Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's Waaaaaaay Past My Bedtime

but I just had to stay up for the JBS April gallery reveal.
This month's main kit is INCREDIBLE,

and don't EVEN get me started on the add-ons and project kit.
You can check them all out here.
Good luck with the self-control.

I have a few more projects planned for the mid-month reveal,
but here's what I have created so far with the main kit
(there are more details in the gallery):

This kit is, as my daughter might say,
amazeballs with awesome sauce.

P.S. The other day someone asked about the font that you see on the "Easter" page above and the "I Am a Feminist" layout below (as well as on practically every other page that I make).  I alternate between "Typewriter" and "Typenoksidi", which I think can be found on dafont.com.  

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Yes, I Am.

Yesterday's Lily Bee post featured a layout that has been trying to get out of my head and on to paper for a while now.  It's sort of bright and bold and ka-pow, I know, but I sort of kind of totally love it.   

PP and stickers: Lily Bee; letters: American Crafts; stamp: Studio Calico: ink: Malted Milk (JBS);
border sticker and "Darning and Mending" sticker: Crate Paper; mist: Studio Calico (Bluegrass); 
buttons: my mom's old sewing stash; other: lined handwriting paper, pearls, and sewing pattern. 


From the moment I saw the Domestic Bliss line, I knew that it had a kind of retro-kitschy subversive charm -- perfect for my declaration on this page.


Sometimes "feminism" can be a loaded word.  For years I have heard so many women say, "I'm a feminist, but..." and follow with some kind of statement that would indicate that they believed that the spirit of feminism somehow contradicted their own desires.   It doesn't have to be that way, though.

I teach at an all-girls school, and our amazing and always-inspiring principal frequently tells the students that they can be anything.  Maybe that seems like hokey dream rhetoric to some, but it really is a powerful thought -- and a feminist philosophy.  A girl should not have to limit her options or redirect her dreams simply because she is a girl.  For instance, a girl should not have to think twice about embracing her love of science or math because those are career areas in which men traditionally dominate.   Conversely, a girl should not have to second-guess herself and wonder if she is somehow "settling" if she wants to pursue a profession traditionally dominated by women.  She should follow her passion, no matter where it leads her.  

In Calling: Essays on Teaching in the Mother Tongue, Gail Griffin journeys toward an understanding of what it means to be a feminist teacher.  She sees each of her students as having "a good and worthy voice," explaining that "when we say that someone 'has a voice'...we mean not that this person speaks, but that this person is heard."  For me, that is so much of what feminism is about --truly hearing others' voices and seeing the value in our diverse beliefs and experiences.

Feminism isn't about judging the way that women choose to express their womanhood; it isn't about figuring out whether it is less feminist or more feminist to be a working mother rather than a stay-at-home mother; it isn't about choosing pants over a skirt, singlehood over marriage, or makeup over no makeup.   It is about choice itself -- giving women as many choices as possible and respecting the choices that they make.

I say, reclaim the F-word.  Use your "good and worthy voice."  Make your choices -- and keep fighting for the right and privilege to make them.  Speak, and be heard.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sneaky.

The end of spring break? WHAAT?
It sneaked (snuck?) up on me.
On the bright side?
Next stop, summer break!

Here's something else sneaky --
a peek at the JBS April kit!

It's teeniest of peeks, I know, but you will LOVE this kit!
If you're interested in more peeks and hints,
check out this thread on the JBS Mercantile message board.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring WHAT?

I am officially on spring break,
but I've been on anything BUT a break from scrapping
over the past few days,
which is actually kind of perfect.

You don't even want to know what my desk 
and the floor beneath it look like.  
In sum: paper, paper, everywhere!

So far, these have emerged from my messy wonderland of scrappy bliss:
I created this layout to accompany the design team intro post
on the October Afternoon blog,
using the "5 & Dime" collection
and a bunch of the Miscellany items (which I love, love, crazy love).
All this week, the new members are being introduced,
and if you leave a comment, you'll be entered to win some OA "5 & Dime" goodies,
so be sure to visit!

This next layout is featured on the Lily Bee blog,
and celebrates spring, spring, and more spring.
I count myself lucky for having the opportunity to be on the team
for the past two years, but this will be my last month with Lily Bee.
There is currently a search underway for a new design team,
and the call has been extended until March 31,
so be sure to check out the Lily Bee blog for more details!

In addition to the flowery patterns covering my scrap desk (and floor)
are the remnants of many JBS Be My Guest papers,
which I used to create this mini-album:

It's similar to the one posted earlier in the month
in the JBS Mercantile March gallery,
but this one has been resized specifically to accommodate journaling cards.
I've posted a tutorial on the JBS Inspiration blog, if you're interested
in finding out just how EASY this album was to put together.
You can also get a peek of the new JBS acrylic stamps in action there.

Other than reveling in paper,
I've been having a great spring break so far.
I just started reading a new book --
a just-for-me book, a no-strings-attached, no-lesson-plans-needed book --
and it's pretty good so far.

I've also been cooking quite a bit,
and sleeping quite a bit, I admit.  :)
Honestly, I feel sort of strange to be without a routine,
but I also think it's good for the soul to be unencumbered every so often.
A little aimlessness -- if only temporary -- can actually be clarifying.
Granted, to look at me now, surrounded by a scrap blizzard,
"clarity" may not be the best word to describe what you see.

I love spring break.

Monday, March 21, 2011

OAMG!

Woo hoo!  
Today marks my first official day as a member of
the October Afternoon design team!

(I realize that I have one exclamation mark to go
before I hit my three-mark quota,
but)

Wow!  And more wow! (<-- had to be done.)

Over the next few days the OA blog will introduce
the new members and share a bunch of pages
using the new and whoa-so-beautiful lines,
including the "5 & Dime" line.

In the meantime, here are a few pages that I created
for the OA CHA booth, using Schoolhouse,
which, as far as collections go, is a dream for
teachers and those with school supply fetishes
(like me).






There's more eye candy on the October Afternoon blog,
as well as the full list of the designers
with whom I am SO honored to be working
(and playing).
If you stop by the OA blog this week and leave some love,
you'll be entered to win some "5 & Dime" goodies!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

(Un)fortunately

Unfortunately, since school was closed on Friday,
I wasn't able to take home my stack of student essays
to grade over the weekend.

Fortunately, this means I had some extra playtime on my hands.

Unfortunately, since I didn't spend the weekend grading papers,
I will be spending the next few days and nights
buried in essays, since the quarter ends this week.

Fortunately, I will have a week to recover,
since spring break is right around the corner!

Unfortunately, this means I may not be posting for a few days.

Fortunately, the deluge of essays is only temporary.
Soon I'll exchange one set of papers for pretty patterned ones. :)
Spring break, we'll be together soon!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Scrap Therapy

There's nothing quite like a page just because.
No assignment. No deadline. No sketch. No plan.


Then again, there's nothing quite like the rush
of working on under a deadline with specific products
and a sketchy kind of idea that morphs into something special,
like this layout that I created for the JBS mid-month March gallery.

No matter how a page evolves,
I just fall into the process.


It sweeps me up, takes me in, and I'm in my element. 
Sometimes it's challenging, and sometimes it's fluid and easy,
but it's always gratifying. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Only Just.

Yesterday after school Z and I headed to the North Shore for dinner.
We had no idea that in a few hours' time, the area would be a ghost town,
with a tsunami heading toward the island chain.
Luckily, we live away from the coast, so we did not have to evacuate,
but many of our family and friends had to leave their homes last night.
My mom lives right on the edge of an evacuation zone,
but wanted to stay put, so I spent all night worrying about her and praying.
Thankfully, all is well here now.
The tsunami did hit, but it did not go far inland.
There is damage to coastlines, and the footage makes my eyes widen,
but it is nothing compared to what the people of Japan are facing.
My heart hurts, and my prayers go out to them.
Life really is so fragile, and times like this remind me
that despite our human weaknesses, we must live strongly and fully.
We need to focus on what matters most: each other.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fri-Satur-Sunday

The minutes seem to pass differently on weekends.
There's a certain golden something about these days,
that seems to fade right around 7:00 on a Sunday evening,
and becomes a grayish ugh-ness soon after.
There's a sulky kind of optimism
that accompanies the onset of Monday,
brought on by the knowledge that another weekend will come around
but that a barrier of days and routines must be crossed to get there.
We keep moving forward until Sunday,
and then look back for a moment
and sigh...ah, weekend memories...

Even though I wasn't feeling well for much of it,
I had a good weekend -- a colorful weekend, in fact.
Traffic was nuts on Friday afternoon,
but I made it home to catch the tail end of the first day
of the Jenni Bowlin online crop,
and to post my Vintage Memories challenge.

The challenge is to create a page using a vintage photo,
and/or to incorporate the words of an older family member.
I shared my grandmother's recollections of her plantation childhood.
Years ago when I was in graduate school,
I took a life writing seminar, and one of the course's projects
was to compile an oral history.
I focused on my grandmother, who is pictured below with her mother:


The voice in the journaling is hers and hers alone.
The words are unedited, so her voice really comes through.
She uses pidgin (or Hawaii Creole English) a lot,
which I know that some regard as "broken English,"
but it's the sound of home to me, a mother tongue.



If you're interested in the challenge,
it will remain open until 7 p.m. CST on Sunday, March 13.
One winner will receive a $10 JBS gift card,
so if the whole documenting-precious-family-history thing
isn't incentive enough, there is that. :)

On Saturday, my daughter and I both volunteered
to assist with the science symposium on campus.
I hosted in one of the presentation rooms,
where I was lucky to attend a session about
the Hawaiian monk seal, sponsored by NOAA.
I learned so much, and the speaker, Shelley Steele, was incredible.
I've encountered a Hawaiian monk seal before, actually.
It was snoozing on a beach at Turtle Bay.
They really are beautiful creatures,
and it's so sad that they are a threatened species.
I also snagged a much-coveted "Science is Cool" NOAA tote bag.
Score!
My daughter assisted her science teacher (pronounced "her hero")
in a Diet Coke-and-Mentos demonstration,
illustrating the concept of nucleation.
Three times throughout the day, cries of "WHOOOAAH"
could be heard across campus.
I had the honor of accompanying the sticky lab assistant home.

Saturday afternoon and evening I became one with my computer
in an almost Tron-esque encounter,
chatting for about six straight hours on the JBS message boards.
It was really fun, especially when it came time for our Bingo game.
"BINGO or DIE!" is the unofficial motto of the crop, methinks.
You had to be there.

I simultaneously chatted and scrapped, taking part in a few of the challenges,
like Lisa Dickinson's Color Challenge, which was to use brown, turquoise, and ivory.
I also made use of some of the goodies in past JBS kits:



The mist above is the product of some mad science.
Waleska, Doris, and I were chatting about mist recipes,
so I combined some Stick Candy, Soap Powder, and Spice Tin,
with a wee bit of Lemon Drops ink, and ta da!

Before the evening ended, Doris declared
an impromptu 45-minute card challenge,
with some parameters:  three buttons, four stars, and one Bingo card.
Here's the product of my mad rush:


I took the pic in a frantic "I-have-two-minutes-left!" fit,
so you can't quite see the word "Days"at the bottom.

Sunday morning I stopped in at the crop to check the threads.
I think my two favorites are "Post Your Oldest Layout" and
"Post Your Oldest Layout With Your Oldest JBS Supplies."
Sticker sneezes abound!
Well, you know, there ain't no school like old school.

Sunday afternoon was dedicated to the kidlet
and her extra credit project, an island scavenger hunt.
She has a list of locales and landmarks where she needs to be photographed.
We did the North Shore experience in a couple of hours this afternoon,
starting with the Dole maze...
with a little detour to our favorite restaurant, Cholo's
(best salsa and enchiladas EVER)...

and on to Waimea Bay,
where we had to park illegally so that we could get this quick photo...
and then on to Matsumoto's Shave Ice,
which is on the list, but would have been a requisite stop regardless...

and the way home?
It was lined with rainbows.
Not a bad end to a weekend!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Let There Be Light

This morning I witnessed an amazing sunrise,
and continued to watch in awe
(as one can do in traffic)
as pink rays and yellow clouds unfurled across the blue-black sky
and let it be known:
winter is coming to an end.
Gone are the black-of-night morning commutes.
The sun is in my eyes again,
and I really don't mind at the moment,
because it means spring is near,
which means summer is near.
Giddygiddygiddy.

These pages that I created for the October Afternoon CHA booth
using the summer-perfect, beachy-keen Seaside line
remind me just why the change of seasons
is more than welcome.


This layout makes me want to head to the beach. Now. 


Every paper in this line is just so dang cooperative,
mixing and melding beautifully with the others.


This page is all about the perks
of being born and raised in Hawaii.
I added a bit of height to the waves using some Helmar ZapDots.



I so love this "Yellow Bikini" map paper.
There is a wide variety of map papers out there,
but this is the only one that I know of that puts Hawaii on the map,
smack dab in the center.

This next page documents a little adventure I had at Hanauma Bay:


I still can't believe I got those photos.
I still can't believe I knew a shark was in the water and headed toward it.
So worth it.
I also put together a mini-album,
compiling some of my favorite summer memories.



I had so much fun immersing myself in the creation of these projects,
and making summer last a little longer, even in the chilly wetness of winter.