Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Resolved:

NOT going to
panic

NOT going to
procrastinate

NOT going to
worry myself sick

NOT going to
be late

NOT going to
be negative
(ironic, right?)

NOT going to
be disorganized

NOT going to
be afraid
NOT going to
tangle myself
in "nots."

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Momentous.


Intense.
Overwhelming.
Beautiful and
bewildering.
That's motherhood.
It requires that you love so completely, so fiercely,
with every ounce of your heart and soul.
That kind of intensity makes motherhood seem complicated.
But it isn't.
It's a simple surrender,
a surrender that isn't even a choice, not really,
not once that test reads positive
or those eyes meet yours for the first time,
or when you wake in the middle of night just to be sure, to be certain, to know,
or when you realize that your child's home is in your arms,
and your home is wherever that child is.
Surrendering yourself to worry,
to fear, to the unknown, to the things that cannot be planned
or organized or foreseen or helped or changed --
that feels complicated, too,
and while there is no antidote for this kind of fear,
sometimes that fear can be a catalyst for an even stronger love.
We hold on tighter.
And in moments when I feel so overwhelmed by the fear
that all of this love
all of this goodness
all of this,
my daughter, my everything,
could just slip away
I know that I am at my most motherly.
In my weakest moments,
I am the strongest mother I can be.
“Making the decision to have a child - it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”- Elizabeth Stone

Trust Me on This.

The new Lily Bee collections are brilliant.
As in, love-love-paper-love brilliant.

You can see for yourself by checking out the Lily Bee blog
over the next three Tuesdays.
Today's post features a teensy peek
and a BIG hint.
IF you can guess the names of the new collections,
you just might end up
seeing just how brilliant these lines are for yourself.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Dog Days of Summer

One of the best things about being out of school for the summer is getting to spend my days with my "girls"-- my daughter and this sweet dog-child:

I put this together using Shimmerz Vertigre Vibez (which is featured on the Shimmerz blog this week) and 4 Leaf Clover Spritz, Lily Bee patterned paper and chipboard flowers (can't get enough of those), Sweet Vintage fabric flowers (a serious addiction), and bits and pieces from past and present Studio Calico kits. I wanted this layout to be outdoorsy, a little rough-and-tumble, but ultimately sweet and endearing, like my furbaby.

To create the background, I folded the patterned paper into squares and sprayed the Shimmerz on the folded edges and on some of the surfaces of the squares (in a few areas I used the doily as a mask). To create the areas where I wanted the creases to be emphasized, I sprayed some of the Vertigre onto the bottom of a cardboard box (to reduce splatter), and then dragged the folded edges of the paper through the liquid. I then unfolded the paper and smoothed it a bit.
Although this didn't really come through in these photos, one of the things I like most about Shimmerz is the subtle shine that appears once it is dry, and sure enough, this shiny happy puppy is living proof of that.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Currently...

Mimicking yesterday's "Currents" blog post from the brilliant-as-always Tina.

Listening to the Bravery's "Time Won't Let Me Go"...crickets chirping outside...R & Z's Wii trash talk...

Eating nothing. I'm so full from dinner at Kincaid's, it hurts to think about food.

Drinking strawberry lemonade.

Wearing a green band-aid on my stubbed toe, incurred while dog-wrangling yesterday.

Reading Tony Wagner's The Global Achievement Gap and Tana French's In the Woods.

Feeling pudgy.

Wanting more time to spend with Grandma Linda. She leaves in a few days.

Needing a little more of a routine, methinks; summertime is not synonymous with productivity.

Thinking about color...the next page...the sky...

Enjoying the fact that those I love most in the world are in it with me.

Wondering about balance...schedules...commutes...belonging...

Scrapping with the Studio Calico Partly Sunny kit and Stamping Bella stamps:

Wishing you a happy Thursday!

Sharks and Paper and Contests, Oh My!

That about sums up the gist of this post, as you soon will see.

There are THREE contests going on RIGHT now (as in, right this minute), and if you're feeling lucky, here are the details:

Over on the Collage Press blog, today kicks off a sketch challenge.
Fellow design team member Lisa Kisch has provided a very easy sketch that is not only easily interpreted on a layout, but also makes for a pretty solid design concept. Thanks to this sketch, my own page came together in no time at all.

I adapted the 12 x 12 format for an 8 1/2 x 11 version, and chose papers that had a kind of oceanic feel to them, in order to complement these photos from the Waikiki Aquarium. There are so many lovely blues in CP's lines, and these papers work together perfectly when "lines" are crossed.

If this sketch is calling to you, then you will definitely want to get scrapping, and check out the details of how to submit your layout and WIN on the Collage Press blog.

The second contest is via Lily Bee and A Million Little Things. All you need to do to be entered to win a $25.00 gift certificate to A Million Little Things is to "like" Lily Bee. Sure, I know, you like it already, but you also need to "like" it in Facebook terms. Go to the Lily Bee Facebook page, and at the top of the page, click "Like" (if you haven't already).

In turn, A Million Little Things is also showing the Lily Bee love with their own contest. If you "Like" A Million Little Things on Facebook, then you will have a chance to win the entire collection of Lily Bee Hello Sunshine and Lily Bee Lovely. Score!


So there you have it -- sharks, paper, and contests. Oh, my!


Sunday, June 13, 2010

This Side of Paradise


Lately we've been spending a lot of time at the beach,
and I have
absolutely
no complaints about that.

One of our favorite spots is Bellows,

on the east side of the island,

where the water is a clear turquoise,

where the waves gently lap the shore,

and where the sand is sugary soft.

I could stand to spend

more than a few beach days

right here:


I created this layout for the Shimmerz blog,
using a bunch of products.
I am loving the way that Shimmerz Vibez and Shimmerz Spritz
can change the look of a page so easily and so quickly.
I love spray ink in all forms,
but I'm used to it being kind of spotty and uneven.
With Shimmerz, though, I notice how evenly the spray is distributed,
and I love the sheen that appears as it dries.
I also had fun with some of the paints,
splattering and masking and fingerpainting (oh, yeah, I went there).
You can see more pics of the process on the Shimmerz blog.

This summer has been good for me so far.
With relatives visiting,
I am seeing my home through their eyes.

I live on an island
and sometimes
that makes me somewhat...insular.

Alhthough I have a 360 degree view of the horizon,
my perspective can be limited.

Because of the cost of living
and the high gas prices
and the "moke" mentality
and the push to build claustrophobic housing developments
over anything remotely green,
and a history of injustice and inequality,
sometimes I tend to do a bit of eye-rolling
whenever someone refers to Hawai'i
as "paradise."

Yet...this is my home,
and most days, I agree with the bumper stickers:
"Lucky You Live Hawai'i."

Just when I think
that the Aloha spirit
is a myth
or a marketing tool,
some unexpected act of kindness surprises me.

Just when I think
that there has to be more somewhere else
I face the expanse of the ocean
and I realize that I am standing here
in someone else's more.

Just when I think
that an endless summer
might be overrated
the real summer comes
and I finally have the time to notice
where I live.
I fall in love with
the beach and the air and the food and the everything
all over again.

This has me thinking.
I'm hoping to capture more of a sense of place
on my layouts.
I'm not quite sure how to do that just yet,
especially since my layouts tend to be more people-oriented.
Maybe there's a way the twain can meet.
Hmm...

Monday, June 7, 2010

I Won't Lego.

By way of an explanation
for the earlier Lego reference,
Here's hoping that we won't need that 70th gift,
but it's nice to think about what awaits us
on our 80th anniversary.
In the meantime,
we're enjoying our 13th year together,
our "Lego" anniversary,
and I have a feeling it's going to be a
lucky one.

When I got home this evening,
and walked in the door,
I found a bouquet of flowers
and a special gift waiting for me:

Rob came in and stood next to me
and said,
"So we can build a home together."

Dear God, I love that man.
I do.

Happy Lego Anniversary, My Love.



Because thou hast the power and own’st the grace
To look through and behind this mask of me,
(Against which, years have beat thus blanchingly
With their rains) and behold my soul’s true face,
The dim and weary witness of life’s race,—
Because thou hast the faith and love to see,
Through that same soul’s distracting lethargy,
The patient angel waiting for a place
In the new Heavens,—because nor sin nor woe,
Nor God’s infliction, nor death’s neighborhood,
Nor all which others viewing, turn to go,
Nor all which makes me tired of all, self-view’d,—
Nothing repels thee… Dearest, teach me so
To pour out gratitude, as thou dost, good!

-- Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

And in the End...


And in the end
the love you take
is equal to the love you make.
-- The Beatles

I believe it.

Watching my seventh graders --
the last group of seventh graders I may ever teach --
walk out of the classroom today
for the last time this year,
I thought of these lines.
They're taking so much with them
and so am I.
It's an ending,
but it's not The End.
As attached as I get to the students,
they leave -- it's what they do.
In fact, it's my job
to keep them moving forward,
ever onward.
And now, it's my turn to move forward.

Over the past few weeks,
I haven't just been busy with the end of the school year.
I've been preoccupied
with some major decisions,
one of which is the decision
to change schools
and to teach at the high school level.
It's what I wanted to do when I started teaching,
and now I feel like a first-year teacher
all over again,
hopeful and a wee bit terrified.
I'll find my bearings, though, in time.
Change can be exciting.

We've also been dealing with a slew of other decisions
and some very difficult events.
May has been a very, very challenging month,
and it's also been a transformative one.
I'm definitely not the same person that I was on May 1.
Change can be destabilizing,
but it has also led me
to re-center myself and to shift my perspective.

It's June now, though,
and school is out as of today,
and we have relatives visiting this month,
and it is also my first official day on the
the Shimmerz Design Team!

I used a bunch of Shimmerz products on the layout above.
I love how evenly the Shimmerz Vibez and the Shimmerz Pearlz
are distributed on paper as they are sprayed.
Plus, the names are kind of adorable --
Rolling in the Hay? Hee hee.
Cotton Candy? Yum yum.
Jeni B Bleu? Iconic.

I also used a few new Stamping Bella stamps,
"Thoughts," and "A Moment Captured."

Being a fan of all things lined and ledgerific
and office supply-oriented,
I am definitely adding these stamps
to my Love-You-Forever list.

This is actually the first layout that I've made in about two weeks,
and it felt like coming up for air.
It also helped me to gain some closure --
at least, on this chapter.
Now it's time to turn the page.