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Saturday, April 30, 2005


I finally can fit in to the wild and wacky Scrapbook Subculture known as the First Church of Napoleon Dynamite. My husband and I are about to die laughing....this is HILARIOUS.........The costumes, the hair, the Harvest Gold kitchen, the usage of the A Team Theme Song at exactly the right moment.....

Off to work on my skills....don't be jealous because I spend all day talking to babes online.

Friday, April 29, 2005

An addition to my Craft-related Clutter Pile....But SO worth it!

I have no idea what I am going to do with this FABULOUS Michael Miller Memories fabric. I only know that when I saw it at Recollections today I knew at the most visceral level that I simply HAD to have it. My favorite advice? "Don't scold him if he takes a drink!" followed by "Don't Argue! He is always right!"  Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Geeks Rule!

I just took the Geek Test, and here are my results....

30.57199%--TOTAL GEEK.

And you?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Artpad Results......

OK, for your creation or a link to it in your own Blog, and link to your blog from the comments section here...I'll be linking to my Blog entry on 2Peas, which is where I saw the challenge.

I love challenges like this -- they are such a great way to jump start your creativity! (As you can see below, Ali Edwards self-portrait challenge got me going last week....I wonder what's next!)

Now, unlike other MeMe blog participants, I can't seem to find a way to save my finished product so I can upload it here....but while I'm working on that conundrum, check out the painting-in-process here. Flash is required.

Monday, April 25, 2005

MeMe.....I like the sound of that!

From 2Peas:

a meme is an idea that is shared and passed from blog to blog, like a question posted in one blog and answered in many other blogs.

I thought it would be fun to post a challenge, photo assignment or question that we would all answer in our blogs at the same time that week. Then we could post here when we posted so that we could all share together with each other.

"How much closer we'd all be if we stopped long enough to honor one another in a circle of show-and-tell. If we listened to one another's stories, looked at each other's creations. We're all hungry for community. We need more ways to connect. Adults still need show-and-tell. Literally."
-Pam Grout "Art & Soul"


This week [April 24th- May 1] we are going to paint. online. ARTPAD

You have 4 rules.

1. Don't think.
2. Don't judge.

4. You have permission to fail, to be mediocre, to suck sewer slime. Sometimes, when we give ourselves permission to do things poorly, brilliance surfaces.

JUST DO. Paint as little or as much as you want but make it your own.


mine is coming up next! Tomorrow, most likely...sorry for the delay....


I've got it bad. Check out LovelyDesign for funky paper products. I dare you not to hop on my covetous bandwagon....

Oh, and I can't be blamed for all the enabling....I discovered this tasty stuff on Design*Sponge, which I found through the links of the fabulous Kaleidoscopic Kris.

Pass the wanton stuff-lust on, I say......

Happy Mondays

Yes, a cool band.

Yes, a way of life for Mommies everywhere.....

Back from a weekend visiting my Mother-in-Law (which was great -- it was great to spend time with her, and it was so relaxing....) I've said before, I sure love to see that yellow school bus pulling away on a Monday morning.

Bad, Bad Mommy.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Me, Today.

Finally, some creativity, with special thanks to the inspiration from Ali Edwards self portrait challenge.

(And this post is offically inspired by the semi-official E-Scrapper insert-a-link challenge...)

Monday, April 18, 2005

Magazine Discoveries....

Recent journeys into various bookstores have only served to add to my magazine pile....I must be an enabler and share the wealth of time-sucking fascination: (and, I apologize for the fact that I cannot figure out how to make a direct link appear....I need some Madder Skillz, homefries.)

First, for cool modern graphic design inspiration try CMYK magazine...... Very, very cool...Totally not worth ripping out the inspiring pages, you'll want them all....

Then, for the hipster punk rock groovin mommas like me (or like I'd like to THINK is like me...) Try Violet magazine. (Sorry, no subscription link, but check out their website for more info...) Very, very cool stuff.....

Finally, with mad props to a certain Mojito-lovin Lime Queen, I must sent everyone off to subscribe to Ready Made. It totally's like Martha Stewart for folk who seek to display not Drabware platters, but rather a formidable collection of Chuck Taylors.

Happy reading!

Yes, I know it's Been a week......

Why, oh why have I not posted anything here for a full week?

I'll give you a hint.....Someone, to whom I just MIGHT be married.......well, he's working from home. Yes, this is one of the fa-bu-lous things about owning one's own company. It is also one of the things that just might make your wife go a wee bit crazy.

I'm just sayin.

Monday, April 11, 2005

This Handbasket sure is COMFY......

OK, so the Knights of Columbus presented the Gifts at Mass yesterday, in full Knight regalia. Now, I love the Knights, they do great community work...but when I see them enter in their cloaks and befeathered hats, I can't help but hum "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General."

Yesterday, I was not alone. The little girl sitting next to me turned to her mother and said, quite loudly, "MOMMY! LOOK AT THE PIRATES!!!!!"

Yes, Cutie....but don't sit so close....we don't want to tempt God with a 2-for-1 on the Lightning Bolt thing......

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Well Done, Grasshopper! The State of the Primedia Scrapbook Magazines....

We have reached one of those points in the Scrapbooking style cycle where there is widespread speculation about "what direction the magazines are taking." The two Primedia Scrapbook Magazines, Creating Keepsakes (CK) and Simple Scrapbooks (SS) recently updated their layouts, with new typefaces, design, and article organization, which has added fuel to the discussion.

Now, I'll admit up front to being a bit of a SS partisan -- I love both CK and SS for their unique forms of inspiration, but my own style and philosophy has always been more akin to what I see in SS than the more technique-and-embellishment focused CK.

Lately, I have seen some hue and cry that "SS is turning in to CK!" But I'm honestly not seeing it. A big part of this problem stems from a basic misunderstanding of the Simple Scrapbooks editorial mission as I see it. SS was never intended to be "average," a sort of CK-with-training-wheels for the technically challenged. Rather, from its beginning, Simple Scrapbooks was about a basic philosophy: First, The Land of "Caught Up" is unreachable and no fun, anyway. Seriously, it's like trying to go bar-hopping in Salt Lake City. Don't do it, sister. Just choose your favorite photos and stories, and express them in the way that makes you happy. Screw chronology. That, dearie, is mountain biking in Moab. (I've never even been to Utah, but I felt I should be "keepin it real" for scrap mag discussion.) Second, don't fret, enjoy the process. Third, for extra help in making layouts that please you visually, adapt the ideas of others, whether by scraplifting or taking advantage of the coordinated and premade products available today. (Scrapbooking has gotten so huge, there is no need to reinvent the wheel if you don't want to!) Finally, smaller themed albums and layout collections can be quicker and easier than encyclopedic chronological records of Everything We Did. The "Fast, Friendly Formula" worksheet makes it easy to make a theme album using coordinated products and design. All in all, I think that this Scrappin' Wisdom rocks.

Now, I do see some evolution in SS over the recent issues. (Sadly, SS is only bi-monthly. Attn: advertisers -- I buy lots of stuff. I read SS. Send some lovin to them so I can have more to read. Thank you. ) The new organization makes it easy to find specific features and columns (Although I'd like to point out that just because digital scrappers use computers doesn't mean that we want that "Virtual Page" column to be online only -- bring it back to the paper mag, pretty please?) Most notably, there has been a move towards showing and discussing more individual layouts. The theme album concept has not been abandoned, but as one who does primarily stand-alone layouts, I welcome the growing balance I've seen in SS over the last year.

What I *don't* see is this mythical "SS is becoming CK" phenomenon. Flipping through my May/June SS and my April CK, I just don't see it....SS does not have a "new technique" focus at all...I see nothing in there involving exotic tools and supplies, long drying/curing times, or chemical concoctions. Those topics are interesting to me, which is why I like to read CK, but SS knows its audience and sticks instead to design topics like Balance, Color Theory, and Typography...concepts that, for me anyway, are more useful in the long run. The new "Simple Schemes" feature is somewhat similar to the CK-staple Becky Higgins sketch column, true. However, although Becky may have pioneered the widespread use of sketches for "lay" scrapbookers, a quick review of graphic design books at Borders will reveal that the sketch concept is a common tool of the design industry. So, "Simple Schemes" alone does not a CK clone make.

And, then, I flip through my April CK again. And, for the first time, I stop and really read the Editor's Note. It seems Tracy White has a new philosophy of scrapbooking to share! It further seems that Tracy White has been reading a lot of Simple Scrapbooks back issues, as this new philosophy is almost word-for-word the SS philosophy I described above. Whaaaa? This startling read, coupled with the scuttlebut among designers soon-to-be-published in CK, (watch for simpler layouts with more color and a graphic style...sound familiar?) leads me to a shocking conclusion:

Simple Scrapbooks is not "turning into" Creating Keepsakes.
Creating Keepsakes is turning into Simple Scrapbooks!

Yes, I would prefer to get my simple, graphic inspiration in a fatter monthly mag -- but, honestly, I would prefer that SS grew and CK retained its unique niche.... Perhaps CK is struggling to find new techniques to showcase, after the glut of product and techniques that we all experienced during the heyday of the collage style. But, I don't think that an abrupt change of editorial focus is the answer. To thine own self be true, CK....your core audience is full of scrappers who love your focus on new techniques, find ways to build and grow within that!

Wow. I wrote a lot more than I intended.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Book Review: The Decorated Page, by Gwen Diehn

Although this book bears the subtitle of "Journals, Scrapbooks, and Albums Made Simply Beautiful," it does not cover the type of artistic scrapbooking/journaling/album making that I have been blathering about so far. Before I discovered modern scrapbooking, however, I decorated and embellished my journals and letters copiously...and this book has lots of ideas that are rooted in the artistic creation of personal journals and sketchbooks, including some inspiration from altered book artists. There is a information of interest to the scrapbooker here, including a discussion of basic design structures and interesting painting and collage techniques. There is inspiration here for any paper artist.

I was even more intrigued by the questions the book called up in me -- what do I choose to document in my scrapbooks? Why? How do I express myself on the paper, and do my artistic techniques support the message I am trying to send? Great food for thought. Ms. Diehn also is the author of a soon-to-be-released companion volume entitled The Decorated Journal, which I look forward to reading as soon as it hits the stores!

Forget the Wee Bairns.

Who Do you Scrap FOR, Anyway? It's a common enough question among scrappers -- usually directed to those of us who love to torture ourselves with contests and publication. Let's be honest. We do not scrapbook for our children. As I've said before, we STOP scrapping for our children, lest they starve. Well, this page, from my passed over 2005 CK Hall of Fame entry, gives my response to THAT tired old question.

Journaling Reads: I Admit It. I don’t do this for my kids. I don’t do it to preserve my family’s memories, nor do I do it to leave my children a tangible chronicle of their young lives. I don’t look at my children in the misty evening light and think, “this is why I scrapbook.” I do PLENTY for them with the rest of the day. I scrapbook for me. Me, me, ME. This is my outlet, my creative expression, my art. Even if I am creating a layout about my children, it is not really about them and their lives, rather, it is about my experience as their mother. Yes, I am proud to leave my babies with many creations that express my love for them. But I’m mostly proud that I have found a wonderful way to express myself, one that has challenged and inspired me, while introducing me to wonderful new friends from around the world. So there. Posted by Hello

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Book Review: Clean and Simple Scrapbooking, by Cathy Zielske

OK, this is kind of an easy first review -- anyone who knows my various Scrapbooking predelictions knows that Cathy Z is my total scrapbook idol. As an instructional book, this is a good one, with Cathy's well-written and clear explanation of various Graphic Design terms and concepts. As an idea book, it is even better, with lots of CZ's fabulous layouts for ideas on how to create a sleek, modern layout.....Best of all is the "philosophy of scrapbooking" talk all mixed in -- I, for one, love the "Simple Scrapbooks" idea of pulling only your favorite photos out of the shoebox, leaving the rest for the rainy day that never comes.....The day I freed myself from the tyranny of "being caught up" was the day I really started to love and appreciate the expressive power of scrapbooking. A must read! Available by clicking the link least I think...this is a new blog trick for me.....