Sunday, January 21, 2018

In Review

Every year, I create a review page, and it usually looks similar to the ones that preceded it -- a grid with twelve photos. However, this year, as a member of the Get It Scrapped Creative Team, I was challenged to depart from the usual grid approach and to try something different.  

I wasn't the only one -- you can see what others on the team came up with on this past week's GIS blog post, "Creative Approaches for Your Year-in-Review Pages.

As I considered how to arrange the photos, I thought about the way that time moves. Initially, I had a timeline in mind, but something about a linear design felt wanting. A spiral approach made sense to me, representing the way that each year, we loop around, though we never end up in the same moment again. 

It's a little tough to see, but I stitched a spiral over the photos, starting with January and ending with December. I even used rhyme -- something I rarely do with journaling -- to create a sense of rhythm, connection, and continuity.

Will I return to the grid next year? Who knows? Trying something different was good for me creatively, although there is no way that I could ever give up the grid altogether. 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Five True Things

1. I am sick. Waaaah.  I'm all coughy and achy and wheezy and whiny. This seems to happen every January, just as the semester begins. Everyone comes back from break reeking of pestilence. It's tradition!

2. I never get tired of watching Friends reruns. They are especially helpful with regard to #1.

3. Even though I am being ravaged by microbes or viruses or whatever, I still oddly feel like a little scrap therapy. Combined with #2, it might actually make me feel better.

4. My most recent Hip Kit Club layout is one of my favorites, ever.
By the way, the February kits are up on the HKC site today! I'm loving the colors in the main kit:

5. I hope you're having a non-sickly Saturday -- I really do! 

Monday, January 15, 2018

(Non-Nuclear) Winter in Hawai'i

The birds chirp away, the blue skies abound, and the tradewinds blow gently -- all blessings, all signs that life as usual in Hawai'i continues.

It's wintertime here in the islands, which is, as you might imagine, is quite different from winter in most other places on the globe. A Hawai'i winter is the subject of my most recent page (completed before my mind was forced to grapple with the likelihood of a nuclear winter). 
I love the lightness and sweetness of this page.  It's how I want to remember January. 

You may have noticed that there is evidence of a cut file having been used to create this page. My first-gen Silhouette, now defunct, was finally replaced by a Cameo 3, a Christmas gift from my husband, who clearly knows my scrappy heart. 

The file was designed by Elsie Robinson, DT member at Hip Kit Club, and although I'm pretty sure it is supposed to look like festive confetti, it translates as "island snow" on this page, with the rainbow effect created by the white cardstock being placed over the colorful background paper designed by another DT member, Irit Landgraf. 

This page makes me happy -- it feels like home to me. 
SaveSave

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Onward -- Again

Yesterday at 8:07 a.m., I was woken by a high-pitched tone and this message on my phone:


I jolted up out of bed and scrambled with my family to -- 

to do what? 
WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO? 
I know I've read about this, but I can't remember anything right now. 
Remember. 
REMEMBER.
Why can't I remember? 
This: we only have minutes. 
Where are my jeans? 
Is this real? 
Oh, God, he really did it -- 
that last tweet about the nuclear button sent North Korea over the edge. 
Close the windows. 
Where are my jeans? 
Get the water bottles. 
Canned goods. 
Where are my jeans? 
Is there a shelter? Are we supposed to go somewhere? 
We only have minutes. 
Check the site. 
It's down. 
I can't find my jeans! 
Turn on the TV. 
Nothing. 
Is this it? 
God. 
I'll just wear pants. 
Call Mom. 
I love you. 
Love you. 
Love you. 
What are the neighbors doing? Where are they going? 
The school isn't any safer. 
They left their dog outside. 
Can we bring dogs? I can't leave them. 
We can't leave. There's no time. 
At least we are together. 
Where do we go? 
Where are they going? 
Try the radio. 
Nothing? Still? 
What is happening? 
What is HAPPENING? 
God be with us. 
At least we are together, at the end. 













Then, finally, on a local TV channel --
false alarm. 

Are you sure? 
How can you be sure? 
What is happening? 
Please, God. 
Why are the newscasters wearing suits and red dresses and so much makeup? 
Did they really stop to get dressed before going on air with this? 


38 minutes after the first message, the false alarm was confirmed. 
Operator error. 


And I went outside and stared at the sky and
thank you, God
thank you
thank you
thank you
for this day
for this life
thank you
thank you
thank -- 

and then the anger

because we all believed -- 
because it was real until it wasn't -- 
because we live in this world: 

And the neighbors returned home,
children still crying.
The child who left her dog behind asked me,
"Did you take your dogs?"
Don't worry, I told her,
I was watching out for yours. 

And throughout the day, I felt as if I was moving under water, 
every trivial act of living -- paying bills, hitting "like," deciding what to eat --  
suddenly heavy, weighted, 

and I returned to myself several times that day,
not realizing that I had just been sitting or standing, motionless, 
concentrating on the cadence of my breath. 

I slept fitfully, staring at the illuminated time on the clock, 
minutes that I would not have been present for,
and in my dreams, a sudden startling,
and in my waking, an unquiet mind. 



What are we supposed to do? 







Saturday, January 6, 2018

Onward

It's six days into 2018, and I'm both exhausted and exhilarated.

Exhausted: 
I've been deep-cleaning my scrapbooking area, which, over the course of two decades, has encroached upon our living room. It's insane how much STUFF one can acquire, how many billions of little die-cuts and accents can build up in drawers and trays, and how stubbornly I held on to items for years -- with "someday" in mind -- instead of using them.

Exhilarated: 
Lesson learned: I'm going to move forward into 2018 with a cleaner, pared-down space, and I'm going to embrace a "use it or lose it" philosophy when it comes to my supplies. It's just so difficult to give up supplies that I love -- or that I know that I will love on some undetermined future project. I know that making more room for supplies isn't the answer, though. My scrapbooking space has encroached on nearly half of our living room!  Now that the cleaning is done, everything feels more open.

Exhausted: 
Even though it is a holiday "break" for me as a teacher, it has not really felt like one. Today was actually the first day of down-time since the break began. I think I've had something like twelve hours of sleep. In a few days' time, I'll be back to six hours a night (if I'm lucky). I'm not looking forward to that.

Exhilarated: 
The time over the break was well spent, even though it has gone by so quickly. My family enjoyed the holidays together, my dogs and I immersed ourselves in some pack-building cuddling, my daughter got me hooked on Riverdale (weirdest piece of Archie comics fan work ever), and I experienced a giant boost in productivity and creativity.  I was also asked to join the Hip Kit Club team! Here's my first layout as a team member, using the December 2017 kits:
Exhausted: 
After a busy-busy-busy December, my mind is still a little cloudy, and there are still (as there will always ever be) items on my "To Do" list that need addressing. 

Exhilarated: 
My word for the year is "onward," and the idea behind that is regardless of my mood or circumstances, I will embrace the spirit of moving forward hopefully. This means trying mindfully not to (1) procrastinate, (2) fixate on situations or deliberate on decisions to the point of inaction, and (3) hold on the past (for instance, in my scrap stash -- ha ha). 

Thanks for visiting today! 

Friday, January 5, 2018

Serious Destashing -- Want a Box?

After nearly two decades of scrapbooking -- which means after nearly two decades of hoarding STUFF -- I finally did some deep-cleaning.

I have a stack of about 300 sheets of paper and the equivalent of about five or six Priority Mail boxes full of STUFF.  A lot of it is never-used, unopened items, along with some packets full of die-cuts, labels, journaling cards, and wood veneer shapes. There are lots of stamps as well -- a few don't have packaging, but they are unused.

And I'd love to give everything a new home, so if you'd like to adopt a box for $20 (most of which covers the Priority Mail shipping), I will happily send a box your way. If you're not in the U.S., I can send one to you, but you'll need to cover any additional shipping costs.

It'll be first-come, first-served, until all of the boxes are gone (I'll update here when that happens). Just leave your email address in the comments (along with the number of boxes that you want) and I'll be in touch with details.

UPDATED, 12/6/18: All of the boxes have been spoken for! When I am done packing them, if there are any left, I will let you know. 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Holiday Album? CHECK!

Today, I completed the last of my holiday album pages, until the album was bursting to full. 

Because I had to squeeze the last of the pages into the album,  the documentation halts at the 25th instead of the 31st. Apparently I didn't need to complete a page for every day in December -- if I had, I would have filled this thing halfway through. I really have much preferred to focus on highlights and observations instead. There's very little predictability to the process this way, and each page takes on a life of its own. 
Not only is the dachshund paper on the left is my favorite wrapping paper this year (or maybe ever), but it is also the only roll of wrapping paper that I purchased this year (from Anthropologie -- on sale). I used the last of it here, stitching loops over it (one of the perks of working with small pages). 
Messy (read "charming") stitching appears often in the album, such as over this hilarious card from Paper Issues, which I've been holding on to since November, precisely so that I could add it here. 
Although I spent last night working on pages, it wasn't until this morning that I realized what I had to do before I could say that I was done: paper collages. Lots of paper collages. This is the first of several that I made, using stitched-together scraps -- yet again, my hoarding of scraps is validated. 
Because Z was in Italy for the first part of the month, I documented two different December experiences. Her December kicks my December's butt. 
I also documented December from my dogs' point of view. 
As for the pages dedicated to our Christmas tree, I confess that we didn't make it very far past the lights stage this year. For the past two years, we've just put up lights and a handful of ornaments, and stopped there. Usually, my trees are covered in ornaments. Still, a tree is a tree, and the most important part of it is that amazing smell. 
The highlight of the month for me was finally having Z home. Everything instantly felt merrier with her there to celebrate with us. 
Within days of her return, we were going Christmas shopping and making cookies and fudge with Grandma. Z also tried pizza for the first time since last having it in Italy, and as you might imagine, she wasn't impressed. 

Then suddenly it was Christmas Eve -- which doubled as Thanksgiving for us -- and Christmas Day. 
One last page...
and DONE!