Sunday, August 21, 2016


One of the not-so-secrets of boosting one's creative energies is to mix old with new. I've adhered to this approach in practically all of the non-design-team projects that I've made over the years. In fact, when doing design team work, sometimes I've had to grit my teeth and fight the temptation to work in an older pattern or accent, something that I just KNEW would look awesome, just because it wasn't part of the kit or the brand or the assignment.

I like to think of mixing old with new as a way of adapting, of keeping things fresh and moving forward while also recognizing that what is no longer new is still valuable.

So why is this on my mind right now? A ch-ch-ch-change in the industry has once again occurred, as Scraptastic Club has decided to discontinue its scrapbooking kits, though it will continue its planner and This Life Noted kits. As much as I've loved working with Jessica and the team at Scraptastic, I have made the decision to step down from the team once I've finished working with the last scrapbooking kit over the next few weeks.

This has made me seriously question whether I am willfully limiting my own creativity. Is it time for me to suck it up and adapt, to become a planner person or a pocket pages person?  I could have remained on the team in that capacity...but pocket pages are not my thing, and a planner person I am not. I use a planner for work, but it is utterly functional, and thus, flat out resists stickers and stamps and prettifying on principle.  I know it's unpopular for me to say this, but I still don't "get" the planner trend. Help me understand it! My planner is a site of chaos. It just barely lends a sense of structure to my days. Whatever neat and orderly handwriting may be there on Monday, come Friday, it has been replaced by demonic-looking scrawls. There's no room for cutesy in that nightmare. When I throw it out at the end of the year, it's like an exorcism has occurred. Why would I want to decorate it, much less preserve it? This all makes me wonder if I am just perceiving the trend in the wrong way. I can't adapt, I guess.

So I'm adapting in other ways. I'll continue scrapbooking, and will try to be open to the new while also finding value in the old.

One way I'm doing this is by subscribing to my first non-design-team-related kit in years.  I recently purchased a Story Kits subscription. These kits are from the brain (and trademark hand) of Ali Edwards, and at just about twenty bucks a kit, they are so worth it. I've received two kits so far, and I'm really happy with them! Although the kits can clearly be used for pocket-page scrapbooking, they aren't limited to that approach.  Just today I created a layout mixing items from the "Stuff" Story Kit with some older items from my stash.
(These tacos are freaking insane, by the way.)
I'm thinking this is a hopeful sign, that with or without the anchor of a team and its deadlines, I can still find ways to be creative that work for me, instead of feeling as if I've been set adrift.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

And We're Back.

It's back-to-school time, which means...
it's back-to-school layout time! 

During my first week back, I took some time to notice all of the details that surround me daily at school. As difficult as it is to wake up hours before my body actually wants to, I actually really love this time of year, which is bursting with possibility. 
This page wasn't just prompted by the shaking off of my summer self, but also by a challenge on the Scraptastic Club blog.  Each month, the team takes on a challenge posed by the kit subscribers, and this month's challenge was stamping. I used the "Me, Myself & I" stamp set here, along with the accompanying kit and add-on. 

Something about creating a back-to-school page makes it all seem so official.  So does grading the stack of projects I brought home with me this weekend. :) 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

August Reveal at Elle's Studio

Today's the day -- it's time for the August kit, extras, and gallery reveal at Elle's Studio!

This month's kit contains some bold colors and lots of positive affirmations, and the extras complement it perfectly. love the heart acrylic shapes. 

My contribution to this month's gallery pulls together some of the kit items, the lovely hearts above, and elements from the Sunny Days collection.  
Yes, I'm still scrapping photos from last year's Disney trip. I have to ration them! Disney photos are always so much fun to work with.

If you're planning to stop by Elle's Studio today, be sure to check out the new mini-collections: "Work Hard," "Read," and "School Days." I have all three, since I couldn't choose just one -- or two -- of them.  How was I supposed to, anyway, being an English teacher?  I'll have projects to share soon using the new collections!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

July in August

Due to a delay with the mail service, the Scraptastic Club July"Me, Myself, & I" kit arrived later than usual, but somehow, scrapbooking with a July kit in August is kind of just what I need right now. It helps me to prolong summer just a bit more.

Today I created two layouts with the kit. The first documents one of the happiest moments of July -- the moment my sweet cousin discovered that she would be having a girl.
I was on Team Blue (mostly because I didn't have anything pink to wear to the party). I honestly did not care about the baby's gender, but it was fun to play along, even though my attempts to explain to the guests that gender is a social construct, and thus, something that can't really be "revealed" before birth, proved unsuccessful. I did enjoy the cake very much, though.

I'm sure I'll do another layout soon featuring more details from the party -- I took so many pics!

The next layout is the seventh one in my 2016 month-in-review series. Still going strong!
I fit thirty -- thirty! -- photos on this page.  Do you like the one of me up top, looking like Axl Rose? I had a cyst removed from my head (super sexy, I know), and the location of it made it tricky to bandage, so I walked around for a few hours looking like I had a "war wound," as the physician's assistant put it.

Before I head out to start another page, I just wanted to say THANK YOU to those of you who took the time to leave comments on my last post. Readership is up from three to five, which has made my head swell. Good thing I have a huge bandage around here somewhere.