Diggin' the card experience...

Last post for the evening..the treadmill is calling my name. Mocking me, really...but that's another post.

I made cards last night/this morning while cropping with friends. We had a great time (I think) and I actually made some progress on my cards. Finished up this morning. (Thanks Carla for finding the's perfect!)

Here's the Green/Yellow Version:

and here's the Pink/Green Version:

Patterned Paper is by Flair Designs
Stamps are by La Pluma

Sometimes Love is really expensive...

My son, j is 9. He has encountered some developmental and spatial issues that have, so far, prevented him from being able to learn to ride a bike. We have purchased two bikes in the past three years and have spent countless hours coaching him on how to ride, but without much success. After many tries, he became frustrated to the point of tears and gaves up. Each time, the bikes met their demise, first in a wreck or two and then finally serving as the plaything for his alter ego, Destructo-Man. Luckily, we didn't spend too much on them...the first one was new from Target. The second was used and discovered by Dad at a pawn shop.

It bothers him that he can't ride a bike. He sees our neighborhood kids zooming up and down the streets of our neighborhood on their bikes and he feels the sting of being left out. Sometimes he talks about it. Sometimes he withdraws quietly to brood about it. As the mother bear, I hate that. I can't begin to put into words how much I hate that. I don't want him to feel that way, especially about something that should be so easily overcome.

So, recently I've been on a hunt for a way to solve this problem. The challenge is that he is unable to maintain balance on a bike and he can't seem to learn to look forward to where the bike is going while continuing to peddle. If he's peddling, he's watching his feet. (Thus, the multiple wrecks because the trees neglected to get out of his way.)

After some searching I found this young adult trike. The Trailmate Low Rider. How cool is that? It has three wheels but doesn't look "grandfatherly" in the coolness department like many of the other three-wheeled machines. It has a hand brake and best of all, since it's a recumbent cycle, his feet would be streatched out in front of him, so glancing from feet to horizon wouldn't be such a bi-directional experience.

I think this would work. Or rather, I *thought* it would work until I called the recommended local bike shop for a price.


Wow! It must do housework and wash the cars as well. As J would say..."Moly Cow, Moma!"

Seven hundred dollars. I've had cars that didn't cost that much.

We're definately going to have to continue the search and give this more thought.

Ads - the good and the "what were they thinking"...

Advertisements get my attention.
Always have.
Especially print ads.

I am especially drawn to scrapbook supply ads (I know, you are shocked!) this one from KI Memories, in the front of PaperKuts. Message received loud and clear! It's all about the ribbon! Very cool ribbon.

However, this pseudo-ad in CK for Heidi Swapp's book on handwriting left a little to be desired, in my opinion. The page shown is stunningly beautiful! There's no surprise there. Heidi's work is known far and wide for being unique and artistic. She does have an amazing way with writing.

But the ad copy...what were they thinking??

In case you can't read the short paragraph to the right of the layout, here's the first line of the text:

"To help journaling show up clearly, use dark inks instead of light colors."

Um. OK. Thanks for that enlightenment. Is this really what should be classified as a "new idea"?

I'm looking at the layout and I can easily think of several other handwriting tips that this layout could have been used to illustrate...all much more informative and usful than "use dark inks".

I really like Heidi Swapp's work and her ideas and I know that this in no way reflects on the quality of the book she's written...but I think CK dropped the ball on this one.


It's Alliterative!

I’ve been thinking about names lately. I think people with alliterative names (first and last names that start with the same letter) have it really cool.

Ansel Adams
David Duchovney
Ben Bradlee
Peter Parker (aka Batman)
Donald Duck
Mickey Mouse
Cassius Clay
Lisa Leslie
Matthew McConnahey
Robin Roberts
Ronald Reagan
Lennox Lewis
Helen Hunt
Courtney Cox
Rebecca Rominjn
Harry Hamlin
Hugh Hefner
William Wordsworth
Mike Myers
Travis Trit
Tamika Tyler

While I was assembling my list, I ran across this article on Yeah that says that perhaps alliteration is a shortcut to definite stardom. Apparently, alliteration makes a name stick in the brain and roll off the tongue with ease. I can see that.

There are a few alliterative names in the scrap community…

Donna Downey
Christina Cole
Brittany Beattie
Brenda Birrell
Bazzil Basics (ok well technically not a person…but still well-loved)
Sherri Steveson
Leslie Lightfoot
Marianne Madsen
Michael Miller
Making Memories

So, I guess if I had wanted to be a star, I should have stuck with the plan I devised in Kindergarten to marry the boy with the long hair named Matt Sanders.

Can we say "Road Trip"!

Textile Nirvana

From the pictures that's really what they should have named Britex Fabrics in San Francisco. A Pea, May, aka chocoholic pea , wrote about it on her blog a few days ago. (Scroll down about half way for the entry.) She so blessed to be able to visit in person! What a beautiful, inspiring place that must be.

Make sure you browse to the third story to see this! Oh my!!

So, how far is it to San Francisco? Who wants to go?


Negativity Fades

OK, I let my passion for the good of this hobby run away with me in the wee hours of the morning. No more blog space devoted to negitivity, okay.

I am in deep like with these stickers:

I don't usually go for too many stickers...but these are so cool. They are made of thick vellum so they have a semi-transparent feel and the colors are vibrant without overpowering. I found them at Michaels while browsing for firetruck stickers. I've used them on a couple different projects today. Here's one, a 6x6 card that used these snappy stickers and a scrap of patterned paper I've been hoarding for too long:

Stickers: Sticko by EK Success
Cardstock: Bazzill
Patterned Paper: Making Memories
Ribbon: Offray
Eyelets: Prym Dritz
Tag: Avery
Safety Pin: Making Memories
Jewelry Tag: Avery
Blue Pen: Zig by EK Success

I have been hoarding all the scraps of that Making Memories striped paper. I love it! It's cardstock weight patterned paper...I love that stuff despite the extra that it costs. That's good stuff!

Speaking of firetrucks, j is coming home from 6 days with Gram and Popa tomorrow. He's ready. Very ready, from the sound of things. I still can't believe how much one person can change the entire dynamic of a household. And how did I not know that?

Minor meltdown this morning...G was sitting at my desk as I worked, puttering around with whatever he could find. He got his hands on a new bag of empty wooden thread spools. Ripped open the bag and was having a delightful time stacking them and knocking the stacks off the desk. All is well until I hear him gagging and sputtering. All I can think is "Oh my goodness...he's swallowed a spool." He sputters for a moment and then starts asking for a drink. He's not choking and he's breathing and talking fine, but there are spools all over the place and I take a long hard look at them. Could he have actually swallowed a wooden spool? Where's that safety gadget thingie when you need it? Those are pretty big. But my boys have always been over-achievers...they get it from their father...Could he?

Frantically, I rummage around for the mangled package. It says there should be 20 spools. I make stacks of spools on the desk, praying that I can locate all 20. Seventeen, eighteen, Of course. There's one missing. By this time there's a small war going on in my soul. Could he have really swallowed a spool? They are kinda big. What happens if he did? I can't know if he did without a trip to the ER because he looks fine and he's breathing fine. Joal's in Bowling Green today. He'll come if I call of course...but what if he rushes home and g didn't swallow a spool after all? Those spools sure are big. He's only 2. I couldn't swallow a spool that size...but then I wouldn't put it in my mouth to begin with.

Maybe I should make one more pass under my desk in hopes of finding #20 before I really panic. A rubber stamp and a sock (ewww)...some paper giblets...and yes, there's spool #20. Thank you, Lord.

Sorry, baby. The spools are going in a drawer. Crisis averted.

In other news, my little birdie friends are gone. "Flew the coop" as it were. I will miss them. I wish I could hang a bird nest vacancy sign out on the tree, in hopes that some other birds would make use of this well-cared-for home in my tree. Maybe someday.

"It was nice knowing you, my little friends. Farewell and be safe.
Thank you for enriching our lives with your beauty."


Absolute Trust

No deep thoughts tonight...just a new layout. I know...I can practically hear some of you gasping as the image loads because it has no journaling - and I a-l-w-a-y-s have journaling. But ya know what? Sometimes the photo and the title just say it all. For me it's rare...but sometimes.

This is one of those times.

Patterned Paper - Scenic Route
Metal Rimmed Tag - Making Memories
Eyelet - Bazzill
Ink - Marvy LaPlume II Pen No 14 (turquoise)

La Pluma Stamps
Noted Lowercase Alpha
Dial-Up a Word Band Stamp


All is Quiet on the Home Front...

Wow! What a difference one nine-year-old can make!

j has gone to visit Gram amd Popa for a few days. It's so unusually quiet around here. G doesn't know what to do with himself...and neither do I. He walked around today looking for j, saying "Knock, Knock." (It's a thing they do. G says "Knock, knock." j says "who's there?" G says "me, Bubba." It's very cute.) But today, j wasn't here to answer.

It was quiet.
We only had 2 small messes to clean up.
I actually got the laundry done.
There was only one bath given today. (Usually the minimum is 3.)
No one whined at me.
G took a 3 hour nap.
I scrapped during his nap. (See card and layout below.)
It was so darn quiet.

G found a photo of j in my junk photo bin. He toted it around much of the day. I really feel for him because he probably doesn't understand that Bubba will be home in a few days and he's having a blast at Gram's.

All in all, it was a very different day.

I found this scrap of purple-ish embroidered paper in my scraps. I've had it forever. Today, I was determined to use it and here's the result. I think I might try to do a "use-one-scrap-a-day" challenge to myself.

Embroidered Paper - Provo Craft
Patterned Paper - Daisy D's
Ribbon - Offray
Sticker - Vellum Stickers from the Cathy B line of EK Success
Tag - Making Memories
Eyelet - Making Memories
Ink - Ranger
Stamp - LaPluma Dial-Up a Phrase


PSA: How to Treat a Salesperson...

Salesmen (and women) are a rare breed. Good ones are ever more rare. I’m married to an excellent salesman…and I’m not just saying that because he buys me Bazzill…LOL! He really is very good at what he does.

So, with that in mind, can I just make a Public Service Announcement about how to treat salesmen? If, thru the course of your day-to-day business dealings, you encounter a salesman, of any caliber…but most especially a good one, here’s a secret to remember: It’s simple. Just be nice.

It’s not his goal to waste your time or sell you something you don’t want. Sure, he wants to make a sale, but a good salesman is not there to sell you something you don’t want. He believes he has something to offer you that you do/will want or need. If his product is something you don’t want, don’t put him off and tell him to come back later. Don’t blame your mother/wife/secretary/dog. Don’t lie. Just tell him the truth and save his time and yours from being wasted.

See, what you may forget when looking at the salesman, is that behind that practiced professional, really good salesman may just be a good man. A man who works hard, takes care of his family, and believes in the good of what he is doing. He’s making a difference in the world. He’s not much different from you, really. How would you want to be treated?

I know salesmen get a bad rap for tactics and ploys. Those who use tactics and ploys should get a bad rap…on the backside with a switch. But don’t lump them all together. If a salesman has given you no reason to think ill of him, treat him as you would want to be treated. It’s better to decline his offer and give him the chance to move on to someone who is interested…than to waste his time. See, to a salesman, more than most other people in business, time really is money.

It’s easy.
Salesmen are people.
Be nice.
Don’t lie.
Don’t waste time.

That is all. Now back to your regularly scheduled scrapbooking!


Once in a While...

In my life before scrapbooking, I was a serious lover of crafts. There are very few crafts that I haven't tried...and passed on...until scrapbooking. When I discovered scrapbooking, the need to craft was replaced with the need to create scrapbooks. The various crafts came and went as my hobby-of-the-month-or-two, but scrapbooking has "stuck around" for just over nine years now.

Maybe once a year I get a wild hair, as my friend Leigh Ann says, and do a tiny bit of crafting, just to prove I've still got it in me.

On our last trip to Mississippi I watched a show on DiY called Embellish This!...Dena Fishbein, the host of the show, demonstrated how to cover a lightswitch plate in lengths of ribbon. The project can be seen here. Well, of course, that looked like a cool use of ribons and it was just enough to get the craft bug going again.

So, here's tonight's creation--

It's a very simple project, using a precut photo mat from the frame department at Michaels and many lengths and widths of ribbon. It was fun and I can see it being a neat project to repeat with different ribbons. It would also be cool placed on a scrapbook page with hinges. The mat gives it extra sturdiness, making it the perfet flap for hidden journaling. It also has potential as the cover of a small book. Lots of ideas...that's why I enjoy this hobby...there are always so many options.

In other new Club Scrap Leather Album came's official. I'm in deep like! That is one fine looking album! Shipping was awesomely fast and it was packed really well. However, I wish there had been a reminder on the album page on the website that I needed to order extension posts if I really wanted to fill it up. It's a large album but only comes with one set of one-inch posts. That means I can only fit about ten pages in my new album. Do you *know* how many pages I have waiting to go into a new album?? Many. Bunches. Tons. So tomorrow I'm going to Home Depot and get some big-moma album posts! The ones for *real* scrapbooks. LOL!

I did some re-arranging today in ye ole scrap space. I'm cleaning out and I've discovered that I have too many scraps. I know...most every scrapper on the planet has too many scraps. It's a side effect of our craft. They just seem to hang around and multiply. I *need* to do some pages using scraps. Desperately. Someone on 2Peas should do a challenge.

Lastly, remember the Pebbles/EK Success lettering templates called ABC Tracers? If you do, you've probably been scrapbooking several years! I have two vintage editions of these books, Book 1 and Book 2, seen here:

These books have excellent ideas for embellishing hand-cut or die cut letters and titles. They are filled with sample pages in the classic, colorful Pebble in my Pocket style. If you would like to own these books, leave me a comment somewhere on my blog (anon is ok) and then email me and let me know that you want the books. I'll mail them out to the first person who asks.

They are vintage. You can tell because they originally sold for $6.95...and idea book for $6.95 is unheard of nowadays. LOL!

For the record, yes, I am bribing people for comments. It's true. I have no shame. I love to see comments...comments make my day. Sometimes, I feel like I'm having a totally one-sided conversation indulge me a little. Thank you.

The Daddy-Oh Bird

Yes, j has picked up on exactly what the role of his father is in this house.

My computer sits in the corner of my scrapbook space in our family room. To my immediate right is a large window that looks down our driveway and across our front yard. There are two large (taller than the house) trees that shade my window almost completely hiding it from outside viewing. I love this spot. On a sunny day, the window lets in plenty of light for me to work without electric lights. While the limbs on the trees hang low enough that people outside don’t notice me sitting at my desk…I can look between the branches and see what’s going on outside.

About two weeks ago I happened to think how perfect “my trees” would be for a bird nest. Sure enough about a week ago I noticed a bird family had moved in. The nest is situated so that it’s on a low branch and I have 24/7 All Birdie TV going on right outside my window! It’s so cool!

I have been birdie watching from my window seat for days now. Yesterday I suspected by the way the mother bird was hanging close that there might be some eggs in the nest. Sure enough, in the afternoon, Moma Birdie flew around the nest with a worm dangling from her beak and two little upturned beaks appeared from the deep part of the nest. That’s about all I can see from my spot--just their little tiny beaks. If nothing else is making noise around me, I can hear tiny little squeaks too.

Isn’t that how babies are? Always squeaking when they are hungry! I can relate to that, Moma Bird. I can surely relate.

I knew j would love this! So in the evening, I showed j the nest thru my window…and threatened his supply of stickers if he dared disturb the birdie family. He’s not allowed in the front yard anyway, but it never hurts to be clear with him. We watched the nest for a while and talked about birds and God and families. It was very sweet.

At one point, j asks: “What do birds eat?”

“Worms and bugs” I said.

“Ewww” he said. “That’s worse than beans.”

This morning, just after we got up, j came downstairs into my corner and looked out the window. “Good morning, little birdies.” he said, in a groggy but cheery little voice. He continued to watch for a while and soon another bird flew into the area of the nest. This second bird perched on a branch right beside the nest and was poking at the nest with its beak. We watched intently. Finally, j says “I think that’s the Daddy-Oh Birdie.”

Um, “Daddy-O”. There’s a term I’ve never heard him use. Especially not in relation to birds. I asked him to explain.

“There’s the Moma Bird. She feeds the babies.” he said pointing to the bird we have seen before. “The Baby birdies are in the nest. We can’t see them. They are tiny.”

I nodded.

He continued “And that birdie over there is the Daddy-Oh Bird. He’s working on the nest.”

OK, so that’s the Daddy-Oh Bird. Gotcha. The Daddy is identified by his home repair skills. Interesting.

And wow. I was a little surprised at the crispness and clarity with which j realized the roles of the bird family members, just like the roles of our family members. The mom cares for the babies. The Daddy-Oh makes repairs to the nest.

So, he has been paying attention…even when I wasn’t.

Hello Scrapworks!! Hello Scenic Route!!

Everyone's talking about the product previews flowing from last weeks included. I admit it. I've looked. I've drooled and I've lamented that it will be months before we actually get our hands on any of it. Scrapbook companies are such merciless teases.

Anyway. After all this "window shopping" I have two companies that I am officially stalking for paper:

Scrapworks for these papers:

Both are from the Ethan Kate line, part of which was featured on Ali Edwards blog. (Gosh! I hope they paid her for that advertising!) It seems the whole line is somewhat fashion inspired and I would love to see the complete looked like a merchandiser's heaven from Ali's photo.

And I can't locate the photos of the new items from Scenic Route...but they are equally delicious. I will be waiting with baited breath for them too.

Betcha wouldn't loose these scissors...

So you know from previous posts about my affinity for scissors. So guess what I found while lusting over...err I mean drooling over The Pottery Barn catalog tonight! (Sorry, Heather.)

Try these babies on for size?!!

Yes, those are solid mahogany carved scissors and they are 24" in length! And on sale for only $34!

Like that's gonna happen!


Through the Eyes of Love

I’m jealous of people with proof-reading skills. As you may have noticed, given the many misspelled words in my blog, I have zero proofing skills. I know the rules in my head…I have aced every English Language and Composition class I’ve ever taken. However, I just can’t proofread. I get so wrapped up in content and idea that I don’t see the mistakes. It’s a problem that has plagued me like a paper cut since high school.

I write much like I talk and think. I like short and sweet thoughts. In the world of Sarah, too many paragraphs is better than too few.

I once read that the internet has spoiled our ability to write complete thoughts in paragraph form. I agree with that premise. I started using the email system in 1999. Since that time I have developed a sort of reading attention deficit—that is to say I can’t stand to read paragraphs longer than a few sentences. I literally get lost in them.

But I digress…

I just don’t see my own mistakes. (Boy, couldn’t that turn theological real fast?!) Thank goodness for the spell-check system and the man I married (who has impeccable proofing skills which he generously shares). He once tried to figure out why I can’t see mistakes in something I have written. There is but one explanation: I read thru the eyes of love.

I am totally and blissfully incapable of being objective about things I write and now, my scrapbook pages. I labor over them—especially the layouts—trying different things, making adjustments, shifting, replacing, redoing until every element is “right”. It’s an imprecise art, as “right” only exists in the blurry eye of my mind and I won’t know it until I see it. Creating, for me, is a labor of love. When a layout is done (and not until), I love it. If I don’t love it, it’s not done. It’s a sort of birthing process.

Maybe that’s why there are dozens of layouts in progress hanging around my workspace. Hmm…

This “thru the eyes of love” concept translates into other areas too. It makes correcting school work difficult but it makes me able to give generous complements on effort. It makes me able to enjoy letters from family and friends, despite errors that would annoy those with the gift of proofing. It makes me look at my sons and see what they can be when they are clean and calm, instead of the dirt-covered, mischievous munchkins they are most of the time. It allows me to look at the art of others and see past what I would have done differently “had I done this piece” to truly enjoy the piece just as it is.

There are some down sides. The inability to proof my own work cost me serious points in college. I’m not objective about my scrapbook pages…meaning sometimes I value them too highly. “Through the eyes of love” was much to blame for wasting time with the wrong guy in high school and having my heart broken. It also contributed to us buying a house that needed more work than we originally imagined. (I’m still deciding if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.)

When I think about looking at people in my life and things I’ve created “through the eyes of love”, seeing them with value, despite their flaws and imperfections, I realize that’s close to how God looks at His children. He sees us as we are, yet also values us for what we could be in Him.

And some days...many days that amazes me.


You there...with the Ballerina Photos! Yeah, you...

I have a request. I need to scrap some photos of a ballerina(s). If you have 2-3 good shots of tutu-clad ballerina(s) that would look spactacular on a pink and black based layout with touches of me. Photos can be color or black & white. I'll either pay for you to reprint them and mail them to me...or if you have the capability, you can email the high-res images and I'll get them printed myself.

Notice. This LO will be displayed on the internet and will be submitted to magazines for possible publication. You will be given credit for the photos by name. I will send you the actual layout when I am done with it.


And in other news...if you are a mother of a boy (at least one...more is fine too), you m-u-s-t go read Becky's Blog. It's hilariously normal boy stuff. No sap. No fluff. Just scrappin' boys! (pun intended)

Oh Scrap!!

There's nothing like a daunting task to get me scrapbooking. Avoid the task by doing something else until the wee hours of the morning. Yeah, that's the ticket. LOL!

Well, I don't recommend the procrastinators approach, although I have seemingly mastered it...anyway, here's what I did instead of doing what I didn't want to do:


It's confirmed: Ribbbon is Hot!

A trend setter - I am not.
A trend follower - I am not.
I keep up, but at most, am only very lightly influenced by what's "in", especially where my scrapbook is concerned.

That being said...It thrills me to hear from the CHA insiders that so many companies have hitched their trains to the ribbon wagon. My dear precous ribbons are finally getting the attention they deserve...and then some. American Crafts, KI Memories, Heidi Swapp, Making Memories, Doodlebug, Chatterbox and so many others displayed new, hot ribbons at CHA last week!!

And get a load of this from Maya Road:

(Image borrowed from 2Peas.)

Careful now...don't get drool on the keyboard...!

Forget that deep, theologically-challenging blog entry I was considering...just look at that ribbon. The stuff of life, I tell ya. Well, OK maybe not...but darn close.

Show me the Ribbon!!

Show me your ribbon collection! Jars, rolls, drawers, clothespins, boxes...however you have it...SHOW ME!!! I know there's some awesome ribbon collections going on out there. It's time to share!!

Let's see that ribbon!


It was a very good day!

Summer Saturdays are my favorite day of the week.

J is home and always doing something. Ju and I only do an abreviated bit of school work, usually a little math and alot of art. (Art makes me very popular.) The boys are happy to have Daddy around to putter with. We usually do utterly normal stuff like go to the grocery, Home Depot (what weekend would be complete without a trip to Home Depot, rigth?) the post office, once in a while Target, the used CD store and maybe out to eat. J has a growing affinity for household he replaced two door knobs and the defective light fixtures in my scrap space. (Insert the Tim Taylor growl here.)

I think it's less about what we *do* and more about doing it *together*.

J and I are very different. After 13 years of marriage, I'm comfortable with our differences, for the most part. He's an earthquake...I'm more like a gentle breeze. He goes to the grocery and shops circles around me. He generally walks ten paces ahead of me...and no, it's not some submissive wife thing...I just tend to mosey, while he sprints. He's goal-oriented. I'm all about the moment right now. He gets juiced about a little confrontation. I avoid confrontation at all costs. He has facial hair...I hope I never have facial hair! (Just had to make sure you were paying attention.) I think these are the things that make us good together. He speeds me up when I need it. I slow him down when he needs it (and sometimes when he doesn't.) We've worked thru much of the conflicts that married people face and now, like old married people, we pretty much get along. I'm thinking that makes for a pretty peaceful, wonderful life...especially on days like today.

Ju and I did take a little field trip over to The Paper Moon for some stamping supplies. I was on the hunt for a refill for my trusty Nick Bantock's Van Dyke Brown...which PM doesn't keep in stock but can order, just in case you were wondering. :) Ju loves to stamp and I love that he loves it. He picked out some paper and stickers. I fondled the ribbons. Bought a few. Three. When did pink and brown become my favorite color combination?? Anyway, I'm in the process of amping up my ink pad collection, so I picked up a couple while we were there. One is a mini Vivid! inkpad made by Clearsnap. I was surprised that the actual pad is not the traditional felt. It's more spongey and soft. Very juicy. Wonder what that stuff is? I'll have to work with it before I know for sure if I like it.

Anyway, I'm still looking for the VDB re-inker...but we had a great time at the Paper Moon. Ju was well-behaved and I enjoy that he's interested in the art of stamping. It makes him think and ask questions.

Also on the stamping front, I made my first original stamp last night. Out of extra-thick fun foam, no less. I drew and cut a large floppy Daisy and a leaf. This is really cool. I'll post my projects as soon as the paint drys.

The boys are in bed now. (There's something to be happy about!)

So, that was my Summer Saturday. It was a very good day.

Scissors, scissors and more scissors...and other tidbits!!

Does anyone know anything about scissor sharpening? Where does one go to get it done? What kinds of scissors can be shapened? What does it cost? Does sharpening eliminate nicks and gouges in the blades?

J did some re-organizing today and found (and combined into one box) all my pairs of scissors. All 12 pairs. Yes. I have 12 pairs of scissors. Is that unusual? Apparently my honey thinks so. But not so unusual when you consider that I used to teach classes at the scrapbook store and often provided scissors for students to least that's what I use as an excuse.

The truth is I have a certain affection for scissors, especially can never have too many pairs of Fiskars. One for ribbon. One for paper. One for intricated cutting. Several for Julian. One ragged pair for clipping wire and things. Kitchen scissors. Flower scissors. A couple of decorative edge scissors that rarely get used. A pair of scissors just for cutting rubber stamps. Spring-lodaded. Soft-Grip. Ergonomically-Designed. Non-stick. Small. Large. Left-Handers. You name it...I've probably got it.

Weird. I know.

And, in other news...early reports from CHA at 2Peas indicate that American Crafts and at elast a couple other companies have finally seen the 8.5x11 light and will soon be offering fashionable albums in this size. Do the dance of joy with me!! Options are always a good thing!!

Have a happy weekend!


It's Rembrandt's Birthday!

Today is the birthday of a Master...Rembrandt. Above is one of his most famous works, called "The Night Watch". Notice the ornate details of the costumes and the extra-ordinary facial lighting.

Read Elizabeth's Travel Experience, a moving description of her journey to see the actual painting.


Random Tidbits of Knowledge from a Nine Year Old Boy

Try these genuine pearls of wisdom on for size:

“Peppers make you strong.”
This was a brotherly piece of advice from J to G during lunch.

“Mommy, you look really handsome in that new shirt.”

(Well, um, thank you, I think.)

“Would you like me to make you a cocktail, Mommy?”
This was asked nonchalantly at breakfast. No, my son is not serving mixed alcoholic beverages at breakfast. According to his explanation, (after I asked "Where in the heck did you learn about cocktails?") while watching $40 a Day with Rachael Ray at Gramma’s, he learned how to make a “fabulous cocktail”…basically, it’s a cold glass of juice or orange drink with a cluster of grapes hanging off the rim. He has offered everyone cocktails lately, including G! I just can’t wait till he goes to Gramma’s to share this tidbit with her.

“Math makes my head hurt.”
Now there’s something I can completely understand! Math makes my head hurt too.

“God makes it rain so the birds can have a bath.”
More brotherly wisdom shared with G.

“My underware was on backwards all day and I didn’t even notice.”
How on earth does one not notice this?? Boys!!

“Gra-----y, don’t touch my hair. You’ll mess it up!”
(Julian has a number two, military-style buzz cut all over his head. It’s utterly impossible to mess up.)

And my favorite thing he's done lately shows just what a generous little heart he can have. "Can we mail this to Debbie?" he asked first thing this morning. Into my hand he thrust a mangled gift bag, tied up and knotted "boy style" with an unmatching ribbon. The gift bag was practically bursting at it's seams. "What is it?" I asked, with some trepidation. "It's a goodie bag for Aunt Debbie at camp." My sister Deb is working for the summer at a campground. Lately, we’ve been assembling and sending her care packages. Sure enough, he’d generously packed the following items into a care package:

a Rescue Hero
a can of Diet Orange Sunkist
a fireman book
a roll of tape
a snack bar
a bowl of grapes
and a picture of himself at age 3.

Somehow I think “Uncle Debbie” would be totally impressed.

Life with a nine-year-old is always interesting...that's for sure. Especially this one. :)

Blatantly Self-Serving Post Ahead!

I am cleaning out! I have listed a few things at the wonderful Scrapbook Addict Marketplace...especially album kits and stamps sets. Check it out! I'll probably be adding some more things tonight and tomorrow as well.



Yes, it's another one of those lists!

I had a rough day so the blogging tonight is going to be lightweight. I found this list on Angela Marvel’s Blog. (I love her work!) Thought it was kinda cool.

That’s easy. The Beach!

Joal’s shirts. There’s one in particular that I secretly wear when he’s away.

I don’t remember the last CD I bought…all I have to do is request music and my DH is *thrilled* to go surfing the used CD stores to find it for me. Something about there being joy in the unt…I don’t know. Anyway, the last CD that he found at my request was Restless by Sara Evans and an Ella Fitzgerald album. My current requests are Keith Urban and Alison Krauss.

As late as possible, but with my boys that’s usually about 6:30AM if I’m lucky.

Dishwasher of course. Cuts down on the time I have to spend in there. LOL! However, I did buy a h-u-g-e sauté pan today that I am looking forward to using.

Drums, but alas, I have negative natural rhythm.

Jeep. Just Jeeps.

Absolutely! And it’s going to be absolutely amazing!

Anything Eric Carle! The man is an artist!

Fall…I love the rich colors and the refreshing post-summer weather.

The power to heal.

Are you kidding me. Do you know how drunk I would have to be to do that??? LOL! Seriously, I do not submit voluntarily to pain of any sort. It’s a rule I have.

I can juggle two boys and a husband and a hobby…but that’s about it.

Me, about ten years ago. I’d tell myself to get moving to prevent the problems I faced when I was pregnant and now.

Saturday, or really any day J is home from work.

Empty cans and bottles and newspapers to be recycled and the balls we always take to the park.

Hamburgers grilled. Ick on the sushi.

White Daisy

Butter Pecan

Butter – lots and lots of butter!

Blue…every shade.

Jeep Cherokee Sport

Hot Ham and Cheese on toasted white bread.

The Beach!!

Hmmm…clothes come in brands. Didn’t know that.

Oklahoma City, OK

Hockey, but only in person.

Neither. Diet Orange Sunkist.

Night. I’m so nocturnal it’s not funny.

About 30 different blogs, 3 homeschooling books and the KI Memories Little Book of Big Ideas.


The Line in the Sand

For a few days now, I’ve been participating in a group made up of Peas who want to get their finances under control and get out of debt. I figure we were in debt long enough…I should use those experiences for good for someone else now.

Anyone who knows me, knows, that with the one exception--our home, we don’t use debt at all. No credit cards. No HELOC. No car loans. Nada. For the first decade of our marriage, J and I struggled to stay “afloat” financially. We made some mistakes, did some stupid things and had some rough things happen to us that were beyond our control and the sum of those events led us deeply into debt. Slowly, but surely, we’ve worked our way out and we will *never* go there again.

So, today, the Financial Peas group was discussing “What lead you over the edge…?” What event or chain of events led you to want to ultimately get in control of your money and be debt-free? What prompted your “line in the sand”?

For me, it was all about furniture. (There’s a surprise.) About 6 years ago, just after we moved to Nashville, we were still deeply in debt but we needed a few small pieces of furniture. Well, if I’d had my way, we would have *needed* quite a bit of furniture but I was trying to be conservative, given the funding issues. Nashville has some great thrift stores and junque stores, so I was scouting them for things I could use.

At that point, we had paid off all the credit card debts and committed to each other not to use credit cards ever again. We were slowly coming into some wisdom where financial matters are concerned. Our main inspiration was Dave Ramsey, a Nashvillian who hosts a nationally-broadcast talk radio show about money. I was on board with the plan of getting out of debt, but let’s just say I wasn’t yet fully integrated into the plan. I still wanted furniture…now.

So, in an effort to integrate the two (getting out of debt while still buying furniture), I was scouring thrift stores and jungue stores.

At The Salvation Army Thrift store on Charlotte Pike I found the most beautiful, say it again, b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l burgundy leather sofa and loveseat combination I’ve ever seen. It had just been dropped off and they were moving it in. The smell of leather is like a drug to me and I recognized it right away. If you love leather furniture as I do…you know what I mean when I say it was amazing! It looked like it came from an upscale office…maybe a judge or a psychiatrist. It wasn’t fake leather…it was the real stuff…beautifully aged in places…but in perfect condition. My heart skipped several beats. (OK so I’m a furniture nut.)

The price: $3oo - - - for both pieces.

I was ill. I cried. I was tempted to stomp my feet.

It should have been waaay more than that…about $2800 by my somewhat educated estimation.

But no matter. I didn’t have $3oo to spend on a sofa. Or even two perfect leather sofas. Just didn’t have it. Knew it wasn’t even worth discussing with my honey because we had almost no savings and there were more important things to be done with our money than buying two perfect leather sofas.

That was the line in the sand for me. That was the day I realized that this was not the way I wanted to live the rest of my life. That was the day I got “on board the debt-free” train.

I can be hard-headed sometimes. I wish I could say that I wanted to save money and be debt-free for the good of my children and our future. And I do, but that was not the goal that got me on board personally.

I wish I could tell you that the plans we have inspire me to continue on this path. They do but that was not the point that got me on board personally.

For me, it all boils down to that amazing pair of leather sofas. That’s when I knew I was going to work with my husband to change the way we lived. We were going to get in control of our money, be adults instead of children, and get out of debt.

I never want to face that feeling of “why didn’t I save any money” ever again. I want to always know that I have done wise things, as much as I know how.

Some of my friends have mentioned that maybe it wouldn’t have been such a bad thing to go get a credit card or use the line of credit at our bank and buy the sofas. Afterall, it could have been a short-term deal and those were certainly some fine sofas at a once-in-a-lifetime price. And I agree, we could have.

But I guess, even then, I had a sense that this was a lesson I had to learn the hard way. Sometimes I don’t pay attention until it hurts, ya know.

The Day of the Leather Sofas protects me. Every time I think of doing something stupid with our money and every time I think, “well, maybe we could take advantage of the 1-year-no-interest plan for installing wood floors throughout our house”…then I remember what being in debt has already cost me.


That’s all I am willing to pay for this lesson


Real People, Real Scrapbooks

“Scrapbooking has really taken off.”

“Why yes it has. Just yesterday, I was watching Food TV and Paula Deen said she’s into scrapbooking. Isn’t that cool?”

“Really? I just love her.”

“I bet her scrapbooks are amazing.”

“Yep. Seems like scrapbooking is the next big celebrity thing. Vannah White, Leeza Gibbons, Lisa Welchel, LeeAnn Womack . Oh and Faith Hill is a stamper.”


Question: Why do we find it so reassuring that a few celebrities scrapbook too? Are we really this desperate for someone to validate our hobby? Puh-leeze.

Even Tom Bergeron recognizes the popularity of scrapbooking and celebrities: Go here to read about it.

Sorry. I’m not impressed. So a few of Hollywood’s A-list people are scrapbooking. Does that make me more “normal” or more “A-list”.

No. I think it makes them more “normal”.

Everyone has a story to tell. I know - I keep preaching this, sometimes even to the choir. But it's true. Where would we be without the stories of our past? This is history, lived out everyday, being recorded for the future.

I'm glad that there are people in Hollywood who value the stories of their familes enough to preserve them in a scrapbook. And I'm always glad to find other people (of any sort) scrap their stories. However, celebrity stories are no more valuable than the stories of everyday people. I guess it kinda bugs me that we make such a big deal about a "celebrity" scrapper.

Life is rich.
No matter who you are.


Not without Bon Jovi...

Oh no. I forgot the Bon Jovi's Cross Roads disk. Darn it.
That would be wrong.

Ten Disk List

The 2Peas Meme for the week!

Ten disks I would take to a deserted island. Hmm. Well, I pride myself on the fact that I listen to a bunch of different styles of music and generally prefer lesser known artists.

With that in mind, here's my list:

Edgar Cruz – Those Were the Days
Steven Curtis Chapman – All About Love
Mary Chapin Carpenter – Stones in the Road
George Canyon – One Good Friend
Faith Hill – Faith
Marc Cohn – Marc Cohn
Amy Grant – House of Love
Charlie Peacock – Kingdom Come
Harry Connick, Jr. – Only You
Geoff Moore and the Distance – A Place to Stand (out of print)
a disc of all my husband’s original tunes.

OK, so that’s 11. It’s my island. I’ll make room.


Soothing to the Soul

There are, I believe, few things in this world
that soothe ones soul like
time spent with true friends.


On the topic of Journaling

In this thread in The Pub at 2Peas, *Rosy* asked some interesting questions about journaling. Here are my answers:

*How important is journaling to you?

To me, the journaling of a story is at least as important as the photos—maybe even more. After all, all it takes is one generation for the entire story of a photo to be lost. I rarely do a layout without any journaling because there’s always a story to tell.

*How important is it to the publications/DTs you're pursuing?

Earlier this year I competed for a position on a design team. One of the requirements of the competition was that the layouts submitted have a title, photos and handwritten journaling. That’s an on-going requirement of the team, because the team is sponsored by the author of the book “Hand Lettering Made Easy”. The book encourages hand-journaling as opposed to computer-generated journaling. It would seem hypocritical to have the design team producing layouts that didn’t follow the mission of the book.

It was this position of valuing journaling that made me want to be a part of this particular DT. I wanted to be stretched into new areas and try some new things – including more handwritten journaling. I knew this DT position would meet those needs.

That being said, I look thru current magazines and I see plenty of journaling but very little hand-written journaling. I’m torn on this topic. I completely respect those people who are happy with their handwriting. I love to look at layouts that utilize handwritten journaling. They are indeed, very special. However, I think the computer does have a place in my scrapbook, just as it has a place in my life. Everything else I write, I do so using the computer. Because of this, I find it easier to write by touching keys rather than forming words with a pen. There are also fonts, formatting and spell-check. All are handy tools for a writer and a scrapbooker.

*What role does it play in your designing process?

Journaling plays a heavy role in my design process. I give the journaling the same “weight” as the photos. Usually I do the journaling first, before the layout even begins to take shape in my head. To me, the story matters as much as the image that illustrates it.

*What is most memorable to you in others' journaling? What do you like/dislike?

I admit it – I am a sucker for two things: catchy titles and sappy or funny journaling. I love titles that play on words. I love titles that are ripped from everyday life. I love twisted titles. I love titles that stay on the brain as catchy. I think a good title can make or break a layout.

My favorite layouts are those that evoke emotion. They either make me laugh out loud or they make me cry.

I will never forget the first layout that ever made me cry. It’s Rebecca Sower’s layout called “Erin, Easter 2000”. It’s in her first book, Scrapbooking Life’s Little Treasures on page 42. The layout is very simple and the journaling very brief. It’s a conversation between mother and daughter about an Easter dress. To me, it just summarizes so well, what it must be like to have a daughter, something I know nothing about but dream of on occasion. And that, made me cry.
That experience also taught me a lesson about the power of words in our scrapbook. Without the journaling, they are just pretty pictures.

Since then, I’ve learned that I cry easily over other scrappers touching layouts. It seems sweetness comes thru easily when accompanied by the love of the creative soul. I admit it…I have a magnifying glass in my scrap space for reading the minute journaling in magazine layouts. I thrive on the stories.

If a layout makes me laugh, you can bet I will love it. The ability to write funny journaling is something I aspire to. Funny without crossing into stupid. It’s a goal. I don’t see funny very often, but when I do, I love it.

The other characteristic I like to see in journaling is honesty. Yes, we all know that Susie Scrapper’s daughter is “so darn cute” but that is (usually) obvious from the photos. I can get to that point without any journaling at all. All mothers think their babies are “the cutest ever”. It’s a given. Give me a “slice of life” memory that illustrates who this little girl is. Tell me the unique things about her. Share part of her story that’s not so obvious, even if it isn’t perfectly blissful. Be real. Sometimes life is messy and that’s ok.

There are a lot of great points made in the thread on journaling. Check it out.


Free for the Taking

This blogging thing has really taken off. I enjoy reading others and writing my own because I believe that everyone has a valuable story that needs to be shared. Of course, it's up to you to determine how to share your your scrapbook, in a journal, in music or maybe even in a blog. It's all good.

That being said, I keep coming up with what I think are catchy little names for blogs. So here's the deal. I'm going to start a list of potential blog names that come to me. If you like it, use it. If you use it, let me know and I'll link to it.

Here's my list:

Proof of Life
Signs of Life
Scribbles in the Sand
Further on Up the Road
Wake up and Smell the Art
Stop. Look. Listen.

Diva Dots are Contagious

Apparently, Diva Dots are a contagious condition.

The new issue of Creating Keepsakes was mysteriously missing any Diva Dots and the newest PaperKuts has one!

Well, OK, Sorta.

The PK Diva Dot is actually promoting a new idea book instead of a person.

Come to think of it...there is no mention of any one person on the cover of either magazine. Hmmm. Isn't that interesting?

Needed: One Chair. One Beach. Three Days.

The vacation-challenged (that would be us) n-e-e-d to go to the beach.

I need to go here.
Tomorrow would be good.

I need to see him (and his brother) do this again. He wasn't too keen on waves when this photo was taken in 1999. He would love the waves now.

Need, I tell ya.


The Joy of Java...and Music

My husband is a Starbucks aficionado. Which is a nice way of saying...he's addicted. Seriously. Here's the proof:

--The proximity to at least one Starbucks location was a consideration in our house purchase. Think I'm joking? No way. Not in the least.

--He can spot the green logo about as well as I can spot a scrapbook store.

--He starts each workday at our local Starbucks and the word "usual" is almost always involved in his order. He also ends many workdays there. It's a great place to do his paperwork and de-compress before coming home. So yeah, that would be twice a day.

--We lovingly refer to Starbucks as "his office".

--He has a favorite table there. It's by the window.

--People have asked him if he works there.

--G is 2.5 and has a vocabulary of about 30 distinguishable words, including the phrase "Bucks Daddy". Loosly interpretted, this means "Daddy, are we going to Starbucks and can I have a scone?"

Yes, he's got a thing for Seattle's finest.

While enjoying the atmosphere (mainly the quiet) he's learned quite a bit about the business of coffee. He's also learned a bit about the music industry inside Starbucks. Imagine that! For instance, did you know that BeBe Winans released an album around Christmas called "My Christams Prayer" and it was available exclusively at Starbucks? Thru the Christmas season, the album sold 97,000 copies. That's pretty amazing.

GO HERE to read about the deal!

Our local Starbuck is also an interesting place to people watch. Apparently quite a few famous folks have a jive with the juice too.

I confess to enjoying a bit of Starbucks on my own now and again. Not often. Maybe once a month. While J drinks coffee, I'm prefer the coffee-wannabe drinks.In other words, I like a little coffee taste with my flavorings and fluff! My drink of choice is a Lite Caramel Frappaccino. It's cold and smoothe and indulgently yummy without being really bad for ya.

Speaking of bad for ya... I was happy to find this nutritional reference on their website. Warning: this chart can really rain on the parade of your enjoyment if you aren't careful. Don't say I didn't warn ya.

Come to think of it, Starbucks is quite a retail establishment. Beyond the fancy drinks, there's coffee, coffee accoutrements, gifts, food, games, music, books, art...what's next? Scrapbook supplies? Hey. Come to think of it, Starbucks does utilize some pretty cool graphics in their decor and packaging. Perhaps they should consider a snappy line of scrapping supplies.

How cool would that be?


And lo, it was a very good mail day!

With the mail man came great joy today!

1. New Creating Keepsakes magazine
2. New Paperkuts magazine
3. SBAM purchase of paper and idea books
4. Designer Pack from Holle (free stuff to play with on behalf of the DT!)

No, it's not time for dinner.
Can't be.
I'm busy!!

In the Back of the Bottom Drawer

Over the weekend, I had a chance to watch tv, (something I almost never do) so I caught up on some music by watching CMT. One that struck me was the video for Chely Wright’s new song, “Back of the Bottom Drawer”. Chely Wright has a penchant for songs that are very realistic, sometimes even at the expense of rhyme and even radio’s right hand – sing-ability. Chely chooses depth over pop and she knows how to write for her own voice. She is somewhat defiant in her style. She always has something to say. It sounds cliché, but she’s definitely more than a pretty face in Nashville.

Back of the Bottom Drawer is true Chely Wright style. Here are the lyrics .

It made me think. It made me smile. Chely’s good at that. It begs the obvious question. I have a cigar box in the back of the bottom drawer. Don’t you? I think of it as a shrine to yesterday. Today is always better and as the lyric said:

I don't keep these things 'cause I'm longing to go back

I keep them because I want to stay right where I'm at
I'm reminded of my rights and wrongs
I don't want to mess this up
But I wouldn't know where I belong
Without this box of stuff.

I don’t have Chely’s gift for blatant personal honesty, but my box holds things I treasure from days gone by.

*A letter from my mom
*A letter from my first love
*A tape of a song
*My high school ring
*A piece of my wedding dress
*Dried flowers from a funeral
*Movie tickets
*Concert tickets
*An old pair of sunglasses
*A couple of photos
*A deck of cards

Funny. Looking at this list, I realize that if someone else took a look at all these thing they would probably see just a pile of junk. Well, except for the ring and maybe the letters. But it’s this perceived “junk” that feels like all the pieces of my life. Little moments, represented some of my dearest memories all in one place, just for me.

So, what’s in your box?


God Bless America...

God bless America
Land that I love
Stand beside her
And guide her
Through the night
With a light
From above.

Happy Fourth of July, everyone!!



If you enjoy the art of words and the intermingling of art and words as art, then you really should go visit the playground that is Artella Words and Art. What a wonderland of inspired and affiriming energy!! Let Marnie's work take you beyond the ordinary in your scrapbook! The newsletter - Articulation - is always very uplifting and filed with things to make you think beyond the proverbial box.


It's Like a Scrapbooking Garage Sale...all the time!

One of my favorite places to find inexpensive gently-used scrapping treasures is Scrapbook Addict’s Marketplace. Recently, I purchased an idea book that I’ve been wanting from someone who placed an ad there. I purchased the $20 book for only $5 plus $2 shipping and postage.

Check it out! (Of course, before purchasing something from an independent person on the internet...check them out. Many SBAM users will gladly provide references or point you to their eBay feedback.)

If I Had a Digital Camera...

So, my good friend Heather has been telling me for a while now that I need to take that flying leap and go digital. And my friend Anita. And my friend Julie. And my husband. And…well, you get my drift.


I’m starting to get the picture…err…well, not really. The picture is at the lab being developed. But I am approaching the point of agreement.

After some thought, I think the ability to bypass the Kroger lab would free me up to take more creative (risky) shots. It would release me to experiment more. After all, unlike with a film camera, an experimental shot on a digital requires no commitment. It costs nothing in terms of film. There is no obligation to have it printed; only to find out it is utterly unusable. How freeing that sounds.

So today I made a list of all the things that I would snap a picture of if I had a digital camera (but probably wouldn’t shoot on film). So, you wanna see the list, right?

---My Scrap Space – I would love to share the progress we’ve made on my space, transforming it from 2 closets to the space it is now.

---My neighbor’s flower garden…with permission, of course.

---Food – photos of my favorite recipes to include in my recipe (scrap)book.

---Food – yes, again. This time foods that I have recently discovered and really value…like the Klondike Slim-a-Bear No Sugar Added Ice Cream sandwich. That you really need to see to understand.

---Random artful things, like road signs and logos.

---Myself. I know that sounds weird but I so rarely like the way photos of me turn out that I hate to commit film to something there’s a great chance is going to be discarded. (Please don't anyone tell Angie Pedersen this.)

---Home Décor Accomplishments – Donna Downey’s blog entry has me thinking of ways to include my art in my kitchen. It would be nice to be able to be able to show and tell with ease.

---The ugliest bathroom I have ever visited. Yes, it’s just down my hall but telling you about it is not the same as being able to show you. Trust me. You gotta see it to believe it.

There’s my list. I’m sure I can think of other things.

So, yes, I think a digital camera might be on my horizon.