Monday, December 31, 2012

Wrapping Up 2012

Today, I am wrapping up the year 2012.

I am thinking about what happened throughout the past twelve months. I am remembering Daniel and I celebrating the 10 years we've been married. I am remembering a lovely celebration we had for Mom, who turned 80 this year.

Those were probably the two most significant memories of 2012 for me, though there are many other memories I carry into the New Year.

As 2012 becomes history, I am thinking of what goals to set, what intentions to declare, for 2013.

Already, I selected my One Little Word of the year, which is writing, and today I've been listing specifics for that word.

I am declaring my intention to write, even if it's a few sentences, every day.

Every. Single. Day.

And I'm setting up a structure to promote that success.

I've also set up twelve topics related to writing to focus on, one per month, and I've signed up for Ali Edwards' One Little Word class over at Big Picture Classes.

Over and over again, I've said writing matters to me, and in 2013, I'm going to direct my focus toward breathing new life into the part of me that's always been, unequivocally, a writer at heart.

That doesn't mean other things won't still be a part of my life--like scrapbooking--but my attention needs to be and will be more on writing than anything else.

Because it matters to me. Because I matter.

Those are words with power.

I'm also planning to read a bit more for pleasure in the New Year. I am committing to reading a writing book and a fiction book each month. 24 books in one year probably doesn't sound like a lot, but for me, it's a lofty goal, though I think I can manage it.

I've also signed up for Cathy Zielske's wellness class at Big Picture Classes, called Move More, Eat Well. The health issues I face have been neglected in the persistent wake of high levels of stress, and I know that I can do better. Having a community and tasks and--this word again--focus on a clear intention will definitely improve those lab results, as well as how I feel day-to-day.

So as I wave goodbye to a year that was challenging and creative and trying and disappointing, as I celebrate the end of 2012 and the launch of 2013, I say, bring on the New Year.

Life is as good as we make it.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry and Bright

May you focus on all the things that bring light to your life.

May you be surrounded by people you love and filled with the happiest memories.

May your days be merry and bright.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Journal Your Christmas - Page One

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, especially being a bit behind in my holiday preparations as I recovered from a wisdom tooth extraction, I finally had the chance to get started on my pages for Journal Your Christmas, the class Shimelle Laine offers every year.

Here is page one:

Not the best photo, but the best I could do, given the pervasive gloom.

Except for the letter stickers, the supplies are all leftover from last year's holiday-themed stash. I used a full sheet of transparency so that the page behind would show through. I love that effect, and I love all those red deer evoking, for me, the origins of the holiday.

The rest of the album is coming together slowly. I'll be sharing more as I complete pages and find time to take photos.

Today is the first day of my 12 Days of Winter project, so there will be things to share from that, as well.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Time Flies

That old saying, "time flies when you're having fun" is only partly true.

Time flies. Whether you're having fun or not.

On November 27th, I had a wisdom tooth extracted, and while it could've been much, much worse, it was distinctly unpleasant, especially when I got, as the oral surgeon put it, "a little bit of dry socket."

The past three weeks, my focus has been on healing and taking care of myself and trying to get the holidays off the ground. Meanwhile, my blog has been neglected, in part because the winter gloom in my neck of the woods, even without any sign of snow, remains pervasive, and I can't take good photos to share without at least a little natural light.

It's hard to believe that it's only about a week until Christmas.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

One Little Word - 2013

For the past several years, I've chosen a word of the year, inspired by Ali Edwards. I've had joy, organization, and focus in the past, and last year I took Ali's class at Big Picture Classes with the word solace.

This year, I didn't take the class again, but I used the materials from the previous year as a jumping off point to explore the word I chose--time--on my own with a few little changes to make it mine. One thing I added was a self-interview, which I did in June as a halfway-point check-in, repeated today for the end-of-year wrap-up, a little early.

As I have been completing the prompts for December, I started thinking about what my word for 2013 might be. One thing that has come up repeatedly in the two years I've been doing the class Ali designed  is how important writing is to me, how it soothes me, gives me space to be totally and authentically myself, how it's where I run when I need to vent, how it makes me happy.

And this year, how I never seem to have enough time for it.

So...for 2013, I have chosen writing as my word of the year. I'm not sure if I'll be working with the One Little Word course materials from the past two years; I think Ali's planning on a new One Little Word class with new materials, so I might do that.

But I've also got some of my own ideas of how to explore and pursue writing and make it more a part of my every day.

There were other words I considered, but when I thought of writing, it felt...well...right.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Welcome, December

Welcome, hustle and bustle, busy-busy-busy, go-go-go.

Welcome, sparkle and bright and glitter and bows.

Welcome, quiet moments to reflect on Christmases past.

Welcome, fond memories of loved ones, far away, near, and departed.

Welcome, celebration and libations!

Welcome, shopping, long times waiting in line. Welcome, smiles and greetings from strangers, all of us in the same boat.

Welcome, inspiration: the perfect gift! Welcome, surprises left by the postal carrier.

Welcome, excitement...anticipation. Welcome, warmth and happiness and a little dose of melancholy for what used to be.

Welcome, triumphant music and jingle bells and laughter and love.

Welcome, cookies and yummies and tasty traditions.

Welcome, chilly days and frosty nights and--hopefully--snow.

Welcome, stories--the ones we tell every year, the ones we know by heart, the ones we see and hear.

Welcome, brand new memories to carry into holiday seasons to come.

Welcome, joy.

Welcome, the closing chapter of another year. Welcome, new beginnings.

Yes...welcome, December.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Favorite Photos - November 2012

I love this photo because of how those plants catch the sunlight. It was also taken during a walk Daniel and I took, just the two of us, at a local park, and being with Daniel always makes me happy.

This photo is from the same day, and I like how there's just a bit of sunlight peeking through.

And one more from that same walk. I snapped a shot of this oak tree, the only one that still had leaves.

I think that brussels sprout and how they grow is nifty.

And me and my love...on Thanksgiving day.

And our table, all that delicious food.

The first snow on the last of the autumn leaves.

And this one of my journal, I just like.

30 in 30 Thankfully - Thirty

I am thankful for our house...especially this spot.

It wasn't all that long ago that I was crammed into a small space in a different room and felt cramped, no room to move, no place to put anything.

Having this spot that is all mine, especially when we share our home with other people, means a lot.


And so concludes 30 in 30 Thankfully. November has been a difficult month. I had no idea when it began how much I would need to focus on what's good in my life to stay sane.

I really am so very thankful.

30 in 30 Thankfully - Twenty-Nine

I am thankful for writing.

Even though it regularly takes a back seat to everything else...

Even though I rarely make time to write much more than journaling...

Even though I have not made it a priority, nor have I accomplished any of the writing goals I wanted to meet this year...

Writing is always there for me.

A haven.


A place to relax and be authentically me.

30 in 30 Thankfully - Twenty-Eight

I am thankful for scrapbooking.

Yes, it's a hobby, but it has influenced me to think differently about how I spend the time I have.

And it's made me better at recording the moments that make up my life, documenting them, preserving them for the future.

Scrapbooking has brought people into my life I wouldn't have otherwise known, good people who make life sweeter.

It gives me a way to express myself creatively, which makes me a much happier person.

30 in 30 Thankfully - Twenty-Seven

I am thankful for modern dentistry and good medications.

In addition to everything else going on in November, I had to have a wisdom tooth extracted. Thankfully, the oral surgeon was very good at what he does, and it took only about a half hour.

The healing will take much longer than that, but the good medications help. A lot.

30 in 30 Thankfully - Twenty-Six

I am thankful for my computer.

Oh, how that little machine connects me to the world!

All of the things it does, all of the information, including photos, I store on it, all the daily tasks I couldn't do nearly as easily without it, make it a part of my world I'm really, really grateful for.

(That it's a Mac, and I don't have to deal with blue screen of death, makes it even better!)

30 in 30 Thankfully - Twenty-Five

I am thankful for books.

And the ability to read.

There are so many books on those shelves that I've read and have taught me or entertained me. There are so many books on those shelves that I still want to read, plan to read, and that is wealth, indeed.

30 in 30 Thankfully - Twenty-Four

I am thankful for my iPhone.

I admit, when it was time to get new phones, I wasn't sure I needed "that much phone."

But I'm glad I chose to get that helpful little gadget because it makes my life easier in a dozen different ways, and I'm sure I could use even more of its capabilities if I took the time to learn how.

30 in 30 Scrapbooking - November 2012 - Number 30

Happy Holidays 3

Supplies: Card stock by Stampin' Up! Ribbon by JoAnn. All other supplies by Echo Park Paper.

And last, another simple, pretty card with that lovely red ribbon. For this one, I cut the sentiment from a piece of patterned paper and adhered it with pop dots for dimension.

That concludes 30 in 30 Scrapbooking - November 2012. In spite of the turbulent month it was for my family, I enjoyed the paper-crafting, and I'm looking forward to April 2013 and all the inspiration and fun it will bring.

30 in 30 Scrapbooking - November 2012 - Number 29

Season's Greetings

Supplies: Card stock by Stampin' Up! Ribbon by JoAnn. All other supplies by Echo Park Paper.

From the leftovers of the other Echo Park Paper collection from last year, I put together two cards, very similar, both simple but elegant. I love that bright red, and the way the greens compliment it.

30 in 30 Scrapbooking - November 2012 - Number 28

Santa Postage

Supplies: Card stock and red marker by Stampin' Up! All other supplies by October Afternoon.

This one's almost too simple for me, but I went with it, adding some faux stitching with a red marker. I do love that holly patterned paper from last year's October Afternoon holiday collection. I still have a lot of it left, so it's going to show up on this year's projects along with some of the new collection.

30 in 30 Scrapbooking - November 2012 - Number 27

'Tis the Season

Supplies: Card stock by Core'dinations. Twine by Doodlebug Designs. All other supplies by Echo Park Paper.

Isn't that the cutest Santa? I love it, and I love the way this card came together with some sticker remnants and patterned papers. Again, easy-peasy and oh-so-cute!

30 in 30 Scrapbooking - November 2012 - Number 26

Merry Christmas

Supplies: Card stock by Core'dinations. Twine by Doodlebug Designs. All other supplies by Echo Park Paper.

This one's probably my favorite, mostly because I totally dig that plaid paper! I know I could have embellished a little more, maybe some glitter, a little gem or two, but I really like the simplicity.

30 in 30 Scrapbooking - November 2012 - Number 25

Happy Holidays 2

Supplies: Card stock by Core'dinations. Twine by Doodlebug Designs. All other supplies by Echo Park Paper.

For this one, I used a border strip and a border sticker and popped the snowman up for dimension. Even though that teal-ish color's not my favorite, I like this card.

30 in 30 Scrapbooking - November 2012 - Number 24

Happy Holidays

Supplies: Card stock by Core'dinations. Twine by Doodlebug Designs. All other supplies by Echo Park Paper.

Another simple one, but this time, I cut the ornament out of a scrap of the same background patterned paper and added a punched circle, topped by a sticker. Easy, quick and cute. :)

30 in 30 Scrapbooking - November 2012 - Number 23

Holly Jolly Christmas

Supplies: Card stock by Core'dinations. All other supplies by Echo Park Paper.

Switching focus to holiday cards for the last few projects of 30 in 30 Scrapbooking - November, 2012, I cruised through last year's holiday-themed supplies and found some great bits and pieces to use in putting together some simple, cute cards that make me smile, like this one using just a couple stickers and a patterned paper background. I did add a little dimension by adhering the bigger sticker with Stampin' Dimensionals by Stampin' Up!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

30 in 30 Scrapbooking - November 2012 - Number 22

Christmas Magic

Supplies: Blue card stock and border punch by Stampin' Up! White card stock by Core'dinations. Patterned paper by Bo Bunny and unknown manufacturer. Letter stickers by Making Memories and American Crafts. Paint by Adirondack. Stamp by Hero Arts. Brads by Martha Stewart. Stickers by Recollections. Plastic snowflakes by Creative Impressions. Felt snowflake, unknown manufacturer.

Another page that came together quickly and easily, and I used another of my favorite techniques, stamping with paint to add a little shimmer to the white space. The silver patterned paper was given to me by a nice woman cropping at one of the local scrapbook stores at the same time I was, and I finally found a use for it.

Just eight more projects to go to complete 30 in 30 Scrapbooking - November 2012, and less than two days to do it!

Think I can make it?

30 in 30 Scrapbooking - November 2012 - Number 21

Beauty of Fall

Supplies: Card stock by Recollections. Patterned paper by various companies, including Daisy D's, Bella Blvd., Basic Grey, K&Company, October Afternoon, and unknown manufacturers. Stickers by Bo Bunny, My Mind's Eye, and Jolee's. Stamp by Technique Tuesday for Ali Edwards. Ink by Ranger and Versa Magic. Brads, unknown manufacturer. Spray ink by Mr. Huey. Tape by Queen & Company.

Another foray into the scrap basket for papers, and I like this result even better than the last. The background is very old Daisy D's paper I've had for several years, and I love how it provided a good base to build this layout upon. I also got to use some of my favorite K&Company paper from awhile back, including just a hint of leaves.

And I always enjoy scrapbooking fall...

30 in 30 Scrapbooking - November 2012 - Number 20

Daddy's Little Girl

Supplies: Card stock and photo corners by Recollections. Lined patterned paper and sentiment sticker by Echo Park Paper. Big green letter stickers by Bella Blvd. Small letter stickers and jouranling spots by Jilliebean Soup. Buttons by My Mind's Eye. Camera circle and brown heart stickers by Pink Paislee. Puffy camera and heart stickers and twine by American Crafts. Dimensional sticker by Girls Paperie. Pearls by Doodelbug Designs and Queen & Company. Ribbon, unknown manufacturer. Spray ink by Glimmer Mist. All other supplies from Basic Grey.

Really pretty papers from Basic Grey proved the perfect background for this photo of my niece and her Daddy. Some of the pieces are extras from a page kit, and some of the patterned paper pieces are from a box full of goodies given to me by sister scrappin' babe, April. Just gotta love all that green! :)

30 in 30 Scrapbooking - November 2012 - Number 19

Happy Birthday, Mom 2000

Supplies: Card stock by Bazzill. Patterned paper, journaling spot, and small letter stickers by Jilliebean Soup. Large letter stickers by Pink Paislee. Buttons by Crate Paper and Doodlebug Designs. Pearls by Doodlebug Designs. Flowers by Heidi Swapp.

Again I went with simple for this page, using 6x6 papers from Jilliebean Soup that coordinated well with the colors in the photo. These are also older photos I'm very happy to get scrapbooked.

30 in 30 Scrapbooking - November 2012 - Number 18

Ready to Go

Supplies: Patterned paper by Tim and Beck for Studio Calico, My Mind's Eye, and LilyBee. Letter stickers by American Crafts, Studio Calico, Basic Grey, and Crate Paper. Buttons, large butterfly and circle chipboard sticker by My Mind's Eye. Twine by American Crafts. Spray ink by October Afternoon. Word sticker by Crate Paper. Ticket by American Crafts. Small wooden butterflies, unknown manufacturer (from kits). Butterfly punch by EK Success.

For this page, I used a sketch by Shimelle Laine for a 4x6 photo and adapted it to fit my 5x7 photo. Again, I went to the scrap basket and just chose pieces I thought would work together, starting with the butterfly pattern, just because I like it so much.

30 in 30 Scrapbooking - November 2012 - Number 17

Little Lady Bug

Supplies: Card stock by Stampin' Up! Patterned paper by Making Memories, Scenic Route, Simple Stories, Basic Grey and unknown manufacturers. Letter stickers by Making Memories, October Afternoon, and American Crafts. Ink by VersaMagic. Gems by Me & My Big Ideas. Pearls by Doodlebug Designs. Stickers by October Afternoon, K&Company, and unknown manufacturer. Spray ink by Glimmer Mist.

This page is the result of following a suggestion by Shimelle Laine as part of her Scrapbook Remix class. I decided on a color scheme, basically brown, then went through the scrap basket to find any patterned paper I thought would work. Red quickly became part of the scheme, especially because of the patterned papers that contained both red and brown, scraps from an old, beloved Scenic Route collection. Since the background I chose was a little brighter than the rest of the papers, I toned it down with spray ink. I kinda dig using the bingo card for the date.

30 in 30 Scrapbooking - November 2012 - Number 16

Visiting Horses

Supplies: Patterned paper and stickers by Echo Park Paper. Letter stickers by October Afternoon and Basic Grey. Ink by Versa Magic. Buttons by La Mode. Brads and metal flowers by Tim Holtz. Spray ink by Glimmer Mist. Ribbon, unknown manufacturer.

I love when I can get older photos onto a scrapbook pages, and I love when I find supplies that work so well with those photos, like I did here. One of my favorite techniques is to color card stock letter stickers, like these from Basic Grey, to match the color scheme I'm using. Also, I like getting those scenic buttons on the page.

30 in 30 Scrapbooking - November 2012 - Number 15

Baby Tree

Supplies: Card stock by Recollections. Letter stickers by Pink Paislee and American Crafts. Ink by VersaMagic, Brads by O'Scrap. All other supplies by Crate Paper.

Again, I went with simple for this page. Although the patterned paper, die cuts, and stickers are from a collection with an autumn-ish theme, and this photo has nothing to do with that season, I liked the way the colors worked, and that background paper says summer to me with all those flowers. A bit of layering for this page, inspired by the class I've been talking about, Scrapbook Remix, by Shimelle Laine.

30 in 30 Scrapbooking - November 2012 - Number 14

Treasured Moment

Supplies: Card stock by Core'dinations. Patterned paper by Deja Views. Red and sheer flowers by K&Company. Letter stickers by American Crafts and Jilliebean Soup. Green button by K&Company. Red buttons, unknown manufacturer. Border punch by Fiskars. Butterflies by Little Yellow Bicycle. Word sticker by KI Memories. Blue polka dot ribbon, leaves and felt rose by Precocious Paper. Pink ribbon, unknown manufacturer. Twine by Doodlebug. Vellum bag from Studio Calico kit. Doily, unknown manufacturer.

One of my favorite photos, ever. That's my sweet Dad with my niece Olivia, and it makes me happy every time I look at it.

I simply love this layout, such a mix of old and new. The background patterned papers have been in my stash for several years. I bought both not long after I first started scrapbooking, and I'm glad I did because they were the perfect match for this photo that includes a lot of the same colors. The butterflies, the word sticker, cut to extend to the top of the page, everything really came together and worked well for this layout.

I love when that happens. :)

30 in 30 Scrapbooking - November 2012 - Number 13


Supplies: Card stock and photo corners by Recollections. Patterned paper and small letter stickers by Jilliebean Soup. Large letter stickers by American Crafts. Pearls by Doodlebug. Punch by Stampin' Up!

Simple remains my favorite style, and I used some new 6x6 paper I bought at the Black Friday sale, which started last Monday, for this simple layout.

30 in 30 Scrapbooking - November 2012 - Number 12

New 'Do

Supplies: Card stock by Recollections. Patterned paper, stickers and die cuts by Basic Grey. Gems by Heidi Swapp and K&Company. Glitter by Studio G and Stickles. Other supplies, unknown.

Feels so good to finally be blogging again! I've been scrappin' up a storm, but I've had to wait for the seemingly eternal gloom to clear to get photos, as well as a day that I had time and opportunity to upload those pictures.

Today's the day!

This page started with the center portion, which was an 8x8 make-n-take at Archivers, probably over two years ago. I trimmed the block to make it work, and since I had some remnants of the same Basic Grey collection in my stash, I was able to put together a coordinating, fun page to highlight this photo of my niece Olivia with a new haircut.

Lately, my scrapbook layouts are inspired by the class I took from Shimelle Laine called Scrapbook Remix, and I'm really digging the results.

More to come...

Monday, November 26, 2012

30 in 30 Scrapbooking - November 2012 - Number 11

Photo Shoot

Supplies: Card stock by Core'dinations and Recollections. Small letter stickers and word sticker by Simple Stories. Ink by Ranger. Gems by Studio 112. Pearl by Doodlebug Designs. Buttons by DCWV and unknown manufacturer. All other supplies by American Crafts.

Most of the supplies on this page are from Dear Lizzy, though the camera stamp is from an older collection. I scraplifted the basic design from a page published in Scrapbooks, Etc. in June of this year by Kimberly Neddo, but I changed things around a bit and added my own flair, of course.

I have several more layouts completed and ready to share, but the gloom has been pervasive these past few days as I have been devoting a lot of time to creating. Here's hoping the sun makes an appearance today, so I can take some pictures of all these pages and get them posted!

30 in 30 Scrapbooking - November 2012 - Number 10

My 1st Real Job

Supplies: Cardstock by Core'dinations. Letter stickers by American Crafts and October Afternoon. Ink by Tim Holtz Distress. Brads by JoAnn. Photo corners by Recollections. All other supplies by Echo Park Paper.

That Note to Self collection by Echo Park was just the perfect match for this photo and story about my first real job, working in an office. I like how it all works together, even the staples as accents. I wish it were a better photo, but it's the only one I have, and the story was meaningful to me.

Now, it's documented.

On to number 11...

30 in 30 Thankfully - Twenty-Three

I am thankful for snow.

Like this.

A surprise on a cold November morning, with hope there will be more on mornings to come.

30 in 30 Thankfully - Twenty-Two

I am thankful for time and opportunity to shop at my favorite scrapbook store on Black Friday. I didn't spend much, but I found a couple lovely things for a good price and spent quiet moments browsing all the pretties.

30 in 30 Thankfully - Twenty-One

I am thankful for days like this. Cold and cloudy, blustery. A few snow flurries, the promise of winter to come...

30 in 30 Thankfully - Twenty

I am thankful that my nephew is doing so well, that he was able to get out of a toxic environment and start living a good life for himself.

I'm also thankful that he gets to have a relationship with his grandmother. They laugh together sometimes, sharing a bit of conversation, just the two of them, and that makes me smile.

30 in 30 Thankfully - Nineteen

I am thankful for Thanksgiving turkey, cooking in the crockpot.

Oh, yum.

30 in 30 Thankfully - Eighteen

I am thankful for this note my husband left for me after he'd set a fresh pot of coffee ready to brew when I dragged myself out of bed and needed the daily fix of caffeine.

He is the most thoughtful, caring person I know.

Did I mention how lucky I am?

30 in 30 Thankfully - Seventeen

I am thankful for Trader Joe's, where I can see fascinating things like how brussels sprouts grow and find delectable treats. I should go there more often.

30 in 30 Thankfully - Sixteen

I am thankful for my camera.

I've had it almost two years, now. It was a Christmas present from Daniel, and it is always close by, ready to capture a piece of my story.

30 in 30 Thankfully - Fifteen

I am thankful for this lunch my sweet husband made for me on a day that I needed to be taken care of.

He does that often.

And it makes me feel precious.