Wednesday, December 31, 2014

14 from 2014

I didn't always realize it while the year was in progress, but 2014 was full of milestones and turning points for me. Thank goodness for scrapbooking, which helped me to document the moments and the memories. 

In 2014, there was always, blessedly, love...whether in the form of an announcement that one of my favorite couples would be making it official -- 
or the kind of love that announces itself every day in my lucky, lucky life.
2014 also made clear the matter of the teenager and her refusal to stop growing...
which makes me wonder about the fate of my scrapbooking habits when she heads off to college next year.
I think her cat will need to go with her.
I always get a kick out of creating pages about these two. Heartfelt layouts are important, but I also love the silly ones.
2014 was a year of goodbyes as well. Our sweet Cleo, who celebrated her twentieth birthday this spring, passed away in September.
This year felt like a test at times, full of defining decisions and moments. When Z had the opportunity to study abroad in Russia for the summer, of course I wanted to wrap my arms and legs around her and keep her home and safe, but I also wanted her to experience LIFE...and so I let her go.
I'm pretty sure that was the correct response to the test. She was transformed by the experience, and I suppose I was, too.

2014 was also the year in which I did not break my promise to myself, to include myself more often in my own albums.
I've come to think of pages like this as documenting the self-in-progress rather than one's "true" self. The fact that we are always changing makes it all the more important to document who we are, as we are, now.
This year I stopped thinking about my passions and hobbies as "guilty" pleasures and decided to throw the guilt out the window. This is my one life, and I'm going to make time for the things that I love without feeling badly about it.
I've also spent time this year rummaging through the archives, and realizing that some stories demand to be told and retold. We can tell our stories while they are fresh in our minds -- and we should! -- but there is also something to be said about what we recall about the milestones and moments in our lives years after they have occurred. What endures -- and why?
2014 was the year I made no apologies for telling my stories, in my way.
In 2015, I will make it a point to continue that.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

More December Not-So-Daily Pages

First off, I'd like to say THANK YOU to those of you who have been stopping by the blog over the holidays! I know it's a busy time of year, and to know that you took the time to read this crazy scrappy lady's ramblings means a lot to me.

Behold! I've added a few more pages to my holiday album. I've had a lot of fun over the past week just playing, seeing where an idea leads and finding that there is truth in the belief that there's no better way to cultivate creativity than to let go of fear about the results.
The first two pages that I added put the remnants of the JBS Mercantile December kits to use, along with some Jenni Bowlin Studio accents. Sadly, this is the last of my JBS projects. It was a good way to go out.  (By the way, if you haven't yet heard, the JBS Mercantile scrapbooking kit may be gone, but Jenni is launching a new project that sounds wonderful!).
This week on the October Afternoon blog, I shared a few pages from my album. In the post, I share how an inspiration piece from Daisy Yellow's 2014 ICAD (Index Card-a-Day) challenge prompted me to try a "stitched bits" technique. It turns out that this is an awesome way to use scraps!
In the post, I also mention how I've been repurposing holiday ephemera (a.k.a. "trash") on my pages, like the die-cut gift wrapping tag on the "So Much to Do" page above, the wrapping paper below (which I stitched to create an envelope), and the red satin ribbon from a box of chocolates that one of my (sweet!) students gave me.
Hopefully I'll have time to add a few more pages before the holidays end. Lucky for me, I don't consider the holidays over until Epiphany, which gives me another week.

I'll be back soon with my "14 from 2014" post. It's tradition for me to do an end-of-the-year round-up (so many hyphens!), but it is so tough to narrow down the layouts that I've created to just fourteen.

Just in case the procrastination bug takes hold of me and I'm not able to post until next year (oh, ha), enjoy your New Year's Eve!

Monday, December 29, 2014

In Progress: December Not-So-Daily

I've been working on a few pages of my holiday album, and I must say, dropping the "daily" from the process has been a sweet relief. Today I scrapped photos from December 18 and December 25, and I'm working on a page from earlier in the month right now.  The process is kind of all over the place, but at the end of the month, I'll have a pretty fair representation of the wonder and color and struggle and joy that December has been, and that works for me.

Here are the first few pages of the album, shared last week on the October Afternoon blog. The Monday challenge was to create a hand-drawn pattern, and I loved it so much that I didn't just stop at one.
Tuesday's post focused on hand-cut letters. 
Here's a peek at tomorrow's post on the OA blog:
I know I got off to a late start with the album, but I think I've finally found my groove.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Keeping Christmas

Last night I worked on a few album pages and just fell so easily into the process.  I'm going to have to give the credit to the gorgeous Keep Christmas kits from Things That Shine.
There are so many treasures to be found in the oh-so-prettily wrapped packages in this kit. I can't wait to jump back in -- but first, I need to finish my holiday baking. It's finally feeling like December around here. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

December Not-So-Daily 2014

It's a Christmas miracle! I finally started working on my December album!
I've shared a few pages on the October Afternoon blog. This week's challenge -- to create a hand-drawn pattern -- gave me just the creative push I needed.
Now that I've started, it's hard to pull myself away. Thank goodness I've embraced a "not-so-daily" approach instead of a daily one.  This way, instead of playing catch-up, I can focus on what stands out to me, and I don't have to make space for the twenty photos of traffic that accurately document what December has truly been like so far! :) 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

One Week to Go, and Still No Tree.

Why has it been so tough for me to get on board with Christmas this year?  Now that I'm finally done with the semester, and break has begun, I need to cram eighteen missed days of holiday prep into a single week at this point. No problem. 

Heh. Heh. 

This page pretty much captures my current December state of mind: 
The JBS Mercantile Papercrafting and Antiquarian kits have helped to make my transition into the holiday season less disorienting. :) 
I'm pretty sure that with a good night of sleep, I'll be ready to tolerate songs about snow (which play nonstop on the radio here in HAWAI'I at this time of year), the hunt for a tree (am I the only one who feels guilty about bringing a tree indoors to die?), and maybe even the crowds at malls (grrrrrr). I have one week to shake off my Scrooge and get merry. Let's do this. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Lookee!

There's a new collection from October Afternoon that I am LOVING in a big way!
Here are some of my favorites: 


I am so digging this retro vibe, and I'm already imagining the pages that I'll create.  From the colors to the patterns, it all just looks like so much fun. Nicely done, OA!