Sunday, August 19, 2018

Catching Up

The past four weeks are a kind of a blur, due in large part to the usual annual back-to-school pandemonium and the state of near-constant exhaustion in which I find myself at the end of each day. I love the promise of a fresh start, but to make that possible takes more than the beginning of a new academic year. It takes organization and prioritization, two nouns that have no business meddling in my life during the summer, but that assume great urgency once summer ends.

One of the benefits to trying to get myself organized and stay that way (which rarely ever lasts) is that I have been de-cluttering my computer desktop, trying to give each errant file a folder to call home (so that new errant files can take their place in the months ahead). In the process, I discovered a bunch of Hip Kit Club layouts that I had intended to share here but never actually did. Whoops! 

This one was created with the June kits...

and these were created with the July kits...



I'm sort of in love with the new Pinkfresh Studio watercolors that were in the July color kit (used on the previous three layouts; the process behind "Red Dirt Summer" can be found on the Hip Kit Club blog). They're so easy to use, not to mention sort of obsessively fun

When finding what little I can of free time these days, I've been getting crafty with the Hip Kit Club August kits, which contain the charming new Crate Paper/Maggie Holmes collection.  Here's the first of my August layouts, which is based on this week's sketch challenge in the HKC Facebook group
 
This page makes me all kinds of happy, in that it depicts some of the favorite areas of my overgrown yard, a source of solace and of beauty that I am turning to more and more these days. It's also a source of frustration at times, I admit. 

In my yard, I am reminded of the illusion of control and am humbled by the realization that all I can do, really, is to nurture -- and even that is not always successful. I just try to help life along. Sometimes, though, when green leaves turn yellow, and I cannot coax them back to green again, I feel helpless. I feel loss, as when my dahlia shriveled up a few weeks ago and could not be revived, despite blooming profusely in early summer. One of my two crown flower plants remains; the other's leaves curled up, dried, and left nothing but a wilted stalk that I tugged out of the ground today with a sigh, finally giving up the fight. It's a mystery to me, why one plant thrives and another wilts. Am I responsible for that, or just an observer of what is only natural? 

Count on me to take something as seemingly mundane as gardening and turn it into an existential crisis.  :) 

Anyway...thank you, as always, for stopping by the blog -- and reading this far! 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Stash-Busting Challenge Update

Hey there! Apologies for the delay on announcing the winner of this summer's stash-busting challenge. When school begins each August, my keyboard at home gathers dust, while the one at school gets all of the attention. 

As promised, now that the challenge has come to a close, I've picked a winner for a giveaway (presumably to help undo all of the work this person did to make a dent in her stash during the course of the challenge). 

Congratulations to Sara Andrews! She completed all three layouts, plus two more for kicks! She had to stop because she ran out of paper in the kit that she had assembled.  Way to go all in, Sara!  

As for me, I still have some paper left, but I did make a pretty substantial dent in my kit.  Here's the last of my layouts: 


Thank you to everyone who played along! If you want to see some of the highlights, check out #stashbustingchallenge2018 on Instagram. 

Until next year!