Works in Progress Wall

Posted on in Scrapbooking 6 Comments

Works in Progress Wall 1A few years ago, I pinned the Displaying Art or Scrapbook Layout blog post, because I knew I wanted to add a works in progress wall in our upstairs hallway.  Shortly after that posting, Neal and I went to Ikea to purchase shelving for his office and a few Expedits for the family room.  While we were there, I picked up the DIGNITET stainless steel curtain wire and curtain rings with clips to complete this project.  Yeah, it didn’t happen!  Neal is off work now and was doing some cleaning around the house.  I mentioned this project to him and showed him what I wanted…I came home the next day and it was done!  I now have an awesome works in progress wall!

ikea03Unfortunately, my photos aren’t very good, but you get the idea.  He stretched the wire across the entire wall, so I’m able to fit six double-page layouts on the wall.  Once I got some of my unfinished layouts in the page protectors, Neal asked me why I wasn’t showing off my completed layouts.  I let him know that the works in progress wall was going to motivate me to complete my unfinished projects.  So, that’s my goal for the year.  Each week I want to complete at least one of these unfinished layouts.  When I do that, I’ll go to my Works in Progress binder and grab another layout to put up on the wall.

ikea01So far, it is working.  I have been so motivated by my works in progress wall that I spent a couple hours editing and uploading photos for printing.  Even though I only had one layout on the wall from the Sparkle and Shine Workshop on the Go, I printed Christmas photos from 2012 and 2013 to finish up two other layouts from the kit where I had only cut the papers.  I’m not done with them yet, but I’m motivated to finish the layouts now!




sparkle-shineLOI’ll share more details about this layout on my Tuesday Tool Tip post, so be sure to check back on Tuesday!

Change: Embrace or Curse?

Posted on in Education, Random Thoughts, Scrapbooking Leave a comment

I’ve always been a fan of change, so I’m usually not fazed when life throws me a curve ball.  Honestly, I often feel annoyed when people complain about change.  I know I shouldn’t feel this way, because they are simply expressing their sense of loss in the only way they know how.  At least I have the good sense not to say anything about it…most of the time.  I did have a bit of a freak out moment this school year when the complaining and negativity became too much for me to handle.  LOL!  I won’t go into details because it would be rude and come off as complaining…then I would have to get mad at myself.  Besides, I’m not remotely proud of my behavior.  The point is, I usually celebrate change.  Yet, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed right now.

Change in the Scrapbooking World

Scrapbooking Change

Archiver’s is going out of business and will close shop mid-February 2014.

Yesterday, Archiver’s announced that they are closing shop.  This does not directly impact me as I’ve only visited Archiver’s a handful of times over the years while visiting family in Boise, Idaho.  What distresses me is what this says about the entire industry.  For years, people used the excuse that the economy was bad and that’s why people aren’t scrapbooking.  That may have been true, and it may still be true in some areas of the nation, but, for the most part, people have money to spend.  They simply aren’t choosing to spend their time or money preserving their family memories.  That saddens me and makes me wonder why.  Why was scrapbooking so popular for so many years, and now it feel like it is dying a slow death?  I hear so many people say that they used to scrapbook.  What changes?  Why does something that seems so important to me…memory keeping…seem so unimportant to them?  Even the cave dwellers knew how important it was to record their history, so why are so many personal histories being allowed to be lost?  It makes me sad.

Change in My Life

Perhaps the reason why I’m so melancholy about this is because Neal and I are about to embark on some serious change in our lives, and I’m a little nervous.  The good news is that he is finally going to pursue his dreams of writing.  He is very good…check out his blog, Infinispace.  What I find a little funny right now is that some things don’t change…I can not bring myself to write about personal challenges in a public forum.  This is why I’m a terrible Facebook friend!

Change in Education

I do feel comfortable writing about the changes I’m making as a teacher.  I spent 5 hours working on the Web Design framework yesterday while waiting for my car to be tuned up.  Side note–the next time I go to get my car worked on, I’m packing a lunch!  Today, my colleague and I met for another 3 hours to work on it.  I’m choosing to change the entire unit and am going to write the lesson plans for all the Technology Communications teachers to use.  I’m even going to film video lessons that they can share with their students and that the students will be able to access from home.  That is the beauty of being a teacher…as long as I’m teaching the standards, I have the freedom to change how I’m teaching each unit.  My students’ needs dictate how I teach, and they change every year!  Plus, I love having a job where I can be on my feet most of the day.

Change in Routine

Speaking of being on my feet, I’m going to stop writing and go exercise.  For some reason, I fell off the exercise wagon last year.  I’m not going to do that to myself again this year.  Besides, exercise will help me manage stress and deal with life’s inevitable changes.

Leave me a comment and let me know how you deal with change.  Do you roll with it or need time to vent while processing the change?

Transform Photos into Memories

Posted on in Education, Random Thoughts, Scrapbooking Leave a comment

“Is Facebook making us forget?” Review

Sometimes a photo says it all!

Sometimes a photo says it all!

Earlier this week, I was wasting time on Facebook and happened across the UK article “Is Facebook making us forget? Study shows that taking pictures ruin memories.”  As you might imagine, my interest was piqued, so I stopped aimlessly perusing and read the article.

It briefly recounts a psychological study where university students were asked to either photograph or simply look at art in a museum.  The next day, their memory was tested and it was concluded that “the subjects were less able to recognize the objects they had photographed compared to those they had only looked at.”  Yet, the study also concludes that zooming in on a subject enhances memory since the photographer is focused on the object as opposed to mindlessly snapping away.

I'll always remember the joy I felt as she looked at the scapbook I made her for Christmas...I just wish I had a better photo of that moment.

I’ll always remember the joy I felt as she looked at the scapbook I made her for Christmas…I just wish I had a better photo of that moment.

Clearly, I love photographs.  Yet, I’ve been guilty of seeing an event through the lens of my camera instead of fully experiencing it in the moment.  So, I’ve been trying to be better about handing the camera to someone else.  In fact, I decided to leave my DSLR at home for Christmas and simply snap a few photos for my album with my phone…more on that in a moment.

The final paragraph states that “research has suggested that the sheer volume and lack of organization of digital photos for personal memories discourages many people from accessing and reminiscing about them…In order to remember, we have to access and interact with the photos, rather than just amass them.”  The educator in me started jumping up and down at this point, because teachers know that “learning requires active involvement. Learning happens when students actively process information through writing, talking, and transforming by using a variety of organization strategies” (Duke & Pearson, 2002).  We must get our photos off the camera/phone and transform them into something new.

Transform Photos!

This is why I scrapbook.  I reflect upon the photos I take, organize them either by event or person, and capture my memories through journaling.  I transform the photos and stories into blog posts, digital or paper scrapbook pages, and even home décor.  The time I spend with those photos allows me to relive the event, so I take my time when making layouts.  I love that process.

The day I didn't take the photos...thank goodness for Photoshop!

The day I didn’t take the photos…thank goodness for Photoshop!

So, what happens to me when someone else takes the photos or I leave my camera behind?  In the moment, I may enjoy myself more, such as when my husband took photos during our day trip to Positano, Italy.  Yet, when I later saw the photos, I agonized over the fact that they all had a blue tint. The act of reliving the event through my scrapbook was not nearly as enjoyable.  The same thing happened to me this year at Christmas.  I snapped a few photos with my phone, but the poor quality of the images distresses me and makes me wish I had taken my good camera. 

In 2014, I will strive for a happy medium.  I will take my DSLR to events and capture several photos that I know will make me happy.  I’ll also let other people take photos so that I’m in the story, as well. I’ll experience the moment with my own eyes, but I’ll also let the camera help me capture the moments that I want to remember the most.  When I get home, I’ll organize, reflect, and transform! 

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think about this study. 

Creating Keepsakes to Stop Publishing

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CK-Sept-Oct2013-200pxSaying Goodbye to Creating Keepsakes

As the Internet gained in popularity, the publishing industry suffered.  Many newspapers moved to an online only format and magazines closed shop.  The scrapbooking industry has been hit especially hard by this recent trend.  As sad as it may be, it really does make sense.  Companies have moved their advertising dollars online, because they can hit a wider and larger audience than print advertising.  Magazines such as Creating Keepsakes responded by decreasing the size of their print magazine and moving a lot of the content online.  This frustrated consumers, so many stopped subscribing.  Why pay for an online magazine when there are millions of layouts/ideas on Pinterest for free?!  So, Creating Keepsakes announced today that it will cease publication after the November/December issue.  Those of us who subscribe will receive two monthly issues of their new online magazine, Paper Crafts & Scrapbooking, for every issue left on our Creating Keepsakes subscription.   Lots of subscribers are upset and would prefer a refund.  I’m looking forward to seeing the format of the online magazine, but I know that I won’t subscribe to it.  Even though I have access to Creating Keepsakes’ online editions, I don’t use them that often.

So, here is what I’m wondering…will Creating Keepsakes continue sponsoring their conventions (CKC)?  I remember when I wouldn’t miss a CKC.  In fact, for several years, my friends and I attended the Seattle AND Portland CKCs.  Yet, again, I think the Internet is hurting business.  People expect a good deal when they go to these shows.  Yet, I often found that vendors were selling REALLY old product that was only slightly discounted.  Why would I spend my money on old product when I can buy new product online for a greater discount.  Since most online stores don’t have a brick and mortar storefront, they can afford to discount their product since they have less overhead to cover.  Convention vendors have the expense of travel and lodging on top of shipping their inventory from show to show.  I think these shows will eventually go the way of the magazines.

So, goodbye Creating Keepsakes!  It has been nice knowing you.  Leave a comment and let me know what you think about this news.  Are you disappointed to see the magazine go?  Will you read it online?  Do you still attend CKCs?  If not, why?

Free Photo Editing Class!

Posted on in Photoshop, Scrapbooking Leave a comment

Free Photo Editing ClassJessica Sprague is offering another free photo editing class that starts next week.  Even better than a free week long class is that she will add another week if she reaches her enrollment goal.  Not going to be in town that week?  Not a problem!  As a Close To My Heart consultant, I’ll be at convention next week, but I’ll be able to access the content when I get home.  That’s the beauty of Jessica’s classes, once you purchase (or sign up in this case) a class, you have forever access to the videos, handouts, and supplies.

Not a scrapbooker?  Not a problem!  Much of what Jessica teaches us about Photoshop and photo editing has nothing to do with scrapbooking.  If photos are a part of your life, you will love to learn some creative editing techniques.

Don’t have Photoshop?  What’s wrong with you?!  LOL!  Just kidding!  Seriously, you can download the full version of Photoshop Elements for a 30-day free trial.

Still not interested?  That’s okay.  I hope you will still sign up for the free class to help the rest of us get another 6 days for FREE!

More Online Classes

I’m truly a life-long learner!  In addition to taking classes at, I’m also a huge Big Picture Classes fan.  One of the great things about Big Picture Classes is that they have a rewards program.  If you sign up for the site using this link, we will both be rewarded with a 10% coupon for our next class after you make your first purchase.  It’s a win-win for both of us!

My Current Classes

Right now I’m taking two online classes.

Leave a comment below if you sign up for the class.  Also, let me know about your favorite online classes.

Scrapbooking with Cricut and Dream Pop

Posted on in Cricut, CTMH, Scrapbooking 1 Comment

hy have I been neglecting my blog as of late you may ask?  It’s because I’ve been busy celebrating National Scrapbooking Month with Cricut and the May CTMH specials, Dream Pop & Pinwheel Stamp of the Month.  I can’t get over how excited I am about this kit!  Here is a quick video about the special from CTMH:

Dream Pop Kit & Cricut ShapesDream Pop

Now, I will be the first to admit that I’m surprised by how much I love this kit.  The colors are far brighter than what I would typically choose for myself.  Even so, I found the perfect photos to match the papers for the Dream Kit Workshop on the Go from a Disney cruise!

Use the Artiste Cricut cartridge to cut these cute pinwheel shapes!Cricut & the May Pinwheels Stamp of the Month

What is even sweeter is that CTMH provided a Workshop on the Go for us this month using this kit and the May Pinwheels Stamp of the Month.  I used the Artiste cartridge to cut the journaling tag and large pinwheel shapes.  Stamping on the Cricut shapes is a snap, but I still had to cut out the smaller shapes for layering.  It’s totally worth the time I spent on this layout, because it makes me happy!

I’ll share more of my Dream Pop layouts this week.  Contact me if you want your own kit and Workshop on the Go directions.



13 in 13 Day 6

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by Close To My Heart

by Close To My Heart

When I first saw this artwork on page 48 of the 2012 Autumn/Winter Idea Book at Convention last summer, I fell in love!  It wasn’t the paper or the colors, it was truly the design of the wall hangings.  I knew that I had to create that for my home.  I instantly thought about the empty space above the TV and knew it would be perfect there.  In retrospect, it won’t look as cute as the display in this photo, but at least I’ll get to admire it every time I’m watching TV!

Close upLuckily, because I attended Convention, I was able to look at the artwork up close and personal!  That is one of the many perks to being a Close To My Heart Consultant.  We’re allowed to take as many photos as we like which has helped me tremendously as I recreate some of the gorgeous artwork from the Idea Books.  Close To My Heart also provides us with recipes for each Idea Book.  Did you know that you can download the recipes from my website?!

The recipe let me know that I was going to cut out a bunch of hearts from the Art Philosophy Cricut® cartridge and also gave me the cutting sizes!  That part of it could not have been any easier.  At this point, I can’t remember how many hearts I cut out, but it is a LOT.

Now the fun part…scoring, folding, and inking the edges of all those little hearts!  That’s what I did today for a very extended 13-minutes while we watched the Seahawks game.  This is probably the most time consuming  project I’ve ever done.  I didn’t even come close to finishing today, and this project has been sitting on my table for a month!

This is my version using Avonlea!

This is my version using Avonlea!

So, the good news is that I finished up the left side of the layout with my club last month.  The bad news is that the right side still has a bunch of hearts to fold, but everything has been inked.  The depressing news is that the middle section hasn’t been touched…do you see all the hearts on that page?!  The good news is that my club comes back in a week, so I have to finish it by then!  So, guess what I’m spending 13-minutes a day on for the rest of this week?!

13 in 13 Day 5

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UFOsI only spent 13 minutes gathering all my UFOs…unfinished objects!  But I did take a little more time organizing them.  I have them broken down by completed layouts that only need photos and journaling, by layout bases without any embellishments, and by layout kits.  The kits will come with me to crops this year and I’ll spend 13 minutes a day on the other two categories until they are finished!  What that really means is that I need to do a better job of organizing my photos so that I can quickly find what I need to finish these layouts.  I’m going to spend any free moment I have revisiting the Library of Memories and Finding Photo Freedom classes I took from Stacy Julian at Big Picture Classes.

If you aren’t yet a member of BPC, use this link to sign up for your free account.  We will both earn 10% off our next class once you have purchased your first class!  I’m glad I brought this up today, because I have a 10% discount set to expire in a few days.  Hmmm…which class should I take?!  I’ve been looking at Photo Finish with Elisha Snow, so I guess it was meant to be!  I HIGHLY recommend Stacy’s Finding Photo Freedom.  You can register for it now, but the class doesn’t start until 2/7.  Leave a comment below letting me know which class you take.

13 in 13 Day 4

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The weekend approaches…you know what that means?  I’m spending more than 13 minutes a day on my memory keeping activities!  So, my goal tonight is to gather the supplies I need in one spot so I’m ready to go tomorrow.  I’m breaking my list down into the types of projects I plan on creating this year.  I’m primarily a scrapbooker, but you can select what you need based on your form of memory keeping.

Journaling:  OhLife & decorated journal

Inspiration:  Pinterest & Smash book for holding other bits of inspiration

Organization:  CTMH Medium Organizer, Small Organizer, foam inserts, and craft boxes.

Project Life:  CTMH vertical & horizontal photo storage pages, a variety of Flip Flaps, stamps, paper/cardstock, and coordinating embellishments.

Studio J:  This is my online scrapping studio where I will be creating most of my layouts this year.  Be sure to visit my Studio J page to learn more and sign up for a FREE account!

UFOs:  I’m keeping a stack of unfinished objects to work on this year.  In 13 minutes a day, I can add the finishing touches and put these pages into albums!

Cameras:  Cell Phone & DSLR

13 in 13 Day 3

Posted on in Scrapbooking 2 Comments

day3_01“If you clean it, he will sit!”

Absolutely love the fact that my husband hung out with me in my office for a little bit today.  I tell you, 13 minutes of my time cleaning off a spot for him was totally worth it!

I don’t feel good today.  I’m on day 3 of the Master Cleanse and it really did a number on me this evening.  So, I decided to organize my thoughts for 13 minutes instead of my craft room.

I believe the most important part of memory keeping is the journaling. Period. We can take really cute photos and pair them with trendy products, but it won’t mean much to us when we are old if we can’t remember who the people are, what was going on in the photos, or–more important–how it made us feel. So, regardless of the form of memory keeping (scrapbook layout, Facebook/blog post, Project Life, Smash book, diary, video, Etc.), we need to take a few minutes each day to jot down our thoughts and feelings. If we do this consistently, it will become a habit and the pile of unfinished layouts just waiting for journaling will disappear…but maybe that’s just me.  😉

I use a free website called OhLife to record my daily journaling.  They send me an email each day asking “How’d your day go?”  I simply hit reply and type.  When I hit send, it is posted to my private, online journal.  You can tell it what time you want to receive the email.  So, if you like to type your journaling and want to keep it private, this is the site for you.  Others of you may prefer to keep it public and use a blog, Facebook, or Twitter.  Some of you may prefer to write it in a journal/diary by hand.  Whatever your method…just write!

So, set the stopwatch for 13 minutes, sign up for OhLife or pull out your journal, and organize your thoughts.

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