LOAD #3

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I went classic style for today’s Layout a Day!  The challenge was to focus on photography and create a layout with a photo that tells the story…no journaling!  As I’m in a bit of a journaling mood, this was actually a real challenge.  Yet, once I remembered this photo…I’ve been wanting to scrapbook it since 2008…it was easy.  The photo and the title say it all!  I’m a little bummed that the weather is so crappy today, because this layout (including the photo) are much more vibrant in real life.  My picture doesn’t do it justice.  This layout was inspired by a layout in the Summer 2009 Idea Book.  I used Daydream Level 2, Blush ink, Fresh Shapes DE, Booksmart DE, Clear & Bitty Sparkles.

This is a little note to myself to remind me that I don’t have to complete all of Lain’s daily challenges for LOAD 2010.  I had a great time doing it this weekend, but my time is at a premium during the week, so that’s when I’ll go back to completing some of my partially created layouts.  I have so many that I want to finish, so that is my personal challenge this month.  Anything extra is simply a bonus.


LOAD #2

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Another digi layout for the LOAD 2010 Challenge.  The prompt asked me to spend some time thinking about what made my life situation unique.  I instantly thought about the fact that Neal and I don’t have kids and that our attention is solely focused on each other.  We have a unique bond as a result.  Here is my journaling:


We buried Kit on September 21, 2010. When we finished, we stood looking down on the graves of our “babies,” Kit and Tanis. We realized that, after over 18 years, we are alone. Like parents whose kids go off to college, we are empty nesters. I don’t think I truly understood the depth of that phrase, and I probably still don’t, but I have a better understanding of the emptiness parents must feel when their last child moves out. Neal asked me if I regretted not having children, and I can honestly say that I don’t! We are childless by CHOICE, and I think that makes all the difference. I shared that a friend told me that I don’t know what I’m missing, and she is absolutely right. I don’t know, so I don’t miss it! What I do know is that Neal and I gave more love and attention to our cats than some people give their children. We also have a love that many married couples don’t have because our focus is entirely on each other. So, we may miss the joys of raising children and watching our grandchildren grow, but we will also miss the heartache. Instead, we get to nourish our love and experience a depth of commitment to each other that is beyond words. Our house feels empty right now without the pitter-patter of kitty paws, but my best-friend and soul-mate is still here, so I know I will never be alone!


On a side note, I’m cleansing today because I was really sick last night.  Not fun!


LOAD #1

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Lain Ehman’s Layout a Day challenge started today!  I was at school late and didn’t have much time, so I used a digital quick page to create this layout.  Lain’s challenge to us this time is to focus on storytelling, so I’m less worried about the products I use and more centered on crafting a good story.  The prompt today was “Once upon a time.”  As I’m still mourning the loss of Kit, my guess is that many of my layouts over the next week or so will be about her!  The journaling reads:

Once upon a time, there were two beautiful cats named Kit and Tanis. On a fateful day in May, they were rescued from a garbage can, and their people knew that Kit and Tanis must come live with them. The two kittens brought so much joy to their people, and the people fell deeply in love with the little fur balls. Over the next 18 years, Kit and Tanis made the house feel like a home and were the children their people would never have. Yet, Tanis was the first to go, and Kit mourned her loss right along with her people. Kit wandered the house at night, searching, searching in vain for a sister that was forever gone. This sadness took its toll on Kit, and she ended up leaving her people 8 months later. The emptiness their people felt was profound, and loneliness swept through the house. Yet, as they shared stories of Kit and Tanis, the people began experiencing joy again. Memories of Kit and Tanis will help their people live happily ever after.”

I’m going to be out of town for several days this month, so I need to get my digital files organized and placed on my laptop so that I can continue with the challenge on the road.

You Make Me Happy

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I discovered a Sketchabilities contest last night and fell for sketch #20!  Even though I have a ton of school work to do, I decided that, after the stress of the past couple of weeks, I needed to relax and scrapbook.  So, I’ve been working on this layout on and off throughout the day.  I know the lighting on this photo is horrible, but I’m past my 10pm computer cut-off time, so I need to hustle and get to bed.  I had a great time playing with my Silhouette for this layout.  I purchased all the die cuts through the Silhouette store, the background paper is Scenic Route, and everything else is Close To My Heart.  I resisted the urge to further embellishment; I’m trying to simplify my process.  Anyway, this layout makes me happy, so that’s all that really matters!


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!


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!


Creativity Challenge Update

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I haven’t been online much over the past couple of weeks due to the start of the new school year and Neal’s challenging me to stay off my computer! I must admit that I felt a little lost on the days that I didn’t turn on my computer. I’m hopelessly addicted; sad but true! What I have determined is that there is no way I can go without a computer two days during the week–I’m okay with one. On the other days, I simply must force myself to use my time more wisely (e.g. limit the amount of time I spend surfing blogs!).

9/6-12 ~ Complete the Telling Stories Deeply and the Learn Something New Every Day class prompts. Create digi LOs for Learn Something New.
I’ve managed to copy and print all the Telling Stories lessons, but I haven’t written anything yet. I have written in my LSNED journal daily and have completed LOs through the 9th. I’m 10 LOs behind, so I need to increase my speed…story of my life. I’m the slowest scrapbooker EVER!

Blog ~ Post digi LOs. Blog “The Great Escape” story!
Digi, yes. Great Escape, no. I really do want to tell that story!

CTMH ~ Set up new club and place order. Send e-mail to change open house date.
Done and done! My club meets on the 28th and we are completing the September Card Kit; it is so cute!


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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