Saturday, October 24, 2015

It smells like dog in here.

It's been a while, right?  A busy, exciting while to be sure.

I posted last December about a teaching position that I interviewed for and didn't get.  I talked about how it lit a fire for me that I needed.  Then in February there was another incident that pushed sprayed gasoline all over that little fire and made it blow up.  In the course of one bad day and one cathartic evening, I vowed to kick my teaching pursuit into high gear.

I also bargained for a puppy.  I had my stick.  This was my carrot.

I read. I highlighted. I made notes. I studied. I quizzed myself.  I bought practice tests. I did practice tests.  I worried. I got excited.  I took dry runs to the testing facility.

I took two exams and worried that I'd fail one, but aced them both.  I visited several times a day.  I decided to sign up to be a sub, so I could get my foot in the door.  I applied for positions and kept tweaking my cover letter and resume with every application.

I also wrote off a real position for the 2015-16 school year.  But I must be a Clevelander now: There's always next year.

Funny thing, though.  At the very last minute there was a posting for a school in the area that needed a math teacher.  I threw my hat in the ring and was surprised to get a phone call from the education department chair from the school where I did my teaching program: Did you see the listing?  Did you apply?  Yes? Good! They called me and asked for a recommendation and I told them that you were the one they wanted.

And they did want me.

It's Catholic and wonderful.  In the interview the principal said "We want you to love our children." and I do.  I got hired 41 hours before new teacher orientation, and I feel like I haven't stopped since.  I sleep great these days: activity fills every minute of my day.

Every day I wake up and feel blessed.  Every night I put my head on my pillow, close my eyes and tell God thank you for bringing me to this place.

But there's the unfinished business about the puppy.  It needed to be a mini-dachshund.  I've wanted one since about 2006.  This was fairly non-negotiable.  I've been surfing for months, but they're hard to find and always too far away and too expensive to earnestly consider.

This morning I got up early for a Saturday, because I had to go take a class for school.  As I hobbled into the bathroom, phone in hand, I saw a posting from the local Buy-Sell-Trade Facebook community I belong to.  Someone needed to find a good home for one male and one female miniature dachshund.  They weren't asking an arm and a leg, and they were about a half hour from where my class was being held.  I sent the lady a PM and hopped in the shower and hoped for a response.  Naturally, FB filtered my email into her "other" box.  But hey! That's nothing a $1 can't fix!  (Thanks Facebook! That's quite a racket you've got there!)  The lady got 107 likes and 93 responses...but yay me! I was one of the first!  I made an appointment to go see the puppies and had first second dibs.

Do you ever find signs? Like something is meant to happen?  Of course it's semi-ridiculous, but they're there.

As I walked up to the house to see the puppies, there was a big dog out front barking.  As I approached, a woman poked her head out the front door and said "You hush, Teddy!"  I have a kid named Teddy.  Hmmm.  When I walked in the front door, they handed me an adorable, tiny little puppy, and told me that I was free to name him whatever I wanted, but they'd been calling him Charlie Brown.  "That's funny.  Lucy and Linus have been on my short list for dog names for forever."

It doesn't matter.  The signs were minuscule, but I was a goner the second she handed him to me.


Meet Weston.

He's 8 weeks old.  He's had an exciting day, and he's pretty well pooped.   We hope he likes it here.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Buehler? Buehler?


I was on the Paperclipping Rountable podcast yesterday and when it was time to say where we can be found I gave my blog address and made a crack about how you can hear crickets chirping here.  So I thought I'd pop in really quickly and say "Heyyyy!" So here goes:

Hey, girl!


The topic of the podcast was scrapbooking performances and concerts...with the possibility of scrapbooking sports, (which I feel way more qualified to talk about).  When I responded to the invitation I said that I'd scrapped a couple of my kids concerts, and a handful of professional performers.  I don't really consider myself an expert on the subject, but I can participate in a conversation on this more so than, oh, say "scrapping your travels through Europe."

I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite concert layouts.  These are all a couple of years old, and while trends have changed, I still think they hold their own.

This was from a Mike Doughty concert at the Beachland Ballroom, which isn't too far from where I live.  The hall is very small, and it's easy to get very close to the stage.  This layout is VERY simple, but it's very true to how I scrapbooked at the time.  The journaling is long and talks about my mentality leading up to the show - I was worn down and wanted nothing more than to bail on the evening. But I felt terrible about ditching my friends so I put on my big girl panties and went.  The journaling also talks about what a great time I had, and years later it's great to read this.  I very frequently dread social situations (the curse of the introvert), but very often I have a great time once I'm engaged.  It's a good, concrete reminder to just do it.

The circles are the simple geometrics that I often fall back on, but they're meant to evoke the idea of colored stage lights.  But I could see how I'm the only one who'd get that. :P

This is from a concert at the same venue, but this is They Might Be Giants.  A favorite band from my college years that grew up with me to the point of putting out a couple of children's CDs that my kids loved and listened to on repeat in the car.  My kids can't sing every word to "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas" but when "The Alphabet of Nations"  or "C is for Conifers" comes on the backseat chorus breaks into song and they don't miss a beat.  That was true in 2006 and it's still true today.

Anyway, back to me.  I think that John Flansburgh is cute. And when I went to this concert I was sort of in a butt-pinching phase.  I wouldn't pinch random strangers, but my kids and some of my coworkers were all fair game.  The reaction to pinching the bottom of an unsuspecting person is highly addictive: they are surprised and you both get to laugh and share a moment of harmless naughtiness.  (I would never do this now.  My work environment then was filled with people that I truly loved and knew that I meant no harm or innuendo. It was a rare and safe place indeed.)  At any rate, after the concert the two singers of They Might Be Giants came into the crowd, shook hands, signed autographs and mingled with the audience.  When I found myself standing right behind John Flansburgh my friend dared me to give him a pinch.  In retrospect I really (REALLY) shouldn't have, but I did.  But he was such a good sport about it! We laughed and he posed for a picture with me and pretty much made my day/week/month.

The layout isn't theme-y or symbolic at all.  I wanted to call attention to what was happening in the middle picture, so I used a circle cut from cardstock and chose to carry that element through the rest of the page.

This was from the same concert but it's not about the performance, it's about me and my nature.  I mentioned that I'm fairly introverted and some times it hard for me to be in the middle of large crowds.  The venue of this concert is small, and I've been there enough times to have figured some thing out.  Like, underneath that light you get the full blast of a nearby speaker and a usually unobstructed view of the stage (albeit from the side).  When my friend took this picture I had just been talking to a nice "boy" (I mostly remember thinking that he was not my age, but it's not like he was an actual kid or anything) who tried to talk my into wading into the crowd.  I was nice, but told him that I was really content where I was and encouraged him to go ahead and enjoy the show in the crowd.

This layout was based on a sketch, and is probably not a design that I would have come up with on my own, but I think I like it even more because it's a stretch from where I would have gone with this photo.

Okay, so that's that! I really have to get back to studying for my exam.  If you're visiting from the Paperclipping Roundtable: WELCOME!  I hope to be more exciting and scrappy in the next two weeks when things settle down a little.  In the meantime, feel free to check out my videos on YouTube!

Thursday, April 9, 2015


Dear sweet neglected blog.  I still love you.  I'm sorry I'm putting you in the corner, but I'm supposed to be studying.  However, I thought I would feed you a short, arbitrary list of things that are making me happy lately.

1. Nivea In-Shower Body Lotion

I stink at remembering to put on lotion.  Plus, I hate the way it feels - all slimy and sticky and thick.  Consequently, I spend all winter itchy and ashy looking.  I saw this at Target and decided that it was worth a try.  It's so great!  I don't feel slimy and sticky because once you rinse it off you just feel moisturized and clean! Yay!

Only problem is, old habits die hard and I keep turning off the water without applying it.  Anyone home when I shower must wonder why I turn off the water and then immediately turn it back on again.

2. Tune-In Radio Pro app

No link for this one - search for it in the Play Store or iTunes.  I love it because I can listen to my local radio station on my phone, listen to playlists by genre (sort of like Pandora) or I can choose from an enormous list of podcasts.  My job is mindless.  Super, super mindless, and I have hours of time to listen to whatever I want.

Me? I'm a podcast junkie.  I want to hear stories, laugh, learn something, and feel engaged.  So what am I listening to?

  • The Nerdist - Although I don't 'get' comic books or sci-fi, this show is smart, funny and thought provoking.  More often than not I don't know who the guests are until I come home from work and Google them, but I still really enjoy listening!  If you want to try it out, try the episode with Kal Penn (from Harold and Kumar) or Lisa Kudrow (from Friends) or if you're way younger than me: Grace Helbig.
  • Comedy Bang Bang - None of these shows will get a G rating, but this one probably earns a R-rating on a consistent weekly basis.  A little raunchier, it features conversations with stand up comedians.  They're not doing their bits, but in the course of talking they riff off of each other and it can be hilarious. And raunchy.  So don't listen if you're easily offended.
  • Unfictional - Okay, so this one will get a PG-rating.  It's an NPR podcast that features true stores, usually 2 or 3 that revolve around a theme each week.  Some are funny, some are sad, some make you appreciate another person's point of view.  I like almost all of these shows, but I thought I am Montgomery Clift was especially interesting.
  • Pop Culture Happy Hour - The folks at NPR weigh in on pop culture.  Too highfalutin too talk about the Real Housewives, but down to talk about Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.  It's clean, insightful and also gives me stuff to Google at the end of the day.  
  • (hangs head in shame) Watch What Crappens - Of all my guilty pleasures, Bravo is my guiltiest.  I don't even mention that I'm a RH junkie to people I know unless I get a strong vibe that they might also share my enthusiasm.  Otherwise, I'd just as soon you don't know that I have this weakness.  In my defense, I grow up in a very sheltered world and until my late 30s I just had no idea that everyone wasn't just like me and my family.  So this fly-on-the-wall vantage point into other worlds is fascinating to me.  (Yeah, yeah, I know.  It's not real reality. I know that watching a bunch of rich entitled people bicker isn't the same as taking a course in sociology.  I don't care.  It's mesmerizing to me.)  And these two guys from somewhere near Beverly Hills talk about the shows on Bravo.  They're not clean, I don't always agree with them, I don't always think they make sense, but they're goofy and talking to me in my guilty pleasure language.  So I'm hooked.  Shh.  Don't tell anyone. 

I'm studying for a 'big exam' (she said, casually and generically, hoping not to jinx herself), and I have lots of note taking to do.  I invested (wink, wink) in these medium point flair pens to make the process a little bit funner.  (Fortunately the test isn't spelling/vocabulary/grammar related.  And yes, I know it's "more fun" but funner is...well...funner.)  Anyway, the colors are really pretty, they're bolder than a ball point but not as fat as a Sharpie, and they don't bleed through the paper.  

This was an Amazon Deal-of-the-Day a while back and in a moment of weakness I clicked.  It's really fun!  You get adhesive backed rings that you stick to your phone around the phone's lens.  There's a magnet at the base of each of the three lenses, so when you're ready to use you just stick it to the metal ring.  So far the lenses stick nicely and I'm still on the original ring, but you do get a couple extra rings.  So far I've only used the macro lens, and it's been a blast.   

Okay, I'm not actually suggesting that anyone pay $10 for a bag of candy. Wowsers! 

Anyway, I picked this up at Target to put in the kids Easter baskets and as luck would have it, I bought one bag too many.  They're weird: bumpy, hard and sugary on the outside and more jelly bean-ish on the inside. Some are a little sour, others are more tart, they're all magically delicious.  This one is on the list mostly so I remember to get them again next year! Suddenly I'm strangely excited for next March.  

Not making the list, but close runners up:
This peach cobbler recipe (which is helping me use up an industrial sized can of peaches that we bought in a moment of Sam's Club insanity.)
Anything having to do with miniature Dachshunds, especially this and this.
And a couple of movies that might have flown under the radar: The Lunchbox and for the nerds among us, Kerig recommends: Jodorowsky's Dune (the greatest science fiction movie never made).

And with that, I'm hitting post without proofreading because it's waaaaay past my bedtime!  Later babies!  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

March in Instagram

Last year I started doing monthly pages using nothing but a bunch of Instagram photos and liquid fun.  Or, patterned paper, cardstock and embellishments.  Either way...  

And then I stopped.  Because all good things must come to a grinding halt. :P

You know how some people are like "I just have so many ideas! I wish I had more time!" ??

Yeah. I don't say that. Ever.  I'm more likely to say "Hey, look at this tired old horse of an idea that I've already done.  Look! I recycled it!"  And then I'll sit back and act like I'm saving the planet or something.  

Well, hey! Look at this old horse of an idea that I've already done! Look! I recycled it!  Yay me!  :P

One of the things that I mention in the process video is that these layouts are a nice monthly overview, but as far as actual memory keeping go, they are totally, 100% inconsequential.  And it's funny, in that mindset, I have a lot of fun just throwing embellishments on the page without feeling like they each have to have some kind of relevance or deeper meaning.  So ultimately, these pages are a little more fun to scrapbook.  

Also, I'm clearly not killing myself to come up with a clever title.  Just sayin'.

I also mention in the video two liquid adhesive solutions.  The first are these bottles available at Amazon:

The picture makes it look like you're getting two different sized tips, but you're not.  Two bottles, same tiny tip on both.  I think I'd like to have a leeeetle bit fatter nozzle, but I'm still okay with the fine gauge that I have.  And it's so much better than the enormous hole in the Scotch Quick Dry bottle. 

The second thing I said that I'd link to is this video:

The lady in this video replaces her liquid adhesive tops with silicone baby bottle nipples.  The glue doesn't clog in the nipple because of the nature of the silicone.  Also, the tiny hole in the newborn nipples allows for a perfectly consistent, fine bead of glue.  

Also, when she says "...and grab my nipple....(pause) my baby bottle nipple"?  Priceless.

Okay, it is waaaay past m'bedtime!  Thank you for stopping by! I've loved having you!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The process video that wasn't...

I started doing process videos in the summer time, when I had some time off.  I enjoyed making them and got very encouraging comments from fellow scrapbookers, which of course, always feels great.  So I made some more. :)  (Positive reinforcement is a powerful motivator, no??)

Then things got really hectic with tutoring and my crazy 2am shifts at work and I just didn't have any energy to scrapbook for a while.  Funny thing was, even though I hadn't put up a process video in a while, I was still getting subscribers and encouraging comments.  They really made me want to get back to scrapbooking, and I'm grateful for that motivation.  I made a video and coincidentally got invited on the Paperclipping Roundtable.  I felt like I was back in the swing of things.

So this week, powered by my recent "success", I made another layout and video....sort of.  It's one thing to record the process of making a layout.  It's a whole other thing to make those recordings into a video.  The video part involves wrestling the computer into submission, loading the clips, rotating them, speeding them up, connecting all the short clips into one coherent video and doing the voice over.  Loading the clips and making them into one video takes some time - roughly about 3 times as long as the final video.  The voice over only takes as long as the final video, assuming you get it done on the first take.  Normally I do two takes that I throw away before I settle in on the one I'm going to use.  Next, you save the movie - this takes at least a half hour.  Then, uploading to YouTube takes almost an hour.

Now...multiply all that time by 6, because that's how many flipping times I tried to do this video before finally giving up.  Every time I tried to save the video it would error out and I'd have to start again.

Finally it occurred to me that nothing that I do for free is worth this much effort. :P

Especially not this:

Okay, it's not that bad, but there's nothing about that says "This is so earth shatteringly good, you must spend the better part of your weekend trying to share it!!"  That said, I do like it.  I love the big blue/gray mat.  I sprayed blue and gray mists onto wax paper and then mushed my cardstock into it.  At first, I thought it came out a little overwhelming, but ultimately it conveys the storminess that I wanted it to.  Plus, I do like the way the white words pop off of it without it being too strong.

The other thing that I really ended up digging are the clouds:

They're from Ashley Horton's The Cut Shoppe on etsy.  They're adorable.  And affordable!  A buck 69 for three different styles of clouds.  I think they're super fresh!

One of the things that I'm not happy with about the layout is the lack of journaling. I suppose the long title sort of counts, but it doesn't really reveal what I'm talking about.

So, on the day that I took this photo, we were out and about running errands.  Mid-January, and the temperature had jumped into the 50s after a 2 week cold snap that had the temperatures dipping below zero.  Lake Erie (the white expanse on the right side of the photo) had started to freeze, and with the wind, the lake sloshed up  and formed icicles on a fence.  Only, the wind caused the icicles to bow to the east.

Kerig takes photos.  The kind of photos that I love: he captures light and texture and pattern in things that most people walk right past without giving a second thought to.  It's one of the things that I admire most in him.

So I have a picture of him, taking a picture of the sunset (not exactly a subject that others fail to notice), but I'm referencing  his photo of the icicles (and so many others, but on this day, that's the photo.)  Unfortunately, I can't link it, but if you're so inclined, his Instagram is kerigmt, and it was posted on January 17th.  There are two, and I like the one with the sunset best, but the other one shows have massive the icicles are, too.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Too long and boring for a Facebook post....

So burying it on my blog seems like the appropriate thing to do!  Warning: this has absolutely nothing to do with scrapbooking.

The interview process that I went through in December got me thinking about WHO I want to educate, as well as what problems and challenges different families face.  As I mentioned in my "soft underbelly" post, the school that I interviewed with was religious, and it was catering to students whose only other option were the failing public schools in the area.  Something like 70% of the students at the school met the federal guidelines for poverty. "But surely, since these parents care enough to seek out better schools, they'll take a more active role...?"  I'm not even certain I got the whole question out before they gave me a sheepish half smile and said, "They're not seeking us out.  WE'RE seeking them.  We literally knock on doors.  Make phone calls.  It actually takes a lot of convincing that there's a better way.  We meet a lot of resistance."

A couple of years ago I read a very enlightening book called "A Framework for Understanding Poverty" by Ruby K. Payne. It talks about the mindsets of different classes and how they approach just about everything from family to money, to discipline and authority and more.  And I think that a lot of us assume that many of these mindsets are a race thing, when in fact, these issues are far more universal within economic boundaries than just within any given race.

During the interview process, I thought about that book a lot.  Reading it had been eye opening.  So what else didn't I know?  Well, that's a classic conundrum, right?  But I did some spelunking around and decided to borrow a book from the library called Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race and Family Life.  I managed to request the book-on-CD version, which is probably a good thing...when the CD version turned out to be FIFTEEN CDs, I looked at the paperback version: I just don't think I have the stick-to-it-tive-ness to power through 480 pages.  But with my short 20 minute commute, sure, I could listen to the book for...oh, you, 45 days. :P  Okay, that's an exaggeration, but I really have been listening for the better part of a month.

The book is an ethnographic study of 12 families: 4 middle class, 4 working class, and 4 poor families, both white and African American, and how they approach raising their children.  In the book, there is a lot of talk about "concerted cultivation" and "natural growth" and very clear divisions between the classes.  Concerted cultivation - and this is my very rough impression - seems to be the idea of embracing teachable moments, talking to develop language skills, negotiating rather than giving concise directives, and enrolling children in organized activities (sports teams, music lessons, religion classes, etc).  Whereas natural growth is a more relaxed approach: fewer activities, less adult-child interaction, more free-play time for children with extended family and neighborhood children.

It's interesting to listen to (or read, if you're so inclined) the similarities among the classes, regardless of race.  In the middle class, families were booked with activities: soccer, gymnastics, piano lessons, church activities and of course school.  Families often had multiple activities a day, meals were rarely spent with every family member at the kitchen table, and when issues arose at school, the middle class parents were quick to intervene and negotiate better outcomes for their children.  There were fewer differences between the working class and poor families, again, regardless of race.  In these families, children spent considerable amounts of time hanging out with cousins, playing with neighborhood kids, watching t.v.  Their parents would give concise directions, and would rarely get whining or back talk in return.  In the working class and poor families, children rarely complained of being bored, whereas in the middle class families children complained of boredom when they weren't fully booked with activities.  With regard to school, the working class and poor families seemed to regard educators as experts - on the same level and doctors - and rarely questioned their authority or pressed the schools to do what they wanted.  Even if their children had severe issues in school that weren't being adequately addressed, parents trusted that the schools and teachers were doing everything they could.

One detail that I've failed to mention is that the study focused on families with a 9 or 10 year old at one of two elementary schools at an undisclosed northeast city.  While the children were the focus of the study, the family was an integral part of each child's life.  The study was done in the mid-90s and the book was originally published in 2003.  I feel lucky to have only stumbled on the book now, because the 2nd edition had the added benefit of following up with the kids 10 years later.

In many regards, the middle class families seemed to be...well...exhausted.  Both parents worked full time, traveled, and the activities they enrolled their children in had them running in multiple directions on a daily basis.  Frequently, family events (birthday and graduation parties) were missed in favor of not missing sports tournaments.  By the same token, parents had deeper conversations with their children, asked probing questions, encouraged their children to interact confidently with the outside world, coached them to make eye contact and shake hands, and negotiate for what's in their best interest.

By contrast, the children of the working class and poor seemed energetic and imaginative, well behaved (in the sense that they followed directions without back talk) and were unspoiled, rarely asking for material things and truly appreciating what came their way.

At the end of the end of the study, it was clear that each family loved their children and wanted only the best for them.  Each set of parents was doing what they knew how to do and while it was clear that the middle class families knew how to negotiate with schools to get what they wanted for their children, it never seemed as though the working class and poor weren't doing their best.

Going into the 10 year follow up I had great hope that the children of the working class and poor would be doing well.  Their parents, after all, cared and loved them deeply, they weren't neglected, school wasn't de-emphasized, they were raised to know right from wrong...  I had no doubt that the middle class children would be fine, and for the most part they were.  There were minor setbacks (not getting into their first choice school, a less than perfect grade in an important class, broken hearts, etc), but for the most part they were right where I'd imagined they'd be: in good colleges working towards degrees, working during the summer at "better" jobs, including internships to help further their intended careers.  The working class and poor, on the other hand, had...harder lives.  Some went to community college for a semester or two, one dropped out but received a GED, they were in unions, some where married, a couple had children (at the time of the follow up, the kids were 19-21), and some had lost a number of friends to violence.

I realize that I've essentially written a book report, and maybe it looks like I miss my time in school, but ultimately, writing is a way to process my thoughts.  And this book was both interesting (sort of, I did find the author to be frequently redundant) and depressing.  The author gives her thoughts for 'fixing' the problems, but they lean toward socialistic.  While I know first hand how difficult life can be for the working class (for example, there is no room in my* budget to enroll my children in extracurricular activities, even thought I'm fully well aware of the benefits: working on a team, time management, learning to deal with disappointment, feeling comfortable in public settings, understanding rules and their consequences, etc), I also know that it's unrealistic to expect society to shoulder the bill for others.

It's also depressing because it further solidifies the adage that "the rich get richer".  Yes, the families studied were middle class (not rich), but they had the economic wherewithal to say yes to opportunities for their children, whether it be playing travel league sports, enrolling their children in summer school to boost knowledge (and confidence), sign their children up for SAT prep classes, and visit a number of colleges to help their children make informed decisions.  By contrast, because the working class and poor had not navigated the college course themselves, they lacked the knowledge to help their children in that regard.  They didn't see the need for SAT prep courses, didn't understand the college application and acceptance process, and some didn't really grasp the difference a GED and a high school diploma.

Ultimately, it seems that we are a product of our environments, and it is exceptionally difficult to break free from the place where we begin life.  Obviously, there is much work that needs to be done in our society to figure out a way to give equal footing to children of all classes.  I will have a lot to think about for a long time.

Every blog post needs a picture.  This one was taken inside the classroom where I did my student teaching.  Why a flag? Well, this is America, and we are problem solvers and don't run from difficult things.  This issue seems difficult, but it's totally worth our attention.

* There is no room in my budget for extracurricular activities for my children.  Thank goodness, my ex-husband is able and committed to providing these experiencing these important benefits for them.  And while I am "working class" currently, my middle class background allows me to provide other important benefits for my children.   

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Hello Beautiful

Back in October Molly cut off all her long hair into a punk pixie.  I don't know about the rest of the world, but this is not a common thing for 8th graders here in lovely Cleveland-ish Ohio.

I took the before and after shots the day of the haircut, and printed them out that same day, and started a layout the next day.  It's been 2½ months, so the details are fuzzy, but it was pretty atrocious, so I ditched the start of that layout and "started" fresh.  Startin fresh consisted of taking out a new sheet of white cardstock, putting the photos and the words "short" and "long" cut from the Silhouette on the cardstock and walking away.

I only meant to walk away until I had some more free time, but it ended up being longer than that.  I just didn't feel like scrapbooking.  I didn't have time, but more than that I didn't have any mojo.  And I sort of wanted to have mojo, but at the same time I was sort of okay with just focusing on other things for a while.  Well, the craziness of Christmas in retail seems to be over, and I have two weeks off from tutoring.  Yes, there was Christmas, and company, and other craziness, but finally, finally I had time and mojo.  Yay!

I decided to dump the original "the long and short of it" title and go with "hello Beautiful" instead.  I used a heart background from the Silhouette store, 2Peas flair and Bella Blvd paper.

LOL.  I just noticed that the glare on the flair makes it look like it says "hell Beautiful."  Oops.

Some details:

I sort of wish everyone flipping through my album saw this layout in harsh sunlight, just so those shadows would be there. :P

I was an assistant manager at Archiver's for about 16 months and (at least when I was there) rhinestones were pretty much mandatory on every layout.  Here, I'm just trying to correct a mistake, but every mistake is fixed even better with bling. Right?

The Theresa Collins letters end up looking okay, but I'm still not pleased with them. (Insert grumpy noise here)  And the messiness here is more due to the fact that I had to pry them up and shift them to right to make room for the picture.  If I weren't so lazy I'd run it through my sewing machine, because it doesn't exactly look permanent...but...yeah...that's so much work.  :P

So, I mentioned in the process video that I had a "thing" I need to work on that might keep me from scrapbooking for a while and hinted that I'd talk about here, so I feel obligated to address that.  If you visit my blog, you might have seen the last post about my interviewing for a teaching position recently.  I didn't get it, but the whole process reminded me that I do want to be a teacher.  I'm not certain what snapped in me when I finished my student teaching experience, but I basically dug in my heals and said (in so many words) "I'm not going to teach."  Which is pretty silly, since it's something that I've wanted and worked towards for a long time.  But no is the time for me to get serious.  That interview fell into my lap, and as a private school they were willing and able to take me without my having passed The Exam.  But that was a one time occurrence: schools will not contact me, and they won't even look twice at me without being fully certified.  So I really have to buckle down and take my exams.

There are two: one in my subject (7-12th grade math) and the other in pedagogy (the theories and methods of teaching).  I have every confidence that I will ace the math exam on my first try.  However, the pedagogy test is scary - I took those classes first and have had plenty of time to forget which theorists thought what.  I sort of half-heartedly started studying in October, Now I really need to hunker down and make a steady go it.

I hope to take the tests in late February or early March.  So in the meantime I'll be spending my spare time taking notes, making flash cards and quizzing myself.  Doesn't that sound like fun??

Today is New Years Day.  The first day of 2015!  I hope that we all (me included!) have a healthy, prosperous and creative year!  Thank you for visiting!