Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Pre-Holiday trip Part 1

A few days before Thanksgiving, my husband, Mother and I went to Gatlinburg for a couple of days.  In scrapping this page, I used a holiday collection from Basic Grey.  I have another page coming along from the trip that is more nature oriented and the papers work for it, too.

Here's the process video:

And here is the Class Page.  Classes are available for purchase through February 5.

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Final Class Sale

A special announcement regarding my classes...

For the last few years I have provided on-line scrapbook classes. I've truly enjoyed sharing my ideas with you.  While I plan to continue my YouTube videos as time allows, I am discontinuing the paid classes.  For the next two weeks, you can purchase any class at a reduced price of $12 (USD) per class.

Class videos and materials will be available through October 1, 2018.  If you have purchased or choose to purchase a class, please watch any videos or download class handouts before that date.  Videos are NOT downloadable.  After October 1, class materials including videos will no longer be available.

So that you will have plenty of time to view the videos, class sales will cease on Monday, February 5 at noon Eastern time.

Sketchbooks will still be available after February 5; however, the purchasing method will change.  I will provide more information on that option in February.  Sketchbooks are downloadable.  I do not plan to remove any videos linked in the sketchbooks.

I appreciate all of you who have purchased classes and/or sketchbooks.  I value your support so much.

Here is the page containing all the class descriptions -- Class Page

Friday, January 5, 2018

Good read

Last month I shared photos of bookmarks I made for my book club and mentioned that our December book was from a local author.  That author is Angela Pisel and she led the discussion for our meeting about her first novel, Love from the Inside.

The novel alternates telling the story of a mother and daughter. The mother is on death row and the daughter is leading what appears to be a wonderful life without acknowledging her mother at all.  Angela shared with us how she got the idea for the book and when she decided some important plot points.  We also discussed capital punishment particularly for the 50+ women on death row in the US.  She also told us about the writing and publishing process for a first time author.  It was a very interesting meeting and we are all anticipating her next book.  She didn't give us an exact date but I gathered it would not be that far into the future.

Love from the Inside can be difficult to read at times because of the sad nature of the story and the details of the prison system but it is definitely worth a read.  It's beautifully written capturing each character sympathetically and with grace.  One of the attendees had listened to it on audio and recommended that version as well.

On these bitterly cold days, it's good to have a book to curl up with and await spring.

Monday, January 1, 2018

2017 Resolution and 2018 Goal

One of the pages I most enjoy scrapping each year is my wrap up of accomplishments for the current year and plans for the new year including my goals and objectives.

This year I did not list out accomplishments of 2017. The year was filled with caregiving. It was also a very sad time as we lost my father in late summer.  Just as I was getting most of the estate processing finished, a tornado came through our area.  This is highly unusual for the foothills of western NC.  The mountains usually stop a storm. This one managed to travel 23 miles and was 3/4 of a mile wide.  Most of the damage was from downed trees.  It went right down my Mother's road and did quite a bit of damage around her home.  So we were very busy and my husband still is getting everything back to normal.  So, it was a painful year to reflect upon and everything I did revolved around a few major events.  I decided not to scrap the accomplishments and just look forward to 2018.

I would though like to take a moment to pat myself on the back for a couple of things.  I kept my New Year's Resolution.  A resolution is promising yourself to change a habit - drop a bad habit or form a new one.  I resolved to write in my journal every day. This is my regular journal which I type rather than write.  I can type a lot faster and it doesn't bother my hands.  And I did it!  I wrote every single day of 2017.  There were a couple of times where I had to write out my journaling as I'd already shut the computer down but every day got something even if it was 2 sentences.  Usually it was a few paragraphs.

I imagine when I look back at the journal years from now, I'll think "why did I write about all this mundane stuff?" or "boy, did I complain a lot back then," The journal was a good place to work out feelings and as well as capture memories. I also completed the 5 year journal which I talked about on my last blog post and layout.

I'm not going to make a new resolution for 2018 as I have a big goal I'm working on which I'll get to in a minute.  I want to continue to do my daily journaling.  I would like to improve my journaling and my outlook in that I look for something positive to write about each day.  Often there were positive happy comments in my journal but certainly not every day.  Even on the darkest day, I think you can find something positive, some way to be grateful.

One other thing I accomplished in 2017 was to finally lose a few extra pounds I've been carrying around the last few years.  That was on my objectives list more than a few times.  I lost a little more than planned due to stress and am at what I weighed in the 1990's.  I feel so much better.  My clothes fit better which was my main purpose.  (You know you truly hate to shop if I'd rather lose weight than buy new clothes :-)  I used Weight Watcher's old Points Plus system and it was just the right amount of structure for my lifestyle.

Now to the goal and objectives for 2018.

Perhaps it was losing my dad who I take after more than my mother or perhaps it is just my age, but I've been thinking a lot about what I will do when I'm older.  I chose not to have children - a choice that was perfect for me.  I am an only so I have no nieces or nephews either.  I have plenty of cousins and we get along but we aren't super close.  Plus I'd really like to move to another location at some point and probably won't be around my family.  I hope my husband and I have decades more together.  He is older so I have to face the fact that I might have some years alone.  Now we never know of course.  He might outlive me.  Heck, Mother might outlive me.  She's stronger than I am!

And that is another thing that has spurred my desire to make some changes in the new year.  I want to do what I can to have healthy older years so I can enjoy life, being active.

With that in mind, I came across some information recently on the anti-inflammatory diet. The one I was reading was cutting out sugar, gluten, dairy, red meat, alcohol and happiness- just kidding about the last one, sort of kidding.  I mean giving up bread and sweets?  Now this might be the best thing for me, for all many of us yet while I want a healthy old age, I want to do some living now.  So while the idea of reducing inflammation and thus medication I take for inflammation holds great appeal to me, enjoying food is also important. I think I can find a balance.

As far as I know my health is good but I know it can be better. I know that the things that cause heart disease, likely cancer and dementia are building up in our bodies for years.  Most of us need to move more and eat less - or at least less of certain foods.  I want to do what I can to prevent problems and still enjoy a full life.  The fact that my mother can lift more than I can is a bit embarrassing.  She's a gardener and truly loves nothing more than raking leaves, moving rocks around in her flower beds and keeping every inch of her yard pristine.  I do not.  She cares about making her house look perfect inside and out.  I do not.   So she is strong and I, I'm ashamed to admit, am not as strong as I should be.

Yet remember that bit about balance.  I doubt very much that at the end of 2018 my yard will look as pretty as hers but I hope it will look better.  Mostly I just hope that I am a physically stronger person.

I've come up with a list of things I can do each day to fill my stomach with healthier foods and hopefully then less of the unhealthy ones.  The list contains activities that will get me moving more.  I don't expect to do everything on the list every day, certainly not at first, but it is a goal to work toward.

In a few months, I hope to be not only stronger but have a little cleaner and more organized house and maybe even make a dent in the yard work as these chores are good places to get that increased activity.  Dh and I already walk whenever we can get decent weather.

So that's my plan and here is the layout that reflects my objective for 2018

Now I'm still a caregiver and of course I could have other issues that interfered with my plans.  I followed Weight Watchers though through some of the most hectic months of the year so I hope I can do this.   It might take 30 years to find out if it helped me but I hope I'll get a reasonably clean house and some new menu options in the short term.

Stay tuned to see how I'm progressing...

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

My 5 Year Journal - Complete!

Well, almost.  I have just a few days left to finish 5 years of journaling a few words a day in my 5 year journal!

Five years ago I learned about this from Debbie Hodge's website.  There is a question for each day of the year.  You answer the question usually with a word, phrase or maybe one sentence.  The next year you answer the same questions on the same day. So there is one question for January 1 and you answer it 5 times, a different question for January 2 and so on.  It's interesting to see what stays the same each year and what changes.  Here are a couple of samples from my completed journal:

(Answers I would expect)
What movie are you looking forward to?
Each year I answer 'none' because I'm not a movie person.

(Answers that surprised me.)
September:  How old do you feel?
The first two years I answered older than I am, then a little younger feeling, and by this year I felt younger than I really am because I now weigh what I did in the 90's.

I have printed out the pages (about 75) and I'm putting them in some type of folder in the back of one of my albums.  I wanted to capture a bit of the process and celebrate keeping a new habit for a full 5 years with a layout.  Here's the video:

Here is the information about the journal I used on Debbie Hodge's website. The questions were developed by Tami Taylor.

5 Year Journal

I cut and pasted the questions to Microsoft Word so it would be easy to pull up a document and just answer the questions.  I kept a separate document for each month but you could do one large file just keep it backed up.  You could handwrite your answers as well perhaps in a pretty journal which would be a treasure to keep for the future.

I think it will be especially interesting to look at this a few years down the road and perhaps answer the questions again to see what is the same and what has changed.

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Winter cardigan just in time

 I have a habit of finishing my knitting projects just as the season was ending. I was beginning to think we would run out of cold weather before I finished this sweater started in September.  We are expecting very cold weather next week so it looks like I'll have lots of days to wear it.

The colors were a challenge.  It hand dyed Malabrigo Rios yarn in Candombe  and was almost all the same dye lot.  However, the spools were often very different.  The back is mostly black but when I caught onto the color changes, I alternated spools so it blends reasonably well. Still the back is mostly black and the sleeves mostly blue and green. The front is mostly purple which goes with the purple buttons I got at the same yarn shop.  I've loved working with this yarn and mostly loved going to my local knitting shop when I have a chance to knit amongst fellow crafters.

The colors don't show up that well in the photos.  The pattern was originally Drift from Ravelry.com.  I modified it to add a mock cable design and to add a design to the sleeves.  It was easy to do and is very warm.  I'd love to find a royal blue or purple blouse for it.

I have a scrapbook layout on my worktable and a video in progress so hopefully I'll have something new on my channel soon.  Thanks for visiting today.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Bookmarks for Book Club

I love my book club.  A couple of years ago, DH and I simultaneously and unbeknownst to each other started looking for more social opportunities.  He found a group who kayaks, something he had been wanting to take up, and I found a book club that meets monthly about 15 miles from us. My group has been around for a long time but I just hadn't gone searching for anything in many years.  They are the best!  And it isn't just me saying that.  A few people have joined after me and some have left having moved away.  We always get reports back through their friends that they have tried to find a group as good in their new town but haven't been successful.

What makes my book club great?  We talk about the book.  It isn't gossipy.  Our organizer starts and ends on time and generally keeps us on track.  We don't do food or drink so there are no obligations to whip up an impressive dessert when it is your turn to host.  You don't even have to ever host or lead the discussion.  We all read the same book each month with a mix of fiction and non-fiction. We nominate and vote on the books to read once per year.

Through our discussion, we discover a bit about each other here and there whatever people want to share but only as it relates to the book.  Very few members are native to this area originally and many have moved here in recent years.  They are also 'my people' politically which is a rarity in this part of the country.

The first Christmas I was in the club I made these types of bookmarks.  I placed them on the table in the center of the room and let people choose one if they wanted.  I think most of our members are still reading printed books at least part of the time.  Since we've had some new people join up, I thought I'd do this again this year. I've also made some more traditional bookmarks using stamps and and papers from October Afternoon's Public Library collection.

Ironically, I just bought myself a tablet so I'm starting to read books in that format and am enjoying it.  I still like the traditional bound book and many of the ones we read - both fiction and non-fiction - are found at our local libraries so my bookmarks won't sit idle.

Making these is easy with a gelli plate, stencils and packing tape.  It takes a little time as you have to wait between coats for the paint to dry but you get 5 bookmarks per print on an 8x10 plate.  Here's the video:

At our December meeting, the author of our latest book "With Love from the Inside", Angela Pisel, is coming to our meeting.  She is local and I'm anxious to find out how she did the research for this book with one of the characters on death row and what inspired her to tell this mother/daughter story. 

Do you have a social club you just love?

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Back Online and a Thank You Card

We were without power for more than 48 hours and without Internet for 8 days!  Why? Tornadoes, in western NC, in October!

We had no damage out our home thankfully, but 3 power poles snapped across the road and there was significant damage on my Mother's road.  We spent all week at her house cleaning up.  Everyone rode the storm out in basements and we are alright. This the worst damage this area has had since Hurricane Hugo in 1989.

Without power, I could not do much but I did edit this video.  I kept my laptop charged by taking it various places during the day and plugging it in.  Finally this morning I got to upload the video which uses Distress Oxide inks on this simple Thank You card that I mass produced.

ALSO:  PRICES REDUCED on most stamp sets in my Etsy shop  https://www.etsy.com/shop/LovelyLayersArt

It's good to be back to connecting with people online. Thanks for watching today!

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