Wednesday, September 25, 2013

so lucky

Hello! It was a busy two weeks, so I'm happy to have a minute and a layout to share!

"So," I said to myself, "I seem to like those template thingees.  And I like using them 'my' way - where I paint the stencil with the inks and then press it into the paper, rather than laying it on the paper and spraying or painting over the template.   But I probably need to 'invest' in another one or two styles."  

So I did.

"And," I said to myself, "I like the way people are smashing that paste-y looking stuff into the templates.  It looks cool, and texture-y.  I want to try that. BUT, there's no way I'm buying something new.  There's got to be a way to use what I've got to do something fun/cool/new (to me) with these templates.

So put the template at the top of cardstock and used my fingertips to smear in some Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive, and then I sprinkled a little bit of two of my Martha Stewart hairy glitters and a little of my Martha Steward beads into the glue while it was drying.  Sadly, I thought the glue was dry at one point and wiped the damn thing with a paper towel.  Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking either.  Up until that point the chevron design was very apparent.  But I decided that the messy look was okay and I was too cheap to abandon another sheet of American Crafts white cardstock.  

Things I like about this layout: that it was created using nothing but scraps from recent layouts.  I like the muted but still-happy colors.  I like the hearts, especially on the newsprint.  I like those hearts on the newsprint so much that I didn't even take off the branding strip.  Thanks, Simple Stories, for a fun and unexpected design element. ;)

Things I don't like about this layout: It's a little light in the journaling area.  But there wasn't too much I wanted to say.  We've been trying to get out and about every Sunday, but other than saying where we were, I was able to narrow it down to three memory joggers: acorns, big snake and chili.  For those of us that were there that day we'll know which walk in the park it was.  I figure that's enough, but I still wish I had something deep and meaningful to say.  

(gratuitous detail shot of "title" and "journaling")(feel free to make exaggerated air quotes while reading that)

Other item to note: friend Kathleen D sent me some Lawn Fawn baubles as well as a gift certificate to Lawn Fawn's site.  I can't thank you enough, Mama Du! While I only managed to use one of the baubles (the YAY fabric covered brad) from the original package, the washi tape, aqua-ish enamel dots and the blue bird at the bottom were from their site.  As it turns out, I may love Lawn Fawn, which is news to me because they hadn't even blipped on my radar screen yet.  You're like the of the scrapbooking world. ;)

And lastly, looking forward: I really want to try this:

It maybe hard to tell from this shot, and if you're curious to see what I'm talking about you can watch the video that shows it better here.

At any rate, she paints spray mist onto the background, right in the center, but then adds a spritz or two of water and paints a little on either side of the original swath and then adds more water and paints on the outside.  The final effect is a subtle ombre wash over the background.  It's so soft and yet adds a nice base.

Ok.  I think that's all I've got and things are starting to get hectic around me.  I guess I should quit goofing off and work a little. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Beginning of the End

I don't generally scrap on days that I work.  As weenie as it sounds, by the time I get home, I'm too spent to think straight so it rarely results in anything worthwhile.  But two things happened this week: I discovered that French vanilla cappuccino isn't disgusting and I put in my notice of resignation.  The combined effect of these two things is that I had something I wanted to say and enough go go juice in me to get it said.

I've been doing this school thing since June 8th, 2010 and I've been very upfront with my boss about the situation. She's been amazingly accommodating with regard to my schedule and random days off for school observations.  In turn, I've tried to mitigate scheduling issues and I told her when I'd be leaving Dodd as soon as I knew for certain.  As in, I found out in February of this year that I'd have to quit in January of next year.  How many people give 11 months notice?

So even though we've both known when I was leaving, I was asked to put it in writing by the company's president.  I'm not certain that I truly understand what was said since I wasn't there, but I think the gist was "She's said she was leaving before, and she hasn't.  If you want me to hire her replacement, you have to get it in writing."  Something about this rubs me the wrong way.  I feel like I've done something wrong, or it's been perceived that I've waffled about when I'd be leaving?  I did move up my leaving date when I found that the school was accepting my undergraduate credits which meant I'd be fulfilling my requirements about a year sooner.  About two years ago he asked me if I was interested in being a store manager, and I thanked him for the consideration and told him that I'd have to pass, since I was going to school to teach math and that I wouldn't be there long term.  Did he interpret that as I was leaving soon?  I didn't say I was leaving soon, I just implied that camera sales wasn't a long term career for me.

So this has been emotional for me.  The future is still too far away to feel excited about, so mostly I'm just dealing with ending something that I've actually really loved.  I can't have my cake and eat it too, I get that.  But right now I'm looking at leaving the only thing I've known for many years. I'm looking at losing my income for the duration of my student teaching and potentially longer - there is no guarantee that I'll be able to move straight into a teaching job or that I'll be able to pick up another retail job once my semester is finished.  So I'm sad and scared.  Excited, yes, but as I said, its too far away to get excited about.

So yeah.  I wanted to scrap it, as sort of a 'remember how scared/sad/worried/excited you were' thing.  That's all in the journaling, but since I wrote all that ^^^ I'm not going to bother sharing it here.

The dates represent when I handed in the notice and when it's effective.
I'm not crazy about photo of me.  I was messing around with an 8mm lens, and the super-wide angle makes me look a little deranged.  And somehow I also manage to mess around like this when I need a haircut very badly.  I'm usually not quite that shaggy.

I'm usually too frugal to put three pieces of flair on a page, but they just seem to fit.  I like the guy with the suitcase.  It seems to say "I'm outta here!"  Which is more defiant/joyful than I feel about the situation, but one day that will be my sentiment!

The journalling is in a glassine envelope.  I like the way the washi tape holds it in place.  I love when functional and cute come together to make the perfect solution!

When I was poking around my embellishments and came across this sticker I thought it was perfect.  Yes, I'm scared.  But this is what I've been working on.  So it's time to put of my big girl panties and make this happen. And I love the wood veneers, too.  (If I don't say so myself)  Just putting them on the page lifted my spirits and made me feel better.  It shifted my focus from what I'm leaving to what I'm becoming.  The glitter on the bird is from Martha Stewart and I got it eons ago at Michael's.  I don't know what it's called, and I just used it for the first time a couple of layouts ago.  It's weird, but I think I like it.

I feel better now that I've got all that out. ☺

Today the kids and the Mr. and I are going for a trail walk at a nearby park.  Chili is in the crock pot and the high for the day is forecast at 70ยบ.  I don't have time to wallow, life is too damn good right now.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Good Times here

So, this is how my day started:

At first I was like "Huh??" then I was like "What??"

Apparently one of our customers had a little problem turning off her car and sort of bumped into our front door.  I had the day off yesterday (I miss all the fun) so imagine my "What the ...???" reaction when I pulled into the parking lot this morning.

The day took several more interesting turns, but those are 'get you in trouble' details that shouldn't be posted on a blog.  But I will say this: I hope that after I am gone, only flattering pictures of me are shared.  I have to imagine that we are all - at some level - a little vain.  I would think that if we could ask those that we've lost "Can I/Should I share this image of you that paints you in a light that is less than flattering?" the answer would be "No."  I would hope that we wouldn't even ask.  I'd thought it was common sense, until recently.

Can you tell that what I've seen has had an affect on me?

Let's shake it off:

These pictures are 2 years old!  I am not at all "up to date" in my scrapping, but I've just sort of swept all the old stuff out of the way and I've mostly been playing with new pictures.  So this is a fun surprise for me.  These may not be the best pictures, but I do love them.  First, I have really enjoyed going to minor league baseball games - the park is intimate with not a bad seat in the house; it's super affordable; and I love watching these kids trying to break into the big leagues.  Right now they're underdogs, and I can get behind that.  Second, I love that the three of them have so much fun together and that they all want to go to these games.

I'm wrestling with some thoughts lately.  I feel like my pages are all starting to look the same.  They're not, but I think that part of my issue is that on an 8.5x11 sheet of cardstock there's only so many ways of arranging elements.  It's crowded, yo.  A suppose the white cardstock that I use constantly doesn't help, either.  But it's just so much easier to lay down a sheet of white cardstock and say "This is what I'm using" than labor over color choices for an hour.  It's exhausting and not in a fun way.  Now there's the layering, and even though you dig through scraps and baubles to find new stuff every time, it sort of feels the same just because it's there.

So part of that wrestle is thinking "Maybe I should switch back to 12x12?"  I only switched to 8.5x11 because I was doing Layout a Day and I wanted the ease of flopping the layout on a scanner bed, because I couldn't commit to taking decent pictures at 11:58 p.m.  But now I don't feel pressed to record a layout the minute I first decide it's finished.  I wonder if that bigger piece of real estate would solve all my problems and make me a truly happy person?  No.  Just kidding.  But I do wonder about the space, and how it would give me more wiggle room.

But that's about where it ends, because I'm just not willing to give up the things that I like about 8.5x11:
The albums aren't enormous.
I can computer journal right on my page.  (Not that I exercise this option a lot, but it's nice to know it's there)
The scraps. Oh, I love me some good scraps.
I don't have to feel guilty about only using one picture on a page.  And I do that alot.

And, I have to believe that it's more economical.  Here's why:  a 12x12 layout has an extra 50 square inches of space.  Even if I didn't embellish more because there's a bigger space to cover, the cardstock would still cost more just because it's bigger.  But the fact of the matter is I would embellish more - I may be comfortable with white space, but I still feel a certain amount of the page has to be used lest it look awkward.  So using a bigger piece of cardstock would cost me more just because I'd motor through supplies faster.

Oh.  That would mean I could justify shopping more.

Might have to rethink this...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Be vewy vewy quiet...

we're hunting seaglass.

The weekend before last we took Kerig to Headlands for the first time.  At about a mile from end to end, I think it's the biggest natural sand beach in Ohio.  After wading our way from the parking lot to the water's edge, Molly plunked down in the small rocks of the high tide mark and started looking for seaglass.  

I have to say - it's a highly contagious and addicting activity. It wasn't long before Ted and I were in on it, too.  Kerig was the official glass keeper and photographer.  It's nice to have one of those around!  

I have been using these teal-ish blues all summer long.  I don't know if it's a trend or a crutch at this point.  But at least time it has a basis in the photos... sort of. 

The papers are all new from last week's Archiver's run, as are the letter stickers and the ticket-y looking things.   I don't know if it's a good thing that I'm using everything that I got right away or if it's causing me to ignore the already-huge stash of papers that I already have.  

In my last post I made a comment about maybe selling banners and word based cuts on Etsy.  That wasn't a fleeting thought that I threw out there to see how it sounded.  I've actually spent a fair amount of free time making designs.  You can't just buy shapes from the Silhouette store, but them out in bulk and sell them.  The designs are Silhouette's intellectual property, and can't be used like that.  But I can design my own things and cut and sell them.  I'm no artist, that's for certain.  But I think I can make this work.  The "amazing" banner and the little marker with the three red hearts are (a tiny little) part of what I've come up with so far. 

I think that's all I've got for today.  

Friday, September 6, 2013

(My) All Star

Guess what.  I have what the cool kids have.  No. No kits. :(  But I did finally get the cute newsprint paper with the fun, colorful hearts.  Heck, I went all in and got two sheets.  It was 30% off and all, so, I could totally swing it. :P

So yeah.  Kerig had an errand to run on the west side, and Archiver's sent out their "Stock up and save" email - spend $40 and get 40% off the whole thing.  I just happened to have a $50 gift card I had hoarded a little too long and was about to expire. That is the perfect storm for a shopping spree!  

Hmmm.  That's pretty enormous.  Sorry.

At any rate, that's one of the things that I picked up.  They're Basic Grey Letterpress die cuts.  I thought they were just standard printed die cuts, so I was so pleasantly surprised when I opened the package and found that they were rich and textured. Very lovely, indeed!

Hey, let's talk Silhouette for a minute.  Did you know they have a design team call out?? Yes. I could not resist that, so I threw my hat in the ring.  I fully expect to have my hat sit in the ring, sad and ignored, because there are a lot of very talented Silhouette users out there all of the sudden.  Yeah. I said that. I remember when the scrapworld was all "Cricut, Cricut, Cricut" (now, take a minute and reread that in your best Jan voice, a la "Marsha Marsha Marsha")  But now all of the sudden all the cool kids are using it.  Which sort of means I was cool before it was.  Only, no one knew it.  Pretty much the story of my life. :P

Wow.  That got derailed. But you get the drift.  Think good things for me.  And/or, go throw your hat in the ring, too.  Details are on their blog

While we're talking about the Silhouette, I want to point out the red baseball stitching on the right side.  That just makes my heart go pitter-patter.  Love that detail!  And I cut it out a couple of days ago and I just couldn't make it work - every where I put it down just looked silly.  I'm glad I figured that out. 

I also really dig the red photo corners.  But mostly because I've had a pack of off-white photo corners since about 2003 (I'm not kidding - I think yhey came in a pack of goodies from my Hall of Fame days, and those are loooooong gone.)  If you'll note, they are no longer off-white.  They are, in fact, quite a vibrant shade of red.  Crazy what you can accomplish with a Sharpie marker!  I'm pleased to have something new in my bag of tricks.

And lastly:

I made that "all star" banner all by myself. Whoopee, right?

And yet, I'm thinking about opening an Etsy shop that sells word-based Silhouette cuts.  Because they're cute, easy to use, and should be relatively inexpensive.  And not everyone owns a Silhouette (or even wants one, which I find utterly inconceivable, but to each her own, I guess).  I notice that those kit clubs (you know the ones that all the cool kids have) have these kinds of things.  But what if I don't want to spend $30 and get something I may not want to use?  Why not pay a couple of bucks and get something that really works for me?  So yeah - If you have any insights or experiences regarding Etsy, please let me know.  I'd love to hear your experiences as a seller.  Or whether you'd be interested in purchasing something like this.  

Oh wait...One more "last thing."

Last week I was looking at my blog stats trying to figure out why suddenly there's a noticeable uptick in visitors. (Thank you.  Please tell your friends!)  Turns out that my post on the FridgeBinz isn't exactly going viral on Pinterest, but it's being seen and clicked on.  I was poking around to see who had pinned it and came across this:

When I originally pinned it I added the caption "scrapbook paper organization using FridgeBinz" The bit about the "very funny blog with smiley faces :)" was added somewhere along the way.

And it pleases me greatly! ☺

Sometimes when people pay you a compliment, you get that feeling that they're just being nice.  But when you overhear the same thing being said about you, then you know they mean it. So seeing this really made my night!  I did a quick screen shot and I saved it to my desktop so I'll notice it every once in a while.  Someone out there thinks I'm funny enough to comment on it behind my back.

Usually it's me, telling people who are fed up with me "I'm SO FUNNY!  Don't you think I'm funny??"  :P  

That always goes over so well.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great weekend!