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


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! 

Saturday, December 13, 2014


Today, after a nearly two-week scrappy hiatus (it's the end of the quarter and the only paper I've been touching is the non-patterned variety), I set aside some time today to indulge in some much-needed craftiness.
The JBS Mercantile mid-month reveal is on the 15th. I can't believe this is my last reveal, but I tried to make the most of it. 

This isn't the first of my holiday-related crafty exploits. A few days ago on the Crate Paper blog, I shared a tutorial for this clothespin wreath
It's a cinch to put together -- it really is!  I am so not a DIY person. I tend to pronounce the word "die," in fact, because that's usually what I'd rather do than attempt any kind of DIY project, but this one really is a can-do project.  

Now it's back to grading papers for me!  In a few days' time, I will finally be able to start my December Daily. You think I'm kidding. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Last Kit, First Page

I'm going to savor every little last bit of the experience of working with the December JBS Mercantile kits.
My pouty-face girl was just clowning around on when I took this photo on Thanksgiving Day, but when I looked at the photos after uploading them, I was stunned by her beautiful eyes. "Seventeen. I can't believe she's already seventeen..." was the thought running through my head as I studied the photo, and out of that, this layout was born, with each ring on the tree paper numbered to correspond with one of the precious years of her life.
The mid-month gallery reveal is set for the fifteenth. I'll have more to share then!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Another Goodbye.

So there's this.

Goodbyes are hard -- really hard, in fact, for a person like me, whose motto in life and love and career and scrapbooking could very well be "in it for the long haul." As much as I might resist the kind of change that involves reluctant goodbyes, I am also all for embracing gratitude and looking forward to good things to come.

With that said, I must share one big, sloppy, lovey dovey, open-armed THANK YOU, sealed with a kiss for Jenni Bowlin, Doris Sander, and the rest of the JBS Mercantile team (past and present).

In 2010, I was asked to be a guest designer for JBS Mercantile...
and shortly thereafter, I was invited to join the team.

I will confess: there was something about working with the JBS kits each month that I didn't really experience when creating projects for any other team. I was never, ever stressed.
I never worried that it wouldn't be good enough.  The censor, the doubter, the critic? I never heard their voices.
Experiment and play and storytelling were not just encouraged, but celebrated, and the only requirement seemed to be that a whole lot of HEART should be invested in the process and radiate from the page.
Every single page I ever made for JBS came from a genuine place, from the me that I am and not the me I worried I needed to be.
I did not agonize over these projects; I just fell into them and emerged transformed, and always grateful.
Working with JBS affirmed for me that pages are not "about" product; the kits didn't just help me to make pages -- they helped me to make meaning. 
So yes, I will miss being on the JBS Mercantile team, but I am also filled with hope and excitement for Jenni and the new direction that JBS will be pursuing.  I'm glad to hear that the Crafted kits are sticking around. Each one is more amazing than the last!

Good luck, Jenni, and once again, THANK YOU!  I wish you all the best, and more.

Monday, November 24, 2014

In My Dreams

Last night I dreamed about hundreds of colored markers scribbling on white walls simultaneously.  I stood in the midst of the marker frenzy, trying to follow the rapidly forming lines with my eyes.

I am not sure if this has any special significance as far as dreams go.

Could it be pent up creativity, struggling to surface after being suppressed by daily routines and predictability?

Could it be fear of chaos interfering with my carefully scheduled plans for the next few weeks, as the semester comes to an end?

Does the fact that I wasn't holding any of the wildly scribbling pens suggest that I am more of a spectator, passive, lacking control in some way?

Maybe I was dreaming about boundaries, about the thing that others seemed to be doing but that I just could not do. Coloring on the walls is not exactly orthodox.

It could just be that the dream was a sign of a restless mind. Sunday nights are always tough for me -- I have a difficult time quieting the thoughts in my head.

Maybe I just need a vacation. A very colorful vacation.

Dreams are weird.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Star Struck

It's been three months since my daughter returned from her summer in Russia, and so many of her stories remain undocumented. I am hoping that over the next few months, what with Thanksgiving break and Christmas break coming up, I will be able to help her get some of her memories down on paper. 

There has been some progress, though. This morning I put together a page about her visit to a space museum in Kirov, and Z happily supplied the details. 
The little circles on this Elle's Studio "Happy" Sycamore Lane paper remind me of planets.  They were in need of some "star stuff," so I stamped some stars and filled them in with colored pencils. The wood stars and star-accented journaling card in the ES November kit also found a home here.  
Initially, I was thinking about making an album for Z to document her trip, but I'm finding that I am getting more done by approaching the photos page by page.  Maybe I'll put something more cohesive together at some point, but for now, this works!