Saturday, June 10, 2017


This is going to be my mission statement for this summer. 
I merged the prompt "Alliteration" with the week one found text/poetry theme. I love the idea that poetry is everywhere, hiding in junk mail, in a landscaping magazine, in form letters, waiting to be discovered. A few letters in the last word vanished when I added the stitching -- it's "source." 

If you find yourself curious about ICAD, check out this must-read post/pep talk on the Daisy Yellow blog: "12 Tips for the Index-Card-a-Day Challenge." It's inspiring! 

Elle's Studio June Reveal

Every month on the 10th, Elle's Studio releases a bunch of new items, including a kit and extras. This month's lovelies are just in time for summer vacation!  
With some of the items from the June release, I created a beach-themed page, complete with strands of bits and pieces that appear to be culled from the coastline.
The Acrylic Summer Shapes remind me of sea glass. 
When I created this page, I was a few days away from heading into surgery and was pretty emotional, so it shouldn't surprise you that the journaling doesn't focus on the beach experience, but rather, on life experience. 
Be sure to check out Elle's Studio as well as the ES blog, where you will find a bunch of the team's layouts posted. 

Thanks for stopping by today! 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Getting There

I am so over this couch-dwelling existence; I can't wait until the doc gives me clearance to be fully active, and neither can my dog -- he was very sweet and calm for the first five days, but now he's going stir-crazy. He loves to nudge and bop his nose at us when he wants to play, and there have been more than a few near-misses with my nose over the past couple of days. 

On the bright side, I'm just a few cards away from being caught up with the ICAD challenge.  I don't mind being a little behind -- the psychological perks of being doubly/triply creative each day are quite nice, and are keeping the remote control from being hurled into a wall. I know that there are hundreds of movies and series from which I can choose, but seriously -- why is there nothing good on TV?

Here are today's sanity-preserving ICAD attempts: 
ICAD #5. The prompt was "Kawaii" or "Cute," which initially left me dumbfounded, but soon found me rummaging through my daughter's stash of cute stationery from Japan and Korea. Her room is a scary mess, but I managed to find what I needed. 

ICAD #6. The prompt was "Detour." It might as well have been "Story of my Life." I dipped a piece of string in the wet watercolors left over from the previous card and arranged it to represent the usual course that I take from point A to point B. 

Thanks for stopping by! 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Recovery + A Little Catch-Up

The surgery went well -- thank you for your kind comments and prayers!

I really thought that sinus pain/nasal sensitivity was going to be the most challenging part of the recovery after my septoplasty and turbinate reduction, but I honestly haven't felt pain at all -- just a little discomfort, ameliorated by saline washes and some Tylenol (I haven't even had to take the pain meds that the doc prescribed).  It was really the anesthesia that had the most powerful effect on my body, followed by the post-surgery antibiotics. It has taken me a week to shake off the dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea and to regain a clear head, but I'm on the mend and feeling so much better.

In fact, today I finally got so fed up with vegging on the couch and watching TV (something I never, ever thought that I could ever tire of doing) that I summoned a little burst of creative energy and played some ICAD catch-up for days 2-4.

The theme for ICAD Day 2 was "Lost and/or Found." In keeping with the week 1 theme that includes words and poetry, I worked in a few lines from Elizabeth Bishop's "One Art" ("The art of losing isn't hard to master; / so many things seem filled with the intent / to be lost that their loss is no disaster").  I also worked in "found" items from the mail.
The theme for Day 3 was "Vintage." I turned my attention to creating a little stitched collage, which includes some vintage papers mixed with more recent tidbits. The base index card is repurposed from a stack of cards my daughter used to study for a science exam. This card is highly amusing to me, as my  husband helped my daughter with the study process by writing out a few test questions for her, each of which included answers of his own among the multiple choice options.
Day 4's theme was "Lavender." I took a somewhat literal approach, incorporating lavender hues in the form of painted rectangles stitched into a garland.

These are simple little cards, but they have helped me to revive my spirits and to welcome color back into my life.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

ICAD 2017: Day 1

This summer will be my third time participating in the Index-Card-a-Day (ICAD) challenge, the brainchild of Tammy Garcia, who posts weekly prompts and themes on her blog, Daisy Yellow. 

Although I have yet to make it through the two full months of prompts, last year, I came close. Maybe this year I'll go the distance -- but if not, that's okay. The challenge is all about the process, about making room each day to play, to experiment, and to be creative...on an index-card canvas. 

Today is Day 1, and the prompt is, fittingly, "Sunrise."  
In keeping with this week's theme (which is totally optional, by the way), I incorporated typography, words, found text, and lists. 

The card was actually therapeutic for me. I'm having surgery this week, and I am, in a word, scared, so much so that I was hesitant about spending time doing anything but worrying. I thought about postponing ICAD until mid-June, but the idea of "sunrise" -- of beginning again after a long night -- spoke to me, and I gave myself over to the process, with the wonderful side effect of not worrying for 15 minutes, something I haven't done much since the surgery was scheduled. 

I'm not sure whether the recovery is going to interfere much with the rest of this week's cards, but I'm looking forward to playing catch-up regardless, with a heart that is grateful for every sunrise with which I am blessed. 

Monday, May 29, 2017

In My Shoes (Again)

"...Shoes are not merely shoes. Shoes, like any other clothing choice one must make every day, reveal something—inconveniently, maybe, but inevitably—about the wearer. "
-- Megan Garber 

Although Garber's words, in context, relate to her argument about wearing heels, they apply to all shoes.  What do my shoes reveal about me?  As someone who deplores shoe shopping, being the bearer of feet so large that they transform even the most elegant footwear into floppy clown shoes, I'm fairly certain that my shoes reveal a wearer who is more focused on function than form. 

I'm no Imelda Marcos or Carrie Bradshaw -- my shoes number in the single digits, and are limited to basic flats and sandals for work, heels strapped on (grumpily) once a year when I chaperone prom, fairly ugly but wonderfully comfortable slippers that are usually on my feet when the aforementioned pairs aren't, and these, which I should wear far more often than I actually do: 
These are high-stakes shoes, involving a choice: wear them with intention, or don't wear them and end up with regrets.  When these shoes are on my feet, it means I'm walking two miles or skipping to keep up with my dog's pace or pruning hedges or carrying yard trimmings to the bin. I sweat more in these shoes than in any other pair. I look my wildest, dirtiest, and most disheveled. But I also feel incredible when I wear them, because I know that in these shoes, I'm getting stuff done -- stuff that is good for me. Wearing them means that I am choosing to do the harder thing, the better thing, even when so many other options -- like coffee, Netflix, and butt-sitting -- tempt me.  
This summer, I'm really going to try harder to make healthier choices. Every time I try to do this, though, there are always so many factors that get in the way, the biggest of which is my own willpower. 
This layout serves as a pep talks of sorts, reminding me to put on those shoes and catch the sun...while I can. This isn't the first time I've featured my shoes (or my good intentions) on a layout -- and I'm sure it won't be the last. 
(More details about this page can be found on the Elle's Studio blog). 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Elle's Studio May Release

The tenth is always a highlight of each month, since that means it's release day at Elle's Studio! In this month's kit, Elle definitely delivers on cards, color, and cuteness.
And just look at the extras
I may have gone a wee bit crazy with the arrow stickers on my most recent layout. 
I'm also giddy about the acrylic hearts. 
And I can't wait to create a layout featuring the new stamps. The word "UGH" is among the most used in my vocabulary, incidentally.

Speaking of stamps, have you seen the one included in the new "Everyday Adventures" Mini-Album Class?  

The class itself, with its eight approaches to mini-albums, has my curiosity piqued. Even though I'm mostly a layout girl, I do love mini-albums, too. 

Thanks for stopping by today!  


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 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, 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 


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! 

Monday, January 2, 2017


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.