Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I wrote this post originally for my CaringBridge website, but I got several requests to share it more widely, and this blog is a good forum to do so. Please take a minute to click through to the links, this is very important.

​You would think that this past month of Breast Cancer Awareness, where everywhere you look are pink ribbons, would have been a happy month for me. It's my month, right? When everyone is focused on the disease that radically changed my life almost a year ago. Well, the truth is that, no, I didn't feel happy about all the pink this past month. It actually got me down, and it turns out I'm not alone. There is an undercurrent in the breast cancer community that wants to raise awareness, not about breast cancer itself (is there really anyone who isn't aware of breast cancer?), but about where all the money raised during "Pinktober" is going. And about the realities of breast cancer, especially metastatic breast cancers, which is what I was diagnosed with last December. The reality is that no one dies of breast cancer that stays confined to the breast. A few women (& men) die of the treatment used for a cancer that stayed in their breast, but otherwise anyone who dies of breast cancer dies after the disease has spread (or metastasized) outside the breast, often to the liver, lungs, bones, or brain. My cancer had already spread to the liver, lungs, and bones when it was diagnosed. I've been reading a lot of blog posts and articles about these issues this month, and I'd like to share some of these with you that I found most poignant and informative. There's really two issues that have been on my mind lately regarding breast cancer: the truth behind all that pink advertising, and the truth about metastatic breast cancer. 

​First the truth behind all that pink. I think we've all heard that we should check into the charities that we choose to give our money to. But somehow that seems to go out the window when faced with all the cute pink products that are out there, or even the "normal" products that are pinkified every October. Where is the money for these products really going? And even if it's a reputable charity, what are they using the money for? Turns out that very little of the money that we think we're giving "for a cure" is going to towards research, which is really the only way we'll find a cure. I have no problem with charities that are primarily raising money for patient support or advocacy, but we should know where our money is going. And also think about the motives behind the pink item we have in our shopping cart. Did the company slap a pink ribbon on their product (which may not be all that good for you, like the pink Kentucky Fried Chicken buckets) just to try to get you to buy it? I personally would rather give my money directly to the charity (or charities) that are using that money to fund the causes that I really believe in and that are reputable, using the majority of the money for the cause, as opposed to overhead or advertising. Here are a couple links that give more details and explain this issue better than I can:

​This pink issue has been on my mind this month because of the onslaught of pink products everywhere you look. I never even noticed this before, and probably bought some of those pink products, thinking I was doing a good thing. And I'm not saying its not a good thing, I'm just wishing consumers were mindful of where their money is going instead of succumbing to the "tyranny of passive consumerism," as mentioned in the Ottowa citizen article linked above. 

​Second, the truth about metastatic breast cancer. This one is on my mind year-round, because this is the disease I am fighting. It's the disease that kills almost everyone who dies of breast cancer, and yet it only gets 3% of the funds directed towards breast cancer research! The statistics for the number of people who die of metastatic breast cancer hasn't changed significantly over the last 20 years, despite all the awareness raised with all the pink advertising every October. This article gives you the facts about the disease I'm facing. It's incurable. Unless you happen to die of a car accident or something like that, this will be the cause of death of everyone who gets it. But I like to focus on #11 on that list, "Metastatic breast cancer isn’t an automatic death sentence. Although most people will ultimately die of their disease, some can live long and productive lives." Although I am in the rare 6-10% of people who are Stage IV from the initial diagnosis, I also hope I am among the "some" who live long and productive lives. But having this disease, and being Stage IV from the beginning, I feel like I don't fit in with the pink, hopeful stories that dominante this month. I'm the ugly step-sister that other cancer survivors don't want to hear about, because I represent their worst fears. Everyone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer fears that their cancer will spread, that it will come back. I never had to live with that fear because mine spread before I ever knew about it. Here are some more articles focusing on metastatic breast cancer: 

​I have recently discovered the organization METAvivor, which was started by a woman living with metastatic breast cancer. Their newest initiative, launched this month, is called 30% for 30%. As stated on their site, "Since thirty percent of all breast cancer patients develop MBC [Metastatic Breast Cancer]-- a fatal condition, then 30% of breast cancer research funds and 30% of breast cancer support activities should be dedicated to MBC." At this time, doctors have little knowledge about why a cancer will spread or how to prevent it from doing so. It seems that the seeds for metastasis are sown before the primary tumor is even big enough to be detected. About 30% of people with breast cancer have or will develop metastases, and this number hasn't changed significantly over the last 20 years. As the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network said, "Early detection is not a cure. Metastatic breast cancer can occur ANY time after a person’s original diagnosis, EVEN if the patient was initially Stage 0, I, II or III and DESPITE getting annual checkups and annual mammograms." So all the awareness to get people to have mamograms & do self-exams has NOT changed the number of people whose cancers spread or the number of people who die of metastatic breast cancer. Imagine the knowledge we could gain and the lives that could eventually be saved if more money went towards researching why cancer spreads or how to keep it from doing so instead of more awareness.

​I hope this post doesn't bring anyone down. I've had these issues on my mind all month, and I want to do my part to raise awareness of both the issues behind "passive consumerism" and the truth of the disease I'm living with every day. I hope you spend a bit of time clicking through to some of the links above and learning a bit about these issues, so that you can be a more informed consumer and just generally be more informed about metastatic breast cancer.


Monday, September 19, 2011

A Challenge and a Tutorial

I've been scrapping lately, and I'll share some of my recent layouts hopefully soon, but I wanted to share this one and I had a request from an online friend to show how I did it. It all started with a challenge from The Daily Digi. There was a great post over there about combining two templates into one layout. What a great idea! I'd never thought to do that. They issued a challenge to complete a page with this technique and I just had to try it.

Here's the template I started with, it was a freebie by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals called EmailInspiration22711.

I wanted to add something to that space in the upper right and I just bought a bunch of really fun, clustery templates by Little Green Frog Designs (with a coupon from The Daily Digi, here). I chose this template and wanted to use that cluster in the upper left. 
So I selected all the layers in that cluster and dragged them onto the Katie Pertiet template, holding down the shift key to make sure they landed in the same spot on that template as they were on the original. I couldn't select all the layers at once, as they were interspersed with layers in the bottom right cluster, so the shift key was very important to make sure they all were aligned correctly. It looked like this after that process.

Of course I didn't want the parts of the second template to be in that position, so I selected all of them, shrunk them down a bit, and moved them into position. This is what it looked like after that.
When I'm working with a template, I usually drop the pictures in first before I start adding papers and embellishments. Here's what my layout looked like after adding the photos.
I thought the colors and the fun nature of the photos would work well with a new kit that Cilenia Curtis has coming out this week, called Beautiful Mess 6. The photos have mostly pink and orange in them, but there are a couple pops of turquoise, so I wanted the background to be mostly blue. There is a really cool piece of blue artsy paper in this kit. Here's what it looks like.
And here's what it looked like behind the photos. I also added an orange paper to the block behind the photos.
I thought it was a bit dark, so I added a neutral version of the same paper on top of it, and set it to soft light blending mode to tone down the blue a bit. Here's what it looked like after that.
The blue matched the photos so much better with that slight change. Once I get my basic papers decided, I usually add my elements. I went back and forth on a lot of these and putzed around with it a lot, but here's what I eventually came up with (the elements are from Beautiful Mess 1 and Beautiful Mess 6).
I also changed the color of the title and added the journaling. It's actually white and I think it'll be OK to read when it's printed, but it is a bit tough to see on the web-sized version. The final thing that was bothering me was the purple. I wanted to keep the color palette to mostly pink, orange, and turquoise, so I went back to the kit and added some of the transfers that were included. These were multi-colored png files, so they would basically be like rub-ons in paper scrapbooking. I used those and one of the brushes in the kit to cover up most of the purple on the background paper. And here's the finished product!

Emma summer 2010_KPertiet_EmailInspirationTemplate22711_LGFD_Fairyland_template 4

I love how these bright papers really highlight how fun Emma is and the fun we had doing this photo shoot with her new clothes. I loved combining two different templates, and I hope to do it again sometime.

Have you ever combined templates or do you like to find one that will work as it is?

P.S. I won the drawing for the challenge at The Daily Digi! I won $10 to Micheline Martin's store!


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Art Journaling on the road

A couple weeks ago, we took a family trip. Because art journaling was so new for me, I wanted to continue it on our trip, as much as I could. I brought just a few supplies with me. Because we were travelling by car, I didn't have to worry too much about the size or weight of the items I brought. I packed my journal, my basic scrapbooking tool kit (includes scissors, corner rounders, a tape runner, a glue stick, a hole puncher, etc.), watercolor pencils, gelatos, some Tim Holtz tissue tape, some old magazines, a couple paint brushes, and my Sakura pens. I thought I would work on my journal each evening after the kids were in bed, but I didn't have the energy for it every night. We were away for four nights and I think I worked on it on three of them. One evening I just added journaling and some tissue tape to a background I'd already done previously. Remember this one?
When I finished it, it looked like this:

Because this was our summer vacation, I had summer on the brain and I wanted to work with the magazines I'd brought. I created this background:
I cut out all the words that meant "summer" to me from the magazines (I tried to stick with those that would be big enough to stand out on my page) and stuck them around the edge of the page with a glue stick. I doodled in some of the letters. I colored the "scene" with my watercolor pencils and got it wet to "activate" the water colors. I doodled on the sun and added the doodly flowers. This was done over more than one session. I will add more to this page before it's completed. 

So that's one completed page on a background that was already done and one completed background on a five-day vacation. I think that's pretty good! For more ideas on travelling with your art journal, check out Julie's post here

Have you ever taken your art journal on vacation? Did you get as much done in it as you'd hoped?


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Some completed pages

In my last post, I showed some examples of unfinished backgrounds. Today I’d like to share a couple of my finished pages. The first one is the one page I’ve sat down and made start to finish. 
I just wanted to play around and make a whole page (I think this is the first one to which I added journaling, also). I like pink (but maybe not this much pink!), so I painted the background pink. Then I stenciled with an alphabet stencil and a different shade of pink. I added some stamps with white ink and started thinking about what to write. I had an idea of how to lay out the page and I was planning to put the title in the upper left and journaling down the right side. I stamped a pen in the middle and thought I’d put my journaling starting at the tip of the pen. But then I stamped my title with some really big foam stamps and ended up covering up the pen (you can see it behind the ‘ha’ in What, going towards the ‘y’ in my). I’m working really hard on letting go of perfectionism, so I just left it (although I have to admit that it still bugs me a little). On a scrapbook page, I almost certainly would’ve fixed it somehow (or planned ahead better), but an art journal page strikes me as much less permanent, so it doesn’t bother me as much. The journaling is just a stream of consciousness of what was on my mind that day (I blurred it a bit, as I don’t really want to post my blathering for the world to see). I would like to use this journal as a way to work through some of the thoughts and feelings I have floating around in my head, so I may not post many completed pages. I want to feel completely free to express myself without the pressure to share.

The next one started out as an experiment with watercolor pencils. I remembered drawing a random pattern and filling it in with crayons as a child, so I did something similar with watercolor pencils. I didn’t really love it, so I covered it with some tissue paper I had from an American Girl doll outfit my daughter bought with her birthday money. 
Then I “stamped” the circles with paint and a metal cookie cutter (an idea I got from May Flaum). I still wasn’t sure what I was doing at this point, but I had the packaging from the doll outfit which had several words on it that made me think of the first week of the She Had Three Hearts workshop by Christy Tomlinson. The class is based on a Chinese proverb that a woman has three hearts: one that she shares with the world, one that she shares with her family and close friends, and one that she shares only with herself. I thought about cutting out the words from the packaging and writing my thoughts on how each relates to my heart that I share with the world. So I just adhered the cut-up packaging and wrote around the circles.

I’m not completely in love with either of these pages, but they are my first efforts and I hope that with time and practice, I will find my style. For now I’m enjoying the process and just playing around with my supplies. 


Thursday, August 11, 2011

What is art journaling?

So what is art journaling and why did I get into it? Art journalers will tell you that it can be anything, but I know that’s not a very helpful definition. I use my art journal for a couple purposes. The first page is filled with doodles, mostly from an e-book I purchased at called Oodles of Doodles
The book covers doodling as an embellishment on scrapbook pages mainly, but I was intrigued by the repeating patterns. I sought out more ideas online and found Zentangle, which is an art form all to itself. Now that I’ve started using my notebook for art journaling, I’d like to get a different notebook for doodling. I usually doodle when I’m out and about, waiting for something, and I’d rather not carry around my private art journal. Not to mention that my journal is often sitting on my table drying and I can’t just pick it up and go. 

What do I mean by art journaling? I am honestly so new to it that I’m still working out what it will mean to me and my creative process. I’m allowing myself to just play and become familiar with my supplies and, hopefully, find my voice in this medium. So far I’ve only completed three pages. I generally start by just making a background, having no idea where the page is going or what the theme will be even. For example, I had some turquoise paint left over from something else and I didn’t want to waste it, so I just brushed it onto this page. 
It’s still just sitting in my book waiting for more layers. I bought watercolors in tubes to play with and I’d never used that type of watercolors before, so I just squeezed some out and painted them onto a page in stripes. I picked it up to show my husband, and it started to drip because it was still wet. I liked it, so I sprayed it with more water and dripped it more. 
This one is also just waiting for more layers. I’ve been searching for a spray that will stay put once it’s down, and I tried making Rit dye into a spray. I’d heard this wouldn’t run if it got wet, so I was just experimenting with it. I liked the spray OK, although some of my spray bottles didn’t work that well. But when I went over it with a wet paintbrush (after it had dried), it smeared all over. Well, now I know. I started turning my experiment into a page by doodling on top of it (I was also playing with some new pens I’d bought, to try out all the different tips). You can see in the upper right corner that this is the back of my doodling page. I was using a Sharpie for most of that page and it bled through the paper.
As you can see, I’m just playing with this stuff. I’m not trying to make masterpieces. I’m just figuring out what happens if you get the different mediums wet and discovering how saturated the colors are on a page. But I have been working on it every day, sometimes just a tiny bit, and sometimes making an entire page start to finish (OK, I only did that once!). I hope this gives you an idea of how to start, it can be as simple as painting the page a color. And from there, it really can be anything, just like the art journalers say...


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A New Direction

Hello, friends. So it turns out that I was over-enthusiastic about my plans for this year. I thought that if it seemed feasible when I was at my lowest energy in December, that it would only get better. It turns out that months upon months of chemo take their toll and I wasn't really at my lowest point in December. Around May of this year, I basically stopped scrapbooking. I just didn't feel like it. The only layouts I'd been doing were the ones for the Log Your Memory challenges, and while I loved the layouts, I wanted to be able to scrap whatever I wanted with my limited time and energy. So I allowed myself to change my mind about doing all the challenges. Really I let myself off the hook and I don't feel guilty about not completing my goal. With all that I've been through, I can't hold on to guilt about scrapbooking, right?

I've been scrapping more lately, and getting more organized with my photos and layouts with the help of Stacy Julian's Finding Photo Freedom class at Big Picture Classes. I would like to share some of those layouts and tips here, but what I want to talk about today is a new creative direction I've taken this year.

A friend of mine referred me to the SheArt class run by Christy Tomlinson. She thought it would be fun for me to create a canvas of a girl for each of my daughters. I'd never done anything like this, but for some reason this particular class really appealed to me. I signed up and started slowly working through the material. Here's the first canvas that I created:
She Art 
She Art detail

Here's the second one, which I've since given to a friend:

And, finally, the third one. This was my least favorite, but that's what happens with stuff like this, right? These were all from the first week of class material!

So starting with making canvases, it was an easy leap to art journaling. If you don't know what art journaling is, I will be sharing a lot more this month, but here's a great resource to learn the basics. I'm going to join in Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's Art Journal Every Day for August and I'll be sharing something about my art journaling every week. I don't think I'll share all my pages, because the whole intention for me is to have the actual journaling be private and just for me. If I have the pressure to share the finished product, I won't be as honest as I'd like to be. Please come visit me throughout August to learn more about art journaling and maybe see some new layouts, too.

Have you ever kept an art journal?


Monday, April 11, 2011

Log Your Memory Week 14

Log Your Memory: Week 14

This week's challenge was to document the changes in one aspect of your life over time. This was one of the weeks where my layout was used as the example for the challenge. For my original layout, I documented my life as a new mom vs. my life as  mother of three. Here's that layout:
Lisa New Mom
Template, papers, and concept from Type+Writer 1 at

For my new layout, I knew I wanted to use some journaling I'd written for my CaringBridge site back in January. I was laying awake one night unable to sleep thinking about all the changes in my life since my diagnosis. I eventually did fall asleep, but the next day at treatment I started writing this list. I knew it would eventually make it to a scrapbook page, but I waited until the opportunity presented itself. When I saw the challenge for this week, I knew it was perfect! Here's what I came up with:
Storyteller Collection No. 2 by Tiffany Tillman at Design House Digital
Treasure the Memory by Sugarplum Paperie at The Digichick
Fonts are Caslon and CK Vogue
Here's the journaling:
Two months ago I was tired all the time. Now I have energy most days.
Two months ago I didn't know what was going on with my body. Now I have a diagnosis and a plan.
Two months ago I could work to help support my family. Now I don't work, but I still help to support my family through the generosity of others giving me their vacation days.
Two months ago I could lift Sarah to put her in her crib, or her high chair, or change her diaper, but it was excruciating every time. Now I can't lift her, and I need help to take care of her on a day to day basis.
Two months ago I often felt sad. Now I feel hopeful.
Two months ago I was in pain almost all the time. Now I am mostly pain-free.
Two months ago I couldn't exercise at all. Now I can "jog" for 10 minutes on an elliptical machine.
Two months ago I thought I didn't have very many friends. Now I am overwhelmed on a daily basis by how many friends I have and by their generosity.
Two months ago I had plans for the future. Now I live day by day.
Two months ago I worried about what people thought about me. Now I realize that's not very important.
Two months ago I had hair. Now I am bald.
Two months ago I was on a diet to lose weight and I often felt deprived. Now I am on a diet for my health and I sometimes still feel deprived, but I'm working on it.
Two months ago I spent my days taking care of my kids and my house. Now I need help to do both those things and I spend my days focusing on my recovery.
Two months ago I was a mom, a wife, a sonographer, a scrapbooker. Now I am a cancer patient.
Cancer changed everything about my life. But who is to say whether it was for the worse?

I could almost write a whole new list now because things have already changed so much again since January. 

Can you think of a time in your life when everything changed? Have you ever documented those changes? 

Log Your Memory Week 13

Log Your Memory: Week 13

The challenge for this week was to list ten things you love right now. Because I knew this challenge was coming up, I just started snapping pictures with the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone of things I love. Then when I had enough, I made the layout. They aren't necessarily the "top ten" things right now, just a random collection of ten things. I did a similar layout (also for a challenge) in November 2009 and it's interesting to compare the things I chose then and now. It would be fun to do a layout like this every other year or so. I bet if I keep doing challenges, it'll just happen, because I probably won't remember to do it! Here's my current layout:
10 Things Layered Template, Love Life Chipboard Tag, and Love You Sentiment Stacks by Ali Edwards
Blush Starter kit by Basic Grey at The Digichick
Stitched by Anna White No. 5 by Anna Aspnes
Classic Curled Photo Frames No. 1, File Labels Love, and Crochet heart by Katie Pertiet
Round Love tag (web challenge freebie) by Lynn Grieveson
Dainty Love tag by Sara Schmutz
Brad by Karen Funk
Love Always Heart tag by Torta Gialla
Font is American Typewriter

Here's the journaling if you're interested:
1. I love watching Sarah run. She runs after her sisters, even when they’re not running, because her legs are shorter than theirs and she has to run to keep up. She runs when you call for her, just because she can. She runs from room to room, and I love to watch her little legs pumping and the joy on her face.
2. I love reading blogs on my iPad. I usually spend some time reading blogs in the morning with breakfast and after lunch with my tea.
3. I love that I’m finally beating Dave at a game of Words with Friends. He won the first two games after we put the app on our phones about two weeks ago. I hope that I finally win this game!
4. I love reading books with Laura in the afternoon when Sarah goes down for her nap. We call it “snuggle book time,” and we do just that, snuggle under a big blanket and read a bunch of books.
5. I love that the sun is finally out again. It seems like it’s been a long, cold, dark late winter/early spring so far and I’m just craving some warmth and sun.
6. I love when the house is clean after Jamie comes every other Wednesday, especially the wood floors, which always seem to show the dust first. Of course the whole-house clean doesn’t last long, but I love it for those few hours.
7. I love eating breakfast with the family, especially the time I get to spend with Emma after Dave takes the little girls to school. Of course, sometimes she’s too engrossed in comics on her iPhone (”Zits” is her favorite) to be very interactive, but sometimes I get a little glimpse into the young lady she’s becoming.
8. I love eating lunch in the porch. It was finally warm enough out there midday this week. Soon it’ll be warm enough at dinner time, too!
9. I love when the laundry is all sorted and both machines are humming away getting them clean and dried. Unfortunately, the folding and putting away is my least favorite step and that comes next.
10. I love reading books with Sarah before her nap. She understands so much, has her favorite books, and really gets into them. She loves “Baby, Baby!” and points at almost all the pictures. She makes some of the faces like the babies in the book and she puts her head to the side and “snores” on the page with the sleeping kitty.

Here's the layout from November 2009: 
JS-challenge-10-Things- Nov 2009
Blue cardstock by Katie Pertiet: White cardstock & stitching by Anna Aspnes; striped paper (recolored) by 3 Paper Peonies; Word art by Ali Edwards; Acrylic clock by Patti Knox; Template by 3s enough; Fonts: CK 8 Ball + Garamond

What are ten things you love right now? Have you scrapped them?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Catch up Thursday

Catch up Thursday: Yesterday+Today Week Five
I know I missed my Catch up Thursday post last week. I actually had this layout completely finished, except for the stitching. When I went to sew on it, my sewing machine just kept jamming up. I talked to my mom, who is a sewing expert and whose old machine I use, and looked in the manual, but I couldn't fix it. My mom said that the machine does have to be cleaned and serviced every so often (not that often since I don't use it a ton), and I'd never done that since I've had it. So I took it in to the shop. Turns out it was broken and I wouldn't have been able to fix it. I also bought the proper oil and they showed me where to put it when I need to oil the machine, which should keep it running properly between professional cleanings. They told me this would be especially important because I sew on paper pretty much all the time. So today I was finally able to finish my layout.

This layout is for Week Five of Yesterday+Today by Ali Edwards, which focused on photo-less layouts. If you've been following my layouts here, you've seen that I've done several photo-less layouts this year for the Log Your Memory challenges, but I really hadn't done many prior to that. I actually did this layout during the class, but I did it about Dave. Here's that layout:
Sorry for the poor quality photo, I took it awhile ago to post to the class gallery before I worked on my layout photography skills. I'm so glad I did this layout because Dave is actually the person who is featured the least in our scrapbooks. He takes a lot of the pictures, especially at events, and I just don't make the time very often to get his perspective for journaling and telling his stories. I would love to do this more in the future.

These are both 6x12 layouts, that are back to back in a 6x12 page protector. The lesson this week was about photo-less layouts, but I did want to include a photo on one side of the layout. This was one of the options that Ali gave for the assignment. Here's my layout (again, these are both 6x12 layouts that are back to back in the page protector):
YT You should know Lisa
I wrote the date on it at the bottom after I took the picture. My stitching skills could use some work! Here's the journaling if you're interested:
1. Was born in Big Spring, TX, but moved to WI at one year old. 2. Likes to turn the water on super hot at the end of the shower and just stand under it for awhile. 3. Lived in Guayaquil, Ecuador for a summer as an exchange student in high school. 4. Dyed her hair purple in college with Manic Panic hair dye. 5. Has had a problem with self-esteem and body image ever since she can remember. 6. Studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain for a year in college. 7. Is not a barefoot person. Wears shoes, slippers, or flip-flops at all times in the house. 8. Is really proud of the fact that she breast fed three babies to about 14 months each. 9. Wishes she practiced Spanish more and kept up her fluency. 10. Enjoys driving. 11. Went to the University of Minnesota because she wanted to go to a big school and wanted to be further away from home than Madison. 12. Drinks six tea bags worth of green tea every day. 13. Majored in International Relations and Spanish in college. Hated International Relations once she figured out what it was, but it was too late to change majors at that point. 14. Has a pair of purple Doc Marten’s in her closet that she doesn’t wear, but can’t get rid of. 15. Doesn’t enjoy puzzles, but loves board games. 16. Got all “A’s” in High School and College (including studying abroad for one year), except for one “B” in an incredibly boring class for her IR major. That one “B” still bothers her a little bit. 17. Started scrapbooking in 2001 at a Creative Memories party. 18. Traveled around Europe by train with two friends between freshman & sophomore year in college. 19. Thought she knew Spanish when traveling in Europe & asked for "soup" instead of "soap" in a laundromat in Spain (those two words don't sound anything alike in Spanish). 20. Started digital scrapbooking in 2009 when she figured out she could hold Sarah and scrapbook at the same time. 21. Thinks she’s adventurous and loves to travel, but is actually a home-body who is afraid of new situations. 22. Has been to Canada, Ecuador, Chile, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany, Finland, and Italy. Would love to travel to Great Britain. 23. Has many online friends that she considers real friends, and not many real-life friends close by. 24. Her father was an airline pilot, so she traveled in planes a lot, but she got motion sick and never enjoyed flying. 25. Still sleeps with her childhood stuffed animal, a raccoon named Ricky. 26. Has always considered herself shy. 27. Doesn’t cook. 28. Is a perfectionist and a procrastinator. 29. Has never been good at keeping “to-do” lists. 30. Does not consider herself creative. 31. Does not enjoy gardening, although she feels like she should because her mom loves it. 32. Is allergic to cats and dogs, but grew up with dogs and wishes she could have one now.
Sorry I don't have the journaling for Dave's typed up anymore. I must have deleted it after I printed it. I wanted to use the photo of me that was taken on the same day as the one of Dave, for consistency between the layouts. I meant to do the layout of me during class, but I just didn't get around to it. I'm glad I did finish it now because I love these type of layouts. I think these type of random facts will be the kinds of things that my kids will find interesting someday, I know I'd love a list of these about my parents!

Have you ever made a layout with random facts about yourself? How much are you in your own scrapbooks? What about your partner/significant other? Does he/she feature in your scrapbooks? More or less than you?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Log Your Memory Monday

Log Your Memory Monday: Lies we tell ourselves

This week the challenge was to scrapbook about something we tell ourselves that turns out not to be true. Although I could've gotten deep about this one, I have done several journaling-intensive layouts lately for these challenges and I wanted to keep this one a little lighter. So I chose to write about how it always takes us longer to leave the house than we think. I love capturing these everyday moments in our scrapbooks, I think they'll be the moments the kids really like looking back on. Here's my layout:
Template 37 by Ali Edwards
Just Thinking and Sometimes papers by Karla Dudley
Our Story brushes by Karla Dudley
Essentials tag, staples and clock by Karla Dudley
Font is Georgia
Here's the journaling if you're interested:
OK, here’s the scene: We were planning to go to Starbucks as a family outing. We planned to leave at 4:00 so we’d have time to go and come back before dinner. Leaving the house with three kids requires a certain amount of planning. We thought we compensated for this additional time when we decided to start getting ready to leave at ten to 4:00. Then Laura had taken off her socks at some point and needed to go find them. Emma needed to find her iPhone and headphones. Sarah was running the opposite direction towards the playroom. Dave was in charge of everyone at this point and I had my own time management issues. I told myself that it’d only take a minute to finish printing something for a scrapbook layout but of course it took longer, as usual. So I was putzing around with the printer and Dave was trying to corral the children. Once we got everyone into the back hallway, it was still a struggle to get the appropriate gear onto everyone. There were coats, hats, mittens, and boots to find and put on. Then as we were going out to the van, Laura decided she needed to bring her “iPhone” (a plastic flip phone) and she needed to run inside to get it. And so we left at ten after 4:00. So why don’t we start getting ready earlier next time? Is is selective memory? Do we think the kids will stop forgetting things and taking off their socks? We just keep thinking it only takes ten minutes to get ready to go, and it keeps taking twenty. Maybe we’ll learn by the time the kids move out....
Have you ever told yourself something that isn't true?

Friday, March 25, 2011

One Little Word February

One Little Word: February

The prompt for February in Ali Edwards' One Little Word class at Big Picture Classes was to take pictures that represent your word for you in some way. Ali encouraged the class to take the whole month to do the exercise, and not rush into taking a bunch of pictures the first week. I took that advice to heart, and I compiled all my photos the first week of March. Here is the two-page spread I created for February:
One Little Word February
The left is the back of the divided page protector I created in January. Here's just the left page:
One Little Word February
The journaling around the middle square corresponds to each of the photos, and reads: "Time at the hospital - PT exercises - Last FEC treatment - Scrapping retreat - Getting stronger - Hospital entertainment - Constant reminder of friends"
On the right side, Ali gave the option of including an enlargement of one of the photos from the month. I wanted to add some journaling to document how my healing journey was progressing, so I added that to the photo. Here's the layout on the right:
One Little Word- February
Here's the journaling if you're interested: "Physical healing has been progressing very well this month. All the test results that have been coming in have been very positive and Dr. Johnson was very pleased when I saw him at the end of the month. I have decreased the frequency of my physical therapy appointments and will have my last one in early March. Besides the physical, I can’t say I’ve had much progress, however. I have been doing my spiritual exercises fairly regularly, but I still have trouble with my mind wandering. I can’t say I’ve had a huge breakthrough. I’m still impatient with the kids when they’re misbehaving. I still waste too much time and I’m not focused. I still have too much clutter and have trouble letting go of things. I still have trouble making good food decisions. It was unrealistic to expect a whole new personality like the flip of a switch. Just need to keep working on it."
Did you choose a word for the year? How has that word been playing out in your life so far this year?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Photoshop Brushshop

Photoshop Brushshop: Week One

I finished the assignment from week one for The Photoshop Brushshop by Tiffany Tillman at The first week was all about learning how to use the brush tool in Photoshop and we created some custom brushes and saved them. Here are the brushes I created:
OK, so my artistic abilities leave something to be desired, but I did learn the basics of the brush tool.

We also learned about using brushes with some of the settings for a pen tablet. I have a small Wacom Pen & Touch, and I created the heart below using some of the pen settings.

Again, I'm not much of an artist, but this was about learning how the tool works, not so much creating something I'd actually use on a layout. I'm hoping with some practice and inspiration, I can use some of these new skills on a layout soon!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Log Your Memory Monday

Log Your Memory Monday: Decisions

This week the challenge was to scrapbook about a decision, either a one-time decision or one you make all the time. I decided to write about a decision I make about how to spend my time every minute of the day. Here's what I came up with:

Scrappable Template 3 by Tiffany Tillman at Design House Digital
ABC kit by Cilenia Curtis at Digital Designer Shop
Clock by Karla Dudley
All About Me Word Art by Ali Edwards
Fonts are Garamond and CK Ali's Hand

Here's the journaling if you're interested:
It starts almost every morning when I get up. I think I’m going to get so much done because I don’t have any appointments and the kids are at school all morning. Then I sit at breakfast and read blogs on my iPad. Time slips away. I do my physical therapy exercises or go for a walk if the weather is nice. Time slips away. I do my spiritual exercises and time slips away. Suddenly it’s time for Dave to go get the kids from school and I’m back on Mommy duty. We eat lunch, I read more blogs with my tea, I put Sarah down for her nap, Laura and I read books, time slips away. By the time they’re watching TV in the afternoon, I’m exhausted and I’ve gotten into the habit of watching Friends and Seinfeld reruns. Time slips away. Every evening is slightly different depending on what we’ve got going on, but after dinner I think I’ll get some more tasks accomplished. After the kids are in bed, Dave and I sit with our laptops and usually watch TV, like DVDs of “Modern Family” or “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Then it’s suddenly 11:00 and the day is over. I usually haven’t gotten as much done as I thought I would. Time just slipped away....
I know that I am in control of my own time, at this point in my life more than ever. I feel like every moment I make a decision about how to spend my time, and I make the wrong decision more often than not. I allow the time to slip away and I need to learn to be more purposeful with it.

How do you manage your time? Do you often feel like you should have accomplished more during the day?

Designs by Dana
© 2011 Designs by Dana
© Kit by Karla Dudley