Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Let's Get Serious. Or Not.

There are so many pressing questions that demand asking and answering in our world today. There are also many not-so-pressing questions that are just plain hilarious to pose, like, "If my dog could talk, what would she say?"

That's exactly what Scraptastic DT member Melissa Mann and I asked ourselves for this past week's challenge on the Scraptastic blog.  Here's my answer:
My husband and daughter helped me to create the list. We cracked up the entire time, trying to create captions to go with each photo. 
I'm pretty sure the dog would approve. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Her Day, Every Day

This week's Topic Tuesday challenge on the October Afternoon blog was to create a project that focuses  on motherhood and the legacy of your mother.
Each time I think about my mother's influence on me, I inevitably end up reflecting on my own relationship with my daughter.

I've spent the last few weeks reading Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club with my juniors and seniors in my "Women and Literature" seminar, and though I've read the book multiple times before, I've never read it right around this time of year. It makes Mother's Day all the more significant:
"All of us are like stairs, one step after another, going up and down, but all going the same way." 
Some of my students still haven't realized this, but I know that even if the book isn't clicking for them now, someday it will. It is only as I get older that my mouth begins to form words that my mother put there. I recognize her features in my own when I look in the mirror. I find myself giving advice that she once gave me. I understand the logic in the requests and commands and complaints that I regarded as irrational when I was younger. As a teenager, I never thought I'd become my mother. Now, I think I would be so lucky if I could be half the kind and giving person that she is.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Giveaway Winner!

I'm happy to announce that the winner of the National Scrapbook Day blog hop giveaway is...
Congratulations, Debra! (I checked out your blog, by the way, and it's fabulous, as is your Instagram. Consider me a new fan.)

Thank you to everyone who stopped by and who left such wonderful comments that made my head and heart swell. :)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

National Scrapbook Day Blog Hop (GIVEAWAY CLOSED)

Happy National Scrapbook Day!  Folks may be gearing up for the Pacquiao/Mayweather bout, but the cool kids know what today is really about, am I right?  It's the perfect occasion to honor all things scrappy and happy with a blog hop and giveaway!
I'm so pleased to be joining a group of scrap-loving friends -- especially because for me, scrapbooking is more than a hobby; it involves a sense of community. Each of us is sharing a little bit about ourselves in the form of -- what else? -- a "currently" list. I'm planning on converting this list to a layout on this very day. Care to join me? 

1. REPLAYING often on Youtube: an Amy Schumer clip featuring my kind of Avengers: Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. (Warning: this clip is not for the hyper-conservative or profanity-leery; if you can get past that, the video is hilarious, and there's truth in it).

2. LISTENING to...
3. WATCHING... Silicon Valley...and trying to make the world a better place (you have to watch the show to understand).  I've also been tuning in to Game of Thrones. This season is changing everything. In some ways this is good; in other ways, it is really just not good. 

4. READING...so many books that my head is spinning with intersecting plots and characters. I'm in the midst of planning summer reading lists and course texts for next school year.  I've been fitting in some "me" reading as well.  The most recent book I finished is When We Were Animals (highly recommended), and the most recent book I started is Crazy Rich Asians.

5. EATING (every day, if I could)...mochi crunch. I'm really picky about the brand. The kind I love is sold in movie theaters all over the island -- but only in movie theaters, as far as I know -- and I do admit to watching not-so-great movies sometimes just to get my fix. On Thursday night, I saw Avengers: The Age of Ultron, so I bought an extra bag. It's gone now. I may have inhaled it for lunch yesterday. 

6. DRINKING at 4 p.m.? Water. I'd prefer coffee, but my body is only coffee-friendly in the mornings. It resents me if I drink any in the afternoon or evening. 

7. WISHING...that I could travel this summer. Everyone keeps asking me about my summer plans, expecting some wonderful destination on the other side of that question, but I just kind of smile sadly and say, "Lesson plans." 

8. ENJOYING...the chance to take a whole day to focus on scrapbooking, and have my husband and daughter actually understand that this IS my Superbowl. No mocking, no giggling -- just acceptance. That's gold. 

"Remembering a man's stories makes him immortal."
  -- Daniel Wallace, Big Fish 

This is one of the many quotable lines from the summer reading book I ended up choosing for my students. It's SUCH a great read! I've seen the movie before, but hadn't read the book until recently.

10. SMILING...because it's NSD!  

As part of the blog hop, we're each sharing a favorite project from the year so far. That's a toughie! Instead of a specific project, I think I'm going to share one of the favorite ways that I embraced my "one little word" for 2015: unplugged.  I've been trying to be more mindful of including my handwriting on layouts and not being so reliant upon the computer for my journaling. Of course, the reliance is still there -- computer journaling is awesome, sorry not sorry -- but I also do love pages with handwritten journaling. Here's a glimpse at the progress I've made since January:
The next stop on the blog hop is the bearer of magic scrappy fingers, the creative and awe-inspiring Wilna Furstenberg.  Can you tell that I adore her? If you don't already feel the same, then you just might after I share this: Wilna has created a free cut file/printable for National Scrapbook Day!  Click on the image below to download it.

I'm also feeling generous today, so if you are interested in a little giveaway of some assorted scrappy supplies, be sure to leave a comment below (and ensure that I can contact you via email if you are selected as the winner).

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Of Hearts and Scrapbook Surgery

I'm at the point where I have nearly obliterated the April "Darlene" kit and add-on from Scraptastic Club. I used just the main kit to create this page, which features none of my own journaling, since the words from my grandfather to my grandmother say it all. 
He wrote this sweet sentiment on the back of a photo that he gave her in the 1940s. She trimmed around it so that she could keep it in her wallet.

When I first read the words, they reminded me of song lyrics from that era, and sure enough -- they are from a 1942 song called "Always in My Heart." He wrote:
You are always in my heart, even though we're far apart. I can hear the music play the song of love I sang to you. You are always in my heart.
Isn't that sweet?

Creating the layout was not easy -- not because the process itself was complicated or difficult, but because just as I started stitching the first version of this page, the thread from the sewing machine began to bunch and the page ripped when I tired to pry it from the machine.
So I expressed my grief on Instagram, as is the modern custom, and, upon being comforted by those who had been through something similar or worse (thanks, folks), I attempted a remedy.

I removed ⅓ of the page (the top part, containing the worst part of the damage) and added two layers of paper in its place. I then added a series of stitched circles around the photo and title blocks, camouflaging the torn areas that remained.

I feel like a bona fide surgeon -- of the scrapbooking variety, that is.

I really like the addition of gesso to the background of this page. I love the patterns -- don't get me wrong -- but I also love the look of them peeking through the layer of white.

Thanks for visiting today!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

This Happened

Among the journaling cards in this month's Scraptastic "Darlene" add-on kit is one that reads, "This Happened." Those two words became the springboard for a layout idea to document some of the everyday (and extraordinary) events that have occurred this month.
I did something similar last month, and while I'm not yet sure whether this will be something I continue in May (and June and July and...), I have enjoyed working with a hodgepodge of photos that collectively represent what has been happening over a brief period of time. I don't have the energy or organizational skills needed to be a week-by-week Project Lifer, but a month-by-month approach is manageable. It focuses on highlights but also allows room to include details. 
The approach is actually ideal for bringing together assorted photos that may not otherwise show up on layouts devoted specifically to them as individual subjects. For instance, I'm not likely to make a layout about the stacks of laundry in my house, or about a book I've been reading, but those aspects of my life belong on this page, because they help to document the day-to-day life that I live. 
We'll see what happens in May. :)