Friday, April 14, 2017

Been There.

Ah, a familiar scene...
My daughter's-eye-view of her coffee, notes, and essay-in-progress take me back to my college days. Back then, though, I was sans laptop and chugging Pepsi for my source of caffeine.

I created this layout for this week's one product/three ways feature on Elle's Studio blog.  The product focus was puffy letter stickers, which I used for the journaling.
There's a lot that didn't make the list. My daughter somehow manages to deal with a pretty demanding schedule without ever losing her passion for learning. She's even been considering a career in academia lately. I could see that happening...as long as the coffee keeps coming. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

It's the 10th!

It's April 10, which means that it's time for the Elle's Studio monthly reveal. This time around, there are tons of new items in the shop, including a new kit...
new extras...
and a new collection, Live Laugh Love!
As for me, I've been enjoying creating with all of the above.
The Live Laugh Love collection shows up a lot here. I built this page on a large circle loosely cut by hand. I then broke the space into four quadrants, linking them all with the title block and repeated accents. I haven't stopped craving pecan pie since I created this page, incidentally. 
The woodgrain pattern from the Live Laugh Love collection makes another appearance here, this time on a page addressing a craving for beauty, in the form of flowers. I'm flower-obsessed, so much so that I have been breaking out of my usual indoors-existence to spend more time outdoors with them. 
More and more, I'm understanding why the "flower children" of the 60s were synonymous with love and peace. Every time I pass flowers, I want to grab the nearest person and insist that they just LOOK for a moment. All of the answers to our most important questions might actually be found if we spent more time being reverent, being still -- just being -- in nature. 

Can you tell I've been reading Mary Oliver lately? 

Thanks for visiting today! 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Jill Who?

I know, I know, it's been for-freaking-ever since I last posted.

I've been dealing with five back-to-back sinus infections since November, and it has had a serious impact on my productivity. I've been a mess, actually. It's been good for me, philosophically speaking, however. I've realized that when I'm healthy, I always take my health for granted; when I'm sick, I can't think of anything but wanting to be healthy again.  We all need to be reminded of our fragility from time to time. It keeps us humble. And grateful.

Right now, thankfully, I'm in the midst of a good week, and my creativity is returning. It also helps that it's spring break, and I'm getting lots of rest. Also, my ENT is a goddess, even if she does want to perform surgery on me eventually. Ugh.

Yesterday, I got crafty for the first time in about six weeks. I've never gone so long without creating something. I had absolutely no energy, and correspondingly, as if my body knew it had to devote all of its energy to trying to recover, my imagination shut itself off. Scary.

So when I finally started feeling better over the past few days, it felt so good to play with paper once again. My creativity came back in a gleeful rush. I set out to create a single card for Elle's Studio using the "Grow and Bloom" wood veneer sentiments, and I ended up creating three of them!
They're featured on the Elle's Studio blog today.
Thanks for stopping by today!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Reveal Day at Elle's Studio

Every month on the 10th, Elle's Studio rolls out its monthly kit, along with lots of other new releases. This month's reveal is sure to hit right to the heart.
There are tons of products in the store that are longing for a place on your lovey-dovey layouts and projects. I'm especially fond of this month's kit: 
ln case you don't already know about this, I must mention that there is a subscription option available for the kits, along with a launch-day special price of $9.99. 

I used the kit plus some of the extras to create a layout that recalls the night my daughter met one of her great lyrical loves, Watsky

And yes, you CAN sew on wood veneer! That's exactly what I did above. The wood shapes from Elle's Studio are thin enough that you can easily stitch over them.  Sweet!
Have a great day! 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Lately-ing.

Lately, I've been...

...attempting to undertake a one-second-per-day video project. A co-worker of mine has done this for the past two years, and I have been so inspired by her. It's time to step up and try it myself. So far, it's been a simple process, and I've already noticed that I'm moving through the world a little differently, always on the lookout for little wonders and heartwarming moments in my day. I've come to realize that they are in abundance, even in the days that I once thought were similar to all of the other days that preceded them.

...flying through A Darker Shade of Magic, by V.E. Schwab.
I'm hooked. Even though I've been exhausted at the end of each day, I've been treating myself to a few pages before bed -- sort of. A few minutes turns into an hour pretty quickly.  The book is just so good!  I need to get my hands on the second volume already, because the first one will be done by tomorrow, I"m sure.

...compiling a mini-album that centers upon a series of "love lists." Consider it a form of counting my blessings. I'll be sharing it soon!

...surrounding myself with color as often as possible. It counters the blahs. Sometimes this necessitates field trips, like a recent one to the Honolulu Museum of Art, which I documented in a layout for Elle's Studio.

...watching the final season of Teen Wolf. My daughter and I binge-watched the last two months of the show in two days, and in the process, we realized that the show is actually best when binge-watched. It's how we got hooked.  Only when we started to watch on a weekly basis did we kind of waver in our devotion. The series has had some strong seasons and some weak seasons, but we're die-hards: we'll be there for the last ten episodes. It'll be bittersweet, but those kids have been in high school waaaaay too long. It's time to move on.  Plus, I'm really sick of the commercials on MTV.  Even when I'm fast-forwarding through them, I'm grossed out. The "reality" shows advertised are full of skeevy folk doing skeevy things. What happened to good old MTV, the MTV of Randee of the Redwoods and Downtown Julie Brown and House of Style? And videos? Where the heck did all of the videos go?

...dealing with sinusitis. Ugh.  I've been combating it off and on throughout cold and flu season, and it's been kicking my butt.

...worrying, all the time, about our country -- our world, in fact -- and where we are headed.  The antidote for hopelessness, I have found, is in our youth. Being a teacher is, for me, an experience in hope. At the moment, my classes are discussing Emerson and Thoreau, and the timing could not be better.
If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth -- certainly the machine will wear out. If the injustice has a spring, or a pulley, or a rope, or a crank, exclusively for itself, then perhaps you may consider whether the remedy will not be worse than the evil; but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.  
 -- Henry David Thoreau
It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. 
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson 




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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Reveal Day at Elle's Studio

Elle's Studio is starting the new year off with a new kit...
and some new shop items...
not to mention a new team with some new projects to share, like this one, inspired by a new arrival. 
Be sure to head over to Elle's Studio to check out the full release! 
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Monday, January 2, 2017

Announcing...

the Elle's Studio 2017 Design Team!
I'm so happy to be a part of the team, and I'm honored to be in wonderfully crafty company:


As I close the book on the old year and head into the new one, I have two last 2016 layouts that I created using Elle's Studio. 

The first one came about a few days after the election, while I was still processing the results and searching for hope. (Two months later, I'm still doing that.) Instead of focusing on hopelessness and giving in to my fears, I concentrated on what I CAN do, moving forward -- especially as a teacher.  

So I grabbed a smiley pre-election teacher selfie, some Elle's Studio stars and stripes, and created a page to document my post-election teacher resolutions. 
Scrap therapy: it's real. 

The second layout I created about a week ago, to document my family's Christmas. More details can be found on the Elle's Studio blog. 
It was a Griswoldian holiday, but in my experience, every holiday seems to end up that way!

I'm excited to enter 2017 as a member of a team that encourages creative expression and that recognizes the importance of telling our stories, come what may.