Friday, December 30, 2011

A Crafting Date

Today, my crafting buddy and CAS designer extraordinaire, Ann Cox, came to the Plato Craft Lab as part of her "gift" from me for Christmas.  It was a great way to spend a rainy day!  Here's what we came up with:

I made about 18 of these for Christmas gift thank you notes for my students.  I love the notebook paper embossing folder I just got at Hobby Lobby (made by The Paper Studio!).  Very quick and I like how they look.

Then came these awesome cards from Ann...

Looking at her bag, we gave ourselves a Valentine/color challenge:

The Bag

Ann's Take

My Take
And while we were crafting, the UPS man brought my scrapbook for my One Little Word project.  I tell ya, Barnes and Noble is FAST!  I just ordered it maybe two days ago.  Got me quite excited.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

And another?

So, I hemmed and I hawed, and I thought, and I thought.  And I decided. And I convinced Scott that if we did this together, it would be awesome.  So, yes, you got it, the Platos will be doing their first "together" scrapbook.  And year-long journey.

Yes, I am doing "One Little Word."  And working on my Master's degree.  And teaching.  And mothering.  Yes, it seems like one more thing on my "plate" (pardon the pun).  Here's how I justify:

  • I am already trying to follow the basic ideas of this.  This is just a matter of documenting.
  • We have both been sluggish and lethargic.  We eat crap and then wonder why we have no energy.  
  • This is monthly.  I can commit myself to getting things down once a month.
  • Scott's journeying with me, and that's huge.  His mere acknowledgement that he will go on this trip for a year makes it more exciting.
  • It's not a weight loss plan.  It's not Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig, or whatever other constrictive programs I have followed.  It gives a nod to what we need to do in life: move more, eat well.  
  • I have followed Cathy's journey on her blog since she began (formerly "Move More, Eat Less").  I love that she has changed the title to "Move More, Eat Well."  The "Eat Less" part was what I knew I needed to do but, psychologically, seemed depriving, which sets me up for failure.  Anyway, she has shared the good right along with the bad; the triumphs and the struggles.  That is all this is.  A place to do so.
  • This is my third class with Cathy through Big Picture Scrapbooking.  She does a fabulous job with them, and it's well worth the registration fee.
  • I am always one step away from packing it in (always, not just now...the edge is always right there).  I need to keep things in the forefront that keep me from doing so.
And there you have it.  A good juggler can throw in a refrigerator and the plates will still stay in the air.  Or so I tell myself.  I will share a bit here and on my "family" blog, so enjoy!  Or ignore! :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

And so it begins...

Our only assignment so far as we wrap up 2011 is to find a word and create our title page.  Sounds pretty simple?  NOT really.

My search for a word began with a Facebook query of my cyber pals.  I kicked around joining this journey with Ali Edwards, but wondered what word would see me through 12 months.  On December 11, I proposed the following question:

I love how it says my question was posted "near Normal."  As in Normal, IL, not the state of mind.  Ha!  Among the responses: thin, baby, balance (2), life, Jesus, happiness, grandbabygirl, hope, priorities, family (2), faith, children, peace, debt-free, redirection, fitness, fresh, tequila, organize, farts, perseverance, don'tsweatthesmallstuff, healthy, grateful, margarita, you can see, I have a wide range of friends with a wide range of sense of humor.  I decided on December 13 that "strength" would be my choice for so, so many reasons.

Upon signing up for the class, the decisions then begin: What color album? Where to buy materials?  What color for the cover art shown above?  Do I follow Ali's recipe or do I stray and make myself more of a perfectionistic nuthead?  

I looked up colors associated with the word strength, and one answer resounded: RED.  Its placement in flags of nations indicates strength.  It's considered a "power" color (although the "power" connotation of strength was not really in the realm of why I chose the word).  Red it was!

So, do I overcomplicate things and recolor the .png file Ali provided, or do I just choose one of the available colors?  Yup, I went with easy...and chose brown.  Uh oh, of the red alpha letter stickers I have, can I write out "strength?"  Even if I have to mix upper and lower case?  Yes, but... not in love with the choices (I have very little red in my stash... not a signature color).  But, JoLynn, you ninny.  You have TONS of stamps!  Ah, yes, Stampin' Up! Whimsical Alphabet Lower stamped in Stampin' Up! Ruby Red.  Perfecto.  Even used the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig to make sure I did not completely screw this up.  Reread "perfectionistic nuthead" above.

So, now, that's ready.  I think I will work on my unfinished "MeTAV" album before I get my first assignment and see what dent I can put in that baby.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

One Little Word

Yup.  I am again embarking on a class from Big Picture Scrapbooking.  This time, I have enrolled in Ali Edwards' "One Little Word" class.  No, I have not finished Me the Abridged Version.  I will get there, I swear.  Even if it is a two-year thing, I'm still me, and I still have lots to say for many letters of the alphabet.

I was intrigued by the idea of One Little Word and the focus it brought me when I kept thinking about it.  So, what's my word, you ask?  I have chosen "strength."

That is all for now.  The announcement is big enough, eh?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Quick and cute

Some SEI patterned paper, a trading card envelope template, my SU! tag punches, some Basic Grey brads, an SU! stamp and marker and...VOILA!  A quick thank you gift card to some fellow teachers who helped me with some grad class activities.  Sorry I can't be more specific with my recipe... I'm a bit tired.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


During the month of November, every day on Facebook, I joined some of my friends in posting something for which I was grateful.  Before it got too far past November, I went back and copied what I posted each day (those who are on Facebook know how quickly these can get gobbled up on your Wall and how much digging you have to do to find a month's worth of posts).  I thought I might make a totally digital layout, and started with the Laying It All  Out mini-kit by Katie Peritet.  My issue?  I love Thickers and various other letter stickers.  When I went to use digital alphabets, I just couldn't.  So, the above layout is hybrid, and I think I may be a hybrid gal.  I altered the layout from a 12 x 12 to 8.5 x 11, as I do not have a 12 x 12 printer.  The letters I used were Amy Tangerine Hello fabric Thickers.  I just love the way they look.  I will say this: I think American Crafts got the memo about their adhesive having longevity problems.  The way they fixed it?  Once that letter is's down.  It was some seriously strong, non-movable adhesive.

Here is the text of my journaling, if you care to read it.  It was pretty tiny for the photo: 

30 Days of Domo Arigato: I begin my month of gratitude for the magic that music is in my life. It reaches me at my lowest and my highest. It motivates me to get to Zumba and shake my boom boom (oh, and stay healthy). Thank you very much-o, Mr. Roboto. | Day 2 of 30: Today I reflect on my family. I feel fortunate that I have the great husband and kids that I have that make me laugh daily. I am also quite thankful for my mother, Bernice Paul, and my siblings and their families without whom I would not be who I am today. | Day 3 of 30: I am thankful for busy-ness. I rarely find myself bored. | Day 4 of 30: I am grateful for the incredible people with whom I have worked over the years. | Day 5 of 30: I am thankful for the friends I see IRL and those who share bits of their lives on FB. I have been blessed with great people in my life. | Day 6 of 30: I am grateful today for my ability to multitask. I need it hourly. | Day 7 of 30: I am grateful to live in a generous country. We just packed 19 flats of boxes for Clare House. It reminded me that I really have nothing to complain about. | Day 8 of 30: Today I am grateful for the people who speak up when they feel something is wrong. It is a hard place to put yourself, but where would we be without them? | Day 9 of 30: I am grateful to be able to cope with anxiety and depression after a 5 year battle. Taking things day by day. | Day 10 of 30: I am thankful for sunshine. Please stay with us today! | Day 11 of 30: I am thankful for every veteran and each of their families for their service and sacrifice to America. | Day 12 of 30: I am thankful for the change of seasons. There's something I love in each one. | Day 13 of 30: I am grateful for the physical ability to complete a 5K. Slow and steady... | Day 14 of 30: I am grateful for my bathtub. It is my oasis. | Day 15 of 30: Today I am grateful for technology. It amazes me how much things have changed in my lifetime alone. | Day 16 of 30: I am grateful for those who teach my children. | Day 17 of 30: I am thankful for the opportunities that my church offers for fellowship with other moms. Talk about an empathetic group! | Day 18 of 30: Sorry to sound cliche, but I am thankful for the Fridays (and faux-Fridays) that fall into each week. | Day 19 of 30: I am thankful for life's simple escapes: movies, reading, TV, Facebook. The real world is so overrated. | Day 20 of 30: I am thankful for my health. | Day 21 of 30: Today I am grateful for being a dual-parent family. Single parents, you have my admiration. I don't know how you do it. | Day 22 of 30: I am thankful that today has finally arrived! Breaking Dawn with my besties! | Day 23 of 30: I am grateful for the kids I teach. Each is unique and brings out something good in me I did not realize I had. I love nine and ten year olds. | Day 24 of 30: I am grateful for moments of relaxation. They feel pretty good and are few and far between. | Day 25 of 30: I am grateful on this day for being able to keep in check with why the holidays exist. | Day 26 of 30: I am grateful that I have "tools" to help with the struggles my children have. Hopelessness is not one of them. | Day 27 of 30:  I am grateful for the excitement of a six year old at Christmastime. | Day 28 of 30: I am thankful for self-restraint. I showed a great deal of it today. | Day 29 of 30: I am grateful for warm clothes and a cozy house. | Day 30 of 30: Today I am grateful for the colleagues who gave me some of their time to help me advance my graduate studies...whether it's answering my survey or engaging with my process tools...Irving staff is awesome. THANK YOU!
Daily Facebook Reflections During November 2011