it's finally here!

You might think I mean Thanksgiving; and while I am very excited for that as well, what I am really talking about it is this....

My new copy of Wendy Smedley and Aby Garvey's The Organized and Inspired Scrapbooker
It feels like it has been on backorder FOR-EV-ER. But it's here and the timing is perfect as after we paint the living room, my craft room is going to be the next one we tackle. I am hoping that the organization tips will help me build a space that I can easily create in and that I can be inspired by.
I can't wait to sit down with a cup of warmed cider by the fire and open it up. 

Have you read this before? 
What did you find most helpful about it?


one year

I remember the pain.
The searing pain in my chest.
The disbelief.
The aching.
Even now, a year later, I am not so sure my heart has healed.
The sobs.
The stabbing pain.
Not being able to breathe.
I am fairly certain that my heart literally broke.
The remnants of the pain remain today.
I wanted to scream, but I couldn't. I didn't have the strength.
And still, my heart aches.
In the minutes, the hours, the days, that followed I was weak.
I layed in bed for a week in a sea of tears.
Crying for me. But mostly crying for her.
Crying for my mom.
Crying for lost time.
For all of the milestones and ordinary moments that were lost then, and the ones that would never be now.
I cried for her suffering. Physically and emotionally.
For her loved ones.
For everyone who would not have the privilege of knowing the mother I knew.
I cried for the girl who just wanted her mommy.
The mother I loved.
The mother I thought about every single day of my life.
The mother I admired.
The mother I hope I can be like some day. 
It's hard to believe that a year has passed already and there has not been a day that goes by that I haven't thought of her. In these past few weeks I have had the same thought echoing in my mind over and over again "this time last year my mom was dying and I didn't know it".

I want to do something to celebrate my mom's life. In doing so I think I can honor her and do a little bit of healing myself.
I've thought of many ideas.
Many ideas.
Some big, some small. But what I have decided is to join in Ali Edward's Yesterday and Today class at Big Picture Scrapbooking which begins in January.
My mom was an artist and I can think of no better way to pay tribute to her than to tell her story through art.  Although I know the journey may not be easy at times, I know it will definitely be worth it.
I'm looking forward to both the process and the end result.


december album, decided.

Well, the final decision has been made and ordered. No turning back now ;-) 
After thinking about it (probably a little too much...) I decided to go with the Jovial Collection from Basic Grey. 

What sold me on it was actually the description:
Snuggled in a flannel blanket by the glow of a fire, watching the snow falling through the frosted window, BasicGrey's Jovial collection is a warm celebration in white snow, velvet black, pomegranate, evergreen, and emberglow. A tapestry of holiday tradition---just like we always dreamed it could be. 

Doesn't that just sound magical? It's almost as if BG had a tiny window into my thoughts about what I am hoping this winter will be!

I also picked up these date cards 
Thanks for the link, Sharyn!

As well as these journaling cards. 
 I think these selections will help me keep it simple so I can still document our December with everything else going on. Speaking of far as my album goes, I have decided to combine Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas with Tracey Clark's Picture the Holidays. I think marriage of these two very creative formats will help to create a unique album which we can treasure in the years to come.
I'm excited to experience and document our first holiday season in the house! 

How about you? Are you documenting the holidays this year?


i'm dreaming of a...?... christmas

Well there is truly no use trying to fight the urge. This girl's got holiday cheer running through her veins already. I would give all of my leftover halloween candy to hear just one Christmas song right now, but we have a rule around here-no holiday music until Thanksgiving dinner (and I haven't even cheated, though its been hard...the radio stations are already playing some!) 

So maybe I can't listen to a little Silent Night or O Holy Night just yet, but I can start making my lists and checking them twice; one of those lists being scrapbooking supplies for my December album.
But let's get realistic for a moment, shall we? I loved working on last year's album so I want to make sure I can get to it this year (I even coordinated the colors of the album with the way I decorated the house...eek), but time is limited.
I need to make this as easy on myself as possible if I am actually going to make it work this season. With all of the work we're doing on the house and grad school I have time for little else. Plus, right smack dab in the middle of the holiday season my best friend is having a baby and Lord knows I am gonna want to spend time snuggling that sweet little thing too. 
So what am I going to do to make it easy on myself?
Buy a kit. 
Yup, that's right. So while I am mourning the loss of the experience of carefully selecting each paper to put into my album, I am looking forward to the new challenge.

The Contendors: 

Echo Park's Merry Christmas kit. 
Simple, classic colors with a little touch of sass.

 Basic Grey's Jovial
Not typical colors I would gravitate toward, but I am finding the eclectic nature of them appealing.

Basic Grey's Wassail Collection
Love the vintage feel of this one.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on these collections and if you have ever used one specific collection of papers for a certain project.


thank you!

Just a quick note to thank everyone who stopped by and left a comment. I am truly touched by all of the thoughtful things you had to say.
Thank you so much! 
Hope you'll visit again some time :-)


celebrating blog friendships

 Hello there.
Have you popped over from Rachel's blog? If so, I bet you enjoyed her post!
If you just happen to be stopping by, welcome to you also :-)

What a difference a year makes.
It was just about a year ago that I signed up for Shimelle's Blogging for Scrapbookers class and since then so much has changed. 

With the purchase of our first home (quite the fixer upper!) I have been putting my crafty skills to work in other ways: removing wallpaper, painting, decorating, you know...
And while I LOVE it, all that work doesn't allow for much time to get up to my elbows in paper, adhesive and embellishments. Fortunately we are finally making progress in the house and I should be back to scrapping soon! 

Well, in spite of the plate-load of projects I have been working on at home, that all too familiar scrapping itch has been nagging at me. I just couldn't validate unpacking a box or two of supplies when the house needs so much work. I mean, we have to make a suitable living area first, right? 

Ugh, responsibility. 
BUT....if I scrapbook for a 1 year reunion of alumni from the Blogging for Scrapbookers course then surely it should be okay. Right? RIGHT?

Thanks for backing me up on that one ;-) 

So here it is. The journaling explains it all. Thanks to Shimelle for this great class and Thanks to Jo and Lizzie for organizing this event!

(if you look closely, you'll find just a few of my favorite blogs I discovered via BFS)

I should have known that when I signed up for Shimelle's Blogging for Scrapbookers course that there would be much more in store for me than the course description expressed. 
Yes, I learned lots of tips and helpful hints about blogging. 
Yes, I certainly got some great ideas for scrapbook pages. 
Yes, I looked forward to getting that prompt in my inbox every morning. 
When I handed over my class fee I sort of expected these things to happen. 

What I didn't expect to happen was perhaps the best part of this course. 
I didn't expect the friendships. 
Because of this course I have "met" creative, inspiring women from all over the globe. I stumbled upon a community of crafters who appreciate each other, cheer on the successes of each other and revel in each other's art. 
We are scrapbookers, card makers, writers, photographers. 
We come from all different walks of life, yet so many of us are traveling the same path.
There is wisdom shared, encouragement doled out, plenty of laughter and even some tears. They inspire me with their words and their art.
I look forward to reading their blogs whenever I can and enjoy knowing that they are reading mine.In some ways my blog friends have become a window to the world. 

It's pretty wonderful.

Although I will likely not get to meet these women in person it is good to know we're in this together- connected by our crafts and the internet. 

It's a small (crafty) world, afterall.

Well thanks for stopping by! Next you're in for a treat as you head over to this fabulous place.

And don't forget your'll need this to complete the phrase for the prize! 

p.s. If you missed any stops along the hop, just pop on over to Lizzie's where you will find the complete list. Enjoy!



Just a small word to look at, but such a huge job it has. 
If I do...
If I should...
If I don't...
If I can't...
If I won't...
If I will...

What if you do?
What if you don't?
What if I don't?
What if we don't?
What if they don't?
But then again, what if they do?

What if I had chosen a different career?

What if my childhood had been different?

What if I didn't believe?
In myself. In God. In the good of others. In the power of honesty and hard work. 

What if I didn't have my amazing friends? What if I didn't have the knowledge and wisdom to know who my true friends are?

What if I had given a care about peer pressure?

What if I never stopped dancing?

What if I never lived in the city?

What if people were no longer hateful and cruel to those who can't defend themselves?
People and animals alike. 

What if I never met him?

What if I never pushed myself out of my comfort zone?

What if I didn't inherit my mom's creative genes?

What if we had more time?

What if I get sick one day?

What if I liked coffee?

What if cardigans were never invented?

What if I never discovered scrapbooking?

What if people were held accountable?

What if I accepted things at face value?

What if people really understood what teaching really is all about?

What if I couldn't read? Or worse, what if I wasn't allowed to?

What if we lived in a world that was free of hate, violence and fear?
What if you had to sacrifice come of the comforts you are accustomed to in order to achieve that? Would you still be willing?
What if you, a single person, had not only the right to- but the power to make a change? Oh wait...we do. In the choices we make. The reactions we have. What we choose to take action or not take action with.

Today is voting day in the US.
What if you get out there and make a choice? Stand up. Make your voice heard.
But then again, what if you don't do it.

Please vote. 
Just think of what can happen if you do.