Wednesday, November 5, 2008

why we scrap

I have been wracking my brain for the last week because I wanted to say something about the reasons we scrap. Not only the "I like to hang out with my girlfriends" and the "I love the pretty paper" reasons, but also the deep, heartfelt, life changing reasons - the ones that make us laugh out loud and the ones that bring us to tears. I had so many thoughts rambling around in my head that I couldn't get a handle on it - until I logged on to our IRW Instructor forum and found this story from an instructor in Charlotte, NC - LesliAn Orio. LesliAn has such a gift of storytelling, and her experience encompassed EXACTLY what I was trying to say but just couldn't find the words. So - thanks my friend for letting me share your story, and for reminding us all why we scrap. --Beth

On Friday morning the father of my dear friend and neighbor fell down his stairs at home. Thankfully his wife was home and they were able to get an ambulance for him within minutes. He was rushed to the hospital and they found a broken hip, broken ribs, collapsed lung and a variety of other issues. He was already recovering from a series of strokes that had left him a bit unsteady on his feet and likely what contributed to his fall.

Sunday morning, the husband of my neighbor came over and shared with us the sad news that his FIL had passed away a few hours before. He said that his wife had a request for me and would I please call her cell when I had some time to talk.
I am a fountain of emotional tears. I cry at Cottonelle commercials when the puppy falls whilst running in the yard, so I had to prepare myself to be strong for my friend and not let my tears and sadness be what she heard in my voice. Putting on a very brave voice, I called and asked what I could do for her. She asked if I would please take one of the recent photos of her dad (Carter and I had been guests at his early 80th birthday party in August) and have it blown up to be beside the urn of her father. I asked her what else I could do, as that would take me only a few minutes and her father had been such a gift of a joyous man in our lives and we wanted to do more. She hesitated and then asked if I could do 'something else' with photos, too. I told her sure and asked when the funeral was. Tuesday, 1 p.m.

So Sunday I spent several hours going through the photos I'd taken and that her 14 year old daughter had taken, and made a slew of 12x18, 11x14, 8x10 and 5x7 photos. I picked them up last night and came home and faced a blank canvas in the form of a black science fair tri-fold board Carter had picked up for me on the way home.
I went in my studio to create something to capture his life, but was blocked. Couldn't do it. Everything just looked 'wrong' and I knew she was counting on me to deliver a finished board in the morning. I laid down on our sofa with Jackson and Nick and some mindless movie they were watching and fell asleep. I woke three hours later, TV on and children off in their own beds and went back to my studio and started going through a stack of paper I have not looked at in at least a year.

At the very bottom I found a stack of the Jeneva 'My Walk' papers and it was as though my hands were no longer mine, but rather being used by someone else. I created a beautiful, balanced, coordinated presentation of photos and biblical quotes and plenty of titles with my WB. The colors of the papers went with the colors the family members in the photos were wearing and I had EXACTLY enough of each paper to accomplish what was needed, not a bit extra.

When I took it to my friend this morning, she was shaking as she hugged me and thanked me. She said it well beyond what she imagined could be done on such short notice. Her mother, a most delightful and radiant woman, reacted the same way when she saw it a few hours later.

The funeral mass was sweet and touching and the reception was a celebration of his life, not a teary affair of loss. The placed the photo board at the entrance for all to see and the vast majority had no idea I'd made it, but commented how great it was and how it truly captured his essence.

I was so honored to be asked to create that photo tribute and so glad they were pleased by it. Sometimes scrapping isn't about albums. Sometimes it is being able to take those same tools and create something that is to be viewed only in a condensed set of moments and to bring solace and peace and a smile to the lips of those who are feeling a void in their hearts. Every once in a while I get a whiff of wanting to throw in the towel and stop scrapping as my kids get older and I know their early years have been well documented.

This was a moment that further cemented for me the importance of being able to capture the essence of so many moments and to share it with others. To comfort in photos, not hugs or casseroles or running errands. It did not just help the hearts of his family to heal, but it helped me as well. It reinforced the images of his humorous self, of his giving heart and his winning smile, his 58 years of being crazy in love with his wife and the mischevious twinkle he'd get in his eye talking about his adventures in younger years.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I always love the projects we make at SU! regionals. I especially loved this page we made. I would have never thought to use the negative in the chipboard for a letter, nor would I have thought to use the inside piece of the W for an arrow. I love the colors too. I also got a kick out of outlining the snowflake with versamarker, great detail. Love to learn.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

last minute Halloween project - and a few laughs!

Xyron has been hard at work creating more videos for you!

This DARLING Halloween project is the perfect last-minute gift or centerpiece...if you don't have a bucket to put your candy in this year you can make this one for yourself and be the talk of the neighborhood!

And if you need a laugh - check out our blooper reel...we have a LOT of free time on our hands at the office. :)

Happy Crafting everybody - and Happy Halloween!


Saturday, October 25, 2008

I love Saturdays

I work at school so it is a day off for em as well as the kids. My kids are all busy with their own things today so I plan on spending the day playing in my scrap studio.

I also have some exciting news that I want to share. I have been chosen as the Guest Creative Team Member for the month of November for

Besides getting some very cool product for my CT projects I am also being given a discount code to share with my friends for the month of November. The code will allow the customer to receive a 15% discount off of their first order in the store (minimum of $10 order before taxes, shipping, etc)
the code is PSREF. Feel free to share this with your friends also :-)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Christmas Wish

Time for some Christmas pages.
I made this simple layout with one of the scrappin kits from SU!
I made 6 two page layouts from one kit! And had some odds and ends left over. Love the colors.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Saturday post is a thought for the day

The only disability in life is a bad attitude. ~Scott Hamilton

Thursday, October 16, 2008

moma says

My mom is funny. I adore her though.
She didn't much care for last weeks layout, it was too blah. So here is my redo. I do have to say I LOVE the pumpkin patch. Masking is a great way to make a realistic scene. And it came in handy when I wanted to sponge color around the pumpkins. Most of my scrappers sponged green on the bottom of the pumpkins, and I encouraged them to use a blend of gray and black, the blue was just out of place. These pumpkins were perfect for masking, easy to cut out.
Just stamp the pumpkin on a post it note, then cut it out, I did several layers of each so I could mask several at a time. Then stamp your focal object. Cover it with the post it version and stamp again, PERFECTO!
have a great weekend, I am off to PTA duties!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wishblade dummies...unite!!!!

If you are like me and own a Wishblade but feel like an idiot when you try to use it...Xyron has come to the rescue!! They've just released some AWESOME new step-by-step videos to help us computer illiterate people create beautiful projects!! I am SO excited...I've already created a bunch of cool titles and am now going to take on making my own lace paper!! I'm feeling crafty already!!

To check out the videos go to:

They've also uploaded an easier to understand manual...this gets better by the minute! Yippea!


Thursday, October 9, 2008


By now you know I like for things to be fast. This was the fastest layout I have ever made. I am not totally happy with it, but it will work.
It has been a super busy week, and I am just happy to have put ink on stamps! I know you all have those days.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Today is National Card Making day

In honor of that I am hosting a little challenge on my blog

Create a card/cards and upload anywhere that you can post a link to in the comments section on my blog post. You will get one ticket into a random drawing for some cool CTMH products for each card you share

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Worl Card Day

World Card Day is this Saturday, the 4th.
In Honor of that event, Stampin' Up! is offering all their card kits 20% off! Super cool deal.
I made all 18 of these Christmas cards in less than 30 minutes. It is a great way to stock up fast.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Xyron and YouTube together again!

Looking for an inexpensive and crafty way to spruce up your home office? Check out this video! Jessica came up with this DARLING mail holder - perfect for your foyer, kitchen, office, or scraproom! This would be a great gift for the holidays too!


Thursday, September 25, 2008


I love these cute calendar kits!
They will make wonderful gifts!
so fun and easy, and you can use all your fabulous scrapbook talent to make them!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

back at it

It has been a while, sorry.
My sweet mom FINALLY sold her home, and I have been swamped with helping her and PTA stuff. But I got to be me again this week! It has been so very nice to get back at it. I often have to make several attempts at projects before I am happy with them, but this week, I was happy first try with several. That was a nice feeling!
Sunday is Scrap Club, and we will make this layout with basic gray, kiwi kiss, so saffron, and cameo coral. I love this stamp set. I think it makes a nice statement for cards or pages. I colored directly on the stamp with our watercolor crayons, and then misted it with water just before stamping. if you click on the image, you can see it closer and with greater detail. This is a fun technique that I haven't been able to get enough of this week.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

holiday goodies are coming!!!!!

Am I the only one who gets super excited this time of year...when all of the Halloween/Christmas products start coming out? And yes - I am one of those people who buys all of the Halloween stuff I can get my hands on even though:

A - we don't have kids

B - my husband won't let me dress up the dogs...anymore

C - I don't think the neighbors would appreciate some strange lady down the street (me) taking pictures of their children :)

Anyhoo - wanted to send some links to the latest and greatest that are on the way to IRW and/or your local scrapbook stores...happy shopping everybody!!
Beth - Little Yellow Bicycle Frightful - Little Yellow Bicycle Sharon Ann Christmas Magic

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Same supplies: different look

I am a lover of sketches. Usually my creations don't end up exactly like the sketches but they are a great jumping off point". When I first became a Close to My Heart consultant I had already used and loved their products for several years but did not own any of the sketch books yet. Right off the bat I had customers asking me why you would want to pay for a book of sketches when you would only use each sketch once. (They had a fear that all their pages would start looking the same.) So I set out to show them how easy it is to change a sketch up just by changing colors and a few small elements. Both of these layouts were done using the exact same sketch and stamp sets. I changed the color scheme, the angle of a couple of photo mats and few other small elements. When I display these pages by the open sketch book I sell the book like crazy :-)



Thursday, September 4, 2008

fast scrap

It seems I am always looking for fast ways to scrap. I want everything done quickly, maybe that is why I tend to overload myself. Who knows, but this is a neat idea I got at Stampin' Up! regionals a few years ago. I couldn't wait to get home and try it! It is simple, fast, and fun. A customer of mine makes one for each month for her daughter to put highlights of her child in. How great is that? I wish I had thought of that when my two boys were growing so fast and learning so many new things. The presenter at convention used her to mark things that were important to her each year. There are many many applications, and ways to alter it.
Take a file folder, cover with designer papers, for the pages they will all be the same width, but each page will be an inch longer, making the cascade. Attach with clips from an office supply, add ribbon and embellishments and viola... mini scrap book.

When I had to make this after regionals, I used my favorite paper, brown and pink, so then I didn't really want to put my boys in it. so I made a book about all the trips I have taken with my dear friend to see clay concerts, we have been all over. So it serves as a travel log as well. As you can see, I need to finish it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Got Xyron?

So many times at expos and crops people will come by our IRW booth, see the Xyron machines out on the table, and say "I have one of those - but I've never taken it out of the box"! Once we let them try it out they are TOTALLY hooked...but since I can't come to everybody's house (as much as I'd love to - you know how I feel about home cooking!) and show them how to use their tools - Xyron has done the next best thing!

We've created a series of videos that demonstrate how to use every machine that Xyron carries. We don't have them all done yet - but hopefully will have a complete library by the end of the year! So get your Xyron machines out of the box, click on these videos, and get crafty! :)


Adhesive Runner -

500 (NOT the 510...that is coming later) -

250 -

150 (also known as the "X") -

2" and 4" adhesive runners (also known as Cheetahs) -

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Saturday post on Sunday

This weekend I would like to share about my new position with the school district. I have been working in the elementary schools here for about 6 years now.......... first as an autism para-educator and then in the title One Program.

At the end of last year I was approached by my building principal and asked to consider applying for a brand new program that was going to start up this year. I was hesitant and not wanting to leave a position I knew I loved for something "unknown".

On inservice day this year he approached me again and said the position was still mine if I wanted it and people in the district office felt my experience as a nurse, writing training programs for people with developmental disabilities, and what they had seen me able to accomplish when working in the autism program all led them to believe I needed to be a part of this new program. I am not a person who embraces change........... I tend to try to avoid it as much as possible. But, after praying on it for a night, I decided if this was where God thought I could best serve this year I would go there and I emailed my building principal to tell him I would take the position if they still wanted me to.

So I spent what would have been the last 2 days of my summer vacation doing some specialized training, helping set up the classroom and meeting the other 3 members of the team for the new ILC (Intensive Learning Center) . The head teacher is new to me but I think I will like her. the other 2 staff are woman I know already and I think we will work well together. and I am excited to be part of the ground level of building a new program designed to teach students at the level they need rather than trying to make them fit into a place where they really don't

School starts Tuesday................... wish me luck! :-)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

back to school

I wanted to make a little something for my boys teachers, to start the year off. This is our small art journal. I added calendar pages to it and stamped the pages to match the front papers. I love these little books and the teachers did too. These little journals will make all kinds of cute things. I have seen them as recipe books, mini scrap books, you name it.

Here is Jonathan giving his to his teacher, he wanted to take her an apple, but was glad to have this. I am sure she'd rather have this as well! ;) Can't believe I have a second grader!

And here is Jeremiah after he gave his kindergarten teacher hers. She loved it too. My mom says I will have to make her something each week! But Jeremiah plans to not get in trouble at all this year. I hope he can do it!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Photos from the weekend

NOTE: It is very difficult to post the day after Beth does. I am literally bawling over the death of her friend(see yesterday's post). How can anything I say be of any use after that? She has such a way of writing that clenches the depths of your heart and soul. And she says she "can't blog". You are mistaken, my friend! You have a gift and even though you say you are not mushy and emotional, it's in that soul of yours. Keep it open and keep on writing!

I wanted to add to the Scrapper's Dream Vacation thought that Beth spoke of yesterday. Words cannot truly express the depth of what happens at an SDV event, but I think Beth captured it quite thoroughly. I always come back after vending at an SDV event(this was my third) with a new love for women as we share our hearts and souls during the weekend. It's a scrapping weekend...yes, but as Beth is so much more.

So on to the photos!
Here's most of our 10'x20' booth. Beth and I each have quite an extensive inventory!
Our Xyron adhesive display. It was nearly empty after the event was over. We love us some Xyron!
Here's the great Suzanne Mulet manning the Make & Take table. We had a new project each day and everyone loved what they got to make.

Beth is at the cash register and Suzanne is in the background in black. They both have really cool hair!

Looking out into the sea of scrappers. This only shows maybe half of the room. The vendors line the walls. It is amazing how much stuff these women bring!! The poor bellmen!

So if SDV ever comes your way, you've gotta get your girlfriends and head on over for a scrappin' good time!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

celebration and sadness

I had the incredible opportunity to spend last weekend in rain-drenched Orlando as a vendor at SDV - Scrapper's Dream Vacation. For those of you who have never heard of it - it is everything the name implies. An entire weekend of non-stop scrapping, shopping, food, fellowship, music, dancing, laughing, crying – and…as an added surprise – we even had Mickey Mouse! Along with my fellow S4I-er Shirley Pando and our friend Suzanne Mulet we had a WONDERFUL time at our I Remember When booth – and thanks to Suzanne’s freaky ability to stay up until the wee hours – we actually manned the booth AROUND THE CLOCK!!

But SDV is also something else. In December 2006, SDV’s Founder Nancy Bohrer was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer. Throughout 2007 she shared her story with attendees at SDVs around the country – encouraging women to get mammograms and do their monthly breast self-exams. In December 2007 she was declared cancer free – and last weekend (and SDVs held earlier this year) was a celebration of her victory and of her life and of her strength. This was my first SDV so I did not know Nancy personally, but her story and the inspiration she gave to others around her was evident in every face and every hug and every moment. It is a powerful feeling to be in a room full of women of every age, background, ethnicity and circumstance - all lifting one another up in celebration and fellowship. Truly something to behold.

After such an invigorating weekend I returned home energized and inspired and motivated…until I opened an email from the sister of a dear, dear friend in Anchorage.

When my husband and I moved to Alaska I immediately went on the lookout for friends. I began teaching scrapbooking classes at a community school and in my home – and one night this firecracker of a woman – Joy Riggs – arrived on my doorstep and my life was never to be the same. Joy was from South Africa and had moved to Alaska as a single mom, found and married her soul mate, and just went about living life to its utmost. She was old enough to be my mother, was funny and sarcastic, felt deeply and loved openly, adored my husband and my dogs, and she and her family took me in as one of their own – inviting me for meals, checking on me when Don was gone – she just had a way of making you feel like you were the most important person in the room whenever you were with her. She was larger than life.

When Don and I left Alaska in February she and her husband Max attended our going away party and something just didn’t seem right. She seemed tired, didn’t really interact with anyone – I selfishly attributed it to her being sad that I was leaving, but I would later find out that she had just been diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor – but didn’t say anything because she didn’t want to “ruin my party”. So – for the first few months we emailed back and forth…her always with an upbeat attitude and jokes about her treatment, me telling her how wonderful I thought she was and how much I missed her. Eventually her sister Theresa started writing for her because typing was too difficult – and on Sunday Theresa sent her final email. Felicity (Joy) Riggs died on August 24th – a little more than six months after her diagnosis. She was a mother, a wife, a sister, a friend, a grandmother, a life force, a blessing to everyone who knew her, and an absolute joy in my life – in everyone’s life. She will be missed beyond measure.

So this weekend was truly one of celebration and sadness – and a profound reminder to celebrate the victories, be inspired by the miraculous, and cherish the everyday moments you share with those you love.

To Nancy – thank you for being such a brave and boisterous voice for women – for teaching them to value their bodies, their health, their friendships, their stories, and themselves.

To Joy – your friendship and generosity, the lessons you taught me about love and living, your coming in to my life was a gift I will never be able to repay. Thank you for sharing yourself with those around you so freely and fully…we miss you.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

A day late again

As I was doing my morning emails I realized I missed my Saturday blogpost. We are gearing up for back to school here and these last days of summer are just seeming to fly by.

I wanted to share an update on my friends who took their son back East for some specialized therapy.

They had bad news and good news. The bad news was because Nick had recently had hip surgery they could not do the full therapy routine. The good news is there was dramatic results from the therapy they did do. His family is already planning for how to get him back there again next summer.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A little bit of this and a little bit of that !

Well I couldn’t decide what to blog about today so I’ll talk about a few things.

Today was the last day of work for my very good friend at our office. We’ve been friends since I moved to Calgary almost 15 years ago. Actually I met her about 6 months after we moved here. In the last 14 or so years we have both been through quite a bit. She got married and then divorced. I had another baby, we both lost our fathers a couple years apart and I have lost my mom. As friends go, we’ve seen it all. Also during the last 14 years we have spent a few of them working in the same company on two different occasions and two different companies. In this current company she was on the 9th floor and I was on the 12th floor so we really only saw each other for lunch but it was still nice to work in the same place. With her leaving today it really only means we wont’ take the elevator together when we meet for lunch, we’ll have to each walk a couple of blocks now to meet. That’s the only real difference but it’s still one of those changes in life that brings excitement and challenge and I’m very happy for her.

Now on another totally different subject - Social Networking. I always thought I was a people person and a great socializer. Why am I having such difficulty figuring out just what to do with our Facebook group. I have no idea how to build it yet I see silly, totally useless groups reach 10,000 members in a matter of weeks. Something is truly wrong with this picture. Oh well, I am certainly not the type of person to give up so I will plug away with trying to find ways to build the group. I am very happy though with being able to showcase the Xyron videos on our site. The first one is up there now so go check it out.

Then of course we have the actual events and the background work that goes into them. We have 7 events coming up

St. Louis MO - Sept 20
Columbia MO - Sept 27
Tucson AZ - Sept 27
Las Vegas – Oct 25
DesMoine Iowa - Nov 2

McKean, PA – Nov 14
Union City, PA – Nov 15

This is exciting of course but there are still over 30 organizers out there who don’t have a date yet and I have to wonder just what I can do to help them out. I feel like I should do something but what…… so in chatting with an organizer last night I have decided that one thing I can do is try to get more corporate support, more prize donations, more discounts for the event attendees. Maybe if I do that then things will start to take hold and move ahead. I know people are out there doing stuff but sometimes when you don’t see it happening it’s hard to actually accept it as reality. I’m not making sense, am I? Well to me I make perfect sense lol.

If anyone knows of any companies out there who like to support fundraising events please share the info with me. More specifically if anyone has a direct contact that might make this process easier I’d love to have that info as well. For now I’m going to go back to my corporate list and then I’m going to add some other ones, more specifically sites like Shutterfly and Snapfish that focus on photo gifts, photo books and other great stuff. I never thought of having them become sponsors, thanks Val for the suggestion.

Well that’s enough business for now. Tonight is scrap night and my regular scrap buddy comes home at midnight so I’ll go pick her up at the airport. I am scrapping with another friend tonight who is trying to scrap with us more regularly. Then tomorrow it’s time for a short garage sale to unload a few unwanted items and then a pool party at the neighbours place as summer is quickly coming to an end.

Oh and some other really cool news. I shared with you that my daughter started a job at West Jet airlines a couple of weeks ago. Well last night I finally got the chance to check out her flight benefits and the flying benefits with other ‘partners’ with West Jet. I can fly just about anywhere in the US for likely around $200 return which is awesome. Now I need to just figure a few other little things out (like vacation time) and then I’m really hoping to make my way out to one or two Scrapping 4 Inclusion events next year. That makes me very very happy.

Well have a great weekend everyone. I know I will.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

cutting hair doesn't change the boy

Back to school photos are perfect for scrapbooking!
My little guys go to a school that has a strict dress code in regards to hair. So they spend the entire summer growing out their hair, and it gets just long enough to do something fun with, and it is time to cut it all off for school!

It is funny to me, we went for hair cuts yesterday, that is the first set of pictures and then I took the final picture today (bc she puts colored gel in their hair and they spike it up) and Jonathan has on a guitar shirt and Jeremiah has on a camo shirt in both pictures! Which just goes to show, cutting off their long and treasured hair doesn't change their style at all! ;)

I am excited about these pages bc the idea came from Liz, one of my scrap clubbers. Stampin' Up! has new card kits and she ordered one for a scrap page, so I just got in my card kit and thought I would use it as a scrap layout too! Thanks liz for the idea!!!
Here are the cards that the kit makes.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

S4I and I Remember When join up to get your creative juices flowing!!

I am so, so, so excited about this!! As many of you know, I Remember When is owned by Xyron, and as part of my job for Xyron I do all of their product/project videos. Many of you also know that Laurie has started an S4I page on Facebook. Well...thanks to Laurie's GENIUS-ness and her amazing ability to think outside the box - I am THRILLED to report that the S4I page is going to be the Facebook home for all upcoming Xyron videos!!! What a great way to spread the message about S4I and reach a HUGE community - not only of crafters but of those raising and teaching and loving a child with special needs. YAY Laurie!!

The first video in the series has been posted to YouTube and should be on the S4I page soon:

And if you haven't already joined S4I on Facebook - come on over!! See you there!!


Anyone interested in a FREE online class?

Yep, I said FREE!

Two great online instructors are team teaching at My Creative Classroom. Kylie Hopkins and Shirley Pando combine their scrapbook experience and teaching talents to bring you Scrapbooking 101. This FREE class will run for two weeks beginning September 1, 2008. Stop by daily to learn techniques, tips, play games, participate in challenges, win prizes and more! Did I mention PRIZES???

CLICK HERE to register and join the fun!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Saturday share

today's share is a gift idea..........thinking ahead for Christmas. This makes a great teacher's gift
altered cd
This is an altered CD. I covered both side with papers, added some stamping, a cute snowman stamped embellishment, some glitter, and some ribbon for hanging on the Christmas tree

Thursday, August 14, 2008

a fast way to scrap

I love this idea of taking a manila file folder and making it into a scrap book.
One of our simply scrapping kits is more than enough to cover the folder, and make the inside pages and embellishments. This was a lot of fun to make, fast and easy too.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My day...

I am sitting at the Orlando airport this morning as I wait for my plane. I am flying out to Charlotte, NC to work for Scrap-Mart at the Creating Keepsakes Convention in Charlotte.

I can't help but listen in to the conversation of two women sitting behind me. They talk about domestic abuse and the Safe House that is just north of where I live. They speak of the security and the fence that protects its inhabitants and the different needs of the women and children in the house.

The young man sitting in front of me is writing in the last page of his leather-bound journal. He is totally focused on his writing. I see in his belongings a travel book littered with Post-it arrows peeking out of the pages.

People are coming and going...talking, sitting quietly, working on laptops, in mouse ears...remember this IS Orlando!!

I meet a 24 year old woman in a wheel chair. She tells me she has lyme disease and describes the havoc it has brought to her life. She comes to Charlotte from Florida for treatments every month.

Now I sit in my bed at the hotel blogging to you. My coworkers are in the next room(it's a suite!) and discuss work and family.

Just had to share my day before it ends. Even those seemingly small things that are happening all around you are important, too.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My Saturday share a day late :-)

This was completed as a guest Creative Team Member assignment for one of my favorite websites. I love how you can build in layers on the acrylic page frames and there is a ton of altering of items that went on here. This was my first time playing with the Tim Holtz Grungeboard and I had a blast inking it and applying stickles to it

Friday, August 8, 2008


There are many people who think that today being 08-08-08 is very lucky. I heard that a lot today from many sources, general chit chat, news, local papers, radio etc.

I wasn’t really sure what I would blog about today when it dawned on me on the way home from work that I should blog about the date. It’s not like it comes around all that often.

With all the talk about ‘luck’ it made me think about whether or not I actually believe in the concept of luck. I personally tend to believe more in fate then luck. I think we are all faced with choices in life and we certainly have some control of what direction we take in life but we don’t have full control. I don’t attend church and I wouldn't consider myself a religious person but I do believe in God and I believe that we are all here on earth for a purpose. I don’t really believe that some people are lucky over any others. I think that their lives are just different, that’s all.

I think we all make our own luck. It’s in how we perceive the things that happen in our day to day lives.

What do you think? Do you think some people are luckier than others?

In a word I feel that I am BLESSED, not lucky or unlucky…..but BLESSED!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

take it with you

These little mini scrapbooks have been hugely popular here, so that means, they have probably been around for a while... but someone might enjoy talking about them.
I got little ID badges at Wal Mart (12 for $1.50) and with 4 you have the perfect mini book. I love adding the ring to clip it onto my bag. A friend has a two page one attached to her work ID. These are big enough to express your creativity, yet small enough to have with you everywhere you go!
Looking at these pictures that were taken just last summer when we went to Glorietta, New Mexico (Sunday School training week) I can't believe how much my boys have changed and grown, it seems like more than a year has past. There is pictures of their back to school hair cuts, which we are getting ready to do again. Time really does get away from you. Yet some things change very little. My youngest still loves Texas Tech (we aren't sure why, he just does, my theory is bc we like Baylor and University of Texas) and only wears Camo. My oldest still likes to "rock out" (which is what he is doing in one of his pictures). That is interesting, a year later we are a lot the same, yet very different. Even a mini scrapbook can bring forth all this emotion. Thus supporting the reason we scrap.
Enjoy your Thursday, I am still anxiously waiting my new catalogs from Stampin' Up! I know there is going to be really cool stuff in there. Like the Sizzix Big Shot! woo hoo come on brown truck!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I am so excited! But keep it hush, hush!!

I have some exclusive info, but you can't tell's not been announced yet!

At My Creative Classroom we are beginning to bring in new teachers to the pack of existing ones. They have been going though a 6-week training to learn how to teach online classes. Teaching online classes is WAAAYYY different than teaching face-to-face classes. So much more to consider and much more prep work.

The New Instructor's class is the same type of class that I went through to become an instructor there last year, only we were the guinea pigs, as we were the first teachers through the course. OMG! It was so hard! I kept telling myself, "Don't quit, it will all be good once you get through"! Everything techie I know I learned at MCC!!! Really! And now I almost feel like a pro! LOL!

At My Creative Classroom we will be having our Fall Kick-Off event the week of September 8th. ('Yours Truly' is in charge of it!!) We will be introducing the new instructors, having a New Instructors chat, and having a few games and PRIZES(!).

Mark your calendar so you will be there. And if you haven't already done so, head on over to the MCC website and sign up for the FREE newsletter so you know when all the new courses and events will be posted.

There's lots coming up at MCC!!! It's gonna be a good year! :D

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

six words

I sometimes think Skype is the work of the devil. It can turn a well-meaning, productive day in to a three-hour chat with your brother on the pros and cons of Facebook, or a four-way insult fest with the people sitting at the cubicles next to you, or…like today…an afternoon long quest for the meaning of the universe in the form of life slogans.

My friend Amy (not IRW Amie…but another Amy who is equally as fabulous) owns her own company and was “interviewing” with another company for a project. In one of the emails, along with some innocuous questions, was this:

Can you summarize your life mission in six words?

Amy was fascinated – as was I. So we spent the rest of the afternoon working hard at our jobs (and by that I mean searching out fellow Skype-friends and asking them the same question). Can six words define you? In a life full of responsibilities and priorities and hopes and dreams – how do you choose? As Amy so eloquently put it “how you've lived until today, how you want to live, what you want to see in others, what you want for your friends/family, as a role model, how you want to be remembered, personal or professional or spiritual… then to take the whole thing down to 6 words for it ALL...” – it was quite daunting! Interestingly enough – some people were able to come up with a mission or two in just a few minutes, while some people are still pondering. What pops in to YOUR mind when you read this question?

So I’m going to post some of the responses here (including my own – with the *). These come from people of different genders, ages, careers…and when I put them all together in a list I felt uplifted, if that makes any sense. As if maybe by spending a few minutes (or all afternoon) thinking about this we might each be inspired to inch towards our mission a little each day. Please share yours if you are willing…and thanks Amy for turning my plain ol’ ordinary work day in to a quest for something better. Maybe Skype isn’t so bad after all! :)


Be proud of how I’ve lived

Don’t work more than you play

Success and happiness for all involved

Financial growth and a happy life

Live with honor, respect and loyalty

Serve others, live fully, be loved*

Set goals and do my best

Sunday, August 3, 2008

where do you get your inspiration?

I spent this weekend and a good part of the week attending and teaching for the Close To My Heart virtual convention. This is held each year in conjunction with the in real life one for those unable to attend. There were amazing classes featuring projects, business tips, website how to's and so much more. My creativity is now on fire and I am hoping for some play time in my scrap studio after church today.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Oh look there’s a butterfly……..

Distracted……. that’s how I’ve been feeling lately. Lots to do, keeping very busy yet feeling like I’m just not getting enough done. I feel like I’m off chasing butterflies. Do you ever feel like that?

I know that there are only 24 hours in a day and seven days a week yet most weeks I feel like I could use more time.

It’s frustrating for me because I’m a very organized person and usually I’m quite productive. I’m the “List Queen” for sure. The one good thing about all of these distractions is that they are all GOOD things. Like my new found love for digital scrapping. I keep reading more and trying more things and that just pushes me to want to do more but then there’s that time thing and the fact that I keep running out of it.

There’s also my new little project which seems to be on my mind a lot lately and it’s just beginning yet it’s driving me to try to do more things.

Then of course I’m trying to build up Scrapping 4 Inclusion and our networking to help build the program and most days I feel like there is more that I could be doing to help this along.

I do absolutely LOVE everything I do and these distractions seem to take me to some really wonderful places. If only I could focus just a little bit longer before chasing that butterfly. I guess that’s part of the characteristics of being on the creative side of life.

Most days I have to admit that I feel guilty in following all the little whims that come up. I feel like I’m not finishing things. When I stop to think about it I do realize that it is the butterflies in life that make us who we are.

I would love to hear from others on how the creative distractions of life have altered your path and if anyone has any suggestions on how to stay just a little more focused I would love to hear it.

Oh and to finish off I want to share with everyone that this week my daughter was offered a full time job at West Jet Airlines. It’s a fantastic company and tons of people apply their regularly so it’s not that easy to get in there but she did. I’m so proud of her.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

another punched flower

This flower I found at splitcoast when I searched for punched flowers. It is made using a tag punch! I love it as well. People are so creative and fun!

It is funny, I pretty much had the same blog for today as I did last week. Do you ever have those weeks? Wow! I am sorry.

I have edited this post, and will share something else today. Then I will start planning for next week! ;)

This is an example of the difference between classic ink and craft ink. Classic ink dries fast, and works well for most projects. It does direct to paper prettier than craft when you are inking your edges. It is water based and is absorbed by the paper. Craft ink is thinker, takes longer to dry, and can be embossed. It is a pigment ink and dries on top of the paper. When using dark card stock, it shows up much more vibrant. They both have their place and purpose.
The one on the left is classic and the one on the right is craft.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


...some of my favorite blogs! They are full of craftiness of all kinds! I get such inspiration from seeing what others make!!

Journal Junk
Outside the Lines
Little Melfie's World
Seeking Everyday Beauty
Present Past Collection
Altered State of Mind

Ok, that should get your creative juices you go!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

taking care of our memories

I was driving home from the airport on Saturday night and a Christian radio station was having a “Christmas in July” marathon – all Christmas music, all weekend. I thought the premise was a little silly and snickered as I reached over my Garmin (which was telling me that it was 97 degrees at 8 o’clock at night – don’t tell my husband but you wonder why I sometimes miss Alaska?) to change the channel. Just at that moment, I heard the first few notes of a song…

Bing Crosby singing Silent Night.

In an instant I was transported back 25+ years to Christmas Eve in my parents' living room with the lights dimmed and the Christmas tree twinkling against the window and my brother in his Star Wars pajamas as we sipped hot cocoa and opened one present each and this song played on the record player next to my dad’s chair. Then again back 15 years in that same living room as a young adult home from college putting up decorations as this song played gently as the backdrop of our laughter and storytelling. Then again just a few years ago in my own living room, sitting with a glass of wine and a fire in the fireplace, listening to this CD and aching for my husband who was off at war. All of this from a single song on a car radio on a Saturday evening in July.

You hear people say all the time that a song or a scent or a photo brings back a flood of memories – but as I get older I wonder if I shouldn’t be taking better care of those memories. Do I leave them to chance? Hoping that the next time I hear that song those same memories will come back to me? Or do I write them down…maybe on a piece of paper that I stick in that CD? I hear so often from scrappers that they hate to journal – or that they reserve it for “special” events…once in a lifetime moments that they need to capture in words because the pictures aren’t enough. But I believe that these everyday memories – these little snippets of our past – should be treasured even more, because these are the memories that our soul has chosen to hold on to and tuck away, ready to pop out and comfort or surprise you just when you need it – like in your car on a Saturday evening in July.

But once in a lifetime moments ain’t too shabby either. When we moved back to Georgia one of the first friends I made was Shealyn Cyr. I’m not exactly sure how it happened…as women do we met at a wives’ coffee on post and 15 minutes later were in a corner talking about our fertility issues and sharing our deepest feelings of heartbreak and loss. That encounter and shared struggle turned in to a friendship, which turned in to keeping each other company when the guys were gone, hanging out at block parties, meeting once a week for the greatest sushi on the planet, until one day she called me…

and said she was pregnant.

I have since said that it is a moment I will never forget. I will never forget the sound of her voice or what I was doing or grinning from ear to ear when I got off the phone or driving like a bat out of hell to get to her house or sitting around staring at each other in shock or seeing the PILE of pregnancy tests on her dining room table or deciding to go out for sushi anyway and standing in the parking lot trying to decide if she could still eat raw tuna. Or driving home and having my feelings about my own fertility completely blindside me and take my breath away. Or the fact that her pregnancy is an honest-to-goodness, bona-fide, Grade A, prayers answered miracle and I am blessed to have a front row seat to the whole amazing, incredible shebang.

NOW – of course, I will never forget it because I have put it out here for the entire planet to see. But how many moments like this have I forgotten? Or only vaguely remember? Moments that meant so much to me at the time, but I need this little ol’ brain to remember to get Triscuits at the store, or that my car keys are underneath a pile of papers on the dining room table – how can I expect it to also hold a lifetime of memories?

Shea knows (obviously) what I do for a living…and she has given me all the standard reasons for why she won’t scrapbook – doesn’t have the time, doesn’t think she is crafty enough (puh-leeze) – but I couldn’t care less. :) What I want for Shea – what I want for all of us – is a place (whether it is a scrapbook or a journal or a pile of scribbled-on index cards in a box in the closet) where we can take care of these memories. Man or woman, old or young, we need a place where we can turn to our memories when we need a good laugh, or a good cry, a chance to remember someone we’ve lost or reconnect with someone we’ve found. And so poor Shea will be inundated with some sort of memory preserving gift pretty soon…and my greatest wish is that she and her hubby and their baby and their friends fill it with a lifetime full of memories. I hope you will do the same for the people in your lives.

And with that…I will leave you with what I hope will be the first photo in their book – six-week old Baby Cyr (and Shealyn’s uterus – you can thank me later Shea for putting that on the internet). ;)


Monday, July 28, 2008

Dates and other stuff

Once a week I'll be posting our upcoming dates as well as locations who where the organizer is looking for volunteers to help and also locations where we could use some recommendations on space. I will be posting the information here as well as on the Facebook Group, Mycraftivity and the Yahoo Group (scrapbooking for a cause). I am truly hoping that once the readers at these locations get used to seeing our information they will start spreading the word and we will actually find the assistance we are looking for. Well you just never know and if we don't try then how will we know if this networking will work or not.

Anyways, here is this weeks information.

Scrapping 4 Inclusion Dates:

Upcoming events as follows (please see their web page for specific event details

St. Louis MO - Sept 20 -
Columbia MO
- Sept 27 -
Tucson AZ
- Sept 27 -
DesMoine Iowa - Nov 2 -

Locations that need additional Volunteers:

If you live in these areas and would like to help with this event please email

Pendleton OR
Orlando FL

Beaufort MO

Waco TX

Locations having difficulty finding space for their event.

The following locations are having some difficulty locating a suitable space to host their crop. If you live in the area and have any suggestions / recommendations for a location please email

Orlando FL – space for 50-100 croppers

If you do not live in any of the areas listed above you can still help us by spreading the word - if you post on any message boards or Facebook or if you blog, please post our upcoming events, our volunteer needs and those locations needing to find space. Share all of the above information with those you are in contact with as you just never know who might be able to help.

Until next time. Have a good week and wish us luck with the networking!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Christmas n July?

I have heard from several of my CTMH customers that they wanted to get a jump start on making Christmas cards this year so yesterday was spent doing a Christmas in July card workshop. We had tons of fun! First we did a set of 10 from 3 (10 cards from one random stamped cardstock, one patterned paper and one solid cardstock) Then we did a pocket card with a pull out tag (great for glue dotting a gift card to) and a buckle card. Have you started your Christmas cards yet? :-)

Friday, July 25, 2008

A New Addition

No not a baby! Geeeeesh!

I’m talking about a new addition to the blog.

I wanted to have someone participate weekly on this blog to share experiences with raising a child with disabilities and the challenges of having them included. I wanted a presence here to be able to help keep all of the readers informed as to the value of inclusion, the challenges experienced in getting there and the rewards when you finally do.

I know that many of those involved with the Scrapping 4 Inclusion program are personally affected by a child with a disability in one form or another but I wanted someone who wasn’t involved in scrapbooking to join us. I wanted to help us expand our readership and reach out to the rest of the world and help us share what we are doing.

Diane Bubel and I have spoken about this and she graciously helped to connect me to someone who would fit with us and this project. I am very happy to say that starting hopefully this weekend or next we will have Lora Keller joining our blog. She has quite an impressive history of fighting for inclusion for her son. Her son Lucas will hopefully also join us to share his personal experiences. Lora will be providing me with a ‘bio’ of herself and Lucas and once I have the information I will post it here. In the meantime you can read her story on the Foundation's website found here .

I’m very excited to be working with Lora and Lucas. When Lora and I spoke this past week she mentioned to me some of the things that she hears often in her role as a teacher and something she can related to as a mom of a child with a disability and we are now collaborating on another project that will hopefully be able to assist parents, raise awareness for the Foundation and hopefully also generate some fundraising income. There are many things that I need to sort out first with this project so unfortunately I can’t get into any detail right now. Just suffice it to say that I’m excited and when all the little ducks are nicely lined up in a little row I’ll be happy to let the entire world know what we are doing.

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and taking lots of pictures that will need to be scrapbooked. I know I am.

Tonight is my regular scrap night so that will be fun. I haven’t managed to scrap every Friday as it’s kind of hard during the summer but I’m managing to get in a few Friday scrap nights and I’m happy about that.

I’m still trying to keep up with my social networking goals and now that I have the structure of what I want to do and most of the logistics figured out I’ll be making the time to participate and grow these areas so that we can spread the word to more people. I will be posting a summary of this blog weekly on a Yahoo Group as well as on our Facebook Group and MyCraftivity. I’m closer to securing some scrapping videos to be posted on the Facebook Group page and I will also be publishing our upcoming dates and volunteer needs at these locations on a weekly basis. I’ll be posting that information here on our blog every Monday so if anyone knows of other places that this information can be posted at regularly please feel free to visit here on Mondays and take the information and post it wherever you want. The more the merrier in my mind.

Anyways, that’s it for now. Look forward to Lora and Lucas’s blog coming your way on Sunday’s.

Thanks everyone for all that you do to help make Scrapping 4 Inclusion a success.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I totally messed up!

Yes, Wednesday is my blog day, but I was at the beach for a few days without internet. Totally had no idea what day it know how that can be? So I will thrill you with a few pictures from our trip.

We went to Disney's Vero Beach Resort like we do every July. It's a bit south of Cape Canaveral on the east coast of Florida. Yeah, it's still perfect like Disney...we totally love it. We went with my husband and kids, my mom and dad, my mother-in-law, my three sisters and a few of the brothers-in-law and kiddos. We had the beach, the pool, an exercise room(I didn't see the insides of that one!!) and great weather.

Here's most of our gang...

Our view off the deck...
The view of the beach cottage.
Vero Beach is home to nesting Loggerhead Turtles and they take great pains to protect them!!
We played alot of fave is Rummicube! One of my neice's on the boogie board! Loads of shells and rocks!
Now to scrapbook it all! Photos of that to come... :D


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