphabet stamps. I used the Image Tree set again for the blocks and a set. I can't remember who makes the round set. I'm thinking it was a hobby lobby brand (maybe paperarts). I CM curvy cutter was used for the top of the lower pictures to similate mountain peaks and valleys.
This is one of the first layouts I did for the store for a military class I was teaching. It showcases all the homes we've lived in around the world with all our moves. Across the top I printed long strips with how many cities, countries, and houses I've lived in. Underneath each picture shows the location of each home. The title block uses foam stamps for the bigger words "Home Is" and then I used my image tree stamps to stamp "where the military sends me". The houses on the sides are a quickutz die. I put brads between each bullet point on the top and bottom strips and then brads on the corners of the title block. This was a popular page in the store for quite awhile.
This was a page created for some of my home scrapbook classes. They wanted to do summer pages so this is what I came up with. The title is quickutz Katie font. The first letter of each word was highlighted with a rectangle with the sides cut in. The sun is done with a circle punch and triangle eyelets around the edges with a round paper clip in the center. The journaling across the bottom is using my Image Tree stamps again with yellow eyelets in between each topic. I wanted to show them how to do a slanted layout.
They were funny when I was trying to teach them how it's done. As soon as they "got it", you'd hear a big OHHHHH! that wasn't so hard.
The pictures are of my husband and I on our trip to take our daughter to college in Fla.
This is another page done for my home scrapbook classes. I have a group of ladies who call me seasonally to do a class. This was our summer class where they did four layouts with summer themes. In this one I taught them to do a circle layout. I think I could do a commercial for the Image Tree stamps because I use them all the time. We stamped the journaling around the circle. The title stamps are from Autumn Leaves. Stamped on coordinating papers and cut out. I used the Curvy Cutter from EK Success for the circle. The challenge is finding the right photos with a lot of sky area that can be curved in for the circle without cutting off heads. These are pictures of my three kids and my son's ex-girlfriend from several years ago.
This is another page from the summer class I taught from my home. These are pictures of my first great nephew, Karson. It's purpose was to show them how to use several different patterned papers on their pages. I used the Heidi Swapp chipboard letters for the title with a series of three brads at the top of the strip. His name was added using the file tab punch from McGill. The corners were rounded on the papers since there was a circular feel going on in the pictures. Since the ladies are making four layouts in a night they have to be fairly simple to put together but I always try to get them to try something new that they might not try on their own.

More Heritage Layouts

This is the cover page of my book. I printed the pictures on gray bazzill cardstock and then sanded them and inked them with distress inks to age them. The quote is a sticker. Inside each of the flowers I printed the two surnames of my parents and then put a key ring around them and filled them with diamond glaze. The quote reads " I have looked at photographs that show you as a CHILD --when you were MARRIED--as a parent. Such brief and limited STORY they tell. I wish I could ask how you weathered disappointments, what were your greatest JOYS, and what you felt to be TRUE. What I know is you are a part of me, and I find PEACE knowing you've gone BEFORE me. " I thought that was perfect for the start of my book.

These are pages of my Great Grandparents on my mother's side. These were photos that I borrowed from my mom and scanned. Once I printed them, they needed to be aged again so they would look older. I cleaned up the scratches on the photos before I printed them and then used Tim Holtz Distressing inks to distress them. I tore out a section of the first page and put the journaling inside the hole. This gave the look of torn wallpaper. The title font is quickutz Eliza.

This is a layout about my grandfather. The photo is done with photo transfer using clear contact paper. The picture in the top corner is my sister and I with one of his watermelons. One of my favorite memories of visiting my grandpa was to hunt for where he had the watermelon hidden in the house. He always had one there and it was usually hiding under his bed but we always searched the house before finding it. In the bottom corner is part of the words to a song that he sang to us every time we visited as we were preparing to leave. "God be with you til we meet again." I can't ever sing that song without thinking of my grandfather.
Next is a page I did about my parents. The title on the left side reads "meet my parents". The center journaling on that page tells their names and birth/marriage dates and the death date of my dad. On each side of the flower are journaling strips with words that tell a little about what they like to do. On the other side is their love story and in the envelope I typed out the story of how they met, fell in love and how my dad proposed and then their wedding. The strips summarize where and when they met, their wedding date and how long they were married before my Dad's death. The photos are of them shortly after they married and at the bottom is one of the last photos I have of them together at my brother's wedding about seven months before he died.

This is a five generations picture of myself, my mom, grandmother, great grandmother and two great-great grandmothers. I love the look of that last photo on the right. She looks like a woman you wouldn't want to mess with. The tags tell a little about each of them and what I know about them from my mom's stories. That's all for today. Tomorrow I will share a few of my regular layouts of my kids.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Heritage Scrapping

I thought I'd add a few more of my scrapbooking projects to my blog so some of my out of town scrapping friends can see some of my work. I will start with some of the pages from my heritage album. I haven't worked on this in awhile but back last winter/spring I got quite a bit done on it so I could use them for class samples. This is my family tree with pictures. I used DCWV Old World paper pack throughout the entire album. The stamps are by Little Davis, I think. The quote reads "Family Faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, the present and the future. " The title is quickutz Eliza font.

This is Russ's family tree. It shows how to do a family tree without pictures. I don't have any pictures of Russ's family other than his parents so I thought that this would be give me a different perspective on the family tree. The font is Cricut George font.
Next is a page about a church that has some family ties to it. My Great Great Grandfather donated the land for this church to be built. The original one burned down in the early 1900's and my grandfather was among the men that helped to rebuild the church that is seen in this picture. It is no longer standing today but several of my relatives are buried in the cemetery on the lot. The place where the church used to stand is now a little lake. This page was done using the Heidi Swap masks.
I printed the photo on Bazzill paper and sanded the edges to give it the aged look. The photo mat was crumpled inked and ironed.
Under the title is a image transfer using packing tape of my Great Great Grandfather's tombstone.

This is a page about my grandmother. The text was written by my cousin Patricia. My grandmother had alzheimers for most of my life so my memories are of her being in a different world. My cousin, however, got to know her before all of this hit and had memories of baking with her and talking to her. I wanted to include her account so I would have some picture of my grandmother. The image transfer was done using clear contact paper.

This is a page about my dad. I did this one as a timeline to show bullet highlights of his life. I have to thank my Mom for providing me all the information for this page and helping me get the chronology correct. In the pocket behind the tall photo on the first page I put more information in paragraph form of my father. I tried to pick pictures that represented different stages of his life. My Dad died in December of 1986. I truly miss him. He was quite an inspiration to me in many ways. It's late and I need to sleep so I will upload more pages tomorrow.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

On Being Invisible

This story was emailed to me by several people this past month and it really touched me since I've been feeling a little invisible myself. Several have asked about it so I thought I'd post it here so you can copy it for yourself if you want it.

I'm invisible.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?"

Obviously not, No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask , "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please."

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.

She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this."

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it."

And the workman replied, "Because God sees."

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Not sure who to give credit to for this post since it was a forwarded email but whoever wrote it made my day and hopefully it will make some of your days too.
PS. A friend sent me this link to the article with this story in it. Would like to give credit to the author. Check it out at:

Monday, September 17, 2007

Learning Something New for September

I've been taking an online class this month with one of my friends from England, Shimelle Laine. I love her classes because they help me to get out of my scrapping ruts and try something new with some mini albums. I started this one a little late because of missing the original sign-up post but I decided to start my album on September 8th and go through October 8th instead. The idea of the class is to learn from life and record your lessons in a mini book for a month. I decided my blog was the best place to add pictures of my finished pages. I'm a little behind right now and hope to finish about five pages today and tomorrow. I used a K & Co. Life's Journey stand up album because I found it has almost the right amount of pages. I will have to add about one or two pages at the end but that's doable. I set mine up with the main lesson on the bottom and above it I placed an envelope page telling the story behind the lesson. Rather than using the sticker sheet that the rest of the class is using, I opted to use some of my Making Memories clear creations quotes. I've been amazed at how after I do the page I'm able to find a quote in there that seems to go with my theme for that day so they are working out great for this project. It also lets me use my own stash. So here it is, my "learn something new" mini book:

This is my cover page. The book stands up so this is actually the cover of the album. At the bottom it says: "a journal of learning from life". if you can't read the stamping.

This is page one. The story behind this one comes from a conversation with a friend while we were scrapping. She keeps telling me I should submit my scrapbook pages to a magazine because she thinks I could be published. She started mentioning it again that day and I told her I had a fear of rejection so if I don't submit, I don't get rejected. She then showed me a page in one of my other mini books that lists some of my goals for the future and one of them is to be published in a magazine. She simply asked me how I intend to do that if I never submit anything. So I took my first day's "lesson" from that and it says "you can't score a homerun if you never get in the game. The quote on the above envelope reads: "If someone believes in you and you believe in your dreams, it can happen." by tiffany loren rowe. The picture is of my daughter practicing for summer softball league.
I've used papers from the "my mind's eye" Kaleidoscrope" collection. The papers on the cover are from Daisy D's.

This is page two. It read's "I am not invisible". This lesson comes from an email that I received about a month ago and then from another friend just a week ago. It talks about a woman who is feeling like she is invisible to everyone around her because her life consists of cooking, cleaning, sweeping the floor etc. One of her friends comes back from a trip to England and brought her a gift. It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. Inside the friend had written: "to charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees." She goes on to discover that although many people admire all of those cathedrals in Europe today, no one really knows who built them. The people involved in the building put their whole selves into their work knowing that only God knows and sees how hard they worked to achieve something great. The story touched me when I read it since I'm kind of going through the beginnings of the empty nest syndrome coupled with the change of life. My cousin sent me an email on this particular day and said. "you're not invisible to me. I see all you do" and that just made my day. I need to remember to let those younger housewives and mothers know that I see all they do as well and maybe make their day brighter someday. The quote on the envelope above says: "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." by Winston Churchill.

This page was just a lesson I already knew but hadn't put into practice for awhile so I tried it out for the day and felt pretty good at the end when I had accomplished so much. It reads: "My day is more productive when I have a plan". On the side is a list of the things I accomplished that day with my list and each one crossed off. The poem at the top envelope reads: "The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is" by C.S. Lewis

This page reads: " There are still a lot of good people in the world and they inspire me to be a better person." The story behind this one comes from my youngest daughter who works at a clothing store. She told me about a young girl in her store today that wanted to buy some underwear and when she was checking out realized she didn't have enough money for the purchase. My daughter said that the lady behind her in line told my daughter to put it on her bill and she paid for the girls' underwear. She was amazed that a complete stranger could be so nice. The next day she had the same type of thing happen where she was 10 cents short of the money needed for a snack in the lunchroom and one of the guys gave her the extra needed even though he didn't know her. She simply told me that "nice people make her happy." I told her she needs to learn from them and when she finds herself in a similar situation to find a way to do something nice for a person. Basically a "pass it on" mentality. I thought it was a nice lesson to remind myself that there are still some great people out there doing kind things everyday and I need to learn from them to do likewise. I put a picture of my cousin on this page because she's one of the most giving and nicest person I know. The quote on the envelope above says: "there are many things in life that will catch your eye but only a few will catch your heart. Pursue these" by Michael Nolan.

This page reads: "Cookies on a dreary day, makes the blahs go away." The quote at the top says: "A Rainy Day makes a sunny day all that much more enjoyable."
It was one of the first dreary days of fall and I decided to bake cookies to surprise the family when they got home. I watched their tired faces perk up as they walked into the kitchen and found fresh baked cookies. I made my daughter pose for a picture with her most excited cookie look. It's another good lesson to remind myself. "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade". But I chose cookies instead.

This is the last page for today's post. It reads: "Sometimes you have to sit back, relax and let it heal". This is something I have to remind myself of often. I have scoleosis which is a curve of my spine and every now and then it acts up and puts me in quite a bit of back pain. It's hard for me to sit still and just let it heal. I still feel the need to get something accomplished with the day. This particular day I decided I just needed to allow myself the freedom to just sit and do nothing for a day to give it a chance to heal. So I spent the day on the deck reading a book with an ice pack on my back. It definitely helped to get the inflamation decreased. The poem on the above envelope says: "One can never consent to creep when he feels the impulse to soar." by Hellen Keller. That's the way I feel sometimes. I don't want to just sit around while everyone around me is having fun but that's just what I have to do once in awhile. I had to set the timer on the camera to catch a picture of me relaxing and the funny thing was I had to run to the chair and try to sit back and look relaxed before it actually took the picture. Needless to say I had to do a few takes to get it right. The outtakes were funny of my butt trying to get in the chair fast.
That's all for now, will try to share the rest when I get it finished. I'm happy to be semi-keeping up with the class. I know I'll be proud of the book in the end.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I Can Do Anything for Two Weeks

"I can do anything for two weeks" is what I told myself when I started the South Beach Diet last year. The diet starts with phase one which is a two week period of low-carb/no-carb living. In previous low-carb diets I'd tried, it was a commitment to low carbs for life and for a pasta loving girl that was too hard to commit to and as I later found out from reading something dangerous to commit to for your body's well-being. So the South Beach way seemed more doable for me. I have just now completed my second time through on phase one. Those trying two weeks are now history. I could tell I didn't lose as rapidly this time since my weight wasn't as high and I didn't need to lose as much. So this two weeks seemed a little harder because I wasn't seeing those daily changes on the scales that motivated me. I still stuck with it and am starting on phase two today. Phase Two introduces good carbs and good fats back into the diet. I lost the most weight last time with this phase because the good carbs are more fiber carbs so I felt like my system really regulated itself with that. I've never been super heavy and to many people they question why I want to lose weight. I know I feel better about myself at 140 lbs and my body shape is meant to be this size so I try to maintain it as much as possible. I also have a husband who likes to have a fit wife so I try to keep him happy by maintaining a good weight for him. I know that when I fall off the bandwagon that it's mostly due to emotional eating and I need to be conscious of that as I work myself back into my phase two lifestyle. Keeping myself busy is the main key to success in this venture for me. That's why summer is usually a more successful time for me to revamp my weight loss. I'm always more busy in the summer months and I love eating salads and fresh fruits and veggies when they are in season. Russ and I love to go hiking and on long walks in the summer and that also helps to ease the worry about what I eat. I've learned through each of the times I've done the weight loss cycles that I can do anything if I put my mind to it but I have to be committed to the process before it will ever work. I was committed last summer to get my cholesterol down and the weight was a side-note to that. I avoid medicines at all cost and the threat of a cholesterol medicine ruling my life was enough to make me determined that I would find another way. If I am going to be a healthy golden ager, I have to make it happen myself. It all starts with now and I can do anything if I'm determined enough.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Today is a New Day!

I receive daily quotes through my email and I've been thinking about today's quote. It says:
Today is yesterday's effect and tomorrow's cause. (by Phillip Gribble). I've always stressed to my kids that every decision they make has a consequence. This quote just puts all that into perspective for me. Those that know me, know that about a year ago, I lost about 30 lbs that I'd been carrying around for years. I'm a person that avoids medicine at all cost and my doctor was telling me my cholesterol was high so she wanted to put me on cholesterol meds. I asked what other alternative I had and she said some had had good results from the "South Beach Diet". I told her. "I'll try that." I went and got the book and decided to make the lifestyle change into good carbs, good fats and the lbs. just fell off. It wasn't hard to do and it amazed me at how fast the lbs left when I took certain food items out of my diet like potatoes. I haven't gone back to get my cholesterol checked but I'm sure it's better because once I made up my mind to make the change, I've felt soooo much better. I was a little more lax over the winter and I've gained a few lbs back but not too much. As I looked at today's quote, I thought about this diet thing. Today is the effect of the Christmas goodies I ate but since today I've gotten myself back on the eating plan, soon I hope to see the effect of the changes I made today in the weeks to come. Nothing is ever hopeless. We're always going to have days when we don't do things exactly right but the trick is to not let the bad days of today influence the future to cause more bad days tomorrow because we are holding onto mistakes of yesterday. Today I am starting back into my South Beach Diet way of life. With the sunshine here and the flowers showing their faces, I'm refreshed once again to continue on my journey of good health and good eating habits.

More Scraproom Pictures

Here are a few more scraproom pictures. I'm still rearranging as I see what I use the most. My dresser is filled with stamps. I've really become quite a stamp collector. So far I'm really liking my peg board. It is so nice to have all my tools at my fingertips. I spend a lot of time in this room so the TV and stereo are a must have. No real room for expansion so I guess I need to start using some of my stuff so I can buy more. I've been collecting all the "word signs" for inspiration around the room. My envelope/pocket/coluzzle templates are in the file organizers above my scanner. I plan to decorate the "memories" word and the RU letters with patterned papers. I'm will get that done eventually. My computer is at the window since I spend a lot of time there. I can look outside and enjoy my mountain view while I chat on the computer.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

My Scrapping Space

I took a few minutes this afternoon to clean up my scraproom so I thought I'd take a few pictures and share them with you all. For the past 1 1/2 years I've had a 21 year old friend of my son's living with us and I gave up my scraproom when he decided to come to Colorado. He just moved out into an apt. in March so I was able to put my scraproom back together in the spare bedroom. It feels so good to have my "space" back. I painted the room a light yellow before moving all my stuff back in. I wanted it to be cheery and inspirational while I work. I think I like it better now than the way I had it set up before Brian came. It's much more functional.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Back Again

I guess I'm not very good at all this blogging stuff yet. Seems like life gets in the way sometimes. Here we are in May of 2007 already. Time sure has flown. My daughter, Amber comes home from college this week. She's completed her first year now. Seems like just yesterday that we were dropping her off at the campus and buying all the stuff she needed for her dorm room. Hard to believe, my baby girl, Hannah will be a Junior next year. She'll be driving soon and then it will be like I'm not needed as much anymore. It's great to see all three of them growing up but sad at the same time. I blinked and they grew up. Cory is in his third year of college and has been working for two years at Best Buy. I still remember leaving him at kindergarten the first day of school. Moments like that become etched in a Mom's mind and it's just like it was yesterday. I'm so thankful for my kids. They are wonderful and I feel like we've all got a good relationship. Russ is my rock and I'm VERY thankful I've been blessed with such a wonderful soulmate. My love for that guy gets stronger everyday.
Will try to be more active on this blog. I'll have to challenge myself to write at least 15 entries in the month of May. CAN SHE DO IT?