Monday, February 19, 2018

Very Punny

My daughter is a connoisseur of puns, appreciating wholly the little witticisms that make weaker people cringe and beg for mercy. My most recent page using the Hip Kit Club January kits celebrates this trait.
Seriously, though -- what else could I have done with a pic that features a large lobster in the background?  

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Hidden Treasures

I don't mean to be a Judgy McJudgerson, but I must confess that layouts without any journaling (or with vague titles like "Best Day Ever!" and no explanation whatsoever for what made that day the best on record in all of human history) make me reach for my figurative gavel. As eye-catching as they can be, I inevitably find myself searching for the story.  

And yes, I know that photos can tell a story all on their own, and that sometimes people create pages that are all about art for art's sake, but by and large, for me, when it comes to the business of documenting one's memories in scrapbook form, without journaling, something


Thus, I was understandably a little self-conscious about sharing this layout.  Where's the story? 
Lest we venture into pot and kettle territory here, let me assure you that the journaling does indeed exist on this page -- it's just hidden! 
Tasked with creating a layout with hidden journaling, I tucked the journaling into the layers of the page, stitching on a tab to call attention to this particular layer. 

It feels strange to me to look at the page and not see the words jump out right away.  

There is something to be said about hiding one's journaling, not just for privacy's sake or to surprise someone who comes upon that page someday, but also because some designs don't easily open themselves up to the inclusion of journaling. Sometimes they do feel visually complete without additional text, and finding a home for one's story, spatially speaking, can be a challenge. 

I actually liked doing this so much that I did it again on another recent Hip Kit Club layout, this one also using the January 2018 kits. 
Maybe hidden journaling offers a compromise -- though storytelling is as important as it has always been, a layout need not have visible journaling on it in order to feel complete (though I admit, a stubborn part of me is still reluctant to go hunting for it -- ha). 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

In Review

Every year, I create a review page, and it usually looks similar to the ones that preceded it -- a grid with twelve photos. However, this year, as a member of the Get It Scrapped Creative Team, I was challenged to depart from the usual grid approach and to try something different.  

I wasn't the only one -- you can see what others on the team came up with on this past week's GIS blog post, "Creative Approaches for Your Year-in-Review Pages.

As I considered how to arrange the photos, I thought about the way that time moves. Initially, I had a timeline in mind, but something about a linear design felt wanting. A spiral approach made sense to me, representing the way that each year, we loop around, though we never end up in the same moment again. 

It's a little tough to see, but I stitched a spiral over the photos, starting with January and ending with December. I even used rhyme -- something I rarely do with journaling -- to create a sense of rhythm, connection, and continuity.

Will I return to the grid next year? Who knows? Trying something different was good for me creatively, although there is no way that I could ever give up the grid altogether. 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Five True Things

1. I am sick. Waaaah.  I'm all coughy and achy and wheezy and whiny. This seems to happen every January, just as the semester begins. Everyone comes back from break reeking of pestilence. It's tradition!

2. I never get tired of watching Friends reruns. They are especially helpful with regard to #1.

3. Even though I am being ravaged by microbes or viruses or whatever, I still oddly feel like a little scrap therapy. Combined with #2, it might actually make me feel better.

4. My most recent Hip Kit Club layout is one of my favorites, ever.
By the way, the February kits are up on the HKC site today! I'm loving the colors in the main kit:

5. I hope you're having a non-sickly Saturday -- I really do! 

Monday, January 15, 2018

(Non-Nuclear) Winter in Hawai'i

The birds chirp away, the blue skies abound, and the tradewinds blow gently -- all blessings, all signs that life as usual in Hawai'i continues.

It's wintertime here in the islands, which is, as you might imagine, is quite different from winter in most other places on the globe. A Hawai'i winter is the subject of my most recent page (completed before my mind was forced to grapple with the likelihood of a nuclear winter). 
I love the lightness and sweetness of this page.  It's how I want to remember January. 

You may have noticed that there is evidence of a cut file having been used to create this page. My first-gen Silhouette, now defunct, was finally replaced by a Cameo 3, a Christmas gift from my husband, who clearly knows my scrappy heart. 

The file was designed by Elsie Robinson, DT member at Hip Kit Club, and although I'm pretty sure it is supposed to look like festive confetti, it translates as "island snow" on this page, with the rainbow effect created by the white cardstock being placed over the colorful background paper designed by another DT member, Irit Landgraf. 

This page makes me happy -- it feels like home to me. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Onward -- Again

Yesterday at 8:07 a.m., I was woken by a high-pitched tone and this message on my phone:

I jolted up out of bed and scrambled with my family to -- 

to do what? 
I know I've read about this, but I can't remember anything right now. 
Why can't I remember? 
This: we only have minutes. 
Where are my jeans? 
Is this real? 
Oh, God, he really did it -- 
that last tweet about the nuclear button sent North Korea over the edge. 
Close the windows. 
Where are my jeans? 
Get the water bottles. 
Canned goods. 
Where are my jeans? 
Is there a shelter? Are we supposed to go somewhere? 
We only have minutes. 
Check the site. 
It's down. 
I can't find my jeans! 
Turn on the TV. 
Is this it? 
I'll just wear pants. 
Call Mom. 
I love you. 
Love you. 
Love you. 
What are the neighbors doing? Where are they going? 
The school isn't any safer. 
They left their dog outside. 
Can we bring dogs? I can't leave them. 
We can't leave. There's no time. 
At least we are together. 
Where do we go? 
Where are they going? 
Try the radio. 
Nothing? Still? 
What is happening? 
God be with us. 
At least we are together, at the end. 

Then, finally, on a local TV channel --
false alarm. 

Are you sure? 
How can you be sure? 
What is happening? 
Please, God. 
Why are the newscasters wearing suits and red dresses and so much makeup? 
Did they really stop to get dressed before going on air with this? 

38 minutes after the first message, the false alarm was confirmed. 
Operator error. 

And I went outside and stared at the sky and
thank you, God
thank you
thank you
thank you
for this day
for this life
thank you
thank you
thank -- 

and then the anger

because we all believed -- 
because it was real until it wasn't -- 
because we live in this world: 

And the neighbors returned home,
children still crying.
The child who left her dog behind asked me,
"Did you take your dogs?"
Don't worry, I told her,
I was watching out for yours. 

And throughout the day, I felt as if I was moving under water, 
every trivial act of living -- paying bills, hitting "like," deciding what to eat --  
suddenly heavy, weighted, 

and I returned to myself several times that day,
not realizing that I had just been sitting or standing, motionless, 
concentrating on the cadence of my breath. 

I slept fitfully, staring at the illuminated time on the clock, 
minutes that I would not have been present for,
and in my dreams, a sudden startling,
and in my waking, an unquiet mind. 

What are we supposed to do? 

Saturday, January 6, 2018


It's six days into 2018, and I'm both exhausted and exhilarated.

I've been deep-cleaning my scrapbooking area, which, over the course of two decades, has encroached upon our living room. It's insane how much STUFF one can acquire, how many billions of little die-cuts and accents can build up in drawers and trays, and how stubbornly I held on to items for years -- with "someday" in mind -- instead of using them.

Lesson learned: I'm going to move forward into 2018 with a cleaner, pared-down space, and I'm going to embrace a "use it or lose it" philosophy when it comes to my supplies. It's just so difficult to give up supplies that I love -- or that I know that I will love on some undetermined future project. I know that making more room for supplies isn't the answer, though. My scrapbooking space has encroached on nearly half of our living room!  Now that the cleaning is done, everything feels more open.

Even though it is a holiday "break" for me as a teacher, it has not really felt like one. Today was actually the first day of down-time since the break began. I think I've had something like twelve hours of sleep. In a few days' time, I'll be back to six hours a night (if I'm lucky). I'm not looking forward to that.

The time over the break was well spent, even though it has gone by so quickly. My family enjoyed the holidays together, my dogs and I immersed ourselves in some pack-building cuddling, my daughter got me hooked on Riverdale (weirdest piece of Archie comics fan work ever), and I experienced a giant boost in productivity and creativity.  I was also asked to join the Hip Kit Club team! Here's my first layout as a team member, using the December 2017 kits:
After a busy-busy-busy December, my mind is still a little cloudy, and there are still (as there will always ever be) items on my "To Do" list that need addressing. 

My word for the year is "onward," and the idea behind that is regardless of my mood or circumstances, I will embrace the spirit of moving forward hopefully. This means trying mindfully not to (1) procrastinate, (2) fixate on situations or deliberate on decisions to the point of inaction, and (3) hold on the past (for instance, in my scrap stash -- ha ha). 

Thanks for visiting today!