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Where I Stand

 

A whole month, more than a month, a monthy month, a fat month.  In any event, it was a pretty crappy month – you didn’t want to hear about it anyway – teenager troubles, period troubles (yep, had it the whole month – fun times), hair thinning troubles (as yet unresolved, but I’m trying new products), tried a case and lost (client’s name was C-Murder – I didn’t have high hopes for that trial), abandoned Project Life (who wants to scrap about crap?)for May and June,  and then, finally, now, I’ve picked myself up, brushed myself off – well, you know how the ditty goes.

Onward.

July has all kinds of possibilities!  I’m taking Maryann Moss’s new class, Sewn – I feel a mess in the craft room coming on!  I’ve finished up my scrapping tours of duty with Little Butterfly Wings, Michelle Godin, and Jimbo Jambo Designs, but have started permanent gigs with Amy Wolff Designs and HGD by Laurie Ann.  And, I can hardly contain my excitement that I’m guesting for One Little Bird in July.  And, I’m still plugging away at One Story Down.  And (just to create another badly constructed sentence), I’ve begun to dabble in scrapbook kit design.  It’s harder than I thought it would be, but aren’t most things? 

What else . . . I’ve dusted off the soldering torch, and this holiday I’m making bezels.  More on that to come!

And (man I am short on transitional phrases today), it’s time to get back in the photo swing of things.  In order to jump start my photo mojo, I’m taking The Phoneography Project at Big Picture Classes.  The above photo – my first challenge – where I stand.  See, I’m standing in a puddle – so many meanings, but the most obvious – it’s been raining in Pennsylvania for 2 straight weeks – my hair is gigantic (but still thinning) – you can see it in the reflection in the puddle.  Anyway, I was a bit disappointed that this was the first challenge to start off the month – I hate looking at a gallery full of feet.  Never got the feet photo thing at all.   Well, I get it, I just don’t love it.  And, it’s stylized in my new favorite app – Rhonna Designs.  So many doodles, and word art, and frames to jazz up your photos.

Great – more ways to procrastinate.  No wonder blogging is such a challenge.

 

A Quick Dispatch from the Trenches

Well, I don’t know if being on trial is really war – but I do feel knee deep in the trenches.

First, I was knee deep in cough medicine (Flu – for an entire week and a half!) – now, it’s transcripts, witness statements, crime scene photos, etc.   The trial took all week, and I’ve been writing my closing off and on all weekend.  We’ll close on Tuesday – so it’ll be back to our regular programming very soon.

Just checking in! 

Oh, and I actually did some work on my Misty Mawn Face to Face class – scanned my portraits, and combined them with – yep, I’m going to say – more creative team guesting – this time for Michelle Godin, digital artsy wizard.  More on that later – here’s just a taste of what I’ve been up to –

Here’s a pastel portrait a la Misty with Michelle’s Sunshine and Grass Stains kit

And one with her lovely kit, Love and Light, available through the end of this month at Scrapstacks – 

And the portrait is a charcoal sketch.  For the most part, when I’m doing any digital art journaling, I’m pretty satisifed with whatevers in the kit – accept for when it comes to portraits.  There’s a really sweet girl including in this kit, but to me, it’s more expressive if I use my own.  That’s just me, though.

Hope anyone who’s still tuned in is having a lovely holiday weekend!

 

 

Picked!

Ok, I know I just spent a whole post musing about how busy April was, subtley concluding that I really didn’t make any layouts that were just for the heck of it, like Art Journal Caravan, and that it would be nice to get back to the slower pace of being on fewer teams . . . but when a fantastic opportunity calls, ya gotta try, right? So, I did, and I was – accepted to Little Butterfly Wing’s Creative Guest Team for May and June:

 

See, there I am – with all of those other fab ladies!  And, I’m just so glad I was picked.  When I was in elementary school through high school, whenever we had to pick teams for sports, I was always picked last – or close to last.   My nerdy friends and I were always in the bottom five, and we huddled together, while the captains debated which of us was the least worst.  Isn’t that terrible, crossing your fingers, hoping you’re the least worst?  It’s so nice to be picked!  Anyway, Little Butterfly Wings sells her products at The Lilypad, and I’ve been using them since I started scrapping there – so it will be nice to use the products I would have bought anyway.

And, here’s my first layout, with her release yesterday – Together Forever, a collab with Boutique Cutie Doll:

 

 

So, I was listening to the Paperclipping Roundable on my way in to work today, and the topic was scrapping when you’re dealing with infertility issues, and the difficulty of scrapping in a community that is so heavily steeped in scrapping motherhood and babies, etc.  I had a hard time relating to the topic, since I’ve never dealt with infertility – I chose not to have my own children.  I have absolutely no problem scrapping memories of my husband, our daily life, our pooches, etc.  And, if a kit screams “baby” or “kid,” I have plenty of photographs of my nieces and nephews.  And, when I do scrap with photos of my nieces and nephews, the pages really are genuine -I’m close to all of them, and I want to preserve my memories of them.  I know that it’s different when you want something so badly, and you’re “surrounded” by other people who have what you want, and are celebrating it in your face, but memory keeping goes beyond parenthood.   I don’t know what my point in all of this is, I guess I just wanted to put it out there that you don’t have to be a mother to be a scrapper.  Your memories are your memories, and you can preserve them just for you.  When I used to keep a daily journal, I wrote them as sort of a letter to my future self – and now that’s what my pages are, to a certain degree.   

So, I’ll be back tomorrow with lots to show you – it’s raining products for International Scrapbooking Day.  I gotta tell you, though – I’m not sucked into it – I’m all about Maryland Sheep and Wool – I haven’t spent a dime on scrapbook sales, that started days ago, with everyone trying to get a jump on the bargain shoppers.  I’ve got my wool fund, and I’m sticking too it.

Although there is one sale I’m definitely going to take advantage of, and that’s the sale at Persnickety Prints.  I don’t know how often they run their sales – maybe quarterly?  Maybe twice a year?  But, I printed my first batch of Project Life pages with them, and they turned out awesome.  So, I’ve been saving all of my layouts for the next sale – and it’s here!  I can’t say enough nice things about the quality of their printing (and I’m not on their creative team or anything – I just love them!).

So, print ’em up, my friends!

Breaking Down April

Where did April go?  Well, it didn’t go on my internal harddrive, because I’m out of space – yes, April broke the storage space bank, and I had to invest in an external harddrive. 

So, here’s April by the numbers (although I haven’t figured out the gigs)

1.  The Lilypad – 33 layouts – crazy!  But so fun.  And, in that bunch, I had a GSO, a GSO in the forums on Digishop Talk and, my favorite thing, I was scraplifted by a French website.  Scraplift, you say, my arty friends?  Yes, in the digiscrap world, imitation is the highest form of flattery, and not only is it accepted, but it’s embraced – as long as the scraplifted layout is credited.  So, if you’re interested, and can read French, it’s here.  I have to say I was tickled, completely.

2.  OSD Layouts – 26 layouts (including some Project Life spreads).  And, I did a pretty work intensive blog post here, and one of my Project life pages was a gallery greatness pick here

3.  Jimbo Jambo – More?  I think there was one layout that didn’t overlap with the Lilypad layouts.

4.  The Heartistic Project – 4 – or maybe 5? I forget.

5.  And Just for the Heck of It – only 2 – and they were for Sissy Sparrows challenges over at Scrapbookgraphics – and yeah! I won Challenge 6, and a $5 gift certificate.

Total:  65.  I have to say it again – 65.  65 layouts in one month.  I don’t know how people who are on multiple teams do this every month.  How do they do this every month?  As many photos as I take, I’m running out of photos to use.  At the end of my Lilypad run, most of them are photos of me that I took with my iPhone, really scrounging, like this one:

 

AprilBYOCChallenge

Just thought I’d throw that one in here, because I couldn’t not post at least one layout, and I kind of like it. 

So, April comes to a close – and as hard as I worked, I really didn’t want it to end – I thought about calling out sick today just so I could bang out a few more Lilypad layouts with the new stuff that’s being released on Friday and Saturday – because really really good stuff is coming! 

And this good stuff is coming for International Scrapbook Day on Saturday – but, here is where my hobbies collide – because Saturday is also a high holy day of knitting – the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival – and the sheep, goats and alpacas win.  Just as I do every year, I’m in a whipped up frenzy about what my shopping list is, what I already have in my stash, pearing down my Ravelry que – oh, and did I mention that along with 65 layouts, I finished my Wool People/Shelter sweater, and I started another, top down cardigan also from Wool People, not with Shelter, but from yarn I had in my stash from Sheep and Wool about four years ago.  Right now, I’m getting yarn for this, and I’m still rounding out the rest of my shopping list – everytime I pick something, I revisit my already gigantic stash, and realize I already have the yarn for it.  But, I’ve budgeted for two projetts, and I’m sure, I’ll find something out there to shop for.

So, hope everyone else had a productive April – see you in May! Like, tomorrow!

Kickstarting an Art Journal Page

Most, not all, of my One Story Down CT layouts have pretty much been art journal pages.  So, rather than just throw up my photos, and say, aw, how pretty, right?  I thought I’d use this opportunity to talk about how what inspires my art journal pages, and how I get started.

I know that many people fear the white page, and I’m not going to say that I don’t – well, I am going to say I don’t. I don’t fear the white page, but sometimes it is hard to get started.  It’s not fear, it’s lack of inspiration.  So, when I sit down to create, there are a few go to strategies to kickstart my creative juices.

1.  First, a prompt or a challenge.  Hmm, how many times have I said on this blog that I love a challenge?  Here’s an example of a page created from a challenge:

Credits: Angie Young, Find Your Wings; Designs by Tina, Pretty; The Edits, Mulberry Mix Pretties; April Words of Wisdom Freebie; and Word Art/Globe, Tangie Baxter

This layout grew out of a challenge at OSD, Words of Wisdom.  Here’s the prompt –

And then, to help you along with your challenge, Kathryn, one of the owners of OSD, and the woman behind The Edits, created these sweet freebies to get you going:

I immediately started thinking about our great big wide world, and different horizons, and different paths people take and then I started going deep about differences in class, and wealth imbalance, and I put the brakes on that line of thinking.  I just didn’t feel like scrapping about that.  So, then I started thinking, well, how do you survive and be happy in this great melting pot of ours, and I came up with Dance to the Beat of Your Own Drum.  The page grew from there.

At first, I wanted to have a dancing silhouette – but, I really wanted to stick to OSD products – since that’s kind of the point.  And, limiting yourself to products, especially when you have a gigantic stash, is not a bad thing.  Focus is a good thing.  So, I found a kit from Designs by Tina, Pretty, that had all the elements I would need if I were going to go out on the town to dance to the beat of my own drum.

And then it all came together.  Some of the elements were recolored to go with the challenge color scheme, and I did go to my Tangie stash to get the globe.  I felt like I needed the globe to really “nail” the challenge, and complete my vision.

Ta da.

2.  Word Art

One of the things that attracts me to an digital art journaling kit is the word art.  The word art really gets me thinking, and acts as a “prompt” within the kit itself.  

Believe it or not – everything – the photos, the elements, the color scheme – all grew out of the quote from one of Angie Young’s kits, Find Your Wings – “And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more paintful than the risk it took to blossom.”

With the quote in mind, I went searching through my stash of photos – this photo was taken on a day when I spent hours winding 4 lbs of yarn – I was exhausted.  I can see it in my body posture.  But, the posture to me also looked a little tense – the moment before “enough” came, and a risk is taken.  Now of course, that’s not what was going on in real life – I was just tired of winding winding winding – but the photo, at least to me worked.

Then, it was a matter of getting rid of the yarn, and blending the photo into the background.

Since, this photo, to me, was pre-blossoming, I didn’t want it to be to colorful – but kind of calm – kind of saying, I know what I need to do, I’m calm now, and that’s why those leaves spoke to me as well.  The leaves juxtaposed with the wire element – trapped no more, I guess.  I just liked how the visual worked with the page.

And then there’s some paint throw down, and a little framing, and done.

Here’s a few more pages that were inspired primarily by the word art in the kit:

and

and

3.  The Kit Dump

Sometimes, the whole feel of the kit itself prompts the page.  After I download a kit and unzip it, I put my elements in one folder, paper in another.  I spend some time looking at the elements in the folder, and thinking of a story that, collectively, they’re telling.

Here’s a preview of the elements in the kit:

I started off with the word balance, and I liked the flower silhouettes, and I thought about being at the beach, on the porch – looking out at the bay – 

Angie Young, Balance Bundle; Brandi Sutherlin Designs, Stitched Paint Alpha

And then, I pretty much dumped most of the elements in the kit on the page, and figured out where they should go.  

Here’s another example of a kit dump:

Sausan Designs, Al A Mode, and Al A Mode Paper Add On, and Altered Artistry 5385 Cards, Designs by Tina, Clipping Masks Vol 1, The Edits, On My DropCloth, and Find Your Wings, Angie Young

Here, the kit, al a mode, by Sausan Designs, is clearly all vintage, all the time.  The only vintagey photos I have are the photos you’ve seen a million times – from my vintage suitcase photo shoot.  Once the suitcase was part of the page, then travel became a theme.  I pulled the word art from another kit from Angie Young, and made up the stuff about the need to pack a bag and go.  It’s not really what I’m feeling at the moment, but I know there are days at work, when I just want to call the hubs and say, let’s just pack a bag, and get out of here.  The page is telling a story, not nessarily my story right now – but the character with the pretty heels and the bag – ready to embark on a journey.  

Then, there are two other methods of creating pages, and I’m separating them from the above, just a bit, because they’re not OSD layouts, and a good example of the difference between creating for product and creating for creatings sake.  Don’t get me wrong – I love all of the OSD products, no question, but the pages needed to be made to promote the products – the ideas had to come from the products, and if they didn’t come from the products, well, it would have been serendipity indeed to have to create for a kit in the exact moment that I was feeling x, y or z.

So, the process when I’m creating just to create can be one of the three things above, or it could be –

4.  Getting Out What I’m Feeling Now – not necessarily something heavy emotional, or a rant, or anything like that – just something I’ve been thinking about – maybe just an idea, or whatever.

Anyway, this grew out of a day that I spent a lot of time with clients with mental health issues, and to counteract my frustration (because you have no idea how time consuming, sometimes paintfully so, it is to explain criminal liability to a mentally ill person who has totally different ideas of justification than everyone else), I started thinking about how lucky I am to be healthy, but then I started thinking about random thoughts I have, stupid things I’ve done, and some of the really inspired things I’ve done, and thought, huh, maybe we’ve all got a little madness in us.  Anyway, this layout was definitely an expression of my mood and feelings that day.  

And then finally, 5.  sometimes a photo inspires a layout.

When I made this, I was in the mood to make art, and I was scrolling through my library of photos.  I took this near the South Street Bridge, one snowy day when I had ventured out on a photo walk.  The first thought I had, when I saw this lone figure, walking down a path, all the way off to the side, was Breathe. I don’t know why exactly, but that’s what came to me, and that’s what inspired the layout.

So there you have it – five methods of avoiding the blank page, and jump starting your art journaling masterpiece.

Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

Big News!

Oh where have you been blog?

Oh wait – you were here all along – it’s me that’s been MIA.  And, in action I have been . . . because I’ve been creating layouts out the wazzooo – whatever the wazzooo is – although I think we all know what the wazzoo is.  

Where to begin?  I will go chronologically . . . well, it all happened in April.

I know – I will go alphabetically.

So, in alphabetically order, I’ve landed on these Creative Teams –

I’m on the team at The Heartistic Project!

The Heartistic Project is devoted to all things art – primarily scrapbooking related – but anything is fair game, photography, typography – there’s a little bit of everything for everyone, and I just can’t believe they picked me to be on their first ever creative team.

This month’s featured designer is Paula Kesselring.  You can find Paula at Oscraps and her own personal store, and if you click on her name, that will take you to the interview she did with the Heartistic Program, which includes not only a coupon for her stores, but a freebie as well.

And here are the layouts I made with Paula’s awesome products:

and

Next . . .

I am a guest at The Lilypad for the month of April!  Now, while this tickles me since everyone knows how I gush about this store, this guest spot has nothing to do with merit – just luck.  Every month, everyone who completes all of the monthly challenges (you know how I push the challenges!) is entered to win a guest Polly spot.  And win I did – this has been a great experience. Hectic though – products come out on Wednesday and Friday – and there are alot of products!  I’ve been scrapping my little fingers to the bone.  I’m not going to post them all – I’ll get them up in my gallery (on the menu bar up top), but I will post my favorite – because – drum roll!  This was my third Gallery Standout since I started digital scrapping in November.

Last Saturday, I had to sit through an all day continuing legal education class – snore – two hours of which were devoted to this made-up condition called Compassion Fatigue.  It’s really just stress with a fancy name.  Basically, the diagnosis would be secondary symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, in other words, people who are constantly exposed to people who suffer from PTSD, take on their traumas, and let those traumas, that aren’t actually their own, begin to effect their lives.  Kind of new meaning to “you’re stressing me out.”  To me, this is all the nature of our job, but whatever.  The cure for this illness that is not recognized by the DSMIV, nor by any institution that examines work related disabilities, is to increase your levels of oxytocin.  So, basically, I learned I should either have a baby, or have more sex.  The other thing you can do is expose yourself to negative ions – by sitting by running water, even if it’s your shower.  I asked my boss on Monday if he was going to put in a free standing waterfall.  In any event, I’m not too moved by Compassion Fatigue, but I did take away from it that life is always better if you take better care of yourself.  So, that’s where this layout came from.

So, I only have 2 weeks left of my stint with The Lilypad, and all I can hope is that some of the talent that is just bubbling up all over there is rubbing off on me.

And now my last bit of news – last alphabetically, but not in importance, I’ve also been chosen – this time meritoriously, at least I think – to be on the Creative Team for One Story Down.

I’ve mentioned One Story Down before – the store that crashed.  Well, it’s rebuilt, and on it’s way to being better than ever.  I’ve mentioned my love of the small business, and I love the idea of being with a store from it’s inception, and working hard to help it grow.  Here are my two fav layouts so far:

and

Both of these layouts feature products from Angie Young, who is guesting this month at One Story Down.

So that’s my news  – and I’ll have more tomorrow with new release Friday!

Release Day!

It’s Friday – so once again it’s time to play with another template pack! This one is called Radioactive –

I decided to have some fun with it, and made this painty, messy page –

 

See, templates aren’t just for scrapping traditional layouts – throw a little “paint” and “gesso” around, and a template can easily be adapted for a digi art journal page.

And, since I’m an all over the place kind of girl, here’s a traditional one for you too –

How about those mint and gold colors?  Love it.

Happy Friday everyone.

Dieting Again Will Once Again Suck

 

All of those points – just totally down the drain.  The counting, the portion control, the getting on the scale – ten lbs – gone – well, not gone, back – the work is gone.  Again.

I’m not a stupid person.  Really.  I hear them at Weight Watchers – it’s a lifestyle change, yadda yadda – and I believe them.  And I know, that all diets will work if you follow them.  But what goes in my brain, goes out my ears, lands on my plate, and I eat it.  Lately, I’ve just had no willpower at all – and my pants are starting to get tight, and I’ve been subtly photoshopping my double chin out of photos.  Winter is easy – I’m all layered up under sweaters, but right around now is the time I start my yearly diet.

Yes, every year.

And it totally sucks.

It used to be, if I stopped drinking, that would do the trick.  Now, I hardly drink at all because in my 40’s I’ve somehow become the biggest lightweight EVER.  I’m nodding off after one glass of wine.  And, one glass of wine will now give me a crazy hangover.  Its nuts.  And embarrassing – I’m going out to dinner with friends tomorrow, and I’m seriously going to have to nurse whatever beverage I choose so that I don’t lose all of Saturday.  They’re all my age – why didn’t this drinking catch up to them too?  So, it’s back to counting the points – Weight Watchers system of portion control and calorie counting – every single point that goes in my mouth.  And the water, all of the water – gallons of water.  Uch.

So, I’m actually putting this in writing – it seems that’s what I have to do – like this blog is somehow a contract.

I am on a diet.

Willpower will commence.

I made this digi art journal page today –

I really wanted to make that arrow go through all of the check marks – it’s visually appealing.  But, I really don’t feel the “I like my shape.”  I’m not liking it right now – and I think that’s ok.  I think wanting to improve yourself and still thinking you’re incredible is not incompatible in any way.   Sure, I can get on the self-helpy bandwagon and say I am enough – but there’s nothing wrong with still wanting to be more.

By the way – like that stamp I made of myself?  Here’s what I did – I took this photo –

And, in Photoshop, I went to Edit, Threshold, and then I played around with the sliders.  Once I was happy with how it looked, I used Define Brush, and added it to my brush palette.

 

And then, to get it to blend into the background, I clipped it to one of Sissy Sparrow’s overlays, and it looked like this –

And there you have it.  

 

Return of the Yarn Slut

Ok, one purchase in over a year does not a yarn slut make, but when a recovered yarn slut makes a purchase – well – you know how addictions work . . .

So, here’s what I bought that made me turn my I’m a year clean yarn chip in –

 

Yes, even my yarn serves to complete a scrapbooking challenge! 2 more pts!

Anyway, I stumbled onto Jared Flood’s Wool People 4 right around the time that Rowan Fifty Billion (or whatever the current magazine is) came out.  The Rowan Mag is heinous.  There are no other words for it – floral intarsia, odd stripes, color blocking – blech!!! In contrast, Wool Peoplewhich is exactly what it says it is – woolly goodness showcasing Jared Flood’s, aka Brooklyn Tweeds, natural tweedy yarns Shelter and Loft – looked like height of fashion – when it’s really a collection of beautifully simple designs.

Now Brooklyn Tweed yarns are all the rage, but I had shied away from them because I had heard that Loft (the laceweight) frequently broke, and if one yarn suffers from breakage, the other yarn is a risk.

But, I gave in, and I like it.

While all skeined up, it doesn’t look very tweedy – this color is a very pale green that looks darker than it really is in this photo.  Knit up, it has a lot of yellow specks.

The cardigan, Tilda, is a simple raglan, with a column of eyelets, and a column of a simple cable.  I was disappointed after I bought the pattern to learn that it wasn’t knit from the top down, or at least from the bottom up and separated at the armpits.  Very surprising for Brooklyn Tweed – as a disciple of Elizabeth Zimmerman, it’s surprising that he would publish something that actually requires piecing and sewing.  Oh well – it’s not his pattern, just his publication, so that’s what you get.  And, if I weren’t so lazy, and anxious to cast on, I could have rewritten the pattern without too much trouble.  Well, I guess it was too much trouble.

Here, you can see those yellow flecks, and the contrast cast on yarn.  Those markers separate the column of eyelets that run up the back.  Easy peasy.  

Speaking of not so easy peasy – were we?

Don’t ask me about Starmore.

Ok, you can ask.

I’m just not talking.

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