Design Your Life @ BPS

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I’m taking Design Your Life with Cathy Zielske at Big Picture Scrapbooking. I wanted to take this class the first time it was offered but didn’t have time. Well, I still don’t have time, but I’m choosing to make the time. I am so excited to learn about design principles. Plus, she is providing PDF files for all the lessons, so I’m going to get to practice some digital scrapbooking along the way! Here is my first layout. The assignment was to use the grid pattern but to add our own touches to tell the story of why we love to scrapbook. I played around with a bunch of techniques on this one since I know I won’t have time to do much playing once school starts. Once again, I’m using the You Rock WOTG kit!


New Paper–You Rock!

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I absolutely love the new paper kit, You Rock! The colors and design are fantastic. This is my version of the You Rock Workshop on the Go. This awesome LO took less than 1 1/2 sheets of B&T, so I still have a ton of paper, cardstock and embellishments to play with this weekend!

This paper is perfect for this LO about my niece, Kate. We took these photos in Seattle and at my house in 2006. Today she is gearing up to go to New York for a job interview! I’m so proud of and excited for her! I used this LO to write a letter to her. In addition to the Just Be You exclusive stamp set that comes with the Basic WOTG kit (G1006), I used Comments (D1359) for the journaling lines. Comments is a must have stamp set!

Unfortunately, this photo is a bit blurry, but I’m sure you get the idea. For my LO, I used the “Best” option and added the Rockin’ Top Coats™ (Z1272) and White Hemp (Z281). I forgot to order the Bitty Sparkles (Z1263), so I’ll just add them later for a little bling on the page!

The Rockin’ Top Coats™ (Z1272) include 14 fun and funky, colorful overlays! They do have a plastic film covering the top so the image doesn’t get scratched. Be sure to take the film off before using the Top Coats™.

Okay, I’m off to make another LO with this kit, because You Rock rocks!


Celebrating Christmas

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I hope you had a wonderful and relaxing holiday! I certainly did. Neal and I had a leisurely day at home with our little old fur babies. Thanks to our moms, we did have gifts to unwrap, so that was nice! My gift to Neal is doing the litter all week and cleaning up after the cats…not a pleasant job, but it’s better than the alternative of putting them down. Anyway, I’ve been using my holiday from school to catch up on photographing my club projects and uploading them to my CTMH art page. I’ll share a few of the projects here over the next couple of days. Be sure to check back on the 1st for a special announcement!


Christmas 2008 in Boise—Neal and I were snowed in at home and weren’t able to make it down for this celebration. I was so disappointed. Christmas didn’t feel like Christmas last year.


I absolutely love this photo of my mom and sister! They are looking at photos from the Disney cruise we took that summer.


Photos of the whole family…minus me and Neal. 🙁


Here are a few detail shots. I used textured cardstock so the ink coverage on the stamped packages isn’t as clear as the one below. I love the look of the textured cardstock and try to use it as often as possible.


These Twinkle Brads make me so happy…I have 3 packages of them! LOL! The other thing that I really like about this LO is the use of the Dimensional Elements On Target. The large scalloped circle is fantastic! My crop buddies make fun of me because I’m so particular about filing off the “nubbies” on the chipboard before inking. When inking, I used the back of the large gift stamp to get lots of ink on the chipboard. I let it dry and then when back with a sponge dauber to even out the ink coverage. It’s a fairly time consuming process, but I love deep, vivid color it produces. I also like that the chipboard is easy to cut so I’m able to use partial circles or make my circles cover two pages.


The WOTG directions say to stamp the title onto white cardstock and then sponge ink onto the letters. It also suggests stamping each letter with the zigzag stamp. I chose to stamp my letters onto B&T paper and adhered them using foam tape. I love this paper!


Studio J Sneak Peek

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Close To My Heart’s Studio J will launch in a few months, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone I know! Since I attended Leadership, I was given early access to Studio J but have only now had a chance to play with it. I placed my first order a few minutes ago and thought I would share my LOs here.

So, what the heck is Studio J?! It is a FREE online scrapbooking studio. It’s like digital scrapbooking, but not nearly as time consuming, expensive, or difficult to use. You’ll be able to try the full, web-based program through my CTMH website when Studio J launches in March. Until then, enjoy this little sneak peek!


Good news–if you are a digi-scrapper, you can import PNG files to drop in the photo wells like I did here with Katie Pertiet’s Postage Frame Clusters!

If you know nothing about digital scrapbooking, never fear…Studio J was designed just for you! The following LOs were designed in a flash; choosing my photos and writing my journaling was the longest part of the process.






Creativity Challenge Update

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Wow! It’s a little embarrassing that I haven’t updated my Weekly Creativity Challenge for 3 months! It’s not that I haven’t been creative; it simply is that my blog took a backseat to school, my online classes, my CTMH club, and my sick kitties. I’m on winter break now, so I’m going to get back into the swing of posting.

9/20-26 ~ Complete the Telling Stories Deeply and the Learn Something New Every Day class prompts. Create digi LOs for Learn Something New.
Although I didn’t do any of the Telling Stories lessons, I did manage 10 digi LOs for Learn Something New. I also went on a bit of a digi shopping spree. I’m technically not a digital scrapbooker, but I have purchased a ton of digi elements, papers, PDF files, Etc. over the past few months. Not really sure what that is all about other than the fact that most of the items are $.25 at Designer Digitals…LOL!

Blog ~ Post digi LOs. Blog “The Great Escape” story!
How is it possible that I STILL haven’t written about “The Great Escape”? Seriously!

CTMH ~ Finish card kit and Twitterpated WOTG.
I finished ½ the card kit and both Twitterpated LOs. I am absolutely in LOVE with those LOs and will post them during break!


The Passing of Jim Rohn

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My sister called me today to let me know that Jim Rohn passed away. We met him several times at Herbalife conventions in the early 90s. I was always so inspired after listening to Rohn speak. During Shimelle’s Learn Something New Every Day 2006 workshop, I created this page as a reminder to myself to make healthy choices. “We must all suffer from one of two pains; the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” His words of wisdom helped me get back into exercising; I eventually lost 45 pounds! I feel very fortunate to have met him in person and send my heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.


Learn Something New Day 10

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I really wanted to get caught up on my digi LOs today, but this was all I was able to finish. I need to spend the rest of the evening exercising and grading papers…fun times!

I rotated the designerdigitals.com template I used yesterday since this LO will be on the facing page. I also included a free pocket from their What’s in Your Pocket challenge. I had to reduce the pocket a great deal since the photo of my card had been saved for the internet. That pocket is such a clever design. I can’t wait to print out my book when I’m done and see how it looks on the page.


Learn Something New Days 7-9

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I saw a news segment on the 7th about a woman who reinvented herself by publishing her first novel at 45. I need to reconnect with myself as a writer. Neal and I have spent the past week brainstorming story ideas, and I’m getting really excited about writing again! Learn Something New Every Day is motivating me to write in my journal daily, but I haven’t started writing any fiction yet. Perhaps that will be my goal in October after this class is over.
On the 8th, I rediscovered that, in the greater scheme of life, true friendship matters most! I may not get to see Karen or my few close friends very often, but they are always in my heart. I’m so blessed to have such wonderful women in my life! Neal took this photo at our house during a scrapbooking crop the day after my birthday. It is one of my all-time favorites!
I purchased this template from Digital Designs for $.25 today! I would love to get the entire series of templates, but I can’t justify the expense since I’m not really a digital scrapbooker. I guess I’ll just keep watching for sales.

These are some self-portraits after my first day of school on the 9th. As I was driving home, I was thinking about the fact that I had a cute new outfit for the first day and no one to take my photo. Well, I wasn’t going to let that stop me. LOL! The mirror photo is blurry, but you can still see my cute Eddie Bauer outfit. I’m determined to look more professional this year as I work toward my CTE certification. I have a feeling that Neal is going to be shocked by my clothing purchases this year!


Learn Something New Days 3-6

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Shimelle’s prompt was about what we can learn from our feet. It amazes me how right on target her prompts always seem to be with my life. For instance, Neal and I were watching football and one of the players was carted off with a foot sprain. I was thinking to myself how horrible it would be in everyday life let alone as an athlete, and then I open a prompt about feet! My lesson came this summer when Neal and I hiked up Multnomah Falls. During the entire 4 mile hike, I didn’t experience any pain until we were on the way DOWN…my feet were killing me!

Sadly enough, I continue to waste time on the computer. When I first took this class, I ended up with 6 pages about getting off the computer and spending time exercising, enjoying nature or doing something productive. Three years later, I’m still giving myself the same advice…I see a problem here! Neal has challenged me to leave my computer off on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I will still have to use the computer at school, but those evenings at home will be spent reading, crafting, Etc. I’m going to try to start tomorrow if I can finish all my school work at school. Wish me luck!

Neal got a little annoyed with me the other night. After exercising, I said I was going to take a quick shower. Well, our versions of quick showers don’t exactly match, and he had to come up and tell me to hurry because dinner was ready. It’s a good thing he loves me!

Side note: I am using much more white space on these digi LOs than I do when working traditionally. It is very strange for me. It will be interesting to see how I feel about the pages when they are printed and in a book.

I had such a busy summer with my online course, travels, and CTMH events that I never started a “To Do” list. Now the summer is over and I realize that I didn’t accomplish much around the house. Oh, sure, I did a little cleaning, but I didn’t do any big projects. Now I’m back to life as a busy English teacher and will be swamped with grading and meetings. Hopefully my computer ban on Tuesday and Thursdays will motivate me, but I still need to make a list!


Learn Something New Every Day

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Shimelle’s Learn Something New Every Day class started again on September 1st. I first signed up for this class in September of 2006. That was an incredibly eventful month in my life, and I’m so thankful I was taking her course, because I journaled every day. I didn’t, however, finish my daily pages. In fact, I completed the book during Lain’s Layout a Day Challenge in May…of THIS year! Yikes! So, my goal for this year is to journal daily and finish my book by early October. I came to the realization last night that I simply don’t have time for traditional scrapbooking, so I’m going to go digi for this project. It isn’t my first choice, but it is far more realistic at this moment in time. Plus, Shimelle has included some great digi downloads for this class, including PDF files for the LOs. That is going to save me a lot of time.

After taking Photo Editing: Frame-ups and Special Effects from Jessica Sprague, I got pretty excited about playing around in Photoshop. In fact, I’ve downloaded a bunch of free digital designs and have even purchased a digital kit and some embellishments. Now, mind you, I’ve only ever created two digital LOs in my life! LOL! So, I’m going to use the Learn Something New class to work on my journaling and to hone my digital skills. I’ll stick with Shimelle’s LOs for the first couple of weeks since school is starting, but then I may try to come up with my own designs.

To save myself some time, I’m using the Ana Reis Designs “I Heart You” kit. I purchased both the paper and embellishment kits because I loved the doodle hearts.

My first page deals with the presentation I gave to our staff about metacognition. I felt good about the presentation but didn’t think it was amazing. Throughout the day I was given a lot of positive feedback. My colleagues made me realize that I do a good job and that I should have more confidence. I’m using a horrible photo from a Web 2.0 presentation I gave at a business education conference in May. Yeah…people should NEVER be photographed while they are speaking!

My learning continued at our school district teacher training on the 2nd. I co-presented a workshop on lesson planning using Project CRISS and then went to a workshop about ways students hook us into power struggles. The presenter talked about being intentional in our emotional lives. Negative thoughts impact everything we do even if we don’t say them out loud. This made me think about my health and approaching it from a positive POV (e.g. I’m not trying to lose weight, I’m gaining muscle, tone, and a firm core!).

This is a photo from my classroom in May. The presenter also talked about seeing your most difficult student as your greatest teacher in living an emotionally intentional life. Brilliant!


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