Archive for the ‘Scrap me silly’ Category
There’s a certain comfort that comes from knowing who you are, from acknowledging your strengths and living within your limitations.
And then there are those times you get squeezed out of your comfort zone and pushed into challenging those limitations.
First it was running.Â I’ve already posted about that one.
Next, it was making centerpieces for my mom’s birthday celebration this summer.Â Seriously folks, I *don’t* do centerpieces.Â Â I can’t tell you how stressed I was just creating this:
Now, it’s card-making.Â I’ve posted about that before, too.Â Twice.Â No…three…or maybe even four times.Â And each time, my mantra has been the same:Â I don’t make cards.Â Although friends have tried to convince me otherwise, I just don’t believe I have the skill or designer’s eye to make cards.
So when it came time to select a gift to bring to my Pokeno group’s game night, what did I do?
Yep, you guessed it.
I made a set of cards.
Did you read that correctly?
I MADE (by hand, by myself, with my own materials)
A SET (meaning more than one…in fact, there were 10, all coordinated)
OF CARDS (and by cards I do mean little notecards that you can write in and put in an envelope and send to someone).
They were darn cute, if I do say so myself.Â I even took pictures. So I’m going to treat you to my “Top 10″, counting down to my #1 favorite.
Coming in at #10, we have this one.Â It was by far my least favorite.Â It was also one of the last ones I did.Â I love the paper I used for the background, but by this time my brain was tired and I was starting to run low on materials.Â I found the composition challenging, but I think I still made it work.
My #9 creation was this one.Â I loved the inside of the card.Â The front, not so much.Â That busy background was hard to work with, as much as I loved that paper.
At #8 I have this one.Â This WAS the last card I made and I was ready to just slap anything on it and be done with the whole mess.Â I was nearly out of dimensional stickers and I was incredibly frustrated trying to make anything work on this paper.Â The front turned out amazing.Â The inside needs help, that’s for sure.Â But whatever.Â You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.
My #7 pick was this one.Â This was the first card I made and I really liked it A LOT.Â It was my favorite until I made the next 6.Â I realized after looking at it later that I probably should have made that center strip a little smaller to make the butterfly stand out more.
Standing firmly in 6th place is this creation.Â I spent a lot of time debating whether those two papers coordinated well enough without making your eyes spin.Â Finally, I decided that with a small strip it would work and the little embellishment helps to bring it all together.
For my #5 pick, I was thrilled with the way this one came together.Â I love the casual, fun look.Â If I’d had a few little rhinestones on hand, I would have added some to the centers of the flowers to really make it shine.
With my #4 favorite, I wasn’t sure about adding any more embellishments to the front with how bold the background paper was.Â And really, the pictures don’t do it justice.Â At first, I was pretty ambivalent with the finished product, but as I looked at it later my reaction was definitely more “WOW”.
My #3 favorite was definitely one I was excited to put together.Â I finished this one very quickly because it all just fell into place.Â I love the vintage look and the simplicity.Â I admired this one for quite a while.Â I probably could have made a whole set of this design, if I’d had enough materials on hand.Â In fact, if I made cards, I’d probably do that someday.
Which brings us to my top 2.Â At #2 is this one.Â Oh.Â My.Â Goodness.Â I love it.Â LOVE LOVE LOVE it.Â Love it so much I could marry it.Â Okay, not really.Â But seriously, for someone who doesn’t make cards, this is gorgeous.Â I was so proud.Â I couldn’t believe I had made this.
But my very favorite, #1 pick of the bunch is this one.Â Yeah.Â I rocked it.Â Totally.Â Still makes me catch my breath a little.
So there I go, not making cards again.Â After I had not gone for a run and not made any centerpieces.Â Who knows where you’ll find me next.Â Probably not shopping at Wal-Mart.
Let me begin my post by reminding you of one simple truth about me: I don’t make cards.Â I’ve explained it before, in great detail.Â I’ve even reiterated it in not-so-different terms.Â So imagine my surprise when, over the past few weeks, I’ve made not one, not two, but THREE separate card designs.Â I know!Â Who are you and what have you done with my Debily?
Well, I’m not quite sure.Â What’s even stranger is I have actually enjoyed making these cards.Â Crazy, huh?Â Don’t worry, though, I’m still a true scrapbooker at heart.
First, we have the thank you cards I made following our Blue & Gold banquet in February.Â These were super simple, but I was impressed with how they turned out.Â The best part was that I was able to turn out several of these in a short period of time, and I had all the materials on hand, so they didn’t cost me any extra!
My next project – which turned out to be a major undertaking – was to create save-the-date cards for my mom’s upcoming “BIG” birthday this summer.Â I had created mock-ups of 6 different designs, several of which were far simpler.Â But she liked the “vintage” look of this design and its classic appeal, so this was the design I used.Â I modified it somewhat from the original mock-up, trimming it down from a 5″x7″ size to a 5″x5″ square.Â Though far from “perfect”, I was very pleased with how they turned out.Â And after making and mailing 75 of them, I think I could make them in my sleep.
Finally, we have a birthday card for one of Trey’s good friends.Â Again, I had all the materials on hand, so the cost was essentially free.Â Simple, but fun.Â And, because I’m like that, I even matched the paper on the card to the wrapping paper used for the gift!Â I’m sure Trey’s friend will notice and comment on my awesome coordination skills.Â After all, isn’t that what 10-year-old boys do?
So who knew I could make cards?!?Â I guess it’s one more thing to add to my already long list of awesome skills and talents.Â I promise I’m still the same Debily, just perhaps new and improved.
As you probably know, I’ve been out of touch lately.Â Since Thursday, I’ve been holed up with 6 other women in a little house in Denton scrapping my life away.Â Four consecutive days of scrapping can make one a little stir crazy, so we decided to liven things up every once in awhile.
And this weekend, I was introduced to BonQuiQui.Â You may know her as Anjelah Johnson, referenced in an earlier post about the nail salon.Â Well, this is another one of her sketches, and we had a great time this weekend invoking a call to security and threatening to “cut” anyone who didn’t agree with us.
Warning: this is a brag post.Â Shameless, unabashed, over-the-top bragging.Â Maybe even a little boastful.Â But Iâ€™m okay with that.
Because itâ€™s about a card.Â Not just any card, but a card that I made.Â And you see, I donâ€™t make cards. Itâ€™s just one of the quirks that makes me so lovable.
But I made this one.Â Itâ€™s for the son of a friend of ours.Â Possibly even Crisanaâ€™s future husband if he has his way.Â So heâ€™s a pretty special kid.Â And he deserves a special card.
So here it is.Â First the front:
Then the inside:
Am I good or what?
Today is the last day of school.Â Wow.Â 180 days of learning…over.Â My baby’s first year of school…done.Â How in the world did this happen?
I’ve already written a post expressing my gratitude for their teachers and the staff at McGowen, so I won’t repeat myself.Â But I do have to brag a little.Â Because of the extra love and concern we received this year from the staff, I purchased gifts for more than just the classroom teachers.Â I bought gifts for the office staff as well.Â And with those gifts, I wanted to give them a special card…something handmade.Â This is always a bit difficult, you see, because I don’t make cards.
Despite the fact that Trey was having a friend sleep over, despite the fact that we went to the movies and got home late, despite the fact that the day had been frenzied and frantic between piano students, school volunteering, and duties at home, despite the fact that I knew the last day of school would be a blur of activity, despite the fact that I hadn’t had time to go to the store and buy the special rock-n-roll themed paper I wanted…I stayed up well past my bedtime to create handmade cards for the receptionist, office manager, principal, assistant principal, registrar, counselor, and two classroom teachers.Â Yes, that’s a total of 8 -count ‘em, EIGHT – cards.Â That’s like infinity to a girl who doesn’t make cards in the first place.
After spending far too long trying to determine a color scheme and design, I just had to bite the bullet and make them.Â Considering the obstacles, I was fairly pleased with how the finished product turned out.Â Simple, yes.Â But cute nonetheless, if I do say so myself.Â First the front…
…and then the inside…
I finished them so late that I was too tired to write in them, so I took them with us to McDonald’s the next morning for our special last-day-of-school breakfast and managed to sign them without getting syrup or grease smeared all over.Â They may not be works of art, but they were definitely works of “heart.”
The calendar proclaims that it’s already Day 2 of 2009 and here I sit, with not a single New Year’s Resolution penned.Â I guess it’s time to remedy that.
As I’ve said before, I don’t like making resolutions.Â It’s too easy to fail at a resolution: you break it, and you’ve failed.Â So since I don’t like the pressure of failure, I set goals.Â It’s an issue of semantics to be sure, but it’s one that works for me.Â I like the idea of striving toward a goal, the idea that even if I suffer a setback I can get back on track and still reach the goal.Â I find fulfillment and satisfaction in taking the small steps toward a greater victory.
The theme of my goals for 2009 is simple: I want 2009 to be a year characterized of “by faith” living.Â While that sounds lofty and esoteric, I’m going to attempt to put hands, feet, and a persona to that concept.Â Here’s what I mean:
- In 2009, I will grow professionally by faith.Â I will follow God’s path for me professionally, whatever it may be.Â If God leads me to return to work full-time, I will trust Him to provide the right job at the right school.Â If I stay home another year, I will trust Him to provide enough students.Â No matter what, I will find ways to increase my professional knowledge and skills and make learning fun for the students I teach.
- In 2009, I will grow personally by faith. God has blessed me with a wonderful husband and two precious children – for which I am eternally grateful.Â But He has also blessed me with talents and abilities and interests and passions which make me a unique and special person.Â Throughout this year, I will continue to blog an average of 4 days per week.Â I will also renew my efforts to scrapbook more faithfully, with a goal of an album completed per month (on average).Â I will be returning to more rigid South Beach eating habits, and trust that with God’s help I will lose those last 22 lbs. that will take me to my goal weight…and keep it off.Â I will continue to exercise 4-5 days per week, and will strive to live a more active and healthy overall lifestyle.Â I will rely on God’s strength to provide the self-discipline to accomplish these goals.
- In 2009, I will grow spiritually by faith. That sounds redundant, I know, but growing in faith takes faith.Â I want to commit to a pattern of scripture memory, both personally and as a family.Â I need to recommit to a family devotional time and renew my efforts in helping our children develop personal Bible study habits.Â I have been praying for God to reveal opportunities for our family to be involved in service ministries – and by faith, I know God will show us how He wants to use us in our neighborhood, our school, our community, and our world.Â I will remain a part of a Bible study group, as well as our Life Group, will commit to faithfully completing our sermon series study guides and Bible study assignments, and will seek God’s leading in the ministries He has placed me in.
- In 2009, I will grow socially by faith. I admit, I’ve been a lazy friend recently.Â I need to take a more proactive stance in reaching out to others, to deepening and strengthening the friendships I have.Â So this year I will commit to finding ways to maintain and renew relationships, whether it be meeting for lunch, having coffee at Starbuck’s, getting together for a play date, or inviting people to our home.Â I will trust God to provide the time and the opportunities for me to be involved with other people.
In 2007, I was challenged to follow…by faith.
In 2008, I was challenged to sacrifice…by faith.
In 2009, may I be faithful to live…and serve…and love…and grow…by faith.
“Everything is possible for [her] who believes.”Â – Mark 9:23 (NIV)
The world of papercrafters is large and vast. So many possibilities exist, so many new territories can be explored. Scrapbooking is one of them. Cardmaking is another. Many who scrap cross over to cardmaking. Many who create beautiful, hand-made cards also enjoy designing gorgeous scrapbook pages.
I, however, am not one of them.
In all fairness, I must say I have given it the old college try. I have attended Stampin’ Up! demonstrations. I have gone to cardmaking classes. I even went to a D.O.T.S. home show eons ago – before cardmaking was all the rage – and learned how to make cute little gift bags from #10 security envelopes. I bought stamps and stamp pads with my imagination wide open to the prospect of saving a fortune by making memorable cards for every occasion.
And then I made a very important discovery: I don’t like making cards.
Scrapbooking, I love. Cardmaking, notsomuch.
I love buying the beautiful handmade cards created by others, and oohing and ahhing over them and thinking to myself, “Now I could make that!” and then never doing it.
So it is justifiable, I reason, to allow myself this brag post. The McGowen Country Fair is coming up next weekend, and as I have done in the past for the McNeil auctions, I wanted to offer a gift certificate for a free month of lessons. But that meant actually making the gift certificate. And, being the overachiever I am known to be, I wanted it to be a magnificent gift certificate, truly one-of-a-kind. Eye catching. Sure to draw attention. Impressive.
I started with my basic color scheme of black, red, white and a hint of grey if necessary and set out to create this masterpiece. Several hours (and scads of discarded scraps) later, I emerged with this:
I knew I’d done a good job when I showed it to Matt the next morning and he said, “That’s GORGEOUS.”Â Yep, I rocked it.
For those who are interested, details on making this are below the fold.
We are officially one month into the New Year, and in order to help keep myself accountable I’ll be keeping track of my progress toward reaching my 2008 goals with a monthly “goal” post. (Get it? “Goal”post? Goalpost? Oh, never mind…)
Goalpost #1: Creativity
The results on the calendar speak for themselves: an average of more than 4 days per week for blogging! As far as scrapbooking goes, I’ve remained disciplined and have been “mostly” on target for the month of January: 24 completed pages (out of a goal of 31), 10 layouts completed (out of a goal of 12) and 1 album completed (out of a goal of 1).
Goalpost #2: Spiritual Growth
While we haven’t yet joined a church, we have committed to visiting churches faithfully and carefully evaluating them with regard to our family’s needs, wants, and beliefs. We have finished our “first dates” with all the churches on our list, and will be heading back for a “second date” with one church beginning this Sunday. Our family devotion time continues to develop: while I haven’t been as faithful as I’d like, I am happy to report that we are having family devotions on average 4-5 nights per week. The kids have been excited about their personal devotions and we’ve been able to start their day with a quiet time 3-4 mornings each week. We haven’t yet gotten back into the routine of Scripture memory, and my neighborhood Bible study hasn’t started up yet, but things are definitely moving in the right direction.
Goalpost #3: Physical Health
Despite beginning the year with sick children, I’ve been able to get back into going to the gym more faithfully. We switched our membership over to Express Fitness, which is closer to home, more convenient, and works better with my schedule. I’ve been able to get back into Pilates, which is so good for my flexibility and back issues, and they have several circuits and cardio machines which allow me to do my own “Body Blaster” class. I’ve seriously reduced my intake of Diet Coke and chocolate and have been eating far more fruits & vegetables and drinking water. Small changes, but the scale was kind enough to record an 8-pound loss for the month of January: double my goal for the month! It’s going to take a long time to get where I want to be, but the positive reinforcement (whether actual or not) is enough to keep me motivated on my goals!
Goalpost #4: Mental Stimulation
No books finished, but I have actually been to the library. Twice. Checked out books even. And renewed them. And read about 7 chapters in my current read, Searching for Johnny by James Gibbins. I’ve read over 100 pages, and still haven’t figured out if I like it. I have started being more active in my online piano teacher forums again – after a couple of years of feeling like I didn’t have much to offer – and am trying to incorporate the collective wisdom of the groups into my studio’s policies and practices. So, maybe not as much progress here, but the effort is definitely there.
So there it is. It’s definitely a challenge to stay focused on reaching these goals, but I know in the process I’m making myself a better person all around. We read a verse in our family devotions a week ago that has since become my mantra in moments of discouragement: “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and self-discipline.” DISCIPLINE. Yeah, that’s what it’s gonna take. And with God’s help, I bet I can get there.
And that’s a good thing!
For those of you who are non-scrappers (gasp!), I must explain that a Cricut (pronounced like the insect, cricket) is a really cool, must-have, how-did-I-ever-live-without-it scrapping tool.Â Â It slices!Â It dices!Â It makes pure mincemeat out of cardstock!Â But wait!Â There’s more!!Â You can also use the special pens to have the Cricut write titles, journaling, or tags just like that!Â Oh, the possibilities are endless!
Now before you start to think I’m going to whip out some toll-free number for you to call, I will say that before I had my wonderful Cricut, I would spend literally hours cutting out letters by hand to use for my page titles.Â And my dear friend Angie would cringe at the fact that the middles of my a’s and o’s and b’s and p’s were just a little jagged.Â Oh, I tried using an exacto knife.Â I even tried a crafting knife.Â But as you may recall, I am woefully challenged in the coordination department, so me and and an exacto knife are a frightening combination. Â I’ve used the Cricut on a whopping two layouts and it’s already been my salvation. Read the rest of this entry »