Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The only thing to do is to start...

I'm sad cuz only two people have commented on my Crop Suey post so far! (insert frowny face here). If you stop by, please say hi! It will turn my frown upside down! :0)

Okay, now that that's off my chest...
I seem to have a traffic jam going on in my brain. This has been happening for about a week now. What's the deal? I think perhaps there is too much I am trying to process at once. I've got all these projects to do, and at the same time I am thinking about my second honeymoon which is coming up really soon and I'm very excited about it! So, I want to get everything done before I go, and that is creating pressure and even tho I sometimes do well under pressure, in this instance I think it is causing my old perfectionistic patterns to pop up and that is not good because my old perfectionistic self never created anything because nothing I created was perfect and so why start? Wow. That is a mouthful. So, here is my plan. It goes like this...

Just start Michelle. Do one thing on the list. Then move on and do the second thing.

Okay, I'm off to implement the plan. I will be back later to share the results. Wish me luck.

It's Crop Suey Tuesday!

I'm blogging over at Crop Suey today so come on over and say hi!

Monday, September 29, 2008

It's Great To Start The Day With a Coffee Cooler!

This morning (well actually it was 1:10 pm when I got up) I opened up the freezer to get my freeze sleeve (am I the only one that still uses those?) and there, to my delight, was a large, slushy caramel coffee drink waiting for me! Michael had gone to Caribou Coffee before I got up and brought it back for me! I tell you - he is the fantasy husband! I drank that sucker down and it was not only super delicioso, but it really perked me up and I was off and running in the inspiration department! I love it! I had a great day! First I got the idea to make an Artist Trading Card to commemorate each Crop Suey kit while I'm on the design team! So I designed one with the new October Crop Suey kit. Then I made an art journal page with my October Crop Suey kit. I also did some dancing with the cats in the scraproom. Yes, the mojo - and my energy - was back today - YEAY!

The new song is up at Scrapping The Music. This week it's "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang! What a great song to scrap ANY celebration to! Whether it's a big special event or just the celebration of everyday life this song has so many possibilities! I decided to make my layout about Michael's sister Stef's college graduation party! I used the September Crop Suey kit. Here's what I came up with:
The party was over a year ago now, but I hadn't scrapped the pics so this was the perfect opportunity! Everything on the layout is from the Crop Suey kit, except the green cardstock and the black alphas that say "Stef."

You've got all week to join in the fun so come on over to Scrapping the Music and play along with us!

Oh, in other news, the new SiSTV collection "The Bookworm" just went on sale and it looks fun! It's got original SiSTV papers and some fun vintage goodies in it. It's even got an add-on kit with an old bowtie in it! If you want to check it out, just click on the SiSTV widget in the right hand column and it will take you right to the boutique.

Speaking of SiSTV, there hasn't been any word yet about what the next phase of Project Catwalk will entail. I'm so anxious to find out!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Yes, We Have No Mojo...

This is how I've been feeling this evening:
I did good earlier today, when I first got up. I felt inspired to organize. I make up boxes to store my scrapbook kits in, and I got four four of them made. That felt good. But then, I had lots of time and a whole list of things I wanted to create. But nothing came to me. There's a sketch challenge over at SiStv, but I couldn't decide what picture to use. There's my ATC for the 1960's swap that I need to make, but I couldn't narrow it down to what part of the 60's I wanted to do. For some reason this seems to happen when I have time alloted to do nothing but scrap. Interesting isn't it? I do better when it's a weeknight and I'm up too late. But when I've got the time, nothing comes. Finally, I decided to scrap about my dilemma in my art journal. That's what journals are for, right? So I did this "no mojo" page. It felt good, and I'm reminded of this quote from my all-time favorite book on creativity - The Artist's Way:

"Art is not about thinking something up, it's the opposite - getting something down."
~Julia Cameron

So true. So, so true.

Tomorrow's a new Scrapping The Music challenge! Well, I guess it's actually today (Sunday), but it still feels like Saturday to me cuz I haven't gone to bed yet. LOL. I guess it's about time. Nitey nite everyone. Thanks for stopping by and I'll chat with you tomorrow!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Here Comes The Sun...

OMG I had so much fun with the ScrapMojo Challenge! What an interesting and unique challenge blog! This was my first time trying it, but it won't be the last! This week's challenge is to take inspiration from Cirque de Soleil (of all things!). I've never been to a Cirque show, but I surfed around on their website and found so much inspiration it was incredible! Each of their shows looks so unique! The colors! The music! WOW! Now I want to go to a show! Anyway, I finally settled on "LOVE", which is based on Beatles songs. The main website for the show is super groovy and the music just made me happy! Check it out here. This is what I came up with:

The citrusy colors and swirls are highly inspired by the webpage.

I shaded the title letters with oil crayons which I blended with my fingers - wanted to give them a sun-ray effect. Everything on the layout is from the September Crop Suey kit, except for the plain colored cardstock and the black thickers.

So far with my kit I have made a mini album and three layouts - and I still have plenty of stuff left!

It was another happy mail day today! I got my September StylePhyle kit from SiStv and it's super cute! It's called "Homecoming 48" and it's got cute stuff in there like vintage red and gold glass glitter and stars and little swatches of fabric!

Oh, and speaking of SiSTV, they just got the new Sassafras Lass and Hambly lines in and they are 10% off this weekend! I absolutely have to resist because I'm BROKE, but if you are in better financial shape than me head on over and check out the cuteness! Click here or on the SiSTV widget in the right-hand column to get to the boutique.

Okay, what else? Hmmm. Oh, we finally got to watch the season-opener of Criminal Minds tonight. The full episode is available online now. It was an edge-of-your-seat episode! If you missed it and want to check it out click here.

Now I'm going to clean up my mess in my scraproom while I plan out my next project in my head. I'm doing my friend Bree's decades ATC swap. The first month is the 60's. I'm thinkin' maybe something about Woodstock...

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Pondering the Process of Creativity

It's Friday YEAY!!! Of course I say yeay about every day cuz really, there's always something to look forward to! But Fridays are extra special cuz it means the weekend is coming and that usually means I have more time to CREATE! So how are you all doing today? What are you creating?
Look what my friend Bree has been creating! She MADE this bracelet for my birthday! I got it in the mail yesterday from her - Isn't it gorgeous?! It's so unique I absolutely love it!!! The blonde wood, and the different colors and patterns and the little critters on it - so fun!!! Thank you Bree - you are wonderful!
I am excited tonight cuz I just signed up for Art Journaling with Dina Wakely! Renee and I are taking this class together and it looks like so much fun! It starts on October 20th, but the forums are already open, so I spent some time in there tonight setting up my profile, looking at the class supply list and posting on the message boards. If you are interested in art journaling, come on over and join in!

Do you ever have times when you think you want to create something - you have a vision in your head, but you keep putting off starting in on it? I've been like that the last couple of days. I want to participate in the Scrapmojo challenge this week, and I had this great idea for it, but I could NOT get myself to start in on it. Then I realized the idea's time is not here yet. It's a good idea, but I'm just not in the place to execute it right now. Maybe that sounds weird, but it makes sense to me. The idea I had was dark and magical and mystical. But right now I'm feeling bright, and colorful and playful! That's why I can't get into it! Sometimes you just have to recognize these things and move on. So that's what I did. I moved on to a new idea and now I'm REALLY EXCITED about my new project! I'm just in the sketching stage, so I won't finish tonight, but as soon as I do I will post it. Oh, and P.S. Crop Suey is sponsoring the challenge this week, so it's your chance to win one of their fabulous kits! Come on over and play along!

Isn't creativity funny? I realized earlier this year that I don't really have that much control over what I create. I mean it's like it's there inside me waiting to come out and I just have to let whatever is in there flow. The less I try to control it the better it turns out. I guess that's what they mean when they say it's about the process, not the outcome.

Alrighty then - I'm off to work on my layout a little more and then head to bed. Sweet dreams everyone!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Very Long Post Cuz I'm Feeling Very Chatty...

Okay so the season-opener for Criminal Minds was tonight, and Michael and I taped it so we could watch it together. And then it didn't tape because the show was interrupted by Bush's speech - AARGH!!!!! It's our favorite show! We watched the first half and then the tape stopped. It's enough to drive a person bonkers! I hope it's available online soon!

Okay, I just had to get that off my chest - now on to better news...
The final rankings came out for Project Catwalk @ SiSTV and I ended up in Fifth Place! Yeay! The top 25 get to go on to the final elimination rounds which will start next week. I am so nervous and excited at the same time! This ten-week challenge has been an incredible experience. I have never been stretched so much creatively in such a short period of time. Here's an overview of the challenges:

Week one: Use items from a grocery store on your layout. I used a coffee filter for the earth and pieces of a mop for the stitching.
Week Two: Make a card and matching envelope with newspaper and the color green.
Week Three: Make a 12 x 12 layout with a picture of you that shows who you are as an artist.
Week Four: Make a mini-album with the color scheme red, white and blue.
Week Five: Make a wall-hanging using denim as the main ingredient.

Week Six: Make a layout using very few supplies, but still creating a dramatic impact.Week Seven: Make a layout using texture in new ways. This one was a weekly winner!
Week Eight: Create a project that represents the style and aesthetic of SiSTV. I'm so sorry you have to crane your neck to see this one. For the life of me, I can't seem to get it to load right. Aargh!
Week Nine: Use something in a way it wasn't intended. I used my cat grooming mit to stamp the background, and wound my cats hair into yarn to stitch on the side of the page. This one was extra fun to do!
Week Ten: A fitting end to the ten weeks. Scraplift a fellow contestant's project from one of the previous weeks of Project Catwalk. I chose to lift my friend Kim's Happy Box. This one was a weekly winner too!
I know I have posted each of these projects before, but it feels great to see them all together like this. Makes me realize just how much I have learned! I can't wait to see what they have in store for us next!

Okay, so in other news, I got another one of my orders for my kawaii swap today. Two more orders to go and I will be ready to pack up my box of kawaii goodness for my swap partner Renee (who also happens to be my sister!) I can't wait to send you the box of goodies Renee!

I also got my October Crop Suey kit in the mail today and let me tell you it is FABULOUS! Wow! I can't wait to start creating - I wish I could show you pics, but it's a SECRET for now! Keep watching the Crop Suey blog tho - I heard something about a sneak peek tomorrow!

One last thing. I finished my yo yo's for the yo yo swap at SiS. It was my first attempt at yo yo making and it was fun! Here they are:
I can't wait to get all the different yo yos back! They are going to make great additions to layouts! Yeay!!!

Well, that's about it for now. Take care everyone and I will chat at ya soon! Happy scrapping!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Listening to A Cool Old Tune

I finished my project for the upcoming Scrapping The Music challenge, but I can't show it to you til Sunday - aargh!

In the meantime - check out this awesome old Neil video I found on You Tube...(scroll down to the bottom of the page first and pause the playlist)

Now there's someone inspirational. He's been around making music his own way for over 40 years. Rock on Neil.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm Crop Chicking it Today...

Hey there everyone - I'm blogging over at Crop Suey today and I've got some projects to show you- Come on over and say hello!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I'm Crop Suey Kit Crazzzzyyyy!

OMG I had so much fun playing with my Crop Suey kit at my crop yesterday!!! There is so much fun stuff in this kit you won't believe it! One thing I love is all the awesome patterned paper! Alot of whimsical patterns which you can use whole or cut images from - I did both on my first layout:
The background paper is made by Hambly and this stuff is first class - it's hand silk screened, and you can tell by the texture of the paper. I thought it made the perfect backdrop for this pic I took of a dandelion in our neighborhood. Dandelions make me feel whimsical when they are in this stage, and I tried to convey that in my layout. Everything you see here is from the kit except the red duct tape, the paint and the sequins. I have another kit project I am working on that is almost done. I should be able to show it to you tomorrow!

More news on the Crop Suey front - I am going to be the regular Tuesday blogger at the ShopCropSuey blog! I'll be chatting about all things creative - with special attention to their monthly kits - come on over and visit! The fun starts this Tuesday!

The new song is up at Scrapping The Music (along with a tribute to Aleida). The song is "Forever Young" by Rod Stewart - and here's the layout I did for it:
The pic is of Michael and his son Stevie on our family vacation this summer. I loved how they looked walking up the path together that day, and this lyric just seemed to fit perfectly with it. I wrote the lyric right on the picture, with a Slick Writer from American Crafts. I also stamped in the bottom right corner of the photo, added some distressed bits of paper from the Cosmo Cricket Happy Camper Line, and stitched the sun with embroidery floss. Forever Young is a great song for a tribute layout for that special person in your life. Come on over and play!

Project Catwalk Week Ten

The challenge this week for Project Catwalk at SiSTV was to scraplift another contestant's project from one of the last ten weeks of the challenge! What a great way to end the ten weeks - by honoring another scrapper's awesome work! I chose to scraplift my friend Kim's Happy Box. She made a fun, bright, happy box to put everyday things in that make her smile. I love that concept!
When I was a kid I absolutely LOVED the Pippi Longstocking books! I thought she was so cool because she was a strong independent girl, who lived all by herself with her pet monkey! Her favorite pastime was "thing-finding," which consists of going for walks and looking for "things." Pretty rocks, pieces of car parts, pretty marbles, bits of twine - whatever she could find that seemed interesting. She would pick them up and take them home. Ever since I read those books I've been a thing-finder! Now that I scrapbook, it's great because I can put my "things" on my pages! So the long and short of it is - I made myself a "thing-finding" box to store my "things!"

I used the new Social Butterfly collection from SiStv, plus a picture of our daily walk path (where I do a lot of my thing-finding), an orange Izze Soda Carton, and a book illustration of Pippi. On the sides of the box I put a Pippi quote - "When you're a thing-finder, you don't have a minute to spare."

Now I'm inspired to go find some things to put in it!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Signs of Fall...

We are starting to see signs of fall on our daily walks now. Who could look at the beautiful colors in these leaves and not be inspired?!!! I just love autumn, and I'm so excited to see all the trees when they get to their peak colors - it's one of the highlights of my year!!! I'm not in a rush tho - just so we're clear about that. I will hang on to summer for as long as possible, but it's great to have these little peaks of what lies ahead.
Great news! I got my first Crop Suey kit in the mail yesterday and it is even more fabulous in real life than I could have imagined! So much fun in one package! It's called "Over The Rainbow." Take a look!

I am just in LOVE with all that fun Sasafrass Lass paper! and the woodgrain contact and hambly papers are the perfect accent! Oh, and those CUTE Pink Persimmon stamps with the little frogs and mushrooms! How awesome! Oh, and see that cute paper with the green and turquoise forest critters up at the top of the picture - next to the alphas? That is Crop Suey original paper! I'm going to a 12-hour crop session with my friend Christina tomorrow and I'm going to be in "Over the Rainbow" heaven! Look for some pics of my Crop Suey creations in the near future.

Okay, I'm going to get going now - I must prepare for my crop! Oh hey - check out SiSTV at midnight tonight - they are having a special sale on their new vintage kits! It looks like they've got some really unique finds, and the price is right - starting at only $5 for a kit! Click on the SiSTV Widget in the right column and it will take you to the boutique!

Happy Friday everyone! Much love and creativity to you all!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Scrapfest, Project Catwalk Week Nine, and Spontaneous Dancing!

Happy Monday everyone! Went to Scrapfest at the Mall of America this weekend and it was a lot of fun! Scrapfest, if you haven't heard of it, is a huge annual event that Archiver's puts on each year at this time. There are tons of vendor booths with free make and takes, and tons of workshops you can sign up for if you want to. There are special crops, and all kinds of new products! This is a pic of my friend Christina and I at the World's Largest Scrapbook page! How fun is that?!!!
And these are just a few of my favorite make and takes of the day. I love the little hambly notebook with the robot! And I got to try the new Zutter Bind-It-All! I love it!!! I made that little diecut chipboard spiral bound notebook with it. Inside are little page protectors - I can't wait to fill it up!
I came home happy, but exhausted and aching from head to toe! Being on my feet all day takes its toll on these old bones!

Saturday night it was time for the Project Catwalk Week Nine Posting over at SiSTV. The challenge this week was to make a 12 x 12 layout, using something in a way it's not intended to be used. Here's what I came up with:

It's a layout about my daily morning ritual with Willie and Johnny.

The journaling on the inside of the tag reads: "When I get up I sing GUTEN MORGEN KINDER! (at the top of my lungs, just like my 4th grade german teacher Frau Oplesch used to do), and they come running to me cuz they know it's love glove time! Willie gets so excited he jumps up and down and sings back. They get petted with the love glove, and their fur looks beautiful. and they purr. and I sing them a song. It's the song from Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. It's always the same song. and they love it. and I love it. cuz I know they're happy."

On the front of the journaling tag are the lyrics to the Mr. Rogers song.

Okay, for the challenge of using something the way it's not intended to be used I did two things:

1. I painted the black texture on the background with the actual love glove! It has these plastic nubs all over it that pull off the dead hair when you pet the kitties with it. I dipped them in black paint and patted it on the red paper to create the polka dot texture. Then I poured black glitter on for a little extra sparkle. I added just a few extra dots up around the letters with marker where the love glove wouldn't reach.

2. I also took the fur that came off the cats during grooming and wound it into yarn, which I used to stitch along the left edge of the layout. The dark yarn at the bottom came from my black cat Johnny, and the blonde yarn came from Willie. It's so soft, and was surprisingly easy to work with!

This coming Wednesday is the final challenge of the ten-week series! I can hardly wait!

I will leave you with a video for a song that's been in my head constantly since I heard it on the radio this weekend. It's one of those songs that I feel COMPELLED to jump up and dance to whenever I hear it. Doesn't matter how tired I am! (Scroll down and pause the music player before you play the video):

Do you have any songs that just make you wanna DANCE? Link me up! I'd love to have more reasons to dance!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tribute on Scrapping The Music

There is no challenge this week at Scrapping The Music. Instead we chose to honor Aleida Franklin's memory with a slideshow of all of her Scrapping The Music Layouts. To see her beautiful work click here.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Pic of Aleida

I had trouble getting to sleep last night thinking about Aleida. The internet is a funny thing. It allows you to get to know and care about people you would otherwise never have a chance to meet. It really opens up our world, and that's a beautiful thing that I am grateful for.
I'm off to Scrapfest today, but I wanted to first post this beautiful picture of Aleida that I received this morning from another design team member - Barbara. Thank you Barbara.
Take care everyone - hugs to you all.

Friday, September 12, 2008

In Memory of Aleida Franklin

A very sad thing happened today. We lost one of our Scrapping The Music Design Team Members. Aleida Franklin was killed in a car accident on her way to work this morning. There are no words to express how tragic this is. When I told my husband what had happened, he commented how important it will be for her children to have her scrapbooks to look back on. Documents of her feelings and thoughts for them to treasure. This truly is more than just a hobby. Aleida was a bright star and I will miss working with her very much. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.

Life is so precious. Treasure every moment.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Inspired but oh soooo tired...

This week's Project Catwalk challenge at SiStv was fabulous! Our challenge was simply to create a 12 x 12 layout using something in a way it wasn't intended for. Leaves it pretty wide open, eh? I struggled with it for hours last night, trying to come up with something unique, and nothing seemed to work. Then tonite (thank heavens) I got a fun idea and had a blast working on it! Supplies were flying everywhere as I worked furiously to make the 24-hour deadline. I finished with plenty of time to spare! The results make me giggle, and I can't wait to share them with you! Can't do that til Saturday nite tho - harumpf. I am feeling so inspired right now, I truly feel like creating, or no, what I really feel like doing is making up a new scrapbook collection with papers and ribbons and such, but I am SO EXHAUSTED that I can't even get myself to clean up the gargantuan mess I made in my scraproom! Aargh. I would show you a picture of the mess, but I'm too tired to take a pic and upload it. How bad is that? Besides, who really wants to see a picture of a mess anyway, right?
Instead I will show you a pic of my hubby Michael. He received his medallion at AA tonight for 14 years of sobriety. I'm so happy for him and proud of him! Congratulations darlin' - I love you!

Take care everyone, and I will be talkin at ya again real soon!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Dreams are Fascinating.

It may be slightly disturbing, but here's how my art journal page turned out! Okay, so it's not quite as sunshine and rainbows as most of my stuff is, but it's real, and I feel really good about that! I felt compelled to finish my page with this image after I had ANOTHER one of my creepy dreams where there is gross stuff in my mouth and I can't get it out! Each time I have the dream it's different stuff, but what's the same is that I try and try to get it all out of my mouth and it just keeps filling up. IT'S GROSS! I've been having these dreams for years, and I have a lot of ideas of what they mean, but I thought if I got it down on paper it would be therapeutic, and it was. Maybe the dreams will stop now!?! My latest dream was one where there were these slimy little sea creatures crawling into my mouth and they swelled up in there, and I was trying to pull them out but they wouldn't let go and then their tiny legs would pull off and stay in my mouth. How weird is that? I actually find dreams to be sooo fascinating, don't you? They are so full of symbolism - at least to me they are. I have taken a few courses on dream interpretation and each presented a slightly different school of thought on the subject. I find that if I think about my dream right when I wake up, I can usually figure out a meaning for it. I think it would be fun to do more of these dream pages. It could open up a whole new world of artistic expression!
The page was done by drawing the mouth onto a separate piece of paper. I did the coloring with colored pencil and black oil crayons. I used a black sanford colorific marker for the journaling. It's the one kind of marker I have found that will write over any surface! (Note to self - buy more of those!)
So this is my foray into the world of scrapping the darkness as well as the light in life. I have to admit it feels really freeing! So what do you think about dreams? Do they have meaning for you? Are there any that you have over and over? Do you remember them?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Oh Art Journal - I have Missed You!

It's Friday again - YEAY!!! And I have another Scrapaganza weekend ahead of me! No particular plans and plenty of time to create! The weather has been beautiful the last few days - nice and cool and sunshiney! If that holds out I hope to go walking with Michael and get some photos to scrap.
My creativity tends to go in phases. For awhile, I was doing almost nothing but art journaling and I absolutely loved it! Then, for some reason, I started doing more layouts and other projects and the art journal got put aside. Poor, sad art journal! I'm so sorry to have neglected you! I hope you knew I'd be coming back when the time was right! I did my first layer tonight and here's a pic. I usually start by smooshing some acrylic paint around on the page to make a background. I just grab any colors that inspire me at the moment. I love the look of these two greens together. After this dries I will go on to my next layer. Since it's after 4:00 am, that will probably come tomorrow. (grin)
Do you art journal? I'd love to hear about your process!
It's about bedtime for me, so I will leave you with my latest pic of my late-nite scrappin companions - Willie and Johnny. Aren't they a couple of handsome dudes?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Reason to Polka in my Scraproom!

Today was a VERY exciting day for me, because my "Nature's Magic" layout was chosen as a weekly winner for Project Catwalk over at SiStv!!! I was so EXCITED I literally grabbed Michael and we did the polka around my scraproom! I can't tell you how much it means to me to be recognized in this challenge. Project Catwalk is the biggest contest I have ever participated in, and each week has been an amazing challenge that has stretched my creativity to new levels. That in itself is a great reward, but being chosen as a winner makes it all the more sweet! JJ, The Big Sis over there - is the one who did the choosing - Thank you JJ!
Here's a new layout in my series about our recent family vacation. Still loving that Happy Camper line from Cosmo Cricket! The colors go perfectly with outdoorsy pics, and the stickers are so cute and funky! I also used SiSTV houndstooth gaffer tape, along with some natural elements picked up on the trip - birch bark, a leaf and a twig for Mr. Owl to sit on.
I can't wait for tomorrow's Project Runway - I wonder what the show will be about??? I wonder what the Project Catwalk challenge will be?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Bon Jovi At Scrapping The Music!

Bon Jovi is rockin' the song "It's My Life" at Scrapping The Music this week! Come on over and check it out! Sing along at the top of your lungs with me! If it's been awhile since you've seen the video - take a gander again - it can't help but make you feel good... and while you're at it, you just might get inspired to make a layout! Here's mine! I hope you decide to play along with us...

P.S. Today is the big day for Crop Suey! The website goes live this morning. I've been over there and seen the kits - and I'm absolutely ecstatic!!! We're talkin' some BIG FUN! Check it out!

Have a wonderful day my scrapparific friends!