Thursday, August 29, 2013

New Routines

I've taken to jokingly referring to myself as "the happy homemaker."  I'm not certain about the accuracy of the statement.  I do work pretty close to full time (my school work keeps me at about 36 hours a week - enough to keep me eligible for health insurance, but not so much that being a student and a mother becomes overwhelming)(at least not this semester.)  But then, aren't people who make dwellings into homes "homemakers"?  I cook and I clean and I keep chocolates in the candy bowl, so therefore I must be a homemaker, right?

I'm getting up earlier now that school is in session, and I find that keeping the same schedule every day makes getting out of bed earlier easier.  So by noon today I had done and put away two loads of laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and dusted the bedrooms and the living room.  Thank you RockStar. You're awesome.

I gotta say: I was pleased.  I hate cleaning as much as the next person, but I do love when everything is neat and tidy.  Thank you, Mom.  I was paying attention.
When I was done I decided to try to get inspired. I watched a couple of Mercy Tiara process videos.  I absolutely love watching her videos.  I love that she fast forwards her videos and stays on point.  She's really good at explaining her thought process and different things she considered doing, and how she makes her decisions.  She's also got a great photography set up (very important for me) and a good voice.  Plus, she's Canadian, so I like to play a drinking game for every time she says those cute Canadian oo's, like in "about".

And then I was inspired and deflated all at once.  I want what the cool kids have. Kits.  I want the gosh darn kits.  I want new stuff delivered to my door each and every month.  I want the Simple Stories cute newsprint paper with the fun, colorful hearts.  I want the whale stamp, even though I haven't been to the beach once this summer and the only thing I could use a whale on is ...  nevermind.

So then I put on my big girl knickers and decided that I have plenty of everything I need to scrapbook.

So I made a page.  And it's funny that I watched two of Mercy Tiara's videos to get inspired and used nothing that inspired me:
I didn't stitch.
I didn't stamp.
I didn't layer.
I didn't use vellum.
I didn't use multiple photos.
I didn't use adorable newsprint paper with adorable, fun, surprising colored hearts.
I didn't hand journal.
I didn't even fussy cut.

Although, she did use a "I ♥ summer" title thing, that I inspired me to make the "NEW R♥UTINES" title.  And that worked out great, because when Kerig looked at it later he said "New buttons??"  Oops.

So yeah.  What does any of this have to do with being a happy homemaker?  Or the better question - given that this is a scrapbooking blog - is what does being a happy homemaker have to do with the layout. Well, nothing, I suppose.  But if you stretch it, I love our new routines. I even like cleaning our little apartment.  And cooking, even though I've always said I've hated cooking.  (Which is why, Mama Du, I will never make homemade granola bars. ;))  All these new routines are making me happy these days.

Yeah. I know.  I want to throw up a little, too.  Give it time. ;)

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

That Pinterest place is A-Ok.

Today the Mr. built me something:

No.  Not the sofa.  (Although that would be a handy little party trick!)  He put up the shelf behind the sofa for me!

We (HE) used this as the guide/inspiration:

It's just a board from Lowe's stained and attached to the wall with L brackets.
The board, stain, sanding paper, tack cloth and hardware all came to about $30.  After the board was sanded and stained it took him about 20 minutes to put it up.  Now I have some space for framed pictures and tchotchkes, as well as a little extra storage space below the shelf.

An amazingly simple idea that would have never happened if not for Pinterest.

It also wouldn't have happened without a certain guy and his cordless drill.
(This is not to say that it couldn't have happened.  It just means I never would have gotten around to it.  Lazy, lazy, lazy)  Yay, Kerig!

Friday, August 23, 2013

One full year of blogging, crammed into a mere 8½ (ish) months!

I started this blog in November of 2009 and squeezed in a whopping 5 posts before the end of the year.  In 2010 I was breaking a sweat with 21 entries.  Somewhere in 2011 I had this epiphany: if you're going to have a blog, you actually have to post.  Colloquially: Shit or get off the pot. So I ramped it up a bit, and logged 38 posts.  In 2012 I joined the Cord Scrapbook Studio Design Team and became sort of a regular blogger.  I had more to say, more to share, and a reason.  I wasn't just talking into the abyss, it was expected.  (I loooove having a good 'excuse' for things!) But then the year of academic hell broke loose and at that point most of my posts were me whining about school.  Wah. Wah. Wah.

Once school let out this spring, I was itching to scrapbook!  I've had a couple of busy patches, but I've been steadier lately.  And happier about scrapbooking than I've been in a long time.  I would do the design team again in a heartbeat, but I'm enjoying the freedom - now it doesn't matter where things were bought or whether there still available.  If I like it, boom, no second thoughts!  That's nice, ya know?

This is a good example.  The background paper on top is actually KIMemories - that weird clear, heavy plastic stuff that was sort of like a placemat.  I think that was out in 2009? Maybe early 2010?  And there's a clear acrylic flower on the picture of just Molly (it's hard to see) - that was circa 2005 or 06.  I had to bust open the package to use it.  I found it in the move and it's been sitting on top of my desk for the last two months.  My version of a creative threat: USE THIS PRODUCT NOW, YOU WASTEFUL WENCH!  Of course, I should probably start using the two huges vases of ribbon that I accumulated in my Cord days, but you can call me a wench all you want, it's just not going to happen.

So here's a little ditty about using old stuff.  So the little orange beads in the center of the flower? Cute, huh?  I used a little squirt of KI Gloo (long discontinued, I'd imagine) to hold the flower down and another little squirt in the hole in the center of the flower and sprinkled the little Martha Stewart beads into the glue.  Cute.  Naturally more little orange beads came out of the vial than what was needed.  I tried to just be patient and let the excess little orange beads stay on the page while I worked, but I couldn't let them.  At this point (almost) everything was adhered to the page, so I just dumped the little beads right into my scrap table trash can.

Only, not everything was adhered to the page.

And I had just unclogged a bottle of glue into my trash can.

So the little green bird fell right into a massive glop of K&Co white glue.  And like your slice of peanut butter bread, it fell "good side" down. I gingerly picked it out of the trash, and half-heartedly wiped the blob of glue off.

I had just finished listening to a Paperclipping Roundtable episode where Wilna Furstenberg talked about accidentally spilling an entire bottle of paint on her page, and how she made it work.  At the time, I snorted, because - while I love Wilna F's work - most of her pages look as though there was an accidentally spilled bottle of, well...something.  So I guessed this was karma.  And I figured, if dumb ole Wilna F could make it work, I could surely go to my basket of glitter and put that spilled glue to use.

And let me tell you, the beads and the glitter are probably going on 4 years old, too.  And I gotta say.  I'm not in love with this layout, but I flipping love that dumb sparkly bird.

Let's hear it for screw ups!

(*I feel compelled to note that I love Wilna Furstenberg's work and calling her 'dumb ole Wilna F' was my version of kicking the dirt in envy.  I'd start spilling shit left and right if I thought that would make my pages more like hers)(Not that I really want my pages to be more like hers.  I don't.  But she's mad talented.)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Scrapbooking from the Soul

(a class with Jill Sprott at twopeasinabucket)

At the risk of sounding cocky, I used to think I was a really good journaler. I used to finish a layout and think "Yeah. I nailed that story."  Maybe not after every layout, but certainly far more frequently than I feel that now.  In truth, I feel like none of my recent layouts have been particularly poignant.  I'm sure there are valid influences at play. Maybe it's harder to emote about teenagers?  Maybe the complexity of my living arrangements have left me guarded? Maybe it goes all the way back to the divorce?   This is most probably the closest.  After the separation I gave up scrapbooking all together for a couple of years.  And when I picked it up again, things had definitely shifted in my mindset...

Whatever the reason, I want to change it.  At $12, Jill's class seemed like a good idea.  Over this past weekend I had pulled out a picture of Ted.  He was sitting in my old bedroom, watching t.v. with me and soaking his feet in vinegar water.  He would probably prefer that I not share this with the whole world, but Ted's feet can really hum.  So every couple of weeks during baseball and football seasons he soaks his feet in vinegar water.  It's a miracle cure for foot odor.  No lie.

I feel like there's so much to say.  But when I looked at the photo all that came to me was schmaltzy 'soaking up' puns.  Ugh.  I love this kid and I'm so impressed and proud of him and the way he carries himself, his work ethic, how kind and helpful he is, and ....and...and...and a hundred other great qualities.  But nothing bubbled to the surface without making me groan.

I wanted to have a nod to the fact that he was soaking his feet, but I wanted it to be subtle.  My take-away from the first lesson of Scrapbooking from the Soul was to look past the obviousness of the photo and find the bigger story.  It occurred to me that we're really just entering Ted's teenage years.  He's rounding the corner to 15, but I sometimes lose sight of that - he is so tall, so manly, and so mature that I forget that he's just 14.  When the phrase 'getting our feet wet' popped into my head I knew that was something I could run with.

I'm going to share the journaling, but please keep in my mind that I have a degree in math for a reason.  While I enjoy writing for my personal use, it's never been anything to served me well academically. nice. :P

Were only about a year and a half into Teds teenage years.  I feel like were just getting our feet wet here.  If you believe the hype about raising teenagers thats perpetuated by sit-coms, this is supposed to be hard, eye-rolling work.  Everything from getting him to take out the garbage to getting him to bathe should be a massive undertaking. But thats so not the case with Ted.  Maybe its the athletic training? Maybe its just his genetic make-up?  But Ted has always been a good kid.  Not perfect, mind you, but he really strives to do good. I suppose that in some regards Ive been holding my breath, waiting and wondering if the teenage years will change that about him.  
We’re just getting our feet wet here.  There’s still a long way to go and I’m hoping the trajectory we’re on continues.  I love that Ted respects others and that he respects himself, too.  I love that Ted isn’t too cool to give his mom big, floppy hugs.  I love that he thinks about others and will do sweet things to make others happy.  Yes, I can’t deny that his willingness to take the garbage out without being told is a personality trait that I hope lasts forever.  But in this photo, Ted is soaking his feet in vinegar water and watching t.v. with me.  I adore the fact that he’s willing to do both of these things.  One demonstrates his respect for self, the other one just makes me warm and fuzzy.  Thank you, Ted, for keeping me company and making me so proud to be your mom.

Thanks for stopping by.  And if $12 won't break your bank, I do highly recommend "Scrapbooking with Soul."  It's good stuff.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Just wild about Harry

Way back in the way back day, Kerig was my boss. One evening a guy came in and had an issue with a repair.  It was just Kerig and I working and the man's issue was something that needed the store manager.  Kerig was busy selling a camera, which is something that takes some time.  I did tell Kerig that the man was waiting to speak to him, but the man would have to be patient until Kerig was free.

The man, however, was a douchebag.  And after waiting about a minute and a half he demanded to know Kerig's name.  He picked up one of our pens and one of our brochures and when I said his name was Kerig, he did what most people do and said "What?!"  (his "what" was decidedly more angry than most people's "whats").  I said it again and watched with amusement as he wrote down "HARRY."  Fine.  Go ahead and call our corporate offices and let them know that "Harry" didn't drop everything and tend to your every whim and desire.  Good luck with that.

For the record, had the man asked me to spell it for him, I would have.  But he didn't.  And correcting him would have been rude. :P

He's wearing my glasses, because he was making fun of me, and the impersonation needed to be accurate.  Of course, once he put them on, he couldn't see a damn thing, so I took his picture to show him how he looked.  (Frankly, I like it!  His glasses are a million years old...I think it's time he gets a new pair.  Like that!)  The picture was taken in the bathroom, which is a lovely mix of pale teal blues.  Even though I converted the picture to black and white in Instagram, it still screams 'calm blue color scheme!' to me.  I threw in the orange for the tension - the story is a little bit angsty, and even though it resolves itself in a good way (that the name stuck and he became something much more valuable than my boss), there is some tension there.  Plus, I really like orange and light blue, and I can put them together if I want to. :P :P :P

By the way: it was really flipping hard to sew the vellum to the speech bubble.  I contemplated cutting another out and trying it again, but I think the results would have been the exact same.  Lazy, lazy, lazy.