Art: AKA

Scrapbooking brings me many moments of soul-joy. One of my favorite soul-joys is the not-so-minor accomplishment of coordinating more than two items *from different companies*. See, I "grew up" in scrapbooking at a time when coordinated collections were not so readily available. In fact, they were rare. Hunting, searching and trying many possibilities was deeply ingrained in the process of scrapbooking because supplies were not so easily attainable and options were not so numerous as they are today. Especially in Mississippi.
Fast forward nine years and it almost feels too easy to scrapbook using a line or collection of papers that are designed to work together. I know that sounds odd. It almost feels like I'm cheating. Odd. I know.
So, when I find items from different companies that coordinate together, it's a moment of soul-joy. It proves I've still got it. I can still match papers. LOL!
So, in case you are wondering, the strip on the left of the LO is from Wild Asparagus (My Mind's Eye), the ribbon is by Making Memories and the dotted block is by Basic Grey. Blues, greens and oranges...all working together. The chipboard letters are Chip Chatter from Pressed Petals (I think) and unfortunately they are supposed to be adhesive-backed but when I peeled off the backing, the adhesive was no longer sticky. Odd. Not sure what happened there. Not a biggie...I just added my own. The brads are MM too. And yes, I know we have way too many nicknames for Grey. Poor boy isn't going to know what his real name is.
So now you know. Soul-joy. Matching paper the old-fashioned way.
Happy Tuesday.


However, I did organize my paper.

PS. Oganization does not completely escape me. I did organize my patterned paper by manufacturer (mostly) today.

In approximate order of quantity (from most to least):

Basic Grey
Scenic Route
Wild Asparagus/MME
Making Memories
KI Memories
Doodlebug Designs
American Crafts
Karen Foster
Pebbles in my Pocket
Daisy D's

And some special categories that I use often:

winter holidays
cub scouts
firemen/fire fighting

Looks really nice all neatly organized in the box. I'm liking this.

Albums and Organization...and my place in the world.

I have a small confession to make.
I've had help scrapbooking lately.
From my...


I'll give you time to
a) stop laughing
b) pick yourself up off the floor or
c) groan.

It's OK. I was quite shocked myself.

Here's the thing.
I don't scrapbook chronologically.
Never have.
The pressure of having to work on "what comes next" shuts me down creatively, so for many years now, I've been scrapbooking whatever speaks to me, in whatever order feels appropriate.

Much to the chagrin of my organization-lovin' honey.

My pages are in albums although in a somewhat haphazard, random order...definately not chronologically arranged. The idea of having them arranged chronologically is appealing to me but not something I want to tackle at this late date in the game. I find the thought completely overwhelming. This "state of album disarray" has bothered J for a while so finally, not too long ago, I asked if he would like to arrange my pages in order. (I knew he would like to see it done, but I wasn't sure he would actually want to do it himself.) Much to my surprise...he said yes. Maybe he knows me well enough to know that doing it himself is probably the only way it would ever actually get done.

So, onward and upward...he tackled my mess.
I tried not to twitch too much.

It was a large process that took several hours over the course of three different evenings. I've been scrapbooking for ten years, afterall. I have albums in 2 sizes (12x12 and 8.5x11) for the most part but there are a few odd-sized projects here and there. What he has organized amounts to about 200-300 pages. (Not bad for ten years, right.) His process was to removing all pages from all albums and sort them by year. Then, of course, he put them back into albums, in order. Now I wish all my albums matched...but that's another days work.

It's been interesting having J in my space and in my hobby. In a few cases where pages were missing journaling, he went so far as to add the journaling (done on the computer) himself...with almost no direction.

You can bet your eyelets it was.

At one point, I told him if he didn't stop making me look bad by turning out several pages in one evening I was going to take up writing songs. He stopped.

It's funny. We have such diverse life approaches and nowhere is that more obvious than when you look at our different scrapbook pages. He's all about getting it done. Minimal embellishment...tell the story, mat the photo, be done. Only once did I have to say "honey, put down the deco scissors." I'm all about ribbon, a little patterned paper, detailed journaling, a rip here or there, some ink, a stamp or three...and plenty of time to congeal. I'm all about the process.

I don't think I have to worry about him taking up the scrapbook cause with any serious intentions. My place as the family historian and paper arts piddler is still firmly in tact, I think, although he was quite impressed with the MM Instant Hole Punch and Eyelet Setter. And he did spend more than three minutes choosing a font--once. Julian demonstrated the Quickutz for his father and was happy to do so.

It means a great deal to me that he cares about my albums (even if he doesn't do things exactly the way I would) and that he is willing to help me when I need it. It's nice to share a little bit of my hobby with him in this way...and of course, to see my albums in chronological order. That's an accomplishment in itself. (Thanks babe.)

My only real problem with scrapper-man is that he seems to have no problem discarding extra photos. Stab me in the heart, why don't ya? I had to go thru the trash before it went out and perform some rescue operations.

"Why not?" he asked.

Because honey, we don't throw pictures in the trash. Ever. No. Not even the extras from layouts that have already been finished. I might need those for something else.

"Like what?"

"I don't know."


"Do you ever throw leftover verses of songs away?"


"Well, why not?"


Eventually, we come to an understanding. Try to throw away any more photos and I'll hide the trimmer blades.

Oh, and no, you can't join 2Peas. (snort)


Happy Sunday!



Yeah. I know. There's a typo in my banner. Sorry.
(Sorry Leigh Ann. I bet it's been hard for you not to say anything...hopefully you are on vacation or something and haven't had a chance to see it.) :)

New one tomorrow.

Sarah<---bad speller!!



Honey worked in Atlanta this week so the boys and I took a road trip to see him on Wednesday. It's 275 miles, which is a long way, but we managed. We had a corporate dinner at Daruma (?), a Japanese habatchi restaurant late on Wednesday evening. The boys were mesmerized! Their moma was too, actually. Tell me, could you stack successive rings of raw onion with a knife, douse it with wine and light it on fire to create a fire-spewing onion volcano...while cooking steak and shrimp? It was a cool show! And the food was good too.

After watching my sons sleep until 9:30 am in the hotel room, I'm considering figuring out how to make room-darkening drapes for their bedrooms. (My children are *always* up by 7:30...much to my chagrin.)

Coming home on Thursday, we managed to hit three scrapbook stores and a Prime Outlets mall. Next time I'll do a better job of planning our route, because I really wanted to visit Ikea, Archivers, and the Memories stores there but I didn't look at the map until we were into our trip home and had gone too far to backtrack. A little bit of scrapbooking history--Memories was the first chain of scrapbook stores and is the store out of which the Making Memories company was launched. Making Memories (the brand) and Memories (the store) have since become separate companies.

We arrived back home around 5 on Thursday. It was a good trip (tho short) and I am glad we went.
We saw the Olympic flame monument on I-75 and Julian (of course) asken me about it. I told him about the Olympics being held in Atlanta and we discussed Olympic sports for quite a while. It was interesting to try to explain what an Olympiad is.

Happy Friday!!


Baby Eye Candy

Check out the new baby eye candy posted by Tina Cockburn. And just so you know, it would help me greatly if someone else would admit to tears and gasps of emotion when they read adoption stories and see such beautiful baby pictures. Then I wouldn't feel like such a complete emotional slosh.

I am loving this book.
Cards inspired by a collection of clothing looks.
But not as yummy as the baby eye candy, mind you.
Happy Wednesday.


More Monday Musings

We take it a little easy on Mondays...hence the blogging bonanza!
I've been discovering some new things lately that I think are worth sharing.

First, a new kit club for scrappers: Scrapbook Lovers Dream

My first installment came today and I am diggin' it. I felt a little burned on my first club subscription. Not enough product for the cost and not enough inspirational support. I don't want to say I'm done with the Jenni Bowlin kits because perhaps when the computer issues are resolved and some feedback is taken into account, the system will improve. I just think that for now, Scrapbook Lovers Dream is a better fit for me. (How's that for walking the tightrope?) I admit, however, that I am a pretty frugal shopper so to me, cost and value is important as is presentation.

Here are the contents of the kit I purchased from SLD:

7 sheets of Scenic Route "Cape Town"
*10* sheet of coordinated Bazzill
1 package of Junkitz black alphabet Tilez
1 package of Scenic Route Chipboard
1 yard May Arts 1.5" black ric rac
Fontwerks Polka Arrow Stamp (UM)
Fontwerks Date Stamp (UM)
Acrylic for use with the stamps

And it all came neatly shipped in a re-useable Cropper Hopper storage envelope!

The PDF for the kit (showing 25 layouts that feature the kits contents) is 9 pages long and includes layouts as well as exclusive poetry by the famous *Thena*.

The website also offers a gallery of additional layouts and projects by the team of designers and other members.

And the price, you ask?

$29.99 *including* Priority Shipping.

Part of what you are paying for when you subscribe to an auto-ship kit club is convenience and the ease of use that has been acheived for you because products have already been matched up. It's totally subjective (I do understand that) and perhaps I won't be as thrilled with it every month as I am this time. However, this kit ranked really well to me.

I'm all about presentation. I really appreciate that it's shipped in my favorite kind of heavy-duty, re-useable Cropper Hopper storage envelope. Also, this:

Small brown paper bag, tied neatly with a piece of ribbon. (Sounds likea good line for a song, huh...) :) In this case, it contained the 2 Fontwerks stamps and a piece of acrylic. (See third photo.)

I think I must have been under a rock somewhere because I've never seen these before today. Designed by Teresa Collins...Junkitz Alphabet Tilez. The one side looks like this (see photo four) and the back is reversed. They are crafted from a thin chipboard and are smaller than a quarter. Great title option. Love these.

All in all, a kit expert I am certainly not. However, I like the value, price, inspiration and presentation of this one. It speaks to me for now.

In other news, a couple of new-to-me blogs that I've been reading lately and will be adding to my list of must-reads...

Tiffany Tillman

Journalers Junction (because don't we all have something to say)

Angelia Wigginton (very accomplished scrapper super-woman whom I admire and a Mississippi woman to boot...thanks Tracie for the direction to her blog)

Samantha VanArnhen (another adoption story that keeps me coming back for more...well, that and she's on the QK team and does great things with font combos...)

Well, that's all the news from the home front...I'm being summoned to act as the watch holder for the two mini-firefighters I live with...apparently they are practicing getting bunker-geared-up and need an official time keeper. That would be my que. I am the mom, ya know.

Again, happy Monday.

A Real Perspective

A day or so ago I was driving in the car, listening to the radio when I happened to be subjected to a program I've never encountered before--ABC Newsradio Perspectives. I've spent too much time this morning trying to track down a strem of the broadcast without success so that should you want to hear the atrocious reporting I'm about to rail on for yourself, you could...but it doesn't seem to be online anywhere, so you'll have to take my word for it. :)

In the final piece of the show, the topic was motherhood in America. Got my attention, of course. It seems from this piece that someone did a study that shows that while the rest of the world's women are having an average of just over one baby each, American women are "indulging" in having an average of 2.71 babies each. Reasons given for such a lavish decision (their premise, not mine) were presumed to be--

1--Americans tend to have larger homes so adding another body isn't a big squeeze. (obviously, probably true...)

2--Americans can by and large afford better health care, so more of there children survive. (some can, many can't. doesn't seem to be stopping us.)

3--Americans tend to be more self indulgent and many want a boy *and* a girl. (ok, so it's "self-indulgent" to want to have a child. yeah. right.)

OK as if those "reasons" for having children were not offensive enough, number 4 was what really made me want to write a biting letter to ABC! Here is what sent me over the cliff:

Reason number 4--More and more men are starting to carry more weight around the house (chores and such) so more and more women are *relenting* and reluctantly deciding to have another baby since the husband is "helping out around the house more". Husbands in other industrialized nations aren't helping out as much so their women aren't giving in on the next baby thing. Thus, Americans are leading the way.

The way reason 4 was presented, it seemed the writer thought that no self-respecting woman would ever actually *want* to have more than one baby, but that if she could be coerced by her helpful husband, she might relent.


It was a good thing I was alone in the car...because I was practically screaming at the radio. You have got to be kidding me!! On everything sacred, I swear that I know not one a single mother who has ever indicated that she decided to have another baby because her husband was helping out around the house. (Maybe they wouldn't tell me if they did tho.) :) Reason number four is perhaps the stupidest thing I have ever heard.

Admitedly, the mothering women I know are generally of remarkably high character and they (gasp) genuinely love their children and want more than anything to be mothers. Really good ones. They have babies (some one, some two, some many), they adopt babies, they care for babies, they even suffer thru the horrible loss of unborn babies at times, because they *want* to be mothers.

They *want* to be mothers.
Imagine that!

Mothers to girls.
Mothers to boys.
Mothers to boys and girls.
Mothers to one child.
Mothers to many children.
Mothers who give birth.
Mothers who give life and step aside for the good of the child.
Mothers who build a life after someone else gave birth.
Mother of all kinds of children...with all kinds of joys and challenges and journeys.

Planned or unplanned...child or youth or child of later years...easy child, hard child, middle child...none of this really matters to a mother. I am here to tell you, based on myself and the mothers I call friends, to debase a woman's desire to be a mother all the way down to believing that it's a common occurrance for a woman to be cooersed to give birth to yet another child as a result of a husband's "good behavior" is to slap the face of every woman who dares to want to be a mother and every woman who dares to think that motherhood can be an honorable, rewarding and intentional choice and lifepath.

Are we (mothers who actually *want* to be mothers-no coersion required) a dying breed?

Is being a mommy such a horrible, thankless, unfulfilling choice?

Are women so easily swayed that if hubby wants something as monumental as another child, all he has to do is a little laundry and a few loads of dishes? If that's the case, why do so many mothers still complain about husbands who can't/won't carry their share of household responsibilities?

There are just so many things wrong with this idea.

Maybe I'm sheltered or not paying attention.

Or maybe ABC News Radio has lost their freakin' minds!

Now that I've gotten that out of the way...

Here's a little art...a thank you card using the Blossom QK, American Crafts ribbon and the MME card elements that I found in Sevierville, TN!! (Love those!)

Happy Monday!!


Art and Books

Danger: Live Animals
I can't resist this photo. I took it on a whim at the Knoxville Zoo this summer. The crate is an open display to demonstrate to children how animals are brought from Africa to the Zoo. It was huge. The boys crawled thru it and I "caught" them coming out end door by this warning sign. Made them sit for a photo. It all happened so fast that I didn't make the connection ofthe sign until looking at the pictures on my camera later. Then it clicked. Funny.

Anyway, the circle journaling is done with the Autumn Leaves Journaling Stamps by Katie Perteit. This is a really cool set. Very useful. Close up is so you can see.

Yesterday was library day. We came home with 24 books. Lucky for j the limit is 25. A couple of those are mine tho, for my Sunday School class. I could get lost in the kids books. The art in so many kids books is so viberant and wonderful. If I weren't married and were a few years older, I'd have a big deal crush on Eric Carle. The man is a creative genius. I think he should get into scrapbooking. Can you imagine the beautiful papers he would produce? Ahh! How cool would that be?!


Discovered a kit club today (thanks to those darn peas who are always causing me to spend $$)...

Even of you don't purchase the kit, their gallery is awesome!!


I love this comic.

I've posted it before (I think) but it's funny so I'm putting it up again.


It was a weekend to remember.

Catching up on this rainy Monday evening. Our neighborhood ice cream social was a success. More than 100 people in attendance and more than ten percent of the households in our neighborhood were represented. We could not have had better was an absolutely perfect fall day. (My fervant prayers were answered.) Lots of children...lots of people of all ages. Lots of mingleing and getting acquainted.

I met some new neighbors and some I should have met a long time ago. Sad how short-sighted we can be at times. I hope this will be the start of something that happens regularly.

The family that has lived in the neighborhood the longest...moved here in 1967. The family that moved here from the fartherest distance away...came from China. Newest neighbors arrived last month. Oldest neighbor is a very young 83. Youngest was 2. Largest family in attendance had 4 children.

Being part of the prep committee that sponsored this event in honor of the neighbor we lost was a special task for me. It was difficult because it took me out of my comfort zone and into the lives of people I didn't know and made me do things I don't normally do. It was a good thing tho...I enjoyed most of it and will continue to work on the memorial. I think it's an honorable thing to do.

We did make the news. For once, I was pleased by the news coverage. You can see it here at . Click on "Bellevue Remembers".

And the moon walk was a total hit!!

In other news, Grey is determined to make his moma crazy. He has this new habit. Whenever I put a camera tohis face and say "look at me"...he looks at me and then immediately cuts his eyes away. I took a large munber of photos of him at the pumpkin patch this past Saturday...all with eyes that were looking elsewhere. Maybe I'll have to start bribing him.

Lastly, my army brother called today to say that he's being deployed to Italy. Honestly, he had the gall to sound like he was disappointed with the assignment...Italy. How could you be disappointed with Italy? Not enough action. Ugh. I love him...but what he does to my insides should really be illegal.

I was secretly hoping he would be sent to a small base in Iceland or maybe Guam. One of those dangerous fronts. Ya know.

And the Titans actually managed to win for the first time this season. Imagine that.

Happy rainy Monday everyone!


Scrapbook Stores in TN List

The Scrapbook Stores in Tennessee list has been updated! One store closed and three newly opened stores added. It's certainly an exciting time for scrapbook stores in TN!


First Frost of the Year...Want some ice cream?

We woke up this morning to the first frost of the was 38 degrees when I got up. A wee bit of an early cold snap for the Music City. It is still October, after all. We were running the air conditioner just yesterday.

Want the really good news? My neighborhood is having a get-to-know-your-neighbor ice cream social on Sunday. Outdoors. With a moon walk and several carnival activities for the kids.

All outdoors.
Because it's usally perfect weather in Nashville for such adventures in late October.
Who ordered up this cold snap??

Cross your fingers for us. A great deal of work has gone into planning this event by myself (the resident sign-maker and balloon hostess) and many of my neighbors and we are anxious to see it be a success. It's the first event of it's kind for our neighborhood, designed to help all of us become better acquainted with our neighbors, and it's also in memory of our neighbor who was brutally murdered in her home in September. Her family is even going to be in attendance. Heavy neighborhood attendance and slightly warm weather would be good thing for us on Sunday!

I've made 6 signs like the one above. For a while there I was pretty giggly on the fumes of the Sharpie Magnum Marker and the clear coat spray. :) Definately fried some brain cells on this project.

In other news, if you love soul music, you can not miss this!! Joal brought me a CD a few days ago that I am in love with!! Ray Sings, Basie Swings. It's a project of Starbucks Music--combining the magical voice of Ray Charles with the band works of Count Basie.

Oh. My. Goodnes.
Music will never be the same.

This most perfect combination of musicians never occurred in real life...but thanks to technology, it's been given life! Normally this techno-manipulation of the greats would turn this purist furious...but after hearing it, I'm choosing to make an exception.

It's amazing.
It's deep.
It's rich.
It's stirring in an old-school way.
It's magnificent.

It's the correction of a mistake--it should have been done in real life...but wasn't.

You can hear the famous Georgia on my Mind here. But you should really hear "Oh What a Beautiful Morning". It makes me cry it's so good.

Happy Friday!!


Magazine Challenge Layout One

Rather than have many many entries on my blog about the mag challenge, I'm going to put them all on one page on my website. You can see the progress here.

Can I just say I love scraplifting!!

Happy Monday!


A Magazine Challenge

So I've decided to do it...this challenge I've had in my head for a while now. I've always wanted to do a magazine challenge where I select one magazine and see just how many scraplifts I can work out of that one issue. I am super impressed with the current issue of Scrapbooks etc (October 2006) so I am going to give it a shot.

When I post my scraplifted pages, I will also post the original with credit so you can see the inspiration.

Anyone care to make a guess on how many scraplifts I can get out of this one magazine?? Place your bets now...LOL! (Not that I am going for quanity over quality, of course.)

Anyone care to join me? It's not a contest...just something I've always wanted to do. You can pick your own magazine issue, should you like to do it too.

Happy Sunday!

SEAL Generator

Uh oh. Found a new toy. This website is a seal generator. I think I just blew 45 minutes playing with this thing.

It's 1 am. I can't sleep. I'm playing with the seal generator.



2Peas Challenge: Jewelry

2Peas Challenge

Bling. Jewelery.
What kind of jewelery do you wear?
like to wear? or do you wear any?
Blog about your jewelery likes/dislikes.

Well, this is going to be short and sweet.
I wear my wedding rings.
Every day.
I almost never take them off.

The indention my wedding rings have made on my finger is deep.
Really deep.
I am a marked woman.

My ears aren't pierced so I rarely wear earrings.
I'm not much of a necklace person. Once in a while.

I like bracelets. Beaded or charmed. Silver.
I would love to have a real pearl bracelet.

Happy Saturday!


Where did this week go?

I ask because I have no clue.

I think it takes a week or so for me to get over a vacation.

Last weekend was a complete adventure! We had an awesome time cropping, shopping and being together. I had the pleasure of meeting some new people--people I had previously only known "online". That's always a really cool thing! Renewed some old friendships...had a great time.

I even slept on the deck under the stars! There's something I have never ever done before! It was nice tho.

The girls and I did some good shopping at AC Moore, Scrapbooks and More inKnoxville, Your Scrapbook Superstore and Clearance Center in Pigion Forge, and Scrapbook Warehouse in Cookeville. Discovered some new items here and there and picked up a few things on the scrap-shopping list. We ate out a few times and laughed so much it hurt. I came home feeling very blessed to have so many great friends.

My peeps were glad to have me back. I missed them more this time than I ever have before. I needed some time away but I sure was missing them.

I've been on a cooking rampage this later part of the week. We have a greek place near our house that I love. It's inspired me to learn more about Greek far I am loving the greek salad. Call me the Feta freak. :)

Watched a movie a few nights ago...Annapolis. Very good. Really liked it. Tonight we are indulging in Curious George.

I finally got some of those Lil' Davis Vintage Label Stickers that I've been wanting forever! A pea pointed me to them at They were waiting when I got home. Can't wait to use them.

I'm hoping for good weather tomorrow so I can photograph the work I got done at CTF. So maybe we'll have art tomorrow.

I discovered at Croptoberfest that I can be a pretty happy woman with my computer, some Bazzill and the Quickutz and some ribbon. Not much else is needed for me right now. I'm thinking about doing even more slimming down of the schtuff in my area. I'm happy with my basics. Happier and less paralyzed than when I have 500 choices.

On the flip side, M's had a coupon this week so I did pick up something I've been eyeing for a while--the Making Memories Instant Setter. It's similar to the Japanese awl but not only makes holes but also sets eyelets. It's not silent but it is very efficient and does not require a hammer. I think I'm really going to get a great deal of use out of it.

Happy Friday Night, everyone!