Thursday, December 31, 2009

Resolved:

where there is doubt, faith
where there is a recipe, experimentation
where there is temptation, restraint
where there is this child, time
where there is a camera, click
where there is beauty, notice
where there is a smile, me
where there are calories, exercise
where there is an opportunity, growth
where there is this man, love
Each morning, my class begins the day with "The Prayer of Saint Francis." I get wrapped up in the language, which is truly all about balance. When it comes to seeking balance, we need to remember to calibrate the scale in terms of faith, hope, and love. This was the perfect inspiration for my 2010 resolutions. The first line comes directly from the prayer, and I riffed from there, using a similar structure from the second line onward. It all came together on the layout I did for this week's "fresh starts" post over on the Lily Bee blog.

Can you believe it's December 31 already? I'm off to celebrate by clearing away a few messes, in the hopes of creating new ones in 2010.

Best wishes for happiness and health in the new year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Oh, Yes I Did.

Some people aren't resolution people.
They enter the new year fresh, no goals, no promises, no focus,
and I'd imagine that it feels good.
It must feel new, a true blank slate.

I am, however, a resolution person.
I have been since I was first introduced to the idea.
I don't actually care about whether December 31, 2011 will find me "resolved,"
but I do believe in charting one's course,
while being open to changing it.

This year, I'm working toward BALANCE.
It's a great word -- solid...maybe a little ominous,
because it's not just about doing with, but doing without.
It's a challenging concept --
self-control, moderation, forethought,
a quest to embrace some kind of inner equilibrium.
To be honest, at this point, it sounds tedious,
which means that it's probably just what I need.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Best Monday Ever

Usually my Mondays begin with me ignoring my alarm clock
and negotiating just how long I can put off getting out of bed
before the paychecks stop coming.

Today, my Monday began with NO alarm of any kind.
My eyes opened to sunlight rather than darkness.
Yep, I slept in, and woke up according to my own clock,
which, apparently, likes the idea of me waking gradually,
smiling, at 9:30 a.m.

Usually, my Monday mornings involve the collection
of homework papers and the acknowledgment of a monstrous
"to do" list.

Today, the only paper that I held in my hands
was the patterned sort.
Usually, my Mondays are spent indoors.
The focus is on productivity.

Today, I actually ventured outdoors.
The focus was on...well, whatever the lens focused on, actually.
I even got on the other side of the camera -- mind-blowing, I know.

I will not go so far as to say that I like Mondays,
but if all Mondays could be like today,
then I'd definitely consider a change of heart.

Happy Monday! And I actually mean that.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One Girl, One Year

...and one heckuva lot of embellishments:This is what happens when I scrap twelve pics instead of just one. The amount of patterns and embellies inevitably multiplies. It's onomatopoetic. Kablam! Kapow! Kaboom! Kaloving it. Color and embellies and patterns and stamps and pics abound. I had a blast putting this together (so to speak).

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Big Picture


One of my holiday traditions each year is to read A Christmas Carol with my seventh graders, and "The Gift of the Magi" with my eighth graders. I admit, though, that of the two, my favorite is A Christmas Carol. We read each stave aloud together in the week or so before the holiday break, and every year, I'm reminded of why I love this book so much. It doesn't so much focus on Christmas as a day or a time of year as it does on the bigger picture -- keeping Christmas every day, for as long (or as short) as we live. Some of my favorite lines are found at the end of Stave Four, when Ebenezer Scrooge pleads with the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, proving himself to be a dynamic character after all: "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future."

These words remind me of a simple truth about time and character: the choices we make in the past influence who we are today; by remaining mindful of how our past shapes us, we can make better choices in the present, which in turn, will shape our future. I love that Christmas is so close to the new year, because both events signify for me a simultaneous looking back and looking forward. Today is a snapshot, but we can't forget about the big picture.

Before I head off once more into the holiday breach, here's my latest project for Lilybee Design. Full details are on the Lilybee blog, if you're interested.
Ooh, and don't forget to check the Lilybee blog for daily giveaways. Today is day 8 of the 12 Days of Christmas giveaways, so there's still time to enter.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Checking It Twice

This week, get in on an amazing Collage Press giveaway: check it out on the CP blog. Not only do you have a chance to win a set of Collage Press papers, but if you do win, you'll double your luck by also winning a set of papers for a friend (imaginary friends count, too). All you need to do is comment. That's it. Too easy, right?

Here's my latest Collage Press layout, documenting this year's "tree guilt" -- the result of us having a fresh tree instead of our usual artificial one. I know that that there are benefits to having a fresh tree that go beyond that lovely smell, but it's still hard for me to look at it sometimes and not feel sad. Of course, I'm the kind of person who has trouble seeing flowers in a bouquet starting to wilt. I'll let those sad little flowers sit until they are nearly dried out, prolonging their lives as long as possible. I am a total sap.

I had a lot of fun putting together this tree. I cut layers of Collage Press Joyride ride paper, and assembled them atop each other. I punched circles from more paper, and then sewed back and forth in a slight curve over the circles, for a "garland" effect. No tree guilt there!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Twelve Days of Christmas, Lily Bee Style

'Tis the season for giving, and starting today, Lilybee Design is celebrating with twelve days of GIVEAWAYS. If you'd like Santa to come early this year, bearing gifts of patterned paper and other scraptastic goodies, then be sure to check out the Lilybee Design blog daily, and leave a comment. If you'd like to double your chances of winning, then you'll want to head over to the Lilybee Facebook fan page and post a comment there.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gotta Deal

Wow, it's been a LONG week.
It's been a good week in many ways,
but it's also been an exhausting week.
I've never been the headachy type,
but my head has been pounding for the last 72 hours.
I guess not sleeping enough
and reading what equates to 350+ pages
of essays and science fair reports
will do that to a person, huh?
Thankfully and finally, though, the weekend is here,
and there's a light at the end of this tunnel,
because Christmas break begins in ONE WEEK!
Callooh callay!

Hopefully I'll be able to scrap a lot more over the break, but in the meantime, I'll leave you with my most recent layout, which probably should have been called "Catharsis" rather than "34."

I'll also leave you with a Collage Press Joyride peek, to be posted on the CP blog soon. I've had a peek at what the team has come up with for the December Design Day, and I'm seriously blown away. Stay tuned...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Campy.

The Lily Bee design team recently had a chance to incorporate Maya Road products into our Lily Bee Vintage Poppy projects. For a while, I've been eyeing the Lily Bee frame die-cuts and wondering if they could translate into a mini-album. As soon as I held the Maya Road envelopes in my hands and placed them alongside the die-cuts, I knew that they'd work together perfectly. With a little help from my sewing machine, I assembled the pages of the album, and went about documenting Z's experience at camp.

I assembled pockets for extra journaling by putting together two pieces of patterned paper and sewing around them on three sides. I think this is my favorite page:

And of course, I couldn't resist the Maya Mist.

I stored memorabilia and copies of my "camp update" blog posts in the envelopes.

No matter how much I loved this project, though, it didn't become truly meaningful until I saw Z looking through it, turning each page and opening the envelopes. I'm a firm believer in the "everyday use" of the projects that I create. If they're too precious to hold, then they really aren't truly valuable.