Friday, May 30, 2008
-Let's do some layers.
-Let's try some creative ways to get this sentiment on the card.
-No, I don't want any ribbon on this one.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
While at Creating Keepsakes Convention - St. Louis (in Collinsville, IL), in April, I went to a class entitled, "My Heart Belongs to Daddy," hosted by Scrapbooks 'N Stickers. You might recall that was the class where Karen worked. In the class, we began to create an accordion album for a dad. Here is a link to the kit if you are interested.
I love how it turned out. I can't decide if I am going to get sappy and write something or not. But most of the work is finished, once I finally committed to getting it done. It only took about a day to finish. The hardest part was selecting pictures. I wanted to span both of the children's lives. That's an experiment in humor for many reasons, not limited to the increased quality of digital photos over the years as well as the decreased pigment in his hair over the years. :) I am sure several of those gray hairs have my name on them.
If you don't have Adobe Flashplayer 8, you might want to do a free download to see the slideshow below. If you want to see a larger image of any of the photos, just click on the thumbnail as it comes up in the show.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Now for the rest of us... Isn't this a great card? I have been wanting to do embossed on embossed panels for a while, and this sketch seemed to fit perfectly. Nothing particular in mind for the card... perhaps a wedding card or just congrats, etc. Again, I used yesterday's color challenge because I loved it.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
I think the word "prolific" is misused quite often (and probably by me on more than one occasion). Quite literally, as I take the word apart, I see "pro-" which I know typically to mean "for," and I see "lific" which seems to mean "related to life." "Prolific," as defined in a dictionary has a variety of literal and figurative meanings. On its most literal end, it means "bearing an abundance of offspring." I suppose with that definition, my mom, with eight children, would be considered prolific. On its most figurative end, it means "intellectually productive." The latter is the definition I choose to use for this year.
I believe that in every situation in life, we are meant to learn something (or some things). Here is my stream of consciousness about what I learned through my year.
1. Our children are the best and the worst of us. Ignatius has a heart of gold. He is also a nervous wreck and a perfectionist. Max has a most infectious laugh. He also has a wicked temper. As Scott and I indulged in the sea of genetic guilt regarding our children's anxiety and autism, we also had random, peaceful moments. In these moments we realized why God gave these children to us and what he wants from us as their parents. He lets us look in a mirror on a daily basis, especially since Max has become a parrot of tone, word choice, and mannerism as he learns the spoken word. They are us. God help them. :)
2. "If everything is 'under control,' everyone will be happy" is a fallacy. So many years of my life have given energy to the "try to make everyone happy" ideal. I believed this was an achievable goal. It literally was running me... no let me be more accurate, it was a jet engine hurtling full-throttle into the ground. Each time I realized people were not content with something, I had to try to control it more. I had to be the best teacher for every student with special needs that I had. I had to know what my own children needed, and I had to get it for them yesterday. If someone close to me was upset, I was upset, particularly if I could not fix the problem that created the stress for that person. If a job was being done poorly, it was my responsibility to help that person create a workable, productive situation. No one can live up to this level.
3. Everybody hurts. When my speeding plane finally burst into flames this November, there was a HUGE outpouring of support from more people than I can possibly list here. Some people shared their own struggles with depression, or children with autism/anxiety, or nervous breakdowns. Some people just constantly let me know they were there. Some dragged my butt out of bed because they knew if they didn't, I would drown in my sense of failure. Others had the perfect words of advice at the perfect time. Some made sure that I was left alone without the worry of school. Others helped remind me of my scheduling goals (my "curfew") upon returning to work. Many just let me know they were rooting for me. A lot of people just listened.
4. Breathe in, breathe out. 'Nuff said?
5. Criticisms from others are not always accurate and should not be life-altering. So, a parent thinks something negative? I know I work my behind off to do what's best for students. No need to spend extra energy agonizing over harsh criticism. Also, I am an artist. I believed that before ninth grade. I stopped believing it due to the careless assessment of one art teacher who was too lazy to give me any formative feedback on my work. Never again. I know that creating makes me happy. I am happier as I create than I am doing most things in my life. I will pursue this now at 38. I should have pursued it at 18. Never again will I allow one person to have that much power over me.
6. No one fits in to tiny little boxes of "normal." "Normal" and "typical" are arbitrary statements. I guess if you are the loudest voice, you get to set the "normal" bar. You get to decide that children who do not score a certain score on a test get more/less opportunities than other testtakers. You get to decide that someone's child doesn't "fit." Truthfully, though, "normal" is a moving target that changes from community to community. I like the masses of "abnormal" much better. You could say, "Abnormal is the new normal."
OK, I am sleepy, so I will cut this off now. I just really wanted to get some things down as my goal of making it through this school year with some of my sanity in tact becomes a reality. Yippee!
Monday, May 26, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
First, I looked at colors. This ad might as well have been a color swatch for my patterned papers. Love these colors! So I laid some out to determine which to use. I ended up using two separate papers, one from the Bohemia collection from My Mind's Eye, the other from the Urban Window collection from We R Memory Keepers. I decided that the velvet brown trim on the chair was an essential texture tie-in for me. Hence, my strip of velvet ribbon. To give some embellishment balance, I added three dots from the Thickers Felt Pajamas stickers. I hope my picture accents both of these textures.
I inked the base of the card with Color Box Dark Moss Cat's Eye Chalk ink. Otherwise, it looked kind of drab. I inked the sides of the sentiment with my Old Olive marker. I love this sentiment. Just got it today with my Frugalities order. It inked and stamped beautifully.
Size: 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches
Cardstock: SU! Old Olive, Very Vanilla, Certainly Celery
Patterned Paper: My Mind's Eye Bohemian Collection, We R Memory Keepers Urban Window Collection
Ink: SU! Chocolate Chip, Brocade Blue, and Old Olive; Color Box Dark Moss Chalk Cat's Eye
Ribbon: Oriental Trading
Accents: Thickers Felt Stickers - Pajamas
Thursday, May 22, 2008
His journey... pretty cool documentary... and then, I swear I will move on... until he makes an album... then all bets are off...
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I started watching American Idol during its finale with Tyler Hicks and Katherine McPhee. I find it a fascinating show. I decided last season to watch it from its beginning to its finale. I was totally impressed with last year's choice, Jordan Sparks. Her career has already taken off, and she is one talented young lady.
This season was a bit different. The judges definitely picked a wider range of styles AND musicians. To me, by far, the most consistently talented performances have come from David Cook.
David Cook has shown a wide range of vocal ability as well as an enormous talent in musical arrangement. The above clip is my favorite of all his performances, "Billie Jean." Most of us who were children of the 80's envision Michael Jackson's sparkling white socks and black loafers dancing along a lighted floor. I had to have some black penny loafers for school due to the popularity of Michael's fashion statement. However, this take of it is so much different... it blew me away.
Tonight, David sang one of my favorites, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." He definitely did a fantastic job. I think there are a couple reasons why he won't be the next "American Idol," and that should be A-OK with him.
1- It seems the Archuletta groupies were out in full force. Cook fans were definitely outnumbered.
2- Simon's "honesty" worked against David Cook on all three of tonight's songs. Simon seemed bent on stacking the deck against him by giving David Archuletta way too much credit. David A. showed NO flexibility in his range of performance. Why were tonight's performances not lumped together in the "amusement park" category that Simon loved to use in previous shows? Was it simply due to the crowd present and their reaction? I was floored by the compliments showered on David Archuletta.
3- Chris Daughtry. 'Nuff said.
So, my vote was cast for David Cook as the more well-rounded, more destined-to-be-a-star contestant. Alas, I don't think as many crazy 38 year olds were watching and texting as there were screaming sixteen year olds. Sorry David C. But I am going to iTunes to do some downloads right now, and I patiently await your album.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Trust me, when it arrives, my blog will know. Can't wait to take pictures of the kids with it!
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Her card that I CASED she titled "Office Birthday." I decided to keep and change some items. Here's my list:
~SU! Au Chocolat DSP
~SU! Barely Banana
~SU! Very Vanilla
~SU! Choclate Chip
~Different pattern of Au Chocolat
~Rather than Office Accoutrements, I used Sincere Salutations and Big/Little Pieces
~I used no red
~I used stitched ribbon and tied my bow on the other end
~I used three flower images, popping one up with dimensionals
~I embossed some lines using my Scor-Pal
~I inked the edges of my sentiment and flowers
Size: 4 3/16 x 5 inches
Paper: SU! Au Chocolat, Barely Banana, Very Vanilla
Ribbon: The Paper Studio Scrap Pack
Stamps: SU! Sincere Salutations, Big Pieces, and Little Pieces
Brads: Spare Parts
Ink: SU! Chocolate Chip and Barely Banana
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
There is nothing "two-handed" about anything I am doing. Life is constantly on Code Red. A day in the life:
-5:30 AM alarm sounds; if I'm lucky, I have energy to get up within 15 minutes; all depends on when I was able to get to bed
-6 AM others in house start stirring, except Max (3)
-6:30 AM on a good day, I have showered; Max meltdown preparation... try to get him on the potty or simply dressed (we have surrendered to putting him to bed in full clothes ready for the AM) with teeth brushed
-7 AM on a great day, I am on my way to work; on a typical day, I am listening to banshee screaming, kicking, and hitting as we simply try to get Max out the door and into his car seat; 11 year old feels nauseous (gee, wonder why); I wonder why I bother to make myself look presentable, as I look like hell by the time I enter my car
-7:15 AM on a great day, I am at work and scrambling to get ready for the day, since the day before I left right away to pick up Ignatius (11) at school right after my dismissal
-7:45 AM guage the attitudes of 48 eleven/twelve year olds as they enter school
-8:00 - 2:45 attempt to engage all sorts of learners in English, math and reading; bang my head against a wall on a frequent basis; get calls from my husband throughout the day because Ignatius has called him during an anxious moment
-3:00 on a good day, try to leave to pick up Ignatius
-Evenings include homework and Scouts or Tae Kwon Do for Ignatius; for Max, it's getting him to eat something (one of the three acceptable foods right now) and hoping that we can diffuse a meltdown from BOTH children; Ignatius repeatedly asks the same questions about whether or not we think he will throw up because he feels nauseous
-I might get to something I like to do (crafting) at around 9 or 10 PM. I can pick up a DVRed show every once in a while.
So, my whole day is "typing with one hand." Right now, finally, at 11:30 PM, I am typing with two hands as I finally have everyone in bed. I am exhausted, but I want to drink in the fact that there is PEACE and QUIET at some point of my day.
I wonder what a "typical" life with "typical" kids is like. I was not meant to know. Off to la la land now. Over and out.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Monday, May 5, 2008
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Today's inspiration challenge was to find a scrapbook page to use as inspiration. I knew that I needed to check out one of my three idols: Becky Higgins, Cathy Zielske, and/or Donna Downey. I started with Cathy Zielske's clean&simple scrapbooking and, of course, found a sketch.
Here's what I love about Cathy, her book, and her column:
~She deals with a lot of everyday stuff in her scrapbooking.
~Her design is so very balanced, which appeals to my Type A, OCD issues.
~She always discusses design elements... which opens up the inner graphic designer in me.
~She is all about having time to live life as well as scrapbook it, believing that the former is more important than the latter.
~She uses fabulous photography on her pages.
These ladies are true artists, each with her own style. I love the works of each of them for different reasons. Click on their links and explore their blogs if you would like to know more.
My card is inspired by page 61 in her book. I have scanned her image of a terrific scrapbook page. Here are the elements I chose to use in my card:
~Rule of Thirds: The card is divided into three horizontal areas.
~Line: The gray background has definite lines that run horizontally and vertically.
~Image balance: I took the SU! Lots of Thoughts Stamp and my Stamp-a-majig and split up the Happy Hellos stamp. I kind of knew I was going to do that when I got the set, as I felt it was too many sentiments all at once. "Happy" and "Hellos" were offset, much like Cathy's quotes from her kids are on her page. For "Just a Note" and "Have a Great Day" I used my SU! tab punch and cut off the excess.
~Color: I noticed Cathy's upper-left and lower-right-hand corners had patterned paper, which she balanced with solid papers in the other corners. Since in her middle piece, she pulled out a color from her patterned paper, I decided to do the same.
~No photo: Since I didn't have a photo for the middle section, I decided to use brads to emphasize the linear dominance of the card. I made them a bit haphazard, though, to try and tie in the patterned paper's design elements.
Size: 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches
Stamp: SU! Lots of Thoughts
Ink: SU! Basic Black
Paper: Sixth Avenue Little Italy (American Crafts), Bazzill textured gray, SU! Certainly Celery
Brads: Spare Parts (Paper Studio)
Thursday, May 1, 2008
The cards are fairly simple, which is good when making multiple cards. I tried to alter the design each time, and each counselor will get an SU! Define Your Life definition that makes me think of her.