Friday, July 25, 2014

my beloved books

Hello dear blog friend - did you have a fun Friday?
Isn't Friday the best day of the week? I think so. It's so full of possibility for the weekend ahead.
If you have plans or plan to stay at home - just the thought of doing as you please is always happy.

Thankfully, I do as I please most days although I do have to fit my work in there somewhere.

I am writing this late Friday night but earlier today, I was sitting on the couch in the den and looked over at my stack of beloved books.
I thought I would tell you about them because they are so delightful.

I brought these down from where I had them piled in a corner of my bedroom, waiting to be perused before bed.
They had gotten so dusty, I had to vacuum them off! They are too delightful to be dusty so I brought them to the den.
I have collected books like this for 23 years. Since I got married and moved into my own home, I've loved anything related to decorating.
I've bought and given away so many books like this I can't even tell you but these I have kept for a long while.
They are my favorites!

I love to take these big heavy books and snuggle on the sofa, all cozied up, and see how the truly stylish people live.
Of course now I find home inspiration on Pinterest but there's really nothing like a wonderful book.

This is my favorite in the stack...
It is chock full of tablescaping ideas and other inspiring bits about how to make your home homier!

This is a favorite room in the book, "Garden Style"....
Look at that carpet! And the tole trays on the wall. What about the color? Delightful, isn't it?
I have a black tole tray table. It is one of my favorite possessions.

I love the pictures all in a row in this and the yellow walls...
Reminds me of my own vintage botanicals in my Living Room...
This is from another book in the stack - look at this wall of beautifulness!
That makes me want to just start putting white things all together on a wall until I've filled in every space!
In my beloved books there are oh so many lovely things to look at and so much inspiration!

Speaking of lovely...my baby girl was so pretty this week. I declared it "Caroline Day" and we went to the mall.
I worked 12 hours the day before so I decided she deserved a day with me that was all about her!
She was so happy and cute I had to take a picture of her with my real camera. I'm trying to get it out more.
I hope you have a happy Saturday my blog reading friend. May your weekend be full of chocolate and sunshine!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

hello again dear friends

I've been remiss in my blogging duties lately.
Summertime is just too much fun to sit down long enough to write about it! It's too fun to sit down much at all, wouldn't you say?

Have you had a good summer my blog reading friend? I hope so!

I'm sitting in my den now at 11 pm, with this on the Pandora station I've created with old-timey music...


The station is the perfect mix of Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald.
Oh and Rosemary Clooney of course! (My favorite girl singer of all time.)
I do have to hit the "thumbs down" a time or two when they try and sneak in Otis Redding or Ray Charles.
No Pandora, Ray and Otis do not fit with Dean, Frank and Bing, in my opinion. I'll thumbs up them another day.

I've been enjoying a slower pace of life lately. I'm disconnecting from technology more and even TV.
Just enjoying the green of the grass and the blue of the skies.
Oh and the clouds....I love the clouds lately!

I came over the hill yesterday on the way to church and behind the church next door to ours, the sun was shining from behind a dark cloud.
It was almost like God was looking down over the two churches, side by side and shining His love down.
During service, it began to rain so loudly we could barely hear Pastor speaking. I love really loud rain.
As long as I don't have to go anywhere, I'm very happy when it's raining.

I made something delightful tonight and last night...a cookie sundae.
Made with Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies, vanilla ice cream and Hershey syrup. Oh. my. word.
I forgot to take a picture but mine looks very much like this...
I've decided I like it as well as my favorite "restaurant dessert" which is the cookie skillet from Cheddar's.
I can just about make it all week long for about the price of one dessert out!

I'm in a domestic mood lately. Even thinking of cooking and definitely starting to look forward to the holidays.
Yes, I said it. The holidays. Mainly just the fall season.
I'm not a fan of hot summer weather here in the South.
It's actually been quite a delightfully cool summer but I am dreading August and the thick, humid heat.
But I will try to be thankful for my air conditioning and that it doesn't still come like this...(although I would happily take those curtains!).
So now I must go to bed and sleep. I just came in from picking up Caroline from a cookout.
She smells of a bonfire and has one million words to say to me about her evening.
I love walking up to the house at night with the spotlight shining...
The flag always makes me happy.
The air is cool tonight and all is quiet here except for Nat King Cole on my docking station telling me I am unforgettable....what a voice! 

Good night dear blog friend!

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

brilliance!

I am working my way through as many videos from the Two Peas You Tube channel as I possibly can this week, just in case they delete it.
I am finding that videos are giving me back my mojo!!!
Videos are so inspiring because after I watch someone make something - I look in the mirror and say, "Hey you!! You can do that!!!!"

You have to see this video by Stephanie Bryan. I looked at the images and I was like, "Oh, that's pretty."
Then I watched the video.
OH.MY.LANTA.
This is the bomb dot com.

Two words - journaling on a transparency. Okay that was four words.

You need to know...
After watching this, I'm only going to make 6x8 pages in an art journal.
After watching this, I'm going to make a tribute page to my Mom.
After watching this, I'm going to to the office supply store to buy transparencies.
After watching this, I'm going to buy a sewing machine.
After watching this, I'm going to cut 1" off a 6x8 pocket protector on the top and bottom.

Can you see how life-changing this is?

Watch this!!!!!!
Do it fast! It may be gone after Thursday. I hope not but it might.

Monday, July 07, 2014

going back to the source

As we discuss in the podcast this week, my scrapbooking mojo has waned recently due to some personal crisis.
Before anyone worries about me, my Mom is doing very well and I'm back to feeling great about life but I still haven't scrapbooked.

In order to re-energize myself creatively, I decided to go back to my main source of inspiration.
I call it "my scrapbooking bible." It's "Clean and Simple" by Cathy Zielske.


I've only read half of it so far and I am feeling inspired again!!!
I look at her layouts and I am so drawn to them - they are brilliant in their simplicity.

I asked myself, "What is it about these layouts that really draws me to them and her style?"
After much consideration, I decided the answer is...
Clean and simple layouts do not look dated.

This book was written in 2004. Ten years ago! Ten years!
Most other idea books from that year are now collecting dust on my shelf or have long been given to Goodwill.
Techniques have changed. Styles have changed drastically to the point that I rarely like what I see from that era.

Cathy's work is the exception! Except for a few product choices we rarely use now (like metals) - the layouts are just as fresh 10 years later as the day they were made.

I have always been drawn to a style of scrapbooking (and decorating, for that matter) that would remain timeless.
It's important to me that something I'm putting a lot of work into will be something I love forever.
I would hate to look back through my completed albums and cringe. So I keep it simple. Clean and simple.
Thank you Cathy for sharing your smarts. I have poured over this book so many times, I could rewrite it myself without looking.

At times, I want every layout I make to be a carbon copy of hers and then sometimes mine seem too simple and I bore myself.
I begin to question myself. I say, "That wasn't hard enough." or "That didn't challenge you so it must not be very creative."

Then I remind myself, the truth is...I just know clean and simple. Cathy has influenced me so much that I took on elements of her style.

Scraplift of Cathy Zielske from May 2008

Now don't get me wrong...I enjoy and admire so many styles of scrapbooking.
I like to mix it up and try to incorporate different elements that I see others use while staying true to my own style.

But when I need to get back to basics, I always turn to Cathy and her brilliant design instruction.

There's a lot to be said for simplicity, great story telling and good design. No one does all that better than Cathy Z.
I'm feeling the mojo return already......stay tuned!

Here's a link to this week's podcast....The Mojo Show

Thursday, July 03, 2014

the personal connection


I found out one week ago that my home away from home, Two Peas in a Bucket, was closing.
It was hard to process the news and I wanted to blog about it but I had to have a little space from it before I could write about it.
I was talking to a friend today about Two Peas closing and we were sharing our opinions.
During our conversation, I had an a-ha moment revelation about one way that Two Peas went wrong.

Think of your favorite scrapbooker or blogger...I'll use Ali Edwards as an example.
Pretend for a moment that, like me, you are inspired by Ali, love to read her blog, see her work and follow her life.
What is it about Ali Edwards that makes you interested in her?

Well, she's super cool and laid-back, creative and talented. You just can't help but be inspired by what she has to say.
It's fun to see her kids, her house, her studio, her life, her cutie-pie boyfriend and especially anything she puts on a page.

But when it comes down to it, I follow Ali because I like HER. It's not just her work that inspires me. It's her as a person.
Over the 10 years I've been following Ali, I've come to know her through her work and I feel a personal connection to her.

Now, consider Two Peas. I loved going there and chatting on the message boards and seeing what the Garden Girls designed.
I loved shopping there and looking at all the other Peas' work in the gallery.
I loved reading their blog and just being a part of such a fun place.
I did NOT however, feel a personal connection to the owners of Two Peas, Jeffrey and Kristina. I wanted to, but I did not.

After 12+ years of being at Two Peas - I realized today, I know very little about either of them or their life!
It made me wonder if they would still be open if they were more personally involved in the message boards, Garden or blog.

I wonder if they had started a thread every week about scrapbooking if fewer people would have felt like it was okay to openly criticize them.
(Think about it....people don't openly criticize someone like Ali on her blog. If they do - I don't see it.)
If they were visible on the boards...if their presence was felt....would it have caused people to be more loyal in their spending?
If you think about it, the "face" of Two Peas was really the Garden Girls, Glitter Girl and the Peas themselves.

I am trying to remember how it was in the beginning. When I first started visiting Two Peas in 2002, Kristina did post on the message boards.
Then she contributed to the Garden, posted a few pics on the blog and unless I'm wrong - that was it.
I never saw her on the message boards. Maybe she's not that chatty by nature? More of an introvert?

I recently found her on Instagram and after looking through her pictures, felt like I knew more about her from there than her own site.
I loved it when she shared her work...she is a super talented human being. I loved her videos. I wanted more of that.
I guess the pressures of the business kept her from creating and sharing more. I can certainly understand that!

In the end, I wish like crazy there had been more of a personal connection to J&K because I think it might have helped.
I believe Two Peas became a faceless entity and we scrapbookers are all about personal connections.
It's the core of who we are and what we do.

I already miss Two Peas so much. Nothing can really replace something you have gone to every day for 12+ years.
Perhaps I'm over-analyzing things a bit much. I tend to do that when things don't make sense to me.
I'm trying to make sense out of the fact that in 7 days, Two Peas will be gone forever. I have tears just writing that!

R.I.P. Two Peas in a Bucket. You will always hold a special place in my heart and so will your owners.
I am sad that I didn't get the chance to know them personally like I did the hundreds of Peas I now call friends.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

"13" mini-album (in progress)

Can I keep it real y'all?
When we taped this week's podcast, it was three weeks ago and I felt positive I could complete the album we're talking about in the show.
Then life just kind of came up and kicked me in the face!

A friend passed away and I felt no ounce of creativity coming out of me.
Then I had two huge work projects to complete and a conference to attend and sell product at.
My Mom has been struggling with an ongoing illness and today she went in the hospital for treatment.
All of that has kept me from creating or feeling creative.

Last night I sat down to finish this and worked on it for three hours and made a little progress.
So I thought I would just share it "in progress" and then when it's all done and I'm super happy with it, I'll share the completed version.

I always make the title page last so that's not done. This is using a Becky Higgins non-expandable mini-album with pockets.
I love the album size but I'm feeling a little stifled creatively using it. I guess it feels more like a glorified photo album than a scrapbook.
But you know - that's really okay because I wanted to use all of these photos.

So here's the introduction. This page is done except I'm looking for the perfect embellishment to go in the empty space of the bottom pic...
You know how sometimes you have to let a scrapbook project "percolate" in your mind until you know what to do?
I wasn't happy with the pages following this one and then I realized, "They need a title!!"
So I'm adding a title using a black box printed with white cursive print.
I guess on this one, I'll take off "you are so loved" and put "It's Your 13th Birthday!" as the title. Prolly move the sticker elsewhere.
This page also feels unfinished without a title. I'll put one under that yellow text box and move it up.
How awesome is it that this pack of Snap cards had a glasses one? Love!!!

Okay so those are the only pages completed! I told you I was keepin' it real! :)
Here are some of the rest, in progress.
I just have to add some journaling to this one on the blue at the top.
Gotta fill this card in and I think I'll add a new pic I just got of us in Atlanta. I don't like the bottom one.
This page is about her hobbies - making rainbow looms and archery. I'll just write all that on the yellow piece and be done.
The rest of these are pretty obvious! I just need to add journaling and then I'll embellish a bit at the end. 
I'm going to fill in the card below on the bottom right with an actual text.


 This one's gonna take a while - all about her homeschooling this year...
 Her celeb crushes!
 Gotta find paper to put on the right side of this.


 Our youth group....


There are a lot more pages but you get the idea!!!
Thanks for stopping by and I promise I will share the final project when it's done!!
I hope you are happily crafting this week!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

start to finish

This week's ScrapGals podcast is about albums you make "start to finish."
I have a project I've been waiting to share but I have not photographed it yet because I've been out of town for several days.
Here's a peek at it...

So bear with me and I'll have it up Tuesday!
I hope you'll check back for it - life just got away from me lately.



Tuesday, June 03, 2014

new ScrapGals episode!

As we say in the South, it's a day late and a dollar short but this week's episode is finally up!
Click here to listen.

Go and be crafty while you listen! :)

Monday, May 26, 2014

new ScrapGals + a loss

Hey everyone!
There is a new ScrapGals episode up. Here's a link.... The Scrap Gals Podcast
This week's show is all about some fresh inspiration Tiff and I found online.

I will be back later this week with some scraplifts of the person who inspired me.

Last night, I went to what we call a "home going service" (aka funeral) for one of my best friends growing up, Tammy Batson.
She really was my best friend at school for about six years, from 6th grade to 12th.
At 44 years of age, she fell ill a week ago and within 3 days, her body had completely shut down and she was gone.
Although I hadn't seen her in a while except on social media, I felt like we kept in touch.
This unexpected loss of her life has rocked me to the core of my soul.

at our Jr./Sr. Banquet (like a prom with no dancing - that's me on the right, my friend Tammy is on the left)

There are just some people in your life who mean so much to you, even though you don't see them all the time.
She was one of those people. I considered her a life-long friend of my heart.
She was such a huge part of my growing up years and my childhood memories and now she is gone.
I have lots of photos of us together and I just can't fathom that the next time I see her face, it will be in heaven.
You always think you will have time to tell someone what they meant to you but in this case, I did not.
I did not expect someone so young to be gone so soon. They still don't really know exactly how it happened.

on our Senior Trip, 1988

At the service last night, around 1,000 people showed up to honor her and everyone spoke so highly of her and how she touched their life.
I sat there, numb, crying, surrounded by people I grew up with, thinking, "This moment has to mean something in my life."
I have resolved this weekend to never be the same again. I am going to live life to the fullest and be the person I have the potential to be.
I will kiss my baby more, tell my husband how thankful I am for him, kiss him more and take better care of myself and those around me.

I already live a very fulfilled, happy life but I'm taking it up a notch!!
We are not promised one more moment or one more day. I'm going to make every minute count.

Friday, May 23, 2014

favorite TV couples mini-album

In April I went to Jenni Bowlin's Vintagfest event and bought her January 2014 Mini-Album kit, designed by Jill Sprott.
I got it home, spread everything out and was just delighted at how yummy it all was!
I remembered seeing Jill's album in the JBS gallery so I knew that it was an awesome design and easy to replicate.
Instead of stashing the kit away like I normally do, I determined to use it right away. This week's podcast topic was the motivation I needed!
Every once in a while, I have a very inspired idea and this was one of those times! Having the design already determined made it so easy.

I love TV way too much and this is proof. Here's my new favorite project I've ever made....I'm giddy over it.

This is my favorite part - how it looks all spread out! This is my first time using a board book mini! I LOVE IT!
I want to take a moment to say THANK YOU to the incredibly talented Jill Sprott for coming up with such an awesome design that I could use and picking all this awesome product to go in the kit! I'm so happy with the way this turned out. It was such a joy to make this because I knew using Jill's awesome design would work great!

Thanks for stopping by peeps!