Sunday, April 20, 2014

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Geeks and Nerds and Dweebs and Dorks

For the past month on the Crate Paper blog, one of the themes has been "Nerd Love," which may seem like a simple concept, but around here, as I worked on my layouts, it inspired a debate about terminology. What is a nerd, really? My daughter claimed it had something to do with academic intelligence.  My husband agreed, but added that social awkwardness might be part of it. No, I said, I think that's a dweeb. Or maybe a dork. I just kept thinking about 1980's movies depictions of bespectacled students who lacked social graces -- were they misnamed "nerds"?  Were they in some other category altogether?

My daughter then refereed me to the following diagram:
Source: Nerdist (2010)

This did not quite settle the debate, but it helped me to use the term "geek" with a bit more certainty on the following layout:
She doesn't actually dress like this. She wears the shirt often, but the ensemble was actually her Halloween costume from this past year. 
The "Boys Rule" collection from Crate Paper was a perfect fit for this page. 
Following the pattern on the paper, I arranged clusters of my daughter's "obsessions" (a geek trait, apparently) in a circle.
The second layout embraces our family's shared nerdiness, by focusing on a holiday that we deem worth celebrating every year: 
I used the Style Board line here, mixed with more of the Boys Rule line, and created a misted "pi" background by die-cutting a bunch of pi symbols of varying sizes, and using the die-cut sheet as a mask.
Whether you call it nerd love or geek love or dweeb love or dork love, it's all good. 

Thanks for visiting today! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

I Never Thought I'd Use This Word on a Layout

There are so many possibilities for the kinds of layouts that can be created with the April kits from JBS Mercantile, as evidenced in the DT gallery. The Papercrafting Kit, for instance, contains a bunch of bright and colorful papers, perfect for a springtime layout. So of course I created a layout with the word "CORPSE" in the title.

That may appear to be a non sequitur, but it applies to the spring, since the corpse in question is a corpse flower:
Titan anum, or the endangered "corpse flower," blooms every three to five years for only 24 hours. One morning, when the news reported that the corpse flower at Foster Botanical Garden would likely be blooming that evening, Z and I raced there after school, only to discover that the flower had not started opening just yet. Of course I took a bunch of photos anyway.

So what's the big deal with this flower?  Well, not only is it one of the largest flowers in the world, but when it blooms, it smells like -- you guessed it -- a corpse. Some have compared the smell to rotting fish guts.

When Z and I realized that we would be walking away from the site without knowing what a corpse smells like, we were a little disappointed but, admittedly, relieved. I'm not sure I want that smell in my sense memory!
The second layout that I created with the kits is more in line with bright and airy (non-fish guts smelly) subjects.  Well, sometimes she's smelly...but she's mostly just cute.
I snapped a few photos of Mazie in her four trademark postures and her four most frequented locales around the house.
I am by no means an expert bow-tier, but I so love the look of a bow on a layout.

I'm off to attend to the furkid. She's in her fifth most common locale and posture -- throwing herself against the door to let us know she wants in.  Charming.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Still Here. Mostly.

Whoa. I am now in the midst of a landslide of days and deadlines, which shows no signs of ceasing, though it will relent come summertime.  You guessed it -- it's the fourth quarter, and we're down to about six weeks left of school. The seniors gasp every time I erase another day from the countdown on my board. The "carpe diem" concept was endearing when we studied Herrick earlier this year, but back then, the sun was still rising; now they feel it setting, as do I.  It's a bittersweet time.  They're trying to hold on and let go.

I've been stealing moments here and there -- and they are quite rare these days -- to work on layouts, and I've been finding that my nostalgia has been finding its way onto my pages.  Case in point: my latest layout for Two Peas in a Bucket goes all the way back in utero. 
This month's Garden theme is milestones, and this week's "Moments" focus had me thinking back to one of the defining moments of my life -- seeing these ultrasound photos of my daughter. Even though I have scrapbooked these photos already (in an album about my pregnancy and my daughter's first year), returning to them all these years later has made me see them from a different perspective. 

This goes to show that there is more to scrapbooking than just getting something scrapped and checking it off a list -- "done."  We will never be caught up. We can return to our memories over and over, and each time we revisit them, we are someone different.  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Lately(ing)

Lately I have been

...wondering why my favorite radio station is insisting on playing the song "Pompeii" to the point of destruction (bad joke, I know) instead of recognizing that there is more than one Bastille song to be found. Yesterday, one of the DJs played "Flaws" and then commented that he didn't think that the song would "make it." Piss. Me. Off.

...realizing that a layout can be about a person without actually including that person on the page, as is the case with this page that I created for Two Peas in a Bucket, featuring the objects that play a role in  my daughter's everyday activities and routines:
...finishing a unit on Pride and Prejudice with my students. I never -- ever -- get tired of watching the Keira Knightley movie version with them. One class actually started wailing and screaming when the bell to end class rang one day, interrupting Darcy's (first) proposal to Elizabeth.  Hilarious.

...searching for books that might make good additions to the curriculum next year. I feel like the English teacher version of Diogenes, searching for one suitable book.  I am most definitely a free speech supporter, but that does not mean that I want to be guiding a group of students in navigating page after page of explicit sex scenes and coarse expletives that do not contribute much to the value of the text. What is it about modern fiction and its need to drop the f-bomb so casually? Is it an attempt to be realistic, or is it just overkill? I understand it in texts like The Things They Carried, where it actually becomes an apt word choice: "They used a hard vocabulary to contain the terrible softness." The repeated use of the word makes sense within the context of the narrative. It actually contributes to the power of the text. I just don't think that most writers who include expletives and explicit sex scenes in their writing in this day and age are particularly thoughtful about doing so. Sometimes these words and these scenes are just there, clunky, obvious, gratuitous, actually detracting from the power of a text.  It's frustrating.

...cooking at home again. It's been a busy past couple of months, and I will admit, we have eaten out way more than we should have been doing. It is such a challenge to find time to prepare meals when life gets hectic, but this week, we have been making more of a concerted effort to get back on track, even if that means eating later than usual. Tonight my husband cooked -- whoa. He made chicken scampi.  I have been told that every man has a "go to" meal, one meal (and only one, apparently) that he is able to cook to impress others, and this is Rob's. It's great stuff, and so light!  Don't let the "scampi" aspect fool you -- there is no butter in the dish, just a bit of olive oil used to sauté the vegetables and chicken. Good stuff.

...still recovering from junior prom weekend.  It was a whirlwind of hairspray, satin, giggling, sleepovers, and brunch.  I documented a bit of it in my most recent Two Peas in a Bucket "Storytellers" video.
...shivering! We have been having some chilly, windy, and rainy weather around here for the past few days. As I write this, my hands are like ice.  Is frostbite possible in Hawaii?

...watching How I Met Your Mother. We came to the series in its ninth year, just a few months ago, and we're almost caught up! We've been doing our best to avoid spoilers over the past few days, since the series ended on March 31 with what appears to have been a very irritating final episode for many fans, but we won't find out the source of that irritation for another few days. We have just five episodes left!  I'll miss these characters when I'm no longer spending quality TV time with them.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Already?

I'm pretty sure that just a few days ago, it was still February. Yesterday, it was March. How can it be April already?  Whoa.  

A new month means a new kit from JBS Mercantile, and this month's kits are perfectly suited for spring. The papercrafting kit's wood veneer clouds and raindrop stencil and cut file celebrate April showers. 
I combined items from the papercrafting kit and the antiquarian kit to create a layout about my feisty little kitty. 
I am crazy about the antiquarian kit this month. Just look. 
Isn't it hoardworthy?  I'm still stunned that I was able to get myself to actually use some of these gems on a layout. The antiquarian kits always make my hoarding impulses surface. There is a ticket stub from 1913 in there.  Mostly I've just spent a lot of time holding it and staring at it, mouth agape. 

I can't wait to dive back into the kits this weekend. Stay tuned for the mid-month gallery reveal on the 15th. In the meantime, check out the current gallery at JBS Mercantile -- it's full of terrifically inspiring layouts! You need to see what Doris Sander did with triangles, what Corrie Jones did with the layers on her pages, and what Lisa Dickinson did with the papers that she, that ninja, designed. 

Thanks for stopping by today!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Calvinball: The End.

As a runner moves ever closer to the finish line, she often encounters the Wall, a psychological block that can only be overcome by drawing on her dwindling reserves of persistence and mental strength. If she pushes through, she will cross that finish line.

A runner I am not.

Heck, I can't even play a decent month's worth of Calvinball from the chair at my desk!  I hit that wall pretty quickly after launching myself into the race, as this, that, and the other thing happened all at once (and don't forget about that other thing and then the thing after that), and then BOOM -- March 31st arrived. Race over!

Still, I had low expectations, so the fact that I made some progress is worth celebrating. Didn't I tell you that I am more tortoise than hare?

Here are my Calvinball totals for the month:
  • Layouts completed since March 1: 13 (13 points) 
  • Mini-album pages completed since March 1:  24 (12 points)
Actually, that's kind of a lot for me. That's a CRAZY lot for me.  Yay tortoise!

And there's more! Bonus points:
  • Plugging Calvinball (1 point) 
  • Blogging Calvinball updates (2 points) 
  • Taking the style quiz and posting the results (1 point)


  • Learning a new tool, medium, or technique (1 point)
  • Sorting and organizing a section of your scrap area (1 point)
  • Dressing you or others to match papers you will scrap with (1 point)
  • Not being intimidated by Calvinball guru Celeste (1 point)
  • Okay, that's a lie (-1 point)
  • Monochromatic green layout (1 point)
  • Organizing and photographing a still life scene for a layout (1 point)
  • Scrapbook with a product the first day you buy it (1 point)
  • Scrapbook a photo the same day you take it (1 point)
  • Using a really old tool (1 point)
  • Having your child scrapbook with you (1 point)
  • Use vintage on a page (1 point)
  • Scrappy care package for a friend (1 point)
So there you have it: a grand total of 40 points. I can live with that. Until next year, Calvinball.