Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ten Layouts, Three Resolutions

It's amazing to look back through the layouts created 
during the course of a single year.
It's gratifying to recognize that I am still growing creatively,
still learning, and still making mistakes that often end up being happy accidents. 

Some of my favorite pages are the ones that came together organically.

1
This year, I became a lot more comfortable with layering, sewing, painting, and misting,
and with really putting myself out there on the page. 
Self-portrait pages are difficult, because there is always that awareness 
of posing and composing oneself that can lead to being tongue-tied
and sometimes being shallow or trite or vague. 
Keeping it real on the page: that is what I hope to do more of in 2011. 


2
This was one of the most honest pages I've made,
because it reflects my flaws and fears
but it also shows that I know better than to let them subsume me
or to allow them to define me or limit me. 

3
I would like to think that I grew creatively this year
because of my experiences working with various design teams, kit clubs, and manufacturers. 
Work and play converged for me in the best of ways.
In March, I was asked to be a guest designer for Freehand Scraps,
and I really felt great about the pages that I created with the kit.
This page was my absolute favorite. 

4

2010 was also the year of three amazing surprises that happened back-to-back.
First, I was asked to be a guest on the JBS Inspiration blog 
(for which I created the layout above),
and shortly after, I was asked to be the JBS Mercantile October guest designer.
When I was asked to join the JBS team, I could not believe it.
I am still reeling! 

5
So many of this year's layouts 
also capture the gratitude, love, and joy
that are at the center of my life.
This Lily Bee layout is one of those. 
It has heart, so to speak. 
I think it also shows another scrap-habit of mine
that has become more common -- 
I've been adding more dimension here and there to pages.

6
Aww, kissy kissy.  Ooh, and misty misty. 
I have so few pages that feature both my husband and me.
There's my second scrappy resolution for 2011:
create more pages about The Love. 

7
Sadly, this is one of the last of the Collage Press pages
that I created this year.
We had a good run, though,
and I will still be hoarding a bunch of this lovely paper for years, I'm sure.
This layout definitely showcases
the misty/painterly/stamp-happy side of me.
I remember creating this page and thinking,
"I'll just try it. Whatever."
That "whatever" is a powerful word, taken seriously.

8
This is one of my favorites of the year,
and I hope it will be one of my daughter's favorites forever. 
It was inspired by a magazine feature in In Style magazine, as I remember,
but I just sort of ran with it and did my own thing. 
This also features one of my favorite lines from the year, 
from The Girls' Paperie. 

9
My mother-in-law came to visit in the summer of 2010,
and we had such a wonderful time. 
We went to Matsumoto's for shave ice almost every day while she was here,
so how could I not create a page to capture that delicious memory? 
I so dig this shave ice border/banner.  Sweet. 

10
This is one of my most recent pages, which I created for the Shimmerz DT, 
and it's the perfect place to end this top ten list,
as I think it demonstrates where I am right now 
in terms of
where my heart is
and where my style is. 
This page is so me.  

I wonder where I will find myself next year at this time?  
Scrap resolution three:  keep wondering, keep exploring, keep keeping on. 

Kick

Monday, December 27, 2010

Fast Break

Where I've Been Today: at home, cleaning

Where I Would Like to Have Been Today: the movies

What I Had for Breakfast: rootbeer and Christmas cookies
What I Have Planned for Dinner: beef burgundy and scalloped potatoes

How I Started My Day: in front of the computer for the Studio Calico presale (I love you, Mary Jane!)
How I Hope to End My Day: reading more of Clockwork Angel before bed

What I'm Wearing: blue jeans and my Matt Costa t-shirt

What I'd Rather Be Wearing: I'm happy with jeans, and I'm down with Matt, but I wouldn't mind this shirt from Anthro:

What I'm Least Excited about Right Now: the prospect of returning to cleaning in a minute; it seems that the more I clean, the messier this place gets

What I'm Most Excited about Right Now: the prospect of more time with the JBS January kit once I finish cleaning for the day (here's a peek, and here's another)
Back to my messes...and not the fun kind...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Merry Fa La La La La Christmas!


The tree lights are on...
The turkey's in the oven...
The dog got to open one of her presents early and is contentedly
(but loudly, grindingly) chewing on her bone...
The kid's watching Christmas cartoons
(E-bone-eezer Scrooge? Ha! Gotta love the Flintstones.)...
The man's taking a long winter's nap...
The Hawaii snow (rain) is falling softly on the rooftops...
And as for me?
I'm very merry.

Have a happy holiday! Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Stand-Off.

The Procrastinator
has been staring down Christmas
and Christmas,
in turn,
is kicking butt.

Agh. I need to get moving.
I went Christmas shopping yesterday,
but realized rather quickly that
"Ch-Ching" is not the merriest sound,
and called it a day.

So I went home and sought refuge
at my scrap desk
with my December Studio Calico kit and lots of Shimmerz.
It kind of worked, actually.
I know I'll probably have to venture back out into that madness
soon (ick, ick, triple ick),
but I'm thinking that maybe I'll just make one more stop
at the grocery store
and bake everyone's presents this year.
The more I think of it,
the better it sounds.
Since I can't stare down Christmas
I'll hurl cookies and fudge at it instead.
It's a plan.

Friday, December 17, 2010

What's Cooking?


This week I had the honor of posting the book inspiration feature
on the JBS Mercantile blog.
I chose one of my favorite books, The School of Essential Ingredients,
along with one of my favorite topics, FOOD.
You can see the full post here.

Speaking of JBS, I got a little looksee at the January kit today
and I am still recovering.
It is p e r f e c t i o n. I kid you not.

Speaking of FOOD, I just had the most delicious poke
(I'm not being lewd, I promise -- think "poe-kay", not "poke")
and now I'm off to prepare tonight's meal,
our favorite chicken wings,
which are marinated in a combination of Asian-style BBQ sauce and ko choo jong,
and then broiled and served over rice.
Mmmm mmmm good, I tell you.

I haven't really thought about the week ahead, food-wise.
What to make for Christmas...hmm...maybe turkey.
Any ideas?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Awry.

One of my daughter's vocabulary words this week is "awry."
Her teacher asked the class, "How can one's Christmas plans go awry?"
My daughter raised her hand (as always -- she's that kid)
and said, "One way plans might go awry is if you finally decide
to go get your Christmas tree, but the trees are all sold out, everywhere."
Then she added, "True story."
Yep, true story.
I know, I know. Let the head shaking and tsk-tsking commence.
That's right. We are treeless.
Maybe we'll just put lights around the dog this year
and stuff presents under her belly as she sleeps.

You may find this anecdote to be a little odd
coming from someone who has been in a mega-holiday mood, scrap-wise.

I was delighted to be a guest designer for My Scrapbook Nook this month.
The December kit is chock full of lovely and festive holiday papers,
and includes the cutest little chipboard snowflakes,
which even a Hawaii girl who has never touched snow can appreciate.

I had a blast working with some older photos I discovered
of my wee self celebrating Christmas in one of two ways: staring or crying.
(Now that I'm treeless, I can understand those responses.)

I painted the snowflakes in the garland with a shiny coat of
Shimmerz Samrock, Jilted Jade, and Fire Engine Red,
which, as I have learned, are the perfect holiday colors. I love 'em.

To create the trees on this layout, I cut triangles from the paper
and backed a few with pop dots.
I even managed to create a non-holiday layouts using the holiday papers.
This one really has heart. Ha ha.
My final project using the kit was a frame showcasing festive little
odds and ends from the kit, including more Shimmerz-enhanced snowflakes.
Don't you love how merry-shiny they are?
Yep, I've been busy,
and the holiday break hasn't even officially begun for me!

Before I go -- nudge, nudge, nudge.
That's me, pushing you in the direction of the
if you have a moment. The first monthly book inspiration post
features one of my favorite books, and a new layout.

Have a great week -- what remains of it. The weekend, or bust!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Decembrrrr

Baby, it's cold outside!
Yes, even in Hawaii.
I'm wearing lots of layers,
and having lots of trouble getting out of bed in the morning.
It's been in the 50's when I wake up,
and while I know that makes me a total weather wimp,
you must understand that we don't have AC or heat.
The temperature is controlled by Mother Nature around here.
So if I wake up and the house is freezing,
the only way to respond to that is to freeze with it.
I kind of love this weather, actually.
It makes me want to hibernate.

Time for the segue
and the real reason I'm posting:
the weather may be getting colder,
but the JBS gallery is ON FIRE!
Check it out right here.
This delicious kit finally made it into my hands,
and I wasted no time getting scrap-happy:

Thanks for stopping by!
Have a great weekend,
and STAY WARM!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

She's Making Her List...and It's Blank.

This is the time of the year
when excitement and desperation build simultaneously,
and man, am I feeling both.

I love the holidays,
but I have realized that I have officially run out of (reasonable) gift options
for my husband and daughter.

What do you get for a thirteen-year-old girl
who has outgrown toys,
who doesn't want any more clothes,
who has the cell phone, camera, computer, and iPod covered,
who possesses all of the books she's been wanting to read,
who is currently playing the video game for which she's been longing,
and whose father will shoot you the evil eye
if you dare utter the words "another pet"?

What do you get for a husband
who just got the WoW expansion he's been anticipating,
who has more than enough dress shirts,
who prefers old school razors to electric ones,
who is fully stocked on cologne and after shave,
who has free gym privileges and doesn't need a membership or equipment,
who neither needs nor wants anything remotely resembling a tool,
and who says, "Don't get me anything" and actually means it?

Alas.

To avoid giving them the gift of a full-on pre-holiday panic attack,
I'm devoting my excess energy toward creative outlets,
keeping my scrappy fingers busy working on a bunch of layouts.
Here's a teeny peek of one of my JBS kit layouts,
which I'm working on for the mid-month reveal.

I look forward to putting together this "year in the life" layout annually,
using my favorite photos of my daughter from each month of the year
and a ton (I'm not exaggerating) of accents, to boot.
I'll share the full layout soon, I promise!

I'm also working on some Shimmerz projects,
as evidenced by my multi-colored fingers.
Speaking of all that is shimmery and shiny...

Score! Shimmerz is extending its 30% off sale
through December 20,
so it's the perfect time to stock up on your favorites.

If only shopping for my husband and daughter could be so easy.


Monday, December 6, 2010

It's Saint Nick's Day!

Nope, it's not Christmas yet,
but it is the feast day of Saint Nicholas.
On this day, it's okay to "cheat" on Advent
with a little Christmas cheer.
Each year, I give candy cane "croziers" to my students.
This year, with some help from Lily Bee,
I'm getting a little more creative with my approach.

You can find more details and see more pics on the Lily Bee blog.
I also have another project posted there.

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the strike on Pearl Harbor.
I wanted to create a layout to document
the first time my daughter stepped foot on the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial.

Thanks for stopping by.
Have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nocember Devember

November 30? December 1?
In no time at all,
November gave way to December,
JUST as I was getting used to writing
11/10 rather than 10/10.

The change also happened without bringing me
my JBS December kit. Waah.
Why hast thou forsaken me, Mr. Postman?
Actually, after seeing the December JBS kit,
I suppose I can understand
how it might have become "lost" in the mail.
Hopefully I'll receive it in time to contribute to the the mid-month gallery,
but in the meantime,
do join me in drooling over these brilliant pages and projects.
I KNOW, right?

I do have a Lily Bee page to share, though, ere I go!
I created this layout to show my love and appreciation
for one of my favorite people in the whole wide world, Laverne.
She and I taught next door to each other for seven years,
and although we were co-workers,
I think of her as my teacher, a mentor
who showed me that teaching really is a calling.
Every day she says "yes" to that call.
In fact, make that an emphatic "YES!"
That's how much she loves teaching.

In case you would rather not go blind

trying to decipher the words on this layout,

this is what she taught me:

that to speak of dreams

is not to succumb to rhetoric

but to embrace an untapped power


that in a teacher’s gentle cursive

both hand and heart send a message


that teachers must keep growing

if we expect our students to do so


that there are other ways to be heard

aside from raising one’s voice


that while we cannot control

what happens outside our classrooms,

we can control what happens inside them


that the details, facts, and figures fade

but the memory of being loved remains


that we are human, imperfect,

and if we are honest about this,

then we are ready to teach others


Yep, I got schooled,
in the best possible way.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lately-ing

I've been

wondering whether my resolution to make handmade and homemade gifts will last through the holiday season...

reading Dark Places. It's intriguing, but I keep feeling tempted to just skim the rest to find out whodunnit...

scrapping a whole lot of layouts, though I can only share this one for now...

watching lots of Modern Family, including reruns of reruns -- that's how good it is...

listening to...
spending way too much at Studio Calico. Yesterday was the December kit reveal, and boy, did it reveal itself in a big way to me. There'll be lots of scrappy goodness headed my way in a few weeks. Woo hoo!

wearing "movie clothes" -- lots of layers -- since we went to see Tangled and Unstoppable this weekend. The former was more enjoyable than the latter. Hair with regenerative powers outmatches a runaway train any day...

looking forward to Christmas break!

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Morning After

After spending Thanksgiving evening indulging...
I spent much of today sleeping off the carbs.

This year, since most of our family was on the mainland for Thanksgiving,
it was just the three of us,
which wasn't a problem: more turkey for all!
We stayed in our pajamas all day.
It was terrific.

A moment ago,
over a piece of apple pie,
I realized that a true Thanksgiving meal takes about four days to finish.
I cannot stress enough the importance of naps in building endurance.

I realize, though, that not everyone agrees with the
eat-then-sleep-then-eat-some-more-prior-to-even-more-sleep approach.
Some people carbo-load on Thanksgiving
as if preparing for months of hibernation,
only to sap themselves of all of that stored energy
in a single Black Friday morning.
What a waste.

Today, I exerted myself in creative bursts here and there,
replenishing my energy stores via leftovers and sleep.
I did not finish the leftovers, but I did complete
two pages and a holiday project.
Hopefully I'll be able to share those soon.

Gosh, writing this took a lot out of me.
Time for a nap.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Throw Your Love Around


Every single time I play with Shimmerz
(and yes, I do mean play)
the song "Shiny Happy People" pops into my head.
This time was no exception,
and for good reason:
Isn't it shiny? And happy?

With some help from Shimmerz,
I created this layout in the spirit of gratitude
for my *great* love.
Although finding my inspiration was easy,
I dug deep for this one creatively,
rummaging through my stash
and emerging with neglected items
that needed some loving.
I swear, 50% of the act of creating pages
is just NOTICING stuff.
Noticed: a button on a Sassafras flower
begging to be free of that flower.

Noticed: a blue Prima flower asking to prove
that flowers can TOO be on guy pages.

Noticed: a Studio Calico house stamp willing to redefine
the term "negative space" as really quite positive.

It's really the odds and ends
that I find most delightful about the whole process of layering.
Everything fits together,
but each item has its own separate identity on the page.

If you're in a need of a shiny happy creative boost,
you might be sort of kind of crazy THRILLED
to discover that Shimmerz will be having a Black Friday sale this weekend,
with 30% off for customers, including a chance to win a Vibez six-pack.


While I am NOT a fan of Black Friday,
I suppose I can make an exception for online sales,
which tend not to support the tradition of stampeding and bloodletting.
If you will be one of those brave souls heading out into those crowds,
may God go with you --
along with a helmet and football pads.