Monday, February 28, 2011

G'bye February, Hello March!

February may only have 28 days, but it really kicked my butt this year.
March and its 31 days seem more welcoming by comparison.

I LOST
...a bunch of macrophages combating this cold virus that STILL has me coughing.
...lots of sleep, though I plan to gain it all back in a few weeks during Spring Break.
...valuable Calvinball time due to a crazy schedule and aforementioned affliction.

I GAINED
...16.5 Calvinball points, though I was hoping for at least 28 ("slow and steady," my turtle #$%).
...a really lovely pair of earrings for Valentine's Day.
...a slightly cleaner house, though I did not go gently into that battle.

I'm so looking forward to March,
and I'm starting it off right,
with a GAIN, the JBS March kit!


Yep, March is definitely in like a lion --
a lion who appreciates pretty paper and vintage tidbits, that is.
This month's gallery is amazing,
and there will be even more to come this weekend, AND on the 10th.

Each month I have trouble playing favorites with the kits.
The design team often tosses around the question,
"What was your favorite item?"
Usually I list about three things (or more),
but this month, I fell hard for one particular item:
the silhouette charm.
I couldn't resist using it as a mask:


Yesterday I even ventured out of my layout comfort zone and attempted a mini-album,
creating envelopes from the papers in the main kit and assembling them like so:

There are more pics of the album and its contents in the gallery,
if you'd like to see more details.

I used the main kit for my projects,
but I also have big plans for the other kits available this month,
including an amazing project kit (you MUST see it here)
and two gorgeous add-on kits, "Hers" and "His."

While we're all gearing up for this weekend's online crop,
perhaps this will get you even more excited about all things JBS!
I know it had me drooling at the words "Malted Milk."
Love that stuff.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Be Our Guest!

*Cue the dancing buttons, letter stickers, and stick pins.*



"Be our guest
Be our guest
Put our service to the test..."


Put your JBS-loving self to the test, too,
and join us next weekend for the
FIRST EVER...
Find out more here!

Monday, February 21, 2011

13/21

That is to say, over the course of 21 days, I've earned 13 Calvinball points.  If it had been any other month, I would have earned about four or five points so far, so I suppose that counts for something!

Here are a few of my recent pages:


This page, which includes a photo of my mom as a wee babe, was featured on the JBS Mercantile blog today.  I still can't get over how much the rub-on resembles her, curls and all.


This next layout is one of several posted on the Lily Bee blog today; the members of the design team put together layouts using the Catching Fall line.  These pages testify to the fact that this line really isn't limited to fall, but rather, is always in season.

On to point 14...and hopefully 15...and maybe even...16?  We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Day Redux

This week over on the Lily Bee blog, the design team is all about the love.  We're proving the Glee guys' "post-Valentine's Day slump" theory wrong by still going strong even after the 14th.  For today's post, I shared this layout, along with a step-by-step look at how it came together.

PP and chipboard flowers: Lily Bee; letters: American Crafts (from the February SC kit); 
buttons: Doodlebug (from the February JBS kit); chipboard hearts: Pebbles (large) and Maya Road (small);
stick pin: Making Memories, I think (it's an oldie); mist: Maya Mist (hydrangea blue), 
JBS/Ranger Chewing Gum ink (pink), and Studio Calico (Calico White); 
paint:  JBS/Ranger paint dabbers (Chewing Gum and Soap Powder).

I know it's a spectacle of sorts, kind of all over the place, a technicolor rush, but that's love, am I right?  Go all in, I say.

I even threw together a simple little banner with my heart-shaped scraps:
So much for a slump.  Love on!

Monday, February 14, 2011

'Tis the Season

(Posting this is kind of a tradition at this point. I put it up at least once a year. Sometimes twice, I'm sure.)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Blog, Myself?

According to www.typealyzer.com, I am a performer:

Entertaining?  Here's hoping.  Friendly?  Sure, why not?  Attuned to pleasure and beauty?  Why, thank you for noticing!  Non-confrontational?  Really quite true.

However, though the visual suggests otherwise, I'm not a fan of go-go boots, cocktails, or mangy perms.

Apparently there's even a neurological component of this analysis, all in just one click:


What can I say?  I'm just a sensy-feely kind of gal, though I probably should work more on my intuition, as that is clearly the coolest part of the blogger brain.   As for the "thinking" component, I proudly attest that this blog rarely contains logic or mathematics.

Have you tried this before?  Are you brave enough to try it now?  I'm curious -- what "type" are you, my bloggy compatriot?

Friday, February 11, 2011

We Have a Winner!


Congratulations, Nitasha!
You are the 27th person to write in rhyme
of your passionate yearning to win the JBS giveaway:


All of that wordplay paid off
in the form of a $15 gift card from JBS -- woo hoo!

Thank you to all who took the time to try their hand at rhyming.
It made for a great week of reading comments that were both hilarious and creative.

So...weekend plans?  Anyone?
I'll be holding down the fort here,
hanging out with the germy fiend that is my sweet daughter.
I'm feeling kind of icky, too,
but I'm trying to ignore that.

I've been making a little bit of progress in the world of Calvinball:

 PP: American Crafts, Jenni Bowlin, Prima, K&Company, SEI, Collage Press

PP: Jenni Bowlin, BasicGrey; die-cut heart: Jenni Bowlin; chipboard hearts: ???; 
paint: Jenni Bowlin for Ranger Chewing Gum and Soap Powder Paint Dabbers

I'm up to 10 points now, which still puts me firmly in last place overall,
but it does bring me closer to my goal of 28 points
(one for each day in February).
Onward!

TGIF = GIFT!

Finally, it's Friday!

We've been battling colds and congestion around here,
but with the weekend ahead,
we will hopefully get some much-needed rest and recovery time.
Poor Z.
The afternoon she got sick, we had been planning to attend
a performance of Lucia di Lammermoor, her first opera.
The fever took priority, however.
Then one of her teachers went on maternity leave early,
and Z didn't get to say goodbye,
so she's bummed about that.

As inconvenient as illnesses are, however,
I am NOT one for going about one's business
while combating an illness.
Others end up getting sick in the process,
and it takes much longer to recover.
Health is a blessing, one that should not be taken for granted.

So...how has your week been?
I know I've been a little absent for the past few days,
but with the reveal of the mid-month gallery at JBS,
I can share what I've been holding back.

Last month I started a "savor" album,
to be completed and featured month-by-month via the JBS gallery.
During each month of 2011, the kits will include an exclusive calendar card,
and I've built my album around that.
Here are my February pages:




I also put together a photo-less layout
using the remnants of the JBS February kit.
It was a fun page to assemble.


That brings me to a total of 8.5 Calvinball points...so far.
My goal is 28 points by the end of February,
so we'll see how that goes.

In the meantime,
be sure to comment on the post below
for a chance to get in on the JBS giveaway
before a winner is selected.
There's still a little bit of time left!

The comments are hilarious, by the way.
Thanks for filling my week with laughter!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hop to It!

Today is my grandma's birthday, and she loves the card that I made for her using Jenni Bowlin's Be Our Guest line...and you know I wouldn't use just any paper for my grandma's 91st birthday card!  




Would you like a chance...or maybe two or four or six or more chances to win JBS gift cards so that you can make this collection your own?  Well, then, let the blog hop begin!  


Welcome to Jenni Bowlin Studio's CHA Winter 2011 Blog Hop, brought to you by our newest release, "Be Our Guest!"  

This is our largest release everfilled with all sorts of pretties from the patterned paper, stickers, rub-ons, bingo cards, and unique embellishments you've come to know and love, to a new foray into acrylic stamps and project foundations.  You can see the entire release HERE. To celebrate, we're offering you lots and lots of opportunities to win $15 gift cards to JBS Mercantile. 


You can enter to win at the following locations:
Twitter: We will be giving away TWO $15 gift cards to one NEW follower on Twitter.  These will be sent to the winner and to a friend of the winner's choosing, so if you're already a follower of @jbsmercantile then get some of your friends to follow us too!  We will also be randomly choosing a winner from those who retweet the "CHA Winter 2011 Giveaway" post.

NEWSFLASH . . . Jenni now has a Twitter account!  It's @jennibowlin and we will be choosing a random winner from her followers as well!  Follow her on Twitter HERE.

Facebook: Look for the post that mentions, "Be Our Guest Giveaway" and leave a comment to be entered into the first drawing.  We will also be randomly choosing a second winner from our NEW Facebook followers, so tell all your friends!

JBS Mercantile Message Board: In the "Town Square," leave a comment on the thread entitled, "Be Our Guest Giveaway."

The JBS Inspiration Blog: Leave a comment on the "CHA Winter 2011 Blog Hop" post telling us which of our new products is your favorite.

Some of the design team members are also hosting giveaways on their blogs, so be sure to make the rounds on their blogs as well!   <<< I'm one of them, so please be sure to comment below.  Rather than make it TOO easy to win your $15 gift card, however, here's your challenge.  Comment in rhyme.  That's right.  Rhyme

Get to hopping, and good luck! 




ETA:  Your comments are CRACKING ME UP!  Keep 'em coming! 
ETA (Again):  The contest is now closed. Thanks for participating! 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Five Years...and Five Points!

When I put these photos side by side today
as I was planning this layout for Shimmerz,
I was amazed by how much these sweet girls
have changed in just five years.
PP: My Mind's Eye, Lily Bee, The Girls' Paperie; ribbon: SEI (blue) and unknown (pink/purple); 
stickers: Sassafras; letters: Jenni Bowlin and Making Memories; stick pins and pearls: Jenni Bowlin.  
It's also kind of uncanny
how they were wearing similar colors
in both photos.  Whoa. Scrappy kismet.

(Apologies for the smush-action on the bows -- blame the scanner.)

With this layout,
I proclaim myself the owner of yet another Calvinball point,
bringing me to a new total of FIVE points.  Woo and hoo!
I'm working on a few more layouts,
which I will share in a few days' time.

As long as I'm on the topic,
a few days from now -- on Monday, to be exact --
be sure to check back in for a not-to-be-missed surprise!

Friday, February 4, 2011

A Mid-Winter Summer

Even in Hawaii, February isn't exactly beach weather,
unless you're a hardcore surfer
or really like the combination of cold winds and choppy water. 
Come late March or April, we'll make our way back to the beach,
but in the meantime, 
I'll settle for a mid-winter summer
in the form of a layout: 
PP: Sassafras, October Afternoon, KI Memories, American Crafts, Jenni Bowlin, Little Yellow Bicycle; 
journaling die-cut: Collage Press; letters: Sassafras, BasicGrey; stamp: Studio Calico; stickers: October Afternoon. 

I feel like I need sunglasses in order to view this layout properly. 

Well, one more layout
means it's time to do the Turtle dance!

One more point for me
which puts me juuuuust over the starting line. 
That gives me a total of FOUR whole points to date.  
Celeste, on the other hand, 
just hit 51 today,
which means that she has lapped me almost 13 times.
She's definitely a sprinter. 
As for me, if I tried to exert myself to that level of productivity,
I would surely collapse in a pile of patterned paper and embellies,
with stitched X's over my eyes and birdie brads chirping in circles around my head. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Although yesterday I called myself a turtle,
today I proudly claim rabbit status:
it's the Chinese New Year,
and it's officially my year,
the Year of the Rabbit!

In the middle of the day,
I received an email from my daughter,
suggesting that we have Chinese food for dinner
since it is the Chinese New Year.
I wrote back, agreeing,
but also adding that by that same logic,
we should have rabbit for dinner,
as it is Year of the Rabbit.
She didn't like that suggestion much.

We had Chinese food for dinner
(no rabbit included),
and our celebration was made even more special
since my mom joined us.
After dinner,
I actually managed to
get back in the Calvinball game:
PP: Making Memories, Sassafras, BasicGrey, K&Company; rabbity card: October Afternoon;
letters: American Crafts, Jenni Bowlin; pink paint dabber: Jenni Bowlin; teeny tiny rabbit up top: Jenni Bowlin; 
tape: brand unknown (but it's from a past Studio Calico kit); trim: May Arts. 
It's kind of all over the place,
and I just noticed that I wrote too quickly
(rascally rabbit!)
and left out the "si" in "indecisive"
(I'll fix it later),
but the point is, I actually
channeled my rabbit energies
and scrapped my way toward
yet another point.  Woo hoo!

Hmm.

That error is really bugging me.
I almost want to forfeit that point.
English teacher, begone!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

And She's Off!

I still can't quite believe that I entered
what is already proving to be
the most scraptastically vicious
and wonderful game of Calvinball yet.
I'm gunning for last place.

When it comes to creating pages,
I am more turtle than rabbit,
and I know that with Celeste
hip-hoppitying waaaaay ahead of the crowd
(we're talking fourteen pages
and twenty-six valentines already for her
since February began, um, yesterday),
slow and steady
is most definitely not going to win the race this time.

I'm not in it for the win, though.
I'm racing against myself, really,
trying to create pages on the move and in the moment,
in the course of a busy week.
I figure that more of my daily preoccupations
will have a chance to be documented that way.

Here's one that emerged within the last hour:

PP: Knock Knock ("Mental Note" paper), October Afternoon, Studio Calico;
pin: October Afternoon; journaling cards: October Afternoon, Jenni Bowlin, My Mind's Eye;
rub-ons: Jenni Bowlin, 7gypsies; apple stamp: Studio Calico; paint dabber: Jenni Bowlin.

One down!  One point earned for the layout.
However, as this is Calvinball,
I believe an additional point is given to the first layout
of a first time participant,
BECAUSE I SAID SO.
So there.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Past, Presently.

Sweet childish days, that were as long
As twenty days are now.


-William Wordsworth, "To a Butterfly"


No time for cameras,
We'll use our eyes instead. 

-- Matt and Kim, "Cameras" 


I am, alas, at a kind of disadvantage 
when it comes to childhood photos.
My parents weren't exactly shutterbugs,
so there aren't many photos to help me tell the stories
of my childhood.
I don't blame my parents for this, though -- 
there are even less photos of them as children.  
Still, what I do have is precious: 
there is the memory of my childhood days, 
the images that my mind's eye has collected,
and the few photos that did emerge from that time.  
I am making the best of those that I do have,
some of which are hair-larious.  


Yes, that tow-headed blondinka is me. 
My hair is sort of the focal point of this layout, isn't it? Ha. 
It could be anywhere on this layout and still be the focal point, actually. 


Photos like this are the subject of my layouts 
for this month's JBS Mercantile kit,
which juxtaposes vivid and energetic colors and accents 
with soft, nuanced, and nostalgic textures and patterns --
perfect for those yesteryear photos.  


As I was going through my stash of old photos,
I found this one


and emailed it immediately to my mother. 
She wrote back: 
 "Just the other morning when I went walking, I was reflecting on how quickly my babies grew up. In this photo, I could feel your warm, loving little bodies and I cried."
So, of course, I started bawling,
and I also started this page: 


It is funny how I once looked at this photo
and saw myself in that little blond baby,
and now, when I look at this photo,
I see myself in my mother, as a mother. 


I am not sure how Jenni does it, 
but she always chooses her kits 
to match my moods and preoccupations each month. 
It's uncanny.
For instance, I've been thinking a lot lately about my old teachers.
In a sense, I've been thinking through them.  
When I saw these 7gypsies book covers in the kit,
I knew what their fate would be: 
a mini-book about what I have learned 
(and unlearned) from my teachers. 

I feel good about these layouts,
not just because they were made with love, out of love,
but because they indicate 
that the past is alive, the past is present.
Something more than a camera clicks 
in order to create a memory.