June 29, 2011

I Need Your Help...

Okay Blogland Friends...

I am absolutely, completely, thoroughly, wholly OUT of creative mojo.  Perhaps, if all of you could send me about a penny's worth of YOUR mojo, it might amount to enough mojo to jump start  me back into creating.   Please?

Shoot me some Tinkerbell dust to give me that Happy Thought that will start my imagination a'flyin'. 

Or, send me a  quote.  Quotes always help me out.  As long as they're creatively inspiring.

Or...  well... see?  I'm not creative enough to even figure out what creative thoughts you could send me that might help!

Totally barren here.

It's truly bummin' me out!

I mean, I seriously have enough products to open up a decent sized store...  or a very long-running yard sale.  All there. All mine for the pickin'. Just... right... within...reach!

But I don't wanna pick!


See?  Seriously bummed.

Help!   Help?  I need my online crafty clan now... shoot me some vibes, any ol' creative vibes.

I'll be waiting...

*grin*  (and thanks!)

June 24, 2011


The Girl has moved in for the summer.  It was not an expected happening, but it is what it is.  Since she is a part-time kid, her bedroom has become a catch-all for all the things we didn't know what to do with on top of all the things she has collected  through the years.  Two weeks ago, before the decision  to have her move here for the summer, I cleaned up her bedroom as well as moved it around to become more functional.  Plus, I like not having tall furniture in front of the windows... it's much brighter in there now.

Bonus - two bags of garbage OUT of my house!

That day I only attacked the bedroom.  Some of what I "cleaned up" was  simply shoved into her closet until a later time.   Well, once she moved in and brought all of her clothes... that "later time" became today.

This is what came out of her closet.  Yes, seriously.  Her closet was packed to the gills with CRAPOLA!  I'm talking toys from when she was, like, 5.  She's 15, nearly 16, now!  What you see here is a bag and a half of clothing (some not hers**), some briefcases I no longer use, three boxes and an old comforter case filled with toys and doo-hickeys.  Tchotchkies.  Knick-Knacks.  Whatever you want to call 'em.  What you don't see here is a box of books, two small containers of belongings to the eldest child and another bag and a box of garbage.

Aside from the box of books (which I need to go through in more detail) and the eldest's belongings, everything else is  getting OUT of my house.


Game on!

** The sad, emotional piece to this is in order to provide more storage opportunities for The Girl, I cleaned out a Rubbermaid storage bin.  It was full of clothing.  My mom's.  She died in 1998 and I've held on to them all of this time.  As I was handing them to The Boy to place in the donate bag, I was crying.  It was hard.  But I know letting go of them is not letting go of her memory or our love.  She wouldn't have wanted me to keep them.   I kept three  things... each for a very specific purpose, with the promise to myself that if I don't use them for that purpose after 6 months, I will donate them. 

After it was over, I felt lighter.  That matters, right?

June 17, 2011


Today I read a blog post over at Paper View and Nancy asked her readers to do the same, so here goes:

Today I went to my daughter’s hometown to meet some of her new friends.

Today I hoped those friends would not be the “bad kids” other people thought they were.

Today I dreamed of my kids all grown up, successful in their own personal way, happy, smart and sane.

Today I forgot that a project was due at 5pm and ended up not getting it done.

Today I heard thunder outside my window.  Big thunder... biiiiiig.

Today I said to my daughter and her best friend, “be smart, be safe and behave.”

Today I read several blogs I’ve been meaning to catch up on, but sorry, I didn’t have time to comment much.

Today I watched Art Journal Playshops by Suzi Blu on YouTube

Today I believed that teenagers can be honest and trustworthy.

Today I felt sad, angry, worn-out, overwhelmed, irritated, hopeful and tired.

Today I wondered if this sore throat I’ve had for four weeks will ever go away.

Today I bought frozen Greek yogurt bars which I’m very excited about – 70 calories and 6 grams of PROTEIN.

Today I cleaned up a little piece of my soul.

As Nancy did, I invite you to share a little of Today in the comments, or a blog post and then come back and tell me in a comment so  I can go  read!

June 16, 2011

CRAFT Beach Retreat

It's been an exciting and busy time over at Scrapbooking from the Inside Out, one of my homes away from home.  I haven't been around much because I've been helping get the word out about this retreat weekend:  CRAFT - Creating Reflective Art for Transformation.  The gals over at Inside Out who have been planning this have so many fabulous things in store!  Just thought I'd share where I've been and what I've been doing so you don't think I've jumped into that gorgeous ocean.  If you're interested in learning more, check out the links below:

The Countdown to Registration:

Six Days and Counting!

Five and Counting!

Four Days and Counting!

Three Days to Go!

Visit the CRAFT Beach Retreat Blog for more days as we count down to registration opening this Saturday, June 18th!

June 11, 2011

The Gauntlet Has Been Thrown Down!

Yesterday's 10 Things was fun... I enjoyed making the rounds to see many others who took part in this synchronized  bloggy topic.  We'll be doing it again next month... I hope you join in the fun!

I have to admit... all of those things sitting out there unused makes me feel a little sad.  I really do need to get motivated and start scrappin' again.  I was pondering what I was going to do next when I was reading my comments on my 10 Things post, and realized... one commenter threw down the gauntlet and challenged me to not use one or two items... but ALL of my unused product on one project! 

Check it out!

So, Lizzie... I accept your challenge.  Now, you do need to understand that I'm a hideously ssssllllooooooowwwww crafter so it will take me a while to get this done.  But I have set a deadline (I have to do that or I'll never start) for the end of this year.  That gives me plenty of time and probably way more time than I need... but I also didn't want to stress myself out.  I hope it seems fair to you.  But I will show MOVEMENT (my one little word for this year) in using these particular scrapbook supplies.

Lizzie, by the way, makes amazing handmade and hand-bound books and has a love affair with sock monkeys (and she makes those too!)  Check her out!

Thank you for the challenge... and I will absolutely show photos once I'm done.  :)  Stay tuned!

June 10, 2011

10 Things on the 10th...

So, as I was thinking on a topic for today’s 10 Things on the 10th, I was suddenly hit in the face with a very appropriate list! As many of you know, the scrapbook store where I’ve worked at for too many years is closing very soon. My scrapbook and stamping “abilities” during my tenure there have grown, developed, regressed and mutated. I have loved (nearly) every minute there and have had the pleasure of working with some of the most creative, talented and artistic women I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet and, in a few cases, become life-long friends with.

There is a slight “down side” to all of this. For one, everything you see that comes into the store is excitedly grabbed up and suddenly makes a home in your home scrapbook station. Two, the talents of the women you meet around you suddenly become things you just must learn and adopt for yourself. And three, in my case anyway, working two or more jobs allows very little time to actually use the items you’ve collected or do the techniques you’ve longed to adopt.

Hence, my topic for today…

Ten Scrapbook Related Items I Own But Have Never Used!

1. Daisy D's File Folder Mini Books
 In hot, new Christmas colors!  OMG does anyone else even remember these? When these came out... oh... five or six YEARS ago, I had to have them so bad... I bought seven packs.   Ahem... yes... SEVEN.   Yep, I haven't used a single one.  *sigh*

2. Chipboard Letters
I have a friend who got me to collecting these.  I'm pretty certain she uses hers waaaay more than I ever have, which is, oh, pretty much never.  Thickers came into my world and these were pushed aside.  But I kept buying them!  The collection has grown over the past six years...

3. Flower Soft
I saw this used on a beautiful card in a magazine and HAD to have it.  I hunted it down over two years ago and happily restricted myself to buying "just one" to try it out and see if I liked it, and if I did, then I would allow myself to buy more.  This is the "one".  Since I haven't yet used it to see if I like it, well... I have yet to buy more.

4. Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments
I saw these on a several beautiful cards on an online website.  Again, I HAD to have 'em.   Once I bought them (oh... 3 years ago?), I was immediately intimidated.  Then I heard about Tim Holtz and his "Perfect Pearls" and felt like I picked the wrong  product. But since I had them, I couldn't allow myself to spend money on the Perfect Pearls and so... they sit.  I did recently buy some gum arabic as a binder for them, so... I've made at least one step forward now!

6. Tim Holtz Vintage Paper Packs
Okay, you'll see a theme starting from about here.  I had to have these, but resisted buying them.  A sweet friend bought me two for Christmas this past year and soon after I found myself grabbing another up.  Haven't used a single sheet.  Yet.

6.  7 Gypsies Printers Trays
I saw these in projects online at various sites (including Tim Holtz's) and all over the magazines last year about this time of year.  I had to have 'em!  Bought four.  They're still in the shipping box that arrived in the mail.

7. Inkssentials Cut-n-Dry Stamp Pad Felt
Okay, in case you don't know me very well, I have an itty bitty weakness for Tim Holtz and his amazing creations.  I am impatient for him to post his 12 Tags of Christmas every year and every day after he does, I find myself drooling over the end product AND his tutorial on how he makes them.  That man and the companies he works with must make a MINT over the holidays.  Anyway, this was used in one of his 12 Tags last year (2010) and I just had to have it.  Package. Not. Even. Opened.

8. Idea-Ology Film Strip Ribbon
Another Tim Holtz gotta-have.  He used this on one of his 12 Tags as well, if I recall, and I was an a hunt for it soon after.  To be fair to myself, I did resist for a very long time until the store next door to my LSS (a bead store of all things) got it in stock.  I thought it was a message... to buy.  And I did.  And it sits.

9. Tim Holtz Distress Stain
Let's just say if it says "Tim Holtz" plus "Distress"... well, I gotta have it!  The stain was the new twist this year, and I did resist all the way up until last month before I bought any.  A girl's gotta show some self control, no?

10. Gypsy (for the Cricut)
Let's move away from good ol' Tim's influences on me for this last one.  The Hubs got me this as part of his sneaky Christmas gift this year.  I have turned it on exactly twice.  Once to update the software, and once to download the free cartridges I could get for it.  I haven't synched any of my own cartridges yet, nor have I played with it or learned how to use it in any way shape and form.  I really hope that I'll have time soon.  It looks like it would be so convenient and FUN!

While I have been sad about the state of the store, and I know I’ve even shown some bitterness, I’m beginning to feel that remote, kind of squirmy feeling you get when you feel like something big is coming and you’re excited but since you can’t do or see it yet, you stuff that excitement back down inside. Do you know that feeling? I believe it’s the feeling of… huh… I’m not quite sure what word to put to it. It’s the feeling of no more extra hours and late nights or weekend responsibilities. It’s the feeling of “I ONLY have a day job now”. (I do actually still have a 2nd job over at Inside Out, but I can do that on my own time, from my bed on my laptop if I so desire.) But the rest of that time… the time I used to spend at the store… is suddenly “free”.

I think that squirmy, shivery, repressed excited feeling is … me getting ready to PLAY!

(Want to see more  10 Things on the 10th?  Click  here!)

June 6, 2011

On My Soapbox: What Not to Do or Say...

I realize I haven't been around a whole lot.  It's been a rough few weeks for me due to a variety of things.  One thing has been on my mind for quite some time, now.  Watching and being involved with my LSS's closing has had an effect on me I didn't quite anticipate.  I'm angry.  I'm very angry.  I haven't done  a "soapbox" vent in quite a while so indulge me for a moment.

For those of you who read Yahoo or Reader's Digest, you'll know that there are regular features such as "13 Things Waiters Never Tell You" or "15 Things Your Doctor Wants You To Know" or "21 Things To Do With Your Toothbrush".  Well, today I'm going to share with you:

Things this Scrapbook Store Associate Wants to Say to You, But Won't...
  • You may think I'm your friend... and truly I may really like you... but I'm not.  I'm a salesperson and I'm doing my job.  I'm nice in hopes that you'll be a loyal and repeat customer.  When you are a loyal and repeat customer, I am even nicer - I'll remember your name and some details about your life to ask you about.  This does NOT mean I will give you private information about the financial situation with the store or the health status of the owner or my co-workers or their spouses or children.  Please stop asking or insinuating that you know something and want me to confirm your "belief".
  • Along those lines, when you hear the store is closing, please don't act all offended that I, your super close friend who doesn't spend any time with you outside of the store, didn't tell you about it in advance.
  • Please don't lie to me about how often you shop at my store.  I'm there often enough to know who our regulars are.  You're not fooling anyone by coming in when we're liquidating and crying crocodile tears and telling me you shopped here weekly.  Besides, if you really want to know how "loyal" of a customer you were, I can look it up in our database and tell you that the last time you shopped with us was in  2008, and you spent $5.34.  I know you're only here for the liquidation sale.
  • Along those lines, if you were truly sad that we are closing, and we are your "favorite store" why didn't you really shop with us more often?
  • Please stop thinking that a crop at the store is the store's big "moneymaker".  When you crop at a store, the store is providing you edible goodies, drinks and often free giveaways or perks like a store credit to shop.  You paid $15 and you got $5 or $10 back in store credit.   That gives us $5 or $10 of what you paid to cover the food, the drinks, the freebies, the extra salary of the employee who has to stay with you five hours past closing until the crop ends, the extra electricity for your Cricut, lights and heat/air for staying "open" until midnight.  If you only shop up to that $5 or $10 credit, we're actually losing money.
  • Please don't get mad at me for having to pay tax on the product you buy with store credit. That would be true in pretty much any retail store situation.
  • Please stop bringing in product that you bought at other stores displayed in their branded bags to our crops, eat and drink our food and beverages, and then choose to not spend a dime on product while you're in our store.  Seriously, would you take your McDonald's cheeseburger and fries into a Panera and sit and eat it there while using their free Wi Fi?
  • Along those lines, it's really not okay to sit at a crop at our store and talk about how much better you like another store... their crops, their product or their staff.  If you do, why are you here?  
  • And one more  thing... are you an independent sales rep for Creative Memories, Stampin'  Up or Close to my Heart (or other similar type of home business)?  It's really not okay for you to sell your product while shopping or cropping at my store.  I don't bring product into your home demonstrations to sell, do I?
  • Please stop asking me if I'm sad the store is closing.  I've worked here over seven years.  Yes.  I'm sad.  On many occasions, I'm really struggling.  But while you're here, I'm going to smile and help you find what you need.  Having 20+ people ask me if I'm sad each day... well,  it doesn't help.
  • If you really want your local scrapbooking store(s) to stay open, then shop at them.  Support them.  Frequently.  Yes, you may pay a slightly higher price, but you'll get that value back in better customer service with people who know the product or who can give you alternative ideas.  Don't believe me?  Go to any big box store and ask someone there to help you find a name brand scrapbooking product.  Guaranteed nine times out of ten you'll be told they don't have it (even if they do) or you will get a blank look not understanding what you are looking for. 
  • Please stop asking me what I'm going to do, or what my co-workers are going to do, now.  We will do what anyone does when they no longer have a job.  In my case, I already have a full-time job...  when I tell you this, the next question out of your mouth should not be (and I quote an actual person), "but you had this job for a reason, you must have liked it.  What are you going  to miss the most?"  Seriously?
  • Do not assume that the store is closing because we "couldn't make it".  There are a lot of reasons business owners choose to close.  Those reasons are their own.  But it is not always because we "couldn't make it".
Aside from all of those gripes and frustrations, I do really appreciate those people who have come in and shared a fond memory or two.  I appreciate the people who have supported us from the beginning to the end. I am so glad for some of the people I have met during my time at the store.  In a few weeks, there won't be a chance for me to really ever see some of them again, other than a random meeting.  I also realize that people "shop for the deal".  It's human nature. 

But sometimes... sometimes you have to realize that the cheaper deal isn't always the best deal.

We'll be back to regular programming soon. Again, thanks for your indulgence!

June 2, 2011

Embrace & Personify

As in, I need to embrace & personify this within so many aspects of my life...

"If you hear a voice within you say, 'You cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced."
~ Vincent van Gogh ~


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