Monday, December 31, 2012

Word for 2013: Share

Last year I realized that I was spending way too much time and money downloading digital product from lots of places, so I chose 2012 to be a year of streamlining. I cancelled subscriptions, unsubscribed to newsletters, and focused on one website: MScraps. This was a fabulous change for me and it went very well until September. In the nine months of actively scrapping with MScraps, I have 212 layouts posted there! That is a fantastic feat! I was able to become a guest creative team member, earned and won over $100 in free product, and got to know some of the members there. When school started back up in August, I was overwhelmed. I had been scrapping regularly all summer and somehow felt it was time to move my computer down to the basement. I wanted to remove some of the clutter I was feeling. What it really meant was that I would barely touch my laptop for four months.

In retrospect, I have been challenged with keeping any routines going for the past four months. My energy has been sucked into the negative events at my school and in just trying to be a good teacher and an adequate parent. I continued to take pictures and uploaded them to my computer, but I stopped telling my story. I stopped working through my pictures. I have done very little with my photos. But now here I am, with a catalog of over 45,000 digital photos - some keyworded, some captioned, some scrapped. I have over 40,000 digital scrapbooking files - with a good portion that I haven't even looked at since I downloaded them. I haven't even processed the Digi files in the past four months, they are still sitting in the downloads folder.

Let's talk about what I have bought for my photoscrapography habit. Last year I bought Photography Concentrate's Super Photo Editing Skills, Erin Cobb's Clean Scrapbooking for PSE, ebooks from Digital Photography School, The Shutter Sister's book Elevate the Everyday and Chris Orwig's People Pictures. These go unread, un-referenced. I bought PSE11. I bought supplies for my Cinch machine thinking I would make calendars.  I have two scrapbooking memberships: Paperclipping and The Daily Digi (a third if I count Masterful Scrapbook Design, I download and browse). I bought Lifebook 2012 and did one lesson. I bought Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas and did three entries. I want this madness to stop. I want to stop downloading and buying and thinking that I am going to do things. I want to DO things

I am having an epiphany.  I seem to remember a similar pattern last year that led to my declaration of simplifying all the scrapbook information that I consume. I was buying but not learning. I was lured in by the thrill of a shiny new kit or ebook or workshop or class. I would purchase, download, and just let the content sit. I vowed to simplify and I did. In the absence of a creative outlet in the past four months, some of that need I have to be creatively challenged has manifested in purchasing again. I have been buying in the hopes of doing. That is just crazy. Crazy wasteful. Crazy arrogant. Crazy period.

As I have relaxed and been super lazy the past two weeks, I now have some renewed energy to reflect on what went well in my creative life in 2012 and what I want to improve. I know that the thing that I have continued to do all year is to take pictures and upload them to my computer. I am really good about that. I have done a little culling and keywording, mostly to separate school pics from personal pics, but it is a step in the right direction. I have been thinking about ways to simplify my keywords to make the process faster and I have some ideas. I want to keep telling my story because that's the most important reason why I take pictures anyway. I want to scrapbook because that's just fun. I seem to have a need to share my work for positive feedback. In 2012, I shared my work with strangers. I uploaded to my MScraps gallery, getting a little thrill when I read the positive comments (Does anyone write a negative comment?). But I realize that while this kind of feedback does motivate me to improve my digiscrapping skills, I am avoiding sharing my work with the subjects of my photography-my family, my friends. There are ways to do that, Facebook or Flickr for example, but I have not done that.

There it is - my goal for my creative life in 2013 is: Share. (Now I am fighting everything inside me not to go sign up for Ali Edwards One Little Word class, because I did that two years ago. Yeah, no project completed from it.) I have signed up for Lain Ehmann's Crafting Your Business class and I can't wait to start putting some of my ideas to the test of possible business ideas. I believe that I am not the only scrapper who is just wanting something more out of their craft and doesn't quite know how to get it. It's all the trend to Project Life and Week in the Life and Project 365, but I just don't want to set myself up for failure. I have so much already, how can I use what I have to SHARE my message of beauty and simplicity and relationships that is life? I am giving up the MScraps challenges. I am going to see what happens when I start posting and printing and putting myself out there. What will it mean for me in 2013 to share???

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Journal Your Christmas 2012: Prompt 1 Manifesto

Prompt 1: Manifesto for Journal Your Christmas

I thought this class would be a good place to try to find my Christmas spirit. Years of disappointment and unrealistic expectations have left me empty for a season I loved as a child. Even with two young children (ages 8 and 10), I still feel that it is an effort to complete the rituals and traditions that make the season special and memorable. I feel tremendous guilt for that. I have tried different things over the years, but I feel like my spirit is still unchanged - flatlined and unresponsive. Here's what I hope for 2012:

- I will focus on the memories. This project will be a collection of memories, thoughts, feelings, impressions in an effort to ferret out the feelings of warmth and excitement that were so much a part of my childhood Christmases. I want to make the memories for my children and me.

- I will focus on the feelings. I am not going to worry about presents. I am going to give a feeling. I want my children to feel excited and happy when they get their presences. I want them to experience the joy of picking out or making a special gift and giving it. I want them to feel the joy of the season in the lights, the music, the food! I want them to be slightly sad that it's over when we take the tree down and looking forward to next year.

- I will focus on me and balancing my need for creatively expressing myself through writing and photography. I will use pictures I have taken from various days, some current, some old, but I am not going to get hung up on it. I am going to find the photo that best expresses the feeling I want to convey. When I finish with this journal I want a story to be told or a collection of stories that represent my efforts to Finding My Christmas Spirit.


Crafting Q-T's Glass Ball Ornaments 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Little Challenge from MScraps

With the store still not up and running, this challenge was posted to entice members to create a layout using our stash. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to work with some beloved, but retired, kits from This kit was a bloghop freebie I think. I love it, but missed the opportunity to use for challenges because you can't really use a free product to try to earn points toward other products. That makes sense right. This went together in a couple hours because the template made it easy. The template was just named "Template-bloghop" so I can't even credit the designer directly. I am so glad that some consistency in file naming of digisupplies is being promoted by sites like The Digi Files. I would love to check out this designer's other things, but I can't. Oh well. I can still enjoy it!

This also brought back some memories and I can't wait to find pics of when Jacob got this stuffie - a summer project to scan my old photos.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Guest Creative Team Assignment at

Oh boy am I excited to be part of the Guest Creative Team at for the month of June. What that means for my non-scrappy friends is that I get to download digital scrapbooking supplies in exchange for creating layouts and posting them. Frankly, there’s way to many posting requirements for me to think about this as an on-going gig, but for now I can handle it. I am posting to my facebook too.

Heather T is one of my favorite designers at MScraps. I love her artsy, fun kits. This kit, Summer Blast, has so much to offer I can’t stop working with it. Since I am anxiously awaiting the pool water’s arrival later this week, I thought it would be fun to look at last year’s photos. The summer colors of this kit are so inspirational, I found that I didn’t have to recolor anything. Everything fit! Yahoo.

The first two are part of a two-page spread. I created a small grid and foundation that helped tie the pages together. I used blend modes on the paint splotch and the word art, as well as the text, to make them look integrated into the paper. On the second layout I made the 3-flower sticker by adding a 10 pixel stroke to the outside of the rub-on. I love how it came out.  Heather is so clever with her doodles.

The second two pages could stand alone, but I created them to be companion pages. I just love the photos of the girls and their cousin playing at their Aunt Vickie’s. Heather’s stitching is fabulous and so realistic. I used the text tool to make the title art out of this great dragon-fly paper that is part of the kit, although it’s kind of hard to see that that is what it is. The dragonflies on the next page repeat the theme. The title art. Summer Blast, comes directly from the kit except that I applied the Multiply blend mode in PSE. This is my favorite of the four-I really love that photo mask and yellow and gray . . . WOW!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

January Take Twelve for Ella Publishing

This was digitally crafted using ViVa Artistry's "Life Composition" Kit.

This is one of two photography/scrapbooking projects that I am participating in this year to encourage more scrapbooking. Check out Take Twelve at Ella Publishing.