Monday, April 13, 2015

Sharing Is Caring

In clearing off items from my ever-cluttered desktop (of the computer variety), I realized that there are few layouts that I never got around to sharing here on my blog.

The layout below was created for a sketch post on the October Afternoon blog. Though I worked with the Saturday Mornings collection, I focused on weekday mornings.
Although I am not a morning person, the journaling puts those weekday mornings in perspective. 
 I included some authentic A.M. ephemera on the page.
I created the next layout in pursuit of my Calvinball goal and inspired by a challenge at Get It Scrapped to put older supplies to use. I mixed older supplies -- including some Anna Griffin, Scrapworks, and 7Gypsies paper -- with newer supplies from Studio Calico, Freckled Fawn, and Crate Paper.  
I was over the moon when I was asked to share this layout and a related weekly challenge on the Studio Calico blog.  Since the layout features a photo that depicts a subject -- my daughter's first "real" date -- indirectly, I based the challenge on that idea. I loved seeing what people did with the challenge! 

The next few layouts were created for the Scraptastic Club design team. The first is based on a sketch (see all fourteen interpretations on the Scraptastic blog). I used the "Rivers and Roads" kit and add-on (as well as some junk mail, which seems odd, but I love how it looks here -- in the form of the days of the week).
The second was created for a Scraptastic blog post in which fellow DT member Madeline Fox and I each challenged ourselves to create a layout in 30 minutes. I am shocked that I was able to do this, but here's the proof:
I used the April "Darlene" kit and add-on, just as I did on my most recent Scraptastic layout:
I'm loving the accents and stamps in this month's kits! 

So there you have it -- from my desktop to you. :)

Thanks for stopping by today!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Thank You!

I'm just popping in to say THANK YOU -- thank you ever so much -- for the thoughtful comments left on yesterday's post. I'm convinced that just the act of you all sending good thoughts out into the universe made a difference, because this afternoon, my daughter found out that she is a recipient of a four-year full scholarship that has nothing to do with how much her parents do or do not have, and everything to do with how hard she has been working. Thank God -- and thank you!


April at Elle's Studio

Today's the day -- it's time for the gallery reveal AND the April kit reveal at Elle's Studio! My contribution to the gallery combines the new Cienna collection and the bright and springy April kit:
The layout shares the story behind the photos and reflects on the origins of my love for animals.
It's great to finally be scrapping these photos! I've been waiting for the right moment (and materials).
Today's blog post at Elle's Studio features a little reminder about the limited quantity of the April kits. I feel lucky to have nabbed one!  In fact, I'm working on a layout tonight using the kit. :) The post also mentions this month's exclusive cut files and printables (very cute!), as well as something about GRAB BAGS (which never last long, because they only appear twice a year), so be sure to check that out!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Angst.

It's been a challenging past couple of weeks. This is the time of year when seniors find out admissions decisions, and, if they are lucky enough to be accepted, they are also receiving financial aid awards. It's not looking good for us so far. There is a silver lining -- the financial aid awards have made clear that all this time, we have been rich beyond our dreams and have been completely unaware of it.  I've been reading my bank account balance incorrectly, and haven't noticed the invisible zeroes tacked on to the ends of the numbers. Those who staff financial aid offices can see those zeroes. I don't possess this ability.

I absolutely hate that my economic status plays such a powerful role in influencing my daughter's education. She's an amazing student with a terrific record, and she is so in love with learning, but money -- or lack thereof -- is going to be the biggest factor regarding what she does next with that brilliant brain of hers. So sad.

So what's a scrappy mom to do?  Channel the angst creatively, of course. Luckily, my angst reached its peak at the same time that I had a project due for October Afternoon:
When I shared the journaling with my daughter, she smiled. I think it made her feel a little better. In times of adversity, we have an opportunity to adapt, to transform, to grow. This is one of those times.
She'll learn something from this experience. Some of what she learns may leave her cynical, but I also hope that something positive will come from this.

As a senior, my college plans suddenly and drastically changed due to my parents' divorce, and I ended up footing the bill for college (I'm still paying those loans two decades later). When I share this with my students (some of whom find themselves in a similar situation), I always tell them that it was a struggle, but that by assuming the responsibility for my education, I owned my education in a way that I might not have if someone else had assumed that responsibility for me.  I pursued every opportunity, took the maximum number of credits each semester, learned as much as I could, and worked as hard as I could. I ended up graduating with highest honors, and I earned a free ride to grad school. Would that have happened otherwise?  I can't be sure. I'm inclined to say no.

I have a feeling that something good will come of this. Right now, the future seems nebulous, but in time -- perhaps someday in looking back -- it will all be clear why this happened as it did and where it was leading.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Crossing the Finish Line

Calvinball is, alas, over. After March 31, the finish line was removed, and the crowds went home. Now, three days later, I can explain where I was on March 31 -- and why I wasn't at home finishing the two layouts I had started days before.

My daughter refers to it as the Zipocalypse.  It's also been called Carmaggedon. You can read about it here and here.  After spending two hours in traffic, we ended up at my mom's. We didn't make it home on the night of the 31st, and on the afternoon of the 1st, we found ourselves in traffic once again (though not nearly as awful as the prior day's).  Hawai'i has the third worst traffic in the nation, but I think after the Zipocalypse, we're going to place first. Crazy.

In any case, as soon as I was able, I finished the layouts -- one will be in the Elle's Studio April gallery, and the other is a mix of SC journaling cards and accents as well as items that I finally stopped hoarding in my stash.
The layout was pretty much done by the end of March. I just had to print the journaling on the labels. Since I had a little extension, I was able to mention the events of March 31. What a way to end the month -- and Calvinball!

I did meet my goal for the month, which was 15 layouts. My layout total is 16.5 (half a point for a birthday card I made for our neighbor). Yay me! I was hoping for 20, but I blame the Department of Transportation for interfering with that. Freaking ZipMobile.

I scored a bunch of bonus point as well this month, making my final Calvinball total 180.5 points. I'm good with that.

There may be no finish line at this point, but I'm taking that victory lap anyway!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Randomness

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.