Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Finding My Scrapbook Voice

I have been a scrapbooker most of my life. I've always wanted to capture the journey of life and all of it's special moments.

I still have a book from when I was a teenager. The pages are brown and curled. Photos are faded to that comfortable shade of sepia now known as "retro". (How and when did I become retro?)  The tickets and other memorabilia cling to the pages for dear life with Scotch tape and a prayer. The book is careworn but the memories it provokes remain sharp and true.

This thirty-year-old book is why I scrapbook. I scrapbook to preserve the memories. I use archival products as much as possible in hopes that my pages will last a few decades longer. I scrapbook as a creative outlet. I love the process of creating a work of personal art from a pile of paper, stickers, adhesive and other bits.

It's the "other bits" that have caused me to lose my way. I scrapbook to preserve memories. Unfortunately, shopping for my scrapbook "bits" has kept me from telling my story. It's almost as if a voice in my head has said, "that day/event/trip/memory won't be special until you buy those new and special 'bits' (that everyone has -- except you)." The crazy part is that I listen to that voice! Sometimes, by the time I've accumulated all of my bits and papers, I've forgotten the details of the event. At that point, I convince myself that "the bits" will tell my story. Talk about denial!

Last week, I spent three stressed-out days in my scrapbook room trying to put a small birthday album together. I have so many birthday "bits" that I didn't know where to start. There were actual tears on Saturday because I didn't know which "bit" really captured the right happy birthday tone. (Sad, but true.)

Monday, I tore the book apart and decided to just make what I liked.

I really like how it's coming together. Most importantly, I'm enjoying the process. All the base pages are laid out. I'm adding my "bits" and smiling all the while. I feel like a new woman and I'm going to have quite a cleansing spree in my scrapbook room.

Monday, April 6, 2015

A Blog Update (No, Not An April Fool's Joke!)

2014 is long gone. Three months into 2015, I am left a better woman. Stronger. More self-aware. More determined to be whole, healthy and authentic.

I continue to struggle with issues from last year's auto accident. I am home from work (on medical leave) in order to heal properly. There is no exact timetable for my return. Apparently soft-tissue injuries "take as long as they take". This has been difficult to accept; but I am determined to turn my lemons into lemonade.

The good news it that I have healed enough to craft. Scrapbooking has been my best friend and constant companion through the long winter. Spring is here and I'm inspired to create and to share.

This morning, I cleaned my desk from my last project and decided to make tags and Project Life cards from the scraps. I've seen blogs and videos of other ladies who had done this and I promised myself that I would try it as well. (The idea of tossing paper away is almost a physical pain for me)

I gathered some of my punches (why do I never use these lovely tools?), a pile of  cardstock pieces, any misc items laying around my desk and went for it. 
 I'm happy with the results and I hope this will help me build my layering skills as well. I have made six so far and I think I can get about a dozen completed before I put things away.

Thanks to anyone who stops to read this. Have a great week and Stay Scrappy!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Weekend Goals

After a five month recovery from an auto accident, I returned to work this week for half-days. It went well. I'm still learning how much I can do without pain. I have concerns about it affecting my work productivity; but truly -- my health comes first.

My work schedule is 9/80 which means we work 9 hour days with every other Friday off. Luckily for me, today is my scheduled Friday off. I really need it. My neck is sore and there's some minor tingling in my hands. But that's normal at this step in my recovery.

The best news is that I'm feeling better and ready to take on some tasks around the house and especially in my scrapbook loft. I'm going to list my top ten. I have a 3-day weekend and the goal is to get them all done --( with the help of my handsome assistant / hubby).

Fawn's Weekend Goals:
  1. Complete 12x12 Graduation album prototype
  2. Print 100 photos
  3. Make and mail Father's Day card to Greg's dad (TODAY)
  4. Put out towels and rug to match new shower curtain in guest bath
  5. Call client about graduation album order
  6. Take photos of all scrapbook items I want to sell
  7. Start Project Life 2014 - I have everything stored by month in 2.5 gal Ziploc bags. I just need to get everything in albums.
  8. Walk 3 miles on the treadmill 2 out of 3 days (this is by far the most difficult item on the list
  9. Plan meals / shop / prep for next week. I have gained a lot of weight and I have to start eating well along with the dreaded exercise
  10. Take time to remember my Dad on Father's Day. He's been gone for 5 years. I miss him terribly. As the oldest, it's my job to keep all his memories alive for all the generations of our family.
 Enjoy your weekend and be safe!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Graduation Card / Page Element

I never make cards. Never. I scrapbook but haven't found a way to transition the skill set to card-making. But now there is now hope!

I made a graduation mortarboard page element for a custom graduation album and it made a perfect graduation card for one of my besties who just received her masters.

I  downloaded template for the graduation hat and a YouTube video to make the tassel. I made a large version that covers a 12x12 page. For the small version, there's a block for a photo, hidden journaling or a card message. Who knew?!

A card was born! I have such a feeling of accomplishment. Who knows what creative dragon I can slay next!

Monday, May 19, 2014

The King of Pop is Dead. Long Live the King

I grew up with Michael Jackson. The first concert I ever attended was the Jackson 5. I loved him then. I love him now. The Billboard Magazine Awards Show last night featured a hologram appearance of a Michael Jackson hologram dancing on stage with live dancers. I so regret that I didn't see it last night, but I've been playing over and over again this morning.

I attached a clip from the performance but it has been deleted. Hopefully it will be available on iTunes.

Monday, March 17, 2014

10 Things Holding You Back From Being Productive at Work

I've bee home on medical leave since January 14th of this year. I suffered a neck injury due to an auto accident caused by an uninsured motorist. (I'll save that rant for another day). My treatments are showing positive results and I hope to return to the office in a few weeks.

Coincidentally, I ran across an article from titled: 10 Things Holding You Back From Being Productive at Work.  I won't bore you with how many of the ten are personal "challenges". I just thought I'd share some food for thought. This is advice that can be helpful in almost every arena. I can just replace work with friendship, marriage or parenting and learn a thing (or ten).

10 Things Holding You Back From Being Happy at Work

1. Assuming your past dictates your future.
We all have limitations. We all have challenges. We all make mistakes. Don't be bounded by them--learn from them.
Easier said than done? It all depends on your perspective. Take mistakes: When something goes wrong, turn it into an opportunity to learn something you didn't know--especially about yourself. (And when something goes wrong for someone else, turn it into an opportunity to be gracious, forgiving, and understanding.) Where you've been, what you've done--your past is just training. Your past should inform you, but it should never define you. Stop letting it.
2. Gossiping.
It's hard to resist the inside scoop. Finding out the reasons behind someone's decisions, the motivations behind someone's actions, the skinny behind someone's hidden agenda--much less whether Annette is really dating Marco in accounting--those conversations are hard to resist.
Unfortunately, the person who gossips about other people is also gossiping about you. And suddenly gossip isn't so much fun. The next time you're tempted to talk about another person, think about whether you would say what you're about to say to that person. The next time someone starts to talk about someone else, excuse yourself and walk away. Don't worry that you'll lose a gossiper's respect; anyone willing to gossip doesn't respect other people anyway.
If you really want to share the inside scoop, speak openly about your own thoughts and feelings. That way, you're not gossiping. You're just being genuine.
3. Saying yes when you mean no.
Refusing a request from colleagues, customers, or even friends is really hard. But rarely does saying no go over as badly as you expect. Most people will understand, and if they don't, should you care too much about what they think?
When you say no, you feel bad for only a few moments. When you agree to something you really don't want to do, you might feel bad for a long time, or at least as long as it takes you to do what you didn't want to do--or shouldn't have to do--in the first place.
Practice saying no. In time it gets easier and ensures you can focus on doing what you really need to do--for yourself and for other people.
4. Interrupting.
When you interrupt someone, what you're really saying is, "I wasn't thinking about what you were saying. I was thinking about what I want to say, and what I want to say is so important you need to hear it now." Want better professional relationships? Want better personal relationships? Listen to what people say. Focus on what they say. Ask questions to make sure you understand.
Other people will love you for it--and you'll love how that makes you feel.
5. Being late.
I know. You're busy. You're overwhelmed. You're always running behind. And it stresses the crap out of you. (It also makes other people resent you. Whenever you're late, other people rightly assume you feel your time is more important than theirs.) Although you may think you can't help it, being late is a choice. You allow yourself to be late.
Tomorrow, start your a little day earlier. (It won't kill you.) Then arrive at your first scheduled event early. Don't worry that you'll waste time--just plan ahead and bring along whatever you need to use any "early" time to get a few simple things done.
I promise you'll feel a lot less stressed, and as a result you'll be more insightful, more creative, more decisive, simply more "on" in everything you do.
6. Resenting.
Take it from Nelson Mandela: Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies. The same holds for bitterness. And jealousy. And dislike. Let negative feelings go. When you hold on to ill will, the only person who loses is you.
7. Deciding you just don't have the time.
Everyone knows someone who just seems to get a lot more done than other people. It's the craziest thing. How do these folks do it? They must have no life. Actually, they have a great life. They've figured out what is important to them, and they're making it happen. Figure out what's important to you. Strip away all the stuff that isn't. Then make it happen.
We're all given the same amount of time. The only difference is how we use it.
8. Fitting in.
Though entire industries are based on holding the opposite viewpoint, no one likes you for the clothes you wear, the car you drive, or the house you live in. No one likes you for your title, either. All those are things. Other people may in fact like your things, but that doesn't mean they like you. And in all likelihood, that doesn't mean you like yourself.
Be yourself. When you stop trying to fit in or make an impression, you might lose a number of acquaintances...but you'll gain a few real friends.
9. Ignoring your parents.
In the same way no one lying on his or her deathbed says, "I really wish I'd spent more time at work," I don't know anyone who has lost, say, his or her dad and then said, "I'm sad, but you know, I really do feel like I spent enough time with him." Everyone wants more time with his or her folks...when it's too late.
Your parents know you, and they still love you. Call them. They miss you. And though you may have forgotten it, you miss them.
10. Waiting.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was only partly right. True, "The only thing we have to fear itself," but when you get down to it, a better quote might be, "The only thing we have to fear... is ourselves."
Why? We're all afraid. We're afraid of what might or might not happen. We're afraid of what we can't change. We're afraid of what we won't be able to do. We're afraid of how others might perceive us.
We're afraid.
And that makes it easy to hesitate, to wait for the right moment, to decide we need to think a little longer or do some more research or explore a few more alternatives.
Meanwhile, days, weeks, months, and even years pass us by.And so do our dreams.Don't let your fears hold you back. Whatever you've been planning, whatever you've imagined, whatever you've dreamed of, get started on it today. If you want to start a business, take the first step. If you want to change careers, take the first step. If you want to expand or enter a new market or design new products or services, take the first step. Put your fears aside and get started. Do something. Do anything.

Today is precious. Once tomorrow comes, today is gone forever. Today is the most precious asset we all own. Wasting time is one thing it makes perfect sense to fear.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

I Was Scrappin' When Scrappin' Wasn't Cool

A post on 2peas asked "Do you think your scrapbooking hobby has an end date?"

My response is below. I didn't have to consider my answer for a moment. Scrapbooking is a constant in my life that I never intend to give up.

I think this is a personal preference. I have scrapbooked for over 30 years. I have a scrapbook from my first year of college that is one of my greatest treasures. It is filled with pages from the first night I met my daughter's father. The next album has journaling and memorabilia from out dating and marriage.

When my father passed away a few years ago, I placed his favorite family scrapbook in his coffin so he will have a part of us for eternity.
I cannot imagine a time when I will not scrapbook. One of my greatest fears as I age is not having the dexterity to make scrapbook pages.

I don't have an issue with the amount of money I spend on my craft. It is my vehicle for self expression and in a real way my source of sanity. I have cut back on the amount of supplies I've purchased in 2014 in order to force myself to use more of what I have; but I have no intention of a total freeze unless my financial situation changes.
If everyone in the world stopped creating scrapbook pages, I will continue to scrapbook.
I am in the final stages of purging my extensive cache of scrapbook supplies. I have given every paper, sticker and album a heartfelt evaluation before choosing to keep it or let it go so that someone else can find pleasure in my treasure.

Scrapbooking isn't for everyone. It doesn't have to be. It is however a vital part of my life. Who's with me?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What I found at Tuesday Morning...

These days, I'm doing more organizing than actual scrapping due to an auto accident so I needed a little "pick-me-up".

At one of the local Tuesday Morning stores, I found quite a few new items. Here are the ones that came home with me.

I love Thickers and I think the burlap ones will work great for my visit to my husband's family farm last November.

I'm also planning to make lots of mini albums so the magnets will be a great option for closures.

Stay scrappy, everyone!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Who I Am and What I Scrap

A scrapbook kit company sent an email asking me to complete a survey about what I look for in scrapbook kits and products.

I took the request to heart and below is a snippet of my response.

I would like to see more of a variety of items and less "common" themes.

I no longer have children or pets in my home. I have a handsome husband and friends who I meet up after work or spend time with on weekends. I attend wine tastings, love live music and great shoes and handbags. (Note: we are all over 35 years old ).
I live in a large city. I WORK-- downtown; for a large, global corporation. I attend meetings, make presentations and interact with professionals in my and other industries. I shop, go to museums, try new restaurants and travel (not to France!) Last year I went o to New York (twice), San Francisco and several road trips to small towns in my state.This year it will be Seoul, Korea, Chicago, maybe Seattle and a few more road trips in my state).
I live in a warm climate -- no snow, no icicles, "brrr" moments, mittens, snowflakes, etc. Here, life is not run by traditional seasons -- we can golf and exercise outside all year. Today, in mid-January the high temp will be around 70 degrees.

Also no autumn. Here leaves turn brown and die. In the fall, we attend football games and sometimes festivals downtown or nearby towns -- but we mostly watch football. 
There are no cute woodsy animals, air balloons or wild mushrooms in my life.
I own a laptop, a tablet, an iPhone, a Selphy, a Cameo, etc. I like and embrace technology and social media. I don't spend much time daily on Facebook or Instagram; but I think they are fun tools.
And oh yes... I am a minority (racially). I embrace diversity in all forms. I wish more manufacturers did the same.

I have disposable income to spend on my hobby and would love to belong to a kit club again -- however, I am tired of seeing so many things that do not apply to me.
I am not addicted to certain manufacturers. I look for products that speak to my life. 
I can think outside the box -- and I challenge you to do the same!
I don't live a flowery, pastel life. My life is lived in bold colors and adult activities.
This is who I am; what and how I scrap.
I have scrapbooked since I was in high school, Now it's a creative an industry with opportunities for many more voices to be heard.

How about you? Do you feel you are represented by scrapbook manufacturers and kit clubs?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Super Hero

My grandson and I had a chance to spend some quality "Jaidyen / Nana Time" over the holidays.

The Spider Man once-piece pajamas (complete with netting) were a huge hit! I can't believe how fast he's growing and how my love for him grows exponentially greater every time I see him.

How lucky am I to have my own SUPER HERO in the family! (And luckier still to have the scrapbook supplies on hand for some great layouts.)