Friday, September 24, 2010

Sketches In Thyme

Have you stopped by the Sketches In Thyme blog yet this week?  Yesterday a brand new sketch by Helen Croft was posted as well as the Design Team's take on it.  I think everyone did a fantastic job on the sketch and we all came up with such different looks!  Here is my take on this great sketch as well as the sketch itself.  I used the last of my Girls Paperie papers and embellishments on this layout...the photo was taken during our summer trip to Busch Gardens.  I really love the photo, just wish I had thought to remove my sunglasses!  I do that ALL THE TIME and then am disappointed when I see the photo!  

Swimming in the Abyss!!

For those of you who follow my blog and have sent me emails to see if I am ok, the short answer is yes, all is well!  Unfortunately my real life has become a bit more demanding and the one thing I can push to the side right now without an incredible amount of guilt is scrapbooking.  Its been weeks since I've been able to check out other blogs or visit the sites I regularly participated on.   I miss seeing all the inspiration out there but honestly, I sort of feel a sense of relief as well.  I was getting to the point where if I didn't create at least a half dozen layouts in the course of a weekend I was angry at myself.  I found that I was creating layouts just to use a particular sketch or have an entry in a particular challenge contest.  This said, I WILL still use sketches and participate on challenge blogs "when I want to" instead of putting unnecessary pressure on myself to "HAVE" to do it.  If a sketch or challenge doesn't move me or inspire me in a way that makes me excited about jumping in and creating....I'm not doing it!   Can you believe that I have not even purchased a single piece of paper (until yesterday when I did a big order!) since JUNE!  Yep, my last order was 3 months ago and I haven't even used it all yet.  That was another problem....I was buying like crazy without any idea what I would use the stuff for!  As the title of this post reads....I felt like I was swimming in the great scrapbooking abyss and getting nowhere for my efforts.  So its time to regroup.  I will shift my focus and only work on layouts that I am inspired to create...if it happens to meet a challenge--great.  If not...that's great too!  I seriously considered packing up my stuff and calling it quits again (I did that once for 2 whole years!) and giving the kids back their playroom.  I have been THAT uninspired and overwhelmed by the restrictions and expectations I was putting on myself.  But rather than go the drastic route, I am just going to refocus myself.  So yes, there will be new layouts posted.  But will there be new posts all the time...not likely.  So if you do not hear from me here for a week or two at a time, please don't fret.  I'm still here, I'm doing ok.  Just doing it "my way" now!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

First Day Of School

Well hello blog friends!! Seems like its been forever since I have scrapped anything! I have a few to upload today but unfortunately am running against the clock as Matt's first OFFICIAL Football game is tonight and I have yet to get in the shower, figure out what they are going to eat before the game, etc. So for now, I will just post this one. I LOVE it! I am playing along with the Sketch-a-thon over at Sketches For You and this layout is based on a sketch by Liz Qualman for one of the challenges. Head on over and see what else is going on for Sketch-a-thon. I used some leftover pieces of Bo Bunny paper, the letter paper I am not sure who makes but I have had it for years! Still have another piece too! The apple die cut has also been in my stash from when I used to do swaps and that hasn't happened since 2002 (since I went back to work Full Time)!! See...I never get rid of ANYTHING! The "chalkboard" was made using Coredinations Black Magic paper with the cream center and I sanded it lightly to make it look like it had chalk erased from it. My kids laughed at me when I asked them if it looked like a chalkboard! What do they know! That's it for now! I will be back tonight or tomorrow with the rest!
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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Time for each other...

One of the things I am most proud of with Susie & Matt is how they still, even at 12 & 13, don't mind just hanging out, taking a ride, or doing something silly with me. And even more, that they actually like each other and have fun doing things together. Now I am not naive, I realize that this can and probably will change (hopefully only for their teenage years!) but for right now, it just makes my heart grow with pride that I have been blessed to be able to raise these two beautiful human beings.

This layout sort of evolved. I was going with more of a "road trip" theme - hence the papers which are from The Paper Company Studio and their Spring Break line. But as I was thinking about a title, I just keep looking back at the photo which was taken on one of the early summer days when we had nothing to do and decided to hop in the car and take a walk around the Historic Village of Smithville. Now honestly, for a 12 and 13 year old - this is not something fun to do. In fact, even less so when you consider that we live one town away so its not even NEW to them. But it was time we got to spend together...just the three of us. And that was worth more than a trip of a lifetime could be. We stopped in the bakery in the Village and the kids each got a donut. They sat down next to each other on a park bench and even shared a soda! They still love each other....they just may not admit it!!

Other than the paper, the only thing I added was a Jillibean Soup journal spot and some black ric rac, and black letters by Luxe. I did this layout for the "September Scraplift the GCT" challenge at A Cherry On Top. Again, because its not my layout to post here, you can check out her work in her gallery at ACOT.
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Earl, Change & Thanks!

Before I get into the other stuff, I wanted to take a minute to thank those of you who have been keeping my mom in your prayers. I think they are working! I didn't mention anything about it because I've been a little scared, but on Wednesday morning I got a call that stopped me in my tracks. Myself, my sister and brother were summoned to the hospital where my mom has been for going on one month now. She has a laundry list of things that are wrong so its hard to say "she's got this" or "this is what's wrong" because it varies from day to day. Basically we thought we were losing did the doctors. I live an hour and a half away on a good day, but currently the Garden State Parkway is under major construction and it took over 2 hours to get there. My brother and sister are both closer. As I was about 45 minutes away I got a text from my brother to slow down...that she was OK. Turned out that she had, in fact, died twice the night before and NOT ONE DOCTOR called us until 8:30am the following day. They were able to revive her but needed us there to get her paperwork in order for a Living Will, DNR, etc. because what they did to revive her was not extreme but given the fact that her wishes were unknown, and the fact that she's old and not in good health, they would not have done anything more. Thank GOD she responded to what they did do and I still have my mom today. She is by no means out of the woods, but I have to believe that all of the prayers being said for her are being answered. We joke that my mom is like a cat....except she appears to have way more than 9 lives! I know in my heart that the end is near....maybe not tomorrow, maybe not even next month...but I am so grateful to have her TODAY. So thank you, from my family and most especially ME.

This layout has been in progress on my desk for over 24 hours! I NEVER take this long. I just couldn't get it to flow the way I wanted...I originally had a bird/cage theme going and changed directions to the butterflies because I just love that quote which I used for the title. "Without change, there'd be no butterflies". I used Fancy Pants Happy Together papers, a Martha Stewart butterfly punch, the bling I added with my brandy new i-Rock tool that I got using a 40% coupon at Michaels! The title letters are Jenni Bowlin and Anna Griffin. The swirl is Heidi Grace and the hinges I cut on my Cricut.

And finally, we stopped by the beach this evening to see what Earl was churning up.  In case you didn't know, I live in NJ and am only 1/2 mile from the Bay and a few more miles from the ocean. The sunset was breathtaking and the waves, while not as bad as we were anticipating, were definitely a sight to behold. Nature is beautiful and I just wanted to share a few photos!  All of these were taken on Brigantine Beach...some looking towards the ocean, the others with the Atlantic City Skyline behind the jetty.

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

France - Busch Gardens

So here I am! Its my LAST Thursday night that I can stay up late and scrap...tomorrow is my last Friday off for the summer. On Tuesday its back to 5 days a week!! So of course I had to make the most of it and got right to work on a layout as soon as I got home. Only thing is, I didn't plan for it to take me almost 3 hours to complete (well I did leave twice to take and pick up Matt from Football).
This layout is *I think* the last of the country layouts from our trip to Busch Gardens last month. Here we have FRANCE! I combined two challenges with this layout....the first being the sketch challenge at Let's Scrap. Check it out....there's a GREAT prize from Jillibean Soup to be won! The second is the September Color Challenge at A Cherry On Top which is to use Blue and Brown and you could use another neutral. I used papers from Fancy Pants Happy Together collection, added a bunch of doo dads from Heidi Grace, K&Co, some blue flowers, brown buttons, blue pearl brads, brown and blue dotted ribbon, the Eiffel Tower I cut on my Cricut using an SVG from A Southern Belles SVGs and doilies from Wilton that I sprayed with Walnut Gold Glimmer Mist. I am very pleased with how my Busch Gardens layouts are coming out!

Not sure what's up next but in case I am not back tonight or tomorrow (busy day ahead) I want to let everyone in the path of Hurricane Earl know that I am hoping that you weather the storm and stay safe! We have cleared out the loose items in the yard and more or less battened the hatches for what we are expecting which is just some pretty strong sustained winds and rain. But living a block from the water anything is possible so we are prepared to lose power, see some flooding, etc. Hopefully we will not have to evacuate. Stay Safe Everyone!!
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