A Photo with Two Lessons

If you've been around my blog very long you know that the story of a layout is at least as important as the photos and sometimes, moreso. I know most people start a page by choosing the photo(s), but sometimes what is unseen is as meaningful as the image.

Case in Point: this photo from one of my clients--Rick (posted with his permission).

To the casual observer or someone who doesn't know them at all, this is a great photo. Obviously a happy little girl who loves being with her Daddy (and maybe she has pretty much captured his heart). :) Technically great photo. Frame-worthy. Warm. Casual. Peaceful. Unrushed.

When I first saw this photo, it yanked on my heart. Maybe it's the daddy/daughter thing. Maybe it just seems so much like a moment that was special in it's normalcy. Don't you just wonder what little-girl wisdom she was sharing with him as she sat on his lap? And what does she treasure enough to carry in her purse? Where were they about to go? Was it a special day? Were they waiting on Mommy to come down the stairs?

All these questions made me crave the unseen story. At first glance, it looks like someone got lucky with a quick, just-happeded-to-be-holding-the-camera-at-the-right-moment shot...but that's not the case. What I later learned was that getting this shot wasn't an easy accomplishment. It took a tripod and several attempts to get it just right, but he took the time to set it up and was rewarded for his efforts with this very sweet picture.

Lesson #1 learned: Not every shot taken with a tripod has to look over-posed and stiff. A tripod can be a very useful tool, when there's no one around to help.

Lesson #2 learned: Don't neglect the unseen story. It doesn't have to be earth-shattering or even extremely story-like. Perhaps it's just a simple detail that turns out to be indicative of a person's character or the strength of a relationship. The words of a layout can bring those things that might otherwise go unseen straight to the forefront--giving the photo deep meaning and context. The unseen story can give a great photo an amazing amount of dimension and depth and personality, if only we choose to write the story.

Handbags and Purses

The 2Peas challenge is to write about your favorite handbag/purse.

I have several favorites. The first I own--my pink luggage bag. I found it at the airport of all places and I love it because it's the perfect size for carrying lots of stuff when traveling and it's very sturdy.

Love it and it's completely girly but functional.

I admire this Fossil leather bag whenever I venture to the mall (which isn't very often). I'm a sucker for good leather, but I'm also incredibly cheap so at $189, I'm probably not going to be seen carrying this bag soon.

Finally, I adore this Kate Spade New York Stripe bag from a few seasons ago. I've bid on several from ebay but so far, without success. I'll keep trying. I really like the stripes.

Did you know that Kate Spade makes a line of paper goods?

So that's me and bags. It's a love/hate thing.

Happy Friday all!


do not give in to gloom.

My mom's pansies...front porch real estate in mom's world must have flowers. Even if Emmy the cat insists on laying in them regularly. I want to adopt that. The flowers. Not the cat.

This is my handsome brother, Army Andy and J. Only an Army man can wear a pink shirt. :)

Mr Brilliant with a straw up his nose in the middle of Starbucks. See the kindof stuff I live with...why did he need absolutely no coaxing or instruction on how to do this? He unwrapped the straw and before I could say "put the straw in your hot chocolate", it was hanging from his nose. Why? I have no clue. His brother was rolling in the floor with laughter. What can you do? I took a picture.

Last night Deborah and I went to the Quickutz Club meeting at Scrap n Memories. A cute and quick make 'n take, some fruit and cheese, a generous discount on QK products, a free QK tin and an hour later...we were happy campers. This is the card we made using the Revolution and the new Sophisticate alphabet and a foam stamp cut from a die.

Fun stuff.

Hope all is well with you. Happy Wednesday.

The greatest tragedy in human life is to live unaware of one's divine identity.
--Reverend William Harper Houff


No Escaping.

Wanna hear something funny?

So Joal is in Detroit for 2 days for work. Staying at a nice hotel, participating in a regional meeting for his company.

He called last night to say "You'll never believe what's going on at our hotel?"

"What?" I said.

"A CKU." he said. "There are scrapbooker women and scrapbooker luggage e-ve-rywhere."

"There's just no escaping us." I said. :)

Part of me wanted to ask him to be sure and be on the look-out for BH and if he saw her, to ask for an autograph. That's totally something he would do that I wouldn't.

And yes, he knew what CKU was before he got there.

No escaping the force I tell you.


Found this on Chelle Blog.

All about our wedding....
1. Where/How did you meet?
First day of our freshman year of college. We were attending a small college in Mississippi…and when I say small, I mean less than 150 students total. Some years less than hundred. Small.

It was after a chapel service, just before lunch on August 28, 1990. I was leaving the chapel and this guy in front of me turned around and said “Hi I’m Joal.” Three little words.


Then we had a short conversation about his t-shirt…Geoff Moore and the Distance, a favorite band of mine.

2. How long have you known each other? 17 years
3. How long after you met did you start dating? the same week. He’s an over-achiever.

4. How long did you date before you were engaged? 7 months.
5. How long was your engagement? April 4 to December 21, 2001

6. How long have you been married? 16 years

7. What is your anniversary? December 21

8. How many people came to your wedding and wedding reception? About 100 I think. I don’t really remember.

9. What kind of cake did you serve? Traditional wedding cake. White cake. White frosting. Lavender flowers. It was not really remarkable. (I was 19.)

10. Where was your wedding? a church in Jackson, Mississippi where I most consistently attended during my later teens. Being the daughter of a minister sometimes prevents one from having a “home” church.

11. What did you serve for your meal? No meal. It was a buffet of cake and punch and party/finger-foods. Weddings in Mississippi (I have since learned) are way more casual than most of the rest of the country.

12. How many people were in your wedding party? bride and groom, maid of honor, bridesmaid, best man, groomsman, preacher. yep, that was it.

13. Are you still friends with them all? No. I have occasional contact with the maid of honor and the bridesmaid…none with the men. That makes me sad.

14. Did your spouse cry during the ceremony? no. I was the official crier. Seriously. Stopped the ceremony for more than 2 minutes trying to pull it together. The minister was a good friend. I warned him I would cry…told him not to take it as a sign. He was very patient. He even repeated the words I had forgotten in my meltdown.

15. Most special moment of your wedding day? Joal singing to me. and the second kiss. We did the cursory tame kiss upon pronouncement, took about 15 steps down the aisle as Mr and Mrs. and then stopped and kissed again. It was sweet.

16. Any funny moments? not really.

17. Any big disasters? The only small disaster was for some reasons I got it in my head that I had to change out of my wedding dress before we left the church. (The ceremony and the reception were in the church. Again, it’s common in Mississippi.) I have no idea why I changed. I wish I hadn’t. Should have worn the dress to leave. That’s my one life-long wish for a do-over.

18. Where did you go on your honeymoon? It was Christmas. We didn’t have time for much of a honeymoon.

19. How long were you gone? 4 days.

20. If you were to do your wedding over…we would elope and get married on a beach somewhere. And have better pictures of course.

21. What is your song? We have 3. “Simple Man” “I Will Be Here” and “Love of a Lifetime”

22. Describe your wedding dress: see photo. White satin. Lace overlay over the bodice. Sweetheart neckline. Pearls. a hundred buttons down the back. long sleeves.

23. What kind of flowers did you have at your wedding? Silk flowers. Ugly silk flowers. (I was 19.)

If you decide to tag yourself and copy this - please leave me a comment so I can come check yours out!


Feels. Good. to be Home.

Yes. I'm still alive. (Thanks for asking.) I've been away. My Army brother was home on leave (before his deployment) so I made the trip, boys-in-tow, to spend some time with my entire family...and brought my sister home with me.

My sister, Deborah--the youngest of my siblings--is living with us now. She's 18--a full 16 years younger than me.

If one of us is hip and cool, it's definately her.

I'll get some photos up tomorrow, but for now, I've collected some links I wanted to share:

First, the gallery of a relatively new pea, who does awesome 8.5x11 work--emma29. from Minnesota. Yummy stuff.

And a site I've been drooling over called French General. Oh my. Check out the ribbon collections and the paper coasters and the cast iron birds (photo above).

And a place I hope to visit in Atlanta next week--Nicholas Kniel. Dreamy.

The Homemade Simplicity Blog...who couldn't use a dose of this kind of positive attitude?

And on the home-front, my honey played a casual little local gig in Franklin tonight with a singer he's admired since his teens. Pretty cool. That's all he'll let me say. Otherwise I would be inclined to spend an inappropriate amount of blog space telling you old funny concert stories and generally gushing. If, on the off chance, you were a teenager in the early 90s and you were into the Christian rock music genre', you might recognize this picture from back-in-the-day:

:) This would be the musical equivalent of me getting to scrap with Brenda Cosgrove and Lindsey Ostrom.

Happy Friday...and congrats Michele, on the new job!


Preds lost. I'm remodeling.

Preds lost.

Double overtime.

But they still lost.


There's a remodeling challenge going on at 2peas. The assignment--aimed at people who've been scrapbooking for a while--is to pick an old layout and re-do it. I dug deep, as you can see, and found this layout that was finished on 1.26.1998. This picture was taken at our first concert together...a Whitecross concert in Arlington, TX. We had been dating about 2 months and yes, my honey corrupted my music preferences with his metal. (Gasp.)

I am having to reprint the picture from a scan. I have my fingers crossed that it turns out sharp. There will be no deco scissors, no music note punchies and no tilted photos. I still like the people paper but it's not right for this. The handwritten journaling isn't so bad...but I do prefer the computer. No emotion...I was still in reporter-mode. (This was pre-Rebecca Sower/SLLT, of course. Reading her book gave me permission to leave reporter-mode. Bless that woman.)

On the first attempt, I managed to capture the basics--the who, what, when, where. This time I have the benefit of 16 years with this man...the story is deeper and there's alot more to it.

Stay tuned for the astonighing reveal of the new and improved version. (OK maybe astonishing is a little strong.)


first and only


Creative Mess and Chaucer!

Julian came down to my office not to long ago and looked around. He looked at me, put his hand on my shoulder and said "Mom, you are a messy girl. You need to clean up this mess."

Pot. Meet Kettle.

But he did have a point.

Not that I conceded.

Yes, my workspace looks like a creative volcano, a craft store eruption and a home school curric fair gown badly wrong. Combined.

Does anyone else do this...or am I the lone nut on this tree? I have a counter that is 12 feet long, an 8 foot table behind me and plenty of floor space, and yet, for some as-yet-unexplained reason, I find myself working in a space squarely in front of my computer that's actually smaller than the page I'm working on. Can someone tell me why this happens? It's less than the length of my keyboard! My stuff crowds me out of my space. When did this habit develop and how an I going to break it?

I sometimes get a hair bit green with envy of people who work clean. I just can't do it. A clean space makes me insecure and if stuff is put up and organized, I can't find a darn thing.

In other news,

b) Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? Yep. Sure is. How perfect is that? So tell me, what's your favorite poem? Did you have to memorize any poems in school? Did they stick?

In the eleventh grade for English I had to memorize the first 20 lines or so of the introduction to the Canterbury Tales. It was agony. It made no sense and had no value to me. A fan of old G Chaucer I am not. It was that "old English" pronunciation that made me hate it. Really. How does knowing twenty lines of old, out-of-date English help me be a good citizen or a better person? I still loathe that day. But, for the most part, I can still wander my way thru a recitation of this passage of literature. Why? I have no idea. But it's there.

My favorite poem is a a simple Wordsworth poem--in plain English--Daffodils. I don't have it memorized...but I do have it printed. And I enjoy it far more than the Intro of Canterbury Tales. Ever.

c) It occurred to me today that when we no longer have any children to haul around on a regular basis, I want to drive a Jeep. Not a sissy SUV like I drive now. A real Jeep. A Jeep with zip-up windows and a roll-bar. I wanna be that girl.

A few days ago, the boys and I were out doing some errands when I spotted an antique fire truck in the parking lot near our PO. It had a "FOR SALE" sign in the window. As you might have guessed, we had to stop and check it out--and yes, It was awesome.
We must have spent a half hour looking it over, from horn to taillight. I had to ride them pretty hard to keep them from climbing all over it. I came home and googled Pioneer TN (a tiny little town in Campbell County) and did some reading about the little town. She's a beautiful little fire engine...rusted out in places but still shiney in others. Until I had Julian I never knew how much I could love a fire engine. :)
Obtw, has anyone seen my adhesive?


Happy Easter!

Special thanks to for contributing the art for today's blog. Isn't this lovely?
I hope your Easter is lovely and alive!