Monday, November 13, 2017

This Wednesday...

Even though my face looks yuuuuge by comparison here, I'm still excited about this Get It Scrapped class, which is just a few days away for members. I'm sharing a reunion story that overlaps with the design principle of continuance -- that sounds like a mouthful, but trust me, it makes for meaningful storytelling. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017


Lately, I have been

...following my daughter's travels throughout Europe.
I've never been to Europe, and I am so proud of Z, for making this semester abroad happen -- it was a longtime dream of hers. 

I am also in awe of her, for embracing a spirit of independence and adventure, and taking the initiative to explore cities, often on her own.  She has visited many landmark sites, but has also discovered many unexpected gems along the way.

At first, she was worried about making friends and finding traveling companions, but she has since become more self-reliant -- she doesn't want to miss a thing. Some of her classmates are homesick at this point, but not Z -- she's fallen in love.

...reading a few books simultaneously, including Dan Brown's Origin (I'm about halfway through) and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's We Should All Be Feminists (with the students in my Art of Argument class). In the latter is a section that is especially relevant to our current cultural conversations about masculinity, power, voice, and harassment:
   We do a great disservice to boys in how we raise them. We stifle the humanity of boys. We define masculinity in a very narrow way. Masculinity is a hard, small cage, and we put boys inside this cage.
   ...By far the worse thing we do to males -- by making them feel they have to be hard -- is that we leave them with
very fragile egos. The harder a man feels compelled to be, the weaker his ego is.
   And then we do a much greater disservice to girls, because we raise them to cater to the fragile egos of males.
   We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller.  
(Adichie 26-27)
I'm also rereading Romeo and Juliet with my freshmen, which I love partly because of Shakespeare's language, and partly because of the students' reactions to the "misadventured piteous overthrows" of R&J.  Interestingly, this year's class seems especially attentive to the way in which the men in the play talk about and treat women.

...binge-watching Stranger Things season 2 (we blew through it in two days) and Mindhunter (again, two days).  We've also been watching The Good Doctor.  I like it so far -- Freddie Highmore is amazing -- but I'm not sure how long the show can last, as it seems to be taking the same approach each week.

...worrying about an upcoming colonoscopy. I understand that it is a routine procedure and that everyone has to endure it at some point -- and that it can save lives -- but I'm wary of being put under anesthesia once again. The last time I was kind of a wreck.  At least this time I know what to expect and the procedure will be a quick one.  I am so not looking forward to drinking that gallon o' grossness beforehand, however. Yuck.

...enjoying the rain today.  We don't get nearly enough of it. The dogs have been sleeping all day, as has the husband.  It's cozy weather.  It makes me feel like...

...scrapbooking.  In the absence of a daughter, I've been directing some of my scrappy energies toward her furry sibling.
This project came about through a Get It Scrapped prompt to use design elements to reveal character. It is so Linus. 
A second project devoted to Mr. Linus features this year's Halloween costume, which he loved so much that he set aside time each day to hunt it down and chew on it.
I have also been making sure that from time to time, a layout about me finds its way into my albums. This one was prompted by a Get It Scrapped feature on recording intentions, the Studio Calico Gypsy Moon kit and its autumnal elements, as well as by a birthday that took me even further into my 40s...and into reflecting on what this time in my life means (and what I want it to mean).

Thanks for visiting!


Friday, November 10, 2017

Reveal Day!

It's reveal day at Elle's Studio! Check out the November kit and extras: 

I combined elements from the above with these letter stamps...
to create this layout, celebrating my daughter's travels this semester: 
I used the arrow stamp from the Pure Joy stamp set to create the patterned background on a sheet of pale aqua cardstock, and then I placed a sheet of vellum over it and stitched "pathways" over that. 
With the Stanley Jr. alphabet outline stamps, I stamped the country codes from the places that my daughter has been/will be visiting as she studies abroad this semester.
I flipped a few of the cards from the kit and added my journaling to the backs of those, stitching some ribbon tags on each to call attention to the hidden journaling on the layout. 

Thanks for stopping by today! 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

October at Elle's Studio

It's the tenth of the month, which means that over at Elle's Studio,  it's new release day! Check out the new kit...
new stamps and extras,
and even some Halloween-themed and fall-themed goodies.
The following layout was created with much of what you see above, plus items from the Family Fun collection:
One of my students snapped this photo to accompany an interview, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to use it on a layout. With her permission, I included it here, along with a "thankful for" list that shares just a few of the many things for which I am grateful as a teacher. 
The days of the week stamps came in handy here, as did the die-cut labels and the "Favorites" journaling card from the kit, which I cut to create additional labels. The background includes a green grid pattern from the Family Fun collection as well as a sheet ripped from an old gradebook. 
Thanks for stopping by today! 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Soccer Snapshot

While moving about half of the one thousand icons on my desktop into the trash bin this afternoon, I realized that I had never shared this Elle's Studio layout here: 
Though "athletic" is one of the last words you'd ever use to describe me today, once upon a time, I was actually one of the sports-playing kind of humans. This layout reflects on that era. My memories of my years on various teams are somewhat fragmented, which is why I chose a similar approach to the journaling. 

For a time as a teenager, I regretted not sticking with the sport, but in observing my friends who continued to play, I realized that though I am a competitive person in some ways, I lack a certain killer instinct. At some point the game became less about playing, and more about winning. 

I still play soccer from time to time with my dog, who always breaks the rules by sinking his teeth into the ball and running into the bushes with it. Clearly I have much to learn from him.  

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Scrapping Vicarious Travels

With very few exceptions, our family vacations are staycations, involving the couch, Netflix, and take-out. It's great, because the pets can join us, and we don't have to brush our hair for days. 

Of course I'd love for us to be able to take real vacations, but plane fair and accommodations for our entire family aren't exactly in our budget. However, both my husband and I really don't mind foregoing opportunities to travel in order to allow our daughter the chance to see the world. Her current location? She's in Italy for the semester, that lucky bugger!  

I may never get to Europe, but scrapbooking helps me to travel vicariously with her.
This past week on the Elle's Studio blog, a few of the DT members were challenged to use the new Foodie stamp set. I used a bunch of the words and phrases from the stamp on this layout, creating a border around the page. 
I had no idea how the layout would turn out when I started stamping, but I have to say, I love its busyness and energy, not to mention those scrumptious photos of Italian eats. 
You're as jealous of her as I am, right? 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Elle's Studio September Release

Every 10th of the month, Elle's Studio releases a new kit plus lots of extras, and this month's release is a BIG one, in that it includes the new Family Fun collection and a foodie mini-collection. 
Be sure to check out the site, as there are lots of sweet deals today, including 20% off a special Family Fun bundle and a related freebie -- including free shipping for those who check out during the bundling period.

I'm loving the September kit, with its back-to-school vibes and journaling cards that contain graphic organizers -- which teachers and scrapbookers alike can appreciate.
The kit features prominently on a layout that I recently created, documenting my return to school for my twentieth (!) year of teaching. It also includes some items from the Family Fun collection. 
Thanks for stopping by today!