Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Losing the Focus?

A couple of my scrapping buddies and I had an interesting conversation last night on msn about the direction that scrapbooking appears to be taking. It seems anymore, that in order to be published or to design for a manufacturer, you have to have graphic art training and be an expert on the puter to generate the journaling that so often gets layouts choosen. I understand why a manufacturer or a magazine would want to have the very best and most known working for them or being published in their magazine. I have nothing but respect, admiration and yes, jealousy for these talented women.

The thing that bothers me is the movenent toward all layouts having to meet these stringent criteria to be said to be "good enough". Scrapbooking originated as a safe way to "store" pictures, memories and information. The evolution to creative presentation followed quickly, thank heavens ,but the focus was stilll on the photos, the visual capturing of moments, memories, people, places and yes, even things. I am not sure that is true anymore and this wonderful hobby has become pressure packed to achieve what most of us do not have the training or time to obtain the training to do.

My point in fact is a beautiful layout I saw in a recent publication. It was done with a mix of lovely papers, doused liberally with chipboard letters painted to match, typepography (spelling?) that drew the eye and brought instant envy, and for a topping, some flowers and ribbons. WOW! I was drooling. Then I stopped, "Where is the picture?", "What is this layout about?". There, in the lower right corner, was a wallet sized picture of a child...hmmmmmmm.

My friends and I discussed the difference and while two of us would love to be published more often, I think our age and our style of scrapbooking (and yes, we do try to focus on the photos) is a deterant to this. I am not an artist. My friend, Maya, is an artist....she creates amazing watercolors and earns a decent living at it. I am a scrapbooker and I want to put the fun back into it! I need to take a long look at exactly why I do scrap and remember what fun it use to be.

Scrap on my friends, scrap on.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Life on Easy Street

It just doesn't get much better than honey is in the kitchen cooking supper, my son, who is visiting from Clearwater, is in the workroom fixing my 'puter (I'm on Minnie, the lap top, and my Wishblade, Zorro, is now up and running and even by

My tags are done, my kits lined up and awaiting assembly and we have movies rented for tonight...bring on the fun!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Ready, Jules, run!

Morning all, today starts the marathon I call my life! lol. Today I have a luncheon date with a pal from down the road. We meet at a tiny but very cute lss in Naples, Fl. and then go out to lunch to chat and discuss our shared passion...scrapbooking. My son arrives on Friday evening to help his "poor ol' puter illiterate mom" for the weekend.

I leave next Friday am for St. Pete to pick up Kath and Kip and we are off to the Hilltop Memories Winter Retreat where we will hook up with Terri for tons of fun. I am teaching one class, assisting with another and taking 3 myself. Can't wait.

On Sunday, I drop off Kath and the Kipster and I head home to unpack/pack and catch an early morning plane for Vegas and CHA the very next day. This will sure be fun and I will get to meet the members of the Design Team irl. They seem to be a great bunch of gals and my roomie, Kelli, is so funny. I'm taking 3 classes there and will head home on Thurs. That following Friday, we head up to Tampa to meet with the design center for our new house and with the electician the following Sat....yeah!

I'll have my laptop with me at all times (heehee) so I can stay in touch.
So, on my mark....get set....Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Blue Days are turning to aqua...

and life is looking up! I've been in a funk but it seems to be moving on slowly but surely.

I have to type up my directions for my kits for the retreat at the end of January, pack for 3 seperate trips that happen one right after another and pack my kits. I have been working everyday and today I took a break...

I created something fun for my cabin mates at the retreat and, when I did, the cloud over my head started to shift a bit and get puffy as opposed to being filled with rain, sleet and hail.
Maybe doing something for fun and for others is what I have needed all along.

I have given serious thought lately to my postion in this industry and wonder why I keep fighting the odds. Compared to many, many scrappers out there, I am ok at best. I am a good teacher and creative but it takes so much more than that to even get published these days. Many of the more frequently published scrappers have either a graphic arts background or are adept at manipulating the computer. I am just an old retired English teacher! lol

I think I just need to put the fun back in my dysfunctional life to paraphrase Mary Engelbrect! Thanks for all the support you have given me over this past week. You have made a difference in my attitude, believe me.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Down days and days off kilter

For the past couple of days, I've been feeling down, uncomfortable in my skin. I've had trouble focusing and staying on task. This happens to me now and then and often for no discernable reason. I think it has to do with the ebb and flow of being and getting older.

Before, when a blue day or two would hit, I would bike my way through it or scrap til I dropped. I don't even feel I have the energy to do this and my knee starts hurting if I bike too far.

Part of my enui I am sure has to do with facing the changes and uncertainties of our new house and move away from here. I moved so much as a child (ten schools in twelve years), that I put down deep roots. I know that I will be happier closer to my kids and my friends. Meanwhile, we have so much to do, I feel overwhealmed.

I am looking forward to the scrapbooking retreat at the end of the month. I am frustrated with my printer and how slow Harry, my big puter is making the assembly of my kits difficult. I am also looking forward to CHA in Vegas. I haven't been to Vegas since the mid 70s. I am looking forward to seeing friends and making new ones.

This is such a mismash of jumbled thoughts, I am hesitant to push the publish post button, but will because this is also a big part of who I am.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Ten Things I Like About Me Challenge

Ok, Kip and we go (she says as she takes a deep breath).

1. I have a great relationship with my adult kids

2. I am an excellent teacher

3. I make friends easily and keep them forever

4. I am creative

5. I am witty and clever

6. I am fun to be around

7. I am a descriptive writer

8. I cherish my family history

9. I stay active and enjoy biking and kayaking

10. I am growing older with grace (ageing like a bottle of fine, vintage wine)

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Just another day

It seems we sleep in later and later each morning. I don't know if we are finally moving into the retirement five years after the fact or if it is just the weather. When I get up past five a.m. , I feel like half my day is over.

It is a foggy day here. I sat in the hot tub (therapy you know for the bum knee...yah, right) and watched the fog creep up the street from the canal right into my back yard. Sandburg was right, it does move in like a cat...softly, slowly. A palm outlined against the grey sky is really amazing looking. Guess I better get out the camera.

We are off to Farmer's Market downtown today. It is one of my favorite things to do. The flowers are lovely and cheap, the snacks yummy smelling and the fruits and veggies look so pretty, I want to buy them all. A replica of the Pinta is docked at the wharf downtown and, although I have toured this one before when we lived in St. Louis, I'd like to see it again. It is unreal how those sailors ever made it across the ocean in such a small boat. Pictures to follow, hopefully.

Have a great day and don't forget to enjoy the moment!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Message Board Mania

I've given a lot of thought to message boards and the roles they have played in my life. When we first moved to Florida after our retirement five years ago, we didn't know anyone but our family. We had both been use to having our large circle of friends close by and always ready to have adventures. Now, we were pretty much on our own.

The biggest link we had to our friends in St. Louis was the internet. And this became our link to new friends as well. I had been so use to attending crops either after school or on a Sat. with girfriends that the loss of this really hit me hard. On line, I discovered a whole cyber world of scrappers and virtual crops available everywhere. I was saved.

One of the first mbs with which I made contact was the ckmb. It was through this mb that I met and became friends with Petra (my kemosabe) and Moni. Who knew at the time that we would exchange several visits irl, and crop over the internet with our web cams and mikes...wonders never cease.
What a joy these two have been in both my honey's and my life. The highlight has to have been attending CKU and our dorm placing 2nd overall. What a blast that was. Janet and Anne , I still laugh at the pics of you with Hank, our own Cabana Boy. Kath we missed you. and the Kipster was not even on the mb then nor had I met our MerMaid BBTH.

Although I have parted ways with ckmb for a variety of reasons, I shall be always thankful to it for providing me with so many wonderful friendships. And the Early guys all rock! I miss you. Maybe I'll surprise you all some early morn, who knows. Stranger things have happened, right?

Sunday, January 08, 2006

My history with hats...

My grandmother, Mano, was a stately woman and one of immense dignity. She took great pride in her appearance even when she could hardly remember her own name right before she passed away. Her one great vanity was hats.

After she graduated from 10th grade (the end of education when she was a girl), she went to work in a hat factory. I have the most amazing pictures of her and, in every one, she is wearing a hat. She preferred the large ones with feathers and ribbons. She would have loved this one.

Unfortunately, with my square jaw and round chubby cheeks, I do not wear hats well. When I was in high school, my "friends" use to make me try on hats at malls for evening entertainment.
Kip shot me in several hats during a recent shopping excursion when she visited Paradise last.
It is reassuring that some things never change.

Hats off to you, Nana!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Year in Review 2005

Giving this a shot. After reading Kip's, Clare's and Ruth's, I wanna play too. Hope this copy/paste works.

for Nadine's challenge on
Two Peas for the New year:
1. What did you do in 2005 that you'd never done before?

Traveled to Italy, flew to Cleveland w/Kip

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don't think I made any!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Petra had our Cabana Baby, Brian

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Not this year, thank God. I've lost too many members of my family in the four years previous to this one so maybe I am getting a rest.

5. What countries did you visit?

Italy and it was wonderous!

6. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005?

The knowledge that my family is well, happy and independent.

7. What date from 2005 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

I'm with Kip...the hurricanes and our nation's poor response blaming the shortcomings on race instead of doing something about it.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Making the ScrapLovers DT and having a few things picked up for publication.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not keeping my mouth shut and my hands off the key board when I know better. There is no sense is taking on trouble.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

My knee which is probably arthritus related.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Either Minnie, my new laptop or our new home (put the money down and move closer to my dd, sil, ds andKath and the Kipster).

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My friend Anne who started her own business...very scary thing. WAy to go, Anne!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

The monitors on the CKMB who allowed inequity and bullying to continue unabated and whose playing of favorites no matter how offensive these were has led to over 40 women leaving the mb entirely or posting only to "safe" threads. Sad.

Am also appalled with our gov't response to the emergencies this year and to those who involved us in a war that is none of our business.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Italy, scrapbook toys like the Wishblade, the new printer, the lap top, etc. etc. and I am not even going to talk about supplies!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Life in general, hanging out with my friends, being invited to teach at a very cool sb retreat, seeing my kids often oh and biking miles and miles.

16. What song will always remind you of 2005?

No clue

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? happier
ii. thinner or fatter? about the same, drat it.
iii. richer or poorer? no clue

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Scrapped

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? fretted over things out of my control.

20. How will you be spending Christmas? with family but my dd and her husband were in St. Louis and my nephew and his gf arrived stoned for Christmas Eve (see White Trash Christmas for details).

22. Did you fall in love in 2005?

Fell? am still loving that man of mine!

23. How many one-night stands? ah, that would be a negatory

24. What was your favorite TV program?

Loved Surface (anthing scary is fun), Lost (constant puzzle), The Biggest Loser, House, and Survivor.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? Not into hate but there are a couple of gals I really don't care for....more their "I can do anything, say anything because I can" attitude.

26. What was the best book you read?

Reading Katherine Hepburns biography now and it is good but my fave of the year has to be Wicked and the sequel, Son of a Witch.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

That the only place I would win anything for singing is the Gong Show and I don't think it is still in production.

28. What did you want and get? Peace of mind and what I got was a mixed bag but that is life.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

Wow...thats a toughy as we don't go to the movies and haven't rented one in eons. Probably Harry Potter.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

This is sad but I can't remember what we did on my b'day. I was 58 which is why I probably can't remember.

2. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? winning the Florida lottery said Kip and ditto says I.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005? comfortable...

and into tees with sequins and sparkles etc on wine/drink glasses/fish/palm trees/ anything. And yes, I have become my mother.

34. What kept you sane?

My husband, the kids, my incredible girlfriends

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Not a celeb fan

36. What political issue stirred you the most? Again, the dismal failure of the US and it's President in light of Katrina and this ridiculous war says kip...ditto says Jules

37. Who did you miss? My stepfather, Papa Joe and my mom, aunt and uncle.

38. Who was the best new person (people) you met?

Not to slight the old and gold pals but the newest people I have met would have to be the Smoochie Girls, Lisa and ya!

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005:

To save my time and energy for things that truely matter: family, friends, my love of the craft.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

Leaving on a jet plane (all the sb conventions I worked this past year)

Being sick sucks...

I had such big plans for ride, finish with the holiday stuff, scrap, read. Neither of us slept well last night and just taking down and packing up the tree has left me yearning for a nap, all wrapped up in a warm blanket. My honey's cough is dry and raspy and he can only take certain meds and the bug has settled in my tummy but is rapidly moving to chest and head.

Enough moaning and groaning. The couch is calling me or at least a chair in the sun on the patio. I hate feeling my age!

Hope you are all well and happy!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Jan 1, 2006

Cheers and best wishes for this next year. I am not a big one for making New Year's Resolutions as I never seem to keep them. I do, on the other hand, keep my word. So, perhaps I need to change my resolutions to promises I make myself. I am making 3 personal promises and 3 scrap related promises. I plan to scrap these into the title page for my Book of Me for 2006, thus insuring that one of my promises is kept!

I hope this year is a good one for all of you, my friends. As I get closer to the BIG 60, I find myself thinking more and more about the contributions my friends and family make to my life and how much easier my life is to lead thanks to all of you.

Blessings and best of the best to you all.