Saturday, March 28, 2015


1. My eyes have been bothering me a lot lately -- blurriness, sensitivity to light -- so I went to the eye doc this week. Prognosis:  my eyes are all jacked up, even though I have 20/20 vision in one eye and 20/25 in the other, which is bizarre, since the Squint is my official facial expression. Blame the astigmatism, dry eyes, and cataracts. The doc thinks I'm still too young for surgery, so mostly I'll be cowering from the sunlight, like the vampire I am apparently destined to become.

2. It's raining here today, but it's crazy humid, too. All day I've felt as if a warm wet blanket were draped over me.  Welcome, spring!  There are actually less irritating signs of spring around here as well, as evidenced in my most recent layout for Elle's Studio:
3. I've been craving hot dogs and mac and cheese lately, so that's what's for dinner tonight.  In fact, the mac and cheese is in the oven as I type this. My favorite mac and cheese recipe, "Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese," is from Bon Appetit. I discovered it years ago when I used to subscribe to the magazine, and long after my subscription ended, I was still making this delectable version.

4. Calvinball ends on March 31. I'm disappointed in my overall tally for the month. My eye issues have been a bit of an impediment this week. The day that my eyes were dilated  -- a state holiday, during which I had hoped to get crafty -- was a total wash creatively (especially since my eyes looked like this for most of the day). My goal this week was five pages. So far, I've only been able to make one:
That little strip at the bottom got a little crooked when I ran the page through the sewing machine, but it's all good -- imperfections on a layout prove that it was made by human hands.  I incorporated old and new supplies on this layout: old-ish Crate Paper, JBS, Heidi Grace patterned paper, Sassafras chipboard letters, vintage blueprint paper, perforated paper, and German language textbook pages, new-ish Studio Tekturek patterned paper and Gossamer Blue labels, and the just-released Treasure Map line from October Afternoon.

5. I think I may be the only person on earth who did not really like the new Cinderella movie. I didn't hate it -- it was very pretty, and captured the spectacle of the "Cinderella" tale quite well -- but I was hoping that it would be more of a fairy tale revision, versus a live action version of the Disney animated movie.  I didn't like seeing the stepmother/stepsister relationship handled the same way as always, especially not after reading Toni Morrison's "Cinderella's Stepsisters." Why not bring more depth and complexity to that relationship -- not to mention to Cinderella herself? My favorite film version of the "Cinderella" tale is Ever After.  There is still evil and maltreatment in the stepfamily relationship, but there is also a backstory suggested there (as in the scene when Danielle is brushing her stepmother's hair), and there is hope (as in the relationship of the subordinate stepsister to Danielle). I also appreciate that the transformation in the film occurs not just in Cinderella, as she is elevated from rags to riches as expected, but in the prince himself. That relationship still remains quite shallow in the most recent version.

I'm off to indulge in some mac and cheese.  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Farewell, Spring Break

It was simply delicious, having one week to catch up on two months of missed sleep, to binge-watch Shameless so hard that we are now caught up, to get in the car and load up on Starbucks when the sun was actually overhead, and to play, play, play with paper to my heart's content.

One of the layouts that I created captures a day in the life of the glorious week known as Spring Break.
The page was prompted by various sources of inspiration. Firstly, it is the product of what happens when I actually clean.  A few days ago I organized my stash after purging about ten pounds of supplies (and donating them to a very grateful scrappy friend, I might add, who is not ashamed to call herself a proud hoarder). In the process of organizing, I (re)discovered supplies that I had been neglecting, and decided to pair them with some newer goodies on this page. Cleaning is irritating, but is also oh-so-good for the scrap mojo. Secondly, two challenges (and Calvinball bonus point opportunities) at Get It Scrapped served as springboards for this page. The first is to incorporate an "archaic" product -- can you spot the "vintage" KI Memories papers at the top and bottom of this page? The second is to take a photo and scrapbook it on the same day.
So far, I'm up to 11 layouts and one card for the month. My goal is 15, though it would be awesome if I could make it to 20. Given that it takes me forever to create a page, that would be noteworthy. There are some die-hards out there who are aiming for 200 (or more!) this month, but no, I'm cool with retaining my sanity (for the most part) and not walking away from March never wanting to scrapbook again. I'll just keep doing my thing, at my own pace, and hopefully, I'll reach my goal.  If not, that's cool, too. I'm embracing the Tao of the Turtle.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


I really am. 
More details can be found on today's Topic Tuesday post on the October Afternoon blog.

I hope you had a wonderful St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

One Weekend, Three Layouts

Maybe it was the prospect of starting spring break.
Maybe it was the as-yet-unused Scraptastic kit and add-on calling my name.
Maybe it was the creative push prompted by a good night's sleep -- nay, two good nights of sleep.

I'm thinking it was all of the above that contributed to my finishing three layouts this weekend, and leaving me feeling like I could create at least three more.

The first came together yesterday, using the Scraptastic Rivers and Roads kit and add-on and the emoji stamps from the Good Day Sunshine kit. (Alas, the kit and stamps sold out quickly, so I can't link you up to them -- bummer!)
The layout focuses on my daughter's texting habits. In the process of creating it, we did a little research to find out how many texts per month she actually sends. The journaling documents that revelation.
That kid.

The next two layouts came together this morning and early this afternoon. My morning coffee run not only energized me, but it also gave me the idea for this page:
I couldn't help but notice that the word "hello" shows up many (many) times in the March kits. In fact, it shows up a lot in scrapbooking supplies in general. Why is that? How many times can one really use "hello" on a page without it seeming as if you're hard of hearing ("Hello? Hello?") or sarcastic ("Hello? Anybody home? Think, McFly, think!").  Then, mid-coffee run, I looked over to my furry co-pilot, who was positively shaking with glee, and I realized just how to use "hello" on a page and make it work. (The journaling explains it all.)

My third layout is the product of eavesdropping.


The other night my neighbor was having a get-together, and as the night went on and the alcohol took  effect, the heart-to-heart portion of the evening's festivities commenced. A group of men sat around, complaining about people who refer to this island as a "rock."

While alcohol-induced amnesia will likely leave them with no memory of the conversation, someone (hee hee) across the street was listening, and thinking about how every person on this island at some point has either said or heard someone say, "I need to get off of this rock."

This layout is a response to that idea.
Apparently this page was destined to be created today, as the March kits are full of papers, colors, and accents that are perfect for a Hawaii-based layout. I mean, a pineapple? Sunshine? A stencil that looks like a hibiscus? What are the odds?
It's been a happy scrappy weekend...and with spring break ahead, I have a feeling that I haven't seen the last of this kit yet.

I'm hopeful, especially as we're now entering week three of Calvinball. No pressure. Slow and steady, as always!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Whole Heart

The March gallery at Elle's Studio is packed with layouts featuring the new Cienna collection as well as lots of accents, journaling cards, and tags from the March kit. 
I love how the colors in the Cienna collection are somehow bright and soft all at once, perfect for springtime.  Granted, spring is still a few weeks off, but I'm always ready for more color in my life.
In fact, I added a bit more color to the journaling cards, wood shapes, and stamped images on this layout in the form of ink and watercolor pencils.
The journaling focuses on the two great loves that make my heart whole. 
I'm still a little surprised at myself for writing the journaling by hand here. I actually had no idea what I was going to say when I started writing -- I didn't have a draft or even a destination in mind. I just looked at the photo, thought about the "whole heart" idea for a moment, and realized that some might have a problem with my feeling that others "complete" me. I decided to tackle this idea of "independence" and the human heart, honestly.

Thanks for visiting today!

Monday, March 9, 2015

We Have a Winner!

A great big THANK YOU goes out to all who left comments on my last post. Alas, there can only be one winner.  Congratulations to...
Yay, Cristina! ! I'll be touch! 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

March, Thus Far (and a Giveaway!)

"In like a lion" is right -- I feel as if I'm coming up for air for the first time since the month began. Whew! Luckily, it's Saturday, and oddly enough, I have no plans today, other than yo do what I've been doing all day so far -- sitting here in pajamas with a blanket wrapped around me, binge-watching Shameless.

It is Calvinball season, so I will likely fit in some scrappy time today. I've already been eyeing some new goodies that I have yet to use.  So far, my layout count is dismal, which is actually pretty normal for me when it comes to Calvinball. My strategy is to aim low, so that there will always be room to surprise myself. Yep, so far I have completed a whopping THREE layouts.  Given that this was a hectic week, that's actually an accomplishment. See how this "aiming low" thing works?

I created the first layout for a "pinspiration" post on the Scraptastic blog.

The second layout is for the upcoming gallery reveal at Elle's Studio, using the lovely new Cienna collection. Here's a peek: 

I can't share the third layout, since it's top secret at the moment. :) It was created for a Citrus Twist class that focuses on stamping.
The class price includes an acrylic stamp set that has a variety of shapes, numbers, and sentiments (a peek at which is above). Considering how much a typical stamp set runs these days, that's actually quite a deal, am I right? The class begins in a few days' time, on the 9th.

As a contributor to the class, I'm giving away a FREE spot in the class to one lucky blog reader! To be entered to win the class, leave a comment on this post by Sunday, March 8, at 11:59 p.m. EST (don't forget Daylight Saving time!), and I'll choose one lucky winner.

Thanks for visiting today!