Monday, January 31, 2011

Will You?

The will is strong,
but sometimes,
especially when loves comes around,
it has a way of bending
and intertwining
with another's.

I think back to when this guy
asked me to his junior prom
and I said "yes."
Mist: Shimmerz; paper: Pink Paislee, Cosmo Cricket; letters: Making Memories;
stamps: Studio Calico; border sticker: KI Memories. 

It was a little Diane Court/Lloyd Dobler at first,
I admit:
"We're going out.  It's a date. It's a scam. Whatever."

I was strong-willed
and completely lost,
"hard to get" because I didn't "get" myself,
not with a head full of expectations,
one of which was that we would always be friends
(and only friends, actually),
and another of which
was that love would find me
somewhere down the line,

I didn't know then
(though I know now)
that love had already found me,
and he stayed, through it all.
Through every "self" that I tried on,
through every version of "love" that I embraced
(and let go)
he saw me,
and loved me
(and didn't let go).

my prom date became my husband
but he was always, always my faithful friend.
And he still is.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

More, Please.

Since I last posted, even more CHA releases have appeared,
including this one from Lily Bee!
Isn't the Happily Lost collection beautiful?
My favorite paper has to be this one:
This color combination is SO perfect.
Ooh, and I'm QUITE excited about these:

If you haven't done so already,
you will definitely want to stop by the Lily Bee blog
to find out how you can win the collection.
And trust me -- you will want to KEEP visiting tomorrow and Monday,
to see the other two lovely new collections
and find out how to win those, too!

In addition to the Lily Bee loveliness,
I have my eye on a few more amazing CHA finds,
like the new October Afternoon

and these Sassafras florals.

I am going to be SO broke.

One of the items that I am most looking forward
to holding in my happy scrappy hands
is this:

This JBS "hodge podge" Project Foundations mini is just so pretty.
I'm also SO excited about the new JBS stamps,
especially now that one of my favorite paper designs is a stamp:

The products just keep coming.
Today I saw the Hambly washi tape for the first time,
and my jaw dropped.
I'm sure it won't be the last time.
Man, I love this time of year.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

CHA Wish List (For Starters)

In addition to all of the new products from JBS, Lily Bee, and Shimmerz that I've been mentioning here and on Facebook over the last few weeks, I have been loving many of the new CHA releases from other companies as well.  Here are a few that have made it onto my CHA "wish list":

1.  7gypsies.  The new papers are full of the kinds of details that send me reeling.  You KNOW how I am about little bits and pieces, and the A-sides of the 7gypsies papers are full of them.  The B-sides, though, have me hooked on this collection.  Proof:
 7gypsies also has new paper tape that is already inspiring me to come up with reasons to tape stuff, just 'cause.

2.  Crate Paper.  The moment I saw the Emma's Shoppe collection, I just knew: someday, it will be mine.
And then I saw The Portrait Collection.  Holy wow wow with a side of wow.
Apparently I'm really feeling the florals right now.

3. My Mind's Eye.  There's always something about MME paper that makes me feel both nostalgic and playful.

4.  Studio Calico.  Lest you think that I am only interested in the paper side of CHA offerings, don't think I haven't noticed these from Studio Calico:

5.  Webster's Pages Lotus Blooms are also going to find their way into a shopping cart soon -- that is, if they are as small and as dainty as they appear here.  Here's hoping!

6.  Prima's Cabachon Blooms are also pretty-pretty -- especially the roses!  Want.

I'm sure that there are lot more products out there that I haven't yet seen, but these are just a few that have caught my interest so far.   I'm loving the the blue, yellow, and cream that I'm seeing everywhere.  I can't wait to see these lovelies in person!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I've been

reading "carpe diem" poems, Margaret Cavendish's Orations, and Aemilia Lanyer's "Eve's Apology" with my seniors, "The Minister's Black Veil" and The Great Gatsby with my juniors, and bits and pieces of Anthony Bourdain's Medium Raw when I happen to get into bed at a reasonable hour (thus, only a few sentences have been read so far). 

wondering why I can't get last night's dream out of my head.  It was particularly resonant, and I blame it all on Robert Herrick (see "carpe diem" poems above).  After four periods of "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may" throughout the day yesterday, I fell asleep last night and dreamed that I was at a high school reunion.  The room reeked of should-have-dones and could-have-beens, and at one point, overwhelmed, I left the room, and emerged in a kind of springtime world.   There I was, traveling on a gravel path that curved upward and stretched ahead of me, my destination unclear.  The path itself was lined with rosebushes, the blooms a deep wine red.  I stopped for a moment to pluck the buds, gathering them up in my palms, studying them and smiling.  An epiphanic moment?  Dream over.  Meaning hazy.  Herrick obvious.  Anyone up for psychoanalyzing me? :) 

scrapping a few pages for Lily Bee, using lots o' pink and polka dots.  I tend not to use pink too often, but it's been calling to me lately.  

reeling over the CHA releases, and feeling EVER so lucky to discover peeks at the new products and lines from Shimmerz, Jenni Bowlin Studios, and Lily Bee.    I'm also going a wee bit crazy over the JBS Mercantile kits lately.  The January kit had me oohing and aahing, but upon seeing the February kit, those oohs and aahs were accompanied by lots of wistful sighing.  Every kit is a treasure, seriously. 

watching last night's Modern Family.  I stopped breathing at least twice -- I was laughing so hard.  How could that show NOT have trounced every other show at the Golden Globes, I ask you?  It's brilliant.   Oh, and Grey's, lately?  W-wow.  I'm so glad Christina's back to normal -- well, her kind of normal.  I was getting so frustrated with her funk. 

listening to The Black Keys, The Naked and Famous, Vampire Weekend (always), Cage the Elephant, and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.  

(re)discovering Andrea Joseph.  Wowsers.  

spending too much at Starbucks.  I'll figure out how to wean myself off of my near-daily frappuccino.  Ha.  Not likely. 

wearing what's in my closet, and trying to keep it that way.   

looking forward to the weekend.  I may actually cook a meal for the first time this week!  

Monday, January 17, 2011

Weekend Update

A LOT of grading...
I remember reading somewhere that once a teacher stops enjoying reading student writing, then that teacher needs to stop teaching English.  I still enjoy reading student writing when there is genuine effort put into it, and grading that kind of writing and giving feedback on that kind of writing is never an issue, but oh, it is painful to try to face a piece of writing that I know -- I just know -- was rushed and done without much thought at all.  Should there be pleasure in reading all student writing?  Perhaps it's not about what should be, but what shouldn't be there -- apathy.  I fear the teacher who doesn't even read what students write.  The fact that I still get frustrated by some students' writing is a good sign: it means I still care.

A LOT of laundry...
I had to lug a bunch of laundry over to my mom's place, since our washer has broken YET again.  This is the second time in about six weeks.  The washer itself is fine; its computerized brain is the problem.   Thus, the trip over the mountains to my mom's place, with piles of laundry and the dog in tow (for company, since my mom was away for the weekend).   Faced with the prospect of no internet for several hours, I made a pizza run to Bob's...

which is amazing when hot, and pretty awful when cold, and I settled down with Cassandra Clare's latest book, Clockwork Angels.  Why is it that books that take me a day or two to finish over vacations take me about thirty times as long to finish during the school year?  In a sense, I'm glad I had to do laundry.  It forced me to indulge in a little silent "me" time.

A LITTLE bit of scrapping...
I couldn't resist -- I also brought a box of scrap supplies with me.  I learned very quickly how nearly impossible it is for me to create a page anywhere other than at home.  I plan as I go, apparently, which isn't really planning at all.  Once I got home, I added a few final touches.  The result:
I used some of my favorite Shimmerz colors (like Samrock and Mello Yello) to fill in the spaces in the Studio Calico Days of the Week stamps.  I've always wanted to create a page about my wedding ring. I've never been a fool for diamonds, and insisted on only a gold band when Rob and I got married.  It is simple, but so meaningful.

There are more details on the Shimmerz blog.  Speaking of Shimmerz, there's a new CHA release, and I am stoked.  These are the new Coloringz colors:

I can't wait to play with these!  Valentino totally reminds me of Pantone's color for 2011, Honeysuckle.

Lily Bee also has a few sneaks on the blog.

That turquoise is calling my name.

I also created another page this weekend, celebrating love, love, crazy love.

This page is chock-full of JBS products.  More details are on today's blog post on the JBS blog.   If you stopped by the blog this morning, you may have noticed a new JBS release as well, Be Our Guest.  There's also this:

Ooh, textured cardstock.  I'm in.

Well, I'm off to the airport now to pick up my daughter, who's been playing near lava and making snow angels this weekend on the Big Island.   Lucky chick.

Have a great week, all!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ten Days In...

Ten days into the new year, and I've been
working more than I've been playing,
but I have been making a l i t t l e time to play, too.
The mid-month gallery at JBS Mercantile has the proof:

I created an album to help me focus on my word for 2011, savor.
I machine-sewed vintage papers to create a booklet of sorts.

The idea itself came from a conversation among members of the JBS team,
as we talked about ways to use the monthly bingo calendar cards
that are exclusive to each 2011 JBS Mercantile kit.
Once the term "mini-album" was put out there,
the wheels started turning.
I decided to create an album that would be a constant work-in-progress.

The layout is both simple and functional.
On the left side of each two-page layout will be the calendar card,
embellished with bits and pieces from each month's kit
(a way of "savoring" the little things),
and at the end of each month, I'll add a few photos there, too.
On the right side of each layout will be an envelope
that contains my thoughts, reflections, and observations
about what I would like to hold on to for a little longer
about this time, these days.
I don't want to wait until the end of a month to jot down these thoughts,
or to worry about where or how to place them visibly on a layout,
so the envelope is the best approach for me.
So far, so good:
I've also been busy
putting together some October Afternoon projects for CHA.
I was thrilled to be asked, and had SO much fun
playing with some of my favorite OA products.

Work hard, play hard, right? :)
Not bad for only ten days in...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I'm Working Here!

I really am.
This has been one of the busiest weeks
EVER, in all of ever.

I'll have something to share soon,
I promise!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

January at JBS

This month's JBS Mercantile kit, add-on kit, and project kit
contain some of the most beautiful combinations of papers and products
that I have ever had the pleasure
to work with/play with/marvel over/you get my point.
This is the first page that I created with the kit,
using lots o' layers
to capture lots o' love.
The vintage papers (that you can get as a separate add-on) make me ever so happy!
Ooh, and these 7gypsies rub-ons.  I've been coveting them for awhile.
They go on sooooo smoothly.

I saw these four words
on the sheet of Studio Calico paper that came with the main kit,
and realized that I had the perfect ingredients for a "best of" layout.
I forgot to add Knight and Day to the list of movies, though.

Lots of bits and pieces from the kit made their way onto the border of this page.
(If you love bits and pieces like I do,
then you will want to check out this treasure, for sure.)

Every so often there's a layout that comes along that just warms my heart.
In fact, I'm pretty sure that the contents of my heart look JUST like this.

 Pretty pretty paper...
I still can't believe I used the words "zombie apocalypse" on a page with florals.

And then there was the project kit.
I think of myself as project-inept.  Layouts, I can do.  Just try and stop me.
Cards?  Painful but possible.
Mini-albums? Periodically.
Projects? Scary.
But I did not go gently into that good night.
Instead, I played with the idea of silhouettes,
and learned how to use Photoshop to create them.
The wall hanging contains snippets from poems
by some of my favorite poets, including Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
 Edna St. Vincent Millay,
and Margaret Atwood.

In sum,
January JBS kit = LOVE.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


A word after a word 
after a word is power.
               -- Margaret Atwood, "Spelling"

My one powerful little word for 2011 is savor.
I've tried balance and perspective,
and I'm thinking that this year, rather than shifting my view
or trying to add or reduce or find some kind of equilibrium,
I will just accept that the world keeps spinning madly on,
and that what truly matters
is holding on to the moment
in the moment.

Happy New Year!