Sunday, January 29, 2012

Creative Blocks

I have seriously had a creative block lately.  Creative blocks for me usually stem from being way too busy at my 8 a.m. to whenever job (the term 9 to 5 job is ridiculously off base).  But there was this one project set before me that I was completely stoked about.  It was a challenge to figure out how to do it, where to find the product to do it . . . but I couldn't wait to figure it all out.

I think one of the reasons I was super stoked about this project goes back to my sewing years . . . many, many years ago . . . I made this cloth covered wreath.  It was a solid white wreath base with Velcro where you would attach different pieces.  Each month you remove the old and replace with the new.  There was a ruffle you would attach to the back with a braided hanger.  There were three or four decorative pieces that you attached to the front.  You would swap everything out and you'd have a whole new look each month for years to come.  My velcro pieces didn't hold up to well over the years, and that awesome wreath is probably in a box in the basement.  So sad.  I didn't realize I missed it until this project came along.  Here is a little sneak peak . . .

Creative blocks . . . a set of tags . . . and you swap them out whenever you want!

I am in love!  I cannot wait to create another set of tags. 

My creative block is solved by a set of creative blocks. 

We'll be offering this at workshops at my LSS, New England Scrapbook Co. in Canton, Connecticut.  So exciting!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Positive Realist Project - Take 6

Did I quit my Positive Realist Project?


I have just been so incredibly busy that I've not been able to make any blog entries.  But I've continued my quest to put things in perspective.  My Smash Book is looking great as I continue to document "my best" and "my worst." Let's go with the bad news first . . .

My very worst "worsts" in the last few weeks were centered around death . . . attending a military funeral for a friend's father, learning of the death of a co-worker's infant granddaughter, and experiencing the one year anniversary of my brother's death.  Difficult?  Indeed.

Some of my other "worsts" . . a paycheck in the amount of $0.00, a bad hockey game, a half a jar of Mod Podge spilled down my carpeted stairs and work stress, work stress, work stress.

My answers to all my problems:  
  • Work stress?  You have a job girl, so quit it. (EDIT . . . Don't quit the job; quit the whining!) 
  • That single bad hockey game is not so bad, considering that the team has (as of tonight) lost their last nine (9) games.  Talk about putting things in perspective. 
  • The Mod Podge on the stairs . . . it dries clear, and since the husband was the one who dropped it, the husband was the one who cleaned it up.  My stairs are not crunchy, so he did a good job. 
  • $0.00 paycheck . . . not finding the bright side to that.  It is actually a bit of a funny story.  Employer goes to new payroll process, warns employee that with the transition, their first check of the year will be for only one week's pay instead of a half month's pay.  They offer a "supplemental pay" that you can opt to take (which of course just gets removed from all future checks for the year) and I turned it down.  A few weeks prior, an actual person contacts me . . . live . . . not a recording . . . not an e-mail . . . to warn me that my check could be less than 10% of my normal pay.  I still opt to not take the funds.  I get said check and am searching for the net pay.  Where is the net pay . . . net pay?  Oh, here it is . . . $0.00.  It begs the question.  Is ZERO really less than 10%?  Couldn't they have said, "You are going to get NOTHING!  A big fat ZERO! 
Now for some of my positives.

I did say that the anniversary of my brother's death was a negative, but it was also listed as my positive.  I was lucky enough to be able to spend the evening with family and friends celebrating his life.  My sister-in-law is the most incredibly awesome person in the world (I just love her!).  We visited a few of his favorite spots, and this beautiful tribute to the attacks on the World Trade Center was one of them.  

This sculpture was made by a Windsor, CT artist who makes sculptures from scrap metal.  He was inspired to make it to assist Windsor High School's Special Ed Class back in 2003 who were tasked with a project to improve community and school.  The artist sculpted the metal pieces and cut the outlines of the towers.  The Special Ed students drilled the individual holes which represent each person who died in the attacks.  My brother assisted the class with the drilling of the holes.  Is that not an awesome thing to see and hear about?  Note to self . . . need to take another trip down in daylight to take a photo, and perhaps an evening photo without the "holiday wreath."  

There were other positives, and many of them at work.  When I think there is too much stress, I am reminded of those I work with who make it worthwhile!  That one particular trainer who never stops thanking me for everything I do for him and makes the most awesome salsa which he brings with him from Texas.  Heaven in a jar!  The coordinator who, when hearing a rumor that I was leaving my job, but then finding out it was just a joke said, in a sigh of relief "In complete seriousness, if you left we would be screwed."

I blush . . . how awesome is that!  

And on the creative side of life, it has been tough to find time for creativity.  I have just been so busy on the 9 to 5 front.  But I do have a little class coming up at my LSS . . . working with sketches . . . 

What a great message:  Surround yourself with splendid things.


I have to say, a splendid thing for me right about now . . . or tomorrow . . . would be an awe$ome paycheck with $ome actual fund$!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mojo Monday 222

I'm scrapping from my stash!  The Mojo Monday Sketch is noted below. 

I did a few interesting things with this sketch, the most interesting was a little twist I added to highlight a few words on my "word pattern paper."  After cutting my strip for the banner piece, I wanted to high the words "Make a Wish."  So I took some baker's twine and wrapped so the words would show.  It's definitely something I would try again, as it's a great use of the paper.

I also distressed the edges of all the elements except the card itself and the 4 x 5 1/4 background piece. 

For the stamping and the die cut tag I used a die and stamps from Clear and Simple. 

And here is the inside of the card. 

Orange is not just for Halloween!  So glad I could use up some scraps.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Resolution - NOT!

I tend to make a resolution or two every single year, and then I tend to lose sight of most of them.  So I thought this year about making a resolution not to make a resolution . . . but then I'd be breaking it right off the bat by having made a resolution at all. 

So I'm not making a resolution this year.  I'm not setting myself up for failure.  I am just going to try to be the best that I can be each and every day throughout the year.  And I must believe in myself.   

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Whimsical Wednesday Challenge - Favorite Project

The Whimsical Wednesday Challenge this week was to upload a favorite project from 2011.  I have to admit that it was a tough choice.  I've done some super-cool things in 2011, so in reality this is only one of many favorites.

Below is a layout that I did using some old photos and telling the story of my sister, Tammy, who was severely mentally challenged from birth. 

These photos are from the sixties (dating myself here), and it is always difficult to scrap the old photos . . . especially those polaroids which are so thick and really should not be cut apart.  I'm so glad that I got these photos down in a layout.  You really just have to not stress about it and do it!

And I really think this layout is perfect!  Look at those gorgeous eyes and that beautiful grin. That's my baby sister (may she rest in peace).