Monday, June 30, 2008

I Love This Little Book

...because it feels "real" to me; it feels like me. When I'm adding pages to it, I don't worry about whether what I'm adding "looks right" or "sounds right." I put it together using the same mindset that I urge my students to adopt when they freewrite: (1) Don't look back, (2) Don't censor, and (3) Keep writing. Freescrapping. Like freewriting, each page is generated in minutes. What a concept.

I owe each and every page in this book to Elise Blaha, whose weekly Paper Adventure 08 challenges I've been following since they started back in January, just a few days after I made a scrapper's resolution to play around more often with minibooks. Week after week, and page by page, it is coming together, and in the process, I get a creative release even during the busiest of weeks, when I can't devote my attention to creating a large layout. It's also great for helping me to use scraps and supplies that sometimes get neglected and for pushing me to repurpose items.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Studio Calico, How I Love Thee...

I'm not sure if it's normal to get this excited over paper, flowers, ribbon, and rub-ons, but I've never claimed to be normal, in any case. One of the highlights of my week has been nabbing two highly coveted add-ons from the July Studio Calico kit. I am seriously giddy over this stuff.

Here's Tokyo...

and here's London.
I can't wait to get my hands on these goodies. Giddy giddy giddy.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Scrap-happy. adj. A term used to describe days when one actually finds the time and makes the space to play with paper and pics, and feels a satisfying "click" during this process.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mixing It Up

For the second "I Inspire Me" challenge, I headed to the kitchen. Summertime is mango season here in Hawaii, and one of my favorite foods to prepare is fresh mango salsa. Good schtuff. For my layout, "Everything," I initially wanted to work with colors similar to those in the salsa, but then I also got the idea to create my own salsa -- paper salsa. That morphed into a kind of paper-and-photo salsa, as I added index prints to the mix. Since salsa combines various ingredients, I decided not to stick to a single event or moment, and combined a bunch of shots of my daughter from the past year.
There are so many things that I love about "I Inspire Me." For one, there's the element of the unpredictable intrinsic to the challenge -- it's about finding that "spark", believing that it is already nearby. It's always a kick to see what that spark ignites. The challenges have also prompted me to start seeing with fresh eyes, to see ideas in everything -- like a laundry basket or a bowl of mango salsa. I'm excited to see what the next round of challenges will bring...and it's pretty freaky to think that I right now I may already be in proximity to the very thing that will inspire that next page.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Wordle Love

Among the links in my long (LONG) list of blog bookmarks, Mary Grace's "Momentary Bliss" offers daily doses of inspiration and links to cool and quirky sites like this one: Wordle. The name is crazy-catchy-cute and the site is a total word playground. I had fun messing with the "create" function this morning, and I know that I will totally be revisiting this wordy little gem of a site more often.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy New Year! Or Something.

Okay, so that's not quite right, since it is, after all, June...

Every so often I'll read threads on Two Peas that pose questions like, "Are You Caught Up?" I have never been a chronological scrapper, nor will I ever be, given how organizationally challenged I am. I don't really think along the lines of "catching up." Catching up to what, exactly? To have zero photos to scrap? To only having recent photos to scrap? Where's the fun in that? I'd rather scrap without an agenda -- I scrap what moves me at the time.

So why this page, why now? I have a few theories. Firstly, I think this Cosmo Cricket paper is embedded with subliminal "scrap me" motivational messages. Read between the circles... Secondly, I've been really, really hungry lately for the dishes shown on this page, so the photos "called" to me. Thirdly, I was in the mood for color, and lots of it. Whatever the reason for passing up the recent beach photos and instead creating this page six months after the photos were taken, I know that one reason that never entered my mind was that I had to create it. Compulsory scrapping? Ick.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Special Delivery

TWINS! They come from the paper-loving hands of Jamaica Edgell, who sells these in her Etsy store. I was lucky enough to snag two of these babies before they disappeared.

They're chock full of little paper surprises. So many colors, so many textures, so many varieties of paper goodness -- I'm playing with one of these books, and just keeping the other one nearby for appreciating.

Here are some of my favorites (just a few):

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Lost in Translation

My husband has a curious habit of channel surfing through public access and foreign language programs. He thinks its hilarious. Sometimes he's right, like tonight: he flipped to a Korean soap opera called -- and I kid you not -- "Mom's Dead Upset." That is the actual title of an actual show:
I'm sure it's just a really bad translation, but it's still a freaking funny title, you must admit.

Korean soaps are pretty big here in Hawaii. My mom really got into one last year. It was called "Sweet Spy," and I think it was about a woman who lived a double life as a spy. Some of my students are hooked on Korean soaps, and share the scoop with each other at recesses. There are ads on the radio for DVDs of these programs. There are even Korean drama clubs here.

The interest isn't just a local phenomenon, apparently. I did a search for "Korean soap operas" while confirming the existence of "Mom's Dead Upset," and found this. The first few bits are pretty funny. If you've ever seen a Korean soap, I think you'll definitely relate. According to Wikipedia, the skit was "supposedly filmed by Korean drama directors."

Apparently the quirky titles come with the territory. I just discovered that there's even one called "1st Shop of Coffee Prince." Love it.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Date Amnesia

Okay, so I'm a little bummed about forgetting to take my camera with me to work this morning. I've been so good for the past five months of "12 on the 12th", which I first read about in Simple Scrapbooks. Susan Keuter, who came up with the idea of taking 12 photos on the 12th of each month, actually sends reminder emails on the 11th to everyone on her list.

Oh, I got the email. I just happened to wake up this morning with date amnesia. By the time I realized it was the 12th, I was way too far to turn around and head home, and way too late for work to snag a disposable camera.

So all day, as photo ops eluded me (and trust me, there were many), I kept kicking myself. Notes on the blackboard. My Jamba Juice. The blue sky being intruded upon by dark rain clouds. Red enchiladas from my favorite Mexican place. Tragic.

Then I got home, clamped my hands on my camera, and...well, let's just say that I was reaching. Photos of the DVD case of the movie I watched this afternoon (The Other Boleyn Girl -- the book was way better) paled in comparison to all the things that passed my lens by today. My husband even felt bad for me in his own snarky way: "Hey, bring the camera to the store with us and you can take pictures of me there. I'll hold a pizza in front of my face." Sure, uh huh. I almost did.

Luckily, my daughter returned home just after nightfall, and boy, did she make my camera happy. She had spent the afternoon at the beach with a friend, and when she got home, she walked into the house laughing. She pointed to her belly, which, under her striped swimsuit, seemed a if she was carrying an extra stomach around.

"It's sand!" she exclaimed.

The bathtub now resembles the beach, and there's hope yet for my 12 on the 12th layout.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Definitely Inspired

Recently, Lana Rappette asked me to join her new blog challenge, "I Inspire Me." I was so flattered when she asked me to join this talented team of twelve, and I had no idea just how much I would get into this challenge. Today the blog was officially "revealed," along with the many eye-poppingly gorgeous pages of its members.

The idea behind "I Inspire Me" is just what the blog title suggests -- we find inspiration in the things that surround us, the objects and patterns and details that are already very much part of the fabric of our daily lives.

I started off by wandering around the house -- indoors and out -- with my camera, noticing the details that I often overlook. A few days later, my eyes were picking up so many little "inspirations" all over the house, including one in a very unusual place: a laundry basket.
I was just sitting on the couch, reading, and when I looked down, there it was -- my page design, a rectangular grid with open spaces that made little "homes" for a pattern behind it.

Thus, I found the inspiration for "Eleven":

The page was also inspired by my eleventh anniversary, which my husband and I celebrated last weekend. The journaling reads:

Sometimes it will be really (really) hard,
but if love is there, you’ll persevere.

After 11 years,
his touch will still be electric.

In each other, you will find
healing, happiness, home.

The level of laughter in your household will prove that a little bit of crazy
is a good — actually, a great — thing.

You will learn that couples who argue aren’t weak,
but rather, made stronger through their efforts to see eye to eye.

You will experience loss together —
but it will bring you closer together.

When he speaks about you to others,
you will hear pride in his voice.
He’s your biggest fan.

You will still get butterflies…
even when he is not there.
Just the thought of him
can make you all a-flutter.

Together you will raise a beautiful, spunky, witty, and brilliant daughter.

You will feel time pass quickly —
too quickly — and you will wonder, why?

With each year, you both will grow closer,
sharing a history, building a future, living in the present
(and yes, he will tolerate your penchant for schmaltz).