Sunday, September 9, 2012

LSNED: Many Happy Returns of the Day

Today is my 35th birthday!  For as much as birthdays signify the passage of time moving forward, I find that most of the time I spend my "very special day" looking backward and today was no different.  After getting up, I turned on my TV and there was The Sound of Music.  Immediately, I was jolted back to being a little kid in my parents room watching Maria and the rest of the VonTrapp family.  I could remember singing along to the movie and knowing most of the scenes by heart. I so wanted to travel to Austria and climb every mountain and sing the Sound of Music at the top of my lungs.  (Only years later, on another birthday, would I learn that I am deathly afraid of heights - so mountain top singing is out).  Not much has changed since then.  I propped up the pillows and spent the morning in my PJs singing right along and still wishing that I was one of the VonTrapps (specifically, Liesel).

Over the past few days, I've been looking at pictures of myself over the years and thinking about who I was at 5, 15, 25, and now 35.  Sometimes its feels like I've changed so much from living at home, going to college, starting my first real job, moving out and going to law school, buying my first home and traveling abroad on my own.  Other times, however, it seems like life has been fairly consistent over the years. I still love pasta and chocolate, I cut the ends off my bread when making a sandwich, I sing in car whenever I'm driving, I hate whipped cream and Coca-Cola is my favorite beverage in the world.

I was trying to think of a profund lesson or tidbit that I should take away for the day, but I couldn't.  The one thought that kept coming to me was that 35 doesn't feel all that different from 34.  So here's what I look like at 35. I'm definitely looking forward to this next year, but am also excited to look back a year from now to see whether the girl below is still the same or slightly different.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

LSNED - Day 2

Today's prompt challenged me to begin thinking about individuals who have been great teachers in my life.  My first thoughts went immediately to my parents, as they were and still are the greatest influence in my life. However, I wanted to expand my thoughts here and I then began thinking back to my high school guidance counselor, Sandy Cirello.  When I was in 11th grade, my family moved back to the East Coast after a short stint living in Texas.  Starting a new school is hard enough at any age, but starting the two years of High School was a group of students who have largely been together since Elementary School is quite daunting.  Enter Ms. Cirello.  She was that person who helped me acclimate to my new school, but more importantly, gave me a permanent place to hang out for the last period of the day my Senior Year.  During those days, we would talk about going to college, boys and although I didn't fully realize it at the time, the beginning phases of transitioning into adulthood.  Ms. Cirello's office was a place where I could express myself without any concern about what others would think.  I look back on those days fondly and always with a smile.

I remember that we once takes about taking risks in life and how important it is to stretch yourself and feel those inklings of tension when stepping out of your comfort zone.  In my work profession, I often observe that lawyers are usually made up of people who have always stayed within the lines and rarely broke the rules; I count myself in this description.  Accordingly, I often have to remind myself that its okay to take risks and that baby steps are okay.  So, today I was working on the first page of my album when I realized that it was going to be a bit difficult for me to create a page and work around the binding in the album.  I then remembered once seeing a Daybook mini album on the Studio Calico blog  where the blogger began by taking the Daybook apart; so I decided that I was going to do the same thing.  I knew that separate pages would make it easier for me to work with the pages that were included and to add an additional six pages since there were not enough for 30 days worth of journaling.  Taking a deep breath, I grabbed my scissors and began cutting away at the threads in the book and kept pushing forward even though I had the thought in the back of mind that this was going to be a BIG mistake (seriously, they sell the book in one piece for a reason!).  After cutting the book apart and then cutting the pages in half, I had a feeling that it was going to be alright and that the risk (albeit small) was worth it in the end.  The lesson for the day: Risk is often the prerequisite to reward.

I took the picture below of my new album, including the cut up pages, along with some supplies for a bit of color for my new page.  I'll post the completed page when its finished.

Learn Something New Everyday - Lesson 1

Just a quick post to show you the first page from my LSNED book.  Hope you are having a great Labor Day weekend.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Learn Something New Everyday 2012

A couple of weeks ago, I signed up for Shimelle Laine's Learn Something New Everyday ("LSNED) class. If you are not familiar with Shimelle, she's a pretty popular paper crafter who teaches over at Two Peas in a Bucket and is on the design teams of a host of recognizable scrapbooking companies. Each September she teaches LSNED and the focus of the class is to take time each day to reflect on lessons learned and journal and/or scrap your observations.

Each day we receive a prompt to help guide our thoughts on the lesson(s) learned for the day.  Today's prompt asked us to complete this sentence "The last big adventure of my life would probably be ...."  My immediate thought to this question was my recent trip to Rome, my last post included pictures from the mini album I created.  After thinking about the question some more, I realized that some of the everyday things I do are just as much of an adventure as the big trips I take.  Although the scope may be smaller, the impact can be just as great.  Yesterday evening, I came home from work and began cleaning out my craft space.  I have a ton of paper and product that have not been touched and/or used in months, weeks or years (I know I'm not the only one out there).  So I commenced by cleaning mission and ended up with a small moving box worth of papers and product that I'll be donating to a local school district.  The purge, however, was just the beginning of my new organizational project.  This morning, I made a list of errands and organizational products and hit the Container Store and IKEA.  I was back home by 11:00 a.m. and began cleaning out some closets, but more importantly, bringing some structure to my office.  By 5:00 p.m., I had reorganized my shelving units, moved some furniture around and cleaned up by desk.  I finally sat down, began to feel the aches of a day of work, but was so happy with how the space felt and how I felt in it.  Here's a picture of the finished product (at least the craft side of my room).  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a before but know that the whole furniture arrangement aside from the bookshelf on the left was different this morning and the small lamps on my desk were not there at all.

My plan tomorrow is to tackle the other side of the room, where my other desk and bookshelves are located.  I'm ordering shelving tomorrow and hope to have it installed by the end of the week; I'll do my best to remember to do a post with before and after shots.

So you may be thinking, what lesson did I learn today?  The first that came to mine was how creating a list made me very productive from the outset of the day.  Creating a list keeps me very focused on completing my errands rather than trying to remember the endless number of items that are always running through my head at some point.  Anywho, here is a picture of the cover of my LSNED album. I'm using an Amy Tangerine mini Daybook.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Coming Out of the Crafting Doldrums- Rome Mini Album (Picture Heavy)

So my blog has been silent for over six months lately because I've been in huge crafting slump.  At the end of October, I moved into a new home and immediately began working on getting my office/crafting area together.  I was so excited to have more space and continue working on layouts, cards, etc.  However, once I moved in it was like the crafting gene was immediately sucked from my body and I just could not get excited to make a thing.  Nonetheless, I was still looking at all of my scrapbooking blogs and magazines, hoping that inspiration would strike.  But, no matter how much I tried, I just could not tap into that desire to make a darn thing.

Around February or March 2012, I made a trip to Archiver's and picked up an Amy Tangerine Daybook mini album.  I wasn't sure what I would use it for, but I thought that maybe my block was caused by feeling too much pressure to make 12x12 layouts and maybe something smaller would free up my creativity.  Yeah, not so much.  The Daybook just sat in the Archiver's bag.

In April of this year, a friend and I traveled to Rome for the Easter holiday. We had a great time and I made sure to collect and keep as much memorabilia as possible because I knew that at some point I would scrap the trip.  I came home, ordered my favorite pictures and limited myself to about 20-25 so I wouldn't feel overwhelmed.  The pictures came and then sat...along with the Daybook -- until last week. 

For whatever reason, I decided to pull out the Daybook and use it to make my Rome mini.  I cranked up the music and kept telling myself to not over think everything and just but picture to paper.  I deliberately stayed away from using my Cricut because I knew picking images would just be overwhelming.  In many ways, the album was really a return to "old-school" scrapbooking.  I just used, stickers, punches, ribbon, brads/badges and paper to create the old thing.  I really loved how it turned out and I have to thank Amy Tan for the inspiration of simple scrapbooking. 

Below is the completed mini album.  Because the final project is so big and the pages are not all the same size, it's was a difficult one to photograph.  Thanks for taking a look and hopefully I'll having something new to post soon.