Monday, August 03, 2015

the stigma of scraplifting

So I have this hater. She amuses me greatly. Like I literally laugh out loud over what she writes and I know she thinks she's cutting me to the core but I just think it's funny because her opinion of me doesn't change my life in any way. Her level of obsession with me is puzzling because for someone who appears to hate me, she sure does spend a lot of her life thinking about me. Maybe there really is a thin line between love and hate.

So this weekend, we had a comment in our FB community that someone was feeling down about the quality of their work and I encouraged them (as I always do) to scraplift. Then I mentioned that I was going to start scraplifting more often myself.

Well my hater must be stalking my group because she quoted me on a message board and called me a "thieving wannabe." (In a hilariously random way.)

So let's talk about the stigma of scraplifting...especially when you work in the creative industry. First of all, if I were to scraplift, I would do it openly and blog about it and blast it all over my social media and tell the person I lifted and introduce my audience to that person and talk about why I love them. It's a win-win for everyone and I want to start a weekly scraplift challenge in our group soon and do just that. :)

In 14 years of scrapping and sharing online, I've never had someone be mad at me for scraplifting them. Right now the person I want to scraplift is one of my besties, Jen Schow. She has given me full permission to scraplift her as much as I want to. But even if she hadn't, here's the deal....I still want to make layouts that are just for me because I truly love to scrap.

There's an illusion that you get paid for everything you do if you do this full time. ha!!! Double ha!!! If I want to scraplift, I have just as much right to do so as anyone else, as long as it's not content that someone is paying me for. It goes without saying but I do have enough sense to realize that. I just spent four weeks creating original content for BPC and GIS.

So if you are struggling with insecurity about your own scrapping, I highly encourage you to just flat-out scraplift for a while. Emulating people with great design skills is the best way to grow your own artistic ability. Jen Schow is a great one to scraplift because she has a lot of "go-to designs" that are well thought out and always end up as a stunning layout. I'm willing to bet most of you reading my blog are just scrapping for fun anyway so why wouldn't you scraplift??

Do we think we're less than talented if we use the inspiration that's all around us? 'Cause we're not. Why are we saving and pinning and culling all this inspiration if we're not gonna use it? I want to use it!

In my Big Picture class that's coming up, I show a scraplifted layout and talk about it. Moving forward with my business, encouraging others to scraplift is going to be a bigger part of my brand and message because listen....I'm not here to try and teach anyone anything ground breaking in design. I don't want to show you how to do the latest and greatest techniques because I'm probably not doing them myself. I just want YOU TO BE YOU and sometimes that involves finding your style through experimentation of a lot of different looks.

I want to inspire you to tell your stories and find JOY in doing so. Every day can be joyful simply because we have so many blessings: running water, air conditioning and food come to mind but how about sunshine and cameras and patterned paper!!!!? People! Patterned paper is happiness!

So scraplift away my friends and don't let the haters tell you that you can't or make you feel bad about it.

PS: Thanks dear Hater for giving me such a great blog topic to post about today. :)

Monday, July 27, 2015

looking forward to...

I've been working on creating content for three online classes for about six weeks now. My studio is the worst it's ever been. This looks bad but behind the desk is even worse. Stuff has fallen in the floor and it's a million tiny pieces that I don't have time to pick up.

This week, I'm finishing up my content for Big Picture Classes and I was planning in my mind this morning, all the things I want to do when I'm done. I plan to be done this Friday and then my regularly scheduled life can resume.

Here's my list of what I'm planning...

Clean my house from top to bottom. See photographic evidence above.

Go to dinner with my friend, Doris Sander. I want to hear all about her trip to Washington, DC. I haven't hung out with her in a while and I miss her! She is just a delightful human being.

Go to dinner with my friend, Jenny, who I have been putting off for weeks. When I'm with her, all is well with the world.

Go to see Antman with my sister. Drool over Paul Rudd. Stuff myself with popcorn, candy and diet coke.

Regroup and refocus on my essential oils. I need to get up to date on what's new and get with a lot of people who have asked me questions and send out some samples. Plus, I need to order some of my must-haves I'm running low on...I start to feel panicky if I think I will run out!

Clean my car trunk's like a scary movie in there.

Clean my fridge's like the sequel to the scary movie in there.

Go to the oral surgeon and have a tooth pulled. Not looking forward to that!

Then....when all of that is done and I have taken about a two week break from crafting and feel relaxed and rejuvenated, I will finish my class that will be for sale here. It is called "Journal Your Life" and it's about 1/3 of the way done and I plan to have it up for sale by September 1st.

Whew!! It's going to be a busy August! What are your August plans?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

a little art journal happiness

The last Saturday of every month, I host a free Craft Day at Hobby Lobby and I spend the time there working on art journaling. I got this awesome 5x12 Copic Marker Sketchbook  for Christmas so last month, I finally decided to break it out...

It is specially made with paper that Copic markers will not bleed through. I used it with watercolors and it worked great!! There is a bit of bleed through with a Sharpie, so I don't recommend it for that. What I love about it is the size. It's just so fun to create in an art journal that is 12" wide!

I decided to journal about all the things I love about summer. Here's how it turned out. I laid this on the porch swing to take the picture because that seemed perfect for a page about summer. :)

Closer up:

I started by just painting a sun, I pounced to fill in the middle. I love to pounce with watercolors. I pounced to make the grass too!

Then I just started thinking of things that I love about summer. I used a Papermate Flair marker and it is my new favorite!! I drew the images with a pencil first and then inked over them and then painted. That was the funnest part. :)

I really could have kept working on this for a while but our craft day was over so I called it done.

I plan to just fill this book with whatever is on my mind at the time. Hopefully by the end of it, I will be a better artist, better at hand lettering and feel more confident in my art skills.

Thanks for taking a peek!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

exciting news!

I have some exciting news to share! This fall, I will be teaching at:

I had just started creating content for a class here on my blog when I got e-mails from both of these wonderful sites. Of course I could not pass up the opportunity to work with two of the leading companies in the industry so I set aside the class I was working on and switched gears.  

I'll tell you more soon about all three classes. The Big Picture and Masterful Scrapbook Design classes will both be available in September. I can't believe I'm joining this group of talented ladies at BPC and this group of talent at MSD. I'm still pinching myself. 

I know you've probably been wondering why I haven't shared anything creative lately (like my Artful Memory Planner). It's because for the last six weeks, I've been working on creating content for three classes: creating two from start to finish (my own and the one for BPC), taking photos, filming videos, making layouts, photographing layouts, writing about the layouts, creating printables, class outlines, step by step's a very big task that includes making about 20 layouts and almost 20 videos. In the same time frame, I'm taping, editing and airing the Scrap Gals podcast, creating and teaching my handmade cards class at Hobby Lobby and managing our very active community on Facebook

It's a lot of work but I love every minute of it. I wake up every day feeling blessed and happy to have the opportunity to do what I love! 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

the world wide web: it brings out the best and the worst in me

I've been thinking a lot about the role the internet plays in my life.

On the plus side, I've connected with hundreds of women that share my hobby and formed close and lasting friendships with some of them. Because the world we are immersed in online is the same, we connect at a different level than I do with people I meet locally. We chat regularly on social media and message boards about the ins and outs of the creative world and follow a lot of the same people. I see pictures of their life and their craft until I feel truly connected to them.

This had added great value to my life. It has brought me tremendous joy, many love filled moments and comfort in knowing I truly belong somewhere. In the online crafting world, I am among people who "get me." It's safe to say that I like myself the most when I'm with these people. I am, in part, who I am today because of my time spent online.

Now on the minus side (if I'm being brutally honest), I have spent too much of my life in a passive, sedentary state, reading and responding to people. Connections were formed but one cost has been that the people around me (live and in person) seem less appealing because they do not "get me" like my online friends do.

Of course, I am blessed to have a few crossovers: people I connect with online that I regularly see in person. When I'm with those people, I get the best of both worlds. I went out with a new friend, Chasity, last night and we talked non-stop about things we've seen online lately but then we shopped and ate and laughed and had a real connection. It was bliss.

That bliss has become a standard that's hard for non-creative people to live up to and it often keeps me from forming new friendships. I really have just realized this but I'm trying to decide if I need to work on that or if it's just something that can't be helped. I'm sure people who are runners really connect with other runners. Chefs like to talk to other cooks and foodies. A bass player and a drummer can relate over rhythm. This is how I am with crafty people who are immersed in the creative industry. Truthfully at this point in my life, I have so many friends that I can't find the time to hang out with them all so why would I want to add someone to that list? I realize that sounds selfish but God has blessed me with an overload of friends and for that I'm truly thankful.

Another negative is that sometimes the internet brings out the worst in my attitude. I'll be rolling along, having a lovely day when all of a sudden I see something gross, violent, gut-wrenching or idiotic posted on social media. I feel emotions whirl inside of me and then I make a choice: do I say something or move on? 99.9% of the time, I move on and say nothing. I rarely post a political or social rant and I rarely tell someone off even when they deserve it. But then the feelings evoked still reside in me and must be dealt with. They leave me with a bitter taste for life. I really didn't know there were so many crazy people in the world until I started reading comments online. I used to think people were basically good and kind, with a moral compass and understanding of right and wrong. I no longer think that. In fact, the more people I meet in person and online, the more disappointed I am.

How did this world get so far off track? I do not understand it. People start blogs for the sole reason of criticizing, judging, mocking and tearing apart people who just are going about their life and being themselves. People follow other people on social media solely to criticize and curse them. My biggest problem is the way people speak to each other. I noticed this on a popular message board, way back in 2001, when I first started spending a lot of time online. Under the guise of anonymity, people hurled their most hurtful thoughts and opinions. I am positive those same people would never have looked me in the face and said those things (I could be wrong) but online, they let it fly. I think it empowered them somehow. For the first time in their life, probably, they could say exactly what they thought with no repercussions and no accountability. That was 14 years ago and it's one million times worse now. Every day, I see curse words and revolting images that are shared thousands of times.

It begs the can we separate the bad from the good online so we're not filling our minds with negativity? I believe it is affecting us as a society. We are lacking in social grace and manners. In many ways, the internet has done us more harm than good. It's brilliant, engaging and amazing but it's also dark, dirty and harmful.

I am making a more concerted effort not to click on articles and posts where two sides are arguing and I'm unfollowing or unfriending all those who share revolting images, videos and words (that they somehow are amused by). I know that's harsh but it has really begun to get to me...this negative whirl of information being slung at me every day. God must have been thinking of the internet when he added this verse to the Bible.

I've got to reign in the negativity so I'm going to try and spend less time online, make the time I do spend more productive and positive and get out in the world with my friends who bring me bliss and squeeze them even tighter.

Friday, June 26, 2015

layout + sketch + blog post

I'm blogging today at Write.Click.Scrapbook. with a new layout and a sketch so hop on over there to see! The layout is one of my favorites I've done in a while so I hope you'll check it out!

Click here.

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

ode to simple scrapbooks magazine

I was looking through a couple issues of Simple Scrapbooks today and I felt a sense of longing come over me.
Gone are the days of solid scrapbook instruction in printed form.
You can now find great ideas online but it's either information overload or I struggle to find the voice that inspires me like Simple did.

Simple Scrapbooks and Stacy Julian changed my life.
They literally changed my life. No other way to put it.
I think differently because of the philosophies and instruction I received from the contributors.

I love that it was solid, simple information presented in the way that I process it.
Part of the appeal was the clean design of the magazine, provided by Cathy Zielske.

I also loved the voice of the magazine. I think I could feel Stacy's influence on every page.
I'm looking at the March/April 2009 issue now and there is a great article on photography.
Next is a wonderful article on journaling that really has some innovative ideas.
Next up is an article on choosing colors for your layout and the pages in it are awesome.
The layouts throughout the magazine are fun and doable and mostly 8.5x11, which is my go-to size.

There are sketches of the layouts that let me easily envision making them for myself.
There are fun reader tips on how to organize page ideas, journaling ideas and instructions on how to print smaller photos.
There's an article on using lots and lots of photos on a layout. There's another one on being an organized and inspired scrapbooker.
I could go on and on. There's so much wonderfulness packed in this issue, that I am amazed this magazine is out of business!

The magazine was a collaboration of some of my favorite people in the industry and now those people are scattered. I wish I could get them all in one place again.

I guess I will just treasure the issues I have and read and re-read them until I'm old and gray.
I'm just thankful I had the chance to know you, Simple Scrapbooks. I truly miss you.

Monday, June 15, 2015

handmade cards

I'm in the midst of prepping for my cards class which is this Thursday at 6 pm, at Hobby Lobby.
I have two of the designs planned in my head but the other two are still a mystery. ha!

Here's my favorite card from last month's class. I realized I never shared it!!

I have committed to three huge projects I'm working on right now so bear with me if I'm MIA from my blog a little bit right now! 

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, June 07, 2015

vlog #1

If you're friends with me on Facebook, you probably saw this already but I made my very first vlog! If you're not familiar with a vlog, it's an overview of a day in video form. I plan to do this at least once a week, especially when we're doing something fun. I almost did another one today but I think I have pink eye! Ugh! I'm going to bed at 9 pm and hopefully I will wake up well.

I hope you enjoy watching this. If you do, I'll make more, I promise. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

busy, busy, busy, busy, busy

That's been my life all week and that's why I haven't blogged! I did stay up 'til 4 am one night this week making a fresh new banner for this blog. It's very similar to the previous one so you might not have noticed. ;)

Today I am teaching my first cards class at Hobby Lobby. Several of my former students from the last scrapbook store I taught at will be there and some of my local friends are coming too and bringing friends! Wahoo! I made extra kits and if I have them left over, I plan to put them in my shop for sale. $10 for everything you need to make four cards. I will post pics Friday. Here's one in progress...

I struggled a bit to come up with four card designs that could be easily reproduced. I taught cards classes for a couple years and it came easily to me to design them but I have gotten out of the card creating groove so Monday, I sat at my desk and hated everything I did. Tuesday I started making progress and Wednesday was spent in a panic, knowing it was down to the wire.

Finally, around 10 pm, I got into a creative groove and started feeling happy with what I was making. I know that sounds a little cuckoo to some of you but I have high standards when people are paying me to take a class. I don't just slap it together...I really have to love it or I keep trying.

The problem isn't designing four's coming up with designs that can be easily reproduced. You either have to use a punched shape, die cut, paper pads to mix patterns or stamps. It's not like I can use enamel dots or a sticker; I won't have 10 of those to give away. I can whip together a card from my stash in about five minutes but making four that are unique but reproducible is a tough bill to fill!

I picked up this Simple Stories pad yesterday to of my favorites of their lines!

Besides being out of the creating cards groove, my brain is just full of a lot of other classes I'm creating right now. I plan to launch an online class next week and it's one I've been asked for a lot. I'll tell you what it's about soon and I have two pretty big announcements coming up too. Life is amazing and unexpected every day.

Just a note: I added a link to the tabs at the top of this page that goes straight to my YouTube channel. I plan to add a video weekly. Click the tab marked "Videos" to go straight to my Scrapbooking Playlist. I have some performance videos on my channel so by clicking this link, you'll go straight to the stuff you wanna see...crafty stuff! :)

I'll be back soon with an online class that's fun and hopefully a layout or something from my memory planner which I had to let slide this week so I could prep for my class!!