Thursday, March 28, 2013

Respect Yourself - it's about self care!

Today is the perfect day to show you a layout that I recently created using Scrapbooking from the Inside Out's March Respect kit. Why? Because this layout is all about respecting yourself by caring for yourself in one way or another. And I took steps in that direction today.

In my case, sometimes self care is about learning to live with my own limitations, and not challenge those limits because that will have negative consequences. Many times we think about how we need to take care of ourselves better, and we do a lot of thinking about it, and a lot less putting it into practice. Know what I mean? After all, think about the last time you decided to go on a diet because you wanted to lose pounds to feel better, both mentally and physically.

Well today I put these thoughts into practice and decided that I needed to practice self care in my life more often than talk about it. I decided that it was time to really live with my limitations instead of trying to challenge them. And I took a baby step in that direction and it feels really good. Even though I haven't actually implemented my plan, just knowing that I have one, a plan I mean, feels really, really good!

Using Scrapbooking from the Inside Out's March Respect kit

Layers, lovely layers

What do you do to take care of yourself? Do you exercise? Get regular massages? Do you prescribe to the retail therapy side of things? LOL

Leave a comment here and let me know! I'd love to hear about it.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Art journaling again and Art by Candlelight

Yes, it's been a while, but I got back into my art journal again last night. I struggled at first, but then just started to relax and play. Time to finally sit down and play with my rubber stamps I won from The Rubber Café designed by Jamie Dougherty.

Art journal spread using modelling paste, gesso, paint, spray stencils, stamps, fibres, and more.

I love that feeling. And I adore the results as well. What are your weekend creativity plans?

I'm celebrating Earth Hour again tonight, and challenged my friends to Art by Candlelight over at Facebook. If you want to participate, just spend one hour at 8:30 p.m. tonight local time, and create something, but without any lights on. Keep to candlelight, and show your support for our planet's well-being. Come back later and post what you created on Flickr if you'd like to share.

Have fun this weekend!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Fill-In

1. The wind blew wildly and the snow started again.
2. Coffee and my new Dina Wakley book made me feel warm and happy all over.
3. The smell of salt water taffy makes me think of Prince Edward Island.
4. When I am feeling lazy I catch up on Facebook and Pinterest.
5. Brilliant pink is my favorite color (for now).
6. The door creaked and a sweet cat named Whiskey came in.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to getting into my art journal again, tomorrow my plans include art by candlelight for Earth Hour and Sunday, I want to scrapbook using my new kit I got in the mail!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Simple but it means so much to me

Can you believe that after nearly eight years of marriage, that I am only now getting around to scrapbooking my wedding? It's true! I printed out some of my pictures and these two really touched me. As the title says, my husband is a real one of a kind (but that's for another post. LOL). But he's really sweet and sentimental and I wanted to post a layout about him at our reception.

These two photos although not perfect, to me perfectly show off his sweet side. But in looking at our reception pictures, I noticed something in the pictures that made me teary. That's the photo of my mother dancing with my husband. She's so happy that she's near tears. And seeing how happy she was at our reception, because she was dancing with my husband, made me fall in love with him all over again. Because he showed respect and love for my mother.

Respect is the theme of the challenges this month at Scrapbooking from the Inside Out. You should challenge yourself this month to think about what respect means to you and scrapbook it. If you do, link me up to your layout in the comments. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

So inspired to make a mini!

About a week ago, I stopped by Helmar's Ustream channel to watch Amy Lassiter make a gorgeous mini album using Heidi Swapp file folders, and some additional inside pages. I was so inspired, I decided to make one myself at the crop this weekend at Auntie 'Ems Scrapbooking and Beading. I had a blast with Natalie, Caroline, Lorena, Laura, Emma, Sam and other amazing scrapbooking ladies. So much talent in one room!

Emma provided us a little goodie for the crop and a challenge. Use the Scrapbook Trends magazine she gave us to find inspiration. That got me off to a good start, so I managed to get the whole mini done in one day. So much fun! I used quite a bit of my Helmar's 450 glue, but also used my Zapdots for the first time, and I have to say, they have the best stick quality I have found lately. They'll definitely be my go-to pop dots from now on.

I'm not sure whether I'll use this myself, or put it into my Etsy store, but it was a blast to make, and so easy. Definitely going to do others for sure!

I will definitely be checking out more Ustream videos for inspirational projects. I hadn't used the file folders before, and found it was an easy way to get a mini done. I also used the Pink Paislee porfolio collection, which works very well with Heidi Swapp's products, to keep the album cohesive.

Hope you liked it, and if I've inspired you, please let me know in the comments so that I can see your work too! I love discovering new scrapbook designers!
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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

You are worth it!

If you follow my galleries, you'll find that there is one message that consistently turns up in my journaling, whether it be on scrapbook layouts, or art journaling. That message is that you ultimately are responsible for your own happiness. This piece of wisdom is one that I will always treasure. I remember when my mother told me this, and to this day it still resonates with me. I think it is partly what gives me strength when going through tough times.

If you've had rough days, weeks or months and you just feel like throwing in the towel, it goes without saying that you aren't alone. And today when browsing Facebook, I saw a meme that resonated with me, and a friend's words go along with it. Samie Kira Harding (aka Journal Girl) runs online workshops and has a Ning site for art journalers. I happen to be a member of her Creative Warriors group. The group is designed for people who have chronic illnesses or need support in one way or another. And one thing I admire about Samie is that she tells it like it is, but she one thing she stands by is that while we may have a chronic illness, we are by no means victims. That message is slowly drilling itself into my heart and my being.

And it complements my mother's own sage advice. Because if we take the attitude that we are victims, we are relinquishing control over our happiness. Being responsible for your own happiness means that you take control. If it doesn't make you happy, change something. Change the circumstance. Change the outcome. Or change your attitude. And that last one my friends is the hardest. It is a difficult thing to accept something as hard as chronic illness and decide to change our attitude. But I am a firm believer that changing your attitude is truly the key to getting past the pain, the despair, and finding hope and strength again.

Using the Respect kit for the month of March, from Scrapbooking from the Inside Out

And for having that understanding I will never be able to thank Samie, and most of all my mother, enough for their wise words that have given me tools to use when things look like they are hopeless.

So if you feel like you wish things were different, make them so. Take courage and change something. Find support from friends, like people who are going through the same issues, like I did with Creative Warriors. Journal out your feelings and take a look at what you've written to give yourself more clarity as to what you can do to change the situation. 

It is not easy to decide not to be the victim. It's a hard personal journey to take, but like any journey, the destination is usually worth it.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

The "Why" has changed

Have you ever had those moments where something triggers you to become very clear on something you are doing, or an area of your life? I had one of those moments last night.

I was out for dinner with girlfriends last night at The Sidedoor (an aside: you need to try this restaurant if you live in the Ottawa area). We were discussing scrapbooking, as usual, and we got to talking about styles and the whys of what we scrapbook. I came into scrapbooking by way of mixed media. First, by artjournaling my life without pictures, to canvases, again without pictures, and then into scrapbooking. But when I started scrapbooking, my "why" wasn't about the story, or even the photos. It was about doing something with gorgeous product lines. I would search for pictures that looked good with a particular paper line, and not even consider the story behind the picture. I also wouldn't scrapbook what I considered "bad pictures" of me. Now things have changed, and I really feel that it's because of my role with Scrapbooking from the Inside Out.

So now, I'm pulling pictures out of my stash that may be years and years old, but I want to tell the story. I don't care that I don't have makeup on. I don't care that there are dark shadows. These are the pictures that I have of the event, the pictures that tell the story. And now, I'm happy to say, a lot of my layouts are about the story. Which is what makes working with SFTIO's kits so much fun. Because they challenge me to think about a particular theme. This month's theme kit is "Respect".

This trip that I decided to scrapbook taught me a lot of respect. Respect of nature. Respect of time limitations. Respect of my own body and what it could and couldn't do. And I'm so glad that I took the time to scrapbook these now.

The other thing that has really changed for me is that I journal in my own handwriting most of the time now. It's not pretty. But it's mine. And if anyone else reads my journaling, from my family to my friends, they will know what my handwriting looked like. And I was never comfortable with my writing. But I'm okay with it now. It's authentically me.

I hope you'll drop by the forums at SFTIO to challenge yourself in the near future. It's a lot of fun, believe me!