Tuesday, December 27, 2011

OLW & Inspiration

One Little Word is in full swing over at Ali's blog and it's got me thinking about the word I will be choosing for this upcoming year.  My word last year was mindful.  I made a late choice after trying the word balance for a month.  I will be continuing to keep this word close to my heart - however it's time to move to something new.  Here are the current words in the running with their definitions...

This is my favorite by far...

RE·NEW [ri-noo, -nyoo]  Show IPA
verb (used with object)
to begin or take up again, as an acquaintance, conversation, etc.; resume.
to make effective for an additional period: to renew a lease.
to restore or replenish: to renew a stock of goods.
to make, say, or do again.
to revive; reestablish.
to recover (youth, strength, etc.).
to restore to a former state; make new or as if new again.

These are some other words I've been throwing around...


[kuhl-tuh-veyt]  Show IPA
verb (used with object), -vat·ed, -vat·ing.
to prepare and work on (land) in order to raise crops; till.
to use a cultivator  on.
to promote or improve the growth of (a plant, crop, etc.) bylabor and attention.
to produce by cultureto cultivate a strain of bacteria.
to develop or improve by education or training; train;refine: to cultivate a singing voice.
to promote the growth or development of (an artscience,etc.); foster.
to devote oneself to (an art, science, etc.).
to seek to promote or foster (friendship, loveetc.).
to seek the acquaintance or friendship of (a person).


[nur-cher]  Show IPA verb, -tured, -tur·ing,noun
verb (used with object)
to feed and protect: to nurture one's offspring.
to support and encourage, as during the period of training or development; fosterto nurture promising musicians.
to bring up; train; educate.

It's a funny thing but just seeing those definitions (from helps me immensely.  So drumroll please (from the beastly kitty known as Rooba) word for the year will be....


It fits so well and it's been the front runner for some time.  I'm incredibly excited.  Moving on...I signed up for three classes at Big Picture Classes in the last 48 hours.  I know I must be stopped.



I think Ali looks gorgeous in her picture.  I like the bangs and longer hair.  I'm so excited about these three clases and have just added one more to my wish list.  It comes from the creators of Brave Girls Club and fits well with the first class from Cathy Zielske...

Body Restoration Class Link

I also have every intention of signing up for this class at the end of January...


I'm so excited about the class offerings floating around the net right now.  I also love the price point on classes sponsored by Big Picture Classes.  Depending on the teacher...they're a lot of bang for your buck. So I want to leave you with one more thing...check out Radvent on Princess Lazertron's blog for some great ideas for journaling, scrapping, art making, etc.  So inspiring.  And with that...I'm out.  Here's hoping you had or are having a happy holiday.  Blessings all around.  Until then...

BTW: All BPC class pictures can be found on their website at

Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...Changes

Surprised you!  I was going to say Christmas but there are two small things I want to share today.  First - my new hair cut...

To say I was terrified to go from long hair (past my shoulders) to a short cut is/was maybe the biggest understatement I've ever uttered - however - I knew it was time.  It was just impossible.  This is about a week after the cut and all the curly cues have had a time to start to form.  I love it more each day.  Some days it feels like I have phantom hair - I'm looking for my bun and my headband.  But this is me now.  It's so easy to take care of and is just so simple.  Simple is good.

And on to the Holidays!!!!  Since I've made the decision to remain in my neck of the woods this year - my mom really wanted me to have a tree this year.  So - I went out today and went a little wild.  My first Christmas tree at 34.  Teal and green - my favorite color combination.  Love it to so much.

It seems a little empty in places - but I was completely inspired by the floor model.  I'm not a huge fan of decorating and it is a little off balance - but it's done!  That's what matters most for me right now.  Hope everyone is having a lovely Sunday.  Until then...

BTW: Thanks for the tree Mom and Dad!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


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On this Thanksgiving Day - I'm grateful for so many things.  Please indulge me while I count the ways...

  • My family - I love you all so much.
  • My Diva Kitty otherwise known as Tonks Nymphadora. Like how I inverted the name?
  • My Friends - I love them so much.  They understand my dark, wicked, sarcastic humor.  They invite me to Thanksgiving dinners when I'm away from my family.  They're outstanding.
  • My New Workplace - I never thought I'd be so happy at this new place. I love all the people.  They are hysterical and encouraging.  I love it so much.  It's restored my faith in my chosen profession.  Love it. Love it.  Love it to little pieces.  Not to say that it's not the hardest thing I've done and the days can be wild - it's just a good place to do good things.  So happy.
  • My iPad - or should I say the iPad my mother gifted me.  I gave her my Nook, which has gotten some of my family telling her she was hoodwinked and bamboozled.  However, she offered.  I took.  I offered my Nook without even being asked.  Give me some credit for that at least.  The best thing - I can finally shop around for the cheapest books and use the Kindle app when applicable.  I've saved $20.00 since installing this little app.
  • Coffee - I live by Quiktrip or Starbucks.  I love my coffee.  As my long-time readers know - I have been banned from coffee for quite some time (over a year).  I go through phases where I drink it once a week or give it up or daily.  All I can say is life's a work in progress.
  • Breaking Dawn - Part One - It's cheesy and watching paint dry is infinitely more exciting than seeing Bella or hearing her whiny-ass voice.  However, everyone else is a delight.  I feel like walking the streets and looking for Rob Patt - although I doubt he's in the Midwest.
  • Crafty Goodness - get ready this is going to be a long one...For Christy Tomlinson's She Art Classes, Ali Edwards and her overall scrappy goodness, Big Picture Classes, Masterful Scrapbook Design, Get it Scrapped, Crafty Blogs, Creating Keepsakes, Stampington Magazines (Somerset Studio, Somerset, Memories, etc.), Donna Downey's Inspiration Wednesdays and Collage Mondays, Stephanie Howell, Kal Barteski, Kim Watson, Shimelle Laine and her many online classes - all great material by the way, Pinterest,  Cathy Zielske, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, Jennifer McGuire, Karen Grunberg, Paperclipping Roundtable, and so much more.  I love how the internet brings us closer in some way.  I love that people share their lives and teach so much for almost nothing in return.
  • Great Movies - I've seen so many this year.  Let me give you a quick list...50/50, Friends with Benefits, Crazy Stupid Love, Horrible Bosses, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Transformers 3 (total guilty pleasure), Fast Five, and the list goes on - I hope.
  • Great Music - particularly from Adele and James Morrison.
  • Great Books - I will not go into the list - it's too long and frankly my brain is way too tired to come up with the list of outstanding books I've read this year.  If you're aching for some recommendations, check out the Reading Corner category on my blog.  

Anyhoo... I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving - for those of you celebrating.  Until then...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Background Love

I've continued to dip into the world of mixed-media this week with a wonderful product by Faber-Castell.  By the way, this is NOT an advertisement.  I purchased these beauties in August and just gave them a try for the first time in the last month.  This is how my mind and process works.  I read about it A LOT.  I buy it.  I look at it.  It sits.  I use it and hate it.  I put it away for awhile.  I use it again and I start to accept it.  Notice I didn't say love it - I'm working on learning to concentrate on the journey - not the destination.  And you know what...this was fun!  I finished both of these in 10 minutes before work on Monday morning.  They took almost 24 hours to dry - I got a little too ambitious with the water - and I'm ready for the next step which I'm saving for this weekend.  So without further ado...the product responsible for shaping my new perspective...

I love these little things - they make my world a little brighter.  So simple and easy to use for a high strung girl like me.  And now to the backgrounds...

These pictures were taken immediately following my quick painting session.  I'm not sure where they're going next or what image I'll use to get to my "destination" - I just know it felt good to do something quick with one product and a little water and that's a beautiful thing.  

If you're like me at all or just looking for something new - definitely give these babies a try.  I love them.  I love the backgrounds and am ready for the next step.  Ready for craft weekend to begin.  I sit here with a smile on my face.  Happy to be writing words - happy to be making art.  Trying really hard not to judge anything I'm doing or have done.  It's the journey not the destination.  Souza was a very wise man.  I'm trying to be mindful of the journey to make it part of my practice.  It will happen.  I believe that.  I hope everyone has had a great Thursday.  I'm off to clean to prepare for the impending arrival of one my dearest friends.  Double arm pump and I'm off.  Until then...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Twisted Tuesday - I painted and I liked it!

Real quick post here...I made my first She Art girl.  She's not quite finished - but I did it.  It's important.  It's remarkable...not the actual art - but my willingness to finally plant my ass in that chair and be vulnerable.  No matter how you define it - paint is a vulnerable medium or at least it is for me.  I have to let go of the reins and open myself up to the idea of ugly, imperfect.  I did it and I'm so proud.  So without further ado - my first Imperfect Girl...

I have a hard time with some of the "stuff" here.  She has pantaloons on with maybe the ugliest shoes ever.  I believe she is most likely color blind or from some alternate universe where wood grain shirts are in (or maybe that's just the 70's).  I made the messy bun and almost liked it - I just don't know how to detail black hair or how to do skin tones so my girls are a reflection of me and my family.  I just need to remember first attempts aren't perfect.  They weren't meant to be.  I'm going to keep on working on her until I have something I like better or I screw it up beyond repair.  The most important thing to remember is to have fun and let go.  It's the journey...not the destination.  Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday.  Lots of love and smiles all around.  Until then....

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Continuum - Am I Spelling That Right?

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Hello My Pretties!

Okay...I'm in a weird mood today. Happy to be here though. Part of my new job includes being more acquainted with what they call the expressive therapies. It's been a huge learning process for me - and I've learned one huge thing. I love to learn - it feeds into my reading love and so much more.  Hands down one of my favorite activities - learning new stuff.  It turns out there is an expressive therapy continuum. I'm smack dab in the middle of the cognitive area. Shocker...I know.  Anyhoo...there's this entire theory behind working with people (both young and older) based on their developmental level, issue/concern, and their place on the continuum - which to be honest isn't all that important to what we're doing right now but it's some background.

So this new knowledge has gotten me thinking about where I'm at developmentally in terms of my "art." And you guessed it...I'm in the cognitive space. So...what the eff does that mean? It means I concentrate on the outcome not the process. I am wound way too tightly to enjoy the playing part of the artistic process. I don't enjoy the putting things together. I don't get lost in the making of the art just the end result. How does a girl like me - who is not a control freak in any other single, solitary way - become more focused on the end result than the fun of the process?  Well, I guess it starts with being an over thinker and just a little insecure about my artistic abilities and the ball keeps on rolling; until you have little old me without almost any ability to let go and have fun with art mediums out of my control in the most minuscule form.   Wow that's a run-on sentence if I've ever seen one.

This is a lot of information - I know- without much of a point - except this.  Let go.  Have fun.  Enjoy the process.  Eff the outcome.  I found a great example this morning from one of the best crafty gals while lying in bed with my new favorite buddy - my iPad (the original not the second version).  Who could it be?  Why it's Mrs. Donna Downey in all of her artsy goodness talking about the process and letting go.  So good.  So worth it - and my only real point for today's post.  Check it out here as soon as you can.  Also - take a look at two of her series with FREE VIDEOS - Collage Monday and Inspiration Wednesdays.  Have a great Saturday.  Until then...

Oh...and just for good measure and because this post feels so random....I leave you with a picture of one of the sexiest men on the planet - in my humble opinion.  If I had a DH - he would definitely be on my laminated list.  Smiles all around.

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Sunday, November 6, 2011


Okay - so I decided to get a grip and get on with it...which just means I finally found the right journaling spot and the will to finish an effing page.  Let's show the sketch shall we...

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It goes without saying how much I love Shimelle's sketches.  They are a true inspiration.  So this was my first  pass at the sketch.

As I said before - I could not decide on a journaling spot and really hated the bunting in the upper right corner.  In a moment of complete rashness, I tore off the bunting - ripping the paper in process.  Not my finest hour to say the least.  After writing my previous post and getting my thoughts out - can't recommend that enough - I went on and found a journaling spot and a fix for my torn paper faux paus.

I love these two more than anything (the babies).  Love them.  I still have that blasted seven days under the LAX sticker from American Crafts.  One of my many attempts at journaling straight on the paper.  Needless to say - it didn't work out.  In some ways I feel like it looks like I threw random embellishments on the page - but they all are symbolic of my weekend.  The title is from a song by Adele. I think the layout's busy and doesn't tell the whole story - but I think everything's a little too raw right now to get down in one shot.  So this is the layout's latest manifestation.  Can you say - all over the place.  Sheesh.  I hope everyone has a great week!  Until then...

Sunday Suck Day

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It feels a little sacrilegious to have the words Sunday and Suck Day in the same title - but that's how I'm feeling today.  I had big plans to do Shimelle's sketch and starting points challenges and have hit a wall.  And I'm pissed and frustrated and ready to scream.  But the truth is hard right now.  The small act of placing an embellishment in the "right" place is just too much.  Trying to complete a layout about my niece and nephew right now is too much.  Not when I was reading my sweet girl to sleep and getting big hugs from her baby brother just a week ago.  Not when our family is in a time of huge transition - I'm not sure how to express how it's been.  So somehow - a layout just isn't what I needed today.  I wish it was...

I've been thinking a lot lately about choices.  Sometimes I'm still that sixteen-year old girl with the attitude that 34 is so old - like my life should be static, established at this point.  It's not - and as hard as I try, I don't feel 34.  Over the weekend, my cousin was talking to me about how young I still was - and how many choices I had.  I don't have kids or any romantic entanglements.  I'm my own person, with one gnarly ass cat.  I have choices - so what am I going to do now?

This happens every time I return from LA.  I miss my family terribly - especially at a time like this.  And I wonder what in the eff I'm doing 2/3 of the country away from the people I've known my whole life.  The people I've known their whole lives.  I'm finally in a job I love in a place where I have very few ties.  I have friends that I love.  I have things that I do - but is that a good enough reason to be living away from my family?  These are the questions that plague me - and at a moment like this - who the eff has the time, inclination, or willingness to worry about finding the perfect journaling spot?  I certainly DO NOT.

So that's why it's Sunday Suck Day.  No layout.  Just questions.  I had a good friend once that helped me when I was going through a really hard time.  It was my senior year in high school and I was trying to decide whether going to a secular university was the right thing for me.  I feared losing the close relationship I had with God.  I worried I would lose touch with my friends.  I worried that this one decision would alter my life for the worse.  And you know what this amazing friend said...she told me there were some people that believed there was only one right choice in life and there were others that believed that God worked in your life despite the choices or trajectory your life takes.  I decided I liked the latter answer better and headed off to what I assumed could be a life of depravity and loss of all faith.  It wasn't.  It was just a choice.  I'm not sure I would do it again - but life is just like that sometimes.

I feel like it's choice time again.  Time to decide what I really want from the next few years of my life.  I know I'm being way too hard on myself.  I know I'm spending a lot of energy worrying about the future.  I just wish I could grab a life line.  I wish someone would give me the answers.  I wish life were easier.  I wish my family could be healthy, happy, and close.  I wish I could get one of those tight hugs and hear the words I love you from my nephew.  I wish I could hear my niece laugh and give me one of her looks that reminds me so much of myself.   I wish I could craft without the need for perfection or the fear of it being wrong in some small way.  I wish and I hope.  And that's all I have energy for right now...and that's okay.  I hope to be back with some crafty related project in the near future.  Here's hoping.  Until then...

Friday, November 4, 2011

Back in Business

I'm baaack!  I'm so happy to be back - actually.  I've missed this space. The last few weeks have defied words - but at times have been shot through with such beauty and laughter it almost brought me to my knees.  It seems like tough times are like that - you keep on wondering why the hits keep coming - and somehow you're still you and the people you love are still the people you love - and you start to pull through.  It's a beautiful, yet heartbreaking, thing.

Let's be honest - in the past few weeks I have not had the energy or motivation to create.  It's been gone from me.  Fortunately - I always have the will to spend.  So...I just wanted to share a few classes catching my eye around the world wide web (I wonder why no one calls it that anymore?).

Patterned Paper Party by Shimelle Laine (already started - still wonderful) ~ I love her classes.

She Art 2 Workshop by Christy Tomlinson ~ I'm currently taking the first workshop and am shocked at the amount of video in the class.  It's an amazing amount of time for the cost.

Reclaiming My Time by Karen Grunberg ~ I'm a devout follower of all things KG.  I've loved her classes and highly recommend participating in ANYTHING she is doing - she's amazing.  She's changed the way I scrapbook - the way I shop.  Or - I think this needs a reframe...she's given me the tools to take control of my scrapbooking style and the way I shop.  A-MAZ-ing!

Move More Eat Well 2012 by Cathy Zielske ~ I'm wanting to make healthy changes in the next year...I'm hoping CZ and the BPC community can help me with that journey.

I have my eye on one more class...but will talk about that later.  I hope everyone is doing well and has a very happy Friday!  Finally it's Friday!  Until then...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Real quick post today...I will be scarce on the blog here for the next two or three weeks.  I wanted everyone to know to check in after November when "regular" scheduled posts when begin.  However, I will try and post here and there over the next week and a half.  I hope everyone has a blessed weekend.  Until then...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Product Love - Album Madness

It feels really good to start moving towards the new changes I'm planning to make on this little space of Internet heaven I have created here. I know it's not the most humble sentence ever written - but this place is a real haven to me. In some ways - it has saved me. It's kept me going through hard times and has always been a place I can go back to when I've given up (sometimes for months at a time). It's been a true blessing despite a very small readership.  I'm thankful for every person that visits this little site of mine. Please indulge my little slice of sentimentality. So on to the product goodness...

I'm a big fan of American Crafts albums. However, I've started to be really drawn to the photo pages in the We R Memory Keepers system. I had a friend recently have a problem with an American Crafts binder. It fell apart and she looked into the reason this could have happened. For the life of me I can't remember if she told me this - turns out it's best if you use the same manufacturer for both the album and the page protectors. If you choose not to stay with the same manufacturer it can cause problems with the structural integrity of the binder.  Which immediately got me thinking...maybe I should make a switch. I will never switch from the binder style - but have been feeling a pull toward We R Memory Keepers. I like their variety in both album styles and page protectors. So much fun...and then I found this...

We R Memory Keepers Designer Albums: Wall Flower
I was immediately in album heaven!  For quite some time - I've been considering adding another category to my albums.  I subscribe to the Library of Memories system from the legendary Stacy Julian.  I learned about the system from her book - Photo Freedom.  I use the categories prescribed in the book: All About Me; People I Love; Places I Go; and Things I Do.  There's just one little problem with the categories and my single scrappy status.  Things I do and All About Me can be merged.  I'm still working with the four category system trying to figure out what makes sense for me.  One thing I know for sure - I need a New Pages album.  I have commitment issues.  I don't like to put my new pages (over the last 6-12 months) in their category album after they're completed.  Something just feels wrong about it.  I want a nice place to keep them until I'm ready to make the switch.  For a girl that loves teal, the Wall Flower Album is a perfect, beautiful solution!

Anyhoo...just for good measure, I thought I'd present the four beauties I'm considering for my current categories.  Please note: all images can be found here.

Linen Albums (12x12 Ring): Aquamarine 
Linen Albums (12x12 Ring): Key Lime
Linen Albums (12x12 Ring): Dijon

Linen Albums (12x12 Ring): Hazelnut
Remember how I mentioned those wonderful page protectors?  Aren't they just lovely?

We R Memory Keepers - Page Protectors Multi-Pack (12x12 Ring)
I'm totally ready to make the jump.  Damn the cost, time, headache of transferring all my layouts, and the health of my hands - I must have these new albums.  Rational it is not - but I'm completely in.  I'm ready to have a place to keep layouts with multiple photos of an event.  I'm not a cropper.  I don't buy photos from websites with non-standard sizes.  I'm a traditional 4x6 girl.  I can't wait to try something new.  So that's it for now - this girl is ready for a major change.  Now if only the money would appear...Hope everyone has a great Tuesday.  Until then...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mixed Media Mania

I've wanted to make the jump to mixed-media - art journaling, collage, etc. - for quite some time.  Unfortunately, I've been gripped by the fear of failure, inadequacy, and my complete inability to draw an even satisfactory stick person.  Despite these fears - I have been unable to shake this drive to create something with paint, stencils, and all kinds of other lovely products.  So - I took a big leap and signed up for Christy Tomlinson's She Art Workshop.  She has a great deal going on right now.  She's starting a new She Art Workshop and is offering both 1 & 2 for $70.  I've been on the first site for a few weeks and I need to get my rear in gear.  So I thought I'd start my new posts with a list of my favorite mixed media blogs and series.

Fun Mixed Media Finds

Well - it's getting late.  I would normally be sleeping right now.  However - I think I'm going to lose myself in a book or good television show for a bit.  I hope everyone has had a nice Monday.  Until then...

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I went crazy when I first heard about these little ditties.  I just had to have one.  When the release date kept on getting pushed back - I thought I was going to lose my mind and then they just showed up one day in my local chain store.  And you know what - I just had to have it.  This one to be exact.

Doodle SMASH Folio: Source Image
I had a really hard time choosing the right smash book for me.  I'm not a huge fan of vintage images.  Don't get me wrong - I think the images are beautiful and work for a wide array of buyers - just not me.  So I went with the doodle version - despite being attracted to the patterns of some of the folios with vintage images.   In the end I was so stoked about the whole thing I got a few more things for good measure.

Like this SMASH Tape: Source Image 
Smash Bands: Source Image

Date SMASH Stamp: Source Image

I got some pockets as well to have a place for all my fantastic memorabilia.  And I have done absolutely nothing with it since.  Okay not nothing - I think I might have glued in a movie ticket and wrote a few things - but not much.  So I'm a little down this weekend (which could be the understatement of the last few months) and I see something wonderful and my first thought is... why the eff can't I smash like this?  Or - why aren't I inventive or brave enough to attempt to use my SMASH book as a friggin' art journal like this?  OR why can't I even remember to go to the SMASH blog for inspiration? There they are - those old negative tapes playing again and I'm suddenly in a free fall about my worth as a crafter.  I'm wondering if I'll ever make the transition to mixed media artist.  How is it even possible when I won't give up my need for perfection? It seems to me - that to be SMASHING, you must let go of the need for perfection - of having everything it's in it's perfect linear place.  And that's just not me - I can't seem to let go.  Or maybe - it's because I'm not building the kind of life I dream of and - frankly - effing deserve!  It's like the old stuff just keeps catching back up with me.  I know that this thing ebbs and flows - but I wish there was an easier way to learn to stop holding the reins so tight - to be a little less of this obsessive, "sad girl" version of me.

So I leave you with this - be SMASHING?  Let go of all your preconceived notions of what a crafter is supposed to be - of who you're supposed to be.  In the end the only thing that will matter is that you were true to that little voice inside you encouraging you to create, try something new, to be something different.  Be brave!  At least be braver than I am.  And if you get a chance - throw a little bravery/courage to this girl over here because I need it desperately.  Just get SMASHed! Have a great Sunday everyone.  For those of you wondering what I'm talking about - watch the video - the simplicity and beauty of all things SMASHing will wash over you and give you some crafting hope.  Okay - I might be overdoing it - but the video is pretty great.  It made this girl want her very own SMASH book pretty bad - now if I could only move on my creating my SMASHing life!  Until then...

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